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President Mahinda Rajapaksa's New Year Message

Apr 13 (GDI) "May the Sinhala and Tamil New Year that dawns today be peaceful and happy. "It is my belief that a green environment and a cordial society are pre-requisites for a meaningful Sinhala and Tamil New Year. "We feel the spirit of the New Year with the rejuvenation of the flora all round. The more one recedes from the natural environment and our flora, the spirit of the New Year is distanced from us. more..

Message from the Prime Minister

Apr 13 (GDI) The Sinhala and Hindu New Year is the glorious cultural event of our country. Sinhala Buddhists furnish it with a Buddhist appearance while the Hindu devotees give a Hindu religious expression. The uniqueness of this Sinhala - Hindu New Year is the priority given to the traditional customs. Becoming united forgetting the disparities of the past, receiving the blessings of elders and visiting them are exceptional. more..

Global Park Sri Lanka becomes Marks & Spencer Stores for Sri Lanka, India and Bungladesh

Apr 13 (AT) Marks & Spencer, a British centered, global garment giant has selected for the first time in Asia, Sri Lanka’s Global Park – Global Transportation and Logistics as their outlet store division to pick, pack and ship operations of garments from Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. M&S has a vast number of garment factories in the Indian sub-continent and GTL functions as its sole warehouse provider. more..

French police arrest dozens of Sri Lankan Tamils

Apr 13 (wsws) French police have arrested several dozen suspected supporters of the LTTE in a series of raids launched in the Paris area beginning April 1. Computers, correspondence files, documents, literature and large amounts of cash were also seized in the crackdown. The police targeted establishments controlled by the LTTE—which has waged an armed campaign for a separate Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka for more than two decades. more..


Apr 13 (GDI) Government strongly condemns the false reports published in a certain Sunday (15 April) newspaper with a topic stating the leaders of the country on foreign tours during 'avurudu' holidays, which is obviously with a hidden political agenda of discrediting His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa.H.E. President Rajapaksa will be celebrating the New Year in Sri Lanka in the usual manner with his family and friends and above all with the people of the country, more..

New Year: A national festival or a religious festival?

Apr 13 (TW) In our country almost every month some festival or other is celebrated. As Sri Lanka is a meeting place of four world religions, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, most of the festivals are associated with religion. However, the most widely celebrated festival is the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, which stimulates society, enlivens the nation and fosters national consciousness. It is not confined to any religion. more..

Sri Lanka’s ‘Political’ Cricket

Apr 13 (TW) By this article we are supporting the position of a previous commenter, which brought very important insights of cricket and politics in Sri Lanka. We are trying to add more in this article. Cricket is becoming a ‘boiling’ issue again and seems to be going beyond its limits with wasted political agendas. This is the very basic fact that underlines this sport in our country; cricket is a political matter today in Sri Lanka and its certainly ‘political cricket’. more..

Technical snag forces Lankan jet to make emergency landing

Apr 13 (PTI) A London-bound Sri Lankan Airlines plane with 265 people on board made an emergency landing here on Thursday following a "technical" problem, airport officials said. Airbus A-340 aircraft carrying 250 passengers and 15 crew turned back and made the emergency landing three hours after take off on Thursday morning from the BIA north of the capital Colombo, the officials said, adding that there was some "technical" problem. more..

Sri Lankans nabbed from sea under suspicious circumstances

Apr 13 (Hindu) Indian intelligence and security agencies are investigating the implications of the arrest of 12 persons -- six Indians and six Sri Lankan Tamils -- from the sea off Kanyakumari. They were detained by the Coast Guard in suspicious circumstances in Indian waters on Wednesday and handed over to the police at Tuticorin on Thursday. more..

Mahinda to meet Pope

Apr 13 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will next week embark on what analysts see as a significant visit to the Vatican to garner much needed international support for government efforts to resolve the ongoing conflict even as the co-chairs decided to adopt a `wait and see` policy on the future of a negotiated settlement. The President`s visit to the Vatican comes just days after Pope Benedict XVI, in his Easter day message, called on the government and the LTTE to stop violence and resume talks. more..

No indications of LTTE coming for talks - Peace Secretariat Chief

Apr 13 (LNP) There had not been any official communique from the LTTE expressing their desire for returning to the negotiating table, Peace Secretariat Chief and Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona said yesterday. `The Government`s stance over the peaceful resolution of the ethnic issue still stands, but there are no indications of concrete moves towards resuming peace talks,` Dr. Kohona told the Daily News. more..

Govt. hopes to continue with magic price formula

Apr 13 (LNP) Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Bandula Gunawardana said the government was not ready to lift taxes during harvest time to bring down the prices of locally produced food commodities but would continue to import essential consumer goods and sell them under the newly introduced price formula. Minister Gunawardana made these comments during an impromptu media briefing he held more..

`Weli Katarata Sisilak` in an act of love

Apr 13 (LNP) Eight Sri Lankan house- maids, who were imprisoned in Dubai, were released and brought back to Sri Lanka on 07.04.2007 under the `Weli Katarata Sisilak` (Solo U beneficial project for housemaids), implemented under the patronage of Dr. Lalith Kotalawala, Chairman and Vice Chairperson Ms. Sicille Kotelawala, Ceylinco Group of Companies, for the purpose of releasing housemaids imprisoned at the Sajah Main Prison in the United Arab Emirates due to non-availability of visas and service permits. more..

Govt. denies terrorizing opponents

Apr 13 (SAMN) The Sri Lankan government rejected allegations that security forces battling the LTTE are engaged in a systematic campaign of terror against opponents. A senior government spokesman said that the recent call to remove Sri Lanka from a list of eligible recipients for Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) assistance was a part of the campaign directed against the government. more..

Five blasts at air base: Govt. Analyst

Apr 13 (SAMN) The Government Analyst revealed that the LTTE, during its air attack on the Katunayake Air Base on March 26, had dropped six bombs of which five had exploded. In a report submitted to the CID, the Analyst contradicted the Air Force claim that the Tigers had dropped four bombs and three of them had exploded. The LTTE attacked the SLAF Airbase at Katunayake using two light aircraft killing three Air Force personnel and injuring 16 others. more..

Dhammika Perera appointed BOI Chairman

Apr 13 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed young business leader Dhammika Perera as the new Chairman and Director General of the Board of Investment. The appointment is effective from April 16. Prior to this appointment he was a Director on the Board of the BOI. Perera succeeds Prof. Lakshman R Watawala more..

Govt. should manage its funds: JVP

Apr 13 (SAMN) The Government should manage its public finances economically and not burden the people with more and more taxes. What the Government is doing now is wasting a lot of money on publicity and propaganda while heaping burdens on the people with more tax levies, JVP Kurunegala District parliamentarian Anura Kumara Disanayake said Thursday. more..

No political agenda behind Eastern military success - Govt

Apr 13 (DN) The Security Forces have achieved a major victory taking control of the entire East, barring a 140 square kilometre area of the Thoppigala jungle, from the clutches of the LTTE and liberating the people from terror, a Government spokesman said yesterday. Troops pursuing their humanitarian mission were not hampered by any political interference or agenda in accomplishing their mission in liberating the East from the clutches of the LTTE, more..

SLTB providing improved service for New Year

Apr 13 (DN) The pre-planned arrangements made according to the President’s instructions given to the Ministry two months ago was the reason for the success of an improved New Year passenger transport service, said Road Passenger Transport Services Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna after an inspection tour of the Central Bus Stand in Pettah yesterday. more..

Sesath craft may die soon if no help is forthcoming

Apr 13 (DM) It is said a retinue of craftsmen belonging to 18 castes accompanied Sanghamitta Theri who brought the Sri Maha Bodhi sapling to Sri Lanka during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa and were known to have settled in Divilla near Unaweruwa in the Matale district. Their main occupation was to make palm leaf umbrellas and for chieftains ornamental Sesathas taken in processions. more..

All Ceylon Hindu congress calls for prayers on New Year Day

Apr 13 (DM) The New Year dawns at a critical time when our brothers and sisters in the North and East are placed in a situation worse than even of the refugees, says All Ceylon Hindu Congress in a media statement issued yesterday. “They are in an unfortunate plight or living without sufficient clothing, without enough food to eat, without medical facilities, the young children being deprived of education and those people have been denied the basic facilities and deprived of fundamental rights. more..

Political tussle blights World Cup win

Apr 13 (CI) Amnesty International has accused Sri Lanka of distorting a campaign at the World Cup aimed at highlighting the deteriorating human-rights situation on the war-torn island. The organisation is urging Sri Lanka and Tamil Tiger rebels to improve their rights record and asked fans in the Caribbean to sign white cricket balls marked "play by the rules." more..

Sri Lanka’s energy needs growing

Apr 13 (AN) Sri Lanka’s energy needs are rising to keep up with the development of its modern infrastructure. For this reason the government is pursuing many projects, in some cases without the consent of the population, concerned about their environmental impact. One example is the Upper Kotmale power project, jointly financed by Sri Lanka and Japan. Launched last Monday, the second phase of the hydroelectric power project in Niyamgamdara, Kotmale, more..

Winning a good habit to have, says Jayawardene

Apr 13 (PTI) Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene was happy to continue nurturing the winning feeling after his side had prevailed over New Zealand by six wickets in Grenada on Thursday. "It's a good habit to have. We certainly wouldn't like to go (against Australia) with a losing mentality," said Jayawardene, as he looked forward to wrap up the Super Eight campaign in the next one week. more..

Tamil Tigers blame government forces for civilian massacres

Apr 13 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels on Friday denied killing seven ethnic Sinhalese civilians, saying it was either the work of the military or a breakaway rebel faction allied with government forces. The LTTE said a string of attacks against civilians had been orchestrated by security forces and former LTTE rebels now in the so-called Karuna splinter group to discredit the main Tiger outfit. more..

Sri Lanka conflict forces thousands to flee their homes

Apr 13 (EC) Christian Aid partners are working to help displaced people in Sri Lanka after renewed fighting has forced more than 155,000 civilians to flee their homes in recent weeks. A surge in violence in Batticaloa district in the east of the country has driven people from their towns and villages either into camps for displaced people or to stay with friends and relatives in safer areas. more..

SAARC Car Rally completes Sri Lanka leg

Apr 13 (MC) After covering nearly a 1000 km in the last three days, the SAARC Car Rally today completed the Sri Lankan leg of the Rally and returned to Colombo from Kandy. The route provided a glimpse of the amazing contrast in landscapes that Sri Lanka has been blessed with. While the picturesque Colombo-Tissamaharama coastal road is dotted with numerous beach resorts, the winding road through the tea estates of Nuwara Eliya is a unique experience. more..

Sri Lanka Tigers deny using satellite illegally

Apr 13 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels on Friday rejected allegations that they were illegally using a commercial satellite to broadcast overseas. "We are accessing it legally and there is no signal piracy," a spokesman for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Rasiah Ilanthiriyan, said by telephone from the rebel-held northern town of Kilinochchi. more..

Six Lankan fishermen rescued

Apr 13 (CO) Six Sri Lankan fishermen, who claimed to have been stranded at sea off Kanyakumari coast for nearly three weeks following a snag in their boat, have been rescued by the Indian Coast Guard and brought here. However, the Sri Lankans have been arrested for entering the Indian waters illegally and handed over to the police here. Their boat had also been brought here, police said. more..

Rajapaksa to meet Pope to woo Catholic community in Sri Lanka

Apr 13 (HT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to see Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican next week, in an apparent bid to garner the support of the well-organised and influential Catholic community in his country, especially those in the Tamil-speaking and war-torn North-East. Sources close to the President say that while he has the overwhelming support of the Sinhala-Buddhists, he is somewhat weak among the Christians, most of whom are Catholics. more..

Tigers vow retaliation in Sri Lanka's east

Apr 13 (AFP) The Tamil Tigers vowed Friday to hit back against an advance by government troops in the east of Sri Lanka, accusing the military of "genocidal activities" there. The rebels denied military claims they were retreating in the face of an onslaught in the Eastern Province, where they were ejected from a coastal stronghold in January, and said they would retaliate "very soon." more..

Sri Lanka graphite mine to boost revenues with classified powders

Apr 14 (LBO) A graphite mine in Sri Lanka is expecting to earn more money from exports after shifting a powder processing plant from the United Kingdom to Sri Lanka by its German controlling shareholder. The Bogala Graphite now controlled by Graphitwerk Kropfmuhl of Germany started shifting a UK processing to which the company was previously exporting raw graphite in 2006. more..

Cricket: A bowler's rare limelight moment

Apr 14 (AP) Sri Lanka's victory by six wickets over New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup on Thursday took nearly seven hours to complete. Yet the decisive action took place in the first 10 minutes. In that time New Zealand lost two wickets. Its captain and most experienced batsman, Stephen Fleming, was dismissed leg before wicket without scoring, then Ross Taylor, a young player capable of long attacking innings, was caught brilliantly by the wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara. more..

Sri Lanka tightens security during traditional New Year festivities

Apr 14 (AP) Sri Lanka tightened security on buses and trains as hundreds of thousands of people returned to their native villages for traditional New Year festivities Friday. At least 24 people have died in bomb blasts that targeted passenger buses this month in the strife-torn country's volatile north and east. Lt. Col. Upali Rajapakse said extra police and soldiers were deployed to public bus and train stations, and checkpoints were set up around key areas. more..

Photo Journal: Ushering in the New Year in Sri Lanka

Apr 14 (TW) “Sarvasiththu Varusha” New Year dawns at 10.42 am on April 14th 2007. Buddhists and Hindus in Sri Lanka are getting ready to celebrate the New Year. People were seen purchasing new clothes, banana leaves, mango leaves, flower garlands and clay pots. Hindus queue up at temple to get “Maruththu Neer” (medicinal water) to anoint at the dawn of new year. more..

Sri Lanka stylist tells story of 'Malinga cut'

Apr 14 (AFP) A Sri Lankan stylist has told how he took two days to create the bleached-blond hairdo helping Sri Lankan bowler Lasith Malinga attract attention at the Cricket World Cup. "Malinga likes to stand out, so he goes for unusual styles unlike the other well-known cricketers," said hairdresser Nishantha Jayasekera, who runs the Le Paris salon in Panadura near Colombo and counts several other Sri Lanka cricketers among his clients. more..

Jayasuriya most dangerous batsman, says Ponting

Apr 14 (Gulf) "Sanath Jayasuriya is the most dangerous batsman in world cricket today," said Australian skipper Ricky Ponting. The entire Australian team were watching the New Zealand-Sri Lanka match on television. Though the side were having their nets, they made it a point to take a peek at the television every now and then. They also kept inquiring about the score. more..

Good Governance in Sri Lanka

Apr 14 (AT) The term good governance is an oft repeated and apparently much misused term; it is a system of rules to be followed by public and corporate bodies in making decisions and implementing them. These rules cover a wide gamut of conduct in public affairs to manage public resources and guarantee the rights of all individuals who are affected by such decisions in a fair and incorrupt manner within norms of natural justice. more..

Sri Lanka: Tigo’s innovative strategy ‘Roll the Dice’

Apr 14 (AT) Tigo the latest mobile service provider in Sri Lanka has a brand presence in 14 countries and is renowned for its innovative strategies, gave its Sri Lankan customers a new mobile experience. Tigo’s latest promotion, ‘Roll the Dice’ was carried out at Majestic City, with over 2000 people participating and playing this game. more..

Prof. Raveendranath family members appeal for UN intervention in his release

Apr 14 (AT) Family members of Professor S.Raveendranath, Vice Chancellor of the Eastern University has made passionate appeal for the urgent and appropriate actions for his immediate release. In an appeal addressed to Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, family members of the Professor S.Raveendranath, have appealed to take urgent action to find the whereabouts and ensure his immediate release. more..

Why Sinhala-Hindu and Not Buddhist-Hindu or Sinhala-Tamil ?

Apr 14 (TW) Vanakkam! Vaalthukkal!! The dawn of our traditional new year or “Sithiraip Puthaandu” - April new year is one festival that is common to an overwhelming number of Sinhala and Thamil people in the Island of Sri Lanka. What is saddening and maddening is the recurring phenomenon of widespread attempts to divide the Tamils on a religious basis on this happy occasion. more..

Sri Lankan chambers step up trade visits to KL

Apr 14 (BT) With Malaysia and Sri Lanka stepping up trade and investment ties, another Sri Lanka business chamber is visiting Kuala Lumpur for talks on furthering investments, officials said. The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) is taking a business delegation to Malaysia in a visit scheduled from April 22 to 27. The visit is being coordinated by the Sri Lankan High Commission in Malaysia and chamber groups there. more..

Writing 'always gets harder' for Michael Ondaatje

Apr 14 (G&M) Smack in the middle of Michael Ondaatje's new novel, Divisadero, is the description of an unusual church belfry in southern France. Built in the 13th century, 50 metres high, it's shaped like a helix, “so that as it curved up it reflected every compass point of the landscape.” It's the perfect metaphor for this novel, whose vivid characters twist toward and away from each other, forward and back through time and around the globe. more..

Sri Lanka cheque printer returns to profit; mulls land development

Apr 14 (LBO) Lake House Printers and Publishers Sri Lanka's top cheque printer, has reported a return to profitability in 2006, and says it wants to make better use of prime land it owns in Colombo. The profits came mainly from the security printing division which for long has been the mainstay of the company but was now being threatened by competition, more..

Sri Lankans of all hues demonstrate against Amnesty International’s cricket ball campaign

Apr 14 (AT) Some 200 Sri Lankans of all political parties and ethnic groups demonstrated outside Amnesty International headquarters Friday afternoon, protesting at the organisation’s campaign against human rights violations in Sri Lanka, launched to coincide with the cricket World Cup tournament. Members of the SLFP, UNP, TULF, Muslim Forum, UK-Sri Lanka Muslim Association, Janatha Vimukti Peramuna, Jathika Hela Urumaya, Christian Association, Sri Lankan Women’s Association and others more..

Canada must act now on Sri Lanka

Apr 14 (BDP) Following the resurgence of violence between the Sri Lankan government and the separatist Tamil group, the LTTE, NDP foreign affairs critic Alexa McDonough called upon Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay to take a proactive role in the threatened peace process in Sri Lanka. “Canada played a vital role when it stepped up to help the people of Sri Lanka following the disastrous tsunami of 2004 that claimed over 30,000 lives in that country. more..

Effort to speed up Rajiv probe

Apr 14 (TT) A two-member special CBI team probing the conspiracy behind Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination visited Sri Lanka last month to hasten investigations, it was revealed today. The Multi-Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) sought information on the LTTE’s network from Sri Lankan authorities. Efforts to speed up the probe come a month before the term of the agency, which has been getting extensions since the May 1991 assassination, expires. more..

Shooting of film on Sri Lankan handball emigrants resumes

Apr 14 (DPA) Berlin- Shooting resumed near Berlin Friday of a feature movie based on the true-life story of Sri Lankan men, who pretended to be handball players so they could emigrate all-expenses-paid, to Germany. Location shooting in Sri Lanka that began in January has been wrapped up by the film's Italian director, Uberto Pasolini. Locations in the Berlin area and studios in Potsdam are being used for the rest of the movie. more..

How Sri Lankans have changed the battle for Semis

Apr 14 (HT) Sri Lanka's win over New Zealand has opened up the Super-Eight Group in a strange way. Before the match, Australia and New Zealand were being touted as sure-shot bets for the top two semifinal slots, with the battle for the remaining two places reserved among Sri Lanka, South Africa and England. more..

Schools in Vakarai back in action

Apr 14 (ISL) Government has been able to successfully reopen all the schools in Vakarai area, which has been able to inject a new light to the lives of children, who were subject to LTTE hindrances for a long period. According to the Minister of Education, Susil Premajayantha said many educational development programmes are in progress particularly in liberated areas such as Sampur, Vakarai and Ichchalampattu. more..