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Mirror to the dance tradition of Sri Lanka

Mar 30 (Hindu) Although dance has been part of the national culture of Sri Lanka for thousands of years, traditional dance was the strict preserve of the hereditary dancing families and it was confined to the ritual dance halls in village centres. It was only in the 1930s, with the emergence of Chitrasena, a virtuoso in the traditional dance forms of Sri Lanka and the first professional dancer of his country, that this ancient art form was given new life by being adapted to the modern stage. more..

SEP public meeting to demand inquiry into party member’s disappearance

Mar 30 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party is calling a public meeting in Colombo on April 9 to demand that the Sri Lankan government and military launch an urgent investigation into the disappearance of party member Nadarajah Wimaleswaran and his friend Sivanathan Mathivathanan. The SEP holds President Mahinda Rajapakse and his government responsible. more..

Sri Lanka government's finances need fixing: Central Bank

Mar 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank called for better government budgets to avoid money printing, changes in badly run state firms, more private sector involvement in infrastructure to reduce further build-ups in government debt, in it annual report Friday. Though revenues reached 17.0 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2006 from 16.1 percent, and tax revenues rose to 15.3 percent of GDP from 14.2 percent, current expenditure was racing ahead. more..

Sri Lanka' diesel-petrol price gap worsens

Mar 30 (LBO) The gap between petrol and diesel prices in Sri Lanka has widened further overnight with a hike of 7 rupees a litre by state owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation with the second player Lanka IOC following suit. The retail prices of a litre of 90-Octane petrol is now 104 rupees, 95-Octane petrol 107 rupees. Diesel and Super Diesel are selling for 60 rupees and 65.30 a litre. more..

Sri Lanka gets Japanese 21.9 bn Yen loan to develop link for expressways

Mar 30 (LBO) The Japanese will give 30-year loan to Sri Lanka to build a link highway that will connect the Colombo-Matara to the Colombo-Katunayake expressway a government minister said. The Japanese Bank for International Cooperation will give 21.917 billion yen (19.7 billion rupees) loan to build a 4-lane stretch of the connecting highway, Information Minister Anura Yapa told reporters Thursday. more..

Sri Lanka says new M&S logistics hub near airport is a sign of confidence

Mar 30 (LBO) Supermarket chain Marks & Spencer began shipping clothing made in their factories in the Indian sub-continent through the Global Parks logistics facility in Sri Lanka to its UK stores, Thursday. The multinational’s decision to use Sri Lanka as a supply chain hub demonstrates its confidence in the island despite the recent terrorist attack, investment promotion minister Sarath Amunugama said. more..

Sri Lanka state looks to increase transparency through connectivity

Mar 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka added 16 more government department websites on the internet Thursday to make it easier for the public to get information, officials said. The websites, run by the Information and Communications Technology Agency (ICTA), are enabled in all three languages, Sinhala, Tamil and English. The government should increase its reach within the country so that the people can contact officials easily and get their needs addressed, more..

LTTE attacks kill 08 civilians including for children; 18 injured

Mar 30 (GDI) Eight innocent civilians including four children were killed and eighteen others were injured due to a brutal LTTE attack launched during Thursday night (29) at Siththandi and Morakotanchena areas in Batticaloa, in the Eastern part of the island, Media Centre for National Security states. Among the killed were two girls – Perimban Ranjika (1 ½), Manoharan Nilojana (07) – and two boys – Perimban Shashi Kumar (17) and Perimban Wasantha Kumar (18). more..

'Visible bi-yearly exhibition' of Art & Sculpture

Mar 30 (GDI) The Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Art & Sculpture Board of Sri Lanka Cultural Board have jointly taken measures to take the creations of professional artists and Sculptors to International Level and to honour their services by exhibiting them once in two years. Initial bi-yearly exhibition of Arts & Sculptures was inaugurated by the Minister of Cultural Affairs, Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardhana at the Kala Bavana on March 27 at 6.30 p.m. more..

SAARC Summit will focus on elimination of terrorism – Dr Kohona

Mar 30 (GDI) Foreign Secretary Dr Palitha Kohona said that the main focus of the Summit Meeting of 14th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) will be elimination of terrorism from the region. He expected that the leaders would consider ways and means of possible cooperation among the South Asian nations to curb terrorism. more..

More Indian ports of entry for Sri Lankan tea

Mar 30 (GDI) India has agreed to remove port restrictions applied on the exports of tea and apparel from Sri Lanka under the Indo Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement. As a result Sri Lankan tea exports are likely to increase because the exporters will be able to ship tea to the South Indian port of Chennai reducing freight cost. more..

US expresses concern over LTTE air capability

Mar 30 (GDI) The LTTE’s successful deployment of an offensive air capability is a matter of great concern, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert O’ Blake said. Blake recalled that the United States designated the LTTE as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997. "Since that time, we have worked with the Government of Sri Lanka to stop the flow of arms and terrorist financing to the LTTE. more..

7.7 percent growth rate in 2006 - Census Department

Mar 30 (GDI) Sri Lanka achieved a remarkable economic growth in 2006 compared to the previous year. Census and Statistics Department announced that a growth rate of 7.7 per cent in terms of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2006 as against the growth rate of 6.2 per cent recorded for the year 2005 was recorded. “This is a remarkable economic performance for 2006,” said Director General of Census and Statistics Department, Suranjana Vidyaratna said. more..

President will leave for New Delhi SAARC Summit

Mar 30 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will leave for New Delhi to attend the 14th Heads of State of Meeting of 14th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) scheduled for April 3 and 4. Apart from attending the SAARC Summit, President is expected to discuss bilateral issue with Heads of South Asian Governments while in New Delhi. more..

Act with consciousness and not like a thug – PNM says to President

Mar 30 (LT) Patriotic National Movement tells President to act intelligently with perception and trace to the birth of terrorism when Tiger terrorists have committed an act of terrorism instead of bombing by air. At a media conference held in Colombo yesterday (28) the operations committee Member of that movement Rev. Dambara Amila Thero said in his comments that taking correct political decisions is more powerful than any attack. more..

'3,000 civilians killed in Sri Lanka since 2006''

Mar 30 (Hindu) An estimated 3,000 civilians have been killed since hostilities between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) resumed in 2006, Amnesty International, quoting the United Nations, has said in a report. The report, "Sri Lanka: time to play by the rules," said more than 2,15,000 persons were displaced internally since April 2006. more..

Three state officials arrested over swindling Mavilaru compensation

Mar 30 (LNP) The CID took into custody three officers of the Agricultural and Agrarian Services Insurance Board on suspicion of swindling a sum of Rs. 15 million from the monies allocated to farmers as compensation following the Mavil Aru fiasco perpetrated by the LTTE last year. The Government compensated farmers, who were deprived of water for agricultural purposes following the closure of the Mavil Aru anicut by the LTTE. more..

Railway workers want Dallas to reduce train delays

Mar 30 (LNP) Railway workers requested Transport Minister Dallas Alahaperuma to implement trade union proposals to reduce train delays. `There are over 16,000 workers in the Railway Department, 1250 km of tracks and 333 stations but there are a number of vacancies in the Department,` General Secretary of the All Ceylon Railway Employees General Union, Sumathipala Manawadu said. more..

Private sector to strike over wages

Mar 30 (SAMN) Private sector trade unions are flexing their muscles and have set a deadline of April 8 to decide on whether to take trade union action against the Government’s failure to order employers to effect a 25 per cent salary hike. Sri Lanka Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya General Secretary Lesley Devendra said several trade unions have joined forces and they will decide on a date soon. more..

Unemployment down

Mar 30 (SAMN) According to the Sri Lanka Labour Force Survey in 2006, employment has increased and the unemployment rate has decreased to 6.3 per cent. The unemployment rate was 7.2 per cent for the year 2005, said Department of Census and Statistics Director General Suranjana Vidyarathna. The declining in unemployment has continued, and there is a significant decrease in the unemployment rate in 2006 when compared with 20005, 2004 and 2003. more..

Rohitha cuts down LTTE’s sympathisers

Mar 30 (SAMN) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama dispelled pro-LTTE Western defence analysts’ glorifications of LTTE and said that the terrorist outfit’s air capability was nothing new. "We knew the air offensive capability of the LTTE as far back as 2005. My predecessor in office the late Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar, the late Foreign Minister stated his concerns to the international community. more..

‘Detention politically motivated’

Mar 30 (SAMN) When the fundamental rights violation petition filed by the Finance Director of Communication and Business Equipment (Pvt) Ltd., the owning company of Standard Newspapers Ltd., came up before the Supreme Court, Senior State Counsel Parinda Ranasinghe submitted that the Attorney General had directed that further investigation be carried out with the assistance of three members of the Central Bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit. more..

National unity, public participation vital for development - President

Mar 30 (DN) National unity and people’s participation are vital for development, President Mahinda Rajapaksa stressed yesterday. Addressing the launch of the Gama Neguma-Jathika Saviya programme in Meerigama via satellite, the President said: “We launch this massive programme of development having brought these two important elements together. In a country that has no national unity and people’s participation, it is not possible to erect a lamp post, even by spending a billion. more..

Essential commodities see gradual decrease in prices

Mar 30 (DN) Trade, Marketing Development and Consumer Service Minister Bandula Gunawardena yesterday stressed that both retail and wholesale prices of ten essential commodities in the market has witnessed a gradual decrease due to the immediate measures taken by the Government to bring down the prices of these commodities. This programme is being implemented from March 15. more..

Coming soon, computerized birth certificates in three minutes

Mar 30 (DM) Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs has initiated a programme to issue a birth certificate within three minutes. A high tech ‘Computerized Birth Registration System’ introduced on a directive by Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister Karu Jayasuriya will be available in all eight Divisional Secretariats in the Colombo District the end of this year and islandwide before the end of 2008. more..

Defence Ministry to consider SLMM request

Mar 30 (DM) The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission said yesterday it was yet to get access to the Katunayake Air Force base to carry out investigations but the SLMM request is reportedly being considered by the Defence Ministry. When the ceasefire monitors visited the site on Monday to inquire into the LTTE aerial attack on the base top Air Force officials refused to grant them access forcing the monitors to turn back and subsequently seek the intervention of government peace secretariat. more..

Jordan to regulate entry of workers from Egypt, Sri Lanka, Pakistan

Mar 30 (Xinhua) Jordanian Ministry of Labor has signed three separate memorandums of understanding with its counterparts of Egypt, Sri Lanka and Pakistan to regulate the entry of workers into the country, the Jordan Times reported on Friday. Under the agreement signed between Jordan and Egypt, the number of Egyptian laborers will be regulated and the sectors they can work in will also be specified. more..

Is the LTTE airstrike a bad omen for India?

Mar 30 (MC) The LTTE issue continues to simmer on in Sri Lanka and the recent attack by the LTTE on an airport at Colombo has reminded the world that the tigers are far from being tamed. Far from this actually, the Tigers have been building an airforce since 1998 and what's more, they have succeeded in bombing an airport after flying from the jungles of Vani - 600 kms away to the capital virtually undetected and then returning to their base. more..

Sri Lankan leader makes 2-day visit to Thailand

Mar 30 (AP) Sri Lanka's prime minister will be briefed on the political situation in Thailand during a two-day visit starting Friday, Thailand's foreign ministry said. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake is expected to ask about political developments in Thailand during a meeting with Thai Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont on Friday, said Tharit Charungvat, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. more..

Sri Lankan Economy Growth Accelerates

Mar 30 (AP) Sri Lanka's economic growth accelerated during the fiscal year despite an upsurge in fighting with Tamil Tiger rebels, the government said Friday. The economy grew at 7.7 percent for the year through March, up from 6.2 percent the previous year, according to the Census and Statistics Department. "This is a remarkable economic performance for 2006," said Suranjana Vidyaratna, the director general of the department, more..

Fresh violence in Sri Lanka kills 13

Mar 30 (AFP) At least five Sri Lankan soldiers were killed Friday in a powerful roadside explosion in the country's north, while eight civilians died elsewhere in clashes, officials said. Suspected rebels detonated a Claymore mine as the soldiers were travelling along the main road near the de factor border with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at Parayanakulam, a military official said. more..

Thirteen dead in rising violence in Sri Lanka

Mar 30 (AP) Thirteen people, including eight civilians caught in a mortar barrage, were killed in fierce fighting between the Sri Lankan army and Tamil Tiger rebels, the military and rebels said Friday. In eastern Sri Lanka, where the army has stepped up its assault on rebel bases, mortar shells slammed into a village on the frontline of fighting late Thursday killing eight civilians, including at least 2 children. more..

Sri Lanka, rebels blame each other for civilian dead

Mar 30 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's military and Tamil Tigers each accused the other on Friday of killing civilians with mortar bombs in the island's east overnight, but truce monitors said it was too dangerous to check who was to blame. The army accused the Tigers of killing eight civilians, including two young girls, by firing at an army camp in the eastern district of Batticaloa. more..

Jayalalithaa seeks emergency steps to protect TN fishermen

Mar 31 (PTI) Condemning the killing of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy, AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa today said it was high time that the Centre and Tamil Nadu Government took emergency measures to prevent such attacks. She accused the Centre and State Governments of lack of firm commitment to prevent the attacks, and urged the governments "to be alert and firm in the issue." more..

President calls for hard work to sustain economic growth

Mar 31 (LBO) President Mahinda Rajapakse Friday called for increased productivity and efficiency in both the state and private sector to sustain the momentum of economic growth which hit record levels last year. The growth of 7.4 percent achieved last year despite many challenges proved the validity of the government’s defence and economic policies, Rajapakse said at the presentation of the Central Bank’s annual report for 2006. more..

Sri Lanka says meeting money growth targets, inflation easing

Mar 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Central Bank said Friday it had met its targets for first quarter reserve money expansion, a sign that it had the ability to control raging inflation. Central Bank governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said it had maintained its first quarter target for reserve money growth of 254 billion rupee as of March 30. “We’re within the target,” he told a news conference more..

Hemas to add to Sri Lanka's mini-hydro capacity

Mar 31 (LBO) A 2.2 MegaWatt mini-hydro plant built by the power division of Hemas Holding would be connected to the national grid in June, an official said. Hemas Power, a fully subsidiary of Hemas Holdings, signed an agreement on Friday with the BOI to invest 223 million rupees in the Giddawa mini hydro plant in the Kandy district. more..

John Keells sells Sri Lanka Pizza Hut franchise

Mar 31 (LBO) John Keells Holdings has sold its restaurant business in Sri Lanka to a regional franchise holder for an undisclosed sum, the company said Friday. JKH said Keells Restaurants (Private) Limited and Crescat Restaurants (Private) Limited which held the franchises for Pizza Hut and Delifrance in Sri Lanka were sold to Gamma Pizzakraft Overseas (Private) Limited. more..

Investigations against Gotabhaya on bribery charges commences

Mar 31 (LeN) Chairman of the Bribery and Corruption commission Ameer Ismile speaking to 'LeN' said investigations have begun to the case filed by former Ministers Mangala and Sripathi regarding a fraud of 600 million rupees when performing a MIG deal by Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse and relative of President Udaya Weeratunga. more..

The country's defensemen are those who fled to America due to war- Kiriella

Mar 31 (LeN) UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella says those who are appearing to be protecting the country are those who fled the country in view of the war, seeking for American citizenship some time back. He said the CID can never conduct an unbiased investigation, but it is only a parliamentary select committee that can do so. Kiriella said this has been proved by the "Cope" report. more..

JVP stormed by hidden leader fleeing the island; several leaders out of the party

Mar 31 (LeN) It is being reported that the JVP internal committee is disturbed about the article published by 'LeN' under the heading "JVP 'Kumar Mahaththaya' flees to Australia while CID launches investigations" on the 25th of March, since the same news article was published in the Irudina newspaper over the week end. This situation has occurred due to two reasons. more..

New Companies Act to be taken to effect from 01st April

Mar 31 (GDI) Government will be putting the New Companies Act No 07 of 2007 in full effect from 01st April, 2007 and it will repeal the former Companies Act No. 17 of 1982, Companies (Special Provisions) Law No. 19 of 1974 and Foreign Companies (Special Provisions) Law No. 9 of 1975. The new Companies Act, is a user friendly statute which follows the provisions and principles of innovative corporate law of developed jurisdictions which was indeed a graduation in Sri Lanka’s company law. more..

SLN denies allegations of killing fisherman

Mar 31 (GDI) Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) denies the allegations of killing four fishermen on 29th March 2007. The SLN stated this in a statement by the Media Centre for National Security. “The naval headquarters categorically state that the fleet units of Sri Lanka Navy do not fire at fishermen and instructions have been issued to those units to adhere into the Standing Operational Procedures when dealing with fishermen,” the release states. more..

LTTE may have killed Indian fishermen: Naval chief

Mar 31 (PTI) The Killing of four Indian fishermen in the Palk strait could be the handiwork of the LTTE to create misunderstanding between Sri Lankan and Indian Government, Naval Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta said on Friday. Nothwithstanding this, he said the Navy and Government proposed to inquire into the matter. more..

Fiji hammers Sri-Lanka 45-0

Mar 31 (FL) Favourites Fiji romped home to a comfortable 45-0 win over Sri Lanka in its opening pool game of the Hong Kong 7s to set the pace at So Kon Po. Fiji led 26-0 at halftime tries to Etonia Naba (2), William Ryder and captain Semisi Naevo. The Waisale Serevi coached side made a confident start after Naba touched down within the opening seconds but minnows Sri-Lanka managed to slow down the momentum by trying to starve Fiji of possession. more..

Sri Lanka denies radar system was deficient

Mar 31 (Hindu) After maintaining silence for over a day on a report that a radar system gifted by India had failed to detect the Tiger aircraft that targeted the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) base near Colombo on Monday, Sri Lanka on Thursday said the report was "wrong." Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa was initially reluctant to answer a question on the banner-headline report in the Colombo-based English daily The Island, on the plea that investigations were in progress on the matter. more..

Sri Lanka need to rediscover style

Mar 31 (Reuters) Sri Lanka aim to reclaim their swashbuckling image in their World Cup Super Eights match against West Indies in Georgetown on Sunday. "There are two points on offer, and we want to make sure we give 100 per cent and play the brand of cricket we're used to playing," Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene told reporters on Friday. more..

Sri Lankans participate in Qatar Clean Programme

Mar 31 (TP) On the invitation of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture (MMAA), the Embassy of Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan community living in Qatar participated in the Qatar Clean- Qatar Green Programme yesterday. More than 200 people from all Sri Lankan Community Associations were attended the programme led by Ambassador S B Atugoda. Director of Qatar Clean Programme of the Ministry also participated.

Air-strike, a warning to SLAF- Thamilchelvan

Mar 31 (TN) Liberation Tigers Political Head S.P. Thamilchelvan, stating that the air strike by the Tigers on the nerve centre of the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) in Katunayake was "a one hundred percent successful mission," Thursday told media in Kilinochchi that the "precision air strike" by the Tigers on the SLAF was a "clear message" to the Sri Lankan state, to end the sustained bombardment of the Tamil homeland. more..

Ambassador Blake pins hope on the APRC process

Mar 31 (TW) US Ambassador Robert O’ Blake has reiterated in an interview to the Daily News that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Sri Lanka. “Rather, both sides should cease hostilities so talks can take place on a negotiated settlement”, he emphasized when speaking to the Colombo broadsheet in the aftermath of the Katunayake air force base bombing. more..