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Jayawardene Hungry For More Runs

Nov 29 (NZPA) Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene is determined to wrap up a fine personal 12 months in New Zealand over the next six weeks. The Sri Lankans will play two tests in Christchurch and Wellington, two Twenty20 matches and five one-day internationals. They open their tour in Dunedin on Thursday with a four-day match against Otago. more..

U.S. Disturbed by Sri Lanka Tamil Separatist Statement

Nov 29 (USDS) The United States is “disturbed” by reports that the leader of the separatist LTTE stated that he considers the 2002 cease-fire agreement with the government of Sri Lanka to be defunct. “We condemn the Tamil Tigers for fueling violence and hostility,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said November 28. more..

Outrage over child soldiers in Sri Lanka

Nov 29 (CSM) The Tamil Tiger rebels have long been known to use child soldiers in their extended campaign against the Sri Lankan government. The average age of the Tigers' child soldiers, according to UNICEF, is 16 years old. But the disappearance of three children in this frontier town two weeks ago near a Tamil Tiger rebel stronghold has sparked a different kind of outrage. more..

A day after LTTE threat, India tells Lanka: Hasten peace process

Nov 29 (NIP) A day after LTTE threatened to resume violent struggle for a separate Tamil Eelam, India on Tuesday said it wanted progress in the Sri Lankan peace process. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee conveyed India's desire, when he met visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse here and discussed the status of the peace process in the island nation. more..

Rev Fr. Dr. L.A. Singarayer remembered at birth centenary

Nov 29 (TW) In the 100 year old proud history of St. Henry’s of Ilavalai, the College had Rectors who were essentially educationists cum disciplinarians moulded into one. Following Rev. Dr. B. Deogupillai’s illustrious stewardship as Rector of St. Henry’s during 1954 to 1956 - came Rev. Fr. L.A. Singarayer as the next Rector who was cast into this twin-mould so splendidly. more..

Revisiting the Devolution Debate

Nov 29 (TW) Let me first focus on the current state of the devolution debate. A survey done by the Social Indicator in 2004 has revealed that only 44 percent of the respondents support reorganization of the Sri Lankan state on the basis of some form of power-sharing. This relatively weak support for power-sharing may be attributed to multiple reasons. more..

LTTE Reinforce Defences: Attacks Army Patrol in KIRIMICHCHI

Nov 29 (GDI) The LTTE strengthening defences behind the cover of aid convoys fired mortars at an Army patrol in KIRIMICHCHI, south west of PANICHCHANKERNI around 1.45 p.m. today. The Army retaliated. The exchange of fire lasted only for 5 minutes. Due to fresh attacks by the LTTE, the remaining 38 aid vehicles couldn't proceed to Vakarai. more..

Food stocks on the way to Vakarai peacefully

Nov 29 (GDI) The convoy of 117 vehicles with food stocks, which returned back yesterday due to the continuous LTTE firing, has now started their journey to Vakarai area and already 54 vehicles are nearing the destination, Military Officials informed. Sixteen representatives of the ICRC, SLMM, UN and NGO's proceeded to Vakarai today morning from Kadjuwatte to discuss with the LTTE before the food convoy moves from Mankerni. more..

A new Pilgrims' Rest to be built at Sanchi in India

Nov 29 (GDI) Construction will begin of a fully-fledged Pilgrims' Rest in the sacred area of the Sanchi Chethiyagiri Temple in India, for the benefit of Buddhist pilgrims all over the world. Ceremonial laying of the foundation stone for the building took place at the site under the auspices of Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and Ven. Banagala Upatissa Nayaka Thera, more..

President Rajapaksa meets Minister Pranab Mukherjee during his Indian visit

Nov 29 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa met Indian Minister of External Affairs, Pranab Mukherjee, at New Delhi yesterday. During the discussions, which lasted for over 40 minutes, Mr. Mukherjee convened to the President, the Indian Government’s readiness to extend their fullest support to Sri Lanka’s development process. more..

President meets Srimathi Sonia Gandhi

Nov 29 (GDI) The Leader of the Indian Congress Party Shrimathi Sonia Gandhi and President Mahinda Rajapaksa met today for an informal discussion at the Maurya Sheraton Hotel in New Delhi. Shrimathi Gandhi, the leader of India’s ruling coalition- the United Progressive Alliance – discussed matters of mutual interest with the President, particularly the relations between India and Sri Lanka, current political developments in Sri Lanka. more..

Govt will not deviate from talks - President

Nov 29 (PISL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday reiterated that despite LTTE leader Prabhakaran's warnings, his Government will not in any way deviate from a negotiated political settlement for permanent peace in the country. President Rajapaksa in an interview with an Indian TV station in his hotel suite yesterday, said he has not studied Prabhakaran's statements yet and he will not take them seriously, as he has been consistently making similar statements from the very inception. more..

Prabhakaran’s Mahaveera Speech 2006: Decisive Escalation, Final Conflict

Nov 29 (AT) Though the Great Heroes Day commemoration this year was more grating than great, the Great Leader’s speech was historic; perhaps the most important he has ever made. Mr Prabhakaran could not have a military parade, for the first time in many years, and his speech was released quite late in the day, considerably behind schedule. more..

Rajapakse ready for direct talks with Tigers, package for Tamils on the anvil

Nov 29 (AT) President Rajapakse, who began his India parleys on a 'promising' note on Tuesday, has expressed his readiness for direct talks with the LTTE leader Prabhakaran. "He (Prabhakaran) did not allow me to celebrate my victory (as President). He killed more Tamils than he has killed Sinhalese people over 30 years. Yet I have always (been) telling… I can talk to you directly, so let us talk", more..

LTTE women work in massage parlours

Nov 29 (LNP) The Police intelligence Unit has received information that a group of LTTE female members are working in massage clinics in Colombo, military intelligence said. The Intelligence Unit said that certain officers in the armed forces patronise these clinics and the LTTE women are entrusted with extracting vital information from the officers. more..

Mervyn Silva`s serious joke

Nov 29 (LNP) Deputy Minister of Labour Mervyn Silva has offered a foreign job to Prabhakaran. He is reported to have told the Tamil National Alliance in Parliament on Monday if the LTTE leaders gave up violence, he would find them jobs abroad. The present day parliamentarians don`t seem to do their homework before making speeches. Else, Mr. Silva wouldn`t have made that offer. more..

Aussie champ Malani seeks mom in Sri Lanka

Nov 29 (LNP) Australia`s Sunman Malani came first in women`s 100m dash (for those without hands), pocketed a gold at the 9th FESPIC Games for the differently able here on Monday, and turned towards the handful Sri Lankan athletes and journalists and said: `Please help me find my mom.` Malani, a resident of Queensland, said she was born in Sri Lanka and later was taken to Australia after her mother had abandoned her at Ridgeway Hospital in Colombo. more..

At least 50 murdered in Jaffna per month

Nov 29 (SAMN) More than 50 people are being killed every month in the Jaffna peninsula, the Human Rights Commission (HRC) in Jaffna said. An official at the HRC office said the statistics were based on the complaints received by the organisation alone and added there were many instances where cases were not brought to the notice of any humanitarian organisations. "There are many cases which have gone unnoticed," he said. more..

Foster parent scheme gets underway

Nov 29 (SAMN) The much-awaited foster parent scheme allowing the adoption of tsunami orphans in the south got underway this week, with a committee appointed by the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) to oversee the process. "We need to look at more comprehensive judicial proceedings allowing for the adoption of these children, but until these are formulated the committee will serve as a deciding body allowing foster parents to apply for and adopt the children," more..

Explosives in the south: an area job

Nov 29 (SAMN) The police last week charged that private business owners in Koggala were using the intensified security environment for personal gain. Police Headquarters made the accusation after small quantities of explosives were recovered close to the Koggala Free Trade Zone during the weekend. Investigations have indicated that the explosives were planted in a container and dumped in the area in order to get more attention from the security forces. more..

No security yet for TNA MPs

Nov 29 (SAMN) Security for the eastern Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians has not been increased despite requests made to the Government. TNA MP K. Thangeswari said the number of police personnel remained the same although they had requested more protection following the death threats. She said the number of police personnel appointed for her security remained to be seven. more..

74 per cent growth in fish production

Nov 29 (DN) The total fish production has shown a 74 per cent growth during first nine months of this year. Director General (Development) of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources A. Hettiarachchi said there is a significant growth in total fish production this year compared with last year. During the first nine months of last year, Sri Lanka produced 99,360 tones of fish. more..

Lanka’s choice, peace or disaster: Anura

Nov 29 (DM) Tourism Minister Anura Bandaranaike yesterday stressed the need to bring the LTTE back to the negotiating table with the help of India or the European Union. Insisting that the country desperately needed peace, the Minister appealed to both the ruling SLFP and the main opposition UNP to reach a speedy consensus on the ethnic issue, based on the recently signed MoU between the two parties, to resume peace talks with the LTTE. more..

CTB pays Rs. 160, 928 for its Chairman’s mobile phone bill

Nov 29 (DM) The Moneragala district UNP MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara charged in Parliament yesterday the Ceylon Tourist Board had spent Rs. 160,928 last month for the private mobile phone bill of its chairman. The UNP MP made this allegation while speaking during the debate on the Tourism Ministry yesterday. more..

Raviraj killing: Court refuses to release vehicles

Nov 29 (DM) The Colombo Magistrate yesterday ordered not to release the vehicles which were at the scene of killing of TNA MP Nadarajah Raviraj until the special team of investigators from Scotland Yard inspects them. Additional Magistrate Mohammed Irshadeen made this order when a vehicle owner requested the release of his vehicle which was damaged during the shoot out. more..

Norway denies giving television to Sri Lankan rebel leader

Nov 29 (AP) Peace-broker Norway on Wednesday denied a report that it gave a six-foot (1.8 meter) television to Sri Lanka's reclusive rebel leader, who is said to like watching Hollywood movies and copy methods for attacks and assassinations. A statement from Norway's Foreign Ministry called the allegations carried by state-run Daily News "misconceptions and lies." more..

Court hears case of Lankan maid’s murder

Nov 29 (TP) The Criminal Court yesterday held its first hearing in the case of a Sri Lankan housemaid who was allegedly beaten to death by her sponsor's wife, a Qatari national. The accused has been charged with assault leading to death. The 24-year-old-maid arrived here in April 2005 and the assault took place in November the same year. She succumbed to her injuries after two days in hospital. more..

LTTE could go for a big push, says expert

Nov 29 (Dawn) A solemn vow by the veteran Tamil rebel leader that his people will now pursue their own independent state has set the stage for a return to full-scale war in Sri Lanka, analysts said on Tuesday. “He has gone for a declaration of war,” former Tamil separatist turned politician Dharmalingam Sithadthan said. more..

Independence-seeking Tigers already run shadow state

Nov 29 (AFP) The Tamil Tigers have renewed a campaign to partition Sri Lanka, but the guerrillas already have a surreal separate "state" of their own. Tigers' supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran, in his annual policy speech on Monday, wrote off four years of peace talks and said he had no option but to resume a campaign for full independence in this majority-Sinhalese nation. more..

Sri Lanka says rebels use UN aid convoy as smokescreen

Nov 29 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's military on Wednesday accused the Tamil Tigers of using a U.N.-led aid convoy as a smokescreen to move rebel fighters and munitions toward their defense lines. More than 80 trucks spearheaded by the United Nations and Red Cross passed into rebel territory carrying hundreds of tonnes of aid for around 30,000 war-displaced living in camps in and around the Tiger-held village of Vakarai in the eastern district of Batticaloa. more..

Food aid reaches besieged Sri Lanka town

Nov 29 (AFP) A food convoy has reached 40,000 people trapped by weeks of heavy fighting in Sri Lanka's restive east. With artillery exchanges subsiding, 84 trucks entered the rebel-held town of Vakarai bringing essential supplies including medicines for the first time in a month, local relief officials said. more..

Tamil Tigers not withdrawing from cease-fire; Sri Lanka calls for peace talks

Nov 29 (AP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have not quit a truce despite calling it "defunct," European cease-fire monitors said Wednesday, as the government called for renewed peace talks. Thorfinnur Omarsson, a spokesman for the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, said the Tigers assured truce officials they would not withdraw from the 2002 Norwegian-brokered cease-fire more..

Terrifying 'heroes'

Nov 29 (WT) In his annual "Heroes' Day" statement, the leader of the terrorist LTTE, Velupillai Prabhakaran, attempts to shift blame for the conflict that is tearing apart the small South Asian country away from his violent rebel group and onto the Sri Lankan government. The speech, which in theme varies little from the statements of previous years, likely marks the outright end of the slowly crumbling 2002 ceasefire and augurs very badly for the hope of renewing peace talks. more..

Tamil Tigers isolated in bid for own state in Sri Lanka

Nov 29 (AFP) A rebel bid for an independent Tamil state in Sri Lanka has run into outright international rejection with the United States leading calls for new peace talks and an end to bloodshed. Neither peace broker Norway nor regional power India offered any support to the LTTE, who appealed for international recognition for a renewed separatist struggle. more..

Norway to take no more peace initiatives in Sri Lanka

Nov 29 (IANS) Norwegian special envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer will visit Sri Lanka this week, but Oslo has decided not to take any more peace initiatives following a virtual state of war in the island nation. Hanssen-Bauer will be in Colombo shortly after President Mahinda Rajapaksa returns from New Delhi and shall also travel to the northern town of Kilinochchi to meet leaders of the LTTE. more..

‘Sri Lanka ignoring India’s advice’

Nov 30 (HT) A day ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s crucial round of talks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, Indian officials are irked by what they term the Sri Lankan government’s “intransigent” attitude towards the country’s ethnic problem. Having urged Colombo to come up with a concrete devolution formula and outline a specific roadmap to grant maximum autonomy to the ethnic Tamil minority in the north and east of Sri Lanka, New Delhi is finding its advice increasingly ignored. more..

UNHCR protection network brings hope to abused women in northern Sri Lanka

Nov 30 (UNHCR) A wave of relief and happiness washed over Shanthi* as she watched her grandmother walk into the UNHCR office in Mannar. After years of sexual and physical abuse at the hands of her uncle, she realised that she was finally free. No more tears, no more anguish. Sexual and gender-based violence is a major problem in this northeast corner of Sri Lanka, but UNHCR has set up a special protection network to tackle the scourge and help people like 15-year-old Shanthi. more..

Sri Lanka calls for punitive action against child recruitment

Nov 30 (RW) Speaking at the Security Council debate on Children and Armed Conflict on 28 November 2006, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam stated that "Ever since it was discovered that the armed group, the LTTE, is engaged in recruiting and using children in battle, Sri Lanka has not only voiced concern but has taken every possible action to persuade the LTTE to cease this deplorable practice. more..

Norway says Sri Lanka report on mediator is "lies"

Nov 30 (Reuters) The Norwegian government has angrily rejected a report in a state-owned Sri Lankan newspaper that its peace mediator and International Development Minister Erik Solheim had given money to a top Tamil rebel leader. The Daily News, a government mouthpiece, published an interview on Monday with a breakaway former rebel commander called Karuna, who said the LTTE had also given Solheim money. more..

There is no war in Sri Lanka - Mahinda

Nov 30 (BBC) Maximum devolution could be achieved under one country, says the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The president was speaking to Sandeshaya just before he left India after meeting the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. When asked about the concerns expressed by the Indian Prime Minister about the human rights situation in the North, president said, "Indian PM expressed his concern about the food situation in the North and the East, and the conditions of the Tamil people. more..

Collective trauma of Tamil nationalism

Nov 30 (ISL) My interview with Triangle seems to have raised a hornet?s nest and I feel the need cautiously to reply. 1) The Triangle: Anthony Cesarini and Aditi Dube of the Traingle asked for the interview which was in the form of a long conversation I had with Aditi, a young talented journalism major. In a long conversation from which key ideas are reported succinctly, confusions can and do occur. more..

Disappearances, censorship and draconian law rule in the Sri Lankan press

Nov 30 (YU) "Damn shame, off target again!" It was the bold headline of a special feature dedicated to the latest bombings in several regions of Sri Lanka, simply printed beneath the red logo for The Saturday Review, a publication based in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. The English-language newspaper was founded in 1982 and abruptly stopped in 1987, three months after the bombing of its publishing house. more..

Some cheer to Rajapkse, rebuff to Tigers, India renews call for negotiated solution

Nov 30 (AT) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has a message to his interlocutors from Sri Lanka. "Work for a negotiated settlement acceptable to all sections of the island. End human rights abuses". The message is seen as a rebuff to the Tigers, whose supreme Velupillai Prabhakaran declared in Heroes Day speech – truce is defunct and war is the only way out for Elam.' more..

Norwegian Special Envoy air-dashing to Colombo today

Nov 30 (AT) Norwegian special envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer will be air-dashing to Colombo today to assess the latest development in the country after Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s announcement in his annual Heroes Day speech that 2002 Norway-sponsored ceasefire agreement (CFA) was already ‘defunct.’ more..

India pays no heed to LTTE's war cry

Nov 30 (TOI) India has refused to dignify the LTTE's call for a return to war by stressing once again on the importance of a "politically negotiated settlement". After initially refusing to comment on LTTE chief V Prabhakaran's war cries, India was more eloquent following Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse's meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday for detailed talks on the peace process. more..

Talks very cordial, says Rajapaksa

Nov 30 (Hindu) "We had straightforward talks — one to one," Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said after his discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday. Describing the talks as very cordial, Mr. Rajapaksa told The Hindu in an interview, "I had the chance of explaining my position and the situation there [in Sri Lanka]." more..

Sri Lanka's tea companies warn of millions in losses due to trade union action

Nov 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's plantation companies warned Thursday of millions of rupees in losses due to trade union action on estates, as wage talks reach breaking point. Estate workers and the country's 20 regional plantation companies are in talks to hike wages, which will be fixed for a three year period under a collective agreement. more..

Sri Lanka's inflation hits 19.8% as Central Bank credit climbs to Rs 100 bn

Nov 30 (LBO) Consumer prices in Sri Lanka shot up to 19.8 percent in November from 17.2 percent in October, the Census & Statistics Department said Thursday, as Central Bank credit to government climbed to 100 billion rupees, and real interest rates were pushed further into negative territory. Economists had been predicting that inflation would continue to rise despite falling oil prices because of excessive money printing to finance the budget deficit. more..

Lanka IOC drowns in red ink; Colombo yet to settle billions

Nov 30 (LBO) Indian fuel retailer Lanka IOC Ltd sank deeper into the red posting a 605 million net loss during the quarter ending Sept., as it is yet to collect billions of rupees from the Sri Lankan government for selling fuel below costs. A unit of the Fortune 500 Indian Oil Corp. LIOCs fuel sales fell 28 percent to 6.78 billion rupees from July-Sept over the same period 2005. more..

LTTE’s another immoral shot crumpled

Nov 30 (GDI) Three Tiger terrorists have attempted to creep into Army controlled areas from Vakarai using the returning convoy of vehicles transporting aid. One of them has been arrested by the troops at the Mankerni road block yesterday night. Security Forces believe that these terrorists were trying to sneak in to the army detachments in Mankerni and Kadjuwatta areas. more..