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Dengue fever spreading once again in Sri Lanka

Apr 18 (GDI) Mosquito-borne Dengue fever is spreading once again in Sri Lanka with a sharp increase in the number of patients, Sri Lanka health officials said. The Director of the Epidemic disease Unit of Health ministry said that 2,400 dengue cases have been reported within the last two months, from Colombo, Kandy, Ratnapura, Kalutara and Kegalle districts. This statistics show a sharp rise in dengue cases compared to the last year. more..

Soldiers at Army Hqrs mark New Year dawn

Apr 18 (GDI) Festival atmosphere in the country on account of the Sinhala-Hindu New Year prevailed in the Army grounds at the Army Headquarters throughout Friday (17) morning when soldiers and officers serving Colombo got together to mark the occasion by holding a fun-making New Year festival. Commander of the Army Lieutinant General Sarath Fonseka took time off to attend the festival as chief guest. more..

'Govt not giving into international pressure'

Apr 18 (GDI) The Government is not prepared to give into International and domestic pressures and abandon the on going operations to free thousands of innocent civilians taken hostage by the ruthless terrorist Prabhakaran, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. He said the Government has the biggest responsibility to free these civilians than any other Government or State and the best effort is currently being made to fulfil this responsibility by the Government. more..

Phones, GPS device seized from Sri Lankan

Apr 18 (Hindu) The ‘Q’ Branch CID police arrested a Sri Lankan national on the East Coast Road near Mamallapuram in Kancheepuram district late on Thursday night. Following a specific clue, a special team apprehended Muthanna alias Gangadharan (39) of Viswamadu in Sri Lanka who was proceeding to Cuddalore. He was in possession of two satellite phones, a Global Positioning System (GPS) device, three mobile phones and a map of the coastal areas. more..

Expert warns of more tremors

Apr 18 (CT) An expert geologist has predicted of more tremors in Sri Lanka because of a new tectonic plate around 500 km off Sri Lanka's southern coast. Prof. C.B. Ratnayake of the Peradeniya University said the new tectonic plate is directly linked to the one that located in Indonesian islands and created the 2004 tsunami. He warned that the minor tremors have become a regular occurrence in Sri Lanka, which cannot be ignored any more. more..

Tamils giving no acceptable reason to be turned back

Apr 18 (CT) Tamils from the North who cannot give an acceptable reason for traveling to the South will be turned back at the Medawachchiya military checkpoint. The Ministry of Defence has taken this decision in view of the prevailing security situation. Only those traveling to the South for professional, educational or health reasons will be allowed to cross the military checkpoint. more..

'I’ll resign from the Parliament if prices of goods increase'

Apr 18 (LT) He would resign from his Parliamentary seat if prices of goods increase due to the implementation of the new bills exempting government institutions from taxation and the nation building tax said Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Bandula Gunawardena. The minister was responding to a statement made by UNP MP Kabeer Hasheem who said in a discussion on the 16th that the two Bills would lead to a triple increase in prices of essential items in the market. more..

President entertains wanted man in Temple Trees

Apr 18 (LT) MP Sarana Gunawardene, who is wanted by the police for abducting a 12 year old child, assaulting his father and shooting in the air to threaten people, was entertained by President Mahinda Rajapakse at Temple Trees yesterday. The Attanagalla Magistrate has ordered the police to immediately arrest Sarana Gunawardene, who broke into a house at Yakkala, shot in the air to threaten residents and neighbours, assaulted the chief occupant of the house and abducted his 12 year old child. more..

UN Chief Of Staff Receives Briefing On Sri Lankan Situation

Apr 18 (AT) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's chief of staff Vijay Nambiar, who is on a humanitarian mission in Sri Lanka, met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and received a briefing on the political and military situation in the north. UN spokesman Farhan Haq told Asian Tribune that Nambiar also met with Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama. more..

Sri Lanka debt management: Public debt declines

Apr 18 (DN) The country’s total outstanding debt stock as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), declined to 81.1 percent in 2008 from 85 percent in 2007. This was revealed at the launch of the publication on Public Debt Management in Sri Lanka -2008 which was held yesterday at the Central Bank. Superintendent of Public Debt, Central Bank of Sri Lanka C.J.P Siriwardene said most Debt Burden Indicators (DBI) have shown that Sri Lanka is a low debt burden country. more..

'Army will be deployed if Police unable to curb election violence'

Apr 18 (LT) The Army will be deployed if the police is unable to curb election violence in Colombo Central area says Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dishanayake. The Commissioner has said the IGP would be informed to provide adequate security to the area and if the police is unable to act in a satisfactory manner the Army will have to be deployed added the Commissioner. more..

Mega-development projects underway - President

Apr 18 (DN) The Government was engaged in mega development projects in the spheres of agriculture, irrigation and other infrastructural facilities islandwide, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. “For the first time ever, the Government was engaged in constructing five harbours at the same given period. When some other countries in the region, such as India and Nepal were experiencing power cuts, Sri Lanka did not have even an hour’s power cut. more..

Changing climate for Rambutan in Malwana

Apr 18 (DN) Once, Bibile was famous for the goodness of 'Peni Dodam,' or oranges, just as apple-like big pears for Nuwaraeliya prior to the 1978 hurricane. Would the fate of gleaming red or yellow Rambutan in Malwana be similar? Yes, probably, it could be a matter of few more years before growers in Malwana would get rid of the fruit loved by all, giving back coconut and rubber their due places. more..

No requests made to visit ‘safe zone’ - Rambukwella

Apr 18 (Island) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday said no foreign government or organisation had made any request to the government for permission to visit the Safe Zone where, according to the US State Department, more than 140,000 of civilians are trapped. US State Department yesterday said it has called upon the Sri Lanka Government and the LTTE to immediately cease hostilities until those in the conflict area are out. more..

5,456 IDP’s shipped to Pulmudai from Mullaitivu

Apr 18 (Island) Over 65,000 internally displaced persons had arrived in the government controlled areas of the Wanni by the time the country celebrated the Sinhala and Tamil people New Year. The Health Ministry said that on Wednesday (15) 514 internally displaced persons (IDPs) of whom were 124 casualties had been shipped to Pulmudai. This was the eleventh shipment of IDPs brought to Pulmudai. more..

Former editor recalled from diplomatic post

Apr 18 (Island) Lalith Alahakoon, former editor of The Nation, has been recalled from the Sri Lankan High Commission in Islamabad with immediate effect. Alahakoon, who received a diplomatic posting following representations made to the Government in the immediate aftermath of the abduction and assault on Keith Noyahr, the Deputy Editor of The Nation, is believed to have exchanged words with Sri Lankan High Commissioner Air Marshall Jayalath Weerakkody. more..

State banks grab top spot

Apr 18 (DM) Against a backdrop of a highly volatile environment, Brand Finance Lanka has released its annual analysis of brands in Sri Lanka for the fifth consecutive year. This year, the brand line up shows some dramatic shifts which is primarily being driven through the uncertainties faced by many businesses. “Brands which are built on the foundation of confidence, sees a shake up which has brought two Government institutions to the forefront as being the most valuable brands in the country” more..

India playing double game: TNA MP

Apr 18 (DM) TNA parliamentarian N. Srikantha said yesterday they were still waiting for details of what transpired at the meeting between the TNA delegation and Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Sankar Menon. Mr. Srikantha said the delegation led by TNA leader R. Sampanthan went ahead with the meeting despite a majority of MPs objecting to such talks. more..

Okanda Finance rejected by Central Bank

Apr 18 (DM) In a notice to the general public, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on Thursday has said that the Monetary Board of the Central Bank has formally rejected the application of Okanda Finance Limited for registration as a finance company. The Central Bank in its statement said that it would be detrimental to the interests of Okanda Finance’s depositors and creditors as the company was unable to take corrective measures to more..

Sri Lanka to dip into deflation by mid 2009

Apr 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's inflation will dip below zero briefly by the middle of 2009, the island's central bank governor Nivard Cabraal said as the world is gripped by a classic deflationary collapse. In March 2009, Sri Lanka's inflation measured by the most widely watched Colombo consumer price index (CCPI) fell to 5.3 percent. It was the lowest since April 2004 when it was at 4.6 percent, shortly before the country's fiscal policy reversed and massive money printing began. more..

Embattled Tigers mull taking their war abroad

Apr 18 (NST) Earlier this month an English-language newspaper in Sri Lanka ran an analysis on the war with the LTTE, whose dream of an independent Tamil state of Eelam in the island is fast fading. The subhead to that article in the Lakbima News read: "LTTE planning for fifth Eelam war -- in Malaysia". With the Tigers' conventional army decimated and its leadership literally cornered on a sliver of land in a war that pundits claimed could never be won by either side, a new scenario is unfolding. more..

Colombo shouldn’t block UN visiting safety zone: Nadesan

Apr 18 (TN) The Government should not block UN Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar visiting the safety zone and acquainting himself of the conditions of the civilians, said LTTE political head, B. Nadesan on Saturday after reports of Sri Lanka rejecting UN appeal for ceasefire. "The GoSL is not making arrangements for his visit, to prevent him from knowing the nature and magnitude of its offensive and to prevent first hand verifications of the truth reaching the UN," he said. more..

The tiger in the eye of the storm

Apr 18 (G&M) Fathima Charles has been here all night, standing against the barricade, staring at the Peace Tower and willing someone – anyone – to hear her story. She cannot tell it without crying, but, as her husband explains, the tears flow constantly these days. For eight months, she has not heard from her five sisters, her little brother and her mother caught in the war zone in Sri Lanka as the fighting has escalated. more..

Sri Lanka keeps up offensive

Apr 18 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops have kept up their offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels cornered in the northeast, the defence ministry said, ignoring mounting international appeals for a ceasefire. The island's government accused the LTTE of firing heavy artillery and mortars from an area it has designated as a civilian "safe zone," and that its troops were retaliating. The United Nation says up to 100,000 civilians are trapped in the area in "dire humanitarian conditions." more..

'Decision about truce won't be taken under pressure'

Apr 18 (PTI) Amid calls from global community for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka's north, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that no decision about the truce with the Tamil Tigers will be taken under "international influence". "We are not ready to make any decision which harms the country and which is influenced by the international community," he told a meeting of his Sri Lankan Freedom Party. more..

Sri Lanka eyes more Mid-East travellers this summer

Apr 19 (AME) Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau is gearing up to receive an increasing number of Middle East travellers in search of a dream vacation with plenty of sun, beautiful beaches, unspoiled nature and better value. 'Things are looking up for Sri Lanka this summer as the country is on the threshold of long lasting peace. The global economic recession is likely to have a significant impact on where Arabs and expatriates alike choose to spend their vacation time this summer,' more..

Bundles of joy amidst the horrific Sri Lanka war zone

Apr 19 (TW) Twin babies were delivered on 16 April 2009 by a dedicated Health team, Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS) in the area said in a media note today. The babies were delivered by caesarean section successfully with very minimum facilities. The makeshift-hospital at Puthumaaththalan is struggling to cope with very minimal facilities and shortage of medicines amidst continuing Sri Lanka military onslaught. more..

Let not this silence on Sri Lanka by India and UN Security Council persist

Apr 19 (TC) “An estimated 250,000 people are trapped in a 250 sq-km area which has come under intense fighting. The people have no safe area to take shelter and were unable to flee. When the dust settles, we may see countless victims and a terrible humanitarian situation unless civilians are protected and international humanitarian law is respected in all circumstances. It is high time to take decisive action and stop further bloodshed because time is running out.” more..

Politics as continuation of war by other means

Apr 19 (TC) If the war was a continuation of politics, what is to come after the war is over? That seems to be the political dead end that the government is now up against. The government is at a dead end not because it does not know what to do politically, but because it doesn’t want to do anything positively. The government’s problem is that it, certainly the dominant sections of it, would prefer to act only negatively – roll back all the constitutional potentialities that more..

Non-existing capitalist and working classes and growing “Sinhalaisation”of business community

Apr 19 (TC) What realy is wrong with Sri Lanka ? Where have we landed ourselves as a developing country after 61 years of independence ? And now, how fractured and beleaguered our "paradise" island is ? Thereafter, one should also ask, how stupid and foolish the "Left" had been in Sri Lanka. The "left" during the immediate pre and post independence period called shots in our national politics, more..

'Seylan Bank gets six interested parties'

Apr 19 (LBO) Central bank says six parties have expressed interest in buying a one-third stake of Seylan Bank, which was put under the wing of a state bank following a run on its deposits. The central bank called for expressions of interest to acquire a 33 percent interest in the bank by injecting capital through new shares. "These prospective investors comprise four financial institutions and two other non financial establishments," more..

Central Colombo election becomes a war; serious threats from the underworld goons released on bail

Apr 19 (LeN) The house of Mohamed Azar Hajjiar came under an attack of an unidentified group of goons yesterday (17) night. The attacked house is the place where the UNP Central Colombo electoral organizing committee meeting was held three weeks ago. The Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe said that Mr. Hajjiar who has received death threats from the underworld goons has left the country for the sake of life. more..

NFF MPs sign bail agreement for suspects in Rs.100 million fraud

Apr 19 (LT) Two Parliamentarians from Puttalam District have deposited bail for a suspect in a fraud case where the suspects are charged of defrauding Panadura Branch of Bank of Ceylon of Rs.100 million by pawning a four acre land and buildings using a forged deed. The two Parliamentarians who have deposited bail for the suspect are the NFF Parliamentarians for Puttalam District Weerakumara Dissanayake and Samansiri Herath. more..

Renew GSP plus scheme - Part 3

Renew GSP plus scheme - Part 2

Renew GSP plus scheme - Part 1

Nations that want to save Prabakaran

Apr 19 (AT) One might ask what Prabakaran has got to do with the high living standards of the West. The answer is that he has everything got to do with it because if he could be made use of to de-stabilize Sri Lanka then it would be a very simple matter to de-stabilize India and the threat that India poses to the West in being highly competitive in high tech equipment could be removed. Akashi will also give a sigh of relief. more..

Book on Sri Lankan birds published in Russian

Apr 19 (AT) A guide book on Sri Lankan Birds written in the Russian language and published by the Russian based JMT Travels Tour Operators was launched recently at Sri Lanka Tourism. The book was officially handed over to Mr Bernard Goonetilleke, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), by Ms Natalia Chelnokova, Managing Director JMT Travels, more..

Spreading an attenuated dose of LTTE terrorism in Ottawa

Apr 19 (AT) The LTTE, which came into being nearly three decades ago in Sri Lanka, grew to be the most horrendous terrorist organization in the world possessing land, sea, and air fighting capabilities. Similarly, their infamous history is also not second to any other terrorist organization in the world. However, during the last two and a half years, under the able Leadership of President Mahinda Rajapakse, Sri Lankan Army, more..

Winner’s Curse in Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse went to Killinochchi, manifestly with one eye on the upcoming elections in the Western Province. Posters asking Colombo voters to back the UPFA in order to ‘protect the struggle that protects the country’ are ubiquitous in the city and the suburbs. For the government these are the fruits of defeating the Tigers. For the country the Rajapakse Rule has brought other, rather less beneficial, gifts. more..

Lanka moves to centre stage of TN politics

Apr 19 (AT) As Colombo is going ahead ignoring the international appeals for a ‘longer pause’ in the Vanni war, Tamil Nadu is witnessing a wordy duel amongst major political parties on who cares most for the ethnic Tamils of the neighboring island nation. From sidelines the issue has moved to the centre stage with Tami Nadu geared to vote on May 13 in the Lok Sabha elections. Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has asked the Manmohan Singh government to snap all diplomatic relations with Rajapaksa government if more..

Resolve ethnic Tamil problems within Sri Lanka, says a former Eelam campaigner

Apr 19 (AT) The issues connected with the Sri Lankan Tamils have to be resolved only in Sri Lanka. Whether we like the Sri Lanka Government or not, it is not the problem, says Thillaimapalam Sritharan, a Boston based SL Tamil activist. A former Bank of Boston employee, Sritharan (69) once spearhead the Eelam movement with his two brothers and even managed to get a resolution in favor of Tamil Eelam adopted by the Massachusetts State Assembly. more..

Tamil expats hold pro-LTTE rally in Los Angeles

Apr 19 (LG) LTTE operatives and supporters in Southern California are not known to hold public protests or demonstrations. They operate in the shadows, lobbying US lawmakers and raising funds in circles totally outside the Sri Lankan community’s radar. In a move that signals they’re pulling out all the stops in a last-ditch effort to breathe life into the now-vanquished Tigers, Sri Lankan Tamils stood today outside the Federal Building in Westwood more..

A win, not a draw

Apr 19 (LG) Will this Sinhala and Tamil New Year be the gateway to a new period of Sri Lanka’s history? Will it be better or worse than what has gone on so far? Or will there be no change and will the country still remain in the same stage of history that we have been in all these dozens of Aluth Avurudu celebrations? Or will a new cycle of the old conflict begin with this Avurudu? more..

Govt. can win the war while losing the grip on the peace and prosperity of the country – UNP

Apr 19 (LG) UNP M.P. Vajira Abeywardena addressing a Press conference at the UNP Media unit today said, though the Govt. is selfishly trying to appropriate the entire credit for the war victory, it cannot blink the fact that it is the UNP which paved the way by strategic peace proposals and agreements with the LTTE at the early stages. No party made so much sacrifices as the UNP. more..

Lessons from Lanka

Apr 19 (LG) The countdown was akin to a perfect space satellite lift-off. At the precise stroke of the end of the 48th hour of ceasefire the guns started booming again, as if set to a default clock. The Sri Lankan regime could not have demonstrated its determination to exterminate the Tigers more emphatically. And as the promised fight to finish reaches the terminal stage and the inevitable chest-thumpings, breast-beatings, rejoicings and requiems reach a crescendo, more..

Urination and its discontents

Apr 19 (LG) I have for a long time been convinced that all nations have approximately the same percentage of saints, rogues, men and women of wisdom, morons, geniuses and intellectual pedestrians. I feel now that the tragedy of human affairs and in particular relations among nations, is that the decision makers, the movers and shakers, are not exactly the saints, the wise and the pragmatic, but rather the morons and the rogues. more..

A father's tale of horror from Sri Lanka's line of fire

Apr 19 (Guardian) The shell exploded without warning. Kandiah Rasamahendran felt a searing pain in his left leg and looked down, to see blood gushing from the wound. His young sons were screaming, his wife struck dumb with shock. Frantically, he scooped sand from the floor of their makeshift bunker and poured it into the gaping hole, trying to staunch the bleeding. Five hundred metres from the earth embankment where the last surviving Tamil Tigers were battling Sri Lankan troops, more..

Sri Lanka to replace Oman in Asia Cup

Apr 19 (TS) Oman have pulled out of the Asia Cup, which will be held in Kuantan from May 9-16, and the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) have called up Sri Lanka as replacement. The Sri Lankans will play in Group A with Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. Group B comprises India, Pakistan, China and Bangladesh. Malaysian Hockey Federation secretary Hashim Mohd Yusof confirmed the changes yesterday. “We have been informed by the AHF that Oman had withdrawn from the meet and that Sri Lanka will replace them. more..

Send Army to Sri Lanka: Vijayakant

Apr 19 (Hindu) DMDK leader Vijayakant on Saturday advocated military intervention in Sri Lanka to stop the killing of Tamils. Campaigning here for his party’s candidate in the Nilgiris Parliamentary Constituency, A.Selvaraj, he said that the Indian Army should be sent to Sri Lanka. Adverting to the demand of Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi to snap diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka if it fails to bring about a ceasefire, he said that would block information channels and people would not know what was happening in that country. more..