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Tamil Diaspora and the next phase of the conflict in Sri Lanka

May 6 (LG) Over the course of last thirty years, the LTTE had been waging a war in Sri Lanka with the aim of establishing a separate state for the Tamils. Today, as a result of strong counterterrorism initiatives and successful military operations of the Sri Lankan government, the military aspect of the conflict has already reached its conclusion. However, the question resonates in any average person's mind is, will the LTTE be able to hit back? more..

A new constitution, electoral process and attitude are required now

May 6 (LG) The Election Commissioner prior to the holding of a series of Provincial Council elections held this year suggested screening candidates. He was of the view that candidates having a criminal record and those who have belonged to the underworld fraternity those who have been unpatriotic should not be permitted to contest in any elections that are held in the island. more..

Kumudhini's Wanni nightmare

May 6 (LG) We had the rare privilege, and indeed a sad one too, to meet one of LTTE's teenage suicide bombers who managed to escape from the claws of the Wanni Tigers along with her friend. An orphan from the age of nine, she had the misfortune to become a resident of one of the Chencholai orphanages when she was forcibly removed from her uncle's home after both her parents died under tragic circumstances. more..

'Banks asked to cut lending rates'

May 6 (LBO) Central bank said it had asked banks to cut interest charged on loans which remain high despite policy rate cuts, while its grip on overnight is also tenuous due to quantity restrictions on discount windows. The Central Bank said it has "informed the licensed banks to take appropriate measures to reduce interest rates charged from their customers." So far this year the monetary authority has cut its de facto main signal rate from 19.0 percent to 13.0 percent more..

Sri Lanka moves to win ship lay-up business

May 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka is trying to position itself to attract the growing ship lay-up business triggered by the global economic slump and has earmarked safe anchorages for vessels, a senior Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) official said. "We have got clearance from the security authorities now to lay up vessels in safe anchorages outside Colombo harbour," said SLPA managing director Nihal Keppetipola. more..

Sense of insecurity among

May 6 (BL) As an old man and a lover of little children, I shared the collective grief the people of Batticaloa exhibited on Monday when they protested against the killing of Thanushika, an 8-year-old school girl. Schools were all closed, shops and government offices were shut and public transport ceased while parents and children shouted: Ensure the safety of children. Thanushika was the eldest of the two daughters of Nithiya Rajani, more..

Large Stocks of LTTE arms recovered

Stage set for final showdown

May 6 (BL) Security forces have now cornered the remaining LTTE cadres, including its terror chief, into a mere 4.5 sq. km. land south of Rektavaikkal and advancing in three frontal ground manoeurres to rescue civilian hostages held at gunpoint, military sources said. “We can overrun and eliminate Prabhakaran and the rest of his cadres, and bring the NFZ under our control within a couple of hours,” says Army Chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka. more..

Time for a more vibrant public sector

May 6 (BL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is reported to have expressed his disappointment over the services rendered by the Graduates that were incorporated into the Public Service as a fulfilment of a pledge given by him during the presidential campaign. On that occasion keeping with a popular mandate this administration offered thousands of unemployed graduates positions in the public sector, often creating new titles for the newcomers even though more..

Govt. places emphasis on “due process” for international diplomats

May 6 (BL) The government yesterday strongly emphasised that they would not bow to international pressure and would insist on due process for all international diplomats who wished to come to Sri Lanka. Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena maintained that the government would look for clearance with the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry in admitting any international diplomat no matter how influential and that they could not pressurise the government unnecessarily. more..

‘Boat People’ Recount Horrors of No-Fire Zone

May 6 (HRW) Horrific accounts from refugees fleeing the fighting in Sri Lanka by boat show the wanton disregard for civilians of both Sri Lankan government forces and the LTTE, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called on both the United Nations Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council to make the situation in Sri Lanka a priority to avoid further loss of civilian life. more..

Why wiping out insurgents won't bring peace to Sri Lanka

May 6 (AN) Over the course of a long and brutal war with Sri Lanka’s armed forces, the LTTE has emerged as one of the world’s most formidable insurgent groups. Today, however, the mighty Tigers are on the verge of an absolute military defeat. Will their demise bring peace to Sri Lanka? The LTTE is a ruthless organization; one that resorts to child soldiers and suicide bombing; that relies on extortion and smuggling for funding, and that has zero tolerance for critics and competitors. more..

Saikat, Sabbir help Bangaldesh U-19 take series lead

May 6 (CI) Buoyant after their win yesterday, Bangladesh Under-19 continued strongly to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match encounter. A quick fifty from Saikat Ali coupled with another superb bowling display from Sabbir Rahman saw them assert their supremacy yet again at the Shamsul Huda Stadium. Choosing to bat first, Bangladesh U-19 were lifted by Saikat's confident strokeplay. His 76-ball innings comprised nine fours and three sixes, and more..

Is the LTTE really finish and the war over?

Sri Lanka minority 'threatened'

May 6 (BBC) The leader of the indigenous community of Sri Lanka, known as Veddahs, has said that his group of people is being threatened by illegal tree-fellers. Uruvarige Wanniya Vanniyaleththo told the BBC Sinhala service that an unidentified black-clad group has been intimidating his community. He said the threats had been made in the central district of Badulla. The Veddah chief said that the number of threats increased after he made a formal complaint to police officials. more..

Sri Lankans, seeking safety, perish

May 6 (NYT) Fleeing the bitter end of a quarter-century long war, the refugees turned to a boat. It was first a shelter from artillery shells, then a frail craft to safety. Finally, it became a coffin. Adrift on the Indian Ocean for nine days, Jaya Niranjana’s 3-year-old daughter died. M. Yesudas lost his father, sister, nephew, brothers, and uncle — six in all. An eight-month-old baby, Kuberan, survived only because his mother somehow managed to breastfeed him until just hours before she died. more..

Sri Lanka set to submit seabed claim

May 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka is set to formally submit its claim for sovereignty over a bigger area of the ocean floor surrounding the island under international law, officials said. "The submission is almost ready. We plan to send our claim to New York this week," said N P Wijayananda, chairman of the geological survey and mines bureau. He is also consultant to the government's DEOCOM (Delimitation of the Outer Edge of the Continental Margin) project. more..

Minister Chandrasegaran condemns effort to tax plantation workers

May 6 (TN) ”Efforts to have deducted a day’s pay from innocent Tamil plantation workers to help people affected by war will only assist the government in its war against the Tamils,” Up-country Peoples’ Front (UPF) leader and Sri Lanka Minister, P. Chandrasegaran said in a press report, condemning demands made by certain trade unions and voluntary organizations on the plantation workers to give a day’s wage to help war affected people, more..

‘State terror’ waging ‘racist war’ - Sonali Wickrematunge

May 6 (TN) The UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize 2009 has been awarded posthumously to Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge, assassinated by a government death-squad in January. Wickremetunga, long-standing editor of The Sunday Leader newspaper, was one of the few journalists who continued to criticise the militarist, hardline government of President Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

The Global game

May 6 (LG) In Sri Lanka, it can be difficult to remember who the international community is. The phrase has become synonymous with the rich countries of the West, largely the United States and Britain, with Norway, Germany, France and a few other hangers-on being included when convenient. And this is no accident. Global public opinion has been stolen. A handful of governments are calling themselves the international community to lend weight to their dodgy pronouncements, more..

Plans to uplift standards of school vans

May 6 (GDI) The Ministry of Transport will introduce a long term plan to supervise private vans transporting school children to ensure child protection under a unit operated by the National Transport Commission. According to the Ministry, in recent times several problems had surfaced with regard to vans transporting school children and drivers. Following investigations, it has been revealed that 75 per cent of the vans did not conform to the required standards. more..

Ranaviru commemoration month begins tomorrow

May 6 (GDI) The Ranaviru commemoration month will be held from 07th May to 07th June Director General of Media Centre for National Security Lakshman Hulugalle said. A Ranawiru wrist band and a miniature flag will be presented to President Mahinda Rajapaksa tomorrow (07) at Temple Trees to commemorate War Heroes Month. The official ceremony will be held near the Ranaviru monument in the Parliamentary complex, sources said. more..

Eco - friendly museum opens in end May

May 6 (GDI) An eco-friendly Museum built opposite the Sigiriya world heritage will be opened to the public from May 25th under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa., the Ministry of Cultural Affairs announced. The museum built in Sigiriya was declared the most attractive museum in the South-Asian region by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and it features two main artifacts of archaeological value. more..

Fresh Communication technology course for teachers in NWPC

May 6 (GDI) The Government has taken steps to conduct a special communication technology course for 12,000 Government school teachers in the Kurunegala and Puttalam Districts this year, the Ministry of Education of the North Western Provincial Council sources said. The objective of the NWPC Education Ministry is to equip all school teachers with computer knowledge to offer quality education to the student population. more..

Comprehensive tourism action plan in June

May 6 (GDI) Sri Lanka Tourism is to launch a new branding exercise in June enforced with a well planned out communication campaign to attract the world market, sources from Ministry of Tourism said. According to the new program, all citizens could provide pictorials, arte-facts and other marketable tourism material. The local activation campaign will engage locals to encourage them to market Sri Lankan values . more..

CPC member says extortionists operating in Kandy

May 6 (Island) Central Provincial Council member S. Rajaratnam (UNP), at yesterday’s Central Provincial Council meeting disclosed of a gang of extortionists operating in Kandy. Rajaratnam told the Central Provincial Council meeting that many members of the business community in Kandy were under threat from the gang demanding money from them. The gang that has no connection with the government, pose as members of an organisation and demands money, Rajaratnam said. more..

Immediate transfers to 3 police chiefs from Puttalam

May 6 (LT) The Police Inspectors of Nawagaththegama, Saliyawewa and Karuwalagaswewa police stations in Puttalam District have been immediately transferred on orders by the IGP. They have been transferred to Killinochchi, Mankulam and Kurunegala police stations. The transfers ordered by the IGP were effective from yesterday. Mr. W.P Gunatileke who was the OIC of Saliyawewa has been transferred to the new police station at Killinochchi. more..

Tiger ‘Sinhala language centre’ found

May 6 (LT) A Sinhalese Language training center and a ‘Sinhala Cultural’ centre run by tiger terrorist in the jungles of Puthukudiyirippu have been found by troops of 57 Division. Security Forces believe the training centre was used to train tiger suicide cadres who were sent to carry out suicide missions in the south. Sinhala language books, letters, photographs from various places in the south of the country more..

UNP also against Tamils: Mano Ganeshan

May 6 (TN) Mano Ganeshan, Colombo district MP and the leader of Western People’s Front (WPF) condemned UNP Puththa’lam district parliamentarian, Palitharanga Bandara’s statement that heavy weapons should be used on the ‘safe zone’ to destroy the Liberation Tigers. Palitharanga praised the Sri Lankan Armed Forces for their victories against the war on Tamils besides expressing views revealing more..

Appeal for bail by Balage murder suspects rejected

May 6 (LT) The requests of bail by the five suspects of the murder of JVP member Nandana Balage who were remanded yesterday was refused by Attanagalla Magistrates Court. When the requests by the relevant suspects were considered today the Magistrate rejected their bail applications and remanded them till the 13th. The suspects remanded are Kingsley Kasthuriarachchi (UPFA candidate for WPC election), Neluk Mallawa (Member, WPC), more..

Dinesh to construct 30,000 houses for slum dwellers

May 6 (Island) The Ministry of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development, will construct 30,000 houses under the Arunodaya programme for the urban slum dwellers. The project is estimated to cost Rs. 3750 million. The Arunodaya is a concept of Minister of Urban Development Dinesh Gunawardena and is implemented under the Mahinda Chinthanaya. Already 2083 housing units had been completed in Colombo District more..

Russia backs Lanka

May 6 (DM) Russia has said that while being concerned with the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka, there was no doubt the country was fighting a tough and difficult enemy – the LTTE, which was banned by many countries as a terrorist organization. Russian Ambassador at the United Nations Vitaly Churkin who is also the incoming Security Council President told journalists that it was no secret the LTTE was conducting itself inhumanely by using civilians as human shields. more..

President treats with a photo display to the British parliamentary group

May 6 (LeN) 'Lanka-e-News' learns that the President Mahinda Rajapakse has told the British parliamentary group that met him at Temple Trees yesterday (05) that Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation in which he is duty bound to protect the rights of the citizens and no one can be tolerated meddling with those rights. It is also learnt that the President has expressed his views in a strict tone to emphasize that Sri Lanka is not a colony. more..

60 schoolchildren hospitalized following wasp attack

May 6 (CT) Sixty students of St. Aloysius College, Ratnapura have been admitted to hospital following a wasp attack. They had been visiting the historic temple Pothgul Vihara, where the incident had taken place. Most of them are being treated for scratch injuries they had suffered as they had been seeking protection from the wasps.

Death penalty for son who killed father

May 6 (CT) Galle Magistrate, Chandrasena Rajapaksa yesterday (May 05) sentenced a man to death for murdering his own father. The suspect, Sujith Jagoda, was prosecuted on charges for murdering his father, Puthisadasa Jagoda, in 2005 by attacking him with clubs and a chair. The incident had taken place between the son and the father subsequent to a disagreement over a jackfruit tree. more..

'Army sacrifices lives in large numbers since the lack of the support of heavy weapons and air power'

May 6 (LeN) Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abewardhana says that the security forces sacrifice their lives in large numbers in their efforts to rescue the hostages without the support of heavy weapons and aerial attacks since they can cause harms to civilians. The Minister expressed these views addressing a special press briefing more..

HRW's Anna Neistat banned entry to Sri Lanka

May 6 (CT) The Sri Lankan government has banned Human Rights Watch Director of the Asia Pacific region, Anna Neistat from entering the island for bringing a 45-page false report before the attention of the international community, 'Divaina' reports. The government has learnt that she has gone to Vavuniya with the aid of several pro-LTTE NGOs and gathered incorrect information after arriving at the country on a tourist visa. more..

A Paradise turned into Kingdom of Vultures!

May 6 (Telegraph) Dead bodies of of the innocent Tamils are dragged away by stray dogs and wild beasts while the survivors hide inside the bunkers. Let the dead bury the dead as the living will be dead if they try to bury the dead. Screams of the innocents can't be heard to the far away lands because the rulers of Sri Lanka are not even allowing the birds in the sky to carry the messages to the lands of the living. more..

Mannar - have we forgotten its potential?

May 6 (PISL) The total area in the Mannar district is around 2,002 sq. km and hosts around 104,000 people. Out of this 89,232 persons are permanent residents while 14,456 are displaced from other districts. This latter figure is likely to be higher now, given the recent IDP situation in Vanni. It is also estimated that nearly 40,000 displaced persons from Mannar are living outside the region, and an additional 30,000 refugees from Mannar live in camps in South India. more..

The Real Roots of Sri Lanka's Crisis

May 6 (WSJ) Regarding "The Economic Key to Sri Lankan Peace" (op-ed, May 4): The British who ruled Sri Lanka for nearly 150 years applied a "divide and rule," method to control the rebellious majority by providing a disproportionate share of political power to the submissive minority. This is the root cause of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. In 1885, out of 819 schools in the country, 300 schools were in Jaffna where Tamils were the majority (99%). more..

Will Prabhakaran, Pottu Amman and Soosai negotiate surrender through ICRC?

May 6 (TC) Would LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, his intelligence chief Pottu Amman, Sea Tiger leader Soosai and their families surrender to the government through the ICRC? Although the government has ruled out negotiations with the LTTE leaders now trapped on the Mullaitivu coast or any third party mediation to bring an end to hostilities, the enemy could take advantage of the ICRC to negotiate their surrender, well informed sources said. more..

Nation-building: Sri Lanka’s untouched task

May 6 (TC) On the face of it, the challenge should not prove daunting. The subject of ‘nation-building’ is currently shared by at least two ministers and a marshalling of their capabilities and the resources at their command could help in putting the hitherto untouched enterprise of nation-building in Sri Lankan into motion. The raising of this issue is bound to cause some puzzlement among many. more..

Some thoughts on Reconciliation and Nation-building

May 6 (TC) The article of Lynn Ockersz on ‘Nation-building: Sri Lanka’s untouched task’ deserves the serious attention of all those who are interested in the future of this country. The truth of Ockersz’ claim is self-evident and does not need canvassing. It is also a timely reminder at a time when the ethnic conflict is supposed to be nearing its end. It is heartening to hear the assertion of President that he would not pass on the present war to future generations. more..

International donors to play supplementary role

May 6 (DN) The Government has told international donors that they should only play a supplementary role to the agenda’s mooted by local authorities, when it comes to enacting relief and rehabilitation efforts, targeting displaced people in the north. Addressing a UN sponsored donor meeting in Colombo on Monday, which intends to raise US $ 50 million to supplement the immediate humanitarian needs of the IDPs, more..

Grim scenes at Sri Lankan camps

President immune from proceedings - AG

May 6 (DN) The Fundamental Rights Application seeking a Court direction to appoint members to the Constitution Council (CC) should be dismissed as Article 35 of the Constitution provides immunity to the incumbent President from any legal proceedings, stated the Attorney General (AG) in the objections filed by him in the Supreme Court, yesterday. The statements of objections stated that the acts or the omissions by the incumbent President is barred from any judicial review. more..

Duty conscious public servants will be respected

May 6 (DN) Public servants who perform public-friendly, honest and decent duty by the public will be highly respected when enjoying the retired life, said Matara District Secretary, W. K. K. Athukorala. She was addressing the 42nd annual session of the Matara District Pensioners Association as chief invitee at the Audience Hall of Matara Bodhi Arakshaka Sabha, Matara. Ven. Sasthravedi Walasgala Pannasiri Thera patron of the Pensioners’ Association presided. more..

Hospital warned against environmental pollution

May 6 (Island) The Government will not issue Environmental Security Licenses from next month if hospitals release harmful substances along with garbage, Environment and Natural Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said. Due to the presence of high chemical components mixed with the garbage in Bloemendhal, harmful chemical substances had seeped into rivers, streams, wells and others waterways, he said. more..

Photographs were taken with consent of government – UNO

May 6 (LT) Several photographs showing bombs being dropped on the SL Army declared no-war-zone had been issued to the media during the past week. The photographs had been taken from ‘UNOSAT’, a satellite belonging to the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Operational Satellite Applications Programme. Pro-tiger media carried out a media operation throughout the world that the photographs showed government forces killed civilians in the zone. more..

Church helps reunite families in war zone

May 6 (UCAN) The Church in Sri Lanka is helping desperate families looking for loved ones missing in the civil war that is raging in the country. The chaotic situation on the Jaffna peninsula where government troops have cornered Tamil separatists has forced around 200,000 people into refugee camps. In the mayhem, many families have been split up and have little or no way to find mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, or even to discover whether they are dead or alive. more..