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The Dilemma of the Tamil Tigers

Dec 27 (LG) On the aftermath of the capture of the entire JAFFNA peninsula in 1995 the battleplanners had drawn the blueprints to continue the series of operations into mainland Wanni with the main aim of extending the EPS defences up to KILINOCHCHI. With the intention of stalling these preparations the Tamil Tigers set about to dismantle the isolated MULLATIVU base on the 18th of July 1996 with Ceaseless Waves I. more..

'Hijab is allowed in schools'

Dec 27 (PSM) Minister of Education Susil Premajayantha refuted allegations that certain govt. schools have banned wearing of the headscarf by Muslim girls inside school premises. The Minister said that wearing the headscarf was permitted within school premises, and that education authorities are supportive of students maintaining their cultural and religious identities. more..

Six employment agencies suspended

Dec 27 (LP) Six employment agencies, which were found to have cheated over 200 janitorial employees in Kuwait of their wages, were temporarily suspended by The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). In addition, the Government decided to impose a temporary halt to send janitors to Kuwait pending a thorough investigation. These six agencies promised the workers a monthly salary of 60 Dinars, but the employers in Kuwait had only paid 40 Dinars. more..

National Chief Innovative Officers’ Conference

Dec 27 (LP) Presidential Secretary and UNESCAP chairman Lalith Weertunga said that having an innovative mind when going about the daily routine in public service can make a world of a difference in the lives of the people whom the government servant serves. He made this statement during his keynote address delivered recently when he participated as the chief guest at the National Chief Innovative Officers’ Conference more..

US $ 4 million apartment complex will be built in Nuwara Eliya

Dec 27 (BOI) The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka granted investment approval to construct a US $ 4 million apartment complex in Nuwara Eliya. Mr. Dhammika Perera, Chairman signed the agreement on behalf of the BOI and formally presented the BOI Certificate of Registration to the investor. Seagull Residencies (Private) Limited signed the agreement to construct an apartment complex in Nuwara Eliya. more..

Mount Lavinia Hotel ties up for a new venture in Training in Hospitality Management

Dec 27 (BOI) The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka granted investment approval to establish a Vocational and Technical Training Institute in Mount Lavinia. Mr. Dhammika Perera, Chairman signed the agreement on behalf of the BOI and formally presented the BOI Certificate of Registration to Mr. Sanath Ukwatte, Chairman, Mount Lavinia Hotel. Combine 200 years of experience with a desire to grow and evolve, the Mount Lavinia Hotel, more..

Parliamentary select committee proposed to look into the malpractices of Central Bank Governor

Dec 27 (LeN) UNP is to move for a parliamentary select committee to look into the corruption and malpractices of Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabral. Kurunegala district UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara says that the proposal will be tabled in January at the first meeting of the parliament in the new year. MP Jayasekara said that the Central Bank Governor Cabral was charged of having links with pyramid businesses prior to his appointment. more..

UNP to haul Cabinet to court

Dec 27 (SAMN) The UNP said Friday it was planning to file a contempt-of-court case against the Cabinet, the Finance Ministry, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC), and fuel stations for not complying with the Supreme Court ruling to reduce the price of petrol to Rs.100 a litre. UNP front-liner Ravi Karunanayake told a news conference that on the basis of the present global fuel prices, petrol should cost only Rs.24 a litre but more..

Report on police corruption ignored

Dec 27 (SAMN) A Norwegian-funded project proposal to discipline the Sri Lanka police is gathering dust. The study undertaken by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) under an agreement with the police a few ears ago is the only indepth analysis carried out by an INGO on the police. According to the TISL, the Norwegian Agency for Development Corporation funded the project to the tune of USD 78,879 during the previous UNP administration. more..

WWF commends crocodile disaster efforts

Dec 27 (SAMN) The World Wildlife Fund based in the Washington DC has commended Sri Lanka’s Disaster Prevention for Crocodiles and Communities. Annually nearly 10 persons have been killed by saltwater crocodile in the Nilwala River in Matara and dozens of people were attacked by crocodiles. Crocodiles were also responsible for causing economic hardship especially for low income families in the area. more..

Govt. to unveil solution soon: Vitarana

Dec 27 (SAMN) APRC Chairman Science and Technology Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana will next week meet the main opposition UNP to discuss the tentative final document of the APRC before submitting it to President Mahinda Rajapaksa ahead of the conclusion of humanitarian operations in the North, Prof. Vitharana said. “The 13 parties that participated in the three year deliberations have come to a consensus on almost all the matters discussed. more..

Farmers target self-sufficiency - Minister

Dec 27 (DN) Farmers have launched a cultivation drive to make the country self sufficient in food. That target would be achieved in 2010 when considering the progress of food production drive launched by the Government in mid 2007, Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. He was speaking at the Kurunegala District Progress Review of Api Wawamu - Rata Nagamu in Kuliyapitiya Town Hall, recently. more..

International playground for estate youth

Dec 27 (DN) Youth Empowerment and Socio Economic Development Minister and General Secretary of CWC Arumugan Thondaman has arranged to reconstruct the Hatton Norwood Saumyamoorthy Thondaman Play Ground as an international play ground to boost the upcountry masses' living conditions. The Minister made this decision to develop the standard of the young generation as there was no international playground in the plantation sector to improve the young talents to the national level. more..

Mineral sand mining to commence in Nilaweli, Mullaitivu

Dec 27 (Island) The coastal land area from Nilaveli to Mullaithivu is to be reserved exclusively for Lanka Mineral Sands Limited (LMSL), to explore and mine heavy beach mineral sands. Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said that land reservation for the project has been approved by the Cabinet on a proposal by Industrial Development Minister Kumara Welgama. LMSL will enter into a joint venture with Stork Handelsges of Austria to ensure more..

Retd. HC judge finds fault with govt’s strategy

Dec 27 (Island) K. Sarath Gunathilake (Retd) Judge of the High Court said that if the government was aggrieved by the Supreme Court order reducing the price of petrol, what it should have done was to first comply with the order, in deference to Court and thereafter complain, inviting and convincing the same Court to vacate or revise the order. He expressed the belief that after giving a fair hearing to the version of the government the Supreme Court would have allowed and fixed a date for further hearing. more..

Eelam war as seen by ‘Lieutenant’ Subramaniam Priya

Dec 27 (DM) “A decision was made. My life was altered. All because I am a Tamil; a Tamil living in Mulankanvil, Kilinochchi”. For 18-year-old Subramaniam Priya, life was a flowing stream of hopes and dreams until one fateful day in February early this year. Life was a challenge for this bright eyed teenager with war spreading its claws towards Mulankanvil in the Kilinochchi area. more..

The shattering of the myth of ‘Eelam capital’

Dec 27 (DM) This article written by late R.B. Etipola has been reproduced by his daughter Warna Beatrice Etipola Imbuldeniya and was originally carried in the Ceylon Observer. An article which appeared in a morning daily on the capture of the ‘Trimangala Kotuwa’ (Fort Trincomalee) in 1661 AD dated April 29, 1024, is in the possession of the writer. It has been written by Mohotty Mudaliyar of the Galle Atapattu, Mr. F.E. Gooneratne and more..

Muralitharan hastens Bangladesh collapse

Dec 27 (CI) Bangladesh lost this day more than Sri Lanka won it. Shakib Al Hasan's third five-for in as many innings bowled out Sri Lanka for an unconvincing 293 just before lunch but that was the only passage of play to boast about for the home side. Muttiah Muralitharan's 66th five-wicket haul - his 11th against Bangladesh - halted their plans, reducing them to 177 for 9 before bad light stopped play early on the second day at Mirpur. more..

'Do they know it's Christmas?'

Dec 27 (IPS) The eight rows of pews at St. Fatima’s church in Colombo were mostly empty despite the festive look from Christmas decorations. Beside the altar a young man with a receding hairline was setting up a slideshow on the plight of the tens of thousands displaced in war-torn northern Sri Lanka, run to the accompaniment of Bob Geldof and Midge Ure’s 1984 number, ‘Do they Know It’s Christmas?’. more..

'We strive to give best to our customers'

Dec 27 (F2F) Textile and apparel sector is considered to be one of the strongest pillars of Sri Lankan economy, earning huge foreign exchange for the country. Sri Lanka's apparel manufacturing sector is highly developed and has evolved as an export oriented industry for over two decades. Currently, around 800 companies produce a wide range of products including few branded names. Most of them cater to the international market. more..

Karunanidhi asks Centre to depute Pranab to Sri Lanka

Dec 27 (PTI) Upping the ante on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, DMK President and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Saturday made a "tearful appeal" to the Centre to immediately depute External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to Colombo to make efforts to ensure a ceasefire there. "We are ready to even sacrifice our lives for the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils. Every minute wasted by the Centre (in ensuring ceasefire) is a Tamil life lost. more..

Archbishop concerned over child deployment in conflict zones

Dec 27 (PTI) Decscribing as "horrenodus", the deployment of minors as soldiers in conflict zones like Sri Lanka, Africa and Congo, the worldwide head of the Anglican Church has said that the plight of children in war areas is a matter of concern. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams in his Christmas message to the Anglican Communion, has said "As we look around the world, there is plenty to prompt us to far more anger and protest about what happens to children than we often seem to feel or express." more..

Lankan jets target areas frequented by LTTE chief Prabhakaran

Dec 27 (ZN) Sri Lankan fighter jets on Saturday bombed two suspected hideouts of Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran near the embattled Kilinochichi as ground forces captured another strategic towns Mulliwalai in Mullaittivu district, officials said. Troops overran strategic Mulliwalai town after an intense 36 hours battle as part of its offensive to capture the last two remaining strongholds of the LTTE, Kilinochichi and Mullaittivu. more..

Central bank says ready intervene, re-assures public on regulated firms

Dec 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank says it is ready to intervene if there is a risk to a registered or licensed financial institution following reported depositor 'stress' at some regulated Ceylinco group companies. Golden Key Credit Card Company, an unregulated firm in the Ceylinco group failed to repay its customers. "This emerging situation naturally causes concerns within the financial system, since more..

Ceylinco group to exit Seylan Bank

Dec 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Ceylinco group will exit Seylan Bank, a licensed commercial bank, as part of a strategy to raise funds and repay depositors in a troubled group company, chairman Lalith Kotelawala said in a public statement. Golden Key Credit Card Company failed to repay customers who had placed funds in the firm as a deposit for a credit card. Kotelawala who met customers on Tuesday promised to repay them. more..

Govt facing contempt of court charge

Dec 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's main opposition UNP plans to file a contempt-of-court case against the government for its refusal to obey a Supreme Court order to reduce petrol prices, a media report said. The Daily Mirror newspaper said UNP wants to file a contempt-of-court case against the Cabinet, the Finance Ministry and state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) for not complying with the court ruling to reduce the price to 100 rupees a litre. more..

'Internal, external forces' creating political unrest in Sri Lanka

Dec 27 (IANS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has alleged that many 'internal and external elements' were bent on halting the ongoing military action against the Tamil Tiger rebels and 'have already begun to create political unrest' in the island nation. He, however, stopped short of naming those elements. 'President alleged there were many elements both internal and external working behind the scenes to more..

Devananda obsessed with "Mahindapuram" for housing scheme

Dec 28 (LD) At a cabinet meeting Social Services Minister Douglas Devananda has proposed to name the new housing scheme originally named the “300 Houses scheme” at Navatkuli on the outskirts of the Jaffna municipal council limits, as “Mahindapuram” but the proposal was rejected by the President himself. It is learnt by "Lankadissent" that one Minister there after had proposed the name "Douglaspuram" and another the name "Devanandapuram", more..

Judiciary has overstepped - Vasu

Dec 28 (LD) Presidential advisor Vasudeva Nanayakkara says the present dispute over the petrol price is the result of the judiciary having overstepped its limits. Mr. Nanayakkara, giving an interview to ‘Ravaya’ on the conflict between the executive and the judiciary, has said, “Within the state administration mechanism, the judiciary, the legislature and the judiciary have different powers. more..

Samba price ceiling

Dec 28 (LD) Rice prices are once again going up rapidly despite government-imposed ceilings for each variety of rice, 'Lanka Dissent' learns. The maximum price for samba rice is said to be Rs. 70 per kilo, although the market price ranges between Rs. 85 and Rs. 90. Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Bandula Gunawardena recently claimed the existence of price ceilings. more..

Sri Lankan Minister's convoy gheraoed, shown black flags

Dec 28 (PTI) The convoy of Sri Lankan Deputy Minister of Fisheries Neomal Perera was surrounded by various organisations and political parties at Karikal, one of the four regions of the union territory of Puducherry, protesting alleged attack on Tamils in the island nation. About 50 persons, including Ansari Babu, General Secretary of Karaikal Union Territory Struggle Group and members of Marumalrchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhakam, more..

The real war is over petrol?

Dec 28 (LB) Gosh, who would have guessed it? The real war in the country is the war over fuel. This has become a full blown turf war between the UNP and the government, though technically it is being fought as a war between the government and the Courts. UNP MPs Ravi Karunanayake in particular, says that the price of fuel is now Rs 29 per litre as per world market price. more..

Inland Revenue Dept. found napping!

Dec 28 (LB) In a telling indictment on audit officers of the Inland Revenue Department, it has been revealed that the officers audited a mere three per cent of the 260,000 total tax files registered with the department for the year. Ninety seven per cent of the files were found idling on their desks. The government is deprived of billions of rupees worth of tax revenue as a result of the slow work. more..

What happened to Mihin on December 15?

Dec 28 (LB) This whole business of Mihin Air is unspeakably bizarre. The unprofitable venture nosedived within 12 months of its launch. That clever devil Sajin de Vass Gunewardena took the entire cabinet for a ride, presumably on Mihin, and left behind three billion rupees in losses for Mahinda Rajapaksa to lap up. Now, the darned thing is getting a further six billion rupees at a time when more..

Arjuna to meet Rajapaksa

Dec 28 (TI) Arjuna Ranatunga, who was removed as the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chairman on Tuesday, is expected to have an audience with the country’s President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, either on Sunday or on Monday. Ranatunga, the straight-talking 1996 World Cup-winning captain and a Member of Parliament, wasn’t available for comment, but The Telegraph’s sources in Colombo confirmed that a one-on-one was “just hours away.” more..

'People are moving to safer areas'

Dec 28 (LB) LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran in an interview given exclusively to LAKBIMAnEWS via e mail, says "our strength is our people" when asked about recent setbacks. When asked about human shields and the Amnesty International allegation about the LTTE using human shields, he says "we totally reject the allegation" without elaborating. more..

Govt. adds fuel to the fire in the stomach

Dec 28 (SL) The consumers are back to square one, as far as petrol is concerned, with the LIOC and the CPC selling petrol at the same price following the decision of the former to jack up its petrol prices on Christmas eve. The LIOC decided to increase its prices by Rs. 22 last Wednesday. The cabinet will be meeting in January in order to look into a solution with regard to the CPC prices in light of the Supreme Court order. more..

The Presidential omissions

Dec 28 (SL) Among the powers of the Chief Executive of Sri Lanka is the significant powers vested in him or her to appoint presidential commissions of inquiry to have special investigations conducted on issues of importance. It is a practice resorted to by all presidents since the introduction of the present constitution, way back in 1978, and how this particular power had been exercised is a moot point, given that more..

Fowzie’s failed battle in Cabinet to avert collision with the Judiciary

Dec 28 (SL) Even as the battles in Wanni intensify with scores of combatants from the security forces and the LTTE killed in action, the stage was set for a rousing confrontation in the New Year between the Judiciary and the Executive following the government decision to defy a Supreme Court order on the reduction of fuel prices. For President Mahinda Rajapakse and his cabinet of ministers, a confrontation with the Judiciary may more..

War is marketed to garner votes-DM

Dec 28 (SL) Plantation Industries Minister D M Jayaratne says that he is the senior most politician in Sri Lankan politics at present but claims that his skills have not been made good use of. In a wide-ranging interview with our sister paper the Irudina,, Jayaratne acknowledged the return of Karu Jayasuriya to the UNP fold would strengthen the UNP and predicts more UNP members returning to the UNP closer to an election. more..

Govt. may reduce petrol price to Rs. 100 and then raise it to 117 Rupees

Dec 28 (TC) Moves are afoot within Government circles to reduce the price of petrol to Rupees hundred per litre as stipulated in the Supreme courts ruling and then raise the price again within weeks to rupees 117 per litre. According to reliably informed sources this idea has been mooted by several ministers after obtaining legal advice. This temporary price reduction is expected to help greatly in more..

Actress Sangeetha embarrasses President by holding hands in public

Dec 28 (TC) The hot topic buzzing in Colombo’s grapevine is all about how President Mahinda Rajapakse was visibly embarrassed by the antics of well – known Sri Lankan actress Sangeetha Weeraratne. The bold and beautiful actress defying decorum had in a vulgar exhibition aimed at demonstrating her affinity to the president held on to his hands for quite a long time for an unusually long time in an over – friendly manner. more..

Tigers constructing strong defenses around 300 sq. km zone in Eastern Wanni

Dec 28 (TC) The beleaguered LTTE organization is rapidly constructing and fortifying defences around a 300 square kilometre area in the Eastern Wanni region. This move of setting up a strong defensive ring around areas of strategic importance comes in the wake of decisive defeats suffered on Christmas and Boxing day when soldiers of 59 division seized the important villages of Mulliyawalai and Thaniyootru along the Mankulam – Mullaitheevu road known as A – 34 highway. more..

Hoteliers to request financial assistance from government

Dec 28 (SL) The tourism industry, which was once the fourth largest foreign exchange earner to the country, is currently facing a severe crisis and is to ask for financial assistance from the government for its survival, the Tourist Hotel Association of Sri Lanka (THASL) told The Sunday Leader. Since the industry has started to crumble following the present situation in the country followed by the global financial recession, more..

Five troops dead in Sri Lanka suicide blast: police

Dec 28 (AFP) A Tamil Tiger suicide bomber hit a military checkpoint just outside the Sri Lankan capital on Sunday, killing at least five paramilitary troops and wounding 15, police said. The bomber stormed into a detachment of the Civil Defence Force near a market in Wattala, a suburb of the capital Colombo, and carried out the attack, a police official at the scene said. "The suicide bomber managed to get through the first checkpoint and stage the bombing inside the CDF detachment," more..

Plantations: Facing up to falling prices

Dec 28 (LG) With the financial turmoil from November in the US, the price of all commodities including agricultural products such as tea, rubber, coconut etc began declining fast in the international market. The economy of Sri Lanka, whose gross national income depends to a great extent on the earnings from the export of tea, rubber, coconut and even minor export commodities such as cinnamon and pepper, has been affected badly from these price drops. more..

TMVP to be disarmed

Dec 28 (SAMN) The government is to disarm the feuding factions of the breakaway Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP). The move, informed sources said had been prompted by several reasons. Main among them is said to be the growing internecine rivalry between factions led by Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan and National List parliamentarian Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna. more..

Petrol price reduction the visible GONIBILLA

Dec 28 (LG) “Beware of invisible forces” said the headline of the Sunday Observer and it continued “the President pointed out that albeit the armed enemies have been well identified as lethal and should be wiped out by our gallant armed forces. But some unscrupulous elements may act in diverse and subtle ways. They could be even disguised in the garb of human rights activists. These parties too, should be recognised and dealt with accordingly. more..

Neo-Fascism and SL Muslims

Dec 28 (LG) Our Muslims have been perplexed by the antagonism shown towards them by the JHU, and more particularly by Minister Champika Ranawaka, which led to some demonstrations recently. The reason for the perplexity is that according to their perceptions - and certainly by international standards - their behaviour towards the Sinhalese majority has been exemplary. more..

Soosai, Tiger naval chief, “refusing to fight”

Dec 28 (LG) Cracks in the ranks of the Tamil Tigers are widening causing more problems to the Tigers on the run, according to information circulating in the Tamil Diaspora. The TNA MPs are most concerned about this new development coming at a time when the Tigers are on their last legs, according to inside information. Latest reports indicate that Soosai, the head of the Tiger navy, is refusing to send naval units under his command to fight. more..