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Date fixed to decide whether to proceed

Sep 19 (DM) The Colombo District Court yesterday fixed October 30 to decide whether UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe could be tried for contempt of court, for allegedly forwarding a false affidavit in connection with a civil suit filed against the agreement between the UNP and the SLFP (M). District Judge Sisira Ratnayake made this order following objections made by counsel for Mr. Wickremesinghe that more..

'Dual approach strategy has proved to be successful'

Sep 19 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan government’s dual approach of launching a military offensive against the LTTE while keeping the door open for talks is proving to be a successful strategy, Tissa Vitharana, Sri Lankan Minister of Science and Technology, said here on Thursday. Explaining his government’s perspective on the issue in a talk hosted by the Centre for Security Analysis, Mr. Vitharana said the strategy focused on more..

Sri Lanka's south lose power on exploding transformer

Sep 19 (LBO) Southern parts of Sri Lanka lost power last night after a transformer at a hydro power complex in the island's central hills exploded and caught fire, an official at the country's power utility said. A voltage transformer at a switchyard in the Laxapana hydro-power complex had exploded at 9.16 pm in the night cutting off supply to the deep south of the island and also tripping off a series of power stations in the southern part of the grid. more..

Sri Lanka hopes wildlife glories will attract new tourists

Sep 19 (AFP) With wetlands and jungles teeming with colourful butterflies and exotic primates, Sri Lanka is planning to lure a new type of tourist who prefers wildlife to beach life. As well as at least five species of primates -- including the purple-faced leaf monkey and the hanuman langur -- the island boasts hundreds of lakes and lush paddy fields for visitors to explore. more..

Sri Lanka sees tea revenue at record $1.4 bln in 2008

Sep 19 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tea revenues should hit a record $1.4 billion in 2008, buoyed by the world's highest average auction price, a lack of labour problems and increased production, Sri Lanka Tea Board officials said on Friday. The tea board earlier this year predicted a range of between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion. Based on the latest production and auction data, earnings would hit the upper end of the spectrum. more..

US initiatives to boost Sri Lanka's regional economy

Sep 19 (IANS) The US Friday announced the launch of a new multi-year initiative, funded by the USAID, to promote economic growth in Sri Lanka's war-ravaged eastern province. The US embassy said in a statement that the new programme, Connecting Regional Economies (CORE), was designed to increase social and economic security "as part of the US government's integrated strategy to address the root causes of conflict in Sri Lanka". more..

Sri Lanka's military says heavy fighting kills 70

Sep 19 (AP) Tamil Tiger separatists and government forces fought intense battles across Sri Lanka's embattled northern region, killing at least 62 rebels and eight soldiers, the military said Friday. Deadly infantry clashes raged throughout the day Thursday along the front lines separating government controlled territory and the rebels' de facto state in the north, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said. more..

Tigers on defensive as Sri Lanka military closes in

Sep 19 (AFP) Tamil Tigers were once regarded one of the world's most ruthlessly efficient rebels, but they risk losing their mini-state as Sri Lankan forces make a determined push after decades of bloodshed. After months of bitter fighting, security forces have reached the outskirts of the Tiger political capital -- Kilinochchi -- the six-kilometre long township along the main A-9 highway to the Jaffna peninsula. more..

BCCI upset over Sri Lanka's lifting of ban on ICL players

Sep 20 (IANS) The Indian cricket board is irked at its Sri Lankan counterpart's decision to allow rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) players turn out for domestic tournaments and will take up the matter with the International Cricket Council (ICC), an official said. The Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) decision has surprised the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which was instrumental in persuading the other cricket boards to ban ICL players. more..

Sri Lanka state banks shop for dollars

Sep 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run Bank of Ceylon is selling a 30 million US dollar 5-year bond which will pay a floating interest rate every six months, dealers and officials said. The bond will pay a rate of 300 basis points above the 6-month London Interbank offered rate. Corporates, such as exporters who usually deposit in non-resident foreign currency accounts (NRFC) accounts, and other dollar savers are buying into the bond, dealers said. more..

Sri Lanka opens investment office in Shanghai

Sep 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka has opened an investment centre in Shanghai and appointed an official of the Shin Kwan Group, a big investor in the island, as the honorary representative of the investment promotion agency. The Sri Lanka Centre in the Chinese port city is aimed at boosting bilateral economic relations between the two countries and promoting investment opportunities in Sri Lanka, the foreign affairs ministry said in statement. more..

Tokyo Cement goes green to revive profitability

Sep 20 (LBO) Tokyo Cement group, whose profits dipped last year owing to higher raw material, energy and transport costs, says new eco-friendly manufacturing processes and products should help it revive profitability. Chairman Edgar Gunatunga said the firm has commissioned a bio-mass power plant and will soon commission a new vertical roller mill at its cement manufacturing factory in the eastern port of Trincomalee. more..

The Danish Refugee Council evacuates Northern Sri Lanka

Sep 20 (DRC) International staff have left Kilinochchi in Northern Sri Lanka under an evacuation of organized by the UN. Kilinochchi is a key towns in the Vanni region, an area largely controlled by the LTTE (tamil tigers), now facing an imminent attack from Government forces. DRC together with other international NGOs and the UN agencies had been requested by the Sri Lankan Government to leave the area by 29 September 2008 at the latest; more..

A new bus service for tsunami relocated in Payagala estate

Sep 20 (RW) A new bus service was introduced for the first time to help 300 residents living in the tsunami relocated of the Payagala watte who had up to now make a treacherous to walk of 8 km to reach school daily or to the nearest town to buy provisions. Payagala watta, is a tsunami relocation housing scheme with 56 houses build by the Sri Lanka Red Cross with the support of Belgian Red Cross / IFRC programme which was competed and handed over early 2008. more..

Driver and conductor of ill-fated bus rewarded

Sep 20 (GDI) The driver and the conductor whose prompt actions averted what might have been a major tragedy in a bus in which a bomb had been placed, were felicitated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday (19th). Rangith Thilakasiri (driver) and Manjula Udayanga (conductor) were rewarded for their quick, sensible and brave act by the ASP Group, each receiving plots of land worth half a million rupees each. more..

Court instructs Electricity Board to revise tariffs

Sep 20 (GDI) The Supreme Court yesterday (18) instructed the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to formulate a new electricity tariff rate system reducing the burden on the general public. Accordingly the Supreme Court requested the CEB to submit their proposals by the 3rd of October, revised with reasonable tariff concessions to domestic consumers. Places of religious worship will shortly be given a concession with respect to the tariff rate increase gazetted on March 15, 2008. more..

Top performers at the A/L 2007 leave for Singapore for educational tour

Sep 20 (GDI) Nineteen students who obtained top marks in the last year's G.C.E. Advance Level Examination will be leaving to Singapore this evening (19) under the "Student Peace Ambassadors" program. The students were handed over air tickets and relevant documents by the Minister of Enterprise Development & Investment Promotion, Sarath Amunugama at a ceremony held in Colombo today. more..

'Foreign help' to check milk powder

Sep 20 (BBC) The Sri Lankan government has decided to seek independent foreign advice to check the samples of all varieties of milk powder available in the market. Minister in charge of consumer affairs and internal trade, Bandula Gunawardene, told media on Friday that no incident related to contaminated milk powder reported in Sri Lanka. more..

Colombo Int'l Book Fair today

Sep 20 (LD) Colombo International Book Fair 2008 starts at the BMICH in Colombo today (Sept. 20th). Sri Lanka Book Publishers’ Association is organizing the annual event in its 10th year. The nine-day event will be open for the public from 9.00 am to 9.30 pm, and from this year, a free of Rs. 10 will be charged per entrant. The SLBPA initiated the first national book fair at National Art Gallery in 1999. more..

SLC accused of double standards

Sep 20 (LD) Players are accusing Sri Lanka Cricket interim committee of having adopted double standards following its decision to allow rebel cricketers who had signed up for Indian Cricket League to play domestic cricket. SLC has removed the ban on players at ICC-banned ICL, while taking a firm stance on players who are in the Indian Premier League, which has the consent of cricket's governing body. more..

Courts the only hope in lawless Lanka

Sep 20 (LG) Labour Minister Mervyn Silva once again displayed his arrogant behaviour at the opening ceremony of second flyover bridge in Kelaniya where the Minister was seen assaulting the cameraman and the journalist of Sirasa TV who had gone there on an invitation from the government to cover the event. The photographs and the video footage telecast by the media clearly showed the Minister attempting to grab the camera of the Sirasa TV crew. more..

Blame the conspirators, not Ranil

Sep 20 (LG) Ranil’s brand of politics which is law-abiding, non-aggressive, non-avaricious for power and gentlemanly, certainly is not going to pay any dividends to the people who voted for UNP policies or his colleagues who are planning to revolt against him for his failure to win elections. In a situation where the President is able to lure members of other parties by bribing with portfolios which allow them to enjoy life at public expense, there is hardly anything that anyone could do to win elections in a democratic way. more..

The Black Tigers: A formidable battlefield strategy

Sep 20 (LG) The war strategy of the Black Tigers plays an important role in the liberation struggle of the Tamils. Bravery, self-sacrifice with heroism, and the will to defeat tyranny are the hallmarks of their war strategy. The Black Tigers occupy the zenith of the heroic war pursuits of the Tamils. What is the need for the Black Tigers' battle strategy? How did the Black Tigers emerge? more..

The Iliad and the Tamils

Sep 20 (LG) American films portrayed the “Red Indian” (the Native American) as savage and cruel, concealing the fact that a friendly and trusting people had been cruelly set upon, and were putting up a desperate struggle for their land and survival. And so it will be with Sinhalese accounts of the Tamil struggle for equality: another Dutugemmunu victory, with the cowardly, “terrorist” Tamils surrendering to the brave Sinhalese army. more..

Raman and the LTTE –A Response

Sep 20 (LG) I have been a reader of Mr. B. Raman’s articles which appear on your Journal for quite some time. My attention went to the article which appeared on your Journal on the 10th September with the title "Vavuniya Raid: Conflicting Versions". There are certain facts which I felt should be highlighted at this stage about this article. I strongly believe, that like most of the foreign journalists who report on defence matters, Mr. Raman is also not happy to see the LTTE losing this war. more..

'Tamil Eelam does exist already'

Sep 20 (LG) “I think Tamil Eelam does exist already. It exists in the hearts and minds of every single Tamil expatriate. It is a reality.” Anita Pratap, a well known Indian journalist who have covered all the conflicts in South Asia in the last three decades, told this at a book launch event in Oslo, Norway. The book “Tamils in Sri Lanka - A Comprehensive History (C.300 B.C. - 2000 A.D.)” written by Murugar Gunasingham Ph.D was launched in Oslo, Norway on 14 September 2008. more..

'The Govt. is playing with the life and blood of the people'

Sep 20 (LG) Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena, UNP M.P. told the media yesterday (18 Sep), that the Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva who should take the initiative in exposing the culprits in the recent exposure of Blood Bank irregularities and fraud to bring the culprits to book is, instead trying to sweep this massive grave racket in his Ministry under the rug. more..

Sri Lanka - what next after the battles?

Sep 20 (AN) There's a sense of inevitability in Sri Lanka at the moment. Each day the SMS news alerts and newspapers tell a story of an advancing Sri Lankan army venturing ever closer to Kilinochchi, the 'capital' of the Tamil Tiger rebels' self-declared homeland. Each night journalists who are embedded with the army report from the front line, mainly for the government-run or pro-government TV stations. more..

Analysis: Global implications of Sri Lanka's civil war

Sep 20 (TMG) At first glance, Sri Lanka's vicious civil war might appear to have little consequence beyond the island's own teardrop-shaped shores. But the conflict has rapidly come to reflect tectonic shifts in global power. Since hostilities resumed in 2006, Sri Lanka's brutal attempts to crush the Tamil Tiger rebels have brought its government into open confrontation with traditional Western allies and trading partners. more..

Sri Lanka, Guest of Honour at the 10th International Island Book Fair in France

Sep 20 (AT) The 10th International Island Book Fair took place in Ouessant, France from 20 to 23 of August 2008. The goal of this fair is to make discover the literature from all the islands in the world, by welcoming writers and editors in Ouessant, an Island situated off Bretagne. Sri Lanka was the guest of honour of the 10th International Island Book Fair represented by Phillipe Fabry thanks to the French Embassy in Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka Tourism. more..

Decimating LTTE false propaganda

Sep 20 (AT) If the LTTE was representative of the Tamil people of Sri Lanka taking up arms against Sri Lanka’s Government because of Sinhala discrimination why should thirty three (33) countries list the LTTE as a terrorist group? If the LTTE is listed as a terrorist group why should the Sri Lankan Government not have the right to eliminate this terrorist movement & why was it forced to engage in negotiations? more..

Remembering A J Gunawardana: A creative public intellectual

Sep 20 (GV) September 2008 marks 10 years since the sudden death of Dr Ariyasena Jayasekera (A J) Gunawardana, an outstanding university teacher, writer/journalist, cinema personality and art critic. When he failed to regain consciousness from open heart surgery, at the relatively young age of 65, we lost a rare intellectual who had his feet firmly on the ground, and constantly built bridges linking media, culture and society. more..

Sri Lanka: An 'island of blood'

Sep 20 (NP) Hundreds of thousands have fled Sri Lanka's civil war, many of them to Canada. While the war zone has been off-limits to journalists, the National Post's Stewart Bell recently toured the front lines just as the conflict appears headed for a decisive showdown. His six-part series begins today in wartorn Vavuniya. The hotel windows pounded in unison when the shock wave from the artillery gun hit. The windows seemed ready to implode. more..

Sri Lankan police continue to detain SEP member

Sep 20 (wsws) Sri Lankan police have refused to release Socialist Equality Party (SEP) member Velummailum Kamalthasan and his relative Santhiralingam Ilancheliyan, who have now been held without charge for five days in the Negombo police station lock-up. The pretext for their detention is to allow the police to make “further inquiries” into any connection to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). more..

Protection of human rights, a humanitarian obligation

Sep 20 (LG) big tragedy was avoided in Colombo since the people were vigilant. A time bomb, hidden under a seat in a bus, which was travelling from Mttakuliya to Moratuwa, was detected following the information given by a passenger. Bus driver and the conductor had parked the bus in the road side and requested the passengers to get down. Within few minutes after informing the traffic police, the bomb had exploded. 7 people who were passing were injured. more..

New fuel tax to cover up Rs.5000 million spent on SAARC

Sep 20 (LT) In spite of the descending fuel prices in the world market, the government, without giving its benefits to the masses, has decided to levy a new fuel tax states 'Lanka' Sunday newspaper. Though the fuel prices could be brought down by about 30% in relation to the downward trend of crude oil prices even without taking away the government taxes, the government, to cover up more than Rs.5000 million it wasted on SAARC' 'circus,' has decided to take this measure states the report by 'Lanka.' more..

Jayasundara to finance ministry through the back door!

Sep 20 (LT) There is a move to appoint Mr. P.B. Jayasundra, who resigned from the post of Secretary to the Finance Ministry and the Treasury, to the Ministry of Finance as an advisor say reports. Mr. Jayasundara was fined by the Supreme Court when it was found that he was involved in an unscrupulous deal when Marine Services Ltd. that belonged to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation was privatized during the UNP regime. more..

Pilleyan to recast Eastern flag

Sep 20 (LT) Sivanesathurai Chandrakanth alias Pilleyan, the Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council, is taking measures to change the official flag of the Eastern Province say reports. A committee has been already appointed to change the flag in spite of the opposition from the people in the area who object to the decision to change the traditional flag. They say the decision to change the flag is only a step to create an Ealam state. more..

MFCD provides dry ration packs for 1500 poor families

Sep 20 (MG) “Fasting is obligatory on Muslims not only to purify minds but also to realize the difficulties and hardship of fellow human beings” stated Mr.Siraj Mashoor, the CEO of MFCD at a function organized for the distribution of rations to the poor families. He further said that the German IRW and Qatar charity organizations are providing these dry rations through MFCD to more than 1500 poor families in Ampara & Puttalam districts. more..

Saleem's murder - Security beefed up in Pothuvil

Sep 20 (MG) Security was tightened in Pothuvil after the sudden death of a Muslim youth who was being held in the Monaragala remand prison, police said. The victim 26-year-old A. Mohamed Saleem and 27 others were arrested by the Pothuvil police two weeks ago while cutting firewood in a forest at Aththimale in Pothuvil.The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress which expressed concern over the killing alleged that the victim had been beaten to death by the police. more..

Fuel shortage threatens provision of drinking water in Vanni

Sep 20 (TN) Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has instructed the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) not to allow Humanitarian Convoys to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Ki'linochchi district with food items provided under the United Nations World Food Programme, as a "punishment" for the people of Ki'linochhci district for not "obeying" its instruction to leave Ki'linochhi to Vavuniyaa, more..

Buddhist monks, remand prisons and quality life in SL

Sep 20 (SLW) Hundred or more Buddhist monks sat serenely on the front benches of the courtroom and the Chief Justice with two other Supreme Court Judges walked into take their seats on the bench. Tradition has it that all, including those defending and prosecuting lawyers stand up to respect the judges taking seat. The Buddhist monks sat through, most serenely and in silence. Yet it was a protest that all in the courtroom felt with a big bang. more..

News that go slipping and land on Kachchativu

Sep 20 (SLW) There are even more important issues here on this soil that slip away without much ado. Who was interested about the 125 new Police Stations to be set up in the recently captured, or acquired, or cleared areas in the Wanni? Who wanted to know whether those areas are inhabited to police them? Who asked why so few police stations, when along the Galle Road from Fort to Galle city there are 25 or so police stations? more..

Amerasinghe bowls SL A to tense win

Sep 20 (CI) Ishara Amerasinghe's five-wicket haul narrowly gave Sri Lanka A victory in the first unofficial one-day international against hosts South Africa A at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom. South Africa, chasing 275, needed seven runs from the final over, but Amerasinghe struck with the first and fourth balls to deny them victory by three runs. South Africa were given a steady, if unspectacular, start. more..

Air force jets targeting Prabha

Sep 20 (SAMN) The Air Force Friday vowed to continue targeting the LTTE leader’s hideouts whenever intelligence reports on his whereabouts are received. “We are continuing to bomb LTTE targets, including the hideouts of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and other high profile LTTE leaders,” Air Force Commander, Air Marshal Roshan Gunathilake said, adding that fighter jets and Mi-24 helicopter gunship were carrying out daily air raids. more..

Girls are the best!

Sep 20 (SAMN) Three girls have topped the Grade 5 scholarship examination list with 183 marks each according to results released Friday. Commissioner General of Examinations Anura Edirisinghe said it was the first time three students had scored identical marks to top the list and all three were girls. However, he said 619 students had failed to score any marks at all. Of them 519 were in the Sinhala medium and 100 in the Tamil medium. more..

Politicians seen as rogues: Dallas

Sep 20 (SAMN) The public today view politicians as a blackguards who misuse public property, Minister of Transport Dallas Alahapperuma said Friday.He was speaking at a function to mark the productivity award of the Western Province to the Motor Traffic Department. It could take a few more centuries for politicians to be rid of the bad name they had earned as it was not easy to erase it from the memory of the people, he said. more..

Increase in elephant population

Sep 20 (SAMN) Despite the worsening of human-elephant conflict which has claimed the lives of both species, the elephant population has drastically increased from 673 in 1993 to 2423 this year in the Mahaweli areas of the country. Environment and Natural Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka made this observation yesterday while referring to a report of the census conducted covering the Mahaweli areas of Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa, Matale, Badulla and Ampara. more..

Extra Rs. 40 m requested for FM’s overseas tours

Sep 20 (LD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been requested for an extra amount of Rs. 40 million for official overseas tours of Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama, a senior official of the Presidential Secretariat told ‘Lanka Dissent’. Grants reserved for official overseas tours of the Foreign Minister under the Budget 2008 have been used up within a few months. more..

Army deny alleged DPU attacks

Sep 20 (LD) The Sri Lanka Army rejected news reports alleging that the Deep Penetration Unit recently exploded claymore mines targeting a passenger bus in un-cleared areas of Puthoor, in Puliyankulam and an ambulance in Kokkavil. “While unequivocally rejecting those reports, the Army, as a responsible military wing, wishes to state that it has no whatsoever need to hurt or kill the very Wanni civilians, passengers or patients that soldiers at the expense their own lives, were trying to salvage and win. more..