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US funded Anti-corruption training for SL officials begins

May 25 (TN) U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is funding a training program for Sri Lankan officials and civil society directors to strengthen measures to combat corruption and monitor the spending of tsunami-related assistance, a press release from the US Embassy in Colombo said Wednesday. more..

Trincomalee refugees flee to Rameswaram

May 25 (TN) More than 120 civilians belonging to 31 families reached Rameswaram in South India by boats from Mannar Wednesday, as numbers of refugees fleeing Trincomalee to South India escaleated, sources in Rameswaram said. Another 234 refugees had arrived in South India's coast Tuesday night. more..

Sri Lanka continues to bleed as killer squads roam all around

May 25 (TW) Technically there is a cease fire agreement (CFA) between the Sri Lanka Government and the LTTE. But a low intensity war (LIW) is more of a reality. It is not just that the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE are involved in this LIW, renegade Tamil groups (non LTTE) are also engaged in their own LIW against the LTTE with the backing of the Sri Lankan army. more..

Police recover bodies of two Sri Lankans believed drowned while fleeing to India

May 25 (AP) Police on Wednesday said they recovered the bodies of two Sri Lankans which they believe drowned while trying to escape to India because of mounting violence in northern Jaffna peninsula. The bodies of a man and a woman washed ashore off Jaffna peninsula, police said. more..

Tamil journalists harassed

May 25 (BBC) Media rights watchdogs in Sri Lanka have condemned harassing Tamil media students by the protesters and the police. Free Media Movement (FMM) said three trainee journalists were harassed while filming a protest by students in the capital, Colombo. “They were then kept in Fort police station for more than three hours,” more..

Police chief accused of FR violation

May 25 (BBC) Inspector General of Police (IGP) in Sri Lanka and senior officers have been accused of violating fundamental rights of a junior police officer. Father and children of Douglas Nimal have accused the police department of failing to bring his murderers into justice. Inspector of Police (IP) Douglas Nimal was gunned down in Athurugiriya last month. more..

Tamils cannot depend on SL Govt for security- TNA

May 25 (TN) "Killings of Tamil civilians continue unabated in the NorthEast. Thousands have fled and many are fleeing their villages fearing safety to their lives due to harassment of security forces, and instead of taking constructive steps to allay fears of Tamil people, the Government of Sri Lanka is taking steps harmful to the welfare of Tamil people," said the leader of TNA parliamentary group R. Samapanthan more..

Sri Lanka wants Gulf Arabs to ban Tamil rebels

May 25 (Reuters) Sri Lanka said on Wednesday it wants Gulf Arab states to ban Tamil Tiger rebels and starve them of funds by cracking down on members who force Tamil expatriates in the region to chip in for its activities. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera also called on the international community to press the group back to the negotiations table amid fears of a return to civil war following a recent spike in violence. more..

Govt. 'forcing Tamils towards LTTE'

May 25 (BBC) The main Tamil political party in Sri Lanka has accused authorities of doing enough to protect minority Tamil community in the island. The TNA accused Sri Lanka authorities of forcing Tamil civilians under their control towards Tamil Tigers. “It is the responsibility of the government to protect every citizen in Sri Lanka. But Tamils are not protected,” parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj said. more..

Japan funds to improve rural roads in Moneragala District

May 25 (AT) Government of Japan yesterday provided a sum of US $ 78,711 (approximately Rs. 8.2 million) towards the "Project for Rehabilitation & Improvement of Rural Infrastructure Facilities for the Benefit of the Disadvantaged Rural Poor in Remote & Vulnerable Areas of Moneragala District". more..

Sri Lanka will attend seventh SAARC trade fair in Pakistan

May 25 (AT) The Export Development Board [EDB] of Sri Lanka is now engaged with the local exporters to grab a number of new business orders from SAARC countries attending the seventh SAARC trade fair, which is to be held in Karachchi, Pakistan from June 16 to 18 this year. more..

Elephants condemned to life imprisonment in Sri Lanka

May 25 (AT) Among humans who claim they are the most civilized, most intelligent and most advanced animal form on earth, another human is sentenced to life imprisonment only when found guilty of a serious crime, by a court of law. Among Lankans who boast of 2500 years of the purest form of Buddhism, which is the greatest non-violent philosophy in the world, even an animal should not be hurt in any way. more..

Govt to promote rice flour for pastries

May 25 (AT) Government is trying to promote rice flours in the country instead of wheat flours. Ministry of Science and Technology is presently experimenting to produce bread and other pastries by mixing rice and wheat flours. A senior cabinet Minister Professor Tissa Vitharana says that the government may reduce import of wheat flour to popularize rice flour among the masses. more..

Four LTTE cadres killed by Karuna in the East – military official

May 25 (AT) Four Tiger guerrillas were killed and two injured on Wednesday in an attack believed to be carried by the rebels of former LTTE Eastern Commander, “Colonel” Karuna on a LTTE bunker in Upparu near Muttur in the country’s volatile East, military sources said. The attack which happened at 9.30 pm on 24 May, had killed four Tiger guerrillas, more..

TNA welcomes Karunanidhi's election

May 25 (Hindu) Sri Lanka's Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi, popularly known as the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), on Wednesday welcomed the election of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and expressed confidence that the "senior statesman" would take an interest in the resolution of the ethnic conflict. more..

An SLFP group rise up against 'Vasu'

May 25 (LeN) While the UNP is engaged in a political battle to gain control of the Colombo Municipal Council, a group of SLFP councilors have launched a battle against Vasudeva Nanayakkara stating that he should not be appointed the Opposition Leader. This group alleged that Vasudeva was a person who ridiculed the SLFP and its leadership after entering Parliament with the help of the SLFP. more..

A 'bogus mayor' nominated to Colombo

May 25 (LeN) The battle for Colombo Mayor which was in a centre of controversy from the very beginning of the CMC polls has taken a turn for the worse when two bogus names were submitted today as Mayor and Deputy Mayor allegedly by the leader of the Independent Group, Rajendran who contested under the spectacles symbol. more..

What mistakes have I done to evict me from party leadership? - Chandrika

May 25 (LeN) SLFP leader Chandrika Kumaratunga directed a letter to General Secretary Maithreepala Sirisena yesterday asking what mistake she had committed to remove her from party leadership. Her letter was in response to a letter sent by Siriesena seeking on the 8th seeking her opinion on the Central Committee decision to amend the constitution with a view to changing the party leadership. more..

Brit rap star M.I.A. banned from US

May 25 (YUK) Critically-acclaimed British rapper M.I.A. has been barred from entering the US to work on her new album, it has been revealed. The star - whose real name is Maya Arulpragasam - posted a message on her website explaining that she had been due to work with top American hip hop producer Timbaland, but was now having to make the record elsewhere. more..

Lanka to make super phosphate in Rs. 800 m project

May 25 (GN) The Government has decided to continue manufacturing Single Super Phosphate (SSP) in Sri Lanka without foreign collaboration. Chairman of the Lanka Phosphate Limited (LPL) Dr. C.P. Udawatta said they have had negotiations with foreign companies but their demands were high and the Government has decided to carry on the project without foreign collaboration. more..

EU ban on Tamil Tigers will help peace talks: Sri Lankan president

May 25 (AFP) An impending European ban on the Tamil Tiger rebels will leave the group with little choice but to engage in peace talks, President Mahinda Rajapakse said in an interview published here Thursday. The European Union is expected to add the LTTE to its list of banned terrorist groups on Monday, the Financial Times said. more..

Comments from Sri Lanka

May 25 (NIP) True to his Sri Lankan Tamil identity, he uses only chaste Tamil throughout his conversation with this website’s newspaper. Muthiah Jeganmohan, anchor of a popular show and Tamil cricket commentator from Sri Lanka, has been doing the same thing for about 12 years. more..

Endless LTTE Claymore Attacks Kill Policemen

May 25 (SLA) BARELY 24 HOURS after LTTE terrorists killed three Security Forces personnel in THANDIKULAM, VAVUNIYA on Wednesday (24), their brutality was once again demonstrated in KATTANKUDY, BATTICALOA this morning (25) at about 6.45 a.m. after felling four more policemen. more..

Claymore Mine Targeting Troops Detected

May 25 (SLA) ALERT MEMBERS of the Security Forces this morning (25) around 10.00 a.m. narrowly averted an imminent loss of lives after recovering one more LTTE claymore mine from NELLIADY area in JAFFNA. The claymore mine weighing about 10 kgs had been set on the road the Army vehicles regularly transport troops to their duty points from different bases. more..

Govt drafts new Patriotic Act in preparation for war

May 25 (wsws) One of the clearest indications that the Sri Lankan government is preparing to launch a renewed civil war against the LTTE is its plans for wide ranging legislation to impose compulsory military conscription, tough media censorship and other anti-democratic measures. more..

The man who stood up for Sri Lanka

May 25 (ISL) One of the Officers who was commanding one of these top of the line FACs, was Lieutenant Commander Ediripulige Lalith Prasanna Edirisinghe. A seemingly calm & quiet character, married and with two very young children, he had all the reasons to live than risking his life in a highly demanding environment more..

Peace process: Solheim won’t go to Kilinochchi

May 25 (PIS) The Norwegian Minister and special peace facilitator Erik Solhiem will not meet the LTTE in Killinochchi during his latest visit to Sri Lanka, a Norway embassy spokesman said. Embassy spokesman Erik Nunberg told the Daily Mirror that while the special peace envoy Jon Hansson-Bauer, who arrived yesterday, was due to meet the LTTE political leadership over the weekend, more..

Govt striving to revive peace process - Rambukwella

May 25 (PIS) The Norwegian facilitators, Special Peace Envoy Jon Hanssen Bauer and International Development Minister Erik Solheim, are expected to pressure the LTTE to get back to the negotiating table during their stay in Sri Lanka, Government Defence Affairs Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday. more..

72,000 IDPS Benefit under Mahinda Chintanaya

May 25 (GN) Rehabilitation Minister Abdul Rizad Baddiudin said that it was possible to provide relief to nearly 72 thousand internally displaced people by appointing postal peons only under President Mahinda Rajapaksa's Government. Minister said that nearly 72 thousand displaced persons in Puttalam District underwent innumerable hardships owing to lack of delivery of letters to the camps for the past 16 years. more..

Nobody can stop a UN Peace Keeping Force if decided – Rajitha

May 25 (LT) Mr Rajitha Senaratne of the UNP said that nobody can stop if the UN decides to send a peace keeping force to Sri Lanka. He said that the JVP or the JHU can do nothing about it. Mr Senaratne added that if the UN peace keeping force cannot solve the national problem the emergence of two separate states will be inevitable. more..

Parents and Priest remanded for God’s treatment

May 25 (LT) Parents and a Priest were remanded by the Pugoda Magistrate for not treating their 11 year old daughter which ended with the death of the child. The parents had taken the child to a priest at the church who was said to have healing the patients with ‘god’s help’. more..

President Rajapakse takes Lanka back to the Dark Ages of the Catholic Church

May 25 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse has "ordered the Public Performances Board to ban the screening of the movie ‘The Da Vinci Code’ in local cinemas and on local television channels" "The decision to ban the film was taken on an appeal by the Catholic Bishops Conference in Sri Lanka, President Rajapaksa told the Daily News yesterday." more..

Solheim down in the polls; no hope either of re-starting talks

May 25 (AT) The Norwegian Peace facilitator. Erik Solheim, is scheduled to arrive in Colombo today with a huge question mark hanging over his head: how far can he go with kick-starting the stalled peace process? He himself has hosed down high expectations. S. Pulidevan, head of the Tamil Peace Secretariat, too has confirmed this. more..

Nimal prescribes fixed term training visa to UK

May 25 (LNP) Doctors sent abroad for higher training, mainly in the fields of psychiatry, pathology and radiology, hardly return to Sri Lanka to serve their motherland, Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition Nimal Siripala de Silva told the annual Health Ministers` Forum in Geneva Switzerland last week. more..

Anura escapes suspension

May 25 (LNP) Tourism Minister Anura Bandaranaike, observing a low political profile during the past five to six months, almost lost his seat in Parliament this week for not attending sittings for nearly three months. He had to be reminded by President Mahinda Rajapakse that he should attend Parliament or risk a three-month suspension, senior Government sources said yesterday (24). more..

Customs strike suspended

May 25 (LNP) Due to the major strike launched by the Customs on Tuesday evening more than 2,000 import and export freight containers were held up at the Colombo harbor resulting in an estimated loss of Rs. two billion as revenue to the government. All Customs departments and unions took part in the massive strike, which went into its second day yesterday, after a customs officer was allegedly assaulted by an Airport Security Officer. more..

President concerned over LG defeat

May 25 (SAMN) At a post mortem of the recently held elections to the Colombo Municipal Council, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Colombo District UPFA organisers should accept responsibility for the Party’s defeat and said the organisers had neglected their responsibilities. The President said the UPFA’s failure to clinch the CMC at a time when the UNP nomination list was rejected was the first defeat experienced by him. more..

Wimal condemns Rupasinghe's decision

May 25 (SAMN) JVP Propaganda Secretary and MP Wimal Weerawansa in a letter to the ITN Chairman, yesterday, condemned the decision to withdraw a scheduled open dialogue between Dr. Kumar Rupasinghe and himself on the Thulawa TV programme of today on NGOs. Weerawansa's letter said that this dialogue was arranged following his interposing over the telephone into a previous Thulawa TV programme conducted on May 18, more..

UK's First Sea Lord to visit Sri Lanka

May 25 (SAMN) Admiral Sir Jonathan Band, the First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy and the Commander-in-Chief fleet is scheduled to arrive here early next month on a courtesy visit, defence officials said. Sir Jonathan who is also the Commander-in-Chief East Atlantic and the Commander of the Allied Naval Force for the North would more..

More medical staff to be recruited

May 25 (DN) A new cadre provision to increase the recruitment of doctors, nurses and medical officers in all hospitals will be implemented within the next two months, Health and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. He added that most hospitals had a shortage of medical staff though there were no vacancies according to the existing cadre provision. more..

Australia increases assistance to Sri Lanka to fight landmine menace

May 25 (RW) The Australian Government will commit more than $1.6 million to aid communities in heavily mine-affected provinces of northern and eastern Sri Lanka. Australia’s Special Representative on Mine Action and Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Teresa Gambaro, said that she was pleased to announce the mine action assistance for Sri Lanka during Landmine Action Week. more..

Sri Lanka Tamil massacre mystery

May 25 (BBC) Sri Lanka is in a dirty war. Almost 300 people have been killed since the beginning of April. Increasingly civilians have become the pawns in the conflict between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels. In one of the worst recent incidents, 13 civilians were murdered. Both sides have been accused of the crime but it is unlikely the culprits will ever be caught. more..

The moment of truth for India on LTTE

May 25 (HNI) India’s policy towards the internationally proclaimed terrorist organisation, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) now requires to be sharply defined before it is too late. Now is the moment of truth for clarity and transparency. Otherwise one more neighbour will float into the US sphere of influence. more..

Sri Lanka's World Trade Centre bans cars on bomb fears

May 25 (AFP) Sri Lanka's twin-tower World Trade Centre banned vehicles Thursday fearing a car bomb attack by Tamil separatist rebels, police and tenants of the complex said. As part of stepped-up security measures, the 39-storey office complex in the heart of Colombo blocked all vehicles from entering, Colombo's police chief Pujith Jayasundara said. more..

Sri Lanka bans Da Vinci Code movie

May 25 (AP) Sri Lanka has banned screenings of "The Da Vinci Code" in theaters and local television channels following an appeal by the country's Catholic Bishops Conference, a state-run daily said Thursday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered the ban on the film on Wednesday, the Daily News reported. The movie had not yet hit theaters in Sri Lanka along with its worldwide release last week. more..

Yahoo Photos

May 25 (AFP) Policemen stand guard at the site of a claymore mine ambush in Kattankudy. A mine blast struck a police vehicle Thursday in eastern Sri Lanka, killing four policemen, more..

Anti-personnel mine blast kills 4 Sri Lankan policemen, army says

May 25 (AP) A mine blast struck a police vehicle Thursday in eastern Sri Lanka, killing four officers, as Norwegian envoys visited the country to try to salvage its disintegrating cease-fire, an army spokesman said. The blast hit the police patrol in the town of Kattankudy in Batticaloa district, 225 kilometers (140 miles) east of Colombo, more..

Bomb scare in Colombo as Oslo mounts peace salvage bid

May 25 (AFP) Deadly mine attacks and a bomb scare in Sri Lanka's capital brought home the challenge faced by a Norwegian envoy who was set to arrive to salvage peace talks and a tattered ceasefire. Peace broker Oslo's top envoy Erik Solheim, due to arrive Friday for talks with President Mahinda Rajapakse, cautioned against high expectations from his latest mission, against the backdrop of deteriorating security. more..

President Bush Nominates New U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka

May 25 (USE) U.S. President George W. Bush today announced his intention to nominate Robert O. Blake, Jr., of Maryland, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Sri Lanka, and serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Maldives. more..

Sri Lanka expensive to do business despite trade pact: India

May 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka's excessive holidays, arbitrary salary increases and the government's reluctance to settle billions to India's main oil retailer, is turning out to be a stumbling block for Indians to invest here, officials said Thursday. Sri Lanka has being wooing her giant neighbour with a plethora of incentives and a bi-lateral trade pact. more..