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'Two years since end of the war, solve issues of Tamils immediately'

May 20 (LT) The govt has failed to find solutions for the issues of the people in the North and the East despite the war has been over for two years points out ‘We are SriLankans’. “It is two years since the end of the war with the LTTE. Throughout last two years Mahinda Rajapakse regime organized various ‘commemorations’ to retain the mentality of the war victory within the masses and the security forces. more..

EU not seeking regime change here: Envoy

May 20 (DM) European Union Ambassador Bernard Savage yesterday reiterated that Sri Lanka needed to take follow-up action in line with the recommendations made by the United Nation Secretary General’s Advisory Panel Report but emphasized the EU had no intention of bringing about a regime change in Sri Lanka. “The allegations are serious and we have taken note of the findings of the three-member panel appointed by more..

SC orders postponement of leadership training

May 20 (DM) The Supreme Court today directed the Attorney General to consider instructing the relevant authorities to postpone for one week the impugned mandatory training in military camps for the students who are eligible to enter the State Universities. The Court made this direction in the wake of the training for the first batch which is scheduled to be commenced on May 23, 2011 at several Army Camps. more..

Norwegian based LTTE leader Nediyavan arrested in Oslo

May 20 (NN) A Norwegian based LTTE leader Perinpanayagam Sivaparan known by his nom de guerre as Nediyawan has been arrested and was produced in an Oslo court on Wednesday and Thursday. The Norway News website said that Nediyawan, a prominent figure and “new leader” of the LTTE is being questioned over LTTE activities in the Netherlands. A Dutch judge and five Dutch Defence Attorneys are in Norway to interrogate the LTTE Leader Nediyavan, more..

Helping 12 persons out of SL: Govt. summons Norwegian envoy

May 20 (Island) In spite of Norway’s denial of a direct role in 12 LTTE personnel leaving Sri Lanka via the Bandaranaike International Airport, the govt of Sri Lanka summoned Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo Hilde Haraldstad to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where Foreign Secretary Karunathilake Amunugama raised the issue. Amunugama had expressed concern over the alleged involvement of more..

Malta invites Sri Lankan investments in apparel sector

May 21 (F2F) According to Theresa Cutajar, the Malta’s High Commissioner for India and Sri Lanka, the Mediterranean country of Malta is eager to invite Sri Lankan investment and means to close a formal deal in this respect, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce stated. In a press release, Cutajar said that, the Sri Lanka’s and Malta’s economies are quite favourable and thus she believes that the two nations can ink a MoU to enhance their mutual trade relations. more..

Train guards to strike

May 21 (NN) Train guards have warned they will be compelled to join the strike by assistant train drivers in the event the authorities fail to address their concerns by this evening. Meanwhile the Joint Railway Trade Unions Front warned that the railway strike will continue further and affect other areas as well if a solution is not reached soon. Secretary of the Joint Railway Trade Unions Front Sampath Rajitha said that all railway trade union members met today to discuss the next course of action. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 20.05.2011

Residents block train

May 21 (NN) Several residents in Galle blocked trains from proceeding along the Galle-Matara express railway this evening as a mark of protest over the failure by the authorities to erect level crossing gates along the Gangarama road. A person died along the track after being hit by a train and another person was injured after both had attempted to cross the tracks as there were no level crossing gates. Residents of the area who had been demanding for protective gates over more..

Lankans among jailed

May 21 (NN) A group of Sri Lankans were among immigration offenders and their abettors arrested in Singapore over the past two days. In a 10-hour crackdown that lasted from Wednesday until the wee hours of early morning on Thursday, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers conducted a series of island-wide operations on more than 16 locations in Singapore to arrest immigration offenders and their abettors. By about 4am the next morning, the ICA officers rounded up more..

SF’s daughter quizzed

May 21 (NN) The daughter of Sarath Fonseka was detained at the Bandaranaike International Airport today and questioned for several minutes before being released, MP Tiran Alles told News this evening. The wife of the former Army Commander and his daughter were returning from the US when they were stopped at the BIA and questioned. His wife, Anoma Fonseka, was later allowed to proceed. However the daughter was detained by officers and more..

UNP urge govt. to withdraw pension bill and bring new proposals

May 21 (AD) The UNP is opposed to the proposed private sector pension bill, Ranil Wickramasinghe declared. The UNP leader accused that the pension scheme is an attempt by the government to steal the money from workers. Speaking during a meeting with representatives of trade union affiliated to the UNP the Opposition Leader stated that retirement pensions belong to the workers as it is their right and that has been accepted by most of the countries in the world. more..

Sri Lanka mulls global action against Ceylon tea counterfeits

May 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Tea Board aims to hire an international agency for global surveillance of the island's Ceylon tea brand under the 'Lion' logo to prevent its misuse and sale of counterfeits, an official said. The planned action comes in the wake of the island launching new logos for Ceylon tea to protect the island's best known brand under the Geographical Indicators (GI) international trade regime and promote it as ozone friendly. more..

International Buddhist Conference in Sri Lanka

May 21 (GDI) The International Buddhist Conference jointly organized by India and Sri Lanka was inaugurated today, in Kandy, by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs of Sri Lanka in collaboration with the partnership of Sri Lanka International Buddhist Academy and University of Peradeniya organized this event to commemorate more..

Difficult reconciliation between North and South, as govt aid proves insufficient

May 21 (AN) Yesterday, 19 May, marked the second anniversary of the end of the civil war between the Sri Lankan state and the LTTE, a bloody conflict that lasted for more than a quarter century. On 19 May 2009, after the killing of rebel leader Valupillai Prabhakaran, Sri Lankan authorities announced that the time for peace and reconciliation among all Sri Lankans had come, without divisions and discrimination. This has occurred in the South, but in the North, more..

Sri Lanka bourse slips from 1-mo highs; rupee steady

May 21 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares edged down on Friday from a one-month high on retail profit-taking as optimism over the extension of the cutoff for margin trading evaporated, while the rupee ended steady. Sri Lanka's main share index closed 0.11 percent or 7.98 points weaker at 7,479.63, slipping from its highest close since April 19. On Thursday, the market gained 1.7 percent after the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) extended a deadline to more..

The joint statement indicates India’s requirement of manipulating Sri Lanka’s economy, politics & security– JVP

May 21 (LT) “The govt instead of providing relief to people in the North and the East, in spite of the war had been over for two years, has allowed international pressure to overwhelm them evading its responsibility for the sovereignty of the country and as the JVP, we, condemn, with utter contempt, the agreement by the government to proposals that bring the country under the hegemony of India,” states eh JVP issuing a statement condemning more..

Sponsors of demonstrations

May 21 (LG) May 19, the second anniversary of Mullivaikkal debacle has come and gone and as expected worldwide demonstrations by refugee Tamils took place in all major cities. I have been criticised for not taking part in these demonstrations by my fellow Tamils and I have good reason for not joining in. The only demonstration I took part so far was outside Downing Street to protest the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunga, my former editor. While these demonstrations are necessary to more..

Rathika Sitsabaiesan to be strong voice for the marginalized in Canada and Sri Lanka

May 21 (TC) Thousands of Canadian Tamils and public officials gathered in front of the Ontario Legislature at Queen’s Park in Toronto to commemorate the second annual International War Crimes Day remembrance ceremony. Two years ago, the 30-year civil war in Sri Lanka came to an end, but the battle within the country between the Singhalese, the Tamils and the international community wages on. The international Tamil community is urging countries more..

University to military

May 21 (LG) Students who wish to enter into national universities have to engaging the new compulsory task of spending 3 weeks in a army camp which is allocated to them by the higher education minister S.B Dissanayeake, has now become a controversial topic which need to be analyzed carefully. The higher education ministry has acquainted the new programme to the public with asserting that the intention of this programme is to develop leadership skills of the student, but more..

War Crimes - Why India backs Sri Lanka’s stand

May 21 (TC) Father Jeghat Gaspar, the founder of Tamil Maiyam addressed a meeting on 17.05.2011 organised by “NAAM” a social movement at Chennai on the occasion of second anniversary of Mullivaikkal massacre in Srilanka. Father Jeghat explained Why the western countries are focussing for an international investigation into war crimes in Srilanka and why India could possibly end up backing the stand of Srilanka in UN HRC. more..

Who will punish the ruling classes of Sri Lanka and bring them to justice?

May 21 (TC) Two years back, on 18 May 2009 the Sri Lankan army claimed to have killed Vellupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of LTTE, along with hundreds of his comrades. The next day in the Sri Lankan parliament a jubilant Rajapakse declared victory in the Eelam War IV. This was the day, two years back, when the Eelam Tamils lost their hard-fought freedom at the hands of the fascist and expansionist Sri Lanka. This week the Tamils in Eelam and outside remember the heroic sacrifice of more..

Vesak decorations illuminate Jaffna

May 21 (Cimic) Troops of Security Forces Jaffna (SF-J) now committed to ensure security, prosperity and wellbeing of people in Jaffna in keeping with precepts of Lord Buddha, joined hands with the world to celebrate the 2600 Sri Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi organizing various religious activities at various places in the peninsula. In addition to Sil-observing campaigns, soldiers of all Divisions, Brigades and Units of SF-J decorated streets and more..

Editorial: Follow the Dutch example

May 21 (Island) If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas. So goes a popular saying. Norway did not heed this adage and chose to sleep with the Tigers. Today, it has become a haven for terrorists and finds itself in diplomatic hot water. Norway stands exposed for having helped a group of twelve persons alleged to be LTTE members out of Sri Lanka as refugees. The Norwegian Embassy in Colombo has sought to deny that those 'refugees' had any links with LTTE. more..

Editorial: Servant leaders and hired servants

May 21 (DM) We have heard of the beautiful imagery of faithful shepherds looking after their flock of sheep in the fields. They are called to pasture them at places where there is food and water. Certain seasons they have to be taken long distances in search of greener pastures, when it becomes scarce in one area. Perennial sources of food, drink and personal attention are called for at all times, being so vulnerable, they need to be protected from predators as well. more..

Protecting ‘rainforests of the sea’

May 21 (NS) As far as scientists, researchers and marine biologists can tell, the earth is the only planet in the solar system that has seas and oceans; that covers 70% of the earth’s surface. What the latter fact tells is that there is a larger marine population and livelihood than human. If you thought that it was far too much for 7 billion people to survive on a mere 30% of the earth’s surface, imagine a population and livelihood that spans more..

Political turbulence in widely differing circumstances

May 21 (SL) While it might seem to require a suspension of disbelief to make the comparison, the turbulence and the changes that have begun, in North Africa and the Middle East bear comparison with those of significance that have taken place, or are likely to, in some of the Western European nations and Canada. But, putting your sanity at risk, perhaps, that’s what I’m asking of you! What is interesting about the North African/Middle East scenario has been the fact that more..

Reconciliation without Truth in Sri Lanka?

May 21 (GV) South Africa had a Truth and Reconciliation commission presided over by Desmond Tutu. Human Rights activists who looked forward to Reconciliation and peace at the end of the civil war in 2009, expected the LLRC (The Lessons learnt and reconciliation commission) to play the same role. But it did not due to various reasons. The main obstacle being that witnesses who came forward to give evidence before the commission were not given protection. more..

Too many antibiotics?

May 21 (NS) Antibiotics may have been unheard of a century ago, but today, they are a way of life for millions of people on an elusive search for miracle cures and quick relief for a variety of illnesses that afflict them. Gone are the days when simple inexpensive and healthy home made brews like kotthamalli (coriander water) ginger tea, a glass of lime juice, and a cup of boiled garlic with pepper corns were considered sufficient to fight a cold, fever, cough, or more..

Buddhism and its impact on governance

May 21 (GV) Wesak is the most revered day in the Buddhist calendar. Unfortunately, in Sri Lanka, the celebration is led by a small group of apparently sanctimonious humbugs followed closely by a larger herd of population of self inflicted ignorance. Their mutual objective being the public display of religious fervor through the performance of religious observations at the obvious expense of the practice of Buddhist precepts. It appears that they are trying to create an image more..

Tiger Pandal pulls sightseers to the Vanni

May 21 (Island) We are living in very interesting days. Trafalgar Square in London is once again the venue of demonstration against Sri Lanka by those calling for an international probe on war crimes. They have chosen the upcoming England – Sri Lanka cricket series to bowl their doosras and whatever else, seeking to ensure that the ConLib Government that is cutting heavily on costs, will be forced to spend a tidy sum on policing the place and to make it safe for those who more..

Foreigners barred from travelling North

May 21 (SL) As we approached the Omanthai checkpoint I knew that this was the last check we would be put through. The last stage of a mammoth eight hour journey from Colombo which began at 9 pm the previous night. The early morning sun was relentless; however the thought of finally arriving in Jaffna was enough to make it bearable. As the bus stopped at the checkpoint and the army officer boarded to check ID cards, perhaps naively, more..

India-Sri Lanka relations: Incremental progress

May 21 (DH) If the expectation in Delhi was that assisting Colombo to win the last phase of the war against the LTTE two years ago would augment India’s wherewithal to push for a just settlement of the Sri Lankan Tamil problem, it was never quite realistic. The leadership of president Mahinda Rajapaksa chose to build on the nationalistic fervour following the defeat of the LTTE to consolidate his political power. Nothing wrong here — Rajapaksa won’t be the last politician, more..

Tamil of Sri Lankan origin appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore

May 21 (TC) Singapore’s Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was appointed as the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore yesterday. His appointment was part of a series of new Cabinet appointments. He retained the Finance portfolio, a post that he has held since 2007. Reflecting the retirement of two former Prime Ministers, Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong, the new line-up features two Deputy Prime Ministers, Teo Chee Hean and Tharman Shanmugaratnam. more..

President opens Museum of World Buddhism

May 21 (DN) The Sri Dalada International Museum of World Buddhism in Kandy was opened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday. The Sri Dalada International Museum of World Buddhism established at the former High Court Complex is adjoining a building of the Sri Dalada Maligawa aiming to showcase the historical value of Buddhism. Visitors can also obtain a vast knowledge about the Buddhist culture of Buddhist countries. more..

Worker No. 689 tells her story

May 21 (UCAN) My name is Geethani Peries from Sri Lanka and I am 28 years old. I come from a Catholic family from a fishing village called “Negombo”. I’m the oldest in the family with 2 younger sisters. My father works as a tinker in the informal sector. My mother is a housewife. My father suffered from health problems when I was 8 years old, which caused my mother a real shock and some psychological problems. We had to struggle a lot to face the situation. more..

Relatives remember war victims

May 21 (UCAN) Christian and Hindu Tamil people have held a day of remembrance for those killed during the civil war and to mark the end of three decades of ethnic strife in Sri Lanka. Relatives of those who died are went missing attended special Masses and prayer services in churches including St Mary’s Cathedral in Jaffna, St Anthony’s Church in Vavuniya and St Theresa’s Church in Kilinochchi. These three towns were hit hard by the country’s 26-year civil war which more..

At UN on Sri Lanka, Ban's inaction on report contrasted with Rwanda mapping

May 21 (ICP) When the UN Panel of Experts recommended to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that he establish an investigative mechanism for war crimes in Sri Lanka, Ban responded that he'd only do so upon a vote of one of the UN's three “inter-governmental bodies.” Ban's claimed powerlessness, however, was called into question this week on the margin of the Human Rights Council vote in the General Assembly. It was pointed out that when for example the more..

'Spice industry should reinvest profits'

May 21 (DM) The government which annually spends Rs 40 billion for fertilizer subsidy has extended the subsidy to all crops. The subsidy was previously limited to a few selected crops including rice. Members of Advisory Committee on Spice, who met Minister Rishad Bathiudeen on May 11, expressed their gratitude for the above move. According to the proposals, price of cinnamon fertiliser to be reduced by 54% in the due course, from its Rs 2950.00 per kilo to more..

Railway strike called off following talks

May 21 (DM) The strike by railway assistant engine drivers to protest against the assault on an assistant driver was called off yesterday, the president of the Railway Locomotive Assistants Union Upali Perera said. He said the decision to call off the strike was made following a favourable assurance they received at a discussion they held with Transport Ministry Secretary Dammika Perera and Railways General Manager B.A.B. Ariyarathna. Both parties had agreed to first report for work and more..