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Mangala lashes out at cops

June 3 (NS) The government is in a dilemma. After 18 comparatively smooth sailing months in power, the Rajapaksa administration is gradually slithering down a political quagmire, especially due to its short-sighted policies. The only consolation for President Mahinda Rajapaksa in this difficult situation is the inaction of the main opposition, the United National Party (UNP). more..

UNP reformists promise a country with proper governance

June 3 (NS) The United National Party (UNP) reform group leader and Minister Karu Jayarsuriya yesterday pledged to make the UNP a party which will serve the country and its people. The Minister also assured to make Sri Lanka, a country with proper governance, justice, peace and harmony. He gave this undertaking during the group’s inaugural annual general meeting at the Maharagama Youth Centre held under the theme ‘We are for the country.’ more..

Minister ditches youth in Japan: Rs. 15 million job scam exposed

June 3 (NS) Minister of Religious Affairs Pandu Bandaranaike who had allegedly taken 15 youth promising them employment in Japan has ditched them and returned to Sri Lanka, The Nation reliably learns. The Minister who had been part of a Sri Lanka – Japan cultural exchange programme had taken these youth to Japan in the guise of being ‘delegates’ of the cultural exchange programme. more..

Sri Lanka & India: Facing Realities

June 3 (TW) India has two roles in Sri Lanka. The first is as a catalyst to promote a political solution to the problems and grievances of the Sri Lankan Tamils and Muslims, who are also Tamil-speaking, in a manner which would give the Tamils and Muslims full political rights without weakening the unity of Sri Lanka and without adding to the bitterness between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. more..

Jayawardene defends Gilchrist's act

June 3 (Gulf) Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene has sprung to Adam Gilchrist's defence. The Australian opener hit a swashbuckling 149 to thwart Sri Lanka's chances of winning the World Cup, with a squash ball hidden inside his batting glove. Many Sri Lankans have accused Gilchrist of cheating as they believe that the concealed squash ball gave him an unfair advantage. more..

SriLanka applies pressure on Tamil Tigers, seeks talks

June 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka vowed Sunday to persevere in efforts for a negotiated peace with Tamil Tiger rebels while maintaining military pressure, which the government said is bringing results. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said Sri Lanka's military had rooted out Tiger rebels from the east of the country in operations that complement efforts to negotiate a solution to the long-running conflict. more..

Sri Lanka says Tamil Tigers are a threat to international shipping

June 3 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels are a threat to shipping in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka's foreign minister told a regional security conference Sunday in an appeal for global action against the guerrilla group. Rohitha Bogollagama said the LTTE were one of the few "terrorist organisations" in the world with a proven maritime capability. Along with their Sea Tigers naval combat unit, they owned a substantial number of ships which sailed under the flags of different countries and which, more..

Fire aboard an Indian tanker injures 13 in Sri Lanka

June 3 (LBO) A fire broke out aboard an Indian oil tanker undergoing repairs at the main port of Colombo Sunday, injuring 13 people, officials said. The engine room of the Indian vessele, Javanath Singh, caught fire around 2.30 pm local time (0900 GMT) while it was being repaired at the country's main shipbuilding company, Colombo Dockyard Limited, a spokesman for the Fort firebrigade said. more..

Fighting in northern Sri Lanka kills 5 combatants

June 3 (AP) Heavy fighting between Sri Lankan soldiers and Tamil Tiger rebels in the island's volatile north killed seven combatants, the military said Sunday. Clashes erupted Saturday in three places along the de facto border separating rebel- and government-held territory, said Lt. Col. Upali Rajapakse, a senior military official. more..

Lanka urges international effort to destroy Tigers' global network

June 3 (AP) Sri Lanka called on Sunday for an international effort to destroy the worldwide activities of Tamil militants, saying the group's supply chain and funding must be severed to end 24 years of separatist violence on the island-nation. The rebels use a sophisticated international network of fundraising, procurement and shipping to secure war equipment for use against government forces, more..

I may have to seek Indian security for Chandrika: Anura

June 3 (HT) The Minister for National Heritage, Anura Bandaranaike, has told The Sunday Leader that if the Mahinda Rajapaksa government does not provide adequate security for his sister and former President Chandrika Bandaranike Kumaratunga, the family will get "Indian security" for her! "She remains a prime target of the LTTE. She was nearly killed. She deserves ample security and nobody should deny her that. more..

Sri Lanka says ceasefire pact holds, ready to talk

June 3 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's foreign minister said on Sunday the government is not planning to scrap a 2002 ceasefire pact with the Tamil Tigers, and was willing to meet with the Tigers for talks as soon as possible. A Sri Lankan defense spokesman had said on May 31 that the "flawed" ceasefire could be scrapped within weeks, as it did not reflect the situation on the ground. more..

2 missing Red Cross workers found dead in Sri Lanka

June 3 (AP) Two Sri Lankan Red Cross workers abducted from the capital two days ago have been found dead with gun shot wounds to the head, the aid group said Sunday. The bodies of the two ethnic Tamil men were found Saturday in Ratnapura district, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) southeast of the capital, Colombo, Red Cross Director General Neville Nanayakkara said. more..

Heavy fighting in Sri Lanka ahead of Japanese peace move

June 3 (AFP) The Tamil Tiger rebels launched a major attack on an army artillery position in Sri Lanka, killing at least one soldier and wounding 15 more ahead of a Japanese peace move, officials said Sunday. The LTTE shelled the Pampaimadu military base where security forces had placed a long-range gun to target the rebel-held Wanni region in the island's north, an official source said. more..

Pictorial: Sri Lanka marks Global AIDS Week of Action with Candle Light Vigil

June 4 (TW) Positive Hopes Alliance and Three Wheel Drivers’ Collective against the spread of HIV and AIDS, two recently formed organizations supported by Action Aid to combat stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV and AIDS in Sri Lanka, celebrated the candlelight ceremony to commemorate the Global Aids Week of Action on June 01 st 2007 at the welfare community centre at Anderson Flats, Colombo 05. more..

90% of abducted had returned: Rajapaksa

June 4 (HT) Accusing interested parties of exploiting abductions to tarnish the image of his government, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that according to the Mahanama Tillekeratne Commission on Abductions, in 90% of cases brought before it, the person allegedly "abducted" had returned. At a meeting in Colombo on Friday, with the relatives of those "abducted" Rajapaksa said that as per the Commission, more..

Media workers 'tortured' in custody

June 4 (BBC) Police in Sri Lanka have denied accusations that three abducted media personnel are being tortured in custody. "Police do not torture detainees," head of CID, S Prathapasinghe told BBC Sandeshaya. Human rights activists have accused the police of torturing three abducted workers of Akuna trade union journal. Lalith Senevirathne, Nihal Serasighe, Sisira Priyankara and other 22 suspects are kept in Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka says battle with Tiger rebels kills dozens

June 4 (Reuters) A fierce mortar and artillery duel between Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tigers killed dozens overnight, the military said on Sunday, but the rebels denied suffering casualties. The military said 10 soldiers were killed and 20 injured during the clash in the northern district of Vavuniya, the new focus of renewed civil war between the state and separatist LTTE. more..

JHU Proposals Turn Minority Rights Upside Down!

June 4 (AT) After claiming that there is no ‘ethnic conflict’ or ‘national question’ in Sri Lanka, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) – National Sinhala Heritage Party - has turned the internationally accepted rights of the minorities upside down in their proposals to the All Party Representative Committee (APRC). In a way it is useful that the JHU finally submitted its proposals to the APRC and therefore those can be scrutinized on the basis of human rights, justice and fair play. more..

The LTTE Air Power: Myths and Realities

June 4 (AT) When the LTTE used two light training crafts to drop a couple of bombs on the Katunayake air base in Sri Lanka, many have endeavored to look at the whole episode through the glasses of their own choice and interpret accordingly. For them, it was a moral boost for the LTTE sympathizer; challenge for the security forces; headache for the Sri Lankan politicians; terrific experience for the general public; and another event for certain parties to jump on the bandwagon to assert that it happened due to strategic failure and the ill-fated ceasefire agreement. more..

Sri Lanka’s perspective on maritime security in the region and its relevance to the world

June 4 (AT) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama yesterday (Sunday) appealed to defense ministers and military commanders attending the Annual IISS Asian Security Summit – The Shangri-La Dialogue, to ensure that their governments remain focused on the complexities the Government of Sri Lanka faces in grappling with terrorism of the LTTE and not to permit the LTTE to use their territories or waters to continue to terrorize the people of Sri Lanka. more..

Investors cautious while negative trend in the stock market continues

June 4 (AT) The HNB Stockbrokers indicate in their weekly review that the negative trend continued for yet another week as investors opted to stay away from the market, waiting patiently for positive news to arrive. Activity levels saw a considerable drop this week partly due to trading been limited to just four day this week with Thursday being a holiday. During the Week All Share Price Index (ASPI) dropped by 33.7 points to close the week at 2525.8 more..

Swiss Tamils call for the ban of Tiger demonstration on June 11

June 4 (AT) Sri Lankan Tamils domiciled in Switzerland are putting pressure on the Swiss authorities to revoke the permission granted to the Tamil Tigers to hold a mass rally on June 11 in front of the UN offices in Geneva. They fear that this rally will lead to more Tamil Tiger violence, causing further unrest in the Tamil community. Tamil Tigers are known for beating up members of rival Tamil parties in Europe, America, Canada and Sri Lanka. more..

Mangala kicked out on Karu's orders

June 4 (LeN) It has been informed to Mangala Samaraweera by the Minister of local administration, Mr Karoo Jayasooriya who joined the government from the UNP, to leave the house in Kappetipola Mw, Colombo where Mr. Samaraweera is residing. Mr. Samaraweera was taken off from his post on the 9th of February. After the removal of the post the maximum time a minister can remain in the residence is 3 months. more..

Heavy fighting in Sri Lanka leaves 82 dead, say combatants

June 4 (AFP) Tiger rebels destroyed army bases in northern Sri Lanka leaving 82 combatants dead according to both sides Sunday as the island's main aid donor, Japan, was set to launch a fresh peace bid. The LTTE said they launched attacks along a broad front in Vavuniya and Mannar districts. They captured armoured vehicles and heavy weapons after destroying long-range guns belonging to the military. They also said they destroyed four or five gun positions. more..

'Focus Sri Lanka' brings trade, culture and adventure to LA

June 4 (IL) Both the Sri Lankan and trade communities in Los Angeles turned out for 'Focus Sri Lanka' on May 28 and 29, an exciting and diverse event that demonstrated Sri Lanka's wide-ranging appeal in commerce, tourism and marketable products ready for the US market. Focus Sri Lanka began on May 28 with a market-style "cash and carry" preview, providing an opportunity for over 1,200 attendees to sample and purchase items imported directly from Sri Lanka. more..

Hunt on for killers of Red Cross volunteers

June 4 (MoD) Inspector General of Police, Victor Perera has appointed a special CID team to investigate the deaths of two Red Cross volunteers, whose bodies which had been recovered from the Kiriella area with gun shot wounds. Investigations are under way on the direction of CID DIG Prathapasinghe and Senior DIG Illangakoon. Meanwhile, Red Cross Society officials had identified the bodies. more..

Thief No1 in Sri Lanka now with Mahinda

June 4 (ISL) The amount defaulted was Rs. 4,700 million as at 31-12-2004 and its value as of today has grown to Rs. 6,000 million. Moragoda no 1 thief in the Country as Minister of Economic reforms has caused a loss of Rs. 1,700 million in privatising Lanka Marine Services and a sum of over Rs. 3,000 million only by non-compliance with the 4th term of the contract, in the privatization of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, to the Government. more..

A test for those who consider themselves Sri lankan patriots

June 4 (ISL) To Those Who Consider Themselves Sri lankan Patriots, I want to take your patriotism at face value and accept that you are driven by a love for Sri Lanka and a desire to see the country united and peaceful. I have a few simple questions for your kind consideration: Do you think that you can unite the people in the country by supporting a policy of war in the Northeast of the country that is causing extreme loss of life and damage to property for the poeple of the area? more..

Sri Lanka business chamber reiterates call for unity to solve ethnic problem

June 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka's top business chamber Monday called for unity to help the island overcome the violence that has gripped the country and reiterated its support for a bipartisan approach to solve the ethnic problem. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said in a statement it condemns all forms of violence and terrorism. "We as a chamber of commerce believe in presenting a resilient front in the face of adversity," it said. more..

New Sri Lanka company law seen deterring management malpractices

June 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka's new company law should encourage good governance and help deter boardroom abuses that have given the corporate sector a bad name, experts said. “The new companies act should only be feared by the crony directors but the good directors has nothing to worry about,” Attorney-at-law and a member of the Companies Act advisory committee Harsha Cabraal said. more..

Sri Lanka tourism to get 'Barmy Army' innings

June 4 (AFP) Advance bookings for England's winter cricket tour of Sri Lanka has been rising steadily even as fighting between troops and Tamil Tiger rebels escalates, officials said on Monday. A tour organising official at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said at least 4,000 bookings by British cricket fans have been almost finalised and more were in the pipeline. "We are very happy with the response," the SLC official told AFP. more..

South Asian University to commence first academic term in August

June 4 (GDI) The South Asian University which will be established as a move to promote regional cooperation will be commencing its first academic term in August 2009 in New Delhi. It is reported that the proposed University will open education opportunities for 200-250 Sri Lankan students. The university will be established on an earlier proposal by Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to the SAARC summit as a move to promote regional cooperation. more..

Major incidents involving the LTTE last two years outside Sri Lanka

June 4 (GDI) In the recent past, there have been many instances in which cadres of the LTTE or their front organizations have been arrested or sentenced to prison for a variety of subversive activity across the world. Some of the major incidents involving the LTTE outside Sri Lanka include: 2007 May 17: Maldives coast guard opened fire on and sank a small vessel carrying suspected LTTE cadres after a 12-hour standoff at sea in southern territorial waters of Maldives. more..

‘Ceylon Tea Queen ‘ - Sri Lankan expatriate student crowned

June 4 (AT) Miss Janinda Gunawardene (18) a fresher student at the University of Southern California (USC) was crowned the Tea Queen of California at the Focus Sri Lanka cultural and trade show and won a trip to Sri Lanka and five star hotel accommodation at the famous ‘Tea Factory’ in Kandapola. “She would take a VIP tour of the tea plantations offered by the Ceylon Tea Board and act as an ambassador for Ceylon Tea for the next one year,” more..

Lanka-India to work out coordinated sea patrols

June 4 (ANN) Indian Defence Minister A. K. Anthony assured Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, that the Indian Government was agreeable to conduct coordinated patrols of the maritime boundary between India and Sri Lanka in the Palk Straits. Modalities for this deployment will be worked out between the two sides. more..

Second stage resettlement in Batticaloa successful

June 4 (ITN) The second phase of re-settling displaced civilians in Batticaloa is being successfully implemented. Project Director of the District Secretariat K. Sivapadan said the number re-settled in the last three days was 39,000. The re-settlement under the second stage commenced from the Kalawanchikudi divisional secretariat premises. 6794 families will be resettled in 24 grama niladhari divisions of the Niritha divisional secretariat within six days. more..

Air battles: India to help Sri Lanka

June 4 (Hindu) The "rise of the LTTE air power in Sri Lanka is of concern to India also." Emphasising this, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said in Singapore on Sunday that India "will give Sri Lanka reasonable support for that." Commenting on his talks with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama here on Saturday, Mr. Antony said he had conveyed India's willingness to extend "whatever possible help." more..

Downgraded SL team for EU meeting?

June 4 (SAMN) The government is likely to send a down graded team to Brussels for Tuesday’s European Parliament’s Development Affairs Committee open session, on the basis that the committee has allowed independent rights groups to make representations at the meeting, a highly placed source said. He said the government was of the opinion EU Development Affairs Committee was acting beyond its mandate by calling human rights groups and foreign lobbyists to make representations at the June 5 meeting on development issues. more..

CEB goes for Norwegian lamp posts

June 4 (SAMN) The debt-ridden CEB has imported a consignment of lamp posts from Norway at a cost of Rs. 12,000 each ignoring a similar product offered by the State Timber Corporation at a lesser price. This had come to light on Friday when President Mahinda Rajapaksa met Environment Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka and a group of senior officials including the Ministry Secretary M. A. R. D. Jayatilleke and senior advisor Udaya Gammanpila. more..

No forcible eviction from lodges

June 4 (SAMN) The Government Sunday reiterated that the Security Forces or the Police will not forcibly evict people from their temporary residence in lodges and small hotels in Colombo. The Government wished to inform all residents from North and East who are temporary occupants of lodges and hotels in Colombo that they should be able to legally establish their identity and reasons for their stay for security reasons prevailing under the current security situation in the country. more..

Country in trouble, MPs get bonanza

June 4 (SAMN) Parliament has sought approximately Rs 75 million from the Treasury to pay pension arrears to several hundred former members, who represented mainly the UNP, the SLFP, the JVP and the TULF. The Treasury has delayed the transfer of funds pending approval by the government, reliable sources said. This comes against the backdrop of the Supreme Court decision to drastically curtail former President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s retirement benefit package. more..

Conditions to ensure LTTE adheres to Ceasefire -Army Chief

June 4 (DN) The Government may lay down certain conditions to ensure the LTTE does not take advantage during the Ceasefire, if the Ceasefire is to be continued and genuinely adhered to and respected, Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka said. The Army Commander said these conditions should be laid down to guarantee that the LTTE does not bring in weapons, kill its opponents and consolidate their military strength under cover of the ceasefire agreement. more..

Local industrialists' good treatment of workers, a fillip to export promotion

June 4 (DN) Many countries including the European Union have endorsed local industrialists' treatment of workers as best in the world and is a tremendous advantage to promote our exports in that region, Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion, Dr Sarath Amunugama said. "Sri Lankan industrialists are giving a sense of dignity and respect to workers," more..

Govt. not planning to scrap CFA: Rohitha

June 4 (DM) Foreign Minister, while calling for international effort to destroy the worldwide activities of Tamil militants, said yesterday that his government was not planning to scrap the ceasefire pact (CFA) with the Tigers, and was willing to meet them for talks as soon as possible, agency reports said. “I categorically state that there is no decision to abrogate the CFA. It is not necessary to consider that,” more..

Jayalath heads delegation to Madhu

June 4 (DM) A delegation led by UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardene will leave for Madhu in Mannar today. Dr. Jayawardene told the Daily Mirror that he had received the clearance from Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse for the visit. The delegation would comprise The Chief Incumbent of the Nagadeepa Vihara Jaffna Ven. Brahakmanawatte Seevali Nayake Thera, SEDEC Advisor Fr. Alfred Alexander and Chairman of the Civil Monitoring Committee on Abductions Siritunga Jayasuriya. more..

Over 40 arrested in Sri Lankan capital for rebel links

June 4 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan police said Sunday that over 40 people were arrested in the capital Colombo for suspicious Tamil Tiger rebel links as the police found dead bodies of two Red Cross volunteers who had been reported missing since Friday. Some 47 people were arrested in a special 24-hour search operation which ended at 6 a.m. (0030 GMT) local time on Sunday. more..

Building Ethnic Harmony With Community Radio

June 4 (IPS) In this tea-growing hill country, about 150 km from Colombo, a state-run community radio station is creating harmony among the country's Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim ethnic groups by broadcasting from the villages and opening up the airwaves to people's participation. "People all over Sri Lanka are talking about peace, but this community radio has been doing it from the beginning," P. Pavitheran, an announcer at the Kothmale Community Radio (KCR) told IPS. more..

Sri Lanka to buy Thai vaccine, medical equipment

June 4 (TNA) Senior Sri Lankan government medical officials have agreed to buy Thai-produced vaccines from the Ministry of Public Health's Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO), Minister of Public Health Mongkol Na Songkhla said Monday. Dr. Mongkol met visiting Sri Lankan Additional Secretary for Medical Services of the Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition Dr. Nihal Jayatilaka who more..

Atapattu returns to Sri Lanka, Jayasuriya rests

June 4 (AFP) Discarded former Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu will make a comeback this month against Bangladesh after selectors decided to rest veteran Sanath Jayasuriya in the Tests. Atapattu, whose last Test match was in December 2005 against India at Ahmedabad, was overlooked by the selectors throughout the World Cup 2007 in the West Indies. The 37-year-old faced a similar fate in the 1996 World Cup which Sri Lanka won. more..