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What Motivated Sri Lanka to Establish Diplomatic Relations with Undemocratic/Rights Violating Eritrea

Nov 18 (AT) In a July (2007) report by the United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia, Eritrean government was blamed as a major weapons supplier to the ousted Islamic Courts Union in Somalia against Somalia’s nascent government well supported by Ethiopia and the United States. Eritrea has been fingered as a source of arms for these insurgents in Somalia. more..

JVP to response to Government invitation for talks on the Budget 2008

Nov 18 (AT) “Our aim is to take the country forward. We are not going for any personal benefits” said Somawansa Amerasinghe. Janatha Vimukthi Perumuna leader when talking to Asian Tribune said that the country is facing so many challenges and the Budget 2008, has to be a document that could redeem the country from the economic downturn. Somawansa Amerasinghe said that JVP had already received a letter from the Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga on November 16th, more..

The Rajapakse Rule

Nov 18 (AT) The capacity and willingness to face the Tiger challenge unflinchingly is almost the only point in favour of the Rajapakse regime. On every other front it is failing, and failing badly. The economy is floundering; the living standards of not just the poor but even the middle classes are being threatened as never before; the rule of law is being observed increasingly in the breach; and Sri Lanka’s international relations are at its lowest ebb. more..

Parliament playing the numbers game while people watch

Nov 18 (TC) Mahinda Rajapakse celebrates his birthday today (nov 18th). Two years ago the people of this Country gave him a magnificient birthday present by making him victor in the Presidential poll of November 17th. This time Parliament is poised to present him another birthday gift by way of majority support when the vote is taken tomorrow (nov 19th). The past week has seen much excitement. The numbers game is being played by political parties of all hues. more..

President strong vis a vis Parliament in numbers game

Nov 18 (TC) An intense game political poker game is on! The stakes are quite high!! The target from the opposition leader’s point of view is to cobble together a majority that would vote against and defeat the Government in the budget voting. The goal from the head of the Government’s viewpoint is to prevent that situation by retaining the numerical majority and demonstrating that on the floor of the house. more..

TNA MPs condemn US action on TRO

Nov 18 (TN) "While the Government has imposed an effective economic embargo in Vanni, and the sustained bombardments of Sri Lanka Military have made situation difficult for INGOs to work amidst the affected local residents in border villages of Tamil areas, United States has made the situation worse for the Tamil people, internally displaced and reeling under economic hardship, by stopping the humanitarian aid from the branches world-wide of the TRO," more..

Bharucha - Many splendoured English Broadcaster

Nov 18 (TW) A colourful Lankan beloning to the Farsi community in this little isle was Jimmy Bharucha. He was a veteran broadcaster and household name in this country where English broadcasting was listened to by a generation familiar with the language and western culture - not necessarily the upper class elites. It was in the 1950s, the Commercial Service of Radio Ceylon began broadcasting under the guidance of an Australian, Clifford Dodd. more..

Hillary Clinton on terrorism in Sri Lanka

Nov 18 (SW) I saw this a while back but never got around to blogging about it. Ms. Clinton seems to think that some types of terrorism is acceptable. In particular, I'm annoyed because she seems to think that what the LTTE has been doing in Sri Lanka is acceptable. WTF?? Has she been on drugs in the last 20 years? LTTE has killed villages full of people from the 80s and the world said "nahh, they're fighting for their rights." more..

Nothing nondescript about Sri Lanka

Nov 18 (BBC) England's tour of Sri Lanka got under way this morning with a practice session at what is called the Nondescript Cricket Club ground here in Colombo. Nondescript is not a word you normally associate with this amazing pearl shaped island cast adrift in the Indian ocean. This is my second visit to Sri Lanka, having first come here in 2003 to produce Test Match Special's coverage of the series and I immediately fell in love with the place. more..

COPE Chairman’s house full with STF

Nov 18 (LD) It is reported that COPE Chairman MP Wijedasa Rajapaksa’s house is now full with STF personnel who had come along with the two Ministers Jeyaraj Ferndopulle and Dialn Perera. The two Ministers who had come to meet MP Wijedasa Rajapaksa late in the evening had stayed for some time presumably to discuss issues raised by MP Wijedasa Rajapaksa when crossing over to the Opposition last week. more..

Parliament will not be dissolved even if Budget is defeated ?

Nov 18 (LD) An unexpected discussion that ensued between HE the President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Leader of the Opposition and UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe, the President is supposed to have told the Opposition Leader that he would not dissolve parliament even if the budget is defeated and instead would call the Opposition leader to form the government. more..

Sri Lanka to tighten environmental laws

Nov 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka would tighten environmental protection regulations next year with vehicle emissions being a key target of the authorities, officials said. Earlier this week the government launched a vehicle emission testing program to check noxious gas and particulate emissions. Registrar of Motor Traffic B Wijeratne says there about 1.9 million vehicles on the roads now though his department has registered about three million vehicles so far. more..

Karuna’s men – their travails

Nov 18 (AT) Arrest of V.Muralitharan alias Colonel Karuna in London on 02 November has put his loyalist in a quandary. Karuna earlier a renegade commander of the LTTE and later left the LTTE in March 2004 and for sometime he was by himself. During the time of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, he fled the country. He, his wife and three children were taken on forged Sri Lanka passports in Muslim names to Katmandu, Nepal and left there by the intelligence agents. more..

Karuna phones party supporters

Nov 18 (LG) Vinayagamoorthi Muralidharan alias Karuna, Leader of T.M.V.P, who is in custody in the United Kingdom over a charge of possessing an illegal passport is alleged to have contacted his party supporters including Pilleyan over the telephone last Wednesday(14). The Ockington Refugee Camp authorities, where Karuna Amman is presently detained, have given permission to Karuna to use his personal facilities including the cellular phone. more..

Mahinda meets Ranil at JR's house

Nov 18 (LeN) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe randomly met President Mahinda Rajapakse when he went to pay last respects to late Elena Jayawardhana, the wife of late President J.R. Jayawardene. The two leaders had one-to-one cordial talks around half an hour in a room of the late President's Ward Place house. Lanka-e-News learns that the President Rajapakse engineered the meeting. more..

Dilshan to lead SLCP XI against England

Nov 18 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan, who led Sri Lanka 'A' to a 3-0 victory in the one-day series against Zimbabwe Select XI in Zimbabwe last month, will lead the Sri Lankan Cricket President's XI sides in the two warm-up matches against England. Dilshan, overlooked for the Australian Test tour because of poor form, scored 111, 78 and 31 to lead Sri Lanka 'A' to victory in Zimbabwe in the limited-over matches. more..

A hero's burden

Nov 18 (CI) Visiting captains carry an extra-large target when they come to Australia and if they can avoid being hit it enhances their reputation. Mahela Jayawardene deserves to be pleased with his stand-alone century - the swinging first pump showed how much it meant - but the personal achievement was diminished by another limp overall performance. Surviving against a mean attack requires diligence and determination. more..

'I was very disappointed with our batting' - Jayawardene

Nov 18 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene said that it was time his team showed some character and gave Australia some of its own medicine. "We've been pushed to the wall now. Where else can we go but push them back. The next two days are very crucial for us to show some of the character that we have spoken of," said Jayawardene after scoring his maiden Test century against Australia on the third day of the second Test at Hobart. more..

LTTE supporters are traitors to India - Jayalalitha

Nov 18 (LNP) The arch rival of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and leader of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kalagam Jayalalitha Jayaram has branded whoever supported the LTTE as traitors of India and insisted that they should be arrested and imprisoned. The former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha held a press briefing at the AIADMK Head Office on Thursday. Expressing her anger over the eulogy presented by Tamil Nadu Chief more..

Govt spending millions to win support for the budget

Nov 18 (LNP) Sri Lanka opposition UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake addressing a party meeting in Kandy today said that the government that has no intention to serve the public is spending millions of rupees to win support for the budget. He recalled the way the President Mahinda Rajapaksa challenged the opposition to defeat the budget if possible and said that the President is now proposing a national government in fear of losing the budget. more..

Dehiwala Pizza Hut hold-up: Two minors granted bail

Nov 18 (LNP) Two under-aged boys taken into police custody in connection with the armed robbery at Pizza Hut, Dehiwala were granted bail by Colombo High Court Judge Deepali Wijesundara. Earlier, the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate`s Court referred the bail application of the suspects to the High Court. They were enlarged on Rs. 50,000 cash bail and Rs. 500,000 surety bail with two sureties. more..

Political heavyweight mulling options

Nov 18 (LNP) A political heavyweight well known for his pole vaulting skills is contemplating another change in allegiance, well informed sources said. Now comfortably ensconced in ministerial office, he is not showing his hand openly, they said, but weighing his options. Political circles noted that this politician who was first expected to back Mangala Samaraweera`s move out of the government had subsequently backed out. more..

President rules out dissolution

Nov 18 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ruled out the possibility of dissolving Parliament in the face of threats posed by the opposition to defeat him at Monday’s crucial budget voting. The President, informed sources said, had told SLFP organisers he summoned for a meeting on Friday that, in the event the government is defeated in the budget, he would not dissolve Parliament under any circumstances, and would call upon the majority party who commands support in Parliament, to form a government. more..

Behave or be banned, LTTE to be told

Nov 18 (SAMN) A move to proscribe the LTTE is on the cards but there is no unanimity within the ruling alliance, with the SLFP giving conditional approval and left and minority parties opposing it. The SLFP Parliamentary group on Wednesday approved a proposal to proscribe the LTTE if the movement continued its terrorist activities. Senior Presidential advisor and parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksa said although some SLFP MPs expressed reservations on the grounds that a proscription would complicate the peace process, the proposal was backed by a majority. more..

Prices of 1000 imported items going up

Nov 18 (SAMN) The government has announced an increase in excise duty and cess on more than one thousand imported items following last week’s budget proposals. The increase means that consumers, reeling under the spiralling cost of living, have to pay more for these items. Imported meat products, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, refrigerators, air conditioners, dish washers and vehicles are some of the items that will go up in price with the increase in taxes. more..

No more political appointments: JVP

Nov 18 (SAMN) In an obvious blow to thousands of future political appointees, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) is to shortly submit a bill in parliament to put an end to all such appointments in the public sector. Highly placed sources said Saturday, that the bill which has already been drafted by the JVP’s legal section, will be submitted in parliament as a private members’ motion, by Kalutara district MP Piyasiri Wijenaike, in the coming weeks. more..

271.3 billion VAT revenue not collected

Nov 18 (LB) Hot on the heels of the demand by COPE Chairman, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe for the removal of Inland Revenue Commissioner, A.A.Wijepala and Treasury Secreatry, P.B. Jayasundara on corruption charges, the Auditor General’s Department’s findings have revealed the large scale non- collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) by the Inland Revenue Department. According to the Auditor General’s Report, a whopping Rs. 271.3 billion of VAT had not been collected from August 01, 2002 to March 31, 2006. more..

No more pole vaulting, please!

Nov 18 (LB) As the Budget Vote draws nearer, the Government and Opposition are dedicating their time to pinching members from each other’s camps - as was evident last week. One of the methods they used was the spreading of rumours. Those who changed sides were maligned and discredited by their parities. Meanwhile, both parties tried their utmost to cozy up to the JVP. Efforts to steal each other’s members increased because of the JVP’s staunch silence about who they would support at the Budget Vote. more..

War front calm as battle shifts to Parliament

Nov 18 (LB) Sri Lanka enters into an uncertain political future as crossovers of Members of Parliament from both sides totally unnerves an unassuming public. The political tug- of- war between the Government and the Opposition hovers over the battle front. The Government’s ally, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, has set four conditions for its support to the budget. Strange enough non of the four conditions —which included abrogation of the Ceasefire Agreement, more..

Billion dollar controversy on Presidents Iran visit

Nov 18 (LB) Speculation is rife regarding President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s covert visit to the nuclear powerhouse, Iran. Dates, agendas and all issues related to the visit are under wraps with little information to go around. Any country visiting or intending to strengthen ties with Iran is currently being condemned. This svisit comes at a time when the US has applied immense pressure on Iran for its nuclear expansions. more..

Budget shenanigans

Nov 18 (NS) The week beginning tomorrow will be politically decisive in more ways than one as President Mahinda Rajapaksa is embroiled in a bitter battle to see the Budget through Parliament and ensure the survival of his government. Last week, power brokers were working overtime, with many events crowded into the last seven days: the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) issuing four demands to the government, so it could support the Budget, more..

Political horse deals rule the day

Nov 18 (NS) If the crossover of Wijayadasa Rajapakshe boosted the image of the opposition, then Mahinda Ratnatilleke reversed that euphoria to a certain extent by joining the government. Though the magnitude and the importance was not the same as Wijayadasa Rajapakshe crossing the floor; the crossover of Mahinda Ratnatilleke coming out of the blue, has taken the entire House and the UNP by surprise. more..

Karuna is one of the worst human rights abusers- HRW

Nov 18 (NS) The New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW) yesterday reiterated their request demanding that British authorities open a criminal investigation into Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan, known as Colonel Karuna Amman, a former Tamil Tiger leader in immigration detention. In a statement issued late Friday, HRW noted that British law permits the prosecution of individuals for serious violations of international law, including torture and war crimes, committed abroad. more..


Nov 18 (NS) Recently, news of doctors starting to kill patients in Sri Lanka, has caught the spotlight. Contrary to the general notion of doctors giving people a new lease of life, an incident at the Negombo General Hospital, sent shockwaves around Sri Lanka. A Dr Sudarshana Jayasinghe was arrested for the alleged murder of a female patient, Chamila Dissanayake (22) working at the Katunayake Free Trade Zone, after sexually harassing her. more..

Essential food items at 'Co-op City' supermarkets

Nov 18 (SO) The Multipurpose Cooperative Societies (MPCS) will open 'Co-op City' supermarkets islandwide to sell essential food items at concessionary rates. Three hundred and five million rupees had been allocated through the budget to develop the cooperative sector which has 305 MPCs in the island. All taxes - VAT, income tax and debt tax were exempted from the cooperative sector through the budget. more..

'Consumer Court' to provide redress

Nov 18 (SO) The Trade Ministry last week decided to set up a `Consumer Court' for the first time in Sri Lanka to protect consumers from errant traders. The main objective of setting up a Court of this nature is to help consumers to seek relief. Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operatives and Consumer Affairs Minister Bandula Gunawardane told the `Sunday Observer' that consumers could seek justice from the `Court' for whatever complaints they make against traders. more..

Row over where the Veddah roams

Nov 18 (ST) Is it a conflict between conservation and the lifestyle of an indigenous group on the verge of extinction? Or is it a ruse to flout the laws of the land under the guise of preserving a nearly-extinct group of people? These are some of the grave concerns that need to be addressed in the light of the withdrawal on October 31 by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of a complaint filed by the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC) against four persons taken into custody in the Maduru Oya National Park in August. more..

Country at crossover road

Nov 18 (ST) Fears of defections and a possible defeat at tomorrow's voting on the second reading of the budget have shaken the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration that completed just two years only yesterday. Will he dissolve Parliament to avoid the ignominy of a sizeable number including stalwarts deserting his Government? Alternatively, will he prorogue Parliament and allow time to win over opponents? more..

Rajapaksa: Reeling or roaring?

Nov 18 (ST) Two years ago today, Percy Mahinda Rajapaksa was celebrating his 60th birthday, but he had more reason to rejoice, as he waited anxiously at Temple Trees with close family members and a few friends: election results that had just come in declared him the winner of the presidential election and therefore, the fifth executive president of Sri Lanka. Even at that time, Rajapaksa's victory was not convincing to many. more..

No end in sight to S’gamuwa campus crisis

Nov 18 (ST) Today is the 28th day since the closure of the University of Sabaragamuwa. Despite a notice from the administration that the university would be reopened on November 20, students stressed that they had no intention of returning without having their demands met. Students claim the Applied Science Faculty of the University situated in Buttala in the Uva Province has been closed regularly citing security threats from the LTTE. more..

Australia's bowlers pile on the misery

Nov 18 (CI) Some of the jewels may have been removed from Australia's crown, but their replacement gems continue to gleam, polishing off Sri Lanka's batsmen for 246 on a third day of dominance in Hobart. Brett Lee shone again as the leading light, with four wickets, but all the bowlers played their part and after Ricky Ponting chose to bat again he, Matthew Hayden and Phil Jaques belted them to a 407-run lead, with Jaques registering another fifty. more..

Analysis into the pre budget vote saga

Nov 18 (LR) The crucial vote on budget is nearing and true colors of all are appearing to the general public. Unfortunately, it is no longer a meaningful discussion of national economy vs. merchant economy or viability of budget proposals. Now, it is number game of heads rather than analysis of national income and expenditure. JVP is the originator of the budget saga and as usual they wanted political instability in the country for their mere survival. more..

Sri Lanka soldiers overrun rebel bunkers, fight gunbattles; 9 guerrillas killed

Nov 18 (AP) Soldiers overran three Tamil Tiger rebel bunkers in Sri Lanka's volatile north and killed five insurgents, while two other gunbattles in the area left four guerrillas dead, the military said Sunday. Army troops pushed into rebel territory across a defense line Saturday and destroyed the bunkers in the northern district of Vavuniya, just south of the rebels' de facto state, a defense ministry official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. more..

'LTTE trying to engineer govt's fall'

Nov 18 (PTI) In a bid to bring down the Sri Lankan government, Tamil Tigers have asked a pro-rebel political alliance to be present in full strength on Monday in Parliament to defeat the budget proposals for 2008 as a key aide to President Mahinda Rajapakse said the option to ban the LTTE was still open. "We have got information that the LTTE representatives have called on the TNA to return from wherever they are and be present in Parliament tomorrow to defeat the budget with the aim of bringing down the government," more..

Sri Lankan rebel's arrest embarrasses govt

Nov 18 (AFP) A Tamil guerrilla leader accused of involvement in war crimes is becoming a major embarrassment to Sri Lanka's government following his arrest in Britain. Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan, the leader of a breakaway faction of the Tamil Tigers rebel group, was detained in London earlier this month on a charge of entering the country under a false name. Officials in Colombo are said to have helped the rebel, better known as "Colonel Karuna", escape to London. more..

Rajapaksa to face toughest political test on Monday

Nov 18 (HT) The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa rode to power in December 2005 on a surging wave of Sinhala majoritarian nationalism. He went on to prove his credentials as a tough cookie when he took the Tamil Tigers head-on and drove them out of the Eastern province in 2006-7. But by year end, on the eve of the voting on the annual budget, he finds himself on a shaky political wicket in his own turf, the Sinhala-dominiated South Sri Lanka. more..

Thamilchelvan and Tamil Politics - I

Nov 19 (TC) There are many pantheons in the small world of the formerly Ceylon, and now Sri Lankan, Tamils. There is more than one political pantheon and Thamilchelvan is the latest to enter the pantheon created and consecrated by the LTTE. His political life and dramatic death, a quick retaliation by the government to the LTTE’s Anuradhapura blitzkrieg a fortnight earlier, are symptomatic of many things that have gone wrong with Sri Lanka in general and among the Tamils in particular. more..

Question of extraditing Prabhakaran arises only after capture

Nov 19 (PTI) India's demand for extradition of LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran is under the consideration of the Sri Lankan government but the question arises only after the rebel leader is captured, a top official said here today. "The demand from India is under consideration. We need Prabhakaran in Sri Lanka for the Central Bank bombing in 1996 for which he has already been sentenced for a long prison term of over 100 years. We have to first get him to be able to consider India's request for his extradition," more..

Govt. claims 'budget victory'

Nov 19 (BBC) Sri Lanka government claims victory over oppostion parties' attempt to defeat Monday's crucial vote for budget proposals. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his capacity as the finance minister, presented the 2008 budget proposals on 07 November. The 225-member parliament is to vote on Monday for the second reading of the proposals. The government claimed to have clear 12- member majority as both camps are still trying to woo more parliamentarians. more..

JVP support of the Government on budget voting

Nov 19 (LG) Sources close to the People's Liberations Front better known as Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said, the Party has taken the final decision to vote in favour of the budget tomorrow. The decision is said to be made at their central committee meeting held in Baththaaramulla late last night extending to early hours of today (19 Nov). Our sources did not reveal the reasons for supporting the government. more..