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Suspected rebel front may target Sri Lanka hospitals

Nov 06 (Reuters) A suspected Tamil Tiger front organisation has threatened to attack civilian targets including hospitals and water reservoirs in southern Sri Lanka in retaliation against military strikes on rebel areas. The High Security Zone Residents' Liberation Force, which claimed responsibility for a rash of deadly attacks on troops in the north earlier this year, said it was giving the military a final warning to halt attacks on rebel territory. more..

Sri Lanka sends blood samples to Thailand to test for bug-borne fever

Nov 06 (AP) Sri Lankan health officials said Monday they have sent to Thailand blood samples of some 1,100 patients with high fever to check if they are suffering from chikungunya, a mosquito-borne fever that was reported in neighboring India. Tests done at a local laboratory ruled out dengue, measles and rubella, said Health Ministry spokesman Dharma Wanninayake, more..

Sri Lankan air force jets pound Tamil Tiger rebel base in east, military says

Nov 06 (AP) Sri Lankan fighter jets on Monday pounded a Tamil Tiger rebel base in the country's volatile east, the military said. Air force planes struck a sea base in the east, said an officer at the military's Media Center for National Security, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media. more..

Troops, Tigers trade artillery charge as Sri Lanka braces for battle

Nov 06 (AFP) Sri Lanka's military and Tamil Tiger rebels accused each other of initiating artillery attacks in the island's restive east as both sides braced for a major offensive in the region. "Ground and intelligence sources have confirmed that the Tigers are preparing to launch a major offensive south of Maavilaru, Kadjuwatte and Mankerni areas," the defence ministry said more..

Sri Lanka appoints panel to probe alleged rights violations

Nov 6 (AP) Sri Lanka on Monday announced an eight-member panel to investigate human rights violations blamed on pro-government forces and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said. Headed by Supreme Court Judge Nissanka Udalagama, the commission has been mandated to investigate 15 major incidents since Aug.1, 2005, Sri Lanka's Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told reporters. more..

Passengers robbed Rs. 1,20,000 from one trip

Nov 7 (LeN) 'LankaEnews' has come to know through a reliable source that a light aircraft that ply between Colombo and Jaffna charge excessive amounts from passengers. Though this flight was suspended in the 11th of August and commenced again yesterday this particular light aircraft had been operating between these points on the sly when the ban was in force, with the connivance of some air force officials. more..

U.N. rights chief welcomes Sri Lankan inquiry into killings

Nov 7 (AP) The top United Nations human rights official on Monday welcomed Sri Lanka's creation of an inquiry commission into extrajudicial killings and disappearances in the conflict with Tamil rebels. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour issued a statement sayings she hoped that the move will bring to justice the perpetrators of serious human rights violations. more..

Forty Sri Lankan Tamil airport workers in Paris under police questioning

Nov 7 (AT) French police are investigating nearly 40 Sri Lankan Tamils who are working in Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, after withdrawing their airport identity badges. These Tamils were working as baggage handlers, security agents, drivers, cleaners and clerks in the airport. According to a reliable report, this was completely a new investigation launched mainly against these 40 odd Sri Lanka Tamils working in the airport. more..

A cabinet reshuffle expected in coming weeks in Sri Lanka?

Nov 7 (AT) A cabinet reshuffle in Sri Lanka is likely to take place in the coming weeks, according to political sources. The cabinet reshuffle is expected to bring in sweeping changes, with President Mahinda Rajpaksa already having come forward to offer ministerial portfolios to some parliamentarians who have left their original parties and are now supporting the President. more..

Husbands slew their wives: Four Tamils died in Toronto in two separate incidents

Nov 7 (AT) In Toronto, Canada, on Sunday in two separate incidents, a total of four Sri Lankan Tamils has died. In both incidents husbands have slain their wives alleged to be of infidelity. In Markham Thayalini (31) mother of three children was found dead. Police arrested her husband Sukirthanraj Kailasapillai (39) on suspicion of murdering his wife. more..

LTTE in Paris closing down businesses and illegally transferring moneys into Switzerland

Nov 7 (AT) LTTE, a banned Tamil rebel outfit is making secret moves either to close down all its existing business concerns in France or to slim them down. Also it is learnt that the LTTE is making secret moves to transfer all the moneys they have in various bank accounts in Paris by withdrawing them gradually in small amounts without creating suspicion to the authorities. more..

UN adviser visits Sri Lanka to ensure children are better protected from conflict

Nov 7 (RW) A United Nations Special Adviser on children and armed conflict has begun a 9-day field visit to Sri Lanka aimed at ensuring better protection from the ravages of the civil war in the strife-torn country, where 17 relief workers killed three months ago were today honoured by their relatives. more..

"Cricket villages" opening in Sri Lanka

Nov 7 (INA) On Friday November 10, two "cricket villages" will be officially opened in Sri Lanka's Matara Province, a coastal area at the southern tip of the country, which was devastated by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. They're called "cricket villages" because the newly constructed houses have been funded by money raised during the charity cricket matches held in New Zealand and Australia immediately after the tsunami hit. more..

Urge Lanka to reopen Jaffna Highway: Vaiko

Nov 7 (NIP) MDMK general secretary Vaiko on Monday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to prevail upon the Sri Lanka Government to reopen a highway connecting the Tamil areas to Jaffna and save Tamil people in the island nation from starvation and death. “The highway route A-9, connecting the Tamil areas to Jaffna has been closed by Sri Lankan Army for the past three months. more..

Protest against killing and abductions in Sri Lanka

Nov 7 (wsws) Several hundred people took part in a protest in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo last Wednesday against the country’s rising number of abductions and murders. Most victims have been young Tamils and are believed to have been abducted or killed by the military and its paramilitary allies as it intensifies the war against the LTTE. more..

Endeavour to establish a climate of peace with new approach

Nov 7 (TW) The Government of Sri Lanka regret deeply and are much concerned over the outcome of the conference of such momentous character, which was called obviously because negotiation was considered both feasible and necessary. To us in Sri Lanka, these developments are of grave concern and of grievous significance. The maintenance of the independence and sovereignty are essential for prosperity and peace. more..

No negotiations possible without southern consensus on federalism

Nov 7 (TW) Inconclusive conclusion of discussions in Geneva this time is a clear indication that the government has not given up its war plan and there is absolutely no space given for the LTTE to compromise this side of their ultimate slogan, a “Separate Thamil Eelam”. This is an opportunity the LTTE guessed quite accurately they would have, when they opted for Mahinda Rajapaksa as President, instead of Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Three murders Sunday early hours rock the Toronto Tamil community

Nov 7 (ISL) A pattern of family violence that has been viewed with great concern in the Tamil community in the Greater Toronto Area received further shocking cases in point Sunday early hours in the East York district of Toronto and the Markham municipality. In East York, 40-year old Kumar Thayakumar killed his 36-year old wife Malini and his 14-year old daughter Neruuya and then committed suicide more..

A Referendum to decide about North-East

Nov 7 (LeN) Speaking at a parliamentary debate today (07) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake said the decision whether North-East be merged or demerged should be taken by the people of the two provinces and not by an arbitrary decision of the government or any terrorist organization. The members of TNA boycotting the past parliamentary sessions have given time till 7th of November for the government to declare its stand on the merging of North-East. more..

Post of General Secretary becomes the obstacle to Ranil - Karu Reconciliation

Nov 7 (LeN) It is reported that the post of the General Secretary of the party has become the obstacle to Ranil-Karu reconciliation. The Karu-SB group says that the General Secretary should be elected and they have proposed the name Mr. Jayawickrama Perera of Kurunegala District to be their nominee for the said post. more..

Sri Lankan Muslims unite against hanging of Saddam

Nov 7 (LeN) At a special meeting held yesterday (06) at the office of the Western Province Governor Mr. Alavi Moulana, the Muslim organizations including Parliamentarians decided to launch a massive protest movement against the decision taken by the Judiciary of the Iraqi government controlled by the American government. more..

Use of UN flag would bring UN ‘peace keeping’ forces! - Somawansa Amarasinghe

Nov 7 (LT) A media release issued by Mr. Somawansa Amarasinghe, Leader of the JVP asks the Government not to use the UN flag to transport essential items to the North but to use the flag of GoSL as the use of UN flag would leave room for the UN to intervene in the country which would lead to landing ‘peace keeping forces’ in the country. more..

Sea tiger base destroyed

Nov 7 (LT) Fighter jets of S.L. Air Force pounded a sea tiger base at Palachnai in Vakarai area and destroyed it completely say security sources. The raid on sea tiger base was launched at 11.30 a.m. today. This base had been used as a platform to launch attacks on ships carrying essential items to the North. more..

Tourist Board expects tourist arrivals to reach one million by 2010

Nov 7 (GDI) Hotels in Sri Lanka continue to receive bookings for the coming months. Tourist Board expects 600,000 tourists this year and has projected tourist arrivals to one million by 2010. They aim to get up market tourists to increase the average expenditure per tourist to US$ 155 within three years. Current average spending of a tourist is $ 84. 12.5% of business travellers are considered as group with the highest buying power. more..

A unique solution for the national issue – APRC Chairman

Nov 7 (GDI) The All Party Representatives Committee (APRC) chaired by Professor Tissa Witharana, met yesterday for the discussion aiming to establish a devolution system which will devolve power within a unitary Sri Lanka. Professor Vitharana briefed the media soon after the discussions at the Peace Secretariat office in Colombo. more..

20,000 tons of food monthly to Jaffna

Nov 7 (GDI) 20 000 Metric Tonnes of essential food items will be sent to Jaffna, on monthly basis. The Sri Lankan Government has already taken the necessary steps to initiate the process and the adequate amounts of stocks are available to assure the continuation of the supply chain. Already, 8000 Metric Tonnes of items is lined up to be sent to North within the next two days. more..

Tamil language courses for Police personnel

Nov 7 (GDI) The learning of Tamil language is essential for police officers and preliminary steps have been taken to teach Tamil at six places islandwide, DIG Bodhi Liyanage said. He said that teaching Tamil language to police officers is vital as Tamil and Muslim people speak Tamil language. Tamil classes are being held in Kalutara, Elpitiya, Kandy, Mahiyangana, Nikaweratiya and Anuradhapura. more..

The existential enemy

Nov 7 (AT) The (uncontradicted) Reuter report of a chilling threat by the LTTE militia, the so-called High Security Zone Residents Liberation Force, to target hospitals, reservoir dams and schools in Sinhala majority areas is a classic manifestation of terrorism in that it seeks to strike terror into the general populace and the intended targets are unarmed non combatant civilians, i.e. innocents. more..

Lanka finally appoints 'International Independent Group of Eminent Persons' monitored body to probe HR violations and abuses

Nov 7 (AT) Having dithered for some time, Sri Lanka finally appointed an internationally observed commission to probe fifteen prominent human right violation incidents that include several high profile assassinations and mass scale slaughters attributed to both the LTTE and government's military and para-military outfits. more..

LTTE must demonstrate willingness to compromise

Nov 7 (PISL) Calling on the LTTE to renounce terrorism and violence, the Canadian Federal Government last week pointed out that the LTTE must demonstrate a willingness to make compromises necessary for a political solution within a united Sri Lanka. more..

Lanka will not copy Indian model: Vitharana

Nov 7 (PISL) The government yesterday said Sri Lanka would not copy the Indian Panchayat system but would consider modifying it to suit our country. All Party Representative Committee Chairman Minister Tissa Vitharana told a news conference that the objective of the Committee was to look at establishing a system which would take devolution to the grass roots level. more..

Sea Tiger attack on supply ship foiled

Nov 7 (PISL) Air Force yesterday foiled an LTTE attack on a ship carrying essential goods to Jaffna. The sea tiger base at Vakarai was pounded around 11.30 am."We thwarted an LTTE attack to target the vessel, Air Force said. The damage suffered by the LTTE was not known. Security forces in Jaffna compelled the Government to close down the Muhamalai Entry/Exit point between the North and South. more..

Military censorship of news in Jaffna?

Nov 7 (LNP) In what was seen as indirect military censorship of news in Jaffna, Jafffna-based Tamil newspaper editors were yesterday issued a stern warning by the army against publishing pro-LTTE news, a newspaper official said. According to this official the army 512 brigade officers had told the editors of the Uthayan, Thinakural and Walanpuri newspapers, not to carry any LTTE related news including messages and speeches related to the upcoming LTTE Heroes Day week. more..

Security initiatives cannot be considered as a war

Nov 7 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapakse has deplored attempts made by certain sections to describe the initiatives taken for the security of the country and the people, as a war. He made this reference at a function at the Keppetiyawa Rajamaha Vihare in Weeraketiya yesterday. The President laid the foundation stone for a new Chaithya of the Vihare. more..

Sick leave campaign successful

Nov 7 (LNP) Nearly 700 members of the Society of Government Pharmacists yesterday (November 6) went on a sick leave campaign at the Central Province. More than 20 hospitals including the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital, Kandy and Gampola Teaching Hospitals were badly affected by this campaign. Action by the Society of Government Pharmacists also caused chaos at the District Hospitals in the Central Province. more..

Laksala in major expansion drive

Nov 7 (LNP) The Government is giving a boost to the local handicraft sector, with the modernisation of the Laksala Thunmulla showroom at a cost of Rs.50 million. The new showroom complex will open on November 9 and this would be a great achievement for the promotion of the industry. The sales growth rate of the Laksala has increased due to high demand of Laksala products. more..

Place country above party

Nov 7 (SP) If those sections in the UNP embroiled in bitter controversy over party reforms are true patriots who are prepared to place the country’s interests above those of the party, they should attempt to resolve their disputes amicably through democratic discussion and pay greater attention to the burning issues the country is confronted with today. more..

LTTE-govt war sparks food crisis in Jaffna

Nov 7 (Dawn) It has been nearly two months since Selvarani, a Tamil national from the war beleaguered northern Jaffna peninsula arrived in Colombo, boarding a ferry service facilitated by the Sri Lanka Navy, seeking the safety of the capital where she has relatives. Although she has escaped the bombs, she now has other worries. more..

Concern over spread of Chickungunya

Nov 7 (SAMN) All hospitals in the country have been alerted by the Health Ministry’s Epidemiological Unit as the number of suspected Chickungunya virus cases increased rapidly Monday. Assistant Epidemiologist Dr. P. Palihawadana said that guidelines had been issued to all public hospitals advising them to send blood samples of suspected cases. more..

PSC on Electoral reforms sits today

Nov 7 (SAMN) The Parlimentary Select Committee on Electoral Reforms is to commence sittings at 10 am today. The two weeks of time given to political parties in Parliament to submit their written proposals expired last Monday with the UNP being the only party to adhere to this request, a senior spokesman for the committee said Monday. more..

Unemployed graduates want permanent jobs

Nov 7 (SAMN) Unemployed graduates protested opposite the Fort Railway Station Monday demanding permanent jobs and for allocation of more funds from the forthcoming budget to continue the graduates’ job scheme. The protesters marched to the Presidential Secretariat and handed over a statement to the President’s Additional Secretary. more..

NGOs against state control

Nov 7 (SAMN) Several Non Government Organisations and political parties voiced their opinion against the state control of NGOs stating it is a violation of human rights. They said it is an act aimed at fulfilling political aspirations by certain political groups. more..

Sri Lankan Air Force Destroys Rebel Navy Base Near Batticaloa

Nov 7 (Bloomberg) Sri Lanka's air force destroyed a naval base of the LTTE used to mount attacks on ships bringing aid to the Jaffna peninsula, the Defense Ministry said. The base at Palachenai, north of the port of Batticaloa in eastern Sri Lanka, was attacked yesterday, the ministry said on its Web site. more..

As Sri Lanka fights LTTE, its poor suffer in silence

Nov 7 (KT) DWIGHT D. Eisenhower, the 34th US president, had said, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed". Every bomb the Sri Lankan government drops or every rocket it fires at enemy targets also means that if not for this self-destructive war, the more..

IGP pleads for responsible journalism regarding abductions

Nov 7 (DN) IGP Victor Perera yesterday appealed to the media to practise responsible journalism by refraining from publishing information that misleads the public by painting an incorrect picture of events and happenings. "The media has a great responsibility thrust on it to provide correct information to the public and avoid erroneous reporting," the IGP said more..

Israel and Sri Lanka Hold Diplomatic Meetings

Nov 7 (AS) Israel and Sri Lanka held the two countries’ first political dialogue since they established diplomatic relations in May 2000. The talks were held this past week in the capital Colombo. Taking part were Israel Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General for Asia and the Pacific Amos Nadai and Israeli Ambassador in India accredited to Sri Lanka David Danieli, who is Director of the ministry's Southeast Asia Department. more..

Kidnappings Return to Haunt Long Ethnic War in Sri Lanka

Nov 7 (NYT) Like a returning ghost, a rash of mysterious abductions has come to haunt this country once more. Men and women are being grabbed from their homes, sometimes after dark, sometimes in broad daylight. Ransom is demanded in some cases; in others, political intimidation seems to be the point. A few have been freed, but corpses have also turned up. With rare exceptions, the crimes remain unsolved. more..

India to gift 6,800 tonnes of food to Jafffa

Nov 7 (HT) India is to gift 6,800 tonnes of food to the 600,000 Tamils of the Jaffna peninsula who are facing a severe shortage of food since the closure of the A9 highway linking the northern peninsula with the rest of Sri Lanka. An official source told Hindustan Times here on Tuesday, that the gift package would comprise 5,000 tonnes of rice, 1,500 tonnes of sugar and 300 tonnes of milk powder. more..

TNA tells Govt. not to hoodwink IC

Nov 7 (SN) The Tamil National Alliance yesterday, urged the Government not to hoodwink the International Community, by blaming the Tigers for the closure of the ‘A9’ Highway and shipping food and fuel to the Security Forces under the pretext of sending supplies to a starving population of Tamils in the Jaffna Peninsula. more..

Global players seek wider engagement in Sri Lanka

Nov 7 (IANS) Fatigued by the unending violence in Sri Lanka, international monitors of the peace process are seeking more global engagement to somehow bring calm to the island nation. The co-chairs to the peace process -- the US, Japan, the 25-nation European Union and peace facilitator Norway -- have concluded that the Sri Lankan crisis is a lot more difficult to resolve than what was thought of four years ago. more..