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Govt stresses HR take precedence in peace process

Oct 15 (PIS) The government yesterday stressed that human rights must take precedence in any peace process and should not be made subservient to the improved working of the cease-fire agreement. more..

HR advisor fails to secure agreement

Oct 15 (PIS) A visiting international advisor to the government and LTTE yesterday admitted that he had failed to secure agreement from the Tigers on a vital human rights declaration. Human Rights Advisor Ian Martin also said that further commitment on human rights outside of the ceasefire agreement would have a positive impact on the overall peace process. more..

Cambodian Premier bares LTTE weapons link

Oct 15 (PIS) Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday admitted weapons had been smuggled from the Kingdom to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka and also to terrorist groups in the Philippines and Myanmar in recent years. more..

UNP, UPFA lash out at media

Oct 15 (SAMN) Accusations of biased and partisan coverage by both, the Private and State media, had been hurled at each other by the two main parties in the fray for the presidential election, political sources said yesterday. more..

I’ll get army to protect JVP: Ranil

Oct 15 (SAMN) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that he would ask the army to protect the JVP when he becomes president. Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Wickremesinghe said despite the JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe asking the army "to go home if they cannot do their duty", he would ask them to provide the JVP with necessary protection. more..

Proposed Constiutional reforms spell disaster - Ex-UNP MP

Oct 15 (LNP) Former UNP MP Upali Amarasiri warned that proposed changes and reforms to the Constitution would spell disaster. Internationally backed moves to alter country`s unitary status to appease a group of fanatics would be catastrophic. more..

Two heroes of our times

Oct 15 (LNP) The dastardly crimes of the LTTE continue unabated despite the EU travel ban, which many thought would compel the outfit to act with some restraint. On Tuesday and Wednesday, it gunned down two school principals, Mr. N. Sivakadasam (59) of the Kopay Christian College and Mr. K. Rajadorai (53) of the Jaffna Central College, respectively, more..

U.S. Immigrant Visa Lottery now open

Oct 15 (DN) THE 2007 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery was formally declared open in Washington, DC on October 5, 2005. This program allows randomly selected applicants to immigrate to the United States on an expedited basis, provided they meet all the criteria. more..

Two killed as Norway envoy says no breakthrough in Sri Lanka talks

Oct 15 (AFP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels have shot dead a policeman and a soldier in fresh violence in Sri Lanka amid renewed attempts by Norway to revive peace talks. Gunmen opened fire on two constables in the northern peninsula of Jaffna late Friday and one of them succumbed to his injuries, more..

Kumaratunga leaves for UK

Oct 15 (TP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga left Sri Lanka for Britain in the early hours of yesterday, according to news agency reports. Kumaratunga is said to be attending her son Vimukthi Kumaratunga’s convocation at the Bristol University. She will return in the last week of October, the reports said. more..

Monitors should adopt a pro-active role, says LTTE

Oct 15 (TN) In a letter addressed to the Head of SLMM, Mr. Hagrup Haukland on Friday, LTTE's Political Head Mr. Thamilchelvan alluded that the Scandinavian cease fire monitors in the island should adopt a proactive role by intervening in matters that pose serious challenges to the mandate vested with the role of the SLMM. more..

Foreign forces in Lanka will mar peace process: Norway

Oct 15 (HT) The Norwegian Special Envoy, Maj Gen Trond Furuhovde, says that the situation in Sri Lanka is "alarming" with a "dreadful subversive war" going on, but he is against the deployment of a foreign force to keep the peace. more..

Rajapaksa manifesto may disregard Chandrika on federalism

Oct 15 (HT) The manifesto of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), to be released in Colombo on Sunday, is likely to disregard party chief Chandrika Kumaratunga's plea to adopt "federalism" as the solution for the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka. more..

Subversive war continues to rage in Sri Lanka - envoy

Oct 15 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's military and Tamil Tiger rebels are locked in a subversive war despite a 2002 truce, a top Norwegian envoy has warned, calling on both sides to resume stalled talks to forge a lasting end to 20 years of civil strife. more..

Sri Lanka picks five fast bowlers for India tour

Oct 16 (AP) Sri Lanka cricket selectors reinstated Nuwan Zoysa on Saturday as one of five pace bowlers picked for this month's limited-overs tour of India. Zoysa, dropped from the Sri Lankan side for the home series against Bangladesh, was named in the 15-member squad more..

Ceylinco Group Chairman appealed to the Central Bank

Oct 16 (LBO) Ceylinco Group Chairman Lalith Kotelawala on Friday appealed to the Central Bank to loosen its grip on the banking sectors’ expansion plans. Kotelawala said the requirement for Central Bank approval for every new branch and ATM was slowing down the financial systems expansion in to backwater Sri Lanka. more..

German NGO distributes boats to Veloor fishermen

Oct 16 (TN) Juergen Wahn Stiftung (JWS), a German based non-governmental organization recently donated another consignment of five fishing boats to families affected by tsunami in Nilaveli and Veloor villages in the Kuchchaveli division, north of Trincomalee. more..

Chandrasekaran meets Thamilchelvan

Oct 16 (TN) Leader of the Up-Country People’s Front (UPF) and Member of Parliament P. Chandrasekaran met with LTTE's Head of Political Wing, S. P. Thamilselvan, Friday at Kilinochchi for discussions on the current political situation as Sri Lanka moves closer to electing the next President of Sri Lanka. more..

CFA has failed to advance peace-Sampanthan

Oct 16 (TN) The ceasefire (CFA) agreement signed by the Government of Sri Lanka in the year 2002 with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam because of the military strength of the LTTE in the battlefield has not helped the Tamil speaking people to achieve their political aspirations even after four years, said Mr.R.Sampanthan, more..

The rose amongst the thorns

Oct 16 (C365) There hasn’t been too much to admire in the Rest of the World team in the Super Series thus far but one man could yet bring salvation to John Wright’s team as well as retribution for himself. more..

Corruption smuggle weapons

Oct 16 (BBC) Wide spread corruption has made Cambodia an attractive market place for the Tamil tigers to purchase arms says defence analyst Iqbal Athas. These remarks were made by Athas in an Interview to Sandeshaya on the Cambodian government publicly acknowledging that Cambodia is being used by the Tamil tigers to smuggle out arms. more..

Rajapakse rejects self-determination, slams foreign intervention

Oct 16 (TN) In his much-anticipated Presidential election manifesto Mahinda Rajapakse said he would hold talks with the Liberation Tigers on “ending separatism, disarming and [their] entering the democratic process.” In his manifesto, details of which were published in the Sunday Times this week, more..

"Tin bomb" diffused in Colombo

Oct 16 (TN) A "tin bomb" was discovered and diffused by the Sri Lanka Army soldiers on Ferguson Road, Colombo-15, Sunday morning, police said. The detonator of the bomb, with a 50 meters long wire, was disconnected by the bomb squad of the Sri Lanka Army, relocated to Modera beach and exploded. The incident took place around 8:30 a.m. Sunday. more..

Two Police vehicles under Tamil Tiger fire

Oct 16 (SLA) A group of four Tamil Tigers had fired at two Police vehicles which were moving from VANTHARAMOOLAI to KALUWANKERNI in the general area of VANTHARAMOOLAI near the railway crossing on Saturday (15) around 2.17 p.m.. Police had retaliated fire against the Tamil Tigers and attackers fled the scene when the Police fired. more..

Ranil - CBK Meeting Next Week on UNP’s National Agenda

Oct 16 (UNP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga and UNP Leader and Presidential candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe are scheduled to meet next week to discuss a national agenda to be implemented between the UNP and SLFP for the country’s stability after the presidential election. more..

Treasury Secretary optimistic of 6% GDP this year

Oct 16 (LBO) Treasury Secretary says GDP growth will surpass six percent this year but independent economists give sharply lower forecasts. Dr P. B. Jayasundera says higher tourism earnings and a better performance from agriculture will help the economy post high growth. more..

Indonesian woman dies in Sri Lanka airport crash

Oct 16 (LBO) An Indonesian woman passenger was killed and six injured Sunday in a freak accident while disembarking from an SriLankan airlines aircraft at the island's only international airport, a spokesman said. more..

Sri Lankan Buddhist organization demands legalizing moonshine and cannabis

Oct 16 (LBO) The campaign for the presidency was raised to a new high with a Buddhist organisation demanding the legalising of "moonshine" and cannabis and a jail term for abortion. Affiliates of Gangaramaya temple in Colombo took out advertisements to announce their wish-list and urged candidates contesting the Nov 17 election to promise they will agree in return for their votes. more..

Attack on HRC office aimed at destroying files, say police

Oct 16 (LM) The Police said that last Wednesday's attempts to set fire to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) offices were aimed at destroying sensitive files at the place. The HRC office was ransacked, files pulled out and set on fire last Wednesday. Police believe the incident took place either late on Tuesday night or in the early hours of the next day. more..

Mahinda vows unitary Lanka

Oct 16 (LM) Presidential candidate Premier Mahinda Rajapakse at an election rally in Mirigama in Gampaha yesterday vowed to fulfil his responsibility of establishing an undivided Sri Lanka under his Presidency and said he would allocate the fruits of development to everybody without limiting them to a section. more..

P-TOMS out in PM’s manifesto

Oct 16 (LM) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse's manifesto for the November 17 presidential elections vows to uphold the unitary status of Sri Lanka and pledges to replace the Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS) with a new Jaya Lanka programme. more..

SL beach hotels need early warning system

Oct 16 (CT) Ten months after the tsunami devastation, the government of Sri Lanka has not established a permanent early warning system to protect the masses residing along the coastal belt. Earlier, the Japanese government and several international agencies, especially United Nations promised to set up an early warning system in the Indian Ocean. more..

Chandrika holds secret talks with the LTTE to attack Karuna’s break-away group in the east

Oct 16 (AT) In an exclusive interview with the Asian Tribune, V. Muralitharan nom de guerre Col Karuna, the leader of the break-away group in the east who has been a thorn in Prabakaran’s flesh, revealed that President Chandrika Kumaratunga has had secret talks with the LTTE apparatchiks in Paris and promised to help the LTTE to attack his forces in the east. more..

Elections and Conspiracies

Oct 16 (AT) The Friday (13th October) news telecast of the TNL contained an interesting item – that there is a plan by the Karuna faction to assassinate Ranil Wickremesinghe. The TNL is owned by Mr. Wickremesinghe’s older brother. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that the news item came from – or was routed through - the Wickremesinghe camp. more..

Lanka to introduce new law for drivers’ fitness test

Oct 16 (TP) New laws for motorists will make it mandatory for budding drivers to prove their fitness through a stringent test before a license is given. Currently only applicant-drivers of heavy vehicles need driving licences to pass a fitness test while applicants for other types of driving licences could prove their fitness through private medical certificates. more..

In Sri Lanka, a blessed calm follows the storm

Oct 16 (MYSA) "America!" exclaimed Wasanta, the hotel porter in Kandy, Sri Lanka's second-largest city, after asking what country I was from. "Thank you. I will never forget how much your country helped Sri Lanka after the tsunami." Wasanta summed up the sentiments of so many people I and my two fellow travelers met in the tsunami-stricken island nation off the southern tip of India. more..

SLMM says direct local dialogue urgent

Oct 16 (PIS) The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission Chief, Hagrup Haukland has urged the Tigers to meet the local Security Forces commanders to discuss an end to the cycle of violence in the North-East. He described the resumption of direct local level meetings between the two parties as an urgent necessity in order to stop routine killings. more..

War not imminent - neither side can afford it

Oct 16 (PIS) As Sri Lanka’s peace process continues to falter, the Nordic monitoring mission that oversees the cease-fire agreement warned last week that not only have direct negotiations stalled at the highest levels – direct talks no longer take place even between local area leaders. more..

UPFA manifesto focusses on rural economy

Oct 16 (SAMN) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse's Presidential Election Manifesto will focus on the resurgence of the local economy based on rural economic advancement. The Manifesto is to be released on Tuesday 18. The Manifesto has given more priorities to develop the rural areas to accomplish 8% GDP growth within a short period, more..

Bank Union to join Commercial Bank fray, says official

Oct 16 (LNP) Hundreds of employees of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon (CBC) yesterday held a protest demonstration and meeting against moves by the majority shareholders of the bank to take control of what has been often described as the country`s best privately-owned bank. more..

Kadir killing: Vital clue found and lost

Oct 16 (LNP) The weapon believed to have been used to assassinate Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar has been found among a cache of weapons detected in Chilaw, but crucial fingerprint evidence had been erased allegedly due to overenthusiastic police officers looking for publicity. more..

Bomb-hoax stewardess sacked

Oct 16 (LNP) A SriLankan Airlines stewardess has been sacked after an internal inquiry revealed she had made a call to the airline warning of a bomb on board a flight which was to take off for Singapore. The inquiry revealed that the stewardess, daughter of a Ratnapura gem merchant, had given the false alarm because she did not want to fly that day. more..

Lanka adopts strategies to ensure energy security

Oct 16 (PSL) SRI LANKA'S economic and social development is extensively dependent on the provision of energy services. Continuous supply of these energy services is heavily linked to ensuring energy security both in the short term as well as in the medium to long term, more..

Sri Lanka deploys hundreds of vets to warn farmers about bird flu

Oct 16 (AP) Government is sending more than 230 veterinarians across the nation in an attempt to prevent an outbreak of bird flu that could decimate the poultry industry. The veterinarians will warn poultry farmers of the risks of bird flu, the weekly newspaper Sunday Times said. more..

Blue waves at Beruwela

Oct 16 (SO) Villagers were surprised when an illuminating blue coloured light was visible in the sea off Beruwela. The light was visible from around nine to midnight on Friday. People flocked to the coast to see the blue coloured light shining over the sea waves. more..

Monumental Trouble in Sri Lanka

Oct 16 (IPS) The twisted hulks of three railway carriages, standing near where they were picked up and slammed against houses in this fishing village by the Dec 26 tsunami, symbolise the power of nature as well as human frailities exposed in the aftermath. more..

CBI to seek Interpol help for extradition of LTTE chief

Oct 16 (Hindu) The Central Bureau of Investigation will take up the extradition of the prime suspects in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and Mumbai serial blasts through Interpol, according to U. S. Misra, its director. Mr. Misra, who is also the vice-president of Interpol, said: "Extradition is not an exclusive domain of the CBI. Extradition treaty and legal assistance arrangements have to be looked into. The delay lies there." more..

Police find and detonate powerful bomb in Colombo

Oct 16 (AP) Police said they found a potentially powerful bomb abandoned outside a Buddhist temple in the capital Colombo on Sunday, and speculated that it could have been planted by Tamil Tiger rebels. DIG of Police Pujitha Jayasundara said the military's bomb disposal team detonated the device, which was packed with 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) of C-4 plastic explosives. more..

Mahinda has no right to betray policies - Anura

Oct 16 (LeN) Foreign Minister Anura Bandaranaike says Mahinda Rajapaksa being a member and a parliamentarian of the SLFP has no right to follow the policies of other parties while remaining in the SLFP. He further claims although Rajapaksa could take certain decisions to ensure his victory he has no right whatsoever to betray the SLFP policies. more..

Rajapakse to preserve Lanka's unity

Oct 16 (AP) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse's manifesto for the November 17 presidential elections vows to uphold the unitary nature of Sri Lanka. The manifesto pledges to replace the controversial Post Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS) that President Chandrika Kumaratunga pushed through with the rebel LTTE. more..