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Mahinda-Mangala patch up on cards

Apr 16 (HT) resident Mahinda Rajapaksa and the sacked Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera may patch up following Rajapaksa's subtle efforts to reach out to the latter, political sources say. Last week, Rajapaksa prevented the SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena from dispatching a charge sheet to Samaraweera. A charge sheet leading to dismissal could have resulted in Samaraweera's losing his seat in parliament, the only office he is presently holding. more..

Australia take on Sri Lanka: A dress rehearsal for the final?

Apr 16 (CI) Today's match in Grenada features the two teams that most observers agree are best-equipped to win the World Cup - Australia, the runaway favourites, and Sri Lanka, the romantics' choice, whose thrilling and expansive brand of cricket has made them not only the most watchable side in the competition, but also one of the most dangerous. Given the likely shake-down of the semi-final places, this game could conceivably be a dress rehearsal for the World Cup final in Barbados on April 28. more..

No compensation for Saudi victims

Apr 17 (BBC) The Sri Lanka government has ruled out paying compensation to the families of those beheaded in Saudi Arabia. "The government ought to have a clear compensation policy," Minister in charge of Foreign Employement and Media, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardhana told BBC Sandeshaya. It would be a "bad precedence" to offer compensation to those who "discredited the name of the country", the minister said. more..

Chandrika Kumaratunga likely to stage a comeback to Lanka political scene

Apr 17 (AT) There is renewed talk about the return of Chandrika Kumaratunga, former Sri Lanka President, to active politics. There is no official word from Chandrika camp as yet and all this talk in Sri Lanka political circles is no more than a rumour at present. Interestingly, the rumour is gaining fresh currency by each passing day with rival politicians adding a new dimension to the possibilities. more..

Sri Lanka must have hotel accommodations to cater the distinct needs of the Saudi Muslim tourists

Apr 17 (AT) Sri Lanka can increase present percentage of Saudi tourists, if it provides suitable locations which protect customs and practices of Saudis culture. Commercial Division of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said about 75 percent of Saudis prefer to travel with their big families and to be in an isolated place with their family members. more..

The fear of federalism and the ambition for Eelam

Apr 17 (AT) The two communities, Singhalese and Tamils that once lived together, played together and won together, are now estranged, with Tamils quoting history to point out that the land in the north they have inhabited for generations past, is their homeland and Singhalese quoting history to show the whole of Sri Lanka has been their homeland also for generations past. more..

Australia seal seven-wicket rout

Apr 17 (CI) A couple of batting collapses turned a potentially cracking contest into a one-sided affair, one which Australia wrapped up with a comprehensive seven-wicket margin. The move to rest Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan weakened Sri Lanka's bowling but it was the unchanged batting line up that faltered, on a true surface in Grenada. more..

Lankan academy rolls out red carpet to CAB

Apr 17 (EI) In a proposal unprecedented in Bengal cricket history, a Sri Lankan academy has invited the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) to send over its Under-15 and U-17 state teams for full tours this autumn. This is the first time that the CAB has received such an invitation from a foreign country other than Bangladesh. Currently, the U-15 Bengal team is touring Bangladesh under coach Rajesh Dani. more..

Colombo, LTTE trade charges of killing

Apr 17 (Hindu) The Sri Lanka military on Monday alleged that suspected LTTE cadres gunned down a Tamil youth at Ganeshapuram in Vavuniya on Sunday night. It said the victim, identified as Selvaraja Gajendran, was killed by a group of armed men believed to be the LTTE's pistol-gang. Quoting "civilian sources", the military said the youth had turned down the LTTE's orders to join the outfit several times. more..

Sri Lanka seeks ICC compensation on aborted tournament

Apr 17 (PTI) Sri Lanka wants compensation from cricket's world governing body for a cancelled tri-series last year that it says caused a loss of 12 million dollars, a top official here on Monday. The series involving India, South Africa and the hosts was cancelled in Colombo in August when the Proteas abandoned the tour and flew home after a roadside bombing here. more..

High profile omissions and a ball that went to sea

Apr 17 (CI) No Lasith Malinga, no Chaminda Vaas, no Muttiah Muralitharan. No contest. It possibly wasn't the most sporting gesture that's ever been witnessed at a World Cup, but it was hard to quibble with the tactics behind Sri Lanka's high-profile omissions. Australia's ambitions in this World Cup extend beyond mere victory. more..

Sri Lanka deny resting key bowlers for tactical reasons

Apr 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene denied suggestions on Monday that his two key bowlers had been left out of the World Cup Super Eights match against Australia for tactical reasons. Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan joined the injured Lasith Malinga on the sidelines on Monday in a second-round match between two sides who have already qualified for the semi-finals. more..

Sri Lanka hide their cards for bigger hands

Apr 17 (CI) Only an ambush will be able to stop Australia. That's the consensus after a bizarre and deliberately staged mismatch between the team most tipped to win the World Cup and their nearest - yet still distant - challenger. After Stephen Fleming last week managed New Zealand's defeat against Sri Lanka in a bid to enhance their longevity in the competition, this time it was the Sri Lankans who indulged in a bit of by-play. more..

LTTE attempting to take-over Hindu temple

Apr 17 (ISL) The North London based Kanaga Durkai Amman Hindu temple, which is run currently by independent management following the overthrow of the pro-LTTE regime headed S Karunalingam is back again facing problems with the LTTE. The LTTE is making every effort to take control of the temple into its hands. The ousted Chairman is masterminding the takeover. more..

Gutless, toothless and heartless

Apr 17 (ISL) Governments may come and governments may go but the racist nightmare initiated by the Government of Solomon W R D Bandaranaike during the 1950s continues taking even heavier tolls of lives today, mostly civilians than ever before. It all points to one reality that just about every government since the oppressive anti-minority laws were enacted since Sri Lanka’s independence, has been gutless, toothless and heartless. more..

Trouble free peaceful Tamil New Year celebrations in the Tamil Diaspora

Apr 17 (ISL) The Tamil New Year was celebrated on Saturday (14/4) this year. This paved the way for the Diaspora Tamils to celebrate the New Year in large numbers. Thousands flock to Hindu Temples for special poojas (services). Temples in the European countries saw unusually large number turning up and the pooja’s at 9.00am and 12.00 noon saw large gathering of people. more..

Sri Lanka tourism downturn delays Rs500mn Serendib re-branding

Apr 17 (LBO) A downturn in tourism triggered by escalating violence has forced Serendib Hotels to put off plans to re-brand three hotels with a foreign leisure group, its holding company Hemas said. Hotel Serendib, Bentota, controlled by the public-listed Hemas Holdings was to be repositioned with the ‘Anantara’ brand of Thailand's Minor Group. more..

Sri Lanka spends 54% percent of tax revenue on government jobs; unemployment down to 6.5%

Apr 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka has spent 54 cents out of every tax rupee collected last year on government jobs and pensions, while plans are afoot to hire 20,000 more people into the already bloated public sector. Official data has revealed that last year the government spent 233 billion rupees on government salaries, wages and pensions, which is 54 percent of the total tax revenues of 428.3 billion rupees. more..

Sri Lanka treasury yields rocket as central bank continues tight stance

Apr 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's 3-month treasury yield shot up at an auction by more than 43 basis points to 15.44 percent Tuesday with overnight rates already at 30 percent levels. Sri Lanka's central bank has been staying away from printing money in primary auctions and allowing rates to adjust upwards to draw in funds to bridge a 9.2 percent projected budget deficit this year. more..

Sri Lanka cement maker offers to 'co-process' industrial waste

Apr 17 (LBO) Cement manufacturer Holcim's Sri Lanka unit says its big, high temperature kilns can be used to burn-off industrial waste, especially oil generated by ships. "We're looking at how we can help Sri Lanka clean up its industrial waste," said Peter Spirig, Holcim Lanka managing director and CEO. "Now the authorities do not know of how to dispose it. We can use our kilns." more..

Shut down of Tigers' main propaganda arm in Europe imminent -- Globecast

Apr 17 (AT) Tamil Television Network, the main TV channel owned by the Tamil Tigers, will be close down any time, according to Globecast spokesperson. This is a big blow to the Tiger propaganda network in Europe. When Asian Tribune contacted, the subsidiary of the French telecom which uplinks the TTN channel in the Hotbird satellite, a spokesperson told that we have decided to stop broadcasting the TTN channel. more..

Italy and USA together monitoring flow of funds and weapons to LTTE – Foreign Ministry

Apr 17 (AT) Italy and United States of America are together monitoring the flow of funds and weapons to the LTTE. Italy has sought the assistance and support to curb intimidation and extortion form the Tamil Diaspora and fundraising by the LTTE and its front organizations in Italy. Italy also has categorically condemned all forms of terrorism including indiscriminate attacks on civilians. more..

Douglas Devananda expects some breakthrough on devolution issue by month end

Apr 17 (AT) Minister Douglas Devananda is hopeful that a breakthrough of the much talked devolution package is in sight. In an informal chat with this correspondent over telephone, he said on Monday that the ruling SLFP will be coming up with its considered proposals towards April end, may be early May. Once that is done it will see the progress of the issue which was remitted to an all party committee to thrash out a consensus. more..

Pillaiyan, Commander of Karun group, targets proxy MPs of the Tamil Tigers

Apr 17 (AT) In a counter-attack on the pro-Tamil Tiger parliamentarians of the east who had accused the TMVP led by V.Muralitharan (Colonel Karuna) of preventing them from visting their electorates, Pillaiyan, the Commander of the TMVP, told the Asian Tribune that this is a tactic of the Tamil Tigers to divert attention from their practice of killing all Tamil MPs in the democratic stream and more..

Italy assures support to Sri Lanka’s drive against terrorism, narcotics and human smuggling

Apr 17 (GDI) Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama, has explained the Italian Government the challenges faced by the Government in upholding the values of democracy while at the same time facing threats from terrorism. Minster Bogollagama is now on a visit to Italy on the invitation of the Italian government met his counterpart, Massimo D’ Alema, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Vice Prime Minister of Italy yesterday. more..

LTTE’s link in killing 5 Indian fishermen revealed

Apr 17 (GDI) The six Sri Lankans apprehended by the Indian Coast Guard, off Tamil Nadu coast last week are believed to be LTTE cardres involved in the attack on a fishing trawler off Kanyakumari coast on 29 March. Totally twelve people – six Sri Lankan Tamils and six Indians – were apprehended by the Indian Coast Guard. more..

Italy-Sri Lanka bilateral agreement signed

Apr 17 (GDI) Sri Lanka and Italy entered into a bilateral agreement on Cultural, Educational, Scientific and Technological Co-operation. The agreement was signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama and his Italian counterpart, Massimo D’ Alema in Rome yesterday. During his visit to Rome, Minister Rohitha Bogollagama is also tipped to brief Italian leaders on the current political situation in the country and more..

Sri Lanka stocks recover from holiday slumber

Apr 17 (LBO) Colombo stock exchange prices closed marginally higher after a four-day holiday for the Sinhalese and Tamil New Year. On Tuesday, the benchmark All Share Price Index closed three points up at 2,483.28 while the Milanka Index lost one point to 3,887.86. “The market is slowly coming back to its usual mood. It will gradually move up,” more..

Beauty queen is cultural ambassador

Apr 17 (GDN) BAHRAIN-born beauty Jacqueline Fernandez is following a year's reign as Miss Sri Lanka with a new role, as her country's cultural ambassador to India. Sri Lanka's tourism board hand-picked the 22-year-old, who was one of the crowd's favourites in the Miss Universe 2006 pageant, to be its spokeswoman in India. more..

Bringing smiles to Sri Lanka’s hard-hit tourist industry

Apr 17 (KT) AT A secluded holiday resort in the jungles of the central hills of Sri Lanka, I could afford a family holiday for a couple of days, thanks to the prevailing security situation in the country. Many hotels and holiday resorts have brought down the prices to woo the local tourists. In the stock market hotel stocks have been losing ground steadily since hostilities flared up last year. more..

Karuna demands more security from Govt.

Apr 17 (LNP) Karuna faction`s political arm, the Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Pullikal (TMVP), yesterday demanded increased security for its political offices in the east owing to the growing threats faced by the LTTE. A TMVP supporter was gunned down by the LTTE at Chenkaladi in the Eravur police area on Saturday while suspected LTTE terrorists killed two TMVP supporters and three civilians also in the same area. more..

Govt. slams door on AI

Apr 17 (LNP) In the wake of Amnesty International(AI)`s highly controversial campaign to target human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, the government has turned down a request by the international rights group to visit the country and carry out an assessment. According to informed government sources the Sri Lankan High Commission in London, on the instructions of the government, rejected applications for visas of two AI officials who had planned to visit the country. more..

Unidentified aircraft over Jaffna town

Apr 17 (LNP) An unidentified aircraft flew over parts of government-controlled Jaffna just after dusk Monday, residents in the northern peninsula said. The aircraft passed low over Jaffna city centre and parts of Vadaramadchchi North and Valikamam sectors. Sri Lankan troops in some areas doused the lights of their camps as the aircraft approached, fuelling suspicions it was one of those operated by the Tamil Tigers, they said. more..

Graduate school in IT, a `giant step` in education - Dialog CEO

Apr 17 (LNP) The APIIT (Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology) inaugurated its first Graduate School in Sri Lanka recently and launched two MSc Degree programmes in Computing and Technology Management. The graduate school and the Degree Programmes were launched with the assistance of Staffordshire University in the UK and APIIT Malaysia, which are working as joint venture partners with APIIT Sri Lanka since 2000. more..

JVP calls for elimination of twin evils

Apr 17 (SAMN) The JVP Monday alleged that the government is going to introduce Electoral Reforms in Parliament without consulting other political parties and without taking into consideration representations made to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reforms. more..

Vasu wants CMC reorganised

Apr 17 (SAMN) Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) opposition Leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara is to request for the reorganisation of the Council to put it on the right track. Nanayakkara said he would make this request when he meets Western Province Governor Alavi Mowlana and Public Administration Minister Karu Jayasuriya at his ministry today. more..

10,000 tank renovation project launched

Apr 17 (SAMN) With the intention of improving irrigation facilities to uplift the agriculture field, all dilapidated rural tanks are to be renovated by the Government. Under this programme, as the first stage the government has launched a 10,000 rural tanks renovation project in the country, said Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon. more..

Death row prisoners in fast on jail roof

Apr 17 (SAMN) Six death row prisoners are on a fast on the roof of the Welikada Jail from Sunday (15). The six convicts are demanding a variation of their death sentences. The Commissioner General Prisons Department has appointed a committee to inquire into the demands of the convicts. He has also spoken to the six men and said even earlier there were instances of prisoners begining fasts asking for mitigation of their sentences. more..

A village for journalists

Apr 17 (DN) A ‘journalists’ village’ will be set up at Pamunugama, Uswetakeiyawa to enable 40 landless journalists in the Gampaha district to put up their own houses, said Presidential Co-ordinator and Wattala SLFP Chief Organiser Thushara Perera. “Journalists can be described as a ‘third eye’ because they are rendering an excellent service to the nation by drawing the attention of relevant authorities to the problems and needs of the rural masses,” he added. more..

Government to import 30,000 milch cows to boost production

Apr 17 (DN) The Government will import 30,000 milch cows to make the country self-sufficient, Livestock Development Deputy Minister K.A. Bais said. This decision was taken at a recent special discussion held at Temple Trees under the patronage of Presidential Senior Advisor Basil Rajapaksa which was attended by Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Secretaries of the Ministry of Livestock Development, and the Ministry of People’s Estates Management and Development. more..

Pottuvil: Hakeem predicts disaster if trend continues

Apr 17 (DM) Minister and SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem yesterday warned that certain acts allegedly committed by the Karuna cadres against the Muslims in the East could trigger another disastrous dimension to the country’s conflict. Minister Hakeem told the Daily Mirror he had repeatedly raised the issue with President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the All Party Conference (APC) and one to one meetings. more..

U’grads claim lack of faculty space a spoiler

Apr 17 (DM) Undergraduates charged yesterday that no separate buildings had come up for certain faculties their universities. Among them is the Rajarata University, where the government is yet to provide separate buildings for the Management and Arts Faculties. Convener of the Inter University Students Federation Duminda Nagamuwa told the Daily Mirror yesterday the university, which was established in 1996, was using the buildings constructed for ‘Gam Udawa Project’ by the late President R. Premadasa. more..

Protests against shipping canal hot up

Apr 17 (PRW) Scientists, greens and politicians are coming together to spearhead a new wave of protests against the Sethusamudram shipping canal in the south of India, claiming dangers to environment and Hindu religious symbols. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies are planning demonstrations across Tamil Nadu against the dredging of the coral reef in the waters near the temple town of Rameswaram. more..

Sri Lanka, Kerala chambers of commerce sign MoU

Apr 17 (UNI) The Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka to step up cooperation in trade, economic and industrial activities. Signing the MoU at a function here, KCCI president E S Jose and FCCISL president Nawaz Rajabdeen hoped that it would help to establish effecive means of communication between the companies and private business organisations of both sides. more..

Resting stars leave Sri Lanka fans fuming

Apr 17 (AFP) Sri Lankan cricket fans Tuesday expressed frustration and disappointment over their team's tactics in resting top players for the World Cup clash against Australia. Sri Lanka, already assured of a place in the semi-finals, kept out star bowlers Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan for the Super Eights match in Grenada on Monday, which Australia won by seven wickets. more..

Asylum seekers interviewed without lawyers: refugee groups

Apr 17 (ABC) Immigration officials have begun interviewing a group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers on Nauru and according to refugee advocates, those asylum seekers have been given no access to legal advice. The 82 men have been in detention since they were picked up in international waters off Australia in February, but were last month moved from Christmas Island to Nauru. more..

Sri Lanka ponder controversial rest repeat against Ireland

Apr 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan, who were controversially omitted for the crushing World Cup defeat by Australia, could also sit out Wednesday's clash against Ireland. Their absence, and that of already injured quick Lasith Malinga, meant the 1996 World Cup winners went into Monday's loss to the defending champions without a trio of bowlers who have taken 41 wickets at this tournament. more..

3 Tamil civilians killed in Sri Lanka's volatile north and east, says military

Apr 17 (AP) Three ethnic Tamil civilians were shot dead in Sri Lanka's volatile north and east officials said on Tuesday, as attacks against civilians continued to rise in the country's undeclared civil war. Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels fatally shot two men in eastern Batticaloa district on Tuesday, said Lt. Col. Upali Rajapakse, an officer at the Defense Ministry. more..

Angry Lanka delays visas for Amnesty

Apr 17 (HT) Angry with the London-based Amnesty International (AI) for organising a campaign against Sri Lanka during the on-going World Cup cricket tournament in the West Indies, the Sri Lankan government is delaying the grant of visas to an Amnesty team wanting to visit the island. A top official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Hindustan Times, that government had not decided to deny visas, but Amnesty had been told that this was not the appropriate time to visit the country. more..

Australia’s Swinburne University offers Dual Australian and US Qualification for Sri Lankan Students

Apr 18 (AT) Sri Lankan students enrolling in specific education programmes of Australia's Swinburne University of Technology will have the advantage of dual Australian & US qualification. In a agreement signed in 2006, Swinburne University of Technology based in Melbourne, Australia and Northeastern University based in Boston, USA now offer combined education programmes. more..