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Polls Chief meets Vavuniya B'caloa GAs tomorrow

May 16 (LM) Authoritative sources of the Elections Department said that the Commissioner of Elections will hold a meeting tomorrow at 11 a.m. with Government Agents of Vavuniya and Batticaloa districts in his office for discussions on whether or not the situation the situation prevailing in the two districts was conducive to holding the local government polls scheduled for May 20. more..

'BBC biased': protest in London

May 16 (BBC) A petition blaming the BBC for hampering Sri Lanka’s attempts to “eradicate terrorism” has been handed over to the BBC officials. Nicki Clarke, Executive Editor of the Asia Pacific Region and Priyath Liyanage, Head of Sinhala Service of the BBC World Service were handed over the petition on Monday. more..

Lankan women 'imprisoned' in Saudi

May 16 (BBC) Police in Sri Lanka have been urged to help Sri Lankan workers imprisoned by an employment agency in Saudi Arabia. Anuja Deepthi Ranasinghe, a mother of two, said many housemaids are subjected to domestic violence and further physical abuse by the Saudi officials of employment agencies. more..

Sri Lanka: between peace and war

May 16 (OD) Sri Lanka has returned to a state of war, albeit as yet undeclared. The 25 April attack in Colombo by a female Tamil Tiger suicide-bomber – which badly wounded the Sri Lankan army commander, killed a dozen soldiers, and wounded many others – ratifiedwith a jolt what many had begun to fear: that the four-year old ceasefire had run its course. more..

Gloomy skies and a resolute tail defy England

May 16 (CI) Sri Lanka pulled off a stunning escape on the final day as the tail defied everything England could throw at them. The light closed in during the final session however it wasn't the weather that saved Sri Lanka, but two courageous innings from Chaminda Vaas and Nuwan Kulasekara plus England's continued failure to take their chances. more..

Sri Lanka find inner-strength

May 16 (CI) On Friday evening, after a powder-puff bowling display and a spineless top-order performance, Sri Lanka lay in tatters. A three-day finish appeared inevitable. If you wandered into the Lord's Media Centre and predicted a draw on the Saturday morning you'd have been branded insane and hurried-off for a reality check with Geoff Boycott, more..

Plea to arrange marketing of film locations in Sri Lanka

May 16 (AT) Continuous requests are made to popularize the Sri Lanka’s scenic beauties for international film locations. It was pointed out that the authorities have so far failed to take appropriate actions in this direction. V.Shunmuganathan, President of the Up country Development Organisation [UCDO] revealed that many South India film makers are in the hill country locations, more..

Solidarity week of the Tigers in Canada a flop

May 16 (AT) The seven-day solidarity week event organized by the Tigers in Canada failed to rally the Tamil community as in the past. It was attended mainly by the hard core Tigers while the Tamil community, by and large, kept away. Faced with the poor turn out the Canadian Tamils dismissed this 7-day event as a flop. more..

LTTE’s claim to sea and airspace rejected by the Peace Secretariat

May 16 (AT) The Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP), headed by Dr. Palitha Kohona, former head of UN Treaty Section, has dismissed the claim of the LTTE that they have the right to access the adjacent sea and airspace of areas controlled by them as “irrelevant and fallacious.” Earlier, the European-led SLMM too ruled that the sovereign right to access the sea belong to the Sri Lankan government. more..

Central bank raises economic growth forecast

May 16 (Xinhua) Central bank on Monday raised its 2006 economic growth forecast to 6.9 percent from 6 percent in April despite escalating violence threatens a truce between the government and the Tamil Tigers. The central bank announced here Monday that the island country's key policy interest rates have been retained for a further month, the fifth straight month without a change. more..

Akashi asks for Aussie help in solving Sri Lanka crisis

May 16 (Kyodo) Australia and Japan must work together to address the worsening security situation in Sri Lanka, former U.N. Undersecretary General Yasushi Akashi said Monday. "I think this emerging crisis is a matter of grave concern for Australia as well, and I think we must put our heads together as to what we can do to lessen the alarming developments in Sri Lanka," Akashi said in Sydney. more..

Emerging pattern of agenda in attacks on TNA MP offices - Batticaloa MP

May 16 (TN) "The office of Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), belonging to Vanni District Tamil National Alliance MP Selvam Adaikalanathan, was attacked on May 13, 2006. Then the office of the Jaffna MP, S. Kajendran's located in the International Students Association(ISATE) complex was attacked. more..

Five southern media organizations meet Tamil Selvam

May 16 (LeN) Representatives of 5 media organizations left for Kilinochchi today to discuss with the LTTE the threats made against Tamil journalists serving in news divisions of state media organizations to vacate their posts by an organization called the Ravana Brigade. more..

Muslims stage anti-LTTE hartal in Muttur

May 16 (LeN) The Muslim and Tamil communities in Muttur fear that clashes between the two communities could erupt at anytime. The Muslims in the area are in a highly agitated mood due to constant harassments of the LTTE and some Tamil residents have started leaving for Trincomalee and a Muslim resident from Muttur told 'Lanka e News' that Muslims too are leaving the area. more..

No Aussi experts to probe Army HQs bomb blast

May 16 (LeN) Though three weeks have lapsed since the suicide bomb attack targeting Army Commander Lt.Gen Sarath Fonseka, investigating teams are still clueless as to the identity of the pregnant suicide bomber. Despite speculations that the killer bomber was accompanied by a disabled soldier, there is no evidence to prove this, a senior officer of the investigating team told 'Lanka e News'. more..

Petition seeking dismissal of IGP who violated President's fundamental rights

May 16 (LeN) A Sub Inspector filed a petition today in the Court of Appeal seeking a writ order to dismiss Inspector General Chandra Fernando and Deputy Inspector General Lionel Gunathilake who were found guilty of violating the fundamental rights of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The petitioner was Sub Inspector Eric Pushpakumara attached to the Mirihana Police. more..

A Tamil civilian shot dead at Batticaloa Hospital

May 16 (MoD) Around 04.50 p.m today (15 May 2006) one civilian was shot dead an another wounded after an attack suspected to be carried out by LTTE gunmen. The gunmen who entered the Batticaloa Hospital premises fired at a civilian who was under intensive treatments, and resulted in killing another who was attending the patient. This breech of act has violated International Humanitarian Law. more..

Foreign Monitors Investigate Killings of 13 Tamils in Sri Lanka

May 16 (NYT) In the worsening conflict in Sri Lanka, truce monitors said Monday that were investigating the killings of 13 Tamils in the northern Jaffna Peninsula over the weekend. Tamil rebels accused the Sri Lankan Navy of "slaughter." The government blamed the rebels. "We can't say who's clearly responsible for the killings, as there are still many questions on who may have been behind it," more..

Traders hit by fresh violence

May 16 (Gulf) The implications of the deteriorating security situation in the strife-torn north and eastern parts of Sri Lanka have started spilling over into the south including the remote villages. After nearly four years of experiencing the benefits of the ceasefire, trading between the north, east and south which increased at a steady space has been the worst affected. more..

Getty Images

May 16 (AFP) Mahela Jayawardene, shows his man of the match medal, after play was stopped due to bad light, in the final day of the 1st cricket test match between England, and Sri Lanka at Lord's, London, 15 May 2006. more..

UPFA, SLMC supporters clash, grenade lobbed in Oddamavady

May 16 (TN) The house of a Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) supporter and a former Provincial Council member, Sinnalebbe Mohammed Hanifa, was attacked with grenade Tuesday early morning around 3:30 a.m., Valaichenai Police said. more..

Navy - EPDP kill thirteen civilians in Allaipiddy-Velanai

May 16 (TW) Thirteen Tamil civilians including two women and two children were killed in three incidents of violence on the night of Saturday May Thirteenth in the Allaipiddy and Velanai islets off Northern province’s Jaffna peninsula. Another man and woman were seriously injured while at least eleven businesses including a telecommunication centre were destroyed through deliberate arson. more..

Terrorists Blow Up Home Guard Using Claymore Mines

May 16 (SLA) LTTE TERRORISTS, PAYING SCANT REGARD to all international and local appeals for resumption of peace talks, detonated two more claymore mines this morning (16) around 7.15 a.m. in THAMBALAGAMUWA, KANTALE and killed one Home Guard. Both mines had been set against Home Guards engaged in road clearing work in the area near the 178th culvert at 99th junction. more..

LTTE Brutality Once Again Demonstrated In Hospital

May 16 (SLA) UNCONCERNED LTTE TERRORISTS belonging to the LTTE pistol group stormed the BATTICALOA hospital ward on Monday (15) around 5.00 p.m. and brutally killed a young bedside assistant who was looking after another injured man in the hospital. The twenty-year old GEETHA PONKALAN SELVAKUMAR (20) who was providing assistance to the fellow-patient died, but the LTTE target, THURESH KUMAR (24) survived with severe injuries. more..

Cowardly “Hit & Run” Game With Grenades Continues

May 16 (SLA) THE RASH OF LTTE (TAMIL TIGERS) violence in the north continues unabated as terrorists resorting to their covert and cowardly “hit & run” terror tactics inflict injuries on members of the Security Forces and the Policemen. A few roadblocks of the Security Forces in UDUVIL and MASHIYAPIDDY areas were the targets of LTTE terrorists on Monday (15) evening at about 7.30 p.m.. more..

Finally, finally Norway sees the true face of the LTTE

May 16 (ISL) Norwegians perhaps awoke to a rude shock when their leading dailies Aftenposten, VG and Stavenger Aftenblad carried a news story from the Norwegian News Agency (NTB) exposing the threatening and intimidating ways used by the LTTE personnel in Norway to raise funds for the Wanni bandits; all for military purposes. more..

Sri Lanka should not hide behind oil reserves to delay fuel price reforms – economist

May 16 (LBO) A top economist tells Sri Lanka not to delay petroleum pricing reforms by taking cover behind potential oil reserves. Sri Lanka is a net oil importer, with a fuel bill in the region of 1.6 billion dollars (160 billion rupees) last year, over 800 million dollars the year before, driven upwards by spiralling global prices of crude. more..

Britain assures strongest support

May 16 (LeN) Britain yesterday assured its strongest support to Sri Lanka, saying that violence was no answer to the ethnic issue. The newly-appointed British High commissioner to Sri Lanka, demoniac Chilcott said the task of ushering in peace was essentially for the Sri Lankan people themselves to do. more..

SLMM to exert global pressure on Tigers

May 16 (GN) Nordic truce monitors will exert international and diplomatic pressure on the LTTE for jeopardising the safety of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) members. "The LTTE was a threat to SLMM's monitoring activities and its monitors as was apparent from Thursday's attack on the Sri Lankan Navy vessel Pearl Cruise which had SLMM members on board," SLMM spokesperson Helen Olafsdottir said. more..

National fallow land cultivation ceremony today

May 16 (GN) The Government will launch its national programme to re-cultivate all fallow paddy lands beginning with the Mawathagama fallow paddy fields in Mahawila, Homagama in the Colombo District. The ceremony will commence at 10 am today. The national ceremony will feature a large number of farmers, with pride of place given to ancient harvesting traditions, more..

US State Department’s Don Camp in Sri Lanka to “Review Bilateral Relations”

May 16 (AT) The U.S. State Department’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald A. Camp is now in Sri Lanka to have talks with the government and others amidst a deteriorating political situation caused by the confrontation between Sri Lanka government military forces and the separatist Tamil Tigers, the LTTE, more..

Special CID team to probe Kayts killings

May 16 (GN) IGP Chandra Fernando yesterday dispatched special CID and police teams to the Kayts islets to investigate the killing of 13 Tamil civilians in the islets on Saturday. IGP Fernando told the Daily News that a CID team headed by SSP Mahes Perera had been sent to Kayts to conduct a full scale investigation into the killings. more..

Rumours of fleeing residents from Trincomalee area are false – SSP Trinco

May 16 (LT) Senior Superintendent of Police Nihal Samarakoon of Trincomalee District denies the reports of residents fleeing the area. He says since the Trincomalee beach area has been banned for the fisheries folk for security reasons, they have moved to Mannar area for fishing. Except for this other activities have returned to normal and peaceful, he said. more..

Sri Lanka is not a failed state yet but...

May 16 (KT) SRI Lanka must count itself lucky not to be branded as a "failed state" in the 2006 index prepared by the Washington-based Fund for Peace and the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine. It ranks number 25 on the list, with Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast and Iraq occupying the first four places. more..

SL peace bid: India unlikely to join co-chairs

May 16 (HT) India is unlikely to join the co-chairs of the Tokyo Donors' Conference and become an active participant in the Sri Lankan peace process, highly placed sources in New Delhi told Hindustan Times. They denied reports that the Japanese special peace envoy for Sri Lanka, Yasushi Akashi, had requested India to join the co-chairs. more..

Liquor ban ignored, 50 licenses seized

May 16 (LNP) Excise authorities closed and sealed 50 liquor shops which had plied trade surreptitiously during the Sri Sambuddha Jayanthi 2550 Vesak week while there was a total ban on liquor sales imposed by the authorities, Commissioner of Excise Parakrama Ekanayake told `The Island yesterday (15). more..

UNP reconsiders support to Government

May 16 (LNP) Amidst speculation that a number of UNP MPs are planning to cross over to the government, the party warned yesterday that these attempts would strain the support pledged to the government to take the peace process forward. UNP Assistant General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told the Daily Mirror last night that they had already pledged their support to the government to achieve peace more..

No UK advice against travel to Lanka: New envoy

May 16 (LNP) The UK has not advised its nationals to stay away from Sri Lanka, new British High Commissioner Dominick Chilcott said yesterday. Addressing the staff and the media at the British High Commission, Chilcott said Britain gives priority for achieving peace in Sri Lanka. The British Government will continue to commit funds to support peace building projects. more..

Media centre for National Security

May 16 (SAMN) A new 24-hour Media Centre will be established shortly by the Ministry of Defence for dissemination of all defence and National Security related news and information to local and foreign media. The new Media Centre, a concept introduced by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, will issue all press releases, statements and literature pertaining to the developments in the national security sphere, more..

De Mel ‘hit’ by foot in mouth?

May 16 (SAMN) It seems as if the newly appointed Chairman of Cricket Selectors Ashantha De Mel has been ‘hit’ with ‘foot in mouth’ disease. Almost immediately after his reappointment as head of the selection committee, reportedly said that Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody was not even able to help Mahela Jayawardene with his footwork problems. more..

Thousands of dead fish float in Beira

May 16 (SAMN) Thousands of dead fish were found floating in the Beira Lake, in Colombo on Monday. This has baffled experts. Some say it could be due to water contamination. Environment Lawyer and Naturalist Jagath Gunawardena told The Island that this has been a regular sight in the Beira Lake since 1985. more..

AFHRD urges sri Lankan govt to chenk human right violation

May 16 (OW) Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (AFHRD) yesterday urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Cabinet to address Human Rights Violations related to the peace process. In a letter to President Rajapaksa and to the Cabinet they expressed concern that Sri Lanka’s pledges as a member of a new United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, more..

Govt. shoots down LTTE claims of rights to sea

May 16 (PIS) The Government yesterday shot down LTTE claims of having sovereign rights to sea, saying no entity could assert such rights unless recognized as a State. In a hard-hitting statement, the Government Peace Secretariat yesterday responded to LTTE claims, stating that the “ceasefire and the entire peace process between the LTTE and the Government is a process based on parity of status and military power balance”. more..

Children pay high price for Sri Lanka fighting: UNICEF

May 16 (AFP) At least six children were killed in the latest surge of violence in Sri Lanka's northeast and thousands were made homeless, the United Nations children's fund UNICEF said. "The ongoing violence underlines the urgency for the parties to the conflict to take immediate action to avoid slipping back into a state of war," UNICEF said in a statement calling for the resumption of peace talks. more..

Sri Lanka monitors believe ex-Tigers work with army

May 16 (Reuters) Former Tamil Tigers now part of a breakaway group appear to be carrying out attacks and extortion in Sri Lanka's north and probably have army backing, despite denials, international truce monitors say. The government denies any links to the so-called Karuna group, but the Tigers appear to have retaliated for attacks by ambushing the army. more..

US asks Sri Lanka to address Tamil grievances

May 16 (IANS) The US Tuesday described the Tamil Tigers as a 'first order' terrorist group but at the same time urged Sri Lanka to satisfy the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil minority. 'Certainly, the LTTE is a terrorist group of the first order,' US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Donald Camp told state-run Rupavahini television here. more..

Efforts to make LTTE attend Geneva II fail

May 16 (IANS) Geneva II is out. Persistent efforts by Norway and others to persuade Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers to attend the second round of peace talks with Colombo in the Swiss city have more or less fizzled out. The development comes amid signs that the LTTE might be planning to hit back violently in the wake of a rising number of killings of Tamils in Jaffna suspected to be its supporters. more..

5000 homeguards to be recruited with arms training

May 16 (DN) Five thousand new homeguards are to be recruited with arms training. They will be given full arms training. It is the intention of the Government to appoint these trained homeguards to the Tiger threatened areas in the villages, a senior official of the Defence Ministry told Lankapuvath. more..

Anti-personnel mines explode in Sri Lanka; village guard killed, 2 police wounded

May 16 (AP) Two anti-personnel mines intended to target Sri Lankan military vehicles exploded prematurely Tuesday killing a village guard and wounding two policemen in the country's restive northeast, the military said. Anti-personnel mines, which can be detonated by remote control, are the preferred weapons of the Tamil Tigers rebels, more..

U.S. envoy urges Sri Lanka to resume peace process

May 16 (AP) An American envoy urged Sri Lankan leaders and representatives of ethnic Tamils to return to peace talks amid spiraling violence that has left the country on the brink of civil war, a U.S. official said Tuesday. Donald Camp, deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, met with Sri Lanka's foreign and defense ministers, U.S. Embassy spokesman Philip Frayne said. more..