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Your complete guide to Galle fort

Sep 22 (Times) If you’ve read this far, chances are you love a beach holiday. Deck-chairs and daiquiris, suntans and seaweed wraps, they’re your thing. Not mine. Two or three days is heaven, but a whole week? I don’t care how Padi the dive school is or how Espa the treatment rooms are, I want more than a burnt nose and happy chakras. Beaches and pools, fine, but I also need sights, sounds, smells - and I’m not talking Piz Buin factor 30. more..

Police hunt for suspect Ponzi-scam fraudster

Sep 22 (LBO) Police are trying to track down a Sri Lankan businessman who has fled abroad after duping thousands of people into depositing money with his firm by promising high returns. Thousands of distraught depositors have been flocking to a suburban police station in the past two days to lodge complaints against Sakvithi Ranasinghe. Ranasinghe had posed as a popular English tutor and also ran investment firms. more..

Co-chairs to discuss war & displaced

Sep 22 (LD) Co-Chairs to Sri Lanka' peace process will meet in New York on September 24th to discuss the ongoing war and the resultant displacement of civilians. Norway's Erik Solheim and Jon Hanssen-Bauer, Japan's Yashushi Akashi and Richard Boucher of the United States will participate in the meeting. The donors, the United States, Japan, the European Union and Norway endorsed in 2003 in Tokyo the Norwegian-backed peace process between the government and the LTTE. more..

Green move to promote organic farming

Sep 22 (DN) A programme to motivate farmers and youth to use organic fertiliser to save money on expensive non-organic fertilisers and insecticides is launched by the Agro Division of Gold Lanka company. If the farmer is to be made rich, the land should be fertile. Rich soil will yield a better harvest for long time, Gold Lanka says. For this, there is no other technology can surpass our age-old organic farming. more..

Student signals new way to prevent train accidents

Sep 22 (DN) Amila Randhika, a student of De Mazenod College, Kandana has invented a signal grid equipment to minimise injuries caused to train commuters during an accident. The invention is expected to minimise damage and harm caused to commuters during the train journey. Amila met Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma at the Ministry and explained features and benefits of the new invention to the Minister. more..

'Blood transfusion kits bought ten months before date of expiry'

Sep 22 (Island) Accusing the Health Ministry of a cover up regarding the shocking use of outdated blood transfusion kits, Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena, MP, said that he would bring this to the notice of the WHO. Although the racket was initially believed to be confined to the National Blood Centre at Narahenpita, Jayawardena claimed that he had been able to gather enough evidence to suggest that the use of outdated kits was widespread. more..

'Nation must be grateful to war heroes'

Sep 22 (Island) Leader of the NFF Wimal Weerawansa said the nation must express its gratitude to the war heroes who were making sacrifices on the warfront for the sake of their country. "We must not forget that the troops that liberated Mavil Aru, the East, have now entered a decisive phase in their fight against the LTTE terrorism. At this crucial stage we must extend all our support and assistance to boost their moral and we must sink our political differences for that purpose," more..

EPDP leader rejected US visa

Sep 22 (LD) The US Embassy in Colombo had refused to grant a visa to EPDP leader and Social Services Minister Douglas Devananda, 'Divaina' reported. Mr. Devananda had applied for a visa to accompany President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the 63rd General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. Embassy officials had cited a human rights matter for the rejection, the newspaper reported. more..

JVP unions request salary increase in 2009 Budget

Sep 22 (DM) The National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) affiliated to the JVP has urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to fulfil their month long demand for Rs. 5000 salary increment through the budget for the year 2009 that is to be presented in the parliament next month. President of the NTUC and JVP parliamentarian K.D. Lal Kantha in a letter has reminded the President that 366 trade unions affiliated to the NTUC and various other trade unions staged a more..

Death toll from dreaded rat fever on the rise

Sep 22 (DM) The public, especially paddy farmers were yesterday warned to be extra vigilant when attending to their work in paddy fields as Leptospirosis widely known as the dreadful rat fever was fast developing into an epidemic with 33 deaths reported in the last three weeks. Government Epidemiology Unit Chief Dr. Praba Palihawadana said the deadly disease was on the fast track with the number of patients and deaths having increased rapidly in September. more..

Sri Lanka military says fighting kills 65

Sep 22 (AP) Sri Lankan forces pushed deep into the northern heartland of ethnic Tamil rebels, killing 56 of them in ferocious fighting that also killed seven soldiers, while police killed two rebels in the east, the military said Monday. The wave of battles across the north Sunday came amid a new government offensive against the Tamil Tiger rebels. In recent weeks, troops seized control of huge areas of land the rebels had controlled for years and more..

‘LTTE defences in northern stronghold crumbling’

Sep 22 (PTI) Leader of the breakaway faction of the LTTE, Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan alias Colonel Karuna (Amman) has said that Tiger supermo V Prabhakaran's defences in their northern stronghold are crumbling. Deported from Britain after a jail term for carrying forged paper, Karuna said that Prabhakaran would now switch over to hit and run raids as his outfit was not able to face the strong Sri Lankan Military offensive. more..

Inside Sri Lanka: 'There is no freedom' in Jaffna

Sep 22 (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. This is the second of a six-part series. The streets around Jaffna City's downtown bazaar are filled with bicycles, trishaws and sari-clad women carrying umbrellas to shade themselves from the harsh tropical sun. more..

Democracy is a Means, Cannot be the End

Sep 23 (LG) The inclusion of Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan, the elected Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, in a high-level delegation led by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake, to Tokyo recently should be welcome by all. Yet, to expect that such symbolism would satisfy, if not satiate, the Tamil community nearer home or the international community hoping for early return of peace and prosperity in the island-nation can only be counter-productive at best. more..

EU says it does not want Sri Lanka to lose GSP+ trade deal

Sep 23 (LBO) A senior European Union official said it does not want Sri Lanka to lose GSP+ trade concessions but the island must meet eligibility criteria to continue duty free market access to Europe under the deal. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, said the GSP Plus scheme had achieved its aims in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka spreads some prices over two months in inflation reports

Sep 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka is calculating point-to-point inflation by spreading some price increases across two months, an official said, adding to a series of recent actions that is casting a shadow over the integrity of the country's economic statistics. Sri Lanka's statistics office says it is allocating changes in some prices over two months instead of taking the full increase in one period. more..

'Central bank is like a currency board'

Sep 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's monetary authority is now operating almost like a currency board and its currency issue is fully backed by reserves, a senior central banker has said. Sri Lanka abandoned a currency board that had kept inflation low, the exchange rate stable and allowed island to become a country with some of the highest living standards in Asia until a central bank with money printing powers was created in 1950. more..

Shares weaken, trading dries up

Sep 23 (LBO) Sri Lankan shares ended slightly weaker Monday with trading virtually drying up and small investors hunting for bargains in a becalmed market, brokers said. The All Share Price Index was down 0.50 percent (11.14 points) at 2,239.18 while the Milanka eased 0.57 percent 14.49 points) to 2,512.73. Turnover was a mere 87 million rupees. The main contribution to the day's turnover came from John Keells Holdings (JKH) with more..

Five girls assaulted and ill-treated by teachers due to principal's negligence

Sep 23 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that while five students were being assaulted and ill- treated by teachers, the principal failed to intervene in the situation. He asked the father of one of the students to forget the incident. As a result, the students are afraid to return to school, due to the degrading treatment received from their teachers. more..

Senior police assault and fabricate charges against other officers

Sep 23 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that on 18 August 2008, senior police officers from the Ratnapura Police Station assaulted police officers from another police station while both parties were traveling on the same road. The assaulted officers were taken to the Ratnapura police station where they were assaulted again. more..

A man who sought your protection against death threats from police officers was shot dead

Sep 23 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission is writing this to bring to your notice that Mr. S.K.A.S. Nishanta Fernando, who was a complainant in a bribery case and a torture case against several police officers in Negombo, who sought your intervention to ensure his protection against threats to his life and that of his family, was shot dead at Dalupatha Junction yesterday, 20th September 2008. more..

Sports minister irked at ban being lifted on ICL players

Sep 23 (IANS) The sports minister is reportedly irked at the decision of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) interim committee to revoke the local ban on the national cricketers who have signed contracts with the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL). Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge said that he was left in the dark on the decision to lift the local ban and stressed that he had the right to overturn the ruling by the interim committee running the SLC. more..

Police detain SEP member for over a week

Sep 23 (wsws) Sri Lankan police are still holding Socialist Equality Party (SEP) member Velummailum Kamalthasan and his brother-in-law Santhiralingam Ilancheliyan in the police lock-up at Negombo after more than a week, in spite of vigorous objections by the SEP. Police arrested Kamalthasan and Ilancheliyan in Negombo on Monday September 15 as they were preparing to travel to Colombo by bus. more..

'Govt and the elected Chief Minister must assert responsibility for security in the East'

Sep 23 (FI) Chief Minister Chanthirakanthan, Major General Ponnamperuma, other distinguished invitees, staff and future students and residents of Kaluwanchikudy - thank you all for coming today for this ceremony to inaugurate the Kaluwanchikudy Vocational Training Center. I am here to represent the Government and the people of the United States of America who provided the funds for this new Center. more..

Vatican denies state media report

Sep 23 (BBC) Vatican has denied Sri Lanka state media reports in saying that it has commended the president for 'liberating' the sacred Madhu shrine in Mannar. In a statement, handed to journalists in Colombo by opposition parliamentarian Jayalath Jayawardene on 22 September, the Vatican has denied Cardinal Francis Arinze making such a comment. A state owned Daily news report quoted the visiting Vatican Cardinal Francis Arinsay as saying that "Catholics should be grateful to President for liberating Madhu". more..

Displacement 'shatters lives'

Sep 23 (BBC) The three day conference on the status of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) opened in Colombo on Tuesday is a great opportunity to focus on the future of the IDPs, a special UN envoy said. Delivering the main speech, Prof. Walter Kalin, the Representative of UN Secretary General on human rights of IDPs said the conference is ‘timely, regardless of the present situation in Sri Lanka’. more..

Brian Seneviratne appeals Diaspora Tamils to stage worldwide mass protests

Sep 23 (LG) Dr. Brian Seneviratne in an urgent appeal to Diaspora Tamils has urged them to stage worldwide mass protests against the Sri Lanka government’s military interventions in Kilinochchi. The Australia-based Sinhala expatriate physician, a well known leader supporting Tamil people’s right to statehood, has said that “What is being destroyed is the de facto State of Tamil Eelam, built by Tamils in the North, with significant help from the expatriate Tamils, more..

Future of the student population, bleak!

Sep 23 (LG) Since the problem relating to marking of answer scripts of Sri Lankan GCE A/L exam is unresolved, it is feared that the future of the student population can be bleak. It appears that even the efforts of the Supreme Court to resolve this issue have failed. The measures taken by the Department of Education to enlist the services of teachers, who are not adequately qualified, or who are on retirement, is unacceptable. more..

An another game against Tamil people

Sep 23 (LG) Police Head Quarters has issued a directive announcing that all Tamils who have come to Colombo temporarily, to register in their respective police stations in the area they live. They were also asked to come to the police station with their family members and to bring relevant documents to prove their identity between 8 am and 6 pm on Sunday 21 September. more..

LTTE front called protest rally against MR at UN

Sep 23 (LG) One of Fronts of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) the Tamils Against Genocide having arranged for ongoing war, the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has the audacity to come and address the UN to justify his actions as war against terror. ‘Protest Rally in front of UN in New York - Wednesday Sept. 24 - 9:30am - 2:00p,’ the front said in a statement. more..

Let the Govt. understand success built on lies, deceits and tyranny is short lived- UNP

Sep 23 (LG) Dr.Jayalath Jayawardena expressed his deep heartfelt condolences on behalf of the UNP to Late D.B. Wijetunge’s family and dear ones on Wijetunge’s demise, the Former Executive President of Sri Lanka who was held in high esteem not only by his party members, but even by all politicians for his honesty, integrity and unassuming qualities which stood in sharp relief against the present political Leadership trends. more..

Gota inaugurates Defence Services sports meet

Sep 23 (LG) The Much-awaited sports event in the year for defence services, the Defence Services Sports Meet was inaugurated this morning (22) at Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo on a grand scale. Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Secretary Defence as Chief Guest officially declared the Sports Meet open amidst reverberation of Magul Bera as all sportsmen of the tri-services lined up. more..

War & International Solidarity

Sep 23 (LG) There has been a tacit international acceptance of the government’s security measures for the north, which have included the request to international humanitarian organizations to withdraw from the battle zones of the north. Underlying this acceptance is the recognition that international organizations require governmental consent for their presence in Sri Lanka. This has been the explicit position of the UN agencies. more..

Deaths of pregnant mothers and children!

Sep 23 (LG) Although the medical science has made great advancement, the health of pregnant mothers and children is unsatisfactory. This is revealed in a report published by the UNICEF regarding the wellbeing of children and pregnant mothers. According to statistics, more than five hundred thousands of women die either during pregnancy or during child birth. This sorry plight is due to lack of financial resources and political will. more..

Four law suits before the SC!

Sep 23 (LG) Four law suits that are of national importance are before the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. In one of these law suits, President Rajapakse is cited as a respondent and the SC hearing the case issued a notice notwithstanding an application by the Attorney General that no notice should be issued since the Chief Executive enjoys immunity. One of the law suits seeks a declaratory order from the Supreme Court calling upon the President to appoint the Constitutional Council and activate the 17th amendment. more..

Alleviate the sufferings of the affected!

Sep 23 (LG) People have been facing a tragedy from the day the war commenced in Vanni. Toll of the internally displaced people are increasing day by day. They are living without basic facilities. There are more than 200, 000 internally displaced people up to now. They depend fully on the aid. If the assistance does not reach, they will have to face starvation. Meanwhile, it is announced that food distribution in Kilinochchi is temporarily halted. more..

'Mandate I received is for a single unitary state'

Sep 23 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that when the people elected him as President he was given the responsibility to take care of everyone and that this is why he is proceeding to liberate the Tamil people from the clutches of the LTTE. President Mahinda Rajapaksa made these remarks while addressing a gathering at the New York Buddhist Temple yesterday (21). more..

Tobacco kills 27,000 a year in Sri Lanka

Sep 23 (GDI) Smoking cigarettes and other tobacco related products have been identified as the cause of death for 27,000 people a year in Sri Lanka. It is also estimated that eight percent of deaths in the developing countries are due to the consumption of tobacco and other tobacco related products. According to Gallage Punyawardana Programme Executive of Swarna Hansa Foundation 5.4 million persons die of using tobacco related products in the world every year. more..

'Norway always welcome to assist Wanni civilians through Govt channels'

Sep 23 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a discussion with the Norwegian Minister of Environment and International Development, Erik Solheim, reiterated that the Government of Sri Lanka welcomes Norwegian assistance to bring relief to the Northern masses. The President also said that such initiatives can be successfully implemented through the Government channels direct to the needy since a stabilized mechanism has been put in place to assist the Wanni civilians. more..

SL-Iceland ties to be strengthed, especially in fisheries sector

Sep 23 (GDI) With the view of expanding bilateral relations with Iceland, President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his official visit to New York met Prime Minister of Iceland Geier Haarde yesterday (22). The two parties entered in to an agreement pertaining to several areas of cooperation between the two nations. This agreement is aimed at addressing issues such as geo-thermal energy, fisheries development and women's empowerment in Sri Lanka. more..

'Govt. cannot afford a sudden fuel price reduction'

Sep 23 (GDI) The sudden fall in world oil prices does not necessarily mean that it is possible to reduce the price of fuel in the local market since stocks now available with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation are imported at the previous higher rate, Minister of Petroleum & Petroleum Resources Development, A.H.M. Fowzie said today (23). Minister Fowzie said that although the price of a diesel litre in January this year was Rs. 88/=, the Government sold it at Rs. 80/=. more..

'Issues cannot be covered up with numbers'

Sep 23 (LT) The government has introduced a new indicator called prosperity index merely to cover up the existing crises and this could never be allowed said Parliamentarian of the JVP Sunil Handunneththi. He said according to Central Bank 57.2% of the population is within this 'prosperity index.' To come to this conclusion the Central Bank is said to have selected 10 indicators that bring smiles to people's faces though thousands of indicators could be found that shows people crying more..

Interim injunction on JHU's environment tax issued

Sep 23 (LT) The Supreme Court issued an interim injunction on four gazette notifications implementing the levy of environment taxes introduced by JHU. The interim injunction is on notifications levying taxes on mobile phones, electric bulbs over 40 watts, TVs and transmission towers. Supreme Court has also stopped implementation of a gazette notification issued by the Chief Minister of Western PC to levy an additional environmental tax on motor vehicles within Western Province. more..

Military solution will completely deny peace

Sep 23 (LNP) A group of academics has stressed that seeking a military solution to the national problem would completely deny peace in Sri Lanka. It said in an appeal, `it is the unresolved ethnic problem and the prolonged military conflict that have created conditions for the abhorrent human rights violations and unbearable sufferings of the internally displaced persons. `Power sharing with maximum devolution of power to the minorities within a united Sri Lanka is the way to peace.` more..

37,037 Tamil citizens registered, says Sri Lanka

Sep 23 (LNP) The number of people who have migrated from Sri Lanka s five warn-torn districts to Colombo and its suburbs, which constitute the Western Province, since 2003 stands at 37,037, said the police on Monday. A survey was conducted in 135 police stations on Sunday following a government directive making it mandatory for all citizens from the northern districts and living in and around Colombo to reregister. more..

Sri Lanka Supreme Court to review President's powers

Sep 23 (LNP) The Supreme Court yesterday granted leave to proceed with the rights violation petition challenging the Gazette notification seeking to vest powers in the President to extend the age of compulsory retirement of any public officer appointed by the President, if he considers it expedient. The Bench granted leave for the alleged infringement of fundamental right to equality and equal protection of the law. more..

Temple chief priests to get ownership of state lands

Sep 23 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the Land Ministry to grant the legal rights of state lands on which Buddhist temples are situated to the Chief Priests of those temples. Land Commissioner S. U. A. B. Boralessa says that the Chief Priests will receive a document with the President s signature vesting them with ownership of the land. The Land Ministry has calculated that there are around 1,500 state lands on which Buddhist temples have been established. more..

Mahinda & Rajiva bluffing, says AHRC

Sep 23 (LD) The Asian Human Rights Commission has written an open letter to Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe on the killing of Nishantha Fernando, a complainant in a bribery case and a torture case against several police officers in Negombo. AHRC Executive Director Basil Fernando says, “The AHRC did not receive any reply or even an acknowledgement of our letter from you or your ministry’s secretary. more..

Ranil questions CESS on fuel

Sep 23 (LD) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has questioned the imposition of a CESS on fuel without first informing the House. He told Parliament during a debate today (Sept. 23rd) the move was a disrespect on the House. The government has imposed a Rs. 15 and a Rs. 10 tax on petrol and diesel respectively to cover up the inabilities of the Treasury, Mr. Wickremesinghe charged. more..

All possible steps to control rat fever

Sep 23 (DN) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry has already taken all possible steps to control the epidemic. Required drugs have been already sent to relevant hospitals and all Government health institutions, a Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry spokesman said. The number of deaths reported in Sri Lanka due to Rat Fever (Leptospirosis) up to last Friday is 1,150 and 4,500 leptospirosis patients have been reported. more..