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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2343

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LTTE ship is going down

Sinking shipThe BBC today screened dramatic pictures of the 8-hour gun battle between the Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) and the large LTTE ship carrying arms from the east to north. The last shot revealed the LTTE ship sinking head down and tail (stern) up in Indian Ocean around 100 nautical miles of the coast of Kalmunai in the east. In a radio message the SLN requested the ship to identify itself. In reply the LTTE vessel opened fire and later raised the LTTE flag, said the SLN. The battle that lasted eight hours ended when the Sri Lankan Air Force flew in blasted the crippled vessel. SLN sources said that it was carrying heavy military hardware and heading towards Sampoor - the stronghold of the LTTE at the mouth of the Trincomalee harbour that fell into the hands of the Sri Lankan Army on September 5. SLN also claims that about 15 crew on board the vessel also went down with it.

Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa brings his Public diplomacy agenda to New York

Daya Gamage – US National Correspondent for Asian Tribune

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse, who started his public diplomatic campaign in Havana, Cuba at the 14th Non-Aligned Summit, is now on the American soil in New York. He is expected to continue his agenda to expose his country’s separatist Tamil Tigers. According to his schedule in New York, he will be meeting a number of U.S. policy makers and those who are in a position to influence policy. Having undertaken the diplomatic offensive against the separatist LTTE, Rajapakse is scheduled to have a vital meeting with the President of the Swiss Confederation Moritz Leuenberger. "Asian Tribune" reliably understands that this dialogue with Leuenberger is an attempt to get an overview of the functioning of the political system in the Swiss Confederation in respect of devolution of political and administrative power to the periphery.

President Rajapakse launches new diplomatic offensive against LTTE among Non-aligned leaders

Douglas with Dr. Manmohan SinghThe 14th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Havana opened up new opportunities for President Mahinda Rajapakse to launch a new diplomatic offensive against the Tamil Tigers on a broad front. NAM gave him a platform to expose the Tamil Tigers as terrorists. Taking sharp aim at them he analyzed the difference between terrorists and liberation fighters. He summed it by saying that terrorists were destructive whereas the liberation fighters were creative. He also took opportunity to call on heads of states participating in the NAM proceedings to present his policies and initiatives to resolve the Sri Lankan crisis. One of the first appointments was with the Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. President Rajapakse briefed the Indian Prime Minister on the current initiatives taken by his government to find a political solution.

New owners of Apollo Hospital welcome staff and appeal for their continued cooperation

By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Financial Correspondent

New owners of the Apollo Hospital, Colombo has assured yesterday to their employees of equal and better prospects and welcomed them to join the family of companies, led by the investor Harry Stassen Jayewardene. The new owners at 3 a.m. yesterday left handbills on all the work stations of Apollo Hospital, Colombo for the attention of the staffs, when they report for work. The handbill highlighted that the new owners will depend solely on the employees.

Visas to Sri Lankans on arrival in Malaysia

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Malaysian High Commissioner Ms Nazirah Hussain announced that the Government of Malaysia has recently notified that Sri Lankan citizens are now allowed to enter Malaysia by obtaining Visa on arrival at six entry points in Malaysia. She made this announcement while she was speaking at the 12th Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka - Malaysia Business Council and the second Annual Sri Lanka - Malaysia Business Awards 2006 which took place at the Colombo Holiday Inn Hotel under the aegis of the Ceylon Chamber of Comerce (CCC).

SLTB will organise a special bus service

Sunil C.Perera - Reporting from Colombo

The Sri Lanka Transport Board has prepared a special transport schedule to ease the inconveniences faced by commuters due to the strike action that will be launched on Monday by several private bus owners associations. General Manager of SLTB S.R.Y. Peiris says the number of SLTB busses in operation will be raised from 3,200 to 4,200. Speaking to media he said the number of turns the busses operate will also be increased.

Sri Lanka manages getting new investments from Singapore

By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Financial Correspondent

Sri Lanka Economic and Investment Forum which was held recently at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Singapore in attracting more foreign investment to the country has been a success. During this investment round table meeting Sri Lankan contingent has managed to convince Singapore based Sri Lankan investor and well known jeweler W.A. de Silva to invest in developing the Ratnapura Gem Zone. Among the other investments confirmed were the Continental Group of Singapore in building an international standard mall in Colombo and putting-up a pharmaceuticals company in Sri Lanka. According to industry sources, the Sri Lankan contingent has also discussed with Singapore Government affiliated party on the development of Mega Trincomalee Zone with petroleum and infrastructure expansions in mind.

HSBC provides Internet Payment through Sri Lanka Telecom

By Quintus Perera – Asian Tribune

Sri Lanka Telecom and HSBC, collaborated to provide their customers the services of online bill payment system. Customers of Sri Lanka Telecom are now able to pay their bills online through the HSBC Internet Payment Gateway (IPG). HSBC's e-commerce solution enables Sri Lanka Telecom to accept any Visa or MasterCard credit card for online bill payments by logging on to the Sri Lanka Telecom website, www.slt.lk.

Export of aquatic plants, bulbs and ornamental fish will improve the living conditions of the rural masses - Local exporters

Sunil C. Perera, Reporting from Colombo

Leading ornamental fish and plant exporters say Sri Lanka could earn extra foreign income by exporting ornamental fish and Aquatic plants, which have a wide demand overseas. They further said that these exports would help to improve living conditions of the rural masses, which grow, collect and sell ornamental fish and plants to the exporters. The exporters said export of live ornamental products and aquatic plants have a very large market, but the government is not in a position to identify these new and existing money making resources.

Cornering North-east insurgents

By M Rama Rao - Syndicate Features

India is talking with Myanmar to clear out camps of Indian insurgents on its soil much in the manner that Bhutan did against ULFA some years ago. Both Isak-Muivah and the Khaplang groups of Naga underground, People’s Liberation Army of Manipur, United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and other North-east insurgent groups have about 15 camps along the India-Myanmar border from Arunachal Pradesh in the north to Mizoram in the south. They use these camps as sanctuaries and training bases. The Bhutan operation, it is worth recalling, was only partially successful. Many of the ULFA cadres managed to slip through the dragnet and escaped to Bangladesh.

Sinking ship

NAM

Douglas with Dr. Manmohan Singh

Eleven Muslim civilians butchered to death in Pottuvil

Eleven Muslim civilians were found butchered to death while one civilian was found still alive, at Rodwela, Pottuvil, located in the Amparai district, in the East of Sri Lanka. The dead bodies of the Muslim civilians were found by villagers who went in search of them. Initial reports said the victims have been hacked and chopped to death, according to villagers who found the bodies scattered lying around the sluice gate at Rodwela area, early this morning (18). According to reports Muslim civilians were reported missing since 16th September, as they went to repair an anicut at Rodwela.


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