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LTTE 'did not declare war'

Nov 28 (BBC) LTTE Leader's annual speech on Sunday cannot be interpreted as a preparation for war said the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM). Speaking to BBC Sandeshaya, Head of SLMM Hagrup Haukland said “LTTE as well as the Government of Sri Lanka is committed to achieve a peaceful solution." more..

Rajapaksa says Prabhakaran has extended hand of friendship

Nov 28 (HT) The LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran had extended a hand of friendship in his Heroes' Day oration on Sunday, says President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Speaking to Heads of Diplomatic Missions on Monday, Rajapaksa said that he was pleased that Prabhakaran had described his approach to the peace process as "pragmatic" and said that he saw this as extending a hand of friendship. more..

It's a period of trial for Lankan leaders

Nov 28 (HT) It looks as if Sri Lanka's top leaders are on trial now, facing grave challenges and an uncertain future. The list includes the newly elected President, Mahinda Rajapaksa; the defeated United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe; former President Chandrika Kumaratunga; and the LTTE Supremo, Vellupillai Prabhakaran. more..

Karuna wants India, UK to replace Norway as peace broker

Nov 28 (HT) The breakaway LTTE leader Col Karuna has said that India and Britain should replace Norway as the peace broker in Sri Lanka and that the Tamil people should reject LTTE Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran to rid their liberation movement of the odious "terrorist" tag. more..

President ordered to draw an accelerated program to improve the living conditions of Plantation workers

Nov 29 (AT) The new President of Sri Lanka has taken steps to alleviate the sufferings of the estate workers. Majority of the plantation workers are Tamils of the Indian origin and it is reported that they are suffering under abject poverty and misery. more..

Sri Lankan policemen further remanded by the LTTE courts

Nov 29 (AT) Three Sri Lanka policemen attached to the National Child Protection Agency were remanded further until 20 December, when the case came for hearing yesterday at the LTTE’s courts in Kilinochchi. more..

Police for holding trial of Tamil separatists in Bangalore prison

Nov 29 (Hindu) The Bangalore city police have requested the Government to ensure that the trial of Tamil separatists, who were arrested by the Fraser Town police on the charge of secession, is held at the high-security Parappana Agrahara prison. more..

Lanka explores options to boost air links with India

Nov 29 (FE) In a bid to further boost tourist inflows from India, Sri Lanka is looking at expanding its air services to more cities, including Ahmedabad, Goa and Kolkata. The island nation which currently operates the largest number of international flights from India — about 90 a week more..

A.T. Ariyaratne: Lanka’s Vinoba Bhave

Nov 29 (EI) "POVERTY is directly connected to powerlessness. And the only solution is giving power to the poor'" says Ahangamage Tudor Ariyaratne. For the last 48 years, he has been doing precisely this in Sri lanka— his home country. A champion of the Sarvodaya Movement, Ariyaratne is a Ramon Magsaysay and Gandhi Peace Prize winner. more..

Colombo to continue to maintain CFA with LTTE

Nov 29 (TN) President Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse Monday explained his future peace plans with the Colombo-based diplomatic community where he said that his new government will continue to observe the ceasefire agreement with the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka to host junior cricket World Cup

Nov 29 (AFP) The International Cricket Council (ICC) has lauched preparations for next year's under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka, less than a year after the island was devastated by tsunami. ICC president Ehsan Mani said Sri Lanka's willingness to host the event demonstrated the country's resilience in the wake of the December 26 tsunami more..

English Catholic leader to visit Sri Lanka for tsunami anniversary

Nov 29 (AFP) The leader of England and Wales's Catholics said that he plans to visit Sri Lanka for Christmas to mark the first anniversary of the deadly Indian Ocean tsunami which battered the country. more..

Chandrika, Clinton discuss local, world affairs

Nov 29 (UNI) Former Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga today called on the former United States President Bill Clinton, who is here as special envoy of the United Nations for tsunami recovery and discussed local and world affairs. more..

On eve of Clinton visit, Oxfam calls for more appropriate land for tsunami survivors

Nov 29 (RW) As the UN Special Envoy Bill Clinton prepares to meet governments of Sri Lanka and Indonesia, Oxfam International today urged the authorities to provide more appropriate land for the construction of permanent shelter. more..

What is there in Prabhakaran's latest annual speech?

Nov 29 (AT) According to the prophets of doom and gloom in the Colombo-centric chattering class instant war was inevitable if Ranil Wickremasinghe lost the presidential election. The November 17th presidential election was pitched on this theme of war (Mahinda Rajapakse) and peace (Ranil Wickremasinghe). more..

Sri Lanka tops the polls in International Travel Magazines

Nov 29 (TDN) Én the latest in a long line-up of rave reviews this year from publications around the world , US Vogue’s October issue puts the spotlight on Sri Lanka as one of the season’s ‘coolest tropical getaways`. more..

ITRO responds to allegations by SL High commission in Australia

Nov 29 (TN) The International Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (ITRO London), the representative body of the overseas offices of the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation, in a letter addressed to Mr. Asoka Girihagama, the deputy high commissioner of Sri Lanka in Australia, more..

Tamil Tiger firing on policemen continues unimpeded

Nov 29 (SLA) THE POLICE POST at PANDIRIPPU, KALMUNAI was the latest law enforcement authority that came under LTTE gunfire during small hours on Tuesday (29) while several policemen were on duty. Preliminary reports confirmed that policemen in self-defence retaliated the fire and repulsed the attack in the dark. more..

Japanese help for Jaffna teaching hospital

Nov 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka on Tuesday picked up a Rs. 80 million (JP¥ 90 million) grant to draw up plans to renovate the Jaffna Teaching Hospital, the finance ministry said. The hospital's activities and infrastructure had deteriorated due to two decades of fighting between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels for an independent homeland. more..

CEB gripped in an internal battle

Nov 29 (PSL) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) continued to be plagued in an internal quandary; weeks after its Chairman Ananda Gunasekera and Vice Chairman Chula de Silva were virtually kicked out of their positions by a handful of top guys at CEB. more..

UNP leadership challenge fizzles out, Ranil stays

Nov 29 (LM) The much talked of leadership crisis in the UNP fizzled out yesterday with the "Challenger" being promoted by a faction in the party declining to challenge. Many expected the UNP's first Working Committee meeting after the presidential election, held yesterday evening to take up the question of Ranil Wickremesinghe's leadership of the party. more..

UNP takes up crisis over voters’ list

Nov 29 (LM) The UNP Working Committee presided over by party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday discussed the problems faced by the party and the party supporters at the recently held presidential election. The party leader said that thousands of names had been omitted from electoral lists and requested party organizers to find out within a specific time frame, more..

7 billion spent to keep Ranil

Nov 29 (LeN) UNP leader Ranil Wickrmesinghe has agreed to hold discussions with the two factions of the party - the one which says that he should step down from the party leadership and the other that says he should remain as the party leader in the aftermath of presidential election defeat, a parliamentarian of the faction calling for his resignation told 'Lanka e News'. more..

A petition by Australian calling for Gnankoon's release

Nov 29 (LeN) An Australian national named Gerard filed a habeas corpus petition in the Appeal Court today urging it to order the release of millionaire businessman Charles Gnanakoon, who is in remand custody in connection with the assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadiragamar, if he is not going to be indicted in a court. more..

Case against Thilanga Sumathipala: Sunday Leader Editor cross examined

Nov 29 (AT) Thilanga Sumathipala was not identified as a debased person in the articles published in the Sunday Leader newspaper and I do not have animosity against him, said Lasantha Wickramatunga, Editor Sunday Leader, while responding to a question by the defense lawyer more..

President Rajapakse offers his hand of friendship to Prabhakaran

Nov 29 (AT) Presenting a wide-ranging survey of Sri Lankan issues to the diplomatic community yesterday President Mahinda Rajapakse once again extended his hand of friendship to the LTTE. He told the diplomats: “I reiterate my invitation to Mr. Prabhakaran for talks. more..

The People get their Galle Face Green Back

Nov 29 (TW) In what may very well turn out to be a landmark judgement the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka on Nov 28th reiterated firmly that Galle Face Green is for the people of this Country and for the people alone. more..

Sri Lanka rupee dips, stocks up, eyes on new budget

Nov 29 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's rupee closed weaker on Tuesday while the stock market gained in dull trading ahead of a new budget to be presented on Dec.8, traders said. The rupee closed lower at 101.98/102.00 to the dollar, weakening from Monday's 101.96/101.98. more..

UNP thanks voters

Nov 29 (Xinhua) The main opposition United National Party (UNP), who lost the Nov. 17 Presidential election, thanked the public who voted for it at the Election. Deputy Secretary General of the UNP Tissa Attanayake said that preparations are under way to reorganize the party, but there willbe no change in the party's leadership. more..

Unilateral CFA change to end deal: LTTE

Nov 29 (SAMN) The LTTE has warned that any move by the Government to unilaterally amend the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) without its consent would nullify the agreement. LTTE’s chief negotiator Anton Balasingham said the document could not be amended by one party as the CFA was signed by two parties with the assistance of the international community. more..

Support president, Mahanayake tells DM

Nov 29 (SAMN) The Most Venerable Mahanayake of Asgiriya, Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thero urged that President Mahinda Rajapaksa be given support to build the country by resolving its many problems. more..

Ganeshan speaks out on Ranil's failure

Nov 29 (SAMN) Mano Ganeshan President of the Peoples Front in the Western Provincial Council had said that Ranil lost in the Presidential Election not because of the LTTE but by the persons on whom he had implicit faith. more..

Sri Lanka send for Jehan Mubarak

Nov 29 (CI) Sri Lanka named middle-order batsman Jehan Mubarak as the replacement for the injured Chamara Kapugedera for the three-Test series in India. The 18-year-old Kapugedara was ruled out after suffering a lateral ligament sprain on his right knee during a routine training session in Banglaore on Sunday. more..

WFP to extend Aceh and Sri Lankan tsunami aid to 2007

Nov 29 (Reuters) Distribution of food aid to more than 1.5 million survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami in Indonesia and Sri Lanka will be extended to 2007, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday. In a statement, it said food aid would be phased out in the Maldives and Somalia by the year-end. more..

Lankan convicts in Saudi appeal to Mahinda

Nov 29 (LNP) Three Sri Lankans convicted of murder have had their files forwarded to the Saudi Arabian King for his authorization of execution, reports from the Kingdom said. Sources said the Sri Lankans had been in prison for more than a year and there were doubts whether the King would grant them a pardon or order them to be beheaded. more..

Heads we win, tails you lose

Nov 29 (LNP) LTTE leader on Sunday must have disappointed those who predicted that Mahinda Rajapakse`s victory would trigger resumption of hostilities. He hasn`t given hope of an immediate resumption of the stalled peace talks either. Instead, he has apparently sought to play ping pong with President Rajapakse on so vital a matter. more..

Saving 'Ceylon tea' from impostors

Nov 29 (LNP) Industry experts yesterday noted that there was a pertinent need to patent the 'Ceylon tea' brand name under the reformed intellectual property rights Act of Sri Lanka. It was noted that cheap teas from places like Indonesia and Vietnam are being blended with Ceylon tea or are sold in foreign markets under that brand name. more..

National Drugs Policy soon

Nov 29 (DN) Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva yesterday instructed officials to expedite the implementation of the National Drugs Policy (NDP). Accordingly, an Independent Drugs Authority (IDA) will be established initially to carry forward the implementation of the NDP. more..

Tsunami survivors continue to rebuild lives almost one year on

Nov 29 (CT) Survivors of last year’s devastating Boxing Day tsunami continue in their daily struggle to rebuild their lives nearly one year after the disaster. ACT and other Christian charities have been helping them in this struggle. more..

Sri Lanka civil war could reverse tsunami recovery: Clinton

Nov 29 (AFP) The visiting UN envoy for tsunami recovery, Bill Clinton, has warned Sri Lanka that a return to civil war in the island could undo efforts to rebuild after last year's devastating tsunami. "Any recovery progress achieved this year will be quickly reversed if Sri Lanka returns to civil conflict," more..

Bill Clinton praises Sri Lanka's post-tsunami efforts

Nov 29 (AP) Former U.S. President Bill Clinton visited Sri Lanka's tsunami-battered northeast on Tuesday, praising reconstruction efforts after last year's killer waves and urging the government to seek peace with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Sri Lankan newspaper advocates anti-democratic restrictions for future elections

Nov 29 (wsws) In the aftermath of the November 17 presidential election in Sri Lanka, an editorial appeared in the newspaper Lakbima last Sunday endorsing a proposal by the election commissioner to limit the number of contenders in the future. more..

Yahoo Photos

Nov 29 (AFP) President Mahinda Rajapakse (L) shakes hands with UN envoy Bill Clinton. Clinton warned Sri Lanka that a return to civil war in the island could undo efforts to rebuild after last year's devastating tsunami. more..

Unspent tsunami donations may go to Africa-Clinton

Nov 29 (Reuters) Unspent donations given to help victims of the Asian tsunami could be redirected to crises in Africa after rebuilding is complete, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, now a U.N. envoy, said on Tuesday. more..

Clinton meets TRO Executive Director

Nov 30 (TN) TRO Executive Director Mr. K P Regi told the United Nations Special Envoy President Bill Clinton the problems that have led to the disappointing progress made thus far in Phase III of the Tsunami recovery programme in the NorthEast when he talked to Mr Clinton during the Sri Lankan Civil Society organization meeting in Colombo Tuesday. more..

Tamil-link lecturer in ASIO probe

Nov 30 (TA) A SRI Lankan Australian whose home was raided by police last week was earlier investigated by ASIO agents on suspicion of supplying hang-gliders to Tamil Tiger guerillas. Melbourne TAFE lecturer Thillai Jeyakumar sparked the interest of ASIO officers when he ordered hang-gliders from a NSW business and then shipped them to Malaysia. more..

Supreme Court to consider UN ruling

Nov 30 (BBC) Chief Justice Sarath N de Silva has appointed a five member panel to hear an appeal made by a Tamil Tiger cadre indicted for attacking an army camp. Nallarathnam Sinharasa, has been sentenced for 20 years rigorous imprisonment by the high court and later confirmed by the Supreme court. more..

Clinton visits tsunami destroyed Kinniya

Nov 30 (TN) United Nations Special Envoy, President Bill Clinton, Tuesday visited Kinniya division, which had registered highest number of deaths and displacement due to tsunami disaster in the Trincomalee district last year. During his two hour-stay in Kinniya President Clinton visited tsunami destroyed areas and consoled the victims, sources said. more..

Recovery efforts should not exacerbate existing inequities - Clinton

Nov 30 (TN) UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery and former US President, Bill Clinton, who is currently in Sri Lanka on the eve of tsunami anniversary to assess rebuilding and recovery progress, said in Colombo Tuesday that post-tsunami recovery effort should not exacerbate existing inequities. more..

Low condom use and thriving sex trade = hot bed for AIDS

Nov 30 (LBO) Low condom use and thriving sex trade makes Sri Lanka a hot bed for AIDS. Sri Lanka had around 4,800 HIV-infected people, including children, by end of 2002 which is a low prevalence rate compared to the total population of 19 million. more..