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TNA appeals to strengthen Tamil-Muslim unity

Apr 17 (TN) TNA Trincomalee district parliamentarians Mr.R.Sampanthan and Mr.K.Thurairetnasingham Wednesday appealed to Tamils of Muttur area, south of Trincomalee, to work hard to safeguard and strengthen the support of Muslims in their areas. more..

Ambulances converted for private use, MP complains

Apr 17 (TN) Three of the eight ambulances given by the World Health Organization (WHO), have been converted to pleasure vehicles with their medical equipment removed and additional seats fitted, and are being used for private purposes by high level health officers of the Northeast Health Ministry, more..

Commander entertains Officer’s and other ranks to Tea

Apr 17 (SLA) A tea party rich with tradition oil cakes (kevum) and kiribath was hosted by the Commander of the Army Lt General L P Balagalle RWP RSP VSV USP ndc to mark the dawn of the Sinhala and Hindu new year 2003 at the Army Headquarters premises this morning. more..

Hakeem urges Premier to resolve Muttur crisis

Apr 17 (DM) SLMC leader and Minister Rauff Hakeem yesterday urged Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to personally visit Muttur immediately to defuse heightening tension in the area after a critical statement allegedly made by a UNP parliamentarian regarding the SLMC. more..

Sri Lanka wins Malaysian money

Apr 17 (BBC) Telekom Malaysia plans to almost double investment in its wholly-owned Sri Lankan mobile phone network, in one of the country's biggest foreign investments since the peace process began. more..

Sri Lanka focus on Rixon

Apr 17 (BBC) Australian Steve Rixon has emerged as clear favourite to become the new coach of the Sri Lankan national team. The former wicket-keeper is the only name remaining from the short-list drawn up by officials after John Bracewell and Graeme Ford ruled themselves out of contention. more..

Economic ties to dominate Dhaka-Colombo talks

Apr 17 (IB) Strengthening of Dhaka-Colombo bilateral economic ties would dominate the official talks between Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia and Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga to be held on April 20. more..

LTTE accuses Lanka of cheating Tamils

Apr 17 (HT) Tamil Guardian, a semi-official organ of the LTTE, has made the stunning accusation that the international conferences now being held to secure funds for the development of war-torn Sri Lanka, are not going to be of any use to the Tamil people because the funds are not meant to be disbursed in the Tamil-majority North Eastern province but in the Sinhala-majority South to bolster "Sinhala prospects". more..

Stocks rise on hopes for aid money

Apr 17 (Reuters) Stocks rose sharply on Thursday, led by Seylan Bank, as brokers said relief over the end of the war in Iraq and the prospect of aid money for the war-torn island fuelled buying in the market. more..

Special team to probe derailment on Batticaloa track

Apr 17 (DN) Highways and Transport Minister Tilak Marapana yesterday appointed a special team consisting of General Manager-Operations K. A. Premasiri and General Manager-Technical N. F. U. K. Fernando to determine the cause of the derailment of the inaugural train on the newly built track from Valachchenai to Batticaloa. more..

Lankan military grants leave to 10,000 troops

Apr 17 (AP) For the first time since Sri Lanka's civil war began two decades ago, the Jaffna Peninsula is now peaceful enough for the military to allow 10,000 soldiers based there to take off for the traditional new year, a spokesman said today. more..

US muddies the waters

Apr 17 (AT) The peace process seems to have hit choppy waters. While the threat of the LTTE to pull out of a crucial donor meet scheduled for June in Tokyo has set alarm bells ringing, it is the international community's declining interest in the peace process that is perhaps reason for greater concern. more..

Distress suicide triggers unrest in eastern Sri Lanka

Apr 17 (OW) Tension prevails in eastern Sri Lanka's communally sensitive Mutur village, following the suicide of the mother of a Muslim youth, who was allegedly abducted by the LTTE. On March 31, two Muslim traders M. Nazeem, 28 and M. Jabir, 30 were reportedly abducted on their way to Sampur, more..

South Asian issues to top president's Bangladesh visit

Apr 17 (AFP) South Asian regional issues will top the agenda when President Chandrika Kumaratunga visits Bangladesh this weekend, officials said Thursday. "We consider her two-day official visit from Saturday as important and significant as both Dhaka and Colombo share commonality on many issues," more..

EPRLF leader threatened

Apr 17 (SLA) EPRLF leader for AMPARA and BATTICALOA, RASIAH THURAIRATHNAM, had been threatened by three LTTE carders on 14 April 2003 around 7.45 a.m. while he was on his way to BATTICALOA hospital to see a patient. more..

Motor bicycle snatched by LTTE

Apr 17 (SLA) Two LTTE cadres who had come on peddle bicycles had demanded a motor bicycle from a civilian in the general area of KATHTHAKUDI about 06 km southeast of BATTICALOA town on 16 April 2003. more..

Civilian complains LTTE cadres assaulted him

Apr 17 (SLA) The civilian THANGAWELU JAYASEELAM of THALANKUDA who had admitted to BATTICALOA hospital had complained that he was assaulted by three LTTE cadres in the general area of KATHTANKUDI on 14 April 2003 around 9.30 p.m. more..

Abducted son's mother takes her own life

Apr 17 (SLA) The mother of a Muslim who went missing after he went to fetch some dry fish from the general area of SAMPOOR in un-cleared areas, has committed suicide on 15 April 2003. Two youths who went to buy some dry fish from the un-cleared area of SAMPOOR on 31 March 2003, failed to return home. more..

New Zealand captain Fleming says Colombo 'very hot'

Apr 17 (AP) New Zealand cricketers held their first practice session Thursday, getting a taste of the Sri Lankan capital's heat and humidity ahead of the first test, which starts April 25. "It is really very hot, We are trying to get accustomed as fast as possible." Stephen Fleming told reporters. more..

Muslim-Tamil tensions put East Sri Lanka on edge

Apr 17 (Reuters) Three men were shot dead on Thursday as authorities struggled to put a lid on rising communal tension on Sri Lanka's volatile east coast. Officials said five people were wounded in fighting between Muslims and Tamils in Muttur, after Muslims protested the alleged abduction of two youths by Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Batticaloa-Valaichenai train service suspended

Apr 17 (TN) Following three separate derailments within one week of resuming operation in the Batticaloa-Valaichenai stretch of the Colombo-Batticalo service, the train service to Batticaloa has been temporarily suspended, sources in Batticaloa said. more..

Undeterred by controls, Pt. Pedro celebrates tradition

Apr 17 (TN) Pt. Pedro is the oldest harbour town on the Jaffna peninsula’s sea coast. The Portuguese called the town Puntas das Padras (rocky point) on account of the reefs that line its coast. Tamils, however, still refer to it by its old name Paruththithurai (cotton port in Tamil). more..

Sri Lanka mulls new laws to tackle SARS

Apr 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka is planning to introduce new laws to quarantine suspected SARS patients and force them to undergo medical tests, officials here said. There have been no cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) detected in Sri Lanka, more..

Lalitha Kumara excels in Navision Friendship Cup

Apr 17 (PTI) BG Lalitha Kumara of Sri Lanka sounded a warning to his rivals, in the fifth Saarc Golf Championship, when he shot a brilliant round to win the men's 0-5 category in the the Navision Friendship Cup, the prelude to the fifth Saarc Golf Championship, which starts at the Delhi Golf Club from Friday. more..

Accidents on the rise on A-9 highway

Apr 17 (TN) Following the re-opening of the Jaffna-Kandy road (A-9) for traffic in 2002, there have been seventy-two vehicle accidents that resulted in eight deaths within the Kilinochchi division of the Tamil Eelam Police Service (TEPS), and accidents have increased in the first quarter of this year, more..

Curfew imposed in Muttur town, suburbs

Apr 17 (TN) Dusk to dawn curfew has been imposed in Muttur town and its suburbs following sporadic clashes between sections of Muslims and Tamils Thursday evening. Several incidences of violence have been reported from Palathoppur and Thoppur, police sources said. more..

BCCSL chairman calls for fresh elections

Apr 18 (CI) Sri Lanka cricket board chief, Hemaka Amarasuriya, hinted at fresh board elections on Thursday night, arguing that the time had come to end a two-year period of control by interim committees. more..

Misunderstanding led to Muttur row - Cader

Apr 18 (Island) It is our bounden duty and responsibility as Muslim leaders to protect the Muslim community and find relief when they are in grief," Cooperative Affairs Minister A.R.M. Abdul Cader told newsmen yesterday (16) briefing them on the Muttur mosque clash on the previous day. more..

52 Jaffna schools still occupied by SLA

Apr 18 (TN) Continued occupation of fifty-two government schools in Jaffna district by the Sri Lanka Army and delay by the officials of the Education Ministry to fill the more than six thousand Tamil medium teacher vacancies in northeast schools, are causing irreparable damage to Tamil children’s education in Jaffna, more..

EPDP cadre shot dead in Akkaraipattu

Apr 18 (TN) An unidentified gunman shot dead a prominent member of the EPDP in Akkaraipattu, 64 kilometres south of Batticaloa, Friday around 11.45 a.m. Police sources in the southeastern coastal town said. The EPDP cadre, Mr. Marimuthtu Rajalingam, 42, was the chairman of the Aalaiyadivembu Pradheshiya Sabha. more..

MUTTUR tension at night, under control

Apr 18 (SLA) Situation in the general area of MUTTUR was brought under control by Friday morning with the help of Security Forces and Police after hundreds of Muslims staged a protest campaign consequent to the death of a Muslim mother whose son had been allegedly abducted by LTTE. more..

Soldier died

Apr 18 (SLA) An Army soldier, attached to the Army camp in the general area of VAVUNIYA was drowned on 17 April 2003 around 9.30 a.m. in PEYADIKULAN tank at OMANTHAI area. Lance Corporal H. A. RAMBANDA was the victim. VAVUNIYA Police are conducting investigations.

LTTE chief 'faces threat to his life'

Apr 18 (Gulf) The chief Tamil guerrilla negotiator Anton Balasingham has claimed that the life of their leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is under threat from what he called certain "segments of the Sri Lanka security forces". more..

Sri Lanka starts new search for coach after string of refusals

Apr 18 (AP) Sri Lanka's cricket board has begun a new search for a coach following a string of refusals by top international candidates, officials said Friday. Former South African coach Graham Ford was the latest to decline the job, the cricket board said. more..

CD to make speaking Tamil easy

Apr 18 (IANS) A retired police officer has created an interactive CD to help one learn how to speak Tamil. The CD uses the Roman script to teach spoken Tamil. A. Rajamohan, a retired director general of the Tamil Nadu police, says he felt there was a need for an interactive method of teaching spoken Tamil. more..

300,000 residents re-settle in Northern villages

Apr 18 (DN) Nearly 10,000 to 12,000 people have been returning to their villages in the North each month from the start of this year, UNHCR resident representative Neill Wright said. Wright said some 271,000 people who had been displaced from their homes due to decades of war have already returned home following a ceasefire between the Government and the LTTE in February last year. more..

Mahapola: CBK, Ravi clash intensifies

Apr 18 (DM) Amidst allegations that President Chandrika Kumaratunga was withholding funds for Mahapola scholarships, an official at the President's office yesterday challenged the Government to get a ruling from the Attorney General as to who could do what with these funds. more..

Tax amnesty aims to curtail black economy

Apr 18 (Gulf) The government recently announced a generous tax amnesty in an effort to curtail the black economy which accounts for around 50 per cent of the country's economy. The exoneration declared not only frees many from their past offences but also many others from action already instituted against them. more..

Alleged killing of two Muslim youths proves peace for Muslims is distant - Subairdeen

Apr 18 (AT) Referring to the incident at Muttur, S. Subairdeen, leader of the Ashraff Congress yesterday said: "The alleged killing of two Muslim youths has once again proved the fact that peace for the Muslim minority in the east remains a distant dream." more..

My relations with PM horrendous: President

Apr 18 (PTI) Terming her relations with Prime Minister Ranil Wikremesinghe as "horrendous", President Chandrika Kumaratunge has said she was not sacking him as it would lead to political crisis and accused the Government of giving in "too much" to the demands of LTTE. more..

LTTE wants Sri Lanka to recognise its 'navy'

Apr 18 (HT) The LTTE is understood to have sought formal recognition of their "Sea Tigers", as a navy on par with the Sri Lankan navy. Informed sources told Hindustan Times that the Sea Tigers' commander, Col Soosai, had made this demand as part of a set of three proposals, for the prevention of clashes in the sea off the sensitive north eastern coast more..

Muslims, Tamils clash in eastern Sri Lanka

Apr 18 (Reuters) Muslim and Tamil mobs clashed in eastern Sri Lanka on Friday, witnesses said, as cabinet ministers met to solve the latest crisis threatening the island's peace bid ahead of a huge donors' meeting set for Tokyo. more..

Kiwis look forward to tough assignment in Sri Lanka

Apr 18 (AFP) New Zealand's cricketers are looking forward to a tough tour in Sri Lanka, manager Jeff Crowe has said here. The New Zealanders arrived here Wednesday for a two-match Test series and a triangular one-day international series with Pakistan and Sri Lanka. more..

Bombs and bullets rule Sri Lankan Muslim town

Apr 18 (AFP) Bomb explosions and gunfire drove fear into the Muslim community in this northeastern Sri Lanka town, a day after three people were killed and hundreds of homes destroyed by rioting mobs. more..

Troops called to stop rioting in Muslim town

Apr 18 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops fired in the air here Friday to separate rioting Muslim and Tamil mobs following inter-communal clashes overnight that killed three people and injured six. more..

AP Photo

Apr 18 (AP) A Sri Lankan ethnic Tamil, believed to be a member of the Tamil Tigers rebels, carries an injured colleague during an attack on Muslim villagers in Muttur on Friday more..

Curfew reimposed after grenade attack kills civilian

Apr 18 (TN) A Tamil civilian was killed and seven others were injured in a grenade attack on Friday afternoon near Kattaiparichchan bridge which separates army controlled and Liberation Tigers controlled area in Muttur east, police sources said. The curfew lifted Friday has been reimposed Friday afternoon immediately after the grenade attack. more..

Tamil rebels accused of gunning down rival party politician

Apr 18 (AFP) A political party Friday accused the Tamil Tiger rebels of killing a provincial politician in the country's troubled eastern province. A spokesman for the EPDP said that Marimuttu Rasalingam, a local councillor from the eastern Ampara district, was gunned down by suspected members of the LTTE. more..

Anuruddha challenges HC order refusing bail

Apr 19 (Island) The first accused in the Udatalawinna murder case, former Deputy Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte, has filed a petition of appeal challenging the legality of the majority order of the High Court-at-Bar refusing him bail. more..

SLA demands clarification on LTTE event held in school

Apr 19 (TN) The Sri Lankan Army’s regional headquarters in Vavuniya has sought clarification from the Director of the Vavuniya South Zonal Education Division and the principal of the Vavuniya Nelukulam Kalaimahal Maha Vidyalayam, as to how permission was granted to hold a commemoration ceremony of the LTTE at the school more..