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Lanka defence budget sails through

Dec 17 (PTI) Sri Lanka's defence budget was passed in Parliament today with support from the Opposition despite a bitter power struggle between President Chandrika Kumaratunga, and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, over the control of the military. more..

Sign defence pact with India: President to Ranil

Dec 17 (UNI) Sri Lanka's opposition People's Alliance (PA) today urged the United National Front (UNF) government to immediately sign the proposed defence pact with the Government of India. more..

Police Probe Assassination Attempt Of Informer

Dec 17 (AP) Police 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..

Sri Lanka central bank says economy steady

Dec 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank said on Wednesday economic fundamentals had not changed since a political crisis erupted last month and it would wait for signs of an impact before changing monetary policy. more..

Polish TRO donates school supplies to Batticaloa children

Dec 19 (TN) Director of Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) of Poland, M.Pulendran, who is on a fact finding visit to Batticaloa district, presented parcels containing school supplies to children living in Children Homes run by the TRO, in a meeting held Thursday, sources said. more..

Grenade attack on Muslim shop in Trincomalee

Dec 19 (TN) No one was injured and the front portion of the building was was damaged when unidentified persons Thursday midnight lobbed a grenade at a textile shop run by a Muslim trader, which is located along the Third Cross Street in the heart of Trincomalee town, Trincomalee police said. more..

Trinco students receive Samudhri Scholarships

Dec 19 (TN) One hundred ten students who come from Samurdhi (poverty alleviation scheme) families in the Trincomalee district were awarded scholarships under the Samurdhi Social Development Trust Fund (SSDTF) at an event held Thursday at the Trincomalee Sinhala Madya Maha Vidiyalayam, more..

Sri Lanka’s IGP controversy resolved

Dec 19 (TN) Mr.Indra de Silva, who has been acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) of Sri Lanka since the post fell vacant when the previous IGP, Mr.T.E.Anandarajah, retired from the service last month, is to be appointed as the new IGP. more..

Tamil pedestrian succumbs to his injuries

Dec 19 (SLA) Two Muslims on a motorbike, proceeding from ERAVUR to VALAICHCHENAI knocked down a Tamil pedestrian in the general area of ERAVUR on 18 December 2003 around 3.00 p.m. more..

Muslims want halt to LTTE atrocities

Dec 19 (SLA) A section of Muslims staged a protest campaign in the general areas of KALMUNAI and AKKRAIPATTU on 18 December 2003 against continuing LTTE harassments and killings in MUTTUR and KINNIYA areas. A section of shops and government institutes remained closed and transport disrupted. more..

Attempt to infiltrate foiled

Dec 19 (SLA) Two Tamil men, who tried to infiltrate a Naval convoy while it was near the COLOMBO Harbour entrance (No. 3 Gate), were arrested by alert Naval ratings on 18 December 2003 around 6.30 a.m. more..

Army soldier and Naval rating among injured

Dec 19 (SLA) One Army soldier and one Naval rating were among nine persons injured in a bomb explosion that occurred in the general area of HUNUPITIYA-WELISARA during Thursday night and early hours on Friday (19 December 2003). more..

One more Indian boat arrested

Dec 19 (SLA) One more Indian boat with four Indians on board was arrested by Naval troops while Indians were poaching in the general sea area off DELFT ISLAND in JAFFNA on 18 December 2003 around 6.45 p.m. more..

Probe ordered into raid on army safe house

Dec 19 (Gulf) The United National Front (UNF) government appointed a parliamentary select committee to launch an official inquiry into a bungled raid on an army safe house involved in secret operations against Tamil Tiger (LTTE) rebels. more..

Prime Minister is asking a higher price

Dec 19 (AT) President of Sri Lanka Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga wanted the United Front Government (UNF) to continue talking with the LTTE to bring about a peaceful settlement, acceptable to all the ethnic groups in the country. more..

Heart failure the cause of Ven. Soma Thera's death say JMOs

Dec 19 (AT) In an unprecedentad move an inquest on the death of the Venerable Gangodawila Soma Thera was conducted at the Ragama hospital yesterday by three JMOs with the assistance of two heart specialists and unconfirmed reports said they would be reporting to the Magistrate today that death was due to heart failure. more..

Deadline passes with no sign of any end to the Sri Lankan political crisis

Dec 19 (WSWS) The deadline for a deal to end the current political standoff between the Sri Lankan president and the government came and went on Monday with no sign of any compromise. more..

Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka Sign Landmark Deal

Dec 19 (MENA) Dr. Nizar Obaid Madani, the Kingdom's assistant minister of foreign affairs, wrapped up his three-day visit to Sri Lanka yesterday by signing a landmark accord to boost relations in the commerce, science, culture and youth affairs. more..

Britain denies putting up Kadirgamar for Commonwealth post

Dec 19 (NK) Britain has denied that it encouraged former Sri Lankan foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar to contest the post of Commonwealth secretary general and then withdrew support to him. more..

Impotent Sri Lanka laws may see porn peddler walk

Dec 19 (OW) A Sri Lankan man who peddled pornographic images to a German Web site after superimposing them with the faces of nearly 5,000 innocent local girls, may be let off lightly because the country's archaic laws lack the provisions to combat such a high-tech crime - the first ever to reach a court in Sri Lanka. more..

Maheshwaran threatens to resign

Dec 19 (LT) Mr. T. Maheshwaran, Minister of Hindu Affairs in a letter to the Prime Minister has threatened to resign from his portfolio if he is not handed over the authority of directing rehabilitation in the North and the East. more..

Shell pulls out bid to retail fuel in Sri Lanka

Dec 19 (Reuters) Shell Overseas Investments B.V. has withdrawn its bid to retail fuel in Sri Lanka, a Shell official said on Friday without giving details. more..

Sri Lanka torment England

Dec 19 (N24) A superb century partnership between Thilan Samaraweera and Mahela Jayawardene helped Sri Lanka take command of the third and final cricket Test against England here on Friday. The pair added 126 for the unbroken third wicket after Sanath Jayasuriya had slammed a robust 85 to provide a solid start. more..

Three-in-one poll on a Saturday

Dec 19 (DM) A Parliamentary Select Committee is looking into the possibilty of holding Presidential, General and Provincial elections on the same day next year as a cost-cutting excercise, the government spokesman said yesterday. more..

“The loss of Soma Thera is a loss to Buddhists worldwide” says President

Dec 19 (PSL) “ Ven. Soma Thera boldly and forthrightly presented the Buddhist view in building public opinion on national and religious issues. A distinct feature of a democratic polity is the selection of a correct path among diverse opinions. In that respect Ven. Soma Thera’s contribution is immense,” said President more..

Parliamentary Select Committee on Athurugiriya Reports

Dec 19 (DN) The Government will move a resolution in Parliament early next month to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee on the Athurugiriya safe house incident so as to straighten certain discrepancies between the two reports by the Presidential Commission and the Army. more..

Police foil theft of ancient Ganesh statue

Dec 19 (AP) Police said on Friday t that hey foiled an attempt to steal an ancient statue of Lord Ganesh from a temple in northern Sri Lanka. The 45-centimetre tall statue weighs 24 kilograms and depicts a dancing Ganesh. more..

Sri Lanka internal problems must be settled fast to attract aid

Dec 28 (Bernama) Sri Lanka's elected government led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe wants to iron out fast problems with the country's President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, to enable the once war-torn country to receive foreign aid which runs into billions of dollars. more..

'Voice of Tigers' radio service to be expanded to East

Dec 28 (UNI) The Tamil Tiger rebels have decided to expand their broadcasting services 'Voice of Tigers' (VoT) to the Eastern province and resume their television services 'Nidharshanam', which were suspended some 13 years ago after Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF) bombed the station in Jaffna. more..

PM firm on defence claim: minister

Dec 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka’s prime minister will not give up claims to the defence portfolio, Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando said on Sunday, despite the president’s recent steps to consolidate her power. more..

It’s that Eelam word again

Dec 28 (HT) It is not entirely clear if DMK leader M. Karunanidhi has formally committed his party’s support to the Tamil chauvinist demand for a separate ‘Eelam’ in Sri Lanka. more..

Lanka takes conversion ban lesson from Jaya

Dec 28 (TT) The Jayalalithaa regime’s law banning forcible religious conversions in Tamil Nadu has caught Sri Lanka’s fancy. The government of the neighbouring island nation is now scrutinising the state law as Colombo, too, proposes to ban religious conversions. more..

'Lanka peace bid failed before power struggle'

Dec 28 (EI) President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Sunday accused the rival Prime Minister of using their ongoing power struggle to justify the "failure" of his peace bid with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Sri Lanka urges Japan not to halt aid amid political crisis

Dec 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka urged Japan and other foreign donor countries to honour their promises of aid and allow time for resolving the government's internal power struggle and reviving the stalled peace process with Tamil rebels. more..

Heading towards an election year

Dec 28 (SL) With just 72 hours to go for the dawn of a new year, the country was once again facing the prospect of political instability and economic retardation as both the President and Prime Minister readied for battle. more..

Conspiracy theory laid to rest

Dec 28 (SL) While a nation continues to bemoan the loss of Ven. Gangodawila Soma Thero, dubbed the 'People's Hamuduruwo,' it has transpired that the priest who passed away in Russia on December 12 had been reportedly worried about his countrymen worrying about him and spreading 'false information' with regard to his illness. more..

Bribery Commission Chief before Privileges Committee

Dec 28 (SO) The Director-General of the Bribery and Corruption Commission Piyasena Ranasinghe has been summoned to appear before the Committee of Privileges of Parliament on January 9. more..

India A set up final clash with Lanka A

Dec 28 (PTI) Dinesh Mongia slammed an unbeaten 48 to steer India to a four-wicket victory over Pakistan in a thrilling encounter between the archrivals in the Kenstar Asian A Teams' cricket tournament here today. more..

Mob attacks two churches in Colombo

Dec 28 (AFP) Two churches were attacked in Sri Lanka yesterday amid inter-religious tension following the funeral of a Buddhist monk opposed to religious conversions, police said. more..

Lanka peace process had already failed: Chandrika

Dec 28 (PTI) President Chandrika Kumaratunga today accused Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of ‘‘using’’ her takeover to justify the failure of talks with Tamil Tiger rebels, saying the Norwegian-backed peace process had failed even before the political crisis began. more..

Jaffna fishermen want 19th century lighthouse rebuilt

Dec 28 (TN) “We need two lighthouses on this coast to help the deep-sea fisheries industry that’s trying to find its feet now - after dwindling to nought during 20 years of Sri Lanka army and navy imposed bans, restrictions and neglect”, more..

Parents of Jaffna Missing to Protest in Colombo

Dec 28 (TN) Fifty four mothers and fathers who are Members of Jaffna Missing Persons Guardian Association (MPGA) and Jaffna Mothers Front (JMF) will picket in front of the Justice Ministry and Offices of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission in Colombo on Monday and Tuesday, said Subbu Satkunam, president MPGA. more..

Sri Lanka police constable commits suicide in Jaffna

Dec 28 (TN) Mr.S.M.Premaretna, a constable of the Sri Lanka Police Saturday night committed suicide by shooting himself while staying in barracks located at Nedunthivu in Jaffna district. His body was handed at the Jaffna teaching hospital Sunday morning, police said. more..

World Bank funds pharmacist-training programme in NE

Dec 28 (TN) North East Provincial Ministry of Health launched a project called "External Pharmacist Training Programme 2003-2004" to train eligible persons from the NorthEast to qualify as pharmacists to prevent unqualified persons in running the private pharmacies. more..

Hill country youths denied permanency in Police Force

Dec 28 (TN) More than 350 Hill-country youths of Indian origin continue to serve in the temporary Reserve Police even after 14 years of service whereas Sinhala youths who joined the Reserve Force during the same period have been made permanent, Uthayan, a popular Tamil Jaffna daily reported. more..

President's Office silent on secret swearing-in

Dec 28 (ST) The President's Office yesterday refused to confirm or deny a secret swearing-in ceremony held in November 2000 to inaugurate President Chandrika Kumaratunga's second-term in office. more..

LTTE trying desperately to mend fences with India

Dec 28 (AT) What happened to the LTTE? There is a desperate move by the Sri Lanka Tamil rebel outfit to come to terms with India and mend fences with the regional super power. Why such an abnormal move has been mooted by the Tamil Tigers? more..

Sri Lankan lawyers offer to defend former Iraqi president

Dec 28 (Xinhua) At least 20 Sri Lankan lawyers have offered their services in defending former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein when he is brought to trial on allegations of crimes against humanity and war crimes, The Sunday Times said. more..

Sri Lanka govt to send tea consignment to quake-hit Iran

Dec 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka yesterday offered sympathy and tea to Iran after more than 20,000 people died in an earthquake. The government will tomorrow send a consignment of tea, the island’s main export commodity, for survivors and was checking to see if any Sri Lankans were affected by the quake, the foreign ministry said in a statement. more..

Chandrika's charge against Ranil

Dec 28 (PTI) President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, today accused the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, of "using" her takeover of Ministries to justify the failure of talks with the Tamil Tigers, saying the Norwegian-backed peace process had failed even before the political crisis began. more..