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Mar 12 (Reuters) The Sri Lanka cricket team are led by their captain Mahela Jayawardene (R) during the opening ceremonies for the Cricket World Cup in Trelawny, Jamaica, March 11, 2007. more..

Sri Lanka cash rates hit a new high

Mar 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's overnight cash rates hit a new high of 32 percent Monday, as the central bank stayed away from injecting liquidity through an open market auction, dealers said. On Friday morning rates hit 30 percent, before easing slightly, with a market short by about 1.9 billion rupees. Sri Lanka's overnight call money market last hit 32 percent in December 2000. more..

Detention of three leftists by Govt signals new round of state repression

Mar 12 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) warns that the Sri Lankan government’s detention of three leftists last month and subsequent arrest of more than a hundred workers and youth is the preparation for open state repression against the working class. As it escalates its deeply unpopular war against the LTTE, the Rajapakse government is seeking to intimidate and suppress opposition among ordinary working people, more..

Punish swindlers revealed by COPE! – JVP

Mar 12 (LT) It is the duty of the executive to take legal action against the biggest swindlers in the history of this country states a letter sent by the JVP to President Mahinda Rajapakse. The COPE report which was submitted to the Parliament has revealed frauds committed by certain politicians and officials and it is the duty of the President to take appropriate action against those swindlers state the letter. more..

Defeated Tigers order northern cadres to withdraw from the east

Mar 12 (AT) Fearing the next clean up assault from the Security Forces in the east, the Vanni leadership has ordered Colonel Jeayam, the Tiger commander, to prepare an urgent exit strategy. Informed sources said that the strategy is to leave the eastern cadres in the region and pull out only the northern Tigers. more..

Sri Lanka: Foreign Minister reverses new recruitment policy

Mar 12 (AT) Attempts by the new foreign secretary to restructure the employment practices of the foreign ministry have been reversed by Minister Bogollagama according to foreign ministry sources giving rise to speculation that another batch of unsuitable postings would be made to foreign missions to reward political patronage. In the past “local” staff were recruited “locally”. more..

More ayurvedic treatment centres to be set up island-wide

Mar 12 (GDI) A new traditional ayurvedic treatment centre will be opened tomorrow (13) at Aranayake in Mawanella in the Sabaragamuwa Province, under this year’s many development programmes launched by the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine promoting and developing this traditional medical systems in the country, Minister of Indigenous Medicine Tissa Karaliyadde said. more..

I will not betray my Motherland or permit anyone to do so - President

Mar 12 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa reiterating he will never ever betray the sovereignty and territorial integrity of his Motherland, also pledged not to permit any individual, organisation, political party or whosoever to do so. President Rajapaksa was addressing a group of intellectuals, professionals, religious dignitaries, artistes and heads of institutions among others at the Presidential Secretariat on Saturday more..

Plot to discredit Govt. ahead of Geneva Confab - PAFFREL

Mar 12 (GDI) Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe explained the human rights situation and the government’s firm commitment to protect human rights to the representatives of the International Non Governmental Organisations, UN and local NGOs in Geneva. He met these representatives prior to the 4th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) scheduled for March 13 and 14, more..

Foreign Ministry denies media reports

Mar 12 (GDI) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press release issued yesterday referring to media reports on the Sri Lanka Navy firing at Indian fishermen, categorically denied any involvement of the Sri Lanka Navy in the reported incidents. The Government of Sri Lanka wishes to categorically state that the Sri Lanka Navy has no involvement whatsoever with any of the reported incidents, more..

Eight new Hydropower projects within three months

Mar 12 (GDI) Government approves eight new hydropower projects at the value of Rs.3, 608 million aiming at supplying 33 megawatts to the national grid at the completion of its work, a statement issued by the Ministry of Enterprise Development & Investment Promotion says. Projects are expected to complete with in a period of three months. more..

New Sri Lankan law to affect migrant workers

Mar 12 (KT) Sri Lanka’s new legislation restricting mothers with children below five years from taking up low-end jobs overseas, will adversely affect migrant workers in the UAE where a large number of Sri Lankan women are employed as housemaids and in garment factories. Sri Lankan Ambassador to the UAE Nabawi Junaid said the legislation approved by the cabinet early this month and to be enforced soon will restrict the number of women, more..

Strong rubber prices in Sri Lanka gives bounce to Kelani Valley

Mar 12 (LBO) Robust rubber prices have boosted after tax profits of Kelani Valley Plantations (KVPL) by 66 percent in 2006, while turnover grew by 21 percent, the company said. Kelani Valley Plantations Limited (KVPL), a subsidiary of Dipped Products Limited (DPL) says turnover grew to 2,330 million in 2006, with increases of 11 per cent from tea and 44 per cent from rubber, more..

Parties condemn continued attacks on Tamil fishermen

Mar 12 (NIP) The continued killing of Tamil fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy is snowballing into a major issue in the state. Almost all the political parties, led by the ruling DMK, have condemned the firing at the Tamil fishermen and the resultant deaths over the past one month. On Sunday, the main Opposition party AIADMK, the Congress, the PMK and the fledgeling DMDK strongly condemned the attacks on "innocent" fishermen. more..

SLMM backs down on breakdoown

Mar 12 (LNP) The Scandinavian truce monitoring mission declined to provide a breakdown of the number of persons killed during the past 15 months. The Norwegian-led mission said that revelation of such information might not be favourable to its role in Sri Lanka. The Island sought clarification after the mission in a statement issued to coincide the fifth anniversary of the Ceasefire Agreement claimed that nearly 4,000 people lost their lives in incidents connected more..

Go tell it to the LTTE

Mar 12 (LNP) They scream and scream. They talk of white vans, they talk of disappearances, and they talk of abductions. They talk of human rights only when they don`t have privileges. There is a pattern, a very clear pattern. There is a campaign and there is a lot of money too to put in to that campaign. Re-alignment of forces. Enemies have become darlings. It is not difficult to find out why. Power, greed and it says it all. more..

SL to counter Tiger disinformation in Canada

Mar 12 (LNP) Countering the LTTE`s continued `misinformation campaign and enhancing Sri Lanka`s image` remains top priority for the Sri Lankan High Commission in Canada, the country`s envoy W.J.S. Karunaratne told the Daily Mirror. Mr Karunaratne said that LTTE agents were engaged in spreading incorrect and distorted information, in a bid to tarnish the country`s image and wrongly portray the Government as an anti-democratic institution with no regard to protecting Human Rights and the Rule of Law. more..

More training centers for fish farming

Mar 12 (LNP) The Government is considering a campaign to induce the farming community with an upgraded system both in marine and fresh water habitats. This will be carried out at district level and an island wide a new programme will be introduced with the assistance of District Secretaries and other Government officials, a press statement issued by the Information Department said yesterday. more..

CWC demands sub region

Mar 12 (SAMN) The Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) will propose the establishment of five regional councils, including a sub region for upcountry Tamils, with adequate powers to resolve the national conflict. The sub region will be a part of the unit comprising the present Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces. The CWC will submit their proposals to the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) assigned more..

SLT in Internet push

Mar 12 (SAMN) Sri Lanka’s premier communication service provider, Sri Lanka Telecom announced the latest addition to its growing portfolio of high-speed Internet solutions with the Entrée package on ADSL technology. It provides the latest technology for broadband Internet access and comprises a downloading capability of 512Kbps and an uploading capability of 128Kbps as well as a volume of 1 GB free every month. more..

One in ten adults suffer kidney ailments

Mar 12 (SAMN) One in ten adults in Sri Lanka has some form of chronic kidney disease while one in 35 have serious kidney failure. The most disheartening scenario in the country is that kidney patients absorb a huge portion of the national health budget. For instance, a kidney transplant costs Rs. 700.000/-, while for a single dialysis on a patient costs Rs. 4,000/-. A patient with renal failure requires a dialysis every fortnight. more..

National Policy on Mental Health

Mar 12 (SAMN) The World Health Organization (WHO) will assist Sri Lanka to implement the National Policy on Mental Health. Accordingly, the WHO will provide technical assistance to Sri Lanka, a Health Care and Nutrition Ministry spokesman said. He said that Mental health development projects funded by Finland are to be implemented in three provinces namely North, East and West. more..

Kishali Pinto-Jayawardene awarded International Woman of Courage 2007

Mar 12 (HREA) The Asian Human Rights Commission congratulates Kishali Pinto-Jayawardene of Sri Lanka for being recognized as Sri Lanka's Woman of Courage for the year 2007. Ms. Pinto-Jayawardene has been given the International Woman of Courage award by the United States. A communique announcing the award states as follows: more..

World Cup boosts TV sales

Mar 12 (SAMN) The upcoming cricket World Cup has proven to be a money spinner for firms selling consumer durables like TVs and satellite connection suppliers. Newly launched satellite service Dialog TV has seen a 50 percent jump in sales due to focused promotions targeting the World Cup. Nushad Perera, General Manager Sales and Marketing of Dialog Telekom said the company is aggressive on marketing campaigns with the cricket fever build up. more..

Austria to help develop drainage systems in Colombo

Mar 12 (DN) The Sri Lankan Government signed an agreement with Bank Austria Creditnastlet A.P Institute to rehabilitate and develop the garbage and drain systems in the Colombo South area. Austrian Government Relief loan scheme will provide funds for this project. Sri Lankan Government will receive 10.9 million euros. Under the project where a new tank will be built at Wellawatte. more..

41 injured in pilgrim bus mishap

Mar 12 (DN) Forty one pilgrims were injured, one critically, when a Sri Pada bound bus hurtled down a precipice near the Dick-oya District hospital on the Hatton Bagawanthalawa main road on Saturday at around 11.30 pm. According to Norwood police, the driver had lost control of the vehicle plying at high speed at a sharp bend near the Hospital. more..

Security tightened around Wilpattu sanctuary

Mar 12 (DM) Following the killing of four military and four wild life officers, security has been tightened in and around the Wilpattu Wild Life Sanctuary, with immediate effect, while the late Lt. Colonel Jayantha Suraweera, has been posthumously promoted to the rank of Colonel. “Security has been tightened in several villages located near the Wild Life sanctuary with deploying of additional troops in the area,” more..

A woman raped every 6 ½ hours: SSP

Mar 12 (DM) SSP Moneragala Daya Samarawera said a rape case is reported every six and a half hours in Sri Lanka. The SSP was addressing a workshop organized jointly by the Moneragala District Secretariat, Moneragala Police Headquarters and the Legal Aid Commission to mark International Women’s Day. Speaking further SSP Daya Samarawera said suggestions and expert advice proffered on various days to mark various events are rarely practised. more..

Sri Lanka to let Indian naval personnel on board its Naval ships

Mar 12 (PTI) The Sri Lankan government has agreed to let Indian naval personnel board their ships during patrolling in the Palk Straits, to prevent possible recurrence of attacks on Indian fishermen, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi said here today. This was conveyed to a DMK delegation, which met the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner Hamsa here today, he told reporters. more..

Those who point fingers must first clean their spots

Mar 12 (PISL) That was rich. That was indeed rich. Shortly after foreign minister Rohitha Bogollagama, on his first visit to London in his new role as minder of our foreign policy, met Britain’s foreign secretary Margaret Beckett, a press release from the foreign and commonwealth of office landed in my computer. It was all about what the British told Sri Lanka at the meeting. more..

Agreement signed on Hambanthota Port

Mar 12 (GDI) Representatives of China Harbour Engineering Company Limited and Sino Hydro Corporation Limited and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority have signed agreement for the construction Hambantota Habour at Temple Trees today. Several ministers including Dr Sarath Amunugama and S M Chandrasena and Ms Nirupama Rajapaksa were present on the occasion. more..

'Ban on Young Mothers Working Abroad Hasty'

Mar 12 (IPS) A ban by the Sri Lankan government on young mothers taking up jobs as housemaids in foreign countries, to minimise social disruption at home, has whipped up a storm of protests with rights groups slamming the move as hasty and poorly planned. "You just don't enforce a decision like this without offering them (mothers) an alternate source of employment. Otherwise who is going to feed and clothe their families?" more..

Five die in fresh Sri Lanka clashes

Mar 12 (AFP) Five people died in fresh clashes between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka's embattled north and east, the defence ministry said Monday. Suspected Tiger rebels set off a roadside bomb that killed a government security guard in the north central district of Anuradhapura on Monday while troops were on a routine patrol in the area, the ministry said. more..

Relief agencies alarmed by rising number of refugees from Sri Lankan fighting

Mar 12 (AP) International relief agencies expressed alarm Monday at the rising number of civilians forced to flee fighting between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil rebels, and said populated areas were endangered by continued shelling. Government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels clashed in the north, meanwhile, leaving three rebels dead, and a separate bomb attack killed a paramilitary village guard, the Defense Ministry said Monday. more..

Pakistan pays compensation to Sri Lankan soldiers

Mar 13 (APP) Pakistan has paid a compensation of Rs 1.3 million for Sri Lankan soldiers who were killed and injured while protecting Pakistan’s High Commissioner, in an attack last year. According to a message from Pakistan’s High Commission in Colombo Pakistan paid an amount of Rs 250,000 for each of the four soldiers who were killed and Rs 100,000 for three who sustained severe injuries. more..

Jayawardene heaps praise on Moody

Mar 13 (BBC) Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene has paid tribute to coach Tom Moody ahead of his side's opening World Cup match against Bermuda on Thursday. Moody, a World Cup winner as a player with Australia in 1999, is among those linked to the England coach's job should Duncan Fletcher leave the post. Jayawardene said: "He has brought something different to the way we play. more..

Sri Lankan wants more access into Chinese aviation market

Mar 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka is pushing for greater access to the Chinese aviation market, when high level officials meet for bilateral air-services talks later this week, the foreign ministry said Monday. Sino-Lanka aviation links have been in place since 1959, though direct airlinks between both countries were established when SriLankan airlines started thrice weekly flights to Beijing in 2005. more..

Prices of 10 essential items stabilized for New Year season

Mar 13 (GDI) Government has taken steps to stabilize the prices of 10 essential goods for the approaching Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Government has reached to a consensus with the Sri Lanka Essential Goods Importers Association after series of discussions to regulate the prices of these ten food items which the Government has identified as most essential goods with regard to the more..

Bank accounts of Gateway International school, of Allas, with held

Mar 13 (LeN) The bank account of the Gateway International School, which has a good reputation in the local education industry, has been with held under the influence of a high ranking official of the government. As it has not being with held on a legal basis the education of around 23,000 students seems to be in doubt. It is being reported that this step has been taken as another steps of the government's hatred politics. more..

Sri Lanka well set - Lloyd

Mar 13 (Sky) Of all the sides from the sub-continent I think Sri Lanka are best equipped to win the World Cup as they are in red hot form at the moment. More than that I think this World Cup is going to be a tournament for the older, vintage players and Sanath Jayasuriya fits into that category as a batsman and a bowler. They also have a lad at the top of the innings who is set for a big tournament and that's Upul Tharanga. more..

Sri Lankan Pastor, Sons Missing Amid 'Shocking' Abduction Trend

Mar 13 (CP) A Sri Lankan pastor, his two sons, and another Christian young man are missing amid turmoil in the south Asian country suffering from decades of conflict between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels. Pastor Victor E.M.S. Yogarajan, 51, of the Gospel Missionary Church in the northern city of Vavuniya, his two sons – Daniel, 22, and David, 22 - and Joseph Suganthakumar, 20, have been missing since Mar. 2, more..

China moves into India's back yard

Mar 13 (AT) China is all set to drop anchor at India's southern doorstep. An agreement has been finalized between Sri Lanka and China under which the latter will participate in the development of a port project at Hambantota on the island's south coast. An agreement on the Hambantota project was among eight that were signed during Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse's recent visit to China. more..

SLDF expresses its grave concern over the continuing deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian crisis

Mar 13 (ISL) Despite international and local condemnation, the situation in Sri Lanka has continued to worsen on many fronts since the last sessions of the Human Rights Council in 2006. Daily military offensives without respite by the Sri Lankan security forces, the LTTE, and the Karuna group, have led to the displacement of a large number of people and brought the country to the brink of a humanitarian disaster. more..

Insights on Tamil expat crisis

Mar 13 (ISL) The problem with some of the Tamil expats is the extremism depicted to the Tamil cause. This has been one of the biggest problems within the broader paradigms of nationalism that vests in both sides (Tamils and the Sinhalese). Being a Tamil, I can acknowledge the fact that there are three types of Tamils. more..

Another foolish decision by JVP extremists

Mar 13 (ISL) The People’s Liberation Front (JVP) said that the party is considering severe action if the anticipated proposals from the ruling party to resolve the country's ethnic conflict exceeds the Mahinda Chinthana manifesto and goes in for maximum devolution of power. This is a very good example of the foolish politics in the Country. more..

Tens of Thousands Flee Homes as Sri Lanka Fighting Escalates

Mar 13 (VoA) The International Committee of the Red Cross says more than 40,000 civilians have fled their homes in the eastern district of Batticaloa in recent days, following fresh clashes between the military and Tamil Tiger rebels. The area was already crammed with tens-of-thousands of refugees, who have been pouring in since fighting engulfed the region several months ago. more..

DMK protests 'killing' of Indian fishermen by Lankan Navy

Mar 13 (AT) Muthavel Karunanidhi's DMK party Monday staged a rally in Chennai and presented a memo to the Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to protest against recent attacks on the Indian fishermen in the Palk Straits. The Rajapaksa government has formally denied the involvement of the Lankan navy in the attacks and said in a statement issued through the foreign office that the attacks could be the handiwork of the Tigers – a stand not accepted by the fishermen. more..

Not a Storm in a Teacup

Mar 13 (AT) Ramalingam Chandrasekaran is no pro-Tiger peacenik. He is a JVP parliamentarian and he comes from the plantations. Therefore it would be the height of inanity to ignore his words of warning. Recently he has spoken several times about the gradually deteriorating security situation in the plantation areas; his last interview with Maubima is conspicuous by an added note of urgency. more..

60% of Tigers’ 70 million war budget is funded from Europe – Sri Lankan Foreign Minister

Mar 13 (AT) The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama told the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) last week that the “LTTE’s criminal activity has transgressed our national boundaries” and “the role of the international community (in combating it was) crucial”. more..

Over a lakh displaced in Batticaloa

Mar 13 (Hindu) Over 1 lakh people are estimated displaced in Batticaloa district in the east because of the recent fighting between the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and the LTTE. According to the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), a consortium of international and national NGOs chaired by the United Nations Resident Commissioner, the enveloping humanitarian crisis in Batticaloa is alarming. more..