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President appoints new BOI chief

Dec 7 (CT) President Mahinda Rajapakse, has appointed eminent academics and well known businessmen as Board Members of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka. Under the recent appointments Prof .Laxman Watawala assumed duties as the Chairman of the BOI.Other new appointments are Dr Bandula Perera, Mr Lal Kumara Gamage ,Mr Dhammika Perera, and Mr Channa Palansuriya. more..

International Conference on the Portuguese Encounter

Dec 7 (CT) A major conference will be held on December 10-11 at the BMICH to commemorate the 500 years of the arrival of the Portuguese colonialists and to illustrate the destruction they caused. It is being organized by "The Portuguese Encounter Group". The years 2005 and 2006 mark 500 years of the arrival in Sri Lanka of the Portuguese. more..

Sixteen soldiers killed as Shadow war escalates in Jaffna

Dec 7 (TW) The fourth of December was a bloody Sunday for soldiers serving in Jaffna as nine of their comrades-at-arms were killed in three separate incidents in the northern peninsula. Eight soldiers were injured in the same three incidents. Around 20 other soldiers suffered injuries in a spate of attacks conducted for three days in Jaffna from December 2 to 4. more..

Muslims agitate in Muttur and Kalmunai

Dec 7 (LM) Muttur and Kalmunai reamined tensed this morning as a result hartal staged in protest over the killing of two fishermen, Marathamunai. Shops and offices in the two towns which were closed and yesterday and the standstill state activities including transport was are yet to come to normal, sources said. more..

MP Rauf Hakeem’s Special statement in Parliament

Dec 7 (LT) Eastern Province Parliamentarian Mr Rauf Hakeem in a special announcement in Parliament this morning said that during the last fortnight 14 people of the Muslim community has been murdered by the Wanni tigers. He blamed the LTTE for these murders and requested the Government to intervene to stop the terrorist activities. more..

Supreme Court decides that neither the appropriation draft bill is against the constitution

Dec 7 (SLBC) The Supreme Court has determined that neither the appropriation Draft Bill nor any one of its clauses is against the constitution. Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara has informed the Supreme Court decision to parliament this morning. more..

Sri Lanka brokers wary as stocks rebound after attack

Dec 7 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's stock exchange rose in early trade on Wednesday, clawing back some losses that followed a deadly bomb attack the previous day that sparked new war fears, but investors remained nervous amid low volumes. more..

Port row stirs tough order from President

Dec 7 (SAMN) In an unprecedented move, President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday issued a circular suspending chairmanship appointments to all government institutions. Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga yesterday despatched the circular to all the ministries insisting that no future appointments could be made without the President’s consent. more..

Nuwara Eliya citizens unable to buy land

Dec 7 (SAMN) Nuwara Eliya Provincial Councillor Michael de Silva said that the people of Nuwara Elilya cannot buy land in Nuwara Eliya, as high ranking police officers, Government Servants and other members of State services have bought land, using their influence. What really happens is that no sooner they get a foothold in Nuwara Eliya, they buy land. more..

Intel. Corp Chairman visits Isipatana College

Dec 7 (LNP) Chairman of the Board, Intel Corporation Craig R. Barrett is making a land mark visit to Isipathan College, Colombo 05 on 9th December at 1.30 p.m. to sign an agreement to train 100,000 teachers on International communication technology in Sri Lanka. more..

Mahinda is the only true leader since 1815 - JHU

Dec 7 (LNP) The support of the JHU to President Mahinda Rajapakse was based exclusively on the 12 point proposal which would prevent Sri Lanka being divided and also being redeemed from the precarious position that it has fallen in, said leader of the Jathika Urumaya Rev. Ellawela Mettananda Thera at a media briefing held on Monday. more..

Where are the co-chairs?

Dec 7 (LNP) There is no end in sight to the LTTE using the CFA as a bludgeon to beat the security forces with. It has killed seven more soldiers in a mine blast in Jaffna on Tuesday. During the past few days it has accounted for fifteen soldiers and four civilians including a divisional secretary. more..

Wellawaya turns into mini battlefield

Dec 7 (DN) The Wellawaya Town area turned in to a mini battlefield following the death of a resident, Loku Dadallage Ariyasena of Koda-oya, Wellawaya, who died as a result of a gun shot fired by a police officer of the Wellawaya Police, last Monday (05). The deceased was a 55 year old father of three children. more..

Killing of Sri Lankan soldiers heightens tensions on Jaffna peninsula

Dec 7 (wsws) The deaths of 14 Sri Lankan soldiers in two separate attacks on Sunday and Tuesday has significantly raised tensions between the Colombo government and the LTTE. The killings come amid rising violence in the North and East of the island involving the LTTE, the armed forces and various paramilitary outfits aligned to the military. more..

Diseases on the rise in wake of floods

Dec 7 (Xinhua) Health authorities warned that the number of patients affected by dysentery and dengue had increased over the last few days following torrential rains and flood situations in many parts of the country. The number of patients affected by dysentery has topped 160 while the dengue cases have gone up to 67, more..

LTTE on recruitment drive for child soldiers: Army

Dec 7 (PTI) The Tamil Tigers are on a recruitment spree for child soldiers and are specially targeting tsunami relief camps, Sri Lankan army has claimed. The LTTE are on a recruitment drive, a senior army official said on conditions of anonymity, more..

India examines options as it awaits Rajapakse

Dec 7 (IANS) India is examining various options in the wake of the deteriorating situation in Sri Lanka even as it readies to host that country's new president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who will be here towards the month-end on a state visit. more..

Sailing: Double gold for Lankans

Dec 7 (APP) Sri Lanka ended the South Asian Yachting regatta by picking up double gold in Optimist over 12-year competition at Marina Club on Tuesday. In fact, Sri Lanka made clean sweep of medals in Optimist over-12 class with Davin Goonewardene taking the gold, Nadine de Rosiro silver and Ishan Abeysekera bronze. more..

Fears rise in north Sri Lanka after lethal attacks

Dec 7 Reuters) Standing amid the war-ravaged buildings of Sri Lanka's government-held Jaffna enclave, soldiers like 26-year-old Saman say a string of attacks blamed on Tamil rebels is straining their patience -- and a 2002 ceasefire. more..

Cease-fire monitors say Sri Lanka violence endangering cease-fire, peace process

Dec 7 (AP) Sri Lanka's president met with Norway's ambassador Wednesday as Norwegian-led peace monitors warned that escalating violence could plunge the tropical island back into civil war. more..

Sri Lanka top army general camps in Jaffna, Japanese peace envoy arriving

Dec 7 (AP) A soldier wounded in a landmine blast blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka's volatile north died Wednesday, raising the death toll from the attack to eight, a military spokesman said. more..

Sri Lanka in U-turn asks Norway to keep up peace bid

Dec 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka's new President Mahinda Rajapakse has asked Norway to keep trying to broker peace with Tamil Tiger rebels despite an election vow to review Oslo's role, the government said. The president told Norway's ambassador Hans Brattskar to keep up the effort even though more..

Grenade kills in Vavunia

Dec 7 (BBC) A civilian died and seven, including a Sri Lanka Army soldier were injured in a bomb attack in Vavunia. Police said that Subramaniam Yogapuththiram of Mankulam died on Wednesday afternoon when a grenade was lobbed from the top floor of the Vavunia bus station. more..

UNP appeals to President to release SB

Dec 8 (LeN) Today marks the completion of one year in the prison sentence handed down to National Organizer of the UNP S.B. Dissanayake. The UNP made a special appeal from President Mahinda Rajapaksa today to do away with politics of hatred and release Dissanayake considering him as a political prisoner. more..

Red-LTTE pact will be exposed soon- UNP Assistant Secretary

Dec 8 (LeN) The Red-LTTE agreement reached as a result of discussions held in Singapore, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu are gradually coming to light and details of this agreement will be disclosed to the country in due course, the Assistant Secretary of the United National Party Tissa Attanayake has stated. more..

The reconstruction help offered by SOS Children's Villages a year after the tsunami disaster

Dec 8 (RW) The emergency relief and reconstruction efforts which have been, are being and will be carried out by SOS Children's Villages in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India and Thailand after the sea surge on 26 December 2004, are the child care organisation's largest undertaking since it came into being. more..

Lanka truce monitors seek international help to stem violence

Dec 8 (HT) Gravely concerned about the sharp deterioration in the security situation in the Jaffna peninsula, the Scandinavian truce monitors have asked the international community to help stem the violence. "The SLMM urges the international community to use their influence in order to arrest the situation and make way for renewed peace talks," more..

Norway sets terms to keep up Sri Lankan peace bid

Dec 8 (AFP) Norway's government on Wednesday said it would agree to a Sri Lankan request to relaunch its bid to broker peace between Colombo and Tamil Tiger rebels, but only if certain conditions were met. "Our initial reaction is that it is positive that we have been asked to continue our work. This is a vote of confidence," more..

Delays in south port will seriously impact garment trade

Dec 8 (LBO) Former Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman says slow progress of the proposed Colombo South Port could further burden the garment trade in the future. Aitken Spence Shipping Chairman and former Ports chief Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake says delays in implementing the port project could result in Colombo losing its bread and butter transhipments business. more..

Time-line of escalating violence in the north and the east since Prabhakaran's speech on Nov 27

Dec 8 (AT) Forty per cent of Jaffna District is under the control of the Sri Lankan Army and the other part is under the LTTE. Jaffna District comes under the Political Head of the LTTE C. Ilamparuthi nom de guerre Aanchanayer. more..

A warning by High Security Zone Residents' Liberation Force – Tamil Eelam

Dec 8 (AT) Asian Tribune has received from a source not known before a warning. "High Security Zone Residents' Liberation Force will continue its armed campaign until all military personal vacate the High Security Zone." The e-mail concludes by saying: more..

The youth who started from scrap now dazzles to be a high profile businessman

Dec 8 (AT) Though youth in this country who are educated and semi-educated are enthusiastic, willing and persevere to progress in life by doing business or industry, the unfortunate situation is that there is no one to give them a helping hand. more..

LTTE pushes the envelope

Dec 8 (Hindu) The two claymore mine blasts and other attacks by the LTTE in the first six days of December, which have taken the lives of 15 Sri Lankan soldiers, constitute the most serious violations thus far of the February 2002 ceasefire between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE. more..

The curious case of Malinga Bandara

Dec 8 (EI) Sri Lankan leg-spinner Malinga Bandara is a curiosity. He also has the sort of Test record that is more likely to pop up in a trivia question than among the genuine records. That is until now. After all, how long does it take for a player, making his debut more than eight years ago, have to wait to take his first Test wicket? more..

U-19 Cricket: Bangladesh continue impressive form

Dec 8 (cI) Bangladesh maintained their 100% record in the triangular tournament with a crushing 102-run win against Sri Lanka. The captain, Mushfiqur Rahim, lead from the front with a powerful 75 before the Bangladesh attack made short work of Sri Lanka. more..

SLMM head meets Elilan in Sampoor

Dec 8 (TN) Mr.Hagrup Haukland, Head of the SLMM, Wednesday 2 p.m. held a two hour discussion with Mr.S.Elilan, Trincomalee district head of the LTTE, at the LTTE political secretariat located in Sampoor in LTTE held Muttur east. The discussion centered on recent developments in Jaffna district, Karuna group activities and violent incidents in Muttur, more..

SLMM head arrives in Trincomalee

Dec 8 (TN) Mr.Hagrup Haukland, Head of the SLMM arrived in Trincomalee Wednesday by air on a two day stay in the east port town to hold discussions with the local heads of Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Police and LTTE district political head on the tense situation in Muttur following a spate of violent incidents more..

SLA blocks Mannar traders from entering LTTE area

Dec 8 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) at Uyilankulam camp Wednesday refused entry into the LTTE held Wanni region for about six hundred traders of Nanattan division in the government controlled Mannar district to go to Killinochchi to attend a conference. more..

Pro-LTTE Norway, with only 2% public approval, is called back to negotiate peace

Dec 8 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse has caved into international pressure and asked Norway to continue as the "facilitator" in arranging peace talks with the LTTE. The President has asked Ambassador Hans Brattskar to resume their former role. more..

EU under pressure to ban LTTE

Dec 8 (AT) As the post-presidential election scene continues to be a period of uncertainty and anxiety in Sri Lanka with LTTE sending conflicting signals, European Union is coming under pressure to follow the American lead and declare the Tigers as a terrorist organization. more..

Sri Lanka parties trade charges over rebel attacks

Dec 8 (Xinhua) Government and opposition parties Wednesday traded charges against each other on the Tamil Tiger attacks on government troops in the northern Jaffna peninsula. The JVP accused the main opposition UNP regime between 2002 and 2004 for the deteriorating security situation. more..

Proposal to make Karu Opposition Leader

Dec 8 (LeN) A proposal to appoint Karu Jayasuriya as Opposition Leader is among the major proposals put forward by UNP parliamentarians for the reorganization of the party. The proposal has come up during discussions UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema had with the two UNP factions- more..

New Lanka budget aims at 8% growth

Dec 8 (Reuters) President Mahinda Rajapakse is set to unveil a revamped 2006 budget, which ups the island’s growth target for 2006 to 8 percent and aims for a budget deficit below 8 percent of GDP, his economic adviser said on Wednesday. more..

UNP extends its hand to President for peace

Dec 8 (PIS) The main opposition UNP yesterday expressed willingness to meet President Mahinda Rajapkse and discuss ways of extending its support to resolve the ethnic issue. UNP frontliner G. L. Pieris, speaking during the debate on the President’s policy statement, said opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was keen to initiate a dialogue with the new president more..

Norway should not play two roles in peace process - JVP

Dec 8 (ANN) JVP Parliamentary Group Leader Wimal Weerawansa yesterday said President Mahinda Rajapakse believes that Norway cannot play two roles in the cease-fire, as the peace facilitator as well as ceasefire monitor. "He feels that Norway should play only one role, and the ceasefire agreement needs to be amended," Weerawansa said. more..

Revenge killing by suspected paramilitaries

Dec 8 (TN) Two sisters of Puhalventhan, Mrs. Yogarasa Yogeswary, 26, and Thurairasa Vathany, 17, were shot dead, Wednesday night, by suspected paramilitaries, at Palacholai in Batticaloa. Puhalventhan, a renegade paramilitary cadre from Karuna Group, had surrendered along with Gnanatheepan, his colleague, to the LTTE in Amparai, Tuesday. more..

Tax breaks to push investments outside Colombo

Dec 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s 2006 budget starts off on its new tax regime with a tax exemption for the island’s favourite pastime, cricket. The Mahinda Chintana Budget gives a tax exemption for the 16 country under 19 world cup 2006 that will be held in Sri Lanka between January and February. more..

Some of the key highlights of the revised budget for 2006

Dec 8 (LBO) • The budget deficit for 2006 was estimated at Rs. 197 billion, up from Rs. 168 billion this year. • The deficit was equivalent to 7.1 percent of GDP (minus tsunami related costs) both this year and in the next. • Value Added Tax (VAT) on financial services to be raised from 15-20% more..

Attempt on a separate by the LTTE not agreeable - Yasushi Akashi

Dec 8 (LT) Mr Yasushi Akashi who met JVP leader Mr Somawansa Amarasinghe this morning said that he is is not in favour of a separate state for the Wanni tigers since he feels that it is not a lasting solution for the national problem. more..

JHU meets on President’s invitation to Norway to continue as facilitator

Dec 8 (LT) The Hierarchy and the Central Committee of the Jathika Hela Urumaya is scheduled to meet this afternoon to discuss on President Mahinda Rajapakse’s invitation to Norway to continue as facilitator in the peace process. more..