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Same Govt. team prepares for next round of talks

Apr 8 (PIS) The government negotiating team for the second round of peace talks in Geneva is getting ready with yet another brainstorming session to be held on Sunday. Though there were media reports of a change in the composition of the delegation, the members who attended the first round of talks attended a preparatory meeting on Wednesday at the Government Peace Secretariat more..

Solheim: the need now is to build confidence, not undermine it

Apr 8 (Hindu) In a meeting that the Ministry of External Affairs described as part of the "ongoing exchange of views" between India and Norway on the Sri Lankan peace process, senior Norwegian envoys briefed Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran on the latest developments in the run-up to the crucial second round of talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers to be held in Geneva later this month. more..

Empowering women

Apr 8 (ANN) Unity among parliamentarians is a rarity on any matter other than pay hikes, perks and privileges. But news emanates that the women parliamentarians have got together and founded an organisation to further the interests of women. Well and good! If women don’t speak for women, who else is going to do that for them? more..

Local elections in Sri Lanka set stage for further political turmoil

Apr 8 (wsws) Local government elections in Sri Lanka on March 30 have resulted in a clean sweep for the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA). It was desperate to bolster its political position after its candidate, Mahinda Rajapakse, only narrowly won the presidential election last November. more..

Ranil backs off and appoints another committee to solve his latest problem

Apr 8 (AT) UNP heavyweights ganged up against Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Leader of the UNP, and forced him to withdraw the sacking of Mahinda Wijesekera, the Matara District MP, from the Working Committee. Wijesekera was one of the UNP rebels who lashed out against the failed leadership of Wickremesinghe. more..

Killing of Vigneswaran: Opens doubts about mysterious hands behind the heinous act

Apr 8 (AT) Vanniasingham Vigneswaran, leader of the District Tamil People's Forum in Trincomalee was gunned down near the Bank of Ceylon branch located in the Inner Harbor Road, Trincomalee, alleged to be by an unidentified person riding motorcycle around 9.30 a.m yesterday. more..

Mahinda turns down SLFP presidency during CBK`s absence

Apr 8 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday scotched speculation, in political circles, that he sought to oust former President Chandrika Kumaratunga from the stewardship of the SLFP. He said so addressing the first meeting of the Mihindu Sevena Housing Project by the National Savings Bank. more..

`Third parties` promised to free abducted employees, if we kept silent - TRO

Apr 8 (LNP) The Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), said that compliance with `third parties` demands for it to keep silent about the abduction of its seven employees in government controlled Welikanda 67 days ago, if they wanted them released, had proved futile. more..

No more manpower shortage in health sector

Apr 8 (LNP) Sri Lanka is geared to face the challenge of manpower shortage in the health sector by next year with the recruiting and training programmes carried out currently, the Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition Nimal Siripala de Silva said. The Ministry has undertaken to train 5,000 nurses on a regional basis in a bid to address the acute shortage of nursing staff. more..

Speaker to consult Attorney General

Apr 8 (SAMN) The non-appointment of the final member to the Constitutional Council, which appoints members to the Independent Commissions, arose in Parliament Friday, with Opposition parties and the Speaker expressing diverse views on the matter. President Mahinda Rajapakse on Thursday wrote toSpeaker W.J.M Lokubandara urging him to use his powers and reactivate the ten-member CC as soon as possible. more..

President revokes army transfers

Apr 8 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa Friday ordered Army Commander Sarath Fonseka to immediately cancel all transfers and promotions made during the past few months. Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapakse in a letter to the Army Chief, conveyed the President’s directive that no transfers or promotions should be made in the Army without consulting the President. more..

Rural infrastructure drive launched

Apr 8 (SAMN) Gami Isura, a rural infrastructure development programme, will be launched on Monday to uplift rural living standards, the Samurdhi and Poverty Alleviation Ministry announced Friday. The programme will be initially carried out in 119 Divisional Secretariat areas considered as most poor, said Samurdhi Minister Pavithra Wanniarchchi. more..

Police fire tear gas to break up university clash

Apr 8 (DN) The Police riot squad was called to the Colombo University's Arts Faculty yesterday, to disperse unruly supporters of two student fractions contesting yesterday's Student Council elections. The riot squad used tear gas on the mob to stop them from attacking each other and prevent a major clash. more..

Prod Sri Lanka, LTTE to work for peace: scholar

Apr 8 (IANS) An Indian scholar has urged the international community to push both the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger guerrillas to reach a negotiated settlement of the dragging ethnic conflict. Nevertheless, nothing is likely to work in the island nation unless the two sides 'decide to move forward keeping in mind the interest of the people', more..

India committed to peaceful settlement of Sri Lanka problem

Apr 8 (UNI) India today reaffirmed the need for a politically-negotiated and peaceful settlement of the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka which is acceptable to all sections of the island nations' plural society and safeguards its unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity. more..

Declawing the Tigers

Apr 8 (NP) The new Conservative government is much more serious about stopping terror than was the previous Liberal administration. The proof is in Cabinet's apparent decision, reported in today's National Post by Stewart Bell, to finally outlaw the Tamil Tigers. more..

Tamil Tiger rebels threaten to transport commanders through Sri Lankan territory

Apr 8 (AP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels warned they would transport senior commanders through government areas without a military escort in violation of a truce deal because the government refused to airlift them to a crucial meeting. more..

Sri Lanka rebels, army both say attacked in east

Apr 8 (Reuters) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels killed one Sri Lankan soldier on Saturday and wounded another, the army said, after the rebels themselves complained they had come under fire from the military in the run-up to peace talks. The two sides are due to meet later in the month in Switzerland for talks more..

As smooth as silk

Apr 9 (TG) 'Will we have to eat curry?" my mother asked, when I floated the idea of going to Sri Lanka. Mum has never set foot on the subcontinent, but has tasted hot, spicy food often enough to know that it makes her choke, splutter and cry. Sri Lanka probably wasn't her kind of place. Yet circumstances were conspiring to make our shortlist of destinations very short. more..

Sri Lankan girls' choir enchants at Bhakti Utsav

Apr 9 (IANS) Magic was in the air at the Bhakti Utsav 2006 fest here when girls from a Sri Lankan choir sang 'Vaishnava Janato', a Gujarati devotional song close to the heart of Mahatma Gandhi and millions of Indians. The objective of the three-day event is to create spiritual democracy to complement political democracy in South Asia, more..

Vaas declared fit to tour England

Apr 9 (CI) Chaminda Vaas, Sri Lanka's premier fast bowler, has been declared fit to tour England later this month, according to Tommy Simsek, the Sri Lanka team physio. However, questions marks remained on the fitness of Marvan Atapattu, the captain, and Ruchira Perera, the left-arm fast bowler. All three players missed out on the recently concluded home series against Pakistan due to injury. more..

Ravishankar ready to facilitate Lankan peace process

Apr 9 (UNI) Art of Living Foundation founder Sri Sri Ravishankar has expressed his readiness to meet LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran to facilitate the peace process to end the decades-long ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka. The spiritual leader's offer came after he received thousands of letters from the crowd during a public event at Jaffna in the island nation, more..

Solheim openly took the LTTE side in Geneva

Apr 9 (AT) Journalists waiting in a queue to enter the opening and closing press conferences in the last round of talks in Geneva held in February (late winter) were freezing in the cold. They breathed easy only after they had taken a sip of the hot coffee served in the foyer. more..

Them and Us

Apr 9 (AT) The killing of Vanniasingham Vigneswaran, President of the Trincomalee District Tamil Peoples’ Forum should be condemned in the strongest terms, irrespective of the identity and the political affiliations of the killers. Mr. Vigneswaran was a civilian and as such had a right not to be killed by men bearing arms. more..

Foreign buying in selected stocks propel market

Apr 9 (AT) The Share Market Review for the preceding week on All Share Price Index (ASPI) complied by the research team of the HNB Stockbrokers (Pvt) Ltd indicated that foreign buying in selected stocks propelled the market and positive sentiment continued throughout the week with both indices showing encouraging gains, more..

Tamils will be liberated only when Prabakaran is indicted before International Criminal Court - Thooyavan

Apr 9 (AT) Accusing Velupillai Prabhakaran of converting the reasonable struggle of Tamils into a brutal terrorist campaign Thooyavan, spokesperson of the TamilElam Makkal Viduthalai Pulika (Col. Karuna's group) declared that the LTTE leader should be tried before an International Criminal Court like Slobodan Milosevic or Charles Taylor. more..

Tamil Tigers outlawed in Canada

Apr 9 (NP) The Tamil Tigers have been added to Canada's list of outlawed terrorist organizations, the National Post has learned. The designation was to be finalized yesterday, a day after Cabinet met to accept a recommendation from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. An official announcement was scheduled for Monday. more..

Now for the Ramayana trail in Sri Lanka

Apr 9 (Hindu) Mythological events and images from the Ramayana epic will now provide the backdrop for an innovative package for visiting tourists offered by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board and SriLankan Airlines. "Ramayana creates a lot of interest in India and Sri Lanka. Hence, SriLankan Airlines thought it fit to use it as a marketing strategy to woo tourists from India," more..

The mystique of the Lion Rock

Apr 9 (Hindu) IT rises like a brown leviathan ploughing through the green sea of a Sri Lankan forest. Geologically they call it an inselberg or a bornhardt. It's defined as: "a large domelike residual hill of hard rock, characterised by very steep slopes rising abruptly from the surrounding surface". more..

Vigneswaran killing imperils Peace Talks- Chandrasekaran

Apr 9 (TN) Leader of Upcountry Peoples Front (UPF), and parliamentarian, Periyasamy Chandrasekaran said in a communique released Saturday that the killing of the President of the Trincomalee District Tamil Peoples' Forum, Mr Vigneswaran, has posed a challenge to the continuation of Peace Talks between the LTTE and the Government. more..

President pledges to put an end to violence of Tamil armed groups - Balasingham

Apr 9 (TN) The Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapakse has assured the LTTE leadership, through the Norwegian facilitators, that he will do everything within his powers to implement the pledges given by the government at the first session of peace negotiations held in Geneva in February this year. more..

Attorney General raps 'stubborn' Priyani

Apr 9 (LeN) The Attorney General has informed Parliamentary Secretary General Priyani Wijesekara, who is one of the respondents in the fundamental rights petition filed by former Minister S.B.Dissanayake in the Supreme Court, that he would not be appear on her behalf. more..

UNP lost due to indiscipline among groups - Ranil Wickremasinghe

Apr 9 (LT) UNP lost at the local government elections concluded a few days ago as a result of indiscipline in various groups in the party said Opposition Leader and Leader of the UNP Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe. He said this addressing the members elected local councils from the UNP. more..

Claymore Again..!

Apr 9 (LeN) A soldier was killed when LTTE cadres opened fire using small arms, RPGs and Mortas at a military post, Southeast of Selvanayagampuram Army camp in Thoppur. Military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said the Army retaliated and it is reported that Tiger cadres too had sustained severe injuries in the attack. more..

Muttur east Tamils pay homage to Vigneswaran

Apr 9 (TN) The remains of the slain President of the Trincomalee District Tamil Peoples Forum TDTPF) Mr.V.Vigneswaran was taken on Sunday morning to Liberation Tigers held Muttur east by road with the escort of International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM). more..

LTTE Craft Carrying Out Training Observed

Apr 9 (SLA) FIVE LTTE SEA CRAFT in the seas off MULLAITTIVU carrying out training were observed a Naval craft on Saturday (08) around 11.30 a.m.. The flotilla of LTTE boats included two attack craft, one logistic craft and one suicide craft, according to Naval sources. Initially, the two attack craft, were observed stationed in the sea while the logistic craft moved southwards. more..

Mahinda finally stopped worshipping donkey

Apr 9 (LeN) "When Christ was riding on a donkey's back people worshipped, the donkey thought the people were falling at its feet in reverence". Analyzing the local government election result, Minister Anua Bandaranaike likened the Christ to the SLFP and the donkey to the JVP. more..

SLFP convention is illegal – Chandrika writes to Maithripala

Apr 9 (LT) Ms. Chadrika Bandaranayke Kumaratunga, former President and leader of the SLFP in a letter to Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, Secretary General of the SLFP has stated that the 16th Convention of the SLFP held at National Youth Centre at Maharagama on the 7th was illegal. more..

South Asia should unite behind one of its own

Apr 9 (Hindu) KOFI ANNAN's term as Secretary-General of the United Nations comes to an end on December 31, 2006. The search for his replacement has started. The Security Council will vote on the issue before the year's end, and the matter will then go to the General Assembly. more..

Are patriotic nationals lost in patriotism

Apr 9 (TW) The Patriotic National Movement (PNM)’s public seminar “How will Norway’s role end”?, was held in Colombo last week. Though, what was to be presented could have been anticipated, political analysts were interested to know the future plans of the PNM, particularly, after the President Rajapaksa led Government decided to proceed with the negotiations with the LTTE, despite the election rhetoric. more..

Sri Lanka’s tourism boss in the dock

Apr 9 (TP) Controversial Tourist Board chairman Udaya Nanayakkara is at the centre of a probe by the country’s anti-bribery and corruption agency for alleged wrongdoing in official deals. It was a bad week for the politically powerful tourist board chief, who has refused to step down despite requests from the industry and even an ‘indirect’ order from President Mahinda Rajapaksa, more..

Clarke in protest at Sri Lanka time zone switch

Apr 9 (TG) Arthur C Clarke, the British science fiction author and inventor, has mounted a determined protest against Sri Lanka altering its international time zone. The Colombo government plans to change the country's standard time from GMT + 6 to GMT + 5.5, to bring the island in line with its neighbour, India. more..

Who are these people?

Apr 9 (ANN) The Parliamentary Committee on High Posts recently published a list of ten names of ambassadors-designate who, subject of course to the necessary concurrence by the host government, will be shortly dispatched to "lie abroad" for our country. more..

Five projects under Gamata Karmantha program approved

Apr 9 (GN) The first five projects under the Gamata Karmantha (rural industrialisation) program launched by the Ministry of Industrial Development were approved last month. The program was launched by the Minister of Industrial Development Kumar Welgama to give a boost to the 300 industries program under the Mahinda Chinthanaya of President Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Sri Lanka's Big Fleet of Little Boats

Apr 9 (SP) The first five projects under the Gamata Karmantha (rural industrialisation) program launched by the Ministry of Industrial Development were approved last month. The program was launched by the Minister of Industrial Development Kumar Welgama to give a boost to the 300 industries program under the Mahinda Chinthanaya of President Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Co-chairs sans US fly to Kilinochchi

Apr 9 (PIS) The US which has listed the LTTE as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) will not join the other co-chairs assisting Sri Lanka’s peace process in a flight to Kilinochchi on Monday to impress on the Tigers to live up to its commitments made in Geneva last February and call for "strong and positive" LTTE engagement to make the second round of talks in Geneva from April 19 to 21 a success. more..

LTTE detention of expatriate Tamils worry others

Apr 9 (PIS) Sri Lankan Tamils who hoped to visit their families in the North during the New Year this month are cancelling their plans following several reports in the last few days that the LTTE is detaining persons unable to pay the large sums demanded by them. more..

‘Ensure terrorist groups stay in talks’

Apr 9 (PIS) US Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke has called upon the international community to fulfil its special responsibility to ensure that terrorist organisations that enter into negotiations stay locked on to them and that such groups eventually make the paradigm shift from armed struggle to political negotiations. more..

Sri Lanka seeks four major UN posts

Apr 9 (LNP) Sri Lanka is making an unprecedented run in four major elections at the United Nations this year: the post of UN Secretary-General, a member of the International Law Commission and a seat in each of the two newly-created UN bodies, Human Rights Council and Peacebuilding Commission. more..

Do we really have to change the clock?

Apr 9 (LNP) It is unfortunate that some people in this country, more for personal than common interests, have started a campaign to change the standard time in use today. It is even more unfortunate that when Sir Arthur Clarke pointed out the fallacy of this move, they started questioning his qualifications, instead of responding to the points raised. more..