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West should listen to the government or get out

Feb 5 (LG) Chris Morris of the BBC has a very partial record when it comes to reporting events on Tamil racism, separatism and terrorism which came in chronological order. They are in alphabetical (English) order as well and could be called Tamil RST. It is not only Chris Morris but almost all the BBC reporters not to mention the BBC Sinhala programme Sandeshaya and the Tamil programme, that have taken a biased stand. BBC as an institution is pro Tamil RST just as much the CNN is. more..

A Federal System Means a Tamil Nadu in Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (LG) The naked reality of Indian federalism can be seen from Tamil Nadu. It is terrifying on one hand and kind of outlandish on the other. India has been a federal country. But unlike many other federal countries in the world, its federal boundaries run along racial lines. Nothing much has happened over the years in terms of colonisation of Tamil Nadu by non-Tamils. Over 95% of India’s Tamils still live in Tamil Nadu and more..

Terrorism is everywhere

Feb 5 (LG) What dastardly acts of terror? If this is not terrorism at its height what is? The President ordered ‘full probes’ into all these incidents and has asked the police to provide information on the security afforded to the MTV/MBC TV station.Newspapers reported that the President had stated that Lasantha was a friend of his. The President said the same thing about Joseph Pararajasingham and T. Maheswaram as well. more..

BBC’s Chris Morris prances like the proverbial Chinese monkey

Feb 5 (LG) On January 29 BBC aired a report filed by Chris Morris. It showed Morris prancing rather nervously, from place to place, to find a new angle for his cameraman in the garden of Gordon Weiss, the UN representative in Colombo. Eventually he winds up his peripatetic introduction to what he calls the “humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka” in front of Weiss and directs his questions at him to get the answers he wants and more..

Sri Lanka celebrate independence

Chief Justice absent at the 61st independence ceremony

Feb 5 (LeN) The Chief Justice that is considered the fourth citizen of Sri Lanka was absent at the 61st independence ceremony held in Galle Face ground today (04) under the patronage of the President Mahinda Rajapakse. Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva is the chief representative of the judiciary, the third parallel component of the state. The other two are the executive and the legislature. There are no reports if the absence of the Chief Justice meant dissention. more..

Prevent pro-LTTE meetings on court premises: lawyers

Feb 5 (Hindu) A group of advocates led by S.K. Karventhan on Wednesday requested the Acting Chief Justice of the Madras High Court to take appropriate action to prevent meetings and dharnas in support of LTTE on the court premises and ensure the safety of lawyers to enable them to conduct their cases. The advocates said that for the past few days a group of lawyers were conducting meetings inside the court premises hailing the LTTE leader, V. Prabakaran. more..

Canada calls for cease-fire in Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (AP) Canada's foreign minister called Wednesday for a cease-fire in Sri Lanka to allow civilians to escape the fighting between the government and the separatist Tamil Tigers. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said in a statement that Canada strongly condemns recent shelling attacks on the hospital in Puthukkudiyiruppu and firing into the government-designated safe area. Cannon said all efforts must be made to avoid civilian casualties. more..

Pranab to visit Lanka again Feb end

Feb 5 (AA) The political landscape of Sri Lanka would likely have undergone a sea change by the time external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee visits Colombo later this month. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse indicated as much when he said in his 61st Independence Day speech here on Wednesday that his troops would decisively defeat the LTTE "in a few days". Mr Mukherjee was expected to arrive here on or about February 26, his second visit to Sri Lanka in a month. more..

Extra Australian aid for victims of Sri Lanka's civil war

Feb 5 (ABC) Australia is boosting its humanitarian aid to international bodies working with civilians caught up in fighting in northern Sri Lanka. Australia's foreign minister, Stephen Smith, has announced an extra $US3.2 million in humanitarian aid. International bodies will administer the aid, with Australia joining growing international calls for civilians to be allowed out of the conflict zone. more..

India orders return of 8 Sri Lankan airmen

Feb 5 (Hindu) India on Tuesday ordered the return of eight Sri Lankan Air Force men from the Air Force Station at Tambaram here. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, who came to know of their arrival after they approached the Selaiyur police station for signing in a register, directed the Chief Secretary to bring this to the notice of the Union government and wanted the eight sent back. The Centre, accepting the Chief Minister’s request to send them back, ordered their return. more..

Pope appeals for peace in Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (AKI) Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday appealed for an end to the fierce conflict between Sri Lankan security forces and Tamil Tiger militants who are fighting for a separate homeland in the north of the country. At the end of Wednesday's audience at the Vatican, the pope urged both the government and the separatist rebels to lay down their arms and create peace and reconciliation. more..

Last hospital in war zone evacuated

Feb 5 (AP) Doctors and patients fled a hospital Wednesday in northern Sri Lanka — closing the last medical facility in the war zone — after days of artillery attacks by government and rebel forces, aid groups said. With concern growing for the estimated 250,000 ethnic Tamils trapped in the conflict zone, the U.N. said cluster munitions appeared to have hit near the hospital and that 52 civilians were killed elsewhere Tuesday. more..

Mixed response in TN to bandh call

Feb 5 (TOI) The bandh called by the Sri Lanka Tamils' Protection Movement, a forum of opposition parties, to highlight the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka evoked mixed response across the state, as the DMK government ensured normal transport services and arrested miscreants indulging in violence. While the response in the capital was lukewarm, with many shops remaining open and businesses functioning normally, more..

Lankan Army does not use lethal weapons against civilians

Feb 5 (MoD) The Sri Lanka Army does not use lethal munitions against innocent civilians in their war against terror. Cluster bombs are banned in the UN convention and Sri Lanka being a party to this convention, respects these laws. However the LTTE organization uses lethal weapons banned by the UN convention and this has been amplified by the recent recovery of thermo - baric weapons in the north, more..

The urgent need of the Boston Globe to save terrorists

Feb 5 (PISL) As what seems the end of the Tigers draws nigh, the arguments used to rescue them from oblivion get ever more preposterous. Let us begin with the Boston Globe, which has issued yet another editorial on the subject. Last time round I wrote about what the Boston Globe failed to say, in its patronising description of the Sri Lankan situation. This time, I can only draw attention to a couple of its horrendous non sequiturs. more..

“Lanka Matha” launch

Feb 5 (LP) “Lanka Matha” CD and DVD of Bathiya and Santhush was presented to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees Tuesday (3). The song “Lanka Matha” was composed by the Ministry of Defence. Bathiya Jayakody and Santhush Weeraman performed in the introductory program on this occasion. Expressing the views Bathiya and Santhush thanked the Defence Secretary and the Commanders of all three forces and also the artists who were involved in making this song a success. more..

2600 inmates released on a special pardon

Feb 5 (LP) On the 61st Independence Day celebrations, 2600 inmates from the 27 prisons in the country were released on a special state pardon yesterday (04). The inmates who were imprisoned for inability to pay the fine imposed on them received the special pardon, with 217 from Bogambara prison. Meanwhile inmates who were over 80 years of age and soldiers who were given short term sentences by military courts also recieved pardon. more..

Sri Lanka's Olympic sprinter retires

Feb 5 (AFP) Susanthika Jayasinghe announced her retirement on Thursday, the president's office said. Jayasinghe, 33, who won silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the 200m, failed to qualify for the finals at 2008 Beijing Games. "She announced her retirement to president (Mahinda) Rajapakse, during a ceremony today to felicitate her achievements," an official at Rajapakse's office said. more..

CNN World Headline News - President: Rebel defeat has united Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (MN) Sri Lanka's president declared Wednesday that the country's Tamil insurgents are on the verge of total defeat, saying their demise has helped unite the island nation on the 61st anniversary of its independence. "We are today a nation that has defeated a powerful enemy that stood before us," Mahinda Rajapaksa said in his independence day speech. "Our entire nation is now united in the shade of the national flag." more..

'Deyata Kirula' declared open with 23 communities

Feb 5 (LeN) President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday declared open the 'Deyata Kirula' (Crown to Nation) education and development exhibition held in line with the 61st independence ceremony in BMICH. The President was welcomed by the children belonging to 23 ethnic communities at the gate of the BMICH and he was accompanied to the exhibition venue in a procession that portrayed the cultural and craftsmanship skills of the diverse communities. more..

Apply for identity cards before Feb 06

Feb 5 (GDI) The voters in the North Western and Central Provinces who do not possess valid identity cards to prove their eligibility to vote as specified by the Department of Elections can forward their applications to the relevant Grama Niladhari or Estate Superintendents for temporary identity cards till February 06. The Elections Commissioner has extended the date to receive such applications for temporary identity cards till February 06 more..

IDP-students gain entrance to Jaffna campus

Feb 5 (GDI) Twelve youths among the internally displaced persons who crossed over to the Government controlled areas recently had the opportunity to pursue a university education after more than two years, Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Rishard Badiuddin said. They had been unable to gain entrance to any university due to the conflict situation which prevented them from leaving the Wanni. more..

House to house anti dengue inspection

Feb 5 (GDI) The Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council will conduct a house to house anti-dengue inspection in the Mattakkuliya area tomorrow, followed by a shramadana on Saturday (07) in collaboration with CMC engineers and the Police of the area. Health authorities had also been carrying out house to house programmes with the assistance of public health inspectors affiliated to more..

Tokyo Co-chairs' stand fails in fundamentals - TNA

Feb 5 (TN) The Tamil National Alliance, responding to the controversial statement by the Tokyo Co-chairs, which called on the Tamil Tigers to lay down their arms and surrender to the Sri Lankan government, said it has been the firm and consistent position of the Tamil people that the island of Sri Lanka is inhabited by the Tamil nation and the Sinhala nation. "It is on the basis of recognising this reality and more..

India must take UN help to protect Tamil civilians: CPI(M)

Feb 5 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Thursday urged India to take help from the UN to protect Tamils trapped by Sri Lanka's war between the military and the Tamil Tigers. The CPI-M politburo also asked New Delhi to 'step up its diplomatic and political efforts' to ensure that Colombo takes steps to provide 'genuine autonomy' for the Tamil-speaking areas. more..

Galle literary festival; journeys back in time

Feb 5 (LBO) A blond woman in China with an unusual history; airline passengers armed to the teeth, crowded into a rickety Russian plane in Afghanistan, are an unlikely combination to encounter on a single journey. Award winning British travel-writer and novelist Colin Thubron, - one of whose latest works is Shadow of the Silk Road - came across them all while on a modern-day trek along that ancient trade route. more..

Situation report (Feb 5) by SLA

Feb 5 (SLA) Tigers’ Tyre & Spare Parts Containers Seized: MULLAITTIVU: INCREDIBLE recoveries being made by 57 Division troops, commanded by Major General JAGATH DIAS from newly captured areas in VISUAMADU areas in MULLAITTIVU continue to send shock waves as panicking Tigers after abandoning their central bases and hideouts have begun to run in all directions. more..

Project to develop cottage industries

Feb 5 (SAMN) Under the Rural Economic Development and Rural Industries Self Employment Promotion Schemes, a program to develop cottage industries in the Ampara district has been proposed with the active participation of women. The proposal mooted by the organisation called “Reawakening East”, has had discussions with Minister Cegu Issadeen, who has promised all help and co-operation to help those in need. more..

'Ministers to be ready for general poll'

Feb 5 (SAMN) President has reportedly instructed his Ministers to be ready for a snap general election this year, highly placed political sources said Wednesday. Political sources said Parliament would be dissolved in May to conduct this election, and the government is optimistic that the LTTE can be wiped out totally by that time. At this election, it is reported that the President will also ask for a mandate at this election to implement a political solution to the national question as well. more..

Muslims IDPs awaiting resettlement

Feb 5 (SAMN) Muslim civilians who were evicted from the north complain that there have been no steps by the government so far to resettle them. People’s Secretariat President, Sufyan Moulavi said the government had so far not shown any signs of the Muslims from the north being resettled following the liberation of these areas from the LTTE. "The government is yet to inform us of our resettlement. more..

‘Don’t encourage illegal constructions’

Feb 5 (DN) Politicians should not aid and abet illegal construction of buildings and filling of marshy lands as it has reached a critical point said Industrial Development and Ranaviru Welfare Minister Kumara Welgama. “Today even for a minor shower the low-lying areas in the Kalutara district get inundated with flood waters. People face immense problems specially in rural areas,” he said addressing the district co-ordianting committee meeting more..

Karuna to join SLFP

Feb 5 (SAMN) TMVP leader Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan MP (alias Karuna Amman) said Wednesday that he would obtain SLFP membership very soon along with senior members of the TMVP, such as Jeyam, Markan, Iniya Bharathi and Mangalam Master. Mr. Muralitharan told Daily Mirror yesterday that he had had talks with his think tank and senior party men based in the East last week, and everyone had endorsed his plan to join the SLFP. more..

Boom time with massive project

Feb 5 (DN) "Moragahakanda will bring immense development to Matale district where there is an inadequacy of water for agriculture and for domestic purposes including pure water for drinking. Once this is fulfilled the cultivational acreage along with booming harvests are the fruits of the massive project. Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Trincomalee are the other beneficiaries of the project." more..

Trained teachers petition SC over promotions

Feb 5 (Island) Twenty one trained teachers have petitioned the Supreme Court alleging that their fundamental rights have been violated by promoting those who had obtained less marks at the written examination than those who had done better to grade II of the principals’ service. Minister of Education Susil Premajayanth, the Secretary to the Ministry, Commissioner of Examinations and the Public Service Commission have been cited as respondents. more..

CEA chairman enters the fray

Feb 5 (DM) Mr. Udaya Prabhath Gammanpila, the chairman of the Central Environment Authority (CEA) and legal adviser of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) has been chosen by the party as a UPFA candidate for Colombo, at the forthcoming Western Provincial Council (WPC) polls. A lawyer by profession, Mr. Gammanpila, who is also the JHU representative of the All Party Representative Committee (APRC), has appeared in several landmark cases, more..

Minister took us for a ride: Airport taxi drivers

Feb 5 (DM) Airport taxi drivers are on the war path with a minister in the Gampaha District and yesterday claimed they were asked to participate in the UPFA election campaign. One taxi driver alleged that they were taken for a ride by this Minister who had said he would solve their issues regarding taxi hires from the airport and requested them to participate in the Western Provincial Council election campaign. more..

Tamil man recounts tales of horror in Sri Lanka war

Feb 5 (IANS) Tamil civilians trying to flee Sri Lanka's war were blown up and some bled to death on the streets due to shelling by the military, an elderly Tamil man said, recalling the horrifying scenes he saw before escaping from the Tamil Tiger zone in the country's north. Thousands of panic stricken men, women and children were also desperate to quit the badly shrunk LTTE territory but were not sure how they would be received by the government, more..

Thousands of Tamils protest at UN Geneva headquarters

Feb 5 (DPA) Thousands of ethnic Tamils from all over Switzerland and beyond gathered outside the UN headquarters in Geneva Wednesday to protest the Sri Lankan government's action in northern region and to demand help from the UN. Organisers claimed some 15,000 were taking part in the angry demonstration, which prompted a major police presence, though organisers used volunteers to maintain control over the emotional crowd and the event ended without major incident. more..

Ranil pledges to rise against suppression of human rights and freedom of speech

Feb 5 (Island) UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, at a 61st Independence Day meeting in Kundasale, pledged to rise against any suppression of human rights and freedom of speech. The freedom of the press was lost during the present administration. Media institutions are attacked and media men are harassed, he said, at the meeting, at Kolongahwatte playground, more..

The converted opener settles in

Feb 5 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan thinks like Virender Sehwag. He doesn't have the outrageous skill of Sehwag to consistently put the good deliveries to boundary but he tries. This has led to his downfall, many a time. In Dilshan speak: "If there is anything in my zone, I have to go for it." By opening with Dilshan, Sri Lanka are hoping to recapture the glory days when Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana indulged themselves against the new ball. more..

'No review to remove LTTE from US' terrorist organisation list'

Feb 5 (ZN) The US has said that there is no review or move to remove the LTTE from the list of terrorist organisations. "LTTE is on our foreign terrorist organisation list. That's where it stands," State Department spokesperson, Robert Wood, told reporters on Wednesday in response to a question over some Tamil American organisations request in this regard. "I'm not aware that there's a review process going on right now with regard to that," Wood said. more..

Sri Lanka rejects dialogue appeal

Feb 5 (BBC) The Sri Lankan government has rejected a call by international donors for Tamil Tiger rebels to negotiate terms of surrender with the government. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa told the BBC that the government would accept only "unconditional surrender". The US-led donors have urged the Tigers to consider laying down their arms to avoid further bloodshed after a series of major defeats on the battlefield. more..

Sixty-One Years of Independence and the Tamils of Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (DBJ) Sri Lanka celebrates sixty-one years of Independence from Britain today. The country known then as Ceylon, obtained full freedom on February 4th 1948. For any people free of colonial bondage this would be a day of joy and happiness. But that is not so for the Tamils of Sri Lanka right now. Even as I sit penning my thoughts, two lines from an old Tamil film song keep throbbing. They are from the song “Unnaikkandu Naan Vaada” sung by AM Rajah in “Kalyanapparisu”. more..

At least 700 civilians cross to safety in Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (Reuters) At least 700 civilians fled Sri Lanka's northern war zone to a government-controlled area on Thursday, the military said, a day after the United Nations said 52 people had been killed by shelling. Fighting continued as the army has closed in on the separatist LTTE holding out in a 300-sq km slice of jungle in the northeast, aiming to end one of Asia's longest-running conflicts. more..

Sri Lanka offers Tigers amnesty on condition of surrender

Feb 5 (AFP) The Sri Lankan government Thursday offered an amnesty to Tamil Tiger forces who surrender but refused to contemplate peace talks, vowing instead to crush those rebels who fight on. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake told parliament that some rebels were ready to lay down their arms as they face imminent defeat in their decades-long battle for an independent ethnic Tamil homeland. more..

India asks Sri Lanka, LTTE to stop fighting

Feb 5 (IANS) The Indian government Thursday voiced 'deep concern' over the situation in Sri Lanka and called upon both Colombo and the Tamil Tigers to end their hostilities. Home Minister P. Chidambaram said both the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE 'should heed our appeal'. 'The central government is deeply concerned over the situation in Sri Lanka,' said Chidambaram. more..

Sri Lanka says no letup in offensive on Tigers

Feb 5 (AP) Sri Lanka's prime minister said Thursday government forces will not suspend an offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels, rejecting calls for a cease-fire by donor countries concerned by reports of growing civilian casualties. The U.S., Britain and Canada have urged both sides to agree to a temporary cease-fire to allow civilians and the wounded to leave the conflict zone and asked that humanitarian agencies be given access. more..

Gambhir stars in fourth straight win

Feb 6 (CI) India marched to their longest winning streak - nine matches - with a comprehensive win that pushed Sri Lanka further towards their first 5-0 ODI whitewash. The victory was built around Gautam Gambhir's personal best and Mahendra Singh Dhoni's 94 at No. 3, innings that helped set Sri Lanka a target of 333, 62 more than the highest-ever chased at the Premadasa Stadium. Sri Lanka hit the ground running at the start of their chase but more..

Colts bag Premier Tier A title

Feb 6 (CI) Colombo Colts CC won the 2008-09 Premier League Tournament Tier A title, claiming first-innings points in a drawn match against Badureliya CC at Havelock Park. It was enough for Colts to replace Sinhalese SC as champions. Colts went into this game needing three points to win the crown and they did it in style with a tremendous batting performance on the opening day when they rattled off 426 runs off 88.4 overs. more..