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Jaffna curfew 'disturbs life'

May 9 (BBC) Curfew imposed by Sri Lankan defence ministry disturbed day to day life in the northern town of Jaffna, human rights activists said. Jaffna district representative of government appointed National Human Rights Commission (HRC) says the sudden decision by security authorities was a shock to the residents in the area. more..

Sri Lanka to upgrade fuel sheds leftover after privatisation

May 9 (LBO) The Power Ministry said Monday that it would pump in funds to upgrade 100 state held fuel sheds, left over from privatising Sri Lanka's retail fuel sector. Sri Lanka's retail fuel market is shared by state oil giant Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Indian Oil Corp., each holding a one third stake in a common infrastructure facility. more..

Sri Lanka seeks India's nod for top UN post

May 9 (IANS) With less than eight months to go for Secretary General Kofi Annan's term to expire, Sri Lanka Monday sought India's support for the candidature of Jayanta Dhanapala for the top UN post. Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera brought up the issue of Dhanapala's candidature during a meeting with Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma. more..

Sri Lanka releases 50 stamps to celebrate 2550th Buddha Jayanthi year

May 9 (AT) A ceremony to release 50 new Buddha Jayanthi stamps was held at the historic 'Magul Maduwa' at Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy under the auspices of Maha Nayakas of the three sects and Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake. Addressing the gathering Prime Minister Wickremanyake said that the 2550th Buddha Jayanthi year celebrations will be conducted on a grand scale and more..

Another bout of fuel hike, warns Minister Fowzie

May 9 (AT) Over the years, Diesel and Motor Engineering Co Ltd (DIMO) has played a big role in the area of transport industry in Sri Lanka and with DIMO establishing links with Tata Motors since 1961 it has maintained very good conditions for its vehicles running in Sri Lanka, said A H M Fowzie, Minister of Transport, Railways, and Petroleum Resources Development more..

We will win in Colombo hands down – Srisena Coorey

May 9 (AT) In an interview with the "Asian Tribune" Sirisena Cooray speaking about the Colombo Municipal Council elections, says: "We have only little time, but I am confident of winning. We will win in Colombo hands down." Here is the full text of the interview: more..

Samaraweera gets patient hearing from Indian PM. and usual advice

May 9 (AT) Nearly forty-eight hours after landing here in the Indian capital, the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had a truly busy day meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a host of other leaders. From all his interlocutors, he got a patient hearing and, the usual advice. more..

Christians and Buddhists should love humanity, says Cardinal

May 9 (EC) Taking the opportunity provided by the Vesakh feast, the Catholic Church’s Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, presided by Cardinal Paul Poupard, has sent a message of greetings to Buddhists across the world, stressing the common interest of the two faiths in serving humanity in an age of division. more..

'Suicide bomber' alive!

May 9 (LeN) The woman who, according to the media, blew herself up in a suicide attack to assassinate Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka is safe and alive, an officer of the special CID team conducing investigating into the incident told 'Lanka e News'. There had been 8 unclaimed identity cards after the bomb blast, and among them was the identity card of alleged suicide bomber Anoja Kuganethirasa. more..

Sampur, Ralkudi LTTE camp attacked, 30 killed

May 9 (LeN) An attack on LTTE's Ralkudi camp in Sampur by members of the renegade Karuna faction has left 30 LTTE cadres killed, unconfirmed reports said. On the night of April 25th, in the aftermath of the suicide attack on the Army Commander, security forces carried out an attack on the Sampur camp. more..

It is up to government to bring LTTE to negotiating table- Akashi

May 9 (LeN) Special Japanese peace envoy Yasushi Akashi me with President Mahinda Rajapaksa today and discussed the present status of peace talks, a statement by the Presidential Secretariat said. During the one hour discussion, they have focused on reviving the peace process and prevailing situation in the country, the statement further said. more..

Peace Secretariat pooh-poohs Anton Balasingham as an adventurist and immature Chief Negotiator

May 9 (AT) The Sri Lankan Government Peace Secretariat has dismissed the threat by Anton Balasingham to attack Karuna Group in Government-controlled areas, as "adventurist and not in keeping with the maturity expected from the Chief Negotiator of the LTTE." more..

Karuna vows to continue attacks until LTTE leaves the east

May 9 (AT) After routing the Tigers from their forward defence camps in Sampur, Trincomalee on Sunday night, Col Karuna presided over a conference of his commanders and decided to continue their attacks until the Vanni Tigers leave the East. more..

President meets two contrasting groups

May 9 (LeN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today met two parties at Temple Trees today whose contrasting roles are directly linked to the prevailing conflict situation. One party was the Patriotic National Movement while advocates war while the other was special Japanese peace envoy Yasushi Akashi who strives to bring about an amicable solution. more..

One Coast, One People; The Tsunami Story

May 9 (TW) A multimedia exhibition, commemorating the Tsunami titled “One Coast, One People: The Tsunami Story” was launched on the 06th of May 2006 at the Galle Face Green. This commemorative exhibition is a joint venture of UNDP, the Ministry of Finance and Planning and the Reconstruction and Development Authority, the Foreign Correspondents Association and Sri Lanka Press Institute. more..

Eight ‘missing’ Tamils from Manthuvil feared killed by Army

May 9 (TW) Innocent Tamil civilians continue to be caught up in the vicious cycle of violence that grips Jaffna and other Tamil areas of the North - Eastern province. The latest incident in this seemingly endless saga was at Manthuvil in the Thenmaratchy sector of Jaffna peninsula. more..

People suffer due to sudden curfew in Jaffna

May 9 (TW) A sudden sixteen hour curfew was imposed in Jaffna from Sunday May 7th midnight to Monday May 8th 4. 00 pm for reasons of security. Military spokesperson Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe when asked by the BBC Tamil service about the curfew said it was for security purposes. He declined to give the reasons for it. more..

Karuna faction attacks LTTE in Muthur

May 9 (TW) The breakaway Karuna faction of the LTTE that calls itself the Tamil Eelam Makkal Viduthalaip Puligal (TEMVP) launched an attack on three tiger positions in the Muthur division of Trincomalee district on Sunday May 7th night. The LTTE in recent times has established a strong system of FDL’s with bunkers situated every 500 metres. more..

Thousands stranded as Army closes A9

May 9 (ANN) Over 5,000 people, commuting between the North and South, were stranded at Omanthai and Maharani since midnight on Sunday (May 7), following the unannounced closure of the A-9 highway by the Army, sources in the North said yesterday (May 8). This closure was followed by a curfew imposed by the police in the Jaffna town commencing Sunday midnight. more..

Sri Lanka, China CEO conference opens in Colombo

May 9 (Xinhua) The first China-Sri Lanka CEO's summit opened in Colombo Monday with the participation of more than 20 Chief Executive Officers based in China and their Sri Lankan counterparts. In his message to the summit, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the summit "would not only forgather the peers of business and industry for objective discourse but also serve to advance and strengthen economic links between the two countries." more..

Seven LTTE Claymore Mines, Arms & Ammunition Detected With Public Support

May 9 (SLA) SEVEN LTTE CLAYMORE MINES, each weighing 10 kg, three charges (bags) of explosives, each weighing 15 kg, two T-56 weapons with two T-56 magazines containing 60 rounds of ammunition, three hand grenades and a remote controller were the latest recoveries from KAPPATHIVU, SARASALAI area in JAFFNA early Tuesday (09) morning more..

TNA MPs launch sit-in-protest in front of Parliament

May 9 (TN) TNA parliamentarians on Tuesday walked out from the well of the parliament and launched a sit-in-protest after making a statement condemning the extra-judicial killings of Tamil civilians in the North-East. The TNA MPs demanded that the Government should stop all killings of Tamil civilians being carried out by its troops and the paramilitary cadres, and disarm the paramilitary groups. more..

Ram, Govinda! A double jeopardy in Tamilnadu state elections

May 9 (ISL) Early indications in India’s Tamilnadu state elections are that Kalaignar Karunanidhi’s DMK Alliance will come off victorious and Madame Jayalalitha’s AIADMK will return to the opposition benches of the State Parliament. A significant aspect, as observed by election monitors is that the two parties supporting the AIADMK and DMK respectively linked to the LTTE have proved to be utter lame ducks. more..

Enlighten Co-Chairs of LTTE truce violations

May 9 (GN) Health Minister and truce talks delegation leader Nimal Siripala de Silva yesterday urged Japanese special peace envoy Yasushi Akashi to enlighten the Co-Chairs about the LTTE's attitudes and violations of the Ceasefire Agreement and to put pressure on the LTTE to return to the peace process. more..

India wary of involvement in Sri Lankan issue

May 9 (GN) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera arrived in India on Sunday, hoping to persuade New Delhi to help broker peace in the island nation. 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..

Amadahara to cover large area in heart of Colombo

May 9 (GN) The Amadahara Vesak Zone this year too will cover a large area centred on the Lake House building at D.R. Wijewardene Mawatha, Colombo. The Zone will cover a vast area in Colombo including Sri Sambuddhaloka Viharaya, Gamini Hall, Colombo Port, Galle Face, Fort Railway Station and Technical Junction. more..

Moody lodges complaint with Sri Lanka Cricket

May 9 (CI) Tom Moody, Sri Lanka's coach, has officially complained to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) after being publicly criticised by Ashantha de Mel, the new chairman of selectors, just days before the first Test against England. de Mel followed his appointment on Friday with a stinging interview in The Sunday Island, blaming Moody for Sri Lanka's slide down the ICC's official ODI and Test rankings. more..

Can Buddha bring peace to besieged Sri Lanka?

May 9 (KT) AS THIS Buddhist majority nation is getting ready to celebrate the 2550th anniversary of the advent of Buddhism on a grand scale this week, it appears that the message of ‘ahimsa’ or non-violence is largely confined to preaching. Come Friday, Sri Lanka will celebrate the festival of Vesak to commemorate more..

LTTE using intimidation to raise funds: Dutch cabinet

May 9 (DPA) The LTTE is using intimidation tactics to raise funds in the Netherlands, two cabinet members said Monday in written response to a parliamentary question. Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner and Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk referred to ‘certain indications that fundraising with an intimidatory character’ was taking place within the Sri Lankan community in the Netherlands. more..

Was the Lord Buddha a sexist?

May 9 (BP) Determining the Lord Buddha's attitude towards women is directly related to the very nature of Buddhism itself, and whether or not Buddhism supports the human rights movement for equality and democracy. In answering this question, one can always argue that there is no way to verify the answer, since the Lord Buddha has long since passed away into Nirvana. more..

Government rejects proposal on UN Peace Military Mission

May 9 (LT) The Government has rejected a proposal to assign UN Peace Military Mission in a bid to settle the ongoing conflict with the Wanni Tigers. The security advisers have pointed out the Government authorities that such Peace Military Mission stationed in various countries have led to serious problems. more..

Unrest in Parliament due to lack of Opposition Seats!

May 9 (LT) An unrest broke out among the Parliamentarians today (09) when some Opposistion MPs seated in the Government had no seats to sit in the Opposition side. Some UNP Parliamentarians who crossed over to the Opposition side said that they are unable to sit in the Government side hereinafter. more..

No peace talks till killings stop: Bala- Kohona differs

May 9 (PIS) LTTE chief negotiator Anton Balasingham said yesterday the Tigers would raid government territory to kill former comrades they say are attacking their fighters with the help of the military, and that peace talks were off till those renegade attacks stopped. more..

Sri Lanka seeks better air connectivity with India

May 9 (IANS) Sri Lanka has urged India to open new points for the former's designated air carriers and cargo flights to India and sought a more liberal aviation policy towards it. Visiting Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ports and Aviation Mangala Samaraweera conveyed the requests to Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel when the two met here Tuesday morning. more..

LTTE to put down arms for SAG

May 9 (LNP) Will or will not Sri Lanka be able to stage the 10th South Asian Games (SAG) in Colombo in August, was the question many raised following the recent hostilities between government troops and LTTW cadres. Although, the organisers of the SAG were optimistic that the country will stage the region`s biennial sporting event successfully, the question whether the LTTE will allow it has been always there. more..

Anandasangaree urges President to release innocent detainees

May 9 (LNP) TULF President V. Anandasangaree yesterday appealed to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to review the cases of the large number of Tamils who have been detained after being arrested and to take immediate steps to release the innocent. Mr. Anandasangaree suggested that the detainees be handed over to 'worthy guarantors' who come forward to take charge of them. more..

Mahinda wants Colombo spruced up before games

May 9 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapakse urged the authorities to clean up the city of Colombo and make it look a model garden city before the commencement of the South Asian Games in August this year. The President said the main road leading from the Katunayake International Airport and from the Negombo town to Colombo should be done up and more..

Major disaster feared in Matale, Trinco

May 9 (SAMN) Long and gaping cracks have appeared in the terrain between Matale and Trincomalee with fears of this area caving in and resulting in a major disaster, the National Building Research Organization (NBRO) warned Monday. The shear zone where the cracks have appeared might cave in with the Matale area running the risk of having to face earth tremors. more..

Committees to monitor LTTE infiltrators

May 9 (SAMN) Consequent to reports in a Sinhala daily, revealing that LTTE cadres or their agents have infiltrated into estates in Kegalla and Ratnapura districts, the Sabaragamuwa PC has decided to appoint Vigilant Committees in these estates with a view to checking the movement of new comers. more..

Police, principals talk schools security

May 9 (SAMN) Following the deteriorating security situation in Colombo, police officials will talk to leading school principals today to beef up security for their respective schools as precautions to pre-empt possible terrorist attacks, Education Ministry Secretary Ariyaratne Hewage said yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka to benefit by Asian tsunami warning system by July

May 9 (DN) Sri Lanka affected by the South Asian tsunami should have a warning system against sea surges in place by July, UNESCO Director General Koichiro Matsura told Lankapuvath. He expressed the belief that Sri Lanka would be able to face tsunami situations in the future with installation of the warning system in the Asian region. more..

India calls for early Sri Lanka talks in Geneva

May 9 (IANS) India Tuesday called for early talks between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers in Geneva to put the island's peace process back on track. Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed made the appeal during a meeting with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweea that was attended by Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran. more..

Sri Lanka's coastal drinking water still suffers effects of 2004 tsunami

May 9 (AP) Thousands of wells along Sri Lanka's coast remain unusable because of saltwater contamination caused by the 2004 Asian tsunami, a government official said Tuesday. S.R.J.R. Senanayake, an official at the state-run Water Supply Management Board, acknowledged that a project to restore wells affected by the 10-meter (33-foot) -high waves has so far failed. more..

Troops recover suspected Tamil Tiger ammunitions

May 9 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops recovered Tuesday seven Claymore mines, guns and a large quantity of ammunition belonging to Tamil Tiger guerrillas, the defence ministry said. The mines weighing 70 kilos (154 pounds) were found in the northern Jaffna peninsula together with two automatic assault rifles, hand grenades and remote-controlled detonating devices, more..

Bunkers and barriers on Sri Lanka's front line

May 9 (AFP) A smiling Sri Lankan army soldier lifts a thin metal barrier and you head toward Tamil Tiger rebel territory. Troops from the two sides are surprisingly close, about the length of a football pitch, on this edgy ceasefire line in northeastern Sri Lanka. Violence between government and rebel forces has worsened this year and threatens a four-year-old ceasefire. more..

Japan envoy visits Sri Lanka rebels, sees war risk

May 9 (Reuters) A top Japanese peace envoy flew to visit Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers on Tuesday in a bid to convince them to return to talks, but left warning there was a risk the island could slide back into a civil war. Yasushi Akashi was expected to deliver a harsh warning to the LTTE political wing that continued attacks on the military and failure to talk peace might spur the European Union to make good on a threat to ban them. more..

Japanese envoy fails to convince Tamil Tigers to start immediate peace talks

May 9 (AP) A Japanese envoy on Tuesday failed to convince Tamil Tiger rebels to start immediate peace talks with the Sri Lankan government, as the military announced the seizure of a stockpile of arms and explosives in the rebels' northern stronghold. more..

Tamil Tigers dismiss early talks

May 9 (BBC) A Japanese envoy has failed to persuade Tamil Tiger rebels to return to peace talks with the Sri Lankan government. Yasushi Akashi went to the island's north after talks with President Mahinda Rajapakse in Colombo on Monday. The rebels pulled out of security talks with the government in Geneva last month amid worsening violence. more..

Rebels seek Japan's help to prevent 'doom'

May 9 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels sought foreign help to halt alleged military attacks against them and warned that the island could face "doom" if they decided to retaliate. The rebel LTTE appealed to Japanese envoy Yasushi Akashi to persuade the Sri Lankan government to halt the spiralling violence. The government has similarly called on the LTTE to halt violence that threatens a ceasefire in place since 2002. more..

Moody upbeat despite De Mel attack

May 10 (AFP) Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody was in relaxed mood despite coming under fire from newly-appointed chief selector Asantha de Mel just days before the first Test against England here at Lord's. "I've lodged nothing," said Moody, denying reports coming out of Sri Lanka that he'd made an official complaint. more..