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Indians flock to SL despite security threats

Jan 27 (HT) Indians keep pouring into Sri Lanka, no matter what the security situation is here. But the more sensitive Western tourists show a tendency to drop out if trouble is in the air. Having been a year of high political instability and a high voltage Presidential election campaign, 2005 saw a 3 per cent fall in tourist arrivals. more..

Norwegian negotiator Solheim in Delhi, as LTTE-Lanka resume talks

Jan 27 (ANI) Norwegian negotiator, Eric Solheim will be arriving here today to discuss with the Indian leaders about LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran's acceptance for the resumption of dialogue with the Sri Lankan Government. Solheim will meet Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, National Security Adviser M K Narayanan and more..

Sri Lanka's future: hard realities face government, rebels in talks

Jan 27 (AP) Long-awaited peace talks may be on track, but the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger rebels are bracing for hard realities that have kept the ethnically riven, war-scarred tropical island divided for years. "This is indeed an important first step, but the two sides will have to demonstrate tremendous political will and commitment to enable the (peace) process to move forward," more..

The activities of issuing passports are decentralized

Jan 27 (SLBC) The activities of issuing passports are decentralized. Immigration and Emigration controller P. B. Abeykoon says 3 regional offices will be established to function parallel to the main passport office in Borella. The new offices will be established centering the districts of Kandy, Anuradhapura and the southern province. more..

Sixteen more Tamil refugees seek asylum in India fleeing bloodshed in Sri Lanka: police

Jan 27 (AP) The number of Tamil civilians who have fled to India the past month to escape escalating violence in Sri Lanka reached 235 on Friday as 16 more refugees sought asylum, police said. The latest group arrived Friday in a boat at Arichalmunai village on India's southern coast, more..

Tamil Tiger rebels accuse government-backed assailants of killing senior rebel officer

Jan 27 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels on Friday accused Sri Lanka's government of backing assailants who assassinated a senior rebel officer a day after the two sides agreed to restart peace talks, but the military denied involvement in the ambush. more..

Captain says India was source of detonators destined for rebel territory

Jan 27 (AP) India was the source of tens of thousands of detonators seized by a Sri Lankan navy vessel that were to be delivered to Tamil rebel-held territory, an Indian captain said Friday. The disclosure by Reegan Raj, captain of the boat carrying the detonators, seems likely to embarrass the Indian government, more..

Getty Images

Jan 27 (AFP) Norwegian peace broker Erik Solheim addresses buddhist monks after opening a dining hall at the Sri Sumanarama Vihara temple in Ambalangoda more..

Vilified peacemaker finds himself Sri Lanka's saviour

Jan 27 (AFP) Not long after being burnt in effigy as a "terrorist supporter", Norwegian peacebroker Erik Solheim has turned Sri Lanka's saviour in the eyes of Buddhist monks who anointed him an "angel of peace". When the flamboyant 50-year-old minister held his first meeting with more..

‘License to fish in Lankan waters can end attacks’

Jan 28 (NIP) Giving license to Indian fishermen to fish in Sri Lankan waters could provide an effective solution in reducing the persistent and violent attacks against fishermen in the Palk Bay region around Katchatheevu island, said Suryanarayanan, a leading specialist in South and South East Asian studies. more..

Rebel-linked group says ceasing attacks

Jan 28 (Reuters) A Sri Lankan group linked to the Tamil Tiger rebels said on Friday it was ceasing military action but the government and the guerrillas accused each other of new attacks just after agreeing to meet for talks. A string of suspected rebel attacks on troops strained a 2002 cease-fire and brought the island to the edge of civil war, but, more..

India is 'fully supportive' of Lankan peace process: Solheim

Jan 28 (PTI) India is "fully supportive" of the peace process in Sri Lanka but its presence at the talks with the LTTE in Geneva next month is not expected, Norwegian negotiator Eric Solheim said today. "There is no indication of India's direct presence at the talks," more..

LTTE 'abducts Sinhala youth'

Jan 28 (BBC) Courts in Sri Lanka have ordered the police to hand over a Sinhala youth reportedly fled away from Tamil Tigers' captivity to his parents. The police produced the youth, who was handed over to them by Sri Lanka Army (SLA), before Vavuniya District Judge M Ilanchelian. more..

JVP happy on resumption of talks

Jan 28 (BBC) The main ally of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, JVP, expressed satisfaction that the Tamil Tigers agreed to have talks with the government. Parliamentarian Nandana Gunethilake, a senior leader of the JVP, said the party is happy that a compromise has also been reached on the venue of the talks. more..

Sri Lanka's tea trail offers historic brew

Jan 28 (FT) High in the lush hills south of Kandy, a patient factory manager explained to me the venerable business of "Orthodox" and "CTC", of Broken Orange Pekoe, fannings and dust. We discussed plucking and withering, fermentation and drying, while his workers tended machines almost as old and archaic as the Industrial Revolution. more..

Sri Lanka Picks Juniper

Jan 28 (PR) Juniper Networks today announced that Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has further expanded its network with Juniper Networks M-series multiservice routing platforms and E-series Broadband Services Routers as part of a project to introduce new service offerings. more..

Asian Elephant countries meet to save the endangered species

Jan 28 (ENS) The Asian elephant, once a symbol of a unique and sacred relationship between nature and humans, is now listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The increase in human–elephant conflicts, which claim the lives of several hundred animals and people every year, more..

Tension in Sri Lanka puts Indian fishermen in troubled waters

Jan 28 (DNA) The looming threat of another civil war in Sri Lanka has put the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu in a precarious situation. On one hand, the fishing towns of Rameswaram and Mandapam, less than 20 km from Sri Lanka across the Palk Straits, have been receiving scores of Tamil refugees from the island nation. more..

India hails Colombo-LTTE talks

Jan 28 (Hindu) India on Friday welcomed the decision by the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE to hold talks in Geneva in February, the External Affairs Ministry said. "The resumption of talks augurs well for the prospects of peace in Sri Lanka," the Ministry stressed. more..

Police curfew continues in Beruwala

Jan 28 (LeN) Even though Sinhala- Muslim clashes in Beruwala have died down, a police curfew was clamped down once again in Beruwala and Aluthgama from 3.00 this evening as several assault incidents were reported from Aluthgama this morning. more..

Appeal Court reaffirms SB's exoneration

Jan 28 (LeN) The Appeal Court today rejected a petition filed by the Bribery and Corruption Commission challenging the acquittal of former Minister S.B.Dissanayake by the High Court from bribery charges against him. more..

Thonda-Chandrasekaran under one banner at mini poll

Jan 28 (LeN) Amidst growing speculation that the a tie up between the government and the Ceylon Workers Congress is in the offing, the CWC is to contest the upcoming local government polls in an alliance with the Upcountry People's Front. more..

I too will come if Mom is given ambassador's post-Naveen

Jan 28 (LeN) UNP national list parliamentarian Naveen Dissanayake is reported to have put forward a condition to the senior Minister that he too would cross over to the government ranks if his mother, Srima Dissanayake was made Sri Lankan ambassador to India. more..

UNP crossovers irks Deputy Ministers

Jan 28 (LeN) A group of Deputy Ministers have expressed dismay over the offering of ministerial posts to UNP parliamentarians and making them a part of the government. These deputy ministers have pointed out that it is unfair by the SLFP parliamentarians who worked tirelessly to ensure the party victory two months ago to offer Ministerial posts to UNP parliamentarians more..

G.L. to be President's main peace envoy

Jan 28 (LeN) In the wake of vehement opposition from the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and the Jathika Hela Urumaya to the appointment of Professor G.L.Pieris as a Cabinet Minister, he is to be appointed as the chief presidential envoy on the peace process. more..

Too many peace effort ruins for hope and comfort!

Jan 28 (ISL) We must always have a positive attitude whatever our efforts be and especially when they have far-reaching consequences. When lives are at stake and communities under threat of death and devastation, it becomes all the more important to stay fast, strong and totally committed to achieving peace. more..

Sri Lanka: Ashes of thoughts for what the Tsunami took away

Jan 28 (WB) As long as I can remember I talked to the sea. The sea behind our ancestral house at Hikkaduwa on the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka was my friend. The sea listened to me, soothed me, fascinated me. At the end of school holidays when everyone was ready to go back to my grandmother's house to go to school more..

Hand bomb hurled at soldier’s house

Jan 28 (LT) A hand bomb was hurled at a house of a member of security forces at Kanthankudi area in Batticaloa. The soldier is attached to special security division and the bomb was thrown on the 25th at 7.30 p.m. The soldier was not at home at the time of the attack. No one was injured from the attack. more..

No alternative but to work as a traditional party! - Ranil Wickremasinghe

Jan 28 (LT) If the Government doesn’t act honestly, the UNP has no other alternative but to act as a traditional political party said Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe, leader of the UNP. He said this at an executive committee meeting held yesterday(26th). more..

No proof Sri Lanka Army backs Karuna

Jan 28 Jan 28 (IANS) Sri Lanka's peace monitors have no evidence that the country's army is supporting the breakaway Tamil Tigers group headed by Karuna, a senior official of the Nordic body says. 'We have no proof that the army is directly supporting the Karuna group but we know that some local army officers had knowledge of the whereabouts of some Karuna supporters,' more..

Holding local elections to face legal action

Jan 28 (TN) Holding elections to three hundred and sixty local government institutions based on the 2004 Voters' List has become a contentious issue among political parties and election monitoring institutions. The main opposition UNP has already filed a petition more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Jan 28 (SLA) ONE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED AND SIXTY (1,660) lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 20 January 2006 and 26 January 2006. more..

Vasu's 'Probe Committee' only in name

Jan 28 (LeN) Even though Democratic Left Front Leader Vasudeva Nanayakkara was appointed as the head of a newly created probe committee to look for irregularities and corruptions in any government ministry, the President has so far not allocated him an office. more..

Fourth anniversary of shaky truce in glow of resumed negotiations?

Jan 28 (TW) It was a week for the simmering inferno that is Sri Lanka's political landscape to finally boil over. The faltering peace process received a leg up finally, with the LTTE deciding to compromise on a venue for talks about the implementation of the fragile ceasefire agreement. more..

Does the LTTE really believe in peace through negotiations?

Jan 28 (TW) A huge euphoria, ‘eureka’ like, is created with the announcement that the two parties would be meeting in Geneva in mid February. Hope this breakthrough would reduce the frequency of ambulances wailing along the Galle Road from Ratmalana. more..

Terror unleashed on Tiger supporters in North-East

Jan 28 (TW) Terror is not the sole monopoly of a single entity. Violence does not continue according to a predictable pattern at all times. In the memorable words uttered by Malcolm X when John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 "the chickens have come home to roost"- Yet Malcolm X too was killed a short while after. What goes around truly comes around. more..

Sri Lanka's Peace Prospects Look Dubious

Jan 28 (ON) Every war goes on too long. Sri Lanka's should never have started at all. In two decades of fighting, perhaps 64,000 people have died. Brutalities of this kind have not been seen in South Asia, but they have become commonplace in this majestic island nation. more..

Govt. asks for third extension to power sector loan

Jan 28 (LBO) The Asian Development Bank says it is willing to stay on in the power sector, despite the government missing its second deadline for a US$ 60 million loan. The Sri Lankan government has asked donors for a third extension to the loan to overhaul the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), which lapsed last December, more..

Who controls Sri Lanka cricket?

Jan 28 (ANN) There has been much written in the media about the mafia, underworld, godfathers and Sicilian connections. We are now being told about the mafia in the media and mafia in cricket. Allegations about the media mafia usually come out during elections and are soon forgotten once the elections are over. more..

Geneva talks: Some issues to be raised

Jan 28 (ANN) The government wants talks with the LTTE to start soon, based on mutual trust without any more time wasted, according to a Cabinet spokesman. Mutual trust or no mutual trust, talks, as the government says, should begin without any further delay, given the volatility of the North and the East. more..

Joseph Michael replaces Mahinda S.

Jan 28 (SAMN) The UNP Working Committee decided to appoint Joseph Michael Perera for the post of Chief Opposition Whip which went vacant following Kalutara District MP Mahinda Samarasinghe’s cross over to the Government ranks. The working committee also decided on a disciplinary inquiry against Ratanpura District UNP MP Susantha Punchinilame for more..

Fowzie angers CTB workers

Jan 28 (SAMN) The All-Ceylon Trade Union Federation is up in arms over the statement made by Transport Minister A. H. M. Fowzie. Addressing the workers, at the opening of the CTB Welfare Office on January 24, 2006, The minister had said "If the CTB was to run at a profit, its work force must be reduced to five (5)". more..

Exploring alternative energy sources

Jan 28 (SAMN) The Swarajya Foundation and Muslim Aid (Sri Lanka office) will carry out a practical demonstration of the use of solar power and other energy efficient appliances for domestic purposes such as cooking and electricity on January 30, at The Sama Institution, Thalangama. more..

Sinhala, Tamil compulsory for new public servants

Jan 28 (LNP) Sinhala and Tamil proficiency will be compulsory for new recruits to the public sector as a means of promoting bilingualism and ethnic harmony, Constitutional Affairs Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera announced yesterday. more..

Yahoo Photo

Jan 28 (AP) Players of Taprobane Tuskers, center, and Tickler & Ivories participate in an elephant polo game in Galle, 110 kilometers (66 miles) south of Colombo, Sri Lanka, more..

'You are free now': The LTTE told him

Jan 28 (LNP) January 26, turned out to be memorable for Sarath - - a Policeman attached to the National Child Protection Authority. But he did not have the slightest idea about it. Thursday morning, the LTTE cadres who held him captive, in Killinochchi prison for 139 days, got him into a van. Few miles down their way towards Kilinochchi courts, a rebel told him 'you are free now'. more..

Dalada Maligawa attack marked

Jan 28 (LNP) Members of the Sangha and laymen, in large numbers, attended an `Adhistana Pooja` (determination), at the Sri Dalada Maligawa on Wednesday (25) late afternoon, to mark the LTTE bomb attack on the world`s most venerated shrine, the Sri Dalada Maligawa. The event was organised by the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU). more..

Jaffna academics commend peace moves

Jan 28 (DN) RELIGIOUS leaders from the North and the South and the Jaffna University community yesterday expressed their wholehearted support to the new peace endeavours. The Jaffna University academic staff and students are overwhelmed by the consensus reached between the Government of Mahinda Rajapakse and the LTTE leadership on more..

UNP to support gov't peace talks with rebels on condition

Jan 28 (Xinhua) The main opposition United National Party (UNP) while welcoming government moves to hold talks with Tamil Tiger rebels in Geneva said they would however link three demands. The demand includes the release of one time Minister and UNP heavyweight S.B. Dissanayake as pre-conditions to support any peace efforts. more..

JHU opposed to talks venue with Tigers

Jan 28 (Xinhua) All Buddhist Monk party said here Saturday that they are opposed to Geneva being chosen as the venue for the next month's face to face talks between the Tamil Tigers and the government. Champika Ranawaka, the policy strategist for the JHU said that by going to Europe the Tigers are attempting to hoodwink a European travel ban on the LTTE rebels. more..