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Military warns Tigers may blast Panichchankerni Bridge

Nov 27 (LNP) On the eve of LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran`s Heroes` Day speech, Tigers were planning to explode the Panichchankerni Bridge to prevent food items being transported to Vakarai and also to kill civilians, military warned. "Military officially requested the Ceasefire Monitors to conduct a proper inspection before allowing any movement over this bridge and to take necessary action to prevent such activities by the Tigers," more..

Paper proscription of LTTE in EU

Nov 27 (LNP) Tamils in EU countries held Prabhakaran`s special function despite the LTTE being officially proscribed in the European Union in May 2006. The publicity in the LTTE media is extensive and the terrorists continue with its activities without impunity. The LTTE broadcasting media TTN a subscribed service for members, opened its broadcast free from November 24 to 30, 2006. more..

Interference led to Palihakkara`s resignation?

Nov 27 (LNP) SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem queried from the government whether there was any truth behind speculations that about four outsiders had been interfering in the work of Foreign Ministry leading to the premature resignation of its Secretary, H. M. G. S. Palihakkara. The SLMC Leader raised this question in Parliament on Saturday during the committee stage debate on the votes of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. more..

JVP raps Co-chairs

Nov 27 (SAMN) The JVP Sunday rapped Sri Lanka’s peace Co-chairs namely the US, EU, Norway and Japan for reiterating their concerns over the recent de-merger of the Eastern Province from the Northern Province. The decision making politburo pointed out that the co-chairs last week reiterated their hotly disputed stand announced in the second week of September that present arrangements of the North and East should not be disturbed. more..

Anti-Lanka propaganda: UNP blames FM

Nov 27 (SAMN) The UNP has charged that the country’s image was being tarnished before the international community, particularly in India with little being done by the Foreign Ministry to arrest the trend. Speaking during the Committee Stage debate on the Foreign Ministry in Parliament, UNP parliamentarian John Amaratunga said there had been much criticism and appeals to the the Government in India with demonstrations planned to coincide with President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s tour. more..

Student deaths: Soldier, cop remanded

Nov 27 (SAMN) A soldier and policeman have been remanded for allegedly shooting at a group of agricultural school students in Omanthai, Vavuniya, killing five of them and injuring 12 others last Saturday. The two suspects were among a group of security forces personnel posted on duty near the school where a claymore mine triggered by the LTTE went off, killing five army personnel, including two officers. more..

Safe drinking water from Nestlé Lanka

Nov 27 (SAMN) The availability of safe drinking water is a major concern for many communities, particularly in the rural areas. According to World Bank studies, currently only about one out of every 10 Sri Lankan households has water on tap and every fifth person relies on rivers, streams and other unprotected water sources for their drinking water. more..

TRO urges MR to include abductions in inquiry

Nov 27 (DM) With the fate of seven TRO employees who went missing in Welikanda earlier this year still unknown, the Tamil charity organisation has urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to include the case in the recently appointed commission of inquiry, a TRO spokesman told the Daily Mirror. Meanwhile Batticaloa SSP Maxi Proctor said while the CID was carrying out a full scale investigation into the incident, more..

Ven. Mahanayake Thero urges UNP to support govt.

Nov 27 (DM) The Most Venerable Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera of the Malwatte Chapter advised the leaders of the United National Party to provide necessary support to the government to solve the problems of the North and East and to save the country irrespective of all differences and after that to implement the policies of the party to form a government in the future. more..

BOC to help Lankan workers abroad open NRFC accounts free of charge

Nov 27 (DN) The Bank of Ceylon (BOC) will help Sri Lankan workers abroad open Non-Resident Foreign Currency (NRFC) accounts free-of-charge with its own 5 dollar initial deposit. The "Bank of Ceylon which holds a market share of 40 percent of the island's NRFC accounts has offered this new facility to attract more of its foreign workers," G.M.J. Gunasekera, bank's Chief Manager for International Operations told Daily News yesterday. more..

Why Sri Lanka has slidelined India

Nov 27 (RN) Bolstered by Pakistan's military support and the US diplomatic support to its military operations against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the Sri Lankan government of President Mahinda Rajapakse has been increasingly insensitive to India's concerns over the humanitarian catastrophe facing the Sri Lankan Tamil community. more..

NTPC to set up power plant in Sri Lanka

Nov 27 (II) NTPC Ltd. said on Monday that it has decided to submit a proposal to the Government of Sri Lanka for setting up a 900 MW Coal/LNG based power plant in Sri Lanka. The proposal is still under discussion, and the company is likely to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Government of Sri Lanka shortly, the public sector power generation major said in a statement. more..

Sri Lankan varsity confers doctorate on Sri Sri

Nov 27 (IANS) Indian spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been conferred doctor of philosophy (Holistic Medicine) by the Open International University for Complementary Medicine in Sri Lanka. The degree was conferred Sunday during the 44th World Congress on Alternative Medicine held in Sri Lanka, Ravi Shankar's Art of Living Foundation said in a statement Monday. more..

Rajapakshe committed to promote human rights for all

Nov 27 (IANS) President Mahinda Rajapakshe said his government aimed at finding solutions to his country's problems respecting the 'human rights and democratic values of all our citizens'. Rajapakshe said: 'Sri Lankan government has always offered to negotiate across the table and craft a solution that respects human rights and democratic values...we remain deeply committed to the promotion and protection of human rights of all our citizens.' more..

Violence Against Christians Escalates in Sri Lanka

Nov 27 (CT) Sri Lankan Christians are facing more intense persecution as mob violence becomes an increasingly seen trend in the country, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has told Christian Today. As fighting between the Sri Lankan army and Tamil rebels continues, mob violence against churches and individuals across the country has increased dramatically. more..

Sri Lanka war refugees surge

Nov 27 (NDTV) A humanitarian crisis in the war battered north of Sri Lanka has forced many people to take refuge in the camps of Jaffna town. The Church of St Nicholas has become the latest refugee shelter in the town. The rich migrate, others cross the Palk Strait and reach Tamil Nadu in southern India. But the poorest who stay back are trapped by the crossfire between the Sri Lankan forces and the Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

125 DPI men arrested for burning Rajapakse’s effigy

Nov 27 (NIP) As many as 125 Dalit Panthers of India (DPI) volunteers, including nine women, were taken into custody for staging a demonstration near the Venkatasubba Reddiar Statue to protest against the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse visit on November 26. more..

Vaiko on day-long fast at the sundial; Rajapakse’s ode to HR

Nov 27 (AT) MDMK chief Vaiko has brought his anti-Rajapakse, pro – LTTE campaign to Indian capital’s landmark sundial Jantar Mantar. He and his supporters sat on a day-long fast to protest against the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is away in Dehradun attending some local functions. The Rajapakse engagements here officially start from Tuesday. more..

Sri Lanka Aim To Build Confidence in NZ

Nov 27 (NZPA) a one-day series against New Zealand to build confidence and momentum ahead of next year's cricket World Cup, coach Tom Moody said on Monday. Speaking shortly after the Sri Lankan squad arrived for their seven-week tour of New Zealand, Moody said he had brought "a good blend of experience" with him. more..

To assist Sri Lanka, Bhagwati wants full freedom

Nov 27 (IANS) Former Indian chief justice P.N. Bhagwati says he will head a global body of jurists to oversee investigations into human rights violations in the island nation only if he gets a free hand. Bhagwati, who the Sri Lankan government has approached for the job, said he had not heard from Colombo recently but was willing to take up the challenging assignment. more..

Civilians flood from Vakarai; says more on their way; stuck in jungles

Nov 27 (RW) Forty civilians escaping from the tiger's grip in VAKARAI in BATTICALOA district arrived in KIRIAMICHCHI, an area South West of VAKARAI around 7.40 a.m. today (26) and revealed that there are around fifty to sixty civilians escaped from the tiger siege at VAKARAI area and on their way in jungles to the Security Forces' controlled areas. more..

Sri Lanka navy destroys suspected rebel boat; 6 believed killed

Nov 27 (AP) Sri Lanka's navy on Monday destroyed a boat suspected of ferrying arms for Tamil Tiger rebels off the island's west coast, killing six, the military said, as the rebels marked their annual "Martyrs' Day." The navy spotted a suspicious fishing boat off the coast of Chilaw, 70 kilometers (43 miles) north of Colombo, and was fired upon by its six occupants when they approached, more..

Top Tamil Tiger leader says cease-fire agreement is "defunct

Nov 27 (AP) Top Tamil Tiger rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran said Monday the 2002 cease-fire with Sri Lankan government was "defunct" and blamed the Sri Lankan government for failing to resolve the demand for a Tamil homeland through negotiations. He said an independent Tamil state is the only solution. more..

Sri Lanka rebel leader vows independence, more war seen

Nov 27 (Reuters) The Tamil Tigers declared on Monday they now saw no other option than to push for an independent state in what analysts said was notice to Sri Lanka's government that renewed civil war will deepen. Shadowy Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, who had earlier been pushing for a separate homeland for minority Tamils -- short of outright independence -- said Tamils had been cheated by successive majority Sinhalese governments and would be fooled no more. more..

M K Narayanan, Shivshankar Menon are pro-Sri Lanka: Vaiko

Nov 27 (DG) MDMK General Secretary Vaiko today charged Prime Minister's National Security Advisor M K Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon with "toeing the line" of the Sri Lankan government and working against the interest of Tamils in the island nation. Mr Vaiko told reporters that he met Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee this morning and lodged a formal complaint against Mr Menon. more..

Rebel chief vows Sri Lankan Tamils will have own state

Nov 27 (AFP) The Tamil people of Sri Lanka have no choice but to have their own independent state, rebel chief Velupillai Prabhakaran declared, effectively ending the island's peace process. In his annual policy speech from a secret hideout, the Tamil Tiger leader accused the Colombo government of waging military and economic war against 2.5 million Tamils and that they were left "with no other option but an independent state." more..

Changing moods in Chennai, fludity in reltions herald Rajapakse's India parelys

Nov 28 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse begins his Indian parleys today with meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his senior aides. He also intends to meet a cross section of the entire political spectrum ostensibly to keep New Delhi in the loop as he works out plans to meet the ethnic Tamilians' demand for their rightful say in shaping the future of the island nation. more..

EuropeAid increases aid package to Sri Lanka

Nov 28 (AT) Erich Muller Director for Asia - EuropeAid Co-operation office, said that the Co-Chairs and the European Union gave a green light to Sri Lanka to recommence peace talks and the EuropeAid has already increased its annual Aid package to Sri Lanka. Speaking at a press briefing Mr.Muller has confirmed that EU wants to build smooth regional co-operation to boost trade relations. more..

No-war-no-peace speech of Prabhakaran promises elusive Eelam again

Nov 28 (AT) The expected declaration of war did not materialize in this year's speech of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the Tamil Tigers. Nor did he make a declaration of peace. He began his speech by saying that they are placed in a period "unprecedented in history" where they are "dealing with war and peace talks at the same time." more..

Deshamanya in court on criminal charges

Nov 28 (SS) Chairman Seylan Bank and business tycoon Deshamanya Lalith Kotelawala and several others of Seylan Bank - Rohini Nanayakkara, R. Renganathan and Bandula Ranaweera all of the Ceylinco Group, appeared as accused in the Fort Magistrate's Court on Wednesday (22) on charges of criminal misappropriation, criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy, on a complain made by former Deputy Chairman of Seylan Bank and the Ceylinco Group Daya Senanayake. more..

Cabinet reshuffle in January

Nov 28 (SS) A Cabinet reshuffle is in the offing during the first week of January, according to informed sources. Cabinet portfolios will be offered to MPs Dallas Alahapperuma and Faizer Musthapha, he said. The President is believed to have taken this decision after a progress review of the performance of the Cabinet and non-Cabinet Ministries and the contribution of the relevant ministries towards the country's development during the first year of Mr. Rajapaksa's government. more..

Some for, others against attending convention

Nov 28 (SS) The tug-of-war between Ranil's Group and Karu's Group in the UNP has not been brought to an end even at the time of writing this account. The rift between the two factions reached its climax when the reformists including Karu Jayasuriya did not attend the 51st annual convention of the party held on Sunday, the 19th. more..

Ten billion fraud in SLIC takeover

Nov 28 (SS) A Special Parliamentary Committee investigating the privatisation of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) has observed a fraud where the Government has incurred a loss of approximately Rs. 10 billion. The Parliamentary Committee investigating the matter has directed the Attorney-General to institute legal action immediately. more..

Plantation industry crippled

Nov 28 (SS) The weeklong "go slow" campaign by the plantation workers has crippled the industry causing huge losses, plantation sources said. The plantation workers started their "go slow" campaign last Monday, in protest against the undue delay in signing the new biennial Collective Agreement on wage increases to them. more..

Sri Lanka in state of civil war: Caritas chief

Nov 28 (CN) Sri Lanka is in a state of civil war and facing a major humanitarian crisis, the head of Caritas Australia says, in the latest call for a ceasefire and the establishment of an international emergency committee to look for solutions to the violence.The conflict between Sri Lankan Government forces and the rebel group Tamil Tigers has escalated over recent months, more..

Fast to condemn killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka

Nov 28 (Hindu) Artists observed a daylong fast here on Monday to condemn the killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka. They demanded that the Centreshould not sign any military pact with the island nation. Food and other provisions promised should be distributed directly by the Centre to the affected persons. The A-9 pass to Jaffna should be immediately opened and military attacks on the Tamils should stop at once, they said. more..

SEP public lecture in Colombo: new SLFP-UNP coalition to expand civil war

Nov 28 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) held a public lecture in Colombo on November 14 to discuss the political implications for the working class of the unprecedented coalition between the two major establishment parties—the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the opposition United National Party (UNP)—and the escalating civil war in Sri Lanka. more..

Britain citizens asked to leave North & East of Sri Lanka

Nov 28 (ISL) In the latest circular on Sri Lanka British Foreign and Commonwealth Office ‘advise against all travel to the north or east of Sri Lanka’ to its citizens and if anyone is in the north and east to leave the area immediately. The advise firmly state that there is ‘high threat from terrorism in Sri Lanka and a risk of British nationals and other foreigners becoming indiscriminately caught up in attacks’. more..

Stock market punters shrug off Tamil Tiger leader’s call for separate state

Nov 28 (LBO) Sri Lankan rupee remained steady on state bank sales, while the stock market moved to positive territory as investors shrugged off Tamil Tiger rebel's call for separate state, traders said. Colombo's benchmark All Share Index finished the day up at 22.10 points to 2713.94 on turnover of 489.5 million rupees while the liquid Milanka Price Index is up 51.77 points to close the day at 3664.80 points. more..

Sri Lanka's Dialog Telekom picks up cable operator CBN Sat

Nov 28 (LBO) Dialog Telekom, the island's biggest mobile phone operator, Monday announced plans to acquire satellite pay television operator Communiqu Broadband Networks (Pvt) Ltd and CBN Sat (Pvt) Ltd for 523.8 million rupees. A unit of Telekom Malaysia, Dialog said the acquisition is subject to the telco completing a share sale and purchase sale agreement with both parties. more..

Government auditors on warpath over pay dispute

Nov 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's audit examiners will stop visiting government offices to carry out audit work following on a pay dispute, putting the brakes on the country's already slow auditing process. "The most important aspect of the state audit mechanisms is the audit examination," the Union said in a statement. "We wish to state that by cutting the wages and emoluments of examiners, the entire process has been brought to a halt." more..

Minister calls for improved journalistic standards

Nov 28 (GDI) “Standards of journalism in Sri Lanka shows a steady decline with stories published in newspapers or aired over news channels evoking little credibility with the public,” said Mass Media, Information Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa addressing participants at a Workshop for Journalists held in Colombo recently. more..

LTTE’s sketch to blast the single route to Vakarai revealed

Nov 28 (GDI) The LTTE is conspiring to totally destroy the Panichchankerni Bridge situated between Mankerni and Vakarai areas in the Eastern part of the country, which serve as the only entry-exit route to Vakarai and its vicinity. This has been revealed by an ex-LTTE cardre to the Military personnel, Military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe told today at the media briefing held in Colombo. more..

“SL has one of the most vibrant FTAs in the world”- Investment Minister

Nov 28 (GDI) Minister of Investment Promotion and Enterprise Development, Rohitha Bogollagama commented that Sri Lanka enjoys one of the most vibrant Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in this rapidly growing world. Minister Bogollagama stated this delivering the keynote address at the Sri Lanka Net working Meeting at the India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum in New Delhi yesterday. more..

A new housing complex for public servants

Nov 28 (GDI) A new housing complex for the public servants is currently under construction as the directive of the Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs, Sarath Amunugama. This project accomplice with the "Janasewana" housing project a target to provide housing facility to every family in Sri Lanka under the "Mahinda Chinthana" and the "Nilasewana" project of the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs. more..

Sri Lanka, Vietnam to boost intelligence links

Nov 28 (GDI) Sri Lanka and Vietnam yesterday agreed to boost intelligence cooperation to foil LTTE operations in the region. During extensive talks with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Hanoi, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake cited intelligence reports indicating the region as a base for LTTE arms procurement. more..

Karuna's Heroes' Day Speech: "All Tamils not Tigers"

Nov 28 (LeN) Breakaway LTTE Eastern commander Karuna Amman said yesterday the Government must come forward to immediately put forward proposals to solve problems confronting the Tamils and must clarify how the rights and aspirations of the Tamil people could be achieved through its proposals. Karuna Amman said the government must discuss the proposals with representatives from all ethnic groups while embracing the support of those who oppose it. more..

Sri Lanka: A tale of two houses

Nov 28 (RW) When the Asian tsunami struck Sri Lanka's coastline almost two years ago, 63 year old Ernest de Silva was at home enjoying a cricket match on the TV. "People were shouting all around about the water coming in but I paid no attention because I was more interested in the cricket", he explains. When the second wave came ashore Ernest soon found himself being swept out of the house by a huge surge of water. more..

MR presents a strong case for Indian action

Nov 28 (PISL) President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is on a five-day official visit to India, has been apprised of a major SLN operation which resulted in the destruction of a large trawler bringing in a consignment of arms, ammunition and equipment near the Indo-Lanka maritime boundary on Monday morning. A navy flotilla intercepted the boat about 50 Nautical miles west of Udappuwa and blew it up, more..

Rajapaksa All Set To Charm Manmohan Singh

Nov 28 (LNP) Having taken the co-chairs of donor countries, the USA, Norway, European Union and Japan, who had pledged $ 4.5 billion aid to Sri Lanka, for a ride, President Mahinda Rajapksa is all set to smother Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with his charm when the two leaders meet in New Delhi on 27 November. His job is made all the more easy by the clutch of 'advisers' surrounding the Prime Minister. more..