May 2008

NewsRoom        Archives

UN humanitarian chief condemns targeting of civilians
United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes yesterday condemned the continuing targeting of civilians by the LTTE. [Full Story]

US commends Sri Lanka's commitment to devolution of power
The Deputy Ambassador for US Embassy in Colombo James Moor said that the US Government commends the decision of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the APRC to pursue the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution as a first phase in the devolution of power in Sri Lanka. [Full Story]

Cabinet approves MOU to find alternatives to overcome fuel crisis
Cabinet approval was granted to a special memorandum submitted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Minister of Finance and Planning to prepare a complete report of the alternative measures that should be adopted for fuel management. [Full Story]

Spain funds to construct 13 new bridges
Cabinet has granted approval to a memorandum submitted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Minister of Highways and Road Development for the construction of thirteen bridges under Phase II of the grant provided by the Government of Spain. [Full Story]
Foreign Minister confers with SAARC Secretary-General
Foreign Affairs Minister Rohitha Bogollagama met the Secretary General of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Dr. Sheel Kanta Sharma, ... [Full Story]

Foreign donations for the Negenahira Navodaya Programme
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, handed over donations of Rs. 78m received through Sri Lankan Missions and Honorary Consulates abroad for the Negenahira Navodaya Programme to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday. [Full Story]

LTTE artillery attacks kill 6 civilians in Jaffna
Six civilians were killed 12 others were wounded when LTTE launched artillery attack in Jaffna mainland this morning (May 29), defence sources said. [Full Story]
BOI signs an agreement with Norwegian software company
The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) signed an agreement with Exilesoft Limited, a BOI press release said. [Full Story]

Jayasuriya appointed SAARC Goodwill Ambassador
Sri Lanka's star batsman Sanath Jayasuriya was selected as a SAARC Goodwill Ambassador for the programme ‘Uniting for HIV AIDS’ by a panel of judges at a meeting held at the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu recently. [Full Story]

WB aid to ensure dam safety in Sri Lanka
World Bank has granted US $ 65.33 million for a project to improve dam safety and operational efficiency of the ageing dam network in Sri Lanka. [Full Story]
No stop till terrorism is defeated - President Rajapaksa
“I will not stop till terrorism is defeated,” said President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Sri Lankan media commenting on the bomb blast by the LTTE on a train at Dehiwela yesterday (26). [Full Story]

Sri Lanka gets top WHO post
Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva was unanimously elected President of the WHO Executive Board for a one year period at the 123rd Executive Board meeting yesterday (26) in Geneva. [Full Story]

Nine killed 73 injured in explosion in train
A terrorist bomb placed inside a train exploded yesterday (May 26)evening around 4.55 p.m at the Dehiwela railway station killing 9 persons and injuring 73 others. [Full Story]
Defeating terrorism means defeating communalism – President
Language, nation and culture do not develop when you evict thousands of people belonging to another race from your region. You cannot develop or nurture language or a nation with communalism. Hence defeating terrorism in a country means defeating communalism, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. [Full Story]

Grant scheme for students under 'English as a Life Skill Programme'
The Cabinet approved a memorandum submitted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to set up a grant scheme for English learners under the 'English as a Life Skill' Programme. [Full Story]

Presidential Task Force on Api Wawamu-Rata Nagamu programme launched
The inaugural meeting of the Presidential Task Force on Api Wawamu – Rata Nagamu programme to encourage and intensify indigenous food production islandwide was held under the auspices of President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday. [Full Story]
FM briefs diplomatic corps on EPC polls
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama today briefing the diplomatic corps on the Eastern Provincial Council elections results said that the successful conduct of elections in the Eastern province is a clear reflection of the genuine interest of the government create an environment, in which all communities and ethnicities could live in harmony and achiever economic prosperity. [Full Story]

LTTE recruits over 6000 children
The total number of children recruited by the LTTE since January 2002 to September 2007 was well over six thousand, Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 issued by Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers said. [Full Story]

French police arrest two more LTTE leaders
French police detained two leaders of the LTTE who evaded arrest last year and fled the country when police closed in on them during the major round up of top LTTE operating in Paris, French media reported. [Full Story]
UPR members commend Sri Lanka's HR national report
Sri Lanka's national report on human rights presented by Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe was commended by all participation countries at the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Tuesday (13 May) in Geneva. [Full Story]

SL joins Indian Ocean port security network
Sri Lanka on Monday (May 19) joined South Asia Regional Port Security Cooperative (SARPSCO) to help fight terrorism and criminal activity in the Indian Ocean region by improving port and maritime safety. [Full Story]

USAID provides Batti dairy farmers new livelihood opportunities
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) inaugurated a milk chilling center in Vellaveli, Batticaloa yesterday (May 20), on the site where the original structure was completely destroyed in 1990. [Full Story]

India backs Sri Lanka in UN human rights review
India fully backed Sri Lanka in the just-concluded UN human rights review in Geneva, enabling Sri Lanka to get a “balanced” appraisal from the world body yesterday. [Full Story]

Indian Police bust LTTE smuggling ring
Tamil Nadu police on Sunday (May 18) busted a suspected LTTE ring trying to smuggle high-power communications equipment and boat repair materials to Sri Lanka, Times of India reported. [Full Story]
President's Vesak Message
It is with much devotion and faith that I join all Sri Lankan Buddhists in celebrating the Great Vesak Festival. [Full Story]
Bomb blast in Colombo
Repeated savagery calls for concerted action against terror
- President
“Repeated savagery of this order underlines and reiterates the need for concerted action by all those who cherish democracy, human rights and the values of civilized society, to eradicate the menace of terrorism of which the LTTE remains the bloodiest example today,” said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a statement on the bomb attack carried out by the LTTE in Colombo, today. [Full Story]

EPC Chief Minister and UPFA reps sworn in
Newly elected United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) representatives of the Eastern Provincial Council were sworn in before President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat today (May 16). [Full Story]

Death toll rises to 10 in Fort blast
Ten including seven Police personnel were killed and more than 90 were wounded following the LTTE suicide bomb attack near Sambuddhaloka Viharaya, Fort at 12.05 p.m., today (May 16).  [Full Story]

India extends ban on LTTE
India has extended by two years the proscription on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). [Full Story]

President expresses condolence to people of China
President Mahinda Rajapaksa extended his deepest sympathies to the bereaved families and the victims of earthquake that struck western China on May 12.[Full Story]

Seven LTTE suspects arrested in Indonesia
Police in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, are interrogating seven Sri Lankans suspected of being members of LTTE, Jakarta Post reported yesterday (May 15). [Full Story]
LTTE conscripts O/L failures, accuses Army
The LTTE has intensified its recruitment drive by conscripting children in Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts who failed the G.C.E. ordinary level examinations in 2007, Army spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said addressing media in Colombo yesterday (May 14). [Full Story]
At Oxford Union
We fight terror single handed to let democracy prevail
– President
“The LTTE is the most brutal terror outfit the world has ever seen, and defeating them requires global support. What Sri Lanka is doing, is fighting this terror outfit single handed, to ensure that democracy and respect for human life prevail in the world, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he addressed the Oxford Union yesterday (13) [Full Story]

FM hails Sri Lanka’s ties with the UN
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has underscored the importance that Sri Lanka attaches to its relationship with the UN system. He made this observation following high level interactions with UN officials at the UN Headquarters in New York last week.. [Full Story]

EPDP political advisor gunned down
Maheswary Velayutham, Political Advisor of the Eelam People Democratic Party (EPDP) was shot dead last evening at her house in Karaveddy by suspected LTTE gunmen. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka expresses condolences to people of China
The acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Hussein Bhaila, yesterday (13) expressed his deep shock to learn of the heavy loss of life and widespread destruction of property in the massive earthquake that struck the Sichuan Province in China. [Full Story]

Maha Sangha appeal to help cyclone-hit Myanmar
The Three Chapters of the Maha Sangha have appealed for assistance from the public to help the people of Myanmar affected by the recent cyclone, a Tourism Ministry release said. [Full Story]

Govt to implement National Action Plan on HR
Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe at the UN Human Rights Council yesterday (May 13) said that the Government's ultimate aim was to implement a National Action Plan on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Sri Lanka. [Full Story]

Union Home Minister expresses concern over LTTE’s air capability
Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil has expressed concern over the reported air capability of the LTTE that could be a threat to the vital installations in South India, the Hindu reported today (May 14). [Full Story]

Japanese assistance to upgrade Anuradhapura Hospital
The Japanese Government has provided a grant Rs. 3,165 million for the implementation of two projects, under its Grant Aid Programme. [Full Story]
Bullet to Ballot - Hindu Editorial
The relatively violence-free conduct of the first ever election to Sri Lanka’s Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) is a feather in the cap of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government, said the Hindu editorial today (May 13). [Full Story]

SL spearheads Pakistan's re-entry into the commonwealth
Pakistan has been re-admitted to the Councils of the Commonwealth with immediate effect. This decision followed Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama's call at the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group(CMAG) meeting in London yesterday (May 12),when he made the opening statement and strongly urged the 9 member body to immediately lift Pakistan's suspension. [Full Story]

Congress calls for ban on pro-LTTE outfits
Congress, a key ally of Tamil Nadu's ruling DMK, on yesterday (May 13) demanded a ban on pro-LTTE organisations in the Tamil Nadu state and asked the state government to deal with "scourge of terrorism with iron hand," PTI reported today. [Full Story]
Post-FTA, India-Lanka trade quadruples to $2.7b
The free trade agreement between India and Sri Lanka has quadrupled trade to 2.7 billion dollars between the two countries during 2000-08, PTI reported yesterday (May 11).
[Full Story]

LTTE, the veritable hydra-headed beast of Greek mythology - Ambassador Goonatilleke
The LTTE is not merely an evil entity; it is the veritable hydra-headed beast of Greek mythology, with unbelievable resilience and resourcefulness. One can cut off one head, only to be confronted by another, said Ambassador Bernard Goonatilleke Ambassador of Sri Lanka in the United States of America. [Full Story]

UPFA won Eastern PC polls
The United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) won the first ever Provincial Council Election in the East, securing 20 (18+02 bonus seats) out of 37 seats on offer, while polling 52.21 per cent of the total votes. [Full Story]
EP Election - People’s endorsement of restoring democracy - President Mahinda Rajapaksa
“The results of the elections to the first Eastern Provincial Council show the people’s endorsement of the government’s policies of restoring democracy and normalcy to areas hitherto controlled by terrorists and the overall development programme already initiated in the Eastern Province”, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a statement following the successful conclusion of elections to the EPC. [Full Story]
Cargo vessel sunk in Trinco Harbour
A cargo vessel, A-520 (MV Invincible) was sunk this evening due to an under water explosion while moored at the Ashroff jetty in Trincomalee harbour, today (May 10)., defence sources said. [Full Story]

President condemns Ampara blast targeting civilians
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (May 9) vehemently condemned the barbaric act of the LTTE of exploding a bomb targeting innocent civilians at a Cafe in the Ampara Town. [Full Story]
Eastern PC polls tomorrow
Elections Department officials say that all arrangements were in place for a free and fair poll in the East, which would take place at 1,022 centres in Trincomalee, Ampara and Batticaloa districts tomorrow (May 10). [Full Story]

Army captures Adampan Town
Army captured Adampan town area this morning (May 9), defence sources said. [Full Story]

Canadian police unearth WTM Tiger connection
Canadian police have submitted an affidavit to the Federal Court in Canada on April 1, 2008 showing World Tamil Movement (WTM)’s inextricable links to the LTTE. [Full Story]
'Ranaviru Month' declared
The government declared the period from May 7 to June 7 as Ranaviru Month at a ceremony held at Temple Tress yesterday (May 7). [Full Story]

FM calls on UN Secretary General
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama met the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday (May 7) in continuation of the regular dialogue to apprise the United Nations of the recent developments in Sri Lanka, particularly, with regard to the unfolding of the road map for the restoration of democracy in the Eastern Province. [Full Story]
HR hotline established
The Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights yesterday (May 6) established a 24-hour hotline enabling the public to seek information on questionable arrests and alleged detentions, abductions and disappearances. [Full Story]

LTTE leader in London arrested
Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, a London-based leader of the LTTE was arrested by the British police yesterday (May 6) for the second time in less than a year for alleged fund-raising activities and procurement of war material. [Full Story]

Eastern PC polls: Final rallies today
Campaigning for the Eastern Provincial Council elections will end today (May 7) at midnight, Elections Department announced. [Full Story]

LTTE sought $ 3m from Canada – National Post
RCMP counterterrorism investigators in Toronto have seized a letter signed by V. Prabhakaran directing Canadian Tamils to send him $3-million, according to police files released yesterday (May 6) by the Federal Court, National Post reported. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka to help Myanmar cyclone victims
The Government will make a donation of US$ 25,000/- to the Government of the Union of Myanmar to assist victims of the recent cyclone, which devastated large parts of the country, Foreign Ministry said yesterday (May 6). [Full Story]

Parliament prorogued
President Mahinda Rajapaksa prorogued Parliament for one month from midnight yesterday (May 6). [Full Story]
President inaugurates construction of Oluvil Port
The government was able to initiate several development programmes in East after the brave and courageous operation conducted by the Sri Lankan Security Forces to bring liberation to the people in the area, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the ceremony to laid the foundation stone for the construction of Oluvil port this morning. [Full Story]

No early release for Nalini
Tamil Nadu Government has accepted the Report of the Advisory Board of the Special Prison for Women at Vellore which rejected the appeal of Nalini, a convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, for early release. [Full Story]

IMF responds to Central Bank clarification
A clarification by the IMF on its recent findings on inflation in Sri Lanka implies that the impact of monetary and fiscal expansion on current inflation would be even lower than the 16 per cent captured by the study and that the impact of food and energy prices could be even higher now as food and energy prices rose sharply and monetary and fiscal policies were tightened further since July 2007. [Full Story]

Oluvil Port construction commences today
The construction of the Oluvil Port Project will get off the ground today (May 6) under the Nagenahira Navodaya development programme. [Full Story]
Sri Lanka appeals to international community
President Mahinda Rajapaksa awarded 'Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya' decoration to 37 senior officers in the Regular Forces of the Army, Navy and the Air Force as a reward for their services of exceptional merit, nobility and loyalty. [Full Story]

WTM : a foreign branch of the LTTE in Canada says Canadian Police
LTTE controls the Montreal-based World Tamil Movement (WTM) as one of their "foreign branches," according to documents seized by the RCMP, National Post said yesterday (May 4). [Full Story]
President awards 'Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya' to senior military officers
President Mahinda Rajapaksa awarded 'Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya' decoration to 37 senior officers in the Regular Forces of the Army, Navy and the Air Force as a reward for their services of exceptional merit, nobility and loyalty. [Full Story]

BOI recorded highest ever investment in 2007
In year 2007 Board of Investment (BOI) achieved the highest level of Foreign Direct Investment and domestic investment. Investment reached the level of total $ 734m. This amounts to a 22% growth when compared to 2006 (US $ 604 million, a BOI press release said. [Full Story]

LTTE continues to extort money from Tamils - US country report
The LTTE continued to finance itself with contributions from the Tamil Diaspora in North America, Europe, and Australia, by imposing local "taxes" on businesses operating in the areas it Sri Lanka and reportedly by extortion operations in Government-controlled areas, the US State Department said in its recent Country Report on Terrorism released yesterday (May 1). [Full Story]

May Day, a dedication to security forces – President   
This year's May Day celebrations in the East should be dedicated to the security forces who spearheaded the humanitarian mission to liberate the people living under LTTE clutches for more than two decades, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said at the May Day rally at Dehiattakandiya yesterday (May 1). [Full Story]

ADB and Japan to provide up more funds to broaden southern highway
The government has signed up additional funds to augment a highway to the south of the island which is jointly financed by the Asian Development Bank and the Japan, the finance ministry said. [Full Story]

More time to quiz LTTE suspects arrested in UK
British authorities have been granted extra time until next Tuesday to quiz three LTTE suspects arrested last week as part of an investigation into the LTTE, BBC reported yesterday (May 1). [Full Story]

Netherlands to assist country’s biggest fishing harbour  
The Government signed an agreement worth Rs 8 billion with the Netherlands government in aid to build a fisheries harbour in Dikowita to accommodate deep sea trawlers and develop the island's fishing industry. [Full Story]





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