Chandrika loses her last bastion

The voters of Attanagalla, the stronghold of the Bandaranaike dynasty yesterday (March 24) rejected former president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga’s appointment as the Sri Lanka Freedom Party chairperson of Ruwanpura Bala Mandalaya.

She was the SLFP chairperson of the Ruwanpura Bala Mandala for the past 18 years. The members of the Bala Mandala selected a newcomer, Dinesh Madushan Kularatna as the new chairman. As a result the former president lost her final designation within the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. The Bala Mandala members said they had decided to reject Ms. Kumaratunga as they are unable to meet her in any emergency situation.


Spur Media Release: Suicide Bomb Attack on a Religious procession by LTTE

The Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka condemns the brutal massacre carried out by the suicide bomber of the LTTE. Time and again the LTTE have proved that they are no respecters of religions. To carry out such a dastardly act at such a holy occasion shows up the LTTE for what they really are: a brutal, barbaric and bloodthirsty organisation.

By selecting a Muslim festival to carry out such an attack on civilians, the LTTE have again shown their contempt for the Islamic religious activities.. On previous occasions, the LTTE attacked mosques while the faithful were at prayer, and this time, they selected the celebration of the Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday, one of the most holy days on the Islamic calendar, to carry out this brutal attack.

Media like the BBC are questioning how the LTTE can carry out such suicide attacks if they are cornered in Puthukudiyiruppu. It is the cadres who were sent to the south during the infamous ceasefire for this very purpose who carry out these attacks. Then the plan was to cow the south into submission, now these attacks are intended to provoke a backlash against those Tamils who have chosen to live in peace and safety away from the bloodthirsty LTTE. The LTTE are hoping to gain the goodwill of the international community through fabrications that the Sinhala people are bent on genocide. Instead, the LTTE are shown up as those who commit genocide – even against their “own” people and minority Muslims.

The international community and the international media should recognise the LTTE for what they are, not your friendly freedom fighter, but a brutal terrorist organisation interested only in turning Sri Lanka into a killing field – even if they do not achieve their Eelam. The Tamil people do not need the LTTE to fight for their freedom for they are free. They live and work, carry on their businesses and their day-to-day lives among the rest of the Sri Lankan community in the south.

For the past twenty-five years, it has been the ordinaryTamils in the North who have not had that freedom. They have been forced to give up their right to freedom in order that the LTTE may thrive. Even the food supplies provided by the Government of Sri Lanka have been stolen from them by the LTTE who hand out a pittance to the civilians keeping a lion’s share for themselves. Their children, boys and girls alike, have not been safe from the LTTE. Today, they have been forced to become a human shield to safeguard that very LTTE that preyed on them all these years.

We call upon the international community, the UN and human rights organisations like the HRW and other organisations like AI, to urge the LTTE to stop the carnage they wreak on civilians, free the Tamil civilians they are holding hostage, lay down their arms and surrender to the Sri Lankan security forces immediately.


Anti Air Missiles Fired From No Fire

Anti-air missiles fired from No-Fire-Zone – Puthukkudiyirippu

LTTE terrorists have reportedly fired surface-to-air-missiles (SAM) at two Sri Lankan Air Force Bell- 212 helicopters, engaged in casualty evacuation operations in general area Puthukudiyirippu today (March 25) at around 11a.m.

According to Air Force Spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara, the pilots have managed to take the injured personnel into safety from the risk imposed with evasive air maneuvers evading the missile attack. LTTE terrorists have fired the missiles from the government declared No Fire Zone , the Spokesperson said citing SLAF pilots and technical sources.


Now OPEN: Treasury bill and Treasury bond Market for Sri Lankan Diaspora

Treasury bills and Treasury bonds are issued by the Government of Sri Lanka to Sri Lankan Diaspora and Migrant Workforce since January 6th, 2009.

Through this scheme, it is expected to widen the investor base, diversify the Government Securities market, make it more convenient for Sri Lankans living abroad to access Government Securities, and to create a more stable Government securities market.

This scheme will also provide a safe and highly liquid investment opportunity for Sri Lankans living abroad, while providing them with an attractive return on their investments.

To facilitate this endeavour, which is expected to cover almost the entire globe, six Joint Lead Managers, namely, Bank of Ceylon, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, National Savings Bank, NatWealth Securities Ltd., People’s Bank and Sampath Bank have been appointed.

Investments in Treasury bills or Treasury bonds could be channelled through any one of the Joint Lead Managers, using the Treasury bill/bond Investment External Rupee Account-D (TIERA-D) to be opened by the investor for that purpose.Remittances into and out of TIERA-D accounts would be free from exchange controls.This scheme will benefit, Sri Lankans living abroad, including Sri Lankans who have made their permanent residence overseas (Non-residents), citizens of Sri Lanka who have taken up overseas employment or set up business abroad, citizens of Sri Lanka with dual citizenship living in Sri Lanka or abroad, and Sri Lankan professionals living in Sri Lanka or abroad who earn income in foreign currency.


Suriya Sinha Awards Presented by Mawbima Lanka Foundation

Suriya Sinha Awards, an annual awards ceremony of the Mawbima Lanka Foundation was held at the BMICH last morning (18).

The event saw 46 Sri Lankan home grown corporates being awarded brand names while 300 were presented with Suriya Sinha Award. ITN and Lakhanda Radio were honoured for their media role on innovations.

The website was also launched.

Chairman Maubima Lanka Foundation, Ariyaseela Wickrmanayake said Sri Lanka has spent Rs. 30billion for the import of milk when the country can be self-sufficient. There has been a 15 per cent increase of milk production after the ban of slaughter of cows from last year. `Milk production is a major contributor to the New Zealand`s GDP and 85 per cent of their produce is for export. With the present initiative taken I am sure Sri Lanka will be self sufficient in milk in five years. Similarly Sri Lanka can be self sufficient in sugar and many other imported commodities, he said.

He also said the telecommunication industry had revenue in the excess of Rs. 8 billion and appealed for the companies to reduce tariff. He appealed from the users to use a handset for a longer period to cut foreign exchange flowing to foreign manufacturers. He appealed from the public to buy Sri Lankan products thus saving foreign exchange, encouraging entrepreneurs and strengthening Sri Lankan economy.

The Minister Kumara Welgama addressing the ceremony said that the Government was implementing a major programme for the well being of the local industrialists. This he said had been consolidated through the Budget.

It was also mentioned that President Mahinda Rajapaksa presented the last budget travelling in a locally assembled Micro car powered by locally made Ethanol.