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A Unique Diplomatic Victory For Sri Lanka: LTTE Banished from Madhu

Apr 27 (AT) LTTE lost a major battle. Diplomat Hemantha Warnakulasuriya came out triumphant in his endeavor to rid the LTTE from the Madhu Shrine.Ambassador Warnakulasuriya was asked by President Mahinda Rajapakse to get involved and inform the Vatican and if possible the Holy See to intervene and get the Holy See or the Vatican to make a statement to order the LTTE to vacate forthwith from the Madhu Premises. more..

Parallel political approach essential for peace

Apr 27 (AT) The answer to the question of "Maintaining the Balance of Peace Building and Economic Growth." In the belief of the US lies in the government pursuing a peaceful political solution to the conflict while permitting the private sector to lead the economy by putting in place the appropriate sound economic framework, said Robert Blake, US Ambassador in Sri Lanka at the 14th Business for Peace Forum of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and more..

Tigers Demonstrate Military Prowess at Muhamaalai Front

Apr 27 (TC) For many,many moons the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse has been projecting an image that everything is going well for the security forces on the military front. The people of this country have been the targets of a sustained propaganda barrage claiming that everything was hunky-dory for the regime in the on going war against the LTTE. The scale of this propaganda has been so great that many people in the South were taken in and believed that “victory” over the tigers was imminent. more..

Clergy returns to the Madhu Shrine following its liberation

Apr 27 (LNP) Rev. Fr. Anthony Victor Sosai, the Anunayake of the Mannar Diocese observes the Madhu Church liberated by the security forces from the LTTE terrorists. The priest returned to the Church this morning. Wanni Commander Major Gen. Jagath Wijesuriya welcomed and accompanied him to the Church. He was thereafter briefed on the damages inflicted by the terrorists to the shrine. The gallant soldiers succeeded in taking control of the Madhu area which was forcibly occupied by the tiger terrorists. more..

UN cuts rations to poor Lankans

Apr 27 (LNP) With prices of essential grain hitting record levels around the world and no corresponding increases in finances the UN World Food Programme is cutting down on its rations to about one million Sri Lankans it is feeding in the North and East. WFP Country Director of Mohamed Saleheen said they were forced by circumstances to suspend their food-for-work programme to about 175,000 people in the war-affected regions from May 1 and reduce rations of others from 1,900 kilo calories to 1,665 kilo calories per day per person. more..

Clandestine EU mission in Colombo

Apr 27 (SAMN) A covert European Union (EU) fact-finding mission in Colombo has warned that the government’s lukewarm response towards addressing substantial issues in the backdrop of a worsening human rights record is set to affect the country big time, resulting in a severe economic impact via the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP+). The fact-finding, team led by several visiting European diplomats who had met both local and foreign human rights activists over the past few days, more..

US admonishes SL on ‘new friends’

Apr 27 (SAMN) The United States Government has sent out a strong warning to Sri Lanka over the island’s rapidly growing close ties and diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the backdrop of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s scheduled state visit to Sri Lanka Monday, US State Department Spokesperson Tom Casey has clearly disclosed their concerns over the Iranian President’s South Asia visit. more..

Colombo in nuclear cover-up

Apr 27 (SAMN) In a desperate attempt to prevent a massive diplomatic row, the Sri Lankan Government took speedy action to camouflage a seemingly innocent energy advertisement which could have resulted in a fallout between Colombo and super power United States, informed sources said. “Just days after the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) put up an advertisement on nuclear power generation, the government was compelled to rebut certain statements made by high-ranking government appointed officials after more..

Paperless office to save 4 billion trees

Apr 27 (SAMN) EDUMS at the Imagine Cup 2008 projected a future paperless office saving approximately 3 billion trees annually. These were content of team Gagana’s future PC programme at Imagine Cup 2008 awards ceremony last week. The computer programme EDUMS presented at this event projected an ecological phenomenon that could have far reaching benefits to the environment. Environmentalists have said that 4 billion trees are lost annually felled for manufacture of paper. more..

Corrupt ex-top brass untouched

Apr 27 (LB) Nearly three months after the official submission of the report by a Presidential Commission which implicated several senior military officers, including several ex security forces commanders in arms procurement malpractices, the offenders are still at large and continue to hold top government positions, LAKBIMAnEWS learnt. The Presidential Commission chaired by Justice Shirani Thilakawardene implicated several ex commanders of Sri Lanka Army, Navy and Air Force and several senior officers guilty of not following tender procedures, more..

No answer

Apr 27 (LB) The International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) told a press conference last week that they were withdrawing from observing the work of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing 16 cases of grave human rights violations. They claimed the Government had no political will to investigate these crimes. This position embarrassed the Government, putting even President Mahinda Rajapaksa into a state of agitation. more..

Majority of Jeyaraj bombing suspects Sinhalese

Apr 27 (LB) C.I.D investigators probing the assassination of Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle last week arrested nine suspects, a majority of whom are Sinhalese alleged to be indirectly involved in the killing. Two main investigation teams are investingating the assassination. Of the two teams, one is probing loopholes in the security cordon that permitted the assassin to come close to the Minister. more..

Welcoming Pariah status?

Apr 27 (LB) A daring reorientation in foreign policy under Mahinda Rajapaksa has stirred international attention, with observers warning Sri Lanka not to neglect relations with Western nations while wooing countries like China, Iran, Myanmar, or Pakistan. The debate intensifies with the arrival tomorrow of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. During his fleeting visit, he will inaugurate the Uma Oya hydro power project which Iran is part financing. more..

Trapped they say - between ‘nationalists’ and ‘foreign agents’

Apr 27 (LB) There was fury on the war front and frenzied activity on the election front this week — - but let’s start with the drama at Temple Trees. The President summoned the IIGEP group of international observers and said that he is very disappointed that the IIGEP is going around claiming that Sri Lanka is not respecting human rights. He said that this was “a pretty bad show on the part of the IIGEP’’ and Justice Baghwathi including others could only stammer —- and stare in bewilderment. more..

Forget Eelam and join Govt

Apr 27 (SO) At a moment when the LTTE is on its knees with debilitating fighting capabilities, it is time for all the political parties to lend their support to the Mahinda Rajapaksa government to defeat terrorism and to find a durable solution to solve the national question, the former Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students (EROS) military commander of the East, Rajanathan Prabhakaran said. more..


Apr 27 (SO) Remember Mercutio in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet who says you can beat love down with love? Judging by what goes on at wedding celebrations these days it looks as though you can beat love down with sound too. Electric drums, guitars, saxophones and a vocalist of indeterminable gender singing Celine Dion’s “My heart will go on...” loud enough to blow the roof to Timbuktu. more..

Five million coconut saplings distributed

Apr 27 (SO) Five million coconut saplings were distributed among one million families under the National Project to plant ten million coconut trees in the home gardens implemented by the Plantation Ministry and the Coconut Development Ministry last year. Plantation Minister D. M. Jayaratne said that since 2000 the coconut industry lost over one million coconut trees due to the sales of coconut lands and urbanisation programs. more..

Pay hike for private sector employees

Apr 27 (SO) Labour Minister Athauda Seneviratne said there will be a 20 per cent pay hike for the private sector employees in his May Day message. The Minister said that in addition to the pay hike, the Government had on two other previous occasions increased the salaries of private sector employees by Rs. 6000. He said this salary increase is applicable to all sections in the private sector including the workers in the garment and plantation sectors and also the small scale business enterprises. more..

Politics littered with sinister fractioning!

Apr 27 (NS) The theatre of conflict in Sri Lanka is ever changing and not least because there are so many conflicts brewing. There is a war in the North, there are pitched political battles in the East and, as if for comic relief, there is a battle within the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna in the South. After the JVP captured the headlines for a couple of weeks, the eastern provincial elections regained its focus after a lull in campaigning during the New Year holidays. more..

IIGEP viewed as conspiring against the state

Apr 27 (NS) The government is once again caught up in a human rights web with the decision of the Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) to quit Sri Lanka. The decision to quit was announced on Tuesday after the Chairman of the IIGEP former Chief Justice of India P.N. Bhagawati addressed the media and said that the government had no political will to get to the bottom of the human rights violations in the country. more..

The cruel sceptre of death stalks again

Apr 27 (NS) There is a saying that natural phenomena corresponds with the events of the human world. Last Friday, along with the humidity and darkness that crept in before the usual time, the heavy rains and the cold winds also brought something deadly in their wake into an outskirt of Colombo; death… Again, another bomb went off at Piliyandala, a predominantly Sinhala Buddhist area taking the lives of 26 innocent civilians and injuring 49. more..

“TNA won’t campaign for any party in the east” — Sampanthan

Apr 27 (NS) Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Secretary General and Parliamentarian R. Sampanthan has made clear his party’s position, as to why it was not contesting the May 10 Provincial Polls. He explained that participation in the polls would have justified the de – merger through a Supreme Court order, and further justified all the harm inflicted upon the Tamils by the present regime. more..

Flak over DIG promotions

Apr 27 (Island) With the recent promotions to the rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) running into a storm amidst the axing of both the senior-most SSP in service and the second in line, at least five of the aggrieved high-ranking police officials have so far petitioned the Supreme Court challenging the National Police Commission (NPC) for denying their due promotions. Two of the petitioners are still in service as DIGs on field promotions in operational areas while more..

Mrs. Jeyaraj denies hand in succession posters

Apr 27 (Island) Posters appeared in the Gampaha district on Friday night calling on Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, the wife of the assassinated Gampaha District MP and Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, to enter politics. Mrs. Fernandopulle said although several monks and supporters of her late husband wanted her to enter public life, she hadn’t committed herself. Responding to questions, she denied any knowledge of who was behind the posters. more..

Compensation paid to victims of Piliyandala bus bomb blast - Minister

Apr 27 (Island) Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma yesterday said that the Government has acted swiftly to grant rupees 100,000 as compensation to each of the family members of the 26 civilians killed in last Friday bomb explosion aboard a SLCTB bus at Kahapola junction in Piliyandala. The Transport Minister said that rupees 25,000 had also been granted to each of the injured. more..

Producers want more for their milk

Apr 27 (Island) Consumers could be in for another jolt next month as the price of spray-dried milk food has come under review again by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) following a request for an upward revision by producers. "Sure, we have sought a price increase as the existing global shortage of powdered milk continues to exert pressure on the market", industry officials said. "World prices still revolve around US$ 4,800 to US$ 5,000 per metric ton", they pointed out. more..

Political war hots up in east

Apr 27 (ST) For more reasons than one, international attention turned to Sri Lanka this week. The Government's high priority military campaign, intensified since the abrogation of the Norwegian brokered Ceasefire Agreement in January this year, suffered a major debacle on Wednesday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa was presiding over the weekly National Security Council (NSC) meeting when the news arrived. Initial reports trickling in spoke of two digit casualty counts. more..

The aftermath of Muhamalai confrontation

Apr 27 (ST) Though bizarre, the sequence of events resembled a trailer promoting a film designed to break box office records. However, this was real life drama involving the lives and well-being of the nation's troops fighting a deadly enemy. Media personnel were taken on a conducted tour to the north early this month. The piece de resistance was a trip to the volatile defence lines at Muhamalai, the divide between the Government-held Jaffna peninsula and Tiger guerrilla-dominated Wanni. more..

Piliyandala bomb: Deadly details discovered

Apr 27 (ST) The bomb which exploded inside a crowded CTB bus at Piliyandala on Friday was packed with steel balls and designed to cause maximum damage, an official of the Government Analyst’s Department said yesterday. His comments came as the death toll rose to 26 while 62 more injured passengers were being treated at the Kalubowila, Piliyandala and National hospitals. more..

Parties mark May Day in different ways

Apr 27 (ST) Several prominent political parties including the ruling PA coalition and the JVP will hold May Day rallies on a grand scale this year. However, the main opposition UNP will hold a low-key religious ceremony at the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara to mark International Labour Day, party sources said. UNP Secretary General Tissa Attanayaka said his party decided to conduct a religious ceremony instead of a major rally this year taking into consideration the prevailing security situation in the country. more..

Amid criticism from West, Sri Lanka turns to less picky donors

Apr 27 (AP) Sri Lanka has hailed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit here Monday as an important step in cementing closer ties between the two nations. But the trip also highlighted Sri Lanka's slow turn away from the West, which has expressed increasing concerns about Colombo's human rights record and its embrace of donors less critical of its escalating war against ethnic Tamil rebels. more..

LTTE planes bomb military positions in Sri Lanka's northeast

Apr 27 (AFP) Tiger rebels used aircraft on Sunday to bomb military targets in Sri Lanka, dealing a psychological blow to security forces, as the two sides fought heavy ground battles, defence officials said. The LTTE flew two light fixed-wing planes to hit two bases in the north-eastern Weli Oya region, where security forces launched a new drive against the rebels on Saturday, a defence official said. more..

Sri Lankans pray for miracles as civilians pay high price

Apr 27 (AFP) With both hands clasped, Pat Amarasinghe prays before a Buddha statue seeking divine help for the impossible -- to bring back her son, Ishara, who died in a bus blast in Sri Lanka. Ishara and his fiancee, Geethika, both 24, were among 26 people killed when suspected Tamil Tiger rebels set off a powerful bomb inside a packed state-run bus on Friday. Another 60 passengers escaped with injuries. more..

Church 'yet to take over' Madhu

Apr 28 (BBC) The Catholic Church is yet to take over the sacred Madhu church, Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph said. The decision whether to take over the administration of the sacred Madhu church will be taken at a meeting of the priests attached to the church on Monday, he said. While acknowledging that the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has made an appeal to him in this regard, the Bishop added they have not yet taken over the administration as claimed by the SLA website. more..

Prabhakaran in town

Apr 28 (LG) Controversy ridden ‘Prabhakaran’, the debut direction of Thusara Peiris, which went through a series of debacles including the wrath and inhuman attack on the director and the alleged ‘seizure’ of the master copy of the film, was released for Sri Lankan audiences from last Friday, April 25 at Regal Colombo and other twenty four CEL circuit cinemas around the country. more..

The curse of being a Tamil

Apr 28 (LG) A few days ago, an elderly Tamil gentleman from Vavuniya who is an old friend of mine, visited me at my Wellawatte home and related the following sad tale of how Tamils are being treated by this government. Since recently, Tamils in the Wanni are undergoing severe hardships due to the so called humanitarian operations to liberate the area. The Tamils are at the receiving end, especially at the hands of the security forces. more..

Investigate the Mihin crash

Apr 28 (LG) People are shocked at the collapse of the much-vaunted ‘budget airline’ Mihin Lanka — named after the President — after one year of operations, due to bankruptcy. The loss to the state banks, tax payers and the poor workers whose ETF money were used to float the airline is said to be over Rs. 3 billion. Those responsible cannot just resign and walk away from this fraud perpetrated on the people of this country. more..

Canada's full-time record-breaker seeks fame

Apr 28 (CTV) Professional record-breaker Suresh Joachim always knew that if he wanted people to listen to him, he'd have to make a name for himself. Then he discovered the Guinness Book of World Records. Now a stay-at-home dad and full-time record-breaker, Suresh has broken 53 world records -- including longest karaoke marathon (25 hours, 49 minutes), longest time spent standing on one foot more..

'Maintaining the balance of peace building and economic growth: the U.S. Perspective'

Apr 28 (LG) Thank you for the invitation to speak at this evening’s Forum. It is an honor to address the Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry of Sri Lanka and the many business and political leaders here this evening. I congratulate the FCCISL for its ongoing Business for Peace Forum series, which serves the important function of stimulating discussion on the effect of Sri Lanka's long conflict on the country's economy and growth prospects; more..

Sri Lanka mangrove conservation scheme gathers pace

Apr 28 (LBO) A program to conserve Sri Lanka's mangrove eco-systems is gathering pace with the support of coastal communities, government and private sector organizations, officials said. The Mangroves for the Future (MFF) initiative launched with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is also working in India, Indonesia, Maldives and the Seychelles. more..

Tropical spices 101: Cinnamon and cassia

Apr 28 (TZ) Almost every spice stall in the Spice Bazaar in Ýstanbul will have small bundles of dark reddish brown cylinders of something that is labeled cinnamon. Closer inspection of the aromatic bark will show the learned cook that almost all the product available is in fact cassia. From a distance it looks the same and up close the fragrance is similar, but there are differences that your home spice grinder will tell you about. more..

Indian, Lankan women prone to morning sickness

Apr 28 (MN) ACCORDING TO a report published by medindia based on the results of a study, women born in India and Sri Lanka are three times more likely to suffer from extreme nausea and vomiting (morning sickness) during pregnancy. The study data was collected from Norwegian Institute of Public Health and compared Indian and Sri Lankan women with ethnic Norwegians. Extreme nausea and vomiting, called hyperemesis gravidarum varies among pregnant women from different countries. more..

Sri Lanka exporters say govt giving wrong signals on EU trade

Apr 28 (LBO) A dispute over Sri Lanka's duty free access to key European markets has snowballed into a political hot potato with exporters alarmed that remarks by the country's central bank governor could prompt buyers to look elsewhere. Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal's comment that market access under the GSP+ scheme was a subsidy that exporters could do without has created much uncertainty, export industry officials said. more..

Rotary Regency Fashion Show to fund tree planting

Apr 28 (AT) Rotary movement has been reputed for its noteworthy social and community help programmes and in their quest to help the society in which they live in, has been involved in several worthwhile projects they were reputed of such programmes like eradication of polio. One of the serious scenarios taking place on earth, now is the global warming due to uncontrolled green house gas emissions which makes enormous impact on earth and its living beings. more..

Eastern province optimistic about a great UPFA win at the Elections: Hussein Bhaila

Apr 28 (AT) The Eastern province voters are eagerly awaiting the elections. Their enthusiasm is markedly high. They know that they are about to have an administration of their own. This is something they longed for and are working hard to achieve. So far, the election campaign of the UPFA has gone on very well. No major incidents have been reported. The Muslims vote is bound to be strongly with the UPFA. more..

On the lingering conflict and worsening conditions

Apr 28 (FI) The November 2005 Presidential election could be termed as a turning point in the effort to seek a political solution to the protracted ethnic problem that escalated since 1983 into a gory war destroying about 70,000 lives and displacing tens of thousands of families from their habitats. Paradoxically, both the Sinhala nationalist party JVP and the separatist rebel group the LTTE were responsible for the outcome of the last Presidential election. more..

Is it the end of Wimal, the politician?

Apr 28 (FI) However much one faction is small, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) is divided, and leaders of the party could not hide the division, when they spoke on the present crisis, claiming as usual that this was a problem involving one individual. Somawansa at a media briefing said that Wimal has not been expelled, and he can come to the party office in Pelawatta anytime and face to the charges levelled against him at the Central Committee. more..

A role now for India?

Apr 28 (LG) With Priyanka Gandhi Vadhera and Nalini Sriharan alias Nalini Murugan in the news over their secret meeting in a Tamil Nadu prison, India is back in the news in the contemporary Sri Lankan context. More importantly, the unplanned but near-simultaneous calls by Tamil Nadu’s DMK Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and the breakaway MDMK leader Vaiko – followed by a resolution of the Tamil Nadu Assembly -- for an Indian role in solving the ethnic issue in more..

Turning tables on terrorism

Apr 28 (LG) We, the ordinary Sri Lankans, knew without an iota of doubt who assassinated Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and why they did so. But a small minority of individuals - certain discredited politicians and biased journalists among them - in the immediate aftermath of the attack which was carried out by a suicide bomber (the suicide bomber is the hallmark of LTTE terror) tried to obfuscate the real state of affairs by diverting public attention elsewhere. more..

The shape of the “Muslim nation” in the East –reminiscence (Part2)

Apr 28 (LG) The Thimpu talks in 1985 provided an opportunity for the six Tamil organizations to put forward the “Tamil homeland” principle as one of their basic principles of proposals for a political settlement and the absence of any Muslim organization or political parties that were conscious of and or insisting on the Muslim’s political aspiration in the North and the East, facilitated the Sri Lankan Government, Tamil militant organizations and more..