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Sri Lanka – A Failed State?

May 19 (TW) Sri Lanka has been ranked 25, between Rwanda and Ethiopia, on the list of Failed States Index (FSI) as computed by the US based Foreign Policy & Fund For Peace. Sri Lanka is one of the 28 countries in the red ‘Alert’ segment headed by Sudan. Norway is at the other end of the list of 146 countries and hence the world’s best performer in terms of the Index. more..

Sri Lanka's Dialog Telekom kicks off US$ 150 mn two-year expansion drive

May 19 (LBO) Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia, Friday kicked off a 150 million dollars expansion drive to grow its mobile and broadband business in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka's biggest mobile operator said the two-year investment plan will also cover expansion into wireless local loop, fixed telephony and international gateway infrastructures, more..

Sri Lanka tourism stays steady in April, despite local violence

May 19 (LBO) Tourist traffic to Sri Lanka stayed steady in April to reach 46,000 travelers, despite ongoing political instability and civil unrest. April’s performance is a gain on the 42,261 tourists for the same period last year, though the industry is currently heading into the off-season. more..

World Bank: Violence will slow development in North & East

May 19 (DJ) Progress in post-conflict development projects in Sri Lanka's north and east will be slowed by a recent escalation of violence in those areas, the World Bank said Friday. But the threat of a return to war, which has delayed a revival in peace efforts between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels, hasn't hurt lending so far, Praful Patel, the bank's regional vice president for South Asia, told a news conference. more..

EU ban will not stop peace process, says top SL official

May 19 (HT) The Sri Lankan government's commitment to the peace process in the country will continue whether the LTTE is banned by the European Union (EU) or not, according to the Deputy Director General of the government Peace Secretariat, Kethesh Loganathan."The peace process will continue," Loganathan told Hindustan Times, on being asked if the process would be helped or hindered if the EU were to ban the LTTE. more..

The Sheer Madness of it All

May 20 (TW) There’s a photo of a dead man on the Tamilnet website today. He is lying on the road, with his head in a pool of his own blood. He’s wearing a simple white shirt and black trousers, but is neatly dressed and well groomed. On his wrist there is an inexpensive watch he probably strapped on before taking a look at himself in a mirror that morning. more..

Magistrate wants police report on Muttur killings

May 20 (TN) Muttur Magistrate Mr.Manickavasagar Ganesharajah instructed the Police to file a full report on the murders that took place recently in the Muttur police division. The Magistrate informed at a discussion held Thursday afternoon with a police team that no evidence has been submitted to court regarding the identity of persons who were behind these killings, more..

Sri Lankan Christians Face Increasing Persecution

May 20 (CP) Violence directed towards Christians in Sri Lanka is on the increase at an “alarming rate,” warns International Christian Concern. The U.S.-based human rights group has reported that Sinhala Buddhist extremists are continuing with a campaign of terror against Christians in the country as Sri Lanka sits on the brink of war once again. more..

Educating children on disaster risk mitigation vital

May 20 (AT) After the tsunami devastation in December 26, 2004 the need has arisen to educate the younger generation on natural and manmade disasters and also risk management methodologies from an early age in Sri Lanka. As a result, it was decided to activate the disaster awareness and risk management methodologies in the school curriculum through more..

Local polls for two bodies postponed

May 20 (BBC) The authorities in Sri Lanka have postponed elections into two local bodies in the north due to security concerns. The Elections Commissioner on Friday announced that the elections for Vavuniya Urban Council and Vavuniya South (Sinhala) Pradesheeya Sabha will be held 30 September instead. Elections for 20 local government bodies are to be held on Saturday, 20 May. more..


May 20 (PA) Sri Lanka veteran Sanath Jayasuriya is confident of getting his chance to impress this summer despite appearing unlikely to win a place in the side for the second Test at Edgbaston. The 36-year-old was talked out of Test retirement by new chairman of selectors Asantha de Mel but was then overlooked for the tourists' first-class match against Sussex this week. more..

Riding through the ruins

May 20 (TS) SRI LANKA, the teardrop-shaped isle just south of India is a land of conundrums. Much of what we hear of the land once called Serendip and Ceylon is negative – from the long-running civil war that seems no where near an end and the devastation wrought by the Dec 26 tsunami in 2004. But as I was to discover, it is a land of such exquisite beauty that you feel like never ending your holiday. more..

EU ban 'obstacle to just and lasting solution' - LTTE

May 20 (TN) "The resolution of the European Union Parliament imposing punitive measures and harshly censuring our liberation organisation is unfair, untimely and utterly biased. This EU intervention will thus emerge as a serious impediment to reaching a just and lasting solution to Sri Lanka’s conflict," the LTTE’s chief negotiator, Mr. Anton Balasingham, said more..

Situation Report -SL Army

May 20 (SLA) * LTTE Claymore Mine Fails To Cause Destruction
* Tamil Tiger Fire At FDL Successfully Repulsed
* Civilian’s House Under Hand Grenade Attack
* Claymore Mine Recovered
* Two More LTTE Minors Surrender To Troops
* Transport Of Essential Items To Un-Cleared Areas Continues

Chilli-Hot hisses heard from Groundhog Hole

May 20 (ISL) The so-called highly guarded message verbally expressed to the Japanese Special Envoy Yasushi Akashi by Velupillai Prabakharan through his Wanni political commissar is supposed to have come into the open now. The message appears like a chill-hot hiss from Groundhog Hole in the wilds of Wanni. more..

LTTE: A Subidcham Warning

May 20 (ISL) In the light of the growing condemnation of the LTTE internationally, it is quite likely that they may massacre a Tamil village or two in the Northeast to heap the blame on the armed forces in a desperate attempt to recapture support in many overseas circles especially from the Tamil Diaspora in Europe, North America and Australia. more..

International Community needs to tell its exact role on Sri Lanka crisis: Cabraal

May 20 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse’s economic adviser and the Secretary of the country’s Ministry of Plan Implementation Ajith Nivard Cabraal told a distinguish and representative gathering here that it is important that the international community seek to specify its role, avoid more..

EPDP condemns “the irresponsible” statement of the Amnesty International

May 20 (AT) Douglas Devananda, General Secretary of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), has condemned the latest statement of Amnesty International (AI) linking its cadres to the recent attacks on Tamil civilians in Kayts as an “irresponsible” utterance. more..

UNDP constructs over 200 houses for the tsunami victims

May 20 (AT) The United Nations Development Programme [UNDP] said that it has planned to handover 236 housing units for the tsunami victims who lost their houses in the 2004 Asian tsunami. UNDP spokesman Sanaka Samarasinha says these houses have been built in Galle, Moratuwa, Kuchchaveli and Point Pedro.The total expenditure exceeds US$ four million. more..

High powered Chinese delegation in Sri Lanka to explore investment and business climate

May 20 (AT) In a bid to explore business opportunities and joint ventures in Sri Lanka, a high powered Chinese Trade Delegation comprising of 13 members of the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) led by Yu Ping, Vice Chairman, CCP has met a delegation of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce more..

Law students jointly condemn LTTE continuing abductions

May 20 (SN) More than one month has lapsed since a Road Development Authority contractor allegedly abducted by the LTTE along with three others, while constructing a road at Gomarankadawela, Adampane in Trincomalee had gone missing. “There is no clue as to what happened to my father,” said the grieving daughter of R.I.B. Muthubanda, more..

2 Dutch gene thieves nabbed

May 20 (LT) Two Dutch scientists who had attempted to steal genes of a plant endemic to Sri Lanka have been arrested. They had attempted to steal the genes of a plant that belong to the family of "Kidaram”. This plant has qualities of curing hemorrhoids and digestion ailments. The two Dutchmen had visited Knuckles and Horton Plains and certain parts of plants have been found in their possession. more..

Child recruit escapes from LTTE crutches

May 20 (GN) 16 year old Yogendran Gajendran succeeded in escaping from the LTTE camp at Kadirvel in the eastern Trincomalee district and surrendered to the military yesterday. He was accompanied by 20 year old Vijayakumar Thapparam who was also forcefully recruited to the militant group. more..

SLMM asks for more monitors

May 20 (WS) Fifteen more monitors have been asked for by the SLMM in a move to step up its monitoring activities amidst the deteriorating security situation in the country. “We have written to the five contributing nations Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden with our request,” SLMM Spokesperson Helen Olafsdottir confirmed more..

Call to recognise mountain climbing

May 20 (WS) Nilantha de Zoysa of Kosgoda who has set up records in mountain climbing draws the attention of sports authorities to register mountain climbing as a sport to set up a world record in mountain climbing and bring fame to Sri Lanka. He says that the direct intervention of patrons is also necessary for it. more..

Weekly Political Roundup: Focus is on Colombo

May 20 (WS) Mini polls was in the forefront in the past week with the main political parties in a Campaign frenzy.Although the election is to elect members for twenty two local government institutions, the main focus appears to be the Colombo Municipal Council with the United National party contesting under the symbol of spectacles. more..

Big stink at Bribery Commission

May 20 (WS) With widespread rumours that big fish caught in bribery and corruption nets are once again buying their way out by bribing key investigators in the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption, the Commission sources said they are very tough on errant officers unlike in the past and they had already got at least two lawyers supervising cases to resign in recent months following their questionable conduct. more..

Mesh networking pilot project in Mahavilachchiya

May 20 (WS) A student in the rural areas of Sri Lanka has to pay an average of Rs. 150 for 30 minutes as internet surfing charges mainly because service is scarce in these areas. This amount does not include transportation costs and the time spent to reach the internet café. The demand for knowledge of IT has increased in Sri Lanka but not at the pace of other developing countries more..

Navy denies extortion allegations

May 20 (WS) Individuals believed to be navy personnel stationed in the North and East are allegedly extorting money from civilians fleeing to India, owing to the deteriorating security situation in the country. “The extortion is carried out in an ad hoc manner where they charge Rs. 2000 per fleeing adult and Rs. 1000 per child thereby providing them with an unofficial ‘exit permit’,” more..

Punishing Tamils under the guise of ‘checking’

May 20 (TW) The right of a lawfully constituted government to bring in “special measures” during periods of exceptional stress for the conduct of government is something that cannot be questioned provided these special measures are sanctioned through the established legal process. more..

South Indian politics

May 20 (TW) No doubt, Western historians made an effort to reduce the importance of Tamils when they tried to show that they were driven south by the invading forces from the North-West. Recent discoveries have proved the contrary. A social research conducted around half a century earlier showed that Tamils moved from the South along river valleys. more..

The spectre of Sinhala nationalist terrorism

May 20 (TW) The LTTE scored a major victory in April. The only way its leadership can convince the majority of Tamils and the international community that it is relevant is by demonstrating that Tamils are being oppressed in Sri Lanka with government collusion. That is why so many of their actions are aimed at provoking reprisals against Tamil civilians. more..

UN Peace Enforcement Force – an absolute necessity

May 20 (TW) The spectre of war hangs over our country. The CFA is virtually non-existent. President Rajapaksa asked the LTTE to give him a chance to work towards peace and not to drag the country into another war. But his plea does not appear to have been heard or is being ignored. Prabhakaran appears to be deciding the fate of the country. The LTTE is not interested in Talks. more..

Tigers lose advantage gained at Geneva Talks

May 20 (TW) The 25 member European Union seems set to list the LTTE as a terrorist organization. The EU technical committee has already made a recommendation to this effect. The 700 member EU parliament has passed a unanimous resolution calling for a freeze of LTTE assets and finances in Europe. The travel ban on LTTE already in force has been duly recognized. more..

British High Commission in Colombo declares 'traveling to Sri Lanka safe'

May 20 (AT) The British High Commission in Sri Lanka has emphasized that their country has not enforced a travel ban against their citizens traveling here to Sri Lanka, but has only cautioned their nationals against traveling to the North and East unless the trip was 'entirely essential'. more..

Sri Lanka's trade deficit widens

May 20 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's trade deficit has widened during the first three months of the current year, the central bank said Friday. The trade deficit reached 334 million U.S. dollars in March from 215 million dollars in the same month of 2005, the bank said. Meanwhile, the cumulative deficit in the first three months of 2006 has expanded to 784 million dollars from 396.4 million dollars of the same period in 2005. more..

Govt. hopes EU move will bring peace

May 20 (PIS) The Government said yesterday it appreciated the efforts of the European Union to take tough action against the LTTE and expressed hope it would engage in peace talks in response to the stand taken by the international community. This expression of hope for the peace effort came in a government statement which said the communiqué by the EU Presidency on listing the LTTE under EU regulations was under consideration. more..

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Sri Lanka

May 20 (LNP) Having regard to the armed conflict which has torn Sri Lanka since 1983, taking over 60,000 lives, and causing the displacement of more than 800,000 people, 'Having regard to its previous resolutions of 18 May 2000, 14 March 2002 and 20 November 2003 on Sri Lanka, and of 13 January 2005 on EU aid after the Tsunami disaster, more..

Varying views on possible EU ban

May 20 (LNP) With the European Union planning to list the LTTE as a terrorist organization, political parties have expressed various opinions on the impending move. The main Opposition UNP yesterday stressed the need to get peace talks with the LTTE back on track using the international momentum that would be created should the EU name the LTTE as a terrorist group. more..

Top architect says Lanka can`t afford two luxury expressways

May 20 (LNP) Top architect Surath Wickramasinghe yesterday urged the Government to merge the Colombo-Katunayake and Colombo-Kandy expressways into one, saying the country could not afford two luxury expressways. His appeal came just days ahead of the agreement to be signed on Sunday between the governments of Sri Lanka and China for the building of the Colombo-Katunayake expressway. more..

Vote for UNP, vote for the specs: Ranil

May 20 (SAMN) Opposition UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday the government’s attempt to prevent voters from electing their local representatives was undemocratic. He said the Elections Commissioner was not empowered to make any ruling on this issue as the election procedure adopted was valid and reminded the voters that a vote for the spectacle symbol was a vote for the UNP. more..

Missing candidate's body found in pit

May 20 (SAMN) The body of a Tanamalwila Pradeshiya Sabha UPFA candidate who was missing since February 21 was recovered yesterday from a pit in Lunugamwehera, police said. They said the victim was identified as B.A. Kapila Priyadarshana alias "Seizure Kapila" and his family members had made several complaints to the Lunugamwehera police. more..

UPFA claims UNP’s specs illegal

May 20 (SAMN) A senior lawyer yesterday ruled out the possibility of any political party or group fielding candidates through another party at an election when the nomination list of the party concerned has been rejected. President’s Counsel Dr. Jayampathi Wickramaratne, legal adviser to the UPFA, told journalists that parties had adopted this alternative to gain power when their nomination lists had been rejected until a Supreme Court ruling was delivered in 2003 against such practice. more..

Increase in HIV positive cases in Lanka

May 20 (DN) The number of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) positive patients reported within the country increased during last year and more than three HIV positive cases are reported each week now, STD/AIDS control programme regional facilitator Dr. Champa Aluthweera said yesterday. more..

Hudreds of Tamil villagers flee village after massacre

May 20 (AP) Piling their belongings, fishing boats and even their pets onto trucks, some 1,500 Tamils on Saturday fled their homes in northern Sri Lanka and headed for rebel-held territory, certain the government could not protect them in the wake of a brutal massacre in their village. more..

Over 200 Lankan expats donate blood

May 20 (GT) THE annual blood donation campaign of Lanka Lions Club was held in association with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), yesterday, at Stafford International (Sri Lankan) School premises. More than 200 Sri Lankan expatriates, who came from all over Qatar including Dukhan, Shahaniyah, Industrial Area, and Mesaieed, volunteered to donate blood. more..

When deserted beaches mean war, not paradise

May 20 (CDNN) THESE days the only visitors to the Coral Bay guesthouse are the cows. Jayantha Senadeera, the hotel's manager, kicks the sand as he watches them forage along Nilaveli beach — one of the finest on Sri Lanka's idyllic but incendiary east coast. It took just three months, he says with pride, to rebuild the beach-front guesthouse after it was flattened by the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004. more..

Five Sri Lankan refugees drown off India

May 20 (Reuters) At least five people drowned and four were missing after a boat carrying Tamil refugees fleeing violence-hit Sri Lanka capsized on Saturday, Indian police said. The boat was on its way from northwest Sri Lanka to Tamil Nadu. "Five bodies have been recovered from the sea, four are still missing," more..

New firing across Sri Lanka's de facto front line

May 20 (AFP) Government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels traded artillery fire across a de facto front line in the island's north, according to the defence ministry. There were no immediate reports of casualties on either side after a 30-minute exchange of fire at Muhamalai in the Jaffna peninsula, but the main entry and exit points in the area were briefly shut, more..

Tsunami deepened Tuticorin harbour

May 20 (HT) The December 2004 tsunami was not an unmitigated disaster. It deepened the Tuticorin harbour. "The tsunami's scouring effect had deepened the harbour by at least half-a-metre," said NK Raghupathy, chairman of the Tuticorin Port Trust. Raghupathy said that tsunamis were not a threat to the Tuticorin port or the Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project (SSCP) thanks to the existence of the island of Sri Lanka. more..