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ADB Country Director stresses on constraints on Rural and Agriculture development

Apr 8 (AT) Addressing the Key Persons Forum jointly organized by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry Sri Lanka and Small and Medium Enterprises Developers, Richard Vokes, Sri Lanka Country Director, Asian Development Bank, said that despite the good performances in the economy of the country and though agriculture has also performed well, there are quite a number of adverse conditions that curtails the rural and agricultural development of Sri Lanka. more..

Holiday feeling pushes share market sideways

Apr 8 (AT) The HNB Stockbrokers in their weekly market analysis indicated that with the number of trading days being restricted to 3 days, amid Monday and Friday being holidays, sluggish movement was witnessed in the market this week. Thus no significant movement was witnessed in the market this week, with the All Share Price Index (ASPI) moving sideways showing little movement compared to last week’s closing level. more..


Apr 8 (AT) Posters by the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), calling for Dighavapi to be saved from ‘Islamic extremist invaders’. A notice in the ‘Island’ with the caption, Abducted, seeking information about a 72 year old Tamil man who (while coming home in a three-wheeler) was taken away by persons identifying themselves as policemen. Tigers murder four Sinhalese farmers in Ampara and impose a ‘people levy’ in their areas. more..

India-Sri Lanka FTA to be reviewed on April 16-17

Apr 8 (PTI) The Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Sri Lankan Government will jointly organise a seminar to review the functioning of India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement on April 16 and 17. Business delegations from India and Sri Lanka would also hold business-to-business meetings to exploit opportunities emerging out of the FTA. more..

Sri Lanka, Nepal to jointly promote tourism sector

Apr 8 (HT) Sri Lankan ambassador to Nepal Sumith Nakandala, speaking on behalf of his country, today offered to join hands with Nepal in promoting the tourism sector of the two South Asian countries. The ambassador, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Nepal and Sri Lanka, expressed his enthusiasm to put the mountains of Nepal and the beaches of Sri Lanka on the itinerary of international tourists. more..

LTTE is paying for its broadcasts and no pirates , records show

Apr 8 (G2L) Though the Washington D.C. based Intelsat Corporation at the beginning of March this year told reporters that the designated terrorist group in the United States the LTTE are pirates and using their satellite for their violent terrorist programs without paying money reliable government sources said that actually the communication giant is paid out of the outfit’s funds for those terrorist broadcasts and they are no pirates. more..

Bangladesh humiliate South Africa with shock win

Apr 8 (AFP) Bangladesh dealt a potentially fatal blow to South Africa's hopes of qualifying for the World Cup semi-finals with a stunning 67-run victory in the Super Eights here on Saturday. Bangladesh did the unexpected when they dismissed South Africa for a modest 184 on a slow pitch after having set a challenging 252-run target in their best-ever batting performance of the tournament. more..

Fans feeling blue over missing India

Apr 8 (AFP) Hundreds of Indian fans, who dreamt of seeing India and star batsman Sachin Tendulkar take on South Africa here on Saturday, were left cursing their luck at the National Stadium. If things had gone to plan, India would have qualified from the first round to take their place in what was expected to be a highly-charged clash with Graeme Smith's side. more..

Bangladesh 2007, Sri Lanka 1975...

Apr 8 (AFP) This World Cup was widely derided in advance for having too many minnow nations. But somebody forgot to tell little Bangladesh that they don't belong. After beating India in the first round, they proved on Saturday that that result was no fluke with a 67-run Super Eights win against mighty South Africa, the world's top-ranked team, in Guyana. more..

French Police cancel LTTE’s protest rally in Paris

Apr 8 (AT) In a firm crackdown on Tamil Tiger activities, French police has cancelled the permission granted earlier to hold a protest rally in Paris condemning police arrest of LTTE cadres on the April Fool's day. The protest rally was scheduled for 09 April from 2 PM to 5 PM at Trocadéro in Paris. But signalling to the Tamil Tigers that they can no longer abuse French privileges the Prefecture du Paris has cancelled thé permission granted earlier to hold the protest rally. more..

SLT boosts 2nd quarter earnings by up to 3 billion rupees

Apr 8 (LBO) Telecom operators who rolled out rural networks in the last three years will get a five billion rupee refund of levies collected from every incoming international call minute. Incumbent Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) will get the largest slice, boosting its 2nd quarter earnings by up to three billion rupees. Other telecom operators who channeled calls through their international gateways will collect two billion rupees. more..

Sri Lanka…It’s a Man Eat Man World

Apr 8 (ISL) The so-called ‘survival of the fittest’ has been a fond theory within the Food Chain among living species. Sadly this theory has been adapted in the little island that lives on the survival of killing the other. Words called democracy, stability, and brotherhood are mere illusions in this country. The LTTE are fighting for self determination in the guise that, the Sinhalese government have repeatedly tried to undermine the Tamil community from 1915 to date. more..

Host of facilities for Kebithigollawa residents

Apr 8 (GDI) A special high profile team including Ministers toured the Kebithigollawa Yaka Wewa, Palugasdamana and Gonamadiyawa yesterday to inspect basic facilities provided to the people and progress made in the construction of infrastructure facilities. A protective bunker barrier, the main demand by the people of Kebithigollawa, has been completed. Sixty four civilians in Kebithigollawa were massacred by the LTTE last year. more..

Court to hear maid’s murder case on May 2

Apr 8 (TP) The next hearing in a sensational murder case involving a young Sri Lankan maid is fixed for May 2. The accused in the case is a woman and she is the wife of the victim's sponsor. Sunitra Karavita, 24, the deceased, was here for barely two months when her sudden end came. Forensic reports suggest she was hit in the head and succumbed to her injuries while in hospital. more..

You need self-belief and attitude

Apr 8 (CI) After two nerve-jangling matches against South Africa and England plus a comfortable win against West Indies we are regrouping and refreshing before the second half of our Super Eights campaign. We are pretty pleased with our progress - five wins in six matches - but we're not taking qualification for the semi-finals for granted. There is still work to be done. more..

Capital's donations to Sri Lanka tsunami relief show results

Apr 8 (TC) In the first few days, they were paralyzed by shock and grief. Pamela Boteju watched the images on the television and wept. Her friend, Hemi Gunasinghe, couldn't even do that after awhile. "I think what happened was we were really numb at that time," she says. "We had never experienced anything like that." Besides, they were just two people a long way from Sri Lanka. more..

Tight security for Avurudu

Apr 8 (LNP) Security forces and police stepped up security measures countrywide as the Government issued an unprecedented warning of Tiger guerrilla attempts to disrupt festivities during the Avurudu season beginning next week. The warning centered on possible attacks against civilians and declared that since April 7 claymore mine attack against a passenger bus in Vavuniya, more..

Amnesty knocked out of World Cup

Apr 8 (LNP) The International Cricket Council has pledged to stop a controversial move by the human rights group Amnesty International to carry out a cricket ball campaign at the ongoing world cup in the Caribbean to protest against the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, officials said. An assurance has been given by the ICC to both the Foreign Ministry and Sri Lanka Cricket following separate representations made to the organizers of the world cup. more..

`Good Bye` Blue Elephant

Apr 8 (LNP) Colombo, April 6, 2007-The Blue Elephant, which is almost 20 years old, will be officially closing it`s doors. To mark this occasion there will be a grand `Good Bye ` Party from 19th to 21st of April featuring all Blue Elephant DJs. The famous icon of the club, the massive wooden elephant will be auctioned on the last day, 21st April (Saturday) and proceeds will go to charity. The `night pulse of Colombo` Blue Elephant has it`s own story. more..

Sinhala and Hindu New Year rituals

Apr 8 (LNP) * Sighting the moon - Thursday, April 19 for the new Solar Year * Bathing for the old year - Thursday, April 12 - with ointment prepared from `Bo` leaves. * Dawn of the New Year - Saturday, April 14 at 12.29 p.m. * Punyakalaya and Nonagathaya - Punyakalaya begins at 6.05 a.m. and ends at 6.53 p.m. on April 14, Saturday. Cease work during Nonagathaya from 6.05 a.m. till 12.29 p.m. on the same day. more..

Overseas trips of UNP MPs canned

Apr 8 (NS) UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed that all UNP members of Parliament should remain in the country during the month of May. According to informed sources he had told his MPs that attending Parliament is important during this period. Ranil Wickremesinghe had apparently cancelled all foreign visits of UNP MPs. more..

‘Another channel for al Qaeda to attack US, courtesy LTTE’

Apr 8 (NS) Mike Scheuer, former head of the al Qaeda Unit of the CIA and the present terrorism analyst of CBS TV said the Sri Lankan terrorist group LTTE stealing European passports and supplying them to al Qaeda terrorists provides another channel for the 9/11 attackers to enter United States for an assault. Sheuer was interviewed by the J.J. Green, the National Security Correspondent of the WTOP Radio. more..

No dissident UNP Minister will return — Lokuge

Apr 8 (NS) Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge yesterday scotched rumours that more dissident UNP ministers were planning to return to the opposition benches. Speculation was rife that a group of United National Party (UNP) parliamentarians who joined the government a few weeks ago were contemplating on a return to their own party, but the Minister rejected this. more..

No power cuts during New Year

Apr 8 (NS) CEB officials said that there will not be power cuts during the New Year festive season even though power generation capacity has dwindled drastically due to lack of rain in hydro reservoir areas. There will not be any power cuts during the coming weeks though the level of water in the main reservoirs have gradually declined in the recent weeks. more..

LTTE air wing: How it began and what it means

Apr 8 (ST) An incident in the skies over Wanni in October 2005, just months after it came to be known that the LTTE had built an airstrip and acquired light aircraft, seems the first occasion when the guerrillas demonstrated their air capability. Yet, the implications of this encounter, strange enough, were buried in denials both from the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) and the LTTE. more..

New alignments for New Year

Apr 8 (ST) It was in the wee hours of Thursday morning when President Mahinda Rajapaksa returned from attending the SAARC summit to Colombo in Mihin Lanka Airway's Airbus A 330. Somewhat tired, he retired to bed. The early riser who is so conscious about his morning walk, slept it out till late. When he woke up to greet those near and dear, he was highly upbeat. more..

LTTE on high alert for deep penetration attacks

Apr 8 (ST) The LTTE has clamped a news blackout on attacks carried out by the military’s deep penetration unit within the Wanni and intensified checks and patrolling in areas under its control in the wake of a series of claymore mine attacks in the region. The only two local newspapers published within the LTTE-controlled Wanni have been directed to blackout news about the attacks. more..

Artefacts get drenched as officials squabble

Apr 8 (ST) Two priceless artefacts are among those that have been damaged at the National Museum due to the recent rains, when carrying out renovations which apparently were neither supervised nor planned. Museum keeper Ranjith Hewage, said the two artefacts, dating back to the Kandyan period were paintings of “Mara Yuddaya, Daham Sonda Jatake, Wessantara Jatake” from the 17-19 century and “Sujatha offering kiripindu and Naga Damanaya” belonging to the 8-12 century. more..

Wattala claymore targets VIP convoy?

Apr 8 (SO) Was the 12 kilo claymore mine bomb found at a Cable television shop at the Pearl Park Supermarket at Wattala aimed at a VIP convoy or against any other economic targets like the Sapugaskande Oil Refinery or the Colombo Port? The plan to attack the Refinery was foiled following the arrest of a top LTTE cadre last week in the Mount Lavinia area. more..

Where have all the cuckoos gone?

Apr 8 (SO) One may wonder why the koha/cuckoo (the koel), which is symbolic with the Sinhala and Hindu New Year festive season is so 'silent' these days. Where have all these birds with a mellifluous call gone? Is there a decline in the number of koels in Sri Lanka? The number of koels in the country has increased but there is a change in their breeding season due to fewer crows nests for them to lay eggs. more..

Arnold likely to return for relative's funeral

Apr 8 (PTI) Sri Lanka's middle order batsman Russel Arnold is likely to return home despite the next game in Grenada on Thursday to attend the funeral of a close relative, a family member said on Sunday. Arnold's brother-in-law was run over by a train on Saturday and police said the victim appeared not to have hear the train as he was speaking with someone on a mobile phone at that time. more..

Ram Sethu: Saffron brigade finds solace in NASA

Apr 8 (PTI) RSS and BJP have found a new rallying point in their campaign against the Sethusamudram project, claiming that some NASA satellite images have shown the remains of a man-made bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka. Holding an "American conspiracy" responsible for the Sethusamudram project which he said breached the mythological Ram Sethu (Adam's Bridge in modern times), RSS chief K S Sudarshan asked the Prime Minister to halt the ongoing shipping canal project. more..

Crossed UNP MPs build up on 850M granted from the ministry of Nation building

Apr 8 (LeN) It is being reported that the government is a bit tensed up after UNP Gampaha district parliamentarian Edward Gunasekara who held the deputy minister portfolio of railways rejoined the opposition. The government has therefore begun to investigate whether there where anymore who wanted to switch back to the UNP and found out that majority of them were receiving step motherly treatment from the senior members of the government and more..

Gelatine sticks, detonators, seized in Rameswaram

Apr 8 (PTI) Six gelatine sticks, an equal number of detonators and three metres of fuse wire have been seized from a man during a surprise raid by police at a village near here. Police said the person was found moving about in a suspicious manner at Alaikathavalasai village yesterday. A search of his bag revealed the gelatine sticks and detonators and fuse fire. more..

Military says 6 Tamil rebels, 2 soldiers killed in Sri Lanka's northeast

Apr 8 (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers killed six Tamil Tiger rebels in two clashes in the country's northeast, while a roadside bomb left one soldier dead, the military said Sunday, capping a week of bloodshed that has left dozens dead. The bomb exploded as a military foot patrol passed by in northern Jaffna town on Sunday, killing one soldier, more..

Sri Lanka steps up security

Apr 8 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops and police have stepped up security over fears of more bomb attacks before the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year festivities this week, officials said Sunday. Sniffer dogs were deployed at main bus stations to guard against explosives being planted following a parcel bomb attack last week aboard a bus in which 17 people were killed and 25 wounded in the eastern district of Ampara. more..

Pope: End bloodshed in Sri Lanka

Apr 8 (BBC) Pope Benedict has called on Sri Lanka's warring parties to come back to the negotiations to end violence. In his traditional Easter message, the Pope said Sri Lanka's need of the moment is peace. "In Sri Lanka, only a negotiated solution can put an end to the conflict that causes so much bloodshed," Pope Benedict said. more..

Ranil exposes holes in Lankan air defence system

Apr 8 (HT) The leader of the Opposition, Ranil Wickremesinghe, is on the offensive against Rajapaksa regime on the issue of air defence, which has been agitating the people of the country since the aerial bombing of the Katunayake airbase by the LTTE on March 26. Wickremesinghe told the parliamentary group of his UNP last Tuesday, that at the time of the attack, none of the radars given by India was operational. All of then had been switched off! more..

Probe into smuggling to Sri Lanka intensified

Apr 9 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu police have intensified investigations into smuggling of arms to Sri Lanka from Tamil Nadu following recovery of more explosives from the Rameswaram coast even as they ruled out any conspiracy behind Saturday freak car blast. Police arrested early Sunday a man from Alaikathavalasai village on the Rameswaram coast and recovered six gelatine sticks, an equal number of detonators and three metres of fuse wire from him. more..

ICC rejects Sri Lanka claims

Apr 9 (BBC) The International Cricket Council (ICC) has rejected media reports that it has given certain assurances to Sri Lanka over a campaign by a human rights watchdog. The ICC Communications Officer told BBC Sinhala that the world cricket governing body is "not involved" in the ongoing battle between the Sri Lanka government and the Amnesty International (AI). more..

Rotary sheds light to disaster striken Potuvil

Apr 9 (AT) In a joint project Rotary Club of Colombo has constructed 46 houses and a Community Centre cum Medical Centre, built at a cost of Rs 50 million, in Sengamam, Potuvil and these houses were handed over to the homeless people in the area. A three district, three country Rotary project- namely 9450 Western Australia, RAWCS, Western Australia, Rotary Vectis Village, District 1110 UK , more..

"LTTE targeted civilians"

Apr 9 (Hindu) A soldier was killed and two injured in a claymore explosion allegedly triggered by the Tamil Tigers in Jaffna on Sunday. A military statement said the LTTE targeted an army foot patrol. "The LTTE terrorists taking cover inside the Pandathirippu Hindu School premises triggered the mine. The military said opposite the school, a large number of Tamil youth from all over Jaffna were taking part in an "open soft ball cricket tournament". more..

Indian Coast Guard fires at Lankan human smugglers

Apr 9 (MoD) Against the backdrop of a spate of attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen in Indian waters, the last being the killing of five men about 35 nautical miles off the Kanyankumari coast, the Indian Coast Guard last week fired at a Sri Lankan boat killing one person. The Indians are believed to have intercepted the boat as it was speeding towards the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), after dropping off five Tamils at Danuskodi. more..

Sri Lanka starts work on a 150MW hydro power plant

Apr 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka Monday officially kicked off work on building a Japanese funded hydro power project in the island's central hills, which will add 150 mega wattes of power to the national grid, the Japanese embassy here said. The 33.27 million dollar yen or 30 billion rupee Upper Kotmale project got off the ground under the aegis of Power Minister John Seneviratne and Deputy Head of Mission at the Japanese embassy, Nobuaki Ito. more..

Sri Lankan disaster relief technology wins world recognition

Apr 9 (LBO) Two Sri Lankan software and mobile phone technology developments meant to give warning and help relief efforts during disasters recently won international recognition. They are Sahana, an open source software programme developed by volunteers after the Asian tsunami to help find missing people and improve aid agency relief efforts, and a new disaster warning device developed by Dialog Telekom, University of Moratuwa and Microimage Limited. more..

Sri Lankan open source firm WSO2 launches marketing drive

Apr 9 (LBO) Open source middleware company, WSO2 founded by a Sri Lankan, is ratcheting up its marketing efforts in the United States and Europe after developing its own products, the company said. “We’re at the point where we have passed the research stage and are now building markets,” declared said Sanjiva Weerawarana, CEO and founder of WSO2. more..

Sri Lanka money supply, rates up on festive cash demand

Apr 9 (LBO) Heavy cash withdrawals from banks to fund spending in the new year festive season drove up call money rates Monday with reserve money also shooting up, dealers said. Call money bid-offer rates opened around 20–25 percent and rose towards 26-27 percent. Market repo rates were around 19-22 percent. “The market’s a bit short. Because of the festive season there’s a bit of a crunch for money,” said a dealer. more..

Kotmale project, a major contribution to national power grid

Apr 9 (GDI) The second phase of Upper Kotmale power project, which was launched today and the proposed Norchcholai coal power plant and Kerwalapitiya power project will be able to generate additional power to meet the rapidly growing energy needs of the country. Inaugurating the second phase of the Upper Kotmale hydropower project at Niyamgamdara, Kotmale, Power and Energy Minister John Seneviratne said that more..

Mega foreign investments in the offing - Dr Amunugama

Apr 9 (GDI) Sri Lanka is about to finalise three mega foreign investment projects which, cumulatively make an investment of USD 4 billion. These projects plus few other foreign investments would increase the total foreign investment this year to US$ 5 billion, which will be a tenfold increase over the previous year. more..

Increase of rubber production in 2006

Apr 9 (GDI) Sri Lankan exports of rubber and rubber products got a further boost when the rubber production has increased last year. The Department of Rubber Development has the production has recorded 109 million kg in 2006 while it was reported as 104 million in 2005. Rubber exports were recorded as 46 million kg in 2006 and in 2005 it was 31.6 million kg. While rubber exports increased in 2006 local consumption has declined in 2006. more..