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Tamil Existentialism

Jan 22 (LG) Today is January 18th, 2009. And I am on board an Airbus 330 on a typical Toronto winter day en route to Vancouver – not my favourite plane as it has one of the strangest seating arrangements I ever seen in a commercial jet. I prefer its counterpart, the Boeing 747, instead. My plan for the next five hours is to sleep to recharge my batteries after few sleepless hectic nights, but my mind is racing and I am restless as I kept thinking about Existentialism. more..

'People rally round this Govt'

Jan 22 (GDI) This UPFA Government under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa is on a new political and social approach to bring about a renaissance in the country, said Minister of Mass Media, Information and Enterprise Development and Industrial Promotion Anura Priyadarshana Yapa mentioned addressing a ceremony at Hamangalle, Giriulla recently. more..

Gas Power Plant at Kerawalapitiya

Jan 22 (GDI) A US$ 600 million agreement was signed by the BOI with Lanka Alokha AB (Private) limited to set up a 488 MW gas Power Plant at Kerawalapitiya.The Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion and Minister of Mass Media and Information Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, presented the BOI Agreement to the investor today (22). The Kerawalapitiya Power plant is to be located in the High Security Zone, Wattala. more..

President thanks State employees

Jan 22 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa thanked all State employees who helped in a great way to bring normal administration into the Eastern Province and admired their dedication. He also requested all State employees to assist the Government in the same way to re-establish civil administration in the North, Minister of Media Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said addressing a press briefing more..

Bumper paddy stock expects from Easternsearch Centre opens

Jan 22 (GDI) The Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister and Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama told Parliament yesterday that the country will witness a bumper paddy harvest during the forthcoming Maha season due to the historic victories achieved by the Government in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The Minister said for the first time a bumper paddy stock is expected from the Eastern Province. more..

First Thalassaemia Clinical Research Centre opens

Jan 22 (GDI) The first clinical research centre and molecular bio lab focusing on Thalassaemia and Haemophilia were opened recently under Prof. Sir David Weatherall’s patronage. The new unit is equipped with all facilities required for daycare treatment of young children including a very special feature of two ultra-modern transfusion chairs each costing Rs.400,000 and two state-of-the-art Blood collection monitors each costing Rs.300,000. more..

Dambulla loses an ODI in revised India schedule

Jan 22 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has revised the itinerary for India's upcoming tour of Sri Lanka, allotting just one ODI to Dambulla - as opposed to the previously planned two - and scheduling the remaining four ODIs and the Twenty20 international in Colombo. Dambulla was initially scheduled to host the first two ODIs, but the venue for the second game has now been shifted to the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. more..

SSC edge ahead with remarkable win

Jan 22 (CI) Defending champions Sinhalese SC clung on to their lead in the Premier League Tier A competition with a stunning victory, coming from behind to beat Moors SC by eight wickets at Maitland Place. The game was described by SSC coach Avishka Gunawardene as a 'must win' if they were to retain the championship title. SSC looked likely to concede the top position to Colombo Colts CC, who are not far behind after a four-wicket win against Bloomfield at Havelock Park. more..

Lankan economy crumbling: JVP

Jan 22 (SAMN) The country’s financial crisis has taken a turn for the worse with hundreds of factories shut down and the existing foreign reserves being sufficient for the essential imports only for three weeks, the JVP charged in Parliament yesterday. Parliament took up the issue for debate on adjournment. JVP MP Sunil Handunnettwho opened the debate, charged that 300 garment factories had been closed so far. more..

3 villages to be built for 30,000 people

Jan 22 (SAMN) Under the direction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa the Government will build three villages in an area of 750 acres shortly in the name of dead Tamil Leaders to accommodate around 30,000 people expected to arrive from among those families held captive by the LTTE. Funds have already been allocated for this project which will put a full stop to the term 'IDP Camps' and the concept of `Refugee Camps', more..

Govt to request Lankans living abroad

Jan 22 (SAMN) Government informed Parliament yesterday that it would launch a programme on February 4 to call upon patriotic Sri Lankans living abroad to contribute to the State coffers here. Minister of Export Development and International Trade Prof. G.L. Peiris said the government hopes that a substantial amount of money could be raised through this exercise. more..

JVP wants 17th Amend before pc polls

Jan 22 (SAMN) The JVP said yesterday the government should establish the independent commissions under the 17th Amendment to the Constitution before holding the Central and North Western Provincial Council Election that was unnecessary in this climate of war and economic crisis. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said the government had placed the country in a difficult situation by declaring a Provincial Council election at an unwanted hour when the country’s prime goal was to defeat the LTTE. more..

Situation Report (Jan 22th) - SL Army

Jan 22 (SLA) SPECIAL TASK FORCE (STF) troops on routine patrol in the general area of KORANKERNY, THARAVIKULAM confronted a group of LTTE terrorists Wednesday around 8.40 p.m.. STF killed one terrorist during clashes. Later STF troops found one weapon, one claymore mine of 3 kg, one detonator, one 9 V battery, one 1.5 Amp battery, cyanide capsule and one pack. It was on the same day STF on duty in KALAWANCHIKUDY area arrested another LTTE terrorist who tried to swallow cyanide and commit suicide. more..

'Then extremists settled over 60,000 in Mullaitivu'

Jan 22 (DN) JHU leader Ven. Ellawela Medananda Thera yesterday charged that certain extremist forces and politicians with ulterior motives, had taken steps some time back, to forcibly re-settle over sixty thousand civilians in Mullaitivu, in addition to it’s traditional population, in order to make Vanni a future military hub. The Thera also said that that some NGO’s which entered the country with the promise of helping Sri Lanka, had ultimately ended up helping the LTTE. more..

UNP submit fresh ‘No faith’ motion against Govt.

Jan 22 (Island) The UNP yesterday submitted a new no faith motion against the government to the Secretary General’s Office in Parliament after Speaker announced that its previous no-confidence motion had lapsed on January 9. "The government had entered into a highly suspicious hedging agreement between the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and several banks, both foreign and local, contrary to all financial regulations of the government and it was disadvantageous to Sri Lanka," the motion said. more..

Prima’s claim against Lanka rejected

Jan 22 (Island) A panel of Singapore based Arbitrators, on December 9, last year, rejected a claim by Prima Ceylon Limited, alleging that the government of Sri Lanka failed to honour an agreement to pay a subsidy, for selling flour at a reduced price. The agreement had been entered into between Prima Ceylon Limited and the government of Sri Lanka in 2001. Prima had claimed Rs. 5.8 billion, for the failure of the government of Sri Lanka to honour the promise, to pay the subsidy due. more..

Partial solar eclipse next Monday

Jan 22 (DM) Sri Lankans will get a chance to see a partial solar eclipse next Monday, the Arthur’ C. Clarke Centre said yesterday. The eclipse will begin at 2.02 pm and reach its peak at 3.11 pm. It will last till 4.12 pm.It will be visible in Australia, South India and South Africa as well. The public are advised not to view the eclipse with the naked eye but to use dark glasses or something similar. more..

'Lasantha killing: Full probe ordered'

Jan 22 (DN) Chief Government Whip Minister Dinesh Gunwardena told Parliament yesterday that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered the relevant sectors to conduct a full scale investigation to probe into the killing of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickremetunga. The Minister said once investigations are completed, the Government would be able to divulge all the information on this killing. more..

Govt to commence massive development in North

Jan 22 (DM) The government is launching a massive development and resettlement drive in the North aiming at facilitating IDPs, especially a 35,000 exodus in the next couple of weeks following the intensifying of military operations in Mullaitivu, Media Minister Laksman Yapa Abeywardana said. The objective is to accelerate the industrial, agricultural, infrastructure, health and educational facilities in a targeted period as these sectors had been neglected for about three decades in the North, more..

Sri Lanka state textile firm to shed staff

Jan 22 (LBO) A partially operational state textile firm which is overstaffed and debt ridden would be restructured with about half its workers being laid off, an official said. Lanka Salusala Ltd now has 298 workers. The firm's board of directors was dissolved recently and a steering committee was set up under Ranjith Bandara, a senior lecturer at Colombo University, to come up with a re-structuring plan. more..

Over 60,000 Tamil families in Sri Lanka receive Indian aid

Jan 22 (PTI) Over 60,000 Tamil families living in the LTTE and government-controlled areas in the Sri Lanka's embattled north have received the aid given by the Indian government in November last year. "In December, a total of 60,056 families in Kandawalai, Karachchi Maruthankerny and Puthukudyirippu received food, clothing and hygiene items donated to the ICRC in November by the Indian government for the conflict-affected population of the Wanni," more..

Sri Lanka accused of shelling 'safe zone' in north

Jan 22 (AP) The Sri Lankan military shelled a makeshift hospital inside a government-declared "safe zone" for civilians in the north Thursday, killing at least 20 patients and injuring scores of others, a rebel-linked Web site reported. The military denied hitting the hospital and said it was taking precautions to protect civilians, but a local health official confirmed that the hospital had been shelled repeatedly since Wednesday. more..

Malaysian police on alert for Tamil Tiger leader: report

Jan 22 (AFP) Malaysia is on alert for Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, saying he may have fled here after troops surrounded his last remaining stronghold, according to reports Thursday. Police chief Musa Hassan told the New Straits Times daily he had ordered a nationwide alert following reports that Prabhakaran, leader of LTTE may have fled here or to Thailand. more..

Sri Lanka says troops seize rebel command centre

Jan 22 (AFP) Troops have seized a Tamil Tiger command centre in the island's north as ground troops advance further into the rebels' remaining territory, a military official said on Thursday. Security forces found briefing rooms containing detailed maps at the facility in the district of Mullaittivu, where the LTTE have been penned in after a series of battlefield defeats. "We have captured the main LTTE command centre in Dharmapuram," more..

Sri Lanka urged to act on human rights abuses

Jan 22 (LBO) Britain has urged the Sri Lankan government to take strong action to prevent human rights abuses and called on both sides to the ethnic conflict to ensure the safety of civilians. "Creating an environment in which people from all communities in Sri Lanka live without fear is essential to creating the conditions for a sustainable end to the conflict," David Miliband, more..

'Victories no excuse to drop efforts to find solution'

Jan 22 (PTI) Calling on the Sri Lankan Government not to use the recent military victories over the LTTE as an excuse to "drop" efforts to work out a political solution, the CPI(M) on Thursday said the "hostility" should immediately come to an end. "The Army may have captured Kilinochchi from the LTTE, resulting in a setback for the organisation. But this should not be used as an excuse to drop efforts to ensure a political solution to the ethnic problem," more..

Tamils fast in support of relatives

Jan 22 (G&M) Members of Toronto's 200,000-strong Tamil community are holding a week-long fast to draw attention to the suffering of relatives caught in Sri Lanka's 25-year civil war, as the army intensifies efforts to eliminate the separatist LTTE. Recent government advances in the war, which has claimed the lives of more than 70,000 people since 1983, have displaced tens of thousands of Tamils. more..

LTTE slammed for not allowing UN staff to return from Wanni

Jan 22 (IANS) The United Nations Thursday strongly condemned the LTTE for not allowing its staff members to return from the rebel-held northern Wanni area and urged them to be released immediately. The UN office here in a statement 'issued its strongest possible protest to the LTTE for their refusal to allow UN national staff and dependents to return from the Wanni with the present UN convoy' carrying food and other essential items to the people in the rebel-held areas. more..

Tamil Tiger 'command hub taken'

Jan 22 (BBC) Sri Lanka's army says it has captured what it believes is the main operations centre of Tamil rebels in the north. Army spokesman Brig Udaya Nanayakkara said troops had found detailed maps of army and rebel deployments in an empty building in Mullaitivu district. Meanwhile the UN has criticised the Tigers for not allowing safe passage to its workers in areas they control. There has been no comment from the Tamil Tigers, who have suffered a series of reverses in recent months. more..

Mithun Perera wins the Asia-Pacific Open Amateur Championship

Jan 23 (WG) Mission Hills Golf Club - the world's largest collection of premier golf courses with 12 layouts designed by many of the greatest golfers and golf course architects from five continents - announces Sri Lanka's Mithun Perera won the third annual Asia-Pacific Open Amateur Championship with a birdie on the second playoff hole. Perera, who shot 70 in the final round on the club's acclaimed Jack Nicklaus-designed World Cup Course, more..

MDMK to stage fast outside Parliament on Lanka issue

Jan 23 (PTI) Claiming that India was supplying arms to Sri Lanka, MDMK leader Vaiko today said that the party would stage a fast outside the Parliament on February 12 to garner support for the Tamil cause. In a statement here, Vaiko alleged that India was supplying arms to Colombo and accused the state government for doing little to pressurise the Centre to end the conflict in the island. more..

Mahela not thinking of Indian challenge yet

Jan 23 (PTI) Mahela Jayawardene is still not thinking about home series against India as the Sri Lanka captain said he was focussing on successful finish of the third and final one-dayer against Pakistan on Saturday. Sri Lanka reach home to take on India in five ODIs and a Twenty20 game from January 29 before returning to Pakistan to play two Tests from February 17. more..

Illegal migrants come to grief on reef

Jan 23 (AP) Rescuers were searching for at least 10 missing migrants in choppy waters off the British Virgin Islands after their flimsy boat collided with a reef and broke apart, authorities said yesterday. Rescuers said roughly 26 people, most of them Haitians, had been aboard the overloaded boat that was illegally travelling the 160-km passage from the Dutch territory of St. Maarten to the British Virgin Islands. more..

Indian chefs 'hot favourite' in Sri Lanka

Jan 23 (PTI) Chefs specialising in South Indian, Jain and Punjabi cuisines have become a hot favourite in Sri Lanka with the Indian tourists flocking the island nation wanting local cuisine besides islanders who have taken a fancy for the food. From classy restaurants to large hotel chains and product development kitchens, those trained in Indian cuisine have a great career waiting for them. more..

Bourse up on war progress, rupee edges down

Jan 23 (Reuters) Bourse rose 1.74 percent on Thursday in thin trade as retail investors bought blue chips on the expectation of an economic recovery, with the country's 25-year war looking to be near its end. The rupee edged up on importer demand for dollars. The Colombo All-Share index rose 30.01 points to 1750.14, its third rise for the week. The bourse is up 16.4 percent so far this year after falling 40.8 percent last year on earnings and economic woes including high borrowing costs. more..

School destroyed by tsunami is rebuilt by SOS Children's Villages Sri Lanka

Jan 23 (SOS) On 5 January, a dedication ceremony was organised for the Al-Misbah School in eastern Sri Lanka that had been destroyed by the tsunami in late 2004. SOS Children's Villages has rebuilt the school from scratch; it is currently being attended by 1,500 students. "We are overjoyed to see this school functioning again! After the tsunami destroyed it, we almost lost hope. more..

Sri Lanka accounting watchdog lacks teeth

Jan 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's top markets regulator has said an accounting and auditing watchdog body was severely understaffed and lacked the ability to do its job effectively. Channa de Silva, director general, of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said the lack of staff at the watchdog body was one reason it could not effectively probe dodgy accounting by certain companies. "The Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board has less than five technical staff," more..

The future of the LTTE in Sri Lanka: Shanthi Sachithanandan

Jan 23 (GV) Prominent Tamil civil society activist Shanthi Sachithanandan shares her views on the future of the LTTE in Sri Lanka. For more short videos that look at the future of the LTTE in English, Sinhala and Tamil, click on Vikalpa’s The future of the LTTE: What next? playlist. 69 have read this this article so far. You may also find these articles interesting: more..

Arjuna Ranatunga goes to court

Jan 23 (CN) World Cup winning Sri Lankan captain and former chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Committee Arjuna Ranatunga on Thursday has challenged in Supreme Court the decision of Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge to have him removed from his post. Ranatunga, a MP and prominent figure in the ruling SLFP government has requested the Court to revoke the decision made by the Sports Minister last December. more..

The future of the LTTE in Sri Lanka: Kumudini Samuel

Jan 23 (GV) Prominent civil society activist Kumudini Samuel shares her views on the future of the LTTE in Sri Lanka. Kumudini Samuel is the founder of the Women’s and Media Collective and a member of the Gender Sub Committee established during negotiations with the LTTE under the ceasefire agreement (CFA). For more short videos that look at the future of the LTTE in English, Sinhala and Tamil, more..

Editorial: If the war ends, Sri Lanka must still secure the peace

Jan 23 (Age) When a war rages through three decades the problems are clearly deep-rooted, with both sides highly committed to their cause. At least 70,000 people have died in Sri Lanka's civil war, but an end may be in sight, following recent gains by Government forces against the separatist Tamil Tigers. The Tigers have been driven from their de facto capital, Kilinochchi, and then from the Jaffna Peninsula for the first time in nine years. more..

9 Colombo schools to be close for 8 days from Jan: 28

Jan 23 (GDI) Nine schools in Colombo district will remain closed for eight days from January 28th in view of arrangements for Independence Day celebrations. These schools will accommodate police and armed forces personnel who would be responsible for providing security for the event. The schools that will be closed are Thurston, Nalanda, Devi Balika, Susamayawardena, Rathnawali Balika, Sanghamitta Balika, Gothami Balika, Yashodara Balika and C.W.C. Kannangara colleges.

ICRC facilitates handover of wounded soldier to authorities

Jan 23 (ICRC) The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today facilitated the handover to the government authorities of a wounded Sri Lanka Army soldier who had been receiving treatment in the Puthukkudiyiruppu hospital, in the LTTE-held area. The ICRC visited the soldier in the hospital on several occasions to check on his physical well-being and provide him with toiletries, clothing and bed linen. more..

TMVP hands over 15 children

Jan 23 (BBC) A breakaway group of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers handed over 15 child combatants to the United Nations on Thursday. The TMVP says only 30 more children are currently in their ranks. The Sri Lanka government, TMVP and UNICEF signed an action plan to end child recruitment and to release children in TMVP ranks in December, last year. The children were handed over to the Child Welfare Unit opened in Batticaloa under the agreement. more..

'Prabhakaran may still be in Sri Lanka'

Jan 23 (PTI) Sri Lankan authorities today maintained that there was "nothing to suggest" that elusive LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran has fled the island even as Malaysian police sounded an alert following reports that the guerrilla leader may have entered that country. "There is nothing to suggest that Prabhakaran has left the country," a Sri Lankan defence official said after reports appeared in Malaysian media that the police have ordered a nationwide alert for the LTTE chief. more..

'Can’t interfere in Lankan affairs'

Jan 23 (EB) Several Nobel laureates are soon expected to meet and engage themselves in discussions for negotiating with Sri Lanka and find a permanent solution to the ethnic problem, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama disclosed this here on Wednesday. Dalai Lama told reporters that he was unable to give any details of the proposed meeting of Nobel laureates at present and could only pray and hope for an early solution to the problem in the island nation. more..

'Sri Lanka should hold talks with Tamil leaders, barring LTTE'

Jan 23 (PTI) AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa today called on the Sri Lankan Government to initiate talks with representatives of Lankan Tamils, barring the LTTE, to find a political solution to end the ethnic conflict and asked the Centre to extend necessary help in this regard. "The ongoing ethnic war should be brought to an end and the Sri Lankan Government should initiate a dialogue with representatives of Tamils there, barring the LTTE, to find a permanent political solution, more..

India, LTTE & a sequel to Vadamarachchi - Prabakaran's escape

Jan 23 (MN) To India’s stepped up vigilance & surveillance of air & coastal waters to prevent LTTE leader Prabakaran from escaping to India we have only two questions – who ordered a helicopter to depart from Hindon military base, New Delhi in 1987 to save a cornered Prabakaran in Vadamarachchi? Why did India decide to descend upon Sri Lanka, ignore our country’s territorial integrity & save a TERRORIST? more..

Civilians 'die in Lanka shelling'

Jan 23 (BBC) At least five civilians have died after a makeshift hospital was shelled in a rebel-held area of northern Sri Lanka, health officials there say. Pro-rebel websites blame the army for the deaths, but the military has strongly denied being responsible. There is no way to confirm the claims as independent journalists are barred from the conflict zone. After a series of defeats in recent months, the area around Mullaitivu is the rebels' sole remaining stronghold. more..

IOC to expand Sri Lanka operations using India surplus

Jan 23 (LM) State-owned Indian Oil Corp. Ltd, or IOC, plans to make the best of its surplus refining capacity at home to sell more fuel in Sri Lanka. Its subsidiary, Lanka IOC Plc., will open 300 outlets over five years at a cost of 6 billion Sri Lankan rupees (Rs259.74 crore), K.R. Suresh Kumar, managing director of Lanka IOC told Mint during Petrotech 2009, held earlier this month in New Delhi. more..