Friday, August 29, 2008

Another LTTE stronghold captured

Another LTTE stronghold captured
The military today captured the Palamoddai town, an LTTE stronghold in Vavuniya and a one kilometers beach stretch north of Kokkuthuduwai in Welioya after fierce battles.

Nepalis' messages to Prachanda-New Prime Minister collect civilian's ideas

Nepalis' messages to Prachanda
New prime Prime Minister Prachanda collect civilians ideas

Nepal's new government, led by former Maoist rebel leader Prachanda, has been in office for one week now. Despite the end of the civil war, the country is still faced with huge social and economic problems.

Here, people in Nepal compile their messages to Prachanda setting out their priorities for the nation.

Read civilians messages

Justice and Peace Commission writs to UN Secretary General

Justice and Peace Commission writs to UN Secretary General

The Justice and Peace Commission in the Wanni has written to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on the plight of internally displaced people in the area.

Its president Fr. James Pathinathan handed over the memorandum to the Resident Representative of the UNHCR in Wanni on August 26th.

The appeal notes that epidemics were threatening the people in the absence of sufficient medical facilities.

The JPC staged a protest march, joined by hundreds of people, including religious heads that began from Kilinochchi St. Theresa’s Church.

Hand greand explosion in Batticaloa prison-7 prisons injured.

Hand grenade explosion in Batticaloa prison-7 prisons injured.

The police sources says that the Hand grenade explosion in cell number 10 in
Batticaloa prison injuring 4 EPDP inmates on murder chargers . one serious.

But Batticaloa hospital conferms 7 prisons brought to the hospital for treatments in this morning(29th).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mangala calls for a joint opposition alliance

Mangala calls for a joint opposition alliance

While warning that the victory in the provincial council election would lead to a government dictatorship, SLFP (M) Convenor Mangala Samaraweera called for the setting up of a joint opposition alliance a short while ago. He also added that he would initiate an alternative defence information centre to educate the masses on the real situation of the war.

After election CAFFE spokesman punished by his campus

After election CaFFE spokesman punished by his campus

The University of Kelaniya has given a punishment transfer to its employee Rajitha Keerthi Tennakoon, who is also spokesman for local election monitor Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE).

Secretary of CaFFE Senaka Wattegedara has informed the Free Media Movement that in addition to Mr. Tennakoon's transfer from the Faculty of Social Sciences, he is to face a disciplinary inquiry.

Five Media, including the FMM, said in a statement that this constituted an infringement of fundamental and freedom of expression rights.

Mr. Tennekoon acted as CaFFE spokesman during the recent polls for the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces.

Quoting from the establishment code of universities, the statement said campus staff has the right to express their political viewpoints.

Five Media said it considered the action as politically motivated, and urged university authorities to halt exacting revenge from Mr. Tennekoon.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Vaas claims victim number 400

Vaas claims victim number 400

Chaminda Vaas moments ago became only the fourth person in ODI history to pass the 400 wicket mark during the 4th ODI against India in Colombo. Yuvraj Sign became his 400th scalp edging one to short midwicket. Murali is second highest ODI wicket taker with 314 wickets to his name.

One-Day Internationals

Most wickets in career

Player Span Mat Balls Runs Wkts BBI Ave Econ SR 4 5
Wasim Akram (Pak) 1984-2003 356 18186 11812 502 5/15 23.52 3.89 36.2 17 6
M Muralitharan (Asia/ICC/SL) 1993-2008 314* 16988 10974 478 7/30 22.95 3.87 35.5 13 9
Waqar Younis (Pak) 1989-2003 262 12698 9919 416 7/36 23.84 4.68 30.5 14 13
WPUJC Vaas (Asia/SL) 1994-2008 322* 15763 11003 400 8/19 27.50 4.18 39.4 9 4
SM Pollock (Afr/ICC/SA) 1996-2008 303 15712 9631 393 6/35 24.50 3.67 39.9 12 5
GD McGrath (Aus/ICC) 1993-2007 250 12970 8391 381 7/15 22.02 3.88 34.0 9 7
A Kumble (Asia/India) 1990-2007 271 14496 10412 337 6/12 30.89 4.30 43.0 8 2
J Srinath (India) 1991-2003 229 11935 8847 315 5/23 28.08 4.44 37.8 7 3
ST Jayasuriya (Asia/SL) 1989-2008 420* 14256 11305 310 6/29 36.46 4.75 45.9 8 4
B Lee (Aus) 2000-2008 173 8853 6955 303 5/22 22.95 4.71 29.2 11 8

I will retire soon - Susanthika

I will retire soon - Susanthika
Upon returning to the country today morning from the Beijing Olympics sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghe stated that she would retire from athletics very soon.

No hurry for snap poll-President

No hurry for snap poll-President

President Mahinda Rajapaksha declared that he was not hurry to hold a snap general election as the mandate he had received was valid
up year 2010

LTTE terrorists launch abortive air raid at Trincomalee navy camp

LTTE terrorists launch abortive air raid at Trincomalee navy camp

The LTTE carried out a surprise air attack on the Trincomalee Naval base last night around 9.00pm . The Defence Ministry today stated that 10 Navy personnel were injured after the LTTE air raid on Trincomalee Naval base and harbour.

According to Navy sources , the navy base was alarmed on an approaching terror aircraft by Sri Lanka Air Force around 9 PM. After few minutes, naval troops detected the aircraft and engaged it with anti air guns . The machine gun fire caused the aircraft to make away without entering into the naval dockyard, said the sources.

However, the terrorists managed to drop two improvised bombs into the navy camp. The sources said that only one out of two bombs was exploded. 10 sailors suffered injuries due to the explosion.

A multi-religious, cross-cultural historical Museum for Sri Lanka in Kataragama

A multi-religious, cross-cultural historical Museum for Sri Lanka in Kataragama

sland's first museum depicting beliefs and cultural strains of all religious faiths represented in Sri Lanka will be ceremoniously opened tomorrow (28),by His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Kataragama.The Museum is housed in the Kataragama Devalaya premises and built at a cost of Rs 65million with financial assistance from the Netherlands.
Central Cultural Fund sources say that very rare pieces of cultural value will be on display here. Since many devotees and local and foreign tourists visit the sacred premises at night the CCF intends to keep the Museum open at night in the interest of such visitors.

It was the wish of President Mahinda Rajapakse to encourage the commerce of cultural interest between the South and the East, and this was a major stimulus for the project.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Court upholds objection against Rizana's death sentence

Court upholds objection against Rizana's death sentence

The Supreme Judicial Council of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has upheld the objection filed by the attorney of Sri Lankan housemaid, Rizana Nafeek against the death sentence imposed on her and returned the case file to the Dawadmi High Court, the Foreign Ministry in Sri Lanka said in a statement.

Rizana had been arrested on 22nd May 2005 by the Police in Dawadmi, a town located 220 km west of the capital, Riyadh and charged with the murder of the infant son of her employer, left in her care. Rizana, who had recently arrived in the Kingdom and 17 years old at that time, claimed that the child had choked to death during bottle feeding. However, the Dawadmi High Court had sentenced Rizana to death in June 2007, upon conviction for the murder of the infant, based on her initial confession to the Police, which she had subsequently retracted in Court.

The Sri Lanka Embassy in Riyadh arranged the law firm of Kateb Fahad Al – Shammary to represent Rizana, with the financial support of the Hong Kong based Asian Human Rights Commission. The lawyer had filed objections against the verdict of the Dawadmi High Court to the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) in Riyadh, the highest judicial body in Saudi Arabia. The SJC has upheld the objection of the lawyer pertaining to the initial translation of Rizana’s statement to the Court, upon which the death sentence had been issued. The SJC has returned the case file to the Dawadmi High Court, which is expected to take up the case for hearing on Saturday, 30th August 2008.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Embassy officials in Riyadh have visited Rizana at the Dawadmi Jail on 17th August and found her to be in sound physical and mental condition. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has directed the Embassy to closely monitor developments of this case and extend all possible support and cooperation to Rizana’s lawyer.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Janaka and Ranjan to UNP working committe

The United National Party has assigned its two chief ministerial candidates at the provincial polls as members of the party's Working Committee.

Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has decided that Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera and popular actor Ranjan Ramanayake be appointed to the UNP WC with immediate effect.
(Janaka and Ranjan)

This is in recognition of their contributions and skills shown at the polls for the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils two days ago.

UNP MP Ranga Bandara's office burnt down

Ranga Bandara's office burnt down

UNP MP Palitha Ranga Bandara's office in Anamaduwa was burnt by an unknown gang last night. Police said that the office had been totally destroyed and the damage estimated to be over Rs. 1 million.

Elections free and fair: Monitors

Elections free and fair: Monitors
The main Election Monitors, People’s Action for Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL) and Campaign for Free and Fair Election (CAFFE) yesterday said the elections held in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces were generally peaceful and the few incidents did not have an impact on the final result.

results unacceptable Janaka alleges fraud

results unacceptable Janaka alleges fraud

North Central Province UNP chief ministerial candidate, Janaka Perera said yesterday he did not accept the election results as genuine or that the election was conducted in a free and fair manner.

He charged that there was violence, thuggery, intimidation and arson attacks against the UNP in the entire district even on election day.

“The ballot boxes were brought to Anuradhapura counting centers at 5.30 p.m. but the counting only started only at 8.30 p.m.

There was a three-hour gap and anything could have happened during these three hours. Therefore I do not accept the results in Anuradhapura,” he said.

However he noted he would continue to serve the people in the North-Central Province and fight the new administration in the province on behalf of the voters, he said.

Mandate for troops, not for Cabinet or corruption

Mandate for troops, not for Cabinet or corruption
The mandate received by UPFA at PC polls is one given to the troops and not for the jumbo Cabinet or corruption, National freedom Front leader Wimal Weerawansa said while ago addressing a press conference in Colombo.

Poll results do not portray true mandate - Somawansa

Poll results do not portray true mandate - JVP Leader Somawansa
JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe said today that the Provincial Council Poll results do not portray the true mandate or opinion of people.

Ranjan gets highest preferences

Ranjan gets highest preferences
UNP Chief Ministerial Candidate Ranjan Ramanayake got 130,258 preferences in Ratnapura while UPFA Chief Ministerial Candidate Mahipala Herath got 98,120 preferences in Kegalle at the Saturday’s PCs elections.

President says Victory for motherland

President says Victory for motherland

The governing United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) emerged victorious at Saturday’s North Central and Sabaragamuwa provincial council elections and President Mahinda Rajapaksa termed it as a “victory for the motherland.”

The UPFA has secured 20 seats with 307,457 votes in the North Central Province and 25 seats in Sabaragamuwa polling 472,789 votes while the main opposition UNP polled 205,284 in the North Central Province getting 12 seats and 346,321 votes in Sabaragamuwa getting 17 seats.

The JVP was only able to obtain 26,738 votes in the North Central Province obtaining one seat and 19,068 votes in Sabaragamuwa winning two seats.

“I see the convincing victory by the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) at the elections to the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils held yesterday as a victory for all our people who love our motherland.

“It is an election where the country has won. While thanking the people of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Ratnapura, and Kegalle Districts and all others, who contributed to this victory, I call upon them to enjoy their success in peace,” an elated Presdient Rajapaksa said.

“I express my humble gratitude for the new people’s mandate given to the “Mahinda Chinthana” through the free and fair election held yesterday.

“There is no doubt that public opinion represented in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces is the opinion of the entire country. While the majority of our people have been able to defeat the many vicious efforts of forces that were ranged against the country, the strength and morale that our heroic troops will receive from this victory in their battles to finally end the bloody terrorism from our country is immeasurable.

“My government and I give foremost place to the country, and its people. This public mandate has given greater strength and courage to expedite and energise our march to protect the country and awaken the people.

“I repeat the plea I made to you in the Presidential Election of 2005 to help build a country that is free of the differences of political party, colour and all such differences.

I wish to state that the door remains open for those who have delayed to join us on that march,” the President added.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

UPFA won Polonnaruwa

UPFA 6 seats and UNP 4 seats. JVP no any seat in Polonnaruwa District

The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) won the Polonnaruwa district in the North Central Provincial Council Election with 107910 (six seats), United National Party with 63265 (4 Seats) while Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) with 7381. No any seat for JVP.

North Centrel and Sabaragagamuva Provincial Council Election Results

North Centrel and Sabaragagamuva Provincial Council Election Results

Minister's brother assaults JVP MP Subasingha-Serious injured

JVP MP S.K. Subasinghe was assaulted around 5.15 this afternoon (Aug. 23rd) when he visited Galthambarawa polling centre in Polonnaruwa to inquire into a dispute there.
He had received information that UPFA supporters had prevented his party's representative at the booth from leaving the place.
When Mr. Subasinghe had attempted to mediate, he was assaulted by a group led by Minister Maithripala Sirisena's brother Chaminda.
The JVP MP has been admitted to Polonnaruwa Hospital with serious injuries.

Provicial Council poll turnout between 65 - 70 pc

Voting to elect representatives to the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils closed at 4.00 pm today (Aug. 23rd), with a turnout of between 65 and 70 percent, said the Elections Secretariat.The sealed ballot boxes are being transported to counting centres by now, while the counting of postal votes is underway.

The EC expects to release the first result by 2.00 am tomorrow.

The special poll monitoring coordinating unit said the election had been relatively peaceful.

However, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence said it has received 43 complaints, including 24 serious incidents.

Its co-convener Uvindu Kulakurasuriya said considering the serious nature of pre-poll violence and the terror situation that ensued, this election could not be considered a free and fair one.

Meanwhile, R. Yogarajan of the Ceylon Workers' Congress allege that around 10,000 Tamil estate workers were denied their vote due to national identity card being made compulsory at the polls

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Why having an extra wife may lead to a longer life

Why having an extra wife may lead to a longer life

The key to a long life could be as simple as getting a second wife.

Research suggests that men from polygamist cultures live 12 per cent longer than those who limit their affections to one woman at a time.

It is thought men benefit from having a fuss made over them by a gaggle of women.
They may also better care of themselves into old age when they have a large family to feed, this week's New Scientist reports.

Sheffield University researchers uncovered the 'benefits' of polygamy by scrutinising World Health Organisation data on marriage practices and on life span.

The analysis shows that men who live in countries where it is common to have more than one wife tend to outlive their monogamous counterparts.

The finding took into account a country's economic situation to minimise the effect of better nutrition and healthcare in monogamous Western nations.

It is thought that the pressure of having to provide for a big families may lead to men taking better care of their bodies and their health. They may also benefit from the care and attention of several wives.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Army recovers suicide jackets and detonators at Colombo

Sri lanka Army recovers accessories for suicide jackets and 19 detonators from a Church at Pettah in Colombo today at 8Am military spokesman said .

Susanthika fails to enter finals

Susanthika fails to enter finals

Susanthika Jayasinghe failed to enter the finals of the women’s 200m event at the Beijing Olympics 2008.She clocked 22.98 seconds coming seventh in the first semi finals a short while ago .

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Susanthika qualifies and Nadeeka fails for the Olympic semifinals

Susanthika qualifies and Nadeeka fails for the semifinals

Susanthika Jayasinghe was placed third in the second round of heats moments ago at the Olympics in Beijing. She clocked a time of 22.94 seconds and qualified for the semifinals in the Women’s 200m.But Nadeeka Lakmali fails to qualify for the final round in the Javelin throw at the Beijing Olympics.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Magistrate ordered IGP to arrest Minister Mervyn

Colombo Additional Magistrate ordered IGP to arrest Minister Mervyn Silva and 3 others immediately in connection with the Sirasa incident.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Army captures Tiger training base

The Army captured an LTTE training base at Andankulam in Welioya last evening. The base included 100 under ground bunkers, several buildings and a cemetery.

Air Force attack LTTE locations

Air Force Jets attacked an LTTE bunker line 8 km east of Nachikudah this morning. The Air Force says the attack was carried out in suport of ground troops of the 58th Division.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

IFJ demands Sri Lankan President to end Minister's anti-media campaign

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) demanded immediate intervention by Sri Lanka's President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, to order an end to Labour Minister Mervyn Silva's anti-media campaign of interrogation and violence against Sirasa TV.

According to the Free Media Movement (FMM), an IFJ affiliate, Minister Silva reportedly organized a protest with about 100 people outside the Sirasa TV station in Colombo on August 11 to call for a ban on the broadcaster.

Sirasa TV has consistently reported on a series of verbal and physical attacks by Silva against journalists, most notably a violent confrontation between the Minister and the news director of the state-run Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) in December 2007.

More recently, Silva assaulted journalist Thushara Saliya Ranawaka and video cameraman Waruna Sampath, on August 4 while they were reporting on a bridge opening in Kelaniya. Silva’s verbal threats against them were recorded on a camera, which was reportedly confiscated by the Minister.

Political observers say the minister is emboldened by the support of President Rajapaksa and his government turning a blind eye to his roguish behavior. They say the minister brings the party to disgrace by his thuggish actions.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Chinthana tops "C" category in weightlifting

Chinthana tops "C" category in weightlifting

Sri Lanka's premier weight lifter Chinthana Geethal Vidanage was the most successful competitor of Group "C" of the Olympic weightlifting under 69 Kg category.

Chinthana had an aggregate of 293 kilograms in the 'snatch' and 'clean and jerk', which is a newSri Lankan record.

Chinthana, who clinched the gold medal in 62 kg weight lifting event at the Commonwealth Games in 2006 in Australia also set up three records at the 33rd National Sports Meet held recently.

Chinthana was born in Polonnaruwa on the 31st of December 1981 and began his weight lifting career in 1996 when he was placed fifth at the Junior Weight-Lifting Nationals.

The Category A and B events are yet to be worked out

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Police ordered to arrest suspects

A Colombo Magistrate yesterday ordered the police to arrest all suspects involved in the alleged assault on Sirasa photo journalists and the grabbing of their camera equipment in Kelaniya recently.

Colombo Additional Magistrate Manjula Thilakarane made the order after the Peliyagoda Police told court that they had recorded statements from the complainant Waruna Sampath and several other eye witnesses to the incident that took place during the opening of the second stage of the flyover .

According to the complainant a team of journalists headed by Waruna Sampath had visited the venue to cover the opening ceremony on an invitation made by Highways Ministry Media Secretary Shirantha Ellawala Premawardena by fax. The team of journalists comprised Waruna Sampath, his assistant cameraman Deeptha Ranasinghe and Provincial reporter Asela.

Air Force bomb Tiger locations

Air Force bomb Tiger locations

The Air Force said it had bombed a LTTE Supply base in Vishwamadu, Kilinochchi, a radar point at Nagasiwanturai, Poonaryn and an intelligence camp in Puthukuduirrippu, Mulaitivu both last night and this morning.

Friday, August 8, 2008

President visits Olympic villag

President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in Beijing today (August 06) upon the invitation of the Government of the People's Republic of China. He will attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, scheduled to commence on August 8.

The President visited the Olympic Village and met the Sri Lankan team competing in the Games and wished the good luck at the forthcoming sports extravaganza.

Eight Sri Lankan athletes will compete in six sports in the 29th 2008 Summer Olympics which will continue until Augst 24.

UN wants SB's civic rights restored

UN wants SB's civic rights restored

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR) of the United Nations has called for the restoration of the civic rights of S.B. Dissanayaka as well as the payment of compensation.

Traditional August Madhu feast cancelled

Traditional August Madhu feast cancelled

The traditional Madhu feast scheduled to be staged this month has been canceled, Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph said in a press statement.

He said that the Sacred Statue of Our Lady of Madhu will be taken to its original place of Madhu Church and enthroned after due penitential and purification service.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Breakfast meeting between the Prime minister and the president of Afganistan


Breakfast meeting between the Prime

Minister of Pakistan and the President of Afghanistan

Picture--Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Gillani

The Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, His Excellency Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani and the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, His Excellency Mr. Hamid Karzai met over breakfast today on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit in Colombo. The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere.

The President and the Prime Minister recalled the strong bonds of brotherhood between Pakistan and Afghanistan and exchanged views on the common challenges facing the two countries in terms of dealing with terrorism and militancy.

Both sides agreed that there was a need for the two governments to engage on all issues across the board with a view to developing a common strategy to overcome the challenges posed to the security and stability of both countries by terrorism and extremism. The two sides agreed to coordinate their efforts to stop cross border terrorism.

Picture:President Karzai

The Prime Minister and the President decided that their respective Foreign Ministers will meet to prepare grounds for a framework for close and constructive engagement between the two countries to build confidence and develop a common strategy at the political, military and intelligence levels in collaboration with their coalition partners and NATO/ISAF.

The Prime Minister and the President also stressed the importance of closer bilateral engagement at the leadership level and, at Afghanistan’s suggestion, agreed that the engagement should also lead to expediting the process of convening the mini-Jirga, as soon as possible.

At the suggestion of Pakistan, the Afghan side agreed to re-engage on all bilateral and multilateral forums.

Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn is no more

Alexander Solzhenitsyn is no more

Mr.Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel Prize-winning authorAlexander Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel Prize-winning author who shot to fame when he chronicled the horrors of the Soviet gulag system earning him 20 years of bitter exile, died late Sunday night (August 3) at the age of 89.

Beginning with the 1962 short novel "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich", Solzhenitsyn devoted himself to describing what he called the human "meat grinder" that had caught him along with millions of other Soviet citizens: arrests for the most trivial or reasons followed by sentences to labor camps where cold, starvation and punishing work crushed inmates physically and psychologically.

His "Gulag Archipelago" trilogy of the 1970s left readers shocked by the savagery of the Soviet state under Josef Stalin and cultivated disenchantment regarding the Soviet Union among many leftist intellectuals, especially in Europe.

Although the West offered him shelter and showered him with accolades, Solzhenitsyn remained critical of Western culture for what he considered its weakness and decadence.

He returned to his native land After to undertake a 56-day train trip across Russia to become reacquainted with his native land but late expressed disappointment that most Russians hadn't read his book.

During the 1990s, his nationalist views, his Orthodoxy, his disdain for capitalism and disgust with the tycoons who bought Russian industries and resources for a song following the Soviet collapse, made him rapidly lose popular appeal among the emerging elite and he faded from public view.

Solzhenitsyn's vision of Russia as a bastion of Orthodox Christianity, as a place with a unique culture and destiny, saw resurgence however during the tenure of Vladimir Putin from 2002-2008.

Born Dec. 11, 1918, in Kislovodsk, Solzhenitsyn served as a front-line artillery captain in World War II. As the way drew to a close, he was arrested for writing what he called "certain disrespectful remarks" about Stalin in a letter to a friend, referring to him as "the man with the mustache." He served seven years in a labor camp in the barren steppe of Kazakhstan and three more years in internal exile in Central Asia.

That's where he began to write about the suffering and injustice of life in Stalin's gulag — a Soviet abbreviation for the slave labor camp system, which Solzhenitsyn made part of the lexicon.

He continued writing while working as a mathematics teacher in the provincial Russian city of Ryazan.

His "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich", the story of a carpenter struggling to survive in a Soviet labor camp, where he had been sent, like Solzhenitsyn, after service in the war was published by order of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who was eager to discredit the abuses of Stalin, his predecessor.

Outside the Soviet Union the book was acclaimed for its bravery and its unpretentious language.

After Khrushchev was ousted in 1964, Solzhenitsyn began facing KGB harassment, publication of his works was blocked and he was expelled from the Soviet Writers Union.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970. The academy cited "the ethical force with which he has pursued the indispensable traditions of Russian literature."

Soviet authorities barred the author from traveling to Stockholm to receive the award and official attacks were intensified in 1973 when the first book in the Gulag trilogy appeared in Paris.

Solzhenitsyn spent his last years in the USA in Cavendish, Vermont, with his wife and sons where he worked on what he considered to be his life's work, a multi-volume saga of Russian history titled "The Red Wheel".

Solzhenitsyn was never enchanted by Western democracy, with its emphasis on individual freedom and dismayed many when hi his Harvard speech he decried "Western pluralistic democracy" as the model for all other nations. It was a mistake, he warned, for Western societies to regard the failure of the rest of the world to adopt the democratic model as a product of "wicked governments or by heavy crises or by their own barbarity or incomprehension."

Life Expectancy of Sri Lankans improves -- WHO

Life Expectancy of Sri Lankans improves -- WHO

According to a recent study by the World Health Organization (WHO) the life expectancy of both Sri Lankan males and females has increased by 10%.

The life expectancy of a female has gone up to 79 years compared with 69 years in 2004 and that of a male has gone up to 69 years as compared to 60 years in 2004.

According to Health Ministry sources the percentage of people who smoke is down to 7.1% when compared with 16.5 % smokers both male and female in 2005.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Control Act of 2007 and the 'Mathata-Thitha 'programme is largely responsible for this significant drop, according to ministry sources while the improvement in life expectancy numbers is attributed to the Government's public health policy which has seen a general improvement in health standards.

Sunday, August 3, 2008



SAARC calls for 'strongest cooperation' to wage war on terror

The 15th SAARC summit ended in Colombo on Sunday with calls by its eight member states to step up “strongest possible cooperation” against terrorism as well as to urgently develop regional hydro potential, grid connectivity and gas pipelines for energy security.
A declaration adopted by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) at the end of a two-day summit also warned that rising oil prices were threatening the hugely populous region's energy security as well as economic growth.
“They (SAARC leaders) stressed the urgent need to develop the regional hydro potential, grid connectivity and gas pipelines,” it said. “They noted that the possibility of evolving an appropriate regional inter-governmental framework may be explored to facilitate such endeavour.”
The declaration was unanimously approved by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other South Asian leaders at the closing event at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Convention Hall.
The two-day event, which virtually shut down Colombo for three days, brought together Presidents Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka and Maumoon Abdul Gayoom of the Maldives, Prime Ministers GP Koirala of Nepal, Jigmey Thinley of Bhutan and Yousaf Raza Gilani of Pakistan as well as Fakruddin Ahmed, chief advisor of the caretaker Bangladesh government.
As reflected in the speeches by SAARC leaders Saturday, the declaration placed great emphasis on the need to fight terrorism. It condemned “all forms of terrorist violence” and expressed deep concern over the “serious threat posed by terrorism to the region”.
The SAARC leaders reiterated their commitment to strengthening the legal regime against terrorism, including by undertaking to implement all international conventions relating to combating terrorism.
“They emphasized the need for strongest possible cooperation in the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime.”
The declaration observed that an effective and economic regional tele-communication regime “is an essential factor of connectivity, encouraging the growth of people-centric partnerships”.
It also called for a uniformly applicable low tariff for international direct dial calls within South Asia.
The next meeting of the SAARC summit is scheduled to be held in the Maldives. The Maldives was to have hosted the 15th summit but backed off at the eleventh hour, enabling Sri Lanka to play the host.

Terrorism biggest threat to South Asia's stability: Indian PM

Terrorism biggest threat to South Asia's stability

Terrorism is the biggest threat to South Asia's stability, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit (SARRC) on Saturday(02) in Colombo Sri Lanka."Terrorists and extremists don't know borders. We must act with determination to fight terrorism. We cannot lose the battle against ideologies of hatred," said Dr Singh.Dr Singh urged the SAARC countries to jointly act and battle the scourge with determination. "Terrorism continues to rear its ugly head," Singh said.

Terrorism was high on the agenda of the two-day summit being attended by Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and leaders from Sri Lanka , Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan.
Dr Singh is scheduled to meet Gilani to convey India's concerns over the Inter Services Intelligence links in the suicide bomb attack on Indian embassy in Kabul as also the recent ceasefire violations by the Pakistani forces along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
Indian prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh full speach read

Pakistan, India PMs discuss composite dialogue, bilateral relations

Pakistan, India PMs discuss composite dialogue, bilateral relations

A closed-door meeting between Pakisthan Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and Indian premier Manmohan Sindh ended on Saturday with an agreement to continue the peace process, diplomats said.

India Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said that during their meeting, “both prime ministers [Singh and Gilani] said we need to overcome (problems) and move forward”. He told reporters that Gilani had agreed to probe charges that Pakistani intelligence was behind the embassy suicide attack, AFP reported.Exchange: During their meeting, Gilani and Singh exchanged views on various issues, including the Indo-Pak composite dialogue, bilateral relations, trade and security.Following the meeting, which focused mostly on the Indian embassy bombing in Kabul, representatives of both countries provided their views.Gilani agreed to conduct an independent inquiry about Pakistani intelligence aiding the embassy attack, Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee told media. This contradicted Gilani’s statement that the Indian premier had said that Pakistan had not been blamed for the attack.Meeting: Gilani also told reporters he would discuss the Indian embassy attack with Karzai on Sunday. “If they give me evidence, then we will look into the matter,” he added. The premier said he was meeting with both Singh and Karzai because Pakistan wants cordial relations with neighbors.

Sharing the leadership

Sharing the ledership

President Mahinda Rajapaksa in animated conversation with Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh after taking over the mantle of Chairmanship from the Indian leader during yesterday’s 15th SAARC Summit in Colombo. (Pic by Srilal Gomes)

Redouble collective efforts to combat terrorism – President to SAARC

Redouble collective efforts to combat terrorism – President to SAARC

President Mahinda Percival Rajapakse delivers the opening speech at the 15th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) at the BMICH in Colombo Saturday. Pic by Gemunu Wellage

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing the opening session of the 15th SAARC Summit this morning (August 2) at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, called on the South Asian leaders attending the summit to commit themselves and their countries to a more determined and concerted effort to collectively combat the scourge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestation. He emphasized that it is the very interdependence which gave

birth to SAARC that has emerged as the crucial factor for durable peace and the protection of democratic values in the region.

In this regard, President Rajapaksa expressed the need to ensure strengthening regional legal mechanisms and intensifying intelligence sharing, in order to secure the region’s collective prosperity, peace and stability, in combating terrorism. He said it is also necessary that South Asia as a region, endeavour to set right the many wrong impressions that exist, or are promoted elsewhere, about the actions that are imperative to protect our people and societies from the brutalities of terrorism. Terrorism anywhere is terrorism and there are no good terrorists or bad terrorists, he emphasized.
15th SAARC Summit

Calls for vicious cycles of economic growth, food security and regional cooperation on combating terrorism, dominated the 15th SAARC Summit, held amidst pomp, pageantry and unprecedented local and international security at the BMICH yesterday.

The Summit got underway with President Mahinda Rajapaksa who assumed the chairmanship of the eight nation grouping, exhorting the need for greater economic cooperation, which would help empower the vast majority of the regions 1.5 billion people who live in poverty.
Describing terrorism as "terrorism", where ever it may be, Rajapaksa thanked SAARC member countries for helping Sri Lanka combat the scourge of terror.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Nepal and Sri Lanka discuss development of Lumbini

Nepal and Sri Lanka discuss development of Lumbini

Sri Lanka and Nepal agreed today (August 1) to develop Lumbini as the most attractive and sacred tourist destination in the South Asia region during talks between the leaders of the two countries.

This was decided when Nepal's Prime Minister, Girija Prasad Koirala who arrived in the island to take part the in 15th SAARC Summit to be held on August 2 and 3, met President Mahinda Rajapaksa today at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo.

This was the first bilateral between South Asian leaders on the sidelines of the Summit. President Mahinda Rajapaksa pointed out that he had made this proposal many years ago when he was only a Member of Parliament.

The Nepali leader briefed President Rajapaksa about the development of the Lumbini Airport and its importance in developing tourism in the area.
Lumbini, the birthplace of Prince Siddhartha Gauthama,is held sacred by Buddhists all over the world.

President meets India Prime Minister

president meets India Prime Minister
President Mahinda Rajapaksa Meeting with Dr.Manmohan Singh Prime Minister of India at Presidential Secretariat Colombo on 1st.(Pix by: Sudath Silva)

Dr.Manmohan Singh in Colombo

Manmohan Singh arrives

Indian Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh arrived in Sri Lanka in this afternoon to take part in the 15th SAARC summit. warmly welcomed by the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ratnasiri Wickramanayake at the air port.