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Four more refugees arrive in TALAI MANNAR

Dec 16 (SLA) Four Sri Lankan refugees arrived from INDIA surrendered to TALAI MANNAR Police on 14 December 2003 around 7.30 p.m. These four refugees, alleged to have been brought ashore by Indian fishermen, were to be delivered to Government Agent in MANNAR. more..

Thirst for coffee grows in Sri Lanka

Dec 16 (AP) Sri Lanka's tea, famed as among the world's best for more than a century and still the country's top export earner, now has keen competition from frothy cappuccinos, milky lattes and dark espressos. more..

Gloom in Saddam's Sri Lanka village

Dec 16 (BBC) As many Iraqis celebrate the capture of their former leader Saddam Hussein, a state of gloom has descended upon a Sri Lankan village. The village of Saddam Hussein, just north of the city of Batticaloa on the island's east coast, owes its survival - and its name - to the man now facing trial for crimes against his countrymen. more..

Time to step in

Dec 16 (TT) If India is to ease the Lanka crisis, it needs to stop demanding Pirabhakaran’s head, reiterate the truths of the Sattahip meet and urge dialogue between the warring parties, writes JK DUTT ‘What should India do in the context of the crisis in Sri Lanka?” more..

The political crisis in Sri Lanka: the way forward for the working class

Dec 16 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) is holding a public meeting in Colombo to examine the roots of the present crisis of bourgeois rule in Sri Lanka and to advance an alternative socialist perspective for the working class. more..

Feuding leaders agree to continue talks

Dec 16 (Gulf) Sri Lanka's feuding leaders agreed yesterday to press on with talks aimed at reaching a compromise on how to share power and restart a peace process with Tamil rebels despite the passing of a deadline for a deal. more..

India's Satyam Implements Sap at Sri Lanka's Eagle Insurance

Dec 16 (AP) Satyam Computer Services Ltd (BSE:SATY) said that it has successfully implemented SAP at Eagle Insurance, one of Sri Lanka's leading companies. more..

England and its players should heed warning

Dec 16 (F2) There is much to admire about Nasser Hussain but the former England captain got it badly wrong in the latest Test against Sri Lanka. Whatever he might think about Muttiah Muralitharan's bowling action, for the good of his team and cricket in general he would have been better advised to keep his lips buttoned. more..

England out to exploit Sri Lanka frustrations

Dec 16 (Reuters) England go into the third and deciding test in buoyant mood despite having been dominated by their Sri Lankan opponents in the first two matches. more..

No probe into Kirtley action

Dec 16 (BBC) International Cricket Council referee Clive Lloyd has insisted he has not asked for video footage of England bowler James Kirtley. The fast bowler has re-modelled his action after being reported in 2001. more..

US have no right to arrest Saddam Hussein - JVP

Dec 16 (AT) US have no right to take into custody Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq. It is a violation of international Law, castigates People’s Liberation Front. more..

Buddhist Demand Investigation Into the mysterious Death of Venerable Soma

Dec 16 (AT) The influential Buddhist organization, Maharagama Sasana Sevaka Samithiya and the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress demanded a full investigation into the sudden death of Venerable Soma, who died in St. Petersburg, Russia, under mysterious circumstances while being hosted by a Sri Lankan fundamentalist Christian priest Rev. Shanthi Pushpakumara Jayasekera. more..

LTTE rules out foreign military intervention in Sri Lanka

Dec 16 (HT) Kausalyan, the LTTE's political leader for Batticalao and Amparai districts in East Sri Lanka, has said that there is no possibility of any foreign military intervention to force a solution on the minority Tamils of the island. more..

England's draw tactics blasted

Dec 16 (AP) Sri Lanka coach John Dyson today delivered further verbal blows to England by claiming their attitude in the Second Test was "staggering". The former Australian batsman, who is in his first series in charge of the Sri Lankans, was critical of the tourists after the opening draw in Galle. more..

Tamil Tigers Recruiting Fewer Child Soldiers

Dec 16 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels continue to recruit child soldiers, but there has been a marked decrease in numbers, officials involved in monitoring the guerrilla group said Tuesday. "The number of complaints have come down from 80 in October to 38 in November," more..

Health strike baseless, says Minister

Dec 16 (DM) Health Minister P. Dayaratne said yesterday the salary anomalies in the health sector had been already rectified but the trade unions were striking because they did not agree with the process of rectification. more..

Sri Lanka talks deadline extended after no breakthrough

Dec 16 (AFP) Sri Lanka's squabbling leaders extended a deadline to resolve their bitter power struggle as talks failed to end the dispute, which has undermined the peace process with Tamil rebels, both sides said. more..

Cultural differences; Hussain v Murali; and Cartoon capers

Dec 16 (Guardian) This week's offering is a Sri Lankan special, but the Spin isn't quite sure of its ground. Depending on your perspective, England are either heroic battlers/foul-mouthed yobs/lucky so-and-sos, while Sri Lanka are moral victors/timid failures/put-upon ex-colonials. more..

SLA recruits, readying for closer ties with India

Dec 17 (TN) The Sri Lanka army has begun another recruitment drive for its commando regiment in the Sinhala majority districts of the island, promising good pay and attractive perks, sources in Colombo said Tuesday. more..

Sinhala Nationalists demand arrest of Sri Lanka’s PM

Dec 17 (TN) The Patriotic National Movement (PNM), Tuesday held a demonstration in Colombo and handed over a letter to Sri Lanka’s President, Kumaratunga, saying that the Prime Minister, Wickremasinghe, and all persons responsible for the police raid on the Millennium City military safe house should be arrested immediately and punished. more..

U.S. Ambassador declares open USAID office in Kalmunai

Dec 17 (TN) The Ambassador of the United States for Sri Lanka, Mr. Jeffery Lunstead, declared open the Kalmunai office of the USAID (United States Agency for International Development) Tuesday, sources said. more..

Jaffna court sentences man to death in absentia

Dec 17 (TN) A man accused of a murder committed twenty-two years ago was sentenced to death by the Jaffna High court last week on 10 December 2003. This is the first time in 25 years that a person from Jaffna has been sentenced to death, more..

ADB funds new project for North-East rehabilitation

Dec 17 (TN) A new four-year development project called Conflict Affected Area Rehabilitation Project (CAARP), funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL), is to be launched in the North and East with effect from January 1st 2004. more..

Health workers picket parliament

Dec 17 (wsws) Nearly 80,000 public hospital employees across Sri Lanka submitted sick notes and did not turn up for work on Monday as part of their ongoing campaign for a 40 percent pay increase. Some 15,000 workers took part in a mass picket outside the parliamentary building, more..

Sri Lanka Telecom Board To Ratify Lanka Bell Purchase Wed

Dec 17 (DJ) The board of directors of Sri Lanka Telecom Ltd. (SLTL.SL), or SLT, a fixed-line operator, is expected Wednesday to ratify the acquisition of wireless loop operator Lanka Bell Ltd., an SLT company official said. more..

Central Bank May Keep Key Rate Unchanged

Dec 17 (Bloomberg) Sri Lanka's central bank will probably leave its key interest rate at 7 percent as policy makers wait for the president and prime minister to resolve a standoff that has put peace talks with Tamil rebels at risk. more..

Tall Stories

Dec 17 (LBO) A new long-term power generation plan was rolled out to the public on Tuesday, that at least on paper, maps out sector needs and capacity additions from now to 2017. The plan estimates that about 200 MW a year or 3228MW of generation capacity is needed over the next 15 years, more..

Labour Of Love

Dec 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka and Malaysia on Tuesday inked a special pact to allow more blue-collar Sri Lankan workers find employment in Malaysia. The two countries signed a Letter of Intent on Tuesday agreeing to initiate the required back end procedures. more..

Worthy Cause

Dec 17 (LBO) The local business community is joining country musicians from two continents next month, to raise funds for three-rural schools in Hambantota. Back in a new ‘wild west format’, Sri Lanka’s longest-running country and folk music concert hopes to raise Rs. 250,000 to build a reading room/library facility in three selected schools. more..

Washed Stone

Dec 17 (LBO) Contaminated wastewater is generally not something companies like to draw attention to, but this company is only too pleased to exhibit theirs - because they turn dirty water into building blocks. more..

Tamil leaders in tiger hit list

Dec 17 (LT) Tiger organization has made all arrangements to assassinate several Tamil political leaders including TULF leader Mr. Ananda Sangaree say EPDP sources. Tigers have made this threat to all leaders of Tamil political parties opposing the tiger organization. more..

Arrest those responsible for Athurugiriya ‘betrayal’ - PNM

Dec 17 (LT) Tiger organization has made all arrangements to assassinate several Tamil political leaders including TULF leader Mr. Ananda Sangaree say EPDP sources. Tigers have made this threat to all leaders of Tamil political parties opposing the tiger organization. more..

Arrest those responsible for Athurugiriya ‘betrayal’ - PNM

Dec 17 (LT) A memorandum was handed over today to the President by the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) calling upon her to arrest and bring before the law those responsible for the raid of Army safe house at Millennium City Housing Complex. more..

TNA votes against Sri Lanka's defense budget

Dec 17 (TN) The Tamil National Alliance voted against the Sri Lankan government’s 2004 budget allocation for defense and interior when it came up for voting at the committee stage in Parliament Wednesday afternoon. more..

Kilinochchi to get additional telephone lines

Dec 17 (TN) A new Telephone Exchange capable of supporting 500 land lines to Kilinochchi district has been built in Paranthan and new telephone services are to begin starting from this Friday, said S.Kanagasooriar, Director of Sri Lanka Telecom NorthEast district. more..

Court issues temporary order against TULF meetings

Dec 17 (TN) Colombo district court today issued an interim injunction against the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) holding Central Committee meetings until the 31 December, legal sources in Colombo said. more..

"Don't miss this opportunity for peace" - Sampanthan

Dec 17 (TN) "We call upon the Sri Lankan State to put its house in order and the bring the current constitutional impasse to an end and commence negotiations on the interim self-governing authority on the basis of proposals submitted by the government and the LTTE," more..

Maj. Gen Chandrapala, new Security Forces Commander for Jaffna assumes office

Dec 17 (SLA) Major General M. D. Susil Chandrapala assumed office as Commander, Security Forces, Jaffna today at a brief function held at his office in Jaffna. Major Gen Chandrapala was the Commander, Security Forces, Wanni until he took over this new appointment after the exit of Major General Sarath Fonseka. more..

More and more Indian fishermen found poaching

Dec 17 (SLA) Naval troops on duty in the general sea area of DELFT ISLAND in JAFFNA sighted approximately 100 Indian fishing boats on 16 December 2003 around 2.00 a.m. while they were poaching. more..

Civilian injured

Dec 17 (SLA) A civilian, who received injuries after trampling an Anti-Personnel Mine (APM) in the general area of CHAVAKACHCHERI on 15 December 2003 around 10.30 a.m., was admitted to CHAVAKACHCHERI Hospital for treatment. more..

Presidential Task Force to ensure national free media

Dec 17 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga appointed a Presidential Task Force (PTF) to formulate a national free media policy. The PTF comprising eminent scholars, academics and professionals in the fields of mass media and communication irrespective of their political affiliations, more..

We want to safeguard the country - Opposition Leader

Dec 17 (DN) The SLFP is forming an alliance with all anti-UNP forces with the sole intention of protecting the unity and territorial integrity of the country and rights of the people rather than for achieving the narrow objective of regaining power and sharing mainsterial portfolios, said Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Colombo brings back memories

Dec 17 (IC) Graham Thorpe returns to the scene of one of England's great modern triumphs tomorrow believing history can repeat itself. Surrey left-hander Thorpe struck an unbeaten first-innings century and then steered his side to a tense three-day win at Colombo's SSC which sneaked a 2-1 series victory here three winters ago. more..

Muralitharan needs urgent support

Dec 17 (CI) Clearly something has to change. Sri Lanka's most precious natural resource, Muttiah Muralitharan, is in danger of being mined into an early retirement. His bowling shoulder, packed with ice after every practice session and massaged continuously by the fitness team, is hurting more each week. more..

Report: Tamil rebels resume targeting police informers

Dec 17 (AP) Police on Wednesday launched an investigation into the attempted assassination of an undercover agent after a Sri Lankan newspaper reported that Tamil Tiger rebels have resumed targeting informers. more..

India to help revive Lankan commando units: Report

Dec 17 (HT) The pro-LTTE website Tamilnet on Tuesday said that under the proposed India-Sri Lanka Defence Cooperation Agreement (ISLDCA), India might help revive the battered and tattered commando units of the Sri Lankan Army (SLA). more..

Monument for IPKF in Sri Lanka awaits Chandrika's nod

Dec 17 (HT) The Sri Lankan Army's proposal for a fitting memorial for the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF), which rendered yeoman's service in the troubled Northeast of the island in the late eighties, is awaiting clearance from Sri Lankan President and Defence Minister Chandrika Kumaratunga. more..

How Britain 'betrayed' Kadirgamar

Dec 17 (NK) Sri Lankan diplomats are bitter over what they see as Britain's "game" in first persuading former foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar to contest as Commonwealth secretary general and then withdrawing support at the last minute. more..

UNP MP to surrender

Dec 17 (DM) Kalutara District UNF Parliamentarian and Bulathsinhala UNP Chief Organiser Lakshman Wijemanna and Western Provincial Councillor Senaka Samaranayake are expected to surrender to Kalutara Magistrate’s courts in connection with the assault on the Bulathsinhala Divisional Secretary on Sunday night. more..

Anti-terrorism law backed by India's Supreme Court

Dec 17 (FT) India's Supreme Court yesterday dismissed challenges to the country's contentious anti-terrorism law in an important judgment that upholds the government's power to arrest and detain suspected terrorists without trial. more..