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Solheim arrives in Colombo, visits Puttalam

Apr 18 (TN) Mr.Erik Solheim arrived in Colombo Sunday on a five day visit to Sri Lanka amid expectation that he would seal an agreement between the Government and the LTTE that would establish a joint mechanism to take forward the post-tsunami relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation programme in the northeast province, more..

TECH offers loan scheme for Solar home systems

Apr 18 (TN) As part of the inaugural phase of a new loan scheme, The Economic Consultancy House (TECH), a Sri Lanka Government registered NGO exclusively operating in the NorthEast, provided ten Chinese manufactured Solar Home Systems (SHS) to Kilinochchi residents last week, sources said. more..

Sri Lanka hunt new coach

Apr 18 (CI) Sri Lanka's new cricket board will turn its attention to the recruitment of a new senior team coach next week after the recent New Zealand tour brought John Dyson's 20-month stint in charge to an end. more..

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Public Diplomacy in U.S. In Jeopardy

Apr 18 (AT) There is no effective and constructive coordination between the Government of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry and Sri Lanka’s Mission in the United States, the most important diplomatic post for this South Asian nation whose survival most of the time depends on decisions taken in Washington, more..

Tamil official killed for removal of Prabhakaran’s photo

Apr 18 (AT) Tamil Tiger rebels killed a Tamil government-official in eastern Sri Lanka, who had refused to hang the photograph of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the LTTE. This is the second top Tamil government officer to be killed by the LTTE this month. more..

Tigers are exaggerating its military strength - Brigadier Rathnayake

Apr 18 (LT) Army spokesman Brigadier Daya Rathnayake says that Wanni Tigers Organisation is making efforts to exaggerate its military strength which has weakened over the past few months. Wanni Tigers Organisation is making and circulating news through web sites that in possesses ships, submarines, aircraft and an airstrip. more..

Police accused of killing again

Apr 18 (BBC) Sri Lanka's police force is accused of torturing a three-wheel driver resulting in his death within days. An open verdict was delivered after the post mortem held on Sunday on the death of Wijeratne Gunasinghe. more..

Norway seeks to broker Sri Lanka Tsunami aid accord

Apr 18 (Bloomberg) Norway's peace envoy Erik Solheim is visiting Sri Lanka to try to broker an accord between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels to provide relief aid for victims of the Dec. 26 tsunami. more..

Unattended LTTE cadre dies of rabies

Apr 18 (SLA) A body of a dead LTTE cadre has been brought to the general cleared area of URUMPARAI, JAFFNA across the entry/exit point at MUHAMALAI on 17 April 2005 around 12.50 p.m. The LTTE member, ISEIK KADIR alias VIJEKUMAR VISINDAN has died due to lack of medical treatment after he was bitten reportedly by a rabid dog in the general un-cleared area. more..

LTTE firing over SF continues for the fourth consecutive day

Apr 18 (SLA) LTTE men for the fourth consecutive day have again fired 15 rounds of small arms over the MAHINDAPURA entry/exit point of the Security Forces (SF) in the general area of TRINCOMALEE on 17 April 2005 around 8.20 p.m. (Ref Situation Reports of 09th, 14th & 16th April 2005) more..

LTTE attack craft observed

Apr 18 (SLA) A naval patrol craft on routine duty on 16 April 2005 around 4.00 p.m. has observed the presence of about four LTTE attack craft in the general area of CHALAI. Two of them were seen, engaged in sea manoeuvres while two remained stationary with their men on board.

Vanni rehab Minister requests meeting with LTTE leader

Apr 18 (LM) The Vanni District Rehabilitation Minster Rishad Badiudeen has sent a letter requesting a meeting with LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabakaran. He had made this request through the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission. more..

Solheim assures Muslims

Apr 18 (LM) The Norwegian Special Peace Envoy for Sri Lanka, Eric Solheim visited the Puttalam District yesterday. He visited refugee camps in Nuraicholai and Alankuda and met people who were driven out from the North. M.H Basheer, a former deputy mayor of Jaffna accompanied Solheim together with other Muslim representatives. more..

Losses for all in eastern Sri Lanka

Apr 18 (Hindu) A YEAR after a rebellion within the organisation, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is yet to regain control of eastern Sri Lanka, particularly the politically and symbolically significant Batticaloa and Amparai districts. more..

'Diplomatic appointments should not be affected'

Apr 18 (ANN) The government believes that Sri Lanka's nominee to be the next High Commissioner in Canada, Chandrananda de Silva, should not be rejected on the basis of Ottawa's Immigration Act 0f 2002. "Their Immigration Act should be applicable to immigrants and refugees," an authoritative government spokesperson said. more..

Tamil Democratic Forum launched in Denmark to combat LTTE terror

Apr 18 (AT) Faced with serious threats to their lives, a Tamil group domiciled in Denmark recently launched the Tamil Democratic Forum (TDF) -- an organization to ensure the security of Tamils confronted by aggressive and violent Tamil political outfits backed by the LTTE. more..

Palm-fringed buffer zones

Apr 18 (SAMN) The Ministry of Plantation Industries has taken measures to grow coconut trees in the West and Eastern coastal buffer zones. Chairman, Coconut Cultivation Board, Dr. Jayantha Gunatilake said that the damage to coconut trees due to the tsunami is estimated at Rs. 160 million. more..

Over 1000 incidents in the new year

Apr 18 (SAMN) The festive Sinhala and Hindu New Year season this year saw as many as 1,100 incidents of violence and ten killings up to Saturday, police said. They said there were 291 motor accidents, six of them fatal. The number of drunken brawls was 800 and 9 injuries were caused by fire crackers. more..

Daily hearings for serious offences

Apr 18 (SAMN) The hearings in cases related to serious offences and organised crime should be expedited and held on a daily basis, Solicitor General C.R. de Silva said. "The delays in these types of cases cause a lot of drawbacks in the execution of justice," he told the Daily Mirror. more..

Prime Minister muses on national education

Apr 18 (LNP) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse on Saturday paid a courtesy call on the Mahanayake Thera of the Malwatte Chapter Most Ven. Thibotuwe Sri Sumangala Mahanayake Thera after attending the oil anointing ceremony held at the Natha Devale premises more..

Burial sans last rites

Apr 18 (LNP) Colombo Mayor Prasanna Gunawardene, struggling to overcome the garbage crisis, has decided to bury it in `small plots in different wards,` which include cemeteries. He said that every ward would have different places where a small areas would be utilised to bury garbage. more..

Sri Lanka beefs up security in east

Apr 18 (Xinhua) Police said Sunday that security has been beefed up in the troubled Eastern Province aimed at curbing the spate of killings. Chandra Fernando, the country's police chief said Sunday that 24-hour police patrols have been deployed in the identified vulnerable areas with additional policemen dispatched for the task. more..

Sri Lanka rupee weakens on importer dollar demand

Apr 18 (Reuters) The Sri Lanka rupee closed weaker on Monday as importer demand for dollars to settle trade bills pressured the exchange rate, dealers said. The rupee closed at 99.72 against the U.S. dollar, compared to Friday's close of 99.63. more..

Aid to 300 children in Kattankudi

Apr 18 (RW) We identified 10 schools and 300 children who required essential school goods to help them recover from the tsunami disaster. Preparations in advance of the mission included finding out the shoe sizes of all 300 children in order that we could present them all with a pair of shoes that we knew would fit every child. more..

Canada rejects new Lankan envoy for rights violations

Apr 18 (HT) Canada has refused to accept former Defence Secretary Chandrananda de Silva as Sri Lanka's new High Commissioner in Ottawa on the grounds that there were allegations of human rights violations against him during his tenure as the head of Sri Lanka's defence ministry, according to The Sunday Times. more..

Indirect investors get a better deal

Apr 18 (SAMN) INDIRECT exporters of domestically produced or processed finished products and who sells to the direct exports will be able to receive their payments in foreign currency which they could use in turn to make payments for the purchase of imported inputs, says the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. more..

Today 40 PC of women work as housemaids abroad - Minister Athauda

Apr 18 (DN) In most of the developing countries women play an important role in agriculture and rural development. However today they cannot manage their family problems, they fly to middle-east countries as housemaids said the Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment Athauda Seneviratne more..

Aid deal still way off for Sri Lanka

Apr 18 (Reuters) An elusive tsunami aid-sharing deal Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers are lobbying for to rebuild coastal communities in their north and eastern strongholds is still some way off and holding back hopes of long-term peace, the rebels say. more..

Peace broker, Sri Lankan government discuss crucial tsunami aid deal

Apr 18 (AP) Norway's top peace broker and Sri Lankan officials on Monday discussed a proposed joint body to ensure that foreign aid reaches rebel areas that were ravaged by the Dec. 26 tsunami, officials said. "We discussed the draft on a post-tsunami structure," said Jayantha Dhanapala, more..

‘JVP benefited from NGO money’

Apr 18 (BBC) Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna benefited from money provided by Non governmental Organisations (NGO), a senior deputy minister of the ruling coalition said. “What about the PNM? PNM is also an NGO” Dilan Perera, deputy minister of Ports and Aviation questioned in an interview with BBC Sandeshaya (BBC Sinhala). more..

Lankan Govt, LTTE take their fight to global arena

Apr 18 (HT) In a new development in the troubled peace process in Sri Lanka, the Government and the rebel LTTE are taking their fight to the global arena. Just when a high-powered LTTE delegation is concluding a marathon foreign tour to canvass for its case, a high-ranking Sri Lankan minister has said that the Government will also start an international campaign to expose the LTTE's "atrocities" and violations of the ceasefire. more..

Tigers ‘ready for joint mechanism’

Apr 18 (BBC) Tamil Tigers say they agreed for the joint tsunami mechanism before their delegation left for an international tour. “We agreed with Norwegian proposals for the mechanism before our departure,” head of LTTE’s peace secretariat S Pulithevan speaking from Geneva told BBC Sandeshaya (BBC Sinhala). more..

Vaas set for Worcestershire bow

Apr 18 (BBC) Sri Lankan swing bowler Chaminda Vaas is set to make his Worcestershire debut on Wednesday in the Championship clash with Durham at the Riverside. Vaas played three matches for Hampshire in 2003 and is a two-month stop-gap until Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar arrives. more..

LTTE sentry in Muttur attacked by SLA- Elilan

Apr 19 (TN) The LTTE Monday lodged a complaint with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in Trincomalee that one of their sentry points in the LTTE-controlled Muttur east had been attacked by a group of soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army Sunday night around 7.10 p.m. more..

Tamil Women Confluence held in Thampalakamam

Apr 19 (TN) About eight hundred Tamil women participated in a Women Confluence ('Penngal Sangamam') Monday held at Thampalakamam, a traditional Tamil village in the Trincomalee district Monday in connection with the seventeenth death anniversary of Annai Poopathi, which falls on Tuesday (April 19), sources said. more..

Govt shelves plans to up ETF by 0.5% to fund retrenched workers

Apr 19 (LBO) The government has shelved plans to up Employee Trust Fund (ETF) payments by 0.5 percent, following the controversial compensation formula for laid off workers. The 0.5 percent tagged on to ETF was to be used to fund an Unemployment Benefit Insurance Scheme providing a one year dole for workers laid off during restructuring. more..

Withholding tax adds to cost of owning a vehicle

Apr 19 (LBO) The month of March saw a record number of vehicle registrations with vehicle owners trying to avoid a new withholding tax from April 1. "This is the first time we have seen over 19,000 vehicle registrations in one month. On average only around 15,000 vehicles are registered per month," more..

Education budget funds more buildings than books and other study facilities

Apr 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka spends to put up unnecessary buildings in its public schools and universities, with an urgent need to rationalise its capital spending budget for education. more..

Sri Lanka falls behind even Bhutan & Maldives in ratifying Vienna convention on citizen safety

Apr 19 (AT) Sri Lanka is the only South Asian country which has failed to ratify the most important international convention regarding the safety of its citizens in other countries. more..

Government media can’t judge party activities- UNP spokesman

Apr 19 (AT) The United National Party said that their party is still in the process of reforming. “We want to strengthen our area network to defeat the present government,” said Tissa Attanayaka, Deputy Secretary General of the Party. more..

My Captivity by the LTTE

Apr 19 (AT) The International Committee for Red Cross was told to bring an end to the harassment and torture by the LTTE and to make them to stop forthwith, the ruthless measures they use to adopt on those innocent ones, who are taken into custody in the areas controlled by them. more..

SL trade chambers treat tsunami affected entrepreneurs

Apr 19 (AT) Sri Lanka’s trade chambers are now engaged in expanding meeting their social responsibilities and cater to the tsunami affected entrepreneurs in devastated areas. According to the Joint Business council –JBIZ , the trade chambers have came forward to launch various programmes to support the affected businessmen. more..

Tamilnet flouts media ethics, says Sri Lankan media watchers

Apr 19 (AT) Sri Lankan media circles expressed dismay at unethical media practices by the Tamilnet, a pro LTTE website, which has refused to publish a correction sent by the Scandinavian Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM). more..

NPC inquiry on police threats

Apr 19 (BBC) National Police Commission (NPC) decides to open an investigation into alleged threats on Nimal Silva Gunaratne of Panadura. This follows a complaint to the NPC by Gunaratne saying that his life was threatened by a group of police officers, NPC Chairman Ranjith Abeysuriya said. more..

Comments on the Freedom of Religion Bill to prevent unethical conversions in Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (AT) Dear Sir, As Resident Fellow on South Asian Affairs at the Institute on Religion and Public Policy, I want to clarify the mission of our organization and the intention of the "Roundtable with the Ambassador" that your newspaper mentioned last Sunday. more..

Sri Lankan Maids to Be Paid More

Apr 19 (AN) Sri Lanka has set a minimum wage of SR600 for its nationals going abroad as domestic workers. More than one million Sri Lankans work abroad, mainly as maids, bringing in over $1 billion in remittances annually. Around 70 percent of the 350,000 workers in the Kingdom are maids. more..

Tsunami Orphans Benefit from American Red Cross

Apr 19 (RC) Perched atop a hill under a canopy of trees, children played in the front yard of the Ruhunu State Receiving Home. The joy of the children appeared to triumph over the trauma of the tsunami. However, the loss and devastation caused by the tsunami is ever present, more..

Local humanitarian decries slow progress in Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (LG) One of Lacombe’s most active humanitarians believes government corruption is to blame for stalled tsunami relief efforts in eastern Sri Lanka. Eric Rajah, co-founder of A Better World, a Lacombe-based humanitarian organization that works with ADRA Canada, recently visited Sri Lanka’s Pottuvil province, more..

Mysterious health condition probed

Apr 19 (SAMN) Health authorities Monday intensified investigations into a mysterious health condition reported from the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital in the Central Province. There are over 20 patients with symptoms similar to the myocarditis and dengue. more..

Northeast polls postponed again

Apr 19 (SAMN) The Commissioner of Elections has postponed for the 5th time the local government polls for 53 bodies in some areas of the North and East. The polls were to be conducted on April 23. more..