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"Rs. 42 million" for LTTE member

Nov 5 (BBC) The main opposition in Sri Lanka says that the government has spent over forty million rupees to kill one member of the LTTE since 2004. Sri Lanka Army (SLA) commander, Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka announced on Monday that at least 13,000 Tamil Tigers were killed by the security forces. Quoting government estimates, UNP parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake said 583 billion rupees were spent for the war since 02 April 2004. more..

Breakaway Tamil Tigers 'disarm'

Nov 5 (BBC) A breakaway group of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers will be disarmed within months and integrated into the security forces, its leader has announced. Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan, widely known as Colonel Karuna, said that the rehabilitation of former cadres under his command had already begun. The former senior Tamil Tiger leader broke away from the rebels in 2004. more..

Living in a country that's 70 percent mad and everyone fools everyone

Nov 5 (SLW) Meanwhile in the media, FM Bogollagama was quoted as saying the war in the North is waged with few civilian casualties. Someone who read that in the “lankadissent” news website had left a comment that said “He who is not sure of his memory, should not undertake the trade of lying – Montaigne.” That probably closed the issue of ‘civilian casualties’ in a war that sees no end. more..

Ain't it good for SL "Handuna gathtoth obama"

Nov 5 (SLW) This is no joke. It wasn’t something said in private. It was said in public at the conference of Buddhist monks, who came in a saffron procession and wound their way to the New Town Hall, Colombo last Thursday, starting from the Vihara Maha Devi Park. The procession and the conference were to register the protest against foreign pressure on the government. Buddhist monks want the government to go on waging war. Go on killing. more..

Miles to go before solving the Tamil question

Nov 5 (ML) While many thought that the uprising in Tamil Nadu had seen a decline, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had warned that the decisions reached at the All Party Meeting last month were still valid. Tamil Nadu politicians decided not to pressurise the Central Government on the Sri Lankan issue after the state had pledged to send essential items to the displaced people in the Wanni. Founder of Paattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) Dr. S. Ramdoss had said that the uprising in Tamil Nadu had declined. more..

Budget Bill unconstitutional rules SC

Nov 5 (ML) Following the October 24 Supreme Court determination that the Appropriation Bill 2009 is unconstitutional, Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara communicated the said determination to parliament yesterday. The Supreme Court order had also in a far-reaching finding determined that the former Finance Secretary P.B. Jayasundera was running a budget of his own. The foremost financial bill for the coming year was challenged by Themiya L. B. Hurulle on behalf of the UNP and more..

Does Karunanidhi plan to visit Sri Lanka?

Nov 5 (ML) "H.E. wanted to convey his New Year greetings to you." "Thank you." It was Monday, January 1, 1990, around 3.30 pm, I was alone in my office as the rest of the staff had taken half day off. "Also he wanted to tell you that we regret our failure to take your advice and now we are in a big mess." I was speechless. I had already forgotten that subject and never expected any comments or an apology from a person of such high stature to an ordinary soul like me. How magnanimous he was. more..

India and Sri Lanka: Back to the future?

Nov 5 (ML) The hiatus in Tamil Nadu seems to have died down for the moment. Diplomatic scurrying to and fro, telephone conversations and high profile newspaper interviews, seem to have done the trick of restoring Indo – Sri Lankan relations. They appear to have settled into a balance of power characterised by the reassertion of Indian interests in conflict transformation in Sri Lanka. As to the limits and boundaries of this, remains to be seen. more..

Pressure continues in Tamil Nadu while the Devolution Package comes back into focus

Nov 5 (BL) To meet the continued pressure exerted on him, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi issued a statement on Sunday and wrote an emotional poem on Monday. In the Sunday statement, he defended Delhi by pointing out the constraints it had in intervening in Sri Lanka. In Monday’s poem, he said the Tamils of Tamil Nadu are prepared to even sacrifice their lives to safeguard the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. more..

UNP taxed 300% on petroleum – Siyambalapitiya

Nov 5 (BL) The 2002-2004 United National Party (UNP) government charged 300% more taxes on petroleum products than the present government, Minister of State Revenue and Finance and Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said. “The UNP is pointing its finger at us and claims we charge extremely high taxes on petroleum. But it is nothing compared to what the 2002 UNP government charged,” he said. more..

Mahinda to deliver ‘realistic’ Budget

Nov 5 (BL) President Rajapaksa will tomorrow unveil what officials maintain will be a realistic Budget, as he remains sandwiched between a high Defence budget and a sour economy owing to global recession. Officials involved with the President in a series of meetings, predict a pragmatic Budget boosting socio- economic development amid challenges. However, Opposition parties and Private Sector analysts anticipate a lacklustre Budget, claiming more..

It’s the Budget, so what?

Nov 5 (BL) It’s that time of year again, when Sri Lankans are treated to the political drama that unfolds like a prayer. They brace themselves for more economic shocks and negligible handouts, when the Budget for the year 2009 is presented. This year, government decided to bring forward the Budget presentation. Presumably, to allow for whatever theatrics is to follow, to take place ahead of what is likely to be the dissolution of several more Provincial Councils, and more..

Troops at a decisive stage: Colombo

Nov 5 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan military on Tuesday claimed that troops operating in the western half of the Kilinochchi battle front reached a decisive stage in their mission and successfully sealed off over 90 per cent 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..

India’s assistance is a goodwill gesture, says Sri Lanka

Nov 5 (Hindu) Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on Tuesday refuted media speculation on a secret deal with India, and asserted that there was a clear understanding between New Delhi and Colombo on its efforts to defeat terrorism and restore democracy in the north. His remarks came even as the United Nations dispatched a convoy of 29 trucks with 438 tonnes of food to people displaced in the war zone. more..

Parties urged to speak in one voice on Tamils issue

Nov 5 (Hindu) Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said that if all voices in the State united and called for an end to the killing of innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka, it would help to invigorate the efforts of the Centre. In a statement, Mr. Karunanidhi said the Centre was taking action in the issue because it respected the sentiments of Tamils here. “They are doing what they can. To encourage them to do better we should raise our voice in unison.” Unfortunately, this had not happened in Tamil Nadu. more..

Unlicensed finance firms told to repay depositors

Nov 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank said it has ordered four unlicensed finance companies that failed to register with the regulator to repay depositors, and given time for two more to comply with its rules. A bank statement said four of six organisations and individuals carrying on finance business without authority had failed to register under the finance companies act despite being asked to do so. more..

'No medicine' for Mulativu hospital

Nov 5 (BBC) Essential supplies including medicine and vaccinations were not supplied to Mulative hospital for months, authorities said. Acting Deputy Director of Health in Mulativu district, Dr. Osmond Charles told BBC Sandeshaya that only Paracetamol and vitamins were left in the hospital. "We didn't receive children's medicine even the last time. Malaria patients are found everyday but we do not have medicine to treat them," he said. more..


Nov 5 (DW) As you may have heard, the latest addition to the battlefield is Task Force 3 (TF-3). The new offensive formation is a semi-Division and is completely offensive in nature. TF-3 will, in time, become the proposed new 63 Division. This will become the 6th new Offensive Division the Army has raised in recent times. The exact strategical objectives given to TF-3 is yet unclear. TF-3 currently has a troop strength of 5000 officers and more..

Panic over large quantities of fishes caught

Nov 5 (MG) People in the coastal areas of Ampara district are perturbed over the large amount of fish that are now being caught in the seas here. The prices of fishes too have come down very low and the people in these regions fear the repetition of tsunami once again. During the year 2004, just before the tsunami devastated Sri Lanka, large quantities of fishes were being caught here and the prices too were incredibly low. more..

The failures of successive peace processes with the LTTE

Nov 5 (PISL) The Government is repeatedly told that this country will never achieve peace without talking to the LTTE. Yet the record shows that the LTTE is not interested. Its habit of pretending to engage in negotiations in order to destroy moderate Tamil forces and build up its own weaponry cannot be permitted to happen again. Talks with the LTTE are not going to bring peace while that organisation believes that it can achieve its demands through the use of violence and terror. more..

GCE O/L exam papers in a new format

Nov 5 (GDI) G.C.E. Ordinary Level question papers are to be designed according to a new structure,aimed at measuring students' intelligence, logical approach and thinking power, qualities needed for current requirements,Commissioner General of Examinations Anura Edirisinghe said. Question papers have so far assessed only the memory power of the student and the measurement of intelligence and other qualities have been relatively neglected, more..

Milk product containers should include composition details

Nov 5 (GDI) Milk products imported to Sri Lanka should indicate the composition of their chemical compounds including melamine, said President Mahinda Rajapksa in the aftermath of the controversy regarding milk food products. Accordingly President Rajapksa has directed health authorities to take measures to that the new guidelines are adhered to and the consumers can chose the milk of their choice. more..

Saudi Supreme Judicial Council to hear Rizana's appeal

Nov 5 (GDI) In a positive turn regarding the fate of Rizana Nafeek, found guilty of strangling her employer's four month old baby in 2005, the Supreme Judicial Council of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is to take hear the appeal filed against the death sentence imposed on her. The case, first called on the 27 of August, was postponed as the Indian national who was the translator did not attended the court on its first hearing. more..

Libya offers jobs in farming industry

Nov 5 (GDI) The Ministry of Livestock Development has taken steps to secure jobs for Sri Lankans in Libya and other Middle East countries in the farming sector, Ministry sources said. Discussions pertaining to the formulation of agreements with the respective countries were held recently with the participation the Deputy Minister of Livestock Development K. Abdul Baies. The Deputy Minister also met the Libyan Minister of Labour Relations more..

Australian assistance for tsunami monitoring systems discussed

Nov 5 (GDI) Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services, Rishad Bathiudeen during his visit to Australia, discussed several issues related to natural disaster management with the Australian officials, according to a media release issued by the Ministry. Bilateral discussions also focused on exchanging knowledge and technology on tsunami monitoring systems. more..

LTTE aide in Switzerland sentenced for ‘weapon theft’

Nov 5 (GDI) An LTTE aide of Sri Lanka origin was among the three Swiss defendants sentenced for their role in the theft of 80 assault rifles from a Swiss military depot two years ago, foreign news agencies said. The district court in canton Bern handed a sentence of 42 months to one of the three Swiss defendants, and gave suspended sentences of 14 and 24 months to two accompliees, Swiss news agencies reported. more..

Sri Lanka Eastern University to be developed

Nov 5 (LNP) Senior Presidential Advisor and Parliamentarian Basil Rajapakse is desirous of upgrading the Eastern University to the standard of other Universities. Initial plans have already been mooted in this respect. At a discussion today, Mr. Rajapaske said 100 million rupees will be immediately provided for the improvement of the Eastern University. The discussion was held with the management of this University. more..

'Govt. agreements are Ranil’s proposals'

Nov 5 (LD) The government’s agreement to extensive devolution of power proposed by the UNP leader back in 2001 questions its future vision, party front-liner, Lakshman Kiriella said. Speaking at a press briefing at the opposition leader’s office today, the UNP MP said the government had reached the decision at the expense of 15,000 to 20,000 lives and after spending over Rs. 57,000 million on the war. more..

171 military personnel killed in Sep.

Nov 5 (SAMN) The government reversed a well-established practice of disclosing monthly casualty figures to the legislature through either the defence minister or Prime Minister Tuesday and had its last speaker, Power and Energy Minister John Seneviratne table the figures in his prepared speech. Seneviratne’s tabled speech stated that some 171 military personnel had been killed last month while 1122 had been injured. more..

SL has second highest envenoming

Nov 5 (SAMN) Sri Lankan has the second highest envenoming (33,000) or venom delivered through biting each year, researchers said. In an article published in US based open access Public Library of Science Medicine, researchers said the burden from snakebites was highest in South and Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Researchers said more than 400,000 people are poisoned by snakebites worldwide each year and 20,000 of them die, more..

Food crisis hits 4 hospitals

Nov 5 (SAMN) The managements of four hospitals have had to order meals for in-patients from outside as their suppliers had stopped supplying the hospitals’ requirements due to the Health Ministry failing to pay them on time. The Ministry owes the suppliers of the Ratnapura, Badulla, Kurunegala and Anuradhapura hospitals Rs. 24 million. It has also not cleared the backlog of payments to the minor staff, buildings repairmen and contractors, t more..

Programme to protect river banks

Nov 5 (SAMN) Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva has voiced his concern over the illegal sand mining carried out in many parts of the country. Silva together with Environment Minister Champika Ranawaka participated in a programme — "The protection of river banks in Manampitiya" – recently with the intention of creating awareness among the people on the serious repercussions of illegal sand mining. more..

Super luxury vehicle detected in container

Nov 5 (DN) A super luxury Toyota Noah, a model imported for the first time to Sri Lanka was detected in a container declared as machinery items, by the Sri Lanka Customs yesterday. The vehicle worth around Rs. 8 million and comes under the highest tax category, was detected when it went through the container X-ray machine, one of the latest additions to the Customs Department, Customs sources said. It was well-concealed among the machinery items and other equipment. more..

Machan: A Cinematic raw nerve

Nov 5 (DN) The season of “Aba”, the cinematic epic, amazingly and astoundingly enlivened and illuminated the Sinhala film tradition. While Sri Lanka’s film-goers continue to be under the gripping spell of compelling “Aba” - the new “Machan” has arrived, to assault society’s collective soul, by serving up a raw slice of Sri Lanka’s psyche. “Machan” pressurises the viewer, to meet head on, a segment of society, from which most people would want to avert their gaze. more..

State Bank employees to get pensions

Nov 5 (Island) Following a firm assurance from President Mahinda Rajapaksa that equal pension rights would be granted to all bank employees, the Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union has decided to call off its half-day strike planned for tomorrow (Thursday) and the one-day strike planned for November 27, Presidential Secretariat sources said. President Mahinda Rajapaksa had a cordial discussion with representatives of more..

Health Minister urges shift to war affected

Nov 5 (Island) Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva urged authorities to shift their concentration of health services to people affected by the war. Hitherto, priority was given to the people living in areas affected by the tsunami, he said at a function held at the Galle face Hotel on Monday where he referred to reproductive health and HIV/AIDS. He wanted even University freshers educated on these subjects, especially on precautionary measures. more..

Will Sri Lanka’s war scenario change if Obama wins ?

Nov 5 (DM) Balakumar, a Senior LTTE leader has announced that they are optimistic that before the year 2008 is out, tide of fortune will change in their favour in the International scene. It cannot be concluded for sure whether he made this announcement having in view the upcoming U.S. Presidential elections. A Senior Indian Journalist has also made mention of Velupillai Prabhakaran’s enthusiasm in respect of these elections, more..

Three legged baby

Nov 5 (DM) A three legged baby was brought to Lady Ridgeway Hospital. The baby is to be examined by a specialist today, according to the hospital’s director Dr. S. Yoganathan. Dr. Yoganathan said a series of test would be carried out to find out whether the bone of the third leg was attached to the body and to find out whether it was growing. She said it was also essential to determine whether there were any other abnormalities. more..

Bahu questions govt. on outside aggression claim

Nov 5 (LD) Left Front leader Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne has questioned the government how it could claim that it was fighting an outside aggression. "Are there foreign armies in the north? If so who are they? Americans, Indians or Chinese? We see only militants of Tamil people up in arms against continued discrimination and repression," he said. Dr. Karunaratne was speaking at a meeting and march organized in Colombo at the weekend by World Solidarity Forum against the war. more..

STF behind killing of 5 Tamils - TNA MP

Nov 5 (LD) Special Task Force commandos at Kalmunai in Ampara opened fire on five Tamil youths who were at a liquor shop and attempted to create a story through police that the victims were Karuna cadres, TNA MP K. Pathmanathan has said, citing relatives of the victims. Later, the STF attempted to place the blame on Muslims, but some Tamil Muslim youths who had witnessed the killings had helped to avert confrontation between the Tamil, Muslim communities, 'Tamilnet' reported quoting the MP. more..

Obama victory sparks cheers around the globe

Nov 5 (AP) Across the globe, people in city squares and living rooms, ballrooms and villages cheered the election of Barack Obama as U.S. president, raising hopes that America's first black commander in chief would herald a less confrontational America. People crowded before TVs or listened to blaring radios for the latest updates. In Sydney, Australians filled a hotel ballroom. more..

Fourth WFP convoy travels to Tiger-held areas

Nov 5 (IRIN) The fourth food convoy since the relocation of UN and other international agencies in mid-September travelled to areas under the control of the LTTE in the north on 3 November, officials said. The World Food Programme convoy of 29 trucks carried 438 metric tonnes of food supplies for more than 230,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Tamil Tiger-held areas in the central north, known as the Vanni. more..

28 Tamil civilians rescued: Sri Lankan Army

Nov 5 (PTI) An alert Sri Lankan Navy traced down two boats carrying 28 Tamil civilians, who had escaped from the LTTE held area, and rescued them, officials said on Wednesday. "A group of 28 Tamil civilians including 6 children, who had escaped from the LTTE held areas, sought protection from security forces in Jaffna last morning," the Defence Ministry said. The naval patrol craft which detected two boats in northern seas immediately rushed to more..

Croydon MP accused of "falling into the clutches of terrorists"

Nov 5 (CT) Croydon Central MP Andrew Pelling is consulting a lawyer after bizarrely being accused of "falling into the clutches of terrorists" - by the Sri Lankan government. The attack has come because he attended an exhibition last year on civil unrest in the country. Now Prof Rajiva Wijesinha, Sri Lanka's secretary general of the SCOPP, has claimed Mr Pelling's attendance suggested he was sympathetic to the LTTE rebel Tamil group. more..

'Indians will not pardon LTTE for killing Rajiv'

Nov 5 (PTI) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake has said that no Indian citizen "with feelings" will pardon the LTTE for the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and is hopeful that India will extend its assistance to "defeat terrorism". "The (Sri Lankan) Government is of the firm view that India will extend its fullest assistance to defeat terrorism and provide relief measures to the people in the North and the East," more..

Sri Lanka says northern fighting kill 3 rebels

Nov 5 (AP) Fighting between Sri Lankan soldiers and Tamil Tiger rebels killed at least three guerrillas in the island's embattled north, the military said Wednesday. Two clashes broke out Tuesday in the rebel-held Kilinochchi district, the military said in a statement. The military said it inflicted "heavy damages" on the rebels and found the bodies of three guerrillas after the battle. more..

Sri Lanka to unveil biggest ever war budget

Nov 5 (AFP) Sri Lanka will unveil its biggest ever war budget on Thursday as it intensifies a military campaign against Tamil separatists, officials said. President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is also the commander in chief and finance minister, is due to announce in parliament Thursday his proposals to raise government revenue, one fifth of which will go on defence. He plans to raise defence spending by seven percent to a record 1.6 billion dollars in 2009, more..

FCCISL budget proposals represent country-wide entrepreneurs

Nov 6 (F2F) The FCCISL has already submitted their proposals to be included in the 2009 Budget. Samantha Abeywickrama, Secretary General, FCCISL said that this year their proposals take a new and pragmatic approach as they are the outcome of the consensus of a wider and adequately representative forum which discussed the current affairs pertaining to business community of the whole country at length. more..

Tamil Eelam not a reality: Ex-Cong MP

Nov 6 (EB) Former MP and veteran Congress leader R Anbarasu on Tuesday said that Tamil Eelam could not be achieved given the track record of LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran and the current ground realities in Sri Lanka. After a meeting with Tamil Nadu Governor Surjit Singh Barnala at the Raj Bhavan here, the Congress leader, said that several Tamil leaders in the island nation had strived to achieve Tamil Eelam in the past using their political clout. more..

“Lanka belongs to Sinhala” not attractive even to Barack Obama

Nov 6 (SLW) Modern day insurgencies and terrorism are identified as part of fourth generation warfare and are also a vindication of the evolutionary nature of war.Third generation warfare heavily focused on manoeuvre, combined air, sea and land operations and were fought on two main domains: Terrorists on the other hand have taken the war beyond the confines of the battlefront, operating on multiple fronts including information, political, social and cultural domains. more..