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LTTE Attack Crafts Seen

Feb 18 (SLA) NAVAL TROOPS ON DUTY in the general sea areas off MULLAITTIVU on 17 February 2006 around 6.00 a.m. have observed three LTTE attack crafts operating in the seas close to the shore. The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) was informed of this violation of Ceasefire Agreement (CFA).

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Feb 18 (SLA) 1,633 lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 10 February 2006 and 16 February 2006. Those consignments had reached areas in KILINOCHCHI and MULLAITIVU districts via OMANTHAI and UYILANKULAM Entry/Exit points. more..

Tiger delegation given normal airport facilities

Feb 18 (LT) Tiger delegation who left for talks in Geneva with Government of Sri Lanka were not allowed to use VIP lounge this time, Lankatruth learns. Unlike earlier occasions in which Tiger representatives were given VIP treatments this time they were not allowed to use VIP lounge and such privileges. more..

Contradictory Aims and Dilemmas in the Peace Process

Feb 18 (TW) The many dilemmas in the peace process launched in February 2002 call for an alternative approach to conflict resolution that will focus straightaway on the core issues of the ethnic conflict. The dilemmas on one hand relate to the price of continuing the gory war with no definite prospect of swift victory but distinct possibility of further losses; and more..

Jayantha Dhanapala: Man of our Times

Feb 18 (TW) The present Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan will complete his second five year term on December 2006. The hunt is on for the successor to Annan to take over the most high profile diplomatic position in the world to provide leadership to 191 nations. We are living in tense times. more..

UNP vows to fight for Colombo

Feb 18 (LM) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday charged that the rejection of his party's nomination lists for the Colombo Municipal and other local councils was illegal and vowed to contest the March 30 poll via an independent group if it had to. more..

US reiterates support for talks

Feb 18 (LM) The United States yesterday said it was looking forward to the talks in Geneva and pledged to support moves aimed at bringing about a peaceful solution to Sri Lanka's conflict. Richard A. Boucher, the new US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs reiterated the commitment of US to bring peace to Sri Lanka. more..

Anatomy of a presidential pardon

Feb 18 (ANN) Political heavyweight S.B. Dissanayake yesterday walked out of the National Hospital a free man thanks to President J.R. Jayewardene’s Constitution. Often dubbed by Dissanayake and his former guru ex-President Chandrika Kumaratunga as JR’s bahubutha vivasthawa, the 1978 Constitution regularly comes to the rescue of the wrongdoers. And Dissanayake definitely won’t be the last to benefit. more..

24-Hour room service: Galle Fort Hotel

Feb 18 (TI) Stepping through the imposing doors of the Galle Fort Hotel feels like stumbling into an intimate house party. Set in the heart of the walled Old Fort, a World Heritage Site, the hotel provides a cool respite from the vegetable carts, tuk-tuks and bicycles that bustle through the streets of Galle. more..

Jana Sevana, 100 houses project begins on Feb. 26

Feb 18 (LNP) `Jana Sevana' houses for 1000 families` implemented under the Jana Sevana Housing Project of Mahinda Chinthana concept will be launched in all parts of the country including North and East from 26th February 2006. The National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) will implement this programme and NHDA has targeted to complete the project by the end of June 2006. more..

I will rebuild the UNP - SB

Feb 18 (LNP) An elated S. B. Dissanayake yesterday said that his first task after leaving prison would be to work for the improvement of the UNP. Making a statement prior to leaving the Merchant`s Ward of the Colombo National Hospital, the former minister and heavyweight in both the SLFP and the UNP said he was very happy with the story and his pictures published in yesterday`s The Island. more..

Why nomination lists were rejected

Feb 18 (SAMN) The reason why the UNP nomination list in Colombo and the UPFA nomination list for Gampaha for the forthcoming Local Government polls was rejected, was due to the absence of adequate youth representation in both lists, a senior Elections Department official said Friday. more..

Newsmen to protest assault on journalist

Feb 18 (SAMN) Galle district journalists are to hold a protest demonstration on Monday (20) against the assault, on journalistSugathapala Mendis, by an Assistant Commissioner of Elections at the Galle District Secretariat canteen last week. Mendis was also threatened by an Assistant Government agent. more..

Ferial gets the vital job

Feb 18 (SAMN) Member of the government peace delegation and NUA leader Ferial Ashraff has insisted that Muslims should be a signatory party to the ceasefire agreement. Ms. Ashraff is expected to appeal for a separate Muslim delegation when matters relating to Muslims come up during the talks. more..

GMOA strike suspended

Feb 18 (DN) The Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) strike was suspended yesterday as it had covered all districts except the North and East Provinces, GMOA Secretary Dr. Uditha Herath said. The strike is to continue in the two provinces next week once the Executive Committee decides on the dates Dr. Herath said. more..

Room for all views in peace process

Feb 18 (PIS) Despite the LTTE being one stake holder in the peace process with the Government, there should also be room for other movements and parties representing the aspirations of Tamil speaking people, President Mahinda Rajapakse said yesterday. more..

Sri Lankan rebels demand government hand over splinter group members

Feb 18 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels on Saturday freed a Sri Lankan policeman held for more than five months in what they described as a goodwill gesture ahead of Geneva peace talks. The release came a day after the government freed from prison four members of the Sea Tigers, the naval wing of the LTTE. more..

Tamil Tiger rebels release Sri Lankan policeman ahead of Geneva peace talks

Feb 18 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels on Saturday freed a Sri Lankan policeman held for more than five months in what they described as a goodwill gesture ahead of Geneva peace talks. The release came a day after the government freed from prison four members of the Sea Tigers, the naval wing of the LTTE. more..

What will the next week bring us?

Feb 19 (TW) The countdown to Geneva has officially begun, with the LTTE already having dispatched its negotiating team to the Swiss capital where the first round of talks between the two parties since April 2003 will be held at the Château de Bossey or the conference centre owned by the World Council of Churches. more..

Talks, negotiators and peace process

Feb 19 (TW) President Mahinda Rajapakse’s peace delegation is undergoing a crash course in the fundamentals of negotiations to prepare a vastly experienced team to meet LTTE negotiators led by the London-based former British High Commission employee Anton Balasingham. more..

‘Constitutional Council’ – A contrary view

Feb 19 (TW) The demand from some civic groups to reconstitute the ‘Constitutional Council’ would give the impression that it would make a substantial contribution to good governance, which this country so desperately needs. There is no doubt that the objectives of the 17th Amendment which creates the CC are most relevant particularly in regard to depoliticizing appointments to key institutions of government. more..

Swiss Tamils look to preserve their culture

Feb 19 (NZZ) Tamils first came to Switzerland in the 1980s as refugees fleeing civil war in Sri Lanka and now make up a sizeable community in the country. Although they encountered prejudices at first, Tamils are now regarded as having adapted well to their new home. But they are still not fully integrated. more..

Captaincy not a burden, says Jayawardene

Feb 19 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene says being skipper for the tour of Bangladesh will not put him under any additional pressure. Jayawardene takes over from Marvan Atapattu, who has been rested after struggling with back problems during the recent tri-series in Australia. more..

Hosts Sri Lanka sign off with limp defeat

Feb 19 (CI) Hosts Sri Lanka signed off from the World Cup with a limp defeat to Bangladesh in the Super League play-off final on Saturday. Bangladesh reached 278 for 8, their highest total of the tournament, after being put into bat and then dismissed their opponents for 180 in 44.5 overs. more..

Inside story of the rejection of UNP nominations for Colombo

Feb 19 (LeN) The single most important event in the handing in of nominations for the local government polls is the rejection of the UNP nomination list for the Colombo Municipal Council, a pocket borough of the party which it ruled or well over half a century since the independence. more..

ITAK fields Muslim candidates for Jaffna elections

Feb 19 (TN) "To show that Muslims and the Tamils have been living in harmony in the NorthEast and to further reinforce the amity between the two peoples we are competing on the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) ticket for the forthcoming Jaffna Municipal Council elections," said Moulavi S. M. Shahil and S. M .Suhair more..

Sarvodhaya holds Peace meditation campaign in Trincomalee

Feb 19 (TN) Sarvodhaya Movement of Sri Lanka held a peace meditation campaign in the Trincomalee esplanade on the third day of the four-day workshop Saturday evening held for about six hundred youths from all the twenty administrative districts of Sri Lanka, civil society sources said. more..

An Elephantine Crisis

Feb 19 (AT) Defeat can become a habit, a not uncomfortable habit; a familiar landscape; a normal state of political and psychological existence. This is especially true in the case of self-inflicted defeats. Ever since 1993 the UNP had been heading in this direction and the journey is nearly complete. more..

Hopes of peace in the Wanni

Feb 19 (TW) When the LTTE delegation for this week's talks in Geneva left Tiger controlled Wanni, there was only hope that was resonating among the civilians - hope for peace. Many of the civiliansfelt that the Geneva peace talks were the last chance Sri Lanka had to bring an end to the long standing war. more..

Make or break week

Feb 19 (TW) It is a historic week indeed. Not only is the ceasefire entering its fourth year, but the Tigers and the government delegates would be sitting down for face-to-face talks for the first time since 2003, later this week. It would be totally different from the last time the two sides met, though. more..

Remember the proverbial camel, Mr President!

Feb 19 (ISL) When President Ranasinghe Premadasa wanted the Indian Peace Keeper Force out of Sri Lanka, just like Dr Faustus he sought the devil. This not only gave a fresh lease of life to the devil but eventually it also got the patron himself blown to smithereens; that’s the way of the devil. more..

KCCI stresses expansion of trade with Lanka

Feb 19 (DT) Efforts should be made to increase the volume of trade between Pakistan and Sri Lanka while a more proactive role of respective foreign missions in dissemination of correct and timely information to business community could effectively increase the bilateral trade. more..

Farial's representation in peace talks not legal - Hakeem

Feb 19 (LeN) SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem alleges that the participation of Minister Farial Ashroff in the Geneva peace talks as a government representative is a total betrayal of the aspirations of the Muslim community defying a collective agreement reached by Muslim parties to boycott talks in the event of a failure by the government to allow a separate Muslim delegation at the talks with the LTTE. more..

Former Balapitiya PS Chairman murdered

Feb 19 (LeN) Former Chairman of the Balapitiya Pradeshiya Sabha, Stanley Tabrew (52) who was to contest this local government polls from the UNP was shot dead lat evening (17). The murder came a day after the nominations closed for the local polls. more..

EPDP in fray in Prabha's village too

Feb 19 (LeN) The Ealam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) of Minister Douglas Devananda is contesting three local government bodies in LTTE held areas in Kilinochchi. EPDP Media Spokesman Nelson Edirisinghe told 'Lanka e News' that party candidates will contest the Jaffna Municipal Council in the Freedom Alliance list. more..

Korea division sealed due to Atha's sons

Feb 19 (LeN) The office of the Korean recruitment sector of the Bureau of Foreign Employment was sealed last evening after it has been revealed that a list of selected recruits for jobs in Korea had been altered to include several new names and that one of them had been sent to Korea. more..

Limited press access to talks at Geneva Ecumenical Institute

Feb 19 (TN) Talks on Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) between the Government and the LTTE are to be held at Conference center of Ecumenical Institute, Chateau de Bossey located 22 km northwest of Geneva. Press access to the talks are limited to the opening statements on Wednesday and to the media briefing immediately after the adjournment of the talks on Thursday, more..

LTTE Suspects Detain Fishermen With Their Trawlers

Feb 19 (SLA) ACCORDING TO A COMPLAINT lodged at the GURUNAGAR Police by a group of fishermen, LTTE suspects on 15 February 2006 have captured them in the seas off PALLIKUDAH and later released after detaining their four fishing trawlers and fishing gears. more..

Naval Troops Recover Claymores & Detonators

Feb 19 (SLA) NAVEL TROOPS IN OLEITHUDUWAWA, PESALAI, MANNAR have conducted a cordon and search today (19) morning and recovered three claymore mines, two electric detonators, one non-electric detonator and three feets of detonator code. The Bomb Disposal Team defused the claymore mines.

CBK’s attempt to pocket Rs.2.5 million revealed

Feb 19 (LT) Though former president Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga had asked the government for Rs.2.5 million as payment for architect Ashley de Vos for helping in tsunami rehabilitation work in Galle, he had told a weekend paper that he had never asked for that money and he worked entirely on a voluntary basis. more..

Fowzie to ask Iranian assistance for oil search!

Feb 19 (LT) Mr. A.H.M. Fowzie, who will leave to Iran today to attend Regional Cooperation Union Trade Forum of Indian Ocean Countries, would seek assistance from Iran for oil exploration in the waters of Sri Lanka. It has been suggested that there were oil deposits in the sea from Puttalam to Hambantota and more..

Powers of local Govt. heads chopped!

Feb 19 (LT) The Government has decided to hand over the powers of all heads of local government councils to District and Divisional Secretaries. This decision was taken at a special discussion held with the chairmanship of President Mahinda Rajapakse. This will be implemented using emergency regulations and executive powers. more..

All geared up for Geneva peace talks

Feb 19 (ANN) While agreeing that the Geneva talks must concentrate on strengthening the infirm cease-fire agreement in Sri Lanka, it is likely that both sides will focus next week on drafting an agenda for continuing negotiations, a member of the government delegation said recently. more..

Small step, long journey

Feb 19 (ANN) Whatever the campaign rhetoric and the contradictions between the saying and the doing, there is no escaping the reality that Sri Lanka can never achieve its potential and give its people a reasonably decent lifestyle unless the ethnic conflict which exploded into a three-decade-long civil war is justly and durably settled. more..

Anti-tiger agitations in Geneva

Feb 19 (LT) A protest campaign has been organized in Geneva in Switzerland against human rights violations committed by wanni tiger organization. The campaign will be held on the 22nd with the participation of several human rights organizations. more..

Tiger War Collections dancing around Geneva’s mulberry bush

Feb 19 (ISL) Reports reaching from Geneva confirm that LTTE delegation will be giving more importance to its fund raising activities during their stay to extend their war agenda despite going to talk peace. The LTTE’s TTN, IBC and the Eelamurasu Tamil newspaper are jointly arranging series of fund raising functions for the LTTE delegation. more..

LTTE trying to dodge EU restrictions

Feb 19 (PIS) No delegations of the LTTE may be received by government officials of European Union member nations, reiterated European Union Ambassador Julian Wilson yesterday, a day after the LTTE said it had been invited to visit other European nations. more..

Jaffna: Waiting in hope

Feb 19 (PIS) On the streets in Jaffna soldiers stand guard every 10 metres while army convoys pass by at high speed with headlamps flashing even during daytime, as part of their intensified security measures after nearly two months of claymore mine and grenade attacks that rocked the city. more..

Tamils tell LTTE: Stop the war

Feb 19 (PIS) 'Tamils for democracy' in London, and similar organizations in Geneva are planning rallies while peace negotiators from the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE were scheduled to get talks under way this week at Chateau de Bossey in Geneva. more..

JVP welcomes Geneva meet, bashes LTTE `jackboot`

Feb 19 (LNP) The JVP last week expressed its belief that the prime purpose of this week`s Geneva talks is to ensure that there are no second class citizens in this country who are denied the most fundamental of freedoms and rights. more..