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Wounded Tigers

Nov 4 (KT) THE Tiger has been badly wounded. Not necessarily a good news, as retaliation is likely anytime now. But, Sri Lanka has seen it all in the past three decades; and, for a change, as is proven again in the killing of top LTTE leader Tamilselvan, the administration is showing the boldness to take on the rebels, and with some spectacular successes. Here, now, is a turning point. more..

Editorial: After Thamilselvan

Nov 4 (AN) The death of Tamil Tiger political leader S.P. Thamilselvan in an air raid Friday is not in fact the triumph the Sri Lankan government would like us to believe. This is the first time in the Tamil separatist campaign that one of its top men has been killed while the rebels have frequently struck senior politicians and government officials with deadly accuracy. But in the final analysis, however, the death of Thamilselvan is likely to deepen the conflict rather than bring it any closer to an end. more..

Rajapakse orders release of Indian fishermen

Nov 4 (PTI) Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapakse, has ordered the release of 97 Indian fishermen who were detained by the Lankan Navy for allegedly straying into the waters of the island nation. "It is learnt from the Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Chennai that the President has ordered the release of detained fishermen from Nagapattinam district. This has been made possible due to the timely intervention of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M Karunanidhi," more..

End ‘kussiye yuddaya:’ UNP urges govt.

Nov 4 (NS) Almost everyone-even those in government- agrees that the cost of living has risen to unmanageable levels, and is still rising with no respite in sight. The government has not been adept at sound economic management nor has it appeared prudent in its own expenses, sustaining a jumbo cabinet with all its trimmings. As a result, public resentment against the government is rising amidst a plethora of price hikes and strikes demanding better wages. more..

RDA in questionable road deal to benefit LTTE controlled Killinochchi?

Nov 4 (NS) Road Development Authority (RDA) has paid a sum of Rs. 25 million to one Sudar Constructions (Pvt) Ltd, going against regular procedure, for the construction of four roads in LTTE controlled areas in Killinochchi. “Normally, the RDA pays its contractors after its engineers have checked whether the construction has met the required standards. But since the roads are built in the LTTE controlled areas, it is impossible to do so, nevertheless, the RDA has paid this amount,” more..

Abortive coup against free media

Nov 4 (ST) There were firecrackers in parts of the country as news came, from the LTTE 'capital' of Kilinochchi that their political wing chief S.P. Tamilselvan had died in an aerial attack by the Sri Lanka Air Force. The Government itself, correctly, remained muted, except for some remarks attributed to Defence Secretary Lt. Col (Ret.) Gotabhaya Rajapaksa when he told wire services, "This is a message that we know their leaders' location… this confirms that our information is very accurate". more..

SLAF regains its image with powerful strike

Nov 4 (ST) Near crack of dawn Friday, a Kfir and a MiG-27, both ground attack aircraft, took to the skies from the Sri Lanka Air Force base at Katunayake. For nearly 15 minutes, they maintained an altitude of some 15,000 feet. As their target neared, they dropped altitude. At some 1,000 feet, they dived and dropped their lethal cargo of bombs. It was on a building near the 150th milepost along the A-9 highway at Kilinochchi. The aircraft returned to base safely thereafter. more..

The rising cost of war: A heavy burden for the future

Nov 4 (ST) The LTTE attack on the Anuradhapura air base would no doubt add to the escalating war expenditure. The opposition claim of the losses may be an exaggeration. On the other hand, the government’s claim that it is not much of a damage is a factual inexactitude. At present, at best, one could only guess what these damages would really cost. What the government states as the cost of the damage is likely to be an undervaluation. more..

Telling fortunes, but living in misery

Nov 4 (ST) Noon at Kudagama. The little ones and some not-so-little ones who have not gone to school are eating a scrap lunch, mainly a few mouthfuls of rice and one vegetable, no fish, meat or even a piece of karola, not off plates but nebiliyas. Most of the homes are wattle-and-daub with cadjan-thatched roofs while only a few are made of brick with sheeting as roofs. The faces of the waifs running around half-naked, some with smut pouring down their noses, are surrounded, strangely not by a halo of flies though there are flies alright, but by tiny koduruwo (insects). more..

Sri Lankan military: Fighting kills 4 Tamil rebels, 1 soldier in north

Nov 4 (AP) Tamil rebels attacked soldiers guarding front lines in northern Sri Lanka, triggering a gunbattle Sunday that killed four rebels and one soldier, the military said, as guerrillas mourned a top leader killed in an air raid last week. The clash erupted at about 6 a.m. when a group of insurgents attacked the defense line in the Muhamalai area of Jaffna peninsula, which separates government and rebel-held regions, more..

Jaya breathes fire, Karunanidhi defends self

Nov 4 (NDTV) AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa has condemned Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for "eulogising" LTTE political wing secretary Thamilselvan. Jayalalithaa has demanded the dismissal of his government for violating the Constitution by supporting the banned Sri Lankan outfit. In a statement issued in Chennai, she said Karunanidhi's "action of praising Thamilselvan", killed in an airstrike by the Sri Lankan airforce on Saturday, was unconstitutional as more..

Sri Lanka tightens security ahead of Tamil Tiger funeral

Nov 4 (AFP) Sri Lankan security forces on Sunday increased already tight security ahead of a funeral planned in rebel territory for a top Tamil Tiger leader killed in a air strike, officials said. Checks at all entry points into Colombo were intensified and snap road blocks set up within the city of 650,000 people, a police spokesman said. "We have similar arrangements in other parts of the country too," the spokesman said adding more..

Tamilselvan was a military leader, says Lanka

Nov 5 (HT) One of the main contentions of those justifying the killing of SP Tamilselvan, the Head of the LTTE's Political Wing, near Kilinochchi on Friday, is that he was a second line military leader, besides being the political face of the armed rebel group. "He was definitely a military leader. He was directing the troops and artillery in Muhamalai and Pooneryn," Brig.Udaya Nanayakkara, the Sri Lankan Army's spokesman told Hindustan Times on Sunday. more..

Karuna member killed in attack

Nov 5 (BBC) A member of the breakaway rebel faction led by Karuna has been killed in a bomb attack in the east on Sunday. Reports from Batticaloa say another six including Sinnathamby, Karuna faction's head of the financial section, have sustained injuries in the attack. The group was travelling from Valachchenai to Polonnaruwa as their vehicle came under grenade attack. more..

Sri Lankans have fast-bowling strike force

Nov 5 (HS) SRI Lanka's fast-bowling strike force last night declared it could menace Australia's batsmen this summer after the side proved it was not just a one-wizard magic show. With Sri Lanka resting its premier bowler, star spinner Muthiah Muralidaran, it still managed to blast through Queensland's batsmen in yesterday's tour match at Allan Border Field. Chasing a paltry 142 to win, the Bulls were reduced to 5-51 and lost 4-10 in the middle order as Sri Lanka's quicks waved their wand for the first time this tour. more..

Mystery Behind Tamilchelvan’s Death

Nov 5 (LG) Normally, whenever the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) makes an air strike on areas held by the LTTE, it makes an announcement immediately after its planes safely return to base and a claim regarding the successes achieved. The LTTE then makes a counter-claim refuting the version of the SLAF. In the case of the death of S.P.Thamilchelvan, the head of the political wing of the LTTE, supposedly in an SLAF air strike on November 2,2007, this reportedly did not happen. more..

Warning shots fired for German embassy staffer in Colombo

Nov 5 (DPA) Air Force personnel manning a security checkpoint in Sri Lanka's capital fired warning shots Sunday to halt the vehicle of a German embassy staffer who had failed to stop, police said. The security personnel fired only warning shots. 'We have carried out a security check and the vehicle was released,' a police official said. A German embassy official said the private car was being driven by the secretary to the ambassador, and she had not noticed the order to stop. more..

Norwegian special envoy for Sri Lanka pays tribute to slain Tamil Peace Negotiator

Nov 5 (TW) Jon Hanssen Bauer, the Norwegian special envoy for the peace process in Sri Lanka, on Saturday paid tributes to Liberation Tigers Political Head and Chief Negotiator S. P. Thamilchelvan. Stating that Mr. Thamilchelvan’s role was important not only for Norway, but also for other countries, Mr. Bauer said Thamilchelvan was a patient man in explaining the rightful demands of Tamils and he was a moderate person within the LTTE, one who sought political alternatives. more..

'Congress has not forgiven Rajiv Gandhi’s killers'

Nov 5 (Hindu) The Congress has neither forgotten the gruesome murder of its leader Rajiv Gandhi nor forgiven the perpetrators of the crime, G.K. Vasan, Union Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation, said on Sunday. He was responding to a reporter’s observation that some leaders of the Democratic Progressive Alliance (which includes the Congress) paid tributes to the LTTE’s political wing chief Thamilchelvan, who was killed in an air attack in Sri Lanka on Friday. more..

LTTE chief declares renewed resolve to continue “struggle”

Nov 5 (Hindu) Forty-eight hours after the death of the Tamil Tiger’s political wing chief, S.P. Thamilchelvan, the LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, vowed to continue the “liberation struggle with renewed determination” even as the Sri Lanka military accused the Tigers of killing five civilians and injuring six others in violence in the east and the north. more..

Qatar, Lanka sign MoU for construction sector cooperation

Nov 5 (TP) Qatar and Sri Lanka yesterday inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the construction sector. The MoU was signed by Abdulaziz Al Emadi on behalf of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI), and Surath Wickremsinghe, Chairman of Sri Lanka's Chamber of Construction Industry. Wickremsinghe was here leading a 32-member delegation from the Sri Lankan construction industry. The mission left for Dubai last night. \ more..

SLA accused of killing civilians

Nov 5 (BBC) The judiciary in the northern Sri Lanka has ordered a senior Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officer to appear before the courts as five bodies of civilians found in Vavuniya. Vavuniya district Judge ordered the police to record a statement from the officer in charge of Vessankulama SLA camp and produce him before the courts on Monday. Five unidentified bodies were found shot dead near the camp on Sunday morning. Four of the bodies were later identified by the relatives at the inquest. more..

Sri Lankan military assassinates LTTE political leader in air strike

Nov 5 (wsws) S.P. Thamilchelvan, the top negotiator for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), was killed in a strike by the Sri Lankan air force near the northern LTTE stronghold of Kilinochchi early on Friday morning. The raid, which was based on what an air force spokesman described as “very reliable information,” also resulted in the deaths of five other senior LTTE officials. more..

Prabhkaran pulls out Pullidevan to make way for loyal Nadesan

Nov 5 (AT) The unexpected appointment of P. Nadesan as the head of the Political Division of the LTTE in addition to the current job of being the head of the Police, is causing further dissension within the Tiger leadership. Tiger ranks are questioning his quallifications to wear two hats, particularly that of the Political Head. Sinhala-speaking Nadesan was a cop in the Sri Lankan Police Force. He is also married to a Sinhala girl. more..

Sri Lanka coconut milk exporter to set up overseas offices as volumes soar

Nov 5 (LBO) Coco Lanka, a subsidiary of Sri Lanka's Renuka Agro Exports, has reported a sharp increase in September quarter and half-year profits and plans to set up marketing offices in Europe and North America. Group net profit shot up 608 percent to 16.5 million rupees for the quarter ended September 30, 2007, according to interim results sent to the Colombo bourse. more..

Weerakesari journalists harassed

Nov 5 (LeN) Army arrested two journalists of Weerakesari newspaper with a vehicle they travelled yesterday (04) evening at Slave Island and later handed them over to the Slave Island police when they were investigating the inadequacies of Colombo city for a weekly article. The two journalists, M.A. Fahim and photojournalist M.M. Salim were taken into custody when they attempted to photograph a line of houses close to Slave Island police station for a feature in Metro News. more..

No Ballroom for JVP says Somawansa

Nov 5 (ISL) Hon. Rohitha Bogollagama M.P. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Colombo. Dear Minister, Thank you very much for your invitation for the Dinner at Ballroom, Waters Edge on 19th October 2007. I however regret to note that although I have been invited for this social gathering no invitation had been extended for the actual conference on terrorism either to me or to my party. more..

Dr Jayalath Jayawardena to attend the funeral of Thamilselvam

Nov 5 (ISL) It is reliably understood that Dr Jayalath Jayawardena has already indicated to his leader of his willingness to represent the UNP at the Funeral of Thamilselvam. Dr JJ has contacted the LTTE Killinochchi office through Daya Master and Daya Master has agreed to receive him at Omanthai. He is planning to visit the funeral along with two TNA Members of Parliament. He has held talks with MP Mano Ganeshan with regard to the journey to Kilinochchi. more..

JVP wants action against corruption

Nov 5 (ISL) Hon. President Mahinda Rajapakse, Presidential Secretariat, Colombo 01. Hon. President, Take action against fraudsters revealed in report of Committee on Public Enterprises: You too are aware that the report issued by the Committee on Public Enterprises of Sri Lanka Parliament has revealed that public money to the amount of Rs.15000 billion has been defrauded in 26 enterprises that came under review of the committee. more..

Govt. Development projects start and end with cutouts and Bill Boards- nothing more! - JVP

Nov 5 (ISL) The JVP which was also partly responsible for the present plight of the people and the dire economic crisis in the country because of the props given by it hitherto to the bungling Govt. seems to have belatedly realized the grave blunders of the Rajapakse Bros regime. Criticizing the Govt. for its false displays of achievements and bogus projects which are only on cutouts and Bill Boards, said, now even those are non existent. more..

JVP claims int'l plot behind sexual abuse charge against SL soldiers in Haiti

Nov 5 (LD) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna is alleging an international conspiracy behind the sending home of 110 Sri Lankan soldiers from Haiti, where they had been serving as UN peacekeepers. The allegation against them has not been proven. It was a non-governmental organization that had leveled the charge in the first place, JVP Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa said. more..

Omanthai Entry/Exit Point closed again

Nov 5 (LD) The Omanthai Entry/Exit Point in Vavuniya was again closed for civilian traffic after the LTTE fired artillery towards the area, Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said. No one was injured in the attack at around 12.45 pm today (Nov. 04th), he said. Officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross vacated the checkpoint soon after the attack. more..

Army in major recruitment drive again

Nov 5 (LD) The Ministry of Defence has once again launched a major recruitment drive for the Sri Lanka Army. As the first step, it began a poster campaign in Colombo today (Nov. 05th) to attract the country’s youth. In addition, all Sinhala language newspapers carried a full page advertisement calling for new members to the Army. Each of these advertisements cost at least Rs. 100,000. more..

SLFP (M) pays tribute to security forces for killing Thamilselvan - Sripathi

Nov 5 (LD) The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (Mahajana) Wing has rejected government claims that the party was undecided in its stance on the killing of LTTE Political Wing Leader S.P. Thamilselvan by the Air Force. “There is no indecision at all. We pay our tribute to the heroic members of the security forces for killing the terrorist named Thamilselvan,” said SLFP (M) Wing Chief Coordinator Sripathi Sooriyarachchi yesterday. more..

Murali aims to silence Australian critics

Nov 5 (CI) One issue shadows Muttiah Muralitharan every time he visits Australia and no amount of goodwill, outstanding sportsmanship or law changes can stop it. While the rest of the cricket world adores Murali, some Australians have taken his action as a personal insult since Darrell Hair called him for throwing on Boxing Day 1995. They will be the ones in the crowd shouting no-ball each time he delivers from his mesmerising armoury. Sadly, they will never appreciate him. more..

PM rules out ceasefire

Nov 5 (LD) Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickremanayake says the government wants to root out LTTE terrorism that has been the country’s worst headache for the past few decades. Speaking to the media during a Shramadana campaign to renovate the Ingiriya Government Hospital, the premier ruled out the need for a ceasefire any further. “The government would not go for a ceasefire. However, we are prepared for talks at any time if the LTTE is willing to do so without any conditions. Even during negotiations, we would engage their targets,” he said. more..

'Thamilselvam is not the ‘dove of peace’ as some make him out to be'

Nov 5 (GDI) Defence Spokesman, Keheliya Rambukwella, addressing the media this morning in Colombo stated that Thamilselvan was not a ‘dove of peace’ as some state, attempting use of his death to defame the Sri Lankan forces but that strike on the gathering of terrorist in Killinochchi on Friday (02nd) was a fair and great achievement by the forces. Tracing his career, the minister said that Thamilselvan masterminded many killings and attacks on both the security forces and civilians. more..

“Government committed to a political settlement always,” Foreign Minister

Nov 5 (GDI) Minister of Foreign Affaires Rohitha Bogollagama stated that at a time when Sri Lankan Government is working towards a political settlement to the Northern conflict LTTE should refrain from terrorist activities and commit itself to a political process and if they continue their violent terrorist activities, Government would not hesitate to counter such activities. more..

LTTE arms Caches discovered on tip offs by civilians

Nov 5 (GDI) Acting on the information provided by the civilians, the army discovered weapons and claymores stored by the LTTE for their guerilla attacks. In the month of October alone, there were 29 such instances in the North and East. The Army discovered about nine such caches in Jaffna, four in Mannar and one in Monaragala. In the East acting again on the information provided by the civilians fifteen such places were discovered in the areas of Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai. more..

First national symposium on sustainable consumption and production begins today

Nov 5 (GDI) The first national symposium on sustainable consumption and production begins today at the BMICH under the theme 'Development through sustainable consumption and production'. This summit has been organized by the Industrial Development Ministry and will be held over two days. The purpose, according to ministry sources is to bring attention to the challenge of minimizing harm to the environment caused by industry. more..

Community health programs make a real difference

Nov 5 (IFRC) As S. Sumanawathi and her son walk around the small vegetable plot in front of her house, she stoops to pluck some green beans and ladies fingers which will be made into a spicy curry for the family lunch. Sumanawathi is a participant in a home garden project in Sri Lanka’s southern district of Kalutara which is part of a wider community based health program (CBH) being implemented by the Spanish Red Cross and Sri Lanka Red Cross (SLRCS) across nineteen villages in the district. more..

Fishermen released by Sri Lankan authorities return home

Nov 5 (PTI) All the 97 Indian fishermen released by Sri Lankan authorities returned home early Monday, official sources said. The fishermen, from Akkaraipettai and Keechankuppam coastal villages in the district, were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy, which also seized their 17 boats for allegedly straying into the island nation's waters on November two. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had ordered the release of the fishermen on Sunday. more..

Lanka Indian Oil to provide financial services at its outlets

Nov 5 (PTI) Lanka Indian Oil Corporation, a subsidiary of the Indian Oil, will provide financial services like stock broking and micro finance facilities at its outlets in the Island country. The company has signed an agreement with Lanka ORIX Leasing Company for this. The agreement is the first such happening between a financial services organisation and an oil company, said Lanka ORIX Leasing Company (LOLC) CEO Kapila Jayawardena. more..

No repeat of Indian tactics: Murali

Nov 5 (AAP) Muttiah Muralitharan took a shot at India's aggressive, over-the-top tactics and declared Sri Lanka ready to attack Australia with bat and ball rather than lip and bluster. The controversial spinner and fellow senior bowler Chaminda Vaas said the tourists would focus on playing smart, positive cricket in the true spirit of the game during their two-Test series, starting Thursday. more..

Sri Lanka finance companies braced for high interest rate hit

Nov 5 (LBO) Fitch Ratings says Sri Lanka’s finance companies are coming under stress from the current high interest rates and inflation, which increases operating risks especially in smaller finance companies. While most finance companies are well capitalized compared to their risk assets, 12 smaller firms out of 31 do not meet the minimum 200 million rupee capital floor set by the Central Bank, Fitch said in a new sector report. more..

Air Force to hunt top Tigers

Nov 5 (LNP) The Air Force will continue to track down the hiding places of LTTE leaders and launch air attacks, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake said yesterday. `Our Security Forces are targeting the hiding places and safehouses of terrorist leaders to deal a mortal blow to the Tigers. They will not stop the relentless pursuit of terrorists,` Prime Minister Wickremanayake told reporters at a function in Ingiriya, in the aftermath of the aerial attack that killed LTTE Political Wing chief S.P. Thamilselvan. more..

In search of a partner, he approached 17 women

Nov 5 (LNP) The Borella police during a raid at Kirikkulama, Anuradhapura over the weekend recovered more than half of Rs 1.6 million stolen by the driver of a wealthy businessman at Rajagiriya, a police spokesman said. The 42-year-old suspect had disappeared with the money six months ago while on his way to the bank with another employee. The suspect had lived at Puttalam before moving to Colombo, the spokesman said. more..

38 HIV victims in Jaffna

Nov 5 (LNP) Thirty eight persons are reported to have been infected with the HIV virus in the Jaffna peninsula and of these, 16 have succumbed to the infection, said Dr. A. Keetheswaran, Director of Jaffna District Health Services. Addressing principals of Jaffna schools at a programme to make them aware of AIDS, he said in Jaffna most persons with HIV are men who had gone abroad for employment. `Only in two instances the mother had been the source of infection. more..

Prabhakaran has no one to blame but himself

Nov 5 (LNP) LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is mourning his political wing leader S. P. Tamilselvam, who perished in an air raid on Friday together with five others. There are two schools of thought about that killing. One is that the Sri Lanka Air Force mounted that decapitation strike using intelligence it had gathered on its own it had identified the target weeks ago but desisted from taking it until time was opportune. more..

COI gets one more year

Nov 5 (SAMN) The mandate of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (COI) has been extended by one year by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and it would begin public inquiries into two high profile massacres that took place in the North and East in January and August 2006, later this month. COI chairman, retired Supreme Court Judge Nissanka Udalagama said Sunday, the commission would commence inquiries on November 20, under international observation. more..