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Sri Lankan priest, companion disappear amid fighting

Aug 24 (CNS) Amid battles between Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and government forces in northern Sri Lanka, a parish priest and a person traveling with him have disappeared. Father Thiruchelvam Nihal Jim Brown, 34, of St. Philip Neri Church in Allaipiddy off the Jaffna peninsula disappeared Aug. 20 after he and Wenceslaus Vincent Vimalan went to the church to check the premises. more..

2 more Canadians arrested in Tamil Tigers investigation

Aug 24 (CBC) Two more Canadian men have been arrested in an alleged conspiracy to buy weapons for the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. Ramanan Mylvaganam, 29, appeared in a Brampton, Ont., court on Wednesday. He was picked up the previous evening in Mississauga, the RCMP said. Piratheepan Nadarajah, 30, was arrested in Toronto on Wednesday evening and will appear at the Brampton court on Thursday. more..

Md. part of separatist-group probe

Aug 24 (BS) FBI agents searched this week the office of a Cumberland physician who is president of a Sri Lankan charitable organization suspected of funneling money to the Tamil Tigers, a separatist group deemed a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. government. The search came in the midst of a global investigation that has led to the arrests of 14 men. more..

Rebel group funded congressman's trip to Sri Lanka, sources say

Aug 24 (KRT) Illinois congressman Danny Davis and an aide took a trip to Sri Lanka last year that was paid for by the Tamil Tigers, a group that the U.S. government has designated as a terrorist organization for its use of suicide bombers and child soldiers, law enforcement sources said. more..

LTTE activities under constant review - Australia

Aug 24 (MoD) "The LTTE and its activities are under constant review by Australia's security and intelligence agencies," said Philip Ruddock MP, Australia's Attorney General, who is responsible for matters of national security in Australia. Australia has listed the LTTE as a terrorist organization under the Charter of United Nations( Terrorism and Dealing with Assets) Regulation 2002 more..

Lanka leader asks India to intervene

Aug 24 (ANN) Condemning both the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE for the plight of Muslim refugees, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader Rauff Hakeem, is making the rounds of ministers and officials to apprise them about the “serious humanitarian crisis”, as well as lobbying for India to recognise the Muslims in any power devolution formula. more..

Armed men destroy NGO office in Jaffna

Aug 24 (TN) A group of armed persons, believed to be paramilitary men working with Sri Lanka Army (SLA), entered the Jaffna District Secretariat of the NGO, Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), located on Temple Road, smashed the computers and accessories and set-fire to the building, destroying tools and data inside the office Wednesday night during the curfew hours. more..

SLAF Kfir jets bomb Vadamaradchi East

Aug 24 (TN) Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) bombers Thursday morning bombed Kattaikadu area in Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam controlled Vadamaradchi East twice on Thursday. SLAF bombers dropped three bombs around 8:50 a.m. and at least four, later around 10:50 a.m. at Kattaikadu. Civilians from a Tsunami shelter took refuge at the bunkers. Fishermen's boats took fire in the attack. more..

Sri Lanka looks at raising minimum reporting threshold for money laundering

Aug 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's financial intelligence unit is looking to raise the threshold on money transactions that have to be reported to authorities, following complaints from market players, a top official said Thursday. The unit was set up this year to track foreign exchange dealings in excess of 5,000 dollars, to ensure ill gotten wealth was not laundered in the country's financial system. more..

Sri Lanka reports record tea sales from Jan-July

Aug 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka shipped a record 185.9 million kilos of tea to overseas buyers for the seven months to July, a commodity broker said Thursday. However, a strike at the Colombo port in July crimped export targets, with the island shipping 27.4 million kilos as against 28.0 million over the corresponding period 2005, commodity brokers Asia Siyaka said. more..

10th South Asian Games, Colombo, Aug 18-28, 2006-08-23

Aug 24 (DGI) The 10th South Asian Games has entered midway mark today with the fate of 364 have already been decided. While India surged ahead with a bag of 70 Golds, Pakistan claimed 21 Gold medals. The host Sri Lanka is third with 15 Golds. On the overall medal tally, India is ahead with 129 and Sri Lanka is placed second with 90, while Pakistan is closely trailing with 77 medals. more..

Jaffna bound Ship with food items and medicine expected to arrive in Point Pedro today

Aug 24 (AT) MV Mercs Ruhuna started sailing under Red Cross flag yesterday evening to Jaffna, with food and other provisions including medicine is expected to arrive in Point Pedro today. However it is believed that the arrival of the ship might be delayed as the ship is sailing around the country avoiding shallow water spots. more..

Stocks up as foreigners buy despite war

Aug 24 (Reuters) Stocks closed slightly up on Thursday on foreign buying but many investors chose to stay on the sidelines amid continued violence in the island's north and east between the military and Tamil Tigers. The Colombo All Share index up 0.48 percent to close at 2,138.05 points. Turnover was 798.2 million rupees ($7.7 million), well above than the recent daily average so far this year. more..

Rs. 18 million for fruitless talks

Aug 24 (LeN) The country has spent a staggering amount of Rs. 18 million for the seven rounds of peace talks held in foreign countries so far with highest amount being incurred for the last Geneva talks held in February this year. Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle disclosed this to parliament yesterday in response to an oral question raised by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake. more..

From tsunami aid to terror charges

Aug 24 (TS) year and a half ago, Sathajhan Sarachandran and Suresh Sriskandarajah travelled to Sri Lanka with a delegation of 26 Ontario students to help victims of the Asian tsunami. Today, they stand accused of supporting terrorist activities. The young men, prominent voices in Canada's Tamil community, are among four Canadians and five Americans arrested in recent days on accusations that they conspired to buy weapons on behalf of the Tamil Tigers, more..

Accused was Waterloo's Jekyll and Hyde: Feds

Aug 24 (TS) "Waterloo Suresh" Sriskandarajah has two faces, according to the FBI. The public face is that of a nature- and music-loving photographer, who's also drawn to the thrills of snowboarding, mountain climbing and sky diving. The private face the FBI describes is that of a lion who moves cash and computers for Tamil Tigers terrorists. more..

Group funnels dough through charities

Aug 24 (TS) Canada is one of the top fundraising nations for the Tamil Tigers who earn enough here to fund their ongoing battle at home, U.S. court documents allege. The Tigers do most of their fundraising in Canada and the U.S., through charity organizations, including the Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) and the World Tamil Coordinating Committee (WTCC), the FBI said in documents filed in court after uncovering the alleged terror ring. more..

Student couriers instructed on how to smuggle contraband under 'teddies and chocolates'

Aug 24 (TS) "Waterloo Suresh" Sriskandarajah allegedly used student couriers to smuggle war-related items to the Tamil Tigers under the noses of Sri Lankan security forces. FBI documents claim he told the students to hide the contraband with "teddies and chocolates." It is alleged in the documents that in an Oct. 23, 2005, e-mail, Sriskandarajah told three students in "explicit detail" how they would deceive customs officials at Colombo airport. more..

LTTE rules out immediate talks

Aug 24 (SAMN) The LTTE on Wednesday virtually ruled out the chances of resuming peace talks any time soon by insisting that the Government should create a suitable atmosphere for negotiations to resume, including ceasing all military attacks and restoring normalcy for Tamils in the North and East. more..

President wants action against Anura

Aug 24 (SAMN) Emphasizing the importance of maintaining party discipline, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has asked SLFP General Secretary to call for an immediate explanation from party vice president and Minister Anura Bandaranaike over a fiery letter he sent to the party. At a meeting held at Temple Trees an angry President Rajapaksa insisted that in future no one would be excused if they violated party discipline, more..

Govt's online info centre to be launched

Aug 24 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will today launch the Government Information Centre (GIC) which is expected to herald a new culture in seeking and obtaining government information in Sri Lanka. Commenting on this initiative, Programme Director Wasantha Deshapriya said, “This would be the first ever government call centre which is dedicated to provide government-related information to the public in all three languages.” more..

Arrest JVP leader for violating the law

Aug 24 (SAMN) UNP MP John Amaratunga in Parliament on Tuesday called for the immediate arrest of JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe citing that he fled the country violating immigration and emigration laws in the 1980’s. Speaking during the debate on the Immigrants and Emigrants (Amendment) Bill, Mr. Amaratunga said Mr. Amarasinghe should be arrested as no one should be exempted from the new regulations. more..

Potential marathon gold medalist attacked: Hands, legs broken

Aug 24 (LNP) In a shocking and horrifying act, a potential Sri Lanka gold medalist in the marathon at the ongoing South Asian Games was assaulted by unidentified gangsters who broke his limbs, police said. In a report, Mulleriyawa police told Colombo`s Additional Magistrate that national sport star Dinesh Tharanga Kumar who had served in the Army was being treated at the Colombo National Hospital. more..

TNA MP slams US as terrorist

Aug 24 (LNP) TNA Parliamentarian S.Elaventhan yesterday slammed the United States Government describing it as a 'terrorist'. 'They are terrorists' he said while interrupting the speech of Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa during an Adjournment debate in Parliament on the North-East situation. Minister Yapa praised the United States Government for taking action to arrest elements engaged in arms purchases for the LTTE. more..

Tigers lose big guns in air strikes on Pallai

Aug 24 (LNP) The Air Force conducted a series of air strikes on Pallai Tuesday destroying LTTE artillery positions and ammunition dumps, defence sources said. After the attacks by the Israel made Kfir jets, security forces heard a huge explosions and noticed a big fire that had raged for six hours, defence sources said yesterday. It is believed that a number of LTTE cadres were injured in the strikes. more..

Defence Ministry clearance needed for satellite transmission

Aug 24 (LNP) Defence Ministry clearance and approval is needed for a satellite transmission licence under the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Act Palitha Kumarasinghe P.C., told the Supreme Court yesterday, when he appeared for the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka. The respondent in the fundamental rights violation application filed by the Sonic Net Technologies Private Limited, more..

Getty Images

Aug 26 (AFP) Sri Lankan Army soldiers patrol along the Galle Face Road in Colombo 24 August 2006 as part of stepped up security measures in the island's main city. more..

Sri Lanka: Stories from conflict zones

Aug 24 (BBC) The past month has witnessed the worst violence in Sri Lanka since the 2002 ceasefire between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels. The entire Jaffna peninsula in the north has been cut off for more than a week following heavy fighting. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced and the capital Colombo has witnessed two bombings in as many weeks. more..

Ex-Comverse CEO Is Reported Found In Sri Lanka

Aug 24 (DJ) Comverse Technology Ltd.'s founder and former chief executive, Kobi Alexander, who is facing U.S. charges regarding his former company's stock-option practices, has been found in a secret location in Sri Lanka by a private investigator, the Israeli daily Ma'ariv reported in its online edition. more..

10,000 Sri Lankan refugees and counting

Aug 24 (Rediff) With a spurt in the arrival of Sri Lankan refugees in Rameswaram and other places along the coast in Ramanathapuram district, their number is likely to cross the 10,000-mark soon, officials said. Since January 12, around 9,500 refugees had arrived in Tamil Nadu. With more Tamils fleeing their war-hit homeland and reaching Dhanushkodi, Arichalmunai and other places since last week, their total would cross 10,000 in a day or two, officials said. more..

Red Cross ship to rescue 100 Britons from Sri Lanka war

Aug 24 (Telegraph) Nearly 100 British citizens trapped on the Jaffna peninsula as fighting rages in northern Sri Lanka are to be evacuated by a Red Cross ship, it was announced yesterday. After almost two weeks of intense fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger separatists, conditions in the city of Jaffna have deteriorated badly. more..

Aid agency worker shot to death in eastern Sri Lanka, military says

Aug 24 (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels Thursday fatally shot an ethnic Sinhalese man working for a New Zealand-funded aid agency in troubled eastern Sri Lanka, the Defense Ministry said. Victim, an assistant office manager of United Office Project Firm, was abducted and shot near his office in eastern Ampara district, said military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe. more..

Forum to fight unauthorised arms

Aug 24 (DN) A Parliamentarian forum was held yesterday, with a view to stimulating the broader participation of political leaders in view of establishing a dialogue between them and civil society/organisations in combatting the menace of unauthorised small arms and light weapons. The forum was organised by the South Asia Small Arms Network in Sri Lanka(SASA Net) along with PAFFREL to more..

Feds probe doctor's relief group

Aug 24 (AP) The FBI has seized documents and computer files from a Cumberland physician whose Sri Lankan relief organization is suspected of raising funds for the Tamil Tigers, a rebel group known for suicide bombings that is on the State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations. Dr. Nagaratnam A. Ranjithan, a kidney disease specialist who has practiced in Cumberland for 30 years, said Wednesday that FBI agents returned to him late Tuesday five computers they had removed from his medical office on Monday. more..

Tiger hunting

Aug 24 (TS) Two more Canadians have been arrested amid a widening RCMP-FBI probe into allegations that Tamil Tigers sympathizers in North America tried to buy missiles and move terror cash. Meanwhile, the Toronto Sun has also learned that more Canadian-based Tigers operatives -- all of whom came to light during the FBI probe -- face arrest, perhaps as early as next week. more..

Sri Lanka rights abuses rising, both sides blamed

Aug 24 (Reuters) Renegade Tamil rebels allied to Sri Lanka's government are kidnapping children to fight in the conflict-torn nation, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday, adding that rights abuses had soared with fresh violence. The first three weeks of ground fighting between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels since a 2002 ceasefire has left the north and east of the country in chaos. more..

Policeman killed in mine attack amid lull in Jaffna

Aug 24 (AFP) A policeman was killed in a mine attack in northeastern Sri Lanka amid a continuing lull in fighting in the disputed peninsula of Jaffna, the military said. The officer was on patrol when he was fatally wounded in the attack blamed on the LTTE in Batticaloa district near the island's eastern coast on Wednesday evening, a military official said. more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 26 (Reuters) A child sits with his brother in a welfare camp for internally displaced Muslims in Kantale, near the northeastern town of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka August 23, 2006. more..

Sri Lankan air force destroys rebel sea base as government discusses peace

Aug 24 (AP) Sri Lanka's air force destroyed a Tamil Tiger sea base in the northeast Thursday as the government said it would consider a new cease-fire with the rebels only if it was offered by their elusive leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran. Air force planes launched two airstrikes Thursday morning and the attack "totally destroyed" a Tiger sea base, more..

Besieged Sri Lankans await aid

Aug 24 (Reuters) A ship carrying food approached Sri Lanka's Jaffna peninsula for the first time in nearly two weeks on Thursday, but a new government demand made an end to fighting with the Tamil Tiger rebels seem more distant. The worst conflict since a 2002 ceasefire has left the road through rebel territory to Jaffna shut and the airbase closed to civilian flights, while the sea routes have been attacked by the rebels in boats. more..

Departing ceasefire monitor chief slams EU in gloomy Sri Lanka outlook

Aug 24 (AFP) The outgoing chief monitor of Sri Lanka's crumbling ceasefire criticised the EU for banning the Tamil Tiger rebels and said his warnings of a violent "worst case scenario" had come true. Brigadier General Ulf Henricsson wrote a memo to the European Union more than a month before May's ban was imposed warning of a rise in violence and attacks in the capital Colombo if the EU carried out its threat. more..

Elephant House energy drink hits the market

Aug 25 (LBO) Ceylon Cold Stores Limited on Thursday added Wild Elephant – a home grown energy drink – to their Elephant House beverage range. The locally produced drink will compete with international brands like Red Bull, currently on the market. Priced at 95 rupees for a 250 milliliter can, Wild Elephant has been available in stores all over the island from August 21. more..

Susanthika bags women's 200m gold

Aug 25 (PTI) Sri Lanka's Olympic bronze medallist Susanthika Jayasinghe lived up to her pre-event hype, bagging the gold in her pet 200m event at the South Asian Games here today. The 30-year-old athlete, making a comeback to the international stage after a two-year injury layoff, brooked no competition although her timing of 23 seconds was far below her personal best of 22.28 achieved at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. more..

Sri Lanka's domestic airlines hit by Jaffna violence

Aug 25 (AT) The country's domestic airliners have been hit by the escalation of violence in the Jaffna peninsula. Several of these airliners including ExpoAir and Aero Lanka have ceased operations to Jaffna, thereby losing millions of rupees. "We have ceased operations due to the problems in Jaffna, but we hope to resume flights as soon as the situation in the peninsula returns to normalcy," more..

Sri Lanka's Monitors lose count as fighting continues unabated

Aug 25 (AT) The hefty increase in the number of ceasefire violations have even made it 'humanly impossible' for the SLMM to keep track of the number of truce violations. The mission's spokesman Thorfinur Omarsson told the "Asian Tribune" that, "monitoring a warlike situation is impossible; both sides are violating the ceasefire agreement by the dozens on a daily basis. We were brought here to monitor a ceasefire not a war," he declared. more..

Sri Lanka: geographical positioning increases vulnerability for HIV

Aug 25 (AT) Sri Lanka which is already categorized as a low prevalence country to spread HIV/ AIDS, the geographical positioning of the country increases the future risk in spreading the epidemic. Health and Nutrition Ministry, National STD/ AIDS Control Programme Consultant Venereologist Dr. Sujatha Samarakoon yesterday disclosed this at special media conference held in Colombo more..

Govt invites non-resident with US citizenship to open rupee accounts in Sri Lanka

Aug 25 (AT) Sri Lankan embassy in Washington DC says the non-resident Sri Lankans with US citizenship can open rupee accounts in Sri Lanka. The official website of the embassy said a Non Resident Rupee Account in any form (either interest bearing or non interest bearing basis) with a commercial bank out of foreign exchange remittances brought into the country by him is approved. more..

Tamils arrested not reflection of community: Tamil group

Aug 25 (CP) The six Canadians accused of trying to obtain weapons on behalf of the Tamil Tigers rebel group are not a fair reflection of the more than 300,000 Tamils living in this country, Canada's largest Tamil community group said Thursday. "The recent arrests ... have shocked and bewildered all of us," Kavita Pathinathar said Thursday at a news conference organized by the Canadian Tamil Congress. more..

Sri Lankan displaced are distraught

Aug 25 (Hindu) With no end in sight to the over one month old stepped up hostilities between the Sri Lanka military and the LTTE, over 50,000 displaced Muslims from Muttur town languish in the makeshift tent camps dotting this sleepy town. Though it has been 22 days since they fled the town leaving everything behind in the face of fierce battles, the displaced see no hope of their return. more..

New twist in Tamil probe

Aug 25 (570news) Raytheon Aircraft Company says it will fully co-operate with authorities probing the alleged Tamil Tiger plot. The company is based in Wichita, Kansas but has an office here in Waterloo. Word is the alleged ringleader gave a man the name of a contact at Raytheon that may be useful. A company spokesperson says security is looking into whether anyone at Raytheon was contacted. more..