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May 16 (Reuters) A Sri Lankan government policeman frisks a civilian bus passenger at a check point in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, May 16, 2006. Former Tamil Tigers now part of a breakaway group appear to be carrying out attacks and extortion in Sri Lanka's north more..

Sri Lanka rebel leader says Tigers are ready for resumption of war

May 16 (AP) A senior Tamil Tiger rebel leader said Tuesday that surging violence in Sri Lanka has turned into a "low-intensity war," and his guerrillas are ready if the nation plunges back into full-scale civil war. One person was killed and four Sri Lankan security personnel injured in three blasts Tuesday, the military said. more..

Fear grips Sri Lankan Tamils as civilian killings rise

May 16 (Reuters) Plagued by the sight of the bloodied corpses of 12 relatives gunned down in this quiet Sri Lankan fishing village, ethnic Tamil Niroshani Konsaru is too afraid to go home. Huddled with hundreds of fellow villagers at their local church on Sri Lanka's northern tip after a weekend attack by unidentified gunmen, Konsaru yearns to flee her quiet islet and head far away from growing signs of a resumed civil war. more..

US asks Europe to ban Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers

May 16 (Kyodo) The United States has asked the European Union to follow its lead and ban Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers as a terrorist group, a visiting US State Department official said. "We have encouraged the EU to list the LTTE" as a terrorist group, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Camp said at the end of his two-day visit. more..

US Official Donald Camp Interviews with Sri Lanka TVs

May 16 (TW) MTV: What do you and the Co-Chairs hope to achieve in your meeting on the 30 th of this month?
Camp: Our hope is that we, as the Co-Chairs, can help move Sri Lanka back to the peace process, de-escalate the current crisis, and urge the government and all parties involved to begin to de-escalate the violence and get back to peace talks. more..

Sri Lankan troops and Tigers trade artillery fire across front line

May 16 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tiger rebels exchanged artillery fire across a truce line in the northern peninsula of Jaffna Tuesday, military officials said. The LTTE fired across the army-held line at Nagarkovil and wounded at least two soldiers, the officials said. "The firefight lasted about 10 to 15 minutes," one official said. "We don't know the casualties on the other side." more..

Sri Lanka: Truth, bias and the BBC

May 16 (BBC) A cartoon on our office wall shows the BBC crouching low to paint whitewash on the backside of a tiger, representing of course, Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels. It appeared recently in a Sinhala-language newspaper at the same time as a number of other cartoons and columns vilifying the BBC's coverage of the rising violence on the island. more..

Vavuniya UC, PS elections postponed

May 17 (TN) The Commissioner of Elections Tuesday at a conference announced that elections to two local bodies, Vavuniya Urban Council (UC) and Vavuniya South Pradesiya Sabah (PS-Sinhala division) have been postponed for a period of four months, as the current security situation in the Vavuniya district is not conducive to hold such poll, sources said. more..

Examination centre shifted from Muttur east for student safety

May 17 (TN) The Department of Examination Tuesday decided to locate a new centre in the Eachchilampathu Sri Sembaga Maha Vidiyalayam for students from the LTTE held Muttur east villages to sit for the GCE Advanced Level Examination this year. Earlier GCE A/L students had been asked to sit for the examination in the centre usually located in Chenaiyoor Central College in the Muttur east. more..

Elilan turns down talks with Muslim civil leaders

May 17 (TN) Mr.S.Elilan, Trincomalee district political head of the LTTE, turned down a request made by the SLMM for a meeting between the LTTE and a delegation of Muslim civil leaders in Muttur to take steps to diffuse tension between the two communities, LTTE sources said. Elilan accused the Muslim leaders for serving their own self interests, more..

Amnesty International condemns killings of civilians

May 17 (AI) Amnesty International is alarmed by the increasing number of civilians killed as a low-intensity armed conflict appears to be escalating, despite a 2002 ceasefire agreement between the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE. More than 200 people have been killed over the past month alone, the majority of them civilians, and more than 20,000 others have been displaced from their homes. more..

Sri Lanka: between peace and war

May 17 (FL) 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 – ratified with a jolt what many had begun to fear: that the four-year old ceasefire had run its course. more..

A rejected political party cannot canvas support for another party-EC

May 17 (LT) In a press release signed by Commissioner of Elections, Dayananda Dissanayake says that there is no provision in the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance for a political party or an independent group to canvass for votes for that party or independent group in the name of another political party or a group, more..

Who is behind the escalation of violence in the north and east?

May 17 (AT) The rise in violence, particularly killings in Jaffna, after the first round of talks in Geneva, is a disturbing trend that is yet to be investigated by the Police, judicial inquiries and the SLMM. "We can't say who's clearly responsible for the killings, as there are still many questions on who may have been behind it," said Helen Olafsdottir, spokeswoman for the SLMM to the New York Times. more..

When Indignation is Past and the Dust Settles - Reckoning Incompatible Agendas

May 17 (UTHR) Spiralling violence and increased polarisation along communal lines are threatening to tear Sri Lanka apart. The situation is compounded by the state’s inability to uphold the law, and its inept and disingenuous handling of the current political crisis. We are faced with a menacing triad of developments: more..

Chief Justice preaches to Maha Sangha during Vesak season

May 17 (LeN) Buddhist monks should give priority to activities of the Buddha Sasana and not to earn money, Chief Justice Sarath N Silva said when a fundamental right petition filed by a Buddhist priest was taken up for hearing today. The petition had been filed by Ven. Kahawe Sumanasara thera who alleged that his fundamental rights had been violated by not granting him a teaching appointment after undergoing teacher training program. more..

Enjoining order restraining Ranil against Mahinda

May 17 (LeN) An enjoining order was issued by Colombo District Judge Aruna Ranasinghe today restraining the party leader's decision to suspend Matara District UNP parliamentarian Mahinda Wijesekara from the UNP Working Committee and the Matara District UNP Bala Mandalaya. The order will be in force for a period of 14 days. more..

Call the entire nation for patriotic war -JVP

May 17 (LeN) The JVP insists that the only option left for the country to defeat Tiger terrorism and restore democracy is through a military solution and stresses the need for taking stringent action without any reluctance for the success of military action. The JVP also says that the entire Sri Lankan nation should be mobilized to ensure the victory. more..

Selvam says the way to prevent war

May 17 (LeN) The resumption of war can be prevented only through the proper implementation of the cease-fire agreement LTTE political wing leader Tamil Selvam told a group of media organization representatives at Kilinochchi today. The LTTE has done everything it possibly can to implement the truce and now it is left for the government to fulfill its obligations, Selvam said while calling for an immediate halt to the harassment of Tamil people. more..

Investor confidence takes a beating over Lanka war fears

May 17 (AFP) Fears Sri Lanka could return to civil war have punched a hole in investor confidence and wiped millions of dollars off the value of local shares, analysts said yesterday. The tiny Colombo Stock Exchange has shed nearly 53bn rupees ($5.3 m) of its value since the crisis deepened last month, official figures showed. more..

Australian support in preventing civil war in Sri Lanka

May 17 (RW) “Australia could contribute to international efforts to pre-empt collapse of the shaky ceasefire in Sri Lanka” said Paul O’Callaghan, Executive Director of ACFID. Reports by the International Crisis Group present a pessimistic outlook for Sri Lanka’s future, as breaches of a recent ceasefire agreement escalate. more..

The Mannkumban attack before Allaipiddy massacre

May 17 (TW) Disturbing details have emerged about a little known attack that injured two people in Mankumban on Friday May 12th night before the massacre in adjacent Allaipiddy on Saturday 13th night. Though news of the comparatively “mild” Mankumban attack has been overshadowed by the more gruesome Allaipiddy attack there is evidence to suggest that the former may have been a “trial run” for the latter and perpetrated by the same four assassins. more..

Malaria in Sri Lanka: one year post-tsunami

May 17 (RW) One year ago, the authors of this article reported in this journal on the malaria situation in Sri Lanka prior to the tsunami that hit on 26 December 2004, and estimated the likelihood of a post-tsunami malaria outbreak to be low. Malaria incidence has decreased in 2005 as compared to 2004 in most districts, including the ones that were hit hardest by the tsunami. more..

Yahoo Photos

May 17 (Reuters) Sri Lankan Tamil residents from Palai village, which was a few miles from where Tamil Tiger rebels faced off against government military forces, flee their houses to move to a safe area in Kilinochchi, northern Sri Lanka May 16, 2006. more..

Prisoners protest in Jaffna

May 17 (TN) The remand prisoners of the Jaffna prison located on the Jaffna Main street embarked in a protest demonstration within the prison demanding their cases be taken to trial without delay, and against the lack of basic necessities, from Wednesday morning , said prison sources. more..

LTTE’s “hide & seek ” Game With Claymores Continue Claiming More & More Lives

May 17 (SLA) Following a tip-off given by concerned civilians in JAFFNA, troops conducted a search into a garden in URALU, JAFFNA this afternoon (17) at about 12.45 p.m. and recovered a 10 kg weighing Claymore mine, three SFG 80 hand grenades, one detonator and a wire roll that can be used for explosive devices. more..

Sri Lanka joins ADB initiative to combat corruption

May 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka Wednesday joined an Asian Development Bank- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development initiative to develop an action plan to combat corruption. China and Macao also signed up for membership, which includes regular reviews of progress in implementing ADB-OECD anti-corruption action plan for Asia-Pacific. more..

No provisions to substitute candidates, says Elections Chief

May 17 (GN) Either the recognized political parties or independent groups contesting the local polls cannot canvass for votes in the name of another political party or independent group, Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake declared. "It is also not possible to substitute the name of any other person in place of another candidate in the contest," Dissanayake said. more..

President to look into grievances of detainees

May 17 (GN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has come forward to look into the grievances of more than 370 detainees now under remand custody for violating the Immigration and Emigration laws. President has brought this issue to Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva for suitable action envisaging any possible redress to them legally, stated a media release by the President's Office yesterday. more..

Village centred development drive under Samurdhi

May 17 (GN) The Government has launched a multi-pronged development drive centred on village infrastructure development under its "Gam Pubuduwa" village re-awakening programme. The Rs. 548.98 million programme will target all backward rural villages including areas in the North-East. more..

Rogue multinational drug agencies to be blacklisted - Nimal

May 17 (GN) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry is planning to blacklist multinational drug agencies who engage in underhand procedures resulting in high drug prices in the local market, Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said yesterday. more..

Wimal writes to Ranil for clarification on CFA

May 17 (LT) JVP Parliamentary Group Leader Mr Wimal Weerawansa has addressed a letter to the Leader of Opposition Mr Ranil Wickramasinghe. In his lengthy letter Mr Weerawansa has asked his views on the statement made by the SLMM on the attack launched by Wanni Tigers in which their target was the ‘Pearl Crush’ ship carrying 710 navy personnel. more..

Minister Jeyaraj visits Iran

May 17 (LT) Minister of Trade, Mr Jeyaraj Fernandopulle is scheduled to visit Iran on the 27th of this month. The Minister said the purpose of his visits is to strengthen the trade issues between the two countries. The trade relations between Sri Lanka and Iran are in a weak position at this juncture. more..

Vavuniya campus Sinhala U’grads to be relocated

May 17 (SN) Sinhala undergraduates at the Vavuniya campus of the Jaffna University will be forced to move to the Rajarata University to complete their degrees, if the security situation in the area continues to deteriorate, authorities warned yesterday. more..

Messenger of meditation, S.N. Goenka visits Sri Lanka

May 17 (SN) Describing himself as "a messenger of Vipassana", the world renowned meditation master Shri S.N. Goenka, now on a visit to Sri Lanka, is a keen follower of the Buddha whom he calls "the greatest super scientist of the spiritual world". At 82, Goenkaji is suffering from a back ailment. "He is getting a hot fomentation. It will take a few minutes," more..

Escalating killing of civilians and army harassment in northern Sri Lanka

May 17 (wsws) In the war zones in the East and North of Sri Lanka, there is a rising toll of unsolved “disappearances” and murders of Tamil civilians as the government and the military prepare for a renewed war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). more..

Under fire, Tigers plan protest in London

May 17 (PIS) Tigers, under heavy fire over last week’s bid to sink passenger ferry Pearl Cruise II, carrying over 700 unarmed Sri Lankan troops, will stage a major protest in London on Sunday (21) as part of their strategy to divert international attention. The UN, EU and the US severely criticised the LTTE attack launched on the seven-vessel convoy. more..

Monitors hit out at LTTE accusations

May 17 (PIS) The SLMM yesterday came out hard on the LTTE for suggesting the monitors withheld evidence leading to an escalation of civilian killings in the north and charged it would not give in to pressure and make statements to satisfy any party. more..

Sri Lanka may raise fuel prices again - Petroleum Minister

May 17 (DJ) Sri Lanka's Petroleum Resources Minister Wednesday warned of a second fuel price hike this year to offset losses, unless the government offers further fuel subsidies. "We are currently incurring a LKR2 billion ($19 million) loss a month due to high import costs," said A.H.M. Fowzie, more..

Fish deaths in Beira Lake: A post-mortem on pollution

May 17 (LNP) The deaths of a large number of fish in Beira Lake have once again brought to surface the questions as to who pollutes it and who is responsible for its maintenance. City administrator Omar Kamil said the maintenance of Beira Lake was the responsibility of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the Urban Development Authority. more..

No problem, says Cooray

May 17 (LNP) Responding to the statement issued by the Elections Commissioner, Sirisena Cooray, who headed the UNP`s rejected nomination list, said the party was not contesting under the spectacle symbol but only supporting the independent group, which was contesting the May 20 local polls under the that symbol. more..

Temporary ban on export of metal scrap

May 17 (LNP) The government is to temporarily ban the export of ferrous and non ferrous scrap to overcome a severe shortage of raw materials in the Foundry industry. The ban will come into effect shortly with the cabinet of ministers approving a memorandum submitted by Industrial Development Minister Kumara Welgama calling for immediate action to protect the Foundry industry. more..

SLMM reminds LTTE of its responsibilities

May 17 (SAMN) The SLMM said yesterday it would submit some “requirements” to both the government and the LTTE before deciding on the resumption of naval monitoring which remains suspended since last Saturday. The announcement came following intense discussions held yesterday between naval monitors operating in the north and east, the spokeswoman of the SLMM Ms. Helen Olafsdottir and the head of the SLMM Mr. Ulf Henricsson in Colombo. more..

Soaring oil prices forecasted to cost Sri Lanka US$ 2.2 bn in 2006

May 17 (LBO) Runaway global oil prices is expected to cost Sri Lanka 2,250 million dollars this year, the government said Wednesday, in a broad hint that a retail fuel price revision was around the corner. Sri Lanka is a net oil importer, with last year's fuel bill climbing up to 1.64 billion dollars, when crude prices averaged at 55 dollars a barrel, up from an annual average bill of 800 million dollars, more..

SLMC calls on President to drop JVP

May 17 (SAMN) SLMC leader Rauff Hakkem had expressed his readiness to unite all political parties to bring peace to the country. Addressing a rally at Hulftsdorp recently, Hakeem said the sSLMC can play a significant role in the process of establishing permanent peace in the country. The SLMC can play a significant role in the current precarious situation where the CFA is at stake he said. more..

LTTE committed to the CFA: Thamilselvan

May 17 (SAMN) Mr. S.P .Thamilselvan the leader of the political wing of the LTTE, at a meeting with a group of journalists from the south representing different media groups, said the LTTE, the Tamil people and their representatives, do not want war as a means of resolving the political conflict. He warned however that if the government did not take stock of the current situation and change more..

Protect country's natural beauty, says President

May 17 (DN) The density of both natural and cultural assets in our small country is unique. The rich blend of natural wealth represents a microcosm of many large countries, as such we have to muster the support of all environmentalists, organisations and individuals to preserve and protect the natural beauty of our small island, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

2 soldiers, 1 civilian killed in new Sri Lanka violence

May 17 (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels detonated a mine in eastern Sri Lanka on Wednesday, killing two soldiers and wounding one, the military said, in continuing violence that threatens to push the island nation back into civil war. The mine exploded near soldiers patrolling on foot in a village bordering eastern Batticaloa district, more..

Yahoo Photos

May 17 (AP) A female Tamil rebel fighting instructor leads other women during a training for Tamil women living in rebel controlled village of Udayanagar, near Kilinochchi, about 250 kilometers north of Colombo, Wednesday, May 17, 2006. more..

Farmers learn to fight from Tamil Tigers

May 17 (Reuters) Tamil farmer Thuraichami Wardanayagam is happiest tending his aubergine and chilli crops, but war clouds hang over his native Sri Lanka and he has turned to Tamil Tiger rebels for combat training. He has been running and doing star jumps in this village just outside the LTTE northern stronghold, and if all goes well he will learn how to handle a semi-automatic rifle and possibly even explosives. more..