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D.S. Senanayake College -unity in diversity

Apr 2 (TW) The school playground is not only where you got your first knee scratch, it’s also where you first learnt to interact with other children. Your school informed your adult life, your career and your character. Your teachers were those beacons of light that showed you the way forward. more..

Mahinda frees himself from JVP and JHU bonds

Apr 2 (TW) The confident comrades of the JVP who expected to come out with a magnificent performance in the March 30 elections at the local government polls would by now be licking their wounds in some party hideout. The results of the polls will no doubt be interpreted in various ways by political analysts, according to their prejudices and loyalties. more..

TNA gets important councils in EP

Apr 2 (TW) At Thursday's local council elections, The Tamil National Alliance officially registered as the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchchi won control of one Urban Council and five Pradeshiya Sabhas of the two districts of Digamadulla and Trincomalee in the eastern province. more..

Electoral Exposes

Apr 2 (AT) Elections expose. When free and fair, they take the sheen away and reveal the true state of political parties. This is what happened in Sri Lanka on Friday. The results of the Local Government election revealed that Sri Lanka is still a two and a quarter party system. The absolute majority of the voters still back the two main parties, with the JVP as a not very impressive third. more..

Fighting against health

Apr 2 (AT) The theme decided for the World Health Day falling on April 7, 2006, is "Working together for Health". It is a good theme, like all the themes initiated by the WHO. The WHO had very ambitious plans for Health For All by year 2000 with the slogan HFA/2000. Probably one reason why we have not been able to achieve HFA/2000 could be because all efforts were concentrated on modern Healthcare systems and allopathic medicine. more..

NERD produces building block without river or sea sand

Apr 2 (AT) In Sri Lanka the use of river and sea sand for building construction work has created numerous environmental problems which ultimately led to ban on sand mining in rivers and the miners and transporters caught in the mining and transporting have been fined. more..

Where is that great epic in English from Sri Lankan writers?

Apr 2 (AT) Reading Prof. D. C. R. A. Goonetilleke's survey of English literature from 1917 to 2003 brings home the fact that those Sri Lankans writing in English have failed to produce any monumental work which can claim to be truly representative of the indigenous culture or its realities. more..

Hela Urumaya to be disbanded?

Apr 2 (LeN) The Jathika Hela Urumaya, whose fortunes hit rock bottom at Thursday's local polls is set to take a serious political decision. The party could not even muster 1% of votes and is reported to be considering joining forces with a major political party instead of continuing with its isolated political journey. more..

Maharuf's version of 500,000 rupee bribe

Apr 2 (LeN) Colombo District UNP parliamentarian Mohammed Maharuf has rejected claims by former Municipal Councilor T.M.Sanghadasa that he inserted a cheque to the value of 500,000 rupees to his letter box as a bribe to silence him. The alleged cheque dated 24th March 2006 drawn for 500,000 rupees by Maharuf was issued from account no. 7530100364 of National Mercantile bank. more..

UNP to file another petition on Colombo nominations

Apr 2 (LeN) The United National Party is to file another petition in the Supreme Court seeking an order to restrain the Elections Commissioner from rejecting the party nominations for the Colombo Municipal Council. The petition is expected to be filed on Tuesday (4) and likely to be taken up for hearing on the same day itself. more..

500,000 rupees kickback from Maharuf to settle CMC issue

Apr 2 (LeN) Colombo District UNP parliamentarian Mohamed Maharuf who is the main culprit in the controversy surrounding the rejection of UNP nominations for the Colombo Municipal Council is engaged in an attempt to settle the issue by offering a 500,00 bribe. more..

Mahinda sacked from UNP board

Apr 2 (BBC) The main opposition in Sri Lanka, United National Party (UNP), has stripped former minister Mahinda Wijesekara from party responsibilities. The controversial politician is to face disciplinary action for criticising the party leader, Ranil Wickramasinghe. more..

Skyscraper sabotage ends

Apr 2 (WS) The Planning Committee of the Urban Development Authority (UDA) has finally given the green light to a Korean company to begin work in what is said to be the tallest building in Sri Lanka, Authority Chairman D.S. Jayaweera told the Weekend Standard. more..

Protest against new degree course

Apr 2 (WS) A protest campaign has been launched against the creation of a Degree course in Allied Health Sciences at the Medical Faculty of the University of Peradeniya. The World Health Organisation is expected to hand over a grant of Rs.240 Million for its establishment, the Weekend Standard learns. more..

Toy plane, not UAV

Apr 2 (WS) The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) denied report that one of its Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) had crashed in Vavuniya, saying that what had come down was a toy aeroplane. “It is not a UAV. It is not an operational aircraft,” an SLAF spokesman said. “It is a commercially available model aircraft – a toy aeroplane – that they (SLAF) were trying to operate.” more..

IGP's fine overshadows all other events

Apr 2 (WS) We saw the passage of another week full of election fever, though it was at a very low key at the beginning, things got heated up at the end with aggravated clashes, proving the true nature of politics here. The SLFP entered the political platform this time in a confused state of mind as its two close allies the JVP and the JHU had decided to go their own way. more..

Illicit alcohol consumption 600 mln litres

Apr 2 (WS) Illicit alcohol consumption in Sri Lanka totals around 600 million litres a year and dominates the market, a stock broker has said. In the liquor industry, the illicit sector and the illegal trade consisting of smuggled items not paying the excise duty, control a massive 60% of the market, while the legal trade accounts for the balance 40%, more..

Is Ayurveda going global?

Apr 2 (WS) Globalisation is a word that is not often in my vocabulary. The direction from which this new phenomenon is travelling is traditionally known as the land of the setting sun, in other words the land of darkness. Whatever has stood in its way like civilisations and cultures, big and small, has been overcome with darkness. more..

Restrict Tiger travels after April talks, Govt. tells Swiss

Apr 2 (PIS) The Government has requested Switzerland to restrict LTTE travel within that country at the conclusion of next month's talks, officials said. The issue was raised during a meeting on Wednesday between the Government's chief negotiator Nimal Siripala de Silva and Swiss ambassador in Colombo Bernadino Regazzoni, officials involved in the peace process said on condition of anonymity. more..

Govt., SLMM clash over Karuna group

Apr 2 (LNP) The government and Scandinavian cease-fire monitors have fired out letters to each other over the existence of armed groups operating in state-controlled areas with both parties trading charges just weeks ahead of the next round of peace talks. more..

Thilanga to follow course on government at Harvard

Apr 2 (LNP) Former Cricket Board Chief and UNP`s Anuradhapura District organiser Thilanga Sumathipala left for the United States on Friday to join the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Boston, USA. Mr. Sumathipala will follow a programme on 'Driving Government Performance' leadership strategies that produce results. more..

Elephant with specs in Colombo

Apr 2 (LNP) After being battered at last Thursday`s local council elections, the UNP is going all out to gain control of the prestigious Colombo Municipal Council despite losing the court battles. The party`s Assistant General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said the UNP would continue its battle in the Supreme Court, more..

Heightened peace activity amidst LTTE demands

Apr 2 (LNP) The LTTE is seeking security guarantees including safe conduct both from the Government of Sri Lanka and Norway for its delegation to attend the second round of talks on the ceasefire in Geneva. The three day talks are due to begin on April 18. Norway`s International Development Minister Erik Solheim who arrives in Colombo on Thursday is to raise this matter with Government leaders. more..

Govt pushing urgent electoral reforms

Apr 2 (SAMN) The government is pushing ahead with electoral reforms with a motion to revive the Dinesh Gunewardena Parliamentary Selected Committee on Electoral Reforms and Franchise to be presented in parliament on Tuesday, leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva said Saturday. more..

Polls result mandate for peace -CBK

Apr 2 (SAMN) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has seen the UPFA’s local government election victory as a mandate for peace, the SLFP’s Executive Director, Dr. Cecil Bandara Seneviratne said Saturday. Kumaratunga who had telephoned from London had told Seneviratne that she would release a statement on Sunday on how she sees the emerging political scene. more..

Tea industry beginning to feel the heat

Apr 2 (SAMN) The pressure is on the tea industry to quickly improve the quality of its produces up to global standards, where there are potential difficulties due to different countries and regions demanding differing control standards. The two main markets where improved standards are demanded are the European Union (EU) and Japan. more..

Govt eyes on maintaining fertiliser subsidy

Apr 2 (SO) The planned reduction on chemical fertilizer imports through the adoption of increased organic manure usage will help maintain a significant portion of the government's rupees 6.2 billion per annum fertiliser subsidy. Accordingly, mixed fertiliser comprising both organic and inorganic manure will be used in paddy cultivation following an agriculture ministerial directive. more..

Sri Lanka plans for Muslim regiment cause worry

Apr 2 (IANS) Sri Lanka's plan to recruit Muslims into a special regiment in its overwhelmingly Sinhalese army has earned bouquets and brickbats, with critics warning that it can further fuel ethnic tensions. Colombo reportedly plans to take 500 to 800 Muslims into the 100,000-strong army so as to inject more security in Muslim majority areas of Sri Lanka's east that is often seen as a communal tinderbox. more..

Jayasuriya to quit all cricket after 2007 World Cup

Apr 2 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's most successful batsman Sanath Jayasuriya has confirmed he will retire from all forms of cricket after the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.vOn Thursday, the 36-year-old left-hander decided to retire from the test side after the completion of the series with Pakistan, which concludes with a second test in Kandy starting on Monday. more..

Norway peace envoy to discuss Sri Lanka with India

Apr 2 (IANS) Norway's new peace envoy to Sri Lanka will be here this week to discuss with Indian leaders the situation in the island in the run up to the next round of peace talks in Geneva on April 19-21. Jon Hanssen-Bauer will arrive in New Delhi on April 6, two days after he turns 54, for his first trip to India after taking charge of the new responsibility on March 17, more..

Five migratory birds found dead in Sri Lanka not infected with bird flu

Apr 2 (AP) Five migratory birds found dead in northern Sri Lanka were not infected with bird flu, health officials said Sunday. The birds were found dead on Wednesday in the eastern town of Mannar, 220 kilometers north of the capital, Colombo. "After intensified testing, it is now confirmed that these birds were not infected with viruses connected to bird flu," more..

Colombo Seeks Saudi Experts for Oil Exploration in Mannar

Apr 2 (AN) A Sri Lanka ministerial delegation said Friday that its meetings with local ministers and officials had been “fruitful.” “Our suggestion for training our workers in oil exploration skills in Saudi Arabia was warmly welcomed by Minister for Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi,” more..

Sri Lanka, Pakistan agree to intensify trade, defence, economic links

Apr 2 (AFP) Pakistan and Sri Lanka have agreed to intensify cooperation in defence, science and technology and trade after talks between their leaders, officials said. President Mahinda Rajapakse, who arrived here Friday on a three-day visit, held talks with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on a wide range of issues, more..

Snap poll possible as ruling party sweeps local elections

Apr 2 (AFP) Sri Lanka's ruling party may call snap elections after its success in local polls gave it a chance to break away from hardline allies opposed to a peace process with Tamil rebels, analysts say. President Mahinda Rajapakse could call parliamentary polls four years ahead of schedule if his two key nationalist allies try to block efforts for a political settlement to the festering ethnic conflict, they say. more..

AI appeal on death row Lankans

Apr 3 (BBC) The London based human rights watchdog, Amnesty International (AI) has expressed concern that three Sri Lankans are facing imminent death in Saudi Arabia. In a worldwide appeal, the AI said the Sri Lankans could be executed anytime in Riyadh prison as their death sentences were confirmed in March 2005. more..

Govt. urged to sack the JVP

Apr 3 (BBC) A dissident group from Sri Lanka’s main opposition United National Party (UNP) might cross over provided the government change its policies, a leading UNP parliamentarian said. Former Fisheries minister Mahinda Wijesekara said the UNP has lost many elections due to inefficient leadership of Ranil Wickramasinghe. more..

Getting to know the Sri LankanTamils

Apr 3 (TW) An island with only 270 miles land stretch between its Northern and the Southern borders and 140 miles stretch between its Eastern and the western points has had to engage itself for over 30 years in an intensively fought war between the Sinhalese and the Tamils, with the Muslims getting badly affected too. more..

“If parties don’t cooperate mission is void” - outgoing SLMM Chief

Apr 3 (TW) “We believe that the ceasefire is based on an agreement between the two parties and also that they have committed themselves to cooperate and comply with the determinations of the SLMM. That is the whole thing about it and if the parties do not want to cooperate this mission is in void,” says the out going Head of the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission, more..

Fisheries: A NorthEast industry in turmoil

Apr 3 (TN) Fishing ban along a significant portion of 349 km long Northern district coasts, displacement of fisher families, harassment of fishermen by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) along shores and by Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) in shallow and deep sea have plunged the fishing industry in NorthEast in turmoil. more..

Doubts persist on links between Indian Naxalites and LTTE

Apr 3 (AT) As the Naxalites have carved out a red corridor from India- Nepal border to Tamil Nadu, periodically questions are raised as to whether the Indian Naxalites have links with the Nepali Maoists and the LTTE. Also, questions about from where the Naxalites were getting their sophisticated weapons too are raised frequently. more..

President visits historic city of Lahore

Apr 3 (AT) A civic reception was given hosted in honour of the visiting Sri Lankan President Mohinda Rajapakse in the historic Pakistani Eastern city of Lahore on Sunday. A warm welcome was accorded to the distinguished guest on arrival at the Chief Minister's Home. more..

New Norway's peace envoy begins today familiarization visit to Colombo

Apr 3 (AT) Norway's new peace envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer will be in Colombo today on a four day official visit. He is expected to meet with the representatives of the Government of Sri Lanka including the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, and with the LTTE. more..

Sinhala chauvinism perched comfortably on the Tiger back

Apr 3 (ISL) An anlaysis of the political realities of Sri Lanka of the last three decades will only conclude that the LTTE is the very force that will destroy the future of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Sinhala chauvinism is now comfortably perched on the back of the Tamil Tigers who have gone starkers with greed and power. more..

LTTE facing serious difficulties in making bad money good in Paris and Toronto

Apr 3 (ISL) News reaching from France confirms that the LTTE office in Paris is struggling to transact large sums of money collected from the Tamil people. Sacs and sacs full of money are being hoarded in secret places until they establish reliable sources to transmit them for the use of LTTE activities. more..

"No Muslim Unit required in Sri Lanka Army”

Apr 3 (TN) Saying that "no Nation’s Army in the world, defending its territorial integrity, has a particular regiment for a specific community or race," All Ceylon Moors Association, in a letter addressed to President Mahinda Rajapakse said members of our "community are disinclined for the Sri Lanka Army to recruit Muslims youths to protect the Muslim community." more..

The way forward for public sector workers

Apr 3 (wsws) Hundreds of thousands of public sector workers are taking part today in industrial action for a 65 percent wage increase to enable them and their families to cope with rising prices. Many more workers, as well as the urban and rural poor, are looking at this struggle and considering what they can do to reverse the steady deterioration of living standards. more..

Pelwatte Sugar applies to build Sri Lanka's largest dendro-power plant

Apr 3 (LBO) Pelwatte Sugar has applied to the Ceylon Electricity Board to build a 25MegaWatt power plant fired by sugar cane waste, making it the largest dendro power plant proposed in Sri Lanka up to now. The company submitted the application after a recent cabinet decision raised the limit for buying power from dendro plants to 50 MW from the previous limit of 10 Megawatts, more..

Sri Lanka's new computer sales to grow 11% by 2011

Apr 3 (LBO) Computer sales in Sri Lanka are forecasted to grow 11 percent by 2011, largely driven by demand from public sector, telecom and financial sectors, an IT study released Monday said. In 2005, sales of new computers rose 11 percent to 102,208 in Sri Lanka, more..

Acceleration of development, Government's priority - Maitripala

Apr 3 (GN) General Secretary of the SLFP Minister Maitripala Sirisena told the media yesterday that the Government's priority at this point is the acceleration of development by working together with all segments of society. Many political parties including the JVP, JHU and members of the UNP have expressed willingness to support the Government in this effort," he said. more..

Sri Lanka has over 100,000 sex workers

Apr 3 (LeN) Between 250,000 and 500,000 child labourers in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka has over 100,000 sex workers. Sri Lanka has over 100,000 sex workers as reported by Jamila Najmuddin There are half a million child labourers and over 100,000 commercial sex workers in the island, a report handed over to President Mahinda Rajapakse last week revealed. more..