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After loss of son in war, Sri Lankan steers parents to peace

Apr 20 (WP) After five years of trying to get information about her son, missing after a fierce battle in the heart of rebel territory in Sri Lanka, Visaka Dharmadasa learned that 500 bodies of soldiers had been doused with kerosene and burned in a pile on the killing field where they had fought Tamil separatists. more..

Tigers say talks off indefinitely

Apr 20 (Reuters) Tamil Tiger rebels pulled out of peace talks indefinitely on Thursday, saying the island was heading for war and dashing hopes that a Norwegian peace mission could stem rising violence. About 80 people have been killed in the past two weeks in a series of suspected Tiger attacks, more..

Tigers put off truce talks amid fresh violence

Apr 20 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels announced that they were indefinitely postponing peace talks aimed at saving a truce with Colombo as four more people were killed in fresh violence in Sri Lanka. The LTTE told Norwegian peace envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer that talks scheduled for April 24 in Switzerland cannot take place until the situation on the island improves. more..

Sri Lanka draws up new laws to regulate NGO's giving micro-finance

Apr 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka is drawing up a new law to regulate micro-credit organizations scattered around the county. The legislation will cover thrift units operated by co-operative societies, thrift associations in the Samurdhi income support program of the government and other non- governmental organizations in the sector. more..

Sri Lanka's banking development minister resigns

Apr 21 (LBO) State Banks & Development Minister Wijedasa Rajapakse Thursday resigned his ministry ending a short stint which was surrounded by rumbles of discontent. "I resigned over personal reasons," Rajapakse told LBO. Rajapakse, who is a President's Counsel, also resigned as organizer for the Maharagama electorate of the SLFP more..

Memorial for civilians killed in war opened in Kilinochchi

Apr 21 (TN) "Innocent Tamils are being killed even now by the Sri Lanka armed forces and the paramilitary groups working with them. Erecting a monument in memory of the innocents alone is insufficient. Ending wanton killings is the need of the hour," said S. Thangan unveiling the plaque Wednesday, on the monument erected in remembrance of civilians killed more..

Sri Lanka rebels pull out of talks indefinitely

Apr 21 (HT) It is now official. The LTTE has told the Norwegian peace brokers that it will not be attending the second round of peace talks with the Sri Lankan government, scheduled to be held in Geneva on April 24 and 25. According to the pro-rebel website Political Wing leader SP Tamilselvan told the Norwegian Special Envoy Jon Hanssen Bauer in Kilinochchi on Thursday, more..

'Bombs will blast'

Apr 21 (BBC) Tamil Tigers say that claymore bombs will blast until the government stops acts of violence. “If the government stops violence in the North and East there would be no need for claymores,” said the political chief of the LTTE on Thursday. S.P Thamilselvan made this warning after a meeting with Norwegian special envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer in Kilinochchi. more..

Sri Lanka’s UN candidate says man to deal with Iran

Apr 21 (KT) Sri Lanka’s candidate for UN Secretary General said on Thursday he believed his expertise on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction made him the best person to succeed Kofi Annan and deal with Iran. Jayantha Dhanapala is one of three Asian candidates hoping to take over the top UN job at the end of the year. more..

Summary of the Cabinet decisions

Apr 21 (GN) The Cabinet has granted approval to a memorandum by Justice and Law Reform Minister Amarasiri Dodangoda to institute four new High Courts in four provinces. A High Court will be established in Polonnaruwa for North Central Province. The new Sabaragamuwa High Court will function from Embilipitiya. more..

Violence at the University of Colombo

Apr 21 (MOJU) Last week the media reported the recent fight between two student political groups known as Eksath and Podu at the Arts Faculty of the Colombo University. The incident took place on students’ election day, the morning of April 7th. (The students’ election is a major event in the university calendar. It elects student members to the Student Union for one academic year.) more..

Step in to end Sri Lanka's war

Apr 21 (IHT) It seems perverse that a world gripped by the scourge of terrorism neglects the bloody conflict in Sri Lanka, where minority Tamils battling for a separate state against the Sinhala majority are using the full range of terrorist weapons, including suicide bombers. In the past week 70 people have died in bomb attacks - mostly troops and police officers, but also children drafted into the rebel forces. more..

Catholic youth complain church not giving them enough attention

Apr 21 (UCAN) Alan Paternott takes part in parish projects to help the poor and wants to learn more about applying his faith in his daily life, but going to church is "a drag" for the 22-year-old Catholic. "The Mass is monotonous. There is no life, no brightness or a sense of meaning and hope," the young man says. more..

President directs country towards dictatorship by violating constitution- Karu

Apr 21 (LeN) The President has set a wrong and dangerous example by appointing members unconstitutionally and illegally to the Public Services Commission and the National Police Commission thus directing the country towards dictatorship, Deputy UNP leader Karu Jayasuriya has alleged more..

SLFP constitution amendment expedited to offer party presidency to Mahinda

Apr 21 (LeN) The Committee appointed by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party to recommend amendments to the party constitution paving the way for President Mahinda Rajapaksa to become the party leader was asked to submit its report before the end of this month at yesterday's Central Committee meeting of the party. more..

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce extends their services to other regions

Apr 21 (AT) In line with government’s national policy to develop regional economies, The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has organized a series of promotional seminars with regional chambers in order to support the development of small, medium and large-scale businesses in other regions. more..

SLFP denies opposition charges on oil prices

Apr 21 (AT) The Sri Lanka Freedom Party says oil prices underwent change because of the unprecedented rise in world oil prices. In a statement the SLFP reminded that last year the price of a barrel of crude oil rose to US$ 52. However, at present it has further climbed to US$ 70 per barrel. more..

UC Chairman wants rule of law to prevail in Trinco town

Apr 21 (TN) "Trincomalee Urban Council would take every step to strengthen the rule of law as a critical pre-rquisite to promote social and political order within our local administrative area. Local Government Ordinance will be the basis for this focus," said Mr. S.Gowrimuhunthan, Chairman of the Trincomalee UC in his first address to the people more..

Dangerous nonsense of 'One Paper' observations

Apr 21 (ISL) Oru Paper (One Paper) published as a Tamil-English bilingual fortnightly from London arrogantly anounces on its front page that it is a paper for the public to read without paying a penny. The question that will hover in the minds of people who expect journalistic decency and integrity of course is whether this paper is worth even a penny! more..

What Happened in Canada

Apr 21 (TW) The Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day of the Neo Conservative government that came into power on the 6th April banned the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on the 8th instant on grounds of terrorism. This new government is based on Neo Conservatism. The new Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, formed this party in 2003. more..

Army suspected over Puthur civilian killings

Apr 21 (TW) The Sri Lankan army is suspected by residents of Puthur in Jaffna of being responsible for the deaths of five Tamil civilians from the area. Though the Sri Lankan army has denied responsibility and says the Police suspect it to be a “reprisal” by the LTTE, the people of the area strongly believe that the army was responsible. The five victims were from Vaatharavathai in Puthur East. more..

Five mega irrigation projects soon

Apr 21 (GN) Construction will begin on five major irrigation schemes estimated to cost Rs. 20 billion within the next two years providing a boost to paddy cultivation. The project is part of a pledge made in the Mahinda Chintana to provide farmers with an uninterrupted supply of water for their cultivation in the Yala and Maha seasons. more..

A Record High Haul of LTTE Claymore Mines & Explosives Unearthed in

Apr 21 (SLA) TROOPS IN JAFFNA, in what was seen as a record-breaking recovery of the highest number of mines in a single detection, on Thursday (20) late night unearthed a total of twelve (12) deadly LTTE claymore mines, a haul of arms, ammunition and explosives from the compound of a house abandoned by an LTTE MAHAVEERAR family in MADUVIL area after civilians gave information to that effect. more..

LTTE Claymore Mine Kills Home Guard & Causes Tension

Apr 21 (SLA) LTTE TERRORISTS repeated their brutal terrorism at DEHIWATTE, TRINCOMALEE this morning (21) killing one Home Guard when terrorists detonated a claymore mine and fired on a Police patrol on road clearing duty causing tension in the area. Policemen assisted by Home Guards were moving along the main road when terrorists triggered the claymore mine, more..

Naval Craft With SLMM Monitor Comes Under Rain Of LTTE Bullets

Apr 21 (SLA) LTTE CADRES ON FAST FIBERGLASS DINGHIES with heavy weapons in the seas off MULLAITIVU on Wednesday (19) brazenly violated the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) by firing at a Navy vessel with an SLMM monitor on board. At about 12.30 p.m. Naval troops observed an LTTE sea movement, in which an LTTE boat was being towed by another LTTE fiberglass dinghy equipped with heavy machine guns in the seas off MULLAITIVU. more..

China agrees to give US$10 mn grant to build Sri Lankan roads

Apr 21 (LBO) China Friday agreed to give a billion rupee grant to build three flyover roads in Sri Lanka, the Finance Ministry said. "The three infrastructure projects will help reduce the traffic congestion on the highly congested interchanges at Nugegoda and Welikada and also the road section from Kadawatha to Kiribathgoda," the statement said. more..

Lanka IOCs unpaid bills climb to US$ 74mn

Apr 21 (LBO) Lanka IOC, a unit of Indian Oil Corp. is hoping the Sri Lankan government will make use of the recent fuel hike to partially refund 74.4 million dollars in unpaid subsidies, its managing director said Friday. Lanka IOC is currently makes a loss on retail fuel sales as it is forced to sell at government controlled rates. more..

National garbage disposal system to control dengue epidemic

Apr 21 (LT) Health and Nutritional Minister Mr Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the Government will initiate a national garbage disposal system to overcome the garbage problem. The Minister said that immediate implementation of such a system is a ‘must’ to avoid spreading of dengue epidemic. more..

Shed petit differences and support Govt. – Mithripala Sirisena

Apr 21 (LT) Without trying to take petit political advantages, all parties should support the government says Minister Maithripala Sirisena, Secretary General of the SLFP. He states that UNP is attempting to gain political advantage by projecting present world economic crisis as mismanagement on the part of the Government. more..

Tamilselvan: Tamil people retaliate as they are angered by continuous army attacks

Apr 21 (LT) LTTE has informed Norway’s Special Peace Envoy Jon Hannsen-Bauer that they are not participating in the Geneva Talks scheduled to take place on 24th April. They have also pointed out that people have lost patience as the army frequently launches attack against them. People have now begun to launch counter attacks against the armed forces. more..

More jobs in Saudi

Apr 21 (GN) The Sri Lankan Consul General in Saudi Arabia M. Inamullah, is working on the process of obtaining a large quota of employment in the King Abdulla Economic Zone and in the Hospital Complex which is under construction in Saudi Arabia, states a media release from the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Jeddah. more..

Repulse reactionary attempts to intrude and topple the Govt.

Apr 21 (SN) Under various threats, misinformation, gibberish deception, an unprecedented media onslaught, and all other forms of coercion, including hindrance and impediments by his own party leader and stalwarts, patriotic masses of this nation voted for Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse in the Presidential Election more..

Muslim man shot dead, spouse injured in Vavuniya

Apr 21 (TN) Unknown gunmen forced their entry into the home of a muslim couple in the Manipuram area of Vavuniya and shot dead the muslim owner of the house at 8 p.m. Thursday, sources in Vavuniya said. His wife also sustained gunshot wounds and was admitted to the Vavuniya Teaching Hospital, medical sources said. more..

Special Committee to investigate terrorist activities in the North

Apr 21 (LT) President Mahinda Rajapakse has appointed a Special Committee to look into the terrorist activities in the North. This Committee will function under the patronage of President. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, SLFP General Secretary Maithreepala Sirisena, Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva and Jeyaraj Fernandupulle will act as the other members of this Committee. more..

Medical camps aid tsunami-affected communities

Apr 21 (RW) IOM Sri Lanka will today start a ten day mobile medical camp for tsunami-affected and low income families in Kalutara district, 35 km south of Colombo. The camp, which will bring free health care to some 20,000 people, is an extension of IOM's Australian Red Cross-funded mobile eye camp programme, more..

Tsunami housing project - Ampegama

Apr 21 (RW) Baptist World Aid has been working with the Sri Lanka Baptist Union (SLBS) in a joint project to build housing for tsunami victims. Today, all 72 planned houses are in progress with 39 coming to completion. In a report sent to BWAid by Rev. R. A. Freddy de Alwis, Project Director, he says of the beneficiaries, more..

Aromatic cuisine from Sri Lanka

Apr 21 (TS) SPICY and aromatic, Sri Lankan cuisine bears a close resemblance to Indian food. The similarity ends as soon as you taste the food. “Singhalese food is spicy due to the chillies and spices,” said Sarath Jayatile-ka, owner of Diwa Bojun Cafe. A third generation Sri Lankan residing in Malaysia, Sarath said even the peppers were spicy. more..

Doctors, staff found playing truant

Apr 21 (LNP) In 51 raids conducted by the Health Ministry Flying Squad islandwide, around 161 personnel, both medical and non-medical, attached to hospitals are alleged to have defrauded Health Ministry. It was found that 90 medical officers at the Sri Jayawardenapura hospital, more..

Two Lankans jailed for abusing Danish girl

Apr 21 (LNP) A court in Tonder in southern Denmark, sentenced two Sri Lankans to jail for sexually abusing a Danish girl aged 10- years at the time of their arrests. The court sentenced Sivasothey Supramaniam, 35, married with children for two years of imprisonment for having sexual intercourse with the 10 -year girl. more..

Teenager raped and lodged in brothel

Apr 21 (LNP) Colombo Chief Magistrate Kusala Sarojini Weerawardhana yesterday (20) reprimanded a mother for not affording care to her daughter, a minor who was allegedly raped by several persons, prior to being lodged in a brothel. Counsel for the victim applied for the release of the minor to the custody of her mother. more..

Lanka to claim extended sea bed

Apr 21 (SAMN) Sri Lanka is in the process of claiming an extended sea bed area, which is considered 20 times larger than the country. The seismic survey for delimitation of the outer edge of the continental margin will commence after the monsoon season, Project Director of DEOCOM project Dr. N.P. Wijayananda said. more..

Journalists, intellectuals meet

Apr 21 (SAMN) A group of experienced journalists and concerned public intellectuals attended an informal dialogue at the German Cultural Institute recently to discuss a proposal jointly made by the German Cultural Institute (GCI) and Social Policy Analysis and Research Centre (SPARC) to launch a forum where more..

Committee to decide on new times

Apr 21 (SAMN) The Government has appointed a Cabinet sub-committee to look into altering school and office opening hours after the clock was turned back by half an hour from April 14. The three member sub-committee comprises Ministers Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Susil Premajayantha and Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. more..

Another VAT scam suspect produced

Apr 21 (DN) The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probing the multi- billion rupee VAT scam yesterday produced a leading Colombo businessman before the Colombo Fort Magistrate and Additional District Judge Namal Balalle. The suspect was remanded till May 3 pending the completion of the identification parade. more..

Call For Immediate Action on Trincomalee Situation

Apr 21 (Moju) A fact-finding team of civil society representatives traveled to Trincomalee on 16th and 17th of April 2006 in the wake of reports of civil unrest in the District. The findings of this mission have left us gravely concerned by the events that have unfolded in Trincomalee over the past week; more..

New security system for Colombo city

Apr 21 (GT) A security surveillance project costing Rs200mn has been approved by the Ministry of Defence. Under the plan 100 cameras are to be placed in strategic locations within the city of Colombo. Mobile vehicles will also be put into service and will be linked to a central control room via a 3G Mobile Service Provider. more..

Tourists enjoy stay in quiet Lankan plantations

Apr 21 (ZN) With its stunning views over Sri Lanka's rolling green tea hills, the Norwood plantation manager's bungalow was designed to compensate for the loneliness of British tea planters living far from their families. The plantation remains, but after a massive refurbishment, the bungalow and several others are now at the heart of a scheme to woo some of the world's highest spending tourists more..

Sri Lanka situation alarming but war unlikely

Apr 21 (IANS) The situation in Sri Lanka, where Tamil Tiger guerrillas have formally pulled out of the Geneva peace talks citing growing violence, is alarming but a full-scale war is unlikely for now, well-placed diplomatic sources say. Nevertheless, diplomats in Colombo - and others here - expect a spurt in bloodshed in the island's northeast where more..

Rising Sri Lanka violence kills at least one

Apr 21 (Reuters) Sinhalese civilians attacked a Tamil village in Sri Lanka's northeast on Friday after a mine attack blamed on the Tamil Tigers killed a policeman. The violence near the northeastern city of Trincomalee came a day after the Tigers said they were postponing indefinitely talks with the government initially set for next week, more..

Norway tries to salvage peace talks as 4 killed in renewed violence

Apr 21 (AP) Norwegian peace brokers tried on Friday to save endangered peace talks as two policemen and a village guard were killed in separate attacks blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels in northeastern Sri Lanka and a man died when angry villagers attacked Tamil homes. more..