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Muslim MPs meet PM

Apr 4 (IL) The five parliamentarians from the Athaullah faction will meet Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday evening to request him to recognize them as an Independent group. more..

IOM opens branch in Jaffna

Apr 4 (TN) The International Immigration Organisation (IOM) opened a branch office in Jaffna Friday. The IOM is involved in research and prevention of migrant trafficking, assists voluntary return of rejected asylum seekers, trafficked migrants, stranded students and refugees referred by the UNHCR. more..

Sangakkara's maiden ton helps SL post 223/6

Apr 4 (AFP) Kumar Sangakkara hit a maiden one-day century as Sri Lanka recovered to post 223-6 from 50 overs against Pakistan in the Sharjah Cup here on Friday. The left-hander overcame his modest form at the World Cup, where Sri Lanka reached the semi-finals, to make an unbeaten 100 off 111 balls more..

Peace and Development

Apr 4 (WB) As Sri Lanka stands at a critical juncture of its history, the World Bank this week discussed a new strategy to support the government’s development objectives, organized around three central themes: Peace, Growth, and Equity. more..

Lankan air force seeks more training from US

Apr 4 (AP) Sri Lanka has asked the United States to train more of its air force officers, the country's air chief said on Friday. Air force commander Air Marshal Donald Perera said he had made the request to visiting US Pacific Air Force commander Gen. William Begert during a meeting on Friday. more..

Chandrika coming to India on April 7

Apr 4 (PTI) Developments in the peace talks with the LTTE, the Iraq situation and a host of other issues are expected to figure during talks Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunge will have with Indian leaders on her four-day working visit commencing from April 7. more..

LTTE accuses US of undermining Sri Lanka peace bid

Apr 4 (PTI) Sri Lanka's LTTE rebels today accused the US of undermining the Norwegian peace efforts in the country by keeping the Tamil Tigers out of a conference to drum up aid from foreign donors to support reconstruction efforts in the island's north and east. more..

Swamy against inviting LTTE to conference in Sri Lanka

Apr 4 (ZN) The Janata Party president Dr Subramanian Swamy today said that inviting the LTTE to a "donor countries" conference in Sri Lanka in June next to raise funds for reconstruction of the island country would amount to an unfriendly act. more..

Pakistan complete tense seven-wicket win against Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (CI) Pakistan's batsmen had put in a scratchy display in the Sharjah Cup opener, but today they got their act together, chasing down a target of 224 to register their second win in consecutive days. The win gave Pakistan five points to add to the six they took yesterday, making them firm favourites to reach the final. more..

Reconstruction of Chavakachcheri town discussed

Apr 5 (TN) Proposals to reconstruct the Chavakachcheri town in Thenmaradchchi division in Jaffna district were tabled Friday at a conference attended by the Regional Director General of the Planning and Operation unit of the Urban Development Authority (UDA) Mr.K.V. Dharmasiri. more..

Swiss group awards certificates to de-mining personnel

Apr 5 (TN) Forty persons who underwent a training program in de-mining organised by Swiss based Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) were awarded with certificates at a function held in Vavuniya Friday. more..

Koneswaram water-cutting ceremony draws devotees

Apr 5 (TN) The water cutting ceremony ('Theertha Thiruvizah') of the historic Trincomalee Koneswaram temple was held Friday morning at the 'Papanasa Theertham' (holy water that destroys sins) well, which is located inside the Fort Frederick in the Eastern port town. more..

Indian dhow with refugees arrested

Apr 5 (TN) An Indian dhow with twenty-eight persons (Twenty five Sri Lankans and Three Indians) on board was taken in to custody by Naval troops on routine petrol in general sea area of URUMALAI on 04 April 2003 around 01.00 p.m. more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Apr 5 (SLA) One thousand one hundred and twenty nine lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 28 March 2003 - 03 April 2003. more..

Mangala accuses GL of treachery

Apr 5 (DM) The SLFP spokesman Mangala Samaraweera yesterday threatened to take Minister G.L.Peiris to custody no sooner they assume power for being a "traitor" and urged him to disclose their stand on a permanent solution to the ethnic conflict before going in for a referendum on a peace bill to which Anton Balasingham too has registered his strong opposition. more..

LTTE Eastern command recommends to hand over extorted agricultural lands

Apr 5 (DN) The LTTE Eastern command has recommended to its hierarchy to hand over the agricultural lands they extorted from the Muslims in the East, the SLMM sources said yesterday. The LTTE Eastern leadership has made this recommendation following a discussion held with a Muslim delegation in the Vavunathivu Divisional Secretariat last Friday. more..

First Dip

Apr 5 (LBO) The World Bank is expected to release the first US$ 100 mn tranche from its poverty reduction strategy to the government in early June. The funds come under the broader agenda of the bank’s country assistance programme for US$ 800 mn spread over a four-year period. more..

Look Out

Apr 5 (LBO) Media institutions who carry advertisements for financial institutions that promise unrealistic returns may be liable for damages if they later fail to deliver, a top legal expert warned. more..

60 Filipino and Sri Lankan children get outpasses

Apr 5 (Gulf) About 50 Filipino and 10 Sri Lankan children and their single mothers have been issued outpasses to benefit from the amnesty and leave the country without any penalty. According to officials at the two embassies these cases involved children and mothers without legal marriage certificates. more..

Tamil Tigers to study Finnish autonomous region of Aaland

Apr 5 (AFP) Leading members of the Tamil Tigers movement are set to visit Finland's Swedish-language island province of Aaland to learn about its self-rule and demilitarized status, officials said on Friday. more..

Sangakkara provides spunky riposte to selectors

Apr 5 (CI) Ok, we lost, but the result was of less significance than the performance of Kumar Sangakkara, who played his finest one-day innings, fully justifying his last-minute inclusion into the squad. more..

Suspected SARS virus case found in Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (AFP) A suspected case of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has been detected at Colombo's international airport, officials said Saturday. A Filipino crew member of a Middle Eastern airline which flew into Bandaranaike airport early Saturday was suspected of having symptoms of the disease. more..

SAF Games may be moved to Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (PTI) The ninth South Asian Federation Games, which has been postponed thrice due to different reasons, may be shifted from Pakistan to Sri Lanka, top officials said today. more..

Colombo wants to create illusion of a political settlement– Karuna

Apr 6 (TN) “We should be mindful that we are living in the information age. Information technology has grown tremendously. Our information skills should be on par with this growth. The information revolution can be put to wrong uses too. more..

UPF holds peace campaign in Colombo

Apr 6 (TN) The Upcountry People's Front (UPF), a constituent party of the ruling UNF Saturday morning picketed in front of the Fort railway station, in the heart of Colombo, supporting the present peace process and condemning the activities of anti-peace elements. more..

JVP observes 71’ insurrection day

Apr 6 (TN) The JVP Saturday observed the 32nd anniversary of its first insurrection to overthrow the Sri Lankan government. On 5 April 1971, the JVP launched an armed insurrection to capture state power and to establish a communist regime in Sri Lanka. more..

Indian boatmen ferrying refugees arrested

Apr 6 (TN) Sri Lanka Police produced in the Mannar courts Saturday 23 refugees who had come by boat from the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Sources said that the Sri Lanka Navy had arrested them Friday morning and had assaulted the men in the group after allegedly finding gelignite in the possession of one of them. more..

Tamil villages without post boxes

Apr 6 (TN) Several Tamil villages in the Trincomalee district are not provided with post boxes. Villagers are forced to walk several miles to the nearby villages to post their letters, complained Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Mr.K.Thurairetnasingham in a letter to the Posts and Media Minister Mr.Imtiaz Bakeer Markar. more..

Chaminda Vaas forced out of Sharjah Cup

Apr 6 (CI) Sri Lanka's star fast bowler Chaminda Vaas has been forced out of the ongoing Sharjah Cup quadrangular with an injured right ankle. The left-armer, the leading wicket-taker in the World Cup with 23 scalps, will return home to Colombo to receive treatment before a two-Test series with New Zealand. more..

PM's referendum move that has sent opposition into panic mode

Apr 6 (SL) While Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was mapping out his strategy for a referendum to get the people's support for the ongoing peace process, President Chandrika Kumaratunga moved last week to allay the increasing scepticism of the diplomatic community that she was out to wreck the process. more..

JVP won’t accept PA’s 2000 draft

Apr 6 (SL) The JVP has informed the SLFP that the party will not support the devolution of power envisaged in the PA’s 2000 draft constitution, a top JVP party source said. Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapakse has said that the JVP should support the draft constitution if it is to enter into an alliance with the SLFP. more..

Rising incidents of poaching by foreign fishermen : Navy steps up vigilance

Apr 6 (SO) The Navy has been ordered to intensify patrolling off the Northern coastal waters to prevent poaching by foreign fishing trawlers, Defence Secretary Austin Fernando told the Sunday Observer. more..

Navy chief convinced Tigers sank own ship

Apr 6 (Island) Navy Commander Vice Admiral Daya Sandagiri is convinced that a Tiger-owned tanker intercepted by the navy off Mullaitivu last month was sent down to the bottom of the sea by flooding the ship. more..

Jayawardene and DeSilva take Sri Lanka into semi-finals

Apr 6 (CI) With South Africa already out of reckoning for a semi final place, and with Sri Lanka needing to win this encounter this match soon took on added significance. The South Africans were determined to give the Sri Lankans a decent total to chase, and tried to keep the scoreboard ticking. more..

Greater inclusiveness in Sri Lankan talks mooted

Apr 6 (Hindu) The Nobel laureate, John Hume, co-winner of the peace prize for conflict resolution in Northern Ireland, on Thursday said the Sri Lankan peace process "is in an advanced stage" and called for greater inclusiveness in the negotiations. more..

A9 opens for traffic on Sundays

Apr 6 (TN) The A9 highway to Jaffna will be open for public traffic on Sundays, starting today, Sri Lanka military sources said. The road was opened last year following the cease fire agreement between the LTTE and Colombo. But it remained closed on Sundays despite pleas by the Tigers to keep it open 7 days of the week. more..

LTTE delegation completes Norway, Sweden and Finland visits

Apr 6 (TN) Members of the Liberation Tigers’ Political Affairs Committee Sunday completed the first week of a tour to several Scandinavian countries to study federal structures and good governance, by boarding a ferry to the Aaland islands in northern Europe. more..

Jaffna agricultural farming unprofitable, Minister learns

Apr 6 (TN) Jaffna district farmers Saturday made an urgent appeal to the visiting Deputy Finance Minister of the UNF government Mr. Bandula Gunawardene to take immediate steps to allow them to cultivate their fertile lands now being occupied by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) said. more..

Second SGI meeting held in Kilinochchi

Apr 6 (TN) The Sub-Committee on Gender Issues (SGI), established during the third round of negotiations between the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka in December 2002, held its second meeting in Kilinochchi on April 4 and 5. more..

TN: "Lankan peace talks should continue"

Apr 6 (PTI) DMK President M Karunanidhi, said today the peace talks between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE should continue without any hindrance. "I want the peace talks to continue," he told reporters here when asked for his comments on the Sri Lankan Government's proposal to conduct a referendum on the talks. more..

Travel agencies selling British visas?

Apr 6 (ST) More evidence is emerging on the alleged scandal over the issue of visas at the British High Commission with claims that some of the applicants who had not been eligible had passed through strict visa formalities at the mission, while others who had better documentary proof had been rejected. more..

Kumaratunga begins four-day visit to India on Monday

Apr 6 (PTI) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga begins a four-day visit to India on Monday, with peace talks, the Iraq situation and a host of other issues expected to figure in talks with the Indian leaders. more..

Six mn euros to resettle displaced Sri Lankans

Apr 6 (IANS) The European Commission has granted aid worth six million euros to resettle Sri Lankans who were internally displaced or sought refuge in India's Tamil Nadu state due to ethnic strife in the island nation. more..

Peace talks will top Kumaratunga's India visit

Apr 6 (IANS) President Kumaratunga will begin a four-day visit to India Monday to discuss bilateral issues as well as peace talks with the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. She will meet Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, opposition leader Sonia Gandhi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalitha during her visit. more..

Sri Lanka through to Double Wicket Championship final

Apr 6 (CI) With the competition now down to the semi finals, and each team needing to win in order to advance to the finals and a chance at sharing a whopping US $65,000.00, with the runners up receiving US $30.000.00, today's action promises to be exciting, if not fast-paced. more..

Jayasuriya confirms resignation after Sharjah

Apr 6 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya has confirmed that the ongoing four-nation Sharjah Cup will be his last tournament as captain. Jayasuriya, interviewed by TEN Sports during Sri Lanka's second game against Kenya, believes the time has come to look to the future and hand over leadership. more..

Sars threat puts Sri Lanka tour at risk

Apr 7 (NZH) The New Zealand team, having already abandoned visits to Pakistan and Kenya because of terrorist fears, are now being threatened by a less visible complication - the Sars virus. more..

Sri Lanka gain revenge for Kenyan World Cup shock

Apr 7 (CI) Another beautifully-paced century from Kumar Sangakkara - his second in succession, making him the 35th batsman to achieve the feat - inspired Sri Lanka to an emphatic 129-run victory over Kenya at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. more..

Jayasuriya delighted with emphatic victory

Apr 7 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya praised his side after they exacted sweet revenge on the Kenyans for their shock defeat in World Cup with an emphatic 129-run win on Sunday. Sri Lanka needed to win to keep their Sharjah Cup hopes alive but, just as importantly, wanted to set the record straight after their Nairobi humiliation. more..

Meeting with Jayalalitha to begin Chandrika’s India visit today

Apr 7 (Isdland) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga will begin her four-day "working visit" to India on Monday with a meeting with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalitha in Chennai (Madras). more..