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JVP seeks explanation on LTTE claim

Feb 26 (SAMN) The JVP and the PNM Sunday urged the Government, Norway and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to voice their stand on the LTTE’s claim that Tamil Eelam was recognized by the Cease-Fire Agreement (CFA). The JVP Politburo and the PNM, pointed out that the LTTE waited until the CFA completed five years, to openly accept the advantages they received and say that they gained recognition as a de facto State through the CFA. more..

Kuoni launches first ever Sri Lanka brochure

Feb 26 (TDN) Leading longhaul specialist tour operator Kuoni Travel has launched its first ever dedicated Sri Lanka in boost for Sri Lankan tourism. Commenting on this new launch, Sue Biggs, Managing Director Kuoni UK says , "Kuoni has featured Sri Lanka for many years – and it has long been a favourite destination for our customers. In one beautiful island, it encompasses a huge array of choice – ranging from wildlife adventures to beach escapes; from cultural tours to bustling cities." more..

Two rural electricity projects commissioned

Feb 26 (TDN) The Rural Electricity Programme commenced two projects to supply electricity to villages of the Kalwana electorate in Ratnapura district. According to the Power and Energy Ministry, rural sectors lack electricity thereby depriving people using the modern technology including computers. The Elawella Rural Electricity project completed at a cost of Rs. 3.5 million was assisted by Asian Development Bank. more..

Malaysia, Lanka to speak with one voice on tourism issues

Feb 26 (DN) The Tourism Ministries of Malaysia and Sri Lanka would be exploring the possibilities of speaking in one voice in world fora on matters such as adverse reports and travel advisories which negatively affect the tourism industries of both countries, visiting Malaysian Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan B Tengku Mansor, told the Daily News in an exclusive interview yesterday. more..

JVP wants President to remove ‘bad’ officials

Feb 26 (DM) The JVP will urge President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at its future public rallies, to take action against errant officials and politicians, allegedly involved in corruption worth over Rs.150 billion at 26 state-run institutions, as revealed by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) in Parliament recently. The party has already organized a series of rallies to be conducted countrywide, to create public awareness regarding current political developments. more..

Potato cultivation pilot project a success at Ampara

Feb 26 (DM) The first trial crop of potatoes at Akkaraipattu was successfully grown at Illukuchenai, with Canadian aid channelled through Canadian Agro-sustainability in partnership with CIDA, and local expertise provided by the Department of Agriculture, Ampara. The first crop was successfully harvested recently. Mrs. Ferial Ashraff, MP (Dighamadulla) Minister of Housing and Common Amenities inaugurated the harvesting of crop with Islamic religious observances. more..

Australia still a strong force in World Cup despite setbacks, Jayawardene says

Feb 26 (AP) Defending champion Australia will be a force at the upcoming cricket World Cup despite an unusual string of defeats and injuries to key players, Sri Lanka's captain said Monday. "They do have some injury problems, but knowing the Australians they'll come strong in the World Cup," Mahela Jayawardene told reporters in Colombo. more..

Miss World Beauties Visit Sri Lanka to Promote Peace Through Tourism

Feb 26 (PISL) Sri Lanka which is known the world over for the finest beaches, friendly people and the best known Tea has attracted three beauties from the Miss World competition to boost its Tourism Industry. The three Miss World contestants arrived to the country on the 22 nd February and is scheduled to leave on the 28 th February 2007. more..

Sri Lanka donate eye membranes to China and its people

Feb 26 (GDI) Commencing the first official duty of the six day visit in China, today (26) President Mahinda Rajapaksa donated eye membranes taken from Sri Lanka to the Chinese Government. The Chairperson of the Sino Red Cross Society, Madam Peng Yun, accepted the donation. Speaking at the ceremony President expressed his deepest pleasure in being able to participate in this special occasion which commemorates the Sino-Sri Lankan historical bonds that existed for many centuries and fifty years in diplomatic relationships. more..

Lanka will take back refugees

Feb 26 (Age) Sri Lanka says it is ready to repatriate 83 asylum seekers being held on Christmas Island if the Australian government sends the men back to Indonesia. Refugee groups have expressed concerns for the men's safety if they are sent back to Sri Lanka, where civil war has intensified between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels based in the country's north. more..

Terrorism pollutes a nation as well as its nature – President

Feb 26 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today (26) gifted the baby elephant ‘Migara’ born in Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka, to the Beijing National Zoo. The Deputy Leader of the National Congress of the Republic of China accepted the goodwill gesture on behalf of the Chinese government. Many children and members of the Sri Lankan delegate team participated in this heartwarming event. more..

Tamil gangs tackled from 'within'

Feb 26 (BBC) For a 26-year-old, Abhya's face seems to have too many scars. "That was someone trying to take my eye out with a broken beer bottle," he said pointing to the circular scar almost encircling his right eye. "And this here was a cut from a samurai sword," he added, showing a cut which extends from his hairline to his right eyebrow. The scar sent shivers down my spine, but Abhya, who did not want to be identified, more..

Delhi won't ignore TN, Mangala warned Rajapaksa

Feb 26 (HT) Before he was sacked from the Sri Lankan Council of Ministers earlier this month, Foreign and Ports Minister Mangala Samaraweera had warned President Mahinda Rajapaksa that it would not be realistic to expect the Indian government to brush aside objections from Tamil Nadu and back Sri Lanka's military actions or turn a blind eye to human rights violations. more..

Sri Lanka trade ministry looks at liquidating failed retail firm

Feb 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's trade ministry is looking at appointing a liquidator to close a state trading firm that went bankrupt in a failed privatization attempt, an official said. Sathosa Retail, incorporated to take-over the supermarket operations of the Co-operative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) is estimated to owe more than 800 million rupees to suppliers and utilities. more..

Sri Lanka to repeat 1996 World Cup-winning aggression

Feb 27 (AFP) Sri Lanka's cricketers want to play aggressive cricket, like they did in 1996, to secure their second World Cup success, captain Mahela Jayawardene said Monday. "We have been playing a pretty exciting brand of cricket in the past couple of years, as our results have shown," Jayawardene said ahead of his team's departure for the Caribbean, where the World Cup opens on March 13. more..

Mawbima director arrested

Feb 27 (BBC) A director of a leading Sinhala weekly in Sri Lanka has been arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Dushyantha Basnayake, director of Mawbima weekly, was detained under PTA after being questioned by the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID). Former minister Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi told BBC Sinhala that the police officers were about to leave his office when they received an order from a higher authority of the defence establishment. more..

LTTE: Jayalalithaa assails `inaction'

Feb 27 (Hindu) General secretary of the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) Jayalalithaa on Monday accused the police of not taking action to curb the movement of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) militants and their activities such as smuggling of weapons and explosives to Sri Lanka on a large scale, besides stockpiling them in the State. more..

Canadian Tamils call for clarity from Ottawa on Sri Lankan policy

Feb 27 (CCN) Canada's largest Tamil organization has called on the federal government to clearly state its position on whether Tamils deserve the right to their own nation independent from Sri Lanka. On the fifth anniversary of the Sri Lankan ceasefire, representatives from the Canadian Tamil Congress noted in a news conference on Parliament Hill that Sri Lanka has since seen a disheartening backward slide into deepening chaos, violence, and aggression more..

Sorrow of War

Feb 27 (TOI) The ethnic bloodshed in Sri Lanka is in for a fresh lease of life. With LTTE announcing that the ceasefire agreement it signed with Colombo has failed to deliver peace, violence is bound to escalate. The confrontation that has pitted Sri Lankan armed forces against the Tamil minority in the northern and eastern regions of Sri Lanka has taken thousands of lives and left millions homeless. More lives are at stake as another war now looms. more..

Army takes displaced students to school

Feb 27 (RW) The Army has started a free school transport service for hundreds of displaced school children of Vakarai who have been enrolled in schools specially opened for them. The Army is providing transport for these students to and from Mankerni. According to a report by SCOPP around 4206 students have been displaced due to confrontations between the LTTE and the Security Force in Vakarai. more..

Abans to facilitate Sri Lankan expatriates to send gifts via Web

Feb 27 (AT) Abans – a consumer home appliances dealer – have launched a Website "," to reach around 1.5 million Sri Lankans domiciled abroad enabling them to select purchase and send useful gift items to their loved ones in Sri Lanka. more..

Open University to award MBA in Human Resources Management

Feb 27 (AT) The Open University of Sri Lanka [OUSL] and the Institute of Personnel Management [IPM] have entered into a MOU for mutual collaboration and hope to award Post Graduate Degree for Master of Business Administration in Human Resources Management [MBA in HRM]. This MOU will greatly benefit to the development and delivery of study programs in Human Resource Management, more..

Pakistan replicating its Baluch experiment in Northern Sri Lanka

Feb 27 (AT) Pakistan is all set to help Sri Lanka raise an Armoured Brigade, despite opposition from the 'professional Generals' of the island nation’s army. The deal was finalised during the visit of Pakistan defence secretary to Colombo early February. Elementary knowledge of North and Eastern parts of Sri Lanka will tell that armoured vehicles cannot be used in places like Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Killinochchi, more..

UNICEF told LTTE to submit a time bound ‘Action Plan’ to halt the practice of recruiting underage children

Feb 27 (AT) UNICEF in Sri Lanka is urging those involved in the alleged recruitment of underage child soldiers to prepare action plans based on the UN Security Council Resolution No 1612, calling on the offenders to prepare a time bound Action Plans to halt the practice. more..

Labor wants Christmas Island to be used

Feb 27 (AAP) The federal government appears unwilling to use a new asylum seeker processing centre on Christmas Island to handle 83 Sri Lankans, Labor says. Opposition immigration spokesman Tony Burke said the government had so far spent $396 million building the new immigration centre on Christmas Island. Eighty-three Sri Lankan and two Indonesian men intercepted by the Australian navy in international waters last week have been taken to Christmas Island, more..

Sri Lankan military says suspected Tamil Tiger rebels kill 2 policemen

Feb 27 (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels shot and killed two Sri Lankan policemen in northern Sri Lanka, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday, in the latest violence to hit the war-weary nation. The policemen were on duty at Settikulam police station in Vavuniya town and had gone to a nearby market late Monday when the rebels opened fire, killing them instantly, military spokesman, Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said. more..

Truth Overboard on Sri Lankan Asylum Seekers

Feb 27 (Scoop) Refugee groups are calling on the Immigration minister to give an unequivocal assurance that the Sri Lankan asylum seekers on Christmas Island will not be returned to Indonesia. Fears that the Sri Lankans will be removed have grown since a high ranking Indonesian immigration official told a current affairs television program that negotiations with the Australia government were based on the understanding that the asylum seekers will be returned to Sri Lanka. more..

Why Sri Lankans are preoccupied with the death penalty

Feb 27 (KT) THE advocacy of capital punishment as a means of arresting the growing crime rate in Sri Lanka is gaining currency. The support for and opposition to capital punishment depends on the experience one undergoes. Those who have not been affected by a serious crime such as murder or robbery may see capital punishment as barbaric and inhuman. more..

Arrests of Tamils in upcountry areas escalate

Feb 27 (TN) Sri Lanka police arrested 11 Tamils in during a search operation at 4:00 a.m Monday at Lunugala Upper Division in Poonagala, Bandarawella, while Karantheniya police arrested 4 youths returning in a lorry from Galle, sources in Bandarawela said. Meanwhile, Koswathe and Karruvakadu police each arrested one plantation Tamil youth Monday, sources said. more..

SL anti-terror officials detain Sinhala paper director

Feb 27 (TN) The Financial Director of the Sinhala language weekly "Mawbima", Dushantha Basnayake, has been detained by the Sri Lankan Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) Monday evening at his workplace in Colombo. President Mahinda Rajapakse, in a televised address, Saturday had charged that the weekly was "pro LTTE." The paper is owned by Tiran Alles, a close confidante of Mangala Samaraweera, the former SL Foreign Minister more..

Sri Lankan Government committing political suicide by arresting Mawbima editor

Feb 27 (ISL) The Sri Lankan Government is committing political suicide by the recent arrest of Mawbima director. This will give more credibility to the LTTE claims of human rights abuses by the Sri lankan government. As expected, is using this story as the leading story to sling more mud at the Rajapakse adminstration. more..

LTTE condemns GoSL for endangering the lives of foreign diplomatsLTTE condemns GoSL for endangering the lives of foreign diplomats

Feb 27 (TN) Military Spokesman of the LTTE Irasiah Ilanthirayan, expressing deep regret for the injuries caused to the foreign diplomats who landed in the military airfield of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) in Batticaloa and the Weber Stadium where 23-3 Brigade Commander's military headquarters is located, condemned the Government of Sri Lanka for having endangered the lives of foreign diplomats more..

Story of a child soldier

Feb 27 (AT) This is a true story of a sixteen year old Tamil boy who had escaped form the clutches of the Tamil Tiger leaders in the East. He reveals his horrendous experience he had at the hands of the LTTE. The child soldier identified as Kliraza Ganeshlingam, told the security forces that he had been serving as a child soldier in the LTTE and escaped the outfit due to the unbearable sexual harassment committed by the senior LTTE leaders in the camp. more..

“If other countries had a similar understanding .....

Feb 27 (GDI) President Rajapaksa stated this at the donation ceremony of the replica of the Samadhi Buddha statue to Lingguang temple in China today. The President accompanied by the first lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa and other delegates observed religious activates at Lingguang temple. President handed over a replica of famous Samadhi Buddha Statue to the head priest of the Lingguang temple, more..

US and Italian ambassadors injured in LTTE mortar attack

Feb 27 (GDI) Italian ambassador Pio Mariani, US Ambassador Robert blake and several others were injured when LTTE fired a mortar attack on Batticaloa helipad when a helicopter carrying a VIP delegation that included Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe and several other diplomats was about to land. more..

Ambassadors under proper medical care

Feb 27 (GDI) Mr. Terry White a Spokesman for US Embassy issuing a statement to media confirms saying that, “We confirm that Ambassador Robert Blake is alright.” The Ambassador along with the Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister, Italian Ambassador Pio Mariani and several other delegates went to Batticaloa on a pre-planned visit. more..

New projects to conserve Sri Lankan culture

Feb 27 (GDI) Government will be taking steps to implement several new projects to upgrade and preserve the traditional and ancient Sri Lankan culture for the future generation and also to propagate these values abroad. Accordingly, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs will be initiating new projects which will educate the public on the traditional Sri Lankan culture. more..

Tiger frenzy cannot be cured by political solutions!

Feb 27 (LT) Tiger organization is a murderous fascist organization and their frenzy cannot be cured by political solutions says JVP Parliamentarian and its Information Secretary Wimal Weerawansa. He says this should be perceived at least now. Mr. Weerawansa said this in response to the reports that tiger terrorists had carried out a mortar attack on a group of foreign diplomats. more..

Another record from the government

Feb 27 (LeN) It is expected that the highest number of acting ministers to have been sworn in ever, will be conducted tomorrow. Accordingly 16 parliamentarians are scheduled to take oaths before prime minister tomorrow and with the three acting ministers which swore in today and the acting defense minister who was sworn in earlier the total number of acting ministers accumulate to 20. more..

Singhalese youth who obtained LTTE training commits suicide while in detention

Feb 27 (LeN) It is being reported that a Singhalese youth who was detained on suspect of receiving arms training from the LTTE has committed suicide by hanging himself. The youth who committed suicide in the fourth floor of the Crimes Investigation Departments headquarters has been identified as G. Chandrasekara from Aranayake. more..

More than hundred donate blood at camp

Feb 27 (GT) A TOTAL of 115 Sri Lankan volunteers from various parts of Doha donated blood at a camp organised by the Sri Lankan Co-ordinating Committee (SLCC). The event was held at the Sri Lankan embassy over the weekend. The camp was held as part of Sri Lanka’s 59th Independence Day celebrations in Qatar. Donors started arriving at the camp from 8.30am onwards to complete registration formalities prior to waiting their turn to donate blood. more..

Troops reach LTTE`s Nilaweli and Kumburuppiddi camps

Feb 27 (LNP) LTTE cadres have withdrawn to the area north of Trincomalee under severe pressure as a result of the recent limited military operations in the Peraru area, a press statement issued from the Media Center for National Security said yesterday. It also said: `The Security Forces since then have continuously conducted search operations in the area. more..

Mystery of missing SLFP dissidents` Thulawa tapes

Feb 27 (LNP) An attempt to exploit statements by SLFP dissidents Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathy Sooriyaarachchi on Thulawa, a live ITN political programme went awry. The government had planned to use their speeches to undermine them, well informed sources said. They assertively defended President Mahinda Rajapakse`s administration. Prior to that they were two of the fiercest critics of the UNP and the LTTE, the sources said. more..

JVP rejects Premjayanth`s assertion on collapse of JVP-SLFP talks

Feb 27 (LNP) The JVP yesterday dismissed Minister Susil Premjayanth`s assertion that talks between President Mahinda Rajapakse`s government and the JVP collapsed due to their fault. Severely criticising the government over Saturday`s telecast of a live question and answer session with the participation of President Mahinda Rajapakse and several Cabinet ministers, the JVP mainly challenged Premjayanth`s claim that the government accepted 18 out of the 20 proposals forwarded by the JVP as a prerequisite for joining the Rajapakse administration. more..

Future of Sri Lanka depends on how the BOI functions - Amunugama

Feb 27 (LNP) The whole future of Sri Lanka and the business environment of this country, will depend on how the Board of Investment will function, Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Dr. Sarath Amunugama said. `We have no option, but to go for a rapid expansion of foreign direct investment. All our future prosperity, job creation and economic growth will depend ? more..

Tigers rebuilding fleet

Feb 27 (SAMN) The LTTE has commenced a project to rebuild its Sea Tiger fleet which had been depleted following attacks by the forces. The Sea Tigers have set a target of 100 new boats in a fortnight, intelligence sources said. "Information we received on the project, was proved correct when the Navy captured a stock of equipment, devices and machinery, intended for building sea craft, on Saturday at Mannar," a senior intelligence officer said. more..

UNP dismisses Eelam claim

Feb 27 (SAMN) The UNP dismissed LTTE claims that the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) recognised its de-facto state in the North East, saying the agreement was to create a favourable atmosphere for peace talks. UNP, General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said the party would never support the division of the country. “We signed the CFA to create a favourable environment to negotiate with the LTTE which waged war against the Sri Lankan state for two decades. more..

National Sand Policy soon: Champika

Feb 27 (SAMN) Environment and Natural Resources Minister Champika Ranawaka who was on an inspection tour of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau and the Pallekele-Udawattekele reservations said a National Sand Policy would be implemented to put an end to the illegal sand mining and transportation and the serious problems arising out of the issue. more..

Batticaloa gets new water supply scheme

Feb 27 (SAMN) Oxfam, an International Non- Governmental Organization, has renovated the main water supply scheme in the Batticaloa town after 90 years jointly with the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB). Issuing a media communiqué, Oxfam said, the scheme was better known as the Unnicchchai Scheme. “The water supply system that started in 1917 is now renovated by Oxfam, and is a much needed initiative,” more..

Highest award conferred on Lester

Feb 27 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat last Saturday, conferred the highest ever and the most prestigious Sri Lankabhimanya award on one of the greatest sons of the soil, the globally famed Dr. Lester James Peries, for his immense and unique service to the Sri Lankan Cinema. more..