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Govt. requests Norway to restart stalled peace talks

Apr 21 (LeN) The head of the government peace delegation minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has made a request on behalf of the government to Norwegian ambassador Jon Hansen Bauer to set up the back ground to restart the stalled peace talks. The request was made when De Silva met with the ambassador this morning. It is also reported that Hansen Bauer has agreed to go to Kilinochchi and talk to relevant parties in this regard. more..

Chevron’s Sri Lanka unit reveals interest in offshore oil exploration

Apr 21 (LBO) US oil giant Chevron-Texaco is interested in bidding for offshore oil exploration blocks off Sri Lanka waters, a top official of its local unit, Caltex Lubricants said. “Chevron is interested in the exploration opportunity,” Kishu Gomes, Managing Director Caltex in Sri Lanka told reporters. There is a delegation going to Houston, Texas to talk to prospective investors on first of May.” more..

Lankan MPs seek Indian help to end ethnic crisis

Apr 21 (NIP) The TNA, represented by three members of Sri Lankan Parliament, has appealed to the Indian Government to firmly and directly intervene in the affairs of the Sri Lankan Government and put an end to the atrocities meted out to the Tamils in Jaffna and Mattakalappu areas. MPs N Sri Kantha and Selvam Adaikalanathan told reporters here on Wednesday that it was high time India interfered in the matter and brought peace to the island country. more..

Lankan murder case trial opens

Apr 21 (GT) THE trial of a Sri Lankan worker accused of stabbing his compatriot housemate to death three months ago started yesterday. The two men, in their mid-20s, were living in the Musheirib area, where the alleged murder took place on January 17 this year. A witness in the case, a room-mate, told the court yesterday that on the fateful day he heard both men shouting at each other around 10.30pm in a third room. more..

Adam Parore: Aussies are easy but Sri Lankans can be tricky

Apr 21 (NZH) Given the choice, I wonder if New Zealand would prefer to be facing Australia rather than Sri Lanka in next week's World Cup semifinals. Let's be clear about it; if they're going to win the trophy, they have to beat them both; but perhaps they'd prefer it in a different order. First things first: Australia will clean out South Africa in the other semifinal. I can't see any way South Africa will get past the Aussies. more..

Is the LTTE Weak?

Apr 21 (AT) "Is the LTTE weak?" This is the question very often raised by those who are interested in the Sri Lankan conflict. The answer could be both “Yes” and “No.” Many people in Sri Lanka are of the view that the LTTE is on the run. Many are eagerly looking forward for capturing of the leader of the LTTE to be tried and hung for the heinous crimes he has committed. more..

Colombo steps up air raids

Apr 21 (Hindu) In a clear sign that it has stepped up aerial raids targeting the Tigers in the north, the air force reported for the third consecutive day "success" in taking on the military assets of the Tigers. The LTTE is mum on the claims. A military statement claimed that the jets had made a few sorties over an "identified" LTTE training facility and dropped heavy payloads in the un-liberated Periyapachchilaipallai area on Thursday at 10.00 p.m. Implied in it is the announcement that the air force had acquired "night strike capability". more..

Too much has been made of our selection

Apr 21 (CI) During the last few days there as been a lot written and spoken in the media regarding our selection for the Australia. Much of the analysis has been ill-informed, offered without great thought or deep understanding of this Sri Lanka team. Consequently, many of the critics have been wide of the mark in their conclusions. more..

Opportunities and risks of devolution

Apr 21 (TW) Prof. G.H. Peiris of the Department of Geography, Peradeniya University gave an informative lecture at the Mahaweli Centre recently on power sharing and its impact on the political and social fabric. He, being a Geologist, gave a very scientific approach to the problem the nation is facing today with special reference to the Indian factor. The symposium was organized by the International Organization of the Peace Movement affiliated to the World Peace Council more..

Dreams Have Become Our Nightmare

Apr 21 (TW) The onset of the Sinhala and Tamil New year, the narrative written by Rajes Bala titled ‘Strangers’ in the Asian Tribune (15/04/07) and the recent Doha debate on Palestinian refugees have provoked me to write of my people- the Tamils of Sri Lanka and their plight, once again. The Tamil- Sinhala New Year which dawned on the 14th April, made me hark back to the days of my childhood in Badulla in the 1950s and more..

Sri Lanka gets own sanitaryware maker in August

Apr 21 (LBO) Tile maker Royal Ceramic's sanitaryware unit is expected to start production in August this year, making it the sole local manufacturer to supply the booming construction market, an official said. RCL has set up a subsidiary called Rocell Bathware Ltd. and is building a plant at the Panagoda industrial park with an investment of 1.4 billion rupees. more..

SLFP political package, not of APRC - Tissa Vitarane

Apr 21 (TN) The proposed devolution proposals to be submitted by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will not be of the United Peoples' Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government or of the All Party Representative Council (APRC). Devolution proposals would be submitted by SLFP, said Tissa Vitarane, Chairman of the APRC. more..

Tamils and Sinhalese unite at the New Year celebrations in Florida

Apr 21 (ISL) More than a hundred Tamils and Sinhalese gathered in Boca Raton Florida to celebrate the Sri Lankan New Year. The day was filled with typical Sri Lankan food, gossip and games for all ages. The adults had their share of fun as well by participating in a tug o’ war which ended after the rope broke in two. more..

EROS Defends Allegations made against the TMVP

Apr 21 (ISL) Nesan Shankar Raji nom de guerre Nesan Thirunesan released a statement through his organisations political wing the EROS Democratic Front today after returning from his trip to Canada and Switzerland where meetings were held with members of EROS and its supporters. Nesan Shankar Raji stated strongly that none of the allegations made against the TMVP were accurate and that the cadres of the TMVP were in no way involved in armed intimidation of civilians living in the East. more..

Role of Erik Solheim questioned by Norwegian anti-terrorists

Apr 21 (AT) Mr. Erik Solheim who is playing a controversial role as the Norwegian special envoy in facilitating Sri Lanka’s peace process claming to end the decay long crises has being seriously questioned by the Norwegians Against Terrorism Organization. Falk Rovik, Founder of the ‘Norwegians Against Terrorism’ explaining the Norwegian contribution for intensification of the LTTE terror movement and more..

Sri Lanka Contributes to UN Emergency Response Fund

Apr 21 (AT) Sri Lanka made a pledge of USD 10,000/- to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) of the United Nations. The Central Emergency Response Fund which has been established to make resources immediately available to enhance the rapid response capacity of the UN during humanitarian emergencies worldwide, is designed to enable the UN to take prompt action to reduce the loss of lives during disasters. more..

Invisible Drivers of Eelam War IV

Apr 21 (TW) As a child, with no roof by night or rice grain by day, it must be hard studying mathematics while multi-barrel rocket launchers blaze from nearby jungles. In Jaffna, bodies pile, dead, nameless, mutilated, ad nauseum; in Muthurajawela marshes, they decompose; in Punguduthivu’s coast, they drift ashore on picturesque turquoise-aqua waters, barbed-wire white sands, decapitated, in fertilizer bags. more..

We need a King?

Apr 21 (TW) When the twelve tribes of first Israelites or Jews realize they are not fancies as other nations around them and do not produce lucrative social out comes they thought they are lacking some thing. When they search for missing point they found that they don’t have a king like others. They immediately decided that king the paradigm what they lacking as other people have a king to lead them, Super authority over them, some one can defeat their enemies and the king is some one can build the nationhood and really make people patriotic. more..

President briefs Vatican on current developments in Sri Lanka

Apr 21 (GDI) The Sri Lankan Government is committed to a negotiated solution to the conflict in the country as means of achieving peace and to the upholding of human rights, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told Cardinal Tarcisco Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, at the meeting after his audience with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican yesterday. more..

LTTE continues harassing fishermen

Apr 21 (GDI) The LTTE, continuing their ruthless activities, have again harassed another group of fishermen during Friday morning (20) in the seas off Silavathurai, in the north of western part of the island. These civilians have been fishing in the area west of Silavathurai. The fishermen who could manage to escape from the LTTE Sea Tiger cadres have arrived at Battalangunduwa, the fishing islet about 30km to the north of Kalpitiya Naval base, have explained that the fishermen were badly beaten up and robbed. more..

Pope holds friendly and cordial exchange of views with President

Apr 21 (GDI) Signifying another historic event of the first ever meeting between the a Sri Lankan head of the State and His holiness Pope Benedict XVI, President Mahinda Rajapaksa had a audience with His Holiness Pope at the Vatican yesterday (20). President Rajapaksa met His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI at the Papal Library in the Vatican Palace, after President was greeted by the Pope at the historic room of Saints Peter and Paul. more..

Three new Sports schools

Apr 21 (GDI) Three new Sports Schools will be established jointly by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Sports and Public Recreation. Under this project, the Piliyandala Central College, Kuliyapitiya Central College and Dikwella Wijitha Maha Vidyalaya are scheduled to be upgraded as sports schools. The decision was taken recently at a meeting held at the Ministry of Education more..

National Strategic Plan on HIV/AIDS

Apr 21 (GDI) The National STD/AIDS Control Programme (NSACP) of the Ministry of Health is preparing the National Strategic Plan for 2007-2011, in its continuous efforts to minimise the spread of HIV/ AIDS in Sri Lanka. As a prerequisite for this process, it has organised a consultative workshop with NGOs and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) based island-wide and working on HIV/AIDS with their communities, to obtain inputs from grassroots for the proposed Strategic Plan. more..

Hayden inspires Australia to mammoth win

Apr 21 (CI) Matthew Hayden's third hundred of the competition, the hundredth case of a century in World Cups, was at the heart of a power-packed Australian batting performance during a thumping 215-run triumph against New Zealand in Grenada. Australia, clearly the best team in the tournament, are now two steps away from claiming a hat-trick of World Cups and will travel to St Lucia to take on South Africa in the second semi-final on Wednesday. more..

26 refugee students clear `O' level exam

Apr 21 (Hindu) As many as 26 of the 99 Sri Lankan refugee students, who undertook the `O' level examination in the city a few months ago, have passed and qualified for the next level -- the `A' level. Over 150 had applied and 99 mustered the courage to appear for the difficult examination. The `O' level examination is the equivalent of the Class Ten examination in India, but many student refugees were older than the average Class Ten student. more..

Norway resumes talks to revive peace process

Apr 21 (LNP) In what is seen as another Norwegian attempt to get both the government and the LTTE to return to the negotiating table, the peace facilitators yesterday met government chief peace negotiator Nimal Siripala de Silva to discuss the future of the peace process. However the government said there had not been any new moves to resume talks although the LTTE had a fortnight ago told the SLMM it was willing to return to talks if the ceasefire agreement was implemented and used as the basis for negotiations. more..

Sri Lanka, fast becoming a Zimbabwe in Asia: Tissa

Apr 21 (LNP) Sri Lanka is fast becoming a Zimbabwe in Asia with all types of anti-democratic elements firmly taking root in the country, says General Secretary of the UNP, Tissa Attanayake, MP. Condemning the pressure exerted by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on the independent media he said, `The government hierarchy has a habit of inviting media personnel to the Temple Trees, treating them and then telling them in a subtle way not to write anything critical of the government. Now they have the audacity to warn the independent media with bodily harm`. more..

No plans to arrest Opposition Leader, says Media Minister

Apr 21 (LNP) Mass Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa commenting on the Island page one story which appeared yesterday said the Government has no intention of arresting Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Who is Johnston Fernando, the Minister questioned and said Fernando is playing the role of Goebbels in the UNP. Yapa while pooh-poohing the idea said Johnston was trying to create issues. more..

CEB to be strict on street lights

Apr 21 (LNP) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has given strict instructions to local bodies to Switch on the Street lights at 7.00 pm and switch off at 5.00 am, a Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) spokesman said. `If we could systematically do the lighting in the evenings we could save a lot of energy and this would assist us to avoid unnecessary power cuts. It would also help the CEB to cater for the Vesak Demand`, the CEB source said. more..

Tamil parties propose federal system

Apr 21 (SAMN) The TULF, PLOTE and EPRLF in a joint statement submitted to the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) has proposed a solution to the ethnic problem based on a federal system after radical changes to the Constitution, stating that their proposal could find the basis to take forward the devolution process. “In our opinion taking these as the basis for discussions will accelerate the finding a final solution,” the parties have stated. more..

Sirisena orders 24 chairmen to resign

Apr 21 (SAMN) The chairmen of all institutions under the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services have been asked to submit their resignations, a Ministry source said Friday. He said Minister Maithripala Sirisena had sought the resignations as he wanted to, in consultation with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, appoint new chairmen and directors to the 24 institutions, including Corporations under his Ministry. more..

Top LTTE deputy leader killed

Apr 21 (SAMN) LTTE’s deputy leader of International Affairs Kalai Alahan was killed in an air raid conducted by the Sri Lanka Air Force on Wednesday in Puthukudirippu in the Mullaitivu district, informed sources said. State intelligence services informed the government that Alahan, who is holding a ‘Lieutenant Colonel’, rank in the LTTE military wing was killed when the Air Force bombed a Tiger Communication facility in Puthukudirrippu on Wednesday morning. more..

Police find suspicious bunker in house

Apr 21 (SAMN) A suspicious bunker which is being secretly constructed inside a house belonging to a Tamil national had been raided by Negombo police on information Friday morning. Police raided the house located in Delgashandiya area in Katana on information from the neighbours and had found a hole dug similar to a bunker inside a room of this house. more..

Vehicle transshipments at Colombo Port record higher growth

Apr 21 (DN) The Port of Colombo has gained high recognition during the first three months of this year in transshipment of vehicles manufactured in India to other countries. The Port of Colombo is used as the transshipment hub for vehicles manufactured in Maruti and Tata companies in India which are exported to South Africa, Ghana, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Malta and Alexandria. more..

Youth Farmer Villages proposed islandwide

Apr 21 (DN) The Government has planned to empower the 32,800 youth labour force in the country by setting up Youth Farmer Villages at each Divisional Level. A survey has already been conducted on the current hardships and problems of unemployed youth in the country. "We need to increase their contribution to drive the national economy by uplifting their economic standards." more..

UNP teams meet Sripathy in prison

Apr 21 (DM) Two UNP delegations met remanded ex-Minister Sripathy Sooriyarachchi separately at the Welikada prison to discuss the present political situation in the country and other related matters.The UNP visit came in the wake of three JVP MPs Anura Kumara Disanayake, Sunil Handunnetti and Gamini Ratnayake also visiting Mr.Sooriyarachchi last Tuesday. The JVP described the visit on as the observance of a New Year tradition. more..

Governor Mowlana meets Mangala: Hopes for unity

Apr 21 (DM) In a bid to restore party unity, veteran SLFP Vice President and Western Province Governor Alavi Mowlana yesterday met former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at his Stanmore Crescent residence following his return from Singapore on Tuesday. Mr. Mowlana playing the role of mediator was trying to iron out the prevailing tensions between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Mr. Samaraweera. more..

4 Tamil rebels, 2 soldiers killed in Sri Lanka's latest violence

Apr 21 (AP) Four Tamil rebels and two government soldiers were killed in separate attacks in Sri Lanka's volatile northeast, the military said on Saturday. In the first incident, army troops killed four guerrillas who fired at soldiers manning the northern defense line in Vavuniya district on Friday, said military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe. more..

Seven killed in Sri Lanka violence

Apr 21 (AFP) Seven people were killed and five others were wounded in separate attacks in Sri Lanka's restive northern and eastern regions, the defence ministry said Saturday. Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels set off a landmine targeting troops on patrol early Saturday in Batticaloa, 300 kilometres (190 miles) east of Colombo, the military said. more..

Rovik urges LTTE victims to sue Oslo

Apr 22 (AT) Falk Rovik founder of Norwegians Against Terrorism (NAT) on Friday urged Sri Lankan victims of the LTTE to sue the Oslo Government. He cited the example of the Lockerbie air disaster victims who successfully sued the Libyan Government for having funded the group that blew up the airliner. According to Mr. Rovik ample evidence was available for LTTE victims to bring a class action suit against Norway, more..

Revolutionary turned democrats playing ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’?

Apr 22 (AT) A Tamil from Baticoloa pointed out that late JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera addressing a meeting accepted that the minorities were being suppressed by the majority race in Sri Lanka, therefore the minorities should be given the opportunity for self-determination. He further added that a book written by JVP member Bopage, has supported that view. more..

Motorists hit by card clone scam

Apr 22 (BBC) Thousands of motorists who use a bank card to buy petrol are thought to have lost millions of pounds in an international criminal operation. It is believed cards are being skimmed at petrol stations, where the card details and pin numbers are retrieved and money withdrawn from the account. About 200 of the UK's 9,500 petrol stations are thought to have been hit. more..

Police probe scam that may fund Sri Lanka rebels

Apr 22 (Reuters) British police are investigating a multi-million-pound credit card scam at petrol stations across the country which may be funding rebels in Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan officials and police said on Saturday. The scam, which has been running for several years, involves cloning a user's credit or debit card information and stealing the PIN number during transactions, then extracting small amounts of money from the account over time. more..

India should not give weapons to Lanka

Apr 22 (NIP) PMK, a constituent of the UPA, today sought an assurance from the Centre that it would not provide military equipment to the Sri Lankan government which was carrying out a "genocide" against Tamils in the island. "No military assistance of any kind should be given to the Sri Lankan government which is refusing to talk with Tamils and carrying out brutal military attacks on them", more..

Sri Lanka's exporters face new fees

Apr 22 (LBO) Sri Lankan exporters have been slapped with a host of new fees that were increasing their costs, and reducing their competitiveness, an official said. In the last few months, shippers have been called to pay a growing number of new fees by shipping lines, freight forwarders and others in the supply chain, sometimes for routine work for which there had been no previous charges more..

Take responsibility for the politicization of the campaign, Sri Lanka tells Amnesty International

Apr 22 (AT) Sri Lanka has told Amnesty International (AI), the human rights body that launched a controversial campaign against Sri Lanka, that it should take responsibility for the politicization that followed its launch last month to coincide with the World Cup Cricket in the West Indies. more..

Mangala's imminent return delayed only by Rajapakse's nod?

Apr 22 (AT) Political circles in Colombo –especially the governing SLFP's- are now abuzz with the rumour of an 'impending return' of sacked former Foreign Minister Managala Samaraweera back to the fold. The rumours first began flying when President Mahinda Rajapakse phoned the rebel Managala Samaraweera to the BIA airport as Mangala was about to take off to Singapore on March 26 with his mother. more..

The Descent

Apr 22 (AT) The President wanted to talk to the Pope about terrorism and liberation. The Pope talked to the President about human rights and peace. And our reaction to the Papal response would be predictable – it usually is. We will accuse Benedict X of being a Tiger lover and a closet Nazi. We will castigate a whole array of persons and organisations, from Bishop Rayappu Joseph to the Human Rights Watch, for ‘misleading’ the Pope. more..

Flood victims to probe the disbursement of funds allotted to their welfare

Apr 22 (AT) The last December flood victims of the areas of Ja-Ela, Gampaha etc are perturbed to note that the authorities have spent around Rs 600 million on supplying the victims food parcels alone and there has been doubts raised as to whether funds were used for the actual purpose. A group of these victims organized under the auspicious of the Gampaha District Committee of the Human Rights Forum have determined to probe these spending. more..

What the people think about peace, war and talks

Apr 22 (TW) Newspaper reports have given prominence to the latest Peace Confidence Index (PCI) survey carried out in February 2007, by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA). The media reports have highlighted that 59% of Sinhalese agree with the proposition that “the government should expand its military action including all out war in order to weaken the LTTE.” more..