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US exempts Sri Lanka and 6 others from sanctions of Iranian oil imports

The Obama administration on Monday has exempted Sri Lanka India and five other nations from U.S. economic sanctions after they significantly reduced their imports of Iranian oil.

Washington Post reports that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also granted waivers to Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Taiwan, meaning that banks and other financial institutions based there won’t be hit with penalties under U.S. law for a renewable 180-day period.


Gale force winds blow away roofs

Gale force winds swept through Matara, Hambantota and Gampaha on Tuesday night and early yesterday morning causing severe damage to 88 buildings

Deputy Director of Media at the Disaster Management Centre, Sarath Lal Kumara told The Island that the affected buildings were partially damaged but one house in Ranna was completely destroyed.


President's signature to bring about Fonseka's release

It has been learnt that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has signed papers for the release of jailed former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka.
The papers are expected to be sent to the Ministry of Justice on Monday.


I know the identity of the LTTE activist who killed my parents 22 years ago

If I name him my three children could lose their father - Arun Thambimuttu

Political activist from Batticaloa, Arun Thambimuttu has been threatened, abused and called as a ‘traitor’ by pro-LTTE lobbyists in the UK after he spoke at the Frontline Club debate on Sri Lanka last week.

While BBC Hardtalk host Stephen Sackur chaired the debate, journalist, filmmaker and director of both Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields and Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished, Callum Macrae, spokesperson for Tamils Aginst Genocide (TAG), Jan Jananayagam, Amnesty International’s Sri Lanka researcher, Yolanda Foster and adviser to the President on Reconciliation Professor, Rajiv Wijesinha MP were amongst the speakers.


Those who turned blind eye to LTTE atrocities now call for govt. accountability

Reacting to Global Tamil Forum (GTF) and Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) combining forces against the GoSL, Sri Lanka’s war time External Affairs Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama emphasized that none of those shedding crocodile tears for Tamil civilians caught in the cross-fire dared to pressure the LTTE over despicable use of human shields on the Vanni East front.

Those involved in the GTF, TGTE et al remained silent as long as they felt the LTTE could halt the multi-pronged army advance and launch a counter-offensive of its own, Bogollagama told The Sunday Island in a brief interview yesterday.


Sarath Fonseka to be freed? Speculation rife

Can happen later this week according to rumours

There was intense speculation yesterday that General Sarath Fonseka, the former Army Commander now serving a term of imprisonment, may be released in the next few days but there was no official confirmation that this would in fact be so.

"There had been indications that Fonseka whose bail application to the Supreme Court will be taken up later this month may be released as early as this week," one well informed source said.

However, observers and analysts said that such speculation had previously occurred several times in recent months – during the November anniversary of the President’s election, January 1, the Sinhala and Hindu New Year period and Wesak.

Fonseka is currently under treatment at the Nawaloka Hospital for a lung condition having won a court order that this facility should be made available to him.

In terms of his sentence, his term of imprisonment runs till July 2013.


Geneva: Lanka fails to beat the odds

Resolution amended again at India’s  behest to include key operative words, ‘in  consultation with and with the concurrence of the government of Sri Lanka

The US resolution on Sri Lanka was adopted by the UNHRC yesterday in Geneva with a majority of nine votes––24 for, 15 against and 8 abstaining.

Although India succumbed to US pressure to vote for the resolution, key Asian countries, including those representing SAARC and two UN Security Council members voted against it.

Although India had never voted for a ‘country specific’ resolution, the US and the Tamil Nadu politicians pressured the Manmohan Singh government to change the country’s position.

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