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LTTE deny recruiting child soldiers

Dec 11 (Bloomberg) Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebel group denied recruiting child soldiers, saying it is working with the United Nations on a program to rehabilitate children forced to join the civil war. more..

Women in Technology - A new Scholarship program

Dec 11 (AT) Introducing "Women in Technology," a new scholarship program aimed at introducing women in Technology to train them to design, build and maintain computer networking. Women in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Mongolia are invited to apply for the scholarship program. more..

UNICEF celebrates girls’ education in Sri Lanka

Dec 11 (PRIU) UNICEF’s new flagship report, State of the World’s Children 2004 was launched today celebrating Sri Lanka’s notable achievements in girls’ education. The report, which focuses on girls’ education around the world, reveals that whilst hundreds of millions of girls and women across the globe remain, Sri Lanka has achieved high female literacy rates. more..

SriLankan Airlines punctual

Dec 11 (PRIU) SriLankan Airlines this year has been consistently achieving nearly 90% punctuality inflights departing within 15 minutes of their scheduled time said Sampath Perera, Manager PIC, Recruitment and Emergency Response Planning. more..

Sumathipala only discharged, not released - case on January 8

Dec 11 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate Namal Balalle yesterday held that at no time was Sri Lanka Cricket and Telecom Chief Thilanga Sumathipala released from the case against him but only discharged subject to any further action by the CID. more..

52,000 Missing : Sri Lanka has no answers

Dec 11 (OW) To coincide with Human Rights Day, the Organization of Parents and Family Members of the Disappeared (OPFMD) in Sri Lanka, held a commemoration Wednesday for nearly 52,000 missing people, demanding punishment of the guilty and compensation for their families. more..

Day 2: Sri Lanka finish with their tails up

Dec 11 (CI) Sri Lanka moved into a dominating position on the second day of the Kandy Test, finishing with a lead of 219. After Sri Lanka's tail again wagged to great effect, adding 112 for the last three wickets to reach a total of 382, England wasted a rollicking start by the openers to falter to 163 for 4 by the close. more..

SLMC leader wants security for Muslisms

Dec 11 (NK) SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem has called for measures to provide security for his community which dominates the country's eastern area, party officials said Thursday. He said military authorities should provide security to the Muslims. more..

Sri Lanka 'report' Hussain

Dec 11 (BBC) Sri Lanka are thought to have filed an official complaint against former England captain Nasser Hussain. The Reuters news agency says Hussain verbally abused Muttiah Muralitharan when he went out to bat just before lunch on Thursday in Kandy. more..

PM rejects two proposals on power feud

Dec 11 (Reuters) Prime minister on Thursday rejected two power-sharing proposals from supporters of the president, raising doubts that the island's feuding leaders can end a power struggle by a self-imposed December 15 deadline. more..

Sri Lanka admits talks deadlocked over defence

Dec 11 (PTI) Government on Thursday admitted for the first time that talks between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe have deadlocked over control of the Defence Ministry, a day after a fourth round of parleys ended in a failure. more..

President calls for unity to save country

Dec 11 (Xinhua) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has called for her people to unite to save the countrywhich has under a political impasse for more than one month since she sacked three key ministers, the official Daily News said on Thursday. more..

Hussain cleared of abusing Murali

Dec 11 (TL) Nasser Hussain was today perilously close to becoming the first England player to be suspended from international cricket. If match referee Clive Lloyd had found hard evidence to support Sri Lanka's allegation that Hussain used offensive language towards Muttiah Muralitharan then he would almost certainly have been banned for a game. more..

Sri Lankan power struggle hits jobs, investments

Dec 12 (AFP) The protracted power struggle between Sri Lanka’s president and the prime minister has cost 15,000 jobs and placed on hold foreign investments worth up to 150 million dollars, the government said here on Thursday. more..

4 arrested in connection with murder of Sri Lankan

Dec 12 (JT) Authorities said on Wednesday they had arrested four people, all foreign nationals, in connection with the stabbing murder of a Sri Lankan domestic worker, whose body was found in Hashemi Shamali last week, official sources said. more..

US official to visit Sri Lanka

Dec 12 (Xinhua) Nicholas Dean, deputy director of the Office for India, Nepal and Sri Lankan Affairs within the US Department of State's Bureau of South Asian Affairs, will visit Sri Lanka next week, the US embassy here said in a statement Thursday. more..

UNICEF launches report on World Children in Trincomalee

Dec 12 (TN) The UNICEF released its new flagship report, State of the World Children-2004, in Trincomalee Thursday afternoon at an event held at the auditorium of the NorthEast provincial guesthouse. more..

Sri Lanka – India Strategic Dialogue concludes in Colombo

Dec 12 (IL) The First Sri Lanka – India Strategic Dialogue jointly organized by the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies, Colombo (BCIS) and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, New Delhi (ICIS) was held at the BMICH on 4th and 5th December 2003 more..

JVP-SLFP in the brink of finalisation

Dec 12 (IL) With all indications pointing to the clinching of the much-hyped SLFP and JVP alliance, informed saources said that the two parties may sign a Memorandum of Understanding in late January. more..

When he speaks, the world listens

Dec 12 (HT) Urbane and articulate, with a penchant for an attractive turn of phrase, Sri Lanka's former foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, 71, has always been a journalist's delight. more..

Athurugiriya raid illegal PM, IGP responsible

Dec 12 (DN) Presidential Commission of Inquiry to inquire into the disclosure of the existence of and the raid on the safe house operated by the Sri Lanka Army at Athurugiriya has found that "the action taken by ASP Udugampola in the manner he did in taking into custody several Army personnel was illegal, immoral and in violation of all the rules and regulations of the police. more..

JVP, Arjuna in patriotic movement call for India’s intervention

Dec 12 (Island) Recalling India’s role in temporarily merging the northern and eastern provinces under the Indo-Lanka accord of July, 1987, the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) yesterday urged India to pressurise the Sri Lankan government to de-merger the province. more..

Indian PM urged to recognize NE Tamils’ rights

Dec 12 (TN) In a letter to the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee, sent Wednesday and signed by Prof. A. Sanmugathas, head of the Federation for Advancement of Tamils’ Education (FATE), said that “until our people’s legitimate rights are secured, India should recognize our right to internal self-determination and help to restore normal life, with peace and dignity.” more..

Straight Run

Dec 12 (LBO) Initial bid papers for the Colombo Katunayake toll road will be on offer in two weeks, with an annuity based financial model for prospective investors, also finalised. Documents are ready for a pre-qualification round, to be open in two weeks to narrow down the interest to six firms, who will then submit full detailed proposals. more..


Dec 12 (LBO) Lanka Tiles is pushing sales toward new export markets, as fierce competition and cheap imports erodes local market share. Lanka Tiles, a subsidiary of Lanka Wall Tiles, has a largely local market, accounting for as much as 90 percent of its revenue mix. more..

SLA trooper sentenced to death

Dec 12 (TN) The Vavuniya High Court Friday sentenced a Sri Lanka army soldier to death for murdering three Tamil farmers in the area. Two soldiers were accused of hacking to death three farmers in the village of Chalampaikulam on 3 March 1996. more..

Relatives attending to funeral abducted with their Van

Dec 12 (SLA) A van carrying relatives of a dead member of EPDP from ACHCHUVELI to JAFFNA has been abducted by a group of LTTE cadres from the general area of VANNARAPANNAI, about 2.5 k.m. north of JAFFNA town on 11 December 2003 around 12.00 noon. more..

More Indian boats poaching in Sri Lankan sea arrested

Dec 12 (SLA) Naval troops on duty have arrested eight persons aboard two Indian fishing boats while they were poaching in the Sri Lankan waters in the general sea area off NAINATIVU about 28 k.m. southwest of JAFFNA town on 11 December 2003. more..

One more youngster runs away from LTTE

Dec 12 (SLA) A 20 year old youth who was forcibly conscripted to the LTTE for training has escaped from the LTTE camp at VAKARAI and surrendered to the SERUNUWARA Police station seeking protection on 10 December 2003. more..

Second batch of special infantry Trainees passes out

Dec 12 (SLA) The second batch of four Officers and ninety-five Other Ranks, on completion of their Special Infantry Operational Course (SIOC), passed out in a grand ceremony held at the Palaly Air Force Grounds on 10th December 2003. more..

Sri Lanka trade deficit edges up on more imports

Dec 12 ((Reuters) Sri Lanka's trade deficit rose slightly in the 10 months to October, the central bank said on Friday, as a halt to a 20-year civil strife drove demand for investment and consumer goods. more..

Protest against shooting brings Jaffna to a standstill

Dec 12 (Gulf) The northern Jaffna peninsula was brought to a standstill yesterday with shops, businesses and public offices closed and only skeleton bus services operating after a pro-Tamil guerrilla group organised a protest campaign against a shooting incident by the army in a civilian populated area. more..

Artist speaks about death threats by Sinhala extremists

Dec 12 (wsws) The following is an interview with the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) by the internationally-renowned Sri Lankan artistic figure, Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, concerning a series of death threats that he has received recently from Sinhala extremists. more..

Jet, Air Sahara may fly to Colombo by end-Dec

Dec 12 (BS) Jet Airways and Air Sahara today said they were ready to fly to Colombo as soon as the bilateral issues were sorted out by the civil aviation ministry. Civil Aviation Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the open sky offers would be reciprocal and could be operational as early as December 25 and latest by January 1. more..

LTTE’s statement about the Defence Ministry: A Comment Uncalled for

Dec 12 (AT) In the tug of war for the Defence Ministry between the President and the Prime Minister, today there was a new entrant - the LTTE. The rebel outfit has suddenly taken up an interlocutory position and interjected itself in the debate regarding the political crisis in the South, instead of waiting patiently for a clear signal to emerge sooner or later. more..

Chandrika's party to form alliance with Marxist JVP soon

Dec 12 (UNI) Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratungas People's Alliance (PA) said today that it has 'concluded satisfactorily' with Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) to form a 'comprehensive political alliance'. more..

Have open borders, single currency: Vajpayee

Dec 12 (IANS) Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee Friday said time had come for South Asian nations to set aside differences and explore security cooperation, open borders and even a single currency. more..

Not enough says Health Unions: Another strike today

Dec 12 (DM) Despite Cabinet approval on Wednesday for proposals to rectify salary anomalies the Health Service Trade Union Alliance is threatening to stage a four-hour walk out today. HSTUA spokesman Ravi Kumudesh said yesterday the Cabinet had failed to correct the salary anomalies. more..

Exit, pursued by an elephant

Dec 12 (CI) Kandy's ticket prices are a reflection of the ground itself. On the one side, they are incredibly steep – a pew in the "special" enclosure at third man costs 6000 rupees for five days. On the other side, they tumble away down the hill, and cost next to nothing. more..

Sri Lanka tighten grip on second Test

Dec 12 (Reuters) Sri Lanka tightened their grip on the second Test against England on Friday, dismissing the tourists for 294 then extending their overall lead to 127. Sri Lanka were 39 for one in their second innings when bad light stopped play on the third day. more..

GTech wins lottery contract with Sri Lanka worth up to $100M

Dec 12 (MH) GTech Lanka, a subsidiary of GTech Holdings Corp. of West Greenwich, R.I., has signed a 10-year integrated services contract with the Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Trust Fund (MTF) to be the provider of online, instant and passive lottery technology and management services in Sri Lanka. more..

Bad light gives England welcome respite

Dec 12 (CI) Sri Lanka finished the third day of the Kandy Test in a promising position, after building on a first-innings lead of 88 to reach the close on 39 for 1. But with Ashley Giles and Gareth Batty bowling in tandem, Sri Lanka made a puzzling decision to take an offer of bad light with ten overs remaining, a move which demonstrated just how finely balanced this contest has become. more..

NorthEast farmers face dire economic future - Adaikalanathan

Dec 12 (TN) "Farmers in NorthEast have been facing severe hardship for the past several years. Many have to pawn their belongings now to continue to be able to cultivate their lands and earn a living," said Leader of TELO and MP Selvam Adaikalanathan more..

Arjuna Ranatunga seeks Indian intervention in Sri Lanka

Dec 12 (HT) The former captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team, Arjuna Ranatunga, who is now a Member of Parliament, met the Indian High Commissioner, Nirupam Sen, in Colombo on Thursday, to ask India to intervene and help solve the ethnic problem bedevilling his country. more..

IDPs take part in HR art competition in Trincomalee

Dec 12 (TN) The four-day celebrations that began on December 10 to mark the Universal Human Rights day in Trincomalee district is to conclude on Saturday (December 13) in Trincomalee town with the Eastern High Court Judge, Mr.S.Paramarajah, as the chief guest. more..

PA lays condition for returning defense ministry

Dec 12 (TN) Sri Lanka’s main opposition Peoples Alliance Friday called on the ruling UNF government to bring a proposal for the abolition of the executive presidency if the UNF insists on taking control over the defense ministry for taking the peace process forward. more..

Supreme Court directs AG to enlighten on Jaffna HSZ legality

Dec 13 (TN) The Supreme Court Thursday directed the Attorney General to take immediate measures to enlighten the court on the legality of the high security zones in the Jaffna peninsula in response to the fundamental rights applications filed by three persons including Jaffna district parliamentarian Mr. Mavai Senathirajah. more..

Chandrika asks Ranil to represent her in Parliament

Dec 13 (Hindu) President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, has requested the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, to represent her in Parliament next week when the vote for the annual budget of three Ministries, constitutionally taken over by her on November 4, is taken up. more..

Venerable Gangodawila Soma Thera passes away in Russia

Dec 13 (DN) Renowned prelate Ven. Gangodawila Soma Thera, Chief Incumbent of Victoria Viharaya, Australia and pioneer of the Jana Vijaya movement, passed away after an emergency bypass surgery in Russia last afternoon. He was 53. more..

Probe on Athurugiriya army safe house: John refutes charges

Dec 13 (Island) Former Minister for Interior John Amaratunga refuted allegations made by a Presidential Commission that 23 members belonging to the Army intelligence unit had been killed as a result of the raid on the Athurugiriya army safe house. more..