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UNP Mayoral to be selected on merit

Apr 5 (SAMN) Tomorrow the UNP is scheduled to appoint Mayors and Chairmen to the 32 local bodies the party won at the local government elections in accordance with criteria prepared. The party’s nomination board held discussions in this regard with Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya yesterday. more..

VAT scam, CID looking for more suspects

Apr 5 (DN) The Criminal Investigation Department probing the massive VAT racket at the Inland Revenue Department is looking for the wife of a suspect now in remand custody and another leading businessman, who has several business connections abroad, who are alleged to have involved in the VAT racket. more..

Jaffna District Development Committee meeting was a success

Apr 5 (SN) The LTTE referred the last presidential election as an election of the Sinhala nation and they boycotted the election. Therefore, the EU election observers submitted a report saying that the Tamils of North and East were deprived from exercising their franchise, forcibly by the LTTE, said Minister of Social Services Mr. K.N. Douglas Devananda. more..

Lankan workers go home without dues

Apr 5 (KT) The 38 Sri Lankan workers of Al Noor Garment Factory in the Sharjah Industrial Area abandoned by their employer for months without wages, food and electricity, returned to Colombo yesterday morning without their dues. The workers were deported from the Dubai International Airport without any money, sources said, more..

Norway envoy arrives in Tamil rebel territory for talks

Apr 5 (AP) Norwegian envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer held talks Wednesday with Tamil Tiger rebel leaders in northern Sri Lanka ahead of this month's second round of peace talks between the rebels and the Sri Lankan government in Geneva. The newly appointed envoy met with the Tamil Tiger political chief S.P. Thamilselvan in the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi, more..

Trincomalee women march for peace

Apr 5 (TN) Hundred of women, Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims Wednesday participated in a silent march for solidarity and peace organized by the Women And Children Care Organization (WACCO) condemning war and demanding peace. Participants carried placards urging the government and others to work for the success of finding lasting peace in the country, sources said. more..

The love triangle of Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan

Apr 5 (KT) RECENTLY at a reception on board Shahjahan, a Pakistani frigate that called at the Colombo Port, an official of the Pakistani embassy asked me why the media did not give much publicity to Pakistan’s help for Sri Lanka. However much I tried to explain or rather defend the Sri Lankan media by pointing out instances where newspapers had carried articles on Pakistan’s tsunami relief and other assistance, the official was not convinced. more..

Younis steers Pakistan to victory

Apr 5 (CI) Led by contrasting half-centuries from Younis Khan and Imran Farhat, Pakistan strolled to an ultimately comfortable eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka on the third afternoon of the final Test at the Asgiriya Stadium in Kandy. With it they won the series - their third in succession - and kept their remarkable record of not having lost a series, or even a Test, in Sri Lanka for 20 years. more..

SLFP to resolve leadership issue

Apr 5 (Gulf) The future of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main party in the coalition government, will be known this week when the party decides about leadership indications that President Mahinda Rajapakse may be named as the new leader. The SLFP will hold its annual convention this week where the leadership issue will be resolved. more..

Sri Lanka talks hinge on disarming renegades-rebels

Apr 5 (Reuters) Tamil Tigers received Norway's new special peace envoy at their northern base on Wednesday, urging him to press the government to honour a pledge to disarm renegades they say are attacking them. The Tigers accuse the military of helping a breakaway rebel commander called Col. Karuna of mounting attacks on their fighters, more..

Tigers pressure Norway to disarm Tamil rivals in Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels asked Norway's new peace envoy to make sure Sri Lanka's government disarms para-military groups ahead of a new round of truce negotiations in Switzerland. The LTTE said Wednesday they told Jon Hanssen-Bauer to ensure Colombo delivers on a pledge made in a previous round of talks in Switzerland in February to disarm groups that include a rival Tamil faction. more..

LTTE using truce to legitimise gains: JVP

Apr 5 (HT) The Sinhala nationalist JVP says that the LTTE is in the peace process not to solve the ethnic question, but to get international legitimacy for its control over parts of Sri Lanka in the North and East. The JVP's chief spokesman Wimal Weerawansa said the LTTE would not break the ceasefire because it was gaining a lot from the ceasefire. more..

LTTE 'not decided' on talks

Apr 5 (BBC) The Tamil Tigers have told newly appointed Norwegian special envoy on Sri Lanka’s peace process that they may still pull out of second round of talks. The envoy, Jon Hanssen-Bauer, after meeting LTTE leaders in Kilinochchi told journalists that the LTTE has not come to a final decision with regard to going to Geneva. more..

Federal system will will ensure unity in diversity

Apr 6 (ISL) A federal system of decentralization has many dimensions; it need not essentially be on ethnic lines only. A federal system encourages active community partnership more intensely at the grass roots than a unitary system. This is necessary for Sri Lanka hitherto dominated by the urban elite of Colombo. more..

Govt officials obstruct Taiwanese assistance to the tsunami victims

Apr 6 (AT) A number of philanthropists from Taiwan who have shown their interest to assist local tsunami victims, providing shelters and improve their lifestyles are worried due to the inactive government officials in the Hambantota area, who have also disobeyed their instructions given by the President of Sri Lanka. more..

Shippers Council to host shippers' summit in Colombo

Apr 6 (AT) Sri Lanka Shippers' Council (SLSC), the apex body that represents the interests of local shippers, will be hosting the 29th Annual General Meeting of the Federation of ASEAN Shippers' Councils (FASC) and the 3rd Meeting of The Asian Shippers Council (ASC) in August this year. This is the first such time that the annual conference is held in the Indian sub-continent. more..

Protest demanding the expulsion of Jayalath Jayawardhana

Apr 6 (LT) A group of UNPers in Ja-Ela staged a protest demanding that parliamentarian Doctor Jayalath Jayawardhana be removed from the post of UNP organizer for Ja-Ela. Their main demand was that Jayalath Jayawardhana be replaced by a better organizer. They said they would give three days time for the party to do so. more..

A committee to elect Freedom Alliance local government heads

Apr 6 (LeN) A special committee headed by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake was appointed by the President yesterday (4) to elect mayors and chairman for the 223 local authorities won by the Freedom Alliance. The other members of the committee are Ministers Maithreepala Sirisena, Mangala Samaraweera, Nimal Siripala De Silva, Susil Premajayantha and parliamentarian Dalles Alahapperuma. more..

Jayasundara leaves for India to dispel any Indian doubts

Apr 6 (LeN) Finance Secretary Dr.P.B. Jayasundara will leave for India tomorrow (6) as a presidential envoy to meet with the Indian authorities and to dispel any doubts or misgivings they might have over the recent Pakistani visit of the President. Dr.Jayasundara is expected to meet senior officials of the Indian Defense and Foreign Ministries more..

Minister Jeewan to be arrested

Apr 6 (LeN) Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Jeewan Kumaraunga is to be arrested and produced before court over the forged visa racket where people have been sent to America illegally. It is reported that the inspector General is to inform the President about the need to arrest the Minister. more..

Norway rejects JVP accusations

Apr 6 (BBC) The Royal Norwegian Government has refused claims that newly appointed special envoy was earlier involved with Sudanese peace process. Norwegian Minister for International Development, Erik Solheim, said Jon Hanssen-Bauer had nothing to do with Sudan. “He has never been involved with Sudan,” Solheim told BBC Sandeshaya. more..

A sad and undeserved ending

Apr 6 (CI) On Tuesday evening the palm reader in the Mahaweli Reach Hotel lobby was a forlorn figure. The previous evening Sanath Jayasuriya, one of Sri Lanka's most superstitious cricketers, had sat before her with his big palms outstretched, wanting to know more about his future, a new world without Test cricket, his job for the last 15 years. more..

Swiss double Sri Lanka tsunami aid

Apr 6 (NZZ) Switzerland has pledged a further SFr10.9 million ($8.5 million) to help rebuild homes in Sri Lanka battered by the tsunami over a year ago. The commitment came during a two-day visit to the country by senior Swiss aid officials and the charity Swiss Solidarity to assess the progress of reconstruction efforts. more..

Muslim army battalion

Apr 6 (TP) As expected, just a few dozens have signed up to join Sri Lanka’s first Muslim army battalion in the eastern district of Ampara forcing authorities to extend the closing date for walk-in interviews. The government plan to have the first ethnic battalion of 500 men in the east to protect essentially Muslim residents more..

Teacher fined for slapping

Apr 6 (TP) A teacher of a top boy’s school in Colombo was ordered by a judge to pay Rs350,000 ($3,500) as compensation to a student for slapping the boy. Thurstan College teacher L Lalith Bandara Tennakone pleaded guilty to charges of slapping the student because the 17-year old had come late to school and injuring the latter. more..

Trade & investment promotion mission to Moscow & Nizhny Novgorod

Apr 6 (AT) The Sri Lanka – Russia Business Council, affiliated to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, together with the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Moscow will be organizing a Trade & Investment Promotion Mission to Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod from 18th to 23rd June 2006. more..

UTHR (J) says LTTE staged TRO abduction drama

Apr 6 (TW) The University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) has alleged that the LTTE organization has faked the alleged abduction of seven Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) personnel at Welikande on the Batticaloa - Polonnaruwa border in two separate incidents on Jan 29th and 30th of this year. more..

Economy on the upward spiral

Apr 6 (GN) The country's economy is expected to show further buoyancy in 2006 with all key sectors on course to achieve their targets with the Government set to maintain the projected economic growth. The robust performance of the industrial, agriculture and services sectors is expected to continue this year and inflation projected to drop drastically. more..

You are the main force to safeguard future generation - President tells Forces

Apr 6 (GN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa emphasised that he was leading the country not with the intention of creating a war situation but with a firm determination of evolving a peaceful society. He also appreciated the discipline of the forces and said that it was the very reason they were able to gain a place in the UN peace keeping force as well. more..

LTTE rejects SLN condition for fishing in Muttur East Sea

Apr 6 (TN) The LTTE Wednesday rejected Sri Lanka Navy's (SLN's) condition communicated throught the SLMM that fishermen in LTTE controlled Muttur east coastal villages should register their names and other details at the Muttur jetty located in the government controlled territory when they go to sea for fishing and on their return. more..

Families of abducted TRO staffers to meet Colombo press

Apr 6 (TN) The Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) and the families of seven abducted humanitarian workers, during the past 6 weeks, report no progress despite reduced exposure to media following the messages received through "third parties" that the abducted would be released if TRO and the families to "kept quiet and did not to speak to the media," more..

LTTE Cadres Seen Roaming Near FDL With Weapons

Apr 6 (SLA) TROOPS AT THE NAGARKOVIL FORWARD DEFENCE LINE (FDL) in JAFFNA on Wednesday (05) around 1.15 p.m. observed the presence of at least 25 armed LTTE cadres (Tamil Tigers), engaged in some work un-cleared area between LTTE and security forces FDL. At least fifteen of those LTTE men were in LTTE combat dresses. more..

Colombo port engineers seek presidential intervention to replace ageing computer system

Apr 6 (LBO) Engineers of the Colombo Port are urging the president to speed up a project to modernise the port's computer system, which will improve efficiency and maintain its position as a hub port. The SLPAU has appealed to President Mahinda Rajapakse to fast track the process of commissioning a new computer system at the Jaya Container Terminals (JCT). more..

Sri Lanka's future hangs on peace, lower public debt, inflation: ADB

Apr 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's economy is expected to expand by 5.3 percent in 2006, but much of it hinges on peace, and cut backs on public debt, inflation and fiscal deficits, the Asian Development Bank said Thursday. The tsunami-hit island is still plagued with sharp escalation in rebuilding costs, while president Mahinda Rajapakse's welfare laden policies more..

Col. Karuna tops the list of LTTE and Norway

Apr 6 (AT) Col. Karuna is now on the top of the list of agenda of the LTTE and Norway. Both are putting pressure on the Sri Lankan government to disarm Karuna, former No: 2 LTTE leader and presently the leader of the TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP). more..

Our voters not interested in garbage disposal hence the setback - JHU

Apr 6 (SN) Non-national forces say the JHU has suffered a defeat at the recent local government polls but that is only a juggling with figures, the JHU said in a press release yesterday (5). The JHU is a political party which has pursued national interests and its voter base was the urban middle class of Colombo and the Western Province who have no interest in local government elections but about elections at national level. more..

The Last Day Of Amir Anna

Apr 6 (ISL) On the fateful 13th day of July 1989 the voice of the Tamil Ealam nation was silenced by assassin's bullets. The three members of the LTTE met Mr.Amirthalingum and his collegues Mr.Yogeswaran and Mr.Sivasithamparam ostensibly to talk peace and bring about unity among the Tamil Groups. They shot and killed Mr.Amirthalingum and Mr.Yogeswaran and injured Mr.Sivasithamparam. more..

Parliamentary Committee to investigate on NGOs seeks views of the Public

Apr 6 (LT) The Parliamentary Committee appointed by the Government to look into the activities of the NGOs entertains public complaints now. Information in this regard will be entertained by the Committee until 01.05.2006. This information chould be forwarded to the - ‘Secretary, Committee to investigate on NGOs’, The Parliament, Sri Jayawardenepura, Kotte’ address. more..

SLFP National Conference tomorrow

Apr 6 (LT) The national conference of the SLFP will meet tomorrow (07) at the Youth Services Centre, Maharagama with Mr Mahinda Rajapakse’s participation. It is expected vital issues for the future mission of the SLFP will be put forward at this meeting for approval. Meanwhile the Central Committee of the SLFP will meet this evening at ‘Temple Trees’ with President Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Decisive UNP discussion on Mahinda Wijesekera’s suspension today

Apr 6 (LT) A protest meeting on the removal of Mr Mahinda Wijesekera’s portfolios is scheduled to be held today (06) in Colombo. This meeting has been organized by a group of senior members of the UNP with Mr S B Dissanayake. Mr Dissanayake who was abroad is due to return in the island today. An urgent meeting is scheduled to be held on his arrival. more..

'JVP dedicated for an un-divided motherland without conditions'

Apr 6 (LT) The JVP is dedicated to accomplish the wishes of its heroes who sacrificed their lives in 1971 for an un-divided motherland and to originate a justified society. This was said by it’s General Secretary Mr Tilvin Silva at Anuradhapura on 5th of April. The 35th commemoration anniversary of the ‘71 heroes was held at the indoor stadium in the evening. more..

New BOI Agreements worth Rs 320 billion

Apr 6 (LT) The Ministry of Project Development and Investment Promotion has signed six new BOI agreements to the value of US$ 32 million. These agreements signed at the Ministry comprises in the fields of infrastructure, furniture products, coconut products, fishing in deep seas and public telecommunication services. more..

Catching the eye with allround skills

Apr 6 (CI) Sri Lanka's Test series against Pakistan signalled the end of one of the country's finest Test careers. Sanath Jayasuriya couldn't go out in a blaze of glory as Sri Lanka went down by eight wickets and he suffered a sickening thumb injury. However, for each career that draws to a close, there are others bursting into life and on recent evidence, Farveez Maharoof is ready to carve out a niche as a fine allrounder. more..

Increase in LTTE child recruitment - SLMM

Apr 6 (PIS) There is a marked increase in the recruitment of children in the East for combat training by the LTTE. Spokesperson of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, Helen Olafsdottir said, "the SLMM has observed a marked increase in child recruitment in the East presumably by the LTTE." more..

Vat scam: Kingpins flee

Apr 6 (LNP) Latest CID investigations have revealed that four main suspects wanted in connection with the massive VAT scam involving billions of rupees have reportedly fled the country. The suspects identified as Bakeer Mohamed Riyaz, Rasheed Murshid and Awam have reportedly fled to Singapore and Thailand while another suspect Mohamed Hussein had fled to Japan. more..

Daring daylight robbery in Kollupitiya

Apr 6 (LNP) In a daring daylight robbery in Kollupitiya an armed gang ambushed a gem merchant`s car yesterday and got away with the vehicle and cash amounting to two million rupees, police said. The cash was withdrawn from a nearby bank and was being transported in a Honda Civic car reportedly belonging to the Reliance Gem Company and valued at a few million rupees. more..

Doctors says they are happy with new salary structure

Apr 6 (LNP) The GMOA has opposed the call by some trade unions for an interim allowance pending the resolution of the public sector salary dispute saying that the Government must stop the practice of granting ad hoc allowances under trade union pressure. GMOA Secretary Dr. Uditha Herath has also hailed the new salary structure introduced by the National Council for Administration, more..

Street families get homes today

Apr 6 (LNP) Home for street people, a novel concept under the `Mahinda Chinthanaya` will be inaugurated today (6) at the Urban Development Auditorium, Sethsiripaya by Social Service and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda. Before the inauguration of this programme, surveys were conducted and several street people rounded up and their past history and present situation inquired into before selecting certain families, more..

IGP, DIG pay compensation to Mahinda

Apr 6 (SAMN) IGP Chandra Fernando and former DIG in charge of the CID Lionel Gunatillake, on Wednesday handed over Rs. 100,000/- each to the Registrar of the Supreme Court, to be paid as compensation to President Mahinda Rajapakse for having violated his fundamental rights, by conducting an arbitrary unlawful investigation into more..

UNP working committee supports Mahinda

Apr 6 (SAMN) UNP Matara District MP Mahinda Wijesekera who was removed from the Working Committee and from his position as Matara District leader said Wednesday more than 25 members in the committee would take up his case with the party leadership during the party’s working committee meeting on Friday. more..