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Opening hours of Omanthai entry/exit point changed

Nov 14 (LP) The opening hours of the Omanthai entry/exit point which earlier remained open from 9 am.-5 pm, had been changed from 9 am to 1 pm daily with effect from Wednesday. The decision to change the opening hours of the Entry/Exit point was taken by the Security Forces in the Wanni in consultation with the ICRC. The Entry/Exit point would facilitate the movement of ambulances with seriously-ill patients under emergency circumstances and transfer of the dead, etc as usual, more..

Govt. warned: LTTE may infiltrate Army

Nov 14 (SAMN) Defence sources have warned the government that the LTTE may exploit the proposed recruitment of TMVP cadres to infiltrate the Army and Civil Defence Force (CDF). An authoritative security official said this possibility couldn’t be dismissed. A large scale infiltration would jeopardise security not only in the Ampara-Batticaloa region, where the new recruits are to be deployed, but other areas, including Colombo as well, he said. more..

'Govt. has secret agreement with India'

Nov 14 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has gone for the BIMSTEC summit with the sole intention of carrying forward a secret agreement with the Indian Government, said JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasingha, while celebrating the JVP’s annual ‘Il Mahaviru Samaruma’ held at the Viharamahadevi Park yesterday. “Mahinda had sent his brother earlier; but now he has gone himself, to make a pledge to the Indian Government” he said. more..

Lack of funds halts elephant drive plans

Nov 14 (SAMN) The government had to call off its plan to solve the human-elephant conflict due to lack of funds, Director General of Wild Life Ananda Wijesuriya said Thursday. He confirmed that the conflict had reached grave proportions and needed urgent attention. Due to the gravity of the conflict, during the past two years, the Department planned two elephant drives in the year 2008. more..

Hakeem attacks Govt. on TN factor

Nov 14 (SAMN) SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem Thursday charged in parliament that Sri Lanka had created an opportunity for Tamil Nadu to interfere into its affairs. Mr. Hakeem said the Sri Lankan government had allowed Tamil Nadu to interfere into Sri Lanka’s affairs by giving it an opportunity to pass a resolution in its state assembly calling the central government to pressurize Sri Lanka for a political solution. more..

Three schoolboys abducted in Panadura

Nov 14 (DN) Three schoolboys aged between 13 and 13 were abducted on Wednesday around 4.15 pm at Beach Road, Panadura. The students M.N.M. Faslan, M.F.M. Rimsan and S.I.M. Mufees are residents of Sarikkamulla and attend Jeelan Central College of the same village. They were on their way home from Colombo after attending a seminar when they received a phone call to come back to Panadura beach from an unidentified person, Police said. more..

'No let up in air strikes'

Nov 14 (DN) The Government yesterday vehemently denied allegations made by certain parties that the Air Force had restricted air attacks in the North and the Wanni fearing civilian casualties, Government Defence Affairs Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. "Civilians are our prime concern in the ground battles and the ongoing humanitarian operation in the North and the Wanni." the minister said. more..

Choksy slams political system, calls for consensus on war, economy

Nov 14 (Island) Calling for an end to political bickering among political parties, former UNP Finance Minister K. N. Choksy yesterday called for major political parties to reach an agreement on the war effort and economy. He said, "Looking back over the past 60 years of political independence, it cannot be said objectively that the country’s economy and productivity or the quality of the people’s lives, particularly in the rural areas, has substantially improved. more..

In Parliament on Thursday

Nov 14 (Island) Minister of Health Nimal Siripala de Silva told Parliament yesterday, that the government had prepared the amendments to the Appropriation Bill 2009, according to the determination on clauses (2) and (6) by the Bill and it would be introduced to the House at the appropriate time. He told UNP Colombo District member Ravi Karunanayake, who queried whether the government had prepared the amendments, that he should first learn the Standing Orders of the House before he raised the questions like a know all. more..

Fear of expressing dissent hinders creativity -ranil

Nov 14 (DM) The issue of freedom of expression, critical writing and freedom to express dissent are the pestering problems that stunt the progress of creative writing and literary work in the country as nobody could ensure the safety of the artistes, writers and journalists who engaged in them, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. Delivering the keynote address at the 24th D.R.Wijewardene Memorial Award Ceremony 2007 at the BMICH last afternoon, more..

Five Media misses out

Nov 14 (LD) Five Media, in a statement to 'Lanka Dissent', has reported three recent incidents in which media personnel have encountered harassment while carrying out their official functions. One of them relates to Derana TV correspondent Pinsiri Perera who had been harassed by police and officials at Dehiwela Zoo, while covering the birth of a hippopotamus baby. Lakbima correspondent for Marawila, Nammuni was threatened by a divisional secretary in yet another incident. more..

Artists respond to concerns of Tamil Nadu counterparts

Nov 14 (GDI) In response to the agitation campaign launched by the South Indian counterparts, Sri Lankan artists yesterday conducted a peaceful demonstration and an “Adishtana Pooja” to show their solidarity with the Government of Sri Lanka in its mission to liberate the country from the clutches of terrorism. Earlier South Indian artists held a protest demonstration against the Government of Sri Lanka to stop the war against the LTTE terrorists. more..

Colombo Natl. Hospital suspends heart surgeries

Nov 14 (LD) Heart surgeries at Colombo National Hospital would be suspended from today (Nov. 14th) due to a shortage of essential medicine and surgical equipment, reports say. Stocks of cardiac surgery equipment are yet to arrive despite placing an order for them last year. Patients enlisted for cardiac surgeries in the hospital treatment have been waiting for over a year, Dr. Upul Gunasekera said. more..

JHU warns to exit UPFA

Nov 14 (LD) The Jathika Hela Urumaya has warned that it would withdraw from the ruling UPFA coalition if the President and the ruling party defy the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ policy concept, reports say. A JHU delegation comprising its national organizer, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, its legal advisor Udaya Gammanpila and MP Ven. Akmeemana Dayaratana Thera had informed this decision to SLFP seniors, Ministers Maithripala Sirisena, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Dallas Alahapperuma and more..

Pillayan's secretary gunned down in Athurugiriya

Nov 14 (LD) A secretary of East Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan was among two persons shot dead in Athurugiriya this morning. Unidentified gunmen had struck around 11.00 am as the car carrying Kumaraswamy Nandagopan and another party supporter were passing Steel Corporation. Our correspondent at the scene reports the vehicle, a metallic-gold Volvo has an Eastern Provincial Council registration number EP KH-3685. more..

Sri Lanka court suspends TV controls; suggests state share towers

Nov 14 (LBO) Supreme Court has suspended new broadcasting regulations brought through a gazette notice, after TV stations and journalists sought relief, lawyers said. Supreme Court justice Shirani Tilakawardane had also suggested that state TV stations share its towers with private stations for a fee. Free Media Movement, a rights watchdog, the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association, and TV stations Sirasa, Swarnavahini and TNL had gone to court after the broadcasting rules were introduced through a gazette notice. more..

Experts warn of massive lay-offs if GSP not renewed

Nov 14 (F2F) Experts have criticized the decision of the government to back track on the decision to obtain GSP+ status from the European Union. The GSP+ status among other requirements is subject to human rights compliances which will be assessed by UN human rights ambassadors and members of the European Union. The government in a recent move had decided not to bow to the diktats of the visiting ambassadors and in the process lose the GSP status which is up for renewal in January next year. more..

As rains arrive, ICRC steps up help for civilians fleeing conflict in the Vanni

Nov 14 (ICRC) Tens of thousands of civilians from the Vanni remain displaced after fleeing fighting between government security forces and the LTTE. "Security and stability are a pressing concern for displaced people in the Vanni. Many of them have had to flee several times since hostilities escalated in July", said Hicham Mandoudi, head of ICRC operations in the Vanni. "What these displaced people want is a place where they can stabilize their lives. more..

Heavy fighting kills 3 rebels

Nov 14 (AP) Government forces fought fierce battles with Tamil separatists in northern Sri Lanka, killing at least three guerrillas, the military said Friday. The clashes broke out Thursday as soldiers pushed deep into the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi, triggering a series of gunbattles, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. It said heavy clashes were reported in the village of Nallur where army troops later recovered the bodies of three rebels. more..

Karunanidhi again demands Indian intervention in Sri Lanka

Nov 14 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Friday insisted on a political road map to end Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict, saying India needed to take pro-active measures to end the strife. The chief minister also offered the resignations of DMK ministers from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's UPA cabinet to force India to act. 'Neither the DMK nor other parties are heartless enough to ignore the sufferings of Tamils in the neighbourhood and cling to power. more..

Tamils are our people: MR to India

Nov 14 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa Thursday told Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh the Sri Lankan Government was ready to talk peace with the LTTE at any time if the latter lays down arms. In bilateral talks with the Indian Prime Minister on the sidelines of the BIMSTEC Summit, President Rajapaksa said his primary aim was to eradicate terrorism and create a country where all communities can live in peace. more..

Artistes of hypocrisy in Sri Lanka

Nov 15 (GV) The response by a critical mass of Sri Lanka’s artist community to the protests by South Indian artistes to the fighting in the North of Sri Lanka will be noted down as a shameful moment by future generations of creative Sri Lankans. While war lobbies have often recruited artistes to manipulate and revise the impact of war, it is sad that Sri Lanka’s artist community unites only to re-enforce military engagement. more..

CPI(M) for consensus to resolve Lankan issue

Nov 15 (PTI) Seeking immediate halt to hostilities in Sri Lanka, the CPI(M) today said it hoped that Colombo would expedite a consensus to resolve the ongoing ethnic conflict to restore peace and help the beleaguered Tamil people. "We sincerely hope that the current hostilities will cease immediately and the Sri Lankan government will proceed with the implementation of the 13th amendment to grant greater devolution of powers to the provinces," more..

Counselling for war-affected Tamil civilians

Nov 15 (PTI) As thousands of petrified Tamil civilians get displaced in the intensified war between Sri Lankan forces and LTTE in the island nation's embattled north, the government has swung into action providing essential items and setting up councelling centres to treat the inhabitants. The Psycho-Social Promotion Forum has taken in its fold children, women, the senior citizens and others to assure them of rehabilitation measures and medical care. more..

Central bank says IMF not in play yet

Nov 15 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will only agree to an IMF loan if the lender accepts the country's economic plans as is, despite dwindling foreign exchange reserves and a looming balance of payments deficit, the central bank said. Central Bank Chief Economist Nandalal Weerasinghe said the exact 2008 deficit amount was not yet known, and that there were no discussions with the IMF. Sri Lanka had a $516 million balance of payments surplus in 2007, after a $500 million debut sovereign bond sale that year. more..

The ‘Liberators’ Of Tamil Nadu

Nov 15 (Tehelka) Tamil separatism is a dead issue. Or is it? The DMK dropped its demand for a separate Dravida nation almost half a century ago, in 1963. However, growing protests in Tamil Nadu against Indian military assistance to Colombo in its war against the LTTE have resurrected separatist rhetoric in mainstream politics. Last month, firebrand politician Vaiko and his deputy M Kannappan made a veiled threat to launch the struggle for a separate Tamil Nadu if the Centre continued to aid Colombo. more..

Summary of Cabinet Decisions

Nov 15 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs, Karu Jayasuriya to construct a new building complex for the District Secretariat in Kegalle and to get required allocations reserved from the budgets in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Cabinet approval was also granted to entrust architectural designing and consultative and supervision work during the period of construction to the Architectural and Engineering Consultative Division of more..

Will Mani Ratnam shoot in Sri Lanka?

Nov 15 (Sify) Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai have completed the Athirapally- Malayatoor forest schedule of Mani Ratnam's Ravana and have left for Mumbai. Now Mani is shooting the Tamil version of the film with Vikram, Prabhu, Karthik, Pritviraj, Priyamani and Ranjitha. After the first schedule in the forests of Kerala is complete by November end, Mani was planning to shoot in the Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the best places to see the Tigers in the wild. more..

Constitutional council essential - CJ

Nov 15 (LD) The appointment of the Constitutional Council is an essential factor for the proper implementation of the constitution, which should be given priority as an urgent national measure, said Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva. He made the observation today (Nov. 14th) while taking up a fundamental rights petition filed by attorney Ravi Jayawardena and senior economics lecturer of Peradeniya University Sumanasiri Liyanage, who seek appointment of members to the CC. more..

White van abductions raised in House

Nov 15 (LD) Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael Perera says white van abductions that had first raised its ugly head in Western Province, has now extended its tentacles to other parts of the country as well. Mr. Perera told Parliament today (Nov. 14th) that people of Puttalam district were especially terrorized by the menace now, the most immediate incident being the kidnapping of Arachchikattuwa Pradeshiya Sabha member Kadirgamarpillai Mahalingam a month ago. more..

London hunger strike against LTTE

Nov 15 (BBC) A group of Sri Lankans have staged a hunger strike in London urging the authorities not to allow pro-LTTE groups to operate in the UK. "Patriotic Sri Lankans in UK" say that pro-LTTE groups are planning to celebrate LTTE leader's birthday in London on 27 November. They urged the authorities not to allow the annual event to take place as the Tamil Tigers are a banned terrorist group in the UK. more..

Sri Lanka dominate between the rain

Nov 15 (CI) Sri Lanka ensured that they made the most of a rain-hit third day, as Chamara Kapugedera reached 150 to guide his side to a dominating 564 for 4. Zimbabwe's bowlers were spared further punishment when the rain came tumbling down shortly after lunch. Only 38 overs were possible, and Zimbabwe's bowlers only managed to pick one wicket which again demonstrated the enormous gulf in class between the two sides. more..

'Schoolchildren told to donate for soldiers'

Nov 15 (LD) The Ceylon Teachers Union claims that schoolchildren are being told to donate money and food items for the armed forces in the Wanni. Quoting CTU, 'Ravaya' says this move, with the knowledge of the Education Ministry, will create differences between Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim children. It says that ministry circulars deem it illegal to collect money or goods, other than as school development and services fees, which in effect makes this call for donations an act against the law. more..

Failed attempt to abduct woman soldier

Nov 15 (LD) A group of soldiers has attempted unsuccessfully to abduct a woman soldier, who had been victim of a shooting incident at Maduruoya Army Camp early this year, 'Ravaya' reports. The failed kidnapping of the woman soldier, Sandhya Kumari and her mother, had reportedly taken place on November 10th, says the newspaper. The attempt had been made after the investigation into the shooting incident has started afresh. more..

Malaysian Tamils to Protests in front of the Sri Lankan Embassy

Nov 15 (LG) Indian Congress (Youth Division) Tamils is protest tomorrow against Sri Lanka in front of Sri Lankan embassy in Malaysia to condemn Sri Lanka for its continued killing of Eelam Tamils, and is to urge the international community to stop the genocides of Tamils in Sri Lanka. The protest rally is to take place in front of the Sri Lankan Embassy at 2:00 p.m. The Indian Congress said, over 200,000 Tamils are internally displaced and living in subhuman conditions, more..

The absurdity of India forcing Lanka a political solution

Nov 15 (LG) LTTE is in dire straits now; there is no question about it. It stands to get totally wiped out by the advancing army. Suddenly the need for political solutions has come up as the top priority in some quarters. There was a time when successive Sri Lankan governments ran after the LTTE and its allies with political solutions in platters but to no avail. Those who kicked those solutions now plead for another political solution! more..

Mr President don’t try to hoodwink the people

Nov 15 (LG) When the international community, especially India are very concerned about bringing a peaceful solution to the present ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka, there is no necessity for you to table a budget with increased defence spending. Surely your action is not in the interest of Sri Lanka and not least the Sinhalese people. Mr President don’t try to hoodwink the people and fool yourself by stating that you want to go ahead with the war first and then think about the peace process. more..

Tamils: Need for an Innovative and pragmatic approach

Nov 15 (LG) Problems are the common burden of the human species irrespective of where we live in this world. In biblical terms this had become our ‘Curse’ the day Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden apple. If not for this ‘Curse’ we will be yet roaming the Garden of Eden, naked and feasting on nature’s bounty, without any aspirations! Problems have made us become what we are. The challenges posed by the problems we face, have made us destructive at times, creative at others and imaginative at all times. more..

Armed forces likely to capture Elephant Pass soon

Nov 15 (DM) The ongoing war between the Sri Lankan armed forces and LTTE has been one of fluctuating fortunes with one side or the other gaining and losing ground militarily. As far as the Tigers were concerned their zenith was in 1999 – 2000 when a series of successful military operations codenamed “Oyatha Alaigal” or ceaseless waves were launched in the Northern mainland of Wanni as well as the Jaffna peninsula. more..

London earns SLR. 17 million for soldiers housing

Nov 15 (AT) The "Api Wenuwen Api" variety entertainment program performed by artists from Army ,Navy and Airforce has earned more than 94,000 British Pounds to be contibuted to the very ambitious housing projects cureently being built for the serving soldiers and the disabled ones. "In a simple ceremony at the Sri Lanka High High Commission in London the organizing committees of the of the of the London, Birmingham and Manchaster Api Wenuwen Api programs handed over a check worth UK Pounds 94,108 to Sri Lankan envoy Nihal Jayasinghe," more..

Sri Lanka establishes diplomatic relations with Botswana

Nov 15 (AT) Sri Lanka and Botswana have established formal diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level, guided by the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 1961. The Joint Communiqué to this effect was signed on 27th October 2008 by the Permanent Representatives of Sri Lanka and Botswana to the United Nations in New York. more..

Accreditation process made compulsory

Nov 15 (AT) "Both the private and state laboratories will be made compulsory to undergo the accreditation process of Sri Lanka Accreditation Board (SLAB) to prove their genuineness capacity, ability and standard", said Minister of Healthcare & Nutrition, Nimal Siripala de Silva recently participating at the inaugural ceremony held at Trans Asia, Colombo, to grant accreditation to the first two Medical Laboratories in Sri Lanka, more..

Free Tamil language training for police

Nov 15 (AT) The Milinda Moragoda institute initiated a Tamil language training course, free of charge for the police officers in the Colombo DIG's Division. The duration of the course is six months and the under interaction of this venture is basically for police officers who man the inquiry desks at the police stations and these who are deployed on security purposes. This will enable them to have better rapport with the Tamil speaking people in the city. more..

Good response on reducing HIV/AIDS workplace discrimination in Sri Lanka

Nov 15 (AT) American Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Robert O Blake said that since 2005, through collaboration with various chambers of commerce and trade unions, and with funding from the U.S Department of Labor, many have worked hard to devise this plan of HIV/AIDS Workplace Education Programme. He was speaking at Dissemination Workshop on ILO/USDOL HIV/AIDS workplace Education Programme Sri Lanka held at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel. more..

Ruhunu Expo ’08 Shines at Hambantota

Nov 15 (AT) Prof G.L.Peiris, Hon. Minister of Export Development and International Trade has announced at the Press Conference held in Colombo on 28th October 2008 that Sri Lanka Export Development Board under preview of his Ministry is planning a series of Expo Exhibitions to encourage the rural producers to find avenues of opportunities for their products to be presented to the global market. more..

Red Cross in charge of Indian aid to Sri Lankan Tamils

Nov 15 (Hindu) India has approached the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) for delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians caught in areas that are still under the LTTE’s control in Wanni, said the ICRC on Friday. The Indian request follows an agreement between India and Sri Lanka on October 26 under which Colombo had agreed to India’s request for providing humanitarian assistance to the internally-displaced persons (IDPs). more..

DMK threatens to withdraw ministers over Lankan issue

Nov 15 (TOI) In an attempt to regain his credibility on the Tamil Lankan issue, Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi renewed his call to the Centre to push for an immediate ceasefire in Sri Lanka and threatened to withdraw DMK ministers from the Union Cabinet. Pushed to the corner by the Sri Lankan government’s refusal to take a step back from the military offensive and the Centre’s reluctance to appear soft on the LTTE, Mr Karunanidhi has clearly been forced into a corner on the issue. more..

Chief Minister Pillayan losses his political brain

Nov 15 (LG) Kumarasamy Nandagopan, alias Ragu, Private Secretary to the Eastern province Chief Minster and another person were shot dead in Athurugiriya at 11.30 p.m, party sources said. According to very reliable sources within the TMVP, it has been revealed to the Sri Lanka Guardian that the killing were the result of fighting within the TMVP. "We knew Ragu and the Media spokesman Azad Maulana were having serious problems over their power. more..

The role of India in Sri Lankan ethnic issue

Nov 15 (LG) The resolutions unanimously passed at the Tamil Naad Assembly demanding the Central Government to pressurize the Sri Lankan Government to stop the war immediately and to start talks with the L.T.T.E. is shocking and totally unacceptable even to the Tamils of Sri Lanka. This will certainly cause a lot of embarrassment to the Government of India itself. more..

Aba:Chittaraja is a reborn spirit

Nov 15 (LG) The character of King Pandukabaya is being discussed widely at present in the media. That is because it has been publicized that the film "Aba" is produced, based on the character of King Pandukabhaya. Though it is named as "Aba", it is not congruent with prince Pandukabhaya’s name. It is stated in chapter 9, verse 27 of the Mahawansa that at the time of naming the prince Pandukabhaya, the first part of the name of his grandfather Panduwasadewa and more..