*LTTE accuses Army DPU
*Udaya says Tigers responsible for Wanni
18 civilians killed in Wanni blasts
civilians including six children were killed
in two claymore attacks on two vehicles in
Tiger controlled Wanni allegedly carried out
by army deep penetration teams on May 23,
the Tigers said.
Sixteen civilians were killed when the van
they were travelling in was caught in a
claymore attack at Murgunadi, just south of
Kilinochchi on May 23 afternoon around 2.15
The van with the civilians was returning
from the Muzhangkaavil Hospital to
Kilinochchi on the Akkarayan-Murugandi Road
when the explosion took place. Initial
reports said that the civilians were on
their way to attend the funeral of LTTE
military top ranker Balraj when the
explosion took place at a location called
said, “16 dead bodies, four males, six
females and six children, were brought to
Kilinochchi Hospital.” Over 20 were feared
injured in the blast.
Six hours before the attack on the van, the
Tigers said that two civilians who were
catching a ride in an ambulance from the
Kilinochchi Hospital were killed when it was
hit by a claymore attack at Muzhangkaavil,
around 8 a.m in the morning.
The ambulance had been returning from
Vavuniya after transporting patients.
However, Military Spokesperson Brigadier
Udaya Nanayakkara said that no
information has been received in Colombo
as yet and the LTTE was totally
responsible for incidents that take
place in areas under their control.
*Petrol, Diesel gallon Rs 706.50, Rs 495
*Transport charges upped this week by 30%
*Fertilizer subsidy to be slashed
Massive price hike in petrol, diesel, kerosene
cabinet of ministers met in emergency
session last evening and decided to increase
the prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene and
furnace oil by almost 20 percent.
The government is also considering slashing
the fertilizer subsidy and an announcement
is expected this week.
President Mahinda Rajapakse told the cabinet
of ministers last evening that given the
price hike in the world market the
government could no longer continue to incur
losses by subsidising fuel at the present
rates and that the prices would have to be
increased with immediate effect.
Following the cabinet granting approval for
the price hike, the CPC announced that the
price of a litre of 90 octane petrol would
be increased by Rs. 30 from Rs. 127 to Rs.
Accordingly, a gallon of 90 octane petrol
will now cost Rs. 706.50
The price of 95 octane petrol was increased
by Rs. 40 per litre from Rs. 130 to Rs. 170.
Accordingly a gallon of 95 octane petrol
will now cost Rs. 765.
The price of a litre of diesel was also
increased by Rs. 30 from Rs. 80 to Rs. 110
making a gallon Rs. 495. Lanka Super Diesel
was increased by Rs. 40 per litre from Rs.
85.30 to Rs. 125.30 making a gallon Rs.
A litre of kerosene was increased by Rs. 10
per litre from Rs. 70 to Rs. 80 making a
gallon Rs. 360.
Meanwhile, Lanka Furnace Oil (1500 Sec) was
increased by Rs. 10 per litre from Rs. 61.70
to Rs 71.70. Lanka Furnace oil (3500 Sec)
was also increased by Rs. 10 from Rs. 56.65
to Rs. 66.65.
With the fuel price hikes bus fares are also
expected to increase from this week with the
Private Bus Owners Association announcing
that they will increase the bus fares no
sooner than fuel prices are raised by the
President, Private Bus Owners Association
(PBOA), Gemunu Wijeratne told The Sunday
Leader last night that they would
increase bus fares by a minimum of 30% from
Monday. He said this is the largest ever
fuel price hike in the history of the
country and that they will be left with no
choice but to increase fares.
He also said a meeting is scheduled with
Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma today
where the new fare structure would be
Further with the current price increases
electricity and essential food items are
also expected to see steep price increases.
An indication of the imminent slashing of
the fertilizer subsidy was also given by
President Rajapakse yesterday. At a meeting
with the farmers associations on Friday the
President said that given the world fuel
price hike he is no longer in a position to
maintain the current subsidies.
He had said that since the farmers had
increased their income with a good harvest
they should be able to meet the challenges
that would arise with the slashing of the
The President pointed out that while the
government had initially allocated Rs.
15,000 million as a subsidy it had now
increased to Rs. 40,000 million and the
government was no longer in a position to
Agriculture Minister Maithripala Sirisena
who was also at the meeting, endorsing the
president’s views, said the steep rise in
oil prices has made it impossible for the
government to continue with the current
*Charge sheet to be read out
JVP invites Wimal and team for convention
By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
JVP’s dissident Propaganda Secretary Wimal
Weerawansa and the other 10 defectors have
been invited to attend the party’s fifth
convention scheduled to be held on Tuesday
(27), where the charges levelled against
Weerawansa by the central committee would be
officially read out to the members.
Invitations to Weerawansa and the other
defectors have been posted through
According to JVP sources, since the
invitations were sent through registered
post, Weerawansa and the other defectors
cannot claim they have not received the
invitation to attend the convention.
It is learnt that the JVP’s internal crisis
would be taken up for discussion along with
the charges levelled against the party’s
dissident propaganda secretary and
parliamentary group leader Wimal Weerawansa.
Through the open discussion on the charges
presented by the central committee the party
is to also decide on the action to be
instituted against Weerawansa as well as the
other dissident members.
The charges levelled against Weerawansa
initially by the central committee have now
been increased following his defection from
Acting against the party’s ideology and
policies, taking internal party issues out
into the open, making a statement on
internal party issues in parliament and
factionalising the party are some of the new
charges that have been added to the already
The Sunday Leader
reliably learns that the JVP leadership was
also in possession of several letters, some
written by Weerawansa himself and one by his
wife, Shirsha “Sashi” Udayanthi to the
party. Some of the contents of these letters
it is learnt, justifies the charges levelled
against Weerawansa while another letter
written by him was self critical.
The JVP’s stance on the matter is that it
was prepared to come out with the letters if
the party was challenged to do so by
However, the party’s final decision on
Weerawansa would be arrived at the
convention on Tuesday.
New appointments are also to be made to the
posts of parliament group leader, propaganda
secretary and the leader of the Colombo
District committee — all posts previously
held by Weerawansa.
The names of the new appointees to the posts
are to be presented to the gathering by the
newly formed central committee for approval.
The party’s parliamentarians, members from
the provincial councils and local government
bodies and representatives from the district
committees are all expected to participate
at the event which is to be held at the
Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium.
The ceremonies connected with the opening
will go on from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m, while the
official work is scheduled to commence at 2
Tension grips Eravur over abducted Muslims
gripped Batticaloa yesterday over two
missing Muslim youths in Eravur with the
Muslims stating they would begin an
agitation campaign if they were not returned
by Saturday (24).
The two youths from Eravur, Batticaloa were reportedly
missing from Thursday (22), when violence
erupted in Kattankudy over the killing of
two TMVP cadres, including Shanthan and two
Muslim civilians in the area. Muslims in the
area claimed that the two youths were
abducted by an unknown group and called for
their immediate release.
Sources in the area told The Sunday Leader that
relatives of the two abducted youths have
met with some of the people involved in the
abduction. At the meeting, the relatives
have been informed that the two Muslims
would be released Saturday night.
Eravur police however said the story that
the two Muslim youths were abducted was
According to the police, they were not abducted, but had
been missing since last Thursday (22). The
Eravur police said the youths have however
not returned home by Saturday (24) evening.
However, Muslims in Eravur were agitated
over the delay in releasing the youths.
SLMC Chairman, Basheer Segu Dawood held a discussion
yesterday with the Muslims in Eravur in a
bid to resolve the crisis.
TMVP spokesman Azad Maulana has reportedly
claimed that they were investigating into a
complaint over the disappearance of two
Muslim youth in Eravur.
Fishing ban back in Muttur
restrictions were reimposed in Muttur, south
of Trincomalee harbour until the security
evaluation at the harbour was carried out
following the sinking of a navy ship on May
10, the navy said.
Fishermen in the area said that they were
only allowed to go fishing on two days since
the Eastern Provincial Council polls.
They were allowed to fish on May 20 and 21
last week and were not allowed to go
Navy Spokesperson Commander D.K.P.
Dassanayake told The Sunday Leader
that the fishermen were not allowed to fish
in Muttur as the navy was evaluating the
security in the region following the sinking
of the ship on May 10.
He said that the restriction was to be
lifted from yesterday.
SLFP Pradeshiya Sabha member in Muttur M.S.
Rajees also said that the security near the
jetty where the ship was sunk was being
reviewed and therefore the Muttur fishermen
were not allowed to go into the seas until
it was safe.
The fishermen earlier expressed concerns on
the restriction due to the fact that the
fishing season in the area would end when
the direction of the wind changes in three
The fishermen also said that children of
fisher families had suffered from
malnutrition and had fainted in schools, as
the families were faced with economic
Rajees however said that he had not
received such reports.
JVP plans all island campaign for salary
By Nirmala Kannangara
JVP has decided to initiate a strong
agitation campaign islandwide calling on the
Mahinda Rajapakse administration to increase
the salaries of private, public and estate
sector workers to be on par with the rising
cost of living.
The JVP is to initiate the campaign through
its trade union wing.
JVP parliamentarian and trade union wing
leader, K.D. Lalkantha was reported in the
media last week that the party was to launch
an islandwide agitation campaign.
Lalkantha also said at the party’s May Day
rally this year that the country has
recorded the highest increase in the cost of
living index between 2005 and 2007, since
President Mahinda Rajapakse assumed office.
He said that the cost of living has
increased to such a level that a minimum of
Rs. 30,885 a month is required to maintain a
“The index has gone up by 2000 points since
the Rajapakse regime came to power. If Rs.
2.20 was given to each point, the salaries
of public servants should be increased by Rs.
5,000 a month,” he has said.
Lalkantha warned that the JVP would mobilise
the masses to win these demands.
Convener, JVP affiliated National Trade
Union Centre (NTUC), Samantha Koralarachchi
told The Sunday Leader that the NTUC
was yet to decide when the campaign would be
“Although discussions are underway to decide
on the matter, we have not yet decided when
and where the campaign would be launched,”
However, he said that although the trade
unions have been threatening to launch an
islandwide strike calling for an increase in
salaries to the public, private and estate
sector workers, it was delayed due to the
prevailing situation in the country.
Meanwhile, the JVP affiliated Ceylon
Teachers’ Service Union (CTSU) is to
launch a sick-note campaign on June 11
and 12 in addition to the A/Level
teachers’ decision to abstain from
applying for paper evaluation 2008 as a
result of the government’s failure to
rectify the salary anomalies in the
teacher/principal services according to
General Secretary CTSU, Mahinda
Consumers exploited by vegetable vendors
are forced to face the brunt of
escalating prices of vegetables as there
is no proper authority to control
While vegetable sellers are capitalising
on this shortcoming vegetables are not
listed as an essential item in the
Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA)
The Sunday Leader
learns some vegetables are cheaper at
supermarkets than in vegetable stalls
and consumers are forced to buy
vegetables at exorbitant prices.
Speaking to The Sunday Leader
Chairman, CAA, Rumy Marzook said there
were only 14 items listed as essential
in the Gazette notification under
On March 5, 2007 white sugar, dry
chilies, big onions, red onions, dhal,
dried sprats, gram, green gram, canned
fish, chicken and meat were gazetted as
essential items under the CAA. On August
20, 2003 LP gas, cement and milk powder
were gazetted followed by wheat flour on
May 26, 2004.
According to CAA officials cement was
delisted from the list on February 25,
2004 and listed again as an essential
item on August 25, 2005. On October 26,
2006 all types of cement were listed
under the CAA,” the CAA official said.
The latest addition to the essential
items list under the CAA was rice on
January 23, 2008.
Madhu statue to be
brought back in July
By Arthur Wamanan
return of the Madhu statue to its shrine
will only be determined once the
military allows church authorities
access to the shrine possibly by early
Vicar General of the Mannar Diocese,
Rev. Fr.Victor Soosai told The Sunday
Leader last week that the seven
volunteers who were to visit the shrine
had not left, as the military had not
granted permission due to the de-mining
activities around the shrine premises.
The military earlier said that they
could not give a specific time to end
the de-mining activities as they had to
make sure the shrine area was completely
safe for the civilians and the devotees
who visit the place.
Rev. Fr. Soosai added that the immediate
concern is the worshipping area of the
shrine, which has been affected due to
the artillery firing a few months ago.
He added that the military had given a
time frame of six weeks for the church
authorities to go to the shrine and
assess the situation around the shrine.
“We have not decided on what to do since
the festival is coming up in August.
First we have to visit the place and
assess the situation. Only then can we
decide on bringing the statue down and
to have the annual festival,” he said.
The Madhu statue was relocated at
St. Xavier’s Church in Thevanpitti,
70 km northwest of Madhu on April 3
due to heavy artillery firing in the
CoI dismisses calls for dissolution
By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
of the commission of inquiry (CoI),
former Supreme Court Judge, Nissanka
Udalagama dismissed calls by JVP
defector Wimal Weerawansa to
dissolve the commission over the
allegation of accepting funds from
foreign countries, namely the US,
Canada and EU.
The CoI is currently probing the killing of 17 aid workers
Udalagama told The Sunday Leader that the commission
had not taken any money from foreign
countries as claimed by certain
He said that the commission had already sent an explanation
on the matter to the Presidential
Secretariat as certain parties have
called on the President to dissolve
Udalagama said that the allegation of the CoI accepting
funds from several foreign countries
surfaced when ambassadors and
representatives from the US, Canada
and the EU missions in Colombo
visited the commission for a
discussion on the continuance of the
investigations and the inquiry in to
the killing of 17 aid workers in
Muttur, following the departure of
the International Independent Group
of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) last
“Following the departure of the IIGEP, there were questions
over the continuance of the inquiry.
The three ambassadors who came to
meet us were keen to see the
continuance of the inquiry. However,
we discussed with several members of
the IIGEP and decided to continue
with the inquiry. The message was
not conveyed to the ambassadors who
arrived that particular day to
discuss the matter,” he said.
According to Udalagama, the CoI had then explained to the
ambassadors that the inquiry was to
continue and the video conferencing
of witnesses would continue.
Most of the witnesses in both cases, the murder of five
youths in Trincomalee and the 17 aid
workers in Muttur, are overseas and
evidence has to be recorded through
video conferencing. Hence, the help
of the foreign missions were needed
to organize the necessary
facilities, Udalagama said.
Udalagama said that since the police investigations have
not been completed into the
incidents, the CoI had to
investigate and inquire into the
He also added that funds for the CoI were released through
the Justice Ministry and reiterated
that the commission had not accepted
any foreign funds.
The CoI is to commence sessions from June 2.
Meanwhile, dissident JVP propaganda secretary and
President, National Freedom Front
(NFF), Wimal Weerawansa has called
on President Mahinda Rajapaksa to
dissolve the CoI, alleging that the
commission has joined hands with
forces that were working against the
Issuing a statement Weerawansa has said it was shameless
for the CoI to work in
conformity to the needs of these
countries. The statement has
further said under such a
backdrop, the NFF was suspicious
of the CoI’s ability to submit
an independent report.
Bomb in Ganemulla bus defused
The Police Special Task Force (STF) bomb disposal unit
yesterday defused a 1.25 kilogram
plastic explosive device found on a
passenger bus at Kossinna,
Ganemulla, the Defence Ministry
The bomb was found under a passenger seat on a bus by the
vehicle’s conductor, who had thrown
the parcel out at a remote location
before informing nearby STF
officers, according to the report.
The bus on which the bomb was
found was to leave for Colombo
from Parakandeniya. No
passengers were on board the bus
at the time of the incident, the
report further added.
Tamil youth shot in Trinco
A Tamil youth was shot dead in Trincomalee yesterday.
According to the police, the
24-year-old Tamil youth was shot
dead by an unidentified gunman.
Call for more blood
By Shezna Shums
Central Blood Bank encourages
citizens to donate blood on a
regular basis to ensure adequate
blood stocks are available in times
At present the Central Blood Bank is
fully equipped to provide hospitals
with the required blood stocks.
Director, Central Blood Bank, Dr. R.
Bindusara told The Sunday Leader
that the blood bank has sufficient
blood and will only make an appeal
for more blood donations when the
The director noted that the best way
the public could donate blood is on
a regular basis through blood
donation campaigns rather than in a
sudden rush. “Donating blood should
be one of the duties of the citizens
of this country,” she said.
“Giving blood to save another
person’s life, should be in every
person’s blood,” she explained. A
person is allowed to donate blood
four times a year said the doctor.
Once a person donates blood that
persons blood group will be recorded
and later on this will be helpful
when further donations are made,
explained the director.
The director noted that in some
Western countries the public
regularly donates blood and that
this type of donation from the
public should be encouraged among
The blood banks in some countries
have the contact details of persons
willing to donate blood, and
contacts them when blood is needed.
This type of scenario is needed in
Sri Lanka as well,” she said.
Red blood cells can be stored for a
maximum of 30 days while other blood
types can be stored for longer
“If the public donate blood on a
regular basis we will have adequate
stocks to meet any urgent need,”
explained the director.
“We do not know what type of
blood will be needed until
requests are made to the blood
bank by hospitals,’ said the
Vesak at Pakistan High Comm.
By Shezna Shums
helped Sri Lanka to wage war
against the LTTE when other
countries forced the country to
lay down weapons, Prime Minister
Ratnasiri Wickremanayake said.
He made this statement while
addressing a seminar on
“Buddhist Gandhara heritage of
Pakistan” in Colombo recently.
He stated that countries other
than Pakistan had forced Sri
Lanka to open negotiations with
the LTTE when they themselves
had forgotten to hold similar
talks with Bin Laden.
While acknowledging Pakistan’s
efforts to preserve Buddhist
architecture and heritage in the
country Wickremanayake said that
Pakistan had stood with the
Buddhist community during the
Bamiyan incident where several
Buddha statues were destroyed.
The seminar was organised by the
Pakistan High Commission jointly
with the people of Sri Lanka to
Search on for Best Environmental
Green Forest Association has
for the first time in Sri Lanka
organised a competition to
select the Best Environmental
Friendly School of the Year.
The closing date for the receipt
of applications is June 5,
The first prize to be
awarded will be the Best
School of the Year Trophy
and Rs.100, 000 in prize
money. Twenty-five district
prizes of Rs.10, 000 each
are also on offer.
Applications and competition
details can be obtained
from: The Green Forest
Association, 17/1, Sri
competition is sponsored by
ACL Cables Plc.
Tilvin writes to IGP for action
JVP General Secretary Tilvin
Silva in a letter to IGP Victor
Perera has called on him to take
‘appropriate action’ against
Sampath Dimuthu Katapearachchi,
who has claimed he had robbed a
sum of Rs. 160,000 from a public
Tilvin in the letter has said
that since Katepearachchi has
confessed to carrying out the
burglary in the name of the
party during the 1988-89
insurrection, action should be
instituted against him. Silva
has said that according to
Clause 380 of the Penal Code,
burglary was a major offence and
Clause 21 has provided him with
the legal right to inform such
“Therefore, I urge you to
seek the Attorney General’s
advice too and take legal
action against Katepearachci
after conducting a proper
investigation as he has
already confessed and
accepted the crime he
committed,” Silva has said
in his letter to the IGP.
Excise Department confiscates
items worth over Rs.200,000 in
By Shezna Shums
on illicit liquor manufacturers
carried out by the Excise
Department resulted in the
confiscation of goods worth
The Excise Department carried
out special raids from May 15 to
May 21 around the island.
Detections were also done by the
relevant district special units,
while the Colombo special
operations branch carried out a
total of 109 detections.
In the Kandy District a total of
74 detections were made, while
in the Kurunegala District the
detections made amounted to 59.
In the Galle District, 52
detections were carried out by
the special operations branch.
The excise officials during the
special raids had also
confiscated 7623 bottles of
unlawful spirits and 9775
bottles of unlawful liquor.
Also confiscated were 927
bottles of approved arrack, as
liquor sales were not allowed
during the period of Vesak
The Excise Department had also
impounded a total of 32,140
grammes of ganja.
The Excise Department also
detected 168 distilleries.
More than 1360 outlets were
detected selling spirits and
arrack during the Vesak period.
These detections were made by
the relevant district special
There were 150 detections of
heroin and ganja sales points
during the special raids carried
out island wide by the
During the Sinhala New Year and
Vesak period, the sale of
alcohol is prohibited and it is
at these times that the Excise
Department carries out special
raids around the island.
Govt. school teachers to fall
sick on June 11 and 12
By Nirmala Kannangara
Work in government schools will
come to a standstill on June 11
and 12 when school principals
and teachers stage a sick note
campaign, The Sunday Leader
The government's failure to
rectify the principal and
teacher services salary
anomalies created by the 2006/06
salary circular has resulted in
the proposed sick note campaign
according to the Ceylon
Teachers' Service Union (CTSU).
General Secretary CTSU, Mahinda
Jayasinghe is of the view that
if the country's President does
not want to address the
principal and teacher services
grievances there is no other
option but to initiate trade
"Since 2007 the Rajapakse
administration is giving us
broken promises. A commission
led by Prime Minister Ratnasiri
Wickremanayake was appointed to
settle the salary anomalies in
October last year.
"It is seven months since, and
the government has still not
given us a solution. Hence we
wrote to President Mahinda
Rajapakse on April 22 to
intervene but to no avail.
Although we requested him to
grant us a meeting to discuss
the matter he has failed to
grant us a meeting or to
acknowledge receipt," Jayasinghe
told The Sunday Leader.
According to Jayasinghe the CTSU
finally decided to initiate
trade union action and
principals and teachers
irrespective of party politics
have extended their support for
the proposed sick note campaign.
He further stated that the
proposed sick note campaign
would be the start of a series
of agitations to pressurise the
government to find a final
solution to the grievances faced
by the teacher/ principal
service in the country.