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Chicken Cottage suspect cleared of murder

May 17 (YLG) Sri Lankan man yesterday admitted his part in a gang fight that left a Tamil man stabbed to death in a takeaway. Sainsbury's worker Prabaskaran Kannan, 28, suffered 31 stab and slash wounds to his head as the two mobs clashed. His friend Naresh Mylvaganam, 21, was severely beaten with a cricket bat in a nearby alley. Their attackers were members of the Croydon-based Jaffna Boys who had a long standing vendetta with the victim's gang, the Tooting Tamils, it is claimed. more..

CM appointment illegal - Hisbullah

May 17 (BBC) The leading Muslim councillor of the ruling alliance says the appointment of the leading Tamil candidate as the Chief Minister (CM) in the east was illegal. MLAM Hisbullah told BBC Sandeshaya that he and two other Muslim members will not support the ruling UPFA. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the government has decided to appoint Sivanesathurai Chandrakanth alias Pillayan as the CM for the eastern province. more..

Former Tamil Tiger becomes provincial chief minister

May 17 (LBO) A former Tamil Tiger who broke away and later allied himself with the government was Friday sworn in as the chief minister of the island's eastern province following last week's polls. Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, also known as Pillayan, was sworn in as chief minister of the eastern provincial council by President Mahinda Rajapakse, a presidential spokesman said. Rajapakse's decision to make Pillayan the chief minister could cause a split in the ruling party coalition which more..

Beginning of the end - Hakeem

May 17 (BBC) The main opposition in Sri Lanka accused the government of planning to call elections for more provincial councils (PC) in an attempt to rig them. In a protest rally in Colombo against alleged malpractices in the recently concluded eastern PC elections, opposition leaders vowed to topple the government in a series of protests. Leader of the SLMC, Rauff Hakeem, accused the government of unleashing violence using armed groups to rob the elections. more..

President expresses condolence to China over earthquake

May 17 (Xinhua) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has extended his deepest sympathies to the bereaved families and the victims of earthquake that struck China on May 12,the Sri Lankan government said Friday. In his letter to the Chinese President Hu Jintao, Rajapaksa said "I was deeply saddened to hear of the death and destruction caused by the earthquake that struck western China on May 12." more..

Blast in Colombo - President's message

May 17 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa while condemning the brutal LTTE terrorists acttack in the Fort today that took the lives of 10 people offered his condolences to the bereaved families of those killed and wished speedy recovery to all those injured in this act of wanton savagery. Issuing a statement President Rajapaksa said with this bomb attack on a busy street the LTTE has once again demonstrated to the world its total commitment to violence and more..

Kaluwitharana To Coach Malaysia

May 17 (C365) Sri Lanka World Cup winner Romesh Kaluwitharana has been appointed as the national coach of Malaysia. The 38-year-old former wicketkeeper-batsman has focused on a career in coaching since ending his 15-year international career in 2004. Kaluwitharana will leave his post as coach of Colts Cricket Club in Sri Lanka and is due to leave for Malaysia on Saturday to take up the new assignment. more..

EROS Condemns Bomb Blast in Colombo

May 17 (AT) In a press release Nesan Shankar Raji, Senior Leader & spokesperson for the Eelam Revolutionary Organization (EROS) said that EROS and the political wing, Eelavar Democratic Front (EDF) condemn those responsible for the latest bomb blast near Lake House in Colombo on 16th May. In the statement Nesan Shankar Raji said “This latest attack bears all the hallmarks of the LTTE. more..

Police fabricate charges against two men after assault on his private matter

May 17 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the assault of two men by police officers attached to Hikkaduwa Police Station on 2 April 2008. One police officer abused his position over a personal matter and assaulted them. He later laid fabricated charges against them. Although acknowledging this case, the OIC of the station has failed to properly intervene. Both men have been released on bail. more..

Preventing making of complaints and claiming that there are no violations

May 17 (AHRC) A group of civil society organisations in Sri Lanka have appealed to the members of the United Nations Human Rights Council urging them not to reelect Sri Lanka for membership to the council on the basis of its blatant human rights violations and disregard for the pledges made to the council itself. A reply from a government source has been that these organisations are only a few compared to the very many civil society organisations in the country. more..

Sri Lankan doctor drops into the gorge; Part of crew learning to work in areas of rough terrain

May 17 (NFR) Dr. Ramesh Alagiyawanna traded his scalpel for a hard hat Thursday to work in the Niagara gorge. He was among 22 emergency service workers who underwent a one-of-a-kind training program hosted by the high angle river team (HART) with the Niagara Parks Police. A forensic pathologist in his native Sri Lanka, Alagiyawanna is currently on a clinical fellowship at Hamilton General Hospital. more..

No peace without human rights!

May 17 (LG) The worst thing that can happen in Sri Lanka is not a war conducted in compliance with international law. The worst thing that can happen is an all-out violation of those laws. Anyone who doubts this only needs to think back to the late 1980s in the South. All the young men in villages were being rounded up and killed. The JVP was killing families of people in the state security forces while the state security forces killed families of JVP members. more..

The Sharia law and the SLMC

May 17 (MG) The SLMC claimed from their formation that the Quran and the Hadith were their party constitution but no party member had any idea whether the party had submitted any constitution when the party was registered as a political party with the Commissioner of Elections on 11th of February 1988. However the SLMC’s party Constitution was officially approved on the 5th July 1992. more..

SLMC wants Independent Commission before next polls

May 17 (CT) The SLMC yesterday decided to talk to other political parties including the JVP and the LSSP with a view to filing a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a ruling for the government’s full implementation of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution before another election is announced. The SLMC had obtained the consent of the UNP for this purpose and the party’s Deputy General Secretary Nizam Kariapper said the SLMC hoped to come to an agreement with the other parties more..

President Mahinda Rajapaksa Took Oxford by Storm

May 17 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s address to the Oxford students last week took the students by storm. Letters sent to Asian Tribune after the President’s speech had one common theme:” he charmed the audience with his sincerity.” The question and answer session at Oxford was most scintillating according to the letters sent here. President may have been buoyed by the recent Eastern elections. He had established a good rapport with the students. more..

Time Ripe for Banning LTTE in Australia: High Commissioner Balapatabendi

May 17 (AT) Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Australia K. Balapatabendi, PC made a convincing case for proscribing the LTTE in Australia. In a well argued brief sent to the Australian government he stated that the recently concluded elections to the Provincial Council in the East where the LTTE held sway for decades showed that the people have rejected terrorism. more..

Take LTTE to Task Now, Anandasangaree Urges International Community

May 17 (AT) V. Anandasangaree,President of the President TULF strongly condemned the bomb attack on innocent civilians in Colombo by the terrorist LTTE. He called upon international community to take the ruthless terrorists to task for this barbaric act. Hhe pointed out that that within two days of the assassination of Ms. Maheswary Velauthan of the EPDP, the LTTE has once again shown its atrocious feat in the heart of Colombo. more..

New Provincial Council Ministers

May 17 (AT) Four East Provincial Council Ministers were sworn in yesterday at the Presidential Secretariat after Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan took oaths before President Mahinda Rajapakse as the Chief Minister of the East Provincial Council. The newly sworn in Ministers are as follows: Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan: Chief Minister was also sworn in as the Minister of Finance and Planning, Law and Order, Local Government, Local Administration, more..

Pillayan, target of bomb blast near Colombo Hilton

May 17 (LD) The newly appointed Chief Minister of the East and the Leader of the TMVP, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan was the target of yesterday’s (May 16th) suicide bomb attack near the Colombo Hilton, defence sources reveal. Military intelligence sources say that the target could be either Pillayan or a VVIP who was to attend the swearing-in ceremony at the Presidential Secretariat. more..

Maunagurusami appointed to East PC

May 17 (LD) The UPFA has appointed former Batticaloa District Secretary P. Maunagurusami, to the Eastern Provincial Council. According to the results of the Eastern Provincial Council elections, the UPFA was granted two bonus seats in the council. P. Maunagurusami of the TMVP and K.P. Priyantha Premakumara of the SLFP were appointed for these two bonus seats following their failures to obtain the sufficient number of preferential votes more..

Countering unemployment in East is main priority

May 17 (LD) After swearing in as the Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council yesterday, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan said that his main concern was to counter unemployment and develop the East. Noting that he was well aware of the problems that existed in the East, the new Chief Minister of the Eastern PC said that he would do his best to improve the area by adding development plans to those already initiated by the government. more..

'Media plays a vital role in today’s world'

May 17 (GDI) Addressing the National Media Awards Ceremony 2008, at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, organized by the Ministry of Mass Media and Information Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayake said that with the development of modern information technology, mass communication and media has become a vital part of our lives. The National Media Awards took place for the first time and the three gold awards were made to more..

New procedures for to ensure quality of imports

May 17 (GDI) Fulfilling a long felt need the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) the National Standards Body of Sri Lanka has introduced a new method of examining the quality of imported goods to the country. Accordingly the importers have to obtain a quality certificate with regard to the products they import prior to releasing the products to the local market. A quick system has been introduced for the importers to obtain the quality certificate after the examination of the product by SLSI. more..

Eastern PC result a victory for the entire country – President

May 17 (GDI) Addressing the newly elected Provincial Councilors of the Eastern Province at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday after their swearing-in ceremony, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that this day will be historic in the annals of Sri Lanka's democracy as it signifies the dawning of a new era to the resolution of Sri Lanka's three decades old conflict. more..

India must make its position clear on the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka: EROS

May 17 (LG) The Indian Government under late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was instrumental in bringing the Indo-Lanka Accord (1987) and merging the North and Eastern provinces in Sri Lanka by urging the Sri Lankan Government at that time that this would bring a long lasting final peace settlement to the ethnic conflict that had divided the country since Independence from the British in 1948. more..

Appeasement or honesty of purpose is the question

May 17 (LG) In an extremely courageous move, President Mahinda Rajapaksha this evening appointed Sivanesathurai Chandrakanth alias Pillayan alias Kubeiran as the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, realizing a two-decade-old dream of a Tamil Chief Minister for the Eastern Province who is also acceptable to the Sinhalese. The campaign to appoint a Tamil for the Northeast Chief Minister post was ongoing since 1987, particularly for neighboring India. more..

Buddhism and the Ecocrisis

May 17 (LG) Buddhism provides all the essential elements for a relationship to the natural world characterised by respect, humility, care and compassion. This article seeks to demonstrate this point by drawing on material from the book "Buddhist Perspectives on the Ecocrisis" edited by Klas Sandell's book utilises Buddhist concepts from the Theravada tradition though readers who explore the Mahayana tradition will find it an equally rich source of doctrine supportive of environmental care. more..

Street protests against fraudulent EPCE

May 17 (SAMN) The UNP-SLMC combine held the first of its series of protests against what it termed the "Fraudulent Eastern Provincial Council Election", at the Maradana junction shortly after "Jummah" prayers, Friday afternoon. Leaders of the UNP and SLMC, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Rauff Hakeem addressing the gathering said they were agitating against the "day light robbery", committed by the government and the armed TMVP, at the May 10, EPCE. more..

SLAF pounds Iranamadu airstrip

May 17 (SAMN) Air Force fighter jets conducted a night air raid Friday on the LTTE airstrip in Iranamadu, Air Forces Spokesman Wing Commander Andrew Wijesuriya said, adding there was no immediate confirmation about the extent of the damage cause. However, informed sources said there had been a fire on the airstrip shortly after the attack. Wijesuriay said Air Force fighter jets also pounded a Sea Tiger base in Vettilaikerni, Mulliyan Friday morning causing heavy damages to LTTE cadres. more..

‘Best Environment Friendly School’

May 17 (SAMN) Green Forest Association and ACL Cables Limited earlier this week joined hands to hold the first Best Environment Friendly School of the Year 2008. GFA Executive Director Harindra Serasinghe said already nearly 2,000 schools from 20 districts had expressed willingness to take part in the competition. Serasighe said that the Best Environment Friendly School of the Year 2008 would receive a prize money of rupees 100,000 along with a very expensive trophy. more..

Shortage of English teachers

May 17 (SAMN) The Ministry of Education of the NWP-PC has started a new scheme to overcome the shortage of English teachers in remote government schools in the Kurunegala and Puttalam districts. Accordingly, 450 school teachers who teach subjects other than English have been selected to be trained in teaching English language by providing them with a thorough knowledge of language and teaching methods. more..

N-E students shine in O/Ls despite conflict - Minister

May 17 (DN) Despite the ongoing conflict, students from schools in North and East have performed well at the GCE (O/L) Examination, Education Minister Susil Premjayantha said yesterday. “The parents’ dedication and the teachers’ commitment led to this,” the Minister added. He said Colombo Devi Balika Maha Vidyalaya was placed first in the 2007 GCE (O/L) Examination while Jaffna Vembadi Girls High School was placed fifth according to islandwide O/L results. more..

New concept pre school and day-care for Colombo 5

May 17 (DN) A unique pre-school and a day-care centre, with all modern facilities, equipment and the required environment for early childhood learning and development has been set up in, Colombo - 5, recently. Smart Ease, a pre-school and day-care centre with a difference is managed by its Directress, Sonali Perera who is well qualified in many pre-school education related disciplines. more..

SC dismisses FR plea of Trinity College Principal, wife

May 17 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday, May 15, 2008, dismissed the fundamental rights violation application filed by the Principal of Trinity College Kandy, R. L. Gilbert, the wife of the Principal Ruth Elizabeth Gilbert and the Board of Governors of the said school. The petition had complained that the Commissioner General of Immigration and Emigration, had refused to extend beyond May 15, 2008, the residence visas of the Principal and his wife who are British nationals. more..

A new day, a new start is Sanath’s motto

May 17 (HT) The moment that the cricketing fraternity was waiting for came on Wednesday night when Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya walked out together to open the innings for Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium. All eyes were on Tendulkar, who was making his IPL debut and playing a competitive match after more than six weeks. But it was Jayasuriya, the Matara Marauder, who walked away with the accolades in his whirlwind manner. more..

Lankan held with 325 star tortoises in India

May 17 (TOI) The air intelligence unit of the Chennai customs arrested a Sri Lankan who was used as a carrier to smuggle star tortoises on Thursday night. The customs seized 235 live star tortoises tightly packed inside a carriage bag. The consignment is worth Rs 3.52 lakh in the international market. "Mohideen Mohammed Murshit, had come to Chennai by a Sri Lankan Airlines flight and was bound for Kuala Lumpur. more..

'Military men not qualified to be personnel managers'

May 17 (Island) Some private sector employers appoint retired ‘military men’ to head personnel management departments. Workers cannot be controlled by issuing orders, threats and warnings, stated Labour Relations and Human Resources Minister Athauda Seneviratne at the opening of the Kandy three-storey new Labour Secretariat at No. 111, Yatinuwara Veediya, Kandy. Minister Seneviratne said personnel management was a different job from that of maintaining military discipline. more..

Kariyakarawana donates Rs. 100,000 awarded to him

May 17 (DM) Senior Journalist, D.F. Kariyakarawana donated Rs. 100,000 awarded to him back to Media and Information Minister, Lakshman Yapa Abewardena, requesting him to use it to construct a Media House for the use of all the journalists in the country at the National Media Awards ceremony held yesterday. “A prime need for journalists in this country is a ‘Media House’ that would accommodate journalists who come from various parts of the country for various media activities in Colombo. more..

Officers killed were deployed to provide security to Pillayan : UNP

May 17 (DM) Fuelling another controversy, the UNP said that the police officers killed in the suicide attack yesterday, were those deployed to provide security to TMVP leader Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan who was to be appointed as the chief minister yesterday. Issuing a statement, the UNP said that these police officials were providing security to Mr. Pillayan who was staying at a hotel in Colombo. more..

Indian Navy, Coast Guard intensify patrol

May 17 (Hindu) The Navy and Coast Guard have intensified patrolling along the 188-km coast in Nagapattinam district and security has been stepped up following information of possible intrusion of some anti-social elements and also some cadres from the LTTE. The Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard had been reviewing the security aspects along the Nagapattinam coast and had decided to step up its vigil owing to the continued fighting between the LTTE and Sri Lankan Army in the island nation. more..

Suicide bombing in Colombo, now the Buddhists fear attacks during Vesak

May 17 (AN) The Buddhists in Sri Lanka will not celebrate Vesak as they do every year, by participating in large ceremonies or gathering together in the city. The suicide attack yesterday in Colombo has thrown the community into panic, as it prepares to celebrate the main Buddhist commemoration. Vesak recalls the birth, awakening, and death of the Buddha Gôtama. Vesak is the second month of the Buddhist lunar calendar year, and begins between April 14 and May 14. more..

Air force bombs rebel air strip; 16 killed in clashes

May 17 (AP) Sri Lankan air force jets bombed an air strip used by Tamil Tiger rebels, while 16 insurgents were killed in ground clashes in the north, the military said Saturday. The attacks Friday came hours after a suicide bomber rammed his motorcycle into a bus carrying riot police in the heart of the capital, killing 10 people. A military statement said pilots confirmed bombing the runway in rebel-held Iranaimadu village. more..

Muslims revolt as Pillayan is sworn as East Lanka CM

May 17 (NIP) Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, alias Pillayan, of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP), a party of former LTTE cadres, was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Sri Lanka's Eastern Province here on Friday. The TMVP had fought the May 10 elections to the Eastern Provincial Council as a constituent of the United Peoples' Freedom Alliance (UPFA) headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Child soldier turned Chief Minister to build harmonious relationship with Muslims and Sinhalese

May 17 (AT) “All necessary measures will be taken to bring about peace and harmony in the East. I will take all required steps to embrace Muslims and Sinhalese living in the East and ensure their security. As a first step, I will be making arrangements to meet the Muslim leaders of the East to dispel if and any doubts that loom in their hearts and minds about my genuine love and brotherly affection towards them, more..

Infighting will undo the gains of successful elections: Rajapaksa

May 17 (PTI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that infighting between Hindu and Muslim Tamils over the Chief Ministership of the Eastern Provincial Council could deprive the East of its hard earned democracy. Sri Lanka belongs to Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese alike, Rajapaksa said after the swearing-in ceremony of the new Eastern Provincial Council Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan (Pillayan), of the rebel-LTTE TMVP on Friday evening. more..

Indian political activists take up arms against the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai

May 18 (IL) South Indian political activists have accelerated their campaign to expel the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission (SLDHC) office from Chennai on the charge that the office is spreading incorrect and distorted information about Eelam Tamils in Tamil Nadu. The question arises whether the Sri Lankan government will take it seriously or allow the Indian activists to continue their pressure until the mission is finally expelled from TN. more..

NPC: Flawed democracy and prosecution of war cannot win peace

May 18 (FI) The suicide bombing in a busy street in Colombo’s commercial area of Fort, targeting buses in which riot police were stationed have killed at least 10 and injured another 95 including civilians passing by in the vicinity. The National Peace Council condemns this attack which has the hallmarks of the LTTE. Sadly the blast took place in the heart of Colombo’s business centre, in close proximity to the Hilton hotel and opposite a Buddhist temple. more..

Athaulla does the hula

May 18 (LB) Muslim ministers warned last week that they would resign their portfolios and desert the Government if the President didn’t make M.L.A.M. Hisbullah Chief Minister of the Eastern Province - but the move flopped after one Minister changed his mind at the eleventh hour. At the last moment, Minister A.L.M. Athaulla had refused to cooperate with other Ministers, reliable sources close to one of the eight Ministers said. more..

'Don’t be racist'

May 18 (LB) After last week’s Cabinet meeting - chaired by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake - wound up, Rishard Badiudeen approached Minister Maithripala Sirisena and insisted that Hisbullah should be Chief Minister. Keheliya Rambukwella and Rajitha Senaratne, who were nearby, overheard the conversation. “Rishard, don’t engage in tomfoolery by bringing forward such racist proposals,” Rajitha said. “This is the same reason why Ranil was defeated. more..

Who gained what from this election?

May 18 (LB) What a victory - and to have it all undone in a space of three days? Well, this in effect is what happened it appears. The government won the Eastern Provincial Council elections and in terms of popular vote no doubt it had decisive victory. In Batticaloa the UPFA got more than double the UNP/SLMC vote and in Ampara the majority was substantial - over 25 thousand. In Trincomalee however the UNP secured the popular vote by a majority of around 2000 but more..