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Tamils reject ‘terrorism’ allegations

May 7 (GL) Two leaders of Melbourne’s Tamil community have been arrested and charged with terrorism offenses. Aruran Vinayagamoorthy and Sivarajah Yathavan have been accused of diverting funds raised to help tsunami victims to assist the LTTE. The LTTE, which is fighting for self-determination for Sri Lanka’s oppressed Tamil minority, is considered a “terrorist” organisation by the Australian government and corporate media, although it is not on the Australian government’s list of proscribed terrorist organisations. more..

Karunanidhi on the offensive

May 7 (TNT) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi has put the center on notice yet again. Sources close to TIMES NOW have revealed that Karunanidhi wants to arrest MDMK Chief Vaiko for his pro-LTTE comments. However, the center has remained non-committal and sources say the center has said it is a matter that the Tamil Nadu government needs to resolve. more..

Adam Gilchrist and the art of innovation

May 7 (CI) Watching it was like being transported on a magic carpet to other worlds but, once the ride was over, you were left to ponder an innings that was every bit as unusual as it was resplendent. And years from now, we're still likely to be talking about the day a humble little squash ball played its part in one of the great batting efforts of our times, the day Adam Gilchrist scored 149 off 104 balls in the World Cup final. more..

No retirement plan yet for Murali

May 7 (BBC) Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan said he intended to play Test and one-day cricket for at least another two years. The 35-year-old, who received a runners-up medal at the World Cup, said he had no intention of retiring. He said: "I will have to call it a day some time. But I am hoping to play for at least another two years and see how good it is and how my fitness is. more..

US Assistant Secretary of State to arrive in the island with a tough message

May 7 (LeN) It is being reported that US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Affairs, Ambassador Richard Boucher is to visit the country on Tuesday with a tough message to the government to return to the negotiating table. Ambassador Boucher is also said to be carrying a red light message to the government regarding the worsening human rights abuses reported from Sri Lanka. more..

Heavy fighting grips Sri Lanka's northeast

May 7 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels and government forces were locked in combat in Sri Lanka's northeast Sunday with both sides claiming heavy losses against each other. A landmine detonated by Tamil Tigers killed three police commandos in eastern Sri Lanka on Sunday, the defence ministry said. The LTTE attack blew up a police Special Task Force vehicle in Batticaloa district killing three officers and wounding three more, more..

RSS warning to BJP not to politicise Ram Sethu issue

May 7 (HT) The Sangh Parivar may have launched a campaign to whip up Hindu sentiments against the Rs 2,400 crore Sehusamudram Ship Canal Project on the ground that the Ram Sethu or the Ramar bridge - believed to have been built by Lord Rama’s vanarasena (army of monkeys) - will be damaged. But it does not want the BJP to hijack the issue. So it seems if one goes by the latest editorial in RSS mouthpiece, Panchajanya. more..

Major attempts to save the Sri Lankan travel industry

May 7 (AT) The under-estimation of enemy power and the over emphasis of government forces warfare tactics have created a doubtful situation in Sri Lanka and some attempts by the rebels to attack the Bandaranaike International Airport – the only air-entry point to Sri Lanka has resulted in some airlines pulling out from Sri Lanka and the government limiting the time for aircraft operations from 4 am to 10 pm only. more..

Sri Lanka plans tougher laws to tackle terror financing

May 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka plans to include tough anti-terror financing laws into banking, insurance and securities market, in a bid to crack down on unscrupulous people using the financial system to launder money, officials said Monday. "We are looking at including elements of our anti-money laundering and financial transactions reporting laws into laws that govern the capital markets shortly," more..

New Sri Lanka company law seen cleaning up stock exchange 'default board'

May 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s new Companies Act will force firms to better comply with listing rules and help clean up the 'Default Board' of the Colombo Stock Exchange, legal experts and officials said. The new law imposes tougher penalties for non-compliance with disclosure requirements and could have a deterrent effect on listed firms who have remained for years on the so-called 'Default Board' where miscreants are dumped into by the CSE. more..

QI kingpins who ran the Goldquest scheme in Sri Lanka arrested in Indonesia

May 7 (LBO) Indonesian police have arrested top operatives of the GoldQuest scheme, while its founder is also wanted by Interpol for his activities in the Philippines, reports said. Quest International (QI) group Chief Executive Vijayeswaran Vijayaratnam, director Joseph Bismark, and two other senior executives, Donna Marie Imson and Tagumpay Kintanar were arrested Thursday The Jakarta Post reported. more..

Tigers to use ‘Mathuram’ in place of TTN

May 7 (GDI) After the closure of their propaganda broadcaster, Tamil Television Networks (TTN), the LTTE have introduced another ploy to promote their terror activities around the world by using their supplementary free channel ‘Mathuram’. The alleged TTN was closed down in Paris, it is reported that the Tigers are planning to broadcast TTN Channel contents, including news and views to promote terrorism, in their supplementary free channel Mathuram. more..

Urgent relief to flood victims

May 7 (GDI) A special team made an immediate visit to flood affected areas to look in to the degree of disaster in the District of Galle following the heavy rains and floods occurred last week. The team under the directions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa will take immediate remedial actions to provide adequate compensation for the displaced due to the catastrophe. more..

UNP should act with responsibility - Minister Anura Yapa

May 7 (GDI) Minister of Mass Media and Information Anura Priyadharshana Yapa expressed regret over the UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s irresponsible statements at a time when the Government is working with dedication to build a peaceful environment in the country so that all could live together in peace and harmony. more..

Police due to swoop on Tigers in Tamil Nadu

May 7 (AT) Intelligence reports received by “Asian Tribune” reveal that Tamil Nadu police is preparing to launch a combing operation on the suspected LTTE supporters and Sri Lankan Tamils living in the Tamil Nadu without proper documentations. Police suspect that there are elements in Tamil Nadu involved in protecting and promoting the activities of the Tamil Tiger -- a terrorist organization banned in India after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi when he was electioneering in Tamil Nadu. more..

Chance arrest of a pro-LTTE Sinhalese man exposes existence of "Revolutionary Liberation Front"

May 7 (AT) A chance arrest of a pro-LTTE Sinhalese man in Gampaha on May 3 has exposed "Revolutionary Liberation Front" (RLF), a rebel movement quietly preparing for an insurrection to topple the Government of Sri Lanka, the police said. The Sinhalese members of the RLF were trained at the LTTE's Elephant Pass camp with the aim of assisting a future power grab in South, the police said. more..

Women Workers ‘Barred From Returning Home’

May 7 (AN) About 100 Sri Lankan women, who have completed their three-year contracts as hospital cleaners, are not being allowed to return home as their company insists they remain in the Kingdom working until replacements for their jobs are found. “We came from Sri Lanka on a three-year contract and were employed at hospitals all over the Kingdom,” said a Sri Lankan janitor from Al-Dawadmi. more..

AFP oppose bail for alleged Tamil pair

May 7 (AAP) Two Melbourne men accused of supporting a Sri Lanka based terrorist organisation pose too great a flight risk to receive bail, a court has heard. Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, 32, of Mt Waverley, and Sivarajah Yathavan, 36, of Vermont South, are seeking bail in Melbourne Magistrates Court after being charged last week with terrorism offences over their support of the Tamil Tigers. more..

Shippers fear terrorist threats may affect exports

May 7 (ANN) While some economists and financial analysts have expressed fears that possible imposition of war risk surcharge on Colombo bound ships following the recent Tamil Tigers' air attacks could cripple the country’s economy, exporters said that they are yet to see the red light from insurance underwriters. Underwriters based in London promptly imposed a war risk surcharge on shipping lines using the port of Colombo following the LTTE attack on Colombo Airport in July 2001. more..

Attempts to give clean chit to LTTE by some parties flayed

May 7 (Hindu) The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has flayed some political parties for their attempts to give a clean chit to the LTTE in the recent attacks on and abduction of fishermen of Tamil Nadu. The party has decided to launch a campaign in the State to counter their propaganda. The CPI (M) has sought the Central Government's intervention to secure the release of the 12 fishermen of Kanyakumari district detained in an LTTE camp in Sri Lanka. more..

Increased air activity over Wanni

May 7 (SAMN) As the theater of war shifts to the north, there are reports of a significant increase in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and manned spy plane activity over the LTTE-controlled Wanni region, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) stated in its weekly situation report. “The SLMM can verify several of these,” the monitors said in their report for April 23 to 29. more..

Govt. ready to combat epidemic outbreak

May 7 (SAMN) Steps will be taken by the Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition to address a possible threat of epidemic outbreak with the floods caused by two day of torrential rains the country experienced last week. Over 19,000 families, with more than 60,000 people, in Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara and Galle districts were displaced by inundation caused by the heavy rains. more..

UGC ready to run universities with temporary staff

May 7 (SAMN) University Grants Commission (UGC) is ready to run the universities with non-academic staff who are on probation or contract or undergoing training due to the ongoing strike launched by the Inter University Trade Union Joint Committee. The IUTUJC consists of 23 trade unions with over 12,000 non-academics. The non-academic staff of the all universities of the country launched an island wide strike two weeks ago more..

CMC under fire over floods

May 7 (SAMN) A consensus is emerging among the public that the inaction of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) was the cause for the massive floods the City experienced on Thursday and Friday. The City Fathers should take the blame for Colombo’s flood woes, residents and town planning experts said Sunday. More than 125,000 people have been driven out of their homes and 16 killed following flash floods in Colomob and neighbouring areas, more..

Dissidents to rejoin UNP?

May 7 (TN) Sri Lanka's parliament is to meet Tuesday after Tamil-Sinhala New Year and Wesak celebrations amid speculation in political circles that some dissident parliamentarians of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) are expected to re-join the UNP. The dissidents are expected to cross over to the opposition side during the current session of the parliament, informed political sources in Colombo said. more..

Sri Lanka's Minister opposes DC system

May 7 (TN) "The proposed District Council (DC) system by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) would not help to solve the ethnic conflict. The quazi-federal constitution now in force in India would be ideal to find a lasting political solution to the conflict," Mr.Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, a senior minister and the chief whip of the SLFP in parliament told media persons. more..

Gama Neguma made development, a reality

May 7 (DN) The development of several villages in difficult and remote areas of the Matale district was accelerated by the “Gama Neguma” massive development project initiated by the Government, said Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon. “Although nearly 60 years have passed after we gained independence, many villages are yet to be electrified. Gama Neguma is addressing such anomalies,” more..

JVP opposes British Govt’s moves

May 7 (DN) The JVP vehemently opposing British government’s undue influence to its Sri Lankan counterpart over its ethnic issue, urges the peace-loving British public to change their government’s stand and approach therein. Issuing a communique the JVP Politbureau categorically denounces the airing of pro-LTTE sentiments and the unprecedented gesture of holding a debate on the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict in the British Westminister Parliament last Wednesday. more..

Kithul producers request for international market

May 7 (DM) President of the Kithul Treacle Producers Association Wasantha Witiyala sought the intervention of the Export Development and International Trade Minister, Professor G. L. Peiris to introduce to the International market the pure Kithul Treacle produced by the members of his association operating in the remote area of Kotmale. Mr.Witiyala made these representations on Friday(4) at the opening ceremony of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board branch office at Kandy Kotugotalle Vidiya. more..

Kohona told to ‘zip it’

May 7 (DM) Foreign Secretary and Government Peace Secretariat (SCOPP) head Palitha Kohona has been advised against speaking to the media in future on issues related to foreign affairs, Foreign Ministry sources told the Daily Mirror. The directive was issued by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama following an interview with the BBC Asia Today programme where he had commented on the issues that were raised at the debate on Sri Lanka at the British House of Commons last week. more..

LTTE hands over 5 SLA bodies to ICRC

May 7 (TN) LTTE officials Monday around 1:30 p.m. handed over the bodies of five soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) killed in action during a SLA initiated offensive Sunday, to a delegation of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC). The handing over event took place at Vaddakka'ndal where the LTTE Mannar (Ma:n:naar) district political secretariat is located. more..

Rama Sethu: Historic facts vs political fiction - I

May 7 (NT) Simon Cameron said, 'An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought'. Karunanidhi is a rabidly racist and dishonest politician who even after he has been bought lock, stock, barrel, will politically bolt in the opposite direction and assert his rational Dravidian right with fervour based upon his grandiloquent and self-deluding notions of 'self-respect' founded upon anti-Aryan Dravidian racism, not to stay bought. more..

Uproar in LS over Sethusamudram project

May 7 (PTI) The Lok Sabha today witnessed uproarious scenes as Opposition BJP demanded an apology from Shipping Minister T R Baalu for "misleading" the House over the Sethusamudram project and the Congress-Left combine demanding resignation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi over the fake encounter issue. Little business could be transacted as noisy scenes were witnessed during Question Hour when more..

What is the Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project (SSCP)?

May 7 (ToI) The SSCP envisages the creation of a navigable canal from the Gulf of Mannar to the Bay of Bengal through a stretch of shallow sea in the Palk Strait separating India and Sri Lanka by dredging. Two channels will be created — one across Adam’s Bridge, a chain of islets linking India with Sri Lanka, and another through the shallow Palk Bay, deepening the Palk Strait. The width of the proposed channel at the sea-bed level is 300 metres to facilitate two-way navigation. more..

Hindu temple founder suspended over Tamil Tiger claims

May 7 (TIH) The founder of a Tooting Hindu temple has been suspended from its charitable arm after allegations of links with a Tamil terrorist organisation. Negendram Seevaratnam, who set up the Armulmihu Hindu Temple, in Upper Tooting Road, says he is the victim of Government paranoia about terrorism. According to Mr Seevaratnam he has been suspended from acting for the temple's charity, Sivayogam, which previously funded five orphanages in Sri Lanka, and the charity's bank accounts have been frozen. more..

For a little peace of Island

May 7 (HN) The ‘Eelam War IV’, sparked off a year-and-half back in Sri Lanka between the LTTE and President Mahinda Rajapakse’s forces, has entered a highly intensive phase. Since the launch of ‘Operation Definite Victory’ by the Sri Lankan forces in January 2007, air attacks have been carried out on the LTTE installations. Nearly 100,000 people have been internally displaced (IDP) from the eastern and northern Tamil dominated areas, swelling the number of IDP to about 300,000. more..

Tamils arrested in Australia under Howard’s draconian “anti-terrorism” laws

May 7 (wsws) In a series of federal and state police raids in Sydney and Melbourne, two prominent members of Australia’s Tamil community were arrested on May 1 on “terrorism” charges, with the police publicly declaring that more arrests were likely to follow. The operation follows a wave of similar arrests in the United States and France of alleged supporters of the separatist LTTE in Sri Lanka. more..

Indian star's popularity leads to tax on foreign actors

May 7 (HT) The Sri Lankan film industry's overwhelming acceptance of the Bangalore lass, Pooja Umashankar, seems to have rung alarm bells among Sinhala nationalists, who fear that the local film industry, already under threat from Bollywood and Mollywood, will be swamped by Indian stars, technicians and directors. The government has slapped a tax ranging from LKR 150,000 ($ 1366) to LKR 250,000 ($ 2277) on Sri Lankan films which use foreign talent. more..

LTTE air raid shut down LPG storage facility

May 7 (HT) The LTTE's air raid on the Muthurajawela (Kerawalapitiya) LPG storage facility of Shell Gas on April 29, had led to the facility's closure, though it was said after the raid that the damage was negligible. Shell's spokesperson said in Colombo on Monday, that the fire fighting system of the plant was damaged and that in the absence of such a system the storage facility had to be shut down. more..

Sri Lanka cry foul over Gilchrist's ball-in-glove ploy

May 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka believes Adam Gilchrist's use of a squash ball as a batting aid in the World Cup final was "unethical" and may take the matter up with world cricket chiefs, officials said Monday. Gilchrist, whose record-breaking 149 led Australia to their fourth title, said later that he had a squash ball in one of his gloves to give him a better grip. "I had a squash ball in my bottom-hand to help with my grip in training and I decided in this World Cup to use it in a match," he said. more..

Sri Lanka bombs Tigers, puts security before truce

May 7 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's air force bombed a Tamil Tiger training camp near the rebels' northern stronghold on Monday, officials said, as the government vowed to put national security before a tattered truce with the insurgents. The military said air force jets pounded the site south of the Tigers' de facto capital of Kilinochchi in the island's far north, but had no details on any casualties. The Tigers were not immediately available for comment. more..

Sri Lanka urges foreign nations to curb Tiger funding

May 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka wants foreign countries to close financial loopholes currently allowing Tamil Tiger rebels to raise money overseas which later fuels the war at home, a leading banker said Monday. Central Bank of Sri Lanka Governor Nivard Cabraal said island authorities have uncovered a scam to bring 40 million dollars into the country under the guise of aid money to rebuild areas affected by the December 2004 tsunami. more..

Sri Lankan jets strike rebel targets as official acknowledges truce is being violated

May 7 (AP) Sri Lankan jets pounded rebel positions Monday as the government acknowledged a collapsing cease-fire had been repeatedly violated by both sides and said the country's national security was more important than the truce. Hours after the latest attacks on rebel targets, a Nordic truce monitoring mission said the Sri Lankan military had in recent weeks upped the number of airstrikes and assaults on the northern heartland of the Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Sri Lanka seeks new truce with Tamil Tigers

May 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka was ready to negotiate a fresh ceasefire with Tamil Tiger rebels as the Norwegian-brokered truce had virtually collapsed. Defence ministry spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said the ceasefire arranged and put in place by Norway from February 2002 had been violated more than 10,000 times and was virtually dead. "There is no point in beating round the bush," Rambukwella told reporters when asked if the government accepted that the truce agreement was still on place. more..

UCAN: Catholic leaflets warn of Asian fundamentalist 'danger'

May 8 (UCAN) “Beware of Fundamentalists" warned the thousands of leaflets Church workers handed out to the 25,000 Catholics who gathered on Divine Mercy Sunday at Risen Christ Church. The volunteers were busy on the hot afternoon of April 15 in front of the church in Kadolkelle, Negombo. According to local church sources, the 4,000-seat church will be one of Asia's largest when it is completed in the coming months. more..

Immediate measures to ensure efficiency in Public Sector

May 8 (GDI) “Through the implementation and enforcing of a new citizen charter as the Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs I’m expecting a revolutionary reform in public administration,” said Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs Karu Jayasuriya. The Minister explained of the steps which will be initiated by the Ministry in order to ensure a ‘people friendly’ and efficient public service. more..

Turn around of events, IGP behind Chandrika

May 8 (LeN) DIG N.K. Ilangakoon, on behalf of the IGP has informed the SP in charge of former president Chandrika Kumaratunga's security SSP Nimal Chndrasiri to reduce the number of security personnel of the former president to seven which is the number provided to a minister. Currently Kumaratunga has 168 security forces personnel and the total number of security personnel at her duty is 248. more..

There is only one air force, SLMM has no right to talk about the air- Keheliya

May 8 (LeN) The government's defense spokesperson minister Keheliya Rambukwella says the Sri Lanka monitoring mission has no right to talk or interfere with regards to the Air force's air observations. He made this statement at a media briefing held at the Media centre for national security this morning, touching on the weekly report made by the SLMM which says that the air force has intensified their activities in the Vanni area. more..

Sri Lanka says rebels a threat to India nuclear sites

May 8 (Reuters) The Tamil Tigers' homegrown air wing of light aircraft poses a threat to neighbouring India's nuclear installations, Sri Lanka's government said on Monday. The government has sought to play down the domestic threat of a series of rebel air raids that culminated in an air strike on oil installations near the capital a week ago. more..

Sri Lanka accuses UN of trying to shield Tamil Tigers

May 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka Monday accused a United Nations agency of trying to shield what it called the 'criminal acts' of the Tamil Tigers by not reporting two of its staffers had been abducted by the guerrillas. Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama said in a statement the government was concerned by a reference in a UN statement to the abduction of the two staffers as an 'arrest by the LTTE. more..