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Sri Lankan woman from Minnesota takes on a more personal mission

Jan 23 (AP) Of the 11 orphans vying for her attention, the one who stood out to Udayanthi "Udi" Perera was the one who stood aside. "All the other kids wanted to be carried. He stood there and watched, as if to say, 'if you want me, here I am,'" said Perera, who is in her native Sri Lanka to choose a boy for adoption. more..

Sri Lankans begin trickling into India amid fears their homeland is sliding back to war

Jan 23 (AP) Being detained and questioned by armed police is nothing new to K. Lokeshwari. But these days, it's a small inconvenience the 45-year-old Tamil from Sri Lanka's war-wracked northeast is willing to endure if it means she can take refuge in India. more..

Will Lanka miss the peace bus again?

Jan 23 (HT) The Norwegian peace broker Erik Solheim is to meet the LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran in Kilinochchi on Wednesday with a message from the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Sri Lankans pin high hopes on this crucial meeting because their country is now on the threshold of yet another round of hostilities, already codenamed "Eelam War IV" more..

Three soldiers killed in landmine blast

Jan 23 (AFP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels killed three soldiers in a powerful mine attack in eastern Sri Lanka as Norway's top peace envoy arrived on the island in a bid to salvage a truce, officials said. The rebel LTTE carried out the attack in the district of Batticaloa where a similar attack on Thursday killed four people and wounded 23, more..

Sri Lanka aim to top series table

Jan 23 (BBC) Sri Lanka will move top of the triangular series table if they beat South Africa on Tuesday. After two wins in their last three matches Sri Lanka are in confident mood in the VB Series in Australia. South Africa have had terrible injury problems with Jacques Kallis, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini and Charl Langeveldt forced out of the squad. more..

Deadly blast greets new US-Norway push for peace in Sri Lanka

Jan 23 (Reuters) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels ambushed and killed three soldiers in Sri Lanka's restive east on Monday, as a Norwegian peace broker began a last-ditch bid to avert a slide back into civil war. The patrol was ambushed with a deadly claymore fragmentation mine, a block of plastic explosive which blasts out ball bearings. more..

Deadly blast greets new US-Norway push for peace in Sri Lanka

Jan 23 (AFP) A powerful landmine killed three Sri Lankan soldiers as US and Norwegian envoys launched a new push for peace with Tamil separatist guerrillas, officials said. The rebel LTTE led the attack in the east coast district of Batticaloa where four people died and 23 were wounded last Thursday, more..

Yahoo Photos

Jan 23 (Reuters) Women hold anti-war banners as they walk along a street during a demonstration against war in Colombo January 23. Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels ambushed and killed three soldiers in Sri Lanka's restive east on Monday, more..

Envoy issues Sri Lanka peace call

Jan 23 (BBC) A senior Norwegian envoy has said Sri Lanka is at a crossroads, as he holds talks to prevent a return to civil war. Erik Solheim met Sri Lanka's foreign minister in Colombo as well as a senior US official, Nicholas Burns. more..

Tigers are reprehensible, says U.S. enovy

Jan 23 (Reuters) Tamil Tiger rebels will never have a relationship with the United States unless they cease violence, a top U.S. official said on Monday, saying they were a "reprehensible terrorist group". U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said Tiger attacks on the military were ruining the lives of ordinary people, more..

Facilitate talks 'even in the moon'

Jan 24 (BBC) The Norwegian government would facilitate talks between Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers anywhere in the world, the special peace envoy said. Erik Solheim, Norwegian minister for International Development, told foreign media correspondents in Colombo that Norway would facilitate talks “even in the moon”, if the parties agree on the venue. more..

Prabhakaran, paramilitaries and peace

Jan 24 (AT) By and large, the current phase of intensified violence has shifted from the east to the Jaffna and Trincomalee. When the violence reached a climax in the east Erik Solheim, the Norwegian led-SLMM, S.P. Tamilselvan, the LTTE proxies in parliament, the TNA and NGOs were blaming the "paramilitaries" (meaning Col Karuna’s TMVP). more..

Solheim to participate in the opening ceremonies of Buddhist temples in Kalutara and Galle

Jan 24 (AT) Norwegian Minister of International Development Mr. Erik Solheim will attend the opening ceremony of two Buddhist temples damaged by the tsunami. The temples have been reconstructed with funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. more..

Burns tells Sri Lanka to take better care of Tamils

Jan 24 (IANS) US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns Monday asked the Sri Lankan government to meet the needs of Tamils in that country and to take better care of the community. Burns said the US fully supported the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission's efforts and would work with Norway to broker a peace between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government. more..

Desperate Tigers snatch children

Jan 24 (WS) Wearing a filthy batik sarong, a man lies snoring outside a shack, his hair matted with red dust, his nose a collage of broken veins. Inside the tin-roofed shack, a dozen Tamil men are just visible, their faces stupefied by toddy, alcohol distilled from the spiky Palmyra and sipped from cracked clay bowls. more..

East plunging into a spiral of violence

Jan 24 (WS) Escalating violent incidents in Akkaraipattu have not only created suspicion among the communities living in the Ampara district but have also shattered their lives. Though the Muslims living here had nothing to do with any killings of the Tiger cadres, the violence unleashed on them purposely or otherwise is threatening to plunge the area into chaos. more..

Understanding a pre war situation

Jan 24 (WS) A recent letter I received from a Norwegian friend appeared to have solved my jig saw puzzle with regard to the never ending so called freedom struggle of LTTE and the peace talks facilitated by Norway. Having lived in Norway for nine months taking an active part in the political and social life of Norway I made a few useful friends especially from the Communist Party of Norway. more..

Colombo Circular Road plans finalised

Jan 24 (WS) Work on the proposed Japanese aided Outer Circular Road for Colombo which is expected to minimize the traffic congestion on existing trunk roads, will commence from Kerawelapitiya and will run through Mattumagala, Kadawatha, Biiyagama, Kaduwela and join at Kottawa, according to now finalised plans. more..

EROS Nesan lanbasts his father's ex-comrade in arms V. Balakumaran of the LTTE for encouraging the Tamil public to take up arms

Jan 24 (ISL) In a statement exclusive to the Independent, EROS Nesan stated that he was "disgusted and dismayed" that his father's "former ex-comrade in arms" and leader of EROS would make a statement encouraging innocent civilians to take up arms. He stated it as a "blatant disregard to the value of a human life." more..

Weerawansa’s Big Talks And Southern Gullibility

Jan 24 (ISL) The JVP had contradicted its own words in a move to fool the gullible Southern public. In the latest and desperate move to link UNP leader with LTTE leader, Weerawansa says ““LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran with the objective of retaining Ranil Wickremesinghe as head of the government launched fresh attacks on the security forces and civilians to disrupt the smooth process of administration by Mahinda Rajapakse,” more..

Separatists prepare Tamil civilians for combat amid Norway efforts to save Sri Lanka's cease-fire

Jan 24 (AP) Sri Lanka's separatist rebels said Monday they are training ethnic Tamil civilians for combat to help fight government troops in an eventual return to civil war, amid Norwegian efforts to prevent a four-year-old cease-fire from collapsing. more..

Sri Lankans fear return to war

Jan 24 (BBC) Before Sri Lanka voted for a new president last November, the BBC News website spoke to a panel of voters about their hopes for the future. Over the last few weeks the country has witnessed a sharp escalation in violence sparking fears for the truce between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Govt will not start war: JVP MP

Jan 24 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan Government is determined not to get pushed into a war by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam despite grave provocations, said a Sri Lankan parliamentarian from the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). The party gives crucial support to the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

US warns Sri Lankan Rebels against cease-fire violations

Jan 24 (VOA) A top U.S. official says the Tamil Tiger guerrilla group bears the bulk of the responsibility for the near collapse of Sri Lanka's peace plan. The visit by Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns comes as yet another violent incident struck eastern Sri Lanka. more..

LTTE, GoSL dialogue imperative for peace, says Burns

Jan 24 (TN) "We hope that the LTTE will understand that it will have no relationship with my government and, indeed, no effective relationship with any country in this world as long as it seeks to redress its own grievances through the barrel of a gun. more..

Battles over genetically modified food, flare up

Jan 24 (LBO) Civil rights activists in Sri Lanka want an outright ban on Genetically Modified (GM) food imports, opposing state plans to allow labelled GM foods onto shelves. At the moment there are no controls on GM food imports and genetically manipulated foods are not labelled as GM. As a result, Sri Lankan consumers cannot tell the difference. more..

Nurses threaten trade union action over a salary increase anomaly

Jan 24 (LBO) Nurses in Sri Lanka’s public health service are threatening trade union action, over a salary increase anomaly. Nurses’ trade unions in government hospitals say salary increases for nurses are well below increase given to staff in other government services. more..

LTTE keeps Sri Lanka on edge: U.S.

Jan 24 (Hindu) Stepping up pressure on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to abandon violence, U.S. Under-Secretary of State Nicholas Burns on Monday described it as a "reprehensive terrorist group," which was "keeping the country on the edge of war." more..

A New Year brings New Homes to Families in Sri Lanka

Jan 24 (RC) For people around the globe, each new year is an opportunity for a fresh start and a chance to leave behind the worries of the previous year. This was especially true for a group of people living in the village of Peraliya in southern Sri Lanka. more..

Will Mahinda Rajapakse preside over the disintegration of Sri Lanka?

Jan 24 (AT) Confusing political scenario is emerging in Sri Lanka. On the one front the Sri Lanka Government led by President Mahinda Rajapakse and on the other side there is the LTTE led by its leader Velupillai Prabakaran. Both these political actors jointly and separately are pulling the country apart. more..

Yahoo Photos

Jan 24 (AP) A Tamil rebel instructor instructs civilians during a combat training in rebel stronghold Kilinochchi town, about 280 kilometers north of Colombo, Monday, Jan. 23. more..

Resurrecting the peace process: Can they do it?

Jan 24 (LS) Finally they are in Sri Lanka. The Norwegian International Development Minister and special peace envoy for Sri Lanka Erik Solheim and the third highest ranking official of the US State Department, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, are in the country with the ultimate aim of resurrecting peace prospects for the country. more..

Wanni talks decisive: Bala

Jan 24 (PIS) Tomorrow’s talks in Kilinochchi between the LTTE and visiting Norwegian Minister and special envoy Erik Solheim would be decisive in the context of the future of the peace process, the LTTE’s Chief Negotiator Anton Balasingham said yesterday. more..

Needed: Deeds not words

Jan 24 (ANN) Anton Balasingham, spokesman for the LTTE, arrived in Colombo Monday (Jan 23) and had an SLAF chopper ride to Kilinochchi amidst tight security provided by the state. Lakshman Kadirgamar, the illustrious son of Sri Lanka must be turning in his grave when the ideologue of his killers enjoys VVIP treatment at the very airport, which his boys once attacked. more..

Defaulting NGOs take off with Tsunami funds

Jan 24 (ANN) A number of foreign non governmental organisations, which had signed agreements with the government to reconstruct houses and schools in the Ampara district, have left the country, according to the Housing Ministry mission unaccomplished. more..

Tiger phonies and shamsters among the Tamil Diaspora

Jan 24 (ISL) Sole representation advocates in Sri Lanka promote multi-representation in Canada. This is the thinking of the pro-LTTE activists among the Canadian Tamil Diaspora. News reports we have been receiving from Canada the last few days on the country’s general elections in progress today and the attitude of the Tigers have been quite implausible, inconceivable and as a matter of fact stupid, absurd and extremely juvenile. more..

Goebels reborn a Tamil; his name is Sethu

Jan 24 (ISL) The editor of LTTE website Nadarajah Sethurupan who is known as Sethu is becoming infamous in concocting facts to deceive the public. The LTTE has engaged Sethu to function as their convincing fabricator to concoct stories. more..

Unidentified gunman kills Tamil language journalist in Sri Lanka's northeast

Jan 24 (AP) A lone gunman shot and killed a journalist for a Tamil-language newspaper in Sri Lanka's port town of Trincomalee on Tuesday, the area's police chief said. Subramaniyam Suvindrarajan, 35, was shot repeatedly and died on the spot as he was walking to work, more..

Norway peace envoy meets with President as rebels prepare for return to war

Jan 24 (AP) A top Norwegian peace envoy met Sri Lanka's president Tuesday in efforts to prevent the country's slide back into civil war as separatist rebels trained civilians in apparent preparation for any return to the battlefield. The rebels on Monday admitted they were training ethnic Tamil civilians for combat more..

Civilians Fall Victim To Gunmen

Jan 24 (SLA) A CIVILIAN IN THE TRINCOMALEE TOWN was the latest victim at the hands of two unidentified gunmen Tuesday (24) morning around 6.45 a.m. The victim, SUBRAMANIUM SUHIDRARAJAN of ORR’S HILL, LOWER Road, TRINCOMALEE was an employee of the TRINCOMALEE Port Authority. more..

IFCO promotes export agriculture through Greenhouse farms in the UVA province

Jan 24 (CT) A leading local vegetable and fruit export company , the International Food Stuff Agro-Bio-Tech Private Ltd [IFCO] based in Colombo and its affiliated Farms in Bandarawela, Boralanda and Rathaba now produce export crops and purchase vegetables and fruits from the small scale growers, more..

Hold talks without giving into tiger conditions - PNM

Jan 24 (LT) There would not be any gain if the peace talks are conducted based on the old conditions put forward by the tiger organization says Patriotic National Movement (PNM). This was stated at a media meeting held by National Front for Organizations organized by PNM. more..

Ultimately UNP goes to Court

Jan 24 (LeN) The UNP has threatened to take legal action this week if the government and the Polls Chief failed to hold the forthcoming local government election under 2005 electoral lists. The election can be held in June after effecting the necessary amendments to the 2005 electoral lists, Deputy UNP leader Karu Jayasuriya told more..

Government caught in a dollar trap

Jan 24 (LeN) The inflation has jumped and exchange rates have risen steeply with the government, which is going through a serious fiscal crisis, purchasing dollars at a very high interest rate from the private sector. The rupee has also started depreciating rapidly. more..

Chandrika to have final say on candidates of mini poll

Jan 24 (LeN) The district level interviews to the select the candidates of the SLFP for the April local government election were completed yesterday. The documents regarding the interviews are now being received at the party headquarters and added that the National Nominations Council headed by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga will make a final decision on the list of candidates. more..

Mahinda reminds Burns of funds approved for Ranil's 'Regaining Sri Lanka' program

Jan 24 (LeN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has conveyed his thanks to the US government during today's discussion with Under Secretary Burns for reaffirming its support to Sri Lanka to effort to resolve the national question. Temple Trees sources said the talks between the duo had lasted nearly an hour. more..

There are no real winners in Sri Lankan conflict

Jan 24 (CE) 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..

Mannar blast halts CBK’s return journey

Jan 24 (LT) Former President Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga who had arrived at an airport in the UK to return to Sri Lanka had cancelled her journey and decided to stay back after hearing that several tiger stalwarts including wanni tiger organization’s political wing head Thamilselvan had died in a mystery blast that occurred in an un-cleared area in Mannar on the 20th morning. more..

SLFP, JVP councillors want Cooray out

Jan 24 (SAMN) The JVP and rebel SLFP councillors of the Western Provincial Council seeking the ouster of Chief Minister Reginald Cooray from the post are to meet President Mahinda Rajapakse on Thursday. WPC JVP leader Waruna Rajapakse told the Daily Mirror that the party would insist on removing Mr. Cooray from the post of Chief Minister. more..

Govt trying to resolve gas crisis

Jan 24 (SAMN) In a bid to resolve the ongoing dispute over gas prices, the government is likely to allow gas companies to increase the price of a cylinder of gas by Rs. 200 on condition that prices would not be changed for at least six months, Treasury sources who wished to remain anonymous said. more..