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Sri Lanka on verge of defeating rebels

UN deplores suicide attack in northern Sri Lanka

Feb 10 (UN) The United Nations has condemned today’s suicide attack at a registration centre for civilians fleeing the fighting in northern Sri Lanka, which killed and wounded many civilians, including children. The attack comes amid a growing humanitarian crisis in the northern part of the South-East Asian nation, where some 250,000 civilians are trapped by fighting between Government forces and the separatist LTTE. more..

My opening will benefit the team - Dilshan

Feb 10 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan, who will juggle captaincy and wicketkeeping in the upcoming Twenty20 international against India, has said Sri Lanka will benefit by persisting with him as an opener. In 11 matches as an opener, Dilshan averages 56.22 with one hundred and three half-centuries at a strike rate of 94.57, but felt there were a few issues that needed smoothening. "I opened the batting in school. It is not something new for me to go and face the new ball," said Dilshan. more..

Teams switch on to Twenty20 mode

Feb 10 (CI) It's the first Twenty20 international in Sri Lanka. India overwhelmed the home side in the five-match ODI series and are again favourites for the Twenty20 game. India are winners of the ICC World Twenty20 and Sri Lanka are without several key players, but the format gives the underdogs an outside chance to spring a surprise. More than the result, however, this match allows Sri Lanka to try out a few players. more..

Paul Harris congratulate Sri Lankan President for avoiding the bifyrication of the country

Feb 10 (AT) Paul Harris congratulated the Sri Lankan President for managing to safe the country from being bifurcated by the LTTE separatist outfit. "The government of Sri Lanka and its President are to be congratulated on the prosecution of the war with the LTTE which has been accomplished with resolve and courage” said Paul Harris who is in the hit list of the LTTE. more..

A political solution to end the conflict in Sri Lanka: Symbolism and Substance

Feb 10 (AT) Often, in conflict resolution, symbolic gestures that build credibility go a long way in preparing the ground for introducing more substantive measures over time. The Sri Lankan conflict has bled the country for so long no one expects or should expect miraculous solutions overnight. However, it is important for people to know that our leaders have a vision as to how appropriate solutions can be found and more..

V for Victory-D for Defeat

Feb 10 (AT) Snap shots ….Dancing on the streets. Sounds of blasting crackers. Waving Lion flags. Banners on display. Joy Unlimited. Ecstatic and Elated. Military Parade with Pride… Nation has not devoured a moment of this nature in living memory. Not now, on behalf of those in white flannels or colorful pyjama kits, as in the past, but in glee for the men in battle fatigue. A nation that needed a win at cricket to cheer turns with unbounded joy to jubilate with the Security Forces, more..

Malinga ready for first big step after miracle cure

Feb 10 (CI) Lasith Malinga is back and ready for Tuesday's Twenty20 game, the first big step on his return from injury. The hair is as wild and woolly as ever, the highlights are intact - as is the confidence, despite a year's lay-off due to a dodgy knee. The journey out of anonymity, though, has been a roller-coaster ride - and with a few mystical moments. He first noted the pain in his right knee on February 22 during more..

Release details of IDPs coming into Govt controlled areas - Sangaree

Feb 10 (AT) Names of those civilians arriving at the IDPs’ centers to be made known, relatives should be allowed to accommodate IDPs coming to the Government areas and the local social organizations, members of the rural development societies and local NGOs must be allowed to assist the IDPs and visit them. These were requests made by V. Anandasangaree, to the President of Sri Lanka. more..

'Parties must grant safe passage to stranded patients and medical staff'

Feb 10 (ICRC) Puthukkudiyiruppu Hospital was shelled repeatedly between 1 and 4 February. Early in the morning of 4 February, the Ministry of Health (MoH) personnel who ran the facility determined that it was not safe for patients to remain there any longer and decided to have them leave immediately. An ICRC team that was on the premises supporting the MoH staff helped the doctors and nurses to prepare the patients and to pack emergency medical supplies. more..

Reformist perspective on constitutional change

Feb 10 (GV) This is the text of the speech delivered at the seminar organized by NIPU on December 21, 2008. Since the late 1980s, there has been a general consensus that the Second Republican Constitution enacted in 1978 and the state structure set up by it should be replaced by a new constitution based on a new set of principles. It has also been emphasized that a legal foundation for a new state structure that is radically different from the state structure existed since 1948 should be placed. more..

Dilemma's at war's end: Thoughts on hard realities

Feb 10 (GV) With an uncertain number of Tamil ‘civilians’ trapped within the beleaguered and shrinking LTTE territory, Sri Lankan Tamils in the island as well as across the globe are understandably concerned about the fate of their brethren. Even those who are hostile to the LTTE have responded emotionally to this situation. The issue I raise is whether emotion and humanitarian concern have eclipsed realism and factuality. more..

Oh! Brothers and sisters we Tamils and Sinhalese are!

Feb 10 (LG) Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Malays and Burghers are all fellow citizens of Sri Lanka. If there are anyone who think otherwise like for instance Major General Sarath Fonseka, the head of the armed forces who feel that the Tamils live by the grace of the Sinhalese people, they had better make plans to seek domicile elsewhere. Of course, in the case of Sarath Fonseka, being a Green Card holder, he can go back to the United States. more..

FM's meeting with Heads of UN Agencies based in Colombo

Feb 10 (LG) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama today held a meeting with Heads of UN Agencies based in Colombo with the view to discussing all issues of mutual interest regarding the protection of civilians in the conflict zone. The UN Resident Coordinator along with the Representatives of UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP and the Chief Security Advisor of the UN Office in Colombo were present. more..

BBC suspends Sri Lanka FM reports

Feb 10 (BBC) The BBC World Service is to stop providing radio news to Sri Lanka's state broadcaster because of what it calls "deliberate interference". A statement said FM broadcasts to the Sri Lankan Broadcasting Corporation would be suspended from Tuesday. The BBC said many of its news reports in Sinhala, Tamil and English had been blocked or only partially broadcast. more..

Govt needs Anandasangaree as much as the people in the Wanni

Feb 10 (LG) Mr V Anandasangaree is the legitimate voice of the people of Wanni. As a duly elected Member of Parliament for several years, he was the one who helped in the development of both the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts. He virtually knows the entire electorate as his own backyard. The denial of his stature as the voice of the Wanni people was effected by Prabhakaran himself who wanted more..

Sri Lanka risks becoming next Zimbabwe, widow warns

Feb 10 (Guardian) Sri Lanka is on the road to a "Zimbabwe-style dictatorship or rule by a military junta like that of Burma" committed to snuffing out dissent, according to the widow of Lasantha Wickrematunga, the crusading Sri Lankan editor who was shot dead last month. Speaking from an undisclosed location, Sonali Samarasinghe told the Guardian she had had to flee the country after the government "did nothing" to catch her husband's killers. more..

India’s Sri Lanka Problem: Keeping the fingers crossed

Feb 10 (TC) The success of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces in inflicting a series of defeats on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) since the middle of 2006 and in restoring the writ of the State over 95 per cent of the territory in the Tamil majority Eastern and Northern provinces, which was under the control of the LTTE, has been greeted in India with a mix of satisfaction and concern. more..

My brother's brutal murder has shamed Sri Lankans

Feb 10 (Guardian) Each time I am confronted by the large billboards on the busy streets of Colombo advertising Sri Lanka as a tourist destination, I wonder if they have another relevance. "A land like no other" is the tagline used by the national tourist board. Wracked by a separatist war, this nation has been unfortunate on more than one front for the last 30 years or more. more..

Colombo’s plea to global agencies

Feb 10 (Hindu) Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on Monday said the casualties caused by the LTTE were under-reported and urged some of the international agencies to be mindful of the responsibility cast on them in disseminating information. He was talking to heads of the UN agencies based in Colombo at a meeting convened by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama. more..

'Indian Tamils safe in Sri Lanka despite war'

Feb 10 (Hindu) The war between Sri Lankan forces and the LTTE has in no way created any problem for the Tamils of Indian origin in that country, says Xavier Joseph, who stayed there for 20 days in January. Mr. Joseph, 50, belongs to one of the 700 Tamil families from Sri Lanka rehabilitated at Kulathupuzha, near here, under the Sirimavo-Shastri agreement of October 1964. He told The Hindu at Kulathupuzha that his relatives and mother lived in Ragala, more..

Sri Lanka defeated RAW’S game plan

Feb 10 (FP) On 61st national day of President Mahinda Rajapakse said that shadows of terrorism have almost been wiped out with the last remnants of the LTTE cornered in a patch of jungle in the island's northeast. He further stressed while saying "I am confident that the Tigers will be completely defeated in a few days." According to the media reports Sri Lankan forces have gained control over 98% area which was earlier held by LTTE. more..

At the beginning of a new terror in Sri Lanka

Feb 10 (TT) Shortly after Sri Lanka’s 61st independence day celebrations on February 4 and his rousing speech on the occasion, President Mahinda Rajapakse was photographed intently watching a snake-charmer at an exhibition in Colombo. In the north-east of the country, his men in battle fatigues are doing the work of the snake-charmer, but with a minor difference. Their deadly opponents are not being incarcerated, but are being systematically obliterated from the face of the earth. more..

Frost over the World: Rohitha Bogollagama

'Sri Lanka ancient economy may have collapsed due to debasement'

Feb 10 (LBO) A period of prosperity based on international trade, under an ancient Sri Lankan king may have declined following monetary debasement, as well as decline in external trade, a top economist in the island said. Central Bank deputy governor W A Wijewardene says, during the reign of king Parakramabahu the Great (1153-1186) Sri Lanka may have been the most prosperous nation in the world, when he ruled from Polonnaruwa. more..

SEP campaigns in a Sri Lankan fishing village

Feb 10 (wsws) As part of its campaign for the February 14 provincial elections in Sri Lanka, a Socialist Equality Party (SEP) team visited Udappu, an isolated fishing village in the Puttalam district of Northwestern province. The SEP is standing two lists, each of 19 candidates, one for Puttalam district and the other for Nuwara Eliya district in Central Province. The party is well known in Udappu as a result of its principled opposition to the government's war against the LTTE and more..

Tale of an elephant and a 1,000 rupee note

Feb 10 (PSM) This story deserves a place in any book on ‘remarkable tales.’ It is a story of an unusual journey of an elephant from a far flung jungle in the Eastern Province to the Dalada Maligawa, which finally ended up being given pride of place on a thousand rupee note still in circulation in our island nation. The elephant we are talking about is one many of us are already familiar – the pachyderm we have seen printed with a man wearing a cap near it, and appearing on the 1,000 rupees notes. more..

'Many will lose the right to vote'

Feb 10 (LT) Many applications were left unattended at Divisional Secretariats and many would lose the right to vote if they fail to obtain the identity cards on time says National Organizer for Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) Keerthi Tennakoon. He said many applications were stuck at the respective Divisional Secretariats with just days before the deadline for receiving applications ends and the Department of Elections must take immediate steps to issue temporary identity cards to voters. more..

Compensation for the dead in suicide bomb attack

Feb 10 (GDI) The families of the civilians who died at the brutal LTTE suicide bomb attack will be compensated with immediate effect, a spokesman to the ministry of rehabilitation and resettlement told to For victims who deserted their families, the siblings will be compensated with Rs: 100,000. It was decided to pay Rs: 50,000 to the siblings of victims who are single while the victims under 18 are compensated with Rs: 25,000. more..

Doctors volunteer to serve IDPs

Feb 10 (GDI) Ten doctors from the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital have volunteered to serve in the Vavuniya welfare camps tending the internally displaced persons. They are scheduled to leave for Vavuniya today. Spokesman for the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) said yesterday (10) that The Association had urged Additional Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayatilake to ensure that the volunteers receive adequate security so that they in turn could provide proper care for the IDP’s. more..

Amnesty International forgets that suicide bombers kill people

Feb 10 (PISL) The Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process regrets the disregard shown for human life in the press release issued by Amnesty International regarding the suicide bombing that took the lives of 28 Sri Lankans. The release seems to be largely the work of Yolanda Foster, now described as AI's Sri Lanka expert. Ms Foster's expertise derives from a stint in Colombo as more..

Ministers fund infrastructure projects

Feb 10 (GDI) Four rural infrastructure projects implemented in the Imbulpe Divisional Secretariat Division in the last year with the funds allocated by the two Ratnapura District Parliamentarians from their decentralised Budget have been completed with the voluntary participation of the public, said M.M. Gunasinghe Divisional Secretary. Belihuloya-Walakada road at a cost of Rs. 250,000 and Imbulpe-Ilukwatta road at a cost of Rs. 250,000 have been concreted more..

Government to review arrangements for IDPs

Feb 10 (GDI) Following the brutal suicide attack at Sugandirapuram, with 28 casualties, including unarmed servicemen, the Government will review the existing arrangement to accept the civilians fleeing from non liberated areas in the Mullaitivu district from today. In defiance of LTTE atrocities, the influx of civilians in their thousands to the Government controlled areas has caused many problems within the LTTE ranks. more..

A Rs. 20 Trillion loss due to the prevailing conflict and world recession

Feb 10 (LP) The country had lost Rs. 20 Trillion in its quarter century long struggle against separatist rebels, the LTTE said the Director of Economic Affairs of the Government Peace Secretariat Rohantha Athukorala. For 35 years Sri Lanka had been fighting terrorism and has lost Rs 20 Trillion and the economy will not be able to handle anymore shocks given the fact that the world is already in recession and 60 percent of our exports go to the US and EU, said the Director. more..

The Cluster Bomb Game

Feb 10 (PISL) I was deeply shocked by news on Friday that stones had been thrown at the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The day before it had been the Indian cricketers, an appalling departure from our usual civilised behaviour as spectators. Such violence must stop, and I hope that message will go out loud and clear. With regard to the ICRC indeed it is suggested that the violence was organised, and connected with criticisms made of the organisation by government. more..

60,000 temporary IDs issued for upcoming PC polls

Feb 10 (GDI) Nearly 60,000 temporary identity cards had been issued to voters in both the Wayamba and Central Provinces for the upcoming PC polls, The Department of Elections yesterday said. The highest number of temporary IDs viz: 20,000 were issued to voters in the Kurunegala District numbering over 20,000. Nearly 6000 temporary IDs had also been issued in the Puttalam District in the Wayamba Province. more..

The future of the LTTE

Feb 10 (LG) The Sri Lankan government security forces have struck the Liberation Tigers hard. The Sinhala polity is in a state of euphoria which is rapidly morphing into hysteria. A southern consensus is emerging to sacrifice democracy and freedom for the annihilation of the dreaded Tigers. Ultimately, it is the Sinhala politicians and not the generals who have the power to bring the northern insurgency to an end. more..

'Suicide bomber’s target was Brigadier Shavendra Silva'

Feb 10 (AT) It has now become very clear that the LTTE woman suicide bomber targeted Brigadier Shavendra Silva, the Commander of Sri Lanka Army’s 58 Division, but he miraculously escaped. Brigadier Shavendra Silva subsequently vowed that he will continue with the humanitarian operation and liberate the innocent Tamil civilians languishing as hostages of the LTTE. more..

International coup d’tat against Sri Lanka

Feb 10 (LG) There is an international coup d’tat against the Sri Lankan Government to stop its war operations against the Tamil Tiger Terrorists with the sole intention of giving LTTE a breathing space. The first operation of this international conspiracy was prompted by a joint statement by Tokyo Co –Chairs (TCC) which included Norway, Japan, US an EU. We appreciate the fact Tokyo- Co-Chairs are concerned of the hapless Tamil civilians trapped in LTTE areas and more..

Situation report (Feb 10) by SLA

Feb 10 (SLA) MULLAITTIVU: TROOPS of the 57 Division conducted a search operation in RAMANADAPURAM area and recovered ten Tri Nitro Toluene (TNT) explosive slabs, one Anti Personnel Mine, ten fuses, one Jonny mine, one RPG round and thirty-five Bangalore Torpedoes on Monday. In the search operation conducted after confrontations in the north of MULLAITTIVU town, troops of the 59 Division recovered one T-56 weapon, one T-56 magazine, thirty rounds of ammunition, two hand grenades, six batteries, more..

SAP boost for rural industries

Feb 10 (DN) South Asia Partnership (SAP) taking early steps to rehabilitate the devastated coir industry in the Southern coastal belt, in the aftermath of tsunami 2004 is a great source of strength to President Mahinda Rajapaksa's effort to improve and re-develop tsunami hit rural industries, said Southern Province Governor Kumari Balasuriya at Galle. She was speaking as the chief guest at the SAP seminar workshop organised by the SAP and held at Galle Light House Hotel. more..

Queen Victoria and the name she left behind

Feb 10 (DN) It’s a bit of a mystery how dictionaries come to tell us that the name victorian, being the designation of the long reign Queen Victoria ruled, is associated with things like prudery, stuffiness, middle class respectability, moral strictness, old fashioned ideas and out dated beliefs For these are the very things, it may be said, she fought against. Readers who read that charming story that appeared in the Daily News a week or two ago about more..

Health Ministry officials rush to welfare villages

Feb 10 (Island) Around 11,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), including a large number of children and pregnant women have fled Mullaitivu and sought refuge in government controlled areas. High Health Ministry officials have rushed to Vauniya, where eight welfare villages have been set up for the IDPs, the Health Ministry said. The IDPs were suffering from chronic malnutrition and children from bowel and worm diseases, more..

Major General and two others remanded

Feb 10 (Island) Major General Parakrama Pannipitiya of Brigade 11 attached to the Homagama Army Cantonment was produced before the Gampaha Chief Magistrate Anura Kumara Hereath on Monday along with two others on suspicion of an attempted treasure hunting were remanded till February 19. The major General along with two of his friends were arrested at a jungle eight miles off the Weliweriya Police station at Danawikanda. more..

UNP calls for rescue package

Feb 10 (DM) The main opposition UNP yesterday called for an effective rescue package to revive the economy and said the global economic melt down was rapidly taking its toll on the Sri Lankan economy at a time the country was also engaged in a war. It also called for the appointment of a full time Finance Minister with expertise to handle Sri Lanka’s economy and steer it to safer shores. more..

Political solution to national problem the only way: Vitharana

Feb 10 (DM) A political solution to the national problem is an imperative even after eliminating terrorism. Even if Prabhakaran is destroyed, another Prabhakaran may enter the scene if we failed to solve this problem for good, said Science and Technology Minister Tissa Vitharana who is also Chairman of the All Party Representative Committee. The minister was addressing the annual general meeting of the Wayamba Lanka Human Rights Organization more..

Sri Lanka tea exports rise in 2008

Feb 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka exported 319.7 million kilos of tea and earned an estimated 1.26 billion dollars in 2008, but industry officials said shippers may not have received full payment given the collapse of the market towards the end of the year. Brokers Asia Siyaka Commodities said in a market report that tea exports had done well in a "difficult year" with the volumes shipped being second only to the 327.4 million kilos exported in 2006. more..

Sri Lanka business chamber in anti-pollution campaign

Feb 10 (LBO) A Sri Lankan business chamber said it plans to start an awareness programme to minimise pollution from agriculture and industry in the island's provinces using selected enterprises as models for others. "Industrial pollution is causing lot of damage to the environment in urban and rural areas," the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) said in a statement. more..

Indian Oil unit in the red on hedging loss

Feb 10 (LBO) Listed petroleum distributor Lanka IOC, a unit of the Indian Oil Corporation, says it lost 770 million rupees in the December 2008 quarter due to a one billion rupee hedging loss. At the end of nine months in the 2008/2009 financial year, LIOC's hedging losses have accumulated to 1.77 billion rupees. Last year, LIOC hedged one-third of its exposure without following state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation's practice. more..

Nowhere people

Feb 10 (FL) AS of February 4, the Sri Lankan military had the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) confined to an area of less than 200 square kilometres in the north of the island. The choice for civilians stranded in this war zone is either to revolt against the LTTE leadership, which is evidently fast losing control over the situation, or to end up as canon fodder between the warring sides. more..