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India urges ‘united and federal’ solution

Nov 26 (PISL) Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon flew to Chennai from Colombo on Friday to brief Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on the outcome of his short visit to Colombo last week. Shortly before Menon’s arrival here, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote to Karunanidhi expressing India’s interest in a solution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem "within the framework of a united and federal Sri Lanka." more..

EU seeks to engage India in Lankan peace process

Nov 26 (PISL) The European Union is looking to a greater Indian involvement in Sri Lanka''s peace process, said Alessandra Baldi of the Council of the European Union''s Policy Unit - Asia Task Force on Wednesday. Describing the situation in Sri Lanka as "very difficult", she said the EU was looking for closer co-ordination with India, along with Norway and other co-chairs. more..

Prabhakaran celebrates his 52 birthday with increased oppression of Tamils

Nov 26 (AT) Today is the 52 birthday of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the self-proclaimed "sole representative of the Tamils". He is celebrating it alone because his wife and children are abroad enjoying all the bread, rice and curries denied to the people imprisoned in areas controlled by him. more..

LTTE terrorizes anti-LTTE radio in London

Nov 26 (AT) According to Tamil sources in North London, LTTE thugs in London have broken into the premises of the anti – LTTE radio station, the Tamil Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) and vandalized it on the early hours of morning, around 1.45 a.m., on Saturday. It seems a deliberate attempt to sabotage the heroes' day message by Col. Karuna, the leader of the TMVP, a breakaway group of the proscribed terrorist organization, the LTTE. more..

Army chief accuses LTTE of provoking military

Nov 26 (LNP) Army Commander Sarath Fonseka last week accused the LTTE of provoking the military into committing `involuntary violations` of international humanitarian law and human rights. He also pointed out that soldiers perform their duties in hostile environments and must, therefore, respond by instinct to any given situation. `In action, they do not need an instruction booklet on the use of their weapons,` he said. more..

Ranil to meet senior Indian officials

Nov 26 (LNP) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe leaves for India tomorrow for a visit including talks with high level officials of the Indian central government, his office said yesterday. Wickremesinghe who will be in India till December 3 will initially visit Calcutta and thereafter fly to New Delhi on November 29 for discussions with senior Indian officials who were not identified. more..

Have the robber barons come?

Nov 26 (LNP) The Colombo bourse, touted as the best performing in the region, has been on a high roll these past two weeks notwithstanding low intensity war that continues and the forthcoming Martyr`s Day speech by Velupillai Prabhakaran on Monday. The week before saw both the All Share and Milanka Price Indices tracking the market`s progress achieve all time highs on three consecutive days. more..

Kulasekara five-for puts Sri Lanka A in charge

Nov 26 (CI) There are just two "Tests" in which West Indies and Sri Lanka hopefuls can make an impression on their respective selectors. The West Indians did not have a good first showing. Yesterday at Guaracara Park, the Caribbean batsmen turned up but really didn't play in decent November conditions. The result was 130 for 6 on day one of the first four-day "Test". more..

Scotland Yard probe hits snag

Nov 26 (SAMN) Detectives from Britain’s Scotland Yard may not arrive in Sri Lanka after all to assist in investigations into the murder of Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj. The reason – a dispute over a Scotland Yard demand that the suspects not be handed down the death sentence upon conviction. The Yard wants such a provision incorporated in a Memorandum of Understanding. more..

Govt. asks for evidence from Radhika

Nov 26 (SAMN) Sri Lanka has written to the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy requesting her for the "strong and credible evidence" that her envoy Allan Rock had regarding army involvement in child recruitment. more..

Ban on ‘thin’ polythene from January

Nov 26 (SAMN) A ban on the use of polythene (20 microns and below thickness) mostly used as shopping bags and lunch sheets will be strictly enforced from January 1, 2007. Secretary to the Ministry of Environment, Jayalath R. V. Dissanayaka said 20 microns and below includes lunch sheets, “silly-silly” bags, grocery bags and the like. The reason for setting the cap on 20 microns according to Dissanayaka is that it is a very thin gauge. more..

10 % schoolchildren unhealthy: Research

Nov 26 (SAMN) A school health survey conducted by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Medical Council of Sri Lanka reveals that 8-10 per cent of school children, mostly from urban areas are suffering from obesity, diabetes, blood pressure, hypertension and kidney failures due to poor nutrition practices. more..

Susanthika out - will not be fit after Chickungunya - NOC Chief Hemasiri

Nov 26 (DN) Susanthika Jayasinghe, the star athlete, who is down with Chickungunya and taking treatment at a leading hospital in Colombo, is ruled out by the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka in participating at the 15th Asian Games to be held in Doha, Qatar from December 1 to 15. more..

CBK to be quizzed over shady arms deals

Nov 26 (NS) The three-member Presidential Commission investigating corrupt arms deals has recommended that a few serving and non-serving military officers including top brass be court martialed. The commission findings have implicated North East Governor Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrema, former Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Daya Sandagiri, and former Navy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera among others. more..

Major attack in Colombo averted

Nov 26 (NS) Security forces yesterday recovered seven claymore mines along with ten kilograms of explosives reportedly from the suburbs of Colombo. A suspected suicide bomber was also taken into custody by the army on Friday. A spokesman for the media centre for National Security told The Nation that the mines and explosives were discovered from the general area of the Western Province and did not mention the specific area citing continuing investigations. more..

Hospitals overcrowded with flue, Chikungunya patients

Nov 26 (NS) Hospitals in Colombo are chock-a-block with patients suffering from a viral flue spreading in the city and the suburbs as well as from those suffering from suspected Chikungunya disease. Patients with high fever and seeking to get admitted to hospital are being referred from one hospital to another due to overcrowding. more..

US Tamil expatriates condemn GOSL

Nov 26 (NS) The Sri Lankan Tamil expatriates living in the United States, have urged the international community to intervene in Sri Lankan peace process and condemn what they call the “brutal, inhuman actions of the Sri Lankan government.” Tamil organizations in the US issued a joint press release last week calling upon the international community to impose a moratorium on military assistance to the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and take tough action against the Vakarai massacre. more..

Lanka plays diplomatic truant on Palestine vote

Nov 26 (ST) The Sri Lankan delegates made themselves absent when the UN General Assembly took up for voting a resolution calling for an end to Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip last week. The Foreign Ministry in Colombo confirmed that the delegates were absent, but declined to give reasons. “However Sri Lanka quite understands the Palestine issue and its position on it has not changed,” the spokesman said without elaborating. more..

Minister gets hammered again by his wife

Nov 26 (ST) A Cabinet Minister and his wife recently engaged in a hand-to-hand fight at the Mount Lavinia Hotel. Eyewitnesses said the wife hit her husband after exchanging abuses. Later, she had walked out of the hotel. The husband who followed had found that his wife had parked her car blocking the road. She had once again allegedly assaulted the husband and a Sub Inspector bodyguard who accompanied him. more..

Jaffna people hit by ever-soaring prices and raging debates over A9

Nov 26 (ST) Weeks of debate over measures to overcome the food crisis in the Jaffna peninsula continues, while the food situation worsens and a fresh dispute arising over government plans to send a food convoy by the A9 road. The government’s latest effort to ease the food shortages in the Jaffna peninsula by sending a large convoy as a one off measure to the peninsula by the A9 has been rejected by the LTTE on the grounds that if the road can be opened once, then it could be kept open throughout. more..

Senior Govt. officials questioned over SLIC privatization

Nov 26 (ST) Nearly 40 persons, including Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundara, have been questioned by a parliamentary sub-committee over the controversial privatization of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC). The meeting by the parliamentary probe committee lasted several hours and officials from accounting firms Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers neither admitted nor confirmed whether their accounts were in accordance with international accounting standards since more..

Lankan govt clamps down on Jaffna University

Nov 26 (NDTV) The humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka is getting from bad to worse with every passing day. NDTV travelled to the Jaffna University, which the Sri Lankan government claims is a breeding ground for training the LTTE. The Sinhalese perception of Jaffna University is that it's a nursery for Tiger cubs. The university, which was unable to feed its students, was forced to close in August. more..

Sri Lanka ready for consensus to resolve civil war

Nov 26 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is ready to resolve its bloody civil conflict through a national consensus involving all political parties and separatist Tamil rebels, President Mahinda Rajapakse said on Sunday. But he acknowledged any progress towards peace was slow and gave no details of how such a consensus would be achieved. more..

Top Tamil guerilla leader honors fallen rebels, opponents stone his image

Nov 26 (AP) The Tamil Tigers' reclusive leader led commemorative events for fallen guerrillas in Sri Lanka's rebel-held north, as his opponents on Sunday threw stones and tomatoes at his portrait in the Sinhalese-majority south. The pro-rebel TamilNet Web site reported that Velupillai Prabhakaran took part in the memorial events at an undisclosed location in rebel territory on Saturday, more..

Thousands of people protest Sri Lankan president's visit to India

Nov 26 (AP) Thousands of Tamils rallied in southern India on Sunday to oppose a visit by the Sri Lankan president and blamed him for the killing of thousands of minority Tamils in the war-battered nation, a news report said. They also accused Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse of depriving Tamils of food and other necessities in the rebel-controlled territories in Sri Lanka's north and east, more..

Sri Lankan military says it killed 21 rebels in separate attacks

Nov 26 (AP) Sri Lankan troops killed 21 Tamil rebels in separate clashes in the east, the military said Sunday, as government forces and the guerrillas exchanged mortar and artillery fire. Military spokesman Maj. Upali Rajapakse said the insurgents attacked four groups of patrolling troops in three different locations in eastern Batticaloa district on Saturday. more..

MDMK opposes military pact with Sri Lanka

Nov 26 (ZN) Opposing Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse`s visit to India, the MDMK on Sunday said New Delhi should not have any defence pact with the island nation or agree to joint patrolling of the maritime boundary of the two countries. MDMK leader Vaiko made this clear to External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee when he met him here this morning. more..

Tiger supremo faces deadline for war or peace in Sri Lanka

Nov 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka's elusive Tamil Tiger supremo marks his 52nd birthday with a self-imposed deadline to decide the course of Asia's longest-running ethnic conflict. Velupillai Prabhakaran has no official birthday celebrations but his annual speech on Monday will be keenly watched by Sri Lankan leaders as well as those in foreign capitals struggling to broker peace. more..

Sri Lanka on alert as Tamil Tiger rebels honour war dead

Nov 26 (AFP) Sri Lankan security forces went on high alert, officials said, as Tamil Tiger rebels remembered 18,742 comrades killed in their decades-long campaign for a separate homeland. Troops and the Tamil Tiger rebels exchanged mortar fire in the northern peninsula of Jaffna Saturday night, the defence ministry said, adding troops escaped a guerrilla mine attack in the island's northwest. more..

Rajapakse calls for consensual approach for tackling problems

Nov 26 (IANS) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Sunday called for a consensual approach to deal with national problems in his first public address during his second visit to the country amid rising tension in his island nation. Rajapakse, who arrived here Saturday on a four-day visit, told a meeting of Asian mayors, Sri Lankan cities like India are multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-cultural. more..

India for 'maximum devolution' in Sri Lanka

Nov 26 (IANS) India is pressing Sri Lanka to give 'maximum devolution' to the Tamils as President Mahinda Rajapakse embarks on his second visit to this country in a year. 'While we are fully for the unity of Sri Lanka, we are anxious that the Tamils should get their due,' a senior official told IANS, giving an idea of the nature of discussions likely here this week between Rajapakse and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. more..

"Colombo studying Indian Panchayat model"

Nov 27 (Hindu) The three-day, first Asian Mayors' conference got under way here on Sunday with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa urging participants to develop models of excellence where every individual in a town became part of a movement to make it a place worth living. Inaugurating the meet, Mr. Rajapaksa felt that the municipal bodies would have to look out for more funds from the Government and other agencies as their own revenue was too little to solve the problems that came with urbanisation. more..

LTTE celebrates `Hero's Day' today

Nov 27 (Hindu) All attention in the island nation would be focused on the so-called `Hero's Day' annual speech of LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran scheduled to be delivered on Monday. The speech is a policy statement of the Tamil Tigers for the year and on Sunday Mr. Prabhakaran turned 52. The 2006 speech has evoked interest as last year Mr. Prabhakaran had described the President Mahinda Rajapaksa who had just assumed office as a `pragmatic leader' and said more..

Police investigate mobile phone link in Raviraj assassination

Nov 27 (AT) Police investigating the murder of the TNA MP Nadarajah Raviraj have uncovered a curious mobile phone trail, leading to the Vanni. The TNA Member of Parliament who was controversially gunned down in the heart of Colombo had received several threatening telephone calls, prior to his assassination. more..

Is the arresting of Mawbima female journalist a plot?

Nov 27 (LeN) Media sources suspect that the arresting of Mawbima weekend paper freelance journalist Parameshwari Munusami aged 24 may be the outcome of a plot. She was taken into custody by a STF investigating woman suicide bomber who has come from Ampara. The alleged suicide bomber too has stayed at 28 Ramakrishna road, Wellawatta where Ms Munusami too has stayed. more..

Balasingham writes last speech for Prabakharan

Nov 27 (TW) This year’s “Maaveerar Naal” or Great Heroes Day” oration by LTTE Velupillai Pirabakaran on November 27th will be of poignant significance due to a very, special reason. The annual address has now come to be regarded as an unofficial policy statement of the tigers. LTTE political commissar Suppiah Paramu Thamilselvan has stated that his leader’s speech this time will outline the position of the LTTE on the current situation. more..

No public speech ceremony for LTTE Chief this year?

Nov 27 (TW) LTTE head Velupillai Pirapakaran may not participate in an open, public ceremony for the annual Great Heroes Day (Maaveerar Naal) this year. Instead the LTTE chief is likely to deliver the annual Great Heroes Day (GHD) oration from a secure location amidst a select audience of LTTE cadres and carefully screened civilian supporters. more..

Viral fever sweeps Jaffna, northeast

Nov 27 (TN) Viral fever, suspected to be Chikungunya, is spreading rapidly amongst people in Jaffna, medical experts said Sunday. “In Jaffna, this viral fever which has the symptoms of Chikungunya is spreading very fast. I find that more than 5,000 people have been infected," Dr. A. Ketheeswaran, director of provincial health services there, told Reuters. more..

Bishop calls for urgent transport of food to Jaffna via A9

Nov 27 (TN) Bishop of Jaffna, Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Savundaranayagam, in a letter addressed to Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse Sunday, urged the President to follow through on his proposal to send food and other essentials to Jaffna through A9 highway. The Bishop said he would like to believe that the proposal is "a humble and good gesture on the part of the Government. more..

Ranil seeks mass support for enforcement of CFA

Nov 27 (SN) The Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe stressed for mass support for proper enforcement of the ceasefire to avert a war. Mr. Wickremesinghe made this call during the opening of the statue of Late Minister Lalith Athulathmudali at Maliban Junction, Ratmalana yesterday. It also coincided with the 70th birth anniversary of Mr. Athulathmudali. more..

Stocks get boost from debut of Islamic insurer on the bourse

Nov 27 (LBO) Colombo stocks gained strength from the debut of an Islamic insurer of the bourse, while investors awaited the annual speech of Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Pirabaharan, dealers said. The ten rupee share of Amana Takaful, an Islamic insurer, opened at 28.00 rupees but soon raced up as punters chased the stock to 110.00 rupees, as very few sellers were able to lodge their stocks in the Central Depository in time. more..

Sri Lanka TV tax generates cash; broadcasters curb regular fare to survive

Nov 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka has raised about 40 million rupees from June-Sept by taxing foreign movies, dramas and sitcoms aired on local television stations, the finance ministry said. Introduced in June, the ministry said the levy on telecasts of foreign films, teledramas and commercials are “aimed at safeguarding the local film industry and protecting Sri Lankan values.” more..

Norway gave money to LTTE: Karuna

Nov 27 (ISL) It was April 2004. LTTE's renegade leader Karuna retreated after clashes with Prabhakaran. It happened two days after Karuna gave his final face-to-face interview to this writer who was then at "The Island" newspaper. The interview was published in The Island on 9th April. However, in 2002 the writer predicted that both Karuna and Prabhakaran would split and the article was published in "The Island" in May 2002 and subsequently in India's "Frontline" magazine. more..

Strong local leadership is a lifelong solution for tight spots of states - President

Nov 27 (GDI) "Asian Mayors are challenged to give leadership to the people of our towns and resolve the problems that they face. You are challenged to display leadership qualities and managerial skills of the highest order," stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa on yesterday (26) at Dehradun, India. President Rajapaksa expressed this on his speech at the inaugural session of 'The First Asian Mayors' Conference on more..

Any form of intolerances on human rights will not be endured - President

Nov 27 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa reiterates Sri Lankan Government’s strong commitment ensuring and strengthening the rights of every citizen of Sri Lanka, in every possible form. "Our Government has taken firm action, - both administrative and executive in nature, - to ensure that the violation of human rights in any form is not tolerated" stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Karuna blasts Prabhakaran’s exploitation of Tamil deaths for his glory

Nov 27 (AT) Col Karuna, Leader of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal, in his Heroes’ Day statement has blasted Velupillai Prabhakaran for exploiting the suffering of the Tamil heroes for his own glory. "The death of the great heroes belongs to history. Their fair name should not be allowed to be sullied by a self- seeking, self-serving individual," says Karuna. more..

Navy successfully destroys another arms smuggling trawler

Nov 27 (GDI) This morning Sri Lanka Navy successfully thwarted another LTTE attempt to smuggle in weaponry in the seas off approximatly fifty nautical miles from West of Udappuwa, North of Chilaw – in the Western Coast of Sri Lanka. The naval vessel on patrol duty detecting a fishing trawler in the above mentioned location has moved close to inspect as the normal routine and at once the men in the trawler have started firing at the Navy craft. more..

Smith and Sammy give Windies A the advantage

Nov 27 (CI) West Indies A ended day three of their first four day match against Sri Lanka A on 178 for 3 in their second innings, a lead of 193 built on Devon Smith's well-paced century. This was after Sri Lanka A had been limited to 252 in their first innings on the strength of Daren Sammy's 5 for 50. West Indies' efforts with bat and ball continued their resurgence started by Sammy on day two. more..

Feline protests, crab walks and some questions

Nov 27 (ANN) Once a father blew a gasket on seeing a report card his son brought him after a school test. It had single digits against most subjects. "Is this how you are faring? You are a complete failure. Shame on you!" the exasperated father yelled. "No, dad, that’s not mine. It’s one of your old reports I managed to dig out," said the son, handing over his own report (which was no better than the big man’s). more..

A9 food convoy to Jaffna next week?

Nov 27 (LNP) The A9 Road is expected to be opened at Muhamalai entry/exit point early next week to facilitate a food convoy reach Jaffna, said Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission Spokesman Thorfinnur Omarsson yesterday. The government has requested the SLMM to take steps to send food and other essential items to Jaffna to address the humanitarian crisis in the Peninsula. more..