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'NGO expertise helped LTTE'

May 27 (DN) The last ditch effort made by certain Western countries to impose a ceasefire on Sri Lanka in the guise of saving civilians was actually made to save Prabhakaran and his top men, Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka said. He said this effort was made with a long term view of destabilizing countries like India and Sri Lanka like the Middle East with a never ending problem. more..

‘Colombo’s Praba’ caught

May 27 (BL) On March 20, 2009 around 8:30 pm, security forces personnel were engaged in routine vehicle checking operations at the Kollupitiya end of the entrance to the High Security Zone covering Temple Trees, Galle Face and Janadhipathi Mandiraya areas. A taxi was stopped and checked, when the passenger inside duly submitted his NIC and Police clearance certificate and said he was on his way to meet a friend at the Colombo Swimming Club (CSC). more..

Rs.40 million worth school equipment sent to north

May 27 (BL) The Education Ministry has taken steps to send material worth amounting to nearly Rs. 40 million to the children of schools in the North. “We sent text books for about one month but that had not been sufficient. So the rest would be sent on May 29,” said Education Ministry Secretary Nimal Bandara. Also, school uniforms worth Rs. 7 million is due to be sent by June 5. more..

Will President Rajapaksa seize this opportunity?

May 27 (BL) At the outset, I wish to record the appreciation of the Tamil people about the following matters: the advice the Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter the Most Venerable Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera gave President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he was honoured on Saturday; the exemplary manner in which the Sinhalese people behaved during the victory celebrations, and more..

No temple will be affected

May 27 (DN) Not a single place of worship coming under the temple category will be dismantled under the proposed Anuradhapura Sacred City Development Scheme, said the Sacred Area Development Ministry dispelling fears expressed by some quarters that some temples are earmarked for dismantling under the proposed scheme. Anuradhapura Sacred City Development Committee which handled the sacred city development project had not decided to remove any temple in Anuradhapura to facilitate the project. more..

Demining expedited for early resettlement

May 27 (DN) The Government has initiated the demining process to expedite resettlement of displaced people in their original habitats under the Uthuru Wasanthaya program. Demining and removing of booby traps along the A 32 highways is in progress, Presidential Advisor and former IGP Chandra Fernando said. According to Fernando, troops have recovered over 527 anti-personnel mines, two anti-tank mines and 29 other bombs from the area. more..

Govt. fears Docs because of ‘Strike’ weapon

May 27 (Island) The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has been successful so far in preventing the continuation of clinical training for students of the Allied Health Sciences Faulty Peradeniya, because they wield a powerful weapon called ‘strike.’ Even President Mahinda Rajapaksa who has been instrumental in ridding the country of terrorism, fears doctors because of this. more..

'Govt. will not dance to Opposition’s tune'

May 27 (Island) Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that Government could not dance to the whims and fancies of the Opposition and do away with Emergency Laws or the Prevention of Terrorism Act barely a week after the LTTE had been crushed militarily. It would consider easing Emergency Laws or the PTA when time comes, he said, more..

Unit set up to solve EPF, ETF problems

May 27 (Island) The Labour Relations and Manpower Ministry has set up a complaints unit. It has been able to solve a number of problems pertaining to EPF and ETF applications, Ministry said. Labour Ministry Public Complaints Unit Officer-in-Charge Janaka Sumanasekara told ‘The Island’ that 56 labour offices had been receiving a large number of complaints, especially from EPF and ETF applicants as their applications had been misplaced and delayed. more..

Proper transformation to peace crucial: UNP

May 27 (DM) The main opposition UNP yesterday reiterated the need for a proper transformation to peace with the end of war and pledged its support to the government to achieve it. UNP front liner Lakshman Kiriella told a news conference that it was this transformation that would go down in history and the government should work towards bringing all communities together and build a Sri Lankan identity. more..

Navy, Army at odds

May 27 (DM) The Navy yesterday strongly refuted claims that the LTTE managed to smuggle in weapons by sea during the final phase of the Wanni battle, a claim which even the Army Chief had made publicly during a television interview on Monday. Navy Spokesperson Mahesh Karunaratna told the Daily Mirror that the Navy had fulfilled its duty in guarding the seas 100% and this was proven as all the LTTE leaders were caught and killed within the island’s No Fire Zone. more..

Curtain drops on one drama, what next?

May 27 (DM) Ayubowan, vanakkam and assalamu alaikkum as you reach the clouds for your moment of crowning glory after defeating the LTTE and ending a bloody 25-year civil war. Last Saturday the Mahanayake Theras of the Malwatte and the Asgiriya Chapters conferred on you the highest title for exemplary and heroic leadership. This title has not been given to any previous head of state or government in Sri Lanka. more..

Crime and punishment

May 27 (ANN) Some people just don’t learn from their mistakes. One wrong move follows another, and they never realise that things aren’t going to plan. Take David Miliband. For what seemed like months, he went about insisting that what was needed in Sri Lanka was a ceasefire, bashfully called a humanitarian pause. This would allow civilians to escape the fighting, he claimed, as if the LTTE would give up its most effective weapon. more..

'Sri Lanka may relax forex trading curbs from June'

May 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka may expand forex trading limits of banks from next month, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said, as the country emerged from a balance of payments crisis with the monetary authority becoming net dollar buyer. Overnight limits were slashed twice last year as the rupee came under pressure as the central bank attempted to defend a dollar peg. "We will take this up at the next monetary policy meeting," more..

Sri Lanka spelling contest seeks to improve skills

May 27 (LBO) The Sri Lankan chapter of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) has launched the second season of Spellmaster, a spelling contest which it hopes will improve English spelling and vocabulary skills among school children. “Being an avid reader from a very young age, I always referred the dictionary to check on any new word I came across in my reading,” more..

Prabhakaran's body was identified by birth marks, scars: Report

May 27 (IE) Slain LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran's body was identified by his two former aides with the help of certain scars and birth marks. Federal Minister Vinayagamoorthi Muralidaran, alias Karuna Amman, one time close confidante of Prabhakaran, and Daya Master, the former LTTE media spokesman who had surrendered recently, identified the Tiger supremo's body after he was killed on May 18. more..

Interview with Nirmala Rajasingam

Prabhakaran's wife, son fled to Tamil Nadu last year: Aide

May 27 (PTI) Slain Tiger supremo V Prabhakaran's wife and teenage son had fled last year to Tamil Nadu from where they were to fly to Singapore and then to an undisclosed location, a key aide of the rebel chief said amid speculation that the entire family had been wiped out in the conflict."When intelligence agents interrogated a close aide of Prabhakaran, he had said that, last year, Prabhakaran's wife (Mathivathani) and younger son Balachandran had escaped by boat to Tamil Nadu, more..

No suicide bomber amongst surrendered LTTE cadres: Army

May 27 (PTI) The Sri Lankan army did not find any suicide bombers as they screened over 9000 LTTE combatants who had surrendered in the just-ended conflict with the Tamil Tigers, fueling anxiety about there whereabouts. "We could not find any LTTE suicide bombers among the 9100 LTTE cadres who confessed to their involvement in the offensive," a top army commander said here, expressing relief that the relief camps would not be targetted. more..

Observations on the LTTE from a Kurdish Nationalist Comrade

May 27 (DBS) As readers would have noticed the piece “last days of Thiruvengadam Velupillai Prabhakaran” has attracted many readers and comments. Among these comments was one by A kurdish nationalist , Shexmus Amed. It was a detailed in depth comment and obviously heartfelt but well thought-out. I feel that these observations deserve to be read widely. So I’ve posted it on my blog this time and hope many will read and digest what is said. more..

Call to support Sri Lanka with prayers and donations

May 27 (CT) Sinhalese and Tamil Christians have united with the Evangelical Alliance to call on UK Christians to pray for Sri Lanka and donate to agencies working on the ground. The military campaign may be over, but there are now more than 250,000 civilians displaced in government camps across Sri Lanka. They are already traumatised and their needs are overwhelming. The conflict has now killed well in excess of 70,000 people, more..

Editorial: No Victory in Sri Lanka

May 27 (NYT) Even after declaring victory in Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war, the country’s leaders seem unable to distinguish between the enemy — the brutal but apparently vanquished Tamil Tiger separatists — and innocent bystanders. Despite appeals from Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, and from others, the government has not given international aid organizations full access to government-run camps, more..

Tamils urge 'fatherland' India not to back Sri Lanka

May 27 (IANS) The Tamil diaspora here has joined Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi in pleading with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to not support a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council in support of Sri Lanka. The draft resolution by India, China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and others 'commends' Colombo for dealing with the problem of displaced people and seeks international support for it. more..

State of emergency to remain after war

May 27 (AP) The Sri Lankan government will maintain its state of emergency, including sweeping anti-terrorism powers, after the battlefield defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels, according to a statement posted online Wednesday. The state of emergency is necessary to prevent a resurgence of the rebel movement and to protect cities, Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told Parliament on Tuesday. The statement by de Silva was posted on a government Web site. more..

Sri Lanka urged at U.N. to ensure aid reaches Tamils

May 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka must ensure Tamil refugees receive humanitarian help to recover from the civil war, governments told the U.N. Human Rights Council on Tuesday. Bangladesh, South Korea and Uruguay joined a chorus of calls for Colombo to allow aid agencies into camps holding tens of thousands of people who fled the northwest war zone in which the separatist Tamil Tigers were cornered and eventually defeated. more..

Sri Lanka confident of avoiding war crimes probe

May 27 (AFP) Sri Lanka said Wednesday it was confident of averting an international probe into alleged war crimes committed during its blistering offensive against the Tamil Tigers. Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the island had managed to lobby enough backing during a special United Nations Human Rights Council session to fend off what he dismissed as little more than empty rhetoric. more..

Military logic not enough for Sri Lanka

May 28 (UPI) For the past several weeks, Sri Lanka made media headlines in the world. The unique situation of civilians held as human shields by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in the last phase of war with government forces gripped world attention. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to Sri Lanka last weekend is an indication of how important the country has become to the international community. more..

Shares anticipate post-war boom, hit 8-mo high

May 28 (Reuters) Shares rose to an eight-month high on Wednesday led by hotel and construction shares with investors anticipating a post-war boom in both sectors. The rupee closed flat as state banks bought up dollars at a fixed rate. The Colombo All-Share Price Index .CSE rose 0.63 percent or 13.58 points to 2156.04, its highest close since Sept. 29. "Investors are interested in the hotel and construction sectors, expecting a boom in tourism and construction after the war-end," more..

Sri Lankan team sign record sponsorship deal

May 28 (CI) The Sri Lankan team have signed a whopping US$4.85 million sponsorship deal with the country's mobile service provider Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel for the next four years. The sponsorship will take effect from the ICC World Twenty20 in England next month, where the team will be led by their new captain Kumar Sangakkara. The deal is the biggest for the national team since it was first sponsored by Singer Sri Lanka in the mid-90s. more..

'Sri Lanka planning credit scheme for the war-affected'

May 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka is planning a central bank re-financed credit scheme for people in former war-affected areas to allow people to rebuild their lives, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. "We have already begun discussions on a credit scheme with central bank re-finance," Governor Cabraal said Wednesday. "We will be announcing the details shortly." Sri Lanka defeated Tamil Tiger guerillas earlier this month eliminating more..

A ‘practical innitiative’ by the JVP to take the country forward

May 28 (LT) A 14 point practical initiative to overcome challenges the country is confronted with was presented by the JVP today. In presenting the programme the Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe told the media “The country has approached new crossroads. A ‘practical initiative’ would be necessary to move from here. more..

'Prabhakaran look-alike flees to India'

May 28 (CT) Defence authorities have found a look-alike of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, who is said to be a Tamil businessman of New Chetty Street, Kotahena. Following the exposure, the man identified as Sathgunaraja, a wealthy supplier of goods to the north, has fled to India, 'Divaina' reports. Yesterday afternoon (May 26), an unidentified group had shot and wounded his son, who is said to be in critical condition in hospital. more..

Review: Priyani Oriental Cafe in Northridge

May 28 (LAT) Priyani Oriental Cafe is tucked into the tiny back corner of a parking lot, wedged between an Indian/Pakistani supermarket and a fence. It's actually a chunk of the supermarket, walled off into a separate space, and lovingly made as cozy as possible. There are leather couches, hanging bamboo mats, red paper lanterns and a flat-screen TV playing softly in the background. But you can still spot the supermarket giveaway -- the floor is that same industrial white linoleum. more..

Injunction against 'Neththa Wenuwata Eththa'

May 28 (CT) Sri Lanka Commercial High Court today (May 27) issued an injunction against the printing and distribution of the book 'Neththa Wenuwata Eththa' by NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa. The court was considering a plaint filed by JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe and secretary Tilvyn Silva. They claimed the use of internal party documents by the ex-party member for the compilation of the book amounts to a theft of intellectual property. more..

'Aid workers must use bicycles'

May 28 (DPA) A Sri Lankan official said Tuesday that aid workers were being restricted access to displaced persons camps at the Asian island as they refused to use bicycles as their means of transport. Rajiva Wijesinha, from the Ministry of Disaster Relief and Human Rights, said organisations like the International Committee of the Red Cross and United Nations agencies have insisted on using their "luxury vehicles", which generated dust inside the camps. more..

Tamil Sri Lankans won't get extra privileges for emigrating to Australia

May 28 (AVB) The Australian government will not give priorities for emigrating to Australia to Tamil Sri Lankans or other Sri Lankans displaced in the north of Sri Lanka, according to a statement released by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). Media reports suggested that more Tamil Sri Lankans would be emigrating to Australia through the humanitarian program because of special arrangements; however, more..

Catholic group slams reality show

May 28 (UCAN) A Catholic charismatic group is incensed by a locally-made reality TV series called "Loving Star" that features scantily dressed women. The program is modeled on the US reality television dating game show, "The Bachelor." Ratings for the Sri Lankan version are sky high but not all are happy. Critics say the sight of scantily dressed young women competing for the attention of a movie star is damaging to society. more..

Army kills 11 Tamil rebels in East

May 28 (AP) Sri Lankan troops on a mission to flush out the remnants of the Tamil Tiger rebels killed 11 suspected guerrillas in the eastern jungles Wednesday, the military said, in the largest clash since declaring it had won its 25-year war against the insurgents. The incident near the southeastern town of Ampara underscored the government's refusal to withdraw the 30-year-old anti-terrorism law that gives the police and military sweeping powers of search and arrest. more..

Lion, Tiger and lies

May 28 (LG) Precisely because he is many things to many people, LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran’s death has been greeted with joy by the Sinhalese, grief by his Tamil supporters, and relief by many who hope his death will bring peace to beleaguered Sri Lanka. But is he really dead? Speculation is rife only because journalists are not allowed in, and independent verification is impossible. more..

Disease outbreak in Sri Lankan camps imminent

May 28 (CA) Christian Aid is funding emergency relief for tens of thousands of people forced to live in severely overcrowded, temporary camps in Sri Lanka after fleeing their homes to escape the fighting. But with hundreds of new arrivals flooding into the camps everyday, the camps are ‘an epidemic waiting to happen’, warns Robin Greenwood, the director of Christian Aid’s Asia programme. more..

"Binning" Farewell to Disaster

May 28 (AN) In the village of Egoda Uyana North, in southwest Sri Lanka, Sarath Fernando is using compost bins to reduce the impacts of disasters. The village has a long history of epidemics, urban flooding and other environmental issues and was particularly affected by the December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, which destroyed apart of the community. With the help of the American Red Cross, Mr. Fernando and his family are using a compost bin to help remove from the streets household garbage that blocks drains and causes flooding. more..

New fight brews in Sri Lanka after the Tigers

May 28 (CSM) When newspaper editor Nadesapillai Vithyatharan was snatched by six burly men one morning in February from a funeral and bundled into a van, friends feared the worst. They immediately called on authorities to track down the perpetrators, three of whom wore police uniforms. Sri Lankan police said they were investigating an abduction. Within an hour, though, their story took a 180-degree turn: Mr. Vithyatharan, a Tamil, had been arrested by police and more..

War displaced Sri Lankans long for help

May 28 (Xinhua) "At least we have one meal each day, but we don't have enough water. A lot of people have to share bathroom and toilet," a lady in her twenties giving her name as Amirtha told Xinhua in an IDP camp near Sri Lanka's northern town of Vavuniya. The civilians were eager to tell the outside about their suffering and hope to about 40 foreign journalists who got a chance to visit the IDP camps in Vavunia for the first time on Tuesday thanks to the Ministry of Defense. more..

UNHRC press release - 1

May 28 (UN) The Human Rights Council this afternoon opened its eleventh Special Session on the situation of human rights in Sri Lanka. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said that there were strong reasons to believe that both the Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam had grossly disregarded the fundamental principle of the inviolability of civilians. more..

UNHRC press release - 2

May 28 (UN) The Human Rights Council this morning continued its eleventh Special Session on the situation of human rights in Sri Lanka, with speakers again expressing divergent views on the approach which should be taken towards Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the bloody conflict in the north of the country, which left tens of thousands dead and wounded, more..

Sri Lanka eases restrictions at biggest camp - U.N.

May 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's government has relaxed restrictions on motor vehicles in the country's largest refugee camp that had hampered aid distribution, though the needs of people there remain acute, the United Nations said on Wednesday. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently visited the Manik Farm refugee camp, where some 220,000 people displaced by the fighting between Tamil Tiger rebels and government forces in northeastern Sri Lanka have been relocated. more..

UN supports Sri Lanka aid effort

May 28 (BBC) The United Nations Human Rights Council has offered support to Sri Lanka's humanitarian efforts as it recovers from its war with Tamil Tiger rebels. However, the emergency session resolution did not mention granting UN aid agencies full access to the 300,000 displaced people in army-run camps. Human rights groups said it ignored claims of abuse by the army and rebels. Sri Lanka and its allies had argued it was wrong to criticise a member state just days after it ended a 25-year war. more..

Ramadoss criticises Karunanidhi

May 28 (Hindu) Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S.Ramadoss has criticised Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi for adopting a hypocritical stance on Sri Lanka. While claiming to speak for Sri Lankan Tamils, Mr.Karunanidhi was also openly and surreptitiously helping the Rajapakse government, Dr.Ramadoss alleged. There was a global call to prosecute the Sri lankan President and his government for war crimes. more..

France’s Tamil diaspora in denial over Prabakaran’s death

May 28 (Hindu) ‘Little Jaffna’ in Paris is a cluster of streets branching off from the rue du Faubourg Saint Denis in the capital’s 10th district. It stretches all the way from the Gare du Nord railway station to the metro station Chapelle on the northern fringes of Paris, in what is generally referred to as the “immigrant neighbourhood.” The area is usually tight with people, alive with commercial activity and the hum of business. more..

Scale of Sri Lanka aid effort ‘huge,’ says UN humanitarian wing

May 28 (UN) The United Nations humanitarian wing said today that the overall scale of the relief operation in Sri Lanka, where nearly 300,000 people have been displaced by the recent conflict, remains “huge,” while an action plan for assistance still needs 60 per cent of the requested funding. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) also reported that since more..