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Jayawardene and light delay England

May 15 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene fought tooth and nail before being cruelly dispatched after an outstanding fighting century that kept Sri Lanka's hopes of a draw flickering in the gloom at Lord's. In a thrusting final burst Andrew Flintoff improved England's day by a few notches, keeping them firmly on course despite further missed chances, but Sri Lanka's determination has taken the match into an unexpected final day. more..

Special probe ordered over Kayts killings

May 15 (AT) A special police investigation has been ordered into the killing of eight civilians, the members of an extended family in Kayts, Jaffna Saturday night. “A special investigation is underway to get the correct picture of the whole incident. We will bring the killers to justice,” a senior Defence Ministry official told the Asian Tribune. more..

Accelerated Employment Services concentrates on jobseekers in the Tsunami affected areas

May 15 (AT) The Accelerated Employment Services (AES) programme is a Tsunami response programme to accelerate the delivery of integrated labour market services in the areas of employment promotion, short term training and incentives to employers for creating employment opportunities. more..

6 month child's body among Kaytes bodies

May 15 (LeN) It is reported that 13 bodies of civilians have been found from Jaffna, Kaytes. Sources said the bodies were of civilians who had undergone armed training under the LTTE who were involved in various acts of sabotage while the LTTE claimed that the Navy and the EPDP had killed unarmed civilians. more..

LTTE's cash cows in Toronto: Stinking shops and tabloid trash

May 15 (ISL) The LTTE has clawed itself deeply into the Tamil community of Toronto. Even adolescent girls are being encouraged to carry on an underground LTTE campaign following its ban in Canada. They carry cards with them to collect signatures along with personal details to express support to the LTTE. more..

SLMM's delay in publicizing evidence aiding killing spree- Ilamparithi

May 15 (TN) "Though the injured victims, the relatives of the killed and our Political office have submitted concrete evidence to the SLMM in Jaffna proving the killings of innocent civilians in the Jaffna peninsula after the Geneva talks by security forces and paramilitaries, the evidence has not been made public by the SLMM. more..

How to let an Elephant Pinch You

May 15 (Moju) Recently one of my colleagues was crying into his Rockland rum about the plight of the elephants (the ones in the reserves, not parliament), moaning on about how the GoSL was not taking the proper precautions to ensure safety of said pachyderms. He pointed out how encroachment into national parks by farmers in the neighboring territories was a problem that could be easily sorted out by moving the “amuday buggers” to “some other place”. more..

Navy denies shooting Jaffna Civilians

May 15 (BBC) The security forces in Sri Lanka have denied any involvement with the killing of 13 civilians in Kayts islands. Military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe told BBC Sandeshaya that Sri Lanka Navy has categorically denied any involvement in the incident. Unidentified assailants have shot dead 13 Tamil civilians in the northern Sri Lankan town of Jaffna on Saturday night, residents said. more..

Jayawardene unfazed by dismissal

May 15 (BBC) Sri Lanka centurion Mahela Jayawardene was philosophical about his dismissal on day four, even though it could be crucial to the first Test result. He was out caught behind with his side just 12 ahead of England but replays showed he did not touch the ball. "I don't have to see the replays - I knew - but as a cricketer you have to take those things with your head high. more..

Federalism is answer to Lanka’s problems

May 15 (AA) When I was in Colombo last month, the air was so thick with tension that I could taste it. Concerned over the increasing killings by the LTTE, people were conjecturing how soon their country would be overwhelmed by the same old undeclared war. Yet, they wished the ceasefire to hold, because they could see the signs of normalcy: the economy picking up and tourists returning to Sri Lanka. more..

As Sri Lanka prepares for war, Buddhist celebrations are not dimmed

May 15 (AP) In this Tamil rebel stronghold, hundreds of people stood in long lines over the weekend, stocking up on food and fuel and preparing for war. Across much of the rest of Sri Lanka there were long lines too - lines of revelers taking part in riotous celebrations marking one of the year's most important Buddhist festivals. more..

Prez wants Lanka conflict solved at home

May 15 (HT) The President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has said that he will not further internationalise the ethnic conflict in his island country. "It is my personal view that the ethnic issue should not have been internationalised. We should have treated it as a domestic issue and resolved it ourselves. As for me, I do not want to internationalise it any further," Rajapaksa told The Sunday Times. more..

The price of South’s reluctance to accept reality

May 15 (TW) This monumental work has been compiled by D.C. Wijewardana. He says, “The purpose of this work is to commemorate a great and unique event of modern times, namely, the completion of 2500 years, of a three fold history.” This history is that of the Buddhist faith, of the Sinhalese race, and of the Land of Ceylon.” more..

As Sri Lankan Port City Erupts, Echoes of Nation's Bloody Past

May 15 (NYT) The bad blood, you could say, began with the Buddha. Last May, in the dead of night, someone erected a giant white Buddha statue on a five-foot-high concrete platform behind the town's main market. What followed in this multiethnic, multifaith, perennially self-destructive eastern city on the edge of the sea was a chain of anger and savagery, foreshadowing the return of a grave past. more..

17 more refugees from Sri Lanka arrive at Dhanushkodi

May 15 (PTI) Seventeen refugees from Sri Lanka arrived at Dhanushkodi near here today in a boat, taking the total number of refugees coming to India to nearly 800 since tension mounted in northern part of the neighbouring country in January. All the refugees, who arrived today were handed over to the Mandapam transit camp here after conducting necessary inquiry, officials said. more..

Fasting Buddha statue from Lahore arrives in Colombo

May 15 (PT) As a good will gesture to the people of Sri Lanka, the Pakistani government has sent a sculpture of the Fasting Buddha, one of the world's greatest work of art, to be place in one of the main temples in Colombo for public homage during Vesak Celebrations. more..

Foreign loans, overseas remittances, keep Sri Lanka floating

May 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's balance of payments (BOP) has recorded a 150 million dollar surplus for the three months to March, the Central Bank said Monday as it maintained key interest rates for the fifth straight month. The balance of payments is a record of the island's total payments to foreign countries, including the cost of imports and the outflow of capital, more..

A knuckle sandwich, hurrah!

May 15 (ANN) Bishop Duleep de Chickera of the Diocese of Colombo, Anglican Church of Ceylon, deserves public plaudits for having done what other Sri Lankans seldom do. He has refrained from visiting the United Kingdom as a mark of protest against the British policy of fingerprinting all Sri Lankans applying for British visa. more..

Indian military follow Lankan courses

May 15 (ANN) Signalling a new development in Indo-Lanka defence cooperation, a group of Indian military personnel recently underwent a special training programme conducted by elite police commandos. The three-week programme, conducted at the Katukurunda training base, a fully-fledged facility, regarded as one of the best in South East Asia, concluded last Friday. more..

President promises to develop Kathankudi

May 15 (GN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the people of Kathankudi via satellite from Temple Trees assured them that he will render his utmost support and cooperation to make Kathankudi a fully-fledged town with all facilities and secure the life and property of the people. He also promised to provide the people with health and educational facilities, more..

Moves to develop Galle Port

May 15 (GN) The Loan Agreement for the long awaited Port of Galle Development Project was signed between the Sri Lankan Government and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). This project is to develop the port of Galle as a regional port by constructing new deeper multipurpose berths for larger ships and meet future demand for cargo, a Sri Lanka Ports Authority release said. more..

SF Retaliatory Fire Kill Tamil Tiger

May 15 (SLA) ONE SOLDIER ON ROUTE PICKET DUTY received injuries in an LTTE hand grenade attack this afternoon (14) around 12.50 p.m. in the general area of KOPAI, JAFFNA. According to information, the LTTE has lobbed two hand grenades towards the troops and a dead body of one LTTE cadre who was involved in the attack has also been recovered with several other hand grenades in his possession after the retaliatory fire by troops. more..

We only took a break: SLMM

May 15 (LeN) The Cease fire Monitors, who temporarily suspended their sea monitoring in the aftermath of the major sea battle in the Vettalaikerni Sea, claimed yesterday that the they hoped to resume their sea monitoring 'in a few days'. A spokesman for the SLMM said. "We hope we will be able to resume our sea monitoring as soon as possible after reviewing the situation, following the sea battle". more..

Mangala to take wing to Japan

May 15 (LeN) Ahead of crucial meeting of the Co-Chairs to the peace process in Japan by end May, to save the country's shaky cease fire agreement, Foreign Minister Managala Samaraweera will be flying there, Thursday. However, the Foreign Ministry said that the meeting was scheduled before violence between the LTTE and the military peaked and that the Minister would discuss the upcoming Co-Chair meeting during the visit. more..

SL President bans SLFP from BBC protest

May 15 (LeN) The organisers of the protest scheduled outside the BBC World service on Monday the 15th had confronted with difficulty since President Mahinda Rajapakse had asked the SLFP members to keep away. A source in London branch of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party had revealed about this direct order of the President. more..

UNDP empower tsunami affected communities in Hambantota

May 15 (AT) The United Nations Development Programme [UNDP] will formally hand over material and financial assistance worth Rs.7.5 Million, to 62 selected Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in the Hambantota District today. This assistance is being extended to the CBOs in keeping with UNDP’s efforts to support and strengthen local communities in post tsunami recovery activities. more..

Sri Lanka to introduce Patriotic Act in Parliament

May 15 (SN) Amidst mounting LTTE terrorists attacks, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to introduce a new act called 'The Patriotic Act' in Parliament soon, Temple Trees sources said. “This act will strengthen the National Security Act of 1985,” an official said of the act that carries the same name as legislation passed by the United States after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. more..

Buddhism, the link between India, Lanka

May 15 (NT) There were constant interactions of monastic centres of Sri Lanka and peninsular India over the centuries, even as both countries shared pluralism and exchanged religious texts and relics of Buddhism. Many Chola and Pallava kings in Tamilnadu built monuments and patronised monks who toured the subcontinent to spread the message of Buddha. more..

SLMM to explore new strategies for monitoring

May 15 (PIS) SLMM Chief Major General Ulf Henricsson has embarked on working out new strategies to deal with SLMM''s monitoring activities in the North and East waters in the future. All 57 monitors serving in the North and East will convene for a crucial meeting with General Henricsson tomorrow to discuss new strategies in the future, SLMM spokesperson Paul Bjerke said. more..

How Sri Lanka`s Rebels Build a Suicide Bomber

May 15 (LNP) In spite of how relatively obscure their rebel cause is on the world stage, the attacks by Sri Lanka`s LTTE always seem to draw lots of attention. Such was the case Thursday when a squadron of speedboat suicide bombers rammed into a Sri Lankan navy troop carrier convoy off the country`s northern coast, killing 17 sailors. more..

Sunk Dvora crew wore no lifejackets - witness

May 15 (LNP) At the inquest into the death of six naval ratings, onboard the of the Israeli-built Dvora Fast Attack Craft (FAC) P418, where the City Coroner returned a homicide verdict and put down the cause of death to drowning, it did not transpire in evidence that any of the deceased sailors wore life Jackets, which could have prevented death by drowning. more..

Graduate employees underpaid and marking time: Union convener

May 15 (LNP) The Graduate Employees Union will today hold talks with the National Council for Administration to discuss salary issues arising from the circular of 06/2006. The Union`s convener Chandana Sooriyarachchi told the Daily Mirror yesterday that most graduates recruited under the Government`s job drive programme were designated `Associate Officers. more..

'Henchmen in diplomatic service'

May 15 (SAMN) On the recommendations of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s office, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera is to appoint several relatively inexperienced but politically favoured persons to key diplomatic postings in Lankan missions abroad, Foreign Ministry sources said. They said a host of recommendations had been sent from the President’s office to the Foreign Ministry to fill vacancies in Lankan missions abroad. more..

Mahinda asked to patch up with Ranil

May 15 (SAMN) UNP dissident MP Mahinda Wijesekera has been requested to amicably solve the dispute he is having with leader Ranil Wickremesinghe after he was stripped of his position of Matara district leader and as a Working Committee member. The Committee appointed by the UNP to mediate the dispute, had summoned Mr. Wijesekera last Thursday for inquiries and requested him to meet Mr. Wickremesinghe more..

Govt in talks with Emirates on UL deal

May 15 (SAMN) The Sri Lankan government and the government of Emirates Airline of the UAE will be holding discussions with regard to the extension of the deal between SriLankan Airlines and Emirates Airline today. Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera will head the Sri Lankan delegation while Emirates Airline President Tim Clark will be heading the delegation from the UAE. more..

Oriental dancing system needs boost - Minister Abeywardene

May 15 (DN) "The traditional oriental dancing system of the country has gone backward with the development of the modern electronic media, and the time has come to give it a facelift and a boost by our collective efforts." The Minister for Cultural Affairs and Heredity Mahinda Yapa Abeywadane expressed these views to the participants of the State Dance Day ceremony held at the John de Silva Memorial Hall recently. more..

Plea to adopt Buddhist economics

May 15 (HT) Sri Lanka's Buddhist economists say that the cure for world-wide ills like poverty, inequality, insecurity and violence lies in abandoning Western economic theories and models and adopting Buddhist economics - economic principles enunciated by Gautama Buddha, 2550 years ago. more..

More than 40,000 quack doctors practising in Colombo

May 15 (OW) More than 40,000 quacks who do not possess a valid licence from the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC), Ayurvedic Council or any other recognised medical council, are practising within Colombo only, Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) secretary Dr. Uditha Herath told the Daily News. more..

Colombo stocks plunge two percent on worsening security situation

May 15 (LBO) Sri Lankan stocks plunged two percent Monday on a bad bout of nerves over the weakening security situation, while overseas funds booked profits on selected blue chips, traders said. They said sentiment weakened after the Tamil Tiger rebels and the government continued sea and ground attacks over the long weekend, in the country's restive northeast regions. more..

Army commander hopes to resume duties soon

May 15 (AP) Sri Lanka's army commander who was wounded in a suicide bomb attack last month said Monday he is healing fast and hopes to resume his duties in three weeks. "Within three weeks I hope to go to my office," Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka said by telephone from the military hospital where he is being treated. "I don't have any disability and my body is functioning well," he said. more..

Sri Lanka police seize 200 packets of explosives

May 15 (AP) Sri Lankan forces on Monday seized a large cache of explosives in the north of the island, police said, as rebels attacked an army vehicle in continuing violence that has left the nation on the brink of returning to civil war. There was no immediate report of casualties from the anti-personnel mine blast in the northern city of Jaffna, which narrowly missed an army vehicle, more..

Top US official visits Sri Lanka

May 15 (IANS) A senior US official is visiting Sri Lanka amid growing concern by the international community over increasing violence that could spark off a full-scale war in the island nation. Donald Camp, the US State Department’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, will be in Colombo Monday and Tuesday. more..

Tigers, civilians see more attacks in north Sri Lanka

May 15 (Reuters) Glancing nervously into the jungle as they secure the main road north, Tamil Tiger fighters say they believe they are already at war and that government troops are operating behind their lines. International truce monitors say a string of attacks in LTTE territory -- yet more ceasefire violations as violence on both sides becomes what the monitors term a "low intensity war" -- suggest that the rebels could be right. more..

Sri Lanka, rebels trade charges after civilian massacre

May 15 (AFP) The Sri Lankan government traded charges with Tiger rebels over the killing of 13 Tamil civilians at the weekend, amid escalating violence in the restive northern region. Another bomb went off in the northern peninsula of Jaffna on Monday but there were no casualties, military officials said. Security had been stepped up in the area following the weekend bloodshed. more..

Probe into 'slaughter' of Tamils

May 15 (BBC) Ceasefire monitors in Sri Lanka are investigating the killing of 13 Tamils near the northern town of Jaffna. A four-year-old boy and a baby were among those shot dead on Saturday night on the navy-controlled island of Kayts. "There are lots of questions as to who could have been behind this," the monitors' spokeswoman told the BBC. more..

Gov’t power plant construction begins despite bishop’s opposition

May 16 (UCAN) Despite protests by residents and the local Catholic bishop, the Sri Lankan government recently laid the foundation for a coal-fired power plant located near a Church shrine. Residents of Norochcholai, 100 kilometers north of Colombo, fear that the plant could endanger the environment and their meager livelihood as fishermen and farmers. more..

Sri Lanka central bank keeps rate unchanged

May 16 (IHT) Sri Lanka's central bank kept its key interest rate at a three-year high Monday amid concern that higher fuel prices may stoke inflation. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka left the repurchase rate at which it drains money from the banking system at 8.75 percent, the highest level since May 2003, the bank said. more..

Rebel leader accuses government of waging undeclared war on Tamils

May 16 (AP) Sri Lanka's government is waging an undeclared war on ethnic Tamils, a senior rebel leader charged Monday, amid increasing violence that is pushing the island nation closer to a full-scale resumption of civil war. Speaking at a funeral for four guerrillas killed last week in a suicide attack on a government navy patrol boat, K.V. Balakumaran, a senior Tamil Tiger rebel leader, accused the Sri Lankan military of deliberately targeting Tamil civilians. more..

China donates meteorology equipment to Sri Lanka

May 16 (Xinhua) A set of meteorology donated by theChinese government was handed over to the Sri Lankan government here on Monday in a bid to improve the island country's weather forecast standard. In a simple handover ceremony, Director General of Meteorology Department G.H.P. Dharmaratne told Chinese Ambassador Sun Guoxiangthat Sri Lanka would make best use of the equipment. more..

SLMM has vital information on man slaughter in Kayts

May 16 (LM) The bestial man slaughter of 17 civilians, including two children, in the northern peninsula last Saturday night was being investigated by the SLMM, said its spokesperson Helen Olgsdottir. She said that they already have some vital information as to who was behind the gruesome killings but cannot say anything until they conclude their investigations which might take a few more days. more..