6:08 AM

Troops clear A-34 from Mankulam to Tanniyattu

Troops of Army 57 Division, Task Force 3 and Task Force 4 have opened up the A-34 road (Mankulam- Mullaittivu) road up to Tanniyuttu, following recent counter terrorist operations on the Mullaittivu battlefront, reveal battlefield sources.

Sri Lanka Air Force fighter jets and MI-24 helicopter gunships carried out air strikes at LTTE gatherings in the Mullaittivu area in support of advancing troops this morning (Jan 5). According to the defence sources, the air strikes were carried out between 11 Am to 12.30 PM targeting LTTE cadres withdrawing into jungle areas. The sources citing pilots confirmed that the attacks were successful.

6:06 AM

MTV/MBC under seige

The main control room of MTV/MBC in Pannipitiya has been set on fire by goons who stormed the building,And the network is comepletely off air. Unconfirmed sources say that an unidentified group has stormed the building.

5:28 AM

Hand over Prabhakaran to India

While some key Tamil Nadu politicians and other LTTE sympathisers are trying to secure India’s help to save the LTTEand its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran trapped in the North, the Congress Party of India has requested Sri Lanka to hand over Prabhakaran, if captured alive, to stand trial for crimes he has committed on the Indian soil.

The Times of India yesterday reported the request of the Congress.

Full text of the report: "Congress on Saturday demanded that Sri Lanka extradite LTTE chief Prabhakaran, an accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, if he is nabbed in the army offensive, in what signals a strong stand ruling out any intervention under pressure from DMK.
Congress spokesman Veerappa Moily told reporters that the LTTE was a banned outfit and Prabhakaran was wanted for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. "He is an assassin and we would be very happy if he was extradited to India. We want him to be prosecuted and convicted here for the grave crime he committed," Moily said.

Before Sri Lanka’s army smashed through LTTE bastion of Kilinochchi, Congress often had to accommodate DMK’s sensitivities. But the demand for Prabhakaran’s extradition as well as the stand that the fight against terror was Lanka’s internal issue signals that in the coming days any pressure by DMK to lean on Lanka may not mean much.

Moily, however, took care to separate the issue of the extradition of Prabhakaran and how Sri Lanka treats the Tigers with the concern for the protection of the rights of Tamil minority in the island nation. He said that Congress was not mixing terrorism and ethnic issue, reiterating that Congress wanted Lanka to ensure the safety of Tamils and a policy of non-discrimination against them.

5:35 PM

Troops enter Oddusuddan

Troops of Task Force 4 who have continued their advances further northwards after capturing Nadunkeni have entered Oddusuddan township by this afternoon.

According to the latest information, troops of 14 Sinha Regiment (SR) commanded by Major U.S.N.K Perera under command to 642 Brigade commanded by Lt. Colonel B.T Hathnagoda entered the Oddusuddan town following the days long fighting ensued in the area.

6:07 AM

Fetch rting for Sri Lanka Banks

It is imperative for savers to find out from an independent third party the default risk of the fixed income investment prior to investing any money. In the absence of ratings, they will have to make their investment decision purely based on reputation and historical financial information of the borrower that may have little bearing to future financial condition of the borrower. Although various investments are sold using the word “guaranteed”, the borrower itself cannot give a guarantee, only a financially strong third party can give a guarantee.
  • National Savings Bank AAA(lka)
  • HSBC Sri Lanka Branch AAA(lka)
  • Standard Chartered Bank AAA(lka)
  • Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC AA+(lka)
  • Bank of Ceylon AA(lka)
  • DFCC Bank AA(lka)
  • National Development Bank(NDB) PLC AA(lka)
  • Sampath Bank PLC AA-(lka)
  • DFCC Vardhana Bank AA-(lka)
  • Hatton National Bank PLC AA-(lka)
  • Central Finance Company PLC A+(lka)
  • Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Ltd A+(lka)
  • Abans (Pvt) Limited A(lka)
  • Lanka Orix Leasing Company PLC A(lka)
  • Nations Trust Bank PLC A(lka)
  • People’s Bank A-(lka)
  • Seylan Bank PLC BBB+(lka)
  • Union Bank of Colombo Limited BB+(lka)
  • Edirisinghe Trust Investments Limited B+(lka)
  • Vallibel Finance Ltd. B+(lka)

5:27 AM

the leadership given by the President had been exemplary

UNP Assistant Leader Rukman Senanayake yesterday expressed his confidence of an outright army victory over the LTTE.

Speaking to Media from Kataragama, the Kegalle district MP said that Friday’s liberation of Kilinochchi close on the heels of army’s victory at Paranthan would give a turbo boost to Sri Lanka’s fight against terror.

Senanayake said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his government should be commended for boldly meeting the enemy challenge and successfully executing the war.

Responding to our queries, the MP said that the leadership given by the President and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had been exemplary. He asserted that the recent territorial gains on the Vanni front had made the remaining LTTE strongholds shaky.

Fielding questions, he dismissed the perception that the UNP was attempting to throw a lifeline to the LTTE. "Absolutely not," he said, expressing confidence in the Rajapaksa administration’s strength to finish off Tigers.

5:20 AM

Prabha still in Mullaitivu - Karuna

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.Describing the fall of Kilinochchi as a great victory for the government forces in general and President Mahinda Rajapaksa in particular, he said he was confident that the troops would capture Mullaitivu shortly.

Karuna said the government should now open the A9 main supply road and take proper care of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).He also requested the civilians trapped in the Wanni to break through Tiger lines and soon enter safe areas. “The people did this in the east. They broke the main lines and entered Vakarai. They in fact, defied the LTTE order not to do so. So, I am requesting the people to do this and enter the government controlled areas,” he said.

5:36 PM

Less than 2,000 Tigers left -- Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka

Army Commander Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka said that the Tigers are fighting a losing battle and now they are besieged in an area even smaller to Thoppigala and there are only about 1700-1900 remaining with the organisation.

The Commander was addressing the Cabinet ministers, top brass of the security forces, and government officials at the Presidential Secretariat expressed confidence that the war would come to an end in less than one year.

"Now the troops are moving northwards from Kilinochchi towards Elephant Pass and they are only 2km away from the area while the 59 Division is moving close to Mullaitivu and they are only five km from the sea tiger stronghold," the Army Commander said.

Yesterday around 60 civilians moved in to the government controlled areas from the Tiger held areas on Thursday the army handed over 35 bodies of LTE cadres who were killed in battle to the ICRC he said.

Troops have breached an 800 metre area of the bund and ditch built by the Tigers to thwart the advancing troops in area close to Mullaitivu he said. Lt Gen Fonseka said that the troops made many sacrifices a lot of blood shed in achieving this victory for the nation.

They fought against the terrorists even when the terrain was completely under water, wading across neck deep in water and some of the soldiers got drowned. But they were undaunted and they fought with grit and determination against all odds he said.

"When some people were celebrating the dawn of the New Year in Colombo the valiant troops who spent sleepless nights captured Paranthan at mid night on 31 December," Lt Gen Fonseka said.
The areas which have been re-captured by the troops are now being development by the government but during the abortive Ceasefire Agreement there was no development in these areas the Commander said.

The war against the LTTE recommenced in the north while the forces were smelling victory in Thoppigala and the east in late 2005 December he said. We had a mission and a vision which was to defeat the LTTE and completely eradicate terrorism from the country he pointed out.

The troops commenced their operations from Vavuniya with the 57 Division and the Task Force 1 and moved towards Madhu. Two months ago the troops liberated Pooneryn thus opening up a land route from Mannar to Jaffna after 23 years the Commander said.

5:31 PM

Bomb explosion near Red Mosque

A minor bomb explosion was reported near the Red Mosque at Bangasala Street, Petta, today (Jan 3) at around 4.55p.m.

Two people have sustained minor damages due to the explosion, our correspondent said reporting from the blast site.

6:33 AM

Gotabhaya asks LTTE to surrender

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that the army had cut off Kilinochchi from three directions and was poised to overrun the town.

A confident Rajapaksa said that with Thursday’s (Jan. 1) liberation of Paranthan and Iranamadu junction, the army had taken up positions north, west and south of Kilinochchi.

"Kilinochchi is vulnerable and their resistance will collapse in a few days," he said, expressing confidence of wiping out the remaining LTTE bases in the northern theatre of operations within months. Declining to discuss a possible time-frame for the army to complete major ground operations, he said the enemy couldn’t last long due to the absence of fresh recruits and an uninterrupted sea supply route to replenish its arsenal.

Contrary to LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s recent claim that the liberation of Kilinochchi was a daydream of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, it would become a reality soon, he said.

6:32 AM

Chandrika Kumaratunga sells her luxury bungalow

Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga had sold her luxury bungalow at Horagolla. The house, built over a decade ago, near the old Sangabodhi Vidyalaya, on a plot of land given by Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, had been acquired by a strong SLFP supporter. Informed sources identified the buyer as the proprietor of well-known eatery on the other side of Horagolla along the Colombo-Kandy road.

6:31 AM

High-speed patrol boats for vigil in Gulf of Mannar Biosphere

In a bid to protect the natural wealth of the 21 islands and surrounding areas of the Gulf of Mannar from poaching, patrolling of the area is being beefed up with the addition of three high-speed boats.
The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve Trust (GOMBRT) would soon acquire the boats at a cost of Rs 1.30 crore from a Kerala-based company, an official of the trust told PTI.
The boats, fitted with 150 HP engines, can travel at a speed of 20 knots per hour. A special programme would be charted out to operate the boats in an effective manner so that all the islands could be covered and an efficient security system was provided to them, the official said.
The new boats are much faster and could reach the spot in case of complaint quickly, the official said.

6:21 AM

Way to Kilinochch

From Rivira Newspaper


10:33 PM

Tamil Tigers are open to restarting peace talks

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers are open to restarting peace talks with the government, a senior official with the separatists has said.

Balasingham Nadesan, the Tigers political chief, made the statement to the Associated Press news agency as the army continued an offensive in the north aimed at crushing the group.

"We have always been ready for peace talks, but the Sri Lankan government has been always insisting on a military solution," he said.

The two sides have been battling for more than 25 years over the Tamil Tigers' demand for an independent state for minority Tamils in the north and east of the Indian Ocean island nation.

The military push deep into the separatists' heartland in recent months has forced the Tamil Tigers to retreat from vast areas they once controlled, and the government has said it expects to finish off the group in the coming months.

However, Balasingham Nadesan said the group did not believe it was facing imminent defeat.

"We have made several strategic withdrawals in order to save the lives of our people and maintain the strength of our forces. When the time and place is conducive, we will regain the land we have lost," he said.

--- aljazeera ---

8:55 PM

LTTE retaliated to the loss of Kilinochchi by a suicide bomb explosion

LTTE after its ignominious defeat in Kilinochchi has carried out a desperate suicide blast in front of the Air Force camp , Slave Island down the C.A. Gardiner road at 5.15 this evening (Jan 2).
Primary investigations have revealed that the suicide bomber had tried to enter the Air Force camp but prevented by the Airmen at the entrance. The explosion has caused damages to a public transport bus playing from Moratuwa to Pettah. Two people have been killed and 22 others suffered injuries in the explosion. The injured have been admitted to the National Hospital, Colombo.
Meanwhile, a person suspected to have accompanied the suicide bomber has been arrested by the air men.
Defence observers call the latest bomb blast of the LTTE a desperate reaction to its nearing defeat. On Sunday (Dec 28) LTTE carried out simillar suicide blast close to a Roman Catholic Church at Wattala killing 6 people and wounding 29 others.

11:05 AM

Kilinochchi in Army control?

Uncomfermed source say kilinochchi town in Army control. militery source said that the troops are poised to capture Kilinochchi, the LTTE political and military epicenter in a few hours time.

10:05 AM

Ilamperiyan dead

The Electronic Warfare (EW) sources confirmed that an LTTE's support group commander, known as Ilamperiyan, who commanded the Paranthan battle was killed in fierce fighting ensued on 31 December. He was later given the self-styled 'Lt. Colonel' rank, EW sources further confirmed citing LTTE communication channels.

5:25 AM

Ceylinco Insurance Traded

The Colombo stock market closed the year with a bang yesterday with turnover reaching Rs.208.5, up from the previous day’s Rs.97.4 million with both indices too moving up – the All Share Price Index by 18.48 points (1.25) while the Milanka gained 19.31 points (1.20).

Ceylinco Insurance opened trading yesterday with a big parcel of 263,000 shares traded at Rs.150, down Rs.25 from the previous close with two more parcels of 90,000 and 60,000 done in early afternoon trading at Rs.175.
The share hit Rs.200 shortly thereafter and some biggish parcels, two of over 11,000 shares each, one of 31,500 and one of 44,200 were traded at this price before market closed for the day and the year.
A total of over 0.5 million Ceylinco, trading between Rs.150 and Rs.200, closed at Rs.200 gaining Rs.12 and generating a turnover of Rs.110.6 million. Other Ceylinco companies that traded in some quantity yesterday included non-voting shares of Ceylinco Insurance which traded between Rs.120 and Rs.145 gaining Rs.32.50 to close at Rs.145 on 21,400 shares traded.

Ceylinco Seylan Development saw 0.4 million of its one-0rupee shares traded between Rs.4 and Rs.4.60 gaining 70 cents to close at Rs.4.40. Ceylinco Housing and The Finance confirmed yesterday that Mr. Lalith Kotelawala continues to be the Chairman of these two companies.

8:59 PM

Mihin flies again…

State owned air liner Mihin Lanka commenced its commercial flight to Dubai today, with a Boeing 737-800 single class 186 seater aircraft. Civil Aviation Minister Sarath Kumara Gunarathne, Mihin Lanka CEO Kapila Chandrasena and several other officials attend at the ceremony

8:22 PM

Sri Lanka Army Recaptures Iranamadu Junction and Paranthan

Troops of the Army's 57 Division liberated the Iranamadu Junction this morning (Jan 01) hot on the heels of the liberation of Paranthan by Task Force I troops, according to defence sources.

Troops of the Army's Task Force 1 captured the key LTTE garrison of Paranthan early this morning (January 1), taking control of Paranthan Junction and its surrounding areas, according to defence sources. This is the first time in a decade that the area has come under Government control.

CNN Report:

Sri Lanka's army said Thursday it had recaptured the northern town of Paranthan, bringing government troops within 3 km (2 miles) of the onetime power center of the Tamil Tiger rebel movement.
Paranthan is located on a highway connecting the northern Jaffna Peninsula to the country's mainland, about 575 km (360 miles) north of Colombo and 2.5 miles from Kilinochchi -- until recently the rebel capital. The captured town lies between Kilinochchi to the south and the Elephant Pass, which remains a rebel stronghold, to the north.
The Tigers ran a parallel administration from Kilinochchi with their own police force, courts, prisons and taxes. After government troops launched a new push against the rebels in the fall, the separatists moved their nerve center and logistics bases to the Mullaitivu district, on the northeastern coast.
Sri Lankan troops have been on the outskirts of Kilinochchi for more than a month. Army sources told CNN there was heavy fighting between troops and rebels Wednesday as troops tried to cross the A-9 highway, which links the peninsula to Colombo.
"When we break through and move further, it could be a terrible blow to the rebels," one source added


8:16 PM

Changes in Cabinet

Minister of Investment Promotion and Enterprise Development, Dr. Sarath Amunugama is to be appointed as Minister of Public Administration while the Minister of Mass Media and Information, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa is to take over as Minister of Investment Promotion and Enterprise Development.