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LTTE air attack wipes off Rs. 12 b in stock market value

Mar 27 (LNP) The stock market yesterday plunged sharply with over Rs. 12 billion in value lost as investors lost faith in short and medium prospects of the country following the midnight aerial attack by the LTTE on the Katunayake Air Force base. Panic selling was evident though turnover was relatively low as the market capitalization plunged by Rs. 11.8 billion yesterday to close at Rs. 880 billion from Rs. 892 billion on Friday. more..

Ranil wants Parliament summoned

Mar 27 (LNP) Following the LTTE attack on the Katunayake Air Force Base, UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday (26) wrote to Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake requesting him to ask the Speaker to summon Parliament immediately, to discuss the current security situation in the country. Wickremesinghe said the LTTE`s un-admitted or unknown air capacity now poses a serious threat to civilians all over the country. more..

APRC proposes abolition of Presidency

Mar 27 (SAMN) APRC Chairman and Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Tissa Vitarana revealed this week in Kandy that among the proposals of the APRC the abolition of Executive Presidency system and to follow a Parliamentary Executive system to select a Prime Minister through public vote. A copy of the APRC report carrying responses and proposals of 10 political parties was handed over to most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddha Rakkita Maha Nayake Thera, at Asgiriya temple. more..

Air attack disproves Govt. claims: Ranil

Mar 27 (SAMN) The Opposition Leader Monday refuted the government’s claim on the recent successes in the war, and said that Monday’s air attack on the Katunayake Air Force base proved that the claim was false. “How can the government say it has won 95% of the war when LTTE launches air attacks and go off?” he asked. Wickremesinghe Wickremesinghe who met recently released Maubima journalist Munasamy Parameshwari charged that several media personnel were betraying their own colleagues. more..

Moulavis demand apology from Ranil

Mar 27 (SAMN) UNP and Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has drawn the flak from Islam theologians over his recent statement that Islam religion is propagated by the use of armed forces in Middle Eastern countries. "Ranil Wickremesinghe’s statement is false and an insult all Muslims. He must withdraw it immediately and apologise in public," leader of the Muslim Ulama Party, Moulavi Mubarak Abdul Majeed said in a statement released to the media Sunday. more..

Shift SLAF base, says Jeyaraj

Mar 27 (SAMN) Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said the Air Force base in Katunayake should be shifted as it poses a threat to the main international airport and added that the move was mooted in 2001 but had failed to materialise. Addressing the media Monday in the wake of an LTTE attack on the Air Force base Fernandopulle also called on India to take serious note of the latest attack saying it could pose a threat to the neighbouring countries as well. more..

Residents recount LTTE attack on Air Base

Mar 27 (DN) The Daily News yesterday spoke to some of the injured airmen and residents living close to the Katunayake Air Force Base which came under LTTE attack in the wee hours of yesterday. A housewife living close to the Katunayaka Air Force Base who wished to remain anonymous said she was jolted by a huge vibration. A few seconds later she had heard a loud explosion. more..

Ministry empowered to inspect private medical institutions

Mar 27 (DN) Parliament approval has been granted to the Private Medical Institution Act. The special investigation unit of the Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry will have access to all private medical institutions to carry out inspections, a Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry spokesman said. Under the Act no private medical institution is allowed to function without getting registered with the Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry. more..

Stop peace process, crush Tigers to pieces: JVP

Mar 27 (DM) Charging that the ceasefire agreement paved the way for the LTTE to purchase aircraft to launch the recent attack on the Air Force base in Katunayake, JVP Parliamentry group leader Wimal Weerawansa said it was time for the government to give up the false notion of power devolution and crush the terrorists. He was addressing a ceremony in Borella to mark the donation of medical equipment to disabled soldiers by the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) yesterday. more..

CAA to establish Consumer Courts soon

Mar 27 (DM) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) is in the process of establishing Consumer Courts in the country to protect the consumer from the unscrupulous traders. Consumer Courts will function in line with the already established Commercial High Courts. Chairman of the CAA, Sarath Wijesinghe, told Daily Mirror yesterday (26) that though the establishment of Commercial Courts was a new concept to Sri Lanka, these courts more..

What is This Pre-Owned MiG-27 Worth?

Mar 27 (SP) There was a government investigation in Sri Lanka recently, to try and determine if the prices paid for second hand MiG-27 fighter bombers over the past seven years, had been inflated by corruption. The report concluded that there was no corruption, or at least none that could be detected. The numbers from the report seems to bear this out. more..

UNHCR launches media campaign against statelessness in Sri Lanka

Mar 27 (UNHCR) The UN refugee agency on Monday stepped up its campaign to reduce statelessness in Sri Lanka by launching a media campaign to raise public awareness about the country's citizenship laws. UNHCR is working closely with the government in this project. A string of Tamil-language radio spots and newspaper adverts will over the next five days inform the public about various procedures for acquiring citizenship. more..

LTTE a threat to South Asia: Rajapaksa

Mar 27 (AFP) The emergence of the Tamil Tigers as the world's first rebel outfit with its own planes could be a threat to South Asian security, Sri Lanka's president said on Tuesday. The rebels on Monday successfully flew over the island's main military airbase and escaped unscathed after dropping several bombs. "The LTTE using combat aircraft is not only a problem for us. It is a threat to other nations too," more..

War, peace and governance in Sri Lanka - overview and trends 2006

Mar 27 (RW) The year 2006 registered a qualitative shift in the security situation on the ground from that which had prevailed since the 2002 Cease fire Agreement (CFA). An intensification of hostilities leading to a grave humanitarian crisis and serious violations of human rights made Sri Lanka one of the most dangerous places in the world for civilians caught up in a situation of armed conflict. more..

Central bank chief seeks to reassure markets after air raid by rebels

Mar 27 (XFN) Central bank governor Nivard Cabraal said he expects Sri Lanka's financial markets to stabilize quickly and recover after yesterday's audacious air attack by Tamil Tiger rebels on a military base near Colombo. Terming the incident as a 'minor setback', he said he is hopeful that the country can bounce back. 'There is no crisis of confidence after Monday's attack,' Cabraal said. more..

Group profile: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

Mar 27 (JIG) The LTTE is a model for existing and emerging insurgent groups. The international security and intelligence community generally assesses the LTTE as one of the world's most effective terrorist organisations. It is the only organisation to have assassinated two heads of government and develop a sea arm capable of countering a conventional navy. It also possesses a dedicated suicide squad, the Black Tigers. more..

Wisden's top award goes to Muralitharan

Mar 27 (AFP) Sri Lanka's star off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was named on Tuesday as the Wisden almanack's 'leading cricketer in the world.' He is the fourth recipient of the title since it was inaugurated, following Australians Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne and England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff. The award differs from the traditional five cricketers of the year, as it can be won more than once by the same player. more..

SL seeks help from global community

Mar 27 (HT) Following the LTTE's aerial attack on the Sri Lankan Air Force's main base at Katunayake on Monday, the government has appealed to the international community to realise the 'gravity' of the "sinister trend" and help Sri Lanka arrest it. The Secretary of Defence, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, is quoted by Daily Mirror as saying that the threat from the LTTE should be of "global" concern since terrorist outfits across the globe tended to follow the footsteps of the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka scrambles to boost confidence after air raid

Mar 27 (AFP) Sri Lankan authorities are struggling to restore investor confidence a day after Tamil Tiger rebels launched an audacious air attack that stunned the defence establishment, officials said. Tamil Tiger rebels carried out their first air raid early Monday, bombing Sri Lanka's main military air base in a daring night-time mission that halted international air traffic into the island for three hours. more..

Eight killed in suicide attack on Sri Lanka army

Mar 27 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels killed at least eight people on Tuesday, after driving a tractor and trailer loaded with explosives on a suicide mission into an army camp in eastern Sri Lanka. Ten people were also wounded in the attack on the Chenkaladi army camp, a day after the Tiger's conducted a spectacular first ever air raid. more..

Former Montrealer tied to Tamil Tiger's first air attack

Mar 27 (NP) A former airline employee from Montreal is being described as the man behind a deadly attack Monday in which a plane flown by Tamil Tigers rebels bombed Sri Lanka's military airport. A light aircraft dropped three bombs that struck Katunayake Airbase near the capital Colombo at just before 1 a.m., killing three airmen and injuring 16. It was the first-ever air raid by the Tamil Tigers. more..

7 dead in Tamil attack on Sri Lankan army camp

Mar 27 (AP) A Tamil Tiger rebel drove an explosive-laden tractor to a military camp in eastern Sri Lanka early Tuesday, drawing fire from guards and triggering a blast at the entrance. At least nine people, including the bomber, were killed, military officials said. The attack came a day after at least one rebel propeller plane bombed a Sri Lankan air force base outside the capital, Colombo, more..

Sri Lanka needs more fiscal, monetary tightening; growth 6.1% in 2007 - ADB

Mar 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka needs more monetary tightening and a smaller budget deficit to improve its economic fundamentals and bring inflation down, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Tuesday. “We do think monetary policy would have to be tightened further,” ADB Country Economist Johanna Boestel said. “The Central Bank can succeed in its efforts to control inflation but [it] needs fiscal policy support,” more..

Sri Lanka's state investment promotion body says industrial parks safe

Mar 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state investment promotion body which runs industrial parks said they were not affected by a Tamil Tiger air raid, including one near the targeted air base. The Board of Investment (BOI) runs two large industrial parks in Katunayake near the airport and in Biyagama as well as a number of smaller parks scattered around the country. more..

On to Tamil Eelam: From bicycle to aircraft

Mar 28 (IANS) Way back in 1983, Velupillai Prabhakaran, on the alert, rode a bicycle through Jaffna to oversee a spot near the university his colleagues had picked to ambush Sri Lankan troops. Few people knew him then, and fewer had heard of the Tamil Tigers. A quarter century later, the same man, now a legend, has made history by using Tamil ingenuity to transform two light aircraft into stealthy bombers to target the air base of his enemy right in the heart of Sri Lanka. more..

Past highs and lows powering Sri Lanka Cup run

Mar 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka have shown they have learnt from their best and worst performances to power their World Cup campaign. They topped the tough Group B by winning all three games and have improved their semi-final hopes by carrying forward two points into the Super Eights. Sri Lanka are being inspired by four stalwarts from the triumphant 1996 squad -- Sanath Jayasuriya, fellow batsman Marvan Atapattu and bowlers Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas. more..

Lanka attacks spark refugee fears

Mar 28 (NDTV) Experts warn that a possible new round of fighting in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna region could trigger a flood of refugees into India's Tamil Nadu state. The warning comes in the wake of an air attack by Tamil separatist rebels on a military base near Colombo on Monday followed by a suicide bombing on an army camp in the east. Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu is a few hours by boat from Jaffna region and home to many Tamil refugees. more..

Sri Lanka offers bonus for kids to return coins in their piggy banks

Mar 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka would offer an immediate 20 percent bonus in stationary for kids who break their piggy banks and deposit the coins in the banking system, officials said. "If children break their piggy banks and bring the coins back to circulation we will give exercise books, pens and rulers to 20 percent of their value," Deputy Finance Minister Ranjith Siymbalapitiya told journalists. more..

Sprinklers! - a C-turn by Vavuniya onion farmers

Mar 28 (AT) “My father was supportive when I chose to deviate from the traditional method of cultivation” said Niyas, a young farmer, from Pulitharithapuliyankulam, a village in the Vavuniya District. He proudly displayed a sack of freshly harvested carrots weighing 30 kilograms to UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Frederick Lyons. more..

Air Tiger Attack on the Air Force Base and its Significance

Mar 28 (AT) It is interesting to note that some commentators seem to believe that this attack was not an attack in the real sense because the damage was minimal. Others say the attack has had a symbolic effect rather than a material one. Whatever the way one interprets this daring and surprise attack in the mid night hours on the air force base which parks Sri Lanka's air force planes and helicopters, there are some interesting observations one can make about this incident's significance. more..

Buddhist circuit special train from today

Mar 28 (Hindu) The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is all set to launch a new Buddhist circuit special luxury train, Maha-Parinirvan Special, from Wednesday. It will cover prominent Buddhist pilgrim centres in India and Nepal and end with a viewing of the Taj Mahal. The train will start from the Safdarjung Railway Station here and cover places such as Bodh Gaya, Nalanda, Rajgir, Varanasi, Shravasti and Lumbini (Nepal), besides the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri during the one-week journey. more..

A new, perilous dimension

Mar 28 (Hindu) The first-ever air raid by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam targeting the main Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) base near the Colombo International Airport is a dangerous development for the strife-torn country. It not only worsens the prevailing volatile security environment but also poses a new challenge in the fight against terrorism. more..

LTTE uses air power to make a statement

Mar 28 (Hindu) THOUGH THE attack by the LTTE's fledgling air force on the Katunayake airbase near Colombo on March 27 stunned Sri Lanka, it was not unexpected. Since 1998, the LTTE was known to be trying to build an air arm. However, the effort suffered a setback when Sornalingam alias Colonel Shankar, the brain behind it, was killed in a Sri Lankan Army raid. more..

East Ham boys 'terrorise' London

Mar 28 (BBC) East Ham, in London, is the home to a large Sri Lankan Tamil community. There are many Sri Lankan restaurants in East Ham and travel agents offering special deals to Colombo: even the graffiti here is in Tamil scrawl. It is also home to one of the most notorious Tamil gangs in the country: the east ham boys. Since 2000 ten people have been killed in the capital as a result of violent clashes between rival Tamil groups. more..

Sri Lanka: Ban Ki-moon says parties must end escalating cycle of violence

Mar 28 (UN) United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today spoke out against escalating violations of the 2002 ceasefire between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE and called for them to return to the negotiating table. A spokesperson for Mr. Ban said he is “disturbed” by the intensifying violence, which include an air attack by the LTTE. more..

LTTE air attack a sign of desperation?

Mar 28 (TOI) That the LTTE had built an air capability was not unknown. That they had built an airstrip too was familiar news. Everybody knew that sooner rather than later the LTTE would launch an air attack. But it was the audacity of the Katunayake operation that left everyone gasping for breath. India has refrained from making an official comment so far, but quietly the government will look for reasons why more..

UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka condemn LTTE attack

Mar 28 (ISL) Rt Hon the Lord Naseby of Sandy, Co-Chair of the UK All-Party Parliamentary group on Sri Lanka in an official statement has condemned the attack on the Air Force base in Colombo and has appealed to the British government to bring concerted pressure on the LTTE return to negotiating table. The statement reads: The members of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka unequivocally condemn the offensive aerial bomb attack carried out by the LTTE more..

Sri Lanka may lose Tea, Garment orders after rebel air strikes

Mar 28 (BB) Sri Lanka's tea and garment exporters, the nation's biggest foreign exchange earners, may lose orders after the first airborne bombing raid by Tamil Tiger rebels deterred buyers and grounded some flights. Brandix Ltd., Sri Lanka's biggest exporter, said "crucial strategic partners" had canceled visits to the island after the March 26 attack. more..

Sri Lanka government says it's ready for peace talks with Tamil rebels anytime

Mar 28 (AP) Sri Lanka's government said it was ready to hold peace talks anytime with the Tamil Tigers, following two days of dramatic attacks by the rebels, including their first airstrike and a suicide bombing outside a military camp. "We must try to bring a comprehensive and substantial peace," Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogolagama told reporters Tuesday. more..

Buddhism, racism and patriotism

Mar 28 (TW) Neither science nor religion acknowledges the existence of any particular distinct race other than the one and only human race on Earth. Lord Buddha clearly and vividly explained this fact in Vasetta Sutra viewing many a conflict situation that prevailed upon people due to this conceptual division factor followed with bloodshed, destruction and great suffering to humanity. more..

Sri Lanka shows air capability after rebel attack

Mar 28 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan Air Force carried out air raids against Tamil Tiger positions in the island's north and east on Tuesday in a demonstration of its air capability after a Tamil Tiger attack on the main air base. Group Captain Ajantha Silva, the Air Force spokesman, said "we took three identified targets of the LTTE." more..

South Africa wary of Murali and subcontinent-like pitch

Mar 28 (CI) Graeme Smith and his semi-refashioned team might have left it behind, but nobody who watched it will have forgotten the sight of Shaun Pollock in that anguished dressing room, the thousands of confused home supporters soon to be wet in the eye. Not in a knockout situation now, any wetness when South Africa and Sri Lanka face each other in a World Cup four years after that drama-filled encounter is more likely to be from rain. more..

Turning point or confirmation of protracted conflict?

Mar 28 (TW) Velupillai Pirapaharan has managed yet again to shock and even awe with the air strike on the Katunayake air base, even though the talk about a Tiger air capability has been around for some time. According to a former Indian intelligence chief, the LTTE has had this capability for some nine years. The question is as to whether this air strike alters the balance of power, militarily, politically and psychologically. more..

Sri Lankan defence ministry stalls on inquiry into missing SEP member

Mar 28 (wsws) Today marks the seventh day since the disappearance of Sri Lankan Socialist Equality Party (SEP) member, Nadarajah Wimaleswaran and his friend, Sivanathan Mathivathanan, both residents of the northern island of Kayts. Although the SEP has lodged formal complaints with government authorities, including Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse, no action has been taken to find the pair. more..

Sri Lanka's new container terminals may get ADB equity

Mar 28 (LBO) The Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is funding the breakwater and dredging of Colombo port's expansion project, may take an equity stake in one of its container terminals, an official said. ADB Country Director Richard Vokes said Sri Lanka Ports Authority has called for bids for the breakwater which are to open on April 03, and construction work expected to start in October. more..

Sri Lanka based software maker releases faster securities trading software

Mar 28 (LBO) The latest version of its securities trading system can execute more trades ten times faster than the previous one, software maker MillenniumIT said. The new version of the Millennium Exchange released this month has a latency – the time between placing an order and receiving acknowledgement of its execution - below one millisecond. more..

Sri Lanka's Richard Pieris assessing damage after latest factory fire

Mar 28 (LBO) A Richard Pieris group factory that was burnt down in a fire was non-operational though estimates of the damage were still not available, an official said. The factory at the Seethawaka export processing zone in Awissawella was owned by the subsidiary Arpico Natural Forms. “The factory was non-operational with its manufacturing being transferred to the Biyagama factory last year so the damage only affected the stocks,” more..

'I feel sorry for India's cricketers'

Mar 28 (CI) It's been raining cats and dogs in Guyana since we arrived and we are all hoping that there will be some respite today as we kick-off our Super Eights campaign. After an encouraging trio of victories in the group stages, we are really looking forward to the challenge of taking on South Africa. Their No 1 world ranking adds a little bit of extra spice. We want to knock them off the top perch and today's match in a neutral venue will be a great opportunity to see just where the two sides stand. more..

LTTE aquired planes in 1998 - Janes Weekly report in 1998

Mar 28 (ISL) Sri Lanka was buying Surface to Air Missiles (SAMs) and radar systems, according to the issue of the military industry publication, Jane's Defence Weekly in 1998. Reports that the Liberation Tigers have acquired an air capability "have forced the Sri Lanka government to hurriedly procure air-defence systems" said the JDW. more..

'Don't apply "bizarre" double standards in dealing with Sri Lanka'

Mar 28 (AT) EU Parliamentarian and EPP-ED Coordinator of the Development Committee of the European Parliament, Niranjan Devadithya, focusing on current situation in Sri Lanka, has written to the current head of the EU, Dr Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, appealing to her to "use our (EU) “soft power” to further EU influence in the world......with consistency and fairness." more..