July 2008

NewsRoom        Archives

SAARC takes South Asia to position of strength and importance - President
The partnership of SAARC has grown in strength and importance over the years. [Full Story]

Computer Crime Act enacted
The Parliament enacted the Computer Crime Act, No. 24 0f 2007 recently. [Full Story]

TN police seize electronic gadgets meant for LTTE
Tamil Nadu Police in a pre-dawn operation yesterday seized a large quantity of electronic gadgets and other articles meant for smuggling to Sri Lanka and arrested four persons, including three Lankan Tamil refugees at Uppur Chathiram near Thiruppalaikkudi, in Tamil Nadu. [Full Story]

Iranian President assures Sri Lanka of support for speedy implementation of projects
Iranian President Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has assured the projects undertaken by Iran in Sri Lanka would be speedily concluded, as a manifestation of Iran's goodwill towards President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Government and the people of Sri Lanka. [Full Story]

Q Branch arrests top LTTE operative in TN
A top LTTE operative, in charge- of the procurement module in Sri Lanka was taken into custody in Chennai on yesterday. [Full Story]

Council of Ministers meeting begins today
The two-day Council of Ministers meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is commencing this morning at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH). [Full Story]

SAARC round up
Standing Committee agrees on series of recommendations
The 15th SAARC Summit has placed food security high on its agenda with the promise of more state intervention including a SAARC Food Bank to help any Member State in case of exigencies. [Full Story]
President Bush says the US values its friendship with Sri Lanka
US President George W. Bush said that his country values its friendship with Sri Lanka and looked forward to deepening the relationship between the two countries. [Full Story]

SAARC journalist forum begins today
The fourth SAARC Journalist Summit of South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) will be inaugurated at the Hotel Trans Asia, Colombo today. [Full Story]

Deva Aditya MEP apologises for EU megaphone diplomacy
We need to engage Sri Lanka in a dialogue of equals without employing megaphone diplomacy. We failed do so last week and for which on behalf of the British Conservative Members of European Parliament, I do now apologise, said Deva Aditya, Member of European Parliament. [Full Story]

Forces regain Mundampiddy
The Security Forces operating north of Illuppaikaddavai yesterday captured the Mundampiddy area completely capturing the LTTE defences south of Vellankulam, military sources said yesterday. [Full Story]

Madu shrine
Security Forces complete renovation of the shrine, request Bishop to take over
Following directives given by Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, Major General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander, Security Forces Headquarters Wanni yesterday formally requested Mannar Bishop Rt Rev. Dr Rayappu Joseph to resume the custody of the Madu Shrine on total completion of Army repairs and renovation.  [Full Story]

SAARC moving from declaration phase to implementation
The ongoing 15th SAARC Summit would be the turning point in its history, with the declaration phase progressing to implementation, spokesman for the 15th SAARC summit Prasad Kariyawasam said. [Full Story]
SL expats stage anti-LTTE protests in London
Sri Lankan expatriates in UK gathered in front of British Prime minister's official residence at No 10, Downing Street in London on July 27 to protest against the LTTE terrorism. [Full Story]

SAARC Standing Committee begins deliberations
The Standing Committee of the 15th SAARC constituting Foreign Secretaries of the eight Member States will commence deliberations today on the key issues to be taken up at the main Summit to be held from August 2 to 3. [Full Story]
Foreign Minister to attend 15th NAM Ministerial Conference in Tehran
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama will lead the Sri Lankan delegation to the 15th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Ministerial Conference to be held in the Iranian capital Tehran from July 29 to 30. [Full Story]

SAARC preliminary meeting begins Terrorism, food security, energy top agenda
The meeting of officials of 15th SAARC began yesterday in Colombo with the main focus on a joint approach to combating terrorism, maximising energy and water resources, food security and poverty alleviation. [Full Story]

Security forces capture 'Sugandan Base' in Welioya
Troops of the 59 Division yesterday seized total control over 'Sugandan' base a satellite base of the LTTE's 'One-Four-base' complex located North of Kiriibbanwewa, defence sources said. [Full Story]
Former British High Commissioner recollects friendship with President
Former British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka David Gladstone in an interview with BBC Sandeshaya programme recollecting his friendship with President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he and President Rajapaksa were very close friends during his time as the British High Commissioner in Colombo. [Full Story]

Indian FM calls for SAARC Convention on Criminal matters
The Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee yesterday said that India would push for a convention on mutual legal assistance among the SAARC nations over criminal matters. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka gains high visibility at the ASEAN Regional Forum
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama accompanied by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa participated in the high level segment of the Ministerial session of the 15th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) yesterday in Singapore, at which he was joined by ministerial colleagues from the US, Russia, China, Japan, Australia and South Korea, among the other 27 member states. [Full Story]

Kankasanthurai cement factory to recommence production soon
The government plans to recommence cement production at the Kankasanturai Cement Factory in Jaffna Peninsula after selecting a suitable investor to form a joint venture with the Sri Lanka Cement Corporation (SLCC) and Lanka Cement Limited (LCL). [Full Story]

Cabinet approves Implementation of rural electrification project
Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum of understanding submitted by the Minister of Power and Energy, W.D.J. Seneviratne for the implementation of rural electrification project with assistance from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
[Full Story]
Security forces capture Vavunikulam Tank
Security forces operating in Mallavi have captured the Vavunikulam Tank bunt, in Mullaittivu District today (July 24), at around 10 a.m. [Full Story]

FM urges Australia to proscribe LTTE
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama urged the Australian government to proscribe the LTTE as a terrorist organization and said such a measure would provide the legal framework for the authorities to take effective action against fund raising and propaganda activities by the LTTE and its fronts operating on Australian soil. [Full Story]
TN Police breaks supply chain of LTTE
The Q Branch of the Tamil Nadu police on yesterday busted a major LTTE procurement network, seizing five imported Yamaha outboard motors with a 40-horse-power capacity each. [Full Story]

European Parliamentarians call on Foreign Minister
Recognizing the imperative need to meet the challenges of the food and energy crises faced world over, the forthcoming SAARC Summit will provide a platform to discuss the establishment of a mechanism to harness and share resources within the region, [Full Story]

Madhu statue moved to Mannar Bishop’s residence
The Catholic clergy has moved the Statue of “Our Lady of Madhu” to the official residence of Mannar Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph, last evening. [Full Story]
Government cautious on LTTE ceasefire offer
“We would like to see a firm commitment on the part of the LTTE for a settlement of this conflict and a similar commitment to a demobilization process. [Full Story]

SAARC an opportunity to showcase development in the country - FM
The upcoming SAARC Summit will provide an ideal opportunity to showcase the country’s development especially the transition and the setting-up of a democratic machinery in the East which had been devastated by terrorism for over two decades Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said. [Full Story]

Overseas employment opportunities for Eastern youth
As part of the Eastern development 500 youths from the Eastern Province will be trained and provided with job opportunities in Korea, Defence spokesman and Foreign Employment Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. [Full Story]

Govt allocates Rs. 6.2 billion for developing the East
Since the restoration of democracy in the Eastern Province, the Government has allocated Rs. 6.2 billion for its development, Government Defence Affairs spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. [Full Story]

Indian assistance to upgrade tsunami-affected railways
The Sri Lanka Railways has been granted USD 168 million to upgrade the tsunami affected coastal railway and to strengthen the operating fleet of the Railways Department.  [Full Story]

High Level Sri Lankan delegation to attend 15th ASEAN Regional Forum
A high lever Sri Lankan delegation headed by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama will attend the 15th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Singapore from 23 to 24 July 2008. [Full Story]

Tele-medicine service in SAARC region soon
Tele-medicine services will become operational between India, Bhutan and Sri Lanka by the end of this year, Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said. [Full Story]
USAID continues to boost Sri Lanka’s fishing industry
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on July 16 marked the completion of Mirissa fishing harbor – which provides livelihoods for 7,500 families in this tsunami-affected area. [Full Story]

Dayan to represent Asia on UNHRC Consultative Group
Sri Lanka's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Dayan Jayatilleka, has been nominated as a member of the Consultative Group of the United Nations Human Rights Council, representing Asia. [Full Story]

World Bank assistance to develop seven districts under 'Gemidiriya'
The World Bank has released Rs. 112 million for new development projects in seven districts under the village reawakening programme 'Gemidiriya' being implemented by the Ministry of Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development. [Full Story]

Protest fast by DMK against SL Navy, a mockery, says BJP
The protest fast observed by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) across the Tamil Nadu State on Saturday, protesting against the alleged killing of Tamil Nadu fisherman by the Sri Lankan Navy along the Indian Maritime Boundary, was a mockery, observed State Vice-President of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), H. Raja. [Full Story]
Child conscription:
Sri Lanka calls for punitive measures
Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Prasad Kariyawasam addressing the Security Council debate on Children in armed conflict said that because non-State actors were not bound by internationally enforceable legal instruments, they should be subjected to stricter scrutiny and more rigorous and internationally enforceable punitive measures. [Full Story]

World Bank supports road improvements
The World Bank yesterday approved a US$98 million package of assistance from the International Development Association (IDA) to Sri Lanka in additional finance to support the Government's efforts to improve its national highways. [Full Story]

Foreign Ministry issues visa guidelines to UN and International Organizations
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a set of guidelines to be followed for visa requests by UN and other International Organizations which have Status Agreements with the Government of Sri Lanka. The guidelines were circulated among all Heads of Organizations at a meeting chaired by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, on July 14 July in Colombo. [Full Story]

Govt denies allegation of internment of IDPs
The Government rejects the allegation by Human Rights Watch that more than 400 civilians displaced by the conflict in Northern Sri Lanka have been detained by the Government. The reference is to the Kalimoddai Welfare Centre in Mannar. [Full Story]
Melbourne business college chief arrested over LTTE offences
Australian Federal Police (AFP) have arrested, at the request of the FBI, a director of a Melbourne business college believed to be linked to the LTTE over alleged terrorism offences in the US. [Full Story]

Security Forces capture Vidattaltivu town
Soldiers of 58 Division and Commando Brigade have liberated Vidattaltivu town this morning (July 16), defence sources said. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka denies involvement of SL Navy in the killing of two Indian fishermen
The government yesterday denied Indian media reports alleging that two Indian fishermen from Nagapattinam who were fishing off Point Calimere killed by Sri Lank Navy on July 11. [Full Story]
Defeating terrorism a precondition for political solution
The present ethnic crisis needs a political solution but terrorism has to be defeated first to ensure that solution would be a success, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the first anniversary of the Federation of Self Employed Persons held at Temple Trees, Colombo yesterday (14). [Full Story]

President at Business TOP 10 awards
Sri Lanka’s Top 10 business institutions received their awards for excellence from President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a ceremony held at Temple Trees, Colombo today (July 15). [Full Story]

Progress in democracy and Human Rights will continue
– President tells British Minister
As President Mahinda Rajapaksa has achieved something remarkable and impressive in establishing a process for the resolution of Human Rights issues, the International Community would like to help Sri Lanka as she makes progress along the lines of action initiated by the President. [Full Story]

Iran becomes top donor for Sri Lanka
Iran which granted USD 450 million to build the Uma Oya hydro power project and upgrade the Sapugaskanda oil refinery has emerged as Sri Lanka 's biggest donor this year. [Full Story]

The All Party Representative Committee (APRC) will resume its sessions this week after a recess, its Chairman Minister Tissa Vitharana said yesterday (14). [Full Story]
BOI signs agreement for a fully equipped medical centre
The Board of Investment (BOI) signed an agreement with Silvermere Hospitals to establish a state of the art medical centre in Colombo. [Full Story]

Ready for talks with LTTE, says President
President Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Saturday (July 12) that his government was ready to resume talks with the LTTE provided it laid down arms. [Full Story]

TN Govt opposes Nalini's plea for early release
The Tamil Nadu Government on July 11 told the Madras High Court that it opposed the plea of Nalini, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, seeking her premature release and would file a counter. [Full Story]

Indonesian general sentenced for smuggling arms to LTTE
A retired Indonesian Marine Corps general was sentenced to 30 months in prison for orchestrating a deal in Baltimore to smuggle hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of high-tech weapons to LTTE, the Baltimore Sun reported. [Full Story]

FM invites Maldivian President to attend SAARC Summit
The Maldives decided to concede its turn to Sri Lanka to host the 15th SAARC Summit as a symbol of its longstanding and close friendship with Sri Lanka, during the country’s 60th anniversary of independence this year. [Full Story]
Alleged LTTE attack at passenger bus
At least 4 civilians were killed and 25 others were injured when a suspected group of LTTE cadres opened fire at a passenger bus plying from Monaragala towards Kataragama, at the 49th mile post along the Buttala-Kataragama main road this morning.  [Full Story]

Tamil Nadu govt to track movement of trawlers
The Tamil Nadu Government is working on a technical system to track and communicate with Indian fishing trawlers, with the aim of preventing them from straying into Sri Lankan waters and avoiding incidents involving the Sri Lankan Navy or the LTTE, Indian Express reported. [Full Story]

President lauds working class for thwarting strike
President Mahinda Rajapaksa lauded and thanked the working class for their cooperation in thwarting the strike called by JVP and UNP. [Full Story]

Japan funds mega livelihood project in North & East
The government of Japan funds a massive rural empowerment and sustainable livelihood programme in the Northern and Eastern Provinces organized by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Ministry of Industrial Development. [Full Story]

National Sports Festival commences
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday declared opened the 34th National Sports Festival at D.A. Rajapaksa Stadium in Beliatta. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka condemns attack on US Consulate General in Istanbul
The Government condemns in the strongest possible terms, the terrorist attack targeting the Consulate General of the United States in Istanbul, Turkey yesterday (July 9). [Full Story]
The token strike a sad failure - reports
According to latest independent reports the token strike call was a big failure. [Full Story]

More civilians seek refuge with security forces
A group of 32 civilians including children have vacated Nachchikuda, about 25 km northeast of Mannar and reached naval troops in Pesale last evening seeking protection from Security Forces. [Full Story]

LTTE desperately seeks help – Strategy Page
Recent losses have resulted in the LTTE openly appealing to the government of Tamil Nadu for help in their war. The Tamil Nadu government has turned on the LTTE over the last decade, and this LTTE appeal will fail, Strategy Page reported.  [Full Story]

New Housing Development Minister appointed
Former Deputy Speaker and veteran politician Geethanjana Gunawardene was yesterday sworn in as non-Cabinet Minister for Housing Development before President Mahinda Rajapaksa.  [Full Story]
Certain groups attempt to disrupt administration - Defence spokesman
The proposed token strike for tomorrow is an attempt by certain groups to disrupt the administration in the country and the government will not hesitate to ensure the law and order in the country, Defence spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said addressing media in Colombo today. [Full Story]

Bowling sensation Ajantha promoted
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, yesterday promoted spinner Ajantha Mendis who was adjudged the man of the match at the Asia cup finale and man of the series for his outstanding performance to Second Lieutenant. [Full Story]

Turkish Military Chief says PKK runs guns to LTTE
PKK/Kongra-Gel, the separatist organisation fighting for a separate state for the Kurds in the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq and Iran was running guns to LTTE, said the Turkish Chief of Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka condemns suicide bomb attack in Kabul
The Government strongly condemns the suicide bomb attack outside the Indian Embassy in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan on July 7. [Full Story]
Indian Navy to operate Unmanned Aerial Vehicles along TN Southern Coast
The Indian Navy plans to operate Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) from the Naval Air Station at Uchipuli in Tamil Nadu as an "imperative" step in the context of the prolonged war between Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. [Full Story]

Canadian media condemn pro-Tiger rally
In a scathing Editorial on July 07, the The National Post of Toronto , Canada criticized the holding of a pro-LTTE public rally over the weekend that was held to denounce the Canadian Government’s decision to outlaw the World Tamil Movement (WTM) following police investigations that linked it to terrorist activities of the LTTE. [Full Story]
Omanthai check point reopened
The Omanthai entry-exit check point which was closed since last Tuesday reopened a short while ago in the presence of the ICRC, Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said. [Full Story]

Sri Lankan signs oil exploration agreement with India
The government today signed the agreement with Cairn India Ltd to explore and produce hydro - carbon and natural gas in the Mannar Basin in Northern Sri Lanka. [Full Story]

Govt denies harassment of Indian fishermen
The Government of Sri Lanka strongly refutes allegations contained in certain foreign media reports that the Sri Lanka Navy had detained and harassed Indian fishermen aboard fishing trawlers which had been detected poaching in Sri Lankan waters. [Full Story]

Asia Cup
President’s congrats to Sri Lankan Cricketers
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has congratulated the Sri Lanka Cricket Team on their winning the Asia Cup beating India in Karachi last night. [Full Story]

Former Minister's funeral today
The funeral of former Minister of Education Richard Pathirana will take place with full state honor at the Samanala playground in Galle today. [Full Story]
Army captures LTTE bunker defence in West Periyamadu
Troops operating under Task Force 1 in the Mannar- Vavuniya combined battlefront attacked an LTTE bunker defence last evening (July 3) located in West of Periyamadhu. [Full Story]

Climate action plan for SAARC
Member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) have adopted a three-year action plan to combat climate change, pressing the developed countries to establish a special fund to save them from the drastic effects of the phenomena. [Full Story]

Foreign Minister calls on President Musharraf
President Pervez Musharraf urged the need to make SAARC into a more effective and viable mechanism for promotion of peace, development and progress of the region when he met Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama in Islamabad yesterday. [Full Story]

Acceptance of nominations ends today
Acceptance of nominations for Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provinces ends today. [Full Story]

Former Minister Richard Pathirana passes away
Former Minister of Education and a veteran Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) politician Richard Pathirana passed away last evening at the age of 70. [Full Story]
World will join hands to crush LTTE – Sangaree
Unless the LTTE stops its barbaric conduct, which virtually challenges the International Community, the whole world will join hands to crush it, states Mr. V. Anandasangaree, leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and winner of the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Prize for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence. [Full Story]

Army releases rehabilitated LTTE cadres
A batch of 15 former LTTE cadres who had been rehabilitated at the Army Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Center at Thelippale were released on June 29 and June 30.  [Full Story]

LTTE at its last stand – Strategy Page
With more and more civilians living in North sneaking into government controlled areas, the LTTE has mobilized everyone and everything for what appears to be a "last stand," said Strategy Page. [Full Story]

Minister Bogollagama meets Bhutan King
Strong economic foundation and vibrant institutions contribute to successful democratic governance was the opinion expressed by the King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, when he received Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama at an audience on June 30 in the capital Thimpu. [Full Story]

Central Bank relaxes Exchange Control rules for emigrants
The Central Bank has relaxed the exchange control rules for emigrants with effect from July 2, 2008. This is the fourth measure in the most recent series of policy initiatives implemented by the Central Bank. [Full Story]
Frustrated LTTE targeting impoverished working people - Observer Magazine UK
Thwarted in their attacks on the government and military the LTTE are going for the softest targets of all, the impoverished working people of Sri Lanka, says writer Euan Ferguson in the Observer Magazine published with the influential UK weekly The Observer, in its issue last Sunday (June 29). [Full Story]

Police arrest woman carrying explosives
A woman was arrested in Vavuniya yesterday (July 1) at a Police roadblock, while clandestinely transporting C-4 high explosives concealed in coconut nuts at around 5.15p.m. [Full Story]

Northern theatre of war: LTTE casualties high
Yesterday (July 1) 24 LTTE terrorists killed, 30 wounded in confrontations with the Armed Forces in the Northern theatre of operations. [Full Story]
President declares open Arugam Bay bridge
President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared open the Arugam Bay bridge connecting Pottuvil, Arugam Bay and Panama in the Eastern province today (July 01). [Full Story]

Anti- terrorism protest rally in Rome
Sri Lankans and other nationalities living in Italy participated in a huge anti-terrorism protest rally in Milan, Italy on June 29. [Full Story]

New IGP to assume duties today
Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police Jayantha Wickremaratne will assume duties as the new Inspector General of Police today (July 1), taking over the reins from IGP Victor Perera. [Full Story]





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