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New Year 2009

'Sri Lankan inflation will hit zero'

Apr 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's inflation will hit zero by the middle of the year, a senior central banker said, with 12-month price inflation in the capital Colombo already down to 5.3 percent in March 2009. "Inflation will come down even further,". "By the end of June we expect inflation to hit zero." The March inflation was the lowest since 2004, when the country abandoned fiscal and monetary prudence and went on a spending spree mostly financed by money printing, under what was called a 'home grown' policy framework. more..

Thousands of lives would have been saved if Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora were invited long time ago

Apr 11 (AT) Twenty one of us went to Colombo to get help for our refugees (IDPs) in the North by invitation of the foreign minister, the Hon. Mr. Bogalagama. This was the first time a foreign minister invited the Tamil Diaspora for direct talks in a 2 day conference organized in Colombo, for which we are very thankful. The Government listened to us, one to one, each with diverse opinions and we initiated a constructive dialogue. more..

TNA rejects Indian invitation

Apr 11 (BBC) Tamil parliamentarians in Sri Lanka say they have rejected an invitation by the Indian government for talks on the conflict in the island. TNA parliamentarian N Srikantha told BBC Sandeshaya that they were invited by the Indian Foreign Secretary, Shivshankar Menon, for talks in Delhi on 15-16 April. “We resolved that we should not respond positively to this invitation now given the fact that India has not taken any meaningful attempt diplomatically or politically to bring about a ceasefire,” he said. more..

Pro LTTE demonstrations in Germany

Apr 11 (LG) In the same pattorn as happened in London, Sydney and Paris, around 250 Sri Lankan Tamils gathered in front of the German Foreign Office in Berlin on Wednesday the 8th. The highly emotionalized demo which started around went for about four hours. The demonstrators held Pro LTTE Banners, Placards and flags shouting loudly in groups “Germany helps, Stop the Genocide now, we want peace peace now”. more..

Humanitarian operations continued; troops poised to free civilian hostages in NFZ

Apr 11 (GDI) Humanitarian operations conducted by Sri Lankan Armed forces have reached its final stage; with troops are poised to free thousands of civilians in the No Fire Zone [NFZ] held hostage by the LTTE terrorists. Sri Lanka Army has almost swept away all terrorists strongholds in the northern anterior of the 12 kilometres long NFZ demarcated for the civilians and more..

Time for Muslims to rise against the Traitors and Communalists –Part 02

Apr 11 (LG) The gallantry and firmness shown by the Commander in Chief President Mahinda Rajapkse for unwaveringly commanding our heroic forces to totally annihilate the LTTE terrorists is highly admirable. The Provincial Council election in the Western Province provides a golden opportunity for Muslims of the Western Province to express their gratitude to the President for eradicating the terrorist menace, as it was done by patriotic people in the East, more..

Genocide: ‘the end of imagination’

Apr 11 (LG) If countering Arundhati Roy’s accusation of an impending genocide is the task at hand, then, one needs only to point towards the Reuters photograph that accompanies her article on The Boston Globe website. It captures the return of Sri Lankan Tamils to Government controlled areas. The caption below the photograph reads: ‘Sri Lankan Tamil civilians arriving at a government-controlled area after fleeing territory controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam’. more..

Post terrorist era and the (Not) necessity for federalism

Apr 11 (LG) I sincerely feel sorry for the ignorance of Ranetunge. Mr Nadesan, a Tamil from Mt.Lavinia (I have reason to believe is authentic and not a Sinhalese writing under a pseudo name) has given the average Tamil’s view on the so called devolution B/S in one sentence. It is true that we the majority Sinhalese should douse the flames of Tamil anxiety (can call it Nationalism or what ever) in a prudent and practical way to bring viable and sustainable peace to the mother Lanka. more..

Nehru statue beheaded in London by Lankan Tamils

Apr 11 (NDTV) A Nehru statue placed outside the India House in London has been beheaded and protesting Sri Lankan Tamils are being blamed for the desecration. Police investigations are on but the vandals turned away CCTV cameras so there's no record of the actual crime. Earlier on Friday, Sri Lankan protesters had staged a demonstration outside the Indian High Commission in London against the war against their country Sri Lanka.

For many Tamils, Eelam has become a temporary rallying point

Apr 11 (TC) Even as the streets of London swarm with demonstrators calling for Tamil Eelam – a Tamil nation – for justice and for a stop to the genocide, for many of them their anger stems from desperation. The despair is borne out of an unbearable helplessness to reach out to their fellow countrymen and women now languishing in the northeast of Sri Lanka. And desperation does not always result in rational thinking. more..

Your Honour: Your message is irrelevant and extraneous

Apr 11 (LG) Shri V R Krishna Iyer is one of India’s much acclaimed legal luminaries and very well known for his fearless straight talk. We are privileged to publish a message from him press-released by Dr V Suresh, the President of Peoples Union for Civil Liberties, Tamilnadu and Puducherry (PUCTP). His statement, as Justice Krishna Iyer claims, is regarding the humanitarian crisis and mass deaths of civilians in the Vanni Region on April 9, 2009. more..

Foreign secretary discusses end of LTTE with U.S. state department officials

Apr 11 (GDI) Dr. Palitha Kohona, oreign Secretary, met with top U.S. State Department officials on Friday 10 April 2009. The end of the 25-year-long conflict with the terrorist LTTE was at the core of the discussions. With about 500 LTTE combatants cornered by government security forces in northeastern Sri Lanka, the Foreign Secretary told the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Richard Boucher, that Sri Lankan forces are, more..

Threat to Sonia Gandhi

Apr 11 (LG) There are widespread reports in electronic and print media that the ministry of home affairs has issued an alert stating that LTTE has threatened to kill Mrs Sonia Gandhi. If media reports are correct, the warning is ominous. This warning should be taken most seriously. Not because of what the home ministry has said, but because the home ministry at all said it. This is election time. more..

Lift Tamil Tiger ban, protesters in Ottawa urge

Apr 11 (G&M) More than 1,000 Canadian Tamils lined Ottawa's Wellington Street yesterday, proudly waving the bright red flags of a banned terrorist organization in front of Parliament Hill to protest against the escalating violence in Sri Lanka. The demonstrators, who arrived largely from Toronto and Montreal, are part of worldwide Tamil protests against what they describe as a deadly military offensive by the Sri Lankan military. more..

Mangala back in Sri Lanka

Apr 11 (LeN) Sri Lanka Freedom Party -People's Wing (SLFP-PW) leader Mangala Samaraweera, who was in self exile for some time due to threats to his life arrived back in Sri Lanka. He expected to take part in the funeral of the slain JVP activist Nandana Balage, but failed to do so since a flight delay. Samaraweera said to Lanka-e-News that he would recommence his political career with a seminar to be held in Mathara in May. more..

April declared the “Ayurvedic month”

Apr 11 (LP) The year 2010 will be declared as the “Ayurvedic year”. The month of April will be declared as the Ayurvedic month while the day of anointing of the head and bathing for the New Year which falls every year will be named has the “Ayurvedic day” stated Minister of Indigenous Medicines, Tissa Karaliyadda at a media briefing held in Colombo recently. This year’s anointing the head and bathing falls on the 15th of April 8, 2009 and the auspicious time is, 07.32 am. more..

Recovered LTTE’s T-55 MBT back on wheels

Apr 11 (LP) The LTTE’s T-55 Main Battle Tank (MBT) recovered by the Army troops from the west of Putumattalan in Mullaittivu a few days ago was restored to working condition by Sri Lanka Armoured Corps (SLAC) Tuesday (7). The tank had been toppled and half sunk under the soil due to Air Force bombing while terrorists were using it against the troops. During clearing operations conducted by the troops subsequent to expel of Tigers from the area, more..

Army might 'wait and see'

Apr 11 (DW) The Army has NOT launched the hostage rescue mission as some sources have indicated. It is clearing the periphery of the NFZ but have not yet ventured into the NFZ with the purpose of rescuing civilians. Instead, the Army has adopted a 'wait and see' approach as pressure mounts on both sides, particularly the LTTE. The United States and a few other countries in the International Community have put pressure on the government to call for a 7-day Cease-Fire, which the government has refused. more..

Karuna’s brother-in-law escapes from LTTE?

Apr 11 (AD) The brother-in-law of former LTTE eastern leader and current Sri Lankan government Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna, has escaped from the LTTE in Puthukkudyiruppu, reports say. Military sources said that a youth had surrendered to the military in Omanthai in Vavuniya claiming that he is the brother-in-law of Karuna. The youth had told the military that he had fought in the Eastern region under Karuna Amman several years ago. more..

The Road to Elephant Pass (A New Year Meditation)

Apr 11 (PISL) I had just left a military wedding in Kandy when the news came through of the regaining of Elephant Pass. It was the second such wedding I had attended in a month. The first was that of a former student, and I had welcomed the opportunity to meet others amongst my students, most of them for the first time since they had passed out from the Military Academy in Diyatalawa. more..

Expose those swimmers!

Apr 11 (LNP) Minister Dallas Alahapperuma has made a splash in the run up to the WPC polls. He says the army has stumbled upon an LTTE video of some southern politicians frolicking with Prabhakaran in his swimming pool! The government, the minister says, will not make the video public until April 25, when the WPC polls are scheduled to be held, as it does not want to be accused of making political capital out of that expose. more..

Call to use electricity sparingly during festive season

Apr 11 (DN) The Power and Energy Ministry appealed to consumers to use electricity sparingly during the festive season as the water levels of the reservoirs still remain low. 75 per cent of the electricity need is generated using fossil fuel while only 25 per cent by hydro power. He told the catchment areas are only receiving a little rainfall during this inter-monsoonal period, although some parts in the country have received a considerable rainfall. more..

Ministry refutes allegations

Apr 11 (DN) The attention of the Government and the Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry has been drawn to certain media reports alleging that several civilians have been killed in the No Fire Zone (NFZ) on the Mullaitivu coast on April 8, 2009. These reports have quoted Dr. T. Sathyamurthy, RDHS Kilinochchi, and Dr. T. Varatharaja, RDHS, Mullaitivu, alleging that the deaths have been caused due to shelling by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA). more..

Govt. rejects Ranil’s challenge to debate with Mahinda on CFA

Apr 11 (Island) The government yesterday rejected UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s challenge, to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, for a debate on the February 2002 Ceasefire Agreement with the LTTE, saying that Rajapaksa has more important things to do. Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said "We are not accepting any challenge. President Rajapaksa has more important matters to address and has no time for useless debates. more..

UNP strengthened Tigers - Minister

Apr 11 (DN) The UNP will never be able to run away from the responsibility of strengthening the LTTE through the ceasefire. The Opposition Leader is trying to distract the public and direct attention towards another direction to cover up the internal crisis he is facing and repeated defeats, Information and Media Minister and Cabinet Spokesman Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. more..

Boat people 'killed' if sent home

Apr 11 (TN) A Sri Lankan human rights activist believes 50 Sri Lankan boat people, discovered on Warrior Reef on Wednesday, April 1, when their vessel ran aground, will be "killed" if they are not given protection visas by the Australian Government. Mr Wicki Wickiramasingham, Chairman of the Justice and Freedom for Ceylon Tamils Action Group, has no doubt the 50 people are Tamils, from the north of Sri Lanka, and more..

UNP demands PSC on financial companies’ collapses

Apr 11 (Island) A group of UNP MPs had submitted a notice to the Secretary General of Parliament yesterday requesting the appointment of a Parliamentary Select Committee to look into the collapses of Golden Key Credit Card Company and several of its subsidiaries, a company operating under the name "Okanda" another individual operating under the name of "Sakvithi" and another commonly known as "Danduwam Mudalali" and the Sri Lanka Human resources Development Cooperative Bank Society Ltd. more..

14-year-old girl gives birth to baby girl

Apr 11 (DM) A shocking incident was reported from the Colombo Castle Street Maternity Hospital when a 14-year-old girl who gave birth to a baby girl alleged that she had been subjected to multiple rape by her foster father and two other men. The incident came to light when a Colombo Central Crimes Intelligence Unit official received information that an underage girl who had given birth to a baby at the National Hospital had been transferred to the Castle Maternity Hospital. more..

SLTB bus strike taking grim turn

Apr 11 (DM) Commuters yesterday expressed concern over the ongoing SLTB strike launched by a section of employees who threatened to spiral it into an island wide strike yesterday at a time when the Sinhala-Hindu New Year is round the corner. A crucial meeting among Transport Minister Dulles Alahapperuma, strikers, Treasury officials and the SLTB was to be held last evening, SLTB chairman Dhammika Hewapathirana said. more..

Education sector in shambles: UNP

Apr 11 (DM) Stating that the country’s education sector is in shambles the main opposition UNP yesterday charged that schools in the Western Province are being used for the election campaign by the government. UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam told a press conference yesterday that Rs 3000 have been charged by the teachers for the UPFA’s election campaign fund. He said some teachers in Kuluyapitiya have been forced to fund the campaign. more..

Co-Chairs ask LTTE to release civilians

Apr 11 (ANN) The Tokyo Co-Chairs had called upon the LTTE to release civilians trapped in the No-Fire Zone, a press release issued by the USEmbassy in Colombo said Friday. The Tokyo Co-Chairs made this calling during their meeting with US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher, the release said adding that the meeting took place during a conference call initiated by the US State Department. more..

Farewell to a gentle giant

Apr 11 (Island) Legal luminary, patriot and gentleman H. L. de Silva, PC (81) makes his final journey today. We are diminished beyond measure by the demise of an illustrious Sri Lankan.HL's brilliant legal career began about six decades ago after his graduation in law in 1951. Having completed his examination at the Law College, he hung out his shingle at Hulftsdorp, where his rise to fame began. more..

Quarter of displaced SLankan children malnourished

Apr 11 (AFP) At least one in four children displaced by Sri Lanka's ongoing fighting between troops and Tamil Tigers was malnourished, the health ministry said Saturday. Malnutrition among children below the age of five years in the embattled Mullaittivu district had reached 25 percent, the highest in the island, the ministry said in a statement quoting a recent survey of families displaced by the war. more..

‘No desecration of Nehru’s bust, it just fell off’

Apr 11 (TOI) The Indian High Commission in London has denied that there was any desecration of the Nehru bust located just outside its visa office. There were reports earlier that LTTE sympathisers had "beheaded" the bust. "It just fell off," said M Subhashini, spokesperson for the High Commission. "The bust got separated from the pedestal. There's nothing suspicious about it at all," she told a news agency on Friday. more..

Tamil anger boils over in London, Nehru's bust broken

Apr 11 (IBN) Tamil anger is boiling over in the streets of London. The Tamils want the world to stop what they fear is the massacre of Tamil civilians as the Sri Lankan army closes in on the LTTE. And that anger saw at least one casualty in London - not of a man or woman but a statue. The bust of Pandit Jawarhalal Nehru opposite the Indian High Commission in London was broken off from its pedestal. more..

Troops enter no fire zone: Radio

Apr 11 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan troops nearing the end of their campaign against Tamil Tigers have entered the no-fire zone in the north, state radio reported Saturday. SLBC in its main English news bulletin said the army's 58 division led by Brigadier Shavendra Silva had entered Puttumatalan no-fire zone Friday evening. However, the military is yet to officially confirm the troops' entry to the government declared no-fire zone for the safety of over 100,000 civilians from the minority Tamil community. more..

India invites pro-LTTE Lankan party for talks

Apr 11 (PTI) India has invited pro-LTTE TNA for talks here next week to discuss the course of action after war but the Sri Lankan Tamil party is not enthused as it is upset over India's "silence" during the military offensive. Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon has invited TNA leaders for talks on April 15 and 16, the first time in recent years when an ethnic Tamil party close to LTTE has been called for discussions. more..

Sri Lankan media ban 'a disgrace': rights group

Apr 11 (AFP) An international rights group Saturday urged Sri Lanka to allow journalists access to the war zone in the northeast where a "humanitarian crisis is unfolding" without a media presence. "It is a disgrace that this war is being waged without independent journalists present," Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said. "With a major humanitarian crisis and war crimes clearly taking place, more..

Nadesan: there will be no post-LTTE scenario

Apr 11 (TN) Head of Liberation Tigers Political section, B. Nadesan, in an interview to India's weekly magazine Tehelka, said that, "There will not be a post-LTTE scenario. Look around the world, and you will see the desire for freedom and dignity in the hearts and minds of all Tamils. The LTTE is seen as the way to achieve the political aspirations of the Tamil people," and more..

To catch the cub in the Tiger’s den

Apr 11 (Tehelka) ONE DAY in July 1987, in a plush room of a New Delhi hotel, an Indian diplomat was beginning to lose his temper at an intransigent young man. JN Dixit, then Indian High Commissioner in Colombo, wanted Velupillai Praba - karan, the dapper chief of the rebel LTTE, to accept a proposed accord between the governments of India and Sri Lanka that aimed to bring an elusive peace to the strife-torn island nation. more..

Sinhala and Tamil New Year: A small step into an Assembly Hall and a giant leap towards racial reconciliation

Apr 12 (AT) On 4th April, a huge crowd filled up the Feltham Assembly Hall in West London for an event that is celebrated by the Sri Lankans all over the world this time of the year – the Sinhala and Tamil New Year – in a unique reconciliatory spirit; all three major communities took part in the celebration as the members of the same family. more..

Minister Bathiyutheen to meet Bill Clinton, Ban Ki Moon over resettlement issues

Apr 12 (AT) Sri Lankan Minister of Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Abdul Risath Bathiyutheen will meet former US President Bill Clinton and United Nations Secretary General N Ban Ki Moon over issues relating to the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons. The Government and my Ministry have been invited for the last of the Tsunami conferences which will be held in New York on April 23 and more..

Are Sri Lankan protests Tamil Tigers’ last gasp?

Apr 12 (VS) This week, Ottawa commuters were thrust into a conflict half a world away, one that’s claimed more than 70,000 lives over the past 25 years. Starting on Tuesday, Sri Lankan Tamils, numbering in the thousands at their peak, occupied part of Wellington Street near Parliament Hill, snarling traffic in the core of the nation’s capital. The Ottawa protest was no isolated event. more..

Further thrust towards Mullaithivu

Apr 12 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan military on Saturday said troops operating in the West of Ampalawanpokkanai area attacked several LTTE positions to make more room for the civilians held hostage in the No Fire Zone [NFZ] to come into the cleared areas. The Defence Ministry here said the troops recovered nine bodies of LTTE cadre and ammunition. Also, snipers deployed in the forward areas reported shooting down of 15 armed LTTE cadre. more..

ICF coaches for Lankan Railways

Apr 12 (TOI) Integral Coach Factory (ICF) will manufacture coaches for Sri Lanka. The railway's coach factory has received orders to manufacture 15 rakes of Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) having 90 coaches for Sri Lankan Railways this year, ICF general manager M S Jayanth said. Speaking at the 54th Railway Week celebrations of the factory on Saturday, Jayanth said that the order had come through RITES and the total cost of the project is estimated to be around Rs 102 crores. more..

‘I will be UPFA’s chief minister’

Apr 12 (SL) Former chief minister of the Western Province and the UPFA Kalutara District Leader Reginald Cooray believes that he is likely to become the chief minister of the province once again on April 26. In an interview with The Sunday Leader the former English teacher rejects charges of using school premises as election platforms but alleges that instead of opposition candidates, UPFA candidates have turned their guns on him fearing his popularity. more..

Taxes to go up as cost of war takes its toll

Apr 12 (SL) The year started with the government riding high on military gains and of course the LTTE faced with a superior conventional army thrusting forward shrunk to a limited space taking with them a large civilian population. The army’s thrust has now reached a crucial phase having cornered the Tigers to the no fire zone and the final foray has to take into account the fate of the thousands of civilians who are bound to be caught in the cross fire. more..

Guns and goons rule Gampaha

Apr 12 (SL) With the Western Provincial Council (WPC) election just two weeks away, all major political parties have their campaigns in full swing. But the downside is the escalating election related violence — especially in the Gampaha District. Gampaha recorded the first election related death in the province last week. The opposition accuses the ruling party of misusing state property and state machinery for its campaign amidst police apathy — charges the UPFA District Leader Prasanna Ranatunge refutes. more..

Garbage guidelines dumped, but not garbage

Apr 12 (SL) Following a Supreme Court directive to clear up garbage in Colombo, authorities are still working on clearing up the city. However, the dump site may no longer be a UDA site in Peliyagoda, as was originally planned. Minister of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development, Dinesh Gunawardena told The Sunday Leader that they were considering shifting operations to Kolonnawa. more..