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Food convoys to un-cleared areas to take new route

Sep 24 (Island) Food convoys to conflict areas in the North will be diverted via Mankulam from today by-passing fierce fighting in the Killinochchi sector, Presidential Secretariat sources said yesterday. Commissioner General of Essential Services S. B. Divaratne told The Island that donor countries wanted the Government to send the convoys of food to the Internally Displaced Persons in the Wanni accompanied by representatives of the UN Agencies. more..

Disappearances probe Comm. hands back 152 cases to IGP

Sep 24 (Island) The Presidential Committee on Abductions and Disappearances has handed over 152 of the 238 cases it was investigating to the Inspector General of Police for lack of information. Of the rest, 63 had been released and 23 were being held by the Terrorist Investigations Department. The Committee comprises Minister Rajitha Senaratne, Chairman, Deputy Minister Vocational Training P. Radhakrishnan, Presidential Advisor, Vasudeva Nanayakkara and IGP Jayantha Wickremaratne. more..

Voice from Wanni wilderness reaches the world

Sep 24 (DM) Ayubowan, vanakkam, assalamu alaikkum and best wishes as you hold talks with world leaders and address the United Nations General Assembly not just as President of Sri Lanka but also as Chairman of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation. As you do so the situation on the northern war front and the economy are reaching a decisive phase if not a make or break point. more..

Introduce Bill to overcome school admission crisis: Wimal

Sep 24 (DM) The NFF yesterday in Parliament called on the government to present a Bill to stipulate criteria for grade one admissions. National Freedom Front parliamentary group leader Wimal Weerawansa making a special statement in the House said all the political parties in Parliament have agreed that a Bill should be introduced to overcome the present school admission crisis and necessary legislation should be enacted as soon as possible. more..

What will the peace dividend be for Sri Lanka?

Sep 24 (TMG) This will be the last post on Sri Lanka for a while, later in the week I'll move onto happier things, I promise. Firstly, however I should apologise for the error in the last post which wrongly described Nishantha Fernando as a "Tamil businessman", which of course with a name like that, he isn't. It was the result of a too-hasty piece of cutting and pasting which I should have picked up when re-reading the post, but for reasons best known to my brain, failed to do so. Mea culpa. more..

Gas retailers asked to weigh cylinders

Sep 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's cooking gas retailers will have to weigh gas cylinders on a certified on-site weighing machine in the presence of customers to combat the sale of underweight cylinders, officials said. Consumer minister Bandula Gunawardane says the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) will make the rule effective from December 01. Liquefied Petroleum (LP) gas which is retailed in Sri Lanka by Shell Gas, and Laugfs, a local firm, is supposed to have 12.5 kilograms of gas. more..

Sri Lanka to bring tighter laws against deposit scams

Sep 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka will bring in tighter laws to nab fraudsters who run fraudulent deposit scams, a government minister said, after the collapse of the latest Ponzi-style high yield scheme. Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya was responding to a question from parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa. A person calling himself Sakvithi Ranasinghe had collected hundreds of millions of rupees promising extraordinarily high returns and fled the country leaving more than 4,000 people penniless. more..

Sri Lanka military says fighting kills 16

Sep 24 (AP) Gunbattles and mortar attacks that erupted along the front lines of Sri Lanka's civil war killed 13 ethnic Tamil rebels and three soldiers. The fighting Tuesday came amid a resurgent government offensive against the Tamil Tiger separatists. Fighting in the Vavuniya region killed 11 rebel fighters. Rebel mortar attacks in the Kilinochchi area killed three soldiers, while other fighting there killed two rebels, the military said. more..

Bahu's visa to Canada rejected

Sep 24 (LG) The Candian High Commission in Colombo has rejected temporary resident visa to Canada for Dr Wickramabahu Karunarathne, President, Left Front and General Secretary, New Sama Samaja party claiming that he is a member of the LTTE. Dr. Karunarathne has responded back to the High Commission. Earlier the High Commission in a letter to Dr. Karunarathne informed him the visa had been rejected. more..

Tamils resent surveillance in Colombo

Sep 24 (AFP) Luxmi Wellamma fled her home in Sri Lanka's war-torn north for what she hoped would be a safer life in Colombo. But the relative calm of the capital comes at a cost: as an ethnic Tamil from the rebel-dominated north, she is frisked and grilled by security forces whenever she moves about. "Each time I go out, police ask lots of questions when they see my identity card," the 54-year-old said, sitting inside a scruffy low-budget hostel in the Tamil-dominated Wellawatte area of Colombo. more..

Inside Sri Lanka: Worship in war

Sep 24 (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 fourth of a six-part series. The one-lane road through the thick Mannar jungle passes a "Dangerous Area Do Not Enter" sign and the remains of a Tamil Tigers camp with twisted metal and collapsed trenches. more..

Norwegian Support For LTTE Terrorists

Sep 25 (LG) Having embarked on ‘peace missions’ in several countries around the globe, the time has come for the government of Norway to seriously delve into its conscience to ascertain whether its intentions have been really genuine and honest. This has become imperative especially in the Sri Lankan context, as there seem to be more questions than answers with regard to the involvement of Norwegians in the peace process. more..

Worsening human tragedy!

Sep 25 (LG) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse has stated that the military strategies of the government of Sri Lanka cannot be compromised according to UN agencies and NGO’s. What message does this convey? Obviously, the message is that the innocent civilians caught up in the war in Wanni are not going to get any relief, support, solace. A war goes on in Wanni. There are serious attacks on Wanni. more..

Price hike and the economic setback!

Sep 25 (LG) People are facing economic crisis due to high cost of living. They are unable to cope up with their expenses. Electricity charges, water charges, transport fares and all other charges have been increasing in recent times. The prices of basic food items have gone up day by day and people are unable to consume quality products. People express distress that even though this problem has been brought to the notice of the authorities, it has fallen on deaf ears. more..

Presence of Tamils in Colombo and the issue of demography

Sep 25 (LG) Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapkse in an interview with a Colombo based English weekly Lakbima stated that due to the arrival of a large number of Tamils in Colombo the demography of the area changes. He further added that it looks like, that an organized thing was happening and that it had been going on for some time. Several people point out that this discrimination on ethnic basis is similar to the injustice caused to the Jews all over the world during the 2nd world war. more..

Nothing alarming about LTTE activities in TN: DGP

Sep 25 (LG) Refuting allegations of spurt in LTTE activities in Tamil Nadu, state police chief K P Jain today said there was nothing alarming about the activities of Sri Lankan Tamil militants in the state. "There is nothing alarming (about the movement of LTTE) in Tamil Nadu," the Director General of Police told the press here. The DGP said, even in cases of smuggling of contraband by the Lankan militants, police acted swiftly and seized the items. more..

Tamil Civilians Face Annihilation – British Lawyer

Sep 25 (LG) Karen Parker of International Educational Development & Association of Humanitarian Lawyers, participating at the United Nations Human Rights Council’s general debate on human rights issues on 17 Sep 2008, asked the Council to hold a special session on the situation in the north of Sri Lanka, to prevent another Rwanda. She stated that “Tamil civilians in this region faced annihilation”. more..

Sri Lanka August tourist arrivals fall, winter bookings better: official

Sep 25 (LBO) Tourist arrivals in to Sri Lanka in August fell sharply from a year ago but bookings for the winter season look promising for hoteliers, tourism chief Renton de Alwis said. August arrivals fell 31 percent to 30,672 from August 2007. But de Alwis said that the fall was sharp as the number of visitors last year had increased because of an international conference and the Indian Cricket Tour. more..

Sri Lanka to host south Asian apparel conference in November

Sep 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka will host the first 'Apparel South Asia' (ASA) conference and exhibition in November this year bringing together international buyers and apparel manufacturers in the region. The organisers of ASA, Lanka Exhibitions and Conference Services, said in a statement it will provide a platform for apparel manufactures in the South Asian region to hear about industry trends from industry leaders. more..

Sri Lanka wooing Indian tourists with 'Ramayana package'

Sep 25 (PTI) Sri Lanka is wooing Indian tourists with 'Ramayana Package', which promises to take visitors across the island nation on Lord Rama's trail. Launched by Sri Lankan airlines in collaboration with Lankan tourism board, the package is gaining popularity in India with airlines targeting to sell about 5,000 tour packages by next year. While the seven-day package includes visit to at least 10 temples in south and central Sri Lanka, more..

A summer in Sri Lanka

Sep 25 (SG) What did you do on your summer vacation? Jen Curley spent hers in Sri Lanka helping injured elephants get better and teaching English to 7-year-olds studying to be Buddhist monks. Jen, a sixth-grade teacher at Ernie Davis Middle School in Elmira, plans to share her two-week summer adventure with her class. But she will do more than a travelogue. She will teach her kids life lessons, like the importance of volunteering. more..

Appeal from Sri Lanka bishops on behalf of war victims

Sep 25 (AN) Strong denunciation of the continued suffering of the thousands of refugees displaced by the decades-long conflict between the army and the LTTE, in a statement from the Sri Lanka bishops' conference (CBCSL), released at the end of the meeting held on September 22. The document - signed by Bishop Vianney Fernando, head of the CBCSL, and by secretary general Bishop Norbert Andradi - expresses appreciation for "the efforts" made by the government to ensure "food and basic necessities to the refugees", but also recalls more..

Is Sri Lanka China’s Georgia?

Sep 25 (GV) Seven years after 9/11, we’re in between world orders. And winds of systemic change grip all nooks of the globe: the overstretch of America, geopolitical quicksand which is the Middle East, the benign growth of Brazil and Japan, rise of China and India, resurgence of Russia, expansion of EU and NATO, petrodiplomacy of Venezuela, nonviolent nuclear politics of Iran and North Korea. more..

Corruption in the Education sector

Sep 25 (GV) People don’t realize that there is as much corruption in the private education sector as in the public sector for the corrupt counter party that offers the bribe or corrupt payment is in the private sector. There is corruption in all its forms- favoritism, nepotism, bribery and influence peddling in the education sector, which is now taking first place in the Corruption Ranking. more..

Peppers from Ampara soon to be enjoyed by McDonalds and Heinz customers

Sep 25 (TW) Sri Lanka’s Hayleys Group and the USAID have successfully completed a six month pilot project linking 160 farmers in conflict affected Eastern Province to global agricultural supply chains. Together, they have cultivated 20 acres of gherkins, 10 acres of jalapeno peppers, and 20 acres of pineapples, which will soon be appreciated globally by customers of McDonalds, Burger King, Unilever, Subway, Hungry Jack, Loteria, Sanyo and Heinz. more..

EU pressuring govt -JNP

Sep 25 (BBC) The European Union (EU) is being accused of imposing conditions on Sri Lanka in a bid to destabilise the government. Addressing a press briefing in Colombo the President of the Jathika Nidahas Peramuna Wimal weerawansa accused the EU of using tax concessions as an excuse to put pressure on the Government of Sri Lanka. more..

ADRA improves living conditions for Sri Lankan refugees in India

Sep 25 (AN) Through the continued work of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), more than 47,000 Sri Lankans refugees who fled to India due to the ongoing civil war in their homeland will receive assistance, including better access to clean water and enhanced sanitation, personal hygiene classes, and waste management training. The 12-month long Water Environment Sanitation and Shelter (WESS) project, valued at more than $707,000 and more..

The spirit of pluralistic learning in Jaffna

Sep 25 (PISL) Jaffna Hindu College was established in 1890 when the Hindu revival movement was being led by Srila Shri Arumuga Navalar in the North and East. The Hindu Colleges all over the North and East as well as in the Hill Country were coordinated by Hindu Boards of Management with the financial assistance of well wishers from the community such as Pasupathy Chettiyar, Sitharampillai, Nagalingam, Chellappapillai, Casipillai, Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan and the like. more..

Sri Lanka highlights Food Security in Rights Council

Sep 25 (GDI) O.L. Ameerajwad, Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva, speaking during the segment of general comments after the adoption of resolutions at the end of the 9th Session of the Human Rights Council today (24), welcomed Resolution L.15 which stresses the importance of taking measures to address the current world food crisis at the national, regional and international level, and more..

'Investigation unnecessary and inappropriate for extension of GSP+'

Sep 25 (GDI) The Government of Sri Lanka finds the procedure of instituting an investigation unnecessary and inappropriate, given the extensive cooperation Sri Lanka has extended to the UN/ILO convention supervisory bodies relevant to the GSP+ process and also through its continuous interaction with the European institutions stated Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, when he met Benita Ferrero Waldner EU External Relations Commissioner, today (23) more..

ICRC helps displaced people return to traditional livelihoods

Sep 25 (ICRC) The ICRC is set to distribute seed and fertilizer to small farmers displaced by the armed conflict in order to enable them to generate an income the way they used to – by cultivating their land. The fertile lands of Thirukkovil, in the Ampara district of eastern Sri Lanka, traditionally provided a livelihood for the area's farming population. Paddy (rice) cultivation fed by water tanks brought relative self-sufficiency and boosted the local economy. more..

We will not let the Tamil community be held hostage to terrorism-- President tells UN

Sep 25 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing the 63th Session of the United Nations in New York today (24), said "the Government would not and cannot let an illegal and armed terrorist group, the LTTE, to hold a fraction of the population, a part of the Tamil community, hostage to such terror in the northern part of Sri Lanka and deny those people their democratic rights of dissent and free elections." more..

US, other envoys meet to discuss Sri Lankan fighting

Sep 25 (AFP) US, European Union, Japanese and Norwegian envoys met here Wednesday to discuss the latest fighting in Sri Lanka, including the need for both sides to protect civilians, a US diplomat said. "The fighting has been expanding, heading toward the north," Richard Boucher, the assistant secretary for south Asian affairs, told reporters after attending the meeting at the US mission of the United Nations in New York. more..

President Rajapaksa's address to the United Nations

Sep 25 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the 63rd Session of the United Nations today (24), referenced the full gamut of issues being taken up for discussion, including terrorism, global food crisis and climate change, elaborating the position of Sri Lanka on the same. The full text of the President's speech is given below: Sri Lanka congratulates you Mr. President on your election to this high office. more..

Police release arrested SEP member

Sep 25 (wsws) Police have finally released Socialist Equality Party (SEP) member Velummailum Kamalthasan and his brother-in-law Santhiralingam Ilancheliyan. The release took place at the office of the Negombo area magistrate on Tuesday. The two men had been detained illegally at the Negombo police station lock-up since their arrest on September 15. Their release followed a determined campaign by the SEP and protest letters to the Sri Lankan authorities from readers of the World Socialist Web Site. more..

Political killings and Eelam Liberation Struggle

Sep 25 (LG) First of all I wish to thank Jayapalan for inviting me to speak today on a subject that is of most concern to all Sri Lankan people and in particular to the Tamil speaking people. The subject matter before me is Political killings and Eelam Liberation Struggle. This is a subject I do not wish to beat about the bush. I will be honest and direct but no offence is meant to anyone who may have a different political understanding. more..

Reconsider decision on Nalini: HC tells TN

Sep 25 (LG) Madras High Court on Wednesday quashed the Advisory Board order rejecting the plea of Nalini, convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, for premature release. The court said the government should reconstitute an advisory committee for Nalini's release. Nalini has spent 17 years in Vellore prison for Rajiv's assassination. The court said the Right to remission was entirely on the Tamil Nadu government. more..

Travails of Sri Lankan Refugees

Sep 25 (LG) On September 12, 2008, eight Sri Lankan refugees, who undertook the perilous journey from Rameshwaram coast to Talaimannar in northern Sri Lanka, in an illegal ferry (popularly known in India and Sri Lanka as the Eelam Shipping Service) met a watery grave. The country boat was carrying 13 refugees and the boat capsized mid-sea near the Adam’s bridge. The dead included four women, two men and two children. more..

Need for safe haven for civilians in active conflict zones –Reply

Sep 25 (LG) On the 23 September,2008 through the Sri Lanka Guardian Mr.Ivan Pedropillai, has made a delayed appearance to plead for the worthy cause of the displaced Tamil Persons involved in the on going conflict. It is extremely sad that the humanitarians like him were playing hide and seek all this while and appear just now to defend the poor Tamil Civil population who had been made to suffer for the dream of a man who wants territorial separation to set up a homeland for the Tamils. more..

Pillayan damns Karuna and High Noon inevitable

Sep 25 (LG) Sri Lankan political scenario ever since independence has been a pathway of adversarial doom, a nemesis that continues to plague us and we see no end to it. Name calling, vengeance, disloyalty and political "turncoatism" have all been rampant and so much so it has become the political culture unique to this country. Even the terrorists who are supposed to be tight-knit in their loyalty are no exception. more..

Politicians and thug-gery!

Sep 25 (LG) Politicians have begun to realize the reality today. They have realized that the people have rightly identified the calibre of the politicians in the right perspectives and the thuggery that they indulge in. Minister Alagaperuma told a public meeting that it will take a hundred years for politicians to erase that impression from the minds of the people. In general, the people feel that politicians are not sensitive to injustice and foul play. more..

Registration or census!

Sep 25 (LG) Tamils who expected a determination by the Supreme Court over the call by the police for all Tamils who have arrived in Colombo from the north to register themselves at the nearest police station are a disappointed lot. The explanation forwarded to Court that the police registration was not a step taken by the police but a move initiated by the Citizens’ Committee with the support of the police for conducting a census was a shocking news to them. more..

Beware of swindlers!

Sep 25 (LG) A number of people deceived by quack doctors and swindlers are increasing day by day. It is reported that an English teacher who was running private business has left the country swindling millions of rupees. Mirihana police has received 1500 complaints in a day. Security officials, government servants and many people who had invested their savings have been deceived. They have lost all their money. more..

Sri Lanka A prevail in high-scoring encounter

Sep 25 (CI) Gulam Bodi smashed a big hundred to match Upul Tharanga's but it was not enough to prevent South Africa A from slipping to a 26-run defeat and hand Sri Lanka A a 2-1 lead after the third ODI in East London. Upul Tharanga smashed a career-best 173 as he carried his bat after Sri Lanka chose to bat on a placid track. He and Tharanga Paranavitana laid the ideal platform by adding 91 at a run-a-ball for the first wicket. more..

'Weligama incidents, PC minister involved'

Sep 25 (MG) Charging that a Southern Provincial Council minister was involved in the incidents in Weligama, SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem in Parliament yesterday called on the Government to tighten security in the area to avoid further communal clashes. Mr. Hakeem said this Provincial Council minister has been involved in burning a filling station in Weligama belonging to a Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman, who happened to be a Muslim. more..

President meets Nepali PM in New York

Sep 25 (GDI) The newly elected Prime Minister of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal met President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday, in New York on the sidelines of the 63rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly currently in progress at the UN headquarters. Prime Minister Dahal in his discussion with President Rajapaksa stated that the Government of Nepal is fully committed to working towards achieving the expected goals of the SAARC as arrived at during the recently concluded 15th SAARC Summit in Colombo. more..

'TV should not be the sole entertainer of the Nation'

Sep 25 (GDI) Thinking and acting as vassals of the West has become a widespread scourge in today's society and a few and sporadic measures taken to the address the intellectual development of the citizens is not enough to address this issue, Chairman of the National Book Council, Gunasena Vithana said. "The Majority of the people are not making any effort to improve their knowledge and watching television has become the only source of entertaining for too many, while reading is not as widely practiced as it ought to be," he added. more..

Embilipitiya paper factory re-opened

Sep 25 (GDI) The Embilipitiya paper factory recommenced work after a 6-year closure yesterday. Senior advisor to the President, Basil Rajapaksa who was the chief guest at the re-opening ceremony said that this move is another example to support the fact that the Government is not planning to privatize state owned companies. He said that the Government has a firm policy in developing the nation whilst empowering local industries. more..

Former President Wijetunga’s funeral today

Sep 25 (GDI) Former President D.B. Wijetunga’s remains will be taken to the Parliament Complex today (25) and will lie in-state there from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The funeral will take place at 3 pm at the Kandy Municipal Grounds in Getambe under state patronage. Meanwhile as a mark of respect to the former President Wijetunga, all Government schools and pirivenas in the Kandy District will remain closed today, the Ministry of Public Administration announced. more..

President addresses the united nations in Tamil

Sep 25 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the 63rd Session of the United Nation`s General Assembly spoke a in Tamil at the beginning of his address. The president said that Both Sinhala and Tamil have been used through the centuries rich in literature, and widely used in Sri Lanka, with recognition as Official Languages He expressed hope that the bonds between the Sinhala and Tamil people of Sri Lanka will grow stronger and remain a major force for its future development. more..