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Sunday January 04th, 2009

Gen Fonseka outlines
final push

Fifty thousand soldiers from 100 brigades belonging to six infantry fighting regiments will be used for the final push to take the last LTTE stronghold of Mullaitivu, Army Commander, Lt.Gen. Sarath.. 
                                                         SEE INSIDE

Rebel Leader mad over fall of Kili
The security forces have been able to record a radio message that was sent to LTTE battlefield commanders in Kilinochchi by their Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran... SEE INSIDE

India asks for Tiger Chief
With Sri Lankan troops closing in on LTTE’s last bastion Mullaitivu, the Congress on Saturday asked the island nation to hand over Tamil Tiger Chief Prabhakaran... SEE INSIDE


          Towards liberation...        

A soldier guarding the recently captured de facto Tiger capital Kilinochchi. With the fall of this significant town, security forces recorded a major victory in the battle to liberate the north from the clutches of the LTTE



Prabha mad over fall of Kilinochchi
The security forces have been able to record a radio message that was sent to LTTE battlefield commanders in Kilinochchi by their Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran.... SEE INSIDE

SLMC dissidents to stay back after disciplinary threat
Two of the three Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) dissidents who recently accepted high posts with the All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC), have now opted... SEE INSIDE

Bomb was meant for SLAF Chief?
Security forces suspect that the suicide explosion which occurred in front of the Air Force Camp at Sir Chittampalam A. Gardiner Mawatha on Friday evening was originally meant to target Air Force Commander... SEE INSIDE



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Silver lining
One good thing that came out of the collapse of the Golden Key Credit Card Company, is the exposure of hundreds of professionals like accountants, lawyers and doctors who have been keeping their actual wealth secret from the tax department while continuing to earn massive interests by depositing their black money in such unregistered finance companies. Now finally the Inland Revenue has a chance to honestly bring these individuals within the tax net without fear or favour. We certainly hope it will finally do its job properly, instead of religiously harassing those who have been dutifully paying their income tax voluntarily. SEE INSIDE

Karuna says Prabha still in Mullaitivu
Scotching speculation that LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran has fled the country due to his inability to resist the present onslaught by the government troops, Tamil Makkal Vidudalai Puligal (TMVP) Leader and Parliamentarian Vinayagamoorthy Muralidaran alias Karuna yesterday confirmed that the LTTE Chief was still living in the thick jungles of Mullaitivu.
Karuna, quoting top level TMVP intelligence sources, told The Nation yesterday that Prabhakaran continued to give military leadership to his cadres from the jungles. He categorically denied speculations that LTTE Leader Prabhakaran had crossed the Palk Straits, seeking refuge from the Tamil Nadu Government. SEE INSIDE

Police downgrades entry requirements
Due to the inability to face the competition with the other armed forces, the Police Department has taken steps to downgrade entry requirements for their enlistments.
Previously, six passes at the G.C.E. O/L examination including Mathematics, Sinhala, Tamil, English in the first sitting was required as educational qualifications to join the Police Service.
But, the recent alterations permit candidates who fulfil the above mentioned requirements in not more than two sittings eligible to apply for the Police Service. SEE INSIDE

Foreign Ministry denies
Director General/Public Communications of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs A.M.J. Sadiq referring to our news report headlined “Sri Lanka Embassy in Iraq to reopen after FM’s visit,” published last Sunday states:
I wish to register my protest and displeasure at the false and misleading statements, which had been directly attributed to me by your reporter in the said news item. SEE INSIDE

Foreign employment agencies to be streamlined
The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) is to introduce a new grading system for all foreign employment agencies from this year.
“The main objective of introducing such a system is to give due recognition to the agencies, which are performing well, to encourage their businesses by way of rewarding and appreciating them and to have an unbiased system of introducing the agencies to foreign job aspirants and to foreign principals,” said SLBFE Chairman... SEE INSIDE

JVP wants action against other forms of separatism
While being confident of military forces capturing Elephant Pass and Mullaitivu soon, the JVP yesterday called upon the government to ensure equal rights for civilians in the north who were liberated from the LTTE clutches by establishing democracy in the area soon.
JVP General Secretary Tylvin Silva said this is not a minor victory, but a massive one achieved by all communities in the country, especially an achievement of the Tamil civilians.
“Even though some attempted to project this military victory as a victory achieved by the Sinhalese against the Tamils, we strongly believe this is not a time for such petty motives. SEE INSIDE



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A ‘trial run’ of vital importance
There is never a dull moment in politics in this country and last week was no exception. As the rest of the country was celebrating the dawn of the New Year, the dates for the Provincial Council polls were announced and President Mahinda Rajapaksa effected a minor cabinet reshuffle.
The cabinet reshuffle was needed because Karu Jayasuriya had returned to the mainstream United National Party (UNP) some weeks ago, leaving the vital portfolio of Public Administration and Home Affairs vacant. That was filled by another former UNP stalwart, Sarath Amunugama who had held the same portfolio earlier. His Investment Promotion portfolio was filled by Anura Priyadarshana Yapa.
That the reshuffle stopped there and fell short of a full scale overhaul of ministerial portfolios, indicate that President Rajapaksa does not wish to upset the Government’s apple cart just yet, not with Provincial Polls... SEE INSIDE

President wants media cameras to leave him alone
On December 30, President Mahinda Rajapaksa summoned his cabinet of ministers and presented his proposals for a ‘mini budget’ offering a host of relief measures for the public. The proposals recommended the reduction of the prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene oil, reduced the interest rates on loans and restricted charging penalties on those who are unable to make their loan payments. It was also proposed that allocations to ministries and to the office of the President, Prime Minister and Opposition Leader be reduced and all ministers take a 50 percent reduction on their house rent allowance. In the backdrop of the Supreme Court order that petrol prices be reduced to Rs. 100 per litre, the President’s proposals reduced petrol by Rs. 22 for three wheelers, Rs. 2 for all other...  SEE INSIDE


Renewed vigour to eliminate terrorism in 2009
The year 2009 has dawned with the news of Sri Lankan armed forces’ victory in the North. The fall of
Kilinochchi has been celebrated by the people of this country. The government and the political parties supporting it seem to be reinvigorated by the victory and determined to defeat the LTTE and liberate the people in the North. However, some opposition political parties still have faith in a political solution to the North East problem.
While government ministers also expressed their willingness to continue with efforts to find a political solution, some groups were of the view that a military solution was inevitable. Some political parties representing minority communities hold a different view. SEE INSIDE

Relief items reach the northern displaced
Contrary to speculations that the people living in the conflict areas have been inadequately fed by the government, reports released by various organisations, including the respective Government Agents (GA) strongly indicate there has been a steady flow of essential food items to these areas.
However, there are still doubts with regard to the proper distribution of food items inside the Tiger controlled areas, which according to many aid workers, has been a difficult task. SEE INSIDE


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Dilshan rallies Sri Lanka
Tillakaratne Dilshan smashed a superb 162 off 165 balls to lead Sri Lanka’s fightback on the opening day of the second and final Test against Bangladesh here on Saturday.
Dilshan hit two sixes and 21 fours for his sixth Test century as the visitors recovered from a shaky 75-4 to reach a healthy 371-6 in their first innings at stumps after electing to bat.
The middle-order batsman added 119 for the fifth wicket with opener Malinda Warnapura (63) and 173 for the next with Chamara Kapugedera (93 not out) to put Sri Lanka on course for a big total. SEE INSIDE

Point Blank
World Cup at stake unless Asian giants sort out

India and Pakistan will have to soon patch up their differences unless they want the 2011 World Cup to be moved away from the subcontinent. The four top Asian Test-playing nations, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were granted the opportunity of hosting the 2011 World Cup by the International Cricket Council (ICC), but the way things have taken place between the two Asian giants India and Pakistan, it won’t be long before the ICC starts to reconsider whether holding the next World Cup in the subcontinent is going to be a wise move. Following the Mumbai terror attacks, India called off its scheduled cricket.... SEE INSIDE


“Our council has been named the non-corrupt provincial council” - Ekanayake
Many have predicted that year 2009 is going to be an election year. The first in many to come are the Central and North Western Provincial Council elections, to be held on February 14. The Nation this week spoke to United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) chief ministerial candidate for the Central Province, incumbent Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake, to learn of his plans for the province. Ekanayake, thrice Chief Minister, told The Nation about the work he has already done for the province and what he expects to do, if he retains... SEE INSIDE

Restoring civilian life in post-conflict north is imperative – HR Minister
Post-conflict measures are something never thought about by the warring factions during a conflict. The entire focus will be on the war, or providing immediate relief to the victims. However, post-conflict measures have already conceived in the mind of Human Rights and Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, who says his Ministry is now gearing up to meet the challenges that would transpire after the conflict. The Minister also does not confine terrorism to Sri Lanka alone, but adds these are common issues especially within... SEE INSIDE

“Central Province will be a turning point” – S.B.
There was a time when this man was renowned as an election winning machine; when whichever side S.B. Dissanayake happened to be on, was most likely to win any election. With his street fighter attitude and powers of oratory, it was Dissanayake that party leaders looked to when they badly needed an election win. Unfortunately for the UNP, their trump card failed to win the tricks for them since the resounding election victory of 2001. For Dissanayake, the political journey has been rocky since, with a contempt of court charge that landed him in prison.... SEE INSIDE

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