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BOI enterprises in the boatbuilding sector have boosted export earnings

Jan 27 (BOI) As an island nation Sri Lanka’s economic potential has always been and will always be determined by the extent to which she is able to use in a productive manner the world’s most valuable resource, the sea. The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka has played an important part in promoting a number of projects dependent on the sea such as seaside tourist hotels, fisheries projects, in addition to the development of ports, more..

Men in US trial accused of aiding LTTE

Jan 27 (AP) A trial was beginning on Monday against four men charged with seeking to supply missiles and assault weapons to militants locked in a bloody civil war in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan immigrants have been charged with terrorism because the State Department considers the rebel force, known as the Tamil Tigers. The FBI engineered a sting in which three of the men drove from Canada to New York City in 2006 to more..

Church stages inculturated biblical story of three kings

Jan 27 (UCAN) For the feast of the Epiphany, the St. Mary's Holy Childhood Society used an ancient form of drama to convey the story of the Magi visiting the Infant Jesus. About 900 parishioners including parents and children crowded into the school hall next to Our Lady of Presentation Church in Marawila as nadagam performers sang and played drums for four hours on the evening of Jan. 11, the first Sunday after the Jan. 6 feast. more..

To win the war and lose the peace

Jan 27 (GV) It looks like one of the more winnable conflicts in an age of the global ‘war on terror’. The Sri Lankan government appears to be on the brink of announcing victory in its drawn-out battle against the LTTE. The armed separatist group, listed as one of the world’s most dangerous terrorist groups, has fought successive Sri Lankan governments for over a quarter of a century in the guise of liberating the island’s Tamil community from more..

Brothers on trial over terror charges

Jan 27 (SS) Two brothers from Mid Wales accused of supporting a terrorist group were today standing trial in London. The brothers are among four men whose trial was starting at Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court in London today. Jegatheswaran Muraleetharan, also known as Muralee Tharan, of Beechwood Drive, Newtown, and Jeyatheswaran Vythyatharan, also known as Vithy Tharan, of Crescent Gardens, Newtown, both deny conspiring to support the banned Sri Lankan terrorist organisation the Tamil Tigers. more..

One man’s political solution, another’s ethnic problem?

Jan 27 (LG) Harping on a political solution to the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka has become the favourite pastime of many. According to them there is an unspecified political solution to the ethnic problem. It is easy to blame politicians for not coming up with a political solution but it is complex than what meets the eye. In fact many political solutions were given to the problem, but, all failed to quell it. more..

Army claims control of rebel territory

Mendis is not a threat for us: Dhoni

Jan 27 (IANS) Playing down the threat from the new spin sensation of Sri Lanka Ajantha Mendis, Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said Monday his team is not wary of playing him. Addressing the media here on the upcoming five One-day International series against Sri Lanka beginning Wednesday in Dambulla, the Indian skipper, however, said it is always 'tough to beat Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka'. more..

Sri Lankans mull an end to war

Jan 27 (BBC) After the Sri Lankan army took the last key rebel-held town of Mullaitivu on Sunday, people across the island told the BBC about their hopes and fears for the future. It has not been possible to contact people living in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts. MANAF RAZACK, COLOMBO: I was extremely happy about the capture of the last rebel base. The entire country has been suffering ever since I was young. I have heard only of war in this country. more..

Appeal for hospital in North struggling to deal with scores of civilian casualties

Jan 27 (TW) The Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS) in Mullaithivu, the embattled district in the North of Sri Lanka has urgently appealed for medical assistance today Monday January 26th, as approximately 300 people have been killed in intense artillery barrage. Dr.T.Varatharajah, the Physician in charge in Mullaithivu has appealed to the Government of Sri Lanka, ICRC, the UN, and the international community for medical supplies and medical teams to be sent to more..

Sri Sri Ravishankar plan to meet Rajapaske, Prabhakaran

Jan 27 (ZN) The Art of Living leader Sri Sri Ravishankar on Monday said he plans to visit Sri Lanka and meet President Mahinda Rajapakse and LTTE leader V Prabhakaran separately to try and bring about a ceasefire between the two sides. Alleging 'innocent Tamils' were being killed there, he told reporters that only a negotiated settlement could bring peace to the war-torn country. "Very soon, I plan to meet Rajapakse and Prabhakaran separately to hold talks with them to bring about a ceasefire," more..

Editorial: End game in Sri Lanka

Jan 27 (Hindu) The conventional military game is up for the LTTE, or very nearly so. That is the message sent out to the world by the capture of the Tigers’ main garrison town of Mullaithivu, situated on a sliver of land between a lagoon and the Indian Ocean, by the 59 division of the Sri Lankan Army three weeks after the 57 division took Kilinochchi. With the territory controlled by Velupillai Prabakaran’s organisation shrinking from 15,000 square km in August 2006 to 350 square km today, more..

Opinion: War in Sri Lanka

Jan 27 (Hindu) The over two decades-old civil war in Sri Lanka is headed for an end. Mahinda Rajapaksa has achieved what the past Presidents failed to do. His determination to root out terrorism has paid off and the LTTE is now on the brink of defeat. The refugee influx into India over the years has clearly demonstrated that Sri Lankan Tamils do not support the LTTE and its leader V. Prabakaran. more..

Tamil Tiger rebels 'to fight on'

Jan 27 (BBC) The top leader of the Tamil Tigers has not left Sri Lanka and is still leading the "freedom struggle", the rebels' political leader has said. B Nadesan told the BBC by telephone that reports Velupillai Prabhakaran had fled were "malicious propaganda". He promised the rebels would fight on. Fears for civilians are growing - the UN says dozens are dead or injured. Sri Lanka's army has pushed the rebels from their strongholds. more..

Sri Lankan troops moving towards Challai

Jan 27 (Hindu) The military on Monday said that following the capture of LTTE’s main garrison town Mullathivu, all seven offensive elements the Army were now sweeping up remaining LTTE pockets towards the north-eastern coast. The Defence Ministry said troops marching down the coast towards the Challai lagoon had gained considerable ground. “Challai remains the last stronghold of the Sea Tigers where many defence observers expect the terrorist to fight their final battles,” more..

Rajapaksa assures Tamils of 'rightful place in society'

Jan 27 (PTI) Maintaining that the military offensive in the north was not aimed at Tamil civilians but the LTTE, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said the Government is determined to give the community its "rightful place in society". "The Government is determined to give Tamils their rightful place in society and treat them as equals among the Sinhalese, Muslims or Burghers," Rajapaksa said. more..

Tiger homeland shrinking

Jan 27 (DW) An LTTE team caught off-guard by yesterday's pre-dawn assault on Mulaitivu town is now trapped inside Mulaitivu town as the 59 Division commenced a clearing operation in the area yesterday. Communication lines were down from this afternoon to bring you the result of this operation. Heavy fighting was reported in the last three consecutive days from the general area east of Kilinochchi, particularly from Visuvamadu, Piramanthaikulam and Karukkaikulam. more..

'PC elections : Govt. yet again riding high on lawlessness'

Jan 27 (LG) UNP M.P. Palitha Range Bandara said , though there is a Govt. in SL, there is no governance . Unlike in the earlier times, all what we see, hear and read are lawlessness and not lawfulness. The Govt. which was elected by the people to rule them democratically, truly, lawfully, honestly, peacefully and progressively has only shamelessly become the very antithesis of all those traits a good Govt. should possess. more..

Sri Lanka’s Path to Victory: A Story of Leadership, Tactic and Sacrifice

Jan 27 (AT) No one would have believed in their wildest dreams that the Sri Lankan military had the capability of defeating the number one terrorist organization in the world, the LTTE. A well-organized, heavily-funded and deadly terrorist outfit that ran a mini state in the northern parts of Sri Lanka has lost its last stronghold: Mullaitivu. The only terrorist organization to have an infantry, a naval force and an air wing more..

Ranil writes to CoD and IGP

Jan 27 (LG) "With the entry of the Amy to Mullaitivu, the armed Forces have established full control of the Vanni area. This is due to the courageous and selfless dedication by all ranks of the Armed Forces under immense difficulties and personal danger to life and limb," the leader of the United National Party and opposition , Ranil Wickramasingha said in a letter to Air Chief Marshal Donald Perera, Chief of Defence staff in Colombo. more..

Warrants for Praba & three other tiger leaders

Jan 27 (LT) Colombo High Court issued warrants to arrest tiger leader Velupillai Prabakaran and three other senior leaders of the tiger organization. Colombo High Court Judge Kumudini Wickremasinghe made the order when the assassination case of former Foreign Minister Luxman Kadirgamar was called for inquiry. Warrents were issued to arrest Prabakaran, Pottu Amman. Charles Master and Komadi Manimela. more..

'We are enjoying our freedom thanks to the four modern Gods that protect us'

Jan 27 (LT) We are able to act freely due to the four forces that protect us said President of Patriotic National Centre (PNC) Ven. Dhambara Amila Thero participating at a ceremony held in Kurunegala yesterday (25th) to distribute school equipment to children of soldiers. The inaugural ceremony of ‘Rana-udara’, a programme to donate vouchers worth Rs.2500 to children of soldiers who have made the supreme sacrifice fighting more..

License for ‘Voice of tigers’ revoked

Jan 27 (LT) The Attorney General has informed the Appeal Court that the government has decided to revoke the transmission license granted by the then UNP government to ‘Voice of Tigers’ the radio of tiger terrorists. The senior government counsel Sumathi Dharmawardene informed this to Court when a petition filed by Dr. Piyasena Dissanayake challenging the issue of the transmission license to tiger organization was taken for inquiry today. more..

The Colombians

Jan 27 (AT) This was the chatter in the cocktail circuit-the women outdoing the men- until the forces opened the Northern front. Unaccredited pundits given a hearing not because of acquired knowledge but of social positions held in society. They had contacts with diplomats of the west, journalists of doubtful integrity, INGOs seeking audiences, pseudo intellectuals with social graces, professionals of opportunistic nature and more..

Prabhakaran cornered but could flee: Lanka army chief

Jan 27 (HT) Cornered Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) chief V. Prabhakaran has not fled the country yet, but could try to escape through the sea route to reach the Indonesian islands. His Sea Tigers (LTTE’s naval wing) remain largely effective. “Only the Sea Tigers and suicide cadres can help Prabhakaran escape,” Sri Lanka army chief Lt General Sarath Fonseka told HT over telephone a day after capturing Mullaitivu. more..

Sri Lankan army corners in LTTE fighters

PCB demands explanation for defeat by Sri Lanka

Jan 27 (AFP) Pakistan cricket authorities have asked captain Shoaib Malik and coach Intikhab Alam for a detailed report on their team's loss against Sri Lanka in the recent one-day series, an official said Monday. Pakistan suffered their heaviest one-day defeat when they went down by 234 runs against Sri Lanka in the third day-night international at Lahore on Saturday, handing the visitors a 2-1 win in the three-match series. more..

Questions remain after murderer sentenced

Jan 27 (TS) A Mississauga man must spend at least 13 years locked up in a federal prison before being eligible to seek parole for murdering one man and trying to kill a witness. But why Anurddha Ratwatte, 21, pulled the trigger on Sept. 8, 2007 remains a deadly secret. Neither Crown prosecutor Steve Sherriff nor defence lawyer Philip Klumak could provide the court any explanation for the deadly sequence of events. more..

TamilNet: More than 300 civilians feared killed

Jan 27 (TN) In a scene of carnage of untold proportion on civilian targets hit by hundreds of Sri Lanka Army fired artillery shells, more than 300 people have died and several hundreds are bleeding to death within the last 24 hours, amidst pouring rain inside the 'saftey zone' declared by the Colombo government. Houses and vehicles burn for a stretch of three km between Va’l’lipunam Kaa’li temple and Moongkilaa’ru towards Paranthan road, more..

Terrorists move arms into 'safe zone' & cause havoc firing villages inside

Jan 27 (RW) The Army in Wanni, in the wake of a series of 'shelling' allegations and also media reports to the same effect, some of which had even directly blamed Wanni troops, once again on Monday (26) urged the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to prevent the LTTE from using the demarcated 'Safe Zone' for firing and let trapped civilians freely enter Wanni areas, held by the government. more..

All set for Lanka musical show

Jan 27 (GT) Tickets for the Sri Lankan musical show ‘Api Wenuwen Api’ (Be Together for All) are now on sale, the organisers announced yesterday. There would be two shows, on February 13, at Doha Cinema. It is being organised by the Sri Lankan Co-ordination Committee (SLCC) and the embassy as part of celebrations to mark country's independence day. Sri Lanka's 61st Independence Day falls on February 4 when a flag raising function will be held at the chancery. more..

Sri Lanka nears victory in long war with Tamil Tigers

Jan 27 (CSM) Sri Lanka has edged closer to its military goal of defeating the Tamil Tigers, a rebel movement whose violent struggle for an independent homeland has spanned 26 years and shaped a generation of political strife. Government troops said Sunday they had captured the town of Mullaittivu, driving the rebels from their last garrison and into a shrinking patch of jungle. Army chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka went on national television to declare that 95 percent of the war was over and that victory was imminent. more..

UN chief urges Sri Lanka warring parties to ensure civilian protection

Jan 27 (Xinhua) UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon on Monday called on Sri Lanka's warring parties to ensure the protection of civilians. In a statement issued by his press office, the UN chief expressed his deep concern about the safety and well-being of civilians caught in intensified fighting in the Vanni region of Sri Lanka between the LTTE and the government of Sri Lanka. more..

A gateway to reconciliation process

Jan 27 (AT) The news report in the Asian Tribute, an interview with the President of Sri Lanka awakened my interest. The information in that interview is closely associated with my interest and belief. And I noted that the President of Sri Lanka made a gesture illuminating his skill of his statesmanship, much admirable. He invites the strong representatives of the Tamil population in India, i.e., the Tamil leaders from Tamil Nadu to come to Sri Lanka and more..

Ontario men plead guilty in Tamil Tiger case

Jan 27 (AP) When customs agents questioned a carload of Sri Lankan immigrants entering the United States at the Canadian border in the summer of 2006, the men claimed they were headed to a bachelor party in Buffalo. In reality, there was no party or even a groom. U.S. authorities say the men instead were part of a secret mission to help rebels by buying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of surface-to-air missiles and smuggling them into their homeland. more..

EU officials voice concern at 'humanitarian crisis' in Sri Lanka

Jan 27 (EUB) EU officials told Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama of their concern at the "humanitarian crisis" in the north of the country, especially "the rising civilian casualties in the conflict zone." EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner underlined that "international standards must be respected" and that unrestricted access be provided for the UN and humanitarian agencies, more..

Apparel firms mull investments in former war zone

Jan 27 (LBO) Sri Lankan apparel exporters said they are considering expanding into the former war-zone in the island's north and east from where Tamil Tiger rebels have been driven out. Ajith Dias, chairman of the Joint Apparel Association Forum, an industry umbrella body, said the government is trying to encourage apparel companies to set up plant in the north and east to give employment in communities disrupted by war. more..

DMK under pressure as Lanka mounts ‘final’ assault on LTTE

Jan 27 (ET) With the Sri Lankan Army continuing its pursuit of LTTE rebels after the decisive win in Mullaittivu town, the pressure is increasing on the DMK to walk the talk and get New Delhi intervene to effect a ceasefire. DMK chief M Karunanidhi had announced that the general council of the DMK would meet before February 15 and take a decision on the Lankan Tamil issue. But he does not have many options before him as more..

'Prabhakaran using human shields'

Jan 27 (TimesNow) A day after the Sri Lankan Army captured the LTTE's last major settlement Mullaithivu, a Sri Lankan Cabinet minister has come forward and told TIMES NOW that Tiger chief Prabhakaran may still be on the emerald Isle. Speaking exclusively to TIMES NOW, Lankan minister Douglas Devanand has confirmed that Prabhakaran is in Sri Lanka and is infact using human shields in a last ditch attempt to save himself. more..

Empowering people vital to development - Ranil

Jan 27 (MN) The most important thing in ensuring the rights of the people and developing the country is handing over the powers of the government to the people and that in doing so the people of Sri Lanka has benefited greatly, Ranil Wickremesinghe Leader of Sri Lanka’s United national Party who held the country prime minister ship twice has said. more..

Offer the hand of reconciliation

Jan 27 (Independent) Last year Sri Lanka's hardline President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, shook the international community by abandoning the Norwegian-brokered ceasefire with the rebel Tamil Tigers and declaring that only outright military victory could ensure peace for the island. A year later, he seems to be close to his ambition. Having taken the Tamil Tiger redoubts of Jaffna and Kilinochi this winter, government forces now claim to have stormed the group's last redoubt of Mullaitivu and more..

Capture of Mullaitivu and the future of LTTE

Jan 27 (LG) The capture of Mullaitivu, the last big town under the control of the LTTE, in a way came about as abruptly as Kilinochchi on January 25. But 59 Division of the Sri Lanka security forces which captured Mullaitivu had to fight its way through in some of the worst terrain against well fortified defensive positions. The fall of Mullaittivu was not unexpected. In fact in my article in the Hindu last week, I had said, more..

War and the Humanitarian Crisis in Vanni

Jan 27 (LG) The security forces have captured Mullaitivu, the last bastion of the LTTE. This is comes as the icing on the cake of their achievements in the war against one of the toughest insurgent forces in the world, which has no hesitation in using terror tactics. However, the security forces have to address an issue that is disturbing not only to NGOs and UN humanitarian agencies but to many others who are no sympathisers of the LTTE. more..

Treat all communities alike - Buddhist monk appeals

Jan 27 (PSM) "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 which will pave the way for permanent peace and socio economic prosperity for the people", Ven. Aluthwewa Soratha Nayake Thera said more..

'Establish Constitutional Council before 10th Feb'

Jan 27 (LT) The Supreme Court yesterday gave the Attorney General time till 10th February to solve the issue that has come up regarding appointing a member of minority parties to the Constitutional Council, establish the Constitutional Council and inform it. This order was made when a petition filed by Messrs. Sumanasiri Liyanage, Lecturer on Economics in University of Peradeniya and Ravi Jayawardene, lawyer and human rights activist stating that more..

United Staes donates food to WFP’s Sri Lankan Operations

Jan 27 (USAID) The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed a vital contribution from the USAID consisting of US$6.9 million (Rs 785.22 million) worth of lentils, vegetable oil and wheat. The food will be distributed to displaced and conflict-affected people in the northern part of Sri Lanka. U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert Blake handed over the donation - which included 1,344 metric tons (MT) of lentils, 779 MT of vegetable oil and 4,270 MT of wheat more..

Special museum in Sigiriya by April

Jan 27 (GDI) Aiming to give a boost to the Tourism industry of the country, Sri Lanka is to open a special museum in the cultural hotspot of Sigiriya by next April, the Cultural Affairs Ministry announced. The construction work of the museum in Sigiriya is currently underway with the funding from the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) under the Culture - Oriented Tourism in Sigiriya project. more..

Supreme Court terminates inquiry into ‘hedging’ agreement due to arbitrary conduct of the Executive

Jan 27 (LT) The Supreme Court has decided to terminate all cases related to “hedging” agreement as the executive neglected to carry out directives given by the SC. As such, the SC decided to withdraw all interim injunctions imposed suspending the “hedging” agreement. The petition was filed by a group including Chairman of Laugfs Gas Company W.P. Wagapitiya, Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake and Ven. Neethiyawala Palitha Thero. more..

Tamil Nadu TVs on disinformation campaign against Sri Lanka

Jan 27 (LP) It is reported that Tamil Language televisions from Chennai are bent on a scurrilous disinformation campaign against Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan armed forces. Ayngaran TV belonging to M. Karunanidhi, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the Sun TV belonging to Kalanidhi Maran, the grandson of Karunanidhi, are in the forefront of a mischievous campaign against Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan armed forces. more..

SEP holds election meeting in plantation district

Jan 27 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka held the first public meeting of its provincial election campaign at Hatton on January 17. Workers, young people and housewives listened attentively to the SEP candidates. The party is fielding 19 candidates in the Nuwara Eliya district of the Central Province for the February 14 elections. Hatton is a small town in the central highlands, main tea plantation area, where the majority of the population are plantation workers, mostly Tamils. more..