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Danger of LTTE taking the fight to civilian safe zone

Feb 28 (DW) Latest military reports indicate that the LTTE could have a fighting force of around 2,000 cadres, majority of whom are those forcibly recruited during the Cease-Fire and paraded before the media under such names as "RPG Commandos", "Leopard Commandos" and "Black Tigers". Sources indicate that these cadres are fighting largely out of fear and are ready to flee every chance they get. more..

Gampaha far ahead in road development

Feb 28 (GDI) The Gampaha district is far ahead of other districts in the Western Province in terms of road development due to the various projects implemented in the district under Maga Neguma. Over 1,600 road development projects at a cost of Rs. 619 million were implemented in the district under Maga Neguma program last year as most roads had not been properly maintained for a number of years. more..

Ratmalana Economic Centre opens

Feb 28 (GDI) Dedicated economic centres program launched by the Trade Marketing Development Cooperatives and Consumer Services Ministry will foster competition in the market place and prevent artificial jacking up of prices, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. The Minister made this observation during an inspection tour of the Dedicated Economic Centre which opened in Ratmalana yesterday. Gunawardena said idle state land and property belonging to the Food Department would be more..

'Sri Lankan people will not allow govt to halt offensive against Tigers'

Feb 28 (AT) Sri Lankan people are not going to allow the Government to halt the humanitarian offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Sri Lanka Government too is not willing to abandon this campaign against the brutal force like LTTE. Sri Lanka Government has to diffuse the LTTE militarily and later on the development and democratization process will have to take place. more..

Reduction in LP gas prices

Feb 28 (GDI) The Government has reduced the price of Laugfs LP gas cylinder (12.5 kg) and Shell LP gas cylinder (12.5 kg) by Rs. 334 and Rs. 310 respectively. The new prices will be effective from midnight yesterday. A Laugfs LP gas cylinder will now be Rs.1,069 and Shell LP gas cylinder Rs. 1,309. The total price reduction received by consumers during the last four months was Rs. 790 from Laugfs gas cylinder and Rs.554 from Shell gas cylinder. more..

'LTTE not allowing civilians a safe passage'

Feb 28 (GDI) Inside a closed door meeting, top United Nation officials discussed the worsening humanitarian situation in the rebel controlled areas of Sri Lanka where thousands of civilians are being held by the LTTE without allowing them to escape in to liberated zones. The meeting took place on Friday in New York. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes, who visited Sri Lanka, last week, briefed the Security Council on his findings from more..

BOI develops computer manufacturing and information technology sector in the EP

Feb 28 (LP) The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka granted investment approval to Chamma Technology (Private) Limited for a project to provide IT related services. The company established in Ampara is an investment of Rs. 45 million that is expected to generate employment for a workforce of 100. The venture carried out under the BOI 300 Enterprise Programme is expected to commence commercial operations within this year. more..

SriLankan Airlines launches corporate environment policy

Feb 28 (LP) SriLankan Airlines has launched a Corporate Environment Policy, with the objective of promoting a culture of the highest standards in environmental management throughout the company’s many business activities. The Airline already has a large number of individual environmental safeguards, and the adoption of this formal Corporate Environment Policy will bring conservation under a single umbrella, for maximum effectiveness. more..

U.N. Ambassadors unanimous LTTE laying down arms, releasing civilians to govt

Feb 28 (AT) At the conclusion of the U.S. Secretary General’s Special Representative for Humanitarian Affairs Sir. John Holms many ambassadors representing other countries were unanimous that the LTTE is now defeated and that it should lay down the arms and release all trapped civilians to move to Sri Lanka government declared safe zones. Here are some of the comments the ambassadors provided to the press corps after the Security Council session more..

Sensitive LTTE’s communications equipments recovered

Feb 28 (AT) Army’s 58 Division troops have advance deep into the Puthukkudiyiruppu built- up area from North west, East and South amidst heavy resistance forthcoming from the LTTE. Troops belonging to the 58 Divisions also recovered sensitive electronic equipments which confirmed roles played by Tamil Nadu political leaders and televisions owned and run by elites belonging to Tamil Nadu political hierarchy to bifurcate Sri Lanka and make the so called Tamil Eelam, a satellite state of India. more..

'Politicians should not handle school administration'

Feb 28 (FT) School administration should be left in the levels of the relevant officials and not with the politicians, Youth Empowerment and Socio Economic Development Minister Arumugam Thondaman said. Minister Thondaman made these remarks at a felicitation ceremony at Sri Somananda Maha Vidyalaya, Korathota recently. more..

Situation report (Feb 28) by SLA

Feb 28 (SLA) A HI-TECH COMMUNICATION CENTER possessed by the LTTE terrorists was found by the 58 Division troops from AMPALAVANPOKKANAI, in the northwest of PUTHUKKUDIYIRUPPU, Friday (27) afternoon. Troops found modern communication and television transmitting equipment damaged and scattered all over the premises installed with satellite antennas and powered by soundproof powerful electricity generators. more..

Mahela remains focused on winning

Feb 28 (CI) The Lahore Test will be the last of Mahela Jayawardene's tenure as Sri Lankan captain but he is confident he won't be distracted by emotion and will remain focused on the task of winning the series which is currently level after the draw in Karachi. "I don't think it's a distraction. I'm not feeling anything other than normal," Jayawardene said on the eve of the match. "It's a crucial Test match for us, so the focus and emphasis is on winning. more..

Bromley coach teaches tsunami children

Feb 28 (NS) Football coach Ian Wootton took his skills to Sri Lanka to teach children who have grown up in a tsunami-stricken city. He tells reporter CHARLOTTE MCDONALD about his trip. EVEN though it is now more than four years since the Boxing Day tsunami, those affected still need help. Ian Wootton, who runs Pro-Stars football school in Bromley, wanted something to do over Christmas and so volunteered to go to Galle, a city on the southern tip of Sri Lanka. more..

Off Sri Lanka’s coast

Feb 28 (FT) Thirty minutes to the south of the bustling little town of Galle, in southern Sri Lanka, where the single lane road runs along a palmy coastline, I saw a small island rising out of the Pacific with what seemed to be the turrets of a white castle poking through its trees. I pulled up along the side of the road and stepped on to the soft, warm sand to get a better look at this tropical Havisham enigma. more..

Regional conference marks zoo's bicentenary

Feb 28 (DN) The Zoological Gardens Department has planned to mark the bicentenary of the Zoological Gardens in 2010 by conducting a regional conference in Sri Lanka. The existing zoological gardens would also be developed and upgraded to mark the event. Other highlights would include the publication of a book on the history of zoological gardens and the issuing of a commemorative stamp, a Government Information Department release said. more..

Minister clashes with JVP

Feb 28 (Island) Much dirty linen was washed at the Galle Coordinating Committee meeting yesterday which ended with Agricultural Minister Hemakumara Nanayakkara and some JVP Provincial Council members almost coming to blows. Minister of Vocational Training Piyasena Gamage, who presided at the meeting held at the Galle Secretariat had to intervene to settle the dispute after Nanayakkara and the JVPers traded accusations. more..

Kotelawala moved to prison hospital

Feb 28 (DM) Ceylinco Group Chairman Lalith Kotelawala, who was remanded for alleged misappropriation of 26 billion rupees was yesterday transferred to the Welikada Prison Hospital due to poor health. Prisons Chief Retired Maj. Gen Vajira Wijegunawardena told the Daily Mirror action had been taken to transfer him to the hospital ward on medical advice and the health condition of Dr. Kotelawala, more..

Waskaduwa gripped by panic over mystery object

Feb 28 (DM) Pandemonium reigned in the Waskaduwa area last evening after the news spread that an object from the sky had fallen to the sea creating a huge splash of water in mid sea. The Kalutara North Police and officers from the Disaster Management Centre rushed to the scene and started investigations. DMC Kalutara District Coordinator Major G.A. D. I. S. Samaranayaka told the Daily Mirror that the phenomenon had been seen by a mother and her daughter. more..

'Fertilizer subsidy conditional'

Feb 28 (Island) The government has stipulated that the fertilizer subsidy would depend entirely on farmers’ readiness to sell their paddy to the government’s buying agent the PMB. Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that heavily subsidized fertiliser would be sold only to those who could produce a receipt for the sale of 500 kilos of paddy to the Paddy Marketing Board. more..

Sri Lanka says Fitch rating outlook cut 'unwarranted'

Feb 28 (LBO) The cut in the outlook of Sri Lanka's 'B+' sovereign rating to 'negative' by Fitch Ratings is 'unwarranted' and 'pessimistic' the island's Central Bank said. The Central Bank said the rating agency had a "pessimistic view" of various measures being taken by Sri Lanka to increase the country's flagging foreign reserves. Sri Lanka also disputed a Fitch assessment that the current account deficit of the balance of payments in 2009 more..

'Sri Lanka will ensure end to recruitment of child soldiers'

Feb 28 (PTI) Noting that Sri Lanka's image has been "stained" by the presence of child soldiers, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has pledged full support to Tamil parents whose children have been forcefully inducted for armed conflict by the LTTE. "With this campaign, we will make sure that our fight to eradicate terrorism goes hand in hand with the fight to free our children from being robots of terror," Rajapaksa said, more..

We did not ask for extra security, Lankan manager

Feb 28 (APP) Sri Lankan cricket team manager, Brenden Kurrupu dispelled the impression that his team demanded extra security for playing a test match at Lahore’s Gadaffi stadium. “We never made such a demand as we are satisfied with the security provided to us at Karachi during the first test and we are of the view that similar arrangements will be made at Lahore during the second test commencing tomorrow,Sunday,”, more..

Take steps to prevent civilian casualty: India tells Sri Lanka

Feb 28 (PTI) Expressing concern over the fate of innocent people caught in the war between Sri Lankan Army and LTTE in the island's north, India has asked the Rajapaksa Government to make conceivable efforts to prevent civilian casualties. Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahmed said India hopes for early resumption of the "full democratic process" in northern Lanka on the basis of a political package that addresses the aspirations of all citizens of the country. more..

The desperate plight of Sri Lanka's Tamils

Feb 28 (NST) WHEN elephants fight, the mousedeer dies in the middle. This old Malay saying clearly underlines the universal fact that when two enemies meet on the battlefield, civilians suffer the most. We saw this recently in the Gaza Strip when hundreds of innocents were killed and thousands more were injured when their homes and offices were blown to bits by Israeli bombs ostensibly targeted at Hamas posts in the occupied territory. more..

Troops enter last rebel stronghold

Feb 28 (AFP) Troops entered the last urban area held by Tamil rebels, the defence ministry said Saturday, as the UN appealed to the guerrillas to let civilians leave the war zone. Government forces fought their way Friday into the small town of Puthukkudiriruppu despite heavy resistance from the LTTE. Troops who entered the town "found the LTTE's high-tech satellite communication centre" and met "stiff resistance" as they advanced into built-up areas, the statement said. more..

'Grab LTTE ceasefire offer to rescue civilians'

Feb 28 (IANS) Amid mounting concern over the plight of 70,000 civilians trapped in the conflict zone, India Friday made a renewed appeal to Sri Lanka to seize the Tamil Tigers rebels' ceasefire offer and spur safe passage for Tamil civilians where they can get humanitarian aid. 'While this (ceasefire offer by LTTE) may fall short of a declaration of willingness to lay down arms, it is our view that the government of Sri Lanka should seize the opportunity more..

UN Security Council fight for Sri Lanka

Feb 28 (Times) The UN Security Council took up the fighting in Sri Lanka for the first time on Friday as a senior UN official reported that dozens of people, at least, were being killed every day. Council members, meeting in closed session, appealed to the Sri Lankan government to exercise maximum restraint and to the Tamil Tiger rebels, or LTTE, to lay down their arms and abandon the use of violence to pursue their political aims, the council president said. more..