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43 Lorry loads of Food items dispatched to Vanni: Another shipload would arrive in Jaffna this week – Minister Douglas Devanan

Aug 28 (AT) Arrangements are being made to send food, medicine and other essential items to Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaithivu, Vavuniya and for the East by ship and road, said Douglas Devananda MP, Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare and the Secretary General of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party. more..

Jaffna TRO office attacked and ransacked

Aug 28 (RW) The TRO Jaffna office at No. 141, Temple Road was attacked by heavily armed men wearing military fatigues at approximately 23:00h on 23 August 2006. This attack by armed military personnel occurred during the strictly enforced curfew that the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has imposed on the Jaffna Peninsula. more..

Sri Lanka hunts for fugitive executive facing US fraud charges

Aug 28 (AFP) Sri Lankan police said they were hunting alleged fugitive executive Jacob "Kobi" Alexander after reports he fled fraud charges in the US for a fishing village hideaway in the island nation. Detectives were investigating a claimed sighting of the 54-year-old after he failed to appear in court in the United States where he is accused in an alleged multi-million dollar stock-option fraud and running a secret "slush fund." more..

Indian contingent bags South Asian Games champions' trophy

Aug 28 (PTI) Breaking new grounds, the champions' trophy was presented to the Indian contingent for winning the highest number of medals in the 10th South Asian Games, which draw to a close on Monday after ten days of sporting spectacle. The glittering gold-plated trophy was presented to India's chef de mission Rangil Singh by Shuhei Anan, the CEO of Sri Lanka Telecom, prinicipal sponsors of the Games, at a function on Sunday night. more..

Mahinda ready to face Prabha

Aug 28 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said he is ready to have a one to one discussion - “man to man” - with Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran to hammer out a solution to the North-East conflict. In an interview with the India Today magazine President Rajapaksa said: “For me, the ceasefire is still on although the LTTE has been waging an undeclared war ever since the agreement was signed. more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 28 (AP) Troops unload munitions from a Russian-built troop transporter plane at the Palali airbase in Jaffna. Sri Lanka's air force flew munitions to the island's besieged north on Monday and flew out dead troops in white body bags, as fresh fighting flared in the east. more..

Mixed reaction to National Govt. bid

Aug 28 (SAMN) Political parties and business leaders Sunday expressed diverse opinions on the proposed National Government by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The main Opposition UNP said it would consider any proposal for such a Government only if the Governmen came up with clear-cut policies on vital issues, acceptable to the UNP. more..

SLMC in no hurry to join the Govt.

Aug 28 (SAMN) The politburo of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) at a meeting held on Friday night, has decided not to take a hasty decision to join the Government. It has decided that it would watch how issues that plague the community are addressed, before deciding in this regard. more..

NGOs and Govt. clash over new rules

Aug 28 (SAMN) The Government is on a collision course with Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) over measures to list aid groups operating in the country, especially in the North and East, so as to track their operations. Police officers had Sunday visited several NGOs in the North and East and asked them to register with the Defence Ministry before the end of this month or face eviction, the Centre for Humanitarian Agencies (CHA) said. more..

Jaffna civilians `extremely fed up` with LTTE attitude

Aug 28 (LNP) Unlike in the previous conflict conditions, Jaffna civilians are determined to stay back in their own homes despite LTTE attempts to create chaos in the Peninsula, Chief Coordinator of Civil Affairs Colonel L.C. Perera said. Col. Perera elaborating on the current situation in the Peninsula, told the Daily News that civilians in the Jaffna peninsula were extremely fed up with the LTTE`s attitude. more..

Colombo under tight security

Aug 28 (LNP) The Colombo city limits and its immediate suburbs were thrown under a lightning blanket search operation by the security forces yesterday following the discovery of a large haul of explosives and weapons in Pamunugama the previous day. On the directive of the newly appointed Colombo overall operations chief Gen. Lawrence Fernando, the three forces together with the police setup roadblocks along key roads in Colombo and its surroundings and conducted tight checks on all vehicles and passengers. more..

Accelerated programme to despatch essentials to N/E

Aug 28 (DN) The Government has initiated an accelerated programme to despatch essential food commodities to the North East without causing any scarcity of food among the people there. Under this programme, food items needed for the Jaffna District will be sent by ships while the people in the Kilinochchi, Mulaitivu, Mannar and Vavuniya Districts will receive food despatched by land. more..

Nedumaran wants all-party meet on Lanka

Aug 28 (CO) Tamil Nationalist Movement leader P Nedumaran today appealed to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to send an all-party delegation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss and find a solution to the ongoing ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka and killing of innocent Tamils. more..

Sri Lanka flies munitions north, brings out bodies

Aug 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's air force flew munitions to the island's besieged north on Monday and flew out dead troops in white body bags, as fresh fighting flared in the east. Officials said two soldiers were killed and 12 others injured when a patrol was attacked by Tamil Tiger rebels near a camp in the restive northeastern district of Trincomalee -- the second such clash in as many days. more..

War not the answer, say weary Sri Lankan troops

Aug 28 (Reuters) Scanning the horizon as Tamil Tiger rebels fire mortar bombs toward their makeshift camp, troops in this corner of northeast Sri Lanka say renewed civil war is futile. "No-one can win the war. It is a guerrilla war, so we can't win," said one officer freshly drafted in with reinforcements to the restive district of Trincomalee in Sri Lanka's northeast as mortar fire boomed from nearby rebel lines. more..

Sri Lankan forces move to flush rebels from key villages in northeast

Aug 28 (AP) Two soldiers were killed and 12 wounded on Monday as Sri Lanka's armed forces moved to retake four strategic villages from Tamil Tiger rebels in the northeast, the military said. The soldiers were on patrol in Selvanagar and Thoppur villages, in northeastern Trincomalee district, when the insurgents fired artillery and mortars, military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said. more..

Here there be Tigers

Aug 28 (OC) Following the arrest of a number of Canadians of Sri Lankan Tamil origin on charges of trying to procure arms for the Tamil Tigers, it should come as no surprise that the FBI has identified Canada as a major source of illegal fundraising to the terrorist group. more..

Massive scam based on stolen debit card info

Aug 28 (TS) Five accused Sri Lankan gang members are behind bars in connection with a massive fraud scam that police suspect may have bilked thousands of Mississauga residents. "This was a highly organized and sophisticated ring," Det. Steve Craddock of 31 Division said yesterday. "We are interested in what the money was being used for." more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 28 (AP) People gather around a military helicopter carrying wounded soldiers to a hospital in Polonnaruwa, Aug. 28. Two soldiers were killed and 12 wounded in a fierce battle with Tamil Tiger rebels in northeast Sri Lanka on Monday, the military said. more..

2 soldiers killed, 12 wounded in northeast Sri Lanka

Aug 28 (AP) Two soldiers were killed and 12 wounded during a fierce battle with suspected Tamil Tiger rebels in northeast Sri Lanka on Monday, the military said. The soldiers were on patrol in Selvanagar and Thoppur villages, in northeastern Trincomalee district, when the insurgents fired artillery and mortars, military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said. more..

CM urged to send a Tamil Nadu delegation to Prime Minister

Aug 28 (PTI) Tamil Nationalist Movement leader P Neduramaran today appealed to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M Karunanidhi, to send an all party delegation to Prime Minister,Manmohan Singh,to discuss and find a solution to the ongoing Sri Lankan crisis and "killing of innocent Tamils.' more..

Sri Lanka army launches eastern push on Tigers

Aug 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's army launched a new push into Tamil Tiger rebel territory in the east on Monday, while in the besieged north an air force transport plane ferried in munitions and took out the dead. At least four soldiers were killed in Monday's fighting. Hundreds have been killed in violence this month, the worst fighting since a 2002 truce, but so far the front lines have barely moved. more..

Military offensive in northeast Sri Lanka leaves at least 28 dead

Aug 28 (AP) Sri Lanka's armed forces launched airstrikes and fired artillery as they advanced Monday on a strategic Tamil Tiger-held enclave, killing at least 28 people, the military and rebels said. The military said eight soldiers were killed and 28 wounded as ground troops backed by air force jets battled their way toward rebel-held Sampur, to the south of the strategic Trincomalee port. more..

Sri Lankan displacement crisis 'quite serious': Red Cross

Aug 28 (IANS) The displacement of thousands in Sri Lanka's north following fighting between the Tamil Tigers and the military has led to a 'quite serious' humanitarian crisis, says the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). And the Geneva-based body warns that the situation in Jaffna peninsula could take a turn for the worse if a round-the-clock curfew in force there continues because of clashes between the military and the LTTE. more..

Heavy artillery duels in Sri Lanka as troops move to secure port

Aug 28 (AFP) At least 11 Sri Lankan troops were killed and 79 wounded during a ground offensive to push back guerrilla artillery threatening a strategic naval port, officials and hospital sources have said. Troops backed by multi-barrel rocket launchers and artillery guns moved towards the rebel-held town of Sampur at the southern edge of the Koddiyar bay where the main naval port of Trincomalee is located, more..

Murder of Sri Lankan journalist prompts condemnation by UNESCO chief

Aug 29 (UN) As part of his ongoing campaign to highlight threats to press freedom worldwide, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the murder of a journalist in Sri Lanka. Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah, the managing director of Namathu Eelanadu, a Tamil-language newspaper, was shot and killed on 20 August in Vellippalai. more..

UNP 'rejects' national govt.

Aug 29 (BBC) The main opposition in Sri Lanka has rejected an offer from the government to form a government of national unity. The UNP has hinted that leader of the opposition, Ranil Wickramasignhe, is to formally reject the offer from the ruling coalition. UNP assistant General Secretary Tissa Attanayaka told BBC Sandeshaya that the party does not have to join the government to support in the issues of national interest. more..

Colombo bids adieu to SAF Games

Aug 29 (UNI) trouble-torn nation spent a rare fortnight of festivity, oblivious of its daily date with terror, as the curtains came down on the 10th SAF Games at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo on Monday evening. The August 14 car bomb blast in the city saw a panic-stricken South African cricket team pack their bag and return to Johannesburg in the first available flight. more..

SLFP responses to JVP conditions

Aug 29 (LeN) The SLFP says it believes that the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna has no policy obstacle to join the government and hold responsibilities even though there would be no change in the composition in Parliament as the Mahinda Rajapaksa government is truly committed to defeat LTTE fascism in the true sense of the word. more..

Displaced Sri Lankans face bleak future

Aug 29 (Reuters) Sheltering from the burning sun under a ragged awning in one of dozens of cramped refugee camps in Sri Lanka's war-ravaged east, 18-year-old Sharmila Rahim dreams of being a teacher and should be studying. But her village was wrecked, her house damaged and her school books burnt as the military and LTTE rebels began a new chapter of a two-decade civil war earlier this month. more..

Aid workers targeted in Sri Lankan clashes

Aug 29 (AP) Seventeen Sri Lankans working for an international aid agency were slain execution-style, and ambulances ferrying wounded civilians have been blown off the road. The attacks in northern and eastern Sri Lanka took place during fierce fighting between ethnic Tamil rebels and government troops dominated by the Sinhalese majority, and agencies say the conflict is becoming among the most dangerous for aid workers in recent years. more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 29 (AP) A government soldier looks on inside an underground bunker in Mavilaaru, close to Trincomalee, about 220 kilometers (138 miles) northeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, Aug. 28, 2006. more..

Norway, India discuss Sri Lanka situation

Aug 29 (Hindu) Worried over the violence in Sri Lanka, Norway, which is facilitating the peace process there, and India are engaged in quiet consultations to defuse the situation. Officials here confirmed that Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran was in Oslo a few days ago for an exchange of views on the situation in the island nation and to discuss possible ways to de-escalate the crisis. more..

Beware of asbestos products in the clearance and construction fields

Aug 29 (AT) Asbestos is a banned construction material in UK since 1999, but Sri Lanka and some other countries still use it due to the lack of knowledge of this product. Many people are of the view that a number of leading contractors and responsible NGOs and INGOs are refusing to use ACMs. Failure to follow this advice will lead to further tragic consequences. more..

Priests, public demand release of Allaippiddy Parish Priest

Aug 29 (TN) A token hunger strike and a special Mass were held Monday from 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. at the St. Theresa's Church, Kilinochchi, demanding the release of Allaippiddy Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Jim Brown and his aide Venseslos Vincent Vimalathas who were abducted by the Sri Lanka Forces in Allaippiddy in Jaffna District on 20 August and condemning the killings of Tamil civilians by the Sri Lanka Forces. more..

Tamils write to Arumugam Thondaman

Aug 29 (LeN) Arumugam Thondaman the leader of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) who has just joined the Rajapakse Government as Minister has stated that he has been compelled to do so to protect the people he leads. Let us take the reasons at their face value. more..

Lanka IOC slips deeper into the red

Aug 29 (LBO) Indian fuel retailer Lanka IOC Ltd reported a net loss of 584.0 million rupees for the three months to June on Tuesday, citing unpaid subsidy payments of 116.0 million rupees due from the Sri Lankan government. A unit of the Fortune 500 Indian Oil Corp. the Sri Lankan unit ran out of cash to replenish stocks as Colombo failed to settle 7.6 billion rupees in subsidies for selling fuel at government controlled prices. more..

66 LTTEers killed in Trinco in the operation to safeguard civilians

Aug 29 (DGI) The military retaliatory operation launched by the armed forces to protect the resettling civilians from the tiger offensives, march forward successfully. Hundreds of injured tiger terrorists have vacated the area being unable to stand against the strong retaliation from the Sri Lankan forces. They flee isolating their remaining cadres creating a huge loss in their fighting battalion. more..

Tamil News Manager abducted in Colombo

Aug 29 (TN) Nadarajah Kuruparan, News Manager of Sooriyan FM Radio broadcast from Colombo and the programme leader of popular weekly programme, Viluthukal, in Sooriyan FM, is reported missing since Tuesday morning around 4:30 a.m., Dehiwale Police said. Mr. Nadarajah Kuruparan, a senior Tamil news editor, was on his way to work in his car, when he was reported missing 300 meters away from his house, on Pinthali Road. more..

Finnish ceasefire observers leave Sri Lanka

Aug 29 (STT) All Finnish ceasefire observers are to return home from Sri Lanka on Wednesday, the Finnish government said in a statement Tuesday. Finland's foreign ministry decided at the end of July to withdraw the Finnish contingent participating in the joint Nordic civilian crisis management operation. The decision came after one party to the conflict, the LTTE, was classified as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. more..

IFJ Extremely Concerned or safety of missing news director in Sri Lanka

Aug 29 (IFJ) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is shocked by news of the disappearance Nadarajah Guruparan, the news director of popular Tamil language radio station Sooriyan FM, whose car was found abandoned in Colombo on August 29 only hours after he was seen leaving for work. more..

Unfolding tragedy

Aug 29 (FL) THE undeclared war in Sri Lanka, nearly a month old now, has triggered a humanitarian crisis and could lead to a catastrophe if the international community does not pay immediate attention to ensure a cessation of hostilities. The seriousness of the situation can be gauged from the fact that since August 1, with the Jaffna peninsula becoming the new theatre of war between the government forces and the LTTE, an estimated 1.70 lakh people have been displaced. more..

Massacre and dispute

Aug 29 (FL) THE distinction between a terrorist and a freedom fighter is getting thinner with every passing day. However, what if someone killed as a terrorist or a potential killer does not even get the benefit of being owned up as a freedom fighter by anyone? This is precisely the irony in the case of the 61 young adult girls killed in a bombing raid by the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) in the LTTE-controlled north on August 14. more..

`We need to change the mindset'

Aug 29 (FL) AMARALAL SUMITH NAKANDALA, former Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Chennai, is a man committed to pluralism in society. He swears by the multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious character of the island-nation. This world outlook was evident when he went beyond his brief and helped the Tamil refugees who wanted to return to Sri Lanka. more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 29 (AP) A Sri Lankan soldier is silhouetted as fireworks are seen in the sky above the Sugathadasa Stadium during the closing ceremony of the South Asian Games in Colombo, Aug. 28, more..

Hakeem won`t join Govt.

Aug 29 (LNP) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress on Friday ruled out from joining the government but said it would assist in the formation of a broad national coalition to help resolve national issues. Leader of the SLMC Rauff Hakeem speaking to The Island Friday night, shortly after Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapakse called on him at his Kollupitiya residence, said that the talks centred around the formation of a broad national coalition. more..

Govt. clarifies new policy on NGOs

Aug 29 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday instructed the Government Spokesman to set the record straight regarding the new Government policy on NGOs, an official said. The matter came up at the National Security Council meeting yesterday at Temple Tress and President Rajapaksa instructed Government Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella to clarify the move amidst contradictory reports and protests by the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies. more..

Mahinda’s offer: No takers yet

Aug 29 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s invitation to the Opposition UNP and the one time Government ally JVP to support the Government in what is seen as a bid to form a National Government and reach a southern consensus to resolve the ethnic crisis has had no takers yet, with both parties sticking to their guns and demanding that Rajapaksa meet the pre-conditions before any decision is made. more..

SLMM to continue presence in all areas

Aug 29 (SAMN) Truce monitors Monday said they will remain in their present stations in all conflict affected districts including Kilinochchi, denying reports on alleged threats from the LTTE. Reports claim the LTTE has refused to provide security to remaining monitors, who come from Norway and Iceland, the two non-EU nations in the monitoring team. more..

New 10 year national plantation policy

Aug 29 (SAMN) The Plantation Ministry is gearing up to develop a national policy on plantations for the next 10 years. The draft presentation was made by Plantation Ministry Plantation Development project Director Raja Premadasa to Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundere and donor agencies. more..