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Dec 4 (LBO) Brace yourself for some absurd bit of news …The Municipal Council is sitting on the idea of charging tax each time you visit the loos! The CMC says it flushes down Rs. 250 mn annually to maintain the system. more..

LTTE, SLA commanders meet at no-man zone in Muttur

Dec 4 (TN) A delegation of the LTTE, led by Trincomalee district regional commander Colonel Pathuma, and Sri Lanka Army's General Officer Commanding in Trincomalee district, Major General Sunil Tennekoon, held discussions at the no-man zone in Kattaiparichchan in the Muttur division Wednesday evening, more..

International Day for people with special needs held in Vavuniya

Dec 4 (TN) People with special needs (the handicapped) in Vavuniya gathered at the Urban council hall in the Northern town Wednesday to participate at the International Day for people with special needs, and re-iterated in an oath that disability did not mean lack of talent and that they would demand equal rights in spheres where such rights are currently lacking, sources said. more..

US Court ruling makes conviction difficult under 'terrorism' law

Dec 4 (TN) San Francisco based U.S Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled Wednesday that the United States Government "cannot convict groups of individuals of violating a federal law against 'material support' for terrorist organizations unless it proves beyond a reasonable doubt that they knew the organizations were involved in terrorist activity," more..

Sinhala nationalists dared to go beyond Vavuniya

Dec 4 (TN) “I dare Wimal Weerawanse and Champika Ranawaka to go beyond Vavuniya. They can’t. But I can take them now or even during war because we have trust in the Tamil people,” said Mr. Dharmasiri Bandaranayaka, a well known and respected Sinhala film director, more..

Two females escape from LTTE

Dec 4 (SLA) Two females recently abducted by LTTE managed to escape from LTTE custody and reached PANSALWATTE detachment about 19 km southeast of TRINCOMALEE town on 03 December 2003 around 2.45 p.m. seeking protection from Security Forces. more..

Armed men take away boat and drop fishermen into sea

Dec 4 (SLA) Two unidentified men armed with T-56 weapons with two others forcibly took away a fishing boat of a civilian in the general area of NILAVELI, TRINCOMALEE on 03 December 2003 after dropping three fishermen aboard the boat into the seas off SALLIYA beach. more..

Three suspected saboteurs taken into custody

Dec 4 (SLA) Three men found on the railway line in the general area of VAKANERI, about 35 km northwest of BATTICALOA on 03 December 2003 around 11.30 a.m. were arrested after troops found some bearing plates and iron pins of the railway track were missing. more..

Army instructor dies while demonstrating

Dec 4 (SLA) An Army instructor at MADURUOYA Army Training School succumbed to his injuries on 03 December 2003 around 9.30 a.m. following an accidental explosion of a hand grenade he used for a demonstration. more..

Four more at COLOMBO harbour gate taken into custody

Dec 4 (SLA) Two teenagers and two young men without any Identity Cards in possession were arrested by security men at Sri Lanka Port Authority on 02 December 2003 while they were loitering around the Gate No. 01 of the COLOMBO Harbour. more..

Kekirawa Ranavirugama Declared Open

Dec 4 (SLA) Next of kin of dead War Heroes, differently-able soldiers and War Heroes of the Sri Lanka Army were recently gifted with twenty three newly built houses erected at the Ranaviru village in Kekirawa and seventy four blocks of land. more..

Pak eases restrictions for Sri Lankans

Dec 4 (PTI) Pakistan has relaxed the police registration requirement for Sri Lankans entering the country, the foreign ministry here said on Thursday. The decision has been taken following discussions held during the visit of interior minister of Pakistan to Sri Lanka in August, the ministry said. more..

Sri Lanka firms delay IPOs due to political crisis, tax

Dec 4 (DJ) Sri Lanka is unlikely to see any more initial public offerings this year as a month-long political crisis and a proposed new capital gains tax have hurt sentiment. more..

England run in 11 tries against Sri Lanka

Dec 4 (RFU) England ‘s progress in the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens continued with a massive win by 75-0 over luckless Sri Lanka in the second tie of the tournament at the Exiles ground in the Gulf state. more..

Sri Lanka plans $1.6B oil refinery, ports in the South

Dec 4 (DJ) Sri Lanka plans to build an oil refinery, its second international airport and a sea port in southern Hambanthota province as part of a long-term development plan for the region, the country's Minister for Southern Region Development said Thursday. more..

Stab victim identified

Dec 4 (JT) Authorities on Wednesday said they had determined the identity of a Sri Lankan woman who was found stabbed to death in Hashemi Shamali a day earlier, after her employer went to the police station to file a missing persons report. more..

Journalists meet

Dec 4 (TP) Sri Lanka was selected this week for the launch of the second annual International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Journalism for Tolerance Prize as part of the IJF’s bid to increase freedom and autonomy for restricted journalists around South Asia, more..

CBK wants two weeks to study Freedom of Information Bill

Dec 4 (DM) The Freedom of Information Bill was yesterday presented to the Cabinet by Justice Minister W.J.M. Lokubandara, stating that the Attorney General had expressed the view that the provisions of the bill were not inconsistent with the Constitution and that the bill was not subjected to any prohibition or restriction imposed by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. more..

Japan welcomes talks between President and PM

Dec 4 (PRIU) Japan, one of the co-chairs of the Tokyo Conference on Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka, welcomed the meetings between President Kumaratunga and Prime Minister ickremesinghe as well as the on-going discussions at official levels, as a solid basis for attaining a durable peace in Sri Lanka. more..

Proposed anti-people water bill sparks protests

Dec 4 (OW) A powerful coalition of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) Wednesday urged the President to prevent the government from introducing a controversial Water Services Reform Bill which they say will deprive the poor of the precious resource. more..

Sri Lanka releases 61 Indian fishermen

Dec 4 (Sun) Sri Lanka has released 61 Indian fishermen arrested by its Navy but detained another 12 on charges of poching in the island's territorial waters, officials said today. Initially, the authorities said 77 fishermen in 13 boats were arrested on Tuesday near the northern islet of Kayts, but the figure was later revised to 73. more..

Chandrika orders probe into killings

Dec 4 (Gulf) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has ordered a probe into a spate of killings in the north eastern port city of Trincomalee. The president ordered the police chief to arrest Tamil Tiger guerrillas responsible. more..

Clinging to Murali's coat-tails

Dec 4 (CI) "The key with Murali is keeping him at bay," said Nasser Hussain in the build-up to this Test. "If he is going to take five wickets in an innings, we have to make sure they are spread over 50 or 60 overs." more..

It's the Fort that counts

Dec 4 (CI) When England last visited Galle, in 2001, the cricket was briefly overshadowed by a dispute between the BBC and the Sri Lankan Cricket Board, which resulted in Jonathan Agnew and the Test Match Special team being banished from the ground. more..

Japan warns Sri Lanka not to risk aid package

Dec 4 (PTI) Japan today warned Sri Lanka not to risk a 4.5-billion-dollar foreign aid package pledged during a donor meeting in Tokyo and asked the Colombo government to shed its power struggle and revive peace talks. more..

Sri Lanka's feuding parties still search for formula to end political crisis

Dec 4 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's feuding political forces of President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister RanilWickremesinghe are still on the search for a suitable formula to end the political crisis, a government spokesman said on Thursday. more..

Sri Lanka sets deadline to end political dispute

Dec 4 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan government said on Thursday a power struggle with the president must be resolved by December 15, and repeated the prime minister had to control the island's security bodies to pursue peace with Tamil rebels. more..

Giles and Batty give England hope

Dec 4 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan, an unlikely batting star yesterday, returned to type and tormented England with the ball at Galle, finishing with 7 for 46, his best figures on this ground. That restricted England's first innings to 235, more..

Sinopec denies involved in Sri Lanka energy project

Dec 4 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has approved an oil refinery and power plant, costing about $1.6 billion, to be built by a Sinopec-led consortium, a minister said on Thursday, but the Chinese firm denied it was involved in the project. more..

Ranil govt optimistic of reaching consensus with Kumaratunga

Dec 4 (UNI) Insisting that it needed full control over the Ministry of Defence to continue peace talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels, the UNF government today said it was optimistic of reaching a consensus with political archrival, President Chandrika Kumaratunga. more..

SA playing a key role in Tamil peace deal

Dec 4 (IOL) South Africa is playing a leading role in getting the stalled peace process in Sri Lanka on track again, according to the general secretary of the Peace Secretariat of the Tigers of Tamil Eelam. more..

Army deserter remanded for selling weapons in Jaffna

Dec 4 (TN) The Chavakachcheri Magistrate, Mr.P.Subramaniam, Thursday ordered remand for an army deserter till December 18 when the Kodikamam Police produced him in court on a charge that the suspect had sold a T56 rifle and live rounds to four Tamil civilians before decamping from Jaffna district, more..

TNA questions Kadirgamar's competence for Commonwealth post

Dec 4 (TN) Commenting on the reported candidacy of Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar, former foreign minister and a confidante of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General, the TNA in a statement Thursday highlighted several grave human rights abuses of his government more..

Buddhist monks protest against LTTE’s proposals

Dec 5 (TN) Hundreds of Buddhist monks from the National Bhikku Front held a demonstration and protest march against the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) proposals of the LTTE Thursday afternoon in Colombo, sources said. more..

British defense team visits Jaffna

Dec 5 (TN) The Consortium of Jaffna District Non-Governmental Organizations Thursday told the visiting British Defense Ministry officials' team that the UK government should exert pressure to end the current political instability in the south of Sri Lanka to take forward the stalled peace process more..

'More aid if Colombo bans landmines’ - UN

Dec 5 (TN) Sri Lanka would get more funds for clearing mines in the northeast if it accedes to the Ottawa Convention banning the use of landmines said Mr. Ted Chaiban, the head of the UNICEF in Sri Lanka, more..

J'pura Varsity students and teachers align against VC

Dec 5 (DN) Sri Jayawardenapura University lecturers supporting a fellow don on a death fast and a mass of undergraduates continued to remain at the university premises yesterday for the second day defying a senate order to vacate the university premises. more..

LTTE continuing to procure weapons – Geneva survey

Dec 5 (Island) The Small Arms Survey published by the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva titled ‘In the Shadow of a Ceasefire- Impacts Small Arms, Availability and Misuse in Sri Lanka’ says similar to the current situation in Northern Ireland; there are indications that splits are emerging amongst the LTTE cadres. more..

NECORD launches village rehabilitation program

Dec 5 (TN) The Asian Development Bank funded North East Community Organization for Restoration and Development (NECORD) Project Thursday launched the Village Rehabilitation Programme under the Community Development Project in eight districts of the North-East, more..

'I've never seen him spin it that much before'

Dec 5 (Guardian) The England batsman Mark Butcher cut an exhausted figure last night as he spoke about the trials of facing Muttiah Muralitharan on a turning, bouncing pitch in eye-watering heat, writes Lawrence Booth in Galle. more..

Rooms Available

Dec 5 (LBO) Around 60 State owned rest houses, previously managed by the Urban Development Authority and other government agencies, are scheduled for a change of management under a cluster-lease concept. more..

Alternative Routes

Dec 5 (LBO) Software giant Microsoft, is setting up a fully-fledged local arm to offer products at discount rates and to set up a development unit. Microsoft Sri Lanka Ltd will distribute specific licence products and the firm will also be making the world standard ‘Windows’ software available in both the Sinhalese and Tamil languages more..

Chinese Medicine

Dec 5 (LBO) A consortium led by Chinese based SINOPEC Holdings got the Cabinet go-ahead on Wednesday to pump in US$ 1.6 bn to construct an oil refinery in Hambantota. The project will be the single largest foreign investment into the country, and is in line with plans to develop Hambantota in the South into an infrastructure hub. more..

Eptawaththe messing around!

Dec 5 (LT) The decision taken by the vice-chancellor of the University of Sri Jayawardenepura to close down the University is not acceptable say the Union of the academic staff and the Students’ Council. more..

Health sector for a continues strike

Dec 5 (LT) A continuous strike against non approval of the cabinet paper on rectifying salary anomalies of the health sector would be launched from next week says Health Sector Trade Unions alliance (HSTUA). more..

Opposition to Revenue Authority Draft Bill

Dec 5 (LT) The ‘work to rule’ campaign launched by the employees of the Departments of Customs, Income tax and Excise opposing the Revenue Authority Draft Bill brought all work in the department to a standstill. more..

EPDP cadre seeks asylum in Kilinochchi

Dec 5 (TN) A member of the EPDP , a paramilitary group that works with the Sri Lankan armed forces in Sri Lanka’s northeast, has sought asylum from the Liberation Tigers in Jaffna, military sources in the northern town said Friday. more..

Suspected LTTE men hijack van with its hirer

Dec 5 (TN) Four persons, suspected to be from LTTE hijacked a van with its driver, assistant and hirer while it was traveling across the general area of SITTANDY, about 24 km northwest of BATTICALOA on 03 December 2003 around 9.00 p.m. more..

Grenade explosion kills Muslim

Dec 5 (SLA) An explosion of a hand grenade caused death to a Muslim civilian on the spot in the general area of MUTTUR on 04 December 2003 around 7.00 a.m. One more unexploded hand grenade was also found by the side of his dead body. more..

LTTE wants ransom from fishermen

Dec 5 (SLA) Some Muslims, who went for fishing and collecting sand from the lagoon, complained that an LTTE cadre, named RANJAN demanded a ransom of Rs. 300 (US $ 3) from each Muslim in the general area of MUTTUR on 4 December 2003. more..