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Elephant Pass railway station to turn "Affection Port"

Jun 29 (GDI) The Ministry of Education has decided to gift the Elephant Pass railway station to the northern as an 'Affection Port' with the contribution from all Sri Lankan students and teachers under the 'Uthuru Mithuru Yal Devi Train Concept'. The decision was arrived at by the ministry to inculcate the vital ingredient of patriotism in the minds of the student population in the country and thereby lead them towards the transformation of the theme of one country, one people. more..

Health sector boost in Eastern Province

Jun 29 (GDI) Several projects initiated by the Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition targeting the healthcare development in the eastern province will be vested in the public tomorrow and Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva will declare open the Outdoor Patients Department’s building at the Batticaloa General Hospital tomorrow (30). According to the Ministry, 200 million rupees were spent on this project. more..

US$ 891 million Chinese grant for Norachchalai coal power project

Jun 29 (GDI) Phase II and Phase III of the Norachchalai power project will kick off soon. The government is scheduled to sign agreements with the Chinese government in this regard today. Norachachalai Coal Power project is one of the massive projects launched by the SL government among other projects recently. The total investment for phase II and phase 3 of the project will be US$ 891 and it is scheduled to be completed by the year 2013. more..

Special teams deployed to protect child rights in IDP welfare villages

Jun 29 (GDI) Special teams will be deployed to protect children and their rights in IDP welfare villages. “Such child protection teams will be given special training and the respective teachers will also be trained to build an environment conductive to learn,” National Child Protection Authority Chairman, Jagath Wellawattha said. He also said that more than 10,000 children have been screened so far and more..

Yashushi Akashi again in Sri Lanka

Jun 29 (GDI) The most popular Japanese special envoy, Yashushi Akashi, arrived in Sri Lanka again today. The special envoy was warmly welcomed this morning at the Colombo International Airport by the Japanese Ambassador and other representatives from the Japanese Embassy. Yashushi Akashi visited Sri Lanka to participate in the Sri Lanka Economic Summit scheduled to begin tomorrow more..

Make Sri Lanka’s North and the East special economic zones

Jun 29 (LBO) Massive investment is needed in the North and the East to allow these war-torn regions to catch up with the progress they missed because of the LTTE. The likelihood of obtaining these funds from Sri Lankan tax-payers or from foreign donors is not very good. The former because we spend all government revenues on salaries and debt repayments and the latter because the success of Eelam War IV on the ground was not matched by success in the external propaganda war. more..

Trip to zoo end up in Horror

Jun 29 (LT) An education tour turned out to be a nightmare for a group of preschool children from Hasalaka yesterday morning, when the bus they were travelling in skidded off the road at a bend along the Mahiyangana-Kandy main road and went down a twenty feet precipice in Udadumbara. They were on their way to the Dehiwala Zoological Gardens. About twenty children sustained injuries in the mishap and were rushed to the Ududumbara hospital. more..

Schoolgirl killing: Suspect is a shepherd

Jun 29 (LT) The suspect arrested in connection with the killing of a 15 year schoolgirl in Eheliyagoda has made a confession before the Eheliyagoda Magistrate. Police says the suspect is a Sheppard. The police said that the 24-year-old suspect had come to the area in search of cattle and abducted the girl while she was returning home after school. The police said that the suspect had admitted that he dragged her to the jungle and raped her before strangling her to death. more..

Lanka Disappointed by US travel warning

Jun 29 (LT) The United States issued Sunday a warning for its nationals travelling to or in Sri Lanka about the risk of possible terror attacks despite the recent crushing of Tamil Tiger separatists. Sri Lanka defeated the Tamil Tigers last month but rebel remnants still posed a threat and could carry out assaults, the state department said in the latest travel advisory on its website. more..

Vavuniyaa Tamil Christian teacher reported missing in Colombo

Jun 29 (TN) A Christian teacher, Rasalingam Naguleswaran, father of two children, has been reported missing since 6 June afternoon after he boarded a bus bound for Vavuniyaa from Gunasinghapura bus halt in Colombo, according to complaints made by his wife Geethanjali with the Vavuniyaa police, Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) and International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC). more..

“Maga Neguma” has a pivotal role to meet the needs of People held by LTTE

Jun 29 (LP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed Finance Ministry and Highways Development Ministry Secretaries to pay their main concern over the Maga Neguma program when initiating road development projects in the country. President has taken this decision to provide qualitative service to the public. The President made these instructions when the Board of Directors of Maga Neguma program met him to more..

'LTTE government in exile futile exercise'

Jun 29 (LP) A Former confidante of Vellupilai Prabakaran and now a Minster Vinayagamurthy Muralidaran has rejected efforts to form a ‘LTTE government in exile’ as a futile exercise. Attending the inauguration of the first regional branch of the Foreign Employment Bureau in Batticaloa Minister Muralidaran has made reference to a statement to this effect while rejecting any attempt by a now defunct LTTE to reorganize itself. more..

'Mediate to get reasonable salary for estate workers'

Jun 29 (LT) The President of All Ceylon Estate Workers Union, JVP MP Ramalingam Chandrasekar in a letter to Minister of Labour Relations and Manpower Athauda Seneviratne has asked him to mediate to ensure a reasonable salary for estate sector workers by accelerating the estate sector collective agreements. Mr. Chandrasekar, in his letter, has emphasized that the period of the collective agreement terminated last March and more..

Uva PC polls: Contradictions and discrepancies

Jun 29 (LNP) How the Opposition parties are trying to cope with the postwar developments on the political front is interesting. Pitted against a government preening itself on a spectacular victory over terrorism, they have had to look for new issues or recycle the old ones which they failed to market at previous elections. Their problem is that their fervent hope that President Mahinda Rajapaksa would commit political hara-kiri on the military front was dashed. more..

'A conspiracy to fake terror situation in Sri Lanka'

Jun 29 (LT) A conspiracy to give publicity for a fake terror situation in Sri Lanka is being hatched says Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse. He says the propaganda regarding this fake terror situation is intended to stop tourists arriving here and drive away would be investors from the island. The Defense Secretary said despite the war situation being completely eradicated, there is talk about abductions from white vans. more..

Defense Secretary Rajapaksa opens dialogue with expatriates in U.S.

Jun 29 (AT) Unprecedented in the history of overseas diplomacy undertaken by Sri Lanka since its independence in 1948, this South Asian nation’s defense secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who was one of the main strategists to annihilate the ruthless terror outfit LTTE last month, reached to the Sri Lankan expatriates in the United States opening a much needed dialogue. more..

UNP requests govt. for a new beginning for the country

Jun 29 (CT) The UNP has requested the government to avail the opportunity after end of the war for a new beginning for the country. The call by party MP Lakshman Kiriella came at a media briefing today. He said the government was certain to receive foreign aid and support if it properly implemented the international conventions it has signed for the strengthening of democratic institutions. more..

Anti-intellectual behaviour of university students: Remedial measures

Jun 29 (DN) One of the central problems of our University education is giving it free to the recipient and never expecting anything in return. Even in India and Bangladesh - our neighbours University education is not free. Here is Sri Lanka, not only university education is free, but the students are paid for their food and lodging during their stay at the University. more..

Dengue cases rise to over 12,000

Jun 29 (DN) Latest Health Ministry statistics show that the number of dengue cases had risen to over 12,300 with 152 deaths. The Ministry was specially concerned with the situation in 68 divisional secretariats and was continuing with its ongoing measures to eradicate dengue and other mosquito borne diseases. The first consignment of BTI predator bacteria ordered from Cuba to destroy dengue larvae will reach the country this week. more..

Lak Roo: Lanka’s uniqueness at the fingertips

Jun 29 (DN) Preserving our heritage To put things simply, “Yesterday is history and today will form part of our history for tomorrow”, that is all what Lak Roo is all about. When other television channels are on a popularity race, the latest television channel which transmits through PEO TV, SLT VisionCom, a fully owned subsidiary of Sri Lanka Telecom PLC, had come up with the timely need of preserving the treasures of the isle of the past and re-visualizing it on screen. more..

Over 5,000 want to adopt children

Jun 29 (DN) There are about 5,000 Sri Lankan couples and 600 foreign couples in the waiting list to adopt Sri Lankan children. Annually around 1,000 children are for adopted by locals and about 50 children are adopted by foreigners, Probation and Child Care Services Commissioner Sarath Abeygunasekara said. he said that usually the children below the age of five who had been rejected by parents and abandoned are given for adoption. more..

Now, US tries to undermine Lanka tourism revival plan

Jun 29 (Island) The Sri Lankan government yesterday said that a US State Department travel advisory aimed at discouraging US citizens from visiting Sri Lanka was part of US strategy to undermine the country. A senior Foreign Ministry official told The Island that nothing could be as bad as the US warning of potential for continued instability and possible terrorist attacks a month after the end of war. more..

Veddhas shift from caves to houses with govt. assistance

Jun 29 (Island) The Veddha community had proved that permanent houses could be established with small financial assistance from the government, Housing and Common Amenities Minister Ferial Ashraff said recently. Attending a ceremonial handing over of newly built houses to the Veddha community at Hennanigala, Dehiattakandiya in Ampara, Minister Ferial Ashraff said that the main objective of the Janasevana National Housing Programme more..

Navi Pillai makes talks difficult for Sri Lanka

Jun 29 (DM) Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the newly appointed United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillai was making it difficult for Sri Lanka to engage in dialogue with the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. “Her statements have not made it easier for us to gather the support of the people of this country to work closely with her office, which I want to do, more..

‘Our losing battle against corruption’ – response

Jun 29 (Island) Adverting to your commendable editorial today (25th June ’09) in The Island, the easiest way to win the battle against corruption is in my humble opinion, by the reduction of so called government in this country to the barest minimum. Though the easiest, it is by no means an easy task given the propensity of our politicians to make Constitutions and Laws to perpetuate themselves in office obviously for their private gain. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism - Quo Vadis ?

Jun 29 (TDN) Srilal Miththapala is the current President of Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL). He also is the Chief Executive Officer of Serendib Leisure Management Ltd. He has been associated with tourism industry for over two decades and has represented the industry and his company at various international and national forums. In this article he analyses the state of the Tourism Industry in Sri Lanka, and its potential, more..

Jacko fans in Lanka seek visas for funeral

Jun 29 (DM) The U.S. Embassy in Colombo had inquiries about Pop King Michael Jackson’s death, with callers asking if fans seeking visas to attend the funeral would get special consideration for their applications, the New York Times said in one of its reports over the weekend. A spokesman for the US Embassy in Colombo confirmed there were a couple of inquiries though not inundated as was reported by New York Times. more..

How, when, and with whom can I make it?

Jun 29 (DM) The war as variously described was over. Mopping up the remnants of terror mongers in nooks and corners, looking after thousands of innocent Tamil bystanders crammed into camps were in the hands of a relieved government. The thrust of charges of various kinds levelled by the agents of the defeated terrorists against the government and the armed forces were also being deftly countered by the government. more..

NSW eye Sangakkara for T20 series

Jun 29 (AFP) New South Wales have Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara in their sights to play in Australia's domestic Twenty20 competition early next year, officials said on Monday. Cricket NSW is yet to finalise its playing roster for the Champions League Twenty20 tournament in India in October and the domestic T20 competition in the new year. more..

Killer couple picked their victim through newspaper

Jun 29 (Island) The police said that a couple held in connection with the recent killing of businesswoman Beatrice Veronika in the Kurunegala police area had been employed by her a few months before she was killed on June 7. The police said that Veronika had hand picked them after interviewing several persons who responded to a newspaper advertisement seeking a couple. The suspects had told police that they had found Veronika, a divorcee through a newspaper advertisement. more..

Cuban bacteria to fight Dengue

Jun 29 (DM) Cuba will airlift a stock of BTI (Bacillus Thuringenesis Israelensis) - a bacteria species, today to control the rapidly spreading dengue epidemic that has claimed 155 lives while the number of dengue cases reached a staggering 12,800 mark by yesterday. ‘This came as a result of a discussion Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva had with the Cuban ambassador on Friday at which he requested the ambassador to help control more..

13th amenedment nothing more than ‘legal arrangement’: PDK

Jun 29 (EB) The 13th Constitutional amendment that is being proposed as the panacea for the woes of Tamils in Sri Lanka could be nothing more than a ‘legal arrangement’ to crush the legitimate aspirations of the minority Tamils, general secretary, Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (PDK), Viduthalai Rajendran said on Sunday. He was Speaking at a conference on the current situation of Tamils in Sri Lanka more..

A small but significant post-Tiger vote

Jun 29 (AT) A little over a month after the end of the war between the Sri Lankan Army and the LTTE, political parties are gearing up for another fight in Sri Lanka. Elections to the Vavuniya Urban Council and the Jaffna Municipal Council in the island's war-ravaged Northern Province are scheduled for August 8. Although the polls are just for local councils, they are significant and will be closely watched. more..

War And Peace

Jun 29 (SP) While the LTTE has been defeated in Sri Lanka, the organization still exists among Tamils elsewhere. Many of the two million Tamils in Sri Lanka still support the LTTE, as do many Tamils in southern India (the ancient homeland of the Tamils) and overseas. There are about 77 million Tamil speakers worldwide, most (nearly 80 percent) of them living in southern India (Tamil Nadu). more..

It’s highly unethical for politicians to bask on reflected glories

Jun 29 (GDI) With the dawning of peace, military victories have become braveries of SL armed forces in the recent past, and SL government has no any time to bask on the reflected glories of the past. “And, fighting in the frontlines of the economic battle, SL government will shun from quoting military victories in the upcoming polls,” Director of the Media Centre for National Security said in press statement. more..

Sri Lanka targets north and east for tourist expansion

Jun 29 (Telegraph) Sri Lanka’s tourism authorities have unveiled plans for a substantial new resort development in the previously off-limits north of the country. The development, the first of its kind to be announced since the end of the civil war, will include hotels and a marina and will extend over the 14-island archipelego of Kalpitiya, about 100 miles north of the capital, Colombo. more..

Pakistan made to toil in tour opener

Jun 30 (CI) Pakistan began their tour of Sri Lanka the hard way as a defiant Sri Lanka Cricket XI ended at 278 for 3 on the first day of their three-day practice match. Lahiru Thirimanne and Chamara Kapugedera put on 170 for the third wicket on a rain-interrupted day at the Colts Cricket Club ground in Colombo. SLC XI, who chose to bat, lost opener Tharanga Paranavitana with the score on 27. more..

Railway Construction to be expedited from Colombo-Jaffna

Jun 30 (GDI) The construction of the Colombo-Jaffna rail track will be expedited soon. The rail road will be constructed northward from Vavuniya and southward from Kankesanthurai as the first phase of railway track program under the “Uthuru Mithuru” project, Media Spokesperson for the Minister of Railways and Transport Thissa Bandara Wasala told today (29). more..

Resettlement and development commended-Minister

Jun 30 (GDI) The international community has commended the government’s resettlement and development programmes in the North and as a result, Sri Lanka will receive more benefits in the future, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said today. He pointed out that the international community has also accepted that Sri Lanka was the only country that successfully defeated terrorism in the present era. more..

Myanmar to attend 'facets-Sri Lanka' gem and jewellery show

Jun 30 (GDI) The bilateral trade relations have strengthened between Sri Lanka and Myanmar following the recent visit of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Myanmar. A contingent of nearly 40 entrepreneurs in the Gem and Jewellery trade in Myanmar will participate at the annual gem and jewellery show to be held in Sri Lanka from 3rd to 6th September 2009. All arrangements have been finalized on their participation and more..

Mathews earns Test call-up

Jun 30 (CI) Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lankan allrounder who impressed during the ICC World Twenty20, is among three new players named in a 15-man squad for the first Test against Pakistan. Mathews has been picked ahead of Chaminda Vaas, while wicketkeeper-batsman Kaushal Silva and fast bowler Suranga Lakmal are also in the squad for the Galle Test starting June 4. more..

A Kelaniya University student abducted

Jun 30 (LT) It has been reported that a student of Kelaniya University has been abducted by a gang of thugs today (29th) evening. The student had come to the university for some need and a gang of thugs who had come near the entrance to the university threatened the student with weapons and abducted him say residents in the area. Several members of the academic staff of the university who had witnessed the incident have telephoned the police. more..

All should rally against unfair charges imposed by the government – JVP

Jun 30 (LT) The government is imposing unfair charges by devious ways from the public and all should rally against such exorbitant rates says Parliamentarian of the JVP Anura Dissanayake. He said, “The government makes various levies from the people. There is no regularity in these levies. The increase in prices of essential items has inconvenienced the people immensely. These irregular levies would inconvenience masses more. more..

Sri Lanka Insurance to take bulk of Seylan shares: report

Jun 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation may take up the bulk of risk capital in bailing out Seylan Bank, while state-run Bank of Ceylon and National Savings Bank may take smaller stakes, a media report said. SLIC was recently returned to state ownership and management following a court order. NSB will take up the least volume of shares at it already has 3.47 percent of its voting shares and 3.67 percent of its non-voting shares. more..

Tamil MP further detained

Jun 30 (BBC) The judiciary in Sri Lanka has granted a request by police to further detain a Tamil parliamentarian arrested on suspicion of helping the LTTE. Colombo chief magistrate who visited the police headquarters in Colombo has ordered to detain Vanni MP Sathasivam Kanagaratnam for a further 90 days. The magistrate has made the order upon considering an appeal by police Criminal Investigation Department (CID). more..

'Tamil regiment' for Sri Lanka army

Jun 30 (BBC) The Sri Lanka army (SLA) is to establish a Tamil regiment for the first time in Sri Lankan history, a Tamil government minister has said. Minister Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan, widely known as Karuna Amman, told BBC Sandeshaya that he was informed of the new unit by SLA commander General Sarath Fonseka a few days ago. The minister said hundreds of former followers were already integrated into the SLA. more..

Sri Lanka public enterprises eating development capital: minister

Jun 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state enterprises are eating capital that could have been used for the country's growth, while some workers are getting a salary and not even reporting to work, a senior government minister said. "For almost 50 years our state enterprises have stolen from the treasury," deputy finance minister Sarath Amunugama told a seminar on poverty organized by the Institute of Policy Studies, more..

Jathika Hela Urumaya threatens to pull out over 13th amendment

Jun 30 (CT) The JHU warns that it will pull out of the government as a principled party in the event of the full implementation of the 13th amendment to the constitution. JHU strongman and minister Patali Champika Ranawaka described this constitutional amendment as a clear threat to the unitary status of Sri Lanka, said a statement issued by the party. more..

Sri Lanka mulls shipyard, manufacturing plans for southern port

Jun 30 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government wants to attract investments for ship building, and cement and fertilizer manufacturing at a new port being built in southern Hambantota, a senior official said. Sri Lanka Ports Authority chairman Priyath Wickrama said construction work on the harbour, less than half-an-hour's deviation from the main shipping route across the Indian Ocean, is ahead of schedule. more..

Tougher screening for Tamils over fears of an influx of ex-Tigers fleeing Sri Lanka

Jun 30 (TA) Fears that ex-Tamil fighters may be passing themselves off as refugees will lead to the latest boatload of unauthorised arrivals - believed to be Tamils - being subjected to a particularly rigorous security screening process. The recent defeat of the Tamil Tigers in their stronghold in northeastern Sri Lanka has led to concerns Tamil fighters may seek to flee the island amid fears of government retribution. more..