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HSBC to chase diaspora customers

Sep 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka's HSBC will chase expatriate Sri Lankan customers through its overseas network banking on newly liberalized foreign deposit rules, a top official said. "We want to attract Sri Lanka diaspora in countries where we have branches and get deposits and remittances,". He said Sri Lanka's newly liberalized deposit rules, where the Central Bank has allowed domestic banking units to get rupee or other currency deposits from abroad, would help the exercise. more..

Chinese FM to visit India, Sri Lanka

Sep 3 (Xinhua) Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will visit India and Sri Lanka from Sept. 7 to 10, at the invitation of the respective foreign affairs ministers of the two countries. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu made the announcement on Tuesday at a regular press conference here. She said it was Yang's first visit to India and Sri Lanka since taking office in April 2007. During his stay in India, he will hold talks with Foreign Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and meet other Indian leaders. more..

Gas and fuel price hike explained

Sep 3 (LG) Speaking to the Media today (Sep 02), UNP M.P. Gayantha Karunatileke recalled what President promised at the last budget that he would give relief to the people if the world market prices of fuel drop. Now, the price of crude oil has Drastically dropped by U.S. $ 112.00 per barrel; then, why is he not honoring his promise? , he asked. His Minister of consumer affair, better known as consumer despair, also promised in 2007 after increasing the fuel prices for more..

TULF discusses permanent political solution and humanitarian situation

Sep 3 (LG) The TULF Canada Branch hosted a discussion on a Permanent Political Solution, at Cedar Brae Community Centre, Toronto, Canada on August 31st, 2008. The speakers included Mr. V. Anandasangary (President of TULF Sri Lanka), Mr. Nadarajah (President of TULF Canada) and Mr. James. The discussion was chaired by Mr. Namu Ponnambalam. Mr. V. Anandasangary called upon all Sri Lankans to work towards a political solution that will fulfill the aspirations of all the communities. more..

Mano Ganesan meets envoys of India, Norway, Germany, Australia and EU

Sep 3 (LG) Western Peoples Front Leader and Civil Monitoring Commission Convener Mano Ganesan MP held discussions with number of diplomats in Colombo over the last two days. The discussions centered on the TID enquires faced by Parliamentarian Ganesan and subsequent developments. Mano Ganesan apprised the prevailing situation to the Indian High Commissioner Alok Prasad, Australian High Commissioner Kathy Klugman, Deputy High Commissioner Sophia McIntyre, more..

Broadcasting regulator give respite to LTTE’s IBC radio

Sep 3 (LG) The LTTE front radio service International Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) run from London on Hotbird satellite for twenty four hours and on the airtime of medium wave Spectrum Radio escaped sanctions by the broadcasting regulator, the Office of Communication (Ofcom). Ofcom investigated the complaints registered by listeners that the said radio station broadcast songs and views to celebrate the birthday of the LTTE leader Pirabakaran on 26 November 2007. more..

Has Sri Lanka caught up with his insights?

Sep 3 (LG) Wisdom almost always comes with hindsight. The great Hegel said that the owl of Minerva takes flight only after the shades of night have fallen — meaning that philosophical reflection comes only after the event. How then do we evaluate a mind that signaled society about a problem which would overwhelm it, when that problem was still embryonic and barely discernible? What do we say of someone who placed on the record a warning to society when more..

Did generic thyroid tablets deprive Susanthika of an Olympic medal?

Sep 3 (LG) According to a report published in a local newspaper by one of the journalists writing from Beijing immediately after Susanthika qualifiedto run in the 200 meters semi finals in the Beijing Olympics she had said after she finished third in a second round heat on August 19: " I know I am not feeling the best. I feel extremely tired and worn out after every race. It is strange because I never had the feeling before. more..

LTTE calls on Tamils to unite and fight

Sep 3 (LG) LTTE leaders have called for Tamils living in Vanni to unite against the Sri Lankan forces and to fight. B Nadesan, the head of LTTE political wing, K. V. Balakumaran, a senior and prominent member of LTTE and Thamilini, the LTTE Women's Wing Political Head made the call at a public rally in Kilinochchi. Nadesan in his speech described how support of Tamil people has transformed the liberation struggle over the years and more..

Rajapkase predicts victory, Army sees challenges ahead

Sep 3 (LG) The President Mahinda Rajapakse and his borhter, the Defence Secretary, Gothabaya Rajapakse predicted imminent victory even as the Army chief predicted great challenges ahead in its campaign against the LTTE. Gotabhaya Rajapakse, brother of President Mahinda Rajapakse, speaking to the Times newspaper in London declared: “It’s possible by the end of this year,” “You have to search for them and completely eradicate them. Only then can peace come.” he added. more..

The stillborn artificial Sri Lankan identity – VIII

Sep 3 (LG) It is true that the so called Buddhist revival of the nineteenth century was not a pure religious movement. In fact there have been no pure religious movements in the world, and the nineteenth century Buddhist revival was no exception. However, it was neither a movement to get a bigger share of the national cake for the Buddhists meaning of course the Sinhala Buddhists as there were hardly any other Buddhists in Sri Lanka at that time. more..

Why are the Tamil Tigers expanding their runways?

Sep 3 (LG) The LTTE are busy expanding an airstrip Puthukuduirippu, Mullaithivu, the Sri Lankan defence ministry calimed. The finished airstrip would be longer and wider than the one in Iranamadhu and will be capable of handling large aircrafts, defence sources said, citing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) video footage. The expansion work has baffled Sri Lankan military top brass and local media is raising serious concerns, press reports said. more..

A victory for racism, thuggery and terrorism

Sep 3 (LG) As proved in the past since the S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike era, the magic wand of racism, thuggery and terrorism has brought a landslide victory for the Rajapakse regime in the two provincial council elections held recently. Discrimination against the minority Tamils is the brand of patriotism always marketed by the Sinhala Buddhist extremist politicians to win the hearts and minds of the majority Sinhalese. more..

U.S. Universities visit Colombo for premier Embassy supported education road show

Sep 3 (AT) The first ever United States Embassy supported American University Exhibition will take place this Friday and Saturday, September 5th and 6th, from 10am to 6pm at the Colombo Hilton. The American University Exhibition and Road Show is the largest, free and open-to-the-public opportunity for parents and students to learn about higher education in the U.S. directly from universities, U.S. Embassy staff and more..

A road in Palestine named after President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Sep 3 (AT) Palestinians are grateful for the President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa for the contribution he made during the last 30 years. As an expression of gratitude, the Municipal Council of Beitunia has named a road after him – "H.E Mahinda Rajapaksa Road." The head of the Daawa and Tableegh Al – Haj, Jamal Ali Saleh Sulaiman welcomed Sri Lanka’s Representative in Palestine Dr. T.Jayasinghe and expressed his gratitude to the government of Sri Lanka for opening a Representative Office, as more..

Kumudam’s Adventure to Katchativu: An Open Letter to Attorney General

Sep 3 (AT) Dear Sir, Amazing indeed is the silence of the Government of Sri Lanka and yourself in particular to the 'adventure' of a Tamil Nadu journalist into Katchativu, which belongs to Sri Lanka. Even if the foreign office prefers to take the journalistic adventure in its stride may be with a view to not to annoy of Delhi, I wonder what prevented you as the first law officer of the land to take cognizance of the unauthorized 'visit' and initiate legal proceedings against the journalist. more..

TRO calls for 'safe havens'

Sep 3 (BBC) A charity operating in Sri Lanka’s rebel-held territory has called upon the LTTE and the government to create special zones for the refugees as fighting escalates in the north. The Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) has also called upon the government to remove all restrictions on transporting humanitarian assistance to Internally Displaced People (IDPs). It says there are nearly 250,000 IDPs belonging to over 61,000 families in the rebel-held Vanni. more..

Human-elephant conflict cost lives in Sri Lanka

Sep 3 (Xinhua) At least two people and an elephant have died in the human-elephant conflict prevalent in SriLanka's rural north central and eastern areas, police said Tuesday. Police said that a 45-year-old man was killed as a result of being attacked by a wild elephant at Sigiriya, about 165 km from here in North Central Province. The ill-fated man was attacked at around 8 p.m. local time Monday while returning home. more..

Govt. deny 'profiting' from fuel

Sep 3 (BBC) The main opposition in Sri Lanka has accused the government of failing to pass the reduction of fuel prices to the consumers. The UNP said the authorities purchased 130,000 MT of fuel despite the reports that the oil prices were about to go down in the world market. UNP media spokesman, Gayantha Karunathilake, MP, accused the government of profiting from the fuel sales. “A litre of petrol is only Rs.76.40 when it reaches the Colombo port but is sold at Rs. 157 at the forecourt,” more..

Building ethnic harmony with community radio

Sep 3 (IPS) In this tea-growing hill country, about 150 km from Colombo, a state-run community radio station is creating harmony among the country's Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim ethnic groups by broadcasting from the villages and opening up the airwaves to people's participation. "People all over Sri Lanka are talking about peace, but this community radio has been doing it from the beginning," P. Pavitheran, an announcer at the Kothmale Community Radio (KCR) told IPS. more..

Cultural exhibit a call to conscience on Sri Lanka

Sep 3 (RC) On Saturday, August 23, I went to “Call of the Conscience,” a one-night awareness-raising exhibit organized by the International Forum for Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka (IFPJSL). About 300 people were in attendance, the vast majority Sri Lankan Canadians. I was amongst about two handfuls of white attendees. I went because every time a particular friend bemoans the ignorance of Western media coverage of Sri Lanka, I cringe. more..

Domestic jewellery to shine bright in South India

Sep 3 (F2F) Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Ministry of Sri Lanka is making efforts to promote gems and jewellery of the country in South India, which is considered to be a profitable market. In order to make the plans productive, a meeting was recently held among the officials that was chaired by Mano Wijerathne, Enterprise Development Minister. The authorities present in the conference, discussed about the primary preparations that are being made for holding an exhibition in Chennai. more..

Sri Lanka jails 305 military deserters

Sep 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka's military on Tuesday ordered the jailing of 305 army deserters who failed to return to their units during an amnesty period, the defence ministry said. The men were sentenced to jail terms ranging from three months to one year following court martial proceedings, the ministry said. "Those deserters have been arrested by the military police and respective local police stations," the ministry said, more..

President introduces new restrictions around Colpetty

Sep 3 (ML) The government has, on August 20, introduced new regulations to bolster the security in the Colombo (Special) High Security Zone (HSZ) that surrounds Temple Trees in Colpetty. The HSZ is defined by the gazette to encompass an area between the Galle Face Roundabout down to the Kollupitiya Station Road, and stretches east past the Liberty Plaza roundabout up to the Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha – Alwis Place junction. more..

UNP reformists quash rumours of joining Govt.

Sep 3 (ML) The UNP reformists yesterday dismissed reports of plans to join the Government and said only an insane person would link up with President Mahinda Rajapakse’s administration. Speculation was rife yesterday of another UNP group joining the Government after SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena claimed to a daily newspaper that discussions were underway with 12 UNP MPs. more..

Govt. LTTE trade charges over casualty figures

Sep 3 (ML) The government and the Tigers continued trade charges over casualty figures in fighting in the Wanni as clashes were reported in several locations in the western sector of Wanni during the last two days. TamilNet, quoting the Tigers said that at least 34 government soldiers were killed and that the LTTE had recovered at least seven bodies of soldiers killed in the fighting in Nachchikudha, north of Vellankulam during the fighting on September 1. more..

Mahinda trying to destabilise UNP charges Ranil

Sep 3 (ML) The government’s failure to annihilate the main opposition UNP at the just concluded provincial council elections and the massive preferential votes received by the UNP Chief Ministerial candidates have forced the Mahinda Rajapakse government to destabilise the UNP, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. more..

Public split over petrol, diesel subsidies

Sep 3 (BL) “Whilst oil prices have pulled back in recent weeks, the world at large continues to pay very much more for oil than it did a year ago – and there’s nothing to stop it from shooting up again, given the extreme sensitivities and market volatility this year,” a spokesperson for leading business magazine told The Bottom Line yesterday. She was referring to the results of the latest LMD-TNS Lanka island-wide survey, which asked respondents who should take responsibility for the high petrol and diesel prices. more..

Eastern Muslims demand solution for land issue

Sep 3 (BL) Muslims in the east have alleged that the government, even after liberating the area from the LTTE, has not resolved their land problems. SLMC General Secretary and Parliamentarian Hasan Ali told The Bottom Line that lands owned by Muslims, that have been grabbed by the Tamils and the government, have not been returned so far. He said the newly established Eastern Provincial Council has so far failed to address this issue, despite repeated reminders. more..

IGP among those put on notice

Sep 3 (BL) Inspector General of Police, DIG Criminal Investigation Department, Chairman Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, and Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka were put on notice calling on them to implement the Judgment of the Supreme Court delivered on July 21, 2008 with regard to the privatisation of Lanka Marine Services Limited. more..

UNP in rebuilding phase after crushing election defeat

Sep 3 (BL) UNP is going to inaugurate a fund for the UNP supporters who were assaulted by the UPFA government during the Provincial council election campaign. Addressing the UNP candidates who were elected to the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils yesterday, General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the UNP would appoint committees to look into the instances of election violence and to discern the reasons. more..

New sugar factory to save Rs. 3.5 billion in foreign exchange annually

Sep 3 (GDI) A sugar factory that can manufacture 80,000 to 100,000 metric tons of sugar annually will be setup in Bibile, Wellassa. Commissioning of the factory will help to save Rs.3.5 billion in foreign exchange spent on importing sugar annually, Supplementary Plantation Crops Development Minister R.M.Dharmadasa Banda said. The Ministry will spend Rs. 25 billion and the factory will be built under a private partnership. more..

Sri Lanka police celebrates its 142nd anniversary

Sep 3 (GDI) The Police Department of Sri Lanka operating with the vision of working towards a peaceful environment to live with confidence, without fear of Crime and Violence celebrates its 142nd Anniversary today (03). Several social activities are included in this year’s celebration of the Police Day at police stations island wide with the main ceremony held at the Police Headquarters attended by Inspector General of Police, Jayantha Wickremaratne as the chief guest. more..

World Bank to further assist eastern development with $ 900 million

Sep 3 (GDI) The World Bank Vice President for South Asia Isabela Guerrero said that most countries in the world which are faced with the threat of terrorism are now emerging from that threat by eliminating terrorism. “Sri Lanka is rapidly moving forward on the path of development as a country in South Asia,” she said. She made these observations when met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa to assure the continuous engagement of the World Bank with Sri Lanka in carrying out development activities including in the North and East. more..

Emergency hotline to report child abuse

Sep 3 (GDI) A telephone hotline has been introduced to inform the child protection authorities of any kind of child abuse including physical, psychological or sexual maltreatment of children. The charge free hotline is 1929 (One Nine-Two Nine) and children undergoing any sort of a maltreatment from parents or any other party can reach the authorities through this hotline. more..

Cyanide behind soldiers' food poisoning

Sep 3 (SAMN) Police said Tuesday that an investigation is underway to ascertain the possibility of cyanide being the cause of food poisoning of nearly 300 soldiers. The Crime Investigation Department of the police has launched the investigation on the case of food poisoning of some 280 soldiers in the Henanigala military camp in Eastern Province last week. Police sources said there was a strong possibility that the fish meal consumed by soldiers may have been contaminated by cyanide. more..

US monitoring Lanka for war crimes

Sep 3 (SAMN) US State Department in its website said the United States was monitoring Sri Lanka for war crimes, but did not specify if this covered the government and the LTTE or only one of the parties to the ongoing conflict. The website said that apart from Sri Lanka other countries being closely monitored by the US Office of War Crimes Issues (S/WCI) include Darfur, Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burma and Timor-Leste. more..

Become a monk, prelate tells SB

Sep 3 (SAMN) The Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter the Most Venerable Udugama Sri Budharakkhita Thera has advised UNP national organiser S.B. Dissanayake to be ordained as a monk until his malefic period or ‘apala kalaya’ was over. “Wouldn’t it be good to become a monk until your apala kalaya is over,” he asked Dissanayake when the latter visited the prelate in Kandy on Sunday. Dissanayake responded with his customary smile. more..

Vanni fighting affects schools term

Sep 3 (SAMN) The majority of government schools in LTTE-held areas and recently liberated parts of the Vanni will not open on Thursday (4) for the final term due to ongoing confrontations on several fronts. Among the affected are a number of schools situated in areas liberated by security forces west of the A9. The Education Ministry admitted that many schools wouldn’t open due to heavy confrontations in the Vanni. more..

All State lands to be vested with Lands Commissioner General

Sep 3 (DN) All State lands should be vested in the Lands Commissioner General and if the existing legislation is found to be inadequate, new legislation will be enacted, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The President was speaking at the discussion held regarding the management of lands belonging to the Food Department. more..

Eye surgeon catches sight of worm

Sep 3 (DN) An eye surgeon in a Panadura hospital detected an 11-centimeter worm in the eye of a woman during a surgery. Eye surgeon specialist Jayantha Vithanapathirana of the Lions Sightgift eye hospital in Panadura performed the operation on Kalida Umma, 55, of Wattalpola, Panadura on Monday and detected the worm similar to a white thread. This was the third occasion he detected such a worm, the surgeon said. more..

Transport Ministry busts major spare parts racket in CTB

Sep 3 (Island) A large scale commission racket in spare parts purchases, by high ranking officials of the CTB, has been exposed by the Transport Ministry. The culprits it is alleged, ordered spare parts to the value of Rs. 800 million annually from 322 suppliers in return for a commission of 15 per cent. Transport Minister Dallas Alahaperuma told The Island that the racket had been going on for a number of years and it had been found that the spares supplied were not originals but cheap imitations. more..

Sculpturing a new set of Kolam masks commences

Sep 3 (Island) Among the traditional craftsmen of Sri Lanka, the wooden mask sculptors of Ambalangoda Tukkavadu Harishchandra is one of the foremost who had preserved the Kolam mask tradition in an unbroken line from father to son for over two hundred and fifty years. These masks used by the dancers in the folk art form Kolam reflect the rich culture of the southern province and prove that they are not only colourful and attractive but also more..

New twist to 17th Amendment crisis

Sep 3 (DM) In a fresh initiative to expedite the establishment of Independent Commissions and the introduction of new provisions to the 17th Amendment a group of MPs representing government allies and the opposition yesterday proposed a set of amendments to the Constitution. UNP Parliamentarian Vajira Abeywardana made representations in this regard to the Parliamentary Select Committee and handed over the new proposals to more..

Mervyn’s 13 sovereign gold chain still missing

Sep 3 (DM) The Cinnamon Gardens police yesterday told a Colombo Court they were unable to recover Minister Mervyn Silva’s gold chain with five talismans or identify the suspect alleged to have stolen them during the high noon drama at the Rupavahini Corporation on December 27 last year. In their report filed before Chief Magistrate Nishantha Hapuarachchi the police said Minister Silva had complained to the Accident Service police post that his gold chain weighing 13 sovereigns and five talismans were snatched by more..

Sri Lankan military says 53 killed in fighting

Sep 3 (AP) Government forces pounded rebel defenses with airstrikes, helicopter attacks and ground assaults as heavy fighting across northern Sri Lanka killed 47 Tamil Tiger fighters and left 13 soldiers dead or missing, the military said Wednesday. A rebel-affiliated Web site claimed the Tamil Tigers had killed as many as 75 government soldiers in the recent fighting. The intense battles came amid a punishing government thrust into rebel-held territory in recent weeks that more..

Lanka, worst record of disappearances in 2007 - AI

Sep 3 (LD) Amnesty International has urged the Sri Lankan government to invite the UN Working Group on Disappearances to visit Sri Lanka and take stock of the spate of unresolved disappearances reported in the country. In the 25th anniversary year, which was marked recently, the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances reported 41,257 pending cases across 78 countries. more..

JVP MP resigns after admitting wrongdoing

Sep 3 (LD) JVP MP for Kegalle Anuruddha Pologampola today (Sept. 03rd) tendered his resignation after admitting to have misused his position. Mr. Polgampola, having returned from Japan yesterday, was summoned before a committee appointed by the party's Central Committee to which he had confessed that he had tried to take a person illegally to that country for employment. more..

UN urges Sri Lankan rebels to allow free civilian movement

Sep 3 (Xinhua) The United Nations Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator Office in Sri Lanka Wednesday urged Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels to allow civilians trapped in the island's conflict zone to move freely. The office said in a statement that it acknowledges the Sri Lankan government's measures that intended to facilitate the movement of civilians who have been affected by the fighting in Northern Province. more..

'Tamil Tigers putting up stiff resistance'

Sep 3 (AFP) Tamil Tigers are putting up stiff resistance to a government onslaught, a pro-rebel website said Wednesday, a day after the island's army said it had seized a key town in the north. Both sides claimed killing and wounding scores of combatants as the government kept up an offensive aimed at dismantling the northern mini-state controlled by the LTTE. The website said LTTE fighters had confronted troops at Naachchikkuda, along the island's northwestern coast, more..