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HRC recommends Govt. pay Rs. 800,000 compensation to Ravaya editor

Apr 4 (LeN) The human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka recommended that the Government pay Rs. 800,000 to Ravaya Editor Victor Ivan as compensation for undue trial delays and violation of his freedom of expression. Mr. Ivan was awarded compensation in violation of article 14(3) (3) and article 19 read with article 2 (3) of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). more..

JVP Ready to face general election

Apr 4 (LeN) The JVP yesterday said it had achieved more than it expected at last week's local council polls and was ready to face a general election on its own. "We have won more than 20 percent of the seats in the local bodies", JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said and added that the JVP, as a single party, and the UPFA as a coalition had swept the polls. more..

New peace envoy to meet political leaders

Apr 4 (PIS) Jon Hassen-Bauer, the new Nordic special peace envoy will meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other political leaders this week in the run-up to second round of the Geneva talks, diplomatic sources said yesterday. "Hassen-Bauer who arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday is expected to meet political leaders across the political divide, the LTTE and leaders of other Tamil political parties," more..

Sri Lanka hosts conclave of international counter-terrorism and money laundering experts

Apr 4 (PIS) Money launderers, swindlers and terrorist financiers operating in South Asia have a new reason to worry as the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Australia's Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering and the United Kingdom's Charities Commission join forces to train more than 40 South Asian regulators and lawmen more..

Million-Rupee reward for Vidanage

Apr 4 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapakse, honouring a pledge he made, will present Rs. One million to Commonwealth Games gold medallist Chintana Vidanage at a special ceremony to be held at the Temple Trees at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sports Minister Jeevan Kumaranatunga told `Daily Mirror` yesterday. more..

Wambotta vanquished

Apr 4 (LNP) The notorious gangster Wambotta and an accomplice were shot dead on Sunday night at Aswatte in Kosgama while travelling in a Dolphin van from Seeduwa to Avissawella, police said. They said two others who were in the van which was driven by Wambotta were injured while two other gangsters were arrested. more..

Alternative measures to combat health unions woes

Apr 4 (LNP) In order to provide a quality health service to the people, alternative permanent measures would be implemented to meet the trade union challenges in the health sector, Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition Nimal Siripala de Silva said. more..

Indian spiritual leader due in May

Apr 4 (SAMN) A series of ceremonies will mark the visit of internationally acclaimed Indian spiritual leader his holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shanker when he arrives in the country on May 6, 2006 said a spokesman for the Guruji Shrimat Vidyut Udiawer. more..

Helping elders to meet challenges

Apr 4 (SAMN) With one fourth of the population expected to be over 60 years of age by the year 2010, plans have been set in motion to assist elderly population face the many challenges that may crop up. The Senior Citizens Secretariat, set up under the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Social Welfare, has taken steps to address the problems of this section of population. more..

US working with Sri Lanka to eliminate landmines threat

Apr 4 (DN) The United States joins Sri Lanka in observing the International Day of Mine Awareness and Mine Action on April 4. Sri Lanka has made impressive strides to rid the island of mines. The National Steering Committee for Mine Action has set ambitious goals for the future, and the United States has been a partner with Sri Lanka from the beginning of the mine clearing effort. more..

BBC increases FM presence in Sri Lanka

Apr 4 (ABU) The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has entered an agreement with Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), which will see 10 hours of BBC World Service programming being aired in Sri Lanka. BBC output in English has increased by five hours on all SLBC national FM networks across the country in addition to programmes in Sinhala and Tamil. more..

Injury ends Jayasuriya's Test career

Apr 4 (AFP) Sanath Jayasuriya's Test career ended on a painful note after dislocating his right thumb during the second Test against Pakistan at Kandy. He also needed several stitches after splitting the webbing when he attempted to catch Imran Farhat in the gully during the morning session of the second day. more..

Senior Lanka officials to visit India this week

Apr 4 (PTI) Sri Lanka today discounted media reports that the upcoming visit of its senior trade officials to India was aimed at reassuring New Delhi of their bilateral ties after President Mahinda Rajapakse's Pakistan trip. "There is no link in the two," Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said adding that the official-level meeting had been scheduled months ago. more..

Pakistan fightback through dazzling Asif

Apr 4 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan loves the Asgiriya stadium, as he proved again, but at least one bowler will walk away from this ground, irrespective of the result, as infatuated by it. No sooner than had Muralitharan sat down to contemplate his 51st five-wicket haul, one that had seemingly shifted a taut Test decisively away from Pakistan in the afternoon, more..

Sri Lanka hopes to strengthen air-sea links with Pakistan

Apr 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka has asked the Pakistan government to start a Colombo-Karachi ferry service and liberalise air services during President Mahinda Rajapakse’s recent state visit to the neighboring country, a senior government minister said. "At the moment there are three flights a week to Pakistan from Sri Lanka, and two flights from Pakistan to Sri Lanka," more..

Polls victory to boost Sri Lanka peace hopes

Apr 4 (AFP) Hopes for peace in Sri Lanka have been strengthened by the ruling party's landslide victory in local polls, the government's top peace negotiator said. Nimal Siripala de Silva said he told Norway's new peace envoy, Jon Hanssen-Bauer, that last week's victory had strengthened President Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

India calls for 'southern consensus' in Sri Lanka

Apr 4 (IANS) India Tuesday appealed for 'consensus' among Sri Lanka's two main political parties to take the country's wobbling peace process forward. The idea emerged as Sri Lanka's opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and held detailed discussions with Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran and National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan. more..

No worries with electoral reform - JVP

Apr 5 (BBC) The JVP says that certain interested parties are trying to undermine their victory at the recently concluded local government elections. “This is our best performance and we have received about 12 percent of votes” said parliamentarian Vijitha Herath. He emphasised that the JVP has significantly increased its representation within the local government system. more..

Vavuniya pre-schools call for immediate release of TRO workers

Apr 5 (TN) Staff, children and parents of Tamil, Muslim and Sinhala Preschools in Vavuniya marched in protest to the Government Secretariat, demanding the safety and release of the seven Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) staffers who were abducted on 29-30 January and are still missing, TRO officials in Vavuniya said. more..

UNP divided on Wijesekara issue

Apr 5 (LeN) A rift has occurred in the UNP executive committee following party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe's decision to expel Matara district parliamentarian Mahinda Wijesekara from the UNP executive committee and the Matara District UNP leadership. more..

Deputy Minister's goon who tried to undress Nirupama still at large

Apr 5 (LeN) Kandy district UNP parliamentarian, attorney at law Lakshman Kiriella has made a written request from the Director of the Police Children and Women's Bureau to use its powers and arrest a person who harassed Nawalapitiya Mayor Ms. Nirupama Seneviratne by pulling from her clothes on the local government election day at the Nawalapitiya town, more..

Chandrika's false pretences

Apr 5 (LeN) Issuing a statement on the local government election, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga says the most salient feature of the outcome is the people's faith on the peace process. She has also extended her wishes to President Mahinda Rajapaksa who led the election campaign and other senior leaders of the freedom Alliance. more..

JVP weighed its own weight - Bandula Gunawardane

Apr 5 (LeN) At the local government election, the fortunes of the the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and the Jathika Hela Urumaya have hit rock bottom, UNP parliamentarian Bandula Gunawardane said. His remarks came at a media briefing held in Colombo today to respond to state media and the JVP's comments about the performance of the UNP at the local polls. more..

Additional hospital staff to be trained to counter hospital strikes

Apr 5 (LeN) As an alternative solution to counter constant health sector strikes that cause immense inconvenience to hapless patients, Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva has decided to recruit 1000 pharmacists and 1000 paramedical offices for training. The Minister said the program is aimed at preventing crippling health sector strikes by paramedical officers specially of technical grades. more..

Peace process strengthened by local election

Apr 5 (TW) There is no question that the local election results are a personal victory for President Mahinda Rajapaksa and reveal the trust he has been able to generate within the Sinhalese electorate in particular. Within a mere four months of being elected President he has swiftly rebuilt the SLFP into a party that can contest on its own and yet win. more..

The two faces of Galle Face

Apr 5 (ML) For many years now town planners have tried to put a mask on Galle Face Green. So we saw cement structures coming up around it, we saw spaces for trees, we saw new concrete steps being built and whole new structures coming up for the mobile food sellers to have permanent places to serve their food. more..

MR’s diplomatic offensive and UNP’s battle stations

Apr 5 (ML) One thing could be said about the results of last week’s local government polls. It did not displease the UNP who felt they performed reasonably well on the heels of a lost presidential election and it also strengthened the resolve of the SLFP to work with more moderate political elements. more..

Maharoof calls for Mohamed’s removal

Apr 5 (ML) The drama over the UNP’s Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) list took a new turn yesterday with Parliamentarian M. Maharoof calling for the removal of District Leader M. H. Mohamed. In a letter to Party General Secretary, N. K. Weragoda yesterday, Maharoof has called for an inquiry into the conduct and lapses of M. H. Mohamed in the matter of the nomination list of the CMC. more..

What will the President do? What can’t he?

Apr 5 (ML) Will the local government election result have the positive impact many hope it will on revitalising the peace process? The answer to this lies in the willingness and ability of President Mahinda Rajapakse to seize the moment and shape events, as well as of course in the plans of Velupillai Pirapaharan regarding war and peace. more..

Teaching dissidence to LTTE

Apr 5 (Hindu) After four agonising years, the Sri Lankan peace process has boiled down to a single issue that has nothing to do with the rights of Tamils. It is the survival of the LTTE, which has centre-staged the bizarre demand that the Sri Lankan Government should guarantee its welfare by disarming Karuna, the breakaway LTTE leader. more..

RPCs invest another billion on replanting and welfare

Apr 5 (AT) The Regional Plantation Companies [RPC] of Sri Lanka, which maintain and manage government as well as private owned plantations, would invest another billion of rupees in number of plantations to improve productivity and lifestyles of estate workers. more..

JVP assault victim dies in Colombo

Apr 5 (LT) Mr. Bandula Marambe, a JVP member resident at Vijayapura, Anuradhapura, who was brutally assaulted by the thugs of Provincial Council Minister, H.B. Semasingha and Deputy Minister of Ports, Duminda Dissanayake on 24th March and warded at the Intensive Care Unit of the Colombo General Hospital died yesterday. more..

JVP reiterates firm ‘No” to Norway facilitation

Apr 5 (TW) “We stand by our position that they can not be kept as facilitators anymore,” says JVP’s Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa. In an interview to Daily Mirror published on April 5th, Mr. Weewansa is lashing out at Norway and questions statements made by Norwegian special envoy Erik Solheim to Indian news web portal “Tehelka“: more..

President appoints committee to select heads of local government bodies

Apr 5 (GN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed a special committee to recommend persons to be appointed to the offices of Mayor/Deputy Mayor, Chairman/Deputy Chairman of the Municipal Councils, Urban Councils and Pradesheeya Sabhas won by the UPFA at the recent elections. more..

New Sri Lanka only through communal amity - President

Apr 5 (GN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday reiterated the dream of a "new Sri Lanka" can only come true by promoting amity and friendship among Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. "In order to turn this goal into a reality, people for the second consecutive time have also highly approved the Mahinda Chintana programme which I put forward to the nation," President Rajapaksa said. more..

Konesapuri tsunami-hit families receive permanent houses

Apr 5 (TN) Twenty permanent houses under a project funded by member firms of KPMG International, a well known audit firm, were handed over to beneficiaries in Konesapuri located about 16 km north of Trincomalee town at an event held on Monday, sources said. more..

International Mine Action Day celebrated in Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (TN) Non-governmental organizations and government and UN agencies marked April4 International Mine Action Day with activities in several towns in Sri Lankathe, including the government organized event in Colombo. Regional events included a bicycle race for disabled persons in Trincomalee, sports and cultural events in Vavuniya, drama presentations in Amparai, more..

Suspicious LTTE Craft Observed

Apr 5 (SLA) Naval troops on routine patrol have observed suspicious movements of seven LTTE attack craft in the seas off MULLAITIVU on Tuesday (04) around 9.30 a.m. Those seven LTTE attack craft were seen drifting towards the shipwreck, north of MULLAITIVU seas before some of them anchored off in the mid seas by the shipwreck at MULLAITIVU, about 05 – 06 km away from the beach. more..

India slaps countervailing duty on vanaspathi oil from Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (LBO) India has slapped a countervailing duty of between US$28-32 per metric tonne on vanaspati oil shipments from Sri Lanka, raising the stakes in a trade dispute that has been simmering for several months. Imposed through the recent Indian budget, the levy comes at a crucial time, as both nations meet for four days of talks on April 24 to iron out trade issues more..

Severe shortage of doctors in Vavuniya

Apr 5 (ISL) Although the Chettikulam village hospital in Vauniya has been upgraded to a District level hospital, a severe shortage of doctors in the area had been hindering the hospital activities, according to sources from Vavuniya. Meanwhile, a Sinhalese doctor has been appointed to work in the hospital due to the lack of Tamil doctors in the area. more..

Major boost for Lanka, Pakistan ties

Apr 5 (GN) The Government yesterday expressed optimism that the President's recent visit to Pakistan would boost trade between the two countries, bring in more Pakistani investors and strengthen economic and trade relations between the two countries. more..

Trinco Police Supdt masterminded Tamil Youth Killing says UTHR (J)

Apr 5 (TW) The latest report by the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) has charged that the cold - blooded killing of five Tamil youths at the Dutch bay beach in Trincomalee on January 2nd was masterminded by the Police Superintendent of the area Kapila Jayasekera. more..

Tigers may fly in own plane to Male from Iranaimadhu

Apr 5 (TW) The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam delegates attending peace talks in Geneva on April 19th are prepared to fly directly out from Sri Lanka in their own aircraft from Iranaimadhu in the Kilinochchi district to Maldivian Islands capital Male thereby circumventing Katunayake it is learnt. more..

LTTE area farmers to receive marketing help

Apr 5 (TN) Mr.V.Visuvalingam, Mannar Government Agent said he will soon be providing marketing facilities to farmers in the Liberation Tigers held areas to sell their agricultural produce in Government-controlled territory in Mannar district. Currently farmers in LTTE held divisions of Madhu and Manthai West in Mannar district struggle to market their produce for decent competitive prices more..

No room for hypocricy in implementing CFA - Thamilchelvan

Apr 5 (TN) Armed activities of the paramilitary groups have intensified following the first session of Geneva Talks contrary to the commitment made by the Government to the February 2002 Cease Fire Agreement (CFA). President Mahinda Rajapakse can no longer pay lip service to CFA after the route of the extreme Sinhala hardline forces in the local elections in the South, more..

Alaska scandal: CID sees foul play by Sports Minister

Apr 5 (LNP) The growing scandal over the smuggling of youth to Alaska through the office of the Sports Ministry took a sensational turn yesterday when the CID informed the Negombo Magistrate that evidence indicated the racket was carried out with the knowledge of Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga using his own personal staff. more..

President sure of security forces` capabilities

Apr 5 (LNP) At a meeting with the armed services and senior police officers yesterday, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he was confident the security forces could protect the country`s territorial integrity and sovereignty. President called upon the security forces to protect the country, while the politicians attended to the peace process. more..

Strikes cripple medical and postal services in Kandy

Apr 5 (LNP) Distribution of letters and postal services were completely crippled as the General Post Office in Kandy and post offices in other towns were closed by a strike, demanding the revision of 1/2006 circular on salaries. Meanwhile, a section of the nursing staff at the Kandy General hospital struck work while another section worked. more..

UNP says it accepts people's verdict

Apr 5 (SAMN) The United National Party on Tuesady said it would accept the people's verdict modestly but insisted the party had not been routed as some elements predicted. The party has a solid foundation of 2.5 million votes, Colombo District MP Bandula Gunawardane told the party's weekly press briefing. more..

My position on peace unflinching: Ranil

Apr 5 (SAMN) India’s Congress Party Leader Sonia Gandhi yesterday assured fullest support to Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesighe. Mr. Wickremesinghe who is due in the country today after a three-day visit to India acknowledged her late husband Rajiv Gandhi’s idea of a political solution while safeguarding the country’s sovereignty and protecting Muslim aspirations. more..