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Sri Lankan military to strengthen intelligence-gathering efforts

Dec 11 (AP) Sri Lanka's top military general said intelligence officers must be hired to replace dozens of agents killed by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels and called for stronger intelligence-gathering efforts to prevent guerrilla attacks, a news report said Sunday. more..

Sri Lanka irked over Norway comments on peace bid

Dec 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka has expressed concern over Norway's remarks that it would only resume the role of peace broker in a three-decade ethnic conflict if both sides agree to a set of conditions, a press report said. Colombo expressed "concern" over the remarks made last week by Norwegian International Development Minister Erik Solheim, more..

Japan offers to host Sri Lanka truce talks

Dec 11 (AFP) Japanese peace envoy Yasushi Akashi on Sunday invited Sri Lanka and Tamil Tiger rebels to meet in Japan for talks to save their ceasefire, which is threatened with collapse after 31 people were killed in fresh violence. more..

Japan offers to host talks between Sri Lankan government, Tamil rebels

Dec 11 (AP) Japan offered on Sunday to host talks between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels to halt a decline in the country's security situation. "So far as the prospect for peace and stability is concerned, it is clearly deteriorating," Yasushi Akashi said more..

Sri Lanka reviewing its Tamil Tiger policy: Japanese envoy

Dec 12 (Xinhua) Visiting Japanese peace envoy Yasushi Akashi said here Sunday that the Sri Lankan government is engaged in a comprehensive review of its policy on the Tamil Tigers. Akashi made the remarks before ending a 5-day visit to the island after meeting with President Mahinda Rajapakse and other top political leaders. more..

When Sri Lankan cricketers went shopping

Dec 12 (IANS) As a Sri Lankan cricket team plays against India here, officials are recalling the times when an earlier team from the island went shopping in Old Delhi even as the umpires waited for them to turn up for play. It was Jan 15, 1994, the third and final day of the Sri Lanka-Indian Board President XI match at Ferozeshah Kotla. more..

Colombo Port growth will saturate unless new terminals are ready in three years

Dec 12 (LBO) The Colombo port will run out of capacity in three years if new terminals are not ready according to a former port chairman. He said that running out of capacity will mean that key transshipment business would be lost. more..

Switzerland’s strongly worded condemnations on the attacks of soldiers and civilians

Dec 12 (AT) Switzerland has expressed its strongest condemnation ever, on the killings of the Sri Lanka’s soldiers on two separate incidents and also the recent death of the civilians in the North and East. more..

Committee to investigate Jaffna incidents

Dec 12 (LT) A two member investigation committee to investigate and report on the attacks carried out by wanni tiger organization targeting security forces has been appointed. The chairman of the committee appointed by President Mahinda Rajapakse is retired Appeal Court Judge Mr. Chandradasa Nanayakkara. more..

LTTE's Human Rights engagement on constructive track - Thamilchelvan

Dec 12 (TN) “While Colombo has been increasingly engaged in portraying Tamils’ struggle for self-determination as ‘terrorism’ in international fora taking advantage of the changed political climate following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and the consequent war on terrorism, more..

Senior PLOTE cadre abducted in Vavuniya, 3 arrested

Dec 12 (TN) A senior cadre of PLOTE, operating with the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in Vavuniya, was reported missing Monday noon. Unidentified persons riding in a van allegedly abducted the senior cadre, a central committee member of PLOTE, police said. more..

Continuing LTTE terrorism harms more & more troops and policemen

Dec 12 (SLA) TAMIL TIGERS (LTTE) in hiding during past twenty four hours continue their unimpeded terror tactics against the Security Forces/Police in the north and east, using claymore mines, hand grenades, guns and pistols and other violent means. more..

One more EPDP activist slain

Dec 12 (SLA) SUSPECTED POCKETS OF TAMIL TIGERS (LTTE) on Sunday (11) resorted to their continuing practice of silencing their political opponents by bullets when they gunned down another 35-year old EPDP activist near ALLERS GARDEN Refugee camp in UPPUVELI on TRINCOMALEE – NILAVELI main road. more..

Friends witness how their comrade was butchered

Dec 12 (SLA) A MUSLIM FARMER attending to the work related to his paddy fields in PALLIKUDIRIPPU un-cleared areas in THOPPUR was another victim of suspected Tamil Tiger gunfire when he, along with two other fellow-Muslims ignored warnings and entered those un-cleared areas on 11 December 2005. more..

Second GW contingent leaves to join their brother soldiers in Haiti

Dec 12 (SLA) The second contingent of soldiers from the Gemunu Watch (GW) of Sri Lanka Army left the island Friday (09) afternoon from the Katunayaka Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in a special UN flight for the State of Haiti on UN Peace Keeping Mission. more..

Another petition against Chandrika's 'Madiwela gift'

Dec 12 (LeN) A group of attorneys is to file a fundamental rights petition in the Supreme Court against the Cabinet decision to allocate a one and half acre land free of charge to former President Chandrika Kumaratunga. The extent of the entire land from which a plot was allocated to the ex-President is 11 acres. more..

Presidential attempt to enhance MP's wisdom

Dec 12 (LeN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to assign a research officer of each parliamentarian with a view to maintain high standards at parliamentary debates and to create a parliament giving prominence to intelligence. more..

'Now wimal Werawansa and Rathana thera can go to war' - Hemakumara

Dec 12 (LeN) 'Before the election, the Freedom Alliance did not talk of war. It talked about an honorable peace. But 17 soldiers have been killed in Jaffna. Now they are talking about war. What has JVP's Weerawansa got to say now ? We will make him a four star General. He can join the Army and wage a war. more..

A Special Commission to scrutinize Government revenue

Dec 12 (LT) Speaking at the second reading of the Budget in Parliament this morning Minister of Constitutional Affairs Mr D E W Gunasekera said that the Government has decided to appoint a special commission to look into Government revenue. The duties of this commission will be to investigate revenue generating avenues and deception of tax owe to Government. more..

Thondaman threatens party men on crossover

Dec 12 (LT) Mr S Thondaman, leader of the Ceylon Workers Congress on his return from India who arrived at Kotagala in the hill country, has threatened certain Parliamentarians of his party over the telephone. According to the political sources a number of Members of Parliament of the party is considering supporting the Government. more..

Attempt to kill JVP Parliamentarian Padma Udayashantha

Dec 12 (LT) An attempt to kill Parliamentarian Padma Udayashantha has been failed last night. When Mr Udayashantha was on his way to Colombo he has noticed a motor bike was following his vehicle. They had been following him at Thelulla area between Wellawaya and Tanamalwila. more..

LTTE may have to revise the CFA to force the Sri Lanka Government to disarm Karuna's group

Dec 12 (AT) The Sri Lanka’s Tamil rebel outfit LTTE is in an urgent hurry to negotiate with the Government of Sri Lanka on the preliminary matters of commencing the Talks to keep intact the Eastern province under their control. more..

Ranil likely to remain UNP leader

Dec 12 (GT) The United National Party (UNP) seniors have given up the challenge to replace leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and are now trying to democratise the party reducing the powers of the leader. A party senior said that all powers are now centred around the leader and his close associates. more..

More financial input in power sector needed

Dec 12 (GT) THE demand for power in the country will grow at 7.6% per year reaching 7.619 MW in the year 2025, an increase of over 400% over the current demand, according to the findings of a study undertaken by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) since January last year. more..

New ruse by LTTE to fill their kitty

Dec 12 (ANN) Young Sri Lankans are taken hostage by operatives of the LTTE in London and thereafter money is demanded from their parents in Sri Lanka, police said. This is the new ruse adopted by Tiger to fill their kitty. A local extortion gang, acting under the command of their London colleagues, had robbed a vehicle and threatened a youth in Wellawa to pay ransom, more..

No peace at any cost: DEW

Dec 12 (PIS) We will not talk pace granting every thing the LTTE demands. We will look into the grievances of the Tamil citizens and help them to live just as any other citizen of the country, observed the Constitutional Affairs Minister D. E. W. Gunasekera at the inauguration of the Regional Trade Investment Fair more..

No mercy for elephant killers

Dec 12 (SAMN) Stern legal action will be initiated against those killing wild elephants as the Department is viewing with serious concern the increasing number of wild elephants killed by man, Director General Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC) Dayananda Kariyawasam told the Daily News yesterday. more..

BASL chief under fire for favouring CBK

Dec 12 (SAMN) Controversy surrounds a recent Bar Association decision to seek President Mahinda Rajapakse’s backing for his predecessor Chandrika Kumaratunga’s appointment of five President’s Counsel four days before the November 17 presidential elections. more..

School based assessment system to go

Dec 12 (SAMN) Education Minister Susil Premajayantha has promised to abolish the School Based Assessment (SBA) system which came under severe criticism from a section of students and teachers in the recent past, at a meeting held with the Ceylon Teachers Services Union (CTSU) last week. more..

Govt. agrees for talks with LTTE abroad

Dec 12 (LM) The government has agreed to hold talks with the LTTE at an overseas venue to review the Ceasefire Agreement, thus stepping down from its earlier stand to meet only in Sri Lanka. President Mahinda Rajapakse expressed his government's change of stand at a meeting with visiting Japanese special envoy Yasushi Akashi. more..

Decision on party reforms today: UNP

Dec 12 (LM) The UNP will today hold a parliamentary group meeting to discuss the party's proposed reforms. UNP Matara District MP Mahinda Wijesekata told a decision would be taken on the reforms and presented to the working committee for approval. more..

End of Bandaranaike Dynasty?

Dec 12 (LM) Central Committee of the SLFP is scheduled to meet this afternoon to make a final decision on the crucial arty leader's position, a highly placed source of the party said. Former President Kumaratunga is still holding the party leadership of the SLFP. Earlier the Central Committee proposed Kumaratunga as the lifetime leader of the party, which she refused. more..

SB to get Presidential pardon?

Dec 12 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapakse is likely to grant pardon to jailed UNP frontliner S.B.Dissanayake who had been sentenced to two years for contempt of court. A Presidential source said though the President could pardon Mr. Dissanayake by virtue of his executive powers, President Rajapakse was likely to consult the Supreme Court before deciding on the matter. more..

Indian Vice Admiral Suresh Mehta at joint navy exercise

Dec 12 (LNP) PVSM, AVSM, Flag Officer Commanding-in- Chief of the Eastern Naval Command of India Vice Admiral Suresh Mehta will arrive in Sri Lanka today, accompanied by Mrs. M.T. Mehta and Chief Staff Officer (Operations) of the Eastern Naval Command in India, Captain Ramesh Kumar. more..

Prabhakaran cannot expect President to solve ethnic problem in two weeks says Mahanayake

Dec 12 (LNP) The LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran should not be too hasty as one could not expect the new president to solve the two decades long ethnic problem within two or three weeks and added that all support should be given to him to strengthen him to carry forward the peace process more..

Land allotted to Chandrika by last cabinet 'unlawful'

Dec 12 (Gulf) A local newspaper editor is seeking a court directive to quash a decision by the cabinet to allot prime state land to former president Chandrika Kumaratunga. The land valued at more than Rs100 million (Dh3.67 million) had been approved by the former cabinet more..

Kasippu death toll reaches thirteen

Dec 12 (DN) THE death toll in the illicit liquor incident in Matara reached 13 yesterday with the death of three more people who consumed the poisonous brew. Matara police told the Daily News that one person who was admitted to the Karapitiya hospital after consuming liquor from the same 'Kasippu' booth in Kekanadura died yesterday morning while two others died on Saturday. more..

Atapattu says not consulted in dropping Jayasuriya

Dec 12 (MO) Marvan Atapattu denied he was consulted in the axing of opener Sanath Jayasuriya from the squad for the ongoing India Test series. Chairman of selectors Lalith Kaluperuma had said in a media release last week that the decision to drop Jayasuriya was taken in consultation with the selector on tour, coach Tom Moody and Atapattu. more..

Sri Lanka: Providing seed for war-weary farmers

Dec 12 (AN) Mary Sasila Johnkillery, who lives in the village of Akkarayan, was happy to receive her bags of rice seed and fertilizer – just in time for the rainy season. A divorced mother of two young boys, she is one of 2,500 farmers in the Vanni region of northern Sri Lanka to receive aid under the ICRC's agricultural programme. more..

Opener Pathan sets India up

Dec 12 (CI) The cricketing world may soon remember December 12 as Irfan Pathan's day. Exactly two years after he made his Test debut, and exactly one year after his first ten-wicket haul, Pathan, opening the batting for the first time in a Test, produced a triumphant career-best 93 to propel India to a dominant position in the Delhi Test, more..

Bangladesh U-19 team taste first defeat

Dec 12 (IB) The first defeat of Bangladesh Under-19 cricket team might be a blessing for the youngsters to bounce back in the final in quest of their revenge of last group match defeat to Sri Lanka in the Tri-nation cricket tournament at Fatullah Cricket Stadium on Sunday. more..

Sri Lankans Clash Over Begging Rights

Dec 12 (AP) Angry villagers have clashed with a Buddhist monk over the right to solicit donations from tourists at the site where last year's massive tsunami swept a train off the tracks in Sri Lanka and killed some 2,000 people. more..

Sri Lanka on peace track despite violence in North East

Dec 12 (HT) The very disturbing series of violent incidents in Jaffna and the Eastern districts of Sri Lanka in the past week almost broke the ceasefire between the government and the LTTE. The country did seem to be on the brink of another debilitating war. But ironically, despite the violence, people are talking about peace rather than war. more..

Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels attack army patrol, wound two soldiers

Dec 12 (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels detonated a mine and opened fire on an army foot patrol Monday in eastern Sri Lanka, wounding at least two soldiers, the Defense Ministry said. Officials monitoring the country's cease-fire said the attack on the 12-member patrol in the town of Vantharumoolai would heighten tensions that threaten to plunge Sri Lanka back into civil war. more..

Tamil Tiger rebels kill policeman, rescue comrade from hospital

Dec 12 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels stormed a state-run hospital in northern Sri Lanka, killing a police guard and rescuing a comrade who was taken there after swallowing cyanide upon being arrested, the military said Monday. About 10 rebel cadres entered the hospital Sunday in Vavuniya, a government-held garrison town that borders territory held by the rebels. more..

Donors to meet in Brussels to review SL

Dec 12 (UNI) The co-chairs of Sri Lanka's donor community — the US, Japan, Norway and the European Union — will meet in Brussels on December 19 to review the peace process in the island nation after an escalation in violence that threatens to undermine the fragile truce between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

War clouds breed fear, resignation in north Sri Lanka

Dec 12 (Reuters) Sitting in his prosperous rice mill on the outskirts of the Tamil Tiger stronghold in northern Sri Lanka, Ponnampalam Raman knows only too well the price he will pay if a 2002 ceasefire collapses. Already displaced numerous times by a brutal two decade war in which towns and villages across northern Sri Lanka were flattened, more..

More blasts in Sri Lanka amid fresh peace moves

Dec 12 (AFP) A powerful mine exploded just missing a police patrol after Japan offered to host talks between Sri Lanka and Tamil Tiger rebels to save their tottering truce, officials said. The explosion caused by a claymore mine targeted the patrol in the northern district of Vavuniya, a military spokesman said on Monday. more..

'STF, SL Ministers complicit in paramilitary operations, Karuna in India'

Dec 13 (TN) The two paramilitary cadres who surrendered to the Tigers in Amparai disclosed that Karuna operates from India and that Pillayan was leading the Karuna group operating in the east. more..

Sri Lanka film shows poor still suffer after tsunami

Dec 13 (Reuters) Dhruv Dhawan just wanted to make a film about Sri Lankan survivors of the tsunami, but he stumbled upon a classic tale of how developing countries on the long march to prosperity often ride roughshod over the poor. more..