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Tamil rebels attack military camp in northwest Sri Lanka after civilian deaths warning

Jan 4 (AP) Tamil rebels fired mortars and rocket-propelled grenades at a military camp in northwest Sri Lanka, wounding one soldier, the Defense Ministry said Thursday. The attack late Wednesday on the small camp in Mannar District came just hours after the separatist guerrillas warned the government could face "serious repercussions" for an air raid in the same district that rebel leaders said killed at least 16 civilians, including children. more..

Sri Lanka heads for record tea export growth despite estate worker strikes

Jan 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka shipped a record 28 million kilos of tea in November 2006, amidst weeks' long trade union action that cost over a billion rupees, commodity brokers Asia Siyaka said Thursday. Despite strike action by unions demanding a wage to cope with a soaring costs of living Sri Lanka exported a record 300.3 million kilos of tea from January to November last year a 7-percent on year rise over 2005. more..

Central Bank to limit money printing in 2007

Jan 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Central Bank has set itself tight targets to limit money printing, contain runaway inflation and stabilize the economy in 2007 and has called for fiscal restraint from the government to help meet its objectives. Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said net central bank credit to government would be limited to 11.5 billion in 2007, and the bank would not buy additional treasury bills and print more money. more..

Sea Tiger base in Mullaitivu sustains major damage

Jan 4 (AT) The sea Tiger base in Alampil, Mullaitivu is reported to have sustained major damage, when it came under heavy attack by the Sri Lanka air force today morning, the Media Centre for National Security said. The air force launched air strikes at around 7.15 today morning targeting the Sea Tiger base in Alampil. Although the centre claimed that the base was completely destroyed, there was no immediate independent confirmation on the actual damage. more..

MP urges UN to persuade Colombo on safe-haven

Jan 4 (TN) Batticaloa district Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian, S. Jeyanandamoorthy, has urged Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, to prevail upon the Sri Lankan Government to declare a safe-haven in the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) besieged Vaharai region, for the protection of the civilians from artillery, multi-barrel rocket attacks, and aerial bombardment from the Sri Lankan forces. more..

'Polythene usage ban was implemented after a serious evaluation'

Jan 4 (GDI) “Polythene usage ban was implemented after a serious evaluation,” said the Minister of Environment, Mythripala Sirisena today at media briefing held to disclose the progress of the projects carried out by the Ministry of Environment. The Minister added that the Government did implement this law after leaving a considerable time phase for the people and the Polythene vendors to generate awareness over the law. more..

SLMM pull-out: Government to complain to Co-Chairs

Jan 4 (GDI) The Government is to complain about the unannounced SLMM pull-out from the North-East, closing seven of their district offices, to the Donor Co-Chairs shortly. Defence spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the unceremonious withdrawal of the Nordic monitors has led to an increase in LTTE child proscription and left the parents of abducted children with nowhere to go to lodge a protest. more..

Tiger’s baby brigade cardres continue to surrender

Jan 4 (GDI) Since the LTTE intensified their child recruitment plans amidst the absence of the Nordic Truce Monitors’, three children surrendered to the Government troops since the dawn of 2007. These children, gave-in at two different locations, some of them were abducted by the LTTE few weeks ago and some even earlier. more..

Government to implement mega development scheme in South

Jan 4 (GDI) Government has commenced a mega development scheme to build up the Southern Province of the country. This large-scale development programme will be implemented in the Kamburupitiya Divisional Secretariat area in the year 2007. Among the items included are a new national school, a model Kanishta Vidyalaya and development of other schools in the area. more..

LTTE’s false propaganda to gain international sympathy

Jan 4 (GDI) The Sri Lankan government while rejecting the false information spread by the LTTE on the air strikes on a Sea Tiger base in Mannar said that LTTE is attempting to mislead the international community. The Security Forces yesterday charged that the LTTE was engaged in a vicious campaign against the Security Forces using the civilians held in their captivity. more..

Lanka won’t quit UN-led Haiti mission

Jan 4 (ANN) The firepower and mobility of the army had been considerably bolstered last year. Army Chief Lt. General Sarath Fonseka, early this week, revealed the acquisition of extra firepower as his troops tighten their grip on the Vakarai theatre amidst stepped up forays by the breakaway Karuna faction. Government forces led by Kfir strikes are on the offensive on a wide front with the focus on weakening Sea Tigers capability. more..

British minister refutes LTTE website report

Jan 4 (LeN) Member of Parliament and British Minister Gareth Thomas has refuted a pro-LTTE website report which attributed a report to comments made by him at a function organized by the Tamil community in the country. According to the report the British minister had registered his strong protest against the alleged atrocities of the Sri Lankan armed forces. more..

North-East issue APC chief preparing own proposals

Jan 4 (PISL) Chairman of the All Party Committee (APC), Science and Technology Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana said that he was preparing his own set of proposals to find solutions to the North-East problem, based on the discussions held during the last four months by the APC, appointed for that purpose. He said that he expects to use this set of proposals as a basis for future discussions of the APC and added that representatives of other parties too could make their own proposals. more..

Tigers losing morale in face of military successes - Gotabhaya

Jan 4 (PISL) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse said that the security forces were recording successive victories in the Vakarai area and this had resulted in loss of morale in the LTTE. He said that a large number of LTTE middle level leaders had been either killed or severely wounded in confrontations with the security forces and this had forced the LTTE to retreat. more..

Mannar aerial bombing ignites controversy

Jan 4 (LNP) The Government yesterday insisted that the Air Force targeted a Sea Tiger base in Mannar, even as the UN termed those dead as `civilians` and the rebels warned of serious repercussions. Government Defense spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwelle, meanwhile, called on the international community to put pressure on the LTTE to create a `safe haven` for civilians in the war battered North and East, more..

Isolating LTTE is not the answer

Jan 4 (LNP) The ceasefire agreement of 2002 is almost thrown in to the trash bin in practical sense, with both sides engaging in military activities of considerable magnitude. The LTTE while talking peace has been killing state intelligence officers, informants of the security forces and opponents individually and since December last year they have been launching military attacks against the security forces. more..

Tigers capitalize on lifting of cell phone ban

Jan 4 (LNP) The LTTE attacks in North had increased after permitting the use of mobile phones in the Peninsula again, military sources said yesterday. The government had removed the ban on the use of mobile phones by civilians in the Peninsula from January 1 this year. The use of mobile phones was banned in August last year in the face of increasing LTTE attacks in Jaffna. The Media Center for National Security said that there were number of incident during last three days. more..

Tution giving Govt. teachers beware

Jan 4 (LNP) Teachers in government schools, who give private tuition classes during school hours, will be punished, Minister of Education Susil Premajayantha said. Speaking at a press conference, held at Education Ministry on Tuesday (2), he said instructions to implement this decision were sent to heads of schools and Regional Education Directors. more..

All parties criticise Saddam death

Jan 4 (SAMN) “The execution of Saddam Hussain brought all the Sri Lankan political parties to one table within a short period, sans any differences,” said JVP Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa. He stated this yesterday at a press conference held at the Azaath Sally Foundation where representatives from more than 13 political parties gathered to express their party’s condemnation of this execution. more..

CEB unions threaten blackouts

Jan 4 (SAMN) The Wurthiya Sevaka Ekamuthuwa, a trade union of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), Tuesady warned that if necessary steps are not taken with regard to forcible occupation, by the Sabaragamuwa University undergraduates, of the CEB properties, the union will be compelled to resort to trade union action. more..

Health Ministry stops training nurses

Jan 4 (SAMN) The Health Care and Nutrition Ministry is to give up its involvement in the training of nurses and handover the process to the universities in the island once the recruitment of the last batch of nurses for training is completed by the end of this year. The Health Ministry has been conducting the programme since 2005 to meet the shortage of 15,000 nurses in the island. more..

Bogus engineering student exposed

Jan 4 (DN) A youth who impersonated another student to follow an engineering course at the Moratuwa University was detected by university security officers and handed over to Moratuwa Police. Investigations revealed that the bogus student had assumed the name of a genuine student to gain entry to the university. more..

Inauguration of multi-hazard and tsunami early warning system at Hikkaduwa

Jan 4 (DN) The ceremonial inauguration of 'Multi-Hazard and Tsunami Warning System' installed at a strategic point on the beach stretch just in front of the underwater marine sanctuary adjoining the Coral Gardens Hotel, Hikkaduwa coincided with the completion of two year period since the day of tsunami. more..

APC chief preparing own proposals

Jan 4 (DM) Chairman of the All Party Committee (APC), Science and Technology Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana said that he was preparing his own set of proposals to find solutions to the North-East problem, based on the discussions held during the last four months by the APC, appointed for that purpose. more..

Police initiate new security programme in Colombo

Jan 4 (DM) A special programme to enhance the Colombo’s security by collecting public information was initiated yesterday by the Police Headquarters.The programme was first launched in Wellawatta area yesterday where information from people and residents of all the domestic, commercial and public establishments were collected by the area police station. more..

Sri Lankan Mobile Phone Industry Moves To GSM

Jan 4 (Bernama) Sri Lanka's cellular mobile networks -- driven largely by Telekom Malaysia's local subsidiary -- have reached yet another milestone by becoming totally GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) at the end of 2006. This major step was achieved with the cooperation extended by the operators to the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), the country's telecom regulator, according to a TRC statement on Wednesday. more..

Jayawardene demands more

Jan 4 (ECB) Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has urged his players to “take responsibility” in the fourth one-day international of the National Bank Series against New Zealand on Saturday. The tourists went 2-1 down in the series following their four-wicket defeat in the third encounter in Christchurch earlier this week. more..

Three Sri Lanakans arrested in Thailand for credit card fraud

Jan 4 (LT) Three Sri Lankans, members of an international racketeer gang, have been arrested for a credit card fraud in Pucket area in Thailand. Gnanakanthan Sivagnanam, Weerasingham Srikanth and Ganesh Murthi are the Sri Lankan thus arrested and a large number of forged credit cards have been seized from their possession. more..

Farah III: No talks with LTTE

Jan 4 (SAMN) The Government said Tuesday it was not ready to negotiate with the LTTE to seek the release of the Jordanian vessel ‘Farah lll’ which remained in rebel custody in Mullaitivu but warned it would take appropriate action at the appropriate time. According to sources the appropriate action may include either removing the ship by force or leaving it in LTTE custody. more..

Inter-faith mobilization against coal-fired plants

Jan 4 (AN) Sri Lanka’s religious communities have joined forces in a campaign against the construction of the country’s first coal power plant and the disastrous impact it could have on the environment and the people. The protest took place on 29 December, starting with a peaceful march of more than 2,000 people in Puttalam, north-west Sri Lanka. more..

Gov't to propose solution to conflict in 2 months

Jan 4 (Xinhua) The government will come up with its solution to the island's separatist armed conflict within the next two months, the government chief peace negotiator with the Tamil Tiger rebels said Thursday. Nimal Siripala De Silva, the minister of Health said that the country cannot move forward without a meaningful set of devolution proposals as a solution to the over-two-decade-long armed conflict in the north and east. more..

Sri Lanka says bombs rebel naval base in new strike

Jan 4 (Reuters) Sri Lankan jets bombed a Tamil Tiger naval base in the north of the island on Thursday in a third consecutive day of air strikes despite United Nations calls for an end to the fighting. The military said the Tiger base in the rebel-controlled Mullaittivu area had been destroyed in the bombardment, which followed a similar raid in the east on Wednesday. more..

Apparel exporters cry foul over hike in shipping handling fees

Jan 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's clothing exporters are protesting against shipping lines' decision to increase fees for handling goods out of the island by as much as 35 percent. Starting January 1, the Terminal Handling Charge or THC for a 20 foot container goes up from 115 dollars to 155 dollars, while 40 foot container costs 32 percent more at 245 dollars, the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) said Friday. more..

Corporate governance code to be made mandatory from April for listed firms

Jan 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's securities regulator will include a revised corporate governance code into the Colombo bourse' listing requirements, making it mandatory for quoted companies to adopt the rules from April onwards. Drawn up by the Securities a& Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC), the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) and the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE), the rules will be implemented in two stages, more..

Minister of Labour Relations requests for a private sector salary increase

Jan 5 (GDI) Minister of Labour Relations Athauda Senevirathne, requested the private sector entrepreneurs to take necessary steps to increase the salaries of their employees, at a meeting held yesterday at the Ministry premises. Minister said that he requests this after considering many of the hardships faced by the private sector employees due to the increasing cost of living and stated that rapid steps needed to be taken to increase the salaries. more..

More assistance to the resettling people in North and East

Jan 5 (GDI) In expanding the assistance further than just providing essential items to the North and East provinces, the authorities have launched an immediate programme to provide the displaced civilians with ‘Housing Grants’ and ‘Livelihood Assistant’, Ministry of Rehabilitation states. A sum of Rs. 25,000 is granted for livelihood assistance when these displaced people are resettled inn their villages. more..

SLAF bombs a LTTE boat factory in Mullaithivu

Jan 5 (GDI) A key Sea Tiger facility in the Northeastern coast of the island was targeted and bombed by the Sri Lankan Air Force, this morning (05). As per the available defence reports, this Sea Tiger base was located at Wilawaththai in Mullaithivu where the long term air surveillances proved that it was a LTTE boat manufacturing factory and a boatyard of the LTTE. more..

National Schools concept to be abolished

Jan 5 (GDI) The Ministry of Education has decided to re-categorize the schools in the island. The ministry will abolish the concept of National Schools and will be categorised all the schools as primary and secondary schools. Minister of Education Susil Premajayantha stated that the schools would be categorized as primary or secondary according to international standards. more..

SLBC celebrates 40 years of success

Jan 5 (GDI) Being the pioneer radio station in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Cooperation (SLBC) celebrates her 40th birthday today. In celebrating this event, the SLBC officially opened a New Museum for the conservation of records, thus preserving the memory of persons who contributed for the development of the SLBC to stand as the pioneer radio channel in Sri Lanka. more..

A Special Task Force to prepare young athletes for the future

Jan 5 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa stressed the urgent need to form a Presidential Special Task Force to take charge of the youngsters aiming to prepare them for a successful future in the sports arena. The President stated this, addressing the felicitation ceremony for the medal winners of the 10th South Asian Games and the 15th Asian Games held under his patronage, yesterday at the Temple Trees. more..


Jan 5 (GDI) The Cabinet of Ministers approved a Memorandum presented by Hon Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Minister of Mass Media and Information to Establishment of a Film and Teledrama Development Fund. In the Budget for 2006 presented to the Parliament on 08th December 2005, H E the President, as Minister of Finance proposed that a special tax would be levied on imported teledramas and films in order to develop the local film and teledrama industry. more..

Establishment of a Film and Teledrama Development Fund

Jan 5 (GDI) The Cabinet of Ministers approved a Memorandum presented by Hon Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Minister of Mass Media and Information to Establishment of a Film and Teledrama Development Fund. In the Budget for 2006 presented to the Parliament on 08th December 2005, H E the President, as Minister of Finance proposed that a special tax would be levied on imported teledramas and films in order to develop the local film and teledrama industry. more..

Priority for skilled labour migration - President

Jan 5 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa asserted that the time has come to re-think our 'Foreign Employment' policy where export of unskilled personnel will be minimised, to be replaced by knowledge-based vocations that earn higher foreign exchange much needed to the country. President made this assertion when he addressed a ceremony at Temple Trees yesterday to mark the handing over of appointment letters to 2,506 Trainee Nurses as part of a programme to recruit 15,000 Trainee Nurses. more..

Tamil civilians victimized in Iluppaikkadavai bombing

Jan 5 (TW) A recurrent feature of the on going “dirty war between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE is the continuous victimisation of innocent Tamil civilians in aerial bombardment and artillery shelling.After these pathetic victims are killed, maimed and injured the state comes out with the usual story that only LTTE positions were targeted and that there were no civilan casualties. more..

A. Y. S. Gnanam, a legend for true “Entrepreneurship”

Jan 5 (TW) I vividly remember the first encounter with Mr. Gnanam on a Monday evening in December 1976. It was the final interview for the post of Group Finance Manager at St. Anthony’s Group. Having gone into all the possible personal information about myself in detail in a very friendly atmosphere, he got on to describe the job. more..

Humanitarian Catastrophe in Sri Lanka

Jan 5 (MO) Tensions have long existed between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil minority populations in Sri Lanka. But they began to veer into violence in 1972 when the Singhalese government declared that the national language would be Singhalese and the national religion Buddhism. These decrees effectively marginalized the Tamil minority in every way, as they were systematically denied access to universities, places in the government, and were widely discriminated against. more..

Sri Lankan military carries out another atrocity against civilians

Jan 5 (wsws) The Sri Lankan military has begun the year with another atrocity as it escalates the war against the LTTE. On Tuesday, the air force bombed a Tamil refugee settlement at Padahuthurai near Illupaikadavai in the northwestern district of Mannar. According to an LTTE spokesman, the air raid killed at least 14 civilians, including men, women and children, and injured another 35, who were taken to hospitals in Mannar and Kilinochchi. more..

Is the LTTE responsible for the downfall of Sri Lankan Tamils?

Jan 5 (ISL) Since 1956, the Tamils of Sri Lanka have been suffering from various forms of discrimination such as being denied admission to Universities and working in government positions. Therefore, the need for and creation of the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) to fight against injustice and for rights that were long denied, was justified. more..

A Case of the Lying Bishop

Jan 5 (ISL) The Holy Father of Mannar Soosaiappar Rayappu also known as the Rt. Rev Joseph Rayappu has come out of his hiding wherever he was, for the last several weeks. It was even wondered whether he had gone somewhere outside the country to receive instructions as to how best he could interact with the LTTE and keep whatever programme that has been conspired, in proper focus and on course. more..

Refugees refuse to go back

Jan 5 (BBC) Refuges who went back to their villages in Seruvila have come back to Kantalai as there is no protection for them. They held a protest in the Kantalai town and said they would not go back until their safety is assured. Kantalai Lankadeepa correspondent,R.G.Dharmadasa told Sandesaya that many women and children were among the protesters. more..