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Curfew lifted for 4 hours, no stocks of rice, wheat flour, in Jaffna

Aug 18 (TN) Stocks of rice, wheat flour and sugar have gone empty in private shops in Vadamaradchi and Valikamam sectors of Jaffna where curfew was lifted for 4 hours Thursday, when family members separated since last Friday due to the curfew were able to re-join. 300 meter long queues were seen in front of medical shops. more..

Stranded Tamil civilians in Vavuniya demand opening of A9 highway

Aug 18 (TN) About six hundred Tamil civilians stranded in Vavuniya due to the closure of Vavuniya-Omanthai Sri Lanka Army (SLA) check point Thursday morning held a protest in front of the office of the Vavuniya District Secretariat demanding that they should be sent to their villages and towns in the districts of Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Killinochchi, sources said. more..

Tamil Nadu assembly condemns Sri Lanka killings

Aug 18 (IeN) The Tamil Nadu assembly Thursday unanimously passed a resolution condemning the killing of 61 school girls in Sri Lanka’s north by air force jets apparently targeting the Tamil Tigers. Members observed silence for two minutes to pay homage to the dead children in Mullaitivu district. more..

Fighting going on in Sri Lanka, opposition calls for political solution

Aug 18 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan Army claimed Thursday that the on-going fighting in the north inflicted heavy damage on the Tamil Tiger rebels, as the main opposition party called for a political solution to end fighting. "The LTTE directed a heavy volume both direct and indirect fire on forward defense line positions of Kilali in Jaffna around 6:30 p.m on Wednesday", Major Upali Rajapakse of the Media Center for National Security said. more..

Nearly 100 rebels killed in fresh Sri Lanka fighting

Aug 18 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops beat back a fresh attempt by Tamil Tigers to overrun the main defences of the northern peninsula of Jaffna and killed at least 98 guerrillas, media minister Anura Yapa said. More than 100 rebels were wounded in the close-quarter fighting in the early hours of the morning, the minister told reporters here on Thursday. more..

South Asian athletes make light of security threat in Sri Lanka

Aug 18 (AP) Two thousand athletes from South Asian nations have arrived in Sri Lanka for the 10th edition of the biannual South Asian Games, making light of security concerns that saw South Africa's cricketers abandon a tri-series cricket tournament this week. more..

Sri Lanka gets Malaysian, German bids to fund Colombo city flyovers

Aug 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka has got two bids with German and Malaysian funding to build 16 flyovers and interchanges in Colombo over two years, officials said. A group of local construction firms with funding from German state bank KfW and a Malaysian firm backed by Malaysia’s Export-Import Bank, put in bids. more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 18 (AP) National Anti War Front activists participate in a peace rally in Colombo, Thursday. The activists called on the Tamil Tigers and the government to adhere to the cease-fire and return immediately to the negotiating table. more..

US diplomat calls for immediate halt to violence in Sri Lanka

Aug 18 (AFP) A senior US envoy met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse to demand an immediate halt to continued violence between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels. The US was "deeply concerned" over fighting that has left more than 1,500 dead since December and urged both sides to negotiate a political settlement, ambassador Steven Mann told reporters after a "thoughtful" two-hour meeting. more..

One pickup for Parami, Five Monteros for Minister - Kiriella

Aug 18 (LeN) Former deputy minister Mr. Laxman Kiriella says that the country is at throes of war. He questioned the president 'what is it, if not war'. He further said that the people are without security today and even the personnel of the three defence forces are without security. At the time of his death the director of Intelligence Training Unit has travelled only with his driver. more..

Hand Bombs thrown at two more IOC filling stations

Aug 18 (LeN) Two unexploded hand bombs have been discovered near two filling stations this morning. A bomb that had fallen near the filling station of Mt.Lavinia has been discovered by its employees this morning. The other bomb has been discovered in a oil tank at Kadawata. Even that bomb has not exploded. Both these bombs have been defused by the police. more..

If war is not the solution tell the Country the basic features of your solutions ? G.L.

Aug 18 (LeN) Prof. G.L. Peiris the spokesperson of the UNP said that there should be a ceasefire if war is not the solution according to the stand of the government proclaimed by the president who said the other day that there should be a political solution to the North East conflict. more..

EU urges Sri Lanka, Tigers to stop fighting

Aug 18 (Reuters) The European Union expressed concern on Thursday about the renewed violence in Sri Lanka and urged the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels to stop fighting at once and resume peace talks. "The senseless violence will not resolve the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka," EU President Finland said in a statement, adding that it was deeply concerned about the growing humanitarian crisis in the country. more..

No discussion on Lanka: DMK

Aug 18 (TS) The ruling DMK today stumped the collective call of the Opposition legislators to discuss the Lankan issue in Assembly and told its members not to speak repeatedly on the matter and create problems for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Power minister Mr Arcot N Veerasamy, who took the call by legislators who wanted the house to be adjourned, asked members to desist from repeatedly referring to the matter. more..

Five refugees drowned

Aug 18 (BBC) Police officials in southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu say five Sri Lankan Tamil refugees were drowned in the sea between Sri Lanka and India after their boat capsized when they were on their way to Indian coast late Thursday. Police officials in Rameswaram coast in Tamil Nadu told the BBC that all those dead are from Vangaalai village in Mannaar district in Sri Lanka. more..

Aid agencies stymied by war in Sri Lanka

Aug 18 (NYT) Nineteen months after the tsunami brought Sri Lanka an unprecedented rush of charity from abroad, international aid agencies find themselves hemmed in not only by surging violence in a long-running civil war but also by suspicion, hostility and, on occasion, deadly attacks. more..

India in a dilemma over Sri Lanka

Aug 18 (IeN) India finds itself in a bind vis-a-vis Sri Lanka’s collapsing peace process, unable to prevent the outbreak of another war that is bound to have major strategic, diplomatic and political fallouts. New Delhi is painfully realizing its limitations in the island, where the government is refusing to pay heed to Indian pleadings to go for a political and not military solution to the dragging ethnic conflict. more..

Sencholai air-strike killed 55, details released

Aug 18 (TN) Director of Education for Kilinochchi district, T Kurukularaja, and Director of Education for Mullaitivu district, P Ariyaradnam, have informed their respective Government Agents the details of the 55 victims killed in the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombing on Sencholai campus in Vallipunam Monday. more..

SLA re-opens Omanthai checkpoint for stranded civilians to travel

Aug 18 (TN) The Sri Lanka Army Friday afternoon around 2 p.m. re-opened the Vavuniya Omanthai check point enabling stranded civilians in Vavuniya town to travel to their areas in the LTTE held Wanni region. About eight hundred Tamil civilians including around 260 public servants had been stranded in Vavuniya since the closure of Vavuniya-Omanthai check point, sources said. more..

Neither a school nor an orphanage, then what?

Aug 18 (ISL) We have news from no less an authority than Sri Lanka’s North-East Education Ministry that there was no orphanage in Puthukidiyirippu where according to the LTTE, the Sri Lanka Air Force bombed a children’s camp on Monday August 14 at 6 40 AM. more..

Three Lankans killed and five injured in road accident

Aug 18 (TP) Three workers believed to be Sri Lankan nationals, died and another five injured, some of them critically, when a pick-up carrying them to Al Wakra from Doha overturned between the erstwhile Parachute roundabout and Abdulghani roundabout on Doha-Al Wakra highway yesterday evening. more..

Editorial: Sri Lanka's torment / New fighting comes at a high humanitarian cost

Aug 18 (PG) Sri Lanka, population 20 million, is experiencing what is now three weeks of fighting with high casualties, resulting from new efforts by the LTTE to achieve secession from the island nation. The basis of the attempted split is ethnic and religious. The roughly 74 percent Sinhalese majority are predominantly Buddhist. The 18 percent Tamil minority, concentrated in the north and east of the country, are predominantly Hindu and Christian. more..

No media censorship -Minister

Aug 18 (DGI) Cabinet Spokesman Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa categorically denying certain media reports, yesterday reiterated the Government has no intention whatsoever to impose any censorship on the media. The Government has reiterated its sincere commitment towards a political settlement to the country's ethnic issue, the Minister told the weekly press briefing. more..

LTTE death total rise to 155 in Kilali combat

Aug 18 (DGI) During the LTTE attack on the Kilali Forward defense line (FDL) yesterday, over 155 terrorists are believed to be dead, said Major Upali Rajapakse stating to the Government official website. He added that another 220 or more LTTE cadres were injured. more..

Grenades and pricing hit sales of Indian Oil Corp’s Sri Lanka unit

Aug 18 (LBO) Mysterious grenade attacks and pricing problems have pushed down sales of the Sri Lankan subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation, with the firm also eyeing a price hike in September to arrest losses. The fuel retailer found hand grenades in two of its fuel sheds in the heart of Colombo on Thursday, with the police called in to defuse them before they exploded. more..

Child soldiers are shot from behind if they refused to go forward

Aug 18 (LT) The centre for National security says that tiger members have surrendered to the security forces on a request made by the government recently. Three tiger members were reported to the security forces at Welikanda yesterday and most of the surrenders were child soldiers. more..

Play abandoned for the day after India bat

Aug 18 (CI) More than four days after the Unitech Cup was originally scheduled to start, play did finally get underway this afternoon under bright sunshine, but the action lasted all of 22 balls before the rains reappeared, ending play for the day. Under the rules of the tournament, the match will resume tomorrow with India on 11 without loss, but the intensity of the thunderstorm this afternoon already means a 10am start is in doubt. more..

The cries of Muslims in the East and others facing danger should find a response from the UN

Aug 18 (RW) While the call for a peaceful resolution of the Sri Lankan conflict has arisen from high level sources such as the Secretary General of the United Nations and even the Pope, these make hardly any difference to the dismal situation of complete neglect of the suffering caused to the people by all parties to the conflict. more..

War displaces more than 60,000 and traps another 30,000

Aug 18 (RW) As the civil war continues unabated in north and eastern Sri Lanka, aid agencies estimate that 100,000 people have been affected by the latest fighting; 60,000 people have fled their homes and 30,000 are trapped in the east, caught in the midst of the clashes. more..

Civilians in Jaffna affected by curfew and scarcity of essential food items

Aug 18 (AT) The 24 hour curfew which is presently in force in the Jaffna peninsula was relaxed today in Vadamaradchchy and Valikamam from 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. and 1.00 p.m. to 5.00 p. m. respectively. The four hour curfew relaxation has been declared by Security Forces for civilians to attend to their domestic requirements. more..

US Principles toward Sri Lanka are well known: And fundamentally unchanging – Steve Mann in Colombo

Aug 18 (AT) In his first visit to Sri Lanka since he assumed duties as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, South and Central Asian Affairs in the United States Department of State in May this year, Ambassador Steven R. Mann told the Sri Lanka media, following his meetings with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, that the U.S. principles (toward Sri Lankan conflict) are very well known and that more..

On-the-spot report from Sri Lanka’s war-torn Jaffna peninsula

Aug 18 (wsws) Fierce clashes between the Sri Lankan military and the LTTE have been taking place over the past week on the northern Jaffna peninsula. Little of what has been taking place has been reported in the Colombo media, which relies almost entirely on military and government briefings, or the international press, which has few correspondents on the spot. more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 18 (Reuters) Ground staff drag a plastic sheet to cover the field as heavy rain interrupted the first one-day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and India at Singhalese Sports Club Stadium in Colombo August 18, 2006. more..

President rejects key JVP demands

Aug 18 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will not accept three key demands submitted by the JVP in the 20-point common programme to join the Government. At a meeting with the SLFP-appointed committee to formulate counter proposals to the JVP proposals, the President said he could not take ad hoc decisions as demanded by the JVP. more..

Child soldiers respond to Govt. call

Aug 18 (SAMN) The LTTE's child soldiers responded positively to the Government's call to surrender themselves to Security Forces. The Government issued a special announcement on Sunday to all LTTE child soldiers and cadres to give up terrorism and to surrender to Security Forces and the Police. more..

Mullaitivu bombing: SLMM says it’s right

Aug 18 (SAMN) With growing international criticism over the killing of several youth in Mullaitivu, the SLMM Thursday dismissed the assumption by defence authorities that the Kilinochchi based cease-fire monitors may have visited the wrong site, prompting them to level charges against the Air Force over the incident. more..

Electricity usage of Govt institutions to be scrutinised

Aug 18 (LNP) The commitment of the Government institutions in using electricity sparingly would be scrutinised by a special team in the coming weeks. The Energy Conservation Committee will conduct special operations as to whether these institutions follow the Government guidelines on energy conservation, an official at the Power and Energy Ministry said. more..

Sri Lanka economy booms despite bombs and bloodshed

Aug 18 (TO) Sri Lanka is expected to record its highest annual economic growth in 28 years despite escalating violence in the decades-old separatist conflict, analysts said. Security has deteriorated since December with aerial bombings, artillery attacks, suicide bombings and fierce face-to-face confrontations that have officially claimed at least 1,500 lives. more..

President issues special directives to commission Heart Surgery Units

Aug 18 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday issued special directives to the Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry that speedy action be taken to commission Heart Surgery Units at the Colombo Lady Ridgeway (LRH) Children Hospital and the Kandy Teaching Hospitals. more..

Govt to send aid to besieged northern Jaffna

Aug 18 (AP) The Sri Lankan government said Friday it would send 80 tons of aid to besieged Jaffna Peninsula, where hundreds of thousands of people have been cut off by the worst fighting since a cease-fire four years ago. Violence between government forces and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels has spiked in the past few weeks in the north and east, where the insurgents want to establish a separate homeland for the country's minority 3.2 million Tamils. more..

Tigers name 51 children killed in air raid

Aug 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels Friday gave the names of 51 school children killed in an airforce bombing of what they said was an orphanage in guerrilla-held territory. The rebel LTTE said 51 out of 55 people killed in Monday's air raid were children. The guerrillas had earlier said that 61 schoolgirls perished in the bombing. more..

Sri Lanka troops dig in after heavy battles

Aug 18 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops consolidated their defence lines in the northern Jaffna peninsula, the defence ministry said after a week of heavy battles left more than 500 dead on both sides by official count. Hundreds of government troops were re-establishing bunkers hit by artillery fire during heavy fighting that erupted a week ago along the de facto front line in the peninsula, more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 18 (AP) Sri Lankan soldiers stand on a road, as vehicles preparing to leave for rebel-controlled area wait in queue in Vavuniya, in northern Sri Lanka, Friday, Aug. 18, 2006. Several people from rebel-held area of Kilinochchi, more..

Sri Lanka bombs Tigers

Aug 18 (Reuters) Sri Lankan jets hit the Tamil Tiger front line on Friday as fighting raged on the northern Jaffna peninsula, cut off by the rebels, and residents with foreign passports begged their embassies to get them out. Almost three weeks of ground fighting, the first since a 2002 ceasefire, has left the government-held Jaffna enclave largely cut off and areas near the port of Trincomalee under intermittent artillery fire. more..

Aid workers demand help for thousands as air raids continue in Sri Lanka

Aug 18 (AFP) Government warplanes have attacked Tamil Tiger targets in northern Sri Lanka as aid workers demanded access to tens of thousands marooned by a week of fierce fighting that left 500 dead. Government troops used a brief respite in heavy battles to consolidate defensive lines in the northern Jaffna peninsula as the UN tried to deliver food and water to some of the worst-hit parts more..

Government opens roads

Aug 18 (BBC) The Sri Lankan government has reopened access into Tamil Tiger-controlled territory from the south of the island. Access into Kilinochchi was opened for the first time since fighting erupted in the north a week ago. It was only for two hours to allow people and relief supplies to go in, but no-one was allowed to leave. more..

Cash flow low in Jaffna due to closure of banks

Aug 18 (TN) Cash flow is decreased to minimum among the people in Jaffna district following the continuous closure of branches of state banks for about a week since the outbreak of fresh fight between the Sri Lanka forces and LTTE fighters. Customers who have saving and current accounts in state banks are unable to withdraw their money for their immediate use, civil sources said. more..

SLA allows travelling to Batticaloa LTTE areas for limited hours

Aug 18 (TN) The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Friday agreed to relax the ban on travelling for limited hours to areas held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Batticaloa district following repeated requests made by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to President Mahinda Rajapakse, TNA sources said. more..

War weary Lankans speak up for peace

Aug 18 (HT) With hundreds dying and about 100,000 getting displaced in the latest round of fighting in the North-East, and the capital city of Colombo also getting rocked by bomb blasts, Sri Lankans are beginning to yearn for peace and speak up for peace. The pro-peace lobby that has emerged is interesting in as much as it cuts across party antagonisms and has members of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government as well as the opposition UNP. more..

Sri Lankan government launches air strikes on Jaffna, promises aid

Aug 18 (AP) Sri Lanka's air force on Friday launched fresh airstrikes on rebel positions in the north, an official said, even as the government promised to send aid to the hundreds of thousands cut off there by the fighting. The strikes on rebel lines at the southern end of the Jaffna Peninsula started in the afternoon and were still ongoing, Air Force Group Cap. Ajantha Silva told The Associated Press on Friday. more..