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Norway fears isolation over role in Sri Lanka peace process

May 20 (AFP) The European Union's decision to place the LTTE on its list of terrorist organisations risks isolating Norway, which has played a key role in the nation's peace process, chief negotiator Erik Solheim said on Friday. Norway, which is not an EU member, has mediated talks between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil separatists since 2000. more..

Man jailed for housemaid visa fraud

May 21 (GD) A BAHRAINI man, who swindled a Sri Lankan housemaid by pretending he could get a visa for her relative, has been sentenced to six months in jail. He told her he could get a visa for BD900, the Lower Criminal Court heard. The defendant, who failed to appear in court, was convicted of swindling her out of BD175, taken as down-payment for the visa. more..

Jordan, Sri Lanka Sign Agreement of Cultural Cooperation

May 21 (Petra) Jordan and Sri Lanka discussed ways to enhance the cultural cooperation and signed an agreement on exchanging visits, expertise, and cultural activities. During a meeting on Saturday between Secretary General of the Ministry of Culture Jeryes Samawi and his Sri Lanka's counterpart, Samawi affirmed the importance of the cultural exchange between the two countries, more..

Sri Lanka rebels say EU ban may derail peace bid

May 21 (Reuters) Tamil Tiger rebels warned on Saturday an impending European Union ban on the group may keep them away from any future peace talks as low intensity clashes with the military continued in the island's north. The 25-nation bloc agreed in principle this week to blacklist the LTTE as a terrorist organisation after a wave of deadly attacks on the military. more..

Rayner holds up Sri Lanka after Malinga burst

May 21 (CI) Lasith Malinga took five wickets to stake his claim for a place in the second Test at Edgbaston, but the Sri Lankans were held up by a century on first-class debut from Oliver Rayner. Despite having a lead of 259, Mahela Jayawardene opted not to enforce the follow-on and Sri Lanka lost Michael Vandort before the close. more..

Sri Lanka’s ornamental fish exports on the rise

May 21 (AT) Sri Lanka’s exporters of ornamental and marine live fish varieties have received orders worth over US$ 100,000 from European buyers after recently attending Interzoo – All Pets Exhibition held in New Hamburg, Germany. Over 25 Sri Lankan exporters have displayed their ornamental and marine live fish varieties and the export Development Board had assisted the exporters to maintain their costs. more..

SAARC Chamber Academy proceedings to commence today in Sri Lanka

May 21 (AT) On a proposal made by Macky Hashim, immediate past President, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), the SAARC Chamber Academy has been organized by Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL), Euro Chambers and SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) in partnership and the parties concerned have agreed to hold the Academy in Sri Lanka. more..

Kayts killings of twelve civilians: No involvement of security forces - Police Chief says

May 21 (AT) Police Chief said yesterday that no evidence of security forces involvement in the killings of 12 civilians in Kayts islands had been surfaced in the special presidential investigation. IGP Chandra Fernando, country's Police Chief, however said, there was evidence that LTTE agents had burnt ten to twelve shops in the area which were open despite the LTTE organized hartal, two days before the massacre of civilians. more..

Low polling at local government elections

May 21 (GN) The Department Government Information has made all arrangements to release the results of local government elections held today. The Commissioner of Elections will transmit duly certified results to the Director of Information for release to media institutions. The results will be simultaneously placed on the website of the Department, more..

CIC grows exotic rice with export aim

May 21 (WS) Chemical Industries (Colombo) Limited (CIC) is conducting experiments at its paddy farms to grow exotic, indigenous varieties of rice with the aim of identifying exportable types that could find buyers in high-end, niche overseas markets. The company has had a positive response from potential buyers to whom it has show some of the varieties it has cultivated on a trial basis, more..

Dead fish at Beira could be due to algae

May 21 (WS) With still no official conclusion as to how so many thousands of fish living in the Beira Lake have suddenly died over the past few days, an environmental scientist attached to a leading environmental organization in the country has indicated the probability to a form of algae, which has occurred due to the ‘extreme poor quality’ of water in the lake. more..

Underworld also contesting election

May 21 (WS) Several notorious underworld characters including drug dealers and thugs are contesting today’s Colombo Municipal Council election under some independent groups, a top police source said. He said that there is a general trend observed in the last few elections where the underworld started to field independent groups with objectives of clearing their names and to avoid being arrested during the election time. more..

NFC, film maker trade charges

May 21 (WS) A rookie film maker, Nanda Imbulgoda, said the National Film Corporation (NFC) Chairman Ashoka Serasinghe has refused to release funds for a children’s film he has in the pipeline titled ‘Dinky’, but the latter refuted the allegation saying the NFC policy was not geared to hand over funds to every Tom, Dick or Harry. more..

The LTTE - rags to riches

May 21 (WS) As debate continues as to which Government can be held responsible for the present conflict plaguing the nation, one thing remains clear and obvious. Whoever created it, no successive Government really cared to put a firm fullstop to its growth! Like a cancer it has spread, causing irreparable damage to the economy, society and the very foundation of the country. more..

Appeasing Terrorism is not Peace

May 21 (WS) The recent remarks made by UNP parliamentarian Rajitha Senaratne’s on the aftermath of the suicide attempt on the Army Commander’s life to the effect that ‘an offer of a bigger helicopter to the LTTE to transport their Eastern Commanders would have averted this disaster’, received a lot of publicity. more..

Mini cyclone hits Amparai, Batticaloa

May 21 (TN) 150 houses were damaged when a mini cyclone swept over Thirukkovil, Thambiluvil and Pottuvil areas around 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Around 50 houses were damaged in Arayampathi, Thalankudah and Kirankulam, sources in Batticaloa said. The administrative buildling and the hostel of the National Educational College, recently shifted to Thalankudah, were damaged, civil sources said. more..

Remembering Rajiv on Fifteenth Death Anniversary

May 21 (TW) Fifteen years ago on this day (May 21st) Rajiv Gandhi was killed at a place called Sriperumbhudoor in Tamil Nadu. He was not prime minister then. An election campaign was going on then to elect a new Lok Sabha or Parliament. The Congress led by Rajiv was the front runner. After Rajiv’s death it was a Congress government that assumed office under Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao. more..

A father’s anguish, justice denied

May 21 (TW) First, they killed his boy. Now, he is being victimised for the loss of his son. Voice often shaking with anguish, Kasippillai Manoharan spoke of how he couldn’t live in Trincomalee anymore. How each new day felt just like the one before it `F1 slow, painful and futile. I couldn’t see his face over the telephone but I could feel his grief. more..

The Turn of the Other Tamils

May 21 (AT) It is a sea change in the making. The international community is finally beginning to look beyond the LTTE; the world is expressing a growing interest in a democratic, civilised Tamil alternative to the Tigers. Last week’s EU resolution on the LTTE indicates, once again, that the international community is no longer willing to accept the Tigers as the sole representative of the Tamil people: more..

Market mixed despite Strong foreign participation

May 21 (AT) The Share Market Review for the preceding week on All Share Price Index (ASPI) complied by the research team of the HNB Stockbrokers (Pvt) Ltd indicated the market started off on a low note this week with, indices falling by around 50 points on Monday. more..

Sri Lanka detains 14 illegal Indian workers

May 21 (TP) Immigration authorities have detained 14 Indian nationals working illegally in restaurants and jewellery shops in Colombo and suburbs under a fresh crackdown against illegal foreign workers. Coming on the back of last month’s warning by the Controller of Immigration to Sri Lankans to stop hiring foreigners without proper papers or work permits, more..

SLMC captures Kalmunai MC, ITAK one PS in Amparai district

May 21 (TN) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) captured four local authorities including the Kalmunai Municipal Council and three Pradesiya Sabahs in the Amparai district. The Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchchi (ITAK) won one PS and the Muslim National Congress one PS. more..

Local election results strengthen SLMC- Rauff Hakeem

May 21 (TN) "Every time moves are made to weaken us, we emerge stronger. This time too the election results prove that the SLMC is the undisputed representative of the Muslims in Sri Lanka. In the local elections held Saturday for twenty council the SLMC consolidated its position as the principal Muslim party in Sri Lanka by capturing power in six out of the 20 local councils," more..

Kuwait, Sri Lanka sign memo renewing agreement regulating aviation services

May 21 (KUNA) Kuwait Civil Aviation Department announced Sunday that it signed a memorandum of understanding with Sri Lanka renewing the bilateral agreement for regulating aviation services between the two sides. A press released issued by the department said the memorandum included an agreement on operational regulations that took into consideration the continued growth in the aviation sector between the two countries, more..

Corporate governance to be made mandatory from next Jan: Sri Lanka's SEC

May 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka's securities watchdog is in the final stages of drawing up rules to make corporate governance mandatory among listed companies from January next year, a top official said Friday.bThe island's quoted companies are famous for their cronyism in board rooms and lax corporate governance. more..

Alliance candidate stuff ballot boxes

May 21 (LeN) Act of violence and intimidation marred today's local polls in some areas which was held to elect members for 20 local government bodies. The most number of incidents were reported from the Udapalatha Pradeshiya Sabha in the Kandy district. Seven incidents of serious nature were reported from Udapalatha. more..

EU ban won’t affect SLMM activities

May 21 (PIS) An imminent European Union ban on the LTTE will not deter ceasefire monitoring operations, senior officials and diplomats said yesterday, despite three among the Scandinavian mission being members of the EU. Finland, Denmark and Sweden are the EU countries in the SLMM. They were among the last of the EU states to be convinced about the necessity to list the LTTE as a terrorist group. more..

Mysterious Malinga makes Edgbaston bid

May 21 (GU) Observing a team in the field is a good barometer of their morale. As a chill wind off the Channel whistled around the County Ground, it was a day for heavy bails and for umpires as doughty as Peter Willey and Mark Benson to seek out extra sweaters and to zip their coats to their chins. more..

British press gives May 29 date for EU ban

May 21 (LNP) A respected British newspaper yesterday said that European Union ministers will formally adopt a resolution to ban the LTTE on 29 May 2006. Quoting EU diplomats, the Times said that Britain and other countries had persuaded Sweden, Denmark and Finland to overcome their reservations and that pressure from the United States was also a factor. more..

Cabinet reshuffle on the cards

May 21 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to effect a Cabinet reshuffle and also make changes in some key official slots anytime after next week, The Sunday Times learns. The move will see changes in the portfolios of ministers who have not performed well or those facing corruption and other allegations. more..

Army Chief bids to improve security

May 21 (LNP) Army Chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka has shifted several Army Headquarters-based units to improve security at the nerve centre of security forces operations. On his orders, the Medical Corps (volunteers), Directorates of Rehabilitation and Welfare and the Army Band have moved out. The Medical Corps has moved to Minneriya and Panagoda, the Rehabilitation Directorate to Ragama more..

100pc rise in social security benefits

May 21 (SAMN) In accordance with the pre-election pledge given in Mahinda Chintana to low income groups, the Government has commenced granting a hundred per cent increase in Samurdhi Social Security benefits to beneficiary families with effect from this month. more..

Minister flays universities' standard

May 21 (SAMN) Education Minister Susil Premajayantha said Sri Lankan universities should be brought on par with other universities in the world. He said Sri Lanka's institutions of higher learning were not even among the top 100 universities in Asia and steps should be taken to look into this. more..

Awards for outstanding television stars

May 21 (SAMN) Arrangements have been made by the Department of Cultural Affairs to hold an award ceremony to felicitate the artistes who have excelled in the television field. This event will take place on May 29 at the John de Silva Memorial Hall, under the patronage of Minister for Cultural Affairs and National Heritage, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane. more..

Sri Lanka approves urgent arms purchase

May 21 (ANN) President Mahinda Rajapakse is believed have authorised acquisition of urgently required armaments as the LTTE threatened war if the EU listed it as a terrorist organisation. This comes in the backdrop of the raging controversy over the inordinate delay in bolstering the firepower of Fast Attack Craft (FAC) fleet. more..

3 dead in Sri Lanka violence

May 21 (AP) Two anti-personnel mines triggered by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels killed two government soldiers in Sri Lanka's north and east on Sunday, the military said, in continuing violence that threatens to push the island nation back toward civil war. Also, a 12-year-old boy was killed by suspected rebels for apparently refusing to join the group, the military said. more..

UNP supported Independent Group wins Colombo Municipal Council

May 21 (AT) An independent group supported by the UNP secured the Colombo Municipal Council as the last leg of the elections for the country’s local government bodies concluded yesterday. Independent Group III won over 82,000 votes (40%) in the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) against its main rival, the UPFA led for the CMC by firebrand leftist Vasudeva Nanayakkaya, which trailed behind with 57,000 votes. more..

Ministry plans fifty rural development projects

May 21 (SO) The Rural Industries Development Ministry has planned for the implementation of 50 industrial projects in the Ratnapura district, at village level to uplift rural home industries and self employment opportunities, the Rural Industries Development Minister Premalal Jayasekara said. more..

Government in unofficial talks with Tigers

May 21 (NS) The government is continuously engaged in unofficial dialogue with the LTTE to bring them to the negotiation table and to minimise CFA violations, Presidential sources told ‘The Nation’ yesterday. "It looks as if the peace groups within the LTTE are weak due to the pressure exerted by the military wing of the LTTE. more..

'Lankan Model for Devolutioltion'

May 21 (NS) President Mahinda Rajapakse has reiterated his commitment to peace. He says evil cannot be conquered by evil and adds violence is not the answer to the ethnic strife. Productive discussion with the LTTE will help the government find a lasting solution provided the LTTE is also willing to enter into meaningful negotiations. more..

Soon laws to combat noise pollution

May 21 (NS) Noise pollution at carnivals, musical shows and religious festivals is to be controlled through new Community Noise Standards drafted by the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry. The Central Environmental Authority (CEA), which is the statutory body in Sri Lanka for the drafting of regulation over environment related matters has referred the draft proposal to the Attorney General more..

Road through national reserve irks conservationists

May 21 (NS) A proposed road through the Strict Natural Reserve of the Yala Wildlife Park has led to controversy with conservationists protesting against the move by the Road Development Authority and the Highways Ministry. The proposed Kirinda-Panama road running through five natural reserves including the Yala Strict Natural Reserve (SNR) would be damaging the natural habitats of most of the endangered species. more..

Tigers warn against EU ban as violence escalates

May 21 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels has warned that an imminent European ban on them could scuttle future peace negotiations as two soldiers were killed in mine attacks. London-based Anton Balasingham said his LTTE would retreat from a peace process with the government if they are listed by the 25-member European Union (EU) as a terrorist group. more..

Sri Lanka's ruling party suffers reverse in city elections

May 21 (Kyodo) UPFA of President Mahinda Rajapakse suffered a reverse in Colombo municipal elections held Saturday. In the final results, the Elections Department said an independent group running as a proxy for the opposition UNP obtained 40.24 percent of votes and qualified for 23 seats in the 53-member Colombo Municipal Council, while the UPFA with 27.85 percent won 14 seats. more..

Yahoo Photos

May 21 (AFP) A woman checks her belongings after she and 119 other refugees arrived in the rebel-controlled town of Kilinochchi on Sunday after fleeing their homes in the northern Kayts Islet following an alleged Sri Lanka military massacre. more..

Refugees reach Tamil rebel capital after fleeing alleged massacre

May 21 (AFP) Refugees who fled after an alleged military massacre on a northern Sri Lanka islet arrived at the inland Tamil rebel capital at the weekend, and brought their fishing boats with them. The 120 people from 27 families were among about 300 families who fled their homes in Allaipiddy on the navy-controlled islet of Kayts after the May 13 killings in which 13 civilians were killed, more..

Suspected Tamil rebels target foreign aid offices

May 21 (AP) Suspected Tamil militants attacked the offices of three international non-governmental organization just outside the eastern town of Trincomalee on Sunday wounding three people, including a Serbian aid worker, the army said. Meanwhile, two anti-personnel mines triggered by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels killed two government soldiers in Sri Lanka's north and east on Sunday, more..

Showers of praise for Sri Lankan school

May 22 (TOO) The annual prize distribution ceremony of the Sri Lankan School Muscat was held recently with pomp and glory. The chief guest for this prestigious event M. Mahroof, the ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Sultanate of Oman, the guest of honour Jim Scarth — director of the British Council in Oman, chairman of the board of management Asst. Prof. Dr H. Kotagama and more..

Jayasuriya could yet play in second Test

May 22 (CI) After his side drew with Sussex on a rain-affected final day at Hove, Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lanka captain, has said Sanath Jayasuriya is still in the equation to play in the second Test against England at Edgbaston on Thursday, after the two openers in contention for a place failed to come up with any outstanding contributions. more..

Last leg of LG polls concluded : UPFA wins 5, UNP 4, SLMC 4 local govt bodies

May 22 (AT) The ruling UPFA won five local government bodies while the main opposition UNP won four local government institutions including Gampaha Municipal Council, Gampola Urban Council, Kobeigane and Patha-hewa-heta Pradeshiya Sabhas, as the polling for the last leg of the Sri Lankan local government elections concluded on Saturday. more..