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'Sri Lanka have found the right balance' - Whatmore

Apr 24 (CI) Out of nowhere, Sri Lanka have become the soul of the World Cup. India and Pakistan went a long time ago, and now with the hosts gone, Sri Lanka who play a band of cricket that fuses subcontinental artistry with contemporary ethos, have emerged the sentimental favourites for the neutrals. So much so that if they manage to beat New Zealand in Jamaica, they will be accorded the status of the home team in the final at Kensington Oval. more..

Respecting human rights and political dissent in Lanka

Apr 24 (KT) AN AMERICAN met an Iranian in a neutral country and boasted about the freedom of expression in the United States and scoffed at Iran for its intolerance of political dissent. The American said: "We enjoy so much freedom in our country that we could stand before the White House and say "George Bush is a liar". more..

Police powers for Military?

Apr 24 (LNP) The government is to vest Police powers with the security forces in view of what it sees as a growing terrorist threat, a top government official said yesterday. `The decision has been taken as it is difficult to collaborate with the police at all times,` he said. Though emergency regulations are in force, the security forces usually seek Police assistance, to enforce the law when dealing with civilians. more..

CTB conductors in racket running into millions

Apr 24 (LNP) More than 100 bus conductors have been interdicted during the first quarter of this year for defrauding the Central Transport Board of millions through a racket involving bus fares. CTB chairman Tudor Dayaratne said a large number of employees had been detected defrauding the Board of bus fares and according to the provisions in the CTB Act, the suspected conductors had been immediately interdicted and their salaries held back till inquiries are completed. more..

Negotiating from a position of strength

Apr 24 (LNP) Talks about peace talks are being heard again. The LTTE is reported to have offered to talk and the government, too, keeps on saying it is amenable to talks without preconditions. The international community is urging both parties to talk. The Opposition is also calling for talks. But, unfortunately, the war is on in all but name, churning out, as it does, death and devastation. more..

Al Jazeera Television now on DTV

Apr 24 (LNP) Dialog Satellite TV has added Al Jazeera Television to its lineup of channels with immediate effect. The new addition, which is on Channel three, has been activated for all DTV subscribers without any additional charge. Al Jazeera is a television network headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Initially launched as an Arabic language news and current affairs satellite TV channel of the same name, it has since expanded into a network of several specialty TV channels. more..

UNP to discuss attacks on media with IPI

Apr 24 (SAMN) The United National Party is to take up attacks on the Sri Lankan media with the International Press Institute.The UNP said that in the wake of "unprecedented abductions, murders, death threats and intimidation of the media by the state resulting in a fear psychosis among the media" its Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is compelled to take up the matter with the International Press Institute. more..

CMC to ensure cleaner dining

Apr 24 (SAMN) In providing a hygienic approach to the dining out concept, the Colombo Municipal Council, in collaboration with the Food Processors Association, has embarked on a ‘Cleaner Dining Programme’ to ensure that hygienic standards are maintained in eating houses in Colombo. "The programme continued from last year and a vast improvement could be seen in the hygiene levels. Most of the star grade hotels show a lot of improvement", more..

Another businessman abducted in Colombo

Apr 24 (SAMN) A Tamil businessman, identified as Raja Bopathi, was abducted in Wellawatte last night by an unknown gang who had come in a van. The incident had taken place on Galle Road. The Civil Monitoring Committee (CMC) on abductions said the gang had come in a vehicle bearing licence plate No 252 – 7285 and had forcibly taken the victim towards Dehiwala. more..

Campus non-academic staff launch strike

Apr 24 (SAMN) Non-Academic Staff attached to all Universities, affiliated institutions of Universities and the University Grants Commission will launch a continuous strike from today demanding the removal of salary anomalies of non-academic staff and payment of arrears to all new recruits. A senior spokesman for the University Trade Union Federation said all workers would join the strike conducted jointly by all trade unions including the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya. more..

Street dwellers gain new lease of life

Apr 24 (DN) The Social Services and Social Welfare Ministry has launched a special programme to rehabilitate street dwellers. Under this programme 22 street families are now being rehabilitated successfully, Assistant Secretary, Social Services and Social Welfare Ministry, M.D.C. Jayamanne said. The Ministry provides temporary houses with paid rent, a bed and a mattress, kitchen utensils and dry rations to the families. more..

Private sector assistance for home garden project

Apr 24 (DN) The Agriculture Ministry in collaboration with the private sector has made arrangements to implement a sustainable home garden development programme to assist people to cultivate essential food crops and herbal plants in their home gardens. The project will also encourage the people to promote the livestock industry. The Ministry in collaboration with the private sector will implement this home garden programme in urban and rural areas mainly targeting Samurdhi beneficiary families, more..

Public views sought on new bill of rights

Apr 24 (DM) The Steering Committee which is currently drafting a new Bill of Rights under the aegis of the Inter-ministerial Committee on Human Rights will hold public consultations next month, to obtain the views of concerned individuals and organisations on the draft bill. The decision to go public was an attempt to make the drafting process a participatory one in which the public has a stake, more..

Premadasa poverty alleviation makes a comeback

Apr 24 (DM) Poverty elevation programmes started by former President Ranasinghe Premadasa are to be revived islandwide on April 30 to mark his 14th death anniversary falling on May 1, thus moving away from traditional political practices adopted by the opposition. The programme is to be spearheaded by the former President’s son, UNP Assistant Secretary and Parliamentarian Sajith Premadasa. more..

IFJ Calls for Full Investigation into Murder of Sri Lankan Editor

Apr 24 (IFJ) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called on the Sri Lankan government to immediately address the issue of journalist safety, following the murder of Subash Chandraboas, editor of Tamil monthly magazine Nilam, on April 19. According to an IFJ affiliate, the Free Media Movement (FMM), Chadraboas, who also freelanced for London-based magazine Tamil World, was shot dead at his home in Thirunavatkulam, near Vanuniya, however it is still unclear whether his death was related to his work as a journalist. more..

WCC Urges Sri Lanka & Tamil Tigers to Reinstate Ceasefire

Apr 24 (CT) The World Council of Churches has issued a strong appeal to the government of Sri Lanka and the rebel organisation Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam "to return to the obligations" of a February 2002 ceasefire agreement violated by both sides and "seek durable solutions to end the fighting that is affecting the lives of so many people". more..

Trade mission of Sri Lanka to visit Pakistan in June

Apr 24 (APP) Sri Lanka Chamber of Small Industry is organising a trade mission to visit "My Karachi" International Exhibition in June. The trade mission is being organized with support of the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo, the Commerce Department and the Export Development Board, private TV reported. The Small Chamber delegation would include 20 members with interests for joint ventures, export of Sri Lankan products including industrial products and import of raw materials. more..

Climate Change Worse Than Civil War - UN Expert

Apr 24 (IPS) As the world prepares for yet another ‘scary' report by the United Nations panel on global warming and climate change, a Sri Lankan specialist in the group says Tamil rebels and government troops are actually fighting over land due to be submerged as sea-levels rise. "A major part of Jaffna and other northern areas (of Sri Lanka) will be submerged when the sea-level rises. So people are fighting and dying over areas that may soon not be there," more..

Sri Lanka's star gazers eye World Cup win

Apr 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka's astrologers say the exact moment when the nation's cricketers leave their hotel for the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand will determine if they will win. It is not only the batsmen's timing at the crease, but also their precise morning schedule that will decide the winner at Jamaica's Sabina Park later on Tuesday. more..

The flipside of Islamic fundamentalism in Sri Lanka

Apr 24 (HT) Islamic fundamentalism in Kattankudy in the Eastern Sri Lankan district of Batticaloa, is multifaceted. It has both regressive and progressive aspects, though to the naked eye of the fleeting visitor, only the former is visible. Fundamentalism has united previously disparate entities while creating new barriers. more..

LTTE artillery attack thwarted; 'No damages to Palali military base'

Apr 24 (MoD) The Sri Lanka Air Force denied the statement of the LTTE that the Tamil Tiger air planes bombed the Palali air strip by using their propeller driven two fixed winged air craft and called it a complete fabrication. But military sources said by artillery fire six soldiers died at Myladdi, away from Palali air strip. more..

Sri Lanka roads claim over 6,000 casualties in '06

Apr 24 (Reuters) Traffic accidents in Sri Lanka killed or "grievously" injured more than 6,000 people last year and the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs said the growing number of wrecks was a matter of grave concern. There were 33,339 road accidents reported in the island nation of about 20 million people in 2006, and nearly 2,000 pedestrians were killed, the minister was quoted as saying in a statement issued on Tuesday. more..

Tamil rebels launch air attack

Apr 24 (AP) Tamil rebel planes bombed government positions Tuesday in northern Sri Lanka in their second-ever airstrike. The military said six soldiers were killed but that the aircraft were turned back before reaching a key base. The attack came amid rising fears that the government may be preparing a major assault on rebels in the north, and followed a bomb blast Monday aboard a bus that killed five passengers and wounded 35 near the frontier between government- and rebel-controlled areas. more..

Tigers stage second air attack against Lankan forces

Apr 24 (HT) Two propeller driver single engine aircraft of the LTTE bombarded the Myladdi army camp, 3 km from the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) base at Palaly in the northern district of Jaffna, in the wee hours of Tuesday. This is the second instance of aerial bombardment by the LTTE. The earlier raid, on the Katunayake airbase near Colombo, had take place less than a month ago, on March 26. more..

Sri Lankan rebels launch air strike on military locations

Apr 24 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels flying light aircraft have bombed Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula, killing at least six soldiers and wounding 13, officials and the rebels said Tuesday. In their second air strike in as many months, the LTTE said two light aircraft flew over the key Palaly air field just after midnight and bombed military locations. more..

Tamil Tigers plan a break to watch Sri Lanka in World cup semi

Apr 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels are to take a brief break from battle later Tuesday to watch the national cricket team play New Zealand in the World Cup semi-finals. "There may not be any attacks tonight because we are also watching the match," Tiger spokesman Rasiah Ilanthiriyan told AFP by telephone from the rebel-held north of the island. more..

Atapattu has empathy for Tendulkar

Apr 25 (TOI) Former Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu has empathy for Sachin Tendulkar who has been "rested" out of India's One-day squad to tour Bangladesh next month. "This seems to happen a lot of time to Sachin-he is somehow always picked upon when the side doesn't do well," remarked Atapattu as he trained with the rest of the Sri Lankan team ahead of Tuesday's semi-finals of the 2007 World Cup. more..

LTTE let loose campaign against BBC

Apr 25 (ISL) The LTTE international network has let loose a campaign against the BBC for broadcasting news about LTTE credit card fraud in the UK. Quoting LTTE’s S Thamilchelvan’s statement, LTTE websites have published news that the expatriate Tamils in the UK are protesting in large numbers against the BBC. How the LTTE websites came to know large numbers of Tamils are protesting against BBC indicates carefully organised campaign carried out by the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka's National Savings Bank deposit growth plunges with negative real rates

Apr 25 (LBO) High negative real rates paid to savers have seen deposit growth at Sri Lanka's National Savings Bank plunge to a record low in 2006, the bank’s latest accounts show. NSB's deposits grew by only 4.8 percent in 2006, with real interest rates turning sharply negative, as inflation shot up to 19.3 percent. more..

Sri Lanka's central bank warns against payment card scams

Apr 25 (LBO) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka is warning the public against payment card fraud following the discovery of a massive fraud in the United Kingdom which has been linked with Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers. "This scam which has been said to be running for several years has involved in cloning credit or debit card information and stealing the personal identification number (PIN) during transactions more..

Press Release

Apr 25 (GDI) On the instruction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, four ministers, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Rajitha Senarthna and Jagath Pushpakumara together with 25 local and foreign media personnel including AP, AFP and Reuter’s correspondents have visited Jaffna this afternoon to ascertain the situation in relation to the attempted attack by the LTTE this morning. more..

Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole deliverd the Munk Centre lecture

Apr 25 (IL) Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole, vice-chancellor of the University of Jaffna, deliverd the Munk Centre lecture at the University of Toronto on Saturday 21, April 2007. The seminar was spncored by the Asian Institute and the Department of Political Science, University of Toronto. This is the text of Prof. Hoole's lecture: more..

Another Pre-Emptive LTTE Air Strike

Apr 25 (TW) In an attempt to pre-empt an apprehended military offensive by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces on the territory controlled by the LTTE in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, the LTTE Air Force has carried out a successful air strike on the Palaly military base of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces in the Jaffna peninsula. The Palaly military base serves as the headquarters for operations against the LTTE in the north. more..

LTTE’s transmission of TV and Radio programs to Europe and Asia terminated by INTELSAT

Apr 25 (SLE) Intelsat Ltd., a U.S. based satellite company has terminated the “unauthorized” use of one of its satellites, Intelsat12, by the Sri Lanka based terrorist organization, the LTTE, for its TV and radio transmissions to Europe and Asia. The LTTE is designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the U.S., India, the 27-member European Union and Canada. more..

Canada says Sri Lanka needs more tsunami recovery help at grassroots level

Apr 25 (LBO) More post-tsunami recovery work is needed in Sri Lanka especially in the north and east of the island, at a community level, a donor agency has said. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has been working with local community based organizations and non-governmental organizations, through a 300 million rupee fund. more..

Protect fundamental rights of Persons arrested and/or detained -Defense Secretary

Apr 25 (AT) Secretary, Ministry of Defense, Gotabaya Rajapaksa has emphasized that the Presidential directive which insists on the importance of protecting the fundamental rights of persons arrested and/or detained should be adhered strictly by the Sri Lanka’s armed forces and police. The re-circulated directive has been sent to the Commanders of the Army, Navy and Air Force as well as the Inspector General of Police for strict compliance. more..

Jayawardene inspires Sri Lanka to the final

Apr 25 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene produced an innings of pure class, a rare gem, when it was most needed as Sri Lanka claimed their rightful place in the final of the 2007 World Cup, brushing aside New Zealand, who have reached the semifinals five times and never gone further. The 81-run win was Mahela's baby, but Upul Tharanga played his part, as did Muttiah Muralitharan, who picked up 4 for 43 and spun New Zealand out for only 208. more..

The Lost Action Hero

Apr 25 (CI) Pity Shane Bond. Until today, he had been arguably the bowler of the tournament to date, with 12 crucial wickets in the group stages at the staggering economy rate of 2.58 per over, or less than half a run a ball. Today, however, his first over went for nine and uncertainty spread to all facets of his game. The nadir came in the 45th over with Sri Lanka handily but not decisively placed on 221 for 4. more..

Yahoo Photos

Apr 25 (AP) Sri Lanka's captain Mahela Jayawardene celebrates after making 100 runs against New Zealand during their Cricket World Cup semifinal at Sabina Park at Kingston. Sri Lanka made 289 with Jayawardene top scoring with 115 not out. more..

Basking in the glory of the cricketers

Apr 25 (ML) The nation has been in an upbeat mood in the past few weeks following the successes of our cricketers in the Calypso Islands. By the time these comments are read we will be aware whether we are in the finals of the World Cup or not. Whether our hopes materialise or not, it has to be stressed that vital national interests are at stake and cricket, however much we may love it, has to take a back seat. more..

‘Govt. is aiding terrorism by violating human rights’

Apr 25 (ML) The Free Media Movement (FMM) is a voluntary organisation of journalists which was started in 1991 with a committee and a small group of 20 members to, among other objectives, create a democratic media culture and safeguard the rights of journalists. Today, it has a committee of seven and a membership of over 700 journalists. more..

Common man has no place in Colpetty

Apr 25 (ML) Just the way motorists have their woes about unruly traffic; deteriorating roads, traffic snarls and parking problems, pedestrians too have their own special woes that seldom reach the high and mighty. Take the person who wants to take a bus to Bambalapitiya, Wellawatte, Dehiwala, Mount Lavinia, Moratuwa or Panadura from the bus halt near the Crescat Boulevard in Colpetty. more..

Freedom House to further downgrade Lanka in May

Apr 25 (ML) The powerful US based think tank Freedom House is to further downgrade Sri Lanka in May over serious press freedom concerns. Freedom House told The Morning Leader yesterday it is scheduled to release a statement on May 1, passing strictures on Sri Lanka’s dismal media freedom record and giving the country a negative rating. more..

Karuna attempts to take over Pothuvil Pradeshiya Sabha by force

Apr 25 (LeN) It is being reported that TMVP party belonging to Karuna Faction is threatening the chairman of the Pothuvil Pradeshiya Sabha in order to get hold of its building by force. Chairman of the Pothuvil Pradeshiya Sabha is Mohammed Rauf and the power of the Pradeshiya Sabha is with the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. The relevant building is situated close to the Karuna factions office in the Puthuvil area. more..

Efforts on to nab giving bomb threats to Jaya: TN CM

Apr 25 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today told the state assembly that the person who had sent a bomb threat to leader of the opposition J Jayalalithaa in the name of LTTE had sent similar threats in the name of Al Umma to blow up Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple and Chennai Port Trust and the police was trying to nab him. more..

SRI LANKA: On alert for avian flu

Apr 25 (IRIN) Sri Lanka has so far averted an outbreak of avian influenza with preventive measures, but the island nation is stepping up vigilance as the deadly virus flares up in other South Asian nations. Restrictions on poultry imports and surveillance of domestic and wild birds helped keep the country disease-free until now, but authorities are concerned that with bird flu appearing in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, that status could be threatened. more..

Terrorism Focus of Saudi-Lanka Talks

Apr 25 (AN) Combating terror was the focus of talks between Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal and his Sri Lankan counterpart Rohitha Bogollagama yesterday. “The Saudi foreign minister showed understanding and expressed his concern over the terrorist activities in my country,” the visiting Sri Lankan minister told Arab News following his talks with Prince Saud. more..

The Murali and Mahela show

Apr 25 (CI) And so New Zealand declined Dylan Thomas' advice and went gentle into the good night, taking yet another shattered World Cup dream with them. They were helped along by an innings every bit as luminous as the two that Aravinda de Silva conjured in the climactic stages of the 1996 World Cup, and after this emphatic win, few will write off Sri Lanka's chances of emulating the heroes of a decade ago. more..

Norwegian Refugee Council hands over school in Sri Lanka

Apr 25 (Xinhua) The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), an independent humanitarian foundation, finished the rebuilding of its 22nd tsunami damaged school on Tuesday and handed it over to the Sri Lankan government. Sri Matumai Ambal School was officially handed over to the Sri Lankan Education authorities in a simple ceremony held at the school premises in the island country's eastern port town of Trincomalee. more..

How Jayawardene dismantled New Zealand

Apr 25 (CI) In 16 semi-final matches before this one, only three batsmen had scored hundreds - Graham Gooch, against India in 1987, Saeed Anwar, against New Zealand in 1999, and Sourav Ganguly, against Kenya in 2003. Mahela Jayawardene joined that illustrious list - and also equalled Gooch's 115, the highest in semi-finals - with an innings which was an outstanding example of how to pace a one-day innings. more..