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Who Triggered Racism in Sri Lanka?

Nov 6 (LG) Saner Tamil voices at last are being raised over the net. It’s comforting to hear from more balanced democratic forces as to how such destructive ethnic divisions emerged in the mid fifties. Democratic minded individuals would wish to bring about an equitable reunion of the communities and bring back sanity to the bleeding nation. Indeed such writers seek a pluralistic society. more..

Polythene pollution

Nov 6 (LG) In June 2006, the Citizens’ Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG) summarised what appeared to be the most practical ways of looking at the disposal of various types of garbage, technically referred to as "Solid Municipal Waste." Regrettably only one of the nine newspapers to which this summary was sent thought it worth sparing some space for this contribution. Among the matters that this overview covered were foul odours from wet garbage, more..

Religion and Science

Nov 6 (LG) In setting forth his comprehensive analysis of the nature of religion Karl Marx declared that "religion is the generalized theory of the world, its encyclopedic compendium, its logic in popular form…" Of the dozen or so brilliant images and metaphors Marx used in his dissection of religion, the only one that most people have heard of is that religion is "the opium of the people." more..

Indianization of India III

Nov 6 (LG) The Aryanization or Bharatization of Dambadiva probably took centuries as the Vedic culture had to spread from north west to the south and the east. As we mentioned last week Bharath was a reincarnation of Dambadiva, though the land mass would have deferred somewhat. We identify the people in the east and north east who had not been fully Vedicized or Aryanized during the time of Buddha and a few centuries before that as Ardha Vedic. more..

'Ensure stable prices during festive season'

Nov 6 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the authorities of the Ministry of Trade, Marketing Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs to take effective measures to control the prices of essential items during the forthcoming festive season and prevent traders from raising prices in order to secure higher profits. President Rajapaksa gave these instructions when he met with the members of the Ministerial Subcommittee on Food Security and Cost of Living more..

'No dissolution of Western PC'

Nov 6 (LD) Chief Minister Reginald Cooray has ruled out dissolving the Western Provincial Council, saying there is no legal provision to do so. Neither the President nor the provincial governor has recommended dissolution of the PC, he told the council meeting yesterday (Nov. 04th). He was responding to a question by chief opposition organizer Lakshman Abeygunaratne who said the media was talking about dissolution of the council. more..

Sri Lanka boosts money supply, raising inflation fears

Nov 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has increased its money supply to ease a liquidity shortage, a move currency dealers and analysts on Wednesday said would create inflationary pressure. But the central bank said it has kept its addition of rupees to the market well within the reserve money targets it uses to fight inflation that is among the highest in South Asia. The central bank has been injecting money into the market by more..

Credit fears, cash reserves cloud Sri Lanka outlook

Nov 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's economy will slow this year and its rupee currency will stay under pressure, but its biggest challenge will be to secure the foreign financing it needs to avoid a cash crunch during the global credit crisis. The $27 billion economy of the Indian Ocean island grew 6.8 percent last year, slowing down from a two-decade high of 7.7 percent in 2006, and had until recently looked fairly well insulated from the global turmoil. more..

President congratulates Obama

Nov 6 (BBC) The president Mahinda Rajapaksa, has expressed great pleasure at the success of the US president-elect Senator Barack Obama at the Tuesday’s elections. The Sri Lankan president said he has been following Mr. Obama’s election campaign ‘closely’. "I have been impressed by the freshness and candour that you introduced to the US political landscape and the hope that you generated in the United States, in particular and the wider world, in general. more..

Jubilant Obama supporters in Colombo look for the change

Nov 6 (IANS) Barack Obama's supporters in Colombo, who gathered at the Election Watch centre set up for the live telecast of the poll results, broke into tears of jubilation and jumped up in joy Wednesday when CNN announced he would be the first African-American president of the US. 'It is an amazing win, which not just the Americans but the entire world has been looking for. more..

Anglican church calls for end to war

Nov 6 (UCAN) Bishop Duleep de Chickera of Colombo issued the statement on Oct. 29, following a meeting of 400 Sinhalese and Tamil laypeople and clergy, including the Church's diocesan councilors from around the country. They gathered at the Cathedral of Christ the Living Saviour in Colombo. The annual meeting of the Diocesan Council of the Church of Ceylon, held Oct. 26-27, discussed the current problems of war and violence in the country, as well as parish work. more..

That O’ Blake Statement

Nov 6 (SLW) The JVP has been very critical of the statement on the national question in Sri Lanka made by the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Robert O Blake at Madras University in Chennai on October 24. Issuing a communique‚ regarding O Blake’s statement, the politbureau of the JVP states that he has interfered in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka by his statement. The announcement states: “We vehemently oppose this act of interfering in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka. more..

West Indies ease to 40-run win

Nov 6 (CI) West Indies made the perfect start to their tour of Sri Lanka with a win in the first ODI in Dambulla. Stacy Ann-King laid the foundation with her 70 and offspinners Afy Fletcher and Stefanie Taylor shared six wickets between them to ensure a comfortable 40-run win. Sri Lankan captain Shashikala Siriwardene looked to have made the correct decision to field first, as Sripali Weerakkody struck in the second over, trapping Deandra Dottin leg-before. more..

Sri Lanka: Acting out oppression

Nov 6 (SP) OVER 20 amateur actors caught the attention of those out in East Ham, east London, on Sunday 2 November. This protest was organised to highlight the terrible plight of the people living in the Vanni area in Sri Lanka. The bloody war between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government continues and it is ordinary people who suffer. Thousands are trapped in this LTTE controlled area, where they are faced with starvation. more..

Death threats to Mangala over 'Defence Watch'

Nov 6 (LD) MP Mangala Samaraweera has been receiving telephone calls threatening him with death since the setting up an alternative defence information centre with him as its coordinator. The SLFP Mahajana Wing leader has been told to immediately halt press briefings and other activities of 'Defence Watch' which he had initiated yesterday. When contacted, he said he had the telephone numbers of the callers, about whom he would complain to the IGP. more..

Akkarayankulam captured: Sri Lanka

Nov 6 (Hindu) Sri Lanka's military on Wednesday said advancing infantry battalions of the 57th Division have overrun the Akkarayankulam built-up area, 9 km away from Kilinochchi. A Defence Ministry statement said many LTTE cadre were killed and injured. Over a week ago, the military decided not to publish casualty figures, saying this move could be detrimental to its battle plans. It said that soldiers on the western flank entered the area initially, followed by more..

Minister suspends enforcement of new regulations

Nov 6 (GDI) Minister of Mass Media and Information, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa requested the heads of media institutes to submit their proposals with regard to the newly introduced regulations to the existing Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation Act announced through an Extraordinary Gazette notification. Minister Anura Yapa at a meeting with the heads of the media institutions noted that more..

Film fraternity seeks ceasefire in Sri Lanka

Nov 6 (Hindu) Demanding immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka and protesting against the killing of innocent Tamil civilians there, members of the Film Employees’ Federation of South India (FEFSI) observed a fast here on Wednesday. Speaking at the programme, K. Balachandar, veteran film director, said the FEFSI protest was the fourth phase of a series, which would continue. Noted director Bharathirajaa said if the Centre wanted, it could stop the war in Sri Lanka. more..

'Congress against LTTE, not Sri Lankan Tamils'

Nov 6 (Hindu) The Congress is not against treating the Tamils of Sri Lanka as first class citizens and as equal to the Singhalese in Sri Lanka, but is against the LTTE, Minister of State for Textiles E.V.K.S.Elangovan said on Wednesday. “We will not support the LTTE,” he told reporters here. “If we look at the history, it was Jawaharlal Nehru, our first Prime Minister, who secured the voting rights for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. more..

How long can India rely on the LTTE to destable Sri Lanka?

Nov 6 (AT) How can India claim it is having the interest of the Tamil people at heart when half of Sri Lanka’s 60 year post independence has been plagued with a “made in India” covert operation which turned an insurgent movement into arguably the most sophisticated terrorist organization in the world. Is it not this LTTE terrorist movement that now has the capability to operate air, sea & suicide attacks with precision & deadly accuracy? more..

Glimpses of LTTE atrocities shock the French and UNESCO envoys

Nov 6 (AT) Photographic depiction of inhuman acts of terrorism committed by the Tamil Tigers has shocked the French public and officials and UNESCO ambassadors who visited the exhibition of photographs titled ‘Sri Lanka: Democracy and Challenges’ opened at the most prestigious Paris venue of Sall du Delegates at UNESCO on November 4. French military analyst General Allain Lomballe who opened the exhibition said more..

Jeyam replaces Swarnam as going gets tough

Nov 6 (DW) The LTTE has reshuffled its Commanders again today. LTTE's DPU/LRRP Chief Jeyam has replaced Swarnam in Nayaru/Mulaitivu today to counter the 59 Division. The main objective of this appointment, however, is to destabilize the East through attacks behind the Army's back. Two days before his appointment Jeyam tried his tricks. An elite Tiger guerrilla unit was readied to be inducted into Nayaru from where they were to infiltrate Trincomalee. more..

200 from MIC and NGOs hold demo at Sri Lanka mission

Nov 6 (TS) More than 200 people from MIC Youth and non-governmental organisations staged a peaceful demonstration in front of the Sri Lankan High Commission here. They were protesting yesterday against the Sri Lankan government’s continued air and ground attacks against Sri Lankan Tamils, which they say had resulted in innocent men, women and children being killed and maimed. The demonstrators decided not to hand over a prepared memorandum of protest when more..

Irresponsible commentaries compromise journalistic ethics

Nov 6 (IL) Throughout recorded history, no matter what culture - Roman, Greek, Indian, Persian or Chinese - the majority of commentators stood behind their pay masters for their survival. Despite the presence of diverse innovations in the information and technology field resulting in worldwide media coverage of all sorts of happenings around the world, commentators continue to stand behind the oppressors rather than stand up for the oppressed. more..

Root cause of country's ailments - not what Dr. Rajitha diagnosed

Nov 6 (SLW) Minister of Construction and Engineering Services, Rajitha Seneratne, in his wide-ranging interview with the Sunday Leader dated 10.08.08 says “Terrorism is due to Sinhala extremists”. I venture to quote 2 paras from his interview which are of particular relevance today: If the word federal has been thoroughly misunderstood by a majority of the Sinhalese, it is because it has been mischievously misrepresented among the Sinhala people by more..

Number of Tamil youth deserting LTTE Grip in Kilinochchi

Nov 6 (LG) Naval personnel on patrol in the seas off Vettilaikkeni rescued twenty-one (21) Tamil youth and six (06) children accompanied by a male adult, who were deserting LTTE grip in Kilinochchi on the 04th of November 2008 around morning hours. The terror stricken youth who had undergone an ordeal of untold hardship, pain of mind, deprivation of freedom, which, under normal circumstances, would have been theirs to enjoy freely, more..

'Crucible of Conflict'

Nov 6 (LG) Crucible of Conflict is an ethnographic and historical study of Hindu castes, matrilineal family structure, popular religious traditions, and ethnic conflict. It is also the first full-length ethnography of Sri Lanka’s east coast, an area that suffered heavily in the 2004 tsunami and that is of vital significance to the political future of the island nation. Since the bitter guerrilla war for an independent Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka broke out in 1983, more..

Glycerine tears for Tigers on the run

Nov 6 (LG) Despite Twenty-two years after India’s military intervention in Sri Lanka, both countries were recently caught in a row over the ongoing war in the north of the island. This time though, it had ostensibly less to do with India’s strategic concerns and imminent defeat of the LTTE than with the safety and security of ordinary Tamils trapped in the war and prompted by the Government’s coalition partners. more..

The politics of Tamil Eelam in TN – III

Nov 6 (LG) President Rajapakse seems to be smarter & more efficient in dealing with LTTE and handling the ethnic issue, unlike Chandrika Kumaratunga and Ranil Wickramasainge. In December 2006, he announced the decision of reimposing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), which was previously in place from 1990 to 2002. He has also increased the allocation of defence budget by 20%. At the same time, he also reiterated his readiness for peace negotiations. more..

We were not allowed into Janakala Kendra! – Ms. Kemadasa

Nov 6 (LT) She, her two daughters and students of Kemadasa Foundation were not allowed to enter 'Janakala Kendra' when they arrived for the meeting of the Kemadasa Foundation says Ms. Kemadasa speaking to the media. After they entered the premises the building where Kemadasa Foundation functioned all these days was locked up said Ms. Kemadasa and added that whatever obstacles are thrown against them all programmes carried out by the Foundation would be continued. more..

Structure and content of A/L syllabus to be changed

Nov 6 (GDI) The Examinations Department will change the structure and content of the G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination in August 2011. A new syllabus will be designed and the examination set accordingly, Commissioner General of Examinations Anura Edirisinghe told local media. The present syllabus will be changed in the near future to facilitate this. The National Institute of Education (NIE) is preparing the new syllabus on the advice of the National Education Commission.

Automated fingerprint system to be introduced

Nov 6 (GDI) An automated fingerprinting system will be introduced to Sri Lanka next year, local media reported, quoting Director of the Police Fingerprint Bureau SSP T.N. Wijeyagunawardena. In addition the Bureau is implementing an accelerated programme to issue relevant documents for migrant workers and those applying for foreign citizenship, sources said. Accordingly, the relevant reports will be issued within a relatively short period of three days.

Health Minister resolves hospital food issue

Nov 6 (GDI) Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition, Nimal Siripala De Silva instructed officials to provide 50% of the unpaid food bills immediately as private contractors had suspended supplying food until their dues were paid. As a result it was reported that patients at a number of hospitals did not receive their free meals over the last few days. Some hospitals supplied them with a normal meal from the hospital canteen, it was reported. more..

Agriculture and apparel industries in the East to receive boos

Nov 6 (GDI) The Government will give priority to in developing the agricultural sector in the Eastern Province under the 'Eastern Reawaking' development drive as this region had contributed vastly to the agricultural prosperity of the country prior to the activities of theLTTE terrorist, Minister of Industrial Development Kumara Welgama noted at a discussion with the Chief Minister of Easter ProvinceSivanesathurai Chandrakanthan. more..

No change in American foreign policy - Blake

Nov 6 (LNP) The United States said yesterday said that there would be no major change in the US policy regarding Sri Lanka following the election of Barack Obama (a Democrat) as the 44th US President. US Ambassador Robert Blake told the Daily Mirror that there had been a long-term bipartisan agreement in the US about its policy regarding Sri Lanka and the US remained firm in being committed to a political solution to Sri Lanka s ongoing conflict. more..

'World wishes Obama to say good riddance to politics of terrorism'

Nov 6 (LNP) The historic victory of Barack Obama in the presidential elections of the United States of America, bestowed on to him by the people of America, heralds a paradigm shift in world affairs. `The new hope is that the International Community will recover from the psychological sickness of the `paranoia of terror,` which will in turn induce recovery of economy, human rights and peace in the world,` said Selvam Adaikkalanathan, TNA parliamentarian from Vanni, welcoming the victory of Mr. Obama. more..

Will Sri Lanka's war scenario change if Obama wins ?

Nov 6 (LNP) Balakumar, a Senior LTTE leader has announced that they are optimistic that before the year 2008 is out, tide of fortune will change in their favour in the International scene. It cannot be concluded for sure whether he made this announcement having in view the upcoming U.S. Presidential elections. A Senior Indian Journalist has also made mention of Velupillai Prabhakaran's enthusiasm in respect of these elections, more..

Sri Lanka to make solar cars

Nov 6 (LNP) Electromobiles (Pvt) Ltd will manufacture solar powered electronic cars in Sri Lanka from next year. Speaking to Daily News Business CEO/ Managing Director of Electromobiles (Pvt) Ltd Gihan Wijethunga said they expect to commence commercial production of the car in May next year. The company will invest Rs. 30 million for the project and the project will provide around 600 direct and indirect job opportunities. more..

Priority for development, CoL

Nov 6 (SAMN) This year’s Budget will contain wide ranging proposals which will bring long term economic and social welfare benefits to the people without limiting it to a mere 365 days, State Revenue Minister and Finance and Planning Deputy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said Wednesday. “We should understand that President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as Finance Minister is presenting this year’s Budget amidst the most daunting challenges faced in this country’s Budget history, more..

Roads closed for Budget proceedings

Nov 6 (SAMN) The police will temporarily close down the roads connecting Parliament and Kollupitiya Junction during the Budget proceedings in Parliament commencing today, police spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekara said. The roads will be closed for half an hour from 9.00am to 9.30am and in the evening depending on the time the sessions are to end. The roads will be closed on November 06 to 08, 10 to 15, 17 to 21, 24 to 28 and December 01 to 05 and on December 08. more..

Church officials to meet Basil

Nov 6 (SAMN) A group of church officials who visited Madhu yesterday are to submit a report to Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa shortly to discuss about the situation in the area. The group led by Caritas Sri Lanka, the social service arm of the Catholic church in Sri Lanka are to hand over this report during a meeting with MrRajapaksa which is to take place in a couple of weeks. The main request from this team according to sources is the electricity supply to the Madhu Shrine. more..

LTTE aircraft appears on radar again

Nov 6 (SAMN) The military was on high alert for several hours in Vavuniya and its suburbs last morning after a suspected LTTE aircraft appeared in the radars in Vavuniya. A top defence official said that around 3.30 am yesterday, radars in Vavuniya detected an object, which was later identified as an LTTE aircraft proceeding from LTTE controlled Iranamadu proximately two kilometres into cleared areas in Vavuniya. more..

Four power sets to bolster rail transport

Nov 6 (DN) Four power sets (S-10 category) imported from China arrived at the Colombo Harbour yesterday. Seven power sets out of 15 have already arrived in Sri Lanka to strengthen the railway service and provide a comfortable ride to commuters. The total cost of these four power sets is US$ 10.4 million, a Transport Ministry spokesman told the Daily News. These four power sets will be added to the railway fleet within this month once the trials are completed, he said. more..

Business sentiment intact - LMD

Nov 6 (DN) The LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI), which is the only measure of business sentiment in this country, continues to register over 100 on the BCI scale. In October, the index stood at 106, compared to 109 in the previous month, says LMD. “The unique index is now 27 points higher than it was just a year ago,” it notes. According to LMD, the 12-month business outlook has improved in the eyes of businesspeople. more..

Cabinet approves upgrading of Mannar, Vavuniya hospitals

Nov 6 (Island) The Mannar and Vavuniya hospitals are to be upgraded, by purchasing new medical equipment, that would be used to treat injured security forces and police personnel. Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said that the purchase of medical equipment costing Rs.50.5 million plus VAT has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on a Memorandum submitted by Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. more..

Was the tooth that of a lion or tiger?

Nov 6 (Island) Palaeontologists are investigating whether a canine tooth fossil found in Ratnapura was that of a tiger or lion. Palaeontologist Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi, speaking exclusively to The Island yesterday, said former Archaeological Director General Dr. Siran Upendra Deraniyagala gave him a fossil to examine last month. "This fossil in appearance is like a crocodile’s tooth. When cutting edge positives were studied I found that it belonged to a carnivorous mammal. more..

Mihin requests Rs. 450 million from Government to take off

Nov 6 (DM) The government’s budget airline ‘Mihin Lanka’ which is planning to re-launch its first flight by December 15 after being grounded for over three months, has sought Rs. 450 million immediately from the government to pay the past due charges , Chairman Raja Edirisuriya said yesterday. In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Mr. Edirisuriya said that he would seek another Rs. 650 million by next month to revamp the cash starved company. more..

US commends Sri Lanka's war against LTTE

Nov 6 (IANS) A top US military official Wednesday commended the Sri Lankan military for its recent successes against the Tamil Tigers, whom Washington has designated as a terrorist group. 'We are hopeful that the LTTE would be a decreasingly important factor of much less reach than they are and have been in the past,' Admiral Timothy Keating, Commander of US Pacific Joint Command, told more..

Double cabs for needy MOH officers

Nov 6 (DM) The feed-back to Indian authorities about the progress achieved in the health sector in the Eastern Province under the ‘Awakening of the East’ programme was highly commended during the talks held with India recently, Senior Presidential Advisor, Parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksa said. Speaking at a function held at the BMICH in connection with the distribution of 40 double cabs to 40 needy MOH officers by the Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry yesterday, more..

Sri Lankan couple sues Qantas

Nov 6 (TVNZ) A Sri Lankan couple who were flung from their seats when their Qantas flight plunged suddenly over Western Australia is suing the airline for as much as $100,000. Sam Samaratunga (Samaratunga), 68, and his wife Rani, 62, say they were thrown around the cabin when their seatbelts broke apart and suffered serious injuries during the flight from Singapore to Perth last month. Lawyer Roger Singh said the couple had resorted to legal action because Qantas was trying to avoid paying their medical bills in advance. more..