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Tamilchelvan & the Eastern Muslims – A Reminiscence

Nov 19 (LG) Tamilchelvan was not very much known to the majority of the Eastern Muslims until he had officially visited to Batticaloa in February 2005 , for the funeral of the slain LTTE Batticaloa leader, Kousalyan. Tamilchelvan was able visit with his retinue all over the Eastern Districts. It was a multi-purpose visit that involved in meeting with the Muslim Civil leaders and reinforcing the LTTE control in the East. more..

T20 has impacted ODIs: Arnold

Nov 19 (Hindu) Former Sri Lankan batsman Russell Arnold believes the advent of Twenty20 has impacted the manner in which the last ten overs are approached in the ODIs. Arnold, who is a part of the Chennai Superstars in the Indian Cricket League, told The Hindu, “The batsmen are playing a lot more shots in Twenty20. They are creating more opportunities, taking more risks.” Arnold added, “This has increased the pace of scoring in the ODIs, particularly in the last ten overs. more..

TRO denies U.S. accusations, says proscription will harm Tamil people

Nov 19 (TN) Expressing dismay over U.S. Department of Treasury's action against the Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), and reiterating that TRO is NOT a "front to facilitate fundraising and procurement for the LTTE," the TRO, in a press release issued Sunday, stated categorically that "all funds received are utilized according to the wishes of the donor, in line with the stated mission of TRO, to assist the tsunami and war affected populations of the NorthEast. more..

TNA sends SOS to foreign diplomats

Nov 19 (TN) The Parliamentary Group of the TNA has urged the foreign diplomats in Colombo, including the U.S. Embassy, the British High Commission, the Indian High Commission, the Embassy of Japan and the Embassy of Norway, Sunday evening to persuade the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to secure the timely release of the family member of the Batticaloa district TNA parliamentarian T. Kanagasabai, abducted by the paramilitary Sunday in Batticaloa, and more..

ODEL Unveils 2007 Festive Theme

Nov 19 (HA) The Christmas theme at ODEL is a much awaited event, and the department store does not disappoint with its 2007 theme- "Paradise Found". The theme for this festive season was unveiled on November 15 th. The entire store has been transformed into an exotic garden with bejeweled parrots, stunning peacocks and sequined butterflies. Adding to the vibrancy of the display, the product range this season will definitely excite the most avid shopper. more..

Doha Bank launches promo with SriLankan

Nov 19 (GT) DOHA Bank has announced a joint promotion with SriLankan Airlines for its Dream Card holders. The online booking scheme aims to simplify ticket-purchase for Dream Card customers. Customers using their Dream Card to make online payments for SriLankan Airlines tickets will be entitled to a 7% discount. Besides, every month four customers can win a ticket to the destination they have booked for. more..

India's fingers crossed as Rajapakse begins third year

Nov 19 (IANS) As Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse begins his third year in office, India is desperately hoping that he will unveil a credible power sharing package to end one of the world's most protracted conflicts. After two years of escalating violence and many political twists and turns, the optimism in New Delhi seems to be slowly ebbing away vis-a-vis an early negotiated solution to a strife that has claimed nearly 70,000 lives since 1983. more..

Viral fever sweeps across Jaffna peninsula

Nov 19 (TN) A yet to be identified type of fever is spreading across the peninsula resulting in more than 700 patients being admitted at Jaffna teaching hospital sources close to the office of Director of Public Health services, Jaffna said Sunday. Hospital staff are working round the clock to find hospital beds under limited space and resources to accommodate the growing number of admitted patients, hospital administration officials said. more..

TNA seeks GoSL response on abduction before budget voting

Nov 19 (TN) TNA parliamentary group leader R. Sampanthan Monday morning urged the Speaker in Sri Lankan Parliament to prevail upon the Government of Sri Lanka to take immediate steps to secure the release of S. Sajitharan, the abducted son-in-law of Batticaloa district TNA parliamentarian T. Kanagasabai, enabling the MP and other Batticaloa district TNA parliamentarians to vote on the Budget. more..

Nadesan seeks support from Tamil Nadu and India for liberation struggle

Nov 19 (AT) The newly appointed Head of the Political Division of the LTTE has sought the support and help for their liberation struggle. “Justification behind the people’s long standing struggle for liberation has to be favorably considered and expect to be of help and assistance to our homeland dream.” P.Nadesan, Head of the Political Division of the LTTE has has told when asked what the Tigers expect from Tamil Nadu and India. more..

As Parliament is pushed for the crucial evening vote, JVP says decision depends on next two hours, implies departure

Nov 19 (AT) Sri Lanka national legislators will decide on the future of the current government this evening-in less than two hours –as they vote on the crucial second reading vote on the 2007 budget. If the Budget is defeated this evening, the Parliament would not be dissolved 'immediately' but the government is required to present another appropriation bill. If this bill too is defeated, the President should dissolve the Parliament. more..

British fashion queen visiting Sri Lanka hints at new venture: Interview

Nov 19 (LBO) British fashion queen Jane Shepherdson is planning a new venture, the former Topshop brand director said on a visit to Sri Lanka, which is fast becoming a centre for high-end apparel manufacture. "I’m planning to start a new business soon, that is all I can say,” she told LBO. Shepherdson is widely credited with turning Topshop into a high street brand earning 100 million pounds annual profit from a minor label that earned just a tenth of that when she took over. more..

Two Years of President Rajapaksa -part i

Nov 19 (LG) Clever, grim and sad. These three words sum up Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa's two years in office this month. These three words also present a cameo of the present, the immediate future and the long term future of Sri Lanka and its people. If Mahinda's vision quoted above was being implemented, his actions during the two years of presidency did not show it, despite some paradigm changes he has effected in the island. more..

Two Years of President Rajapaksa- An Assessment: Part ii

Nov 19 (LG) Surprisingly Rajapaksa has shown a Machiavellian understanding in handling foreign powers, which have interests in his country and the Indian Ocean region. These include the international do-gooders club of Tokyo Donors Conference (EU, Japan, Norway and the US), and more importantly India. As a result he has been able to internationally run with the hares, while hunting them at home on issues of governance – rule of law, human rights and humanitarian concerns, and lack of accountability. more..

First session will be key, says Sangakkara

Nov 19 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara, whose magnificent unbeaten century has ensured Sri Lanka are still in the hunt in the second Test, admitted that the contest was not over yet. Sri Lanka set an improbable fourth innings target of 507 for victory finished the fourth day promisingly placed at 247 for 3. They require 260 runs with seven wickets in hand going into the last day to pull off an upset win and level the series. more..

'We're still right in the box seat' - Ponting

Nov 19 (CI) Ricky Ponting wiped off Stuart MacGill's severe waywardness as a bad day and will look to him to contribute to Australia's push for victory. Back-to-back Tests have taken their toll on MacGill, who had knee surgery last month, and he bowled in discomfort as he delivered a flood of full-tosses and four no-balls. Ponting allowed MacGill 20 overs in the absence of Andrew Symonds, who was due to have a scan on his injured ankle after play, and the legspinner went at almost a run a ball. more..

JVP decision will bring it closer to people – Anura Kumara

Nov 19 (LD) Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake says his party’s position with regard to Budget 2008 will take it closer to the country and people. With just hours to go for the vote on the Second Reading, Dissanayake said that everyone would soon know the JVP’s stance. Claiming that no one can bring down the JVP, the party MP emphasized that the government lost its final chance to act in harmony with his party. more..

Tamils have legitimate grievances

Nov 19 (BG) IN THE name of fighting global terrorism, the US policy in Sri Lanka unfairly supports the Sinhalese majority against the minority Tamils. Europeans, meanwhile, are debating removal of the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Most of the Tamils consider the Tamil Tigers as their legitimate representatives. more stories like thisSinhala politicians continue to deny rights to the Tamils. more..

Editorial misreads Sri Lankan government's situation

Nov 19 (BG) YOUR NOV. 14 editorial "Violence drags on in Sri Lanka" contains numerous misperceptions. more stories like thisIt says Tamils "live mostly in the island nation's north and east." However, 54 percent of Sri Lanka's Tamils now live outside the north and east, among Sinhalese, Muslims, and others. We do not deny that human-rights abuses occur in a climate of conflict, but they are not part of government policy. more..

Cabinet reshuffle after budget?

Nov 19 (LD) The President is very much optimistic about a passage of Budget 2008, and subsequently intends to go for a cabinet reshuffle, sources at the Presidential Secretariat say. At present, discussions are underway on how to appreciate the minority parties and individuals who support the budget. Offering cabinet ministerial portfolios is one reciprocal measure under consideration, according to the sources. more..

“I can do acrobatics on money” – Mahinda Rathnatileke

Nov 19 (LD) “JVP MP Wimal Weerawansa claimed that MPs are selling themselves for money. But, I have no need to sell myself. I am a person from Ratnapura who can do acrobatics on money. Even my umbilical code was cut by keeping it on a gemstone,” says UNP MP Mahinda Rathnatileke who defected to the government last week. The MP told the House during the debate on the Second Reading of the Budget today that he was highly impressed by the president’s efforts to defeat terrorism. more..

SLMC will vote for budget 2008 - Rauff Hakeem

Nov 19 (LD) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader Rauff Hakeem says his party will support Budget 2008 although it had not seen eye-to-eye with the government on various issues in the past. We take decisions based on our party’s principles. We do not engage in opportunistic politics and cannot be bought, Hakeem told the House during the Second Reading of the Budget today (Nov. 19th). more..

Southern political group behind Tissamaharama murders – Gotabhaya

Nov 19 (LD) A southern political group is allegedly behind the abductions, the claymore blasts and the murders that were committed recently at Thambarawewa and Ranminithenna in Tissmaharama. Earlier, the LTTE was blamed for these incidents. According to military intelligence, the incidents suggest a carefully planned campaign by a certain political group. A group of 25 LTTE cadres that had come for an attack at Thalgasmankada in Yala had retreated to the Kandikudichchiaru jungles in Ampara. more..

JVP decides to oppose budget, Basil tells president

Nov 19 (LD) The JVP has unofficially informed the government that it has decided to vote against Budget 2008, citing an absence of any response to its four preconditions as one of the reasons for the decision, according to the Presidential Secretariat. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been told of the JVP’s position by his brother Basil Rajapaksa a little while ago. more..

Speaker refers MPs’ safety to President

Nov 19 (LD) Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara told the House today (Nov. 19th) that he had referred matters pertaining to the safety of parliamentarians to the attention of the President. The speaker was responding to points of privilege raised by the Opposition Leader and TNA MPs after the security forces entered the house of parliamentarian Sagala Ratnayake and the withdrawal of police protection given to TNA MPs. more..

Wijayadasa Rajapakse adamant he won’t support budget

Nov 19 (LD) UPFA MP Wijayadasa Rajapakse has told Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse that he would not support Budget 2008, as he is yet to receive a response to the preconditions he has presented to the president, sources at the Presidential Secretariat say. However, the Parliamentarian is yet to decide whether he would vote against the budget or refrain from voting. more..

TNA will vote against budget – M. Sivajilingam

Nov 19 (LD) The Tamil National Alliance will vote against Budget 2008 that allocates a massive funding for a genocidal war targeting the Tamil community, party MP M. Sivajilingam says. “The budget has set aside a colossal amount of money for the war. However, the commodity prices are skyrocketing. This government has dragged the entire country into a very serious situation. Therefore, our group has decided to oppose the budget, the TNA parliamentarian said. more..

Govt. in poster campaign to lure JVP

Nov 19 (LD) Thus runs a poster that has come up in Colombo city, thanking the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, purportedly for safeguarding the government, although the party is yet to announce its stance on Budget 2008. However, the President’s brother Basil Rajapaksa has reportedly told the Government Parliamentary Group meeting yesterday (Nov. 19th) that the JVP would, under no circumstances, attempt to topple the present regime. more..

“Wijayadasa & I won’t go against govt.” – Dilan Perera

Nov 19 (LD) “The government will win the budget today. That is certain. Wijayadasa Rajapakse and I will not vote against the government. Wijayadasa Rajapakse is not a traitor like Mangala and Sripathi,” said Justice Minister Dilan Perera. Addressing a seminar titled ‘Nonewathi Idiriyata’, organized by the SLFP in Horana yesterday (Nov. 18th), the minister said that he was anti-UNP to the hilt. more..

No change in policy towards LTTE - Menon

Nov 19 (GDI) There is no change in the policy of the Central government towards the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said in a communication to Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy. The Foreign Secretary, in a letter dated November 13, said: “There has been no change in the Government’s policy towards the LTTE which is a banned terrorist organisation. more..

50,000 jobs for Lankans in Libya

Nov 19 (GDI) As a positive response to a request made by the Government of Sri Lanka, the Libyan Government has extended their willingness to offer more than 50,000 employment opportunities for Sri Lankans by next year. The request was made by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) from the Government of Libya. Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister, Keheliya Rambukwella will sign a MoU in this regard with his Libyan counterpart in January next year. more..

Chamila’s Tale? - Minister S. Jayasena participates at funeral

Nov 19 (GDI) Following increasing instances of rape and sexual abuses, the latest being Chamila Dissanayake, who is alleged to have been pushed to her death after been raped, the Minister for Child Development and Women’s Affairs, Sumedha G. Jayasena’s attention has been drawn to the need to request the President Mahinda Rajapaksa to introduce capital punishment on such offenders. more..

"Govt.'s victory in Budget assured" –Media Minister

Nov 19 (GDI) The Government yesterday stated that the budget vote would be won comfortably as President Mahinda Rajapaksa has presented a pro-people Budget that no people-oriented party can reject. The vote on the Second Reading of the Budget is scheduled to take place in Parliament today (19). The President has directed all members of the ruling party to be present in the Chamber when the vote is taken. more..

B’day Wishes to President Rajapaksa

Nov 19 (GDI) On the occasion of the 62nd Birthday (18th Nov.) and the second year in office as the Executive President of Sri Lanka, the President and Sri Lanka were honoured by a special token by Palestine. Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Sri Lanka Dr. Anwar H. Al-Agha, sending a congratulator message stated ““I am happy to announce that in the Municipal Council of Beitunia it has been decided to name the road housing the Sri Lanka Mission, more..

Govt. planning to totally privatise SriLankan Airlines: JVP

Nov 19 (LNP) While stating that the expected dividend from the SriLankan Airlines was reduced from Rs.500 million this year to Rs. 100 million next year, the JVP said in parliament that the Government was planning to privatise the SriLankan Airline totally. JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake joining the budget debate in the House on Friday expressed suspicion that there was an underhand deal to sell off the stake of SriLankan Air Lines held by the government. more..

Budget vote chess

Nov 19 (LNP) Despite the various subterranean moves afoot to defeat the government on the second reading vote on the budget tomorrow, we`ll put our money on President Mahinda Rajapaksa pulling off the numbers game? with or without the JVP. The word, as this was being written, was that the president was due over the weekend to meet his red brothers who contributed substantially to get him elected to the high office he holds. Rajapaksa, it seemed, was not as sure as many of his ministers were that he is home and dry. more..

Controversy surrounds HRW Lanka visit

Nov 19 (SAMN) Controversy surrounds the visit of a group of Human Rights Watch (HRW) officials to the country last week for the release of a report on abuses faced by Sri Lankan migrant workers with the Foreign Ministry making inquiries to the effect that the rights group had violated local visa regulations. The HRW officials, including its Legal director, James Ross, had reportedly arrived on a tourist visa and more..

APRC to present report in 2 weeks

Nov 19 (SAMN) The APRC expects to present its report with recommendations to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in two weeks, Chairman, Science and Technology Minister, Prof. Tissa Vitharana said Sunday. The JVP last week demanded that the APRC be dissolved as a pre condition for the party to support today’s budget vote. Expressing his shock and disappointment at the JVP demand, Prof. Witharana said JVP was also on the extreme, demanding a military solution to the ethnic problem, and more..

UNP, JVP for farmer pension increase

Nov 19 (SAMN) The UNP and the JVP came together in Parliament to urge the government to increase monthly pensions for farmers from the current level of Rs 1000 to Rs 3000. An adjournment motion moved by UNP MP for Kurunegala District, Gamini Jayawickrama Perera to increase the farmer pension was seconded by JVP MP, S. K. Subasinghe welcoming it on behalf of the party in the House yesterday. more..

US trade concessions sidelined

Nov 19 (SAMN) Human rights concerns are spilling over into the area of trade, diverting attention from potential trade benefits to the country. This week, the US ambassador said that concerns about Sri Lanka’s human rights situation have ‘eclipsed’ US attention on providing trade benefits to the country - despite Sri Lanka’s investment in ethical manufacturing. Sri Lanka’s garment industry is lobbying for trade concessions from the US to retain US market share. more..

Maha Sangha urge political parties to support President

Nov 19 (DN) The Maha Nayaka Theras of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters, Ramannya Nikaya and Amarapura Nikaya have called upon the public and political parties to extend their support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at this critical hour. The statement said political leaders and Members representing their respective political parties in Parliament should act in accordance with the admonition given by the Buddha in his sermon to Vajjins more..

Road in Palestine named after President

Nov 19 (DN) A road in Palestine was named yesterday after President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to signify his steadfast commitment to the Palestinian cause during the last 30 years. In a letter to President Rajapaksa, Dr. Anwar H. Al-Agha, Ambassador of the State of Palestine to Sri Lanka, said: “I am happy to announce that in the Municipal Council of Beitunia it has been decided to name the road housing the Sri Lanka Mission, in your honour, for the dedicated services rendered by you to the Palestinian cause during more..

ACJU wants Muslims to comply with SC ruling

Nov 19 (DM) All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU), the Muslim Theologians Council in Sri Lanka has requested Muslims in Sri Lanka to act in accordance with the judgement of the Supreme Court with regard to noise pollution and refrain from any acts in breach of the law. In a statement, the ACJU says that it would seek to assist the Central Environment Authority in formulating suitable regulations acceptable to all religious persuasions in consultation with religious dignitaries and clergy of all other faiths. more..

Deputy Mayor to make statement revealing alleged fraud

Nov 19 (DM) Deputy Mayor of Colombo S. Rajendran is to make a special statement at the sessions of the commission probing the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) on Tuesday. Mr. Rajendran told the Daily Mirror yesterday that he will reveal several facts on the garbage disposal contract which was extended on December 22, 2006 and several other frauds. He said two Municipal Councilors were behind the extension of the garbage disposal contract. more..

TNCC demands stern action against LTTE supporters

Nov 19 (PTI) Taking a cue from the critical remarks by the AICC over a poem by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi eulogising slain senior LTTE leader S P Tamil Selvan, the TNCC on Monday demanded stern action by the state government against the supporters of the banned outfit. TNCC president M Krishnaswamy, told reporters today that the activities of LTTE supporters should not be tolerated. more..

No Respite For AID Workers

Nov 19 (IPS) The contrast is stark. A little more than a year ago Action Contre le Faim (ACF), a French charity, was one of the biggest relief agencies in Sri Lanka’s war-torn north and east with 200 employees on its rolls. Today there are only nine. ACF operated in four districts in the Tamil-dominated conflict areas: Jaffna, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara, but is now reduced to just an office in the capital city. more..

Soldiers kill 10 rebels in clashes across northern Sri Lanka, military says

Nov 19 (AP) Government soldiers fought with separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in five separate clashes across Sri Lanka's restive northern region, leaving 10 guerrillas dead, the military said Monday. The two sides fought in Parappakandal, Periyathampanai and Navatkulam villages of the northern district of Vavuniya on Sunday in clashes that killed seven rebels, an official at the defense ministry information center said. more..

Sangakkara’s ton gives Sri Lanka hope of amazing win

Nov 19 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara's century gave Sri Lanka reason to cheer but they still faced a huge challenge to avoid defeat after Brett Lee grabbed two wickets in two balls to bring Australia's 14th consecutive win closer. Sangakkara and Marvan Atapattu had guided Sri Lanka towards base camp in their Everest-like chase of 507 before Lee's strikes pushed them off course. At stumps there was still a massive mountain to climb for Sri Lanka, who required a further 260 to win on the final day, more..

Govt wins crucial budget vote

Nov 19 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government won a crucial vote in parliament to pass its budget for 2008 on Monday afternoon after days of speculation. The budget was passed at its second reading in parliament with 118 votes in favour and 102 against, giving the government a majority of 16 votes. Most members of the leftist JVP present voted against the budget, along with members of the main opposition UNP and the TNA, a party representing minority Tamils. more..

Miss Sri Lanka to act opposite Amitabh Bachchan

Nov 20 (PTI) Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan will star opposite Miss Sri Lanka in her debut film Aladdin. Miss Sri Lanka 2006 Jacqueline Fernandez would play the character of Princess Jasmine in the film, while Bachchan would essay the role of the Jeannie, the Daily Mirror reported on Monday. Fernandez, a Hindi movie buff, has already begun brushing up her Hindi before the film goes on the floor, the report said. more..