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DateLine Thursday, 17 January 2008

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    News: Be resolute and calm in face of provocation - President ...            Political: Govt will continue peace effort, battle terror - Defence Spokesman ...           Business: Alba gets nod for car, truck assembling  ...            Sports: St. Anthony’s College colours awards on Saturday ...

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A barbaric act

The ceasefire formally ended yesterday. But the main highlight of the day was the LTTE’s twin attacks in Buttala which claimed the lives of 25 innocent civilians.

An argument has been put forward by some that the LTTE has intensified attacks against civilians and the Security Forces only after the Government pulled out of the ceasefire.

Nothing could be further from the truth as the LTTE has violated the Ceasefire Agreement more than 3,000 times. It attacked civilian buses in Kebithigollewa twice when the ceasefire prevailed. Several other attacks were committed against civilians during the ceasefire period.

The truth is that the LTTE does not need an excuse for its barbaric attacks. The attack in Buttala once again proves the LTTE’s ruthlessness.

Defence analysts have said that the LTTE, reeling from successive military defeats in the North and the East, has shifted its focus to ‘soft’ targets such as civilian buses and unescorted military buses to keep up the morale of its depleting cadres and also ‘prove’ to the Tamil diaspora that it is still active despite setbacks.

Another aim of the LTTE to shift the attention of the Forces away from the main theatre of operations to Southern areas to stretch their manpower resources.

It is clear that the LTTE also wants to see an ethnic backlash in order to gain international sympathy, a la 1983. The Southern population has exercised utmost calm and restraint so far in the face of such attacks.

No room should be left for such an eventuality. It must be borne in mind that most Tamils are living among the Sinhalese and Muslims in absolute harmony. This will be the bedrock of attempts at peace and reconciliation.

This is why the authorities should expedite the re-integration into society of the Eastern civilians liberated from the LTTE in the Eastern Province. The Eastern Resurgence programme will literally give them a new lease of life.

With the Government and the Security Forces planning to liberate the Wanni civilians too from the grip of the LTTE, there will be a new window of opportunity for the country to achieve peace and reconciliation.

It is in this context that the All Party Representative Committee must strive to arrive at draft proposals acceptable to all. We have been told their proposals would be ready by next week.

Their objective should be presenting a set of proposals which will drive the people in LTTE-dominated areas further away from the terrorist outfit and isolate it completely in the international arena.

Public vigilance is the need of the hour as terrorists are waiting to create mayhem in the South, as exemplified by yesterday’s attack. The Security Forces cannot be everywhere, all the time and members of the public must keep an eye on what goes around them.

That parcel kept next to you in the bus may be a bomb. It is the civilians’ duty to inform the security authorities if they come across any suspicious persons, parcels or vehicles. Such cooperation is essential in the battle to eliminate terrorism from our land.


Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa. Who hasn’t heard of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous portrait ? Although the original is on display at the Louvre in Paris, Mona Lisa reproductions adorn millions of homes worldwide. The main draw of the masterpiece is the enigmatic, everlasting smile.

But until now, no one really knew who Da Vinci’s 16th century ‘model’ was. Various names have been proposed by art historians. The most ‘popular’ candidate was Lisa del Gheradini, wife of Francesco de Giocondo, a Florentine merchant.

Now experts at the Heidelberg University have conformed “once and for all” that the portrait indeed depicts Lisa. Another clue was that the painting is known in Italy as “La Gioconda” (joyful woman in Italian), which also suggests a link to the merchant.

This is indeed a groundbreaking discovery that should end the raging debate on the identity of da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. It was one of the greatest mysteries of the art world. The final proof came in the form of notes scribbled by a close associate of the artist in 1503.

Exactly 504 years later, the world has finally discovered the woman who flashed that captivating smile.

It is a triumph for the admirers of Mona Lisa all over the world. There is no doubt that more visitors will be queuing up at the Louvre in Paris to catch a fleeting glimpse of Lisa, the Florentine woman who ignited a flame of passion that still shines brightly, 500 years on.

Govt mobilising all stakeholders to evolve sustainable peace - Foreign Minister

The international community will positively look at the Government’s efforts in countering terrorism in the event of abrogation of the CFA. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Government sincerely believes in ending the war with a political solution to have sustainable peace.

Full Story

Great disciplinarian who respected true values

Ven. Baddegama Wimalawansa Anunayake Thera’s death anniversary falls today

The Anunayake Thera was a multidimensional and multifaceted personality who adorned everything whatever he touched and undertook, and infused new life into it and made it living institution. In all spheres such as working for people and reforming the society we could see the imprint of his personality and the versatility of his genius.

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The global food crisis

WITH empty shelves in Caracas, food riots in West Bengal, Mexico, Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal and Yemen, warnings of hunger in Jamaica, Nepal, the Philippines and sub-Saharan Africa, soaring prices of basic foods all around the globe have brought into light a looming global food crisis.

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