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Court releases 'Sinhala Tigers'

Feb 14 (BBC) The judiciary in Sri Lanka has released ten political activists detained for two years under anti-terrorism regulations. Sarath Kumar Fernando, one of the trade unionist arrested under Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), told BBS Sandeshaya that Attorney General (AG) has advised the court that no charges will be filed against the ten activists. 25 Sinhala nationals, trade unionists and media workers, were detained without charges. more..

Top LTTE Agent in Cyprus Arrested

Feb 14 (AT) Herath Mudiyanselage Rohan Priyantha was arrested by the Cyprus Police Thursday 12 February, on information provided by the Tamil community. According to the information he was one of the foremost agents of the LTTE. The investigators found that Herath Mudiyanselage Rohan Priyantha had come to Cyprus on a second passport obtained from the Immigration Department in Colombo, and his real name was Thiyagarajah and hailed from Vavuniya. more..

Narayana Murthy appointed President’s IT advisor

Feb 14 (IANS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday appointed N R Narayana Murthy, chairman of India's Infosys Technologies, as his international advisor on information technology, the president's office said. Rajapaksa made the appointment after inviting Narayana Murthy as the chief guest to the ceremonial launch of '2009-Year of English and Information Technology' at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo on Friday. more..

Downing Street red-faced after Sri Lanka condemns 'envoy'

Feb 14 (Times) Britain was tonight embroiled in a diplomatic row with Sri Lanka after Downing Street mistakenly thought it had been granted approval to appoint a special envoy to focus on the country's deteriorating humanitarian situation. The Sri Lankan government has angrily labelled the appointment of Des Browne, the former Defence Minister, as "extremely unhelpful" and warned of "major repercussions" for relations between the two countries. more..

Government cancels the LTTE’s radio permit

Feb 14 (GDI) The Sri Lanka Government has announced that they had taken a unanimous decision to cancel the permit given to the LTTE to run their radio channel with immediate effect. The LTTE was given permission to have their own radio channel during years 2002 and 2004 while the peace negotiations were in motion. There will be no provision for the LTTE to continue running the channel as of now. more..

Hospital in war zone overwhelmed

Feb 14 (AP) A makeshift hospital serving Sri Lanka's war zone is badly understaffed, running out of crucial medicines and overwhelmed by a flood of civilians wounded in intense fighting between the government and the rebels, the top doctor there said. Dr. Thurairajah Varatharajah said the shrinking conflict zone — where aid groups say 200,000 civilians remain trapped — has been hit by unrelenting artillery fire and gunbattles more..

In Sri Lanka, an invisible boundary in the internet age

Feb 14 (WP) The men looked sleepy as they slumped in their chairs in the afternoon heat, watching the Scooby Doo cartoon. Their boss, Kusal Perera, the head of a Web site that has been critical of the government's war, sighed. His news site,, had to be closed down, one of many media outlets that has been made to censor itself, especially after the death of journalist Lasantha Wickramatunga, 52, a critic of his country's government. more..

'35,000 have moved to safer areas'

Feb 14 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan government has claimed that nearly 35,000 civilians trapped in the war zone have moved into safer areas amid heavy fighting. According to the military, the Tigers were now confined to 140 sq. km. and were engaged in a no-holds-barred combat to halt the military advance. The military said after the announcement of a 12-km. “safe zone” in the LTTE-held area on Thursday, 1,637 civilians had managed to cross over. more..

CPI(M) flays support to Eelam and LTTE

Feb 14 (Hindu) Communist Party of India (Marxist) has flayed the support extended by some parties in the State for a Tamil Eelam and to the LTTE. This will not provide any relief to the sufferings of Tamil civilians in the war zone of the island nation, speakers at a meeting organised by the party said. Madurai MP P. Mohan said that several Tamil organisations and Tamil periodicals held the LTTE equally responsible for the pathetic situation of the civilians. more..

Tigers welcome India’s stand

Feb 14 (EB) The LTTE have welcomed India’s latest stand that the government of Sri Lanka should suspend its military operations against the Tigers, and that the Tigers, in turn, should declare their willingness to lay down arms and begin talks with the government. In a reaction to Indian President Pratibha Patil’s address to the joint session of the two Houses of Parliament on Thursday, the pro-LTTE Tamilnet website said that India had accepted that more..

Susanthika - 'a born athlete'

Feb 14 (BBC) Sri Lanka’s top sprinter and Olympic medallist Susanthika Jayasinghe recently announced she is hanging her boots after an athletic career spanning nearly a decade and half. She has done Sri Lanka proud since winning a medal in the sprint events in the Olympics is not an easy thing, says P T Usha, former Asian sprint queen and Susanthika’s contemporary. more..

Centre faces heat in Parliament

Feb 14 (EB) The UPA government on Friday came under severe criticism from inside and outside of the Parliament, on its attitude towards Sri Lanka and of being ‘insensitive’ to the sufferings of Tamil civilians in the island. Accompanied by hundreds of protestors from his party, MDMK leader Vaiko undertook a day-long protest fast in the capital to express solidarity with hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped in the war between the Lankan Army and the LTTE. more..

After LTTE defeat: Challenges ahead

Feb 14 (AT) Sri Lanka's religious groups, especially the Buddhists need to collect whatever assistance they can give to civilians who are fleeing the small area still held by the LTTE. This is essential in the view of the fact that the Tigers, their local and foreign sympathizers and the self-styled anti-war crusaders have been carrying out relentless world-wide propaganda for the past three decades that is the "Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinists" who have been the primary cause of the present crisis. more..

Prabakaran and his son Charles Antony in Puthukkudiyiruppu

Feb 14 (AT) The surrendered Black Tiger cadres say that LTTE leader Prabakaran and his son Charles Antony are in Puthukkudiyiruppu and only his second son Balachandran and wife Mathivathani are out of the country. They also said that Prabakaran’s only daughter Duwaraka is away in Ireland continuing with her studies. The two surrendered Black Tigers said that the innocent Tamil civilians are held as human shield to safeguard these two people – Prabakaran and his son. more..

Revolutionizing News & Journalism

Feb 14 (LG) Asian communication specialists debated the issue of de-Westernizing social science theory and research at a gathering in Taipei, Taiwan, in mid-December last year. Their contributions will appear in a special issue of the Asian Journal of Communication this year. This gathering propelled my thoughts on revolutionizing news and journalism into higher ontological levels. more..

Carry on treachery of Tamilnet trash and twaddle

Feb 14 (LG) are the types of which legends of the villains and the wicked are written for posterity. That such an infamous and the iniquitous should visit us is our cruel fate. Like the bleach that will yank the unrelenting dirt out, it is hoped our people will get sick of the appalling misinformation and mischief with which our community is being devastated by the likes of more..

Appeal for an amnesty

Feb 14 (LG) The President has in his recent speeches called on the LTTE to surrender, to lay down their arms and ensure that civilians under their control are released so that they can be rehabilitated. Similarly, the Tokyo Co-Chairs (Norway, Japan, US and EU) on Tuesday called on the Tamil Tigers to lay down their arms surrender to the Sri Lankan Government if the civilians of Vanni are to be spared further death and suffering: more..

BBC – going .... going, but not gone fully from Sri Lanka

Feb 14 (AT) The BBC World Service which anounced on Tuesday 09 February that it has stopped providing radio news to Sri Lanka's state broadcaster alleging of "deliberate interference" by government censors, but on the contrary BBC continues daily with 3 1/2 hours of English language broadcast making use of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, the state owned radio of Sri Lanka. more..

Realistic Compromise or Futile Fantasy?

Feb 14 (LG) Victory is within our grasp. The Tigers are about to be completely overthrown, the entire national territory re-unified. That victory will be definitive but not final, total and complete until the leadership cadre of the LTTE is hunted down and destroyed. No one must be allowed to “mediate” an end to the war, because that would deny us victory, provide the Tigers an exit and keep them intact as a player. more..

Browne’s appointment as envoy causes rift with Sri Lanka

Feb 14 (Herald) Des Browne, the former Scottish Secretary, found himself at the centre of an embarrassing diplomatic spat last night after the Sri Lankan Government flatly rejected his appointment as Gordon Brown's Special Envoy to its country, claiming the move smacked of imperialism from its old colonial master. The Tories branded the UK Government's move "incompetent". On Thursday, Gordon Brown unexpectedly announced the appointment of his former cabinet colleague, more..

Robert Evans MEP: Who can protect Tamil civilians caught in the conflict?

Feb 14 (Independent) The news that the Sri Lankan government has rejected Gordon Brown's appointment of the former defence secretary Des Browne as special envoy comes as little surprise to anyone who has been following the situation there. The Sri Lankan government has become increasingly paranoid and defensive about all matters relating to the vicious civil war being waged in the north of the island. more..

A military victory that will sow the seeds of hatred

Feb 14 (Independent) The Sri Lankan government is on the brink of victory in its quarter-century-long conflict with the Tamil Tiger rebels. But it is also in grave danger of squandering the chance to establish a peaceful political settlement between the majority Sinhalese community and the island's Tamil minority. An estimated 200,000 Tamil civilians are trapped in the narrow strip of land still controlled by the rebels in the north-east of the country. more..

Kidnapped Sri Lankan's peace group: 'We don't pay ransom'

Feb 14 (ABS) A peace group insisted Friday that it will not pay ransom for the release of its Sri Lankan member, who was kidnapped in Lamitan City, Basilan province. "Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) does not pay ransom," the organization said in a statement posted on their website hours after the kidnapping of its member, Umar Jaleel, from the group's residence in Barangay Maloong. The group also urged military and police teams pursuing the kidnappers to "seek a nonviolent return" of the Sri Lankan peace worker. more..

Sri Lankan dies in self-immolation protest in Switzerland

Feb 14 (AFP) A British resident of Sri Lankan origin burnt himself to death outside the UN's European headquarters in Geneva in protest at the south Asian conflict, local police said Friday. Police were alerted by passers-by and UN security late Thursday after the man doused himself in petrol and set himself on fire at the largely deserted square outside the United Nations compound. A spokesman for police in the Swiss city, Eric Grandjean, said the man was ablaze when officers arrived. more..

Civilians flee the conflict zone

SEP holds final meetings of election campaign

Feb 14 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) held the final meetings this week of its campaign for the February 14 provincial elections in Sri Lanka—on Tuesday at Hatton in the Nuwara Eliya district of Central Province and on Wednesday at Thoduwawa in the Puttalam district of Northwestern Province. Both meetings drew important layers of young people and workers, despite attempts by the police and political opponents to intimidate supporters and block the events. more..

British Special Envoy-will he be another Eric Solheim

Feb 14 (LG) When Eric Solheim was sent to sri Lanka as a peace facilitator, I wrote a letter titled “SCREEN PEACE TALK FACILITATORS”. There I mentioned quote” we should not accept any facilitators prima facie without investigating their credentials. This should also apply to the Norwegian representative who is now in Sri Lanka to facilitate peace talks. His credentials and hidden agenda need to be investigated first before allowing him to approach the LTTE for any kind of facilitating”. more..

Poignant acts of self-immolation

Feb 14 (TN) It may sound good to say that there is no place for feudal expressions in a 'postmodern' world. It may be true that there can be no second word about resolving issues on a democratic plane. But the first warnings have come pointing to the discrepancy in the effective democratic handling of the situation and calling for rectifications. They have come from non-combatants and have come spontaneously. more..

US foreign relations committee to hold hearings on Sri Lanka

Feb 14 (TN) United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is to hold hearings on "Recent Developments in Sri Lanka' on the 24th February, at the Dirksen Senate Building, Committee's website said. The hearing will be presided by the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Kerry. Witnesses at the hearing are announced to be former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Honorable Jeffrey J. Lunstead, Ms Anna Neistat from Human Rights Watch, and more..

What made Ranil to celebrate the 61st Independence day in isolation?

Feb 14 (LR) When all Sri Lankans proudly celebrated the 61st Independence Day on 4th February 2009, Ranil Wickramasingha and his political ally celebrated the Independence Day in isolation at Kundasale in Kandy as a part of their political agenda for the Central Province election. The main theme of this year’s Independence Day is to celebrate the victory of ‘fight against terrorism’. more..

Golden Card’s income tax fraud revealed

Feb 14 (LT) Golden Key Credit Card Company had allegedly defrauded the Inland Revenue Department for nearly Rs. 150 million. This was revealed in the magisterial inquiry held before Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate Harsh Sethunga yesterday. It was revealed that one of the suspects in the case, Manoj Chaminda, a manager in Ceylinco Security had been deployed as a director of Golden Key Company to negotiate with an officer of the Inland Revenue Department who is now absconding. more..

Sri Lanka Tamil issue echoes in Indian Parliament

Feb 14 (AT) Sri Lanka's ethnic issue is the flavour of the political season in Delhi. It was raised in the Indian Parliament and a day-long sit in and fast was observed very close to Parliament with the proponents describing the SL Tamil issue as a basic human problem and demanding that India should intervene to end the hostilities as they put it. more..

Bank overdrafts rise – Govt. in drastic economic crisis

Feb 14 (LT) The government is confronted with a drastic economic crisis due to dwindling income and high expenditure. The crisis is so severe that the overdraft of the government’s Treasury account at the Taprobane Branch of Bank of Ceylon had risen to Rs.80000 million on 11th February. By 12th February the overdraft of the Ac. No. 2026450 at Taprobane Branch of Bank of Ceylon had risen to Rs.50800 million while the overdraft of Ac. No.2741494 had risen to Rs.31750 million. more..

To win the war and lose the peace

Feb 14 (LNP) It looks like one of the more winnable conflicts in an age of global War on Terror . Sri Lanka appears on the brink of announcing victory in its drawn out battle against the LTTE. The armed separatist group, listed as one of the world s most dangerous terrorist groups has fought successive governments for over quarter century in the guise of liberating the island s Tamil community from a state that has increasingly marginalized linguistic and religious minorities. more..

Japneese monks visit Sri Lanka

Feb 14 (LP) Ven. Teruzumi Fukushima Chief Incumbent of Direjin temple in Japan arrived in Sri Lanka last Sunday with a delegation of eight members. They visited pre-schools that needed assistance and the Dhawalasingharama Maha Viharaya in Colombo. The delegates also watched the "Nawam Perahera" of the Hunupitiya Gangaramaya Temple. Deputy Sanghanayake of Colombo Division Ven. Waskaduwa Sirirathana Thera, more..

Dubai invests US $4 m to develop the local computer manufacturing sector

Feb 14 (BOI) The Board of Investment granted investment approval to EZY Infotech to manufacture Personal Computers and Laptop under the brand name “EZY”. Mr. Dhammika Perera, Chairman signed the agreement on behalf of the BOI and formally presented the BOI Certificate of Registration to Mr. Shafraz Hamzadeen, Country Manger, Sri Lanka Operations and Mr. Ramesh Umashankar, Vice President eSys Teledata Singapore Pte Limited. more..

New conditions for mobile, CDMA

Feb 14 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa Friday directed that new conditions be regulated by phone operators in issuing Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM) and Wireless Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) phones. The order made under powers vested in the President was conveyed to the Court of Appeal which heard a petition by Attorney-at-Law Sushantha Gunawardane who filed a case challenging the new requirement of registration of persons utilizing CDMA phones and mobile phones. more..

Clifford Ratwatte’s funeral today

Feb 14 (SAMN) Former parliamentarian and top official Clifford Ratwatte brother of the Late prime minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike has passed away after a brief illness and the funeral takes place Saturday. Mr. Ratwatte served as the Chairman of the State Plantations Corporation and the Sri Lanka Tea Board. He leaves behind his wife Mallika and his children Kamal and Rosie. more..

Police warn of invoking Goondas Act for Lanka protests

Feb 14 (PTI) As Congress, a key ally of ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu, expressed its concern over the incidents of burning the party flags and effigies of its leaders by those agitating on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, police today warned that such protesters would be booked under Goondas Act. Those who indulged in vandalism or desecration of statues, burning of effigies of leaders, attacking party offices or causing damage to public property would be detained under the Goondas Act, more..

Lanka to launch space technology

Feb 14 (SAMN) Sri Lanka is on the road to achieve its development target and it is time to acquire space technology for the country, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said at a special discussion he had with a group of England’s Surrey University Space Technology experts. Vice-Chancellors and departmental heads of local universities were present at the discussion. Prof. Sir Martin Switig delivered a special lecture on the possibility of accessing outer space and the benefits that could be reaped. more..

Ramadoss sees a huge conspiracy

Feb 14 (NT) Reeling a serious of conspiracy theories (msterminded by Lanka), PMK founder Dr Ramadoss today alleged that there was a great threat to Tamilnadu’s safety from the neighbouring island nation. In a statement issued from his Thailapuram residence today, Ramadoss said that recently Sri Lanka had been enjoying the closer ties with countries like China and Pakistan. more..

Wayamba, Central polls today

Feb 14 (SAMN) Polling will take place from 7.00 am to 4.00 pm today, at 2,579 centres, covering all 40 polling divisions in the five districts, comprising the Central and North-Western Provincial Councils. A total of 2,247 candidates are in the fray from 16 political parties and 43 independent groups. In the Central Province 1,310 candidates are in the contest, from 14 political parties and 26 independent groups. more..

Situation report (Feb 14) by SLA

Feb 14 (SLA) MULLAITTIVU & JAFFNA: THE 58 Division troops received five hundred and forty-one civilians who arrived from LTTE-held un-cleared areas Friday (13). The same day (13) afternoon, seven more IDPs (Internally Displaced Person) reached the navel troops in MUNAI in JAFFNA. They had used a small boat to flee LTTE-held area. VAVUNIYA: A state-owned bus (63-1028) transporting IDPs to VAVUNIYA was caught up in an LTTE claymore mine explosion Saturday (14) more..

No 3-year stay for IDPs

Feb 14 (DN) The Government is concerned to resettle IDPs in their original places of residence as soon as possible and these IDPs from Vanni will not be in welfare centres for three years as alleged by certain media reports, said a statement issued by the Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Ministry. “This press release is issued to enlighten the fact that the Internally Displaced from Vanni region are not to be in the welfare centres for three years, as indicated in certain newspapers. more..

It’s time we commended the paththara bothal karayas

Feb 14 (DN) The vital role played by the paththara bothal karayas or waste collectors who diligently visit homes to collect bottles, papers or those who go through garbage to squeeze out a living should in fact be applauded and assisted. Motivating and managing their contribution to society would make Sri Lanka cleaner and the collectors themselves prosperous. The solid waste problem in Sri Lanka is becoming a major environmental threat that affects the environment, society and economy. more..

A face-saving exercise?

Feb 14 (Island) Politicians are adept at marketing anything to anyone, even air-conditioners to the Inuit. During elections, they 'sell' even the image of their leaders. Posters appear defacing the wayside walls, signposts, bus halts etc. with the grinning mugs of various political nonentities in the company of national leaders. The latest ruse they have invented to flout election law is to put up posters with pictures of the Head of the State together with their faces and numbers even after the conclusion of election campaigns. more..

Docs give A’pura police one more week

Feb 14 (Island) Doctors of the Anuradhapura District decided that they would give the Anuradhapura Police one more week to arrest parties responsible for the attack on the Health Director of the North Central Province, at a meeting held yesterday Branch Union Secretary of the GMOA, Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital, Dr. Aruna Palitha Sampath said. He said the Anuradhapura Police had stepped up investigations owing to pressure applied by doctors of the province. more..

Govt disdains subjective media reports on humanitarian situation

Feb 14 (MoD) Human Rights Minister Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday disdained two media reports with highly distorted facts about the government's policy towards managing IDP welfare centres and their resettlement process. Speaking at the second media briefing on humanitarian situation in the country's north, the Minister called two newspaper articles, one appeared on the Times in London in the UK and more..

Golden Key : Slow moves afoot to identify repayment funds

Feb 14 (DM) In the latest court proceedings on Sri Lanka's largest ever financial debacle over the Golden Key Credit Card company, the Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate Harsha Sethunga was formally informed by Deputy Solicitor General, Sarath Jayamanna that this is one of the 'White Collar Crimes' that happened in the country. Based on the facts revealed by CID investigations, DSG Jayamanna representing the Attorney General's Department stated that they needed more time to analyse and more..

Henanigala Veddah Chief is no more

Feb 14 (DM) The funeral of Chief of Henanigala South Veddah Community in Mahaweli C Zone, Kalawarige Sudubandia, took place on Thursday evening at the Henanigala Public Cemetery amidst a large gathering. He passed away about a week ago aged 85. The Henanigala South colony was established in the early 80’s by then Minister of Mahaweli Development, Gamini Dissanayake, who during one of his visits to Kandeganwela area had invited Veddah Chiefs, Thalawarige Sudubandia and more..