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Put your skirt on Sri Lanka to summon their maverick match-winning spirit

Apr 28 (TO) It was a love affair that began with a man on a bicycle wearing a skirt and asking me about bottom. It is a love that continues to this day and it gives me a team to shout for now that this interminable World Cup is at last coming to a conclusion. I hope my boys can do it. I have been a Sri Lankan for years; since 1981, to be precise. Hence the talk about bottom, obviously. more..

Jayawardena takes relaxed approach to mission improbable

Apr 28 (TO) Press conferences stretched to 40 minutes yesterday, but only one question mattered. It fell to Mahela Jayawardena, summarised in five words: How do you beat Australia? The Sri Lankan smiled ruefully, knowing that captains had been asked much the same thing 28 times since today’s opponents were last beaten in a World Cup contest. How can the odds be overturned today? more..

Tigers take Indians hostage

Apr 28 (TT) At a time Delhi is worried about the Tamil Tigers’ acquisition of an air force, their navy has carried out a stealth strike on Indians. The Sea Tigers not only kidnapped 12 Indian fishermen but managed to keep it secret for more than seven weeks till six arrested rebels spilled the beans to Tamil Nadu police. more..

Two shiny teams fight for glory

Apr 28 (CI) It has fallen upon this final at the great venue of Kensington Oval, Barbados, not just to deliver a champion of the world but to save face for the game on its biggest stage. For all its supposed wonderful health, the tripe dished out over the past two months has been an embarrassment. All the proper players in the world plus a few others were put in the most evocative of destinations and look what they came up with. It was hoped the last week might rescue the tournament. Nothing of the sort. Two one-sided romps and fans asking each other when? more..

Ponting prepares for Malinga face-off

Apr 28 (Reuters) Australia captain Ricky Ponting practised against a bowling machine set to simulate deliveries from Sri Lanka express bowler Lasith Malinga on the eve of Saturday's World Cup final. Malinga, who took four wickets in four balls in the second-stage Super Eights match against South Africa, returned after an injury break to bowl with ferocious pace against New Zealand in the semi-finals. more..

SEP writes to defence secretary demanding answers on disappearance of party member

Apr 28 (wsws) The letter below was sent by Socialist Equality Party General Secretary Wije Dias to the Sri Lankan defence secretary yesterday protesting against the failure of the police or defence ministry to conduct any serious investigation into the disappearance of SEP member Nadarajah Wimaleswaran and his friend Sivanathan Mathivathanan. more..

Sri Lanka fuel prices up but losses in power utility mounts

Apr 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka has raised retail diesel and petrol prices again in a bid to reduce losses in petroleum firms but pressure is now building up in the state power utility which sells electricity below cost. The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation raised 90-Octane petrol by one rupee to 105 rupees and 95-Octane petrol, also by one rupee to 108 rupees. more..

Sri Lanka state-bank luxury apartment project deadlocked, but money safe

Apr 28 (LBO) A deal to sell a prime commercial property belonging to a troubled state trading firm to a state-bank has got deadlocked with creditors scrambling after the property, but the bank has recovered an advance that it paid, a top official said. The Co-operative Wholesale Establishment (Sathosa) which collapsed under its debts, wanted to sell a land in Union Place to raise money to compensate retiring workers. more..

LTTE credit card crooks sent to jail in Norway

Apr 28 (AT) Six LTTE agents operating a credit card scam were sentenced to serve prison terms today by the Norwegian courts. They were convicted of skimming more than 5.3 million Norwegian kroners. The main criminal convicted in this credit card scam, Satrubarajah Shanamugarajah (RUBY), was sentenced to five years and six months prison. Five other defendants were sentenced to 15 to 18 months. more..

Jayalalitha claims Tamil Nadu arms supply strengthened the LTTE

Apr 28 (GDI) Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) General Secretary Ms. Jayalalitha Jayaram has alleged that the free supply of arms and military materials from Tamil Nadu as the root cause for the building of an Air force by the LTTE, news flowing from India reports. more..

Cricketers delighted with President’s presence

Apr 28 (GDI) Captain Mahela Jayawardana told the media in Barbados that the Sri Lankan cricketers were very happy that President Mahinda Rajapaksa would be present to watch them in action during today’s final. "The President’s presence will inspire us to give our best and we will endeavour not to let him down. We will fulfil the expectations of our supporters," Jayawardana said. more..

Resettlement Authority established

Apr 28 (GDI) The Resettlement Authority was inaugurated by Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Minister Rishad Bathiudeen to assist all Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to resettle in their original homes and provide Water, Sanitation and Temporary Housing and thereafter, Livelihood Assistance and Permanent Housing, states a press release issued by the Resettlement Ministry. more..

'Government taking all possible efforts to reduce cost of living'

Apr 28 (GDI) The Government will extend stabling the wholesale prices of fourteen essential commodities up to May 31 to afford relief to consumers. Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operative and Consumer Services Minister Bandula Gunawardana said this decision was taken by the committee comprising the President, the Prime Minister, Agriculture Minister and Trade Marketing Development, Co-operative and Consumer Services Minister appointed with the objective of giving concessions for the ordinary people. more..

It was like the announcement of the second tsunami- Air force spokesperson

Apr 28 (LeN) Air force spokesperson group captain Ajantha Silva told 'LeN' that the air force yesterday took all measures that should have taken when a terrorist air craft was arriving to carry out an attack, and that it was a good practice for the troops. He stated this when 'LeN' questioned what exactly happened yesterday at the Katunayake air base. This is how he answered our questions. more..

Military commander going to watch cricket is like Nero playing the violin while Rome was on fire - John Amratunga

Apr 28 (LeN) Former minister and UNP parliamentarian John Amaratunga challenges the government asking it to hand over the country to those who could protect it, if they can't stating that no one was safe and the entire country was vulnerable. Amaratunga made this statement addressing the media after yesterday's incident in Katunayake where the some air force personnel fired to the sky after being alarmed of a suspected air craft. more..

The LTTE air craft flew to Vanni without any trouble

Apr 28 (LeN) Our special reporter in Vavuniya who witnessed the LTTE air craft which attempted to launch an attack sent a special report regarding yesterday's incident to 'LeN'. The clock just passed 11:30 in the night on the 26th of April. Suddenly we heard loud noises of explosions and when I came out and looked at the sky I saw blue, green, red and yellow colour fire balls rising up to the sky and then coming back to the land. more..

Can “Autonomous” Quebec in Canada inspire “Eelam” within

Apr 28 (TW) Canada’s Francophone majority province of Quebec went to polls a month ago on March 26th to elect a Provincial government . The Quebec Liberal party running Quebec since 2003 came first as expected. In fact Quebec premier Jean Charest called an election a year earlier in anticipation of a major success. Charest’s liberals who got 46% of the total vote and 76 of 125 seats in 2003 did not fare that well 4 years later more..

Giving police powers to the military will pave the way to torture chambers in military camps

Apr 28 (AHRC) The government has recently announced that police powers will be granted to the military by way of further emergency regulations. When the BBC Sinhala Service questioned the government spokesman, Minister Keheliya Rambukawella, as to whether the giving of police powers to the military will not result in the re-emergence of torture chambers inside military camps as it happened in the late 1980s more..

Taraki Sivaram remembered

Apr 28 (TN) "We once again remember with pride the service rendered to the media by Taraki Sivaram. He exercised his right to freedom of expression without fear. We bear this in our minds as we take it among the people on his second death anniversary," the statement issued by North Sri Lanka Journalists Association (NSLJA) Friday said. more..

Grand welcome awaits Sri Lankan team

Apr 28 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has arranged a grand welcome ceremony for the Sri Lankan team on their arrival from the Caribbean after their highly successful World Cup campaign. This arrangement has been made irrespective of the outcome of the final in Barbados on April 28 where Sri Lanka meet Australia. The team will be greeted at the Bandaranaike International Airport by cricket board officials and VIPs, which includes government ministers. more..

Air scare: Was it a false alarm?

Apr 28 (LNP) After Thursday night`s alarm over another possible LTTE air attack set off panic, fear and uncertainty all over the country, the Air Force has been placed on high alert with a probe being launched yesterday to ascertain whether reports of the sighting of `suspicious aircraft` were valid. `To start with the Air Force is checking whether there were really any aircraft movements,` more..

Karuna warns against giving police powers to military

Apr 28 (LNP) TMVP leader Karuna Amman yesterday expressed concerns over the possible implications for the Tamil community in case the government decided to vest police powers in the military, Karuna faction spokesman Azad Maulana told the Daily Mirror. While praising efforts taken by the government to eliminate terrorism, Mr. Maulana insisted that such efforts should not affect the ordinary Tamil civilians who continued to suffer the brunt of the more than two decade-long conflict between the government and the LTTE. more..

Court decision on Sripathy on April 30

Apr 28 (LNP) The court decision on ex-minister Sripathy Sooriyarachchi will be delivered on April 30, reports said. The Avissawella High Court will decide as to whether there is an actual criminal case to be pursued against Sripathy, reported Lakbima, the Sinhala language broadsheet published in Colombo yesterday. more..

RMV to bring in new laws

Apr 28 (LNP) The Department of Registration of Motor Vehicles is planning to introduce legal provisions to make it compulsory for the police to report each and every road accident. Assistant Registrar A.W. Dissanayaka told the Daily Mirror the settlement of road accidents without reporting to the Police borders on contravening the Motor Traffic Act. more..

American supports for the SLFP for a federal system

Apr 28 (LT) American Ambassador Robert O. Blake says that devolution of power to the maximum as a solution to the national question will receive the utmost support of United States of America. The Ambassador said this when he met minister WDJ Senevirathne. This meeting was intended to seek the opinion of the USA regarding the package of the SLFP to be made know on next 30th as a solution to the national question. more..

No foreign jobs for women below 25

Apr 28 (SAMN) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama who is on a visit to Saudi Arabia, said in the future only women who are above 25 years would be granted permission for overseas deployment. He said the Government has already imposed a total ban on sending mothers of infants below five years as housemaids in foreign countries as it has resulted in discontented workers as well as social problems back home. more..

UNP says SLFP proposals meaningless

Apr 28 (SAMN) While the ruling SLFP has proposed the district council as the unit of power devolution, the main Opposition the UNP has proposed to continue with a further strengthened provincial council system. “There could hardly be a possibility for achieving uniformity in development under the proposed DC system. No area of the country will get developed in a meaningful manner under such a system,” UNP MP and Constitutional expert K.N. Choksy said Friday. more..

Buddhist paintings exhibition

Apr 28 (SAMN) Dr. Daya Hewapathirane, Advisor to the President with sponsorship of the Presidential Secretariat and the assistance of the Samastha Lanka Bauddha Shishya Sammelanaya will present a photo exhibition and a documentary film at the National Art Gallery from May 6 to 10 from 10.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. This is open to the public free. more..

June deadline for private hospitals

Apr 28 (DN) All private medical institutions including private hospitals and nursing homes must register with the Private Health Services Regulation Council by June 22 this year, Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. “The registration will be a simple procedure which is free of charge. It will be a punishable offence if any private medical institution operates without registration afterwards,” de Silva said. more..

Welfare scheme, bonuses proposed for profit-making factory workers

Apr 28 (DN) A welfare scheme and bonuses should be paid to workers in profit-making factories, Plantation Industries Minister D. M. Jayaratne said. He was speaking at a meeting after visiting Mahaweli Tea Shakthi factories in Nawalapitiya, Kotamale and Ruwanpura. He said even the private sector pays workers a share when they reach high profit margins. more..

Massive VAT scam at Inland Revenue Dept.?

Apr 28 (DM) A single businessman had been paid more than rupees 570 million rupees within a month as VAT refunds, exposing another massive VAT scam at the Inland Revenue Department. The stunning disclosure was yesterday made by the Parliament Select Committee on Public Accounts which decided to launch a full probe after Inland Revenue Department officials had failed provide clear details about the businessman who had allegedly received the refunds. more..

Cost of living over past two years highest in history: JTU

Apr 28 (DM) The Joint Trade Union (JTU) yesterday charged that the cost of living increase witnessed in the country over the last two years was the highest in history, leading to a staggering 20 percent inflation rate. The JTU, which includes Ceylon Mercantile Union, Ceylon Bank Employees Union and several other unions, said while Sri Lanka had a 20 percent inflation rate, the average inflations rate in the rest of Asia was 5 percent. more..

UN Colombo fails to report LTTE kidnap

Apr 28 (ANN) The UN Secretary General’s Office on Wednesday (April 25) acknowledged that its Sri Lankan mission has not informed the world body of the abduction of two UN staffers by the LTTE. Responding to questions raised at daily press briefing in New York, Michèle Montas, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said that their mission in Colombo has not reported the kidnapping. more..

I would love Sri Lanka to win the match: Andy Roberts

Apr 28 (HT) Former West Indies fast bowler Andy Roberts is backing Sri Lanka to take the World Cup from Australia when the two teams meet in the final at Kensington Oval on Saturday. He, however, acknowledged that it would not be an easy task because the Australians possessed a formidable line-up. Roberts spent over half-hour on Friday afternoon discussing strategy with Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lanka's bowling veterans. more..

Q issue resurfaces in LS

Apr 28 (HT) The Ottavio Quattrocchi issue resurfaced in the Lok Sabha on Saturday with BJP and SP members seeking government's reaction to a website claim that the key Bofors case accused had hatched a conspiracy with the LTTE to assassinate former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Raising the matter during Zero Hour, BJP leader VK Malhotra and SP's Ramji Lal Suman said the conspiracy was hatched by Italian businessman Quattrocchi and LTTE's intelligence chief Anton Balasingham in a five-star hotel in Paris. more..

Sri Lanka’s first Camillian priest once studied to become a Buddhist monk

Apr 28 (AN) He was to have become a Buddhist monk, but today he is Sri Lanka’s first Camillian priest. Father Maximilian N. Ranatunga, 45 years old, synthesizes his life: “ I was no stranger to sufferance, but then at a certain point, without my knowing why or how I found the joy and beauty of the faith and the vocation to the priesthood”. more..

LTTE suffers a major blow in Tamil Nadu

Apr 28 (IANS) A mysterious vessel drifting in the sea, quick thinking by the Coast Guard, police doggedness, political will - all these have merged to make Tamil Nadu allege for the first time that Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers killed five fishermen from the state. In a dramatic turn of events, the Tamil Nadu authorities late Friday blamed the LTTE for gunning down the five fishermen in the sea south of the Kanyakumari March 29 - killings that sparked widespread anger in the state and for which the Sri Lankan Navy was widely blamed. more..

CIMA Appoints CEO for Sri Lanka division

Apr 28 (CIMA) CIMA today announced that Bradley Emerson had been appointed as Chief Executive of CIMA Sri Lanka division. Bradley, who has more than thirty years’ experience in finance and banking, both in Sri Lanka and overseas, takes up the post on 3 May 2007. He joins CIMA from PABC Bank, where he was Deputy CEO and was the driving force behind the transformation of the bank’s image. more..

UNICEF says pro-Sri Lanka group holding 194 child soldiers

Apr 28 (AFP) A pro-government Tamil militant group is holding at least 194 child soldiers despite promises it would free underage combatants, UNICEF said Saturday. The UN agency for children said the Tamil Tiger faction known as the "Karuna group" was failing to honour its public promises not to recruit child soldiers. Out of 285 children known to have been recruited by the Karuna faction, there were 194 outstanding reported cases as of the end of last month, more..

4 ethnic Tamils arrested on alleged links with Tamil Tiger rebels

Apr 28 (AP) Sri Lanka's police and army swept the capital on Saturday in a massive search operation resulting in the detention of four ethnic Tamils due to alleged links with separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, the Defense Ministry said. "The army and the police conducted a search operation in the Colombo area today," the Defense Ministry information center said on its Web site. "Four Tamil persons and 12 others wanted for offenses were arrested." more..

Sri Lanka capital sealed off amid fears of Tiger attack

Apr 28 (AFP) Police and security forces sealed off Sri Lanka's capital on Saturday, searching every vehicle entering and leaving the city amid fears of a Tamil Tiger attack, officials said. There were huge traffic jams at every entry point to Colombo with motorists spending several hours before they could be allowed in. Doctors and other essential services were also stuck at roadblocks. more..

Sri Lanka are ready

Apr 28 (ECB) Mahela Jayawardene is promising the real Sri Lanka will 'turn up' to try to win the World Cup at the Kensington Oval on Saturday. Sir Lanka will have to overturn the form book and significant odds to hand Australia their first World Cup defeat in 29 matches, on the biggest stage. But captain Jayawardene is confident that if his team stick to their own successful formula they have it in them to prevent Australia winning the cup for an unprecedented third time on the trot. more..

A time to separate men from boys

Apr 28 (HT) It's a time which comes in every four years. A time which separates the men from the boys. A time when seven hours of grind make a team the champion of the world for four years, and another left to rue what could have been. Ask Mike Gatting about the biggest tragic moment of his life. He might be tempted to say "that reverse sweep in the 1987 final" and probably not Warne's ball of the century. more..

If any team can spoil a legend's farewell it is slick Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (GU) For all its foibles and interminability that makes the opening game a distant memory, this World Cup has managed to sort the wheat from the chaff and today a capacity crowd, packed into the magnificently redeveloped Kensington Oval, will witness a final between what, by a distance, have been the two best sides. At least the organisers got that right. more..

Lanka banks on Indian support to win World Cup

Apr 28 (PTI) Apart from flocking temples and churches seeking divine help, Sri Lankan cricket fans are also counting on their billion-strong neighbours India to cheer Mahela Jayawardene's men to victory against Australia in the World Cup finals on Saturday. Reflecting the regional interest in the finals between Sri Lanka and Australia in the West Indies, a local bank paid for an advertisement headlined "Imagine a billion people chanting Sri Lanka." more..

Ponting expects Oval pitch to suit Aussies

Apr 28 (IANS) Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes the Kensington Oval pitch will provide his team with an advantage in their World Cup final against Sri Lanka on Saturday. "The wicket looks particularly good. It's nice and even, it's very hard at the moment so if we get a bit more sun and a bit more wind on it today, I'll expect it to be very hard in the morning and be a very true surface with a bit of pace and bounce," said Ponting. more..

Sri Lanka prays for World Cup success

Apr 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka is agog with World Cup fever with even Buddhist monks, Hindu and Catholic priests and Muslim clerics rallying to seek spiritual support for the home team. Multi-religious ceremonies of all faiths have become common ever since Sri Lanka romped to Saturday's final against world champions Australia in Barbados. The local governing body of the sport, Sri Lanka Cricket, held its own multi-faith service to bless the team. more..

Success of '96 drives tough Sri Lankans

Apr 28 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene remembers where he was when Arjuna Ranatunga and the men that he led so assiduously scripted the greatest moment in Sri Lanka's history. "I was playing in a big school cricket game [for Nalanda College] and unfortunately it was fixed on that day," he said with a smile on the eve of the final. "The first day, we had around 10,000 people watching the game, and the next day we had only about a hundred. more..

'We know how to get the job done'

Apr 28 (CI) Aside from his tidy new haircut, the only thing that was different about Ricky Ponting's demeanour on the eve of the World Cup final was his guarded acceptance of the challenge that lay ahead. For seven weeks and counting, Australian press calls have been as mesmerically self-assured as a TV evangelist's sermon - "We are the greatest, deny it and be damned, hallelujah." Now that the gates of heaven have been reached, however, the bombast has quietly been shelved. more..

Grand stage awaits fitting drama

Apr 28 (CI) We are sitting in one of the television commentary booths in the newly constructed media centre of the Kensington Oval and Franklyn Stephenson, described by many as the best West Indian fast bowler never to have played Test cricket, is recounting to me the best over of fast bowling he, perhaps anyone, has ever seen. There is a lilt in his voice and a sparkle in his eyes as he visualises Michael Holding turning at the top of his bowling mark. more..