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Tigers raid Tamil editor's apartment in Paris suburb

Mar 23 (AT) LTTE gang in Paris has ransacked a residential apartment and removed scores of recorded video, audio cassettes and DVDs from the apartment of Luxmy, the editor of a Tamil literary journal and a leading Tamil feminist. She is also an organizer of the literary meetings, Ilakkiya Chanthippus and seminars in Europe. more..

Hold elections to north and east councils or appoint an interim council -- Asad Moulana, TMVP

Mar 23 (AT) Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) the political party of the Karuna group in the east, is urging to either hold elections for the two demerged provincial councils or appoint an interim councils for the north and east to hand over power to the people of the two areas as in other seven provinces of the country. more..

Vitharana and his efforts to undermine Mahinda Chintanaya

Mar 23 (AT) There appears to be a tremendous pressure from donor countries, particularly the Co-Chairs, and India to place a political solution to the so-called ethnic problem in Sri Lanka. This is evident from the appointment of various committees to prepare ‘devolution package’, cry for ‘maximum possible devolution as a basis for negotiation with the LTTE’ etc. more..

More powers for House: Rajapaksa

Mar 23 (Hindu) Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has vowed to change the executive presidential system to make presidency more accountable to Parliament and restore powers of Parliament. He was speaking at a function after unveiling the portrait of the first Executive President, J.R. Jayewardene, at the Parliament complex on Wednesday. more..

IFJ hails release of Parameshawary as a “triumph for justice” in Sri Lanka

Mar 23 (IFJ) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed its relief at the news that Sri Lankan journalist Munusamy Parameshawary has finally been released from custody. The IFJ has been campaigning for the 23-year-old Mawbima reporter’s release since she was arrested on November 21, 2006, by the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of the Sri Lankan Police. more..

Sri Lanka A go ahead

Mar 23 (DS) Inspired by their senior team's massive victory against Bangladesh in the Cricket World Cup, Sri Lanka A handed a thumping 283-run defeat on their Bangladesh A on the final day of the four-day match in Colombo yesterday to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match A Test series. Resuming their second innings on 110-3 at the picturesque Colt Cricket ground, the second string Bangladesh side who were 406 runs behind, more..

Toss will be vital, reckons Moody

Mar 23 (CI) Tom Moody, the former Australian batsman who's currently coaching Sri Lanka, has said the toss could turn out to be a vital factor in Friday's crucial clash against India at Port-of-Spain. He added that his side wouldn't take the game lightly, especially since the result would have a bearing on carrying forward points to the Super Eight stage. more..

India waits with bated breath

Mar 23 (CI) Hundreds of millions will spend a sleepless Friday night before their television sets as the team that could be dubbed 'commercial favourites' fights to stay alive in a World Cup that seems ages old but has in fact barely begun. "What happens to India if they lose?" Rahul Dravid was asked the day before. "We're not even thinking about the possibility," he replied. Much easier said than done. more..

Tamils Are A Vanishing Community

Mar 23 (CC) Professor S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole, Vice Chancellor, University of Jaffna, who was forced to flee Sri Lanka because of death threats by the LTTE, in a no-holds-barred interview, gives his view on political developments in the country, refugee influx in the East, LTTE activities in the Jaffna University, literacy rate in Jaffna and his position as the VC. more..

Power utility overcome thermal headaches; top energy score during Bangladesh match

Mar 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's power utility has got all its troublesome thermal generators on line a top official said, in a week that saw the highest energy generated in a single day as Sri Lankans watched their cricket team thrash Bangladesh. "But now all our thermals are operating," Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) General Manager D R Pullaperuma told LBO. more..

Sri Lanka to sends local films to China under exchange deal

Mar 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka has sent a handful of the best local films to China which will be shown in theatres and television in China as part of a mutual exchange deal between the countries an official said. The National Film Corporation (NFC) of Sri Lanka has signed a deal with the Chinese Bureau of Administration of Television, Radio and Film to exchange movies that will be shown in Chinese Theatres and television channels. more..

Pelwatte Sugar 50MW bio-mass power plant approved by cabinet: Minister

Mar 23 (LBO) The government has given preliminary approval for the Ceylon Electricity Board to issue a letter of intent to Pelwatte Sugar to build a 50 MegaWatt biomass power plant, a government minister said. "The cabinet of ministers approved the plant at the meeting on March 21," Power and Energy Minister W D J Seneviratne told LBO. more..

Sri Lanka shares end lower; more trading on high cap stake

Mar 23 (LBO) Colombo share market closed marginally up Friday with most of the trading taking place in high cap firms among thin trading, dealers said. On Friday, the benchmark All Share Price Index was down 3.87 points (0.14 percent) to 2,862.74 and the Milanka Index lost 2.08 points (0.05 percent) to 3,934.96. more..

Sri Lankan companies report sustainability

Mar 23 (LBO) Though larger businesses in Sri Lanka are engaging in sustainability reporting, smaller firms are still lagging behind, organizers of a competition said. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) says the top 100 companies in Sri Lanka do some form of sustainability reporting with the number of companies increasing from last year. more..

Sri Lanka to ratify UN convention on rights of persons with disabilities

Mar 23 (GDI) Sri Lanka would be signing and ratifying the United Nations (UN) convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the 30 March 2007. This was revealed by the Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare, Douglas Devananda at the celebration held at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute marking the International Women’s Day, organized by the Ministry of Social Services and Social Welfare with the theme "Let us Empower Women with Disabilities". more..

14th SAARC Summit at New Delhi, April 3 - 4

Mar 23 (GDI) The fourteenth Summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) will be held in Indian capital New Delhi on April 3 and 4, where five observers – China, Japan, South Korea, USA and the European Union – are to participate. Afghanistan would also formally join the regional grouping. This was revealed to the media on Wednesday by the Joint Secretary (SAARC) of the Indian External Affairs Ministry Ms. Preeti Saran in New Delhi. more..

Madu priest accuses LTTE of child abductions

Mar 23 (GDI) According to the latest reports from North, Fr. Emilius Pillai a priest of the Madu church has charged the LTTE of continuously kidnapping children between twelve to seventeen years of age and young adults from the displaced people taking refuge in the Madu Church premises despite repeated warnings not to do so. more..

Workers’ day on April 30

Mar 23 (GDI) The Sri Lankan Government arranges to hold the International Workers’ Day celebrations this year on April 30. This decision has been brought in to effect since this year the Vesak Poya celebrations falls on May 1, the Workers’ Day. According to the Western Province Governor S. Alavi Mowlana, the new date was decided after the Trade Union leaders met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Batsmen to be wary of Malinga's new-ball threat

Mar 23 (CI) Lasith Malinga's ability to take early wickets has not surprised the Sri Lankan side as Tom Moody, the Sri Lanka coach, said that Malinga, the right-arm fast bowler, had been doing so in recent one-day games and Test matches. Malinga picked up six wickets - three each - in Sri Lanka's two games at the World Cup so far. more..

The Murali factor could undo India

Mar 23 (CI) India have won 49 out of the 94 one-day internationals they have played against Sri Lanka, and hold a whopping 8-2 advantage in the last ten ODIs which have produced a decisive result. None of those numbers, however, will be significant when the two teams meet in a game India almost certainly need to win to go through to the Super 8. Cricinfo looks at some of the more relevant stats. more..

Sharks, sharks everywhere

Mar 23 (ANN) It is good news that some sharks have also got caught in the bribery net that is usually full of shoals of sprats. The Commission to Investigate Bribery and Corruption has, as a news item we carry today points out, managed to bring some prominent persons to book over what is termed disproportionate accumulation of assets. more..

UNP bombshell on abductions

Mar 23 (LNP) The UNP charged in Parliament yesterday that certain government ministers were involved in abducting persons for obtaining ransom. Speaking during the debate on two finance-related Bills, Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Micheal Perera said the party was aware of the names of ministers who were allegedly involved in abductions. more..

Court orders arrest of SSP

Mar 23 (LNP) The Colombo Magistrate yesterday ordered the arrest the Nugegoda Police Division chief, the Senior Superintendent of Police, in connection with the killing of the brother of the missing underworld character Nawala Nihal and to produce him before court forthwith. Additional Magistrate Manjula Thilakaratne made this order when the magisterial inquiry into the killing of Nawala Nihal`s brother Maurice Wickremasinghe was taken up in court. more..

Military contradicts SLMM report on civilian killings

Mar 23 (LNP) The military rejected the Scandinavian truce monitors` claim that about 1,500 civilians were among about 4,000 people killed due to the conflict during the past 15 months. An official said that a statement issued by truce monitoring mission, to coincide with the 5th anniversary of the Ceasefire Agreement, exaggerated the civilian deaths. The military said that it logged 694 civilian deaths during the past 15 months. more..

Lanka not sick: President

Mar 23 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that although some people may have divergent, personal and political views on him and the Government, they should refrain from insulting the heroic soldiers or else support any allegations with facts. President Rajapaksa made these comments, at a ceremony held last morning at Temple Trees, to hand over certificates to 1200 nurses who had passed out from nurses training schools around the country, on completion of their three-year training period. more..

‘CEB not prepared for power crisis’

Mar 23 (SAMN) Controversy surrounds the undue delay in working out a comprehensive plan to meet the growing power demand, which would force the government to purchase emergency power at a higher cost, plunging the already debt ridden CEB and the country into further financial crises. CEB Engineers said emergency power was purchased from a private company at great cost and that practice was continuing with no steps taken to identify the cause for the power crisis and overcome it. more..

Govt. not applying liquor laws: JVP

Mar 23 (SAMN) The JVP charged in parliament on Wednesday there are liquor taverns in close vicinity of schools and places of religious worship and the failure on the part of the government to implement regulations in this regard. Party strongman MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said liquor is served in abundance throughout the country despite the government’s ‘showy’ media campaign on ‘Mathata Thita’ programme. more..

Prelate pleased with unity of parties

Mar 23 (SAMN) The Ven. Davuldena Ghannisara Mahanayake Thera of Amerapura Maha Nikaya said he was pleased that all parties were united. "It helps for the prosperity of the country," he told the APRC Chairman, Professor Tissa Vitarana, when they met on Wednesday evening, at Mediation Centre at Pagoda in Nugegoda. The Mahanayake Thera reminisced that during the period of King Lichchavi, there had been much unity in the country. more..

Karuna carrying guns in Kirulapone

Mar 23 (SAMN) Residents of Andarawatta in Polhengoda Thursday alleged that Karuna cadres were seen outside the organisation’s Colombo political office carrying weapons, but this claim was denied by the Karuna faction and the Kirullapone police. A resident who telephoned the Daily Mirror claimed that on some days during late evenings the Karuna cadres came out of their political office carrying weapons, to talk to people outside before getting back. more..

Two-stroke report to Cabinet soon

Mar 23 (DN) The draft report by the expert committee on the ban on the importation of two-stroke three wheelers and parts would be presented to the Cabinet of Ministers, the Attorney-General informed Supreme Court, when the rights application challenging the Cabinet decision banning such importation was taken up yesterday. more..

Pandemonium at High Court following bomb scare

Mar 23 (DN) Panic reigned at the Colombo High Court yesterday following an anonymous call that a bomb was about to be exploded inside the court premises. The Court premises was evacuated of hundreds of litigants, the Court staff and lawyers before a complete search was carried out by the Judicial Security Division and the Police. In the end it was found to be a false alarm. more..

Govt. will increase powers of PCs: Karu

Mar 23 (DM) The government will not take over the powers given to the Provincial Councils under the 13th Amendment, but instead would take every action to make them stronger, according to Mr Karu Jayasuriya. “We will not usurp the powers of the Provincial Councils, rather we will take every possible action to strengthen the capacities of the PCs for effective and speedy delivery of services to the people”, more..

Ranil pledges to help prevent abductions in south

Mar 23 (DM) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe pledged yesterday to give leadership in working against the current spate of abductions of persons outside of the northern and eastern provinces. Mr. Wickremesinghe gave this assurance when he met a group of relatives and friends of persons who had been abducted recently for ransom. more..

Civilians - Real losers in the Sri lanka civil war

Mar 23 (OW) "We manage somehow, this is what we have," Udyakumari Shanmugalingam, 28, told IPS as she sat listlessly in the unbearably hot tent that she shares with 12 others who walked through 20 km of paddy fields and forests to reach the relative safety of this government-held area. Udyakumari said that, for the moment at least, food was not a concern thanks to the generosity of aid groups and the residents of nearby villages. more..

Major battle in north-west Lanka

Mar 23 (BBC) Hundreds of Sri Lankan troops have moved into Tamil Tiger-controlled territory in the north-west of the country, the rebels say. The army denies the move but says it has killed 20 rebels and lost three soldiers in heavy shelling to "neutralise" a Tamil Tiger threat. In the east, government forces are still trying to drive the Tigers from pockets they control. more..

Sri Lanka to field jumbo cricket delegation: report

Mar 23 (AFP) Sri Lankan cricket authorities came under fire Friday for fielding a delegation of officials that is set to outnumber the national team at the sport's World cup showcase in the Caribbean. The state-run Daily News said Sri Lanka Cricket was forking out 23 million rupees (212,000 dollars) on a 20-member official delegation that will fly out shortly. more..

Moderate Tamils' constitutional proposal

Mar 23 (HT) The Eelam Peoples' Revolutionary Liberation Front – Padmanabha (EPRLF-P), a moderate Sri Lankan Tamil group despite its name, has proposed that Sri Lanka adopt a secular and federal constitution which will also ensure that no ethnic group or political party gets a brute two thirds majority in parliament. more..

23 killed in fresh fighting in Sri Lanka, military says

Mar 23 (AP) At least 23 combatants were killed in fresh fighting Friday between government troops and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka's northwest — opening a new front in escalating hostilities. Military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said 20 Tamil Tigers and three soldiers were killed in clashes in Mannar district, about 220 kilometers (135 miles) from the capital, Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka says 23 dead as war spreads to northwest

Mar 23 (Reuters) At least 20 Tamil Tiger rebels and three soldiers were killed in a battle in northwestern Sri Lanka on Friday, the military said, as analysts sounded a warning that renewed civil war is spreading. The army confirmed troops were trying to neutralise heavy rebel guns in Mannar district, but refused to say whether they had entered terrain the rebels control under the terms of a now-battered 2002 truce as the Tigers claim. more..

Idea of joint patrolling is dangerous, says Jayalalithaa

Mar 23 (Hindu) All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa on Thursday cautioned the Centre against agreeing to joint patrolling by the Indian and Sri Lankan Navies in the wake of frequent attacks on fishermen belonging to Tamil Nadu. Speaking to newsmen after a meeting of the AIADMK legislature party here, she dubbed the proposal for joint patrolling "dangerous." "India should not get involved in Sri Lanka's internal affairs," she said. more..

Indians dash a billion hopes, lose to Sri Lanka by 69 runs

Mar 24 (CI) Inspired by a genius who raised his game when the occasion demanded, Sri Lanka overpowered India in their final league match at Port-of-Spain and stormed into the Super Eights. India suffered one of their most disappointing days in recent memory, muffing up a run-chase on a pitch posing no worries, and were all but ousted from the World Cup, in what is likely to be their worst campaign since 1979. more..

White van 'terrorises' Jaffna

Mar 24 (BBC) A Tamil youth was shot dead and three others were abducted in the northern Sri Lankan town of Jaffna on Friday. Dharmaratnam Udayangar, 19, [19yrs] was gunned down in Jaffna on Friday morning. Nirmalanandan mayuran, 19, Mathilamani Ajantha, 24, and Vignashweran Krishanthan, 16, were abducted by unidentified persons came in a white van, residents said. more..

Sinhala-Tamil Nationalism and Sri Lanka’s East Coast Veddas

Mar 24 (TW) The emergence of rivalry between ethnic groupings living side by side in the same country do compel each ethnic group to get involved in a vain search for their supposed authentic roots in that land to prove their claim as exclusive sons of the soil. In Sri Lanka Sinhala and Tamil communities now are involved in an ethnic conflict, are also rabidly searching their heritage and roots to establish each one’s exclusive claim over the other as sons of the soil. more..

UNESCO supports citizen journalism in Sri Lanka

Mar 24 (UNESCO) The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), with the support of UNESCO, conducted a short term project promoting the concept of proactive citizen journalism in Sri Lanka. Civil society activists, provincial journalists and schoolchildren participated in three focus group meetings organized in Anuradapura, Kurunegala and Badulla districts with the aim to make the local media more public service oriented. more..

Indian trade delegation to visit Sri Lanka

Mar 24 (ET) An Indian trade delegation is due in Colombo next week for talks aimed at firming up bilateral trade which will include professional services, investments and trade in goods, officials said. Both countries are exploring avenues to deepen the existing trade pact under the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or CEPA. more..

Exports to China to be accelerated

Mar 24 (AT) A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Department of Commerce, Yunnan Province, China and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) to promote bilateral trade between Sri Lanka and Yunnan Province, specially, to facilitate Sri Lankan business people to participate at the Chinese Export and Import ‘Kunming Trade Fair. more..

High cost of energy retards impending heavy development in Plastic and Rubber Industry

Mar 24 (AT) The Institute of Plastics and Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka established in 1962 as a branch of the Institute of Rubber Industry London, was later constituted as The Plastics and Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka, a professional body representing polymer industry professionals in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lankan and Indian professionals try to strike a working deal

Mar 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka and India are to sign 'Mutual Recognition Agreements', making it easier for professionals to cross borders when a new services trade agreement takes effect this year. "Sri Lanka is now making arrangements for professional bodies to sign Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA's) with their counterparts," more..

Sri Lanka cabinet sets up committee to study sale of NTT stake in SLT

Mar 24 (LBO) A four-member committee has been appointed to study the proposed sale of Sri Lanka Telecom shares held by Japan's NTT to a Malaysian firm, a cabinet minister said. "The committee will have to study it and report back to the cabinet," Telecommunications Minister Rauf Hakeem told LBO. Four ministries including finance and telecommunications would be represented in the committee, he said. more..

Journalist’s to get loans on 26th March

Mar 24 (GDI) The Government will be conducting the official ceremony of the Journalist’s loaning scheme on 26th March at the Temple Trees. The event will be chaired by the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Minister of Mass Media and Information Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and the Non- Cabinet Minister of Mass Media Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane will also attend the ceremony. more..