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LTTE landing was a false alarm, says Kerala DGP

Apr 1 (Hindu) Director-General of Police Jacob Punnoose has confirmed as false the alarm raised about the possible landing of LTTE militants on the Pallipuram coast in Alappuzha district on Monday. The police sounded a State-wide alert after Navy personnel operating remote-controlled ‘drones’ reconnaissance aircraft reported having spotted a group of unidentified persons landing on the Pallipuram coast in Alappuzha district on Monday afternoon. more..

Arundhati Roy overlooks deadly poison admiring killer viper

Apr 1 (LG) The well known and much acclaimed Indian journalist Arundhati Roy and who has to her most deserving credit many literary accomplishments certainly went berserk like a lone elephant in musk in her feature on the current tragic events in Sri Lanka. In her very opening lines she skates on slick and slimy grounds determined to do for Velupillai Prabhakaran who appears to be her folk hero, a kind of parting gift as if for favours done to her. more..

Who are spin – doctors?

Apr 1 (LG) A new phenomenon in Sri Lanka today is the proliferation of an ilk called spin doctors. They abound in plenty, writing and broadcasting points of view in support of whoever they are supporting. Broadly speaking although there are spin doctors for a variety of causes, the spin –doctors that are high-profile are those in support of the ruling party and those that oppose it. Those spinning for the government today are for the major part those that have received some benefit from the authorities and more..

Sri Lanka needs to depreciate rupee: ADB

Apr 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka should adopt a more flexible exchange rate policy and depreciate the rupee to make exports more competitive and better manage import demand, the Asian Development Bank said. ADB Lead Economist for Sri Lanka Narhari Rao said two issues of concern are the fiscal deficit and the external account in which the exchange rate policy will play a key role. "If the rupee is devalued now it may not have a dramatic impact on exports. more..

Doctors reject Ministry report on rubella vaccine

Apr 1 (CT) Government doctors have refused to accept a Health Ministry inquiry and report into the rubella vaccination allergy that has left one schoolgirl dead and many others sick in Matara. GMOA President Dr. Gishantha Dassanayake, speaking to the media yesterday (Mar. 30), accused the Health Minister of concealing the truth, that is substandard vaccines had been administered to these girls, and misleading the public. more..

Sri Lanka to have wireless credit card terminals

Apr 1 (LBO) Sri Lankan teleco Lanka Bell and EPIC Lanka Technologies, an information technology firm has tied up to provide wireless point of sale terminals to acquire credit card transactions. Lanka Bell operates a fixed access wireless network based on code division multiple access (CDMA) technology. "The arrival of CDMA point of sale machines will mean a new dimension in convenience to merchants," more..

No solution for peace in Lanka

Apr 1 (CC) As the juggernaut of the Sri Lankan military offensive gained momentum with increasing successes of the Army, the international community had set its eyes on how the establishment tackled the certain humanitarian crisis. The homeless Tamil refugees camped in shanties in Batticalao, a city on Sri Lanka's eastern shore provides a hint of the difficulties and divisions that lie ahead as the Rajapaksa government fights what it says is a final battle to end a 25-year separatist insurgency. more..

'Release' Shantha Fernando

Apr 1 (BBC) Human rights activists have called upon the authorities to immediately release Christian Council Secretary Shantha Fernando who was arrested under anti-terrorism laws. Mr. Fernando, a leading human rights campaigner, was detained by the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) on Friday at the Colombo international airport. The police have detained Mr. Fernando, who was on his way to take part in a conference in Delhi, India. more..

'Sri Lankan construction trade is ready face the 21st century'

Apr 1 (GDI) The ICTDA has stepped forward to face the 21st century, Minister of Construction and Engineering Services Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said at a ceremony held to launch an information directory for construction industry for 2009. To face the world economic crisis Sri Lanka too should introduced some new programs to the nation and 100 000 houses are scheduled to be finished before 2010 as the first step to meet this challenge. more..

President’s magnanimous gesture towards civilians in Mulathivu no fire zone

Apr 1 (GDI) A true friend visits you in adversities. So is President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In a rare magnanimous gesture towards the civilians trapped in the Mulathivu no fire zone, President Mahinda Rajapaksa advised relevant authorities to send ample stock of essential foods, medicine and other items in the eve of the forthcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year to Mulathivu no-fire zone. more..

'State sector recruitment will never be stopped'

Apr 1 (GDI) All state sector appointments to the management service will be continued, and this is clear evidence that claims suggesting a ban on government recruitments are completely baseless, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeyawardhana said today (31). The Minister said that there are no any government circulars restricting further recruitments and all vacancies are gestated and will be duly filled. more..

Sri Lanka rejects Tamil truce

Apr 1 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Tuesday rejected international calls for a truce with the Tamil Tigers saying that any let up would allow the cornered rebels to prolong their separatist war by another 25 years. Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona said that members of the international community had fallen for a deliberate ploy by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in calling for a ceasefire. more..

Troops destroy rebels' long range gun

Apr 1 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's government troops having cornered the Tamil Tigers to a small patch of territory in the north have destroyed a long range artillery gun of the rebels, the military said Tuesday. Military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said that the 130 mm gun belonging to the LTTE rebels was destroyed by Air Force bombers at 10:30 a.m. local time Tuesday in north of Puthukkudiyiruppu in the northern Mullaittivu district. more..

Maldivian in Sri Lanka given life sentence for drug possession

Apr 1 (HO) A Maldivian man was sentenced to life in prison by a Sri Lankan court last Thursday after being found guilty of drug possession charges. The Maldivian Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Ali Hussain Didi, also confirmed the news on Monday and added that the man had been charged with drug possession sometime during the middle of last year. Didi however refused to reveal any more information about the man. more..

Sri Lanka tea crop halves in February

Apr 1 (AFP) Sri Lanka, the world's biggest black tea exporter, saw its crop halve in February following a drought, officials said Tuesday. Tea output in February fell 51 percent to 12.5 million kilos (27.5 million pounds) over the same month in 2007, the Sri Lanka Tea Board said. "Production for the month of February was the lowest we have seen in 17 years," said Dinal Fernando, more..

Ever more sick and wounded evacuated from conflict area to hospital

Apr 1 (ICRC) As fighting between Sri Lankan government forces and the LTTE continues, sick and wounded people continue to arrive at a makeshift health facility in Putumattalan, on the northern Sri Lanka coast. Because of the lack of properly functioning medical facilities in the conflict area, the ICRC has evacuated over 6,600 people – the sick and wounded and their attendants – to Trincomalee district by sea since 10 February. more..

Majority in Tamil Nadu favours backing LTTE: Poll

Apr 1 (IANS) A majority of people in Tamil Nadu want the government to support the outlawed LTTE in Sri Lanka, according to an opinion poll. Asked if the government should support the LTTE in Sri Lanka, 66 percent respondents said yes. The survey showed that Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi of DMK and Leader of Opposition J. Jayalalitha of AIADMK are in a neck-to-neck race to be the next chief minister, more..

UNHCR sets norms for protection of the displaced

Apr 1 (Hindu) Amid claims by a Minister that the ongoing conventional war against the LTTE would be over in three weeks, the Office of the UNHCR on Tuesday announced a set of guidelines required to be followed by thegovernment on protection and assistance to the internally displaced. Minister G.L. Peiris said at a function on Tuesday that the war would be over within three weeks and foreign firms had agreed to implement mega projects subsequently. more..

Lanka charges Arundhati Roy with making false assertions

Apr 1 (TOI) The Sri Lankan High Commission in India on Tuesday accused writer and activist Arundhati Roy of making false and Roy had described the latest developments in the country as constituting an "openly racist war'' and held the government guilty of genocide. A statement issued by First Secretary Sugeeshwara Gunaratna said that Roy's comments made in an article more..

Outcome of Sri Lanka’s long war may hang on fate of insurgent leader

Apr 1 (NYT) Will he kill himself? This is a practical military question now as the Sri Lankan Army closes in on Velupillai Prabhakaran and the stubborn core of his Tamil separatist insurgency. There is always the possibility that Mr. Prabhakaran, 54, is already dead or that he has fled the military offensive, and those questions, too, are critical as the army seeks a final victory and plans ahead for the aftermath of the 25-year civil war. more..

Doom or boom?

Apr 1 (BL) Midst gloomy forecast all round for economic growth prospects this year and tougher times for private sector, the Government yesterday sounded optimistic saying the country can and will grow with new opportunities in the making. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) yesterday forecast a 4.5% economic growth for Sri Lanka this year. This is somewhat lower in comparison to earlier projections and is the third lowest in South Asia. more..

Tamil youth fed up with Upcountry leadership

Apr 1 (BL) A revolt is brewing against Upcountry Tamil leadership. There are signs of revolt in the upcountry. The new generation of educated Tamil youths is losing faith in the existing political and trade union leadership. “They are not doing anything to uplift the plantation Tamils,” a group of youths told me last week. “Most of them are self-seeking alcoholics,” they said. more..

Hostile battle for Lighthouse Hotel?

Apr 1 (BL) Stock market is abuzz with speculation of an apparent hostile bid for the famous Lighthouse Hotel in Galle with calls for a mandatory offer being made, though the two main shareholders Jetwing Group and Hayleys were wary. Two separate deals involving small yet key stakes in the company owning Lighthouse Hotel within a week sparked the speculation with some analysts linking the two transactions while others noted they were independent. more..

War will end soon – survey

Apr 1 (BL) Most people believe that the conventional war in the north will end soon and that Sri Lanka is ready for peacetime again, leading business magazine LMD reports in its April edition. “An overwhelming majority of respondents (over 85%) to the LMD-commissioned TNS Lanka poll believe that both the Government and the general public are ready for a post-war Sri Lanka,” The journal’s ‘Talking Point’ column notes. more..

'Civilian admin' in camps

Apr 1 (BBC) The Sri Lankan government has handed over the administration of the refugee camps in the north to civilian authorities, a senior minister said. Human Rights minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told BBC Sandeshaya that the camps where civilians fleeing the battlefield housed were under the control of security forces until recently. "The administration of these camps has already been transferred to the Ministry of Resettlement and the Government Agent of the district" he said. more..

A Shore Thing -Sri Lanka

<a href="">A Shore Thing -Sri Lanka</a>

LTTE responds to John Holmes' briefing

Apr 1 (TN) LTTE Political Wing on Tuesday released the contents of a letter it recently sent to the UN, where it reiterated that an immediate ceasefire is urgent for the humanitarian aid and relief to reach the affected people. Stating that "no pressure is being exerted on the Government of Sri Lanka to bring an immediate end to the shelling that is slaughtering Tamil civilians in their thousands," more..

Jaffna University students’ outstation travel impeded

Apr 1 (TN) The suspension of sea passage and very limited air travel have impeded Jaffna University students’ travel to Colombo to sit for examinations or to reach Eastern University to which they have been selected from Jaffna peninsula, Prof. N. Shanmugalingan, Vice-chancellor of Jaffna University said. The VC has requested Moratuwa University VC and the Eastern University VC to help make alternate arrangements, more..

Madrasa in Kandy hindered by monks

Apr 1 (PSM) A group of Buddhists including monks had gone to the Ampitiya Usman Quran Madhrasa in Kandy recently and warned the use of the Madhrasa as a mosque. They also warned the Imam functioning there to vacate the Madhrasa immediately. The Madhrasa, constructed for the benefit of a number of Muslim families living in Ampitiya, was used by them for five time prayers for a long period but not for Jummah prayers. more..

World Affairs Council invited to invest in post-conflict Sri Lanka

Apr 1 (GDI) The Sri Lanka ambassador to the US H.E Jaliya Wickramasuriya told investors, professionals and the diplomats of the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles that the post conflict future in Sri Lanka would open many a doors to the US investors in the island nation. He said, Demining, Demilitarization, Democratization and Development would take place in the country's Northern province where more..

It’s another story form April 1st, Pillayan says

Apr 1 (GDI) Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan has little time for fun. However, a national English daily has given him more than enough today. When inquired of his ambitions in working with the UNP, the Chief Minister said that it may be a sort of April 1st news. People who get them fooled first become victims, seemingly bemused Chief Minister said. “It’s true that there are differences. However, my politics is essentially based on policies. more..

New Identity Cards to IDPs

Apr 1 (GDI) Identity Cards are to be issued to all persons who arrive from conflict areas. This will be done in order to establish the identity of those arriving and to streamline the Government’s welfare programme and Steps were also being taken to re-unite families that had been scattered, a spokesperson to the Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services told today (01). more..

LTTE's technical wing chief killed in confrontation

Apr 1 (GDI) LTTE's technical wing chief S. Kirupakaran alias Madivalahan was confirmed killed following a confrontation with Sri Lankan security forces at the Mullaittivu battlefront recently, defence sources said citing intercepted LTTE communication. LTTE has offered the self-styled 'Lt.Colonel' status to the slain terrorist yesterday (31), who was said to be the mastermind and chief coordinator of the LTTE's satellite cum radio communication network. more..

'This is a hand to mouth government'

Apr 1 (LT) This is a hand to mouth government. This government has no programme to confront the economic crisis. The government has come down to the level that it levies taxes to find earnings for day to day expenditure. It has levied water tax, petrol tax, telephone tax, taxes for all essential food items and sells national resources for a song for its existence said the JVP M Anura Kumara Dissanayake. more..

Teacher & student die when branch fall over them

Apr 1 (LT) A teacher and a student were killed and 25 other students injured when a branch of a tree fell over them while they were having a class under a ‘Palu’ tree. The incident has happened at Thirukagnanasambanthar School at Maharambakulam in Vavuniya yesterday. The injured students were taken to Vavuniya Hospital and Security Forces and the Police have helped in taking the students to hospital. more..

Gammanpila’s ‘virtuous politics’ gets kinsman’s backup

Apr 1 (LT) UPFA candidate for the Western PC election Udaya Gammanpila is making use of the properties of Central Environmental Authority for his election campaign with the support of a director of the authority who is a close relative of Mr. Gammanpila. Mr. Gammanpila who resigned from Central Environmental Authority stating he would engage in virtuous politics is using resources of the Central Environmental Authority for his election campaign with more..

Sri Lanka gagged at HRC – Minister Samarasinghe lies

Apr 1 (LT) At the month long sessions of Human Rights Council of the UNO held in Geneva in Switzerland certain diplomats of western countries have not allowed the Sri Lankan delegation led by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe to apprise the members of the councils of the Sri Lanka’s stand regarding operations being carried out in Wanni. Most of these ambassadors have avoided the Sri Lankan delegation stating they had prior engagements with other foreign ministers. more..

Final stage of the war...

Apr 1 (DW) Injuries are reported to the LTTE's head of Intelligence Poddu Amman and head of Internal Secret Intelligence Kapil Amman in two air strikes at Puthukudirippu. Both men have received minor injuries but have been shocked by the accuracy of the attack, escaped LTTE Intelligence Wing cadres have told the Army. Meanwhile LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran's son has also been injured in his shoulder after he joined 600 others in penetrating the 58 FDL several weeks ago. more..

Public Service Commission notification: Cabinet to decide today

Apr 1 (DN) Agriculture and Agrarian Services Development Minister and SLFP General Secretary Maithreepala Sirisena yesterday pledged that Public Service Commission would not be allowed to deprive the privileges enjoyed by the working class in the country. The Minister said a decision with regard to the Gazette Notification issued by the PSC would be taken at today’s Cabinet meeting. more..

SEP campaigns among Sri Lankan rubber plantation workers

Apr 1 (wsws) A Socialist Equality Party (SEP) team visited rubber plantation workers in Puwakpitiya, near Awissawella, about 50 km southeast of Colombo, to discuss the party's political program for the Western Provincial Council elections. The SEP is fielding a list of 46 candidates in the Colombo district, and the visit was part of the campaign for an election meeting to be held in Awissawella on April 5. more..

SC suspends inquiry against Diyawadana Nilame

Apr 1 (CT) An interim order has suspended a Human Rights Commission directive for an inquiry into the alleged disappearance of gold-plated Buddha statues from Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. The HRC recommendation for taking legal action against the Diyawadana Nilame will also be halted as per the Supreme Court order given yesterday. The court was taking up a fundamental rights petition filed by Diyawadana Nilame Nilanga Dela Bandara. more..

Ranil didn't propose snr. leader's position

Apr 1 (CT) Ranil Wickremesinghe had never proposed a senior leader position for the UNP, party spokesman Gayantha Karunatilake has said. Mr. Karunatilake responded to a question by a journalist, who raised a recent remark by party's deputy general secretary Lakshman Seneviratne. Mr. Seneviratne has said party leader Wickremesinghe had proposed a position of senior leader to a committee of party seniors, but that the Working Committee had defeated it at its meeting on March 23. more..

AG's advice sought in Mavilaru compensation case

Apr 1 (CT) The CID has sought advice from the attorney general with regard to legal action to be taken against suspects in the swindling of compensation money for farmers in the Mavilaru sluices incident. The CID informed Colombo chief magistrate Nishantha Hapuarachchi on March 30th that investigations into the case were now over and a report sent to the AG. The suspects - former chairman of Agrarian Insurance Board Namal Perera, more..

Teaching in Sri Lanka

Protective cloak for Sigiriya visitors

Apr 1 (CT) The Ministry of Cultural Affairs states that the all tourists sponsored by the Tourism Ministry will be given a protective cloak when visiting the ancient Sigiriya rock fortress. Speaking to 'Colombo Today', Secretary of the Cultural Affairs Ministry, G.L.W. Samarasinghe said that this measure has been taken to protect the visitors following several wasp attacks atop the rock. more..

Major protest against 'curtailment' of public service

Apr 1 (CT) A major protest was held this noon (April 01) in front of the Ministry of Public Administration in Colombo to demand the immediate withdrawal of a gazette which the protestors alleged is aimed at curtailing the state sector workforce. They said this particular gazette terminates the services of employees who fail the efficiency bar scale examination and ends the employment of casual workers without granting them permanency. more..

F&G fixed depositors protest

Apr 1 (CT) Fixed deposit account holders of the Finance and Guarantee (F&G) held a protest demonstration this morning (April 01) in front the F&G head office at Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo. Protestors alleged that the deputy chairman of F&G of the Ceylinco Consolidated, Mervyn Jayasinghe is attempting to flee Sri Lanka and that the CID is evading investigations in a bid to assist the culprit. more..

'Singapore Interpol directed to nab Sicille Kotelawela'

Apr 1 (AT) Interpol is acting to arrest Sicille Kotelawela, wife of the now remanded Ceylinco Group Chairman Lalith Kotelawela, the CID told Mount Lavinia Magistrate Harsha Sethunga yesterday. The CID told the Mount Lavinia Magistrate that it had sent a copy of the arrest warrant which the Magistrate issued for the arrest of Mrs Kotelawela to the Singapore Branch of Interpol as she has claimed that she is receiving treatment at a Singapore hospital and evading arrest. more..

Donate salary for Jaffna railway track fund

Apr 1 (DN) Labour Relations and Manpower Minister Athauda Seneviratne yesterday appealed to the public and private sector employees to donate a day’s salary towards the Colombo-Jaffna railway track reconstruction fund Uthuru-Mithuru, which was officially launched by the Government last week. “The objective of raising funds from these sectors is to re-construct the rail track to meet the targeted expenditure of Rs. 700 million towards the project,” more..

Heladiva files counter affidavit against Nestle, Fonterra

Apr 1 (DN) Mawbima Lanka Padanama, Sayuri Newspapers and Heladiva Irida Sangrahaya newspaper yesterday filed a counter affidavit and petition against Nestle Lanka Company and Fonterra Brands (Lanka) Pvt Ltd before the Colombo District Court in connection with the defamatory cases filed by the latter two against them. Nestle Lanka Company and Fonterra Brands earlier filed four defamatory cases against Mawbima Lanka Padanama, Sayuri Newspapers and Heladiva Irida Sangrahaya newspaper and more..