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South Africa emerging as alternative for talks
Tuesday, 10 January 2006 - 1:34 AM SL Time

While there is still no compromise on the venue for peace talks with the LTTE, the government is pinning its hopes on Norwegian Minister Erik Solhiem`s visit later this month to facilitate an agreement between the two parties.

The Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) said a clear picture on where the parties would meet to discuss the implementation of the ceasefire agreement would emerge only after Mr. Solhiem met the LTTE leadership during his visit to Kilinochchi.

'There has been talk for some time now that South Africa may be a possible venue. However nothing has been decided upon yet. Everything will be clear only once Mr. Solhiem meets the LTTE and the government', a SCOPP source said.
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Mahinda vows tough line on terror as violence rises
Tuesday, 10 January 2006 - 12:43 AM SL Time
President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday vowed tough measures to prevent `terror attacks` that undermine an already troubled ceasefire with the LTTE as officials reported three more deaths in the embattled east.


He told diplomats that his government will take `all necessary measures to deter further terror attacks,` his office said in a statement.

Diplomats from the quartet known as `co-chairs,` or the entities that helped raise money in support of the island`s peace bid, met the president in the wake of Saturday`s suicide bombing of a navy gunboat by a suspected Tamil Tiger official.

The attack that killed 15 sailors was the worst single loss suffered by security forces since a Norwegian-brokered truce went into effect in 2002 and sparked fears that the country could slip back to war.

`The ambassadors of the co-chairs expressed their strong appreciation of the restraint and responsibility shown by the government in the face of escalating attacks by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam),` the statement said.
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Terror can`t alter Govt`s course - Mahinda
Monday, 9 January 2006 - 4:02 AM SL Time

PRESIDENT Mahinda Rajapakse asserted yesterday that forces of terrorism would not affect the decisions that he has taken in the interests of the Nation.

`It is a great mistake if anyone believes that our decisions can be altered by means of terror. The LTTE should realise that we are not deaf and blind,` President Rajapakse told a gathering at Kuda Uduwa, Horana in the aftermath of the LTTE`s suicide attack on a Dvora in Trincomalee.

`If they think so, time has come for them to give up such thoughts,` the President said.

The President reiterated that his Government was committed to a negotiated settlement.
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Most Recent News Discussions
South Africa emerging as alternative for talks (26)

Mahinda vows tough line on terror as violence rises (19)

TNA wants Mahinda to dance to LTTE tune (2)

From Portugal, JVP plans to demand `Financial Reparation and Apology` for colonial domination of SL (5)

SLMM making rough `seas` of Dvora attack (1)

Dalai Lama`s visit: President tells organisers to reconsider plan (12)

India says no defence pact with Sri Lanka (49)

Navy bans night fishing in Eastern seas (32)

JHU raps opponents of search operations (7)

Faulty Indian made computer in use for six years - A/L results scandal (27)

Terror can`t alter Govt`s course - Mahinda (127)

Frustration among forces over latest atrocity - Dvora blasted off Trinco harbour, 13 sailors presumed dead (114)

Govt. wants TRO banned in US (108)

`LTTE should bear in mind that it would be a grave mistake to consider my patience as a weakness` - President (7)

Tamils youths `shot in the head` (112)

LTTE plans to kill leaders (57)

More News Discussions

More Headline News

Navy bans night fishing in Eastern seas
Monday, 9 January 2006 - 3:55 AM SL Time
The Navy yesterday temporarily banned night fishing in Eastern seas, while it was continuing its search for the bodies of 15 crewmen killed when their gunboat was destroyed in a suicide bombing by the LTTE sea Tigers.

Fishing just outside the Trincomalee Port, from Koneshwaram to Navy Camp, was limited to daytime, officials announced to the local fishing communities after Saturday`s attack, carried out by an explosives-laden boat within a fishing flotilla.

Navy officials quoted two sailors, who jumped into the sea just before their Dvora gunboat was blown up, as saying that a small craft that mingled with a flotilla of fishing boats had carried out the attack.

`The craft was about 30 metres away when the sailors noticed it making a dash for the gunboat,` a navy source quoted a sailor as saying. `There was not enough time to move away or open fire.`
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Govt. wants TRO banned in US
Sunday, 8 January 2006 - 3:43 AM SL Time
Sri Lanka has formally raised a red flag about the functions of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) in the United States, setting in motion a process that is hoped to slap a ban on the pro-LTTE outfit, senior government officials said.

The alarm bells about TRO operations were rung at the highest level during meetings Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had with State Department officials in Washington over the past few days.

TRO is listed as a `charity,` but also functions as the LTTE`s main aid arm.
Although the LTTE is listed as a terrorist organization, alongside al-Qaeda, several Tiger `front` organizations operate in the United States. Most of these groups exert pressure on the Tamil diaspora to channel funds to the Tigers. Currently, Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO, USA) is a registered 501 (c) 3 charitable organization in the USA and all donations to it are tax deductible. It is based at 517, Old Town Road, Cumberland, MD 21502, USA.
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Frustration among forces over latest atrocity - Dvora blasted off Trinco harbour, 13 sailors presumed dead
Sunday, 8 January 2006 - 12:33 AM SL Time
Thirteen sailors are presumed dead after the LTTE rammed an explosives-laden boat into a Dvora Fast Attack Craft (FAC) near the Trincomalee harbour during the early hours of yesterday.

Two sailors were fished out from the sea and a joint navy-air force search-and-rescue operation was launched to locate the rest of the 15-member crew. However, all thirteen were reported missing by military officials although some news reports said that five bodies had been recovered.

`We don`t know if some bodies went to the LTTE side but we did not find any. We are continuing to search,` said Military Spokesman Brig Prasad Samarasinghe. `It was definitely an LTTE suicide mission.`

TamilNet merely reported the incident, neither denying or accepting involvement.
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  More Headline News


Politics

UNP rebels want new posts
Tuesday, 10 January 2006 - 1:36 AM SL Time
A detailed discussion took place yesterday between Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and three MPs led by UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya about the distribution of powers and responsibilities among senior MPs of the party.

The discussion at the Opposition Leader`s office at Cambridge Terrace was attended by Karu Jayasuriya, MPs Rukman Senanayake, Gamini Lokuge and Dr. Rajitha Senaratne. The discussions lasted about 60 minuets.

It is learnt that near-agreement was reached at yesterday`s meeting regarding the powers to be given to Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya and senior MPs under the party`s reorganization. However, the MPs reportedly were for the creation of new posts.
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President meets Co-Chairs, assures restraint
Tuesday, 10 January 2006 - 1:35 AM SL Time
President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday assured the Co-Chairs of the peace process that the government would act with restraint despite a spate of truce-breaking attacks by the LTTE but warned it would be obliged to take all necessary measures to prevent further attacks.

At a meeting with the Ambassadors of the Co-chair countries of the Tokyo Donor Conference comprising Japan, Norway, United States and the European Union, the President condemned the killing of 13 Navy personnel in the strongest terms.

The President however assured the Co-chairs that abuse of power by the Security Forces would not be tolerated under any circumstances. The President informed the Co-chairs that an investigation was pending on the recent deaths of five students in Trincomalee and that the perpetrators would be brought to Justice.
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TNA wants Mahinda to dance to LTTE tune
Tuesday, 10 January 2006 - 12:52 AM SL Time
A delegation of TNA parliamentarians, led by TNA group leader S.Sampanthan, met President Mahinda Rajapakse during the weekend and urged him to start peace talks with the LTTE without disagreeing on the venue of talks suggested by the LTTE.

Spokesman for the TNA, Suresh Premachandran told The Island the delegation had discussed the deteriorating security situation in Trincomalee and requested the President for an independent inquiry into the deaths of five Tamil students.

Sampanthan had suggested to the President that the first round of the Talks be held in Norway and the rest at any other venue, as a compromise formula. They also had told the President that steps should be taken to avoid the security situation worsening and war breaking out, he said.
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Editorial News

Ghosts Ahoy!
Tuesday, 10 January 2006 - 12:54 AM SL Time
Of Sri Lankans, the LTTE seems to have the same view as the greatest ever conman Phineas T. Barnum had of fellow Americans of his time-the people are suckers and there is a sucker born every minute. Barnum once made a fortune by making the people pay for seeing `the horse with its tail where its head should be.` They flocked in their thousands and spent money only to see an ordinary horse with its tail in a feeding trough! Similarly, the LTTE is trying to show the world that we are nation with our heads where our posterior should be. Are there any takers'

The LTTE has denied any involvement in Saturday`s attack. We are reminded of a similar situation where the LTTE blew up a Chinese trawler under the UNF government. The SLMM, true to form, blamed it on a third party in a bid to take their Tigers friends, who found themselves up the gum tree, off the hook. EPDP Leader and Minister Douglas Devananda, known for his wisecrack, had this to say: `There were only three parties at sea, the Navy, the LTTE and the Monitors and if the Navy and the LTTE hadn`t launched the attack, then it must be the Monitors who did it! If it is not the LTTE that destroyed the naval craft on Saturday''the monitors, too, are unable to give a ruling''then one is compelled to adopt the Devananda theory.
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Co-chairs as a scarecrow
Monday, 9 January 2006 - 4:00 AM SL Time

Saturday`s suicide attack on a naval craft with 15 personnel on board is a pointer that the LTTE is far from ready to settle for anything less than a separate state. For, the so-called Black Tigers used for suicide attacks are under strict orders from the LTTE leader to kill even him if he ever deviates from the goal of Eelam. Brainwashed and programmed to kill, they are driven by the promise of a separate state posthumously. If the creator tries to stop them half way through, he runs the risk being devoured by the creature. By using the detonator happy zombies, the LTTE leader has renewed his call to them once again.

With the resumption of suicide attacks, the LTTE has also shown its preparedness to openly take on the security forces without hiding behind the cloak of `people`s war`, in defiance of the international community. It was only the other day that the Co-Chairs said the LTTE would have to face serious consequences unless it abandoned its violence. By attacking the naval craft, the LTTE has delivered a thundering slap each on the faces of the foursome, talking big and doing precious little on the ground to strengthen the peace process.
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Drinking and smoking
Sunday, 8 January 2006 - 12:37 AM SL Time
Nobody with a modicum of sense in their head would fault any effort to discourage smoking and drinking which have been medically and scientifically established as not just harmful but dangerous to health. It has been incontrovertibly established that both lung cancer and heart disease are often the result of smoking and anybody with even a rudimentary knowledge of the social condition of this country will be acutely aware of liver disease as well as the distress the prevalent widespread alcoholism in Sri Lanka causes particularly women and children. People spend money they can ill-afford on smoking and drinking (quite apart from backing horses and creating bookie millionaires), damaging their health and sometimes killing themselves as well as harming the wellbeing of their families. Therefore making these vices less accessible to those who would be seduced by them is unarguably a laudable objective.
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Security

SLMM making rough `seas` of Dvora attack
Tuesday, 10 January 2006 - 1:37 AM SL Time
The two survivors of Saturday`s attack on a navy Dvora craft have revealed that their vessel sank within minutes of the alleged LTTE attack.

The two injured sailors, who are receiving treatment for minor injuries, said this when interviewed by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), in Trincomalee on Sunday evening.

SLMM spokeswoman Helen Olafsdottir, told the Daily Mirror, most of the details of Saturday`s attack could not be made public as inquiries were continuing.

However, she stressed that the monitors were still not in a position to firmly say if the LTTE was behind the attack as there was no conclusive evidence.
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Troops detect two mines
Tuesday, 10 January 2006 - 12:53 AM SL Time
Troops on patrol yesterday (9) detected two claymore mines which had been set to explode when military vehicles passed by in Pansalwatte, Alankerni in Mutur.

Both mines were high powered ones, each weighing ten kilograms, Army sources said.

A soldier, who were injured in an exchange of fire with the LTTE, during the attack on an Army patrol at Mutur, succumbed to his injuries. Two LTTE cadres also died in the incident. Three other soldiers injured in the incident were out of danger, sources said adding that the Army has decided to retaliate if the LTTE attacks them at any time.

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`LTTE should bear in mind that it would be a grave mistake to consider my patience as a weakness` - President
Monday, 9 January 2006 - 5:58 AM SL Time
The LTTE should bear in mind that it would be a grave mistake for the LTTE to regard his patience as a weakness, the President has said.

The President made this comment at a function to handover credentials of Adikarana Sangha Nayake to senior lecturer on History and Archaeology of the Sri Jayawardanapura University, venerable Dambara Amila thera. (It was Amila thera who staged a fast unto death and later hospitalized the setting up of the Tsunami Relief Council opposite Fort railway station)

Speaking at the occasion, the President said it would be a serious misunderstanding for anybody to think that the patience cultivated by him as a result of the influence of Buddhism on his life and through Dhamma School education as a weakness.
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Business / Economy News

Sarvodaya hands over houses to tsunami victims
Tuesday, 10 January 2006 - 12:53 AM SL Time
Twenty two houses constructed by Sarvodaya movement at Ratnayake Place, Talpitiya in Wadduwa Police area was distributed among Tsunami victims of Talpitiya recently.

About five and a half lakhs of rupees was spent to construct a have and his value of Twenty two houses were about Twelve millions.

Foreign Sarvodya branches and several organisations helped the Sarvodaya movement to complete this housing projects and the helping organisations are North shore city community, CFA Sri Lanka branch Sunof Aventis institute America and Belgium Sarvodya branches and Sri Lanka Sarvodaya movement.

Dr. Ariyaratne opened his housing project with chief minister WPC Reginold Cooray, Chairman of WPC Jagath Sngage. Panadura PS member Nimal C. Illangage, North shore (New Zealand) Sarvodaya officer Mahinda Attanayake, Sarvodaya chief of America David Kapraroh and Kalutara District sarvodaya chief Upali Hemachandra.
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Kelani Perahera from today
Tuesday, 10 January 2006 - 12:45 AM SL Time
The Annual Duruthu Perahera of the Kelani Raja Maha Viharaya will be held today, tomorrow (11) and on Wednesday (12).

The pageant will begin with the Udamaluwa Perahera and conclude with the Maha Perahera on Wednesday. There will be more than 50 elephants on parade in the Perahera which has been organized under the direction of the Viharadhipathi, Kelani Raja Maha Viharaya the Ven Dr.Mahinda Sangharakkhitha Thera.

Tickets to view the pageant from the special enclosure could be purchased from Upali Travels Ltd., or at the Temple premises. Tickets are priced at Rs.1,500.

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Tender Board asked to explain decision
Monday, 9 January 2006 - 4:06 AM SL Time
THE Tender Board which recommended the purchase of a 10-year-old model of a dialysis machine to the Base Hospital, Anuradhapura ignoring the expert opinion of consultant doctors has been directed to give reasons for their decision.

North Central Province Governor Dr.Jagath Balasuriya told the Daily News yesterday that he has called for an explanation from the Tender Board in this regard.

This follows Saturday`s exposure of the proposed deal by the Daily News. He said that with the submission of the letter by 25 consultant doctors protesting the recommendation of the Tender Board, he called for an explanation from the Tender Board members.

`Once I receive the views of the Tender Board I will make a decision,` he said.

The Tender Board comprising the Chief Secretary of the North Central Province, Medical Head of the Anuradhapura Base Hospital and a professional who is well versed on these machines had recommended the purchase of the particular dialysis machine over which the Consultant doctors had written to the NCP Governor expressing their protest.
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Sports News

The Murali factor that didn`t go Lanka`s way
Tuesday, 10 January 2006 - 12:55 AM SL Time
Muttiah Muralitharan has been Sri Lanka`s premier match winner in both Test and One Day Internationals claiming heaps of wickets. But the off-spinner couldn`t pose the same threat to the opposition batsmen in the just concluded One-Dayers against New Zealand as he finished with only three wickets in four games.

Not that Murali was totally ineffective. New Zealand`s policy against the Sri Lankan was complete defence and their theory was to see off his ten overs without giving away a wicket and if they had only scored 30 runs off him that did not bother them too much.

Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu admitted that the batsmen all around the world have begun to get the measure of the bowler with his `wrong one` not causing the same trouble it did, maybe, three years ago.
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Classy Vaasy saves Lanka from humiliation
Monday, 9 January 2006 - 3:59 AM SL Time
Left arm seam bowler Chaminda Vaas saved Sri Lanka from a humiliating whitewash by New Zealand, with a match winning performance that helped the tourists to win the fifth and final ODI here at the McLean Park in Napier by 20 runs.

Going into the final game of the tour, the Sri Lankans had already lost the series 4-0 and were only playing for pride to avoid a clean sweep. Chasing Sri Lanka`s target of 274, New Zealand had things under control with Peter Fulton leading the way with his maiden ODI hundred. At 224 for four with Fulton on 112 and the dangerous Chris Cairns at the other end, New Zealand needed to score at a run a ball, a task the hosts could accomplished with relative ease.

The Sri Lankans managed to get rid of Fulton with a direct hit for 112, giving their supporters a glimmer of hope, but Cairns was looking dangerous and hit leg-spinner Malinga Bandara for a six and two fours in one over after Kumar Sangakkara had missed a stumping chance and it needed a special effort from Sri Lanka`s most experienced seam bowler to put things back on track.
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Royal over the moon
Sunday, 8 January 2006 - 3:46 AM SL Time
Haroon Mowjood spun a web which a spider would have been proud of at Reid Avenue yesterday. The fifteen-year-old right arm Leg Spinner`s match haul of nine wickets helped Royal demolish St. Anthony`s Kandy by 98 runs in their inter-school match.

On a track that offered a bit of turn, the Kandy lads were all at sea against Royal`s three-pronged spin attack. Continuing from their overnight score of 55 for four, the Antonians were bowled out for 122 in reply to Royal`s first innings score of 188 for 8 declared.

Spinners DulanjanWijeratne (off spin). Mowjood and skipper Nadun Punchihewa (left arm spin) did the damage with three wickets apiece. Royal started their second innings on a shaky note with right-arm seamer Peter Samarakoon ripping through the top order. He finished with figures of 4 for 42. The repair job for the Reid Avenue boys was done by Diran Warnakulasuriya and Punchihewa.
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