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FAO and MFAR collaborate with Italian Civil Protection, Japan and Belgium to restart livelihoods in Matara

Dec 5 (RW) The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic resources (MFAR) distributed 49 outboard motors and 2 208 nets to approximately 210 fishers in Matara today. more..

New agency for development

Dec 5 (TP) President Mahinda Rajapakse is to establish a new Reconstruction and Development Agency (RDA) to handle post-tsunami work that would replace three other institutions including TAFREN that did this work under former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, The Sunday Times reported. more..

Prelate slams Kumaratunga

Dec 5 (TP) A top Buddhist prelate has frowned on plans by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga to re-enter parliament as an ordinary MP. Rev Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha, head of Sri Lanka's Asgiriya Chapter, was quoted in newspapers as saying such a move would bring dishonour to the office of the President. more..

Ranil Wickremesinghe fighting to save his seat attacked by rebel MPs

Dec 5 (AT) The UNP is reeling after its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe lost the last presidential election on November 17. Among all the Sri Lankan leaders Wickremesinghe holds the highest record for losing elections. He has lost 13 times – two of which are parliamentary elections and two presidential elections. more..

An Indian model solution from Mahinda

Dec 5 (LeN) It is reported that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has focused on finding a solution to the ethnic conflict through the Indian model. It is further reported that President will hold lengthy discussions on the matter with Indian leaders during his three day official visit to India from 16th to 19th this month. more..

Digging deep after the Tsunami

Dec 5 (TI) Ajanta Chulam Perera has one of the most unusual houses in Sri Lanka. It is a simple, single-storey cottage but in one of the side walls is a jali - an elaborate pattern of bricks and interspersing gaps - which looks as if it would be more in place on the Taj Mahal than on the home of a humble casual labourer. more..

Sri Lanka, Norway, India and others

Dec 5 (ANN) Norwegian Minister cum Special Peace Envoy Eric Solheim, at a meeting with Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, is reported to have said (published byThe Sunday Island on Dec 4) that Oslo is not happy being made a scapegoat for setbacks or slow progress in the peace process in Sri Lanka. more..

India should insist on Federal solution - Indian Tamil Daily

Dec 5 (TN) "India should not hesitate to impress on Rajapakse Government that resolution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem should be based on a Federal solution,” said Tamil daily Dinamani in a recent editorial commenting on Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s meeting with India’s Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. more..

SLA fires tear gas at students protest in Point Pedro

Dec 5 (TN) Hundreds of students of Hartley College and Methodist Girls High School located in the High Security Zone (HSZ) in Point Pedro setup road blocks and protested against the Sri Lanka Army's (SLA) attempt to construct a new checkpoint on College Road leading to both schools, Monday at 8 a.m., sources said. more..

LTTE, SLA to discuss Jaffna situation

Dec 5 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Commander of Jaffna area Major General Sunil Tennakon, and the Jaffna District Political Head of the LTTE Mr. C. Ilamparuthi will meet Monday evening in the presence of the SLMM to discuss the deteriorating situation in the Jaffna district, more..

Foundation stone laid for Welagedara Stadium

Dec 5 (CI) Jeevan Kumaranatunge, Miniser of Sports and Youth Affairs, laid the foundation stone for the Welagedara Cricket Stadium in Kurunegala. The stadium will be equipped with a modern scoreboard, a grand stand, two pavilions, a sprinkler system, sight screens, enclosed terraces, a boardroom and complete media facilities. more..

Colombo city faces flooding

Dec 5 (GT) COLOMBO city, Sri Jayawardhanapura parliament complex and the adjoining areas are under the threat of inundation if rainfall exceeds 300mm, according to a spokesman of the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLLRDC). more..

No proper basic infrastructure in Weekly fairs

Dec 5 (CT) The farmers and the traders in the Walave region alleged that local government institutions, especially Pradeseeya sabhas never maintain their weekly fairs due to various reasons. Speaking to media traders of Tunkama, Embilipitiya and Udawalave said that the weekly trade fairs are still in muddy and dust condition. more..

Norway urged to stop giving LTTE funds

Dec 5 (GT) Sri Lanka has urged peace facilitator and one of the co-chairs to the Tokyo donor Conference, Norway, to stop channelling funds to the LTTE. A senior government official has said that Colombo raised the issue with Oslo before a Norwegian newspaper, New Times, in a recent report revealed that 25mn kroner had been channelled since the Oslo-led peace process began in early 2002. more..

Premier to hold talks with party leaders on Constitutional Council

Dec 5 (LeN) Discussions are to be held at party leaders meeting scheduled for the 8th on the activation of the Constitutional Council, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake told 'Lanka e News' today. The Premier said he will draw the attention of the Speaker to this vital issue at the party leaders meeting. more..

Amnesty International to LTTE: Halt political violence

Dec 5 (PIS) Amnesty International (AI) Director Irene Zubaida Khan has urged LTTE's political wing head S.P. Thamilselvan to put an end to LTTE inspired political violence and uphold human rights. She also expressed her concerns over recruitment and training of underage youth by the outfit. more..

Govt. strongly condemns killing of six soldiers

Dec 5 (PIS) The Government condemns in the strongest possible terms the killing of six Army personnel in a claymore mine attack at Kondavil, in Jaffna at around 1 p.m. yesterday. At the time of the attack, the Army personnel were distributing food rations and mail to Army detachments and sentry points in Jaffna. more..

Tension mounting in Muttur

Dec 5 (SAMN) The tense situation, that prevailed after the shooting of Kattankudy Divisional Secretary worsened Saturday with hundreds of Muslim and Tamil families in the border areas seeking refuge in safer areas after three more people were found dead in an uncleared area at Ralkuli in Muttur. more..

Tamils responded to Thondaman’s call

Dec 5 (SAMN) The recent Presidential Election has brought out the united strength of the Indian Origin Community in Sri Lanka under the leadership of Arumugan Thondaman and the CWC. The results in the upcountry districts have demonstrated clearly that 95% of the Indian origin community has heeded the call of Arumugan Thondaman to vote for the UNP. more..

CBK out to pick candidtaes for polls

Dec 5 (SAMN) A new battle within the SLFP is brewing with President Chandrika Kumaratunga moving to take control of the party machinery and keep a firm hand on the rudder in choosing candidates to run at the forthcoming local government elections due in April. more..

Chelvam threatens Bala with violence over `sexposure`

Dec 5 (LNP) Last week, there had been a serious political fallout between the chief of the LTTE`s political division, Tamilchelvam, who is based in the Vanni and Prabhakaran`s chief speech writer and LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingham, who is based in London. The reason for the fall out was Balasingham`s hero`s day speech in London last Sunday. more..

Dallas likely candidate to fill parliament vacancy

Dec 5 (LNP) Former Matara District MP Dallas Alahapperuma who played a leading role in the election campaign of President Mahinda Rajapakse is likely to be appointed to parliament to fill the vacancy created by the demise of former Foreign Affairs Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. more..

SLFP, JVP unions clash over Langama revival plans

Dec 5 (LNP) The All Ceylon Transport Workers Union has warned that the recent restoration of the Sri Lanka Transport Board would be futile unless corrupt officials in charge of cluster bus companies were immediately replaced. The union, affiliated to the JVP, has urged the newly appointed Transport Minister A. H. M. Fowzie to take immediate action in this regard. more..

India bat, Ganguly in

Dec 5 (CI) After three-and-a-half days of delay owing to rain, Rahul Dravid and Marvan Atapattu finally walked out to the centre of the MA Chidambaram Stadium to get the three-match Test series underway. Dravid called right and decided to bat first with 38 overs scheduled to be played today, apart from a full day's action tomorrow. more..

Coast Guard on alert following rising tension

Dec 5 (PTI) The Coast Guard and coastal police have been put on high alert here following the latest outbreak of violence between the LTTE and security forces in Sri Lanka. The Coast Guard and Coastal police had been asked to monitor the coast to prevent smuggling activities as intelligence reports revealed that LTTE could start stockpiling medicines, petroleum products etc more..

Tamil group threatens to expel Sri Lankan military from northeast

Dec 5 (AP) A group allied with Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels threatened Monday to force the military and "traitors" from the country's Tamil-dominated northeast if violence continues against the ethnic group there. more..

LTTE punishes Muslims for voicing their aspirations

Dec 5 (HT) The LTTE is currently on a rampage against the Muslims of Sri Lanka's Eastern districts for supporting Ranil Wickremesinghe of the United National Party (UNP) in the November 17 presidential election and voicing their political aspirations, observers say. more..

Why is LTTE resorting to violence now?

Dec 5 (HT) For those who took at face value LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran's Heroes' Day declaration that he will "wait and observe" President Mahinda Rajapaksa's moves on the peace process before re-starting the armed struggle for an independent "Tamil Eelam", the spate of killings in the North East have come as a rude shock. more..

Lankan peace process on life support, says US expert

Dec 5 (HT) Teresita Schaffer, a leading US expert on Sri Lanka and a former US Ambassador in Colombo, says that the peace process is on "life support" and "cannot be revived". "The peace process that began with such hope in early 2002 cannot be revived. Sri Lanka needs to re-invent both the ceasefire and the peace dialogue," more..

Sri Lanka army warns Tamil Tigers as bloody attacks spike

Dec 5 (AFP) Sri Lanka's outgoing army chief has accused Tamil Tiger rebels of trying to provoke the military with a series of truce-breaking attacks that killed 12 people over the weekend. Lieutenant General Shantha Kottegoda warned the LTTE that the army could now defeat them, despite repeated failures in the past. more..

Lanka plans ban on garment unit recruitment

Dec 6 (TA) Sri Lanka could ban recruitment of its nationals for working in garment factories here, after a string of cases where they were forced to return home without pay, a top consular official said. more..

SLA-LTTE meeting postponed

Dec 6 (BBC) A scheduled meeting between Sri Lanka security officials and Tamil Tigers to discuss the security situation have been postponed due to "lack of preparedness", Norwegian truce monitors said. more..

Norway 'should voluntarily leave'

Dec 6 (BBC) Royal Norwegian government should leave as facilitators of Sri Lanka’s peace process “voluntarily”, an influential all Buddhist monk party said. JHU, a party that supported Mahinda Rajapaksa in the November 17 presidential elections, said Norway is perceived by many Sri Lankans as biased towards the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka's cease-fire under new strain; Amnesty International calls situation 'grim'

Dec 6 (AP) Sri Lanka's fragile cease-fire with Tamil Tiger rebels came under new strain Monday after a weekend of violence amid claims that a Sri Lankan general failed to show up for a scheduled meeting with a Tamil rebel leader. more..

LTTE plans to start the war, but last year was hit by the tsunami - Balasingham

Dec 6 (AT) 'Today we are faced with a critical and complex situation, unprecedented in the history of our liberation struggle. We are living in a political void, without war, without a stable peace, without the conditions of normalcy, without an interim or permanent solution to the ethnic conflict.’ more..

Sri Lankan forces better equipped now: army chief

Dec 6 (Hindu) Sri Lanka's outgoing army commander, Shantha Kottegoda, on Monday said the armed forces are "better equipped" than they were when the ceasefire agreement was signed between Colombo and the LTTE in 2002. He was of the view that the LTTE was "weakened" after last year's rebellion by its former special commander, V. Muralitharan (`Col.' Karuna). more..

Act now to prevent escalation of violence and abuse -AI

Dec 6 (Hindu) The Government and the LTTE must act urgently to stop the downward spiral of violence and human rights abuses in the north and east of the country, said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International as she concluded her four-day visit to Sri Lanka. more..

UN 'violating' Sri Lanka constitution

Dec 6 (BBC) Requests to annul Supreme Court rulings in Sri Lanka violate the country’s constitution, Chief Justice Sarath N Silva said. He questioned how to implement the United Nations recommendations that do not comply with the country’s constitution. more..

Presidential immunity sinks 'Helping Hambantota' probe

Dec 6 (LeN) The Bribery and Corruption Commission is to seek legal advice from the Attorney General regarding further investigations into the 'Helping Hambantoa' account, where President Mahinda Rajapaksa, while serving as Prime Minister is alleged to have credited 82 million rupees that were donated to the Tsunami Relief Fund to a personal bank account. more..

Humanitarian Situation Report - 26 Nov - 2 Dec

Dec 6 (RW) The UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, former President Bill Clinton returned to Sri Lanka on 29 November. He met with key members of the government, the UN and civil society to assess the status of the recovery effort and how best to tackle ongoing challenges including the quick restoration of livelihoods and the equitable distribution of aid. more..

SLMC slams LTTE for its anti-Muslim agenda

Dec 6 (AT) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, in a press release accused the LTTE for engineering violence against the Muslims in the East. The party accused LTTE of hurling grenades at people at prayers in a mosque at Akkaraipathu on the day preceding the poll and killing scores of people, killing Mr.Faleel, the Divisional Secretary, Kathankudy, more..

Anandasangaree warns Tony Blair of the speech made by Anton Balasingham to promote terrorism

Dec 6 (AT) V. Anandasangaree has brought to the notice of Tony Blair, Prime Minister of United Kingdom, the most provocative and dangerous speech with innuendoes full of terror messages made by Anton Balasingham, theoretician of the LTTE recently at Alexandra Place, Woodgreen London, more..

United States condemns violence in Sri Lanka

Dec 6 (AP) The United States condemned renewed violence in Sri Lanka that threatens the country's fragile cease-fire. The military has blamed the Tamil Tiger rebels for attacks that killed seven soldiers Sunday, the most serious violence since the two sides signed a truce three years ago. more..

India asks EU to ban LTTE

Dec 6 (ANN) India has asked the European Union (EU) to ban the LTTE by branding it as a terrorist organization. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sent to the EU, through the Ministry of External Affairs, a dossier on the LTTE and three Indian terrorist outfits to be considered for a ban, according to informed sources here. more..

A peaceful war

Dec 6 (ANN) The LTTE has responded to President Mahinda Rajapakse's invitation to talk peace: It has killed seven soldiers on non-combat duty in a mine blast and shot another soldier dead in a separate incident. It has also killed a Divisional Secretary in the East. more..

More troops rushed to Jaffna

Dec 6 (PIS) In the aftermath of the killing of seven soldiers in Jaffna and the resultant tense situation more troops were rushed to the peninsula yesterday to maintain law and order. A senior Defence Ministry official said a major search operation was aslo under way to track down suspects and weapons. more..

Key Karuna Group operative, 3 paramilitary cadres killed in East

Dec 6 (TN) A key operative of the paramilitary Karuna Group, Iniyabarathy alias Barathy, was killed Monday night when the Liberation Tigers launched a counter attack on a group of paramilitary cadres who were on an ambush mission towards Kanjikudichcha Aaru forward defence post of the Tigers, more..

New Commander Lt General G. S. C Fonseka stresses the need to protect country’s sovereignty

Dec 6 (SLA) Inaugurating the office of the 18th Army Commander in the Army, Lieutenant General G. S. C Fonseka on Tuesday (06) appealed all his soldiers to dedicate themselves to protect the country’s sovereignty & territorial integrity by contributing to the sustenance of relatively peaceful atmosphere in the north and east. more..

Tami Tiger violence kills more and more soldiers

Dec 6 (SLA) THE SOLDIER, who was airlifted to the COLOMBO National Hospital on Sunday (04) evening after receiving serious injuries in the claymore mine attack, detonated by Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in KONDAVIL, JAFFNA, succumbed to injuries at the Intensive Care Unit this morning (05) around 6.20 a.m. more..

Tamil Tiger mobs incite uniform clad students to violence

Dec 6 (SLA) TAMIL TIGERS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS after inciting uniform clad students near Hartley College, POINT PEDRO, JAFFNA on Monday (05) morning went on pelting stones and detonating petrol bombs at troops in the area over a recent arrest of a student in connection with a hand grenade attack. more..