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Govt. in confusion as violence escalates

Apr 26 (ML) Even as the escalation of violence reached alarming levels last week with villagers being massacred on both sides of the divide and more civilians caught in the cross-fire, it was clear President Mahinda Rajapakse had lost control of the situation. more..

President invites JVP to join govt.

Apr 26 (ML) President Mahinda Rajapakse has in writing invited the JVP to join the government and take cabinet office. The President’s formal invitation to the JVP was extended on Sunday, April 23 after a preliminary meeting with the party on Friday. The meeting on Friday was attended by JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva and MPs Anura Kumara Dissa-nayake and Wimal Weerawansa. more..

LTTE under aerial attack

Apr 26 (ML) The air force and navy backed by the army last evening launched attacks on LTTE areas in Trincomalee, including Sampur. The attack commenced around 5:45 pm and according to eyewitnesses five blasts occurred in the Muttur area. It was further revealed that three air force Kfir fighter bombers gave cover as the army fired artillery shells. more..

SLMM urges Govt. not to retaliate

Apr 26 (DM) The SLMM strongly condemns the suicide bomb attack that took place at the Sri Lanka Army Head Quarters in Colombo earlier today resulting in death and injury of both army personnel and civilians. The attack was aimed at Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka who was subsequently rushed to hospital, SLMM said in a press release yesterday. more..

Army chief seriously injured in noon attack by suicide bomber

Apr 26 (TW) Sri Lankan army commander Lt. Gen Sarath Fonseka sustained serious injuries in a suicide bomber attack on Tuesday April 25th that killed at least eight persons and wounded another twenty - seven. The suicide bomber was a woman pretending to be a pregnant woman. more..

Solheim's Ceasefire Agreement blown up by a Tamil suicide

Apr 26 (AT) After letting the LTTE get away with 95% of the violations of the Ceasefire Agreement since it was signed in 2002 -- a statistic quoted by the European Peace Monitors -- the Sri Lankan government yesterday launched a joint air naval and ground attack on LTTE strongholds in Trincomalee shortly after a female suicide bomber targeted the car of Army Commander, more..

Colombo launches undeclared war against LTTE

Apr 26 (TW) Responding to a suicide bomber attack targeting Army commander Lt. Gen Sarath Fonseka in Colombo on April 25th at noon the Government launched an undeclared war in the evening against the LTTE in the Trincomalee district. In a coordinated operation areas in the Muthur division of Eastern Trincomalee were bombarded by air and shelled from military camps and naval ships. more..

Sri Lankan peace on the ropes

Apr 26 (BBC) Yet another suicide attack in the Sri Lankan capital and the government has responded by unleashing air strikes on Tamil rebel positions in the east. So, is the ceasefire still holding? Ground realities clearly suggest that the 2002 ceasefire agreement exists only on paper and unless the cycle of violence is stopped it will be difficult to prevent the country from sliding into full-scale war. more..

12 bodies of civilians recovered from Muttur east

Apr 26 (TN) Initial reports from Muttur east in Trincomalee district Wednesday morning said at least twelve bodies of Tamil civilians including men, women and children killed in Tuesday evening air strike by Kfir jets, and artillery attack by Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) and Sri Lanka Army (SLA) were recovered from Muttur east area. more..

Fifteen thousand Tamils in Muttur east flee for safety

Apr 26 (TN) More than fifteen thousand Tamil people of about four thousand and five hundred families from Chenaiyoor, Kaddaiparichchan, Koonitheivu, Soodaikuda, Kadatkaraichenai, Santhoshapuram and several hamlets in the Muttur east Wednesday morning gathered in the village Pattalipuram in Muttur east fearing of more air strike and artillery fire. more..

The dead & the injured identified as death toll rises in LTTE suicide attack

Apr 26 (SLA) WITH THE DEATH TOLL RISING TO NINE IN THE LTTE SUICIDE ATTACK on the Army Commander Tuesday (25) afternoon, authorities at COLOMBO Military Hospital and COLOMBO National hospital on Wednesday (26) morning finalized the identification process of the dead and the injured, many of who are receiving treatment at Intensive Care Units. more..

MUTTUR LTTE Fire kills Civilians & Wounds Sailors

Apr 26 (SLA) TAMIL TIGER TERRORISTS, not moved by any deterrents, have continued their terrorist attacks on Security Forces and Police on duty at various areas in the north and east during the past 24 hours ending Wednesday (26) noon. Early morning on Wednesday (26), gangs of Tamil Tiger (LTTE) terrorists directed a barrage of motor fire towards the naval jetty in MUTTUR, more..

Stocks slump; investors look for changes in political developments

Apr 26 (LBO) Stocks continued to free fall in morning trade Wednesday, amid worries that the island was heading towards a full-scale war after a four-year truce, dealers said. The benchmark All Share Price Index fell 4.13 percent or 92.41 points to 2,144.20. Total volume was 257.08 million rupees, down from Tuesday’s close of 361.7 million, more..

Stop negotiating with the LTTE: Swamy

Apr 26 (PTI) The Janata party has condemned the assassination attempt on the Sri Lankan Army Chief by a suspected woman suicide bomber of the LTTE. "The dastardly attempt should awaken the politicians of South Asia that you cannot sup with a terrorist organisation, and it is suicidal to negotiate peace with such an organisation," more..

Is Sri Lanka sliding into chaos?

Apr 26 (BBC) What is your reaction to the suicide bomb attack in Sri Lanka? At least eight people have been killed and Sri Lanka's army chief seriously hurt following a suicide bomb attack on army headquarters in Colombo. The military has blamed Tamil Tiger rebels for the attack and launched air strikes on their positions in the east of the country. more..

Int'l condemnation on LTTE's barbaric terrorist attack

Apr 26 (PIS) The international community yesterday deplored the barbaric LTTE terrorist attack at the Army Headquarters, calling on the LTTE to give up terrorism and all acts of violence. The Co-Chairs of the Sri Lankan Peace Process (United States, European Union, Japan and Norway) condemning the attempted assassination of Lt. General Sarath Fonseka, more..

IP, wife shot dead

Apr 26 (LNP) An Inspector of Police, suspected of connections with drug dealers, earlier remanded and subsequently released, on the recommendations of the Attorney General, was shot dead, along with his wife, last morning at Porabe, in Athurugiriya, by unknown gunmen. more..

JHU calls for war-footing

Apr 26 (LNP) Reacting angrily to yesterday`s attack on the Army Commander, the JHU yesterday called on the government to ban the LTTE, withdraw from the ceasefire agreement and place the country on a war footing. JHU Leader Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera said the government`s policy of patience and flexibility had proved to be a costly mistake and a new strategy must be put into effect now. more..

Three wheelers to play fair

Apr 26 (LNP) Despite the increase in fuel prices, three wheel commuters need not unnecessarily fear an exhorbitant fare hike, the Three Wheeler Association said yesterday. `Since a three wheel driver uses only around 4 litres of petrol a day, he spends only Rs 32 extra and if he charges Rs 20 extra for a 25-kilometer journey, it would suffice to meet the extra cost,` the Association said. more..

A9 closed

Apr 26 (SAMN) Both the government and the LTTE accused each other of closing the A9 Highway Tuesday. A spokesperson for the army said the LTTE closed its side of the highway while the government side remained opened.The LTTE however said that the army closed its side of the highway while their side remained open. more..

New rules for Batti women NGO workers

Apr 26 (SAMN) Female workers in NGOs, under t threat following the controversy surrounding a printed message sent to all NGOs in Batticaloa, have been asked to work according to new rules. An official of the NOGO consortium said that women-NGO workers are ordered not to work after 5 p.m. and to attend conferences and functions in the main office rather than travel to distant places. more..

HRC awaiting report on missing TRO staff

Apr 26 (SAMN) The Human Rights Commission (HRC) is still awaiting the report by the committee in charge to look into the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) employees’ abduction. Additional Secretary, HRC, N. Punchihewa said the committee was ordered to submit the report by the High Court, but the report had not been submitted to date. more..

Australia condemns Sri Lanka bombing

Apr 26 (AAP) Australia has condemned the suicide bombing attack on the Sri Lankan army headquarters in Colombo. About 10 people were killed and the country's army chief Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka was injured in the blast on Tuesday. Sri Lanka's air force has been striking suspected Tamil Tiger positions in retaliation on Wednesday. more..

'Aksharaya' ban draws fire

Apr 26 (SAMN) Doyen of Sinhala cinema, Dr. Lester James Pieris has expressed strong displeasure over Cultural Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena’s interference to ban the screening of Asoka Handagama’s latest film Aksharaya. Dr. Pieris said the film has been approved by the Censor Board and the Minister has no right to reverse that decision. more..

Tamil Tigers one of world's deadliest militant groups

Apr 26 (AFP) Tamil Tigers, blamed for a suicide attack against a top military official that threatens to pitch the island back into civil war, is one of the world's deadliest guerrilla groups. For LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran the most lethal weapon in his armoury is the young men and women who believe the greatest glory lies in blowing themselves to pieces in suicide attacks. more..

The Black Tigers -- Sri Lanka's deadly suicide squads

Apr 26 (AFP) "Black Tiger" suicide squads, secular Hindus driven by loyalty to the Tamil cause rather than religion, have been sowing terror in Sri Lanka for over two decades. The audacious bombing Tuesday inside Sri Lanka's main military base, in which a female member of the Tamil Tigers feigning pregnancy blew herself up, was just the latest attack blamed on the ruthless rebel group. more..

War drums beat in Sri Lanka but truce talks still target: analysts

Apr 26 (AFP) Air strikes, mortar attacks, a suicide bombing in the heart of Colombo -- while it may seem Tamil Tiger rebels and Sri Lanka's government are beating war drums, they are in fact preparing to return to truce talks, some analysts said Wednesday. The fact that the government has recommitted itself to the ceasefire is a good sign, more..

From the scene: Sri Lanka

Apr 26 (Reuters) Sri Lankan peace process in jeopardy after military strikes Tamil Tigers targets in retaliation for a suicide blast. More than 100 people had already died in the bloodiest two weeks since the truce even before a female suicide bomber, disguised to look pregnant, blew herself up at Colombo's high-security army headquarters. more..

Lankan aged 7, wins International art contest

Apr 26 (DN) The winner of the Unilever International School's Art Project, Sasini Navoda Wickrematunga aged 7, participated in the 3 day educational programme which commenced from Wednesday 29 March 2006 in London. On the 30th March all the guests gathered at Tate Modern, one of the world's leading galleries for contemporary art to celebrate the work of young artists from around the world. more..

Air raids resume in Lanka, LTTE vows to strike back

Apr 26 (HT) The Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) continued its raids against LTTE military installations in Sampur in Trincomalee district on Wednesday, the military spokesman said. The raids were in response to the LTTE's mortar attacks aimed at the Trincomalee naval base earlier in the morning, Brig Prasad Samarasinghe said. more..

Post blast, national security tops Govt agenda

Apr 26 (HT) The Sri Lankan government has said that following the LTTE's bid to assassinate the army commander Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka on Tuesday, it has decided to give top priority to safeguarding national security. But this would be done without veering from its commitment to the peace process and the resolution of the ethnic conflict through talks with the LTTE, more..

Sri Lankan military strikes Tiger bases; pro-rebel Web site reports 12 dead

Apr 26 (AP) Sri Lanka's military pounded Tamil Tiger-held territories for a second day Wednesday as the government vowed to retaliate against any rebel attack. The rebels said at least 12 people had been killed in the strikes, that pushed the country to the brink of a return to civil war. "There will be coordinated retaliation by the armed forces if the LTTE continues to attack," more..

India watching Sri Lanka 'very, very closely'

Apr 26 (IANS) The Indian government held strategy sessions Wednesday in the wake of the deteriorating security situation in Sri Lanka while keeping a 'very, very close' watch on the island nation. Meetings were held in both the external affairs ministry and in the strategic community after Tuesday's dramatic suicide attack more..

EU says attack in Sri Lanka should not derail peace process

Apr 26 (IRNA) The European Union condemned the suicide bomb attack on Sri Lanka's army headquarters in which eight people were killed, while the army chief was seriously injured In Colombo Tuesday. "This appalling act of terrorism must not be allowed to threaten the prospects for peace in Sri Lanka," declared the current Austrian EU Presidency in a statement. more..

Tigers vow reprisals as Sri Lanka launches new strikes

Apr 26 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's military launched new strikes on Tamil Tiger areas in the island's northeast on Wednesday, a day after a deadly suicide bomb attack blamed on rebels shattered an already fragile ceasefire. Military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said the new strikes came after the LTTE fired on naval patrol craft off the eastern port of Trincomalee for a second day. more..

Sri Lanka vows to keep bombing Tiger positions as conflict escalates

Apr 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka vowed to keep attacking Tamil rebel targets with coordinated air, sea and land forces including artillery duels in the restive northeast amid fears of full-scale war. The fighting between the government and LTTE was sparked after the guerrillas seriously wounded the army chief and scores of others and killed 10 people in a suicide bombing at army headquarters Tuesday. more..

Yahoo Photos

Apr 26 (AFP) A Sri Lankan woman weeps as she reaches the police morgue to take away the body of her husband who was killed in a suicide bomb attack in Colombo. Sri Lanka has vowed to keep attacking Tamil rebel targets with coordinated air, sea and land forces more..

'Thousands flee' Sri Lanka raids

Apr 26 (BBC) About 3,000 people have fled their homes in north-eastern Sri Lanka as the military launched fresh air strikes on Tamil Tiger targets, rebels said. At least 15 civilians have died since the strikes began on Tuesday, S Elilan, political leader in Trincomalee district, told the BBC. more..

Sri Lanka faces a problem far greater than the escalation of violence

Apr 27 (RW) Violence is escalating in Sri Lanka, with an attack by a suicide bomber in Colombo on the army headquarters that has seriously injured the army commander and killed many others. In retaliation, the Government of Sri Lanka has ordered air and naval attacks on LTTE strongholds. The international media is announcing a “return to war” in response to this escalation of violence. more..

Emergency international meeting

Apr 27 (BBC) The international donors of Sri Lanka have called an emergency meeting to discuss the security situation in the isaland. Representatives from United States, Norway, EU and Japan are to meet in Oslo on Friday, Norway’s International Development Minister Erik Solheim told BBC Sanadeshaya. more..

Air strike, artillery fire, acts of provocation- LTTE

Apr 27 (TN) Sri Lanka security forces began air attacks and artillery fire without any provacation from the Liberation Tigers, Mr. S.Pulithevan, Secretary General of the LTTE’s peace secretariat in Kilinochchi told TamilNet. He accused the Sri Lanka Government of carrying out the attacks after blocking the Muttur east area, and issuing false reports. more..

"Our response to enemy attacks would be devastating"- Elilan

Apr 27 (TN) "We are in a state of readiness and are awaiting for the instruction from our leadership to respond with a force that will be catastrophically disabling and devastating to the enemy," said Mr.S.Elilan, Trincomalee district political head of the LTTE commenting on the current situation in Muttur east, sources said. more..

Will The LTTE make an air Strike on Colombo?

Apr 27 (TW) ”The LTTE has still much bite left in it as seen by the rapidity and deadly effectiveness with which it has hit back against the Sri Lankan Police, Army and Navy after each incident of reprisal killing by the Government in which their hand is suspected……After the spectacular assassination of Laxman Kadirgamar, the then Foreign Minister, last year, more..

Death toll mounts as Sri Lanka hits back by air, land and sea

Apr 27 (AFP) Escalating violence between Sri Lankan forces and Tamil rebels left at least 15 civilians dead and 15,000 Tamil villagers fleeing for their lives, reports from both sides said. Three people died and 13 were wounded when the LTTE fired mortar bombs against a naval detachment in the Muttur area of Trincomalee district, defence ministry spokesman Prasad Samarasinghe said on Wednesday. more..

Sri Lanka forecasts 1Q05 GDP at 6.8%

Apr 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's economy is expected to grow at an annual pace of 6.8 percent during the first quarter of 2006, despite setbacks in the peace process and worries that the country may slip back to war. "The growth in terms of my prediction for the first quarter is well over 6.5 percent," Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera told reporters Wednesday. more..

Indian Coastal security groups put on high alert

Apr 27 (CO) Coastal Security groups have been put on high alert,and asked to check all vehicles passing through various check-posts following the tense situation in Sri Lanka, top police officials said. The officials said that police would monitor petrol bunks, explosives dealers and LTTE sympathisers. Additional armed personnel would be deployed at the Check posts. more..

Further information on: Fear for safety: Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole

Apr 27 (AI) Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole and his family left Sri Lanka on 20 April and are now safe in another country. He thanked Amnesty International members for sending appeals on their behalf. The day after he left Sri Lanka, Professor Hoole received an email entitled "Warning 1" from a man called Ratnarajah Thivakaran, whom he does not know, saying "we are making arrangements to kill you, more..

Norway says truce on as Sri Lanka steps up air strikes

Apr 27 (AFP) Peace broker Norway expressed hope that Sri Lanka will retreat from the brink of full-scale war even as 18 more people were killed in escalated air strikes aimed at avenging rebel attacks and thousands of Tamil villagers were fleeing for their lives. Top peace envoy Erik Solheim said Oslo was trying to salvage the peace process amid more..

TNA urges International Community to act

Apr 27 (TN) TNA Wednesday condemned the GoSL and its peace secretariat for "duplicitous behavior" and "carrying on a malicious and false campaign to mislead the international community," and urged the International Community to "realize this reality and take the appropriate action to compel the Sri Lankan State to act in a responsible way in the interest of the peace process," more..

Colombo, Tigers slide toward open war

Apr 27 (AT) Unlike previous occasions when violations of the ceasefire agreement would spark only accusations and counter-accusations between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE, Tuesday's suicide attack inside the Sri Lankan Army Headquarters is likely to have more serious ramifications. There is a clear danger of hostilities breaking out between the two sides. more..