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Sri Lanka stirs an economy racked by war

May 30 (WSJ) The end to a long war has come just in time for Sri Lanka's economy, according to the country's central bank chief, who is now taking steps to lift low foreign-exchange reserves and spur growth. "For 30 years, whenever investors spoke of Sri Lanka, the refrain was, 'If only it wasn't for the war,' " said Central Bank Gov. Ajith Nivard Cabraal in an interview. "Today, it's not the next word. A huge change has taken place." more..

I fought India's war: Rajapaksa

May 30 (MO) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that he fought India's war by crushing the Tamil Tigers. "By eliminating the LTTE militarily, I have fought India's war," Rajapaksa told The Week magazine in an interview at his official residence here. "There was no guarantee of security all these years. People could not celebrate freely, they were always afraid to speak freely. It was a war to end the rule of fear. more..

Indian Tamils view Lanka with concern, apathy

May 30 (MO) From indifference to concern - the attitude of Indian Tamils to the plight of their ethnic brethren caught in the fighting between the Sri Lankan army and Tamil Tiger rebels in the island nation varies widely. "We are emotional about it but frankly the fighting is happening far away," said S.K. Muruga Das, a youth who played cricket while the Tamil Nadu capital Chennai Thursday observed a shutdown called by the ruling DMK to demand a truce in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka: Days of reckoning

May 30 (AN) To the nearly half-a-million Sri Lankans in the Kingdom, the elimination of Villupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the LTTE, and the defeat of his separatist movement must come as a liberation of sorts. The LTTE came into being three decades ago to establish a socialist state for ethnic minority Tamils, who made up almost 12 percent of Sri Lanka’s population of 20 million, according to a 2001 census. more..

US not blocking IMF loan facility to Sri Lanka’

May 30 (ANN) Visiting Democratic US Congressman Heath Shuler, Friday claimed that his country was not blocking Sri Lanka’s attempt to secure a US$1.9 billion IMF loan. Schuler, when asked at press conference in Colombo as to why his country had applied pressure on the IMF to refuse Sri Lanka’s request for a standby facility, said "the US is not blocking the IMF’s loan to Sri Lanka." more..

'Separatism still haunts Sri Lanka'

May 30 (LT) In spite of tiger terrorism being defeated, separatism is still haunting Sri Lanka says Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarsinghe. He said military separatism has been defeated but peaceful separatism is still active adding that the 13th amendment was one that fulfilled intentions of separatists. He said the north-east issue would not be solved by giving powers to provincial councils. more..

The Hypocrites come to paint the Town Red

May 30 (LG) I cannot help but laugh when these foolish con artists who say they are representatives of the Tamil Diaspora come onto these various talk shows and programs to spew their anti-Sinhala/anti-Sri Lankan rhetoric. At length they would talk about “discrimination” and other supposed ills suffered by the Tamils in Sri Lanka at the hands of the Sinhala polity, more..

Legal action against Praba’s parents

May 30 (LT) Security authorities are taking measures to take legal action against Prabakaran’s parents for entering the island illegally. According to the officials of Immigration and Emigration Prabakaran’s parents have violated immigration and emigration regulations when entering the country. Prabhakaran’s farther Thiruvenkatam Velupillai and his mother Vallipuram Parvathi are living with relatives of other LTTE leaders in a newly set up welfare camp in Vavuniya. more..

Permission granted to get details of Lt. Colonel’s bank account

May 30 (LT) Miss. Dharshika Wimalasiri, the Additional Magistrate of Mt. Lavinia granted authority to CID to get details of a bank account of an Army colonel accused of obtaining money for supplying ammunition to the tiger terrorist organization. The accused is Lt. Col. Ranjith Chandrasiri who is being detained on orders. The suspect was arrested on information received by Superintendent of Police Vas Gunawardene on the 14th. more..

Govt prepares broad attack on democratic rights

May 30 (wsws) Having declared victory over the LTTE, the Sri Lankan authorities are intensifying their attacks on fundamental democratic rights. The government has flatly ruled out any lifting of the country’s state of emergency and the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), which allows security forces to continue their arbitrary detention without trial of “LTTE suspects”. more..

Another member from ‘Brothers Company’ for Uva

May 30 (LT) Mr. Shashinda Kumara Rajapakse, Private Secretary to the President and Basnayake Nileme of Ruhunu Katharagama Temple is to contest from Monaragala district at the Uva PC election from the UPFA. Mr. Shashinda Rajapakse is the eldest son of Minister of Irrigation and Water Management and Ports and Aviation Chamal Rajapakse. This is the first time Mr. Shashinda Rajapakse is contesting an election. more..

President laying groundwork for presidential election

May 30 (LT) At a meeting of chairmen of corporations and heads of government institutions held on the 27th of this month with the chairmanship of President Mahinda Rajapakse it had been discussed that the presidential election should be held before the parliamentary election and what manoeuvres that should be made use of during the election say sources in Presidential Secretariat. more..

Basil works round the clock to uplift the North and its' people

May 30 (GDI) MP Basil Rajapaksa on Friday stressed the urgent need to provide psychological counselling to women and children,currently displaced and housed in camps. At a special meeting, Tamil intellects present pointed out the mental and psychological problems faced by women and children in temporary camps and Basil Rajapaksa swiftly moved to recommend measures to provide counselling to those affected persons. more..

SL Government ranks first in the world in rehabilitating child soldiers

May 30 (GDI) Every delegation that visited the rehabilitation centers expressed satisfaction on the progress already made by the government in cooperation with UNICEF, and encouraged Sri Lanka to adopt similar policies and procedures relating to former child soldiers. Reportedly 400 child soldiers are now entangled in the rehabilitation process and the officials are providing the fullest support to make them more productive. more..

'Prabhakaran did not use his parents as a human shield'

May 30 (GDI) As power struggles wage between factions of the LTTE overseas with Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP attempting to grab the leadership of the now defunct LTTE, Tamils living in the Northern part of Sri Lanka are vehemently opposed to any presence of a renewed LTTE terror or democratic outfit again ,reports reaching Colombo from Jaffna stated. They said that the Tamils in the North and East have suffered enough and more..

LTTE TV staff under arrest

May 30 (CT) All staff, including directors, of the LTTE’s television, "National Television Telecast", is now under arrest, "Lakabima" reports. In a lead news article by Gayan Kumara Weerasinghe, the newspaper says quoting a top defence official in the Wanni that the LTTE’s cultural troupe consisting of musicians and dancers have also been apprehended. After fleeing recent fighting, all these persons had arrived along with civilians and surrendered to the military. more..

HRW directress gave report of falsehoods - Divaina

May 30 (CT) A directress of Human Rights Watch Anna Neistat had toured Sri Lanka in the guise of a tourist and submitted a 50-page report full of falsehoods to the UN Human Rights Council, "Divaina" reports. In a report by defence correspondent Keerthi Warnakulasuriya, the newspaper says five voluntary organizations and a media group had hatched a secret plot to convince UNHRC that Sri Lankan armed forces had committed war crimes. more..

Do not contribute to dubious collectors

May 30 (MoD) The Media Centre for National Security said it has received information that numerous private organisations and individuals have collected money on the pretext of using for the soldiers' welfare following the defeat of LTTE terrorism. The Centre said that the Government has taken adequate measures to ensure the welfare of soldiers. The Api Wenuwen Api fund, the Ranaviru Seva Authority for the Welfare of Soldiers and more..

Ceylinco Finance new Chairman confident of success

May 30 (LNP) Ceylinco Finance PLC announced that under the guidance of the new management team the company has been strategically re-positioned. New chairman Ceylinco Finance PLC N. B. S. B. Balalle said My new position is challenging but before accepting this position I investigated the current position of this company and found that this is a well managed company and there was not much adversity for the company. more..

'Lanka drug-free by 2015'

May 30 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the Government would do its utmost to reach the goal of eradicating the menace of drugs from Sri Lanka by 2015 at a function to coincide with International No Tobacco Day tomorrow. President Rajapaksa identified, saving the country’s youth from the perils of the drug menace as his next ‘humanitarian mission’, following the success of the earlier one in which the Nation triumphed over terrorism. more..

A fair assessment of SL situation

May 30 (LNP) Visiting Democratic Congressman Heath Shuler has proved that the US is not devoid of reasonable decision makers capable of reaching out to the rest of the world and understanding others` problems. Having seen for himself the IDP centres in the North, he has appreciated the government`s effort to shelter those unfortunate war displaced posthaste and stressed the need to do a lot more and resettle them as soon as possible. One could not agree with him more! more..

Rs. 14b spent on Gama Neguma

May 30 (DN) The village reawakening and development program Gama Neguma started by President Mahinda Rajapaksa under the Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development Ministry has recorded an unprecedented socio-economic development over the last three years despite the war. The largest quantum of public funds was spent on the rural sector with Rs. 14 billion allocated for the program. more..

Metal underpass collapse to be probed

May 30 (DN) On the directions of the President, a three-member independent committee will be appointed to find out the cause for the collapse of the metal underpass of the Southern Expressway at Poddala which caused the death of a young boy, the Highways and Road Development Ministry said yesterday. The contractors machinery and equipment were mobilised immediately at the site of the crash with the assistance of Poddala Police soon after the incident, but more..

Dengue up by 6,689: Deaths increase by 85

May 30 (Island) The Number of dengue cases detected upto yesterday was 6,689 while the death rate had increased to 85. The highest number of deaths registered was 27 in the Colombo district . The deadly dengue had raised its head in 12 districts and 69 MoH divisions, according to senior officials of the Health Ministry. Of the victims, 22 per cent were children and 33 per cent housewives, Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said more..

Banks must promote Financial Ombudsman scheme

May 30 (Island) The Financial Ombudsman said banks need to do more to promote the ombudsman scheme as public awareness is unsatisfactory. The Sri Lanka Banks’ Association incorporated the Financial Ombudsman scheme in 2003 in a bid to settle customer disputes outside the complicated, time and money consuming legal system with the intention of boosting public confidence. more..

Engaging expatriates for national development

May 30 (Island) Delivering the historical address at the ceremonial opening of the fourth session of Parliament on May 19, President Mahinda Rajapaksa called upon all those who have left the motherland due to terrorism, especially the Tamil people, to return. He extended the invitation to engineers, doctors, accountants and other professionals living in various countries, to return to the motherland and contribute to its development. more..

KP aiming for Tiger leadership

May 30 (DM) Sitting over the well-endowed war chest of the decapitated LTTE, the organisation’s arms procurer and international fund manager, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, is now trying to take over its leadership, informed sources say. But Pathmanathan, better known by his earlier name Kumaran Pathmanathan or KP, is reportedly opposed by Manivannan alias Castro, who had also dealt with the LTTE’s finances overseas earlier. more..

Daya Master confesses to LTTE links in chambers

May 30 (DM) Former media spokesman of the LTTE Velayudhan Dayanidhi alias Daya Master who is under detention of the CID following his surrender, made a voluntary confession before the Chief Magistrate of Colombo Nishantha Hapuarachchi yesterday. Daya Master was produced before the Chief Magistrate by the CID sequel to a request made by the accused to the CID on his willingness to make a confession over his involvement with the LTTE. more..

TNA asks MPs abroad to return

May 30 (DM) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has requested five of its MPs who have been abroad for some time to return to the country immediately and start grassroots level political work. Party sources said parliamentarians S. Jeyanandamurthy, S. Gajendran, Ms. Pathmini Sithamparanathan, Selvam Adekkalanathan and M.K. Sivajilingam had been out of the country from about six months to one year. more..

Sri Lankan tea prices weaken further

May 30 (LBO) Sri Lankan tea prices sagged further this week, pushed down by larger volumes, lower quality and a stronger rupee, brokers said. The total of 7.34 million kilos on offer at the Colombo auctions made it the largest auction quantity for the year, Asia Siyaka Commodities said. Prices of both low grown teas, which make up the bulk of the national production, and high grown teas, fell except for the better made teas, they said. more..

Call to free British medic held in Sri Lanka war zone

May 30 (Guardian) A British woman who was working at a hospital helping victims of Sri Lanka's civil war has been interned in one of the island's detention camps, prompting her family to plead for urgent diplomatic help to secure her immediate release. Relatives of Damilvany Gnanakumar – known as Vany – said that she was detained a fortnight ago as the Sri Lankan army moved in to finish off the remnants of the Tamil Tiger rebels after more..

'Eelam' tag of political parties should be removed: UNP

May 30 (PTI) UNP has asked the government to initiate steps to "defeat politically" the 'Eelam' ideology after the security forces' comprehensive victory over the LTTE which had been fighting for a separate state. Now that the LTTE leadership, had been finished, there was an urgent need to look at various ways of defeating the concept of 'Eelam' or a separate Tamil homeland through political means, more..

Prabakaran's parents not to be reunited with relatives

May 30 (PTI) Slain LTTE chief V Prabakaran's parents, living in a Vavuniya refugee camp, will not be able to benefit from the government's decision to reunite elderly people with their relatives and will be kept separately to ensure their "safety", Sri Lankan military said on Saturday. "They have admitted to being Prabakaran's parents and we will have to separate them (from their relatives) for their safety," more..

Tamils rally against attack on Canadian mission

May 30 (IANS) Hundreds of Tamils protested at the Sri Lankan consulate here Friday against the attack on the Canadian high commission in Colombo earlier this week. Scores of Sri Lankan protesters had ransacked the Canadian mission Wednesday to protest against what they called Canadian 'support' for Tamil Tigers. Shouting slogans against Sri Lanka for the ransacking of the mission, more..

Sri Lanka wants Malaysia to ban LTTE

May 30 (PTI) Foreign Affairs Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, during his meeting with the Malaysian Minister of Defence Y B Dato'Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday in Singapore, conveyed his deep concerns regarding certain illicit overseas activities of the LTTE such as fund raising, arms trading, human trafficking, political patronage and dissemination of false propaganda, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. more..

UN urged to release civilian death toll

May 30 (AP) A leading human rights group has asked the United Nations to publicize its estimate of civilian deaths in the final weeks of Sri Lanka's civil war amid escalating reports over how many died. Amnesty International said in a statement late Friday that it has received "consistent testimony" that both government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels killed thousands of civilians trapped in the war zone and called for an independent international investigation. more..

I fought India's war

May 30 (TW) Temple Trees, the residence of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, served as a warehouse during the Dutch and British colonial rule. It has grandiose halls with elaborate woodwork, exquisite sculptures and priceless paintings. The three-decade-long war on the LTTE has not affected its architectural elegance, though Rajapaksa's staff have stretched security measures to the ultimate. more..

Silicon Valley's gift to Sri Lanka is in shambles

May 31 (MN) Among the many casualties of Sri Lanka's bloody civil war is a Silicon Valley-built dream: an innovative technical college, built through Bay Area donations, but damaged in combat, then dismantled and moved, and finally abandoned. The surviving faculty, staff and students of the Vanni Institute of Technology are believed to be held, against their will, in Tamil refugee camps, where the United Nations says they are in desperate need of food, water and medical care. more..

Yal Devi to run to Thandikulam on June 6

May 31 (AT) "After a lapse of 30 years recalling nostalgic memories for Tamils in the North, the Northern train Yal Devi will run beyond Vavuniya up to Thandikulam on June 6th . The railway track and the signal network has already been completed up to Thandikulam". This was stated by Minister of Transport, Dallas Alahapperuma today. The restoration of the rail track in North Sri Lanka which was vandalized by LTTE terrorists 20 years ago, more..

Now that the LTTE is crushed – some advice for the "Western Powers"

May 31 (AT) I just returned from a lengthy visit to Sri Lanka, and I witnessed first-hand the Government’s splendid victory over the LTTE terrorists. Every day I read with great interest the many comments and opinions that were written on the conflict by both Sri Lankan and international journalists. From my perspective, I can assure you that the Government acted with restraint and compassion throughout the entire ordeal. more..

Killing Rajiv was LTTE's biggest mistake: Rajapaksa

May 31 (PTI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that killing former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was the biggest mistake of the Tamil tigers which cost them the sympathy of India. "To kill Rajiv Gandhi. They antagonised the whole sympathy of India. That was the biggest mistake I think they did in 30 years," Mr. Rajapaksa told NDTV. He said that when ethnic Tamil issue took root in Sri Lanka, India was sympathetic to their cause. more..

The UN's double standard on Israel and Sri Lanka

May 31 (NP) If more proof were needed that the UNHRC is a feckless, biased, intellectually corrupt haven for dictators and Islamofascists, the evidence was clearly on display this week. The UNHRC voted to affirm Sri Lanka’s right to self-defence from terror attacks launched against its citizens and territory by the Tamil Tigers. Indeed, the council went further, “condemning all attacks that the LTTE launched on the civilian population and its practice of using civilians as human shields.” more..

Split wide open among Tigers

May 31 (EB) Sitting over the well-endowed war chest of the decapitated LTTE, the organisation’s arms procurer and international fund manager, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, is now trying to take over its leadership, informed sources say. But Pathmanathan, better known by his earlier name Kumaran Pathmanathan or KP, is reportedly opposed by Manivannan alias Castro, who had also dealt with the LTTE’s finances overseas earlier. more..

New U.S. Ambassador Patricia Butenis – a meddler in internal affairs

May 31 (AT) In her June 12, 2008 farewell speech at the Gulshan Club, Dhaka, the outgoing American ambassador to Bangladesh Patricia Butenis told the distinguished gathering "I know that some Bangladeshis believe that I was sometimes too outspoken," but she rationalized that by suggesting that in a fast and complex world of diplomacy, more..

In Sri Lanka: A U.S. Congressman gets it

May 31 (HT) At a press conference at the Colombo Hilton this morning, North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler was flanked by the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Washington and the Sri Lanka Minister of Foreign Affairs. The American Congressman stated boldly, "I would like to congratulate the government of Sri Lanka in their victory over terrorism. We are seeing peace today for the first time in 26 years". more..

Sri Lankan MPs meet Karunanidhi; ask help for rehabilitation

May 31 (PTI) A group Sri Lankan MPs belonging to 'Tamil Desiya Kuttamipu Parliamentary Group' headed by R Sambantham on Saturday called on Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at his residence and discussed developments in Sri Lanka. Mr. Sambantham was accompanied by another Sri Lankan Parliamentarian Senathi Raja and organisation members Suresh Premchandran and Selvam Adaikalanathan, official sources said. more..

Lt. Col. Ranjith Perera - Traitor who was on LTTE payroll

May 31 (MN) Recently State Intelligence Service (SIS) agents arrested a LTTE suicide cadre in Negombo who revealed the whereabouts of another suicide cadre in Wellawatte, residing in a luxury apartment located in 37th Lane. When SIS agents arrived at the apartment, second suicide cadre committed suicide by jumping from the 7th floor. SIS agents recovered four suicide kits. more..

Police commission delayed, to promote stooges

May 31 (LB) The reappointment of the National Police Commission will be further delayed until the government promotes bootlicking police officers, Police Department sources said. Meanwhile, the government has decided to grant senior appointments to police officers with Cabinet approval as some senior officers have threatened to take legal action after the government promoted former Negombo SSP Premasiri Vithana and more..

Scrumdown: Nationalists vs. internationalists

May 31 (LB) The government’s coalition partner JHU is in a super-aggressive mood, having heard that certain government ministers are agitating for ‘federal’ or substantial power devolution solutions to the post-war “national question.’ Rajitha Senaratne was, we learn, lambasted by the JHU high command which held that this man who went around debasing the war effort when he was in another party, was now ‘trying to debase the victories of the forces by more..

The West against the rest

May 31 (LB) It was in 1996 that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told American television journalist Lesley Stahl that trade sanctions on Iraq which killed half a million children had been “a very hard choice but we think the price is worth it”. Half a million children and thousands of adults had already lost their lives in Iraq before George W Bush exuberantly launched the second round. Where was the West back then, with their supercilious lectures and you-must-do monologues? more..