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UN agencies keep up pressure on rebels over under-age recruitment

May 23 (IRIN) Over the past year, UN agencies in Sri Lanka have tried to keep the national and international focus on one of the most unfortunate aspects of Sri Lanka's long-running civil war - under-age recruitment of children as soldiers in the conflict. According to the United Nations Children's Agency (UNICEF), currently there are 1,832 outstanding cases of under-age recruitment by non-state entities. more..

Australia responds to growing humanitarian emergency in Sri Lanka

May 23 (RW) The Australian Government will contribute $5.25 million to provide life-saving and other essential humanitarian services for those affected by the intensifying conflict in Sri Lanka. We will contribute $3 million through the World Food Programme to provide emergency food aid to up to 400,000 people recently displaced and affected by the conflict, and for community-based food-for work programs for up to 390,000 people in the north and east. more..

Downer gets tough with Sri Lanka

May 23 (ABC) Australia has accused the Sri Lankan Government of violating humanitarian law on a regular basis, pointing to daily abductions and extra-judicial killings. A statement from the Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, has toughened Australia's criticism of the Sri Lankan Government, saying all parties to the conflict are violating international humanitarian law on a regular basis. more..

India must boost sea defenses to fight terrorism, Minister says

May 23 (BN) India must boost its coastal defenses to combat terrorism from the sea, Defense Minister A.K. Antony said, as the country increased its naval patrols to prevent arms smuggling to Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka. "We have been able to contain infiltration through land borders and they are becoming tension-free," India's state-run broadcaster Doordarshan cited Antony as telling coastguard commanders yesterday. more..

Islamic Tamil litterateurs bridge India-Lanka divide

May 23 (HT) Down the ages, Muslims of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka have shared a mother tongue - Tamil. In the past, they had strong economic, cultural and religious ties besides the linguistic bond. But due to the development of different politico-cultural situations in the two countries in the 20 th century, the two communities had drifted apart. However, apparently due to the changing political and cultural scenario in Sri Lanka, more..

Seven killed in Sri Lanka clashes

May 23 (AFP) Seven people have been killed in fresh clashes in Sri Lanka's northern and eastern regions as government troops traded fire with Tamil Tiger rebels, the defence ministry said. A soldier and a rebel were killed in the eastern coastal town of Batticaloa early Wednesday as troops encountered a group of guerrillas during a search operation, the ministry said. more..

Red Cross quits Sri Lanka front as fighting rages

May 23 (Reuters) The Red Cross pulled back indefinitely from the front line of Sri Lanka's civil war in the island's far north on Wednesday amid fears for staff safety, citing two firing incidents nearby within a week. The military said it had closed the Omanthai checkpoint that sits on defense lines that separate government from Tamil Tiger-held territory in the northern district of Vavuniya, more..

Roadside bomb, clashes kill 10 in Sri Lanka, military says

May 23 (AP) A roadside bomb and the latest clashes between soldiers and separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas killed 10 people in Sri Lanka's volatile north and east, the military said Wednesday. Rebels detonated the bomb in the northern district of Vavuniya, killing one soldier and wounding another, said military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe. more..

Priest's Action Underscores Church Stand Against Abductions

May 24 (UCAN) A series of abductions involving white vans has been sending shivers through Sri Lanka's capital. With more than 140 people abducted since the beginning of April and at least 18 of them killed, the Catholic Church found the phenomenon impossible to ignore and issued statements condemning it. One priest went a step further and intervened in an abduction. more..

Catholics ask government for a Zone of Peace around Madhu Shrine

May 24 (AN) With no peace in sight in Sri Lanka, the military escalation between army and Tamil rebels has forced the International Red Cross (IRC) to pull its staff from Sri Lanka’s northern regions for “security reasons”. In the meantime Catholics are raising their voice, asking the government to get back to the negotiating table, urging the authorities to declare Mannar a “peace zone” as a sign of their willingness to talk to the Tamil Tigers. more..

Central Bank says anti-pyramid investigations were not halted

May 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Central Bank says it has strengthened action against pyramid schemes and not halted or scaled down investigations in the recent past. "The Central Bank wishes to inform the public that it has in fact, contrary to such reports, strengthened its action against pyramid schemes," the Central Bank said in a statement. more..

Sri Lanka’s Sarala wins world’s ‘Best Performing Child Actor’ award

May 24 (AT) Hollywood’s Young Artist Foundation has presented the Best Child Actor of the World in an international feature film Award to Sri Lankan child artist Sarala Kariyawasam, who performed a highly acclaimed role of a child widow in the award winning controversial film , “Water.” “Sarala performed an absolutely outstanding role in a brilliant film that should have been given more recognition by Hollywood,” said Maureen Dragone, President of the Foundation, more..

State Bank defaults a hotel owner in Arugambay

May 24 (AT) Owner of the Siam View Hotel [SVH] of Arugambay , Dr. Fred Miller complains the Arugambay branch office of a state owned bank terminated their services and defaulted rent payments one month after the tsunami. The Bank was located at the premises of the Siam Hotel , Arugambay and provided ample service for the area businessmen and the tourists. more..

Rajiv assassination mystery unsolved

May 24 (AT) India is considered to be a rising force in world affairs today - in terms of its economic and technological might - and one person who will be surely missed at this crucial juncture is late Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. His vision to see India as a technologically-developed nation is taking shape in contemporary times. Rajiv was killed by a LTTE human bomb at 10.18 pm (IST) on May 21, 1991 in Sriperembudur, Tamil Nadu. more..

"Sri Lanka’s major challenge is achieving the development goals"

May 24 (GDI) "Sri Lanka’s major challenge is achieving the development goals, sated the Prime Minister Rathnasirir Wickramanayake yesterday addressing the 35 year celebration ceremony of the Republic Day at the Independence Square. The Janaraja Sakmana foot path was erected by the Urban Development and Sacred Area Development Ministry to mark the 35th Republic Day and as a part of the Independence Square Development Project. more..

Marking 20 years anniversary of the Aranthalawa assassination

May 24 (GDI) The twenty year commemoration of the Aranthalawa assassination of 31Buddhist monks is falling on the 02nd June 2007. The tragic occurrence will be commemorated with a series of special programmes. Addressing a media briefing on the Commemoration Programme, the Advisor of the Aranthalawa Commemoration Fund, Ven. Dr. Kiridiwala Somarathana Thera, stated that the programme ‘Aranthalawen Mihinthalawata’ will be conducted under the guidance of the Public Trustee Department. more..

Restarting agriculture in Sri Lanka's conflict zones

May 24 (RW) Until the war between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam erupted in the 1980s, the North-East Province had enjoyed a higher level of agricultural development than most other parts of the country: it was a surplus rice-producing area and had an advantage in the production of vegetables, fruits and other cash crops. more..

U.S., U.K. assisting Sri Lanka, says TNA MP

May 24 (Hindu) Two soldiers and four cadres of the Tamil Tigers were killed in violence in the north and east on Wednesday even as a pro-LTTE parliamentarian said Sri Lanka would not pursue a political solution until it finds itself unable to find a military solution. The only option open for peace is for the LTTE to demonstrate that Colombo's military agenda will not succeed, he said. more..

Opposition leader 'disappointing' FMM

May 24 (BBC) The Opposition Leader's statement in Sri Lanka's parliament that editors should be summoned to parliament has come under criticism from media watch dogs. In a public statement on Wednesday, the Free Media Movement (FMM) says that the Leader of Sri Lanka's parliamentary opposition has disappointed them by calling to use parliamentary privileges against Journalists. more..

'Questioning of Morning Leader Editor reiterates the urgent need to have whistleblower protection law'

May 24 (LeN) Recent questioning of Sonali Samarasinghe, Editor of the Morning Leader, reiterates the need to have whistleblower protection in Sri Lanka. She is an award winning investigative journalist with courage. Many civil society organizations, intellectuals and independent media personnel have consistently urged the successive governments to take measures to protect the journalists, more..

UN working group accepts complains of disappearences from CMC -Mano Ganesan

May 24 (LeN) First lot of eleven (11) complaints forwarded to UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) by the Civil Monitoring Commission has been accepted for investigations. Associate Human Rights Officer of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances Claudia de la Fuente has informed from UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at Geneva Switzerland to this effect, more..

Sarath Muttetuwegama: His kindness knew no limits

May 24 (TW) Mid May, particularly the 18th is a day of sadness as this was the day in 1986, that Mr. Sarath Muttetuwegama met with an accident and died. Mr. Muttetuwegama was driving down the new Ratnapura Road and having mistaken a Jeep for a motorcycle, as the right hand sidelight of the Jeep was not working, crashed into it. more..

Tamil Tigers 'launch naval raid'

May 24 (BBC) Tamil Tiger rebels have launched a sea attack on a Sri Lankan naval base on the Jaffna peninsula in the north of the country, says a navy spokesman. In a co-ordinated land and sea attack, 15 boats targeted the base on Delft island, but one was sunk. The fighting is continuing, according to the spokesman. more..

Sri Lankan 'guilt' fuels human rights violations

May 24 (KT) WHEN talking about human rights, we in the developing world – the butt end of western criticism -- cannot ignore former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed's defence of Asian values and his attacks on western hypocrisy. The west cannot assume the role of a high priest and preach its version of human rights, he would say. more..

Nothing wrong with my action: Malinga

May 24 (KT) Aggressive in bowling but mild in common life Lasith Malinga is talk of the cricketing world for many a reasons. A new star in the comity of Sri Lanka cricket is in Abu Dhabi with his team to play three-match one-day series against Pakistan, talked candidly about his game and common life. more..

A secret mission to Sri Lanka

May 24 (ISL) Rajiv Gandhi minutes before he was killed by the human bomb Subha, seen with her back to the camera and flowers in her hair (also inset). Now it can be told. Barely six months before the Congress lost the elections in 1989, and even after Sri Lanka had given marching orders to the IPKF, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi made a last-ditch attempt to retrieve the situation for implementing the India-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987. more..

What made the Tamils want Eelam?

May 24 (ISL) Many might say that Tamils have all their rights, so why keep asking for rights? You ask a common liberal Sinhalese about the discrimination of minorities today and he would simply state that there are no problems facing Tamils in Sri Lanka. But unfortunately for city and suburb people they don't see light Up North. Colombo Tamils are able to adapt to the system. more..

When are we going to see an end to this?

May 24 (ISL) There is very little chance of peace being restored in our country. One of the main reasons for this is that the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE are using each other and safeguarding their interests and not the interests of the people of our country. This same bloody game has been played by successive governments whether it be the UNP or the SLFP. They are traitors to all of us. more..

Sri Lankan marketing conference hears how grocery stores evolve into superstores

May 24 (LBO) The traditional grocery store concept has been evolving into 'mega stores' and the heavy discounter concept, which carry all the goods shoppers want, according to marketing guru John Stanton. The grocery store, with a limited number of items and floor space, gave way to the mega store with the change in the marketer's thinking about selling products to customers, he told a marketing conference in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo. more..

Sri Lankan women still earn less than men

May 24 (LBO) Women with qualifications similar to males get paid an average 18 percent less for the same job, according to research but the government says otherwise. Women with similar education, location and experience as men were employed in lower paying jobs, says Dileni Gunewardena of Peradeniya University, using data from the Statistics Department’s quarterly labor force survey. more..

Sri Lanka unit of IOC posts higher profits with one-off items

May 24 (LBO) Lanka IOC, a unit of the Indian Oil Corporation has posted higher profits in the March quarter helped by a provision write-back and supply of refined products to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. Lanka IOC posted net profits of 874 million rupees in the 3-months to March (344.7 million rupees in 2006) despite sales falling from 10 billion rupees to 9 billion, according to results filed with the Colombo Stock Exchange. more..

All the islets including Delft in Jaffna peninsula under Navy control

May 24 (GDI) The LTTE terrorists attacked the Navy detachment at Delft in a fleet of 18 boats and Navy sailors sank 4 of the LTTE’s suicide boats in attempts to repulse the ambush. Intercepted LTTE communication revealed that 18 Sea Tiger cadres including 4 leaders had been killed and another large number injured, the Navy confirmed. The Air Force engaged withdrawing Sea Tiger boats destroying two and disabling another. more..

Arrested LTTE suspects in Paris admit fund collection

May 24 (GDI) All the LTTE agents arrested by the French police will be produced in courts again on the 5th of August. The suspects have confessed that they were involved in collection of funds by threat and intimidation for the LTTE, according to informed sources. They have also admitted that they were engaged in abducting number of Tamils living in Paris who refused to financially aid the terror group. more..

Udayasri Kariyawasam to the post of CEB Chairman

May 24 (GDI) Former Bank of Ceylon Chairman and the well known Charted Accountant Udayasri Kariyawasam assumed duties as the new chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board today. Mr. Kariyawasam is a graduate in Business Administration (B. Sc. Bus. Ad) of the University of Sri Jayawardanapura He is an Associate Member (ACA) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka with 12 years post qualifying experience as a practicing accountant. more..

FM on a visit to Iran tomorrow

May 24 (GDI) Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama and Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development A.H.M. Fowzie, will undertake a two-day official visit to Iran from tomorrow (25th). During this visit the two Ministers will call on Iranian President Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and will also meet his Iranian counterpart Mr. Manouchehr Mottaki. more..

Penney to be interim coach of Sri Lanka

May 24 (CI) Trevor Penney, the assistant coach of Sri Lanka during Tom Moody's tenure, will take over as coach until they find a replacement for Moody. "Trevor's contract runs until the end of August so he will be in charge alongside Rumesh Ratnayake [a former Sri Lankan fast bowler],". "We are not in a hurry to appoint a new coach and will let the process run its course." Penney and Ratnayake will be in charge for the home series against Bangladesh, which begins in June. more..

Some Indian models worthy of adoption

May 24 (ANN) India has been a vast reservoir of inspiration for this country since time immemorial. At present, there is a school of thought that Sri Lanka should adopt the Indian devolution model to resolve her conflict. However, the adoption of foreign models may not always be easy or feasible. It was only the other day that we quoted Dr. Thilokasundari Kariyawasam blaming the high rate of failure at the GCE (O/L) examination on the adoption of the British examinations system. more..

Tamils right for self determination echoed - BTU

May 24 (LNP) The British Tamil Forum (BTU) yesterday claimed that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and one of the candidates for Deputy Prime Ministers Peter Hain, MP had stated that Sri Lankan Tamils should have the right to self-determination. The BTU said in a media release: `At a meeting attended by the Prime Minister elect, various Cabinet Ministers and six Deputy Prime Minister candidates, at the House of Parliament on 21st May 2007, more..

Rulings on CFA violations stopped?

May 24 (LNP) Speculation is that the Scandinavian truce monitoring mission has stopped informing the government and the LTTE of its rulings on violations of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA). The Island learns that the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) has not received SLMM rulings so far this year. An authoritative government spokesperson Wednesday confirmed that the SCOPP had not received SLMM rulings this year. more..

JVP attacks Rajapaksa brothers

May 24 (LNP) The JVP told Parliament yesterday the government`s popularity had slumped to the lowest ebb at present. JVP strongman K.D. Lal Kantha speaking during the adjournment debate on the curtailment of benefits to public servants said people used to turn violent against them for criticizing the government, but today it was the other way round. Mr. Lal Kantha said actions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brothers had resulted in this situation, and more..

Treasury releases 182 million for Local Govt., Provincial Councils and Higher Education

May 24 (LNP) Parliament on Tuesday agreed to release a further 182 million rupees from the Treasury to the Ministries of Local Government and Provincial Councils as well as Higher Education as supplementary expenditure for 2007. Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils, Janaka Bandara Tennekoon, said his Ministry required an extra Rs 126 million to purchase 21 double cabs to newly established provincial institutions. more..

'Allow journos to visit rebel areas'

May 24 (SAMN) The media in Sri Lanka should have unimpeded access to gather information for reporting purposes even if it means visiting LTTE controlled areas, , a media expert from the United States said in a live web chat. The programme was organized on Tuesday by the US Bureau of International Information Programs (USINFO) of the US State Department. more..

SLFP proposals not to be revised further

May 24 (SAMN) The much awaited SLFP counter proposals to the All Party Representative Committee will be handed over to APRC Chairman shortly without further revision, SLFP proposals committee Head Minister Prof. Wisva Warnapala told the Daily News Wednesday. “There will be no modifications,” Prof. Warnapala responded when asked by the Daily News if there will be any alterations to the party proposals. more..

'UNP failed to solve issues'

May 24 (SAMN) A group of the United National Party joining the government has not helped evolve a solution to the major issue of the country, Mahanayake of Malwatte Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddharatha Sumangla Thero told the former minister and Parliamentarian Dr. Jayalath Jayawardane yesterday 23. Dr. Jayalath Jayawardana called on the prelate to brief him about the arrangements to build three Buddhist monasteries in India. more..

Govt will not curtail servants' loans

May 24 (SAMN) Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama yesterday told Parliament that the Government with effect from year 2005 to 2007 has granted Rs. 15.6 billion worth property loans to 17,000 Government employees. According to the Minister when the Government introduced this special scheme in 2005, only Rs. 500 million had been allocated per year to grant loans to public servants. more..

Delgoda murder suspects shot dead

May 24 (DN) Two suspects arrested on suspicion of killing five members from the same family over a land dispute in Delgoda on Saturday were shot dead by police in self-defence when the suspects attempted to attack the police in Delgoda yesterday. The main suspects of the multiple murder E. Amaradasa and his brother E. Upasena were shot dead by police in Mahawatte, Delgoda yesterday at around 1.00 a.m, Kelaniya Division SSP Nihal Samarakoon said. more..

Panaluwa Industrial Park begins operations

May 24 (DN) The Panaluwa Industrial Park in the Homagama Polling Division run by the Board of Investment was handed over to new investors by Rural Industries and Self Employment Promotion Minister S.B. Navinna at a ceremony. Thirteen small-scale and medium-scale industrialists have been selected for the proposed Panaluwa Industrial Park. Minister Navinna ceremonially inaugurated factories within industrial park. more..

Rajapakse Urges Country’s Envoys to Serve Lankans

May 24 (AN) President Mahinda Rajapakse, who wrapped up a state visit on Tuesday, told the heads of Lankan missions in the Gulf to look after Sri Lankan expatriates with a sense of dedication and work for their well-being. “You all should work for the welfare of our people and promote bilateral relations with the respective host countries. If you cannot do this, please give way to better people to work as our envoys in these important stations,” more..

JVP and UNP see political teachers behind blackboard

May 24 (DM) Parliament yesterday debated alleged political favouritism and other irregularities rampant in certain provincial councils in regard to compiling lists of volunteer teachers eligible to be absorbed into permanent service. The matter was raised by Anuradhapura District JVP Parliamentarian Ranaweera Pathirana who charged that there was political interference in listing volunteer teachers in the North Central Province. more..

Yahoo Photos

May 24 (AFP) Sri Lankan soldiers inspect a motorbike. Tamil Tiger rebels blew up an army bus in Sri Lanka's capital, killing at least one soldier, just hours after the guerrillas said they had stormed a naval base and killed 35 sailors. more..