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Lanka Army chief seeks new truce with LTTE

June 4 (PTI) Sri Lanka's army chief has said the five year-old Norwegian-brokered ceasefire between the government and the LTTE was "not functioning" on the ground and demanded a new truce with imposition of strict conditions on the Tamil rebels. "At the moment the CFA (Ceasefire Agreement) is not functioning, because fighting is going on," Lt General Sarath Finseka said in an interview published today in the state-run Daily News. more..

LTTE’s Australian subversion

June 4 (MoF) With an estimated Tamil population of 30,000, Australia is one of the largest sources of funding for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). In confirmation, the Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona disclosed on May 1, 2007, that the LTTE internationally raises approximately USD 10 million to USD 30 million a month, of which almost 20 to 30 per cent comes from Australia. more..

Sri Lanka aims for Oliver

June 4 (BT) Queensland Bulls mentor Terry Oliver is the front-runner to be named coach of the 2007 World Cup cricket finalist Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan authorities have interviewed Oliver and announcement on the role vacated by Tom Moody is expected this week. Oliver is contracted to the Bulls until the end of the 2007-08 season, and would become Queensland's longest-serving coach if he saw the term out. more..

'Casualties' in Sri Lanka clashes

June 4 (BBC) Clashes between troops and Tamil rebels have continued in northern Sri Lanka after fighting at the weekend which the two sides said claimed dozens of lives. The rebels say they killed at least 30 soldiers in the north, while the army said it had killed more than 50 rebels. Neither claim could be independently verified. Meanwhile, the Red Cross has urged the authorities to investigate the killing of two of its staff. more..

Yahoo Photos

June 4 (Reuters) President Mahinda Rajapaksa pays his respects to a slain Sri Lanka Red Cross volunteer at a funeral parlour in Colombo June 4, 2007. The Sri Lanka Red Cross on Monday demanded a probe into the killing of two of its volunteers amid a rash of abductions and murders in a renewed civil war, more..

Red Cross condemns killing of two aid workers

June 4 (IRIN) The Sri Lanka Red Cross today strongly condemned the murder of two of its volunteer aid workers by unidentified gunmen and called on the government to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation. “The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society vehemently condemns the brutal killing of two volunteers by an unknown party after they were abducted on 1 June 2007,” SLRC Chairman Jagath Abeysinghe said in a statement. more..

‘Tamil plight like era of apartheid in SA‘

June 4 (TH) THE plight of Tamil-speaking Sri Lankans was heard in Port Elizabeth yesterday when the representative of the Tamil Nation Alliance (Tamil Tigers) in the Sri Lanka parliament spoke to various organisations and concerned individuals. Manickavasagar Kanagasabapathy Eelaventhan visited the city as part of his global tour to create an awareness on the plight of the Eelam Tamils. more..

Missing top Sri Lankan may be dead, says family

June 4 (IANS) A respected Sri Lankan academic who disappeared from Colombo six months ago and was believed to have been seized by a pro-government Tamil group has probably been killed, his distraught family said Monday. After hoping against hope all these months that S. Raveendranath, who headed the Eastern University of Sri Lanka when he went missing Dec 15 last year, was alive a key family member now said that they feared the worst. more..

War-weary Tamils face India hardship

June 4 (BBC) "Our boat was packed with people and it almost overturned during our perilous voyage," recounts Reshmi, a 22-year-old teacher from Sri Lanka. She was among those who had just landed on Indian shores seeking refuge from the conflict in Sri Lanka between the military and Tamil Tiger rebels. The distance was short but the sea was rough. They had to hide from patrolling naval ships in the Palk Straits which separate northern Sri Lanka from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. more..

685 anti-personnel mines, explosives seized in eastern Sri Lanka, military says

June 4 (AP) Soldiers seized hundreds of anti-personnel mines, bombs and other explosives during a search of three former rebel-held villages in eastern Sri Lanka, the military said Monday, as the guerrillas claimed to have retaken territory in the north in fierce weekend fighting. The 685 anti-personnel mines, 22 bombs and anti-tank mines were recovered Sunday in Verugal, Pankudaveli and Panichchankerni villages, more..

Military says fighter planes bomb Tamil rebel positions in northern Sri Lanka

June 4 (AP) Sri Lanka's air force pounded rebel positions in the north Monday, near territory that the rebels claimed to have retaken from the military in fierce weekend fighting, the military said. Air force planes staged the attack in an area of northern Vavuniya district where clashes between government soldiers and rebels over the weekend left dozens of fighters dead, more..

Fighting rages in Sri Lanka ahead of Japan peace visit

June 4 (AFP) Artillery and mortar battles between government troops and Tamil rebels raged in northern Sri Lanka Monday, the day before an attempt by top donor Japan to revive the tattered peace process. The clashes followed on from fierce hand-to-hand battles over the weekend that left scores of combatants dead along the front lines that separate government areas from the mini-state run by the LTTE. more..

Red Cross asks probe of volunteer killings

June 4 (Reuters) The Sri Lanka Red Cross on Monday demanded a probe into the killing of two of its volunteers amid a rash of abductions and murders in a renewed civil war, and urged the government and Tamil Tiger rebels to respect human rights. The corpses of the two Muslim men were found on Sunday dumped in the gem-mining district of Ratnapura, southeast of Colombo, two days after they were taken away by men who identified themselves as police at a train station in the capital. more..

Killing of Red Cross staff ahead of EU meet worries Lanka

June 4 (HT) The killing of two Tamil Sri Lanka Red Cross (SLRC) workers in Colombo, four days before a meeting of the European Parliament's Development Committee in Brussels on Tuesday, has been a major embarrassment for the Sri Lankan government, already receiving international flak for human rights violations. more..

Chandrika given back her lost security

June 5 (LeN) Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga has been granted a security team of 69 policemen including a Superintendent of Police, since yesterday. The decision to grant the exact number of men requested by the Former president's secretariat was decided at the security meting that was held under the patronage of the president. more..

Tiran reveals how Mahinda, Basil, Weeratunga, P.B. dealt with "Emil Kanthan"

June 5 (LeN) A weekend newspaper reports that former chairman of the air port and air port services Tiran Allas who arrested by the TID on the 30th of April has revealed all detains pertaining to the financial deals that he had with the LTTE on the request of president Mahinda Rajapakse. He has also said that he became the coordinator for the North and East for the presidential campaign on the request made by then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Abduction and killing of Red Cross workers – an attempt to tarnish Sri Lanka

June 5 (RW) The abduction and killing of the two Red Cross workers last weekend was aimed at discrediting both President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Government in the eyes of the International community, a media release from the President Secretariat said. President Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered a full scale inquiry into the abduction and killing of K. Chandra Mohan and S. Shanmugalingam two volunteer workers of the Red Cross. more..

UN chief condemns killing of Red Cross workers in Sri Lanka

June 5 (Xinhua) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned on Monday the "brutal" killing of two workers of the Sri Lankan Red Cross and offered his condolences to their families. In a statement issued by his press office, Ban demanded a thorough investigation by the police into the killing. The secretary-general "reminds the government of their obligation to investigate the murders of 17 aid workers from Action Contre la Faim, who were killed 10 months ago," the statement said. more..

Sri Lanka assured of increased assistance in combating LTTE terrorism

June 5 (AT) Sri Lanka appealed to the South east Asian Countries check on the Tamil separatist outfit LTTE from using their territories for terrorist activities such as arms smuggling and money laundering. South East Asian leaders have positively responded and assured Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama that they would be more vigilant and not permit their territories be used in any manner by the LTTE. more..

Fifteen point action plan to bring down the cost of living

June 5 (AT) By promoting a balance development both in agro-based development and industrial development, there is a possibility for bringing down the cost of living gradually, a research paper emphasized. It was further pointed out that it is not possible to bring down the cost of living suddenly. But it is possible to bring it down gradually over a period of 18 to 36 months if we have an action plan that is implemented in a controlled manner. more..

First regional news papers for Sinhala and Tamil readers launched in Ampara

June 5 (AT) Sri Lanka’s first regional news papers for Sinhala and Tamil readers were launched on Sunday at a simple ceremony held in Ampara. Both newspapers were exclusive for the Eastern province, but the publisher says they would expand their distribution network to the North Central province. The Eastern Publishers said their aim is to address the grass root masses in the Eastern province and more..

Tamil Tigers regrouping in the east after the split in Karuna group

June 5 (AT) Tamil Tigers are making a desperate attempt to re-establish their lost position in the Eastern province of Sri Lanka after the split between Karuna and his army commander, Pillaiyan, weakened the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal. It is reported that Col. Ramesh of the LTTE, who was earlier in charge of Vakarai, has managed to make an amphibious landing in the Vakarai - Kathiraveli sea coast with nearly 100 of LTTE cadres with more..

LTTE urges Tamil representation at EU hearings

June 5 (TN) On the eve of a European Union parliamentary discussion on post-tsunami reconstruction and human rights situation in Sri Lanka, the Liberation Tigers called on the EU to invite Tamil representatives to its future meetings “for any objective understanding of the post-tsunami and human rights situation.” The LTTE also urged the EU to press Sri Lanka to allow international human rights monitors access. more..

British High Commissioner laments over the deteriorating security situation in Sri Lanka

June 5 (AT) British High Commissioner in Colombo has expressed serious concern over the deteriorating conditions in Colombo. He has categorically said “almost certainly … the last week a bomb was set off by the LTTE.” In a statement Dominick Chilcott, British High Commissioner has lamented that the internal conflict and the violence connected to it are doing immense harm to the country. more..

India to develop KKS harbour, coordinate naval patrols

June 5 (TN) The Indian Government is to resume expansion of the Kankesanthurai harbour in the Jaffna peninsula following the Sri Lankan government informing Delhi that the security situation in the area had “improved considerably,” press reports said Monday. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told the Indian government that the development of the harbour to its full potential will facilitate the transport of supplies to the Jaffna Peninsula, including directly from India. more..

Chinese arms, radar for Sri Lanka military

June 5 (TN) Sri Lanka’s military has inked several significant defence agreements with China, including those for the supply of modern radar and large quantities of ammunition, press reports said. The deals with Beijing come amid public statements from India expressing discontent with Colombo’s military ties to China and Pakistan. An order for Chinese radars is being routed through a company owned by Sri Lanka’s defence secretary, Gotabaya Rajapakse, reports also said. more..

PMK opposes co-ordinated patrolling

June 5 (PTI) The PMK, a partner of the ruling UPA Government at Centre, has opposed 'co-ordinated patrolling' along the Tamil Nadu coast with the Sri Lankan Navy. The PMK's opposition came in the wake of National Security Adviser M K Narayanan's statement last week in which he had said India favoured coordinated patrolling with Sri Lanka to protect Tamil Nadu fishermen from attacks on the high seas. more..

Suspected US head of Tamil Tigers pleads innocent

June 5 (Reuters) The suspected head of the U.S. branch of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers rebel group and four others pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of assisting a foreign terrorist organization. Karunakaran Kandasamy is accused of heading the U.S. branch of the Tamil Tigers and of funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund its activities. Imprisoned since his April 25 arrest, he faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, more..

Bangladesh advises officials to avoid Colombo airport on security reasons

June 5 (ANI) Bangladesh has advised its officials to avoid either any visit to Sri Lanka or use Colombo as a stop-over while travelling, as violence escalated past months in the island nation. Officials said that the travel advisory came following series of air raids by the LTTE on the Sri Lankan army, with the latest one in April. Bangladesh's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a circular said that the government feels that Colombo airport is still under threat by the LTTE. more..

Continued unrest hampers aid effort in Sri Lanka

June 5 (CSM) Despite government promises, aid workers in Sri Lanka are still not safe from the continued fighting between government forces and Tamil separatists. The recent abduction and killing of two local Red Cross volunteers in Colombo, the nation's capital, has renewed aid workers' concerns and caused the government to reaffirm its commitment to protecting volunteers. more..

Lack of planning in mushrooming high rise apartments

June 5 (TW) High rise apartments going up sky high in Colombo, Sri Lanka are very much in vogue today. Down one lane in Wellawatta for instance, at E. S. Fernando Mawatha, there are four huge apartment blocks on one narrow and congested road. The congestion caused by apartment dwellers and traffic combined is unimaginable. There is no planning permission to build, seen in this country and the CMC, UDA and Central Environment Authority together must take the rap. more..

Fear psychosis behind record profits in Lanka’s abduction industry

June 5 (KT) FAIR redistribution of wealth is a noble concept. In an economy of just two people, call them A and B, A can get rich only at the cost of B. It is unfair to expect a rich A to share his wealth with B and restore equality. Communist states of yore tried to impose such a system and miserably failed. But to expect A to part with part of the wealth he has amassed at the cost of B is not only fair but also A’s social responsibility. It is a price A must pay for making B poor. more..

EPDP making a difference for disabled Lankans

June 5 (ISL) Hon. Douglas Devananda, Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare, who is also the Chairman of National Council for the persons with disabilities, resorted to measures to grant many a concession to the persons with disabilities at a meeting held at his office on the 29th of May 2007. Invitees to the meeting included officials from the Ministry of Health Care and Nutrition, Department of Railways, Department of Posts and Telecommunication, and Sri Lanka Transport Board. more..

Special identity card for Delft people

June 5 (ISL) The Delft navy commander said special identity cards will be issued to all the permanent residents of Delft. This decision was taken after the LTTE attack on the Delft navy base. Quick action is being taken to issue the special identity cards to all permanent residents, between 15 and 60 years of Delft. A pass will be issued to the fishermen can obtain their passes from delft police station, Mavalithurai navy camp and St. Anthony’s primary school. more..

Fishermen entered into Indian waters released

June 5 (ISL) Six Sri Lankan fishermen who were forced to enter Indian waters due to the faulty engine of the boat were handed over to Sri Lankan authorities on Saturday. The Indian Police rescued six Sri Lankan fishermen struggling in the first of April this year. Nishal Shama (17), Shameera (25), Ameela Manoj Prasad (21), Rajes Thushabi (29) and Sheshan Sankar (21) all of Trincomalee were on board at that time. more..

Govt is commited to uplift the lives of artistes – Cultural Minister

June 5 (GDI) Cultural Affairs Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene says the government is committed to uplift the lives of artistes. Speaking at a ceremony held at the auditorium of the Government Information Department to exchange a Memorandum of Understanding between the Sri Lanka Social Security Board and the Tower Hall Rangahala Foundation on the proposed Sarasawathi Pension Scheme, the Minister added that the government would take all necessary steps to improve the lots of artistes. more..

SLAF destroys Tiger gun positions in Vavuniya

June 5 (GDI) Sri Lanka Air Force Kfir jets pounded two well identified LTTE mortar positions and completely destroyed LTTE gathering places located in Palampiddi West of Omanthai in Vavuniya last morning (04), Media Center for National Security (MCNS) informs. According to the military sources the targets were picked up following ground intelligence information. more..

Government committed to achieve 8% economic growth

June 5 (GDI) “Despite the unavoidable circumstance prevailed in the international and local arena, Sri Lanka has crossed the threshold into a strategic development process,” said Finance Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera. He stated this at the Economic Overview Meeting for the year 2006 held at Temple Trees with the participation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (04). more..

Central bank, polite fictions, fiat money and the political economy: fuss-budget

June 5 (LBO) The controversy that has erupted over an innocuous graph published in The Thrift Column is raising important questions about the role of central banks in Sri Lanka and elsewhere, and why they act as they do. Last week fussbudget was indeed impressed by what Governor Nivard Cabraal told some regional central bankers in a speech (Read Steady Stance) in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka listed firm declares dividend under new company law

June 5 (LBO) Richard Pieris, a Sri Lanka listed firm, has declared a cash dividend and a stock distribution under provisions of a new company law that came into effect last month. Richard Pieris told the Colombo Stock Exchange 453 million rupees out of its retained profits would be "applied to shareholders". The firm will pay 59.1 million rupees as a cash dividend at the rate of 50 cents per share. more..

Police point fingers at Karuna in Red Cross killing

June 5 (LNP) In the latest twist to the abduction and killing of two volunteer workers of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, police yesterday said they suspected the vehicle used in the abduction belonged to the Karuna faction. Sabaragamuwa Province DIG Sarath Perera said they had identified the number of the vehicle used in the abduction and suspected the vehicle was being used by the Karuna faction. more..

Flu prevented me from heading to Brussels - Samarasinghe

June 5 (LNP) Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday said he decided against attending today`s much awaited opening session of the Development Affairs Committee of the European Parliament in Brussels, on medical advice. `I was very much looking forward to the meeting but I got a bad bout of flu and the doctors advised me against taking long distance flights` Minister Samarasinghe said. more..

Court wants report on Tiran`s health

June 5 (LNP) Colombo Chief Magistrate Kusala Sarojini Weerawardena yesterday directed JMO Dr. L. B. L de Alwis to forward a report on the health condition of former Aviation Chief Tiran Alles on June 13. Mr. Alles who is undergoing treatment at the National Hospital was arrested by the TID on May 30 while undergoing treatment at the Nawaloka Hospital on May 30 and was ordered to be remanded till June 13. more..

US eyeing strategic locations: JVP

June 5 (SAMN) Parliament will debate the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) signed between Sri Lanka and the United States in March, with the JVP planning to express its opposition to the government signing it without informing the House.The House will take up the issue as an adjournment motion by the JVP. more..

Anuradhapura, Dambulla AIDS hotspots

June 5 (SAMN) Anuradhapura and Dambulla face a rapid spread of HIV/AIDS, a recent survey revealed. Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry sources said they have already taken steps to control the situation. According to the findings of this survey, Anuradhapura and Dambulla have an ideal environment for an increase in HIV/AIDS. more..

Heavy fighting, bombing continue

June 5 (SAMN) The Air Force Monday continued to bomb Tiger mortar locations in Palampiddi, Vavuniya while ground troops engaged in clearing operations in Mullikulam and Kalmadu after heavy fighting in the area for the past two days, a military official said. Air Force’s Kfir jets destroyed two Tiger mortar launching pads at Palampiddi in the Vavuniya district in the morning, a senior Air Force official said. more..

Bourse loses over Rs.4 b

June 5 (SAMN) The Colombo Bourse was down at the opening of the week losing Rs.4.3 billion in value while both indices recorded loses. The ASPI was down by 13.28 points closing at 2512.55 down by 0.53% while the MPI was down by 17.77 or 0.05% closing at 3558.31 in trading Monday. The market turnover amounted to Rs.64.3 million compared with the previous day’s trading turnover of Rs.125.8 million. more..

Serve poor students in remotest areas, President tells teachers

June 5 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday urged the teaching community to serve the poor and the less-privileged students in the remotest areas of the country and thereby protect the country's 'Free Education' mechanism. President Rajapaksa was speaking at the handing over of appointment letters to Diploma Holders in Teaching to 2,599 new diplomates. more..

Rural sector plays key role in national development

June 5 (DN) National development would only be a pipe dream if the country forget the rural sector. That is why the Mahinda Chinthana encompassed the rural sector too in the national development effort to achieve its development goals for the country, said Vocational and Technical Training Minister Piyasena Gamage. He was speaking at the commissioning of a rural electricity scheme in Neluwa, Hiniduma recently. more..

Court to probe SLIC deal

June 5 (DM) The Supreme Court yesterday granted leave to proceed with the two fundamental rights violation petitions filed against the privatization of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation and directed that business tycoon Harry Jayawardena be added as a respondent to the petition. The petitions challenged the sale of 90 percent shares of the SLIC claiming it was getting an average net profit of Rs 1,162 million a year. more..