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Father of the Sri Lankan Cinema notches 90

Apr 4 (LG) The pioneer who dedicated his wide knowledge of cinematography for amelioration of the cinema industry notches 90 years on April 05, 2009. The inestimable contribution made by this great son of Sri Lanka to bring Sinhala cinema to the pinnacle of its glory is historical. At the time the Indian film industry had an influence on Sri Lanka, monopolizing their power of technology in the production of films, the cultural background here was almost South Indian. more..

Remembering Lasantha: We shall fight for freedom like he did

Apr 4 (TC) On April 5th Lasantha would have been fifty-one years old. Slightly given to vanity, I suspect he may not have readily admitted it in public. It was one of the many reasons why he and I were to spend his big five-oh last year with just 12 of his close friends quietly enjoying Tepanyaki at The Hilton Hotel in Colombo. He may have revelled in the turbulence of politics and more..

Weells Meat Processing to Setup US$ 1 billion processing plant in Pamunugama

Apr 4 (AT) The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) granted investment approval to Weells Meat Processing Limited to set up a US $ 1 billion processing plant in Pamunugama. Mr. Dhammika Perera, Chairman signed the agreement on behalf of the BOI and formally presented the BOI Certificate of Registration to the investor. “The Agreement with Weells Meat Processing Limited is for a project to process fish, meat and fruits for the export market. more..

Ultimatum to Tigers to free civilians – United Nations

Apr 4 (AT) In a strongly worded statement read out by the UN Spokesperson Michelle Montas today, the UN Secretary-General again warned the LTTE leadership to allow civilians to leave the conflict area of their own free will’ adding that the ‘severe restrictions of the LTTE on freedom of movement violates international Law’. The outspoken Human Rights activist Dr. Kumar Rupasinghe accused Tigers of planning a humanitarian catastrophe and more..

Tough days for LTTE 'middle-management'

Apr 4 (DW) A team of Commandos from the Special Task Force acting on Military Intelligence this morning ambushed a group of 15 Tigers at Kotiyagala (Situated near general area Siyambalanduwa) along the Ampara-Monaragala border killing 13 and injuring another two who subsequently escaped. The team was part of a 75-member unit deployed under LTTE leaders "Colonel" Ram and Nagulan operating from the general area Kanjikudiaru. more..

Pro-Eelam groups target DMK, Congress

Apr 4 (EB) The plight of the Tamils in Sri Lanka would have its echo in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu. Leading the campaign against the DMK and its ally, the Congress, will be Pazha Nedumaran of the Tamizhar Desiya Iyakkam. He will head a group of pro-Eelam associations. These organisations would use posters, banners and election meetings to target the Tamil Nadu government as well as the Central government for their inability to bring about an end to the misery of the Sri Lankan Tamils. more..

SLAF rejects media reports on LTTE aircraft

Apr 4 (AD) The Sri Lanka Air Force rejected a news report published by some international media outlets saying that the LTTE was in possession of another light aircraft. SLAF spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said they have not received any information over another light air craft belonging to the LTTE. According to him, four light aircraft of the LTTE were already destroyed by the government forces during the past two years. more..

Sri Lanka Navy thwarts LTTE sea move-off Alampil

Apr 4 (moD) Sri Lanka Navy elite Special Boat Squadron (SBS) sea units deployed in the northeastern coasted waters intercepted a group of LTTE boat around 11.30, last night (03 Apr). According to the Navy sources, the group of LTTE boats comprised of 10 boats including 3 suicide craft & 7 attack craft. The boats were launched from Puthumathalan coast in the no fire Zone, the sources added. more..

Western PC election

SEP campaigns at hard-hit industrial estate

Apr 4 (wsws) The Katuwana industrial estate in Homagama, about 20 km southeast of Colombo, was once regarded as a model "small scale industrial estate". For the past two decades, thousands of rural youth have come seeking jobs because of the problems created by rural agricultural decline and unemployment. Since 2008, however, thousands have been forced to return to their villages, after losing their jobs. more..

Recognize our freedom: Vanni civilian leader

Apr 4 (TN) How can a people trust a government that has instructed them to get into a safety zone and then kills, maims and starve them continuously for months now, asks Pararajasingam Kanagalingam, president of the Vanni People Welfare Organization (VPWO), in a recorded affidavit on the civil situation of Vanni sent to TamilNet Wednesday. “ Right to live is the most fundamental right guaranteed by the UN. more..

SL & Qatar to sign Investment Protection Agreement

Apr 4 (PISL) Sri Lanka and Qatar today discussed a series of far reaching bilateral issues with the prospect of Investment Protection Agreement and a Defence Cooperation Agreement to be signed between the two countries shortly. The Agreements will be signed shortly by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Emir of Qatar His Royal Highness Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani during the latter’s state visit to Sri Lanka in the offing. more..

A ‘Political Solution’: the Rajapaksa Approach and the 13th Amendment

Apr 4 (LG) A ‘political solution’ that can resolve a decades-long ethnic conflict has been one of our greatest needs. Much has been talked about, discussed and debated. What is lacking is compromise, consensus, but more importantly, action. The need to focus on what can be done today, rather than what ought to be done, should be of greater concern. Recent developments in the North and the East have heightened the need to act fast. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism targets Kuwait

Apr 4 (ME) A top-level team from Sri Lanka’s Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) led by Deputy Minister of Tourism, HE Faiszer Mustapha and representatives from the island nation’s travel trade will meet with travel agents in Kuwait, Crowne Plaza Hotel today (April 5) to share insights and discuss ways of boosting tourism to Sri Lanka in the post-war era as part of a series of roadshows covering the Gulf region. more..

Coming through Kandy

Apr 4 (VS) I've never been much of a morning person, but here I can't help but rise early. It's the birds. Around 6 a.m. with first light they whip up a cacophonous symphony that swells up the hills and seeps through the thin-glassed French doors of my balconied hotel. Followed closely by the unmistakable scrape of straw brooms on cobbled pavement, the whine of three-wheeled tuk-tuks and the rumble of trucks weaving their way through kamikaze traffic; This is how the city of Kandy awakens. more..

Ambassador Jaliya briefs members of US congress

Apr 4 (LG) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States continued a series of briefings on Capitol Hill last week as government forces cornered Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam militants in northern Sri Lanka. Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya met with Democratic Representatives Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Heath Shuler of North Carolina and Republican Rep. Scott Garrett of New Jersey. more..

Government deeply concerned over the plight of trapped civilians

Apr 4 (GDI) The Government attaches the highest priority for the safety and welfare of the civilians, who are currently being held hostage by the LTTE in the narrow coastal strip in Mullaitivu. Thus, the military operations to free the entrapped civilians have been painstakingly slow, in order to avoid causing civilian casualties. Despite enormous logistical and other operational constraints, more..

On the State Service

Apr 4 (LNP) The old adage Look before you leap means nothing to the present government. It pauses to think only after taking blind plunges which more often than not land it in hot water. Then it immediately backtracks to extricate itself from the mess it gets into, trotting out lame excuses. And in the process it cuts a very pathetic figure. Neither this kind of temerarious conduct nor vacillation does a government or a country any good. more..

Lankans hope to regain supremacy

Apr 4 (LNP) Sri Lanka s finest moment in soccer was on April 02, 1995, 14 years ago when the National Soccer Team won the Bristol SAARC Gold Cup in Colombo beating India 1-0 in the final. For the past 14 years Sri Lanka has not achieved much success in the international soccer scene. Can the youthful Sri Lanka National Football team who will be playing in the AFC Challenge Cup-2010 qualifying round matches starting today more..

Mop up operations in Anandapuram terror pocket continue

Apr 4 (MoD) Sri Lankan soldiers continuing their mop up operations in the captured Anandapuram terrorist stronghold today (Apr 3) gave a heavy beating to the terrorists. Troops after tactically sealing off the compacted terrorist pocket yesterday commenced the mop up operations that resulted in heavy close-quarter fighting in the area. Troops have so far collected 40 bodies of slain LTTE cadres along with 60 T-56 rifles for the day. more..

Rural water schemes in Sri Lanka

Suicidal political action-Part II: Ponnudurai Sivakumaran

Apr 4 (TC) Within the Sri Lankan context the ‘invention’ of self-abnegating devotion for cause among the Sri Lankan Tamils was not the work of either Pirapâharan or the LTTE. The initiator was young Ponnudurai Sivakumâran, a student member of a tiny cell (one that does not seem to have had a name) of budding resistance fighters in the early 1970s. Sivakumâran carried some cyanide and instructed his comrades to point to him if ever they were arrested. more..

David Miliband chastises Sri Lankan Government

Apr 4 (TC) Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband has told the House of Commons that LTTE actions could not excuse the Sri Lankan government of failing to meet the higher standards expected of democratic governments in a conflict. Referring to the situation in Sri Lanka, Mr. Miliband renewed the call for an urgent humanitarian ceasefire and urged the LTTE to allow the remaining civilians to leave the conflict area and more..

Why TNA should have gone to President's meeting

Apr 4 (TC) Tamil Tigers, the main stakeholders on the Tamil side in seeking power have been cornered in the battlefield and their total military annihilation is seemingly imminent. Under this circumstance the further debate on the devolution of power has appeared to have taken a back seat. No government so far took steps to seek a political solution to the ethnic problem without pressure on the part of Tamils. more..

Private hospitals default blood money

Apr 4 (DN) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry has discovered that a large amount of money is due from private hospitals to the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) for the services provided during the past. NBTS provides blood to private hospitals free and private hospitals have to pay only Rs.350 per blood pint for blood transfusion kit and screening, Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry sources said. more..

'Twenty percent students cannot write'

Apr 4 (DN) Twenty percent of school attended students in Sri Lanka cannot write or sign. Having understood these obstacles, the country should proceed fast, Prof. Ratnasiri Arangala of the Sri Jayawardenapura University said. Professor Arangala was addressing entrepreneurs of the Vidatha Program in the Western Province, at Maharagama. He said Sri Lanka, having had immense resources could achieve much due to lack of proper guidance. more..

Tamil Nadu CM Karunanidhi receives death threat

Apr 4 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Friday received a death threat allegedly from the banned LTTE, police said. Police said a letter carrying the symbol of the proscribed outfit issuing the death threat was received at Karunanidhi's Gopalpuram residence. Following the threat, security has been stepped up for the Chief Minister, who already is in the 'Z plus' category. more..

Masses supporting us - President

Apr 4 (DN) Despite the misleading and unfounded propaganda to the contrary, by certain reactionary and unpatriotic forces, we ought to make the international community aware that the masses of this land are fully supportive of the Government’s stance in eradicating terrorism from our land, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. “The masses of this country wanted me to unite a fast fragmenting country. more..

'NSB to reduce its lending rate by two percent'

Apr 4 (Island) The Director General for Fiscal Policy of the Ministry of Finance and Planning, S.R. Attygalle, said following Bank of Ceylon’s decision to bring down its lending rates by Two percentage points, other state-owned banks would soon make downward revisions on their lending rates as well. "State-owned Bank of Ceylon took the lead in reducing its lending rates and this is good sign of things to come. more..

'Rajapaksa govt denying workers’ rights for IMF’s US$ 1.9 bn'

Apr 4 (Island) The Mahinda Rajapaksa government claims it represents the workers, but is slowly but surely denying public servants of their rights and privileges, at the behest of the IMF, Galle District UNP MP Vajira Abeywardena, said at a news conference. The SLFP and its allies accused the UNP of having mortgaged the country to the IMF, but it is they who were doing that, he said. more..

'Govt seeks guidance from Maha Sangha to face socio-economic challenges'

Apr 4 (Island) The advice, guidance and blessings of the Maha Sangha was needed by the government to address the enormous political, social and economic challenges that need to be faced when establishing peace following the conclusion of the war, said Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris. He also said that the Mahinda Chintana envisaged that monetary gains alone were not important when attempting to establish an orderly and value based society. more..

Sirasa journalist attacked in Kiribathgoda

Apr 4 (DM) In what was seen as the second attack on a journalist within two days, a Sirasa TV journalist who was covering a protest campaign in a Kiribathgoda school yesterday was abducted and brutally assaulted by an unidentified group. Sirasa TV Gampaha District Correspondent Susantha Abeyratne came under attack when he covered the protest campaign organised by some 200 parents of Viharamahadevi Balika Vidyalaya in front of the school over more..

Dulles warns will cancel private bus licences

Apr 4 (DM) Transport Minister Dulles Alahapperuma yesterday warned private bus operators who disrupted bus services for flimsy reasons that he would cancel their route permits for violating the agreement with the National Transport Commission (NTC) and for needlessly inconveniencing the public. He was responding to the trade union action resorted to by some provincial private bus operators in several regions including Galle, Ampara and Chillaw during the past few days. more..

Lanka seeks information on stranded boat people

Apr 4 (DM) The Sri Lanka government is trying to get information on the 50 asylum seekers -- said to be Sri Lankan nationals -- who were stranded for four days after their boat hit a reef in the Torres Strait. Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Bhaila said his ministry had not received any information on this issue yet and were awaiting a response from the Australian High Commission in Colombo. more..

Political developments and the role of India

Will Colombo make peace?

Apr 4 (G&M) For decades, Sri Lanka has been living through a tragedy of its own making. Its modern history is a cautionary tale of lost opportunity and self-inflicted damage. When it achieved independence from Britain in 1948, the people of Ceylon, as it was then called, had every reason to believe that their country would be a leader in South Asia, setting the pace for economic development and the improvement of the lives of its citizens. more..

Sri Lanka shuns LTTE’s international negotiator

Apr 4 (EB) Sri Lanka would not recognize Selvaraja Pathmanathan, the official international plenipotentiary of the Tamil Tigers, in view of the fact that he was wanted by the Interpol for various crimes across the globe, the country’s Foreign Secretary, Dr Palitha Kohona, said here on Thursday. “Pathmanathan has two Red Notices of the Interpol against his name, and any one who cares for international norms will have nothing to do with him,” more..

Sri Lanka forex interventions reduce in March

Apr 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka has spent only 54 million US dollars defending a rupee peg in March with the island's central bank selling 127.5 million US dollars in forex markets but also buying back 73.5 million US dollars, the latest official data show. Sri Lanka lost more than two thirds of its foreign reserves from a peg defence exercise involving outflow sterilization that began in September 2008. more..

Sri Lanka says it recovered rebel leader's vehicle

Apr 4 (AP) Military said Saturday it had recovered a torched bulletproof vehicle belonging to the leader of the Tamil Tiger guerrillas. The military also said it destroyed three rebel boats and recovered 40 bodies of dead rebels after another day of heavy fighting Friday in the northeast of the Indian Ocean island nation. Government forces are in what they say is a final push to defeat the rebels, the LTTE, and end 25 years of civil war. more..

India, Sri Lanka trying to solve issue of trespassing fishermen

Apr 4 (IANS) While the Sri Lankan Tamils' issue continues to be a hot topic in Tamil Nadu ahead of the parliamentary polls, efforts are on by authorities in the island nation and in India to solve the problem of fishermen trespassing into each other's territorial waters. Sri Lankan diplomatic sources indicated that 23 Indian Tamil fishermen who are being held in a prison in the island may be released very soon following representations by the Tamil Nadu government to free them quickly. more..

Sri Lanka says 18 rebels killed in sea battle

Apr 4 (AFP) Sri Lankan security forces destroyed three Tamil Tiger boats on Saturday and killed at least 18 guerrillas trying to escape a major military ground offensive. Tiger rebels are battling to resist an military assault that has pushed them into a 20-square-kilometre patch of land in the northeast coastal district of Mullaittivu. The navy's special boat squadron sank one vessel belonging to the LTTE while two others were destroyed by ground troops when they tried to beach, more..

'LTTE chief hastily retreats before forces surround area'

Apr 4 (PTI) Beleaguered LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran and his top commander Pottu Amman were hiding in an area in the last rebel bastion of Pudukudiyirippu but hastily retreated from there just before it was surrounded by Sri Lankan forces, a top military officer said. "They have hastily retreated from the area once they got the news that troops were going to surround that area," more..

The myth(s) about post-LTTE democracy and post-conflict political solution

Apr 5 (TC) This war is riddled with many misnomers and many myths. In fact the whole history of the conflict is that. Some due to ignorant interventions in interpreting the conflict from both Sinhala and Tamil chauvinistic positions and some due to wily crafting of history by Sinhala and Tamil extremism over the past decades. This wouldn't change even after 01 million deaths, many thousand made limbless, many more thousands turned destitute and displaced over and over again, more..

Sri Lanka in Metamorphosis

Apr 5 (AT) As the conventional war against the LTTE nears its bloody end, a sea change is taking place in Sri Lanka - the unearthing or implanting of a set of values which are at variance with the principles of pluralist democracy. A new ‘commonsense’ is in the making, in consonance with the anti-democratic and Sinhala Supremacist beliefs of the ‘leading group’ and this ‘conception of the world’ will play a dominant role in charting the future trajectory of Sri Lanka. more..

Proper filling of EPF forms, avoids payment delays

Apr 5 (AT) Whatever the category or the nature of business is, even if one employee is recruited, that business is legally bound to pay contributions to the EPF Fund, said WJ U L Wijayawera, Commissioner General of Labor addressing a Workshop on EPF/ETF organized by the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. However, few are exempted. Reaching 55 years and leaving the employment enables the employee to withdraw the funds, but due to completion deficiencies such as more..

Will someone please get David Miliband a brain?

Apr 5 (LG) One can learn from experience and one can learn from other people’s experience, they say. To learn from other people’s experience, one has to have a mind that is uncluttered, a modicum of intelligence and a bit of humility. Those who lack these attributes will remain ignorant until such time they burn their fingers. I am not angry at David Miliband, British foreign secretary. I feel sorry for him. more..

Anti capitalism of rural masses loses its glow

Apr 5 (LG) I went to see Harischandra at Peradeniya Teaching Hospital. After reaching ward 2, I felt relieved as I saw Haris coming towards me with a broad smile. My mind went back to the days when I was a student at the Peradeniya Engineering Faculty. Then Haris was attached to the hall services. But unlike many others in that service, Haris was interested in politics and philosophy. That was a turbulent time in politics. more..

On thinking past Arundhati Roy’s rant

Apr 5 (LG) When Arundhati Roy talks like a Karunanidhi, then you know the world is pretty much screwed up. A lot has been written by way of rejoinder on her ill-researched rant on Sri Lanka "This is not a war on terror. It is a racist war on all Tamils". Nothing is served by repeating the cogent arguments penned by writers from around the world taking Roy to task for being lazy and ignorant. What is sad is that Arundhati Roy by being lazy and ignorant has compromised the more..

Tamil Youth talk segment

Arrival on global stage: Tiger Terror International

Apr 5 (LG) A peaceful Melbourne rally demanding the civilians held as human shield by the LTTE in Wanni be freed Saturday April 4, was attacked by a group of Tiger Tamils of Australia who arrived in vehicles flying the Roaring Tiger flag hailing the arrival of Tiger Terror International now that their dreams to set up a Tiger-Mafia state in Sri Lanka has come to grief. Unless countries where the Tiger menace has taken roots are determined to nip this in the bud, this smuggler mafia can develop into a terrible cancer. more..