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Tamil Congress shoots the messenger

Mar 17 (NP) When presented with a damning report by an international human rights organization exposing the operation of a criminal gang that targets Tamil Canadians, it is entirely understandable that representatives of the community would meet with reporters to express "deep anguish." more..

Sri Lanka's opportunity washed away by storm

Mar 17 (CI) The first one-dayer at the Premadasa International Stadium was washed out after a spectacular mid-innings thunderstorm drenched Colombo, flooding the stadium within minutes and denying Sri Lanka the chance to take a 1-0 lead in the series after a fine performance in the field that restricted Pakistan to a modest 201 for 8. more..

Norway names new peace envoy

Mar 17 (Reuters) Norway appointed a new peace envoy on Friday to help mediate between Sri Lanka's government and Tamil Tiger rebels after a conflict in which 64,000 people have died. Foreign ministry peace expert Jon Hanssen-Bauer, 53, would take over from Erik Solheim, who became Norway's International Development Minister in October 2005 after six years focused only on Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka splash US$ 1 mn to lure Indian holidaymakers

Mar 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka will launch a US$ 1 million ad campaign into India on Saturday, to entice travelers from Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore to come experience the island. The country, famed for its beaches, cultural tourism and wildlife holidays, is selling on its diversity and its close proximity off the tip of India, to fight off regional competition. more..

Sri Lanka's top brands get its own bible

Mar 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's top brands, from tea to popular ayurvedic balms could get a listing in a global catalogue of super-brands, by September this year. A global body set up to recognise brands, Superbrands is in over 50 countries, giving selected companies a host of promotional benefits. more..

Sri Lanka: Post-Tsunami Update Jan/Feb 2006

Mar 18 (RW) As reported in this issue the Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA) is reviewing the housing sector in order to clarify policy issues and strengthen coordination mechanisms between Colombo and the Districts. This should translate into more coordinated support for the districts, improved communication and faster progress on the whole reconstruction process. more..

Local council election contestants meet TNA in Vavuniya

Mar 18 (TN) Candidates competing in the Vavuniya district local council elections under the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) ticket met with Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians in Vavuniya Hindu Youths Hall Thursday, sources in Vavuniya said. more..

Army pledge support for peace

Mar 18 (BBC) The commander of the Sri Lankan Army, Lt. General Sarath Fonseka said the current peace effort is different from the last. Lt. General Fonseka was addressing the security forces in Vavunia during a tour of the North. He also endorsed the support of the military for President Mahinda Rajapakse’s peace efforts. more..

Hey You! Don't do things that will put you behind bars- President

Mar 18 (LeN) Trade Unions have made several written complaints to the President against Chairman of Land Reclamation and Development Corporation Board Somaweera Chandrasiri. Among the allegations made against the Chairman is granting permission for illegal filling of paddy fields, providing Corporation's machinery for such land filling and misusing vehicles. more..

UNP against amending local government election law

Mar 18 (LeN) The United National Party has strongly protested against the government moves to introduce emergency amendments to the Local Government Election Act enabling several parties to join hands to take control of the authority whenno party enjoys an absolute majority. more..

US court orders Sri Lankan released after 5 years

Mar 18 (Reuters) A U.S. court ordered the government on Friday to release a Sri Lankan who has been imprisoned for five years after he tried to enter America seeking asylum from alleged torture in his home country. Ahilan Nadarajah, a 25-year old member of the Tamil ethnic minority on the island nation, was tortured by government troops at his home in the Jaffna peninsula of northern Sri Lanka more..

US State Department says 'problem of armed groups, a serious Tamil grievance' in Sri Lanka

Mar 18 (AT) The United States Department of State did it in rapid succession in endeavoring to convince the most vital forum of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Subcommittee on Asia of the House Committee on International Relations, that the 'problem of armed groups', more..

The Clock and the Electricity Consumption

Mar 18 (LBO) Energy consultant Thilak Siyambalapitiya joins in the lively debate on the link between electricity usage and Sri Lanka's decision to turn back the clock after ten-years. The first serious attempt to advance the clock from the previous 5 1/2 hours to 6 hours ahead of GMT, based of scientific justification, was in 1983. more..

Sri Lankan tea output to outstrip Kenya

Mar 18 (Jang) Sri Lanka’s tea output will likely hit a record 325-330 million kg in 2006, its tea board said on Friday, with both production and export seen likely to outstrip drought-hit rival producer Kenya. Sri Lanka Tea Board Director General HD Hemaratne said small growers, who produce 62 percent of the total crop, were expanding, more..

Sri Lankans want improvement in nation’s cricket administration

Mar 18 (Jang) Proud Sri Lankans celebrated the 10th anniversary of their remarkable victory in the 1996 World Cup on Friday but many of them remain despondent about the state of cricket administration in the country. The general observation was that while cricket as a sport and cricketers have made remarkable progress after the (1996) World Cup victory, the administration has not moved forward. more..

Reasonable security prevailing in SL

Mar 18 (Jang) For someone who has witnessed first hand the suffocating security cover that was in place for the recent home series against England and India (held recently in Pakistan), the ongoing series in Sri Lanka is a pleasant change. For one a cricket series is being played like a sporting event and not like an exercise in showing the world that Pakistan is capable of "defending itself against disgruntled elements and generally terrorists. more..

Commissioner yet to decide on holding NorthEast elections

Mar 18 (TN) Final decision on holding the local elections in the NorthEast will be taken in a few days, said Mr Dissanayake, Sri Lankan Commissioner of Elections, Saturday when District Secretaries of the NorthEast met him in Colombo to discuss the difficulties in holding the local elections on 30 March, Election Department officials said. more..

Kattankudy Muslims protest against violence

Mar 18 (TN) Kattankudy Muslims Saturday observed a shut down in protest against the escalating violence in their area where on Friday four motorbikes belonging to Muslim individuals, were hijacked, allegedly by paramilitary cadres. There is a concerted attempt to create communal violence between Tamils and Muslims, protesters said. more..

Armed LTTE men fire on Naval Craft with SLMM officials

Mar 18 (SLA) IN WHAT WAS SEEN A GROSS violation of ceasefire agreement, armed LTTE (Tamil Tigers) cadres on a craft in the seas off MUTTUR opened fire on the Naval detachment at Norway point and another Naval craft that carried Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) officers on Friday between 10 – 11 a.m. more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Mar 18 (SLA) 1635 lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 10 March 2006 and 16 March 2006. Those consignments had reached areas in KILINOCHCHI and MULLAITIVU districts via OMANTHAI and UYILANKULAM Entry/Exit points. more..

The Hoole factor in the Tiger equation

Mar 18 (ISL) I have yet to meet a Tamil who is so genuinely concerned about the Tamils and the discrimination they have been subjected to, than Professor Ratnajeewan S. Hoole. He is a fervent champion of the Tamil cause, with unquestionable sincerity. There are many areas of disagreement that I have regarding some of his views. more..

Canadian Democratic Tamils Welcome HRW Statement

Mar 18 (ISL) ”As Canadian Tamils, we welcome the recent report by Human Rights Watch, Funding the ‘Final War’: LTTE Intimidation and Extortion in the Tamil Diaspora, which documents the persistent and systematic extortion and intimidation of the Tamil community by the LTTE. more..

International community should stand up for Prof. Hoole

Mar 18 (ISL) LTTE propaganda machinery is up in arms against the appointment of Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole as the new Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna. LTTE's agents in Sri Lankan Parliament, the TNA MPs, and the pro-LTTE websites like Nitharsanam and Sangathi in concert with Jaffna based newspapers such as Sudaroli and Uthayan have launched a virulent campaign to prevent Professor Hoole taking up his appointment. more..

LTTE Cyber Unit Declares War Against Human Rights Watch

Mar 18 (ISL) The Oslo based cyber terrorist Nadarajah Sethurupan who runs the LTTE websites and has declared open war against the New York based international non-governmental organisation (NGO) Human Rights Watch for publishing their report on LTTE intimidation and extortion in the Tamil Diaspora. more..

Wanni a worldwide power!

Mar 18 (ISL) The Vice Chancellor elect of the Jaffna University Zoo-Paa Thamilselvan, addressing a largely attended press conference at Kilinochchi in the State of Eelam said, following his election to Eelam’s center of higher education, he would be relinquishing his duties as the Head of Political Affairs worldwide. more..

Four Ministers in danger zone

Mar 18 (LeN) A Cabinet reshuffle and changes in SLFP positions are on he cards after the local government polls. 'Lanka e News' has reliably learnt that the President is planning to change subjects of four Ministers against whom several allegations have been leveled. Three of them are Cabinet Ministers-Rohitha Bogollagama, Mangala Samaraweera and Athauda Seneviratne. more..

Job opportunities in Europe - Minister of Labour Relations

Mar 18 (LT) There was an opportunity to send labourers to European countries says Mr. Athauda Seneviratne, Minister of Labour Relations and Foreign employment. He said an agreement was reached regarding the matter with Ministers of Labour of the relevant countries. Minister Athuda Seneviratne has reached this agreement when he was attending an international seminar in Brussels. more..

Decision on local government polls in N/E today

Mar 18 (LT) The final decision whether elections for local government councils in the North and the East would held or not would be taken today(18th) says Office of the Election Commissioner. A special discussion between the Asst. Commissioner of Elections in the relevant provinces and the Commissioner of Elections will be held today. more..

Permits granted for sand mining will be annulled in areas which experience environmental hazards

Mar 18 (SLBC) The government intervenes to provide expedited solutions to environmental issues which have arisen due to illegal sand mining. Accordingly, the permits granted for sand mining will be annulled from the 1st of April in areas which experience environmental problems. more..

Tigers haven’t given us any reason to be hopeful: US

Mar 18 (PIS) US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald A. Camp last Wednesday drew the attention of the US Congressional Sub Committee on Asia and the Pacific, to a recent report by the US Human Rights Watch titled Funding the ‘final war’ LTTE intimidation and extortion in the Tamil Diaspora, more..

Pakistan apparel makers explore Sri Lanka market

Mar 18 (GT) Pakistani apparel manufacturers are exploring investment opportunities in Sri Lanka amidst reports that the European Union is considering to bring down value addition criterion to 35 per cent for Sri Lanka under the GSP Plus scheme. Besides textiles, the IT companies and businessmen of other sectors in Pakistan are exploring investment opportunities and developing warehousing facilities for their products in Sri Lanka. more..

Atapattu ruled out of Pakistan one-dayers and Tests

Mar 18 (AFP) Injury-hit Sri Lanka have suffered a major setback when captain Marvan Atapattu was ruled out of the ongoing one-dayers as well as the upcoming Tests against Pakistan. "Marvan aggravated the injury while fielding in the first match on Friday and the medical staff have advised us to rest him for the one-dayers as well as the Tests," more..

SB seeks back door return to Parliament

Mar 18 (LNP) UNP heavyweight S.B. Dissanayake is seeking to enter Parliament through the National List. He has discussed this with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, informed sources said. Political sources said that Dissanayake and his supporters are of the view this would help the UNP to step up its campaign against President Mahinda Rajapakse`s administration. more..

Corruption ruined the SLTB

Mar 18 (LNP) 'Almost all CTBdepots are run at a loss due to mismanagement and corruption. The government has plans now to eliminate thelosses and provide a good service to the commuters ` said the chairman of the SLTB Tudor Dayaratne. Mr. Dayaratne made this comment at a function held last Sunday at the main bus stand when handing over 14 new buses by the SLTB for its three bus depots in the Matara District. more..

A touch of Premadasism

Mar 18 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapakse`s surprise visit to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles Department (RMV) on Thursday reminds one of the late President Premadasa, who employed similar methods to keep the state employees on their toes. His penchant for having a finger in every pie was legendary. He was one of the few leaders who had mastered the art of dealing with the so-called government servants. more..

Underworld gangs on the loose

Mar 18 (SAMN) There are 20 recognised underworld gangs, 70,000 deserters and the interior ministry records 35,000 illegal arms in the country. The LTTE, paramilitary groups and various other groups are all unaccounted for and are growing concerns as well, this was revealed by South Asian Movement Against Small Arms (SAMASA) Chairman Kingsley Rodrigo Friday more..

France reiterates support for Govt.

Mar 18 (SAMN) France Thursday reiterated its support for the ongoing efforts of the Sri Lankan Government to arrive at a negotiated settlement and welcomed the restraint shown by the Government in the face of provocations. French Foreign Minister Phillipe Douste-Blazy made this remark, when he met visiting Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera in Paris. more..

Tiger accusation on EPDP paramilitary a hoax - EPDP

Mar 18 (DN) The local media, particularly the Tamil media, in the last few days has given publicity to the LTTE allegation at the Geneva talks about the paramilitary groups working with SLAF and inter-alia referring to the EPDP also as one amongst them, since it was reported first in the Sunday Leader of March 5, 2006. more..

Tiger fund raising among Toronto Tamils

Mar 18 (TW) “Funding the War: LTTE Intimidation and Extortion in the Tamil Diaspora” is the title of a 45 page report newly released by the Human Rights Watch organization. The US based HRW report was formally released on March 16th or the Ides of March that spelled out doom to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. more..

Role of the International Community in the Peace Process

Mar 18 (TW) The head of the Government delegation at the Geneva Talks and Health and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, speaking at a seminar on the peace talks held at the Badulla library auditorium on March 4 said, achieving permanent peace in the country would not be an easy task. But he did not elaborate on the reasons for the difficulty. more..

Beginning of an end or the end of a beginning

Mar 18 (TW) The Human Rights Watch report titled’ Funding the “Final War” LTTE Intimidation and Extortion in the Tamil Diaspora’ (Vol. 18, # 1 C) of March’2006, reminded me of the above proverb frequently used by Tamils in Sri Lanka. This report was preceded by the reports of the SLMM, the UNICEF, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch on the recruitment of children and other reprehensible acts of the LTTE. more..

State's camp expresses hope over Sri Lanka Peace Talks

Mar 18 (WF) A senior State Department official has expressed hope that the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE will make a serious effort through their renewed discussions to bring peace and stability to the island nation. “I’m a little more optimistic now that they’ve returned to peace talks. It’s been about three years since the talks broke off. more..


Mar 18 (WS) The JVP, will demand the total withdrawal by peace negotiator Norway, and will do their utmost to educate the public on the negative aspects that could arise if the Scandinavian country is retained for the impending second round of peace talks between the Government and the LTTE, a party spokesman, told the Weekend Standard. more..

Weekly Political Round Up: Campaigns on low gear

Mar 18 (WS) Although there are only about ten more days to campaign for the local government election, it has yet to reach fever pitch. When will the campaign reach fever pitch? If there is no answer to this question, this will be quite a different election compared to the past polls. more..

Sri Lanka revise Pakistan schedule due to rain

Mar 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka and Pakistan have agreed on a revised schedule for their ongoing series after a tropical downpour washed out the opening one-day international on Friday night. The threat of further rain over the coming week has prompted Sri Lanka Cricket to introduce reserve days to prevent further abandonments and moved back the date of the third one-dayer. more..

New Tamil group backs allegations against Tigers

Mar 18 (TS) First came the Human Rights Watch report this week claiming Toronto's Tamil community was being intimidated and extorted by the LTTE, a group fighting for independence in Sri Lanka and designated as terrorists by the United Nations. Then came the outrage by prominent local Tamils, denying such accusations. more..

Court intervenes in Law College Tamil medium admissions

Mar 19 (TN) Eleven additional Tamil medium candidates were admitted to the Law College in Colombo Friday following the intervention of the Supreme Court after Tamil students filed Fundamental Rights application citing discriminatory procedures in admissions, legal sources said. more..

World Bank, EU delegates to visit Trincomalee

Mar 19 (TN) World Bank Country Director, Mr.Peter C.Harrold and a representative of the European Commission is scheduled to visit Trincomalee district March 21 for two days to monitor the progress in the housing reconstruction programme in the war torn districts in the NorthEast. more..

Seventieth birthday tribute for Gamini Fonseka

Mar 19 (TW) Gamini Fonseka, if among us still, would have reached the biblical life span of three score and ten on March 21st. This however was not to be as the uncrowned monarch of Sinhala moviedom passed away in 2004. Though Gamini has passed away most of his fans like this writer have not forgotten him. more..

Bilingualism- Path to Peace

Mar 19 (TW) Monolingualism is a product of the country's education system. The neglect of teaching languages other than one's own over the last fifty years has deprived the underprivileged rural youth in all parts of the country of the opportunities not only to learn another language but also to interact with each other across ethno-linguistic lines. more..