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Boucher sees no military solution for Sri Lanka

June 28 (AT) In an interview with Dagsavisen, a Norwegian newspaper, Richard A, Boucher, US Assistant Secretary, for South and Central Asian Affairs, said that banning the LTTE is not only necessary but also crucial. He stated this in reply to a question: "Norway has not listed LTTE as a terrorist organization, but the USA has, and we asked Boucher if this is required to find a solution." more..

Dissolve Karuna Group - Richard Boucher

June 28 (AT) Richard Boucher has insisted that Karuna Group has to be dissolved. The US Assistant Secretary, for South and Central Asian Affairs urged ‘to dissolve the Karuna group’ as they continue to recruit child soldiers. In an interview with Dagsavisen in Oslo Boucher said, "Both the Tamil Tigers and the Karuna group - who has defected from the Tigers and who today supports the Government forces, continues according to UNICEF to recruit child soldiers." more..

Troops enter final phase in Thoppigala

June 28 (LNP) Troops engaged in the humanitarian mission to liberate the last bastion of the LTTE in the East have entered the final phase of the battle in Thoppigala by engaging in clearing operations in the jungle terrain bordering Narakamulla and Tharavikulam Tiger bases, Military sources said yesterday. `Troops are engaged in search operations along difficult jungle terrain in Narakamulla and Tharavikulam in the Thoppigala jungles,` more..

Protest against closure of two factories

June 28 (LNP) Over 500 employees, of two garment factories, in Vavuniya, staged a demonstration on Tuesday protesting against the closure of the factories from Monday. The management of the two factories explained they are faced with a series of problems in maintaining the two factories in Vavuniya. They were not getting enough orders, and transport of the finished products to Colombo and getting down raw materials from Colombo to Vavuniya was a difficult task. more..

Right of reply the wrong way

June 28 (LNP) Politicians and their lackeys are well known for putting their VIP feet in their big mouths. Some of them try to enhance their performance by putting both feet in their orifices simultaneously. But, the problem with pulling that stunt is that they are left with no foot to stand on. They land on their derriere with a thud. What a pity! Here is an example. more..

Rajagiriya bomb: Minister points finger at lodgers

June 28 (LNP) The Government said yesterday that the main suspects allegedly involved in the Rajagiriya claymore incident were Tamil lodgers who had come to Colombo for various jobs like brick- laying. Government Defence Spokesman and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told a news conference yesterday that eight suspects had been arrested in connection with the discovery of a claymore bomb weighing 20 kilos which had been smuggled into Colombo to cause a massive disaster. more..

300 civilians arrested in Welikada

June 28 (TN) About three hundred civilians were taken into custody in a cordon and search operation conducted by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Sri Lanka Police from midnight Tuesday till the dawn of Wednesday in Welikada division in Colombo district. They are currently being detained in police station and are being interrogated. Majority of them are Tamil civilians, and residents of north and east and upcountry. more..

Sri Lanka bag two gold medals

June 28 (SAMN) Sri Lanka bagged two gold medals and a bronze at the third and final leg of the 2007 Asian Grand Prix Series worked off in Pune Wednesday. Sprint queen Susanthika Jayasinghe was third time lucky when she convincingly beat Uzbekistan’s Guzel Khubbieva. Accounting for Sri Lanka’s second gold medal of the meet was its ever-impressive men’s 4 x 400m team. more..

‘Failed states’ a NGO’s list: Minister

June 28 (SAMN) The Government Wednesday expressed disgust over attempts by the Opposition and other interested groups to indicate that the United Nations (UN) has listed Sri Lanka as a failed state. Highways Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said this announcement had been made by a US based NGO that has no important bearing within the international humanitarian circle, adding that the Government did not take seriously a statement based on newspaper reports and web articles. more..

Free textbooks sold by principals

June 28 (SAMN) Sri Lanka Ministry of Education has commenced investigations on complaints that certain school principals have obtained excess textbooks submitting false calculations and sold them to international schools. Sri Lanka Ministry of Education provides free text books for all government school children from grade one to thirteen. more..

Jeyaraj says two more will join govt

June 28 (SAMN) Chief Government Whip and the Minister of Highways, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, said that two UNP lawmakers from the south -- a young MP and a veteran -- would cross over to the government soon. “We will give them portfolios and take them,” he said. Addressing the weekly government media briefing at the auditorium of the Information Department, he said anyone was free to leave the government or come to the government fold as they wished and would not be punished. more..

Move to reintroduce criminal defamation law?

June 28 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday made a move towards a possible reintroduction of the criminal defamation law, the Daily Mirror learns. The President at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting had got Minister Dilan Perera to read an emergency Cabinet paper outlining the proposal. However the President had put the proposal on hold after it became obvious that there was a division of opinion among the Cabinet Ministers on the matter. more..

Mavil Aru case, suspects remanded

June 28 (DM) Counsel for the suspects in the Mavil Aru funds misappropriation case informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate that the CID should also have taken action against the superior officers of the suspects. Counsel made this observation when the magisterial inquiry was taken up, into the alleged misappropriation of over Rs. 8,800,000 which was to be distributed among 2918 farmers who were affected by the closure of the sluice gate of Mavil Aru, by the LTTE last year. more..

Govt. to invest Rs. 5 b on Nano technology

June 28 (DN) The Government would invest Rs. 5 billion to introduce Nano technology to Sri Lanka. Minister of Science and Technology Prof. Tissa Vitharana said that this investment would be made within five years. Speaking to the Daily News the Minister said that the Government has already allocated a 50-acre block of land through the Urban Development Authority (UDA) in Homagama to build a laboratory. The construction of the laboratory and testing facility will commence this year. It will be ready in three years. more..

Govt will help Ranil to continue as Opposition Leader - Jeyaraj

June 28 (DN) Chief Government Whip Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle yesterday said the Government will extend its fullest support to Ranil Wickremesinghe to continue in office as the Opposition Leader and will never allow Wimal Weerawansa to become the Opposition Leader. “We will extend our fullest support to Ranil Wickremesinghe. He should be the Opposition Leader. We wish him to be the Opposition Leader. more..

Hard times for Lanka’s ruling coalition

June 28 (Dawn) With his military forces battling the LTTE in the north-east, President Mahinda Rajapakse and his three brothers who are all top government officials are facing a whole new battle — within their own alliance regime, one which could well culminate in another election. Faced with the prospect of his ministers defecting to the breakaway Sri Lanka Freedom Party (Mahajana Wing) founded last week by former foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera, President Mahinda Rajapakse has said he is ready to dissolve parliament and seek a fresh mandate. more..

Murali and Malinga wrap up innings win

June 28 (CI) The end came quickly. Lasith Malinga fired in the yorkers, while Muttiah Muralitharan ripped the doosras and offspinners as Sri Lanka cleaned up the last five Bangladesh wickets to sweep to victory by an innings and 234 runs. Bangladesh had fought hard on the third day, raising hopes of a similar gritty effort today, but Malinga and Murali had other ideas. The action began off the tenth delivery of the day. more..

Sri Lanka exporters hit as shipping lines drop Colombo

June 28 (AFP) Sri Lankan exporters are being squeezed as fewer container ships heading west call into Colombo, with global shipping lines moving more business to India and its booming economy. Shipping costs have soared nearly 600 dollars for a standard 20-foot container (TEU) over the past six months as a result, compounding problems for Sri Lankan exporters who compete on price, innovation and time with their large northern neighbour. more..

India should sell arms to Sri Lanka

June 28 (DH) India-Sri Lanka ties recently hit a low point with Colombo’s decision to ink an arms deal with Beijing. National Security Adviser (NSA) M K Narayanan was quoted in the media saying “… We are a big power in the region. We do not want the Sri Lankan government to go to Pakistan or China. Whatever be their requirements they should come to us.” He added that India would determine the needs and supply only defensive weapons. more..

'London Tigers' charged

June 28 (BBC) The first ever suspected Tamil Tigers to be arrested under the terrorism act in the UK were formally charged on Wednesday. Two men, Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, 50, of Upwood Rd, Norbury, and Goldan Lambert, 29, of Bramley Hill, South Croydon, will appear at City of Westminster Magistrates Court on Thursday. The two men were charged Wednesday afternoon under the Terrorism Act 2000 for providing support for The LTTE, which is a proscribed organisation in the United Kingdom. more..

Our best yet to come, Sri Lanka warn Bangladesh

June 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka secured their biggest win over Bangladesh in the first Test here, then warned the hapless rivals their best was yet to come. Mahela Jayawardene's men won by an innings and 234 runs at the Sinhalese Sports Club, bettering their previous highest victory of an innings and 196 runs against Bangladesh in 2002. more..

Rajapaksa has "reversed" relations with India, says Mangala

June 28 (HT) Mangala Samaraweera, founder of the SLFP (Mahajana Wing), a breakaway group of the ruling SLFP, says that the Mahinda Rajapaksa government has "reversed" the "excellent" relations, which his predecessors had established with India. "Sri Lanka-India relations had been strong from the time of SWRD Bandaranaike and Jawaharlal Nehru onwards. more..

Sri Lanka reports 430 killings in five months

June 28 (AFP) Some 430 Sri Lankans were slain during a five-month period, most of them minority Tamils, a commission said on Thursday, amid growing controversy over rights abuses in the conflict-hit island. The Special Presidential Commission on Disappearances said the killings were reported between September 2006 and February 2007 as the country came under increased international criticism over rights. more..

Military says 11 rebels killed in Sri Lanka's east as planes bomb rebel base in north

June 28 (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers killed 11 fleeing Tamil Tiger rebels as troops advanced Thursday into the last rebel stronghold in the volatile east and air force fighter jets bombed a rebel base in the north, the military said. Separately, a rebel roadside bomb killed two soldiers in the north, the military said. Army troops killed the insurgents as they fled Thoppigala, the last guerrilla stronghold in the region, more..

Sri Lanka hopeful Norway meeting will help peace process

June 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said Thursday he was optimistic that a meeting of top donors this week would help to revive the island nation's moribund peace process. Peace broker Norway is holding the crucial meeting of Sri Lanka's top aid donors in a bid to halt a new wave of bloodshed. more..

Sri Lanka reports strong PC sales

June 29 (ZDN) Strong marketing efforts and falling PC prices have contributed to strong PC sales in Sri Lanka during the first quarter, according to IDC. In a statement Wednesday, the analyst company said desktop and notebook shipments reached 52,230 units, registering an annual growth rate of 17.5 percent. Linus Lai, research and consulting director for IDC's emerging Asia region, noted: "Both the consumer and commercial segments have been key drivers for the market's activity. more..

An end has a start

June 29 (CI) After such a brave fight on day three, Bangladesh's demise on the fourth morning was both spectacular and sad. Just 4.4 overs were needed for Lasith Malinga and Muttiah Muralitharan to dismember the tail. In the end, after the resilience of Javed Omar and Rajin Saleh, the last seven wickets tumbled for a meager 27 runs. Predictably, the embarrassing capitulation prompted yet more analysis about the state of Bangladesh's cricket. more..

Lasith Malinga on slinging and not sledging

June 29 (CI) The rising profile of Lasith Malinga was evident on Thursday as he destroyed Bangladesh's lower order, taking three wickets in the fourth morning to help Sri Lanka to victory by an innings and 234 runs. Nagraj Gollapudi spoke to Malinga, who made headlines in the World Cup with his 18-wicket haul, including four wickets in four balls against South Africa. more..

Britain Tamil diaspora participated confab with British MP

June 29 (AT) The London Tamil diaspora meeting with Keith Vaz MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils in Britain ‘ended in a fiasco,’ described a participant and the Labor MP was right throughout on the defensive. The meeting was held at Portcullis House instead of a room in British Parliament. According to an insider, Keith Vaz actually was present in the meeting for a total of about 20 to 25 minutes. more..

Information Center for public to report on abductions commence its work today

june 29 (GDI) The information center established to gather information about the abductions that occur in Colombo and the in the suburb commenced its official work at BMICH today. This center was instituted under the direction of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Public can reach the center and are requested to submit any information regarding abductions to the officers at the center from now onward. more..

'Do not depend on wrong data’s to condemn motherland'

june 29 (GDI) “The report for 2007 issued by the ‘Fund for Peace’ (FfP) organization positioning Sri Lanka at the 25th rank in their annual index of ‘Failed States’ is not an outcome of the UN or any other reputed Non Governmental Organization,” said Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. Minister Jeyaraj said that although the UNP members try to highlight this report of the ‘Fund for Peace’ organization with the aim of getting short-term political benefits. more..

Pakistan links tariff concessions to Sri Lanka with total ban on exports of Auto parts

june 29 (APP) Pakistan would give tariff concessions to Sri Lanka from 35 percent to 20 percent under Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on import of betel leaves if the later imposes a ban on export of auto parts to Pakistan. This was stated Advisor to Finance Ministry Dr. Ashfaque Hasan Khan while talking to APP here on Thursday. more..

Fans urged to give Murali a fair go next season

June 29 (Age) CRICKET Australia has urged home crowds to treat Muthiah Muralidaran with respect this summer, with the controversial Sri Lankan off spinner on track to usurp Shane Warne as the world's most successful bowler during the series in Australia. Muralidaran's pursuit of the world record looms as a potential flashpoint in the international season, with crowd behaviour still a hot issue for Cricket Australia and the off spinner a target of sustained abuse by crowds on previous tours. more..

Mangala & Sripathi holding discussions with the UNP, a mammoth mistake -JVP Leader

June 29 (LeN) Leader of the JVP Somawanse Amarasinghe yesterday said that Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Suriarachchi holding discussions with the UNP was a grave political mistake. Addressing the media in Colombo yesterday he said that the Mahajana wing has nothing to bring forward to the country together with the UNP and that they should pull away from the move without misleading the country. more..

Journalist 'attaked by air force'

June 29 (BBC) Free Media Movement (FMM) accuses Sri Lankan armed forces of assaulting a Tamil journalist at a road block in Colombo. FMM Convener Sunanda Deshaypriya told BBC “air force soldiers assaulted A.P Mohan, a defence correspondent for Thinakkural, a Tamil daily even after identifying him”. Speaking to Sandeshaya A.P. Mohan said that after beating him, the air force handed him over to police accusing him of being a "terrorist". more..

'No War Zone' declared

June 29 (BBC) Sri Lankan authorities and the Tamil Tigers has agreed that Madhu church and the surrounding area will be a No War Zone during the festival period starting on July 23. Bishop of Mannar Rayappu Joseph told the BBC on Thursday, that the Tamil Tigers had agreed to refrain from fighting in the area of the church to ensure the safety of the pilgrims. "The Military had already agreed to make commitment to stop fighting in the area during the festival. With that assurance I went to meet the Tiger leadership." more..

Tamil and Muslim Diaspora Community representatives met Keith Vaz

June 29 (AT) A press release forwarded by the Sri Lankan Muslim Information Centre (UK) to "Asian Tribune" said that the members of the Tamil and Muslim communities representing various political parties and socio -political organizations met Keith Vaz M.P on his special invitation. Representatives met Keith Vaz, head of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils on 27 June, at the House of Commons Offices, Portcullis House. more..

Post-tsunami jobs increase, incomes decline

June 29 (IRIN) The Livelihoods Division at the Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA) - the main government arm overseeing employment in the aftermath of the tsunami in Sri Lanka - is claiming great success. “We have recorded a success rate of 90 per cent and soon all our work will finish,” Ranjith Abeyagunawardena, a RADA consultant said. more..

IFJ criticises Colombo move to reintroduce defamation laws

June 29 (Hindu) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on Thursday took serious exception to the reported intention of the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government to reintroduce criminal defamation laws and said such a move would be a another “terrible setback” for press freedom in Sri Lanka. The IFJ was reacting to reports in the local media as well as on basis of information provided by its affiliate in Sri Lanka,. more..

Ram Sethu: VHP warns of ‘ugly stir’

June 29 (IE) The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Thursday threatened an “ugly agitation” if the Centre did not abide by its July 22 deadline to stop the work on Sethusamudram that threatened the Ram Sethu. Speaking to the media here on Thursday, VHP International General Secretary Pravin Togadia said the organisation’s new slogan is “Ram Sethu Bachao, Sri Ram Mandir Banao”. more..

LTTE shadow over NTPC project

June 29 (ToI) State-owned NTPC has expressed apprehensions over the political fallout in India over the choice of site suggested by the Sri Lankan government for setting up a power project by a joint venture between the Indian generation utility and Ceylon Electricity Board. The proposed area, identified as Site 5 in Sampur, was wrested from the LTTE and is approachable only by boats. more..

Why is Sinhala Lion Flag Representing Muslim Majority Amparai District?

June 29 (FI) Even as efforts are underway to resolve the ethnic crisis through power sharing arrangements new developments threaten to upset the delicate ethnic prevalent in the North - East. A long standing grievance of the Tamil and Muslim people in the Eastern province is that of demography being altered through state aided colonisation schemes. more..

Bi- Partisan political platform needed for peace process success

June 29 (FI) Reacting adversely to international criticism and creating xenophobia will only distance Sri Lanka from the world, a senior diplomat warned last week, adding that the country must immediately start a dialogue locally and with the international community on the concerns that have been raised. “It is true that perhaps there are misunderstandings abroad about what is happening here,” said H M G S Palihakkara, who retired as Foreign Secretary six months ago. more..

Cultivation in Vavunativu

June 29 (ISL) discussion has been arranged at the Batticaloa Secretariat, presided over by the Government Agent Sundaram Arumainayagam to explore possibilities of doing the ‘yala’ cultivation in the resettled area of Vavunativu Division. Assistant Commissioner of Agrarian Services Dr. R. Ruwananthan, Assistant Director of Agriculture K. Navendran, Director of Irrigation K. Baskaradas, Director of Planning Era. more..

Karuna’s cadres kill chairman of a local council in the east

June 29 (AT) Thillainathan Uthayakumar (35 yrs), Chairman of Thirukkoavil Pradeshya Sabah in the Ampaa’rai district, was shot and killed by the armed cadres of Karuna group. He was shot yesterday night around 8. 30 p.m. outside Uthayakumar’s house at Vinaayakapuram in Akkaraippattu. The armed cadres led by Veera, head of the Karuna’s group in Kaluwanchikudi forcefully dragged Uthayakumar, outside his house in Kappunaar Street at Vinaayakapuram and killed him, 100 meters away from his house. more..

Government and UN begin dialogue on Child Soldiers

June 29 (AT) Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy , UN Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict, concluded her five day visit to Myanmar within the framework of Security Council Resolution 1612 (2005), monitoring the six grave violations committed against children during conflict. The modalities and guidelines for the operation of the in-country UN Task Force, which will collect and verify updated information for the preparation of the report, were discussed with the UN Country Team. more..

Two Tamil Tigers remanded without bail in UK

June 29 (AT) Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, also known as AC Shanthan, who is the President of the British Tamil Assocaition and Goldan Lambert of Tamil Youth Front yesterday appeared before Westminster Magestrate Court. Shanthan was denied bail and remanded to Judicial custody until 5th of July. Golden Lambert who is only charged with one offence was granted conditional bail but later remanded to custody as the surety was not paid. more..

Sri Lanka inflation jump 3.2 percent in June; yearly numbers trend down

June 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka's inflation rose 3.2 percent in June, though the 12-month increase in consumer prices fell to 13.0 percent from 13.7 percent, the government's statistics office said. The seasonally adjusted increase in the Colombo Consumer Prices fell to 17.0 percent from 17.4 percent in May, the Department of Census and Statistics said. more..

Sri Lanka sees entry of UK-based hedge fund

June 29 (LBO) A UK-based hedge fund is entering Sri Lanka and has sought a listing in the Colombo Stock Exchange through the purchase of a listed shell company. Lionhart Investments Limited has purchased 13,043,804 million shares of Walker and Grieg Limited for prices between 5.75 and 7.00 rupees each, the company said in a stock exchange filing, Friday. more..

Sri Lanka to set up gem lab, counter threat from illicit treatment

June 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka's gem and jewellery industry is to set up a gem testing laboratory that would provide certification services and help counter the threat posed by undisclosed treatment of stones. A dispute over who should implement the project, first mooted 10 years ago, has been resolved and the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association is to incorporate a private company to set up the lab, its chairman Chanaka Ellawala said. more..