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'Global Economic Crisis will be contained through increased productivity'

Apr 30 (GDI) “Our government, essential a worker-friendly government, granted most of the relief and benefits proposed to be given to the working population. As a result of the steps taken by us, the industrial peace remained at a very satisfactory, and, it will contain the current global economic crisis minimizing threats to employment of the working class. more..

Rehabilitation symbols: How minds work in naming barbed-wire camps

Apr 30 (TN) Four major internment camps meant for the civilians of Vanni and envisaged as long-term detention-villages as a part of Colombo’s structural genocide of Tamils, have been named after Sir Ponnampalam Ramanathan, Sir Ponnampalam Arunachalam, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy and Lakshman Kadirgamar. All four of them belonged to two aristocratic families of Jaffna that had settled in Colombo. more..

Nurses to stop chemotherapy administration

Apr 30 (CT) The nursing staff of the Maharagama Cancer Hospital will abstain from administrating chemotherapy from tomorrow in demand of a risk allowance of Rs. 3,000, overseas training and other facilities. This will deprive 900 inpatients and 500 outpatients of their chemotherapy treatment, hospital sources say. Speaking to the media, Uditha Wanigasekera said that health officials should be responsible for the plight of these patients. more..

Doctors to strike work

Apr 30 (CT) Doctors are staging a strike across the island from May 05 to protest a Health Ministry decision to give clinical training at state hospitals for paramedical undergraduates of Peradeniya University. Deputy secretary of GMOA Dr. Upul Gunasekara has told the media that this decision would endanger the lives of patients and disrupt doctors and medical students in training. more..

Dealing with terror firmly but decently

Apr 30 (PISL) The Peace Secretariat believes it is important to share with the world the manner in which the Sri Lankan government dealt with the problem of terrorism. This may be particularly useful to countries that think that they know, or perhaps know that they think, that the entire world is very disappointed that in their efforts to deal with what they see as terrorism they have caused such untold suffering. more..

Four things done, Four things undone: Part 2

Apr 30 (GV) Some of my friends were worried that through the previous articles I may have inadvertently "caught the tiger by the (ir) tail’. They have requested me to take care physically (I don’t from whom?). This is besides the 270+ emails flooded into my inbox, and the indicator of 1800+ (if it is true) readers of the article within three days even with some embarrassing evidence of my repeated indiscipline in proof reading. more..

58 Div troops close-in on LTTE

Apr 30 (MoD) During the past 48 hours security forces led by 58 Division infantrymen have advanced further South of Rektavaikkal, shrinking the remaining swathe of land to a near 7sq.kms where LTTE terrorists are expected to face its end game. The 58 Division troops advancing South and the 53 Division flanking west of Vellamullivaikkal have been spearheading the rescue operations as an estimated number of 15,000- 20,000 civilians await liberation from LTTE clutches. more..

'No time for ceasefire: time yet for surrender'

Apr 30 (MoD) We have at no time gone for a ceasefire. We will not do so now. There is no time for that now. In the five or six days remaining we have given the opportunity for the LTTE to lay down their arms and surrender to the Armed Forces and, even in the name of God, free the civilians held by them. If they have no regard for their own lives they should even consider the lives of others. more..

'Resettling stranded Tamil civilians is of prime importance'

Apr 30 (GDI) “Since the commencement of the government’s humanitarian efforts, more than 190,000 innocent Tamil civilians have escaped into government controlled areas so far,” said Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadharashana Yapa today (30). These civilians are received and treated with respect by the government, and, altogether 19 IDP welfare centers have been set up. more..

The Tamil Tigers final battle?

Apr 30 (AT) On a little piece of land in Sri Lanka, we have a humanitarian disaster being created by a civil war, in which neither of the parties wanted to take into account the plight of the civilians who have been caught between the war ring parties. The small strip of land, that is smaller in size than the Danish Kattegat-island Endelave, where tens of thousands of people are trapped between the Sri Lankan security forces and the armed cadres from the Tamil Tigers. more..

Burning trump

Apr 30 (Himal) The police will try to lay my body to rest. Don’t allow them to do that! Capture my dead body, don’t bury it, and use it as a trump card to sharpen your struggle!” said K Muthukumar in a four-page written statement in Tamil that he left at the site of his public self-immolation in Madras on 29 January. Muthukumar, a young journalist, was protesting the inaction of the Tamil Nadu government in the ongoing humanitarian tragedy in Sri Lanka, more..

Peace ends, 15 arrested at Canada Tamil protest

Apr 30 (TS) Fifteen Tamil demonstrators were arrested yesterday evening after a group of protesters spilled over into a busy downtown intersection. Police moved in as the crowd pushed forward on University Ave. to the north side of Dundas St. around 4:30 p.m. A scuffle broke out between a group of young men and police, ending three days of peace while protests blocked one of the city's main downtown arteries. Of those arrested, most were young men. more..

Ceasefire not our aim - Miliband

Apr 30 (DN) No one was here to call a ceasefire to save Prabhakaran but we are here to discuss the protection of civilians that was our absolute and paramount interest. The LTTE should stop fighting, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Secretary of State David Miliband told the Press. ”The LTTE was a proscribed and banned organization in our countries and they are holding citizens in the No Fire Zone. more..

President expects more commitment

Apr 30 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa called upon Ministry Secretaries to work all seven days of the week to develop the country, especially the North where there was no development for the past 30 years. The President at a meeting with the Ministry Secretaries at Temple Trees said he expected that the Ministry Secretaries will discharge their duties with more dedication and commitment. more..

May Day on a low key

Apr 30 (DN) The May Day this year will be celebrated on a low key with the two major political parties, the UPFA and UNP, deciding not to hold public rallies in Colombo. President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was associated with trade unions over a long period of time and a Labour Minister in the 1994 PA Government will meet trade union and working class representatives at Temple Trees on May Day. more..

Commits suicide after killing his children

Apr 30 (Island) A 44-year-old man committed suicide by hanging after killing his two children in the same manner, Weligama police said yesterday. N. H. Indika of Henwala, Weligama had hanged his two children and himself with a rope tied to the roof, Police said. The deceased children were 10-year-old Kavindi Sudarika and five-year-old Pasin Mithsara. The residents in the area had noticed that the lights of the house were still on in the morning and more..

We are against double standards - Russian Ambassdor

Apr 30 (Island) In this interview, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Sri Lanka, Vladimir P. Mikhaylov speaks to C.A.Chandraprema, about the ongoing situation in Sri Lanka. Mr Mikhaylov has served in, among other places, the USA and Pakistan before being posted to Sri Lanka last September. He has visited the IDP camps in Vavuniya and takes a keen interest in the unfolding situation in this country. more..

Condemned railway wagons back on track

Apr 30 (Island) Lying adjacent to the huge network of rail network at various locations are railway wagons, both goods as well as passenger. They have been condemned and moved away and are in a state of disrepair being overgrown with weeds and jungle shrub. This situation will soon change due to the establishment of a Rs. 30 million state of the art repair facility to undertake repairs of railway wagons. more..

Government extends invitation to Sweden

Apr 30 (DM) The Government yesterday said that it has extended an invitation to Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt after the latter said that his visas had been rejected for a visit to the country. Minister Bildt was expected to arrive in the country with his British and French counterparts yesterday but received a shock when he was not granted a visa to visit the country as part of an EU delegation. more..

We want terrorism crushed: UNP

Apr 30 (DM) The UNP yesterday emphasized the need to continue operations to eliminate terrorism as otherwise its remnants would raise their ugly heads in the future and create problems. The UNP pointed out that the military once confined the LTTE leadership to Vadamarachchi and was about to either destroy or capture Velupillai Prabhakaran during the time of the late Defence Minister Lalith Athulathmudali. more..

'Sudar Oli' editor given leave to proceed

Apr 30 (DM) The Supreme Court yesterday (29) re-fixed for support for granting leave to proceed with the fundamental rights violation petition filed by senior Tamil newspaper editor N.Vithyatharan complaining of his “arrest” and detention. When the matter came up, Deputy Solicitor General Sanjay Rajaratnam moved for two weeks time to obtain instructions. Consequent to the move by the Deputy Solicitor General, the Bench comprising Justices Asoka de Silva, more..

'Sri Lanka close to getting 15-year loan from Libya'

Apr 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka is close to finalizing a 500 million US dollar long-term loan from Libya, Central Bank governor Nivard Cabraal who is visiting the country for discussions on the government-to-government credit, said. In a telephone interview from Rome Thursday, Cabraal said Sri Lanka was negotiating a 15-year year loan with a bullet repayment and he was flying to Tripoli the next day to finalize the loan. more..

Sri Lanka hosts IMF team as loan deal nears

Apr 30 (LBO) An International Monetary Fund (IMF) 'Safeguards Assessment' mission is in Sri Lanka as talks on a 1.9 billion dollar loan nears its final stages, the central bank said in a statement. "The Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) facility sought by the government of Sri Lanka from the IMF has now reached an advanced level of finalization," it said. "In this regard, the Sri Lankan delegation to the IMF Spring Meetings held several discussions with senior staff of the IMF. more..

Alienation of Tamils must be addressed through decency: EU

Apr 30 (PTI) After being spurned by Sri Lanka over their demand for an immediate ceasefire in the ethnic conflict, British and French foreign ministers on Thursday said at Colombo, saying "victory without humanity can be no triumph". British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and France's Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner, who were in Colombo on Wednesday to impress upon the government to announce a "ceasefire" more..

'War won't stop until Prabhakaran is taken, dead or alive'

Apr 30 (GDI) "My problem is not what the LTTE will do to you," the Defence Secretary said, "instead it is that should such a thing happen, we would not be able to take Prabhakaran as planned!". He said after thirty years, the time had come finally for Prabhakaran and other terrorist leaders to be captured dead or alive and the government would not stop until that end was achieved. more..

Miliband in stand-up row with Sri Lanka defence minister over civilian deaths

Apr 30 (Times) Sri Lanka has published details of an apparently heated exchange between its Defence Secretary and David Miliband, the British Foreign Secretary, about the safety of civilians in the area held by the Tamil Tigers. Mr Miliband and Bernard Kouchner, his French counterpart, were in Sri Lanka yesterday to urge the Government to call a ceasefire in the war against the Tamil rebels, to allow humanitarian access to tens of thousands of civilians on the front line. more..

Interview with David Miliband

Apr 30 (FCO) British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, in an interview with the BBC following his visit to Sri Lanka, said that Sri Lanka should be on the UN Security Council agenda for which UK, France and the US are pushing for as the war has regional and wider ramifications. Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, was interviewed on the BBC's World at One following his visit to Sri Lanka on 29 April 2009. more..

A long, slow descent into hell

Apr 30 (Guardian) Twenty six years ago, I was writing the earliest of the stories that would end up in my first book, in which a man called CK dreams about opening a guest house on the east coast of Sri Lanka. If one tries to pin his dream down on a map, I guess it would be just a few miles from the so-called "no-fire zone" today, a place where Tigers are said to be shooting Tamil hostages who do not want to be human shields, and the government of Sri Lanka is accused of bombing civilians; more..

Central bank says no delay in IMF loan

Apr 30 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Central bank said on Thursday there was no delay in the application process for a $1.9 billion International Monetary Fund loan and negotiations were at a final level. Its comments came after Reuters reported U.S. officials as saying Washington had decided to delay the loan to try to pressure Colombo to do more to help civilians caught in fighting between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Mullivaaikkaal Hospital hit as shelling continues

Apr 30 (DBS) While there has been no Aerial bombardment , sporadic artillery and heavy mortar fire has continued in the tiny strip of territory in the Karaithuraipatru AGA division in the Northern Mullaitheevu district on Wednesday April 29th 2009. A tragic consequence of the shelling has been the incident where shells fell on the makeshift hospital in Mullivaaikkaal in the 10 sq Km area controlled by the LTTE resulting in the death of nine patients. more..

Can there be peace in Sri Lanka?

Apr 30 (TS) Sri Lanka's endgame with the Tamil Tiger rebels is rolling to a close, and the government seems increasingly confident that victory is in sight after a quarter-century of bloodshed. Yesterday, the foreign ministers of Britain and France urged a humanitarian ceasefire to let tens of thousands of civilians escape the shrinking strip of embattled coast land where Tamil militants and residents have been trapped. more..

'Prabhakaran won't be able to leave Sri Lanka'

Apr 30 (PTI) Voicing confidence that Velupillai Prabhakaran would not be able to escape from Sri Lanka in view of the strict vigil across the island, a former top commander of the LTTE has said the elusive Tiger chief will be caught soon if he has already come out of the No Fire Zone. "I am confident that Prabhakaran is still in the No Fire Zone as is widely believed and also stated by the surrendered LTTE militants. more..

Lankan troops close in on LTTE remnants including Prabhakaran

Apr 30 (PTI) Closing in from three sides on the cornered LTTE, including its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, in their shrinking territory in the northern part of island, Sri Lankan forces on Thursday pushed back the rebels further killing 41 of them in fierce fighting. The army, which outnumbers and outguns the rebels, is now virtually close to encircling Vellamullivaikkal, close to the coast where Prabhakaran and his top aides are believed to be hiding, as more..

LTTE will not surrender: Nadesan

Apr 30 (AP) The Tamil Tigers said on Thursday they would never surrender to the advancing Sri Lankan forces and appealed to the international community to work harder for a cease-fire in the country's bloody civil war. Sri Lanka has refused growing diplomatic pressure to stop its offensive against the rebel group's last stronghold in the northeast to safeguard the estimated 50,000 civilians trapped in the area. more..

Inflation slowest in more than 5 years

Apr 30 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's consumer prices in April rose 2.9 percent from the same month a year earlier, its slowest pace in more than five years, the government said on Thursday. Inflation eased from 5.3 percent in March, marking the tenth consecutive monthly fall after a record high of 28.2 percent hit in June, the Department of Census and Statistics data showed. "It was expected with commodity prices coming down, demand in the economy (having) eased and more..

Sri Lanka dismisses critics, vows to crush rebels

Apr 30 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president on Thursday ruled out halting the military's offensive against the Tamil Tigers, and warned the rebels that they must give up or be killed. "We have no plans to go for a ceasefire with the Tigers, but they have a little time left to drop their weapons and surrender even though our military operation is at a final stage," President Mahinda Rajapakse said. more..

Sri Lanka president, rebels vow to fight on

Apr 30 (AP) Sri Lanka's president rejected international appeals for cease-fire in his nation's bloody civil war Thursday, as the Tamil Tiger rebels vowed never to surrender to the advancing government forces. The defiant declarations came in the face of growing calls for Sri Lanka to halt its offensive against the rebels' last stronghold in the northeast to allow an estimated 50,000 civilians to flee the war zone. more..

Sri Lanka rejects “Lectures” from western countries on truce with rebels

Apr 30 (NYT) One of the highest-level European delegations to visit this war-torn country in years has failed to persuade the Sri Lankan government to declare a temporary truce with ethnic Tamil rebels. President Mahinda Rajapaksa emphatically rejected the appeal Thursday and told Western governments to stop lecturing him, news agencies reported. “The government is not ready to enter into any kind of cease-fire with the terrorists,” he said. more..