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Sri Lankans await aid as US raids Tiger suspects

Aug 22 (Reuters) Thousands of hungry Sri Lankan Tamils, trapped by a new bout of war between the Tamil Tigers and the military, desperately waited on Tuesday for aid to be shipped north, as suspected rebel arms procurers were arrested in the United States. more..

Authorities: Tamil Tigers Sought Weapons

Aug 22 (AP) Emissaries of the Tamil Tigers rebel group conspired to buy surface-to-air missiles in the United States amid an escalating conflict with military forces in Sri Lanka, authorities said Monday. The eight men also tried to get the Tamil Tigers removed from a list of terrorist organizations and sought to bribe U.S. officials for classified information, the newly unsealed criminal complaints allege. more..

13 Tied to Sri Lankan Separatists Are Charged by U.S. With Aiding Terrorists

Aug 22 (NYT) Federal agents in four states, including New York and Connecticut, have arrested 13 men on charges that they plotted to buy weapons for a Sri Lankan separatist group and bribe agents posing as State Department officials to remove the group from a list of foreign terrorist organizations. more..

SLFP hands over alternative proposals regarding Norway and CFA to JVP

Aug 22 (LT) The stand of the SLFP regarding rejecting Norway as a facilitator to the peace process and abolishing ceasefire agreement has been handed over to the JVP today. The alternative proposals have been handed over to the JVP in response to the 20 proposals put forward by the JVP to establish a broad patriotic front. more..

Tigers try to win Elam by discussion! -Wimal Weerawansa

Aug 22 (LT) “Tigers who are unable to win a separate Elam state using military means are trying to win it with discussion. In the past the Portuguese and the Dutch were not able to defeat our country by warfare. However, the British craftily subjugated the country by a declaration. Tiger terrorists and so-called international community try to repeat this.” more..

Footwear makers ask for tax relief

Aug 22 (F2F) Footwear manufacturers are aspiring to capture lucrative shoe market of the EU countries but high taxes on imported raw-material for manufacturing shoes are the biggest hurdle. Further, Sri Lanka Footwear Manufacturers' Association is passive to sort out this problem. more..

Government seeks clear commitment to truce by LTTE

Aug 22 (DGI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a meeting with Donor Co-Chair representatives yesterday said the Government will seriously consider any initiative 'incorporating a clear commitment to a comprehensive and verifiable Cessation of Hostilities by the LTTE Leader.' more..

No signs of renewed fighting: President personally inspects loading of food to Jaffna

Aug 22 (AT) Except for the intermittent artillery and mortar fire no major incidents were reported in the Jaffna Peninsula. Sri Lankan toops according to reports carried out clearing operations in Muhamalai and Kilaly while consolidating their defenses in the Muhamalai and Kilaly Forward Defense Lines. more..

Yahoo Photo

Aug 22 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse stands next to a ship headed for northern Jaffna as it is loaded 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 more..

LTTE hit in the East by Karuna group: Tiger cadres flee

Aug 22 (AT) A camp belonging to the LTTE located at Vadamunai in the Batticaloa district was completely destroyed this morning by the TamilEela Viduthalai Pulikal led by Colonel Karuna and five LTTE cadres were killed and three of them arrested alive. Reports reaching Colombo revealed that this morning a main camp, located at Vadamunai in the uncleared region controlled by the LTTE came under sudden fierce attack by the armed faction of the TMVP. more..

Bodies of two women washed ashore in Pungudutivu

Aug 22 (TN) Bodies of two women washed ashore along 29th Road of Ward No: 2 in Pungudutivu in Jaffna district were handed over to the mortuary of the Jaffna Teaching Hospital on Monday around 9.30 p.m. Civil authorities said that these two bodies belonged to Tamil civilians drowned in mid sea while fleeing from Talaimannar in Mannar district to seek refuge in Tamilnadu. more..

Sri Lanka's Commercial Bank of Ceylon posts 69% profit growth

Aug 22 (LBO) Commercial Bank of Ceylon Tuesday posted a 69 percent rise in group profits for the six months to June boosted by growth in net interest income and foreign exchange gains. Sri Lanka's most profitable commercial bank said group post tax profits advanced 68.8 percent to 1,475.1 million rupees over the corresponding period 2005. more..

Sri Lanka allows direct Indian food imports to Jaffna

Aug 22 (ZN) Sri Lanka today allowed private traders in the island's embattled Jaffna peninsula to import food directly from South Indian ports. Hindu Affairs Minister Douglas Devananda said Jaffna traders will be exempt from the normal formalities and they can bring down essential food from any South Indian port to ease a food shortage in the region. more..

Grand dinner for Indian cricketers cancelled in Colombo

Aug 22 (IANS) A grand dinner for the Indian cricket team at which 250 guests, including officials of the Indian high commission, were invited was cancelled after the series against Sri Lanka was scrapped due to rains. The dinner party was to be held Monday night at Taj Samudra, home to the Indian team during its stay for the rain-marred series, disclosed Veer Vijay Singh, general manager of the hotel. more..

Jayasuriya vital for Sri Lanka's World Cup campaign: Wettimuny

Aug 22 (IANS) Sanath Jayasuriya will be a "vital link" to Sri Lanka's 2007 World Cup campaign as a "match winner and a threat to the opposition", feels Sidath Wettimuny, the country's first Test centurion. "Sanath is definitely a vital player and vital link to Sri Lanka's team up to the World Cup in West Indies in March-April," Wettimuny told IANS in an interview here. more..

World press body condemns Tamil newspaper editor's murder

Aug 22 (IANS) Reporters Without Borders, the international press freedom organisation, has condemned the killing of the managing director of a Tamil newspaper in Sri Lanka. Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah, the managing director of the Tamil-language daily Namathu Eelanadu (Our Eelam Nation), was shot dead late Sunday by unidentified gunmen in his home in Tellippalai, 15 km from the northern city of Jaffna. more..

Tamil Eelam only solution to Lankan issue: Vaiko

Aug 22 (PTI) Tamil Eelam, a separate nation for Tamils, "is the only solution to the Sri Lankan Tamils issue", MDMK chief Vaiko has said. Addressing a public meeting here last night, Vaiko flayed the Centre for advocating a solution within the framework of a united Sri Lanka and said only the Tamils of the island nation had the right to decide their destiny. more..

Sri Lankan "boat people" flee war for Indian shore

Aug 22 (Reuters) They wade through the surf, their suitcases on their heads and plastic bags in their hands, refugees from war in their homeland. Behind them, the small fishing dinghy that brought them is already speeding away through the waves. Every day, boatloads of Sri Lankans arrive on the shores of southern India, leaving their fields and fishing boats behind and even selling their jewellery to pay for the passage. more..

Anura protests SLFP’s 'anti-CBK move'

Aug 22 (SAMN) Tourism Minister Anura Bandaranaike will boycott the forthcoming SLFP Convention to protest the hotly disputed decision not to invite the former President and leader of the party, Chandrika Kumaratunga. A furious Bandaranaike accused SLFP General Secretary and Mahaweli Minister Maithripala Sirisena of dropping Kumaratunga from the invitation list. more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 22 (Reuters) Tsunami survivor Namal Kumara stands in a temporary wooden shelter in Koggala village August 22, 2006, which was hit during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. more..

Film Director K.A.W. Perera dead

Aug 22 (SAMN) Versatile and well- known Film Director Kalasuri K.A.W.Perera(81), died on Sunday after a brief illness. Perera joined the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation as a Programme Director and then entered the Sinhala cinema contributing in a big way for its survival at times of difficulties. more..

Andrew wins second swimming gold

Aug 22 (LNP) Andrew Abeysinghe clinched the second gold medal in swimming for Sri Lanka at the 10th SAG on Sunday at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium swimming pool. Abeysinghe made the feat, which brought the hosts their third gold, in the men`s 200m backstroke. Rehan Poncha and Rohit Havaldar of India won the event`s silver and bronze medals respectively. more..

Attempt to kill Pakistan HC: ‘alert ignored’

Aug 22 (Dawn) Investigations into the LTTE’s attempted assassination of the Pakistan high commissioner in Colombo have revealed that the incident may have been prevented if officers had responded to an anonymous call to 119, the police emergency number, the Sunday Times in Sri Lanka said. more..

Women seek role in decision making

Aug 22 (LNP) It is necessary for more women to participate at the decision making level in Sri Lanka, Asia Women`s Right`s Coordinator of Action Aid International Sriyani Perera said. She was speaking at a workshop attended by nine Asian countries that had teamed up to develop a strategy focusing on women`s rights and improving their life standards. more..

Govt to reconstruct Muttur, resettle displaced

Aug 22 (DN) The Government yesterday said it would commence reconstructing the Muttur area damaged by LTTE shelling and resettling its displaced civilians before the Ramazan festival. "Our aim is to commence reconstruction soon and facilitate the safe return of the large number of displaced civilians before the Ramazan festival," Minister A.H.M. Fowzie who oversees the Muttur relief and reconstruction programme said. more..

Chairman of SL devolution panel quits post

Aug 22 (HT) The controversial legal expert, HL de Silva, has quit the post of Chairman of the high level Experts' Committee on devolution of power, appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to solve the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka. De Silva told Hindustan Times that he quit as Chairman on Monday in view of the fact that he was involved in a litigation, which created a conflict of interest. more..

Warplanes bomb Tiger munitions dump amid Sri Lanka relief bid

Aug 22 (AFP) Sri Lankan warplanes bombed a suspected Tamil Tiger munitions dump as a ship prepared to sail with food for tens of thousands cut off by fighting in the besieged Jaffna peninsula. Israeli-built Kfir jets attacked a Tiger position close to the frontline of fighting in the northern district where rebels launched a push to retake their former stronghold 11 days ago, the military said on Tuesday. more..

Battle for Jaffna kills 646: Sri Lanka military

Aug 22 (AFP) At least 159 Sri Lankan soldiers were killed and 485 were wounded while resisting a Tamil Tiger offensive against the northern peninsula of Jaffna, the military said Tuesday. During the 11-day offensive, the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) lost at least 487 of their fighters, military spokesman Prasad Samarasinghe said. more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 22 (AP) Explosive experts of the Sri Lankan army look at a bomb planted on a bicycle and left on a sidewalk in Colombo, Tuesday, Aug. 22. The area was cordoned off for safety reasons and the bomb defused. more..

Colombo mine aimed at politician, says Sri Lanka minister

Aug 22 (AFP) Sri Lankan police Tuesday discovered a powerful Claymore mine in a crowded Colombo market area as the city hosted thousands of athletes for the South Asian Games. The 15-kilogram (33 pound) device was found rigged up to a vegetable vendor's bicycle in the Borella district of the city, a police official said. more..

Rebels kill one soldier in ambush in northern Sri Lanka, military says

Aug 22 (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels ambushed a military post in northern Sri Lanka with grenades on Tuesday, killing one soldier, the military said, a day after an intense artillery exchange at an army camp in the country's east. The military blamed the Tamil Tigers for the fighting Monday evening at the camp in Vavunativu, in the eastern district of Batticaloa. more..

Police: Bomb Found, Defused in Sri Lanka

Aug 22 (AP) Police acting on a tip discovered and defused a powerful bomb planted in a box of vegetables on a bicycle in a busy shopping district in the Sri Lankan capital Tuesday, an official said. The bomb was hidden among cabbages and other vegetables in the box in the eastern Colombo neighborhood of Berolla, Chief Inspector Percy Perera told The Associated Press. more..

Four conferences in Sri Lanka cancelled on security fears

Aug 23 (LBO) Four global conferences to be hosted by Sri Lanka later this year have been cancelled on security fears, though the island is confident it can woo at least half a million tourists by December. The events, including a textile conference, were to host at least a thousand people, Prathap Ramanujam, Secretary to the tourism ministry, told LBO on Tuesday. more..

Sri Lanka rubber prices fall behind India, Thailand

Aug 23 (LBO) Rubber prices in Sri Lanka have been dropping since July, following stiff competition from regional producers like Thailand and India. "Thailand being one of the biggest suppliers of rubber in the region has had better volumes from their crops, resulting in a drop in Sri Lanka's rubber price," Damitha Perera, Director, Rubber Department at Forbes & Walkers Commodity Brokers told LBO. more..

Catholic relief agency aids war-displaced

Aug 23 (UCAN) The Sri Lankan Catholic Church has donated essential goods to people who have been displaced by the resurgent civil conflict. Father Damian Fernando, executive director of Caritas Sri Lanka, said it has provided 7 million rupees (about US$70,000) in initial assistance to displaced people. more..

No end to undermine Chandrika No Invitation for Party Congress

Aug 23 (LeN) A covert operation is underway to evict Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumaratunge the former president from her official residence at Independence Avenue, where the Ranaviru Services Authority was housed. Two petitions are before the Supreme Court against granting Madame Kumaratunge, land, vehicles and staff and the house at Independent Avenue where the Ranaviru Services Authority was housed. more..

Mat Rs. 10, milk powder packet Rs. 40 at Kantalai

Aug 23 (LeN) People who fled to Kantale to escape violence in Muttur have started selling relief items at much cheaper prices as they do not have money for their day to day needs. Reports from Kantale said desperate refugees sell a mat at Rs 10 and a packet of milk powder at Rs 40 to find some money. more..

The JVP which said the government is spineless now trying joining it

Aug 23 (LeN) Mr. Vijitha Herath says that the progress of the government is not steady and Mr. Somawansa Amarasinghe says that the government is spineless. Mr. Tissa Attanayake the Deputy Secretary General of the UNP inquires whether the JVP in trying to safeguard a failed government by introducing 20 demands. more..

Catholic priest reported missing in Allaipiddy, Jaffna

Aug 23 (TN) Rev.Fr. Thiruchelvam Nihal Jim Brown, Age 34, Parish Priest Allaippiddy, Jaffna is reported missing since 20 August 2006, according to a news release issued by the NorthEast Secretariat of Human Rights. Full text of the news release issued by NESoHR follows: more..

Yahoo Photo

Aug 23 (Reuters) A Tamil family walks through a Sri Lankan military checkpoint towards the government-held area at the Omanthai crossing point in northern Vavuniya August 22 more..

LTTE denies link with US arms agents

Aug 23 (HT) The LTTE on Tuesday denied that it has any links with a group of Tamils who were arrested by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for trying to buy arms for it, in defiance of the ban on the organisation in the United States. "We have no connection with the people arrested and this is not our way of operating," Rasaiah Ilanthirayan, the LTTE's Military Spokesman told more..

Editorial: Tending to Sri Lanka

Aug 23 (WT) Violence perpetrated by the separatist rebels known as the LTTE have beset Sri Lanka since the mid-1980s. The most recent cease-fire accord, reached in 2002 with assistance from Norway, has all but dissolved as attacks from rebel Tigers and retaliation from Sri Lankan forces have escalated. So far this year, the death toll has climbed to nearly 800. more..

Accused Tamil Tiger conspirator back in court Friday

Aug 23 (CBC) A Canadian man is scheduled to to make a second appearance in a Kitchener, Ont., court on Friday in connection with charges he was involved in a conspiracy to aid the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. Suresh Sriskandarajah, 26, is one of four Canadians among the nine men charged by U.S. officials with attempting to purchase weapons from undercover agents for use against Sri Lankan government forces. more..

Govt prepares to suppress the struggles of workers

Aug 23 (wsws) As the civil war in Sri Lanka escalates, President Mahinda Rajapakse has intensified his efforts to block any action by workers to defend their living standards and democratic rights. Addressing a public meeting on July 27 at Kandegama, the president declared: “It is the responsibility of everyone to save the country. No one has the right to betray the country’s security. Every trade union leader should be prepared to find solutions to the problems through discussions.” more..

Lanka hails US support

Aug 23 (AFP) Sri Lanka yesterday welcomed the arrest in the United States of men allegedly trying to buy surface-to-air missiles for Tamil Tiger rebels and said the crackdown was “tangible support” for the war against terrorism. Sri Lanka’s government said US authorities had filed charges against eight people accused of trying to buy weapons for the rebel LTTE which is fighting government forces on the island. more..

Lankan Conflict Curbs Maids’ Recruitment

Aug 23 (AN) The availability of housemaids for Saudi households will be fewer in numbers with the delayed arrival of Sri Lankan workers due to the ongoing ethnic conflict in the island state. According to a report from Sri Lanka, its recruitment agencies are finding difficulty in sending housemaids due to government restrictions on the movement of workers in the affected areas. more..

Sri Lanka imposes strict legislations on Genetically Modified foods

Aug 23 (AT) Come January, Sri Lankan consumers would be given the independence to decide whether they should consume the highly controversial Genetically Modified (GM) foods or not. Bringing years of controversy to an end, the government has finally taken steps to impose strict legislations against GM foods, which according to environmental organizations are widely distributed around the country. more..

A Buddhist monk assists to teach IT for rural youth

Aug 23 (AT) Buddhist monk, who works as a lecturer of Sri Lanka Vidyalaya , Colombo now assists rural youth to become IT specialists and seeks financial assistance to improve the vocational center , which was setup by him. Rev.Dehigahahene Jinaloka, a resident monk of Sri Sudarmananda Viharaya, Dehigahahena said he started a computer vocational training center to assist jobless youth at the Dehigahahena – a rural hamlet, more..

Business community urged to put pressure on LTTE

Aug 23 (MoD) Peace Secretariat Secretary General Dr. Palitha Kohona urged the country's business community to put pressure on the LTTE to denounce violence and to return to the negotiating table. Dr. Kohona also said the private sector's efforts towards that end has not been demonstrated enough at a time the LTTE has increased its violence. more..

Tigers compelled to defend against Sri Lanka’s aggression - Thamilchelvan

Aug 23 (TN) Responding to President Mahinda Rajapakse’s call for the LTTE to declare its commitment to the ceasefire, the head of the LTTE’s Political Wing, Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan said that it was the Colombo government which launched a major military offensive in Trincomalee against the Tigers and thereby triggered defensive measures by the Tigers resulting in an escalation of hostilities. more..