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Karunanidhi’s "Save Tamil Race Show" in Chennai, VCK clarifies, Sedition case against Vaiko

Apr 10 (AT) Leading a massive rally to ‘Save Tamil Race’ in Chennai, DMK chief Karunanidhi Thursday asked Sri Lanka President to stop the war in Vanni and told Congress president Sonia Gandhi to ‘intervene to end the genocide of Tamils’ in the island nation. He also called for a dignified treatment to Prabhakaran, saying the Tiger’s chief should treated ‘like Alexander treated Porus’ in the battle. more..

'Tamil civilian sufferings due to LTTE holding them human shield'

Apr 10 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has blamed that LTTE solely responsible for the sufferings the innocent Tamil civilians at present undergoing in the 'No Fire Zone' in the North of Sri Lanka. He accused LTTE leadership for holding hundreds of thousands innocent Tamil civilians as human shield despite repeated calls for their freedom. more..

Summary of the cabinet decisions

Apr 10 (GDI) Cabinet approved a Memorandum submitted by the Minister of Health Care and Nutrition Nimal Siripala de Silva to declare an eye donation Day with a view to encourage the achievement of future ambitions of the society which has rendered a very valuable service to the society and to promote awareness among the public about the Eye Donation Society and 18th of December the date of birth of late Dshabandu Dr. Hadson Silva the founder member of the society as more..

The largest hostage rescue mission in the world launched

Apr 10 (GDI) Sri Lankan Armed forces have now undertaken the world's largest humanitarian operation in the world, as the LTTE terrorists have taken thousands of civilians in the No Fire Zone [NFZ] hostage. Sri Lanka Army has almost swept away terrorists strongholds in the northern anterior of the 12 kilometres long NFZ demarcated for the civilians and now limited their mop up operations to the southern anterior. more..

Easter the most important festival in Christian calendar - President

Apr 10 (GDI) Easter which marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ is considered most important festival in the Christian calendar because it signifies conquest of death, and the spirit of renewal and revival that bring hope to the human race, President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that while issuing an Easter message. "As Christians the world over celebrate this important festival they will focus on more..

Auspicious times for the Sinhala and Hindu New Year

Apr 10 (GDI) Sighting the moon: Monday, March 30 for the lunar Monday, April 27 for the new solar new year. Bathing for the old year: Saturday, April 11, with ointment prepared from “Dimbul” leaves. Dawn of the New Year: Tuesday, April 14, at 12.47 am. Punyakalaya: Punyakalaya begins at 06.23 pm on April 13 and ends at 07.11 am on April 14, Engage in religious activities during this period. more..

LTTE Armory and artillery gun distroyed at Puthumattalan

Apr 10 (LeN) Army announced that a LTTE armory and one 130mm artillery gun that were positioned in Puthumattalan north were destroyed on yesterday. The armory burnt for a long time with explosions and a video footage of the burning was shown in state media. One such moment is captured in the photo shown here. Meanwhile, Army in search operations recovered another underground cache of arms and ammunition from thick jungles in Puthukudirippu. more..

Sri Lankans to get 100,000 job opportunities

Apr 10 (LNP) Strengthening economic and trade ties between Libya and Sri Lanka featured prominently in bilateral talks between Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Libyan Head of State Colonel Muammar Gaddafi at the special venue for meetings with distinguished visitors at Sheri, Libya yesterday. President Rajapaksa who is the first Sri Lankan Head of State to visit Libya apprised the Libyan leader of steps being taken to free the people of Sri Lanka from terrorism, more..

Government’s Aim: Liberation of Tamils from the LTTE

Apr 10 (LG) In an exclusive interview with Sri Lanka Guardian’s Udara Soysa, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in the US, Mr. Jaliya Wickramasuriya said that the aim of the Sri Lankan government is the liberation of the Tamil people from the Tamil Tigers. He pointedly stated that the government values the lives of Tamils trapped in the war zone with utmost importance. more..

Mahinda, Liberator or Conqueror ?

Apr 10 (LG) It will be written in the great book, that as the new century dawned, a “demala” king Velu, ruled in the North from his capital in Kilinochchi. It will be written that many kings and queens of Lanka, tried in vain to defeat the “demala” king, but failed, until Mahinda, from the ancient Kingdom of Magama ascended to the throne of Lanka, and after assembling his “yodhayas”, one Gothabaya among them, raised a huge army and more..

India must shut this man up – Now!

Apr 10 (LG) Vaiko Gopalaswamy wants a bloodbath and so would the other Aces and Knaves pack of Tamilnadu’s mini-political nuisance makers like Thirumavalavan, Ramadoss, Nadumaran and a few others. They have no political ideologies but to whip up the masses to their advantage from time to time. They jump from party to party during election time and the leaders of the two major groups must be ashamed of themselves for carrying this rotten baggage with them. more..

Tamilnet feature: Tiger Terror International has come of age

Apr 10 (LG) According to a Tamilnet feature “In the name of its civilization IC is answerable” Thursday, 09 April 2009, the final paragraph states as follows: “In UK, where carrying the Tamil national flag is not permitted, police personal were seen advising the demonstrators to give the flags to children under 16, so that they can refrain themselves from taking action. That is the public understanding and sympathy coming even from the police personal. more..

Let’s extend Maithri, loving kindness to Prabakaran

Apr 10 (LG) In the past we have forgiven the Japanese for war crimes committed; in the Sri lanka, Karuna and Pillayan bringing them into the mainstream of democracy. The families of those 600 police officers blind-folded and shot in the eastern jungles by the LTTE have picked up the pieces and moved on with their lives, not only burying the past but also extending compassion and loving kindness to those who inflicted misery into their lives. more..

Multiple polling cards: Elections Commissioner takes action

Apr 10 (DN) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake has taken steps to annul any additional polling cards issued to voters of the Western Province, after authorities found that some had been provided with more than one polling card. Dissanayake said that if any voter tries to cast their ballot in more than one location, during the Western Provincial Council polls on April 25, they would be dealt with according to the law. more..

Buses aplenty for Avurudhu home bound

Apr 10 (DN) Colombo Central Bus Stand Manager Sarath Premalal said yesterday that more than 100 additional buses have been deployed to remote areas for the convenience of those going to the village for the Avurudhu festivities. He stated that these buses have been deployed for destinations such as Anuradhapura, Kataragama, Batticaloa, Balangoda, Badulla, Embilipitiya etc. more..

Sunk tanker: No cause for alarm

Apr 10 (DN) The Marine Pollution Prevention Authority yesterday confirmed that there will be no major impact on the environment due to the sinking of the Turkish ship carrying 6,250 Mt of Sulphuric acid off the Sri Lankan maritime border. According to Authority Chairman Ranjitha Kularatne, this disabled ship sank at a depth of over 3,500 metres off the Sri Lankan maritime border where there is no fish breeding ground. more..

War’s end will help Lanka exploit resources in territorial waters

Apr 10 (Island) The Sri Lankan government will claim an extension of its continental shelf before the 1982 UN Commission shortly. Foreign Ministry sources said that Sri Lanka’s claim would be submitted by May 12, 2009 seeking economic sovereignty beyond the present 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone. Dr. N. P. Wijayananda, who heads the delimitation of the outer edge of the continental margin project, said that they were in the final stage of the assignment. more..

Jaffna Bishop appeals to President to open A-9

Apr 10 (Island) Catholic Bishop of Jaffna Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Savundaranayagam in a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa has urged that the A9 road which is now cleared for traffic be opened for the convenience of passenger and goods transport between the North and South. He has sent the following letter to the President in this regard: Your Excellency,Urgent Need to open the A9 road between Jaffna and Colombo. more..

Private buses to the rescue of holiday makers

Apr 10 (Island) Transport Minister Dallas Alahaperuma has sought the help of private bus operators to maintain an uninterrupted bus service during the festive season following a strike launched by the SLTB. The SLTB strike which was launched only in the Southern province on Monday was yesterday extended to other parts of the country. SLTB sources claimed that all trade unions irrespective of their political affiliations have joined the strike. more..

UNP invites all parties to support abolition of executive presidency

Apr 10 (Island) The UNP yesterday called on all political parties to support its campaign for the abolition of the executive presidency, which it said was being abused as never before by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayake told The Island that the letter and intent of the executive presidency was not being followed and it should be abolished all together. more..

Pepiliyana church attacked

Apr 10 (DM) The Pastor of the Methodist Church at Pepiliyana said, while Christians the world over commemorate Holy Week, the Methodist Church at Pepiliyana was attacked and robbed by a gang which came in the now notorious white van Pastor Rev. Surangika Fernando said the attack took place at dawn on Monday – a day after the church had held a procession in the area to mark Palm Sunday. more..

Select Committee to probe quality of imported milk

Apr 10 (DM) In context of allegations that milk powder contains chemicals harmful to public health, sixteen Government Ministers and MPs have handed over a motion to Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara requesting him to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee to examine the quality of milk powder imported into the country. The motion was proposed by the National Freedom Front (NFF) and more..

Crew of sunk Turkish tanker return to Turkey next week

Apr 10 (Xinhua) The crew of a Turkish tanker that sunk off Sri Lanka will return to Turkey next week, officials of the Turkish Transportation Ministry said on Friday. Nineteen crew members of a Turkish-flagged tanker that sunk off Sri Lanka the previous day would depart Sri Lanka for Turkey on April 14, the officials were quoted by the semi-official Anatolia news agency. more..

I am not scared of arrest, says Vaiko

Apr 10 (IE) MDMK General Secretary Vaiko on Friday said that he was not afraid of being arrested for making inflammatory speech. “I am prepared to face any charges. I am not scared of arrest,” Vaiko said. His comments came after an First Incident Report (FIR) was issued against him under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Law, for allegedly delivering inflammatory speeches in support of the LTTE. more..

TNA turns down Menon’s invitation

Apr 10 (DM) The TNA, yesterday, turned down a request by Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon to meet him on April 15 and 16, saying that the party would not attend talks until India diplomatically brings about a ceasefire here. The TNA parliamentary group took this decision yesterday, at a meeting chaired by General Secretary Mavai Senathirajah MP. more..

Sri Lanka hikes tax on edible oil imports

Apr 10 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government has raised the import cess on palm oil to 60 rupees per kilo from 40 rupees, Coconut Cultivation Board officials said. The move is aimed at ensuring a better price for coconut growers, mostly small farmers, and to reduce imports of edible oils, mainly palm oil, they said. The decision came after prices of raw nuts fell to levels that were unremunerative for coconut growers. more..

Sri Lanka eyes diaspora funds to revive war zone

Apr 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka has said it plans to entice the Tamil diaspora to invest in reviving the war-ravaged north and has set up a separate division to oversee all rehabilitation activities. The government is considering a range of reconstruction activity to rebuild infrastructure destroyed by the 25-year-long ethnic war, the central bank said. These include bridges, roads and railways with the aim of reconnecting the north with the rest of the island. more..

Dialog says competition gains must not erode sustainability

Apr 10 (LBO) Dialog Telekom, Sri Lanka's top celco, has said short-term gains to consumers like lower mobile call rates from intense competition should not be allowed to erode the industry's long term sustainability. "I feel the entry of new operators is always good for the consumer. It brings out the best in all players in the market," said Hans Wijayasuriya, chief executive of Dialog Telekom, Sri Lanka's biggest mobile firm. more..

Group: Civilian deaths skyrocketing

Apr 10 (AP) An international rights group on Friday urged Sri Lanka's military to stop firing artillery into a designated "no fire" zone saying civilian casualties were skyrocketing. The plea came as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon telephoned Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa to discuss the plight of about 100,000 civilians trapped in the zone. New York-based Human Rights Watch said the area has been subjected to heavy shelling since Tuesday. more..

LTTE in touch with U.N., says Sri Lanka

Apr 10 (PTI) Sri Lanka on Friday said there were reports that the leaders of proscribed LTTE, believed to be hiding in the 'No Fire Zone' in the country's embattled north, are in touch with the United Nations. "There are news reports that Erik Solheim, the Norwegian International Development Minister, had told a group of Tamil demonstrators that LTTE leaders now in the No Fire Zone in Mullaittivu were maintaining close contact with the United Nations," more..

U.S., others urge end to 'futile fighting' in Sri Lanka

Apr 10 (Reuters) The nations leading Sri Lanka's peace process on Friday urged the Tamil Tigers to free 100,000 civilians they are holding and the military to stop shelling the no-fire zone where the separatists are making their last stand. The statement from the United States, Britain, Japan and Norway came as Sri Lanka's military said it had begun what it called "the largest hostage rescue operation in the world" by identifying the best routes for people to get out. more..

Sri Lanka mounts 'rescue' operation for civilians

Apr 10 (AFP) Sri Lanka's army announced Friday it had launched an operation to bring to safety thousands of civilians trapped by fighting with Tamil Tiger rebels. The defence ministry statement came as a New York-based human rights group said civilian casualties were "skyrocketing" in the island's northeast where the rebels have been surrounded in a narrow strip of jungle. more..

Tamil desperately waits for news from family

Apr 11 (OC) Every day for months now, at home and in his Kanata office, the high-tech engineer scours the Internet for news of his parents. He checks lists of the dead and injured. He scans news stories about rebels and fighting, cluster bombs and ceasefires. And he studies the graphic images of death and bloodshed in the conflict zone. One day last month, Raj thought he recognized his father's face in a photo of dead civilians in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lankan seafarers to be recognized by Belgium

Apr 11 (LBO) Belgium will recognize seafarer certificates issued by Sri Lanka allowing seamen from the island to serve aboard Belgian flagged vessels under a deal between the two countries, a government minister said. The merchant shipping division of Sri Lanka's ministry of ports and aviation had signed a memorandum of understanding with the directorate general – maritime transport, of the Kingdom of Belgium information minister Anura Yapa said. more..

'Indian hand in attack on Sri Lankan cricketers'

Apr 11 (IANS) Lahore's police chief sprang a surprise Friday, suggesting an Indian hand in the terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in the city last month, a suggestion that New Delhi promptly trashed. 'With the help of the security agencies, we have made much progress and our investigations are continuing. But one thing I can tell you is that there is strong evidence of an Indian hand,' more..

Tamils call on Norway to act over Sri Lanka conflict

Apr 11 (AFP) Several hundred Tamils staged a demonstration Friday in front of the Norwegian parliament calling on Oslo to intervene to halt the conflict between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil rebels. Norway has tried to play a mediation role in the conflict but other protests have been held here this week. Tamil demonstrators were stopped from getting to the offices of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday and Wednesday before they were received by a junior foreign minister. more..

Interview: Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara

Apr 11 (RFI) The Sri Lankan military says it launched an operation on Friday to free thousands of civilians trapped by fighting between the army and the LTTE. On Thursday, Human Rights Watch accused the government of putting civilians at risk, in their ongoing offensive against the rebel group. "Sri Lanka's so-called ‘no-fire zone' is now one of the most dangerous places in the world," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. more..

No Indian hand in Lahore attack, reiterates Sri Lanka

Apr 11 (IANS) Surprised at the Lahore police chief's claim of "an Indian hand" in the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team last month, Sri Lanka Friday reiterated that there was "no Indian involvement" in the terror strike that left six players wounded. "Our Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama had clearly said last month there was no Indian involvement in the attack on our cricketers in Lahore. We continue to maintain that position and there is no change in that," more..

Worries over Tamil hunger strike duo as Parliament protest reaches fifth day

Apr 11 (Times) Fears are mounting over the health of a pair of Tamil hunger strikers as their fellow demonstrators continue to picket Parliament Square and demand a ceasefire in Sri Lanka. The protest, which is the largest to take place opposite the Houses of Parliament since demonstrations there were effectively banned in 2005, showed no signs of abating today as hundreds of people gathered for the fifth day of action. more..

Subramanian Swamy wants central forces deployed in Tamil Nadu

Apr 11 (IANS) Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy Friday warned of serious trouble from pro-LTTE elements in Tamil Nadu and demanded that central paramilitary forces be deployed to take preventive measures. 'The central government must take pre-emptive action by posting Central Reserve Police Force and Border Security Force personnel in Tamil Nadu and carry out pre-emptive arrests of fissiparous elements immediately,' Swamy said in a statement. more..

Libya pledges support for Sri Lanka’s Development Agenda

Apr 11 (LG) Following President Mahinda Rajapakasa’s successful State visit to Libya from 8th – 10th April, 2009, the Libyan government will give US $ 500 million as a financial co-operation package for development projects in Sri Lanka. The Libyan government will also assist in granting development assistance for the Hambantota Airport, infrastructure development projects in the North and Eastern Provinces, development of highways, communications and tourism. more..

U.S. has a choice

Apr 11 (AT) The great political experts and super brains in the United States Department of State now have a choice before them: Are they politically astute to understand the voice of reason which emerged from a twenty-odd expatriate Tamil Diaspora delegation that was on a fact finding mission and a dialogue in Sri Lanka end of March from six Western nations and Australia or voice of the Tamil Tigers that emerged from a group of Tamils domiciled in the U.S. when they met American officials on April 6? more..

Ombudsman brings quick relief

Apr 11 (AT) While laws delays could be attributed to lawyers and litigations usually take a long time to settle, the concept of ombudsman is now proving to bring in quick relief said Dr Wickrama Weerasuriya, Insurance Ombudsman, while addressing the Key Person’s Forum organized by Small and Medium Enterprise Developers of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) and Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNFt). more..

Theepan of the LTTE: Heroic saga of a northern warrior

Apr 11 (DM) I was reminded of the above lines from the original “Horatius” poem by Macaulay as I was reading a posting on the defence ministry website headlined “Driven to their deaths in vain.” It was about the large number of LTTE cadres and leaders killed at Aananthapuram in the Puthukkudiyiruppu AGA division. The tone and content departed from the usual defence ministry rants about terrorists and terror bodies etc. more..

Opinion: Vaiko’s speech

Apr 11 (Hindu) The Chennai police’s decision to register a case of sedition against MDMK leader Vaiko for his inflammatory speech is in the right direction. Although everybody is sympathetic to the plight of the Sri Lankan Tamils, it is difficult to sympathise with the LTTE chief, V. Prabakaran, who masterminded Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination and was instrumental in eliminating thousands of Sri Lankans, including Tamils. more..

Tamils agree to break hunger strike

Apr 11 (PA) Two Tamil protesters have agreed to break their hunger strike with sips of water after politicians pledged to help them take part in talks on the plight of Tamils living in Sri Lanka. The students from Mitcham in south London had been on hunger strike since Monday - refusing to even take liquids - and supporters feared they were close to suffering renal failure. Sivatharsan Sivakumaraval, 21, and Prarameswaran Subramaniam, 28, are staging their protest more..

Looming disaster in Lanka

Apr 11 (ET) Even as the Sri Lankan army advances inexorably, the inherent problems within a purely military solution to the conflict in the island nation, the attendant humanitarian disaster, as well as the ratcheting up of the ‘Tamil cause’ as an electoral ploy in Tamil Nadu, clearly posit that the strife is far from resolving itself by just a defeat for the LTTE. The immediate issue is that the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, which has taken traditional Sinhala majoritarianism to the level of a fascist-militarist consensus, more..

Sri Lanka: Crushing victory

Apr 11 (Guardian) It started in the year Apple produced its first personal computer, a Soviet fighter shot down a Korean airliner, Neil Kinnock was elected Labour leader and 38 IRA prisoners escaped from the Maze. The Soviet Union is long gone; one of the escape leaders is now a junior minister in the Northern Ireland government; but the conflict in Sri Lanka grinds on to the bitter end. Nothing like the Good Friday agreement here. It is ending in a murderous round of shelling. more..

Truth, more bitter than fiction for IDPs

Apr 11 (GV) In Sri Lanka, there are events in motion that have created just the perfect environment for “event-horizons”. An “event-horizon” in the movies is usually a black-hole where any hapless space faring vessel when caught, has to go through a slowing down in time. Hapless people caught in its fringes are unable to escape due to the pull of the black-hole. While it is possible to escape from these “event-horizons”, it usually is about someone else coming and rescuing. more..

Libya - A friend in deed to Sri Lanka

Apr 11 (AT) Libya has come forward to give US $ 500 million as a financial co-operation package for development projects in Sri Lanka. This Libyan support was anounced sequel to Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s successful three-day state visit, from 8th – 10th April to Libya. "The Libyan government will also assist in granting development assistance for the Hambantota Airport, infrastructure development projects in the North and Eastern Provinces, development of highways, communications and tourism. more..