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Sea battle erupts off Sri Lanka

Nov 9 (BBC) A fierce battle between the Sri Lankan navy and Tamil Tiger rebels is taking place off the northern Jaffna peninsula, the two sides say. About 15 rebel boats were involved in the fighting, the military said. There are no details of any casualties yet. The rebels told the BBC they sank one navy boat and badly damaged another. more..

Officials say fierce sea clash off Sri Lanka claims rebel, navy vessels

Nov 9 (AP) At least nine vessels were destroyed in a naval clash Thursday between Tamil rebels and Sri Lanka's navy off the northern coast, officials said, as a human rights group denounced the shelling of a school by the military in which at least 23 people were killed and scores injured. Rebel military spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan told The Associated Press that fighting broke out when navy vessels disturbed the rebels' "routine naval exercises." more..

Tigers destroy Sri Lankan gunboats

Nov 9 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels have staged a suicide attack against a naval patrol in northern Sri Lanka, destroying two gunboats and sparking a major sea and air battle. One of the gunboats was rammed by a a rebel craft packed with explosives while another was destroyed under heavy fire, spokesman Prasad Samarasing said Thursday. more..

We will not justify Vakarai attack : We really regret - Keheliya

Nov 10 (LeN) At a media briefing held to inform cabinet decisions the spokesman for the media centre for National Security Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the government wishes to express its regret over the attack on the Vakarai Kadiraveli area and will not try to justify it. It happened under unavoidable circumstances he added. more..

You cannot carry a flower basket, garbage basket and urine pot together - S.B.

Nov 10 (LeN) A consensus was reached to settle the conflict between UNP Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe and Deputy Leader Karu Jayasooriya with the assurance of reorganization of the party within 100 days. At the Exco Meeting held yesterday with Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe at the chair, the proposal to appoint Mr. Rukman Senanayake as the chairman and more..

UNP agrees to 'democratise'

Nov 10 (BBC) The main opposition has vowed to work together to come back to power saying that President Rajapaksa’s “days are limited”. The UNP has appointed a committee to implement reforms agreed at a crucial meeting within 100 days. UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrama told journalists that the much hyped Working Committee meeting on Thursday ended "successfully" as top leaders agreed to carry out reforms. more..

A Sri Lankan product among finalists of World Challenge

Nov 10 (BBC) Maximus is a papermaking firm that makes high-quality products from a variety of wastes, including paper from offices and bark from banana trees. The firm set up shop in Kegalle, Sri Lanka, in 1997, not far from an elephant orphanage. In Sri Lanka there is competition between elephants and a growing human population for land. more..

Central Bank responds to report over the sudden closure of its anti-pyramiding unit

Nov 10 (LBO) The Central Bank has responded to a weekend news report in the continuing controversy over the sudden closure of a special investigation unit that was probing the Goldquest scheme among others. The Central Bank said it wished to ‘categorically refute the allegations and insinuations contained in the said paper article’. more..

Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal Awarded To Australia Sri Lanka Medical Aid Team

Nov 10 (LE) The Governor General of Australia has awarded the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal to the Australia Sri Lanka Medical Aid Team in recognition of the service rendered to Sri Lanka since Tsunami 2004. It states “The medal will honour members of recognized Australian groups which render humanitarian service overseas in hazardous circumstances such as war zones, during peace keeping operations or in times of natural disaster or civil strife”. more..

India to export pulses to Sri Lanka

Nov 10 (IANS) India, which has banned the export of pulses due to a shortage in the domestic market, Thursday agreed to Sri Lanka's request for the supply of red gram (masoor) and green gram (whole moong) to meet its shortfall. 'The Sri Lankan government had sought import of certain essential items. We have decided to export a small quantity of masoor dal and green gram on humanitarian grounds,' more..

"They killed 68 in Kebithigollewa–So there goes 65 in Kathiraveli" : Is Sri Lanka now at a tit-for-tat killing field?

Nov 10 (AT) A disinformation campaign and a counter-campaign to counter it are being waged at their best in Sri Lanka. LTTE the separatist Tamil rebel outfit and the Government of Sri Lanka are also involved in a grim game of numbers – that of counting the dead bodies. more..

Karunanidhi condemns army shelling in Eastern Sri Lanka

Nov 10 (AT) Tamil Nadu strong man Muthavel Karunanidhi is no longer hiding his concern over the situation in Sri Lanka. He has come out strongly against the Sri Lankan army's Wednesday shelling in Batticaloa, which claimed sixty five lives. In a statement in Chennai, Karunanidhi said, 'The time has come for answering the genuine question that how long India can tolerate this'. more..

Norway very troubled by the deteriorating situation in Sri Lanka

Nov 10 (AT) Norway’s Minister of International Development Erik Solheim is very troubled by the deteriorating situation in Sri Lanka. In recent days there have been intensive military operations, some involving repeated aerial bombardment, which have particularly affected innocent civilians. more..

Chandrika Kumaratunga's comments on the purchase of curtains in London

Nov 10 (AT) Former Sri Lanka President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, comments on the purchase of curtains in London. We publish the following text sent by the office of the former President of Sri Lanka, Chandrika Kumaratunga with the Editor’s comment below: more..

EC to assist underprivileged masses in Sri Lanka

Nov 10 (AT) European Commission in Sri Lanka has pledged to assist the local charity organization - the Colombo "Friend in Need Society." Head of Delegation of the European Commission, Mr.Julian Wilson told media his commission expects to assist charity work organized by the Friend in Need Society to fulfill aspirations of the disabled community. more..

26 Sri Lankan sailors dead, four captured alive in northern sea battle, Tamil rebels say

Nov 10 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels said Thursday that they have killed at least 26 Sri Lankan sailors and caught four others alive in a fierce sea battle off the northern Jaffna peninsula. The fighting came as the United Nations and a rights group denounced the Sri Lankan military's shelling of a school in which at least 23 Tamil civilians were killed and scores injured. more..

Sri Lanka to cap vanaspati exports to India

Nov 10 (PTI) The government has managed to convince Sri Lanka to limit exports of vanaspati oil to India at 2.50 lakh tonnes per annum, a move that is expected to limit the damage to local industry from duty free imports. "Under India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement it has been decided to limit the exports of vanaspati to India at 2,50,000 tones per annum. more..

Sea Tigers claim victory in naval battle off Pt. Pedro Coast

Nov 10 (TW) The LTTE Sea Tigers Division has claimed victory in a fierce naval battle off the Northern coast of Point Pedro. The fighting occurred in the evening on Thursday November 9th about 4 nautical miles off the Pt. Pedro coast. Two Dvora fast attack craft boats of the Navy were sunk while a third was severely damaged. Two black sea tiger suicide boats laden with explosives rammed into the boats. more..

Sri Lanka suspends ’sexually explicit’ radio station

Nov 10 (AFP) Sri Lanka today suspended a private radio channel for broadcasting “sexually explicit” programmes about young people’s personal problems. The Sinhalese-language Raja FM channel was shut down because it ignored requests to drop an agony aunt program called “Three hours with Sumali”, the government’s information department said. more..

Operation USA Responds To Humanitarian Crisis In Sri Lanka

Nov 10 (AN) Operation USA is collecting funds and pushing the US Government and the UN to take firm action to help re-open humanitarian corridors, enabling our partners on the ground to provide goods and services to the affected Internally Displaced People(IDP's) and to ensure the safety of tsunami development programs. more..

Sri Lanka releases 19 Tamil Nadu fishermen

Nov 10 (Hindu) Nineteen Tamil Nadu fishermen, who were arrested recently by Sri Lankan authorities after they strayed into the island nation's waters, have been released. P.M. Amza, Deputy High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Southern India, said Sri Lanka had ordered the release of the fishermen within a few days of their arrest as it was convinced that they had strayed into the waters for a better catch. more..

UN Official calls on all sides to protect civilians after deadly Army shelling

Nov 10 (Scoop) The top United Nations relief official today called on all sides in the conflict between the Sri Lankan Government and Tamil separatist rebels to protect civilians after an army artillery bombardment yesterday hit a school sheltering 1,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), killing at least 23 people and wounding 135 others. more..

Sri Lanka reports 12% drop in tourist in Oct; lowest monthly decline since Dec. ‘05

Nov 10 (LBO) Holidaymakers to Sri Lanka fell 12.0 percent for the 12 months to October, the Sri Lanka Tourist Board said Friday, amidst soaring violence in the North and East. Sri Lanka greeted 38,815 visitors in October, the largest monthly decline since December 2005, as government troops and Tamil Tigers stepped up attacks against each other. more..

Sri Lankan markets jittery as bullets fly ahead of next week’s budget

Nov 10 (LBO) Sri Lankan share prices are breaking records amidst flying bullets, but financial markets are uneasy that the government may use next Thursday’s budget to tax capital gains, analysts said. One of Asia’s best performing indexes, the island’s tiny stockmarket is up over 30 percent since January, largely on deal making on few blue chips and mid sized stocks. more..

Govt accountable, whatever the provocations: Bishop Chickera

Nov 10 (TW) Anglican Bishop of Colombo, Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera says the incident at Kathiraveli-Panichchankerni in the Eastern Province, which killed scores and injured several hundred civilians, has sent further shock waves through the nation. While condemning the incident, Bishop Chickera said that even as arguments and explanations are offered from all sides, reports received seem to indicate that the armed forces must be held accountable, whatever the provocations. more..

FM radio banned, without prior warning

Nov 10 (TW) Free Media Movement expresses its serious concern over banning Raja FM radio based on the allegation of indecency by the Department of Information. The banning order was issued on 11th November 2006 and warns that government may ban not only the Raja FM channel but also whole radio station. Raja FM is one of the channels of AEP radio and television network. more..

Tripoli Conference adopts Resolution on Sri Lankan Muslim Issue

Nov 10 (LM) World Islamic Popular Leadership Conference adopted a resolution on separate representation for Muslims at peace negotiations, in its final communique today when it concluded its two day deliberations. SLMC Secretary General and Parliamentarian M.T. Hasen Ali who represented the SLMC at this conference pushed this resolution through with the suppot of Pakistani, Sudanese and Indonesian participants. more..

Human shields a War Crime in combat: HRW

Nov 10 (LNP) The International human rights advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has drawn concerns over the warring parties resorting to war crimes by using civilians as human shields, having investigated at least one instance where the LTTE effectively used displaced persons to deter enemy attack. In an e-mail interview with the Daily Mirror, conducted prior to Wednesdays incident in Vakarai, where similar allegations were made, more..

LTTE didn`t fire from camp: Survivors

Nov 10 (LNP) The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission said yesterday there were no signs of the existence of an LTTE military camp in the vicinity of the two schools which came under attack from Government troops on Wednesday. SLMM acting spokeswoman Helen Olafsdottir told the Daily Mirror the monitors had interviewed some of the survivors of the incident and so far no one had provided evidence to suggest the presence of a rebel military camp in the area. more..

Navy foils LTTE attack on civilian ship

Nov 10 (PISL) Naval troops yesterday foiled a major LTTE attack on the civilian passenger vessel 'Green Ocean I' with 300 Jaffna bound civilians from Trincomalee in the sea off Nagarkovil destroying a flotilla of Sea Tiger boats including three suicide boats. Navy Commander Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda told the Daily News last night that the Navy escorted the 'Green Ocean I' to a safer area amidst the Sea Tiger attack without any harm to the civilian passengers. more..

UNP leadres vow to revitlaize party

Nov 10 (SAMN) UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya Thursday said once the new reforms were accepted and implemented the party would be revitalised to work more effectively and become people-friendly while remaining patriotic. The decision by the UNP Working Committee at Wednesday’s meeting to complete the party reforms programme was a crucial factor to all those who aspired the progress and prosperity of the party, Mr Jayasuriya said in a media release. more..

Forces deny shelling on SLMM members

Nov 10 (SAMN) The Security Forces Thursday denied and condemned pro-LTTE media allegations on the Security Forces for shelling the Pooneryn area in Jaffna while SLMM representatives were touring the area seeing the feasibility of opening an alternative route to A-9 on the Government's proposals. In a statement, the Forces stressed that they were not informed of any SLMM movements in Pooneryn. more..

JVP deals with govt on ethnis issue

Nov 10 (SAMN) JVP Parliamentarian K D Lal Kantha said Thursday that they were dealing with the government only on policies regarding the stand it had taken on the ethnic problem. “We don’t have any expectation that this government would develop the economy or solve the political problems,” the All Ceylon Health Services Union president said while addressing the ninth anniversary of the ACHSU at the Public Library. more..

Bus companies to be formed soon

Nov 10 (SAMN) The Government has given the green light to private bus operators to form bus companies and regulate their industry. Cabinet spokesman Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said yesterday that the Cabinet which met on Wednesday approved a memorandum presented by Transport Minister A.H.M. Fowzie to bring individual private bus owners together as companies. more..

JVP for public-sector-friendly budget

Nov 10 (SAMN) The JVP Parliamentary Group Thursday handed over the Party’s Budget proposals to the Finance Ministry Secretary. The proposals include providing subsidies to farmers, increasing the Decentralized Budget of all MPs, increasing farmers’ pensions and the granting of subsidies to develop the plantation industry, giving priority to develop the estate workers’ lives and to increase their salary to be on par with the public servants. more..

Three horticultural villages proposed

Nov 10 (DN) The Botanical and Zoological Gardens Ministry has decided to set up three horticultural villages to cater to the export market in Avissawella, Balangoda and Nuwara-Eliya. The main objective of this project is to increase the Government's contribution to promote the export trade. The initial investment is Rs. 100 million. more..

Police on the trail of Raviraj Killer(s)?

Nov 10 (AT) Latest information reveals that Deputy Inspector General for Colombo Division has appointed Police teams to inquire into the killing of Jaffna District MP Nadarajah Raviraj. Police also came across a bag containing the gun used for the killing along with some ammunition rounds, believed to have been thrown away by fleeing assassins. more..

Indian Prime Minister voices concern over attacks on Tamils in Lanka

Nov 10 (AT) India has voiced its concern over attacks on ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured his coalition partner DMK that he is equally concerned over this human tragedy. A statement issued by the office of T R Baalu, a DMK senior and Federal Minister for Shipping and Transport, the Prime Minister made these remarks when he met him to 'seek immediate appropriate intervention' by India to more..

South Asian Capital Markets Conference to be held in Colombo

Nov 10 (GDI) The two-day session of the first South Asian Capital Markets Conference begins on November 16 in Colombo aiming to explore potentials and prospects of the financial capital markets in South Asia. The conference scheduled to be held in the Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo. more..

Erudite monk passed away

Nov 10 (GDI) Marking a immense loss to the Buddhist Sasana in Sri Lanka, a highly respected and recognised Thero, Rev. Pandita Mirisse Dhammasiri Thero, has passed away on the 8th of this month. Rev. Dhmmasiri Thero, who was at the ripe age of 82 years when he passed away, was the chief incumbent of Yatala Manik Viharaya, Tissa, Siri Sunanda Tripitaka Piriven Viharaya Mirissa and Lankaramaya, Ratmalana. more..

Government strongly condemns killing of TNA MP

Nov 10 (GDI) The Government strongly condemns the brutal killing of Hon Nadarajh Raviraj, MP, of Tamil National Alliance. The GOSL is deeply concerned over the killing of the elected representative of Jaffna district. H E the President ordered the Inspector General of Police to hold an investigation into the killing that took place this morning near Matha Road off Elvitigala Mawatha in Colombo and to bring the assassins to book. more..

JVP condemns the killing of Tamil Parliamentarian Raviraj

Nov 10 (LE) Mr. Nadarajah Raviraj, Parliamentarian of TNA has been assassinated by unknown persons today (10th) morning. The security officer assigned for his security too was killed in the shooting. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna expresses its condolences regarding the deaths of Parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj and his security officer. more..

Solar power brings light to the lives of tsunami survivors

Nov 10 (RW) Thousands of families have benefited from the installation 1,234 solar light systems across Sri Lanka. The project is a joint effort between World Vision and Light Up The World Foundation (LUTW). Families living in remote areas, fishermen, and people displaced by the tsunami and civil war have all benefited. more..

Will it be too late for the arrival of international assistance to monitor gross violations of human rights?

Nov 10 (RW) The AHRC notes with shock the further intensification of violence in Sri Lanka with the assassination of a Member of Parliament, Nadarajah Raviraj, belonging to the TNA and the killings of the civilians at Vakarai in the Batticaloa district. more..

LTTE Political Head condemns Raviraj assassination in Colombo

Nov 10 (TN) LTTE Political Head S.P.Thamilchelvan condemned the assassination of Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj and accused the Sri Lankan state as responsible for the systematic slaying of humanitarian and democratic voices of Tamils. "Mr. Raviraj was slain in Colombo where he voiced against the abductions and killings carried out by the Sri Lankan military and it's paramilitaries," he said. more..

Tamil leader's killing may spark renewed civil war

Nov 10 (GU) Fears of a full-scale civil war in Sri Lanka grew today after the assassination of a prominent Tamil politician in broad daylight in the capital Colombo. Nadaraja Raviraj, a member of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), was leaving his house when he was shot at close range, said K Sivajilingam, a fellow member of parliament. Mr Raviraj's bodyguard was also killed. more..

US seeks urgent probe into Lankan MP's killing

Nov 10 (HT) The United States has asked the Sri Lankan government to investigate, arrest and prosecute "on the most urgent basis" those responsible for the assassination of the Tamil MP Nadarajah Raviraj here on Friday. "It is critical that crimes such as the murder of Nadarajah Raviraj not go unpunished," the US Embassy in Colombo said in a statement. more..

Sri Lanka says sinks rebel boats, Tamil MP killed

Nov 10 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's military said it sank two Tamil Tiger suicide boats in a new clash with rebel forces on Friday, amid mounting fears that a two-decade civil war was escalating. In Colombo, a prominent member of the Tamil National Alliance -- widely seen as the Tigers' proxy in parliament -- was shot dead, further undermining pledges made by both sides in October to halt the worst violence since a now-battered 2002 ceasefire. more..

President to ask Scotland Yard to investigate on Jaffna MP’s killing

Nov 10 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the late Member of Parliament Nadaraja Raviraj spoke fearlessly on behalf of the people he represented. He did not hesitate to strongly voice his concerns over the issues pertaining to his people. President Rajapaksa emphasized that he was the leader of all the people of Sri Lanka, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or any other differences more..

Tragic demise of Nadarajah Raviraj in Colombo

Nov 10 (TW) Nadarajah Raviraj, one of the bright young stars in the Tamil political firmament is no more. The 44 year old Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian from Jaffna district was brutally shot dead on Friday November 10th while driving his vehicle numbered KE - 1279. Raviraj had just left his residence in Manningtown, Narahenpita and was proceeding towards Elvitigala Mawatte through Martha road when two assassins on a motor cycle rode up to him. more..