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Charges repulsive: Army

Nov 14 (PISL) The Army yesterday denied UN Special Advisor Allan Rock’s allegation that sections of the security forces were abducting and forcibly recruiting children for the rebel Karuna faction. “It is no secret the Mission by implication has gone the ‘extra mile’ to blame the troops of the Sri Lankan Security Forces who are deployed in government controlled areas of eastern Batticaloa to contain LTTE violence and defend human rights in the region,” more..

North Zone pile on the runs

Nov 14 (CI) Led by Aakash Chopra's 188 and half-centuries from Yashpal Singh, Mahesh Rawat and Joginder Sharma, North Zone pummelled a hapless Sri Lanka A into the ground on day four of the Duleep Trophy final at the Eden Gardens. Sittting comfortably on 627, a lead of 331, North Zone held all the aces going into the fourth day's play. more..

Enemies will never be allowed to pull back victories gained- Tilvin silva

Nov 14 (LT) Enemies of the people will never be allowed to turn back the victories of the people that were achieved with greatest difficulties said Mr. Tilvin Silva, General Secretary of the JVP. Mr. Silva said this at the “Il Maha Wiru” (Commemoration of November Heroes) celebration held for the 17th year to remember more than 60,000 members of the JVP including its founder Mr. Rohana Wijeweera who were brutally murdered during the period 1987-89. more..

President meets JVP leaders

Nov 14 (LT) President Mahinda Rajapaksha had a two hour discussion with JVP leaders at Temple Trees yesterday morning. Discussed at length in this encounter were the current political situation in the country, budget for 2007 and the crisis in the North and East among other matters. Associated with the President from SLFP were Messrs. Dalas Alahapperuma, Maithreepala Sirisena and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and more..

Act now! Tomorrow maybe too late!

Nov 14 (LeN) We are deeply concerned about the rapid deterioration of political and democratic rights of the people of Sri Lanka and the steady militarization of the Sri Lankan society. The escalation of military attacks and recent abductions and killings of civilians further vindicate that the Ceasefire Agreement signed between the Government and the LTTE has already been abandoned. more..

Security forces cannot defeat tigers -Ranil

Nov 14 (LNP) Sri Lankan security forces can never defeat tiger organization and the tiger organization has no strength to defeat security forces says Leader of the Opposition and the UNP Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe. Mr. Wickremasinghe made this observation addressing a meeting held at Vidyaloka Pirivena in Galle. The meeting was held to apprise the Bhikkus regarding the MoU signed between the SLFP and the UNP. more..

Over 300,000 drug Lankans hooked

Nov 14 (LNP) According to available statistics, there are over 300,000 drug addicts in Sri Lanka. This situation needs constant monitoring as this could lead to an increase in HIV cases, National HIV/AIDS Prevention Project ICE Coordinator Dr. Shantha Hettiarachchi said. The situation had aggravated as most of the drug users forced their wives to engage in the sex trade to earn additional money for their quota of drugs, he explained. more..

Greens flay contract to sell teak

Nov 14 (GT) A LARGE quantity of teak, cut from state owned teak plantations, is to be sold through a tender awarded to a single individual, by the State Timber Corporation (STC). Green Party of Sri Lanka national organiser Nihal Weerasinghe told reporters that being an environment-concerned organisation, they were in the process of finding out who cleared the tender. more..

Schools on schedule in Sri Lanka

Nov 14 (RW) When the tsunami hit Sri Lanka in December, 2004, one of the hardest hit areas was Batticaloa on the east coast, which is also one of the poorest areas in the country. Hundreds of thousands of children around the coast in Sri Lanka lost their schools in the giant waves, and many other schools deteriorated rapidly after months of housing displaced survivors. more..

Maname at Temple Trees: Same play different casts

Nov 14 (LNP) The Rathu Sahodarayas (of the JVP) are reported to have decided to boycott the special show of Maname at the Temple Trees, scheduled to be held shortly to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the great play by the legendary Prof. Ediriweera Sarachchandra. The play is about Punic faith. Based on the Sattubatta Jaathaka as well as a folk story, it pivots round the eponym, Prince Maname, betrayed by his newly wedded wife, more..

20 feared buried in earthslip

Nov 14 (SAMN) At least 20 persons were feared dead when their vehicles were caught in a massive earthslip in Pussellawa on Sunday night. Police and rescuers have recovered four bodies together with two cabs, two vans and a lorry from the debris. Police say that at least 20 others are trapped under the huge earth mound which fell on the five vehicles while plying on the Gampola-Nuwara-Eliya road in Pussellawa. more..

2nd Int'l Buddhist Conference this week

Nov 14 (SAMN) The Sri Lanka Association for Buddhist Studies (SLABS) will hold its second international conference on November 17-19 at the Peradeniya University, Mahaweli Reach Sri Lanka and Palipane Sri Chandrananda Buddhist College under the theme of Future of Buddhist Studies in the Region. Over 100 scholars led by Prof. D.J. Kalupahana and Prof. Y. Karunadasa will participate. more..

Sri lankan Air Force train in Chandigarh

Nov 14 (TOI) A group of six Sri Lankan Air Force personnel are currently attending training programme at the Indian Air Force station here. "We are a group of six and are undergoing electrical first line course for MiG-27s here," said Sergeant Perera. The training programme started from October 14 and would end on January 5, 2007, he and another sergeant Srigunasinghe said adding that theirs was the third batch from Sri Lanka to receive training here. more..

Thousands at Raviraj’s rally in Colombo

Nov 14 (SAMN) Thousands of people joined a march in Colombo Monday to protest the slaying of TNA Jaffna District Parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj and demanded the Government and the Tamil Tigers halt renewed violence. Thousands of protestors representing the National Anti War Front, a host of political parties, human rights groups, trade unions and other organisations accompanied the coffin of the slain MP who was killed on Friday. more..

Banana leaf wrappers for polythene

Nov 14 (LNP) The Agricultural Development Ministry has introduced a new technique to process banana leaves and other natural leaves for utilisation as food wrappers instead of polythene. Banana leaves and other natural leaves would be processed by heat methods to be used as a substitute for polythene. Speaking at a seminar organised by the Ministry of Agricultural Development to popularise new food wrappers made out of banana leaves, more..

Medical team to probe suspected viral fever

Nov 14 (DN) The Health Ministry yesterday dispatched medical experts to Ampara to investigate reports of a suspected viral fever said to be spreading in the District. The Health Ministry Epidemiological Unit had taken steps to send the medical experts to Ampara to conduct a formal inquiry on this suspected viral fever. more..

An anniversary in Sri Lanka: But there’s little to celebrate

Nov 14 (KT) THE worsening security situation in Sri Lanka is second only to that of Iraq, according to the spokesperson of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, a body that is tasked to monitor the truce between the government security forces and the LTTE. In an interview with the BBC, she lamented that not enough international attention was paid to the crisis in Sri Lanka. more..

Indian PM urged to help Jaffna people

Nov 14 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been urged by church leaders in Sri Lanka's north to 'sidetrack the past' and come to the rescue of Tamils in Jaffna peninsula reeling under serious shortages. The Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna has made the written appeal to the prime minister, with copies sent to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi. more..

Britain to support peace process

Nov 14 (BBC) The current Chairman of the British Intelligence and Security Committee,Paul Murphy is in Sri Lanka in a mission to see how Britain could support the peace process. He is accompanied by Christopher MacCabe, the British Joint Secretary of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Secretariat. more..

IMF warns Sri Lanka as fighting escalates

Nov 14 (AFP) The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday warned Sri Lanka that escalating violence in a bitter ethnic conflict could prompt an economic crisis through higher prices and dwindling foreign currency reserves. The IMF statement followed a round of talks with Sri Lanka over an economic stabilisation programme, which includes loans to prop up the budget and currency. more..

Media distorted Rock's remarks: Lankan Govt

Nov 14 (HT) The Office of the Sri Lankan President charged on Tuesday that a large section of the media had "distorted" the remarks made by the UN official Allan Rock on the government's alleged complicity in child abductions. Setting the record straight, the Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said that the government had a "long-standing zero-tolerance policy on the recruitment of children as combatants." more..

Sri Lankan rupee sinks to historical low, as share prices hit record highs

Nov 14 (LBO) Sri Lankan rupee sank to historical low on Tuesday while share prices closed at a record high, amidst buying frenzy in conglomerate John Keells Holdings, dealers said. The rupee fell to 108.20 to the U.S. dollar from Monday's close of 107.60 as banks bought dollars to meet high import bills. more..

Blasts kill four soldiers in Sri Lanka, military says

Nov 14 (AP) Four government soldiers were killed in separate attacks launched by Tamil rebel separatists Tuesday in northwestern Sri Lanka, the military said, in continuing violence that threatens to push the island country toward full-sale war. Rebels triggered an improvised explosive devise in Mannar in northwestern Sri Lanka - about 220 kilometers (135 miles) from the capital, Colombo, more..

Sri Lanka army dismisses U.N. child soldier claim

Nov 14 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's army has dismissed a U.N. envoy's charge that elements within the security forces are helping renegade rebels to abduct children as soldiers to fight the Tamil Tigers, voicing deep revulsion. Allan Rock, Special Adviser to the U.N. Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict in Sri Lanka, said on Monday his mission had found credible evidence that troops were involved in child abductions. more..

Britain to push Sri Lanka peace bid amid child soldier charge

Nov 14 (AFP) A British envoy has arrived in Sri Lanka in a bid to salvage a tottering peace process as the former British colony faced UN charges of recruiting child soldiers. British MP Paul Murphy held talks with Sri Lankan officials handling the Norwegian-backed peace process, officials said, adding he planned to meet with Tamil Tiger rebels before departing Thursday. more..

Eight killed in Sri Lanka in fresh violence

Nov 14 (AFP) At least four Sri Lankan soldiers and four Tamil Tiger rebels have killed in separate violence in the island's embattled northeast, the defence ministry has said. Three soldiers were killed when Tamil Tiger rebels detonated a bomb in the northern district of Vavuniya on Tuesday, the ministry said, adding that another soldier was killed in a similar blast in the Jaffna peninsula. more..

Navy destroys weapons boat with 8 suspected rebels on board

Nov 14 (AP) The navy on Tuesday destroyed a boat suspected of ferrying arms to Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka's north, along with eight men aboard, the military said. Also in the north, four government soldiers were killed in separate clashes, the military said. Navy patrol boats spotted a fishing boat off the western shore close to Indian waters and when the naval boats drew close, the men on the other vessel opened fire and threw grenades, more..

Appeal for sailors' release

Nov 15 (BBC) Ranjani Swarnalatha Pitiyakumubura, wife of Indika Prasantha Pitiyakumbura who is in LTTE custody says that she came to know about her husband only through media. She appeals to LTTE to release her husband and three other sailors who fell into LTTE hands at a sea battle in Point Pedro last Thursday. Mrs.Pitiyakumubura said she has also appealed to the President and SLMM. more..

One year after induction - 3500 lives lost

Nov 15 (LeN) The UNP is requesting President Rajapakse who assumed office with the help Prabakaran to turn back and look at his achievement before celebrating the induction to office. The peaceful country he took over is no more there. Today it is chaotic and killings abductions and robbery are rampant. The UNP questions whether he has achieved the honorable peace he promised, after one year in office. more..

LTTE retreats from first forward defence line of Vakarai

Nov 15 (LeN) A military spokesman for the Eastern province said that 19 LTTE cadres have lost their lives as a result of exchange of fire between army and the LTTE using artillery and mortars continuously for three days. According to him one soldier was killed and four others have sustained injuries. The official further said that LTTE cadres have been firing at Batticaloa Kajuwatta and Marnkerni army camps using artillery and mortars and the army too have returned fire. more..

The killer serpent came to the road from the feet of the President - Wickramabahu

Nov 15 (LeN) The leader of the Nava Sama Samaje party Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne says that the killer serpent came to the road from the feet of the President across the cabinet. Dr. Wicramabahu uttered this at a meeting held at Viharamahadevi Park to pay homage to late Raviraj Nadarajah by the people of South. more..

Tamil MP’s mortal remains to be consigned to fire today

Nov 15 (AT) The body of Nadarajah Raviraj, the slain Tamil National Alliance Member of Parliament for the Jaffna electoral district was flown to Jaffna yesterday morning on an Sri Lanka Airforce AN – 32 (Antonv) aircraft in the company of his family members and TNA parliamentarians. Earlier family members of Raviraj accompanied the white color funeral hearse to Ratmalana airport where the coffin was received by the Air Force personnel for lodging in the aircraft. more..

Sri Lankans brace for high growth and high inflation

Nov 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka may have to settle for high inflation in the coming months as the government is keen to keep up the high economic growth momentum, treasury secretary P B Jayasundara said Tuesday. Though the budget will announce measures to contain demand pressure, it may not go as far as putting limits on state borrowings from the banking sector which is fueling inflation and destabilizing balance of payments. more..

Send Pranab to hold talks with Lanka: PMK

Nov 15 (NIP) PMK president S Ramadoss on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to depute External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to hold talks with the Sri Lankan Government on the Tamils’ issue, instead of sending Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon as planned. The PMK chief, in his letter to the Prime Minister, said considering the seriousness of the situation in the island nation, the External Affairs Minister should be assigned to hold talks on the Tamils’ issue. more..

Madhu pilgrims break Tiger barrier

Nov 15 (SS) About 700 more Madhu pilgrims who were detained by the LTTE broke through the Tiger road block at Uliyankulam, Mannar on Friday evening and arrived at the government controlled territory in Mannar, defence spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said. He said that about 600 pilgrims were handed over to the Divisional Secretary, Mannar, including 265 males, 251 females and 79 children and the rest have gone home. more..

Colombo Mayor been sabotaged?

Nov 15 (SS) A clandestine move is underway to sabotage the development plans of Colombo Mayor Uvais Mohamed Imitiyas following his decision to join the government, the Sunday Standard learns. "Subtle forms of sabotage are already underway with some Colombo Municipal Council vested interest insiders already disrupting the normal day to day garbage clearing activities in the city," sources said. more..

UNP dispute rages below surface

Nov 15 (SS) It was the internal struggle within the UNP that created a big sensation in political circles during the last week. Most people who are enthusiastic about politics were waiting to see what was going to happen; who will emerge victorious, who will be defeated and who will join the Government etc, etc. However without any snapping of limbs the problem submerged under the ash along with the live sparks. No one won the victory expected. more..

TNA MP found JVP much reformed

Nov 15 (SS) Assassinated TNA Parliamentarian Nadaraja Raviraj in the following interview with our predecessor paper Weekend Standard on January 28, 2006 sounded optimistic of finding a solution to the ethnic problem despite the daily dose of increasing violence. Now that same violence has snatched that fine human being from all of us. more..

New body to manage Govt. finances

Nov 15 (SS) Steps will be taken to set-up a board to manage the government funds after passing the new budget scheduled to be presented to Parliament next week, President Mahinda Rajapakse told our sister paper 'Maubima'. The President emphasized that steps will be taken to set-up a board to control finances of government institutions immediately with a view to imposing financial discipline in state institutions more..

Allan rock’s Sri Lanka

Nov 15 (ML) Even as security forces continued to pound areas in the north and east, it was President Mahinda Rajapakse who was to be shell shocked this week. On Monday (13), Special Advisor to the UN Representative for Children in Armed Conflict on Sri Lanka, Allan Rock accused sections of the armed forces of directly and indirectly participating in the abduction and recruitment of children for the Karuna faction. more..

UNP labels President’s first year as ‘dismal’

Nov 15 (ML) Reviewing President Mahinda Rajapakse’s first year in office, the UNP yesterday labeled his performance and the country’s current situation as dismal. "A year down the line few if any of the promises in the Mahinda Chinthana, including the promise of ‘peace with dignity,’ have been kept," UNP MP Gayantha Karunathilleke said. more..

Negombo’s Dutch Canal is making the locals sick

Nov 15 (ML) Negombo is a vast area – a sea of wealth and a city that we can all be proud of. As tourists walk along its still very natural surroundings, they see Negombo in its true form — a place where the beaches are blue and still, and the sands golden and nice. Yet to get to the many resorts, clubs and hotels in Negombo, one has to pass other man made disasters and degeneration that have turned this nice city into an eyesore. more..

UN puts GOSL, LTTE and TMVP in the dock

Nov 15 (TW) The Government, LTTE and the tiger faction known as the TMVP have all been charged by the United Nations of various acts of omission and commission regarding the recruitment and deployment of child soldiers in North - Eastern Sri Lanka. Former Canadian cabinet minister and ex - ambassador to the UN, Alan Rock has in a press conference held in Colombo sharply criticised all three parties to the conflict in this respect. more..

SLMM has evidence on govt involvement in conscription

Nov 15 (TW) The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) confirmed charges made by the UN’s Allan Rock about Government involvement in child recruitment and emphasised that the SLMMM too has supportive evidence. The SLMM has confirmed allegations made by the UN of involvement of government forces in child recruitment and said that they too possessed evidence to that effect. more..

Sasikala Raviraj-let your tears herald in a husband’s proud legacy

Nov 15 (TW) “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”, Voltaire’s words rang hallow last Friday across Colombo, as the country watched in horror the death of your husband, another promising politician, another voice silenced. Just minutes before, he appeared on a Sinhala TV programme, in his usual charismatic way, articulating in broken but powerful Sinhala, about the tragedy that Jaffna had become. more..

Tamil teenagers abducted; bodies of 4 other Tamils found

Nov 15 (AP) Armed men abducted four Tamil teenagers working on tsunami reconstruction projects, a news report said Wednesday, days after the U.N. accused the Sri Lankan military of helping a group recruit children to fight against separatist rebels. The students, aged 14-18, were working on a post-tsunami project in eastern Batticaloa district to supplement their parents' income when they were taken away at gunpoint on Tuesday, more..

The Choice between Anarchy and International Law with Monitoring

Nov 15 (UTHR) Anarchy looms over Sri Lanka. A peace process that was cavalier about protecting basic human rights and standards of decency is being transformed into a war without moderating norms. Each side defines its legitimate military target by the momentary needs of propaganda, which are often contradicted within hours. more..

Zero tolerance policy on child recruitment

Nov 15 (PISL) The Government has a long-standing zero-tolerance policy on the recruitment of children as combatants, the Presidential Secretariat stressed yesterday. In a news release issued on the visit of Ambassador Allan Rock, Special Advisor to the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, the Secretariat said Rock brought to the attention of President Mahinda Rajapaksa certain more..

Colombo share prices hit record highs; rupee slips further

Nov 15 (LBO) Sri Lankan stocks re-wrote history books for the second day running Wednesday on foreign buying in telecom stocks, while the rupee slipped to a new life low during mid day trade, dealers said. Colombo's All Share Price Index climbed 1.84 percent or 48.09 to close at 2,677.24, surpassing Tuesday's previous life closing high of 2,619.37 points, according to stock exchange data. more..

Sri Lanka to introduce an emergency response team to troubleshoot PC problems

Nov 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka Government and the ICT Agency will launch an emergency response unit next month to counter threats and vulnerabilities affecting computer systems and networks, officials said Wednesday. The response unit CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) will be a source of expertise to assist member organizations in responding to and recovering from attacks over the internet. more..