The Web Sri Lanka In Focus

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Seven LTTE cadres killed

Four LTTE terrorists were killed in Army attacks in NAGARKOVIL, MUHAMALE today (22) in the morning.

Another three terrorists were killed when Army troops launched attacks on the Northern and Southern sides of the A- 9 road this morning.

source: MCNS

Sri Lanka Airforce bombs rebel radar station and center

The Sri Lankan Airforce here Saturday claimed a Tamil Tiger rebel radar station in the island's north was bombed and destroyed in an air strike.

Wing Commander Andy Wijesuriya, the Airforce spokesman said the air raids were carried out at 11 a.m. local time (0530 GMT) at Nayaru 300 kms northeast of Colombo.

In the second air raid which took place at 2.10 p.m local time (0840 GMT) a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) sea Tiger wing co-ordinating center located at Puthukudyiruppu in the Mullaithivu district was destroyed, the Airforce said.

The air raids came as a Sri Lankan Navy fast attack craft was destroyed in the early hours of Saturday in a sea mine explosion at Nayaru.

The explosion happened around 2 a.m. local time (2030 GMT). The Navy said six out of the 16 on board had survived the explosion while it had launched a search operation to find and rescue the rest of the sailors.

The LTTE rebels claimed that the Navy attack craft was destroyed by them where they lost three of their Black sea Tigers.

However the Navy rejected the rebel claim stating that there was no confrontation whatsoever in the areas.

The clashes are part of the ongoing military action in the north of the island in the separatist war waged by the LTTE rebels on behalf of the Tamil minority.


Ten Sailors Missing After Sinking Vessel In Sri Lanka

At least ten crew members from a Sri Lankan patrol boat are missing after their vessel exploded and sank off the country's northeast coast early on Saturday.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said they sank the navy fast attack craft (FAC) by using three suicide bombers who also perished, but the Sri Lankan navy said the vessel was destroyed in a sea mine blast.

Two navy fast attack craft, about 25 meters (82 feet) long and armed with heavy and light machine guns, were on a routine patrol when one was caught up in an explosion and sank, BBC reported.

The incident took place near Nayaru, 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of Colombo.

Six crew members of the vessel including the officer-in charge have been rescued and search operation is underway for other survivors, the Navy said.

The LTTE said it attacked and sunk the FAC between Mullaithivu and Nayaru. "Three Black Sea Tigers were killed in action," the pro-rebel website Tamilnet quoted LTTE sources in Wanni as saying.

Source: AHN

16 die in ground battle

Fierce combats in Sri Lanka convulsive northern region killed 14 Tamil rebels and two government soldiers, - SL Defense Ministry

Ship from Sri Lanka hits Bengal jetty

A ship carrying containers and construction equipment from Sri Lanka lost control Saturday and hit a Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) jetty near here. No one was injured in the accident. “The ship was coming from Colombo with heavy machineries and containers. On its way to Kolkata port, it lost control due to some technical problems and hit a jetty at Nurpur in South 24 Parganas district,” Kolkata Port Trust Chairman A.K Chanda told IANS.

He said the steering of the ship got jammed and the captain had no option but to stop it abruptly.

“The jetty was completely damaged but no human injury was reported in the incident,” Chanda said.


SL Navy craft caught in explosion off Mulaitivu

A Navy fast attack craft was caught up in an explosion off Nayaru, Mulaitivu early this morning. Six of the sixteen sailors on board were rescued following the incident. There was no confirmation if the explosion was caused by a sea mine or an attack.


LTTE attacking Indian fishermen, not Lankan Govt: SL Minister

Sri Lankan Minister for Highways Jayaraj Fernando today said the frequent attacks on Indian fishermen at the midsea were carried out by the banned LTTE and not by the Lankan Navy. In an informal chat with the newspersons here, he said it was only the LTTE, who attacked Indian fishermen. But they put the blame on Sri Lankan Navy to tarnish the image of Sri Lankan Government.

He said the Sri Lankan Government was keen on national integration within the island nation and not for any partition. ''We will not allow disintegration of the nation,'' he asserted.

He said the Sri Lankan Government was always ready for settling the ethnic issue through peaceful negotiations but the LTTE did not believe in these talks and instead they wanted to create problems in the island nation.

Citing an example, he said during the Geneva talks in 2006, while representing the island nation, he himself witnessed the non- cooperation of the LTTE.

He said the Indian Government, being fully aware of the activities of LTTE, was extending full support to the Sri Lankan Government on the issue


Tata Sky changes ad-revenue model

The advertisement revenue model on the direct to home (DTH) platform is changing in the country. Tata Sky, which has 1.8 million subscribers and claims to offer the largest amount of interactive content among the DTH players in the Indian market, has moved on to a new ad-revenue earning model. It is making a shift from the ‘flat fee’ model to the ‘cash per lead’ model for advertisements, which in simple words mean that while advertisers used to pay a flat amount for their ads for a specific duration, say Rs 10 lakh for 10 days, to get their ad beamed on the platform, now they will pay for the number of consumers who have shown interest in their products.

Companies like Samsung, Whirlpool, Tata Teleservices have already opted for the cash per lead model where details of their product are beamed for Tata Sky customers in form of two to three static pages and if the consumer is interested in the product, he/she is asked to send an SMS back to a number. For every such SMS generated, Tata Sky is charging the advertiser.

“We have introduced this new ‘cash per lead’ model on our interactive platform in January 2008. The core strength of this model is that the advertiser doesn’t witness any wastage. This model closes the loop as advertisers end up paying for only those customers who have evinced genuine interest in their product. It also drastically reduces their cost on advertisement,” Vikram Mehra, CMO, Tata Sky told FE. Tata Sky is in talks with segments like car manufacturers, telecom operators, mutual funds, insurance products and personal computer who have shown keen interest in the new model.

“Basically all products which have to communicate in greater details to the consumer will tremendously benefit from this model. Today, Tata Sky caters to 91% of DTH subscribers in Sec A and Sec B cities. That is the target audience for many niche products. Since the concept of cash per lead is new, the ad space buyers are also trying to understand it. But the response so far has been very encouraging.” Currently these ads are in form of static pages but Tata Sky plans to offer space for video ads in near future.


Sri Lanka Honors Arthur C. Clarke

Students, space enthusiasts, politicians and Buddhist monks paid respects Friday to the late science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke.

Clarke died Wednesday at age 90 after suffering breathing problems. His remains were put on display for public viewing at his home in Colombo, the capital of his adopted country Sri Lanka.

"He fascinated a lot of us into being interested in space and astronomy," said Kavan Ratnatunga, a Sri Lankan-born astronomer and long-time associate of the author.

Clarke won worldwide acclaim with more than 100 books on space, science and the future. He also founded the Astronomical Society of Ceylon in 1959, inspiring many youngsters by screening films of space mission launches, Ratnatunga said. Sri Lanka used to be known as Ceylon.

"He made us all proud by being with us, I became his fan by reading the '2001: A Space Odyssey' given to me by a friend," said Udana Marasinghe, a Colombo high school student who went to pay his respects Friday.

Born in western England on Dec. 16, 1917, Clarke earlier worked as a clerk and served in the Royal Air Force during World War 11 before moving to Sri Lanka in 1956.

Clarke's 1968 story "2001: A Space Odyssey" — written simultaneously as a novel and screenplay with director Stanley Kubrick — was a prophecy of artificial intelligence run amok.

Clarke was to be buried Saturday at Colombo's general cemetery in a plot owned by his friend and business partner with whom the writer lived for decades.

Source: AFP