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Sweet like Kandy in Sri Lanka

Apr 18 (TB) Often referred to as the Teardrop of India, Sri Lanka will soon be a splash of activity and excitement as festival season descends upon this small island in the Indian ocean. Esala is the name for the festival season in Sri Lanka, which falls on the island in July and August. more..

Tamil Canadians fear for Sri Lankan homes

Apr 18 (G&M) Tamil Canadians who arrived as refugees from Sri Lanka's civil war fear they will lose the homes they left behind after the LTTE announced last week that they will seize expatriates' property. In a Voice of Tigers radio interview, an LTTE legal official with the nom de guerre Sudar revealed the plan to take over property belonging to Tamils who left more than 10 years ago and redistribute it to the landless. more..

Tigers use canadian charities as 'fronts'

Apr 18 (NP) A "secret" RCMP intelligence report says the Tamil Tigers terrorist group has been using Canadian non-profit cultural organizations to raise money and spread propaganda. The report, which says the Tamil Tigers "maintain ties" with several such groups in Canada, follows revelations police have raided the Montreal office of the World Tamil Movement as part of a terror financing investigation. more..

Situation in Sri Lanka not beyond redemption: Peiris

Apr 18 (Hindu) Despite the LTTE suspending participation in the Geneva talks with the Sri Lankan Government, "the situation, though bad, was not beyond redemption," G.L. Peiris, member of Parliament in the island nation, said on Monday. Prof. Peiris, who headed the Government team of negotiators during President Chandrika Kumaratunga's tenure, more..

A separate department for Botanical Gardens

Apr 18 (SLBC) A botanical gardens department will be set up soon. The cabinet approval pertaining to this has already been granted. Director of Botanical Gardens Cyril Wijesundera says it has been planned conduct a number of programmes on environmental protection and landscaping. The Botanical Gardens Departments will be entrusted with protecting endemic plant species of Sri Lanka.

Gunbattle in Sri Lanka as Norway moves to save truce

Apr 18 (AFP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels killed a constable in an exchange of fire in northern Sri Lanka, officials said, as peace broker Norway moved to save a shaky truce. The firefight occurred Monday night after the guerrillas fired a grenade into a police post in the district of Vavuniya, police said. more..

Police pore of Tamil papers seized in raid

Apr 18 (CBC) Police have begun to analyze the documents they seized at the office of the world Tamil movement in Montreal. The office was raided last week. Police moved in just two days after the Stephen Harper government added the Tamil Tigers to Canada's list of banned terrorist organizations. more..

Australia condemns recent violence in Sri Lanka

Apr 18 (TN) In a media release issued Tuesday in Colombo, the Australian Govnernment strongly condemned the "recent violence in Sri Lanka, particularly the attacks on Sri Lankan security forces personnel and civilians in the north and east," and expressed similar condemnation to the "murder in Trincomalee on 7 April of the Tamil political figure Mr V. Vigneswaran." more..

Norwegian peace envoy arrives in Sri Lanka as negotiations and cease-fire falter

Apr 18 (AP) A Norwegian peace envoy arrived in Colombo Tuesday as separatist rebels threatened to walk away from peace talks with the Sri Lankan government in Geneva next week and spiraling violence threatened an Oslo-brokered cease-fire. The rebels have threatened to walk away from the talks unless the government provides them with secured passage to hold an internal meeting. more..

Sri Lanka rebels consider govt. offer, policeman killed

Apr 18 (Reuters) A top envoy from mediator Norway headed for Sri Lanka on Tuesday to meet government leaders and Tamil Tiger rebels, who are pondering whether a new government offer is enough to make them join peace talks. Suspected rebels killed a policeman in a grenade attack overnight in the northern town of Vavuniya, an army spokesman said, in the latest violence to hit the island. more..

Tigers add new conditions for talks

Apr 18 (Reuters) Tamil Tiger rebels said on Tuesday they will not attend a new round of scheduled peace talks in Geneva unless violence against ethnic Tamils stops, effectively adding new conditions for their participation. The rebels pulled out of the talks -- already postponed once and now due to take place next week -- more..

Trinco residents fleeing violence

Apr 18 (BBC) Residents in the eastern Sri Lankan town of Trincomalee are fleeing the town due to increased violence in the recent weeks. More than 200 Tamil refugee families are staying in two temporary refugee camps set up in local schools. Journalists say many Sinhala residents have also left the town though Muslims are yet to decide whether to leave. more..

LTTE set to refuse civilian chopper offer

Apr 18 (HT) Informed Tamil sources say that the LTTE is unlikely to accept the government's offer of a private helicopter for the transport of its commanders, because the civilian chopper has no security. "Even a machine gun can bring it down," one of them said. The LTTE had insisted that it must get a heavy duty and secure Sri Lankan Air Force helicopter. more..

Working together against Gender-Based Violence

Apr 19 (RW) A new set of recommendations issued today by the UN in Sri Lanka, has directly addressed the issue of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and established the mechanisms to effectively prevent, intervene and advocate against such abuse. Calling for greater coordination by those organizations working to eliminate GBV, more..

250 security force personnel killed during Mahinda's 4 month in office

Apr 19 (LeN) In the past four months since Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed office, 250 security and police personnel have been killed, UNP Assistant General Secretary Tissa Attanayake revealed at a media briefing in the Opposition Leader's office this morning. Since the Geneva talks, 47 armed forces and police men have been murdered and in the recent incidents at Tincomalee 18 were killed and 48 were wounded, he added. more..

Norwegian mediator 'frustrated' by Sri Lankan parties

Apr 19 (AFP) The main mediator in the Sri Lankan conflict, Erik Solheim of Norway, said Tuesday he was frustrated by the government's and Tamil rebels' lack of flexibility, which he said was endangering talks aimed at saving a shaky truce. "I have to admit that we've become a bit frustrated these past few days over the fact that the two parties are using so much time making demands on issues that seem like very tiny details and that they are so inflexible," more..

European truce monitors' chief blames rebels for recent mine attacks

Apr 19 (AP) The chief European cease-fire monitor blamed the Tamil Tiger rebels on Tuesday for the recent spate of land mine blasts that have killed dozens in Sri Lanka and imperiled a four-year-old, Norwegian-brokered truce. Retired Swedish general, Ulf Henricsson, said while he couldn't be completely certain the LTTE were responsible for all of the mine attacks, it was likely they were to blame for most. more..

Christians seek to keep hope alive for Sri Lanka peace talks

Apr 19 (EC) Church leaders in Sri Lanka say that the violence meted out to church, humanitarian and human rights workers does not dull their confidence that love will triumph over fear in the war-torn and divided country. Anglicans, Catholics and Methodist are determined to keep hope alive on the eve of peace talks which have been threatened by fresh violence. more..

LTTE 'considering' chopper offer

Apr 19 (BBC) The Tamil Tigers are yet to decide whether to accept a suggestion by the Sri Lanka government on LTTE hiring private helicopters to transport their eastern commanders. Head of LTTE peace secretariat S Pulithevan told BBC Sandeshaya that they are considering a letter received through the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM). more..

Killing of Sri Lanka church workers highlights peace talk threats

Apr 19 (ENI) The killing of two church aid workers in northern Sri Lanka who were caught in an ambush highlights escalating tensions in the South Asian island nation that threaten scheduled peace talks in Geneva next week. Two staff members of Caritas, the Roman Catholic aid agency, were killed and two others suffered minor injuries when their vehicle passed an army vehicle that was targeted with an anti-personnel mine that also killed five soldiers. more..

Fear of war spreading in country due to government's double standard- Dr Jayalath

Apr 19 (LeN) When finding a solution to the national problem, it has become a political reality today to go forward with the ceasefire agreement, UNP parliamentarian Dr.Jayalath Jayawardane said. He cited steadfast silence maintained by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the leader of the government peace delegation Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva in the face of more..

Sri Lanka Catholic bishops condemn violence

Apr 19 (UCAN) The Catholic bishops of Sri Lanka have called for special prayers for peace in the country and condemned recent violence that claimed the lives of two Church workers. Catholic Bishops' Conference in Sri Lanka (CBCSL) said: "We have suffered for almost a quarter of a century from the ravages of war and disharmony in our country. The yearning for peace is very strong among us." more..

UNP to take legal action against Mahinda

Apr 19 (ML) The main opposition UNP is to take legal action against President Mahinda Rajapakse’s move to appoint members to the National Police Commission (NPC) and the Public Service Commission (PSC) bypassing the Constitutional Council (CC). President Rajapakse last week appointed members to the NPC and the PSC bypassing the CC under a Presidential fiat. more..

Civilians suffer in the cross-fire

Apr 19 (ML) The Easter weekend has been one of ominous significance for the peace process. It was the weekend during which the LTTE took decisive action to finally deal with one of its biggest debacles. The crippling Karuna rebellion was met head on by the Tiger high command in the best way it knew how — mass armed assault. more..

Economic nightmares and political mayhem

Apr 19 (ML) Peace negotiations reached its lowest point last week with charges and counter charges hurled at each other by the government and the LTTE amidst a sharp escalation in violence, while the New Year ushered in a rash of price increases that had consumers reeling. more..

Asia’s garden is losing its character

Apr 19 (ML) The Garden of Asia is losing its character. Sri Lanka’s forest resources have been steadily declining over the years, from 70% of the total land area in 1900 to 24% in 1992 and further 22% in 1999. The destruction continues unabated. The average annual deforestation according to the Department of Forests is in the alarming range of approximately 13,000 hectares. more..

Open Canadian Consulate in Jaffna - Conservative Party stalwart

Apr 19 (TW) Peter Kent, a former news anchor and candidate in the January 23rd Federal Election has called for the opening of a Canadian Consulate in Jaffna. In an Op-Ed article appearing in the National Post over the weekend, Peter Kent welcomes the outlawing of LTTE but also calls upon the Harper government to put safeguards for proper delivery of Canadian Aid to Sri Lanka more..

Court told that Norwegian passports were stolen for "MIGHTY" people in Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (AT) The Court case against Mike Daniel Jeya and his younger brother Nagularajan Jeyabalakrishnan, charged with organised crimes and trafficking, started yesterday in Oslo. Herman Olav Nyhusmoen, the police officer accused of stealing the passport appeared as a witness. more..

Eelam issue takes the backstage

Apr 19 (Hindu) If the refugees in Tamil Nadu or the Tamils in Sri Lanka expected the island's ethnic issue to figure prominently in the election campaign here, they have been in for a disappointment. For the record, the issue does figure in the poll manifestos of most parties — often only in passing. more..

Yahoo Photos

Apr 19 (Reuters) Sri Lankan police secure a passenger bus on the A9 high way in Vavuniya, northern Sri Lanka April 18, 2006. Sri Lanka's rebels pulling out of talks with the government, the peace process may falter, more..

Sri Lankan peace talks on the verge of collapse

Apr 19 (wsws) The Geneva peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE are on the brink of collapse, amid escalating violence in the war zones of Sri Lanka’s North and East. Some 70 people, including military personnel, LTTE cadres and civilians, have been killed since the beginning of April. more..

'Peace should not be on anybody's terms' - Dr. Kohona

Apr 19 (ISL) Peace Secretariat Chief Dr. Palitha Kohona stressed that political pluralism and human rights safeguards were key areas to a sustainable peace and the government would take up these issues at future meetings with the LTTE. "Peace should not be on anybody's terms, but a reasonable just and equitable peace from everybody's perspective," he said more..

Both myself and Prabakaran wanted Mahinda Rajapaksa to come to power says Douglas

Apr 19 (ISL) "Both myself and Prabakaran wanted Mahinda Rajapaksa to come to power, but for entirely different reasons and approaches. Prabakaran thought that if Ranil comes and offers the Federal solution he will bring international pressure on him so he thought if Mahinda came with the support of JVP and JHU, then he could pour more oil to a burning lamp. He expected Mahinda to take a hard line. more..

President to inaugurate training program for unemployed graduates

Apr 19 (GN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will inaugurate the Tharuna Aruna Program III on Saturday 22. Speaking at a Press Conference, Skills Development and Public Enterprise Reforms Minister Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi said that the training program for the unemployed graduates would begin in the middle of next month in 40 centres around the country. more..

Sri Lanka's stock market dips on security fears

Apr 19 (LBO) Stocks in Sri Lanka fell Wednesday, as investors fretted over mounting violence in the country's embattled north and east, traders said. The benchmark All Share Price Index fell 8.04 points or 0.34 percent to 2,328.14, as investors panicked over news about fresh killings and mine attacks, more..

JHU calls for the banning of LTTE and withdrawal from the CFA

Apr 19 (SN) Jatika Hela Urumaya (JHU) yesterday urged the Sri Lankan government to withdraw from the ‘unilateral’ ceasefire agreement with the LTTE and to ban the terrorist organisation within the country. Responding to the nine day long spate of bomb attacks in North and East of Sri Lanka which killed 64 people, more..

Portfolios for Thonda, Hakeem & Chandrasekeran?

Apr 19 (LT) It is reported that Mr. Arumugam Thondaman, Leader of CWC, Mr. Rauff Hakeem, Leader of SLMC and Mr. Chandrasekeran, Leader of Upcountry People’s Front will be sworn in as ministers during the next few days. According to political sources they will be sworn in before the 25th of this month. more..

LTTE escalates demands after escalating violence

Apr 19 (AT) The Tamil Tigers put the next round of Geneva talks in doubt for the third time by escalating their demands. First, they postponed talks from 19 April to April 24 after escalating violence. Second, they refused to come to talks saying that the Navy was threatening their commanders by escorting them from the north to east and rejected the offer to travel in a commercial vessel from the north to the east. more..

Sri Lanka - talks or war?

Apr 19 (BBC) Sri Lanka is either on the brink of conflict or on the way to Geneva for another round of talks to resolve its civil war. No one knows for sure yet which way it is heading. There are optimists here who say there is a possibility talks will go ahead - but they are hard to find. more..

India may slap notice to Lanka on cheap imports

Apr 19 (AA) India could issue Sri Lanka a notice under Clause 8 of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) asking it to check unabated export of duty-free vanaspati, industry sources said on Tuesday. Such a notice would help curb import of cheap vanaspati into India from Sri Lanka, sources added. more..

Norway offers air travel for LTTE

Apr 19 (ANN) Norway has offered to arrange chopper rides to transfer LTTE area leaders between Sri Lanka's east and north following the rebels' complaints of no transport to attend its central committee meeting, where the rebels will decide if they will attend the second round of talks in Geneva. more..

Bauer on mission to resolve crisis

Apr 19 (PIS) The much-awaited response of the LTTE over their participation in the crucial Geneva talks later this month is to be conveyed to Norwegian special envoy during his visit to Kilinochchi tomorrow. Special envoy Jon Hanssen Bauer arrived in Colombo yesterday making an unscheduled visit to settle the current crisis over the transport issue more..

What happened to crucial VAT docs?

Apr 19 (LNP) The CID has launched a special probe after crucial documents regarding the alleged VAT scam amounting to some Rs. 3500 million mysteriously disappeared from the VAT Unit of the Inland Revenue Department, CID sources said yesterday. A senior CID official said the documents had gone missing after the CID started its investigation. more..

Private bus operators soften stance

Apr 19 (LNP) Private bus operators who initially demanded a 26% fare hike from tomorrow, have now softened their stance, following Transport Minister A.H.M. Fowzie`s refusal to yield to their demands. Fowzie said government will stick to it`s stand and will not definitely effect a 26% fare hike as demanded by the Privet bus owners. more..

Shiranthi to wear only handloom sarees

Apr 19 (LNP) Shiranthi Rajapakse, wife of President Mahainda Rajapakse, has promised to wear only handloom sarees hereafter in order to assist the hand loom industry and popularise local textiles among our women. She gave this pledge at the `Bridal Fashion Show`, held at the BMICH recently, at which she was the chief guest. more..

AHRC wants Lanka out of HR Council

Apr 19 (SAMN) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has appealed to the United Nations General Assembly’s member-states not to accept Sri Lanka within the newly formed Human Rights Council (UNHRC), citing its poor human rights record. Sri Lanka recently presented its candidature for membership within the United Nations Human Rights Council. more..

Trade Unions put strike action on hold

Apr 19 (SAMN) Public sector trade unions affiliated to the National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) said Tuesday they would wait until April 25, before taking trade union action regarding government’s recommendation on salary revision. President of the NTUC K.D. Lal Kantha told the Daily Mirror that as a response to their ultimatum the government gave an exact date to solve the crisis. more..

Dengue Alert

Apr 19 (SAMN) Despite the implementation of several anti dengue programmes, the Epidemiology Unit has warned of a dengue epidemic by early May. Medical Officer of Health (MOH), Dr. Devika Mendis said the number of dengue patients were rising in all parts of the island, and the medical officers of health together with the government were doing everything possible to avoid an outbreak. more..

Trinco peace committees reactivated

Apr 19 (DN) All steps have been taken to bring the Trincomalee city back to normal after having discussions with representatives from all segments of society in Trincomalee, Inspector General of Police Chandra Fernando told the Daily News yesterday. He said Trincomalee city was fast returning to normality by yesterday more..

It's all ancient history

Apr 19 (TT) If you're in Kandy it's easy to feel a little underwhelmed by the "ancient cities" of Sri Lanka. It's pleasant enough, set around a lovely lake and with an interesting and important temple that purports to hold one of Buddha's teeth. But it's also a busy, modern town and just doesn't feel terribly ancient. more..