7:46 PM

Mahamoud Abbas arrives in the island

President of Palestine, Mahamoud Abbas arrived in the island a short while ago. He was warmly welcomed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his arrival at the airport.

The Palestinian President will hold talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and several ministers of the Government pertaining to issues of bilateral interest during his two day stay .
He will also be visiting Syria before returning home.

Mahmoud Abbas was born on March 26, 1935. He was elected as the President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on January 9, 2005, and assumed office on January 15, 2005.

He was key figure behind the forming of the Fatah movement.

7:42 PM

Minister Maithripala Sirisena miraculously escapes

An LTTE woman suicide bomber made an abortive attempt on the life of Maithripala Sirisena, Minister of Agricultural Development & Agrarian Services Development, who is also the General Secretary of the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party.Minister Maithripala Sirisena has been a vociferous critic of the terrorist organization, was returning after a state function when the suicide bomber blew himself up.Minister Maithripala Sirisena has been a vociferous critic of the terrorist organization, was returning after a state function when the suicide bomber blew himself up.

Minister had a narrow escape from an LTTE assassination attempt this afternoon at about 1.15 PM, near Katuwala , Prirvena Road Junction on - Boralasgamuwa and Pilliyandala main road, when the Minister’s convoy was speeding past the location.

Minister and his convoy however escaped unaffected in the blast that triggered a thundering noise, but the explosion killed one civilian and injured three more, who were said to be innocent civilians, moving in the area.

Minister Maithripala Sirisena has been a vociferous critic of the terrorist organization, was returning after a state function when the suicide bomber blew himself up.

Initial reports said the suicide bomber after infiltrating the location has waited for some time until the Minister’s convoy passed by, according to Police reports.

However, one person have been killed and five others including Deputy Minister Siripala Gamlath have suffered injuries.

Also, according to the Director, Colombo National Hospital Accident Service, Secretary to Ministry of Agriculture who had been in one of the vehicles in the convoy has also sustained injuries.

11:40 AM

Security News

Heavy fighting in three mulathivu areas and akkarayankulam in kilinocchi, 45 LTTE cadres killed and 30 injured. Eight soldiers were died.


7:24 AM

When the Troops Come Home

Writer: Stephen Long, Los Angeles

I sincerely hope the Government of Sri Lanka is looking past the destruction of the LTTE to the day when the troops finally come home. This will be a joyous time of celebration, no doubt, but it will also be a time of crisis: what are you going to do with the excess force in the military? You will reduce the size of your army, of course, but what are you going to do with the men and women who served you so valiantly and rid your country of terrorists?

This is a problem faced by all nations who find themselves in similar situations after the war is over. Julius Caesar faced it. In the last century America faced it four times, and is facing it again with the returning Iraqi war veterans. In the case of America, they botched it badly after Vietnam, and they are botching it again with Middle East returnees. Here in Los Angeles it is heartbreaking to go Downtown to the skid row area around 5th and Maple Streets and see the large numbers of homeless and drug-addicted men and women – many of whom were heroes in both Vietnam and in Iraq/Afghanistan.


7:20 AM

No plane, Janaka’s body taken by road,Govt. provides motorcade

The remains of Major General Janaka Perera and his wife were taken to Anuradhapura by road yesterday, as an aircraft was not made available for the remains to be flown to Anuradhapura for the public there to pay their last respects.

The remains were taken to the Ratmalana Airport at 7.45 a.m. yesterday but was kept there for about four hours for want of an aircraft.

Relations had obtained permission from Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake and Air Force Commander to fly the remains to Anuradhapura. However, no aircraft was made available. The motorcade left Colombo around 2 p.m.

Meanwhile, UNP General Secretary and parliamentarian Tissa Attanayake said that he sought permission thrice from the Prime Minister to fly the remains to Anuradhapura but he failed to get it.

Attanayake lamented at the government’s attitude towards a soldier who rendered yeoman service to the country at the risk of his own life. The remains were kept at the Ratmalana airport for nearly four hours but no aircraft was provided and this was an embarrassment to the UNP and to the kith and kin of the dead couple, Attanayake said.

The remains were originally scheduled to be taken to

Major Genral Janaka Perera’s residence at Freeman Mawatha in Anuradhapura around 10.30 a.m. and large crowds had gathered there awaiting the arrival.

He said large crowds also gathered on the road side when the remains were taken to Anuradhapura but Police prevented the motorcade taking the usual route and directed the motorcade through various side roads preventing the people from paying their last respects.

7:19 AM

Mobile service in Mannar not held due to people fleeing to Vanni

Secretary to the Ministry of Public administration D. Dissanayake said the Government was compelled to call off the ‘Mobile Services’ scheduled to take place in the Mannar district on October 20 and 21 as the majority of those who were internally displaced from the Mannar District had fled to take refuge in the Vanni District.

He said originally Minister of Public Administration Karu Jayasuriya had made arangements with over 36 State Agencies to go to the Mannar District on October 20 and 21. A report on the prevailing ground situation submitted by a delegation led by Minister of Constitutional Affairs and National Integration D. E. W. Gunasekera had stated that only around 5,000 people were remaining in the district had turned up when they visited the area on September (25).

"We wanted to provide birth certificates, driving licenses, national identity cards and passports to those affected people."

Dissanayake said the situation was further aggravated as a result of Minister Karu Jayasuriya having to take bed rest following his surgical operation.

"We have to wait until these people return. Our going would be of no use and we found that with the ongoing Military Operations which had intensified in the North, finding accommodation for such a large delegation of around a 1000 in the North Central Province to travel daily to Mannar as the transport service was not able to cope with such a number

6:20 AM

Russian embassy condemns A’Pura bomb blast

The Embassy of the Russian Federation in Sri Lanka expressed its profound condolences to all bereaved family members of those mercilessly killed and injured as a result of barbaric suicidal terrorist act committed in Anuradhapura on the 6th of October, including the former Ambassador of Sri Lanka in the Soviet Union Dr. R. Johnpulle with his spouse and the former Envoy of Sri Lanka in Australia and Indonesia Major-General J. Perera with his spouse.

"We strongly condemn terrorist activity in any part of the world whatever slogans are used to justify it and express our confidence, that the friendly Sri Lankan people will soon secure peace and stability throughout the island." the statement said.