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Killing to Liberate?

Jan 25 (AT) Sri Lankan Tamils are to be envied, blessed as they are with such single-minded liberators, who are willing to go to any lengths, to violate any law or norm, to bring deliverance to these hapless people. The LTTE wants to liberate the Tamils from the Sinhala state. Lankan Forces want to liberate the Tamils from the LTTE. And in doing so, neither the LTTE nor the Lankan Forces would count the cost – to the Tamils. more..

DMK decision on Sri Lanka after consulting allies, other parties

Jan 25 (Hindu) The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which will finalise its stand on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue at intra-party fora, will announce the decision after consulting allies and other parties, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said on Saturday. Describing his party as a democratic organisation, Mr. Karunanidhi, in a statement, said that though he could decide on some major issues on his own, he did not conduct himself like a dictator. more..

Sri Lanka’s biggest brothel raided

Jan 25 (LT) The ant-vice squad of Colombo Police has raided a brothel maintained at a luxury house at Liberty Plaza at Kollupitiya and arrested 16 local and foreign women and three others who had managed the brothel. This is considered the largest brothel raided by police so far and the raid had been carried out on a warrant obtained from Fort Magistrate’s Court. Among the arrested are foreign women from China and Uzbekistan and local women from more..

"Kala Pola" - Colombo comes alive with art on the street!

Jan 25 (GDI) Sri Lanka's popular open-air art gallery cum art fair, 'Kala Pola', comes alive this year at 10.00 am today (25) on the pavements of Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha in Colombo 07 (opposite the National Art Gallery). US Ambasador H.E.Robert Blake will be Chief Gust at this years Kala Pola which features over 250 artists and sculptors who will display their creativity to an increasingly appreciative Sri Lankan and expatriate clientele, more..

Bishops welcome safe zones for civilians

Jan 25 (GDI) Five Bishops have welcomed the Sri Lankan military initiative to set up safe zones for civilians in the uncleared areas of the Wanni. The Bishops in a collective statement have said that this is absolutely an essential provision that will protect and save the lives of numerous civilians. In the statement they have also called upon the LTTE to reciprocate and demonstrate its concern for these civilians by enabling the people to use this life saving initiative. more..

More schools to close for Deyata Kirula Exhibition

Jan 25 (GDI) Apart from the schools mentioned earlier, more schools in Colombo are to be closed for a few days from January 26th in preparation of the upcoming Deyata Kirula Exhibition.These schools will be closed under two phases starting next Monday (26) the Education Ministry sources revealed. The schools that will be closed in the first phase are Ashoka Vidyalaya in Colombo and President’s College in Rajagiriya. more..

Election violence continue to heat up

Jan 25 (SAMN) With just three weeks to go for the North Western and Central Provincial Council elections, three major election violence incidents from Puttalam, Kurunegala and Kandy Districts were reported within the past 48 hours. A house of a supporter of a United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) minister has been allegedly burnt down by another group of UPFA supporters Saturday afternoon in the Kurunegala district. more..

Steps to minimise conversions

Jan 25 (SAMN) The Commission on Unethical Conversions has recommended that written approval from a District Secretary must be made compulsory for the construction or expansion of places of worship to minimize unethical conversion of Buddhists to other faiths. This applies to Buddhist temples, churches, kovils, mosques and other places of worship and the Pradeshiya Sashanarakshaka Balamandalaya should be notified of this approval obtained from the District Secretary within two weeks, more..

State loses Rs. 3 bn; Prima wants cash

Jan 25 (SAMN) The government of Sri Lanka has been ordered by an international arbitration tribunal to pay nearly Rs.4 billion, Rs. 3 billion possibly in cash, to Prima Ceylon Ltd. The Prima company had petitioned the tribunal, claiming the government owed this amount as subsidies and other payments in terms of an agreement signed in 2001. The company said subsidies amounted to about Rs. 2.8 billion and other payments more than Rs. 1.15 billion. more..

Laws to check garbage-dumpers

Jan 25 (SAMN) The Environment and Natural Resources Ministry will take legal action to crackdown on persons who regularly throw used items on highways. The law will come into force shortly and persons who are engaged in throwing polythene papers and paper bags on highways will be fined on the spot. The programme was initiated along with the `Garbage Free Sri Lanka in 2012' program, more..

Govt condemns assault on Rivira Editor

Jan 25 (SO) The Government issued a statement vehemently condemning the brutal attack on the Rivira Editor Upali Tennekoon and his wife Dhammika and said that at a critical time when the country is about to eliminate terrorism completely, certain conspiratory groups are trying to embarrass the Government by such deeds. Upali Tennekoon was assaulted by unknown persons near Imbulgoda, 200 metres away from his residence, Friday morning when he was driving to work with his wife. more..

Sunday Crime: Sharp-eyed policeman ropes in handphone robbers

Jan 25 (SO) On the 8th of January Police Constable 1949 Wasala along with other Police Special Task officers were on duty at the Kohuwela bridge in the Pamankade area, when he noticed a vehicle with two different number plates. The front plate was inconsistent with the rear. The false number plates have been fixed by a underworld gang to commit a crime, thought Police Constable Wasala. He then intercepted the vehicle for further examination. more..

New economic zone at Ratmalana

Jan 25 (SO) The latest special Economic Zone will be set up in Kaldemulla, Ratmalana to provide essential food items as well as textiles and garments to the public. Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operatives and Consumer Affairs Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that Ratmalana Special Economic Zone will have textiles and garments sections that the earlier Special Economic Zones numbering fifteen did not have. more..

The greatest of ‘conquerors’

Jan 25 (SO) Serene environment, cool climate, lush greenery adorned with twittering birds and naughty squirrels. What would be your immediate reaction to such a site? A traveller’s haven or a nature lover’s paradise? But neither of them would fit in there, unless their intention is to gain wisdom through self-effort by practising meditation under the instructions of nuns. The plight of a journalist too is the same. more..

Lasantha: ...truth cannot be divined from untruth

Jan 25 (MN) It is time the bluff was called in all that’s being written about Lasantha Wickrematunge after the Editor’s gruesome and despicable murder last week. This hypocrisy reeks. The attempt now is to bury all his very considerable flaws with his bones, and extract as much political mileage out of his mortal coil as possible. We’ve heard that hackneyed one about Niemoller, and that other moving but threadbare intonation “for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee" more..

Police make headway in probe

Jan 25 (NS) The Police will be able to apprehend the assailants who attacked Rivira Editor Upali Tennakoon in the next two to three days as the teams investigating the incident have made an important breakthrough, said Police Spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekara. Investigators have recovered three sets of fingerprints believed to be of the attackers, and are already working on drawing sketches of a suspects based on the information received. more..

President seeks Ranil’s help

Jan 25 (NS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has told visiting Japanese Special Envoy to Sri Lanka Yasushi Akashi that he would not mind Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe getting the Nobel Peace Prize as long as he helped to hammer out a political solution to the country’s ethnic problem. The President had pointed out the need for the UNP to take part in deliberations of the APRC as it is entrusted with the task of more..

Media attacks, diplomatic dealings and political wheelings

Jan 25 (NS) The attack on our sister paper, Rivira’s Editor in Chief, Upali Tennakoon sent shockwaves throughout the media fraternity and political sphere once more on Friday, and attacks on the media are likely to once more dominate the headlines in the weekend newspapers. In a bizarrely familiar attack, four motorcyclists intercepted Tennakoon’s car while the editor was en route to work with his wife Dhammika in Imbulgoda, Gampaha around 6:45 a.m. more..

Mystery death of SriLankan pilot

Jan 25 (NS) The recent sudden death of a foreign pilot attached to the SriLankan Airlines remains a mystery with the exact cause of death still unknown. It is believed that Kazakhstan pilot Captain Timor Anibbai died on the night of January 6 at a private tourist hotel at Ettukala, Negombo. “The post-mortem is still being done as the body was at an early decomposition stage when it was handed over for the autopsy, and I am extremely suspicious about the death,” more..

Ground operation against LTTE now nearing climax

Jan 25 (Island) With the army entering Visvamadu town east of A9 road yesterday, the largest ever ground offensive directed against the LTTE is rapidly reaching its zenith. The army said that fighting was continuing in the area with 58 Division troops gradually evicting the enemy from their strong points. A senior official said that multi-pronged offensive involving armour and artillery was now threatening to overwhelm LTTE units holding a section of the Paranthan-Mullaitivu A 35, more..

Minorities should be afforded equal opportunities – Nayake Thera

Jan 25 (Island) The Chief Incumbent of Kiri Vehera Raja Maha Viharaya, Kataragama , Ven. Aluthwewa Soratha Nayake Thera said that all the sacrifices made by the valiant security forces to defeat terrorism and capture Prabhakaran would be meaningless if we do not change attitudes vital to build mutual trust between the communities. "There should be a change in attitude among the communities if we are build mutual trust more..

PHR delegation seeks green light to visit Wanni

Jan 25 (Island) A five-member delegation from Parliamentarians for Human Rights (PHR) has requested Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to facilitate a trip to the Wanni and also a visit to the newly established welfare centers in Vavuniya and Mannar. Parliamentarians Mano Ganeshan, Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena, Mohamed Hasen Ali, Shafeek Rajabdeen and Ms. Thalatha Atukorala have decided to undertake this visit, PHR says. more..

Disability access facilities at Parliament

Jan 25 (Island) Restricted mobility can result from a wide range of different conditions. Many of them are not readily apparent and also, as life unfolds, inevitable. All people, irrespective of their positions and possessions, run equally risks of such experiences, either for a short-time, a long-time or even a lifetime. A wide and diverse range of our population, estimated at over 15% (i.e. three million), are disadvantaged in accessing and using buildings. more..

From father to daughter: The music flows on

Jan 25 (ST) With a start, Gayathri Khemadasa wakes up. It is 3 a.m. but there is no sound from the piano downstairs. Later, in the heat of the afternoon, she meets us to discuss the commemoration concert that will mark three months since the death of her father Premasiri Khemadasa. While the concert will give audiences a chance to truly savour the work of a man long considered one of Sri Lanka’s foremost composers, more..

Tamil Nadu boils, but Delhi remains warm

Jan 25 (ST) The contrast of international and domestic travellers at Southern India's Chennai international airport stands unique from all others. For some passengers, their baggage is only old cartons that earlier held Red Label whisky or cigarettes, Sony or National TV sets. Others had rolled their belongings into a bundle covered by polythene or shopping bags that advertised different makes of silk saris. A few who stood in queues for flights headed to South Asian capitals were sarong clad, even barefoot. more..

In search of the unknown

Jan 25 (ST) Taking pathways off the beaten track, away from the usual touristic sites, a motley group of people are traversing down the corridors of time and history to bring to light hidden but fascinating details of Sri Lankan culture. Many have been their forays to sites of unsung value and of a Friday evening Dr. Roland Silva, renowned heritage personality, relives those journeys, amidst an enthralled audience. more..

Govt. clears Mullaitivu for final assault

Jan 25 (ST) Civil administration work carried out in the Mullaitivu district has been officially suspended to facilitate the civilians to leave the district, as security forces pushed forward to capture the last stronghold of Tiger guerillas. Mullaitivu Government Agent Emelda Sukumar said directions had been issued to all public servants to stop work and leave the district for their own safety. The directive was issued on Friday night in the wake of heavy fighting between the security forces and the LTTE. more..

Situation Report (Jan 25th) - SL Army

Jan 25 (SLA) THE 59 DIVISION troops commanded by Brigadier NANDANA UDAWATTA entered the MULLAITTIVU town perimeter Sunday (25) afternoon shattering last hopes of the LTTE to withhold their northeastern bastion. Troops of the 7 GW (Gemunu Watch) commanded by Lieutenant Colonel CHAMINDA LAMAHEWA operating under the 593 Brigade commanded by Lieutenant Colonel JAYANTHA GUNARATHNE had to face severe resistance from terrorists. more..

Refugee kids dream of return to an isle of peace

Jan 25 (MO) "In the evening, the sun goes home... when will we go home?" asks seven-year-old D. Sarika from the Azhiyanilai refugee camp in Tamil Nadu's Pudukottai district in a drawing she has made. For more than 19,000 children under 12, growing up in 117 refugee camps across Tamil Nadu, home is where they have never been. Home is where their parents abandoned hearts and hearths as tanks rolled into village after village and terror-stricken Tamils fled. more..

Sea Tiger cadres may have entered Tamil Nadu

Jan 25 (ENS) A boat was washed ashore at Rameswaram on Saturday with markings indicating that it was from Sri Lanka. Police personnel here have expressed doubts that the boat may have been used by LTTE men to enter Tamil Nadu. Local fishermen informed the Temple police in Rameswaram that a Sri Lankan boat had been washed ashore near Cherankottai and a team led by inspector Muthukumar seized the boat. more..

TULF leader blames LTTE for 'vacuum' in Tamil leadership

Jan 25 (PTI) Blaming the LTTE for "a large vacuum" in the Tamil leadership in Sri Lanka, a senior leader of the minority ethnic community has invited Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to visit the island nation to assess for himself the ground realities as "seeing is believing". "The time has now come for you to take over the full responsibility on your head and to visit Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lanka says troops enter final rebel stronghold

Jan 25 (AP) Sri Lankan forces fought their way into the Tamil Tiger rebels' final stronghold of Mullaittivu on Sunday and were battling to take control of the town, the military said. The capture of Mullaittivu would expel the rebels, who once controlled a wide swath of northern Sri Lanka, from the last major town under their control and could force the insurgents remaining in the nearby jungles to abandon their conventional tactics in favor of guerrilla warfare. more..

Sri Lankan Airlines in discounted internet sales strategy

Jan 26 (LBO) Sri Lankan Airlines has launched a discounted online ticket sales program where cut price tickets can be bought by booking ahead, the company said, tapping the price-sensitive end of the market. The 'Hot Seats' branded program will offer tickets as low as 9,500 rupees to India. SriLankan is a full service airline, which has built a brand on offering high service standards, unlike no frills airlines. more..

DMK general council to chalk out future action on Sri Lankan issue

Jan 26 (PTI) Hinting that he was ready to "relinquish power" if the Centre failed to take expeditious steps to ensure a ceasefire in Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has said that DMK's general council will meet before February 15 to chalk out the future course of action. Karunanidhi, who had made a "final appeal" to the Centre in this regard on January 23, said "the decision will allow those in the country as well as in Sri Lanka understand what we can do." more..

President wishes Indian PM speedy recovery

Jan 26 (PTI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today wished Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a speedy recovery after his heart surgery. "We wish you a restful recovery, so that you return with further strengthened good health to your successful and visionary service, for the progress and prosperity of India and her people"the President said in his message. "The people of Sri Lanka, my Government and I have been following with concern the news of your hospitalisation. more..

Anti fascists close ranks to defeat authoritarianism

Jan 26 (LG) My column in the last and several comments I made in e-mail conversations have brought in important contributions from well known radical intellectuals. One was from Prof Sumanasiri Liyanage which had raised several valid questions. Sumane began by stating: “In an e-mail conversation, two of my erstwhile political colleagues, Dr Vickramabahu Karunaratne and Prof Kumar David have proposed that it is imperative to form more..

Who wants a potty dictator?

Jan 26 (LG) S.B. Dissanayake who is leading the UNP in the Central Provincial Council elections and is also the chief political organiser of the party is a uniquely funny man. At a time when dictatorships are completely out of fashion - even in Latin America - he is advocating a dictatorship for Sri Lanka for the country to be cured of its political and perhaps social ills. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe may have taken this proposal in good humour but more..

Is Sri Lanka about to finish off the Tamil Tigers?

Jan 26 (Reuters) Sri Lankan troops on Sunday dealt the Tamil Tiger separatists a third major blow this month, seizing the last big town held by the rebels, Mullaittivu. The army's commander, Lieutenant-General Sarath Fonseka, said soldiers were close to finishing one of Asia's longest-running insurgencies. Few would disagree now that he has the LTTE trapped in a tiny wedge of jungle. more..

Is it Daydream?

Jan 26 (LG) The Sri Lankan media is dishing out daily fairy tales about the possible fate of Pirabakaran following the final assault of the army to capture the Vanni jungle he is presumed to be hiding. All kinds of stories are being engineered to keep the southern consensus in favour of the government. News ranging from Pirabakaran ‘has only one option to commit suicide’ to ‘handing him over to India’ is well cooked and dished out in the government’s propaganda campaign. more..

'We will be happy to meet Prabhakaran at the battlefront'

Jan 26 (LG) During last few weeks the Senior Leaders of the LTTE including Banu, Theepan, and Laurence came to protect their FDL lines after losing large numbers of junior cadres, Commander of the 55 Division, Brig, Shavendra Silava said. Speaking to the Sri Lanka Guardian at his office in Pooneryn, Big. Shavendra pointed out , “ We are wining the war of liberating Tamil people. This humanitarian mission to liberate ordinary Tamil people/civilians from LTTE's terrorism”. more..

Deal or poll? Crucial decisions ahead for Lanka

Jan 26 (TOI) Recent military history will call it ‘Eelam War IV’, but the government in Sri Lanka describes the march of its military in the north-east since mid-2006 as a ‘humanitarian operation’ to liberate predominantly Tamil civilians living under LTTE control. “From Mavil Aru to Mullaitivu” is a phrase that is repeatedly heard on television programmes brimming with patriotism in southern Sri Lanka. more..

Cornered, Prabhakaran may end life

Jan 26 (TOI) As the Sri Lankan army closed in on the remnants of LTTE, the question on everybody’s lips was: where is Velupillai Prabhakaran, the man who spearheaded the fight for an independent Tamil state? A Sri Lankan Tamil minister said on Sunday the guerrilla leader has virtually been “cornered” and cannot escape from the island nation. “Prabhakaran has already tried shifting from one bunker to another or from one hiding place to the next in Vanni. But he cannot escape from the country,” more..

Pakistan tour boosts Sri Lanka's confidence against India

Jan 26 (IANS) After trouncing Pakistan 2-1, Sri Lanka's captain Mahela Jayawardene said they now aim to beat India on home soil. Before leaving for Colombo, Jayawardene told reporters here Sunday that two emphatic back-to-back wins over Pakistan have raised his players' confidence for the ODI series against India that begins Jan 28. 'We've beaten Pakistan by big margins in two consecutive games and that is going to help us in the series against India,' more..

Malaysia to interact with India on Prabakaran

Jan 26 (Hindu) Malaysia intends to liaise with Sri Lanka, India, and the Interpol for updating “intelligence” about the whereabouts of Velupillai Prabakaran, leader of the LTTE. There has been no authoritative word on any action following this indication by Malaysia’s Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan. However, enquiries show that Malaysia has initiated follow-up moves in this direction. No specifics are immediately available. more..

'DMK council will meet before Feb 15 to decide on Sri Lanka issue'

Jan 26 (Hindu) The general council of the DMK will meet before Feb 15 and take a decision on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi said. Addressing a function organised by the Sanga Tamizh Peravai to honour him for obtaining classical language status for Tamil and for declaring that Tamil New Year would begin from the Tamil month Thai, he said that the meeting would take a decision on how to determine the course of the lives of Sri Lankan Tamils. more..

Denmark to ban shortly TRO the fund raising arm of the LTTE

Jan 26 (AT) Denmark has indicated its decision to list as a banned entity, the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization, the fund raising arm of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Also the Danish Government has assured to take appropriate actions on the continuation of the GSP Plus facilities to Sri Lanka. This was disclosed by Lars Bredal, Acting Head and the Director-General of Denamark’s the Department of Asia and Latin America. more..

India helps Lanka hunt LTTE chief

Jan 26 (AA) LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran’s whereabouts were not immediately known after troops captured Mullaittivu town on Sunday evening but friendly governments, including India’s, were lending a helping hand to Sri Lanka for tracking him down. India was not only coordinating the patrolling of the Palk Straits but also sharing intelligence to wipe out the last remnants of the dreaded terrorist organisation, more..

Qatar-Lanka ties ‘set to get a boost’

Jan 26 (GT) THE recent visit by the Sri Lankan foreign minister to Doha could change the dynamics of bilateral relations, Ambassador Vijayasiri Padukkage has said. When the minister, Rohitha Bogollagama, visited Qatar earlier this month, the main focus of talks with the Qatari authorities was trade and investment, shifting away from labour issues, Padukkage said. “We think that this visit is very important. more..

Rajapaksa invites Karunanidhi to visit Jaffna

Jan 26 (AT) In a smart diplomatic initiative, President Mahinda Rajapaksa Sunday invited 'veteran' Indian leader Karunanidhi, also his arch rival Jayalalithaa Jayaram of AIADMK to visit Jaffna and Vanni and personally appeal to LTTE to release the Tamilians held as human shield at gun point. "We are ready to provide safe corridors for the civilians to go through the army control areas to safer places, but it is now up to the Tamil Tigers to 'release' the civilians", the President told more..

Ranil to speak on decentralization

Jan 26 (MN) Leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe will deliver a lecture on decentralization on Monday morning at Dharubaaruge, according to President’s Office. The lecture was arranged following a request from President Nasheed during a courtesy call on President Nasheed by Wickremesinghe. The call was held on Sunday morning at the President’s Office. The lecture will be attended by Ministers, members of the People’s Majlis, senior government officials, more..