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Claymore attack in Yala

Nov 12 (BBC) Security officials in Sri Lanka say a civilian was killed and another sustained injuries in a claymore mine attack in Yala National Park. Military spokesman Brigadier Uadaya Nanayakkara said the attack happened at Katagamuva, inside the national park, on Saturday evening. Accusing the Tamil Tigers, the spokesman said nothing is confirmed as police and security forces are continuing investigations. more..

Day in the life of a garland maker ~ on Deepavali

Nov 12 (HA) Deepavali- Festival of Lights was celebrated by Hindus around the world on November 8th 2007. People were dressed in new clothes, thronged the temples and visited relatives and friends. Special poojas were performed at the temples. According to the Legends that, Lord Vishnu defeated the demon King Narakasuran, and killed him on this day. Annually this day is celebrated in late October or early November on the new moon. more..

Sri Lanka – Is it reasonable to divide this small house?

Nov 12 (AT) What do I do if my brother’s heart burns with an implacable hatred of me? What do I do if he does not want to share the same house with me? What do I do if he demands a separate part of the house exclusively for himself and his? What if the house is our joint birthright? What if I let him have the area he is asking even if it’s far more than the size of his family warrants? What if he later demands more? more..

Sri Lankan media in crisis: the most corrupt in Asia

Nov 12 (AT) The crisis in the Sri Lankan media is as grave as the crisis facing the nation. The fundamental factor in the crisis is the failure of the growing community of journalists to live up to a basic code of ethics, despite the monitoring mechanisms set up to guide their conduct. The crisis in the media is at various levels. To begin with, it is divided not only into government and opposition camps but is also on ethnic lines. more..

LTTE robbed Tamil people's freedom, says Dr. Kumar Rupasinghe

Nov 12 (LeN) LTTE has robbed the freedom of the Tamil people inheriting only the violance, said Anti War Front Chairman Dr. Kumar Rupasinghe addressing the conference held to launch the people's appeal compiled by 'Prayathna' organization. The conference was held in the Sugathadasa Stadium with the participation of 5000 representatives of the Anti War Front. A People's Charter on peace, democracy and good governance that included twenty major points was submitted for the people's approval. more..

Intengible contribution fits Satha for best legal award?

Nov 12 (LG) South Indian Superstar Rajanikanth’s fans should not have forgotten the hilarious and horrendous meaning for "Professional Ethics" from his latest film "Sivaji". This reminds me of the "professional ethics" Among the winners of UKLanka Times Mr. Sathananthan was honoured for best legal services. Does he deserve such an award for his tangible service is not a question but his intangible service is already put to strict proof? more..

TN govt bans today’s pro-Tiger procession

Nov 12 (TS) Tamil Nadu government today banned a procession condoling the death of slain LTTE leader SP Thamilchelvan, scheduled to be held tomorrow by pro-Eelam parties, following stiff opposition from Congress, supporting the DMK government from outside. While the Tamil nationalist groups, which had arranged the procession, vowed to defy the ban, Union minister and former TNCC president Mr EVKS Elangovan, today asserted that it should be prevented by the state government. more..

'Conflict will deepen divisions in Sri Lanka’

Nov 12 (Hindu) Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Sunday cautioned that continuation of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka would deepen the divisions in society and make a negotiated settlement more difficult. Delivering the second Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture on “Growth prospects in South Asia: Challenges and Opportunities,” he said neither side could finally prevail over the other through conflict. more..

Sri Lanka asks Australia to end Test blackout

Nov 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka's cricket governing body Sunday asked their counterparts in Australia to end the lock out of international media from the ongoing Test series between the two nations. "Our chief executive Duleep Mendis has written to Cricket Australia to see if they can settle the issue", Samantha Algama, the SLC spokesman told AFP. SLC officials said they were seeking international coverage of the Sri Lanka-Australia second Test in Hobart more..

Indian chefs making big bucks in Sri Lanka

Nov 12 (UNI) It's not just Indian IT and other technical skills making waves in Sri Lanka, Indian chefs are also in demand. With Indian cuisine becoming hot there in view of Indian tourists, our culinary talent has a lot of takers. Speciality cooks especially catering to South Indians, Gujaratis and Jains are a prized property in the island nation. From classy restaurants to large hotel chains and product development kitchens, those trained in Indian cuisine have a great career waiting for them. more..

Sri Lankan newspapers forced to go without images because of media rights dispute in Australia

Nov 12 (AP) A Sri Lankan newspaper chose a bold way to illustrate how a media rights dispute between Cricket Australia and the major international news agencies is hurting its coverage of the series. With its national squad in Brisbane, Australia, for the first test match against the world's top-ranked team, Sri Lanka's Sunday Times would usually rely on The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse to supply images. more..

Sri Lanka state loan guarantees rockets up

Nov 12 (LBO) Loan guarantees given by the Sri Lanka government to financial institutions shot up 45 percent in 2007 as the state took over credit risks of large power projects, newly published documents have revealed. Disclosures under Sri Lanka's fiscal responsibility law shows that total loan guarantees given to financial institutions are now about one percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) at 37 billion rupees. more..

Lee spearheads a big Australian win

Nov 12 (CI) Brett Lee helped Australia beat not only Sri Lanka but also the unpredictable Brisbane weather as the hosts rattled out the last five wickets between rain breaks on the final day. Lee claimed 4 for 86 to confirm Australia's 1-0 lead ahead of the second Test in the two-match series, which starts in Hobart on Friday. Australia won their first Test of the post-Warne, McGrath and Langer era by an innings and 40 runs and more..

Old boy Muttiah Muralitharan brings pride to school that nurtured the history maker

Nov 12 (TO) Only two miles from the centre of Sri Lanka’s beautiful second city, a school run by Benedictine monks is preparing for what it believes will be the proudest moment in its 150-year history. There have been many distinguished old boys of St Anthony’s College in Kandy, but some time in the coming days and weeks the most famous of them all is expected to smile his trademark toothy grin, more..

Ponting demands even better at Hobart

Nov 12 (CI) Australia's evolving Test team has flowered in only one match but Ricky Ponting is already demanding it becomes a better outfit than the one that dismantled in January. The innings and 40-run win over Sri Lanka was Ponting's 13th in a row - he needs three to equal the record set by Steve Waugh - and despite the strength of the success he expects more improvement. "There's no reason why not," he said. "This has been a pretty comprehensive performance." more..

Atapattu gets captain's support

Nov 12 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene joined Trevor Bayliss, Sri Lanka's coach, in support of Marvan Atapattu as the veteran opener faced an uncertain cricket future following an outburst in which he branded national selectors as 'a set up muppets headed by a joker'. Atapattu's fate, whether he remains a member of the current Sri Lankan team in Australia, hinges on what action Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) takes over the remarks. more..

Failing to walk the talk

Nov 12 (CI) It would not be a surprise if Mahela Jayawardene spent time each day looking into his hotel mirror chanting the line "We believe we can beat Australia". Like The Little Engine That Could, Jayawardene must hope that if he says something often enough it will come true and mountainous tasks will be conquered. Over the past two weeks he has used a lot of lines about challenging Australia. more..

No underestimating Murali

Nov 12 (CI) Australia have not downgraded the threat of Muttiah Muralitharan despite delivering a significant obstacle to his hopes of breaking Shane Warne's Test wicket-taking record in Hobart. Muralitharan was limited to two breakthroughs for the match and he needs seven in the final game of the series in Hobart, which starts on Friday, to beat Warne's 708. It is unlikely to worry Muralitharan if he falls short as Sri Lanka's following Test is against England on his home ground in Kandy. more..

Sangakkara rues his lack of preparation

Nov 12 (CI) There is nothing more frustrating for a cricketer than to sit out a match through injury knowing fully well that he should have been out there in the middle helping his team beat the opposition. When the opponent you are playing against happens to be the best team in the world, the frustration can become two-fold. For Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lankan vice-captain and their leading batsman, the past 14 days have been full of disappointment and exasperation. more..

Difficulties in Provincial Reporting Impede Press Freedom in Sri Lanka

Nov 12 (IFJ) Press freedom in Sri Lanka is seriously impeded by myriad obstacles to serious and independent news reporting in the country’s provinces, according to a fact-finding report issued by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the International Press Institute on November 12, 2007. The report highlights the great difficulties faced by media workers reporting from Sri Lanka’s provinces, particularly more..

Rupee gains, excess liquidity drops

Nov 12 (LBO) The Sri Lanka rupee strengthened to 110.32/35 in spot trade Monday recovering losses made last week dealers said, while the central bank was progressively reducing excess liquidity. The central bank intervened after the rupee weakened to 110.45/50 levels Friday. But dealers say today's trading seems market driven. The central bank has also brought down excess liquidity in the market from 30 billion rupees to less than 10 billion over the last two weeks by selling down its treasury bills portfolio. more..

Vajira Abeywardena finds similarities between UNP & JVP

Nov 12 (LD) In a speech to Parliament today UNP parliamentarian Vajira Abeywardena has found similarities between his party and the JVP. “We are saying that the cabinet should be reduced. The JVP is saying the same thing. We are saying that terrorism should be eliminated. The JVP is also saying that terrorism should be eliminated. We are saying that the budget is not people-friendly. The JVP is saying the same thing,” more..

Opposition to wait till June 2008 to topple govt.?

Nov 12 (LD) The JVP has proposed to other opposition parties to wait until June 2008 when a no-confidence motion could be moved against the government, reliable opposition sources say. At a time when the government is in a position of strength militarily, a defeat of the budget with the intention of pressing for a general election might not bring the results desired by the opposition, the JVP has pointed out. more..

Declare truth on SLA deaths in Muhamalai – John Amarathunga

Nov 12 (LD) UNP Parliamentarian John Amaratunga has questioned in Parliament as to whether hundreds of soldiers had lost their lives during the military offensive launched in the Muhamalai Forward Defence Line in Jaffna on November 07th. Joining the debate on the second reading of the budget today, the UNP MP said that the people are of the opinion that a large number of soldiers were killed and injured in the fighting. more..

Rauff Hakeem should resign from COPA or as minister - JVP

Nov 12 (LD) JVP Parliamentarian Wasantha Samarasingha claims that the government is attempting to paralyze the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA). Joining the debate on the third reading of Budget 2008 in Parliament today, he said that the COPA Chairman is incapable of implementing the decisions taken by the committee. “COPA Chairman Rauff Hakeem is a government minister. An individual holding a government ministerial portfolio cannot take unbiased decisions in such a committee. more..

Over Rs. 19 b unspecified expenses in 2007 unaccounted for - UNP

Nov 12 (LD) The UNP alleges that Rs. 19.87 billion out of Rs. 50.70 billion set aside from the previous budget as unspecified expenses has been unaccounted for. The Treasury Secretary is empowered to allocate unspecified expenses without informing Parliament. However, he should inform Parliament every three months of the year how the funds were disbursed. However, neither Parliament nor the public knows about the fate of the Rs. 19.87 billion unspecified expenses for 2007, more..

'Budget spells an economic ideology appropriate to Sri Lanka'

Nov 12 (GDI) Participating at the Budget debate for 2008 in Parliament today (9th) Minister of Power and energy W.D.J.Seneviratne stated that following the principles of an open economy, this budget has attempted to seek development in the local agricultural and industrial sectors. At a time when the Government is being pressurized by the LTTE, and great attention has been paid to national security, with prices of oil rocketing in the world market, more..

Electricity for six villages in Wilgamuwa

Nov 12 (GDI) The Minister of Environment and Natural resources, Paatali Champika Ranawake said that the Department of Wildlife intends to provide electricity supply to six Grama Niladhari Divisions bordering the Wasgamuwa Sanctuary in the Matale Wilgamuwa Divisional Secretariat Division under the Community Outreach Programme. The Minister said that the Community Outreach Programme of the Department of Wildlife Conservation is being implemented under more..

Army Commander on inspection tour to Yala

Nov 12 (GDI) The Commander of Sri Lanka Army, Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka has made a visit to Yala to inspect first hand the area, which has been subject to a series of hit-and-run attacks by the LTTE in the recent past. Accordingly, the Army Commander inspected the ground security situation in the Yala National Park and surrounding area. He also met the senior security authorities in the Southern Province including more..

Norochchole to tide over the power crisis

Nov 12 (GDI) Government is considering the possibility of accelerating the Norochchole Coal- Power Project, which is expected to add another 300 Mega Watts to the national grid. This is a move to meet the emerging power crisis, informed sources say. The contract for the same was signed by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the National Machinery Export Cooperation of China in March 2006. more..

Security alert in deep South of Sri Lanka over information on suspicious speed boats

Nov 12 (LNP) Sri Lanka Navy with the support of the police strengthened security on the coastal belt in deep south Hambanthota district following information on the presence of suspicious speed boats in the sea off the southern coast. Police received information on the boats suspected to be belonging to the LTTE Sea Tigers Wing off the sea between Rekawa and Tangalla around 3 PM yesterday. more..

UNP likens Budget to ghost without body

Nov 12 (LNP) Opening the budget debate in Parliament on Friday UNP Kegalle District member Kabir Hashim said the budget was like a ghost. It had brought no relief to the people. The government had been juggling with figures without addressing the real problems of the people, he said. He said the government had disappointed the people as it was going to expend 572 billion rupees as debt repayment out of a revenue of 750 billion, more..

13 new conditions for private buses from next year

Nov 12 (LNP) The National Transport Commission has taken a decision to include 13 new conditions for the operation of inter-provincial private buses beginning next year. With the new conditions the number of conditions on the issuance of route permits will go up to 42. Chairman of the National Transport Commission Dr. Amal Kumarage said that this step was taken to build a better service by the private buses. more..

1,000 more Home Guards for Yala

Nov 12 (SAMN) An urgent drive is underway to recruit some 1000 youths for the Civil Defence Force or the Home Guards from villages near the Yala Sanctuary, a top official said. “Already the recruitment drive is underway and will be completed soon,” Civil Defence Chief, Sarath Weerasekera said. He said the latest recruitment drive was launched following the special direction given by Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, to deploy Civil Defence Force personnel to assist the Army and more..

APPG Statement: Govt. to take action

Nov 12 (SAMN) The Foreign Ministry is to take ‘appropriate action’, on a statement issued by the All Party British Parliamentary Tamils Group (APPG), headed by controversial British Labour Parliamentarian Keith Vaz, condemning the killing of LTTE political Head S.P. Thamilselvan. The APPG said in a statement that it “joins with peace lovers in all communities and strongly condemns the assassination of the moderate Tamil leader S.P.Thamilselvan.” more..

Pillayan seeks dialogue with UN

Nov 12 (SAMN) The new head of the Karuna faction, TMVP has sought a meeting with the UN agencies to discuss security related concerns, following a UN decision to restrict the movements of its staff operating in Batticaloa in the wake of the internal rift between Pillayan and Karuna cadres. The rift intensified last week with Pillayan taking over all the TMVP political offices in the area and appointing Pradeep Master as the new political head. more..

Compulsory smoke tests for vehicles soon

Nov 12 (SAMN) Revenue licences will not be issued to vehicles emitting excessive smoke in keeping with the Transport Ministry’s new regulations. The Ministry had prepared new legislation which will ensure that no revenue licences are issued to smoking vehicles which can have adverse effects on the environment. Revenue licences will not be issued to vehicles emitting excessive smoke in keeping with the Transport Ministry’s new regulations. more..

Technology College for Jaffna

Nov 12 (DN) THE construction of the College of Technology in Jaffna will be completed in February, the Vocational and Technical Training Ministry said. The facility is being built with Korean aid at a cost of Rs. 233 million. The College of Technology in Jaffna is one of the most successful projects in the North initiated by the Government, a Ministry spokesman said. “Construction will be completed without any delay,” he said. more..

'Masses have rejected anti-Govt propaganda'

Nov 12 (DN) It was my idea to increase the present rate of savings to 25 per cent from the present rate. By this it is possible for the saving habit being popularised by the Rajapaksa Government. The masses have rejected the propaganda of Government's opponents, said Minister of Finance and State Revenue Ranjith Siyambalapitiya at a meeting held at Ruwanwella. He said, if not for the timely action of the President the country would have seen chaos. more..

No ‘disappearance’of funds: TRO

Nov 12 (DM) The Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) has insisted that there had not been any “disappearance” of funds donated by Save the Children for a pre-school project as alleged by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). In a statement the TRO said that all funds allocated for the project have been utilized and accounted for as per the Project Agreement between TRO and Save the Children in Sri Lanka for a Pre School Project. more..

National hospital faces dearth of drugs, equipment

Nov 12 (DM) The National hospital of the country is faced with a severe dearth of drugs and essential equipment required for treatment of patients. This situation has seriously affected the Emergency Care Unit which attends to the emergency medical needs of a large number of patients including the soldiers wounded in the battlefront in the North and East. Elasto plaster, Leuco plaster, gauze, cotton, bandage and IV Flagyl, IV Zinacef, IV fortum and a large number of anti-biotics are not available in more..

Sri Lankan police commandoes kill 3 rebels in the east, military says

Nov 12 (AP) Police commandoes shot and killed three Tamil Tiger rebels traveling on a tractor in eastern Sri Lanka after they ignored calls to stop, military said on Tuesday. The commandoes saw the rebels late Monday in the jungle near the eastern town of Pottuvil and ordered them to stop. Instead, the group attacked the commandoes with a hand grenade, prompting the commandoes to open fire, more..

Sri Lanka troops kill six women Tiger fighters

Nov 12 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops shot dead at least six women fighters of the Tamil Tigers during a clash in the north of the island, the defence ministry said Monday. Following an attack on a bunker line of the LTTE along the de facto front line with guerrilla-held territory, the troops found six bodies of women fighters on Sunday, the ministry said. It said security forces also recovered a light machine gun, three automatic assault rifles and ammunition. more..

UN rights commissioner’s visit has limited impact

Nov 12 (IRIN) Human rights conditions have improved since the visit by UN Human Rights High Commissioner Louise Arbour in October, according to local rights groups. Activists say her visit not only raised awareness but had some tangible results. They point to a drop in the number of abductions in some areas of the country, especially the south, as a sign of its impact. During her mission to Sri Lanka, Arbour cited the “large number of reported killings, abductions and disappearances which remain unresolved”, more..

Sri Lanka says 17 rebels killed in fighting

Nov 12 (Reuters) Sri Lankan troops killed 17 Tamil Tiger rebels in clashes in the north of the island, the military said on Monday, as renewed civil war escalates. The engagements, in the northern Jaffna peninsula on Monday and northern district of Vavuniya and eastern district of Ampara on Sunday, were the latest in intensified fighting between government forces and LTTE rebels. "The ground troops confirmed they killed five terrorists including a regional leader when the military attacked three bunkers of terrorists in Muhamalai in Jaffna on Monday morning," more..

It's time to fight the fights: de Silva urges Sri Lanka to get on front foot

Nov 13 (BT) ARAVINDA de Silva is no stranger to political interference in team selection, but Australia's old Sri Lankan adversary last night said he wished Marvan Atapattu had kept his mouth shut about the "Muppets" who had selected the touring party. Saddened by the downgrading of the two countries' rivalry to a poorly attended, so-far uncompetitive two-Test series at the beginning of the summer, more..

Best Defence is a Strong Offense

Nov 13 (ISL) The Tigers have deployed a small team of fighters, probably around 15 to place the defence establishment in the defensive mode again in the Southern Province. True to its strategy of confusing politicians, the Tigers again launched several attacks in Thissamaharama and Yala in the last few days killing two farmers and one civilian driving a double-cap at Yala Katugamuwa area. more..

Sri Lanka private sector calls for fewer, simpler taxes

Nov 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka's private sector Monday urged the government to do more to reduce the multitude of taxes and simplify the system in order to make payment and collection more efficient. It also warned against what appeared to be government moves to resurrect unsuccessful welfare measures in an attempt to cushion low income earners from high inflation. The private sector appreciated the measures in the government 2008 budget, presented last week, to simplify the tax system, more..

UNICEF office filled with LTTE’ers – Wimal Weerawansa

Nov 13 (LD) The United Nations Children’s Fund or the UNICEF, which claims to serving children, is functioning in Sri Lanka just like in other countries. However, this institutions which purports to looking after the interests of children, has given Rs. 100,317,784 to Tiger terrorists from July 19, 2000 to July 22, 2006 through the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization, JVP Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa told Parliament today (November 12th). more..

Suspects in Mavilaru compensation fraud given bail

Nov 13 (LD) Colombo Chief Magistrate Sarojani Kusala Weerawardena today (Nov. 12th) granted bail to the five suspects in the Mavilaru farmer compensation fraud case. The CID informed the chief magistrate that releasing the suspects, including former Chairman of the Agrarian Insurance Board Namal Ratnayake, on bail would not hinder their investigations into the alleged fraud. Accordingly, each was released on a Rs. 25,000 bail and three Rs. 250,000 sureties, including one by a family member. more..