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Clinton pledges to make Lanka's Tsunami recovery a success

May 18 (LM) President Bill Clinton UN Special envoy for Tsunami Recovery and Reconstruction, pledged in a specially recorded video message to the Sri Lanka Donor Conference that opened in Kandy on Monday to " my part in sporting you to make Sri Lanka's recovery a success. more..

Thamilchelvam Blasts Chandrika's "Irresponsible comments"

May 18 (LM) LTTE political heavy weight S.P.Thamilchelvam yesterday lashed out angrily at President Chandrika Bandaranaike , emphatically stating that the LTTE "..will not work under any authority , direct or otherwise , of the Sri Lanka government," more..

EPRLF joins "Stop killings "chorus "

May 18 (LM) The EPRLF Leader Thiranavakaran Sridharan told that the LTTE must stop all killings in the East before any Joint Mechanism is installed. "We need to create a pluralistic platform in the NorthEast for people to express their ideas with out fear. Eastern people have not benefited from the ceasefire due to internecine warfare of the LTTE" he added. more..

Two SriLankan althetes are to take part in the next Asian Grand Prix

May 18 (SLBC) Two Sri Lankan athletes win the opportunity to take part in the next Asian Grand Prix sports festival.Rohan Pradeep kumara and Prasanna Amarasekera have been selected for the 400-meter running event. The sports festival is scheduled to be held from the 14th to 28th of next month in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. more..

Norochahalai Thermal Power Plant will be set up immediately

May 18 (SLBC) Minister of Christian and Parliamentary Affairs Miloy Fernando says that the government will set up the Norochchalai Thermal Power Plant to provide electricity to the consumers at a concessionary rate. He also stressed that the construction of the power plant will not affect the Thalawila Church. more..

New electricity reforms model by Monday

May 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s electricity sector trade unions to present new reforms model to government on Monday. "All the unions will meet on Friday to finalise a new proposal for electricity reforms. We hope to present the final paper to the Ministry of Power and Energy on Monday," said Chief Secretary of the Electricity Workers Union Ranjan Jayalal. more..

Development forum joint communiqué

May 18 (PRIU) The development partners commended the government and the people of Sri Lanka for their immediate and effective response to the tsunami tragedy. They noted with satisfaction the near completion of the first phase of the recovery process. The Government expressed its appreciation for the prompt and generous support it received from the international community. more..

Development Forum concludes successfully

May 18 (PRIU) The first ever Development Forum chaired by the Sri Lankan Government wound up successfully yesterday in Kandy, with the international donor community making commitments and pledges exceeding US $ 3 billion in the form of grants and moratorium on debts in view of the tsunami reconstruction process and for other development programmes initiated by the Government, more..

Last UN contingent flies back home

May 18 (SLA) The final remainder of the first contingent of the Sri Lanka Light Infantry (SLLI) troops of 34 Officers and 344 Other Ranks who were deployed in Haiti on UN peace-keeping missions returned to the island this morning at 7.13 a.m. (17 May 2005) on successful completion of their assignment. more..

One more EPDP member falls prey to LTTE pistol man

May 18 (SLA) An unidentified gunman, suspected to be from the LTTE, has shot and killed one more Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) member and injured two anothers in the general area of BATTICALOA Wednesday (18 May 2005) around 9.15 a.m. more..

LTTE infiltrates into cleared areas in TRINCOMALEE

May 18 (SLA) Tension in the trouble-torn TRINCOMALEE and its suburbs continues to remain high toady (18) after LTTE instigated mobs created unrest on Monday (16) night by throwing a grenade at a Buddha statue at the center of the town. more..

One more teenager runs away from LTTE

May 18 (SLA) A nineteen-year old youth, who had been abducted for conscription by the LTTE, has escaped and reached the Security personnel on duty at the MUHAMALAI entry / exit point on 17 May 2005 around 4.05 p.m. seeking protection. more..

Sri Lanka's ruling coalition partner slam president's speech

May 18 (Xinhua) The main partner in Sri Lanka's ruling coalition slammed Tuesday a speech made by the country's president at an international parley of donor community held in the central town of Kandy. more..

Betrayal, says JHU; disgrace, says Govt.

May 18 (SAMN) The Jathika Hela Urumaya yesterday launched its strongest attack on the UPFA government accusing it of betraying the country at the Kandy donor conference on Monday just as some other traitors had betrayed the country to imperialists at the infamous Kandy convention in 1815. more..

JVP fishing for tsunami aid

May 18 (SAMN) The support of the international community and the World Bank is of paramount importance, and no one could face challenges all alone after a disaster like the tsunami, a senior minister of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said yesterday. more..

Speaker expunges reference from Hansard

May 18 (SAMN) Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara yesterday ordered expunging from the Hansard a reference made by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake to a comment made about the JVP by President Chandrika Kumaratunga during her interview telecast over Rupavahini on Monday night. more..

Taraki, IP Jayaratnam probes Sleuths run into blank wall

May 18 (LNP) The investigation into the kidnapping of police inspector Jayaratnam and the murder of the TamilNet editor Dharmaratnam Sivaratnam (Taraki) have led to a dead end, a police source revealed. more..

House ignores call to respect victims of A'pura massacre

May 18 (LNP) Many an eyebrow has been raised over why Parliamentarians, save three, refused to respect the devotees who were massacred by the LTTE twenty years ago. When Parliament met yesterday, JHU parliamentary group leader Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero requested the house to observe two minutes silence to mark the 20th anniversary of the attack on the Sri Mahabodhi, more..

Ministry officials accused of covering up probe

May 18 (LNP) Health Ministry officials are trying to hush up the investigations into the cause of the Myocarditis disease, that is rapidly spreading in the Uva and Central provinces, ministry sources said. The Medical Research Institute had tested over 15 blood samples from the patients but was still to find the root cause of the spread of the epidemic. more..

Bhikku who poisoned himself after verdict dies

May 18 (DN) A Bhikku died in hospital yesterday after swallowing insecticide after he was sentenced to 20 years rigorous imprisonment at the Colombo High Court for raping a 13-year-old girl. Ven. Bellana Pannaloka Thera who was in a serious condition after poisoning himself with insecticide was rushed to the Colombo National Hospital in a three-wheeler on Monday. more..

Chandrika accuses coalition partner of avoiding key issues

May 18 (Gulf) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has criticised the Janata Vimukti Perumana for its failure to back the government on key issues. The issues include the establishment of a joint mechanism with Tamil rebels in handling post-tsunami rehabilitation work and implementing a privatisation programme in the power and petroleum sectors. more..

Susanthika Jayasinghe ruled out of world championships

May 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka's star sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghe will not take part in the upcoming world championships due to a shin injury, her husband announced here. "She needs to rest for at least a year as the fracture (on her left shin) will take a long time to heal," said Dhammika Nandakumara, who also coaches her. more..

Sri Lanka rupee weaker as importers settle bills

May 18 (Reuters) The Sri Lanka rupee fell in late trade on Wednesday as importers bought dollars to settle trade bills, paring gains made this week on hopes tsunami aid pledges will pour cash dollars into the economy, traders said. more..

Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels kill anti-guerrilla activist

May 18 (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels on Wednesday fatally shot a member of a pro-government Tamil group in fresh violence in Sri Lanka's volatile east, as security forces went on alert elsewhere in the east in an attempt to quell escalating ethnic tensions, the military said. more..

Curfew lifted after explosions in eastern Sri Lanka, but tension remains

May 18 (AP) Security forces were on alert in Sri Lanka's volatile east Wednesday, as the police lifted a curfew imposed after two grenade explosions killed one person and wounded five others, the military said. more..

Foreign donors dangle cash carrot to push peace in Sri Lanka

May 18 (AFP) An increased foreign aid offer of three billion dollars for Sri Lanka's tsunami recovery is mainly aimed at pushing Colombo and Tamil Tiger rebels to salvage their peace talks, diplomats said. more..

Poll shows most Sri Lankans support aid deal with Tamil Tiger rebels

May 18 (AP) Most Sri Lankans support a plan for the government to share duties with Tamil rebels in doling out post-tsunami aid to the nation, a poll said Wednesday. The survey conducted by the independent Center for Policy Alternatives said 65.6 percent of the 1,808 people interviewed approved of the proposal. more..

$3.36 million in rabies vaccine en route to Sri Lanka

May 19 (AN) Twenty thousand doses of donated rabies vaccine are being flown to Sri Lanka. This is the latest shipment that Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC) is sending to Southeast Asia following the tsunami. HPIC, a Canadian medical aid agency, received this major donation from sanofi pasteur Canada. more..

WFP feeding 910,000 in Sri Lanka till June

May 19 (Reuters) Almost five months after the Dec. 26 tsunami devastated much of Sri Lanka's coastline, the World Food Programme is feeding 910,000 people and will continue to do so until the end of June, WFP Regional Director for Asia Anthony Banbury said on Wednesday. more..

Court orders temporary removal of Buddha statue

May 19 (TN) Mr.M. Ganesharajah, Trincomalee Magistrate and Additional District Judge Wednesday instructed the Police to take all possible steps to temporarily remove the controversial Buddha statue erected near the bus stand by having direct talks with the parties concerned. more..

SL parliament to hold one-day debate on peace process

May 19 (TN) Leaders of political parties represented in Sri Lanka's parliament, during a meetging held Monday in the Speaker's Chamber,decided to hold a full day debate on the stalled peace process on Friday on a request made by Mr.R.Sampanthan, leader of the TNA, more..

Balasingham urges action on aid

May 19 (TN) Norwegian diplomats met on Wednesday with the Liberation Tigers’ Chief Negotiator and political advisor, Mr. Anton Balasingham, to discuss current developments in Oslo’s peace initiative in Sri Lanka, sources close to the LTTE in London said. more..

Henrik Ibsen play in Sinhala

May 19 (TN) Norwegian author Henrik Ibsen’s famous play ‘The Master Builder’ is now being staged for the first time ever in Sinhala, while translations into Sinhala and Tamil of three of Ibsen’s most well-known plays, ‘The Master Builder’, ‘Hedda Gabler’ and ‘Pillars of Society’ will be launched this week, the Norwegian Embassy said this week. more..

The more you sweat in peace the less you bleed in war – Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala

May 19 (AT) Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala told the aid donors from 50 countries that the government has spared no efforts in reviving the peace process but the failure to recommence peace negotiations “was primarily due to the fact that the LTTE was insisting that its demand for an ISGA should be the sole agenda item in the next round of talks.” more..

LTTE blasts peace, the Norwegians, the international community and the SL Govt once again

May 19 (AT) S. Paramu. Tamilselvan, the current chief negotiator for the LTTE, has dealt a tsunami blow to the lauded plans for setting up a Joint Mechanism by insisting that the LTTE "will not work under any authority, direct or otherwise, of the Sri Lanka government." more..

Muslim Medical Students Crisis – Hakeem to press issue in Parliament

May 19 (AT) SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem reacted angrily to the plight of twenty one Muslim University students stranded without a placement in any faculty because of the steadfast refusal of University authorities to admit these students into their universities. more..

Foreign aid absorption to increase by 18 percent in 2005

May 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka hopes to increase foreign aid absorption by about 18 percent this year, compared to utilisation in 2004, to accommodate tsunami aid inflows. "The public investment programme for this year is around US$ 900 mn depending on implementation progress," more..

AHRC: doctors behaviour ‘irresponsible’

May 19 (BBC) Human rights activist and watchdogs expressed concern of the behaviour of the doctors’ and media for ignoring the victim’s account whose leg was amputated by mistake. The Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) urged the police to take into custody all the documents relating to the matter “before any of these documents disappear or is being damaged”. more..

Opposition: UPFA was anti-donors

May 19 (BBC) UPFA government has failed to capitalise on Sri Lanka Development Forum (SLDF), main opposition said. Former deputy finance minister and UNP parliamentarian Bandula Gunawardhana said Sri Lanka need at least US$10 billion for tsunami reconstruction and economic development. more..

JOINT MECHANISM: Sri Lanka Reluctant To Sign Pact

May 19 (TS) The joint mechanism between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for post-tsunami reconstruction called for by international aid donors was intended as an important confidence-building measure in the strife-torn island. more..

Sri Lanka's gays share their journey

May 19 (BBC) Throughout South Asia, homosexuality has been a taboo subject. But there are signs in some areas that gay people are now becoming more open in their behaviour. In the second of a series of articles from the region, the BBC's Chloe Arnold looks at gay life in Sri Lanka. more..

Has Kumaratunga tamed the JVP?

May 19 (TN) Piqued by President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s criticism of its vehement opposition to sharing aid with the Liberation Tigers, yet wary of being portrayed as the prime obstacle to desperately needed international assistance, the JVP Wednesday put a brave face on its humiliation Monday. more..

Suriyamoorthy in critical condition

May 19 (TN) Mr. P. Suriyamoorthy, former Chairman of the Trincomalee Urban Council, who was shot and seriously wounded Wednesday was airlifted to Colombo, Thursday morning as his condition became critical, hospital sources said. Mr. Suriyamoorthy is now undergoing an emergency operation in Colombo general hospital, sources said. more..

Monks disrupt Parliament over Trinco statue

May 19 (TN) The hardline monks’ party, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Thursday condemned a Magistrate’s judgement ordering police to temporarily remove the controversial Buddha statue erected in Trincomalee town bus stand. more..

Body of diappeared SLA soldier found in Vavuniya

May 19 (TN) The body of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) corporal Sunderadagage Wickremesinghe, who disappeared from Kokuveli Vavuniya SLA camp on 2 Februaray 2005, was discovered in a decomposed state in Notchchimoddai jungles, security sources in Vavuniya said Thursday. more..

Education for all via ‘Open Schools’

May 19 (PRIU) A ground-breaking concept to assist school dropouts to return to formal education has been devised by the National Institute of Education. The first such in Sri Lanka, these ‘Open Schools’ will come into being under the National Programme of Education for all. more..

A programme to promote bilingualism in the state institutions gets underway

May 19 (SLBC) The Official Language Commission has completed its first stage of a research programme towards providing services for the people without language barriers. The Official Language Department has approved the programme to provide bilingual training for health and security services in Badulla district. more..

Australia not provided direct funding to TRO

May 19 (AT) The Australian Government has continued to resist pressures from LTTE front organisations in Australia and opposition Australian Parliamentarians to provide direct assistance to Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), a Sri Lankan NGO which is widely believed to be the relief and rehabilitation arm of LTTE. more..

First baby born at new maternity ward built by Merlin in Sri Lanka

May 19 (AN) The first baby has been born at the new maternity ward built by Merlin in Kattankudy, Batticaloa district, on Sri Lanka’s tsunami-devastated east coast. Wahida A. W., 29, gave birth to a healthy baby girl, weighing 3.2kg (7lbs), at 20.06 (local time) on 17th May. more..

Sri Lanka to build Chinese-financed bunkering port on major shipping lane

May 19 (AFX) Sri Lanka is to build a bunkering port financed by China in the island's remote southern tip to service international shipping, Ports and Aviation Minister Mangala Samaraweera said. more..