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'Economy, stocks set for take-off'

Apr 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's economy could take-off, and with it the island's stock market, as a 25-year separatist draws to a close and the possibility of reconstruction opens up, an equities research report has said. "There is a high possibility of a turnaround in the Sri Lankan equity market due to many reasons," the report by NDB Stockbrokers said. Companies that could benefit include those in tourism, real estate, cement and cable manufacturers, agriculture-related companies and diversified firms, more..

Stocks propelled by more gains in war

Apr 23 (LBO) Sri Lankan shares extended gains Wednesday as the military rescued more civilians trapped in a no-fire-zone in an offensive to crush the 25-year-old Tamil Tiger separatist rebellion, brokers said. The All Share Price Index of the Colombo stock exchange rose 1.35 percent (23.64 points) to end at 1,777.58 while the Milanka index of liquid stocks went up 0.98 percent (18.04 points) to close at 1,867.56. Turnover improved to 270.9 million rupees. more..

Ban on scrutiny harms Sri Lankan cause against Tigers

Apr 23 (Times) At a recent meeting with foreign ambassadors, the man running Sri Lanka’s war against the Tamil Tigers was asked how he planned to handle the tens of thousands of civilians trapped inside a no-fire zone with the rebels. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Defence Secretary and brother of the President, Mahinda Rakapaksa, replied that he was inspired by Russia’s handling of the Beslan school siege in 2004. more..

France condemns Sri Lanka rebels, wants UN meeting

Apr 23 (Reuters) France on Wednesday condemned Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels for preventing civilians from fleeing the country's war zone and called for a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on the conflict. Thousands of civilians surged out of the war zone on Wednesday, while soldiers and the LTTE rebels fought the apparent endgame of Asia's longest-running war despite calls to protect those trapped. more..

'British Minister to visit Sri Lanka as violence rages'

Apr 23 (AFP) A British minister will visit Sri Lanka this week, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Wednesday, as he urged a ceasefire in the battle between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels. Brown said that following talks with President Mahinda Rajapakse, he also expected a delegation of MPs to visit Sri Lanka to assess the extent of humanitarian assistance available. more..

Viewing the War in Sri Lanka From Afar

Apr 23 (NYT) As the fighting in Sri Lanka’s northeast continues on Wednesday, after Tamil separatist fighters rejected a deadline to surrender, Somini Sengupta and Mark McDonald report for The Times: The Sri Lankan military said Wednesday its soldiers were fighting their way through a lethal and dwindling “no-fire zone” on the country’s northeastern coast — the last bit of territory held by separatist Tamil rebels — as thousands of civilians continued to stream out of the area. more..

Sri Lanka rules out amnesty for rebel leader

Apr 23 (AFP) Sri Lanka ruled out an amnesty for the Tamil Tiger leader as troops pressed a final offensive against the cornered rebels despite a global outcry over the plight of civilians trapped in the war zone. President Mahinda Rajapakse said Velupillai Prabhakaran, whose LTTE are fighting to prevent complete defeat after being pushed to a narrow stretch of coastal jungle, would not be pardoned. "The LTTE leader has spurned the possibility of pardon by us," the president's office quoted him as saying. more..

Yet another murder of a child

Apr 23 (CT) Yet another instance of a murder of a small child has been reported - this time from Sapugaskanda. According to police, the three-year-old boy had been strangled by a youth and the body found dumped into a well near his home yesterday (Apr. 22). In a confession to Sapugaskanda Police, the suspect aged 28 years, has said that the boy, identified as K.K. Sadil Thivanka, had thrown a stone and cracked a joke at him. more..

New life for woman fleeing tiger grip

Apr 23 (LT) A woman who had fled from tiger terrorist clutches gave birth in a bus while she was being taken to a refugee camp. According to defense sources the child birth took place yesterday in Puthykudyirippu area at about 7.20 p.m. The SL Army has provided assistance for the child birth. The woman and the child were taken to the closest hospital later. more..

Clinton says Sri Lanka is causing 'untold suffering'

Apr 23 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has caused "untold suffering" as it fights Tamil Tiger rebels in what is believed to be the endgame of Asia's longest-running war, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday. "I think that the Sri Lankan government knows that the entire world is very disappointed that in its efforts to end what it sees as 25 years of conflict, it is causing such untold suffering," Clinton told lawmakers, referring to the thousands of civilians trapped in the war zone.

Emotional scenes in Anuradhapura hospital

Apr 23 (PTI) Wailing women, injured children crying for medical attention and desperate victims seeking solace from visiting preachers -- the Anuradhapura hospital in Sri Lanka today witnessed some heart-rendering scenes. At least 240 injured Tamil civilians, who were airlifted today from the No Fire Zone, are undergoing treatment in the hospital. Buddhist monks, who visited the hospital in the city, were seen trying to reassure the victims who fled the conflict zone in the north. more..

Weerawansa challenges US ambassador

Apr 23 (LeN) National Freedom Front (JNP) MP Wimal Weerawansa states that the US ambassador Robert O'Blake has threatened a powerful minister of Sri Lanka government that the IMF bailout will be blocked and the President Mahinda Rajapaksha and the leaders of the government will be framed charges of war crimes unless a ceasefire is declared to allow the Tamil Tigers to hold the civilians forcibly. more..

Australian border units on red alert as navy stops third boatload of Sri Lankans

Apr 23 (TA) Border-Protection authorities are on high alert for more unauthorised boat arrivals after the Australian navy intercepted a boat carrying 32 Sri Lankans less than 100km from the Western Australian city of Exmouth. The patrol boat HMAS Wollongong yesterday stopped the vessel 47 nautical miles southwest of Barrow Island at 10.30am - the seventh intercepted this year, bringing to 308 the total number of unlawful arrivals. more..

LTTE is dying but long live the Tamil cause

Apr 23 (TC) The LTTE is in its death rattle. It was decisively defeated by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces weeks ago, but a handful of its leadership headed by Prabhakaran has cynically and cruelly prolonged the agony of the Tamil civilians by using them as a buffer and human-shield in order to delay the re-establishment of the writ of the Sri Lankan Government in a miniscule piece of territory (about 20 sq.kms), which has been declared by the Government as a no-fire zone to more..

Opinion : LTTE and terrorism

Apr 23 (Hindu) This refers to the editorial “Who then is a terrorist?” (April 22) questioning the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s statement that the LTTE chief, V. Prabakaran, is not a terrorist and the terrorism that has crept into the movement is not Prabakaran’s fault. The conclusion — that it amounts to saying that Osama bin Laden is not a terrorist but the al-Qaeda is — is superb. It is especially exemplary in view of the fact that the regional media in the State is singing hymns in praise of the LTTE and more..

The deadly cost of international inaction in Sri Lanka

Apr 23 (HP) There is a saying that has become common amongst those in the United Nations Human Rights Council. When a tense stand-off arises someone will say "Lets not play the naming and shaming game -- lets try and work together." Perhaps this "game" played in the most elite policy circles is counter-productive -- but it does allow history to identify those in positions of power who were complacent, cowardly, and indecisive at a moment when hundreds of thousands of civilian lives were on the line. more..

Hobson's choice: Sonia stuck between DMK and history

Apr 23 (Rediff) For Congress President Sonia Gandhi it's a catch 22 situation. Politically, in the midst of a crucial general election is it more important to fight your personal demons or humour your allies? This is a question which confronted the Congress president when she convened a high level meeting at her residence on Wednesday evening with Union External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and other senior leaders to decide more..

Civilians 'escape' rebel stronghold

President of the UN security council

U.N. council voices 'deep concern' about Sri Lanka

Apr 23 (Reuters) The U.N. Security Council expressed concern on Wednesday about the humanitarian situation in northern Sri Lanka, where tens of thousands of civilians trapped in rebel territory are in imminent danger. "The Security Council members, we expressed our deep concern about the humanitarian situation ... and the plight of the civilians trapped within the conflict area," Mexican U.N. Ambassador Claude Heller told reporters after an informal meeting of the 15-nation council on Sri Lanka. more..

Why UNP has a distinct responsibility to help Vanni people at this hour of need?

Apr 23 (LG) At the 2005 November Presidential Election, UNP received 65,798 votes from Vanni which is the highest ever number of votes obtained in Vanni by a Presidential Election candidate. His main opponent only managed to get 17,197 votes which gave the UNP the third largest lead by district. Today people of Vanni go through the toughest time this country went through after gaining Independence. It is worse than the tsunami in the sense the carnage is recurring. more..

Daylife Photos

"Inner well springs" of Tamil struggle can't be destroyed, says South African Minister

Apr 23 (TN) South Africa's deputy minister for Communications, Radhakrishna Padayachie, has voiced his support for the establishment of an independent Tamil homeland and reiterated calls for bilateral talks between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE to establish a permanent peace. The African National Council (ANC) Member of Parliament, citing a "common conviction in the right to people for self determination" as the basis of more..

Police officer shaking hands with suspected UPFA candidate transferred

Apr 23 (LT) The Inspector of Kirindiwela Police, who is said to have shaken hands and congratulated Kingsley Kasthuriarachchi, former PC member of NFF and present UPFA candidate for Western PC election who is a suspect in the killing of the JVP member Nandana Balage, has been transferred to Jaffna. Media had published photographs of the Inspector of Police and the suspect Kasthiriarachchi having a cordial conversation. more..

Personal political crisis makes Flip-Flop Karunanidhi go bananas

Apr 23 (LG) Having made a horrendous mistake of hailing Prabhakaran as not a terrorist, Tamilnadu’s Chief Minister Karunanidhi is on the flip-flop from a state of political confusion to going bananas. This is no surprise because the politicians of Tamilnadu are anything but politically conscious. While Sri Lanka is carrying out what will be reckoned as the world’s biggest rescue of affected human beings and more..

Call for pause a diabolic act, abating terrorism' - Opinion

Apr 23 (LG) The truth is while there are Tamil Diaspora voters there are no Al-Qaida and Taliban voters in Canada and the United Kingdom. Such is politics when it suits they will themselves abuse the dignity of the National Flag. What the LTTE demonstrators have been doing is what the LTTE will do. They smashed the democratic spirit in Sri Lanka. It is only a matter of time before the western world will come face to face with Tiger terrorism ingrained in their own societies. more..

Wimal gets share of 'patriotic' booty

Apr 23 (LT) By mediating in getting tax reduced for imported mobile phones by a well known company dealing in mobile phones, Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa has reaped a good ‘harvest’ say reports. The Parliamentarian has had discussions with the President representing the company and as a result of this mediation the President has taken measures, through the Ministry of Finance, to reduce tax for phones imported by the relevant company. more..

'The vote for JVP is a vote for democracy'

Apr 23 (LT) The vote given for the JVP is a vote for democracy says Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe. Speaking at a media meeting held in Colombo today Mr. Amarasinghe said, “We call upon the people in this country, specially the people in the Western Province to think seriously whether democracy would be safeguarded when you cast your vote. Every vote given against the government is a vote for democracy. more..

Is a post Eelam Sri Lanka inevitable?

Apr 23 (TC) More than one Lankan academic of note dared envision in recent years the more than distinct possibility of a Sri Lanka after the coming of the much contested Eelam – in the North Eastern part of the island where Tamil-speaking people live today under conditions described as "horrible and sub-human" inviting unanimous condemnation of the world community. Tamils have been living in these areas as the majority community for thousands of years more..

The national sentiment of Sri Lankans

Apr 23 (TC) I personally feel that Transcurrents blog site provides us with a good platform to discuss current Srilankan situation and world political affairs in a constructive manner. The diversity of opinions shown mainly by English literate Srilankans and expatriates depict the depth and the width of the crisis in Srilanka. Statistically it is very difficult to analyse the contribution by writers on their ethnicity or geographical location but more..

LTTE leaders in disarray

Apr 23 (AT) Two senior most men of the LTTE surrendered to the security forces on Wednesday, thus marking the first ever disloyalty to do-or-die diktat of the terrorist organization. Veteran Media Head Daya Master and most trusted interpreter George who attended all rounds of peace talks from Bangkok to Geneva to Oslo surrendered to the forces after escaping from the LTTE held Puthumathalan beach strip. more..

Hunger strikers should have first demanded Prabhakaran to let the people go

Apr 23 (AT) The Sri Lankan High Commissioner in South Africa Mr. Anura Rajakaruna giving an interview to Lotus FM radio in Durban said that what the LTTE hunger strikers are trying to highlight is not the plight of the trapped civilians but the demands of the LTTE. He also pointed out that the former TNA MP M.K. Elaventhan launched a hunger strike on 09th April at the "Mariamman Temple" in Durban. more..

Qualifying marks for A/L s increase

Apr 23 (GDI) Obtaining good results from the GCE Ordinary Level examination conducted last December, the percentage marks required to follow Advanced Level courses had been increased and Students who wish to follow the A level in a different school should apply to the principals of those schools before May 15, the Ministry of Education sources said. more..

Govt schools in WP closed on 24th & 25th April

Apr 23 (GDI) Government schools in the Western Province will be closed on 24th and 25th of April and will be reopened on 27th , Monday due the Western Provincial Council Election, states a press release from the Education Ministry. Isipatana College and D.S. Senanayake Vidyalaya in the Colombo District, Paththalagedara Siyana College of Education, Pathalagedera Vidyaloka Maha Vidyalaya in the Gampaha District and more..

IGP ‘sings baila’ at meeting

Apr 23 (LT) The criticism made by secretaries of political parties on the statement made by the IGP regarding complaints made on election violence and malpractices created a commotion at the meeting the Commissioner of Elections had with party secretaries yesterday. The secretaries of political parties have criticized the police and the IGP for not taking any action regarding election violence or misconduct of certain political supporters and candidates. more..

'Productivity enhancement improves quality of life'

Apr 23 (GDI) “Small and Middle Level Enterprises (SME) represent the biggest segment of Sri Lankan economy, and productivity promotion and empowerment are indispensible elements in the development of the SME sector. Consequently, we have initiated a productivity promotion program in the SME sector, and I express my gratitude to the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) and the Japanese Productivity Centre for their collaboration towards our attempts,” more..

'There are not so much multiply registered voters'

Apr 23 (LeN) Election Commissioner Dayananda Disanayaka challenges to prove the allegation of existence of 133,000 multiply registered voters in Colombo district. Disanayaka made this challenge addressing a press meeting to make aware media on the Western Provincial Council election. He said that the department provides a form to be filled by each householder and there are no magical ways to verify the correctness of the data submitted. more..

'38 politicians among multiple voters'

Apr 23 (CT) Thirty-eight politicians are among the voters who have been registered as multiple voters at the Western Provincial Council election, said Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake. Speaking to the media yesterday, he said that their names have been sent to the secretaries of the respective parties. Furthermore, a guarantee will be obtained that they will not resort to multiple voting, said Mr. Dissanayake. more..

'Several UPFA candidates to join UNP after polls'

Apr 23 (CT) UNP candidate, attorney Shiral Lakthilake claims that several candidates of the UPFA are planning to join his party after the elections for the Western Provincial Council. Speaking to the media, he also said many government candidates are misusing symbols like the national flag, in their campaign. They include Thilanga Sumathipala, R. Duminda Silva and Udaya Gammanpila, he said. more..

Police chief defends underworld - UNP

Apr 23 (CT) The police chief has failed to investigate any of a continuing flow of complaints of poll violence committed by the underworld in Colombo Central area, alleged UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara. The IGP is keeping silent in a manner that encourages and protects the gangsters responsible, Mr. Range Bandara told the media. The MP said that opposition candidates as well as UPFA's Naufer Fowzie are unable to campaign for more..

A report from the World Conference on Racism

Apr 23 (PISL) The World Conference Against Racism being held at the United Nations in Geneva this week is proving rather interesting, and not just because of the well reported dispute over the Iranian President's speech. Western diplomats ran out when he spoke about the racism of the Israeli state, but they retook their seats a few minutes later. In the Assembly Hall, member states have been sharing their experiences in tackling discrimination since the landmark event in Durban. more..

Statement by the foreign minister to the diplomatic corps

Apr 23 (GDI) Since the early hours of Monday, 20th April 2009, over 100,000 civilians held hostage by the LTTE, have braved the bullets and other forms of violent intimidation unleashed by the LTTE and come across to the cleared areas from the No-Fire Zone (NFZ). The end game that is being played out on the muddy waters of the western edge of the NFZ along the Mullaitivu coast portends the death knell for the LTTE. more..

Tigers in sheep`s clothing

Apr 23 (LNP) Two LTTE propagandists surrendered to the army yesterday. They are known as Daya Master and George Master a former schoolmaster and a retired postmaster respectively. Interestingly, Daya Master, a one-time LTTE spokesman, was rushed with a police escort to Colombo for treatment during the UNF government, which earned notoriety for its shameless appeasement of the LTTE. more..

The largest hostage rescue in the world's history

Apr 23 (MoD) Hostage takings have been reported sporadically, throughout the world. However, none was even closer to the recent captivity of approximate of 250,000 of civilians by the Tamil Tiger terrorists (LTTE) in the north eastern jungles. Over the past three days 60,000 hostages were rescued by the Sri Lankan Forces; the largest number of hostages rescued in such a short period, anywhere in the world. more..

Total influx from Tiger zone 170,000

Apr 23 (DN) The Security Forces engaged in the largest ever hostage rescue mission in the No Fire Zone are not using heavy arms to retaliate to LTTE attacks. Over 100,000 civilians had been rescued by the Security Forces since last Monday. Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said after closely monitoring the LTTE activities and civilian movements in the NFZ, troops entered the NFZ crushing the LTTE’s last earth bund on Monday to rescue trapped civilians. more..

PLOTE thanks President

Apr 23 (DN) The PLOTE yesterday lauded President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his leadership that ensured the liberation on civilians held captive by the LTTE and also the military for accomplishing a mission which military experts in the world thought was not possible. Head of the PLOTE and DPLF Dharmalingam Sithadhan said "it is with a sense of relief that we heard that under your leadership the Armed Forces are now in the process of successfully releasing thousands of hostages held by the LTTE within the "Safe Zone". more..

'Signify that all approve measures against terrorism'

Apr 23 (CT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has urged patriotic and peace-loving citizens of Western Province to exercise their franchise to display and signify to the world that all communities fully approve and endorse the measures to annihilate terrorism from the motherland. He was addressing a ceremony to welcome over 5,000 former UNPers of the Kalutara district to the SLFP, more..

Nation bids adieu to Tissa Abeysekera

Apr 23 (DN) Versatile and outstanding film personality creative writer and essayist Dr. Tissa Abeysekera was cremated at the Chandra De Silva Ground at Kotte where he was born and bread, amidst a vast gathering of mourners including artistes, academia and his friends. Crowds kept streaming in at his residence at Rajagiriya from last Sunday where the body lay to get the final glimpse of Abeysekera who left indelible impression in the social and political arena in the country. more..

French envoy expected to be summoned over Kouchner’s claim

Apr 23 (Island) Many an eye brow has been raised in diplomatic circles by the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner’s suggestion that France and Britain carry out a joint humanitarian operation in Sri Lanka as, among other things, some of the civilians fleeing the conflict zone in the Vanni are drowning in the sea. AFP reported yesterday that Kouchner had said in a radio interview that France would try to launch a humanitarian operation in Sri Lanka and more..

Govt. bid to set up rice buffer stock fails

Apr 23 (Island) An ambitious bid by the government to establish a 140,000-metric-ton rice buffer stock to stabilise the market has failed. The Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) has been in charge of the project launched by the Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services Ministry on a presidential directive over two months ago. Well informed sources told The Island that the PMB had managed to collect approximately 23,000 metric tons of rice more..