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Nov 24 (AT) November is the month of two anniversaries: Mahinda Rajapakse’s ascendancy to the Presidency and the LTTE’s Mahaveer Day. Vellupillai Pirapaharan is a role player. For a man who heads a killing machine of an organisation and whose idea of an ideal state is a secular theocracy with himself as the God-leader, Mr. Pirapaharan has been extremely successful in posing as a necessary part of the solution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem. more..

Kandy rugby star in critical state

Nov 24 (LNP) Crack Sri Lanka rugby flanker Imran Bisthamin is lying in a critical condition at a hospital in Kandy after a major fall from a building on Saturday night. A family spokesman said Bisthamin was fighting for his life in the intensive care unit of the Kandy general hospital after he fell onto a concrete slab striking his head and spine on impact. His condition is still not out of danger, the family spokesman said. more..

Docs want Rs.10mn life insurance

Nov 24 (SAMN) The GMOA Sunday placed three pre-conditions before the government, to be implemented within a week, if they are to return to hospitals in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The three conditions include maximum security, official quarters and a life insurance worth of Rs. 10 million. Sinhala doctors in the North and East, boycotted duties and returned to Colombo last week citing security fears following the murder of a doctor in Batticaloa. more..

82% not qualified to teach Buddhism

Nov 24 (SAMN) A recent study has revealed that a staggering 82% of teachers recruited by successive governments to teach Buddhism for six Grades, including Ordinary Level weren’t qualified. The Education Ministry has called for the inquiry against the backdrop of allegations that hundreds of unqualified teachers had secured teaching appointments with political patronage. 8,455 of those teaching Grade 6 to Grade 11 students, 6,955 weren’t qualified and shouldn’t have been recruited. more..

Unemployment could rise next year

Nov 24 (SAMN) While 2009 could create more unemployment as domestic consumption is stunted, in the long term, parliament could lose control over the budget process because all that the government collects in revenue and loans will have to be paid back to service accumulated debt, an economist warns. "There are some items of expenditure, amounting to Rs. 739 billion, laid down under special laws and these have to be met before Parliament has room to decide on the allocation of expenditure for 2009. more..

Sri Lanka’s largest nursing training school in Ampara

Nov 24 (LP) The Nursing Training School built in Ampara by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was handed over to the government recently. Minister of Plan Implementation P. Dayarathne was the chief guest. The constructions cost Rs. 300 million. The project was funded by Norwegian and Danish Red Cross Societies. The three story building complex is the largest training center in Sri Lanka. more..

Vamadeva’s Political Column

Nov 24 (LP) Last week was very active and busy week for all the Political parties since the capturing of Poonaryn, main opposition’s mission of defeating the the budget. Also the overseas tour of Ranil and Mangala and more the President’s birthaday and the 3rd anniversary of the office of the president kept everyone busy. Mangala, the main person who tried to defeat the budget was suddenly gone abroad without informing anybody. more..

‘Justice requires flexibility of mind and intellectual honesty’

Nov 24 (DN) The Bench and the Bar welcomed new Supreme Court Judge Justice Chandra Ekanayake at a ceremonial sitting held at the Superior Court Complex recently. Associated on the Bench with Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva PC, were Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, Justice Asoka de Silva, Justice Nimal Gamini Amaratunga, Justice Shiranee Tillakawardena, Justice Andrew M. Somawansa, Justice Saleem Marsoof PC, Justice Jagath Balapatabendi, more..

Wijeweera - Did he find the enemy ?

Nov 24 (DN) It is now nearly 20 years since Patabendige Don Nandasiri Wijeweera better known by his nom-de-guerre Rohana Wijeweera, met with a violent death while in captivity. The official version of the killing had it that soon after he was captured Wijeweera led a security team to a JVP hideout where a shoot-out occurred catching him in the crossfire. In the context of that dark era the credibility of a story explaining the death of a captive was hardly relevant. more..

Time running out for LTTE runways

Nov 24 (Island) With the army steadily advancing on the remaining LTTE strongholds east of A9 and north of the Mankulam-Mullaitivu road, three runways located in this area will never be able to be used at least once, to bring in an arms load. The runways will come within artillery and mortar range as the area under LTTE controls shrinks. But the SLAF is not taking any chances. "We are mindful of the possibility," SLAF Chief Air Marshal Roshan Goonetileke told The Island. more..

Dr. Pathmalal’s killing: Health Ministry barking up the wrong tree

Nov 24 (Island) The cold blooded shooting of Dr. Palitha Padmakumara in the Eastern Province has sent shock waves throughout the country. The fact that he was a health care provider is all the more tragic as healthcare, especially in the periphery, is one of the few public utility services that bring the service providers in close contact with the public. For the same reason health care workers, regardless of their ethnicity etc, find themselves readily acceptable to the community they serve. more..

Reconstitute CC before election: UNP

Nov 24 (SAMN) The main opposition UNP Sunday urged the government to reconstitute the Constitutional Council so that the independent commissions could be established before declaring a snap general election as speculated. The UNP stressed the need to do so as a measure to prevent the government from committing electoral frauds and malpractice during election period. more..

How did one man almost dupe the sri lanka it community?

Nov 24 (DM) Sri Lankan internet users were thrilled when an individual announced the launch of xAurora, a web browser was made with Sri Lankan technology by a Sri Lankan. The website of the browser describes it as “the World’s most safest / fastest web browser”. The site goes on to say that development work started on the browser in 2001, and that it can compete with the world’s giants in web browsing, more..

Doctors in east continue to boycott duties

Nov 24 (LD) Doctors in the Eastern Province are staying away from their duties today (Nov. 24th) as well after the Health Ministry failed to come up with a solution to ensure their security, the Government Medical Officers Association says. Over 100 Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim doctors in East are on a boycott of hospitals since Nov. 18th citing security concerns after the killing of a Sinhala doctor in Batticaloa. more..

Sri Lanka injects term money at lower rates; CB bill stock Rs109bn

Nov 24 (LBO) Central bank has printed and injected money up to nine months at rates lower than its penal discount window to sterilize interventions in the forex market, the latest data showed. The rupee traded at 110 rupees to the greenback amid interventions and overnight money rates were around 19.0 percent. The Central Bank's Treasury bill stock acquired with printed money rose to 109.9 billion rupees on Friday from around 100 billion rupees earlier in the week, indicating a continuing drain of foreign reserves. more..

Lanka says 147 killed as battle rages for key LTTE-held town

Nov 24 (IANS) At least 120 Tamil Tiger rebels and 27 government soldiers were killed and several more wounded on both sides as a fierce battle continued to rage on the outskirts of a key rebel-held town in the north of the country. Troops were 'steadily advancing' from three directions towards the rebels' 'political capital' Kilinochchi, located about 350 kilometres north of here, since the past few days and have 'laid siege to the symbolic LTTE stronghold' despite heavy resistance, more..

Karunanidhi calls all party meet on Sri Lanka situation

Nov 24 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Monday called for a meeting of all state party leaders Tuesday to discuss 'the worsening situation of minority Tamils in Sri Lanka'. 'Two members from each party that is represented in the assembly, including the leader and the head of its legislature, have been requested to attend. The meeting has been called following personal discussions with PMK leader S. Ramadoss,' Karunanidhi told reporters here. more..

JVP sacks 11 Parliamentarians from party & requests UPFA to remove them as well

Nov 24 (LT) The JVP has announced that it has sacked 10 of its members, who contested the general election in 2004 under the UPFA and were elected to Parliament and another, who was appointed to Parliament through the national list, for violating party discipline. The General Secretary of the JVP has sent a letter dated 14th of this month to the Secretary General of the UPFA requesting him to remove the relevant Parliamentarians from the UPFA. more..

Oil futures gamble burns 300 million dollar hole

Nov 24 (IPS) The Sri Lankan government is grappling with a costly 300 million dollar payout to Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), following a disastrous oil futures contract between the banks and the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). Sri Lanka's foreign reserves -- worth around 2.7 billion dollars or the equivalent of more than two months worth of imports -- is already under pressure from the global economic crisis. more..

Scores die as Sri Lanka army march on rebel HQ pushes on

Nov 24 (Reuters) The battle for the Sri Lankan rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi raged on Monday under torrential monsoon rains, with both sides saying they had killed scores of their enemy in three days of fighting. The military, emboldened by the capture two weeks ago of the entire western coast for the first time since 1993, is fighting its way toward the LTTE's self-declared capital of Kilinochchi on three fronts. more..

JHU agrees to a cease fire on Indian guarantee

Nov 25 (LD) The JHU says if India could guarantee a ceasefire with LTTE the government could consider the issue. JHU propaganda secretary Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe stressed this point when asked for a comment on media reports that the government has agreed for a truce with the LTTE. "The central Indian government is under intense pressure today over the war in northern Sri Lanka. India will have a general election early next year. To gain political mileage, various parties have included Sri Lanka in their agendas," more..

Chandrasekaran warns govt. over budget

Nov 25 (LD) The Upcountry People's Front will oppose Budget 2009 if the government has no concessions to offer for the estate community, its leader and Minister P. Chandrasekaran has written to the President. The UPF leader, in his letter to Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, has alleged the poor people of plantation areas have been completely disregarded in the budget proposals. The high cost of commodities, including kerosene oil, has adversely affected these people, Mr. Chandrasekaran has said. more..

Safety fears hit eastern doctors

Nov 25 (BBC) The GMOA says that doctors in the north and the east will resume work only if the security situation improved. The doctors went in to protest action by stopping working in the north and the east hospitals after the gunning down of a colleague, Dr. Palitha Padmakumara in Batticaloa on the night of 17 November. The spokesman for the GMOA, Dr. Upul Gunasekara told BBC Sandeshaya that they had handed over a letter describing their fears with demands aimed at redress to the health ministry. more..

Weaker rupee to give impetus to garment exports

Nov 25 (F2F) The current Rupee depreciation may not be appreciated by Indian economists, but it has definitely proved encouraging for Sri Lankan garment exporters. Experts are of the opinion, that local garment factories should grab the opportunity and use Indian fabrics to manufacture apparel for export and take maximum benefit from the Indian rupee depreciation. “The Indian rupee has depreciated by nearly 20 percent, but the Sri Lankan rupee is still very strong. So more..

Sri Lanka hold nerve in rare thriller

Nov 25 (CI) A match reduced to 28 overs produced the series' most compelling game in Harare, and the first performance by Zimbabwe to cause Sri Lanka a headache. Hamilton Masakadza's pleasantly carefree strokeplay took Zimbabwe to within touching distance of their target. But in spite of Stuart Matsikenyeri pummelling 19 from 10 deliveries, late wickets cost Zimbabwe the match and, consquently, the series. more..

Sri Lanka government, rebels claim battle success

Nov 25 (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers continued their push toward the Tamil Tiger rebels' de facto capital in the north, but faced stiff rebel resistance that left dozens dead on both sides, the military said Monday. Government troops destroyed rebel defenses and breached huge earth barriers Sunday as they moved toward the rebel headquarters in Kilinochchi. Tamil rebels counterattacked at several points, sparking fierce battles that killed 120 guerrillas and 27 soldiers, it said. more..

Indian aid 'still in storage'

Nov 25 (BBC) The International committee of Red Cross (ICRC) says that the humanitarian aid consignment donated by the Indian government is yet to be delivered to the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the Wanni region. ICRC spokesperson in Colombo, Alexandra Matijevic, told BBC Sandeshaya that the consignment reached Sri Lanka on 15 November and the ICRC took charge of the consignment five days later. more..

High death toll in Kilinochchi battle

Nov 25 (Hindu) Many soldiers and LTTE cadre were killed on Monday as the Sri Lankan military tried to gain control over Kilinochchi. The Army and the LTTE gave conflicting casualty figures. There are no independent observers to verify their claims. While the military claimed 104 LTTE cadre and 27 soldiers were killed, the Tigers said 43 soldiers were killed and 70 of its cadre were injured. more..

'Karunanidhi should resign over Tamil issue'

Nov 25 (IANS) AIADMK chief J. Jayalalitha Monday said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi should resign if he is serious about alleviating the sufferings of the Sri Lankan Tamils. "...he (Karunanidhi) should resign from chief ministership in Tamil Nadu as a matter of protest against what he calls the centre's inaction and seek a fresh mandate," she said here Monday. more..

Sri Lankan Airlines resumes flights to Rome

Nov 25 (LBO) Sri Lankan Airlines said it will resume flights to Rome from December 3, its first new destination since the management of the national carrier returned to the government in April. The airline said in a statement the new 10-hour flight would help Sri Lanka attract more Italian visitors to the island whose tourist industry has suffered because of the violence and uncertainty generated by the ethnic war. more..

Human rights situation deteriorating in the East

Nov 25 (HRW) The Sri Lankan government should take immediate steps to address the deteriorating human rights situation in the country’s Eastern Province, where there has been an increase in killings and abductions in recent weeks, Human Rights Watch said today. Many abuses in the Eastern Province appear to have been carried out by armed elements of the TMVP. The TMVP was originally the political wing of the armed faction earlier known as the Karuna group. more..

Sri Lankan delegation explores opportunities

Nov 25 (JT) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce wants to expand business ties with Jordan and other Arab countries, according to the Sri Lankan ambassador to the Kingdom. Ambassador Andrayas Mohottala told The Jordan Times on Monday that a Sri Lankan delegation, which is due today to conclude a two-day business promotion mission to the Kingdom, met Jordanian traders this week in order to increase commercial exchange between the two countries. more..

NHRC honours Lankan group

Nov 25 (GT) In recognition of its service to needy and deserving members of the community, Sri Lankan Coordinating Committee (SLCC) was recently honoured by the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) at a function held at La Cigale Hotel. The meeting was held to mark National Human Rights Day, which is observed on November 11. Sri Lankan Ambassador Vijayasiri Padukkage congratulated the SLCC and community on being awarded by the NHRC. more..

India satisfied with Sri Lanka’s handling of fishermen issue

Nov 25 (Hindu) Although satisfied with the Sri Lankan Navy’s restraint in dealing with Indian fishermen straying in the zone of conflict with the LTTE, New Delhi feels that Colombo has a difficult road ahead as it tries to militarily end the ethnic conflict in the eastern and northern parts of Sri Lanka. After last month’s joint statement on the fishermen issue with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s special adviser Basil Rajapaksa, more..

From Melamine twists to Diyawanna twists

Nov 25 (SLW) That's what happened to the smart one in the police department who enjoyed his role as its spokesperson. SSP Ranjith Gunasekera was debarred by the District Court, Colombo last Friday from making any statement on the MTV channels in an enjoining order. The MTV claimed Rs. 100 million from this police spokesperson, SSP Gunasekera for taking his role too far by sending out notices to all police stations on police department letterheads, purported to be defamatory on MTV. more..

Demo-crazy suspected and glitter gals lose the show

Nov 25 (SLW) All in Colombo were tuning into unconfirmed stories till late evening that the LTTE had added two more to its tally of TMVP cadres killed and this time, in Colombo itself. Next morning, on Saturday, Pilleyan in Batticoloa, surprised every one by ruling out the LTTE. "No, not LTTE" he said and stopped short of naming a suspect, saying, "this way, democracy will be badly suspected". more..

Sri Lanka Cricket hunts for new sponsors

Nov 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka Cricket has sought new commercial deals to sponsor the national team during their local and foreign tours, which include a visit to India. The island's richest sporting body said it is selling the rights to clothing and team sponsorships from February 2009 to January 2012, which includes the International Cricket Council World Cup in 2011. Dilmah Tea currently has the rights to sponsor the national team till December 2008. more..

BBC drama on Richard de Zoysa

Nov 25 (BBC) A radio play based on the life and death of murdered journalist Richrd Zoysa will be on BBC Radio4. The drama was recorded entirely on location in Sri Lanka. Richard was killed in 1990 believed to be by a death squad. In the early hours of February 18th 1990 a Sri Lankan government death squad abducted journalist and television newsreader Richard de Zoysa from his home in Colombo. more..

Tamils still want safety, security and a future in this country

Nov 25 (TC) Excerpts from the speech delivered by R. Sampanthan, MP, Trincomalee District and Parliamentary Group Leader, TNA, during the recent Budget Debate: The Tamil people have since 1956, through their democratic verdicts overwhelmingly supported the right to internal self-determination in the areas of their historical habitation. Initially, even several Muslim leaders were elected from the Eastern Province on the Federal Party ticket. more..

'Term test exam time table fractures students' mentality'

Nov 25 (LT) The time table prepared by the Ministry of Education for the final term test for 2008 not only causes heavy mental strain on the student community but also demolishes their educational disposition says General Secretary of Sri Lanka Teacher Services Union (SLTSU) Mahinda Jayasinghe. Issuing a statement SLTSU states having three subjects on six hours daily throughout the week including Saturday is responsible for this predicament. more..

Gramasevake Niladaris Appointed

Nov 25 (MG) 73 personnel, who passed the examination conducted by the ministry of Internal affairs to fill the vacancies for the post of Grama Sevaka Niladaris, have been appointed as Grama Sevaka Niladaris. These appointments were made in the DS divisions of Uhana, Addalaichchenai, Sammanthurai, Irakkamam, Kamunai Muslim Division, Navithanveli, Lahugala, Nintavur, Ampara, Damana, Mahaoya, Pottuvil, Thirukkovil, Alayadivembu and more..

Northern Muslim’s problem A political question. Not an IDP issue

Nov 25 (MG) Northern Muslims driven out 18 years ago by the LTTE within two hours, urged the government to treat their problem as a political question and not as an Internally Displaced People’s issue. These Muslims fear that, if the current government policy is to continue, it is matter of time before they would be dumped in the refugee camps forever to depend on the meager ration and nothing to look forward to. more..

International day for elimination of violence against women today

Nov 25 (MG) The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women falls today. Sri Lanka has made progress on various fronts particularly in the legal domain, in an attempt to end violence against women. For example the adoption of the Women’s Charter, the amendments to the Penal Code in 1995, Domestic Violence Act in 2005. The Gender Based Violence Forum (GBV Forum) says the most prevalent types of violence against women in Sri Lanka are more..

'Nine percent of Lankan population over sixty'

Nov 25 (MG) Sri Lanka’s population is ageing rapidly, People over 60 years of age comprise 9 per cent of the population and this figure will reach 25 per cent (5.4 million) by 2041. Persons who are above the age of 75 are projected to increase from 400,000 in 2001 to 1.7 million in 2041. A universal pension (a pension for all Sri Lankans) is both affordable and feasible in Sri Lanka with no need for targeting. more..

Right to Reply: Cursing the Critic

Nov 25 (LG) Here, I'm present brief comments on three articles: Jayadevan has no Moral Right to Challenge Minister Devananda by S. T. A. Pillai; Do not abuse the Country's sovereignty by Radhika Murugesar; and The National Flag Makes a Statement- Let it be Made by Thomas Johnpulle. Mr Pillai recalls his experience of interacting with EPDP group leader Mr Douglas Devananda in a bid to justify the latter's existence in Sri Lankan politics. more..

Douglas Devananda Vs. Rajasingham Jayadevan

Nov 25 (LG) I refer to the article written by Mr.Rajasingham Jayadevan on November 24, 2008 which refers to the two articles under the captions of ‘Jayadevan has no Moral Right to Challenge Minister Devananda’ and ‘Do not abuse the Country’s sovereignty’ published in the Sri Lanka Guardian written under two questionable names. Indeed, I do not contest the inference of Mr.Rajasingham Jayadevan in regard to the questionable names. more..

A Key Factor for the LTTE Counter Offensive

Nov 25 (LG) Today the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict has reached a significant turning point, this is due to the biggest ever offensive operation launched by the Sri Lankan armed forces called as "Wanni Operation", this operation has not yet come to an end but dragging on for more than 21 months though it was planned for 9 - 12 months. Before this millennium, the 18 months long “Jayasikuru" operation was the mother of all battles that flared up on eelam wars. more..

Youths can actively contribute to the victory of the nation – Army Chief

Nov 25 (GDI) While emphasizing that terrorists should be militarily defeated prior to pursuing a political solution, Army chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka requested the patriotic youth of Sri Lanka to join the Security Forces at this decisive juncture in the war against terrorism. He noted that terrorists are now confined only to severely contracted piece of territory in the districts of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu, their fall is imminent. more..

‘The Mud Walls of Kilinochchi’

Nov 25 (LG) Many a time, pictures and photos tell us the real situation than words. That is why the present political situation especially the ‘victory of war in Kilinochchi’, the picture of ‘A Sri Lankan soldier patrols as a ‘Peace’ Train carrying essential commodities to the war effected people in north of the island prepares to leave a railway station in Colombo, a group of tiger girls getting into a vegan with the title ‘falling tigers’ more..

Mano Ganesan criticizes Sri Lankan Consulate in Toronto for fabricating stories on his visit

Nov 25 (LG) The Leader of Democratic People’s Front, and Convener of Civil Monitoring Commission, Mano Ganesan, MP, on his return from Canada bitterly criticized the Sri Lankan Counsel General in Toronto for fabricating a story on his visit to Canada in Sri Lankan Defence Ministry’s "Bandula Jayasekara, the Sri Lankan Counsel General in Toronto cooked up this story and got it loaded in the on Thursday 20, 2008”, more..