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No differences with India over LTTE: Sri Lanka

Apr 3 (IANS) Sri Lanka Tuesday announced that a devolution package for Tamil speaking areas would be announced in the next eight weeks to move towards a negotiated settlement of the ethnic conflict. 'We will make the LTTE stakeholders in a negotiated settlement,' Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told journalists a day before the start of the 14th SAARC Summit. more..

Sangakkara embodies clinical Sri Lankans

Apr 3 (Reuters) Kumar Sangakkara's wicketkeeping in the 113-run win over West Indies reflected all that is good about the Sri Lankan team -- they are sharp, skilful and clinical. Sangakkara's swift stumping of West Indies captain Brian Lara on Sunday was one of the most impressive dismissals seen at a World Cup. His handiwork gave left-arm seam bowler Chaminda Vaas his first international wicket via a stumping. more..

Sri Lanka's inflation promoters call for higher minimum wage: report

Apr 3 (LBO) A trade union connected to a Sri Lankan political party whose policy influence expanded the budget deficit and drove inflation to very high levels in the last three years is now calling for a higher minimum wage, reports said. The Inter Company Employees Union (ICEU), has decided to go on the 'war path' to force the government to guarantee a 12,500 rupee minimum wage for private sector employees, more..

The strike of two sparrow-like aircraft exposes the critical flaws of the political and rule of law systems - AHRC

Apr 3 (ISL) On Monday March 26, 2007 in the early hours of the morning two small aircraft entered the airspace over the Sri Lankan Air Force base at Katunayake, dropped three bombs and returned, unchecked to safety. The whole episode exposed the critical flaws in the political system and the dysfunctional law enforcement and security systems in Sri Lanka. more..

More raids on Tiger premises by French Police

Apr 3 (AT) The seventeen Tamil Tiger cadres arrested in Paris on the April Fools day are expected to be produced today in a Paris court. Those 17 Tigers arrested in theTamil Coordination Committee office, Tamil Rehabitation Organization office, Maariamman Hindu Temple, People shop run by the LTTE and a few were arrested in the suburban areas of Paris are stil kept under police custody. more..

Keells Supermarkets on minimizing polythene use

Apr 3 (AT) In Sri Lanka there are problems in recycling polythene bags etc and considering this factor and to minimize the polythene bag menace, Keels Super Market Chain introduces to their customers a reusable ‘Red Bag’ and each time customers brings the bag to their outlets for purchases, they would be offered an incentive. more..

Some Tamil journalists in Tamil Nadu in the pay of LTTE

Apr 3 (AT) Editors of the print versions of the Tamil daily newspapers published from Chennai in Tamil Nadu are paid Rs.50, 000 per month by the LTTE. A slush fund to make payment to the Editors are reported to be handled by Subaveerapandian, General Secretary of the Tamil Deshiya Iyakkam (Tamil Nationalist Movement) led by P. Nedumaran. Subaveerapandian was one of those arrested earlier under now defunct POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act of 2002), for speaking in favor of the Tamil Tigers at a meeting in Chennai on April 13, 2002. more..

Negombo identified as a 'Tourist Zone' by the Ceylon Tourist Board

Apr 3 (AT) Though the travel industry in Sri Lanka has jolted due to terrorist activity, the industry people are fully geared to face any tourist inflows and are hoping for the better with an enormous investment expecting adequate returns. In the same way Negombo a major tourism stop is also fully geared to take in the influx tourist whenever they arrive. more..

Karunanidhi not for Indo-Lanka joint patrolling along Palk Strait

Apr 3 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Monday categorically stated in the Assembly that he had not agreed to the proposal for joint patrolling of Palk Strait by the Indian and Sri Lankan Navies. Replying to a special calling attention motion on the attack on Indian fishermen in high seas, he said when DMK ministers and functionaries staged a demonstration before the Sri Lankan consulate here recently, they were informed about the proposal by the Lankan officials. more..

Lanka for mechanism to deal with terror, moots coordinated patrolling

Apr 3 (NIP) The 14th SAARC Summit meeting commencing on Tuesday is expected to come out with a counter-terrorism mechanism, in order to address the escalated violence faced by Sri Lanka, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The need to evolve an effective mechanism among the SAARC countries was strongly advocated by Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama in the Ministerial meeting and in the bilateral meeting with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee. more..

Pak keen to further boost its relation with Sri Lankan in gemstone fields

Apr 3 (PT) Pakistan is keen to learn a lot and boost the further relations in gemstone field with Sri Lanka, said Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Mr. Amanullah Khan Jadoon. He expressed these views while talking to a 3-member Sri Lankan Gemstone Experts delegation headed by Senior Gemologist of the National Gem and Jewelry Authority of Sri Lanka Mr. Upali Nandalal who was called on him here on Monday. more..

Sri Lanka Christians Among Refugees

Apr 3 (CNW) Despite an official ceasefire, Sri Lanka's lengthy internal conflict has intensified. In the last two weeks, 136,000 people fled their homes to seek protection in refugee camps. Among those displaced were eight Gospel for Asia missionaries and at least 83 of their church families. Over the last 15 months, 4,000 people have died in the conflict between Sri Lanka's government and the insurgent group LTTE. more..

Tamil refugees help stranded Sinhalese

Apr 3 (NIP) Sri Lankan Tamil refugees came to the rescue of six Sinhalese, who were taken into custody on Sunday, after they landed at the Devanampattinam coast due to a technical snag in their mechanised boat. Police officials sought the help of Lankan Tamils who were staying at the refugee camp in Kullanchavadi, for assisting in the investigation as none of the Sri Lankan fishermen knew either Tamil or English. more..

Ramadoss calls for positive action

Apr 3 (NIP) PMK founder S Ramadoss has put the onus of putting an end to the recurring attacks by the Sri Lankan Navy on Tamil fishermen off the Tamil Nadu coast, squarely on the Central and State Governments. "The time has come for a positive action from the Centre and the Tamil Nadu Government to find a permanent solution to the recurring incidents of killing of Indian fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy," he said in a statement. more..

Pietersen identifies Murali as biggest threat to England progress

Apr 3 (GU) Kevin Pietersen believes England's World Cup starts in earnest tomorrow when they take on Sri Lanka at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in St Johns in the first of their four crucial Super Eight matches against Test-playing nations. And he says that if England are going to kickstart one of the toughest weeks in their one-day history with two points against a side who beat them 5-0 last summer and many regard as potential finalists, they must do it against the best bowler he has ever faced. more..

Sri Lankan government jails former minister on trumped up charges

Apr 3 (wsws) President Mahinda Rajapakse has initiated a police and judicial witchhunt against two top leaders of his own SLFP. Both were senior ministers in his cabinet, until he sacked them on February 9. The persecution of Ports and Aviation Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Ports Development Minister Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi not only underlines the fragile nature of Rajapakse’s government, but is a sharp warning of the methods that will be used against any political opposition. more..

Dissident MP rejoins UNP

Apr 3 (TN) Mr.Edward Gunasekara, one of eighteen dissidents of the main opposition UNP tendered his resignation from the post of Deputy Minister of Railways to Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse. Mr.Gunasekara crossed over to the opposition side and took a seat along with UNP loyalist parliamentarians when the parliament resumed Tuesday morning, parliamentary sources said. more..

Ogres and Tigers by George R.Ckrushchev

Apr 3 (ISL) Seen through rose-colored glasses, everything will look rosy for sure. Tigerland, the land of milk and honey behind the pearly gates of Omanthai, is no exception. It is a paradise where people live in peace and harmony. So claim the LTTE supporters living in foreign countries, even though none of them are ready to go to heaven, from their supposed hellish western life! more..

Some serious concerns regarding media standards

Apr 3 (ISL) The AHRC forwards a reflection on the current workings of some sections of the Sri Lankan media in relation to a recent case involving a head of the international non-governmental organisation (INGO) and the death of a young journalist as a result of a car accident recently. The reflection is written by a writer who prefers to remain anonymous due to the fact of death threats being levelled against the head of the INGO. more..

French police operation against LTTE fund raising

Apr 3 (ISL) The French police arrested 17 LTTE activists involved in the fund raising activities in their well co-ordinated operations. The section attached to the French Interior Ministry Sous-direction Antiterroriste –SDAT undertook the operations against the LTTE. The police raided several LTTE offices and have taken away seventeen people for further investigations. more..

Take complete, correct, bold and intelligent decisions! – JVP tells Govt.

Apr 3 (LT) The present government should break away from the state of quandary it has got into and take bold decisions to decisively defeat separatist tiger terrorism and all international forces behind it states a communiqué issued by the Political Bureau of the JVP in a communiqué issued to condemn the bombing of a civilian bus by tiger terrorists. more..

'Unable to encounter their defeats, LTTE are targeting innocent civilians'

Apr 3 (GDI) “Unable to face the continuous defeats in the battle front, LTTE are now targeting attacks on innocent civilians,” stated the Military Spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe today, commenting over the yesterday’s bus bomb in Ampara. He sated that further investigations over the attack is being conducted currently and there is a reported death toll of sixteen civilians – two boys, eleven women, three men and twenty five people injured. more..

President Rajapaksa appeals for joint action against terrorism at SAARC Summit

Apr 3 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa emphasized that no country could afford to limit their resolve to the eradication of terrorism to a mere subset of national security. “Terrorism anywhere is terrorism and is a global menace. Unless we act collectively as a region, trans-border terrorist groups will find safe havens in other parts of the politically, militarily, financially and ideologically,” he said more..

President studies Panchayat Raj system

Apr 3 (PISL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa had a discussion with Mr. Mani Shanakar Ayyar, Indian Central Government Minister on Panchayat Raj system, yesterday at the Maurya Sheraton Hotel in New Delhi, a press release issued by the President’s office said. The release also said: Mr. Ayyar is also the Minister for Youth and Sports Affairs and Northeast Development. more..

Italy will stand by Sri Lanka if it takes path to peace - Mariani

Apr 3 (LNP) The Italian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Pio Mariani, said Sri Lankans needed a lot of courage and strength to go along the path of peace, but if they did so, Italy, which was one of the friendly countries, would stand by and help Sri Lanka. He was addressing a large gathering the Muslim community at Kinniya, in Trincomalee last Thursday, after he ceremonially opened the new state of the art Kinniya Hospital and Two New schools, more..

Lankan students in India under suspicion

Apr 3 (LNP) After the LTTE has proved its acquisition of the air power with the recent attack to the Katunayake air base, the Indian police have started collecting information of all Sri Lankan students, studying at various universities and colleges in India, diplomatic source said. The source said that Indian Police are investigating whether the students are linked with terrorist activities or whether the courses they are following are useful to terrorists such as aviation, more..

Pettah Central Bus Stand chief in bribery net

Apr 3 (LNP) The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption on Saturday arrested a senior Transport Ministry official on a charge of bribery. Bribery Commission investigating team trapped the suspect Chandraratne Darmawardene of Maharagama, the chief manager at the Pettah Central Bus Stand, as he accepted Rs. 40,000 from a person who owned several shops in the Central Bus Stand premises. more..

War and human rights

Apr 3 (LNP) Today, on the opposite page, we carry a letter by a reader taking the editor of this newspaper to task over our editorial of March 19, Needed: Genuine campaigners for human rights and media freedom! The writer has obviously mistaken our comment for a brief for the southern terrorists who unleashed unbridled terror only to be hoist with their own petard in the end. more..

Drugs shortage puts patients in danger

Apr 3 (SAMN) Due to the shortage of two drugs, needed to for the treatment of chronic renal failure, the lives of patients in the Anuradhpura, Medawatchchiya, Polonnuruwa and Kebathigollawa are in danger. Provincial Health Director North Central Province Dr. E. Athapattu said the two most essential drugs required for chronic renal failure, supplied by the Medical Services Division, were inadequate to treat more than 6,000 patients warded in hospitals more..

New Psychology unit at University

Apr 3 (SAMN) Higher Education Minister Prof. Wiswa Warnapala is now planning to set up a Department of Psychology at a University here with the assistance of a University in Ireland. In this connection he had a formal discussion with representatives of the National University of Ireland, Ministry said. Executive Director of the National University of Ireland Seamus O’ Grady who was in Sri Lanka recently on a fact finding mission had a lengthy discussion with Minister Warnapala at the Ministry of Higher Education. more..

Power cuts inevitable

Apr 3 (SAMN) While residents in Colombo complained of power interruptions during the last few days, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Monday denied having carried out intentional power cuts. Grandpass and Hulftsdorp residents said there were eight hour power cuts in the area during the past few days, with a five hour power cut in the morning from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m. and another four and a half hour power cut from 7.30 pm to 12 midnight. more..

Kotmale poised to capture local market

Apr 3 (SAMN) Kotmale dairy products which have long been a household name in Sri Lanka will soon be available in a variety of exciting flavours and brand new packaging which is bound to entice the consumer, thus further strengthening their market share and their position as the company with the largest locally manufactured dairy product portfolio in the country. more..

'Temples can restore diminishing social values'

Apr 3 (DN) The temples should take initiative to inculcate social values among people, which are fast diminishing in the society, Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon said. He was addressing a foundation-laying ceremony for the new shrine room of Sri Neegrodharama temple, Makulemada, Matale, the Minister pointed out that many of the Buddhist values are now being diminished from the society. more..

Water project for remote communities

Apr 3 (DN) The Communities in remote Parawahagama and Walpalugama in the Palagala Divisional Secretariat in the Anuradhapura District, received two water supply projects from Plan Sri Lanka, marking the World Water Day. Plan has invested over Rs. 4.5 million to construct these two water projects which would benefit 168 families in the area. more..

No basis for CFA referendum:JHU

Apr 3 (DM) The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) said yesterday, there was no basis for a referendum to seek public opinion on the abrogation of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA). The party was commenting on the government’s plan to hold a referendum to determine if they should go ahead with the CFA or not. JHU member, Udaya Gammanpila said the legal validity of the agreement was already challenged in court. more..

UPFA councillors boycott sessions, voting in SPC

Apr 3 (DM) The Southern Provincial Council (SPC) is heading for a political drama with some of the ruling UPFA councillors boycotting sessions and abstaining from voting. According to sources the group includes loyalists of former minister Mangala Samaraweera. This group had abstained from voting twice, thus enabling the opposition to pass two resolutions in the council recently. more..

Sri Lanka to provide expertise for skill development of students of GGIP-APCEA

Apr 3 (APP) Gem and Jewelry Association of Sri Lanka has expressed its consent over provision of expertise for skill development of students studying at Gem and Gemological Institute of Pakistan (GGIP) at Peshawar. The visiting delegation also agreed on exchange of delegations of businessmen for promotion of trade of gemstone between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. more..

UN Decorates 200 Sri Lankan Peacekeepers in Haiti

Apr 3 (SLA) TWO HUNDRED members of the Sri Lankan contingent in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) were decorated with the United Nations peacekeeping medal at a solemn ceremony organized at its contingent base in L‚ogane on the 29th of March 2007. The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti, Luiz Carlos Da Costa, in his message expressed his gratitude for their more..

Catholic college sends its students out to march on war, disunity and an uncertain future

Apr 3 (UCAN) Thousands of students with faces painted Yellow and green took to the streets of Colombo to protest against the war and ethnic disunity plaguing Sri Lanka. Aquinas College of Higher Studies, in the heart of Colombo, sent nearly all its 7,000 students out on March 18, a Sunday, accompanied by a brass band as well as Catholic priests and nuns. Participants in "Aquinas Walk 2007" marched four kilometers before returning to the college. more..

ICRC deplores attack on civilian bus

Apr 3 (ICRC) The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) deplores the civilian casualties caused by an attack yesterday on a civilian bus in Ambalangoda, Ampara district, on Sri Lanka’s east coast. Sixteen persons were killed, including 11 women and three children, and some two dozen others were injured in an explosion which was set off inside the bus. more..

India for easy visas and Sri Lanka for one SAARC currency

Apr 3 (IANS) Afghanistan, battling a resurgent Taliban, Tuesday joined SAARC to make it to the world's most populous regional grouping, with its new chairperson and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announcing a liberalized visa regime for South Asia and Sri Lanka calling for a single regional currency. more..

Sri Lanka for single currency for South Asia

Apr 3 (IANS) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse Tuesday urged SAARC to come out with a single currency like in Europe and also unveil a regional counter-terrorism strategy. Speaking at the opening of the two-day summit here, Rajapakse said unlike European countries that have come together despite major differences in culture and religion, 'I am particularly concerned that SAARC has not (come together). more..

No going back until peace is restored, refugees say

Apr 3 (HT) Tamil refugees in Batticaloa district say that they will not go back to their homes unless the shelling stops completely and lasting peace is brought about. "We'll go back only when peace is restored. We can't go back when shelling is on," affirmed Thangavadivel a farmer from Mutur East in Trincomalee district, who has been living with his family in the Vettukadu camp in the outskirts of Batticaloa town for the past 11 months. more..

Sri Lankan state shuns foreign food

Apr 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka's state institutions have been asked to uphold native culture and banish foreign food at official functions, the public administration ministry said Tuesday. Receptionists have been asked to greet guests in the traditional "ayubowan" ("may you live long") after offering local sweetmeats made with coconut, rice flour and usually fried in coconut oil. more..

Angry Sri Lanka blasts Amnesty International for human rights cricket campaign

Apr 3 (AP) An angry Sri Lankan government blasted Amnesty International on Tuesday for using the Cricket World Cup to target alleged human rights abuses during the conflict with separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. Amnesty has campaigned at the World Cup, currently being played in the Caribbean, to urge all parties in Sri Lanka's decades-long conflict to respect human rights under the slogan "play by the rules." more..

Sri Lanka says kills 23 Tiger rebels, takes bases

Apr 3 (Reuters) Sri Lankan troops killed 23 Tamil Tigers in clashes in the east overnight and overran four rebel bases, the military said on Tuesday, as the island's president called for a South Asian anti-terror drive. Monday's clashes in the eastern district of Batticaloa, where troops are seeking to evict the rebels from territory they control, came on the same day suspected Tigers bombed a civilian bus in island's restive east, killing 16 people, mostly women and children. more..

Military says 23 Tamil rebels killed in clash in eastern Sri Lanka

Apr 3 (AP) Government soldiers killed 23 separatist Tamil rebels during a fierce clash in eastern Sri Lanka as the army attempted to regain control of the area, the military said Tuesday. The battle erupted late Monday while the soldiers were on an operation in the village of Unnichchai in the eastern Batticaloa district, military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said. more..

Rajapaksa seeks SAARC drive against terror

Apr 3 (HT) The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appealed to the eight-member South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to adopt a joint, multi-pronged approach to terrorism. Speaking at the opening session of the SAARC summit in New Delhi on Tuesday, Rajapaksa said: "Unless we act collectively as a region, trans-border terrorist groups will find safe havens in other parts of the region." more..

Probe on 'faulty' Indian radars

Apr 4 (BBC) The Sri Lanka government has once again accused international media institutions of working on the agenda of the Tamil Tigers. Defence Affairs spokesman, minister Keheliya Rambukwella, said the government 'regretted' that 'certain media institutions' intially reported that LTTE attacked Katunayake international airport. more..

Russel Arnold's column

Apr 4 (BBC) Our guys are really focused for the next game against England - if we win we will be well on our way to the semi-finals. Although the result in last year's series in England, when we won 5-0, adds to our confidence, the key will be how we do things on the day. The past is basically history and it won't count for much if we do not play 100%, but the guys are very much aware of that and I'm pretty sure there'll be quite a few big performances. more..