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Jt mechanism is not a Frankenstein, says President

May 17 (AT) President Kumaratunga said that the proposed joint mechanism is not a Frankenstein monster as some people visualise. Addressing the Sri Lanka Development Forum in Kandy this morning she said that one should see the positive side of the visible change in the LTTE, which, for the first time in history is agreeable to join administrative machinery. more..

French Embassy adopts new visa issuing procedures

May 17 (AT) The French Embassy visa fiasco involving Sri Lankan Scientist Dr. Thrishantha Nanayakkara has apparently had a salutary effect on the mission. The embassy has introduced several new procedures with regard to visa applications, in "the interest of all applicants." more..

Vatican sends annual greetings to Buddhist world

May 17 (CWN) The Vatican has made public an annual message to the world's Buddhists, timed for the Buddhist festival of Vesakh. Signed by Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, the president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, the message lauds the cooperation between Christians and Buddhists in the relief efforts after the December 2004 tsunami more..

Sri Lanka tsunami devastation stuns Ian Botham

May 17 (AFP) England cricket great Ian Botham said on Monday he was stunned by the devastation which he saw during a visit last month to Sri Lanka's tsunami-hit southern region. "It was mind-blowing," he told reporters in Portugal where he was taking part in the Laureus World Sports awards in Estoril, a resort outside of Lisbon. more..

Anti-privatisation protests in Kandy

May 17 (BBC) Trade Unions and journalists demanded the government stop attempting to privatise government institutions to appease the international donors. An international media watchdog meanwhile called for the donors to use Sri Lanka Development Forum (SLDF) to put pressure on the government to conduct a serious investigation into the murder of senior journalist Dharmeratnam Sivaram. more..

Indo-Lanka naval cooperation vital - Kadirgamar

May 17 (TN) Operational relations between the navies of the India and Sri Lanka countries were vital to the national security of both countries, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said this week. He made his comments during an address to a delegation from the Indian Naval Higher Command course currently on a visit to Colombo, more..

Trinco fishermen receive canoes, mechanized boats

May 17 (TN) Fishermen Relief Trust Fund (FRTF) of the National Development Bank (NDB) handed over twenty five canoes and ten mechanised fibreglass boats to fishermen in Trincomalee affected by the December tsunami disaster during an event held Saturday at the Dutch Bay sea beach in Trincomalee town, sources said. more..

LTTE disrupts schools sessions more than twenty five times and forces uniform-clad children out

May 17 (SLA) The public outrage over LTTE has been fast mounting up over the LTTE’s continuing practice of disruption of school sessions and deployment of uniform-clad school children in LTTE instigated protests and other violent acts, directed solely against Security Forces in the North and East of the country. more..

LTTE mobilize people to create religious dissension

May 17 (SLA) An unidentified group of vandals or religious fanatics have lobbed a hand grenade at a Buddha statue in the general town area of TRINCOMALEE on Monday (16) night around 11.25 p.m. The statue near the clock tower in the TRINCOMALE town, erected by members of the Three-wheel Drivers’ Association has however been slightly damaged due to explosion of the grenade. more..

Pistol man strikes three-wheeler driver

May 17 (SLA) A civilian, said to be a supporter of the LTTE PRABHAKARAN faction has been shot dead by an unidentified killer, suspected to be from a rival faction while he was in the general area of BATTICALOA on 16 May 2005 around 6.35 p.m. The victim, VISHWALINGAM ARUN KUMAR (22) of 1st CROSS STREET, THULAVADY, BATTICALOA, more..

One more teenager abducted by LTTE men on motorbikes

May 17 (SLA) A seventeen-year old ex-LTTE cadre has been abducted by the LTTE PRABHAKARAN faction on 16 May 2005 while he was in the general area of POTTUVIL, stated a complaint made to the Police by the teenager’s sister. According to the complainant, RATHNASINGHAM VANITHA of PATHAMPATTU, KOMARI, her brother, more..

Ven.Rathana thero saves betrayal a of the nation in Kandy

May 17 (SN) Reminding us of how on the 2nd of March 1815 Ven. Wariyapola Sri Sumangala thero put down the British flag and hoisted the Sinhala Lion flag. Today around noon Earlce Rejency Hotel, Kandy at the commencement of the conference of the donor nations a similar insidant occored. more..

Ven.Udawaththe Nanda thero – JHU MP Leads protest in Kandy

May 17 (SN) On 16th-05-2005 Ven.Udawaththe Nanda thero – JHU MP led protests in Kandy (Near the Jorge E. De Silva Park) against the Joint Mechanism, which was proposed by the Government of Sri Lanka to the LTTE and which would violate the constitution of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. more..

President to go ahead with JM

May 17 (PIS) President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday announced she had decided to go ahead with the joint mechanism in association with the LTTE to rebuild the tsunami-battered north and east - though she might even have to risk her life because of this decision. more..

A joint mechanism can yet emerge after the donor meeting

May 17 (PIS) Yet another opportunity for the government to sign an agreement with the LTTE on a joint mechanism for tsunami relief and reconstruction has passed with the commencement of the donor meeting on Monday. The meeting, which brings together over 50 foreign governments and international donor organisations, will end on Tuesday. more..

JHU demands LTTE remove barriers

May 17 (LM) Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero, leader of the JHU Parliamentary group has demanded that the LTTE forthwith removes all barriers it has placed in the North and East to make it possible for foreign aid workers to carry out Tsunami reconstruction work, so that the LTTE's bonafides can be established. more..

Medical students from frying pan to fire

May 17 (LM) Refusals by the Deans of the Kelaniya and Jayewardenepura Universities to accept Muslim and Sinhala Medical students transferred to them by the University Grants Commission has swamped these students and their parents in a traumatic experience with the authorities doing nothing meaningful to impose the UGC fiat in this matter. more..

WPC meeting today

May 17 (LM) The Western Provincial Council will meet today after the prorogation by the Governor on April 26'th. The UNP will bring a no confidence motion against the Chief Minister Reginald Cooray at today's meeting, according to sources. Meanwhile, JVP sources confirmed that they will continue to support moves to oust the Chief Minister. more..

JM has traps to compromise Muslim integrity and rights - Rauff Hakeem

May 17 (LM) SLMC national leader Rauf Hakeem told a large gathering on May 11 at the Al-Manar Central College, Marudamunai that the mandate from the people to the SLMC was to secure all of their political and human rights and aspirations and the SLMC would remain steadfast to its commitment to that mandate. more..

Chandrika not out of the woods despite donors pledges

May 17 (AT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga went all out to convince the 50 donor countries who met in Kandy yesterday that Sri Lanka deserves the aid promised for recovery and rehabilitation after it was hit by the tsunami on Boxing Day, 2004. To convince the foreign donors and her own partners in her coalition government she revealed some aspects of her proposed Joint Mechanism. more..

Asian tsunami disaster: the historical and political issues

May 17 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka is holding a public meeting in Galle, capital of the southern province and a city hit hard by the December 26 tsunami, to discuss the historical and political issues raised by the disaster. more..

About 60,000 SL refugees in India await repatriation

May 17 (ANN) Around 60,000 Sri Lankan refugees in India await to be repatriated while around 14,000 have returned to the country illegally. Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation, Dr. A. S. Kunasingham said on Sunday. more..

UNP for 18th constitutional ammendment

May 17 (SAMN) The UNP said it was willing to support the 18th Amendment to set up five Provincial Courts of Appeal if the government agreed to make the changes proposed by the party. Prof. G.L. Peiris said the government should agree to these changes so that the amendment could be passed in parliament with the required two-thirds majority. more..

Ferial wants equal status in JM

May 17 (SAMN) The National Unity Alliance, the Government's main Muslim ally said if Muslim participation was insisted for the joint mechanism, they would require the same status as the Government and the LTTE. NUA leader Ferial Ashraff said that there was no compelling reasons for the Muslims to share a joint mechanism with the Tigers. more..

JM for tsunami affected areas only -President

May 17 (SAMN) Though some sectors are frightened over the proposed Joint Mechanism,which is confined only to work with the LTTE in the re-construction of the tsunami affected areas of North and East, the majority in the government and the people are for my endeavours, more..

JHU appeals to countries and financial institutions offering assistance to Sri Lanka

May 17 (LNP) I address you as a Buddhist, a bikkhu, in a voice that represents a people and a movement that stands for humanity, for we are motivated in everything we do by the compassion and wisdom that are fundamental to the teaching of Lord Buddha. more..

Kalu axed from umpires committee

May 17 (LNP) The government-appointed interim committee to run cricket yesterday axed Sri Lankan wicket-keeper batsman Romesh Kaluwitharana from the umpires committee and installed a new face in Mahinda Seneviratne to the top post in their latest overhaul of the cricketing establishment more..

NCP health workers call off protest campaign

May 17 (DN) Health sector workers in the North Central Province (NCP) called off their protest campaign that had been held for five days at the Polonnaruwa Hospital following a decision taken by the NCP Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayaka, to increase their salaries with a sum of Rs. 2,500 to be added to their basic salary. more..

One person killed and four injured in explosion in volatile eastern Sri Lanka; curfew imposed

May 17 (AP) Protesters lobbed a grenade at a shop in eastern Sri Lanka, killing one person and wounding four others, the military said. A curfew was imposed following the attack in the town of Trincomalee, where police had already been put on alert after another grenade blast late Monday damaged a Buddhist statue and slightly injured one person. more..

Tsunami aid may help Sri Lanka beat growth target

May 17 (Reuters) The Indian Ocean tsunami may have dented Sri Lanka's 2005 growth outlook, but $2.2 billion in aid and a debt moratorium could help it beat official growth forecasts, Central Bank President Sunil Mendis said on Tuesday. more..

Can Chandrika survive shenanigans of JVP, LTTE?

May 17 (KT) THE suspension of the Western Provincial Council in Sri Lanka, viewed as an attempt by President Chandrika Kumaratunga to buy time to settle the dispute over the chief minister Reginald Cooray, lapses today. more..

Sri Lanka holds final day of aid meeting amid push for peace talks

May 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka's international donors held a second and final day of talks here as they sought to nudge warring parties to share aid and rebuild the war- and tsunami-devastated nation. Donors who have promised up to 2.5 billion dollars for tsunami-related reconstruction were keen that the Colombo government and Tamil Tiger rebels work together, more..

Joint panel with rebels could firm Sri Lanka's peace, but analyst warns plan could fail

May 17 (AP) A top Sri Lankan official said Tuesday that the president's pledge to create a joint panel with Tamil rebels within weeks to distribute tsunami aid would help bring the two sides closer. But an analyst warned that opposition within the ruling coalition could derail the plan. more..

Sri Lanka says tsunami aid pledges hit $3 billion

May 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka said Tuesday that international donors have now pledged $3 billion in aid and debt relief to help the Indian Ocean island rebuild after December's tsunami -- twice what the government says it needs. more..

Buddhist convocation is a need

May 17 (BBC) Buddhist convocations from time to time are necessary to weed out undesirable elements in the sasana(order), says Ven.Professor Bellanwila Wimalartana thero. Ven. Prof. Wimalarathana thero commenting on the suicidal death of the young monk, Bellana Pannaloka thero said, "we have to accept the fact that there is a deterioration of the sasana(order) for which everybody is responsible". more..

Man dies under police torture, family threatened - AHRC

May 18 (TN) A Sinhala man died during police torture on April 18, 2005 at Rakwana Police Station, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) said Tuesday. Helwala Langachcharige Susantha Kulatung, a father of four, was taken into custody by five officers from the Rakwana Police. more..

AHRC fears return to 80’s style terror

May 18 (TN) Saying that a recent increase in death threats and intimidation to activists and journalists in Sri Lanka is “alarming,” the Asian Human Rights Commission Tuesday said “there is concern that the situation may degenerate into that similar to the terror of the late 1980s.” more..

Can Ven. Rathana Thero’s defiant act set off a chain reaction?

May 18 (AT) After a slow slide into the background the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) seems to have bounced back into the forefront again with yesterday’s dramatic intervention at the Sri Lanka Development Forum by its Parliamentary Leader, Ven. Athureliya Rathana Thera. more..

Sri Lanka urges India to expedite repatriation of refugees

May 18 (AT) Sri Lanka has appealed to the Indian government to take effective action to quicken the pace of repatriating Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in camps in the neighboring South Indian state of Tamil Nadu as the delay in repatriation has resulted in more and more refugees coming back to Sri Lanka illegally. more..

LTTE’s marked man, Douglas Devananda, backs inclusion of LTTE in Joint Mechanism

May 18 (AT) The EPDP headed by Douglas Devananda – a marked opponent of the LTTE which has so far missed ten times in their attempt to kill him – has cautiously backed the inclusion of the LTTE in the proposed Joint Mechanism as an appropriate “mechanism to undertake relief and reconstruction”. more..

United Kingdom: Police Warns South Asian Migrants not to tolerate criminal gangs

May 18 (AT) Sri Lankan and other ethnic Asian migrant communities have received stern warnings from Scotland Yard not to tolerate organised criminal gangs operating within their respective societies.A senior officer from Scotland Yard warned that more problems for the police are being created by people from war zones. more..

Doctors hit back at AHRC for spreading biased reports

May 18 (AT) The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) has hit back at the Hong Kong based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and the media accusing them of making false allegations against doctors and publicizing allegations of malpractice in local hospitals without ascertaining the proper facts. more..

Sri Lanka appoint Tissera as cricket team manager

May 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka have appointed former player and chairman of selectors Michael Tissera as their new team manager. The 66-year-old takes over on a two-year term from Brendon Kuruppu, who was appointed as caretaker manager after the ICC Champions Trophy last year. more..

Foreign donors ask Sri Lanka to push peace or risk losing cash

May 18 (AFP) International donors ended aid talks with Sri Lanka with a warning to the war-battered and tsunami-hit nation to show progress in its faltering peace bid or risk losing three billion dollars. more..

Govt satisfied with results of donor forum

May 18 (Xinhua) Government wound up a two-day parley of international donors here Tuesday calling it a roaring success. However, Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama said the donor pledges would hinge on Sri Lanka's commitment towards a negotiated settlement to end the long drawn out separatist armed conflict. more..

TULF, TNA, UNP MPs visit JVP exhibition

May 18 (LT) The leader of the Tamil United Liberated Front, V.Ananda Sangaree, TNA MP Sivagilingam, UNP MP Mano Ganeshan, MP Rev. Uduwe Dhammaloka yesterday visited the exhibition being held at Nomads Ground in Colombo in commemoration of the 40 year long political history of the JVP. more..

JVP appreciates aid grants

May 18 (LT) The political bureau of the JVP in a media release issued in connection with the Sri Lanka development forum appreciates the aid grants pledged by the international community for tsunami reconstruction without any pre-conditions. more..

Japan agrees to differ payments on US$ 225 mn due in 2005

May 18 (LBO) Japan on Tuesday confirmed Sri Lanka’s calls to postpone up to US$ 220 mn in loans owed to the East Asian development partner this year. The total US$ 225 mn debt moratorium is the largest component in the US$ 338 mn loan postponement Sri Lanka called for from the donor community in the wake of the December tsunami disaster. more..

India puts off US$ 30 mn in loan repayments over three years

May 18 (LBO) India on Tuesday said it would postpone up to US$ 30 million in debt repayment over the next three years. The Finance Minister meanwhile hopes to leverage India’s commitment to push the Paris Club to extend its moratorium to over one year. more..

WPC slanging match – Sittings adjourned

May 18 (LM) Mayhem and a slanging match between the UNP and SLFP broke out at the Western Provincial Council meeting today.Governor Alavi Moulana too failed to attend the sittings and the meeting was later adjourned till June 7th. The postponement, seen as a delaying tactic, gave rise to a slanging match between SLFP and UNP members. more..