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Prohibition in Sri Lanka

Jan 4 (ANN) President Mahinda Rajapakse’s first step after assuming office was to instruct the police to intensify their raids on illicit breweries. As a result, it has been revealed that this trade has been carried out on a massive scale by big mudalalis with the support of politicians of the two major parties. more..

Dramatic peace move by President

Jan 4 (PIS) Amidst growing tension in the North, President Mahinda Rajapakse is reported to be considering a dramatic peace move and a top-level team headed by Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga may go to Kilinochchi for talks as early as this week, informed sources said yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka violence prompts civil war fears

Jan 4 (ISN) Irate students set fire to security checkpoints in Sri Lanka's eastern Trincomalee town on Tuesday after six students had been killed and one other wounded the night before in an explosion blamed on rebels, according to police. more..

FM in US talks amid fears of ceasefire collapse

Jan 4 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera arrived in Washington for talks with top US officials amid fears the tropical Indian Ocean island could descend back into civil war. He will be the first minister from the new Colombo administration to meet officials here, more..

LTTE violence spree continues as one more soldier dies

Jan 4 (SLA) AN ATTEMPT BY TWO TAMIL TIGERS (LTTE) to gun down troops on routine duties in the general area of KARUWANKERNI, BATTICALOA Tuesday (03) morning was foiled after retaliatory fire causing damage to the attackers’ motorbike. more..

Sri Lanka police crack down on expanding copycat clothing producers

Jan 4 (LBO) Clothing brand battles with fakes on the rise, in the post quota garment trade in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) reports a surge in legal action against intellectual property violations in 2005 - lead by international clothing brands. more..

Remand of three Sri Lanka policemen extended until 17 of this month

Jan 4 (AT) A LTTE court in Kilinochchi has further extended the remand of the three Sri Lankan policemen in custody till 17 of this month, when the case was taken up by the courts today. LTTE cadres, of the Murukkan Kokkupadayan camp, arrested the three policemen, who went to arrest a British pedophile on 09 September last year. more..

Oslo offers talks with JVP

Jan 4 (LM) Norway yesterday expressed keenness to have bilateral talks with the JVP over the allegations by the party that Norway and particularly its minister Erik Solheim, were biased towards the LTTE and complicating the peace process. more..

Yowun Diriya to provide professional education to 30,000 youth

Jan 4 (SLBC) 'Yowun Diriya' Programme, which provides professional education to 30,000 youth who were unable to pursue higher education, will commence from Mulkirigala on the 31st of this month. President Mahinda Rajapakse will preside over the inauguration ceremony. more..

Amid danger of civil war, Sri Lankan president visits New Delhi

Jan 4 (wsws) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse chose to make his first foreign visit to New Delhi in late December, in order to seek greater backing from the Indian government as the danger of a return to civil war heightens on the island. more..

LTTE abducted PLOTE official's body found in Kepitikollawa

Jan 4 (ISL) Sources from Vavuniya claim that the slain body of Krishnasamy Thirunavukarsu of the People's Liberation Organisation of Thamil Eelam (PLOTE) who was abducted while he was in his home in Vavuniya last week was found today morning at Attambusgasgoda in Vavuniya. more..

Tamils being used as Cannon Fodders by LTTE

Jan 4 (ISL) “Prabhakaran was equally candid to an Indian journalist, explaining at length how he planned to ‘play politics’ to counter the Indian military establishment. The strategy, he said, would be to provoke the IPKF to attack Sri Lankan Tamil civilians. It would be so fine tuned as not to arouse any suspicion.” more..

Special investigation by the Ministry of Defence on the five deaths in Trinco

Jan 4 (LT) The Ministry of Defence is scheduled to carry out a broad investigation on the incident occurred in Trincomalee beach on Monday night which caused five deaths of Wanni tiger members. This investigation is to be carried out on revealing gun shot injuries on their heads at the inquest held by the coroner. more..

Remonstration in Colombo against the arrest of Tamil community by security forces

Jan 4 (LT) A protest is to be stimulated in Colombo alleging that the security forces are arresting innocent civilians in the North pretending as a security measure. On the advice of the Wanni tigers TNA Parliamentarians and other political parties is scheduled to meet at 4.00 p.m. at the Peace and Community Centre at Deans Road, Colombo. more..

University students forced to join tigers

Jan 4 (LT) Wanni tiger organization has taken steps to use university students to carry out murders of politicians and senior security personnel. It is reported that many Tamil university students have been given combat training by the tigers. Most of the students have refused to join tiger organization but have to be tight-lipped about it as a result of threats from the tigers. more..

Sri Lankan cricket board to send psychologist to help team

Jan 4 (AP) Stung by consecutive defeats, the Sri Lankan cricket board is sending renowned sports psychologist Sandy Gordon to help the national cricket team come out of its present poor forms, a top cricket official said. Sri Lanka has lost eight of its last nine limited-overs internationals to India and New Zealand over the past two months. more..

Yahoo Photos

Jan 4 (Reuters) Relatives of slain Tamil Tiger rebel Major Jeyanthan cry next to his coffin at a funeral house in Tamil Tiger rebel-held Mulankavil village, in Kilinochchi, northern Sri Lanka, January 4, 2006. more..

Trinco tense at students deaths

Jan 4 (SAMN) Trincomalee town was tense yesterday and life came to a standstill with students and others staging massive protests against the Monday night killing of five A/L-qualified students allegedly by the security forces. Military officials, however, denied the allegations and said the youths were killed when hand grenades they meant to lob at the security personnel prematurely exploded. more..

Local polls slated for April

Jan 4 (SAMN) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake yesterday declared that he had requested the Local Government Ministry Secretary to inform him before January 18 whether the forthcoming Local Government Elections should be held under the proposed mixed system or the prevailing proportional representation system. more..

LTTE sympathisers flee Jaffna

Jan 4 (LNP) Nearly a thousand residents of Jaffna had fled to Kilinochchi as a result of an alarm raised by an LTTE front, which calls itself the Tamil National Army, to the effect that war is imminent, sources in the North said yesterday (3). more..

Prime minister launches `road map for disaster risk management

Jan 4 (LNP) The `Road Map for a Safer Sri Lanka` a comprehensive programme of action for disaster risk management in order to minimise adverse affects of natural disasters was officially launched (December 30th) when a copy of the Actin Plan was presented to Prime minister more..

Musings on TAT (Talks About Talks)

Jan 4 (LNP) What is unfolding on the peace front evokes memories of a bygone era. In the late 1980s, when India coerced the JRJ government into introducing the 13th Amendment, the JVP took school children out to stage protests. And we had small children shouting, `Pala Baba Apita Epa`' more..

Sri Lanka Prime Home Prices Fall On Conflict Fears

Jan 4 (DJ) Private home prices in some prime locations in Sri Lanka have fallen over the last two months due to political changes and increasing fears that the government's truce with Tamil Tiger rebels is faltering, market watchers said. more..

Tamil businessman fatally shot in Colombo

Jan 4 (AP) Unidentified gunmen killed a prominent ethnic minority Tamil businessman in Sri Lanka's capital, police said Wednesday. Natarjah Balendran, 45, ran a passenger bus service between the capital, Colombo, in the country's southwest and the Tamil city of Jaffna in the north, and owned seven internet cafes in the capital, more..

Wide support for Tobacco and Alcohol Authority proposal

Jan 4 (DN) Several leading religious dignitaries, human rights organisations and civil society organisations yesterday expressed their support to the proposal to establish a National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol. A Private Members Motion in this connection has been submitted to Parliament by Ven. Dr. Omalpe Sobitha Thera of JHU. more..

Sri Lanka to probe youth deaths over execution report

Jan 4 (Reuters) Sri Lanka on Wednesday ordered a probe into the deaths of five youths the military said were killed when a grenade they were carrying exploded, after truce monitors found they had been shot in the head execution-style. more..

Raj leads India to Asia Cup glory

Jan 5 (CI) India's captain Mithali Raj hit a sparkling century to guide her team to an overwhelming 97-run win against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final at Karachi and with it second successive title. As throughout the tournament the Indian batting proved too strong and another fine bowling performance capped a commanding team effort. more..

Angry Ranatunga blasts interim committee

Jan 5 (CI) Arjuna Ranatunga, Sri Lanka's outspoken former captain, has followed his resignation as cricket committee chairman with a stinging public attack on the Jayantha Dharmadasa-led interim committee running cricket in the island. more..

Sri Lanka media under siege

Jan 5 (LBO) The Maharajah Group, owners of television stations MTV and Sirasa, claim there have been no police investigations into an alleged plot to murder its Group Chairman. The private group owns three television and five radio channels, with company officials saying that had made company Chairman R. Rajamahendran a political target. more..

'No instructions on Chemmani' CID

Jan 5 (BBC) Police say that they have not received proper instructions from the government on conducting the Chemmani massacre inquiry. In the Colombo Magistrates court on Wednesday, Police CID revealed that the investigations that commenced six years ago cannot be concluded until the Attorney-General issues the relevant instructions. more..

Christian-Buddhist relations improve after Tsunami

Jan 5 (CP) One year after the massive quake-triggered tsunami struck South Asia in December 2004, Christians and Buddhists in Sri Lanka have grown closer through Christian tsunami relief works, according to reports. "It (the tsunami) has given us an opportunity to work closely with the Buddhist people and win their confidence," said the Rev. Lesley Weerasinghe, more..

Indian companies to invest US$ 500 million in Sri Lanka

Jan 5 (AT) A number of leading Indian Companies have agreed to invest in Sri Lanka following the recent visit to India by President Mahinda Rajapaksha. India’s leading companies such as National Thermal Power Corporation[NTPC] , South Asia Petro Chemicals , Advance Group of Companies, Taj Group, Rajshree Sugar and Chemicals Ltd, have promised to invest around US$ 564 million in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka plans to increase rubber production to meet international demand

Jan 5 (AT) The Ministry of Plantation Industries has taken numerous steps to overcome the prevailing shortcomings in the rubber industry with the view to augment and improve the rubber export and industry in the country. The Ministry says a number of issues which delayed the progress of rubber sector, more..

Christians in Sri Lanka endure harsh persecution over Christmas

Jan 5 (CT) Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) have reported on how believers in a Sri Lankan church were attacked by a mob as they were holding their Christmas service. A mob of approximately thirty people confronted the members of the King’s Revival Church on Christmas Day in Alawwa, Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka. more..

Start talks unconditionally-Anti War Front

Jan 5 (LeN) The Anti-War Front has urged the government and the LTTE to halt all acts of hostilities and violations of the cease-fire agreement and resume peace talks which have been confined to words at present with immediate effect. more..

Government tight lipped about alleged plot to kill media tycoon Maharaja

Jan 5 (LeN) Despite a complaint lodged with the Inspector General and the top government officials on the alleged plot to kill Mr. Raja Mahendran, who the owner of Sirasa, MTV and Shakthi media network-the Chairman of the Maharaja group of companies, more..

Pakistan or Indian person shot dead in Dehiwala

Jan 5 (LeN) An unidentified person from Pakistan or India was shot by unidentified gunmen at Alfred Place in Dehiwala, around 9:30 a.m tonight. Dehiwala police said that there was no way to verify the victim's identity. But they believe the victim could be Pakistanis or Indian, through appearance. more..

Reporters Sans Frontiers preparing for another hit?

Jan 5 (ISL) The Independent sources learn that the Reporters Sans Frontiers (Reporters Without Borders) are in the process of preparing new propaganda material for the LTTE. RSF had been successful in preparing malicious attacks against non-LTTE Tamils in Europe on the requests of pro LTTE supporters who claim to be working for Tamil Media in Norway. more..

Rajapakse wants British church to block rebel funds

Jan 5 (Gulf) President Mahinda Rajapakse has urged a Catholic church leader in Britain to help prevent large-scale fund-raising for Tamil rebels in that country and in European countries. The request was made when Cardinal McCormack Murphy O'Connor from Britain called on Rajapakse in Colombo where a wide range of talks including the current peace process were held. more..

Photo Blog: All under a bowl

Jan 5 (BS) Anton sells roasted peanuts in Murugandy Pillaiyar Koyil site. A bag of roasted peanuts are sold for Rs.20/=. It is a very common activity of the bypasser to buy roasted peanuts, when coming to worship at the temple. more..

Norway refuses to respect EU's list of terrorists

Jan 5 (AT) Norwegian Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Střre declared in a press statement issued on 04 January, that Norway will not respect the list of terrorist organizations banned by the European Union. Reason: this will make it difficult for Norwegian involvement in peace processes. more..

Govt. delegation’s Jaffna visit to be cancelled?

Jan 5 (LT) It is reported that the visit by a Government delegation, which includes Secretary to the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, to Jaffna on the 5th might not take place. The reason for the cancellation is said to be the normalcy that exist at present in Jaffna peninsular say sources. more..

Those who cannot tolerate ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ spread Tamil communalism

Jan 5 (LT) Certain elements who cannot tolerate the implementation of ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ are trying to sow Tamil communalism says Deputy Minister Vadiwel Suresh. Addressing a media meeting held in Colombo he said those elements act as they cannot bear the benefits given to the people in the estate sector. more..

Suspicion raised over disappearance of LTTE martyrs' families

Jan 5 (PIS) The sudden disappearance of 90 'martyr's families' of the LTTE from their dwellings in Jaffna have raised the suspicions of the Army who believes that members of these families have been inducted into a certain civilian group, trained by the LTTE to assassinate security personnel. more..

SLMM, Army at loggerheads over evidence

Jan 5 (PIS) As the security situation was weakening in Jaffna, relations between the SLMM and the military also appeared to be strained, with the monitors accusing the armed forces of withholding evidence linking the recent wave of attacks to the LTTE. more..

Postponing NE local elections requires new legislation

Jan 5 (TN) Mr.Dayananda Dissanayake, Commissioner of Elections said Tuesday that he has no authority to postpone the elections to the local authorities in the North and East. Only District Returning Officers are empowered to change dates of holding local elections, Mr Dissanayake said at a press briefing more..

Security strengthened for students' funeral, hartal relaxed

Jan 5 (TN) Trincomalee residents in large numbers Wednesday paid their last respects to the five Tamil students killed Tuesday whose bodies were kept in their respective houses located in the east port town, sources in Trincomalee said. more..

Sri Lanka's Tigers say willing to die, ready for war

Jan 5 (Reuters) Malathy is around five feet tall, joined Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels a decade ago and says the deaths of her comrades have only strengthened her. She is ready to fight again. more..

Large crowd partake in students funeral procession in Trincomalee

Jan 5 (TN) Thousands of residents of all walks of life thronged the playgrounds of the Trincomalee Sri Koneswara Hindu College Thursday morning and paid their last respects to the slain five Tamil students. more..

Norway drops EU's terror list

Jan 5 (TN) The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday said Norway's continued alignment with the EU list of banned individuals and organisations could cause difficulties for Norway in its role as "neutral facilitator in certain peace processes" stating that Norway will no longer align itself with any other list than that published by the UN. more..