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Lanka back in the ‘War Risk’ list

Apr 29 (SAMN) Due to the spate of violence in the North and East and the suicide bomb attack this week near the military headquarters the London-based Joint War Committee has placed Sri Lanka back in the war risk list. Shipping and business leaders expressed concerns over Sri Lanka’s inclusion which will make trade with Sri Lanka uncompetitive. more..

Common plan for private buses

Apr 29 (SAMN) Transport Minister A H M Fowzie said that a special committee will be set up to create a common plan concerning private buses, for Provincial Councils, in order to lessen friction between them. The decision was made at a meeting with Minister for Local Government Authority Janaka Bandara Tennakoon where Private Bus Operators were given a chance to voice their opinions. more..

Money transfer scheme through post offices soon

Apr 29 (DN) Posts and Telecommunication Ministry will shortly introduce a money transfer scheme through post offices throughout the country. This will enable the rural folk to obtain the foreign exchange earnings sent by their kith and kin working abroad in Sri Lanka rupees from the post offices in their areas. more..

'Talks only way out for Sri Lanka'

Apr 29 (HT) The troubled island of Sri Lanka is again in news. A suicide bomber posing as a pregnant woman blew herself on April 25, 2006 close to the Sri Lankan Army headquarters in Colombo, derailing the fragile peace process. The impunity with which the Tamil tigers attack Sri Lanka targets has left many dazed. more..

Sri Lankan air strikes violated truce: monitors

Apr 29 (AFP) Sri Lanka violated a ceasefire with Tamil Tiger rebels by launching air strikes this week, foreign truce monitors said, expressing fears government forces had also been involved in extrajudicial killings. The strikes conducted on Tiger targets in northeastern Trincomalee district on Tuesday and Wednesday "are a clear violation of the ceasefire agreement," more..

Sri Lanka facing dangerous propaganda war: president

Apr 29 (AFP) Sri Lanka is facing a propaganda war more dangerous than the recent violence in the country, the president said, as newspapers accused foreign journalists of biased coverage. "Now we are confronted with a more dangerous war -- that is the propaganda war," President Mahinda Rajapakse told a meeting of political parties late Friday. more..

Sri Lanka Tigers, army exchange fire amid war fears

Apr 29 (Reuters) Tamil Tigers and the military exchanged fire across front lines on Saturday, overshadowing efforts to return to long-delayed peace talks amid fears the country could slip into a renewed civil war. LTTE rebels fired shots across a northern checkpoint with government territory in the early hours of the morning, drawing small arms fire from government forces, the army said. more..

Sri Lankan government says it is ready to resume peace talks, two rebels die in mine attack

Apr 29 (AP) European peace monitors said Saturday the Sri Lankan government had violated a cease-fire agreement when it launched deadly airstrikes on Tamil Tiger rebel territory, as the administration said it was prepared to resume peace talks in Switzerland. more..

Leaders try to defuse tension in northeastern Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (AFP) Community leaders met in this northeastern Sri Lankan port town in a bid to defuse tension and suspicion between Sinhalese and Tamils following the bombing of a busy market that killed 17 people. The bombing, which the government and many Sinhalese locals blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels, set off a chain of tit-for-tat killings across the entire district, more..

Police sergeant butchered by LTTE pistol man

Apr 30 (SLA) Police sergeant attached to the VAVUNIYA Police station who was on duty at the SANASA roadblock in VAVUNIYA town center was shot by LTTE pistol man yesterday (29) at about 7.30 p.m. Civil clad LTTE pistol man covertly approaching towards the checkpoint shot Police sergeant W K WICKRAMA from behind and vanished from the area. more..

Eye witness account from Sampoor

Apr 30 (BBC) There has not been huge damage in Shampor area in Trincomalee as claimed by the LTTE. “There is damage but not as much as LTTE has claimed”, reporters who travelled in the area on Saturday said. R.G.Dharmadasa, reporting to Sandesaya said that houses in many villages were closed and villagers have gathered to Patalipuram Grama Seva Davison in fear. more..

Inspector Nimal's killing: an inside job

Apr 30 (LeN) The special CID team conducting investigations into the killing of Inspector Douglas Nimal has received information that the he had been murdered to prevent connections among police big shots and politicians and underworld kingpins and drug dealers from being exposed. more..

Beheaded killings said to be work of under world gangs

Apr 30 (LeN) The killings of 5 persons by beheading and dumping their bodies at Awissawella area was a result of clashes among rival under world gangs says Inspector General of Police Chandra Fernando. He revealed this at the all party conference at Presidential Secretariat yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka rebels 'kill renegades'

Apr 30 (BBC) Tamil Tiger rebels say they have killed at least 15 fighters from a breakaway faction in clashes in east Sri Lanka. The Tigers said they raided three camps used by the group headed by former Tiger rebel Col Karuna. Sri Lankan military officials said 10 Tigers were also killed in the fighting, near the town of Welikanda. more..

Sri Lanka surprised by truce monitors ruling

Apr 30 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan government said Sunday it was surprised by the ruling of the international truce monitors saying that the government's air strikes last Tuesday on Tamil Tiger selected targets was a violation of the ongoing truce agreement. more..

Govt denies extra-judicial killing allegations; calls claims 'outrageous'

Apr 30 (AP) Government on Sunday dismissed as "outrageous" accusations by European peace monitors that security forces may have engaged in extra-judicial killings of civilians in Tamil Tiger rebel-held areas. "We categorically deny the charges, which are outrageous and not based on facts," government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella told The Associated Press. more..

Special media unit to provide correct information to the world

Apr 30 (LT) Government is considering establishing a special media unit to publish correct information about Sri Lanka to foreign countries. Certain local media, especially foreign media have been publishing reports harmful to the country and this is the reason for establishing such a media unit. more..

Trauma over, but for how long?

Apr 30 (ANN) A traumatic week is behind us and the signs are that Geneva 2 will happen sooner than later. But that does not mean that the country’s problems are anywhere near over. The mere fact that Colombo now has the moral high ground following last week’s suicide bomb attack on the army commander does not in any way strengthen the prospects for peace. more..

Derbyshire crumble to spin and pace

Apr 30 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga took three wickets each as Sri Lanka dismissed Derbyshire for 219 on the first day of the tour match at the Racecourse Ground. Steve Stubbings and Chris Taylor got Derbyshire off to a super start with an unbeaten stand of 85 before lunch, but Muralitharan and Malinga wreaked havoc in the afternoon session. more..

Lanka to send top minister to seek India's support

Apr 30 (PTI) With the Sri Lanka peace process under threat due to escalation of violence, the island nation is sending a senior minister here this week to seek India's "political" support for revival of the dialogue process between the government and LTTE. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will undertake a two-day visit from May 8, official sources said. more..

This could be my last tour to England - Murali

Apr 30 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lanka's champion offspinner, says he hopes make his mark on what could turn out to be his last Test series in England. "It could be the last tour for me - we may not be back until 2009 or 2010," he said. "How long my career will last I don't know, so I have to make it a memorable tour. more..

After the ban Canadian Tamils hit hard by the Police

Apr 30 (AT) Canadian Police is cracking down hard on the Tamil Tigers of Canada after the federal government listed them as a terrorist organization them last month. The raid of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on the World Tamil Movement (WTM) in Toronto last week led to the temporary closing down of the Tamil community newspaper, confiscation of Tiger literature and CD’s and DVD’s. more..

Tiger eastern commander, Bhanu, under serious threat from Karuna Group

Apr 30 (AT) Colonel Bahnu, LTTE’s Special Commander of the Batticalao-Amparai districts, has quietly slipped out of 'Thenagam' which is considered to be the eastern headquarters of the Tigers. Sources based in the east said that concerns about the personal security of Colonel Bahnu was the chief reason for him to vacate the stronghold of the Tamil rebels’ main base located at Karadiyanaru. more..

The Inimitable Tiger

Apr 30 (AT) Imagine a land where the ultimate heroine is a woman who, in order to kill an enemy blows up herself and her unborn child. According to media reports preliminary investigations have revealed that the woman suicide bomber who blew herself up in an attempt to assassinate the Lankan Army Commander was actually pregnant. more..

Sri Lanka calls off May Day rallies amid suicide bomb fears

Apr 30 (AFP) Sri Lanka's main political parties have agreed to call off May Day rallies scheduled for Monday because of fears that large gatherings could attract suicide bombers, a government minister said. Plan Implementation Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said there was a consensus among political parties to avoid large meetings after a female suicide bomber on Tuesday killed herself and 10 others inside army headquarters in Colombo. more..

Civilian casualties in Sri Lanka strike "minimal"

Apr 30 (AFP) The governor of Sri Lanka's Northeast Province has played down civilian casualties inflicted during military strikes on Tamil Tiger areas, saying they were lower even than those caused by one recent Tiger bombing. "Considering the amount of firepower, the collateral damage is minimal," Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrama said more..

Sri Lanka protests monitors' statement on extrajudicial killings

Apr 30 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Sunday protested an allegation by Scandinavian truce monitors that government forces may have been responsible for extrajudicial killings. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse met Ulf Henricsson, the head of the truce monitoring mission, to demand an explanation for Saturday's statement, a top government official said. more..

Govt team in Sampoor to assess needs of displaced

Apr 30 (PIS) With UNHCR expressing serious concern about displaced persons in conflict areas, the government yesterday sent a team into Sampoor, Trincomalee district, to determine the needs of civilians uprooted by last week’s air strikes. "Around 4,474 families or 16,604 people were displaced," said W A S B Amarathunga, additional government agent of Trincomalee. more..

Bauer: LTTE must renounce violence, Govt. must stop retaliatory attacks

Apr 30 (PIS) Norway’s peace envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer has said the LTTE must renounce violence and the tit-for-tat attacks must end for the creation of an atmosphere conducive to peace. "We are very worried about the escalating violence and the volatile situation where communal tension can go out of hand. The LTTE must renounce violence. more..

How President decided on retaliation

Apr 30 (LNP) It was his brother and Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa who broke the bad news to the President. He said over the telephone, in a voice choked with emotion that Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka has been attacked by a suicide bomber at his own headquarters. It was around 1.45 p.m. on Tuesday April 25. more..

Suicide bomber`s ID leads to more arrests

Apr 30 (LNP) The CID investigating last Tuesday`s suicide bomb attack on Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka at the Army Headquarters in Colombo has detained five suspects. The latest arrest came in the wake of the CID stumbling upon the woman`s identity card which had an address at Puvarasankulam in Vavuniya. more..

LTTE tipped off on attacks

Apr 30 (LNP) The LTTE is believed to have received information on the decision to launch attacks on its positions near the Trincomalee navy base on Tuesday evening before the combined security forces operation got underway. LTTE cadres reportedly used public address systems to warn the public of the impending military strikes at least 30 minutes before Israeli-built Kfirs carried out the first attack on Sampoor at 6pm. more..

VAT fraud: Racketeers build fortunes in Asia, Africa

Apr 30 (LNP) Suspects who struck it rich in the VAT refund scam have illegally sent out vast sums of money for investment abroad, ongoing CID investigations have revealed. One suspect, S. Subramaniam, described as a textile tycoon had allegedly invested large sums of money in Uganda and Vietnam. more..

Overstayers in marriages of convenience

Apr 30 (SAMN) The Immigration and Emigration Department -- trying to curb the rising number of illegal foreign workers including prostitutes -- wants to blacklist and penalise those overstaying their visas but is confronted with a new situation: some marry local women for convenience. more..

Central Bank advocates skill migration

Apr 30 (SAMN) The Central Bank has in its 2005 annual report, released on Friday, advocated re-orienting Sri Lanka’s foreign employment policies to encourage skill migration. The bank said that over a million Lankans have migrated for foreign employment with the largest numbers going to the Middle East. more..

Villagers in Trinco want more security

Apr 30 (SAMN) Villagers in Gomarankadawala in the Trincomalee District still live in fear in the aftermath of the brutal slaying of six villagers last Sunday. “Some of us spend the nights in the jungles as we fear that we may be attacked again. We need more security to live in our homes,” one villager lamented. more..

Sri Lanka refugees rise to 21,000: UN

Apr 30 (AFP) Up to 21,000 people have fled their homes following the latest spike in violence in Sri Lanka's northeastern district of Trincomalee, the United Nations says. UN agencies have begun delivering aid to the refugees in rebel-held parts of Trincomalee where government forces carried out air attacks on Tuesday and Wednesday, a UN office here said. more..

Eighteen dead in Tiger infighting, says Sri Lankan military

Apr 30 (AFP) At least 18 rebels were killed and many wounded when Tamil Tiger guerrillas launched a major attack against a breakaway faction in eastern Sri Lanka, military and rebel sources said. The battle was one of the bloodiest incidents in an escalation of violence in recent weeks that has severely strained a four-year-old ceasefire between the Tigers and the government. more..