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Norwegian envoy arrives in Sri Lanka to revive peace talks

Oct 2 (Xinhua) Norway's special envoy on Sri Lanka 's fragile peace process arrived in Colombo Sunday afternoon for yet another bid to bring the Sri Lankan government and the rebels back to the negotiating table. Jon Hanssen-Bauer is due to meet the government, opposition and other political party representatives and also the LTTE rebels, diplomatic sources said. more..

Dialog Telekom moves into television services

Oct 2 (LBO) Dialog Telekom has picked up a radio and television frequency license, which gives them the edge to rollout a host of infotainment services ranging from television to mobile phone services. A unit of Telekom Malaysia, Dialog picked up the frequency by acquiring a 90 percent stake in Asset Media (Pvt) Ltd for 325 million rupees, the telco said Monday. more..

Environment conservation week

Oct 2 (GDI) The Government has implemented an environment conservation week commencing from 1st of October. The President Mahinda Rajapakshe planted a sapling at the Temple trees today morning to mark the inauguration of the week. This event was presented by a group of school children who holds president medal for “Parisara Niyamuvo” and the President pledged to pay his firm attention on environment conservation. more..

STF bringing in peace and harmony to Eastern Sri Lanka

Oct 2 (GDI) The Special Task Forces (STF) operating in the Eastern part of Sri Lanka is taking every possible effort to restore peace and harmony among the communities. "Situation is back to normal. What ever that would occur bringing in an uneasy situation among the communities we negotiate and cease down discussing with the people," said Senior Superintendent of Police H.K. Jayaweera , more..

Government clarifies position to Norwegian envoy

Oct 2 (GDI) Norwegian Special Envoy Hansson Bauer called on Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, the leader of Sri Lankan delegation for peace talks this morning in Colombo. Minister De Silva told the Government Official Website that he has conveyed the government’s position to the facilitator. Mr Bauer is scheduled to go to Kilinochchi tomorrow to discuss the issues pertaining to resumption of peace negotiations with the LTTE leaders. more..

Special Fund for child welfare

Oct 2 (GDI) Several national programmes for child welfare, including setting up of a National Child Development Fund were launched in connection of the World Children’s Day. The new fund has been set up to provide benefits for Children of families who were displaced owing to the war and of poor families. The Minister of Child Development and Women’s Empowerment Sumedha Jayasena said that this fund would be of immense benefit for child care activities in the country. more..

Desperate Norway determined to save the Tigers

Oct 2 (ISL) Norway’s integrity as a peace broker and peace facilitator has been seriously exposed, virtually shattered on the rocks of candor, decency, honesty and forthrightness. Literature of many a land is full of fables, proverbs and anecdotes about the consequences of having unreliable people entrusted with something precious and valuable. more..

SLMM gets it wrong again?

Oct 2 (SS) The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) which has often been accused of making arbitrary and bias decisions appears to have made a similar judgment again last week, with regard to the renewed quit notice by a group called 'Tamil Eelam Redemption Force' which was circulated among Muslim civilians living in Muttur demanding they evacuate immediately. more..

More UNPers to crossover

Oct 2 (SS) Although three rounds of talks have been held between the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the United National Party to reach a common consensus on the national problem, the main questions the country is faced with, are signs of the talks breaking-down halfway owing to lack of proper encouragement from leaders of both parties. more..

Perversion of evidince at Pottuvil massacre

Oct 2 (SS) It was almost identical to the slaughter of 12 Sinhalese irrigation workers in Welikanda last May. It was no different to all such massacres perpetrated by the LTTE from 1984 including Arantalalwa. It had the revolting and unmistakable DNA of the LTTE. It was as clear as daylight in the minds of reasonable people as to who was responsible. Shock, grief, sorrow, outrage and revulsion swept through the land. more..

Improving small-farmer agriculture in the 'dry zone'

Oct 2 (SS) Since the dawn of agriculture, farmers (all over the world) have been active in developing technologies for the production, processing and storage of food. All the major food crops and animals have been discovered, selected and domesticated by farmers. Historically, the functions of exploring and testing new techniques in farming (what we now call research), and more..

Govt. hopes Bauer will convince LTTE

Oct 2 (PISL) The Government yesterday expressed hope that the Norwegian Special Envoy Hansson Bauer will return with a positive response to the issues it has raised with regard to resuming negotiations, after his meeting with LTTE leaders in Kilinochchi tomorrow. Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said these concerns have been conveyed to Norwegian Ambassador Hans Brattskar by Government Chief Negotiator Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva last month. more..

Govt. will consider maximum devolution within an undivided country - Kohona

Oct 2 (PISL) The Government’s Peace Secretariat chief Palitha Kohona has reiterated the government’s stand that it will "consider maximum devolution within a single country, an undivided country’’an AP report filed from the United Nations said yesterday. The report said: "Sri Lanka’s top peace negotiator said he hopes the Tamil Tigers will return to peace talks in October and recognize that they will not achieve their dream of independence through violence. more..

Peace moves intensify as fighting continues

Oct 2 (PISL) Diplomatic moves to get the stalled peace talks back on track will intensify this week with the arrival of Norwegian peace envoy Jon Hannsen Bauer, even as fresh clashes between government troops and the LTTE continued over the weekend. In an added boost for attempts to resume peace talks, special UN envoy for tsunami reconstruction and founder of the Clinton Global Initiative, former US President Bill Clinton is also expected to visit the country sometime this month. more..

'People's Rep's must be consulted on de-merger'

Oct 2 (LM) Commenting on President Mahinda Rajapakse's recent statement that he will hold a referendum to decide on the north east de-merger, SLMC Secretary General Hasan Ali MP said that much water has flowed under the bridges since the merger of the two provinces 19 years ago under the Indo-Lanka Peace Agreement of 1987 and any decision at this belated stage on holding a referendum would be unfair. more..

SLMC prepares proposals on electoral reforms

Oct 2 (LM) The Committee set up to study and make recommendation to the Party by the SLMC met on 1st October 2006 at 11 am in Colombo and deliberated till 2 pm with the view to prepare to make its submissions to the Parliamentary Select Committee. The Committee felt that the draft proposals for a mixed electoral system submitted to the Select Committee by Dr. Sudantha Liyanage does not fulfill the aspirations of the 8 percent Muslim Community living all over the country fully. more..

Clash between religious factions in Kattankudy

Oct 2 (MN) 18 houses were smashed and three motor bikes were damaged in a clash between two religious factions in Kattankudy yesterday. A deviate religious faction led by Rauff moulavi who often is in odds with the main Islamic religious authority, Jammiyathul Ulama and another group are involved in this incident, according to sources from Kattankudy. more..

Sri Lanka eyes 35,000 construction jobs for Doha Asian games

Oct 2 (NNN) Sri Lankan authorities are planning a crash programme to churn out skilled construction workers to feed a construction boom in Doha sparked by next December's Asian Games. The Games from Dec 1 to 15 are expected to draw thousands of athletes and had resulted in huge construction of the stadium and other facilities. "There is a huge demand and we could send even 30-35,000 workers if we have the skills," more..

Bomb explodes outside Red Cross offices in Sri Lanka

Oct 2 (ABC) The Red Cross says a hand grenade has exploded outside its offices in Sri Lanka's embattled northern Jaffna peninsula. The blast caused "material damage" but no one was hurt. The organisation has expressed concern about the attack, urging all sides in the Sri Lankan conflict to respect aid workers. Jaffna has been virtually cut off from the rest of the island as a result of intensified fighting more..

Tigers disown US arrested arms buyers

Oct 2 (LNP) The Tiger have denied that they tried to buy arms from US dealers. LTTE military spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan said that the organisation had `nothing to do` with the men arrested in the US on charges of conspiring to buy missiles. `We don`t know who they are,` BBC Sandeshaya quoted Ilanthirayan as saying. more..

The grand old Elephant and the Bell

Oct 2 (LNP) Close on the heels of the controversy over The old man and the sea, which the JVP Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa wrongly attributed to Guy de Maupassant recently and landed himself in an elephantine soup in the process, comes the story of a would be powwow between the grand old party and the bell on vital national issues. In politics, as it is in life, nothing is so certain as the unexpected. more..

Female bombing victims subjected to State terror, says HR group

Oct 2 (LNP) The North East Secretariat on Human Rights (NESOHR) has expressed concerns over the treatment meted out to three young female victims of the aerial bombing in Mullaitivu, after they were brought to Kandy for medical treatment. 'The consequential misery that three of those injured students have been subjected to in the hands of the Sri Lankan Intelligence officials, more..

Govt. mulls alternative to A 9

Oct 2 (SAMN) Defence Affairs Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said Sunday that the Government was seriously considering an alternative land route for civilian movement to Jaffna as there is no possibility of re-opening the A-9 road under present conditions. He said the Government, for two reasons, has not given consent for the opening of the A-9 road from Omanthai and Muhamalai despite more..

PMC to take up abduction issue with UN

Oct 2 (SAMN) The People’s Monitoring Committee (PMC) comprising several minority parties Sunday warned that they would take up the issue of abductions with the UN, if the Government fails to carry out proper investigations. PMC Chairman Sirithunga Jayasuriya, accused the Government of protecting the abductors and alleged that the Kotahena police had already received orders from the top, to release one of the suspects arrested on Friday. more..

UNP to educate masses on federalism

Oct 2 (SAMN) The United National Party is planning to set in motion a series of programmes to promote federalism among the party members and the general public, party national organiser S. B. Dissanayake said Saturday. Dissanayake said that as a party the UNP always believed in federalism and its possible contribution as a solution to the ethnic problem. more..

Posters to track down paedophiles

Oct 2 (SAMN) As part of its Universal Children’s Day programme, the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) launched a poster campaign Sunday to educate the public on internet related paedophiles. NCPA Chairperson Padmini Wettawe said these posters would be displayed at all cyber cafés in the country informing the public about new laws in penalizing offenders using internet to invite, induce or plead children into sex activities. more..

Biggest ever lottery jackpot cracked

Oct 2 (DN) The largest ever Mahajana Sampatha jackpot of Rs.61 million has been won. The National Lotteries Board announced that the winner emerged during last Friday (29)'s draw when the prize money had snowballed to Rs.61,304,809. The winning ticket (No. N 9 2 3 5 9 1) was sold by the National Lotteries Board Agent in Pelmadulla. more..

Sri Lanka protects local cement industry from tariff cut on Indian imports

Oct 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka recently slashed tariffs on Indian imports under a bilateral trade deal, but said Monday it would exclude top import good cement for at least the next two years, to protect local industry. Sri Lanka was required to cut tariffs on Indian imports by up to 70 percent on the customs duty rate this year, and accordingly slashed tariffs in mid September. more..

Elections not a possibility: Premadasa

Oct 2 (IANS) UNP leader Sajith Premadasa said Monday that early parliamentary elections are not a possibility in Sri Lanka. Stating that he had been misquoted in the interview here on the question of President Mahinda Rajapakse's tenure, Premadasa said: 'I was asked if there could be early elections. I had stated that President Rajapakse's intention is not to be a one-term president but a two-term president. So he would not want to annoy his alliance parties, the JVP and JHU. more..

Alleged arms smuggler agrees to be removed to Maryland

Oct 2 (PDN) One of the men arrested here last week in connection with the alleged smuggling of firearms to Sri Lanka agreed this afternoon to waive his right to additional court hearings here and to be brought back to Maryland, where he was indicted Sept. 19 on federal firearms, terrorism and money laundering charges. more..

Sri Lankan troops exchange gunfire with rebels

Oct 2 (AP) Government troops and separatist rebels exchanged gunfire overnight in eastern Sri Lanka, the military said on Monday, as a Norwegian envoy launched a fresh attempt at ending a seven-month deadlock in peace talks. Tamil Tiger rebels attacked an army post in Vavunathivu in the eastern Batticoloa district Sunday night, using small arms and machine guns, more..

Fresh shelling as Norway envoy seeks Sri Lanka talks

Oct 2 (Reuters) Norway's peace envoy began a fresh bid on Monday to arrange crunch talks between the Tamil Tigers and Sri Lanka's government to halt renewed violence, as sporadic shelling continued in the island's besieged north. Jon Hanssen-Bauer met government officials in Colombo on Monday and is due to meet the LTTE in their northern stronghold of Kilinochchi on Tuesday. more..

Sri Lankans miffed as artists poke fun at war

Oct 2 (Reuters) Two Danish artists travelling the world's hotspots from Baghdad to Serbia to poke fun at conflict slapped stickers with ironic messages across the Sri Lankan capital on Monday -- but the joke was lost on residents. "Potentially prosperous society -- Of course you kill each other!" reads the caption of one sticker, depicting a gun with a flower dropping out of the barrel. more..

Norwegian envoy meets Sri Lankan peace negotiator in effort to end peace talks deadlock

Oct 2 (AP) A Norwegian envoy met a top Sri Lankan peace negotiator Monday in a fresh attempt to end a seven-month deadlock in peace talks, while the government reported new fighting overnight between troops and separatist rebels. The meeting between Jon Hanssen-Bauer and top government negotiator Nimal Siripala de Silva was yet another effort to restart peace talks - which were last held in February in Geneva more..

Talks underway to revive Sri Lanka peace bid

Oct 2 (AFP) Top Sri Lankan government officials have begun talks with a Norwegian envoy who is trying to revive the island's stalled peace process and end renewed ethnic bloodshed, government sources said. Special envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer, who arrived here Sunday to end a seven-month negotiation deadlock, was holding separate talks with government officials and politicians Monday, the government sources said. more..

Loss to India was lesson: Muralidharan

Oct 3 (IANS) After being whitewashed by India in the one dayers last year, Sri Lanka has improved a lot and are even hoping to win the ICC Champions Trophy said ace spinner Muttiah Muralidharan Monday. 'It was a terrible lesson for us and after that series we have improved a lot. And in the past six months we have performed well,' he said at an open session with the media here. more..

Atapattu glad to be pain free at last

Oct 3 (Reuters) Former Sri Lanka skipper Marvan Atapattu was glad on Monday to be finally pain free after returning to the side for the ICC Champions Trophy following back surgery. Atapattu, Sri Lanka's top-order batsman for almost a decade with the explosive Sanath Jayasuriya, will play his first international match since March when his team face Bangladesh in the opening qualifying game in Mohali on Saturday. more..

Man apprehended for abductions a Karuna cadre. Why government conceal it - Siritunga

Oct 3 (LeN) The president of the civil monitoring committee Mr. Siritunga Jayasuriya says that the person taken into custody by Kotahena police for alleged abductions disappearances extorting money and killings is a man connected to Karuna faction and he is having information to substantiate it. more..

LTTE lose Rs. 250 million

Oct 3 (LeN) The LTTE has lost Rs. 250 million during the last 2 months as their two 2 check points where they collect taxes have become inoperative. Defence sources say as no lorry carrying goods has gone through Muhamalai in Jaffna Omanthai is Vavuniya and Madhu junction in Mannar, during the last two months the LTTE has not been able to collect that amount as taxes. more..

Disciplinary inquiry against Nandana Gunatilake

Oct 3 (LeN) The JVP is planning to hold a disciplinary inquiry against Nandana Gunatilake who resigned from the politburo and the central committee of the JVP. At the forthcoming disciplinary inquiry Mr. Gunatilake is to be charged for passing classified information of the politburo and other internal matters to the government and media. more..

Sri Lanka falls in love with Nokia’s Sinhala enabled handsets

Oct 3 (LBO) Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone maker, has sold over 5,000 handsets equipped with Sinhala language settings and keypads, since they were launched in Sri Lanka last week. Over 70 percent of Sri Lankans speak Sinhalese and Nokia’s local agent – Softilogic Communications – says the new handsets are proving to be a hit among the locals. more..

100 Lankan kids get Gandhi scholarship

Oct 3 (HT) A hundred meritorious Sri Lankan high school students, including 32 from the war-ravaged and Tamil-speaking North Eastern Province, were awarded the Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship by the Indian High Commissioner Nirupama Rao on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. Each recipient will get Rs 1,500 per month till the completion of his or her higher education. more..

Hindus' Navarathri festivals conclude

Oct 3 (TN) Hindus across Northeast and other regions of Sri Lanka, and in diaspora communities around the world concluded celebrations of the nine-day 'Navarathiri' (nine nights) festival Sunday. "Vijaya Thasami, the tenth day festival is being celebrated today. more..

ICRC hands over bodies of slain LTTE cadres

Oct 3 (TN) Liberation Tigers Batticaloa District Commander Col. Ramesh, who had taken command recently, attended the funeral of three of the eleven Tiger cadres who were killed in an alleged Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF) ambush inside the LTTE territory in Batticaloa. more..

Jaffna schools open but no children

Oct 3 (BBC) Schools were open in the northern Sri Lankan town of Jaffna on Monday, but teachers say students stayed away from them. Joseph Stalin, president of Lanka Teachers’ Association said the students could not attend schools due to prevailing security situation in Jaffna. more..

I am a boring batsman: Sangakkara

Oct 3 (PTI) Sri Lanka's stylish batsman and wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara says he may not be a treat to watch when compared to the other more swashbuckling batsmen in the world. "I play a different brand of cricket. I am not very aggressive. I play a more boring kind of cricket. So one-day cricket is a challenge," the Sri Lankan vice-captain said. more..

Goa to become SriLankan Airlines' 50th destination

Oct 3 (AT) The famed Indian coastal resort town of Goa is to become SriLankan Airlines' 50th global destination, and the 10 th in India, with the airline planning to launch services from Colombo in October. SriLankan is the largest foreign carrier operating to India, with nearly a hundred weekly flights to New Delhi, Bombay, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Madras, Trichy, Trivandrum, Calicut, and Kochi. more..

Lanka’s second biggest coal fired thermal power plant will be built at Sampoor

Oct 3 (AT) Sri Lanka ’s second coal fired Thermal power plant will be built at the newly occupied Sampoor , South of Trincomalee as an Indo-Sri Lanka joint venture. Power and Energy Minister John Seneviratne told BBC’s Sinhala service Sandeshaya that a team of energy experts will soon visit Sampoor , South of Trincomale which was used by the Tamil Tigers until recently to fire artillery at Trincomalee naval base. more..

Latest sting operation reflects LTTE’s incredible international network

Oct 3 (ISL) President Mahinda Rajapakse gave a charter to Major General Sarath Fonseka to sort out the LTTE menace in the country. He has not only done a great job to date, he has also won the hearts and trust of the Tamils in these provinces that have suffered the Tiger menace for over three decades. There is tremendous support for the Armed Forces and the people are tipping off Tiger arms caches and the Tigers are finally on the run. more..

Red Cross hands over 62 houses to tsunami affected families in Eastern Sri Lanka

Oct 3 (AT) The Sri Lanka Red Cross and Japanese Red Cross handed over permanent houses to 62 tsunami affected families of Fizal Nagar Grama Seva Division in the Trincomalee District on Friday 29 September 2006. "I think the completion of the project is a tribute to the beneficiaries, contractors, and government officials – all of who have been involved from start to finish. more..