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Sunday May 06th, 2007

UK’s All Party Group invites
Thamilselvan to address British MPs
In an unprecedented gesture that could spark a diplomatic row, British ruling Labour Party MP Keith Vaz last week said that the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils formed by British MPs had agreed to invite LTTE Political-wing Leader S.P. Thamilselvan to visit Britain and address parliamentarians.

Cracks within Karuna faction
Pillayan falls out and allegedly on the run
An internal strife within the Karuna faction has come to a head on with deputy leader of the group Pillayan falling out and one of his loyalists Sindujan being killed in internecine warfare, military sources said.


Relics of this year’s Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna May Day rally lay abandoned at the flooded Parliamentary Grounds as a lone member looks on the wreckage of the once firmly standing stage and decorations. - (Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)

SLFP proposals to be ‘slightly’ adjusted
The Central Committee of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will this week hold a crucial meeting to evaluate its proposals before submitting them to the All Party Representative Committee (APRC).



CFA the only realistic way, says Blair
British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has assured his country’s support in achieving peace in Sri Lanka.
The “only realistic way” to solve Sri Lanka’s national question is to fully implement the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) signed in 2002, he told British parliament on Wednesday.
Tony Blair was responding to a question raised by Keith Vaz, Labour MP representing Leicester East constituency on the “tragic situation unfolding in Sri Lanka”.

Norway to continue as facilitator despite UK interest
Despite the British Government’s renewed interest in Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict, the Norwegians will continue to play the facilitator’s role, The Nation learns.

Ten Sea Tigers killed off Mullaithivu
Ten Sea Tigers were killed and 12 others were injured in a midnight clash with the Sri Lanka Navy close to the LTTE stronghold of Mullaithivu.
The military said the mid sea clash occurred between a Sri Lanka naval contingent and Sea Tigers when Navy boats spotted a cluster of rebel boats heading towards

Canterbury Archbishop due tomorrow
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams is to spend four days in Sri Lanka beginning tomorrow (7) as part of a visit to South East Asia.
Dr Williams’ visit comes at a time when tensions have increased in the country following the apparent breakdown in peace negotiations between the Government and the Tamil Tigers, the Anglican church said in a statement.

Heavy rains claim 13 lives
The torrential rainfall on Thursday and Friday resulted in the deaths of 13 people in the island.
The Disaster Management Centre stated that the heavy rainfall resulting in landslides and floods claimed six lives in Galle, three in Kalutara, two in Colombo and two in Gampaha.

CWC moots five major regional councils
The Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) has strongly suggested a merged regional council for the Tamils of North and East as part of its proposals to the All Party Representative Committee (APRC), a spokesman for the party said.

Solution must be far better than PC system - UNP dissident Ministers
The 17 dissident United National Party (UNP) ministers will meet together to discuss the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) draft proposals in detail on Tuesday, May 8.

Lankan Embassy complains to US State Dept.
‘Intelsat continues to beam LTTE broadcasts’
The Sri Lanka Embassy in Washington DC complained to the Justice Department and the State Department that the Washington based Intelsat Corporation is breaking US law by continuing to broadcast the propaganda television and radio services of the LTTE by a satellite they own despite public assurances given weeks ago to the contrary.

Amarasekere ‘amazed’ over Ranil’s right to query Defence Secy.
Business and Management Consultant Nihal Sri Amarasekere has raised questions over Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s right to question the appointment of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as defence secretary.

US lists LTTE, 42 other groups as terrorist organisations
The United States Department of State has designated the LTTE as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation in its “Country Reports on Terrorism 2006”.
According to this report the LTTE gets external funds through its overt Organisations, which support Tamil separatism.

Unprotected areas in Colombo
The torrential monsoonal rains that hit the Western and Southern provinces in Sri Lanka on Wednesday and Thursday last week, wreaked havoc with many tragic incidents and obstacles reported: deaths by drowning and electrocution, floods, displacement, damage to public property and heavy traffic congestion. However, what is more deplorable is that the city of Colombo is awfully unsafe for the public, in weather conditions of such sudden severity.

Byte Magazine




None are so blind as those who refuse to see
Last Saturday, while the Sri Lankan cricket team was fighting a losing battle in the cricket World Cup final against Australia, in near darkness in Barbados, a different kind of battle was being enacted in the darker skies of Colombo, where the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were staging their third air strike.
If losing the World Cup in less than ideal circumstances was distressing, even more pathetic was the country’s plight in dealing with the world’s foremost terrorist group which now has its own aircraft capable of striking against a sovereign state as and when it pleases.

Political Affairs
World focus on Sri Lanka heightens as conflict intensifies

An initiative taken by the British to resuscitate the peace process in Sri Lanka has gained much prominence with diverse opinions being expressed in this regard. However, air attacks by the LTTE and retaliation from the security forces have dimmed hopes of the government and the terrorists returning to the negotiating table.
The British initiative gained prominence in the wake of a debate on the situation in Sri Lanka at the House of Commons. At a fairly long debate, where members from the British government and the opposition raised valued points on the situation in Sri Lanka, the British lawmakers urged the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to push for a negotiated settlement.


Military Matters
Crackdown on LTTE fundraising

Everything, including the World Cup finals, in which Sri Lanka participated last weekend, paled into insignificance, as the Tigers caused panic in the skies over Colombo in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
In fact, virtually, in the whole week that followed – Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday- the Tigers’ nocturnal escapades gripped the country in a state of fear.
While the Tiger flights on Tuesday and Sunday were observed by many persons, including civilians, on Thursday, “Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) personnel had sighted two aircraft, 40-50 miles in the Puttalam district…” Senpathi reported last week.

Pottuvil: Simmering pot of ethnic tension

At a time when media attention and peace keeping efforts are understandably focused on Sri Lanka to bring an end to the ongoing ethnic conflict, a dangerous mix of developments is taking place in Pottuvil, in the south eastern part of the island.

SLFP proposals come under flak
The long awaited proposals of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party were finally placed before the public and subsequently to the All Party Representative Committee recently, creating debate among political and other interested parties.
The APRC, which was formed with the expectation of reaching a plausible solution to the ethnic conflict that had been plaguing the country for over two decades, was expecting the SLFP, the main constituent party of the government to submit their proposals, for over seven months.

Broad consensus on Electoral Reforms
Voting at future elections in Sri Lanka will be electronically, if and when recommendations of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reforms (PSCER) are passed in the House.
The Committee was of the view that a system of electoral voting should be made a priority. The Elections Commissioner has recommended to the Committee that this proposal will reduce heavy expenditure, hitherto incurred by the Department, for manpower during elections and to overcome incompetence in counting, corruption and delays in releasing election results.


SLC concerned over British government travel warning
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has expressed grave concern over future cricket tours to this country following the British government’s decision to warn its nationals to avoid traveling to Sri Lanka following the recent air raids to Colombo by the militant rebel group LTTE.
SLC secretary K. Mathivanan told The Nation that with the England cricket team due later this year the grave situation in the country at present was not encouraging.
England are due to make a tour of Sri Lanka in two legs – first for a series of five one-day internationals from October 1 to 13 where they play in Dambulla (3 matches) and at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo (2 matches). The second leg is from December 1 to 22 for a series ...

We have to work hard to compete with Australia - Mahela
Mahela Jayawardene said that other countries including Sri Lanka will have to work hard if they are to compete with Australia.
“The Australians have the talent and ability to identify roles to individual players who can step in most of the time,” Jayawardene, the Sri Lanka skipper told The Nation after returning home from a successful World Cup campaign in the Caribbean where his team finished runner-up to the eventual winners Australia.
“There is always this confidence thing. There are 14 guys who believe in that. Mentally they are prepared for any situation because their domestic structure is such. Other countries including Sri Lanka are not strong enough,” said Jayawardene. “We have to work on those areas. To be consistent as Australia all 14 have to be prepared to take on that responsibility and be mentally tough.”
Jayawardene admitted that his team worked really hard and had the self belief and confidence to go out there and win the World Cup.
“We identified a lot of roles for the guys. Everyone stepped in and performed. We played very good cricket under different conditions and situations, but we couldn’t win the trophy,” said Jayawardene.

Tissera fills the missing link and calls it quits
The only missing link in the illustrious career of Michael Hugh Tissera was that he had not served in the capacity of manager of the national cricket team for a period of time.
At the conclusion of cricket World Cup 2007 he had more or less fulfilled that task and has requested Sri Lanka Cricket not to consider him for any future appointments as manager as he intends calling it a day.
Tissera’s contract ceases at the end of May and if Sri Lanka don’t make it to Abu Dhabi to play Pakistan in a series of three one-day internationals scheduled for sometime this month, then Tissera will end his term as manager on a high note with the Sri Lanka team finishing runner-up to Australia in the 2007 World Cup concluded in the Caribbean last week.

No backing for Go-Kart racing
In a country where cricket is worshiped as a religion in day to day life, 17-year-old Rikaaz Khalid is merely another reminder of the so-called less popular sports. Motor racing where his heart lies, has given him immense glory and fame in the international circuit.
An old boy of D.S. Senanayake College, Khalid had inborn talent for go-kart racing. Even before reaching his teens, he became one of the fastest go-kart drivers in the island and at the age of 15 he earned his competition licence - the youngest to get it.

Point Blank
So near and yet so far

It finally boiled down to a point of being a ‘so near and yet so far’ situation when Sri Lanka had to settle for the runner-up spot behind Australia instead of being crowned champions at the 2007 cricket World Cup which ended in the Caribbean last Sunday.
The nation’s hopes of winning a second World Cup after Arjuna Ranatunga’s boys triumphed in 1996 was very high because Mahela Jayawardene’s team had all the ingredients and a fine balance to win it. But as bad luck would have it fortune favoured the Aussies and not Sri Lanka on this occasion.





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