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Western Provincial Council Ministers swear in; seniors axed

May 5 (LeN) Gampaha district Provincial Councilor Prasanna Ranathunga swore in as the Chief Minister of the Western Provincial Council before the governor Alevi Mawlana at the President’s office today (04). It is significant that all the former Ministers of the Provincial Council were dropped and a new cabinet was appointed. Jagath Thilakasiri Angage took oaths as Health, Indigenous Medicine, Social Welfare, Women’s Affairs, Probationary and Child Care. more..

Is the LTTE really finish and the war over?

How UK can help SL

May 5 (LNP) There seems to be no end to foreign do-gooders visiting here purportedly to help resolve the conflict. Now it is a British delegation! For the past three decades or so, neither foreigners nor successive Sri Lankan governments have succeeded in finding a solution. It is a foregone conclusion that the visiting British dignitaries are wasting their time and energy. The European Parliament, about three years ago, sagaciously put its finger on more..

‘Patriotic’ Rajapakse govt has sold lubricant section for 20 more years -JVP

May 5 (LT) Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse who came to power promising not to sell national assets has taken measures to hand over the lubricant production section of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and its land to Caltex Company for twenty years said JVP MP Bimal Rathnayake. He said Ceylon Petroleum Corporation was begun in 1961 and the lubricant section was started in 1969. This section supplied lubricants including engine oil until 1994 and was a main foreign exchange earner. more..

Top UPFA performers for future general polls

May 5 (DN) The UPFA said yesterday that some of their top performers at the recently concluded Western Provincial Council (WPC) elections were not considered for key posts in the WPC as they had voiced their desire to contest a future General Election. SLFP General Secretary Minister Maithripala Sirisena said the Party had taken a decision not to nominate any person who holds a key position in the Provincial Council as a prospect at a future General Election. more..

New leaf for liquor and drug addicts

May 5 (DN) In order to rehabilitate the liquor and drug addicts of the Kurunegala and Puttalam districts of the NWP, a special program has been launched by the NWP Health Services Department in collaboration with the Department of social services of the NWP-PC. Accordingly, liquor addicts would be treated at base hospitals of the NWP for a period of two weeks under a residential rehabilitation program. more..

New Production of Kuveni

May 5 (DN) Henry Jayasena's award winning play Kuveni will return to the stage as a new production, to be directed by Samudra Jeewani Karunananda, a product of the University of Aesthetic studies, who holds an M.A. in Theatre Arts. The new production will go on boards at Elphinstone Theatre on May 6 at 6.45 p.m. Kuveni has been hailed by critics as well as theatre-goers as a milestone which brought more..

Over 3.5 million benefit from pay hike

May 5 (Island) More than 3.5 million employees have benefitted from the Government’s decision to increase the salaries of 40 Wages Boards, Labour Relations and Manpower Minister Athauda Seneviratne said. He told The Island yesterday the increase is between 15 and 41 per cent and in rupee terms it is between Rs. 5,750.00 and Rs. 20,000 per month. He said despite hardships such as the global economic crisis, heavy war expenditure, more..

Golden Key: Sunil Mendis clarifies

May 5 (Island) Former Central Bank Governor Sunil Mendis has sent us the following clarification in response to a front page article headlined "2006 investigation into Golden Key was squashed by then Governor" in The Sunday Leader on May 3. This clarification is carried with the consent of The Sunday Leader. Among other paragraphs, The Sunday Leader article contained the following: more..

SC directs no training at govt. hospitals for AHSF students

May 5 (DM) The Supreme Court directed that undergraduates of the Allied Health Sciences Faculty of the Peradeniya University would not be given government hospitals for clinical training until the next hearing on June 1. The Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva and Justices Shiranee Tilakawardana and K. Sripavan made this directive when the fundamental rights application filed by the University of Peradeniya was taken up yesterday. more..

New counsel takes over Kotelawala’s case

May 5 (DM) An Attorney-at-Law representing the remanded Ceylinco Consolidated Chairman, Lalith Kotelawala informed court that his counsel who supported the bail application before the Colombo High Court has been changed and a new counsel had taken over it. Counsel Dharshana Kuruppu informed the Colombo High Court Judge Ms. Deepali Wijesundara that Senior Counsel Rienzie Arsecularatne PC together with Wasantha Bandara will appear on behalf of Mr. Kotelawala hereafter. more..

Tamil protest in Canada postponed as Oda visits Sri Lanka

May 5 (G&M) Another massive Tamil protest that had been set to stretch across much of Toronto's downtown core was “temporarily postponed” late Monday night, with organizers saying they were satisfied with steps being taken to broker a ceasefire in the long-running Sri Lankan civil war. Organizers had planned to form a human chain – their third this year, and only a week after a similar protest closed University Avenue more..

Water and sanitation critically needed

May 5 (CARE) While government authorities and UN and aid agencies prepare to receive the second wave of people from the conflict zone, water and sanitation are still in critically short supply in the existing camps. Organisation in the camps in Vavuniya has improved over the past few days since a mass exodus of nearly 120,000 people fled the conflict zone two weeks ago. But as the initial turmoil has passed, aid agencies are dealing with the massive logistical issues that go along with meeting the needs of people in such large camps. more..

National Freedom Front shattered; senior leaders desert Weerawansa

May 5 (LeN) National Freedom Front (JNP) National Organizer Kamal Deshapriya Mannaperuma alias Kaluthara Senevi has resigned from the party after submitting a six-page letter to the central committee criticizing the conduct of the JNP leader Wimal Weerawansa. Kamal Deshapriya charges that Weerawansa has opted to be a serf of President Mahinda Rajapakse instead of JNP policies. more..

Rebel leader trapped by troops: PM

May 5 (AFP) Tamil rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is trapped in a small strip of coastline that has been surrounded by government soldiers, the prime minister said Tuesday. Ratnasiri Wickremanayake told parliament that Prabhakaran, 54, was still leading his LTTE fighters in their desperate battle for survival against an overwhelming military offensive. "We have information that Prabhakaran is still in a four-square kilometre area in Mullaittivu," more..

Veddah Chief gets death threat

May 5 (DM) Veddah Chief Uru Warige Wanniyala Aththo said yesterday he and his family members were threatened with death allegedly by a group involved in anti social activities and the illegal felling of timber, the police said. In his complaint to the police the Vedda Chief had also alleged that a gang wearing black clothes visited his home and those of his relatives in the night and fled after knocking at the doors and frightening them. more..

MR picks WPC ministers: Prasanna CM, Duminda, Thilanga, Reginald overlooked

May 5 (Island) Prasanna Ranatunga, a former minister of the Western Provincial Council was sworn in as Chief Minister of the WPC before President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday, while his four previous ministerial colleagues including Chief Minister Reginold Cooray failed to retain their portfolios. Ranatunga, who contested in the Gampaha District, received 186,338 preference votes at the April 25 PC polls. more..

Police kill the suspects of 8 year-old girl's murder

May 5 (LT) Three people were killed at a cemetery in Batticaloa today morning when police opened fire. DIG – Eastern Edison Gunatileke said the dead were three suspects who were charged of abducting a child and murdering her at Kotamunai in Batticaloa. The DIG said the three suspects were taken to the cemetery as they had wanted to point out weapons hidden there. When they reached the site the suspects had pulled out weapons from where they were hidden and had attempted to shoot the police. more..

'I realised we would never win'

May 5 (BBC) For more than 20 years, Colonel Karuna Amman was one of the most feared men in Sri Lanka. As the military commander of the LTTE or the Tamil Tigers, Karuna - perhaps more than any other man - established the Tigers as one of the most formidable fighting machines in Asia. At one time, in the late 1980s, he fought both the armies of India and Sri Lanka. It was Karuna's defection from the LTTE in 2004 which largely destroyed the Tigers more..

Sri Lanka says it caused heavy damage to rebels

May 5 (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers broke through rebel defenses and advanced further into the Tamil Tigers' last remaining territory, inflicting heavy damage on the beleaguered insurgents, the military said Tuesday. Troops and Tamil Tiger fighters battled throughout the day Monday in the 4.5-kilometer -long strip of land along the northeast coast that remains under rebel control, the military said in a statement. more..

A new political road map for Tamils

May 6 (TS) The stoic expressions of the two Tamil Tigers who turned themselves in to Sri Lankan government forces said it all: defeat and surrender – of themselves and their dream. Held hostage by their fellow Tigers, the long-time cadres had sought sanctuary with the government they once denounced. Now, on television, they were repudiating their erstwhile comrades for recruiting child soldiers and using Tamils as human shields in Sri Lanka's brutal civil war. more..

From Sri Lanka to Danby for yoga guru

May 6 (EV) From meditating in a Sri Lankan forest to living in Danby has been quite a move for a teacher who has developed his own system of yoga. Dr Sagara Karunathilaka and his wife Chitra moved to Danby with their two children four months ago after living in Stockton. They have been in Britain for nine years and both will work in the clinics they plan to hold in Whitby and Castleton. more..

Two new Vesak stamps

May 6 (GDI) The Philatelic Bureau of the Department of Posts issued two new postage stamps in denominations of Rs.4.00 and Rs.5.00 today to commemorate the Vesak day. The official cancellation of these stamps took place at the Veherahena Viharaya at Matara with the participation of the Minister Pandu Bandaranayake, Minister Dulles Alahapperuma, Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera, Ministers, and several other distinguished guests.

General to protect Sri Lanka team

May 6 (AFP) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) appointed a retired army general to protect the national team during local and overseas tours. Major General Lawrence Fernando’s appointment as a security consultant yesterday comes after the national team was attacked by armed militants in Lahore on March 3 during a tour of Pakistan. Seven Sri Lankan cricketers and an assistant coach were injured in the attack, which left eight Pakistanis dead. more..

Sri Lanka Scene : End Game Without An End

May 6 (AT) Sri Lankan troops have pushed the LTTE to the wall and thus it is sure of achieving ‘total victory.’ But the endgame may not be the end of the troubles in the island if the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa does not show some magnanimity in ‘appeasing’ the long suffering Tamils of the country. It is only to be expected that the final assault on the LTTE has become a poll issue in India, particularly in Tamil Nadu. more..

Is the LTTE really finish and the war over?

Seized camera reveals dark secrets of LTTE

May 6 (MoD) An LTTE video recovered from the possession of a dead LTTE terrorist by the 58 Division during ground advances made into general area South of Vellamullivaikkal have proved the LTTE's use of civilians as forced labour. The video footage provides substantial evidence on the heinous crimes perpetrated by LTTE against innocent civilians held at gun point. Indeed there is a humanitarian catastrophe, one that is caused by the LTTE alone, more..

Employment opportunities at SLT for disabled war heroes

May 6 (MoD) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) is proud to perform its corporate social responsibility and be an example to other corporate entities, by recognizing the valiant effort of soldiers disabled while serving in the battlefront by offering 20 employment opportunities to such disabled soldiers. As a token of the deep appreciation to their invaluable sacrifice to the nation, letters of appointments to the 20 soldiers were handed over by the Secretary Defence Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa more..

Sri Lanka Suffering Felt In New Zealand

May 6 (Scoop) Mangal Murughan has no idea when she will hear from her family in war-torn Sri Lanka again. The Sri Lankan-born New Zealander received a call from her father on April 23 telling her that her brother, Shri Moorthi, had been killed two days earlier. Her family was in the Government-designated safety zone, where civilians are supposed to be protected, when the Sri Lankan army encircled the area and began shelling, she said. more..


May 6 (FL) April 26, 2009, marked the third anniversary of the assassination attempt on Sri Lanka Army Chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka by a suspected pregnant cadre (it is still not clear if the woman was actually pregnant or had passed off as one) of the LTTE. Lt. Gen. Fonseka suffered serious injuries in the attack, mounted right inside the Army Hospital located on the premises of the military headquarters. It took him over five months to recover and return to his job. more..

Devastated lives

May 6 (FL) “Is it Sri Lanka or Ethiopia?” That was the spontaneous reaction of a Western journalist, who was part of a 49-member team of foreign and local journalists on a visit to the no-fire zone (NFZ) in northern Sri Lanka, as he spotted a group of emaciated and visibly ill Tamil civilians walking gingerly towards the military checkpoint at Puthumathalan. The journalists were on a military-conducted trip four days after more..

Damning indictment

May 6 (FL) The UTHR-J, in its report dated April 17, three days before the great escape of more than one lakh civilians from the grip of the LTTE in northern Sri Lanka, does not spare either the military or the LTTE, but the former shines in comparison with the latter. Here are some excerpts from the report, which capture the plight of the civilians: “A young mother is injured and her three-month-old baby killed by shell fragments as she breastfeeds the child in the government-declared no-fire zone. more..

Why LTTE failed

May 6 (FL) Sri Lanka's security forces appear to have redeemed their professional reputation with their resounding success in the fourth edition of the Eelam War, which has been going on since 2006 against the LTTE, popularly known as the Tamil Tigers. They were not able to achieve decisive results against the LTTE in their three earlier outings. The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had rated the Tamil Tigers as “among the most dangerous and deadly extremists in the world”. more..

Realities of war

May 6 (FL) With the LTTE cornered and restricted to a tiny patch of isthmus beside Nanthi Kadal Lagoon ever since April 6, the world has witnessed a menagerie of world leaders playing the game “throw egg on my face”. On April 22, Hillary Clinton told the world that “a terrible humanitarian tragedy” was taking place in Sri Lanka and demanded a halt in the fighting so that “we could secure a safe passage for as many of the trapped civilians as possible”. more..

Neighbour’s concern

May 6 (FL) As the LTTE remains cornered in a small strip of sandy beach, international diplomatic efforts led by India have brought about a lull in the fighting. The Sri Lankan government announced on April 27 that it had ordered its military to cease using heavy weapons, artillery and air strikes in the combat zone, where tens of thousands of civilians are trapped. The United Nations estimates that around 50,000 civilians are still trapped more..

Election fodder

May 6 (FL) For the first time in the past 26 years, after the Sri Lankan Tamil issue became part of the political discourse in Tamil Nadu in 1983, it has become a talking point on election platforms in the State. Even as political parties used it for political one-upmanship, they gave the Sri Lankan issue a wide berth when it came to making it an election issue. After the LTTE assassinated former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991, more..

Aid appeal for Lanka displaced

May 6 (BBC) The United Nations and Sri Lanka government have issued an urgent appeal for fifty million US dollars to help tens of thousands of displaced. In a statement issued by the Colombo office of the UN humanitarian coordinator, the appeal says aid agencies and the government are struggling to cope with a sudden rise in displaced people. “We must address together the current shortcomings in assistance. We must build confidence amongst these Sri Lanka citizens who have suffered considerably,” more..

Deploying diaspora

May 6 (FL) In 1989, this writer attended a conference organised by the pro-Tiger publication Tamil Voice International in London. Among the participants were politicians and bureaucrats from India such as P. Upendra, S. Unnikrishnan, Aladi Aruna, N.V.N. Somu, K. Veeramani, A.P. Venkateswaran and Samantha Datta Ray. LTTE leader Velupillai Prabakaran sent a felicitatory message to the conference. more..

Bourse rises to six-month high on war gains

May 6 (Reuters) Investor bouyancy over Sri Lanka's imminent military victory in a 25-year war drove the stock market .CSE to a six-month high on Tuesday as investors snapped up bluechips, traders said. Sri Lanka's rupee closed flat at 120.00/120.10 a dollar amid low demand for the greenback and lingering concerns over the timing and conditions of a $1.9 billion IMF loan. The Colombo All-Share index .CSE closed 1.45 percent or 26.74 points firmer at 1,868.65, to its highest since Nov. 7. more..

Cops rescue 8yr-old Sri Lankan girl from captivity in Malaysia

May 6 (TS) Police have rescued an eight-year-old Sri Lankan girl who was apparently being held against her will in a house in Puchong here late Sunday. MIC Youth coordinator T. Mohan said the girl, Salomia Prem Kumar, was rescued after vital information was provided by a 14-year-old Sri Lankan boy who was also rescued last week. He said the girl was supposed to be reunited with her aunt in Paris but was instead brought to Malaysia in May last year. more..

More to Sri Lanka than golden beaches

May 6 (BM) Sri Lanka is an island famed for its golden sandy beaches stretching for hundreds of miles, shaded by palm trees and cool crystal-clear waters. But scratch underneath the surface, and there’s a wealth of treasures to be found on the interior of the island, making this a hot destination in more ways than one. The island is home to the relaxing wellness techniques of Ayurveda, and there are plenty of ways to spoil yourself after a hard day searching for ancient treasures. more..

Tigers demand direct foreign aid

May 6 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels on Tuesday demanded direct foreign aid for people in their shrinking patch of land after accusing the government of blocking essential supplies. The LTTE said civilians living in their remaining territory were facing "starvation" because the Colombo-based government was allegedly blocking food and medical supplies. "We draw attention to the nine deaths by starvation in the last few days and the real fear that the death toll could rise exponentially in the coming days," more..

The Tamil Tigers have reaped what they've sown

May 6 (NP) The conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers has deep, tangled roots. But to a rough order of magnitude, the moral stakes can be reduced to a single act of terrorist savagery that took place on July 29, 1999 — the day Neelan Tiruchelvam was blown out the side of his Nissan sedan by a female suicide bomber riding a moped. Tiruchelvam was a Sri Lankan Tamil, but not the kind that makes excuses for terrorism, or for the nihilistic death cult led by Tigers chief Velupillai Pirapaharan. more..

British parliamentarians told not to be misled by anti-gov't propaganda

May 6 (Xinhua) President Mahinda Rajapakse told a visiting group of British parliamentarians not tobe misled by pro-Tamil Tiger rebel propaganda. A press release from Rajapakse's office said that the President invited the British visitors to make their own assessment of the situation in the present state of military action against the LTTE rebels. The group includes Des Browne who was rejected by the Sri Lankan government recently to be Britain's special envoy on Sri Lankan conflict. more..

Is the LTTE really finish and the war over?

Open letter to IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn about loan to Sri Lanka

May 6 (RSF) Reporters Without Borders would like to draw your attention to the lamentable state of press freedom in Sri Lanka at a time when the International Monetary Fund is considering a major loan for President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government. In return for granting this loan, we urge you to obtain specific undertakings from the government to respect press freedom and the rule of law. more..

'India trusts Lanka to not attack Tamils'

May 6 (UNI) Home Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday said India ‘trusts’ the Sri Lankan government assurances that its army will not use heavy calibre guns and aerial attacks against innocent Tamils in the ongoing offensive against the LTTE. Replying to a question on reports that the Sri Lankan government is violating the assurance given to India, Chidambaram, at a press meet said, “We believe that the Lankan government will keep its assurances to India”. more..

Piyasiri & other suspects remanded

May 6 (LT) NFF Parliamentarian Piyasiri Wijenayake, accused in the murder of JVP activist Nandana Balage, gave himself up to the police today. Despite request for bail for him by the police the judiciary remanded him till the 13th. The other suspects in the case too gave themselves up to the police today and were remanded till tomorrow (6th). The remanded are Kingsley Kasthiriarachchi (UPFA candidate for WPC election), Neluk Mallawa (Member WPC), Ananda Ashoka Kumara (Wimal Weerawansa’s brother-in law), more..

India against 'Sri Lanka aggression'

May 6 (BBC) The son of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi says India is against the “aggressive behaviour” of Sri Lankan government. Rahul Gandhi said that India has tried “reasonably successfully” to stop the bloodshed in Sri Lanka. “The LTTE is a terrorist organisation. The Tamils of Sri Lanka are innocent civilians. We are completely against the Sri Lankan aggressive behaviour in the area,” he said. more..

Wanni Operation 5 th May