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The roar of the Tigers

Apr 4 (AJ) The Tamil Tiger separatists' night-time air raid on Sri Lanka's largest air force base last week has inflicted a heavy psychological blow on the country's defence establishment. The attack failed to cause significant damage but was a sign that, as the conflict escalates and hopes for a peaceful settlement fade, the separatists may be able to surprise much better equipped government forces. more..

Sri Lanka's former cricket chief sentenced to jail, granted bail on appeal

Apr 4 (AP) Sri Lanka's former cricket board chief Thilanga Sumathipala was sentenced to jail on Wednesday for passport forgery, but the judge released him on bail after an appeal to a higher court, an aide said. Sumathipala is accused of altering the passport of Dhammika Amarasinghe, a purported contract killer, to enable him to travel to England and take part in the 1999 World Cup. more..

LTTE's air capability of little threat to India: Rane

Apr 4 (Hindu) The Chief of the Southern Air Command of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Air Marshall Y. R. Rane, today said the recently acquired air combat capability of the LTTE posed "little or no threat" to the country. At a press conference here, the Air Marshall said non-State actors with air capability were surely a threat to international civil aviation. more..

Sri Lankan air force says it bombed Tiger naval base; rebels deny, say civilians killed

Apr 4 (AP) Sri Lanka's air force said it pounded the headquarters of the Tamil Tiger rebels' sea wing in the country's north Wednesday, destroying fuel reserves and sparking a large blaze. The bombing ignited a fire at the key Sea Tigers' base near the northern town of Mullaitivu, air force spokesman Group. Cap. Ajantha Silva said. more..

Sri Lanka rebel naval HQ destroyed: defence ministry

Apr 4 (AFP) Sri Lankan warplanes "bombed and completely destroyed" a key Tamil Tiger naval base Wednesday, the defence ministry said, drawing an immediate denial from the rebels. Israeli-built Kfir jets pounded what the defence ministry said was the "Sea Tiger headquarters" of the LTTE at Puthukkudiyiruppu, some 15 kilometers from the ocean. more..

Sri Lanka says jets destroy Tamil Tiger naval HQ

Apr 4 (Reuters) Sri Lankan air force jets bombed and destroyed the headquarters of the Tamil Tigers' naval arm in the far northern district of Mullaithivu, the military said on Wednesday, but the rebels said a landmine victim charity was hit. As the headquarters were inland in a town called Puthukkudiyiruppu, and the feared Sea Tiger fleet of attack boats are stationed near the coast, it was unclear if any rebel vessels were damaged, the military said. more..

Sri Lanka moves to prosecute suspect of biggest ever tax fraud

Apr 5 (LBO) Sri Lankan police have completed investigations into the multi-billion rupee value-added tax refund fraud and are ready to prosecute seven suspects, officials said. Deputy finance minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said the Criminal Investigations Department had handed over the case to the Attorney-General for charges to be filed. Nine suspects, including the ring-leaders, remain at large. more..

Sri Lanka bans cruelty to bulls in April races

Apr 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka announced a cracked down on cruelty to bulls at cart races during next week's New Year celebrations, President Mahinda Rajapakse's office said Wednesday. Cart rallies are common during Sri Lanka's traditional two day New Year celebration, which starts on April 13, but animal rights activists say the carriages are driven by carters who treat the animals badly. more..

Criss-crossing Sri Lankan parliamentarian complains of death threats

Apr 5 (LBO) A rebel parliamentarian who re-joined Sri Lanka's opposition after a brief stint as a deputy minister, told parliament Wednesday that he was receiving death threats, while his former fellow rebels labeled the move as childish. Former deputy minister for railways Edward Goonasekara vacated his ministerial post on Tuesday saying he is unable to keep on servicing the public with the position given to him, and came back to the main opposition United National Party. more..

Uproar in Parliament over South Asian common currency

Apr 5 (LBO) Parliament Wednesday witnessed an uproar over President Mahinda Rajapakse's proposal for a single currency for SAARC nations. Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe demanded a Parliamentary debate over Rajapakse's statement at the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation) Summit in New Delhi Tuesday. "We must have a debate in this Parliament over the issue," Wickremesinghe said more..

Regional leaders appreciate the rural development programme in Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (GDI) The state heads of the SAARC region, appreciates the development programme- ‘Jathika Saviya Gama Neguma’ - inaugurated by the Sri Lankan Government to uplift the livelihood of the rural citizens of the country. This was revealed at the round table discussion held yesterday (03) with the participation of the President of India Abdul Kalam and other state heads of the SAARC nations. more..

JICA extends technical support to livelihood Improvement project in the Hambantota district

Apr 5 (AT) Japan International Cooperation Agency [JICA] has entered an agreement with the government of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Provincial Councils to extend technical cooperation to a project on Rural Livelihood Improvement in nine selected Grama Niladhari divisions in the Hambatota district. The main aim is to increase the income and livelihood of the masses. more..

CID in the look out for Minister Chandrasena to question regarding 6.7 million rupee fraud

Apr 5 (LeN) The CID is about to question former minister of Agrarian services and Agrarian services development and current minister of Nation building S.M. Chandrasena with regard to a 6.7 million rupees cash fraud that is said to have taken place when paying compensation to farmers in Mavilaru after the anicut was closed down by the LTTE. more..

Doctors fall ill due to ransom collectors

Apr 5 (LeN) Doctors of the Vavuniya hospital did not report for work today on sick leave, in protest of the threats they receive from an organized group demanding for ransoms. It is reported that daily activities of the Vavuniya hospital were hampered due to the strike action but only a few doctors were present to attend to emergency services. more..

One last hurrah

Apr 5 (CI) Failure may be an orphan, but it can also be a powerful spur, especially once you find your life bereft of its focal point. Cricket had given Sanath Jayasuriya much to savour, including a World Cup triumph, but somewhere along the line the passion dimmed. For an 18-month period after the Asia Cup of 2004, Jayasuriya played like a veteran in decline, an ageing prizefighter with reflexes too slow and movements too telegraphed to trouble the new power generation. more..

Fernando holds his nerve to seal a thriller

Apr 5 (CI) Sri Lanka's slick professionalism in the field, and Dilhara Fernando's composure in the final over, earned them a nail biting win over England in Antigua. Though Sri Lanka only compiled a relatively modest 236, England's middle-order fell away meekly before a thrilling fightback from Paul Nixon and Ravi Bopara dragged down the required total to just 12 from the final over. It was two too many. more..

Mahinda "invited" HR observers in 89

Apr 5 (BBC) It was Mahinda Rajapakse and Vasudeva Nanayakkara who went to Geneva to invite international observers to put pressure on the government in the 89/90 period over human rights violations, says Vasudeva Nanayakkara in an interview with the BBC. Human rights violations should be reported without exaggeration, and not confined only to government side, says Vasudeva Nanayakkara, the leader of the opposition of the Colombo Municipal Council. more..

Moody delays decision on next move

Apr 5 (CI) Tom Moody's family will influence whether he stays with Sri Lanka, heads home to Australia or returns to England to work after the World Cup. Moody has a list of potential coaching prospects to consider at the end of the tournament, including continuing his role with Mahela Jayawardene's team or coaching his former state Western Australia. more..

Cricket in Lanka is a 'Sinhalese' game

Apr 5 (HT) One of the striking features of the Sri Lankan cricket team is that it is mainly a Sinhalese team, with one or two members from other major communities like Tamils and Muslims. In the present team, there are only two Tamils (Muthiah Muralitharan and Russel Arnold) and one Muslim (Farveez Mahroof). In the current context of the ethnic conflict, it is easy to come to the conclusion that this skewed ethnic representation is due to ethnic discrimination. more..

Murali trumps Pietersen, and a milestone for Jayasuriya

Apr 5 (CI) No-one would have anticipated a last-over finish to the match when Paul Collingwood fell in the 34th over, leaving England tottering at 133 for 6, requiring 103 more to win in less than 17 overs. That they finally made the contest such a gripping one was thanks to a fantastic 87-run stand between Ravi Bopara and Paul Nixon, a record for the seventh wicket for England in World Cup matches. more..

Sri Lanka: India for negotiated settlement

Apr 5 (Hindu) India had assured the Sri Lankan Government of "full assistance" after the recent air attack by the LTTE on a military base near Colombo's international airport. At the same time, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee made it clear on Wednesday that India preferred a negotiated solution to the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka and felt that a military solution was not feasible. more..

JVP MP for peace process "without external interference"

Apr 5 (Hindu) A "genuine peace process without external interference" is required to arrive at a lasting solution to the Sri Lankan ethnic crisis, Bimal Rathnayake, Sri Lankan MP belonging to the People's Liberation Front (JVP), told The Hindu here on Tuesday. "We have not drafted our own [peace] proposals. We have always been trying to import and install [a peace process]," he said. more..

Recognize Tamil state, Canadian Tamils say

Apr 5 (CBC) Canada should recognize a separate state in the northeastern areas of Sri Lanka where Tamils have taken control, a Canadian Tamil organization said Wednesday. Canada declared the LTTE — the Tamil Tigers — a terrorist organization last year. The group has been fighting the Sri Lankan government for an independent state for more than 20 years. more..

Yahoo Photos

Apr 5 (AP) Sri Lanka's Dilhara Fernando celebrates clean bowling England's Ravi Bopara, not seen, with the last ball of the Cricket World Cup Super 8s match between England and Sri Lanka more..

Enjoy cricket yet eliminate unjust structures in its name in Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (TW) Cricket is no doubt be the most sentimental and madly worshiping interaction of urban Sri Lankans and in rural settings up to some extent. Sri Lankans are not as crazy as Indians whom treated their cricketers as demi-Gods and pelting stones when they loose. Except one incident around 1990’s we never heard that Sri Lankan fans pelted stones at cricketers’ residences. more..

NGO expresses discomfort over finding hand grenade in its vehicle

Apr 5 (TW) The Nonviolent Peaceforce Sri Lanka, (NPSL) remains perplexed and deeply concerned at the discovery of a live hand grenade in the back of one of its vehicles, (a soft top pick up truck with a low tailboard). The deliberate carriage of any form of military ordnance, particularly in one of its own vehicles, goes against the organisation’s core beliefs and principles on the renouncement of all forms of violent activity. more..

Central Bank makes record profits from money printing, inflation and debauching its currency

Apr 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank posted a massive 27 billion profit in 2006 as the economy inflated and the rupee depreciated due to money printing, its latest accounts showed. The bank posted exchange gains of 22.3 billion rupees compared with losses of 12.9 billion rupees in 2005 as Sri Lanka's rupees bowed to the dollar under the weight of money printed to bridge the budget deficit in 2006. more..

Lanka committed to devolution package

Apr 5 (NIP) President Mahinda Rajapakse on Wednesday informed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that his Government was committed to unveiling a comprehensive package of devolution of powers to Tamils and other minorities soon. It could be as early as the next few weeks. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed the hope that such a devolution Package would satisfy the legitimate political aspirations of all ethnic groups in Sri Lanka more..

Why we love to love Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (CI) In 1996, Sri Lanka crushed India's dreams en route to winning the World Cup. Indian fans who tend to draw horns and provide tails and tridents to teams which beat their beloved heroes, somehow acknowledged Sri Lanka's superiority. It was as if they were saying, "If we can't win, then you are our next choice." A decade and a year later Sri Lanka throw India out of the World Cup, and except for some SMS jokes -- which are more affectionate than vicious -- nothing has changed. Why do we love to love Sri Lanka? more..

Sri Lankan authorities continue to stall over disappearance of SEP member

Apr 5 (wsws) The lack of any action by Sri Lankan security forces to locate Socialist Equality Party (SEP) member Nadarajah Wimaleswaran and his friend, Sivanathan Mathivathanan, raises serious concerns about their safety and further points to the involvement of the military in their disappearance. The two men have been missing since March 22. more..

Sri Lanka makes limited gains under US, EU trade breaks: Report

Apr 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka has made limited gains under current preferential trade arrangements with the United States and Europe, a new report by a Sri Lankan think tank shows. Sri Lanka has been using the US and the EU Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) schemes since the programs were rolled out in the 1970’s. more..

Aimless war is the reason for human rights violations - EPDP

Apr 5 (ISL) EPDP Secretary General, Douglas Devenanda who had been to America to sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in New York had a meeting with UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Armed Conflict and Children and a human right activist, Radhika Kumarasamy. During this meeting Secretary General explained to Radhika Kumarasamy that the aimless war is the main reason for the increasing number of disabled persons in Sri Lanka. more..

LTTE Air attack: Air Defence and Related Issues

Apr 5 (ISL) It is over a week since the first ever air attack by the air wing of LTTE was carried out on Monday 26th March 2007 at 0045 hrs. The most important dimension of this attack is the aspect of Air Defence or lack of it, which allowed the attack to go through. This article is an attempt to examine the air defence aspects of the attack, which are extremely important in the context of the success of the attack by the LTTE. more..

Kerawalapitiya power plant to avoid power crisis in future

Apr 5 (GDI) The projected Kerawalapitiya power plant will be utilized to avoid prower crisis in the future stated the Minister of Power and Energy, W.D.J. Senevirathne. Minister made this remark yesterday after signing Shareholders Agreement for the project at Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo. Accordingly the open cycle operation of the 300 MW Combined Cycle Power will start from July 2008. more..

LTTE cadres down to 4000 - Army Comm.

Apr 5 (PISL) The LTTE’s rank and file has only between 3,500 to 4,000 cadres in the North and East, according to Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka. According to his estimates there are only around 500 cadres in the East and around 3,000 scattered in the North. He also said that under no circumstances the forward march towards Thoppigala would be halted and asserted that it won’t be a mere war of words. more..

National Museum’s priceless artefacts damaged by rain

Apr 5 (PISL) Priceless paintings, manuscripts and artefacts at the National Museum have been seriously damaged by the rain in last few days as all gutters surrounding the museum complex had been removed by a contractor for roof repairs. According to museum sources, the contract for repairs was originally awarded to the State Engineering Corporation which had sub contracted the work. more..

Jaffna Traders Support GOSL Efforts to Carry Supplies to Jaffna

Apr 5 (PISL) Twelve traders from Jaffna, under the facilitation of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FCCISL) have undertaken to ship two thousand metric tones of goods from Colombo to Jaffna (on a weekly basis) in support of the on going efforts of the Government to supply the needs of the people in the Jaffna peninsula. This partnership marks a new beginning since the un-provoked LTTE attacks at Muhamalai in August 2006. more..

CID officers suspended

Apr 5 (LNP) Two CID officers have been suspended for allegedly soliciting a bribe of Rs. 5 million to release three suspects believed to be involved in LTTE activities, a senior CID officer told the Daily Mirror yesterday. He said the CID had made a complaint with the Bribery Commission regarding these officers. The CID itself is conducting a disciplinary inquiry and the inquiry team had recommended the two officers be suspended, the officer said. more..

LTTE smuggled 4 or 5 aircraft during CFA: Karuna

Apr 5 (LNP) Former LTTE eastern commander and now renegade leader Karuna Amman said that after the ceasefire agreement was signed in 2002 the LTTE had smuggled in 4 or 5 aircraft, and could use them to target Colombo and the suburbs. His comments comes just days after the LTTE staged a daring aerial attack on the Katunayake Air Force base using at least two light aircraft which the LTTE says was part of its own air force wing. more..

UNP vows to form govt after New Year

Apr 5 (SAMN) UNP vowed to form a government immediately after the National New Year and said the return of Gampaha district MP Edward Gunasekara to the fold was just one in a series of democratic moves by the UNP to topple the ruling alliance. UNP Galle district MP Vajira Abeywardena made this prediction at a UNP rally chaired by party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in Grandpass on Wednesday. more..

LGEA bill referred to CC

Apr 5 (SAMN) The proposed Local Government Elections Ordinance Amendment Bill had to be put off in Parliament yesterday after three political parties wanted it referred to the Consultative Committee. JVP MP Vijitha Herath who rose when Minister of Local Government Janaka Bandara Tennakoon presented the Amendment Bill said the matter should be referred to the Electoral Reforms Committee to make the relevant changes. more..

Two probe commission members resign

Apr 5 (SAMN) Two members of the commission of inquiry setup by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to probe 15 selected cases of assassinations and abductions have tendered their resignations citing various reasons, the Daily Mirror learns. According to well informed sources, the President had accepted the resignation of commission members U. Yapa and K. Logeswaran bringing the number of members in the commission down to six. more..

Bus owners demand fare increase

Apr 5 (SAMN) While the government is struggling to improve the quality of the public transport, a group of bus owners in the south, led by a provincial councillor in the ruling party, is demanding an increase of fares, the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne said. "The irony is that one of their own men is involved in pulling the rug from under the government’s feet", Wijeratne said. more..

Medical test mooted for drivers

Apr 5 (DN) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry will establish a special unit at the Colombo National Hospital shortly to issue a Medical Certificate to all professional drivers in the state and private sector. This will be compulsory when obtaining a new driving licence or renewing the existing one. The aim of this initiative is ensuring the safety of drivers and others, more..

New passports to incorporate biometric technology

Apr 5 (DM) The Department of Immigration and Emigration is to introduce Biometric Technology to put an end to malpractices and frauds connected with passports. Under the new procedure an applicant will have to attach a copy of his thumb print and a picture of his eye brows, eyes and the nose, in addition to other vital documents such as his birth certificate and National Identity Card, more..

Harry vs Vittachi: Court suggests settlement

Apr 5 (DM) When the application for special leave to appeal filed by business tycoon Harry Jayawardena challenging the interim order of the Court of Appeal preventing him from intervening, interfering and obstructing Dr V.P.Vittachi whilst he is functioning as a Director of Stassen Exports Ltd was taken up before the Supreme Court on Tuesday (3), Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva advised the parties to get together and resolve the dispute in the interest of the Company. more..

Security is under competent guidance

Apr 5 (GDI) Cabinet Spokesman and Minister of mass Media and Information Anura Priyadharashana Yapa said that the security is handled by very competent persons and the people have the fullest confidence in them. Minister said this while replying to a question on opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s statement that “the nation’s security must be ensured by having competent people in charge of national defence”. more..

Six luxury cruise ships call at Colombo

Apr 5 (DN) The Colombo Port has set a record during this tourism season receiving six luxury passenger vessels within 48 hours with foreign passengers on board. This is the first time that six luxury passenger vessels arrived at the Port almost simultaneously. A large number of passengers from Great Britain, United States of America, Germany and France arrived in Colombo on board these vessels. more..

Cathay Pacific to resume Colombo services on 22 April

Apr 5 (CP) Cathay Pacific Airways announced today that it will resume daily flights to and from Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka, on Sunday, 22 April. Flight CX703, which departs from Hong Kong on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will fly via Bangkok while flight CX711 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday stops in Singapore before continuing to Colombo. more..

The case for intervention in Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (CD) SKEPTICS of intervention often argue that it is impossible to get engulfed in all wars, and that there are some cases where intervention is more warranted than others. Even so, a strong case for international intervention in the civil war in Sri Lanka between the government and the Tamil Tigers can be made. According to the Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission, one person is abducted or killed every three hours. more..