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Sri Lanka celco chief touts virtues of NGN

Apr 7 (LBO) New technology that allows multiple telecom services to be delivered over a single network can sharply lower costs and make commerce greener, Hans Wijayasuriya, the head of Sri Lanka's biggest mobile firm said. Wijayasuriya was addressing a Next Generation Networks (NGN) standardization forum in Colombo organised by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka, International Telecommunications Union and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization. more..

'Sri Lanka has space for monetary easing'

Apr 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka has space for easing policy with inflation coming down, Central Bank governor Nivard Cabraal said, as the monetary authority sounded strong warnings against runaway government spending. "What we like to say is when inflation comes down there is more space to relax monetary," Cabraal told reporters Monday. "We cannot give amounts and time." Though there is clearly monetary space for easing policy, doubts are emerging about the fiscal space available for further easing. more..

Sri Lanka firms get no relief in tax refund delays

Apr 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's cash-strapped government has been unable to offer relief to the private sector over lengthy delays in getting value-added tax (VAT) refunds. Private sector officials said companies were facing cash-flow problems owing to the delays in VAT refunds on the part of the Inland Revenue Department. Tax department officials said they were unable to pay as cash-strapped government departments, which act as VAT withholding agents, themselves delayed payments. more..

'Int'l pressure stopped army’s march into no fire zone'

Apr 7 (ANN) The army has not entered the no fire zone in Mullaitivu, due to international pressure, SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem said yesterday. He said at a news conference that the obvious interpretation of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s comment to a foreign news agency that the "army was not in a hurry to enter the no fire zone", was due to the government being pressurised by the international community not to proceed any further, since more..

Delon offers 'blueprint to a revolution'

Apr 7 (EW) Sri Lankan/Cali rapper DeLon is prepping a new disc and reppin’ a new era in hip hop. The international artist, whose real name is Dilan Jayasingha, has already scored three #1 hits and nabbed the Best Rapper honor at the Sri Lankan MTV Awards equivalent. While DeLon’s style isn’t particularly extraordinary, it’s his cool presentation of socio-political knowledge and a few progressive tracks that make him stand out. more..

Hillary discusses Sri Lanka situation with Norwegian Foreign Minister

Apr 7 (PTI) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed the current crisis in Sri Lanka, the humanitarian conditions and peace process there during a meeting with her Norwegian counterpart Jonas Gahr Stoere. In a joint media interaction after the meeting at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, Clinton said Sri Lanka did figure up during their talks along with other issues. more..

Slain Sri Lankan journalist honoured with UN press freedom award

Apr 7 (UN) Sri Lankan journalist and editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, who was assassinated on 8 January this year, has been named as the laureate of the 2009 World Press Freedom Prize by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Mr. Wickrematunge was an attorney who also began working as an investigative reporter for the Sun/Davasa newspaper, according to a news release issued by UNESCO. more..

Sri Lanka denies Prabakaran’s son heading to Malaysia

Apr 7 (TS) The Sri Lankan Army has denied that the LTTE chief's son, believed to have been wounded in fighting against government forces, was heading to Malaysia for medical treatment. V. Prabakaran's son, Charles Anthony, was reported to have been leading an LTTE contingent in the rebel's stronghold of Pudhukkudiyiruppu in the island's north, fighting against government forces, when he was injured on March 8. more..

Pakistan probe seeks Sri Lankan statements

Apr 7 (AFP) A Pakistan commission investigating last month's deadly ambush of Sri Lanka's cricket team on Tuesday requested evidence from the touring players, a court official said. Justice Shabbar Rizvi recorded statements from local officials, journalists and the owner of a shopping centre near where up to 12 attackers assaulted the Sri Lankan team bus in the eastern city of Lahore. more..

Clashes as Tamils rally in London

Apr 7 (BBC) Four people have been arrested during clashes between the police and Tamils who are staging an ongoing protest outside the Houses of Parliament. Scores of police officers boxed in hundreds of demonstrators to move them off the roads and into Parliament Square, sparking minor scuffles. Some needed medical attention for minor injuries and a man is in hospital after jumping into the Thames on Monday. Protesters want the UK government to act to end war in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka troops dig in ahead of final onslaught

Apr 7 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops Tuesday consolidated their hold on newly captured territory ahead of a planned offensive to free civilians trapped in the island's war zone, military officials said. Security forces are preparing to advance into the last patch of land where the Tamil Tiger rebel fighters have been surrounded along with tens of thousands of civilians. The military Monday said it had recovered the bodies of 525 rebels killed in more..

UN calls for pause in Sri Lanka's civil war

Apr 7 (AP) A U.N. human rights official called Tuesday for a pause in Sri Lanka's civil war and urged the Tamil Tiger rebels to allow tens of thousands of trapped civilians to flee the fighting. The civilians are in a precarious position because they are huddled in a narrow "no-fire" zone on the island's northeast coast where the rebels are holed up after a series of military defeats at the hands of government troops. more..

Top Tiger leaders killed in a major debacle for LTTE

Apr 7 (DBS) The LTTE organization suffered a terrible blow in the Aanandapuram area of Puthukkudiyiruppu AGA division. In what may very well be the defining moment of the on going war the tigers have lost a vast array of illustrious fighting commanders as well as large numbers of cadres in a single battle. More than 525 bodies of dead LTTE fighters have been recovered and a special military intelligence squad is busy identifying those killed. The details are being revealed in stages. more..

Shares at 1-mo high on IMF privatisation talk

Apr 8 (Reuters) Shares rose to a one-month high on Tuesday led by Sri Lanka Telecom on a speculation it would privatised if a $1.9 billion IMF loan comes through. The rupee closed flat on a state bank buying dollars to keep it steady amid uncertainty over what the terms of the loan will be. Sri Lanka Telecom SLTL.CM jumped 11.4 percent to 39 rupees during early trade, before sliding and closing 5.71 percent firmer at 37 rupees, calculated on a weighted average. more..

Unbelievable LTTE weapon stocks & explosives uncovered

Apr 8 (GDI) MASSIVE stocks of LTTE explosives, arms and ammunition, lethal weapons, sophisticated technical devices and other accessories continued to emerge as troops were busy clearing captured areas in the north and east of PUTHUKKUDIYIRUPPU. Troops recovered one I-com set, one Improvised Explosive Device (IED), one 60 mm mortar IED and five anti personnel mines from RAMANATHAPURAM area after they conducted a search and clear operation following the abortive suicide attempt of the LTTE woman suicide bomber. more..

Animal Husbandry and Health Department recruits 43 new officers into service

Apr 8 (GDI) In a process of strengthening services island wide, Animal Husbandry and Health Department recruited another 43 officers into service. Newly recruited officers were delivered their appointment letters by Minister C. B. Rathnayaka today (07) at 10.00 am during a ceremony held at the Ministry auditorium. The freshly appointed cadre included 28 veterinary surgeons, 3 soil research officers and 12 animal husbandry development officers. more..

Student pleads guilty for killing another

Apr 8 (LG) The Colombo High Court today sentenced a Sri Jayawardenapura University student who pleaded guilty to stabbing another student to death and injuring another. He pleaded guilty for the death of Sampath Wimalathissa Bandara on June 4, 2005 during a clash between two student factions of the university. The accused also pleaded guilty for the charge of stabbing and injuring another student. more..

Sri Lanka truce urgent, says Britain

Apr 8 (LBO) Britain has renewed its call for a humanitarian ceasefire in Sri Lanka and urged Tamil Tiger rebels to release civilians being held as a human shield. Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, has commented on the situation in Sri Lanka following worrying reports of fighting in civilian concentrated areas within the country, the British Foreign Office said in a statement. more..

Way of the Cross stresses care for environment

Apr 8 (UCAN) Some Catholics in Sri Lanka have used the Way of the Cross to reflect on environmental issues. On March 27, parishioners of St. Francis De Sales Church in Dalugama, Colombo archdiocese, used a special booklet for the Lenten devotion which highlights the relationship between humans and the environment. The Holy Family sisters prepared the booklet to help Catholics take steps to protect nature. more..

Wheithr constitutional council, asks Ranil

Apr 8 (LG) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe questioned in parliament today as to when the appointments to the Constitutional Council would be made. Mr. Wickremasinghe pointed out that even though necessary measures had been taken in 2006, 2008 and 2009 to make the appointments, those appointments were yet to be made. He added that the non appointment of members to the Constitutional Council had resulted in the independent commissions not being formulated as well. more..

Central bank urges curbs on state recruitment

Apr 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank has urged the government to curb recruitment into the hugely over-staffed and inefficient state sector, given the difficulties caused by economic slowdown. It warned that the country's unemployment rate, which has been falling in recent years, might go up again in 2009 as the economic recession reduces consumer demand and production of goods and services. more..

Lankan Food Festival begins in Dubai

Apr 8 (TA) The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau’s Middle East Office is hosting a fortnight-long Sri Lankan food festival in conjunction with SriLankan Airlines in Dubai. The food festival, which began on Tuesday at the Spice Island restaurant in Renaissance Dubai Hotel, will provide gourmets, food connoisseurs and the public an opportunity to sample the taste of Sri Lankan food. “Sri Lanka boasts an amazing variety of food and styles of cooking. more..

Growing concern over civilians trapped in conflict zone

Apr 8 (IRIN) Tens of thousands of civilians trapped inside rapidly shrinking areas of combat between government forces and the LTTE in northern Sri Lanka are a major concern for the UN, a visiting top official said. “The conflict is still going on, large numbers of people are being trapped in the Vanni [combat zone],” Walter Kaelin, the Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights of IDPs, told reporters in the northern town of Vavuniya on 4 April. more..

UN warns of bloodbath in Sri Lanka's civil war

Apr 8 (AP) A U.N. human rights official warned Tuesday of a bloodbath in Sri Lanka unless government and rebel forces can stop fighting for long enough to allow tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the war zone to flee. The civilians are in a precarious position, huddled in a narrow "no-fire" zone on the island's northeast coast where the rebels are holed up after a series of military defeats at the hands of government troops. more..

'Govt regrets British Foreign Secretary’s statement'

Apr 8 (GDI) The Government has regretted the statement of the British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband in the House of Commons recently, expressing disappointment at the continued rejection of the appointment of the British Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Sri Lanka, Des Browne. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama reiterated in Parliament, the Government’s position that the British Government had failed to adhere to more..

Catholics fast, pray, donate money to war-trapped civilians

Apr 8 (UCAN) Catholics throughout the country heeded their bishops' call to fast, pray and donate money on April 3 for those suffering from the ongoing civil war in the north. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka declared a national day of fasting, abstinence and prayers for that Friday to seek divine assistance in bringing reconciliation among all Sri Lankans. more..

Breath to Nibbana

Apr 8 (LG) It may be that neither such a person nor a physician would discover the cause or source of the illness. Even at times of apparent well being symptoms of the illness still persist! When one has nobody in whom to confide one’s stresses then one has to bear the pain. There are many good people whose heart will melt at others’ troubles. One may find the needed compassion in a person who follows the Buddha’s path. Such a kind person may render help with no expectation of a returned favour. more..

Pro-LTTE Diaspora media goes haywire with falsehoods

Apr 8 (LG) Pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora have charged the British Police of grabbing Tamil children and infants and throwing them away according to a report in the mischievous Tiger web, Tuesday April 7. There is no surprise about the extremity of this absolutely false claim because it was on such fodder Tiger mafia gangsterism has been developed over the last three decades glorifying a criminal smuggler who it is claimed had shown signs of suffering necrophilia. more..

LTTE proclaims ultimate confidence in the Masters

Apr 8 (LG) It looks like a new prophet has arrived as the existing prophet has been over-burdened by having to overwork with running in difficult terrain, creeping in the harsh woods and hiding in rabbit holes. He simply does not have time to get any reprieve even to breathe in normal rhythm. It has been continuous running, creeping or hiding. How can he perform in the True Son God’s Goebbelsmatic service? To HIS credit, True Son God has understood this and has appointed an additional prophet. more..

SLFP has now opened a military wing in the party– Hakeem

Apr 8 (LG) Speaking at a press conference SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem Commenting on TMVP handing over its weapons said it was a farce because nobody would know how many weapons they had in their possession. He added they have handed over 77 weapons according to media reports and the TMVP led by Pillayan did it at least symbolically. SLMC leader went on to say, Minister Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan alias Karuna, earlier declined to lay down arms saying he was under threat from the LTTE and it was understandable. more..

End of the war, begins opportunities

Apr 8 (AT) A discussion at the CEO Forum organized by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) in collaboration with the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) was held at the Hilton Hotel Colombo on the topic ‘Beyond the war’ – Building: Human capital, organization and economy. The discussion was carried out considering the imminent end of the war that ran for nearly three decades and cost the country billions of dollars and thousands of lives. more..

Golden Jubillee Of Sri Jayawardanapura University

Apr 8 (AT) University education in Sri Lanka began with the establishment of a university college (1921) in Colombo and later it was transformed to full university status as University of Ceylon in 1941 under the leadership of Sir Ivor Jennings, who was a political scientist and constitution expert, settling in a fascinating natural environment in Peradeniya. Before establishment of a university in Sri Lanka, colonial rulers founded a Medical College (1870) and more..

Distance Education Study opportunities for 20 Sri Lankan students

Apr 8 (AT) The Royal institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden has granted 20 Distance-based study opportunities for 20 Sri Lankan Engineers who are attached to the Ministry of Vocational and Technical Training to pursue Masters of Engineering studies in the stream of Sustainable Energy Engineering (SEE) for year 2009. The proposed opportunity granted under Distance Education in collaboration with the KTH in Sweden. more..

Lankan forces “best in the world”

Apr 8 (BL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa hailed Sri Lankan armed forces as the best in the world and commented that he was “proud” to be their Commander-in-Chief. The comment was made in response to The Bottom Line defence columnist Ruwan Weerakoon’s inquiry as to what the President felt regarding the comprehensive victories achieved by the three forces over the last two years, more..

Karunanidhi- target of the pro-Eelam groups

Apr 8 (BL) The plight of the Sri Lankan Tamils in the Vanni, will become the main campaign issue in the May 13 Parliamentary election in Tamil Nadu, observers say. Pazha Nedumaran of the Tamizhar Desiya Iyakkam, who will head a group of Pro-Eelam organisations, said the campaign will be directed against the DMK and the Congress, and their governments in Chennai and Delhi. Dr. S. Ramadoss, who switched over from DMK group to the opposing ADMK group last week, more..

Chef Publis’ message this Avurudu

Apr 8 (BL) Put all your troubles aside this New Year and enjoy the scrumptious delights of Avurudu without any worries, is the message from world famous Chef Publis Silva who is the Director of Culinary Affairs and Promotions at The Mount Lavinia Hotel this season. “These days, people are so worried about cholesterol and diabetes that they don’t eat anything at all throughout their life. more..

Parasitoids to attack ‘Piti Makuna’ reach Sri Lanka

Apr 8 (BL) Close to 50,000 parasitoids provided by the Department of Agriculture, USA reached the island yesterday in order to act as a natural predator to combat the ‘Piti Makuna’, also known as the mealy bug (Pseudococcidae family). However, the Department of Agriculture here is still to release them to the environment as more studies need to be done to monitor how the weather in the island will affect the parasitoids. more..

Sri Lanka tries to salvage tanker leaking acid

Apr 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka's navy said it has rescued the crew of a tanker in distress off the east coast and towed the vessel into deep seas to prevent pollution from its cargo of sulphuric acid. MT Granba, flying the flag of Turkey, was abandoned by her crew off the eastern port of Trincomalee after its cargo of sulphuric acid began leaking. The crew were rescued by navy vessels which went to the scene in response to a distress message more..

Sri Lanka envoy seeks aid to rebuild country

Apr 8 (JT) Sri Lanka is hoping for further economic assistance from Japan to rebuild the northeast- ern part of the island previously controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam once the long-running civil war comes to an end, the country's ambassador to Japan said Tuesday. "Japan is very much involved in the reconstruction" of the areas once held by the LTTE, Ambassador Jayantha Palipane said during a visit to The Japan Times. more..

Why are the Tamils protesting?

Apr 8 (Independent) In recent days large crowds of Tamil protesters have taken to the streets of London to highlight the plight of thousands of Tamil civilians caught up in the apparent endgame of a long and vicious civil war in Sri Lanka. The demonstrators are demanding that Britain use its influence to try and enforce a ceasefire between the Sri Lankan army and the fighters of the LTTE. Police arrested four people – one for violent disorder – after scuffles broke out when officers moved protesters off a bridge into Parliament Square. more..

Let them decide

Apr 8 (Guardian) As London witnesses Tamil protests, a bloodbath on the beaches of northern Sri Lanka seems an increasingly real possibility. The Sri Lankan military has pushed the LTTE into an area so small that any shooting or shelling inevitably causes casualties among the 150,000 to 190,000 civilians trapped in the same zone. There have been many hundreds of civilian deaths caused by firing from both sides, though exact numbers and who fired what and when are impossible to verify. more..

Driven to their death in vain

Apr 8 (MoD) They were brutal. They were trained from their childhood to hate, murder and to believe whatever said by their leader as the ultimate truth. They had started their bloody careers in the LTTE as its "baby killers". When they were lead to commit village massacres, they began with throwing infants to wells and drowned them, they next smashed babies on tree trunks while their mothers watched in horror and grief, they ripped open the wombs of pregnant mothers, clubbed and chopped women and the unborn to death without the least ruffle. more..

Preparing for the final showdown

Apr 8 (DW) The Army has decided to temporarily postpone its hostage rescue plan into the NFZ as large numbers of civilians started moving into government areas across the Nanthikadal Lagoon yesterday following the complete decimation of the LTTE's entire hardcore reserve. Reports reaching DefenceWire indicate that a total of around 750 LTTE hardcore cadres have either been killed or surrendered to the Army over a 3 day period ending last Saturday night. more..

UN welcomes Govt plan

Apr 8 (GDI) The United Nations advocate for displaced persons today called for urgent measures to save civilians trapped in a tiny pocket of northern Sri Lanka by fighting between the Government and the LTTE. Following a four-day visit to the island nation Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Representative for the Human Rights of Displaced Persons Walter Kalin expressed concern for the lives of civilians trapped in the 14-square kilometre area of the Vanni declared by more..

'Public service will not be curtailed by any means'

Apr 8 (GDI) The government restates that the public service will not be curtailed by any means and during the past three years the government has taken many measures to strengthen the state sector as well , Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said at a media briefing in Colombo. Nearly 29,000 persons have been recruited to the state service in the year 2006 and 38,000 persons entered the public sector in the first two months of this year. more..

Govt to launch three million tree planting program

Apr 8 (GDI) The Government is planning to launch a program to plant three million saplings island wide as a measure to enhance natural resources and ensure food security,Trade, Marketing Development, Consumer Services and Cooperatives Minister Bandula Gunewardene said. The authorities are planning to distribute 1,100,000 jak plants, 400,000 coconut seedlings, 273,00 bread fruit plants, 240,000 mango plants according to the scheme. more..

SAARC cultural centre govering board meets in Colombo

Apr 8 (GDI) The Governing Board of the SAARC Cultural Centre held its first meeting at Galadari Hotel in Colombo on 6-7 April 2009 with the participation of Members from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka and officials of the SAARC Secretariat. The Meeting followed the ceremonial opening of the Office of the SAARC Cultural Centre in Colombo on 25 March by Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama. more..

No alcohol for Sinhala and Hindu New Year

Apr 8 (GDI) All bars, taverns, restaurants and wine stores throughout the country were ordered to be closed on the 13th and 14th of April and Department of Excise launched a special programme targeting the coming week of Sinhala and Tamil New Year countrywide to control the production and sale of illicit liquor as well as the violation of Excise laws yesterday, Colombo Excise Department sources said. more..

'LTTE can no further claim that they bear arms for safeguarding Tamils'

Apr 8 (LeN) PLOTE leader and former MP D. Siddharthan says that LTTE can no further claim that they bear arms for safeguarding Tamils following the loss of the war and the loss of their last stronghold Puthukudirippu and war almost end. Making a special statement to 'Lanka-e-News', Siddharthan asks the LTTE to show cause for their cadres bearing arms while living among civilians in the no-fire zone. more..

'It is not the way for post-conflict ambitions,' say London protestors

Apr 8 (TN) “The spontaneous demonstrations that are taking place in world capitals are a result of the failure of deliberations between community elders and the ruling circles of the International Community," said 17-year-old M. Kavitha who got injured in police charging during the protest in London on Tuesday. "The younger generation of the diaspora, disillusioned over the elder’s faith in the IC governments, has taken to the streets now,” more..