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Sunday April 01st, 2007

Surface-to-air missiles for SLAF
The Sri Lanka Air Force has decided to acquire surface-to-air missiles to meet the new threats posed by the LTTE air wing, The Nation learns.
The SLAF has already made inquiries from friendly countries and the President is likely to take the matter up with the Indian government during his visit to New Delhi to attend the SAARC summit.

Attack on Indian fishermen
Navy cleared
Foreign Ministry Secretary Palitha Kohona said yesterday that the Indian Navy has agreed with the Sri Lanka Navy’s stance on what led to the deaths of four Indian fishermen last Thursday.
Initial reports in India had said that the fishermen had died due to firing from ...


A disabled soldier assisting his counterpart to make himself comfortable in his wheel chair at the annual sporting event for the disabled servicemen at the Army Grounds on Friday. - (Pic by Nissanka Wijerathne)

TID questions Shivajilingam
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian and TELO leader M.K.Sivajilingam had been questioned by the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) for nearly ten hours on Friday.
Summons had been served on him by the TID on March 27, asking him to appear before the TID officials.
The Nation learns that prior to questioning the parliamentarian, the TID had also informed Speaker W.J.M.Lokubandara about it.
The marathon questioning of the parliamentarian had commenced at 10.00 am and concluded at 8.00 pm.
Speaking to The Nation the MP said as a matter of courtesy he had also informed the Speaker and the ...



Commission probing HR violations to visit crime scenes
The Commission of Inquiry probing into some of the prominent cases of human rights violations and extra-judicial killings is set to visit several scenes of crime in the East next month, The Nation learns.

JVP front to fight LTTE propaganda
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) is to initiate an anti terrorist organisation called the ‘Anti Terrorist Front’ subsequent to the Air Force Base attack last week.

SLMM monitors back in Jaffna , B’caloa soon
Says still no permission to visit Katunayake air base
The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) is preparing to send international monitors to Jaffna and Batticaloa soon, SLMM spokesman Thofinur Ommarson said.

PM in talks with Thai leaders to halt LTTE arms procurement
President Mahinda Rajapakse has sent Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka who is also the Deputy Minister of Defence, on an urgent mission to Thailand to request the Thai leaders to take stringent action to stop LTTE gun running operations from the South-East Asia region.

LTTE develops mini submarine
The LTTE is developing a mini submarine for gun running and drug smuggling, the Sri Lankan and Indian intelligence services believe.

UNP wants Mangala, Sripathi issue in the limelight
The main opposition United National Party in a bid to keep the Mangala Samaraweera – Sripathi Sooriyarachchi issue alive has appointed a committee to keep the issue rolling among the public.

Mangala, Sripathi before SLFP disciplinary committee
The SLFP disciplinary committee deliberating on the allegations against the deposed Ministers Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Sooriyarachchi is now in the process of evaluating the charges.

Water cuts if no rains
Water cuts cannot be avoided if the expected monsoon rains do not come at least by the end of April.

Legitimacy claim
A 14 year old mother from Pussallawa has sought advice from a professional organisation based in Colombo inquiring how she could insert her child’s father’s name in the birth certificate of the child she gave birth to illegitimately.

Diesel price hike put on hold till New Year
The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Chairman, Asantha De Mel yesterday said that diesel prices will be increased by two rupees after the new-year festive season.

Govt. under flak at Asia Society forum
Rohini Hensman, the Asian Society scholar from Sri Lanka severely criticised the Sri Lanka Government’s role in the current ethnic conflict at a panel discussion organised by the Asia Society, New York.

Hoarding menace in city again
Questions are raised over the sudden appearance of hoardings in the city of Colombo.





‘Flying Tigers’ add intensity to Eelam war
If those in the government thought that the sky was the limit because of the launch of the new budget air line Mihin Air, they were in for a rude shock last week: the attack on the Katunayake Air Force base by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) startled the government, the Armed Forces as well the average citizen.
It was not so much the damage caused by the attack that jolted the powers that be. It is the realisation that Eelam War IV will take a dramatic and decisive turn with the LTTE acquiring air strike capabilities.
It has been known for quite a few years that the Tigers were aiming to consolidate an Air Force and the building of a runway at Iranamadu was only just one indication of this intention. However, the graduation from a fledgling force to an organisation that now has the resources to fly aircraft when it so desires appears to be too much, too soon.

Mahinda wonders if the April prophesies had come true
The LTTE’s air attack on the Air Force base at Katunayake adjacent to the Bandaranaike International Airport jolted the country early in the week. The air attack was the talking point in the discussions of the military as well as in the political circles throughout the week.
The country woke up on Monday morning to the shocking news of the LTTE’s air capability demonstrated for the first time although there were intelligence reports and speculation in the media that the LTTE was in the process of building an air capability using small-lightweight aircraft.


Aerial attack on base hits tourism hardest
Industry upbeat as tourism takes a beating
Sri Lanka’s faltering tourism industry has taken a severe beating from last week’s aerial bombing of the Katunayake Air Force Base and the Ministry of Tourism, tour operators and other industry players are being compelled to work overtime to put damage control measures in place.

Batticaloa: Where the fish don’t sing no more
Vasanthi Nirmalan (34), a government teacher, also from Mutur, says she and her family will never return to Mutur until normalcy is restored.
“We have suffered enough. We can’t suffer anymore.

Tigers’ midnight games over Colombo airspace
“The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) is this island’s pride in the skies. Determined and dedicated to protect our nation’s sovereignty, this effective arm of our security forces comprises well trained and disciplined individuals, armed with state-of-the-art weapons systems,” states the SLAF website.


Windies in must-win situation
GEORGETOWN, (AFP) -West Indies captain Brian Lara is looking forward to an improved performance from his batsmen in a crucial World Cup Super Eights match against Sri Lanka here on Sunday.
The hosts find themselves in a must-win situation early in the second round after losing to defending champions Australia and New Zealand. They have just two points from three matches, courtesy of a win over fellow-qualifers Ireland in the first round.
The West Indies can’t afford another failure in their remaining four matches against South Africa, England, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

In defence of defending - Ponting argues ...
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (AP) - Chasing big World Cup totals on the small grounds of the Caribbean is more difficult than defending them because you can only pursue at one pace - absolutely flat out.
That seems to be Ricky Ponting’s theory after Australia’s 83-run win over South Africa.

Exciting talent in Development Squad...
Sri Lanka Cricket has picked 15 players representing the Development Squad for a tour of Bangladesh from April 20-May 13 where they will first play in a one-day triangular tournament with the host country and Pakistan and then figure in two 4-day matches with Bangladesh .
The side captained by top order batsman Ian Daniel has enough talent and potential to push the Sri Lanka ‘A’ team players to perform better.

An AGM most foul cries Dervin
Newly elected president of the Athletics Association of Sri Lanka (AASL) Maj. Gen. Palitha Fernando said that he was disgusted with the allegations that have been made against him before and after the elections.
Fernando beat former president Dervin Perera convincingly by 84 votes to 25 at the AGM held on Thursday in what can be considered as one of the biggest victories in athletics history.
“These are things that anyone would tell after losing an election. But I know that I won it fairly,” Fernando told The Nation.

The captain should stay and fight
As long as Sri Lanka was winning the daggers that were drawn against skipper Mahela Jayawardene were held in mid-air as if held by some unseen force. Now that the ice is broken following their first defeat in the 2007 World Cup there are calls for Jayawardene’s head. It is a typical scenario with all captains. They lead the side with a price on their heads where failure is frowned upon and opinions are expressed to replace him.
Jayawardene has two choices to make. Either he should drop himself down the order or drop himself from the team. One would prefer him dropping down the order rather than him going out of the team because he has proved himself to be a damn good leader who at present is short of confidence because he is not batting the way he should.





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