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Commercial Bank seeks legal advice over derivatives

Dec 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's public listed Commercial Bank of Ceylon says it has sought legal advice over a derivative deal with state-run People's Bank which was sold to a state petroleum distributor. Sri Lanka's Supreme Court has halted payments to banks which provided a complex derivative to state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation after it suffered hundreds of millions of dollars in derivative losses when oil prices collapsed. more..

Navy's crucial innovation hailed a success!

Dec 11 (DW) The modern Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) recently celebrated its 58th Anniversary. We at DefenceWire would like to take this opportunity to discuss in detail a crucial innovation in the SLN, which may lead to successful maritime security operations around Sri Lanka in years to come. The Innovation is the RABS or Rapid Action Boat Squadron. The beginnings of the RABS can be traced back to 2003 when a brief respite from daily operations came and more..

Is Lt.Gen Sarath Fonseka nurturing a political ambition after retirement?

Dec 11 (TC) On Sunday December 7, the security forces were within "kissing distance" of the outer defence lines Kilinochchi, announced the defence spokesman. On Monday, December 8, it became "Troops in Kilinochchi are targeting the town and they are in the vicinity of the town." However, by December 9 it seems the security forces' strategic focus had shifted from Kilinochchi to Mullaitivu according to the defence ministry. more..

How Mahinda forced Karu Jayasuriya to return to the U.N.P.

Dec 11 (TC) Colombo political grapevine is buzzing busily about the return of “gentleman” Karu Jayasuriya’s return from his newly acquired “mistress” the Rajapakse regime back to his one and only “true love” the UNP. Karu Jayasuriya had become more and more frustrated by his inability to work within the tight framework of the war agenda of the Rajapakse government. Humiliated in public by officials of the Rajapakse administration and more..

Former HR activists 'rights violaters' - CID

Dec 11 (BBC) The families and relatives of disappeared persons on Wednesday held a protest to urge President Mahinda Rajapakse to disclose the fate of their loved ones whose whereabouts are still unknown. The protest was organised by the Committee for investigation of the disappeared (CID) in commemorating the International Human Rights Day. Director, Committee for investigation of the disappeared CID, Gunasena Wijesinghe recalling the past said that current rulers in the country once appeared for the disappeared persons. more..

Four Sri Lankan housemaids stranded in Gaza

Dec 11 (AT) Four Sri Lankan housemaids are stranded in Gaza as they are unable to leave due to closure of exit points by Israel and Egypt. They along with their employers are facing immense difficulties due to shortages of food, medicine and fuel. In view of this situation they want to get back to Sri Lanka. These housemaids had been working in Gaza for the last seven or eight years and they do not have proper work permits as the Palestinian National Authority has no power to extend visas or give work permits. more..

Foreign Minister highlights threat of terrorism to democracy

Dec 11 (AT) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogallagama has highlighted the potent and ominous challenge that many democracies face today, emanating from the threat of terrorism. He pointed out that in Sri Lanka, the seeds of its present day vibrant multi-party democracy were sown long before its independence from the British in 1948. He said "Sri Lanka’s deeply rooted democratic tradition can be traced to the granting of universal adult franchise in 1931, just 14 years after the people in the United States were granted this right." more..

'Pressure LTTE to free citizens caught in war zone'

Dec 11 (Hindu) Making a strong plea to the people and leaders of Tamil Nadu to pressure the LTTE to free innocent people caught in the war zone, TULF leader V. Anandasangaree says the war between the Sri Lankan forces and the LTTE is in its final stages and the trapped citizens are desperate to escape the clutches of the outfit. In an open letter, he claims: “The war that started about 200 miles away from Pottuvil in the Eastern Province has now reached a point from where more..

Japan funds to improve livelihoods in the Mannar District

Dec 11 (RW) The Government of Japan has provided US$ 88,020 to improve livelihoods of conflict affected communities in the Mannar District. The the fund will be utilized to repair a total of 4.8 km length of three roads in Sinna Karaisal, Hijra Nagar and Olai Thoduwai villages in the Mannar DS, a total of 1.6 km length of three roads and 3 km length of irrigation channels in Puthuvely, Alawaki, Malitan and Rasoolputnuveli villages more..

Rain saves Moors SC from embarrassment

Dec 11 (CI) Rain once again disrupted all five of the Tier A games; however, two clubs from Tier B - Saracens Sports Club and Police Sports Club - managed to score easy wins during the fourth weekend of the Premier League Tournament matches. The most exciting cricket, though, was on the first day at Maitland Place. Moors Sports Club were skittled out for 36 after being put in by Nondescripts Cricket Club. more..

Europol seminar addresses countering LTTE

Dec 11 (UPI) The EU police organization, Europol, concluded a seminar Wednesday addressing the subject of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam terrorist group. The two-day seminar brought together representatives from the EU along with six other countries, including the United States, to discuss the illicit activities of LTTE and ways to strengthen cooperation on combating the terrorist group based in Sri Lanka, Europol reported. more..

UN transports another food shipment to North

Dec 11 (UN) The United Nations has shipped another convoy of emergency food supplies to the Vanni region of northern Sri Lanka, as part of its ongoing humanitarian aid effort assisting thousands of people forced from their homes by violent conflict. The World Food Programme (WFP) has dispatched a total of 4,120 tons food to an estimated 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the war-torn Vanni region, more..

Family reunion

Dec 11 (LG) On November 21, the DMK's mouthpiece Murasoli carried a stinging note from Chief Minister and party supremo M. Karunanidhi explaining how his close relatives, the Marans, had backstabbed him. But on December 1, there was a dramatic turnabout. The Maran brothers-media baron Kalanidhi Maran and former Union minister Dayanidhi Maran-called on Karunanidhi for a sentimental reunion. more..

Internal Democracy in Eastern Province

Dec 11 (LG) We of the Coalition are deeply concerned about the escalating incidence of violence in the east. While the government is one on the one hand announcing in a hollow triumphant call the end to conflict and strife, it is fanning and actively engaging in whipping up ethnic animosities in the region. The eastern region with its strong multi cultural traditions of co-existence has undergone a long period of savage ethnic hostilities, in which no community has been spared. more..

‘Danduwam’ creates record by defrauding Rs.6000 million

Dec 11 (LT) 10600 complaints have been received against Piyadasa Ratnayake alias ‘Danduwam Mudalali’ and according to those complaints the amount he has defrauded exceeds Rs.6000 million states CID. According to the police this is the largest amount defrauded by a single person in Sri Lanka. A center has been opened at Hathagala Pirivena Temple to write down complains from tehpublic against ‘Danduwam’ and more..

Agitation against selling mineral resources

Dec 11 (LT) An agitation against the government’s decision to sell the mineral deposit at Pulmoddai and Mineral Sands Corporation to a multinational company will be held by People’s Movement for the Protection of Mineral Resources (PMPMR) opposite Fort Railway Station today (11th) at 5.00 p.m. Representatives from several other organizations too are expected to join the agitation organized by PMPMR. more..

Indonesian President calls for united stand against terrorism

Dec 11 (GDI) Indonesian President, Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called for a united stand in the fight against terrorism. The Indonesian leader made this remark when the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Rohitha Bogollagama, who is leading the Sri Lankan delegation to the Bali Democracy Forum in Nusa Dua, Bali met with him yesterday (10). more..

Serious political disagreement between Karu and son-in-law Navin

Dec 11 (TC) Serious disagreement has erupted between UNP deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya and his son in law Navin Dissanayake over the question of dissident UNP parliamentarians leaving the government and returning to the grand old party. It is reliably learnt that both Karu Jayasuriya’s daughter and her husband Navin were strongly opposed to his decision of returning to the UNP. more..

Sanasa Development Bank at work in the East

Dec 11 (PISL) There are many development projects running in the Eastern Province but none as unique as the work101208 done by the SANASA Development Bank Ltd. (SDBL). It is a bank of cooperative microfinance. Its unique approach to development and high success rate made us investigate further into the Bank’s activities so that other organisations too could get some tips on implementing development work. more..

Mihin Lanka to fly again from Dec 21st

Dec 11 (LNP) Sri Lanka s budget airline, Mihin Lanka is to resume flights from December 21, an airline official said. The airline will lease an aircraft from France to re-launch these operations, which will fly daily to Dubai, Trichy and Trivandram with the resumption of the flight. The airline is now in the process of evaluating tenders to seal the best option to wet lease the aircraft. more..

JNP accuses Karu Jayasuriya of crossing over to nurture terrorism

Dec 11 (LNP) The Jathika Nidahas Peramuna (JNP) has queried whether Karu Jayasuriya who joined the Government with the intention of vanquishing terrorism, had rejoined the UNP to nurture terrorism. Its President, Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa said they will leave no room for conspiracies to realise at a time when the process of defeating terrorism has entered the final phase. more..

Summary of Cabinet decisions

Dec 11 (GDI) Cabinet approved a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Sports and Public Recreation, Gamini Lokuge, to set up a Trust Fund to which income earned by Sri Lanka Cricket will be credited and to draft a Bill in this regard for approval of Parliament. It is expected that this mechanism will be employed to ensure proper procedure in spending money earned by Sri Lanka Cricket. more..

Fishing restrictions relaxed further

Dec 11 (GDI) The Commander of the security forces in Jaffna, Major General G.A. Chandrasiri told that restrictions on fisheries activities in the area north of Pooneryn have been further relaxed as normalcy returns to the region following key military successes against the LTTE. Accordingly, fisheries activities will now be permitted from 7.00 am to 5.00 pm. The Commander also pointed out that figherfolk now earn an average of Rs. 20,000 a day, more..

Industrial and Educational Fair in Jaffna

Dec 11 (GDI) The security forces have organized a special industrial and educational fair in Jaffna targetting the youth in the peninsula to create awareness of employment and educational opportunities available to them. The security forces have arranged a special visit to Jaffna for the main sponsors to enable them to acquaint themselves with the conditions in the peninsula. The Mobitel, the main sponsor of the event, has come forward with a Rs. 3.2 million sponsorship. more..

WFP Director apologizes for 'Somalia comparison'

Dec 11 (GDI) World Food Program (WFP) country director for Sri Lanka , Mr. Adnan Khan apologized to the Sri Lankan government over a story filed by the BBC Sinhala service quoting a WFP official, John Cambell, who said IDPs in Sri Lanka live in conditions similar to those in Somalia. Mr. Khan meeting with Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa today at the Defence Ministry treated with disdain this diabolical lie more..

Gas, milk prices to be reduced further

Dec 11 (GDI) The Government has decided to reduce the prices of milk powder and gas in December as a relief measure to consumers, The Minister of Trade, Marketing Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs Bandula Gunawardena said. Accordingly, the prices of a 400g pack of milk powder will be reduced by between Rs. 10 to Rs. 15 with effect from December 15 and the price of a 12.5kg cylinder of domestic gas with effect from December 31. more..

Maliban imports Melamine-testing machine

Dec 11 (GDI) A melamine testing machine to determine the percentage of melamine in milk foods has been imported to Sri Lanka by the Maliban group of companies. This machine was commissioned at a ceremony held on December 8 under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa with the aim of protecting the health of consumers in the island. The Maliban group of companies have imported two melamine testing machines with a value of 1 42 million rupees. more..

War effort diluted with holding of polls

Dec 11 (SAMN) The JVP charged Wednesday that the Government was going to undermine the war effort by conducting Provincial Council polls prematurely, for it would surely divert the strength of the security forces and the Police to ensure an election victory. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said the Government could not hide its corruption, inefficiency, mismanagement and the economic failures under war hype. more..

Anti corruption cartoon competition

Dec 11 (LP) The winners of the “Anti Corruption Cartoon Competition 2008” conducted by the Transparency International Sri Lanka received their awards at BMICH on 09th December. The Competition was conducted with the object of building coalition of influence and critical awareness on anti-corruption through informed advocacy. The competition received 1001 entries and the winning entries were selected by an independent panel of judges. more..

UNP for broad alliance to rebuild nation

Dec 11 (SAMN) Following the return of the UNP dissident group leader Karu Jayasuriya back to the fold, the party is gearing up to have talks with a number of parties in January to form a broad alliance. UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told a press conference at the party headquarters Sirikotha yesterday that this alliance would be formed to combat the repercussions of the present global economic downturn and rebuild the nation. more..

Dubious honorary awards to be stopped

Dec 11 (SAMN) Cabinet decided Wednesday to ban the awarding of honorary doctorates and titles such as Desha Bandu by dubious organizations, as recommended by the Cabinet Sub Committee appointed to look into the matter. This sub committee was headed by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake. Its report was handed over to the President Wednesday. According to its recommendations, only recognised universities will be allowed to award honorary degrees in future. more..

CMC technical officer caught boozing

Dec 11 (SAMN) Bribery Commission officials raided the office of the Colombo Municipal Council Project Division yesterday afternoon, over allegations of corruption and found a technical officer and several other persons consuming liquor inside the office while on duty. Daily Mirror learns that the investigating group from the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption had raided the Project Division office following several complaints. more..

Conflicting news on damages from Kilinochchi

Dec 11 (LD) "Troops operating in general area South of Adampan in Kilinochchi, have also taken three separate sniper targets yesterday afternoon. According to the Wanni military sources, a terror bunker overhead was also destroyed by troops of the 57 Division at Adampan, around 7a.m." reports the official Defence Ministry website, on Wednesday (Dec 10). more..

Our support to Govt necessary - UNP(D) Group

Dec 11 (DN) The progress made so far by the Government in defeating terrorism, finding a viable solution to the national question and ushering economic prosperity to the country is there for every body to see, and our continued presence is necessary to strengthen the Government hand in guiding the country towards these noble goals the UNP(D) Group told media yesterday. more..

'Government won't sell fertile farmland'

Dec 11 (DN) Although large scale investments are needed to uplift the national economy the Government is not prepared to sell fertile farmland to foreigners or businessmen in the guise of starting plantations, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The President said so at a special meeting held at Temple Trees on Monday to discuss the possibility of reviving the Kantalai Sugar Factory which had remained closed for the past several years. more..

Karu denies he betrayed UNP by joining govt

Dec 11 (Island) Former Public Administration Minister Karu Jayasuriya, who rejoined the UNP yesterday, claimed that he had not betrayed the party, by joining the government along with 17 others in January 2007. Asked about allegations by his critics that by leaving the UNP he had let down the party and the voters who had placed their faith in him, Jayasuriya said "that is a matter of opinon. The reason I left was because our demand for democratic reforms was not implemented." more..

'They’re no jokers but criminal confederates'

Dec 11 (Island) MDMK leader M. Vaiko at a rally on April 3, 2000 opposite the Palais des Nations in Geneva, referring to Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who had escaped an assassin's attack by the LTTE in December 1999. Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka has stirred up a hornets' nest again. For him, making controversial statements seems have become a habit. He drew a great deal of flak––quite deservedly––a few weeks ago over more..

'India can't force us a truce'

Dec 11 (LD) India cannot force us to go for a ceasefire after having suffered at the hands of terrorists recently, Minister of Environment, Patali Champika Ranawaka said. Giving an interview to 'Lakbima' newspaper today (Dec. 11th), he said that if New Delhi still insisted Colombo with a truce, they should first declare one with Deccan Mujahideen (responsible for the Mumbai attacks). more..

UN top post for Deepika Udagama

Dec 11 (DM) The Secretary General of the UN has recently appointed Dr. Deepika Udagama, of the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo, as a member of the Board of Trustees of the UN Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights. The five trustees on the Board of the Voluntary Fund, who act as a think tank guiding the activities of the Fund, have been appointed as independent experts from the various geographic regions. more..

A mere reference to the President is not prohibited: Ranil

Dec 11 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in a note of explanation to Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara with regard to the no-confidence motion against the government had informed him that a mere reference to the President with no reference to the “conduct” of the President is not prohibited by the parliament standing orders. The government earlier raised a point of order in Parliament that more..

Protests in Chennai over Lanka general's 'political jokers' remark

Dec 11 (PTI) Earlier in the news for his controversial "Sri Lanka is for Sinhalese" comments that drew flak from political parties in Tamil Nadu, Sri Lankan Army General Sarath Fonseka has again come in for severe criticism following his "political jokers" statement against some state politicians. After Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Fonseka has come under fire from many a political party "struggling for the Sri Lankan Tamils' cause" more..

Sri Lanka listed for GSP+ extension subject to probe outcome

Dec 11 (LBO) The European Commission has listed Sri Lanka among countries to which it is extending from next year the GSP Plus duty free trade deal but subject to the eventual outcome of an eligibility probe. Trade experts said the listing, which had earlier been expected only by December 15, means Sri Lankan exporters will continue to enjoy duty free access to European Union markets under GSP Plus till next October. more..

Web site: Tamil rebels kill 89 Sri Lankan soldiers

Dec 11 (AP) Separatist Tamil rebels fought intense battles against government forces trying to advance on the militants' de facto capital in northern Sri Lanka, killing at least 89 soldiers, a rebel-affiliated Web site said Thursday. The military disputed the death toll, saying that pitched battles in the north over the past two days had left 20 soldiers and 27 rebels dead. more..

Recognise Eelam, PMK, VCK tell Centre

Dec 11 (Hindu) Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S. Ramadoss and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi president Thol. Thirumavalavan on Wednesday urged the Union government to change its foreign policy on Sri Lanka. The government should recognise the establishment of Tamil Eelam, which alone would be the durable solution to the ethnic question, the leaders argued. They were addressing a meeting organised here by Tamizh Padaippaligal Periyakkam (Movement of Tamil Creative Artists). more..

The man of the moment

Dec 11 (BT) Politicians decide to wage battle, soldiers do the fighting. It takes skill, courage, determination and absolute conviction that victory is possible to fight an enemy. In this case, the enemy, the LTTE, was made out to be battle-hardened, resourceful and even invincible. A man who had fought in the trenches, led his troops from the front and was himself targeted by a suicide bomber, he thought otherwise. more..

Sri Lanka disputes rebel claim of killing 89 troops

Dec 11 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels on Thursday said they had killed 89 troops in two battles around their headquarters town but the military said 20 soldiers and 27 insurgents died in the clashes. The battles occurred on Wednesday to the south and southwest of the LTTE self-proclaimed capital, Kilinochchi, the pro-rebel web site said, quoting LTTE officials. more..

Govt, WFP launches ‘Fill the Cup' campaign

Dec 12 (RW) The Government joined hands with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Sri Lanka yesterday (10) to launch the "Fill the Cup" campaign aiming to literally fill a cup with food for 350,000 schoolchildren. The Government through the Minister of Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development is implementing this campaign to boost the nutrition and health of the schoolchildren. more..

Hung out to dry

Dec 12 (SP) The army is now advancing from three directions. Up from the south, along the east coast and. Down along the Jaffna Peninsula. And up from the south, in the center of the island, along the A9 highway, towards the rebel headquarters of Kilinochchi. In the last week, troops advancing up the A9 have captured two towns; Puliyankulam and Kanakarayankulam and much of the highway. The LTTE is putting a more effective resistance in front of their headquarters town of Kilinochchi, more..

Sea route tactics of Mumbai attackers similar to LTTE: Sri Lanka

Dec 12 (PTI) Sri Lanka has told an international gathering that the Mumbai attackers followed the pattern used by the LTTE of using sea routes to launch terror attacks. Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, also underscored the need for the world community to beef up maritime security, given that these attacks were committed by terrorists getting in from the Arabian Sea aboard a hijacked vessel. more..

India digging her own grave - A letter from Mumbai

Dec 12 (MN) As a responsible democratically elected leader, the Prime Minister of over one-billion of people in India, Dr Manmohan Singh should categorically reject, without any reservations or conditions, the racist demands made by some of the pro-LTTE politicians in Tamil Nadu. The pro-LTTE politicians in Tamil Nadu, "Political Jokers" or "Political Criminals", who seem to be in the LTTE pay-roll, demand that India should interfere and more..