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President's B'day wrongly reported: Dinamina Editor removed

Nov 21 (LeN) The Editor of Dinamina Mr. C. Dodawatta was removed from his post with immediate effect yesterday. Though the authorities have not given any reason, unofficial sources report that Dodawatta was removed for reporting the Presidents Birthday incorrectly and failure to report the important news of Presidents order to open A-9 highway is Dinamina. more..

700 undergo military training in 12 Karuna's camps

Nov 21 (LeN) It is said that abductions and killings are on the rise in Batticaloa District. The committee appointed probe disappearances report that 736 people have disappeared since January. 15 bodies of the people who were abducted and killed have been found. It is believed that Karuna faction is behind these abduction and even the UN too had made some adverse comments of the abductions. more..

I will re-organize UNP with in 100 days - New General Secretary

Nov 21 (LeN) At a media conference held at the leader of the oppositions office today the New General Secretary of the UNP said taking the proposals brought forward by different groups in the party for reorganization of the party into consideration, he will reorganize the party within 100 days and then hold a party convention to implement the said proposals and lead the party to victory. more..

Diplomats Tour Jaffna

Nov 21 (MoD) DIPLOMATS OF Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland and UK visited Jaffna today (21) to asses the implementation of the humanitarian assistance plan. The diplomats were welcomed at the Palali Air Force base by Jaffna, Security Forces Commander, Major General G.A. Chandrasiri. The visiting diplomats were briefed by Major General Chandrasiri on the current security situation, measures taken to establish normalcy and to ensure civilian safety in the area. more..

Karuna Group rejects unattainable Eelam and appeals for a political solution

Nov 22 (AT) Rejecting the Eelamist goal of Tiger separatists, the Thamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP - Karuna Group) has appealed to the major parties in the democratic stream to help them to end their war against Prabhakaran’s oppressive regime and find a "political solution that could fulfill the fundamental rights and political aspirations of our people within the united Sri Lanka." more..

A modern version of Grama Rajya in the making

Nov 22 (AT) A modern version of the Grama Rajya system is in the making by a five member Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) committee. According to the party's spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe the proposal will be shortly handed over to the All Party Representatives Committee (APRC) led by Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana. more..

Bishop office launches letter writing campaign to focus deteriorating humanitarian catastrophe in Northern Sri Lanka

Nov 22 (AT) Office of the Bishop of Jaffna is launching a letter writing campaign with the view to send 5000 letters to the Secretary General of the United Nations, pin- pointing the present plight of the people and the appalling humanitarian situation existing in the Northern Province. more..

Mahinda: mass line, middle path & mistakes

Nov 22 (AT) The chorus of critics of government policy on the A-9 needs reminding that in the effort to preserve a united country, Abraham Lincoln, that most enlightened of democratic leaders, permitted General Sherman’s March Through Georgia, with its scorched earth tactics intended to starve the secessionist enemy of supplies. more..

Sri Lankan with three others are caught transporting 3 tons of Cocaine in a strange submarine off the coast of Costa Rica

Nov 22 (AT) Reports from Costa Rica in Central America said that a strange locally fabricated submarine transporting three tons of Cocaine was caught by authorities with a Sri Lankan national, two Colombians and a Guatemalan. The unique 50 foot long underwater transporting vessel is made of wood and fiber glass and the men traveling inside were breathing through pipes jutting out of water, more..

Observations on a Proposed Commission of Inquiry and International Independent Group of Eminent Persons

Nov 22 (AI) On 4 September 2006 the President of Sri Lanka announced that the government would invite an international independent commission to probe abductions, disappearances and extra-judicial killings in all areas of the country. Amnesty International welcomed the Government of Sri Lanka’s commitment to address past human rights violations. more..

Strengthening the war lobbies

Nov 22 (ML) The intensifying military confrontation in Sri Lanka in an ambience of pseudo-peace is building up a huge humanitarian crisis. This is putting the clock back on the whole peace process to turn it to an irreversible process. Already the human cost of this exercise of military assertion by both sides has been tremendous. It is likely to exceed the past records because both sides are better armed and more in numbers. more..

The importance of India and the international dimension

Nov 22 (ML) In his statement in parliament announcing the decision of the government to open the A9 road for a one off food convoy to the peninsula, the Leader of the House and Head of the government negotiating team Nimal Siripala De Silva stated this would not be prejudicial to national security. At the same time the LTTE is quoted as having rejected the government offer, maintaining that the A9 should be opened permanently. more..

Talks to heal UNP rift underway

Nov 22 (ML) The UNP rival groups were in discussion yesterday to resolve the party crisis both prior to the Working Committee meeting scheduled for the afternoon and following it. Fresh negotiations commenced after the General Secretary Tissa Attanayake forwarded the resolutions adopted at the party convention to one of the rebel leaders, Colombo District MP Gamini Lokuge at his request. more..

TNA MPs in east asked to quit under threat

Nov 22 (ML) Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians in the east said they had received death threats by the Karuna group. In a letter to Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara, Parliamentarians T. Kanagasabai, K. Thangeswari, S. Jeyananthamoorthi, P. Ariyanenthiran, K. Pathmanathan and C. Chandranehru stated they were threatened to resign their posts before next Monday (27). more..

Rights and wrongs

Nov 22 (FL) ON November 6, at 4 p.m. in Colombo, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights, triumphantly announced at a news conference the appointment of a commission of inquiry by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to investigate the alleged serious violations of human rights in the country since August 1, 2005, and report to the President. more..

Donors condemn Sri Lanka and rebels on violence

Nov 22 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's main financial donors on Tuesday condemned violence committed by both the government and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels and urged the rivals to restart peace talks and allow humanitarian aid. The main donors to the Indian ocean island state -- the United States, Japan, Norway and the European Union -- "condemn the continued and systematic cease-fire violations by the government of Sri Lanka and LTTE," they said in a statement. more..

Mediators condemn Sri Lanka government, rebels over fighting

Nov 22 (AFP) Major donors engaged in efforts to end Sri Lanka's civil war condemned the government and Tamil rebels alike Tuesday for human rights abuses and systematic violations of a 2002 ceasefire. Senior diplomats from the United States, European Union, Japan and Norway issued a statement expressing "alarm" at the ongoing fighting that they said has led to "significant loss of life and widespread human rights violations." more..

Business with philanthropy

Nov 22 (Gulf) Dr Lalith Kotelawala's business card is actually six cards printed on either side with five folds, listing all the companies that are part of his company, Ceylinco Consolidated. As a Sinhala Christian, Kotelawala is part of a minority group, but as the head of 256 companies that employ more than 30,000 people, he is also acknowledged as one of the country's leading business personalities. more..

JHU, JVP for maximum devolution of power

Nov 22 (DM) In a major political consensus towards a final solution to the long standing ethnic conflict the political parties represented in the All Party Representative Committee - including the JVP and JHU – have agreed on maximum devolution of power, it was announced yesterday. APRC Chairman Tissa Vitharana addressing a media briefing yesterday said the agreement was reached at an APRC meeting on Monday night. more..

Govt. laughs at LTTE charges

Nov 22 (DM) Government Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday dismissed as ‘a laughing matter’ LTTE charges that there were no constructive steps to involve the SLMM and the ICRC to re-open the A9 gateway. The spokesman’s strong remarks came in response to LTTE Political Head S.P. Thamilselvan’s charges on Tamilnet that the Government ‘was engaged in a last minute tactic to placate the international community’, by sending a convoy ahead of the Co-Chairs’ meeting in Washington. more..

JVP says budget will plunge Govt. further into debt

Nov 22 (DM) The JVP slammed President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second budget in Parliament yesterday, citing it as a document that would plunge the govt. further into debt and in essence the debt paid if calculated ,per citizen, would be Rs.155, 000 each, by the end of next year. Speaking during the fourth day’s budget debate, JVP front liner, Anura Kumara Dissanayake said each citizen’s current debt to foreign loans amounted to Rs. 120,000 and this figure would increase by Rs. 35,000 next year due more..

Joint Statement by Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Donors Conference Regarding Violence in Sri Lanka

Nov 22 (USDS) Following is the joint statement by Norway, the United States, the European Union, and Japan following their November 21, 2006, meeting as Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Donors Conference: The Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Donors Conference - Norway, the United States, the European Union, and Japan - met in Washington, D.C. on November 21. more..

Opposition strife could trigger snap general poll; Analysis

Nov 22 (LBO) President Mahinda Rajapakse spent the first year in office trying to cobble together a stable coalition but squabbling in the opposition ranks has given him a new opening to call a snap election. The president told his close associates early last month that he did not want to call a snap election - predicted even before his election last year - out of gratitude to the JVP and the JHU for helping him win the presidency. more..

Sri Lanka monetary policy slammed at economists' parley for feeding a credit bubble, inflation

Nov 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's loose monetary policy came under fire at a gathering of top economists and business leaders in the county, with panelists slamming the Central Bank for pushing inflation up, creating a credit bubble and putting Sri Lanka’s balance of payments under pressure. more..

Sri Lanka apparel industry hopes to touch US$ 3 bn mark this year

Nov 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s top revenue earning apparel industry hopes to finish the year at over 2.8 billion dollars in exports this year, industry apex body the Joint Apparel Association Forum, said. The industry netted 2.7 billion dollars last year, with total exports for the nine months ended September this year, touching 2.13 billion dollars, a 5.1 percent increase over the same period in 2005. more..

Sri Lanka made Tamil film to debut in Colombo

Nov 22 (TW) “Mann” (Earth) is the first film to be produced and released after a long period of time, in the history of Sri Lankan Tamil film industry. This is a 35mm film with Cinemascope mode. It has been scheduled to be released in mid November 2006 in Sri Lanka, possibly all around the country, if situation permits. “Mann” (Earth) will be screened at Cine City in Colombo from November 24th 2006 onwards, according to Puthiyavan Rasaiah. more..

Sri Lankan department store ODEL hopes to expand in Asia

Nov 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s top department store ODEL hopes to expand into Asia, as war fears in Sri Lanka scare away tourists that used to flock to the store in better times. “We plan to go overseas (in Asia). We are looking at a couple of options. We are already in discussion with people overseas and with certain groups of companies overseas…” Otara Gunawardena Chief Executive Officer ODEL told LBO Tuesday. more..

Karuna Group enters UN List of Shame

Nov 22 (ANN) The Karuna faction has officially been added to the UN Secretary General’s "list of shame" that aims to discredit governments and armed groups committing grave crimes against children. Also included is the LTTE, which has never been off the register since it was first introduced by Olara Otunnu, the former special representative of the secretary general for children and armed conflict. more..

Shame on you, Karuna!

Nov 22 (ANN) The Eastern Tigers led by former Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) military commander Karuna have been placed on the UN List of Shame over recruitment of child soldiers. The UN deserves plaudits for naming the outfit for harming children. Karuna is now in the exalted company of his erstwhile comrade Prabhakaran on the UN List! more..

Strengthen Govt to defeat terror, achieve peace

Nov 22 (PISL) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday urged the international community to further strengthen the hand of the Government which is fully committed to a negotiated settlement within the contours of democracy, human rights and pluralism. "Our friends internationally, and am happy to say we have many today - USA, Japan, UK, the European Union, Canada, Australia, our great neighbour India and of course our facilitator Norway- more..

Tamil civilians protest against LTTE

Nov 22 (PISL) Thousands of Tamil civilians yesterday staged a protest in Batticaloa and Mankerni demanding the LTTE to allow more than 30,000 civilians forcibly kept by them in Vakarai and Mankerni areas to cross into cleared areas in Batticaloa. Military sources in Batticaloa told the Daily News more than 1,500 people in Batticaloa and over 1,000 people in Mankerni engaged in this protest last morning demanding LTTE to allow civilians to come to Government controlled areas. more..

Sri Lanka says it wants to resume peace talks with Tamil rebels immediately

Nov 22 (AP) The Sri Lankan government said Wednesday it was willing to immediately resume stalled peace talks with Tamil rebels, but accused the insurgents' of not cooperating. "Our government is willing to go an extra mile to resume peace talks so that the cycle of violence can stop," chief government spokesman, Keheliya Rambukwella told The Associated Press. more..

Sri Lanka rupee gains sharply in volatile trading; stocks up

Nov 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka rupee zoomed to 106.05 in early morning trade Wednesday, two days after it hit an all time low of 109.40, after authorities took measures to take immediate pressure off the market, dealers said. Information reaching the market that petroleum bills would not be settled with purchases from the market in the near future, as well as moral suasion from authorities, helped prop the rupee up, dealers said. more..

SLMM is biased and unreasonable – Minister Rambukwella

Nov 22 (GDI) Referring to the huge accusation by the SLMM Acting Spokesperson Helen Ollasfdotir, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that it is a very biased statement and the Government is very disturbed by such a statement from an organisation that should be impartial. Last Monday SLMM spokesperson accused the Government troops for killing of five students of Thandikulam farm school in Vavuniya on 19th. more..

Govt assures speedy action on Vakarai

Nov 22 (GDI) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake yesterday vouched that the Government will never allow its people in the North and East or anywhere else to starve to death, responding to a motion raised by TNA Parliamentarian R. Sampanthan. Moving the adjournment motion Sampanthan said the military was preventing the food convoys being sent to Vakarai and as a result the people have been starving and suffering without proper medication and essential items. more..

Rock's report that rocked Sri Lanka is now bound to rock Rock himself

Nov 22 (ISL) United Nations Special Ambassador to Sri Lanka Allan Rock and a former Canadian cabinet minister and until recently, the country’s Ambassador to the United Nations made an incredible observation that the Sri Lankan Armed Forces were helping the TMVP led by Colonel Karuna, to enlist child soldiers in its armed cadres. more..

Mahinda`s son to join Navy

Nov 22 (LNP) Yoshitha Rajapakse, the second son of President Mahinda Rajapakse would shortly join the Sri Lanka Navy as an officer Cadet. The President recently gave the go ahead, well informed sources said. Yoshitha represented S. Thomas College in rugby. The unprecedented move comes in the backdrop of intense efforts to attract the youth to serve the armed forces. The sources said that Yoshitha always wanted to join the SLN. more..

Tigers freedom fighters: Kotelawala

Nov 22 (LNP) Business tycoon Lalith Kotelawala has described the Tamil Tigers as `genuine freedom fighters`. 'They (LTTE) have done great service to their people and you can`t brand them as pure terrorists as they are genuine freedom fighters,' Mr. Kotelawala who was once a victim of an LTTE attack told Dubai-based Gulf News. more..

Telecom to go slow

Nov 22 (LNP) Telecommunication services are likely to get disrupted when Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) employees launch a go-slow campaign from tomorrow. Telecom engineering services, maintenance services, internet services, phonogram services, maritime telecommunication services and technical services are some of the areas likely to be affected with 20 trade unions joining the work to rule campaign, more..

Choksy picks holes in Budget

Nov 22 (LNP) UNP Parliamentarian and former Finance Minister K. N. Choksy PC, in his comments on the recent Budget, said that certain sensitive issues present in the economy and which had been aggravated in the last three years, had not been addressed. Rising inflation which presently stands at 8 per cent, cost of living the index of which has risen by 12 per cent, more..

Taxi drivers major HIV AIDS carriers

Nov 22 (SAMN) Taxi drivers have been found to be the primary source in the spread of HIV-AIDS according to an extensive survey conducted by the Sexually Transmitted Disease Unit (STD), Health Ministry sources Tuesday. STD Unit Director Dr. Nimal Edirisinghe said the Government’s capacity to control HIV-AIDS in Sri Lanka was only 1% and it was through the protection of blood transfusion instruments. more..

School canteens to go all natural

Nov 22 (SAMN) The Health Care and Nutrition Ministry announced Tuesday that the sale of artificial foods and beverages in school canteens in the entire island will be banned, starting from the first quarter of 2007 and this will include both government and private schools. The Health Ministry took this decision, after learning that 25% of Sri Lanka’s population is suffering from Type 2 diabetes, which does not answer to insulin. more..

Rock report to go before UNSC

Nov 22 (SAMN) Credible evidence on complicity of government troops with the Karuna faction in the recruitment of child soldiers will be presented to the UN Security Council by Allan Rock in his report, the UN office in Colombo said. The Government which earlier said that it would be writing to the UN office seeking evidence on the allegations Tuesday said that it would wait until a copy of the report was handed over to it before it would resort to any action. more..

UNP, JVP clash in parliament

Nov 22 (SAMN) The UNP and the JVP clashed in Parliament Tuesday over the nomination of two UNP members to the All Party Representative Committee (APRC). An argument erupted when UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella, charged that the JVP was opposed to two UNP members being in the APRC. At this point, JVP Parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake said they were opposed to accommodating two members from the UNP as all other parties had nominated only one member each. more..

Sri Lanka gov't asks UN envoy for evidence on accusations

Nov 22 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan government said Wednesday it had asked the UN special advisor Allan Rock to provide credible evidence to support his accusations against the government security forces. Keheliya Rambukwella, minister of Policy Planning and the government defense spokesman, told reporters that "the government has asked him to provide evidence so that we can deal with it." more..

More Tamil teachers for Sabaragamuwa

Nov 22 (DN) "Two hundred eighty five graduate teachers have been appointed to schools in the Sabaragamuwa Province. Even though there is a shortage of 490 Tamil teachers, only 55 will be recruited to Tamil schools. The remaining vacancies will be filled soon said Reggie Ranathunga, Governor, Sabaragamuwa Province. more..

Stabbing followed 'good husband' lecture

Nov 22 (Age) A Melbourne man stabbed his parents-in-law to death after his wife's father lectured him on being a good husband, a court has heard. Sarath Hettiarachchi, 46, is charged with murdering Sammy and Iranganie Perera, both in their 70s, in the home he shared with their daughter in the Melbourne suburb of Hallam on March 7. more..

A year of misery and violence

Nov 22 (BBC) When Sri Lanka chose a new president and a new administration a year ago, some hoped that the change could bring new thinking and a new approach in solving the ethnic conflict. Though considered a hardliner, President Mahinda Rajapakse was viewed by moderate Tamils as a pragmatist who had the potential to evolve a consensus by convincing the majority Sinhalese community to find a political solution to the ethnic conflict. more..

Sri Lanka cricket chief faces share price manipulation charge

Nov 22 (AFP) Sri Lanka's securities watchdog alleged the island's cricket chief Jayantha Dharmadasa illegally manipulated the share price of a Colombo exchange-listed hospital and ordered a probe. The Securities and Exchange Commission said Dharmadasa, the head of Sri Lanka Cricket, and eight others had boosted the share price of Nawaloka Hospitals by furious buying and selling designed to attract investor interest. more..

Air force bombs 2 Tamil rebel bases as new violence hits Sri Lanka

Nov 22 (AP) Sri Lankan air force jets bombed two rebel Tamil Tiger naval bases in the country's northwest on Wednesday, the military said, while a soldier was killed and three others wounded in a roadside bomb the military blamed on the insurgents. Warplanes destroyed two Sea Tiger bases in Mannar, about 220 kilometers (135 miles) north of the capital, more..