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Interview with Vasudeva: Part 1

A minor earth tremor in South & East

Apr 16 (LeN) A minor earth tremor was felt by the Eastern and Southern parts of the island this morning. State earthquakes monitoring authorities said that window panes were cracked as tremor was felt in some parts of the country. National Geological Survey and Mines Bureau says the earth tremor was felt by Panama, Pottuvil, Batticaloa, Ampara, Monaragala, Hambanthota, Mathara, Galle, Elpitiya and Badulla areas around 8.50 am. more..

Toll for all expressways

Apr 16 (LT) The government is considering levying a toll from vehicles using all expressways that have been built and are being built. Already a toll package has been planned for the Southern Expressway and a minimum charge of Rs.3.00 per kilometer would be charged. According to the Ministry of Highway the new toll system would be introduced to cover up the expenses of constructing highways. more..

Shall continue struggle if circular is not implemented - ACTWU

Apr 16 (LT) A stern action would be taken after the 26th of this month if the government attempts to treat the circular issued on the CTB as a mere document as had been done with other circulars states All Ceylon Transport Workers’ Union (ACTWU). Mr. Sepala Liynage, General Secretary of the ACTWU said a circular has been issued to pay the living allowances by adding it to the salary and he would call upon the officials not to limit it to a mere document. more..

Army deserter involved in Okkampitiya attack

Apr 16 (LT) An Army soldier who had deserted has been involved in the attack carried out by tiger terrorists on the Galtammandiya village in Okkampitiya on the 13th say police. Three civilians were killed in the attack and several others injured. According to a senior police officer a group of three tiger terrorists have carried out the attack and information has received that a deserter named Milton was among the gang. more..

'Tolerance is the key, look for the common factors of humanity'

Apr 16 (MoD) "There should be one government and people should learn to live together respecting each other. Tolerance is the key, look for the common factors of humanity. Don't look for the differences. LTTE paid a heavy price as their elders never practiced 'Dharma and Tolerance' instead they resorted for terror and segregation' writes opinion columnist Dr. Nadan. Directing his sympathies with the mislead LTTE fundraisers clamouring for a segregation from the island state, more..

53 Div seize control over LTTE built earth bund East of Puthukkudiyirippu

Apr 16 (MoD) Sri Lankan security forces stepped-up fresh advances on Wednesday, towards the remaining non-liberated territory along the coast of Mullaittivu, following a government declared 48 hour unilateral humanitarian pause since Monday. The military maneuvers are expected to set stage for the worlds' largest hostage rescue operation under taken by a conventional armed force in modern time according to defence observers. more..

No beakfast for poor students

Apr 16 (DM) In another blow to the poor, government schools with fewer than 100 students have not been provided their breakfast since January, Ceylon Principals Service Union said yesterday. “Initially the government spent Rs.17 for a student’s meal each day and this was later increased to Rs.19. But now no funds are being allocated,” Union general secretary P.L. Lal Chandrakumara said. more..

Political parties, clergy condemn attack

Apr 16 (DN) There was outright condemnation of the attack by pro-LTTE elements on Sri Lanka’s Embassy in Norway by political and religious leaders. JHU stalwart and the Party’s legal consultant Udaya Gammanpila said it was their stand from the inception that Norway was an enemy state of Sri Lanka. “It was incumbent on the Norwegian Government to provide security to the Sri Lankan Mission in that country. more..

Attack on Lanka’s Mission in Norway: Govt lodges official protest

Apr 16 (DN) The Government of Sri Lanka has vehemently condemned the violent attack by operatives belonging to the international terror network of the LTTE on the Sri Lanka Embassy in Oslo on Sunday, April 12, 2009. On the advice of the Foreign Affairs Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, the Royal Norwegian Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Tore Hattrem was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on April 13, 2009, and an official protest lodged. more..

Sparks of Resurrection even now

Apr 16 (DN) True happiness comes through positive experiences rooted in pain, struggle, self-denial and giving meaning and worth to others. Juan Arias in his strangely titled book “The God I don’t Believe In”, in the Chapter entitled “Who is Really Happy” says. “Human pain will always be a mystery, as will poverty, our anguish, solitude and tears, when we are continually tortured by our longing for happiness. more..

Sri Lankan on hunger strike 'close to death'

Apr 16 (ES) Paramesweran Subramaniyam has gone without food for 10 days in protest at the Sri Lankan government's offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels. The 28-year-old from Mitcham is now refusing water and it is feared he could soon slip into a coma. Mr Subramaniyam's condition is deteriorating as anger grows among demonstrators about heavy artillery and motar attacks by Sri Lankan forces on a Tamil enclave yesterday following a two-day ceasefire. more..

Govt sucking people’s blood to transfuse itself -UNP

Apr 16 (LG) UNP M.P. Kabir Hashim said, this Govt. is unique in that while world market prices are plummeting, this is the only Govt. which does not pass the benefits there-from to the people. Moreover, when all other govts. are offering stimulus packages to their business sectors and devising reliefs to the people to beat the global economic recession, this SL govt. has made use of this global recession to more..

We have won confidence of civilians – Army chief

Apr 16 (Island) Army Chief Lt. General Sarath Fonseka said that civilians held hostage by the LTTE had now begun to place their faith in humanitarian operations conducted by the security forces. In his New Year message, Fonseka, under whose command the army had brought the Tigers to their knees, said that hospitality, friendliness and kindness shown by the army towards civilians arriving in the government-held areas had proved that they were disciplined and friendly. more..

Positive contribution through National Energy Policy

Apr 16 (Island) The Power and Energy Ministry following the mandate given by President Mahinda Rajapaksa has formulated the National Energy Policy. The Policy has incorporated subjects and functions such as implementation of policies, plans and programmes in respect of power and energy, investigation, planning, implementation and coordination of energy matter, investigation, planning and development of electricity facilities through the island, more..

Norway says Sri Lanka, LTTE should independently

Apr 16 (Island) Norway has rejected accusations that it is not doing enough on LTTE’s behalf and said that any solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka should be worked out independently between the Sri Lankan government and LTTE. Norways position had been conveyed to pro-LTTE demonstrators in Oslo, by the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister Raymond Johansen, the First Secretary at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Oslo, Shani Karunaratne told The Island. more..

No peace process to facilitate -Norway

Apr 16 (LG) Responding to Sri Lanka government’s view that there is no room for Norway to be a facilitator in the engagement with Sri Lanka, the spokesman for the Norwegian embassy in Colombo has said that there was no peace process to facilitate. Following the attack on the Sri Lankan embassy in Oslo, Norway, by a group of LTTE supporters on Sunday, the government of Sri Lanka has said it no longer perceived it feasible for Norway to act as facilitator in its engagement with Sri Lanka in the current context. more..

Nishantha Ranatunga on mystery trip to Dubai

Apr 16 (DM) Taking a cue from his globe trotting brother Arjuna, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Interim Committee Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga has flown to Dubai at the expense of SLC for an International Cricket Council meeting where his presence is not required, sources told “Daily Mirror” yesterday. Arjuna Ranatunga who was the Chairman of the previous SLC Interim Committee made as many as 17 overseas trips during his one-year term in office, more..

Symbolism of 'Tiger' flag riles feds

Apr 16 (OS) For a brief moment, Tamil-Canadian protesters nearly had one of their demands met when they pulled down their controversial tiger flags. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon's office was preparing to release a statement after the Tamils stopped flying their flag. However, the protesters decided they would only lower their flags for the morning and the flags were flying again by noon. more..

Earth tremor due to new plate

Apr 16 (DM) The earth tremor which was felt in three provinces in Sri Lanka yesterday could be due to a new plate that had formed under the sea just off Sri Lanka, the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) said. GSMB Director Dr. O. K. Dissanayake told the Daily Mirror yesterday that the new plate that was forming was discovered when surveys were made in the seas off Sri Lanka to demarcate the fishing area of the country. more..

Take steps to stop Lankan war: MK to Centre

Apr 16 (EB) Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Wednesday urged the Central government to initiate immediate steps to stop the ongoing war altogether in Sri Lanka while the PMK founder S Ramadoss said that if Karunanidhi fails to end the war, the Tamil race would curse him in future. Karunanidhi said, “I know the difference between giving something in piecemeal and giving the same in full…nothing will be lost if the Lankan government brings an end to the war totally. more..

Hurting Sri Lankans happy to be back in action

Apr 16 (AFP) Sri Lankan cricketers will be wary, changed men when they line-up at the IPL, their first foreign assignment since they were caught up in the bloodbath of Lahore. On March 3, gunmen attacked the Sri Lankan team bus en route for the third day of the second Test against Pakistan in the city. Eight Pakistanis died; seven of the tourists, as well as their assistant coach, were wounded. more..

Pursuing the safety of civilians, not the continuation of terror

Apr 16 (PISL) The decision of the government to declare a ceasefire over the New Year period has met with they type of reaction that suggests how difficult it is to achieve peace when so many influential and noisy international actors are full of destructive preconceptions. The main purpose of the ceasefire is to allow people to leave, which is what the so called international community has been requesting. more..

Tigers stalk the ballot box

Apr 16 (AT) Even as the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE observed a two-day ceasefire in the island early this week, the LTTE and its supporters are heating things up in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu with threats and vitriolic speeches. While Indian intelligence agencies have raised an alarm that the LTTE could attack senior political leaders in the country, politicians in Tamil Nadu known for their links to the LTTE just more..

Sri Lanka’s displaced: the political vice

Apr 16 (HRW) After Sri Lankan army forces overran parts of the last stretch of territory held by the LTTE on 1 April 2009, a statement from the defence ministry in Colombo announced that they had found the bodies of over seventy LTTE cadre. The statement went on to detail the spoils of war: the numbers of captured rifles, grenade-launchers, and mortars. As for civilian deaths and injuries - despite what was evidently hard fighting in populated areas - not a word! more..

India urged to tell Sri Lanka to stop war

Apr 16 (IANS) The members of the TNA, which is sympathetic to the Tamil Tigers, conveyed the message to National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan here late Wednesday, a delegation member said Thursday. "We told the Indian government that the military operations (in Sri Lanka) must be stopped," TNA MP K. Premachandran said, adding that the delegation was worried about Tamil civilians in the war zone. more..

Promoting equitable access to education in Sri Lanka over sixty years

Apr 16 (WB) The experience of public policy in Sri Lanka has had a profound impact on the thinking of the global development community in relation to the role of education in economic development. In particular, the example of Sri Lanka helped to persuade policy makers around the world that governments can successfully develop a general education system to enable universal enrollment and completion of primary education, more..

Former Sri Lankan president to speak at Chatham Hall

Apr 16 (GD) The first female president of Sri Lanka will spend three days at Chatham Hall, mingling with the students who will have an opportunity to learn from a leader. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, who was president of Sri Lanka from 1994 to 2005, will arrive on campus today as part of the school’s Leader-in-Residence program, said Robert Ankrom, the school’s director of communications. more..

'LTTE snatching food supplies for civilians'

Apr 16 (PTI) Sri Lankan government on Wednesday accused the LTTE of "taking away" large amount of food supplies from the consignment meant for displaced Tamil civilians in the island's north even as it issued an appeal to the public to donate relief items for shipment. Essential Services Commissioner S B Divaratne appealed to the people, especially from the south, to come forward with 'new year' gifts including clothes, milk food and other foodstuff to be sent to Mullaittivu in Wanni region. more..

Two-day ceasefire “inadequate”, says UN

Apr 16 (IRIN) The UN has described the two-day cease-fire on 13 and 14 April declared by the Sri Lankan government as “inadequate” in easing the plight of tens of thousand of Tamil civilians still trapped in a narrow 12km-long so-called No Fire Zone in northern Sri Lanka. “It’s clear that 48 hours was not long enough to allow us to get in significant amounts of aid, or indeed to allow visits by humanitarian workers to the area,” more..

President visits Kilinochchi: 'first ever visit by a head of state'

Apr 16 (MoD) The President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited the recently liberated Northern Town of Kilinochchi today (April 16). The President made this goodwill visit during the traditional Sinhala and Hindu New Year period to meet with the troops stationed there as well as IDPs and other civilians. This is the first visit by a Head of State to this part of Sri Lanka in nearly three decades. more..

Sri Lankan troops attack rebel defenses

Apr 16 (AP) Sri Lankan troops backed by helicopter gunships attacked Tamil Tiger defenses in the northeast Thursday, a rebel-allied Web site reported, as international pressure grew for a new cease-fire to allow civilians to escape the fighting. The government, which has surrounded the rebels along with tens of thousands of civilians in a sliver of land along the northeast coast, has vowed to crush the Tamil Tigers and end this Indian Ocean island nation's quarter century civil war. more..

Operators join two-for-one Sri Lanka deal

Apr 17 (TB) More than 30 of the UK's top tour operators have now signed-up to promote the new two-for-one holiday deals to Sri Lanka. The promotion was launched by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) in the UK with airline partners, SriLankan Airlines and Qatar Airways in conjunction with the hotels representing a diverse range of accommodation featured in the tour operator brochures. more..

Srilankan cultinary comes to Hanoi

Apr 17 (ND) Nhan Dan Online- Hanoians now have a chance to enjoy culinary delights coming from Sri Lanka during the culinary week from April 13 to 18 at Hanoi Melia Hotel. The special guest of the event is the chef Hemalallindre Ranawake popularly known as Koluu from Sri Lanka who will bring the culinary heritage of Sri Lankan food which offers the fragrance, styles and specialties from Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka port terminal bids draw 14 parties

Apr 17 (LBO) Fourteen potential investors have collected bid documents to build and operate a container terminal in a new port coming up next to Colombo harbour, Sri Lankan government officials said. The parties include Maersk, the world's biggest shipping line, APL, another global shipping line, and Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), a big global port terminal operator based in Hong Kong. more..

Sri Lankan Airlines give wings to 11 pilots

Apr 17 (LBO) Sri Lankan Airlines says 11 new pilots have completed its training and passed out as junior first officers, while two batches are being trained under its cadet pilot programme. "The pilots of this airline have a long and proud history and pride themselves on being the best in the world," Sri Lankan head of flight operations Druvi Perera said in a statement. The cadet pilot programme is now training one batch, and has recruited a fresh batch which will begin training next month. more..

Sri Lanka hospitals ombudsman mooted

Apr 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's insurance ombudsman has advocated the creation of a similar office to cover the island's rapidly growing private hospital sector and settle complaints by patients. Wickrama Weerasooriya said the concept of ombudsman is now proving to bring quick relief while legal delays could be attributed to lawyers and litigation usually takes a long time to settle. Except one case, in all other cases insurance companies agreed with his decisions and payments were accordingly made, more..

SL embassy attacked by LTTE supporters

Public, private and co-operative sector competition caused price reductions during festive season

Apr 17 (GDI) “We intentionally created the market where public, private and co-operative sectors competed in the open, and it caused the prices of essential food items to come down rapidly. So the markets thrived and attracted consumers to buy food and other essentials at reasonable prices,” Trade, Trade Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Bandula Gunawardhana said. more..

A9 open for passenger transport as soon as possible

Apr 17 (GDI) The Government is making the necessary arrangements to immediately open the Kandy-Jaffna A-9 road for passenger transport. The road is already open for goods transportation. Commissioner General of Essential Services S.B.Divarathne said that several factors have to be taken into consideration before opening the route for passenger travel. Priority must be given in this respect to the removal of land mines. more..

India starts marathon vote, weak coalition seen

Apr 17 (Reuters) From the snowbound Chinese border to holy Ganges cities, tens of millions of Indians began voting in a month-long election with signs that an unstable coalition may emerge in the middle of an economic slowdown. The ruling Congress party-led coalition appears to lead against an alliance headed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but both may need the support of a host of smaller and unpredictable regional parties to win office. more..

Massive coconut cultivation project

Apr 17 (FP) The Coconut Cultivation Board has made arrangements to distribute 1.4 million coconut saplings among farmers who own small coconut lands that are under ten acres. This is done to strengthen and develop the coconut industry in Sri Lanka. Chairman, Kurunegala Pradeshiya Sabha Patrick Karunasinghe at a ceremony held at Mothawa, Wattegedara to distribute 1,000 free coconut saplings to farmers said this move will uplift the coconut plantation industry within more..

President flies to captured rebel headquarters

Apr 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's president made a symbolic visit on Thursday to the town the Tamil Tigers had declared their capital, while an offensive to finish off the separatist rebels resumed after a two-day truce. Sri Lanka's military has the LTTE encircled in a 17 square km (7 sq mile) strip of northeastern coastline, along with tens of thousands of civilians they have forced to stay with them. more..

Civilians wounded, families separated in conflict zone

Apr 17 (MSF) Since the beginning of the year, fighting between the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE has intensified. There has been heavy fighting in a region on the northeastern coast of the island. Even after a temporary ceasefire, approximately 150,000 civilians remain trapped in this eight-square-mile area. In Vavuniya, about 50 miles south of where the fighting is taking place, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provides food in 10 camps for displaced people and works in the area’s hospital. more..

Assassination of an activist

Holmes needs more homework: Diaspora refugee worker

Apr 17 (TN) It is unfortunate that UN, the apex body meant to protect the weaker sections of humanity, is on the contrary exploiting the misery of Eezham Tamil civilians to abet the aims of their sworn oppressors, said K.Suthahar, an information counsellor of a refugee reception centre in Norway. "Top UN official John Holmes, would do better by convincing his organisation to first demonstrate that more..

Letter to the editor of the Guardian

Apr 17 (PISL) We present below a letter by the Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process, addressed to the Editor of The Guardian in regard to its’ Editorial of 11 April 2009. The Editor, The Guardian, Sir, Your editorial of 11th April was right in spirit but wrong as to several facts. The way to end the suffering of the civilians trapped in the no-fire zone is for the LTTE, which trapped them, to let them go. more..

Letter to the editor of the Times

Apr 17 (PISL) We present below a letter by the Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process, addressed to the Editor of The Times in regard to an article published in the respective paper. The Editor, The Times, Sir, Sri Lanka has figured largely recently in British public life and in the British press, as in your article of April 10th. Much debate has been engendered over whether Sri Lankan forces are responsible for the deaths of civilians. more..

They should have been stopped

Apr 17 (LG) Tamil protesters have periodically shut down Wellington Street in recent demonstrations. Bluntly put, this meant that Tiger sympathizers were illegally allowed to dictate the suspending of legitimate traffic and citizen access at will. To the astonishment of many, the LTTE have been allowed to flex their muscles in Ottawa, the heart of Canada's democracy. Citizens must understand the disturbing implications of this, and the pressing need to resolve resulting issues. more..

Thank you! Norway, you are out

Apr 17 (LG) The media spokesperson for the Norwegian Embassy in Colombo, Rannveig Skofteland, had noted that Norway would now focus on helping the civilians caught in a desperate situation. “Would now focus on helping the civilians caught in a desperate situation” and that are her exact words. Where were they all these times and how did they wake up to the desperate situation only now? Why is Norway so keen to stay in even when told the Norwegians are out? more..