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Tamil Foundation's assets frozen

Feb 12 (AP) The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday froze the assets of a Maryland-based charity that officials accuse of having given money to the Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka. The Tamil Foundation, based in Cumberland, Md., has acted as a support network for the LTTE, which the U.S. government considers a terrorist group, the agency said in a statement. Foundation owner Dr. Nagaratnam A. Ranjithan, a Sri Lankan immigrant, denied the allegation in a telephone interview. more..

Complaint regarding Reginald’s boodle

Feb 12 (LT) A complaint has been received by the Bribery Commission regarding the income of the former Chief Minister for Western Provincial Council Reginald Cooray. The complainant states Mr. Cooray possesses four fixed deposits in the National Savings Bank to the value of Rs.38589478.00, having such an income after being a people’s representative is suspicious and an immediate investigation to this matter should be carried out. more..

Sri Lankan suicide bombing: more hypocrisy from Washington

Feb 12 (wsws) Thirty people—20 soldiers and 10 civilians—were killed by a suspected LTTE female suicide bomber on February 9 in the Mullaithivu district of northern Sri Lanka. It was a desperate act by the LTTE, which is now confined to a small pocket of territory in north-eastern Mullaithivu and faces the full brunt of the Sri Lankan army. The blast took place in a receiving centre at the Sugandarapuram Maha Vidyalaya (school) in Vishvamadu run by the military for civilians fleeing more..

'Tamil Nadu needs to go beyond demonstrations'

Feb 12 (TN) If at all there is any positive impact of the unprecedented uprising and demonstrations, staged spontaneously by the masses of Tamil Nadu and the diaspora, it is the inward awakening of global Tamils to the forces of oppression and to the defiance of the oppressors, whether domestic or international. A historic responsibility lies on the leaders of Tamil Nadu and those who uphold the struggle of the oppressed to channel the positive energy generated from more..

'Give reassurance to civilians who cross over'

Feb 12 (NPC) The plight of civilians trapped in the war zones still controlled by the LTTE has been one of the most tragic features of the present military conflict in Sri Lanka. These people have been subjected to repeated displacement, inadequate supplies of food and other essentials, suffered shelling and bombing, and been forcibly prevented from leaving by the LTTE. The most recent tragedies have been the shooting dead of 19 civilians and more..

‘Samurdhi’ officers to be appointed as ‘Grama Niladharees’

Feb 12 (LT) It has been reported that the Ministry of Internal Administration has decided to recruit ‘Samurdhi’ officers to state service. A cabinet paper has recommended that 700 vacancies that exist in ‘Grama Niladharee’ grade should be filled with ‘Samurdhi’ officers. The paper also has pointed out that the government will not have to incur any additional expenses as ‘Samurdhi’ officers are already drawing a salary equivalent to that of ‘Grama Niladharees’. more..

'Govt. attempts to commence private universities'

Feb 12 (LT) By giving permission to establish a private medical college at Malabe, Mahinda Rajapakse government is taking measures to privatize education complains Medical College Students’ Action Committee (MCSAC). The government has given permission to conduct a five year course in medicine to South Asian Institute of Technology and Management Private Ltd., which has been registered as a higher educational institute. more..

26 Pottuvil Muslims sentenced to imprisonment

Feb 12 (PSM) The 26 Muslims from Pottuvil who were indicted by the Attorney General before the Moneragala High Court pleaded guilty to the offence and were sentenced to one year term of imprisonment today by the High Court Judge Moneragala. These people were taken into custody on 18th August 2008 on an allegation of supplying provisions to the LTTE. High Court Judge Amal Karunaratne made the order after Counsel for the accused tendered their plea for the offence and the submission for mitigation. more..

'LTTE must stop suppression of Tamil civilians'

Feb 12 (GDI) Rt.Revd. Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo in a statement on the fate and freedom of civilians caught up in the war, unreservedly condemned the two recent incidents of violence unleashed against innocent and defenceless civilians by the LTTE. “The LTTE must immediately stop this ruthless suppression of Tamil civilians,” the statement said. more..

‘Trade union action by CEB employees’

Feb 12 (LG) The above captioned article that was alarming appeared in all the newspapers recently which said that "the Draft Act would weaken the power of the CEB despite the assurance given by the Ministry that distribution would be given only to government institutions." It is appropriate to remind all those in authority why divesting of distribution of electricity was considered as far back as 1982, which gave birth to the Lanka Electricity Company. more..

The origin and teachings of Buddhism

Feb 12 (LG) The story of Buddhism might be said to have begun with a loss of innocence. Siddhartha Gautama, a young prince of the Shakhya clan in India, had been raised in a life of royal ease, shielded from the misery and cruelties of the world outside the palace gates, distracted by sensual pleasures and luxurious living. But one day the fateful encounter with the real world occurred, and Siddhartha was shaken to the core. more..

Hayleys and USAID bring farmers of different communities together in the East

Feb 12 (PISL) A pilot project linking 194 farmers of various ethnicities in the Eastern Province with the global market has recently been completed by the Hayleys Group, with the support of the USAID. Carried out as part of the Hayleys Group corporate social responsibility programme, through its subsidiary Sunfrost, the pilot project prepared the ground for produce such as gherkins, more..

'Over 32,500 civilians flee uncleared areas'

Feb 12 (GDI) The Government yesterday said over 32,500 civilians out of the total population of 113, 832 in the Mullaitivu district have fled uncleared areas and sought protection with the Forces. Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said 6,000 civilians have arrived per day in cleared areas since last week and the Government has launched a comprehensive program to ensure their safety and welfare. more..

Kirulapona slum to be upgrade

Feb 12 (LP) The upgrading project of Kirulapona slum, a multi-party development program initiated by the United Nations Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT), Lanka Financial Services for Underserved Settlement (LFSUS), HSBC and SAPSRI was launched today. The prime objective of the project is to provide financial aid for underserved settlements in Sri Lanka. A Memorandum of Understating (MoU) in this connection was signed last Tuesday (10). more..

SAARC Ministers meet President

Feb 12 (LP) Participants at the SAARC Parliamentary Affairs Ministers conference called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at President’s House on Tuesday (10th). They are Afghanistan’s Parliamentary Affairs Deputy Minister Mohammad Karim Baz, Bangladesh’s Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed, Bhutan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Lyonpo Ugyen Tshering, India’s Parliamentary Affairs State Minister Suriyakanta J. Patil, more..

Charges against Dr. Mervyn Silva withdrawn by AG

Feb 12 (LP) Colombo High Court was informed in writing by the Attorney General’s Department yesterday (11th) that it had decided to withdraw the indictment against Minister Mervyn Silva on alleged assault on a Sirasa cameraman and damaging a camera on August 6, 2008. Minister Mervyn Silva was alleged to have assaulted a journalist and damaged two video cameras belonging to the MTV Channel. more..

Army 58 Div makes significant gains on battleground- North of A-35

Feb 12 (MoD) Army 58 Division maneuvering north of the A-35 road (Paranthan- Mullaittivu) has been fighting pitched battles with the terrorists in the Kuppilankulam and Tamarankulam areas since last week. Battlefield reports indicate that troops have withstood heavy terrorist resistances while scoring significant victories against the terrorists. During yesterday's operations, troops of 9 Gemunu Watch (9GW) captured a highly fortified terrorist camp located in Sinna Villu area, more..

2 foreigners drown in Mahaweli estuary

Feb 12 (SAMN) Two foreigners drowned Wednesday when the van they were inside went off the ferry where it was boarded for being ferried across the Mahaweli estuary in the Keeniya police division of Trincomalee, and fell into the water when they reportedly turned on the vehicle’s ignition key to turn on its AC module to cool off the day with artificial ventilation. Navy divers found the bodies of I. Fujiwara, a Japanese national and Arnulfo Bolanto, a Philippine national, more..

Ministry regrets bias of UN 'experts'

Feb 12 (SAMN) The Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights in a release said Wednesday that it regrets a recent statement of 10 UN experts, that is supposedly about the "suppression of criticism, impunity, but which deals at length with the current situation in the north, where forces are battling a terrorist movement. An advanced version of the release which spoke of 'unabated impunity' had been sent to the Sri Lankan mission in Geneva, more..

Minister warns of another war with IDPs

Feb 12 (SAMN) Though the war was over the government faced another war having to fulfil the needs of the Internally Displaced Persons’, Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said Wednesday. “Although we have won the war, we have another war when it comes to fulfilling the basic needs and the resettlement issues of the IDPs,” Mr. Abeywardena said in response to the opposition comments calling to address the economic crisis. more..

LTTE push to keep civilians under thumb

Feb 12 (SAMN) The LTTE which has been disappointed with the way the exodus of civilians fleeing from the Tiger controlled area, have forced the civilians to go further North East of Puthukuduyiruppu and South of Chalai in their bid to keep them under their control for a long period, military sources told the Daily News Wednesday. “The LTTE had pushed the civilians towards the Putumatalan area North East of Puthukuduyiruppu”, more..

New laws on wildlife conservation

Feb 12 (DN) The Sports and Public Recreation Ministry together with the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry is to bring in new laws pertaining to wildlife conservation and zoo management in line with recommendations of the South Asian Zoo Association for Regional Corporation (SAZARC). SAZARC’s Nineth Annual Conference is held in Colombo from February 10 to 15 organised by the Ministry of Sports and Public Recreation and the National Zoological Gardens. more..

Time running out for trapped civilians

Feb 12 (Island) With the Sri Lanka Army now poised to finish off the Tigers on the Vanni front, a tripartite agreement to evacuate 160 sick and wounded from Putumattalan, on the north-eastern coast today is likely to be the last organised evacuation. Authoritative military sources said further evacuation of civilians was unlikely in view of the rapidly intensifying close quarter confrontations between the Army and the LTTE. more..

'Share your resources on books and bricks and not bombs'

Feb 12 (DN) Sri Lanka’s Independence Day celebrations were held in Washington D C with more than 1,200 guests in attendance. Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya called upon the pro-LTTE Diaspora to join the Government in supporting the redevelopment of the country. “Don’t give your money to bombs and bullets. We need to rebuild the lives of so many Sri Lankans.” “Instead, let us all share our resources to buy bricks and books,” he said, more..

Police find two auctioned infants

Feb 12 (Island) Police traced two infants auctioned in Bodhiraja Mawatha, Maligawatte and are following up on available clues to seal the clandestine operation. The operator, a woman is already in custody. Police investigations have yet to unravel reasons for the operation. Were the infants being bought only by childless couples or for other nefarious medical purposes as in Calcutta? The infants had been kept at a house in the Maligawatte police area. more..

Hashan warns ‘cancerous disease’ eating Sri Lanka

Feb 12 (DM) Former cricket captain Hashan Tillekaratne yesterday unleashed his fury on Sri Lanka’s selectors calling them a bunch of “incompetent individuals, masquerading as selectors” after the team failed to beat India at the post in the inaugural twenty-20 match. While blasting the selectors in the harshest possible words Tillekaratne said the sidelining of the hard hitting Indika de Saram from the important number three slot and more..

Give relief when war ends - Ranil

Feb 12 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday that the time was ripe to give relief to the people as the war was coming to an end. “People have tightened their belts and made sacrifices and they should be compensated now as the war is coming to an end,” he said, addressing the final election rally of the UNP in Kandy yesterday. Mr. Wickremesinghe said the security forces should be congratulated on their achievements, but more..

Situation report (Feb 12) by SLA

Feb 12 (SLA) TROOPS conducting more and more searches in the areas north of SURANTHARANPURAM, MULLAITTIVU Thursday morning uncovered an LTTE 81mm mortar manufacturing plant from the area. The plant had equipment for filling of explosives and production of barrel type claymore mines inside the premises when the Army troops found the site. The recovery came in the wake of Army’s capture of an LTTE’s Printing Press and a Pressing and Cutting machine from the south of PUTHUKKUDIYIRUPPU more..

Professional counseling for those kept as LTTE hostages

Feb 12 (MoD) Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry officials have discovered that the people who had been kept as hostages by the LTTE suffer from severe psychological trauma due to various hardships they faced in the hands of the LTTE. The Ministry will offer them professional counseling shortly, Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry sources said. Sources said that Ministry officials had recently toured Visuamadu and more..

'Poor form a factor in quitting'

Feb 12 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene has said his poor form in recent one-day matches was a factor in his decision to resign as captain of Sri Lanka. "I was not making runs according to the standards I had set myself," Jayawardene said in Colombo, a day after he announced his resignation. "I have been thinking about it for a while and it was the right decision made at the right time." more..

Series to India, worries to Sri Lanka

Feb 12 (CI) "We were beaten fair and square ... we were outplayed in all departments. While we are disappointed, and the Sri Lankan fans are obviously upset, we should all realise that we lost to the best one-day team in the world." - That was Muttiah Muralitharan on the series. Cricinfo looks at the issues that made the difference. The captain Mahela Jayawardene has been struggling to find runs and the lower middle order has not allowed him any breathing space. more..

Mahela's decision a shock - Muralitharan

Feb 12 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan has said he knew Mahela Jayawardene was planning to quit the captaincy but the decision yesterday left the team in shock. Jayawardene said he was stepping down to give his successor enough time to settle down before the 2011 World Cup but Muralitharan felt off-field politics had also contributed to the decision. "Mahela Jayawardene's decision to resign was a shock to the team," Muralitharan wrote more..

Sri Lanka tourism re-launch mooted

Feb 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tourist hotel industry body has suggested a fresh campaign to promote the island as a destination for visitors now that the ethnic war that deterred tourists is ending. "Sri Lanka tourism is beginning to be cautiously optimistic, with the inevitable end to the long and protracted war situation," a statement from the Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) said. more..

Civilians evacuated by sea from combat zone

Feb 12 (IRIN) The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) organised the second seaborne transport in three days on 12 February to evacuate 140 wounded and sick civilians from the combat zones in northern Sri Lanka, its officials said. "The ferry has arrived at Putumattalan, where the civilians remain today in the morning and we will start moving the patients to it," Sophie Romanens, ICRC communications coordinator in Sri Lanka, told IRIN. more..

In Sri Lanka, Tamil women suffer the worst of war

Feb 12 (IANS) In one of the biggest hospitals in Sri Lanka's north, many women patients wonder why they survived the fighting between the Tamil Tigers and the military that killed so many of their friends. A woman in her late 40s frequently breaks down as she lies on a bed in a hospital in Mannar, clutching her son of two-and-a-half years who has lost a leg. Her two other children are missing, residents in the region say. more..

Black shirt protest by TN MPs on Lanka issue

Feb 12 (UNI) India's Sri Lanka's policy came under flak in Parliament during the President's address today with eight members from Tamil nadu recording their protest by turning up in black shirts. These MPs belonged to the CPI(2), PMK(4) and MDMK (2). Mid-way through the address of Ms Pratibha Patil, MDMK members Krishnan and Ravichandran raised slogans against the country's policy in Sri Lanka where the military offensive against the rebel LTTE still continues. more..

'We support negotiated political settlement in Lanka'

Feb 12 (UNI) Expressing concern over the plight of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka, Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today said India continued to support a negotiated political settlement within the framework of an undivided Sri Lanka acceptable to all the communities, including ethnic Tamils. In her 75-minute Address to the Joint Session of Parliament, she appealed to both the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to return to the negotiating table. more..

More Sri Lanka wounded evacuated

Feb 12 (BBC) The ICRC says it has evacuated a further 160 sick and wounded people trapped by fighting in north Sri Lanka. An ICRC spokeswoman told the BBC that a vessel was on its way to Trincomalee after collecting civilian patients from the coastal village of Putumattalan. On Tuesday the ICRC evacuated 240 patients from the same village. The Red Cross says recent fighting has claimed hundreds of civilian lives and trapped tens of thousands of people. more..

Sri Lankan troops kill 28 Tamil rebels

Feb 12 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops killed 28 Tamil rebels and seized a cache of weapons and ammunition in their latest push for victory in the island's drawn-out ethnic conflict, the government said Thursday. Security forces captured nine mortar tubes from a fortified camp at Kuppilankulam on Wednesday, the defence ministry said in a statement, adding 28 Tamil Tiger guerrillas had been killed in fighting in the area. more..

Buddhist leaders back Rajapakse on war against "terror"

Feb 12 (PTI) Amidst calls to halt operations against LTTE from some international quarters to facilitate movement of Tamil civilians from tiger-held areas, top Buddhist leaders have asked Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse to "courageously" deal with "terrorism". The four senior most Mahanayake Theras asked President Rajapakse to take "courageous and just measures" required to curb terrorism and to deal with other national issues. more..

Wounded Sri Lankans flee harrowing days in war zone

Feb 12 (Reuters) Tamil Tigers rebels shot at civilians trying to flee fighting in Sri Lanka's northern war zone, wounded witnesses said on Thursday after escaping with the help of the Red Cross. The military says at least 32,000 people have fled the war zone in the Indian Ocean island's northeast, where troops aim to deal a death blow to separatist LTTE they have cornered there and end a 25-year-old civil war. more..

Army creates new 'safe zone' in Sri Lankan war

Feb 12 (AP) Sri Lanka's army disbanded the mostly ineffective "safe zone" it had established in the war-wracked north and set up a new refuge Thursday for the tens of thousands of civilians still trapped. Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said the government set up a new haven because the Tamil Tiger rebels forced most of the civilians seeking shelter from the fighting out of the original one. more..

Rapping About 'Genocide'

Feb 13 (PBS) In Wednesday's New York Times, a headline on page A5 read: "To Some Sri Lankan Ears, Dissonant Undertones in an Acclaimed Rapper's Music." The story, from the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo by correspondent Thomas Fuller, began: "To many Americans, Maya Arulpragasam, known as M.I.A., is the very pregnant rapper who gyrated across the stage at Sunday's Grammy Awards. Yet in Sri Lanka, where she spent her childhood years, M.I.A. remains virtually unknown. more..

Des Browne - special envoy to Sri Lanka

Feb 13 (AT) British Prime Minister Gordon Browne has announced the appointment of Des Brown, MP as his Special Envoy for Sri Lanka. Former Defense Secretary, Des Browne is the current Scotish Secretary of the British government. Des Browne will focus on the immediate humanitarian situation in northern Sri Lanka and the Government of Sri Lanka's work to set out a political solution to more..

India shifts stand on Sri Lanka

Feb 13 (Rediff) India has mended its stand on Sri Lanka, no longer insisting that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam should lay down arms as a pre-condition for talks with the government in Colombo for a political settlement. Instead of asking the LTTE to lay down the arms, India now wants it to at least agree in principle to lay down the arms as that can pave the way for negotiations with the Sri Lankan government. more..

The war’s grim last chapter

Feb 13 (Economist) GAUNT, wide-eyed and layered with grime, hundreds of civilians have started stumbling out of the diminishing patch of northern Sri Lanka that Tamil Tiger rebels continue to defend. Images released by the army show exhausted men, women and children clutching meagre belongings stuffed into schoolbags, sacks and weathered suitcases. Few wear shoes or slippers. Their feet are dusty and cracked from the trek into government-held areas. more..

'Distorted international perception of developments in North'

Feb 13 (AT) Chairman Robert Evans, Members of the South Asia Delegation of the European Parliament, representatives of the European Council, European Commission and my fellow South Asians. It is clear that the LTTE in Sri Lanka and its front organizations abroad, desperate in the face of impending military defeat, have over the past two weeks resorted to means unparalleled in recent times. This is not surprising. more..

Pangs of Eelam War 4

Feb 13 (LG) No nation that call themselves civilized have ever bombed the life out of the people whom they call their own. Bombing hospitals out of existence is even more barbaric and this can happen only in Sri Lanka and yet the Head of this failed state Mahinda Rajapakse in the National day address says: “Our troops were able to carry forward the battle against terror with great care so as not to cause harassment to the innocent Tamil people”. Nothing can be further from the truth. more..

Foreign Minister meets with the ICRC Head

Feb 13 (LG) In view of the rapidly unfolding situation in the North, the Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama met with the Head of the International Committee for Red Cross (ICRC) Mr. Paul Castella in order to discuss the present situation in the conflict zone and to exchange views on the difficulties encountered by the ICRC so that both sides could explore ways and means of jointly addressing the issues at hand. more..

Norwegians too are crocodile tearing

Feb 13 (LG) An examination of a statement from Norway addressed to President Mahinda Rajapakse shows the kind of mischievous garbage Sri Lanka had to put up with such foreign elements. Using the late Thamilselvan – Zoo Paa – as their contact man, the Norwegians did a lot of damage by aiding, helping and training the Tigers especially in undersea operations. They had ultimate intentions. more..