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Harbhajan's four keeps match poised

Aug 1 (CI) Sri Lanka couldn't get Virender Sehwag out, but Ajantha Mendis found a way around him, dismissing most of the others cheaply before Harbhajan Singh enacted a similar turnaround to restore the balance at the end of day two in Galle. It was an eventful three sessions: Sehwag was imperious as he scored his fifth double-century while losing partners at the other end; Malinda Warnapura and Kumar Sangakkara threatened to run away with the match, more..

Reply to Anandasangaree: In defense of devolution within a unitary state

Aug 2 (LG) I am pleased that Mr. Mahinda Gunasekara’s recent criticism of me from a Sinhala hard-line position over my July ’83 piece is paralleled by Mr. Anandasangaree’s accusation of Sinhala chauvinism. Since I am a critic of both Sinhala and Tamil chauvinism/ultra-nationalism, this means I must be saying something right. more..

Name ‘Indian Ocean’ a misnomer?

Aug 2 (LG) In the context of the Indians politicians and top personalities making provocative statements that the Indian Ocean is under their purview is similar to the aspiration propagated by S. J. V. Chelvanayagam and the TULF to create a state called Eelam, based on falsehoods and the so-called concept of ‘Traditional Homelands’. It is therefore necessary to name the Indian Ocean as the Asiatic Ocean to dispel any falsehoods, historical or otherwise, more..

Isn’t liberation of three mn people from terrorism protection of human rights?

Aug 2 (LG) Paid lobbyists are performing overtime to paint the government of President Rajapaksa as the violator of all human rights. It is ironical that this cacophony is rising to a shrill crescendo just at the time that the LTTE is about to be militarily subdued. The EU and the US are leading from the front in this effort. It is time the true position of Sri Lanka was presented to these detractors in the clearest possible manner and more..

Need for a professional administrator as Treasury Head (Part 02)

Aug 2 (LG) In the light of the credentials of some of these outsider Secretaries, there is one thing I can vouch regarding the SLAS through experience, both as an individual and as a person, who had been the president of SASA for three long years. That is, although you may occasionally come across one or two black sheep, which is of course unavoidable in a group numbering a few thousand different individuals, more..

SARRC festival in Colombo!

Aug 2 (LG) The SARRC conference is being hosted in Colombo with great fanfare and amidst tight security measures. The leaders will hold their final meeting following the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the SARRC countries. But the issue before the country is how this occasion for which large sums of money are expended is going to help the people. The question is whether this will wind up with the election of President Rajapakse as the chairman of the SARRC or whether it can bring fruitful results. more..

SARRC summit and security!

Aug 2 (LG) The news relating to the security of the SAARC summit is more overwhelming than the news about the SARRC summit itself. The controversy over the arrival of troops of the region in the country is more overwhelming than the issue of regional co-operation. The question is whether the holding of the SARRC conference is worth the while in the back drop of the tremendous expenditure and security arrangements when the economy of the country is so unsound. more..

Gota pays tribute to valiant soldiers in Mannar & Wanni

Aug 2 (LG) Secretary Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksha, military heavyweights, Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Donald Perera, Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka and senior Army officers Thursday (31) morning extended their warm greetings and plaudits to advancing ground troops in the Mannar & Vavuniya sector for their string of military successes in the most recent past. more..

SLDF members accused of involvement in the radio station burglary

Aug 2 (LG) According to information reaching from a notorious LTTE activist who was involved in break ins at the anti-LTTE Tamil Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) based in Rayners Lane in Harrow in 2005 and 2006, three members of the pseudo anti-LTTE group Sri Lanka Democratic Forum (SLDF) were said to be involved with him in the first robbery in 2005 at the said Broadcasting station. more..

Sri Lankan Tamil refugee: Notice to Centre, TN govt.

Aug 2 (LG) A public interest writ petition, alleging that Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu are meted out “hostile and inhuman treatment”, and that they should be allowed to own land, bank accounts and driving licences, has been filed in the Madras High Court. The first bench, comprising Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla, before which the petition filed by F Gnanaprakasam came up for admission on Thursday, more..

Arrested LTTE operative wanted in various cases

Aug 2 (LG) The arrest of the chief of LTTE procurement module is being regarded by the Tamil Nadu police as a breakthrough of sorts as he was wanted in various cases of smuggling arms and other materials to Sri Lanka. Thambianna alias Daniel (46), who clandestinely landed in Rameswaram by a ferry from Sri Lanka and came to Chennai later, was trailed by the police for a month. Intelligence IG Jaffer Sait told reporters here that police did so to crack his contacts before arresting him. more..

Nepal and Sri Lanka discuss development of Lumbini

Aug 2 (GDI) Sri Lanka and Nepal agreed today (August 1) to develop Lumbini as the most attractive and sacred tourist destination in the South Asia region during talks between the leaders of the two countries. This was decided when Nepal's Prime Minister, Girija Prasad Koirala who arrived in the island to take part the in 15th SAARC Summit to be held on August 2 and 3, met President Mahinda Rajapaksa today at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo. more..

LTTE loses top female cadres as security forces advance

Aug 2 (GDI) Leader of the LTTE 'Women Wing' of Mullaittive area Kumaveri Thangeamma has been killed in confrontation with the Security Forces yesterday (31), defence sources announced. Another three female carders escorting Thangeamma were also killed in clashes that erupted north of the Kiriibbanwewa area around 1.30 pm yesterday. The LTTE has, in its radio transmissions, revealed the names of the three carders as Kanthimani, Pushparani, and Magolechchami. more..

Troops enter Kilinochchi

Aug 2 (GDI) Troops yesterday (July 31) crossed the Mannar-Kilinochchi boundary and entered what has been termed as the LTTE's final stronghold in the Wanni, the district of Kilinochchi. According to defence sources, troops had crossed into the Kilonochchi district at an undisclosed point on the Mannar-Vavuniya frontline. Sources add that the fall of Vellankulam on the Mannar-Pooneryn (A-32) road is imminent. more..

Conflict compromising tsunami reconstruction

Aug 2 (IRIN) Resurgent clashes between Sri Lankan government forces and the Tamil Tigers have hampered tsunami reconstruction in the north and east and affected the livelihoods of 2.5 million people, according to an assessment by the UN Economic and Social Council. “The most significant challenge to the recovery process in Sri Lanka is ongoing civil conflict. Escalating violence over the past few years has set back reconstruction efforts in the north and more..

PM should discuss Kachatheevu with Lankan president: BJP

Aug 2 (PTI) Expressing concern over the recurring attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy, BJP on Friday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should discuss the issue with Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse. BJP President Rajnath Singh today told reporters here that the 1974 Indo-Lanka agreement under which Kachatheevu, an uninhabited island, was ceded to Sri Lanka should be implemented in letter and spirit. more..

Statue of Our Lady of Madhu could return to shrine for August 15 feast

Aug 2 (AN) There is great hope among the thousands of Sri Lankans, Catholic and non-Catholic, that the statue of Our Lady of Madhu will return to the church dedicated to her, for the feast of the Assumption on August 15, in celebration of the traditional pilgrimage. But a few days from the feast day, the authorities are still unable to guarantee security in the area, which is often the theater of armed conflict. more..

Arrested LTTE man came for recruitment

Aug 2 (TOI) Thambi Anna alias Thambi Ilamkathir alias Daniel (46), a key LTTE procurement agent who was picked up in Chennai by the Q Branch police on Wednesday, had come to recruit more suppliers for his network, police said on Thursday. According to police sources, Thambi Anna was a close associate of Soosai, the head of 'Sea Tigers', the LTTE's naval arm and a top ranking guerrilla leader. more..

Lankan refugees seek right to land

Aug 2 (TOI) A public interest writ petition, alleging that Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Tamil Nadu are meted out "hostile and inhuman treatment" , and that they should be allowed to own land, bank accounts and driving licences, has been filed in the Madras High Court. The first bench, comprising Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla, before which the petition filed by F Gnanaprakasam came up for admission on Thursday, more..

Indians admit they fish in Sri Lanka's troubled waters

Aug 2 (IANS) Indian fishermen under attack from Sri Lanka's navy admit they frequently fish in the island nation's waters, but argue that they have no other choice and that cross-country fishing needs to be quickly regularised. Leaders of the fishing community in Tamil Nadu's Rameswaram coast, however, accuse Sri Lankan security forces of beating, humiliating and looting them when they are caught catching fish and seafood illegally. more..

Stop harassment of fishermen: PM to Lanka

Aug 2 (TOI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday raised the issue of firing on Indian firshermen by Sri Lankan forces — a matter of considerable political significance to his key coalition partner DMK — in a meeting with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The PM is understood to have stressed that fishermen off the coast of Tamil Nadu should be saved from harassment and the two sides agreed to work on protocols to ensure that such incidents do not happen. more..

Bogollagama's daughter at ministerial meeting

Aug 2 (LD) Diplomats have strongly disapproved of Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama for taking his daughter to a special meeting of SAARC foreign ministers yesterday. This was a serious violation of diplomatic traditions, said diplomatic sources. The meeting at the BMICH in Colombo was out of bounds even for ambassadors and high commissioners of the region. more..

Pakistan proposes defence deal with Sri Lanka

Aug 2 (ZN) Pakistan, a key supplier of small arms to Sri Lanka, has proposed a defence pact to boost military cooperation between the two countries, Pakistani officials said on Friday. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi made the offer to his Sri Lankan counterpart Rohitha Bogollegama on the sidelines of a SAARC meet in Colombo, the officials said. "A (draft) defence cooperation agreement has been given to Sri Lanka," more..

Tigers have shifted base to Kerala: DGP

Aug 2 (NIP) Faced with strict vigilance along the Tamil Nadu coast and continuous monitoring of LTTE sympathisers in the state, the Tamil Tigers have shifted their smuggling base to Kerala, said Tamil Nadu DGP K P Jain. He said this at a press meet here on Thursday in response to a question on increasing LTTE activities in the state. Besides, Jain pointed to the arrest of a sea Tiger, Daniel alias Thambianna of Kilinochchi, who operated their entire smuggling activities from Tamil Nadu. more..

Hope for Sri Lankan women

Aug 2 (JCO) In Sri Lanka, teenage girls who have become pregnant as a result of rape or incest are often stigmatized and forced out of their own homes while they wait for trials to take place. "Because the infrastructure in Sri Lanka is not that great, they're generally put into our equivalent of the juvenile prison system," said Ellen Sojka. Sojka is a 2004 Harrison High School graduate who also graduated with honors in June from MIT with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. more..

Election ploy behind decision to stop construction of Weerawila airport

Aug 2 (LT) The decision taken to halt the construction of the international airport at Weerawila had been taken targeting the Southern Provincial election that would be called after dissolving the present provincial council say internal sources in the government. In spite of Minister Chamal Rajapakse's assurance that the decision was taken considering the protests by environmentalists and residents in the area, the protest campaign that was held recently had more..

Ticket machines for private buses in Western Province

Aug 2 (LT) All private buses running on routes that come under Road Passenger Transport Authority (RPTA) in Western Province have to use ticket machines from today. RPTA states an order has been obtained from Supreme Court regarding the use of ticket machines. Those who fail to adhere to the regulations will have to pay a fine of Rs.250 for the first time, Rs.500 for the second time and Rs.750 for the third time if they are caught without issuing tickets. more..

New Delli is not Buddhagaya -Somawansa

Aug 2 (LT) Question: 15th SAARC Summit is to be held in Sri Lanka. What is your opinion about that? Answer: This summit is held mainly to boost the image of Sri Lanka. President Mahindaa Rajapaksha is also manipulating everything in line with a political agenda of his own and seems to be using this summit as a part of it. However at the verge of this summit, the most talked about subject is whether Sri Lankan government can provide security for the regional state leaders participating at this summit. more..

Sri Lanka and Bhutan – the common challenge of climate change

Aug 2 (LG) Bhutan and Sri Lanka share common ideals and traditions, as well as challenges, said the Prime Minister of Bhutan Lyonpo Jigmi Y Thinley. Among the challenges faced by the two countries were the pressing issues of climate change. While Bhutan faced the crisis of melting glaciers, Sri Lanka faced the problems caused by the rise in sea levels and changes in weather patterns. more..

New air links between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

Aug 2 (LG) The establishment of new air links between Sri Lanka and Dhaka was among the key items discussed between the Head of State and Chief Advisor of Bangladesh Dr, Fakhruddin Ahmed and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at bi-lateral talks held at the Presidential Secretariat today. The Bangladeshi leader, who commented favourably on the historical ties and friendship between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, recalled the story of the arrival of Prince Vijaya to Sri Lanka. more..

Prosperity of India and Sri Lanka closely linked - Manmohan

Aug 2 (LG) One cannot envisage a prosperous India without strong links with her neighbors, and the present SAARC Summit in Colombo provided an opportunity for such a partnership, said the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, in discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat today. The talks between the two leaders took place as part of the 15th SAARC Summit. more..

TDC raises serious concerns about impending humanitarian crisis in the north

Aug 2 (LG) The Tamil Democratic Congress (TDC) appeals to the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to safeguard the civilian population form the ongoing military offensive of the state security forces in the north of the island. Historical evidence confirms civilian population becoming easy pawn for the military offensives and many thousands have lost their lives under unaccountable situations arising as a result of the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators. more..

NIC and the permission to travel

Aug 2 (LG) It is reported that permission is refused at the Madawatchiya check point to the people who don't have National Identity Cards to travel to the south. They are also sent back. People from Vavuniya, Mannar and Vanni are unable to continue their journey to the south without the NIC. Earlier, people, who didn't have identity cards, showed other documents such as driving license and so on to prove their identity. more..

SC determination a turning point!

Aug 2 (LG) The Supreme Court has granted leave to proceed and fixed for hearing the fundamental rights application seeking direction on no less a person than President Rajapakse to establish the Constitutional Council. According to the Constitution of Sri Lanka, the incumbent of the post of president is not liable to be sued in Courts except for omissions or commissions in respect of portfolios he or she holds. more..

SAARC: The Best Way Forward

Aug 2 (LG) In spite of proliferation of economic and political groupings at continental and sub-continental levels in all the continents of the world in the post-Second World War period (in addition to the global groupings such as the United Nations), only a handful could claim to have achieved considerable success in terms of economic and/or political cooperation and integration. more..

Human Rights and President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Aug 2 (LG) Paid lobbyists are performing over time to paint the Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the violater of all human rights. It is ironical that this cacophony is rising to a shrill crescendo just at the time that the LTTE is about to be militarily subdued. It is time that the true position of Sri Lanka is presented to these detractors in the clearest possible manner and this whole issue of the so called violation of human rights be viewed dispassionately and objectively. more..

Vellankulam about to fall

Aug 2 (LG) The Sri Lanka Army, finally set foot in the district of Kilinochchi last evening as part of a fully mobilized operational army after over a decade. Although Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) teams have gone well beyond Kilinochchi, a massive mobilization of troops such as this has never entered Kilinochchi in over a decade. The 58 Division, facing stiff resistance from Tigers at Vellankulam, effectively surrounded the village to cut off the enemy from three directions, more..

Of Burnt tyres and wasted Votes

Aug 2 (LG) Wars come in many shapes, sizes, guises and intensities. From the conventional wars of past World Wars to the more unconventional ones fought in South East Asia, South America, the Africas and Central Europe. Each of these had it’s own unique plot line, players, editors, stunt men, comedians, fall guys and in the end, as with all wars, innocents. Wars are actually tragic comedies. Sri Lanka’s war is no exception. more..


Aug 2 (LG) This political and media hype now on about SAARC was driving us nuts. Morning, noon and night radio and TV have been droning and drooling about SAARC. Newspapers with their technicoloured headlines are screaming SAARC, SAARC. To getaway from this SAARC cacophony, we took refuge in our hansiputuwa by a window to ruminate about far more pleasant things and enjoy the invigorating monsoon breezes blowing in. more..

Committed to power devolution: Rajapaksa

Aug 2 (Hindu) Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday that his regime was committed to implement ‘comprehensively’ the provisions of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution on power devolution. Immediately on his arrival from New Delhi by a special aircraft Dr. Singh had a bilateral meeting with Mr. Rajapaksa and exchanged views on a wide range of issues of more..

Norwegian NGO used by LTTE, also delivered arms to an insurgency in

Aug 2 (MN) The Inter-Agency Standing Committee Country Team (IASC) a body of UN agencies in Sri Lanka while strongly condemning the forced removal of the Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA) assets and intimidations caused for the staff members by the LTTE, also urged the terrorist organization to immediately return all the INGO assets stolen with no further delay. This was asserted in a communiqué released by the IASC confirming the startling revelation made by last Sunday on the LTTE use of NPA vehicles for terrorist activities. more..

Have we faltered in Sri Lanka?

Aug 2 (GV) Pictures of Sri Lankans mourning the victims of the bomb blasts in the past few months have occupied local and international press agencies; the former to a greater degree. What were once political assassinations by the LTTE of strategic military targets has now culminated in the overt attack of the Sri Lankan public. More than ever before the public is instilled with insecurity and once safe Colombo suburbs are rattled with the sound of the LTTE suicide bombers. more..

India wants 'maximum devolution' for Tamils in Sri Lanka

Aug 2 (IANS) India favours 'maximum devolution' for the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka and feels that Colombo is slowly moving towards a federal power structure, a top Indian official said Friday. 'We want maximum devolution of power for Tamils,' the official told reporters on board the Indian Airlines flight carrying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Colombo for the SAARC summit opening Saturday. more..

Warships deployed off Sri Lanka

Aug 2 (Hindu) The Indian Navy has deployed at least two warships off Sri Lanka, besides seven warships, including destroyers, in the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has left for Colombo to attend the SAARC conference. A few patrolling vessels of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) are also part of the security arrangements. A top defence officer told The Hindu here on Friday that while four ships belonged to the Indian Navy, three were from ICG. more..

Most rights violations in Sri Lanka

Aug 2 (AA) Sri Lanka is the number one human rights violator of South Asia, according to the South Asian Human Rights Index 2008 released here on Friday. The report finds all South Asian countries to have a poor record. However, the index finds Maldives to have the best record as far as human rights go, followed by India and Nepal jointly. Apart from Afghanistan, all the other Saarc countries have been included for indexing purposes. more..

PM’s travails on way to Colombo worse than at home

Aug 2 (KO) Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala who had a hard time garnering consent from CPN-Maoist and CPN-UML for participation in the 15th SAARC Summit on behalf of Nepal, didn't have an easy time even in his journey to Sri Lanka. Though Koirala was supposed to land in Colombo at 11:00 pm on Thursday, he arrived here at 3:00 am Friday with the Nepali delegation as Sri Lanka Airlines in which Koirala was traveling was delayed by four hours at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. more..

Singh, Rajapakse discuss fishermen problem, economic cooperation

Aug 2 (AT) 'One cannot envisage a prosperous India without strong links with her neighbors and the present SAARC Summit in Colombo provided an opportunity for such a partnership', said the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh Friday in discussions with President Mahinda Rajapakse at the Presidential Secretariat. The talks between the two leaders took place on the sidelines of the 15th SAARC Summit. more..

Tamil Nadu magazine survey finds majority support for LTTE

Aug 2 (TW) The politics of the Tamil affairs in neighbouring Sri Lanka has always been a lightning rod in Tamil Nadu. It raises support and various sentiments across many spectrums of society. Particularly, support for the LTTE has been controversial at best, since the assassination of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Nevertheless the general view has been that vast support for the LTTE stems only among a group of minor politicians of the Southern Indian State. more..

Sri Lanka's refugee flow to India continues unabated

Aug 2 (IANS) Sri Lanka may be winning the war against the Tamil Tigers but the steady influx into India of Tamils fleeing the conflict shows no signs of abating. But in recent months, Tamils who are making it to Tamil Nadu after a rough and dangerous sea ride from Sri Lanka's north - the latest battle zone - are landing on the coast as virtual paupers. "Earlier the refugees bought at least some of their belongings with them," said S.C. Chandrahasan, more..

Restrain your fishermen, Rajapaksa tells Manmohan

Aug 2 (IANS) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Friday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure that Indian fishermen did not breach the maritime boundary between the two countries. Responding to Indian concerns that Indian fishermen were facing attacks from the Sri Lankan Navy, Rajapaksa told Manmohan Singh that it was his country's policy to treat all arrested fishermen humanely. more..