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Fuel crisis cripples IDP movement in Vanni - Ki'linochchi GA

Aug 20 (TN) More than 100,000 Internally Displaced People in Vanni, languishing in dark beneath shrubs, bushes and in public buildings throughout Ki'linochchi district, and affected by various hardships imposed by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has crippled the ability of the IDPs to move themselves and their belongings, according to the Government Agent of Ki'linochchi district. more..

University of Jaffna observes silent protest in solidarity with civilians in Vanni

Aug 20 (TN) Hundreds of students and the staff of the University of Jaffna Tuesday morning gathered for a silent protest against the isolation of civilians in Vanni by the Sri Lankan government. The silent protest by the University society, expressing solidarity with thousands of displaced people in Vanni, comes after a long period of time marked with targeted annihilation of protesting voices in Jaffna. more..

Red Cross spends Rs. 400 million to uplift facilities at Plonnaruwa General Hospital

Aug 20 (RC) A new three story building complex will be constructed at Polonnaura general hospital that will bring improvements to the level of healthcare provided to the people of Polonnaruwa district and neighboring areas. Polonnaruwa is one of the districts in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka where the majority of the population depends on agriculture. This General Hospital is the main health facility available for the people in the district who come from far distant rural areas. more..

Malaysian bank used to channel LTTE funds

Aug 20 (Bernama) A Toronto non-profit group was reported to have wired more than C$3 million (C$1=RM3.14) to overseas bank accounts, including Malaysian ones, with some of them linked to the Tamil Tigers before it was shut down by the Canadian Government in June for alleged terrorist financing. About C$1.9-million went to an account at a Malaysian-incorporated bank in Kuala Lumpur and it was utilised as a vehicle to forward money to the LTTE from Canada. more..

Ruling party 'targeting JVP'

Aug 20 (BBC) Election monitors in Sri Lanka have accused the authorities of unleashing violence against opposition parties days before elections for two Provincial Councils (PCS). The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) said there is evidence that the supporters of the ruling coalition are deliberately targeting UPFA. Elections for the Sabaragamuwa and North Central PCs are scheduled to be held on 23 August. more..

Tissa 'charged' with conspiracy

Aug 20 (BBC) The judiciary in Sri Lanka has ordered the police to produce a detained journalist before the courts on 25 August to indict him. Colombo High Court made the order after considering charges produced to the court by Attorney General (AG) against journalist JS Tissainayagam. The AG has accused the journalist with conspiracy to discredit the government and trying to provoke racism by publishing a magazine 01 June 2006 and 01 January 2007. more..

President assures more of the same

Aug 20 (BL) Addressing the nation last night, President Mahinda Rajapaksa was upbeat about the development that had been achieved during the past 31 months and assured that, he would not be content to rest on his laurels. Speaking on a variety of subjects, the President insisted that his government had made significant strides to solve many problems afflicting the rural masses and emphasized on the fact that, as they were the ones who had voted him into power, the “common farmer was his priority.” more..

So close and yet so far

Aug 20 (BL) Police are delaying the arrest of Minister Mervyn Silva, ordered by Colombo Additional Magistrate, for inexplicable reasons, Defence lawyers told The Bottom Line yesterday, while reliable legal sources also charged that the errant Minister would not be arrested until the Provincial Council elections are concluded on Saturday (23). more..

South parents protest against children posted to Jaffna University

Aug 20 (BL) Parents protesting in front of the University Grants Commission (UGC) yesterday against the UGC decision to admit their children to the Jaffna University vowed to conduct a sathyagraha campaign, until a proper solution is provided for the problem. “These parents are against sending their children to Jaffna not because of an ethnic bias. They are not racists, they are just worried about their children’s safety,” more..

Auction of former British HC land: 12 parties bid

Aug 20 (BL) A dozen bids have been received including some from overseas for the land that formerly housed the British High Commission, which have been forwarded to the British government. The fate of 434 perches of this prime plot of land in Colombo 3 is currently being deliberated by the British Government. “It has been a successful and positive campaign,” noted Navinda Samerawickreme of Schockman and Samerawickreme, more..

Tigers train civilians for combat

Aug 20 (ML) The LTTE has recommenced basic military training programmes for civilians in the Wanni on Monday (18), pro-Tiger websites reported. The training programmes that were a common phenomenon in 2006 and 2007, recommenced as tens of thousands of civilians converged on Kilinochchi, fleeing the fighting along the south western borders of the Wanni FDLs. The Tigers constituted their auxiliary force, the ‘Civilian Force’ or Makkal Paddi with the civilians who received basic military training. more..

Stage set for photo finish at PC polls

Aug 20 (ML) At midnight tonight as the campaigning closes on the provincial council elections, the government continues to countenance the mayhem refusing to guarantee the violence will not spill over into the polling booths come Saturday. With surveys commissioned by President Mahinda Rajapakse himself bringing in disappointing reports of a close electoral fight between the two main political parties the UNP and the SLFP, Rajapakse was a worried man. more..

Massive swindling alleged in locomotive deal

Aug 20 (LD) The Railway Department has decided to offer a tender for 15 rail locomotives to the highest bidder, department sources said. The tender that closed on May 9th had eight responses, and seven accepted bids had prices ranging between Rs. 144 million and Rs. 465 million per locomotive. The lowest offer was by CSR Qishuyan Locomotive Company of China and the highest by America's Electro-Motive Diesel. more..

Sri Lankan power users seen as too content with poor service

Aug 20 (LBO) Sri Lankan electricity consumers are far too complacent about the poor service provided by the state power utility, an energy expert said. "Sri Lankan consumers are not demanding enough and too tolerant of poor customer care by the power utility," said Tilak Siyambalapitiya, managing director, Resource Management Associate. "Our customers do not demand quality so for the CEB (Ceylon Electricity Board power utility) is it an easy life." more..

Govt preparing to plunder votes to avoid crushing defeat– JVP

Aug 20 (LT) Amidst the disadvantageous situation it is facing in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa PC elections the government has deployed violence and is preparing to plunder the votes of the people states the JVP. Mr. Chameera Koswatte, chief ministerial candidate of the JVP for Sabaragamuwa Province, said the presumptions that the government could win the elections have been shattered by now. more..

End of war with no end to conflict?

Aug 20 (ML) Against the backdrop of a violent electoral contest, media reports indicate that in the war against LTTE terrorism the prospect of certain and imminent military victory is more imminent and certain by the day. The security forces are making advances in terms of territory and are killing off LTTE cadres at a rate, which on the face of it indicates that the LTTE’s conventional military capability is being systematically destroyed. more..

Arjuna and Pilliyan hold discussions on developing Cricket in East

Aug 20 (LG) Sri Lanka Cricket Chairman Arjuna Ranatunga with Duleep Mendis held talks on Tuesday (August 19) at the Eastern Provincial Chief Secretariat in Trincomalee with the Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan and Provincial Minister of Sports M.L.A.M.Hisbullah. Development of cricket in the eastern province that has been neglected in past was among the subjects taken up for discussion.. more..

607 Grade-5 scholarship students failed sit the test in Vanni

Aug 20 (LG) Due to the massive displacement and continuing artillery fire by the Sri Lanka military, 607 ten year old, Grade-5 students from Vanni, who registered to sit the scholarship test, failed to appear for the test that was held on Sunday, 17 August 2008. The absentee numbers were obtained from the Zonal Education divisions in Vanni. The large scale absence for the scholarship test was also caused by the frequent shifting of the test centers as the schools too were forced to displace many times over a few weeks. more..

Displacement stories

Aug 20 (LG) Sudden rain in Kilinochchi on Sunday left many of the IDPs, who are yet to receive temporary shelters and thus still living under trees, struggling to seek shelter from the rain and safeguard their possessions from getting soaked. According to the LTTE in a statement, “one 18 year old man was injured in SLA shelling in Vannerikulam in Kilinochchi. more..

Will Kilinochchi be the Stalingrad of Eelam War 4?

Aug 20 (LG) At the beginning of this year 2008, I wrote an article “What the year 2008 holds for the people of Sri Lanka.” It is relevant now in mid year, to take stock of the present civil war situation. Singhalese chauvinists are raving over the ‘defeat’ of the Tamil Tigers, and the successful ‘liberation’ of the Eelam Tamils. The East has been subjugated by the Sri Lankan armed forces and a puppet administration established under Pillayan with a Singhalese governor wielding most of the powers. more..

The myth about the Tamils of Sri Lanka

Aug 20 (LG) The first casualty of war, they say, is truth. Sri Lanka has been at war for almost three decades. This article examines the myths surrounding the conflict in Sri Lanka. The first casualty of war, they say, is truth. Sri Lanka has been at war for almost three decades. Hitler famously noted that if you’re going to tell lies, then tell a lie so colossal that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” more..

Illegal abortion clinic raided in Sri Lanka

Aug 20 (LNP) Katugastota Police on a tip off raided a house at Kahalla where an illegal abortion clinic was housed and took into custody a doctor, an ayurvedic physician, a nurse and two women from Kandy and Peradeniya who had come for abortions. The suspects had charged Rs. 6,000 for an abortion, the investigations have revealed. Further investigations are being conducted under the direction of Katugastota Police OIC S.B. Diyakelinawala. more..

Information bared of conspiracy to paralyse Wanni operations

Aug 20 (LNP) The war heroes are nearing Kilinochchi. They are engaged in operations without causing harm to the civilians. In addition, the civilians are extending full support to the troops. Many of them have already crossed over to Government controlled areas. The Government was already implementing several programmes to meet the needs of these civilians. Humanitarian operations are being mooted on their behalf. more..

AL centres in Vanni shifted due to fighting

Aug 20 (LNP) Some G.C.E. Advanced Level centres have been shifted due to fighting on the Kilinochchi front. Of the 10 centres in the Kilinochchi administrative district, three in the Pooneryn area were shifted to Kilinochchi Central College on August 11. The examination began on August 6. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), which represents INGOs active in Sri Lanka said the centres had to be shifted due to shelling at Vanneikkulam in Pooneryn. more..

A tale of two terrorists

Aug 20 (LNP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal has shifted from the Prachandapath to the democratic path in Nepal. He was sworn in as Nepal`s Prime Minister on Monday. Better known as Prachanda (the fierce one), Dahal waged a protracted bloody war which left thousands of people dead in a bid to create a communist state. He was responsible for turning a ragtag band of rebels into a fully equipped military outfit capable of bringing a government to its knees. more..

PC polls head for violent climax

Aug 20 (SAMN) The PAFFREL Tuesday expressed fears that Saturday’s Provincial Council elections could turn out to be extremely violent as there was no proper coordination between political parties, police and the election monitoring organisations. PAFFREL Deputy Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi told a news briefing that 128 complaints had been received from the two provinces so far, compared to 156 complaints received from 6 provinces during the previous provincial council elections in 2004. more..

Drop in number of abductions

Aug 20 (SAMN) Abductions in Colombo and the suburbs have decreased during the past month, the Civil Monitoring Commission (CMC) said, but claimed that two abductions were reported last Friday (15). The abductions had been carried out in Kotahena and Wattala areas. The CMC said the two abductions were the first complaints since July 22. Incidentally it was from this date that Colombo was put under a security blanket in view of the SAARC Summit. more..

Landslide victory for UPFA: Dullas

Aug 20 (SAMN) The UNP will record a historic defeat in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council elections on August 23. The UPFA will record a landslide victory, Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said Tuesday. Minister Alahapperuma was addressing the media at the Mahaweli Centre Auditorium. He said that the main reason for the UNP’s defeat in the North Central Province and Sabaragamuwa is Chief Ministerial candidates being appointed from Colombo and Negombo. more..

PC polls campaign ends today

Aug 20 (SAMN) North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils election campaigns will draw to a close at 12 midnight today. The UPFA will wind up its election campaign with a rally at Embilipitiya today attended by President Rajapaksa. Both UNP and JVP final rallies will be held at Kegalle town and addressed by Ranil Wickremesinghe and Somawansa Amarasingha respectively, party sources said. more..

Govt will feel people's pulse through polls - President

Aug 20 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said last night that it was imperative for the Government to know the pulse of the people by holding elections. Participating in the Janapathi Janahamuwa (Meet the President) live programme on national television, President Rajapaksa said such elections were an ideal opportunity to re-assess the people's mandate. more..

Rs. 4,500m electricity project for Ratnapura

Aug 20 (DN) The Government has made arrangements to expedite work on a new power supply project for the Ratnapura District at a cost of Rs. 4,500 million. Upon completion of the project within 2009, all families in the district will have access to electricity. This project was initiated under the Electricity for All programme launched by the Power and Energy Ministry. Power and Energy Ministry spokesman said the first phase of the project has been successfully completed. more..

Police on red alert in NC, Sab. provinces

Aug 20 (Island) Police remained on red alert in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces as election violence reached an all time high peaking to 137 incidents by yesterday with today being the last day for campaigning. Of the 137 incidents reported from the two provinces, 64 were from Anuradhapura, 23 from Polonnaruwa, 28 from Ratnapura and 22 from Kegalle. Since the handing over of nominations violation of election rules and regulations have posed a major threat, more..

Norwegian shipment damaged at Colombo port

Aug 20 (Island) A fully Japanese owned BOI enterprise has accused the Colombo port security of destroying a consignment of electronic cargo recently imported from Norway by haphazard handling. Tos Lanka located at the Biyagama Export Processing Zone has urged Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Wickramasooriya to investigate what the company called deliberate vandalising of critical import cargo at CFS 1 warehouse. more..

Monkeys rob jewellery

Aug 20 (DM) Five monkeys are facing arrest in a village close to Maskeliya for stealing valuables worth Rs.10,000 along with some food, police officials said. According to a complaint lodged by the villagers in the area, valuables comprising a gold pendant, money and a bottle of liquor had been lost early last week, leading people to believe that thieves had entered the village at night. more..

No cheers for russian female cheerleaders

Aug 20 (DM) Government and opposition members were up in arms yesterday against the presence of scantily clad Russian female cheerleaders at the Sri Lanka – India one day cricket match held at the Rangiri- Dambulu Stadium on Monday. A visibly annoyed Cultural Affairs Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana told the Daily Mirror that he would write to the Sri Lanka Cricket Board conveying his protest and displeasure over the performance of cheerleaders since it was totally against our culture and customs. more..

Sri Lanka media watchdog says charges against journalist 'absurd'

Aug 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Free Media Movement (FMM) said government charges against a journalist who has been detained for months were weak and an attempt to cow down the media by using anti-terrorist laws. It said in a statement that it had learnt that journalist J S Tissainayagam, who has been held in detention in the custody of the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) since March 7, 2008, has finally been indicted in the High Court. more..

Central bank sells own securities to destroy money

Aug 20 (LBO) Central bank said it is selling its own securities to remove money from the banking system, after running out of its Treasury bill stock in a bid to keep money supply growth low. "In terms of the Central Bank’s policy of restraining from investing in new Treasury bills, the Bank had exhausted its stock of Treasury bills available for open market operations," the Central Bank said in its August monetary policy statement. more..

Sri Lanka eyes more travellers from the Middle East

Aug 20 (AME) A high level travel delegation from Sri Lanka, led by His Excellency Faizer Musthapha, Sri Lanka's Deputy Minister of Tourism will target prominent countries in the Gulf including UAE and Qatar in a bid to attract increased leisure traffic. During the four-day visit between 24th and 27th August, HE Musthapha will meet large scale hospitality industry operators including tour operators and travel agencies. more..

Hunt for woman who cheated job-seekers

Aug 20 (KT) The hunt is on for a Sri Lankan woman, Geeta D., who allegedly cheated hundreds of people by charging each of them $3,000 on the pretext of providing employment in the UAE. An Arab man and his Filipina wife, too, are said to be involved in the fraud. While 60 of them were said to have been sent to some Arab country, the remaining were left stranded in Umm Al Quwain, with no money to buy food or tickets for return flights home. more..

Central bank leaves policy rates unchanged

Aug 20 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank held interest rates steady on Wednesday for an 18th successive month, leaving them at their highest levels since 2002, saying monetary policy was reining in money growth and inflation was easing. The overnight repurchase rate remained at 10.50 percent and the reverse repurchase rate at 12 percent. The central bank last raised rates by 50 basis points in February 2007, more..

Witnessing extreme acts of faith in Sri Lanka

Aug 20 (MN) A dozen spiritual leaders sit in a neat row. Heads wrapped in green fabric, they chant in harmony; their palms drum faster on tambourines and the music grows more intense. I know what lies ahead and I’m worried. I’m attending a lesser-known event that happens in the recesses of the Kataragama festival, a two-week long holy gathering in Sri Lanka that attracts 100,000 Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim pilgrims. more..

21,000 policemen for PC polls

Aug 20 (BBC) The police in Sri Lanka have decided to deploy 21,000 policemen to provide security for the upcoming Provincial Council (PC) elections. Police spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekara told BBC Sandeshaya that the police decided to improve security for the polls at a meeting with elections commissioner on Tuesday. Elections monitors and opposition parties accuse the ruling party supporters of unleashing violence in the run up to the polls. more..

Sri Lanka drops scantily clad cheerleaders

Aug 20 (AFP) Sri Lanka's cricket authorities have withdrawn a squad of foreign cheerleaders from the ongoing one-day cricket series against India after protests over the scantily-clad women. Cultural Minister Yapa Abeywardena said he had asked organisers to drop the squad of 24 eastern European women, despite their part in rousing the home team to an easy victory over India in the first match on Monday. more..

Sri Lanka for international pressure on Tamil Tigers

Aug 20 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan government Wednesday urged the international community to put pressure on the Tamil Tigers to allow civilians to leave the conflict zones to safety. A government release said the LTTE was preventing thousands of families from moving to safe areas by imposing a strict pass system. In some instances, the rebels were forcing people to stay behind to ensure the return of other members of their families. more..

Sri Lanka smells victory over Tamil rebel state

Aug 20 (AFP) Sri Lanka is on the verge of a major victory against Tamil separatists, officials say, in a high-risk military strategy to dismantle a de facto rebel state. President Mahinda Rajapakse announced that security forces will pursue a major offensive in the north of the island and capture Kilinochchi, the political capital of the LTTE. "The government would continue with the anti-terror drive until the north too is liberated, just as the east," more..

Sri Lanka has levied a tax on incandescent bulbs of over 40 watts

Aug 21 (DTE) Energy-starved Sri Lanka has levied a tax on incandescent bulbs of over 40 watts and soon plans to ban the import and manufacture of bulbs of 75 watts and above. The target is to completely ban the se bulb by 2010. Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (sea) hopes the move will help promote energy efficient compact fluorescent (cfl) bulbs. “The move will reduce the demand on the national grid during the peak hours, between 6 pm and 9.30 pm...This will save 14.5 per cent of the country’s power bill,” more..

The myth about the Tamils of Sri Lanka

Aug 21 (LG) The first casualty of war, they say, is truth. Sri Lanka has been at war for almost three decades. This article examines the myths surrounding the conflict in Sri Lanka. The first casualty of war, they say, is truth. Sri Lanka has been at war for almost three decades. Hitler famously noted that if you’re going to tell lies, then tell a lie so colossal that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” more..

LTTE fighting (a losing battle) for Kilinochchi

Aug 21 (LG) Despite fierce resistance, the LTTE's last bastion in the Northwestern coast at Nachchikudah may fall in the coming days. LTTE took steps to reinforce Nachchikudah with fighters from the Jaffna FDL. They have also dug a large trench from Nachchikudah to the interior of Karachchi situated in Kilinochchi District (to the northeast). The trench war is seen primarily in Mannar and the Northern FDL where tank and Mechanized Infantry Units are lurking. more..

Jehan Perera and his three parameters for a lasting peace

Aug 21 (LG) Jehan Perera in the Sri Lanka Guardian of the 12 August,2008 spells out " The Three Basic Parameters for Lasting Peace ". I was happy as at last some one has found the solution for peace and happiness in Sri Lanka after all these years of deaths and suffering. But has he really? He starts by questioning why the government has set an ultimatum for the deserters from the armed forces to return to duty. more..

The menace of terrorism and its early origins

Aug 21 (LG) The menace of terrorism threatening the very existence of the civilized world and its ramifications on democracy and human rights are matters that are not understood properly by very many people both in Sri Lanka and elsewhere. There are those who obliquely defend or justify terrorism for various reasons some of which being their own inclinations for terrorist or violent activities. more..