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Water Cut for Greater Colombo region from tonight

Apr 28 (GDI) Water supply to several areas in the Greater Colombo region will be disrupted from 9.00 pm tonight until 6 am tomorrow. Accordingly, the water supply to Havelock Road, Keppetipola Mawatha up to Pamankada, Vajira Road, Amarasekara Mawatha and the Skeleton Garden area will be affected. The interruption to services is due to urgent repairs on the main water supply line along Havelock Road. more..

LTTE’s explosive laden lorry blown up as troops capture one more bund

Apr 28 (GDI) An LTTE explosive-laden lorry inside the No Fire Zone (NFZ) trying to ram on to the troops in the opposite direction, close to south of VALAYANMADAM was completely blown up by troop fire Tuesday early morning, minutes after the troops completed the capture of another 700 m long earth-bund built by Tigers across REKTAVAIKKAL area in the NFZ. Troops continuing their rescue missions after capturing the LTTE earth-bund that more..

Beyond the Lankan Ceasefire

Apr 28 (KT) Colombo’s decision to hold fire against the embattled Tigers is a welcome development. It will help evacuate thousands of civilians trapped in the war zone, and also enable the government and rescue agencies to concentrate on a rehabilitation process. Though such a pause has come only after intense international pressure to prevent mounting civilian casualties, the need of the hour is to build on such a premise. more..

Terrorists and pariah states

Apr 28 (LNP) Prabhakaran, who roared in 2005 that he would carve out Eelam militarily and plunged the country into a bloodbath again the following year, now finds himself on his knees suing for peace. The government has wisely rejected his truce offer, as it is only a ploy to get a breather. He, it may be recalled, scuttled all the ceasefires in the past after using them as launching pads for the next phases of war. more..

Human Rights Watch uses barbed missiles against Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (PISL) Like the proverbial pig sticking its snout into swill, Human Rights Watch has leapt with glee onto the recent declaration by the Sri Lankan government that its security forces ‘have been instructed to end the use of heavy weapons’. HRW has immediately concluded that “By finally admitting it has been using heavy weapons all along, the Sri Lanka government has shed light onto its official deception as well as its brutal military tactics.” more..

Prasanna Ranatunga tops WPC preference votes

Apr 28 (PISL) Former Provincial Minister Prasanna Ranatunga secured 186,338 preference votes, the highest in the Gampaha district and in the entire Western Province from the UPFA. Nimal Lansa received 76,156 votes, the seconed highest in the Gampaha District for the UPFA. R. Duminda Silva and Thilanga Sumathipala have secured the highest preferential votes from the Colombo district more..

Ticket machines, uniforms made compulsory by 2010

Apr 28 (DN) The Supreme Court yesterday ordered that the operation of ticket machines and wearing of uniforms by private bus conductors of the Passenger Transport Authority island-wide be activated by January 2010. The Court made this order in connection with a Fundamental Rights Application filed by the Environmental Foundation Ltd when the president of Private Bus Owners' Association Gamunu Wijeratne submitted more..

Maha Sangha to help Northern civilians

Apr 28 (DN) A group of 200 members of the Maha Sangha will conduct a pindapatha round along Galle Road from Dehiwela-Mt. Lavinia Municipal Council premises up to Angulana junction tomorrow from 3pm to collect relief items from the public to assist the 176,000 innocent civilians who have escaped from LTTE clutches and arrived in the Government controlled areas. This decision was taken at a meeting held at the Bellanwila Raja Maha Viharaya more..

JVP cries foul

Apr 28 (Island) The JVP yesterday accused the government of abusing State property, power, resources and media to win Saturday’s Western Provicial Council elections. In the Colombo District certain underworld figures had become a law unto themselves during elections, it said. The JVP was of the view that around 43 per cent of voters had not cast their votes, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva told a media conference held in Pitakotte yesterday. more..

PSMs warn of strike if Court order not implemented

Apr 28 (Island) The Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) warned that it would walk out if the Health Ministry or the directors of the five hospitals where students from the Allied Health Sciences Faculty were undergoing their training defied Court order. The Supreme Court on March 30 ordered the Health Secretary and the Health Minister to ensure that students continue to receive clinical training for a period of one month till the next date of the Court hearing. more..

Surgeons operate on wrong patient

Apr 28 (Island) An elderly female patient warded at Galle Karapitiya hospital had undergone an operation due to be performed on a male patient. The female patient from Ambalangoda had undergone a brain operation due to be pertformed on a male patient 37-year-old M.Sumansakara. The female patient 82-year-old W.Wimalawathi had been admitted to Karapitiya hospital as she had fallen on the floor and she had been getting treatment at the Karapitiya Hospital. more..

Shelling reported in Sri Lankan war zone

Apr 28 (AP) Sri Lankan forces pounded rebel territory with a fierce artillery barrage Tuesday, a day after the government pledged to stop using heavy weapons to prevent civilian casualties, a rebel-linked Web site and a doctor in the region said. Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara denied the accusation, saying that the Sri Lankan forces were using only small arms in the battle. The bombardment by artillery, mortar shells and multi-barrel rocket launchers started late Monday and lasted through Tuesday morning, the TamilNet Web site reported. more..

Ceasefire a betrayal: JVP

Apr 28 (DM) The JVP yesterday accused the government trying to betray the election victories and the military gains through its underhand move to give into international pressure and declare a ceasefire. General Secretary Tilvin Silva told a news conference the Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Mennon and National Security Advisor M. K. Narayan had revealed in India that they had persuaded the Sri Lankan government to order a ceasefire. more..

48 WPC members unseated

Apr 28 (DM) Forty eight former Western Provincial Council members, including those from the ruling party and the opposition, have lost their seats in the election that was just concluded. Among them were 23 UPFA members including those who represented the JVP, 22 from the UNP and three from SLMC. Lionel Kariyawasam, Raja Balasuriya, Sarath Pathirana, Mohamed Nafly, Dhanasiri Dhanangala, Kanchana Peiris, Wasantha Malanie, Anura Hemapala and Sunil Watagala were more..

SC sets aside HRC directives against Diyawadana Nilame

Apr 28 (DM) The Supreme Court yesterday set aside findings of the Human Rights Commission with regard to an alleged inquiry conducted into unauthorized distribution of 25 Thai Buddha statues of the Dalada Maligawa by the Diyawadana Nilame. Supreme Court made this order following a fundamental rights application filed by Diyawadana Nilame, M.R.P.N. Dela. While terminating the matter, the court also observed that the HRC had no jurisdiction to make the said order. more..

Lanka rules out any talks with defeated Tigers

Apr 28 (ANN) The LTTE couldn’t be party to any future political dialogue with Sri Lanka, authoritative government sources told The Island. Sources emphasised that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government wouldn’t accept Velupillai Prabhakaran as a party to any settlement. Nothing could be as ridiculous as allowing the LTTE representation in the proposed negotiations after it had lost its so-called conventional fighting capability, sources said. more..

Canadian Tamils warn of civil war in Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (IANS) Sri Lankan Tamils have warned of a civil war on the island nation if Colombo does not reciprocate to the Tigers' call for a ceasefire and called for strong action by the Canadian government. Sri Lankan Tamil here staged night-long protests in the heart of the city Monday and wrote a strongly worded letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. 'Tamil Canadians are fearful that in the next 24 to 48 hours a civilian bloodbath will ensue if more..

Without the Tigers

Apr 28 (IE) The demise of the LTTE is possibly now only a matter of days. The total demolition of the once universally feared organisation that introduced suicide terrorism and the use of improvised explosives as a form of insurgency warfare is a tribute to the determination of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces under its intrepid commander, Sarath Fonseka. General Fonseka has displayed the qualities of a great military leader nations are blessed with from time to time. more..

Troops continue sweep of LTTE-held areas to rescue people

Apr 28 (PTI) Sri Lankan Government on Tuesday said though the combat operations in the northern war zone have ended, troops are continuing a sweep to bring about a "total defeat" of the Tamil Tigers in the quarter-century old insurgency. The Government said these operations were aimed at rescuing the remaining 15,000-20,000 people still held hostage by the LTTE as the United Nations pledged USD 20 million assistance for providing relief to over 1.7 lakh Tamil civilians who fled the conflict zones. more..

In Tamil Nadu politics, wheel has turned full circle over Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (IANS) Tamil Nadu's political circus over the Sri Lankan conflict is a virtual copy of the 1980s but for a key difference: the Tamil Tigers were poised to grow then; now they face a deathly crisis. Once anti-Tamil riots engulfed Colombo in July 1983, the same DMK and AIADMK - the latter ruled Tamil Nadu then - took on one another to show who supported Sri Lanka's Tamils more. DMK chief M. Karunanidhi was the opposition leader at that time and M.G. Ramachandran or MGR was the AIADMK chief minister. more..

Sri Lanka's denial of entry of Swedish FM "grave mistake:" Czech FM

Apr 28 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan government's denial of entry of Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt is a "grave mistake" and will have consequences, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, said Tuesday. "It is lamentable that the Sri Lankan government denied him a visa," Schwarzenberg told reporters. "It is a grave mistake by the Sri Lankan government, which of course will have repercussions in Europe and more..

Sri Lanka says it is still fighting rebels

Apr 28 (AP) The Sri Lankan military pressed ahead Tuesday with its offensive against the beleaguered Tamil Tigers, breaking through a defensive fortification and killing at least seven rebels, the military said. The fighting came a day after the government announced it would cease using heavy weapons in the battle as a precaution against further civilian casualties, but would not accept the rebels' appeal for a cease-fire. more..

U.N. tells Sri Lanka president of casualty concerns

Apr 28 (Reuters) The U.N.'s aid chief told Sri Lanka's president on Tuesday of the world body's concern over casualties and humanitarian needs among civilians trapped in the last pocket of Tamil Tiger resistance to government forces. Sri Lanka this week ordered troops to stop using heavy weapons against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels, renewing a pledge the government had made before. more..

Combined pre-dawn operation launched by Armed Forces

Apr 28 (DBJ) The Sri Lankan armed forces have launched a combined military operation in the Karaithuraipatru AGA division in Mullaitheevu district against the LTTE in the early hours of the morning on Monday April 27th 2009. The pre-dawn operation that began around 3.45 am was going on as scheduled at dusk despite wrong information being circulated in Tamil Nadu by interested parties that a ceasefire had been announced. more..

Sweden recalls Lanka envoy after minister barred

Apr 28 (Reuters) Sweden has recalled its ambassador to Sri Lanka after Colombo barred Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt from participating in a mission there with French and British colleagues this week, Bildt said on Tuesday. The visit's aim is to press EU calls for a humanitarian ceasefire in the war between the government and LTTE rebels in an effort to protect tens of thousands of civilians trapped by the fighting. more..

Thousands in mortal danger inside combat zone, says UN

Apr 29 (IRIN) Tens of thousands of people are in mortal danger within the fast-shrinking combat zone in Sri Lanka's north, John Holmes, the UN's emergency relief coordinator, warned. The UN estimates there are at least 50,000 civilians trapped along a sandy strip of land near the northeastern town of Mullaitivu where government forces have encircled the remaining LTTE troops, who have been fighting for an independent Tamil homeland for more than two decades. more..

'Role of the troops will be remembered for generations'

Apr 29 (GDI) “Sri Lankans in the country would not fail to remember for generations the sacrifices and heroic deeds, performed by War Heroes for defence of the country’s territorial integrity and unitary nature, particularly in the past three years. Equally, gruesome experiences and LTTE atrocities we underwent over past 30 years are enormous,” so said Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, more..

President promptly rejects tiger ploy

Apr 29 (GDI) The LTTE, in utter desperation, declared a unilateral ceasefire, saying it was the only way to end the humanitarian crisis involving thousands of civilians trapped in the narrow tract along Eastern coastline still held by them. But the government interests were otherwise. “Halt in combat operations only facilitates innocent civilians to cross over without harm, but not for the LTTE to resettle for another brutal war,” more..

SEC to encourage public to think “Savings" instead of "Investment"

Apr 29 (GDI) The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opened up new vistas for the individuals and companies encouraging these two sectors to move into “Investments”, which is likely to yield more benefits than “Savings”. Chairman of the SEC, Mr. Udayasiri Kariyawasam while explaining the new strategies of the Commission to encourage the public to migrate from savings to an investment mentality said more..

'ILO urged to take measures against all forms of terror'

Apr 29 (AT) Terrorism is widespread the world over today. It affects the rich, developed and the poor developing world. This is also a threat to the conditions of work of the people that the ILO will have to take note of. Its commitment to social justice for the working people must put the ILO against all forms of terror, not only in the workplace, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa more..

Sri Lanka railway eyes freight market

Apr 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run railway service has started a goods wagon repair workshop aimed at improving maintenance and more carriage of freight in order to increase revenues, senior officials said. Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma said the government wants to reverse years of neglect of the railway that has reduced it to making heavy annual losses and make it more efficient and able to cover costs. more..

President meets secretaries of ministries

Apr 29 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a meeting with the Secretaries of the Ministries this afternoon (28) instructed that measures be taken to ensure that disabled person have access the premises of all Government Institutions. With reports indicating the possible threat of Swine Flu in the Asian region, the President ordered the Health Ministry officials to take swift measure to prevent the virus entering the country. more..

Merchant bank to pay Rs100mn for Ceylinco savings bank

Apr 29 (LBO) Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka (MBSL) said it had almost completed a deal to take control of Ceylinco Savings Bank, a member of the troubled Ceylinco group, for 100 million rupees. MBSL, a unit of state-run Bank of Ceylon, had been in talks with the banking regulator, the Central Bank, to manage and rehabilitate Ceylinco Savings Bank. "Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka has almost finalized an arrangement to more..

In Sri Lanka, marriage can wait

Apr 29 (NB) "I had to have a house built for my family and see that my younger siblings were settled before I could think of getting married," says Tharangi Riviratne, 33, a clerk at a lawyer's office. "At a younger age, one is not mature. One may find someone who is not suitable and regret having married him later," feels Priyanthi Tiranagama, 31, a receptionist. "I have not found a suitable person yet. I am not looking out for riches, just a good man," more..

India to host cricket 2011 World Cup final

Apr 29 (CI) India will host the final and one semi-final of the 2011 World Cup while Sri Lanka will stage the other semi-final, the tournament's organising committee decided in Mumbai on Tuesday. India will host 29 of the 49 matches across eight venues, Sri Lanka will host 12 in three venues while Bangladesh will stage eight at two grounds as well as the opening ceremony on February 18, 2011. The 14 matches originally scheduled to take place in Pakistan have been redistributed more..

Govt of Sri Lanka rejects accusation on denial of entry to Swedish FM

Apr 29 (LG) The attention of the Government of Sri Lanka has been drawn to reported statements alleging that a visa had been denied to the Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt to visit Sri Lanka together with the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and the British Foreign Secretary David Miliband. This allegation is baseless, as there was no formal application received for a visa by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Stockholm. more..

TN to send consignment of relief materials to Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (PTI) The Tamil Nadu Government on Tuesday announced that the third consignment of relief materials to the tune of Rs seven crores for the Sri Lankan Tamils would be despatched before May 5. An official release here said apart from food and cloth, this time the relief materials would also include water purifiers and 10,000 kg of baby food. The relief materials, which would be sent to the Indian Embassy in Sri Lanka from Chennai harbour, more..

'India did not supply offensive equipment to Sri Lanka'

Apr 29 (IANS) India has not provided any help to the Sri Lankan Army that could assist them in the military operations against the Tamil Tigers in the island nation, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said Tuesday. "No help has been given to Sri Lankan Army that can help in offensive operations," Chidambaram said. He asserted that the bulk of equipment Sri Lanka had received had come from Pakistan and China. more..

Captured senior Tamil Tiger urges rebels to surrender

Apr 29 (NP) A senior member of the Tamil Tigers who surrendered to Sri Lankan troops last week is urging the cornered rebels to lay down their arms. Velayutham "Daya Master" Dayanithi said the Tamil rebels were using civilians as human shields and had fired at those who attempted to flee the war zone. The "LTTE was keeping the Tamil people as hostages," he said, using the acronym for the LTTE rebels. more..

Many paths in Colombo's victory push

Apr 29 (AT) Sri Lanka is on the verge of victory against a separatist movement that has terrorized the country for nearly three decades. The LTTE are almost a spent force and the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa is determined to finish the rebels off once and for all. The international community is also pressurizing the government to declare a ceasefire it says will save tens of thousands of civilians trapped by the conflict in a 10-square kilometer enclave on the nation's northeast coast. more..

Maori Tamil stand angers Anderton

Apr 29 (NZH) The Maori Party has been attacked as "disgusting" for blocking a parliamentary motion yesterday expressing concern about Sri Lankan civilians caught up in fighting between Government forces and the Tamil Tigers. The party blocked the motion in the name of Progressives leader Jim Anderton because it gave equal weight to the Sri Lankan Government and the Tigers. The Maori Party is traditionally reluctant to make comments on other countries but more..

End-game in Sri Lanka?

Apr 29 (DS) IT is a fast developing situation in Sri Lanka, as the more than three-decade-old civil war appears to be heading for a final settlement. The government says that the Tamil rebels are on the brink of total defeat and it is only a matter of time that they are completely decimated. The claim of the government is not baseless since it is clear that the militants are now cornered in a small stretch of land and are desperately trying to resist the advancing government troops. more..

Prabhakaran not where Lanka's looking, may have escaped

Apr 29 (IBN) Sri Lanka says it is continuing its offensive on the ground in the Northeast in its hunt for the LTTE’s top leadership. But Indian sources say the LTTE chief Prabhakaran may have escaped already and the rebels could even regroup. Sources also hint the LTTE supremo maybe far from the war zone of eastern Sri Lanka, belying claims by the Sri Lankan army that he is holed up in a diminishing sliver of territory in Mullaitivu. more..

Lanka govt, LTTE need to live up to their words: US

Apr 29 (PTI) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been in touch over phone with Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, the US said today, even as it asked Colombo and the LTTE to "live up to their words". "I know the Secretary (of State) in recent days spoke to the Indian Foreign Minister Mukherjee. There have been lots of phone calls going on about the situation," more..

Capture Prabhakaran alive, India to Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (IANS) India has reiterated that Sri Lanka capture Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran alive and extradite him to India, sources in the external affairs ministry said Tuesday. "India will continue to request that Prabhakaran be caught alive," a ministry source said. At the same time, New Delhi is aware that Colombo will hand him over only after trying him in Sri Lanka for the crimes he has committed in that country, the source pointed out. more..

Interview: 'Colonel Karuna'

Apr 29 (AJ) During his time as a Tamil Tiger commander he was accused of organising massacres, conscripting child soldiers and executing local journalists. But Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, now Sri Lanka's national integration minister, renounced violence in 2004 and defected to the government, along with several hundred fighters. He now heads a Tamil political party, with wide support among the Tamil population of Sri Lanka's northeast. more..

Sri Lanka takes precautionary against Swine Flu

Apr 29 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, with reports indicating the possible threat of Swine Flu in the Asian region, has ordered the Health Ministry Officials to take swift measure to prevent the virus entering the country. He also instructed to take adequate measures to quarantine all the foreign objects that are imported to Sri Lanka, including plants and crops arriving from suspected locations of having been effected. more..

Sovereignty And Duplicity

Apr 29 (AT) The formal meaning of the term Sovereignty is the power of a State to do everything necessary to govern itself, such as formulating, executing and applying laws and state policies, imposing and collecting taxes, making war and peace and forming treaties or engaging in commerce with foreign nations. Sri Lanka became a sovereign state after gaining independence from colonial rule way back in 1948. The fact that Sri Lanka is the oldest democracy in Asia too seems to be unknown to many unless it is conveniently forgotten. more..

The world must respond to Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (Guardian) Despite repeated international entreaties, the Sri Lankan state is continuing to kill Tamil civilians with artillery and airstrikes. More than three thousand shells were fired on Tuesday alone, at the tiny enclave where hundreds of thousands of starving Tamils are cowering, surrounded by the army. This slaughter is taking place in plain sight of the international community. Yet the international response, especially those of the UN and western liberal states, has been pathetic. more..

Karunanidhi satisfied with Sri Lankan response to fast

Apr 29 (Hindu) Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi on Tuesday expressed satisfaction with the response [from Sri Lanka] to the fast that he undertook on Monday. On instances of continued shelling after the Sri Lankan government’s announcement of the conclusion of combat operations with heavy weapons, Mr. Karunanidhi told reporters here that they were stray incidents. more..