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Sri Lanka go down with barely a whimper

May 6 (CI) For their second tour in succession, Sri Lanka are in England at a time of year that many club cricketers are still casting half-hearted looks out of the window wondering when summer might start. The warm, sunny weather of the last couple of days might have given them a false sense of well being, but the more seasonally typical low, more..

Kapugedera is star man in surprise package

May 7 (GU) Experience matters in England more than anywhere else, as our batsmen who carry all before them at home and on the increasingly stereotyped wickets around the world find themselves struggling with alien conditions and the bowlers who can exploit them. more..

Sangakkara grows into senior pro role

May 7 (TI) Nobody who saw Kumar Sangakkara play against England for the first time will forget it. It was at Galle in 2001 and when he was not talking he was appealing and when he was not appealing he was agitated. He was one of four Sri Lankans to be hauled before the match referee. more..

Tigers tear each other apart

May 7 (GU) When fisherman Kandasamy Rajan was jolted from his sleep in the middle of a hot night by the sound of gunfire last month, his family's nightmare had just begun. Lying dead in a street in Batticaloa, a town on Sri Lanka's eastern coast that straddles a blue lagoon, was his 18-year-old son Rajnith. more..

Indian de-mining group suspends operation in Mannar

May 7 (TN) "Horizon" an Indian de-mining group, has left Vankalai in Mannar district citing security and escalating violence in the North East, civil society sources said. Horizon has been engaged in de-mining activities in three suburbs, Thomaspuri, Swarnapuri and Rathinapuri in Vankalai area for the last two years enabling resettlement of hundreds of displaced families after several years, more..

Sri Lankan Rebel Leader Won't Meet Envoy

May 7 (AP) Sri Lanka's top rebel leader refused to meet with a Japanese peace envoy who arrived Saturday to try to prevent a return to civil war amid spiraling violence. Envoy Yasushi Akashi's officials had asked to meet with reclusive Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran on Tuesday, rebel spokesman Daya Master said by telephone from the rebel stronghold, Kilinochchi. more..

Foreign Minister begins a three-day visit to India

May 7 (AT) As the Colombo-Tigers stand off continues, the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera begins a three-day visit to India, his second visit in ix-months; the first visit was in December shortly after the Rajapakse government came to power. Sri Lanka's Foreign Secretary and Finance Secretary are accompanying him on the visit which is officially billed here as 'for consultations'. more..

Not an Island unto Itself…

May 7 (AT) No country can be an island unto itself politically and militarily, even if it is an island geographically. Sri Lanka needs the backing of the international community if she is to meet the Tiger challenge successfully. Indubitably in this contestation with the LTTE we can rely on the support of our traditional friends, such as China, Pakistan and Russia. more..

New Tiger fronts opened in Australia to raise funds

May 7 (AT) Despite the initial raids on TRO fund-raising centres in Sydney and Melbourne last year new Tamil fronts have come up in Australia to collect funds for the LTTE. Tamil Medical Aid, is now functioning under the new name of Australian Medical Aid Foundation, P.O.Box 226, Glen Iris, Victoria, 3146. more..

Sri Lanka's hopes rest on new-ball incisions by Vaas

May 7 (TG) For a man who became a cricketer only because he wasn't sure whether he would make it as a Catholic priest, Chaminda Vaas has done an awfully good job of administering the last rites to international batsmen over the past dozen years. more..

Trincomalee is still not normal

May 7 (LeN) Civilian life in Trincomalee is still to return to full normalcy after the unrest triggered off by the April 12 market place bomb explosion. Security forces do mot allow cyclists to enter the town and it is a common sight to see cyclists turned back at checkpoints without being permitted to enter city centre. more..

Premier to step down paving the way for Cabinet reshuffle

May 7 (LeN) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake is to resign his post next week. Sources close to the President said the Premier is going to step down allowing the President to carry out a major Cabinet reshuffle. When a Prime Minister resigns, the entire cabinet ceases to function. In such an eventuality, the President should appoint a new Prime Minister and a Cabinet of Ministers. more..

Investigations on errant NGO’s off to a starts

May 7 (LT) Criminal Investigation Department has begun investigations in respect of illegal Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) collecting data for this purpose is now in progress. The CID says that information about personnel and racketeers attached to such NGO’s will come into focus in the investigations. more..

Sri Lanka teeters on the edge

May 7 (NM) One has to have patience to move around in Sri Lanka's capital city, Colombo, these days because of the numerous road checks and re-checks. Barbed wire is being erected throughout the city's high-security zones. At the popular seafront along Galle Road, one can spot a policeman every 30 metres. more..

Keep talking peace; insights on peace process

May 7 (ISL) The Japanese envoy, Yasushi Akashi is arriving in Colombo today for a four day visit to explore the possibilities of applying the breaks on the roll of the armed forces of the government and the Wanni guerillas against each other in what is feared as the fast track for another Eelam war. more..

The failure of Sri Lankan security and intelligence

May 7 (ISL) AN examination of Black Tiger attacks over the years reveals that the Sri Lankan security forces, especially the Sri Lankan intelligence community, have failed on two counts. They have failed, first, to understand the systems of operation of the Liberati on LTTE and, second, to build an effective counter-organisation to infiltrate and disrupt the LTTE network in the south. more..

Laments of a hired chest-beater mourner

May 7 (ISL) A Tamil adage “koolikku maar adiththal” (mourning by a hired chest-beater) aptly describes the lamentations of Tamilnadu’s P Nedumaran, a long standing hireling of the LTTE and one who has tried to do much political mileage in South India as a kind of champion of the cause of the Sri Lankan Tamils. more..

UK Local Election Results And LTTE

May 7 (ISL) The local government election held on May 4, 2006 in the UK saw unprecedented number of Tamil candidates putting forward their names as candidates. In addition to six candidates re-contesting, dozen of others entered the fray with lots of enthusiasm. It is now confirmed eight of them have been elected. more..

Nearing a month in Trincomalee Welfare Camp

May 7 (TW) The residents of Kappalthurai moved to Trincomalee Saraswathy Vidyalayam, after the recent violence in the area. The refugees say that, they do not know how long they have to stay here. There are 1, 200 persons living in this welfare camp for almost a month. more..

LTTE Fire At Troops; SF Search & Clear Operations Continue

May 7 (SLA) TROOPS ON DUTY AT THE NAUNDIL detachment in JAFFNA came under Tamil Tiger fire on Saturday (06) around 12.30 p.m.. Similarly, troops at KOKKUTHUDUVAI in MULAITIVU were fired upon by Tamil Tiger terrorists the same day around 7.10 p.m. more..

A State Literary festival in Anuradhapura

May 7 (SLBC) The Cultural and National Heritage Ministry has decided to hold the State Literary festival in Anuradhapura. The Objective of this festival is to make the younger generation aware on the significance of the literature during Anuradhapura Era. more..

Moody remains upbeat

May 7 (CI) Tom Moody, Sri Lanka's coach, refused to be dispirited by the thumping 10-wicket defeat his side suffered at the hands of England A at New Road. "There are two ways of looking at it," Moody said. "It would have obviously been great to have a few hundreds scored and a few wickets taken, but that wasn't to be. more..

Jayasuriya was forced to retire from Tests - de Mel

May 7 (CI) Ashantha de Mel, the newly appointed Sri Lankan chairman of national selectors, has alleged that Sanath Jayasuriya was forced to retire from Test cricket. He has also blamed his country's cricket establishment for the "mess" that the national side is in. Sri Lanka's fortunes have dipped significantly since an interim committee took over last year more..

JVP gets ready to confront proposed CEB reforms bill

May 7 (WS) Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) parliamentarian and trade union leader K.D. Lalkantha yesterday requested the JVP backed trade union Lanaka Viduli Sevaka Sangamaya (LVSS) to appoint a three- member committee to study the detrimental sections of the forthcoming electricity amendment bill scheduled to be presented in Parliament shortly. more..

Tissa Abeysekera takes Culture Minister to task

May 7 (WS) Veteran moviemaker, former National Film Corporation Chairman (NFC) and critic Tissa Abeysekera, on Thursday blasted the Cultural Affairs Minister and the Film Corporation Chairman for a deliberate crusade to character assassinate filmmaker Asoka Handagama and to make him a criminal in the eyes of the society. more..

NGOs challenge LTTE dictat

May 7 (WS) In the face an apparent LTTE order restricting women from working for NGOs, a consortium of Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) both international and local have stressed upon the need for all community members to play a role in supporting the rights of women to work whether be it in NGOs, hospitals, schools or private enterprises. more..

Robber cop gets high level protection

May 7 (WS) Police Intelligence Services have drawn the attention of IGP Chandra Fernando, to the fact that some senior officers in the force have made a deliberate attempt to safeguard a Police Constable (PC) currently in custody over his alleged involvement in a series of robberies in the Central Province, SSP Matale Division Hector Dharmasiri, says the matter now is investigated by the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD). more..

Govt to continue to retaliate

May 7 (PIS) The government will continue to hit back if Tigers initiated offensive military action, authoritative officials said. They reiterated the government’s position as the Defence Ministry authorised an air strike after the LTTE triggered a clash with the navy off Palugahathurai on the north western coast. more..

Lords call for sterner action against Tigers

May 7 (PIS) The LTTE’s abortive attempt on the life of the Army commander came in for criticism in the House of Lords with both Government and Opposition condemning the suicide bombing and calling for sterner action against this proscribed organisation. Lord Naseby who lived and worked in Sri Lanka some years back, called for the proscription of the LTTE to be enforced more rigorously. more..

Lankans in London to protest against BBC

May 7 (LNP) Sri Lankans Against Terrorism`, a newly formed organisation in UK, has organised a demonstration against the British Broadcasting Cooperation (BBC) from 12 noon to 3 pm on May 15. Members of this outfit comprising Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim Sri Lankans living in UK will protest in front of the BBC`s `Bush House` building in London against `false and distorted reporting on Sri Lanka`. more..

VAT investigation: Erroneous statements made against it, says CB

May 7 (LNP) The Director of Information of the Central Bank has sent the following response to The Sunday Times news item published last week regarding the VAT fraud investigation. 'The Central Bank wishes to put records straight with regard to erroneous statements published in the said news item alluding that the Bank is not cooperating with the investigations conducted by the CID, more..

Star TV Lanka enhances DTH through SATnet

May 7 (LNP) Star TV Lanka launched SATnet last week with a refreshing dimension of Direct to Home (DTH) satellite covering the whole country on a 24 hour basis. SATnet brought two leading brand names in the world of entertainment, Star TV of Hong Kong and Dish TV of India, with a total of 110 channels of uninterrupted, crystal clear images with theatre-like stereo sounds, more..

CC deadlock: Speaker proposes ex-CJ

May 7 (SAMN) In a desperate attempt to end a year-long deadlock, Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara has proposed a "compromise candidate"—retired chief justice, G. P. S. de Silva—to fill the Constitutional Council’s final vacant slot. His proposal, however, has been rejected by the chief protagonists. Instead, the JVP, TNA and JHU continue to wrangle over who should be the council’s last non-permanent nominee. more..

Committee to nab perverts in offices

May 7 (SAMN) Perverts in Government offices beware. Special committees will be set up in state-run institutions shortly to investigate allegations of sexual harassment. The Committees that will comprise both men and women will be empowered to hold inquiries against accused persons, but the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment will act as the appellant body if such inquiries are not conducted. more..

Further sale of CPC fuel stations

May 7 (SAMN) The government has decided to privatize one third of its remaining fuel stations by forming a local company — going back on a pledge given to JVP and other trade unions which strongly oppose such moves. Petroleum Resources Minister A.H.M. Fowzie confirmed that 100 sheds owned by the government would be transferred to the private company, more..

LTTE vague on chopper, consults Norway

May 7 (SO) The LTTE is to seek a meeting with the Norwegian peace facilitators before it decides on the government's seaplane offer to transport Eastern Tiger leadership to the Wanni. LTTE spokesman Daya Master said the Tigers viewed the offer in a positive light, but stressed the need to meet the Norwegians to extract a security guarantee for LTTE cadres before taking the final decision. more..

Rs.800 million worth Tourist Hotel Resort to come up in Beruwala

May 7 (LE) A Rs. 800 million Tourist Hotel Resort will come up on the Barbryn Island off Beruwala beach with facilities for water sports. Mr.Bob Kundanmal a local investor with a Singapore collaboration is expected to built the new resort. more..

Sri Lanka's injured Army chief moves to military hospital

May 7 (Xinhua) Army Chief Sarath Fonseka who was badly injured late last month in a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber attack was moved Saturday to the military hospital, defense and hospital sources said. Fonseka had miraculously recovered from the blast on April 25 when a suspected LTTE female suicide bomber jumped into his motorcade at the Army Headquarters. more..

India wary of involvement in Sri Lankan strife

May 7 (Reuters) Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera arrives in India on Sunday, hoping to persuade New Delhi to help broker peace in the island nation which is teetering on the verge of a fresh civil war. But India is unlikely to budge from maintaining a diplomatic distance from the ethnic conflict on the island off its southern coast due to disastrous previous experiences and domestic political compulsions, officials and analysts said. more..

President to meet Japanese peace envoy, top rebel leader declines

May 7 (AP) A Japanese envoy forged ahead with diplomatic efforts Sunday to stem a surge in violence that has pushed Sri Lanka back toward civil war, despite failing to secure a meeting with the top leader of Tamil Tiger rebels. Yasushi Akashi held talks with Colombo-based Japanese diplomats and remained scheduled to meet with President Mahinda Rajapakse and two main opposition parties on Monday. more..

Secretive, lethal rebel 'navy' a big factor in Sri Lanka conflict

May 7 (AFP) Tamil Tigers are increasingly taking their fight to the sea thanks to a secretive and lethal rebel "navy", a rarity among the world's guerrilla forces, observers say. Founded in the early 1990s, the "Sea Tigers" claim to have sunk dozens of naval vessels over the years and, despite a ceasefire, have more frequently taken to the waters of the island nation since December, more..

Getty Images

May 7 (AFP) Sri Lankan workers adjust parts of a pandal building ahead of Vesak Day in Colombo, 07 May 2006. Sri Lanka celebrates the 2550th Vesak on the full moon of May, this year on 12 May, as a thrice-blessed day for Buddhists as it commemorates more..

Foreign minister in India to discuss peace process

May 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has arrived in India to discuss his country's peace process which is under strain after a surge in violence, officials said. During his two-day stay, the minister is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and foreign secretary Shyam Saran. more..

Japanese envoy begins talks to save Sri Lanka peace process

May 7 (AFP) A senior Japanese envoy began talks with government officials in an effort to save Sri Lanka's peace process following a surge of deadly violence, diplomats said. Even as Tokyo's special representative Yasushi Akashi began his efforts, troops and Tamil Tiger rebels exchanged mortar and automatic rifle fire in the island's east, more..

No progress in Police probe into suicide attack

May 7 (TW) The high level investigation into the suicide attack on April 25th at the army headquarters in Colombo which killed nine people and seriously injured Lt.Gen sarath Fonseka has virtually reached a dead end a highly placed defence source revealed yesterday. more..

Seven civilian youths massacred at Nelliaddy

May 7 (TW) Nelliaddy in the northernmost Jaffna peninsula division of Vadamaratchy became the scene of a brutal massacre on Thursday May4th. Seven youths travelling in two autorickshaws were killed by soldiers near the Navalar madam junction in an incident that has caused much resentment and sorrow in the area. more..

'Apologise' JHU urges Akashi

May 7 (BBC) Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), has urged the Japanese Special Envoy on Sri Lanka to apologise to the Sri Lankan government and people on a comment made to foreign media.Yasushi Akashi has been urged to clarify a remark to Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in which he has reportedly said that UN Peacekeeping Forces might have to be deployed in Sri Lanka. more..

"One Coast, One People: the Tsunami Story"

May 8 (AT) A multimedia exhibition in commemoration of the tsunami, titled "One coast, One People: The Tsunami Story" will continue to remain open till today. The exhibition was inaugurated on 6th May at the Galle Face Green, Colombo. The tsunami commemoration is a joint venture of UNDP, the Ministry of Finance and Planning, more..

Ceylon Petroleum Corporation will not be privatized – Minister Fowzie

May 8 (AT) Minister A.H.M. Fowzie assures that no institution under the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation or the petroleum resources will be privatized. The Minister said the government does not plan to make any sort of privatization. The Petroleum Corporation is focusing on providing a better service to the consumer. more..

Sri Lanka Army retaliates to Tiger shelling in Vavunathievu

May 8 (AT) Sri Lankan army today bombarded Tiger guerrilla positions in Vavunathivu, Batticaloa in the restive Eastern province, retaliating to LTTE shelling on the army forward defence line. "We shelled LTTE positions after they attacked our FDL," one army officer told the "Asian Tribune." more..