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Treble seeking Aussies face one final challenge

Apr 28 (Reuters) A World Cup which has drawn criticism for too many lack-lustre matches badly needs a spectacle from Australia and Sri Lanka in Saturday's final at the Kensington Oval. It should get it from the meeting of the world's top batting side, undefeated in 28 World Cup matches stretching back to 1999, against the game's most unusual bowling attack. more..

Vaiko's arrest: TN for Centre's nod

Apr 29 (ToI) The Tamil Nadu government would seek the Centre's views on the Congress demand for the arrest of MDMK chief Vaiko for his 'pro-LTTE' remarks, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi told the state assembly on Saturday. Replying to points raised by Congress MLA C Gnanasekaran, who referred to Vaiko's remarks on Friday that his party would continue to support the LTTE and also the MLA's demand to parties which had supported LTTE, more..

Photo Essay: Celebration of the Golden Day

Apr 29 (TW) “Akshaya Tritiya”, the third day of the new moon, It is considered one of the most sacred days of the year. The word `Akshaya’ means that which never diminishes. Women thronged the jewellery shops and purchased jewelleries. Akshaya Tritiya is considered the most auspicious day to invest in gold. The Hindus believe gold brings luck and eternal success. It’s the golden day of the year. This year Akshya Tritiya was observed on April 20th. more..

Number of IDPs still high islandwide

Apr 29 (TW) The number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) continues to remain high around the country, with issues affecting their shelter and well-being being continuously raised by the humanitarian workers in the affected districts. The latest Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) report states that in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu Districts the number of IDPs continue to increase specifically in the Manthai east area. more..

Canadian Tamils’ Chamber of Commerce Celebrates 10th Annual Awards Gala

Apr 29 (TW) The Canadian Tamils’ Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 10th Annual Awards Gala Ceremony at the Hilton Suites Hotel in Toronto Markham on April 21, 2007. CTCC has fostered entrepreneurship in the Canadian Tamil community for the last 16 years. The Awards Gala is symbolic of how members of the Tamil community are contributing immensely to the very fabric that makes up Canada’s multicultural society. more..

In retrospect: 2005 Presidential Election, LTTE boycott and Heroes’ Day address

Apr 29 (TW) It is widely acknowledged that President Mahinda Rajapaksa narrowly won the November 2005 contest because of the boycott enforced by the LTTE in the predominantly Tamil areas of the North-East province. It is also said that the LTTE deliberately decided to enforce the boycott to ensure the victory of Rajapaksa, perceived by many as a hard-liner, in the belief that his election would help to create conditions that would be conducive to resume its war, more..

Gilchrist leads Australia to World Cup treble

Apr 29 (CI) Australia put the seal on the most dominant campaign in World Cup history, securing their fourth title and their third in a row since 1999 thanks to Adam Gilchrist's scintillating 149 from 104 balls. But that, sadly, is not what the final of the ICC World Cup West Indies 2007 (to give it its full and fully deserved title) will be remembered for. more..

Tigers launch air attacks on Colombo

Apr 29 (AFP) Tamil Tiger aircraft bombed key installations in Sri Lanka's capital in retaliation for a military air strike on their territory early Sunday. Tiger planes targeted two oil storage facilities because they provided fuel to Sri Lankan forces, spokesman Rasiah Ilanthiriyan said. "We sent two squadrons to target facilities that provide fuel to military aircraft after two Sri Lankan airforce jets bombed a suburb of Kilinochchi (inside rebel-held territory) just past midnight," more..

Suspected Tamil rebel plane bombs gas storage facility near Sri Lanka's capital

Apr 29 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebel aircraft bombed a fuel refinery and gas storage facility early Sunday near the capital Colombo, a rebel official said. "The Tamileelam air force bombed two facilities that supply fuel to the Sri Lankan military, especially their air force," a rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan said by telephone from the Tamil Tiger stronghold Kilinochchi in northern Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka rebels launch air raid on oil targets

Apr 29 (Reuters) Planes of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels dropped bombs on two oil facilities near the capital Colombo on Sunday, slightly damaging one, the air force said. Residents said they heard explosions and firing as the military responded to the air raid. Hospital officials said two people who worked at a power station were being treated for gunfire wounds. "Tamil Tiger aircraft came and dropped three bombs," an air force spokesman said, more..

Yahoo Photos

Apr 29 (Reuters) Australia's captain Ricky Ponting holds aloft the trophy after his team beat Sri Lanka in their World Cup cricket final in Bridgetown. Australia lifted the World Cup trophy for a record third successive time after claiming a 53-run victory over Sri Lanka more..

World Cup referee Crowe admits error

Apr 29 (Reuters) World Cup match referee Jeff Crowe admitted on Saturday that Sri Lanka had been mistakenly asked to come back on the field for a final three overs in the rain-reduced World Cup final against Australia. Australia were celebrating their third consecutive World Cup victory after the Sri Lanka batsman had gone off for bad light when the teams were told they would have to complete the final three overs or come back on Sunday to finish the match. more..

Gilchrist and Aussies smashing amid chaos

Apr 29 (GU) Maybe it was inevitable that this ill-fated, ill-conceived tournament should end so absurdly with a Duckworth/Lewis victory to Australia. After they had cracked 281 for four from 38 overs on a stormy day, Sri Lanka, defiant to the last, gave chase but accepted the umpires' second offer of the light with three overs remaining and their target now unattainable. more..

Dr. Colvin R. de Silva’s 1984 warning rings true in 2007

Apr 29 (TW) [The tireless chroniclers of Sri Lankan Left history, Wesley Muttiah and Sydney Wanasinghe, have brought out as a new publication the Selected Speeches and Writings of Dr. Colvin R. de Silva. The book includes twenty seven of Colvin’s speeches and writings spanning the fifty three years (1935 to 1988) of his political life, and a wide range of topics from India’s independence to the nationalization of Sri Lanka’s plantations. more..

GoSL and LTTE bunker down for protracted war

Apr 29 (TW) If you believe that a military “solution” is desirable and possible you will be overjoyed, and if you think it a destructive delusion you will be horrified, but faint hypocritical echoes for the benefit of foreigners notwithstanding, GoSL is now fully committed to the military option. The Tiger for its part is not going to play pussy-cat, disarm, belly-up and purr in front of the Lion Army. more..

Statement by Minister of Mass Media and Information Anura Priyadharshana Yapa

Apr 29 (GDI) Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) received information that two LTTE light aircraft were approaching the Western coastal area around 1.30 am today when they were about 20 nautical miles away from Colombo and the air defence systems were activated. Hence the aircraft had to turn back without reaching their targets. As the air defence systems were activated, the two aircraft fled the area and dropped four explosive devices in Kolonnawa area and Muthurajawela area around 1.50 a.m. more..

Indian and Dutch partners of Sri Lanka petroleum firms shrug off Tamil Tiger air raids

Apr 29 (LBO) The Indian and Dutch partners of petroleum facilities targeted by Tamil Tigers, which are jointly owned with the government of Sri Lanka, are confident of resuming normal business as the damage is minimal, officials said. The Tigers first hit a petroleum facility in Kolonnawa, a suburb of Colombo, which is jointly owned by Indian and Sri Lankan governments since 2002. more..

LTTE massacres Indian fishermen, seizes large vessel

Apr 29 (ANN) Sri Lanka expects India to take punitive action against the LTTE following Friday (April 27)’s revelation that Sea Tigers were responsible for the March 29 massacre of five Tamil Nadu fishermen off Kanyakumari coast. "We want India to take meaningful measures to neutralise the LTTE activity on the seas," a Sri Lankan official told The Sunday Island. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, he claimed that an influential section of the Tamil Nadu bureaucracy and the press tried to cover up the LTTE’s involvement. more..

LTTE hijacked HR campaign: AI

Apr 29 (SAMN) Amnesty International has accused the LTTE of hijacking for political reasons its recent campaign against human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. The charge was made by AI's secretary-general Irene Khan in a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, authoritative sources said. Though AI has made this charge, the human rights watchdog is fighting shy of stating this publicly more than two weeks after it was first communicated to President Rajapaksa. more..

Action against 15 defaulting ex-MPs

Apr 29 (SAMN) The Attorney General’s Department is to institute action by dispatching letters of demand to 15 former parliamentarians who have failed to meet the installment payments for their duty free vehicles. The Attorney General has intimated to the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry that the action of the 15 former parliamentarians amount to misappropriation of Public Property since they had defaulted the payment of installments for the vehicles obtained under the duty free facility provided for parliamentarians. more..

Politicos spend 3.7mn on WC extravaganza

Apr 29 (SAMN) The cost involved in maintaining Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge and former Sports Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga and one of his aides at the World Cup venue is a staggering Rs. 3.7 million, reliable sources said. Sports Minister Lokuge had checked into a star class hotel and is occupying a suite for three nights while Jeevan Kumaratunga and his aide have booked in for seven days. more..

TNA seeks direct Indian involvement

Apr 29 (SAMN) Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians have called for direct Indian intervention to bring a halt to the hostilities between the security forces and the LTTE. Most of the senior TNA parliamentarians who paid a visit to India recently, mounted pressure on the New Delhi government to intervene and pressurise the Sri Lankan government to bring an end to the war. more..

All set for Vesak celebrations

Apr 29 (SAMN) With the Vesak festival round the corner many preparations are being made throughout the country to celebrate the Birth, Enlightenment and the Passing Away of the Buddha. The All Ceylon Buddhist Congress will decorate the Bauddhaloka Mawatha with colourful Vesak lanterns and bulbs during Vesak. It will also have dana pinkamas and bana discourses by erudite Buddhist monks. more..

Close tab on liquor outlets during Vesak

Apr 29 (SO) The Excise Department will keep a close tab on liquor shops, restaurants and hotels that sell liquor during the Vesak period from today till May 5. All liquor bars will be closed during this period on a directive issued by the Excise Department. The Excise Commissioner (Crimes) D. G. M. V. Hapuarachchi told the "Sunday Observer" that all provincial Excise Stations have been instructed to conduct periodical checks on liquor shops and hotels to ensure compliance of the directive. more..

President's message for May Day

Apr 29 (SO) "On this International Labour Day, I appreciate very much the co-operation extended by the working people in our journey towards building a new Sri Lanka. "As a leader who has joined hands with the working people, I am well aware of the challenges faced by them. We know that terrorism and political differences are serious blows aimed at the working people, which adversely affect their living standards. more..

After the World Cup, the bigger match

Apr 29 (ST) Ousted Cabinet Minister Mangala Samaraweera was at his official residence at Stanmore Crescent when his mobile phone rang on Tuesday evening. He did not think that by responding to the call, it would lead to what may portend to be a new direction in his political career. The caller was Governor of Western Province and veteran SLFP trade unionist Syed Alavi Mowlana. He asked Samaraweera whether he could come over immediately to meet him. more..

Thursday's air terror: The grim story

Apr 29 (ST) During days of World War II, the British Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm had established a number of land-based air stations in jungle clearings in Sri Lanka, then Ceylon. They were to support air operations against the Japanese in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific theatre of war. One of them was HMS Regolia at Palavi near Puttalam. Somerfeld field strip tracking (or porous metal sheets) were used on the otherwise muddy airfield where Corsair fighter aircraft often got stuck. more..

Blackouts to foil LTTE air attacks

Apr 29 (ST) Colombo City will be plunged into darkness at short notice on the orders of the Defence Ministry in a series of tough, new and unprecedented security measures during feared air attacks byTiger guerrillas. Main among these security measures is a requirement that no back-up power plants is utilized to generate electricity when the Ceylon Electricity Board switches off supply. more..

Call to display sign boards in all three languages

Apr 29 (ST) Airport authorities have been advised by the Official Languages Commission to take immediate steps to put up sign boards inside the airport building in all three languages following a complaint that signs boards only in English were inconveniencing thousands of passengers who were not competent in that language. more..

Cricket’s role in mending a shattered Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (NS) Today we digress from the beaten track of politics. And with good reason too: Sri Lanka played its second World Cup final yesterday. Indeed, it would be pointless to discuss any other issue on a day when the nation would be inebriated by the deeds of its cricketing heroes. These words are being penned before the World Cup final but will be read after the event, perhaps with a hangover to boot. more..

Probe misdeeds of Wildlife chief before he retires on May 6

Apr 29 (NS) The Green Movement of Sri Lanka (GMSL) has lodged a complaint with the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption against the Director General of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC) on April 25, over an alleged awarding of tenders regarding the removal of Lantana sap and the introduction of grasses in the Udawalawe National Park. more..

Anura wants to take our cultural ethos worldwide

Apr 29 (NS) National Heritage Minister Anura Bandaranaike has presented a Cabinet Memorandum on the need for Sri Lanka to take its cultural ethos worldwide. The cabinet memo, based on the Intangible Cultural Heritage, after it is approved, will enable Sri Lanka join a UNESCO grouping of 73 countries to share information on heritage matters. more..

Commission to visit locations

Apr 29 (NS) Over the weekend, Members of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (COI) are scheduled to visit several locations in the Eastern Province including Muttur, where the killings of the 17 Aid Workers attached to French MGO Action Contre La Faim (ACF) had taken place, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. The Foreign Ministry said in a statement : These workers were killed by hitherto unknown gunmen, during the LTTE attack on the town of Muttur in early August 2006. more..

How Gilchrist destroyed Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (CI) In 30 previous World Cup innings, Adam Gilchrist had never reached the three-figure mark - his highest had been 99, against the Sri Lankans in 2003. It seemed the run-out on that occasion would deny him the landmark forever, but in what will almost certainly be his final World Cup innings, Gilchrist conjured up his best display. By the time he was done, he had made the fifth century - and the highest score - in a World Cup final, and had put Australia firmly on the road to a hat-trick of World Cup triumphs. more..

Blind adherence to the rule-book

Apr 29 (CI) How many ICC officials does it take to change a lightbulb? At least a committee of five, none of whom will have read the instruction manual, but each of whom will have a louder and more forthright opinion than the other about how best to do it. If that reads like the start of a bad joke, then it is nothing compared to its ending. Somehow a team of four of the most experienced officials in the game, plus a former Test captain in Jeff Crowe, managed to grab hold of the most luminous event in the world cricket calendar, more..

In pictures: Tamil air raid

Apr 29 (BBC) The night sky was set aglow when security forces fired shots and flares into the air after reports of a suspicious aircraft. more..

Tamil Tiger air raids send cricket fans fleeing in Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (AFP) Tamil Tiger planes struck fuel depots around Sri Lanka's capital early Sunday, briefly plunging Colombo into darkness and sending cricket fans watching the World Cup final running for cover. As explosions were heard and the night sky lit up with anti-aircraft fire, fans scrambled to leave parks and hotels where giant screens showing Sri Lanka playing Australia in the final in Barbados were switched off. more..

Lankans take bombs and defeats in their stride

Apr 29 (HT) It was a Black Sunday for Sri Lanka. The LTTE had staged another daring air raid, this time in the capital city of Colombo. The Sri Lankan cricket team had lost the prestigious World Cup finals at Barbados by a whisker. And by a strange coincidence, the two tragedies had struck simultaneously! And yet, Sri Lankans were unperturbed. The ear-splitting noise of the aerial bombs and the boom of scores of anti-aircraft guns firing simultaneously, had created no panic. more..

Tamil journalist killed in northern Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (AP) Unidentified men fatally shot a reporter for a Tamil-language newspaper in Sri Lanka's troubled northern Jaffna peninsula on Sunday. Selvaraja Rajivarman, 24, worked for the Jaffna-based Uthayan newspaper, which is considered neutral but has good access to information from Tamil Tiger rebels fighting a separatist war with the government. The identity of the attackers and their motive were not immediately known. more..

Lanka fans upbeat despite loss

Apr 29 (AFP) Disappointed Sri Lankan cricket fans drew solace Sunday from their team's performance despite seeing them lose to Australia in the ICC CWC final. The team responded well when rain forced the match to be cut short to 38 overs, which upset their momentum and favoured Australia, the fans said. "We are a side playing very orthodox cricket with a natural flair. The overs restriction was something that was not in our game plan," said Hashan Tillekeratne, more..

Sri Lanka - Australia fimal; Crowe says Rudi Koertzen was talking about allowances

Apr 29 (AFP) Match referee Jeff Crowe took the blame for the farcical finish to the World Cup final which saw Australia celebrate victory twice and forced Sri Lanka to bat in pitch-black darkness. But he suggested third umpire Rudi Koertzen may have initiated a process which led to chaotic scenes at the climax of cricket's showpiece game. more..

Sri Lanka president hails runners-up

Apr 29 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president on Sunday congratulated the national team's World Cup effort and pledged to help the side prepare for the future after their finals loss to Australia. President Mahinda Rajapakse, who travelled to Barbados for the finals match, said captain Mahela Jayawardene and his teammates did a great job in the two-month tournament. more..

Yahoo Photos

Apr 29 (AFP) A Sri Lankan fan showing a bullet. Tamil Tiger planes struck fuel depots around Sri Lanka's capital early, briefly plunging Colombo into darkness and sending cricket fans watching the World Cup final running for cover. more..

India to aid war-hit civilians in Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (IANS) Convinced that Sri Lanka's peace process has been spiked for now, India wants to help civilians hit by the escalating conflict. As for Norway, it is staying put as peace broker despite a snub from Colombo. India's thinking is expected to take concrete shape soon as New Delhi takes a fresh look at the various cards it can play in a seemingly bleak situation where both protagonists seem determined to fight it out. more..

Rebel aircraft target refinery, gas storage facility near Sri Lankan capital

Apr 29 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebel aircraft bombed a fuel refinery and gas storage facility near Sri Lanka's capital on Sunday, forcing authorities to cut power to the city and shut down the country's only international airport, officials said. Hours later, air force fighter planes pounded rebel areas in their stronghold of Kilinochchi, targeting guerrilla aircraft. No details of the damage were immediately available. more..

GTB plans to manufacture TMT Tor Steel in Sri Lanka

Apr 30 (AT) GTB Colombo Corporation Ltd , which is one of principal sponsor of forthcoming Excon 2007 exhibition plans to produce Thermo Mechanically Treated [TMT] Tor steel at their Pannala Plant as a trial basis. Director, Marketing and Sales of the GTB Prasanna Abeyaratne says the test trial will be a key area of their plant and hope to produce TMT Tor steel for their bigger clientele. more..

British government reissues travel warnings to Sri Lanka

Apr 30 (AT) British Government has reviewed and reissued travel warning to British citizens traveling to Sri Lanka in general and the North and East of the country in particular, in the light of the latest incident in which LTTE used aircrafts ob 29 April to drops bombs in targets in Colombo. The latest travel warning by the issued by the British Foreign and Commonwealth office pointed out that on 29 April 2007 the LTTE used light aircraft to drop bombs on targets in the Colombo area. more..

Tamil Tigers humiliate India by killing Indians; Karunanidhi forced to act against pro-Tiger Vaiko

Apr 30 (AT) In killing five Indian fishermen and taking into custody eleven (11) S. Indians the Tigers have humiliated India once gain. The Indian government will now have to negotiate with the LTTE which is a banned organization. The Tigers are also sending the message that, despite India’s claim to be the greatest power in the region, they can get away with murdering Indian citizens by manipulating the Indian polity, both in the centre and the south. more..

Factoring in the Air Tigers

Apr 30 (AT) The presence and the offensive capacity of the Air Tigers will cause important changes in the nature and the trajectory of the Fourth Eelam War. Consequently it will be the height of inanity and irresponsibility to dismiss the aerial capacity of the LTTE as ‘air folly’ – as the regime’s mouthpieces did after debut of the Air Tigers in March. more..

It's a part of the A 9 that LTTE is using for the air strip -Shan Wickremesinghe

Apr 30 (LeN) An engineer who conducted several investigations regarding the air strip of the, Shan Wickremesinghe says the LTTE is using a part of the A 9 highway as their air strip. He said that those responsible in the Air force have been informed of the air paths used by the LTTE to hide away from the radar systems and about the findings from his investigations. more..