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Balasingham questioned by London Police for hours on Jeyadevan’s affair

Apr 11 (AT) Sources in London reveal that Anton Balasingham, “the sole representative of the LTTE in UK”, was questioned by the Police for three hours on his role and the role of the LTTE in imprisoning Rajasingham Jeyadevan and A. K. Vivekananthan in the Vanni for 62 day and 42 days respectively. more..

Seventh-wicket pair rescues Sri Lanka A

Apr 11 (CI) Prasanna Jayawardene and Gayan Wijekoon came together in a face-saving seventh-wicket stand to help Sri Lanka A finish on 175 for 6 at the end of the opening day of the second unofficial cricket Test against Pakistan 'A' at Dambulla. more..

Hospital bill ‘grounds’ bedridden housemaid

Apr 11 (KT) A Sri Lankan housemaid who recently escaped the clutches of prostitution in Dubai and is currently bedridden in Rashid Hospital says she wants to return home to Kandy, oblivious of how she will settle the huge hospital bill of Dh17,000, and where she will find shelter until completion of deportation procedures. more..

Tamil murder lifts Sri Lankan tensions

Apr 11 (TA) AN unidentified gunman shot dead a Tamil political activist in Sri Lanka's restive northeast today, further fuelling tension in the region. Wijedasan Wijendran was gunned down as he returned from a Hindu temple in the town of Trincomalee, police said, adding that they suspected Tamil Tiger rebels may have been responsible. more..

Interdicted principals' luxury living bared

Apr 11 (DN) THE Special Presidential Investigations Unit (SPIU) probing irregular Grade 1 admissions in Government schools have come across at least two instances where the interdicted school principals had acquired luxury homes, property, vehicles and businesses and were living way beyond their means. more..

Sri Lanka rupee dips on light importer demand

Apr 11 (Reuters) The Sri Lanka rupee ended slightly weaker in thin trade on Monday on light importer demand for dollars to settle trade bills, dealers said. The rupee closed at 99.62 against the U.S. currency compared with Friday's 99.60. more..

Pakistan-Sri Lanka agree to enhance tourism

Apr 11 (IANS) Pakistan and Sri Lanka have agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in tourism. Officials of the Joint Working Group of both countries also discussed accelerating tourism through attractive packages, reports Online news agency. This was the first meting of the group.

Cricket: Martin blitz puts New Zealand on top

Apr 11 (CI) Chris Martin wreaked havoc on a juicy Basin Reserve pitch to leave New Zealand in firm control before Thilan Samaraweera's half-century lent the Sri Lankan total some degree of respectability. Martin's 6 for 54 was the best ever figures for a New Zealander against Sri Lanka and restricted them to 211. more..

Fresh killing raises tension in Sri Lanka

Apr 11 (AFP) An unidentified gunman shot dead a Tamil political activist in Sri Lanka's restive northeast, further fuelling tension in the region. Wijedasan Wijendran was gunned down as he returned from a Hindu temple in the town of Trincomalee, police said Monday, adding that they suspected Tamil Tiger rebels may have been responsible. more..

Much maligned NGOs fill a gap in tsunami-hit Lanka

Apr 11 (HT) NGO-bashing is currently a favourite pastime in Colombo, the capital city of tsunami-hit Sri Lanka. The International NGOs, or INGOs as they are called, come in for special flak. They are dubbed as huge hoaxes, money milking machines, Christian proselytisers, and worst of all, a threat to the sovereignty of the country. more..

Kumaratunga urged to organise ship service for Tamil returnees from India

Apr 12 (TN) Mr.Selvam Adaikalanathan, Vanni district TNA parliamentarian appealed Monday to Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunge to take immediate steps to arrange a ship for the transportation of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from South India to Sri Lanka. more..

LTTE meets South African Deputy President

Apr 12 (TN) Mr Thamilchelvan told South African Deputy President Mr.Jacob Zuma that LTTE is committed to the CeaseFire Agreement and has expressed its readiness to recommence negotiations on the basis of the proposals submitted for the formation of an interim administration, when they met in Durban Monday, more..

Chicken traders take to the streets to fight high chicken prices

Apr 12 (LBO) Chicken traders will take to the streets on Tuesday, over what they say are exorbitantly high poultry prices due to producers cutting back on supply. Traders claim prices of chicken have soared by about 300 percent to Rs. 240 levels a kilo over the past three months, making chicken unpalatable this festive season. more..

Harry Potter to fly into Sri Lanka under tight security

Apr 12 (LBO) Harry Potter flies into Sri Lanka again in July and with local bookshops already on a publicity blast, no VIP arrival could be under tighter security. Security arrangements of the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, were low key compared to the security measures for the teenage wizard. more..

WEA Discusses Sri Lanka Anti-Conversion Bill at UN Meeting

Apr 12 (CT) The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) hosted a special meeting at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva last week highlighting on religious persecution in Sri Lanka. The purpose of the meeting was to focus on anti-conversion legislation that is about to be introduced in Parliament in Sri Lanka. more..

Turkey provides 700,000 USD for Sri Lanka's reconstruction

Apr 12 (Xinhua) Turkey has contributed 700,000 US dollars to Sri Lanka to be used for the latter's relief and humanitarian efforts after the tsunami, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said Monday in a press release. more..

Sri Lankans move forward despite lingering fears

Apr 12 (RC) Even before any warnings were issued about the giant earthquake that struck Indonesia on March 28th, people in Sri Lanka feared a second tsunami. Circling rumors of an impending disaster reached fever pitch the previous weekend, forcing the Red Cross to postpone relief distribution at one site. more..

JVP calculations wrong: Dilan

Apr 12 (BBC) A Joint mechanism with the LTTE is an essential requirement says Deputy Minister of Ports and Aviation Dilan Perera. Commenting on the controversy surrounding a joint relief mechanism he said, "whether we like it or not more than 60 percent of the areas affected by the tsunami come under rebel control". more..

Interim administration 'can move on'

Apr 12 (BBC) The Court of Appeal ruled that the minister of sports is free to use his powers vested in accordance with the sports act provided he does not dissolve Sri lanka cricket (SLC) and cancel its registration. At the moment the registration of Sri Lanka cricket has been suspended and an interim board of control has been appointed to administer the game. more..

Life on hold for Sri Lankan tsunami victims

Apr 12 (IHT) Anjana Manimalar has been sketching visions of her future life with a ballpoint pen on the plastic ground sheet of an otherwise bare tent that has been her family's home since early January. The 10-year-old has drawn a house surrounded by flowers, with a fat cow in the garden. more..

Sri Lankan intelligence shakeup

Apr 12 (AT) Another shakeup is expected in Sri Lanka’s intelligence service which jumps from crisis to crisis. The powerful Director of Intelligence (DI) K.V.T.Sumansekera has been transferred to as head of the foreign intelligence. more..

UNP launches strategic measures to release S.B.

Apr 12 (AT) The UNP has decided to follow three major strategies to get release their jailed comrade S.B.Dissanayake. The committee to “Free SB” has already launched protest campaigns, religious activities and obtained the international legal assistance from the Human rights Movement in Geneva. more..

Decade delayed thermal power plant work may begin

Apr 12 (AT) After more than 10 years of indecision, Sri Lanka now plans to go ahead with its first ever thermal power station. Construction of the Norochcholi thermal power plant will commence before the end of this year under the 100 per cent Chinese owned China National Machinery and Equipment Imports and Exports Corporation (CMEC), a leading company in China. more..

Business community dissatisfied on new tax

Apr 12 (AT) The Joint Business Community of Sri Lanka is seriously concerned over the new tax on Social Responsibility [SRL]. Chairman of JBIZ Kingsly Bernard said the tax would be an additional burden for the employees and the employers. more..

'Beating Pakistan was a big achievement' - de Silva

Apr 12 (CI) One of the key factors to emerge out of Sri Lanka's Under-19 tour of Pakistan was the mental adjustment the players have to undergo from two-day to four-day cricket. This was quite evident in the two four-day Tests where Sri Lanka held the upper hand but was unable to convert the advantages into victory because of fielding lapses. more..

Delay in Upper Kotmale, Norochcholai is a disaster - Small power sector

Apr 12 (IL) The Grid Connected Small Power Developers Association (GCSPDA) yesterday described the delay in Upper Kotmale and Norochcholai on the part of the Government tantamount to inviting disaster. The GCSPDA Chairman Dr. Nishantha Nanayakkara said that in 2004, Sri Lanka used 7,000 million units of electricity. more..

Ferial Ashraff and Douglas dropped out of the Australian visit

Apr 12 (AT) Asian Tribune learns that Ms Ferial Ashraff had informed the host that she had to cancel the trip because of some politically sensitive developments in Trincomalee where her presence is required. more..

Mystery of the Missing Anton Rajah – The Goebbels of the LTTE

Apr 12 (AT) 64-year-old Anton Rajah has a colorful and intriguing past linked to the shady operations of the LTTE. But his sudden disappearance for a while (like that of Jeyadevan) is more intriguing. Was he trapped in the wilds of Vanni like Jeyadevan? more..

Cops turned robbers barter vehicles for arms from LTTE

Apr 12 (LNP) Motorists have been warned to check the credentials of uniformed police and armed service personnel, who stop them at deserted spots, as an organized gang was robbing vehicle in the south and bartering them for arms from the LTTE in the north. more..

UNP, JHU blast President on schools' crisis

Apr 12 (LNP) The UNP and the JHU yesterday condemned what they described as harassment being meted out to the Principals of Buddhist schools like Ananda, Maliyadeva and Kingswood. `We also believe that action should be taken to eliminate corruption and malpractice in the admission of students. more..

Govt warns of landslides in upcountry

Apr 12 (SAMN) The December 26 earthquake in Sumatra is likely to have disrupted surface layers in Kandy, Matale and the Uva province and could lead to major landslides with the onset of rains, a senior geologist warned Monday. more..

Chief Minister in no-confidence dilemma

Apr 12 (SAMN) All councilors would be allowed to vote according to their conscience when the no-confidence motion is presented at the next Western Provincial Council session on April 26, said the Council's Chief Minister. more..

More buses, trains for New Year

Apr 12 (SAMN) Thousands of people are flocking to their villages all over the country to celebrate the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, which dawns on April 14. Transport authorities have bolstered services, anticipating a surge in demand over the holiday period. more..

CFA violations from Wanni Tigers record high

Apr 12 (LT) Reports say that 2822 violations of the cease fire agreement by the Wanni Faction of the Wanni Tigers Organisation have been tabulated from the day the CFA came into effect. Scenes of such violations are reported mostly in Ampara, Batticaloa and Polonnruwa disrricts. more..

Koneswaram water-cutting festival held

Apr 12 (TN) The water-cutting (Theertham) festival of historic Trincomalee Koneswaram Temple was held Monday morning in the Papanasachunai holy well located inside Fort Frederick and surrounded by barracks of the Gajaba Regiment of the Sri Lanka Army. more..

Kilinochchi protest condemns delay in Joint Mechanism, ISGA

Apr 12 (TN) Large number of Tamil civilians participated in the protest march held Monday morning in Killinochchi condemning the Government for its delay in establishing the joint mechanism to provide relief and rehabilitation to tsunami affected people and for the delay in setting up the ISGA in the northeast. more..

School children forced to attend LTTE protest

Apr 12 (SLA) LTTE had forced students of some schools in the general area of VAVUNIYA to attend an LTTE organized protest march on 11 April 2005 around 10.00 a.m. The protest march with participation of approximately 700 civilians instigated by LTTE and 300 school children had started from VAVUNIYA Tamil Maha Vidyalaya more..

JVP members clash with SLFP members in Akuressa

Apr 12 (LM) Members of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramunda clashed with members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party last Sunday (10th) This took place before the election which was due to be held to select committee members for the cooperative society in Porabha. more..

DIG – East assures solution! Puthuvil returns to normal?

Apr 12 (LM) Last Friday, some Police personnel attacked and destroyed a tea boutique called ‘Peoples' Hotel', a realisable source from the area, who does not wish to give his name for security reasons, confirmed the story. This had happened subsequent to a grenade attack at the ‘Bo-tree', the previous night. more..

India must join the co-chairs to end stalemate

Apr 12 (ANN) A question was posed to me recently at a meeting of a social club as to what I thought was the reason for the prolonged stalemate, in the peace process. My answer was that if only India had taken her logical place and played her legitimate role, then this stalemate would never have occurred. more..

Sri Lanka says thank you to US Marines

Apr 12 (PRIU) Admiral William J. Fallon, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command called on Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar on Monday, April 11 in Colombo. Admiral Fallon who was recently made Pacific commander was here as a part of the annual programme of the US Pacific Command. more..

Talks over participation of Muslim delegation in peace process

Apr 12 (PIS) Since the inception of the Federal Party, Muslims have contributed to the political struggle of the Tamils until the emergence of militancy in 1983. From the emergence of militancy up to date Muslims have suffered directly and in directly by the Tamil militancy. more..

Spoilers step up campaign while President dreams again

Apr 12 (PIS) The stage is being set for a move back to re-engagement between the government and LTTE. The main area of this re-engagement will almost certainly be the establishment of a joint mechanism between the two parties. This would ensure the flow of resources to reconstruct the tsunami-affected areas of the north-east. more..

President's vision towards peace commended

Apr 12 (PIS) President Chandrika Kumaratunga who is committed to the country's development has a clear vision and determination towards solving the country's ethnic conflict, Minister of Rehabilitation and District Development (Vanni), Rishad Bathiudeen said. more..

Paper: Sri Lanka plans offshore Oil blocks

Apr 12 (AP) Sri Lanka plans to offer offshore blocks for oil exploration by the middle of 2006 if a study being carried out by a Norwegian company proves positive, a newspaper reported Tuesday. Norway's TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Co is likely to submit its report by June. more..

Sri Lanka sets higher wage ceiling for maids working abroad

Apr 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s labour ministry said on Tuesday it wants women who are hired to work abroad as maids to be paid at least 150 dollars a month before it approves allowing them to take assignments. More than one million Sri Lankans work abroad, mainly as housemaids, bringing in over a billion dollars in remittances annually. more..

Central Bank seeks oil price hike to save economy

Apr 12 (ZN) Central Bank asked the government today to remove subsidies and raise fuel prices immediately or risk more trouble for the national budget and a higher trade deficit. The Central Bank said the country's last oil price hike was in September when a barrel of oil cost 45 dollars. more..

Special zone for fishing community

Apr 12 (TP) The government is contemplating the creation of a special zone to accommodate the tsunami-affected fishing community of Point Pedro in war-torn northern Sri Lanka, who have refused to relocate due to entrenched sociological and anthropological reasons. more..

Ex-chancellor Kohl to fund hospital

Apr 12 (TP) Former German chancellor Helmut Kohl, who was holidaying in Sri Lanka during the tsunami and had to be evacuated by helicopter, is to fund reconstruction of the damaged Mahamodara hospital in southern Galle, newspapers said. more..

Sri Lanka 'A' hit back in final 'Test'

Apr 12 (Dawn) The touring Pakistan 'A' lost three top batsmen after bowling out Sri Lanka 'A' for 225 early on the second day of the second and final 'Test' at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium on Monday. Skipper Misbahul Haq fell to the fourth ball of the innings to pace man Dilhara Fernando without a run on the board. more..