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All IDPs will be resettled within six months

Apr 29 (BBC) The new minister of resettlement Milroy Fernando says that all displaced families will be resettled within the next six months. The minister said in Vavuniya that more than 80,000 displaced people living in resettlement camps would be resettled. Minister Milroy Fernando who made his first visit to the resettlement camps was told by Premaratna Sumathipala, more..

South Africa squeeze past Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (CI) A combined team effort set up victory with three balls to spare as South Africa brushed past Sri Lanka in their first warm-up match ahead of the World Twenty20. A late fightback from Sanath Jayasuriya and Chamara Kapugedera allowed Sri Lanka to post a modest 137 for 8 and the match was finely balanced when AB de Villiers was dismissed in the 14th over with 63 still needed, but a 61-run partnership between Mark Boucher and Johan Botha more..

Emerging scenario in Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (Hindu) May 2009 saw the end of the three-decade long and bloody ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, in which an estimated 80,000 people perished. The conflict ended when a relentless offensive by Sri Lankan armed forces led to the killing of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and the decimation of his cadres. While questions remain about the alleged violations of human rights of the Tamil civilian population caught in the crossfire, more..

Sri Lanka post elections

Apr 29 (LMD) On 8 April Sri Lankans went to the polls to elect a new parliament. This was the first general election since the defeat of the LTTE in May last year and the first in almost 30 years which covered the whole nation. It was a resounding victory, in seats, for the governing coalition headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The UPFA won 144 seats; the main opposition coalition the UNF 46; the DNA consisting of a rump of the Marxist JVP more..

Sri Lanka steel mill's Dubai owners in bid to up productivity, market share

Apr 29 (LBO) The new Dubai-based owners of a Sri Lankan steel maker is investing 18 million US dollars to trim production costs and increase market share after taking over from its former Korean owners, officials said. "Now we can go for more economical pricing to reduce spurious products in the market," Thomas Zachariah, business development manager at Onyx Group of United Arab Emirates (UAE) said. more..

Police clear Olcott Mawatha pavements of unauthorized hawkers

Apr 29 (NF) Pavement hawkers in the Pettah area, plying their trade in an illegal manner that inconvenienced the public, were removed early this morning. “The unauthorized structures on the pavement were removed in accordance with the Section that deals with Prevention of Inconveniences to the Public under the Police Ordinance,” said SP Prishantha Jayakody, police media spokesman. more..

Sri Lanka mulls import of ceramics, pharmaceuticals from Bangladesh

Apr 29 (DS) Sri Lanka considers import of good quality ceramics, pharmaceuticals, plastic-wares, CI (corrugated iron) sheets and construction materials from Bangladesh. This was stated by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called on him at Sri Lanka House in the Saarc Village in Thimphu yesterday. more..

It is time for a dialogue with the TNA

Apr 29 (TC) There are, I suspect, a lot of people in Sri Lanka who would rather cut out their own tongue than talk to the TNA. It boils down to quite rudimentary logic. The TNA supported terrorists. And they want Eelam, even if they claim to be ready to settle for less. We simply can't trust them. The party hasn't done a great deal to assuage these fears, it must be said. There has been no stocktaking of their role during the war in Parliament and with the international community. more..

Police coming before growth in Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (LP) Two news stories that were published in media today can be outlined to show an aspect of the path the Sri Lankan rulers are taking now in the post-war period. In the first story Sri Lanka Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says that the police have been directed to launch an operation to eliminate the crime network that erupted through terrorism and spread island wide. The first and foremost question that arises is this. more..

Tag of dark horses suits Sri Lanka fine

Apr 29 (National) Sri Lanka had shocked the world when they won the 1996 World Cup by beating Australia in the final of the 50-over competition. Nobody had really believed they could achieve the glory of becoming world champions. They were runners-up to Pakistan in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in England last year and they now have ambitions of going one better when the tournament in the Caribbean starts tomorrow. more..

Terror continues to reign in Wilpattu

Apr 29 (NS) Ever since the crude annihilation of the Wilpattu National Park (WNP) was disclosed in February, 2010, the largest national park of Sri Lanka has been under the media spotlight sporadically. Regardless of the significant media attention given to this destruction, the illegal construction activities have not come to a halt. Ample political support and the manpower provided by the Sri Lanka Navy bolster this ecological vandalism to audaciously continue. more..

Why are Sri Lankans not eating a proper diet?

Apr 29 (ST) What do Sri Lankan men, women and children eat? Certainly not the food they should be eating day in, day out but “unbalanced meals”, a national survey has revealed. This is not due to poverty alone, the Sunday Times understands, for 87% of the households surveyed countrywide just last year were “food secure” with only 1% facing “severe food insecurity”. The type of food people eat or give their children is the problem, says more..

New Sri Lankan cabinet likely to continue frosty relations with West

AApr 29 (National) Sri Lanka’s frosty relations with the West over human rights abuses will continue under a new cabinet appointed last week and perhaps jeopardise long-term trade and investment interests, analysts say. Wijedasa Rajapakse from the opposition UNF said:“If at all, our relations with the European Union and the United States will get worse." more..

President hands over the SAARC Chairmanship to Prime Minister of Bhutan

AApr 29 (IL) The 16th SAARC Summit commenced in a grand style in Thimpu, the Capital city of Bhutan this morning on 28th April and it was graced by the eight leaders of the SAARC counties. At the beginning of the summit President Mahinda Rajapaksa handed over the Chairmanship of the SAARC to Prime Minister of Bhutan Mr.Jigmi Y.Thinley more..

India and Japan must openly support 'Accountability Initiative' by Ban-Ki-moon in Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (TC) Sri Lanka’s authorities have failed seriously to investigate the allegations of abuses committed during the first months of 2009 - the endgame of the twenty-six-year internal armed conflict with the LTTE. An approach based on semi-private polite persuasion, often referred to as the “Asian way of diplomacy”, has been unable to convince President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Colombo government to respond to widespread international concern. more..

An indicator of what comes next for Sri Lanka's media

Apr 29 (CPJ) In Sri Lanka, there is a lull of sorts in outright attacks on the media as the Rajapaksa government takes stock of where it stands, which is in a very strong position: Last May the government declared a final victory in the brutal 30-year conflict with Tamil secessionists. In January, President Mahinda Rajapksa won a convincing victory in the presidential elections, and in April, his UPFA took 144 seats of the 225 member seats more..

President Rajapakse's speech at SAARC

Apr 29 (IL) “The defeat of separatism and terrorism since then has given us now the opportunity to engage in open discussions and reach consensus, without the fear of guns. With the strong mandate expressed at both the recent Presidential and Parliamentary elections, I am now ready to lead our nation and her children to a brighter future”, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa at 16th SAARC Summit more..

Robert O Blake visits SAARC village to meet MR

Apr 29 (IL) US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O Blake visited the Sri Lankan House in the SAARC village in Thimpu, Bhutan to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa ahead of the SAARC Summit. Former US Ambassador for Colombo Mr Blake is in Thimpu now, discussed the recent developments following the Presidential and General elections in Sri Lanka. more..

What a scoop!

Apr 29 (DM) Innovation is the name of the Twenty20 game but, as the world's leading players gather here in the Caribbean for the third short-form World Cup, only one can say that he has had a shot named after him. All eyes will be on Tillakaratne Dilshan when Sri Lanka, beaten finalists in England last year and one of the favourites this time, take on New Zealand on Friday more..

Confessions by 'masters of terror'...

Apr 29 (MoD) Colombo Chief Magistrate has ordered the release of copies of statements made by former LTTE media spokesman Daya Master and interpreter George Master to the CID. The court made the order on Tuesday when the case against the two LTTE suspects came up for hearing. The CID said it needed the copies to expedite its investigations. Velauthan Dayanithi alias Daya Master and Velupillai Kumaran Pancharatnam alias George Master, who are out on bail, attended Tuesday's hearing. more..

Defence team from Pakistan defence university calls on Commander

Apr 29 (MoD) A Military delegation from Pakistan National Defence University, as part of their study cum familiarization tour in SAARC countries, called on Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya Tuesday at Army Headquarters. The visiting delegation, headed by Air Commodore Nadeem Anjum of Pakistan Air Force during discussions with Lieutenant General Jayasuriya was keen to learn more about recently concluded Wanni Humanitarian Operations and more..

Cashew cultivation to be increased to 50,000 acres

Apr 29 (GDI) Sixty thousand cashew plants will be distributed among cashew cultivators in the Hambantota district. The Rs. 9,500 subsidy per acre will be increased to Rs. 25,000, Cashew Corporation revealed. The motive behind this step was to encourage cultivators in the Hambantota district to take to cashew cultivation and cultivators have been advised to grow green gram and ground nuts to derive an income till they derive an income from cashew cultivation. more..

Diyawara Gammana to be relaunched

Apr 29 (GDI) The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has taken steps to re-launch "Diyawara Gammana", a program introduced by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, when he was the Fisheries Minister, to build homes for fisher folk in the coastal belt. Minister Rajitha Senaratna said, he will re-launch Diyawara Gammana Fishing Village Project with a target to construct 100,000 houses for fisherfolk as a priority. more..

Wheelchair-ridden war heroes celebrate New Year

Apr 29 (MoD) Valiant War Heroes who brought peace to Sri Lanka at the expense of their limbs and organs, but still under rehabilitation at Ragama Ranaviru Sevana had a thrilling experience during a New Year celebration on Tuesday with their Commander, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya as Chief Guest. Taking the day free, those Ranaviru Sevana inmates competed in various New Year traditional games and more..

Bus-lorry collision in Balangoda leaves 04 dead

Apr 29 (LP) A collision between a passenger bus and lorry at Imbulpe, Balangoda led to the death of four people yesterday. Among the dead were 02 males and 02 females said the police while 20 others received injuries in the accident. The injured were admitted to Balangoda and Ratnapura hospitals with five of them reportedly being in a serious condition. According to Police reports the accident has occurred at around 2.30 p.m. more..

Mervyn ready to give even his life for the cause of safeguarding journalists

Apr 29 (LP) Addressing a media briefing in Colombo at the Media Ministry premises, after his official assumption of office this morning, Deputy Minister and Present Acting Minister for Media Dr Mervin Silva said that all media personalities are partners in state activities but they need not refrain from reporting the truth or stating facts in the interest of the public without malice or favour. more..

Landmines and explosive remnants of war

Through the Eastern Eyes III: Ninthavur

Apr 29 (HA) The youth of Ninthavur have taken a new turn in their lives today. They have had their maiden photo exhibition in their village. The 12 member Photo Voice team has undergone a professional training in Photo Journalism for one year, which was provided by Terre des hommes. The youth were trained professionally to handle still cameras, light, angles, composition, capture various moments, write caption and make a photo journal. more..

3rd term for President ? APRC proposals to be sidelined

Apr 29 (PSM) Recommendations of the last year's All Party Representaive Committee (APRC) is likely to be sidelined when consitutional reforms are to be introduced soon. Ruling UPFA is likely to press ahead with constitutional reforms to allow incumbent President to run for a third term in office, informed sources said. The UPFA won 144 seats in the 225-member parliament at elections earlier this month, consolidating his firm grip on power after more..

Sri Lanka Private sector credit grows, interest rates down

Apr 29 (LNP) Credit to the private sector has increased in February by 1.38 percent to Rs. 1,212.3 billion from Rs. 1,195.8 billion the previous month while benchmark Treasury bill rates inched downwards as the Central Bank continues to pursue a loose monetary policy. Credit to the private sector from the domestic banking sector increased to Rs. 1,064 billion in February from Rs. 1,048 billion in January with the balance coming from external sources. more..

Revisiting the JVP: Will they repeat their past?

Apr 29 (GV) It has been 39 years since the JVP’s armed insurrection. It was brutally suppressed and their ambitious project to light a revolutionary flame in Sri Lanka ended in a political and military disaster. But the JVP was not vanquished and its leader Rohana Wijeweera (RW) reorganized it. They launched their second military project during 1987-89 and the disaster they faced at this time was unprecedented. more..

Consumer Affairs Authority meets today to increase prices of gas

Apr 29 (LT) Shell and Laugfs gas companies have asked permission from Consumer Affairs Authority to increase price of gas from the 1st of May and the Authority will meet tomorrow to review the price of gas. The sources in the authority said all members of the Consumer Affairs authority have been asked to meet Minister of Cooperatives and Internal Trade Johnston Fernando before they meet to take a decision. more..

Editorial: Cleaning Augean stables

Apr 29 (LNP) Last year`s war victory is now forgotten and euphoria it created has died down. The need for restoring the rule of law is being stressed as never before. The police are coming under increasing pressure to play the role expected of them in the post-war period. Having functioned as an auxiliary force in all but name in battling terrorism, both in the South and the North, for nearly thirty years and more..

Editorial: The importance of being Basil

Apr 29 (DM) It looked rather bizarre. No one knew Minister Basil Rajapaksa had a way with animals -- a real soft corner for them-- till he was sworn in as the Minister of Economic Development. While he was expected to go for a heady start with the powerful ministry immediately after the swearing in, the younger brother of President Rajapaksa was instead seen making headlines for cuddling up elephants at Pinnawala and shaking hands with chimpanzees at the Dehiwala zoo. more..

General studies to make seven 5/6th of Parliament

Apr 29 (LT) The Leader of the DNA Gen. Sarath Fonseka who had arrived at the Parliamentary Complex on the 27th had taken away a book on bringing down of the ‘People’s Alliance’ government of 70-77 period from the Parliament library say internal sources of the Parliament. According to these sources Gen. Fonseka had spent a long time in the library going through racks and racks of books seeking the particular book. more..

New software aids deaf community

Maha Sangha preserved our civilisation - PM

Apr 29 (DN) Our civilisation began with the arrival of Arahant Mahinda and after the introduction of Buddhism to the island, it was preserved by the Maha Sangha. When there were wars even during times of Mahasena and Dutugemunu it was the Maha Sangha who counselled and brought peace to the country, said Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne at the final Commemoration Ceremony to mark the 125th anniversary of the Buddhist Flag at the Independence Square in Colombo yesterday. more..

On bystanders and ‘bystanding’

Apr 29 (DN) I saw a ‘white van abduction’ take place around midnight on February 24, 2007. The ‘victim’ was Raja Pulendun, brother-in-law of Senior Superintendent of Police, Colombo (Crimes Division), Sarath Lugoda, it was later learnt. This happened at the point where Elvitigala Mawatha (Baseline Road) hits the High Level Road. The vehicle in which I was travelling was approaching the traffic lights when we noticed a red car ahead of us and a white van parked at an awkward angle in front of it. more..

Jaffna library to be inter-linked with local universities

Apr 29 (DN) The Jaffna Public Library will be computerized and inter-linked with all other local universities in the country to exchange information. He said the Government has proposed to computerize the entire system of the Jaffna Public Library under the Uthuru Vasanthaya (Northern Spring) project. The Jaffna Public Library is one of the main libraries in the country. more..

Handing over of salvaged vehicles

Apr 29 (DN) The Government has decided to hand over salvaged vehicles which are being brought from Maththlan, Valayannadam, Mullivaikkal and Puthukkudiyirruppu to the respective owners after scrutinizing the ownership from the vehicle yard maintained by the Kilinochchi District Secretariat, states Kilinochchi District Secretary / Govt Agent Mrs. R. Ketheeswaran in a press release. more..