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Let’s decide which wimp to be expelled from UNP! - Maharoof

Mar 12 (LT) The party will have to decide which yellow-belly to be removed from the UNP said UNP Parliamentarian Maharoof. He said this at a meeting held at Sucharitha Hall yesterday to apprise the electoral organizers of the local government election propaganda work. more..

President felicitates Murali!

Mar 12 (LT) President Mahinda Rajapakse has congratulated Muttiah Muralidharan, the first Sri Lankan to get 600 test wickets and the second in the world to achieve that feat. President Rajapakse has appreciated the contribution made by Murali to bring credit to Sri Lanka by using his talents and ability. more..

'Murali will always be a beacon of hope'

Mar 12 (CI) My first association with Murali was while playing Under-15 cricket for Trinity School. I used to attend training sessions held in the back garden of Sunil Fernando, the coach who discovered Murali's precious talent and asked him to switch from medium-pace to spin. I still remember the day that Sunil called Murali into my net to bowl. more..

Teenagers who fled Tiger rebels deny weapons training

Mar 12 (ANN) The two teenagers who fled a Tiger rebels training facility at Sampoor, Trincomalee in Northeast Sri Lanka early last week, on Friday (March 10) denied prior claims of receiving weapons training. Their escape is the first since the government-LTTE agreement reached in Geneva in February. more..

Children of Tiger rebel bosses study abroad

Mar 12 (ANN) Tiger rebels leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s son is studying in London while his daughter is being educated in Northern Ireland, according to Tamil sources in London. In addition, the leader of the rebel's political wing, S. P. Thamilchelvam's daughter is now in Norway. more..

Alaska visa scandal: CID to record statement from Jeevan

Mar 12 (LNP) CID detectives are to record a statement from Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Jeevan Kumaratunga over the multi-billion forged passport scandal. The move follows revelations made by some of the suspects now in custody in connection with the racket which involved the issue of forged United States visas for jobs in Alaska. more..

Muslims demand separate delegation in future talks

Mar 12 (LNP) Muslims demand separate delegation in future talks Last week, representatives of Muslim civil society and its leaders reiterated their demand for a `separate independent delegation` at any future talks between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE. more..

JVP ultimatum to President

Mar 12 (LNP) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga failed, despite all the backroom strategies, to ensure Mahinda Rajapaksa did not become the fifth President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. This time she was more determined to deny him another Presidency - that of the SLFP. more..

A crumbling parliamentary complex

Mar 12 (SAMN) The Parliamentary Complex is in need of renovations in several areas, refurbishing as well as improvement to its electrical and telecommunication systems, a select committee has reported. The interim report reveals the structural links between the balcony and the terraces in the Parliament building were weak and that the waterproofing had undergone long term wear and tear while termites had appeared in some areas. more..

Govt. seeks to amend Election Act

Mar 12 (SAMN) The Government is to rush urgent legislation in parliament, ahead of this month's polls, to amend the Local Authorities (Election) Act. The idea is to make provision for political parties not receiving an absolute majority to come together and run the local bodies. more..

Rs. 1,800 million for road development

Mar 12 (SO) President Mahinda Rajapakse will inaugurate the second phase of the Maganeguma project on March 19 in Nuwara Eliya. Simultaneously 170 road development projects will commence islandwide. The government has allocated 1,800 million rupees for this project. more..

Election watchdog says local election turning violent

Mar 12 (Xinhua) An independent election watchdog in Sri Lanka said on Sunday that this month's local election campaign has turned relatively violent. Kingsley Rodrigo, the executive director of PAFFREL, said "we have noted a marked increase in violence compared with the last parliamentary election and the presidential election." more..

Sea Tigers launch Deep-Sea Ops training to Auxiliary Flotilla

Mar 12 (TN) Liberation Tigers Special Commander of Sea Tigers, Col. Soosai, on Friday launched Deep-Sea Operations training for selected naval auxiliarists from the recently trained flotillas of Thamileelam Naval Auxiliary Force, Sea Tiger sources in Mullaithivu said. more..

Will Sri Lanka Defeat Hostile Symbolic Politics?

Mar 12 (PJ) Whether one agrees or not, in the conflict resolution process, a win-win scenario is better than a no-win one. I read the statements from the recently concluded Geneva talks on the implementation of the no-war treaty with this in mind. more..

Tigers accuse army of fresh attack in Sri Lanka

Mar 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have accused government forces of launching a fresh attack against them and breaking an agreement last month to halt violence. The LTTE said about 30 security personnel and paramilitary soldiers attacked their post at Kaddumurippu on Friday night. more..

The Elephant in the room

Mar 12 (TW) Although the two negotiating teams are avoiding it for now, the elephant in the room is the question of devolution. Like D.H. Lawrence's Elephant in the Kandy perahara, the devolution elephant is now "passive with patience', but can turn into "rage" without much warning. more..

Indians at Lanka play

Mar 12 (TW) The two speakers were M.R. Narayanaswamy and M.K.Tikku, both journalists; the Chairman was Major General Ashok Mehta who had been with the IPKF. In the audience were Varadaraja Perumal, the erstwhile Indian puppet Chief Minister of the Northern and Eastern Provinces, Kalkat an Indian general who had been a commander of the Indian occupation in the late 1980s, more..

Tsunami housing issues – the agencies’ side of the story

Mar 12 (TW) Around 98,000 permanent housing units were to be provided following the tsunami. They were found inside and outside buffer zones. The policy was a house for a house if fully damaged as well as where partially damaged, allocations to repair. The dimensions per unit was 500 sq. ft and a unit cost was Rs. 500,000. more..

LTTE threatens newly appointed Vice-Chancellor of Jaffna

Mar 13 (AT) The newly appointed Vice-chancellor of the University of Jaffna, Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole, is expected to run into serious difficulties with the LTTE passing death threats if he dares to step into the campus to take up office. He was appointed the Vice-Chancellor by President Mahinda Rajapakse last Thursday. more..

Latest profile of the LTTE war machine in the east

Mar 13 (AT) Asian Tribune's intelligence unit has put together the following profile of the LTTE's war machine in the east of Sri Lanka: The total strength of the LTTE formation in the East from Verukal to Amparai, according to the latest information collected is around 1391. more..

Raison d’ être

Mar 13 (AT) The world is watching. And none of us – Tiger or anti-Tiger – can do without the world. Even if we can dispense with its aid and assistance we have to ensure that our enemies do not benefit from such support. The Tigers need the world not to ban them; legal sanctions could impede the free flow of cash from the Diaspora to the LTTE's coffers; more..

Petition on JSC resignations

Mar 13 (BBC) Senior lawyers have urged a parliamentary probe on the recent resignations of two members of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC). Senior Counsel Elmo Perera has filed a Fundamental Rights petition to the Supreme Court asking for the authorities to fill the vacancies in the JSC created by the resignations of two senior judges. more..

Broken promises and the LG polls

Mar 13 (AT) Candidates of the local government election make list of promises to their voters but all promises would be dreams when the election is over. This is Sri Lankan style, but some candidates wish to fulfill their promises after assuming their duties as councilors. more..

Sri Lanka may keep key interest rate unchanged for third month

Mar 13 (Bloomberg) Central bank will probably keep interest rates unchanged for a third month to spur economic growth after four rises in 2005 helped slow inflation. The Central Bank will leave the repurchase rate at which it drains money from the banking system at 8.75 percent, six of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News said. more..

Rising world sugar prices lifts Pelwatte Sugar's fortunes

Mar 13 (LBO) The fortunes of Pelwatte Sugar have changed dramatically with world sugar prices going up. Sugar prices have been edging up over 2005, as cane-based ethanol, a petroleum substitute became increasingly more attractive in the face of rising petroleum. more..

Vasantha quits Film Corporation

Mar 13 (LeN) Renowned Film Director Vasantha Obeysekera is to quit his post in the Board of Directors at the Film Corporation, after disagreement on proposals brought by the present Chairman and the Corporation's General Manager. Vasantha Obeysekera who has many national awards for his film direction was previously appointed to the Director Board during the tenure of President Kumaratunge in 1994 more..

Government to seek new law to win local polls

Mar 13 (LeN) The government is to amend the Local Authorities (Elections) Act on priority basis with a view to win the upcoming local government polls. Under the existing law the single party that receives the highest number of seats can take control of the local authority by nominating Chairman, Deputy Chairman or Mayor, Deputy Mayor. more..

Signatures obtained for petition urging not to disarm paramilitary groups

Mar 13 (LeN) The 3rd phase of the collecting of signatures for a petition urging the President to fulfill 6 demands of the Eastern Province Sinhala community got underway this morning (12) from Ampara. The petition calls on the government to commence talks on a permanent peace and not on the cease-fire agreement, not to disarm anti-LTTE paramilitary groups, more..

Mangala's Airport Authority says 'NO' to Local Producers

Mar 13 (LeN) Katunayake BIA is the only international airport in the world that prohibits local products in its display area, it was said at a media briefing at the Vista Banquet, WTC, Colombo. The media briefing convened by the Sri Lanka National Chamber of Commerce was to lobby for the right of presence at the BIA for local confectionary, cosmetic and tobacco products. more..

Remove Norway from peace brokering! - PNM

Mar 13 (LT) “Time has come to end the attempt by Norwegian conspirators to make Sri Lanka their hunting ground. The opportunity given to a country with fundamentalist religious beliefs to decide the future of Sri Lanka should be stopped,” states a communiqué issued by Patriotic National Movement more..

17-year old Dhanu, the Rajiv Gandhi Assassin

Mar 13 (ISL) Dhanu alias Anbu alias Kalaivani was hardly in her teens when she was embedded into the Tiger cadres. This photograph was taken moments before she blew herself up as a suicide bomber along with the intended victim, Rajiv Gandhi and several others. At this time she was not even 17 years old, brainwashed to become a demon of destruction. more..

Child soldiers: Noises but no action

Mar 13 (ANN) On Saturday (March 11), we received by post a letter that Unicef had sent to all media institutions, on the deplorable manner in which two child soldiers who had escaped from an LTTE training camp were treated by a section of the press in contravention of Unicef guidelines. more..

Captured Indian Poachers Released

Mar 13 (SLA) FIVE INDIAN FISHERMEN captured and brought ashore by some local fishermen while they were poaching in the Sri Lanka waters off MUNAI in JAFFNA on Sunday (12) around 11.00 a.m. have been released after the Navy and the POINT PEDRO Police intervened. more..

Hand Grenades Recovered

Mar 13 (SLA) THREE HAND GRENADES hidden near the GAL AMUNA sluice at MEDIRIGIRIYA in POLONNARUWA have been recovered by the Police on Saturday (11) around 5.30 p.m. Subsequently, those hand grenades were defused by the Army Bomb Disposal team.

Local elections in NorthEast likely to be postponed

Mar 13 (TN) A final decision to conduct elections to local government authorities in the North East is to be announced by the Commissioner of Elections this week after consultations with NorthEast district returning officers, political sources in Colombo said. more..

Geneva peace talks in grave danger – Balasingham

Mar 13 (TN) "The Geneva peace talks will face grave danger if the Sri Lanka government refuses to disarm Tamil paramilitary organisations and continues allowing them to launch offensive military operations against our military positions in Batticaloa district," warned Mr Anton Balasingham, more..

SLA rebuilding FDL posts in Vadamaradchi

Mar 13 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) is reconstructing previously abandoned positions in the Valikkandy area, a border village between Vadamaradchy North and Vadamaradchy east in Jaffna district. SLA soldiers are using large amounts of sleepers brought from Palaly military base for construction of the sentry posts and positions. more..

Sri Lanka pushes for open skies with India in CEPA talks

Mar 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka will push for an open skies agreement with India, on the sidelines of trade talks in May to liberalise service sectors of both countries. Both sides are finalising positions for talks on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), with areas like shipping, tourism and financial services also making the list. more..

Devananda to get Oxfam support for Northeast Tamils

Mar 13 (ISL) Representatives of Oxfam, lead by its Director Barbara Stocking met the Social Services and Social Welfare Minister K.N. Douglas Devananda at his Ministry on last week to discuss possible collaborations to support the livelihoods of Northeast Tamils, according to sources from Oxfam. more..

Why suffer in a country that could be developed? Somawansha Amarasinghe

Mar 13 (LT) The time has come to decide whether people should suffer in a country that could be developed says Mr. Somawansha Amarasinghe, Leader of the JVP. Speaking further addressing a meeting held in Horana Mr. Amarasinghe said the masses are well aware of the sacrifices the JVP has done during the past 40 years for the benefit of the country. more..

I got information for the article from tiger organization! - Lasanthe Wickrematunga

Mar 13 (LT) CID questioned Mr. Lasanthe Wickrematunga the editor of ‘Sunday Leader’ today (13th) regarding the article published in last Sunday’s issue of the paper jeopardizing the security of the country. The CID has interrogated him for more than two hours and taken a statement from him. more..

‘Sunday Leader’ article bring death threats for families of security officers!

Mar 13 (LT) The relatives of security officers, who were exposed by an article published in ‘Sunday Leader’ last Sunday, are receiving death threats revealed members of several such families to ‘Lankatruth’ with the understanding that their names would not be revealed. more..

A new Botanical Garden to be constructed in Hambantota

Mar 13 (SLBC) A new Botanical Garden will be built in Mirijjawila in Hambantota in a land of 300 acres. Minister of Botanical Gardens and Zoological promotions Bandula Basnayake says the construction will commence in the first week of next month. This is the 1st National Botanical Garden built after the Senarathgoda Garden in Gampaha in 1876. more..

We'll support Mahinda without Ministerial posts? Hakeem,Thonda

Mar 13 (LeN) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and the Ceylon Workers Congress say they have no idea of joining the government or accepting ministerial portfolios other than supporting President Rajapaksa?s peace initiative. When 'Lanka e News' asked SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem about widespread rumours of his impending cross over to the government ranks more..

Court orders SLMC nominations be accepted

Mar 13 (LeN) The Appeal Court today (13) ordered the Elections Commissioner to accept the rejected nominations of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress for 12 local authorities. Colombo District Judge Devika Ratnayake issued an enjoining order on the Elections Commissioner restraining him from accepting nominations of the SLMC more..

UNP politico gifts land to Kadir killing suspect

Mar 13 (WS) Investigations have revealed that a top United National Party Colombo Central Politico who is at the centre of a recent commotion in the party had arranged to provide a block of state owned land in Colombo to the suspect who allegedly facilitated the assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. more..

New moderate Tamil party recognised

Mar 13 (WS) A new Tamil party, consisting of some very senior Tamil politicians has come into being. The party, Akhila Illankai Tamil United Front (AITUK) has also been given recognition by the Commissioner of Elections. The party which aspires to be a driving force against all anti democratic Tamil political parties also more..

Jihad organisation an LTTE canard

Mar 13 (WS) The SLMM declared that there was no evidence to prove the presence of a Muslim paramilitary group named 'Jihad' in the North and East. SLMM Spokesperson Helen Olaffsdottir told the Weekend Standard that her Mission had not got any complaints with regard to an organization named Jihad. more..

Internal struggles on both sides

Mar 13 (WS) The political battlefield has once again been quiet although local government elections are gradually getting closer. One can see that there is a lull in feuding in the upper circles of the political field with not much open animosity indicating an unusual quietness on the surface but actually there is much turmoil beneath. more..

Christian Organisations Support Tsunami-Affected Youths in Sri Lanka

Mar 13 (CT) Christian Aid recently financially assisted a three month masonry training for tsunami-affected youths of Muttur east, Sri Lanka, which was conducted by The Pattalipuram Poonchcholai People's Development Organisation (PPDO). more..