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International community must take retaliatory action against the Tamil Tigers - Douglas Devananda

Mar 1 (AT) Appealing to the international community not to be taken for a ride by the Tamil Tiger excuses and propaganda, Douglas Devananda, leader of the EPDP and Mininster for Social Services and Social Welfare told the "Asian Tribune" that "the serious crime of knowingly attacking the Western diplomats visiting the east warrants serious retaliatory measures against this terrorist group." more..

Norway plans to continue its development co-operation to Sri Lanka

Mar 1 (AT) The Royal Norwegian Embassy says it has decided to continue Norwegian development co-operation to Sri Lanka. Releasing a press statement, the embassy spokesman Numberg Eric said, in 2006, Norway’s total development co-operation to Sri Lanka amounted to almost Rs. 4 billion. Of the long-term assistance provided, around 64% went to the South and the country as a whole, and 36% to the North and East. more..

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry facilitating illegal immigration

Mar 1 (AT) Corruption, nepotism and lack of transparency has led to the use of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Service by some as one way tickets to first world countries, causing grave embarrassment to Sri Lanka’s foreign service and contributing to the woes of genuine visa seekers who tend to be tarred with the same brush. Many Sri Lankan staff sent from Sri Lanka as locally recruited staff to foreign postings have disappeared into the local community and simply refused to return home. more..

Full report of latest sea confrontation

Mar 1 (ISL) Sri Lankan naval craft today, 28 of February, attacked a suspected LTTE gunrunning vessel off the country’s southern coast, military officials said. The ships length was about 75-100 meters and have been running in Sri Lanka waters. “The navy detected the boat off Dondra and despite repeated warnings to change course and arrive at a port for inspection, the vessel tried to get away”, Navy spokesman Commander Dasanayake said. more..

Speech made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the Investment Assembly

Mar 1 (GDI) It is with great honour that I address you today at a moment in which we celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between China and Sri Lanka. Relationship in China and Sri Lanka is more than a mere friendship. Since china has been highly cordial towards us, none of our delegation did feel that we are strangers in this land. more..

TNA urges India not to provide warship to Sri Lanka

Mar 1 (TN) The TNA has urged the Government of India to desist from providing lethal military assistance to Sri Lanka. Referring to recent media reports that the Indian Government is to either grant or lease a large warship to the Sri Lanka Navy, the Parliamentary group of the TNA in a press release issued Wednesday observed that these reports have come against the backdrop of repeated assurances given by the Indian leadership, more..

Sri Lanka set off for the Caribbean

Mar 1 (CI) Sri Lanka's World Cup cricketers, led by Mahela Jayawardene, were given a grand send-off to the Caribbean yesterday by Sri Lanka Cricket, their supporters and well-wishers. The team members assembled at Sri Lanka Cricket headquarters at five o'clock in the morning, prior to their departure to Barbados via London, and were served kavun and kiribath (milk rice) after a traditional religious ceremony had taken place. more..

Editorial: Time to try again

Mar 1 (NST) THE mortar attack by Tamil Tigers on helicopters carrying members of a high-level international delegation, and the retaliatory raids on rebel bases hours after the shelling at the airfield in Batticaloa, can only add fuel to the tinderbox of violence in Sri Lanka which has claimed close to 4,000 lives and forced 200,000 to flee their homes in the past 15 months alone. more..

China, Sri Lanka celebrate 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties

Mar 1 (Xinhua) A grand reception was held in Beijing on Wednesday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of China-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations. Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse attended the occasion. more..

Asia Pacific parliamentarians elect Sri Lanka to host next general assembly

Mar 1 (Xinhua) The executive committee of the 13th general assembly of the Asia Pacific Parliamentarians Conference on Environment and Development (APPCED) Wednesday unanimously elected Sri Lanka as the host country for the 14th general assembly. The committee confirmed the minutes of the 12th general assembly and adopted the program for the current four-day general assembly which began here Wednesday. more..

Sri Lanka seeks to curb LTTE activity in Australia

Mar 1 (NS) Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva who in on an official tour of Australia is scheduled to meet the Australia Prime Minister John Howard within the next two days to discuss the issue of banning LTTE activities in Australia, according to a Ministry media release. Minister de Silva is expected to discuss with the Australia Government official the preliminaries necessary to prepare the ground for that purpose more..

Sri Lanka's Dilmah shakes a cocktail with Ceylon tea

Mar 1 (LBO) At the Water's Edge in Battaramulla on a humid Monday evening, tea drinkers and cocktail fans find common ground ranging from chivas regal to green tea. Here in this upmarket golf club house, six kilometers from Colombo city, tea-tenders are busy dreaming up concoctions to serve up tea in variations that, well, are not meant for teetotalers. more..

Sri Lanka stock exchange blacks out foreign trading stats online

Mar 1 (LBO) Colombo Stock Exchange blacked out foreign trading statistics off automated trading terminals Thursday in a bid to reduce 'market manipulation and discriminative practices', the exchange said. "This is not an exercise to hide foreign buying and selling," Rajeeva Bandaranaike, CSE's head of marketing told LBO. more..

HRC enquires the cell death

Mar 1 (TN) Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission (HRC) conducted inquiries Wednesday into the death of the Sinhala suspect held at the Police Head Quarters in Colombo. The officials from the HRC visited the scene and recorded statements from the Director of the Investigation section and the personnel involved in the interrogation of the deceased detainee, O. G. Chandrasena, HRC officials said. more..

Another fisherman hurt in Sri Lankan Navy firing

Mar 1 (Hindu) A day after the Sri Lankan Navy shot dead a Tamil Nadu fisherman, another fisherman of Thankatchimadam in Rameswaram Island was injured when it opened fire on a country boat. The incident took place on Tuesday at 8 p.m. near Katchatheevu, close to the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). Xavier (26), son of Antony, was hurt in the thigh when a bullet pierced the wooden boat. more..

Ambassador Blake, LTTE Terrorism, Tamil Grievances and Washington Times

Mar 1 (AT) Recognizing that Sri Lanka’s minority Tamils have legitimate grievances and the Tamil Tigers unwillingness to return to talks, the "Washington Times" Editorial of March 1 however notes that the major players in the international community need to persuade the separatist LTTE or Tamil Tigers to enter the negotiating process. more..

International community manipulates Batticaloa attack! – PNM

Mar 1 (LT) International community is engaged in a conspiracy to weaken Sri Lanka and take it under its control and the attack in Batticaloa by tiger terrorists on a group of Diplomats causing minor injuries to them is being used for that purpose emphasizes Patriotic National Movement (PNM). Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa said the incident which could have been used for a decisive decision against the terrorists has been hushed down due to the conspiracy by the so-called international community. more..

‘Sri Lanka adhere to one China policy today as we did yesterday,’ says President

Mar 1 (GDI) ‘Sri Lanka strictly adhere to the one China policy today as it had done yesterday,” stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday, addressing the Sino- Lanka Cultural Friendship Celebration which marked 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. He appreciated the China for its positive attitude towards preserving territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka more..

Sri Lanka-China celebrates golden jubilee of friendly relations

Mar 1 (GDI) To commemorate 50 years of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and China and to usher in the Year of China-Sri Lanka Friendship a grand reception was held in Beijing. Visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference attended the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of China – Sri Lanka diplomatic relations. more..

LTTE training camp attacked

Mar 1 (GDI) The Air Force MIG Jet aircraft targeted an identified LTTE terrorist training camp based about 15 km west of Mankulam in the district of Kilinochchi this morning. The target was identified by intelligence and ground sources before the aerial attack was launched. Details of LTTE casualties are not known. Meanwhile, the security forces are continuing the campaign to assist the Jaffna population. more..

World Bank approves Puttalam Housing Project

Mar 1 (GDI) World Bank has given its approval for the Puttalam Housing Project which is now being implemented by the Ministry of Resettlement. This project mainly focuses on rebuilding the lives of the Internally Displaced People in the Puttalam District. Accordingly, the project will meet the housing needs, provide safe drinking water, sanitation, improved drainage facilities, and regularize land titles for more..

Churches Worldwide Rush Aid to Troubled Sri Lanka

Mar 1 (CT) Since Sri Lanka's 2002 cease-fire between the army and the Tamil Tigers, roadside blasts, suicide bombings, land and sea battles have killed thousands of Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese in the north and east as well as combatants and military personnel. The new chapter of the two-decade conflict bodes ill as calls from the international community to cease fighting are ignored, says Action by Churches (ACT) International. more..

JVP fears Sri Lanka will turn into another Kosovo

Mar 1 (LNP) JVP Parliamentary Group leader Wimal Weerawansa yesterday said there was a danger of the international community creating a situation for direct intervention in the internal affairs as in the case of UN intervention in Kosovo or Southern Sudan. He faulted the international community for repeating their usual mantaram after Tuesday`s mortar attack on a group Colombo based diplomats. more..

Prisons Chief disgusted

Mar 1 (LNP) Commissioner General of Prisons, Major General (retired) Wajira Wijegoonewardene said the battlefront was less harmful and secure than his current job. `There you know the enemy and they engage you face to face. But, here the modus operandi is backstabbing and one has no clue as to who the real enemy is,` the disgusted prisons chief told The Island yesterday. more..

LTTE could be taking the final bow

Mar 1 (LNP) For a few weeks now newspapers are frenetically reporting on the various seizures of arms, ammunition, aluminum bars and what not, supposedly sought to be transported to Sri Lanka by the Tamil Tigers. Even more disturbing, a deadly cargo of explosives was intercepted and blown up mid sea by the Indian Coast Guard and Tamil Nadu police. What exactly is happening? Are Tigers getting desperate? more..

Legal aid clinic

Mar 1 (LNP) Nearly 70 students of the Law Students` Human Rights Movement 2007 will conduct a legal aid clinic on Saturday at the Divisional Secretariat of Palagala, Anuradhapura. The Movement`s General Secretary, Sumedha Silva told The Island yesterday that being a premier student body, their plan was to expand their activities with several new programmes for the academic year 2007. more..

Stop violence, start talks: UNP

Mar 1 (SAMN) The UNP on Wednesday condemned the LTTE’s artillery attack on helicopters which carried, among others, ambassadors for Italy, the US, Germany, Japan and France and also a UN official to Batticaloa for a tour of the district. “The fact that the envoys were on a visit to some ongoing relief projects for civilians adds to the gravity of this attack,” the UNP said in a media statement. more..

UNP abolishes assistant leader post

Mar 1 (SAMN) The UNP will scrap the posts of Assistant Leader and Deputy Leader from the Party constitution at the special convention scheduled for March 17. The unanimous decision was taken at the Political Affairs Committee meeting held on February 27 to discuss the proposed political reforms to be incorporated in the UNP constitution. more..

Vasudeva calls for probe of fraud at CMC

Mar 1 (SAMN) Opposition Leader of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Vasudeva Nanayakkara has called for a probe on the alleged fraud that had taken place in the purchase of sewing machines by the CMC. Mr. Nanayakkara yesterday said in a statement that the Council had bought machines for a price, higher than the market value. In this context, he said that an extra Rs 500 had been paid for each machine. more..

Phase 1 of reforms project complete: CJ

Mar 1 (SAMN) Chief Justice Sarath N Silva said all courts in the country have now been either refurbished or renovated and where necessary new Courts have been built by the Justice Ministry. The Chief Justice was addressing the Legal and Judicial Reforms Project Steering Committee at the quadrangle of the Hulftsdorp Courts Complex. . more..

Missed exams rescheduled for Vaharai IDP students

Mar 1 (TN) Officials of the Kalkudah Zonal Education office are making arrangements to conduct the special General Certificate of Examination Ordinary Level, and Grade five Scholarship Examinations for the students of Vaharai who missed the Examinations last year due to the military offensive of Sri Lankan armed forces, education officials said. The Zonal education officials and area principals met Wednesday to draw up the plans, sources said. more..

Colombo Bishop condemns LTTE terrorist attack on envoys

Mar 1 (DN) Bishop of Colombo Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera in a statement yesterday said the failed LTTE attack on the helicopter carrying Human Rights and Disaster Management, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe and some ambassadors was utterly senseless and must be condemned for it provocative nature. “It would have led to very serious diplomatic repercussions had it been fatal, the Colombo Bishop said. more..

Mud slinging campaign against crossovers, says Lokuge

Mar 1 (DN) Sports and Public Recreation Minister Gamini Lokuge said he has no objection to the appointment of a Parliamentary Select Committee to inquire into any corruption allegation against him as claimed to contain in the interim report of Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE). Lokuge also hit out against allegations levelled at ministers Karu Jayasuriya and Milinda Moragoda by a weekend newspaper quoting the COPE interim report. more..

Karuna claims credit for military success in East

Mar 1 (DM) Karuna Amman is claiming credit for the recent military success in the East emanating from the capture of major LTTE positions including Sampur in Trincomalee and Vakarai in Batticaloa, a Karuna spokesman said. In contrast to Karuna’s claims however a top Government Minister said the State could not fight two wars and as such would deal with the Karuna faction once the LTTE either laid down arms and re-entered peace talks or was wiped out completely. more..

Efforts under way to secure the release of hijacked ship’s SL crew

Mar 1 (DM) Discussions are under way between the Sri Lankan High Commission in Kenya, the Mortaku Shipping Company and the UN Food Program, to get the Sri Lankan crew members released from the ship ‘MV Rozen’ which was hijacked by Somlian pirates. The ship carrying a cargo of UN Aid, was hijacked on Sunday off the coast of Somalia. more..

Attack on diplomats further isolates Sri Lanka

Mar 1 (Dawn) Six months after a suspected LTTE bomb attack on then Pakistani ambassador to Sri Lanka Bashir Wali Mohammed sent shockwaves among diplomats in Colombo, the terror of the Lankan war usually felt only by its 20 million population once again trickled down to the international community on Tuesday. more..

Remains of the suspicious arms cargo ship

Mar 1 (GDI) Sri Lanka Navy found 152 mm and 130 mm artillery shells and 120 mm mortar shells during search operations carried out in and around Dondra Point after the 75 meters long suspicious arms cargo ship was destroyed. In the wee hours of Wednesday (28), Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) detected a 75 meters long ship without a flag, name or any identification mark, moving towards North 185 nautical miles away in the seas off Dondra Point, in Matara, more..

India-Lanka group match tickets sold out

Mar 1 (ZN) Tickets for the preliminary group match between India and Sri Lanka in the ICC World Cup 2007 to be played at the Queen's Park Oval on March 23 have been sold out. However, 50 percent of the tickets are still available for India's first group match against Bangladesh on March 17, tickets supervisor Mark Santana said. more..

US, Canada Diverge on Terror War Tactics

Mar 1 (AW) In stark contrast to last week's U.S. court decision upholding the Military Commissions Act, Canada's court has unanimously struck down a law that would allow the Canadian government to use secret evidence to detain foreign-born terror suspects indefinitely without charges or open court hearings. more..

332 Lankan refugees arrive in Tiruvannamalai

Mar 1 (NIP) As many as 332 Sri Lankan refugees belonging to 97 families arrived in Pudupalayam in Tiruvannamalai district on Wednesday. The number of refugees arrived here included 132 men, 46 boys, 107 women and 47 girls. The government authorities made arrangements for them to stay at the market committee complex. more..

Minnesota aid leader jailed in Sri Lanka

Mar 1 (ST) A Minnesota man who has been coordinating tsunami relief efforts in his native Sri Lanka apparently was arrested there early last month and has claimed he was suspected of being a terrorist. Police arrested him on Feb. 6 based on items they found in his hotel room, according to people who have worked with his organization, Foundation, operating since shortly after the tsunami devastated the island in late 2004. more..

Court upholds gang enforcer deportation

Mar 1 (TS) The government's decision to deport a reputed gang enforcer to Sri Lanka has been upheld by the federal court in a case testing Canada's use of immigration law to banish street gang members. Federal Court Justice Michael Kelen dismissed an appeal yesterday by lawyers for refugee Panchalingam Nagalingam that argued the government was wrong in deciding the 32-year-old would not face torture if returned to his birth country. more..

No asylum seeker decision yet

Mar 1 (AAP) FOREIGN Minister Alexander Downer says he expects Indonesia to decide tomorrow whether to accept a group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers from Australia for UN processing. The Federal Government wants the 83 men, who are being held on Christmas Island, to be returned to Indonesia to have their claims to refugee status determined by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). more..

Air force training flight crashes in northern Sri Lankan, killing 2, military says

Mar 1 (AP) An air force training aircraft crashed due to engine failure in northern Sri Lanka Thursday, killing the instructor and trainee pilot, the military said. The two-seater Chinese-built plane crashed inside an air force base in northern Anuradhapura district, said Lt. Col. Upali Rajapakse, a senior official at the defense ministry. The aircraft was old, he said. more..

LTTE denies smuggling arms from India

Mar 1 (HT) The LTTE has denied that it is smuggling in arms from India. And its proxy in the Sri Lankan parliament, TNA, has appealed to India not to provide warships or any lethal weapon to Sri Lanka. The LTTE's political wing leader SP Tamilselvan has charged that the propaganda that his outfit is smuggling arms from India is meant to quash rising support for the Sri Lankan Tamils among the people of Tamil Nadu. more..

Editorial: Declaw the Tamil Tigers

Mar 1 (WT) In response to mounting international criticism and restrictions, the LTTE have tried to change their methods in order to project a more palatable image of a political organization. But in yet another reminder that the Tamil Tigers' only true commitment is to terrorism, the terrorist group launched an artillery attack against a diplomatic entourage that included U.S. Ambassador Robert Blake and envoys from Italy, Germany, Canada, France and Japan, all of whom were on a humanitarian mission more..

Sri Lankan guard thwarts bomber near a military camp in north, military says

Mar 1 (AP) A military guard nabbed a separatist rebel trying to plant a bomb beside a military camp in northern Sri Lanka, a senior military official said Thursday, as the Sri Lankan air force bombed a purported rebel training camp further north. Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said the air raid was aimed at destroying a training camp run by the rebels in Mankulam. Damage or casualty estimates were not immediately available. more..

Sri Lankan warplanes bomb suspected Tiger positions

Mar 1 (AFP) Sri Lankan jets bombed suspected Tamil Tiger positions in northeast Sri Lanka on Thursday, a day after Colombo stepped up an offensive against the rebels, killing at least 18 people, a statement said. Air force MIG Jet aircraft attacked a LTTE training camp in Vavuniya, 254 kilometres (159 miles) from the capital, the defence ministry said in a statement. It gave no further details. more..

President hopes to see more investors from China

Mar 2 (Xinhua) President Mahinda Rajapakse expressed his hope here Thursday that more Chinese investors will go to Sri Lanka. Rajapakse arrived at the economic hub of China Thursday morning to continuing his one-week state visit to China. When meeting Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng at Thursday noon, Rajapakse said China has made great achievements in economic development and Sri Lanka sincerely hopes to strengthen economic cooperation with Shanghai and other regions of China. more..