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Airline resumes Sri Lanka flights

May 3 (BBC) The international airline, Emirates, has said that it will resume day-time services to Sri Lanka following rebel air raids near the island's airport. An Emirates spokesman said that a review of services to the country's only international airport had concluded that a resumption was safe. The spokesman said that Emirates flights would recommence on Friday. more..

Tamil Television Network (TTN) shut down today afternoon

May 3 (AT) Tamil Television Network (TTN), a pay television channel has been shut down today at 17.00 hrs French time. Owners of TTN television in a final departing message said that they are closing down due to political pressure. TTN, a satellite Television operating out of Paris, is owned by the Tamil Tigers, formally known as LTTE, a banned terrorist organization in the European Union countries including France. more..

Sri Lanka safe to visit

May 3 (AB) The Sri Lankan Government has declared the war-torn country a safe place to visit. "As far as I am concerned there is no issue," said Faiszer Musthapha MP, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Sri Lanka. "The airlines have resumed their services and so that answers the question, ‘is it safe?'. Emirates Airline would not fly to Sri Lanka if it thought the place unsafe." more..

Australia's Tamil support hit by death, arrests

May 3 (TA) THE top tier of the Tamil Tigers support network in Australia has been dismantled following the sudden death of the Tigers' Melbourne-based leader and the arrest of two alleged members. TAFE lecturer Thillainadarajah Jeyakumar, 54, the head of the Tigers in Australia, died of a heart attack in March. Police at the time were investigating alleged illegal fundraising for the Sri Lankan separatist group. more..

Sri Lanka press ignores world Buddhism

May 3 (AT) Looking at Sri Lanka's English language press we wonder whether an unseen anti-Buddhist hand is manipulating it. More than 40 years after the Press Commission noted the scant attention that the mainstream English newspapers give to the coverage of world Buddhist news, the situation remains largely the same. more..

RADA organizes Beyond the Tsunami to help tsunami affected community

May 3 (AT) Government’s Tsunami reconstruction leader - Reconstruction and Development Agency [RADA] has taken steps to support tsunami affected community to improve their small and medium scale businesses and introduce their products to up market. RADA and some other government and non-government agencies have entered into this effort and organize handicraft exhibitions to display products of tsunami victims to international and local community. more..

PRESS FREEDOM DAY: Sri Lanka Out of the Reckoning

May 3 (IPS) "Press and freedom? In Sri Lanka?" was the incredulous response of one journalist when asked what he thought of celebrating World Press Freedom Day, May 3. "Keep my name out of this," was all he would further venture to say. That response summed up the near-petrified state of the media in this island country where a fierce ethnic civil war between Tamil rebels led by the LTTE and the Sri Lankan armed forces has crept into newsrooms, with journalists being asked to shed their neutrality and take a stand. more..

Sri Lanka conflict: the hour is late

May 3 (AT) As Johan Galtung, the pioneer in peace and conflict studies explains violence is of direct, structural and cultural forms. Direct violence is insulting the basic needs of others and such violence is considered structural when it becomes a part of social and world structures. more..

The Death of Media Freedom in Sri Lanka: FMM

May 3 (IFEX) Sri Lanka is a country at war. As a direct consequence of the increase in hostilities between the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and the LTTE, fundamental rights, including the freedom of expression and media freedom, have severely deteriorated over the past year. Despite international condemnation and repeated local protests, the GoSL and LTTE are unable, or unwilling, to put an end to a culture of impunity that has cost some journalists and human rights activists their lives and places other at severe risk. more..

If the family governance doesn't end, we are ready to chase the Rajapakse regime -Tilvin

May 3 (LeN) Chief secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva says the JVP will not hesitate to chase away the Rajapakse regime just as they helped to establish it if president Mahinda Rajapakse does not stop his dirty politics which the government is engaged in currently while protecting the Rajapakse family. more..

Two air craft deployed for Vesak security, public tensed

May 3 (LeN) The air force had deployed two TT-6 air crafts in the Chilaw skies suspecting that there would be an air attack by the LTTE yesterday being Vesak full moon Poya day. The area residents had got alarmed by witnessing these two air craft and immediately called emergency number 116 but they say it was not functioning at that moment. more..

Pakistan-Lanka series rescheduled

May 3 (PTI) The planned three-match one-day cricket series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Abu Dhabi has been rescheduled to May 18. The tournament, which was supposed to begin on May 9, will now take place from May 18 to 22. Though the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) maintains that the delay has been caused by Sri Lanka's request for rest after the World Cup, sources in the board say lack of sponsors has led to the postponement. more..

SLFP Proposals – Quo Vadis or Koheda Yanne Malle Pol?

May 3 (AT) The phrase Quo Vadis? refers to a question on where one is going (direction). The pithy Sinhala phrase “Koheda Yanne, Malle Pol” refers to an evasion of the question “Koheda Yanne? (where are you going?), either knowingly or unknowingly, even due to short of hearing of the question. When a man was asked the question where are you going, he answered by saying I have coconuts in my bag, thus not answering the question and giving an answer that had no relationship to the question. more..

In South Africa: Douglas Devananda explains prevailing situation in Sri Lanka

May 3 (AT) Douglas Devananda and V. Anandasangaree were in South Africa recently dispel the canard so far fabricated and spread in South Africa, about Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Government and about the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. They were invited by the President of South Africa to meet the South Africans in that country and to speak to them and explain the true situation prevailing in the country. more..

President favors small unit for devolution

May 3 (Xinhua) President Mahinda Rajapakse has said that a smaller unit of devolution would be the key in his political package unveiled as means to solve the island 's separatist armed conflict. The state-owned radio station SLBC reported Wednesday that Rajapakse said his SLFP devolution proposals announced on May Day envisages a smaller unit of devolution than the existing provincial councils system. more..

Heavy showers in Sri Lanka kill two in Colombo

May 3 (LBO) Two people were killed in Colombo Thursday when storm water drains overflowed, flooding parts of the Sri Lankan capital, after heavy rain accompanied by thunder and lightning. An official working for the Save the Children non-governmental organisation was swept away in to a storm water drain when she accidentally stepped on to a part of drain that did not have a cover, more..

Palitha Kohona says 30% of the monthly US$ 30million LTTE fundraising throughout world is from Australia, tips more arrests

May 3 (AT) There will be more arrests over illegal fundraising for the LTTE in Australia. And Sri Lanka estimates that the LTTE raised US$10-30 million a month throughout the world and 20-30 per cent of that comes from Australia said Dr Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka's Secretary of Foreign Affairs, speaking to the Australian media. more..

Restoration work on Galle fortress

May 3 (GDI) The Central Cultural Fund is engaged in excavating the buried remnants of the DutchFortress in Galle. The Fund is also planning to remove trees growing on walls of the fortress. They plan to uproot the trees without causing harm to the walls. This will be done by killing the trees with an injection. Galle Dutch Fort is named the 38th World Heritage. more..

Archbishop of Canterbury to visit Sri Lanka

May 3 (GDI) The Most Revd Dr. Rowan Douglas Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and the spiritual head of the worldwide Anglican Church comprising more than 70 million members, will be in Sri Lanka from May 7 to 11. This will be Archbishop Williams' first visit to the Anglican Church in Sri Lanka since his accession to the See of Canterbury. more..

TDC wants APPG to interact with the wider Tamil community without limiting itself to the proscribed LTTE

May 3 (ISL) Tamil Democratic Congress (TDC) welcomes the formation of the All Party Group for the Tamils in the British Parliament. The formation of this group is timely and is welcome by the cross section of the Tamil community. The TDC takes this opportunity to wish the founder parliamentarians every success in their efforts to represent the views of the Tamils and help find a lasting resolution to the conflict in Sri Lanka. more..

Plea to seek release of fishermen

May 3 (Hindu) The Government on Wednesday urged the Centre to take steps to secure the release of 12 Indian fishermen, including a Keralite, who are in the custody of LTTE in Sri Lanka. Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan told presspersons here that the Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu, had informed the State that the boat and the crew, who had set out for fishing from the Neendakara port in the State on March 4, were in LTTE custody. more..

Journalists terrorized: CJA

May 3 (LNP) Terrorism, like other factors that disrupts society, must be fought. But even in the `old` Commonwealth this is being used as an excuse by people with a security mind-set to stop reporters, newspapers, and cameraman doing their work, the Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA) said. more..

Approach to proposals should be cautious

May 3 (LNP) Aluth Avurudu, World Cup Cricket, Vesak and May Day; all these events that came in quick succession and kept our politicians and our people enthralled and absorbed for the last few weeks are now over. Renewed in spirit and strengthened morally by these events, the country`s collective political leadership has to return to the national issue quickly and vigorously. more..

To all who supported Sri Lanka Cricket?

May 3 (LNP) Disappointed? Not really! That is the beauty of supporting Sri Lanka. We knew they were the underdogs, yet the whole world pinned their hopes on them because they love them and believed they were the only team that could beat the Aussies. In the end it was not the Aussies that beat us, nor was it a convincing win as they try to make everyone believe. It was the rain and the only gentleman in the Aussie team, Adam Gilchrist. more..

SLFP proposals against Mahinda mandate

May 3 (SAMN) Most political parties representing Parliament have now rejected the SLFP power devolution proposals to resolve the national question, with the JVP blaming the ruling party for the non-inclusion of its commitment to preserve the unitary character of the country. The Tamil parties and the UNP criticized the SLFP proposals as a step a backward, but the JVP said this set of proposals was totally against the mandate given to the Mahinda Chintana policies at the last Presidential election. more..

1,698 illicit liquor centres raided

May 3 (SAMN) Liquor bars, shops and outlets in the country will continue to be closed until May 5. These centres were closed on April 29 in view of Vesak. Although the liquor shops and bars were closed by law, raids carried out by the officials of the Excise Department has been able to take into custody around 1,850 persons for violating the law. more..

Govt secures 75pc of 2007 aid quantum

May 3 (SAMN) The Government has received more than 75 percent of foreign aid out of the Rs.100 billion anticipated for the year 2007 with the signing of agreements to receive Rs.72 billion within the first four months of the year. State Revenue and Finance Minister Dr Ranjith Siyambalapitiya told the Daily News that it was a great victory on the part of the Government to receive such amounts of foreign aid within such a short span of time amidst criticism from the Opposition ranks. more..

Spending power of tourists to be raised

May 3 (SAMN) Sri Lanka is expecting to increase the spending power of each tourist from the present average of US $ 84 per day to US $ 130 soon, Sri Lanka Tourist Chairman , Renton de Alwis said. The Sri Lanka Tourist Board (SLTB) is also looking at increasing the total earnings from the industry from US $ 549 million to US $ 600 by the end of the year. more..

SLFP proposals not ultimate document of party - Prof. Vitharana

May 3 (DN) The devolution proposals submitted by the SLFP is not a final document of the party but is subject to discussion and amendments, at the forum of the All Party Representative Committee (APRC), APRC Chairman, Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana said. "The APRC at the last meeting agreed that the basis for future discussion should be the document that the APRC Chairman has submitted. more..

Current situation, an opportunity to improve tourism products - SLTB Chairman

May 3 (DN) The current security situation in the country is in some ways an opportunity to improve the products and infrastructure in relation to the tourism sector, the Sri Lanka Tourist Board (SLTB) Chairman Renton de Alwis said. He said that there are some areas of business that could be opened up for the local market, as our business community is quite capable of coming out with innovative products to attract tourism during this period. more..

May Day rally: JTU adopts three resolutions

May 3 (DM) The joint Trade Union May Day celebration was held on Monday with the participation of 16 trade unions that represent both state and private sector employees. The demonstration commenced from opposite the Fort Railway Station after mid noon and proceeded to the venue of the rally Hyde Park via Olcott Mawatha, Maradana passing Maradana Railway Station, Lipton Circus and Union Place. more..

Yahoo Photos

May 3 (AP) A cricket fan greets Sri Lankan cricket captain Mahela Jayawardena with garlands outside the Katunayake International Airport upon their arrival from West Indies in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, May 3, 2007. more..

Our political cadres do not carry arms says TMVP

May 3 (DM) The Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Pullikal (TMVP), the Karuna faction, is refusing to admit that its political cadres carry weapons inside and outside their offices in government controlled areas in the east, despite several journalists having observed and reported otherwise. Journalists who visited Batticaloa and Pottuvil recently saw political officers of the TMVP with pistols and T-56 rifles inside their offices, interviewing people. more..

Sethusamudram project issue rocks Parliament

May 3 (ToI) The Sethusamudram project issue rocked both Houses of Parliament on Thursday with an aggressive BJP accusing the Government of attempting to destroy evidence of the existence of ancient 'Ram Setu'(bridge) linking India and Sri Lanka. Countering the claim in Lok Sabha, Shipping Minister T R Baalu, joined by DMK members, strongly objected to the issue being raised in the House on the ground that it was subjudice. He said the matter was pending in the Allahabad High Court. more..

Will May 3rd Poll Result in Scotland Seceding from U.K.?

May 3 (TW) May 1st this year marked the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union which formally joined England and Scotland together as constituents of the United Kingdom. As Scotland goes to polls on May 3rd that “union ” may be in dire straits with the Scottish Nationalist Party campaigning on a separatist platform. The Scotland situation will impact on Sri Lanka where a debate rages about pros and cons of devolution. more..

Sri Lanka shares, rupee weaken as rebel air threat loom large

May 3 (LBO) The Sri Lankan rupee weakened Thursday and share prices fell as investors remained jittery over the Tamil Tiger rebel air threat and a series of holidays keeping some players out of the market. The rupee slipped to 110.90 against the dollar. The Colombo stock market fell after a late opening due to technical problems, with the Vesak religious holidays and Tamil Tiger air raids contributing to the gloomy mood. more..

Britain rules out lifting LTTE ban

May 3 (BBC) The British government has warned of widespread fraud scams across the country, which it says could be funding terrorist acts in Sri Lanka. The foreign office minister, Kim Howells told parliament during a debate on Sri Lanka that intelligence reports indicated that fraudulently obtained cash might be finding its way to the rebel Tamil Tigers. Minister Howells also ruled out lifting the ban on the Tamil Tigers. more..

Sri Lankan team honored on return from cricket World Cup

May 3 (AP) The World Cup runner-up Sri Lankan cricket team was honored with an elaborate ceremony and a parade through the capital when its players returned home Thursday. Traditional dancers and drummers performed near the tarmac as the players descended from a Qatar Airways flight, and they were draped with garlands by Sports Minister Bandula Basnayake and other officials, amid light showers. more..

Emirates aims to hike stake in SriLankan Airlines

May 3 (PTI) Emirates Airline plans to increase its stake in SriLankan Airlines from current 43 per cent, a senior official of the Lankan carrier has said. Emirates and Government of Sri Lanka would hold talks this month in Colombo to discuss renewal of management contract and transfer of stake, SriLankan Airlines (SLA) Regional Manager Mohamed Fazeel said. more..

Govt 'turning blind eye' to Tamil Tigers

May 3 (APP) The federal government has been accused of turning a blind eye to Tamil Tigers' activities in Australia, allowing the separatist group to build up its air attack wing. Singapore-based terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna says the Tigers have been procuring aircraft, arms, explosives and other technological devices from Australia for more than a decade. more..

British diplomat to meet with Tamil rebels, urge return to peace talks

May 3 (AP) A senior British diplomat will travel to northern Sri Lanka to urge Tamil Tiger rebels to return to peace talks, a British official said Thursday, amid intensified fighting on the troubled island. Britain's Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Lesley Craig had been due to travel Thursday to Kilinochchi, the main rebel-held city, but the trip was postponed, British High Commission spokesman John Culley said. more..

UK peace mission to LTTE HQ postponed

May 3 (HT) A visit by the British Deputy High Commissioner Leslie Craig to the LTTE's political headquarters in Kilinochchi to help kick start the stalled Sri Lankan peace process has been postponed indefinitely. "The visit has been postponed, not cancelled," says High Commission spokesman John Cully, when asked if the visit planned for Thursday was on. more..

Britain to withhold some aid payments to Sri Lanka as fighting intensifies

May 3 (AP) Government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels clashed for a third straight day in northern Sri Lanka on Thursday, as Britain suspended some aid payments to the country amid the intensified fighting. The insurgents attacked a bunker along the defensive lines outside Vavuniya, the last government-held town before rebel territory in northern Sri Lanka, killing a police officer, more..

Aussie parts 'used in rebel bombings'

May 3 (AAP) THE Federal Government has been accused of turning a blind eye to Tamil Tigers' activities in Australia, allowing the separatist group to build up its air attack wing. Singapore-based terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna says the Tigers have been procuring aircraft, arms, explosives and other technological devices from Australia for more than a decade. more..

U.K. will counter illegal fundraising by Sri Lanka Tamil rebels

May 3 (BN) The U.K. will stop illegal fundraising by the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam that serves only to prolong Sri Lanka's civil conflict, Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells said. Security agencies in the U.K. are moving to "counter the bullying, threats and acts of fraud that are used regularly to extract money from the Tamil population and others in the country," Howells told Parliament in London yesterday. more..

Sri Lankan ex-president stripped of perks

May 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Supreme Court on Thursday stripped former president Chandrika Kumaratunga of her official staff and 36 government cars, saying that she was not entitled to extravagant privileges. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Sarath Silva held that it was also illegal for her to occupy a state bungalow refurbished at huge cost to the state. more..

UK withholds multi-million dollar aid to Sri Lanka

May 3 (Reuters) Britain is withholding millions of dollars worth of aid to Sri Lanka until the island's government meets agreed human rights and defence spending conditions, a British High Commission spokesman said on Thursday. The sanction comes as both the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels ignore repeated pleas from the international community to halt a new chapter of a two-decade civil war that has killed around 68,000 people since 1983. more..

Sri Lanka close airport at night after Tamil Tiger attacks

May 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka's international airport will close at night from next week following a spate of bombing raids by Tamil Tiger aircraft taking the cover of darkness, a top aviation official told AFP. The Bandaranaike International Airport would close for six hours nightly from May 10, acting director general of Civil Aviation Parakrama Dissanayake said, which would give international airlines a week to reschedule their flights to the troubled island. more..

Sri Lanka tea export earnings boosted by high prices

May 4 (LBO) Sri Lankan tea exports fell in the first quarter of 2007 but earnings were up because of high prices caused by supply shortages owing to a strike and dry weather, brokers said. Shipments of Ceylon tea in January-March 2007 fell 4% to 74.4 million kg from the record 77.8 million kg shipped in the same quarter the previous year, brokers Asia Siyaka Commodities said. more..

Meanwhile: The god who flew off with a mountain

May 4 (AP) It takes chutzpah for an Indian villager to stay angry at one of the most popular gods in the Hindu pantheon, but Padhan Patti feels she has a good reason. If I hike another few hours, she says, I will see the huge "bleeding" scar on the side of Dunagiri Mountain where Hanuman, the flying monkey god, sliced off a big chunk of mythological real estate. more..