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Ex-SLA soldiers urged to help solve disappeared cases

Aug 23 (TN) The North East Secretariat on Human Rights has appealed to ex-Sri Lankan military officials living overseas to come forward to help solve the cases of over 70 Tamil youths who were disappeared in the 1990s in Mandaithivu-Alappiddy-Mankumban areas, according to an interim report obtained by TamilNet's Kilinochchi correspondent. more..

Protesters in Colombo urge Indian Government to halt SSCP

Aug 23 (TN) The People's Movement Against the Sedusamudram Ship Canal Project staged a demonstration opposite the Indian High Commission in Colombo on Tuesday from noon till 1:00 p.m. The demostration was led by the movement's organiser Attorney-At-Law E. Thambiah with the participation over thousand protestors which he described as a gathering irrespective of ethnicity, religion and region. more..

Mass action against undemocratic extension of presidential term - Ranil

Aug 23 (TN) United National Party (UNP) leader and leader of the Sri Lanka's opposition, Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe, speaking at an election campaign held at Badulla Town Hall Monday warned against the moves to pressurize the election commissioner of Sri Lanka. more..

Tamil man arrested for filming Wickramasinghe's office

Aug 23 (TN) Security officials at Sri Lanka's Opposition Leaders Office in Colombo arrested a 47-year-old Tamil man Tuesday around 11:30 p.m. for filming Opposition Leader Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe's office located at Cambridge Place in Colombo, Police said. more..

Fifteen Tamil girls arrested in Mannar released

Aug 23 (TN) Fifteen Tamil girls arrested Monday early morning in a combined search operation conducted by the Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Army and Sri Lanka Police in a house which is located in the village of Thullukuddiruppu in Mannar district were released when they found innocent during interrogation. more..

US launches Indian Ocean tsunami warning system

Aug 23 (LBO) The US embassy announced the launch of a programme for a tsunami warning system for Indian Ocean countries, on Tuesday. The Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System (IOTWS) program is a two year, US$ 16.6 million project, that allows countries in the Indian Ocean region to detect and prepare for tsunamis and related coastal hazards. more..

Kadirgamar was a friend - Colin Powell

Aug 23 (PRIU) Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell in a message written in the Book of Condolence on the assassination of Sri Lanka’s late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar wrote, “I come to pay my respects to the memory of a great man and a great patriot of Sri Lanka, Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar, who was also my friend. more..

Electricity price increase in October

Aug 23 (LBO) The CEB has re-issued its gazette announcement to increase electricity charges and has postponed the price increase. The increase in electricity fixed charges, that was due in August, will hit consumers from October 1, under a new gazette notice already published. more..

Ceramic manufacturers feel the pinch of a clay mining ban

Aug 23 (LBO) Royal Ceramics says it is feeling the pinch of a state ban on mining for ball clay in disused paddy lands, making the raw material scarce and stifling industry. Few years ago the government stopped issuing licences for mining in unused paddy lands where most of the ball clay is, restricting it to lands elsewhere. more..

Devotees allowed access to “Udamaluwa”

Aug 23 (LT) Devotees have been given the opportunity to worship the Jaya Sri Maha Bodiya at “Udamaluwa” (The shrine). Before this only special people had the chance to worship Jaya Sri Maha Bodiya at “Udamaluwa” This time devotees have been allowed access to “Udamaluwa” for one week. more..

LTTE kills only those who work seriously against them, Tamilselvan

Aug 23 (AT) Quite unwittingly, S. P. Tamilselvan, Political Head of the LTTE, has let the cat out of the bag about those whom they target. The LTTE targets only those who work seriously against them, he implied in an interview given to a Tamil Website. more..

The new Foreign Minister – Anura Bandaranaike

Aug 23 (AT) More than ever before, the focus will be on Anura Bandaranaike. As the new Foreign Minister he steps into a pair of big boots. The right one was worn by his father, S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, whose vast and intimate knowledge foreign affairs helped him to steer the fledgling nation into the non-alignment movement with a passion to assert Sri Lanka’s independence. more..

Imported drugs pose threat

Aug 23 (TP) Far more dangerous incidents than the recent meningitis outbreak in a Colombo government hospital could occur due to weaknesses in the procurement of drugs and equipment, the Daily Mirror said. more..

JVP plans protest against LTTE

Aug 23 (TP) The People’s Liberation Front or JVP is planning a massive protest outside the capital’s main Fort railway station today (Tuesday) opposing the LTTE, the assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and other killings. more..

UN rights chief to visit next month

Aug 23 (TP) Ian Martin, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, is visiting Sri Lanka next month. Martin’s assistance to review the human rights situation in Sri Lanka has been sought by Sri Lankan peace facilitator Norway, newspapers said. more..

'Sharjah Slasher' found guilty

Aug 23 (KT) Jude Pereira, the 28-year-old Sri Lankan nicknamed the "Sharjah Slasher" after he went on a stabbing spree assaulting four women between February 12 and 17, was sentenced by the Sharjah Shariah Court to two-year imprisonment besides a fine of Dh2,000 yesterday, a little over five months after he was arrested. more..

Why Kumaratunga has disowned her ‘authorised’ biography?

Aug 23 (KT) S B Dissanayake, a one-time confidant of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, used to boast that he could read her like a book. It is said that the president and Dissanayake were so close that she even asked him to check whether her sari’s hem was perfect from behind. more..

FM ‘relaxed security’ after LTTE assurances

Aug 23 (GT) Investigations into the assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar have revealed that the minister had relaxed his security measures after an assurance given to him by a millionaire businessman who had close connections with the LTTE. The businessman was a close friend of the minister, who trusted him and believed in his assurance, they said. more..

President to seek hike in Chinese aid

Aug 23 (GT) CHINA is to give its highest aid package ever to Sri Lanka during the forthcoming State visit of President Chandrika Kumaratunga to that country, Finance Ministry sources said. Finance Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama will also be in her delegation. more..

Tsunami-damaged hotel owners await funds, approval to rebuild

Aug 23 (ANN) A number of tourists’ hotels and the guest houses which are situated along the southern coastal belt were affected by the tsunami and now closed for business. Some leading companies opened their hotels and guest houses three months after the Boxing Day. more..

Sri Lanka wary of Bangladesh

Aug 23 (CI) Sri Lanka have said that they will field a full-strength team for the home series against Bangladesh, which comprises of two Tests and three one-day internationals in August and September. "We can't take any chances against Bangladesh because we don't know their strength," said Lalith Kaluperuma, the chairman of selectors. more..

Sri Lanka to build tourism zones to boost industry

Aug 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka Tourism Ministry will set up 45 tourism zones throughout the country to boost local tourism, the Daily News reported in Colombo Tuesday. These tourism "hot spots" have been identified through an island-wide survey conducted by the Ministry of Tourism, Tourism Ministry Secretary Ramanujam was quoted by the newspaper as saying. more..

Wide support for presidential candidate - Sri Lanka ruling party

Aug 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's ruling party claimed Tuesday that its presidential candidate the incumbent Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse has achieved support from a wide range of political parties and expected more support from several groups. @@ more..

North and East issues: Civil society hamstrung by fear psychosis

Aug 23 (PIS) The brutal killing of the Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgama has not only shocked the nation but has also showed the fragile and, to some extent, the incongruity of a ceasefire agreement which appears to be more of a device that can be circumvented wih ease, to give immunity to such acts, due to the weakness of its application. more..

Child abducted by LTTE at Chelvanayakapuram

Aug 23 (PIS) A 17-year-old male student who attended an all-night religious ceremony at the Pillayar temple at Chelvanayakapuram situated close to Trincomalee town has been kidnapped by the LTTE, Police said. On Thursday night the youth was seen among the gathering of devotees and around 7.30 three men clad in civilian attire and armed with pistols have taken the boy having threatened him. more..

LTTE hijacks vehicle

Aug 23 (PIS) A vehicle belonging to the North East Provincial Ministry of Rehabilitation and Reconstruction has been forcibly taken away by three armed LTTE cadres, police sources disclosed. On the day of the incident the vehicle has returned from Mannar and having dropped two officials at the Provincial Guest House at Uppuveli and another employee at his house. more..

Balasingham for talks as Tigers fall from international grace

Aug 23 (PIS) Just over a week ago Sri Lanka appeared to be heading towards a war inexorably driven on by a rash of deliberate killings. The assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar seemed to make all the other pieces on the chessboard of ceasefire violations fall into place. more..

President to seek UNP’s active support in peace

Aug 23 (PIS) Opposition UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday the government should make known its unambiguous stand on the peace process and take the initiative in reviving it without further delay before getting the Opposition involved. more..

Tigers accused of attacking Sri Lanka military road blocks

Aug 23 (Xinhua) Two military road check points in eastern Sri Lanka have come under alleged Tamil Tiger attacks, defense officials said Tuesday. At Manangamuva in the Batticaloa district, the post came under attack at around 8:45 p.m. (1445 GMT) Monday and in the neighboring Trincomalee district, the military road check point at Aliswatta came under a similar attack at 7:30 p.m. (1330 GMT) more..

Incentive to reduce power usage

Aug 23 (SAMN) With donors yet to give the green light for the twice amended Cabinet paper on restructuring the Ceylon Electricity Board, the government is to offer a carrot to industrialists to cut consumption. Power and Energy Minister Susil Premajayantha said yesterday the government was looking at the option of offering a discount for bulk users who reduced their daily consumption by 10%. more..

Govt. against water hike

Aug 23 (SAMN) The National Water Supply and Drainage Board did not implement a proposal to increase their recommendation to increase the rates of small quantity water users, who are the bulk of Board's consumers, as the government believed that such a move would only be counter productive, the Board's General Manager M. Wickremage said yesterday. more..

Nothing less than US $ 250 per month for maids

Aug 23 (LNP) House maids are the cheapest export commodity in the world and the government has decided not to permit females going abroad for employment as house maids for anything less than US $ 250 a month, Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment Athauda Seneviratne said yesterday. more..

Father stabs children and wife, sets himself on fire

Aug 23 (LNP) A five-year-old girl was killed while three others were critically injured in a shocking tale of horror where a father had allegedly stabbed his three children and the wife and had set himself on fire over a family dispute in Avissawella on Sunday night. more..

Galle town reconstruction to be expedited

Aug 23 (DN) The reconstruction work of tsunami ravaged Galle town is to be expedited, said Presidential Advisor Kusumsiri Balapatabendi. The necessary financial provisions have been allocated by the President towards this end. more..

Asia failing to properly repair tsunami-hit coasts: experts

Aug 23 (AFP) Asian governments are failing properly to restore coastal mangrove forests damaged in the tsunami, which saved lives and homes by absorbing the force of the waves, experts said Tuesday. more..

A blow to peace in Sri Lanka

Aug 23 (JT) The recent assassination of Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar, foreign minister of Sri Lanka, is a blow to the fragile peace process in that country. Hard fought negotiations have yielded a tenuous ceasefire, yet a peace agreement remains beyond reach. Antagonism between ethnic groups has been matched by equally powerful divisions within those ethnic groups. more..

Sri Lanka Telecom ready to expand

Aug 23 (IHT) Sri Lanka Telecom, the biggest fixed-line telephone operator in the country, said Tuesday that it would install wireless service in former rebel-held areas in the northeast as a cease-fire continues into its fourth year. more..

LTTE preparing to get Douglas Devananda – their next target

Aug 23 (AT) Intelligence sources reveal that the Tamil Tiger outfit has dispatched two women suicide bombers to Colombo either to hug or kiss Douglas Devananda in Rajiv Gandhi style operation. After getting Lakshman Kadirgamar LTTE will now concentrate on Douglas Devananda who has been high on their hit list, according to these sources. more..

Bitter dispute over timing of Sri Lankan presidential election

Aug 23 (WSWS) In a hearing that began yesterday, a five-judge bench of Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court is due to deliver a key decision this week on the timing of the next presidential election. more..

Forget peace talks, punish rebels: Sri Lanka Marxists

Aug 23 (Reuters) Over 2,500 hardline Marxists marched in the Sri Lankan capital on Tuesday calling on the government to ditch planned peace talks with Tamil Tigers rebels and to punish them instead for a rash of killings blamed on them. more..

Yahoo Photo

Aug 23 (Reuters) Supporters of People's Liberation Front (JVP) hold onto a man whom they suspect to be a Tamil rebel (C) during a protest rally in Colombo August 23, 2005. The unidentified man was later dragged away by police for questioning after the crowd claimed he was a Tiger spy. more..

Sri Lanka orders Christians to stop worship as Anti-Conversion laws are prepared

Aug 24 (CT) The Head Quarters Inspector of Horana Police, Kalutara district in Sri Lanka, has issued a verbal order on 7 August for Christians to stop worshipping at a church. For two consecutive Sundays, a mob has threatened churchgoers, which reveals the increasing pressure against the Christian minority in Sri Lanka. more..

Tamil journalist in Colombo assaulted by JVP, arrested under ER

Aug 24 (TN) Mr.Yathurshan Premachchandran, a photojournalist of Colombo Tamil daily "Sudar Oli" was handed over to the Fort Police in Colombo after being assaulted by a group of JVP activists Tuesday afternoon around 4:00 p.m. The journalist was assisting his senior journalist in covering a JVP demonstration held in front of Fort Railway Station. more..

Two fishermen reported missing in northern sea

Aug 24 (TN) Mr. Michaelpillai Regian and Mr.Sathyaseelan, two fishermen of Manatkadu in Vadamaradchchi division in Jaffna district are reported missing since August 21 after they went for fishing in their boat in the northern sea. more..

LTTE releases 21 underage youths to parents

Aug 24 (TN) NorthEast Secretariat On Human Rights (NESOHR) released twenty-one youths of ages between 15-17 years to their parents 3 months after joining the Liberation Tigers, Tuesday at their offices located at Karadippoku junction 2km north of Kilinochchi town along A9 highway, officials of NESOHR said. more..

Colombo court releases Tamil journalist

Aug 24 (TN) Mr.Sarath Karunaratne, Fort Magistrate Wednesday afternoon allowed an application by the Fort Police to arrest those who had assaulted Mr.Yathurshan Premachchandran, a trainee journalist of Colombo Tamil daily Sudar Oli when he was engaged in covering the demonstration held by the JVP Tuesday afternoon in front of the Colombo Fort Railway Station, more..

Colombo security jeopardized

Aug 24 (LT) The army chief has decided to remove General Wajira Wijegunawardana who had been assign for the security of the Colombo city within Ten days. General Wajira Wijegunawardana prepared a national plan concerning the national security and has briefed the details of this plan to the Army chief and other high ranking officers. more..

Forces band keeping touch with anti LTTE groups

Aug 24 (LT) Army Intelligence director Risvi Saki has ordered all intelligence officers in the forcers to suspend all contacts with anti LTTE groups. In compliance with this order all intelligence officers have halted their contacts with anti LTTE groups such as EPDP, EPRLF, Karuna faction and PLOTE. more..

19 cases of child conscription within a week

Aug 24 (LT) Despite the Wanni Tigers denials of using child soldiers conscription of young children have been increased after the Tsunami tragedy, police reports reveal. Reportedly the number of post tsunami conscription cases has climbed to 300 and out of them fever cases have been complaint to the SLMM fearing that Tigers might come to revenge. more..

Government on ID card campaign

Aug 24 (LBO) Sri Lankan government on fast track campaign to issue over one million identity cards before November 17. "We will allocate the month of September as the national identity card month," said Tilak Ranaviraja, secretary, Ministry of Public Security, Law and Order. more..