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First Anglican Women Priests in Sri Lanka Ordained

Oct 4 (CP) The Anglican Church has for the first time ordained several women as priests in Sri Lanka. “I have no words to describe my joy,” said the Rev. Chandrika Mayurawathie according to Ecumenical News International . “I have waited and prayed for this ordination for years. Mayurawathie, the Rev. Malini Devamamda, whose husband is an Anglican priest, and the Rev. Glory Jeyaraj were ordained on Sept. 14“ more..

Tamil Tiger defendants to face additional charges in U.S.

Oct 4 (AP) Six men charged with attempting to export weapons to Indonesia and to Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka are facing additional charges, U.S. prosecutors announced Tuesday. Both superceding indictments involve Haji Subandi, a suspected international arms dealer from Indonesia. One adds Thirunavukarasu Varatharasa, 36, to the original indictment of Haniffa Bin Osman, Erick Wotulu and Subandi. more..

'Let us not bargain the education of our children for opening of a road'

Oct 4 (ISL) In the on going ethnic war we have lost our land ,our homes, our parents, our youths. our wealth, our earnings, our Elite, even our dignity for a pot of porridge ,daily depending on Govt relief. We have had lost our freedom to think and express ourselves. Amidst all the above great losses the parents still had the freedom to choose the future of their children. more..

LTTE activists in fund raising spree all over London

Oct 4 (ISL) The LTTE activists are on a full swing collecting funds for the LTTE by visiting Tamil houses all around London. Determined LTTE activists are knocking at Tamil doors without any fear of the law and are intimidating people to part with funds. The amount demanded in the current round of fund raising is £2,000 per household. more..

Peaceful protests of Tamil Parliamentarians

Oct 4 (TW) Fifty years ago on June 5th 1956 Tamil political activists led by Parliamentarians of the Federal Party known as Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) conducted a “satyagraha” campaign at the Galle Face green opposite the old Parliament by the Beira waters. It was a non - violent protest against the imposition of Sinhala as the sole official language. more..

Sri Lanka’s Cabraal says appetite for government bonds is enormous

Oct 4 (AB) Ajith Nivard Cabraal is quick to deny that Sri Lanka is at war with the Tamil Tigers liberation group. “Let me make it very clear: there is no war. Where is the war?” he asks. The biggest threat that the island off the southeast coast of the Indian subcontinent is facing, he says, is from oil prices. more..

Sri Lanka telecom companies heading for record profit amid economic woes

Oct 4 (DJ) Sri Lanka's two listed telecommunications companies are poised for record profits this year as the country's low penetration levels and the new products on offer continue to lure subscribers, offsetting the impact of higher interest rates and any possible slowdown in the economy. more..

Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment backs down on Apollo Hospital controversy

Oct 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment has backed down on a battle with Sri Lanka Insurance Corp., extending existing tax and other benefits to the new owners of Apollo Hospital. Indian shareholders of Apollo Hospital sold out to business tycoon Harry Jayawardena owned Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation last month, following a mandatory takeover bid. more..

Troops still retaliate to LTTE attacks in North

Oct 4 (GDI) The retaliatory fires opened by the Sri Lankan troops are still continuing in the Northern peninsula. The Air Force Kfir jets attacked identified LTTE positions at Pallai and Pooneryn today in the morning hours as the Tigers continued attacking troops at Muhamalai Forward Defense Line (FDL), security sources revealed. more..

More food items sent to Jaffna for Navarathri

Oct 4 (GDI) The important Hindu festival Navarathri could be celebrated with style in the North, thanks to the special supply of the essential food items sent by the government. The government had taken steps to ensure that Navarathri festival was held with happiness and joy by the people in Jaffna. Shipment of a necessary food items needed to celebrate the festival were sent in advance. more..

Religious and political leaders points out the responsibility of the people

Oct 4 (GDI) Religious and political leaders pointed out that the responsibility of the people is to extend their maximum support to the government and security forces. Since this is a time the troops are engaged in retaliatory operations to maintain national security defeating terrorism decisively. more..

Govt expands development projects in irrigation

Oct 4 (GDI) Development of the irrigation sector has been a long awaited by the civilians in the eastern quarters of Sri Lanka. Thus, the expanded projects on Sri Lankan irrigation have been a promise in the President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s "Mahinda Chinthenaya". The department of Irrigation has been allowed to allocate Rs. 2196.8 million for their budget in the year 2006 for these purposes. more..

Govt will decide on peace talks after studying LTTE response

Oct 4 (GDI) The Government will announce its response with regard to the commencement of peace talks after careful scrutiny of the LTTE's reaction to the Government offer for talks shortly. Earlier the government proposed that the talks be held either on October 30 or November 10 and the LTTE suggested three days from October 28 to 30. more..

The Tamil Tiger scandal becomes an election issue in the campaign against Congressman Davis in Illinois

Oct 4 (AT) Republican Congressional candidate Charles Hutchinson has made Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers an election issue against the incumbent Democratic Congressman Danny Davies for his strange friendship with the terrorist group. Charles Hutchinson a complete newcomer in politics is locked up in a tight race with the veteran Congressman Danny Davies for the U.S. Congressional seat more..

A contempt for rights: Sri Lanka joins the growing club

Oct 4 (KT) TO HELL with international law on human rights! That appears to be the trend. The US shows the way and we follow. But judging by the body blows the international human rights regime is dealt with in the US and in Sri Lanka, we don’t know who is following whom. Last week, the US Congress passed legislation authorising tough interrogation of terror suspects. more..

LTTE preparing for massive attack, warns JHU

Oct 4 (LNP) Do not be over-joyed and celebrate the victory at Mavil Aru and Sampur among other victories in the north and east. The LTTE is preparing to launch a more serious attack, warned the leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya, Puravidya Chakkravarthi MP Venerable Ellawala Medhananda Nayake Thero yesterday (3) on his return after a tour in the Eastern Sri Lanka. more..

Govt. more concerned over military gains: TNA

Oct 4 (LNP) TNA leader R. Sampanthan yesterday charged the government was more concerned over military gains than the humanitarian needs of the North-East Tamil civilians who face a severe shortage of food, medicine and fuel due to the waning security situation. more..

Muslim youth terrorise Kattankudy

Oct 4 (LNP) Tension prevailed in Kattankudy town yesterday (3) even after the curfew was lifted in the morning. On Monday, during curfew hours 36 houses were attacked and six set ablaze. A group of Muslim youth, in the town known as Wahadis, ordered other Muslims not to perform certain Islamic rituals that had been practised for hundreds of years. more..

Hands off Auditor General, UNP warns Government

Oct 4 (LNP) UNP yesterday accused the government of trying to politicize the Auditor General`s Department. The new UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told a news conference the government was delaying to fill the vacancy that had arisen after the retirement of former Auditor General S. C. Mayadunne and thereby attempting to politicize even the AG`s department. more..

CEB unions threaten blackout

Oct 4 (SAMN) The country faces a blackout on October 17 as the JVP backed Lanka Viduli Sevaka Sangamaya (LVSS)of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) threatens a 24-hour trade union action due to, what they allege as ‘broken Ministerial promises’. LVSS Convener H. A. Ranjan Jayalal said Tuesday the union was forced to take this course of action as Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne had failed to keep the promises he gave them. more..

JVP not to join Govt.

Oct 4 (SAMN) The talks between the SLFP and the JVP Tuesday ended with the JVP deciding not to join the Government, but only offering conditional support according to the agreement reached at the last elections, sources said. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe were not present at the Temple Trees meeting. more..

New botanical gardens for Hambantota

Oct 4 (SAMN) Work on the new botanical gardens at Mirijjawila, Hambantota is to be completed in five years. This is the second botanical garden and the first in the dry zone in the country. The idea to create a botanical garden in Hambantota was taken by Zoological and Botanical Gardens Minister, Bandula Basnayake with the aim of protecting rare plants in the dry zone. more..

Rukman new UNP chairman

Oct 4 (SAMN) The UNP Tuesday appointed Rukman Senanayake as the new party chairman while expelling Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe from the party membership for breaching party discipline by accepting a ministerial portfolio in the Government. The decision was taken at the Working Committee meeting held at ‘Sirikotha’ Tuesday evening. more..

CFA a foolish document - Sangaree

Oct 4 (DN) TULF leader V. Anandasangaree described the CFA as a foolish document which disarmed all para military groups except the LTTE giving the Tigers a free hand to kill its opponents. Speaking to an audience of secretaries, army officers and journalists at IPCS in Delhi, Anandasangaree said that past and present Sri Lankan leaders had ignored his advice of how to deal with the LTTE and driven many Tamils into the clutches of the Tigers. more..

Government ready to help civilians in uncleared areas

Oct 4 (RW) After severe setbacks in MUTTUR, SAMPUR and KATTAPARICHCHAN the LTTE cadres have retreated to KADIRAWELI, VRRUGAL and VAKARAI areas and are constructing sea tiger bases. People in the Tiger control areas in KADIRAWELI, VERUGAL and VAKARAI are waiting for the first opportunity to escape in to the cleared areas since they undergo severe hardships. more..

Statement from Sri Lankan groups regarding the situation of Muslims

Oct 4 (CPA) An often forgotten factor about the situation in Sri Lanka is the position and role of the Muslim community, the second largest minority community in the island and a critical part of the population of the conflict-affected areas of the north and east. While the Muslim population is 8% of the national population of 20 million they account for more than 33% in the East and 18% in a merged North and East. more..

No Indian participation in Sampur power project

Oct 4 (HT) Top Indian sources have denied that India is to participate in the setting up of a 1000 MW coal-fired power plant at Sampur, an area in Trincomalee district in Eastern Sri Lanka, which was recently captured from the LTTE after heavy fighting. Sources in New Delhi told Hindustan Times on Wednesday, that India was interested in a power plant in China Bay, where the Trincomalee harbour is located, and not in Sampur, more..

JVP-SLFP talks collapse

Oct 4 (BBC) The talks between Sri Lanka government and the Peoples Liberation Front (JVP) have collapsed as the government refused to accept three key demands by the JVP. JVP General Secretary, Tilvin Silva, said the party decided not to join the government led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. However, the JVP will support the government while sitting in the opposition, he said. more..

Air attacks dim Sri Lanka peace talk hopes

Oct 4 (AFP) Sri Lankan air raids against Tamil Tiger rebels dimmed prospects of early peace talks between the two sides despite fresh attempts by Norway to avert a return to full-scale war, officials said. Israeli-built Kfir war planes pounded an area held by Tamil Tigers even as Oslo's top envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer was in the area meeting with the guerrilla leadership, the rebels said. more..

Sri Lankan government mulls Tamil Tiger peace talks offer

Oct 4 (AP) Sri Lanka's government Wednesday was mulling whether to resume peace talks with separatist Tamil rebels after a spokesman for the insurgents said they were ready for unconditional negotiations to end months of bloodshed. "We have said that we are ready for talks. We have not placed any conditions and neither has the government," rebel spokesman, Daya Master, told more..

Sri Lanka flags off two new power plants in Kerawalapitiya

Oct 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka will flag off two new power plants in Kerawalapitiya, at least one of them run to on liquefied natural gas. But the island is still looking down the barrel of power cuts over the next two years. Sri Lanka’s energy demand is expected to grow at about eleven percent each year to keep pace with economic growth of eight percent, but in the short term, has no new power projects coming on board. more..

Air force pound rebel positions in north; bomb recovered in capital

Oct 4 (AP) Sri Lanka's air force bombed Tamil Tiger rebels' mortar positions in the embattled north on Wednesday, a day after the insurgents agreed to peace talks with the government but warned that further military action would see them pull out of a shaky four-year-old cease-fire. Separately, police in the capital, Colombo, discovered a powerful bomb in a garbage dump that was apparently being stored for future use, more..

Sri Lanka peace effort hits fresh snags

Oct 4 (AFP) Norway's bid to coax Sri Lanka's government and Tamil Tiger rebels back to the negotiating table has hit more snags with the two sides still at odds over dates and a venue, diplomats said. Oslo's special peace envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer was in fresh talks with Sri Lankan officials to try to set a date, a day after the LTTE failed to commit itself to any timing for negotiations. more..

Sri Lanka raids rebels, finds bomb after talks vow

Oct 4 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's air force pounded Tamil Tiger positions in the island's far north and a powerful roadside bomb was defused in the capital on Wednesday, officials said, a day after the rebels agreed to crunch peace talks. The military said Israeli-made Kfir fighter jets struck rebel targets in and around the northern Jaffna peninsula, saying it was responding to Tiger artillery fire. more..

Marxists protest Norwegian involvement in Sri Lanka peace process

Oct 4 (DPA) A Marxist movement considered a key ally of Sri Lanka's government on Wednesday demonstrated in Colombo against Norway's involvement in the country's peace process. The protest came as the visiting Norwegian peace envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer was making fresh attempts to get the government and the Tamil rebels of the LTTE to resume stalled peace talks. more..

Nandana was not a JVP member - Tilvin

Oct 4 (LeN) Mr. Tilvin de Silva the general secretary of the JVP says that Kalutara District JVP parliamentarian Mr. Nandana Gunatilleke was not a member of the JVP. At a media briefing held this morning to inform the media how the JVP will conduct its affairs with the government; the JVP secretary divulged the above. more..

A censorship with buttering

Oct 4 (LeN) The high ups in the private sector media organizations complain that there is a censorship in force though not officially announced. The censorship is imposed in a friendly manner using intimate words such as 'malli' (brother). Pressure has been exerted on the high ups of the private media organizations from the very top of the administration not to be critical of irregularities more..

Government-condoned militia abducting hundreds on Sri Lanka's east coast

Oct 4 (AP) A feared militia along Sri Lanka's volatile eastern coast has abducted hundreds of men and boys - some as young as 12 - and is training them for combat in camps operated with the government's consent, witnesses and officials said. The so-called K-faction takes its forced recruits to rudimentary thatched-roofed bases near army compounds where they are used as laborers or taught to use weapons, more..

Catholics, others in Sri Lanka march in ‘Little Rome’ protesting escalating hostilities

Oct 5 (UCAN) Sri Lanka's "Little Rome" resounded to chants of "No war, but peace!" as religious leaders and 4,000 people of various faiths marched Sept. 30 to demonstrate against renewed fighting between government forces and Tamil rebels. Giving the demand for peace a human face was the placard "No more widows," waved by H.G. Piyavathi, 40, a member of an association of fisher folk. more..

Sri Lanka agrees to crunch talks with rebels

Oct 5 (Reuters) Sri Lanka agreed on Wednesday to hold peace talks with the Tamil Tigers in Geneva on October 28-30, amid fears the worst violence since a 2002 truce could spiral into full-blown civil war. The Tigers committed to talks on Tuesday, but sporadic fighting continued on Wednesday as the Air Force pounded rebel positions in the island's far north and a powerful roadside bomb was defused in the capital Colombo. more..

Dilshan ready for Sri Lanka role

Oct 5 (BBC) Tillakaratne Dilshan is ready to bat higher up the Sri Lanka order in the ICC Champions Trophy in India. Dilshan has recently been batting at five, having spent most of his career at six or seven - and he is willing to go further up if coach Tom Moody wants. "When chasing, in the last few years I have normally gone in when the asking run rate has been more than six. more..

The JVP says their discussions with the ruling party broke down on the disagreement of three vital issues

Oct 5 (AT) Since the governing SLFP and the JVP could not agree upon three major issues the JVP - SLFP talks broke down said Tilvin Silva the General Secretary of the JVP. The immediate result of the break down of the talks would mean that the country’s third largest political party would not be accepting ministerial position in the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration that it helped to put into power at the last Presidential elections. more..

Tamilselvam threatens to leave peace talks permanently if Sri Lankan Army does not stop its offensive

Oct 5 (AT) In a media interview held in Killinochchi, S. P. Tamilselvam, former bodyguard of Velupillai Prabhakaran and current head of the Political Wing of the LTTE said: "We have today informed Norway very clearly that if the offensive campaigns against our people are pursued by the Sri Lanka Army, then we will leave the peace talks permanently until the aggressive Sri Lanka Army leaves our homeland area. more..

To talk or not to talk, that is the question

Oct 5 (AT) Of course they must talk. It’s by far the only option for both sides, and it is the correct option rather than killing each other and innocent Sinhalese and Tamil people in the process. While talks must commence and proceed until a political solution could be worked out amongst all parties, it is well for all parties to remember British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s contention in regard to Iraq that "it is sometimes necessary to have war in order to bring peace". more..

Seminar on Expressways

Oct 5 (AT) In view of the high priory given by the Government of Sri Lanka for Development of Highways, the Chamber of Construction Industry is hosting the seminar on Expressways to enhance awareness on expressway construction and financial structuring of expressway construction. As Sri Lanka lack hands on experience in expressway construction, Chamber has obtained the services of a distinguished panel of international experts on the subject of ‘Expressways’ more..

The govt unveils Ampara District livelihood development plan to assist the tsunami-affected masses

Oct 5 (AT) The District Secretary of Ampara, behalf of the Government of SriLanka officially launched the Divisional Livelihood Development Plans for the nine Tsunami affected divisions of Ampara: Addalachchenai, Akkarapattu, Kalmunai Muslim, Kalmunai Tamil, Karative , Ninthavur, Pothuvil, Sainthamarudu, and Thirukkovil, at Ampara on last Monday. more..

State media heads changed

Oct 5 (LeN) Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation Chairman Newton Gunaratne has handed over his resignation letter to Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa. When asked about his resignation, Gunaratne told 'Lanka e News' that he has served in the electronic media for 43 years and is resigning on health grounds as he has reached 65 years. more..

JVP should be 'flexible'

Oct 5 (BBC) The JVP should be ‘flexible’ in its approach towards national question, a senior JVP leader said. Parliamentarian Nandana Gunathilake said the present JVP demands for joining the government should have been put forward when Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected in November last year. “We should be flexible on Norway and Cease Fire Agreement (CFA). It is not a reality at present,” the JVP presidential candidate of 1999 told BBC Sandeshaya. more..

Sri Lankans snap up new Audis amidst new levies

Oct 5 (LBO) Sri Lankans are still snapping up luxury cars like Audi’s despite stiff government taxes, to discourage vehicle sales and curb fuel consumption, officials said. Audi's local dealer, Senok Automobile, is seeing buying interest for the new Audi A4 and A6 models, a fortnight after the government slapped a 5-percent import cess. more..