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Indian High Commission to oversee distribution of relief

Nov 4 (Hindu) The Indian High Commission in Colombo will oversee distribution of relief materials to the affected Sri Lankan Tamils through the Red Cross and the United Nations, External Affairs Ministry assured the State government on Monday. The MEA in a clarification to the State Chief Secretary said: “I write regarding the letter from Chief Minister, Tamil Nadu, to External Affairs Minister about the distribution of relief materials intended for Sri Lankan Tamils more..

“Superstar” Rajinikanth wants equal rights for Sri Lankan Tamils

Nov 4 (TC) “Superstar” Rajinikanth directly addressed Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse and called onto halt the war that is killing many innocent ordinary civilians for so many years. He said stopping the war is good for everyone. He pointed out that even with a powerful army, navy and air force, Sri Lanka is unable to win the war. Rajinikanth, a “Superstar” with mass popularity around the world, delivered his remarks in his distinguished stylized delivery of dialogue, more..

The politics of Tamil Eelam in TN – I

Nov 4 (LG) The ethnic issue, which has taken a heavy toll on the Sri Lankan Island, has seen many twists & turns in the last two and a half decades. This emotional issue has also been utilised to the hilt by the various political parties of Tamilnadu —— more for their selfish interests than for the Eelam Tamils. Politics had been played with the emotions of the people during the entire part of the eighties, but after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991, more..

If only just Mother had two other sons like me

Nov 4 (LG) The name “Veera Puran Appu” needs no introduction to the patriotic people of this land expect may be for a few lost-in-time souls who would not care a dime as to where they came from or where they are going. However, to those who cherish the rich patriotic history of this land, he is nothing less than an enigma. Leading a patriotic rebellion against the British rule, Puran Appu died a brave Martyr’s death facing the rifle squad of the Queen’s army on the August 8, 1848. more..

EPDP Advisory to Free Media Movement

Nov 4 (LG) The EPDP notes with concern that the Free Media Movement (FMM) is being led into a position of unfounded anxiety through the manipulations of the notorious Subra Saravanapavan, Managing Director of the "Uthayan" and "Sudaroli" newspapers. This is evidenced by a statement supposedly released to the media by the FMM, deprecatory of the EPDP and its statesman-leader Douglas Devananda, Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare, presumably inspired by the malicious urgings of the said Subra. more..

'Govt. trying hard to revive white elephant MihinAir'

Nov 4 (LG) UNP Parliamentarian Gayantha Karunatileke observed that the Govt. has driven even the Tea Industry, the second largest foreign exchange earner to the brink of total collapse. What is most disgusting and despicable about the Govt. policy is that it is continuing to devastate whatever sector that is profit making and beneficial to the country, but trying hard to resuscitate MihinAir, the White elephant, which incurred a loss draining away billions of rupees of people’s money. more..

SPUR writes to Indian PM

Nov 4 (SLW) Honourable Prime Minister, We are happy to note that despite the pressure being exerted by pro-LTTE political parties in Tamil Nadu, your government has chosen not to intervene to stop the on going military operations that the Sri Lankan government is conducting against the terrorist LTTE. As you are no doubt aware, if the LTTE is allowed to continue with it’s blood thirsty campaign to separate from Sri Lanka, the resulting destabilisation of Sri Lanka will have a negative impact on more..

Indian PM underlines govt stand on Sri Lanka

Nov 4 (AA) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is believed to have told the tri-services commanders’ conference on Saturday that while India has always cared for the welfare of the Sri Lankan Tamils, India also needs to remain committed to the unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. Sources said that it had also been made clear by the government that India cannot interfere in the operational right of more..

U.S. perspectives on Sri Lanka

Nov 4 (VOA) U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert Blake said, "America's experience in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere has taught us that terrorism cannot be defeated by law enforcement and military measures alone." That is why, said Ambassador Blake, "the U.S. and the other Donor Group Co-Chair countries have urged the government of Sri Lanka to adopt now a political solution to the conflict, within the framework of a united Sri Lanka that more..

Sri Lanka grey market dollar rate up; CB bill stock Rs89.5bn

Nov 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's grey market rate for US dollars has spiked sharply as the central bank continued to intervene in forex markets and print money to prevent a contraction in the monetary base, putting pressure on the rupee. In the grey market in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo, US dollars are trading at 112.50 to 113.00 levels, compared to an officially intervened rate of 110.00 rupees in the Interbank forex market. more..

Colombo’s Susceptibilities

Nov 4 (LG) A LTTE propeller-drive two-seater light aircraft dropped two bombs targeting the Kelanitissa Power Station in Capital Colombo in the night of October 28, 2008. One employee at the Power Station died after the attack, possibly as a result of shock. Earlier, on its route to Colombo, the same aircraft had dropped three bombs on the Mannar Army Headquarters in Thalladi, injuring three soldiers. more..

Hartal in Kalmunai after deaths of five youth

Nov 4 (LG) A hartal has been launched in Kalmunai after the killing of five youth at a guest house in the area, police said. The death toll increased to five today after one person admitted at the Kalmunai hospital succumbed to his injuries. Four persons were killed instantly in the shooting incident in Kurumbavadi, in Kalmunai Sunday night, Police said. The shooting is reported to have taken place in a guest house close to the beach. more..

Time for some introspection

Nov 4 (LG) The all-party meeting chaired by Tamil Nadu's (TN) Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on October 14 passed a resolution that MPs from the state would resign if the Centre failed to ensure a ceasefire in Sri Lanka (SL) in two weeks. The all-party meeting chaired by Tamil Nadu's (TN) Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on October 14 passed a resolution that MPs from the state would resign if the Centre failed to ensure a ceasefire in Sri Lanka (SL) in two weeks. more..

The politics of Tamil Eelam in TN – II

Nov 4 (LG) With the advent of the DMK government in May 2006, the state has been witnessing a sudden spurt in LTTE movements and activities and many things started happening in the last two and a half years. As the list would be endless if each and every incident is mentioned as per chronological order, a succinct picture of LTTE activities in Tamilnadu in the recent past would suffice. Meanwhile, the reaction from the Tamilnadu Chief Minister eulogising the killed leader of the banned organisation created a sort of stir in the political circles. more..

Futile calls for a political solution

Nov 4 (LG) Currently, the media is full of calls for a political solution to the ‘ethnic’ problem. They come from a group, which over the years has advocated a federal solution to the problem, and which I will refer to as the Federal Lobby(FL). The FL includes India, the International Community (‘Co- chairs’), ‘moderate’ Tamils viz. those who do not espouse violence to attain their political goals, and, of course, the ‘peace’ NGOs. more..

What “Muslims” are we? A moment of truth!

Nov 4 (LG) The writer was appalled by the appeal made by Prof. Jawahirullah to the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu, M. Karunanithi stating that “he should remember the Muslims in his effort to bring peace to the Tamil regions of Sri Lanka.” He also suggested that “it is the need of hour that both Tamils and Tamil Muslims should join together to fight the Sinhala racism”. Sheik Dawood ; the Tamilnadu Muslim League leader also applied the same terminology that Muslims are also “ Tamils” , thus more..

Pottuvil Muslim farmers caught in between

Nov 4 (MG) At a time when the government is urging all the farmers to cultivate their lands neglected, the farmers of Pottuvil are facing great difficulties with the security forces on one side and the LTTE on the other without money for cultivation. The farmers of Pottuvil neglected cultivation in large acreage of paddy fields due to the LTTE not allowing them cultivation in their lands in areas which were all in their control. They had their camps also close by in Kanchikudichchaaru. more..

Openers star in comprehensive Windies win

Nov 4 (CI) West Indies Women, buoyed by centuries from openers Deandra Dottin and Stefanie Taylor, beat Sri Lanka Women XI comprehensively by 112 runs in their only tour match at the P Saravanamuttu stadium in Colombo on Monday. In pursuit of a formidable 273, the Sri Lankans took their time to get some valuable batting practice ahead of the first ODI on Wednesday, eventually reaching just 161 for 7, with Hiruka Fernando top scoring with 34. more..

'Stop sweet talk of a national economy and guide country towards a people's economy'

Nov 4 (LT) Implementing obsolete systems or establishing a national economy would not have solutions for the present economic crisis. However, the remedy is within a people's economy said Member of the Political Bureau and Leader of the Group of Parliamentarians of the JVP Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Mr. Dissanayake speaking on the theme "The dream is shattered – Sri Lanka in the midst of world economic recession" held at more..

'We'll lead public to streets against Indian intervention'

Nov 4 (LT) "We would lead the public to the streets and would campaign against India's plans to colonize Sri Lanka. We, as bhikkhus have a historic responsibility to save the country from any threat. We would not let the Government be the representative of India to devolve power to provinces and carry out India's plans to bring this country under Indian rule" said President of the National Bhikku Front Ven. Kalawelgala Chandaloka Thero. more..

Rat fever on the rise

Nov 4 (GDI) Rat fever has been significantly increased in the Galle District and the health officials warn the public to refrain from bathing in tanks, canals and rivers. It has also been identified that drinking unhygienic water and wading through muddy water as indirect methods of getting infected by the disease. The germ can enter the body through a wound or the mouth, health officials warn. more..

Suicide rate declines significantly

Nov 4 (GDI) The suicide rate in Sri Lanka, which was once only second to that of Finland, has gone down significantly because of the projects and programmes implemented by the Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry to upgrade mental health. Similarly attention should be paid to promote knowledge on reproductive health in society without harming traditional cultural values, Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said. more..

Five GCE (O/L) centres to be shifted from Mannar to Kilinochchi

Nov 4 (GDI) Five G.C.E. Ordinary Level Examination centres in the Mannar district will be relocated in Kilinochchi by the Examination Department to reduce the inconvenience caused to candidates, following a request made by educational authorities in Mannar, along with candidates. Accordingly, five Examination centres which come under the Periyakomarasankulam G.T.M.S. Vavuniya coordination centre (Coordinating Centre Number 458) will be relocated in Kilinochchi, more..

Sri Lanka Govt. won't ban Tigers

Nov 4 (LNP) The government yesterday confirmed there would be no ban imposed on the LTTE as Sri Lanka was not at war despite several other countries proscribing the Tigers and their proxies. This comes in the wake of earlier comments made by top government officials who had warned that an LTTE ban would be given serious consideration if it continued to attack civilians. Constitutional Affairs Minister Dew Gunasekara told the Daily Mirror, a Tiger ban was not discussed or considered as the country was not officially at war. more..

Wanni Operation continues terrorists at their last legs in Wanni west

Nov 4 (LNP) The Army Task force 1 troops operating in the western half of the Kilinochchi battle frontage have reached a decisive stage in their mission, as they have successfully sealed off over 90% of the 80 km long northwestern coast of the island. Following the recent liberation of Nachchikuda, the Task Force 1 now has continuous domination over 70 Km stretch of the strategically vital Mannar- Pooneryn (A-32) road. more..

APRC to finalise devolution package

Nov 4 (SAMN) The All Party Representative Committee (APRC) will be ready with its final document consisting of a political package to be implemented under a new Constitution when the present military campaign ends, APRC chairman and Minister Tissa Vitarana said Monday adding that the proposals would be presented to President Mahinda Rajapaksa next week. APRC will hold several meetings this week to ensure the final documents have the consensus of all parties. more..

Forests endangered

Nov 4 (SAMN) Kandy District Forest Officer S. H. Sirisena hit out at politicians saying they were the main barriers to protecting the environment. The politicians were preparing for an upcoming election but were not considering the forest conservation strategies introduced by the Forest Department. Sirisena made these observations at an awareness programme in Knuckles range. more..

UN in ‘Awakening of East’ programme

Nov 4 (SAMN) The UN has come forward to assist the development programme in the east against the backdrop of the province being liberated after over two decades of conflict and re-establishment of peace and stability, a Public Administration and Home Affairs spokesman said. A ‘Strategic Development Assistant Team’ sent by the world body had conducted several rounds of discussions with the Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister Karu Jayasuriya, more..

IMF commends Lanka’s economic performance

Nov 4 (DN) On October 17, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with Sri Lanka and commended Sri Lanka’s recent economic performance and endorsed Sri Lanka’s macroeconomic policies under the Ten-Year Development Plan, the Central Bank said. At the same time, they drew attention to some emerging risks arising from the recent financial crisis. more..

Secret move to topple Govt.: Weerawansa

Nov 4 (SAMN) National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader Wimal Weerawansa Monday charged that there is a secret move to topple the government by changing the balance of power in Parliament during the budget debate. Weerawansa made this claim speaking at a ceremony organized by the party to handover appointments to organizers of the electoral constituencies at Sausiripaya Monday. more..

Tsunami rumour in Dodanduwa

Nov 4 (DN) Residents in Dodanduwa fled their houses following a rumour about a tsunami threat yesterday. According to Ratgama police, a rumour was spread along the coastal area of Dodanduwa about a tsunami forcing residents to flee their houses. "It is believed that residents of Dodanduwa panicked after observing a giant wave which emerged from the sea round 9.00 a.m. as word spread around. People who were confused fled their houses to safer places. more..

Exam chief renders teacher unions toothless

Nov 4 (Island) Teacher unionists, who threatened to boycott G. C. E. Ordinary Level paper evaluation demanding rectification of their salary anomalies, lost their bargaining power yesterday when Examinations Commissioner General Anura Edirisinghe announced that he has a reserve of 15,000 teachers willing to mark papers. "The G. C. E. O/L examination will be held as two exams, one for the old syllabus and another for new syllabus. more..

Menik Ganga to irrigate 25,000 acres

Nov 4 (Island) Minister of Ports, Aviation and Irrigation Chamal Rajapaksa said that October (30) marks a red letter day in the history of agricultural development. The Government had been able to divert the waters of the Menik Ganga flowing into the sea at the estuary at Kirinda and under the Weheragala Project it will provide water to benefit farmers in Lunugamvehera to cultivate 25,000 acres of paddy lands during both the Maha and Yala seasons. more..

Karuna cadres attack Pillayan office, 8 injured

Nov 4 (DM) The tension between the Karuna and Pillayan factions took a new turn yesterday after supporters of Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman severely assaulted eight supporters of Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan at the opening of a new TMVP office at Bandaramulai in Batticaloa, a TMVP official said. 20 Karuna supporters had surrounded the new office of the Batticaloa Municipal councillor Pradeep Master and damaged windows and doors more..

Civilians fear seeking safety in cleared areas - Rights Group

Nov 4 (DM) Despite the harassment faced at the hands of the LTTE, civilians trapped in the Wanni are afraid to seek protection in government controlled areas owing to reports of killings, abductions and other forms of harassment, a leading human rights group said yesterday. Mr. Rajan Hoole from the UTHR said that killings and abductions of civilians by the security forces and armed allies in the East, Jaffna and Vavuniya have been well documented. more..

No reading of casualty figures to House

Nov 4 (LD) The government today refrained from reading to Parliament the detailed casualty figures of war as had been the custom in moving the motion to extend the state of emergency. Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickremanayake moved the proposal following which Minister John Seneviratne tabled a 10-page document after reading only part of it to the House. The final page of the said document gives the casualty figures of war in October 2008. more..

'No secret pact with India'

Nov 4 (LD) Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama has rejected allegations of a secret pact between the governments of India and Sri Lanka. He noted that there was no food crisis in the Wanni. The minister said the 800 metric tonnes of food aid from India for the Wanni region was merely a gesture of friendship. Earlier, Chief Opposition Whip, Joseph Michael Perera as to why is India sending food aid to North if a food crisis does not exist there. more..

Why Indian aid if no food crisis?

Nov 4 (LD) Why is India sending food aid to Northern Province if a food crisis does not exist there, asked Chief Opposition Whip, Joseph Michael Perera. Speaking in Parliament today, he said the government should reveal details of the pact signed with India on this matter. The government has agreed to India’s offer to send 800 metric tones of food for the displaced in Wanni after talks in New Delhi, the Chief Opposition Whip said. more..

Tiran Alles restored as Dialog's agents for East

Nov 4 (LD) The Supreme Court has ordered the Attorney General to restore Communication and Business Equipment (Pvt.) Ltd. headed by Tiran Alles as Dialog Telekom's agents for government-controlled Eastern Province. The SC yesterday (Nov. 03rd) took up a fundamental rights petition filed by CBE and Mr. Alles, challenging their suspension as Dialog's agents for the North and the East. more..

'Sri Lankan issue a diversionary tactic'

Nov 4 (PTI) AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa on Tuesday charged Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi with using the Sri Lankan Tamils issue to "divert" public attention from various problems including the spectrum allocation issue "rocking" the Union IT Ministry headed by A Raja of DMK. Jayalalithaa said "at a time when the people were disgruntled over the DMK government's handling of price rise and unprecedented power crisis, more..

UNP presents sunshine 'budget'

Nov 4 (LBO) UNP has revealed a sunshine 'budget' promising massive salary increases to the public sector and reductions in fuel prices, indicating an emerging political consensus on economic populism. UNP strongman Ravi Karunanayake says the 'benefits' would be financed by bringing down inflation and interest rates and a flat consumption tax instead of value added taxes, if his party comes to power. more..

Sri Lanka army chief says war nearly complete

Nov 4 (AFP) Sri Lanka's decades-old war against Tamil Tiger rebels is close to being completed, the island's army chief was quoted as saying Tuesday as the military reported further gains in the rebel-held north. Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka said the military had killed thousands of LTTE fighters in the past two-and-a-half years. "Over 80 per cent of the war against the LTTE has been completed after more..

Gilchrist's publicity gimmicks target Murali

Nov 5 (PTI) Former Australian vice-captain Adam Gilchrist has hit the hornet's nest by calling spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan a chucker and accusing Sri Lankan authorities of splitting the cricket world between 'white' and 'black' countries in the '90s. Gilchrist, in his autobiography 'True Colours', minced no words in saying Muralitharan chucked the ball and alleged that the ICC protected him after more..

Sri Lankan batik waxing lyrical in face of tough times

Nov 5 (AFP) The cobalt blues, watermelon reds, sheer fabrics and slinky cuts of Sri Lankan batiks are vying for a spot on the world's catwalks amid a global credit crunch that may hit designer brands. Batik is the art of decorating fabric with molten wax and then dipping it in dye, which does not penetrate the wax and so leaves behind intricate patterns, often in many colours. more..

‘India can facilitate Tamil Eelam’

Nov 5 (EB) India should not hesitate further to enlist the support of the international community towards creating Tamil Eelam and ending the ethnic problem in the island nation, said Dr N Sethuraman, founder president of All India Moovendar Munnetra Kazhagam. When Bangla Desh could be created with the intervention of Indian Government in the 70s, Tamil Eelam could also be created similarly, he said while speaking to journalists here on Monday. more..

Woman with explosives arrested

Nov 5 (Xinhua) A woman carrying explosives from the north to the capital Colombo has been arrested in the north. The woman was arrested with 500 grams of C4 explosives at the Irattaperiyakulam security checkpoint in the northern district of Vavuniya Monday night. The arrest followed information received from the capital Colombo and she was believed to have couriered explosives from the north to the south several times, police said. more..

'Rajapaksas creating a police state'

Nov 5 (LD) The Mahinda Rajapaksa regime is making plans to create a police state by using the war as an excuse, said Coordinator of 'Defence Watch' Mangala Samaraweera. The leader of SLFP Mahajana Wing has formed this alternative defence information centre to give facts of war to the public. He claimed Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had made inquiries about a rural level intelligence network during his recent tour of China, intended to secure military aid. more..

Kumble is 'simply a legend', says Mahela

Nov 5 (IANS) Sri Lanka cricket captain Mahela Jayawardene has hailed his outgoing Indian counterpart Anil Kumble as 'a real fighter' and totally different from other greats of spin bowling. 'Kumble is a real fighter and an amazing cricketer with a lot of talent and character,' Jayawardene said Monday night. Anil Kumble, who led India in 14 Tests, announced his retirement from international cricket more..

75-vote majority for emergency extension

Nov 5 (LD) Parliament today (Nov. 04th) extended the state of emergency by a further month in a vote in which the proposal was passed by a 75-vote majority. Eighty-five members, including those from Jathika Hela Urumaya, National Freedom Front and TMVP's Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan, voted in favour of the motion. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna too, supported the extension. more..

Sri Lanka court strikes down hidden budget

Nov 5 (LBO) Supreme Court has struck down a hidden budgetary fund that gave the island's top treasury official power to circumvent the parliament and allocate money to any ministry, usurping parliamentary control over the public purse. Court also said the Treasury had been "irresponsible and reckless" in handling public finance and parliament had failed to exercise full control as required by the constitution. more..