August 2008

NewsRoom        Archives

LTTE targets civilians in bomb blast
More than 40 persons have been injured in a bomb explosion, suspected to be caused by the LTTE that took place in the busy shopping area of Pettah in Colombo, today (30). Initial reports say that all the injured are civilians. [Full Story]

Sri Lankan Envoy Asian facilitator for UN Anti-Racism Confab
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Geneva Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka has been appointed facilitator to negotiate an outcome document of the Asian Region, in the run-up to the UN Durban Review Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination and other related issues. [Full Story]
Wanni IDPs: Minster refutes BBC story
Bishops disclaim communication to UNSG
The story on BBC which quotes a purported communication from the “Catholic Church” addressed to UN Secretary-General relating to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Wanni, does not present an accurate picture of the reality on the ground, said Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe. [Full Story]

Poverty declines in Hambantota- President
Poverty, which stood at 31 percent when the UPFA came to power has come down to 12.7 percent said President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the inauguration ceremony of the enhanced Tangalle Water Supply Scheme. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka has better health facilities - WHO
Sri Lanka is among the countries that have better health facilities than some other countries with higher incomes said Sir Michael Marmot, professor of epidemiology and public health who chaired the WHO's Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. [Full Story]

Four suspected LTTE sympathisers questioned in TN
Four suspected sympathisers of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam from Kilinochchi who landed at the naval jetty in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu on Wednesday were interrogated by the security officials, the Hindu reported. [Full Story]
President appoints Committee on Ministry Secretaries
His Excellency the President has appointed a 3-member committee comprising eminent and senior officers who currently serve and have served in the Public Service to Inquire into representations and complaints to the President, by and with regard to Ministry Secretaries.  [Full Story]

Government committed to rebuilding national unity - President
Government is committed to rebuilding national unity destroyed by terrorists for nearly three decades, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the inauguration of the Kataragama Museum built with Netherlands assistance. [Full Story]

Foreign Minister acknowledges Russian support in the fight against terrorism
Russia’s support to Sri Lanka in combating terrorism nationally, has been steadfast and well established, observed Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama when H.E. Mr. Alexey L Shebarshin, Ambassador for the Russian Federation paid a farewell call on him at the end of his tour of duty in Sri Lanka. [Full Story]

BIMSTEC Ministers to focus on terror and trade
Terrorism is set to dominate the agenda when foreign ministers of seven South and Southeast Asian countries meet in New Delhi Friday to firm up a plan for combating the common scourge and for boosting intra-regional trade and economic cooperation, IANS reported yesterday. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka cloves exports hit new high
Exports of cloves from Sri Lanka are seen hitting a record 5,000 tonnes this year with earnings exceeding three billion rupees, the Spices and Allied Products’ Producers’ and Traders’ Association said in a statement. [Full Story]

Govt to end conflict with honor - Foreign Secretary
The government is committed to end the conflict in an honourable and sustainable manner as soon as possible, Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Palitha Kohona said in a speech at the Asian Aviation training centre. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka hosts 8th SAARC Trade Fair
The eighth South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Trade fair – 2008 inaugurated this morning at the BMICH, Colombo with the participation of eight SAARC member countries.  [Full Story]
Japan and ADB Help strengthens Fiscal Reforms
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Japan Special Fund, through ADB, will provide a grant of $300,000 to help Sri Lanka identify measures to contain expenditures and increase revenues in the medium term, in order to support its fiscal consolidation program. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka seeks enhanced ties with Hungary
Bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Hungary must be enhanced to a higher level, observed Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, Minister of Foreign Affairs, when Dr. Geza Palmai, Ambassador for Hungary paid a courtesy call on Monday (25th August 2008), following his presentation of credentials to President Mahinda Rajapaksa earlier in the day. [Full Story]

Spanish Ambassador meets Foreign Minister
New Spanish Ambassador Ion de La Riva Guzman de Frutos called on Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama yesterday (25).  [Full Story]

Navy aborts LTTE air raid
Alarmed on an approaching terror aircraft by Sri Lanka Air Force around 9 p.m. yesterday (26), naval troops detected the aircraft and engaged it with anti air guns causing the aircraft to make away without entering into the naval dockyard, Navy sources said. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka woos Middle East tourists
Sri Lanka is wooing tourists fro the Middle East, said Tourism Deputy Minister Faiszer Musthapha, in an interview with Gulf News last weekend. "We have been focusing on the region for the last two to three years and it has paid dividends," the Minister added. [Full Story]
No need for polls till 2010 – President
The present situation was most favourable for the government to go to the polls. However, as the government had a mandate to be in office till 2010, he saw no reason to hold an election till then, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa, today (Aug 26). [Full Story]

Japanese Parliamentarian delegation visits Sri Lanka
A four-member Japanese Parliamentarian delegation led by Hosei Norota, Member of the House of Representatives, Chairman of Japan-Sri Lanka Parliamentarians’ Friendship Association, Former Minister of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries and Former Minister of Defense, will arrive in Sri Lanka on a goodwill visited Sri Lanka on August 22 The purpose of their visit is to promote and deepen bilateral relations between the two countries and the peoples. [Full Story]

SL expats urge Sweden govt to ban TRO
The Swedish Chapter of the Campaign Against Separatist Terrorism in Sri Lanka (CASTIS), has urged the Swedish Prime Minister stop fund raising activities of the LTTE and ban the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization in Sweden. [Full Story]
Five diplomats present credentials
Five new Ambassadors presented their credentials to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat, Colombo this morning (August 25). [Full Story]

FM inaugurates Sri Lanka - German Business Council in Frankfurt
The Sri Lanka – German Business Council established on the initiative of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Frankfurt was inaugurated by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on August 21 at the Marriot Hotel in Frankfurt, Germany. [Full Story]

New UNICEF supported health facilities in the East
The new Maternity & Children’s Ward of the Pottuvil District Hospital and Regional Medical Supplies Division (RMSD) in Kalmunai will be declared open today. [Full Story]

TN police probes arrested drug peddler's links with LTTE
The Tamil Nadu Police was investigating the possibility of Chellappa Saguneswaran’s links with the LTTE, the sources said. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka condemns terrorist attack in Pakistan
The Government strongly condemned the suicide bomb attack on an ordnance factory in Wah, near Islamabad on Thursday (August 21). [Full Story]
UPFA sweeps in NCP and Sabaragamuwa
The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) swept the polls in elections to the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils held yesterday (23). [Full Story]

NCP & Sabaragamuwa Polls
Convincing victory for the country - President
“I see the convincing victory by the United People’s Liberation Front (UPFA) at the elections to the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils held yesterday as a victory for all our people who love our motherland. [Full Story]
The SAARC Summit and myth of Lanka’s international isolation
Sri Lanka is the Chairman of SAARC, the world’s most populous region. The importance of SAARC today is also evidenced by the presence of powerful observer states, ranging from the USA to China and Iran. [Full Story]
Thunukkai captured
The 57th Division of the Sri Lanka Army captured the strategic LTTE garrison town of Thunukkai, defence sources said a short while ago. [Full Story]

Oslo – LTTE relations sour
Norway's decision not to hail a truce the LTTE declared before the SAARC summit this month seems to have fuelled a crisis that has for the first time soured ties between the rebels and Oslo, the peace facilitator in Sri Lanka, says a press release issued by the IANS news service on August 21. According to the news item the LTTE has in retaliation had commandeered heavy vehicles belonging to the Norwegian People's Aid (NPA), an Oslo-based NGO, in the Kilinochchi district. [Full Story]
President sends greetings to newly elected Nepal Prime Minister
Your election is a reaffirmation of the values of inclusiveness and pluralism, which are shared by both our people, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a message of greetings to the newly elected Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal today.
[Full Story]

Amnesty International asked to withdraw its claim
Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights referring to the Amnesty International's latest statement concerning the current situation in the north of Sri Lanka says that the government monitors the situation carefully, and addresses all problems promptly. [Full Story]

Govt. never abandoned country’s development
- President
Despite the bloody war with the LTTE and the series of victories achieved, his Government had never ever abandoned or sacrificed the country’s development. President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. [Full Story]

US Pacific Command hosts law exchange programme for security forces
The United State Military Pacific Command in partnership with the American Embassy in Colombo conducted a military law exchange programme to share with the security forces methods of investigating and reporting human rights abuses, a US Embassy statement said. [Full Story]

Okaya Electric Industries of Japan to invests in Sri Lanka
Okaya Electric Industries Company, a public listed company from Japan a manufacture of electronic components for noise suppression and surge suppression signed an agreement with the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) to invest in a high-tech manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka. [Full Story]
Japan to join CCHA
Japan will join the Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance (CCHA) set up by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to spearhead relief work. [Full Story]

Cultivation allowed in Jaffna HSZ
The Government has made arrangements for the farmers who own paddy lands in the Ariyalai East High Security Zone (HSZ) to commence their cultivation activities. [Full Story]

BOI Project to set up world’s first Nano Technology Park
The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) has signed an agreement with SLINTec to develop and manage the world’s first Nanotechnology Park which is expected to commence operations in November. [Full Story]

Govt ready to assist civilians fleeing fighting in the Wanni
The Government is committed to assisting civilians who may be displaced by the ongoing counter LTTE military operations in the North and reiterates its firm commitment to continue providing humanitarian assistance to the people in the Wanni, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. [Full Story]

PC election campaign ends today
Campaigning for the North Central and Sabaragamuwa provincial council elections which is scheduled to commence on August 23 is to end at mid night today. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka seeks enhanced relations with Iceland 
Iceland’s relations with Sri Lanka should transcend the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA), and move into broader areas of co-operation for a more structured and enhanced relationship between the two countries, pointed out by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama during his meeting on Monday with Geir Haarde, Prime Minister of Iceland. [Full Story]
WTM raised millions for LTTE- National Post
World Tamil Movement (WTM), a Toronto-based group has wired more than $3-million to overseas bank accounts, some of them linked to the LTTE, before it was shut down by the government in June for alleged terrorist financing, said an RCMP report released yesterday. [Full Story]

LTTE about to be destroyed - Strategy Page
LTTE personnel and territorial losses are accelerating because the LTTE can no longer maintain a “front line” of bunkers, the military website Strategy Page said yesterday. [Full Story]

Indian scholarships for SL teachers under ‘English as a life skill’ initiative
Indian High Commissioner Alok Prasad will hand-over scholarships to 40 English teachers under the Presidential Initiative ‘English as a Life Skill’ at the Indian Cultural Centre today. [Full Story]

No turning back until every inch of land is liberated
- assures President
We liberated the Eastern Province and will liberate the North too very shortly. There is no turning back under any circumstances or influence now, until every inch of land is recaptured and each and every terrorist is killed or captured. Our Armed Forces are fighting the terrorists to protect our Motherland at the risk of their lives said President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing a rally at Ruwanwella yesterday in support of the UPFA candidates contesting the forthcoming Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council elections on August 23.
[Full Story]

Kerawalapitiya coal power plant ready by end of this month
The 300 MW Kerawalapitiya electricity generation plant is scheduled to be commissioned at the end of this month.
[Full Story]
Government to secure future of artistes
The Government is committed to improve the professional and living standards of traditional artistes and secure a bright future for them, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the Diyawadana Nilame and artistes who participated in the premier cultural pageant of Sri Lanka, the Dalada Perahera at  President's House, Kandy on Sunday August 17.  [Full Story]

US $ 390 m Balance of payment surplus
The overall balance of payments recorded a surplus of US dollars 390 million by end-June 2008, said the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in a press release issued on August 15.  [Full Story]

Zero tolerance towards child conscription - FM
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told the UN Under - Secretary General and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy that the Sri Lankan Government has a policy of zero tolerance towards child soldier recruitment when thelatter called on him at the Foreign Ministry on August 15. [Full Story]
Kandy Esala Perahera ends in splendour
The Kandy Esala Perahera, the biggest Buddhist festival of Sri Lanka, held annually in honour of the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha enshrined at the Temple of Tooth in Kandy, which draws thousands of devotees, pilgrims and visitors from abroad, concluded today (17). [Full Story]
Firm in resolve to defeat terrorism - Indian PM on Freedom Day
”We are firm in our resolve to meet the challenge of terrorism. I urge the State Governments, all political parties, civil society groups and social and religious leaders to cooperate with us in rooting out terrorism from our country,” said Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, in his Address to the Nation on Independence Day (15). [Full Story]
Chinese tourist arrivals up by 7.3% in first half of year
Tourist arrivals from China to Sri Lanka grew by 7.3 percent in the first half of 2008 over the same period a year ago, SriLankan Airlines said in a statement Thursday. [Full Story]

Dam Safety and Water Resources Planning Project launched at Parakrama Samudraya
The Government yesterday launched a Rs.7, 500 million Dam Protection and Water Resources Management project at Parakrama Samudraya, Polonnaruwa. [Full Story]

Vienna: Sri Lankans urge EU to act against LTTE terror
Sri Lankan expatriates in Vienna organized a protest rally against LTTE atrocities on Thursday urging the Austrian and EU governments to denounce terror activities of LTTE. [Full Story]

Final Maha Randoli Perahera tomorrow
The fifth and final Randoli perehera of the Kandy Esala perehara will parade the streets of Kandy tomorrow. [Full Story]
Sri Lankan expats handed over petition to Pope
Sri Lankan expatriates of Catholic faith living in Italy together with other Catholics have handed over a petition to His Holiness ... [Full Story]

SL Mission website becomes the most popular UN Mission Website in Geneva
The official web site of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka has been ranked the most popular website of all the foreign Permanent Missions accredited to the United Nations Office in Geneva (Switzerland), according to Alexa Web Search Platform, up from its number two position last week. [Full Story]

Japan funds development projects in Badulla and Batticaloa districts
The Japanese government is funding the construction of Bridge across Badulu Oya in the Badulla District and construction of agro wells and channels in the Batticaloa District, a Japanese Embassy press release said. [Full Story]

Security Forces bag LTTE garrison town in Thunukkai
Security forces yesterday took total control over Kalvilan, a garrison town of the LTTE, approximately 3kms Southwest of Thunukkai, defence sources said. [Full Story]
Six suspected LTTE operatives detained in Chennai
At least six suspected LTTE operatives were arrested in a southeastern suburb of the Tamil Nadu capital Saturday, Tamil Nadu police said. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka – China relations a role model – President Hu Jintao
Describing Sri Lanka – China relations as a role model for two countries of different sizes and political ideologies, Chinese President Hu Jintao agreed to further support the upliftment of the socio-economic standards of the people of Sri Lanka well as extending assistance for new development projects. [Full Story]

China accelerates projects in Sri Lanka
Li Ruogu, President of EXIM Bank of China assured completion of Bank assisted projects in Sri Lanka on time, when he met President Rajapaksa, during his visit to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. [Full Story]

China assures uninterrupted and more funding
Commerce Minister Chen Deming of China promised uninterrupted funding and timely completion of projects undertaken by Chinese firms in Sri Lanka and also ensured funding for three new development projects, namely the Colombo Katunayake Expressway, Puttalam Coal Power Phase II & III and the Hambantota oil tank and bunkering project. [Full Story]

Army, Air Force deny LTTE allegations
Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka yesterday refuted allegations by the LTTE that civilians in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu are getting killed and injured due to the shelling of the Security Forces. [Full Story]

Air Force raids LTTE strongpoint at Kilinochchi
The SLAF fighter jets launched air sorties at a pre-identified LTTE strongpoint at Cheinkkonmalai, located 9km North of Vellankulam in Kilinochchi, yesterday. [Full Story]
Alston Koch appointed Sri Lanka tourism ambassador
Musician Alston Koch has been appointed as an ambassador for tourism by Tourism Minister Milinda Moragoda. [Full Story]

First Randoli Perahera begins today
The first Randolil perahera of the Kandy Esala festival will place along the streets of Kandy tonight. [Full Story]

LTTE earns world's second biggest income
- Jane's Intelligence says
The annual income of the LTTE is between US $ 200-300 million making it the second biggest income generating terrorist organization in the world, the August issue of the Jane's Intelligence Report. [Full Story]

Madhu shrine opens from Aug 12 to 17
The Government will open the Madhu Church for devotees from August 12 to 17. During this period 200 devotees will be daily given an opportunity to worship the statue of Our Lady of Madhu replaced in her abode in the church only at noon. [Full Story]

PC polls: Additional two days for postal voting
The Department of Elections announced that the postal voters who were unable to cast their votes will be permitted to do so on the August 14 and 15 for the upcoming provincial council elections in the Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provinces. [Full Story]

USAID continues to boost fishing industry
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) marked the completion of another of its large-scale tsunami reconstruction activities, the revitalisation of the Puranawella fishing harbour. [Full Story]

Former FM Kadirgamar and Loganathan remembered
The third death anniversary of former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, who headed the LTTE hit-list primarily for his efforts to get the LTTE banned as a terrorist organization in many countries including the United States and the United Kingdom, falls today. [Full Story]
BOI promotes experimental project to grow Olive trees
The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) signed an agreement with Broucke Eco Enterprises Australia for an experimental project to grow olive trees to produce olive oil for the export market on August 7. [Full Story]

LTTE losing support of Tamil expatriates – Strategy Page
The LTTE is losing the support of expatriate Sri Lankan Tamils, the military website Strategy Page said yesterday. [Full Story]
LTTE link exposed in credit card scam in UK
An English court has jailed a Sri Lankan who defrauded an entire village apparently in order to pay back debts to a loan-shark with LTTE links, IANS reported. [Full Story]
China to accelerate development projects in Sri Lanka
President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is in China to attend the Beijing Olympic 2008 held bilateral talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao today (07) at Great Hall. [Full Story]

Armed forces enter Killinochchi and Mulativu districts
Continuing its Northern offensive the Army has entered the KIllinochchi and Mulativu districts and its 57 and 58 Divisions are at present fighting 6 km north of Mallavi, said Army Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara during a press briefing at the Media Centre for National security, Colombo this morning (7). [Full Story]

SAARC consensus on fighting terrorism
The recently concluded SAARC Summit reached consensus on fighting terrorism and it deliberated more than any other on the issue of terrorism, said government Defence Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, addressing the media this morning (7) at the Media Centre for National Security in Colombo. [Full Story]

Two more LTTE cadres held in Chennai
Two more LTTE cadres, K. Uma Ramanan and A. Amalan, both from Jaffna , were arrested by Tamil Nadu police early Wednesday (6) and sent to judicial custody for possessing an unspecified quantity of ammonium nitrate, a chemical fertiliser that can also be used as an explosive, besides cables and detonators. [Full Story]

President visits Olympic village
President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Madam Shiranthi Rajapaksa visited the Olympic village yesterday (6) evening. They were welcomed by the Deputy Mayor Chen Jiang. [Full Story]
President attends Beijing Olympics
President Mahinda Rajapaksa left for China this morning (6) to attend the opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics as a special guest on an official invitation by the government of the People's Republic of China. [Full Story]

Inflation drops to 26.6 per cent
The rate of inflation as measured by the Colombo Consumers’ Price Index (CCPI) on a year on year basis dropped to 26.6 per cent in July, 2008 from 28.2 per cent recorded in June, 2008. [Full Story]

US will continue help to fight terrorism - Boucher
The United States has taken actions to help the government of Sri Lanka fight terrorism and it would continue those, said United States Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard A. Boucher addressing the media in Colombo on Sunday (3). [Full Story]

LTTE suspect remanded in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu police arrested on Tuesday (5) a Sri Lankan, K. Selvam, suspected to be an LTTE terrorist, with contraband mobile phones that are able to trigger explosions. Later he was remanded in judicial custody. [Full Story]

Engaging with SAARC positive step forward – Australian FM
Engaging regularly with South Asia 's premier regional body is a positive step forward, said Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, issuing a press statement Monday (4) on the outcome of Australia ’s participation at the SAARC Summit as an observer. [Full Story]

SCOPP objects to ACHR generalisations
Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary –General of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) in a press release in response to the categorization of Sri Lanka by the Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) as the country with the worst human rights record in Asia takes serious objection to “blanket generalizations” and “interminable lists” that “depend on the whim of the list maker’. [Full Story]
Bangladesh to start bilateral FTA talks with India, SL, Pakistan
Bangladesh on Sunday decided to start bilateral free trade negotiations with India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, Bangladesh media reported. [Full Story]

15th SAARC Summit
President says Thank You
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has thanked all those who contributed to the successful conclusion of the 15th SAARC Summit which helped immensely in doing Sri Lanka proud in the eyes of the world. [Full Story]
Mastermind behind LTTE smuggling operations arrested
The 'Q' branch intelligence wing of Tamil Nadu police arrested the mastermind behind smuggling operations for the LTTE and a senior political activist of the organisation, yesterday at Uchapatti refugee camp in Madurai district, Chennai Online website reported. [Full Story]

Second phase of Kelani flyover opens today
The second phase of the Jeyaraj Fernandopulle Memorial flyover constructed on the Kandy Colombo road will be commissioned today. [Full Story]

SAARC summit concludes with leaders pledging action on food security
Leaders of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) at the concluding ceremony of its 15th Summit in Colombo yesterday issued a special ‘Colombo Statement on Food Security’, pledging action to ensure region-wide food security and make South Asia, once again, the granary of the world. [Full Story]

US pledges support to combat terrorism
The United States Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Richard A. Boucher yesterday affirmed that the US will increase its support to the Sri Lankan government to combat terrorism. [Full Story]

Suspected LTTE cadre arrested near Rameswaram
A suspected LTTE cadre, who landed in nearby Mandapam in Rameswaram after travelling by a plastic boat from Sri Lanka, was arrested yesterday, police said. [Full Story]

Army captured Vellankulam – last LTTE stronghold in Mannar district
Sri Lanka Army captured yesterday afternoon, Vellankulam, the last Tiger bastion in the Mannar district. [Full Story]
The Colombo Declaration
The Heads of State or Government of SAARC reaffirmed their commitment to the principles and objectives enshrined in the SAARC Charter. [Full Story]

SAARC Summit took far-reaching decisions on key issues
- President
The 15th SAARC Summit that concluded has taken far-reaching decisions on key issues affecting the region such as terrorism, food and fuel security and trade, with discussions that had a strong focus, ... [Full Story]
SAARC leaders condemn terrorism
Terrorism featured prominently in the addresses of the SAARC leaders at the inauguration of the 15th SAARC Summit. They were united in condemnation of terrorism and warning of the threat it posed to development of the region. [Full Story]

Arrested LTTE operative came for recruitment – TN police
Thambi Anna alias Thambi Ilamkathir alias Daniel (46), a key LTTE procurement agent who was picked up in Chennai by the Q Branch police on Wednesday, had come to recruit more suppliers for his network, reported the Hindu website quoting police sources. [Full Story]

India hands over SAARC chair to Sri Lanka
Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh officially handed over the SAARC chairmanship to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo this morning. [Full Story]

Redouble collective efforts to combat terrorism – President to SAARC
Addressing the SAARC Heads of State and Government today President Mahinda Rajapaksa called on them to redouble efforts for collective action to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, remembering it is the element of interdependence which is crucial for a durable peace and the protection of democratic values in the region.  [Full Story]
Pakistan firmly supports Sri Lanka’s territorial integrity – Prime Minister Gilani
The Prime Minister of Pakistan Makhdoom Raza Gilani expressed his country’s firm support for Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, in discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at bi-lateral talks that are part of the 15th SAARC Summit in Colombo, today (Aug 01). [Full Story]

Prosperity of India and Sri Lanka closely linked
- Manmohan Singh
One cannot envisage a prosperous India without strong links with her neighbors, and the present SAARC Summit in Colombo provided an opportunity for such a partnership, said the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, in discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat today. [Full Story]

New air links between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
The establishment of new air links between Sri Lanka and Dhaka was among the key items discussed between the Head of State and Chief Advisor of Bangladesh Dr, Fakhruddin Ahmed and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at bi-lateral talks held at the Presidential Secretariat today. [Full Story]

Sri Lanka and Bhutan – the common challenge of climate change
Bhutan and Sri Lanka share common ideals and traditions, as well as challenges, said the Prime Minister of Bhutan Lyonpo Jigmi Y Thinley. [Full Story]

Lumbini Development discussed by Nepali and Sri Lankan leaders
Plans to develop Lumbini as a major visitor and pilgrim destination n in South Asia featured prominently the bi-lateral discussions between Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Prime Minister of Nepal, Girija Prasad Koirala at the Presidential Secretariat today. [Full Story]

Bangladesh Chief Adviser arrives
Chief Adviser of Bangladesh Fakhruddin Ahmed arrived in Bandaranaike International Airport Katunayake today to attend the 15th SAARC Summit from 2-3 August in Colombo. [Full Story]

LTTE base shifted from Tamil Nadu to Kerala- TN DGP
Faced with strict vigilance along the Tamil Nadu coast and continuous monitoring of LTTE sympathisers in the state, the Tamil Tigers have shifted their smuggling base to Kerala, said Tamil Nadu DGP K P Jain, New Indi Press website said. [Full Story]

Arrested LTTE operative a close aide of Soosai – TN Police
The Special Branch of Tamil Nadu police, which busted a network of procurement team of the LTTE, has revealed that Vijayaneethan alias Naveen (26), one of the four Sri Lankans arrested on Tuesday at Uppur, is a close confidant of LTTE’s Sea Tigers. [Full Story]

Terrorism to be a criminal offence in the region
The SAARC Council of Ministers yesterday reached agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, whereby terrorism would be considered a criminal offence in the SAARC region. [Full Story]

Indian PM calls for SAARC unity to combat challenges
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stressed upon the importance of cooperation among SAARC countries to address various challenges facing the region, including terrorism, and has expressed confidence that the 15th summit in Colombo on August 2-3 will provide impetus to many decisions already taken by the eight member States. [Full Story]





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