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Tamil Tigers say 45 civilians killed in govt shelling

Nov 8 (AFP) At least 45 civilians have been killed and 125 others injured in heavy shelling by government forces in eastern Sri Lanka, a Tamil Tiger spokesman said. "In the shelling, 45 civilians have been killed and at least 125 injured, and we fear the casualties could be higher," LTTE spokesman S. Puleedevan told AFP by telephone from rebel-held territory. more..

Lankan army fired at chief truce monitor: LTTE

Nov 8 (HT) The Sri Lankan Army on Wednesday shelled the Pooneryn jetty in north Sri Lanka even as the chief of the Nordic truce monitoring mission Lars Solveberg was there, the LTTE's Peace Secretariat said in a statement. One shell fell within 10 metres of the place where Solveberg was standing, the statement said. more..

Sri Lankan civilians used as shields

Nov 8 (UPI) Sri Lankan authorities accused the Tamil Tiger separatists of using civilians as human shields in renewed violence in the Indian Ocean island nation. Dozens of people have died in recent weeks in repeated mortar and artillery fire between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Sri Lankan military. more..

Payment according to the intensity of the damage - Keheliya

Nov 8 (LeN) The spokesperson of the Media Centre for National Security Mr. Rambukwella said that the government has received reliable information that the LTTE is employing university students to commit atrocities such a throwing bombs etc. and they would be paid according to the intensity of the damage. more..

No food shortage in Jaffna: Amza

Nov 9 (NIP) Hinting that there is no possibility for reopening of A 9 Highway to the Tamils living in Jaffna in the near future, the Sri Lankan Government on Wednesday made it clear that it would consider providing alternative roads to Jaffna in the event of an improvement in the ‘‘ground situation’’ and the LTTE desisting from violence. more..

LTTE using civilians as shield: army

Nov 9 (Hindu) Scores of internally displaced persons were believed killed on Wednesday in an exchange of heavy artillery and mortar fire between the military and the LTTE in the Tiger-controlled Vaharai area in the east. The LTTE claimed that 50 to 100 civilians were killed when "indiscriminate fire" by the military hit a school building where the displaced are housed. The military accused the LTTE of using civilians as "human shield." more..

Attack on displaced civilians must be investigated

Nov 9 (AI) At least 50 people have died and over 100 have been injured after an attack on a camp for internally displaced people in Batticaloa, Eastern Sri Lanka, according to Tamil Tiger sources. In response, Amnesty International's Asia Pacific Director Purna Sen said: "It is appalling that the military should attack a camp for displaced people -- these are civilians who have already been forced from their homes because of the conflict." more..

Nearly 35,000 kilos of food parcels sent by post to the starving people in Jaffna are still lying in Trincomalee

Nov 9 (AT) Latest news reports revealed that at least 35,000 Kilos food parcels sent by mail to Jaffna from South of the country, lies at Trincomalee Post office, as no ships are leaving from the Port of Trincomalee to Jaffna. Reports said that the central mail exchange in Colombo has been flooded with food items to be sent to Jaffna. more..

Launch of the ILO Technical Assistance Project for Trade Unions

Nov 9 (AT) International Labour Organization (ILO) office in Sri Lanka is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding today with the National Association for Trade Unions Research and Education (NATURE) to initiate the implementation of the two year project in Ampara District, supporting 10 trade unions when they launch the Technical Assistance Project for Trade Unions. more..

'Alternative route' proposed for A9

Nov 9 (BBC) The Tamil Tigers have rejected a government proposal to open a new access route to Jaffna instead of the strategically important A9 road. The Sri Lanka government has proposed a coastal route via Mannar to Pooneryn and to reach Jaffna through a ferry service. Defence Affairs spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told journalists in Colombo that the government is committed to provide essential supplies to the people in Jaffna. more..

India in a bind on peace process in Sri Lanka

Nov 9 (NIP) President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is visiting India From November 25, is expected to renew his demand that India should play a larger role in the peace process in Sri Lanka. India is in a bind over the Sri Lankan peace process. The Congress-led UPA Government is already faced with domestic political compulsions, with the Dravidian Allies of the UPA insisting that no military assistance should be extended to Sri Lanka. more..

Seventy thousand displaced by floods in Puttalam

Nov 9 (TW) Around 70,000 persons belonging to 11,976 families in ten Divisional Secretariat areas in the Puttalam District have been displaced due to floods, Puttalam District Additional Secretary, M.J. Lowe said. He gave these figures at the flood threat review meeting held at the Puttalam District Secretariat auditorium under the patronage of Home Affairs Minister Chandrasiri Gajadheera. more..

47 Tamil Civilians killed as Army targets refugee camp

Nov 9 (TW) At least 47 Tamil civilians were killed and more than 160 injured in the Batticaloa district coastal village of Kadiraweli in a barrage of artillery and MBRL rocket fire launched by the Sri Lankan Army stationed at the Kallara (Kallaru) military camp in Trincomalee district. The 47 dead comprised 28 adult males, 9 women and 10 children. more..

Public money spent for former President’s residence will be deducted from her pension! -Chief Justice

Nov 9 (LT) If public money had been spent for the restoration of former President Ms. Kumaratunga’s residence it would be deducted from her pension stated the Chief Justice. Chief Justice Mr. Sarath N. Silva said this considering a petition filed by three lawyers. more..

Put aside all differences and rally to defeat all vile schemes and strategies -JVP

Nov 9 (LT) In a media meeting held today Mr. Somawansa Amarasinghe, Leader of the JVP said the question of food crisis the people in Jaffna peninsular are facing as a result of the close down of A-9 is grave. He said the JVP sympathized with the situation the people in Jaffna had to undergo and demanded that the Government should immediately end the shortage of food and essential goods in Jaffna peninsular. more..

Parliament warm up with question on Law College

Nov 9 (LT) A tense atmosphere was generated in the Parliament as it was announced that Law College had informed that it was not expected to answer a query raised by JVP Parliamentarian Mr. Sunil Handunneththti regarding malpractice in admitting students to the relevant institute. In the question forwarded to the Prime Minister, Mr. Handunneththi had pointed out a malpractice that had occurred when admitting students to Law College for 2006 academic year. more..

Central Bank encourages small and mid sized firms embrace sound financial policies

Nov 9 (LBO) Most local small and medium enterprises lack support services like marketing and technical skills rather than access to credit to grow their businesses, a top Central Bank official said Thursday. Local banks are heavily weighted towards collateral base lending, instead of project based lending, which in turn makes it difficult for smaller firms to access funds. more..

Despite scores of raids, arrests, more Sri Lankan shopkeepers doctor the scales

Nov 9 (LBO) Despite scores of raids, arrests and legal penalties over the years, Sri Lankan authorities say many shopkeepers and other vendors still doctor their measuring scales. “From our annual raids we have been able to catch around 1134 vendors in 2005 and there is a slight increase in the numbers compared to the years before,” more..

Sri Lanka extends ban on scrap metal exports for further two years

Nov 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka on Thursday extended a six month ban on exports of scrap metal for a further two years, to protect the local foundry industry. The six month ban was due to expire on Friday, with Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of ministers approving the two year extension, Cabinet spokesperson Anura Yapa told journalists. more..

Suspension of Raja FM radio channel with immediate effect

Nov 9 (GDI) The Ministry of Mass Media and Information has received a large number of complaints from the intellectuals, religious leaders, media personnel and society leaders that the RAJA FM radio channel of the Colombo Communication Pvt Ltd broadcast anti social and extremely repulsive and vulgar material that could corrupt the society, specially the younger generation. more..


Nov 9 (GDI) The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Justice and Law Reforms Minister Hon. Amarasiri Dodangoda on the construction of eight storeyed office complex for his Ministry. Accordingly the consultancy services and the construction work of this project under the Design and Built method will be awarded to the State Engineering Corporation. more..

Two new ships join the food supply to North; Colombo Harbour busy with loading

Nov 9 (GDI) Under the directive of President Mahinda Rajapaksa the government has purchased two new ships to accommodate and accelerate the sea transportation of food and essential items to Jaffna. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday that these two new ships will join the fleet of vessels supplying goods to North. more..

Government explains Vakarai situation and vows to protect civilians

Nov 9 (GDI) The LTTE has fired mortars and artillery from Vakarai and Kadiraweli on Security Forces' detachments at Kadjuwatta and Mankerni in Batticaloa and Mavil Aru and Mahindapura areas for several days and the forces fired back yesterday morning at identified LTTE gun positions at Kathirweli in Vakarai. However, information received that 23 persons died and 125 others injured. more..

Government strengthens forces for development tasks

Nov 9 (GDI) The ‘Jathika Saviya’ programme under the Mahinda Chinthana, twelve D-8 type dowsers were handed over to the Army Engineering Division and ten cabs were given to the Home-guards force yesterday (08), in order to accelerate the infrastructure development programmes under going in the uncleared areas in the North and East areas. more..

The duplicity of the LTTE and its illogical stance at the Geneva talks

Nov 9 (GDI) The Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE met in Geneva 28-29 October 2006, at the Conference Center Varembe CCV. The Norwegian facilitators and the SLMM were also present. Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini, Deputy Head of the Political Affairs Directorate, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, declared the talks open, states SCOPP report. more..

To merge or not to merge

Nov 9 (ANN) The government has said in Parliament that the merger of the Northern and the Eastern Provinces is a matter for the people to decide at a referendum; it shouldn’t be done arbitrarily by the government or at the dictates of a terrorist group. The government says it has three options. They are: setting up of two different Provincial Councils for the Northern and the Eastern Provinces; more..

Govt will expedite N-E development - President

Nov 9 (PISL) Moves are under way by the Government to speed up development activities in the North and East with the support of the Security Forces under the Jathika Saviya Programme. President Mahinda Rajapaksa said steps will be taken to ensure that benefits of development would reach the masses in the North and East as much as they reach the public in the country's other provinces. more..

A new approach to conflict resolution: Just lock them up!

Nov 9 (KT) WHEN I am in London, I often buy my breakfast croissant from a convenience store across the road, next to the newspaper shop. While I’m paying, I make a little small talk with the young people working at the till. More often than not, they are from Sri Lanka. I have discovered recently that all of them are Tamils. more..

Anger over Lanka civilian deaths

Nov 9 (BBC) The Sri Lankan government has been heavily criticised for an artillery bombardment that killed dozens of civilians in the east of the island. Peace negotiator Erik Solheim said he was "very troubled" by the attack and urged the government and Tamil Tigers to honour pledges at recent talks. Rights group Amnesty International described the attack as "appalling". more..

LTTE rejects A9 alternative

Nov 9 (PISL) The LTTE sasaid yesterday the government proposal to open Pooneryn via Kilinochchi to reach Jaffna as an alternate to Muhamalai was not a viable option as the infrastructure in the area was heavily damaged and would take several months to repair. more..

Thondaman withdraws resignation!

Nov 9 (LT) The resignation letter sent by Mr. Arumugam Thondaman to the President was withdrawn by him yesterday. Minister Thonadaman, away from the country for a long time, returned on the 7th and handed over his resignation. He had told the President his resignation was due to certain issues in his ministry. more..

Iranian vehicles in Sri Lanka

Nov 9 (LNP) Sri Lankan officials have requested the production of Iran`s Samand and Pride in their country. `Currently Iran Khodro and Saipa are investigating and reviewing this issue so to estimate whether the production of these two vehicles are economical and beneficial in Sri Lanka or not,` said Iran`s Ministry of Industry and Mine Foreign Affairs deputy. more..

Hundred and sixty-two competitors and 43 officials for Doha Asian Games

Nov 9 (LNP) The spikers and soccerites, who won silver medals at the 10th South Asian Games (SAG) in Colombo, have been overlooked for the 15th Asian Games to be held in oil rich nation Doha, from December 1-15. Sri Lanka will send a massive contingent of 162 competitors and 43 officials while many more officials have lined up to make their passage to Doha. But the officials have opted to leave spikers and soccerites at home. more..

Colombo bourse extends record gains

Nov 9 (LBO) Share prices in Colombo closed at a record high Thursday, boosted by foreign buying interest in blue chip conglomerate John Keells Holdings, dealers said. Colombo’s All Share Price Index closed up 21.82 points or 0.85 percent to 2,579.95 on sales of 961.87 million rupees, with the benchmark index erasing its best ever finish of 2,558.13 notched on Wednesday. more..

SC rejects objection in Chandrika' case

Nov 9 (SAMN) The Supreme Court overruled an objection by the Counsel for former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and warned the Counsel for interrupting the Court when the Fundamental Rights application challenging certain Cabinet Grants to the former President upon her retirement was taken up, Wednesday. more..

Islandwide census of light weapons

Nov 9 (SAMN) A census of small arms and light weapons in circulation in the country is to be conducted islandwide by Safer World, an NGO working with the National Commission Against the Proliferation of illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCAPISA). The 'Safer World' survey will try to find the number of illicit arms in the country, from where they originate, their use, why anyone wants to keep an illicit arm (for protection/intimidation) impact on economy, more..

Govt's stand on demerger ambiguous: JVP

Nov 9 (SAMN) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Wednesday said the government stand on North and East de-merger is not clear to them although the President and government members make remarks on it time to time. A JVP politburo member said it was the government’s chance now to comment on what it was going to do about the de-merger. more..

No change, says Australian HC

Nov 9 (SAMN) The Australian High Commission Tuesday said contrary to recent newspaper reports, there had not been any changes for Sri Lankans applying for the Australian Government’s humanitarian programme, including the in-country special humanitarian programme (visa subclass 201). “Australia’s humanitarian programme is a global, non discriminatory programme. There are no ‘reserved’ places. more..

Lankans in hijacked ship in Somalia safe

Nov 9 (DN) Sri Lankans among the crew in a ship hijacked off the Somali coast and seized by forces loyal to Somalia's powerful Islamist movement are safe, said Andrew Mwangura of the Seafarers' Assistance Programme in the Kenyan port of Mombasa. Forces loyal to Somalia's powerful Islamist movement stormed the ship hijacked by pirates off the Somali coast, freeing the vessel and its crew after a fierce gunbattle, more..

New ruling coalition and the civil war in Sri Lanka

Nov 9 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka is holding a public lecture in Colombo on the political implications for the working class of the unprecedented alliance formed between the country’s two major establishment parties—the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the opposition United National Party (UNP). more..

How critical is Rajapaksa's India visit?

Nov 9 (HT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be the chief guest at the Convention of the All India Council of Mayors at Dehradun in the Uttaranchal State of North India on November 26. Official sources here said that Rajapaksa had accepted the invitation to be the chief guest extended by the Chairperson of the New Delhi-based council, Manorama Dobriyal Sharma. more..

Tamils issue ceasefire warning after 45 die in army bombing of refugee camp

Nov 9 (TM) Tamil Tiger rebels have given warning that it will soon be "too late" to save Sri Lanka's rapidly disintegrating ceasefire after army shells and rockets killed at least 45 civilians, including six infants, in a refugee camp. The 30-minute barrage, which followed days of skirmishing in the eastern district of Batticaloa also left some 200 people with shrapnel and blast injuries, rebels said. more..

Amnesty International condemns attack on Sri Lankan school; at least 23 killed

Nov 9 (AP) Human rights group Amnesty International and Tamil members of Parliament on Thursday denounced the shelling of a school by Sri Lanka's military in which at least 23 people were killed and scores of others injured. Tamil Tiger rebels put the death toll from Wednesday's artillery attack at 60, with 150 others wounded. The government said it regretted the incident. more..

Norway wants Sri Lanka to explain firing of grenades near chief truce monitor

Nov 9 (AP) Peace broker Norway has asked Sri Lanka's government to explain why troops fired grenades just meters (yards) away from the chief cease-fire monitor as he visited the country's volatile , a minister said. "It is very worrying that the civilian Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, headed by Lars Soelvberg, came close to being hit by grenades fired by the Sri Lankan army near Pooneryn, in northern Sri Lanka," more..

Sri Lankan government under fire over refugee carnage

Nov 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka's government came under international criticism after killing 65 refugees and wounding hundreds of others in an artillery blitz of the rebel-held east of the island. Nordic monitors said government forces had fired rockets at two school buildings housing a large number of displaced Tamil civilians. more..

Sri Lankan government 'regrets' civilian massacre

Nov 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka's government has expressed regret over the killing of about 65 civilians in an artillery blitz on a rebel-held area, but blamed the Tamil Tigers for using human shields. Government defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said the military had targeted two Tamil Tiger artillery positions in Wednesday's attack in the eastern district of Batticaloa, but admitted a civilian centre was also hit. more..

Thousands flee after Sri Lanka army kills refugees

Nov 9 (Reuters) Thousands of Tamil refugees fled their camp in rebel territory in the island's east on Thursday, survivors said, a day after the army bombed the location killing dozens of civilians. Rights groups and diplomats voiced outrage at Wednesday's attack, which the military said was in retaliation for rebel fire, while doctors tended infants and elderly among at least 125 civilians with multiple shrapnel wounds. more..

Children, elderly fill hospital after Sri Lanka raid

Nov 9 (Reuters) Doctors scrambled to tend infants with head injuries and elderly patients with multiple shrapnel wounds in a Sri Lankan hospital, a day after the army shelled a camp for those displaced from conflict. Dozens of civilians died in Wednesday's shelling, which provoked outrage from rights groups, diplomats and ordinary Sri Lankans. more..

LTTE fire at military post; 1 soldier killed

Nov 9 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels killed a soldier and wounded two others in an attack on a Sri Lankan military post, officials said on Thursday, as the rebels accused the military of killing 45 Tamil civilians. "They (rebels) attacked our post and killed the soldier," said military spokesman Prasad Samarasinghe. Two others were wounded in the late Wednesday attack in the northern area of Jaffna, he said. more..

Sri Lanka under pressure to probe refugees killing

Nov 9 (DPA) The Sri Lankan government came under pressure Thursday from local and international groups calling for a full investigation into the killing of at least 65 civilians in a refugee camp in the eastern part of the country. The refugees were killed and at least 125 others suffered injuries when the refugee camp at Vakarai, 260-km east of the capital, came under artillery attack from security forces Wednesday. more..