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'Robbing could be stopped only by handing over public money to those who don’t rob'

Jan 7 (LT) Only by handing over public money to people who don’t rob, don’t engage in frauds and who don’t squander can stealing, waste and fraud could be stopped says Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe. Addressing the inaugural election rally for the PC elections held opposite Public Market in Kandy under the theme “Ensure victory of the JVP that defends & develops the country and paves the correct path for the Nation!” more..

Today's letters: Debating the Tigers

Jan 7 (NP) Full Comment has been growing rapidly in readership, and in responses from our readers. Many are very thoughtful, and we appreciate the time people have taken to send us their opinions. While we can't post every letter we receive (some are just too rude), here is a sampling of the feedback we've received. (Please note: Original punctuation and grammar has been left intact). more..

TN begins refugee screening in view of Sri Lanka events

Jan 7 (ZN) Tamil Nadu has started intensive patrolling and effective screening of Sri Lankan refugees entering the country to avert infiltration of anti-national elements in view of the developments in the neighbouring country. "The state government is taking all out efforts to organise intensive patrols and effective screening of the refugees entering the country to avert infiltration of anti-national elements," Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi said more..

Colombo shows the way

Jan 7 (LG) In a world that dithers in the face of minority separateness and secessionism, Sri Lanka has demonstrated lion-hearted resoluteness in crushing the three-decade-old Tamil insurgency, refusing to surrender to minority unreasonableness in order to maintain national unity. For India, which made its armed forces fight with one hand tied, first at the Golden Temple in Punjab, and later by limiting the theatre of action to Kargil, there are many lessons to be learnt. more..

Travel ban on Lalith Kotelawala

Jan 7 (BBC) The judiciary in Sri Lanka has banned all eleven directors of Golden Key Credit Card Company (GKCCC), including its chairman Deshamanya Lalith Kotelawala, from leaving Sri Lanka. Each director was ordered to release on bail of 25 million rupees each by Mt. Laviniya magistrate. Chief Executive Officer of the GKCCC, Karvan Perera and two other directors were remanded in custody until 16 Januray. more..

The real story on Sri Lanka

Jan 7 (NP) I heard a funny quote on the radio today by a journalist about “shiny ball” stories. These are stories that she and her colleagues love running after, seem exciting and give great sound bites, but divert your attention from more pressing matters. And lo and behold, on Monday morning, leafing through the National Post, I came upon an editorial on how Canada should address a potential onslaught of Tamils Tigers landing on Canadian shores to seek refugee status, more..

India’s RAW observes Sri Lanka’s North from air in secret hi-tech plane

Jan 7 (TC) A day after the Sri Lankan army took over Kilinochchi, the so-called administrative capital of the LTTE and pushed the harried rebels to the northern jungles of Mullaithivu, India has sent a select team of officials from the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) on a secret surveillance mission across the Palk Straits. The Times of India quoted unnamed sources in a report published today as saying that an aircraft belonging to the Air Research Centre (ARC), more..

India, USA, UK, Japan call for political solution After Capture of Kilinochchi

Jan 7 (TC) In a significant development after Kilinochchi was captured by the Sri lankan armed forces, several important countries like the United States of America, Britain , India and Japan have called on the parties in Sri Lanka to pursue a political solution. The fall of Kilinochchi represents an important point in the 25-year war that has divided Sri Lanka; the US Embassy in Colombo said, adding that they hope it will help hasten an end to the conflict. more..

Tamil Tigers prepare for last stand in Sri Lanka

Jan 7 (TMG) If the Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa is to be believed, the Tamil Tigers, the rebel movement which inspired a new generation of suicide bombers, are about to be defeated, bringing his country's 25-year civil war to an end. In the week since his army captured Kilinochchi, the Tigers' administrative capital in the north of Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa has made a series of triumphalist claims, including the boast that this key victory was won without a single civilian casualty. more..

We are gaining ground in Muhamalai, says Army

Jan 7 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan military on Tuesday claimed to have captured the highly-fortified LTTE’s second line of defence at Muhamalai, at the mouth of Jaffna Peninsula, amid continuing battles in the remaining bases of the LTTE in Kilinochchi district and the Mullathivu jungles. The Defence Ministry said here in a “swift incursion” the forces succeeded in gaining around 500 metres from the LTTE in Muhamalai. more..

'Explore federal set-up for Sri Lanka'

Jan 7 (Hindu) The establishment of a federal structure in Sri Lanka is among the options that can be discussed across the negotiating table between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE, according to Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S. Ramadoss. In an interview with The Hindu on Tuesday, Dr. Ramadoss recalled that the LTTE once supported the idea of a federal model when Anton S. Balasingham was the organisation’s theoretician and political adviser. more..

Army takes Kilaly and Muhamalai as Tigers withdraw to Puthukkaadu junction

Jan 7 (TC) The Sri Lankan armed forces scored two more significant successes when troops belonging to 53 division captured the Kilaly and Muhamaalai areas by Tuesday January 6th evening. After offering token resistance the LTTE withdrew from entrenched positions in both these areas to the south and south – eastern region of the peninsula. The LTTE has now retreated to a third defence line set up along the Puthukkaddu junction along the A – 9. more..

Media under Jackboot of terror again

Jan 7 (ML) The MTV/Sirasa television station at Depanama, Pannipitiya was damaged by a group of well-trained armed thugs in the early hours of yesterday setting a section of the TV station ablaze. A group of about 16 to 20 armed goons had entered the MTV/MBC station around 2.15 a.m last morning and destroyed the main control room and the other sub control rooms completely damaging crucial electronic equipment and more..

After Killinochchi

Jan 7 (ML) Killinochchi has fallen and there is great rejoicing. It is worth, however, to remind ourselves that the war still goes on, that there are three hundred thousand IDPs still in the Wanni and that the APRC is still in labour, with no sight or sound of imminent delivery. The significance of the fall of Killinochchi cannot be minimised by reference to the fact that it has changed hands before and that it came into prominence as the politico-administrative capital of the LTTE quasi-state only because Jaffna was denied to the LTTE. more..

Towards a Zimbabwe style dictatorship

Jan 7 (ML) Even as the government ordered police stations and SLFP organisers to muster up coteries of flag waving street revelers to celebrate the fall of Killinochchi last week, the indecorous move was not to have the desired effect on a society tired of burying their dead. And pushing the politics of the ‘other’ by resorting to cheap gimmicks in the name of nationalism designed to rouse a smidgen of electoral fervour, more..

The forgotten people amidst ‘victory’ celebrations

Jan 7 (ML) Killinochchi, the de-facto capital of the LTTE was finally captured by the Sri Lanka Army last Friday, triggering celebrations in the south. A couple of explosions in the heart of the city somewhat disturbed the celebrations but did not overshadow the military victory. A few days before the capture, the Tigers claimed that it had inflicted heavy damage on the military. It had even levelled allegations that the government was recruiting children into the military. more..

Four police teams deployed to capture tuition master

Jan 7 (BL) Four special police teams have been deployed by the Sabaragamuwa DIG Upali Hewage to arrest the main suspect in the killing of the Principal of the Samanala Maha Vidyalaya, Gileemale at Rathnapura. According to the Police, the main suspect is a UNP Pradeshiya Saba member and a mathematics tuition master in the area. The suspect has fled the area to evade arrest. more..

Brain drain in Sri Lanka at peak; Politicians blamed - Survey

Jan 7 (BL) A majority of Sri Lankans participating in the latest LMD-commissioned TNS Lanka survey say they believe that “more and more people are leaving our shores because of the economic hardships emanating from a climate of high inflation and low pay levels”, says the January edition of LMD, which was released to the market last week. LMD also reports that the latest island-wide opinion poll conducted by TNS Lanka reveals that “a staggering 70 per cent feel that the brain drain has reached a peak”. more..

Kilinochchi has fallen: What next?

Jan 7 (BL) What the Tamils have always feared seems to be taking place. The voice against a political settlement is growing stronger. The JVP has started the shouting. Its former comrades in the National Freedom Front (NFF) have joined in. The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) is trying to beat them. The attack is aimed at the APRC headed by the well-meaning gentleman Science and Technology Minister Professor Tissa Vitarana. more..

Credit counselling service for borrowers in distress

Jan 7 (BL) Filling a vital gap in debt management services, the Sri Lanka Banks’ Association is launching a social initiative in the form of a Credit Counselling Centre commencing January 19. Aptly titled “Upadeshana”, the centre will be located at the Central Bank’s Centre for Banking Studies in Rajagiriya with services extended at locations in provincial towns. Borrowers who are facing difficulty with their payments will have more..

'Only way out for LTTE should surrender'

Jan 7 (GDI) Since LTTE is facing annihilation, the only way to avoid disaster is to comply with President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s request to lay down arms and surrender if they wish to live, UPFA MP Vinayagamoorthi Murlaitharan, said at the Parliament yesterday (06). He stated that the LTTE was no longer in a position to repeat its tactics. The A -9 highway would soon be opened and more..

Breaking the cycle of Sri Lankan violence

Jan 7 (UPI) The Sri Lankan government has been celebrating its capture of Kilinochchi, the stronghold of the LTTE, as a decisive victory that heralds the dawn of peace. The day that the troops entered Kilinochchi, President Mahinda Rajapaksa delivered an address to the nation at the Presidential Secretariat in which he praised the sacrifice of the Sri Lankan soldiers and called on the LTTE to surrender and give up their dream of Tamil Eelam. more..

'There is no military solution to the conflict in Sri Lanka'

Jan 7 (LG) "There is no military solution to the conflict in Sri Lanka and there needs to be a political solution," Mr. William D. Hartung, Director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation based in Washington, said in an exclusive interview with Sri Lanka Guardian in the City of New York. He says, " In my view terrorism is driven by a combination of political powerlessness and humiliation and economic deprivation. more..

The Sri Lankan formula to Defeat Separatist Terrorism

Jan 7 (LG) The Society for Peace Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka (SPUR) humbly salutes the decisive political and military leadership of Sri Lanka, the bravery, commitment and sacrifices of its Defence Forces, and the determination of its people for collectively defending the identity, territorial integrity and the Unitary status of the country. The heroic battles to liberate major sections of sovereign Sri Lankan territory which had been illegally occupied by the LTTE and the fall of Kilinochchi, more..

Sakvithi’s CDs & books to be distributed among students

Jan 7 (LT) The Secretary for Education in Western Province has been ordered by Chief Magistrate of Nugegoda and District Judge Wasanthe Jinadasa to take over CDs and books on English education found by the CID at Sakvithi’s institute and distribute them free among students. The judge gave this order considering a special report submitted to court by ASP CID Mevan Silva and Chief Inspector of Police P.K. Serasinghe stating that more..

Complain discrepancy in bus fares - 2595555

Jan 7 (GDI) The National Transport Commissioner requests passengers to complain immediately to the hotline 011-2595555 if there is any discrepancy in bus fares. The Government has reduced bus fares by 4.3 % for fares in excess of Rs. 9.00 with effect from 06th January. In view of the reduction in the price of diesel by Rs. 10 per litre, the NTC has decided to revise bus fares in terms of the National Transport Policy.

Military victories & the opposition dilemmas

Jan 7 (AT) Through a period of 3 years, our Armed Forces have proved without doubt that so called “unwinnable wars” can be won provided there is no political interference from non-military pundits. With planning and coordination among the Army, Navy and Air Force supported by Civil Security personnel they have proved this with every step they have taken into LTTE held areas through which the large chunk of coastal areas in the East and more..

Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gaza Situation

Jan 7 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa telephoned Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas and expressed his deep concern over the disastrous situation in Gaza, as a result of the invasion by Israeli troops. He expressed his sympathies to the families of those killed in the attacks during this period. He also wished speedy recovery for those 3,000 odd injured. President Abbas requested Sri Lankan President to support the Palestinian resolution coming before UN. more..

SEP and ISSE public meeting to launch provincial election campaign

Jan 7 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP), the Sri Lankan section of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), is contesting two provincial council elections scheduled to be held on February 14, 2009. The SEP and the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) will hold a public meeting tomorrow, January 8, at the Public Library Auditorium in Colombo to launch our campaign. more..

Attack on Sirasa media complex squarely condemned

Jan 7 (AT) The Tamil United Liberation Front has very strongly condemns the dastardly act of causing extensive damage to the buildings and causing immense damage to the most Modern Equipments belonging to very popular TV and Radio Stations, the Sirasa, Sakthi and the MTV. Also Sri Lanka Government too has strongly condemned the attack on the Sirasa media complex in Depanama, Pannipitiya, early this morning. more..

Lankan forum to hold contests for children

Jan 7 (GT) SRI Lankan Majlis-Qatar under the patronage of the Sri Lankan embassy will host a bunch of competitions for Sri Lankan children of all ages on January 30 at the embassy. The colouring, drawing, speech and essay writing competitions are being organised to mark the 61st Independence Day of the island republic. This is the sixth consecutive year the competitions are being conducted to mark the occasion. more..

Let him be caught first!

Jan 7 (LNP) It never rains but it pours. There seems to be no end to Prabhakaran`s misfortunes. His terror empire is being crushed like papadam and soon he won`t be able to run anymore after the fall of Elephant Pass and Mullaitivu. Immediately after the Vanni offensive began, as we reported then, Prabhakaran told some TNA MPs he was hopeful that his allies would be able to muster enough international support to coerce Sir Lanka into stopping the war and until such time he would hold out. more..

Sirasa reported Kilinochchi victory only two times while Slave Island bomb attack was reported 42 times, says Keheliya

Jan 7 (LeN) Media spokesman for national security, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella says that that the Opposition Leader’s question “How was the terrorism defeated if it was strengthened through the ceasefire?” is cynical. He stated that the ceasefire agreement signed by Mr. Wickramasinghe officially admitted that there were LTTE-held areas with their police, laws, courts and taxing. more..

Petrol subsidy for three wheelers

Jan 7 (ITN) President Rajapkse instructs the relevant authorities to grant the government’s three-wheeler petrol subsidy through Samurdhi Banks. He issued these instructions at a meeting with representatives of the All Ceylon Three Wheeler Associations at Temple Trees today. The Government will incur an expenditure of 6 billion rupees on this petrol subsidy. Thanking the Government for extending this relief, a group of representatives called on the President to more..

Whoever the culprit, we condemn setting Sirasa on fire, says Minister Sirisena

Jan 7 (LeN) Minister of Agricultural Development & Agrarian Services Development Maithripala Sirisena says that the President Mahinda Rajapakse has ordered the IGP to probe the incident of setting the transmission station of Sirasa Media Network on fire and to arrest the culprits. Addressing a press conference held in Colombo yesterday (06), the Minister said that the President personally phoned the police chief and gave instructions. more..

LTTE has links with al Qaeda: PM

Jan 7 (SAMN) The government Tuesday declared in parliament that the LTTE had links with the militant al Qaeda organisation and used their ‘freedom struggle’ to dabble in the narcotics trade. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake speaking during the extension of the emergency debate called the LTTE Leader Velupillai Pirapaharan, nothing but a ‘pirate drug dealer’ whose drug ring is being investigated by India. more..

Over 100,000 vehicles tested

Jan 7 (SAMN) Over 100,000 vehicle owners in the Western Province had had their vehicles tested for emission levels by the end December, Air Resource Management Centre (AirMac) of the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry said. A senior official said this amounts to almost 10 per cent of all vehicles from motor buses to three wheelers in the Province. Motor Traffic Commissioner Badulage Wijeratne recently informed vehicle owners in the Western Province, more..

More women drinking beer

Jan 7 (SAMN) Beer consumption by Sri Lankan women have gone up significantly during the recent past, Dr. Neil Fernando, Consultant Psychiatrist, Angoda Mental Hospital said. The companies which sell beer had launched a publicity campaign to attract more Sri Lankan women to drink beer, he said. Twenty five per cent of male patients admitted to the Colombo National Hospital within one year had died from alcohol related diseases. more..

Minister of Tourism Milinda Moragoda, to address the vibrant Gujarat, tourism convention

Jan 7 (AT) As part of the ongoing activities to encourage inbound tourism, Sri Lanka has ventured forth to neighboring India, to promote the island destination as a tourist attraction. In furthering activities in this regard, the fourth 'Vibrant India: Global Investors' Summit' organized by the State Government of Gujarat provides a sizable opportunity. more..

French Eco-Tourism project will be set up Madulkelle

Jan 7 (BOI) Madulkelle Tea and Eco lodge entered in to an agreement with the BOI to set up a novel boutique hotel project. French Investor Guy Maranzana, Chairman and Bathiya Gunasekera, Director signed the agreement on behalf of the company. Mr. Channa Palansuriya and Mr. Upali Samaraweera signed the agreement on behalf of the BOI. Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa formally presented the investors with the BOI Certificate of Registrations. more..

'Enough is Enough' protest in Colombo today

Jan 7 (LD) Several parties in the opposition, led by the UNP, is launching 'Enough is Enough', a protest campaign to demand the government provides maximum relief for the people by respecting court orders and reducing prices of food and other essential commodities. Starting at 2.00 pm at Hyde Park, Colombo, the demonstration will be supported by SLMC, SLFP Mahajana Wing, Democratic People's Front, Lanka Workers Union and several other organizations, more..

'No CB inquiry into unregistered financiers'

Jan 7 (LD) The Central Bank had failed to enforce the law against unregistered financial institutions despite there being many reports about the existence of such unlawful institutions, said JVP parliamentary group leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Mr. Dissanayake urged the government to take remedial action before the entire Sri Lankan economy falls apart due to the crisis facing local commercial banks and insurance company. more..

Route permits of 53 buses impounded

Jan 7 (LD) The National Transport Commission says it has impounded the route permits of 53 private buses that had not complied with the latest fare revision. NTC chairman Amal Kumarage says most buses plying the western province had disregarded the 4.3 per cent reduction in the rates from yesterday. The commission is having mobile raids conducted to nab errant buses, he says. he NTC says it will summon owners of the impounded route permits and take action against them. more..

UNP opposes taking up no-faith motion on Friday

Jan 7 (LD) A heated situation erupted in Parliament this morning after Chief Government Whip, Dinesh Gunawardena said that the no-faith motion against the government, moved by the UNP would be taken up for debate on Friday. Noting that the debate requires two days, Chief Opposition Whip, Joseph Michael Perera has requested two consecutive days instead. He added that the UNP did not agree at the party leaders meeting to debate the motion on a Friday. more..

LTTE evacuations underway in Jaffna peninsula

Jan 7 (LD) The LTTE is reportedly evacuating all their fighting cadres from the Jaffna peninsula, leaving behind one of the most guarded FDL's in the North, popularly called the "Muhamalai" exit-entry point that extends from Kilaly in the West and Nagarkovil in the East, through Muhamalai, stretching a distance of 12 miles. According to reports in pro-Tiger websites the numbers in the now under way evacuation could be between 3,500 and 4,000 full time fighter cadres, more..

50th anniversary of Cuban Revolution

Jan 7 (SAMN) The Cuban Revolution 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee will organise a seminar to mark the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution on January 09 at 4 pm at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. Political analyst Mohan Samaranayake will deliver the keynote address. Cuban Ambassador in Sri Lanka Nirsia Castro Guevara will be the Guest of Honour. more..

SLFP for media freedom

Jan 7 (DN) The SLFP has condemned with abhorrence yesterday's attack on the Depanama studios of the Sirasa Media network by an armed gang. SLFP General Secretary Minister Maithripala Sirisena in a statement issued on behalf of the SLFP, said the party always stood for upholding media freedom in the country and he wished to express deep condemnation of such dastardly acts on behalf of the party and on his personal behalf. more..

Tourism targets highest forex by ’16

Jan 7 (DN) Sri Lanka Tourism (SLT) hopes to elevate its position by 2016 as the highest foreign exchanger earner to the country from the current fourth place. Chairman, SLT, Bernard Goonethilake said that they hope to attract 1.5 million tourist arrivals by 2016 to achieve this target. Outlining the tourism promotion plan for the next four years, yesterday, he said that they also hope to attract high spending tourists. more..

Ranil might have gone nuclear if he was prime minister – JHU

Jan 7 (Island) Had opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe continued as the Prime Minister for two more years, LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran would have had Eelam on a platter to make nuclear bombs, a senior member of the JHU said. JHU strongman, Environment and Natural Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said there was evidence to show that with the assistance of the Nordic countries, he was on the task for going nuclear. more..

NHDA to provide housing for 22,000 families

Jan 7 (Island) The National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) has launched a national housing programme to provide housing facilities to 22,000 families in the year 2009 to mark it’s 30th Anniversary. The NHDA was established under the Parliament Act 17 of April 1979. The total cost for this programme will be Rs. 1,500 million. Action has been taken to implement this housing programme in rural areas as well as urban areas. more..