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Fernandes cancels Eelam Tamil meet at home

Aug 27 (AT) George Fernandes, the aging Indian socialist, has, in an unexpected move, announced the cancellation of what is to be a star studded intellectual brain storm on Sri Lanka's ethnic problem at his residence here on August 30. The moot was the first ever attempt to take Eelam debate, hither to confined to Tamil Nadu to North India. more..

Jaffna received only 1500 MT of food items out of the reported 3800 MT. What happened to the balance items?

Aug 27 (AT) Government pledged to send 3800 MT food items by ship to Jaffna. But the ship that arrived in Jaffna brought only 1500 MT of food and other items. Earlier it was widely reported before the departure of the ship MV Mercs Ruhuna from Colombo to Jaffna, that the ship would be carrying 3800 MT of food and other essential items to Jaffna, which would last for a month. more..

Four university students dead when boat capsized

Aug 27 (LT) Four final year students of the Engineering Faculty of the University of Peradeniya were killed when they drowned in the Parackrama Samudraya in Polonnaruwa. They had gone on a picnic to an island in Parackrama Samudraya in Polonnaruwa and the boat they had taken for a ride capsized on their way back from the island. more..

British GP charged over rocket sales

Aug 27 (ST) BRITISH doctor has been arrested in New York, charged with aiding Sri Lankan terrorists by facilitating the purchase of American rockets and British submarine technology. Dr Murugesu Vinayagamoorthy, 57, from north London, is in a detention centre in New York, accused of laundering terrorist money. more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 27 (AP) A passenger looks out from the ferry carrying about 150 foreign nationals from Sri Lanka's besieged northern Jaffna Peninsula as it arrives at a port in Trincomalee, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006. more..

New Moon party at Parayan-Aalankulam

Aug 27 (ISL) New Moon ideally suited Zoo-Paa’s plans; he has been laying it for a few days. His buddy was arriving from Norway and soon the whole Tiger fiasco would be turned into a Sri Lankan Armed Forces fiasco. In Zoo-Paa’s view the new expert advisor to the LTTE on military matters will be no other than his friend of seven months, Major General Lars Johan Solvberg who will come riding the Trojan Horse to Wanni. more..

Panic-struck Poopalapillai goes pattash

Aug 27 (ISL) David Poopalapillai claims he and his Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) have a membership of over 10,000. They conduct business as if they speak for the entire Tamil community in Canada. This was what they did at a press conference they held following the arrests made in the US and Canada of seven Canadians of Sri Lankan origin including a former spokesperson of the CTC on charges of arms purchase and attempting to bribe US bureaucrats to perform certain illegal operations. more..

India must drop the facade of neutrality

Aug 27 (Gulf) For too long has India stood by the sidelines and watched as Sri Lanka skeetered these past months from a fragile peace to an all out war. Today, as a crafty Indian politician tried to tap into pan-Tamil sentiment in India over the brutal military assault that the Sri Lankan government of Mahinda Rajapakse has unleashed on the separatist Tigers, and the unfortunate Tamil populace in northern and eastern Sri Lanka, more..

Tamil community pledge proactive measures against LTTE intimidations - Canada

Aug 27 (MoD) The success of the massive surveillance operation done by the U.S officials in unraveling the huge network of the LTTE has, as at long last exposed the degree to which the LTTE has spread its tentacles all over the globe. The very dangerously penetrative mode of operation of the LTTE has in many countries caused severe breaches of the internal security operations network, causing alarm and serious consternation. more..

Troops ensures safe journey for civilians leaving - Jaffna

Aug 27 (MoD) The vessel Seruwila II under the ICRC flag arrived at Kankasanthurai (KKS) on Saturday (26) to evacuate foreigners and civilians who wanted to leave the peninsula as a result of offensives initiated by the Tigers on the 11th of August by firing artillery and mortars at the Muhamale-Nagarakovil forward defence Line (FDL). more..

Police step up searches in Colombo

Aug 27 (DPA) Police have stepped up searches around Sri Lanka’s capital after the detection of explosives and the arrest of 18 Tamils suspected to have links with rebels, police said Sunday. Police were carrying out searches of vehicles entering Colombo fearing that Tamil rebels may carry out attacks in the city while their cadres are under pressure from the security forces in the north and eastern provinces. more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 27 (Reuters) Ethnic Tamil foreign citizens and foreign nationals evacuated from Jaffna line up for security checks before travelling to Colombo, at a jetty in Trincomalee Sri Lanka August 27, 2006. more..

Failure to get missiles sealed LTTE's fate

Aug 27 (HT) It is now clear that the LTTE's daring incursions into the Trincomalee and Jaffna districts of Sri Lanka in July-August were blunted by the repeated use of supersonic aircraft by the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF). But if the LTTE had succeeded in its efforts to acquire 50 to 100 SA-18 shoulder held missiles from the clandestine arms market in the US, the SLAF's supersonic Kfir fighter bombers would not have been able to play the role that they did. more..

Roads paved with GOLD

Aug 27 (LNP) With expectations to win a mere 15 Gold Medals at the 10th South Asian Games (SAG), the host country has far exceeded their expectations by bagging more than 30 Gold medals (still counting) up to now! Being unable to locate the entire Gold Team, we managed to take a sneak peak into the lives of a few. more..

Allegations of huge fraud against liquor giant

Aug 27 (LNP) The Customs Department has discovered a huge scam by the Distilleries Corporation of Sri Lanka (DCSL) in under invoicing documents in the import of spirits resulting in defrauding the state in the past 10 years to the tune of more than Rs.1.5 billion in taxes, Customs officials said. They said the department would ask the company tomorrow to furnish more details on its past imports. more..

`She says nothing, does nothing and gets blasted for nothing`

Aug 27 (LNP) Tourism Minister Anura Bandaranaike -- who recently lambasted SLFP General Secretary Maitripala Sirisena for reportedly failing to invite his sister to a party convention -- last week slated `creatures of her own making` for now ill-treating the former president. He also reiterated that he will not attend the September 1 event as a sign of protest. more..

SLMC in govt fold?

Aug 27 (LNP) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is considering joining the Government with their remaining six MPs, shortly after the Government reaches a compromise on their demands. `Now the negotiations are going on with the Government but no finality has been reached`, SLMC National Organiser K. Baiz told the Sunday Observer yesterday. more..

More want to leave Jaffna

Aug 27 (SAMN) At least 9,000 more persons registered with the Jaffna Government Agent to leave the peninsula as the first batch of stranded persons sailed out Saturday under the escort of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Jaffna GA K. Ganesh said he had requested the government to charter a larger vessel to transport passengers from Jaffna to Colombo as more were registering to leave the peninsula. more..

INGO head deported

Aug 27 (SAMN) The head of an International Non-Governmental Organisation (INGO) was blacklisted and deported after he was found guilty of issuing a certificate at the end of a training programme bearing the emblem of Sri Lanka alongside an LTTE emblem. Dr.Pep Coll, Medicos Del Mundo-Spain (MDM Spain) head-of-mission, was asked to leave the country before the 31st of July. more..

TV advertising on hold

Aug 27 (SAMN) Recent heavy taxes on foreign produced TV commercials have resulted in multinational companies putting their advertising campaigns on hold. According to industry sources, multinational companies have regional based promotion where they have common advertising campaigns. In such campaigns the companies mostly use foreign produced TV commercials. more..

Getty Images

Aug 27 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Dulanjalee Ranasinghe celebrates after winning the high jump event at the 10th South Asian Federation Games in Colombo 25 August 2006. more..

Mini grids, for rural electrification

Aug 27 (SAMN) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) incurs a monthly loss of Rs. 480 per household through its rural electrification schemes. The loss per month for one million households will be Rs. 480 million and Rs. 5,760 million per annum. As the number of households increases the cost of electrification will surge to meet the additional power generation, said Chairman Hydropower International (Pvt) Ltd., Nishantha Nanayakkara. more..

RCMP officers followed suspect to wedding

Aug 27 (NP) Last Saturday evening, hours after the FBI arrested several Canadians allegedly trying to buy anti-aircraft missiles in New York, Suresh Sriskandarajah attended a wedding in Scarborough, Ont., under the watchful eye of the RCMP's anti-terrorism squad. With his warm, dark eyes and broad smile, the 26-year-old man left his friends before the reception was over and, as officers secretly watched, climbed behind the wheel of his car. more..

The great INGO tsunami money-grab

Aug 27 (SO) International NGOs which pledged to build over 70,000 houses and signed agreements for 19,600 houses, have built only a meagre 2,900 houses in 18 months after the 2004 Boxing day catastrophe. Following this inordinate delay by the INGOs, the head of the Reconstruction and Development Agency this week urged the INGOs to transfer tsunami donor monies lying in their bank accounts to the Treasury to enable the government to fund tsunami victims to build their own houses. more..

Foreign nationals flee Sri Lanka's north as shelling in the east leaves 5 soldiers wounded

Aug 27 (AP) Clutching pillows and hastily gathered belongings, the first foreign nationals to be evacuated from Sri Lanka's besieged northern Jaffna Peninsula arrived Sunday at an eastern port. As the ferry, flying the International Committee of the Red Cross flag, pulled into Trincomalee port, sporadic artillery and mortar fire reverberated in the early morning silence and flashes were seen across the lagoon. more..

Sri Lankan army and Tamil Tiger rebels exchange artillery, mortar fire, military says

Aug 27 (AP) Sri Lanka's army and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels Sunday exchanged artillery and mortar fire in the volatile east as a ferry carrying the first foreign nationals and aid workers to be evacuated from besieged northern Jaffna docked at an eastern port. Military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said the rebels attacked an army patrol near Selvanagar village. more..

Expats evacuated from Sri Lanka north

Aug 27 (Reuters) The first foreign nationals and aid workers to be evacuated from Sri Lanka's besieged north sailed into this eastern port on Sunday, only to be met by volleys of rockets and artillery amid fresh fighting. The military said it fired artillery and mortar bombs at rebel positions south of the Tiger-held town of Sampur after the Tigers fired at a patrol near an army camp. Seven soldiers were injured. more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 27 (Reuters) Seruwila II, a ferry chartered by the International Committee of the Red Cross to evacuate Tamil foreign citizens and foreign nationals, arrives at Trincamlee jetty, in Trincomalee, more..

Ferry brings 152 to safety from stricken northern Sri Lanka

Aug 27 (AFP) A Red Cross ferry has arrived in northeast Sri Lanka with around 150 foreigners who had been trapped by fighting for more than two weeks in the northern Jaffna peninsula, officials said. The ferry arrived at the port of Trincomalee in the country's northeast in the early hours and passengers were being brought to the country's biggest city Colombo by bus, more..

New ceasefire head prepares for Sri Lanka's mission impossible

Aug 27 (AFP) The new head of Sri Lanka's truce monitors takes over a team cut by nearly half this week amid warnings by his predecessor of "mission impossible" to satisfy both sides in the vicious separatist conflict. Former Norwegian army chief Lars Solvberg will run a 30-strong group after members from the European Union were ordered to quit by the end of the month by Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Displaced drift back to Sri Lanka conflict zone

Aug 27 (Reuters) Hundreds of displaced villagers are venturing back to inspect homes shelled during fighting between Tamil rebels and the army in northeast Sri Lanka, and 20-year-old Ripan Rimas made an unexpected discovery. "The Tigers built a bunker here in our garden," she said, pointing at a tree trunk laid sideways and stacks of bricks. "I won't go over there. I won't let the children go. I think something may explode." more..

Govt-LTTE in talks quandary

Aug 28 (NS) Norwegian facilitators anticipated Colombo’s response to an apparent peace overture by the LTTE yesterday, but representatives of both sides played down their faith in the new moves to get them back to the negotiating table. The LTTE decision to release NCPA policeman Bandujeewa Weerasinghe Bopitigoda left the government in a quandary, after Norway claimed that it had been a gesture of goodwill on the part of the Tigers to kick-start the stalled peace bid, diplomats said. more..

Norwegian oil pact halted

Aug 28 (NS) President Mahinda Rajapakse narrowly salvaged Sri Lanka’s oil prospectus by ordering the termination of a pact with Norwegian oil company TGS-NOPEC and by appointing a negotiating committee comprising independent persons, during a meeting with oil industry stakeholders last Thursday. more..

UNP says ‘no’ to media gag

Aug 28 (NS) The United National Party will strongly oppose any sort of censorship on the media that the government intends imposing in the future citing the current security situation in the country, former minister professor G.L. Peiris said. Elaborating he said, that it is pointless to impose a censorship at a time communication media has developed by leaps and bounds. more..

President pushes for peace

Aug 28 (NS) There appear to be fresh hopes for another round of talks between the government and the LTTE after President Rajapaksa’s meeting with representatives of the co-chairs. The President had told the ambassadors of those countries that he was keen to have a fresh look at a peace initiative, provided that the LTTE reciprocates. more..

Despair of one displaced village

Aug 28 (TN) The experience of the residents of Vellaveli, a village in the eastern Batticaloa district, is a microcosm of that of over 200,000 people who have this year joined the hundreds of thousands of long-term displaced in the island. Driven from their homes by a Sri Lankan military offensive, the rice farming families face starvation and debt-riddled ruin. more..

Ajith Bandara grabs Marathon Gold

Aug 28 (DGI) Sri Lanka’s marathon runner A M Ajith Bandara won the gold medal with a timing of 2 hours 25 minutes and 40 seconds. Nepal’s Arjun Kumar Basnet grabbed the silver while L Dinnino of India came third. India continued its winning streak and kept ahead of others with 118 gold medals. Pakistan is in the second place with 41 gold and Sri Lanka has increased its gold tally to 36. more..

Apollo ownership battle in Sri Lanka gets murky

Aug 28 (ZN) The Colombo Stock Exchange has sought clarifications from the Sri Lankan unit of Apollo on the tax incentives enjoyed by the company amid a deepening hostile takeover battle over the hospital. Earlier this month, the Board of Investments (BoI), the main foreign investment regulator in the island sided with Lanka Hospitals Ltd, the owners of Apollo Hospital here, saying they will lose tax breaks if the owning structure of the 350-bed hospital changes. more..

JVP-SLFP crucial talks tomorrow

Aug 28 (SS) The JVP and SLFP delegations will have a crucial round of talks tomorrow, aiming to workout a conformity between the two parties to strengthen the government, a JVP spokesman said. He said that the SLFP had replied positively to 17 out of 20 conditions forwarded by them and they will discuss the remaining issues in detail when two parties meet next week. more..

SA Games bring respite

Aug 28 (SS) The turmoil enveloping the country was brought to some semblance of order with the SAGames scheduled for opening on the 18th. Although it was to begin at 5pm the opening was delayed by the weather until 6 pm at which time the Presidential motorcade arrived at Sugathadasa stadium which erupted with joy. more..

PLOTE Leader sees LTTE alienating Muslims as folly

Aug 28 (SS) One of the survivors of the fast dwindling tribe of independent Tamil thinkers, Dharmalingam Sithadthan, the Leader of the People's PLOTE spoke to the Sunday Standard in the aftermath of the assassination of Ketheeshwaran Loganathan. While being very critical of the role played by the Norwegian facilitators and the SLMM so far, he appeals to the two major political to come together in the search for a solution to the grave problem facing the country. more..

The Free Media in a Spin

Aug 28 (SS) Nobody any more believes in the myth of a 'free' media. True or false? Well, it depends. When the falsehoods put out by the media confirm your prejudices, why, the particular rag or radio station or TV channel is 'free', is 'objective'. When they report anything unpalatable to your preferred view of what's going on, they are 'biased', they 'lie', and there are much worn epithets that you could hurl at them. more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 28 (AFP) Traditional dancers: Sri Lankan traditional dancers perform a dance with drums at the Sri Lanka Navy Firing Range Complex in Welisara after the final day of shooting competitions of the South Asian Federation Games in Colombo. more..

Sri Lankans take tsunami warnings into their own hands

Aug 28 (Reuters) In a small room up a rickety staircase in a tsunami-damaged building on Sri Lanka's south coast, Roshan Waduthantri sits glued to an earthquake warning Web site and monitors cable TV channels. "Look, there has been a quake in the Scotia Sea," he said, monitoring U.S. Geological Survey Web site "We monitor all day and all night, and if there is a major earthquake, we tell the local community." more..

In war-torn Lanka, a widow remembers

Aug 28 (IANS) It is tough to be a widow. Tougher if the husband is gunned down at your home. Worse, if the frail man had been actually wondering how to cope if his wife died before him. A fortnight after suspected Tamil Tigers killed Ketheshwaran Loganathan, his wife of 28 years is still in shock. more..

Only a phased peace process will work - Uyangoda

Aug 28 (TN) A lasting solution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic question can only emerge out of a protracted peace process with interim agreements, rather than a quest for an up-front final solution, one of the country’s leading political scientists argued this week. more..

Sri Lankan government negotiates with JVP ally on program for all-out war

Aug 28 (wsws) Amid open fighting between the military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) over the past month, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse has been actively negotiating for the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) to join his ruling coalition. more..

Over ten local and foreign firms bid for Sri Lanka’s lube licenses

Aug 28 (LBO) Just over ten foreign and local firms put in bids for a license to market lubricants in Sri Lanka, when offers closed on Monday, a top official said. Sri Lanka threw open its lubricant market in July, calling for bids from interested investors to blend lubricants locally or import and sell packed products. more..

Massive search operation in Colombo

Aug 28 (LT) A sudden search operation was conducted jointly by the three services and the police in Colombo yesterday (27th) afternoon. All vehicles and individuals entering and going out of Colombo were subjected to a vigorous search. As a result all roads leading to Colombo were blocked and long queues of vehicles were seen at the entrances to these roads. more..

Central Bank of Sri Lanka advised to avoid direct controlling of inflation

Aug 28 (AT) World economy turning towards a new dimension with the emerging markets in Asia and Latin America synchronizing the boom, Deutsche Bank Group Chief Economist and the Deutsche Bank Research Chief Executive Officer Prof. Norbert Walter recently advised the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to avoid direct efforts taken to control inflation but to use macro economic and monetary policy measures in doing so. more..