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Heavy damages to LTTE in North - Army

Nov 17 (LD) The LTTE suffered heavy damage as fighting broke out between troops and LTTE at the northern lines of control at Pallai, Muhamalai and Nagarkovil since dawn on November 15th, said The battles at the northern FDLs continued as LTTE elements were pushed further south with the intense artillery assaults launched by the 55 and 53 Division troops, positioned north and south of the A-9 main road, it said. more..

'Paramilitary abducts families of recruits'

Nov 17 (LD) Armed men of a TMVP faction have abducted nine members of two families at Panduvaveli in Batticaloa on November 14th following an attack on its camp in the area in the previous night, Tamilnet reports. The victims were said to be family members of two of seven paramilitary operatives who disappeared from the mini-camp. Tension prevails in the area following the abductions. The abductions come following a joint search by the Sri Lankan Special Task Force and the TMVP paramilitary, more..

'Fresh mandate with no support for separatism'

Nov 17 (LD) Wimal Weerawansa, leader of the National Freedom Front, wants the government to go for a fresh public mandate for a parliament that is without members who support separatism. Speaking to the media yesterday (Nov. 16th), he said, "Those who support the LTTE should not be in Parliament." According to him, the House does not represent the mandate at the 2005 presidential polls, for the change of which, a broad patriotic alliance is the need of the hour. more..

Sri Lanka sea pollution increasing

Nov 17 (LBO) Pollution of the seas around Sri Lanka is increasing mainly because of pollutants from land, the Marine Pollution Prevention Authority (MPPA) has warned. MPPA chairman Ranjith Kularatne said most people were not aware that 90 percent of the pollution of the island's waters came from activity on land. These include pollutants from agriculture and industry like pesticides and effluent as well as household waste. more..

Is the world's longest-lasting civil war finally coming to an end?

Nov 17 (INM) The Sri Lankan military said over the weekend that it was now in control of the entire western coast of the country, having captured the key strategic area of Pooneryn. This stronghold has been under the control of the Tamil Tiger rebels since 1993 and the capture of the city means that for the first time in more than a decade government forces have in their grasp a land route all the way to a ferry that can easily bring supplies to the northern city of Jaffna. more..

CPI convenes all-party meeting tomorrow on ceasefire in Lanka

Nov 17 (UNI) With Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa rejecting the demand for ceasefire, the Communist Party of India (CPI) has convened an all-party meeting here tomorrow to decide the next course of action. In a statement here, CPI state unit secretary D Pandian said the all-party meeting is being convened in the backdrop of Sri Lankan government rejecting the demand for ceasefire, despite a series of agitations in Tamil Nadu in support of the Tamils. more..

Scenarios: Where is Sri Lanka's war heading?

Nov 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's military this weekend took control of the entire western coast for the first time since 1993, sparking renewed talk that President Mahinda Rajapaksa will use the boost to call an early parliamentary election. Here are some scenarios about what could happen next in one of Asia's longest-running insurgencies: EARLY ELECTIONS: With the LTTE losing ground and the military riding high, Rajapaksa would have morale and plenty of political capital on his side if he called an early parliamentary election. more..

Indian aid to boost relief supplies in Lanka's embattled north

Nov 17 (PTI) The arrival of a ship from India with 1700 tonnes of food and other relief materials for the displaced Tamil civilians caught in the war between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Army in the island nation's embattled north is likely to further boost distribution of relief. The consignment which arrived here yesterday will go through the process of customs and other formalities before being dispatched to the north. more..

Country celebrates victory over Tamil Tigers, but forgets dead and displaced

Nov 17 (AN) The government of Sri Lanka has proclaimed a "Jayagrahee Ranaviru Upahara Sathiya," a week of celebration for the recent victories of the army. On the morning of November 15, forces of the SLA occupied Pooneryn, one of the strongholds of the LTTE in the north of the country. The military operation permitted the army of Colombo to take back control of the strategic position held by the Tigers for 15 years. more..

Troops take two more towns from Tigers

Nov 17 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops on Monday captured two more strategic towns from Tamil Tiger rebels following fierce fighting in the north of the island, the defence ministry said. Security forces entered the town of Mankulam, about 30 kilometres south of the de facto Tamil Tiger political capital of Kilinochchi. Government troops battling to dismantle the rebels' mini-state also seized Kumalamunai, a town just south of the key LTTE base of Mullaittivu, more..

Sri Lanka army success stirs renewed election talk

Nov 17 (Reuters) Allies of Sri Lanka's president called for new elections on Monday after a decisive weekend military victory fueled renewed talk he will call early parliamentary polls to strengthen his hand. The military took control of the entire western coast on Saturday for the first time since 1993 after driving LTTE rebels from the strategically valuable Pooneryn area near the northern Jaffna Peninsula. more..

Sri Lanka should tap IMF, get economic antibiotics: economists

Nov 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka should tap the International Monetary Fund for a stabilization package early as the country is heading for balance of payments trouble and unsustainable budget deficits, a top economist has said. "I think given the situation now, they (Sri Lankan policy makers) should be talking to the IMF, they should be getting concessional finance," Howard Nicholas, from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague said more..

Protest after the killing of doctor

Nov 18 (BBC) A Doctor working at Vavunathivu, Navatkadu state hospital in Batticaloa has been gunned down while he was on duty. Dr. S.W. Palitha Pathmakumara, the Medical Superintendent at Navatkadu Maternity Hospital, was killed by unidentified gunmen at the hospital around 9.30 pm on Sunday. On Monday, Medical officers, Nurses and other health workers held a protest march demanding assurance of security for medical staff in the Eastern province. more..

'Cowardly rulers are betraying military victories to foreign forces'

Nov 18 (LT) he Patriotic National Centre (PNC) and patriotic masses in the country express their love, affection and respect to the war heroes who are fighting in the North with utmost difficulties, wearing the same uniform for weeks, carrying heavy weapons and prepared to make any sacrifice to defend the Motherland and who are gaining great victories to the people said Ven. Dhambara Amila Thero, President of PNC. more..

'Restoring right of Tamils requires elimination of terrorism'

Nov 18 (GDI) The current military operation to liberate the remaining parts of the Northern province from the clutches of the terrorists is in fact a battle to restore the rights of the Tamil people, Sri Lanka's Ambassador-designate to France Lionel Fernando said at a a pahan pooja held at the International Buddhist Centre in Paris on November 16. Mr. Fernando said that his main mission is to explain to the French government and the people that more..

Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s term extended

Nov 18 (GDI) The term of Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka has been extended by another year by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Accordingly Lt. Gen. Fonseka will be in office until 18th of December 2009. The Sri Lanka Army has recoded historical victories against the LTTE terrorists under the stewardship of Lt. Gen. Fonseka. He was appointed as the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army on the 6th of December 2005. more..

Appropriation Bill with amended clauses submitted to Parliament

Nov 18 (GDI) The Appropriation Bill with two amended clause in accordance with the directives of the Supreme Court and the Attorney-General was submitted to Parliament today (17), Leader of the House, Nimal Siripala De Silva said. Responding to a query, Minister De Silva said that the parliament should act upon the amendments which are presented in a form that is in agreement with the Attorney-General. more..

How children in Sri Lanka learn the importance of safe drinking water

Nov 18 (MI) When Kaushalya Walgama arrives in Batuwanhena primary school (in Elpitiya zone) with her team, lots and lots of children come running to her. They don't stop jumping up and down; they scream and gather around her. The visits of Kaushalya and her teams always mean that something special will happen. The pupils are excited and curious what they will happen this time. Today they are going to decide on the design and location of their new sanitary facilities. more..

A ferry to link Sangupiddi with Chava

Nov 18 (DW) After staring at it for many months and consequent to the deployment of the SLA's newly formed Task Force 3 (63 Div), the Sri Lanka Army today decided to cross the A-9 highway from the west to the east and capture Mankulam as part of what seems to be an objective to capture Oddusudan and then Mullaitivu. The A-9 was freed from all military operations to facilitate the movement of civilians but the LTTE prevented the civilians from moving out. more..

Africans have made History in America: Would a Tamil ever in Sri lanka

Nov 18 (AT) The Afro- Americans of the United States of America have elected one of their men to the highest position in their country. Senator Jessey Jackson was seen crying after the announcement of the election results. He probably was overwhelmed by emotions of the situation and its significance to the ‘Blacks’ in the United States. This truly is a historic event that went beyond dispelling ‘white supremacist’ theory because it signified integration of mankind obliterating color lines. more..

Sri Lankan Ambassador urged for a favourable bilateral relationship with Denmark

Nov 18 (AT) Sri Lanka Ambassador resident in Sweden Ranjith Jayasooriya who is also accredited as Ambassador to Demark, presented his credentials yesterday to the Queen of Denmark at the Queen's Royal Castle of Fredensborg, north of Copenhagen. Ambassador Jayasooriya was warmly welcomed to Denmark by the Queen. The Queen recalled the good and warm relationship between Sri Lanka and Denmark for a long period of time. more..

Awards for journalists betraying Lanka

Nov 18 (AT) The contemptuous action of a so-called National Mass Media Foundation has caused dismay and anger among journalists who are supporting the Security Forces anti-LTTE offensive to defend Sri Lanka's territorial integrity. According to media sources, the uproar was sparked off when the names of some these journalists were removed at the last minute from the list of reporters who had been selected for awards this week by the 'Media Foundation.' more..

Sri Lanka Fights Aids

Nov 18 (VOA) Speaking to a youth conference October 21 in Battarmulla, Sri Lanka, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert Blake said that Sri Lanka has the good fortune to be a country with a low rate of HIV infection. However, he said, "this is no cause for complacency regarding the disease." The existence of high risk behaviors that can facilitate HIV transmission, he said, more..

FM commends Missions in the Middle –East

Nov 18 (LG) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has praised the work carried out by Sri Lankan Missions in the Middle-East in expediting claims for compensation of Sri Lankans who have died while being employed overseas. The Minister made this comment when he addressed a simple ceremony held in Parliament to hand over cheques for compensation to the next of kin of Sri Lankans who have died in accidents or due to natural causes during their employment in the Middle-East. more..

Douglas Devananda- As a Prime Minister

Nov 18 (LG) There was speculation to appoint Lakshman Kadirgamar as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka during President Kumaratunga’s time. Even if he had been appointed the Prime Minister, the Tamils would not have been convinced of the sincerity of the Government. The position is different if Douglas Devananda is appointed Prime Minister. Hope springs eternal. All it needs is to implement the 13th amendment of the Constitution in the North according to fulfill the aspirations of the Tamils. more..

Mubarak boosts Sri Lankans before rain

Nov 18 (CI) Rain denied the Sri Lankan bowlers another workout before the one-day series when their match against Zimbabwe A was washed out after they were dismissed for 235. The Zimbabwe A bowlers tested the experienced Sri Lankan batsmen and they were 73 for 4 before Jehan Mubarak and Upul Tharanga steered them to a competitive total. Mahela Jayawardene, back to lead the Sri Lankans after being rested for the four-day match against the Zimbabwe Select XI, won the toss but the top order struggled. more..

More Buses, No Service

Nov 18 (MG) The Pottuvil Bus Depot opened by Mrs.Ferial Ashraff seven years ago in 2001 was functioning under the Akkaraipattu Bus Depot. This depot has a fleet of eleven buses out of which eight buses are in good running condition. Five drivers and 21 conductors are appointed to run the bus services in this depot. The drivers appointed here are mostly from far away places and only two or three drivers report for work daily. more..

"Way to develop country"– today & tomorrow

Nov 18 (LT) The "Way to develop the country", a programme organized by 'The National Centre for a People's Economy' to bring awareness regarding the importance of a 'People's Economy' for the country will be held today (18th) and tomorrow (19th). The inauguration of the programme will be held today at Public Library Auditorium at 10.00 a.m. together with the opening of five exhibition cubicles which would display productions based on mineral resources in Sri Lanka, more..

Valuable donations for disabled war heroes

Nov 18 (LG) The government highly appreciates the dedication of war heroes in a situation where we gain remarkable victories in the humanitarian operation of safe guarding the motherland. "Ranawiru Seva" authority is organizing various programs with a purpose of motivating, and providing facilities for the smooth flow of the day to day life of the disabled war heroes who scarified their arms and lives for the sake of our motherland. more..

Exemplary leadership

Nov 18 (LG) Among the leaders of the country after independence, he has already earned an image, within and outside Sri Lanka, as a man to be reckoned with both in national and international politics. President Mahinda Rajapaksa does not seem to mince his words when it comes to matters of principle. In all other circumstances, he is always a mild, modest, unpretentious and even a humble personality. more..

A goodwill train that carries essential items to those in the North

Nov 18 (LP) The Manel Mal movement has organized a “Goodwill train” which will carry essential goods needed to those who have fled the LTTE clutches. The train is due to leave to Madavachchiya from the Matara Railway Station on the 22nd of November. The Manel Mal Movement has announced that those who are willing to contributed essential items can do so at the following stations. more..

SSP appointed to strengthen the security in the east

Nov 18 (LP) SSP Ananda Wijesingha has been appointed with immediate effect, in order to provide security to the Hospitals and Universities in the eastern province. Providing security to the medical staff has received highest priority says Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. SSP Ananda Wijesingha was appointed to look in to the security status of those employed in Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara and the Universities of Wandaramulla and Oruwila. more..

Case of Dr.John Raja Fernadupulle’s destroyed premises

Nov 18 (LP) Magistrate of Anuradhapura and Additional District Judge Ruchira Walliwatta criticized the investigation team appointed by Inspector General to look into the case of arson of UNP Organizer Dr.John Raja Fernadupulle’s residence. By hiding the truth it amounts to misleading the courts, Magistrate Walliwatta said. Head of the Investigation team Senior SSP Ranjith Padmasiri has been directed by Magistrate to arrest all suspects who engaged in the case of arson without considering their status or rank. more..

SAARC Programming Committee meets in Kandy

Nov 18 (GDI) The SAARC Programming Committee comprising of senior officials of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of SAARC Member States will hold its first meeting since the 15th SAARC Summit, in Kandy, on November 19 and 20, 2008. The two day meeting at Hotel Earl's Regency in Kandy will be attended by Dr. Sheel Kant Sharma, Secretary General of SAARC, senior officials of all eight SAARC Member States, Directors of SAARC Regional Centres and the SAARC Secretariat. more..

New anti-terrorism movement formed in Italy

Nov 18 (GDI) Sri Lankan expatriates in Italy in collaboration with Italian nationals have set up an anti-terrorist organization named Italy-Sri Lanka Anti-Terrorists Oragnization (ISATO) under the guidance of Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Rome, Hemantha Warnakulasuriya. The organization, operating along the theme "A world without terrorism," has been registered as a charity with the relevant Italian authorities. more..

President Rajapksha: the Serviour Of The Nation

Nov 18 (LG) President Mahinda Rajapakse has served as a Minister in a rare combination of portfolios. He has been the Minister of Labour and Vocational Training, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Fisheries. He has been the Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. more..

LTTE ban a possibility: PM

Nov 18 (SAMN) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake Monday hinted the government ‘may proscribe the Tamil Tiger relbels in the very near future. “The government may proscribe the LTTE even before the public ask for a ban on the LTTE,” the Prime Minister’s Office said quoting the Premier, who had also said that according to the country’s constitution, no citizen could make any demand for a separate land. more..

Doctor’s killing sparks fears

Nov 18 (SAMN) The killing of a doctor attached to the Navakkadu Hospital in Batticaloa on Sunday night sparked security fears, with Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa assuring that adequate security would be provided to doctors serving in the North and East. However, the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has recalled all 58 Sinhalese doctors serving in Batticaloa to Colombo till it is able to ensure their security. more..

Indian aid to Wanni on liberated road

Nov 18 (SAMN) In a move to celebrate the re-taking of Pooneryn, the government Monday considered the use of the newly liberated A-32 road to transport Indian aid to civilians in the Wanni. Defence spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said 900 metric tonnes of food had already been released to the Essential Services Commission and it would join United Nation agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross to distribute the food this week. more..

Vehicle emission testing begins

Nov 18 (SAMN) The much delayed Vehicle Emission Testing Certificate programme began Monday. All registered vehicles in the Western Province will have to get the VET Certificate to obtain the annual revenue licence. However, brand new vehicles would be exempt from this regulation for a period of one year from the date of registration. This decision was taken especially to cut down vehicles that emit large amount of fumes which are harmful to humans as well as the environment. more..

No General Election - Minister

Nov 18 (DN) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said there was no need to hold a General Election till 2010 because the Government was stable. Addressing the media at the Mahaweli Centre yesterday, he said the Government was however ready to face a General Election at any time. SLFP General Secretary, Maithripala Sirisena said the action of the UNP and the JVP casting their votes against the Government at the Second Reading of the budget is similar to them digging their own graves. more..

Wildlife Dept expedites payments to victims of elephant attacks

Nov 18 (DN) The Department of Wildlife has now decided to pay compensation to all people who are victims of wild elephant attacks. Earlier, victims of wild elephant attacks had to wait for years to get compensation, but now the department has planned to pay compensation within two or three months. If a householder faces death due to a wild elephant attack the dependants of that family will be entitled to Rs. 100,000 as compensation. more..

SB to contest CPC polls

Nov 18 (Island) UNP National organiser S. B. Dissanayake confirmed on Saturday (15) that he would be the chief the ministerial candidate at the forthcoming Central Provincial Council election. Responding to a media inquiry at Madawala in Wattegama, Dissanayake said he would contest the election and the UNP would have an easy victory. He said that the UNP would have a sweeping victory at any future elections because the incumbent government has become very unpopular. more..

Mihin resurrected, inaugural flight on Dec 15

Nov 18 (Island) Mihin Lanka Ltd, resurrected from bankruptcy, will have its inaugural flight on 15th December, when a four month old Boeing 737-800 takes off for Dubai. The new management of Mihin Lanka Ltd is saddled with a Rs. 3.1 billion debt which will be settled with the Rs. 6 billion allocated by the government in the 2009 budget. "Under the previous management Mihin Lanka lost its fleet because it could not pay the leases, and the planes were too old as well. more..

After winning the war: what next?

Nov 18 (AT) Mr. Wimal Weerawansa being a strong advocate of the war against terrorism, the Asian Tribune thought it fit to obtain his views on the present situation of the war and its’ aftermath. “After winning the war the first thing to be done is to create an environment where all our Sinhala, Tamil, Moslem and other brethren can co-exist happily and peacefully. We are human beings and have to behave like human beings. more..

Fierce verbal battle over billions for President

Nov 18 (DM) A former government ally the JVP which played a pivotal role in helping to pass the 2008 budget, yesterday slammed the government for increasing the President’s vote by Rs. 1,200 million while reducing the allocations to 26 Ministries. JVP MP Gamini Ratnayake’s comments in parliament during the committee stage debate on the President’s vote caused tension with some visibly angry ministers shouting at him. more..

Police to strip local porn ‘stars’

Nov 18 (DM) After President Mahinda Rajapaksa said action would be taken to filter the accessing of pornographic content on the internet, Police Women’s and Children’s Bureau began a special programme to trace local porn stars and take legal action against them. The Bureau had detected 21 locally made phonographic films exhibited on the internet so far and is identifying the ‘actors’ and ‘actresses’ featured in them. more..

JHU calls for donations for injured soldiers

Nov 18 (LD) The JHU has send out a call to the public for donations to 100 soldiers injured in fighting in Pooneryn, who are presently being treated at several hospitals in Colombo. Of them, 70 in serious condition have been admitted to Colombo South General Hospital at Kalubowila. A few others are receiving treatment at Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital. The donations could be handed over to the party's office at Kirulapone. more..

Protest against abduction of 2 farmers

Nov 18 (LD) People of Kovul Ara area in Sevanagala last morning (Nov. 17th) staged a protest campaign against the abduction of two fellow farmers. Unidentified armed persons have abducted the two, identified as K.A. Dushyantha Duncan and K.G. Sumanapala. Campaigning at Manduma Junction in Sevanagala, the protestors said the agitation was organized after no news was received about the abductees. more..

'SLA artillery kills civilian, 6 wounded'

Nov 18 (LD) The Sri Lanka Army launched an intensive artillery barrage targeting all roads from Paranthan Junction from 2:35 pm on November 16th, killing a 24-year-old youth in front of Paranthan St. Antony's Church, Tamilnet reports. Six others, including two elderly men, have been injured in the attacks, said the website. Two sisters were severely wounded and were admitted at the Intensive Care Unit of the Dharmapuram hospital. more..