SRILANKA TODAY

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More funds form Japan to uplift Damabana Hospital

More funds form Japan to uplift Damabana Hospital

The Government of Japan has decided to provide funds for “The Project for Establishment of a New Maternity and Dental Units at the Damabana Hospital, Badulla District” be implemented by the Regional Director of Health Services Office, Badulla.
The grant contract will be signed between Kunio Takahashi, Ambassador of Japan and Dr. Neelamani S.R. Hrwageegana, Regional Director of Health Services Office, Bandulla on Wednesday 21st October 2009, at the Embassy of Japan Colombo 7.

Colombo Stockmarket record declines

Colombo Stockmarket record declines
Declines in the prices of large cap stocks brought down the indices at the Colombo Stock Exchange with the more sensitive MPI losing 151 points (-4.34 percent) to close at 3,327. The broader market index the ASPI lost 100 points (-3.24 percent) to close at 2983.

EU Commission statement on Sri Lanka GSP+ report -Brussels, 19 October 2009

EU Commission statement on Sri Lanka GSP+ report -Brussels, 19 October 2009
Following the adoption of a report on Sri Lanka and GSP+ treatment, the European Commission spokesperson for Trade, Lutz G├╝llner, issued the following statement :
(Lanka-e-News 20.Oct.2009 12.45PM) "The Commission has completed a thorough investigation into the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and in particular whether Sri Lanka is living up to the commitments it made to respect international human rights standards when it became a beneficiary of the European Union's GSP+ trade incentive scheme which provides for additional trade benefits.The report comes to the conclusion that there are significant shortcomings in this area and that Sri Lanka is in breach of its GSP+ commitments.

Four dead, 20 injured in IIUI twin blasts

Four dead, 20 injured in IIUI twin blasts

ISLAMABAD, Oct 20 (APP): Four persons were killed while 20 persons were injured in twin suicide blasts at IIUI, Police Spokesman informed APP here on Tuesday. Quoting DIG Operations Binyamin, the police spokesman said both the blasts were “suicide”, killing at least four people - three female and one male.
Chief Commissioner Islamabad Fazeel Asghar said the blasts could not be dubbed as security lapse as the police had taken all possible safety measures.
He said investigation was underway. He also avoided questions on identification of the responsible, saying it would be premature to fix responsibility of the blasts.

No need of foreign army assistance in operation against terrorists: Information and Broadcasting Minister Kaira

Pakistan
No need of foreign army assistance in operation against terrorists: Information and Broadcasting Minister Kaira

ISLAMABAD, Oct 19 (APP): Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Qamar Zaman Kaira Monday said Pakistan does not need any foreign army or intelligence assistance on its side of border in the on going operation against terrorists. In a joint briefing with Director General, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj General Athar Abbas regarding operation in South Waziristan here, he said Pakistan’s Armed Forces with complete support of nation are capable enough to achieve the targeted results within stipulated timeframe.
He said Pakistan Armed Forces have launched operation Rah e Nijjat after a thorough preparation and within their own resources and expressed the confidence that they would succeed.
He commended their courage and bravery in Swat and Malakand operation, saying the networks of terrorists were smashed there as development work would soon start in the area.
Answering a question, Information Minister, Qamar Zaman Kaira said the government took all political parties and groups into confidence before launching operation in South Waziristan.He said so far 14,500 Internally Displaced Families of Waziristan have been registered and they are being provided food items. Soon they would be provided non food items as well, he added.Giving break up of registered IDP families, he said around 11,000 were already registered while 3500 families were newly registered.The Minister said the government realizes the sufferings of IDPs and would manage finances from its own resources for their betterment. He said the government has always kept the door for dialogue open and added Swat peace deal was a proof of the government’s commitment to settle issues through talks, but our agreements were violated in the past.The Minister said the dialogue with extremists cannot be initiated at this stage and they should surrender themselves first.“The terrorists in Waziristan are anti state and talks with them can only be held after their voluntary surrender,” he said. Answering another question, Qamar Zaman Kaira said Pakistanis are very generous people and usually donate to different charity organisations, but people do not know if any organisation uses this money for negative purposes. He said that is why the government has introduced money laundering laws to check misuse of donations.


Objectives of Rah e Nijat being achieved successfully: DG ISPR

ISLAMABAD, Oct 19 (APP):
The aims and objectives during ongoing Operation Rah e Nijat in South Waziristan Agency are being achieved successfully due to armed forces effective planning, Director General Inter Services Public Relations Major General Athar Abbas said. Briefing media persons about the details of ongoing operation in South Waziristan Agency here on Monday, he said that they were ahead of their objectives according to the set time frame. He said the operation is being carried out with the resources available to them without relying upon any support from outside.
Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira, Principal Information Officer Rashid Ahmed Chaudary, Director General External Publicity Wing and a senior representative of Special Support Group (SSG) were also present.Director General ISPR said the armed forces during the last 60 hours, since the formal launch of the operation have entered 15 kilometers inside Mehsud dominated areas by adopting three pronged advancement strategy. He said the area around Kotkai heights, a home town of Qari Hussain, the notorious mastermind of suicide attacks has been secured.He said forces have also reached Kaskai feature, which is north of Kund and West of Kotaki besides securing Tor Ghundai feature (east of Kotkai) and Shishwarm (north east of Kotaki), overlooking town of Kotkai.Responding to a question he said the effective planning included laying of siege and lethal air strikes weakening terrorists’ positions, including effectively engaging the peaks where Anti Aircraft Guns were installed.About time frame of ongoing operation, he said definitely they have atimeframe in their mind but would not disclose it for the time being and any of divulgence of the fact may cause misunderstandings.To a query about the number of terrorists present in the area, DG ISPR replied that their number was estimated to be around 5,000 to 10,000 with foreign elements in their ranks.Moreover, the Director General ISPR said, majority of the people were forced to join their ranks, who could leave the terrorist outfit as and when they got an opportunity to run away.“Any high value target of foreign origin, if found among the terrorists present in the area, would definitely be targeted,” he said.Presently, the high value target was the terrorists’ leadership that has been marshaling its foot soldiers, he added.To another question, he said the operation was launched at an appropriate time.About the level of force deployment, he said the planners of the operation had decided the numbers under a well thought out plan, taking into account all factors including the nature of the terrain.Answering a question regarding strategy of the terrorists, he said that so far they have been occupying certain mountain peaks and their other hideouts were scattered in the area. About possible supply of arms and ammunition to terrorists from across the border, he said arms and ammunition were being supplied from Afghanistan and the confiscated arms and ammunition included Russian made weapons. About suspected Indian involvement, DG ISPR said, “Foreign intelligence agencies never leave their footprints; we have seized arms but you cannot say that it was truckloads of ammunition. Moreover funding for terrorists elements can also be arranged through various untraceable means.” “We have always emphasized the need for better steps on the other side of the border to block any possible movement of such elements and supply of arms. This can be achieved by setting up of biometrics system and establishment of check posts on the other side as we have already placed such system on our side,” the DG ISPR said. He said that the security forces know that splinter groups existed but their main training ground is located in South Waziristan Agency where the banned organization (TTP) has established its own writ. So, Operation was imperative to make state functionaries work in the area, where the terrorists had also subjugated the local tribesmen, Major General Athar Abbas said.Replying to a question regarding process of dialogue with militant commanders like Maulvi Nazir in Wana, he said the tactics was meant to isolate the main terrorists organization.He said there was no harm in negotiating with such elements to isolate the top terrorists leadership. The terrorists had taken positions on mountain heights with anti aircraft guns but their bastions were effectively targeted and that was why they had deserted the places, he said.Major General Abbas said main areas had been thoroughly surrounded with deployment of armed forces. He however did not rule out possibility ofindividuals sneaking here and there. Giving further details about the operation, he said in the last 24 hours 18 terrorists were killed in South Waziristan Agency while two soldiers embraced shahadat and twelve others were injured. Two ammunition dumps were blown up alongwith 1 x 14.5 mm and 1 x 12.7 mm gun positions at Spin Ghara, he added. He said on Shakai Ladha axis, positions were being consolidated after securing Sherwangi. Parameter of security was being enhanced around Wuzi Sar and Boya Narai. Stiff resistance was faced by security forces in Sherwangi where after heavy fighting, a number of terrorists were killed and their positions captured.One post of 12.7 mm Anti Aircraft gun was vacated by terrorists without fighting, he added.DG ISPR said security forces were also consolidating their positions in the south and south west of Razmak. Rocket fire was received from the direction of Makeen injuring one soldier.Arms and ammunition dumps in the caves between Ladha and Makeen had been destroyed by precision air targeting, he said, adding that terrorists fired rockets at Shakai fort but there was no loss of life.

Twin blasts rocked International Islamic University

Twin blasts rocked International Islamic University

ISLAMABAD, Oct 20 (APP)
Twin blasts rocked International Islamic University on Tuesday at around 3:15pm injuring 13 students and killing a female student on the spot. As per hospital sources, eleven females and two male injured were admitted to PIMS while a body of a female was also brought to the hospital.
Dr Wasim Khawaja, spokesman of PIMS, informed that two human limbs and a head were also brought to the hospital while some of the injured were in critical condition.
The first blast rocked girls section of the university while the second occurred in the cafeteria