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LTTE engineered forgery, forced the temporary closing down of the London based TBC Tamil Radio

Feb 3 (AT) Tamil Broadcasting Corporation, a Tamil language radio station operating out of outer- London has been closed down due to an act of forgery, subtly engineered and precipitated by the elements suspected to be belonging to the LTTE in London. Though LTTE is a banned organization in Britain since 2001, however the outfit operates out of London and has grown from strength to strength since from the day it was banned in Britain. more..

EC and UNDP set-up a model dairy village in Kopay

Feb 3 (AT) European Commission has jointly initiated a Transition Programme to develop model Dairy Villages in the conflicted areas in Sri Lanka. According to the local EC delegation office, the first Dairy Village in Kopay , Jaffna shows successful results. The project has donated milk cows for 'have-nots' and most of housewives came forward to participate in this model diary village concept. more..

Lankan Govt misleading the world on ethnic issue: MP

Feb 3 (NIP) The Sri Lankan Government has been misleading the world that it is providing adequate amount of essential commodities to the Tamil-dominated region, but the fact is that the people there are suffering and dying out of starvation, claimed M K Sivajilingam, member of parliament of Sri Lanka, representing the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). more..

New initiative in Sri Lanka?

Feb 3 (NIP) Amid speculation of a possible "new initiative" for cessation of hostilities, Ambassador of Norway Hans Brattskar on Thursday travelled to the LTTE headquarters in Kilinochchi. According to diplomatic sources, it was a routine visit. But it is the first direct contact between Norway and the Tigers after the unsuccessful visit of visiting Norwegian Special Envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer in December last year. more..

We are the owners of the UNP! – Mahinda Wijesekera

Feb 3 (LT) The ownership of the UNP should be taken by the group that joined the government and at present certain moves are being made to make it a reality said Mr. Mahinda Wijesekera, who crossed over from the UNP to get the ministerial portfolio of Special Projects. Those in his group continue to hold the membership of the UNP and no one can remove them from the posts they have in the UNP said the new minister. more..

When terrorism gets beaten separatist forces come to the rescue! – Gunadasa Amarasekera

Feb 3 (LT) When terrorism is being defeated local and foreign separatist forces attempt to hinder the military exercises against terrorism said Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera, President of Patriotic National Movement (PNM). Dr. Amarasekera said this at a ceremony held to pay tribute to war heroes and bring relief to their families in the Western Province. more..

266 Tamils arrested in search operation in Colombo

Feb 3 (TN) Sri Lanka Police said 266 Tamils, including 53 women, were arrested in a dawn to noon house-to-house search operation, conducted by hundreds of police and armed troops in Fort area and its suburbs in Colombo city, Saturday. They are detained in Fort Police Station and are being interrogated by specially appointed police investigation teams, the police said. The police said the arrested are Tamils are permanent residents of Jaffna district. more..

Security forces clears landmines to resettle Vakarai civilians

Feb 3 (GDI) The Government is taking every possible step to ensure speedy return of Vakarai civilians. The Armed Forces have consolidated their positions in the East after flushing the LTTE cadres out of Vakarai town. The troops are now in the process of removing landmines ahead of their operation's final phase of resettling the displaced. more..

Continued assistance to Sri Lanka from Germany

Feb 3 (GDI) Germany will continue its economic co-operation assistance to Sri Lanka. German Federal Foreign Minister Dr. Frank Walter Steinmeier stated this when he met Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama at the Foreign Office in Berlin. The two Ministers held extensive bilateral talks on wide ranging issues with special emphasis on economic co-operation and the peace process including efforts by the Government to find a lasting solution. more..

Serve the people, President tells new Secretaries

Feb 3 (GDI) Newly appointed Secretaries to Ministries received their appointment letters from President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Temple Trees. President said that he would always standby and support the right decisions taken by the Ministry Secretaries, provided they implement the Government policy and serve the people's needs as envisioned in the Mahinda Chintanaya. more..

Tenders for oil exploration by June

Feb 3 (GDI) Sri Lanka is all set to undertake major oil exploration drive. The Government will call for local and international tenders for exploring oil along Sri Lanka's sea belt in another six months. Stating this, Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Minister A.H.M. Fowzie said that a discussion will be held next week with the participation of all stakeholders and interested parties to determine more..

Wakely leads England U-19 to victory

Feb 3 (CI) A fine all-round display from Northamptonshire batsman Alex Wakely enabled England to continue their impressive form in Kuala Lumpur with a 14-run victory against Sri Lanka. England had come unstuck against a strong Sri Lankan side in their first meeting but turned the tables this time. Wakely led the way with his 108, which included eight fours and three sixes, as England reached 250 for 7. more..

Of the Sri Lankan Animal Farm

Feb 3 (ANN) The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused, by a majority decision, leave to proceed with a fundamental rights violation application filed by the Public Sector Salary Review Trade Unions Committee (PSSRTUC), as regards a parliamentary resolution to grant MPs, Ministers and the President pay hikes. The Chairperson of the Bench, Justice Shirani Tilakawardene, dissented. more..

TMVP briefs US Embassy diplomats their political agenda

Feb 3 (AT) Diplomats from the political division of the United States Embassy in Colombo recently met with the officials of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal led by V.Muralitharan nom de guerre Colonel Karuna, at the office of the Tamil outfit in Colombo. American diplomats met the political officers of the TMVP and discussed the future of the TMVP and their future political agenda. more..

Tomorrow - Sri Lanka’s 59th Independence day

Feb 3 (AT) Elaborate security arrangements are in place in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital and its suburbs in connection with tomorrow’s 59th national Independence Day celeberations on a grand scale under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksha. According to Colombo city traffic police, several roads will be kept closed for motorists as the Independence Day ceremony will be held at Gall Face Green. more..

Troops in de-mining operations to resettle Vakarai displaced

Feb 3 (PISL) The Armed Forces consolidating their positions in the East after flushing the LTTE cadres out of Vakarai town, announced on Thursday that the troops are now in the process of removing landmines ahead of their operation's final phase of resettling the displaced. Brigadier R.M.D. Ratnayake, General Officer Commanding of 23 Division said they had removed 4,000 landmines from several locations in Vakarai, Palachchenai, Kadiraveli and Verugal. more..

TMVP writes to UN and HRW

Feb 3 (ISL) S. Padmini , who is the Secretary of Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal [TMVP] better known as the Karuna Faction ,has writes to the United Nation and New York based human rights group the Human Rights Watch, refusing charges that their group is recriminating child soldiers. She has writes to, Ban Ki- Moon, newly elected Secretary General of the UN, Radhika Coomaraswamy Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children, more..

Lanka bank on Malinga in Murali’s absence

Feb 3 (HT) Sri Lankan coach Tom Moody has said that the absence of his prime bowlers, Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan — who have been rested with an eye on the upcoming World Cup — would not hamper his team’s preparation for the four-match one-day series against India beginning in Kolkata on February 8. “There have been a number of occasions in the past when Murali and Vaas have not been in the team,” Moody said here on Friday evening, more..

Release East undergraduates immediately- TNA MP

Feb 3 (TN) “Successive Sri Lanka Governments have been using education as a tool to punish the Tamil community as part of their campaign to subjugate the Tamils. The recent abductions and harassment of Northeast student community by the Sri Lankan Forces aimed at disrupting the education and instilling fear among the student population should be stopped immediately,” said S. Jeyananthamoorthy, TNA Parliamentarian more..

LTTE welcome to share power like the Maoists in Nepal - Bogollagama

Feb 3 (LNP) Sri Lanka says the LTTE are welcome to share power in the island-nation just as the Maoists are doing in Nepal. This was stated by Sri Lanka`s new Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama during a conversation with this correspondent here on Wednesday evening. However, the Minister made it clear that, to be able to do this, the Tamil Tigers must give up terrorism first and become stake-holders in order to share power. more..

Govt. had no need for crossovers: Nimal

Feb 3 (LNP) Senior Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said on Thursday there had been no real need for the Government to accommodate crossovers from the UNP, but it could not reject them democratically as they wanted to join hands with President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Speaking at a function to mark the handing over of 25 buses to Bandarawela Depot, the Minister said despite allegations made in this regard, the President had not wanted to create a split in the UNP. more..

Political foxes and ministerial grapes

Feb 3 (LNP) A common ruse employed by a pickpocket in trying to escape a mob giving him the chase, calling for others` help to catch him, is to deceive the onlookers by repeating the pursuers` cry, `Pickpocket! Pickpocket!`, and run for dear life, holding on to the stolen wallet. Some government ministers seem to have taken a leaf out of pickpockets` book in a bid to escape the public wrath over the jumbo cabinet. more..

Door for talks still wide open - Sri Lanka delegation assures Germany

Feb 3 (LNP) The Government has assured Germany it remains committed to a peaceful and negotiated settlement to the ongoing conflict while denying as `misconception` reports that the German Government had frozen new aid to Sri Lanka. Currently, a delegation led by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and including Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona is in Berlin, participating in bilateral talks with the German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier and more..

Dissention grows among SLFP MPs

Feb 3 (SAMN) Twenty SLFP ministers made an alliance with an objective of raising riots against President Mahinda Rajapaksa for pruning their portfolios to accommodate the UNP reformists. This new development takes place in the backdrop of two ministers publicly saying they were ashamed of the jumbo Cabinet. One of them was the party’s General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena. more..

'No party politics at tourism ministry'

Feb 3 (SAMN) Sri Lanka Tourist Board Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara yesterday called it quits from his post at the board. Tourism Ministry Additional Secretary George Michael was appointed as Acting Chairman. Nanayakkara in his letter of resignation referred to have experienced what he claimed as “hostility caused by the Secretary of the Ministry which is of habitual nature.” more..

One dead, five injured in Kandy fire

Feb 3 (SAMN) One man died and five were injured when a major fire broke out at the D.S. Senanayake Library complex near the Kandy Market last night destroying most of its volumes and other equipment. One of the building of the complex housing the bulk of volumes was completely destroyed while the public succeeded in salvaging some of the books in the other building. more..

3,200 MWs to be generated in 10 years

Feb 3 (SAMN) The Power and Energy Ministry has planned to add 3,200 MWs to the National grid at a cost of Rs. 43 billion within the next 10 years, Power and Energy Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne said. The Minister addressing Ministry staff after assuming duties said that 2,000 MWs would be added within the next five years under an accelerated programme to arrest possible power crisis due to the escalating demand for electricity. more..

Colombo Port passes landmark - Hakeem

Feb 3 (DN) Former Minister of Ports and Shipping and now Minister of Posts and Telecommunication, Rauf Hakeem said that it was a great achievement for the Colombo Port to have passed the 3 million TU mark. Making the keynote address at the Institute of Shipbrokers on Wednesday he said that however this amount should be doubled. more..

Yahoo Photos

Feb 3 (AFP) A Sri Lankan soldier stands guard in Colombo. President Mahinda Rajapkse has offered fresh peace talks on Saturday and asked Tiger rebels to lay down weapons as he visited this former guerrilla-held town. more..

Iran, Sri Lanka share a common Asian culture and civilization -envoy

Feb 3 (DN) Address of M.M. Zuhair P.C., Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Islamic Republic of Iran on the 59th National Day of Sri Lanka aired over the National TV of Iran - IRIB "As we celebrate the National Day of our island republic, permit me to convey to the Leader of the Revolution, the President, the Government and the friendly people of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and to the small but dedicated Sri Lankan community in this country, the more..

Aid group denies assisting LTTE

Feb 3 (DM) The World Food Programme denied allegations it might have been providing assistance to the LTTE after bags with the WFP logo were found in LTTE bunkers at Vakarai. In a statement the aid group said, “WFP is not providing assistance directly or indirectly to the LTTE. WFP’s food assistance programme is managed by Government authorities in support of the Government’s relief efforts. more..

Independence Day Messages

Feb 3 (DM) At this time fifty nine years after gaining independence, we should look back with a clear and unconfused mind and ascertain whether we have taken the correct path, Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said in his message issued on the occasion of the fifty ninth anniversary after gaining independence. more..

President invites rebels for talks

Feb 3 (BBC) Sri Lanka's president, Mahinda Rajapakse, has visited areas of the east of the country recently captured from the Tamil Tigers. The president invited the rebels to fresh peace talks and said they should begin to lay down their arms. More than three-thousand-five-hundred people were killed in renewed fighting last year despite the 2002 ceasefire still being in place on paper. more..

Sri Lanka tea trade under pressure in first quarter, after record earnings in 2006

Feb 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea crop is set to drop in January after record earnings in the past year, as unfavourable weather slowed a recovery of strike-hit estates, industry officials said. "Estates which normally send had 8,000 to 10,000 kilograms to the auctions, are sending about 2,500 kilograms," says Lal Alawattegama, of Asia Siyake Commodities, a tea brokerage in Colombo. more..

Karuna says HRW made charges without verification

Feb 3 (HT) The TMVP led by former LTTE commander Karuna, says that the Human Rights Watch's charge that it is recruiting kids for its military wing is baseless and has been made without any verification. In an e-mail to Joe Becker of the HRW sent on Saturday, the secretary of the TMVP's political wing, Ms Padhmini, said that Karuna had personally invited her and other members of the HRW to visit his camps and verify the charges, but this offer had gone unheeded. more..

Sri Lankan Scoops Airline Service Award

Feb 3 (MN) Sri Lankan Airways has won a prestigious award as Best South Asian Carrier of the Year. The award was presented at a gala event at Kuala Lumpur International Airport attended by 600 guests. The KLIA awards honour the best performers among airlines, hotels, and hospitality providers trading with Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which itself is an award winner among world airports. more..

'India conveyed TN fear to Sri Lanka'

Feb 3 (SS) The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, said on Friday that India conveyed the concerns of the people of Tamil Nadu to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on the current situation in the island republic. This was stated by Singh in a letter to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M Karunanidhi. He also said that the Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee, during his recent visit to Sri Lanka, had conveyed the sentiments and concerns of the people of the state. more..

Nearly 300 arrested in Sri Lanka's capital for pageant

Feb 3 (Xinhua) Police has arrested at least 292 people in Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka, to ensure security ahead of the nation's independence day celebrations which was scheduled for Sunday. Most of the arrests throughout Friday night came from the central Colombo's Pettah and Dam Street areas, police said on Saturday. more..

Sri Lanka police find bomb in Colombo

Feb 3 (AFP) Sri Lankan police found a powerful bomb hidden in a taxi in capital Colombo -- a day ahead of independence day celebrations, police said. The bomb, weighing 2.5 kilos (5.5 pounds) was found in a three-wheeler taxi parked in a garage near the Khettarama Cricket Stadium, where troops who will be taking part in the parade are housed. "The discovery was made following a tip-off," police said on Saturday. more..

Yahoo Photos

Feb 3 (AP) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse lifts an ethnic Tamil boy during his visit to Vaharai about 230 Kilometers (144 miles) from Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday. more..

Sri Lanka's president visits Tamil area and urges talks

Feb 3 (AP) Sri Lanka's president visited areas on Saturday that were captured just weeks ago from Tamil Tiger separatists and immediately invited the guerrillas to talk peace again. "This is a big opportunity for the Tigers to return to the negotiating table," President Mahinda Rajapakse told reporters in Vaharai, a hamlet captured from rebels last month after three months of fighting. more..

President vows to tame Tamil Tigers

Feb 3 (Reuters) Surveying a newly captured eastern rebel stronghold, President Mahinda Rajapakse on Saturday vowed to tame the Tamil Tiger rebels and liberate civilians, but said the door remained open to resume peace talks. Visiting troops in this parched corner of northeast Sri Lanka -- where the ravages of weeks of artillery battles have blended with the destruction wrought by the 2004 tsunami -- Rajapakse called on the Tigers to lay down arms, an idea the rebels laugh off. more..

Sri Lanka offers talks from former Tiger town

Feb 3 (AFP) President Mahinda Rajapakse visited a former Tamil Tiger bastion and offered fresh peace talks to end decades of ethnic bloodshed. The president said he was ready to offer a political package to the LTTE to halt the separatist violence and asked the guerrillas to lay down weapons and return to talks. "They must begin surrendering weapons and come for talks," Rajapakse told AFP more..

Top five cricketers of 2006 - Kumar Sangakkara

Feb 4 (CN) As attractive a stroke-player as one could want to see, Sangakkara makes a mockery of the theory that One Day International (ODI) cricket makes batsmen into ugly sluggers. After 64 Test matches, Sangakkara’s batting average is 50.64. In his ODI career he scored around 75 runs per hundred balls and last year operated close to 80. more..

The tragic fate of TRO employees abducted by Karuna cadres

Feb 4 (TW) One year has passed since the abductions and resultant disappearances of seven Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) employees took place in Welikande . Five TRO persons travelling from Batticaloa to Kilinochchi were abducted on January 29th Three were released subsequently. On the following day (30th) another TRO vehicle going from B’caloa to Kilinochchi was hi-jacked at Welikande. more..

Forced recruitment on massive scale by Tigers in North

Feb 4 (TW) The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are currently engaged in a massive campaign of forced recruitment in the North. The current phase of forced recruitment began in June last year and was accelerated from October onwards. The past few weeks have seen the campaign being conducted on a massive scale. It is estimated that over 10,000 persons may have been conscripted in the last eight months. more..

Constitutional reform for the republic of Sri Lanka

Feb 4 (HM) Two cabinet ministers flanked Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse when he met visiting Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee in mid-January. One was Mukherjee’s counterpart Mangala Samaraweera. The other was Minister for Science and Technology Tissa Vitharana. The latter was present not in his ministerial capacity but in his new avatar as chairman of an all-party forum convened by Rajapakse to formulate proposals for constitutional reform. more..

Split in the UNP: Is it retribution?

Feb 4 (TW) I have always voted for the UNP since the time Ranil became its leader. I was shocked during the last Presidential Election when we were told that Ranil was the genius behind the causing of schism in the LTTE. Yet I voted for him since I had identified him as a trustworthy leader with a vision for Sri Lanka. more..

India’s responsibility towards those of Indian origin

Feb 4 (TW) Relations between India and Sri Lanka appear to be cordial, according to reports in the media and other sources, with the leadership of both countries being liberal in outlook. This being so, the problem referred to below can be solved, if approached in the correct perspective. A section of the Sri Lankan population is collectively referred to as of Indian origin, though they are Sri Lankan citizens at least on paper. more..

Dalai Lama consecrates Buddha's relics in Bodh Gaya

Feb 4 (IANS) Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama Saturday consecrated the Buddha's relics, which were shifted from Sri Lanka, to a newly built temple in Bihar's Bodh Gaya, the birthplace of Buddhism, a senior monk said. The Dalai Lama, along with dozens of monks, consecrated the relics amid chanting of Buddhist scriptures near Buddha's statue at Jaya Sri Mahabodhi Vihara - the new branch of the Mahabodhi Society of India, more..