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State and non-state terrorism in Sri Lanka

Nov 11 (TC) The remark by US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is currently a frontrunner in the November 2008 Presidential election, during the interview Michael Tomasky had with her for ‘The Guardian’ daily (23 October 2007) that “you can’t lump all terrorists together” alarmed some Sri Lankans backing the government's war against LTTE terrorism. In the interview, she specifically referred to the LTTE whose violent actions are motivated by a political ideology. more..

Top govt. figure to be quizzed on A’pura attack

Nov 11 (LD) The CID is to question a co-ordinating officer of a government VIP regarding the recent LTTE attack on the Anuradhapura air base. A high ranking police officer said investigations have revealed that this Co-ordinating Secretary had allegedly given the contract to a person named Pradeepan, a suspect with LTTE connections, to supply soil for the Anuradhapura Air Force airstrip expansion project. more..

Chidambaram visiting Sri Lanka today

Nov 11 (PTI) Finance Minister, P Chidambaram, will arrive here Sunday for a brief visit during which he will meet Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapakse, and other leaders. Chidambaram is visiting Colombo to deliver the Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture on Sunday. Chidambaram, who will be on a working visit, will also have a brief meeting with the Sri Lankan President and Foreign Minister, Rohita Bogollagama, according to sources. more..

Sri Lanka to decide Atapattu's future

Nov 11 (AAP) Sri Lankan cricket board officials will discuss sending outspoken opener Marvan Atapattu home after the former skipper labelled the team's selectors "muppets headed by a joker". Atapattu made the comments on Saturday night after scoring 51 and 16 during the first Test against Australia at the Gabba. Sri Lanka resumed on Sunday morning on day four at 2-80 in their second innings, forced to follow on after trailing by 340 runs on the first innings. more..

Socialists condemn latest killings in Sri Lanka

Nov 11 (SPA) Since the so-called peace process collapsed this year, heavy fighting has resumed between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Army. An air attack on 22 October on Anurathapura air base by the LTTE was hailed in the North. Similarly, the 2 November killing of a leading LTTE member, Tamilchelvan, was celebrated by the Singala chauvinist government as a major victory. “We condemn both,” said Siritunga Jayasuria, secretary of the United Socialist Party (USP), more..

Lankan VIPs who are in danger, stay at home

Nov 11 (LP) Brig. (Retd.) Neville Fernando says… In the present context, heavily guarded politicians are in no way a national asset. If they are in so much danger, that they cannot move around in public places, without being accompanied by 10 to 15 guards each and so many pilot and escort vehicles, then it is better they stayed at home. Just imagine the amount of money spent on these servants of ours. more..

Krishnan confirm death threat by Asian Tribune editor

Nov 11 (ISL) S. Krishnan of the TVMP in an interview has confirmed the reported news in the Sri Lankan ‘Sunday Leader’ that Asian Tribune editor K T Rajasingam based in Sweden has conspired to kill him if he returned to Sri Lanka. In the extracts of tapped telephone conversation filed by Suranimala in a weekly investigative column in the ‘Sunday Leader’ (11/11) it has been quoted as K T Rajasingam saying "We must do something there to Krishnan before he comes," (i.e., to Colombo). more..

Shocking Sunday Leader article on Karuna Amman - Asian Tribune - President connection

Nov 11 (ISL) Evidence has surfaced of an elaborate plan by the government to dump Karuna who was becoming an embarrassment to the Rajapakse regime, given the heightened international focus on gross human rights violations and to replace him with Pillayan. Karuna who waged an internecine and bloody war in the east was smuggled out of the country by the government on a forged diplomatic passport and arrived in the UK on September 18. more..

'President is seeking to centralize all country`s powers and funds to himself and family'

Nov 11 (ISL) Right from the beginning, President Rajapakse has been doing one thing properly, that is centralising all the country’s powers and funds to himself and his family. Utilising and appropriating Treasury funds without Parliamentary approval, ignoring the position that Parliament is the supreme representative body and, only it is vested with such powers, said UNP Parliamentarian John Ameratunge. more..

Sri Lanka Booker Tate sugar project comes under fire

Nov 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's environmentalists, civil society and academics are opposing attempts to destroy remaining forest cover in the island and plant sugar cane, a crop that is associated with poverty and repeated failure in the island. Environmental charities are campaigning to stop the latest state-backed cane project promoted by a company called IMS Holdings which is trying to plant sugar cane in 23,000 hectares of state land in Sri Lanka's Uva-Wellassa area. more..

Electricity for 78% by end of next year

Nov 11 (GDI) The Government has completed a total of 5,525 rural electrification projects at a cost of Rs. 13.2 billion, provided by the Asian Development Bank, China and Sweden, Minister of Power and Energy, W.D.J.Seneviratne said yesterday (10th). Accordingly close to a hundred thousand people who had no electricity for the past 20 years have benefitted, the Minister said. more..

'We are not going to be easy pushovers' - Bayliss

Nov 11 (CI) Trevor Bayliss, the Sri Lanka coach, expressed confidence that his team could bat out a draw against Australia in the first Test at the Gabba. On a rain-interrupted fourth day Sri Lanka finished on 218 for 5, and need 122 more to avoid an innings defeat. "We'll be looking to go out with the same attitude we had today, that is to set ourselves to bat all day," Bayliss said. "If we can bat for two sessions we could be in front by tea time. more..

Old-fashioned Vandort proves his worth

Nov 11 (CI) The last time Michael Vandort was in Australia he briefly became a comedy figure for his performance in his only one-day international. Chasing Australia's 318 in Melbourne last year, Vandort opted for the type of crease occupation Sunil Gavaskar preferred in the inaugural World Cup and has not been picked in a limited-overs fixture since the sleep-inducing 48 off 117 balls. more..

SLAF goes all out for Prabhakaran - Commander

Nov 11 (LNP) The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) will go all out to get rid of the LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran soon. SLAF Commander Air Marshal Roshan Goonatilleke told the `Sunday Observer` that it was not a difficult task for the SLAF to get at Prabhakaran as he was confined to a very limited area of land in the Wanni. `I do not think it is that difficult for us to get at him now. We will find him somehow soon. We need a great deal of patience`, he said. more..

Fireworks at COPE

Nov 11 (LNP) Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) sessions on Tuesday turned stormy once more, leading to a serious exchange of words between Minister Dilan Perera who was chairing the meeting and Development Lotteries Board Chairman, Sarana Gunawardene, The Nation learns. Inside sources told The Nation that the fireworks started after Gunawardene refused to furnish certain details the COPE required, when the DLB matter came up for discussion and inquiry. more..

SL ties with Britain dip

Nov 11 (SAMN) Britain’s relations with Sri Lanka have taken a nose-dive after breakaway LTTE rebel leader Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias ‘Karuna Amman’ was arrested near London and found to have entered the United Kingdom on a Sri Lankan diplomatic passport issued by its Foreign Ministry and containing bogus bio-data. The Foreign Ministry in Colombo is reported to have issued a Third Person Note (TPN), a diplomatic letter of recommendation from one Government to another. more..

Court martial for guilty peacekeepers

Nov 11 (SAMN) The peacekeepers accused of securing sexual services from minors in Haiti, in exchange for money, will be court-martialled, if found guilty, Military Spokesperson Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said Triggered by the United Nations’ zero-tolerance policy against sexual abuse, the UN Security Council and the Government launched two separate investigations on the 108 Sri Lankan peacekeepers to probe the allegations of sexual misconduct. more..

Mosques call for urgent meeting

Nov 11 (SAMN) Muslim religious and civil organisations are contemplating their next step, following last week’s Supreme Court order which banned the usage of loudspeakers from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., which has also enraged the community. Informed sources said representatives from some 35 mosques in the Eastern Province will congregate at the Sammanthurai Grand Mosque to discuss necessary legal measures to be taken against this ruling. more..

Bond money: Robbing Peter to pay Paul

Nov 11 (SAMN) The Government has used the US$ 500 million raised from issuing dollar bonds to settle its internal debts in contravention of its original claim that money will be utilised for collosal infrastructure projects, highly placesd sources said, claiming that the Government had settled a Rs.30 billion overdraft of the Central Bank and Rs.22 billion of the People’s Bank and Bank of Ceylon with the bond money. more..

Steeped in superstition

Nov 11 (LB) President Mahinda Rajapaksa came to Parliament on Wednesday to announce the Government’s 2008 budget. The auspicious time for the presentation was 9.42 am. As Rajapaksa walked into the well of the House and took his seat next to Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, Minister Sarath Kumara Gunaratna who was behind the President suddenly yelled “Jaya Sri Wewa, Mr President!” A few SLFP backbenchers were also heard shouting “Jaya Sri”. more..

Offensives timed for budget

Nov 11 (LB) It is still a mind boggling question as to whether the military operation ahead of the security forces Forward Defence Lines (FDL) on Wednesday, on the eve of the budget was a pure coincidence. Only a handful of the men - both in the political and military echelons- will know the truth. The rest of the nation, including the men who fought a pitched battle in the Tiger territory in the early hours of Wednesday could only hope their sacrifices are not in vain. more..

Sadly, Nowak was right on torture

Nov 11 (LB) “Though the Government has disagreed, in my opinion the high number of indictments for torture filed by the Attorney General’s Office, the number of successful fundamental rights cases decided by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, as well as the high number of complaints that the National Human Rights Commission continues to receive on an almost daily basis indicates that torture is widely practiced in Sri Lanka.” more..

Tissa Tigers, Kirinda Tigers spread terror

Nov 11 (LB) Police believe that the mysterious group creating havoc in remote hamlets in Tissamaharama could be a small team of Tiger cadres who were stranded in the jungle, following the collapse of the Tiger stronghold in the East. Two bodies of villagers with cut injuries were found in the jungles last week, days after the killing of three villagers down South. Both men had their throats slit by their assassins. more..

Five top UNP MPs to cross over

Nov 11 (SO) Five more senior UNP parliamentarians will join the Government when the vote on the budget is taken in parliament, Minister of Plantation Industries D. M. Jayaratne told the Sunday Observer. These UNP Parliamentarians have vehemently opposed the statement by UNP spokesman Lakshman Kiriella that "any bull can fight a war" and added that it was a great insult to the brave soldiers who fought against the LTTE terrorists in the North and East, the Minister said. more..

Govt. compelled to carry the burden of past misdeeds - Basil

Nov 11 (SO) Excerpts of the speech made during budget debate in Parliament on Friday. "Hon Speaker, first of all I am very thankful to the Government Parliamentary Group and especially to the Chief Government Whip of Parliament for giving me this opportunity of present Budget Debate on behalf of the Government. However, I would not begin my speech by replying the Member for Kegalle who spoke before me because he had unwillingly criticised the President more..

Mahindapuram to be Douglaspuram?

Nov 11 (NS) The controversy over the naming of a housing scheme in Jaffna after President Mahinda Rajapaksa came up before the Cabinet on Wednesday. The housing scheme had been built in Jaffna, under the auspices of Minister Douglas Devananda. Minister Devananda told the Cabinet that it gives him pleasure to call the housing scheme ‘Mahindapuram.’ The President, who smilingly looked at Devananda, said that he didn’t want anything named after him and more..

Energy Minister takes on BOI Chief

Nov 11 (NS) Power and Energy Minister John Seneviratne on Wednesday chided Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Dhammika Perera saying that he was interfering with the affairs of the Power and Energy Ministry. He made these observations when he presented a Cabinet paper seeking approval to set up a 200MW power plant on heavy fuel. Minister Seneviratne said that the BOI Chairman was a heavy investor in hydro power projects. more..

Thamilselvan’s killing: more than just a landmark victory

Nov 11 (NS) Coming as it did in the aftermath of the Tigers’ successful ground and air attack on the Anuradhapura Air Force base, Thamilselvan’s death did at least serve an important purpose: it proved in no uncertain terms, that the Air Force was not a spent force with regard to its attacking capabilities. Moreover, it raised the morale of the armed forces which was coming to terms with the losses at Anuradhapura. more..

JHU calls for Karuna’s protection in London

Nov 11 (NS) The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) yesterday called on the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry to intervene and facilitate the necessary security arrangements for the deported leader of the TMVP, Karuna Amman, since the British government was conspiring to murder the renegade LTTE commander, in order to help the LTTE’s cause. The JHU Media Spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe told The Nation that the British government was refusing to provide security to Karuna Amman, more..

JVP holds the key on Budget

Nov 11 (ST) It was the crack of dawn on Wednesday when video crews, photographers, reporters and foreign correspondents gathered at the Information Department at Narahenpita. After short-eats and tea, some two hours later, they boarded a bus to cover an event some three and half-hours away. The route taken by the bus reminded one of the old adage Parangiya Kotte Giya Wagey (or the circuitous route the invading Portuguese took to Kotte). more..

Muhamalai : The attack and the withdrawal

Nov 11 (ST) One of the vagaries of war in any part of the world is how successes and failures follow each other. However, in Sri Lanka this axiom assumes greater significance. It speaks of how the undeclared Eelam War IV is intensifying to higher levels. That is notwithstanding the three mechanisms put in place to prevent such escalation. They are the Ceasefire Agreement of February 2002, the resultant presence of Scandinavian monitors to oversee it and the peace process. more..

Three new ‘green taxes’ coming

Nov 11 (ST) Customers buying items, including mobile phones, televisions, electrical items and computers which could be recycled later, will have to pay a tax as recycling charges from next year. The levy known as the ‘green cess’ is part of the Budget and will be implemented when the required regulations are passed in parliament, according to Central Environmental Authority (CEA) Chairman Udaya Gammanpila. more..

Dissecting budget: Who says what

Nov 11 (ST) It’s going to be a bleak new year for consumers with the cost of living soaring higher and higher and the budget offering little by way of relief. According to the Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute the prices of many essential items have increased many fold since last year. The prices of rice, dried chillies, onions, eggs and some varieties of fruit have increased by as much as 55% in a brief period of just one year. more..

Sri Lanka planning artificial insemination of elephants

Nov 11 (PTI) As part of its efforts to boost the population of elephants, which are facing an uncertain future in the wake of rapid deforestation, Sri Lanka is planning to undertake artificial insemination process at its unique elephant orphanage in Pinnawela, about 80 kms northeast of Colombo enroute to this heritage city. The orphanage, which came into being with just seven elephants in 1975 with the aim of helping deserted baby elephants, now has 82 elephants, more..

Vandort, rain and bad light frustrate Australia

Nov 11 (CI) Michael Vandort gave Australia's new-look attack its first real examination, forcing the players to work a full five-day week with his resilient 82 before he became Stuart MacGill's 200th Test wicket. Australia had set out to wrap up the first Test within four days but Vandort, regular rain breaks and bad light denied them a free Monday in Brisbane. When the umpires offered Sri Lanka the light the visitors had reached 5 for 218 with Chamara Silva on 5 and Prasanna Jayawardene yet to score. more..

Sri Lanka selector ignores 'joker' remark

Nov 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka's chief selector Asantha de Mel on Sunday declined to comment after being called a "joker" by senior batsman Marvan Atapattu during the ongoing opening Test in Australia. "I do not want to comment and I want to ignore his comments. All that I am keen as the chief selector is to see Sri Lankan batsmen save the Test," de Mel told AFP. Sri Lanka are struggling to salvage a draw in the first Test in Brisbane more..

Canada, Netherlands and Germany stop all development aid to Sri Lanka

Nov 11 (LNP) Three donor countries Canada, Netherlands and Germany, have decided to freeze all development aid to Sri Lanka with effect from January next year, highly placed sources said. These countries have informed some of the local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that they would not be diverting their monetary allocation to Sri Lanka as there was a severe lack of development projects aimed at building peace and harmony in Sri Lanka at present. more..

President defies West, will go to Iran

Nov 11 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will go ahead with his visit to Iran later this month amidst denials by the US that it had requested him not to travel to the country. The United States, increasingly agitated by defiant Teheran proceeding with its controversial Uranium enrichment programme, which many in the west see as heading in the direction of building atomic weapons, recently intensified its sanctions against that country along with its war of words, claiming that it has not removed the military option from the table. more..

12 rebels, 1 soldier killed in clashes in northern Sri Lanka, military says

Nov 11 (AP) Clashes between troops and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels left 12 guerrillas and one soldier dead in Sri Lanka's restive north, the military said Sunday as the air force chief reportedly vowed to target reclusive rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. Soldiers pushed into rebel territory in the northern Mannar district Saturday and attacked a line of bunkers, killing nine insurgents, a military official said on condition of anonymity, citing government rules. more..

LTTE's new political chief keen on reaching out to India

Nov 11 (HT) P Nadesan, the Tamil Tigers' new political commissar, wants to reach out to India and mend fences with it, says a Sri Lankan Tamil MP, who talked to him last week. "Nadesan has always been of the view that the Sri Lankan Tamil movement led by the LTTE should have the support of India. He reiterated this position when we met him after the funeral of Tamilselvan," Suresh Premachandran, a TNA MP told Hindustan Times more..

Sri Lanka vows to eliminate Tiger supremo: report

Nov 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka's military has vowed to go "all out" to target Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran during air strikes on rebel positions, a state-run newspaper reported Sunday. Air Force chief Roshan Goonatilleke said he was confident of finding the elusive leader who is believed to be holed up in the island's north where he runs a mini-state. The comments, in the Sunday Observer newspaper, come less than two weeks after a key rebel aide was killed in a government air strike. more..

LTTE's new political chief keen on reaching out to India

Nov 11 (HT) P Nadesan, the Tamil Tigers' new political commissar, wants to reach out to India and mend fences with it, says a Sri Lankan Tamil MP, who talked to him last week. "Nadesan has always been of the view that the Sri Lankan Tamil movement led by the LTTE should have the support of India. He reiterated this position when we met him after the funeral of Tamilselvan," Suresh Premachandran, a TNA MP told Hindustan Times more..

Sri Lanka vows to eliminate Tiger supremo: report

Nov 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka's military has vowed to go "all out" to target Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran during air strikes on rebel positions, a state-run newspaper reported Sunday. Air Force chief Roshan Goonatilleke said he was confident of finding the elusive leader who is believed to be holed up in the island's north where he runs a mini-state. The comments, in the Sunday Observer newspaper, come less than two weeks after a key rebel aide was killed in a government air strike. more..

Sports give Sri Lankan refugees a reason to smile

Nov 12 (ZN) Life of a refugee can be quite hard, especially for those from Sri Lanka living in India, as they have to undergo constant mental agony with news of battle and death pouring in from the island nation. But a novel initiative, by an NGO formed by the refugees and the Tamil Nadu government, is aiming to bring in a whiff of fresh air in their battered lives. more..

Time for action? Murali's feats thrown into confusion by ICC expert

Nov 12 (IS) Any day now, one of the greatest of all cricket records will be broken. It has changed hands regularly in the past 10 years but this time it will be different, this time the man holding it will do so for an extremely long time. For ever should not be ruled out. As of yesterday, Muttiah Muralitharan, the Sri Lankan off-spinner, needed seven more Test wickets to overtake Shane Warne's total of 708. more..

50 Sri Lankan Jobseekers Stranded In Dubai

Nov 12 (AHN) Some 50 Sri Lankan nationals were stranded in Dubai, United Arab Emirates when an international recruitment employment agency abandoned them after promising them a fulfilling job in Italy, Sri Lankan official said Sunday. Deputy general manager of the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau L.K. Ruhunage said, "These people have been promised jobs in Italy and they were made to stay in a hotel in Dubai (on their way to Italy)." more..

Sri Lanka losses 86 mn dollars due to software piracy: IDC

Nov 12 (PTI) Sri Lanka, which has the sixth highest in software piracy rate of the world, has suffered a loss of 86 million dollars in retail revenue earnings. A global study reveals that the Island country has the second highest software piracy rate second in the Asian region and the sixth highest in the world. The study was conducted independently by International Data Corp (IDC), more..

Ayubowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka

Nov 12 (DH) What has Sri Lanka got to make it the ultimate tropical destination? In a word, everything. From misty mountains to tropical rainforests to wildlife sancturies and lush waterfalls — you name it and it is just a few hours drive away from any part of the island. For adventurers, activities abound from rock-climbing, trekking, mountain-biking, canoeing and surfing to more conventional outdoor pastimes like cricket and golf. more..

MDMK to take part in rally to condole LTTE leader's death

Nov 12 (PTI) The MDMK, an ally of the AIADMK which has adopted a tough posture against the banned LTTE, on Sunday said it would defy a police prohibitory order and participate in Monday's rally here, organised by a pro-Tamil Eelam outfit, to mourn the death of LTTE leader S P Tamilselvan. In a statement here, MDMK chief Vaiko alleged that the Centre continued to "betray" Sri Lankan Tamils by supplying radars and weapons to the Lankan Government. more..

Lanka peace talks must include devolution of power: Chidambaram

Nov 12 (PTI) Cautioning that the ongoing armed conflict between the security forces and LTTE will deepen the divisions in Sri Lanka, India on Sunday called for a negotiated political settlement incorporating "credible devolution of powers" to resolve the over two-decade old ethnic problem. "Neither side can finally prevail over the other through conflict. Peace must be forged at the negotiating table and the peace agreement must win a vote of confidence from the people," more..