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Sunday January 07th, 2007

15 killed in second bus bomb
Creating further panic among bus commuters the second bus bomb this week exploded yesterday afternoon at Kahawa killing at least 15 civilians and injuring 47 others inside a Matara bound intercity bus going from Colombo.
There was confusion regarding the death toll last night with the official figure being 11 although unofficial hospital figures indicated 15 deaths.
The bomb exploded inside the intercity bus bearing no HZ 1709, at Seenigama, near the Kahawa Junction, 16 miles North West of Galle, at around 02.35 p.m. Three persons were arrested on suspicion following the explosion - two Muslims and a Tamil, police said.
According to the government analyst ...

A policeman points at the hole in the hood created by the powerful bomb explosion inside an intercity bus at Kahawa, Hikkaduwa yesterday. - (Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)

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16 UN resolutions against LTTE, one against state
Moves to block Security Council resolution against Sri Lanka

The Attorney General is to file indictments in absentia against the run away mastermind behind the rupees 3.5 billion VAT (Value Added Tax) scam, in the Colombo High Court.
The assistance of Interpol has been sought to apprehend the prime suspect, shipping tycoon Kamil Kuthubdeen whom officials believe to have siphoned off the money and have invested mainly in Dubai in what is known as the largest scam in South Asia.
CID in its investigations earlier found


16 UN resolutions against LTTE, one against state
Moves to block Security Council resolution against Sri Lanka

The UN Security Council will adopt 17 resolutions against the LTTE and on child recruitment.
It is likely that these resolutions will be taken up on January 15. However there is also one resolution calling over the government of Sri Lanka to set up a commission of inquiry with UN expertise based on the Allan Rock report on child recruitment by the Karuna faction.
The report had apparently put the responsibility of child recruitment by the Karuna faction on the government as the resolution number seven is dealing with the government of Sri Lanka. All these resolutions had been devised by the office of the UN special rapoteur on Children and Conflict, Radhika Kumaraswami.

LTTE gun runner netted
Striking a major blow to the LTTE’s international gun running network, the anti- terrorism unit of the Indonesian government took into custody the second in command of the network Pradeepan Navarajah, military sources said yesterday.
He was arrested on Thursday around 4pm while traveling from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur. The arrest had taken place following investigations by the national intelligence service of Indonesia (BIN) and the Sri Lankan embassy there. The investigations had spanned over an year before pouncing on Navarajah.
The Sri Lankan ambassador in Jakarta Major General Janaka Perera told The Nation that this arrest was one of the major victories in the fight against the international gun running network of the LTTE.
The 32 year- old Navarajah had 12 passports in his possession at the time of arrest and had traveled extensively to ...

LTTE says talks with government ‘impossible’
While the LTTE says all doors are shut for talks, the government maintains all windows are open for negotiations.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) media spokesman Daya Master told The Nation that with the de-merger of the north and east, direct talks with the government now has become ‘ highly impossible’ and that the Tigers will ‘never’ consider holding any dialogue with the government.
Daya Master said the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government, ever since assuming office has gone against the will of the Tamil community. He added the government cannot expect 100 percent co-operation from the LTTE in the future for a final solution to the ethnic crisis.

Jumbo Cabinet with ‘Jumbos’
The government is contemplating on setting up an entirely new cabinet by the end of this month, highly placed government sources said.
The government is expecting a large number of UNPers to join hands with them. However, the source said that it would not be a crossover from the UNP to the SLFP but they would hold a unique identity as a separate political entity in Parliament.
He said in the past too there had been instances when the SLFP had been fractured in such a manner as in the early eighties when there was an SLFP- Sirima faction and the SLFP- Maithri faction of Maithripala Senanayake.
The problem of crossovers had arisen mainly due to the MoU between the government and the UNP that was witnessed by a large number of clergy and other personalities in a ceremony with glamour. Therefore, he said that ...




Govt. faces international pressure over HR issues
The government is heading towards a major crisis as far as the human rights situation in the country is concerned. The offensive in the East to capture Vakarai and the Air Force bombing in Mannar have come into focus, where it is alleged that civilians are targeted and the security forces are accused of violating human rights.
Thousands of civilians have fled the Vakarai area where security forces are steadily progressing. There were several accusations that civilians had suffered badly in the confrontations between the security forces and the LTTE. In Mannar, Air Force aerial bombardment of a Sea Tiger base had also caused damage to the nearby fishing village of Padahathurai. These human rights concerns drew strong reactions from the international community and particularly from the United Nations, with UN Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Margareta Wahlstrom issuing a strong statement urging both parties to resume peace negotiations.


Commuters inconvenienced
The uniflow system of traffic, which was put into action from January 1 this year, has proven to be a blessing for some, while others can only describe it as an absolute nightmare. The changes in bus routes on Galle Road and Duplication Road have caused inconvenience to some while benefiting others.
“With the introduction of the new system, the traffic on Galle Road has lessened. It takes me a shorter time to go to work in the morning, but getting back home, on Duplication Road takes much longer than it did before. There is more traffic on Duplication Road than ever before,” said Kamani Jayakody, who travels to and from Panadura every day.

Time ripe for Lanka to sue India?
With the Tamil Nadu government commencing the dredging of the Sethusamudram canal at the Adam’s Bridge on December 11, international legal experts opine that Sri Lanka has provisions to seek legal redress in an international court of law against the Indian government.
The project has military, ecological and archaeological implications on both the governments of India and Sri Lanka. As a result, Sri Lanka is now in a position to sue India, based on the provisions of the United Nations Law of the Sea Covenants.

LMSL controversy heats up
Government members of the Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) will meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa tomorrow to discuss the contents of a letter from former PERC Chairman and Business and Management Consultant, Nihal Sri Amaresekere, regarding the sale of Lanka Marine Services to John Keells Holdings.

Forget the de-merger and resolve land disputes
The bifurcation of the northern and eastern provinces through a Supreme Court order of October 16 has further compounded the lives of the Tamils and Muslims.
Today, both the Tamils and the Muslims living in these provinces are confused over the court order and wonder why this was affected when loads of problems ...


Sri Lanka inflict New Zealand’s worst ever one-day loss
Auckland - (AFP) New Zealand crashed to their worst ever one-day cricket loss Saturday in a humiliating 189-run defeat conjured by some magic from Sri Lankan veterans Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas.
New Zealand could only muster 73 runs -- their second lowest ever one-day total -- in what skipper Stephen Fleming conceded was a “rubbish” performance in chasing the tourists’ solid 262-6.
A whirlwind 70 off 44 balls by 37-year-old opener Jayasuriya provided the fireworks in the Sri Lankan innings.
Another important contribution came from the side’s most consistent batsman Kumar Sangakkara, who held the Sri Lankan innings together with 79 from 103 balls after it threatened to go off the rails with the fall of three quick wickets.
In reply New Zealand had no answer to a great spell of in-swing bowling from 32-year-old Vaas.

Russia buoyed by Hopman Cup win
PERTH, (AFP) -    Russians Nadia Petrova and Dmitry Tursunov are confident the form they showed in winning the mixed teams Hopman Cup will carry them deep into the Australian Open.

Lanka football on a firm footing – Manilal
The name of Manilal Fernando is synonymous with Sri Lanka football for the past two and a half decades. What Sri Lanka football is today is due largely to his magnanimous efforts.
One cannot judge football in this country purely by the results achieved by the national soccer team. For our footballers to be even among the top 10 in Asia a lot needs to be done. It is not the case of getting down a foreign coach and expecting our footballers to perform miracles overnight which is what sadly the football public at large expects.

Fuelled by ambition
Champion racing driver Dilantha Malagamuwa says that he dedicates winning the Malaysian Super Cars Championship to his home town Kurunegala. The village where Malagamuwa was born is renowned for motor racing and is also one of the best places to purchase a motor bike or car. During a ceremony held in Kurunegala to felicitate him on his recent feat, Malagamuwa recalled a heart-breaking incident on the racing track which he used to work for him rather than against him. “I was once disqualified when officials unfairly accused me of contesting a race with a modified bike. Contestants from Kurunegala are looked down upon by the authorities who link us with the motor garage industry.


Government is committed to restart peace talks - Dinesh Gunewardena
Urban Development and Water Supply Minister Dinesh Gunewardena says peace talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) depends on the response from the Tigers to the government’s call for direct negotiations and an immediate halt to killings. He says the government has made it very clear that the doors are open for direct talks provided the Tigers respond positively.

Designed by Mangala Madanayake





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