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Sri Lanka: The deadly Options before the country

Mar 28 (ISL) The continuing saga of the Ceasefire Agreement and the Geneva parleys are all dead ropes. Concentrating on these will drive the country more and more into the mire. Most Tamils though critical of the LTTE, even more now than before, have the impression that if the Tigers are eased out or neutralized the Sinhala racists elements will ignore their rights altogether and their battle for just rights will peter out. more..

Customs scraps duty free baggage allowance on bootlegs

Mar 28 (LBO) A duty free allowance on up to 200 cigarettes carried in travellers luggage is being scrapped from April, to be replaced with a tax of Rs6.70 a smoke. A total of 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 200 beedis – a hand made cigarette rolled in a special leaf, is allowed in duty free as a baggage allowance under current customs rules. more..

A good but useless gift from colonial past

Mar 28 (KT) COME Thursday, Sri Lankans will face another election — the fourth in the past three years. We had a parliamentary election followed by a provincial council election in 2004, a Presidential election in November 2005 and this week we will be voting to elect councillors to our local government bodies. more..

Denmark police raids TRO Head Office in Denmark

Mar 28 (AT) The Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic Crimes and the Danish Security Intelligence Service (PET) yesterday raided the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization’s (TRO) office to investigate how millions of Danish Krones were collected by the TRO for the Tsunami victims of Sri Lanka and how many millions were used for relief work. more..

LTTE no liberator of Tamils - Nirmala Rajasingham

Mar 28 (PIS) The LTTE have murdered all Tamil political leaders with moderate views, Nirmala Rajasingham, sister of Rajini Thiranagama, told the BBC's Carrie Gracie in an interview last week. Thiranagama was shot dead by the LTTE in 1989, at the age of 35. She had been an LTTE activist and later had left the organisation and published a book about human rights violations in Northern Sri Lanka. more..

PAFFREL chief apologises

Mar 28 (LNP) PAFFREL Chairman Kingsley Rodrigo yesterday made an apology to the Muslim community for any embarrassment caused by a media report attributed to him regarding the presence of armed groups in the East. Mr. Rodrigo said in his second interim report on Local Government Polls he admitted the presence of armed groups in the East but stressed he never referred to them as `Para military groups`. more..

Madawala ghost for Ratwatte

Mar 28 (LNP) Former Deputy Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte was in for a surprise yesterday when he visited the ghost town of Madawala ' site of the Udathalawinna massacre - where factories, schools and shops were shut protesting his visit there. The former Defence Minister was in Madawala to take part in a propaganda campaign of the UPFA. more..

The medical profession neglects the needy - Nimal

Mar 28 (LNP) As private practice is linked to the economy of medical professionals, most doctors, engaged in private practice around their hospitals, do not wish to be transferred to rural areas where the private practice is not so lucrative, according to Health and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. more..

Hoisting flag does not violate CFA: LTTE

Mar 28 (SAMN) The LTTE yesterday claimed that the hoisting of the rebel flag in government-controlled areas cannot be ruled as a violation of the Ceasefire Agreement since the organisation was not a banned outfit in Sri Lanka. LTTE political head S.P. Thamilselvan urged the SLMM to examine the charges over the flag-hoisting issue in accordance with the ceasefire more..

Five more technical colleges soon

Mar 28 (SAMN) The setting up of five technical colleges under the Vocational Training Ministry will get off the ground soon. Ministry officials at a meeting with Vocational Training Minister Piyasena Gamage said that the Technical Education and Vocational Training Department which spearheads the work had already acquired the necessary lands and buildings. more..

JVP urges IGP to stop polls violence

Mar 28 (SAMN) The JVP yesterday urged the Police chief to intervene to stop violence against its members and to arrest the culprits immediately. While expressing fears of increasing election violence on election day, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva, in a letter to IGP Chandra Fernando, charged that though some police officers acted impartially, most did not do so. more..

Sri Lanka sets up court in prison to handle drug cases

Mar 28 (Xinhua) A court has been set up for the first time in Sri Lanka inside a prison premises to handle drug cases, prison officials said Tuesday. A special High Court dedicated to deal with drug offenses is set to open Tuesday at the capital Colombo's main Welikada prison. more..

CMC poll: UNP planning tie-up with independent group

Mar 28 (DN) The UNP is planning to merge with an independent group to contest the Colombo district at the Local Government polls following last week's Appeal Court ruling upholding the Returning Officer's rejection of its Colombo Municipal Council nominations list. more..

Sri Lanka ease into strong position

Mar 28 (CI) Solid contributions from the Sri Lankan top order ensured that the home side ended day three of a hitherto tight Test firmly in control. Contrasting fifties from Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene enabled Sri Lanka to end on 242 for 2, a lead of 251, more..

Christians are making a difference in Sri Lanka, despite Tamil Tiger threats

Mar 28 (MNN) A suspected Tamil Tiger front threatened on Monday to resume attacks on Sri Lanka's military. That comes as talks are schedule to resume between the government and Tiger leaders next month. Tensions have increased recently, causing some concern that the two-decade civil war that has killed more than 64,000 people could resume. more..

Gang boss deported to Sri Lanka

Mar 28 (TS) The reputed leader of a Tamil gang whose battle with rival gang members on the streets of Toronto claimed the lives of more than a dozen youths in the late 1990s, and once led to a midday shooting on Highway 404, was deported late last night to Sri Lanka. more..

HRW rejects LTTE accusations

Mar 28 (BBC) A New York based human rights watchdog has denied accusations that the organisation is trying to undermine the liberation struggle of Sri Lanka’s Tamil community. The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has recently published a detailed report on extortions carried out by the Tamil Tigers in western countries, especially in the UK and Canada. more..

Ten Years after Living with the horror

Mar 29 (ISL) The blast shook the capital for miles around. Everywhere people stopped in their tracks, staring at the ominous plume of debris and smoke rising in a column from the heart of the city. Fire trucks and rescue personnel raced to the scene as the news spread – the Central Bank had been bombed! The buildings around were severely damaged. more..

Check Tiger terrorism in Canada before it is too late

Mar 29 (ISL) The Canadian authorities must as a matter of great urgency make every effort to ensure Tiger terrorism is rooted out in Canada before it is too late. The LTTE enjoys a wide base with over 250,000 Tamils from Sri Lanka and a society that has carved a comfortable niche for it in Canada. more..

Muslims Satisfied With PAFFREL's Apology

Mar 29 (ISL) Sri Lanka Jama'ath e Islami expressed its satisfaction and appreciates the apology tendered by Mr. Kingsley Rodrigo, Chairman of People Action For Free & Fair Elections (PAFFREL), to the Sri Lanka Jama'ath e Islami and to the Muslim community at the media conference held yesterday, convened by PAFFREL in Colombo and through his letters more..

The first-ever children's radio channel

Mar 29 (BBC) The first-ever children's radio channel, Vidula, has been launched. The launching ceremony was held at Temple Trees on Tuesday morning under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapakse. Declaring open the new service, the president said the channel could render a huge service to create innovative future generation in the country. more..

Indian parliamentary delegation visits Colombo

Mar 29 (TN) A group of seven Indian parliamentarians and officials of the Lok Sabha secretariat, led by Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha, the Honorable Sardar Charanjit Singh, arrived in Colombo to participate in a SAARC conference, a press release issued by the Indian Embassy in Colombo said Tuesday. more..

Asia to get tsunami warning system by July, UN promises

Mar 29 (AFP) Countries affected by the south Asian tsunami should have a warning system against sea surges in place by July, the UN's top humanitarian official said, as officials took nations to task for failing to prepare civilians for a potential future disaster. more..

Heroin worth Rs 5.7 crore seized from Sri Lankan woman

Mar 29 (NIP) The officials of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) nabbed a Sri Lankan national, who was ferrying heroin worth Rs 5.7 crore recently at the Koyembedu bus stand. The sleuths have arrested another person at Chennai Central Railway Station in connection with this case. more..

Apparel manufacturers discharge their 'Corporate Social Responsibilities' in a big way

Mar 29 (AT) The Free Trade Zone Manufacturers' Association (FTZMA) is the controlling body of almost 90 Investors in the Katunayake Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) the largest among such Zones in the country. In this gigantic Zone, in almost 89 factories, there is a total workforce of about 60,000 workers and most of them are females. more..

British warning against unnecessary travel to North and East of Sri Lanka

Mar 29 (AT) The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued warning against 'all but essential travel to the North and East of Sri Lanka,' as ongoing political violence and civil unrest, especially in the north and east, continues to escalate. more..

Internal power play and Rajapakse’s choices

Mar 29 (ML) Even as the country readies itself for local government polls tomorrow, President Mahinda Rajapakse is facing far more serious issues than the possibility of extremist forces taking over the village. Since the preliminary round of peace talks at Chateau de Bossey in February, there has been an escalation of violence in the north and east more..

Lanka’s disappearing gentle giants

Mar 29 (ML) Man’s greed for ivory may be phenomenal, but the main causes for the dwindling elephant population in Sri Lanka is not due to this. They are killed due to two main reasons — electrocution and gunshot injuries. To boot, natural wounds and other injuries also lead to their deaths. more..

President takes a dig at Harry J

Mar 29 (ML) President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday informed the cabinet of ministers that he took a dim view of businessmen who used his name to promote their interests. The President singled out Chairman, SriLankan Airlines and Managing Director, Stassen Group, Harry Jayawardene as a namedropper. more..

SLMM report on CFA violations not ready before talks

Mar 29 (ML) The SLMM on Monday claimed it was not sure of completing the report on violations of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) before the next round of talks on April 19 in Geneva. SLMM Spokesperson Helen Olafsdottir told The Morning Leader the SLMM is in the process of compiling the report mandated to the mission at the conclusion of the first round of talks in Geneva, but was not sure of completing it before the next round of talks. more..

LTTE sings old tune

Mar 29 (FL) ON March 10, Sri Lanka saw its latest piece of "rebel legislation - the "Tamil Eelam Lands Act". Promulgated by the LTTE, it is more than just another diktat; it strikes at the very core of one of the most sensitive and contentious issues of the island's decades-long ethnic conflict - control over land. more..

Police officers make public apology from PNM in SC

Mar 29 (LT) Police make a cowardly attack on the peaceful protest stage by the members of the Patriotic National movement in front of the Fort Railway Station at 4:00 pm on 25.10.2005. More than 12 PNM members sustained injuries in this attack. PNM field a fundamental right petitioned in the Supreme Court Under the case number 475/2005/FR citing the Police a respond. more..

New Eastern regiment is not a Muslim regiment! - Army spokesman

Mar 29 (LT) The new regiment that would be formed for the defence of the East would not consist of Muslims only said Army spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe. It would be another unit of the infantry said the Army spokesman. As the relevant infantry unit is established for the defence of the Eastern Province opportunity has been given for Muslim youths also to join the unit. more..

Worst attacks against the JVP were from SLFP! - Tilvin Silva

Mar 29 (LT) An immense interest for the victory of the JVP is present in the country and various factions that have been enraged by this have stepped up attacks against the party said Mr. Tilvin Silva, General Secretary of the JVP. He said this at a media meeting held in Colombo Yesterday (28th). more..

Jaffna Bar Associations meet after two decades

Mar 29 (TW) Senior legal practitioners from the Bar Associations of Jaffna, Kayts, Point Pedro, Chavahachheri and Mallakam met in Colombo marking the first such meeting in over two decades for the legal practitioners from the northern province. Some 28 lawyers attended the legal education workshop held at the Hotel Renuka recently and the focus was on promoting public interest litigation. more..

SLA violates ceasefire agreement in Muttur-LTTE

Mar 29 (TN) The Trincomalee district political secretariat of the LTTE Tuesday lodged a complaint with the SLMM that a group of soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in connivance with paramilitaries had unlawfully entered the area and attacked the LTTE camp located in Athiamankerni village in Seruvila division on March 27 night around 7 p.m. more..

Recovered Pressure Mine Defused

Mar 29 (SLA) ON INFORMATION RECEIVED FROM A CIVILIAN, an unserviceable improvised pressure mine was recovered by the troops on piquet duties at NILAVELY, TRINCOMALEE on Monday (27) around 8.00 a.m.. Later, the recovered pressure mine weighing over 3 kg has been defused by Security Forces.

LTTE Sea Craft On Training Observed

Mar 29 (SLA) NAVAL FAST ATTACK CRAFT on duty in the MULLAITIVU sea on Tuesday (28) around 02.50 p.m. observed three LTTE attack crafts conducting exercises in the same sea area. This was to be intimated to the SLMM.

Hoole to work from outside Jaffna

Mar 29 (TN) Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole, recently appointed Vice Chancellor to Jaffna University (JU), announced Tuesday that Prof. A. D. Parameswaran, senior professor of the Medical Faculty JU, has been appointed as Deputy Vice Chancellor to Jaffna University and Professor Rajendra as Head of Vavuniya Campus of the JU, sources said. more..

SLA, paramilitary collusion can lead to talks breakdown- TNA MP

Mar 29 (TN) "Escalation of paramilitary activities assisted by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troops in Valaichenai villages pose serious threat to peace process," said Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Batticaloa parliamentarian S. Jeyanandamoorthy, in a press release, issued Wednesday. more..

Tamils Upset Over Swiss Inaction On LTTE Fundraising

Mar 29 (ISL) Following publication of the report by Human Rights Watch on LTTE fund raising in the Tamil Diaspora the LTTE machinery went on the spin to rubbish the report and denigrate the reputed international NGO which published the report. more..

Inside story of the Muslim Battalion

Mar 29 (ISL) The news of the Muslim battalion sent shock waves through the Tamil and Sinhalese hardcore elements in the society. Both Sinhalese and Tamil hardcore elements fear the idea of the Muslim battalion which would harm their suicidal goals. more..

Minister’s PA Killed For Dealing With Karuna Group?

Mar 29 (ISL) According to a top inside LTTE source, LTTE cadres had assassinated M.L. Dharmasiri, personal assistant of Minister of Agriculture, Maithripala Sirisena for allegedly planning to organize a meeting with Karuna faction of the LTTE to get the Eastern Tamil support for the government for the upcoming LG elections. more..

People did not expect this from the 'Human Rights Champ' - Karu

Mar 29 (LeN) In a letter addressed to the President, Karu Jayasuriya has drawn his attention to political victimization of police personnel and public sector officials, the non-granting of government funds for Opposition parliamentarians and the withdrawal of Samurdhi allowance from the deserved on requests made by government parliamentarians and party supporters more..

Mangala puts JVP strength at 11%

Mar 29 (LeN) Deputy UNP leader Karu Jayasuriya has appealed to the President to pave the way for a civilized election enabling the people to elect their representatives according to their wishes since there are areas where a free and fair poll is not possible due to widespread acts of violence. more..

Right to retaliate is a must for a meaningful cease fire - Hela Urumaya

Mar 29 (LeN) The President has not got a mandate to continue the cease-fire in its original form and if he turns his back to the people?s mandate he should publicly declare that he is withdrawing from 'Mahinda Chintana', Jathika Hela Urumaya General Secretary Ven.Omalpe Sobitha thera said. more..

New unified guidelines to revamp Govt. procurements

Mar 29 (LeN) The National Procurement Agency (NPA) yesterday introduced a new uniform public sector procurement guideline to increase transparency and efficiency in the government transactions. "The amount of wasteful spending in procurement is associated with the multiplicity of procedures and this is not acceptable," more..

All set for mini poll

Mar 29 (LeN) The local government polls for electing representatives for Municipal Councils, Urban Councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas will be held tomorrow. The voting will take place from 7.00 in the morning to 4.00 in the evening and for the first time in an election in Sri Lanka, a valid form of identification has been made compulsory for voting. more..

Ex-radical stands for Colombo mayor on ticket of ruling coalition

Mar 29 (wsws) In upcoming local municipal elections in Sri Lanka, it is worth noting the candidacy of long-time, middle class radical Vasudeva Nanayakkara, leader of the Democratic Left Front (DLF), who is standing for the position of mayor of Colombo on the ticket of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA). more..

JVP has not wavered in its stand on the National Question

Mar 29 (LT) The JVP in a letter to the General Secretary of the TULF, Mr V. Anandasangari says that they have not wavered in their stand on the national question. They say that democracy and equality in full and not federalism, is the solution to the worsening problem. They point out that federalism will result in further divisions among different communities and is will be a victory for reactionaries. more..