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Houses for 10,500 plantation families

Aug 29 (SAMN) The Government is investing Rs. 1,250 million to provide housing facilities to plantation workers in 2006. Under the guidance of the Estate Infrastructure and Livestock Development Ministry, the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) will implement the estate housing programme in 13 districts. more..

Crackdown on errant public servants

Aug 29 (DN) The Government has launched a major crackdown on public servants who fail to serve the public efficiently and punctually. Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama, acting personally on a public tip-off, yesterday ordered punitive action against the staff of the Kaduwela Divisional Secretariat which had not opened its doors even by 9.10 a.m. It should have opened its doors to the public at 8.30 a.m. more..

Tamil moves in N America cause concern

Aug 29 (ISN) The alleged efforts by North American-based supporters of the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers to buy weapons in New York represent an alarming departure from their traditional activities, say experts and analysts. Counterterrorism specialists said that the Tigers, armed separatists fighting the government of Sri Lanka for an ethnic homeland, had a highly sophisticated fundraising and political support machine in Canada and the US, but had never used it an attempt to procure weapons before now. more..

Cable operator CBNSat seeks defence clearance

Aug 29 (LBO) Cable operator CBNSat has sought Defence Ministry clearance to re-start transmission, as the company steps up its public campaign appealing to authorities to expedite their government approvals. The local cable company was shut down in June this year and equipment of affiliate company SonicNet Technology sealed by authorities for allegedly operating without the required broadcast licenses. more..

Tigers feted on campus

Aug 29 (CP) Martyrdom celebrations that praised Tamil Tiger soldiers and suicide bombers were held openly in the student centre of the University of Waterloo, where the FBI alleges a "procurement cell" for the terrorist organization was centred. Last November's event -- where a large flag of the Tamil Tigers, showing AK-47 assault rifles and a roaring tiger, makeshift tombstones and posters celebrating "Our Fallen Heroes" were displayed -- was held in the Student Life Centre despite the club being under suspension by the school at the time. more..

2 more charged in Mississauga debit card scam

Aug 29 (TS) Two more Sri Lankan men -- bringing the total charged to seven -- have been arrested by Toronto Police in a widening debit card scam that had apparently been in operation for at least three months. Thousands of Mississauga residents may have fallen victim to a rigged machine in a fast food outlet that skimmed off debit and credit card data, police say. more..

Ethnic Tamil journalist feared abducted in Sri Lanka, media rights group says

Aug 29 (AP) An ethnic-Tamil journalist whose radio station reported on human rights violations in Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict disappeared Tuesday in the capital, and a media rights group said it fears he has been abducted. More than 100 journalists gathered in Colombo later Tuesday to call for the release of Nadaraja Guruparan, 39, the news manager for privately owned Tamil-language radio station Sooriyan, or Sun FM. more..

Military offensive in northeast Sri Lanka leaves 95 combatants dead

Aug 29 (AP) Three days of clashes between security forces and ethnic Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka's volatile north and east has killed at least 95 people, the military said Tuesday. The military launched a major assault on Sunday to retake a Tiger-held enclave in the east, which it claimed posed a threat to a strategic naval base in Trincomalee district. more..

Dozens reported dead as Sri Lankan advance against Tigers stalls

Aug 29 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops halted an advance into territory held by the rebel Tamil Tigers after a fierce battle over a key eastern port which sources on both sides said left dozens dead. The drive to remove rebel artillery guns in Sampur town, which threaten the strategically important naval port of Trincomalee about 10 kilometres (six miles) away, stalled because of rebel resistance, a military officer said. more..

Lorries Carrying Essential Turn Back After LTTE Mortar Fire

Aug 29 (MoD) Brutality of the Tamil tiger (LTTE) terrorists who are now failing in their terror tactics on all fronts once again ran amok this morning (29) to the north of Omanthai Entry/Exit point when terrorists began to pound mortar fire on a fleet of lorries that carries dry rations and essentials to Jaffna and Kilinochchi in Mulaittivu district. more..

Sri Lanka army battles rebels in major offensive

Aug 29 (Reuters) Sri Lankan troops battled Tamil Tiger rebels on Tuesday in a new offensive, jeopardising the evacuation of foreign nationals from the besieged north of the island. The government offensive is aimed at forcing the LTTE to vacate positions around Sampur on the southern edge of Trincomalee harbour, from where they have launched attacks on military shipping and shelled the naval base. more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 29 (AP) Sri Lankan journalists shout slogans during a protest over kidnapping of an ethnic Tamil journalist in Colombo, Aug. 29, 2006. Nadaraja Guruparan, an ethnic Tamil journalist who disappeared on his way to work in the Sri Lankan capital Tuesday, was probably abducted, a media rights group said, more..

Increase in LTTE violence - Sampoor & Thopoor

Aug 29 (MoD) Fresh fighting erupted between security forces and the LTTE yesterday, (Monday the 28th of August) in Selvanagar and Thopoor area as the terrorists attacked a clearing operation conducted by the troops in order to ensure safety for the resettlement of internally displaced persons. more..

Tamil radio manager abducted in capital

Aug 29 (Reuters) Sri Lankan police said on Tuesday they suspected a missing ethnic Tamil radio station producer had been abducted, prompting new fears over press safety with at least five media workers killed so far this year. Assistant news manager Nadarajah Kuruparan, 36, worked for a Tamil language radio station. He was last seen leaving his house early on Tuesday morning. more..

Sri Lanka president leaves on sudden trip to Britain

Aug 29 (AFP) President Mahinda Rajapakse has left here on a sudden visit to London for talks with Prime Minister Tony Blair, official sources said. Rajapakse and Blair were expected to discuss Sri Lanka's collapsing ceasefire with Tamil Tiger rebels, officials here said on Tuesday. The trip comes amid international efforts to salvage the truce, officials added. more..

Sri Lanka death toll hits 119 as troops halt offensive

Aug 29 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops facing heavy resistance halted an advance into territory held by the rebel Tamil Tigers, as the death toll from recent fighting hit 119, officials and guerrillas said. The drive to nullify rebel artillery guns in Sampur town, which threaten the strategically important naval port of Trincomalee about 10 kilometres (six miles) away, stalled because of rebel resistance, more..

Sri Lanka and Asymmetrical Devolution – Is it a solution?

Aug 30 (AT) As Sri Lanka moves onto its second quarter century of the armed conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, LTTE, the governing party in Sri Lanka continues to offer discussions with the LTTE on the one hand, while at the same time resorting to violence for what they claim as "defensive", and lately, "strategic" needs. more..

University of Waterloo probes Tamil club's books

Aug 30 (CBC) The University of Waterloo is auditing its Tamil student club after three former students and a current one were arrested in an alleged conspiracy to buy weapons for the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. The students were among a group of Canadians and Americans arrested last week in connection with an alleged plot to provide arms and other support to the Tamil Tigers, a group listed by the Canadian government as a terrorist organization. more..

Restart Sri Lanka Negotiations

Aug 30 (VOA) U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Steven Mann met with Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa to discuss the upsurge in fighting between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and Sri Lankan security forces. More than seven hundred people have been killed this year, despite a cease-fire negotiated in 2002. more..

Catholic Church appeals for return of missing Sri Lanka priest

Aug 30 (UCAN) Following the disappearance of a Catholic priest in Jaffna, the church is appealing to the Sri Lankan government and the international community to take immediate action for his safe return. Father Thiruchchelvan Nihal Jim Brown of St. Philip Neri Church in Allaipiddy and Wenceslaus Vinces Vimalathas, a father of five, disappeared Aug. 20 in Jaffna, more..

Sri Lanka, Maldives to co-host SAFF Championship in 2007

Aug 30 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka and the Maldives will jointly host the next South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship in October 2007, Bangladeshi local news agency UNB reported Tuesday. The opening ceremony will be held in the Maldives capital Male while the final and closing ceremony in Sri Lankan capital Colombo. more..

Vaiko to hold stir at Lanka mission in Delhi

Aug 30 (AA) MDMK leader Vaiko is to stage a protest in front of the Sri Lankan high commission here on Wednesday. This assumes significance in the backdrop of Tamil Nadu politics hotting up over the developments in Sri Lanka. With the sudden spurt in violent incidents in the island nation, the Dravidian parties have suddenly intensified their activities on this front. more..

Wretched of the North-East Lanka earth

Aug 30 (TW) After days of artillery shelling and aerial bombardment a major ground based three - pronged military offensive was launched in the early hours of Monday August 28th morning. On the basis of available information it is believed that at 34 persons have been killed and 110 wounded in the first day of fighting. more..

Fierce fighting on for control of Sampur

Aug 30 (TW) The long awaited military push towards the strategically important Sampoor along the Kottiaar bay in Muthur East commenced on Monday August 28th. Initial reports said that at least 36 persons were killed and 110 injured after the first day’s fighting. The break down was twenty civilians, thirteen soldiers and three tigers killed while more..

Sri Lankan military launches new offensive in strategic Sampur area

Aug 30 (wsws) The Sri Lankan military launched a major new offensive on Sunday aimed at capturing the Sampur area in the East of the island from the LTTE. The operation is another flagrant breach of the 2002 ceasefire agreement and again exposes the Colombo government’s lies that its armed forces are engaged only in “defensive actions”. more..

Judicious political pressure saves journalist

Aug 30 (TN) Political pressure from main opposition UNP, parties allied with President Mahinda Rajapakse, including the paramilitary EPDP and the timely action by the top leadership of the Asian Broadcasting Coorperation to mobilise political pressure saved the life of Kuruparan Nadarajah, the Tamil news manager of Sooriyan FM, who was being interrogated after being abducted by the Special Counter-terrorism Unit of Sri Lankan military intelligence, more..

Rajapakse seeking UK's help to secure India's support - Norwegian radio

Aug 30 (TN) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse's meeting Wednesday with British Prime Minister Tony Blair is "presumably an attempt to secure India's support in favour of Sri Lanka's policy" on the ethnic question Norwegian state radio reported, citing Oslo's Special Envoy, Jon Hanssen-Bauer. more..

JVP which killed 800 security force personnel, today pins Manel on troops -Gayantha

Aug 30 (LeN) The JVP which brutally killed 800 security force personnel during 1988/89 reign of terror is today engaged in a political ploy of pining Manel (Lily) flowers on soldiers, UNP parliamentarian Gayantha Karunathilake stressed. He recalled that the JVP had killed 342 members of security forces, 205 policemen, 93c family members of police personnel, 69 family members of the armed forces and 98 home guards during the reign of terror. more..

Certain NGOs made money from dead bodies! - Keheliya Rambukwella

Aug 30 (LT) As certain NGOs acted to earn money from dead bodies at the tsunami devastation the government has to be very cautious when dealing with them said Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. The government has a responsibility of scrutinizing the moves of NGOs active in the country. The government should be aware of what they are involved in the country. more..

JVP stand on Norway won’t change

Aug 30 (LT) The stand of the JVP that CFA should be abolished and Norway should be removed from the role of the facilitator for the peace process would never change says the JVP. These two proposals were included in the 20 proposals the JVP forwarded to the SLFP. However, the SLFP has informed the JVP that they could not agree to the relevant two proposals. more..

The Tamil Tigers have to be rooted out totally

Aug 30 (ISL) Nations in South Asia in particular have to accept the reality that the LTTE is a powerful terrorism force that threatens the entire region. It needs only a cursory examination of its founding and growing up into such a menacing force to understand that the LTTE had no intention of fighting for the liberation of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. It has only used the ethnic issue as a means to its own ends, not that of the Tamils. Never. more..

'Spinners' sans frontiers

Aug 30 (ANN) Hizbollah Leader Hassan Nasrallah has gone on record that if he had known the capture of two Israeli soldiers in a cross border raid on July 12, would plunge Lebanon into a catastrophic war, he would never have ordered it. His remark runs counter to the claims of Hezbollah sympathisers all over the world that the outfit emerged triumphant in the conflict, having launched that offensive regardless of the consequences. more..

India pressures Lankan govt, LTTE to talk

Aug 30 (ANN) India, contrary to general perception was watching the Sri Lankan situation very carefully and is to apply pressure on both the Lankan government and LTTE to get back to the negotiating table. Leader of the SLMC Rauff Hakeem told The Island, that his meetings with Indian government representatives last week revealed that India was very concerned about the security situation in Sri Lanka and more..

A new school term begins in Jaffna: LTTE willing to open up A-9 Road

Aug 30 (AT) As Jaffna is fast emerging to normalcy, schools are opening up today in the four educational zones in the district - Jaffna, islands, Valikamam and Vadamaradchchy other than those schools in Thenmaradchchy. The Government Agent Jaffna K.Ganesh announced that the Sri Lanka Security Forces had agreed to relax the curfew in force in the district to enable students to attend schools. more..

Douglas Devananda stands by merger of north and east

Aug 30 (AT) Douglas Devananda, a Cabinet Minister and the Secretary General of the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party rejected cries for a de-merger of the north and eastern provinces and argued that "since 1989, Northeast province has remained a single administrative unit and the question of demerger does not arise. more..

Sri Lanka to set up 12 industrial zones

Aug 30 (PM) Sri Lanka's ministry of enterprise development and investment promotion is planning to open 12 industrial zones next year with the aim of providing employment to 25,000 people. These industrial zones will be set up outside the Western Province and the first such zone is a textile and clothing processing park to be established at the former Kabool Lanka factory complex in Thulhiriya. more..

Doctors fear monsoon epidemics in Sri Lanka camps

Aug 30 (Reuters) Doctors treating hundreds of sick and injured war-displaced in northeast Sri Lanka worry the arrival of monsoon rains could trigger epidemics such as chicken pox in overcrowded refugee camps. Staff at hospitals and camps clinics in and around the town of Kantale, around 125 miles northeast of the capital Colombo, are already stretched trying to cope with diarrhoea, respiratory problems and wounds. more..

Drug barons win the day with transfer of top sleuth

Aug 30 (LNP) Controversy surrounds the sudden transfer of a top narcotics sleuth, responsible for bringing to book a number of high profile drug dealers. IP Priyantha Liyanage, the OIC of the Police Narcotics Bureau, was transferred to the Police Training College, Kalutara from August 18, with no reason was given. more..

Five Year Plan for raising power capacity

Aug 30 (LNP) A Five Year National Plan on Power and Energy Development has been implemented to provide quality service at cheaper rates to people under the direction of Power and Energy Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne, a Ministry official said. `Under the plan the construction of the first ever Natural gas fired Power plant of 300 MW will begin at Kerawalapitiya in September, more..

US signs $ 10.6 m deal for new Arugam Bay Bridge

Aug 30 (LNP) The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a $10.6 million contract for the construction of a new Arugam Bay bridge, which will replace the one severely damaged by the tsunami. The centerpiece of the $35 million USAID Sri Lanka Tsunami Reconstruction Program (SLTRP), the new bridge will link Pottuvil, Arugam Bay, and Panama and promote tourism in these coastal villages. more..

Fighting intensifies in N and E

Aug 30 (SAMN) Heavy fighting between Government troops and the LTTE continued in and around Sampoor Tuesday with additional attacks breaking out near the Forward Defense Lines (FDL) in Jaffna and Vavuniya while air strikes were also carried out on Mullaitivu. The Sri Lanka Navy said its fast attack craft destroyed an LTTE vessel moving from Illankantai towards Verugal early Tuesday morning killing all rebel cadres on board. more..

UNP questions JVP silence

Aug 30 (SAMN) The UNP Tuesady asked the JVP why it was still remaining silent even after the Government refused to accept its demands to abrogate the ceasefire agreement and remove Norway from its role as peace facilitator. UNP MP Gayantha Karunatilake told journalists the JVP was attempting to shore up its crumbling vote bank by clinching various deals with the Government. more..

A national minimum monthly wage

Aug 30 (SAMN) The Ceylon Federation of Trade Unions (CTFU) has drawn the attention of the Labour Minister to the wage increases given by the Government effective from the beginning of this year to public servants by Public Administration Circular No. 6/2006, where by the monthly minimum living wage for a public servant was decided as Rs. 11,730. more..

SLFP for devolution of power

Aug 30 (SAMN) Maximum devolution of power within a united country is the SLFP policy and standpoint in finding a solution to the ethnic problem, said SLFP General Secretary and Agriculture, Irrigation Mahaweli Development and Environment Minister Maithripala Sirisena at the Polonnaruwa District SLFP convention held at the Pulathisi Buddhi Mandapaya, Polonnaruwa recently. more..

Influx of Lankan refugees crosses 10,000 mark

Aug 30 (IANS) The number of anguished Tamils fleeing to India to escape violence in Sri Lanka has crossed the 10,000-mark, and a leading activist says that the refugees will keep coming unless fighting halts in the island. A total of 477 Tamils landed on Tamil Nadu's coast on Monday and this rose to 491 by Tuesday. Indian authorities have opened about 15 new refugee camps on top of the 100 already existing in the more..

Lanka must switch to Federal Constitution: JP

Aug 30 (UNI) Janata Party (JP) President and former Union minister Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday said India should intervene and help bring about a solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka only if the Lankan government adopts a federal Constitution in place of the present Unitary one. India should demand that the Sri Lankan government must pass a resolution in their Parliament to this effect, more..

Its all because of my mother's milk -Susanthika

Aug 30 (IANS) Disclosing the secret of her boundless energy, Sri Lanka's lone world-class sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghe says her mother breastfed her for five years and that helped her win an Olympic medal. "Do you know why I am so strong and powerful? It is because I had my mother's milk for five years. I did not have artificial milk, powder etc" Susanthika said. more..

Sri Lanka – ICRC Bulletin No. 02 / 2006

Aug 30 (ICRD) Hostilities between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) continue in much of the east and the north of the island. Over the past three weeks, clashes near Trincomalee and Batticaloa in Eastern province and fighting on the Jaffna peninsula have resulted in much loss of life and displacement of civilians. more..

Instant solutions for people's problems under 'Gamin Gamata'

Aug 30 (DN) Solutions to over 125,000 complaints from Tissamaharama residents will be found under the Gamin Gamata National Development Programme, Agriculture Development Minister Chamal Rajapaksa said. The Gamin Gamata national development programme launched at Debara-wewa National School yesterday in Debera wewa, Hambantota began on August 28 and ends on Thursday. more..

Vaiko discusses Lanka issue with PM

Aug 30 (CO) The MDMK, which is vocal in its support for the Tamils' cause in Sri Lanka, today asked the government to mount pressure on Colombo to return to peace talks and to stop the "genocide" of ethnic minorities in the island nation. After holding a protest demonstration here, MDMK general secretary Vaiko, leading a delegation of party MPs, called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded that India play a role in resuming the Norwegian-sponsored peace process. more..