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Sale of state assets during elections must stop - President

Mar 15 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday stressed that time has arrived to put an end to the sell out of vital state assets in hasty decisions taken at times of elections. The President expressed these views referring to the decision taken by the Director Board of the Employees Trust Fund Board to sell the land allocated for a workers' hospital in Colombo more..

A revival of hope

Mar 15 (FL) SRI LANKA is now going through its latest spring of hope. The talks in Geneva in February were significant in that they marked a resumption of direct political engagement between the government and the LTTE. The post-talks rhetoric, however, point to dissatisfaction with the dialogue process. more..

Tamil Tigers Extort Diaspora for ‘Final War’ Funds

Mar 15 (HRW) The LTTE subject Sri Lankan Tamils living in Canada, the United Kingdom and other Western countries to intimidation, extortion and even violence to ensure a steady flow of funds for operations in Sri Lanka and to suppress criticism of human rights abuses, said Human Rights Watch in a new report released today. more..

Sri Lankan children protest against abductions

Mar 15 (AP) Hundreds of children left their classes in parts of eastern Sri Lanka on Wednesday to protest the abductions of three teenagers blamed by the military on Tamil Tiger rebels, police said. The rebels have denied responsibility, saying witnesses told them that a van used to abduct two of the teenagers on Monday sped toward a Sri Lankan military camp. more..

HRW sheds light on Tiger fund raising in the West

Mar 15 (TW) The respected US based organization which brought out in 2004 a comprehensive report on recruitment and conscription of child soldiers by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has released a new report on the ides of March about fund raising activities by the tigers in the West. more..

China, Sri Lanka sgin economic agreements

Mar 16 (Xinhua) Visiting Chinese delegation and Sri Lankan government Wednesday sgined three agreements to support Sri Lanka's economic development. State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan called on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Wednesday and hold talks on a range of issues concerning bilateral relations, economic cooperation, tourism and aviation sector. more..

LTTE supporter shown the door in Denmark

Mar 16 (AT) An elected Councilor of the Herning City Council in Denmark, Arulanantharajah Thillainadarajah has been dismissed from the Social Democratic Party. This was done because he supports the LTTE, an internationally banned organization. In Denmark however LTTE is not an officially banned organization. more..

Getting back to Geneva: still a lot to do

Mar 16 (TW) It is now three weeks since the conclusion of the talks in Geneva and almost a month to the next round of talks there. The question therefore arises as to whether any of what was agreed at the first round of talks needs to be demonstrably implemented before one gets to the next round. more..

Thripitakaya has been re-published in sinhala with 57 volumes

Mar 16 (SLRC) The Buddha, Dhamma which was preserved by the members of the maha sangha after the passing away of lord buddha had been compiled as a book in paly language at Aluviharaya in Matale during the reign of king Walagamba. The Thripitakaya was translated from paly to Sinhala in 1954. more..

Sri Lankan pressure group urges govt to end Norwegian role

Mar 16 (Xinhua) A Sinhalese majority pressure group Wednesday urged the Sri Lankan government to order Norway out of the peace facilitation role with the Tamil Tigers. Gunadasa Amarasekera, secretary to the Patriotic National Movement (PNM), told reporters that "Norway has once again showed its bias towards the Tigers," referring to a visit made to Oslo by the LTTE after last month's Geneva talks more..

TNA to boycott Devananda meeting

Mar 16 (TN) The TNA parliamentarians said that they will boycott the District Integration Meeting schedueld for Thursday 16th at the Jaffna Secretariat to be chaired by Cabinet Minister Douglas Devananda, the leader of the EPDP, with the newly appointed Governor for NorthEast, Rear Admiral (Retd) Mohan Wijeyawickrema, and Mavai Senathirajah, TNA parliamentarian as co-chairmen, TNA sources said. more..

Donors to ensure equity in aid distribution- Norway diplomat

Mar 16 (TN) "The donor community is currently focusing its attention in ensuring equity in tsunami aid supply to North East," Mr. Erik F.Brede, Counselor of the Norwegian embassy in Colombo told presspersons when he paid a visit to Naduottu, a village in Kinniya division in Trincomalee district on Wednesday. more..

Lectures resume at Jaffna University

Mar 16 (TN) Lectures at University of Jaffna suspended from December 2005 due to violence in Jaffna district and the presence of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troops in the university environment, resumed for freshmen to Senior classes of students Wednesday, said an official of the Jaffna University Student Union (JUSU). more..

Thamilchelvan Denial Sends Jitters Among LTTE Fund Raisers

Mar 16 (ISL) The LTTE which maintains total silence on about its adverse operations and comments to every ones surprise denied the revelations in toto about its latest highhanded fund raising drive in the Tamil Diaspora which is taking place since November 2006. more..

Britain urged to protect Tamil Diaspora

Mar 16 (BBC) Tamil Tiger representatives in the UK “threatened and blackmailed” the Tamil Diaspora demanding large sums of money, according to Tamil activists. Raj Jayadevan, leader of the Tamil Democratic Congress (TDC), said the rebels launched a campaign in November 2005 to wage the “final war” against the Sri Lanka government. more..

SLMM questions FM's statement

Mar 16 (BBC) The international truce monitors has rejected a statement by Sri Lankan authorities that paramilitary groups are not operating in the government-held areas. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told the BBC in London that most of the paramilitary groups are operating in rebel-held territory. more..

A political solution within a united Sri Lanka will bring an end to ethnic problem – Ranil in Norway

Mar 16 (LT) The leader of the opposition, Ranil Wickramasinghe said that a political solution within a united Sri Lanka will pave the way for a solution to the present ethnic crisis in the country. He said this at a meeting with the Norwegian Minister of International Development, Erik Solheim during his current official tour in Norway. more..

Abducted victims of LTTE refute Tiger propaganda

Mar 16 (AT) Two members of the Praba Group (LTTE) surrendered on 28 February to the TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal’s (Col. Karuna's Group) at their Vadamunai base. They are: 17- year-old Selvan Babu (Sankaran) from Mathurankulam Vaharai and 19-year-old Vairamuthu Vidhyanandan (Ilanko) from Kannangkudah, Parithithurai. more..

Government plans to popularize hand made sarees among the brides

Mar 16 (AT) The local bridal designers will market Sri Lankan handloom sarees to assist around 15 thousand handloom weavers in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s leading bridal designers Senaka de Silva, Haris Wijesinghe and another ten of the designers have agreed to popularize locally made sarees among brides. more..

'Sri Lanka - Gateway to South Asian' travel mart in June

Mar 16 (AT) The "Sri Lanka - Gateway to South Asia" Travel Mart will be held from June 16 to 18 for the fourth year in succession at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike International Exhibition Centre in Colombo. A minimum of 200 buyers and 150 international and local exhibitors are expected to participate in this travel mart which has secured a top place in the travel professionals' diary. more..

Ottawa urged to probe Tamil threats

Mar 16 (TS) The Canadian government should investigate claims of extortion and intimidation within Toronto's Tamil community, a Human Rights Watch report released today says. The New York-based human rights organization alleges that the guerrilla group, the LTTE, is engaged in an aggressive fundraising effort in Toronto to prepare for a "final war" against the Sri Lankan government. more..

Anura abandons sister and join forces with Mahinda

Mar 16 (LeN) Even as former President Chandrika Kuamratunga is engaged in a bitter political battle with President Mahinda Rajapaksa blocking him from becoming the SLFP leader, her only brother Minister Anura Bandaranaike has expressed solidarity with the President. more..

SB's petition seeking his reinstatement in Parliament taken up for hearing

Mar 16 (LeN) The Supreme Court today(15) ded to take up for hearing a petition filed by former Nuwara Eliya district parliamentarian S.B.Dissanayake requesting the court to declare that his fundamental rights had been violated by unseating him from Parliament. more..

Spit and pay

Mar 16 (ANN) Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva yesterday said plans were afoot to introduce a spot fine against spitting in public places. Addressing a seminar, at the Health Education Bureau, the forthcoming World Tuberculosis Day, which falls on March 24, he said in comparison to other South Asian countries, in Sri Lanka the number infected with tuberculosis was much less. more..

Jaffna DDC meets under heavy security

Mar 16 (TN) Mr. Douglas Devananda, Minister in the ruling UPFA government, and North East Governor Mohan Wijewickrema, retired Rear Admiral of the Sri Lanka Navy, Thursday morning arrived at the Jaffna District Secretariat in a troop carrier of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) for the Jaffna District Development Committee (DDC) meeting held Thursday morning, more..

Special Envoy to assist Solheim in Sri Lanka peace process

Mar 16 (TN) The Norwegian International Development Minister Erik Solheim is to appoint a new Special Envoy to Sri Lanka Peace Process, according to Norwegian state radio (NRK). The decision to appoint a new Special Envoy has been conveyed to the parties and an official announcement is expected to made soon, informed sources in Colombo said. more..

Abducted School Children Return Home

Mar 16 (SLA) THE TWO SCHOOL CHILDREN earlier abducted from VALAICHCHENAI on Monday (13) while they were returning home after attending private tuition classes, have managed to return to their residences on Wednesday (15) evening. Students of KIRAN and ODDAMAVADI areas staged waves of protests on Wednesday (15) during school hours demanding an immediate stop to the practice of abduction of school children. more..

Injured Driver & Conductor Transferred

Mar 16 (SLA) BOTH BUS DRIVER AND THE CONDUCTOR who sustained injuries during the LTTE arson attack on their bus Wednesday (15) morning at VALAICHCHENAI were transferred to BATTICALOA hospital late in the evening after their condition grew worse. more..

Route Clearing Patrol Recovers Hand Grenade

Mar 16 (SLA) TROOPS ON ROUTE CLEARING DUTIES on Wednesday (15) around 9.00 a.m. in the general area of KAITHADY, JAFFNA recovered a hand grenade left unattended. The Army Bomb Disposal Squad team defused the hand grenade. Civilian’s House Under Grenade Attack. more..

TULF leader Anandasangaree backstabbed by JVP

Mar 16 (ISL) Destroying Tamil hopes for a continuous peace in a United Sri Lanka, the JVP leadership denied the party support for an Indian model of federalism claiming such model would lead for separation of the country. The JVP claims that the party does not agree with TULF leader with his points on federalism. more..

How Sinhalese South distorted and disgraced late. Hon. Mr. Lakshman Kadiragamar

Mar 16 (ISL) Addressing the committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Parliament in Brussels in 2001, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said the draft constitution presented by the People’s Alliance government in parliament in August 2000 had the virtue of laying out a scheme of devolution, decentralizing power more..

Next round of Sri Lankan peace talks hangs in the balance

Mar 16 (wsws) Uncertainty hangs over the second round of the Sri Lanka’s peace talks between the Colombo government and the LTTE, scheduled for April 19-21 in Geneva. Communalist agitation by the government’s Sinhala extremist allies and a series of armed attacks on the LTTE raise the prospect that the negotiations will collapse. more..

Ranil Norway's visit? a political conspiracy- Weerawansa

Mar 16 (LeN) Co-convener of the Patriotic People's Movement (PPM) and JVP Propaganda Secretary, Winal Weerawansa claims Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe's visit to Norway on an official invitation extended by that country is a political conspiracy. He made this claim at a media briefing held in Colombo last evening. more..

Don't pay Bogollagama's Geneva bill - President

Mar 16 (LeN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa last Monday ordered Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga not to credit expenses incurred by family members of Minister Roitha Bogollagama during the Geneva talks to the government account. Reportedly the Bogollagama family bill while in Geneva is amounting to Rs 850,000. more..

The Art of Chithrasena

Mar 16 (TW) I remember the first time I saw Chitrasena and Vajira dance. I was a student in a western capital and came with my friends to see this wonder from Sri Lanka. When the performance was over I was filled with so much exhilaration and a powerful sense of delight. more..

LTTE manipulates EPDP members to leave N & E – EPDP Leader tells the EU

Mar 16 (LT) The General Secretary of EPDP, Minister of Social Services and Social Benefits, Mr Douglas Devananda has told Mr John Kushnahan, Chief Observer of Elections in the EU that his party members have faced with great difficulties in the North and East Provinces. more..

Rs 780 billion for development in North and East

Mar 16 (LT) A rapid development project to solve problems faced by the people in North and East provinces is scheduled to be initiated by the Government. A sum of Rs 780 billion has been allocated for this purpose. This was announced by the Secretary to the Ministry of Nation Building and Development at a media briefing held yesterday (15). more..

Tiger at the door

Mar 16 (GU) "I'm scared," says Krishna as we sit in his modest home in a London suburb. I did not expect to hear that from a man who fought for the rebel Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka for more than 10 years, and participated in some of the fiercest battles of that country's civil war. more..

Jihad organisation an LTTE canard

Mar 16 (AT) 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 said that her Mission had not got any complaints with regard to an organization named Jihad. "Matters relating to this so called Jihad group have not come across our desk," she emphasized. more..

Mangala wants global pressure on LTTE

Mar 16 (PIS) Despite the dilemma of having to negotiate with a group who are yet to renounce terrorism and violence, Sri Lanka is fully committed to a negotiated political solution to achieve durable peace in Sri Lanka, said Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ports and Aviation, Mangala Samarweera. more..

UK-Lanka deal to curb Tiger fund raising

Mar 16 (PIS) The British Government will come forward to curb illegal fund raising from the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in the United Kingdom, it emerged yesterday. The British Minister of State for the Home Department Tony McNully has agreed on the importance of sharing information in this regard and outlined practical measures to Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera when they met in London yesterday. more..

Disarming paramilitary groups difficult task: SLMM

Mar 16 (LNP) One of the key conditions of the LTTE ' disarming armed para military groups prior to the next round of peace talks is an enormously difficult task, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission said yesterday. It said this condition was extremely difficult to meet and as such it was under severe strain. more..

Seven arrested with two gold Buddha statues

Mar 16 (LNP) Seven persons including a man in robes who attempted to sell two gold Buddha statues along with another 20 Buddha statues of great antique value, were arrested by Galagedara police last Friday. These persons were trying to sell the statues for 1.5 million rupees. more..

New scheme to ensure better SLTB service

Mar 16 (LNP) The government has formulated a programme to ensure the smooth functioning of all SLCT depots, SLTB Chairman Tudor Dayaratne said on Monday (13). Speaking at the handing over of 14 new buses to the Matara depot at the Matara bus terminal, he said in the past almost all SLTB bus depots ran into financial difficulties due to mismanagement, more..

Contests Basnayake Nilame post

Mar 16 (SAMN) Shashindra Rajapakse, son of Agriculture Development Minister and Private Secretary to President Mahinda Rajapakse is a contestant for the Basnayake Nilame post of the Katargama Devale, which fell vacant when the present Diyawadana Nilame, Dalada Malgiawa Nilanga Dela Bandara resigned to take up the latter post. more..

Opposition leader meets Norway leaders

Mar 16 (SAMN) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who is currently in Oslo on an official tour has told the Norwegian government during his meeting with peace envoy Eric Solhiem that peace could be achieved in the country only by acting with patience and prudence because the path to peace was difficult and challenging. more..

More schools to close down

Mar 16 (SAMN) Although a large number of rural schools have already been shut down, there are more which have been ear-marked for closure. Out of the 9,736 schools in the country, 565 were closed down by 2003 due to the lack of students. So far this year, over 650 schools (around 7 per cent of the total number), most of them in rural areas, have been closed more..

Govt. wont allow increase of bus fares

Mar 16 (SAMN) Transport Minister A H M Fowzie said that private bus owners did not have the right to increase bus fares and the government would not allow them to do so. "We have held several discussions with Private Bus Owners and they never brought out bus fare revisions problems," the Minister said. more..

Measures to resolve salary anomalies

Mar 16 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapakse has decided to amend 2006 salary proposals giving one salary increment to all lower grade State sector employees and also reduce the salary of higher grade employees by one increment. The President has also decided to appoint a new National Salaries Commission under the Co-chairmanship of Lionel Fernando and Saliya Mathew and also restructure the staff who have been engaged in this process. more..

Public servants disrupt work, demanding higher pay

Mar 16 (LBO) Hundreds of Sri Lankan public servants marched into the city of Colombo Thursday demanding higher wages as part of a one-day nationwide strike, which disrupted work in rail, postal and health services, union officials said. The Public Sector Salary Review Trade Unions Committee called the strike demanding higher pay for those employed in low and middle income jobs. more..