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'Don’t forget Sri Lanka, other conflicts'

Jan 15 (TS) The Penang Government threw some focus on the conflict in Sri Lanka, reminding Malaysians that violence and war were also occurring in other parts of the world alongside Gaza. While expressing its anger at Israel for the deaths of innocent Palestinians, Penang said it was also concerned about the deaths of innocent victims due to attacks launched by the Sri Lankan Government on the LTTE or Tamil Tigers. more..

Gampaha SLFP leadership to Basil

Jan 15 (LT) The President has decided to appoint his brother Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapakse to the leadership of the Gampaha District state SLFP sources. Earlier it had been planned to appoint Mr. Basil Rajapakse as the organizer for Dompe electorate in Gampaha District. However, the SLFP leadership in Gampaha District fell vacant with the assassination of former Minister of Highways & Road Development more..

Tamils win the war at last

Jan 15 (MG) The war on terror in Sri Lanka was a mission of Peace for the whole nation. Fall of the garrison city of Killinochi, followed by Nadunkeni, Oddusuddan and entering Thamilamadam, Elephant Pass and now consolidating their positions there and taking over the main political headquarters of Kilinochchi last week, on their march forward to get Mullaithivu, with only Pudukudyirrupu, Dharmapuram, Vishwamadu and the Muthiyam kattu jungle left to be captured, more..

UPFA campaign faxes from ‘Rupavahini’

Jan 15 (LT) There are many allegations regarding UPFA utilizing state property for their election campaigns. ‘Lankatruth’ has received another example of this misuse of state property. The fax machines of Rupavahini Corporation are being misused to send media announcements of the election campaign of the UPFA. We have reproduced a copy of a fax message sent by coordinator of the UPFA election campaign Karunaratne Paranavithana from the fax machines of Rupavahini Corporation. more..

Keeping Rajapakse in power

Jan 15 (LG) New Year began with big bangs in Sri Lanka. The bang started with the celebrations of victory over LTTE when army took control of Killnochchi. Unfortunately the euphoria generated was short-lived when the government was implicated in the attack on the leading independent MTV television station followed by the murder of the most popular media editor Lasantha Wickramatunge. more..

My experience with Mr. Wickramasingha

Jan 15 (LG) Please read my experience with Mr. Ranil Wickramsingha when he was the minister of education in Sri Lanka to prove how he looked after servicemen in the past. My name is PBS Hemachandra. I am a retired (compelled to) Lieutenant Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy. In 1985 I was working as the Commanding Officer of SLNS Jayasagara, which was deployed as task group commander 4.3 in the Surveillance Zone between India and Sri Lanka to prevent more..

Sathosa opens 100th sales outlet in Kosgama

Jan 15 (GDI) Fulfilling another pledge given by the Mahinda Chinthanaya, the Government yesterday set up the hundreth sales outlet of Sathosa in Kosgama to offer essential consumer items at reasonable prices, Trade, Marketing Development, Consumer Affairs and Co-operatives Minister Bandula Gunawardhana said. Realizing the noble service rendered by Sathosa on behalf of the ordinary masses, more..

Fertilizer subsidy for tea small holders

Jan 15 (GDI) The Government has decided to provide the fertilizer subsidy to tea small holders with immediate effect from yesterday (14), Minister of Media Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. Accordingly it was decided to direct fertilizer companies to sell a 50 kg bag of mixed fertilizer to tea smallholders at Rs.1000 and to take steps to inquire into the quality of the fertilizer and issue those with proper standards to the market. more..

Special arrangements for youth in estates

Jan 15 (GDI) The Government has initiated a special programme to improve education and technical knowledge of youth living in estates. Minister of Youth Affairs Pavithra Wanniarachchi said recently. She stated that this new programme will minimize unemployment among the youths in the estate sector. The treasury has allocated 1.75 billion rupees for youth development affairs this year. more..

Lawyers express support for President

Jan 15 (GDI) More than one thousand lawyers have expressed their solidarity with President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his effort to eradicate terrorism and bring about peace and development in the country, the Presidential Media Unit (PMU) said. In a statement the PMU stated that the lawyers who met the President at Temple Trees on Tuesday (13) had stressed that every one has a duty at this critical hour as the security forces are scoring victory after victory against the terrorists. more..

Anti chikungunya programmes successful says Health Dept

Jan 15 (GDI) Parts of the North Western, Uva, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern provinces have been brought chikungunya under control following an intensive programme to eradicate mosquito breeding places, Deputy Director General, Public Health Services, Dr. P. G. Mahipala said yesterday (14). Dr. Mahipala advised people to practice systematic garbage clearance and not just dump their garbage on roadsides or simply throw it out in the garden. more..

Shelter for Anuradhapura fresh water fishermen

Jan 15 (GDI) Nation Building Ministry will construct a housing scheme at a cost of Rs. 50 million with a view to ease the housing problems of Anuradhapura Wahalkada fresh water fishermen, Minister of Nation Building S.M. Chandrasena said. He stated that plans are afoot to commission the scheme before the end of this year and the considerable attention will be paid towards improving the living standards of the fishermen parallel to the construction of the housing scheme. more..

Sinhalese SC stay top but Colts draw closer

Jan 15 (CI) The Colts Cricket Club batsmen came up with a record-breaking performance against Ragama CC at Braybrooke Place, to help their team close the gap with Sinhalese SC (SSC) at the top of the Premier League Tournament Tier A. Jeevantha Kulatunga and Roshen Silva starred in a fifth-wicket partnership of 353 for Colts, to establish a new first-class record for Sri Lanka, beating the 12-year-old record of the unbeaten 317-run stand set by more..

While withdrawing from Kilinochchi, 227 injured LTTE cadres shot and killed

Jan 15 (AT) When fleeing from Kilinochchi, on the orders of Prabakaran, the leader of the LTTE, Bahnu one of the commanders shot and killed 227 wounded LTTE cadres who were languishing in the old Kilinochchi hospital. Krishnan one of the three LTTE cadres who were arrested told that as the Sri Lankan troops belonging to Brigade 58 Division was menacingly advancing into Kilinochchi and those 227 LTTE cadres were admitted in the hospital, more..

Tigers holding civilians as human shields deplored by the United Nations

Jan 15 (AT) Senior UN officials have told the UN Security Council in New York that Tamil Tigers are using innocent Tamils as human shields. Speaking at the Security Council discussion on the subject of Protecting Civilians in Conflict situations, an annual item on Council Agenda, the Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Matters said that those trapped civilians are bottled up in a confined space and expressed deep concern that they are prevented from leaving by the Tamil Tigers. more..

Battlefield progress

Jan 15 (DW) Heavy fighting was reported from Chilawatte as 59 Division engaged the LTTE yesterday. 7 soldiers were killed and another 70 injured in the fighting. LTTE is concentrating its forces to the east of the Mulaitivu Lagoon. The strategy will be to travel from the west of the lagoon to the east. Heavy fighting was also reported south of Iranamadu, at Ampakamam north in the last few days as Task Force 3 under Brigadier Liyanage headed into LTTE areas. more..

Situation Report (Jan 15th) - SL Army

Jan 15 (SLA) WANNI: TROOPS entering remaining areas to the east of IRANAMADU as of Wednesday evening spotted one more Tiger airstrip which is confirmed to be the 5th of its kind. Troops have surrounded the entire complex as Thursday morning with a view to removing booby traps and other explosives that had been left laid by terrorists who had fled the areas. The runway about 60 meter wide and 1000 meter long appeared to have been used for their clandestine operations before the troops stormed the area. more..

No foreign polls monitors allowed

Jan 15 (SAMN) The Elections Department said no international group is allowed to monitor the North Western and Central Provincial election to be held on February 14. According to Elections Department sources, only PAFFEREL and CMEV have free access to polling stations. These independent local observer groups have been permitted to monitor the entire process at polling stations and outside. more..

Tissanayagam's bail application refused

Jan 15 (SAMN) Colombo High Court Judge Deepali Wijesundara Tuesday refused to allow the application filed by J. S. Tissanayagam to file for bail before the Supreme Court. The Court in its order stated that the application could not be allowed as the indictment was filed with three charges under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The order further stated that at the initial stage Tissanayagam was refused bail but he did not challenge order. more..

'Be responsible' – President tells media

Jan 15 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa urged media institutions to act with the greatest responsibility in reporting events at a time when there is considerable public attention drawn to the attack on the MTV/Sirasa TV station and the killing of the Editor of The Sunday Leader Mr. Lasantha Wickremetunga, as well as the success of the security forces in the fight to eradicate terrorism, more..

Develop CSE to increase confidence

Jan 15 (SAMN) The Colombo Stock Exchange’s (CSE) infrastructure should be developed to increase the confidence level among local and foreign investors like in India. This can be done by introducing various financial instruments to the market, said Vice President, National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) Nanda Kumar. He said that India introduced derivatives to the market less than a decade ago and is now dominating 70 per cent of the market. more..

Tangalle to become tourist zone

Jan 15 (DN) The Tangalle town will be converted to a fully fledged tourist zone, said Tangalle Urban Council Chairman Anil Sellahennedi. He was addressing a Daham Hamuwa that followed the opening of the Makara Thorana at the historic Henakaduwa Purana Raja Maha Vihara at Tangalle, recently. The Makara Thorana was set up at a cost of Rs. 350,000 by a philanthropist at Tangalle, Iranganee Jayasinghe. more..

Railway to speed up journeys

Jan 15 (DN) The Sri Lanka Railways will conduct trial runs from Colombo to Anuradhapura on January 16 to test whether the journey could be completed in three hours. Railway Transport Superintendent, Vijaya Samarasinghe said the Department has already conducted two trial runs from Colombo to Anuradhapura to test whether the travel time could be reduced. Speed restrictions on the Colomo-Anuradhapura line have already removed, he said. more..

Foreign nation attempting save Prabhakaran’s skin - Army

Jan 15 (Island) Army intelligence has received reports of an attempt by an interested foreign country to spirit away LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran now cornered in a jungle hideout somewhere in Mullaitivu, following successful military operations which resulted in the capture all areas, bar a few square kilometers in Mullaitivu, held by the LTTE. A high ranking defence source told The Island yesterday that this particular foreign country, more..

Thaipongal freedom for 800 civilians, Tigers join escapees

Jan 15 (Island) The army offensive on the Vanni front has reached a decisive stage with troops opening up escape routes for civilians trapped in the war zone, east of the A9. The 58 and 55 Divisions had punched holes in the rapidly deteriorating LTTE defence on the eastern flank, thereby allowing civilians to reach the army, directing operations against the shrinking last enemy stronghold. more..

Home gardening programme for the women and elders launched

Jan 15 (DM) “Api Wawamu-Rata Nagamu’ is a timely programme launched by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in order to plan for the scarcity of food in the country and in the world in the next ten years,” said Secretary to the Ministry of Social Services and Social Welfare Ms. V. Jegarajasingham. Speaking at a ceremony held to mark the launch of a Home Gardening Programme by the Elders and Women’s Organization at Mampe, Piliyandala recently, more..

Karuna still awaiting cabinet position

Jan 15 (SAMN) TMVP Leader and Parliamentarian Vinayagamoorthy Muralidaran alias Karuna Tuesday confirmed there has not been any official intimation to him to the effect that he would be made a cabinet minister. Karuna said though many have recommended to President Rajapaksa to appoint him as a cabinet minister, the President however has still not directly informed him or even hinted of his decision. more..

Excise Department earns over 186m in fines in 2008

Jan 15 (DM) The Excise Department carried out 56,510 raids in 2008 and arrested over 100,000 persons for brewing and selling illicit liquor and earned more than of Rs 186 million by way of fines imposed on offenders. Excise Superintendent Upul Seneviratne said yesterday 2962 persons have been arrested for brewing illicit liquor and 23,977 for possessing illicit liquor for sale. A total of 9288 persons were also arrested for selling toddy. more..

Tourist arrivals fall 18-pct in Nov 2008

Jan 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals fell 18.2 percent in November to 36,091 with key generating markets of Western Europe down 28.2 percent and South Asia down 12.6 percent, the tourist promotion office said. In the 11 months to November arrivals were down 10 percent to 389,550. November 2008, Western European arrivals were down 28.2 percent, to 12,879. In the month of November arrivals from Britain were down 2836 percent, to 5,671 and German arrivals were down 27 percent, to 2,922. more..

Emirates Airlines push travel to San Francisco and Dubai

Jan 15 (LBO) Emirates says it is pushing travel to San Francisco with special offers starting from January to March for first and business class customers. First class will get two nights' free accommodation in California King Room at Campton Place, a five star hotel in San Francisco. Business class passengers during the same period will get one night's free accommodation at the same hotel. more..

Massive displacement of civilians amid escalating conflict

Jan 15 (ICRC) The ICRC has been helping them to maintain acceptable levels of hygiene, to keep in touch with relatives and to maintain hope. Fighting has prevented relief supplies from reaching the population in the Vanni for the past five days. "Civilians in the Vanni are weary from the conflict. Repeated displacements, often involving the loss of their personal belongings, have taken a toll on them. Nevertheless, their ability to cope has been remarkable," more..

Sri Lanka shines in slashing maternal, neonatal mortality: Unicef

Jan 15 (IANS) The UN Thursday hailed Sri Lanka as 'a model for other developing nations' for scaling up its health services for mothers and infants, and succeeding in slashing maternal and neonatal mortality rates. The Unicef in its latest 'State of the World's Children' report said Sri Lanka has managed 'to halve its maternal mortality rate every six to 11 years by adopting sound strategies, allocating sufficient resources, providing free healthcare and making education for all a priority'. more..

Lankan govt. against terrorists not Tamils: Rajapaksa

Jan 15 (PTI) Seeking to distinguish between the LTTE and Tamils in the country, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that the government's fight was only against terrorism and that democracy will soon be restored in the embattled North. When asked what the policy of the government was with regard to the Tamil people, President told editors of media institutions last evening that the state was not against the Tamil people but against terrorists. more..

Journos vow to carry on slain editor's legacy

Jan 15 (IPS) Every Tuesday the editorial of ‘The Sunday Leader,’ the feisty, investigative Colombo newspaper, goes through a ritual. Through the morning the editorial staff amble in and out with tension levels rising as deadlines near. A wide open hall divided by cubicles, the editorial resembles a gathering storm as the day progresses. Writers rush through an aisle formed by the cubicles in different stages of dishevelment. more..

Amnesty urges India to raise concerns with Sri Lanka

Jan 15 (AFP) Amnesty International called on India's foreign minister on Wednesday to raise concerns over rights violations and the safety of the civilian population in upcoming talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart. In an open letter the human rights group said Shivshankar Menon should press the Colombo government over recent attacks on the media, and discuss the issue of civilian protection during the ongoing conflict with Tamil rebels. more..

'Courageous political and military strategy results in historical victories'

Jan 15 (LP) It is the courageous political leadership and the correct military leadership given to the Security Forces were the principal reasons behind the historic victories achieved in the struggle to defeat terrorism, said Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in a live telecast yesterday. The Defence Secretary explained that there was tremendous external and internal pressure brought on President Rajapaksa, more..

Sri Lanka troops capture Tamil Tiger air strip: military

Jan 15 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops have captured another air strip used by Tamil Tiger guerrillas as ground battles escalated across the troubled region, the defence ministry said Thursday. The makeshift jungle runway is the fifth of its type to be overrun by government soldiers, who are rapidly advancing on areas in the north once controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the ministry said. more..

India to discuss political process in Sri Lanka

Jan 15 (IANS) Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon will be in Colombo for two days from Friday when he will discuss with Sri Lankan leaders the prospects of initiating a political process in the Tamil-majority north, as the military continues its advance into the last of the areas still held by the Tamil Tigers. Menon is also expected to announce a second round of Indian assistance to the thousands of civilians displaced by war in the northern province. more..

IDPs face multiple displacements in Northern Sri lanka

Jan 16 (TW) Reports by humanitarian workers inside and outside of the war ravaged Northern part of Sri Lanka are reporting terrible misery of civilians having to move multiple times, within the last few days or weeks alone. One such report on the plight of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Tharmapuram says, the large numbers of civilians are forced to move from here which was one of the largest concentrations of IDPs in the district. more..

Tsunami-hit Sri Lankan families move into new homes

Jan 16 (24D) Fifteen Sri Lankan families made homeless by the 2004 tsunami, have now moved into their newly-completed homes thanks to a £50,000 donation by Genesis Housing Group to Homeless International. The families, from the districts of Galle and Kalutara, were living close to the beach in December 2004 at the time of the tsunami. They lost their homes and have since been living in temporary shelter. more..

Shares surge on rate cut, tea prices

Jan 16 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's bourse surged 3.34 percent to near a seven-week high on Thursday after improving tea prices drove demand for plantation shares, and investors took heart after the central bank moved to cut interest rates. The rupee closed flat with intervention from a state bank. The Colombo All-Share index .CSE rose 52.62 points to 1628.87, its highest close since Dec. 1. It is up 8.37 percent so far this year. more..

Sri Lanka to host third Galle Literary Festival

Jan 16 (EI) An inspiring company of international and Sri Lankan writers will gather with festival-goers from all over the world at the Galle Literary Festival, which runs from January 28 – February 01 2009, in and around the world heritage site of Galle Fort, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Named ‘No.1 Literary Festival in the world’ by Harpers Bazaar in its debut year, the event is characterised by it’s intimate setting within the walls of the maritime Fort and more..

Don't send Indian team to Lanka: VCK to India Govt, BCCI

Jan 16 (UNI) The Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), a political outfit espousing the cause of the Eelam Tamils, today urged the government and the BCCI to desist from sending the Indian team for the proposed tour to Sri Lanka in the wake of killing of lakhs of innocent Tamils by the Military troops. The Indian cricket team was scheduled to tour Sri Lanka next month for five ODIs and a T-20 game. more..

Govt moves ignoring democracy -JVP

Jan 16 (LT) The existence of general principles in the society is endangered due to government’s disregard for democracy says Leader of the group of Parliamentarians of the JVP Anura Dissanayake. Addressing a joint media meeting held by several organizations to protect democracy and media freedom Mr. Dissanayake said, “At present democracy and the general principles in the society have been endangered. A dialogue in the society should be developed regarding this. more..

Media has to be warned amid a war situation, says Defense Adviser

Jan 16 (LeN) Media has to be warned amid a war situation, says Defense Ministry Adviser on police affairs H. N. B. Kotakadeniya. Addressing a press briefing summoned by Jathika Hela Urumaya yesterday (14) he said that the political parties were attempting to point finger towards the security forces concerning the assassination of Lasantha Wickramathunga and the arsenal attack at the Sirasa Media Network. more..

Economics of ethnic peace: Lessons for countries like Sri Lanka

Jan 16 (RGE) Ethnic tension is a dormant spark that awaits fuelling in multi-ethnic societies. It is all too well known how ethnic conflicts, once ignited, engulf and destroy peaceful lives, scar ethnic relationships over many generations and become hard to contain without mammoth efforts. There is a large literature that focuses on ethnic conflicts and wars. There is, however, not much discussion on how to sustain ethnic peace partly because more..

SLC announces Indian itinerary

Jan 16 (CI) India are scheduled to arrive in Colombo on January 26, playing five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international, before Sri Lanka return to Pakistan for the Test leg of their tour. Sri Lanka Cricket has announced the itinerary for the short home series against India, of which five games will be day-night matches. India begin their tour on January 28 with the first of two ODIs in Dambulla more..

Bangladesh search for historic title win

Jan 16 (CI) The tri-series got just what it needed - Bangladesh in the final. With all due respect to Zimbabwe, the team with the more commanding head-to-head record between them in recent times was expected from the very beginning to meet Sri Lanka in the final. The winter was threatening to succumb to another season of discontentment for local fans before Shakib Al Hasan's hair-raising assault against the Sri Lankans on Wednesday gave his team the chance to fight another day. more..

A Personal Loss

Jan 16 (Time) In the last editorial that he wrote, Lasantha Wickrematunge lamented the loss of Sri Lanka's independent voices. "Much of the media has been bought, or cajoled and bullied into silence. Dozens of journalists are dead and others have been incarcerated without trial for months," he wrote in the Jan. 4 issue of his paper, the Sunday Leader. "Who then survives to provide the public with a contrarian view?" more..

Sri Lanka: Views from the conflict

Jan 16 (BBC) The Sri Lankan military has secured a string of military successes over the LTTE in recent months. As the army announces it has seized full control of the Jaffna peninsula in the north, people across the country give their views and experiences of the latest phase in the conflict. Muttiah Mahalingam, 29, Vatakachchi: I was living in Vatakachchi and I was displaced because of a shell attack. The conflict spread to my village east of Kilinochchi town and more..