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Let there be supplies!

Nov 28 (LNP) Bishop of Jaffna Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Savundaranayagam has, in a letter to President Mahinda Rajapakse, endorsed the government decision to replenish supplies in Jaffna via the A-9 highway. He wants it done expeditiously in view of the inclement weather thwarting sea transport. He thanks the President for his `bold decision`, pledges `support for the success of the venture` more..

Sri Lanka to host Rugby Asiad after April, 2007

Nov 28 (LNP) The Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union is determined to host the Singer Rugby Asiad in Colombo after April 2007 said the Chief Executive Officer of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union Dilroy Fernando. `The Rugby Union will have a discussion with the sponsors and council members and decide on the new dates and then inform the member countries` said Fernando. more..

Obnoxious PTA back in different garb

Nov 28 (SAMN) The special rapporteur appointed by Radhika Coomaraswamy during her term as head of the Human Rights Commission in Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has noted in a report, which was not made public that the emergency regulations led to the increase in human rights violations. In his observations, after investigating several high profile cases, the special rapporteur, more..

CBN Sat to begin transmission

Nov 28 (SAMN) The Supreme Court Monday granted interim relief to SonicNet Technologies (Pvt) Ltd permitting it to recommence the operation of its Communiq Broadband Network (CBN Sat) transmission with immediate effect. The Bench comprising Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva and Justices N. G. Amaratunga and Saleem Marsoof also granted the petitioner more..

Garbage piles up, DMMC makes excuses

Nov 28 (SAMN) Garbage disposal at the Colombo South Hospital, Kalubowila has come to a complete standstill and has become a serious health threat to patients. Although the Hospital authorities have urged the Dehiwala-Galkissa Municipal Council to clear the garbage collected at the hospital, the Mayor Sunethra Ranasinghe has informed them that the Council was not in a position to clear the garbage due to non-availability of vehicles, more..

Indian firms invited to invest in SL

Nov 28 (SAMN) Sri Lanka on Monday invited Indian firms to take advantage of a host of investment and trade opportunities noting that the resilient neighbour has what it takes to deliver high business prospects. The invitation was extended by Investment Promotion and Enterprise Development Minister Rohitha Bogollagama over a breakfast session at the World Economic Forum India Summit. more..

Archbishop calls Catholics to pray for Sri Lanka peace during Advent

Nov 28 (UCAN) Archbishop Oswald Gomis of Colombo has asked Catholics to undertake special spiritual exercises for peace in the country in the run-up to Christmas. In an Advent message to priests, religious and lay faithful, issued Nov. 19, the archbishop said: "The peace process in the country has reached a point of crisis. The much hoped for peace talks did not take place as anticipated and now we are back to square one." more..

Largest botanical garden to be set up in H'tota

Nov 28 (DN) The Government has decided to set up the country's largest Botanical Garden in Hambantota. Secretary to the Ministry of Promotion of Botanical and Zoological Gardens S. Liyanagama told the Daily News that the initial investment will be Rs.100 million. "We expect to seek Cabinet approval if we need more funds to successfully complete the project," he said. more..

UNP hits out at Prabha, JVP wants military action

Nov 28 (DM) The main opposition UNP yesterday condemned LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s Heroes’ Day speech vowing to carve out a separate state. Party General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told the Daily Mirror his party would never accept the division of this country at any cost. However, Mr. Attanayake said the UNP always stood for a negotiated political settlement within a united Sri Lanka, accommodating genuine aspirations of the Tamil people. more..

Lankan President Rajapakse to meet Sonia, PM

Nov 28 (ZN) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse begins his Indian parleys today with meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi. 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..

Sharing of political power remains a distant Sri Lankan dream

Nov 28 (KT) YESTERDAY, Monday, in this divided nation, all ears were on a message, which some loath to hear and yet are forced to take note of and others love listening to. As this column was being written, the fearsome rebel leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, who is adored by his followers as sun god, was preparing to deliver his annual message on the guerrilla movement’s heroes’ day, which is commemorated a day after his birthday. more..

Mahinda slights Prabhakaran's resolve

Nov 28 (IANS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday said he was not taking "seriously" Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran's threat to resume his armed campaign for an independent Tamil state. The president also told the CNN-IBN television channel here that he was ready for direct talks with Prabhakaran instead of involving "others" to end an ethnic conflict that has claimed over 65,000 lives and shows no signs of ending. more..

LTTE and the issue of international legitimacy

Nov 28 (DM) The increase in defence spending by 28% and the extension of service of General Sarath Fonseka as the army commander are key indicators that the government does not intend to change its current strategy in dealing with the LTTE. The essence of this strategy is not to compromise with the LTTE where military issues and ground control is concerned. more..

Rights group asks Sri Lankan troops to stop aiding child recruitment

Nov 28 (AP) A rights group on Tuesday asked Sri Lanka's government to stop helping a breakaway group of armed Tamil rebels conscript children, weeks after the U.N. alleged soldiers' involvement in recruiting minors. The government has denied the charges. "The Sri Lankan security forces must immediately stop assisting abductions of boys and young men by the Karuna group and help those abducted return safely to their families," more..

Sri Lanka military, rebels battle in east after Tiger leader hints at renewed war

Nov 28 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels and Sri Lankan troops traded fire Tuesday, the military said, a day after the top rebel leader declared a 2002 cease-fire "defunct," suggesting the insurgents would renew their violent struggle for an independent Tamil homeland. It wasn't clear if the Tigers were officially withdrawing from the Norway-brokered truce, more..

Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict has no effect on Kandy: Mayor

Nov 28 (IANS) Inviting Indian tourists to visit Kandy, that has the tooth of the Buddha as its most sacred relic, the city's visiting mayor said here that his country's ethnic conflict has had no direct effect on its functioning. 'If you don't visit Kandy, your trip to Sri Lanka is incomplete', Loku Banda Aluvihare, the proud mayor of 'his beautiful Kandy' said. 'No person coming to Sri Lanka goes back without visiting Kandy.' more..

India again calls for talks between Colombo, LTTE

Nov 28 (IANS) A day after the Tamil Tigers vowed to resume their separatist war, India Tuesday urged Sri Lanka and the rebels to resume talks and voiced concern over the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in the island. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee conveyed the Indian feelings when he called on Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse, who Tuesday kicked off his official meetings with Indian leaders. more..

Jaffna Church trusts government; not so the Tigers

Nov 28 (AN) The Church in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, appreciates the decision taken by President Mahinda Rajapakse to dispatch basic humanitarian aid via the A9 Road, closed since August following the escalation of violence between the army and Tamil rebels. However, the peace process is becoming increasingly complex. more..

Sri Lanka PM says peace talks will go on with rebels

Nov 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka's prime minister has said peace talks with the Tamil Tigers will go on and urged the guerrillas to stop "terrorism" a day after the rebel leader said the minority must have an independent state. "There is terrorism and there is negotiations," said Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka, speaking during a visit to Vietnam. more..

Tigers step up artillery barrage after call for separate state

Nov 28 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels have stepped up artillery and mortar bomb attacks against military bases in the restive east, a day after calling for their own independent state. The LTTE guerrillas fired at security forces in the district of Batticaloa, killing at least one soldier and wounding several others, military sources in the area said by telephone. more..

War drums sound in Sri Lanka after rebels demand Tamil state

Nov 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka was facing the prospect of a return to all-out civil war after the Tamil rebel leader wrote off the island's peace process and charted a course to full independence for his people. Velupillai Prabhakaran, the ruthless leader of the LTTE, accused the Colombo government of waging war on Tamils under a cover of peace. more..

Sri Lanka battles rebels after independence vow

Nov 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's military fought a fierce artillery duel with Tamil Tigers in the island's restive east early on Tuesday, just hours after the rebels said they were resuming their two-decade independence struggle. The military said the Tigers were using 152-mm artillery shells for the first time to target their forward defense line in the eastern district of Batticaloa, and had killed one soldier and injured two others. more..

Sri Lankan gov't to clarify rebel's position on truce

Nov 28 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan government said Tuesday that it had asked the Norwegian peace facilitators and the Nordic truce monitors to clarify Tamil Tiger rebels' position on truce in the light of comments made by the rebel leader in his annual policy speech. "We have asked both the Norwegian government and the SLMM to clarify the stand on the cease-fire," more..

Sri Lanka: The Failure of the Peace Process

Nov 29 (CG) After four years of relative peace, Sri Lanka has again plunged into military conflict between the government and the separatist Tamil group, the LTTE. A 2002 ceasefire, negotiated with Norway’s help, remains intact on paper but is flouted on the ground with increasing regularity and frequent brutality. More than 2,500 people, many of them civilians, have been killed since January. more..

Lanka tourism to invest Rs one crore to woo Indians

Nov 29 (ZN) Sri Lanka Tourism Board will invest about Rs one crore in the next one year to increase awareness among people living in Tier-II cities of India about tourist destinations in the island country. SLTB is committed to an investment to the tune of Rs one crore in 2007 to increase the destination visibility and recall in the Indian market, especially in Tier-II cities of the country, more..

LTTE & Sri Lanka must end use of force: Burns

Nov 29 (MC) As Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse continues his visit to India, the United States is calling on both the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government to give up the use of force. US Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns said that the United States is working very closely with India on this issue. He disclosed that the US had talked to the Indian embassy in Washington, DC before convening the co-chairs group of the Tokyo Donors Conference on Sri Lanka last week. more..

Over half of Sri Lankans suffer from cavities and gum, dentists say

Nov 29 (LBO) Over half of Sri Lanka's 19.5 million population suffer from dental problems ranging from cavities to cancer, due to poor oral hygiene and excessive use of fizzy drinks and junk food, the dental authority warned Tuesday. President of Sri Lanka Dental Association (SLDA) Dr Kumar Warnakula says the most prevalent oral diseases are dental decay and gum problems. more..

Smokers puff away as Sri Lanka brings in stiff penalties to deter smoking

Nov 29 (LBO) Sri Lankans could be thrown into jail, pay a stiff fine or both if they light up in enclosed public spaces, as the government sponsored anti-smoking law kicks in from December 1. Under the amendments to the National Tobacco and Alcohol Authority Act, smokers can face a 2,000 rupee fine, a six month's prison term or both, if they light up in enclosed public places. more..

Occupational safety and health issues remain weak in Sri Lanka's construction industry

Nov 29 (LBO) Occupational safety and health issues remain weak in the Sri Lankan construction industry, the International Labour Organisation said Tuesday, with most fatalities due to negligence, carelessness or stupidity. "One out of six accidents happens on construction sites. Twenty five out of forty deaths also occur in construction sites," ILOs International Director, Tine Staemose said. more..

Sri Lanka 'A' hold on for draw

Nov 29 (AP) Stubborn resistance by the lower order enabled Sri Lankan 'A' to pull off a tense draw against West Indies 'A' on the final day of the opening four-day "Test" at Guaracara Park yesterday. Set a challenging victory target of 279 in 75 overs after the Windies declared at 263 for four, the visitors ended on 235 for eight when bad light stopped play with five of the mandatory overs remaining. more..

India asks Sri Lanka to curb human rights violations

Nov 29 (IANS) India Tuesday urged Sri Lanka to curb human rights abuses and end food shortages in Tamil areas even as President Mahinda Rajapakse reiterated his faith in a negotiated end to the ethnic conflict. A day after the Tamil Tigers vowed to resume their separatist war, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee also urged Rajapakse to ensure that the north and east of his country remained a single administrative unit, more..

India urges Sri Lanka to maintain ethnic harmony

Nov 29 (Reuters) India urged Sri Lanka's visiting president on Tuesday to push for peace and ethnic harmony in his island nation, amid an escalation of a two-decade-long civil war. President Mahinda Rajapakse reiterated his commitment to a negotiated settlement, a day after Tamil Tiger rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran said he said no option but to return to war for an independent ethnic homeland. more..

Sri Lanka president calls for talks to avert all-out civil war

Nov 29 (AFP) Sri Lanka has offered fresh talks with Tamil Tigers to avert a return to all-out civil war as the top guerrilla leader wrote off the Norwegian-backed peace process. President Mahinda Rajapakse, currently visiting India, said Tuesday he was ready to have direct talks with Velupillai Prabhakaran, the elusive leader of the LTTE. more..

Lankan refugees arrive as surveilance at camps gets tightened

Nov 29 (PTI) The intelligence forces have tightened surveilance at all the Sri Lankan refugee camps in the country following reports of militant groups trying to kidnap teenagers from there, even as refugees continued to arrive at Tamil Nadu coast. As many as 19 Sri Lankan refugees, belonging to six families from Mannar and Vavuniya arrived at Dhanushkodi near here early this morning. more..

November Inflation Probably Slowed From 4-Month High

Nov 29 (Bloomberg) Sri Lanka's inflation rate in November probably slowed from a four-month high, easing pressure on the central bank to increase its benchmark interest rate for a fourth time this year. Consumer prices in the capital Colombo gained 16.8 percent from a year earlier, after increasing 17.2 percent in October, according to the median forecast of seven analysts in a Bloomberg News survey. more..

Norway promises engagement, no new initiative for Sri Lanka

Nov 29 (AFP) Norway on Tuesday said that while it did not see the need for new initiatives, it would remain in contact with both the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers following the rebel leader's declaration that the peace process was defunct. "We are prepared to assist the parties, but we do not see the need for new initiatives from Norway at this stage," more..

Sri Lanka's ceasefire monitors to make several 'anti-government' rulings soon

Nov 29 (AT) The SLMM is expected to make several rulings in the coming weeks against the government with regard to the series of abductions including child conscription alleged to have been carried out by the Karuna faction. The rulings currently in the process of finalization will include a series of observations made by the monitors who are active in the North and East, and will emphasize on the kidnapping, prevailing impunity and continuous violations against the ceasefire agreement. more..

Norway: yet to receive any communication

Nov 29 (Hindu) Norway, official facilitator of Sri Lanka peace talks, on Tuesday said that it has so far not received any communication from either the Government of Sri Lanka or the LTTE on the latest developments arising out of the declaration of LTTE chief that his organisation has decided to pursue the goal of an independent Tamil State. more..

Sri Lanka crisis and India's options

Nov 29 (Hindu) THERE IS an urgent need for India to define its Sri Lanka policy and delineate its options, because of India's unique relationship with Sri Lanka. The Sinhala Buddhist community acknowledges umbilical links with the people of Bihar, Orissa, and West Bengal. It constitutes 75 per cent of Sri Lanka's population. more..

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

Nov 29 (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..

Golden Key involved in the "Lakecity - township within a town" - third phase

Nov 29 (AT) Golden Key Real Estate Agency , a member of the Golden Key Group of Ceylinco Consolidated, announced the strategic tie-up with NEM Realtors, the developers of "Lakecity Homes in Ja-Ela for the marketing and sale of the third phase of the Lakecity Project. One of the most modern townships, ‘Lakecity’ is fast coming up at Ja-Ela and out of the 441 blocks, already 221 are built and sold. more..

Choose negotiations to end Sri Lanka’s violence - Lion’s International President

Nov 29 (AT) International Lion’s President Jimmy Ross says negotiations are a suitable path to end violence in Sri Lanka and reach a peaceful environment. However he said, as International Lions , he and his members never attend political talks and do not dabble in politics. Mr.Ross , one time legislator in the USA and now working to build a better world under the Lion’s logo also said the government of Sri Lanka and the rebels should reach a common agenda to settle this problem. more..

Food supplies fail to reach Vakarai

Nov 29 (BBC) An aid convoy to Vaharai in eastern Sri Lanka has been forced to turn back because of fierce fighting between government forces and the Tamil Tiger rebels. Despite the assurances given yesterday by the LTTE and Sri Lankan forces that they will cease hostilities in order to facilitate the aid convoys, the fighting broke out in Vakarai area. more..

Army distributes dry rations and sports equipment to Jaffna civilians

Nov 29 (RW) The Army under the supervision of Security Forces' Commander Jaffna, Major General G.A. Chandrasiri distributed dry rations among patients of G.G. Ponnambalam cancer hospital yesterday (27). Around 50 patients had come to the hospital for treatment. Parcels containing chilies, rice, dhal, and green gram were distributed among these patients by the Security Forces' more..

Government provide space for para military groups - Siritunga

Nov 29 (LeN) With the trust placed by the government on war, the authorities are reluctant take any action on Para military groups sais Mr. Siritunga the President of the civil monitoring committee. He said that they are compelled accuse the government that it provide space to para military groups to operate. more..

Food convoy with 115 vehicles meant for Vakarai turned back due to Tiger arty rire

Nov 29 (RW) The long awaited and much needed food convoy organized by many international and local NGOs in BATTICALAO area had to turn back at 3.00 p.m. today (28) and proceed after reaching MANKERNI Entry Exit point in the morning today. The food convoy reached MANKERNI consisted around 115 vehicles with food items weighing approximately 600 tons including ambulances and light vehicles of the officials of the NGOs. more..

The Tiger remains untamed as Supremo renews Eelam cry

Nov 29 (ML) Even as sporadic violence dotted the LTTE heroes day celebrations in the north, the organisation’s supremo, Velupillai Pirapaharan delivered his annual policy speech, a map of Eelam behind him. Declaring he had no faith in Sinhala governments to fulfill the aspirations of the Tamil people, Pirapaharan called the Ceasefire Agreement defunct and appealed to the world community to accept Eelam. more..

Protracted conflict confirmed

Nov 29 (ML) With LTTE Leader Velupillai Pirapaharan’s speech, the prospect of protracted conflict into the future is confirmed. Tracing the evolution of the peace process, the LTTE Leader reverts to his argument that the Sri Lanka state has demonstrated time and time again that it is unable and or unwilling to recognise Tamil grievances and aspirations in a power sharing settlement within a united Sri Lanka. more..

Def Sec., diplomats exchange words over humanitarian crisis

Nov 29 (ML) The government was informed yesterday by a senior diplomat that it cannot retaliate, causing civilian casualties, even if there was provocation by the LTTE using human shields. This position of the Co-Chairs was brought to the notice of Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapakse yesterday by German Ambassador Jurgen Weerth. more..

LTTE claims commitment to CFA

Nov 29 (ML) The LTTE announced yesterday that it has not officially withdrawn from the CFA but would reconsider withdrawing from it if the A9 remains closed. LTTE Military Spokesperson Rasiah Illanthariyan said that the ceasefire nevertheless was of no value. "We do not believe in the CFA anymore because the government continues to violate it. more..