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Apr 15 (AFP) A Tamil Hindu priest doles out blessed food to devotees gathered to mark the Tamil New Year at a temple in Vavuniya, 14 April 2007. Sri Lanka's peace process is in tatters with both the government and Tamil Tigers once again pushing for a military solution, more..

Offshore oil in Sri Lanka likely by 2009

Apr 15 (ST) The potential for hydrocarbon accumulation in the Mannar Basin could have Sri Lanka producing its own oil and gas by 2009, a senior official said this week. Neil De Silva, Director General of the Petroleum Resource Development Secretariat, said there is a 70% chance that hydrocarbons will be found in the Mannar Basin. Moreover, India has found sizeable sediments on their side of the Basin. more..

Jaffna residents reluctant to return due to insecurity- Bishop

Apr 15 (TN) "Of the more than 55,000 residents of Jaffna peninsula who left the peninsula in ships and planes seeking safety and refuge outside the peninsula, nearly 65% of them have not returned because of the escalating number of killings, abductions, forced disappearances, threat to lives, intimidation, harassment and restrictions in the peninsula," Rt. Rev. Thomas Saundaranayagam said, in a statement to media Sunday, more..

How ‘Slinger’ Malinga makes batsmen dance to his tune

Apr 15 (HT) In our first tour game against the Sri Lankan Board President’s XI at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo in the summer of 2003, a quick bowler with a strange round-arm action rapped all the India A batsmen on the knuckles. He didn’t make it to the Sri Lanka A team for the remainder of the tour and was soon forgotten. more..

Photo Essay: Celebrating New Year, ‘Sarvasiththu Varusha’

Apr 15 (TW) The New Year was celebrated today-April 14th 2007 in Sri Lanka. Special poojas were performed at the Hindu temples. Many gathered at temples since morning to celebrate the New Year with religious rituals. Later the first cash transaction (”Kai Vishesham”) was made at homes and work places. A special “Abhishekam” was performed at Sri Venkadeswara Maha Vishnu temple more..

Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels kill member of a rival faction, says military

Apr 15 (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels shot and killed a member of a rival breakaway faction in eastern Sri Lanka, the Defense Ministry said Sunday, the latest fatality in a region that has become a flashpoint in the country's escalating conflict. The breakaway rebels, known as the Karuna group, split in 2004 and both sides frequently attack the other, especially in the east, where Karuna is based. more..

Sri Lanka electricity power fails nationwide

Apr 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka lost electricity power Sunday as the entire national electricity grid failed shortly before 3.00 pm local time, officials said. Officials at Ceylon Electricity Board, the country's state-owned power utility, were struggling to restore power even one hour after the system tripped. Officials have not yet pin-pointed the cause, but lightening strikes to main transmission lines has been blamed for previous failures. more..

Eleven years on, Ranatunga again aiming to upset Australia

Apr 15 (Age) ELEVEN years after leading Sri Lanka to its greatest triumph, Arjuna Ranatunga has grasped another chance to antagonise the Australians by claiming they are prone to panic under the kind of pressure they are yet to experience in this World Cup. Ranatunga, the 1996 World Cup-winning captain, also sided with England batsman Kevin Pietersen in asserting that Muthiah Muralidaran was more difficult to read that Shane Warne. more..

Finding the answer to Murali

Apr 15 (Age) SRI LANKAN magician Muthiah Muralidaran confided in his Lancashire teammate Andrew Symonds that Australia's batsmen read him better than anyone outside his own country, a snippet that will shape the world champions' aggressive approach to him in their super eight game in Grenada tonight. Demystifying Murali is, as always, considered a key to conquering the Sri Lankans, who are shaping as a real threat to Australia's rollicking World Cup campaign. more..

LTTE-Lanka battle for Catholic support

Apr 15 (HT) The Sri Lankan government and the LTTE are now battling to secure the support of the Catholics, who are a large and influential community in the strategically important district of Mannar in North-West Sri Lanka facing the Palk Strait. For the LTTE, having Mannar under its control is critical because of its strategic location. It is a bridgehead to Tamil Nadu, from where the LTTE may have to get vital supplies in case other resource bases are cut off. more..

Malinga helps batsmen prepare for Tait

Apr 16 (CI) Sri Lanka's experience with facing Lasith Malinga should help their batsmen deal with Shaun Tait's slinging action, according to the coach Tom Moody. While Malinga is expected to miss the Super Eights game in Grenada on Monday, Tait will be one of Ricky Ponting's main weapons after breaking on to the international scene with 14 wickets at the tournament. However, Moody is not overly concerned about Tait's weapons of high speed and late swing. more..

Sri Lanka's big names have a point to prove

Apr 16 (CI) Australia and Sri Lanka have both already qualified for the semi-finals, but Monday's match between the two, along with Australia's clash against New Zealand on April 20, will probably decide the top three rankings. Australia have a huge 41-19 advantage in their head-to-head games, but that difference of 22 is entirely because of ODIs played between the two teams in Australia. more..

Tamils take ignorant Canadian PM for a ride: Harper celebrates a non-existent Tamil New Year

Apr 16 (AT) Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, has offered his "warmest greetings to all those celebrating the Tamil New Year 'Chithirai Puththandu,' according to a press release issued by the Prime Minister's office Saturday. Harper’s ignorance of basic fact that there is no Tamil New Year has shocked and offended the other communities celebrating April 14 as the New Year in Indian and Sri Lankan calendars. more..

Italians concluded massive projects for Sri Lankan Tsunami victims

Apr 16 (AT) The 2004 December 26th Tsunami could be classified as the most horrible disaster that has ever experienced by Sri Lanka and several other countries in the known history and it is a well-known factor that along with the people of those countries and various foreign countries and other national and international non-governmental organizations joined hands magnanimously, to help the Tsunami victims in whatever way they could. more..

Expansion of high security zones and the closure of supply routes of Jaffna have affected livelihoods of a masses says ILO

Apr 16 (AT) The International Labour Organisation and its Needs Assessment Income Recovery Survey [NASIR] said expansion of high security zones and the closure of supply routes of Jaffna have affected livelihoods of fishing families, farmers as well as industries and services and are the major deterrents to economic recovery and growth. more..

Support for "military solution" rises in Sri Lanka

Apr 16 (Hindu) A public opinion survey by a think-tank has revealed that the support for a "military solution" (to the ethnic strife) continues to rise dramatically among the Sinhala community, with well over half of those polled (59.2 per cent) backing it. The poll conducted by the Colombo-based Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) says 48 per cent of the community have a lot of confidence in President Mahinda Rajapaksa's ability to wage a successful military campaign against the LTTE. more..

Smuggling rampant on Tamil Nadu coast

Apr 16 (Hindu) THE SECURITY implications for Tamil Nadu following the collapse of talks between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are becoming only too evident. The State is witnessing not only an influx of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, but also an increase in smuggling along its south-eastern coast. more..

Running battle within Team Lanka

Apr 16 (IE) The juniors and seniors in the Sri Lankan team are having a running battle all through the World Cup and captain Mahela Jayawardene informs how the oldies are having a final say. He goes on to explain how he gets the gifted Tillakaratne Dilshan to do all the dirty work; in turn, the young all-rounder tells you how he actually is a leader of sorts on the field. more..

3 LTTE cadres sent to Chengalpattu special camp

Apr 16 (Hindu) The State Government has sent three suspected cadres of the LTTE to a special camp in Chengalpattu in Kancheepuram district. Acting on a tip-off, `Q' branch sleuths recently secured three Sri Lankans — Deva Jothiswaran (28), Justin Raj (20) of Jaffna and Suganthan (27) of Mannar from the Mandapam refugee camps. They had been staying under the guise of refugees. more..

Opinon polls boost Mahinda Rajapakse and spells doom to Ranil Wickremesinghe

Apr 16 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse's popularity has shot up to 48 per cent -- a dramatic rise based on his "military solution" to the threat of separatism posed by the Tamil Tigers, according to the latest opinion poll conducted by the Colombo-based Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA). Tranlsated into votes this mean that President Mahinda Rajapakse is up and Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is proposing to lead an anti-war campaign, is down, according to analysts. more..

Sharp decrease in accidents in this festive season

Apr 16 (GDI) There is a sharp decrease in accidents during the two days of the Sinhala and Hindu New Year celebrations (April 13 and 14), Colombo National Hospital Director Dr. Hector Weerasinghe said. He said there was a rapid decline in the number of accidents during the last two days. It was in the region of 35 percent. 322 persons were admitted to hospital due to accidents. Last year, the figure had been 475. more..

President inspects development projects in South

Apr 16 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa conducted an inspection tour in Beliatta and Tangalle in the Southern Province, on the current development projects in the areas. President also inspected the construction work at the D.A. Rajapaksa Stadium which is being built with an estimated cost of Rs. 30 million and instructed the authorities to expedite the construction work. more..

Coconut Cultivation to be expanded with in this year

Apr 16 (GDI) The Government will take immediate steps to expand the land area extended for coconut plantation in another 20,000 hectares by the end of the year 2007. The decision has been taken by the Minister of Plantation Industries- D.M. Jayaratne after considering the growing demand both in local consumption and in the export market for value added products for Coconut. more..

Sri Lankan exhibition in Los Angeles next month

Apr 16 (GDI) With the vision of exploring the Sri Lanka’s wide range of opportunities available for the foreign investors and also to promote Sri Lanka as a tourist destination among the citizens of USA a two day exhibition named ‘Focus Sri Lanka’ will be held on the 28th and 29th May at the California Market Center in downtown Los Angeles. more..

It is wrong to equate the Government and LTTE, says Foreign Secretary

Apr 16 (GDI) Foreign Secretary and Secretary-General of the Peace Secretariat Dr Palitha Kohona took umbrage at the manner in which the LTTE had been made an equal player alongside the Government by an unnamed Norwegian Diplomat in an interview with a news agency. He said that it was regrettable to place a government which is making efforts towards achieving a negotiated settlement to be placed alongside an organization resorting to terrorist acts against security forces and civilians. more..


Apr 16 (GDI) The Government is concerned over misreporting of events pertaining to H E the President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. At least two newspapers of an independent group have published absolutely false news about the President’s participation at New Year celebrations. Following a report by a Sinhala daily that President would be out of Sri Lanka during the New Year, an English daily of the same group in a photo caption headline today said that President celebrated the New Year at the Temple Trees in Colombo. more..

New Sri Lanka company law seen safeguarding shareholders, boosting market

Apr 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s long-delayed new Companies Act offers greater protection for minority shareholders and could encourage more firms to list on the Colombo bourse while increasing market liquidity, experts have said. All existing firms must register again with the Registrar of Companies so that dormant ones can be weeded out under transitional provisions in the new Act, meant to replace the decades-old existing law. more..

Sri Lanka petroleum utility mulls Rs 5 diesel price hike

Apr 16 (LBO) A litre of diesel may be raised by five rupees tomorrow in the face of rising global oil prices, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Chairman Ashantha de Mel said. Meanwhile, energy minister A H M Fowzie said discussions would be held tomorrow to see whether there were alternative means to avoid a price increase. At the current global prices the CPC is selling diesel 9 rupees and 50 cents below cost and petrol 6 rupees below cost, de Mel said. more..

Sri Lanka fridge maker ramps up production with electricity use spreading

Apr 16 (LBO) Regnis, a Sri Lankan refrigerator maker, has ramped up production to be among the ten largest plants in South Asia as more households sign up for electricity usage, the company told shareholders. Regnis Lanka, a listed subsidiary of Singer Sri Lanka which makes 'Singer' and 'Sisil' branded refrigerators, says it can now make 100,000 units at its expanded plant which will now operate in two shifts. more..

Indian Coast Guard seizes ‘Maria’, six Lankan Tamils

Apr 16 (ANN) Six Sri Lankans apprehended by the Indian Coast Guard, off Tamil Nadu coast last Wednesday (April 11), are believed to be cadres from the LTTE involved in the recent attack on a multi-day fishing trawler launched from Kanyakumari. Unidentified persons, travelling in two vessels, attacked the craft about 35 nautical miles southeast of Kanyakumari killing five fishermen on March 29. more..

Abduction of journalist exposes police-state tactics in Sri Lanka

Apr 16 (wsws) Sri Lankan journalist Parameshwari Munusamy was finally released last month after being detained by police without charge for four months. Her case is another example of the police-state measures being employed President Mahinda Rajapakse to intimidate the media and suppress any opposition to his renewed war. more..

The anatomy of abductions

Apr 16 (TW) The alarm expressed by the Tamil minority on the increasing abductions of Tamil persons, particularly in the Colombo District, has neither abated nor been objectively addressed by the government. The crime is on the rise with even an employee of the Indian High Commission being abducted a few days ago. Clearly, it has become a kind of habit with those engaging in that sordid business to the extent of the perpetrators not caring to know who their victims are. more..

Politicians and cricketers as Kadir saw them

Apr 16 (TW) An excerpt from an after-dinner speech made by the late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar at a function with the Sri Lanka cricketers held in London in September 2004, after their knockout from the tournament: “Ladies and Gentlemen, let me see whether politics and cricket have anything in common: Both are games. Politicians and cricketers are superficially similar, and yet very different. more..

Education and Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka- Seminar in Toronto

Apr 16 (UT) Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole, Senior Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, was appointed Vice Chancellor, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, in March 2006. On April 12, 2006, Amnesty International issued a call for URGENT ACTION to help Prof. Hoole leave Sri Lanka, following death threats delivered to him and his family by ‘a group believed to be a front organization for . . . the LTTE’, more..

UNP to collect info on missing persons

Apr 16 (LNP) The UNP is planning to hold an island wide survey to collect figures and details of those gone missing since 1994. The party activists will visit all villages and cities in order to find information related to missing persons and allegations to compile a report, UNP`s additional national organizer and Kalutara District MP Sarath Ranawaka told The Island yesterday. more..

That presidential appeal

Apr 16 (LNP) The country became one big funeral on the eve of the traditional New Year. Grown up men were crying like babes. They were beating their hairy chests and pulling their greying hair. They were weeping at their homes, in their offices and on the streets. Not even the impressive victory Mahela and the boys scored in the West Indies against the Kiwis could cheer them up. more..

DEW wants JVP back in APRC

Apr 16 (SAMN) Constitutional Affairs Minister D. E. W. Goonasekera urged the JVP to return to the All Party Representative Committee from which they walked out a couple of months ago. "We want them to return and protest rather than being absent," Goonasekera told a recent media conference. The JVP walked out of the committee, appointed to find a solution to the national crisis, in protest against more..

Presidential Square project stayed

Apr 16 (SAMN) The proposed Presidential Square project under which several private and commercial buildings in and around the Colombo Fort area were due to be acquired has been officially halted following objections from the commercial sector in the area. An extraordinary Gazette notification by President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been issued cancelling an earlier order to acquire more than 30 buildings including some of them with high architectural and property value. more..

Over 5,000 law breakers arrested

Apr 16 (SAMN) Police came down hard on law breakers island wide in a four-day period from April 10 to 14. Over 5,000 persons were arrested and 3,141 cases filed, police sources said adding that most of them were drug related offences. DIG H. Ambanwala said Sunday the raids were conducted to implement President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s ‘Mathata Thitha’ concept. more..

Historical suspension bridge reopens

Apr 16 (SAMN) Sri Lanka’s longest suspension bridge, 555 feet in length, constructed at a cost of Rs. 7.5 million across the Kelani river, at the historically known Ruwanwella-Palangamuwa area was formally opened by Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister Maheepala Herath recently. With the age old Raja Mawatha joining the past Sithawaka and Mahanuwara Kingdoms, leading up to the Palangamuwa ferry, the bridge is situated in the backdrop of a serene environment, with Kelani and Gurugoda rivers converging at this spot. more..

Indian Security sources prove LTTE smuggle-in arms through Tamil Nadu coast

Apr 16 (GDI) Indian Security sources re-ensure that by through a well-organized mechanism the LTTE have been constantly smuggling in fuel, medicines and calipers, components for making explosives to Sri Lanka clandestinely by boats from several "landing points" along the Ramanathapuram coast in Tamil Nadu, news reports from India state. The seizure of explosives in recent months seems to be just the tip of the iceberg, the Indian daily The Hindu states. more..

500 Tamil-speaking matrons to be recruited

Apr 16 (DN) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry will recruit 500 Tamil-speaking family health service matrons following a Cabinet Memorandum submitted by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva being approved. The Minister took this step following the shortage of health service matrons to cope with health problems confronting estate sector females. more..

Sri Lanka the right choice, say Iranian tourists

Apr 16 (DN) Iranian tourists who were in Sri Lanka on holiday, have expressed ‘delight’ in making Sri Lanka their choice, saying they ‘love’ Sri Lanka and the friendly people. Three charter loads of nearly 560 Iranian tourists organised by an Iranian travel agency, in collaboration with a Sri Lankan tour agent and the Sri Lanka Mission in Tehran, spent nine days in three Sri Lankan destinations, more..

Armed Karuna faction running its writ in Pottuvil

Apr 16 (DM) The Karuna faction is said to be creating havoc in the Muslim-dominated Pottuvil town in Ampara, moving around freely with weapons in government-controlled areas while law enforcement authorities are allegedly turning a blind eye, the Daily Mirror learns. Some Muslim youth in Pottuvil are threatening to take up arms for self-protection if Karuna cadres are not brought under control, according to sources from the area. more..

Parliament wants audit probe on hi-tech network

Apr 16 (DM) Following concerns raised over the procurement of a sophisticated Information and Communication Technology (ICT) network for the Parliament at a staggering cost of Rs. 75 million, Parliament Secretary General Priyanee Wijesekera has called for a special audit report from the Auditor General’s Department on the setting up of the network. more..

Plan to start Kerala-Lanka passenger shipping service

Apr 16 (PTI) Kerala today mooted a proposal to start a passenger shipping service between Vizhinjam port in the state and Sri Lanka. Such a service would be beneficial both to Kerala and the Island nation, state Home and Tourism Minister, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, today said in his keynote address at the B2B meet and awareness programme on Free Trade Agreement between Sri Lanka and India here. more..

Sri Lanka seeks removal of non-tariff barriers to trade

Apr 16 (PTI) Making a strong plea for removal of stringent non-tariff barriers, Sri Lankan Minister of Export Development and International Trade G L Peiris today said restrictions can slow things down and undermine the confidence of the business community. Such barriers were hurting trade between India and the Island nation. "NTB shakes the confidence and acts as a wet blanket," said the minister, more..

Two distinctive styles on display at Cup

Apr 16 (Reuters) Two distinctive approaches to one-day cricket will be on display at the Grenada National Stadium on Monday when defending champions Australia meet Sri Lanka in the World Cup Super Eights. Both teams have already qualified for the semi-finals on April 24 and 25 with the final scheduled for Barbados on April 28. more..

Top IPs award to Asian Tribune's UN correspondent, Thalif Deen

Apr 16 (AT) Thalif Deen, IPS UN Bureau Chief and Regional Director, and Asian Tribune's correspondent at UN, has won the Richard de Zoysa Award for Excellence in Independent Journalism 2006 in the IPS category analysis section. Deen’s Analysis was titled ‘US gets as much as it gives to the UN. IPS is honouring journalist Richard de Zoysa with this year’s IPS Award for Excellence in Independent Journalism. more..

Gunmen kill youth in northern Sri Lanka

Apr 16 (AFP) Gunmen shot dead a civilian in Sri Lanka's restive north in the latest violence coinciding with traditional New Year celebrations, police said Monday. The murder of the 21-year-old man occurred late Sunday in Ganeshapuram, in Vavuniya district, an area 260 kilometres (162 miles) north of Colombo which is in government territory close to the frontline with the Tamil Tiger rebel-held north. more..