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Sinking CMC runs into storm

May 31 (DM) The Colombo Municipal Council which faces dissolution was plunged into a stormy session with some councillors blaming Mayor Mohamed U. Emtiyaz for the current crisis in the council. UPFA councillor Ariyaratne Wedage charged that the mayor had made matters worse by criticizing Chief Minister Reginald Cooray. Mr. Wedage was referring to an alleged statement by the mayor, that ‘it is better if the chief minister takes up singing.’ more..

Japan to provide warning system

May 31 (DM) In response to the request from the Government of Sri Lanka, the Government of Japan conducted a basic design study on the grant aid project: “Improvement of Meteorological and Disaster Information Network.” The grant aid assistance will be a part of the National Early Warning System in Sri Lanka. The delegation of JICA headed by Mr. Hideki Sakata. more..

Bomb hoax causes panic in Colombo

May 31 (TN) An abandoned auto rickshaw with a suspicious parcel inside, found close to a Buddhist Shrine along Olcott Mawatte, created panic in Fort area Colombo Wednesday evening at peak traffic time, sources in Colombo said. Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers and Policemen rushed to the site blocking traffic, but the bomb disposal squad discovered a number of bricks inside the parcel. more..

English stumps Sri Lanka's umpires

May 31 (AFP) Sri Lanka's first-class umpires have cried foul over a competitive examination conducted in English by the cricket governing body to rank them for international matches. Umpires who lacked English knowledge protested and walked out blaming the authorities for not holding the test in Sinhalese, an official language on par with Tamil in this former British colony. more..

White van squads abduct 2 Tamils in Colombo

May 31 (TN) Unknown men in a white van, pretending as Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers, took away a trader in Dehiwela, a suburb of Colombo Saturday, according to complaints made by his wife to the Dehiwela police. Meanwhile, in a separate incident, armed men arriving in a white van took away a youth Monday from his house in Mattakuliya, Colombo 15, relatives complained to the Civil Monitoring Committee, more..

Yahoo Photos

May 31 (AP) A Sri Lankan Ethnic Tamil Hindus prays during a Murugan temple festival in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, May 31, 2007. Sri Lanka's army and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels clashed in northern Sri Lanka killing two guerrillas, the military said Thursday, more..

War between rebel factions looms

May 31 (AKI) A new factional war is threatening to erupt in the volatile eastern Batticaloa district of Sri Lanka as leaders of three groups within the separatist rebels of the LTTE are said to be jostling for supremacy. Simmering differences between Karuna, the leader of the TMVP faction and arch rival of LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakran, and the deputy leader of the TMVP, Pillayan, came to a head early this week with Pillayan reportedly issuing a 'final warning' to Karuna to leave the party. more..

Food shortages, fear of abductions - Jaffna residents feel the pinch

May 31 (IRIN) Last year at this time 16-year-old Jeevun Kumaraswamy, who lives on the isolated Jaffna peninsula in northern Sri Lanka, was on top of the world. His school, Jaffna Central College, was competing against traditional rivals St. John's College in the centenary game of their annual cricket match. Jaffna was decked-out in flags. The kids were dancing in the streets. more..

Sri Lanka tyre maker bids to re-invent the wheel

May 31 (AFP) One of the world's biggest solid tyre makers is trying to double its turnover and turn Sri Lanka into a key exporter of rubber products. Raw rubber has been the country's second largest export commodity after tea, but a Belgian-Sri Lanka joint venture is trying to re-invent the way wheels are made and make the island a global hub for tyres. more..

On the frontline in Sri Lanka

May 31 (AJ) In the dead of night, a half moon shining above, 50 men from the Sri Lankan infantry inch their way along a mud track softened by a brief downpour of rain. We moved with them, passing within a few hundred metres of Tamil Tiger positions. No one spoke, wary of the hit and run expertise of one of the deadliest guerrilla forces in the world. The other concern was mines and the fear that your next step could be your last. more..

Al Jazeera interview with President: Peace through war in Sri Lanka

May 31 (AJ) "The ceasefire has failed," Sri Lanka's president says, and peace is not far away. Compared to the otherwise complex details of Sri Lankan politics, this paradoxical formulation is relatively simple to interpret: although the war against the Tamil Tigers has resumed, the army is winning, and it will not be long before the rebels' leader, Prabhakaran, recognises this and stops his aggression. more..

Tamil-speaking Muslims re-discover ties across borders

May 31 (HT) Tamil-speaking Muslims from Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and Malaysia are now re-discovering and re-establishing linguistic, cultural and religious ties which had weakened considerably over the last 400 years. Islamic literature in Tamil has provided the rallying point for the new hands-across-borders movement. There has been a series of conferences and workshops on Islamic literature in the Tamil language in Colombo and Chennai over the last few years, more..

India opposes Lanka seeking arms from Pak, China

May 31 (PTI) Sri Lanka should not seek weapons from Pakistan or China, but should come to India for its requirements, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan said here today. He told reporters here after meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi that "We are a big power in the region. We don't want the Sri Lankan government to go to Pakistan or China. Whatever may be their requirement, the Sri Lankan government should come to us." more..

Sri Lanka says may scrap tattered truce with rebels

May 31 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's government may scrap what is left of a "flawed" 2002 ceasefire pact with the Tamil Tigers within weeks, the island's defence spokesman said on Thursday, a move analysts fear could escalate renewed civil war. Defence spokesman and government minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the Norwegian-brokered truce, which now holds only on paper after breaking down on the ground last year, no longer reflected reality, citing Tamil Tiger ambushes and attacks on security forces. more..