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Bhaila challenges expulsion from UNP

Apr 19 (LNP) H. A. Bhaila, nominated member of parliament of the UNP, had challenged his purported expulsion from the party, notified to him by the General Secretary of the UNP, on April 5, 2005. The petition said that after the General Election of April 2, 2004 the UNP had nominated bhaila as an elected MP of the UNP. more..

Illegal returnees worry authorities

Apr 19 (LNP) The Ministry Of Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation said that over 11,000 Sri Lankan Refugees in South India had returned through illegal modes of transport. But around 10,000 have returned legally, Senior Advisor to the Ministry of RRR Dr. A. S. Kunasingham said. more..

Thieves make hay as sun shines

Apr 19 (LNP) A gang of rogues operating in the Mattakkuliya area, mostly during the daytime, have been successful in 25 thefts within an area of less than a square kilometre last year, the total value of the stolen items was almost Rupees Seven Million, victims told The Island. more..

Joint-mechanism with LTTE only way out, says Kumar Rupasinghe

Apr 19 (TN) Dr. Kumar Rupasinghe, a leading peace activist in Sri Lanka, said Tuesday that the proposed joint-mechanism between the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE is the only way out in the decision making process to carryout the much-needed rebuilding and resettlement program for tsunami-affected people in the worst-hit North-East region. more..

"Can trust only when Joint Mechanism comes" - Col. Bhanu

Apr 19 (TN) “We can talk about having faith in this process only when the Joint Mechanism for Tsunami Reconstruction is implemented. The suffering of Tamils and Muslims who were affected by the Tsunami in Batticaloa/Amparai is immense. Some of them say they should have died in the Tsunami than face the privations to which they are subjected today as refugees. more..

Dilemma for WP Chief Minister

Apr 19 (LM) The decision of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna to abstain from voting against the no-confidence motion brought against the Chef Minister of Western province, Reginald Cooray had created panic among the government provincial council members in the western provincial council. more..

SLMC’s decision crucial in deciding WP Chief Minister’s fate

Apr 19 (LM) The SLMC is being sought after by both the UNP and the PA for their support on the No-confidence motion against the Western Province Chief Minister, Reginald Cooray. Yesterday Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe had contacted SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem from Diyatalawa, seeking his party's support; more..

Govt will never be discouraged by the politics of the opposition leader

Apr 19 (SLBC) Minister of Information and Media Mangala Samaraweera has said the leader of the opposition Ranil Wickremasinghe is engaged in an unsuccessful attempt to break the alliance between the SLFP and the JVP through media friendly to him. more..

LTTE fires over Army roadblock again

Apr 19 (PIS) LTTE cadres continued firing over the roadblock of the Security Forces at Mahindapura in Trincomalee for the fourth day, military spokesman Daya Ratnayake said. He said at about 8.20 pm on Sunday, in a brazen violation of the Ceasefire Agreement the LTTE cadres fired around 10-15 rounds of ammunition using small weapons, as on previous occasions. more..

Solheim expresses confidence about establishing joint mechanism

Apr 19 (PIS) Norway's Peace envoy Erik Solheim expressed confidence that he would be able to establish a joint mechanism to take forward the post-tsunami relief to the victims of the North and East sealing an agreement between the Sri Lanka Government and the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka attempts to ease fears over Anti-Conversion bill

Apr 19 (CT) Christian organisations all over the world have been combining their efforts in an attempt to ensure that a restrictive new anti-conversion law in Sri Lanka does not pass through the nation’s parliament. However, in a new statement the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the US has defended the bill and tried to ease fears. more..

Ian Botham visiting Sri Lanka to help tsunami victims

Apr 19 (AP) English cricket legend Ian Botham is visiting Sri Lanka to help a charity started by the country's best-known cricketer, Muthiah Muralitharan, to raise funds for tsunami survivors. Botham plans to travel on Wednesday to the southern town of Galle, more..

CalPERS includes Sri Lanka under emerging markets

Apr 19 (DJ) U.S-based CalPERS has added Sri Lanka under its emerging markets list in a review, the pension fund said in a report Tuesday. Sri Lanka joins Thailand, Argentina and Turkey as the latest additions to the emerging markets category. more..

100,000 land plots for landless

Apr 19 (DN) The Agriculture and Lands Ministry will shortly implement a national level program to immediately distribute 100,000 land plots among landless families, overcoming their longstanding land problem. more..

SriLankan may extend Colombo-Delhi flight to Lahore

Apr 19 (BL) THE national airline of Sri Lanka, SriLankan Airlines, is looking at extending the Colombo-Delhi flight to Lahore. Official sources told Business Line that the Pakistani Government recently allowed the airline to extend the Delhi flight to Lahore. more..

Norwegian envoy reassures displaced Muslims

Apr 19 (Gulf) A Norwegian peace envoy has assured thousands of people who were driven out of their homes by Tamil Tigers that their right to access their lands will be protected. Erik Solheim who initiated a fresh initiative to reopen talks between the government and the Tamil guerrillas on Sunday more..

Sri Lanka to seek common Asian candidate for top U.N. job

Apr 19 (Kyodo) Asian political leaders will press for a consensus with their African counterparts at an international meeting this week to field a common Asian candidate for the next chief of the United Nations. more..

Sri Lanka names road after India

Apr 19 (Hindu) The Governor of Sri Lanka’s southern province has proposed to rename a road as India-Sri Lanka Maitri Road to mark the rapid Indian assistance after the December 2004 tsunami. The road to be renamed is at Peraliya in the southern Galle district, which is also where a scores of passengers on board a train were washed away in the tsunami. more..

U.S. official, Norwegian peace envoy visit Sri Lanka's east amid tensions

Apr 19 (AP) A senior U.S. official and Norway's peace envoy began separate visits Tuesday to Sri Lanka's volatile eastern region amid violence and that has threatened to derail a fragile cease-fire between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Sri Lanka postpones elections in troubled Tamil-majority northeast

Apr 19 (AP) Local elections in Tamil-majority northeastern Sri Lanka will be postponed for 10 months because the situation there is not conducive to fair polls, the election commissioner announced Tuesday. more..

Yahoo Photos

Apr 19 (Yahoo) U. S. Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca shakes hands with an elderly woman living in a temporary tsunami housing project funded by the United States Agency for International Development in Sainthamaruthu, eastern Sri Lanka, more..

Joint tsunami mechanism may be further delayed

Apr 19 (Xinhua) Despite efforts by the visiting Norwegian peace envoy the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers are unlikely to reach accord soon on a joint tsunami relief mechanism, political sources said Tuesday. more..

Fuel prices will go up - FM

Apr 19 (BBC) Petrol and diesel prices will definitely go up, says Minister of Finance Dr.Sarath Amunugama. Ministry of Finance is now working out how best this could be done, Dr.Amunugama told Sandesaya from Washington where he was attending the spring meeting of the IMF and World Bank. more..

Humanitarian Situation Report - Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (RW) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) last week approved a US$197 million grant and loan package for two projects that will help rebuild tsunami- and conflict-affected areas of Sri Lanka. External funding for the projects will total $256 million including grant co-financing by the European Commission and Sweden. more..

Rocca goes to Kalmunai, Karaithivu

Apr 20 (TN) US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Ms. Christina Rocca, Tuesday met Tsunami refugees at a transit camp in Karaithivu, a large Tamil village 45 kilometres south of Batticaloa. She distributed seven million rupees worth of tools to Tsunami affected masons, carpenters and iron smiths at Kalmunai Zaheera College. more..

Tsunami affected Kinniya women receive sewing machines

Apr 20 (TN) Ms Nazirah Hussein, High Commissioner of Malaysia in Sri Lanka Tuesday morning visited Kinniya, predominant Muslim town in the Trincomalee district and inaugurated the distribution of eighty sewing machines to tsunami-affected women at the Kinniya Al-Aqsa College. more..

Rocca to meet Solheim in Colombo

Apr 20 (TN) Visiting US Assistant Secretary of State, Christina Rocca, is scheduled to meet visiting Norwegian special peace envoy, Erik Soheim, in Colombo on Wednesday to discuss issues concerning Sri Lanka's stalled peace process and the proposed Joint Mechanism for post-tsunami relief effort, more..

Independent Police Units - CJ

Apr 20 (BBC) Investigations into deaths by police attacks should be carried out by an independent police unit and not by the relevant police station, says Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva. He further says National Police Commission(NPC) and Attorney General's Department have a special responsibility to prevent deaths resulted from police attacks and torture. more..

All attacks should stop - Solheim

Apr 20 (BBC) All attacks whether it is by the LTTE or against LTTE should stop, says Norwegian Peace envoy, Eric Solheim. He was talking to reporters after his meeting with LTTE in Batticaloa. more..

Raviraj MP urged Victoria’s Prime Minister to pledge funding for Tsunami

Apr 20 (AT) The Sri Lankan Parliamentary delegation which was on a week-long study tour in Australia to learn about disaster preparedness returned to Colombo on Saturday. However two members of the delegation, Raviraj and Lakshman Seneviratne are remaining in Australia for a further one week for personal reasons. more..

US-Norway-Sri Lanka talks on joint mechanism

Apr 20 (AT) Hectic diplomatic and political activities are taking place to come to a compromise on the controversial issue of joint mechanism for tsunami aid distribution. On one hand diplomatic efforts are being made to narrow the gap between the conditions acceptable to the government and the LTTE. more..

SPUR urges more US action against LTTE to restore peace

Apr 20 (AT) On the eve of the visit of the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, Ms Christina B. Rocca, to Sri Lanka, the Society Peace Unity and Human Rights of Sri Lanka (SPUR), has appealed to her to publicly condemn atrocities committed by the LTTE under cover of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) more..

Balapatabendi take over diplomatic assignment in May

Apr 20 (AT) The Sri Lankan High Commissioner designate to Australia Mr S.K.Balapatabendi is expected to arrive in Canberra in mid May to assume duties as the new Sri Lankan envoy Down Under. Australian Government gave its agreement to Mr Balapatabendi’s appointment more than two months ago, more..

LTTE urged to be flexible on aid

Apr 20 (DH) The Norwegian facilitators have urged the Tamil Tiger rebels to be flexible in reaching an agreement with the government on disbursing tsunami aid. Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen had contacted London-based chief negotiator and political advisor of the LTTE Anton Balasingham over the phone on Monday. more..

Lankans make India look like Australia

Apr 20 (EI) The team has no coach. The players are dispirited, the captain effectively says he’s no longer the captain, the board is in a mess and has lost $9 million from missed TV rights opportunities. This isn’t India, though the resemblance is eerie. more..

Myocarditis Cases in Kandy Increase to 42

Apr 20 (RC) The number of ambiguous statements on the myocarditis cases in Badulla and Kandy are almost as numerous as the growing list of cases. It is not clear if there were no additional deaths, or just an inability to link deaths to the disease. more..

Karuna - Prabha factional clashes flared in Trinco

Apr 20 (LT) Bomb explosions and fire fighting have been reported about one kilometer east of the roadblock at Mahindapura in Trincomalee. Sporadic gunfire, which started at 8.30 this morning, has been heard for nearly four hours. Security forces believe that this could have been another round of clashes between Karuna and Prabha Factions. more..

Another Tiger torture chamber

Apr 20 (LT) A torture chamber is reported to be in operation in a Wanni Tigers’ camp in Uppuweli housed in a building belonging to the ministry of agriculture. One Shivekumar in Uppuweli has been taken to this camp in connection with a land dispute and released after having being beaten badly. more..

Legal wrangle brewing over Tsunami Special Bill

Apr 20 (LNP) The Bill will remove from the Magistrates and the Department of Probation and Child Care Services, all the decision making powers in relation to the children who have lost their parents, the petition, filed by Hasanthi Ratnayake, had explained adding that a provincial body titled, 'Foster Care Evolution Panel' will be vested with the aforesaid powers. more..

JVP: Joint mechanism means end of UPFA

Apr 20 (LNP) While Norwegian facilitators indicated that the deal for a joint mechanism between the government and the LTTE was wrapped up, the JVP warned yesterday that such a deal would mean the end of the road for the UPFA government. more..

NUA Minister impresses upon need for equal Muslim representation in joint mechanism

Apr 20 (LM) Deputy Media Minister Segu Izzadeen has impressed upon the necessity of the Muslim community be given equal representation’ in the tsunami reconstruction joint mechanism structure. more..

Rocca goes to Kalmunai, Karaithivu

Apr 20 (TN) US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Ms. Christina Rocca, Tuesday met Tsunami refugees at a transit camp in Karaithivu, a large Tamil village 45 kilometres south of Batticaloa. more..

Thamilchelvan meets Solheim in Colombo, returns to Kilinochchi

Apr 20 (TN) Visiting Norwegian Special Peace Envoy, Mr. Erik Solheim, on Wednesday met Mr.S.P.Thamilchelvan, Political Head of the LTTE, who was returning to Kilinochchi concluding an almost 40 days long diplomatic mission to Europe and to South Africa. more..

Short stories on war suffering released in Trincomalee

Apr 20 (TN) "Thoorathu Kodaikala Iravukal" (Distant Summer Nights), a collection of short stories by a young writer Miss Maathumai Sivasubramaniam, a law student from Trincomalee, was released during a weekend event held at Trincomalee St.Mary's Girls College with Rev.Sister Theresa Ranee, more..

Longstanding Sri Lankan Trotskyist dies

Apr 20 (wsws) Socialist Equality Party (SEP) member Velupillai Sarawanaperumal, known affectionately to his comrades and friends as Papa, died early on the morning of April 14 after his lungs failed. more..

Plans to lay off workers laid off

Apr 20 (LBO) Plans to lay off private sector workers laid off, until the government works out how to finance unemployment insurance. The Ministry of Labour gazetted its latest compensation formula to lay off private sector workers on March 15, but the new formula is on ice until the Ministry finds money to pay unemployment insurance. more..

BPOs or daha dahasak wewu?

Apr 20 (LBO) Policy analysis must begin from a realistic assessment of where we are and what we are. We are a small island nation in South Asia, home to the world’s largest concentration of poor people. We are about the size of greater Mumbai, one city in India, in population and we may be smaller than Mumbai as a market. more..

Bhutan and Sri Lanka extend cooperation in health

Apr 20 (KO) Bhutanese medical students in Sri Lanka will get immediate placement for internship after completing the under-graduate medical degree and more slots will be reserved for Bhutanese to do post-graduate studies in medicine, according to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreed upon between Sri Lanka and Bhutan. more..

Botham boosts Galle cricket kids

Apr 20 (BBC) England cricket legend Ian Botham has begun his visit to Sri Lanka to visit areas devastated by the tsunami. He visited the southern town of Galle and headed to the cricket stadium which was destroyed in the disaster. Botham held a cricket master-class with 50 youngsters aged 11 to 18, giving them batting and bowling tips. more..

SLMM demands immediate access to airstrip

Apr 20 (PIS) The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission yesterday demanded immediate access to the airstrip allegedly set up by the LTTE in Kilinochchi. The demand was made by SLMM Chief Hagrup Haukland in a letter to LTTE political wing leader S.P. Thamilselvan, spokesperson Helen Olafsdottir said. more..