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Tamil MP killed amid heavy Sri Lanka fighting

Nov 10 (AFP) A pro-Tamil Tiger MP has been gunned down in the Sri Lankan capital as the island's warring parties fought fresh sea battles and faced rising international condemnation over civilian deaths. Police said unidentified attackers killed Nadarajah Raviraj, 44, and his bodyguard as they drove to work. Just minutes earlier Raviraj had appeared on television accusing government troops of massacring Tamil civilians. more..

MP's killing a cowardly and heinous act: Rajapaksa

Nov 10 (HT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa described the assassination of the TNA MP Nadarajah Raviraj in Colombo on Friday as a "cowardly and heinous" act. A statement from the President's media unit said that Rajapaksa had asked the Inspector General of Police Victor Perera to initiate "a thorough, comprehensive and speedy inquiry" into the "cowardly and heinous act" and submit the first report to him by evening. more..

Scotland Yard may probe SL MP killing

Nov 10 (HT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has asked the Foreign Ministry to request Scotland Yard to help Sri Lanka investigate the assassination of the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP, Nadarajah Raviraj, in Colombo on Friday. But "Seerum Padai" or Aggressive Army, a shadowy anti-LTTE group based in the Eastern town of Batticaloa, has already claimed responsibility for the assassination. more..

"A fearless politician"

Nov 11 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Friday his Government was "committed" to upholding the principle of democratic freedom in governance. Speaking at the 75th birth anniversary of Sarvodaya leader A.T. Ariyaratne, at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute hours after the assassination of TNA MP Nadarajah Raviraj, Mr. Rajapaksa said he was the leader of all the people of Sri Lanka, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or any other differences. more..

GoSL should take responsibility for Raviraj's assassination - Sampanthan

Nov 11 (TN) R. Sampanthan, Leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said Friday in Colombo to the press, "Raviraj's assassination is a clear attempt by the paramilitary operating with the Sri Lanka Army to stifle the Tamil parliamentarians' voice in and out of the Parliament to inform the International Community of the Sri Lanka Government's genocide against the Tamils." more..

New organisation claims responsibility for killingRaviraj

Nov 11 (AT) Seerum Padai (Snorting Army) a new organization has claimed responsibility for the killing of the Tamil National Alliance Member of Parliament Raviraj, according to a Tamil Website. This previously unknown organization claims in a statement sent to a Tamil News website that they were also responsible for the killing of Joseph Pararajasingham. more..

Police conducts a massive investigation to arrest Raviraj’s killers

Nov 11 (AT) Police conducts massive investigations to uncover killers of the Tamil Parliamentarian Late Nardarajah Raviraj. He was shot dead in Sri Lanka's capital on Friday morning as he drove to work, officials said. His police bodyguard was also killed. Raviraj, 44, was rushed to hospital but later died of his wounds, hospital a spokeswoman said. His bodyguard, identified as Lakshman, was dead on arrival, she said. more..

Tigers fired from near Vakarai civilian camp - survivors tell Reuters

Nov 11 (LeN) Confirmation that the LTTE had deliberately endangered the lives of civilians by directing long range artillery fire from near them comes from the latest report on the situation in the country filed by Reuters today (Nov. 10, 06) and other accounts of the incident at Vakarai by survivors. In a roundup of the Sri Lankan situation, the Reuter report by Simon Gardner in Colombo refers to the loss of civilian life last Wednesday at Vakarai. more..

WITNESS: Waking up paralyzed in Sri Lanka's war zone

Nov 11 (Reuters) When I came round, I thought I was lying on a corpse. Then I realized it was wearing my clothes and I couldn't feel anything below my neck. After months of covering Sri Lanka's growing civil war, it seemed viciously ironic to be involved in a simple road smash a short way from the front line between government forces and the LTTE. As violence spiraled from April, work had become busier, bloodier and more dangerous. more..

Wickramabahu: Is Govt. Sinhala terrorist group?

Nov 11 (SN) The Committee investigating disappearances yesterday queried whether the Government was acting as a Sinhala terrorist group. Committee Patron Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne told a news conference that the Government was implying that it was a Sinhala Terrorist Group when it said it was only retaliating whenever the LTTE killed people. more..

U.N. Secretary-General calls on parties involved in Sri Lanka conflict to return to peace process

Nov 11 (AP) U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is "increasingly concerned" about the growing violence in Sri Lanka and "deplores the many civilian casualties caused by the ongoing hostilities between Government forces and the Liberation Tigers," a U.N. spokesman said on Friday. more..

‘My father was my role model…’

Nov 11 (LN) Praveena Raviraj, daughter of slain Jaffna district MP, Nadaraja Raviraj yesterday described her father as a strong proponent of peace who had not just loved members of his own ethnicity, but all Sri Lankans irrespective of race and religion. “I can’t believe that this has happened. Words are not going to bring my father back; his name will be buried with him. more..

JHU takes Samarasinghe to task on internalisation

Nov 11 (LN) The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) yesterday accused Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe of ‘unnecessarily’ internationalising the country’s internal matters and demanded the President to reveal his stand on the issue. JHU Media Secretary Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe told the Daily Mirror yesterday that the Party was of the opinion that Minister Samarasinghe was behind country’s problems being internationalised recently. more..

Slain MP’s final words an hour before being gunned down

Nov 11 (TW) Following is the complete text of the last live programme Mr. N. Raviraj attended on Derana TV yesterday. Mr. Raviraj was invited for the Derana Aruna programme last morning from 7.30 am to 8.00 am to discuss the A-9 closure and recent attacks on civilians. He was in the Derana studio in Nugegoda for about 45 minutes before being attacked by an unidentified gunman in Narahenpita within two hours after the interview. more..

"Allow Raviraj's casket to be taken through A9," family requests President

Nov 11 (TN) Assassinated Jaffna District TNA parliamentarian's widowed wife Sasikala Raviraj, Saturday morning when Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mr. Mangala Samaraweera visited the parlour, made an appeal to open the A9 Muhamalai exit-entry point in order to take her husband's remains to his hometown Chavakachcheri for cremation. more..

Stocks close weaker in Sri Lanka after reaching record high earlier in the week

Nov 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka stocks closed weaker Friday with sentiment clouded by the assassination of a Tamil parliamentarian in Colombo and intense overnight naval clashes with the Tamil Tigers in the north, but buyers were still picking fundamentally strong stocks. more..

President condemns assassination

Nov 11 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday unequivocally condemned the brutal killing of Nadaraja Raviraj, Member of Parliament of the Tamil National Alliance and his Police bodyguard. The Inspector General of Police has been ordered by the President to initiate a thorough, comprehensive and speedy inquiry to apprehend the perpetrators of this cowardly and heinous act. more..

Top level probe into Raviraj killing

Nov 11 (GDI) Jaffna District Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian Nadaraja Raviraj was assassinated by an unknown gunman yesterday morning. His Police bodyguard was also killed. Police and Security Forces launched an immediate top-level investigation into the killing and President Mahinda Rajapaksa directed the Foreign Ministry to make an urgent request to UK's Scotland Yard to assist in the probe. more..

Ship with food supplies sail for Jaffna

Nov 11 (GDI) MV Mercs Ruhunu, carrying 3724.5 MT of essential items worth Rs. 240 million to the North has left Colombo. It is carrying samba rice (1,000 MT), Sugar (917.5 MT), dhal (350 MT), milk powder (250 MT), spices (60 MT), coconut oil (42 MT), tea (10 MT) and soya (60 MT), in addition to a number of other items, Nation Building Ministry Secretary M.S. Jayasinghe said. more..

Barbarity at its worst

Nov 11 (ANN) It is with shock and sorrow that we note the brutal assassination of TNA (Tamil National Alliance) MP Nadaraja Raviraj and his security officer. That cowardly act of terrorism must be condemned unreservedly by one and all. The identities of his killers and their motive are not known but it is believed that he was killed for political reasons. more..

Premier League gets television boost

Nov 11 (CI) The Premier League tournament in Sri Lanka will be given a tremendous boost when its matches are televised by Sirasa TV, a local television channel, which has joined hands with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). Half-an-hour highlights of the the day's matches will be telecast at 6.30 pm. There will also be constant updates of scores and interviews aired through their radio channels on Sirasa FM. more..

Massacre of innocent civilians at Kathiraweli

Nov 11 (TW) The coastal village of Kathiraweli in the Eastern district of Batticaloa was the scene of Sri Lanka’s latest massacre of innocents in its on going ethnic conflict. At least 47 people were killed and 136 injured in an appalling incident where the Sri Lankan Armed forces fired artillery shells and MBRL rockets indiscriminately at an Internal Displaced Persons (IDP) camp and its environs. more..

Many eye-witnesses saw Raviraj being murdered

Nov 11 (TW) “Many people have eye- witnessed the murder of TNA Jaffna MP Naradarah Raviraj and his Police bodyguard ” authoritative Police sources said yesterday. The Tamil National Alliance MP from Jaffna district and his bodyguard Sgt. Lakshman Lokuwella from Gampaha were shot dead in broad daylight at about 8. 39 am in Colombo. more..

Intensification of conflict exacts an unbearable human cost

Nov 11 (TW) The unbearable human cost of the ethnic conflict has surfaced once again in a brutal form in the killing of between 23 and 60 civilians and injury to between 135 and 600 others in Vakarai in eastern Sri Lanka. The figures vary because of the propaganda war and the inaccessibility of LTTE-controlled territory where this attack has taken place. more..

Situation in Jaffna grim, say Sri Lankan refugees

Nov 11 (Hindu) With the renewed violence in Sri Lanka after the failure of the Geneva talks, the arrival of refugees has again gained momentum. Over 70 refugees have sought asylum in Tamil Nadu in the last three days alone. Most of them are from Vavuniya and Jaffna peninsula, which are cut off from rest of the country after the closure of the A 9 Highway. more..

Alternate Route to Jaffna Via Pooneryn – Humanitarian Support to Jaffna Peninsula

Nov 11 (PISL) The Government of Sri Lanka was compelled to temporarily close the A9 highway, entry/exit checkpoint at Muhamalai situated at the isthmus of the Jaffna peninsula on 11 August 2006. The closure was necessitated due to the massive artillery and mortar attack launched by the LTTE on the government forces on the day which destroyed the entire infrastructure built by the GOSL at Muhamalai to facilitate the movement of people and goods. more..

Once the cause for traffic now wants to evade

Nov 11 (LNP) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who is now in the country had to face yet another experience while travelling from Colombo to Attangalle yesterday as her convoy was stopped by the Navy since she tried to take a de-tour through the Fort access road of the Colombo Port. Ms. Kumaratunga, when she was President used to take this route through the Port premises from Chaithya Road and come out from the Mattakkuliya gate to avoid traffic congestion and also for security reasons. more..

Shell promotes solar lighting

Nov 11 (LNP) Shell Solar, a Shell Renewables company, providing solar powered electricity to households and institutions is promising a better life via the energy of the sun. It is one of the few businesses to establish a successful direct sales installation and aftersales service in areas where communities have little or no reliable access to grid power. more..

Banana leaf as substitute to polythene

Nov 11 (SAMN) A new environment friendly wrapper bag made of cured banana leaf was introduced by the Agricultural Ministry Friday as a substitute for the ubiquitous polythene wrapper bag that has been banned with effect from January next year. The new banana leaf wrapper is a product of months of research done by the Research Officer in charge of the Agricultural Research Institute, Telijjawila Dr Ms. Sujatha Weerasinghe. more..

Plea against Weerawila Airport dismissed

Nov 11 (SAMN) The Court of Appeal Friday (10) dismissed pro forma the Writ application against the construction of 2nd International Airport at Weerawila in the Hambantota District.The writ application was dismissed as the petitioner Swarna Hansa Foundation withdrew it. The Bench comprised Justices K.Sripavan and Eric Basnayake. more..

Hartal in Batticaloa

Nov 11 (SAMN) A hartal was launched in Batticaloa Friday protesting against the recent shell attack on civilians. A senior citizen of Batticaloa said all shops and other business places in Batticaloa were closed. Road transport was disrupted. School children who went to school in the morning returned home as the teachers had not come. more..

VAT case suspects further remanded

Nov 11 (SAMN) Colombo Fort Magistrate Namal Bandara Balalle further remanded the suspects till December 6, when the multi-billion rupee VAT case came up Friday. Prison authorities submitted that the suspects be produced at the special prison courts due to security reasons. The Magistrate allowed the application. more..

Asian Nations Sign 'Iron Silk Road' Deal

Nov 11 (AP) For decades, Asian officials have dreamed of a continent-spanning railway network linking landlocked countries to vibrant coastal cities, boosting commerce along the paths of ancient trade routes. Train transport linking places as diverse as Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Kabul, Afghanistan, or Yerevan, Armenia, and Yangon, Myanmar, has made little progress, however, since the United Nations first conceived the Trans-Asian Railway Network in 1960. more..

Community village for 35 families

Nov 11 (DN) The Rural Economic Development Ministry has begun constructing a new community village for 35 families at Watagoda. A Ministry spokesman said the project comes under the Senkadagala Navodaya programme responsible of solving land and housing problems of the upcountry people. The Government has allocated Rs. 32 million on a priority basis to provide land and establish community villages. more..

Ranil demands independent probe

Nov 11 (SN) Opposition UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday called for an independent inquiry into the killing of TNA MP Nadaraja Raviraj saying the death would not only be mourned by his supporters in Jaffna but all right thinking people in the country. “I condemn the brutal assassination of Mr. Raviraj and his security officer. This is the second killing of a member of parliament within one year. more..

Stranded Lankan refugees, rescued by TamilNadu fishermen!

Nov 11 (SN) Lankan Tamil refugees numbering 20,including 6 infants, who were stranded at Manal Thity, were rescued by Tamil Nadu fishermen and brought to the Mandapam refugee camp in Rameswaram on November 6th. These refugees are from the village of Thiriyai in Trincomalee in the Eastern province. The Sinhala fishermen who brought these Tamil refugees by boat left them at Manal Thittu saying that it was Rameswaram. more..

Two more Tamils killed in fresh attack in Lanka

Nov 11 (AP) Two Tamils were killed by unidentified gunmen in separate incidents in Sri Lanka's north, the rebels and the military said on Saturday, in fresh attacks that came after the assassination of a prominent Tamil politician. Kanthaiah Sivanesan 48, was killed in the northern Jaffna on Friday, the pro-rebel Web site, TamilNet said. more..

UN chief 'disturbed' by rising civilian casualties in Sri Lanka

Nov 11 (AFP) UN chief Kofi Annan is "increasingly disturbed" by the mounting civilian casualties in fighting between the Sri Lankan government and its Tamil rebel foes, his spokesman said. "The secretary general is increasingly disturbed by the mounting loss of life" in Sri Lanka, spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement. "He deplores the many civilian casualties by the ongoing hostilities" between government forces and the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka cricket gives new hope to tsunami victims

Nov 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka Cricket handed over the keys to 94 houses to victims of the devastating December 2004 tsunami in the southern town of Matara on Saturday. The Sri Lankan association, together with World Vision, constructed two villages for some of the victims of Sri Lanka's biggest natural disaster. more..

Slain Sri Lankan MP honoured by Tamil Tigers

Nov 11 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels have conferred their highest civilian honour on a moderate Tamil legislator killed in Colombo. The rebel LTTE said their chief Velupillai Prabhakaran bestowed the title of "Mamanithar," or great man, on Nadarajah Raviraj, 44, who was gunned down on Friday by unknown assailants. "As a parliamentarian he worked tirelessly for the Tamil nation," Prabhakaran said on Saturday. more..

Group threatens attacks on Sri Lanka civilians

Nov 11 (Reuters) A suspected front for Tamil Tiger rebels vowed on Saturday to kill majority Sinhalese civilians in southern Sri Lanka in retaliation for the army bombing of a refugee camp this week that killed dozens of minority Tamils. The High Security Zone Residents' Liberation Force, which has claimed responsibility for a rash of deadly attacks on troops, made its threat a day after a pro-rebel Tamil MP was slain in the capital. more..

Govt offers aircraft to transport of Raviraj’s casket for his last rites in Chavakachcheri - his home town

Nov 12 (AT) A move by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to transport the coffin of the assassinated Jaffna District parliamentarian Nadaraja Raviraj through the A9 highway by opening up the entry /exit point at the Forward Defense Line at Muhamalai was turned down by the Sri Lanka Government. more..

Imitation Tigers?

Nov 12 (AT) Ranil Wickremesinghe helped (and helps) the Tigers consciously. Mahinda Rajapakse helps the Tigers no less, albeit unconsciously. In fact Mr. Rajapakse’s political flat-earthism may eventually be of greater assistance to the LTTE than even Mr. Wickremesinghe’s pro-Tigerism. Already Mr. Rajapakse has presented the Tiger leader with a pre-Birthday gift of immense significance – the barbaric shelling of a refugee shelter in Kathiraweli, Vakarai, more..

"Maamanithar" title only for pro-Tiger MPs

Nov 12 (AT) Tamil Tiger websites announced that V. Prabhakaran has conferred the title of "Maamanithar" posthumously on Tamil MP, Nadaraja Raviraj who was shot by two armed men in Colombo. A security guard of the Sri Lankan government escorting him was also killed by the two armed men who shot and fled on motor cycles. more..

A preview of Prabhakaran's speech: old Molotov cocktail in the same old Tiger bottle

Nov 12 (AT) S. P. Tamilselvan, the Political Head of the Tamil Tigers, and Ranil Wickremesinghe have warned from their separate platforms in almost dark but prophetic jeremiads that the end of the limited Eelam War IV is coming near. According to them the worst is yet to come, come November 27 - the fateful day on which Velupillai Prabhakaran is expected to launch Eelam War V with the full force of his apocalyptic wrath more..

Under the shadow of Lakegala

Nov 12 (AT) It was not only a mundane poet, a product of the Victorian romanticism in mediaeval England but even the All Enlightened One, Gautama the Buddha, who had attained Buddha-hood after discarding all worldly things as mean, vulgar, base and mundane also made such endearing reference to the nostalgic fragrance that comes from the place of his birth. more..

President has decided to harass me continually

Nov 12 (TW) You can love her or you can hate her but no one can deny that Chandrika Kumaratunga is a fighter, and a no holds barred one at that. And it is this fighting spirit that came out strongly in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Leader on Friday (10) where the former President spoke of her new role as an advisor to UNESCO, the political mistakes made during her tenure as Executive President, the security concerns she has and generally on men and matters. more..

N. Ireland peacemaker for Lanka

Nov 12 (ST) British Prime Minister Tony Blair is sending a special envoy to Colombo this week to assist in getting the peace talks with the LTTE back on track. The appointment of Paul Murphy who was closely involved in the Northern Ireland peace negotiations that eventually brought a political settlement is an indication that Britain intends to take a much more “hands on” role to revive Sri Lanka’s stalled talks than it had done before in the hope of bringing about a lasting political solution, more..

VAT changes in Budget

Nov 12 (ST) Sri Lanka’s business community is widely expecting adjustments in this week’s budget to the VAT system, a move that could raise taxes, costing more to the producer and in turn to the consumer. Business analysts said the government plans to permit only raw materials to be deductable for the VAT refund instead of all other inputs including power, telephone charges, etc. more..

Slaying of MP: Eight arrested

Nov 12 (ST) While Scotland Yard assistance is being sought to find the killers of Jaffna Parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj, the Police have also made significant progress in the investigations. Deputy Inspector General Pujith Jayasundera said one suspect believed to be closely involved in the killing was arrested in Wellawatte. On information given by him, seven others were also taken in. more..