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Avalanche of ‘Quit’ Telegrams

Nov 1 (EB) Thousands of people including the AIADMK cadre and functionaries have sent telegrams to Chief Minister M Karunanidhi asking him to the step down from the office immediately over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. However, top officials in the Telecom Department at the Central Telegraphic Office in Chennai refused to divulge the number of telegrams received stating that “Such information cannot be revealed as it is meant for their internal purposes.” more..

Fishing in troubled waters

Nov 1 (EB) Now that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has beaten a strategic retreat in double quick time on the ultimatum he gave on ceasefire-or-else, focus has inevitably shifted, among other things, to the question of the plight of the fisherfolk. This is a perennial. New Delhi seems to have wrested a huge concession from the Lankans who are in the process of designating areas in their territorial waters where our fishermen can go and fish. more..

Prabhakaran surely down but is he on way out?

Nov 1 (EB) Many believe it’s only a matter of time: the LTTE are on the verge of capitulation. At least the majority Sinhalese in Sri Lanka are sure of it. This is it, they’re saying. But the sceptics differ. They’ve seen this before in the past 25 years. Every time, the Tigers have bounced back. This time, though, it does look grim for them. So what would that mean for the island-nation? Surely, not a sudden return to peace. more..

Sri Lankans need more than two ideas

Nov 1 (UPI) In Sri Lanka, there are two ideas – some may call them ideologies – that are dying out in the hearts and minds of those who were once their adherents. These ideas represent two extreme political views. The first idea is that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala nation where minorities must accept their lesser place. The second is that a separate state is the only solution to the ethnic conflict between Sinhalese and Tamil peoples. more..

'Govt. had been planning to repress media'

Nov 1 (LD) It is clear the government has been planning for a long time to unleash a worst form of media suppression, leader of the SLMC, Rauff Hakeem said. He was commenting on new regulations on private TV stations. Noting the government had experimented by closing down a radio station for broadcasting a false news report, Mr. Hakeem said that broadcaster had been reinstated after Duminda Silva, who had connections with it, crossed over to the government. more..

Ranil vows political action against TV curbs

Nov 1 (LD) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has vowed to take maximum political action against the present regime for curbing media freedom through the introduction of rules for private television stations. Broadcasting regulations enacted recently were a complete contravention of Clause 14 of the Constitution, adding the battle against them would be waged both in and outside Parliament. more..

AIADMK, DMK hurl charges over Jaya's attack

Nov 1 (PTI) Arch rivals AIADMK and DMK traded charges on Friday over the attack on former chief Jayalalithaa's motorcade in Ramanathapuram district with both parties accusing each other of "stage managing" the incident. Jayalalithaa accused DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi's Madurai-based son M K Azhagiri of being behind the stone pelting on Thurday "under directions from his father", more..

Gotabhaya, hidden hand behind TV curbs

Nov 1 (LD) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is the hidden hand behind the new curbs on television media, despite their being issued in a gazette extraordinary signed by Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, said SLFP Mahajana Wing leader Mangala Samaraweera. "Rajapaksa brothers have introduced regulations to control private television stations in an illegal and anti-democratic manner," more..

New Supreme Court judge takes oath

Nov 1 (LD) President of the Court of Appeal Mrs. Chandra Ekanayake has been sworn in as a judge in the Supreme Court. Mrs. Ekanayake took oaths before President Mahinda Rajapaksa today (Oct. 31). Enrolled as an attorney in June 1974, Mrs. Ekanayake was appointed a magistrate in March 1980. She also served as district judge and was promoted a judge of the High Court in July 1997. more..

Sri Lanka claims bombing key Sea Tiger hideout

Nov 1 (AFP) Air force on Friday bombed a suspected hideout of a top Tamil Tiger rebel while ground forces kept up a major offensive, the defence ministry said. Jet aircraft pounded a base of the "Sea Tiger" chief known as Soosai, the ministry said. It did not say if there were casualties. The attack on the suspected rebel hideout came a day after the military claimed it had captured a Sea Tiger base at Nachchikuda, more..

Food for displaced Sri Lankans

Nov 1 (RN) Six hundred fifty metric tons of flour, sugar, dhal, and oil sounds like it could feed a lot of mouths for a long, long time. But when it's supposed to feed an estimated more than three hundred thousand people, displaced from their normal resource channels, that mountain of food staples lasts a mere six days. This according to the most recent Inter-Agency Standing Committee report, a weekly update on Sri Lanka's ongoing humanitarian crisis. more..

Summary of Cabinet Decisions

Nov 1 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition, Nimal Siripala De Silva to procure medical equipment to upgrade the Mannar and Vavunia Hospitals to treat casualties from the battlefield. Accordingly, the procurement of 83 pieces of 15 different types of equipment at the total cost of Rs. 50,498,779.30+Vat was recommended with the approval of the Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition. more..

United States helps police reduce human trafficking in Sri Lanka

Nov 1 (AT) Today U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission James R. Moore and Mohamed Abdi Ker Mohamud, Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration, officially presented police officials with a training curriculum designed to prevent, identify, and prosecute human trafficking offenses in Sri Lanka. Human trafficking is the third largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world. more..

Enough is Enough

Nov 1 (LG) For the last 25 years many countries and organizations have been repeatedly saying that there is no military solution, and that there should be a political solution. The Sinhala majority governments in power have ignored such advice, at times pretending to want a political solution, but not coming up with an acceptable one for over 25 years!! Those who have preached about the need for a political solution have done nothing more than repeat it like a parrot, while taking no substantive action. more..

Right to Reclaim – Part Four

Nov 1 (LG) Unfortunately after independence the natural effect of the spread of education and the effects by governments to bring other portions of the island up to the intellectual level of the north where Ceylon Tamils enjoyed first-rate secondary schools founded and endowed by missionary effort of various denominations were quoted by racist extremist Tamils as discrimination against Tamils. more..

PBS Hemachandra is trying to write a new History

Nov 1 (LG) No harm is done when a person is either ignorant or illiterate about history than being educated with a falsified distorted history created for serving a communalistic purpose. The purported reclaimer is reminded the true history of Sri Lanka in a nutshell based on historical facts. In 2nd Century AD, Ptolemy located the earlier Naga Dipu Kingdom as covering the territory from Chilaw in the west to Batlicaloe in the East. more..

The Kandalama ‘family’

Nov 1 (TS) Ranjith Kumarasinghe found himself caught in the crossfire when his fellow villagers protested against Kandalama’s construction. Fresh after his A-levels, Kumarasinghe’s scores weren’t good enough to get him into the university. “It was hard to find a job in Sri Lanka then and we didn’t have the English skills to get a good job in the private sector,” recalled Kumarasinghe of Kandalama village. more..

Sri Lankan Accountant at center of World Bank cyber security scandal

Nov 1 (Fox) In 1997, Mohamed Vazir Muhsin, a Sri Lankan accountant, was chosen by then-World Bank President James Wolfensohn as the first chief information officer in the institution's history. Eight years later, Muhsin was unceremoniously thrown out the door, and the bank's information security headaches reached migraine stage. Early on in his tenure, Muhsin selected Satyam Computer Services, one of India's largest and fastest-growing technology firms, to more..

Refugees trust in prayer to bring long-awaited resettlement

Nov 1 (UCAN) A thousand displaced Tamil fishing families in a refugee camp look to the Blessed Mother for help, as their appeals to the military for resettlement continue to no avail. For more than a year, the camp in Nanattan, a farming village 215 kilometers northeast of Colombo, has been home to Catholic fishermen and their kin from three coastal villages. The military recaptured Arippu and Silavathurai from Tamil rebels in July 2007 and Mullikulam two months later. more..

Speech of Prof Rajiva Wijesinha

Nov 1 (PISL) Hon Minister, distinguished guests, friends, I am honoured to be here at this commemoration of the 18th anniversary of the forced eviction of Muslims from their homes in the Northern Province. In the last fifty years, on many occasions some of our citizens have suffered at the hands of others, and there is need to make amends for all of this. But of all these incidents, this was the worst, because it was an open and unashamed avowal of racism by those in authority, it was in fact ethnic cleansing. more..

Sri Lanka needs a dynamic agricultural development policy

Nov 1 (LG) It was in 1935 that D.S.Senanayake published his book ‘Agriculture and Patriotism’ in which he stated that Sri Lanka was‘ an essentially agricultural country’ and wanted the policy-makers to give priority to the development of agriculture. He saw the development of agriculture as an aspect of patriotism. The acreage under cultivation was estimated to be about one-fifth of the total area of land in the country. more..

Whither Aba?

Nov 1 (LG) It was in high spirits that I went to see the film Aba. I also knew the extraordinary capabilities of the Director and naturally, I expected a masterpiece. Actually, it proved to be a praiseworthy cinematic creation with highly competitive acting prowess and scenic beauty. I am no critic of cinema, being an ordinary person with a taste for good films. According to my notion, films are really the dreams of a person who can translate that dream into a true life experience. more..

True ‘Gyan’ from Bharath Gyan – I

Nov 1 (LG) On 19 January 2008 in New Delhi, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority launched a new concept called ‘Ramayana trail in Lanka’ to promote its ‘Spiritual Tourism’ with famous cricketers Arjuna Ranatunga and Arvinda Desilva as brand ambassadors. The SLTDA has identified 50 sites relating to the history of Ramayana and decided to promote them through tourism, which would be a part of the strife-torn Island Nation’s pursuit for progress. more..

Right to Reclaim – Part Five

Nov 1 (LG) I want to write a few of my experiences in the navy relevant to the current problem in Sri Lanka and why actions of UNP leaders allowed it to become a problem beyond control, allegedly supported by two super powers namely India and the US. In the navy there were two Tamils among 16 of us, who did the Sub Lieutenants course in India in 1971 and 1972 with me. Both are very good friends of mine. more..

Eelam politics-More to it than meets the eye! – I

Nov 1 (LG) The ‘Eelam’ politics has come on stage once again with the state political parties competing with each other to showcase their ‘concern’ for the welfare of the Tamil people of the island nation. The PMK was the first one to start the ‘show’ with a protest demonstration in front of the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission on 30 September 2008. The PMK’s protest was followed by a one-day hunger fast organised by the CPI. more..

TAF airmen received the Blue Tiger Award

Nov 1 (LG) Velupillai Pirapaharan, the leader of the LTTE, on Friday conferred Awards of Valour for Tiger commandos who excelled in their performance in the LTTE operation against the Sri Lankan Forces Vanni Headquarters (Vanni SF HQ) and the Tamileelam Air Force pilots and operators who took part in consecutive and successful flight operations of attack against the targets in the South and the bases of the Sri Lankan armed forces. more..

Eelam politics-More to it than meets the eye! – II

Nov 1 (LG) The ‘fever’ of ‘Eelam politics’ has subsided with the last ‘act’: Union External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Chennai and DMK Supremo and Chief Minister Karunanidhi making peace with the Centre. In part-I of the essay, we have seen that the events have unfolded like a movie and that a deep analysis is required to ‘review’ the movie. The Eelam politics has to be analysed in different perspectives. more..

Black Sea Tigers failing yet again!

Nov 1 (LG) Apropos report on the failed suicide attack by four suicide boats of the Sea Tiger wing of the LTTE this morning (Nov. 01) the failed attacks appear to have fallen in to a pattern that would not be to the liking of the Black Tigers In the attack this morning the SLN claimed that their Special Boat Squadron and the Rapid Action Boat Squadron have neuatralised the attack and have killed about 17 sea tigers while five of their own were injured in the engagement. more..

Ranatunga's 'blasting' of IPL unjustified - Modi

Nov 1 (CI) Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, has said that the Indian board is "very perturbed" at the allegations leveled against the tournament by Arjuna Ranatunga, who heads Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). In the first official reaction by the Indian board, which runs the IPL, Modi - who is also a BCCI vice-president - said Ranatunga's "continuous blasting" of the Twenty20 league was "totally unjustified". more..

Navy elites crush LTTE seaborne offensive; fighter jets target fleeing terrorist boats

Nov 1 (GDI) Air Force fighter jets have pounded LTTE boats struggling to each at Champion-Paththu coast after being beaten off by the Navy this morning (1st November). Air Force media spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara told that air strikes were taken at 8.30 a.m. He added that two tiger boats destroyed and 3 LTTE terrorists were killed in the attack, citing intelligence reports. more..

From bombing Rajiv to stoning Jayalalitha

Nov 1 (LNP) Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and the Central Government of India may have patched up differences over the Sri Lankan situation but the evil forces that the former unleashed in a bid to frighten the Congress-led government into submission continue to haunt Tamil Nadu. That is the danger of conjuring up spectres of separatist terror. Yesterday former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Jayalalitha came under a goon attack from the supporters of Karunanidhi`s pro-LTTE campaign. more..

Global meltdown to hit NGOs, INGOs in SL

Nov 1 (SAMN) With the global financial crisis threatening a recession in most developed countries, some NGOs and INGOs operating in Sri Lanka are worried over a possible impact on their fund raising activities eventually leading to a curtailment of humanitarian work. In some African countries, the credit crunch has led to the NGOs and INGOs cutting down on staff and having to limit their humanitarian assistance programmes. more..

EP Chief Minister has a close call

Nov 1 (SAMN) Easter Province Chief Minister Sivanesathuirai Chandrakanthan had a narrow escape in the early hours of Friday when a lorry loaded with fish plying to Colombo from Trincomalee collided head on with the his vehicle at Gokarella on Colombo –Dambulla highway. THe Chief Minister who was returning to Trincomalee from Colombo, escaped with minor injuries but his car was a total wreck and more..

Disaster preparedness drill for Docs

Nov 1 (SAMN) Over three hundred doctors and nurses participated in a ‘disaster preparedness drill,’ at the Hyde Park, Colombo Friday, to test and improve the preparedness of medical staff in the event of an emergency where a large number of casualties have to be treated. Doctors and nurses from four major hospitals in Colombo, representatives from some of the smaller hospitals, Police, Army and the Fire Brigade personnel participated in it. more..

Tank breakdown disrupts cultivation

Nov 1 (SAMN) Paddy cultivation in the Mediagama DS Division has been crippled by the breakdown of the Moragolla tank that provides irrigation facilities and drinking water to several villages. The Moragolla tank was one of the development projects implemented under the Buttala Gam Udawa programme. The tank was built to provide irrigation facilities to cultivate the historic Bakinigahawela tract of paddy fields and another 80 acres of paddy fields in the area more..

Gas prices down

Nov 1 (DN) The Government brought down the prices of Laugfs and Shell gas from midnight yesterday. The new price of a domestic gas cylinder of Laugfs and Shell will be Rs. 1,679 and Rs. 1,785. “This is clearly passing the benefit of the decreasing world LP gas price to local consumers,” Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Bandula Gunawardena told the media yesterday. The Government had to increase and decrease the prices of a cylinder of gas to adjust to the price fluctuation in the world market. more..

Norway funds Buddhist Education Institute

Nov 1 (DN) The Norwegian Government provided Rs. 300 million for the establishment of the International Buddhist Education Institute here. "Buddhism gives a rational explanation of life and today it is more appropriate to the society than any other time," Norwegian Ambassador Tore Haltrem said speaking at a ceremony at the Sri Dalada Maligawa to present the Memorandum of Understanding to Diyawadana Nilame, Dela Bandara. more..

Children and women becoming overweight

Nov 1 (Island) A recent World Bank study on malnutrition in Sri Lanka has revealed that over 10 per cent of the school children in the Colombo District have been found to be overweight, while 20 per cent of the women, in the age group of 15 – 49, were also overweight. The report said malnutrition includes both under nutrition and overweight. Though the report concentrated on malnutrition, overweight is an emerging public health problem in Sri Lanka more..

CID allowed to detain Sakvithi’s associate

Nov 1 (Island) Nugegoda Chief Magistrate Vasantha Jinadasa on Thursday granted the CID permission to detain Kesara Samakumara, a close associate of Sakvithi Ranasinghe. He was alleged to have had a hand in the dealings where Sakvithi is said to have cheated 2,013 people to a tune of Rs 1,070 million. Sakvithi is alleged to have accepted deposits from the unsuspecting public promising higher interest, but had left the country more..

Police avert major clash in Kelaniya

Nov 1 (DM) Timely intervention by Kelaniya police averted a major clash when goons said to be supporters of Minister Mervyn Silva attempted to disrupt a UNP demonstration against the recent assault on Pradeshiya Sabha UNP member Sumangala Samaraweera. The supporters had gathered near the Pradeshiya Sabha building where the protest was to be held and when UNP supporters led by senior UNPer Joseph Michael Perera began the demonstration, a counter demonstration was begun by the Mr. Silva’s supporters. more..

Channel asked to submit news transcripts

Nov 1 (DM) A popular broadcast channel in Sri Lanka has been put on notice that it is to submit transcripts of news broadcasts "to be carried" every week from October 28, an International Press Freedom Mission which visited Sri Lanka this week said in a statement. The International Mission deplores any effort to impose prior restraint or direct censorship on the media. It said media rules gazetted on October 10 by the Sri Lankan Government provided for more..

'SL to face grave economic crisis'

Nov 1 (LD) In a backdrop of a slump in the export of tea, rubber, spices and apparels due to the crisis in the world economy, Sri Lanka could face its worst economic crisis ever, experts warn. The tea industry, which faces the worst threat, will mark sharp declines in the incomes of 500,000 smallholders as well as a job cut of around 25,000 labourers. According to Jayantha Karunaratne, Managing Director of leading tea exporter Impa, the economic crisis has sent Sri Lanka's tea sales to Russia tumbling by 40 per cent. more..

Indian advisor for APC - ‘Irida Lanka’

Nov 1 (LD) A special Indian emissary is to arrive in Sri Lanka shortly to advise and supervise the recommendations of All Party Conference to resolve the national issue, ‘Irida Lanka’ reports. Citing political sources, ‘Irida Lanka’ says the responsibilities of this Indian emissary would be to advise the APC on the formulation of the proposals aimed at a political solution for the East and the Northern regions, while ensuring the full implementation of the 13th Amendment. more..

‘Paramitha’ for victims of war & political violence

Nov 1 (LD) A voluntary social services organisation called ‘Paramitha’ has been founded to assist people affected by war and political violence, the organization’s secretary, Thamara Dissanayake told ‘Lanka Dissent’. Mrs. Dissanayake, wife of the UNP National organizer - S.B. Dissanayake says that the organization works against racism, caste system and the religious fanaticism. more..

'New TV curbs imposed according to intl. laws'

Nov 1 (LD) The new broadcasting regulations on private TV channels were enacted after an in-depth study of such regulations in foreign countries and lengthy talks, Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. Speaking at a media briefing yesterday, the minister said that the regulations were implemented in a transparent manner with the sole intention of establishing all television channels on a fair expanse. more..

Bad budgets, hot borrowings, dollar peg has endangered economy: IMF

Nov 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka has to change its ways to protect itself from the negative effects of bad budgets, foreign borrowings, and a 'de facto' dollar peg of the rupee, the International Monetary Fund has said. The IMF's executive directors, in an annual assessment of the island, said the economy and the national currency were threatened by foreign hot money brought into finance the budget deficit, which could reverse at any time. more..

South Indian film actors fast on Sri Lankan Tamils issue

Nov 1 (PTI) Almost the entire Tamil cinema actors on Saturday turned up for the day-long fast to express their solidarity with the "affected Tamils" in the ongoing offensive in Sri Lanka. The big stage was painted black. Most of the actors turned up in black attire, to show their protest to the "continued killings" of Tamils in the island nation. From the well-known to the little-known, most faces of Tamil cinema ensured they were present for a cause that more..

Sri Lanka says 17 rebels killed in sea clash

Nov 1 (AP) Sri Lanka's navy fought a fierce battle Saturday against Tamil Tigers in the northern sea, destroying six rebel boats and killing 17 guerillas with the help of air strikes by military bomber planes, officials said. Navy spokesman D.K.P Dassanayake said the sea battle took place in the early morning off northern Jaffna peninsula when the navy observed a cluster of rebel boats and attacked them. more..

Protect Tamils, not the LTTE

Nov 2 (LG) One wonders if the DMK, a key partner in the ruling UPA coalition at the Centre, would have been inclined to initiate the move to secure the resignation of Tamil Nadu MPs if Lok Sabha elections were not round the corner. Clearly, a party that would be up against the anti-incumbency sentiment, both at the level of Parliament and the state Assembly this time round, has sought to use as artificial prop happenings on a foreign shore that concern the health of a violent outfit. more..

EROS: Conflict Within

Nov 2 (LG) The factional infightings within EROS have become a points scoring exercise between its UK based Nesan Shankar Raji and Rajanathan Pirabakaran stationed in Eastern Sri Lanka. Nesan Shakar Raji in his latest newsletter to the Sri Lanka Guardian claims: ‘I am shocked that the article with the following heading - No person who called Nesan in EROS- was published in your news website. more..