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India-Sri Lanka parliamentary friendship association launched

Dec 23 (LM) The India-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Association was launched yesterday in the Parliament of Sri Lanka. An India-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group has been set up in New Delhi with 15 members from the Lok Sabha (Lower House of the Indian Parliament) and 7 members from the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of the Indian Parliament). more..

Chief Jailer appeals to Court against Prisons chief`s action

Dec 23 (LNP) The Chief Jailer of the Negombo Prison, Senarath Senanayake, has complained to the Court of Appeal that, the Commissioner General of Prisons had transferred him from Negombo, on December 6, 2005, consequent to the petitioner getting himself hospitalised on November 16, 2005, since he developed a chest pain and a headache. more..

Pramuka to be reopened as State bank

Dec 23 (LNP) Pramuka Bank which was set to be liquidated will be reopened as a state bank before January 31, 2006 after acquiring its assets and responsibilities to the Central Bank, State Banks Development Minister Wijedasa Rajapakse told Parliament yesterday. more..

Special commemorative programme at Peraliya

Dec 23 (DN) A special commemorative programme will be held at Peraliya on December 26 morning under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapakse in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the tsunami catastrophe. The Government has planned this ceremony to mark the launching of its Jayalanka programme more..

Suspected Tamil rebels kill military's intelligence agent in central Sri Lanka

Dec 23 (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels fatally shot a Sri Lankan army intelligence agent Friday, and the Tigers said three missing navy sailors had died in a clash at sea with the rebels on Thursday. Friday's shooting in the central Sri Lankan town of Nuwara Eliya, more..

Sri Lanka's Tsunami Hotel to ride the surf again

Dec 23 (AFP) Sri Lanka's "Tsunami Hotel", destroyed by its namesake a year ago, is set to reopen Christmas Day, hoping that the surf will bring back much needed holidaymakers. Lee Blackmore, British co-owner of the Tsunami Hotel in the eastern coastal village of Arugam Bay, is hoping tourists will return to the surfing paradise and help revive the tsunami-hit community. more..

Bodies of two sailors found floating in sea

Dec 23 (LeN) Two of the sailors abducted yesterday by the LTTE after firing at a Navy boat on patrol have died and their bodies are floating in the sea and other sailor is in LTTE's custody, the Office in Charge of the Mannar Police, E,M.Mutubanda told 'Lanka e News' quoting Tiger's Voice Radio. more..

Ambassadors of Co -Chairs of peace process called urgently

Dec 23 (LT) President Mahinda Rajapakse has decided to call an emergency meeting of the Ambassadors of the countries of Co-Chairs of the peace process in Sri Lanka. This discussion is scheduled to be held at Temple trees at 4.00 p.m. today. The President has instructed Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera to organize the relevant meeting. more..

Tamil Tiger blast kills 15 Sri Lankan sailors

Dec 23 (AFP) Suspected Tamil rebels blew up a navy road convoy in Sri Lanka killing at least 15 sailors and wounding 15 more, a defence ministry official said as the guerrillas warned of more strikes. The carnage in the northwestern district of Mannar was the worst since the rebels and the government agreed a Norwegian-brokered ceasefire in February 2002, more..

Tenuous cease-fire in Sri Lanka threatened by two attacks

Dec 23 (IHT) Two clashes between Tamil separatists and the Sri Lankan Navy, the latest on Friday, threaten to unravel a nearly four-year-old peace accord. In an attack Friday, Tamil rebels are suspected of detonating two mines in northern Sri Lanka while a navy vehicle convoy drove by. more..

Sydney’s racial violence: a warning from Sri Lanka

Dec 24 (wsws) The working class in Australia and internationally must take serious warning from the racial violence that erupted in the suburbs of Sydney on December 11. The events of that day reveal how base racialist instincts are aroused and manipulated by the political establishment to further its broader agenda of destroying the democratic rights of all working people, irrespective of their background. more..

After tsunami, war and peace

Dec 24 (IHT) Sri Lanka Udayarani Sebastian Pillai, a fisherman's wife who lost three of her seven children to the tsunami a year ago, was a beneficiary of the unparalleled level of international aid sent within weeks to this devastated island nation. more..

Vaiko charge against Lankan govt

Dec 24 (CO) The MDMK today alleged that the Sri Lanka government was trying to get India to be in the forefront of peace talks between the island nation and the LTTE. MDMK chief Vaiko, who called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at New Delhi today, gave him a letter on the issue, more..

Tsunami boost for mental health care

Dec 24 (BBC) In a visit to one village in tsunami-hit Sri Lanka this year, mental health expert John Mahoney came across a man tied to a tree. The man was there because he had a severe mental illness, and his community had no other way coping with him. His illness was not a result of the Asian tsunami. more..

Thirteen Sri Lankan sailors killed; top cease-fire top monitor says truce in 'jeopardy'

Dec 24 (AP) The navy said suspected Tamil Tiger rebels killed 13 Sri Lankan navy sailors and wounded two more in an ambush Friday, and a European peace monitor said the government-rebel cease-fire is in jeopardy. more..

Ashes of thoughts for what the tsunami took away

Dec 24 (RW) In January 2005 Chulie Kirtisinghe De Silva found comfort in recording her memory of December 26 2004, the day the generous sea robbed her family and her country. It took her much longer to find the courage to share her writing and at first she did so with a mere handful of people. more..

28 wounded, 13 hospitalized in SLN revenge attack on IDPs

Dec 24 (TN) Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) soldiers Friday evening around 5:30 p.m. entered the settlement of Internally Displaced People (IDP), the Victoria Hundred Houses scheme, and attacked the civilians with batons, bike-chains and shoes after tying their hands and legs. more..

Indian High Commissioner meets TNA delegation

Dec 24 (TN) A delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Friday met with the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Ms Nirupama Rao and discussed at length the current situation, concerns on potential breakdown of CeaseFire Agreement (CFA), and the urgent need to restart the peace process. more..

Jaffna residents expects a major confrontation as LTTE intensifies its violence

Dec 24 (AT) Within the last 72 hours the LTTE has intensified its violence against the Sri Lanka government in the north (Jaffna), east (Batticaloa) and the west (Mannar). The escalating hit-and-run tactic of the LTTE indicates that they are determined to provoke the Sri Lankan Security Forces into a full-scale offensive in Jaffna. more..

An unknown auxiliary force claims responsibility for the killing or 15 Navy sailors

Dec 24 (AT) Hitherto unknown organization called itself “Mannar District Resurgence People Force,” suspected to be one of the many auxiliary forces of the LTTE, has claimed responsibility for the claymore bomb attacks, Friday at 1.30 PM, on a bus and truck at Pesalai, 15 kilometers Northwest of Mannar, more..

UNP Rebels rejects proposals of pro-Ranil faction

Dec 24 (LeN) The UNP rebel group has expressed extreme dissatisfaction over the responses made by the pro-Ranil faction about five of their major proposals including the proposal which called on Wickremesinghe to step down from the party and opposition leadership. more..

Saman Kumara Suraweera, Member of Southern Provincial Council disappears

Dec 24 (LT) Saman Kumara Suraweera, JVP Member of Southern Provincial Council has been missing since yesterday evening. Information has been received that a bomb was thrown by a group of thugs at him at a place near Yakkalamulla - Kottawa forest reserve while he was riding his motorbike after attending the provincial council meeting. more..

SLMM : Navy acted upon CFA

Dec 24 (BBC) The international truce monitors expressed concern that the three year old Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) is in danger after continuous attacks by Tamil Tigers on security forces. Hagrup Haukland, head of SLMM told the Foreign Journalists Association on Friday that the LTTE violated ceasefire by travelling in the sea without permission. more..

Thondaman going the LTTE way: Who is to be blamed?

Dec 24 (TW) CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman is a politician better known for his grossly artless and blunt political moves than anything else. His recent visit to the Wanni which came at a time that the government was making a few moves to weaken his leadership - created quite a stir and gave rise to insecurities of many, especially the anti-LTTE groups. more..

Government and LTTE grope their way to peace

Dec 24 (TW) The new President’s determination to keep war at bay has been evident in the muted governmental reaction to the two landmine attacks that led to the killing of 15 soldiers. The LTTE did not claim responsibility for the incident. Instead a hitherto unknown organization, calling itself the representative of the displaced persons of the High Security Zones claimed responsibility. more..

Here we go round the mulberry bush

Dec 24 (TW) The English children’s rhyme,” Here we go round the mulberry bush--- “sung while children hold hands and go round and round in circles, comes to my mind when trying to describe the past and present discourse on possible solutions to the Sinhala –Tamil problems in Sri Lanka. more..

Jaffna University becomes flashpoint of tension

Dec 24 (TW) The Jaffna University has become a volatile flashpoint of tension in the on going conflict between security personnel of the state and the younger generation of the district. While "Intifada" type attacks continue to be directed against Police and armed forces in the peninsula the University precincts and environs in Thirunelvely became the battle ground for direct clashes. more..

Foreign delegation to visit Rebels after 13 sailors killed in ambush

Dec 24 (AP) Sri Lanka accused Tamil Tiger rebels of killing 13 sailors in an attack on Friday that European peace monitors said jeopardized the country's fragile cease-fire. The attackers fired rocket-propelled grenades and triggered a land mine in an ambush on about 30 sailors traveling by road toward their base in Mannar district, more..

Medical equipment gifted to Sri Lanka

Dec 24 (Hindu) Medical equipment worth Rs. 30 million for upgrading tsunami-hit hospitals in southern and northern Sri Lanka were handed over by the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Nirupama Rao to the Sri Lankan Health Minister, Nimal Siripala de Silva on Friday. more..

Firefights in Point Pedro, Thavady

Dec 24 (TN) Unknown assailants hurled hand grenades and fired at the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) post guarding the Northern Regional Bus Depot located at 1 km from Point Pedro town on the Pt Pedro-Jaffna road at 9 p.m. Friday. SLA returned fire and the firefight continued for more than five minutes, according to residents. more..

UNP MP leaves for India for Pooja to invoke blessings on President

Dec 24 (LeN) Colombo district UNP parliamentarian T.Maheshwaran was due to leave for India today(23) to organize preliminary activities of two poojas to be held in two well-known kovils in India to invoke blessings on President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Indian Tamil leaders convey 'ground situation in Lanka' to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Dec 24 (AT) With just two days to go for the arrival here of Sri Lanka President Mahindra Rajapaksa on December 27, an effort is afoot to keep Delhi posted with the 'real' ground situation in island nation. more..

Life sans compromise, this Lankan’s way

Dec 24 (NIP) When Prasanna Vithanage talks about Sri Lanka - the people, the ethnic strife and the landscape of the war-ravaged parts of the country - he creates graphic images for the benefit of the audience. more..

Sri Lanka: ‘We have never been this poor'

Dec 24 (G&M) As noon approaches, a moment of relative quiet cuts through the dusty stench of the shelter, and the children begin to worry. Their families have finished their morning chores, and as an hour of sun-blasted silence envelopes the five corrugated metal buildings of the Masjidul Harmy Camp, little Ijas Yousef can't avoid hearing the sound that redefined his life. more..

Grade one admissions: Ministry decides not to intervene

Dec 24 (LM) The Education Ministry has decided to stop issuing letters ordering national school principals to admit children to Grade 1 classes in future, following a directive from Education Minister Susil Premajayanth. more..

UNP condemns attacks

Dec 24 (LM) The UNP yesterday condemned the landmine attacks on naval personnel and the killing of an intelligence officer in Nuwara Eliya. The party in a statement blamed the government for not providing adequate measures to curb the continuing violence in the North and East, and called upon President Mahinda Rajapakse to ensure security in the country. more..

Kadir on famed-dead list

Dec 24 (SAMN) Assassinated Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar has been listed, by AFP, amongst the famous world figures who died during the year 2005. The long list includes, Pope John Paul II, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, former British Prime Minister Edward Heath, Former British foreign secretary Robin Cook Saudi King Fahd, more..

Gammanpila of the Hela Urumaya for the Presidential Indian Visit

Dec 24 (SN) A representation from the Jathika Hela Urumaya had been invited for the official Presidential visit to India to be held during the 27-30 of December 2005. This matter had been discussed at length by the party's Central Committee and Mr. Udaya Gammanpila was nominated to represent the Jathika Hela Urumaya on the stated Presidential visit. more..

Useless talking to ‘animals’: JHU

Dec 24 (SAMN) Having discussions with the LTTE is like having discussions with the likes of Kudu Noor, Mora Sunil or Thel Anil, the Sinhala Jathika Sangamaya President S.L. Gunasekara said Friday. He told a press conference in Colombo, that one must have talks with the human beings and not with Russell's Vipers or Cobras. more..

Govt wants co-chairs to question LTTE

Dec 24 (SAMN) The government has decided to urge the co-chairs of the Sri Lankan peace process-to question the Tamil Tigers over the series of ceasefire violations in recent weeks. Informed government sources said the decision was taken during a meeting between President Mahinda Rajapakse, the armed services chiefs, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Defence Secretary last evening. more..

LTTE readying for attacks in Colombo

Dec 24 (LNP) The LTTE has planned to attack a number of targets in Colombo and a group of its cadres has undergone training for this purpose, Intelligence sources said yesterday (23). The Tigers have during recent weeks committed a number of serious ceasefire violations which include attacks on and killing of Armed Forces and Police personnel. more..

JHU calls for rehabilitation reports

Dec 24 (LNP) The Jatika Hela Urumaya (JHU) yesterday urged the Sri Lankan Government, International and local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), politicians, political parties and individuals who received large donations for tsunami rehabilitation to present a progress report prior to the first tsunami anniversary. more..

Sri Lanka Cricket bowls underarm to Sanath

Dec 24 (LNP) Hours after former captain Sanath Jayasuriya was picked to play the four-match ODI series in New Zealand, a mysterious media release came out from Sri Lanka Cricket suggesting that although the player was picked he`s yet to gain full fitness. more..

Yala National Park to unveil monument for tsunami victims

Dec 24 (DN) FOR the first time in the history of the National Parks in the Island and most probably in the world, a Monument will be unveiled within - a protected area - the Yala National Park in memory of visitors and tourists who died due to the tsunami devastating the area while they were in occupation, more..

Sri Lanka woos high rollers as tsunami takes away tourists

Dec 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka's tourism industry is struggling as earnings slumped following the tsunami, but a year after massive death and destruction an upmarket boutique hotel hopes to spearhead a revival. more..

Former captain Ranatunga quits Sri Lankan Cricket Committee

Dec 24 (AFP) Former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga has resigned from the Sri Lankan board's high-profile Cricket Committee following his country's recent dismal performance in India. Ranatunga's decision came three days after Sri Lanka's tour of India where they lost a three-Test series 2-0. more..

Sri Lanka admits slow tsunami recovery, toll eludes officials

Dec 24 (AFP) Only one fifth of the homes damaged by the tsunami have been rebuilt in Sri Lanka and the death toll is still unclear, officials admitted just days before the first anniversary of the tragedy. Finance Secretary P. B. Jayasundera said about 20,000 homes out of the 98,525 that were destroyed or partially damaged had been rebuilt through state or private help. more..

LTTE firm on venue, Co-chairs 'committed and impartial'

Dec 24 (TN) "The Tamil leadership is firm and will oppose Colombo's effort on imposing geographical limitations and preconditions on the venue of talks on the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement and thereby alienating the Liberation Tigers from European countries," more..

Growing violence eclipses Tsunami anniversary

Dec 24 (IPS) The three-year ceasefire between the government and the LTTE totters at the brink of collapse as violence escalates to unprecedented levels in the north of the country. On Friday afternoon, suspected members of the Tamil Tigers, as the LTTE is better known, ambushed two vehicles carrying naval troops in Mannar, killing at least 13 sailors. more..

International donor group for Sri Lanka issues menacing threat to LTTE

Dec 24 (wsws) The co-chairs of the Sri Lankan donors’ group—the US, EU, Japan and Norway—met on Monday and “strongly urged” the government and the LTTE to hold “immediate talks” to review the current ceasefire agreement “without further delay or prevarication.” more..