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Enlightening public opinion

Apr 23 (LNP) Nearly two decades or more ago, Mr. A.S. Jayawardene, a former Governor of the Central Bank, persuaded the editor of an English morning daily to publish weekly economic indicators which he said the bank would provide on a timely basis. Previously this data was available in the Central Bank`s monthly Bulletin which was invariably several months late. more..

A body of one of the fishermen who were put to see by LTTE found

Apr 23 (LeN) It is being reported that the body of one of the fishermen who were put to see by the LTTE in seas off Baththalangunduwa on Friday has been found today. The twelve boats which the fishermen were traveling in had been taken over by the LTTE cadres along with their engines. It is being reported that 4 fishermen have swum ashore and that around 10 others are reported missing. more..

National policy for issuing stamps

Apr 23 (SAMN) On the direction of Subject Minister Rauff Hakeem, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications is to introduce a national policy on stamps shortly. According to the Ministry Secretary they are preparing a draft and it is in its final stages. The policy is expected to be finalised within a couple of months. more..

Banks urged to help jewellery sector

Apr 23 (SAMN) In response to a request made by the industrialists, exporters and manufacturers engaged in the gem and jewellery trade, the Minister of Export Development and International Trade Prof. G.L. Peiris requested the State and private banks to provide financial facilities to beef up their trading. This exercise would assist to earn more expected foreign exchange, addressing the bank executives the Minister said. more..

Sripathy factor in Mangala -Mahinda meet

Apr 23 (SAMN) The weekend newspapers were full of reports that a rapprochement between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Minister Mangala Samaraweera was on the cards. After he flew off to Singapore to obtain medical treatment for his mother some weeks ago, Mangala had remained silent and had not responded to attempts by the UNP to contact him. more..

Armed forces to help police

Apr 23 (SAMN) Some police duties will be delegated to the security forces to meet new threats, Foreign Employment Promotions Minister Kehiliya Rambukwella said in Kandy. Due to the increasing challenges to the police, some police powers will be given to the security forces personnel, he told the media. He said this was not something new as security forces personnel engage in performing police duties under the state of emergency. more..

Sri Lanka: ICRC Bulletin No. 12 / 2007

Apr 23 (RW) With fighting continuing between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam around Thoppigala, in Batticaloa district, the number of casualties caused by deliberate attacks against civilians has sharply increased. In the past month, some 50 people have been killed and more than 60 injured as a result of two bomb attacks on civilian buses and several other violent incidents. more..

Eye hospital for children

Apr 23 (DN) The long felt need for an Eye Care facility for children in Sri Lanka, would soon become a reality with the Government signing an agreement with internationally renowned “Sight savers” organisation to build a hospital which caters exclusively to children. The proposed facility is to be built with a total cost of Rs. 25 million, adjoining the Ridgeway children hospital in Borella. more..

Expat Lankan builds new Kataragama Devalaya

Apr 23 (DN) A Sri Lankan Tamil domiciled in England has provided Vaturuwa Raja Maha Viharaya at Sellakataragama in the south of Sri Lanka with a new Kataragama Devalaya which had been a dire need of this temple for a long time. According to Ven. Denagama Dhammaratana, incumbent of the temple this is the second ancient temple in Kataragama area expect Kirivehera. more..

Learn from team’s World Cup success: Ranil tells Govt.

Apr 23 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said the government, by learning a lesson from Sri Lanka’s success at the Cricket World Cup tournament should use capable people to fight the LTTE while adding that this was essential to negotiate with the Tigers from a position of strength. Mr. Wickremesinghe who was the chief guest at the launch of the UNP website at the Opposition Leader’s office said more..

Novel approach to mitigate death penalty

Apr 23 (DM) The death penalty is sure never to be implemented in Sri Lanka, either now or in the future, despite the huge campaign carried out by various social, religious and rights activists, for and against the implementation of the same. The G.L.M. De Silva Committee, appointed to look into the so called alleged administrative discrimination against convicted prisoners, has suggested a novel approach, in respect to punishment of inmates on the death row. more..

Sri Lanka keep faith in Tharanga for semi-final

Apr 23 (AFP) Sri Lanka will persist with out-of-form opener Upul Tharanga for the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand, the country's chief selector said on Monday. The left-hander's poor form -- he has scored just 17 runs in his past three innings -- raised speculation that former skipper Marvan Atapattu could replace him at Jamaica's Sabina Park on Tuesday. more..

Ram Sethu: Scientific evidence of ancient human activity

Apr 23 (TO) Scientific evidences point to human activity in ancient times on both sides of Ram Sethu as found by Deptt. of Earth Sciences and ocean technologists of Bharatam. This area should be declared a protected monument under the Protection of Monuments Act and declared as a World Heritage site by the Government of India and advised to UNESCO. more..

Aravinda eyes de Silva-ware

Apr 23 (IA) Aravinda de Silva believes Sri Lanka's chances of winning the World Cup are greater than they were when he inspired their triumph in 1996. De Silva's unbeaten century and three wickets earned him the man-of-the-match award in the final against Australia 11 years ago, and the 41-year-old reckons a repeat could be on the cards. more..

LTTE denies threatening TN leaders

Apr 23 (HT) The LTTE on Monday denied that they posed a threat to the lives of prominent Tamil Nadu politicians. In a statement issued following reports that there had been such threats, the LTTE's military spokesman, Rasaiah Ilanthirayan alias Marshall, said that the Tamil Tigers "maintain the firm policy of keeping away from the local politics of Tamil Nadu, India or any other state in the world". more..

Islamic fundamentalism grips Sri Lankan town

Apr 23 (HT) Kattankudy, four km south of the Eastern Sri Lankan town of Batticaloa, is unique. It is the only all-Muslim town in the island. Non-Muslims cannot (and will not) reside, buy property or run businesses there. With 65 mosques, this heavily built up and cramped town of 50,000 people spread over just 1 sq km, boasts of having the largest number of mosques per square kilometre outside the Muslim world. more..

Rebels Reeling on Multiple Fronts

Apr 23 (SP) The renewed war has been going on for 17 months now, with some 4,000 people killed. The LTTE has been the big loser, with its eastern Sri Lanka territory back under government control. The air force attacks LTTE bases in the north daily, and the navy has crippled the LTTE smuggling operation off the north coast. The government makes no secret about its preparations for a final battle in the north. more..

Sri Lanka stocks firmer on small investor buying

Apr 23 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks ended firmer on Monday as retail investors nibbled at shares such as leading mobile phone operator Dialog Telekom , but gains were limited after Norwegian peace envoys cancelled a trip to meet rebels in the north. The Colombo All Share index ended 0.72 percent firmer at 2,786.65 points. The market has retreated in recent weeks from an all-time closing high of 3,016.42 hit on Feb. 13. more..

Hindu seers protest in Varanasi against sea canal project

Apr 23 (ANI) Hindu seers in Varanasi are protesting against the 'Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project' (SSCP), claiming it would destroy a mythological bridge linking India to Sri Lanka. Hindu centric organisations say the project would destroy the Ram Setu, a 48- kilometre chain of limestone shoals that once linked Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu to Mannar in northern Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lankan troops recover 105 anti-personnel mines

Apr 23 (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers recovered 105 anti-personnel mines during a search for separatist Tamil Tiger operatives in volatile northern Sri Lanka, an official said on Monday. The mines were found on Sunday, hidden in several places in government-controlled Tampane village of Vavuniya district 210 kilometres, north of the capital Colombo, Lt. Col. Upali Rajapakse of the Defence Ministry information center said. more..

Sri Lanka cuts delays in issuing key documents through digitization

Apr 23 (LBO) A Sri Lankan government secretariat has drastically cut delays from days to minutes in issuing important documents like birth, marriage and death (BMD) certificates by scanning and storing digitized versions. The Thimbirigasyaya Divisional Secretariat in Colombo Monday commenced issuing printed copies of vital documents in place of lost and worn documents after a ‘BMD Conversion Project’ by the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) digitized 800,000 certificates. more..

Sri Lanka halts Norway envoy's peace mission

Apr 23 (AFP) Sri Lanka asked peace broker Norway to suspend a planned visit Monday to Tamil rebel-held territory in the island's north, diplomatic sources said. The Sri Lankan government told Norway's top envoy here, Hans Brattskar, not to proceed with his visit to the town of Kilinochchi, 330 kilometres (206 miles) north of here, for "security reasons." more..

Petrol station scam ‘was masterminded by the Tamil Tigers’

Apr 23 (Times) A massive credit card sting involving up to 200 British petrol stations was said yesterday to have been organised by Tamil Tiger terrorists. Millions of pounds have been taken from credit and debit cards after their owners used them to pay for goods at petrol stations where “skimming” machinery had been fitted. The guerrilla group was accused of defrauding British drivers to fund its campaign of violence against the Government of Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka says Norwegian envoy must cancel trip to rebel territory for security reasons

Apr 23 (AP) Sri Lanka has ordered Norway's ambassador to cancel a routine trip to the rebel-held north for security reasons, an embassy spokesman said Monday, raising fears that a military offensive against the insurgents is imminent. The decision to keep Norway's envoy — the mediator of the country's all-but-defunct peace process — away from the Tamil Tiger's northern strongholds came as the military kept up its pressure on the insurgents with air raids against what the defense ministry said were a rebel base and a moving column of guerrillas. more..

Will Johny be pushed to where Sripathi was sent?

Apr 24 (LeN) The fraud investigation unit informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate today that the government has suffered loses worth around 550,000 rupees due to the damages caused to the chairs, tables, office equipment, kitchen equipment and etc. in the official house used by UNP Kurunegala district parliamentarian Johnston Fernando when he was the minister of sports and youth affairs. more..

Dutugamunu generation's Mervin also enters to harass media

Apr 24 (LeN) Even before the heat of the threat made by defense secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse has been eased off another minister of the Rajapakse regime has openly threatened to the "Diwaina" newspaper stating that he wouldn't allow its circulation in the Kelaniya area. more..

Chasing Mangala was wrong; 96% party members say

Apr 24 (LeN) A majority of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party members say chasing away Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Suriarachchi was a wrong decision. This was revealed during a vote conducted in this regard. 96% said that removing Mangala was wrong while 70% said that removing Sripathi was a wrong decision. The two were removed from their ministerial posts and also from there organizer posts. more..

Murder probe 'not impartial'

Apr 24 (BBC) The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has strongly criticised the investigation into the murder of 17 aid workers in Muttur in August, last year. A report issued by an independent observer after a fact finding mission says the investigation "lacks impartiality, transparency and effectiveness". more..

GoSL 'responsible' for rights abuses

Apr 24 (BBC) President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government should take responsibility for human rights violations in Sri Lanka, says the JVP. "The government should take responsibility if people dissapear in Sri Lanka and dead bodies found in different places," JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said. However, he is not interested in averting undue pressure by Western countries on Sri Lanka, Silva told BBC Sandeshaya. more..

EU to tell Sri Lanka's LTTE and others why they are called 'terrorists'

Apr 24 (AFP) EU foreign ministers agreed on Monday to tell groups and individuals on its terror register why they are listed. The decision was made in the wake of a ruling last year by Europe's second-highest court annulling a freeze on the assets of an exiled Iranian opposition group. The Court of First Instance ruled that the EU had not respected the right to a fair hearing of the People's Mujahedeen of Iran (OMPI), when it ordered the asset freeze in May 2002. more..

2551 Vesak celebrations on a grand scale

Apr 24 (GDI) Preparations are all set to commemorate the 2551st Vesak celebrations falling on the 01 May in a grand scale, under the theme ‘Dehami Dayak Dehami Ratak’. Ven. Dr. Walamitiyawe Kusaladamma Thero, Chairman of the Samasthalanka Shasanarakshaka Bala Mandalaya, said to media today in Colombo. During the Vesak week the Government has taken the initiative to implement many islandwide campaigns such as introducing Vesak regions in Colombo district. more..

‘Our intension is to correct the wrong picture drawn by a sections of the foreign media’

Apr 24 (GDI) Foreign journalists representing print and electronic media of many reputed overseas organizations held a discussion with Mass Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa at his residence in Pannala on Sunday. The group pledged the Minister that they will report the true situation of Sri Lanka to their respective organizations and more..

Uproar over reports of arms supply to Lanka

Apr 24 (NIP) The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly witnessed an uproar over media reports that the Indian Government was supplying arms and ammunition to the Sri Lankan Army. While the PMK and the CPI leaders condemned the Central Government on the issue, the Congress legislators were on their feet countering them. Raising the issue through a calling attention motion, PMK floor leader G K Mani said the reports had shocked Tamils across the globe as the weapons would be used by Sri Lanka against innocent Tamils. more..

Fleming pinpoints Sri Lanka's weakness in last 10 overs

Apr 24 (Reuters) New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming will target Sri Lanka's top three in Tuesday's World Cup semi-final in the hope of exposing a middle order which he believes lacks hitting power late in an innings. The wicket at Sabina Park is expected to offer bounce and Fleming was relishing the prospect of fit-again strike bowler Shane Bond exploiting the perceived weakness, if the likes of Sanath Jayasuriya can be removed first. more..

Sri Lanka boosted by Malinga's return

Apr 24 (CI) Familiarity often breeds contempt, but in the case of Sri Lanka and New Zealand, it's also given rise to considerable mutual respect. Few teams know each other as well as these two, having played each other 14 times since Sri Lanka pulled off a 47-run victory at Bloemfontein during the last World Cup. New Zealand have edged it seven games to six, but the fact that 10 of those encounters were in the land of the long white cloud will give Sri Lanka plenty of confidence. more..

Bomb kills three passengers on bus in northern Sri Lanka

Apr 24 (AP) A bomb ripped through a passenger bus in northern Sri Lanka on Monday, killing at least three passengers and wounding 35 others, the Defense Ministry said. The bomb went off Monday night as the bus was traveling near the town of Vavuniya, about 210 kilometers 30 miles) north of the capital Colombo, the Defense Ministry's information center said. The bus was heading from the northwestern Mannar district to Colombo. more..

Jayawardene peaks at perfect time

Apr 24 (CI) When Mahela Jayawardene took over the captaincy on a permanent basis about a year ago, Sri Lankan cricket was in disarray. The team that went to India in September 2005 was ranked No. 2 behind the Australians, but after a 6-1 drubbing and subsequent reverses, morale was as low as it had ever been. Sanath Jayasuriya went on to announce his retirement after a Test series defeat against Pakistan, and little was expected when the team embarked on a tour of England in the summer. more..

Bond targets Jayasuriya on bouncy wicket

Apr 24 (CI) Shane Bond, New Zealand's fast bowler, has announced his intention to target Sanath Jayasuriya, the hard-hitting Sri Lankan opening batsman, in their semi-final clash in Jamaica. "If we can get Sanath out early we can probably limit them to 200 runs so it's my job, especially in this game, to get him out and we've always identified him as a key wicket," Bond told the Jamaican Gleaner. more..

Sri Lanka predicts victory

Apr 24 (PA) Mahela Jayawardene is backing his experienced specialists to overcome New Zealand's boyish band of World Cup hopefuls in Wednesday's semi-final at Sabina Park. The Sri Lanka captain has great faith in a side who relies on the batters to bat and bowlers to bowl, with only opener Sanath Jayasuriya plying both trades on a regular basis. more..

Church Head 'Deeply Distressed' Over Sri Lanka's Insistent Fighting

Apr 24 (CP) A stream of unwelcome news providing updates on death counts, displaced civilians and abduction cases continuously flow out of the South Asian island of Sri Lanka. Disturbed by the worsening fighting between the government and the rebel group LTTE, the head of the World Council of Churches has issued an “expression of concern,” urging the parties involved in the violence to adhere to the Cease Fire Agreement and more..

Yahoo Photos

Apr 24 (AP) Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan bowls in the nets during a training session at the Sabina Park, in Kingston, Jamaica, Monday, April 23. Sri Lanka will play against New Zealand in the first semifinal of the Cricket World Cup on Tuesday. more..

Lankan Minister Upbeat About Close Saudi Ties

Apr 24 (AN) Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, who began a three-day visit to the Kingdom yesterday, expressed the hope that ties between the two countries would touch new heights in the years to come. “I am very happy to visit this country which is a holy land for Muslims from all parts of the world,” Bogollagama told Arab News. He said Saudi Arabia is the first country he is visiting in the Middle East as foreign minister. more..

Sri Lankan defence secretary menaces newspaper editor

Apr 24 (wsws) In a further attack on democratic rights, Sri Lanka’s defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse last week threatened the editor of the English language Daily Mirror over two articles in its April 16 and 17 editions—the first dealing the activities of a pro-government militia, known as the Karuna group, and the second with the appalling conditions facing Tamil refugees in the East. more..

Sri Lanka coach Moody ridicules attack on Malinga bowling action

Apr 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody claims that unorthodox fast bowler Lasith Malinga has one of the straightest arms in cricket and said it's ridiculous to suggest the 23-year-old's action is illegal. Moody has even challenged those who doubt the legality of Malinga's slingy, round-arm action, which he developed when playing beach cricket with a soft ball, to test it out. more..

Tamil MPs Dodge DDC Meetings in Batticaloa

Apr 24 (AT) Tamil MPs have been dodging meetings of the District Development Committee held in Batticoloa. They are insisting that they should be given helipcopter rides from Colombo to Batticoloa and also protective guard if they are to attend the meeting in Batticoloa. The Tamil MPs who are seen as proxies of the Tamil Tiger suspect that they will be targeted by the break-away Karuna Group. more..

Civilian search powers of N&E Police now vested with security forces

Apr 24 (AT) The Government of Sri Lanka has decided to vest civilian search powers to the security forces in order to overcome the shortage of police personnel when conducting operations in North and East. Thus, the security forces in N&E can now execute civil legal process in the same levels of the police, said the national security spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella, more..

Secondary explosions reported after Tiger planes hit Palaali

Apr 24 (TN) Two attack aircraft of the Liberation Tigers bombed the Sri Lankan military’s main base complex in the Jaffna peninsula in the early hours of Tuesday morning, inflicting heavy damage and casualties, LTTE military spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan told TamilNet. Tamileelam Air Force bombers had hit an Engineering Unit of the complex and a military storage, the Tigers spokesman claimed. more..

India tightens Jayalalitha’s security after alleged death threat letter from LTTE

Apr 24 (GDI) Indian Security Officials have taken steps to tighten the security of the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha Jayaram after the alleged LTTE death threat letter issued to her last Sunday. Ms. Jayaram, who is also the General Secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), was suspected to be on the top of the terrorist group’s hit list for a long period. more..

EU to keep LTTE in the black list

Apr 24 (GDI) The European Union has taken up the decision to remain the LTTE in their blacklist of the world terrorist organizations. EU took this decision preceding their decision on last May of the year 2006 to place the LTTE on their list of banned terrorists despite warnings from the LTTE at the time that this could lead to full-blown civil war in Sri Lanka. more..

Fresh Influx of LTTE 'Human Bombs' Rattle Forces in Jaffna

Apr 24 (TW) The early hours of Monday April 23rd saw the Sri Lankan security forces conduct a well - coordinated cordon and search operation in various parts of Jaffna peninsula. In a simultaneous pre - dawn swoop security forces encircled four target zones and conducted house to house searches of residences in the vicinity. Some people were detained for further interrogation. more..