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LTTE wants Jaffna University closed; wants no intelligentsia!

Jan 17 (ISL) Educationally quarter-fried and culturally semi-dried head of the political wing of the LTTE, T P Tamilselvan, who recently threatened to slit the throat of London-based Anton Balasingam the special advisor to the Wanni Tiger Supremo, told a meeting in Pallai that the undergraduates of the Jaffna University must halt their education, pack their bags and leave the campus. more..

UNP decides to keep Ranil

Jan 17 (BBC) The rebels in Sri Lanka’s main opposition admitted defeat as the party has decided to keep Ranil Wickramasignghe as its leader. The United National Party (UNP) has decided to offer the new post of Executive President to deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya, in addition to the current post, party leaders said. more..

The mystery of the missing UNP millions

Jan 17 (AT) After raising billions to fight the last presidential election, UNPers are questioning as to why Ranil Wickremesinghe, the beleaguered UNP leader, has not released a full statement on the use or abuse of the monies collected to fight his election. more..

Chandrika to face charges on Rs. 350 million land deal and mini army of 200

Jan 17 (AT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga will have to face a court case in which she is charged with violating the 1986 Presidential Privileges Act by acquiring prime land worth over Rs.350 million. President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the present Prime Minister, Ratnasiri Wickremanayake and cabinet ministers who endorsed the deal have been asked to appear before courts on February 20, 2006. more..

Peace monitors must get their facts right and Prabhakaran must punish his sex-crazy commanders, says Col. Karuna

Jan 17 (AT) In a blunt dismissal of the statements made against TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TEMVP) by Ms. Helen Olafsdottir, the spokeswoman for the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in Colombo, V. Muralitharan nom de guerre, Col. Karuna, head of the TEMVP told the Asian Tribune that more..

Saving hydro power for desperate times…….

Jan 17 (AT) With water levels in hydro reservoirs close to the brim, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has devised a 'strategic plan' in making use of hydro for its power generation.The aim of this plan is to safeguard hydro power for 'desperate times' in the event of a drought. more..

BOI Conducts Discussion on Promoting Investment into the Regions

Jan 17 (AT) In a bid to fast track investments conform to Government policy, the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) is holding a series of discussion to inform the Business Community of the Government's key initiatives. more..

SL-Libya joint venture to launch new business strategy to reduce losses

Jan 17 (AT) A government owned agricultural and livestock joint venture with the Libyan government, the Sri Lanka –Libya Agricultural and Livestock Development Company plans to reduce its losses applying a number of management and innovative sales measures. more..

Even MPs find it difficult to make ends meet-allowances to be increased

Jan 17 (LeN) Even though a memorandum presented by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vishwa Warnapala proposing a pay hike for parliamentarians has been shelved in the face of objections raised by several Ministers, allowances of Ministers and MPs are to be increased shortly. more..

SB unlikely to be pardoned even on Independence Day

Jan 17 (LeN) An appeal forwarded by jailed former Minister S. B. Disanayake to the Prison Parole Board will not be taken up for consideration by the Board at its meeting scheduled for tomorrow (17), prison sources said. more..

Sigiriya's ancient channel now in stainless steel bed

Jan 17 (WS) Sigiriya rock is not exactly 'floating' on a bed of water or about to disintegrate, as some people have been conjecturing for a shortwhile now. But it is true that from the time of Kasyapa, Sigiriya's first (and only) inhabitant, water has been seeping from various cracks and crevices on the edifice, more..

Whither UNP, whither peace?

Jan 17 (WS) President Mahinda Rajapakse's attempts at achieving peace not baring any fruitful results came in for some criticism from the ruling party ranks, even though the Mahinda Chintana programmes put into practice are achieving results. more..

Rajapakse clarifies on wife’s visit to Kerala temple

Jan 17 (TP) A controversy set off by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse's wife Siranthi, a Christian by birth, visiting the famed Sri Krishna temple at Guruvyur is likely to blow over with the president affirming that his wife is a Buddhist and the temple board ruling out "any room for suspicion" regarding her faith. more..

Illegal buildings demolished

Jan 17 (TP) The government’s Urban Development Authority on Sunday demolished a large number of unauthorised business structures in the Fort and Pettah areas — essentially on pavements — amidst protests by the vendors. Newspapers said agitated vendors and shop owners protested saying they were not forewarned of the demolition. more..

Strengthen President’s hand! - Mahinda Samarasinghe

Jan 17 (LT) At a meeting of the UNP Parliamentarians held today Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Chief Whip of the opposition and MP of Kalutara District strongly emphasized that President Mahinda Rajapakse’s hand should be strengthened. more..

Tsunami-affected fisherfolk get 800 fibreglass boats

Jan 17 (ANN) One thousand fibreglass boats have been earmarked to be distributed to tsunami-affected fishermen in the south west littoral of Sri Lanka, said the chairman, Irish–Sri Lanka Trust Fund, Chandre Monerawela recently. Of these, 800 have already been donated to date. The balance would be distributed shortly, he added. more..

Save democracy from God Fathers of media Mafia

Jan 17 (LT) The minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Mahaweli Development and Genaral secretary of the SLFP, Maithreepala Sirsena said in a statement issued today in a weekend English newspaper committed to the service for the UNP has carried a fabricated story that President Mahinda Rajapaksha had issued death threats to free mediaman of this newspaper. more..

Muslims of Sri Lanka in a constant state of Reaction

Jan 17 (KJ) During December 2005, in an Akkarai Pattu mosque seven people were killed while praying. Two men from Eravur were kidnapped, killed, their bodies mutilated and then dumped on a busy street in a neighbouring village. Another two were gunned down from another village. In Kattan Kudi, a high ranking government official was killed in broad daylight. more..

Cardinal visits tsunami survivors

Jan 17 (RW) "Donations to CAFOD are making possible the resurrection of devastated communities," said Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor after visiting projects in Batticaloa in Sri Lanka. "I was delighted to see the joy and relief which new homes and new livelihoods have brought to suffering families." more..

Sports and national identity in Sri Lanka

Jan 17 (KT) CRICKET ties between India and Pakistan are back to normal with the two sides now playing regular full Test series and one-dayers. Besides Shahid Afridi’s power-packed sixes and elegant boundaries of Mohamed Yousuf and Younis Khan, which were matched by the swashbuckling innings of Virendra Sehwag, I was also taken up by the nationalist fervour an Indo-Pak cricket encounter generates on both sides. more..

Call to identify

Jan 17 (PIS) The LTTE has failed to respond to a call by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) to identify those responsible for the recent killings of Security Forces and civilians in the North-East. The SLMM made this call following a LTTE statement that "people" were behind the attacks. more..

Stop violence, start talks: World Bank

Jan 17 (PIS) The World Bank has added its voice to the mounting concerns expressed over the present volatile situation in Sri Lanka with the Country Director warning that assistance provided by the international lending agency could see a dent if there was no immediate improvement. more..

Back to War in Sri Lanka

Jan 17 (AN) Wars only end when one side wins, or both sides conclude that they can’t gain any more by fighting. Neither side can actually win in Sri Lanka, but too many people on both sides still believe they can get a better deal by more fighting, so it’s back to the war that they suspended in 2002. more..

First the tsunami, now the slide into civil war

Jan 17 (GU) A recent suicide bomb attack on a navy gunboat, officially blamed on Tamil Tiger insurgents, has dramatised fears that Sri Lanka is sliding back into civil war after an uneasy four-year truce. But while aware of the gathering crisis, governments and international monitors seem to have little idea how to forestall it. more..

Going slow on tracking illegal migration

Jan 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka has been slow to track illegal migration, though the island remains a hotbed for human trafficking, the Foreign Employment Bureau said. “Under the Foreign Employment Act anyone migrating to work, must register with us,” L K Ruhunage, the Foreign Employment Bureau’s Deputy General Manager said more..

Central Bank maintains policy rates

Jan 17 (LBO) Central Bank Tuesday left its benchmark interest rates unchanged at current levels as it expects the previous month's rate hike to slowdown money supply growth. The bank said in a statement that it would leave its overnight repurchase rate at 8.75 percent and the reverse repurchase rate at 10.25 percent. more..

Untold Story Of "Sencholai" Orphanage

Jan 17 (ISL) Pirapaharan opened the new Sencholai orphanage, children’s home established to care for children who had lost both parents in the war, at a location in Kilinochchi in a ceremony held Sunday, LTTE newspapers reported as headlines. more..

Craven and cowardly grenade attack

Jan 17 (ISL) The brazen attack on the premises of the SLMM in Batticaloa could have come only from the LTTE. And as is custom, the LTTE denied responsibility. One can surmise from this that the LTTE has conditioned itself to the belief that the Tamils in Sri Lanka are morons and the Tamil Diaspora looks up to them as heroes. more..

Anton Balasingham is major impediment to Peace Talks says Tamil Democratic Congress

Jan 17 (ISL) The Tamil Democratic Congress (TDC) welcomes the Norwegian efforts to move forward the peace process in Sri Lanka while expressing serious concern over the role of Anton Balasigham’s role in peace process, according to the latest TDF press release. more..

Tamil Tigers repeat their terror tacticsblowing up one more naval bus

Jan 17 (SLA) UNRESTRAINED TAMIL TIGER (LTTE) TERRORIST ACTIVITIES against members of the Armed Forces, Policemen and anti-LTTE civilians, paying scant regard to all appeals made to the LTTE, continue their cycle of violence injuring twelve more sailors of the Sri Lanka Navy in another explosive device attack this morning (17) around 10.30 a.m. in TRINCOMALEE. more..

Two more soldiers & civilians die terrorist attacks

Jan 17 (SLA) ONE MORE SOLDIER OF THE ARMY was murdered in another brutal Tamil Tiger (LTTE) claymore mine attack Tuesday (17) afternoon at about 1.15 p.m. when an Army tractor proceeding towards SARASALAI, JAFFNA was blown up. The latest LTTE attack on the Army tractor in JAFFNA which was on administrative duties, more..

SB’s membership in Parliament questioned by Wimal

Jan 17 (LT) JVP Parliamentarian Mr Wimal Weerawansa at a meeting of Party Leaders in Parliament today enquired why the Secretary of Parliament has failed to inform the Commissioner of Elections on the vacancy created by the judgement against Mr S B Dissanayake. Failure to do so has denied the constituents of Nuwara Eliya of their representation in Parliament, he said. more..

Sri Lanka's import bill gallops ahead of November export earnings

Jan 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's import bill for the eleven months surged ahead of export earnings for the same period last year due to rising energy costs. The bank said although, import costs surpassed export earnings, the country's foreign reserves had increased to US$ 3.9 billion – sufficient to cover 5.2 months of imports. more..

Minority parties also at All Party Conference

Jan 17 (LM) President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday decided to invite all minority parties for the second round of the All Party Conference which is scheduled to start on Thursday, political sources said. This in contrast to the earlier stand of the government which decided to have only the Southern Sinhala political parties at the conference, more..

NE Sinhala group attacks Govt.

Jan 17 (LNP) The North East Sinhala Organization which conducted the recent hartal in Trincomalee, yesterday accused the government of hiring saboteurs to undermine the protest. An NESO spokesman told the Daily Mirror that this effort by the government was a total failure as the people in the area had ignored these saboteurs and observed the hartal. more..

JVP challenges Ranil for debate

Jan 17 (LNP) The JVP in a press release issued yesterday challenged UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe for a public debate on the allegations made by him against the JVP which could be broadcast live over a responsible television channel. more..

Polythene ban welcomed

Jan 17 (LNP) Local Government Authorities and Environmental Groups welcomed the decision by the Minister of Urban Development and Water Supply, Dinesh Gunawardena, to prohibit the use of polythene material for publicity and decorative purposes in public places from 1.1.2006. more..

Bomb won’t drive SLMM out of Batticaloa

Jan 17 (SAMN) The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) said yesterday it would continue its operations in Batticaloa, despite the bomb attack on its district office on Friday night. SLMM spokesperson Helen Olafsdottir said the SLMM Batticaloa office would remain open for its day to day operations. more..

PM opens new passport office

Jan 17 (SAMN) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake yesterday said all government servants should be dedicated to their duties and serve the public in their fullest capacity in order to bring the country to a much developed position. Addressing the staff of the Department of Immigration and Emigration, at its new premises, ceremonially opened at 41, Ananda Rajakaruna Mawatha, Borella, more..

Cabinet to mull new thermal power plant

Jan 17 (SAMN) A Cabinet Paper submitted by Power and Energy Minister John Seneviratne is to be ratified at the weekly Cabinet meeting tomorrow, approving a contract to a company for the establishment of a new thermal power plant in Kerawalapitiya, deviating from normal tender procedures. more..

World Bank to help Sri Lanka to develop road, education sectors

Jan 17 (Xinhua) The World bank has agreed to provide a package of assistance to Sri Lanka in order to develop the country's road network and education sector, Daily News said Tuesday. World Bank representative in Sri Lanka Peter Harrold and Treasury Secretary P. B. Jayasundara signed the agreement on Monday. more..

Compulsory education up to Grade Nine

Jan 17 (DN) There is still a wide gap between urban and rural learning achievements although Sri Lanka has attained the 'first generation' objective of providing widespread access to primary education the World Bank said. Announcing the release of a US$ 60 million education grant, the largest grant ever given to Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lanka win brings tournament to life

Jan 17 (CI) Sri Lanka finally fought their way out of a poor patch with their first win of the VB Series at the Gabba which has thrown the tournament wide open. It may be just their third win in their last 13 one-dayers, but it was a resounding one, crushing South Africa by 94 runs. Kumar Sangakkara and Jehan Mubarak both struck fifties to propel them to 6 for 282, more..

Sri Lanka military ambushed as envoys visit rebels

Jan 17 (Reuters) Suspected Tamil Tigers ambushed military vehicles in north and east Sri Lanka on Tuesday, the army said, killing one soldier as Nordic envoys visited the rebels ahead of key peace meetings next week. The soldier died in a fragmentation mine blast on the northern peninsula of Jaffna and 12 sailors were injured in another mine attack near the eastern port city of Trincomalee. more..

Two civilians, one soldier killed, 12 sailors wounded in separate attacks

Jan 17 (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels ambushed a bus carrying Sri Lankan navy personnel Tuesday, wounding 12 sailors and sparking a gun battle that killed at least two civilians in the crossfire, the military said. Separately, suspected rebels detonated an anti-personnel mine, killing one soldier and injuring another, the military's media unit said. more..

U.S., Norway to help Sri Lanka

Jan 17 (UPI) The United States and Norway will talk with Tamil rebels and the Sri Lankan government to ensure the resumption of the stalled peace process. According to The Hindu newspaper Tuesday, as part of the continued international efforts to restart the peace process, Sri Lanka will receive three high-profile visitors in January. more..

European cease-fire monitors suspend operations in Trincomalee

Jan 17 (AP) European cease-fire monitors said Tuesday they were suspending operations in the restive port city of Trincomalee, hours after suspected Tamil Tiger rebels ambushed a bus, wounding 12 sailors and sparking a gun battle that killed at least two civilians, officials and a pro-rebel Web-site said. more..

Special attention on the small and medium scale entrepreneurs

Jan 18 (SLBC) Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said special attention should be focused on the small and medium scale entrepreneurs to develop the overall entrepreneurship of the country. He said President Mahinda Rajapakse has identified this field in his Mahinda Chinthana policy statement as the building block of the country's economy. more..

Nordic countries condemn attack on Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission

Jan 18 (EF) The contributing countries to Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission SLMM, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, condemn in the strongest terms the unacceptable attack on the Batticaloa district office of SLMM on Friday 13 January. more..

Measures are in process to compensate the farmers affected by recent torrential rains

Jan 18 (SLBC) Minister S.M. Chandrasena says measures are underway to compensate the farmers who were affected by the torrential rains recently. The programme will be initiated through the Agri Insurance Board. The Minister aired these views at a news conference in Colombo yesterday. more..