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Looming cold war between Eastern provincial councillors and governor

Jan 5 (PSM) The maiden statute of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) enacted early November is yet to get the assent of the EPC Governor. As a result the EPC is unable to implement the statute as scheduled with effect from 1/1/9. But the Governor instead of giving the assent has referred this to Attorney General. He has not referred it direct to the AG but through the President. more..

Teachers asked to apply immediately for postal voting

Jan 5 (GDI) Applications for postal votes of teachers of the Central and North Western provinces should be handed over to officials in the relevant district with immediate effect, the Assistant Elections Commissioner W.P.Sumanasiri told (05). He noted that the closing of applications for postal voting has been extended up to January 9 since the new school term commenced only today. more..

The first fish processing centre inaugurated

Jan 5 (GDI) The first fish processing centre established at a cost of Rs. 2.9 million was opened at the Modera fisheries harbour recently. The main objective of the project is to encourage local fish exporters, minimizing post harvest waste and providing fresh fish for export purposes. Accordingly, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has determined to extend the fish processing centre network throughout the country for more..

Polls in North within months: Minister

Jan 5 (SAMN) Local Government polls in the Jaffna peninsula including the Jaffna Municipal Council will be held before April and Local Government and Provincial Council Elections in the North will be held within six months from the victory in Mullaitivu, a senior Minister said. Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said Sunday the government has decided to hold local government polls in the Jaffna peninsula and the dates would be fixed shortly. more..

Best at G.C.E Advanced Levels

Jan 5 (SAMN) Kaveen Weersinghe of Royal College, Colombo scored the highest marks in bio science stream at the GCE Advanced Level Examination held last year. First place in the maths stream was secured by Tharindu Salinda Bandara Adhikari of Bandarawela Central College, while A. P. Kasun Gunawardena of Ibbagamuwa Central College came first in Commerce stream and Jeinualdin Fahima of Thisniya Girsl School in Trincomalee came first in the Arts Stream. more..

GK crisis won’t affect Ceylinco concerns

Jan 5 (SAMN) Ceylinco Group Chairman Lalith Kotelawala in a statement said the refunding of the Security Deposits of the Golden Key (GK) Credit Card Company was being done and would be done in future in such a manner without destabilising any of the companies in the Ceylinco Group. The statement further said: “The Golden Key Credit Card Company is only one amongst the Ceylinco Group of Companies. more..

'Establishing, trust and friendship within ethnic groups, the urgent need of the hour'

Jan 5 (AT) It is time that a friendly and conducive climate established in the midst of the ethno-religious groups in Sri Lanka. A Tamil and a Tamil speaking Muslim should have trust in their heart and mind that "there is always a Sinhalese friend out there to help me in my time of despair." Trust and confidence are two important things that has to be seriously cultivated in the midst of the Sri Lankan communities, more..

Police intensifies security in Colombo

Jan 5 (SAMN) In an effort to face any terrorist attacks against civilians and VIPs after the fall of the LTTE’s former headquarters of Kilinochchi, the police Sunday launched a special programme to intensify security in Colombo and the suburbs. Police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekara said according to intelligence reports the LTTE had planned terrorist attacks on vulnerable and crucial locations in the country. more..

Circular amended! English not compulsory to study in A/L classes!

Jan 5 (LT) The Minister of Education Susil Premajayanthe has made an announcement stating that the circular issued by the Ministry of Education making English compulsory to enter A/L classes would be amended. The circular 2008/17 issued by the Ministry of Education had made English compulsory and the ministry has taken measures to amend the circular after ACTSU and IUSF agitated against the circular claiming more..

American ambiguities in dealing with terror

Jan 5 (PISL) Understandably enough, the liberation of Kilinochchi on January 2nd prompted a range of reactions. The most predictable was that of the Tigers, firing off in all directions as it were, to show the world that they are not down and out, but in fact doing precisely that by proving how wedded they are to terrorism. Conversely, there has been much less triumphalism than might have been anticipated. more..

Over 100 arrested following census

Jan 5 (LD) Over 100 persons were arrested after a census of residents of north and east who have come to stay in Western province after 2003 was undertaken yesterday (Jan. 04th). The census, which took place at police stations in the province, registered over 29,000 persons including 3,000 new registrants. The census, which took place at police stations in the province, registered over 29,000 persons including 3,000 new registrants. more..

TF 1 elevated as permanent division

Jan 5 (LD) The Army Headquarters officially announced that Task Force 1 under the command of Brigadier Shavendra Silva has been elevated to the position of a permanent division in the Sri Lanka Army. Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka made the announcement as he met field commanders at Wanni Security Forces headquarters after the capture of Kilinochchi town. Task Force 1 commenced operations from the Mannar front in September 2007. more..

Kotelawala’s SMB too refusing deposit withdrawals

Jan 5 (LD) The Seylan Merchant Bank PLC (SMB), another member in Kotelawala’s group of Ceylinco companies is refusing withdrawal of deposits on the grounds that the Central Bank has ordered the stop of all withdrawals, complain customers. SMB which claims itself a leading merchant bank in Sri Lanka, had been incorporated on 3rd September, 1992 and is listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since in 1993. more..

Civil society representatives hail Government

Jan 5 (DN) Political leaders and civil society representatives yesterday hailed President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and indefatigable Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka, who deserve plaudits for liberating the LTTE's main bastion in the North. Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera who is a pioneer in reviving all progressive Forces under one banner to fight against terrorism says the Nation should honour President, more..

Prof. F.R. Jayasuriya felicitation

Jan 5 (DN) A felicitation ceremony has been organised by the Kelaniya University to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of Professor F.R. Jayasuriya, one of Sri Lanka’s foremost economists, an education reformer and visionary. Minister for Urban Development and Sacred Area Development Dinesh Gunawardena will be Chief Guest at the Ceremony which will commence at 3 p.m. in the Senate Hall at Kelaniya University. more..

'Strike a balance between HR and national security'

Jan 5 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa late last week emphasised the importance of striking a balance between human rights and national security considerations. Accusing the LTTE and its supporters, both here and abroad, of exploiting Sri Lanka’s legal system, Rajapaksa said that the protection of human rights shouldn’t take precedence over national security. more..

'Some school vans pose a threat to children’s lives'

Jan 5 (Island) Due to lack scrutiny and negligence on the part of operators, a section of the private school van fleet had deteriorated to such an extent that the lives of students were at risk, an official said. About 50 per cent of the fleet wasn’t suitable to transport children, Transport Ministry spokesman told The Island. The government study, the first of its kind ordered by Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma in the immediate aftermath of a tragic accident in Kegalle last September, more..

Ceylinco Fast Cash service suspended?

Jan 5 (DM) Financial Times learns from sources within Ceylinco Consolidated that the Ceylinco Fast Cash remittance service has been stopped from operating from January 1st 2009. Internal investigation by another party at Seylan Bank PLC has apparently identified a misappropriation worth approximately Rs. 4 to 5 billion according to our sources. This has happened due to the fact that Ceylinco Fast Cash office in Singapore has not reimbursed the money back to Seylan Bank more..

Calling for explanation: Harassment says Mayor

Jan 5 (DM) UNP yesterday charged there was a plot to harass the party’s local politicos including the Kandy Mayor as the provincial council election in the Central province campaign was underway. Opposition Leader of the Central Province W. L. Aluvihare told the Daily Mirror that the calling of explanation from the Kandy Mayor L.B. Aluvihare by the Central Province Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa might be a part of this harassment. more..

Samaraweera, Dilshan hand SL the advantage

Jan 5 (CI) There was no respite for Bangladesh in the final session of play on the third day of the Chittagong Test. Any hopes of further inroads, after picking up four wickets over the two previous sessions, evaporated as Thilan Samaraweera and first-innings centurion Tillakaratne Dilshan made merry, edging the visitors closer to a series win. With two full days to go, and the pitch helping the spinners, any target from here on would be imposing for Bangladesh. more..

A family 'in ruins'

Jan 5 (G&M) In the covenant that Canada makes with immigrants, surely it ought to be written somewhere that if you come here and your child is murdered, the rest of us will help you rebuild. That is exactly what has happened to the family of Akila Geegana Badhanage, a bright, overachieving, lovely boy of 16 who, in September of 2007, was on his way to his part-time job at Tim Hortons when he was swarmed and stabbed to death by a pack of young men. more..

Japan cautious on Sri Lanka military breakthrough

Jan 5 (AFP) Japan, Sri Lanka's top donor, was cautious on Monday after the Tamil Tiger rebels' capital fell, with an official saying that only a political solution could resolve the island's ethnic war. Sri Lanka's army last week captured the de facto rebel capital Kilinochchi and said it was now closing in on the headquarters of the Tigers, who have been fighting since 1972 to set up an independent homeland for the Tamil minority. more..

LTTE-China or LTTE-Pakistan Partnership Possible?

Jan 5 (DO) Your enemy's enemy is your friend is a popular saying. The recent setback the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka have been facing is largely credited to the clandestine support extended to the Sri Lankan government by India much against popular public opinion of India's citizens from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu is home to 80 million ethnic Tamils who have integrated very well with India and have a thriving economy. more..

Indian Govt gets notice on plea to retrieve Kachchatheevu island

Jan 5 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday issued notice to the government on a plea of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalitha to retrieve a 285-acre island in the Palk Strait off Rameshwaram from Sri Lanka. A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice Markandey Katju and Justice P. Sathasivam issued the notice on the AIADMK chief's plea that the late prime minister Indira Gandhi had ceded the Kachchatheevu island to Sri Lanka in 1974 without suitably amending the constitution. more..

Rizana’s case postponed again

Jan 5 (GDI) The Dawadmi High Court indefinitely postponed yesterday the case of Rizana Nafeek, the Sri Lankan underage maid sentenced to death in 2007 for death of an infant in her care. The fate of the young woman, who is fighting a death sentence, at this point depends largely on the alleged confession she made. Two witnesses who were to vouch for the character of the Tamil translator of the confession — who has since left the country — did not appear in court, which led to the postponement. more..

Sri Lanka holds 'victory' ceremony although fighting continues

Jan 5 (TO) Sri Lanka held an official day of celebration today at the near-ending of Asia's longest-running civil war, despite claims by Tamil Tiger rebels to have killed 53 soldiers in a desperate battle to save their final hideout. As the nation-wide commemorations took place following last week's fall of the rebel capital Kilinochchi - including speeches, hoisting flags and a two-minutes' silence - the Tigers, holed up in a small, jungle area in the north-east, more..

Sri Lankan army in ‘final push’ against Tamil Tigers

Jan 5 (TO) Sri Lanka's military claimed last night to have moved to the brink of ending Asia's longest-running civil war by moving to within a few kilometres of the Tamil Tigers' last remaining hideouts, as the country prepared for a blitz of suicide attacks in retribution. As tanks and helicopters claimed last night to be advancing through the jungle district of Mullaitivu and within kilometres of the strategic Elephant Pass in the north east, more..

Ruined remains of rebel 'capital'

Jan 5 (BBC) Attack helicopters flew overhead, tanks spluttering black smoke squealed and rattled through town on tracks rusty from the last monsoon, and soldiers with bandoliers of bullets slung around their necks posed for photographs in front of Tamil Tiger war memorials. Two days after the fall of Kilinochchi, the town that the LTTE had used as their de facto capital was firmly under military control. more..

Sri Lanka troops advance on last Tamil Tiger bases

Jan 5 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops backed by tanks and helicopter gunships moved against the remaining Tamil Tiger jungle strongholds after taking their political headquarters, the army said on Monday. Soldiers headed towards rebel pockets in the north of the island following their capture of the LTTE capital of Kilinochchi on Friday, the army said. Tens of thousands of people have been killed since the Tamils launched their struggle for an autonomous homeland in 1972, more..

Designer bunkers for LTTE headquarters

Jan 5 (PTI) Did LTTE's fighting tactics match those of Nazis during World War-II? A spate of deep bunkers erected by the Tigers around their fallen citadel of Kilinochchi might suggest that. Sri Lankan troops engaged in clearing out the town of booby traps, mines and explosives have come across a string of heavily-fortified bunkers outside all major governing buildings in the city. But, unlike, the World War-II era, the Tiger bunkers instead of mud and cement were more..

Sri Lanka's military captures key LTTE town

Jan 5 (AP) Government troops captured a strategic Tamil Tiger-held town Monday, as Sri Lankans raised flags and held a moment of silence to honor the military as it battles to end the country's 25-year-old civil war. Government forces have won a string of stunning victories over the rebels in recent months, forcing them to withdraw from much of the de facto state they once controlled in the north. On Friday, troops took control of the rebels' administrative capital, Kilinochchi, more..

Sri Lanka not ignoring Pakistan, says Duleep Mendis

Jan 6 (ANI) The Chief Executive of the Sri Lankan cricket board, Duleep Mendis, has ruled out the impression that Sri Lanka together with India is ignoring Pakistan to ensure a series with India. No final talk with Pakistan was held on the schedule of the tour of Pakistan; Duleep Mendis was quoted, as saying. Earlier, Mendis had promised the Chief Operating Officer of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Saleem Altaf, that he would finalise the schedule by Sunday, but more..

'Our support to Sri Lankan Tamils to protect the language'

Jan 6 (Hindu) The support extended to the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam reflected its responsibility for protecting Tamil in the long run, Union Minister of State for Home V. Radhika Selvi said. Ms. Selvi said that the elimination of a language would be an achievable matter through the massacre of the people speaking that tongue. Ethnic violence being meted out on the Sri Lankan Tamils would result in the disappearance of Tamil language in the long run. more..

Sri Lanka expects big coconut crop after heavy rains

Jan 6 (LBO) Heavy rains in Sri Lanka last year should ensure an adequate coconut crop for 2009 that would be enough to meet the demands of both domestic consumers as well as export industry, a senior official said. Coconut Cultivation Board chairman Jayantha Gunathilake said he does not expect the crop to drop drastically during the usual lean period in the months immediately ahead. Rainfall has a lagged effect on coconut crops with the delay usually being around a year. more..

Why the conflicts in Gaza and Sri Lanka will continue

Jan 6 (Age) As Sri Lankan Government soldiers occupied the Tamil Tigers' stronghold of Kilinochchi, Israeli soldiers began to enter Gaza. One case represents a separatist movement in perhaps the final throes of a failed struggle for independence; the other the administration of a territory about to be pushed from power. Despite their differences, there are striking similarities between the Sri Lankan and Gaza conflicts. more..

In conversation with Vivimarie Vanderpoorten

Jan 6 (GV) An interview with Vivimarie Vanderpoorten, the Winner of the Gratiaen Prize in 2007. Vivimarie is also a Senior Lecturer in English, Dept of Language Studies, Open University of Sri Lanka. The interview covers, in addition to her poetry, identity, culture and creative writing in Sri Lanka. For a taste of her poetry, read The Day After Tomorrow. Groundviews has also published the poetry of Vivimarie’s sister, Yichaelle Devendra. more..

Victory at war not lasting - Mangala

Jan 6 (LD) The war can be won temporarily, but cannot be ended as long as there is no political solution, said SLFP Mahajana Wing leader Mangala Samaraweera. Mr. Samaraweera was speaking at the opening of the new headquarters of the party in Rajagiriya. Speaking further, he alleged the Rajapaksa regime was using the victories of the heroic soldiers at the cost of their lives, for petty political gains. more..

Ranil alleges no govt. regard for soldiers

Jan 6 (LD) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has alleged the government was having very little regard for heroic soldiers, upon whose blood, sweat, tears and lives it depended for political survival. Mr. Wickremesinghe was speaking at a media briefing on a demonstration campaign titled "Enough is enough" to be staged by the joint opposition at Hyde Park, Colombo on January 07th. He also said there was no question about the need for safeguarding Sri Lanka's territorial integrity, but more..

Samaraweera thinks Sri Lanka have scored enough

Jan 6 (CI) Thilan Samaraweera, the Sri Lanka batsman, feels Bangladesh will be unable to mount a Mirpur-like challenge in the fourth innings, with conditions in Chittagong not very conducive for batting. "The two wickets are totally different," he said after ending the third day unbeaten on 72. "Here it is not easy to play shots, that is the important difference and you have to bat very straight from the start to the end. more..

Concerns of civilian deaths rise

Jan 6 (AP) Sri Lankan forces overran another village Monday and moved closer to seizing a strategic base from the Tamil Tigers, but concerns are mounting for the hundreds of thousands of civilians living in the rebels' shrinking territory. The government has chased the rebels out of much of their de facto state in the north in recent months — taking their administrative capital of Kilinochchi last week — but the offensive is complicated by the presence of an estimated 300,000 civilians in rebel territory. more..

The Tigers' last stand

Jan 6 (Economost) THE long conventional war in Sri Lanka, pitting the Sinhalese-dominated government against the vicious rebels of the LTTE, who have been fighting for a separate homeland for the Tamil minority, is almost over. On Monday January 5th the army was reported to be bombarding the LTTE’s remaining scrap of territory in north-eastern Sri Lanka, after last week taking the rebel capital of Kilinochchi, which the LTTE ruled for a decade of its 25-year armed struggle. more..

'Keep the Tamil Tigers out of Canada'

Jan 6 (NP) On Friday, Sri Lanka's army captured Kilinochchi, the de facto capital of the Tamil Tigers. This marks a crippling blow for the Tigers, a rebel militia and terrorist group that first took up arms more than a quarter-century ago. It also poses an indirect security risk for Canada: As the Tigers are routed from the battlefield, Ottawa must guard against fleeing Tiger leaders seeking sanctuary among this country's large Ontario-based community of expatriate Tamils. more..

No military solution - India

Jan 6 (BBC) Indian authorities have once again stressed the importance of finding a political solution to Sri Lanka’s national question. In what appear to be the first official response since Sri Lanka military captured LTTE's former political headquarters, Kilinochchi, India's Foreign Secretary re-stressed that there is no military solution for problems facing Sri Lanka. “There is no military solution to Sri Lanka’s problem, no matter how the military situation might fluctuate,” more..

Audio: Sri Lanka captures Kilinochchi

Jan 6 (BBC) Sri Lankan forces say they are pressing on with their offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels after capturing Kilinochchi. Professor Jonathan Spencer, of the University of Edinburgh, and Suren Surendiran, of the British Tamils Forum, discuss the fate of the town, which had been in the hands of the rebels for the last decade. more..

In search of the elusive “Moderate” Sinhalese

Jan 6 (TC) Sri Lankan Society is divided into few categories in relation to the Ethnic Issue. They are: 1.Die hard local Tamils 2.Die hard Sinhalese Diaspora 3.Die hard local Sinhalese 4.Die hard Tamil Diaspora 5.Majority of the local Sinhalese 6.Majority of the local Tamils. The first two categories often share their sentiments through various means; support financially and/or even go up to the extent of physical violence to seal their point of view. more..

Tribute to Sri Lankan Soldiers

Jan 6 (AT) All government institutions conducted special programs yesterday to pay their tribute to the heroic forces for their recent landmark victory over the Kilinochchi. The program begun with the hoisting of the National Flag at 8.30 A.M. yesterday and the observance of two minutes silence at 8.35 A.M. in remembrance of the fallen war heroes. At the ceremony which was held at the President Secretariat, there was a Anusasana preached by the Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Nayake Thero, more..

No pilgrims at Marian shrine after state rejects Bishops' cease-fire appeal

Jan 6 (UCAN) The administrator of the revered Madhu shrine says hopes of pilgrims going for Christmas and New Year were dashed when the government rejected Christian leaders' appeal for a temporary truce in the civil war. Father Santhiapillai Emilianuspillai, administrator of Our Lady of Madhu Shrine, told UCA News by telephone on Jan. 2 that despite hopes for a big crowd, not a single pilgrim attended the Christmas and New Year Masses there. more..

Army on the outskirts of Elephant Pass

Jan 6 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan military captured Kilinochchi, the administrative and political capital of the LTTE, after a 20-month-long arduous campaign; but, the fight is not over yet. The Army, which encircled Kilinochchi after neutralising LTTE bases along a 60-km route, has now set its sight on the remaining LTTE bases at Elephant Pass and Muhamalai at the mouth of the Jaffna peninsula and the Mullathivu jungles. more..

Sri Lankan refugees confident of LTTE to bounce back

Jan 6 (ANI) Many Sri Lankan Tamils living in Tamil Nadu expressed disappointment on the fall of Tamil Tigers' de facto capital Kilinochchi but confident that LTTE would bounce back. Around one thousand of refugees from Sri Lanka are saying in the several places in Tamil Nadu. Kottapatu is one such camp in Thiruchirappali district of the state where thousands of Sri Lankan Tamils are staying. more..

Wanni battle will re-write the Sri Lankan military history

Jan 6 (LG) The politically motivated Sri Lankan military was occupied Killinochchi town on 2nd of January. This is due to the biggest ever offensive operation launched by the Sri Lankan armed forces called as "Wanni Operation"; this operation had started in February 2007 and not yet come to an end but dragging on for more than 23 months. However, Killinochchi was vacated by LTTE few days ago and LTTE shift their fighters and heavy weapons to further north east. more..