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LTTE accuses Lankan govt of blocking sea-movement

Apr 17 (ANN) The government on Sunday (April 16) vehemently rejected LTTE claims that the navy interfered with a scheduled sea-movement facilitated by the Nordic truce monitoring mission. The LTTE refused to go ahead with the movement worked out by the monitoring mission on Friday (April 14), claiming the navy acted contrary to the tripartite arrangement. more..

Atapattu will miss Test series in England

Apr 17 (CI) Marvan Atapattu, the Sri Lankan captain, has been ruled out of the three-Test series in England beginning in April because of a recurring back injury. Jehan Mubarak will replace Atapattu while Mahela Jayawardene will lead the side with Kumar Sangakkara as his vice-captain. Atapattu missed the home series against Pakistan but was picked in the 16-member squad for England subject to a fitness Test. more..

Government, SLMM in frantic talks

Apr 17 (PIS) With the spree of violence in the North and East hitting unprecedented heights and Geneva talks still in the balance, the Peace Secretariat and the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) yesterday met for yet another round of frantic talks for a breakthrough. more..

Global giants join fight to nab fakes

Apr 17 (SAMN) Three global corporate giants, Hewlett-Packard Company of USA, Seiko Epson Corporation and Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Company of Japan, have introduced measures to jointly institute action and conduct raids on local violators involved in the counterfeit racket of goods and services. The joint raids have resulted in seizures amounting to approximately Rs.7.5 million. more..

Top UNPers to back Vasu?

Apr 17 (SAMN) Former Colombo Mayor Prasanna Gunawardene and two UNP Colombo District Parliamentrains have reportedly pledged support to Colombo’s UPFA Mayoral Candidate Vasudeva Nanayakkara ahead of the local polls in Colombo scheduled for May 20. A Spokesman from Mr. Nanayakkara’s office said that Mr. Gunawadene has already attended a rally at Pettah Market together with Mr. Nanayakkara. more..

Trinco businessmen to get soft loans

Apr 17 (SAMN) Members of the Trincomalee business community who suffered heavy loss in the arson and violence after the bomb explosion that took place in Trincomalee town last week have been assured of a soft loan from Rs. 100,000 to Rs. 1 million with an interest of 4% immediately to recommence their business activities. more..

Tax chief to be queried over VAT scam

Apr 17 (SAMN) The CID investigating the multi-billion VAT refund scam has uncovered that some of the VAT refund cheques linked to the fraud had been issued during the time when the current Inland Revenue Commissioner General A.A.Wijepala was the Deputy Commissioner of the VAT refund division. more..

Religious dignitaries, academics condemn LTTE attacks

Apr 17 (DN) Leading religious dignitaries, academics and political leaders yesterday condemned the violence unleashed by the LTTE, stressing that such a path would not lead to peace. Talking to the Daily News, Ven. Kumburugamuwe Vajira Thera, President of the Religious Alliance for National Unity, said the LTTE must realise that peace cannot be achieved by violence. more..

Truce monitors say hope violence peaking

Apr 17 (Reuters) Slightly more optimistic than 48 hours earlier, the head of a Nordic mission monitoring Sri Lanka's fragile truce said on Monday he believed violence was peaking and that peace talks in Geneva could still be held. Swedish Major-General Ulf Henricsson took over command of the SLMM on April 1, thinking he had several weeks to settle in prior to talks more..

Sri Lanka Rebels Demand Internal Meeting

Apr 17 (AP) The Tamil Tiger rebels said they would not attend peace talks with the Sri Lankan government in Switzerland unless they can hold a crucial internal meeting first, a pro-Tamil Web site said. Rebel commanders on Saturday canceled a trip to the internal meeting because they felt threatened by the presence of a naval ships. more..

LTTE’s conditions for talks can't be met easily

Apr 17 (HT) The LTTE on Sunday formally suspended its participation in the Geneva talks, saying that its short term and long term demands would have to be met first, to create a "conducive environment" for the talks. But the conditions that it has laid for coming back to the negotiating table cannot be met easily, political observers say. more..

UNICEF asks Tamil Tiger rebels to release underage combatants after new evidence

Apr 17 (AP) The United Nations' children's agency Monday urged ethnic Tamil separatists to immediately release all underage recruits after evidence surfaced that a 17-year-old rebel was killed in the ongoing violence that has gripped northeast Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka Railways looks to rent locomotives from India

Apr 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Department of Railways is planning to rent locomotives from India, Transport Minister A H M Fowzie said Monday. “We can rent a one for Rs100,000 a day and earn about Rs150,000 out of it,” Minister Fowzie told LBO. “We are currently discussing with the Indian railway consultancy RITES, how this can be done.” more..

Fresh probe sought on Trinco killings

Apr 17 (LeN) Public sector offices and banks in Trincmalee were not opened today as the tense atmosphere created by last Wednesday's market bomb explosion is still prevalent in the area. Heads of these institutions say they cannot open them until proper security is provided. A solider and 19 civilians were killed in the bomb explosion and subsequent clashes. more..

Mine blasts in two northern towns kill four government soldiers, two rebels

Apr 17 (AP) Anti-personnel mines exploded in two northern Sri Lankan towns on Monday, killing four soldiers and two Tamil Tiger rebels, as spiraling violence pushed the death toll from a week of bloody unrest to at least 50, police said.The Tamil Tiger rebels, meanwhile, formally told Norwegian peace brokers that they will not attend April 24-25 peace talks more..

Sri Lanka bomb spree kills eight as Tigers suspend talks

Apr 17 (AFP) At least eight people were killed and many more wounded in a spate of blasts in Sri Lanka, hours after Tiger rebels suspended their participation in ceasefire talks, the military said. The latest deaths raised to 64 the number of people, mostly police or troops, killed in bomb attacks in the past week in the latest surge of violence more..

Central Bank scrambles to satisfy unprecedented cash demand

Apr 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Central Bank scrambled to cater to an unusually heavy demand for currency notes over the April festive holiday season. Commercial bankers say they were surprised to find the Central Bank returning old currency notes sent by the banks earlier with their seals intact. more..

Netaji's army as seen by a Ceylonese recruit

Apr 17 (HT) It was in 1945, the year of the decisive defeat of the Japanese Imperial Army and its auxiliary, the Indian National Army (INA) founded by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Netaji's dream of freeing India (and incidentally Ceylon too) from the British yoke, lay shattered. more..

LTTE offered choppers

Apr 17 (BBC) The government of Sri Lanka have decided to allow LTTE to use private aircraft to transport their cadres from the east. Sri Lanka peace negotiator, Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told that the government has informed the Norwegian government to provide helicopters. more..

2000 Tamils sought refuge in Kappalthurai School

Apr 18 (TN) About two thousand members from four hundred Tamil families of resettled Tamil village Kappalthurai have sought refuge in Kappalthurai government Tamil school. They fled from their houses when soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army assaulted some of them following the claymore mine blast that killed three troopers of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Saturday night, sources said. more..

India, China, Pak, Lanka team up to voice resource constraint

Apr 18 (FE) India, together with China, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, has demanded that the multilateral trade facilitation rules being negotiated at the WTO should take into account the resource constraints in developing countries and address their concerns in the area of implementation. more..

Govt to allow private air transport for LTTE

Apr 18 (TW) The Sri Lankan Government is now willing to let the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam hire or charter private helicopters for domestic air transport. Investment promotion minister and Government of Sri Lanka spokesperson at the Geneva talks, Rohitha Bogollagama, revealed yesterday that the Norwegian facilitators had been informed of this proposal on Monday April 17th. more..

Sri Lankan MP for federal solution

Apr 18 (CO) Former Minister, G L Peiris, a Member of Parliament from Sri Lanka, today advocated a federal set-up of governance in the island republic on the lines of the Indian democratic system, with some minor modifications. He said that if the government devolved some more power to the Tamils, a lasting peaceful solution to the ethnic strife was possible, while delivering a lecture here tonight. more..

While President was having 'kiribath' we were being assaulted - Raviraj

Apr 18 (LeN) Jaffna District parliamentarian, N.Raviraj questions as to how peace talks could be conducted or peace could be achieved when a people's representative like him is assaulted while security forces are looking. He remarked this in reply to a query made by 'Lanka e News' whether the LTTE's non-stop claymore mine blasts and killings of security force personnel would not adversely affect the peace talks. more..

Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka – 15 Months On

Apr 18 (TC) Having read the May 2005 article by Mahesh Markus in The Cud, and travelled to all the same areas he mentioned, I hope that people might be interested to know a little about how things have developed in the 15 months since the tsunami. Earlier this year I travelled to Sri Lanka on a study tour to look at the post-tsunami recovery in the south-western area of the country. more..

Minister Devananda Appeal to International Community on Death Threat to VC Jaffna

Apr 18 (AT) Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare and Secretary General of EPDP, Douglas Devananda, MP, has appealed to the Co-chair and the Diplomatic Community about the seriousness of the death threat issued on Prof. S.R.H. Hoole, the Vice Chancellor of University of Jaffna and to the Council Members who voted in favour of his election, by the LTTE and its frontal organizations. more..

Prima Workers end their month-long strike

Apr 18 (AT) The month-long hunger strike by employees of the Prima Company comes to an end with the intervention of Labor Minister Athauda Seneviratne. The hunger strike had been going on before the head office of the company in Rajagiriya as a protest against the unfair dismissal of 1,600 workers by the company's management. more..

Colombo focuses on Norwegian facilitators

Apr 18 (BP) The most significant feature about a debate currently raging in Sri Lanka, is that while those (including the writer) who advocate the expulsion of the Norwegians as peace talks facilitators, on the basis that the Norwegians have been, and are, utterly partial to the rebel LTTE, even those who advocate the retention of the Norwegians do not contend that they have been impartial. more..

Three paramilitary cadres killed, one captured - LTTE

Apr 18 (TN) Three paramilitary cadres who were on a penetration mission into the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam controlled area in Pendukalsenai, west of Kiran in Batticaloa district, were killed when Tigers launched a counter-attack on the attack group, LTTE's Kudumbimalai area coordinator Oliyan told media Tuesday. more..

Three mutilated bodies of civilians found in Puliyankulam

Apr 18 (TN) Three civilians who went hunting into Periyamadu jungle last Thursday from LTTE controlled Puliyankulam were found dead Monday, Tamileelam Police officials said. Villagers in the area have seen five men wearing dark clothes, leaving the Periyamadu jungle towards no-man zone last Friday, according to the police officials. more..

Armed Men Flee With Motorbike

Apr 18 (SLA) SUSPECTED ARMED LTTE men on Monday (17) robbed a motorbike of a civilian at gunpoint at PUNNAIKUDA, BATTICALOA and fled the area after threatening the rider. The victim MOHOMMED MOHOMMADU ANZAR of No 16/A, SADAM HUSSAIN Village, ERAVUR in his Police complaint claimed that those armed men pointed a T-56 gun at him and grabbed his motorbike (EPGE -3226) before they fled the area. more..

LTTE’s theatre of violence claims more lives and injures many

Apr 18 (SLA) A STRING OF TAMIL TIGER (LTTE) orchestrated violent attacks on the Security Forces and Policemen in the last 24 hours ending at 12 noon Tuesday (18) unleashed death and destruction in the northeast, blatantly violating all provisions of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) and understanding reached at recent Geneva talks. more..

Rats that they are, see how they run!

Apr 18 (ISL) A sad reflection today is the curse that has fallen on the Sri Lankan Tamil community. Despite the ban on the LTTE, fund collectors continue to be a plague on the community in Canada. But this time, they are keeping an eye on the police and also people who could react against them in various ways to their threats and intimidation. more..

Toronto's Tamil Tabloids -- thunder peters to a wimp!

Apr 18 (ISL) There are about two dozen weekly Tamil tabloids freely distributed in the Greater Toronto Area and mostly in the Scarborough and North York regions. They are heavily supported by over one hundred Tamil real estate agents, dental surgeons, jewellers, immigration lawyers and grocery shops. Nearly all of them are LTTE enthusiats, some with greater vigour than others. more..

Take the Tigers in their den and put them on the defensive

Apr 18 (ISL) In an excellent insight into the recent Trincomalee flare up, another effort by the LTTE at butchery to provoke communal riots of the 1983 type, Colombo writer Tisaranee Gunasekara concluded as follows: 'It is necessary to respond to Tiger attacks - not by targeting Tamils but by taking the war into the Tiger territory, more..

Bankers ask for extra time on credit card tax

Apr 18 (LBO) Sri Lankan banks have asked for extra time to implement a tax on credit card transactions, as the new stamp duty law is riddled with ambiguities. A stamp duty of one percent or Rs10 for every Rs1,000 spent, has kicked in from April 4, throwing banks and credit card users off balance since the tax was implemented with little industry consultation. more..

Government steps into end talks impasse

Apr 18 (GN) Government has agreed to permit the Norwegian facilitators to engage a private helicopter operating in Sri Lanka to transport LTTE Eastern leaders to Kilinochchi for consultation in preparation for the talks in Geneva on April 24. It is also understood that the Government is determined not to provide an excuse for the LTTE to avoid going to Geneva. more..

Biggest heroin haul of 2006

Apr 18 (GN) Customs officials at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) arrested a 55-year-old businessman with five and a half kilos of heroin on Sunday night. The officials said this is the biggest drug haul detected at the BIA this year. Following the arrest, the businessman returning from Bangalore had confessed that he is paid Rs.100,000 for the safe delivery of each baggage to Colombo. more..

Violence provokes panic sales

Apr 18 (ANN) Shares in Sri Lanka's stock market fell 3.8 per cent yesterday (April 18) as fresh violence cast gloom progress in the country’s peace efforts. The benchmark All Share Price Index lost 92.03 points to close at 2292.86. The Milanka Price Index lost 133.07 points to close at 2,877.13. more..

When politics is business

Apr 18 (ANN) President Mahinda Rajapakse on Sunday (April 16), addressing the newly-elected local government heads and councillors, at a swearing-in ceremony in Colombo, warned them against indulging in corrupt practices. He called upon them to help implement the Mahinda Chinthanaya at the grassroots level. more..

Orchid helps combat diabetes in Sri Lanka

Apr 18 (TD) Derby It firm Orchid UK is helping combat diabetes in Sri Lanka. Orchid has also persuaded computer giant IBM to lend a hand as well. Although it is usually associated with sugary western diets, Sri Lanka has the world's highest rates of diabetes, prompting a major international effort to improve care for sufferers and raise awareness of the dangers of a sugar rich diet. more..

Time’s running out, warns SLMM

Apr 18 (PIS) The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission yesterday said it feared the worst if the scheduled second round of talks in Geneva did not take place following a spree of claymore mine attacks on the government security forces allegedly carried out by the LTTE. more..

Luxury bungalow in prison for notorious criminals

Apr 18 (LNP) In a stunning disclosure, it was revealed yesterday that the country`s top criminals were leading luxurious lives at the Welikada Magazine Prison premises in a star class bungalow with ultra-modern facilities. The discovery was made following a surprise visit by a team headed by Justice Ministry Secretary Suhada K. Gamalath who was on a mission to find out the status of prisoners who were unable to pay fines. more..

Optician nabbed for filming women secretly

Apr 18 (LNP) Ambalangoda police arrested an optician for allegedly taking nude pictures of women secretly when they went to check their eyes to his eye clinic situated in the upstairs of the Ambalangoda Bus stand. The optician was produced before Balapitiya Magistrate W. J. Perera who remanded him till April 24. more..

TNA tells govt. to stop terrorizing Tamils

Apr 18 (LNP) The TNA yesterday urged the government to take immediate steps to stop terrorizing the Tamil people in the East. Referring to the recent incidents in Trincomalee, the TNA in a statement warned that the violence allegedly unleashed by the government would have serious repercussions at the upcoming Geneva talks. more..

New postal delivery system for IDPs

Apr 18 (SAMN) A new postal delivery system will be introduced for the first time in Sri Lanka to benefit the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the country especially those in the North and East. This new system will be implemented from the second week of May, more..

Indian help for Lankan spice sector

Apr 18 (SAMN) The Indian Government has pledged its fullest assistance to further develop the Sri Lankan spices exports sector. India has also extended their assistance to increase the exports of several key Sri Lankan spices such as cardamom, pepper, cloves and nutmeg, a Public Administration Ministry spokesman said. more..

Private bus owners want immediate fare hike to run from today

Apr 18 (LNP) Private bus operators yesterday threatened to launch a strike from today if the government failed to approve an immediate bus fare hike. Private Omnibus Owners Federation Joint President Anjana Priyanjith said bus owners were incurring heavy losses due to the recent price hike on fuel and therefore needed an immediate increase if they were to continue with the services. more..

Historic places in Kegalle to get more exposure

Apr 18 (DN) Several historic places in the Three Korales or "Thun Korale" in the Kegalle district have not been exploited to gain the attention of both local and foreign tourists. The places are: "Pethangoda Katuna Pandura" where King Sithawaka Rajasinghe got his foot injured with a bamboo splinter and succumbed to the injury. more..

Increased fuel prices will reduce competitiveness of local exports

Apr 18 (LE) Due to the recent price increase on fuel, the exporters have shown their displeasure and said their competitiveness would be reduced due to the cost of production which will increase due to the fuel cost. It will bring a negative impact on the local economy, said immediate past President of JBIZ and National Chamber of Exporters Association Kingsly Bernard. more..