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'India has always demanded Prabhakaran's extradition'

Jan 6 (IANS) India has consistently urged Sri Lanka to extradite Tamil Tiger chief V. Prabhakaran, an accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said here Monday. 'We have consistently demanded the extradition of Prabhakaran, this is a request we have renewed repeatedly,' Menon told reporters. more..

Launching report on unethical conversions

Jan 6 (AT) The Commission Report on unethical conversions of Buddhists will be launched at the Kularatne Hall, Ananda College, Colombo, on Tuesday January 6. The All Ceylon Buddhist Congress appointed the commission to investigate the conversion of Buddhists into other religions by unethical means and ruses. The commission commenced its inquiries at the historic sacred site of Mihintale, Anuradhapura on Poson full moon day (in June) 2006. more..

Tigers constructing new defence line from Iranaimadhu to Ooriyaan

Jan 6 (TC) The LTTE organization has begun constructing new defence lines to prevent the Sri Lankan armed forces from moving further into tiger – controlled territory to the east of the Jaffna – Kandy road known as A – 9 highway. The latest tiger move comes in the wake of the Army gaining control of Paranthan, Kilinochchi and the entire stretch of roadway up to a point two km south of Elephant pass. more..

Army moving into Elepahnt Pass as Tigers begin withdrawal

Jan 6 (TC) The Sri Lankan armed forces have started moving into the “Aanai Iravu” or Elephant pass region as the LTTE commenced withdrawing from the area. Soldiers of the 58 division commanded by Brig. Shavendra Silva began moving towards Elephant pass from two directions. One column proceeded along the axis of the Jaffna – Kandy road known as A – 9 highway from a place called Umaiyaalpuram , north of Paranthan. more..

Army Captures More Places in Eastern Wanni After LTTE Withdrawal

Jan 6 (TC) The Sri Lankan armed forces have made significant gains in the Eastern Wanni region after the LTTE began withdrawing from several areas held by them earlier. Among these places were the culturally important Vatraappalai , home to the famour Amman temple and the strategically important Oddusuddan along the A – 34 highway. Troops have also cleared the area from Mankulam to Thaniootru on the A – 34 or Mankulam – Mullaitheevu road. more..

Tamil Nadu based Tamil TV channels spearheads LTTE’s anti-Sri Lankan campaign

Jan 6 (AT) Tamil Nadu based Tamil language television channels are continuously involved in a systematic disinformation campaign against Sri Lanka Government, Sri Lanka’s fight against world ruthless terrorist organization - Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Sri Lankan armed forces. It is alleged that the Tamil television channels are spearheading internationally LTTE’s anti – Sri Lanka campaign. more..

Battle for Eelam shifting to battle for Tamil Nation State

Jan 6 (TC) Kilinochchi was captured fuelling stronger hopes in the Sinhala polity of defeating the LTTE completely and “separatism” for good. ‘Separatism’, as the JVP hastened to explain after the Kilinochchi occupation on January 02nd, is the ideological base on which the LTTE works and interprets the concept of a “separate Tamil State” in the land of Eelam. Although the JVP vowed to defeat this Tamil separatism, more..

'Decision to hold elections are taken by the govt not by the commissioner'

Jan 6 (LT) “The election is held at a time chosen by the government. The Commissioner of Elections has not decided the date for the election. Also, the election is held in two places chosen by the government. Hence, this is not an election that has come as a regular course of procedure. As such, democracy and justice would be missing,” said General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. more..

Inaugural rally of the JVP for PC elections today in Kandy

Jan 6 (LT) The inaugural rally of the JVP for the PC elections for North Western and Central provinces will be held opposite Central Market in Kandy today(5th). The rally will be presided by the Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe. General Secretary Tilvin Silva, Leader of the group of JVP Parliamentarians Anura Dissanayake and Member of the Political Bureau Lal Kanthe are expected to participate. more..

MBC-MTV station completely vandalized & set on fire

Jan 6 (LD) An armed group of about 10 to 12 men had forcibly entered the Depanama, Pannipitiya MBC-MTV transmission station, popularly known among SL listeners and viewers as ‘Sirasa’ around 2.00 am and had set the Main Controlling Room (MCR) on fire after vandalizing the whole complex, say media personnel who rushed to the scene when news about the attack got circulated. more..

Self inflicted assault on its own credibility by government

Jan 6 (FI) Since the Supreme Court ruling on the price of petrol there has been a variety of views expressed as regards the desirability or otherwise of the proposed price revision. Many of those who spoke either for or against a price reduction chose to give extraneous reasons perhaps with the sole objective of confusing and confounding the public on the subject. Most of those who expressed views against the price reduction were noted for their utter impertinence. more..

Why does war against Tigers prevent a political package being offered to Tamils and Muslims?

Jan 6 (FI) The headline in a website this week read "Sri Lanka defeat spirited Tigers". The reference was of course to the victory that the Sri Lanka cricket team secured over Bangladesh in the First Test concluded on Wednesday. Bangladesh is the minnow among the test-playing nations and Sri Lanka were expected to have an easy win. Early on the fourth day, it appeared so when Bangladesh, chasing 521 to win in the fourth innings, were reduced to 180 for 5. more..

Preserve every piece of information found in LTTE Peace Secretariat

Jan 6 (LG) The whole nation salutes with pride and joy President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Commanders of the Tri-forces and the STF for causing a humiliating defeat to the LTTE and capturing its last bastion Kilinochchi. It’s a victory for the peace loving Sri Lankans all over the world and a defeat not only to the LTTE terrorist outfit and the Tamil Diaspora who have been supporting the LTTE terrorists to the hilt but also to global terrorism. more..

Pillaiyan’s Trgedy

Jan 6 (LG) In the beginning, the Sinhala and Tamil political leaders fought together for constitutional reforms from the British. In 1912, the educated Ceylonese seat returned a Tamil over a Sinhalese. Moreover, the Ceylon National Congress, which was formed in 1919 by the Sinhala and Tamil political elite, elected Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam as its first president. The Tamil political leaders gradually began to entertain doubts and fears about the future of their people in an independent Sri Lanka. more..

'Norichchole will not be allowed to be privatized'

Jan 6 (LT) The joint trade unions of Electricity Board have warned that the government is attempting to hand over construction, maintenance as well as management of Norichchole coal power station to ‘Lanka Coal’ company and if this is carried out they would take stern trade union action. The convener of the joint trade union front Ananda Nimalasiri said they oppose the attempt as it is considered as an initial stage of privatization of the Norichchole power station. more..

SLMC may pull out of APRC

Jan 6 (SAMN) SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem said Monday his party was seriously considering pulling out of the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) as there was no sign of any political package coming out of it. Hakeem told a news conference the party hierarchy would make a final decision during this month. He stressed that a political solution to the national issue should come together with military action and more..

'We will not reduce bus fares'

Jan 6 (LT) The bus rates cannot be brought down as directed by National Transport Commission and they would not abide by the directive of the Commission regarding bus fares says President of All Ceylon Bus Unions Federation Stanley Fernando. The National Commission of Transport had decided to reduce fares of CTB as well as private buses by 4.3% stating that the decision was taken to give the relief of the Rs.10.00 reduction by the government for a liter of diesel to the public. more..

A-34 cleared up to Tanniyauttu

Jan 6 (GDI) Troops of army have opened up the A-34 road (Mankulam- Mullaittivu) road up to Tanniyuttu, following recent counter terrorist operations on the Mullaittivu battlefront, battlefield sources reveal. Sri Lanka Air Force fighter jets and MI-24 helicopter gunships carried out air strikes at LTTE gatherings in the Mullaittivu area in support of advancing troops yesterday. The air strikes were carried out targeting LTTE cadres withdrawing into jungle areas. more..

Gas prices to be reduced- Minister

Jan 6 (GDI) Due to declining global fuel prices the Government hopes to reduce gas prices further by March giving more benefits to the people, Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardena said yesterday. The Minister told the media that government intervention prevented the people from being victimized by profit making private companies and that the government was concerned about the welfare of the people and did not represent the interests of private companies. more..

Govt condemns attack on Sirasa Media Complex

Jan 6 (GDI) The Government vehemently condemns the attack on the Sirasa media complex in Depanama, Pannipitiya, perpetrated in the early hours of January 6, Anusha Palpita, Director of Government Information said in a statement released a short while ago. President Rajapaksa immediately ordered a full investigation into the incident and called on the Inspector General of Police to apprehend the culprits and bring them to court. more..

National Cultural Centre opens

Jan 6 (SAMN) Sri Lanka's first ever National Cultural Centre was opened at Veyangoda by Cultural Affairs and National Heritage Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, recently. Minister said, culture plays a vital role in promoting peace and harmony among different ethnic groups. The Government, while defeating the LTTE, has a parallel program to revive culture. It is right to assume that war affected people have to tackle all the challenges of living, resettlement employment and culture. more..

New seating plan in Parliament

Jan 6 (SAMN) New seating arrangements will be made in Parliament today with the National Freedom Front (NFF) deciding to sit on the government side. Accordingly, eight members of the ruling UPFA will be compelled to occupy benches on the opposition side to make way for the NFF members. The government group meeting chaired by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees Monday discussed the new seating arrangement. more..

CFA paved way for victories: Ranil

Jan 6 (SAMN) Opposition UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe Monday defended the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) and claimed that it had paved the way for the armed forces to achieve their recent military victories. Wickremesinghe made these comments during a joint news conference organised by the UNP, SLMC, SLFP (M) and DPF at the opposition leader’s office in Cambridge Terrace. more..

Governor stumbling block in functioning of EP Council

Jan 6 (LD) The maiden statute of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) enacted early November last year to take effect from 01st January, is yet to get the assent of the EPC Governor after almost 02 months. The Governor instead of giving the assent or sending it back to the EPC, has referred this to Attorney General, through HE the President. The EP Councilors maintain the statute is enacted purely on the subjects devolved to the provincial council in the schedule under the 13th amendment to the constitution. more..

Govt. preparing for dictatorship - JVP

Jan 6 (LD) The government is preparing for a dictatorial regime by launching attacks on dissenting voices, the JVP charges. In a press release condemning the attack on Sirasa media network early this morning, the JVP requests the people to come forward to safeguard their democratic and other rights. It says, "We are critical of the local media over several issues. The state media caters to political wants of the government while more..

Media Minister Yapa visits Sirasa to say he's sad

Jan 6 (LD) Media Minister Lakshman Yapa visited the MBC-MTV main station at Pannipitiya around 06.00 in the morning to say he was saddened when he heard about the attack on 'Sirasa'. Speaking to MTV "News First" the Minister said, he personally believes media has a right to have different sides to news and that he would uphold media freedom. Asked what he has to say to the people about this attack on a media institute, more..

Opposition Leader belittles Kilinochchi victory

Jan 6 (DN) While all peace loving people in the country opposing terrorism were celebrating the heroic victory achieved by Security Forces in liberating Kilinochchi, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had tried to belittle it in a statement reported to have been made at a meeting at the Kandy Hindu Cultural Centre hall on Friday, said Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma in a communique issued on behalf of the Peoples’ Alliance Polls Campaign Centre yesterday. more..

Work on four new railway lines to commence

Jan 6 (DN) The Government will commence construction work on four new railway lines including the Sapugaskanda-Avissawella, Mannar, Kurunegala-Dambulla and Padukka-Ratnapura-Hambantota lines this year. A Spokesman for the Transport Ministry told the Daily News that construction work of the dual track from Ja-Ela to Seeduwa, dual track from Peradeniya to Kandy, fourth line from Maradana to Fort and third and fourth lines on the new Kelani bridge and Matara-Kataragama line will be expedited this year. more..

Benefit of World gas price drop not for Lankans till March

Jan 6 (Island) The benefit of the international price reduction of LP gas in December will be passed on to the Sri Lankan consumers only in March, Minister of Trade Development and Consumer Affairs Bandula Gunawardane said yesterday. He said the government had controlled the prices of gas on several occasions. Giving a breakdown he said, that in 2007 ‘Shell Gas’ had made several written requests to increase the price of gas. more..

'Peoples support will help surmount challenges'

Jan 6 (TN) Pointing out that Ki'linochchi was where Sri Lanka military has suffered previous historic debacles, LTTE Political Head B. Nadesan, in an interview with TamilNet on Monday dismissed the occupation of the town as an insignificant setback in the context of a liberation struggle, and said, Tamil people’s support has always been LTTE’s strength, and more..

Ameer Ali dismisses SLMC claims

Jan 6 (Island) Disaster Relief Services Minister M. S. S. Ameer Ali dismissed claims by the SLMC high command that he had accepted membership in another party. He told The Island yesterday, "Along with several others, I have frequently focused on the fact that the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress has lost its commanding role as the voice of the Muslim community and that we have fallen short of the high ideals of our late leader M.H.M. Ashraff." more..

Crack down on clubs serving liquor to minors

Jan 6 (DM) The Excise Department is taking measures to crack down on clubs serving liquor to minors, the Department’s Superintendent Prabath Jayawickrema told the Daily Mirror. Back in 2005 the case of Yvonne Johnson brought to light the detrimental effects of under-aged persons entering clubs and consuming alcohol. However in recent times the issue has been, for the most part ignored, it said. more..

Govt. to introduce legislation against election violence

Jan 6 (DM) The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms, Urban Development and Sacred Areas Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardena is to introduce legislation seeking to minimize election violence and malpractices. As a part of this endeavour, Minister Gunawardena will seek to enact the ‘Local Authorities Bill 2008’ that re-introduces the past the post system and minimize the proportional representation to 30%. more..

Vandalised MTV/MBC tied up with SLT to provide World Class transmision

Jan 6 (TC) The MTV/MBC transmission station and studio that was attacked and de – commissioned in a “terror” attack in the early hours of January 6th had only in March 2008 signed an agreement with Sri Lanka Telecom to provide world class transmission. The now defunct “Colombo Post” edited earlier by Sri Lanka’s Consul – General in Toronto, Bandula Jayasekera ,had in its issue dated March 17th 2008 provided a detailed account of the event. more..

Terror squad attacks Tamil owned MTV/MBC Radio-TV station in suburban Colombo

Jan 6 (TC) In what was described as an audacious commando – style operation a terror squad numbering 12 – 15 masked men in civils launched a crippling attack on the premises of MTV/MBC Radio – Television transmission station and media studio. The group carrying assault rifles, shotguns, grenades and pistols had arrived in two “white” coloured vans and a land rover jeep at the MTV –MBC transmission station cum studio complex premises situated at Depanama, more..

Golden Key Credit Card officers remanded

Jan 6 (LBO) A Sri Lankan court has remanded three persons connected with Golden Key Credit Card Company, a crashed financial firm of the Ceylinco group, a reporter said. The company is under police CID probe after it failed to repay customers and group chairman Lalith Kotelawala said the firm had been mis-managed. Magistrate's court has remanded chief executive Khavan Perera, finance director Saradha Sumanasekara and another Ceylinco employee, Manoj Chaminda. more..

Attack on Sri Lanka broadcaster is criminal: United States

Jan 6 (LBO) The United States has strongly condemned an attack on an independent broadcaster in Sri Lanka by a heavily armed group that stormed its main studio facilities and called for swift investigation. "The U.S. deplores this latest in a series of criminal attacks on the independent media in Sri Lanka," the United States embassy in Colombo said. "A free press that is not subject to intimidation or violence is an essential component of any democracy." more..

'If LTTE chief is caught, India will have to request extradition'

Jan 6 (PTI) India will have to follow the standard "procedure" for seeking extradition of LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, wanted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, if he is captured by the Sri Lankan security forces, official sources said here on Tuesday. "There is a procedure. The procedure is for India to formally ask the Sri Lankan government for Prabhakaran's extradition if he is caught," the sources said. more..

Dilshan stars as SL wrap up series

Jan 6 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan took Sri Lanka to a crushing win - the fifth-highest margin of victory ever in Test cricket - over Bangladesh in the second Test in Chittagong. A century in each innings from him set up the victory and his 4 for 10 in the final session of play on the fourth day wrapped up the Test - and the series, which Sri Lanka won 2-0. The Bangladesh batsmen put on a toothless display, bowled out inside two sessions; more..

Gunmen destroy studios of Sri Lankan broadcaster

Jan 6 (Reuters) Masked gunmen threw grenades and destroyed the main studio of Sri Lanka's largest private broadcaster Tuesday, days after state media criticised it for coverage of a Tamil Tiger suicide blast. President Mahinda Rajapaksa condemned the early morning attack on MBC Network's studios and ordered an investigation. The United States earlier demanded the perpetrators be arrested. more..

Sri Lanka seizes key rebel defense line in north

Jan 6 (AP) Sri Lankan forces overran the Tamil Tigers' northernmost defense line Tuesday, forcing the beleaguered rebels to retreat from one of their strongest fortifications, the military said. The capture of Muhamalai on the Jaffna peninsula came as government troops pushed the rebels deeper into their shrinking heartland in the northern jungles in hopes of finally crushing the insurgency. more..

Eatsern Governor may be impeached by Provincial Council

Jan 7 (TC) In what is described as an unprecedented development the Eastern Province governor Mohan Wijeywickrema is likely to be impeached by a joint resolution passed by the Eastern Provincial Council. Intensive discussions are now going on among Eastern province councillors to submit an impeachment motion in the council, pass it with two –thirds majority and then demand that President Mahinda Rajapakse dismiss the governor with immediate effect. more..

Brent Police hunt Kingsbury temple attack

Jan 7 (HT) COPS are hunting for a firebomber who set himself alight as he attacked a temple in Kingsbury. The man, in his 20s and wearing red tracksuit bottoms, was caught on CCTV smashing the front window of the Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Temple before setting fire to a petrol can. As the fire grew, the man's clothes were set alight and he was seen fleeing the scene with flames on an arm and a leg. more..

Tigers take to the jungle

Jan 7 (AT) The New Year has been far from happy for the LTTE. On January 2, the LTTE lost its "administrative capital", Kilinochchi, to the Sri Lankan armed forces. With the fall of Kilinochchi, the Tigers have lost their long-standing image of being militarily invincible and are now cornered in the jungles of Mullaitivu. The loss of Kilinochchi is a huge blow to the LTTE. However, it might be too early to write the obituary of the rebels. more..

'4073 LTTE cadres killed in ongoing battles'

Jan 7 (PTI) Sri Lankan troops are in full control of this air strip from where Tamil Tigers launched many a surprise air raids deep into government controlled areas including the capital Colombo, but there is yet no inkling of the fate of air force of the LTTE. Sri Lankan army liberated the sensitive Iranamadu, known for LTTE airstrips, recently, which is located a few kilometers away from its defacto capital Kilinochchi. But apparently the Tigers had moved their Czech made fighters. more..

Army 'continues Jaffna advance'

Jan 7 (BBC) The Sri Lankan army says that it has captured the northern-most defensive line of the Tamil Tiger rebels in the Jaffna peninsula. The army said troops had seized the line at Muhamalai and from the south had reached the outskirts of the strategic mainland link, Elephant Pass. The government says that it hopes to capture the north from the rebels completely in the coming weeks. There has been no comment on the latest army claims from the rebels. more..

Will not allow state terrorism - Ranil

Jan 7 (LD) The UNP will continue to safeguard the democratic rights of the people and will never allow LTTE terrorism to be replaced by state sponsored terrorism, said opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. He was speaking to trade union activists of Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya at party headquarters Sirikotha. Mr. Wickremesinghe said that it was the responsibility of the government to enforce the rulings of the Supreme Court that establish people's fundamental rights. more..

Sri Lanka urged by UK to set out political solution to conflict

Jan 7 (LBO) The British government has urged Sri Lanka to urgently draw up a political solution to the ethnic crisis following the fall of a key Tamil Tiger rebel stronghold to the army. "This is the only way to achieve a strong and sustainable peace in Sri Lanka in which all communities can prosper," said a statement issued by the British High Commission in Colombo. more..

Protest condemns destruction of Sirasa studios

Jan 7 (LD) Large crowds of activists gathered in front of Colombo Fort Railway Station this afternoon (Jan. 06th) for a demonstration campaign that strongly condemned the destruction caused to Sirasa studio complex by a group of armed thugs early in the day. Organized by the Media Organizations Collective, the protest was attended by media professionals and civil society activists. They accused the present regime of curbing the people's right to information, and more..

We condemn attack on ‘Sirasa’ media institution! – JVP

Jan 7 (LT) The JVP has issued a statement condemning the attack on ‘Sirasa’ media network. In the statement the JVP states whatever criticism they have regarding the media practice of ‘Sirasa’ the attack on the media institution should be condemned and the government is directly responsible for the attack. The announcement in full: We condemn the attack on ‘Sirasa’ media institution ‘Sirasa’ media institution has been attacked by goons early morning today (6th). more..