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Govt. promises 13th A sans merged N&E

Jun 3 (Island) The government yesterday said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s recent pledge to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution wouldn’t mean a re-merger of the Eastern Province with the North as envisaged under the July 1987 Indo-Lanka Accord. Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said though the government was committed to the implementation of the 13th Amendment there would have to be two separate Provincial Councils. more..

'Mahinda won’t follow Mandela or Mugabe'

Jun 3 (Island) Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena challenged the UNP to canvass for the urgently needed USD 1.9 billion loan facility if it genuinely appreciated the armed forces’ triumph over the LTTE. The minister urged the UNP to throw its weight behind the SLFP-led coalition. Recalling an earlier UNP bid to block a USD 500 million loan from the HSBC, he asked the UNP to back Sri Lanka’s call for USD 1.9 billion facility from the IMF. more..

Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis give Sri Lanka Twenty20 edge

Jun 3 (Guardian) The greatest sporting rivalries are broad canvases coloured by loss, pain and redemption. Would the 5–1 victory against Germany in Munich in 2001 have meant so much to England's football fans without the tears at the Stadio Delle Alpi in 1990 and at Wembley in 1996? Would victory in the Karachi one-dayer of 2004 have been such a milestone for Indian cricket supporters without the trauma of Javed Miandad's last-ball six at Sharjah in 1986? more..

Nearly 30,000 children under 18 in welfare villages

Jun 3 (DN) There are nearly 30,000 children under the age of 18 staying in welfare villages and transit centres. Around 850 have lost one or both parents. The Probation and Child Care Services Department and Provincial Departments hold the responsibility of caring for those children, Probation and Child Care Services Commissioner D.M.S. Abeygunawardana told the Daily News yesterday. more..

'No more referendums in Sri Lanka'

Jun 3 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa fresh from a historic victory over terrorism has turned down a proposal by a section of his cabinet to hold a referendum to extend the life of Parliament and to marry the second Presidential Election due in 2011 to that referendum as the people were now in favour of Rajapaksa following the victory over LTTE terrorism, highly placed authoritative sources disclosed today. more..

Sri Lanka should drop popular politics to boost economy: President

Jun 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka should cut the budget deficit, drop popular politics and ideologies in meeting the challenge of developing the country, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. "Reducing the budget deficit, investment promotion and economic development is possible after defeating terrorism," President Rajapaksa said in a nationally televised speech at a ceremony in Colombo. more..

Lanka to acquire new oil bed

Jun 3 (DM) Sri Lanka is hoping to acquire its own oil resources with the expansion of its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the eastern part of the country which is now pending approval by the United Nations (UN). A spokesman for the Fisheries Ministry which took part in formulating the report to the UN said the expanded sea area that Sri Lanka was now claiming contains sedimentation thickness from some 20 kilometres to four kilometres which will have hydrocarbon or oil. more..

Two journalists questioned

Jun 3 (DM) Two journalists who were alleged to have been involved in the assault on veteran journalist Poddala Jayantha were released on personal bail of Rs. 500,000/ each by Nugegoda Chief Magistrate Vasantha Jinadasa, yesterday. Poddala Jayantha, the general secretary of the Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association, had been assaulted Monday evening at Embuldeniya, Nugegoda. more..

Lanka to seek Adele's arrest

Jun 3 (DM) Adele Balasingham, the widow of LTTE ideologue Anton Balasingham, is living in a London suburb and representatives of the Sri Lankan government are to meet Scotland Yard and the Home Office in the coming weeks for talks on her presence in Britain. Sri Lankan intelligence officials believe Adele Balasingham, 59, is one of the most senior figures in the remains of the terror group more..

CJ pardons Veddah convict

Jun 3 (CT) A member of the veddah community who had been sentenced to death and kept imprisoned, after ten appeals were not considered, was pardoned by Chief Justice, Sarath N. Silva yesterday. The CJ, who attended the opening of the new lawyers' office compound near Kandy Judicial Complex, thus pardoned Uruwarige Seneviratne, using the power vested in him after Kandy Chief Magistrate, Sumudu Premerathne brought the issue to his attention. more..

28-day England tour for D.S. de Silva with 250 dollar allowance

Jun 3 (CT) Chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket interim committee D.S. de Silva is preparing for a tour of England this month that comes with a daily allowance of 250 dollars, SLC sources said. His 28-day visit coincides with the twenty-20 world cup to be staged in that country from June 05. Both the chairman's tour and the allowance have been approved by the interim committee at its meeting this afternoon (June 02). more..

'NGOs funding Minister behind separatism move'

Jun 3 (ANN) The National Patriotic Movement yesterday said that following the demise of the LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran, some NGOs have started directing their funds to a Cabinet Minister. PNM Chairman Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera accused a particular Minister who crossed over to the Government ranks of being behind the NGO funding and promoting separatism. more..

President calls for outreach to Tamils

Jun 3 (AP) Sri Lanka's president urged the military on Wednesday to win over the Tamil people and to ensure they live without "fear or suspicion" in the wake of the army's victory over Tamil separatist rebels. President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressed a military parade and victory ceremony that commemorated the government's defeat of the Tamil Tiger separatists last month after more than a quarter-century of conflict. more..

Sri Lankan woman beaten to death in UK

Jun 3 (GS) A Sri Lankan woman found dead in a Walthamstow park was strangled, police have revealed. The partially clothed body of Michelle Samaraweera, 35, was discovered by a passerby in a park in Queens Road, near to Kelmsctott Leisure Centre, at 5.50am on Saturday, May 30. Police are still trying to establish whether she was sexually assaulted before being killed. Police initially withheld the cause of death 'for operational reasons'. more..

Sri Lanka president thanks allies

Jun 3 (BBC) The Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has praised Asian, African and Arab countries for their support in defeating Tamil Tiger rebels. He said that Sri Lanka had been "pressurised" by other governments which he did not name. The president was speaking at a vast military parade to celebrate the victory which was achieved last month. In a TV address, he told soldiers who fought the rebels that they now needed to win over the hearts of Tamil people. more..

Sri Lanka seeks 'new era' in foreign relations

Jun 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president called for a "new era" in foreign relations as the island staged a military parade to mark its victory over separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. President Mahinda Rajapakse, whose government has been threatened with a possible war crimes probe over the manner of its military success last month, said it was time to launch a fresh diplomatic strategy. more..

'I am the proudest Head of State who delivered a unitary nation'

Jun 3 (GDI) “The last breath of our heroic troops must be blowing in the wind where the national flag I hoisted today, flies proudly. Therefore, with every breath we take we must remember these heroic sons and daughters of our land. I also offer my respect to the high morale of our valiant troops who have been disabled but courageously participated in this event on their wheel chairs. more..

New captain, new beginning

Jun 4 (CI) The ICC World Twenty20 represents an opportunity for Sri Lanka to put behind them the miseries of the last few months. The attack on their team bus in Lahore in March and the armed conflicts in the country have meant the team and the nation have had little to cheer recently. Kumar Sangakkara and Co have the chance to give the country some happy moments over the next couple of weeks. more..

Sri Lanka's new captain hopes for fresh start

Jun 4 (CI) Sri Lanka go into the ICC World Women's World Twenty20 under a new captain, with Chamari Polgampola taking over the reins from the long-serving Shashikala Siriwardene. She feels the tournament can be a launchpad for the team's future successes. "The Sri Lanka captaincy is not what I expected to get, but having got it does not surprise me. I'll do my best in my capacity as captain. more..

Sri Lanka offered investment by Canadian business council

Jun 4 (LBO) Two bilateral business councils promoting trade and investment between Sri Lanka and Canada have offered their support to revive the island's economy with the end of the ethnic war. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, which represents the Sri Lanka-Canada business councils, said they had written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa offering support especially in infrastructure. more..

Sri Lankan minister seeks Japanese aid

Jun 4 (AFP) Sri Lanka's trade minister on Wednesday sought Japan's help for its recovery from ethnic conflict, while reiterating his government's rejection of any probe into alleged human rights violations. Colombo has faced allegations that thousands of civilians perished in the final battle last month against Tamil Tiger separatists, as the island starts its recovery from three decades of fighting. more..

Economics of War (and also peace)

Jun 4 (LBO) Wars have always been fought with one objective. That is to take forced possession of economically valuable assets belonging to the enemy. The list may vary from time to time, but a typical set of such coveted assets goes on as follows: land including right to water; young women including children; treasure; and able-bodied men as slaves. Since it is ‘forced possession’, wars do not come within the ambit of standard economic theory which is based on ‘voluntary exchange’. more..

Catholics raise money for refugees

Jun 4 (UCAN) Parishioners of Colombo cathedral have been busy fundraising for war refugees by selling hot foods, home-made pickles and household items at an evening family fiesta here. Cries of "pancakes," "kokis," "kevum," "pot curries" and "country rice" resounded along the line of 15 stalls in St Lucia's cathedral as part of a Marian feast and procession on May 31, attended by about 5,000 people. more..

Steyn and Gibbs set up six-wicket win

Jun 4 (CI) South Africa made heavy weather of chasing down Sri Lanka's disappointing total of 109 for 9 in their final warm-up match at Lord's ahead of next week's ICC World Twenty20, but they eventually eased home with five balls and six wickets to spare, thanks largely to a third-wicket stand of 70 between Herschelle Gibbs and AB de Villiers. Having been drawn in the toughest group, alongside West Indies and Australia more..

Sri Lanka team targeted by protests

Jun 4 (Guardian) Not for the first time, Lord's has become the scene of a political protest. Sri Lankan protestors have been picketing the ground, calling for the country's cricket team to return home and for other nations to boycott matches against the side. About 50 London-based Sri Lankans gathered outside the Wellington Road entrance, armed with placards condemning the Sri Lankan government's "human rights abuses". more..

'I was fighting India's battle'

Sri Lanka needs to address Tamil grievances

Jun 4 (NZH) The Sri Lankan Army's spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara has said "[The war] is not going to end soon. It will take some time to completely eradicate terrorism from the country - we think about two years." In the euphoria over the recent military victory that ended the conventional war against the LTTE and wiped out most of their leadership, most people in Sri Lanka have forgotten that prediction, but it remains likely. more..

Finding lasting peace for Sri Lanka

Jun 4 (JP) It was with sighs of relief that we heard news of the surrender of the Tamil insurgents a few days back. Indeed, the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka had been a major concern for the international community because so many civilian lives were lost unnecessarily in the conflicts between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE. However, this defeat is also poses questions as to what extent “peace” can be sustained, and what to do next after the victory? more..

Philippines congratulates Sri Lanka’s military defeat of the LTTE

Jun 4 (AT) The Secretary of National Defence of Philippines, Gilberto C Teodoro congratulated Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and the Sri Lankan Government on the military defeat of the LTTE at a meeting on the sidelines of the 8th Shangri – La Dialogue held in Singapore last week. Minister Bogollagama briefed Secretary Teodoro on recent political developments in Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lanka faces Economic terrorism

Jun 4 (AT) Although Sri Lanka’s shooting war against LTTE terrorism is over the country now faces a greater threat. It is the war against economic blackmail and economic terrorism. And the terrorists of course are the Western powers who have not yet given up trying to tighten screws on Sri Lanka over human rights issues despite suffering a humiliating defeat at the special sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on May 26. more..

Tamil Tigers’ child conscripts bid farewell to arms

Jun 4 (National) Suresh has a sweet face and gentle manner. His skinny body and the downy fuzz on his upper lip mark him out as boy who is still a couple of years away from becoming a man. But in January, that transformation was brutally accelerated. As fighting between Sri Lanka’s army and the Tamil Tigers intensified in what would turn out to be the final stages of a 26-year-long civil war, more..

US Deputy Secretary of State appraised on the current situation of Sri Lanka

Jun 4 (AT) Foreign Minister Bogollagama briefed the newly appointed US Deputy Secretary of State, James Steinberg, on the current situation of Sri Lanka at a meeting last week on the sidelines of the 8th Shangri - La Dialogue in Singapore. He explained to Mr. Steinberg the latest political developments in the country and thanked the US Government for its assistance and cooperation in combating terrorism. more..

Chapter Closed : The ‘International Factor’, bleeding-heart NGOs and cross-eyed media

Jun 4 (AT) Sri Lanka is not an island in terms of overall political economy and as such cannot and does not operate as though the outside world does not exist nor has no impact on domestic matters. As a member state of the United Nations and a signatory to many important bilateral agreements, not to mention a recipient of foreign assistance, Sri Lanka’s political decisions are to a lesser or greater degree influenced by more..

Sri Lanka hope to sing Jaya ho

Jun 4 (TOI) By the time the World Twenty20 event in England comes to an end, Sanath Jayasuriya will only be a month away from his 40th birthday. It will, in all probability, be the last world event the left-hander might play. Today, Jayasuriya might be a much older man with slower reflections and instincts a bit rounded. But, if Sri Lanka would as much as dare to win the trophy in England, he’s their biggest hope once again. more..

Rebels free Sri Lankan captive in Philippine south

Jun 4 (Reuters) Muslim rebels freed on Wednesday a Sri Lankan aid worker held captive for nearly four months in the southern Philippines, but continued to hold an Italian Red Cross engineer on a nearby island, a senior navy commander said. Omar Jaleel was turned over by his captors from the Islamic militant group Abu Sayyaf to local officials and members of the Belgium-based Nonviolent PeaceForce in Tipo-tipo town on Basilan island, more..

Whose war was it?

Jun 4 (TOI) The killing of the LTTE chief V Prabhakaran by Sri Lankan forces recently has not only brought to an end the reign of one of the world's greatest living terrors, but has also given some reprieve to millions of people. That includes those who lost their dear ones in an unwise battle that the Indian government fought against the LTTE for many years from 1987 onwards through its Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF). more..

Sri Lanka extends deadline again for port project bids

Jun 4 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government has extended for the second time the deadline for proposals from investors to build and operate a new deep-water container terminal in Colombo port. Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) officials said the deadline for bids is now July 8. Previously, the government had extended the deadline to June 16 from May 19 after prospective bidders asked for more time. more..

Sri Lanka leader hailed as king for beating rebels

Jun 4 (AP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, criticized internationally for his conduct of the war against the Tamil Tigers, has been all but crowned king inside Sri Lanka. In the weeks since Rajapaksa declared victory in the country's 25 year civil war with the rebels, a string of music videos have praised him as the nation's savior. Giant billboards with his image have been erected across the capital. more..

'Sinhalese hate us, we won't return to Lanka'

Jun 4 (DNA) Sri Lanka may have succeeded in destroying the LTTE, but the Tamil Eelam dream remains. Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in 115 camps across 25 districts of Tamil Nadu believe that they can return to their country if only a separate Eelam is created for them. Nearly 99% also believe that LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran is alive and will resurface on November 26, Maaveerar Naal (Heroes Day). more..

Sri Lanka poised to become Paradise Isle again

Jun 4 (TOI) The Paradise Isle of Sri Lanka is once again beckoning Indian tourists. Travel and tour companies and airlines are optimistic that the flow of tourists, which dipped considerably after the LTTE's air wing attacked Colombo airport in 2001, will improve. "Now, only traders travel daily to Sri Lanka from Chennai, apart from some corporate travellers. All are waiting and watching to see how the post-war situation will develop. more..

Avoid a postwar witch hunt

Jun 4 (HRW) The Sri Lankan government should ensure that military defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam does not result in new "disappearances," unlawful killings or the jailing of government critics, Human Rights Watch said today. The Sri Lankan government appears from its statements to be preparing to take action against individuals and organizations that criticized it during the war, Human Rights Watch said. more..

Healing and reconciliation: Three more responses

Jun 4 (DBS) Hello friends, When I posted Mohan Sekaram’s mail with his permission on this blog little did I realize it would have such impact. My original intention was simply that of presenting a different refreshing point of view. Needless to say I shared his opinion to a great extent too. What I thought would be a mere ripple has made quite a splash and acquired a momentum of its own at least on this site. more..

Sri Lanka captain urges team to show fortitude

Jun 4 (Reuters) World Twenty20 tournament director and former South Africa player Steve Elworthy, 44, held the same role at the 2007 World Twenty20 in South Africa. He said security had become much tighter since Lahore. "The situation has changed and it's now a completely different landscape to then," Elworthy told Reuters. "Without a shadow of a doubt it opened our eyes even more to the hazards facing cricketers and officials. more..

Tamil Diaspora must embrace new reality

Jun 4 (LG) The Tamil diaspora around the world is coming to terms with the defeat of LTTE and the death of Prabhakaran. For good or bad, Prabhakaran continues to live in their memories. The loss of the leader perceived as Thalaivar, Sooryadevan, the saviour of the persecuted Tamils and the creator of Tamil Eelam has not been easy to digest given the decades of struggle. Many of the Tamils who moved out of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu before 1983 belonged to the upper strata and more..

Akashi on 18th visit to SL

Jun 4 (GDI) Japanese envoy Yasushi Akashi is scheduled to visit Colombo again. The Representative of the Government of Japan for Peace-Building, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka will visit Colombo and New Delhi from June 8th to 12th, Japanese Foreign Ministry sources revealed. Akashi expects to meet with government officials during his stay and more..

“To give people purpose, and for their lives to make a difference”

Jun 4 (LG) Many German cities and townships were devastated extensively during World War II and civilians everywhere were severely affected, many lived under appalling conditions in underground shelters, thousands perished and the war left the country and the people reeling. All these just seven decades ago commented the head of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India, more..

Sri Lanka’s trauma

Jun 4 (LG) That the LTTE (Lanka Tigers for Tamil Eelam) has been the most ruthless and blood thirsty terrorist outfit has been known. (Eelam can be roughly translated into homeland). A unique feature of its lethal repertoire, as prescribed by the Sanskrit text — sama, dana, bedha, danda — or besides war fighting with no holds barred, tactics like persuasion of non-conformists, overcoming the enemy by argument and dividing enemy ranks. more..

Sri Lanka: Media an in conflict

Jun 4 (LG) The leading Sinhala daily newspaper ‘Divaina’ in Sri Lanka in their recent editorial published few hours after a senior journalist and activist, Poddala Jayantha faced the wrath of the gang attack by an unknown group of men who had kidnapped him in a white van, has called for open death penalties for the all the journalists, scholars and questionable people, who are on the payroll of the LTTE also know as the Tamil Tigers. more..

Sri Lanka : Ten Myths

Jun 4 (CC) In the ancient Indian epic Ramayana the Aryan Prince Rama goes all the way from north India to vanquish Ravana, the King of Lanka. Following a massive battle in which thousands are slaughtered Rama, with the help of the monkey god Hanuman, finally rescues his kidnapped wife Sita in a grand victory of ‘good' over ‘evil'. The Ramayana of the 21 st Century may need a little modification. more..

Dengue breeders beware

Jun 4 (GDI) The Ministry of Health Care and Nutrition will send Public Health Inspectors to dengue breeding sites to inspect and take legal action against owners of these sites. Residents living around dengue breeding places can inform the Health Inspector at the Ministry on 0112665329, Media Secretary to the Ministry of Health Care and Nutrition W.M.D Wanninayeka told today. more..