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Tamil Tiger wins fight on restrictions

Nov 26 (TS) A member of the Tamil Tiger rebel group, who claims he was tortured on three occasions for fighting for an independent Tamil state in Sri Lanka, has won a High Court battle to break the restrictions on his movements in Hong Kong. more..

TNA doubtful of govt’s approach to peace

Nov 26 (SAMN) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday said that despite assurances of a firm commitment to the peace process and involvement of all parties by President Mahinda Rajapakse they see no basis for the current process to result in a constructive development in finding a solution to the ethnic issue. more..

Dhanapala mistaken for Lankan president

Nov 26 (SAMN) In what was a major slip on the part of Maltese organizers, Jayantha Dhanapala was yesterday announced as the president of Sri Lanka during a stunning opening ceremony for the 18th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). more..

Hopefully I will be PM: Jayaratne

Nov 26 (SAMN) There will be an immediate change in the Prime Ministerial position, but there won’t be a reshuffle of the Cabinet, Posts and Telecommunications Minister D. M. Jayaratne said Friday. more..

CBK`s military farewell put off

Nov 26 (LNP) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga`s farewell ceremony scheduled to take place this week was postponed for next week as the venue - - the Army grounds still remains water logged after unprecedented rains that hit the country. more..

A Country has two leaders: TNA

Nov 26 (LNP) A TNA parliamentarian yesterday told Parliament that there were two countries within Sri Lanka in which President Mahinda Rajapakse was the leader of the Sinhalese and LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran remained the leader of the Tamils. more..

Sanath vows to fight back

Nov 26 (LNP) Sanath Jayasuriya may have been axed by the national cricket selectors for the Test series against India, but the country`s highest run getter in both forms of the game says he`s far from over and vowed to fight back for his place in the team. more..

A colourful yet simple ceremony

Nov 26 (DN) THE second session of the sixth Parliament was ceremonially declared open yesterday by President Mahinda Rajapakse in a simple yet impressive ceremony which included a 21-gun salute and a guard of honour by the three Armed Forces. more..

Sri Lanka to participate in India economic summit

Nov 26 (Xinhua) The government will lead a high-powered, 30-member delegation from the public and private sector, to take part in the 21st India Economic Summit 2005 in New Delhi from Sunday to Tuesday. The minister of enterprise development and investment promotion, Rohitha Bogollagama, who will lead the delegation, more..

Australia welcomes President's commitment to peace talks

Nov 26 (AP) Australia's foreign minister on Saturday congratulated Sri Lanka's new president on his election last week and welcomed his commitment to efforts for a lasting peace in the island nation. "I congratulate President Mahinda Rajapakse on his recent election," Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said in a statement. more..

Another birthday - amid crisis times in Sri Lanka

Nov 26 (IANS) Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran marks his 51st birthday Saturday with a speech the next day that will indicate if the country's fragile peace is set to continue or whether the ethnically divided nation will slide back to full-scale war. more..

Sri Lanka’s Tamil rebels honour dead amid renewed fears of war

Nov 26 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels on Saturday honoured 17,000 “heroes” killed in the movement’s drive for independence amid fears of a return to ethnic civil war on the tropical South Asian island. The Tigers offered flowers and lit coconut oil lamps in front of photographs of the dead guerrillas during Heroes’ Week celebrations, more..

Building Peace Schools

Nov 27 (PJ) Poverty and the trauma of war have not stopped Wimalee Karunaretna, 44, from making common cause with thousands of poor families in her district and helping them build a better life for themselves - and their children. In a country torn apart by ethnic conflict, Karunaretna builds hope for a peaceful future by running pre-schools more..

Fonseka is new Army Commander

Nov 27 (TN) Major General Sarath Fonseka, to be promoted Lieutenant General, will be Sri Lanka's new Commander of the Army, The Sunday Times reported this week. Lt. Gen. Foneseka will become the 17th Commander of the Army and will succeed Lt. Gen. Shantha Kottegoda, against whom he had unsuccessfully competed for the post in 2003. more..

A brand new peace process?

Nov 27 (LS) After overcoming greatest challenge of his life, president Rajapaksha is yet to fathom the true and ideal course of his journey. While appeasing the partners who supported to win the election, he is faced with the responsibility of establishing a stable government as some of the partners in progress, more..

Sri Lankans await policy speech by guerrilla leader

Nov 27 (AP) The reclusive leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels was expected on Sunday to outline a more rigid position on peace talks to end the island's decades-long civil war, further eroding hopes of a deal with the government. Velupillai Prabhakaran was set to deliver his annual speech on the rebels' "Heroes' Day" to pay homage to guerrillas killed while fighting government troops. more..

Kalkat to be nominated to Rajya Sabha

Nov 27 (TW) The Indian Government is likely to nominate retired Army general H.R.S. Kalkat, who served as the IPKF Commander in Jaffna, to Rajya Sabha, The Hindu reported. The paper said that his nomination may be in the eminent persons category. more..

Did LTTE infighting in Australia lead to the crack down of Melbourne Tigers?

Nov 27 (TW) A major crack down on alleged LTTE activity by the Australian Federal Police has caused much excitement within the Sri Lankan diaspora here. Tamil political circles were shell - shocked as the AFP in a swift, surgical strike surrounded the homes and offices of Tamils with suspected links to the LTTE and took into custody some prominent tiger activists for questioning. more..

New Organization for Tamil Democracy formed in Britain

Nov 27 (TW) In what may prove to be a significant development in the sphere of Eelam Tamil politics a group of dedicated people has come together in London to form a new organization called the Tamil democratic Congress or Tamil Jananayaka Kangiras in Tamil. more..

The growing significance of the "Great Heroes Day"

Nov 27 (TW) The first ever LTTE member to embrace death in battle was Sathiyanathan of Kambarmalai a northern village adjacent to Valvettithurai, the birthplace of Velupillai Prabakharan its leader. Sathiyanathan alias Shankar was also known as Suresh died on November 27, 1982. He was a childhood friend of Prabakharan and one of his earliest recruits. more..

Ranil – the Sinhala leader for whom Tamils risked their lives

Nov 27 (TW) The fact that Ranil Wickremesinghe was going to be defeated in the south – in the largely Sinhala Buddhist areas – became evident towards the last few weeks of the election campaign. The swell in the tide towards Mahinda Rajapakse was felt by a few, while the majority of the analysts, who based their calculations on ‘independent’ polls, predicted otherwise. more..

After the Presidential Elections: A wake-up call to all!

Nov 27 (TW) The outcome of the Presidential Election with all the excitement and disappointments of a one-day match is in the opinion of Sathya a wake up call to all, including Sathya whose hibernation was once again rudely disturbed. Firstly, it was a wake up to the Tamil People. more..

New President faces formidable challenge of unification

Nov 27 (TW) Newly elected President Mahinda Rajapakse took his oaths of office after a closely fought electoral battle that saw the country polarise electorally along ethnic, religious and regional lines. All parts of the country with significant concentrations of ethnic and religious minorities were won by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

The LTTE’s challenge to the new Govt.

Nov 27 (TW) Whoever becomes the next Foreign Minister, succeeding in fact the late Lakshman Kadirgamar, has a hard act to follow and I wish him well. His most important priority would of course be the management of the external dimension of the peace process. more..

Minister: Ex-leaders should retire

Nov 27 (BBC) A leader who has served two terms as president of the country should retire from public office with dignity, a senior minister has said. Prof. Vishva Warnapala, minister for parliamentary affairs, said that the legislators as well as the presidents should have time limit to be in the office. more..

Sri Lanka - its potential for increased production of herbal teas for international market

Nov 27 (AT) The quality parameters in European and Germany are stringent and the physical parameters such as density, particle size, air content, microbiological contamination, pesticides are very important factors in the manufacture of herbal and fruit teas more..

Waiting for the Sun God

Nov 27 (AT) Now that the newly elected President of Sri Lanka has made his inaugural policy speech all attention would be focused on Vanni and the annual Hero’s Day Message of the Birthday Boy Vellupillai Pirapaharan. Such attention is indeed deserved since it is none other than the Tigers who decide when the next war should begin. more..

Chandrika's President Counsel List destined to the trash bin

Nov 27 (AT) It was reported that just before former President Chandrika Kumartunga went on retirement, she appointed several lawyers as President’s Counsels, but as they would not get an opportunity to make their oaths, now it is feared that they would lose their appellations. more..

Living right in Sri Lanka

Nov 27 (VS) We were heading to the south of Sri Lanka for a little relaxation. As we got closer to our destination, my friend and I decided to wheel and deal for a nondescript motorbike, including one helmet and a broken mirror. I think it was a 1984 Honda, but to be honest, I’m not sure. Because my friend was a native Sri Lankan, he was able to get a good price. more..

Stop torture call to Lanka

Nov 27 (GDN) A United Nations human rights panel yesterday said it was deeply concerned about torture in Sri Lanka and urged authorities to do more to halt it. The UN Committee Against Torture expressed "deep concern about continued well-documented allegations of widespread torture and ill-treatment as well as disappearances," more..

Wickremesinghe retains party leadership, rebels retreat

Nov 27 (ANN) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe appears to have overcome the imminent challenge to his leadership with the majority of the parliamentary group backing him. Party sources said that Wickremesinghe would also continue as the Leader of the Opposition. more..

Tide turns for owners of Sri Lanka's World Trade Centre

Nov 27 (ANN) The "tide has turned" for Overseas Realty (Ceylon) Ltd (ORCL) -- its chairman, Singapore millionaire S.P. Tao who heads the Shing Kwan group which controls ORCL, owners of Colombo’s World Trade Centre, more..

Newly-elected President Mahinda moves on state media

Nov 27 (ANN) A section of the state media heads faces the axe with Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa directing them to quit their posts. Yapa who played a pivotal role in Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse’s successful presidential election bid, is believed to have called for their resignation immediately after taking over the media portfolio on Wednesday (Nov 23). more..

Let the dust settle to see a clearer picture

Nov 27 (WS) The period following elections is always a busy time, both for the winners as well as the losers. This election was no exception. There was a lot of activity in the Mahinda Rajapakse camp. It was, as one would expect, all about jostling for positions. Some were fighting for the post of prime minister. more..

When the Archives were in Nuwara Eliya

Nov 27 (WS) The office of the Government Archivist is not, as the vision conjures up, some dusty corner full of old records and files. Although this is the very stuff that keeps the Archivist's office humming; a visit to the place is in fact a pleasant evening's encounter with History, our own history, itself. more..

Authorities blind to the rape of Knuckles range

Nov 27 (WS) Large scale environmental damage is being done in the Knuckles Range region spread over 25,000 hectares spanning the Kandy and Matale districts. The damage is to the catchment area here situated 3,500 feet above sea level, and to the endemic flora and the fauna, elk, wild buffaloes and elephants. more..

Sovereignty fears haunt Sinhala nationalists

Nov 27 (TN) The definition "supreme authority within a territory," captures the essential notion of sovereignty used to describe political authority of modern nation states. The origins of Sri Lanka’s long festering conflict lie in its unitary constitution which vests the exercise of sovereignty solely in the hands of Sinhala Buddhists. more..

LTTE as sole representative challenged

Nov 27 (PIS) A newly formed pan-European Tamil organisation is challenging the LTTE’s claim to be the sole voice of the Tamil people. Based in London but embracing expatriate Tamils from Europe, the new group called the Tamil Democratic Congress (TDC) has, as one of its aims, “the re-establishment of a culture of tolerance, respect for contrary opinion, human life and human rights among Tamils.” more..

Sri Lanka’s plea spurred raid on Aussie Tamil Co-ordinating Committee building

Nov 27 (PIS) Australia’s prestigious ‘The Age’ newspaper reported that the recent raid on the Tamil Co-ordinating Committee of Australia building in Burwood East was launched by the Australian Federal police in response "to a request for help from authorities in Sri Lanka". more..

Tamil Tigers kills one more civilian

Nov 27 (SLA) An unidentified man, suspected to be from the LTTE Praba faction shot and killed another Tamil civilian in the general area of KAYTS on Saturday (26) around 7.50 p.m.. The victim, MARUKANDA SASHIKARA (25) of THAMADI, KAYTS was shot and killed when be was at home. more..

LTTE member injured

Nov 27 (SLA) One LTTE Wanni faction member was fired upon by unidentified group in the general area of MIRAVODAI, BATTICALOA on Saturday (26) around 12.45 p.m.. The Injured LTTE member SELWAN SUGANDAN (24) was evacuated to VALAICHCHENAI hospital by civilians and later transferred to BATTICALOA hospital. more..

LTTE arms & ammunition recovered

Nov 27 (SLA) Troops on a patrol, in the general area of VAKANERI, BATTICALOA recovered a stock of arms and ammunition suspected to have been used by Tamil Tigers on Saturday (26) around 12.50 p.m.. Those lethal items contained one T-56 weapon, two magazines, hundred and six rounds of 7.62x39 ammunition, one claymore mine, more..

Ranil remains, rebels retreat

Nov 27 (LM) UNP leader Ranil Wickreme-singhe appears to have overcome the imminent challenge to his leadership with the majority of the parliamentary group backing him. Party sources said that Wickremesinghe would also continue as the Leader of the Opposition. more..

LTTE will not talk without Norway

Nov 27 (LM) The LTTE yesterday said they will only commence peace talks with the government if Norway is involved in the peace process as facilitator. The LTTE made its position clear 24 hours after the government announced that the Norwegian facilitators would not be involved in any future peace talks that the UPFA government will be having with the LTTE. more..

Mahinda meets foreign envoys to discuss peace process

Nov 27 (LM) President Mahinda Rajapakse is scheduled to meet heads of diplomatic missions based in Colombo tomorrow to discuss, essentially, the peace process with the LTTE. President Rajapakse's meeting follows his twin addresses to the nation, soon after taking his oaths, and then to Parliament where he outlined his approach to direct talks with the LTTE, but with the help of foreign countries. more..

Hidden hand in missing names?

Nov 27 (LM) It is obvious that the LTTE denied hundreds of thousands of people in the north east of exercising their democratic right to elect a new president on November 17, but in the south it remains still a mystery as to how the names of tens of thousands of people were not included in the electoral registers. more..

World Bank gives economic management tips to Sri Lanka's new policymakers

Nov 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's new political leadership needs to instill investor confidence, halt galloping inflation and interest rates, if the island is to move beyond a five percent growth, the World Bank's country chief said Saturday. more..

Sri Lanka’s security is India’s responsibility - Indian High Commissioner

Nov 27 (LT) India would extend its fullest support to Sri Lanka to resolve its ethnic issue said Ms. Nirupama Rao, High Commissioner of India. She said India considered that National security of Sri Lanka was a responsibility of India and India would do everything possible to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. more..

New ministry for expats

Nov 27 (TP) Authority over welfare programmes for the families of Sri Lankan migrant workers in the Middle East has been shifted from the Labour Ministry to the new Ministry of Foreign Employment Development. The minister in charge of is Rohitha Abeygunawardene. more..

Tamils stuck in Prabhakaran’s terrorism – Col Karuna

Nov 27 (AT) Declaring that the Tamils have lost their freedom struggle because they are stuck in terrorism V. Muralitharan (Col. Karuna) President of the Tamileelam Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) has asked the new government of Mahinda Rajapakse to: more..