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Sri Lanka: Shadow over India

Mar 12 (AT) The spate of angry protests in Tamil Nadu after the military victory in Sri Lanka must have been a cause for worry for the governments in Chennai and New Delhi. It is an indication that India, especially Tamil Nadu, cannot remain unaffected by the fresh crisis that has erupted in the island nation after the country’s army ran over most of the areas held by the rebel LTTE. Tamil Nadu has already reacted with fury that was aimed as much against the government in Colombo as the UPA government in New Delhi. more..

Cabraal on BBC HARDtalk

Diplomats of Muslim countries condemn LTTE terror attack in Akuressa

Mar 12 (AT) The High Commissioners for Bangladesh and Malaysia, as well as the Indonesian Ambassador on behalf of their respective Governments, have strongly denounced the suicide bomb attack carried out by the LTTE on Tuesday (10 March 2009) at the Godapitiya Jumma Mosque in Akuressa, targetting a peaceful procession led by Government Ministers to celebrate the Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday, held under State patronage. more..

China to welcome and assist the tourism and promote Sri Lanka

Mar 12 (AT) The visiting Minister of Tourism Milinda Moragoda had bilateral discussions with the Chairman of China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) Mr. Shao Qiwei and several high level officials at the China World Hotel on 6th March 2009. CNTA is the main Government body responsible for all the activities related to tourism in China and the Chairman Mr. Shao Qiwei reports directly to the State Council and the Premier Wen Jiabao. more..

Great game around China’s Lanka yard

Mar 12 (TT) The teardrop named Sri Lanka is threatening to light a fire in India’s backyard that New Delhi is hoping to douse by killing it with kindness. The first steps of that policy has unfolded with a military-medical mission landing in Colombo this week in a first sortie by the Indian Air Force. More sorties are to be followed by a series of measures. The reconstruction package coincides with political pressures mounting from Tamil Nadu where Jayalalithaa went on a hunger strike demanding humanitarian intervention. more..

Fighting the diplomatic assault

Mar 12 (LG) A few years ago, it was the popular opinion that Sri Lanka is besieged by an invincible liberation force (LTTE), which the former has no way of defeating other than to yield to the latter’s demands and surrender. Successive governments had failed miserably in their endeavours to solve this menace by adopting a mixture of military operations against the LTTE punctuated by ceasefires and negotiations. more..

TULF condemns suicide bomb attack in a place of worship

Mar 12 (LG) The TULF very strongly condemns the suicide attack on a religious precession in which the Chief Guest and other Guests were being taken to the Mosque where a function was organized to celebrate the Notional Milad-ud-Nabi festival. This is yet another incident in which the LTTE had shown its thirst for blood. The LTTE is now a frustrated lot. They will not leave one stone unturned to show the world their atrocious character. more..

Paranoid SCOPP castigates Andrew Dismore MP

Mar 12 (LG) The Official Website of the Sri Lankan Government’s Secretariat for Co-ordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) has become a body that is involved in revengeful negative campaign to condemn anyone making critical comments about Sri Lanka. The SCOPP which works under the theme of ‘Peace Sri Lanka’ has jettisoned its mission of peace building and is currently engaged in a vitriolic campaign against more..

'But for the civilians, we can finish off the Tiger in hours'

Mar 12 (LG) Brigadier Shavendra Silva is the rising new hero among the heroes of the current Eelam War, not that the word Eelam War or cause has any meaning except for those who want to find something from it. This is a war against terrorism perpetrated by what is considered the most brutal and ruthless campaign against a state by a band of terrorists more..

Interview with Commodore RS Vasan (Retd)

Mar 12 (LG) It is obvious that the SL Forces have an upper hand and are progressively advancing in the ever shrinking LTTE held territory by sustained ground and air offensive. The counters launched by the LTTE have not succeeded in repulsing the attacks; instead have only resulted in heavy losses. Many facilities created in its territory for sustaining the war machinery have been overrun and taken over by the SL forces. more..

Suicide Bomb attack on a Religious procession by LTTE

Mar 12 (ML) The Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka condemns the brutal massacre carried out by the suicide bomber of the LTTE. Time and again the LTTE have proved that they are no respecters of religions. To carry out such a dastardly act at such a holy occasion shows up the LTTE for what they really are: a brutal, barbaric and bloodthirsty organisation. more..

After fighting, Sri Lanka needs devolution: India

Mar 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka needs true devolution of power to minority Tamils if it wants to permanently end its long-running ethnic war, Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said Wednesday. Menon, who was in Washington for talks, said the United States and the Sri Lankan government itself both agreed with regional power India on the need to quickly restore daily life in war-torn areas. more..

Parliament passes power reform bill

Mar 12 (wsws) The government passed the Electricity Bill through parliament on March 3, paving the way for private firms, co-operatives and local government bodies to compete with the state-owned Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) in all aspects of power generation, transmission and distribution. The legislation will inevitably lead to the loss of CEB jobs and inroads into pay and working conditions. In pushing through the bill, Power and Energy Minister John Seneviratne claimed that the government was protecting consumers. more..

Knowing folly

Mar 12 (TN) The pleading tone of the US Ambassador in Colombo, Robert Blake, even in selling what is already existing or is in proposal, last Friday, show the mood of Sinhala chauvinism in the South, living in the euphoria of ‘victory’ and delusions of ‘post-LTTE’ politics, writes Opinion Columnist Chivanadi. “A striking note of the ambassador’s speech was the importance he gave to the electoral process in ending the conflict.” more..

Are Tamilnadu’s political minions harbouring Tiger terrorists?

Mar 12 (LG) During the latter 1980s there is proof that Vaiyapuri Gopalaswamy alias Vaiko of Telugu origin has been clandestinely visiting Prabhakaran in his Wanni bunkers. He has even spent long periods of time in consultations with him as well as being taught the use of firearms. This period of his visitations coincides with the time when the Tigers committed a series of killings including the decimation of Padmanabha and his EPRLF compatriots at Cholai Medu in Chennai and more..

'Suicide attack at Matara, yet another ploy by LTTE to spark communal riot'

Mar 12 (AT) The suicide bomb attack by the LTTE was yet another desperate ploy to spark communal riot in the country. That was yet another incident in which the LTTE had shown its thirst for blood. The LTTE is now a frustrated lot. They will not leave one stone unturned to show the world their atrocious character. The TULF very strongly condemned the suicide attack on a religious precession in more..

'Take proper action against media violating election law'

Mar 12 (LT) State media does not adhere to laws framed to hold a free and fair elections and proper action should be taken against them states candidate and group leader of the JVP team contesting the Western PC election Duminda Nagamuwa. In a letter addressed to Commissioner of Elections today Mr. Nagamuwa states state media, specially ITN, telecast its programmes violating election law and guidelines stipulated by the Commissioner of Elections. more..

Dalada exposition extended till 17th

Mar 12 (LT) The special public exposition of the Sacred Tooth Relic at the Sri Dalada Maligawa has been extended by another day till March 17 which was due to conclude on March 16th ,Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela Bandara said. The exposition times are 1 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. daily as scheduled. The decision has taken to cater the large crowds visiting Kandy to pay homage and over 700,000 devotees have already visited Kandy for last 06 days.

The Return of Gareth Evans, the Resurrection of Terror

Mar 12 (PISL) Once again the International Crisis Group has pronounced on Sri Lanka, bang on cue after the other usual suspects. Most negative of these was Human Rights Watch, which is a specialist, along with ICG, in purporting to be balanced. In fact they both persist in treating an elected government on a par with the terrorists they thus privilege. Both of them specialise in being economical with the truth, most notably by being extravagant about numbers. more..

Situation report (Mar 12) by SLA

Mar 12 (SLA) TOP and middle-rung Tiger terrorist leaders, now fighting tooth and nail to defend their rapidly shrinking final stronghold in PUTHUKKUDIYIRUPPU appear to be meeting with their Waterloo one by one as time was fast running for the outfit. Latest military intelligence as well as other technical sources on Thursday (12) confirmed scores of top and middle-rung Sea Tigers and Black Tigers have perished during ground confrontations in more..

LTTE plot for mass scale chemical attack bared

Mar 12 (MoD) Sri Lankan soldiers of Army 57 Division on Tuesday, the 5th of March found a large stock of gas masks and chemical resistant costumes from a captured LTTE camp in Udayarkattukulam North. According to the defence experts' view, the discovery exposes a possible terrorist plot for a mass scaled chemical attack against Sri Lankan soldiers. The LTTE terrorists have been using chemical gases against Sri Lanka Army during last two years of battle. more..

SLA shelling kills 133 civilians including 49 children

Mar 12 (LNP) More than 49 of 133 civilians killed inside `safe zone` in SLA shelling on Tuesday were children and 16 of them were children below 3 years of age. The SLA deployed internationally banned cluster munitions and fire-bombs against civilians who were stranded without shelter inside the `safe zone` which has become a killing field, reports TamilNet correspondent from Vanni. 273 civilians, including a GS (village officer) and an ICRC worker, were wounded on Tuesday. more..

Editorial: Desperation unlimited

Mar 12 (Hindu) The suicide bombing — which killed 15 civilians and injured 45 others, including a Minister of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government — outside a mosque at Akurassa in the Matara district of Sri Lanka’s Southern Province is yet another act of desperation by a terrorist outfit fighting for its life. Cornered by the Sri Lanka military in an area of about 45 square kilometres in the Mullaithivu district in the North, more..

Akuressa blast: CID takes over inquiry

Mar 12 (DN) The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) inquiry into the Godapitiya suicide blast is in progress. The male suicide bomber is believed to have been residing in the Godapitiya area before carrying out the suicide mission, Police spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunaskera said. “ It is an estate area and we suspect that the LTTE cadre might have been residing in the Godapitiya area while carefully planning out the suicide mission”, SSP Gunaskera added. more..

India praised for medical support

Mar 12 (BBC) A team of Indian doctors were welcomed in Colombo by the Minister of Health Nimal Siripala de Silva. A 52-member Indian medical team including physicians and surgeons are to set up a hospital in Pulmoddai in the Trincomalee District. Minister De Silva said that India had extended its kindness to the people of Sri Lanka in a positive manner. more..

Drop in food prices in Jaffna expected with A9 opening

Mar 12 (DN) The Government anticipates a decrease in the prices of essential commodities in the Jaffna Peninsula with the opening of A9 road for the transport of essential commodities to the public and the Security Forces after a lapse of 24 years. Lak Sathosa has started sending essential food commodities to Jaffna over land and the prices of essential commodities will see a drastic drop within two weeks in the North, more..

Eye testing today to mark Glaucoma Day

Mar 12 (DN) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry and Ophthalmologists Association will test the eyes of the people above 40 years at a special clinic at the Colombo Eye Hospital, under Vision 2020 program to mark Global Glaucoma Day which falls today. Global Glaucoma Day will be conducted under the theme 'Glaucoma disease impairs your vision without your knowledge', Deputy Director General, Public Health Services Dr. P.G. Mahipala told a media briefing. more..

Retiring the LTTE

Mar 12 (HIR) For more than three decades, the LTTE has been endeavoring to weaken the democratically elected government in Sri Lanka. They have primarily used adroit terror and propaganda campaigns interspersed with political negotiation. During the history of its campaign, the LTTE has not displayed any keen, sincere interest in settling the conflict through political negotiations. The apparent reason behind this could be their firm belief in carving an independent state for the Tamils in Sri Lanka through military means. more..

No power cuts though water levels low - CEB

Mar 12 (Island) Despite the low water levels in the reservoirs and catchments areas the Ceylon Electricity Board has not even thought about imposing power cuts, CEB Chairman E. A. S. K. Edirisinghe said yesterday. He told The Island that though there weren’t sufficient showers to fill the reservoirs, some showers had been experienced in the catchments areas. He said the Board was expecting more showers before the end of this month. more..

Lanka’s birth registration percentage higest in SA

Mar 12 (Island) Register General Ekanayake Mudiyanselage Gunasekera said yesterday that as a result of creating awareness among the people Sri Lanka had one of the highest percentages (98) of birth registrations in the Region. It has been found that a majority of those who default are those caught in the North and East conflict and the Plantation people of Indian origin who have been known to be ignorant of the necessity to register their births. more..

Its now up to President to appoint CC - Ranil

Mar 12 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that all other nominations to the Constitutional Council were completed and the President could now make his nomination so that the Council could be appointed without further delay. Addressing a party rally held at Ratmalana, Wickremesinghe said that if the President further delays the appointment of the Constitutional Council, the UNP was ready to take to the streets to safeguard democracy. more..

President rules out snap elections

Mar 12 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, yesterday, ruled out a snap general election this year and told the Cabinet of Ministers not to tire themselves out unnecessarily over preferential votes by attending public meetings.Addressing the Cabinet, the President said that he had warned the ministers not to risk their lives by attending public meetings without making prior security arrangements. more..

Govt. to launch social security programme

Mar 12 (DM) Minister of Labour Relations and Manpower, Athauda Seneviratne said a social security programme would be launched through the “Shrama Wasana Fund”, to provide relief to employees of local industries and factories hit by the global economic crisis. The minister was speaking at a function at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institution to mark the International Women’s day organized by the Women’s and Children’s Bureau of the Department of Labour. more..

Summary of the Cabinet decissions

Mar 12 (GDI) Cabinet approved a Memorandum submitted by the Minister of Education Susil Premajayantha to support for English and IT in the North and East Provinces to develop new programmes to be conducted at Teacher Training Colleges and other appropriate venues, and seek funding for this purpose, to be administerial through a fund established under the control of the Presidential Task Force, to make use of the services of those trained to teach English and IT in the English medium, more..

MEPs call for immediate ceasefire so civilians can leave combat zone

Mar 12 (EP) Parliament adopted a resolution on the situation in Sri Lanka calling for an immediate ceasefire by the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE in order to allow the civilian population to leave the combat zone. MEPs condemn the LTTE’s violence and intimidation which are preventing civilians from leaving the conflict area. It is estimated that 170 000 civilians who are trapped in the battle zone more..

Bishops visit IDPs

Mar 12 (DM) A group of Catholic Bishops who have visited the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Vavuniya on Tuesday had assured them that they will take up the issues faced by them with the relevant authorities including the President. The delegation of Bishops was led by Chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference Bishop of Kandy Rev Vianney Fernando and comprised Bishop Norbert Andradi of Anuradhapura, Bishop of Galle Harold Anthony Perera, more..

Jayalalitha flays CM on Lanka fast comments

Mar 12 (UNI) AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa today said she would ensure that the funds raised during her fast on March 9 reached the suffering Tamils in Sri Lankan through the International Red Cross 'overcoming all obstacles put in the way' by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK President M Karunanidhi. Reacting to Mr Karunanidhi's statement in which he ridiculed the former Chief Minister's claim that India rushed medicines and medical equipment to Colombo only afer she observed a fast in support of them, more..

Golden Key depositors to discuss trust to sell assets

Mar 12 (LBO) Prosecutors, customers and officials of Sri Lanka's failed Golden Key Credit Card Company of the Ceylinco group are to discuss a trust arrangement to sell assets to generate cash, after court ordered a halt to assets sales of the company and subsidiaries. Prosecutors from Attorney General’s office, lawyers representing depositors, Ceylinco chief Lalith Kotelawala, and his wife Sicille were ordered to meet on March 18, to discuss more..

Tourist arrivals fall 15.7-pct in February 2009

Mar 12 (LBO) Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka fell 15.7 percent in February to 34,169 with the first two months of 2009 showing a 25.5 percent fall, and visitors from India halving, the country's tourism promotion office said. Visitors from the key generating markets in western Europe which is vital to the island's beach resorts, fell 16.7 percent to 37.576, with UK, the second largest source of tourists after India, dropping 18.1 percent to 7,316 persons. more..

US shelves evacuation of Tamils caught in LTTE areas

Mar 12 (Rediff) The Obama administration has shelved the idea of launching a massive military evacuation of nearly 200,000 Tamil civilians trapped in the LTTE strongholds, sources have told Rediff India Abroad. Sources acknowledged that the plan was for US Air Force and US Navy units attached to its Pacific Command (PACOM) to go into the rebel-held hold-outs and evacuate these civilians faced with the prospect of fast-declining food and medicine stocks in these areas. more..

Sigiriya: Part 01

Troops kill 12 more rebels

Mar 12 (AFP) Government troops have captured more territory from the Tamil Tigers, killing at least 12 rebels and recovering chemical warfare kits and airplane parts. The island's army, which says it is on the verge of defeating the ethnic rebels, said it had taken control of an abandoned hospital in the small town of Puthukkudiriruppu, following heavy fighting on Wednesday. "At least a dozen LTTE terrorists were killed and 24 injured," more..

Q+A: What conditions will the IMF place on Sri Lanka?

Mar 12 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's currency and share markets are in limbo awaiting the terms of a $1.9 billion loan the central bank is negotiating with the IMF. Here are questions and answers about possible conditions: WHAT IS LIKELY TO BE THE MAIN EFFECT? Though the central bank has said there will not be any "unfavorable conditions," analysts and currency dealers expect some depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee after the loan is signed. more..

Sri Lanka records more Dengue Fever cases

Mar 12 (Xinhua) More than 2,000 Sri Lankans have been caught by Dengue Fever this year, representing a 15 percent increase comparing to the same period of 2008, health experts said. Officials from the Epidemic Unit of the Health Ministry told Xinhua that 2,229 people acquired Dengue from the beginning of this year to March 9 while 17 people died of the disease. They said the death cases increased sharply this year as only 25 people were killed by Dengue in the island in 2008. more..

Abducted media head of opposition leader found

Mar 12 (CT) Prof. Ganganath Dissanayake, head of media of the opposition leader, who had been kidnapped last night, has been found. He has returned to his home at 4.00 am today. Police said that Prof. Dissanayake was found this morning at Kirindiwela, Gampaha, where the abductors had apparently dumped him. Speaking, Prof. Dissanayake said that he was blindfolded from the very beginning and was questioned at length on a book written by him, allegedly critical of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

UN denounces misuse of food destined for children

Mar 12 (IRIN) The UN has deplored the diversion of high-energy therapeutic food supplies intended for severely malnourished children to LTTE fighters in combat zones in Sri Lanka’s north. A statement released on 11 March by the UN country office in Sri Lanka said that BP-100 high-energy biscuits found in the possession of a dead Tamil Tiger came from supplies targeted at severely malnourished children. more..

Sri Lanka says seizes hospital from rebels

Mar 12 (AP) The Sri Lankan army Thursday seized the last remaining medical facility held by separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in the north of the island, a military official said. Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said the troops took the facility near Puthukkudiyiruppu after launching an operation Wednesday. "We took complete control this morning," he told The Associated Press. "The hospital building was intact, but we are not sure about any of the equipment." more..

Sri Lanka LNG power project investor pulls out

Mar 13 (LBO) An Australian consultancy that won tax concessions to develop a liquefied natural gas (LNG) fired power plant for Sri Lanka's state-run electricity grid has announced it was pulling out of the project. Energy development and advisory company Arc Developments International said it has been "forced to withdraw" from the project for the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), following "an irretrievable breakdown in relations with the project developer." more..

Opportunity to make terrorism history

Mar 13 (GV) The sober and humanist approach is orchestrated in Sri Lanka according to the spokesperson’s preference. This is why we hear most politicians, bureaucrats, donors etc state that the intended path would focus on physical infratsruture development (e.g. roads, rail lines, harbors etc). This I believe is erroneous because the effects of a conflict have several other facets to be addressed to carve a sober and humanist approach. more..

Dial a White Van for a pest-free life!

Mar 13 (GV) Have you just been outsmarted, outwitted or plain debunked by a smart alec academic? Or is that nosy journalist probing your ministry, department or company seriously threatening your nest egg project or retirement plan? Or you simply can’t stand the sight of your neighbour (or colleague, or batchmate) doing better than you in life? Don’t just sulk there – do something! Just tell us your worries and let us take care of it all. more..