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The upside of disappointment

May 1 (CI) Sri Lanka's World Cup campaign ended depressingly. First, monsoon rains lashed the island, dampening party spirits, then Adam Gilchrist went berserk and, finally, just when Sri Lanka appeared to be dragging themselves back into the contest, the Tamil Tigers launched an air raid on installations on the fringes of Colombo, plunging the city into darkness, turning off televisions and lighting up the night not with celebratory fireworks but flashes of gunfire, a chilling reality check. more..

Does the public also have the ability of protecting from air strikes like Gotabhaya?

May 1 (LeN) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe questions whether defense secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse has taken adequate measures to protect the country from Air strikes like he has provided the route he travels in Daily from home to office. Issuing a special statement drawing the attention of the government regarding the affect the recent air strikes have caused on the public Wickremesinghe says the UNP strongly condemns the attacks more..

Ready the country for a fully fledged war- JHU

May 1 (LeN) The JHU requests the government to ready the country to completely destroy terrorism and LTTE's military power. Issuing a statement regarding the air strikes the JHU says the government has delayed to take evasive action against the terrorists who launched their first air strike to the Katunayake base about one month ago. It adds that the troops not being able to destroy the craft is a severe issue as there was a great threat posed on the country. more..

An agreement of economic cooperation signed with Sri Lanka

May 1 (P2P) In 2006 Israel's exports to Sri Lanka grew by 33.5% and Israel's imports grew by 34%. Sri Lanka's main imports from Israel are diamonds. Prof. G. L. Peiris, Sri Lankan Minister of Export Development and International Trade, visited Israel last week as the guest of Minister of Industry, Trade, and Labor Eli Yishai. The two signed an agreement of economic cooperation between the two countries. more..

Sri Lanka tea industry to get back withheld funds; objections to new cess

May 1 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government has agreed to release all funds owed to the tea industry from the export cess but key stakeholders are opposing a proposal to further increase the cess. Tea Board Chairman Lalith Hettiarachchi told LBO the Cabinet had agreed to release all funds of the tea export cess, including last year’s arrears of 233 million rupees, totaling 1.2 billion rupees. more..

Pittsburgh Buddhist Center celebrates opening

May 1 (AP) The first Theravada Buddhist temple in western Pennsylvania opened Sunday. The Pittsburgh Buddhist Center in Natrona Heights, about 20 miles northeast of the city, will offer space for meditation and lessons on Buddhist teachings. Theravada Buddhism is the oldest of several branches of Buddhism, and is practiced mostly in the island nation of Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka president devolution proposals seen doomed

May 1 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's ruling party unveiled devolution proposals on Monday aimed at ending a two-decade civil war, but analysts said they fell far short of minority ethnic Tamil demands and were doomed to fail. President Mahinda Rajapaksa's ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party wants to devolve power at district rather than a higher level and insists on rebel disarmament, according to the text seen by Reuters. more..

Sri Lanka rebels dismiss president devolution proposals

May 1 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's ruling party unveiled devolution proposals on Monday aimed at ending the island's two-decade civil war, but Tamil Tiger rebels dismissed them and analysts said they were doomed to fail. President Mahinda Rajapaksa's ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) wants to devolve power at district rather than a higher level and insists on rebel disarmament, according to the text seen by Reuters. more..

Eyewitness account of Tamil attack

May 1 (CNN) At 1:50 a.m. on Sunday, the Mad Max-esque Road Warrior air force of the LTTE launched a raid on Colombo, while most of the city was watching Sri Lanka's cricketing heroes succumb to Australia in the final of cricket's World Cup, being played a dozen time zones away in Barbados in front of their junketing president. Colombo is seen by the Tigers from their homeland lair in the northeast of the island as the mostly Sinhalese enemy capital in the island's south. more..

'set eyes for 2011' - Moody

May 1 (BBC) Australia played a superior game at the finals say Mahela Jayawardhana reflecting on the game on Saturday. Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody stood by the decision to not change the team mebers as speculated in media. Dilhara Fernando was the better choice to play in the World Cup finals in Barbados on Saturday instead of Pervez Maharoof, Sri Lanka Coach Tom Moody said. more..

Beastly tales from Sri Lanka

May 1 (HT) The LTTE air attack on oil storage facilities near Colombo is yet another confirmation that the organisation is one of the most resourceful and innovative guerrilla outfits in the world. Above all, the Tamil Tigers are masters of psychological operations (psy-ops) and timing. Their strike is militarily insignificant, but it has huge propaganda value. It is also a show of strength aimed at attracting funds from the expatriate Tamil community. more..

Amnesty’s Cricket Ball Campaign, Human Rights and Possible Cultural Prejudice

May 1 (AT) Amnesty International’s recent ‘cricket ball campaign’ against Sri Lanka during the World Cup in the West Indies has raised two key issues in respect of human rights campaigning in general. The first is whether it is correct to use any forum to launch human rights campaigns even if the issues are correct? The second is about the ethical validity of the ‘use of shaming’ as a weapon in human rights campaigns by Amnesty or any other. more..

'Government is capable to meet LTTE challenges'

May 1 (AT) Sri Lanka Government was fully prepared and capable of meeting any challenges posed by the Tamil rebel outfit – LTTE. Furthermore Government has taken all effective steps to thwart attempted attack by the LTTE. Sri Lanka foreign Minister denounced the recent attacks by the LTTE. He pointed out LTTE was an international threat and a united effort was needed to defeat that threat. more..

Editorial: Get serious about LTTE threat

May 1 (Hindu) It is more than 50 days since 12 Indian fishermen were abducted by the Sea Tigers — the naval arm of the LTTE. Unfortunately, there has been no word of condemnation yet from the Government of India or the Tamil Nadu government. Political parties in Tamil Nadu are the first to condemn the Sri Lankan government for killing, capturing, or intimidating fishermen from the State who cross the international maritime boundary line. more..

Colombo for collective global action

May 1 (Hindu) Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told diplomats here on Monday that the Government was fully capable of meeting any challenge from the LTTE, including threats by its nascent air wing, and called for collective global action to meet the global menace. Mr. Bogollagama was briefing the envoys in the wake of the third aerial attack by the Tigers on Sunday and joint endeavour by New Delhi and Colombo to bolster Colombo's air defence system. more..

Medical Teams International stages train accident to test first responders

May 1 (AN) What if there were no ambulance services or emergency aid workers to assist with a roadside accident or a drowning child? In Sri Lanka, emergency medical services, including ambulances, are not readily available to accident victims. Thousands of people die every year because pre-hospital care is nonexistent. To meet this critical need, Medical Teams International is partnering with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health to implement a nationwide EMS training program for road police, health personnel and hospital staff. more..

Sri Lanka's largest syndicated loan raised by Bank of Ceylon

May 1 (LBO) Bank of Ceylon said it had completed Sri Lanka's largest international syndicated loan when it raised 210 million dollars in a 3-year facility arranged by HSBC. "The success of this loan syndication epitomises the resourcefulness of the global giant HSBC in being able to draw on their international expertise and reach in order to attract international investors to Sri Lanka at very competitive pricing," more..

Latest Sri Lanka journalist killing condemned by RSF

May 1 (LBO) The murder of a reporter working for a Tamil newspaper in Sri Lanka has been condemned by the international media rights organization, Reporters without Borders. Selvarajah Rajivarnam, a reporter working for the Uthayan newspaper, was gunned down on his bicycle near the newspapers office in the northern Jaffna peninsular. He was the second journalist to be killed in the space of less than two weeks more..

Vaiko accuses DMK of using Congress as ''weapon'' to arrest him

May 1 (UNI) Amid growing pressure from the Congress to ban the Marumalarchi DMK for its open support to the banned LTTE, MDMK General Secretary Vaiko today accused the DMK government of using the Congress as a 'weapon' to arrest him. The MDMK leader, who was arrested under POTA and incarcerated for 19 months during the previous AIADMK regime for his pro-LTTE speech, said the ruling DMK was attempting to wreak a political vengeance on him. more..

Moody staying quiet on next move

May 1 (CI) Tom Moody will delay a decision on his coaching future until after he talks with the Sri Lankan board. Moody is in high demand after guiding Mahela Jayawardene's side to the World Cup final and he has options to stay in Colombo or take charge of his former state Western Australia. "I'm not making any decisions on my future until I've had a chance to speak to the Sri Lankan cricket board, until I've had a chance to reflect and have a look to see where I want to be professionally and personally," Moody told AAP. more..

Sri Lanka says rebel air unit `Trivial;' denies plane shot down

May 1 (BN) Sri Lanka dismissed the LTTE's new air wing as having only "trivial tactical value," and denied rebel anti-aircraft units shot down a military plane in the north of the country. "The LTTE is striving hard to rebuild its lost image through its `air raid novelty" the Defense Ministry said on its Web site yesterday. "The LTTE, along with its pro-terror media network has been engaged in a major psychological operation to inflate the outfit's military power." more..

Sri Lanka aviation hub aspirations hit by air raids

May 1 (LBO) A trimming of services to Sri Lanka by major international carriers is undermining Colombo's aspirations to be a regional aviation hub, in addition to hitting the island's tourist industry. Singapore Airlines halted daytime flights to Sri Lanka Monday, following Tamil Tiger air intrusions into the South, while Emirates said its suspension would remain, dashing earlier expectations that it would resume operations soon. more..

SLFP devolution proposals: Indigenous power sharing, Executive Presidency - out, Parliament with second chamber - in

May 1 (AT) The ruling SLFP pushed for the abolishment of Executive Presidency in favour of Parliamentary & Cabinet System of government on April 30 in Colombo. It also proposed a second legislative chamber called the 'Senate' that was somewhat similar to the independent Sri Lanka assembly of 1948. Released on April 30th May Day rally at Colombo 'CMC Grounds' by Party Secretary-General Minister Maithripala Sirisena, more..

Sri Lanka Situation: Frequently Asked Questions

May 1 (AT) Many people in Sri Lanka and friends of Sri Lanka everywhere are dismayed at the Eelam War -4 now being waged under a façade of ceasefire. It is taking the country and the people away from finding a workable solution to the ethnic problem in the near future. The ostensible objective of this war of the government side is to "bring peace and freedom for the people" in areas not under the control of government. more..

LTTE May Day rally in Paris, a show down with French authorities?

May 1 (AT) Elaborate arrangements have been made by agents of the Tamil Tigers in Paris to exploit May Day rally as a protest against the arrest of the 19 Tamil Tiger cadres on April Fools day by the French anti-terrorist squad. Usually the May day rally in France is organized by CGT (confederation General du Travail) a leading trade union confederation in France. more..

'Masses are ready to hand over rule of the country to JVP'

May 1 (LT) Mr. Somawansa Amarasinghe, Leader of the JVP said all capitalist rulers have betrayed the masses in the country and time has come for the masses to look for an alternative not a replacement. He said the JVP has grown up in stature and was prepared to take the responsibility of ruling the country. more..

How united, or divided, are Sri Lankans?

May 1 (KT) THE time was around 1 am on Sunday in Sri Lanka. Batting second, Sri Lanka had lost opener Upul Tharanga and new batsman Kumar Sangakkara had just come in. Then the lights went off. The eerie feeling was pervasive. "Don’t know whether the LTTE is once again attacking the airport," I told my homefolks. Earlier in the day, when I was with a group of friends just before the World Cup finals got under way after a delay of couple of hours, more..

Today is Vesak Poya

May 1 (PISL) Today is Vesak Full Moon Poya day, marking 2,551 years since the passing away of the Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Vesak is the holiest of all Buddhist festivals that marks the Buddha’s birth at Lumbini in Nepal, his reaching enlightenment at Buddha Gaya in India and his passing away in the Sal Park in Kusinara in Nepal. more..

Rights violations: 30 security personnel arrested

May 1 (LNP) Some 30 police and military personnel are among the 450 people arrested in connection with human rights abuses including abductions, disappearances and murder a civic action leader said yesterday. Kingsley Rodrigo the Chairman of the Peoples Action Front for Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL) said he had records of the police arresting 452 people in connection with human rights violations. more..

SLTB to cut down on staff

May 1 (LNP) Surplus staff of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) will be asked to retire under a voluntary retirement scheme. However, all depot managers, accountants, auditors and management personnel will be retained as there has been an acute shortage of such personnel, Transport Ministry sources said. more..

Vesak thoughts

May 1 (LNP) Today is Vesak, the day on which the birth, the Enlightenment and the passing away of the Enlightened One occurred within a span of eighty years over two and a half millennia ago. This year, there has been a rare occurrence. Vesak has coincided with the International Workers` Day. The religious significance of Vesak being fairly well known, we choose to venture a comment on the overlapping of a holy festival and a mundane event in view of the decision of workers` unions to have their May Day celebrations on some other day. more..

Airlines, hotels in crisis talks

May 1 (SAMN) In addition to Emirates and Cathay Pacific which had suspended their flights from Sunday more airlines Monday planned to reschedule their flights to and from Colombo following the recent LTTE aerial attacks. At a meeting with some of the airline managers in Sri Lanka, Singapore Airlines said it would fly only during the day while Thai Airways said it would assess the situation. more..

Sajith to follow his father’s footsteps

May 1 (SAMN) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa Monday vowed to unite all forces who belong to the party and strengthen it for the betterment of the country and to build a nation without poverty. Premadasa made this plea at the ceremony which was organised to mark the fourteenth death anniversary of his late father President Ranasinghe Premadasa at Hulftsdorp. more..

British expertise to refurbish Museum

May 1 (SAMN) The Ministry of National Heritage has sought British expertise to refurbish the 130-year-old Museum as cracks on the roof had caused leaks during the recent rains. The Ministry will also focus on developing archeological sites spread across the country, National Heritage Minister Anura Bandaranaike told a media conference, on preservation and reformation of heritages, at the Museum auditorium recently. more..

TNA MPs upset over resettlement format

May 1 (SAMN) The TNA MPs representing the Batticaloa district were in for a rude shock when the government moved to resettle displaced persons in the district without consulting them beforehand. The Resettlement Ministry decided last Saturday to resettle around 85,000 persons within the next few months. A TNA MP said they had not been invited for even a single meeting regarding development activities in their respective areas. more..

True development, blend of physical, spiritual development - President

May 1 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his Vesak Day message said true development is a blend of physical and spiritual development. The President said: "This time too, we commemorate with State sponsorship, the Thrice Blessed Vesak festival of the Enlightened One with utmost faith and devotion. I believe that true development is a blend of physical and spiritual development. more..

Jaffna islands LTTE leader killed

May 1 (DN) Five LTTE cadres including a Tiger leader and his deputy were killed in Suruvil Vealani in the Kayts Islands by Naval troops on Sunday morning. He had been functioning as leader of the Jaffna islands. The Navy also seized a large haul of arms and ammunition after repulsing a Tiger attack. Naval troops conducted a search operation following a tip off given by a civilian on Sunday around 10.30 a.m. in Suruvil, Kayts Island. more..

JVP warns of tougher TU action

May 1 (DM) The JVP yesterday threatened the government with a series of strikes from mid this month and called upon workers to establish an administration of the working class. Addressing a packed gathering at the Parliament grounds to mark international labour day one day ahead, JVP trade union wing leader K.D. Lal Kantha said workers could not expect anything from President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his government as they held capitalist views. more..

Essential commodity low prices to continue

May 1 (DM) Despite escalating oil prices and increased demand for food commodities in the world market, the price formula introduced for ten essential consumer items would be continued for the rest of the year, the Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister said yesterday. Addressing a media briefing Minister Bandula Gunawardana said the move, originally mooted for the festive season, was to primarily cushion the burden of low income families. more..

Tamil Tigers dismantle seized Jordanian ship

May 1 (JT) The chairman of the Salam International Transport and Trading Company, Saeed Suleiman, said earlier this week that it was no longer possible to recover the Jordanian ship, Farah 3, which was seized by Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers in December 2006. In a statement to Al Rai newspaper, Suleiman said Tamil Tigers had actually dismantled the vessel and stolen its cargo of 14,000 tonnes of Indian rice bound for South Africa. more..

Sri Lanka's battle for supremacy over Colombo skies

May 1 (LBO) Chamath Champika Jayalath was watching the Sri Lanka-Australia final of Cricket World Cup shortly after 1.00 am Sunday when suddenly power supply went off. Waiting for power to come back, Jayalath was startled by the sound of explosions and heavy gunfire. Rushing out, he saw tracer bullets streaming into the night sky from the general direction of a petroleum distribution facility a few kilometers away. more..

Soldiers Shot at Mannar Bus Passengers after Landmine Attack

May 1 (TW) Disturbing information has come to light that soldiers in civilian attire were responsible for shooting passengers and crew of a private bus going from Mannar to Colombo on Monday April 23rd at Chettikulam. Seven persons comprising the driver, conductor and five passengers were killed and a further thirty - seven injured in the incident. more..

Two Aussie Tamils Produced in Courts for Allegedly Funding the LTTE

May 1 (TW) Two Tamils of Sri Lankan origin currently residing in Australia were arrested and produced in courts on May 1st for allegedly funding the LTTE. Two Melbourne residents were produced in courts charged with providing material support and funding to Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers. Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, 32, of Mt Waverley, and Sivarajah Yathavan, 36, of Vermont South, appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court on May 1st afternoon after their arrests earlier in the day . more..

Aussies warned about Sri Lankan travel

May 1 (AAP) THE Australian Government has renewed its travel warnings for Sri Lanka following increased unrest in the island nation. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) tonight reissued its travel advisory, which remained at the second-highest level, warning Australians to reconsider the need to travel to Sri Lanka amid the conflict between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Sri Lanka Air Force calls for public calm

May 1 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's Air Force, faced with the problem of countering Tamil Tiger rebels' air capability, has called for the public to remain calm when the city of Colombo's air defense system gets activated. Air Marshal Roshan Gunetilake, the commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force, told a radio station here Tuesday that the Air Force would be greatly helped if the public remained calm. more..

India steps up security on coast in response to Sri Lanka strife

May 1 (DPA) Security along the coastal areas of India's southern states have been increased in view of internal developments in neighbouring Sri Lanka, India's Defence Minister AK Anthony said Tuesday. India viewed the situation in Sri Lanka as serious, especially in the wake of recent air strikes by the rebel LTTE near Colombo, Anthony was quoted as saying by PTI news agency during a visit to southern Kerala state. more..

Rebel air raid grounds Sri Lanka World Cup squad

May 1 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's World Cup cricket team is stuck in London trying to secure flights home after carrier Emirates suspended all flights to the island following a weekend Tamil Tiger air raid near the capital Colombo. Sri Lanka Cricket officials said they hoped the 15-man squad and management team would be back in Sri Lanka early on Thursday as planned in time for official welcome celebrations after their loss to Australia in the World Cup final. more..

'Destroy Tiger planes on the ground'

May 1 (HT) Former Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) chief, Air Vice Marshal Harry Gunatilleke, says that the only practical way of neutralising the LTTE's Air Force is the destruction of its planes on the ground. "Instead of chopping the branches of the tree, we have to go for the roots. Destruction of the planes on the ground is the only way to get rid of the problem," Gunatilleke told Hindustan Times on Tuesday. more..

Flying Tigers hold Sri Lanka to ransom

May 1 (AFP) The new capability of the Tamil Tigers to carry out airborne attacks has not only made them a rarity among the world's guerrilla outfits but has also badly shaken an entire country. Sri Lanka's defence ministry has acknowledged that the Tigers may be operating at least five light aircraft, used in three headline-grabbing raids against military and civilian targets over the past month. more..

From a Tragedy to a Farce: Comments on the SLFP Proposals

May 2 (TW) Professor Wiswa Warnapala, the Minister of Higher Education, is one of the leading political scientists in Sri Lanka. He has produced, even after entering the busy life of politics, many books in a wide variety of subjects, the most recent being about Sri Lanka-Russia Relations. When the media reported that Prof. Warnapala would be the main architect of the SLFP’s proposals to the All Party Representative Committee (APRC), we all became optimistic assuming that more..