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12 Sri Lankan fishermen repatriated

June 26 (Hindu) The Indian Coast Guard on Monday repatriated 12 Sri Lankan fishermen. Two Sri Lankan fishing vessels, Samudra Deva Matha and Kaveesha Putha, were also handed over to the Sri Lankan authorities. The repatriation took place at the International Maritime Boundary Line in Palk Bay. The Coast Guard ship Vikram seized Samudra Dava Matha, 24 nautical miles off Cuddalore, for illegal fishing and poaching in Indian waters on April 23. more..

Sri Lankan tripple-jump coach jumps visa in Italy

June 26 (AFP) A Sri Lankan athletics coach participating in an international training programme has disappeared in Italy, a senior official said Tuesday in Colombo. Gayan Malika, a triple jump coach, went missing after flying to Italy for an athletics meet as part of a training programme sponsored by the International Olympic Council, the Sri Lanka Amateur Athletics Association said. more..

Sri Lanka scraps tax on imported food

June 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka Tuesday scrapped value added tax on ten key food items in a bid to bring down food prices driven to high levels by money printing to finance the budget deficit last year. Last year the Central Bank printed 38.5 billion rupees to finance a fiscal deficit 8.4 percent of the economy, driven by public sector wage hikes, subsidies and rising defence expenditure. more..

Sri Lanka push lead past 300

June 26 (CI) It went according to the script. One hundred and twenty five runs came in the first session, 107 came in the second as Sri Lanka took firm grip over the game. The burning question at the start of the play, considering the poor weather forecast for the next couple of days, was when Sri Lanka would declare. The answer came from their refreshing attacking approach in the first session. more..

Sri Lanka court allows detention of suspected priest

June 26 (Xinhua) A Sri Lankan court has allowed the continuous detention of a Hindu religious priest for alleged links with Tamil Tiger rebels, court officials said Tuesday. The Colombo Magistrate Court allowed the police's Terrorism Investigation Division to hold and quiz the priest and his deputy of the main Hindu temple in the Kayts islet of the northern Jaffna peninsula. more..

Sethusamudram Project will create international boundary row: BJP

June 26 (ANI) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has maintained its objection to the proposed Sethusamudram ship canal project, linking the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, saying that it could spark off an international boundary row. "It will create an unnecessary international boundary row. Actually there is a treaty signed by Indira Gandhi and then Sri Lankan President Srimavo Bandranaike which gives both countries the right to treat this water, more..

Sri Lankan police arrest three men allegedly planting powerful bomb

June 26 (AP) Sri Lanka's police on Tuesday arrested three men allegedly planting a powerful bomb on a government official's car near the capital of Colombo, the military said Tuesday. The car was used by a government official from the northern rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi, an official at the Defense Ministry information center said. Some government offices and schools function in Kilinochchi, even though it is rebel-held territory. more..

Lankan army walking into a trap, warns LTTE

June 26 (HT) Breaking its silence on the significant military and political developments around it, the LTTE warned on Monday, that the Sri Lankan Armed Forces were walking into self-laid "trap" and that Colombo's plan to impose a political solution after weakening the rebel outfit militarily was destined to fail. In an interview to the pro-LTTE website the leader of the Tamil rebel group's political wing, SP Tamilselvan, said: "As far as the LTTE is concerned, we were never defeated. more..

Sri Lanka says foils rebel infiltration as donors meet

June 26 (Reuters) Sri Lankan troops believe they killed or wounded a dozen Tamil Tiger rebels trying to infiltrate defence lines in the far north on Tuesday, the military said, as the island's main foreign donors meet in Oslo. In the capital, bomb squad officers said they found a 20 kg mine -- like those used as roadside bombs in a series of deadly suspected rebel attacks in recent months -- buried in a residential quarter of the city. more..

“Government should now accept UN HR monitoring mission”

June 27 (TW) Government should now accept UN human rights monitoring mission here as International community has helped Sri Lanka by positioning it at the UN rights council. International community has helped Sri Lanka by electing Ambassador Dayan Jayatilake as one of the four Vice Presidents in the UN Human Rights Council. This is a great opportunity to the government to put its acts together on the all important human rights issue. more..

Lives of Sinhalese who received LTTE military training under threat in Welikada Prison

june 27 (LeN) It is being reported that the lives of the group of suspects who were charged of receiving military training from the LTTE and establishing a organisation called the "Revolutionary Liberation Organisation," are in danger as they have been severely assaulted yesterday inside the Welikada prison. The 17 suspects who were labeled as "Sinhalese Tigers" were remanded on detention orders made by the Colombo additional magistrate yesterday. more..

Implement the law against defense secretary- Kiriella

june 27 (LeN) Head of the UNP media unit parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella says President Rajapakse has now got the opportunity to implement the law against Defense secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse since it has now been uncovered that he ordered the Tamils to be forcibly evacuated from Colombo lodges. He said even witnesses could be brought to the forum in this regard. more..

Will Govt. capture East if it had a pact with LTTE

June 27 (LeN) Minister of sports Gamini Lokuge questions whether the government would take measures to capture the eastern areas of the island if it had a deal with the LTTE as alleged by Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Suriarachchi. The minister raised this question addressing the media this afternoon at the UNP democratic faction party office this afternoon. more..

Sri Lankan builders looks to prolong housing boom

June 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's construction industry has called on the government to create a better "enabling environment" for the trade to promote more building activity. Dakshitha Thalgodapitiya, Secretary General of the Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI), said more incentives were required and a change of focus to prevent a slowdown in the construction sector. The construction industry has been growing at a hectic pace in recent years, more..

Colombo’s tallest, 60- story building to commence its construction soon

June 27 (GDI) The Board of Investment has granted its approval for the construction of a 60 story building which will stand as the tallest building of Sri Lanka after completion. The total estimated cost for the construction work of this project US$120 million and it is expected to be completed in three to four years. It will be built in Battaramulla. more..

Sri Lanka bourse shuffles liquid share index

June 27 (LBO) The Colombo Stock Exchange has revamped its Milanka index of liquid shares, dropping a bank, a hospital and some manufacturing firms, the bourse said Tuesday. Seylan Bank, Richard Pieris, Tokyo Cement Co. (Lanka), Royal Ceramics Lanka and Asiri Hospital were dropped. Connected firm Asiri Surgical Hospital made it into the list. more..

Foreign Minister visits Japan

June 27 (GDI) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama who is on a four day official tour to Japan held discussions with the national security adviser Yuriko Koike in Tokyo this morning. Minister is expected to address the business summit scheduled to open this evening. The Minister who reached at the Narita International Airport-Tokyo this morning was warmly welcomed by the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Japan Rangith Uyangoda and more..

'I have been waiting for this moment' - Vaas

June 27 (CI) They were both making their maiden Test hundreds, the only difference was that one of them was playing in his 97th Test match and the other in just his 10th. Chaminda Vaas and Prasanna Jayawardene figured in a 223-run partnership which was a seventh wicket record for Sri Lanka against all countries as the hosts took a stranglehold on the first Test against Bangladesh at the SSC grounds. more..

Warplanes pound rebel positions; aid donors seek to halt bloodshed

June 27 (AP) Sri Lankan warplanes pounded two separatist Tamil Tiger rebel positions on the island's volatile northern and eastern regions Tuesday, the military said, as the country's aid donors met in Norway to find ways to halt the ongoing bloodshed. Police also arrested three men for allegedly planting a powerful bomb Tuesday on a government official's car near the capital Colombo, the military said. more..

Bayliss to help out in hiring assistant coach

June 27 (CI) Trevor Bayliss, Sri Lanka's new coach, has been asked by Sri Lanka Cricket to recommend a few names to be the team's assistant coach. K Mathivanan, the secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket, said Bayliss had agreed to help and has been given time till June 29 to come up with candidates of his choice. Rumesh Ratnayake, the former Sri Lanka fast bowler, was expected to take on the job but changed his mind - citing family reasons - after signing a four-year contract with Sri Lanka Cricket. more..

Umpire Stanley Kuruppu dies aged 82

June 27 (CI) Sri Lanka have lost a long-standing umpire following the death of Stanley Kuruppu. Kuruppu, 82, father of former Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Brendon Kuruppu, was renowned for his services to the umpiring fraternity in Sri Lanka. He was a pioneer in forming the umpires committee for the board in the mid-sixties. Kuruppu was a qualified Grade One umpire and officiated in division I club cricket and important school matches. more..

Solar Power Gets A Boost

June 27 (IPS) There may be nothing new in a recent World Bank credit facility to provide electricity through renewable power to thousands of rural homes. But for the growing solar power sector here, it is a giant step in taking the industry forward. Solar power is the fastest growing energy resource in the world. In countries such as Japan, Germany, the United States and South Korea, solar power units in institutions or homes are being connected to their national grids. more..

Blewey won't assist Lanka

June 27 (AN) FORMER Australian batsman Greg Blewett has ruled out becoming assistant to Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss - for now. Blewett, 35, said he was surprised to read reports connecting him and former South African batsman Jonty Rhodes with Sri Lanka's coaching panel. Former Sri Lanka paceman Rumesh Ratnayake last week rejected Sri Lanka Cricket's offer to assist Bayliss - prompting speculation about 46-Test batsman Blewett's intentions. more..

Karuna forming a new attack force ex-Tiger cadres

June 27 (AT) Karuna is in the process of forming covertly a new strike force with the group of 68 Vanni Tigers who have already surrendered to his group. According to the latest information, Karuna has assigned one of his most trusted operatives, Sinnathamby to organize the new strike force. Information confirms that Jeyaraj and Kavithas of the LTTE would lead the strike force. more..

Jeyaraj and Amunugama say they oppose govt's devolution proposals

June 27 (AT) In a significant turnaround, two Sri Lankan government ministers have openly declared their opposition to government's devolution proposals. Highways Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and the Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama have declared their displeasure and opposition over the weekend to ruling party SLFP proposals to solve the ethnic problem. more..

Sea Tiger radar point destroyed

June 27 (Hindu) The military reported on Tuesday that an LTTE cadre committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule when troops entered a temple in Kaluwankerni, Batticaloa, in a search operation even as the air force bombed “identified” Tiger targets in Thoppigala jungles in the east. Thoppigala, supposedly the last pocket of influence of Tigers, is the theatre of a battle between the army and the LTTE for several weeks now. more..

Pakistan wants Lanka to solve its own problems

June 27 (ML) Pakistan has caused a diplomatic stir by questioning why India, Norway, Pakistan or any other country should meddle in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka. This issue was raised by Pakistan’s High-Commissioner in Colombo Shahzad Chaudhry on Monday hours before the Co-Chairs-the EU, USA, Norway and Japan- were to meet in Oslo to discuss Sri Lanka’s peace process. more..

Battle lines drawn for the Medamulane boys

June 27 (ML) Having announced the formation of a new moderate faction of the SLFP last week, Mangala Samaraweera was to follow through by dispatching letters to the leaders of other opposition parties Monday, seeking appointments to discuss an agenda for democracy. Samaraweera is expected to discuss the deteriorating situation in the country, including a reduction of the cabinet, human rights violations, and a return to a more moderate line of thinking. more..

Tame the Tiger through the APRC?

June 27 (ML) The international community has come to play an increasingly significant role in the Sri Lankan conflict that commenced a quarter century ago. In recent years they have virtually become the third party to the conflict; though they have taken care to distance themselves directly from the conflict while remaining as facilitators and representatives of the ‘donor countries.’ more..

Media freedom — why the govt. panics

June 27 (ML) There has been a noticeable increase of attacks on, and abuse of, media personnel, and this was further compounded by a newspaper organisation having to shut its operations due to the government’s direct intervention. In another related case, a secretary of a ministry had engaged in an abusive and threatening telephone conversation with an editor of a daily newspaper. more..

Sri Lanka dockyard poised for more orders from oil services industry

June 27 (LBO) Colombo Dockyard Ltd. (CDL), Sri Lanka's sole listed ship builder, may get new orders to build platform support vessels from India, following the timely delivery of an ongoing order for anchor handling tugs, officials said. The yard successfully launched an anchor handling tug for Greatship (India) Limited recently. more..

Tony Blair, Mahinda Rajapakse and Machiavelli

June 27 (FI) Today, Tony Blair leaves office after little over a decade as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He leaves office a reviled figure, largely due to the widespread unpopularity of his decision to support the United States in the invasion of Iraq, and its continuing disastrous consequences. Be that as it may, Blair is one of the most successful prime ministers in British history. more..

Why is Sri Lanka Saddled with Two Seven Letter Words?

June 27 (FI) When did Sri Lanka become a unitary state? It became a unitary country enslaved by the British as a crown colony under a single administrative system in 1832 that was applicable to the maritime regions of the island as well as the Kandyan kingdom that was ceded to the British Crown by the Kandyan convention in 1815. more..

Sri Lanka Customs launches blog, gives access to import tax calculator

June 27 (LBO) A web logging site for the Sri Lankan and international trading community as well as customs clients has been launched, giving access to new information on tariffs and regulations, officials said. The blog will also be used to discuss any topic, from import-export procedures to tariffs. more..

How much for your vote?

June 27 (TW) While political parties may take pains to prepare competitive election manifestos, does the contents of each manifesto steer the voter to vote? I don’t think so. In a voting system that usually rotates governance between the two major political parties in Sri Lanka, it leaves little or no choice to the voter, but to choose the lesser evil or not cast their vote at all. more..

Sri Lanka warn of "tragic error" in Western aid cut

June 27 (AFP) Sri Lanka told Western donor nations Tuesday that it would be a "tragic error" to cut aid to the island nation due to alleged human rights abuses linked to a longstanding ethnic conflict. Britain, Germany and the Netherlands have already slashed various forms of aid to Colombo due to human rights abuses and other reasons linked to the conflict with Tamil Tiger rebels and several other nations could follow suit. more..

Ministers of Agriculture should resign! - UNP

June 27 (LT) UNP Parliamentarian P. Harrison says all Ministers of Agriculture in the present government should resign from their posts. He said this in response to a statement made by Agriculture Minister Hemakumara Nanayakkara at a media meeting recently. Mr. Hemakumara Nanayakkara had stated that agriculture in Sri Lanka has deteriorated tremendously. He also pointed out that the contribution form the agriculture sector to national production too had dwindled. more..

Managala's dream launched

June 27 (LeN) Convener of the SLFP Mahajana wing Mangala Samaraweera launched the factions future political agenda this evening under the theme "Dare to dream; Towards a new Sri Lanka". The agenda has called in for several issues such as A New Constitution, An Executive Presidency That is Unable to Abuse its Powers making him/her answerable to the Parliament and the law of the land, A new electoral system, trimming the Cabinet to 30, at least 3 experts appointed to the Cabinet, more..

The challenge before the UNP

June 27 (ISL) Ranil Wickremesinghe made, I think, what he thinks is a speech of statesman-like prophesy, not to mention dignified grace, in the face of political cuckoldry when parliament reconvened this week following the reshuffle farce. In this he warned of dark times ahead where "we will witness in the coming weeks an increase in the violation of human rights, deterioration of good governance, spread of corruption, undermining of democracy, and the rising cost of living." more..

Sri Lanka's western province lifts border areas' economy

June 27 (LBO) Areas bordering Sri Lanka's western province, which is open to the world and has good infrastructure, grew fastest last year with a rapidly advancing service sector, the Central Bank has said. Nominal economic growth (without adjusting for inflation) was 16.8 percent in the western province itself, but the four bordering provinces collectively grew by 21.7 percent in 2006, with national growth at 18.4 percent. more..

Sri Lanka rejects treasuries auction; rupee falls to new low

June 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka rejected a weekly treasury bills auction Wednesday as the rupee fell to a new life low against the dollar, dealers said. The local currency traded as low as 111.52 against the dollar before picking up to 111.45 days after crossing the psychological 111 rupee barrier two days earlier. The monetary authority was also using moral suasion to prop the rupee with at least three banks coming in for censure, dealers said. more..

Two top Tiger agents in London to be charged soon

June 27 (AT) A. C. Shanthan, president of the British Tamil Association, the high-ranking agent of the Tamil Tigers, and the head of finance, Goldan Lambert, are to be charged in the Royal Court of Justice in London soon, according official sources. Two top office bearers of the British Tamil Assoaciation who were arrested on 21 June in London are to be formally charged in the courts soon. more..

Keith Vaz, British Labor MP with a past, playing footsy with the Tamil Tigers

June 27 (AT) After a meeting held at Dr. Nicholas Pillai the Tamils opposed to the Tamil Tigers in Britain agreed to meet Keith Vaz, the controversial MP of the Labor Party who is now heading the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils in Britain. The Tamils who participated in this meeting are - Dr. Nicholas Pillai (TULF) Raghavan alias Rajeskumar, Nirmala Rajeskumar, Suppaiah Krishnapillai alias N.S.Krishnar, Nesan Shankar Raji (EROS), S.Theepan (ENDLF) , R.Jayadevan A.K.Vivekanandan (TDC) V.Sivalingham T.Rangan, Keeran and P. Rajanayagam (SDF). more..

Government to hold elections in East

June 27 (GDI) Government has taken a decision to hold elections for local government bodies in the Eastern province following the successful liberation of the LTTE controlled areas in the province. According to the President Secretariat, that the elections to the grassroots level local government bodies, the Pradeshiya Sabhas and Urban Councils will be held in the near future followed by elections to higher institutions afterwards. more..

'Chief suspect of the Rajagiriya Bomb was residing at a lodge'

June 27 (GDI) “The primary investigations have revealed that the chief suspects of the Rajagiriya bomb case was residing in a lodge in Colombo,” stated the Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella. Minister Rambukwella addressing the weekly media briefing on the current security situation today at Colombo said this while referring to the recovery of a powerful claymore mine hidden in Rajagiriya yesterday. more..

Mihin Lanka launches flights to Thailand

June 27 (GDI) Government’s low budget airline ‘Mihin Lanka’ launched its flights to Thailand with the aim of promoting tourism between the two nations. Its initial flight to Thailand was launched on June 23rd. The Airline is planning to conduct three flights per week. The target consumers of the flights are the businessmen, tourists and Buddhist pilgrims. more..

'Govt has no involvement in tamilnet inaccessibility'

June 27 (GDI) “The government has no intention of imposing any restrictions on websites which are operated in favor of the LTTE,” said Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle today. Further in clarifying the consequences that has aroused with the inaccessibility of the tamilnet, which is a pro-LTTE website, Minister said that as a Government which stands to protect the freedom of media strongly believes that it is the rights of the journalists to report what they intend to convey to public with responsibility. more..

Claymore mine brought to Colombo in Govt. vehicle

June 27 (LNP) A powerful claymore mine, weighing 20 kilos, was found by the Borella Police yesterday in Skanda Devale Road, Obeysekerapura. Preliminary investigations revealed that the mine had been transported from Vavuniya in a government vehicle. Police believe it was kept buried to be used in the future on a VIP travelling to Parliament. The mine was brought on Monday in a vehicle belonging to the Kilinochchi Local Government Department. more..

Intl. Multi-religious head due today for peace bid

June 27 (LNP) Director of the International Multi-Religious Affairs, Japan, Kyoichi Sugino is due to arrive in the country today. He is scheduled to meet with a host of Religious and Political Leaders during his stay in the country and participate in a Multi religious conference to promote peace in Sri Lanka, to be held at the BMICH next Thursday before appealing to the Government and the LTTE to return to the negotiating table. more..

SLFP (M) unveils `policy`

June 27 (LNP) The SLFP (Mahajana) wing spearheaded by former Minister Mangala Samaraweera announced its `policy statement` yesterday with a view to seeking a dialogue with other political parties to form a broad alliance against what it called the `present extremist and fascist regime`. Presenting the proposals, Mr. Samaraweera told journalists yesterday that this statement should not be considered as an election manifesto. more..