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Margin traders in Colombo begin to feel the pinch after two weeks of steady falls

Aug 17 (LBO) Colombo shares closed lower Thursday as renewed fighting in the north shunted buyers on to the sidelines and punters on margin were feeling the pressure to sell. The Colombo all share stock index fell 20 points to 2,131 points or just under one percent, on a thin turnover of 145 million rupees more..

Sri Lankan plans fuel surcharge in Aug; trims costs onboard its planes

Aug 17 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines said Wednesday that it would raise fares by end August for the third time this year, to cope with soaring fuel prices, even as it trims costs onboard its aircraft. “Fuel prices are on an upward trend and we will have to pass it on, there is no other option at the moment,” more..

JVP with Government to fight separatism

Aug 17 (ISL) The JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe said that his party was still the first and only friend of the government. This friendship was mainly formed to combat terrorism and separatism of the LTTE. He said JVP would be with the Government to protect the sovereignty of the country. more..

Talks with the LTTE would be an insult to the Tamils and Muslims

Aug 17 (ISL) The sentiments expressed by Canada’s Foreign Minister Peter Mackay that the country believes there can be no military solution to the lengthy conflict in Sri Lanka will have its credibility only in the circumstance when a peaceful resolution is possible. The good minister has called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and a return to negotiations. more..


Aug 17 (DGI) The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by H.E. the President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the high-density multi-storey housing for tsunami affected people in Trincomalee. Some of the State lands identified for re-location housing in Trincomalee District are in the city limits. more..

The LTTE's war trap

Aug 17 (Hindu) Learning from history is a phrase that is much used but little practised. The main lesson Sri Lanka should have learnt from recent history is that war is a trap by the LTTE to further its goal of an independent Eelam. President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the most visionary of Sri Lankan leaders, realised this too late. more..

India extends naval assistance to Sri Lankan navy

Aug 17 (LT) Despite the protest by the South Indian Tamil Nadu politicians, the Indian Government has come forward to assist the Sri Lankan navy in its operations against the Tiger terrorists. A senior naval officer of the Sri Lankan navy said that this bold decision has been taken by the Indian Government. more..

Police seek public support to identify three-wheeler and driver

Aug 17 (LT) The Criminal Investigation Department seeks information on the three wheeler and its driver which was blasted with the deadly bomb at Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha in an attempt to assassinate the High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka. more..

Media should act with more responsibility! - President

Aug 17 (LT) He had no intention of imposing a censorship on military news but would expect media to act in a responsible manner in providing information to the people said President Mahinda Rajapakse. He emphasized that he, as a person who had been fighting for human rights even before being elected the President, would never obstruct the right of the people to get information. more..

Sri Lankan forces not to withdraw from Jaffna

Aug 17 (Hindu) As the fighting continued between the Sri Lankan military and the LTTE, President Mahinda Rajapakse on Wednesday asserted that forces would not withdraw from the Jaffna peninsula. Addressing a gathering of private and public sector mediapersons here, Mr. Rajapakse said the Government was not engaged in a war and forces were retaliating against the LTTE offensive to safeguard the sovereignty of the country. more..

LTTE activists running extortion racket: Envoy

Aug 17 (TP) The Sri Lankan embassy admitted yesterday that an extortion racket is being run by some LTTE activists who are targeting innocent Tamil workers here. The mission said it has informed the concerned Qatari authorities about the activities of the LTTE. "I have personally conveyed this to top Qatari officials," Sri Lanka's ambassador, S B Atugoda, told The Peninsula yesterday. more..

‘Farmers suffer due to LTTE blockade’

Aug 17 (TP) The Sri Lankan army launched its present offensive against the LTTE back home since they refused to lift a blockade of a water canal due to which mainly poor farmers were suffering, according to the ambassador of the island-nation here. more..

Chinese, Sri Lankan foreign ministers hold phone talks

Aug 17 (Xinhua) China's Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing talked by phone with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mangala Samaraweera on Wednesday. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the two ministers exchanged views on cooperation in bilateral and multilateral areas, but gave no further details about the phone talks.

Sencholai training camp

Aug 17 (DGI) The government vehemently rejects the allegation leveled by the pro-LTTE websites on the Air Force attack at a so-called 'children's' home' in Mullaitivu. We have ample proof that it is a military training centre. These are the photographs of Velupillai Prabhakaran in his stripped military uniform opening the new wing of the training centre. more..

Permission to move the critically wounded girl students from Kilinochchi to Colombo denied

Aug 17 (AT) Parents of those critically wounded dozens of girl students afflicted in the air raid on 14 August at Vallipunam on Paranthan-Mullaithivu road in Mullaithievu have resigned to the fate of their daughters, as the leaders of the LTTE have refused to grant permission to take them for treatment in hospitals in Colombo. more..

'Inquire into the ethnic cleansing of the Muslims by the LTTE'

Aug 17 (AT) Massacring innocent Muslim civilians and taking them as captives and causing ethnic cleansing in Muttur and Thoppur are crimes against humanity. Sri Lanka Government, United Nations, Leaders of the Islamic and Arabic counties and humanitarian organizations should consider coming forward to take up this matter to an international commission to inquire into the injustices and basic human rights violations meted out to the Muslims. more..

Welfare of estate workers given priority under corporate responsibility program

Aug 17 (AT) A number of privatized plantation companies together with the Plantation Human Development Trust [PHDT] are now moving to new direction to follow Corporate Responsibility Program [CSR]. According to the Pussellawa and Kahawatta plantations, the estate management has taken very positive decision to setup Sri Lanka’s first elders’ home, a crematorium, a single housing scheme and two story-housing complexes as pilot projects. more..

Role of Civil Society and a Joint Forum for Durable Peace in Sri Lanka

Aug 17 (AT) It is now well known -yet again- that the war and violence perpetrated by using modern weaponry including suicide techniques bring unparalleled misery to children, women, aged, men in civilian sphere and those in various professional fields who perform their daily tasks for a living. more..

Government justifies the massacre of school students

Aug 17 (wsws) The Sri Lankan government has responded to mounting evidence that the air force slaughtered scores of school children in an attack in the Mullaitivu district on Monday with more lies and a justification for further war crimes. After warplanes strafed the former orphanage early on Monday morning, the LTTE announced that 61 students, mainly girls, had been killed in the attack and 129 injured. more..

The war plan that backfired

Aug 17 (AT) The Rajapaksa-administration, misguided by JVP theoreticians and a section of the military leadership, has driven Sri Lanka towards an unwinnable war already inflicting untold suffering on people. Hopes for a quick victory are fast receding, and Sri Lanka is getting bogged down in a long, atrocious conflict with catastrophic economic consequences to follow. more..

Tamil Hartal in Trinco Muslim Hartal in Kalmunai

Aug 17 (LeN) The hartal organized by the Tamil Peoples organization of Trincomalee District a front organization of the LTTE, today (16) has not been successful. The hartal was held in protest of the killing of girls at Kilinochchi and the killing of 17 aid workers of a NGO at Muttur. more..

Fierce fighting at Kilali

Aug 17 (LeN) Fierce fighting is reported to have taken place at Kilali since last evening and have continued up to this morning. According to the media centre for National security nearly 200 LTTE cadres have died in this confrontation and 16 from the security forces too have lost their lives in this battle. more..

SLMM monitors leave Trincomalee

Aug 17 (TN) Monitors of the SLMM posted in the Trincomalee district left for Colombo Thursday morning as the ground situation was not conducive for further monitoring. Trincomalee SLMM office located along the Inner Harbour Road in the east port town was closed down Wednesday and all six monitors led by SLMM Head of Trincomalee District Office (DO) Ove Janssen, left by road to Colombo, SLMM sources said. more..

Diaspora Tamils condemn Sencholai Attack

Aug 17 (TN) Diaspora Tamils around the world held protest marches and vigils to condemn the aerial attack of Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) that reportedly killed 61 schoolgirls in Mullaithivu in Vanni, Tuesday. Participants urged the international community to intervene to stop the atrocities of Sri Lanka armed forces and paramilitaries against Tamils in the Northeast, organizers said. more..

Eastern Muslims hold peace rally

Aug 17 (TN) A Peace rally organized by the Eastern Muslim Mosques' Federation (EMMF) expressing solidarity for the Muslims of Muthur and Thoppur who had been displaced in the recent fight between the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and LTTE was held Wednesday morning in the Ashraff Square at Kattaiady in Kalmunai municipal area in the Amparai district, sources in Amparai said. more..

Retd. Air force man to take over Pakistan HC

Aug 17 (LNP) Pakistan`s top envoy in Colombo Colonel (retd) Bashir Wali Mohamand is to be succeeded by Air Vice Marshal (retd) Shahzad Chaudhary. High Commissioner Mohamand, who survived Monday`s LTTE assassination attempt is likely to leave the country before end of this month. Chaudhary`s appointment is expected to be announced by the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry shortly. more..

EU explains when ban on LTTE will be lifted

Aug 17 (LNP) A European Union representative in Colombo yesterday said the EU ban on the LTTE would be lifted only if the Tigers renounced terrorism and stopped killing government representatives and opposition Tamil leaders. The EU official, speaking to the Daily Mirror in the aftermath of the killing of Government Peace Secretariat Deputy head Kesthishwaran Loganathan stressed the need for the LTTE to respect the alternative intellectual Tamil and opposition opinions. more..

Islandwide raids to nab illegal migrants

Aug 17 (LNP) The Investigation Unit of the Immigration and Emigration Department has launched islanwide raids to apprehend foreigners who had overstayed their visa. Accordingly, the Unit has arrested 17 foreigners during last week whose visas had lapsed. These arrests include five South Asians who had been working in jewellery shops and hotels in the Colombo city and 12 others who had been working in a factory site in Horana. more..

Special security plan for SA games

Aug 17 (SAMN) The Police Department is to implement a special security and traffic plan ahead of the South Asian Games (SAG) which is to be held at Sugathadsa Sporting Complex from August 18 to 28. DIG Colombo Range Pujitha Jayasundara told journalists yesterday that a tight security will be provided for the games and especially for the participants both sportsmen and spectators. more..

APRC for power devolution arrangements

Aug 17 (SAMN) The All Party Representative Committee (APRC) set up to formulate a political solution for the ethnic conflict has commenced discussions on possible arrangements of power devolution. APRC Chairman Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana said the Committee which met on Tuesday wound up their deliberations on the stake holders and their issues which constituted the first stage of its agenda. more..

Boost for rural production

Aug 17 (SAMN) The Government's aim is to strengthen farmer organisations to ensure an improvement in production-based in rural areas, Deputy Minister of Irrigation Pandu Bandaranayake said. He was speaking after opening the office building of the Dodagamuwa-Epamula Farmer Organisation at Vihara Mawatha, Dodagamuwa, recently. more..

South Africa pull out of Sri Lanka tri-series

Aug 17 (AFP) South Africa have pulled out of the limited-overs tri-series against India and hosts Sri Lanka due to security concerns after a deadly bombing, a Sri Lankan cricket official said. "South Africa have told us they want to pull out. It is unfortunate but true," Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) media manager Samantha Algama told AFP on Wednesday. more..

TNA questions govt.’s motives in Mawilaru

Aug 17 (ML) TNA Parliamentary Group Leader R. Sampanthan made a special statement in parliament last week over the Muttur and Mawilaru issues. Following are excerpts of the statement. I will first deal with the question of the Mawilaru anicut which I believe was closed around July 20 and the channel from this area feeds a fair extent of paddy land cultivated by all communities; by the Muslims, the Sinhalese and the Tamil people. more..

Fall out of a full blown war

Aug 17 (ML) With the military forces continuing to pound LTTE targets in the north and east the security situation in Colombo has reached crisis proportions. Last week the government military offensive in Trincomalee prompted the Tigers to announce that they regarded the attacks a declaration of war by Colombo. more..

IFJ calls for an end to brutal targeting of Media in Sri Lanka

Aug 17 (IFJ) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has demanded an end to the continued and brutal targeting of Tamil media workers and the intimidation and censorship of Sri Lankan media. Sathasivam Baskaram, a distributor for the Tamil newspaper Uthayan was reportedly shot dead on August 15 in Jaffna while returning from marking deliveries. more..

Aid worker killings jeopardise humanitarian work in Sri Lanka

Aug 17 (AN) Eight British aid agencies working in Sri Lanka condemned the recent brutal killing of 17 aid workers in Muttur and warned that increasing violence in the north and east of the country is threatening their tsunami reconstruction and emergency response work. more..

Sri Lanka’s cricket chiefs, media slam SA

Aug 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s cricket chiefs and media slammed SA today for pulling out of the tri-series as India looked forward to playing three matches against the hosts. The Proteas abandoned the tri-series yesterday, saying "the current risk to the team is at an unacceptable level" following a blast near their hotel on Monday which killed seven people and injured eight. more..

Pro-war monks scuffle with anti-war demonstrators in Sri Lankan capital

Aug 17 (AP) A scuffle broke out Thursday between saffron-robed monks and anti-war demonstrators at peace rally in Sri Lankan capital. About six or seven monks from a right-wing Buddhist faction had stormed the stage during a peace rally attended by about 1,000 people in the capital, Colombo, shouting pro-war slogans, an AP reporter at the scene said. more..

Sri Lanka slams ICC security consultant after South Africa abondons cricket tri-series

Aug 17 (AP) Sri Lanka's cricket chief slammed ICC security consultants Thursday for failing to visit his country to assess arrangements before submitting a critical report that led to South Africa abandoning a tri-series tournament. The South African cricket team Wednesday abandoned the tri-series, which also featured India, due to security concerns more..

Ceasefire monitors flee heavy shelling in Sri Lanka

Aug 17 (AFP) Ceasefire monitors in eastern Sri Lanka were forced to flee after they were nearly hit by heavy shelling in clashes between Tamil Tiger rebels and security forces, an official said. The six-member team left its base in the eastern port town of Trincomalee which has been the scene of fierce clashes during a flare up of fighting between rebels and troops. more..

Tigers attack in Sri Lanka north, U.S. envoy visits

Aug 17 (Reuters) Tamil Tiger rebels launched a new attack overnight on the besieged northern Jaffna peninsula, the army said on Thursday, as a U.S. envoy visited the island for talks on the worst fighting since a 2002 truce. The military said the LTTE had launched a night-time offensive along the front line with assault boats and infantry, but said it had largely been repulsed with some 70 rebel bodies left in no-man's-land. more..

Fighting escalates in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna Peninsula, hundreds killed

Aug 17 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels launched fresh attacks overnight on key military targets in northern Sri Lanka, where a week of fierce fighting has killed more than 800 rebels and security forces, the military said Thursday, as the country spiraled closer to all-out war. more..

50 rebels said killed in fresh Sri Lanka fighting

Aug 17 (AFP) Troops killed over 50 Tamil rebels when the guerrillas staged a fresh attack on Sri Lanka's Jaffna peninsula, officials said, a day after the president said the door was still open for peace talks. Troops beat back the attempt by the rebels to overrun their defences and killed the guerrillas in fierce close-quarter fighting in the early hours on the northern peninsula, more..

Reuters Photo

Aug 17 (AP) Catholic and Buddhist nuns supporting the National Anti War Front walk during a peace rally in Colombo, Thursday. The activists called on the Tamil Tigers and the government to adhere to the cease-fire and return immediately to the negotiating table. more..

Sri Lanka not at war: Rajapaksa

Aug 17 (HT) The fighting going on in North-East Sri Lanka was not "war", but only a series of "retaliatory" attacks to check the LTTE, the country's President Mahinda Rajapaksa said here on Wednesday. His comments came even as reports poured in about heavy fighting going on in Jaffna, and the UN said that 135,000 civilians had been displaced by the fighting since April. more..

Shortage of manpower in LTTE may halt war: Expert

Aug 17 (HT) The crippling of the Sri Lankan Air Force's airbase in Palaly in Jaffna, and the shortage of manpower in the LTTE's ranks, may combine to bring about a temporary halt to the war in Sri Lanka, says Col (Rtd) R Hariharan, a former Indian Army intelligence officer, who served with the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s. more..

To Sri Lanka, once more with caution

Aug 18 (IE) An enormous humanitarian tragedy is waiting to happen in South Asia. The 'no war no peace' syndrome in Sri Lanka is slowly escalating into a full-fledged undeclared war. For India the stakes are high; they lie at the intersection of India's political philosophy and its defence, foreign and domestic policies. more..

South Africans deny team split over leaving Colombo

Aug 18 (Reuters) South Africa's cricketers have struck back at suggestions made in Sri Lanka that senior players bullied lower-profile colleagues into agreeing to abandon the tour on security grounds. Local newspapers lambasted the tourists on Thursday in a series of articles which called captain Mark Boucher and his team "chickens". more..

Tamil Tigers' envoy attack a warning to Pakistan

Aug 18 (ANN) The attempt on the life of Pakistan's envoy to Sri Lanka on Monday (Aug 14) is seen as a warning by Tamil Tiger militants to Islamabad against supplying arms to Colombo in its war against the rebel group. Analysts say the Tigers are also angry with the envoy, Bashir Wali Mohammed, a retired Pakistan Army colonel and a former director of Pakistan's Intelligence Bureau, because of his alleged involvement in the island's ethnic politics since he took up the post two years ago. more..

Infant baby succumbed to LTTE fire

Aug 18 (AT) An infant the son of an ex-LTTE cadre, fell victim to LTTE fire on Wednesday (16) at about 9.30 p.m. at Sittandi in Mavadivembu, located in the Eravur police area, Batticaloa district. According reports, LTTE gunmen stormed the house of the ex-LTTE cadre, and opened fire indiscriminately at him, when he was with his wife and the one and half year old son, Nilushan (1 ˝). more..