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Japan won't slash aid to Sri Lanka, Yasushi Akashi returning in June with a new mission

May 29 (AT) Japanese Foreign Ministry announced that Japan will not scale down its aid to Sri Lanka. "Japan is not planning to re-consider aid to Sri Lanka" a Foreign Ministry Official said. He added "Tokyo`s peace envoy to Sri Lanka, former UN assistant secretary-general Yasushi Akashi, would return to the island on a new mission by early June" he added. more..

More and more private and govt universities but increasingly unemployed and underemployed grads

May 29 (AT) This is in response to the article "Sri Lanka: Free higher education is total mess" written by Mr. Janaka Perera on 26th May 2007 to the Asian tribune with thanks for initiating a timely important theme. On 22nd November 2006, Mr. Joseph Michel Pereira MP has raised his voice in Parliament over the limited higher education opportunities and more..

Significant basis to restart peace talks in Sri Lanka

May 29 (AT) It is obvious from the current news dominate in Sri Lanka and international news media that peace talks, which were at halt in Geneva due to dissatisfaction of conditions between Sri Lanka’s government and LTTE, will be possibly recommenced under the initiatives of the UK government. The main reason to halt peace talks was the mistrust between two parties and LTTE abortively attempted to gain unfair advantages through more..

Lankan Army's game plan: Seize East and weaken LTTE in North

May 29 (HT) The Sri Lankan Army's game plan is to drive the LTTE out of the Eastern districts completely, and weaken it in the Northern districts, to pave the way for talks to find a permanent political solution to the Tamil question, says its Commander, Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka. "In five to six months we will completely mop up the LTTE in the East," the General told select foreign journalists here on Monday. more..

Ministry, NTPC seek MEA’s views on Lanka project site

May 29 (FE) State-run National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and the power ministry have sought the intervention of the ministry of external affairs on the change in the site for the 500-mw, coal-based project in the erstwhile bastion of the LTTE. The company has expressed apprehensions about site 5 offered by the Sri Lankan government for the proposed project in the Trincomalee region. more..

Private sector helps Iran-Sri Lanka ties - commerce minister

May 29 (IRNA) Minister of Commerce Masoud Mirkazemi said on Monday that promoting private sector will help expansion of trade ties between Iran and Sri Lanka. Speaking in a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Rohitha Bogollagama, Mirkazemi also said that the ground should be prepared for private sector in a bid to establish firm and rational economic relation between the two countries. more..

Tehran-Colombo direct flight due soon

May 29 (PTV) A Sri Lankan official has disclosed that direct flight between Tehran and Colombo would be established in a bid to enhance tourism. Head of the newly established Sri Lankan Trade Council in Tehran Mohammad Janid Nahrir said," We will be doing our best to facilitate the travel of the Iranian and Sri Lankan tourists between the two countries." He praised Iran as a historical country, which enjoys a unique standing in the international arena. more..

War Refugees Stressed by Mass Resettlement

May 29 (IPS) An army-supervised mass resettlement plan underway for more than 100,000 people, displaced by fierce battles with Tamil rebels in eastern Batticaloa district, may be causing new problems for the refugees rather than solving existing ones, say volunteers. Over the past week, some 20,000 people have been resettled in their homes and, according to government authorities, everything was going according to plan. more..

The Jaffna I knew

May 29 (TW) I was in Colombo a few months ago for a wedding in the family. My wife and I were staying at Hotel Taj Samudra. The Tri-Series cricket matches that were scheduled at that time were a complete wash-out and that gave us all Taj residents of the day the opportunity to mingle with the cricket teams who were also billeted in the hotel. more..

Nepal-Sri Lanka air link being mulled

May 29 (NN) Authorities are mulling resuming air link between Kathmandu and Colombo. In the past Nepal Airlines Corporation used to operate in this sector. According to Sri Lankan ambassador Sumith Nakandala, necessary studies are being conducted for the purpose. For the last three, four years, we are studying the feasibility of direct flight, whether airlines company will be able to bear it financially or not? more..

French Police join hands with European Police for more raids on Tigers

May 29 (AT) The findings of the French Police investigating the arrested Tamil Tigers on April Fool’s Day have prompted them to liaise with other members of the European Union to crack down on the wide network of Tamil Tigers violating international and national laws. French Police raided several Tiger offices and shops and arrested 19 Tamil Tiger agents and today there are 14 of them in custody. French Magistrate refused them bail. more..

Sri Lankan listed oil palm firm mulls expansion; warns of drought impact on crop

May 29 (LBO) A subsidiary of Sri Lanka's Carsons group with oil palm estates in south east Asia is considering expansion and downstream ventures but warns that recent drought could affect future crop. The Shalimar (Malay) Estate Company Ltd., said group profit after tax fell to 78.7 million rupees in the year ended March 31, 2007 from 222.4 million rupees the year before. more..

LTTE overruns naval outpost on key Sri Lankan island

May 29 (wsws) A significant attack on the Sri Lankan security forces last Thursday has again demonstrated that the government’s renewed war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will inevitably be drawn out and bloody. Concerned over widespread popular opposition to the conflict, the military played down the incident and issued false casualty figures to the media. more..

Conflict management culture of east, says Lanka Prof

May 29 (RN) Conflict is understood as competitive or opposing action of incompatibles expressed through physical or mental struggle arising from discord, said Sri Lankan Professor of Archeology Sudharshan Seneviratne Monday. "Two other conditions synonymous with conflict are competition and marginalisation. The nature of conflict is not a static factor either. more..

Sri Lanka gilt rates up amidst heavy government borrowing

May 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka's three-month Treasury bill average yield edged up 22 basis points to 16.91 percent as the government raised 11.9 billion rupees from Tuesday's gilt auction. Dealers said cut-off rates - the highest rates at which bids are accepted by the government public debt office - touched 17.70 percent, almost 90 basis points above the auction rate. more..

Judge Weeramantry in World Future Council

May 29 (AT) Judge C.G. Weeramantry participated in the founding meeting of The World Future Council (WFC) – a forum for the protection of the Rights of Future Generations – held in Germany early this month. He was one of the 50 Councilors selected from across the world, representing expertise and experience different fields. In the international area WFC is considered to be the strong new voice addressing issues that threaten the future of the world. more..

Stocks fall, investors cautious after bomb

May 29 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended weaker on Tuesday, a sixth straight day of losses, as investors sold citing security concerns after suspected Tamil Tiger rebels killed eight people and injured 35 with a roadside bomb. The Colombo All Share index closed a provisional 1.24 percent weaker at 2,506.32 points, a fall of 31.36 points. The index is now down around 7.9 percent so far this year after falling sharply over the past fortnight before recovering. more..

SLFP Proposals fails to meet the mark, says Dr. Imtiyaz

May 29 (TW) Dr.A.R.M. Imtiyaz, of Colombo, Sri Lanka is a visiting scholar at the Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His articles have been published in several journals and presented in the international conferences on ethnicity. His primary research interest is in the study of ethnic conflict, both in Sri Lanka and in other countries. more..

International agencies must visit Vavuniya and speak to escapees from LTTE controlled Vanni

May 29 (ISL) The situation in the uncleared LTTE controlled area in Sri Lanka for families with children have become grave. Desperate and highhanded efforts of the LTTE recruiters to grab children at their will for military training have opened another chapter in the LTTE war efforts to use unwilling innocent civilians as human fodder. more..

Decrease in foreigners overstaying in the island

May 29 (GDI) Following the Implementation of additional regulations for foreign passport holders visiting Sri Lanka, the number of visa offenders has been reduced. According to Immigration and Emigration Department sources, the number of foreigners over staying their visas had reduced ten fold. The major contributory factor for the decline was the imposing of fines which effects from 1st March 2007. more..

Another New Economic Zone to be put up in Matara

May 29 (GDI) Government will be setting up a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) centering Matara in the near future. The proposed SEZ will be set up in Godagama, Matara in a 243 hectares plot of land, located in close proximity to the Colombo-Matara highway, which is currently in progress. The Minister of Investment Promotion Navin Dissanayake, officers from the Board Of Investment (BOI) have met with representatives from the relevant departments and more..

Dr. Amunugama Visits MAS Fabric Park in Thulhiriya

May 29 (GDI) Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Dr. Sarath Amunugama paid a visit to Sri Lanka’s first dedicated Textile Processing Zone – the MAS Fabric Park which is currently in progress at the former Thulhiriya Textile Factory on Monday (28). The MAS Group will be investing 25 million dollars to develop this 175 acre zone at Thulhiriya. more..

School children from Vakarai visits Colombo

May 29 (GDI) Government, along with the support of the Security Forces personnel and the ‘Seva Lanka’ Foundation, has organized an educational trip for the students of Vakarai area to visit the Southern part of the island. Today is the last day of this four day tour which includes sixty two students of that area. Twenty two students from Vigneshwaran School of Vakarai and 40 students from Palachchenai are participating in the educational tour. more..

'President will protect rights of all Lankans without discrimination'

May 29 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has always pledged to uphold the dignity, social and political status of the Tamils in the island. He has always stressed the fact that he was elected as President by Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and other ethnic groups. He is therefore, committed to serve all communities without discriminating anyone of them, Advisor to the President, Media Ombudsman and former Minister A.H.M. Azwer, said. more..

Karuna says no split but Pillayan stands by DM story

May 29 (LNP) Our page one story titled `Pillayan gives final warning to Karuna` in yesterday`s Daily Mirror has rattled the TMVP with Karuna Amman himself contacting the Daily Mirror via telephone to say there was no truth in the report. However within minutes of the telephone call from Karuna strong loyalists of Pillayan, whose authenticity was verified, contacted the Daily Mirror and insisted that all was not well within the organization as was mentioned in the news report. more..

Arrested with Local Viagra

May 29 (LNP) A lorry carrying 54,000 packets of Madhana Modaka, a herbal stimulant containing cannabis?popularly known as local Viagra?from Colombo to the North Central Province was taken into custody, along with the driver and cleaner, by the Mihintale Police at the Rambewa police checkpoint. The lorry was carrying the illegal cargo hidden among boxes bearing the labels of motor cycle spare parts and soap. more..

Mangala will not rejoin Cabinet, says D.M.

May 29 (LNP) Former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will not rejoin the Cabinet, senior SLFP member D.M. Jayaratne said yesterday. Asked what made him say that Samaraweera will not join the Government, he said that knowing Mangalas`s nature and of course giving the portfolios Ports and Aviation held by him to President`s elder brother Minister Chamal Rajapakse, would have shattered his hopes of joining the Government. more..

Govt to launch `Buy Sri Lankan` campaign

May 29 (LNP) The Government will shortly launch a Ganna Ape De (Buy Sri Lankan goods) campaign to popularise local products. The programme is being implemented by the Mawbima Lanka Foundation (MLF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Industrial Development and the Strategic Enterprise Management Agency (SEMA). This will be launched in line with the Mahinda Chintanaya. more..

TMVP for a united Lanka

May 29 (SAMN) The Karuna faction, also known as the TMVP, has recommended, in a set of proposals submitted to the APRC, a permanent resolution within a united Sri Lanka. The proposals were submitted to APRC chairman Minister Tissa Vitharana Monday. A significant part of the proposals is that it recognises a de-merged North and East. The TMVP believes that the solutions to the so-called 'Tamil problem' could be found by extensively devolving political, administrative and financial powers from the centre to the peripheral units of governance. more..

Sahanaya to hold poster competition

May 29 (SAMN) The National Council for Mental Health (NCMH) ‘Sahanaya’ is to organize a poster competition among young artists aged 10 to18 to mark its Silver Jubilee this year. It is part of an awareness programme, said Secretary General of the Silver Jubilee Secretariat, Lalith Heengama. The competition would be in two tiers, junior and senior. The junior category would be for those between 10 to 14 years, more..

Role of religion in combating corruption

May 29 (SAMN) The pivotal role of religion in fighting corruption was highlighted by a panel of speakers representing the four major religions of the country, at a Consultative Council Meeting of the Sri Lanka Anti-Corruption Programme held in Colombo last week. The four speakers: Ven. Prof. Dhammavihari, Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera, Javed Yusuf and. A. R. Surendhran drew attention to the need for religious leaders, together with civil society leaders, to play more..

LTU scales down services to Lanka

May 29 (SAMN) Top German tour operator LTU has reduced its charters to one from two for the current summer whilst putting on hold a decision on the frequency for the winter. The move is a direct result of dwindling tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka from Germany, the third biggest market. Sources said that originally LTU was to operate two charter flights per week during the summer. more..

U’grads take ‘Pada Yathra’ to Temple Trees

May 29 (DM) Unemployed graduates, numbering nearly 25,000, have begun to collect one million signatures to organize a walk ending at Temple Trees, in a bid to press the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration to provide them immediate employment, as pledged under the Mahinda Chintanaya manifesto, during the 2005 presidential election campaign, by the President. more..

Busmen conditionally agree to July 1 price hike

May 29 (DM) The president of the All Ceylon Private Bus Operators Association, Gemunu Wijeratna, said that the membership of his association was agreeable to the scheduled private bus fare hike from July 1, subject to certain conditions. He says he wants an additional bus fare hike, effected within four working days, if diesel prices are increased prior to July 1. more..

Deliberate attack to cause civilian unrest - Dr. Kohona

May 29 (DN) The Peace Secretariat (SCOPP) has condemned yesterday's bomb attack as an act which was deliberately carried out by the LTTE to cause civilian unrest. The Secretary General of the Secretariat for Co-ordinating Peace Process in Sri Lanka (SCOPP), Dr.Palitha Kohona said, " The attack was deliberately carried out during rush hours of the day when people were returning to their homes after their day's work." more..

Rs. 89.5m for Matale Technical College

May 29 (DN) Vocational and Technical Training Minister Piyasena Gamage promised to allocate Rs. 89.5 million for the development of the Matale Technical College which has been set up on a 5- acre plot of land in Matale town. The Minister gave this assurance when he opened a new building costing Rs. 4.5 million at the Matale Technical College recently. The Minister also laid the foundation stone for a new two-storeyed building costing Rs. 85 million on this day. more..

Tamil prisoners file FR petitions in Supreme Court

May 29 (TN) Two Tamil civilians arrested by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) on August 11 last year at Muhamaalai in Jaffna district have filed separate Fundamental Rights (FR) applications in the Sri Lanka's Supreme Court Monday seeking the court to declare that their fundamental rights have been violated due to the illegal arrest and detention, and to order their release with appropriate compensation, legal sources said. more..

30,000 displaced return home in east

May 29 (UNHCR) In the east of Sri Lanka, in the two weeks since the launch of the government's resettlement programme in West Batticaloa, some 30,000 displaced people have returned to their homes in the Vellavelly DS division. The authorities plan to return in phases, a total of more than 90,000 displaced people from Batticaloa over the coming months. We have access to the areas of return and continue to monitor the process. more..

Elephants unlikely foe for Sri Lanka's war-displaced

May 29 (Reuters) Tamil farmer Sabaratnam Somaratnam abandoned his home in east Sri Lanka fearing it might be shelled. He returned after months in a refugee camp to find the house flattened, and stunned to find the destruction had nothing to do with the fighting between government forces and Tamil Tigers. "Look," he said, gesturing at a large round depression in the dry earth. "There are elephant's footprints. There's dung all over the place. more..

Sri Lankans held over people smuggling

May 29 (AFP) TWO Sri Lankans have been arrested in the Jakarta for allegedly running a people smuggling operation to Australia, a senior Indonesian police officer has said. The pair are suspected of organising a foiled operation earlier this year when the Australian navy intercepted a boat load of 83 Sri Lankans in its northern waters en route from Indonesia. "On them we found two counterfeit passports, 520 million rupiah ($71,000) and $US1,003 ($1,226) in cash and 234 credit cards," more..

India worried by LTTE air, sea power: Narayanan

May 29 (IANS) India is "concerned" by the air and sea capabilities of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas, a top Indian official said Tuesday. Speaking to reporters after meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, National Security Advisor MK Narayanan called the LTTE a "terrorist organisation" and said: "We are always concerned about their air and sea capabilities." more..

India favours coordinated patrolling with Lanka

May 29 (PTI) Favouring coordinated patrolling, National Security Adviser, M K Narayanan, today said that the Centre would take all necessary steps including enhancing security to protect Tamil Nadu fishermen from attacks on the high seas. "We will have to start coordinated patrolling," Narayanan told reporters after his meeting with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to discuss issues relating to the kidnapping and attack on fishermen. more..

Sri Lanka boosts security in capital after bomb attack

May 29 (Reuters) Sri Lanka tightened security in the capital on Tuesday, mounting new roadblocks to search for Tamil Tigers a day after suspected insurgents killed eight people and injured 35 with a roadside bomb, officials said. Troops stepped up checks of vehicles entering Colombo, scouring for insurgents and weapons to avoid a repeat of Monday's deadly attack -- the second such incident in the capital in a week. more..

Vaas focused on 2011 World Cup

May 30 (BBC) Sri Lanka's most experienced opening bowler says he has no plans to retire until the next Cricket World Cup. Chaminda Vaas, who was a member of the 1996 team that won the World Cup believes he might be able to play in 2011 World Cup, to be played in the sub-continent. "2011, I think I will be able to play but everything depend upon my fitness," the veteran new-ball bowler told BBC Sandeshaya. more..

Sri Lankan stones in Tehran

May 30 (PTV) Sri Lankan Foreign Minister has announced that a collection of precious stones from his country will be put on display in Tehran. Rohitha Bogollagama made the remarks during the opening ceremony of Sri Lanka-Iran Business Council in the Iranian capital. The exhibition will showcase Sri Lanka's precious stones and also provide the visitors with information about Sri Lanka's tourism potentials, he added. more..

Kiss or kick Mangala & Sripathi?

May 30 (LeN) The SLFP central committee is due to discuss today whether former minister Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Suriarachchi should be removed from the party after holding a disciplinary inquiry or take them back to the party after holding discussions with them. When Suriarachchi was in remand custody he was sent a charge sheet by the party's general secretary to which Suriarachchi replied in writing. more..

Clear Madhu, don't damage the sacred statue- Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena

May 30 (LeN) UNP parliamentarian Doctor Jayalath Jayawardena says that if the security forces are planning to launch an operation in the Madu area they should ensure the safety of the church and its sacred statue, if not a Major crisis would occur in the country. He added that conducting an operation in the area is not a problem or an issue for the UNP. more..

Special vehicle search in Colombo, 60 arrested

May 30 (LeN) After the recent bomb attacks in front of the Colombo harbour and Rathmalana air port the security forces conducted several search operations in the entry-exit points of Colombo this morning. 60 persons have been arrested on suspicion during the searches that were conducted in the areas of Colombo North, Central Colombo and Mount Lavinia. more..

Country is in a terrible situation due to the Govt. that satisfies Rajapakses & suffocates the public- Gayantha

May 30 (LeN) UNP media spokesperson Gayantha Karunathilake says that the existing government satisfies the needs of the Rajapakse's and makes the people suffer. He said that this is the worst government in the history of the country as it has failed to secure the country, keep down the cost of goods and uphold democracy and fundamental rights. more..

Tamils don't belong to Sri lanka, they should fight in Tamilnadu- Rathana thera

May 30 (LeN) JHU parliamentarian Venerable Athuraliye Rathana thera says a deputy minister should be appointed to answer the questions that are being raised regarding the presidents conduct and that the executive presidency should not be abolished instead should be amended so that it is answerable to the parliament and the judiciary. more..