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Tread Minister requests the public to inform infringements

Apr 9 (GDI) The Government requests the public to inform the Consumer Protection Authority through the relevant Divisional Secretary or nearest Government Agent wherever such infringements occur or are suspected to have occurred, Minister of Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operatives and Consumer Services Bandula Gunawardena said at the special conference held at the Government information Department today (08). more..

Stipulate a maximum retail price of essential food items with effect from midnight

Apr 9 (GDI) The Government has decided to stipulate a maximum retail price of essential food items gazetted with effect from today midnight to prevent the unfair trading of errant traders, Minister of Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operatives and Consumer Services Bandula Gunawardena said at the special conference held at the Government information Department today (08). more..

Yal Devi resumes services to Vavuniya today

Apr 9 (GDI) The Yal Devi Intercity express train resumes its services to Vavuniya today. The service had been suspended on security concerns. Train services on the northern line were terminated at Madawachchiya in the past. Explaining the new Inter-City train service the Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) is commencing its operation from today, on account of the Sinhala and Hindu New Year. more..

Gammanpila on secret pilgrimage to Norway

Apr 9 (LT) UPFA candidate for Western PC election Udaya Gammanpila secretly visited Norwegian Embassy to meet Norwegian Ambassador. He has had a long discussion with the Ambassador and what had been discussed has not been revealed. Norway, which was accused of directly supporting the tiger terrorist organization, is again making attempts of mediating in the affairs of Sri Lanka specially to pressurize for a ceasefire to save the tiger terrorists from annihilation. more..

Where were the polling cards printed this year?

Apr 9 (LeN) The official polling card posted by the relevant Assistant Election Commissioners in relation to the Western Provincial Council lacks imprint where the place it was printed is mentioned. In all previous elections, the polling card was printed in the Government Press and it was printed on it. But it cannot be seen this year. Deputy Election Commissioner Siriwardhana said that the Election Commissioner's Department would take the responsibility of the distributed polling cards. more..

What will end game of Sri Lanka's war mean for civilians?

Apr 9 (AN) Sri Lanka's government says its 25-year war is nearing its conclusion as troops close in on Tamil Tiger rebels cornered in a tiny patch of land on the northeast coast. Aid agencies are warning of possibly dire humanitarian consequences for tens of thousands of civilians trapped with the Tigers in the shrinking war zone. And even after the conflict is over, the fate of civilians remains a serious concern. more..

Increased coconut production expected this year

Apr 9 (FP) The Coconut Cultivation Board (CCB ) revealed that expected coconut production this year is around 2859 million nuts. This is an increase of 859 million nuts compared with the requirement of the year. The CCB pointed out that the expected production up to August 2008, was 1973 million nuts. This amount had increased to 2027 million nuts and is estimated to be around 3002 million nuts exceeding the expected production in 2009. more..

Sri Lankan Tamils on hunger strike in Oslo

Apr 9 (AFP) Some 20 Sri Lankan Tamils held a hunger strike Wednesday outside Norway’s government offices which they blocked for the second straight day, urging Oslo to act in its role as mediator in the Sri Lankan conflict. Norwegian television showed the hunger strikers camping out under tents raised in front of the office of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who is currently on holiday. “Norway has let us down,” the Tamils shouted. more..

Loud explosions heard in no fire zone

Apr 9 (Xinhua) The military in Sri Lanka said loud explosions were heard Wednesday afternoon in the no fire zone declared by the government for the safety of war displaced civilians after the final announcement were made to Tamil Tiger rebels to release civilians. The Ministry of Defense said in a statement that several loud explosions have been heard in the no fire zone soon after the Army made the final announcement for the LTTE to release the civilians still trapped there. more..

Food transportation to Mullaitivu by sea

Apr 9 (GDI) At present essential food items are delivered to the people who are trapped in the No-Fire zone area only by sea.This is an extremely difficult task because there is no port in Mullaitivu area to unload the goods. Therefor the ship carrying food has to anchor in mid sea and goods are unloaded into several fishing boats and then taken to the shore for distribution to the people. No other country in the world which are engaged in combating terrorism have ever taken this kind of actions to facilitate humanitarian assistance. more..

President arrives in Serte, an exclusive Libyan airport

Apr 9 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in Serte, and exclusive Libyan airport, today (08) at 04.10 pm Sri Lanka time. Serte, located in the vicinities of Libyan President Col. Muammar Abu Minyar Al – Gaddafi’s hometown, is an exclusive airport reserved to honour visiting Heads of State. Libyan Prime Minister Dr. Al Baghdadi Ali Al Mahmudi together with Foreign Minister Moosa Mohammad Cosa were in waiting at Serte to receive the President and the state delegation. more..

Ready for peace? - Part 2

Ready for peace? - Part 1

Red Cross water technician killed in Sri Lanka

Apr 9 (DPA) A water technician for the International Committee of the Red Cross was killed in shelling Wednesday morning while trying to fetch water for his family in coastal belt held by the Tamil Tiger rebels. Paul Castella, the head of the ICRC delegation in Colombo, said he was "devastated" by the death of Sinnathurai Kugathasan who was married with three children. It was unclear whether government forces or rebels fired the shell. more..

Indian fishermen could not return due to 'communication gap'

Apr 9 (PTI) The 23 Indian fishermen released by a court in Sri Lanka after their arrest by its Navy last week, could not be handed over to the Coast Guard personnel here today due to a"communication gap", officials said. A team kept waiting at International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) at Gulf of Mannar in order to receive the fishermen, but returned after the Sri Lankan navy personnel did not turn up, Coast Guard officials said. more..

LTTE backs Jayalalithaa, snubs Karunanidhi

Apr 9 (IT) In an exclusive interview to Headlines Today, LTTE political head B. Nadesan has endorsed the position taken by the AIADMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu on the Sri Lankan Tamils' Issue. AIADMK leader J. Jayalalithaa has been one of the staunchest critics of the Tamil Tiger rebels in the state and the LTTE has so far rarely made any direct comment about her. Breaking convention, Nadesan praised Jayalalithaa's recent statements on the situation in Sri Lanka. more..

Sonia Gandhi Recieved Threat from LTTE

Apr 9 (Nhatky) Sri Lanka’s banned rebels, the LTTE might target several Indian VVIPs, including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls. Sources said on Wednesday that the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued an advisory to state DGPs, especially of the southern states, to be extra cautious about the security cover provided to VVIPs, especially Sonia Gandhi, during their campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls. more..

Out of the Tigers' cage

Apr 9 (Economist) After a terrible battle on April 3rd-5th, Sri Lanka’s surviving Tamil Tigers withdrew to a government-designated “no-fire zone”—a narrow beach, packed with refugees, on the country’s north-eastern coast. The army claimed to have killed 525 of the rebels, including two fierce women commanders, Vidusha and Durga. Killing (or capturing) their leaders, above all Velupillai Prabhakaran, is now the last big goal of a brutal, but more..

Vaiko warns of bloodbath in Tamil Nadu

Apr 9 (Hindu) MDMK general secretary Vaiko on Wednesday warned that Tamil Nadu would witness a bloodbath even if the slightest harm befell LTTE leader V. Prabakaran. Addressing a meeting here to condemn the killing of Sri Lankan Tamils, the MDMK leader said the mind of the people in Tamil Nadu had become a “volcano.” It was now a long time since they had forgotten the Sriperumpudur incident (assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi), he said. more..

Pottu Amman in command: Army

Apr 9 (Hindu) The head of the intelligence wing of the LTTE, Pottu Amman, has taken overall command of the terror outfit owing to “fast deteriorating mental health condition” of Velupillai Prabakaran, said the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry on Wednesday. The Ministry said the government-designated “No-Fire Zone” (NFZ), meant for the civilians held hostage by the LTTE in Wanni, had now become a sanctuary for top LTTE leaders including Prabakaran. more..

Were LTTE suicide pilots Tamil Canadians?

Apr 9 (AT) Intelligence services and other agencies are probing whether Canadian pilots flying for the Tamil Tigers carried out the recent abortive suicide attacks on Colombo during which their aircrafts were destroyed by the Sri Lanka Air Force. The probe follows strong indications that the two pilots could very well be Canadian nationals of Sri Lankan origin who gained entry to Canada as refugees and obtained citizenship. more..

Scratch Sri Lanka side go down to Chinese Taipei

Apr 9 (National) The club side masquerading as the Sri Lanka national team had their hopes of a Five Nations fairytale dashed as they were downed by Chinese Taipei at The Sevens tonight. The victors sealed their place in Saturday’s Division One final in the process, but they were pushed all the way by a Sri Lankan side who had battled considerable odds to even field a team. more..

Tamil protesters on hunger strike at the Houses of Parliament

Apr 9 (Times) Two Tamils were on hunger strike today in protest at alleged human rights abuses in Sri Lanka as a rally outside the Houses of Parliament continued through its third day. As many as 3,000 Tamils have caused chaos in Central London this week by blocking Westminster Bridge and holding a vigil outside Parliament, demanding that the British Government intervenes in the conflict on the Indian Ocean island. more..

Countdown to the end begins...

Apr 9 (DW) Loud explosions were heard by the Army from inside the NFZ today. Sources told DefenceWire that the explosions could possibly be weapons and explosives dumps blasted by the LTTE prior to an impending Military Assault on the LTTE. The exact nature of the assault is still unknown. Since the final warning to surrender was given today, the operation can be expected any moment now. All units of the Army are on standby awaiting the Commander's orders and are on high morale. more..

Pool tournament unites Sri Lankans

Apr 9 (IL) Unity Sri Lanka, a youth group for all Sri Lankans in the U.S., launched its inaugural event April 5 with a billiard’s tournament in suburban Maryland. The event drew 40 contestants and a total of about 60 people in an effort to raise money for post-conflict projects in Sri Lanka. Those projects could include funding for computer and athletic centers, sports equipment and educational activities. more..

Assistant Secretary Boucher and Ambassador Blake discuss humanitarian situation with Tamil diaspora groups

Apr 9 (USDS) Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher and U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert Blake met with several U.S.-based organizations representing members of the Tamil diaspora to discuss the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka. Assistant Secretary Boucher and Ambassador Blake welcomed the opportunity to listen to the concerns and perspectives of the American Tamil diaspora community and more.. Silva, PC passes away, funeral Saturday

Apr 9 (LG) The funeral of Mr. Silva, PC, who passed away today will be held on Saturday at the Borella General Cemetery on Saturday. He was 81. Mr de Silva, a former diplomat and Constitutional expert was involved in a series of important cases in addition to being a member Government’s peace delegation at peace talks. more..

ICRC President visits Sri Lanka

Apr 9 (LG) On the invitation of Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Mr. Jakob Kellenberger visited Sri Lanka on 7th April 2009. He was accompanied by Mr. Jacques De Maio, Head of Operations for South Asia. The ICRC President called on Minister Bogollagama in Colombo yesterday (07th April 2009) and discussed several aspects of the ongoing ICRC activities in Sri Lanka. more..

UNP to propose executive prime minister post responsible to parliament

Apr 9 (LG) The UNP plans to propose a wide range of constitutional amendments which would include the creation of executive Prime Minister fully responsible to Parliament, party General Secretary Tissa Attanayaka said. He said accordingly they hope to propose reduce the powers of the executive presidential post and strengthen parliament. Mr Attanayaka said that the proposed constitutional changes will also be included in the party’s manifesto to be released for future elections. more..

At last, Sri Lanka can breathe easy

Apr 9 (LG) The moment one lands at Sri Lanka’s Bandaranaike International Airport, one is struck by the battle-readiness of this tiny island nation that has been waging a bloody war with Tamil separatists for three decades now. The airport clearly wears the look of a military base, complete with a standing fleet of fighter aircraft heavily manned by security forces and sand bunkers and Army vehicles lining the runway. more..

Tamils' self-determination was never LTTE's goal

Apr 9 (LG) Many Tamils (and non Tamils) staunchly believe that the intention of VP and LTTE was to secure a Tamil nation in the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka. Many were dreaming of a developed and democratic Tamil nation and were on the belief that VP will deliver that dream to them. It is my belief that the VP’s war since 1980’s in Sri Lanka has been fought only to fulfill dubious political and financial aspirations of narcissist namely Velupillai Prabakaran (VP) and more..

Top Indian military expert rejects Tigers' chemical attack claims

Apr 9 (LG) Top Indian military analyst Col R Hariharan has scoffed at the LTTE's claims that Sri Lankan troops had used chemical weapons in the ongoing conflict. The former head of intelligence to IPKF in Sri Lanka also described the latest LTTE allegations against the military as false propaganda. His remarks came as the LTTE, facing a major and historic debacle, accused the government of using chemical weapons against their cadres who were killed in action. more..

Eleven local/ global giants vie for US$ 1.2 billion Colombo South Port

Apr 9 (AT) A total of eleven corporate giants, both local and overseas, are vying for the construction and operation of the US$ 1.2 billion plus Colombo South Port. What is moot is that there are four local Colombo Stock Exchange listed conglomerates who have proven track records in shipping and who have agencies for global shipping lines - John Keells Holdings PLC, Aitken Spence Shipping more..

MIA v the Sri Lankan army

Apr 9 (Guardian) MIA has found herself in the sights of the Sri Lankan army after backing a campaign to send food and medical supplies to the island nation. The British singer, who grew up in Sri Lanka, has given her support to the Vanni Mission, which aims to send a boat of civilian aid from Britain to Sri Lanka. The cargo is destined for Tamil civilians within a government "safe zone". more..

US urges political settlement in Sri Lanka

Apr 9 (AFP) The United States on Wednesday urged Sri Lanka's government to reach a political settlement with the Tamil minority and urged Tamil rebels to free civilians trapped in the bloody conflict. Richard Boucher, the assistant secretary of state for South Asia, met at the State Department with representatives of the Tamil diaspora, which has been holding worldwide rallies urging intervention in the bloody conflict. more..

Sri Lankan hospital shelled in no-fire zone

Apr 9 (Guardian) At least 20 people were killed and nearly 300 injured yesterday when a hospital in the last area of Sri Lanka held by the Tamil Tigers was shelled in what one doctor described as the worst day of bloodshed since the start of the military campaign. The doctor, Thangamutha Sathiyamorthy, blamed the Sri Lankan army for firing shells that landed next to two health facilities in Putumattalan, more..

Rebellion crushed in the NFZ?

Apr 9 (GDI) Serious disturbances have been observed in the NFZ since last afternoon with loud explosions and machine gun fire have been heard in the Ampalawanpokkanai area, special correspondent on the field reveal. Sri Lanka Army units deployed just 500- 400 m short of the LTTE built earth bund on the border of the NFZ in Ampalavanpokkanai West, reported sighting of a large group of people gathering in the NFZ during the afternoon hours before the explosions and shooting began. more..

Mexico reassures Sri Lanka of its support

Apr 9 (GDI) Following talks in Mexico City between Foreign Secretary, Dr Palitha Kohona and senior Mexican government officials, Mexico has reassured Sri Lanka of its firm support at international fora, including the UN Security Council. Mexico is holding the presidency of the Security Council in April. Mexico confirmed that they do not have any intention of permitting the Sri Lankan situation to be placed on the Security Council agenda, as more..

SCOPP helps expelled Muslims in Puttalam

Apr 9 (PISL) The long expelled Northern Muslimss in the Puttalam settlements are gradually becoming very much a part of the socio-economic structure of the area, and the government is undertaking initiatives to empower them and provide opportunities for income generation. Over 112,000 people were displaced from Mannar, Mullativu and Jaffna, due to the ethnic cleansing practised by the LTTE against the Muslims in 1990. more..

Fatal mistake of 133,000 of Election Commissioner

Apr 9 (LeN) Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE) says that more than one polling cards have been issued to many voters in Colombo district for the Western Provincial Council election. CAFFE says that Colombo alone, the number of persons who have been issued more than one polling card is 133,000. CAFFE called the attention to this matter this morning on the basis this situation can decisively affect a fair election. more..

Self rule in North/East, the U.S. policy in Sri Lanka

Apr 9 (AT) United States Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Richard Boucher, at hand in the Washington State Department building, and U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert Blake participating through a digital video conference from Colombo giving an audience to several U.S.-based organizations representing members of the Tamil Diaspora to discuss the humanitarian situation in more..

Tamil voices in the net against rise against LTTE

Apr 9 (LG) As the Tigers are receiving deadly blows in Northern Sri Lanka, several Tamils have reacted strongly against the Tiger leadership. The unprecedented number of anti- LTTE sentiments in the internet can be observed especially from blog responses in website such as One Tamil blogger writes: “Untold suffering, genocide are all the lot of the Tamils in the N&EP – more so in the Northern Province now, particularly in the Wanni. more..

Weaving wonders: Sustainable recovery from tsunami and conflict

Apr 9 (IFRC) This is the second in a series of four profiles/case studies, looking at how Red Cross Red Crescent has helped people to rebuild their own lives after the tsunami in Sri Lanka. Sathrukkondan village in Batticaloa, eastern Sri Lanka, has been badly affected by the armed conflict that has raged though the country for most of the past 20 years. All of the village’s residents have been displaced at least once, and more..

'Eight finger prints discovered'

Apr 9 (LT) Police Media Spokesman Mr. Ranjith Gunasekara told "Lanka Truth" the police have discovered 8 finger prints of the suspects of J.V.P. member's murder. He further said that the vehicle seized by the police over the killing of Mr. Nandana Balage, belongs to the NFF Parliamentarian Piyasiri Wijenayake. Police were notified of the registration number of the double cab, WP-PB-0674 from which the shots were fired and traced it to Piyasiri Wijenayake. more..

Abductors release TNA MP's brother Raveendran

Apr 9 (TN) Selvarajah Raveendran, a lecturer of Jaffna University and the brother of Jaffna District TNA MP S. Kajendran was released Wednesday night around 9:30 p.m. at Wellawatte in Colombo, media sources in Colombo said. No information was available about the abductors and Mr. Raveendran was not available for comments. Raveendran, who was following postgraduate diploma, was abducted 24 March night by more..

Demonstration against shortage of teachers in Ampaa’rai

Apr 9 (TN) Students and their parents of 21 schools in Akkaraipattu and Poththuvil Education Zones in Ampaa’rai district staged a protest demonstration Wednesday against the acute shortage of teachers in the above schools, Ampaa’rai sources said. Hundreds of persons including religious and social dignitaries participated in the demonstration. The protestors who gathered in front of Poththuvil Jummaa Mosque marched to more..

Golden Key suspects further remanded

Apr 9 (DN) Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate Harsha Sethunga yesterday further remanded the suspects produced before court in connection with the alleged Golden Key Credit Card fraud and remanded them till April 23. The Judge reserved the order in respect of the bail application of Chairman Lalith Kotalawela for April 23. On the last hearing date the Judge directed the CID Officials, to obtain a medical report from the Colombo JMO in more..

IGP's interview with Business Today

Apr 9 (BT) The Sri Lanka Police is entrusted with the task of maintaining Law and Order in the country. As the main law enforcement agency, the Police Force has evolved to counter the LTTE threat in all areas including but not limited to the City of Colombo. Many were concerned that Colombo may become a battle ground with the cornering of the LTTE in the North. more..

A million dogs their target

Apr 9 (DN) A special program to sterilise one million dogs islandwide this year is underway. The National Rabies Prevention Committee has implemented this project to bring down the fast increasing dog population which is a serious health hazard. Dr. Chamith Nanayakkara, a senior member of the committee told the media that more than 24,000 dogs were sterilized up to March 25 and the number of patients vaccinated against hydrophobia is increasing in alarming proportions every year. more..

VET system to be scrutinized

Apr 9 (DN) Environment and Natural Resources and Transport Ministries and the Motor Traffic Commissioner’s Department have called for details and statistics of all vehicle exhaust emission tests so far carried out by the emission test centres of the Clean Co Lanka and Laugfs Eco,the two companies responsible for issuing Vehicle Emission Test (VET) certificates for all motor vehicles. more..