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Editorial: Remarkable victory

Jan 3 (DM) It is indeed a remarkable achievement. The capture of LTTE terrorists’ stronghold Kilinochchi, from where they directed all dastardly operations in the country, marks the end of a decades-long terrorist menace that brought immense destruction to the country and suffering to all communities of people in this country. While other youthful groups gave up violence and chose the path of democratic negotiation to find a solution to the national problem, more..

Three wounded in Colombo blast: police

Jan 3 (AFP) At least three people were wounded in a bomb blast in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo on Saturday, a day after a suicide bomb attack killed two people elsewhere in the city, police said. The latest explosion was outside a mosque in Colombo's commercial area of Pettah, police said adding three people were taken to hospital. Colombo National Hospital director Prasad Ariyawansa said three people admitted following the blast had minor injuries. more..

HQ fall may spell end of LTTE dream

Jan 3 (TOI) As the Sri Lankan army registered its biggest-ever military victory by capturing the northern town of Kilinochchi, it was also the day of the biggest territorial upset for the Tigers, who ceded their headquarters to the army, and with it, their aspirations for a separate state in the north. But the LTTE struck back with what it does best: a suicide attack at the Lankan air headquarters, killing three and injuring 37. more..

Dilshan's explosive 162 dents Bangladesh

Jan 3 (CI) Tillkaratne Dilshan's sixth Test century put Sri Lanka in charge of the second Test in Chittagong. After managing only 65 runs in the first session, for the loss of three wickets, including the big ones of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, they piled on 306 runs after lunch. Dilshan started the revival with the help of opener Malinda Warnapura, who made a patient half-century. more..

Tamilnadu Chief Minister's daughter concerned about fall of Kilinochchi

Jan 3 (TC) Tamil Nadu chief minister Muttuvel Karunanidhi's daughter and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK) Rajya Sabha (Upper house) member of parliament Ms. Kanimozhi Karunanidhi has expressed grave concern over the Sri Lankan armed forces capturing Kilinochci in the Northern province of Sri Lanka. What we were hoping would never happen has actually happened" she said while speaking at a book release ceremony in Chennai where more..

Despite setback LTTE will keep fighting, claims Tamil MP

Jan 3 (IANS) A Tamil MP from Sri Lanka asserted Saturday that the Tamil Tigers would never give up even after losing a key town and retreating into their last remaining fortress Mullaitivu. M.K. Shivaji Lingam admitted, however, that the fall of Kilinochchi was 'indeed a setback' but he said the LTTE would keep fighting a la Vietnam. 'And even if the LTTE were to lose Mullaitivu also, then too they will continue their struggle,' more..

War on LTTE enters decisive stage after fall of Kilinochchi

Jan 3 (IANS) The fall of Kilinochchi, the Tamil Tigers' political and administrative hub for the past decade, has dealt a devastating blow to the rebels - militarily and psychologically - confining them to their last bastion of the jungle district of Mullaitivu, where the fighting has now begun to rage. With their backs to the wall, the question is how long the rebels will be able to fight the determined advancing government troops. more..

India, Sri Lanka in talks over tour

Jan 3 (CI) India are planning a series against Sri Lanka to compensate for the aborted tour of Pakistan. Officials of both national boards have confirmed they are in talks over the tour, which will take place sometime over the next couple of months - most likely between Sri Lanka's current tour of Bangladesh and their trip to Pakistan, tentatively scheduled for the middle of February. more..

Sri Lankan troops advance on rebels' military HQ

Jan 3 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops advanced Saturday on the military headquarters of the Tamil Tigers, a day after capturing the rebels' de facto political capital in the north of the island. The defence ministry said ground forces, backed by helicopter gunships, were moving towards Mullaittivu, the jungle district along the northeastern seaboard, where the Tigers are known to have their main military facilities. more..

Capturing Kilinochchi a daydream for Lanka: LTTE chief

Jan 3 (ZN) LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran on Saturday reportedly denied the fall of Kilinochchi to the Sri Lankan Army. Prabhakaran reportedly said in his e-mail interview with a Chennai-based Tamil magazine, Nakeeran that the “Sri Lankan forces have entered parts of our homeland and are stationed in close proximity to Kilinochchi town. But, capturing Kilinochchi is just a daydream of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.” more..

'Prabhakaran may be hiding in Mullaittivu'

Jan 3 (PTI) Elusive LTTE supremo V. Prabhakaran, who received a massive blow after the fall of the rebels' political headquarters Kilinochchi, may be hiding in the key Tiger bastion of Mullaittivu, Sri Lankan Army chief Sarath Fonseka has said. Prabhakaran, 54, is likely hiding in the coastal town of Mullaittivu, Fonseka said on Friday as the Sri Lankan Army attacked the area around the suspected hideout of the LTTE leader. more..

Sri Lanka bombs rebels after seizing their HQ

Jan 3 (AP) Sri Lankan air force jets and helicopters bombed a series of rebel targets in the north and northeast, the military said Saturday, as soldiers pressed deeper into Tamil Tiger territory a day after capturing the insurgents' de facto capital. The fall of Kilinochchi on Friday dealt a devastating blow to the insurgents' 25-year campaign to create an independent state for ethnic minority Tamils. It has squeezed them into 620 square miles they still hold in the northeast. more..

The fall of rebel headquarters: what does it hold for Sri Lanka?

Jan 4 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's government troops have achieved the impossible. They steamrolled the mighty military machine of the LTTE rebels to capture the town of Kilinochchi, 328 km north of the capital Colombo. The town has served as the LTTE's de facto administrative capital for over a decade. Although largely symbolic, the fall of Kilinochchi, or its inability defend it, has caused a substantial dent in the LTTE's image as a capable ruthless terrorist group. more..

Govt mulls tax hike on milk powder imports

Jan 4 (LBO) The government is considering increasing customs duties on milk powder imports to take advantage of plunging global prices without raising domestic prices and raise revenue. World prices have plummeted by over 50 percent from a November 2007 high of 4,550 dollars a metric ton of milk powder. “The treasury is reviewing prices now and will come to a decision when the forward contracts signed by the milk importers expire by mid-February this year,” more..

Central bank promises single digit inflation in 2009

Jan 4 (LBO) Central bank has promised single digit inflation amid deflationary external conditions and the possibility of a looser stance and lower interest rates in 2009, in its annual road map for monetary policy. In the last few months inflation has been falling with the effects of external deflationary conditions flowing into the country through a soft-dollar peg. Measured by the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPO) consumer prices fell to 14.4 percent in December from a peak of 28.2 percent in June. more..

Fall of Killinochchi and rise of hopes?

Jan 4 (LG) After of two months of siege and intense battle between the LTTE and the SL armed forces, Killinochchi the de facto capital of Eelam fell to the advancing troops on the second day of the New Year. In a multi pronged attack, the troops launched their thrust from three different directions in Paranthan, Iranamadu and Adampan areas to take over the city commencing with the railway station. more..

War to the Jungles, but not by the Law of the Jungle

Jan 4 (LG) The conduct of Sri Lankan armed forces has been exemplary. There’s no argument about that. Civilian casualties as claimed by the mouthpiece of Tamil Tigers carries very little credibility and the whole world knows that. Accidental civilian casualties of the Vanni operation cannot be measured against idealistic yardsticks. The Sri Lankan Air Force is technologically too insignificant compared to the mighty United States Air Force and the Israeli Air Force, more..

If caught, Prabhakaran should be handed over to India: Congress

Jan 4 (PTI) With Sri Lankan troops closing in on LTTE's last bastion Mullaitivu, the Congress on Saturday asked the island nation to hand over Tamil Tiger chief Prabhakaran once he is caught so that he faces trial for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. "We will be happy if Prabhakaran is caught and handed over to India for the heinous crime he has committed. He should be brought to book for the assassination of our beloved leader Rajiv Gandhi," more..

Arson attack on London Temple

Jan 4 (BBC) Police in London say they are investigating an arson attack on a Sri Lankan Buddhist temple in north London. Chief Incumbent of London’s Sri Saddhatissa Buddhist Vihara, in Kingsbury, Galayaye Piyadassi thero told BBC Sandeshaya that he suspects Tamil Tigers for the attack. A spokesman for Scotland Yard police, however, refused to comment on the accusation. A group of attackers have broken the windows and set fire to the temple, Piyadassi thero said, more..

LTTE will win war ultimately: Vaiko

Jan 4 (PTI) MDMK chief Vaiko today charged the UPA Government with helping Sri Lanka by giving arms, which enabled that country's army to capture the "deserted" Killinochi and said the LTTE will win the war ultimately. "At least now, we should realise that the Indian Government hasn't done anything for the Sri Lankan Tamils. India has been supplying arms which helped the Lankan Government capture Killinochi," Vaiko, an ally of opposition AIADMK told reporters more..

Petrol bomb attack on Sirasa studio complex

Jan 4 (LD) The studio complex of Sirasa Media Network at Depanama, Pannipitiya has come under a petrol bomb attack last night (Jan. 02nd). Around 10 men, masked and carrying arms, in a white-coloured van had arrived at the facility around 9.00 pm, threatened the security guards and thrown the bomb. The security guards have lodged a complaint with Maharagama Police on the same night. Earlier in the day, state media launched a scathing attack on Newsfirst of MTV/MBC, accusing it of not giving enough coverage for the capture of Kilinochchi. more..

Our widows and their widows = Our boys and their boys

Jan 4 (TC) Crackers are lighting everywhere in the country truly they are well wishers of the Security forces or our heroes or our boys. Many people were with smiling faces and while some were enjoying within. People were brought to the streets as pre organized by the governing party for political mileage but some joined voluntarily as they really decide to celebrate. State buildings quickly responded towards the official state declaration with national flags being hoisted. more..

'No step being taken for political settlement on Tamils issue'

Jan 4 (PTI) PMK founder leader S Ramadoss on Saturday charged the Centre with not taking steps to bring about a political settlement to the Sri Lanka Tamils issue in the island nation. In a letter reminding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said that the Centre had not taken any steps to end the 'military solutions being pursued by the Sri Lanka government' or measures aimed at a political solution. more..

'Annals of history'

Jan 4 (TN) The message of "veiled racism" in Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s remarks Friday in his telecast address announcing the capture of Ki'linochchi town, betrayed the true intentions of him and his ilk, camouflaged in saintly wordings against separatism, terrorism, racism, North-South war etc, to hoodwink the outside world, writes a regular academic commentator to TamilNet from Colombo. more..

Joint operation to catch fleeing Prabha

Jan 4 (LB) The Military can end the war in a matter of four months regaining the remaining areas from the LTTE from Mullaitivu to Nagarkovil, a senior military officer told LAKBIMAnEWS. Meanwhile, the navy and air force has introduced a joint programme to tighten security in the North to prevent LTTE leader Velupillai Pirapaharan from fleeing the country. He said that after the capture of Kilinochchi town, more..

Large public gatherings banned after Kilinochchi

Jan 4 (LB) In the wake of the recapture of Kilinochchi - a strategic area long- held by the LTTE as its headquarters, the defence ministry has instructed all police stations in Colombo and its suburbs not to grant permission for public events including religious processions and rallies, LAKBIMAnEWS reliably learns. The measure has been put in place in view of potential attacks by the LTTE. Large crowds and public gatherings have been the frequent targets of LTTE attacks in the past. more..

GOLDEN KEY: Golden lifestyles, inept management

Jan 4 (LB) Accepting funds from the public at high interest rates from 12 percent to 30 percent was the KEY reason for the collapse of the Golden Key Credit Card Company, according to the inside sources. Though some say a fraud has been committed, investigations conducted by the CID have not established this fact so far. It has been revealed that poor financial management was the cause of instability at the Golden Key Credit Card Company. more..

Political appointments to diplomatic cor., to beat the courts!

Jan 4 (LB) A host of new arbitrary political appointments to Sri Lanka’s missions are being hurriedly finalised against the backdrop of two Fundamental Rights petitions filed before the Supreme Court against such appointments, Foreign Ministry insiders said yesterday. “There is now a rush at the Foreign Ministry to expedite these appointments in anticipation of a court ruling halting such appointments,” they revealed. more..

Kilinochchi: From debacle in 1998 to triumph in 2009

Jan 4 (TC) A recent battle-field setback suffered by the army fuelled speculation that the LTTE is about to switch from a defensive to an offensive mode. The December 16 battle between the army and the LTTE ended with the LTTE claiming victory. Pro-LTTE TamilNet estimated the number of troops killed in action at 170 and over 400 wounded in simultaneous battles on the Vanni and Jaffna fronts. more..

Dont tell me Sri Lanka is not a failed State

Jan 4 (TC) In judging whether a country is a failed state or not, I have chosen to measure life in Sri Lanka by my experiences and those of my family and friends. Here is a litany. A (seventy-year-old) friend is picked up by the Police and remanded for the crime of having in his possession an old air gun that he uses to drive monkeys away from the house in which he lives in the middle of Kandy town. more..

Mihin: Chamal's to fly, yet ours not to reason why

Jan 4 (SL) Only Transavia, the company making a handsome profit at public expense from an aircraft wet leased to Mihin Lanka would be facetious enough to congratulate Aviation Minister and Presidential elder brother Chamal Rajapakse on his success in resurrecting the budget airline. On new year's day Mihin's much troubled aircraft finally flew on its inaugural flight to Dubai amidst allegations more..

Cabinet defies Supreme Court as LTTE spoils Killinochchi party

Jan 4 (SL) While decisive battles are expected to be waged in the Wanni as the February 14 provincial council polls for the North Western and Central Provinces draw near, the government moved last week to meet the immediate challenge posed by the opposition over the fuel price reduction with an economic stimulus package which only helped aggravate the confrontation between the Executive and the Judiciary. more..

Internal battles in SLFP, UNP over PC polls

Jan 4 (SL) The appointment of chief ministerial candidates for the forthcoming Central and North Western Provincial Council elections has resulted in several internal conflicts in the ruling party as well as the UNP. The UNP faced several internal conflicts in deciding the chief ministerial candidate for the North Western Provincial Council elections. As soon as UNP National Organiser S.B. Dissanayake was named as more..

'Total anarchy in the east before long'

Jan 4 (SL) SLMC Leader Rauf Hakeem predicts a year of elections in which the government's many lies will be understood by the people, compelling them to make strong decisions against a propagandist administration. In a wide-ranging interview with The Sunday Leader, Hakeem pinned hope on a grand opposition coalition to defeat the tyrannical government that wages war with the sole intention of tightening its grip on political power. more..

58 Taking its time at EPS

Jan 4 (DW) 58 Division troops are now 2kms south of EPS. Tigers are positioned along the former forward defence line constructed by the EPS' 54 Division. This FDL is where Hasalaka Gamini Kularatne gave his life in heroic fashion. 58 Division troops, somewhat fatigued by recent exploits into Kilinochchi will probably take some time to retake the area. Further north the Mech Infantry, formerly under Ralph Nugera, is awaiting orders to march under Udaya Herath, Nugera's deputy. more..

Endgame for Sri Lanka’s long civil war

Jan 4 (National) Sri Lanka’s quarter-century civil war is approaching its endgame with the fall of Kilinochchi, the political capital of the LTTE. Normally, the capture of a capital – Madrid in 1939, Saigon in 1975 – spells the end of a civil war. But the American Civil War did not end with the fall of Richmond. It lasted till the surrender by Robert E Lee of the Army of Virginia. And the leader of the Tamil Tigers is no Robert E Lee. more..

President Nasheed invites Sri Lankans to trade with Maldives

Jan 4 (MN) President Nasheed has said that no one has to influence indirectly to work with the Maldivian Government, and that government would not be involved in anything related to Corruption or bribery. Speaking at a meeting with Sri Lankan traders during his State Visit to neighboring Sri Lanka, he said that his government would focus highly on clearing out corruption and increasing the transparency and that therefore there would be no need for bribery. more..

Sri Lankan deputy high commission's security up

Jan 4 (TOI) The city police have thrown in an extra layer of security around the Sri Lankan deputy high commission in Chennai soon after the Sri Lankan forces took over Kilinochchi, considered the political capital of LTTE in Sri Lanka. "We have stepped up security measures near the Sri Lankan deputy high commission as a precautionary measure. However, we have not received any specific alert or threat," a senior police officer told TOI. more..

In Sri Lanka, victory brings reprisal

Jan 4 (Time) At Kollupitiya junction in the heart of Colombo Friday afternoon, the streets filled with confetti and bursts of firecrackers. Sri Lankans were celebrating their government's claim that troops had captured Kilinochi, the administrative capital of the LTTE, a separatist group that has waged a 25-year struggle for an independent Tamil homeland. After a triumphant speech by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a handful of men danced in the streets, more..

Tamil separatist conflict far from over: analysts

Jan 4 (AFP) Sri Lankans celebrated the fall of the Tamil Tigers’ de facto capital with street parties, but military observers say bloodier battles may still lie ahead as the rebels take refuge in the jungles. The guerrillas, fighting for an independent homeland for Tamils, suffered a massive blow on Friday when they lost Kilinochchi, their political headquarters, in a concerted government offensive that lasted nearly two years. more..

Whither "Vinaya"?: Two prominent bikhus among "Golden Key" investors

Jan 4 (TC) The controversial crisis concerning Golden Key credit card company has caused utter panic among numerous persons in Sri Lanka who had invested huge sums of money in it because of the excessive interest provided. Top politicians, government officials, artistes and sportsmen are among the panic ridden investors. Adding to the controversy is the news that two persons investing large sum of money in Golden Key are two prominent Buddhist priests. more..

Demand in Tamil Nadu for New Delhi to recall Indian Envoy from Colombo

Jan 4 (TC) Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Shree Alok Prasad is in hot water as passions in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu are boiling over the manner in which he has been conducting himself. Several Tamil Nadu politicians from different political parties are currently engaged in moves aimed at putting forward a united demand to the central government in New Delhi that the Indian envoy be immediately recalled from Colombo. more..

Killinochchi… and Gaza

Jan 4 (AT) Killinochchi is an important milepost in the Fourth Eelam War, an outstanding victory for the Lankan Forces and a significant defeat for the LTTE. The Tigers’ response to the fall of Killinochchi was both characteristic and portentous - a suicide blast near the Air Force Headquarters in Colombo. According to the well informed Tamilweek, the LTTE has begun withdrawing from Elephant Pass and Mullativu and may withdraw from the Jaffna Peninsula altogether. more..

LTTE to be banned; decision soon

Jan 4 (SAMN) Hard on the heels of the successful campaign to re-capture Kilinochchi, the government is formulating plans to proscribe the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on grounds that it is a “terrorist” organisation. Informed sources said legal experts were examining whether such a ban should be under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) or under provisions of the Emergency Regulations. more..

Govt. ready to welcome IDPs

Jan 4 (SAMN) The government has drawn up extensive contingency plans ahead of an anticipated large influx of internally displaced people from the conflict zone in the Wanni following the re-capture of Kilinochchi. As the security forces were poised for an all-out offensive on the remaining un-cleared areas, Essential Services Commissioner S.B. Divaratne said Saturday they were expecting a large number of IDPs to enter the northern town of Vavuniya at any time. more..

Thousands of Lankans losing foreign jobs

Jan 4 (SAMN) More than 30,000 Sri Lankans employed in the construction sector in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and South Korea are at risk of being laid-off owing to the global recession, a senior Minister warned Saturday. Foreign Employment Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said upto 30,000 Sri Lankans employed in the construction sector in the UAE would be affected directly and could end up losing their jobs as the construction industry in that country had been drastically scaled down more..

Unbelievably rich beggar

Jan 4 (SAMN) The probe of the identity of a suspicious beggar arrested at Kiribathgoda recently during a security clamp down took a dramatic turn when it was revealed that the suspect is a multi-millionaire. Suspect Kodiwithanage Ranjith Perera was produced in Hulftsdorp courts on December 30 and was warned and discharged by the Magistrate. “We arrested him on December 29 in Kiribathgoda Town as he failed to establish his identity and he was begging by pestering the pedestrians,” more..

NE development a priority this year - Cabraal

Jan 4 (SO) Rapid economic development of the Northern and Eastern provinces will be a priority this year, said Governor of the Central Bank, Ajith Nivard Cabraal. He was speaking at a ceremony on Friday to launch the Central Bank’s ‘Road Map: Monetary and Financial Sector Policies for 2009 and Beyond’. He said the Poverty Alleviation Micro Finance Project (PAMP) phase II, a poverty alleviation micro finance scheme operated in the post conflict areas and more..

Railway to instal gates at unprotected crossings

Jan 4 (SO) The Railway Department yesterday pledged that all unprotected railway crossings countrywide will be installed with gates if necessary funds are released by Local Government authorities. According to Railway higher authorities over 200 railway crossings, especially in the rural areas will have to be installed with either rail gates or signal lights. Without the financial assistance granted by Provincial Councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas, more..

Sunday Crime: Smart abductors not smart enough

Jan 4 (SO) Senthilnathan Rajesweri's husband Kandiah Senthilnathan aged 62 years was a prosperous businessman who amassed a fortune over the years by engaging in a legitimate business in Colombo. He was a trader by profession who owned a boutique in the Keselwatte area. Kandiah lived in a comfortable upstair home with his wife and family at Dias Place, Colombo 12, much to the envy of his neighbours who were not so prosperous as him. more..