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Jeyaraj killing has shocked all layers of Lankan society - Mano Ganeshan

Apr 9 (LD) The killing of Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle has shocked all layers of Lankan society including the Tamil populace of Colombo, said Western Peoples Front Leader and Civil Monitoring Committee Convener Mano Ganeshan, MP, in a media communiqué. “We register our strongest condemnation to this dastardly act of violence. It strengthens our resolve further in seeking non-violent conclusion to the ethnic strife,” Ganeshan said in his statement. more..

Ranaweera Pathirana disrupts media briefing in support of Weerawansa

Apr 9 (LD) A media conference organized by a group of JVP MPs in support of the suspended Wimal Weerawansa was disrupted by Anurdhapura district parliamentarian Ranaweera Pathirana who had initially declared his allegiance with the defectors. Eleven MPs of the JVP organized the briefing at Hotel Nippon in Colombo at 2.30 pm today (Apr. 08th). Mr. Weerawansa did not participate due to security reasons, while there was a large presence of police and Air Force personnel in the vicinity of the venue. more..

War will not stop development -President

Apr 9 (Reuters) Sri Lanka would not cut funds for the nation's vital infrastructure development, despite fighting a continued bloody civil war, the country's president said on Tuesday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is also finance minister said economic development and elimination of terrorism should be done simultaneously. "We will implement all the infrastructure projects to develop the country while successfully facing terrorism," more..

'I spent my entire young life for the party. Today, my heart cries out'

Apr 9 (LD) “I spent my entire young life for the party. Today, my heart cries out,” former leader of the JVP’s Parliamentary Group Wimal Weerawansa has said. Mr. Weerawansa was making an emotional speech to Parliament today (Apr. 08th) following the decision of the JVP’s Central Committee to suspend his party membership. more..

'Liberation can never be achieved by assassination of individuals'

Apr 9 (LG) “News of the assassination of Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, a brother Minister of the Government I represent and a sincere friend of mine, deeply shocked us” says Douglas Devananda, Secretary General of the EPDP and Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare in issuing a statement on the brutal suicide bomb attack on the Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. “We share our deep sorrow with the aggrieved and shocked public over the loss of their eloquent Political Leader” more..

'Ruling SLFP leading to blindfolded Zimbabwe style'

Apr 9 (LG) Addressing a Media conference today (8 April), UNP M.P. S. B. Dissanayake, re-echoed the UNP view that violence in any form should be condemned while expressing his condolence in relation to the death of Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. With the Sinhala New Year round the corner, this Govt. is going to make this New Year the blackest ever for the people in Sri Lanka’s history citing the lame and oft heard false excuse: the ethnic war! more..

Batticaloa: An uncertain restoration

Apr 9 (LG) About 10 months after the security forces (SFs) wiped out the LTTE from the entire Eastern province, the Sri Lankan Government, on March 10, 2008, conducted elections to nine local body Councils in the Batticaloa District. The Elections marked the completion of the local body polls in the District, as in 2006, elections could be held only for three councils out of 12, due to the unstable security situation. more..

Holy Madu church destroyed - TNA MP

Apr 9 (LG) Sri Lankan government Security forces are indiscriminately shelling Madu, Our Lady, Holy Church in Mannar for past few weeks and Madu shrine was damaged due to the intense shelling from the SF since the Our Lady Statue taken away from Madu. K. Baskaran, a photographer who visited the Madu church on Sunday have taken the pictures which shows the extent of the damage to the shrine from the Forces shelling on Madu church. more..

After Jeyaraj

Apr 9 (AT) The assassination of Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle is the second killing of a government minister for this year, but only the latest of many dozen politicians, government and opposition, Sinhala and Tamil, Buddhist, Hindu and Christian, slain over the years by the Tamil Tigers. The Tigers kill civilians in shops, trains, buses and villages. They kill troops and policemen, in the battlefield and off duty. They kill members of the political elite. more..

Sri Lanka to protest IMF inflation research: Central Bank

Apr 9 (LBO) Central bank said it was protesting to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after a research study said only a quarter of the country's inflation in recent years could be explained by external factors. "And I will make that comment very strongly when I go to IMF next week because I think they must also become more responsible in their actions," Central Bank governor Nivard Cabraal said. more..

'LTTE suspect' further remanded

Apr 9 (BBC) The judiciary in Sri Lanka has allowed police to detain a Singapore national suspected of having links wit the LTTE until 07 May. The Colombo magistrate also ordered the police to produce the suspect, Muttusamy Ilangovan, to Judicial Medical Officer. The suspect is believed to be a senior leader of the LTTE's international naval operations, according to the police. He is also accused of staying in Sri Lanka although his visa was expired. more..

New fighting kills 27 rebels, 1 soldier in north

Apr 9 (AP) Fighting between government forces and Tamil separatists in Sri Lanka's embattled north left 27 rebels and one soldier dead, the military said Tuesday. Violence has heightened in this Indian Ocean island in recent months amid a government push to capture the Tamil Tiger rebels' de facto state in the north and crush the group by year end. But diplomats and other observers say the army is facing more resistance than it had expected. more..

Lankan envoy announces visa free entry for Pak traders

Apr 9 (TP) Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr WB Dorakumbure, Sri Lankan High Commission Islamabad's Consul General Sidath Kumar and Pakistan Sri Lanka Business Council Chairman Rehmat Ullah Javaid visited some leading industrial units in Sambrial, Uggoki and Sialkot city, amid tight security. Addressing a meeting of Sialkot business community held at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) here Tuesday, more..

Govt. battling on all fronts

Apr 9 (ML) While International Trade Minister and UNP renegade National List MP G.L. Peiris returned to the country two weeks ago after a failed mission in Brussels to secure the GSP Plus facility, the UNP last week vowed to call for his explanation over allegedly making a false statement against Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in cabinet. more..

The murder of Jeyaraj and lapses in security

Apr 9 (ML) As the shocking news of Chief Government Whip, Minister of Highways and Roads Development Jeyaraj Fernandopulle reached us, an opposition legislator reputed for locking horns with the slain member remarked: "That House is never going to be the same." In short, a parliament without Jeyaraj would be similar to Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark. Unerringly, the member identified the trait that made Jeyaraj Fernandopulle different, a force to reckon with, more..

JVP splinters as defectors turn on each other

Apr 9 (ML) Pandemonium reigned at the press conference held by the JVP defectors yesterday, when Anuradhapura District JVP Parliamentarian Ranaweera Pathirana condemned JVP parliamentary group leader Wimal Weerawansa’s statement made in parliament yesterday. Pathirana made his remarks at the press briefing held by the JVP defectors in Colombo and accused Weerawansa for making a statement that could tarnish the good image of the party. more..

Dayananda vetoes bearing of arms at Eastern polls

Apr 9 (ML) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake yesterday ruled that parties contesting the eastern provincial council election should not carry arms or use government vehicles. Dissanayake said this during a meeting with party leaders and representatives at the Elections Commissioner’s Department. However, TMVP spokesperson Azath Moulana told The Morning Leader that its leader Pillayan did not attend the meeting. more..

Sri Lanka should end 'poor' mentality: President

Apr 9 (LBO) Sri Lankans should stop thinking themselves as being 'poor' and develop a mentality that they are stakeholders with some means in taking the country forward, President Mahinda Rajapakse said. In 2007 Sri Lanka's economy expanded by an estimated 6.8 percent against 7.7 percent a year earlier. "We have two big challenges. Saving the country from terrorism and balance regional growth," more..

Sri Lankan civil war drives "Our Lady of Madhu" into exile

Apr 9 (IL) Things are getting worse as the Sri Lankan civil war drags on. Even "God" is not exempt from the affects of the three-decade-long war between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan armed forces. "Our Lady of Madhu" and her believers were forced to search for safety after heavy battle broke out early last week between the LTTE and the SLA (Sri Lankan Army). This, no doubt has shocked Catholics around the world. more..

Treasury broke, Govt. says ‘ No’ to increase in new year allowances

Apr 9 (BL) The government has refused an increase in the new year allowance for state sector employees citing a lack of funds in the Treasury. According to the General Secretary of Trade Union Confederation, Saman Rathnapriya the Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs, Karu Jayasuriya had told the union that they had requested the treasury to approve the New Year allowance but they had not received any favourable response as the treasury did not have funds. more..

SLFP in crisis over Basil or Nimal as Jeyaraj replacement

Apr 9 (BL) A fresh crisis is brewing within the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) over the replacement of party strongman Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. The Bottom Line reliably learns that the party is already divided over who should take over Fernandopulle’s responsibilities, with some proposing the name of Presidential Advisor and Parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksa, while others have proposed the name of ministers Maithripala Sirisena, Nimal Siripala de Silva and Susil Premajayantha. more..

Plans to kill TNA website?

Apr 9 (BL) Moves are afoot to block the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) website, on grounds that the site directly contributes to separation of the country. The website, openly promotes the Tamil Eelam concept and states that, “Geographically, the island of Sri Lanka appears as one land but historically there have been two nations in it. North and the East of the island of Sri Lanka is the traditional homeland of Tamils. more..

Jittery JVP sees red

Apr 9 (BL) The JVP yesterday faced a day of reckoning after ex-JVP strongman Wimal Weerawansa admitting in Parliament that he had been expelled from the party and a group of 11 JVP rebels supporting the ousted MP’s cause found a mole in their midst slap bang in the middle of a press conference in Colombo. In an uncharacteristically emotional speech where the MP nearly broke down on several occasions the usually firebrand Weerawansa claimed that he never expected more..

UN appeals for protection of civilians following suicide attack

Apr 9 (UN) The United Nations has urged all parties to the conflict in Sri Lanka to do everything they can to protect civilians, after a suicide attack this weekend in the capital, Colombo, claimed the lives of 15 people. In a statement issued today by the Office of the Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, the UN strongly condemned Sunday’s attack which occurred during a sporting event. Among those killed were Government Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and several well-known athletes. more..

Elite Sri Lankan commandos kill three troops in mishap: police

Apr 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka's elite police commandos shot dead at least two soldiers and a civilian in a case of mistaken identity during a search in the restive east of the island, police said. The Special Task Force commandos opened fire at a group of men they believed were members of the Tamil Tiger separatist movement, but they turned out to be troops on a similar mission in Ampara district, a police official said. more..

Armour protection systems

Apr 9 (SLW) The Sri Lanka Army has lessons to learn in terms of protecting armoured columns and tanks against insurgents/ guerrillas/terrorists in urban, lightly-built-up and open terrains. This will be necessary in order to avert a disaster of the nature of Omanthai I. The Israeli Defence Forces’ pride, the Merkava-4 (God's Chariot-4) is an international product of that learning. more..

Mullaiththeevu faces fuel crisis

Apr 9 (TN) “The quantity of fuel supplied by the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) for medical and health related services in Mullaiththeevu district has been drastically reduced creating great difficulties in implementing the various health services in this district," Dr.T.Varatharajah, Director of Health services of Mullaiththeevu region said. Dr.Varatharajah speaking to TamilNet said: more..

Goods unfit for consumption forced on Jaffna residents

Apr 9 (TN) Commissioner of Essential Services Department and certain Ministries force consumer goods of low quality and unsuitable for human consumption on families entirely dependent on relief supplies in Jaffna peninsula, Jaffna Secretariat sources said. Authorities in Colombo routinely overlook the list of requirements sent to the authorities in Colombo, and ship unwanted items unfit for local consumption, sources added. more..

Is Hakeem walking on a sharp knife?

Apr 9 (LG) It was June 20, 2001. Rauff Hakeem had just walked across the aisle in parliament into opposition ranks and dealt a death blow to the second Chandrika Kumaratunga administration. He sat among journalists in one of the parliament dining rooms and mused aloud of the crossover of the seven SLMC parliamentarians. "My neck is on the line," he said. His neck is once again on the line - last week he upped the stakes in next month's Eastern Provincial Council election by resigning from his parliament seat, more..

War On “Prabhakaran”

Apr 9 (LG) The Singala-Tamil bilingual feature film Prabhakaran is facing more and more troubles from Pro Tamil Eazham activists from Chennai. Thol Thirumavalavan, the VCK Founder, has successfully got the interim stay on this film for screening within the Indian Territory. Now the Gemini Colour Laboratory refused to handover the Sinhalese and Tamil language negatives robbed from the Director of the controversial film titled Prabhakaran. more..

'Appeal to Norway to save Madhu church a desparate Ploy'

Apr 9 (AT) The LTTE are losing the battle against the military might of the Sri Lankan armed forces in the North. The Sri Lankan army is pushing further into the illegally controlled territories held by the LTTE in the North and are fast approaching the Mannar region. It is evident that the North will soon be liberated just like the East from the clutches of the LTTE. The LTTE cadres will have nowhere to run pretty soon in comparison to “Operation Checkmate” during the IPKF period. more..

'AMED summit in Egypt focuses on terrorism and other compelling issues'

Apr 9 (AT) Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rohitha Bogollagama addressed the Asia-Middle East Dialogue Summit (AMED) in Egypt on the subject of Effective Governance and Political and Economic Transformations. In this address, Minister Bogollagama touched upon and highlighted the compelling issues such as efficaciousness and challenges of governments, measures of counter terrorism, and elements of good governance and dynamics of modern democracies among others. more..

Society denounces brutal terror attack that killed Minister Jeyaraj

Apr 9 (GDI) The President of Amarapura Maha Sangha Sabha Aggamahapanditha Ven. Kotugoda Dammawasa Nayake Thera with superior patriot of Amarapura Maha Nikaya Aggamahapanditha Davuldena Sri Gnanissara Thera and other Nayake Theras in a condolence message yesterday said the late Minister Fernandopulle was committed to serve the public. The message under the hand of Ven. Aggamaha Panditha Kotugoda Dammawasa Nayake Thera says: more..

'Jeyarj was a tower of strength to President'

Apr 9 (GDI) While vehemently condemning the brutal terrorists attack that killed Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and several others causing injuries to more than 90 civilians, Minister of Mass Media and Information Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said that Minister Jeyaraj was a great leading political character in the history Sri Lanka and the SLFP. "Fernandopulle who clearly understood his epochal political role expressed his views in a logical and experienced manner and more..

Canadian Parliamentarian presents petition against LTTE

Apr 9 (GDI) A civic petition was presented against LTTE terrorist activity in Canada by a Parliamentarian Art Hanger yesterday (8th). The MP speaking on the petition said that it focused on the subject of eradicating terrorism with special reference to the Sri Lankan based terrorist organization LTTE. "I am honoured to present a petition submitted to this House by 1,068 Canadian residents throughout the length and breadth of this country on more..

Government denies unfounded allegations regarding the Madhu Shrine

Apr 9 (GDI) The Government categorically denies allegations emanating from certain quarters that Sri Lankan security forces have been shelling the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu, sacred to the Catholic community, and held in high esteem by all communities in Sri Lanka. Acting Foreign Minister, Hussein A. Bhaila met the Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency Monsignor Mario Zenari at the Foreign Ministry today (08 April 2008) and briefed him on the present situation at the Madhu Shrine. more..

Sri Lanka wins 'Genus Award', Gold and Silver medals

Apr 9 (GDI) Sri Lanka won "Genius Award", Gold and Silver medals at the 36th International Exhibition of Inventions, Techniques and Products of Geneva which was held at Geneva Palexpo (Hall 7) in Switzerland from 2nd to 6th April 2008. This exhibition which was held under the patronage of the Swiss Federal Government and the State and the City of Geneva is considered to be the world's largest market place for inventions. more..

Wijayadasa Rajapakshe demands Rs. 20 m from SLRC

Apr 9 (LD) President’s Counsel Wijayadasa Rajapakshe has sent a letter of demand to the state-owned Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, citing a breach of contract on the telecast of his “Hiru Sandu Arana” variety show, and seeking Rs. 20 million as compensation. The variety show was held with the presence of distinguished invitees at Water’s Edge on February 06th 2008. more..

Two new MPs sworn in

Apr 9 (LD) Two new Members of Parliament were sworn in before Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara this morning. They are Abdul Majeed Naushad of the UNP and Solomon Cyril of the TNA. Mr. Naushad filled the vacancy created by the resignation of SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem in the Digamadulla district. The one-time Assistant Secretary of the UNP, contesting under the SLMC ticket, polled the second highest number of preferential votes at the last general election. more..

UNICEF welcomes child recruit releases

Apr 9 (LD) UNICEF today welcomed the release of 11 children from the ranks of the TMVP as a “positive step towards ending the use of children by armed groups in Sri Lanka.” Speaking from Colombo, the head of the UN children’s agency in Sri Lanka, Philippe Duamelle, highlighted the important role played by the government in securing the release of the children, and encouraged the TMVP to pursue the release of all children in its ranks. more..

"JVP didn’t want ‘bad odour’ of Weerawansa’s charges to spread"

Apr 9 (LD) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna did not allow MP Wimal Weerawansa to initiate legal action against the media and other quarters for the various allegations leveled against him, as the party wanted to prevent the ‘bad odour’ of the charges from spreading outside the country, party leader Somawansa Amarasinghe said. Mr. Amarasinghe, speaking at a media briefing in Colombo this morning was more..

Wimal speaks in Parliament (Part 2)

Wimal speaks in Parliament (Part 1)

Bomb hoax delays train services

Apr 9 (LNP) A bomb hoax delayed train and bus services to Kandy yesterday (08). The morning intercity express train from Kandy to Colombo was halted near the Peradeniya Railway station following information of a parcel bomb in a compartment. The train was stopped outside the station platform and was checked by police who found a parcel containing clothes. The train resumed its journey after about 20 minutes. more..

Sri Lanka reminds Malaysia of its request on LTTE

Apr 9 (LNP) The Foreign Ministry followed up on a request it made to Malaysia last year to share intelligence on LTTE funding activities, but the Malaysians were not ready with an answer. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama met his Malaysian counterpart Dr. Rayes Yatim for bilateral talks at the Asia-Middle East Ministerial Summit, held here over the weekend, where he reminded him of Sri Lanka s request. more..

'Film Prabhakaran does not discredit Tamil race'

Apr 9 (LNP) By showing a film exposing the atrocious activities of the LTTE cannot become a problem faced by the Tamils in general and in no way bring discredit to the entire Tamil race, said V. Ananda Sangaree the President of the TULF, considered the leader of the moderate Tamils in Sri Lanka. The Tamil leader, who is a veteran ex-parliamentarian and described as one on the hit list of the LTTE, was speaking in reference to the `detained` film entitled Prabhakaran more..

Suspected LTTE supporter sits examination in Sri Lanka

Apr 9 (LNP) A suspect taken into custody on charges of `supporting the LTTE`, Ajith Kumara was yesterday allowed to sit for the Post-graduate Diploma Examination on April 27 at the Peradeniya University under fiscal custody by Colombo Additional Magistrate, Ms. Kumari Abeyratne. The magistrate directed the Commissioner of Prisons to provide facilities to Ajith Kumara to sit the examination on April 27 at the Peradeniya University. more..

Malnourished children: AI concerned

Apr 9 (SAMN) Amnesty International (AI) is very much concerned about reports that there remain wide disparities in the health and nutritional conditions of children living in conflict-affected and poorer areas of Sri Lanka. Responding to media reports that hundreds of children in the North were malnourished, the London based human rights group stressed that all citizens had the right to an adequate standard of living. more..

Reservoirs at spill level

Apr 9 (SAMN) Continuous heavy rains are causing most of the major reservoirs around the island to record spill levels.Even though vast amounts of water is collected in the reservoirs none of them have been damaged following the regular heavy showers in the area. The Irrigation Department, Water Management Division said that there were 35 major reservoirs that have recorded spill levels out of a total of 58 major reservoirs located around the island. more..

Suicidal for us to disarm now: TMVP

Apr 9 (SAMN) The Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) has refuted the assumption the LTTE has been completely wiped out from the East and notes that it will be suicidal for the outfit to disarm at this moment. TMVP spokesman, Azad Moulana said while the LTTE does not have areas under its control in the East, it still has isolated pocket groups which are ready to strike at any given time on military or political targets. more..