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Sri Lankan soldiers and their families speak to the WSWS

Nov 28 (WSWS) Fierce fighting between the army and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in recent weeks in northern Sri Lanka has led to scores, if not hundreds, of deaths and many more injured on both sides. The current military offensives have centred on capturing Kilinochchi, the LTTE’s military and administrative headquarters, in the northern Wanni region. more..

Rain impedes food distribution

Nov 28 (SAMN) Torrential rains have severely hampered the distribution of Indian aid to the IDPs in the North. The distribution will begin soon after the weather improves as bulk of the aid package had reached Vavuniya by now, Director General Essential Services, S.B.Divarathna said Thursday. The first aid convoy left Colombo on Tuesday and the second and third comprising 56 lorries left the following day, he said. more..

Rape of German woman: Three arrested

Nov 28 (SAMN) Police arrested three suspects in connection with the alleged rape of an elderly German woman and robbing her jewellery at a hotel room in Marawila. OIC Marawila Keerthi Bandara arrested the main suspect in connection with the rape from his hideout in Kurusapalliya, Marawila. "Police also found part of the jewellery stolen from the victim aged 80," Police spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekera said. more..

Oil search begins January

Nov 28 (SAMN) Oil exploration activities along the Mannar basin is expected to kick off early next year by an Indian oil company, Cairns Limited.They have been awarded exploration licences by the government. “With the obtaining of licences from PRDS, the company has formed a local company called Cairns Lanka Limited, which is expected to invest US$ 112 million for the first phase of the project,” more..

Major economic crisis ahead: JVP

Nov 28 (SAMN) Saying the country was about to face a severe economic crisis which would also affect the banking sector, the JVP Thursday charged the Central Bank was about to pump in funds from the foreign reserves to save the situation. JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti told a news conference yesterday this was the reason for the government to issue a circular to all ministries, provincial councils and state departments to halt all development projects more..

Police look for senior sportswoman

Nov 28 (DN) Ten suspects including a sportsman and two sportswomen who allegedly assisted two persons to leave the country on British visas obtained on forged marriage certificates were produced before Colombo Fort Magistrate and Additional District Judge Gihan Pilapitiya. On an application by the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) Inspector Rajapakse, the Judge earlier cancelled bail ordered on fourth suspect Mustaf Mohamed Faizer. "We are also looking for a very senior sportswoman allegedly involved in this massive visa racket, more..

Abandoned paddy lands cultivated

Nov 28 (DN) Senior Advisor to the President Basil Rajapaksa MP initiated a programme under "Nagenahira Navodaya" to cultivate 100,000 acres of additional land during Maha 2008/2009 in the Eastern Province to enhance paddy production. Out of this 43,000 acres of abandoned lands have been already sown in Ampara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts, said Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, more..

'Recent SC rulings strengthened anti-corruption drive'

Nov 28 (Island) Public Administration Minister Karu Jayasuriya yesterday said that recent Supreme Court rulings in respect of several high profile cases would give a turbo boost to the anti-corruption drive. It would have a positive impact on our efforts, the leader of the UNP (Democratic Group) said. The SC judgments had generated public interest, he said. Jayasuriya said that he would take up the Auditor General’s recent report, which more..

Land in Rajagiriya given on lease to Prima at Rs. 100 per perch

Nov 28 (Island) A 100-perch block of land in Rajagiriya, valued at 50 million rupees in 2001, had been leased to Prima Ltd. by successive governments from Rs. 50 per perch to Rs. 100/-, Minister of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament. The Minister said the Rajagiriya land was leased by the government to Prima Ltd., at the rate of Rs. 50/- annually per perch in 1981 by the then UNP government. more..

Not a hero’s speech, only a plea for pardon: Minister

Nov 28 (DM) LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s address on the annual Heroes’ Day was viewed by the government not as a hero’s speech but as a mere plea to the international community in the face of the Tigers loosing control of areas hitherto held by them, the defence spokesman said yesterday. “The LTTE leader has proved in his speech that he is a criminal and that through his speech he is just making a plea for pardon,” more..

Sri Lankan in narrow shave

Nov 28 (DM) A Sri Lankan who was at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai on Wednesday night was among those who had a narrow shave when terrorists stormed the building and began firing indiscriminately. Unilever Sri Lanka Ltd Chairman Amal Cabraal - a relative of Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal – who was attending a meeting of senior managers of Unilever in Mumbai was staying at the hotel at the time of the attack. more..

Ranil lauds India's conduct over terror attacks

Nov 28 (LD) Much can be learnt from the conduct of the Indian government, which left no scope for an outburst of racism, opposition leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Speaking in Parliament today (Nov. 28th), Mr. Wickremesinghe lauded the Indian government on its conduct in the aftermath of the attacks without letting extremists to go on rampage, and strongly condemned the terrorist act. more..

Daily Mirror hijacked by personal interests

Nov 28 (LD) The Daily Mirror is the only news paper that refrained from giving any coverage to the 'Defense Watch' news while all other private news papers and electronic media gave coverage as best they could said, Mangala Samaraweera, spokesman of Defense Watch. With that Mr. Samaraweera took the opportunity to expose the 'stubborn mediocrity of the lady editor', adding that the Daily Mirror has now become the official journal of the JHU. more..

'Govt. 'butchering' development on war pretext'

Nov 28 (LD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is halfway in his term, is "butchering" the country's economic development, charged 'Development Watch' member Asanka Mahagedaragamage. The economy has fallen lower from where President Rajapaksa has started, he told a media briefing by development watchdog at 'Workers Union' at Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte this morning (Nov. 28th). more..

SC directs President to takeover Petroleum Ministry

Nov 28 (LD) The Supreme Court today directed President Mahinda Rajapaksa to takeover the Petroleum Ministry from Minister A. H. M. Fowzie and to consider appointing another minister. The SC also ordered the immediate suspension of Asantha de Mel as chairman of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva considered petitions filed by chief incumbent of Nalandarama Vihara, more..

Sri Lanka plays cards of green and ethics

Nov 28 (Textile) Sri Lanka's US$3.5 billion apparel sector industry has been a major contributor to the national economy, accounting for 46% of the country's total exports and 67% of its total industrial production and generating employment to over one million directly and indirectly. The Sri Lankan textile and clothing industry has witnessed an uptrend in recent past with the country's apparel exports reaching US$2.97 billion in 2006, and US$3.2 billion in 2007. more..

India not to remove ban on LTTE

Nov 28 (IANS) India has no intention of lifting the ban on Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, official sources said Friday. The sources were responding to a plea to this effect that Velupillai Prabhakaran, the founder leader of the LTTE, made Thursday evening as part of his annual speech. The sources, speaking to IANS on the condition of anonymity, said the question of acceding to the request did not arise since the ban, first imposed in 1992, more..

Special security for Colombo star hotels after Mumbai attack

Nov 28 (IANS) Sri Lanka has decided to enforce a 'special security network' to protect the star hotels in and around capital Colombo after a well-planned terrorist attack rocked neighbouring India's commercial capital of Mumbai. President Mahinda Rajapaksa gave this directive after convening a security review meeting with the owners of tourist hotels, government representatives and defence authorities here in Colombo late Thursday. more..

Legal profession under threat in Sri Lanka

Nov 28 (UPI) In recent months, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka has passed several resolutions regarding lawyers who have come under attack. One such resolution concerned an attorney who had been subjected to intimidation and threats in a case involving the assassination of a client who was pursuing cases against the Sri Lankan police on allegations of bribery and torture. more..

Tigers could go back to guerrilla war as mini state crumbles

Nov 28 (AFP) A pledge by Sri Lanka's Tamil rebel leader to fight on despite a military onslaught raised fears Friday of a return to a hit-and-run guerrilla war as his mini-state faced potential collapse. Separatist chief Velupillai Prabhakaran vowed Thursday the rebels would "continue with our struggle until the alien Sinhala occupation of our land is evicted," referring to Sri Lanka's majority Sinhalese population, more..

LTTE provides ideas for terror attacks like Mumbai: Lanka

Nov 28 (PTI) Condemning the deadly terror strike in Mumbai, Sri Lankan foreign minister Rohitha Bogollagama on Friday said militant groups such as LTTE provide ideas and methodology for undertaking such attacks. "Methodology and well-coordinated precision of these savage attacks are reminiscent of the terror tactics employed by the LTTE against innocent civilians and vital infrastructure in Sri Lanka," Bogollagama told the parliament. more..

Sri Lanka annual inflation eases in Nov

Nov 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's annual average inflation eased for the first time in two years in November on lower fuel and commodity prices, data showed on Friday. The rate fell to 23.0 percent from 23.4 percent in October, its first monthly decline since the series started in 2002, the Department of Census and Statistics said. Compared with the same period a year ago, consumer price inflation eased for a fifth straight month more..

Supreme court removes petroleum minister, suspends payments to banks

Nov 28 (LBO) Supreme Court removed the island's petroleum minister and suspended payments of around 700 million dollars over nine months to four banks relating to hedging contracts with a state-run oil firm. The court also removed Ashantha de Mel, chairman of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), faulting him for entering into hedging contracts, which Chief Justice Sarath Silva said appeared to be "iniquitous". more..

Mubarak holds nerve after Mendis' six

Nov 29 (CI) A disciplined performance in the field from Zimbabwe gave Sri Lanka more than the occasional fright, but the visitors eventually crept over the line by two wickets in Harare. Jehan Mubarak calmed the situation with an unbeaten 57, but Sri Lanka made very heavy weather of reaching 147. Zimbabwe showed plenty of spirit as Tawanda Mupariwa snapped up three wickets and there was some impressive spin bowling. more..

'Country having darkest period in sport'

Nov 29 (LD) With extreme politicization, no planning, personal agendas and the unqualified at the helm of administration - sport in Sri Lanka is presently witnessing its darkest period, said Former Test cricketer Hashan Tilakaratne. He was speaking at a media briefing organized by 'Development Watch'. "Big names in athletics like Susanthika Jayasinghe, Damayanthi Darsha, Sugath Tilakaratne and Sriyani Kularatne are all who had brought glory to our country. more..

Defiant Prabhakaran ready to continue fighting

Nov 29 (DM) The nineteenth “Great heroes day” (GHD) was observed by the LTTE on Thursday November 27. In recent times the most important event for the LTTE has been its annual ‘Maaveerar Naal’ or “Maaveerar Thinam”held each year. Various observances are held in Sri Lanka and abroad to commemorate the Tiger cadres who have died for the Tamil cause. ‘Puligalin Thaagam Thamil Eelath Thaayagam’ (Thirst of the Tigers is for a Tamil Eelam homeland) is the motto of the LTTE. more..

TMVP protest against killings

Nov 29 (BBC) Regional political leaders led a protest in the eastern Sri Lankan city of Batticaloa against the continuous killings and abductions in the east. Batticaloa Mayor, Sivageetha Prabhakaran, provincial councillors and other members of the local bodies took part in the protest calling for democracy to be established in the province. A hunger strike was organised as part of the protest to condemn what they call "killings with impunity". more..

“A reminder of LTTE methods”

Nov 29 (Hindu) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told Parliament on Friday that the government is confident that LTTE chief Velupillai Prabakaran’s overtures to India while delivering his “Hero’s Day” speech on Thursday will not have any takers. “After all, was it not the LTTE that brutally assassinated one of India’s greatest sons and an outstanding Prime Minister, Shri Rajiv Gandhi on May 21, 1991 in Sriperumpudur in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu? more..

The Mumbai Massacre

Nov 29 (LG) The TULF strongly condemns the most horrendous and cowardly act of a handful of unscrupulous men who had derived great pleasure in taking the life of over 130 innocent people and causing serious injuries to over 350 others, some with their eye sight or limbs or both lost and many others be-numbed or crippled for life. No one on earth will ever want such a thing to happen either to them or to anyone in their family. more..

Who killed the doctor?

Nov 29 (LG) The violent death of Dr S W Palitha Padmakumara who worked in the Batticaloa district brings up the question of the fate and future of Doctors serving this country. Members of the noble profession are left wondering what the future holds. The recent past has seen two brutal killings of doctors who were on duty. The question begging an answer is how and why Sri Lankan society came to a juncture at which "another doctor gunned down" is a usual item in the evening news bulletin. more..

Japanese Royalty visit Sri Lanka cultural heritage exhibition in Tokyo

Nov 29 (LG) Their Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan paid a visit to the Sri Lanka Cultural Heritage Exhibition at the Tokyo National Museum. Their Majesties were received at the Tokyo National Museum by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka, Cultural Affairs & National Heritage Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Japan Ranjith Uyangoda together with more..

Tamil Tigers swipes hard at US alleging US favor Sinhalese in East development

Nov 29 (AT) The LTTE sniper attack that hit the air craft carrying American Ambassador Robert Blake in a Sri Lankan eastern district city last year was accidental according to a statement issued by the LTTE immediately after the incident. But, here is a direct attack on the United States’ development assistance policy toward Sri Lanka by the Tamil Tigers clearly manifested in its web site TamilNet of 28 November using a TNA proxy parliamentarian to more..

Kalmunai: The second most congested

Nov 29 (MG) Kalmunai and Sainthamaruthu within the Kalmunai Municipal Council areas are the most congested in the Ampara district with 10,000 people living within an area of one (01) square kilometre holding second place for the most congested areas of Sri Lanka while, Kattankudy in the Batticaloa district is holding the first place with 11,500 people living within the same area according to Mr. Chandradasa of the Urban Development Authority in Kalmunai. more..

President Rajapaksa condoles death of former Maldivian President

Nov 29 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has hailed the contribution of the founder President of the Republic of Maldives, Ibrahim Nasir who passed away recently. President Rajapaksa in a message of condolence to his Maldivian counterpart, President Mohamed Nasheed, has recalled former President Nasir's contribution to the development of the Maldives, in particular its tourist and fisheries industries. more..

Norwegian Refugee Council staffer killed in Batti

Nov 29 (MG) A Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) staff member A. Vigneswaran has been shot dead by unidentified persons in Batticaloa, a statement from the NRC said. Unidentified men entered Vigneswaran’s home on Thursday evening and forcibly took him to a nearby decommissioned IDP-site, where they shot him. Vigneswaran was later taken to a nearby hospital but pronounced dead on arrival. more..

Batticaloa: New homes fuel small business boom

Nov 29 (RW) In June 2007, S.S Mahan wasn't very optimistic about the future. The 26–year-old had just returned to his home in the village of Uriyankaddu, which lies on the Vaharai peninsula in Sri Lanka's north eastern district of Batticaloa. Five months earlier, Mahan and his family had fled the area as government forces battled to reclaim the area from the LTTE. After months of living in a tented camp for the displaced, more..

Lanka Govt's efforts to uproot terrorism is an example to the world

Nov 29 (LNP) Director General of the Central Cultural Fund and Professor of the Peradeniya University Sudharshan Senevirathne has said that the Government s programme to uproot terrorism and the military strategies of the war heroes, are a fitting example not only to South Asia but to the world. He said this programme of the President and the Government deserves the support of the entire nation. more..

Prabhakaran's love needs to be expanded

Nov 29 (LNP) Even the worst of criminals when caught and cornered try to show that they have regained the human qualities that they had lost while indulging in acts of violence and crime. They then begin to plead for love and compassion. Apparently, the continuous military assaults on the LTTE have jolted LTTE Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran s conscience into regaining his lost human feelings such as love and compassion. more..

One shot vows to save Leader - Sri Lanka

Nov 29 (LNP) Opposition leader of the Sabaragamuwa PC Ranjan (One shot) Ramanayake yesterday said that he would move the judiciary against the PPB (Public Performance Board) to thwart an attempt to senselessly cut his new movie Leader. Accusing PPB Chief Asoka Serasinghe of targeting Leader , Ramanayaka urged the official not to play politics with the movie. more..

Sri Lanka has imported tea to the value of Rs.18 billion: JVP

Nov 29 (LNP) Despite Sri Lanka being one of the largest tea producers in the world, it had imported 7.8 million kilos of tea valued at over Rs.18 billion from January to June this year. According to customs report tabled in parliament by the JVP yesterday, tea has been imported from countries such as Kenya, China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia. The bulk of these tea imports had been from India. more..

From roaring to wailing in Sri Lanka

Nov 29 (LNP) So, the beleaguered Tiger chief made his annual speech on Thursday. It may have come as an utter disappointment to his backers at a time of their worst ever crisis. In 2005, he roared that he would revert to war. And he carried out that threat. But, three years on he himself is offering to stop war! What has gone wrong? What characterises Prabhakaran`s speech is a carpet biter`s rage and venom. He exudes genocidal racism from every pore. more..

Muslim Congress on the fence between UNP and the government

Nov 29 (LeN) SLMC that is now in a dialogue with the UNP for a broad dialogue has set forth a proposal to support the government as well. SLMC General Secretary M.D. Hasan Ali said to Lanka-e-News that although the government was slinging mud at his party identifying it as a part of the UNP, the SLMC actually decided to support the UNP since it admitted SLMC's conditions. more..

Bo trees along route to Dhamma Campus

Nov 29 (SAMN) The Centre for Buddhism (International) has decided to plant 28 Bo Trees along the road to the International Dhamma Campus of the Centre at Peragollawatte, Hindagala off Peradeniya University Campus. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Centre for Buddhism chaired by the president Professor P. D. Premasiri. The 28 Bo trees will be planted along the road at intervals of 40 feet beginning from Galaha Road to the Dhamma Campus. more..

Relief rushed for the flood victims

Nov 29 (SAMN) The Ministry of Disaster Relief Services said the government has taken speedy measures to provide necessary relief to the people in the Jaffna penisnula affected by the recent torrential rains brought about by a tropical cyclone. The rains have affected 230,000 people in the Northern districts of Jaffna, Mannar, Trincomalee, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu. Jaffna peninsula is the worst hit, with over 136,298 persons displaced. more..

Help desk for Lankans in Bangkok

Nov 29 (SAMN) The Sri Lankan mission in Bangkok Friday opened a Help Desk to assist the stranded Lankans due to the closure of Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Muang domestic air terminal after protesters from the People's Alliance for Democracy stormed the Airport and disrupted its daily operations. A Foreign Ministry official said the mission receives more than 50 telephone calls per day seeking more..

JJ shocked over disciplinary action

Nov 29 (SAMN) UNP Assistant Secretary MP Dr Jayalath Jayawardena, in a letter to his party and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, said that he was ‘shocked and surprised’ to find that his party calling for a disciplinary action against him. UNP stalwart and former minister John Amaratunga had requested the UNP working Committee to take disciplinary action against MP Jayawardena on the basis of ‘malicious and false accusations’ leveled at more..

Mangala's statement on Army Chief condemned

Nov 29 (DN) Education Minister Susil Premajayantha yesterday vehemently condemned the statement made by MP Mangala Samaraweera regarding the Army Commander at the Defence Watch press conference. The Minister said Mangala Samaraweera has stated that the Army Commander is not suitable even to lead the Salvation Army. The entire country condemns this irresponsible statement made by Samaraweera. more..

Terrorism should be eradicated - Opposition Leader

Nov 29 (DN) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday told Parliament that steps should be taken to eliminate terrorism from the world not only through military means but also by providing political, social and economic solutions to defeat terrorism. Wickremesinghe making a special statement on the Mumbai terrorist attack, said, “terrorism should be eradicated from the entire SAARC region and the world as well. more..

Vessel off WA coast carrying Sri Lankans

Nov 29 (ABC) Police in Geraldton say a wooden boat found off the West Australian coast is carrying 12 Sri Lankans. The boat was spotted last night after it was first reported by campers yesterday afternoon near Shark Bay. Witnesses say a number of people attempted to swim ashore at Steep Point, but later returned to the boat which then headed north. Acting Senior Sergeant Paul Matthews says details are still coming to light. more..

Govt. won’t investigate 30 corrupt deals

Nov 29 (Island) While the Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry prepares to observe international Anti-Corruption Day on December 9, The Island is in a position to reveal that persons responsible for massive revenue losses, running into billions of rupees, hadn’t even been questioned by law enforcement agencies. Of 46 major cases of waste, corruption and irregularities exposed by the Committee on Public Enterprises, only 16 will be investigated. more..