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Today's Top Story

VOT To Broadcast to the Whole Country and Help Ranil to Win Presidential Poll
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
December 30 11:10 PM: The Voice of the Tigers, the former clandestine broadcasting station of the terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam will start broadcasting their propaganda soon to the whole of Sri Lanka
The broadcasting station’s former policy of demoralizing the fighting forces of Sri Lanka would be the base of many of its broadcasts in the future, many analysts predict.
The Voice of the Tigers (VoT) has announced that it has already started test broadcasts using the FM broadcasting equipment, the terrorist group imported with the help of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office and Colombo’s Norwegian Embassy.
[Full Story] [Previous Stories}

Bishop Kenneth Fernando and Nalin de Silva in a controversy
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
December 30 02:42 AM: Sri Lanka’s retired Anglican Bishop Kenneth Fernando who got into serious political controversy after calling Velupillai Prabhakaran, one of the most ruthless terrorist leaders of the world a 'gentleman’ in the past said though many verbally attacked him then the peace path he showed would be one day proved correct.
Kenneth Fernando , who had met the terrorist leader before making the controversial statement many years ago said since God had created all people equal he did not discriminate against any caste or race and all were equal to him.
[Full Story] [Previous Stories}

LTTE's re-emerging terrorism shows they are not for peace
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
December 29 06:44 PM: The Prajathanthra, a Movement for Social Democracy in Sri Lanka strongly condemned “the increasing resort to terrorism by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam , in the North and East of Sri Lanka , as seen in the past weeks , especially after the Oslo round of talks” and said it was unlikely the Tamil Tigers were for peace.
In a statement issued to the press the movement said this new rise in terrorism by the LTTE, demonstrated by its determination to wipe out all political opposition to it among the Tamils showed the absolute contempt it had for democracy and pluralism in politics.
The statement issued under the signature of its convener Lucien Rajakarunanayaka further appealed to the international community to take note of these developments in their judgment of the LTTE.
[Full Story] [Previous Stories}

LTTE reiterates its authority and sends SL soldier to remand jail
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
December 28 09:44 AM: The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam reiterating the group’s unquestionable authority of their government in the demarcated areas of the Northern and Eastern Provinces produced Lance corporal H.S. Nimal Kumara in front of an Eelam Judge T. Sendur and got him remanded until January 10.
Under the Ceasefire agreement signed between Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and terrorist leader Velupillai Prabhakaran areas were created for the administration of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam first time in the history. Nimal Kumara who was a soldier manning the forward defense line at Ranbapura in Weli Oya was charged to have wandered in to the “LTTE territory” by the Tamil terrorists.
[Full Story] [Previous Stories}
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LAST UPDATED on 30-12-2002 at 00:32 AM(SL Time)

Sri Lanka and Indian navies agree on closer cooperation
COLOMBO, Dec 29 (AFP) - The Sri Lankan and Indian navies have agreed to boost the sharing of information regarding the Palk Straits, a narrow sea strip between the two countries, officials said here Sunday.
Vice Admiral Daya Sandagiri, the Sri Lankan navy commander, returned Saturday from two days in India at which he met with his counterpart Admiral Madhavendra Singh. Full Story

UPDATED on 29-12-2002 at 07:08 PM(SL Time)

President, PM hold separate crisis talks
The LTTE will regain Jaffna either militarily or politically - Balasingham
Anton Balasingham has hinted in his letter that the "gains of the historic peace process" were now at stake unless the Ranil Wickremesinghe government gave in to their "non-negotiable" demands on the withdrawl of the Sri Lanka Army from the Jaffna High Security Zone.
As the Government and peace monitors were locked in a row with Tiger guerrillas over the High Security Zone, President Chandrika Kumaratunga last night summoned the Army Chief and his Jaffna Commander to obtain a first hand account of the developing situation.
During an hour-long meeting, Lt. Gen. Lionel Balagalla and Maj. Gen. Sarath Fonseka, The Sunday Times learns, briefed President Kumaratunge on the prevailing security situation and on matters relating to the High Security Zone.(Dec 29 Sundaytimes) Full Story

S.Lankan President to deal directly with Norwegian PM over radio equipment
COLOMBO, Dec 29, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga will apprise Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Bondevik of her serious concerns over powerful radio equipment imported for Tamil Tiger rebels through Norwegian embassy in Colombo, The Sunday Times said. Full Story

Resettlement and normalisation ‘main issues’ for Thailand talks - Balasingham
The resettlement of displaced Tamil people and the normalisation of conditions in their areas of residence will be the main issues to be taken up at the negotiations in Thailand next month between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lankan government, the LTTE’s chief negotiator, Mr. Anton Balasingham, said Sunday. (Dec 29 Tamilnet) Full Story

India confirms participation in SAF meeting
Dawn LAHORE, Dec 28: India has confirmed it will send a delegation to attend the ninth SAF Games Organising Committee meeting scheduled to be held at Islamabad on Jan 9. Full Story

UPDATED on 29-12-2002 at 06:03 AM(SL Time)

Sri Lanka Army -PressPress release issued by Ministry of Defence 28 December 2002
The attention of the Sri Lanka Army is drawn to the statement issued by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on December 26th.
The statement, referring to the High Security Zones blames the “military for placing insurmountable obstacles in the path of peace and normalcy”. It adds “To raise the issue at this stage of the peace process and stipulate it as a condition for the humanitarian task for resettlement has a diabolical motive of disrupting the current peace effort”.(Dec 28 Army) Full Story

LTTE sets its eyes on Jaffna
COLOMBO. DEC. 28. Jaffna, for decades the heartland of Sri Lanka's Tamil separatist movement, is back in the centre stage of the peace process with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) unrelenting on its demand for de-escalation of Government troops in the northern peninsula to facilitate resettlement of internally-displaced persons (IDPs). Full Story

UPDATED on 28-12-2002 at 07:18 PM(SL Time)

SLMM confirms missing soldier detained by LTTE
Representatives of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in VAVUNIYA on 27 December 2002 had informed that the soldier who went missing from the general area RANABAPURA about 9 km north of WELIOYA was being detained by LTTE in MULLAITTIVU. (Dec 28 Army) Full Story

Sri Lankan army rejects rebel charge of obstructing peace process
Dec 28 Yahoo COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - The army on Saturday rejected charges by Tamil rebels that it was undermining Sri Lanka's peace process by blocking resettlement of thousands of displaced Tamils in the war-ravaged north of the island.
"I wish to assert on behalf of all officers and men that we unequivocally support the peace process," army commander Lt. Gen. Lionel Balagalle said in a statement. Full Story

Sri Lanka protests alleged assault by drunk US marine
COLOMBO, Dec 28 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's foreign ministry has summoned the US envoy here to protest against the behaviour of a drunken US marine who allegedly attacked motorists and smashed windows, officials said Saturday. Full Story

LTTE set up Fascist Tamil Elam! -Leaders of Tamil political parties
The LTTE’s attempt to establish a fascist Tamil Elam after annihilating all political organizations against them has been drastically intensified say leaders of political parties such as EPDP, EPRLF (Varadhraja Perumal faction) which are active in the North and the East. (Dec 28 Lankatruth) Full Story

Gas is up!
Gas distributed by both Shell and Laugh has gone up in price. Shell increased a 12.5 kg cylinder of domestic gas by Rs. 31.00 from mid night yesterday increasing the cylinder of gas sold at Rs. 567.00 to Rs. 598.00.(Dec 28 Lankatruth) Full Story

Colombo hospital to benefit from Lanka's tour match
MELBOURNE: The proceeds of Sri Lanka's Australian tour match against a Victorian Country XI on Saturday will go towards helping a Colombo cancer hospital.(Dec 28 TOI) Full Story

UPDATED on 28-12-2002 at 05:42 AM(SL Time)

Read Paul Harris's letter from London
Sri Lanka Government misleads the world and the press.
Six days before my journalist's visa was to expire, I ran into Dayan Jayatilleke in Crescat Mall as I went about my weekly shopping. I happened to mention my visa was coming up for renewal. Now, I've always respected Dayan's extraordinary perception and powers of analysis and was more than mildly disturbed by his immediate, confident riposte. "No chance, Paul. Anton Balasingham has told Ranil not to renew it." (Dec 28 SPUR) Full Story

A precursor to a breakdown?
COLOMBO. DEC. 26. The continued difficulties over the issue of resettling the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the insistence by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that this "humanitarian concern'' be addressed urgently could well be a precursor to a possible breakdown of talks, a senior military analyst has cautioned. Full Story

Fire breaks out at naval complex near Sri Lankan capital
COLOMBO, Dec 27 (AFP) - A fire that broke out at a navy facility just outside the Sri Lankan capital Friday was brought under control without casualties, officials said. Full Story

Sri Lanka justifies radio equipment import
COLOMBO. DEC. 27. The Sri Lankan Government today justified the import of radio broadcasting equipment for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as part of the "positive developments" towards "permanent peace'', and termed the Norwegian "assistance'' as an "important contribution'' to the "peace process''. Full Story

Tamil tigers committed murder of political opponent says magistrate
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
Decemberr 27 07:44 PM: The acting magistrate of Batticaloa Mr. Vinobha Indran giving a verdict of homicide at the inquest into the death of EPRLF Vice Chairman of the local government body of Poratheevu Pattu Pradeshiya Sabha said it was a murder committed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and ordered the Vellavely Police to arrest suspects.
[Full Story] [Previous Stories}

Sri Lanka's foreign minister calls man wanted for the murder of Rajiv a patriot
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
Decemberr 27 07:44 PM: Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister said Velupillai Prabhakaran the man wanted for the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was a patriot of the island nation.
[Full Story] [Previous Stories}

UPDATED on 27-12-2002 at 11:27 PM(SL Time)

As long as LTTE retains military capability
High security zones must continue - President
President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday said that existing High Security Zones (HSZs) in the north-east should remain intact as long as the LTTE retains `a military capability' to target key bases, particularly Palaly and KKS, a presidential aide said.
Quoting the president, her spokesman Janadasa Peiris said the president was in touch with relevant officials including the security forces top brass regarding the crisis. Yesterday's remarks were her first response on the LTTE call to dismantle HSZs.(Dec 28 Island) Full Story

SLMM support for Army over HSZs is 'unacceptable' - LTTE
The LTTE Friday rejected the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission's justification of the Sri Lanka Army's High Security Zones on the grounds of security as "unacceptable," saying "this adjudication simply reinforces the SLA's position on the illegal military occupation of public property." Responding to a letter sent Thursday by SLMM head, Maj. Gen. Tronde Furuhovde, the LTTE's Chief Negotiator, Mr. Anton Balasingham, said:(Dec 27 Tamilnet) Full Story

LTTE radio facility was first turned down - govt. statement
The government in a statement regarding the issue of a licence to the LTTE peace secretariat to operate an FM radio transmission facility stated that the LTTE request was initially turned down by the government stating it could not be granted since no exemptions or duty on VAT were being permitted by the government.(Dec 28 Island) Full Story

Sri Lanka turn to veterans
Veteran batsmen Aravinda de Silva and Hashan Tillekeratne have been named in Sri Lanka's final squad for the forthcoming World Cup.
The pair were both members of the side which won the trophy in 1996, and the selectors are looking to them to add solidity to the middle order after a run of poor results. (Dec 27 BBC) Full Story

Four Sri Lankans detained
Madurai, Dec 26: Four Sri Lankan nationals were arrested last night when they tried to get back to Sri Lanka from Rameswaram island clandestinely, police said. Full Story

UPDATED on 27-12-2002 at 07:33 PM(SL Time)

S.Lanka admits shipping radio equipment to rebels
COLOMBO, Dec. 27 — Sri Lanka admitted on Friday to issuing a broadcasting license and transmitting equipment to Tamil Tiger rebels, saying the transfer was intended to strengthen a peace process to end nearly two decades of war. Full Story

Missing divers found off Sri Lanka
Fishermen off Sri Lanka's north-western coast have rescued five European tourists who went missing on a diving trip, police say.
The tourists - two Germans, two Dutch and a Briton - were in good health, despite drifting for 24 hours at sea. (Dec 27 BBC) Full Story

Tamil tigers open fire despite the ceasefire agreement
Photo
Austin Fernando is shaking hands with Karuna who murdered the 600 policemen at the end of the “peace talks” during the regime of R. Premadasa
[Click here to enlarge]
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
Decemberr 26 06:31 PM: Despite the ceasefire agreement signed with the government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam cadres opened fire and exploded grenades in an attack against four former Tamil militants who were suspected of providing information to the Sri Lanka Army’s Intelligence Unit.
Police reports said gunmen who had been identified as cadres of the terrorist group the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam opened fire on four former members of the militant group TELO in the Kathankudi area in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. [Previous Stories}

UPDATED on 27-12-2002 at 06:57 AM(SL Time)

`LTTE broadcasts will not reach India'
COLOMBO. DEC. 26. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam today said that there was "no cause for concern" that its broadcasts from the recently-acquired FM transmitters would reach India. Full Story

Monitors urge Lanka govt, LTTE to show restraint
COLOMBO: International monitors called on the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels on Friday to restrain from trading accusations and consolidate the gains of historic peace process aimed at ending the country's 19-year civil war.(Dec 27 TOI) Full Story

UPDATED on 26-12-2002 at 10:45 PM(SL Time)

LTTE playing with words
We have just completed one of the holiest days known to many people, yet as long as evil remains in the hearts of many among us, we cannot even for a minute let our guard down.
By all accounts it now increasingly appears that the Tigers were only playing with words to make us believe that they have changed and we being ever so gullible believed they had accepted such ideals as federalism, one Sri Lanka etc (Dec 26 DM) Full Story

Tamil Tigers slam Sri Lanka military over disarming demand
COLOMBO, Dec 26 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas Thursday accused the military of trying to scuttle the peace process and rejected its demand to decommission weapons ahead of a final settlement.
The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rejected as "belligerent and hostile" a proposal by the Sri Lankan army for the guerrillas to dismantle camps in the island's north in return for a de-commissioning of weapons by the rebels. Full Story

Cautious hopes for Sri Lanka peace
International monitors in Sri Lanka have praised efforts made in the past year towards a peaceful resolution to the decades-old conflict in the island.
In an annual review, the Norwegian-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) also expressed concern over pitfalls facing the ongoing peace process. (Dec 26 BBC) Full Story

UPDATED on 263-12-2002 at 06:51 PM(SL Time)

Sri Lanka opposition wants Norwegian envoy expelled
Colombo, Dec 26 (IANS) With the fourth round of peace talks between Sri Lanka and Tamil Tigers only 10 days away, the opposition wants facilitator Norway's envoy Jon Westborg expelled for perceived leanings towards the guerrillas.
Opposition parties led by the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) slammed Westborg for allegedly helping the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) get a valuable consignment of radio equipment under diplomatic cargo cover. Full Story

EPDP wants LTTE to disarm
Colombo, Dec 26 (IANS) A Sri Lankan Tamil political party has urged Tamil Tiger guerrillas to give up their huge arsenal of weapons if they sincerely believe in peace. Full Story

Sri Lanka tenders to buy Jan gas oil, jet A-1
SINGAPORE, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's state oil company Ceylon Petroleum Corp (Ceypetco) said on Thursday it has issued a tender to buy gas oil and jet A-1 for January delivery. Full Story

Thamilselvan rejects Fonseka conditions to give up arms
Photo
Jon Westborg , the sincere friend of the terrorist group
[Click here to enlarge]
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
Decemberr 25 08:04 PM: The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam refused to disarm themselves as laid down by Major General Sarath Fonseka, the commanding officer of the Sri Lankan security forces in Jaffna as condition to withdraw High Security Zones.
Commander Sarath Fonseka’ S conditions that the arms of the LTTE should be handed over to the government, the LTTE’s heavy arms units of artillery and mortar sections should be dissolved and the army should have the authority of entering the area to inspect private property or houses should be allowed were rejected by the leader of the Tamil Tigers’political section, S. Thamilselvan at Kilinochchi, December 23. [Previous Stories}

UPDATED on 26-12-2002 at 06:52 AM(SL Time)

Sri Lankan naval chief for Delhi
COLOMBO. DEC. 25. Sri Lanka's Navy chief, Daya Sandagiri, left for India today to hold high-level talks in New Delhi during the next two days in a move to curb smuggling of arms by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Full Story

Sri Lanka plans ID cards for expat workers
DOHA: Sri Lanka will issue special identity cards to its nationals leaving for the Middle East to take up employment.
Apart from name and photograph of the holder, the cards will also feature details like occupation and name of the employer. (Dec 25 Peninsula) Full Story

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