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Sri Lanka police intensifies security alert in capital

June 1 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan police have intensified security alert in the capital Colombo for possible strikes by Tamil Tiger rebels, defense officials said Thursday. Over 20 people were arrested on suspicion in Colombo in a security operation launched on Wednesday night and carried on till dawn on Thursday. The Colombo suburbs of Mount Lavinia and Wellawatta were covered in the operation. more..

Sri Lanka troops push on with offensives against rebels

June 1 (AFP) Government forces kept up two offensives against Tamil Tiger rebels in the island's northern and eastern regions Thursday with casualties reported on both sides, officials said. Troops backed by artillery combed the jungles of Thoppigala in the district of Batticaloa, where security forces recovered weapons and explosives from a rebel hideout Thursday, the military said. more..

JHU is living in the past says Mano Ganesan

June 1 (TW) “JHU monk MPs and others in that party are living in the past. Political proposals of this party tend to take the country towards more confusion. This party, claims to be based on Buddhist ideology, is proposing anarchy. They are telling the Tamils to go to Tamil Nadu in India and claim self determination and search for their origins. Tomorrow, they may tell the Muslims to go to Arabia and search for their origins. more..

Displaced return home

June 1 (BBC) Sri Lanka's Government has begun to send home ninety-thousand people displaced by the country's renewed civil war. They fled fighting between the military and Tiger rebels, who want a homeland for the Tamil minority in the north and east of the country. The United Nations has estimated there are nearly half-a-million displaced people in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka to become regional apparel sourcing hub

June 1 (F2F) India's forth largest state of Andhra Pradesh with a population of 76 million and high female unemployment rates, is working towards having 12 textile plants and 5 Apparel Export Parks by 2010. 1.5 million are set to receive employment at these facilities. Andhra Pradesh is equipped with a seaport, an international and three domestic airports, and well organized ground transport by road and railway. more..

Fighting kills 2 in Sri Lanka's northeast, military says

June 1 (AP) A government soldier and a Tamil guerrilla were killed in fighting in Sri Lanka's volatile north and east on Thursday, the military said, as violence continued worsening the country's separatist conflict. Rebels attacked an army foot patrol in eastern Batticaloa and soldiers retaliated, killing one insurgent, said Lt. Col. Upali Rajapakse, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry. more..

Sirasa & Weerawansa both succumb to President

June 1 (LeN) It is being reported that a documentary news item that was being produced by the Sirasa Media Network, on the Sexual verbal abuse made by JVP propaganda secretary Wimal Weerawansa has been stopped by Presidents direct intervention. The president has directly spoken to the chairman of Capital Maharaja Rajamahendran and asked to stop the programme. more..

Sripathi on fire, Mangala down the Wire

June 1 (LeN) The SLFP which gathered at Temple Trees yesterday has unanimously agreed to conduct a disciplinary investigation in to former Minister Sripathi Suriarachchi and decide about former minister Mangala Samaraweera after two weeks. The committee that gathered under the patronage of president Mahinda Rajapakse agreed to give 2 weeks for Samaraweera to come to an agreement with the government and the president. more..

Journalist hospitalized due to Navy sailors assault

June 1 (LeN) Sanjeewa Chinthaka Kahatapitiya who is a photographer of the Lakbima newspaper has been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital after he was severely beaten up by a navy sailor last evening. Last evening when the Sanjeewa was returning to his office after an assignment a Navy sailor who was on duty had requested for the Identity card and when the journalist presented the Government Media Accreditation which is more..

Sri Lanka can approach India for arms needs: Narayanan

June 1 (IANS) National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan Thursday said Sri Lanka, facing frequent air attacks from Tamil rebels, should not approach Pakistan or China for weapons though he added that India cannot supply 'offensive military equipment'. 'It is high time that Sri Lanka understood that India is the big power in the region and ought to refrain from going to Pakistan or China for weapons, as we are prepared to accommodate them within the framework of our foreign policy,' Narayanan told reporters more..

India, Sri Lanka negotiating CEPA

June 1 (PTI) India and Sri Lanka are working on upgrading their economic relations through a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement that would expand the existing FTA to include trade in services and encourage investment. "The agreement will be FTA-plus and would seek to liberalise on a mutually satisfactory basis not only trade in merchandise, but services as well," High Commissioner of Sri Lanka C R Jaysinghe said at a conference organised by FIEO. more..

Tamils ordered to vacate lodges in Pettah

June 1 (TN) Tamil owners of 68 lodges in Pettah (Peaddai) Police Division in Colombo have been instructed by the Police Officer in Charge of Pettah to immediately expel around 5000 Tamil tenants from Northeast and Upcountry, currently staying in 68 lodges in Pettah, to their "native places" within 24 hours before the military is deployed to forcefully transport the inmates. more..

Research dispels falsehoods about pioneering German Buddhist monk

June 1 (AT) A three-year scholarly research on the life and times of the pioneering German Buddhist monk, the Venerable Nyanatiloka has helped to dispel inaccuracies and falsehoods about him – especially the allegation that he had affinities to National Socialism in the 1930s. The research work has been undertaken by a European bhikku who wishes to remain anonymous at this point of time. more..

More than Rs. 2 billion VAT Refunds due to importers and exporters

June 1 (AT) While important export crop dealers such as tea, coconut and rubber exporters complain that the cess collected on the exports of these crops, to be used to improve and develop those industries are being used for other purposes by the government the importers and exporters are now crying that the Inland Revenue Department inordinately delays the refund of VAT and according to them the long overdue amount is over rupees two billion. more..

Hollywood Companies for a location search in Sri Lanka for their future film projects

June 1 (AT) Four Hollywood companies will be going to Sri Lanka to investigate suitable locations for future productions within the next three months directly as a result of the Focus Sri Lanka Trade Fair held in Los Angeles. “Four Hollywood companies have agreed to go to the island to investigate appropriate locations,” said Jaliya Wickramasuriya the Sri Lankan Consul General in Los Angeles. more..

Scripting the Welikade Massacre Inquest and the Fate of Two Dissidents

June 1 (UTHR) On the afternoon of 25th July 1983, 35 Tamil prisoners held under the PTA or Emergency Regulations were massacred in a prison riot. What was more remarkable was the second attack on the surviving prisoners two days later, killing another 18 prisoners after strong protests from abroad and measures had apparently been taken to protect the survivors. more..

From Welikade to Mutur and Pottuvil

June 1 (UTHR) This report examines efforts to secure justice for human rights violations in the North-East of Sri Lanka in the context of a profound breakdown in the separation of state powers. UTHR is particularly concerned about evidence of interference with magistrates through executive control of the Judicial Services Commission to suppress effective investigation of human rights violations. more..

Fuel restrictions in Vanni, says LTTE

June 1 (Hindu) The army on Thursday claimed to have gunned down three Tamil Tiger cadres including a member of the LTTE intelligence wing in Batticaloa. The Defence Ministry said the soldiers came under fire and repulsed the attack. The LTTE accused the Government of imposing "fuel restriction" to the Vanni region and termed it as "oppression by other means". It said in a statement said the quantum of fuel had been limited by the military. more..

APPG for Tamils criticised for pro-LTTE stance

June 1 (ISL) The United Kingdom based Tamil Democratic Congress (TDC) has criticized thethe All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils of the British Parliament for not being accommodative of wider Tamil views and of LTTE bias. In an open letter reproduced below the TDC has detailed difficulties experienced to have a meeting with the APPG. more..

Plight and suffering of innocent Tamils

June 1 (ISL) The dilemma faced right now by many thousands of Sri Lankan Tamil civilians either living under LTTE controlled areas or in the government controlled areas of the North-East is deteriorating day by day. LTTE recruiting operatives are on a recruiting rampage targeting vulnerable families and forcibly recruiting teenaged boys and girls by either kidnapping them or more..

Sri Lanka insurance over-sell resulting in high policy lapse rate: expert

June 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's insurance policy lapse rate is far too high and might mean the industry's sales pitch is overenthusiastic, an international expert told a gathering of industry professionals in Colombo. Rudy Verrilli, consultant to the Life Insurance and Market Research Association (LIMRA) stressed the importance of "ethical selling" and of protecting reputation, both personal and industry. more..

Sri Lanka hospital puts 'cream' of prime property on the block

June 1 (LBO) A private Sri Lankan hospital is offering to sell a prime property in a posh residential suburb of Colombo ahead of a move to a new location. Asha Central Hospital has offered its current 291-perch land in Horton Place, Colombo 07 for sale to embark on a new 13-storey facility which will be put up down Norris Canal Road in Colombo 10. more..

Sri Lanka sitting on a budget deficit time bomb: economist

June 1 (LBO) A large budget deficit is a fiscal time bomb, and central bank attempts to stabilize the economy may not work unless support comes from fiscal discipline, a British economics don has said. "In the end, no matter how successfully the central bank tries to maintain financial and monetary stability, if governments keep spending more than they collect in taxes, eventually you have a time bomb," more..

Sri Lanka cuts document processing time for export firms

June 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Board of Investment has cut down export document processing time by starting an internet-based system to submit information, officials said. The Board of Investment operates several export processing zones where investors have special facilities to make it easier to import raw materials and export finished products. more..

Sri Lankan Airlines halts domestic air services

June 1 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines is stopping its domestic floatplane operations, in the wake of orders to stop flying to key destinations and a fall in tourist arrivals, the airline said. "This is indeed a very disappointing development in our efforts to provide swift, yet affordable domestic air travel to key destinations within Sri Lanka, thus avoiding lengthy journeys on our frequently congested roads," more..

Sri Lanka gets a push in French business radar from techie club

June 1 (LBO) The growing interest in Asia by French businessmen would be supported by the efforts of Franco-Sri Lankan technologists group, the French Agency for international business development has said. "Today, French businessmen are more and more interested in developing countries and, as such, in Sri-Lankan potentially growing economy," more..

Sri Lanka revives tourist police to counter harassment

June 1 (LBO) Sri Lankan police have revived their tourist police branch to better protect tourists in the face of increasing complaints of harassment and a sharp downturn in arrivals. It will re-establish a network of tourist police stations in key resort areas, senior superintendent Maxi Proctor, director of the new unit, said Friday. more..

Abrogate CFA without uttering falsehoods! – JVP

June 1 (LT) The JVP has demanded the government to take a bold decision to abrogate CFA without uttering guileful statements to deceive the masses. This is stated in an announcement by the Political Bureau of the JVP in response to a statement made by Defense Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. Minister Rambukwelela at a media briefing held at Media Centre for National Security on the 30th had said that time had come to take a decision regarding CFA. more..

Fifty years ago, and now: Sigiriya

June 1 (Fri) Fifty years ago was the first time I climbed Sigiriya right to the top, with nary a huff or a puff. A brave history teacher took us on a tour of the ruined cities and dared have her ‘children’ climb the Rock Fortress. We were safe but our English teacher slipped and landed herself on her derriere on the rock face at a bulging bend and had her legs dangling in space. more..

Endemic birds of Sri Lanka-3

June 1 (Fri) The sexes of this Owlet, which is about the size of a Collared Scops Owl, are alike. This bird is very similar to the Collared Scops Owl in shape, size and general appearance but it is chestnut on back, scapulars and wing-coverts, and has white underpants marked with blackish shaft-streaks, and bars on the flanks. White spots on the outer scapulars can be observed on some species. more..

World Environment Day to be celebrated on the 5th of June

June 1 (GDI) Following the theme of ‘Challenging the Global Warming Together’ the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has made arrangements to commemorate 5th of June - ‘World Environment Day’. The President will officially inaugurate the main event of the day at Presidential Secretariat at 10 a.m. signifying with the awarding of ‘Presidential Awards’ to 60 environmentalists. more..

Citizens Charter Scheme to ensure trouble-free and rapid public service

June 1 (GDI) Citizen’s Charter Scheme- a sign board indicating the services available to the public at relevant Government organizations and institutes will be displayed at all district secretariats and Grama Niladari offices with effect from 1st August. The Ministry of Public Administration has taken this decision as a leading step to guarantee this right of every citizen. more..

SL and Cuba to cooperate in development of coconut industry

June 1 (GDI) Sri Lanka has expressed its willingness to cooperate with the Government of Cuba in the development of the coconut industry through the exchanges of technology and experience. This proposal was made by the Minister of Coconut Development, Salinda Dissanayake during his discussion with a Senior Official of the Cuban Ministry of Sciences, Technology and the Environment (CITMA), Jose Antonio Rodriguez Oruna. more..

Special programme to uplift the schools in East

June 1 (GDI) Government is to launch a special programme to boost up the education sector in the Eastern province. This aims at facilitating the education of the children of the families that will be resettling in their original homes under the on going resettlement programme. Accordingly, the Government with the collaboration of the Ministry of Education has already dispatched furniture, books and school uniforms and other equipment to twelve schools in Vakarai assisting their reopening. more..

Berlin views Sri Lankan culture

June 1 (GDI) Sri Lanka’s spectacular and vibrant culture was segmented in the 12th Berlin Karneval der Kulturen (Carnival of Cultures Festival), held in Berlin recently. The event was organized by the Sri Lanka Association in Berlin with the assistance of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Berlin and the Sri Lanka Tourist Board. The Carnival of Cultures Festival and the Street Parade was held from 25th to 28th May 2007. more..

Government condemns attack on ‘Lakbima’ journalist

June 1 (GDI) Issuing a statement Minister of Mass media Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana says that the Government condemns the attack on the ‘Lakbima’ newspaper staff photo journalist Sajeeva Chinthaka Kahadagamage. Further, Minister Abeywardana stated in the press release that the relevant authorities have been advised to take necessary action against those security personnel who are involved in the attack. more..

Swiss judge refuses bail to Tiger leader Kulam accused of attacking rival Tamils

June 1 (AT) The detention of the Tiger Chief of Switzerland Chelliah Kulasekerasingham nom de guerre Kulam and Selvarasa Vaikunthan, the person in charge of Tamil Youth Organization in Berne was extended on 29 may by the by the Criminal investigative Court in Zurich. Kulam and his men waylaid PLOTE members and attacked them at Central, located near the Zurich Metro station while returning after participating in the May Day rally. more..

Tigers shell Welioya army camp

June 1 (PISL) Troops yesterday around 7 a.m. came under LTTE fire when the Tigers shelled an army camp in Ethawetunuwewa in Welioya. According to military sources two soldiers were injured and one of them succumbed to injuries on admission to hospital. Troops retaliated and the Tigers suffered heavy casualties, sources said. The extent of damage to LTTE was not known at the time this edition went to press. more..

Sri Lanka's county stars available for Bangladesh Tests

June 1 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas, and Kumar Sangakkara, currently playing county cricket in England, will be available for selection for the home Test series against Bangladesh. Ashantha de Mel, Sri Lanka Cricket's chairman of selectors, said the selectors wanted to look at every angle before they decided on the squad. more..

UTHR calls for international HR monitoring mission

June 1 (LNP) The University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) (UTHR), founded by two award winning human rights defenders, Rajan Hoole and Kopalasingham Sritharan, in its latest report impresses on the need for an international human rights monitoring mission. On a broader political front, UTHR believes that the conditions described in this report are evidence that, in their current state, Government institutions are not capable of dealing with the continuing social and economic strains without cracking. more..

Pillayan allays fears of LTTE recapturing east

June 1 (LNP) Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Pullikal`s former supreme commander Pillayan allayed fears of the LTTE ever recapturing the East liberated by the military. In his first direct interview since the split with Karuna Amman, Pillayan told the Daily Mirror from an undisclosed location in Trincomalee that all the access routes for the rebels to make any attempt to launch an offensive to recapture lost ground in the east had been strategically captured and held by government troops. more..

The Global Peace Index rankings: Some musings

June 1 (LNP) The Global Peace Index (GPI) rankings have been released. Of 121 countries studied by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on the basis of data received from various sources, by using 24 indicators including military expenditure, access to arms, level of violence, corruption, human rights, engagement in war, incidence of crime etc. Norway has come first as the most peaceful country, while Sri Lanka`s rank is 111. more..

Cricket coach Kulatunga shot dead

June 1 (LNP) Sujith Kulathunga, a district coach attached to the Sri Lanka Cricket, had been gunned down by an unidentified person on his way to Middeniya Vidyalaya at Beligolla off Middeniya road on Tuesday. Kulatunga, who was employed by SLC as the district coach of Hambantota was on his way to Middeniya MV, when two unidentified persons had fired at him at close range with a `Galkattas,` a source close to the Police said Wednesday. more..

Corruption probe: JVP raps Speaker

June 1 (SAMN) JVP heavyweight Lal Kantha recently reiterated his call for a probe on waste, mismanagement, irregularities and negligence in Parliament. The Anuradhapura District MP has urged Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara to call on the CID to handle the investigation. In a brief note to Lokubandara, Lal Kantha pointed out that although he brought what he termed as the deteriorating situation to the Speaker's notice, no tangible action was taken. more..

National Anti Corruption Plan by ACP

June 1 (SAMN) A national anti corruption plan is in the offing by the Anti Corruption Program (ACP). The ACP’s Consultative Council with the involvement of a broad range of professional associations, civil society groups, and government bodies has engaged itself in reviewing a number of areas and has also been instrumental in drafting a National Anti Corruption Plan that has had inputs from the participatory process. more..

A people friendly Railway Station

June 1 (SAMN) Unauthorised structures within the Fort Railway Station premises will be removed from July 1 to give a facelift to the Fort Railway Station. Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma has taken this decision and with the implementation of this plan, structures that were there over the past two decades will be a thing of the past. The Fort Railway Station is the main railway station in the country. more..

Resettlement drive phase II today

June 1 (SAMN) The second phase of the Government's resettlement drive in the Batticaloa district will commence today with the resettlement of 6,700 families consisting of around 25,000 people in 24 Grama Niladhari Divisions in Kokkadicholai. Co-ordinating officer of the Army's 233 Brigade Major Berty Perera said the first stage expedited since May 14 was an overwhelming success with nearly 30,000 IDPs being resettled in 34 Grama Niladhari Divisions in the Vellawely area. more..

Gulf countries laud Government's fight against terrorism

June 1 (GDI) The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Wednesday lauded the Government's endeavour to eliminate terrorism which has become a threat to the development and the peace in the world. Addressing the media after meeting Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies, GCC Secretary General Abdul Rahaman Bin Hamad Al Attiyah said the GCC firmly stands by the Government's exercise in eradicating terrorism. more..

Foreign Ministry on Parameshwari and Basnayake arrests

June 1 (DN) The Foreign Ministry clarifying the circumstances under which journalist M. Parameshwari was arrested said the arrest was based on her alleged involvement in abetting an LTTE female suicide cadre. Issuing a media release the Foreign Ministry states: "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to clarify the circumstances under which Munisamy Parameshwari was arrested, more..