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Govt. to seek legal remedy if Prima fails to solve labour dispute

Apr 7 (LNP) The government on Wednesday vowed to resort to legal action if they were unable to solve the problems of Prima employees - who are currently staging a fast - at the meeting with the Company management today. Labour Minister Athauda Seneviratne disclosed in Parliament on Wednesday in response to a query raised by JVP MP Wasantha Samarasinghe who is also the President of the Inter Company Employees Union. more..

Anura blasts yes-men who back-stabbed his sister

Apr 7 (LNP) Minister Anura Bandaranaike yesterday charged that those yes-men during his sister`s regime were now even reluctant to answer a telephone call from her, having forgotten that if not for her leadership there would not have been a UPFA President or a Cabinet. more..

High flying Tigers

Apr 7 (LNP) Scratch a dog and you have a permanent job, it is said. Tigers do just as dogs do, where scratching is concerned: they won`t let you put an end to it. The history of Sri Lanka`s peace processes has been one of scratching the Tigers, shampooing their fur coats and giving them an extra shine. more..

VAT scam suspect in mega port project

Apr 7 (SAMN) The mega Kport project at the Colombo port has come under scrutiny with the revelation that entrepreneur Kamil Kuthubdeen, wanted in connection with the VAT scam, is involved in the hotly disputed plan. A senior Kport official Thursday said the matter was under investigation and refused to comment on Kuthubdeen’s involvement. more..

Fruit processing villages

Apr 7 (SAMN) The Institute of Post Harvest Technology has drawn up a programme to set up fruit processing villages in a bid to upgrade post harvest technology of fruit cultivation. The programme launched on Agricultural Development Minister Chamal Rajapaksa's initiative has already shown immense progress, an Agricultural Development Ministry release said. more..

Women MPs unite under one banner

Apr 7 (SAMN) Women parliamentarians representing various political parties united Thursday to form the ‘Women’s Caucus in Parliament’ (WCP) to campaign for women’s empowerment and greater female participation in politics. The WCP will comprise women Parliamentarians of all major political parties with Women’s Empowerment and Child development Minister Sumedha G. Jayasena as its chairperson. more..

Saudi King invited to Lanka

Apr 7 (DN) With pledges of assistance for oil exploration in Sri Lanka from Saudi Arabia, the world's largest crude oil provider, President Mahinda Rajapaksa invited Saudi King Abdulla Bin Abdul Aziz, to visit Sri Lanka. The invitation was sent through Petroleum Resources Development Minister A.H.M. Fowzie, during his recent visit to the Saudi Kingdom, the Minister said. more..

Trinco Tamil Forum leader Vigneswaran assassinated

Apr 7 (TW) Vanniyasingham Vigneswaran a Tamil political activist about to be appointed as a Tamil National Alliance national list Member of Parliament was assassinated in Trincomalee today friday April 7th. Vigneswaran a senior employee at the Bank of Ceylon was shot dead by two unknown persons as he was entering the Bank of Ceylon main branch office on inner harbour road where he worked. more..

Govt condemns Vigneswaran's killings

Apr 7 (GN) The Government has vehemently condemned the brutal killing of Vanniasingham Vigneswaran, the President of the Trincomalee District Tamil People's Forum, today in Trincomalee. On the instruction of the President, Inspector General of Police Chandra Fernando, accompanied by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (CID), had flown to Trincomalee to visit the scene of the incident. more..

Fresh killings mar Norway's latest peace bid

Apr 7 (AFP) A pro-Tamil Tiger activist and two police guards were shot dead in Sri Lanka's volatile east as Norway's top peace envoys left the island following a new bid to salvage a truce, police said. Vanniasingham Vigneswaran, who spearheaded the Tamil Resurgence Movement, a known front organisation of the rebel LTTE, was gunned down in the town of Trincomalee, police said on Friday. more..

Head of Tamil activist group, two Muslims slain in attacks

Apr 7 (AP) Authorities said gunmen fatally shot the president of a Tamil activist group and two Muslim village guards Friday in separate attacks in eastern Sri Lanka, where recent violence has threatened the country's fragile cease-fire. Vanniasingham Vigneswaran, president of Trincomalee District Tamil Peoples' Forum, was shot and killed by gunmen more..

As 200,000 workers stop work, unions prepare to retreat on pay demand

Apr 8 (wsws) Despite the efforts of Sri Lankan trade union leaders to limit industrial action, an estimated 200,000 public sector workers put in sick leave notices and did not turn up for work on Monday in support of demands for a 65 percent pay increase. The “satyagraha” or passive protest organised by the Public Sector Salary Review Trade Union Committee (PSSRTUC), more..

SriLankan Airlines revises flight plans to keep with clock change on April 14

Apr 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka will go back to five and a half hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) from the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year of April 14, joining the same time zone as giant neighbour India. Departure and arrival times of flights into and out of Colombo will advance by half and hour with effect from April 15th. more..

Indian Oceans tear drop remains the same after 31,000 deaths

Apr 8 (LBO) The shape of Sri Lanka's coastline has not changed materially after the December 26th tsunami cartographers who had just completed a data gathering exercise said in Colombo Friday. "The preliminary data shows that Sri Lanka's shape has not changed," Professor Samantha Hettiarchchi of the University of Moratuwa said. more..

Sri Lanka's new revenue chief plans to cast wide net

Apr 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka's main tax authority plans to net in 40,000 new taxpayers in 2006, its newly appointed head said. Sri Lanka has few taxpayers and attempts to widen the base have met with limited success over the last decade. "For a 19.2 million population a 322,000 tax payers that not enough," says Commissioner General of Inland Revenue A A Wijepala. more..

30 industries at a cost of Rs 767 million

Apr 8 (LT) Cabinet approval has been obtained for 30 industries to be set up in various parts of the country. The estimated cost of these industries is around Rs 767 million. According to the Minister of Industries Promotion, Mr Kumara Welgama, 30 sites of industrial estates where the land has not been utilized for this purpose will be made use of. more..

Singapore, Sri Lanka sign MOU on post-tsunami projects

Apr 8 (CNA) Singapore and Sri Lanka have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Colombo to implement post-tsunami reconstruction projects. The Singapore Government is partnering the Singapore Red Cross Society to refurbish three schools in the Southern Province districts of Galle, Matara and Hambantota. more..

Sri Lanka's selection dilemmas

Apr 8 (BBC) Selecting Sri Lanka’s cricket teams is an onerous and thankless task. The Selection Committee (SC) is presently headed by Lalith Kaluperuma, but his previous spell in this capacity was interrupted by the appointment of Ashantha de Mel to this role. Those who rant and rave about “corruption” on the internet airwaves do not seem to be aware of the degree of back-up support that the SLC has, more..

Atapattu worry over England tour

Apr 8 (BBC) Captain Marvan Atapattu may not be fit for the tour to England, which begins on 20 April. The 35-year-old is suffering from a bulging disc in his lower back, which leaves him with numbness in his legs. "Marvan's injury is improving slowly and the disc bulge is getting smaller, reducing the pressure on his nerves," said team physio Tommy Simsek. more..

ROK, India, Sri Lanka sign agreement against maritime piracy

Apr 8 (Xinhua) The Republic of Korea (South Korea), India and Sri Lanka signed the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) here Friday. According to a statement issued by Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, South Korea also deposited its instrument of ratification with Singapore, where the depositary of the agreement is located, on the day. more..

Eye care for tsunami survivors

Apr 8 (RW) A group of 225 opthalmologic nurses and operating theatre personnel specializing in eye care from hospitals in seven districts will attend an IOM / Australian Red Cross (ARC) training workshop in Colomboon Sunday, April 9th. The workshop, which is part of IOM's ARC-funded Eye Care programme targeting over 100,000 people from tsunami-affected communities and low-income families, more..

Humanitarian Situation Report - Sri Lanka

Apr 8 (RW) The Reconstruction and Development Agency held a donor briefing on March 28 to inform on the need to provide support to families still living in transitional shelters until permanent solutions can be provided. Hundreds of men, women and their children held a two-hour protest in front of the Trincomalee office of the SLMM on 27 March. more..

Nationalists pressure Norway to quit peace process

Apr 8 (Xinhua) A Sinhalese majority nationalist group in Sri Lanka pressed the Norwegian government Friday to give up its peace brokering role with the Tamil Tiger rebels. The Patriotic National Movement (PNM) activists staged a march to the Norwegian embassy demanding that Norwegians quit their peace facilitator's role between the government and the LTTE rebels. more..

Chandrika's support cost the UNP the presidential election- Lokubandara

Apr 8 (WS) Possibly betraying the feeling of despondency that has set in among UNPers over the sorry situation their party is placed in due to the unresolved leadership crisis within, Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara, has himself come out firing all cylinders recently by praising the founder leader of the party D.S. Senanayake, while noting the shortcomings of the present leaders. more..

UNP rebels get cold feet

Apr 8 (WS) Another political week passed with President Mahinda Rajapakse clinching a convincing victory in the Local Government election. There were many incidents connected to the local government poll, but the most interesting subject for discussion should be the victory of President Rajapakse last week. more..

Jeewan will not resign

Apr 8 (WS) Contrary to reports that he had been asked to step down by President Mahinda Rajapakse, Minister of Sports Jeewan Kumaratunga, yesterday vowed to remain in his post and clear his name, from the Alaska visa scandal he told the Weekend Standard. He pointed his finger at ‘a media mafia who wants to see my back’, in the wake of the current scandal. more..

LP gas bulk users need direct purchase facility from CPC

Apr 8 (AT) The government of Sri Lanka will canvass its Petroleum distribution arm –the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation to allow direct LP gas sales to local industrialists. Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has instructed the Export Development Board to canvass with the CPC to revise their prevailing agreement process on direct LPG sales. more..

Cash given to Tsunami affected families end up in alcohol and gambling

Apr 8 (AT) Presenting her case study on Gender Dimensions of tsunami assistance, at the Tenth National Convention on Women’s Studies, organized by CENWOR, former Director General of the National Planning Department Patricia J.Alailima highlighted that TAFREN had no legal basis, and there was no way the auditor general could question them, as a result of no accountability. more..

Solheim - a partner in LTTE crimes

Apr 8 (AT) Erik Solheim is not a babe who has just lost his milk teeth. In his own biography he confesses to having chewed quite a bit of flesh in his own Viking style. He is seasoned enough to know what he is doing. In Sri Lanka he knows that he has to choose between the declared principles of his own government and his commitment to save the skin of his friend Anton Balasingham and his boss Prabhakaran. more..

JVP naked and with thieves -Tissa Attanayake

Apr 8 (LeN) Assistant UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake says that the JVP is naked and are with thieves today. His comments came at a media briefing held in the Opposition Leader's office this morning. Attanayake said serious allegations of corruption have been leveled against two senior Ministers and a number of other Ministers too are being accused of various fraudulent acts. more..

Anura leaves as Mahinda being elected as acting SLFP President

Apr 8 (LeN) The decision taken by the Central Committee of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party to appoint President Mahinda Rajapaksa as acting chairman of the party was approved in today's national convention of the party. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake proposed Mr. Rajapaksa's name for the post of acting President and was seconded by senior vice President and Peoples Alliance General Secretary D.M.Jayartne. more..

Solheim interview: Indian Web Portal Clarifies

Apr 8 (TW) Indian News Web Portal Tehelka has published the following clarification today: From the Tehelka Interview: Do you believe a negotiated solution is possible, given the history of aborted agreements and failure of peace initiatives in the last five decades between the Sinhalese and the Tamils? more..

Colombo's transport refusal to Eastern LTTE commanders jeopardise Geneva preparations

Apr 8 (TN) Liberation Tigers Political Head S.P. Thamilchelvan Friday requested the Norwegian facilitators to arrange sea transport, with truce monitors on board, to facilitate Eastern field commanders of the LTTE to attend a preparatory central committee meeting before the next session of the Geneva Talks. more..

SLFP is not asset of Bandaranayke’s or Rajapakses – President Mahinda Rajapakse

Apr 8 (LT) President Mahinda Rajapakse emphasized that SLFP was not the asset of Bandaranayake family or the Rajapakse family. He further said that any one in the party would be allowed, as promised during the local government election campaign, to climb up to the position of President in the country. more..

LTTE's Diaspora Resources

Apr 8 (OI) For the LTTE, it is profitable to keep the pot boiling without letting it flow over. A range of front organizations, both in Sri Lanka and among the Lankan Tamil Diaspora, play a crucial role in keeping its fundraising lifeline intact. The 'peace' in Sri Lanka has held out for four years - though a string of killings, including some high profile political assassinations, more..

Pyramid schemes back

Apr 8 (WS) Even though pyramid schemes are banned in Sri Lanka, a new form of pyramid racket operating under disguise of international lotteries are spreading throughout the country, an informed source said. According to the source these lotteries are sold among businessmen, executives and professionals with the promise of winning chances of grand prices upto one billion US dollars. more..

Explosion Of Old Device Injuries Four

Apr 7 (SLA) AN EXPLOSION caused due to a buried land mine close to the outer perimeter of the Naval Base at THALAIMANNAR inflicted injuries on four sailors who were busy doing some clearing work on Friday (07) evening at about 7.10 p.m. Injured sailors were admitted to ANURADHAPURA hospital. more..

Armed LTTE Men Rob Fishermen

Apr 8 (SLA) FOUR ARMED LTTE men snatched money and a motor bicycle from a group of fishermen on the MANNAR beach during early hours on Friday and fled away after threatening them according to PALMPIDDY Police. Those fishermen were awaiting the arrival of some of their fishing boats with the daily catch when those T-56 carrying LTTE men visited the beach and threatened them. more..

Unidentified Gunmen Kills Civilian

Apr 8 (SLA) AN UNIDENTIFIED GUNMEN shot and killed a civilian in the general area of TRINCOMALEE on Friday. when he was near the Peoples Bank building on inner harbour road, TRINCOMALEE. The civilian V.VIGNESHVARAN of Anna street, AMBUVELIPURAM, attached to the North and East Tamil Organization was near the Peoples Bank when the gunmen stuck him. more..

Ranil left high and dry at Executive Committee

Apr 8 (LeN) The decision by the UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to expel Mahinda Wijesekara from the Executive Committee and the Matara District leadership drew heavy criticism at today's executive committee meeting. Only Lakshman Seneviratne, Jonstone Fernando and Renuka Herath have spoken is support of the party leader. more..

Mangala earns President's ire for depriving him party presidency

Apr 8 (LeN) Minister Mangala Samaraweera has earned the President's ire for depriving him the opportunity of becoming the Sri Lanka Freedom Party president. This was because Samaraweera had bared a secret plan devised by a group led by the General Secretary to get Mr. Rajapaksa appointed as party president. more..

Join Govt to ensure Lanka's prosperity: President tells all political forces

Apr 8 (GN) President Mahinda Rajapaksha yesterday invited all political forces seeking a better future for Sri Lanka to join him and the SLFP to ensure prosperity for the masses. Addressing the 16th National Convention of the SLFP, President Rajapaksha said the Executive Power of the Presidency, the legislative power of Parliament and more..

President appointed Acting SLFP Chairman

Apr 8 (GN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa was appointed as the Acting Chairman of the SLFP at the 16th National Convention of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party held at the National Youth Centre, Maharagama, yesterday. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake proposed President Rajapaksa's name to the Acting Chairmanship of the SLFP. more..

Housing loan scheme launched for middle class

Apr 8 (GN) The new Mihindu Sevana housing loan scheme would bring peace of mind to housing loan borrowers and allow them to acquire their dream home without any hassle, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Mihindu Sevana housing loan launching ceremony yesterday. more..

The Buddha statue and Tamil solidarity in Trincomalee

Apr 8 (TW) Today the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi or ITAK has been reborn as the political party representing the Tamil National Alliance. The TNA is now the shameless slave of the LTTE in the name of Tamil nationalism. Despite this sorry situation the politically beleaguered Sri Lankan Tamils have virtually no choice other than to support the TNA or ITAK at electoral hustings. more..

Tamil liberation and the interests of the Tamil people became secondary to the LTTE's survival

Apr 8 (ISL) The horrific terrorist attack on America on 11 September 2001 has had a serious impact all over the world - Srilanka included. The world is not the same anymore! Terrorists world over have been put on notice. And they are listening - we hope! The Tamils of Tamil Eelam, for no fault of theirs, have been forced to forego many opportunities. more..

The Price of Federalism I: The Southern Perspective

Apr 8 (ISL) In an open letter to the JVP written at the end of February, the TULF President V. Anandasangaree expressed the need to adopt federalism to address the grievances of the minorities of Sri Lanka. He described the brutalities which the LTTE inflicted upon the Tamil community and sincerely condemned its violence perpetrated against the Sinhalese and the Muslims. more..

Postponed election on May 18th

Apr 8 (LeN) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake today announced that the District Returning Officers have decided to hold the postponed election for 22 local bodies including the all important Colombo Municipal Council on 18th May. The election had to be postponed in the majority of these bodies due to court procedures challenging the rejection of nominations. more..

‘Tigers are not freedom fighters’-Foreign Minister

Apr 8 (LeN) Q: There are increased concerns that the second round of the peace talks may not take place as scheduled. Are you worried?
A: I am still cautiously optimistic. I feel the second round will certainly take place, because unlike the previous times, the LTTE strategy has always been to come to negotiations under some form of pressure or the other. more..

Unseen hand behind Jaffna university protests

Apr 8 (PIS) Increasing number of parents and students of the University of Jaffna are getting frustrated with the disturbing developments at the university following the appointment of the new Vice-Chancellor Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole. According to Lanka Academic of April 7, in the midst of all these disturbances, posters appeared in the vicinity of Jaffna University on Tuesday night, giving a chilling warning to the Jaffna University Senate members. more..