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Mulangavil, Kalvilan fall to forces

Aug 14 (SAMN) Security Forces operating on the joint Mannar-Vavuniya front yesterday closed in on Kilinochchi having captured Mulangavil on the Mannar Pooneryn road and Kalvilan village located southwest of Thunukkai, Military officials said on Wednesday. The Security Forces attached to the 58 Division marked yet another victory as they captured Mulangavil town, a fairly spread township along the Mannar Pooneryn A-32 road where the LTTE had their ‘national’ stadium and a massive cemetery. more..

'No secret talks between govt, LTTE'

Aug 14 (SAMN) Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma yesterday said the UNP Chief Ministerial candidate is hawking his skills, self dignity and dexterity in the battle field for a party which has a world record for betraying the country’s Security Forces including the intelligence service to an outfit which poses a threat to its sovereignty and territorial integrity. more..

Army will be called in if needed: UNP

Aug 14 (SAMN) The UNP said Wednesday that the Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake, had given several assurances including the possibility of the army being called in to assist the police provide security for the August 23, North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Elections. General Secretary of the UNP, Tissa Attanayake, said that the Elections Commissioner, whom he met earlier in the day to complain of 'blatant election violations being committed by UPFA candidates, Ministers and their goon squads', informed him, that more..

'Millions spent to sabotage JVP strike'

Aug 14 (SAMN) The government had spent millions of rupees to sabotage the JVP’s July 10 strike action. That money would have been better spent on increasing the salaries of workers, JVP trade union wing K D Lalkantha said yesterday. The party’s union wing was taking a count of government’s expenses against the token strike action staged a month ago, he said. "The funds they spent on posters, TV and air time, news paper space and on thugs to cripple the strike was more than what we spent on our propaganda activities. more..

People shedding crocodile tears didn’t eradicate terrorism during their rule - PM

Aug 14 (DN) All forms of terrorism have to be eradicated for a country to develop, Prime Minister said. Those shedding crocodile tears today, pretending they are people-friendly, over price hikes in petroleum products and essential commodities, didn’t take action to repulse terrorism when they were in power. They were instrumental in dividing the country and vesting the country into terrorists’ hands, contrary to the wish of the people,” more..

Traditional variety of rice for farmers in wet zone

Aug 14 (DN) A traditional variety of rice, ‘maa vee’ is to be reintroduced to the farming folk of the wet zone of the island by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Services through the second phase of its Wet Zone Paddy Cultivation Expansion programme. The ‘ministry’ has a collection of ‘maa vee’ obtained from farmers in Bemmulla in the Gampaha district and Malimbada in the Matara district and more..

Gang led by A’pura prisoner arrested

Aug 14 (Island) The Crime Detection Bureau has exposed a major extortion racket masterminded by a prisoner held at Anuradhapura prison. The breakthrough came when a wealthy Colombo businessman complained to the CDB of death threats by an anonymous caller who demanded Rs. 10 million. Acting on a tip off, the CDB Tuesday evening arrested two suspects when they met the wealthy businessman on the corridors of a leading private hospital in Colombo. more..

Gave up fast after receiving assurance from MR

Aug 14 (Island) Galle Municipal Councillor Methsiri de Silva tipped to be appointed Galle mayor for the final two years period during the tenure of the Galle Municipality gave up his fast unto death yesterday following an assurance given by President Mahinda Rajapakse that he would be appointed Mayor. Methsiri Silva and the present Mayor Kelum Senevirtne polled the identical number of votes during the last local government polls and more..

Military: Sri Lanka fighting kills 16

Aug 14 (AP) A wave of battles across the front lines in Sri Lanka's 25-year-old civil war killed 14 ethnic Tamil rebels and two government soldiers, the military said Thursday. Government jets hit a series of Tamil Tiger targets in the Mullaittivu region early Thursday in support of troops fighting on the ground, the military said in a statement. Fighting has escalated in recent weeks, with the military capturing a series of rebel bases and large chunks of territory, and more..

ICRC assists thousands of displaced civilians as conflict escalates

Aug 14 (ICRC) Tens of thousands of people have fled areas affected by fighting in the Mannar and Kilinochchi districts following an escalation of hostilities between government forces and the LTTE in northern Sri Lanka. Among those displaced – most of whom headed towards Kilinochchi – are people who have had to abandon their homes several times in recent months. Access to food, shelter, sanitation and clean water is an urgent priority. more..

Thousands displaced by fresh Sri Lanka fighting

Aug 14 (Reuters) Tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced by the latest fighting in northern Sri Lanka and the conflict has made it difficult for humanitarian workers to give assistance, officials said on Thursday. Officials and aid agencies say tens of thousands of people have fled their homes following an escalation in hostilities between government forces and the LTTE. more..

Janaka Perera hailed by Govt. as war hero is now called a ‘Tiger’ -UNP

Aug 15 (LG) Speaking to the Media today (Aug. 14) UNP M.P. Dayasiri Jayasekera said the Govt. is so bankrupt and desperate that even war heroes like Janaka Perera who won many a hard fought battle against the LTTE, and earlier hailed by the Govt. itself as a celebrated war hero is being maligned as a Tiger supporter because he is contesting in the UNP ticket for the upcoming North central province (NCP) elections. more..

Eelam (or Ezham??) and the Georgian connection

Aug 15 (LG) South Ossetia is a part of Georgia. Though the de-facto republic established by the South Ossetians after two referendums ( 1992 and 2006), UN, EU, NATO or any other so called International Community (meaning Rich Western Nations) do not recognize it as an independent nation. For the IC, South Ossetia is an integral part of Georgia. Ossetians always had a love hate relationship with their neighboring Georgians. more..

Georgia –A Lesson for Sri Lankan Leaders

Aug 15 (LG) After the states in the Soviet Union gained their independence the US wooed, these former Soviet States to gain influence in them. The US in particular and the EU sought both political and economic relationship with them. In effect Western powers brazenly tried to get these former Soviet States out of the influence of Russia. The Russian Federation was in economic chaos just after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and more..

Sri Lanka eastern Trincomalee town faces power outage

Aug 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's eastern port town of Trincomalee is facing a power outage after a high tension line feeding the area was hit by a freak weather, a senior official of the island's power utility said. Six towers of the high tension 132kVA line that connects the town to the national grid have toppled after being hit by a localised cyclone and the main grid substation that feeds Trincomalee is now dead, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) official said. more..

Dam safety and water resources planning project launch

Aug 15 (WB) It is an honor for me to be here and to join hands with you today to launch the Sri Lanka Dam Safety, and Water Resources Planning Project. On behalf of the World Bank, I congratulate the Government of Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services and the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Management on the launch of this important project. Building large dams and canal systems to harvest monsoonal rainfall have been a centuries old practice in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka to issue cricket commemorative coins

Aug 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka will issue special coins commemorating the runner-up of the last cricket world cup, an official said. Sri Lanka's central bank will issue a Nickel plated steel coin with a denomination of 5 rupees and depicting a bowler. A brass plated steel coin with a face value of 1,000 rupees will also be issued at a market price of 1,500 rupees. Officials are hoping to issue the coin on August 18 when the Sri Lanka-India one day international match starts in the central town of Dambulla. more..

Tea exporters bank on variety, health benefits

Aug 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea exporters expect to earn about 1.8 billion dollars this year with a wide variety of teas and a growing awareness of health their benefits expected to keep the market strong. Tea exporters said revenue in the first half of the year is already 177 million dollars more than that in the same period last year. The average price at the Colombo auctions of four dollars a kilo in the period was 88 US cents greater than a year ago. more..

Sri Lankan massage parlours to get facelift

Aug 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's ministry of indigenous medicine and the tourist board plan to give formal training to employees of massage parlours and health centres to improve their image and standardize their services. The initiative will train practioners, health advisors and therapists employed in massage and medical therapy parlors in hotels, the authorities said in a statement. more..

Hikkaduwa tourist hotspot chockfull at beach fest

Aug 15 (LBO) A beach festival in Sri Lanka's Hikkaduwa coastal tourist town has filled up hotels to full capacity and set the stage for an annual event that will attract young people from the region, the island's tourism authorities said. The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau which organized the initiative said about 10,000 people had converged on the town through the five-day festival. more..

My daughter the terrorist: Norway Funds US$ 50,000

Aug 15 (LG) "The Norwegian funded propaganda movie about the LTTE Black Tigers is used by the LTTE to raise funds and to justify the horrific terror is committing in Sri Lanka. The movie is carefully scripted to target the Christian audience in Europe, Australia and America,"the Norwegian Against Terrorism (NAT) said in a recent report will be release on tomorrow. According to the report received by Sri Lanka Guardian, “The use of two Catholic suicide cadres is no coincident. more..

UNP –MP Maheswaran killing – Norway link

Aug 15 (LG) Member of the Parliament Mr Maheswaran of the United National Party was killed by LTTE assassin number 1527. The assassin was under the command the of Master Madhivan. “The assassin opened a bank account in a commercial bank in Kotahena. To this bank account funds was remitted to him from Norway, so he could continue to be a sleeper terrorist cell for the LTTE, awaiting order for his next victim,” said the NAT in a latest report will be release on tomorrow (Aug.15). more..

A good political solution can only come after the war

Aug 15 (LG) Whether the government can win the war or cannot win the war is yet to be seen for sure. However, from a Sri Lankan point of view, it must win the war if there is to be any chance of unifying the country. The government seems to have put the political process in the back burner. There cannot be any argument on the requirement of a political solution and all the political parties accept that. Severe disagreements exist on the specifics of the solution. more..

Chinese tourist arrivals grow 7.3% in first half of 2008

Aug 15 (Xinhua) Tourist arrivals from China to Sri Lanka grew by 7.3 percent in the first half of 2008 over the same period a year ago, Sri Lanka's national carrier SriLankan Airlines said Thursday in a statement. Figures from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority showed that the island attracted 5,383 Chinese tourists for the first half of 2008, comparing with the 5,016 Chinese tourists recorded in the same period of 2007. more..

Rajapakse government has no Tamil support but India has other motives: JVP

Aug 15 (TW) The JVP ‘agrees’ the Rajapakse government has no support from Tamils as said by an Indian official this week but ’sees’ the comments are designed to safeguard the LTTE from defeat. India is never going to allow the defeat of LTTE; therefore India has taken steps setting up stage in formulating a policy platform to safeguard LTTE from the edges of defeat. General Secretary of the JVP made these remarks in response to a question. more..

SL Mission website most popular among UN Mission Websites in Geneva

Aug 15 (GDI) The official web site of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka has been ranked the most popular website of all the foreign Permanent Missions accredited to the United Nations Office in Geneva (Switzerland), according to Alexa Web Search Platform, up from its number two position last week. According to Alexa, the website of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva is now ranked number one of the most popular UN Mission website in Geneva. more..

JVP office torched

Aug 15 (LT) The JVP office at Iddamalgoda in Palmadulla electorate has been set fire early morning today. The office had been used as an election office of the chief ministerial candidate for Sabaragamuwa PC election Chameera Koswatta. JVP media unit states a complaint in this regard has been made at Kahawatta Police. JVP media unit further states that Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi's driver, had asked the office to be removed and had threatened that no one other than UPFA supporters would be allowed to engage in politics in the area. more..

Aid reaching IDPs in north though supply lines under pressure - UN

Aug 15 (IRIN) Adequate supplies are reaching new internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sri Lanka's northern areas controlled by the Tamil Tigers, UN and humanitarian relief officials in the capital, Colombo, told IRIN. At least 12,000 families have fled the fighting in the last two months in the northern parts of Mannar District, southwestern areas of Kilinochchi District and Mulaitivu District, according to UN officials, and more..

LTTE and Govt endangering tens of thousands of lives

Aug 15 (AI) Thousands of families who fled the recent fighting between Sri Lankan forces and the LTTE must be allowed to move to safer areas and to receive necessary humanitarian assistance, Amnesty International said today. 'These people are running out of places to go and basic necessities,' said Yolanda Foster, Amnesty International's Sri Lanka researcher. 'The Tigers are keeping them in harm's way and the government is not doing enough to ensure they receive essential assistance.' more..

Thousands of refugees living in the woods; army is blocking aid

Aug 15 (AN) According to official figures from the United Nations, more than 75,000 people have fled their homes in the north of Sri Lanka over the last two and a half months. To these must be added the many already displaced over years of fighting. The area controlled by the LTTE is a battlefield where the population is fleeing from one place to another, and where it is even difficult to bring aid from humanitarian organizations. more..

A brutal military campaign threatens exporters

Aug 15 (TE) AT A lingerie factory in Pannala, in Sri Lanka’s Western Province, lines of women in red work-coats, red headscarves and face-masks are stitching knickers. These garments, bound for British high streets, represent one of Sri Lanka’s strengths: an innovative garment industry, which accounts for 67% of total industrial output and the equivalent of 10% of GDP. The factory’s owner, MAS Holdings, Sri Lanka’s biggest garment-maker, employs 45,000 Sri Lankans, and had revenues of $700m last year. more..

Narayanan acts like colonial governor - Somawansa

Aug 15 (LD) Leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Somawansa Amarasinghe has accused India of letting loose its political supremacy on Sri Lanka in total disregard to the island's soverignty. Indian National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan is acting like an arrogant colonial governor, thinking that Sri Lanka is under the rule of New Delhi, Mr. Amarasinghe charged. more..

Once more, police crackdown on undergrads

Aug 15 (LD) Police in Colombo cracked down on a protest organized by university students, who were marching to Temple Trees to handover a petition to President Mahinda Rajapaksa this afternoon (Aug. 14th). The Kollupitiya Junction, near the president's residence, was in chaos as around 5,000 undergraduates, including Buddhist monks, were baton-charged and fired upon with teargas and water cannons. more..

Protest demonstration against LTTE in Vienna

Aug 15 (GDI) Urging the European Union to take tangible measures to curb LTTE fundraising activates in the European countries, Sri Lanka expatriates with Austrians held a protest demonstration yesterday (14). The demonstration held in front of the Federal Parliament of Austria was organized to show their anger against the LTTE atrocities including the killing of civilians, foreign news sources said. more..

A Partial lunar eclipse tomorrow (16)

Aug 15 (GDI) A partial lunar eclipse is expected on this month’s full moon Poya day at 11.53 pm {tomorrow (16)}. The partial lunar eclipse occurs due to moon approaching the overhead close to midnight. The eclipse begins at 11.53 p.m. Saturday night with the moon entering into the penumbra of the earth’s shadow (less dark shadow). The dimming on the moon light at this phase may not be noticeable to the naked eyes more..

Kerawalapitiya Power Plant to add 300MW to the national grid from this month

Aug 15 (GDI) The combined cycle plant in Kerawalapitiya will be commissioned within this month, a spokesman for the Ministry of Power and Energy told The power plant will add 300 MW to the national grid which will contribute to fulfill the immediate demand for electricity in the country. Minister of Power and Energy said that this is the first occasion that heavy fuel will be used on a combined power plant in Sri Lanka. more..

A total of 159 Sri Lankans died abroad over the past 6 months

Aug 15 (GDI) The number of Sri Lankans died abroad during the first six months of this year has been reported as 159, the Foreign Employment Bureau said. Among these 100 were males. The highest numbers of deaths, 59, have been reported from Riyad in Saudi Arabia, sources added. Committing suicide, murder, road accidents and natural causes have been identified as the main causes for these deaths. more..

Adequate flow of items for IDPs in Wanni - Officials

Aug 15 (GDI) Officials in Killinochchi have assured that sufficient amounts of foods and sanitation kits are available in the district supplied through the United Nation's Humanitarian Agency and the international Committee of Red Cross for the displaced people. Meanwhile the humanitarian agencies engaged in the relief activities have also said that they have had access to the internally displaced persons in Wanni although there are ongoing operations to liberate the area from terrorism. more..

Final Maha Randoli Perahera tomorrow

Aug 15 (GDI) Historic Kandy Esala Perahera - Sri Lanka's biggest cultural pageant - reaches its climax tomorrow with the fifth and final Maha Randoli perahera. The Maha Randoli perahera will start from the Sri Dalada Maligawa at 7.38 p.m. facing North and proceed along Dalada Veediya, Yatinuwara Veediya, Kande Veediya, D.S. Senanayake Veediya, Raja Veediya and return to the Dalada Maligawa along Maligawa Chaturasraya. more..

Anti-riot squads called in to Lake House

Aug 15 (LD) Police anti-riot squads have been called in to state-owned Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (Lake House) after a group of its employees, enraged by the breach of a promise by chairman Bandula Padmakumara, laid siege to his office this morning (Aug. 15th). The chairman had introduced a voluntary retirement scheme in an attempt to reduce the surplus staff, under which around 1,000 persons were due to retire. more..

Chandrika denies wrongdoing in golf course case

Aug 15 (LD) Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga has denied any wrongdoing in the controversial allocation of a 164-acre land in Bataramulla for a golf course. Filing written submissions against a fundamental rights petition, she claimed that approval of the project by Asia-Pacific Golf Courts Ltd. was a collective decision of the Cabinet. She said every cabinet member including the present president Mahinda Rajapaksa was responsible for the decision. more..

EU thwarted meet with TMVP in Trinco

Aug 15 (SAMN) Against the backdrop of accusations that Sri Lanka sabotaged the July 23 visit to the East by a visiting EU delegation, new information reveal it was the EU Mission in Colombo who cancelled the scheduled charter flight. The shocking revelation of the last minute cancellation of the private aircraft, booked by the EU mission to take the delegation to Trincomalee had fueled speculation on whether there had been a clandestine move to embarrass Sri Lanka, an authoritative government official said. more..

‘UNP. too levied tax on mobile phones’

Aug 15 (SAMN) Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardene who was addressing the launching of ‘Green Villages’ programme at the Ministry of Environment Thursday said the previous UNP government levied a tax on mobile phones to collect Rs 600 million which has been used to launch the ‘One village one product’ programme which the World Bank also supported. He said it is an irony that the UNP which levied a tax on mobile phones first is now opposing the environment levy for recycling phone batteries. more..

One shot wont cow down to threats

Aug 15 (SAMN) UNP’s Sabaragamuwa Provincial Chief ministerial candidate Ranjan Ramanayake who was attacked by an enraged mob at Gallewa, Wewalwatte in Pelmadulla on Wednesday night, said that his vehicle had been attacked with clubs and stones even after the driver, who had attempted to avoid the onslaught, had driven the vehicle into a ditch. The Actor turned politician said "While returning we passed a PA meeting in Wewalwatte and some youth in the audience waved at me, shouting Ranjan Aiya. more..

Move against dissolving of CPC rejected

Aug 15 (SAMN) The ministers in the Central Provincial Council said they are against any move to dissolve the Provincial Council at this moment. In a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, all the Ministers of the council from the ruling UPFA urged the President not to dissolve the Council, if the President had taken any decision to do so, a senior Minister of the Council said. He said that they were able to collect 32 votes in favour of the government in the Council at the forthcoming budget. more..

War needs to continue, dependancy on the West bypassed - Rajapaksa

Aug 15 (LNP) `The war against the LTTE will continue without a break until the capture of the Ki`linochchi and Mullaiththeevu`, declared Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday while addressing a public meeting following the inauguration of an irrigation project in Polonnaruwa in the North Central Province. Mr. Rajapaksa also proclaimed that the era of rulers who were dependent on the West was over with his regime in Sri Lanka. more..

Learn to be Lankans, that is the winning point, says Defence Secretary

Aug 15 (LNP) We all have to learn to be Sri Lankans. The day we are able to think as Sri Lankans first, and later as Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims and Burghers, that is the day we will win. That will be the winning point, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said. In an interview wit IANS yesterday, Rajapaksa made light of India`s criticism that Tamils were not with Colombo, saying the Government had failed to convince the world about its sincerity to resolve the ethnic conflict. more..

UNP tightens noose round Mervyn

Aug 15 (LNP) The main opposition UNP said yesterday it would move a no-confidence motion against Minister Mervyn Silva unless the government took action against his latest reported act of misconduct. UNP front-liner Dayasiri Jayasekara told a news conference that one senior Minister had even remarked that God would punish Mr. Silva for his alleged misdoings. Looking for divine help is not the answer. It is the President who should punish Mr. Silva. more..

Colombo Arts Faculty lectures resume

Aug 15 (DN) The Trade Union action by the Colombo University’s Arts Faculty Teachers Association (AFTA-CU) was called off yesterday following a meeting between students and academic staff where a formal apology and a safety assurance was given by students. A decision to suspend all academic activities was taken by AFTA-CU in protest following an assault and verbal abuse of five Senior members of the academic staff of the Faculty which more..

Early childhood centres to be set up in East

Aug 15 (DN) Save the Children, Japan will set up 25 Early Childhood Care and Development centres (ECCD) in Trincomalee, in cooperation with Save the Children, Sri Lanka costing Rs.28 million. The project was funded by the Japan Platform (JPF). Save the Children has identified 25 locations in Muttur, Seruwila and Echalanpattu divisions of Trincomalee district where people have been recently resettled. more..