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Strict flight rules for West-bound travellers

Aug 21 (ANN) Air travelers face tighter security with new airport rules in the United States of America and United Kingdom after a plot to blow up airliners bound for the US was uncovered recently. With the new measures civil aviation security will prevent criminal activity on aircraft and in airports which would include the possibilities of hijacking (air piracy), damaging or destroying aircraft and nearby areas with bombs, and assaulting passengers and aviation employees. more..

'The LTTE is a unique case'

Aug 21 (Rediff) Jayadeva Uyangoda is Professor and Head, Department of Political Science and Public Policy, University of Colombo and Founder-Director of the Centre for Policy Research and Analysis. An acknowledged authority on conflicts in Sri Lanka and the subcontinent, he has written extensively on ethnic politics, political violence, human rights, and conflict resolution. more..

Indian cricketers meet Sri Lankan president

Aug 21 (IANS) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse had a one-to-one chat with Sachin Tendulkar and coach Greg Chappell when the Indian and Sri Lankan teams called on him here Monday morning. Rajapaske took special interest in Tendulkar, Chappell and team manager Sanjay Jagdale, though he met each player individually, said an Indian team member who was present at his residence. more..

LTTE withdraws and Normalcy returns to Jaffna

Aug 21 (AT) After the withdrawal of the LTTE cadres into their shell in Jaffna, normalcy is fast returning with the further relaxation of the curfew imposed by the Security forces. K. A. Ganesh Government Agent Jaffna announced that there is sufficient food available till the 24th of this month. Though the intense firing has abated, the LTTE cadres are going on the rampage killing civilians. The former TULF MP S.Sivamaharajah was shot dead yesterday. more..

Another TULF Leader Sivamaharajah shot and killed by LTTE

Aug 21 (AT) Another Tamil Leader Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah (66) has been shot and killed by the LTTE’s suspected gunmen yesterday (Sunday) at about 7.30 p.m. at his residence in Tellipalai, in the Jaffna Peninsula. Sivamaharajah, one of the most reputed leaders of the TULF from its very inception in 1976 and who stood shoulder to shoulder with its President V.Ananthasanagree right through out when a section of the TULF bandwagon under the leadership of R.Sampanthan split from the party to join the Tamil National Alliance, a proxy of the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka Ceasefire shouldn’t be opportunity for LTTE to regroup Says The Washington Times editorial

Aug 21 (AT) The Washington Times, the second largest newspaper in America’s capital Washington, D.C., in its editorial on its August 20 Sunday edition advocated that “to make a meaningful progress toward a permanent resolution of the (Sri Lanka) crisis, cease-fire cannot function merely as opportunity for the Tigers to regroup." more..

Pro-LTTE Vaiko a threat to Indo-Sri Lanka relations: Karunanidhi points the finger at him

Aug 21 (AT) 62-year-old V. Gopalasamy (Vaiko, as he is known popularly), the leader of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), and a leading pro-Tamil Tiger politician in Chennai, is once again posing serious threat to Indo-Sri Lanka relations. Analysts claim that his close affiliations to the LTTE are also posing a serious threat to India's security and unity. In supporting Velupillai Prabhakaran and his secessionist movement Vaiko is also fanning Tamil secessionism in India, said a leading Sri Lanka academic. more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 21 (AFP) President Mahinda Rajapakse (C) speaks with diplomats from various countries during a meeting at The President's House in Colombo. Sri Lanka's key financial backers held talks with Rajapakse to try to salvage the island's collapsing ceasefire. more..

On an SOS 300 LTTE cadres from East rushing to Vanni

Aug 21 (AT) On an SOS, cadres belonging to the LTTE from the Batticcaloa-Amparai districts are to be moved immediately to Vanni. Accordingly, 300 cadres have so far managed to reach the area under LTTE’s control in Trincomalee. They are expected to move soon in small groups crossing the Government controlled area into Mullaithievu. Already the injured former Special Commander Colonel Bahnu is one in the LTTE group that is moving into Vanni. more..

Captains will come and go, but I'll go on forever:Muralitharan

Aug 21 (PTI) Sri Lanka's record-breaking bowler Muttiah Muralitharan says he is an ageless bowling wonder. "Captains will come and go, but I will go on forever," he said. "Tomorrow is a new day, you should always think about that. Past is past, whatever the achievement, you have to perform to be in the side," Muralitharan said on the secret behind his prolific wicket-taking ability. more..

Estate workers campaign for salary increases

Aug 21 (LT) A campaign demanding salary increases in par with the cost of living was launched by All Ceylon Estate Workers’ Union throughout the country. Estate workers in areas such as Hatton, Thalawakele, Balangoda, Deniyaya, Badulla, Bandarawela participated in the campaign. The daily wages of an estate worker is a mere Rs.135. This is not sufficient to meet the prices of essential items in the market today. more..

SL dismisses RAW link in attack on envoy

Aug 21 (SAMN) Diplomatic and official sources dismissed a recent Pakistani newspaper report linking India’s External intelligence agency-the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) with the August 14 claymore mine attack on outgoing Pakistani High Commissioner Bashir Wali Mohmand. "A figment of somebody’s imagination," an official said, emphasising that the attack was definitely mounted by the LTTE. more..

Muttur languishes in doldrums of misery

Aug 21 (SAMN) Around 25,000 people displaced from Muttur, taking shelter in the Kantale town, have yet to be compensated and resettled, three weeks after their displacement. Many of the displaced people complain that the Government had failed to ensure a livelihood package for them to restart life in the crisis-ridden town. more..

CWC to join Govt. this week?

Aug 21 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa along with a group of SLFP frontliners, met Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) members last Friday at Temple Trees, in a bid to woo them into government ranks. The President also had a round of talks on the matter with CWC Leader Arumugam Thondaman while he was in Kandy for the Perahera. more..

Business to be agent for peace

Aug 21 (SAMN) The private sector, nervous about the on-going conflict situation where both the death toll and the numbers being displaced are on the rise daily, will explore whether the business community should play a role in peace building, at a key forum on Tuesday. The Business for Peace Alliance (BPA) and the Sri Lanka First in collaboration with the International Alert has convened Tuesdays discussion titled ‘Local Business, Local Peace – The Peacebuilding Potential of the Domestic Private Sector’. more..

Govt. moves to compensate Mavilaru farmers

Aug 21 (LNP) The Government will compensate farmers who had their paddy lands destroyed by the closure of the Mavilaru anicut by offering them Rs. 25,000 for each acre of destroyed paddy lands. The compensation will be made through the Agricultural and Agrarian Insurance Board (AAIB). The compensation is to be released within a week. more..

Injured LTTE women cadres hospitalised

Aug 21 (LNP) Three young Tamil women from Vavuniya have been admitted to Kandy General Hospital with injuries believed to be caused by explosives. The women in the age group of 19 and 20 years, are suspected to be LTTE terrorists injured during security forces attack on a Mullaitivu LTTE camp. They were brought to the Kandy General Hospital from Vavuniya, sources said. more..

2088 graduates undergo institutional training at 30 Yovun Diriya centres

Aug 21 (DN) Under the first stage of "Yovun Diriya Tharuna Aruna III" programme introduced in terms of Mahinda Chintanaya to give dignified recognition to graduates, the first batch of 2088 graduates who followed a nine month course of training are now undergoing their three month period of institutional training at 30 Yovun Diriya Centres throughout the island, more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 21 (Reuters) Tamil villagers carry their belongings as they prepare to go through the Sri Lankan government military checkpoint at Omanthai crossing point in northern Vavuniya, Sri Lanka August 21, 2006. more..

Sri Lanka's Credit Rating May Be Cut by Fitch on War

Aug 21 (Bloomberg) Sri Lanka's international credit assessment may be cut by Fitch Ratings if the fiercest fighting since a 2002 truce leads to a full-scale resumption of the South Asian island's civil war. Fitch Ratings lowered Sri Lanka's credit outlook to negative from stable on April 27 after violence on the island increased and a second round of talks between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels was postponed. more..

Pro-LTTE media person killed in Jaffna

Aug 21 (HT) Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah, former MP, media person and a senior leader of the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance (TNA), was shot dead by unidentified men at his house in Tellippalai in Jaffna on Sunday, the Sri Lankan Army said. Sivamaharajah (68) was a leading light of the Jaffna press, having been the Managing Director of the daily Namadhu Eelanadu. more..

Tamil Tigers block pilgrims from going to Madhu Marian shrine

Aug 21 (AN) The abrupt closure of roads to rebel-held territory in Sri Lanka separated mothers from their children, created problems in aid delivery and also prevented pilgrims from undertaking a traditional pilgrimage to the northern shrine of Our Lady of Madhu for the feast on 15 August. Situated in jungle terrain controlled by the Tamil Tigers, the shrine is arguably Sri Lanka’s most revered Catholic place of worship; the ancient statue of Mary preserved there is an object of intense devotion. more..

Ethnic Tamil aid worker killed in northern Sri Lanka, Red Cross says

Aug 21 (AP) An ethnic Tamil woman working for the Sri Lankan Red Cross in the troubled north was shot and killed, the aid agency said Monday. The woman, 23, was killed on Sunday in Cheddikulam, Vavuniya district, Red Cross Society spokesman, Merrick Pieris, told The Associated Press. The woman had been employed with the Sri Lankan Red Cross since the beginning of August and was working on a community-based health project, he said. more..

Former Tamil politician slain as Sri Lanka set to ship aid to besieged Jaffna Peninsula

Aug 21 (AP) A former Tamil politician was slain in northern Sri Lanka, police and party members said Monday, as international backers of Sri Lanka's crumbling peace process met to discuss the spiraling ethnic violence. Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah, 68, was shot dead Sunday night outside his house in northern Jaffna peninsula, police and members of the former lawmaker's party said. more..

One-day fast condemning air strike in Lanka

Aug 21 (PTI) About 150 persons, including a few students, observed a one-day fast here today, to condemn the recent air strike in Mullaithivu in Sri Lanka which killed 61 girls. The protesters, including students from the Government Law College and various other colleges, activists from PUCL and Periyar Dravida Kazhakam, sat in a specially erected pandal in front of Tamil Nadu Hotel near Central Bus stand. more..

Sri Lanka set to lift blockade on Jaffna, as rebels, army exchange fire

Aug 21 (AP) Government forces and separatist Tamil rebels traded artillery fire in northern Sri Lanka, as authorities prepared to lift a blockade of Jaffna Peninsula and allow much needed aid to reach tens of thousands there. A cargo ship bearing the International Committee of the Red Cross flag and carrying food, medicine and two ICRC delegates was scheduled to leave Colombo at about 6 p.m. Monday (1230 GMT) for the northern peninsula, more..

Aid ship loaded to relieve besieged Jaffna

Aug 21 (Reuters) Sri Lankan officials and aid staff on Monday loaded the first supply ship to the besieged north after weeks of fighting between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels. The ship was due to sail from the capital for Jaffna later on Monday, flying the Red Cross flag and carrying food from the government and United Nations. more..

Jaffna: The Tamil cultural capital turned killing field

Aug 21 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops and Tigers are locked in fierce fighting over Jaffna, but analysts say the arid peninsula is of little real value to either party except as a symbol. Yet, more blood has been spilt over Jaffna than any other region in Sri Lanka. The latest fighting, which began 10 days ago despite a truce in place for the past four years, has seen at least 600 combatants killed on both sides according to an official count. more..

Sri Lanka's Jaffna battles tough times

Aug 21 (Reuters) The shops are nearly empty, electricity is available for an hour a day and only a few telephone lines work in the besieged Sri Lankan town of Jaffna. Cut off for a week by fighting between Sri Lanka's government and Tamil Tiger rebels, life on the northern Jaffna peninsula is hard. Now, many want to escape, but they cannot. more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 21 (AP) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, right, talks to Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, left, and Indian team coach Greg Chappell, center, at the president's official residence in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, Aug. 21, 2006. more..

Aid workers kept at Sri Lanka rebel base

Aug 21 (Reuters) Dozens of aid workers have been stopped from trying to leave a stronghold of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, colleagues said on Sunday, as the government prepared to ferry supplies to a northern enclave under siege. A convoy of vehicles carrying 141 mostly local staff from foreign and local aid agencies was stopped as it tried to leave the Tigers' northern base of Kilinochchi, officials said. more..

Diplomats in new push to save Sri Lanka peace bid

Aug 21 (AFP) Sri Lanka's key financial backers held talks with President Mahinda Rajapakse to try to salvage the island's collapsing ceasefire, officials said. Diplomats from the United States, the European Union, Norway and Japan met Rajapakse at his official residence to discuss the worsening security situation in the island's embattled northeast, officials said on Monday. more..

No sympathy for Hair from old foes Sri Lanka

Aug 21 (AFP) Controversial Australian umpire Darrell Hair was subjected to ridicule and scorn by Sri Lankan cricket experts after accusing Pakistan of ball-tampering in the Oval Test. Sri Lankans have not forgiven Hair for no-balling spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan seven times for a suspect bowling action during a Test match against Australia in Melbourne in 1995. more..

Ceasefire monitors retreat in Sri Lanka as fighting rages

Aug 21 (AFP) Nordic monitors of Sri Lanka's tattered truce were retreating to the safety of Colombo as fierce fighting between Tamil Tigers and troops blocked them from battle zones, Norway said. A scaled-down team will regroup in Colombo under a new chief, Norway's former army chief Major General Lars Solvberg, after the Tamil Tiger rebels ordered observers from European Union member states to quit by September 1. more..

SL seeks truce with explicit guarantees from Prabhakaran

Aug 22 (HT) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Monday that his government would "seriously consider" cessation of hostilities if the LTTE's chief Velupillai Prabhakaran came up with "an explicit commitment to a comprehensive and verifiable" proposal for a ceasefire. more..

Warring Sides Must Let Aid Reach Civilians

Aug 22 (HRW) The Sri Lankan government and the armed opposition LTTE must allow humanitarian aid to reach thousands of civilians trapped in the embattled northern Jaffna peninsula, Human Rights Watch said today. Fighting in Jaffna since August 11 has left the peninsula's 500,000 residents with dwindling supplies of food and water and no ability to go to safe areas. more..

Don't squabble over Lankan Tamils: Karunanidhi

Aug 22 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Monday appealed to political parties in the state not to indulge in any "siblings' war" over Eelam Tamils from Sri Lanka. The DMK patriarch made his appeal on the floor of the assembly, ahead of a public meeting here Monday night by MDMK leader Vaiko, which will "focus on the protection of the Sri Lankan Tamils". more..

Wanni leadership at sixes and sevens

Aug 22 (ISL) Kappang Highway was closed for a few days and we chose this opportunity to stay deep inside the Wanni enclave among the civilian population most of who live in fear of Tiger visitations anytime. It has an insatiable appetite for men, women, children and material for the Final War. more..

SLA bans Colombo bound heavy vehicles from east

Aug 22 (TN) The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has imposed a total ban on heavy vehicles transporting cargo such as fish, and other perishable goods from the districts of Amparai and Batticaloa to Colombo. These vehicles are stopped at Welikanda and Ottamavadi and sent back to Batticaloa and Amparai. The ban has come into effect since Saturday, civil sources said. more..

Sri Lanka's tsunami-hit tourist south feels cost of war

Aug 22 (Reuters) Standing by the razed foundations of his home in Sri Lanka's southern tip, tsunami survivor Namal Kumara is far removed from fighting in the country's north between Tamil Tigers and the military. But the 24-year-old is paying a heavy price for the renewed conflict, which is deterring tourists from holidaying along the tranquil, sun-kissed beaches that skirt Sri Lanka's south coast. more..

Rajapakse sets terms for truce

Aug 22 (Hindu) Reaffirming commitment to the 2002 Cease Fire Agreement (CFA), Sri Lanka President, Mahinda Rajapakse on Monday told the envoys of Co-Chairs of the island nation that his Government will "seriously consider" any initiative incorporating a clear and explicit commitment to a comprehensive and verifiable cessation of hostilities to be made by the LTTE leader, V. Prabhakaran. more..

Sri Lanka Apparel in image building campaign

Aug 22 (AT) Sri Lanka’s apparel industry a major contributor to the national economy yesterday rolled-out a programme to promote the island nation as the best apparel destination while launching the new brand identity; 'garments without guilt'. With the new image, Sri Lanka apparel plans to expand its export market to new destinations outside United States of America and the Europe Union. more..

Don’t travel to North and East of Sri Lanka – British Travel Advisory

Aug 22 (AT) British Foreign Office has advised its citizens not to travel to North and East of Sri Lanka. The advice emphasized, "If you are in the north or east, you should leave at the first available opportunity." The warning further clarifies that the north and east covers all areas north of the A12 road (which runs from Puttalam in the west to Trincomalee in the east) more..

EU country monitors to leave by end of August: "LTTE will not accept EU nationals as monitors after 1 September"

Aug 22 (AT) Norwegian Foreign Ministry has officially announced that LTTE will not accept EU nationals as monitors after 1 September. Accordingly, the Swedish, Finnish and Danish members of the SLMM are due to leave by the end of August. According to a press release, the gradual withdrawal of these 39 monitors (out of a total contingent of 57) has begun. more..

SLMM gets an Acting head of mission

Aug 22 (MoD) Norwegian government has decided to appoint Major General Lars Johan Solvberga as the Acting Head of Mission for Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM). Minister for International Development in the Norway government Mr. Eric Solheim said that the wide experience and the military background of General Solvberga will be vital assets for him to act effectively in his new position. more..

Extremism in North and South should be defeated - Karu

Aug 22 (LeN) We are facing a crisis caused by extremist policies and as the challenge confronting us is to create a unified nation, the United National Party as a party with no extremism whatsoever in its policies could easily enter that process, Deputy UNP leader Karu Jayasuriya said. more..

Jaffna regains normalcy

Aug 22 (MoD) The curfew imposed in several areas in the Jaffna peninsula is being further relaxed today (Tuesday the 22nd of August) as the affect of the major terrorist attack on the Northern theater slowly fades away. According to the Military sources form Jaffna, the curfew is being removed in Valikamam between 8a.m to 1.00p.m and in Thenmarachchi area 12noon to 5.00p.m today. more..

Yahoo Photo

Aug 22 (Reuters) Workers load a cargo ship with food and medicine at the Colombo port August 21. Sri Lankan officials and aid workers loaded a ship on Monday to take supplies to the besieged north after weeks of fighting more..

Sri Lanka: Who will do what is right?

Aug 22 (RW) The little girl was crying. Not more than two years old, she had tears running down her cheeks, leaving lines in the white dust on her face. Her hand was bloodied—torn by shrapnel and debris from an artillery shell explosion—bandaged now, but with blood still seeping through. She reached out to me with her bloodied, bandaged hand—she pleaded with me in her agony—and in doing so, she reached out to all of humanity. more..

EU ban: Bauer does a Kekille

Aug 22 (ANN) Jon Hanssen Bauer has questioned the EU's wisdom in banning the LTTE. The EU ban has, he opines, made the outfit harden its position. He laments that the SLMM will be reduced to half its original capacity in a situation where it is badly needed. Bauer appears to fault the EU for the ban, which prompted the LTTE to demand that the monitors from the EU member states leave by the end of August. more..