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Children most vulnerable to sex abuse

Nov 5 (SAMN) A leading child protection group in Sri Lanka has cautioned that children whose mothers are employed overseas are most likely to be subjected to Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) adding that there are well over 30,000 child prostitutes operating along the coastal areas of the country. “Nearly 60% of our workforces employed in West Asia are women which leave their children at a great risk to be exploited by strangers and in some cases by family members,” more..

Explosives expert for Defence Ministry

Nov 5 (SAMN) With the LTTE using more improvised explosive devices in its terrorist activities, the Defence Ministry is believed to be planning to recruit an explosives expert to assist the defence authorities, informed sources said. The Commissioner General of Examination has already called for applications from candidates for the post of Assistant Controller of Explosives for the Ministry and a suitable candidate is to be selected early next year. more..

TNA in full strength against budget

Nov 5 (SAMN) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has informed all its MPs to be present in Parliament during the budget debate, because the party has already decided to vote against it given the high defence allocation among other natters. TNA General Secretary and Jaffna district MP, Mavai said Sunday the party would vote against the budget as done last year also, because the government had proposed to increase the allocation for the defence. more..

Health Ministry OT down with fingerprint machine

Nov 5 (DN) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry has cut down its overtime by 35 per cent after the introduction of fingerprint machines for signing in and out, Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. Minister De Silva said the Government allocated Rs. 64,000 million this year for the health sector and this has been increased up to Rs. 84,000 million in next week’s budget. more..

Peradeniya Alumni condemns student vandalism

Nov 5 (DN) The Alumni Association of the University of Peradeniya Colombo Chapter, vehemently express their dismay and revulsion over the desecration of the plaque of the hall of residence named after Sir Ivor Jennings, the Founder Vice Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya (then Ceylon) the day before it was due to be unveiled, by some student vandals belonging to a student union manovered by a certain political party. more..

Minister urges beneficiaries to serve motherland

Nov 5 (DM) Sri Lankan professionals, doctors and psychiatrists in particular who exploit free education and win foreign scholarships to reach to the peak of their professional career should be examined to ascertain whether they have any mental deficiency when they refuse to return to the country to serve their countrymen, observed Minister of Health Care and Nutriton Nimal Siripala De Silva. more..

Businessmen prevented from leaving the country

Nov 5 (DM) Nearly three hundred businessmen who had defaulted taxes have been ordered not to leave the country, a senior official attached to the Police Headquarters revealed yesterday. Following directions by different courts around the country, the police have communicated to the Immigration and Emigration authorities at Katunayake to prevent 292 businessmen from leaving the country. more..

Sri Lanka to recruit Tamils to police

Nov 5 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan police said Monday that they have embarked on a rapid recruitment program to enlist Tamil speaking officers in the multi-ethnic Eastern Province. Jayantha Wickramaratna, the police spokesman, told reporters that "we will recruit youth from Ampara and Batticaloa districts", adding that 1,000 of them would be targeted between Nov. 10 and 14. He said that the police department needed Tamil speaking officers to serve in the Eastern Province's newly opened police stations. more..

Fighting in northern Sri Lanka kills 7 rebels, 1 soldier, military says

Nov 5 (AP) Government troops attacked Tamil Tiger separatists along the front lines in northern Sri Lanka, killing seven rebels, while one soldier was killed in a separate mortar attack, the military said Monday. The attacks came as the Tamil Tigers prepared Monday to bury their political leader, S.P. Tamilselvan, who was killed Friday in an airstrike on a rebel communications center. The killing was hailed by the government as a major victory more..

Sri Lanka vows to bomb Tigers into peace

Nov 5 (AFP) Sri Lanka's government vowed Monday to continue hitting Tamil Tiger leaders with air strikes as a way of bringing peace to the island, following a raid last week that killed the rebels' political chief. The bullish warning from Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake came as Colombo appeared to be shifting away from its public commitment to a moribund peace process, and toward a belief that it can now win the 35-year-old war. more..

Karuna seeks political asylum in UK

Nov 5 (HT) The pro-government, break-away LTTE leader, Col Karuna, who is in custody in the UK since late last week on a charge of possessing a false passport, has sought political asylum, informed sources in Colombo say. "Apparently he feels that he is not safe in Sri Lanka," a senior government source told Hindustan Times on Monday. more..

Sri Lanka endorses recycling of plastic waste

Nov 6 (OW) The Sri Lankan government has begun encouraging plastic waste recycling in an effort to prevent the material piling up along the road side and causing environmental pollution. The authorities are keen to spread the message that there's money in collecting and recycling waste. Already several businessmen have started recycling plants and the government wants to improve the collection system. more..

In the verge of winning the war against LTTE terrorists

Nov 6 (LR) In few years back, there was wide spread myth that LTTE is one of the most powerful guerilla organization and they can never be defeated militarily.Good part of winning or loosing of a war is depending on the size of the hearts of the people and at that time LTTE was having the edge over people in the South. Part of LTTE’s war strategy is killing political leadership in the South and more..

'Chinthanaya’ but with Printing Errors

Nov 6 (ISL) The dollar appreciated too, to say it positively, against the Rupee. Most unfairly said a Central Bank spokesman. With the growth rate now calculated by the CB at 07% plus it couldn’t happen was the argument. But how that growth comes is no one’s guess, with the dollar peaking at Rs.113.53 before the week end and the UNP saying there’s over 02 million excess paper money in the market. more..

Tamils in France ignore LTTE’s mourning call

Nov 6 (GDI) Tamils in France ignored the three day mourning period declared by the LTTE to mark respect to former political chief S P Thamilselvan who was killed in an air strike last Friday. Over 100,000 strong Tamil community in France went about their normal businesses and social activities not bothering at all about the morning call. This correspondent who visited La Chapelle, the nerve centre of Tamils in Paris saw that all the restaurants in the area were full of boisterous Tamil families partying during the weekend. more..

Tamil leader mourned in Toronto area

Nov 6 (NP) Cars lined the suburban street. Shoes covered the front porch. Hundreds of mourners dropped by the suburban Toronto home of S.P. Thamilselvan's family this weekend to pay their respects after his sudden death. But this was no ordinary memorial. The man they came to honour was the second in command of the Tamil Tigers, the Sri Lankan guerrilla group outlawed by Canada as a terrorist organization. He was killed on Friday morning in an air strike on a rebel base in Sri Lanka. more..

Rights groups push UK to charge ex-Sri Lanka Tiger

Nov 6 (Reuters) Rights groups pushed on Monday for ex-Sri Lankan rebel Karuna Amman to be charged with war crimes in Britain where he is detained by immigration authorities, fearing he could be deported back home within days. Karuna is accused by rights experts of a string of abuses both before and after his 2004 split from the mainstream LTTE including torture, killings and the abduction of children to act as soldiers. more..

Tamil Tigers bury political chief

Nov 6 (BBC) Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka have buried one of their top leaders, three days after he was killed in a bombing raid by the military. Thousands of mourners turned out to pay their respects to SP Thamilselvan in the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi. Mr Thamilselvan was the Tamil Tigers' public face and the most senior rebel to be killed by troops in years. There are fears the killing could lead to a further escalation of the war with the rebels, who want a Tamil state. more..

Insight into JVP’s pre budget behavior

Nov 6 (LR) JVP has been sending mixed signals to all political parties in the recent past and this is not a time where we can wait and see the result, but anticipate all the subsequent effects before hand because country should be first and not political parties. JVP is unique political movement having its ups and downs since 1971 and it is the only party in the south that has paid its political price in thousands of lives of youth, in 1971 and 1988/89 respectively. more..

New syllabus helps conflict-affected children get back to school

Nov 6 (UNICEF) Twelve-year-old Saranya’s school was close to the old front line between the LTTE and Sri Lanka Government forces. She remembers the day last February when she knew she had to flee her village. “We all dived under the tables and lay on the floor. Bits of the shell landed all over the school. We were really scared,” she says. The fallout from the recent upsurge in fighting has undermined education in many communities across the country. more..

The Killing of the 'Always-Smiling Face' LTTE Political Head

Nov 6 (IL) The LTTE's two-pronged attack on the Sri Lankan airbase, located at Saliyapura, in Anuradhapura, which is a north-central province of Sri Lanka, on Monday, October 22, 2007, and the air raid of the Sri Lankan air force on November 02, 2007, which killed six LTTEers, including the their political wing chief, have created panic among the Sri Lankans and anxiety among the global community. more..

Tiger agents in UK change their minds about charging Karuna with war crimes

Nov 6 (AT) The agents of Tamil Tigers in Britain have changed their minds about initiating legal action against Karuna Amman in UK. They were planning to charge him with war crimes and crimes against humanity and block his deportation. But their legal advisors have told them that it would lead to serious consequences to the Tamil Tigers. The Tiger agents are now trotting out the excuse that it would be a costly exercise. more..

Tamilselvan’s military career ended in Kanakpuram cemetry in Vanni; family mourns in Canada

Nov 6 (AT) While S. Tamilselvan, the Political Head of the Tigers, was laid to rest at 7.45 p.m (Sri Lankan time) in Kanakapuram cemetery mourners dropped in at his family home in Toronto, Canada. Ravi Paramu, his brother, mother, sister and another brother live in Canada. Tamilselvan is the youngest in the family. In the Vanni several leading Christian Churchmen were present at the funeral. more..

Sri Lanka: Double Speak in Tamil Nadu

Nov 6 (FI) The sudden passion exhibited by the political leaders of Tamil Nadu, while mourning the death of SP Thamilchelvan, the political head and chief negotiator of the LTTE, is typical of the double speak most of the politicians of the state have been practising on issues relating to the LTTE. Perhaps the Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s ode paying tribute to the “courage and valour” of the slain LTTE leader on the occasion, particularly when the state is supposed to be carrying out a crackdown on the LTTE militants operating in the state, is a prime example of this. more..

Editorial: The escalating violence

Nov 6 (Hindu) The death of S.P. Thamilchelvan, the ‘Political Wing’ chief of the LTTE, in the November 2 Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) raid on Kilinochchi is a political and moral blow to the terrorist outfit. Killing of any kind cannot be condoned but the situation in Sri Lanka is abnormal. The military and the LTTE are engaged in an undeclared war for 16 months now and the Norway-brokered 2002 Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) is in shreds. more..

National Insecurity and Media Freedom

Nov 6 (ISL) The state of the media is pretty bad in Sri Lanka, and getting worse. This government, like most governments that can’t defend their records, is lashing out at the messenger. Very often the defense takes the form of ‘the LTTE is worse’, which is true. The LTTE literally kills opponents and rifles through your DVDs at checkpoints. Sri Lanka, of course, is better than that, which is why the deterioration under this government is so sad. more..

Lankans question confidence in bowling

Nov 6 (TA) SRI LANKA captain Mahela Jayawardene has needled the new-look Test outfit for Thursday's series opener in Brisbane, claiming the absence of champion duo Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath would rob the Australians of their trademark on-field confidence. Having earned a reputation over the past decade for piling the pressure on opposition sides in the lead-up to Test series, the Australians have been remarkably reserved in the lead-up to the Gabba Test, more..

Music competition reminds Youth that Jesus is with them

Nov 6 (UCAN) Catholic Tamil youth celebrated Jesus in their lives in a musical competition that told stories of their Savior against a background of hardship and war. The St. Don Bosco Youth Front, a Colombo-based Tamil youth group, held their annual music competition Oct. 20 at the St. Benedict College hall in Colombo. The mostly Tamil audience of 1,200 included Catholic youths, priests, nuns and some youngsters of other faiths. more..

Congress criticises Karunanidhi's mourning of slain LTTE leader

Nov 6 (ET) The Congress on Monday sought to downplay UPA ally and DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s poem in praise the slain LTTE leader SP Tamilselvan describing its contents as his “personal views”. The party, however, indirectly conveyed its discomfort by taking the line that the LTTE was a banned organisation and that it did not “encourage or eulogise terrorism”. more..

Sri Lanka Rebel Arms-Buying Goes Global

Nov 6 (AP) He's known only as KP, and he runs a shadowy smuggling network that stretches from the skyscrapers of New York to the suicide bomber training camps of Sri Lanka. At 52, with a medium build, mustache, slight paunch and thinning hair, KP operates right under the nose of the West, which experts say is so preoccupied with al-Qaida that it largely ignores other terrorist groups, even ones as accomplished as Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers. more..

Question mark over UN inquiry in Haiti Army wants nothing but the truth

Nov 6 (CP) Senior Army officials conducting investigations on the alleged misconduct of Sri Lankan peacekeepers in Haiti say there is a big question mark in the manner the United Nations office in Haiti conducted the investigations without giving a hearing to the soldiers’ side of the incident. They say that the initial complaint regarding the Peacekeepers’ misconduct had been made by MSF - a French Non-Governmental Organization perceived as anti-Sri Lankan. more..

Housewives breathe fire, want relief

Nov 6 (CP) The government is on full gear to present the budget tomorrow as the country is facing high inflation and ever rising cost of living which are equally affecting all sections of the people. President Mahinda Rajapaksa will table the budget for 2008 in Parliament in his capacity as the Finance Minister. This is his third budget since he assumed presidency in 2005. more..

Sri Lanka says rebel negotiator's death won't harm peace effort

Nov 6 (BN) Sri Lanka's government said the death of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's chief negotiator in an air raid won't harm the peace process because he led rebel efforts to obstruct negotiations. S.P. Thamilchelvan, the head of the LTTE's political wing, was killed Nov. 2. He presented a "false face of peace," Keheliya Rambukwella, the government's defense spokesman, said yesterday, more..

Sri Lanka awash in dollar liquidity, country wide inflation at 22.1 percent

Nov 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's country-wide inflation shot up to 22.1 percent in September, the latest data shows, while the monetary authority is grappling with a liquidity shock from foreign borrowings that has flushed the system to unprecedented levels. Sri Lanka's most widely watched index, the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) hit 19.6 percent in October, but the island-wide Sri Lanka Consumer Price Index (SLCPI) overtook the Colombo index two months ago. more..

Sri Lanka told to expect 'chin music'

Nov 6 (CI) Mitchell Johnson has warmed up for his Test debut by warning Sri Lanka's batsmen to prepare for a string of bouncers at the Gabba. Johnson picked up only two wickets during the tour game in Brisbane, where he was out-bowled by his Queensland team-mate Ashley Noffke, but he felt the pitch prevented him from unsettling the tourists with his short balls. The Gabba is expected to produce more consistent bounce and Johnson, who was 12th man for the entire 2006-07 Ashes series, wants to take advantage of it. more..

Loss of Thamilchelvan, a consequence of International injustice says Poddu Ammaan

Nov 6 (TN) "We tried our best to convince the International Community of our grievances. We are a small nation, struggling all alone to uphold our rights. But the International Community in an uneven judgement in applying its norms, scaled us with Sri Lankan government abounding with military and economic resources. The scale was not fair. The price we paid for the International Injustice is the life of Thamilchelvan," said Poddu Ammaan, the intelligence wing chief of the Liberation Tigers, more..

Muslim federation calls for hartal in Batticalo district

Nov 6 (TN) Federation of Muslim Mosques in Batticaloa district appealed Monday to the residents in Muslim areas in Batticaloa district to join in a shut down Tuesday, demanding the immediate release of a Muslim trader abducted Wednesday in Chiththaandi area, allegedly by a Tamil paramilitary group. The Federation has also released a hand-bill titled, 'Let us safeguard Tamil-Muslim ties,' sources in Batticaloa said. more..

Book review: Peebles, Patrick. The History of Sri Lanka

Nov 6 (ISL) Sri Lanka has a long and rich history. The island, however, gained global attention in recent years, particularly for its deadly ethnic civil war and the tsunami that swept the shores of Sri Lanka on December 26, 2004 killing over 30,000 people. These and other developments require impartial academic inquiry, and Peebles’ research on the key events and activities of Sri Lanka dating from the early human settlements and socio-political activities of 28,000 B.C.E to the present is, therefore, timely and informative. more..

Killing Off Leaders Will Not Lead To Solution - NPC

Nov 6 (ISL) The killing of LTTE political wing leader and chief negotiator S P Thamilselvan in an air strike in Kilinochchi is likely to lead to more severe escalation of the present phase of war. It deepens the crisis of violence that confronts the country and serves to remind us of the tens of thousands of lives that have been lost, including a large number of democratically elected leaders of the government and other political actors. more..

A visit to “Liberated Areas” of South Mannar District

Nov 6 (TC) A visit to “Liberated People” of Arippu, Silawaturai, Maruthamadu, Kokkupadayan, Potkerny, and Mullikulam”: After about two weeks of “humanitarian operation” by the SL armed forces, it was announced that the above mentioned villages (within the parish of Arippu), were liberated. On the 14th of September I visited these so called “Liberated People” and returned to Negombo on the 16th. In solidarity with the suffering masses I would like to share with you my observations of the plight of the civilian people in the ‘liberated areas’. more..

JVP suffering from irrecoverable neurotic condition

Nov 6 (LG) The right wing Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) is proving to be seriously suffering from acute neurotic conditions leading to chronic verbal diarrhoea. Its Parliamentary group leader and propaganda secretary Wimal Weerawanse when making his observations on S P Thamilchelan’s killing has accused those who had given different perspective to the killing by the air force attack as stooges of American imperialists. more..

Sri Lankan farmers to visit India to study agriculture

Nov 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Hatton National Bank is sending local farmers to India to study agricultural practices and learn new techniques, officials said. The farmers, who are customers of 12 HNB branches hail from agricultural centres like Dambulla, Trincomalee, Vavuniya, Tissamaharama, Gampaha and Nuwara Eliya. "This is to encourage farmers to be more productive," Vishwa Gunawardena of the development banking section at HNB told reporters. more..

Sri Lanka awash in dollar liquidity, country wide inflation at 22.1-pct

Nov 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's country-wide inflation shot up to 22.1 percent in September, the latest data shows, while the monetary authority is grappling with a liquidity shock from foreign borrowings that has flushed the system to unprecedented levels. Sri Lanka's most widely watched index, the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) hit 19.6 percent in October, but the island-wide Sri Lanka Consumer Price Index (SLCPI) overtook the Colombo index two months ago. more..

Conspiracy behind closure of Omanthai Entry/Exit Point - S. Srikanthan

Nov 6 (LD) There is a conspiracy behind yesterday’s (November 05th) indefinite closure of the Entry/Exit Point in Omanthai, Vavuniya after a purported LTTE artillery attack, Tamil National Alliance MP S. Srikanthan said. Joining the debate to extend the State of Emergency in Parliament today, the TNA parliamentarian said that it was an attempt to obstruct the return of the TNA parliamentarians, who went to Kilinochchi to pay their last respects to the slain LTTE Political Wing Leader S.P. Thamilselvan. more..

Humanitarian mission with multi-barrels? – Lakshman Seneviratne

Nov 6 (LD) Is the Prime Minister conducting humanitarian missions? If so, how can there be multi-barrel attacks? If multi-barrel attacks are being carried out, how can it be a humanitarian mission?” So asked UNP MP Lakshman Seneviratne of Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickremanayake in Parliament today (Nov. 06th). Speaking further, Seneviratne alleged that the government was curbing media freedom. more..

Sri Lanka’s story continues to be a tragic one

Nov 6 (KT) THE old widow whom I knew well had several children. One of them was incorrigible and unruly — a jobless drunkard. While the other children looked after the old lady and gave her money, the drunkard visited her only to harass her and take money. Yet, her love for the rebel son was overflowing. I was privy to the conversation where the other children would take the old woman to task for spoiling her son. They wished he had been dead. But she was resolute in her love and prayed that her son was guided on the right path more..

Emergency extended by a month

Nov 6 (GDI) Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanaike in presenting the extension of the Emergency today (06) stated that the bill sought to provide security, law, peace and order, protection of state property and therefore the emergency should be extended by Parliament. The Emergency that prevailed in the island from the 13th August 2005 was approved once again by Parliament on 9th October 2007. more..

Lanka-Pakistan FTA brings major concessions

Nov 6 (GDI) The Free Trade Agreement between Sri Lanka and Pakistan continues to bring major benefits to the country, Deputy Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, addressing the parliament yesterday (5th) stated. The Minister stated that accordingly 1,200 metric tons of betel leaves, 10,000 metric tons of tea and 3 million pieces of apparel will be exported to Pakistan annually subject to concessionary duty rates. more..

International Community acknowledges that the Govt has maintained a sound economic policy

Nov 6 (GDI) “The International Community has accepted that the present Government has been able to maintain a sound economic policy,” stated the Minister of Finance and State Revenue Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, yesterday (5th) in Parliament. Government was able to strengthen its financial capacity in the past couple of weeks and this would facilitate the implementation of proposed development activities of the Government in a more efficient manner, added the Minister. more..

Nursing staff training to be upgraded to degree level

Nov 6 (GDI) Under President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s directive, the Ministry of Health will take steps to upgrade the nursing staff training to the degree level, the President announced yesterday (5th). Accordingly, the nursing schools will also be upgraded to the status of affiliated universities. This decision was taken complying with a request of the Nurses Union yesterday (5th) at a discussion held at Temple Trees. more..