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Harry’s seed slips through quarantine

Nov 12 (ST) Customs Quarantine Division and Agriculture Department Seed Certification and Plant Protection Centre officials are tight-lipped over a consignment of grass seed imported by a company owned by a business tycoon which allegedly contained a harmful weed. Two consignments of grass seed had been imported from Australia and New Zealand in the name of Lanka Milk Foods Company owned by businessman Harry Jayawardena. more..

Massive demo for Raviraj

Nov 12 (NS) Anti-war groups and civil society organisations are to hold a mass rally to protest against the assassination of TNA parliamentarian N. Raviraj tomorrow, before the body of the slain MP is to be air-lifted to Jaffna on Tuesday (14). The remains of MP Raviraj will be taken to the Town Hall in procession where a mass rally is planned to be held against killings and abductions. more..

UNP reforms deadlock?

Nov 12 (NS) UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema said yesterday that the joint proposals of individuals and organisations who envisaged reforms to the party will come before the UNP convention on November 19. Asked whether UNP National Organiser, S.B. Dissanayake’s proposals would come before the convention, he replied that “there is only one joint proposal that would include proposals by Dissanayake, John Amaratunga and others.” more..

SLIC deal: COPE questions PB & Charitha

Nov 12 (NS) Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundara who was questioned by the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) over the privatisation of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) had said that he had given the green light to go ahead with the privatisation procedure of the Corporation, even before the cabinet had approved it. more..

Protest halts auction of rogue elephants

Nov 12 (NS) The Wildlife Conservation Department has temporarily halted plans to capture and auction two rogue elephants in the Galgamuwa-Maho area, upon protests by the environmental activists, The Nation learns. The department was planning to anaesthetise and capture the two elephants, and auction them on the site on November 9 and 10, and sell them to the highest bidders. more..

Another political killing can lead to ‘deep trouble’

Nov 12 (ANN) Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday (Nov 11) dismissed speculation of a link between the government and Friday’s killing of Nadarajah Raviraj—but admitted that Sri Lanka will be in "deep trouble" internationally if incidents of this nature continued. Asked about attempts by the TNA to connect Raviraj’s assassination with the government, Samarasinghe replied: "It’s very easy for them to be the mouthpiece of others and say this." more..

Who’s safe in Lanka?

Nov 12 (ANN) "Is anybody safe in this country of ours?" is the question that springs to mind after Friday’s cold blooded killing of TNA MP Nadrajah Raviraj and his police bodyguard in broad daylight in the heart of tightly guarded Colombo. Obviously not. While it is axiomatic that killers uncaring about their own lives or safety, like suicide bombers, are more difficult to thwart than assassins who want to get away, far too many of the latter sort have fired their shots and got off Scott free. more..

Tigers hold six security forces personnel

Nov 12 (LNP) With the capture of four navy personnel by Sea Tigers last Thursday evening, the number of security forces personnel in LTTE captivity has gone up to six. Navy headquarters said that the four men believed to be from two Fast Attack Craft (FACs) damaged during Thursday`s confrontation off Point Pedro, are in LTTE custody. more..

Minor Cabinet reshuffle likely

Nov 12 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapakse is likely to order a minor Cabinet reshuffle after the presentation of the Budget on November 16 with political sources saying that Rajapakse is believed to have told CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman of the impending move after he quit his portfolio. `Thondaman is furious over the delay in giving him a genuine ministry. He is not happy with what he got,` a well informed source said. more..

Budget 2007: Same old story

Nov 12 (LNP) Another budget is around the corner. A journalist asked me what I thought were the issues or challenges that face the economy. Usually people look to the budget like children looking for Santa Claus at Christmas. But according to news reports there are 750 suggestions from the public and they are asking for money for infrastructure in a pathetic state of ruin particularly in the rural areas. more..

Harry J vs. rest showdown in the offing

Nov 12 (LNP) The deep division between the owners of the Stassen and Milford Exports Groups, with relations between Managing Director Harry Jayawardene and three of the other founder directors including Dr. V. P. Vittachi, who is Chairman of both companies plunging to near zero, was publicly signalled last week with the non-publication of a Chairman`s Review in the annual report of the Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka Ltd. (DCSL), one of the country`s richest conglomerates. more..

JVP against having 2 UNPers in APRC

Nov 12 (SAMN) The All Party Representative Committee (APRC) has hit a serious snag with the JVP opposing the Government move to accommodate two UNP representatives as envisaged in the SLFP-UNP Memorandum of Understanding while other parties have only one nominee. The JHU backs the JVP stance. The UNP recently nominated G. L. Peiris and K. N. Ckoksy as its representatives to the APRC chaired by Minister Tissa Vitharana. more..

JVP wants Chinthana promises in Budget

Nov 12 (SAMN) The JVP has put forward its proposals which it claims are based on promises made in the Mahinda Chintana 2006, for accommodation in the 2007 Budget. JVP MP Lal said the JVP Budget proposals are based on the unfulfilled promises made by the Government in the run-up to last year’s Presidential elections. more..

Chikungunya not as dangerous as Dengue

Nov 12 (SAMN) For the first time since 1969, the fear of Chikungunya has gripped the country, as a number of mysterious deaths and cases of symptoms similar to this viral fever are being reported from several parts of the country. Epidemiology Unit’s Director General Dr. Paba Palihawadane commenting on Chikungunya said it was difficult to differentiate it from Dengue. more..

Rs600 million apparel industry hub

Nov 12 (SAMN) Sri Lanka’s garment industry is to get a Rs 600 million one-stop-shop, apparel industry hub in Katunayake next year. “The facility will be completed in 2007. We have already identified the land and the planning has started. This will be an apparel industry hub that visitors can come to, for one-stop-shop solutions,” more..

Call to provide incentives for fruit and vegetable growers in rural areas

Nov 12 (SO) The Sri Lanka Fruit and Vegetable Producers Processors and Exporters Association (SLF & VPPEA) has called upon the government to provide incentives for private sector entrepreneurs who start businesses with organised farmers in rural areas such as Moneragala, Ampara and Hambantota districts in the Southern and Uva provinces. more..

Ten thousand jobs for graduates

Nov 12 (SO) The Finance Ministry yesterday assured that 10,000 unemployed graduates will be absorbed to public sector institutions before the end of next year. This division follows a protest campaign launched by a large number of unemployed graduates opposite the Fort Railway Station last week. Deputy Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya told the `Sunday Observer' that applications of 6000 graduates have already been processed for training in selected fields in the public sector. more..

Sri Lanka's security situation worsens

Nov 12 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's security situation continued to deteriorate after the failed Geneva talks between the government and the rebel Tamil Tigers as clashes continued and more people being killed. The government and the LTTE held talks on Oct. 28-29 in Geneva to honor the Norwegian-brokered truce and find peaceful solution to the country's ethnic conflict that killed more than 64,000 from the mid-1980s to 2002. more..

Tamils flee Sri Lanka on wave of terror

Nov 12 (SS) AT 2.30 last Monday morning, K Thangaraja, a 46-year-old tractor driver from eastern Sri Lanka, stood knee-deep in seawater fearing his end was near. Surrounding him was the murky confluence of the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean – the barrier between his home in Sri Lanka and a new life in India. Five hours earlier, a fisherman had pushed Thangaraja and 19 relatives, including young children, from his 26ft wooden boat and on to a shallow sand bank. more..

Atapattu to miss New Zealand Tests

Nov 12 (CI) Marvan Atapattu, the former Sri Lankan captain, has ruled himself out of the first half of the New Zealand tour starting later this month. Atapattu, 35, said that he was not ready to return to Test cricket and would concentrate on the one-day game until he felt confident. Atapattu underwent surgery for a recurring back injury in April to remove disc material that that was touching a troubled nerve, and returned for Sri Lanka's Champions Trophy campaign. more..

Passage through A-9 refused

Nov 12 (BBC) Large crowds including religious dignitaries, politicians and school children gathered on Saturday to pay their last respects to the slain Tamil National Alliance, MP Nadarajah Raviraj. TNA MP Nadarajah Raviraj was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the capital Colombo on Friday. The leader of Ilangai Thamilarasu Kachchi, parliamentarian R. Sampanthan said that the party intends escorting Mr Ravi raja’s body to Chavakachcheri through A-9 road. more..

Disquiet in India over Sri Lanka killings

Nov 12 (IANS) The rockets and shells that rained over eastern Sri Lanka killing about 25 distraught Tamil civilians may also have killed India's dragging patience over Colombo's military belligerence. Friday's cold-blooded assassination of a Sri Lankan Tamil MP has only worsened matters. It is a remarkable achievement for Colombo that its seemingly unapologetic killing of Tamil civilians including children has forced Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to demand a 'rethink' on India's Sri Lanka policy. more..

Sri Lanka Minister Is Upbeat About Peace Process Success

Nov 12 (AN) A visiting Sri Lankan minister who took part in the recent peace talks with the LTTE in Geneva, is optimistic that the negotiations for a peaceful settlement would continue in the coming months. “It is wrong to presume that the talks have reached a deadlock. Both parties have disagreed on the closure of A9 route but this problem could be amicably settled in the coming months,” more..

Sri Lanka often seems embroiled in war

Nov 12 (AP) Air force bombers roar through the sky, rebels attack navy ships and thousands of people are dead in violence. On many days, it seems Sri Lanka is embroiled again in all-out war — but neither side will acknowledge it. Both the government and Sri Lankan rebels risk losing international support and aid if a cease-fire is acknowledged as dead, so both sides are saying there is no war, even as corpses pile up and the artillery strikes, assassinations and fighting continue, analysts say. more..

More like Raviraj killing can lead to ‘deep trouble’

Nov 12 (SN) Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday dismissed speculation of a link between the government and Friday’s killing of Nadarajah Raviraj—but admitted that Sri Lanka will be in "deep trouble" internationally if incidents of this nature continued. Asked about attempts by the TNA to connect Raviraj’s assassination with the government, Samarasinghe replied: "It’s very easy for them to be the mouthpiece of others and say this." more..

Link between Raviraj killing and TNA demo: Sampanthan

Nov 12 (SN) The Tamil National Alliance’s most senior parliamentarian says he feels there is a link between Nadarajah Raviraj’s death and a TNA protest on Thursday outside the Colombo headquarters of the United Nations. "I’m inclined to think there’s a link between our demonstration yesterday and Ravi’s assassination this morning," R. Sampanthan told the Sunday Island on Friday night. more..

Tigers smell danger in Indian food aid

Nov 12 (HT) The LTTE has smelt danger to its vital interests in the Sri Lankan government's plan to bring food from India to Jaffna to mitigate the severe food shortage there. The rebel Tamil group's Military Spokesman, Rasaiah Ilanthirayan, told Hindustan Times that the government's plan was a clever device to divert attention from the issue of re-opening the A9 main highway at Muhamalai, which is at the southern doorstep of Jaffna. more..

Two Tamils killed in Sri Lanka, rebels fire at military camps; protest planned

Nov 12 (AP) Two more ethnic Tamil civilians were shot dead and rebels fired artillery at military camps, officials and rebels said Sunday, as activists called for a general strike to protest the escalating civil strife. Many fear that near-daily attacks and killings are driving the country back into full-scale war, though the government and Tigers both say a 2002 cease-fire, more..

Chandrika regrets sacking UNP Govt in 2004

Nov 12 (HT) In an interview at a critical juncture in Sri Lanka’s history when the country seems to be sliding into war, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said that she made a big mistake by sacking the pro-peace UNP government led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in 2004. “It was wrong,” Kumaratunga told the editor of Sunday Leader Lasantha Wickrematunge. more..

Grim prospect for Sri Lanka as violence spirals

Nov 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka faces the grim prospect of more tit-for-tat violence between security forces and Tamil rebels despite foreign pressure to avert full-scale war, diplomats and analysts say. Aid donors severely criticised Sri Lanka's government over the killing of a large number of Tamil refugees last week and urged the warring parties to honour their pledges to uphold a truce. more..

North Zone take first day's honours

Nov 12 (CI) Led by Gagandeep Singh and Rajesh Sharma's crucial strikes either side of lunch, North Zone reined in a blow-hot-blow-cold Sri Lanka A and took the first day's honours in the Duleep Trophy final at Kolkata. Gagandeep picked up the crucial wickets of Malinda Warnapura and Chamara Silva, who both hit rapid half-centuries, while Sharma's offspin ran through the lower order and restricted Sri Lanka A to 296. more..

Funeral row, strike planned over slain Sri Lankan legislator

Nov 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka's moderate Tamils clashed with authorities over funeral arrangements for a slain legislator as anti-war activists vowed a work stoppage to protest his assassination. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said a request for the cortege of slain Nadarajah Raviraj to travel to the northern peninsula of Jaffna by road was turned down by the government. more..

Sri Lankan judiciary and Tamil grievance

Nov 13 (TW) The November 2 informative note of Tamil Information Centre (TIC) has drawn attention to the callous ways the Sri Lankan judiciary has treated minority rights. It also provides the short answer to the question that is being raised by some in the Sinhalese elite - “What are the grievances of the Tamils?” This has been previously dealt with by this commentator in earlier articles in Tamil Week. more..

Deceptive commitments, talks and peace process

Nov 13 (TW) The title of this article seems to become more and more relevant with the confusing statements of the parties in the conflict on the failed Geneva 2 Talks and their demands and actions after the Talks. Norway’s International Development Minister Erik Solheim expected the two sides to at least agree to meet again after talking or rather trading charges for two days. more..

Tigers shifting cadres from east to Vanni: Commander Banu slips through military cordon

Nov 13 (AT) According to informed sources Tamil Tigers are moving their cadres from the east to the Vanni. It is reported that Colonel Bahnu, former Batticaloa – Amparai districts Special Commander of the Tigers, Colonel Ram, Commander and Praba of the Military Intelligence have managed to slip through the military cordon in the East and reached Vanni with around 100 of their cadres. more..

Armed Sinhala and Tamil gangs behind killings in Colombo – Tamil MP, Mano Ganeshan

Nov 13 (AT) Tamil Parliamentarian, Mano Ganeshan, who has protested against abduction and killings, told the Asian Tribune that City of Colombo has become a killing field for unknown Sinhala and Tamil armed gangs. "These contract killers conduct regular killings depending on money and political favors available to them" he said. "Some of Sinhala and Tamil elements are behind these killings," Mr.Ganeshan charged. more..

Movement of people and food in the A-9 road through Vavuniya

Nov 13 (AT) Sri Lanka Army revealed that 88 lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas - Vanni in the Northern Province during the period between 03 November 2006 to 09 November 2006. According the Army statement posted in their official website, those consignments had reached areas in Kilinochchi and Mullaithievu districts via Omanthai and Uyilankulam Entry/Exit points. more..

Colonel Karuna flays Prabakaran a terrorists’ leader, for conferring Mamanithar on a true democrat

Nov 13 (AT) Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal led by Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan nom de guerre Colonel Karuna while condemning the killing of Nadarajah Ravirajah, Jaffna district Member of Parliament, flays Prabakaran and LTTE for their duplicity in bestowing Mamanithar title posthumously on the slain parliamentarian, who believed in democracy, pluralism and pacifism (Ahimsa). more..

RRDA and NWP Fisheries Ministry provide technical assistance for young divers in Sinnapaduwa

Nov 13 (AT) Local divers who dive around 120 feet in deep sea , in Sinnapaduwa, Chilaw say that they have found friendly technical assistance from the government the Ministry of Fisheries of the North Western Province and the Regional Resource Center [RRDA] provide their helping hand to obtain Oxygen refilling facility and proper diver training to upgrade abilities of the local divers. more..

Driven away by the Tigers

Nov 13 (DT) In Pakistan, we complain loudly and often about the massive security arrangements that accompany presidential visits. Roads are blocked for hours, and the resulting traffic jams take another few hours to unsnarl; patients have died on their way to hospital as frequent ‘VVIP movements’ have blocked the movement of ambulances. more..

SLDF Outraged by the Grave Abuse of Human Rights and Humanitarian Norms in Sri Lanka

Nov 13 (TW) The Sri Lanka Democracy Forum (SLDF) expresses its outrage and dismay at the grave human rights situation facing Sri Lanka characterized by disappearances, extrajudicial killings, abductions, torture, and child recruitment. This human rights crisis is coupled with a humanitarian crisis of immense proportions, and Sri Lanka is degenerating into a situation of near anarchy. more..

Ready to airlift body of slain MP: Sri Lanka

Nov 13 (Hindu) The Government on Sunday said it was ready to airlift the body of slain TNA parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj to enable family members perform funeral rites in Chavakachcheri, Jaffna on Wednesday. A statement put out by the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said the Government had `turned down' for `security reasons' the request made by the TNA and family members of Raviraj to briefly open the Muhamalai checkpoint on the A-9 highway for transportation of the body. more..

SEP renews demand for action against killers of Sivapragasam Mariyadas

Nov 13 (wsws) Three months have passed since the murder of Sivapragasam Mariyadas, a supporter of the Sri Lankan Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in the eastern district of Trincomalee. The international campaign launched by the SEP and the World Socialist Web Site to demand the arrest and prosecution of his killers has forced the Sri Lankan police to initiate an inquiry. more..

Sri Lanka faces tough call on interest rates in face of rising inflation

Nov 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka faces a tough call on interest rates on Tuesday as it balances the need to keep inflation in check and ensure economic growth remains on track, analysts said. Sri Lanka's economy is growing by near eight percent, the stock market is at record highs, corporate profits are strong and the property market is booming. more..

Nawaloka Hospitals wipes red ink on investment gains

Nov 13 (LBO) Nawaloka Hospitals Ltd’s swung back into profitability, after writing back 110 million rupees through its investments in Galadari Hotels, the hospital said Monday. The largely family controlled private hospital, said profits jumped 262 percent to 122.97 million rupees for the three months to Sept 30, over a 10 percent revenue growth of 488.85 million rupees. more..

Civilian influx to cleared areas

Nov 13 (PISL) The civilian influx from uncleared areas to cleared areas is continuing in the North and the East, as the LTTE has intensified their military preparations for more attacks on the Security Forces. More than 700 civilians from Uyilankulam in Mannar had dismantled a LTTE roadblock to enter the cleared areas over the weekend, the Army said. more..

TULF Leader states there is no gain through terrorism

Nov 13 (GDI) The leader of the TULF, Mr. V Anandasangaree stated that the armed conflict and terrorism do not provide a solution to the ethnic crisis. The TULF leader in his message towards the death of the late MP Nadaraja Raviraj stated that the youth should understand that they should cooperate with the government. more..

SL’s second international airport to give confidence to international travellers

Nov 13 (GDI) “The construction of the second international airport at Weerawila would give more confidence to international travellers visiting Sri Lanka” said the Chief Executive Officer of the SriLankan Airlines, Mr. Peter Hill. It is proposed to be constructed at Weerawila in the deep south Hambanthota district. more..

Interviews to appoint for teachers educational service class iii in the due course of time

Nov 13 (GDI) The Chief Commissioner of the Department of Education Science Unit, Mrs. K. M. Dharmalatha said that interview will be held to appoint for the Teachers Educational Service Class III during the month of November. The Chief Commissioner further said that the Public Service Commission has approved for this recruitment and the suitable applicants would be recruited very soon. more..


Nov 13 (GDI) The Directress of the Department of Social Service, Mrs. Yamuna Chitrangani said that steps have been taken to conduct training courses with accommodation for two years, for the handicapped children throughout the island from the month of January. The children between the age of 18 to 35 years could participate in this course. more..