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Alleged torture and illegal detention of a man

Apr 12 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has been informed that Katugastota police allegedly assaulted a young man whilst in the custody on 28 March 2008. The police did not produce him before a court as required by the law. According to the information received, at 10:15am on 28 March 2008, Katugastota police arrested Nuwan Chamara in Katugastota town on suspicion of stealing car cassettes. more..

President expressed happiness over people in the East celebrating New Year happily

Apr 12 (AT) It is comforting that this New Year has dawned at a time when the nation is conscious of its dignity says President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a Sinhala and Tamil New Year Message. It is also most fortunate to see the people of the East enjoying the New Year happily with their families, he further adds. President also We expressed his gratitude to members of the armed forces and the police, more..

Britain cautions travel to Sri Lanka

Apr 12 (AT) Britain has cautioned its subjects on visiting Sri Lanka. It has revealed of a high threat of terrorism in the island nation. Travel advisory cautioning those visiting Sri Lanka has been issued by Britain. The advisory warns against all travel to the north and east of Sri Lanka, and to Yala National Park and the areas around it. It states that for the purpose of this travel advice:” more..

'My Daughter the Terrorist' producer receives death threat - Norwegian paper

Apr 12 (TN) Morten Dae, the producer of the award winning Norwegian documentary film, "My Daughter the Terrorist," on two Tamil Black Tiger female cadres in Vanni, has received death threats after the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) failed in blocking the organisers from screening the film at the Full Frame Documentary Festival, in Durham in the United States, reported Dagsavisen, a Norwegian daily, on Thursday. more..

Jeyaraj Fernandopulle: “Minority” man of the masses from Manalsenai

Apr 12 (TC) Dale Carnegie of “How to win Friends and Influence People” fame once observed that a man’s name is the sweetest sound in any language to him. Departed cabinet minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and I had in common the sweetest sound of any language. Being namesakes I was always attracted to any news report pertaining to him in the newspapers as the headings would inevitably have the word Jeyaraj in it. more..

Governor Cabraal`s camouflages and claims untenable and incorrigible

Apr 12 (SLW) LirneAsia Lead economist Dr. Harsha De Silva said, it has become customary for the Central Bank with Cabraal at its helm only to seek out and devise measures to repudiate the truth and criticize those who express them rather than analyse it and adopt correct systems and schemes to put the country’s economy on track. It is unequivocally and universally acknowledged that Sri Lanka’s economy is ever hurtling down at such a speed, that more..

Constitution is not a toy to kick around by the President and the country is not his dowry- Dayasiri

Apr 12 (SLW) Dayasiri Jayasekera UNP M.P. speaking to the Media at the UNP Media unit today (10Apr) asked how can you expect the people to abide by the laws of the country when the President, Rajapakse himself is taking centre stage in violating the rule of law and the constitution flagrantly? The President said before becoming the President that he will not follow jungle laws. more..

Prime Minister of Canada greets Tamil New Year

Apr 12 (TN) In a warm greeting message, the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, wished the Canadian Tamil community on the occasion of the Tamil New Year falling on 13th April 2008. "This New Year celebration affords us the opportunity to reflect upon the notable contributions members of the Canadian Tamil community are making to our great nation," he noted. more..

The Aluth Avurudda — a celebration of life

Apr 12 (LG) The Sinhala Hindu New Year - the Aluth Avurudda - is celebrated in the month of Bak according to the Sinhalese calendar. The name ‘Bak’ derives from the Sanskrit word ‘bhagya’ meaning ‘fortunate’. The month of Bak corresponds to April in the Gregorian calendar, which is commonly used in Sri Lanka as it is in other parts of the world. Although there is usually little conspicuous seasonal change experienced in the course of the year in Sri Lanka except more..

Electroteks promises lower mobile, broadband prices

Apr 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Electroteks which is to operate the island's sixth mobile telephony firm with India's Reliance says it will be offering stiff price competition to existing players. Electroteks is to tie up with India's Reliance Communications (RCom) to start mobile services. Electroteks chief B A C Abeywardene says the mobile firm would offer prices around 1 rupee to 1 rupee and fifty cents cheaper than existing operators. more..

Attitude of the Govt and LTTE on Madhu Church, perturbs Sri Lankan Catholics

Apr 12 (AT) Catholics in Sri Lanka have decided to use one of their most powerful weapons to change of heart by the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE as the Catholics believe that due to the military pursuance of the two warring factions there could be serious damages and destruction to this Holy Shrine of Madhu which has been most devoutly venerated by the Catholics of Sri Lanka. more..

Special permit for Jaffna residents

Apr 12 (LD) Residents of Jaffna have been issued with a special security clearance permit after the conduct of a census in the peninsula, Jaffna Security Forces Commander Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri said. Around 350,000 persons in the age category of 13 to 55 years were given the computerized permits, with support from the District Secretariat, he said. Speaking further, Maj. Gen. Chandrasiri said that the holders of these permits would be exempt from extra checking when they cross over to the south of the country. more..

Large-scale military ops. a bad strategy - Janaka Perera

Apr 12 (LD) Former Army Chief of Staff Major General Janaka Perera has disapproved of large scale-military operations as bad strategy. It incurs huge casualties both in human resources and finance, he told 'The Sunday Leader' newspaper in an interview. When he commanded the joint forces to stabilize the eastern province in 1992-93 he had considered it a bad strategy to go for large-scale operations, the war veteran said. more..

Missiles to Sri Lanka violates EU code says CAAT

Apr 12 (LD) An arms trade campaigning group has criticised the sale of 10,000 military missiles by Slovakia to Sri Lanka and scheduled to be shipped on Thursday. The three-metre missiles are designed to be dispatched from multiple rocket launchers. Simon Hill of the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), said the sale was "exactly what Sri Lanka doesn't need at the moment". Sri Lanka has been engaged in civil war for 25 years, and the CAAT fears the weapons may be used against civilians. more..

Tamil votes, a decisive factor at East PC polls

Apr 12 (LD) Official statistics indicate that Tamil nationals comprise the majority of voters who are eligible to exercise their franchise at the May 10th Eastern Provincial Council elections. In Trincomalee, 48 per cent of the 242,463 voters, out of a total population of 340,158, are from this ethnicity. Muslims and Sinhalese account for 28.2 per cent and 23.4 per cent of the voters respectively. more..

Broad alliance by Weerawansa faction

Apr 12 (LD) The Wimal Weerawansa faction of the JVP is to form a broad 'patriotic alliance' to counter conspirators in the party, its spokesman Jayantha Samaraweera, MP for Kalutara, said. Further, the party parliamentarians who are sided with Mr. Weerawansa will function independently in Parliament hereafter, Mr. Samaraweera said. He also revealed that a number of patriotic public organizations have called upon their leader to form a broad national force. more..

Govt. imports 100,000 MT rice from Myanmar

Apr 12 (GDI) The Government has taken steps to import 100,000 metric tons of rice from Myanmar immediately to overcome the current increase in the price of rice. The consignment of rice will reach the country with in two months. The imported rice, Rangoon Kekulu will be sold at Rs. 55 per kilo, sources said. Following his recent visit to Myanmar, Minister of Trade, Marketing Development, Cooperative and Consumer Affairs, Bandula Gunawardena said “This is a big achievement. more..

'LTTE deliberately targets civilians in attacks says AI

Apr 12 (LNP) Amnesty International (AI) has criticised the LTTE for deliberately targeting civilians in an extended series of attacks. The London based human rights group notes that it is a basic principle of international humanitarian law that persons fighting in armed conflict must, at all times, distinguish between civilians and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives. more..

Australia to seriously consider LTTE ban'

Apr 12 (LNP) The new Australian government under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is said to be giving serious consideration to the banning of the LTTE and further curbing activities of the outfit on Australian soil, a Sri Lankan official said. Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha T.B. Kohona who met Australia s Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, in Perth last week said the two sides had discussed a request by Sri Lanka to ban the LTTE in Australia. more..

UN panel assess security of staff

Apr 12 (SAMN) A high level UN panel was in Sri Lanka this week to assess the security and challenges faced by UN staff operating in the North and East of the country. A UN official said the Independent Panel on Safety and Security of UN Personnel and Premises Word wide made an assessment of the security affecting its staff and were scheduled to leave the country Friday. more..

Pilots urge Govt. to keep promises

Apr 12 (SAMN) At the time when a change in management beckoned at SriLankan the government offered pilots attached to the airline several inducements not to leave the troubled national carrier including a duty-free car permit and a salary increase of US$ 1500 as a retention offer, informed sources said. According to a pilot who did not wish to be identified this offer was made under the then chairmanship of Harry Jayawardene. more..

Sujatha says she never went missing

Apr 12 (SAMN) Adding more ingredients to the uncertainty within the JVP, one of its parliamentarian’s Friday denied media reports that she was being held forcibly and insisted that she stayed at a friend’s house overnight and was unable to contact her driver which led to the confusion. JVP Parliamentarian Sujatha Alahakoon said she was duped by the dissidents to join them and there was no truth in media reports that she had disappeared. more..

Let New Year usher in everlasting peace and eternal prosperity

Apr 12 (DN) Amidst the divisive strains that have emerged in the political life of our people recently the Sinhala and Tamil New Year reminds us a forgotten message. In fact, this New Year emphasises the underlying oneness of our society. It reflects the homogeneity of thought and tradition that binds those born in our soil whether they live in North or in South. A common mood of festivity of goodwill and of generosity, the more..

Betel leaf: Health properties and cultural significance

Apr 12 (DN) The Betel leaf takes centre stage during Avurudu. A sheaf of betel is offered to elders and relatives as a sign of affection and respect. It is an essential part of our culture and some, especially in the villages, find it a relishing chew as well. Here is an interesting feature from the Jakarta Post on the role of betel in life in Asia. At first too shy to approach the prince directly, Princess Kadambari Was persuaded to honour her guest. more..

JVP severs ties with PNM, Manel Mal Claim dissidents

Apr 12 (Island) The JVP yesterday signalled a break-up in its long standing relationship with the Patriotic National Front (PNM) and Manel Mal Viyaparaya as one of the rebels, Mrs. Sujatha Alahakoon, MP, gave up her struggle due to pressure. Somawansa Amarasinghe loyalist Ranaweera Pathirana, MP, (Anuradhapura District) yesterday asserted that the JVP wouldn’t need them. "We’ll not depend on them," he told a press conference more..

LTTE loose respect from Catholics

Apr 12 (MN) MINISTER JEYARAJ Fernandopulle’s untimely death has convinced many hristians living outside Sri Lanka that LTTE has no respect for religion and religious places. They are also completely baffled by the nonchalant attitude of the Catholic Bishop Conference in Sri Lanka on LTTE’s guile masquerading as defenders of the sacred Madhu premises. more..

We need to make a plan against Mendis: Bravo

Apr 12 (CI) Ajantha Mendis' maiden one-day international performance has come in for praise from both the Sri Lankan and West Indian camps, with Dwayne Bravo expressing how difficult it was to pick the rookie spinner. Mendis bowled impressively to collect 3 for 39, flummoxing Chris Gayle and Darren Sammy with his crafty variations, as Sri Lanka narrowly failed to win the opening match of the three-game series. more..

Wimal threatens to expose conspirators

Apr 12 (Island) Those who hold positions in the party are making baseless statements about that decision. It was the decision made on Good Friday to expel me from the party that prompted over ten JVP MPs to join forces with me. The leadership decided to carry out my expulsion after the Eastern Provincial Council poll on May 10. They thought If I was removed, it would have an adverse impact on our election campaign. more..

SLFP May Day rally in Ampara

Apr 12 (DM) The ruling SLFP has decided to hold its May Day rally in Ampara this year at a time when the party is showcasing the eastern province as an example of its success in the war. The party’s trade union leader and Western Province Governor Alavi Moulana said yesterday the decision had been taken following a meeting attended by ministers Dulles Alahapperuma, Mahipala Herath, Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Athauda Senaviratne. more..

All Ceylon Hindu Congress, New Year’s message

Apr 12 (DM) All Ceylon Hindu Congress, a federation of Hindu Religious Associations and Trusts, on the eve of the new year urged the government to declare a ceasefire and open the A9 route and send all the essentials to the North to enable the people there to celebrate this Sinhala – Tamil New Year. It made a public appeal to all Hindus living in Sri Lanka and abroad not to waste money on Tamashas and grandiose celebrations but more..

Girl From Sri Lanka Gets Chance For New Life

Apr 12 (BC) A girl from Sri Lanka has a chance for a new life -- thanks to well wishers from Massachusetts. NewsCenter 5's Pam Cross reported Thursday that the child was burned on more than 50 percent of her body. A few days ago, Hasanthi, 4, arrived in the United States for treatment at Shriners Hospital in Boston. Known as Hasi, she's seen a lot of pain. Her American sponsor met Hasi in an orphanage in Sri Lanka. more..

Displaced our lady of Madhu statue: Danger of disappearance

Apr 12 (TC) Orders going out to the 57 division in late march directed that the area in and around our Lady of the Rosary church in Marudhamadhu (Madhu) be taken by the traditional April new year. There is optimism in military circles that the security forces may accomplish the mission as directed by the fixed deadline of Sinhala and Tamil new year. The on going fighting to seize Madhu has seen the 57 division under Major - General Jagath Dias being engaged on three fronts. more..

On the climate changes, challenges and perils of development, President emphasize for an Asian Consensus

Apr 12 (AT) Mahinda Rajapakse addressing BOAO Forum Asia 2008 at Bo’ao in Hinan pointed out that the world, in the last century, had made remarkable progress in science and technology bringing many positive attributes for human development. He said that these human developments saw the significant improvement of living conditions in so many ways, great advances in health care and education, the expansion of industry, more..

Sri Lanka fighting kills 11

Apr 12 (AP) Soldiers destroyed two Tamil Tiger rebel bunkers in northern Sri Lanka while fighting in the region killed 11 separatists and wounded eight soldiers, the military said Saturday. Fighting between the two sides has sharply increased in recent weeks, with the government vowing to retake Tamil Tiger-controlled territory and crush the rebels after more than two decades of warfare. more..

Human rights in Lanka-LTTE clash: Fact and fiction

Apr 12 (MN) THE SRI Lankan government recognises that in some areas human rights situation needs to be addressed, and strengthened and it has sought assistance for the same. Unfortunately, such requests have often been ignored, whilst the whole debate has turned into a no holds barred attack in which every possible allegation is flung at the government and its agencies. This confrontational attitude is not helpful in improving the situation, where required. more..

JVP split could bring greater Indian involvement in Sri Lanka: Expert

Apr 12 (IANS) The split in the anti-Indian political party, JVP, may pave the way for greater Indian involvement in finding a solution to the vexed ethnic question in Sri Lanka, says Sri Lankan researcher Anupama M. Ranawana. Writing in the latest issue of Groundviews Ranawana points out that the majority Sinhalese community have been very wary and disapproving of Western mediation, but have consistently welcomed Indian initiatives. more..

Sri Lanka lifts tax surcharge from personal incomes

Apr 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka has lifted a surcharge on personal income tax from February 2008, but it would remain in place for companies, the government said Saturday. The government said by public advertisement that a 'social responsibility levy' charged from personal income taxes would be withdrawn. Sri Lanka charged a one percent tax from the salary bills of workers liable for pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) tax. more..

Lanka hopes for peace as New Year ushers in

Apr 12 (PTI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has expressed hope that peace will be established in the Island nation while greeting people ahead of the traditional new year that falls on Sunday. "We warmly welcome the Sinhala and Tamil New Year which brings unity and prosperity," Rajapaksa said in his message from China where he is on an official visit. He said the Island government is taking steps like development of agriculture in reviving the eastern regions which have been liberated from the LTTE. more..

'Like a Tsunami that won't end'

Apr 12 (WP) As gray-bellied clouds started to blot out the scorching sun, Sara Waeathi, 46, and her sister Kannaga, 30, called their seven children inside just as a light rain accelerated to a downpour. The family huddled under their shelter, a tiny tent of frayed plastic sheeting and stitched-together burlap sacks that leaked rain into cooking pots set out to catch it. For this family, any shelter is better than nothing. more..

Norway opposes 'external' solution to Sri Lanka conflict

Apr 12 (IANS) No 'externally designed solution' will end Sri Lanka's dragging ethnic conflict, a senior Norwegian diplomat has said, as an international conference here called for a negotiated end to decades of fighting. Norway's special envoy to Sri Lanka, Jon Hanssen-Bauer, told the two-day meeting that ended late Friday that Oslo would be more than happy to back 'any solution endorsed by the Sri Lankan people'. more..

Let’s march on a new path! – JVP

Apr 13 (LT) The moment has come to break loose from the conventional, impotent administration and end the path taken towards destruction, disunity among communities, lack of a definite objective, a debacle of the economy and that aided capitulation to imperialism states the JVP in its New Year message issued by its Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe and calls upon all masses to resolve to achieve this in this Sinhalese and Tamil New Year. more..

Extensive fighting in Mannar

Apr 13 (BBC) Thirty LTTE cadres killed and another fifty injured in fierce fighting in the Mannar area, Army Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said. The army has got the casualty information by intercepting LTTE communication, Brigadier Nanayakkara said. Six soldiers were also killed in the gun battle. Twenty five others sustained injuries, he said. Fighting continued in four directions north of Mannar and more..

Norwegian Government Funding for LTTE Film - My Daughter the Terrorist

Apr 13 (AT) The 50 minute documentary Min Datter Terroristen (my Daughter the Terrorist) attempts to glorify the motivations of two Black Tiger women. The documentary follows the training and indoctrination of Dharsika and Puhalchudar (possibly not the real names) for a suicide mission against the Sri Lankan state. The main emphasis of the documentary is to give some pseudo-justification to the act of suicide terrorism by the LTTE. more..

Promotion of Belgium and Sri Lanka Business

Apr 13 (AT) The Sri Lanka Benelux Business Council together with the Belgium Consulate in Sri Lanka organized a presentation on “Strengthening Trade Relations Between the Flanders Region of Belgium and Sri Lanka” at the Hotel Taj Samudra. It was conducted by Marc Schiltz, Investment and Trade Commissioner and Ralph Moreau, Technology Attaché, Flanders Investment and Trade. more..

Sri Lanka inflation `Likely' to exceed target, Cabraal says

Apr 13 (BN) Sri Lanka's inflation rate will probably exceed the central bank's annual target this year as oil and commodity prices reach records, requiring continued "tight monetary policy," Governor Nivard Cabraal said. Consumer prices in the capital, Colombo, rose 23.8 percent in March from a year earlier, the most in at least four years. Inflation in 2008 may be higher than an initial forecast of about 10 percent, more..

Kelaniya undergrads to stage massive protest, boycott classes

Apr 13 (LB) The student’s union of the Kelaniya University has threatened to boycott lectures and are demanding hostel facilities for undergraduates, the convenor of the Inter University Student Union, Udul Premarathne, told LAKBIMAnEWS. Premarathne said that most of the students had lodging issues but that the authorities have still not sorted them out. more..

It’s a mudslinging campaign all the way

Apr 13 (LB) Aney apoi. See what has happened to our sahodara JVP types. The uncontested trendsetters in mudslinging are slinging mud at each other. Sri Lankan politics sank to even more putrid depths last week as the JVP imploded amidst a flurry of insults. Nobody had thought this would happen - though many had hoped it would. Up to now, shameful public disintegration had been a virtual monopoly of the UNP. more..

Shocking malpractices at supermarket chains

Apr 13 (LB) As a rule, those who shop at supermarkets run up big bills. During this time of year, the bills - and queues at the cashier - will be even longer. As a result, the average customer will lose track of his purchases. But the Consumer Affairs Authority is now warning people to check their bills carefully because many supermarkets in the city are employing a ruse that results in the customers paying more than they should. more..

'Doors still open No, I am not a dictator'

Apr 13 (LB) JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe denies that he is a dictator and says the doors are still open to Wimal Weerawansa to answer charges before the politburo and central committee. Ln: What is the reason for disciplinary action against Wimal Weerawansa? SA: He did not tow the party line. Ln: Throughout? SA: After the Presidential election, we discussed with the SLFP to join the government. more..

Chanderpaul and Samuels seal series for West Indies

Apr 13 (CI) Shivnarine Chanderpaul came to West Indies' rescue for the second time in three days, cracking an unbeaten 52 to guide his side to a seven-wicket win in Trindad and, in doing so, they take the series. It may not have matched Thursday for drama, but West Indies can be proud of dominating Sri Lanka for most of the day. Their bowlers, led by the increasingly mature Jerome Taylor, tied Sri Lanka in knots while more..