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Let the dawn of the New Year bring hope for unity and peace among our people -Douglas Devananda

Apr 14 (ISL) The EPDP Secretary General and Social Services and Social Services Minister K.N. Douglas Devananda, in his New Year message wishes, that the dawn of the Tamil and Sinhala New Year brings hope for unity and peace among the people of our country. He further said that the people living in the North and East are unable to celebrate the New Year happily due to the situation in those areas. more..

PCs could be used to devolve power: EPDP

Apr 14 (SAMN) The Provincial Council system could be utilised as an effective mechanism for devolution of power, without affecting consensus among communities, EPDP Leader Douglas Devananda said. Speaking at a press conference, Devananda said that a possible solution for the ethnic conflict should not divide communities, but integrate all communities into one nation. more..

Mihintale development plan

Apr 14 (SAMN) A massive programme is being launched to protect the historic Sacred City of Mihintale under a newly designed development plan headed by Duminda Dissanayake Minister of Petroleum Resources and MP for Anuradhapura district. This was stated by Dissanayake at a special meeting held recently at the Pradeshiya Sabha auditorium Mihintale with the participation of representatives of various departments, authorities and public organisations in the area. more..

Further petrol price hike expected

Apr 14 (SAMN) Lanka IOC which is suffering a loss of Rs.4 per litre even after the recent petrol price hike. This comes in the wake of the surge in prices in the global market. This would adversely affect motorists who in addition to an expected price hike in diesel is likely to be affected with a further increase in petrol prices.

An Overview of the “Enforced Disappearances” Phenomenon

Apr 14 (TW) The enforced disappearances phenomenon is but one in a long list of problems plaguing the Tamil people of Sri Lanka in recent times. People suddenly disappear or go missing .There have been some incidents where Muslims and Sinhala people have gone “missing” too but the overwhelming cases of “Missing” or “Disappearances” pertain to the Tamil people alone. more..

Tamil and Singhalese New Year

Apr 14 (MJ) The New Year among the Hindus and Buddhists vary from region to region of the world. The Tamils and Singhalese New Year is celebrated on the 14th of April 2007. The Earth travels on an elliptical path around the Sun. The time period for one complete movement of 360 degrees is called a year. The circumference of this elliptical path with the sun at the central point is divided into twelve arcs. more..

New Year: A national festival or a religious festival?

Apr 14 (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..

In a herbal drink, Kandana’s elderly find a small drop of joy

Apr 14 (AN) In Kandana, eastern Sri Lanka, hundreds of elderly people cover untold distances on foot to withdraw their miserly monthly pension, which does not even amount to 2 dollars a month. Tired and weary to the bone of the abject poverty in which they live, they find a find a small sign of solidarity in the Catholic group from the parish of Hapugoda, which offers these old people of all races and religions, a nutritious herbal beverage. more..

Gabbana Colombo plans retail expansion in India

Apr 14 (BT) Gabbana, Colombo as part of its overseas expansion plan is opening its first overseas branch in Chennai, a spokesman for Gabbana said. The spokesman added that expanding overseas is a very big step for us, and we would not have been able to do it without our great team as the staff at Gabbana Sri Lanka has been with us all the way. more..

Sri Lanka focussed on points, not net run rate: captain

Apr 14 (IANS) Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene says that net run rate will not figure significantly on his team's mind as they continue their march towards the semi-finals of the World Cup. Following their comprehensive six-wicket win over New Zealand at the National Stadium here Thursday, Jayawardene said that his side played each match to win and take the two points from every game up for grabs. more..

Sri Lanka uses anti-terror laws to stifle the press, media rights group says

Apr 14 (AP) Sri Lanka's government is using anti-terrorism laws to muzzle the media, a global press freedom organization said Saturday, calling for the immediate release of a publishing executive held under the rules. Dushantha Basnayake, the financial director of Standard Newspapers Private Ltd., was arrested Feb. 26 under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and has been held since without charge, Reporters Without Borders said in a statement. more..

5 Tamil civilians shot dead in eastern Sri Lanka, military says

Apr 14 (AP) A three-year-old boy and a teenage girl were among five civilians dragged out of their homes and shot dead in eastern Sri Lanka, the military said Saturday, the fifth attack on civilians this month in the country's war-wrecked north and east. The military blamed separatist Tamil Tiger rebels for the massacre Friday night in Eravur town, Batticaloa district, 220 kilometers (130 miles) east of the capital, Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka to have ombudsman for disappearances

Apr 14 (HT) There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel for the families of hundreds of Sri Lankans who had disappeared in the past year of turmoil in the country. Not only is there a decline in new cases in the past three weeks, but President Mahinda Rajapaksa has promised to appoint an Ombudsman to receive and look into complaints of involuntary disappearances or abductions. more..

Five people killed as Sri Lanka marks New Year

Apr 14 (AFP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels shot dead five people in eastern Sri Lanka on Saturday, the military said, as the country marked the traditional New Year and the president appealed for national unity. Gunmen from the rebel LTTE fired at a residential neighbourhood in Eravur, in Batticaloa district, killing two people from a breakaway militant faction and three civilians, the defence ministry said. more..

Judicial custody for Sri Lankans held with fake passports

Apr 15 (EI) Two Sri Lankan nationals, who were arrested from IGI airport with fake British passports, were no Saturday remanded to judicial custody by a local court. The duo, on April 11, had managed to sneak past the immigration officials with fake passports and were caught by the Jet Airways staff while boarding a Delhi-London flight. more..

A doozey with a doosra

Apr 15 (BT) MUTTIAH Muralitharan. The mere mention of his name still sends chills down my spine. While Wasim Akram and Curtly Ambrose would bully batsmen with pace and intimidation, Muralitharan's weapon is as much mental torture as his brilliant spin bowling. My brother Steve once called the Sri Lankan wizard the Don Bradman of spin bowling. The best accolade I can offer is to say I found him even more difficult to face than the great Shane Warne. more..

Dynamism of Truth in Media

Apr 15 (AT) Terrorism and wars have enveloped humanity. It is universally accepted that this global crisis can be averted only with a pro-active search for peace, beginning within each individual. This search has to be pursued with tenets of spirituality, economic development, and involvement of youth within a high standard for print and electronic media. more..

"The Strangers"

Apr 15 (AT) A story of Chandran – a Tamil refugee in London. He fled to London and after a few years managed to bring his wife and children. He stayed in touch with his people back in the East of Sri Lanka. He finds life miserable. Author describes his emotions, his love for Tamil. When his son started schooling in London, his wife wanted him to be fluent in English and wanted the young one to converse with everyone in English. more..

Panora commences computer manufacturing in Sri Lanka

Apr 15 (AT) Panora Corporation, a subsidiary of PCH Holdings, started operations of the Company's new state of the art of manufacturing facility in Colombo witnessing a further new development in the IT Industry in Sri Lanka. a Rs 1.2 billion investment spread over three years is expected to manufacture around 12,000 units of PCs per month for the first year and employ around 200 for the start. more..

Jayasuriya the Tiger Woods of cricket: Moody

Apr 15 (Age) IT IS a measure of Sanath Jayasuriya's freakish ability that the devastating arc of his bat is compared not only to the whirring swing of a golfer, but to the world's best golfer. Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody, the Australian in charge of a Sri Lankan World Cup campaign that is gaining exciting momentum in the Caribbean, has met some gifted and powerful cricketers in his time, but never one quite like the modest marauder from Matara. more..

World Cup 2011 hosts to meet in Pakistan

Apr 15 (CI) The first meeting of the Central Organising Committee (COC) of the World Cup 2011, to be held in the subcontinent, will take place on April 18 in Bhurban, a popular tourist resort near Islamabad in Pakistan. Senior board officials from Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will meet over two days to begin discussions on the organisation of the tournament, the first time it is being held across four countries. more..

Sri Lanka state firm bank debt has doubled in an year: Central Bank

Apr 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state corporation debt to the banking system has doubled in 2006, with energy firms accounting for most of it, the Central Bank said in its annual report. "The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) remained the biggest debtors among state corporations, accounting for 83 percent of the total outstanding liabilities to the banking system more..

The reasons we root for Sri Lanka

Apr 15 (CI) Watching Chaminda Vaas open the bowling yesterday (three overs, no runs, two wickets) was scary, it was like being allowed to watch a master hit man at work. First his bunny, Stephen Fleming, trapped in front, business as usual. Then the right-handed Taylor done by the ball that didn't come back at him, caught Kumar Sangakkara, diving to his right. Not a run conceded in eighteen balls. Match over in three overs. And all this at under 120 kmph. No sound, no fury: just lethal seam bowling with the silencer on. more..

Sri Lanka will test us - McGrath

Apr 15 (CI) Glenn McGrath, who is usually so certain of Australia's ability to beat all opposition, said their match against Sri Lanka on Monday would be a "big test" and the conditions would favour Sri Lanka. His comments came as Mahela Jayawardene also talked up his side's chances despite the absence of Lasith Malinga, their strike bowler. McGrath said Australia's first game at Grenada - where Sri Lanka defeated New Zealand on Thursday - would be a challenge. more..

Sri Lanka to keep up intensity despite reaching semis

Apr 15 (Reuters) Former champions Sri Lanka will not reduce their intensity in their remaining matches in the Super Eights despite qualifying for the World Cup semi-finals, team manager Michael Tissera said on Saturday. New Zealand beat South Africa by five wickets on Saturday to follow defending champions Australia into the last four. Sri Lanka also qualified as South Africa and England, who meet in Barbados on Tuesday, cannot both reach eight points. more..

Sri Lanka peace process, ceasefire in tatters

Apr 15 (AFP) Sri Lanka's peace process is in tatters with both the government and Tamil Tigers once again pushing for a military solution, according to diplomats close to efforts to end the conflict. International sponsors of the peace process are also resigned to Asia's longest-running civil war dragging on for years to come, saying the two sides are only likely to return to talks once they are exhausted by more bloodshed. more..

Sri Lanka reinvent their revolution

Apr 15 (TI) Sri Lanka changed cricket forever. Their heroic enterprise in the World Cup 11 years ago supplied proof that the wheel could be reinvented. The method was deceptively simple: try to smack the leather off the ball from the start. The unforgettable strategy drove them to the title. Nothing would ever be the same. Others caught up, adapted the ploy, expanded on it. But the original patent has always belonged to Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka hoping to shock

Apr 15 (TO) ANY NEUTRAL hoping to see an end to Australia’s domination of the World Cup will be backing Sri Lanka in Grenada tomorrow. Although both teams are already assured of their places in the semi-finals, a win for Sri Lanka could see them topping the Super Eight table and leaving Australia with the tougher of semi-final opponents. more..

Yahoo Photos

Apr 15 (AP) Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga bowls in the nets during a practice session, two days before the Super Eight Cricket World Cup match against Australia in La Sagesse, Grenada, Saturday April 14, 2007. more..

Muslims have a right to know from the LTTE leadership

Apr 15 (AT) Six years after the October 1990 eviction of Muslims from the Northern Province, Nadesan Satyendra, son of eminent and distinguished Queens Counsel S. Nadesan wrote a carefully worded article justifying the crime, maintaining that there was a “substantial basis” for the actions of the perpetrators. He poses two pertinent questions. What then were the 'difficult circumstances' that led to the evacuation? more..

The State of Confusion

Apr 15 (AT) The CFA is indeed meaningless. We do continue to pay lip service to it because we want to pacify the international community. These are self-evident truths. Whether the Defence Secretary – who also happens to be the brother of the President – should have said these out loud to the whole world to hear is quite another matter. more..

South Asian journalists win demand for visa free travel

Apr 15 (LNP) South Asian foreign ministers have at long last agreed to a 2001 proposal by the South Asian Free Media Association to provide visa free travel for journalists within the region,but with certain limitations. The proposal was first mooted by SAFMA during the 2001 SAARC summit in Nepal and pursued at successive summits,but certain countries(not Sri Lanka) expressed reservations and put off decision making for a later date. more..

SLFP holds out hand to Mangala

Apr 15 (LNP) In the National New Year spirit of goodwill and reconciliation, moves are underway to settle the dispute between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and sacked minister Mangala Samaraweera, The Sunday Times learns. President Rajapaksa had personally told SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena to stop the dispatch of a charge sheet against Mr. Samaraweera who is now overseas, but the charge sheet against the other ousted minister Sripathi Sooriyarachchi has been sent to him. more..

Central Bank permits Dhammika Perera

Apr 15 (LNP) The Central Bank has approved Mr. Dhamika Perera and related companies owning 15% of the Sampath Bank, the bank has announced in its annual report for 2006 as a post-balance sheet event. Earlier Sampath had refused to register shares belonging to some Dhamika Perera companies, Vallibel Leisure (Pvt) Limited, Vallibel Investments (Pvt) Limited, Royal Ceramics Lanka Limited and more..

Highway horror

Apr 15 (LNP) Tuesday`s highway horror on the Galle Road when a beer delivery truck collided with a CTB bus killing 22, including women and children, and injuring over 50 has once again focused attention on rampant indiscipline on our highly congested and badly maintained roads. The drivers of both the ill-fated bus and the vehicle moving a container load of beer are dead and it is difficult, at this stage of the investigation, to apportion blame. more..

Russel Arnold's column

Apr 15 (BBC) Things could not be going much better for us right now and confidence in the camp is sky high. We have beaten England and New Zealand in our last two games, and we are in a very good frame of mind with the semi-finals coming up. Results in other games could guarantee us a place in the last four but we'd obviously prefer to keep winning and take that momentum into the big games ahead. more..

West reconsidering repatriating Lankans

Apr 15 (SAMN) Many European countries with a significant number of asylum seekers from Sri Lanka are reconsidering the repatriation of the asylum seekers due to the deteriorating situation in the country, diplomatic sources said adding that several European countries which increased repatriating Sri Lankan asylum seekers after the signing of the ceasefire agreement are now having second thoughts and are changing their policy towards Sri Lanka, more..

UNP goes global with MP’s threat

Apr 15 (SAMN) The UNP hierarchy is planning to take the harassment of its MPs to the international fora beginning with the European Parliament in the wake of death threats to its Kurunegala district MP Johnston Fernando. Fernando lodged a complaint with the Kurunegala police on Wednesday afternoon and wrote to Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara of the alleged threats to his life and sought more security. more..

Export industry facing imminent crash

Apr 15 (SAMN) With billions of rupees outstanding as Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds to exporters for the past one year or more, the country’s vital export industry last week warned of an imminent crash if government intervention was not forthcoming to resolve a grave crisis in the trade. "This is a very worrying development", said Mohan Mendis, Chairman, Exporters Association of Sri Lanka affiliated to The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. more..

No hike in gas prices: CAA

Apr 15 (SAMN) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has not approved any price revision on gas and would prosecute errant traders who try to fleece consumers during the festive season. Chairman CAA, Sarath Wijesinghe said that stern measures have been taken against agents who had increased the price of a shell gas cylinder without CAA approval. more..

Excise Dept to keep close tab on liquor sales

Apr 15 (SO) The Excise Department has issued instructions to all licensed liquor shops, restaurants, hotels, night clubs and Karaoke restaurants to desist from selling liquor during the Sinhala and Tamil new year season. All liquor bars throughout the country will be closed for four days from April 12 - 15. The Excise Department will keep a tab on restaurants and liquor outlets to ensure strict compliance of the directive. more..

Flying squads to nab errant traders

Apr 15 (SO) The Consumer Protection Authority (CPA) has set up flying squads to crackdown on errant private traders who sell essential commodity items at exorbitant prices. The decision was taken by the CPA following numerous complaints by the public over the selling of essential consumer items by certain private traders above the usual prices. more..

HR violations: US wants independent probes, ­says Boucher

Apr 15 (NS) US concern over the increasingly grave human rights situation in Sri Lanka is underscored by the recognition that the Sri Lankan Government is fighting a terrorist organisation within its territory, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher said yesterday. “We are very much aware of the fact that this is a democratically elected government that is trying to fight a terrorist organisation and we are equally concerned about violations occurring in areas under LTTE control,” more..

President hints on moves to bring CBK to Parliament

Apr 15 (NS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the party leaders of the government on Monday stated that it is rumoured former Finance Minister and present UNP Member of Parliament K.N. Choksy is likely to step down to pave the way for former President Chandrika Kumaratunga. He made these observations in the context of analysing the present political situation and the April prophesies – a propaganda blitz of the UNP. more..

Mahinda slams UNP as Ranil prepares to strike back

Apr 15 (NS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday met with the leaders of the constituent parties in his government to discuss the political trends setting in the country. The president displayed absolute calm during the lengthy meeting during which he discussed with party leaders about UNP’s campaign to topple the government, possibly this month or in May. more..

Over 2000 acres acquired in Western Province as wetlands

Apr 15 (NS) The Ministry of Urban Development and Sacred Areas has acquired 1000 acres of wetlands in the Greater Colombo area and another 1000 acres of land in other parts of the Western Province to serve as water retention areas, in a bid to protect these areas getting flooded during rain storms. The Ministry has also extended the moratorium enforced banning any further development of wetlands, paddy fields, abandoned paddy fields , marshy land, water bodies or waterways, more..

New peace initiative for New Year

Apr 15 (ST) Ahead of the second Avurudhu season under his executive Presidency, Mahinda Rajapaksa appeared to be on the all important task of stock taking. The recent months have seen an unprecedented escalation of the undeclared Eelam War IV. Compared to the previous phases, it has had a more telling effect on Sri Lankans countrywide. more..

Politicians take wing again

Apr 15 (ST) The National New Year season is the traditional flight time for politicians and despite the multi-faceted crises facing the country, many are taking off this time also. Several ministers and opposition UNP Ranil Wickemesinghe will be overseas during the New Year season. Mr. Wickremesinghe is on an official visit to Bhutan while Minister Sarath Amunugama has gone to United States, M. Sachitanandan to France and Kumar Welgama to Vietnam for official work. more..

Ramar Sethu: Swamy sends evidence to Kalam

Apr 15 (CO) Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy today claimed to have sent fresh evidence on Ramar Sethu (Adams Bridge) to President A P J Abdul Kalam, revealing that it was not a natural geological formation, but a construction for which shoal stones were placed to create the causeway. He said the Department of Earth Sciences' report on the geological and geophysical survey of Ramar Sethu revealed that coral formations hardly occur one to 2.5 metres in length and on loose marine sand. more..

Foreigners harvesting our fish, claim locals

Apr 15 (ST) An umbrella organisation representing fishermen has lodged a strong protest with the Fisheries Minister against the Government granting approval for foreign fishing vessels to fish in Sri Lankan waters and against an existing agreement with the Maldives that continues to affect their livelihoods and the local industry. more..