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Special Message issued by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake

Apr 12 (GN) The Government is gravely concerned over the LTTE' s attacks killing 5 Army soldiers in Mirusavil, in Jaffna yesterday (10th April), 11 sailors of the Navy injuring eleven others including two foreigners in Kantalai in the East, today (11th April). more..

Reverting the clock back by 30 mts on Friday 14 April

Apr 12 (AT) Sri Lanka will revert back its clocks by 30 minutes on Friday midnight, the auspicious Hindu and Tamil New Year day celebrated in the country. This will mark a birth of a new time zone.The sunrise that presently fluctuates between 6.24 am and 7.00 am would shift to be between 5.54 am and 6.00 am respectively. more..

The orgy of killing by the LTTE continued for the second consecutive day

Apr 12 (AT) The orgy of killing by the LTTE continues yesterday for the second consecutive day, as ten sailors and a civilian bus driver of the Sri Lanka Navy were feared dead and nine others were seriously injured. Sri Lanka Government in a strongly worded statement condemned the unprovoked killings by the LTTE, 'an act of blatant violation of the Ceasefire.' more..

Gang attacks TNA MP's car in Trincomalee

Apr 12 (TN) Mr. N.Raviraj, Jaffna district TNA parliamentarian Tuesday evening made a complaint at the Kantalai Police that his car was attacked with stones by a gang at Abeyapura, a suburb in Trincomalee town when he was returning after attending the funeral of Mr.V.Vigneswaran, President of the Trincomalee District Tamil People's Forum (TDTPF), more..

Historic Trinco Koneswaram Temple festival begins

Apr 12 (TN) The twenty-day annual festival of the historic Trincomalee Koneswaram Temple located inside the Fort Frederick in the east port town began Tuesday morning with the flag-hoisting event. The THER (chariot) festival will be held on April 27th, more..

SLMM Head Henricsson meets Jaffna SLA, SLN commanders

Apr 12 (TN) Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), Major General Ulf Henricsson, who visited Jaffna and held meetings with the Sri Lanka Army and Navy Command, will meet with the LTTE political leadership in Kilinochchi Wednesday. more..

Sri Lanka's Plan to Turn Back Clocks Is Logical

Apr 12 (BB) President Mahinda Rajapakse wants to turn back all the clocks in the Indian Ocean island by half an hour from April 14. With this, Sri Lanka will be five hours and 30 minutes ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, the same as India. The move will restore Sri Lankan time to where it was between Jan. 16, 1942, and midnight of May 24, 1996. more..

Prayers offered for Caritas workers killed in Sri Lanka

Apr 12 (CN) Caritas Australia yesterday offered prayers for seven people killed in a landmine attack, including two Caritas workers, in the Sri Lankan city of Jaffna. Prayers were also offered for two people injured in the attack. "We deeply regret the loss of your two staff and are quite concerned about the well being of those injured," more..

UNP back on track as MR faces worst crisis in months

Apr 12 (ML) As the New Year dawns amidst fire crackers and the crowning of village avurudu kumaris, the country is in for some turbulent times ahead. While in many homes in the south the sweet scent of kevun and kokis wafted freely in preparation for the new year in the north and east, the stench of death clung thickly in the air. more..

Nugegoda needs urgent attention

Apr 12 (ML) Nugegoda has been a celebrated city for a long time. But of recent times it has become difficult to determine whether there are more people, pavement hawkers or vehicles in Nugegoda. As everyone tramps around this city, no one has stopped to think about a clean up for Nugegoda. more..

LTTE claims stronger navy

Apr 12 (ML) The LTTE this week said that it possessed a stronger navy than the government soon after meeting donors. "Our navy is stronger and we have access to a large area of the sea," LTTE Political Wing Head S.P. Tamilselvan told the media soon after meeting representatives of the Co-Chairs. more..

Down to the wire with Geneva II

Apr 12 (ML) It is countdown and guessing game time once again. Will Geneva round II take place or will it go down to the wire? It will happen if it does and until it does, no one will know whether it will. This suspense and anxiety over a second round of talks to discuss the full implementation of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) is a measure of the state of health of the prospects for peace. more..

LTTE Claymore Mine Bumps Off Two Police Officers

Apr 12 (SLA) TWO POLICE OFFICERS INCLUDING A SERGEANT WERE the latest to be butchered by Tamil Tigers (LTTE) using one more claymore mine while their Police truck was moving from KUCHCHUVELI towards KUMBURUPITIYA Wednesday (12) around 8.30 a.m. The dead Police Officers have been identified as Sergeant LIYANAGE and Police Constable ABEYSIRI. more..

Three Tamil Youngsters Injured In Hand Grenade Explosion

Apr 12 (SLA) THREE TAMIL YOUNGSTERS WERE INJURED on Tuesday (11) around 7.45 p.m. in an explosion of a hand grenade at THORANKADU in TRINCOMALEE. Preliminary investigations have confirmed that the hand grenade had suddenly exploded while it was being carried by the victims, K. JEGAN, K. ARUL PRAGASH and N. RASA, to perpetrate a criminal act. more..

LTTE Paramilitary Regrets Deaths

Apr 12 (ISL) According to the latest statement issued today by the LTTE paramilitary Uprising People’s Force, the group claimed that it regret the deaths of two humanitarian workers who were caught up in a claymore mine blast that LTTE targeted on Sri Lanka Army (SLA) vehicle in Jaffna. more..

International wave against LTTE's killing wave

Apr 12 (LeN) The government is to launch an anti LTTE propaganda drive and create awareness among the international community regarding the attacks carried out by the LTTE violating the cease-fire agreement and the Geneva agreements. more..

No white flags permitted to mourn navy personnel

Apr 12 (LeN) Police yesterday prevented residents of Abayapura from hoisting white flags to mourn the deaths of navy personnel killed in yesterday's claymore mine explosion at Thambalagamuwa, claming that such an action could result in a break in law and order situation specially as the funeral of Vignesharan was schedule for yesterday. more..

Non-schooling, early drop out and high absenteeism in selected communities in Sri Lanka

Apr 12 (AT) A recent study found in Sri Lanka states that 60.8 per cent of children comprised of those who had never been to school [15.7%] and those who had dropped out [44.7%] The study revealed that the the percentage of children out of school was relatively higher among Sri Lanka Tamil and Plantation Tamil Children. more..

Britain warns against traveling to Sri Lanka's Northeast

Apr 12 (AT) Britain has rushed its latest 'Travel Advisory' against traveling to the North and East of Sri Lanka, subsequent to a two-day continuous bombing incidents. The 'Advisory' issued an overall warning on the escalating violence incidents, unleashed by the LTTE in Sri Lanka. more..

Peace monitors commend government for restraint and adherence to Ceasefire Agreement

Apr 12 (AT) Norway condemned the latest round of violence exploding in the north and the east and warned that it could create a situation like in December-January when the LTTE violence against the Security Forces reached a critical point. The SLMM commended the government restraint in not retaliating like the LTTE. more..

Govt. is commited to peace - Minister Rambukwella

Apr 12 (GN) Plan Implementation Minister Keheliya Rambukwella says that the Government is committed to peace. Speaking at a Press Conference held at the auditorium of the Government Information Department today, the Minister said that the LTTE had violated the Joint Statement as well as the agreement reached at Geneva during the first round of talks. more..

Foreign remittances keep Sri Lanka floating

Apr 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's balance of payments (BOP) has recorded a US$142 million surplus for the three months to March, the Central Bank said Wednesday as it maintained key interest rates for the fourth straight month. The balance of payments is a record of the island's total payments to foreign countries, more..

JHU rises for Buddhist minority rights in Chitagong

Apr 12 (SN) The President of Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), Kotapola Amarakiththi Thero, has urged Bangladeshi authorities to protect the minority Jumma Buddhist community in Chitagong Hills, as he said they are ill-treated by the majority Muslims. A press conference was organized by JHU in support of the Jumma Buddhists, who are seeking United Nations' intervention to guarantee their minority rights. more..

UNP, JVP, JHU condemn attacks

Apr 12 (SN) The UNP claimed yesterday the killing of 12 navy personnel in Claymore mine attack was a result of the Government’s failure to carry forward the peace process in its truest sense. Condemning the attack, party front liner Dr. Rajitha Senaratne told last night that the government had no policy regarding the promotion of the peace process. more..

Bankers suggest lower tax rate for credit card balances

Apr 12 (LBO) Banks have asked the government to consider imposing a lower tax on credit card transactions, as the new stamp duty will discourage people from using the formal banking system, an official said. Starting April 4, the government is charging one percent or Rs10 for every Rs1000 spent on a credit card transaction, by way of stamp duties. more..

Govt. wants global action against LTTE

Apr 12 (PIS) The Government yesterday called for global action against the LTTE as another claymore explosion killed ten sailors in Trincomalee as they were heading home for the New Year. Peace Secretariat Secretary General Palitha Kohona insisted representatives of the co-chairs to the peace process of the need for more..

Funds to demine Tiger territory absurd - Military

Apr 12 (LNP) The military pointed out the absurdity in foreign donors helping an LTTE front organisation, engaged in mine clearing operations in areas under the group`s control, amidst a wave of mine attacks in government held areas. Among the donors are Norwegian People`s Aid, British Mine Advisory group, Swiss Foundation for Mine Action and Danish De-Mining Group. more..

A probe will reveal more corrupt activities? Sangadasa

Apr 12 (LNP) T. M. Sangadasa, UNP`s Colombo Municipal Counsellor, has written to IGP Chandra Fernando that if an investigation was launched into the activities of UNP MP Mohamed Maroof, it would reveal that he had not only fraudulently sold galvanised sheets granted by the Indian government for the poor, but would also reveal other corrupt activities. more..

Cabinet approval for tapping Kitul without license

Apr 12 (LNP) The Cabinet has recently granted its approval to remove unnecessary restrictions on the tapping of Kitul trees for the production of jaggery. Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs Dr. Sarath Amunugama in his Memorandum said that the issue of permits for tapping Kitul trees is an additional as well as unnecessary duty entrusted to the Divisional Secretary. more..

Committee to check on Mahinda’s conduct

Apr 12 (SAMN) The UNP has appointed a three-member Committee to submit a report on the recent conduct of the party’s Matara District MP Mahinda Wijesekara, which led to him being stripped of the Working Committee membership and the district leadership of the party. more..

National Civilian Bravery Award

Apr 12 (SAMN) The Foundation for Civilian Bravery has called for applications for the National Civilian Bravery Awards 2006 from those who have displayed courage and voluntarily saved or attempted to save another’s life from fire, floods, mine or like disaster disregarding risk to own life. more..

Increase in number of dengue cases

Apr 12 (SAMN) Health officials have reported an increase in the number of dengue cases this year in comparison to the first quarter of 2005. An increase of 15% in the number of dengue cases have been reported so far this year within the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) area, signaling another probable dengue epidemic in the country. more..

Action to halt abuse of overseas maids

Apr 12 (DN) Following recent reports of torture, harassment and even death of several Sri Lankan housemaids employed overseas, mostly in the Middle East, Minister for Labour Relations and Foreign Employment Athauda Seneviratne, told Lankapuvath that the Government will take urgent steps to stop the abuse of tens of thousands of Lankan women working abroad. more..

Elephant orphanage is more than a tourist trap

Apr 12 (DPA) Every day a herd of elephants visits the Maha Oya river to dip their trunks in the water or have their backs scrubbed clean by one of their carers at the Pinnawela elephant orphanage. It's a popular spot to visit among tourists who flock there from Sri Lanka's beaches to see this daily ritual. more..

Colombo Motors boss sneaks out

Apr 12 (DT) Colombo Motors Limited Managing Director Asoka Dhanapala sneaked out of the country after the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that he pays Tusitha Perera’s capital investment into the company of about K9 million with interest. A panel of three judges about three weeks ago ruled that Dhanapala and Perera were partners in Colombo Motors, more..

Time for change when Sri Lanka turns back the clocks

Apr 12 (Reuters) For Buddhist monks and astrologers, when Sri Lanka permanently puts its clocks back thirty minutes at midnight on Friday, the island is putting itself back in sync with the stars and planets. For those of a more technocratic bent -- including the island's most famous foreign resident, science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke more..

US condemns LTTE 'terrorist attacks'

Apr 12 (IANS) The US has strongly condemned 'the recent terrorist attacks' by Tamil Tiger guerrillas that have left at least 17 soldiers and two policemen dead in five days. 'The US condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent terrorist attacks carried out by the LTTE against the armed forces of Sri Lanka,' an embassy statement here said. more..

Sri Lanka-LTTE talks may not take place

Apr 12 (IANS) The second round of peace talks in Geneva next week between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger guerrillas may not take place barring a last minute miracle. Amid the violence and counter-violence plaguing Sri Lanka's northeast, members of the co-chairs to the peace process - the US, the European Union, Norway and Japan - are engaged in frantic efforts to salvage the scheduled three-day meet. more..

Sri Lanka police say Tiger ambush kills two officers

Apr 12 (Reuters) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels killed two Sri Lankan policemen in an ambush on Wednesday, police said. Diplomats said violence was spiralling out of control, upcoming peace talks looked unlikely and war might beckon. More than 20 people have died since Friday in the island's minority Tamil-dominated north and east. more..

Sri Lanka monitors say northeast town out of control

Apr 12 (Reuters) The situation in Sri Lanka's multi-ethnic northeastern port town of Trincomalee was getting out of control on Wednesday after riots and deaths following an explosion, ceasefire monitors said. "There seems to be widespread rioting in Trincomalee," Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) spokeswoman Helen Olafsdottir said. more..

Market bomb kills nine, dims peace hopes in Sri Lanka

Apr 12 (AFP) A bomb ripped through a vegetable market in northeastern Sri Lanka, killing nine people in the latest of a series of blasts which have cast a cloud over upcoming peace talks. At least 50 other people were injured in the port town of Trincomalee Wednesday when a bomb rigged up to a bicycle exploded, hours after a Claymore mine attack killed two constables in the same district. more..

Eyewitness: 'Body parts everywhere'

Apr 12 (BBC) Several people have been killed by a bomb blast in a vegetable market in Sri Lanka's north-eastern town of Trincomalee. Fish wholesaler, Lahiru Hettige, was at the fish market when the bomb exploded nearby. "I was inside my shop when I heard an enormous noise from the market. I knew it was a bomb. There was nothing else it could be. We are used to this sort of thing in Trincomalee, we are used to violence and blasts. more..

Sri Lanka says wants peace, won't bend to attacks

Apr 13 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will not be intimidated by Tamil Tiger rebel attacks but can only wait so long before retaliating, the head of the government peace secretariat said on Wednesday. Palitha Kohona told Reuters shortly before a bomb blast blamed on the rebels killed 11 people in northeast Sri Lanka that he also believed talks next week in Geneva would still take place more..

Trinco victims pledged compensation

Apr 13 (BBC) The government of Sri Lanka has pledged compensation for civilians affected by the series of blasts in Trincomalee. President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s special envoy, Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, warned of ‘severe consequences’ if the law enforcing authorities fail to take action against looters and troublemakers. more..

Trincomalee 'calm' after curfew

Apr 13 (BBC) The police in Sri Lanka have imposed curfew in the eastern town of Trincomalee after a series of bomb blasts. Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Rohan Abeywardhana told BBC Sandeshaya that 14 people including 2 security personnel were killed in a bomb blast near the vegetable market. more..

Sri Lanka violence rises, 16 dead, fears for talks

Apr 13 (Reuters) Blasts blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels and riots that followed killed 16 people on Wednesday and injured dozens in northeast Sri Lanka, officials said, raising fears that peace talks might not happen and war might restart. Two policemen died in a claymore mine ambush while one soldier and four civilians were killed in a blast in a crowded marketplace in the port town of Trincomalee, the army said. more..

Canadian Conservatives Tackle Tamil Tigers

Apr 13 (CV) At the present furious rate at which the Conservatives are accomplishing things in this first session of the 39th Parliament of Canada, everything they set out to do should be finished before the other parties are able to even organize their thoughts. more..

International community condemns LTTE escalation of violence

Apr 13 (AT) LTTE yesterday escalated their violence to another level, when a Tiger terrorist exploded a bomb tied to bicycle near a vegetable market in Trincomalee --one of the main towns in which the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims live side by side. Reports state that in the latest explosion in Trincomalee 12 civilians were killed instantly with body part flying in all directions. more..

Annan deplores violence in Sri Lanka

Apr 13 (AFP) United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan is concerned about escalating deadly violence in Sri Lanka and urges the Colombo government and Tamil separatists to use upcoming Norwegian-brokered peace talks to implement a truce accord, his spokesperson said on Wednesday. more..

Japan concerned about escalation of violence in NorthEast

Apr 13 (TN) "The Government of Japan is seriously concerned with the recent escalation of violence in the North and East of Sri Lanka, including the claymore attack against the Navy bus on Tuesday in Thambalagamam Trincomalee..," said a press release issued by the Embassy of Japan in Colombo Wednesday. more..