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Govt. outlines procedure for media visits to IDP camps

Jun 12 (GDI) The government will speedily expedite the process of affording opportunities for journalists to visit welfare centres in the North housing the internally displaced, ministerial sources said this morning. They said the normal procedure of clearance from the defence authorities was a priority to accommodate requests from the media for such purpose. more..

FM highlights triumph of quiet diplomacy in eliminating terrorism

Jun 12 (GDI) The Sri Lanka’s highly successful and constructive engagement with the international community in playing a major role in eliminating the terrorism from the island was highlighted the Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama yesterday. He made this observation during a debate in Parliament this week. The Minister hailed the triumph of Sri Lanka’s quiet diplomacy in being able to secure an uninterrupted supply line to more..

International Day against Child Labour falls today

Jun 12 (GDI) The Ministry of Labour Relations and Manpower is to conduct 56 programs island wide to mark the International Day against Child Labour which falls today (12), a press release issued from the ministry stated. The chief objective of the programmes is to educate parents on preventing child labor, a generation to take over the county in future, it said. These programs will be in place under the guidance of more..

Civilian rehabilitation and reconciliation well in progress

Jun 12 (GDI) "The war against the terrorists is now over, and the Tamil-speaking people should be protected. They should be able to live without fear and mistrust," President Mahinda Rajapaksa said declaring victory. The President well knew that reconciliation and rehabilitation would be his key concerns soon and rightly the subject of the Sri Lanka government from then on. more..

Japan grants Rs. 13 Million for two livelihood projects in Monaragala and Polonnaruwa

Jun 12 (GDI) The Japanese government granted Rs. 10 million for an agricultural and livelihood project in Monaragala and Rs. 3 million for a health project in Polonnaruwa to improve the living standards of the people, a press release issue from the Japanese embassy stated. These two projects will improve the living standards of 1,000 targeted families. The two Grant Contracts were singed between Ambassador of Japan Kunio Takahashi, and more..

Sri Lanka's sovereignty & integrity should be strongly defended – New Chief Justice

Jun 12 (LT) Sri Lanka should strongly safeguard and protect its sovereignty and integrity while co-existing in harmony and tolerance with other nations said new Chief Justice Ashoka de Silva. CJ Ashoka de Silva said the sovereignty and integrity of the island should be strongly safeguarded and protected. He said “We may be a small nation in the scale of territories and people, but in protecting our sovereignty, more..

Devolution the only way

Jun 12 (EB) The battle for the control of territory between the armed forces of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has come to an end with virtually the entire leadership of the Tigers, including Prabhakaran, being killed. The victory represents an end to a fratricidal ethnic conflict, which brought about death, destruction and untold suffering to thousands of people, which include Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims. more..

'A thug minister assaulted students'

Jun 12 (LT) The clash that occurred at Kelaniya University yesterday was manipulated by an organized group on instructions of a powerful minister in the area says convener of the Inter Universities Students' Federation Udul Premaratne. He says the intention of creating a disturbance was to sabotage the final day celebrations of the 'Bihidora Abiyasa' art festival organized by the Student's Union of Kelaniya University. more..

Tamil National Alliance cracking fast after LTTE defeat

Jun 12 (AT) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), known as the proxy of the now defunct LTTE terror outfit, is fast cracking after the elimination of the LTTE and several MPs in the TNA coalition are likely to form an independent team in Parliament, well informed Tamil political sources revealed today. The planned group of 'independent' TNA members are likely to enter the fold of the PLOTE and EPRLF and more..

Comedian Anesley Dias passed away

Jun 12 (LeN) Legendary comedian Anesley Dias passed away this morning (12) in his house in Kelaniya. He became popular as ‘Hamu Mahaththaya’ in ‘Vinoda Samaya’ comic radio drama. Later, he acted roles in a number of TV programmes. Mr. Dias was a past student of St. Alosius College, Dalugama and St. Joseph’s College, Colombo. He was 81 years old by the time he passed away. He was a father of six children. His remains are now placed in his house No: 378, Old Kancy Road, Kelaniya.

Gotabhaya to enter politics from Kurunegala

Jun 12 (LeN) Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse is reportedly to be appointed as a SLFP electoral organizer of Kurunegala district. He is likely to contest the general election to be held at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year. A dialogue is underway to bring him to direct politics, sources say. The Defense Secretary repeatedly said in media discussions that he had no idea to enter politics. more..

850 children that have lost both parents live in welfare villages

Jun 12 (LeN) Minister of Child Development and Women’s Welfare Sumedha Jayasena says that among 50,000 children that live in welfare villages 850 have lost both parents. She revealed these facts addressing the cabinet press briefing held yesterday afternoon (11) in the parliamentary premises. Mrs. Jayasena said that her Ministry is still looking for if either of the parents of these children is living in the camps. more..

New TNA MP sworn in

Jun 12 (CT) Tamil National Alliance’s T. Thangathurai William was sworn in as a parliamentarian this morning (June 12). He took oaths before Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara in Parliament. He filled the vacancy created following the death of K. Pathmanathan. Meanwhile, the House is due to debate a possible expulsion of four TNA MPs on the grounds that they had not attended sessions for lengthy periods. more..

An appeal to PM Kevin Rudd about growing racial violence: Nip it in the bud!

Jun 12 (AT) Violence against students from India has now spread to Sri Lankan students. Some incidents have occurred in Canberra, the Australian capital. It is not certain whether these students were attacked because the attackers thought they were Indians, or whether Sri Lankans were deliberately targeted. It is also possible that this may have been a stray incident that has received publicity because of the backdrop of violence against Indian students. more..

Court calls for death certificate of LTTE leader

Jun 12 (CT) Sri Lanka High Court ordered the attorney general yesterday (June 11) to produce before court the death certificate of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. High court judge Kumuduni Wickremesinghe was taking up the case relating to the assassination of foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. Prabhakaran is the first accused in the case, while the other accused are intelligence leader Pottu Amman, Charles alias Charles Master, more..

Creating a crisis to resolve

Jun 12 (PISL) I have just been at a course on the Law of Internal Displacement organised by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, along with the Brookings Institute, which is the leading think tank in the field. Together with Walter Kalin, the Special Representative on the rights of the Displaced of the UN Secretary General, it produced the Guiding Principles on the subject, a manual that is now widely accepted as definitive. more..

Deportation of Bob Rae: Some fundamental questions for the future of minorities

Jun 12 (UTHR) The recent denial of entry to the Canadian Parliamentarian Bob Rae, a long time champion of democracy, requires particular attention by those who care about the future of Lanka. His deportation reflects the paradox of continuing internal repression and unhealthy xenophobia despite the end of the war. It reflects a mindset that bodes ill for the minorities and the democratic rights of Sinhalese. more..

LTTE Seniors Balakumaran, 8 other hardcore in police custody

Jun 12 (AT) LTTE Senior Balakumaran and seven other hardcore Tigers are in the police net, Asian Tribune learns. They are Yogaratnam Yogi, former LTTE spokesman, Baby Subramaniam, LTTE stalwart of long years, Lawrence Thilakar, a former head of the LTTE’s International Secretariat, Ilamaparithi, Jaffna political leader, Karikalan of the Eastern Province and three others whose names are not immediately available. more..

Time to look beyond Yal Devi

Jun 12 (DN) The last time I traveled by train from Jaffna to Colombo was in July 1975. I was returning after covering for the Observer Lake House, the Northern scene just after Jaffna Mayor Alfred Duraiappah’s assassination - Velupillai Prabhakaran’s first terrorist act. Travelling with me on the night mail was the late Stanley Premaratne then staff reporter for the now-defunct Lake House Sinhala daily, Janatha. more..

Program to increase passes in English Language G.C.E. O/L exam

Jun 12 (DN) This is a saying which comes in testing and evaluation. When questions or testing tools are prepared, this important factor should be considered to make the testing tools valid. Several feature articles appeared in newspapers highlighting that the results of some core-subjects at the G.C.E. (O/L) Examination 2008, have drastically gone down. Results of English language 2008 have declined by 8 percent. more..

Historical glimpses of Holy Cross College - Kalutara

Jun 12 (DN) Perusal of the historical annals of the inception of the Holy Cross College, Kalutara reveals that in an era as far back as the latter half of the 19th century, a Burgher national named Brohier had taken the initiative to start a private school. This private school was functioning in a rented house in close proximity to the Holy Cross Church. Since then a number of educational luminaries both foreign and local took the reins of Holy Cross College and . more..

Textile development in the East

Jun 12 (DN) Designer Senaka de Silva in association with Vinitha Seneviratne of the Ministry of Textile Industry Development conducted a 5-day workshop on Colour and Design Training Program for Maradamune weavers. Maradamune In the Ampara district of Kalmunai A.G.A. Division, Weaving is a way of life. Over 700 weavers earn a living by producing hand woven fabrics as a livelihood. more..

Our Colombo correspondent and four other scribes under threat

Jun 12 (AT) According to an alleged confession of a personal security officer,himself a Naval officer, of a very 'high ranking' Naval officer, five journalists, including the Asian Tribune Colombo Correspondent and Bottom Line newspaper defence columnist, Ruwan Weerakone are reported to be under threat for reportage during war times, well informed intelligence sources revealed. more..

Parliament leave approved for 3 TNA MPs

Jun 12 (CT) Three MPs of the TNA have been granted three months leave by parliament. Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara announced the decision today after considering the medical certificates submitted by the three parliamentarians. Two days ago, the TNA sought leave for these MPs, but the request was vehemently opposed by ruling party members. They alleged the leave was being applied for them to go overseas and campaign against the Sri Lankan nation and the constitution.

Govt. unlikely to allow LIOC open more sales points

Jun 12 (Island) The Lanka India Oil Company (LIOC) had sought permission to open 300 more filling stations in Sri Lanka, but the Government is very unlikely to comply with the request, Petroleum Resources Minister A. H. M. Fowzie told Parliament. He said that according to the agreement with the LIOC, it should be allowed to open a new filling station each time the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) opens one. more..

Kelaniya University closed following violent clashes

Jun 12 (Island) The Kelaniya University, except its Medical faculty, was closed indefinitely yesterday following a clash between students and the residents in the area. Residents of Dalugama went berserk at noon yesterday and attacked undergraduates with stones and clubs following an assaulted by a student on a youth from the area in a tea boutique near the campus on Wednesday. more..

'The Tamils have now been left on the road'

Jun 12 (Island) TNA MP Sivanathan Kisshor entered politics in 2004, after serving as an official of the Red Cross for fourteen years. He raised eyebrows on both sides of the political divide this week, by participating in the Yaldevi run from Vavuniya up to Thandikulam and by abstaining from voting at the extension of emergency on Tuesday. In this interview, Kisshor speaks to C.A.Chandraprema on the reasons that led to his decision to strike out on an independent path. more..

Gota: what matters is the man at the controls of armaments

Jun 12 (Island) Nothing could be as accurate as Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s assertion that it was the man at the controls of whatever the armaments at the SLAF’s disposal, who made a difference in the battlefield. He said that he always believed that given the correct leadership, the fighting forces could have defeated the LTTE. He said that expensive armaments would be ineffective in the absence of a capable military leadership to spearhead forces. more..

Protecting journalists

Jun 12 (LNP) One may wonder whether attacks on journalists in this country are being carried out by ghosts. For, not even the entire khaki brigade has been able to nab a single assailant. The only problem with this spooky theory may be that the violent eidolons pursuing poor scribes and threatening their earthly existence are capable of operating even during daytime, considered anathema to incorporeal beings. more..

'Bob Rae deporting shows govt. has backbone'

Jun 12 (CT) In yet another indication that this country has a government with a backbone, the Department of Immigration and Emigration and the Ministry of Defence have deported Canadian MP Bob Rae, says the editorial of today's issue of 'Divaina' titled "Bob Rae Drama." It says that it has been reported yesterday that former prime minister of Ontario State in Canada and Liberal Party MP Bob Rae had been deported while attempting to enter Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lankans target semi berth

Jun 12 (LNP) The Sri Lankan cricketers are overjoyed that they have entered the Super Eight round of the International Cricket Council s World Cup Twenty20 tournament and have now set their sights on entering the semi-finals. When the Lankans arrived here, they faced an uphill task. They were in the toughest group with Australia and the West Indies. Australia and the West Indies are tough sides and beating them was not going to be easy. more..

Sri Lanka: End twenty years of impunity

Jun 12 (AI) The Sri Lankan government’s failure to deliver justice for serious human rights violations over the past twenty years has trapped the country in a vicious cycle of abuse and impunity, according to a report published by Amnesty International today. Amnesty International’s report, Twenty Years of Make-Believe: Sri Lanka’s Commissions of Inquiry, documents the failure of successive Sri Lankan governments to provide accountability for more..

Myanmar gives Sri Lanka $73k

Jun 12 (AFP) Impoverished Myanmar has donated US$50,000 (S$72,500) in relief aid to Sri Lanka's government to help those displaced by the recent defeat of the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, state media said on Friday. Foreign Minister Nyan Win met with Sri Lankan ambassador Newton Gunaratna at the foreign ministry in Yangon on Thursday afternoon, according to the English-language New Light of Myanmar. more..

Authorities warn Dengue almost out of control

Jun 12 (DM) Health authorities yesterday said they feared that the dengue epidemic could get out of control if the public does not pay more attention to destroying mosquito-breeding places as the death toll from the Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) rose to 128 and the number of reported cases of dengue fever touched 9100. 19 out of 20 samples sent for testing to the Medical Research Laboratory at the Singapore State University have been found to be dengue positive. more..

Disputed figures on job losses in the House

Jun 12 (DM) The government and the JVP were on a collision course in Parliament yesterday presenting conflicting figures on the loss of employment opportunities here in recent times due to the economic recession. JVP MP for the Colombo district Lakshman Nipunarachchi who moved an adjournment motion said that around 80,000-90,000 persons had lost their jobs in the corporate sector due to companies laying off staff or having to suspended operations. more..

Entrepreneur ready to employ IDPs, former LTTE cadres

Jun 12 (ANN) The Chairman of Tri Star Apparel Exports (Pvt) Limited, Kumar Devapura, said orders have begun to increase since the end of the war and the industry could be on a growth trajectory. "Since the war ended we have had an increase in inquiries for more orders while some have already increased their orders with us. Marks and Spence for example has given us an order for 1.7 million pieces," Devapura said. more..

A new era has began

Sri Lanka Indian Oil unit seeks clarity on deal

Jun 12 (LBO) Lanka IOC, the Sri Lankan unit of Indian Oil Corp, wants to seek clarification on reports the island's government is to amend its agreement with the fuel retailer, a senior official said. LIOC managing director Suresh Kumar said he was unaware of any plans to change the deal with the government under which the Indian petroleum firm entered the Sri Lankan market. more..

State workers take home 53.6-pct of 2008 taxes

Jun 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state salaries and pensions ate up 53.6 percent of tax revenues in 2008, while 129,135 workers were added to an already bloated public sector, which is the biggest in South Asia, the latest official data shows. A finance ministry report said the government workers, excluding semi-government sector, were 13 percent of the labour force and Sri Lanka had the highest population to government ratio in South Asia. more..

Lanka promoting monarchy: JVP

Jun 12 (DM) While countries like Nepal have overthrown the Monarchy, Sri Lanka is trying to promote it, the JVP charged. “Countries like Nepal have overthrown the Monarchy and are striving to create a fledgling democracy, but in Sri Lanka it seems a Monarchy is being promoted,” JVP MP Ranaweera Pathirana said in Parliament yesterday. “The trend around the world is to strengthen democracy and not promote a Monarchy,” more..

Mini war in Kelaniya

Jun 12 (DM) Kelaniya was turned into a mini battle ground yesterday when students of the Kelaniya University clashed with residents of the adjoining Galugangoda village forcing the police to use teargas to restrain both sides as the situation appeared to be getting out of control. The violence was sparked by a quarrel between the villagers and Arts Faculty students the previous night. The dispute escalated late on Wednesday when more..

Sri Lanka camps a 'national disgrace'

Jun 12 (AFP) The Sri Lankan government faced renewed demands Friday to free nearly 300,000 war-displaced civilians, who fled Tamil Tiger rebel territory, from tightly guarded state-run camps. New York-based Human Rights Watch said the squalid camps, which are ringed with barbed wire, were a "national disgrace" and violated international law. more..

Sri Lanka won't beg for aid: central bank chief

Jun 12 (AFP) War ravaged Sri Lanka will not beg for foreign aid even as a 1.9 billion dollar bailout from the IMF has been delayed, the island's central bank chief said on Friday. "We will never go after donors or lending agencies with a begging bowl. We are capable of standing on our own and raise funds through capital markets," Central Bank of Sri Lanka Governor, Nivard Cabraal, told AFP. more..

Lankan troops recover over 1.5 million landmines in North

Jun 13 (PTI) Sri Lankan troops have so far recovered over 1.5 million landmines from the region captured from the LTTE and have expedited the process of demining the areas to facilitate the early resettlement of displaced civilians in the northern region. The army has launched massive searches to recover the weapons of LTTE, especially claymore mines and other destructive explosives, in the northern areas. more..

Makaldeniya water project, A symbol of ethnic unity

Jun 13 (GD) Now we have water, K.Kandasami (61) a Tamil estate laborer murmured with utmost happiness looking at the children who are playing splashing water. The new water tap in his compound pours water on the parched land making the air smell as if a rain has fallen on the sand. Kandasami, a casual laborer said that this is like a dream. We never even dreamt of pipe borne water to our huts, but Gemidiriya made that dream a reality, he said. more..

Bourse at 9-mo high on foreign interest

Jun 13 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares jumped on Friday to a nine-month high led by foreign buying of bluechips after the central bank said an IMF loan will be approved before end-June and local purchases of plantation and hotel shares. The rupee closed flat as a state bank bought dollars. The Colombo All-Share Price Index rose 1.55 percent or 34.51 points to 2220.11, its highest close since Sept. 17 last year. more..

Was expat behind Bob Rae's woes?

Jun 13 (Star) The seeds of a decision to bar Bob Rae's entry to Sri Lanka may have been planted with the pen of a Sri Lankan expatriate from London, Ont., with advance knowledge of the trip and a grudge against the federal Liberal party. Days before Rae was turned away at Colombo's main airport late Tuesday night, allegedly for his sympathies toward the Tamil Tiger separatists, Irangani de Silva had one of the many articles and letters she has written more..

Humanity failed in Sri Lanka

Jun 13 (Guardian) Sri Lanka is a country where abductions, disappearances, killings and general human rights violations happen with impunity. Law and order is applied selectively. Racists are promoted to higher ranks and government allegedly colludes with armed paramilitary in abductions and disappearances. In recent times, Sri Lanka has taken a step further in breaching international law, Geneva conventions and UN charters that it is signed up to. more..

Bush fires devastate Bandarawela jungles

Jun 13 (GDI) Precincts of Bandarawela have been hit by a bush fire and, unfortunately, the fire has proved disastrous for many villagers living in the vicinities of Aluthgamagama, a village adjacent to Bindunuwewa. At least, 10 households are in the danger of being displaced so far. “Prevailing weather conditions, temperatures well above the average, are so warm and it’s rather a difficult task to take these fires into control,” more..

Sri Lanka forgoes Rs10bn in revenue on public servants cars

Jun 13 (LBO) Import duty concessions for Sri Lankan public servants to buy cars has caused the government a loss of over 10 billion rupees in revenue in 2008, a report by the finance ministry said. The import of motor vehicles under a concessionary duty structure was implemented under different government circulars in 2008, the finance ministry annual report just released said. more..