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Scores die in battle for Sri Lankan rebel enclave

Mar 8 (AP) Fierce fighting between Sri Lankan troops and ethnic Tamil separatists defending their last remaining enclave has left about 100 rebels dead in two days of fighting, the military said Sunday. The army has ousted the Tamil Tigers from most of their strongholds in an all-out offensive the government hopes will end the South Asian island's 25-year civil war. The rebel holdouts are confined to about 20 square miles (50 square kilometers) of jungle and more..

'Over 100 Sri Lankan rebels killed'

Mar 8 (AFP) More than 100 Tamil Tiger rebels have been killed in two days of fighting in Sri Lanka as they tried to break a military stranglehold, the defence ministry said on Sunday. They died when the army beat back a series of counter-attacks by the Tiger rebels against advancing government forces in the district of Mullaittivu in the northeast. The LTTE, who were in control of large swathes of the north and east of Sri Lanka less than two years ago, have now been cornered in a small patch of jungle. more..

Lalith Kotelawala misguided by ownership of Seylan shares- officials

Mar 9 (AT) Ceylinco Group Chairman Lalith Kotelawela, despite a public proclamation that he will sell his personal stake in Seylan Bank to redeem the Golden Key Credit depositors, cannot do it as his Seylan Bank personal stake is a mere 2%, a top official source told Asian Tribune last night. "How can he settle all the Golden Key depositors which amount to Rs. 26 billion with a 2% of stake which is miniscule compared with such a gargantuan liability ?", more..

Unethical practices loom large among allegations

Mar 9 (AT) Hot on the heels of Seylan Bank being used to redeem crisis- ridden Golden Key Credit Card Co Ltd , crisis after crisis has hit Seylan Merchant Bank, another member of the giant Ceylinco Group. A cloud of controversy has loomed over Seylan Merchant Bank where a plethora of unanswered questions exist and rife speculation also exists as to whether Seylan Merchant Bank will be the second financial institution within the Ceylinco Group to be bailed out more..

Seylan back on track: mobilizes Rs. 3 billion since January

Mar 9 (AT) Seylan Bank, another member of the troubled- Ceylinco Group has mobilized Rs 3 billion in deposits since the new management took over in January and is on the path to recovery. "We have mobilized Rs. 3 billion in deposits after a door to door campaign at islandwide branch level and now public confidence has been restored", new Seylan Bank Chairman Eastman Narangoda told Asian Tribune. more..

It’s all black and white or is it?

Mar 9 (LG) I think the greatest curse that Marxism bequeathed to this country is the conceptual trap called dichotomy. To put it bluntly, the ‘intellectuals’ in this country suffer from a disease which is best captured in that erroneous but frequently employed operative logic, ‘if you are not with me, then you are against me’. The inevitable victim of this kind of mindset is ‘nuance’ or, if you want to stay with the black-white metaphor, ‘colour’. more..

Help Pakistan in its hour of need

Mar 9 (LG) Many have been the intriguing conspiracy theories made about the attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore by pundits of cricket, geopolitics, terrorism and associated varied disciplines. Provocative and challenging as these theories forwarded by these individuals are - ranging from Chris Broad, the former English cricketer and match umpire of the abandoned test match to Udaya Gammanpila of the JHU more..

Honourable professionals indulge in mischievous misinformation

Mar 9 (LG) A classic case of mischief and misinformation is a letter sent to Her Excellency Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada by an organization called Tamil Canadian Legal Professionals Association whose leading officials are Mrs D Gunarajah (President), Messrs S Navaratnam and R Maharajah Vice President and Secretary respectively. Each of them is a barrister and solicitor. more..

Buddhists understand Globalization as ongoing change

Mar 9 (LG) The Buddhist view of globalization is very different from what the contemporary Western scholars profess it to be. When the current debate on globalization began in the 1960s, the Western oligopoly of social science journals treated it as a new development. Heavily influenced by the works of sociologists like Max Weber and philosophers like Friedrich Hegel, the scholars who wrote to these journals and more..

Toronto’s Tamil groceries shop told to sell kanchi rice

Mar 9 (LG) We have news that David Poopalapillai who has difficulties to be calm and collected in discussions has asked all the Tamil grocery shop owners in Toronto to sell kanchi rice only. His contention is that the Wanni Tigers are providing Uppu Kanchi (salty gruel) to their hostage captives in Puthukudiyirruppu, the Micro-Mini Eelam under siege and therefore the Toronto Tamils should express solidarity with them. more..

Economic costs of war will haunt us for a long time

Mar 9 (LG) Among the Sinhalese drugged by chauvinism, there is jubilation over the outcome of the war and the victories of the Sinhala soldiers. President Rajapaksa himself led the celebrations setting an atavistic tone that has done little to dispel the dominant perception that Lanka is Sinhala and the Sinhalese are Lanka. This unfortunate perception is second nature to several influential Sinhala politicians but more..

"A Tamil Standpoint in Sri Lanka"

Mar 9 (LG) Rajan Philip's feature article appearing in the First March issue of the Island newspaper is a thoughtful clearly written article, with needs to be addressed and evaluated. He begins by saying that the "problem of finding Sri Lankans in Sri Lanka has become more than a matter of textual teasing as old divisions are hardened by the current war". I pick up a few of his dominant themes to remind the reader and to provide a basis for my comments: more..

Desperate Tiger attempt to flee comes to grief

Mar 9 (LG) During the wee hours of Thursday/Friday night a band of Tigers carrying a variety of weapons came to grief when they tried to escape from Puthukudiyiruppu. When what they hopefully expected that they would achieve a ceasefire using hundreds of Wanni people they herded as human shield and using them as ransom failed, they were desperate to flee. On Thursday night, they forced three hundred civilians to leave the safe zone area and more..

Vietnam Prime Minister reaffirms cooperation with Sri Lanka

Mar 9 (AT) The Prime Minister of Vietnam, Nguyen Tan Dung, has stated that Vietnam is always ready to support Sri Lanka's development agenda and assist its people in their effort to maintain peace and stability in the country and in the international campaign against terrorism. He has stated that Vietnam is always ready to support Sri Lanka's development agenda and more..

Sri Lanka will soon open up a mission in Libya

Mar 9 (AT) Sri Lanka has formally decided to open up an Embassy in Libya.Recently, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the decision to open up a Sri Lanka Embassy in Libya. When Asian Tribune contacted Hussein Bhaila, Deputy Minister of Foreign Minister, he said that the Government has already approved the opening up of a mission in Libya and shortly the Foreign Ministry will be opening up it soon. more..

War gets dangerously close for trapped civilians

Mar 9 (TC) The battlefronts of the Eelam War IV is dangerously getting close to civilians trapped in the war zone as well as the narrow strip of safety zone on the coast where some of them have taken refuge. The Human Rights Watch (HRW) warning on March 4, 2009 that 150,000 civilians there were in desperate need of help right now has not come a day too soon. HRW’s statement also said that more than 2,000 civilians have been killed in the conflict and thousands more injured. more..

Internationel Women’s Day: What it means to Lankan women

Mar 9 (TC) Today is International Women’s Day. As millions of women across the globe, join hands to celebrate a day, set aside exclusively for them, it would perhaps be timely, for women in Sri Lanka, to evaluate the real significance of this day, in the context of their own lives- 61 years after Independence. Our collective quest for Peace, now seems nearing its goal. more..

Bankers who bankroll an endangered species (aka Tamil Tigers)

Mar 9 (TC) On the very same day of the announcement by the Central Bank about a Stimulus Package for Finance and Leasing Companies of Sri Lanka in order to weather “some stresses…observed in a few Registered Finance Companies (RFCs) and Specialized Leasing Companies (SLCs)” as a result of the global and domestic financial crunch, not to be outdone, few members of the Tamil Diaspora in North America “suggested donation” of “US$50.00 or more” (per person) more..

'Applaud for surrendering arms'

Mar 9 (AT) Whilst applauding the surrendering of lethal weapons in their possession, it has been urged to drop the word ‘Puligal’ in their Party name. “The TULF very warmly welcomes the historical decision of the TMVP, to do away with the weapons that they had in their possession for several years, “ said V. Anandasangaree. He also urged to drop t the word Tiger (Puligal) in the name of the party. more..

President called Lasantha "Terrorist journalist" and "Kotiya (Tiger)

Mar 9 (TC) Lasantha Wickrematunge faced his last moments at an unusual time at an unusual place. From the moment he left home the day he was murdered, he was aware that he was being tailed. He informed his friends of this fact on the phone. One friend had advised him to immediately go to a safe place. Lasantha's reply was that ' most, I will be killed.' He had realised that if he had gone to a safe place, it would only be postponing his death for a few more days. more..

'Civilians die' in Sri Lanka battle

Mar 9 (BBC) There have been fresh reports of civilian casualties as ferocious battles continue in Sri Lanka between soldiers and Tamil Tiger rebels. A senior government heath official in rebel-held territory told the BBC at least 15 civilians had been killed in shell attacks in the past two days. The military has strongly denied being responsible for the incident, in which more than 100 people were injured. The LTTE have not yet commented. more..

War-weary Sri Lanka dares look to future

Mar 9 (FT) In Vaharai, eastern Sri Lanka, there are checkpoints, army camps and barbed wire everywhere. Buildings are pockmarked with bullet holes, and skull-and-crossbone markings warn of minefields along the beaches of this fishing community, which not long ago was a stronghold of the ethnic Tamil separatist group, the LTTE. “We call the soldiers an occupying army. They are not from this place and they don’t speak the language,” more..

'Jayalalithaa’s fast will send a strong message on Sri Lanka'

Mar 9 (Hindu) PMK founder S. Ramadoss said on Sunday that the AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa’s fast, to be observed on Monday, will be more than a moral support to the Sri Lankan Tamils. Describing the AIADMK as a principal political force in the State, the PMK founder told The Hindu that Ms. Jayalalithaa’s fast would be soothing to the Tamils and it would help create confidence in them. more..

City docs mend little Lankan girl's heart

Mar 9 (TOI) The ongoing civil war in Sri Lanka, with casualty increasing, may have broken many hearts across the world. And here in Bangalore, 11-month-old Ayesha Amani from Sri Lanka recently underwent a major open heart surgery after sustaining multiple heart attacks for almost a year. Since the congenital problem was not visible externally, her parents were unaware of her condition. more..

Psychologists help Sri Lanka cricketers

Mar 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka has hired psychologists to help its national cricket team overcome the trauma they suffered in the militant attacks in Pakistan, a doctor said Sunday. The four specialists would work "to mentally boost our cricketers, help them heal their mental scars and overcome the tragedy," Geethanjana Mendis, head of the Sri Lankan sports ministry medical unit, told AFP. more..

The tear drop civil war

Swindlers list

Mar 9 (SL) Priding themselves as philanthropists, espousing the word of God, the very name Deshamanya Dr. Lalith Kotelawala and Lady Dr. Sicille Kotelawala evoked respect, trust and above all a sense of security. Which is why 9054 people in this country, trusted the duo with millions,in some cases tens of millions ofrupees in life savings.Perhaps part of those millions belonging to some depositors was black money. more..

'Belated and wanting musings from India'

Mar 9 (TN) While the Establishment in New Delhi is frantic in its attempt to eliminate the liberation force of Eezham Tamils but at the same time by hook or crook insinuate itself into the Tamil masses in order to show a semblance of success before the elections, a section of Indian academics and writers come out with belated and wanting musings urging India to work for a federal solution, writes a political analyst from Colombo. more..

TNA urges IC to ensure Sri Lankan forces do not bomb besieged civilians

Mar 9 (TN) The leaders of four major Tamil parties, the ITAK, ACTC, EPRLF and TELO comprising Tamil National Alliance (TNA), on behalf of the 22 elected parliamentarians from North and East, sent an appeal to the International Community urging it to ensure an immediate cessation of the war and ensure that adequate medical supplies, food and shelter be sent to the 333,000 civilians inside the area under siege by the Sri Lankan military. more..

SEP stands in Colombo election against war and social inequality

Mar 9 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka will contest the Colombo District in the Western Provincial Council election scheduled for April 25. As in the Central and North Western provincial council elections held last month, its candidates will be the only ones fighting for a socialist program to end the government's communal war, attacks on democratic rights and social inequality. more..

Oppose LTTE campaign of threats and violence against SEP supporters in Europe!

Mar 9 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP), the Sri Lankan section of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), urges all those who uphold democratic rights, including Tamils and Tamil organisations, to demand that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) instruct its European agents to cease their threats and violent attacks against our members and supporters in Europe. more..

UNP does not want a Muslim Deputy Mayor for Dehiwal Mt.Lavinia MC

Mar 9 (PSM) UNP Muslims are disappointed by the fact that the UNP leadership is blocking the Deputy Mayor-ship of Dehiwala - Mt.Lavinia Municipal Council going to a person from the minority community. It is said the UNP leadership along with the UNP General Secretary is delaying the appointment of deputy mayor to the council till the Provincial Council Election is over in order to attract the Muslim votes and to appoint a person from the majority community later on. more..

Fingerprint machines take over

Mar 9 (LT) The government has decided to bring in new regulations that would insist on all government officials including ministers and MPs to use fingerprint machines when entering or leaving their institutions. This would be implemented on a recommendation by the committee appointed to stipulate a national policy on the use of fingerprint machines. The allowances, overtime, leave of state employees too are to be determined on data supplied by these machines. more..

Underworld support for WPC candidates

Mar 9 (LT) The Police Headquarters has received information that 12 underworld cliques have joined the propaganda campaigns of two main political parties that are contesting the Western PC election. The members of these underworld cliques have already begun their ‘assignments’ and have started intimidating candidates and supporters of rival political parties. According to information, certain politicians have paid large sums of money to get the ‘services’ of these underworld thugs. more..

'Coal power will considerably reduce electricity bills'

Mar 9 (GDI) Electricity bills will be considerably reduced after the completion of Norochcholai coal power plant with the help of the Chinese government, Power and Energy Minister W. D. J. Seneviratne said. He was addressing press at Yapahuwa, Harasiyagama cultural centre recently. “Efficient power supply is an indispensible element in a progressive economy where industrial development is a vital factor. more..

‘Severe punishments’ arrested

Mar 9 (LT) ‘Dhadi Danduwam’ (Severe Punishments) of Guru Pokuna Junction at Hungama, who is accused of misappropriating Rs.10080000 worth of deposits, was arrested yesterday (8th) by Hungama Police for interrogation. 30 complaints have been received against P.H. Saman Udayanga alias ‘Dhadi Daduwam’ and more are being received says Hungama Police. Investigations are being carried out to arrest his wife as well. more..

12 families homeless as “Kunu Kanda” crashes down

Mar 9 (LT) A huge chunk of the Bloemendhal road garbage dump better known as the ‘Kunu Kanda’ or mountain of garbage fell on eight slum houses yesterday rendering over a dozen families homeless. Colombo Municipal Commissioner Badrani Jayawardena attributed the piling up of garbage at the Bloemandhal road spot to the failure of the private company contracted to collect garbage in the city and re-cycle it. more..

Over 400,000 devotees worship Dalada

Mar 9 (GDI) Over 400,000 devotees have paid homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic during the last three days. Visitors are provided with food and other facilities with the assistance of the Kandy District Secretariat and Municipal Council, Kandy. Devotees can pay homage to the Tooth Relic between 1 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. everyday. Large number of foreigners including diplomats have also paid homage to the Sacred Relic during the last three days, more..

Technical Monitoring System to curb trespassing fishermen

Mar 9 (GDI) Technical Monitoring System (TMS) must be employed to search foreign fishermen and their vessels trespassing Sri Lanka’s economic marine regions and we are already planning to establish it. We need foreign assistance to confront such poachers, and preliminary discussions were held with the Government of Austria to establish an efficient TMS and the Technical Committee for the proposed TMS is already functional, more..

Bilateral Corporation in agriculture with Egypt

Mar 9 (GDI) Numerous bilateral issues concerning agriculture are to be discussed during the official visit to Egypt by Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services Minister Maithripala Sirisena, and, a preliminary round of discussion with the Egyptian counterpart Amen Abaza on matters relating to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to develop relationships in relevant sectors has already been commences, a Ministry spokesman said. more..

Two Sri Lankans to be stoned to death in Saudi Arabia for adultery

Mar 9 (LT) Two Sri Lankan employees found guilty by Saudi Arabian judiciary for committing adultery have been sentenced to death by stoning states Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The two Sri Lankans according to foreign ministry sources are a Sinhalese woman and a Muslim man from Sri Lanka. According to law of Sharia adultery is a crime and the Jeddah Judiciary has informed Sri Lanka’s Consul Office in the city that the two would be stoned to death. more..

'No genuine concern for Tamils'

Mar 9 (Hindu) AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa said the fast to be observed by her party on Monday was to inform the State and Central governments that people were concerned over the happenings in Sri Lanka and upset with the way the two governments had reacted to the developments in Sri Lanka. She said the governments failed to take spontaneous action to provide humanitarian aid to the Tamils in the island nation. more..

It’s not cricket

Mar 9 (GV) Every time a highly placed individual from the Rajapakse administration says something offensive - which sadly occurs quite frequently - I recall a photo of the President hugging, with great affection, his brother Gothabaya, who had just escaped an attempt on his life by the LTTE in Colombo. It’s an awkward photo in a sense - neither of them are posing, the President has this grin of relief plastered on his face and Gothabaya looks, well, human. more..

Situation Report (Mar 9) by SLA

Mar 9 (SLA) TROOPS of the Special Forces (SF) and 58 Division on extended search and clear operations in PUTHUKKUDIYIRUPPU east recovered thirty more dead bodies of Tiger terrorists increasing the total number of dead bodies recovered to eighty by Monday afternoon. In addition to the one hundred and eleven T-56 weapons collected by SF and 58 Division troops earlier, one hundred and fifty seven more T-56 weapons were also recovered from the confronted area Monday (9) morning. more..

Career development opportunities in technical education

Mar 9 (DN) A long felt need in Sri Lanka on the Development of Vocational Training and Technical Education has been fulfilled by the enactment of the Parliamentary Act No. 31 of 2008 on the University of the Vocational Technology presented by Minister of Vocational and Technical Training Piyasena Gamage. Though Technical Education has been in existence for over a century with the establishment of the first Technical College at Maradana in 1895 and more..

JHU for Executive Presidency

Mar 9 (DN) JHU Parliamentarian Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thera says that the Government has been able to defeat terrorism and set an example to the entire world. The war strategies followed by our Armed Forces have given the best example to the entire world on how to combat terrorism while ensuring the safety and the security of the civilians. The Thera in an exclusive interview with the Daily News spoke about war, democracy and many related subjects. more..

Air Force Commander's interview

Mar 9 (BT) The sky is his terrain. His life is synonymous with the Sri Lanka Air Force as he is the son of a former Air Force Commander. Having lost his best friend and younger brother to enemy fire, he has braved personal loss to guide the Air Force to its current glory. His commitment and strategic direction has paved the way for numerous Air Force victories. more..

Mervin urges media not to call Lal Peiris ‘Kudu Lal’

Mar 9 (Island) Introducing Colombo Municipal Councillor Lal Peiris to a group of journalists covering the opening of an UPFA office at Kiribathgoda, Labour Minister (Non Cabinet) Mervin Silva yesterday urged the media not to call Peiris Kudu Lal. "He is not a kudukaraya," he emphasised, asserting that his friend’s only shortcoming was launching pre-emptive attacks on his opponents. "His style of operations is similar to mine," more..

UGC seeks tough laws to curb campus violence, consults AG

Mar 9 (Island) The University Grants Commission (UGC) is to consult the Attorney General’s Department in a bid to introduce tough laws against student unions including the JVP-controlled Inter University Students’ Federation responsible for frequent mayhem in universities. UGC Chairman Prof Gamini Samaranayake said that the IUSF operating inside universities was not legal. He said that the IUSF was the biggest trouble maker responsible for more..

A remedy worse than the malady

Mar 9 (Island) The Rajapaksa government is neither SLFP nor UNP. UNP crossovers have diluted its SLFP outlook. There are about 25 UNP MPs in the government ranks, many of them ministers. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is boasting that he is capable of springing some more defections. "I keep the door shut but they [UNPers] keep banging on it," we quoted him as saying some time ago. more..