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Salaries of presidential advisors and coordinating secs. disclosed

May 25 (DM) The government pays out Rs. 820,000 per month as salaries to the 25 advisors to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and Rs. 246, 410 to his coordinating secretaries and also mobile phone and fuel allowances. Among them Ven. Matale Amarawansa Thera, Jayantha Danapala, Jayaratne B.Wijekoon, Hareendra Vidanage, Ven.Walpola Piyananda Thera, Gamini Gunaratne, Manju Hattotuwa and Anura Solomons work as presidential advisors on an honorary basis. more..

Sri Lanka gets new mobile phone internet Colombo city guide

May 25 (LBO) Colombo city guide on the internet, available on mobile phones, that offers useful services and shopping was launched this week. Billed as a 'city guide in your hand', (pronounced DotMobi) is a new development of made-for-mobile internet sites. The local site was launched by Infotechs in association with content providers like 'Living' magazine with marketing and design inputs by the advertising agency BatesAsia/141. more..

Pakistan-Sri Lanka trade zooming to $ one billion mark

May 25 (APP) Trade between Sri Lanka and Pakistan is growing and would reach the US $ one billion mark in the next five years, High Commissioner for Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Shahzad A. Chaudhry said. Speaking at a programme organized by the National Chamber of Exporters last week in Colombo, he said there is a sharp increase of trade after signing the FTA between the two countries in 2005, says a press release received here Friday. more..

Who is winning Sri Lanka's war?

May 25 (BBC) A joke used to do the rounds in Colombo, during a previous phase of Sri Lanka's interminable civil war - that the LTTE must surely have already been wiped out entirely, given the numbers of rebels the military said it was killing. The casualty figures either side give out still diverge widely today. Sri Lanka's undeclared conflict is being fought not just at sea, on land and from the air, there's a parallel propaganda war too. more..

Rights groups want UN to monitor Sri Lanka abuses

May 25 (IANS) Alarmed by the scale of abuses in Sri Lanka, not just in the northeastern war theatre but also in capital Colombo, human rights groups are advocating UN intervention. Prodded by their Sri Lankan counterparts, global rights groups are concluding that only the UN can bring some sanity in a country where killings, kidnappings, forced recruitment and other violations are rampant. more..

Sri Lanka claims 12 Tigers killed

May 25 (AFP) Sri Lankan government troops have shot dead 12 suspected Tamil Tiger rebels, the defence ministry said, the day after the rebels attacked the capital and a key naval base. Security forces killed the suspected LTTE fighters along front lines in northern Vavuniya district, the defence ministry said in a statement. The first deaths came in clashes early Thursday. more..

Tamil Tigers bid to recapture Jaffna: report

May 25 (AFP) A Tamil Tiger assault on a strategic naval base in northern Sri Lanka was part of an attempt to re-capture their former bastion on the Jaffna peninsula, a state-run daily reported. The LTTE on Thursday briefly held a naval facility on Delft islet, southwest of Jaffna, and claimed to have killed 35 sailors while only losing four of their own. The military disputed the figures. more..

Sri Lanka – ICRC Bulletin No. 13 / 2007

May 26 (ICRC) 23 April - 24 May 2007 Situation update Over the past month, fighting between the Sri Lanka Security Forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has continued in the Topigala and Tarawai areas of Batticaloa district and in the Madhu and Valitikulam areas west of Vavuniya. Shelling at the Omanthai entry/exit points caused the closure of the ceasefire line on 17 May after an explosion occurred a few hundred metres from the lines. more..

India agrees to help Sri Lanka agri business

May 26 (PTI) Visiting Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today pledged to help Sri Lanka boost its production and technical skills as the two sides agreed on collaborative efforts on bio-technology, hybrid seed development and post-harvest processing. "It was agreed that India would assist in capacity building in Sri Lankan agriculture by enhancing the scope of training programs, scholarships, research projects and exchange of visits of farmers," more..

Vaas opts out of Afro-Asian tournament

May 26 (CI) Chaminda Vaas, Sri Lanka's most successful fast bowler, has opted out of next month's Afro-Asia tournament. Kangadaran Mathivanan, Sri Lanka Cricket's secretary, said that that Vaas, who is currently involved in county cricket with Middlesex, informed the board that he will be unavailable. Vaas becomes the second notable absentee from the Asian squad. Shoaib Akhtar, the Pakistan fast bowler, was earlier dropped on fitness grounds having been initially selected. more..

Hameedia breaks into smart fabric fashion

May 26 (F2F) Hameedia, a leader in Sri Lankan men's clothing has introduced another revolution under its premium brand label "Envoy". After wowing the market with one innovation after another, Hameedia now introduces Cool Max, a shirt which keeps the wearer cool in hot and humid atmospheres. According to "Hameedia", the Envoy Cool Max shirt identifies with the need for a fabric that not only emphasizes the charisma of a man, but also keeps him feeling fresh and cool. more..

Jayasuriya leads MCC team

May 26 (ECB) Sri Lanka opening batsman and former captain, Sanath Jayasuriya, will lead the MCC team which will play the West Indians at the Racecourse Ground, Durham, from June 1-3. Jayasuriya, who played for Sri Lanka in the recent Warid Cricket Series of one-day internationals against Pakistan, will fly to England especially for the match. more..

Sri Lanka: S. Bose(1975 - 2007), Poet, Editor & Writer

May 26 (GVO) The following poem was written by S. Bose, a writer-poet (Tamil) from Vavuniya, Sri Lanka and was translated by a friend of mine for Global Voices Online readers. Chandrabose Sudhakar or S.Bose was shot dead by armed men in his own home on April 16th, 2007. The killers who spoke Sinhala. They warned S.Bose’s seven year old son to go back to sleep quietly and left the scene. more..

1st explosion in Colombo using a remote control & LTTE's IT knowledge

May 26 (LeN) A high ranking security forces personnel who explains yesterday's bombings on Reclamation road said, yesterday's blast is the first to be detonated using a remote control in Colombo. The security forces personnel who did not want his name published said the remote control technology is now being used very often by Garilla groups in Iraq and it was the 1st time used by the LTTE to detonate the bomb through a remote despite possessing that technology since a long time. more..

President to meet Emirates team on national carrier deal

May 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka government and Emirates airlines would soon have discussions on extending Srilankan Airlines' management deal with the Dubai based carrier, a top official said. "A team is coming to meet the President on this," Finance Ministry Secretary P B Jayasundera told LBO Friday. Dubai government-owned Emirates has a 10-year contract ending in March 2008, to manage SriLankan Airlines which is Sri Lanka's national carrier. more..

Stocks slip in thin trade amid war nerves

May 26 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended slightly weaker on Friday, a fourth straight day of losses, in low turnover as investors remained cautious amid increasing violence between Tamil Tiger rebls and the military. The Colombo All Share index closed a provisional 0.12 percent weaker at 2,559.54 points, a fall of 3.16 points. The index is now down around 5.9 percent so far this year after falling sharply over the past fortnight before bouncing. more..

Sri Lanka: Free higher education in total mess

May 26 (AT) A view is gradually gaining currency that the time has come to see an end to the prevailing `free' university education system. A statement that President (then Prime Minister) Mahinda Rajapaksa made during the last Presidential Election campaign has given food for thought in this connection. Addressing members of students unions at Temple Trees in 2005 he said that the government would not privatize education but more..

Technical visit Vanni to assess humanitarian situation

May 26 (AT) Technical Humanitarian Officers will visit the Vanni to evaluate ongoing projects and assess the humanitarian situation in the area. During the past months the bilateral donor group visited all districts in the north and east to assess the ongoing humanitarian assistance projects as well as the overall humanitarian situation. more..

Minority could enjoy equal rights but homeland claim not sustainable

May 26 (AT) Though the business community prefer to continue peace process, as during that time they could find more and more business opportunities, what really happens is that all peace processes fail and during peace initiatives LTTE augments their fire power and the disaster caused by the rebels once the peace process fails would be greater than what it was before the peace process began, more..

Buddhism, Peace and Development in Sri Lanka

May 26 (AT) “We are not separate, but apart of each other. Our unity is greater than our separateness. Buddha’s teachings begin with awareness of the reality of impermanence All mental and physical phenomena are impermanent; nothing is static. We are in a constant process of evolution. Buddha showed that our attachment to impermanent phenomena and the notion of a separate self cause imbalance and suffering. more..

Sri Lanka to consider amending citizenship laws

May 26 (Hindu) While agreeing to consider the demand by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) to amend the citizenship laws for persons of Indian origin to enable Ceylon Tamil refugees currently living in Tamil Nadu, the Sri Lankan Government told Parliament on Friday that the subject could be referred to a select committee to rectify loopholes, if any, in the existing Act. more..

Focus Sri Lanka Brings Exotic Imports, Culture to Los Angeles May 28-29

May 26 (IL) The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Los Angeles Announces Focus Sri Lanka, May 28-29, 2007. Focus Sri Lanka is a single country trade and cultural event designed to demonstrate Sri Lanka's capabilities to America - and to share the unique culture of Sri Lanka with the American people. Learn more:

Travel restrictions to Delft continues for second day

May 26 (TN) Restrictions on sea travel between Delft islet and Ku'rikkadduvaa:n pier imposed by Sri Lanaka Navy (SLN) since Thursday continues to remain in effect, causing severe hardships for civilians, civil society sources in Jaffna said. The action by SLN following the pre-dawn attack on the naval base in Delft, off Jaffna coast Thursday by Sea Tigers has isolated the islet from rest of the peninsula. more..

Karuna group adopts Prabhakaran’s terror tactics to suppress Tamils of the east

May 26 (AT) Sivarasa Uthayakumar (19 years) from Araiyampathi, a former member of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal led by Colonel Karuna was shot dead yesterday in broad daylight in the Kaluwanchikudi market, Batticoloa, located in the east of Sri Lanka. Sivarasa Uthayakumar was a former militant cadre in the TMVP military wing. more..

LTTE hit Delft for anti-aircraft guns, Delft navy officers frantically asked for SLAF air strikes but Colombo did not give it

May 26 (AT) "The LTTE attacked the Delft Island Naval base islet to capture anti-aircraft guns and to dismantle its anti-aircraft defences. During the two hour raid, officers at the base frantically kept asking for an air strike against the raiding Sea Tigers and their boats, but the Sri Lanka Air Force did not come to their help. more..

Ambassador Goonetilleke and Prof. Bandarage rips Saravanamuttu’s ‘kuttus ‘ apart

May 26 (AT) Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, the director of Colombo-based think tank, Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA), who spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC, on May 24, 2006, was supposed to discuss “Sri Lanka's Elusive Peace Process – a Role for the United States Government?” but talked about “Sri Lanka’s Human Rights and Humanitarian situation” as the board at the CSIS indicated. more..

An International Buddhist Film Festival to be held in Colombo next month

May 26 (SLBC) An International Buddhist Film Festival is to be held in Colombo. It is organised by the Buddha Jayanthi Secretariat which is affiliated to the ministry of religious affairs. Deputy Secretary of the Secretariat D. Thenuwara says the film festival will be held at the Elphinstone theatre from the 18th to the 22nd of next month. The festival is held in aid of Buddhist temples in remote areas.

More benefits to public servants

May 26 (GDI) The President Mahinda Rajapaksa emphasized that the Government is committed to provide public servants with all the merits they are entitled to and even more. He stressed that the Government mission is accomplishing these benefits to them is hindered by constrains in the North and East. President Rajapaksa made this assertion when he met the public and private sector Trade Union leaders, Co-Chairman of the National Salaries Commission Lionel Fernando and other high officials, more..

FM invites foreign Investors for liberated East

May 26 (GDI) The Government is expecting the contribution of foreign investors in the process of developing the liberated areas in the Eastern Province following the return of Internally Displaced Persons to their homes. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama speaking to media, affirmed that the Government with the assistance of the Security Forces is taking all the necessary steps to restore normalcy in an area which was once terrorized by the LTTE. more..

Many steps to boost coconut industry

May 26 (GDI) To meet the demand of 3,800 million nuts by 2016, The Plantation Industries Ministry will invest Rs.48, 475 million to increase coconut production in the island. At present 20% of the cultivable lands in the country which extend in a land area of 394,836 hectares are allocated for coconut cultivation. According to statistics obtained coconut industry provides livelihood for nearly five million people engaged in production, processing and marketing sectors. more..

Why LTTE attacked Delft Naval Base?

May 26 (ISL) Till March 26,2007, the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) enjoyed the command of the skies. There was no opposition to its punitive strikes against the positions held by the LTTE in the Eastern and Northern Provinces and to its intimidatory strikes against the Sri Lankan Tamil population, inflicting a large number of civilian casualties. The LTTE faced difficulty in countering the punitive and intimidatory air strikes of the SLAF. more..

Be purveyors of peace to fight corrupt politicians and agents of terror

May 26 (ISL) All around us are facilities and opportunities to help us develop good understanding among those with whom we interact, and sources that can inspire circles like ripples in a lake flowing forever widely and further. They are means that embrace us, the more we relate ourselves, the more we inspire, and for us from Sri Lanka, the current generations forced by tragic circumstances in the land of our birth and foreparents, this has virtually become a kind of mission in the fast developing globalization. more..

Tigers Launch Pre-Dawn Amphibious Assault in Delft

May 26 (TW) Specialised sea - borne units of the LTTE launched an amphibious assault in the early hours of May 24th on the Sri Lankan Navy stationed at the Northern Island of Delft. Apart from killing and injuring at least ten navy men the tigers seized a radar unit and also took away a cache of arms and ammunition. While the LTTE claims that at least 35 security personnel were killed and three vessels including a Dvora gun boat were damaged, the Government has denied it. more..

Unitary constitution for ensuring Sinhala supremacy?

May 26 (TW) The set of SLFP proposals for resolving the prolonged ethnic conflict through constitutional reform announced by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on April 30 has been amended subsequently to make the unitary feature unambiguous. The amendment followed the criticism by the ultra Sinhala nationalist parties, especially the JVP and JHU that the proposals contradicted the promise given to the voters at the November 2005 Presidential election via the ‘Mahinda Chinthanaya’ manifesto. more..

Sri Lankan Ministers stress role for Muslim aspirations in peace strategy

May 26 (Hindu) Sri Lankan Ministers Rauff Hakeem and M.S.S. Ameer Ali on Friday stressed the need to factor in the aspirations of Muslims of the island-nation in any strategy to end its ethnic problem. Mr. Hakeem, who is the Minister for Posts and Telecommunication, releasing a souvenir of the Islamic Ilakkiya Kazhagam at its international Tamil literary convention here, more..

Corrupt divisional secretaries in for trouble

May 26 (LNP) The Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry is planning to take disciplinary action against Divisional Secretaries who, in cahoots with Politicians, had been involved in various malpractices. Speaking at the Government Agents and District Secretaries Conference on Thursday, Home Affairs Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera said that disciplinary action will be taken against all such officers with charges pending, irrespective of their political affiliations. more..

Dialog Telekom sponsors Audiology Centre for the deaf

May 26 (LNP) Some children are born totally deaf. Many with hearing and sight impediments. The World Bank says 98% disabled children including deaf and blind in developing countries do not attend schools. Also 40 million such disabled children at primary school age do not receive any education at all. This group of children will be socially neglected underprivileged and marginalized. more..

US says will work with Govt. towards peace

May 26 (LNP) The United States yesterday, referring to the latest round of LTTE attacks, said the ongoing violence was unfortunate. It urged both, the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE, to find a political solution to the conflict, agency reports said. An agency news report filed from Washington DC said: `Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman for the State Department in his daily press briefing said that the US will continue to work with the Sri Lankan government and donor co-chairs to encourage the parties to achieve a peaceful solution. more..

Read the Riot Act to the bus Mafia!

May 26 (LNP) The private bus operators are in a mighty hurry to jack up bus fares. They say they cannot wait any longer as fuel prices and the cost of living have gone up. Given the increasing dependence of the commuting pubic on private buses and the attendant bargaining power of the operators, the Minister will have to give in sooner or later, as has always been the experience of his predecessors. However, the Minister need not lose heart. There is more than one way to skin a cat, they say. more..

Controversy over embassy’s interest

May 26 (SAMN) A Colombo-based embassy is believed to have inquired about the confrontation between the Maldivian Coast Guard and an Indian fishing vessel commandeered by Sea Tigers in their southern territorial waters on May 17. Official sources said the embassy has sought information from the Maldivian embassy in Colombo but by that time, the vessel subsequently identified as Sri Krishna had been hit. more..

British MPs defend action on Lanka

May 26 (SAMN) British Parliamentarian and ruling Labour party member Keith Vaz said Friday it was disappointing that people concerned with the conflict in Sri Lanka were being smeared with various allegations by certain groups and media in Sri Lanka. He said the All Party Parliamentary Group, formed with the intention of getting the warring parties in Sri Lanka to reach a peaceful solution, condemned “without reservation” any and all human rights outrages and terrorist attacks by any group involved. more..

Unemployed graduates up in arms

May 26 (SAMN) Unemployed graduates numbering approximately 25.000 are up in arms against the broken promises given by Mahinda Rajapaksa during the Presidential Election campaign in 2005 under ‘Mahinda Chintana’. National Convener of the Consolidated Unemployed Graduates Association, (CUGA) Sujith Kuruwita said his association has decided to carry out an islandwide agitation to protest against the lethargic and don’t care attitude of Mahinda Rajapaksa administration in respect of the issue of unemployed graduates. more..

Ex- Chief of Staff rejects allegations

May 26 (SAMN) Retired Army Chief of Staff Major General Nanda Mallawarachchi believes that he is being maliciously targeted. Commenting on reports that the Army Headquarters hand initiated inquiry against him for misappropriation of funds, Mallawarachchi said. "There is absolutely no truth in the assertion that funds were misappropriated." According to the former Colonel of the Regiment (Sri Lanka Light Infantry), a project launched during Lt. General Shantha Kottegoda’s tenure, as the Army Chief, is the centre of controversy. more..

Non-confrontational attitude not a weakness, Chief Govt Whip tells JVP

May 26 (DN) Chief Government Whip and Highways and Road Development Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle told Parliament yesterday that the Government's non-confrontational attitude towards the JVP should not be considered a weakness. "We do not want to go in for a debate on some of the issues raised by the JVP. This is by no means a weakness," he said. He said the Government clashed with the UNP on many issues but not with the JVP. more..

Woman demanded as a bribe

May 26 (DN) A Sub Inspector of Police has demanded and accepted a woman as a bribe, the Colombo High Court was told yesterday. According to the case filed by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption SI Ruwan Alawatta demanded on January 21, 2003, a woman and Rs 2,500 as an incentive for not taking legal steps against a hotel in Bambalapitiya. more..

Dispute over two missing vehicles

May 26 (DM) The JVP and the UNP launched a joint attack against the government in parliament yesterday on the two missing vehicles belonging to the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry and following two contradictory statements made by Subject Minister M.H. Mohamed and Prof. Wiswa Warnapala who held the post earlier. The dispute arose shortly after Mr. Mohamed revealed that he was compelled to get two vehicles on rent because the former minister had not returned the two vehicles when leaving office. more..

Three fined for robbery of two statues

May 26 (DM) Teldeniya Magistrate sitting at Panvila Court fined three persons Rs.304,000 when they pleaded guilty to the robbery of two statues, one a two foot statue of God Kataragama and the other a one foot statue of Godess Paththini from Kataloya Estate Kovil in the knuckles range, in Panvila police area. The Magistrate also sentenced the accused to six months rigorous imprisonment suspended for six years. more..

We need support from India: Lankan Ministers

May 26 (NT) The support and intervention of India would help find a permanent solution to the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka and would be acceptable to all sections. This was the opinion expressed by Sri Lankan Ministers Rauff Hakeem and M S S Ameer Ali during an international Tamil Literary Convention organised by the Islamic Ilakkiya Kazhagam at Kalaivanar Arangam here yesterday. more..

Troops kills 2 Tamil rebels in northern Sri Lanka, military says

May 26 (AP) Soldiers killed two armed separatist Tamil rebels who crept into government-held territory in Sri Lanka's volatile north, the military said Saturday. Troops manning the defense line in Muhamalai on the Jaffna peninsula shot and killed the guerrillas Friday before they had a chance to fire any shots, Lt. Col. Upali Rajapakse said. The Tamil Tiger rebels had been observing troop movements in the area, more..

Australia slams Sri Lanka for human rights abuse

May 26 (ABC) Australia has accused the Sri Lankan Government of violating humanitarian law on a regular basis, pointing to daily abductions and extra-judicial killings. The very direct criticism of the Sri Lanka Government came in a statement from Australia's Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer. Mr Downer's statement said both the sides of the conflict, the Government and the rebel Tamil Tigers, were committing human rights abuses. more..