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Thorpe criticises Sri Lankans for telling tales

Dec 13 (Reuters) England batsman Graham Thorpe criticised the Sri Lanka team on Friday for lodging an official complaint against Nasser Hussain during the first test. Sri Lanka said their off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan had been verbally abused by Hussain as he walked out to bat on Thursday. more..

The calm after the storm

Dec 13 (CI) After the storm, the calm. Today was an improbably peaceful follow-up to the raucous events of Thursday evening, when allegations flew and reprimands were registered. The sense of decorum even extended to Sri Lanka's batsmen, who were perfectly content to dawdle off for bad light with ten overs of the day remaining, despite the threat of rain over the next couple of days. more..

Under-confident Sri Lanka

Dec 13 (BBC) I'm still slightly in shock at Sri Lanka's baffling decision to go off for bad light when they had England at their mercy with an hour to go on the third day of this eventful Kandy Test. more..

Sri Lankan Labour Migration Experts Visit

Dec 13 (AA) A group of labour migration experts from the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) is visiting Tunisia on an IOM-sponsored study tour this week. The visit is designed to provide the group with insights into how Tunisia manages its overseas employment programmes, more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Dec 13 (SLA) One hundred and thirty five (135) lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 01 December 2003 and 07 December 2003. more..

Major General S.H.S. Kottegoda hands over his former office

Dec 13 (SLA) Major General S.H.S. Kottegoda, Chief of Staff - Sri Lanka Army relinquished his office of the Colonel of the Regiment Sri Lanka Light Infantry (SLLI) at Regimental Headquarters (RHQ) in Panagoda Army Cantonment on Friday (12) morning. more..

Asian Race

Dec 13 (LBO) Shell Overseas Investments is likely to drop out of the race for third player in local petroleum distribution, Lanka Business Online learns. Local officials of Shell Gas Lanka declined to make an official statement at this time. more..

Bird Business

Dec 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s top bird study group is riding the slipstream of seasonal trends to create awareness and fund their research and conservation efforts. Field Ornithological Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL) has got involved in developing educational seasonal greetings cards featuring Birds. more..

New Money

Dec 13 (LBO) The Ministry of Enterprise Development, Industrial Policy and Investment Promotion. is hoping to raise US$ 90 mn next year to fund the second leg of a concessionary loan scheme to small and medium scale enterprises. more..

Via Colombo

Dec 13 (LBO) Middle East based airline, Qatar Airways says it will fly via Colombo on its way to Australia, picking up Indian tourists to fill up its flights. Flights to Australia will take off after rounding up bilateral aviation negotiations between Sri Lanka and Qatar in March 04’. more..

CWC in a forged act

Dec 13 (LT) A forged application for citizenship has been distributed among the Indian Tamil population in the Estate sector by Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) accuses All Workers’ Welfare Front. more..

Ananda Sangaree outplays tigers

Dec 13 (LT) Mr. V. Ananda Sangaree, the leader of TULF has said in a letter to Mr. R.Sambanthan, the secretary that it is illegal to call a meeting of the Central Committee without his permission. more..

Student sacked for bringing in students’ paper

Dec 13 (LT) A student of Bandaranayake Vidyalaya at Gampaha has forwarded a fundamental rights petition claiming that he was sacked from school for bringing in a tabloid newspaper. more..

Danish group demines in Kanniya

Dec 13 (TN) The Danish Demining Group (DDG) has been engaged in identifying and recovering unexploded ordnance (UXO) buried in the village of Kanniya, located along the Trincomalee- Anuradhapura trunk road, about 8 k.m. northwest of the Trincomalee town. more..

Norway Caught Off-guard: Interference in Sri Lankan Affairs confirmed

Dec 13 (AT) At last the cat is out of the bag. Now it has been finally confirmed that Norway continued to interfere in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka – a Sovereign, Independent Republic. Norway’s’ interference in the affairs of Sri Lanka is an action deplorable and condemnable. more..

Dilshan gives Sri Lanka an unbeatable advantage

Dec 13 (CI) England were left fighting to save the second Test at Kandy after a sparkling century from Tillakaratne Dilshan helped Sri Lanka to gain a dominating lead of 367. Michael Vaughan led the quest for safety to close on a battling fifty not out, but with two wickets down and 278 runs behind, England will need a couple of hundreds – or rain storms – to save them tomorrow. more..

Three consultative committees in crisis

Dec 13 (DM) A fresh controversy was set off in Parliament yesterday when PA frontliner Jeyaraj Fernandopulle claimed that the defence, interior and mass media consultative committees could not function as deputy ministers were not appointed and he suggested that Standing Orders be amended to permit MPs of a consultative committee to elect the chairman. more..

India will aid Lanka if war breaks out, says Lankan army chief

Dec 13 (HT) Commander of the Sri Lankan Army and chief of the Joint Defence Staff Lt Gen Lionel Balagalle has said that India will help Sri Lanka if war breaks out, according to reports in local newspapers. more..

Gov't plans for light rail network construction

Dec 13 (Xinhua) The government is working out plans for the construction of a 920 million US dollar light rail transit system for capital Colombo to reduce the traffic congestion and give commuters faster access to the city center, more..

Inquiry nails PM for busting of secret army hideout

Dec 13 (HT) A Presidential Commission, which inquired into the busting of a key hideout of the Army's top-secret Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) in 2002, has blamed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the recently sacked ministers, and several police officers for the act, which it described as a "great betrayal". more..

Rivals firm on deadline

Dec 13 (Gulf) Both President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's parties are insisting that they will stick to a December 15 deadline on deciding whether the two sides should continue talks on reaching an agreement to cooperate on national issues or end the negotiations. more..

Media: watch it!

Dec 13 (IL) Academics and senior journalists have warned of the adverse effects the media could have on the peace process if they failed to promote national unity. The role of the media came under the searchlight at a workshop held in Colombo organized by the National Peace Council and the Federation of the North South Journalists. more..

Sajith Premadasa lauds foreign Sri Lankan donors

Dec 13 (IL) Deputy Minister of Health, Nutrition and Welfare Sajith Premadasa said our Sri Lankan donors, living in foreign countries, were taking a great interest to donate very important equipment which were urgently needed for the hospitals of our country." more..

England feel the strain

Dec 13 (CI) Nine days was what England required to beat Bangladesh earlier this winter, and on the ninth day of this current series, England themselves took quite a beating. After the hesistancy which has characterised Sri Lanka's batting in their previous three innings, Tillakaratne Dilshan broke the shackles and took full toll of England's under-manned attack. more..

An alternative venue

Dec 13 (CI) It has been a feature of the grounds in this Test series – the best seats in the house are actually the ones that are not in the house at all. At Galle, there was nowhere to rival the view from the ramparts of the old Dutch fort. more..

NECORD funds village development project in Kanniya

Dec 13 (TN) Under the Village Rehabilitation Programme, Asian Development Bank supported North East Community Restoration Development (NECORD) project is funding reconstruction of abandoned roads and public wells and other infrastructure facilities destroyed in Kanniya, more..

"UNP ready to seek fresh mandate from people" - PM

Dec 13 (TN) Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe Saturday said the Presdient has no power to take over the defense ministry according to the constitution and her action in this regard should be considered a violation of the peoples’ mandate at the last general election. more..

Colombo and Dhaka keen on GM papaya

Dec 14 (BP) Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are interested in buying Thai genetically engineered papaya, to feed their under-nourished population. The demand is prompting Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Somsak Thepsutin to rush to lift the ban on open-field testing of GM crops, likely to start with papaya. more..

NE bags 24 first places in Tamil day competitions

Dec 14 (TN) The All Island Tamil day celebrations and distribution of awards to winners of competitions to mark the day would be held Sunday morning at Bambalapitya New Kathiresan Hall in Colombo. more..

Maldives releases 19 Sri Lankan fishermen

Dec 14 (AP) The government of the Maldives, accused recently of torturing prisoners, has released 19 Sri Lankan fishermen arrested for illegally entering its waters, an official said on Saturday. more..

The Titanic sails on

Dec 14 (SL) It is now six weeks since Chandrika Kumaratunga fired her fateful salvo at Ranil Wickremesinghe’s ship of state on Nov 4, holing it amidships. Since then, listing slightly to starboard and firing on only two cylinders, the S.S. UNF has hobbled on, lifeboats at the ready, hoping desperately that the engineers could do their work, enabling the voyage to see completion. more..

CBK, Ranil prepare for polls

Dec 14 (SL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Friday informed the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) organisers that she will be signing an agreement with the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) very shortly and to prepare for snap elections. more..

Mahanayaka Thera, other prelates urge President-Premier consensus

Dec 14 (SO) The Mahanayaka Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter, other leading Theras and prelates of other religions in a special public appeal last Wednesday called on the President and the Prime Minister to "act together for peace". more..

No dissolution; CBK to JVP

Dec 14 (ST) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has ruled out an immediate dissolution of parliament but indicated early provincial elections ahead of any general election. Her position has been conveyed to the JVP and her own MPs this week. more..

Securing South Asia

Dec 14 (HT) Today, when we speak of the security of a State we no longer mean its physical security alone. When we speak of strategy we no longer mean military or defence strategy alone. The concepts of security and strategy have acquired a wider connotation. more..

Colombo urged to delegate Rights cases to Provincial Courts

Dec 14 (TN) Leading human rights activist Mr. Kasinathar Sivapalan Saturday appealed to the Sri Lanka government to transfer the jurisdiction of inquiring into fundamental and human right applications from Colombo Supreme Court to the provincial high courts. more..

SLMM Chief grounded in Oslo - Paper

Dec 14 (TN) For the last one and a half months, since he was declared persona non grata by the Sri Lankan President the chief of SLMM, Major General (ret.) Tryggve Tellefsen (62), is forced to work from Oslo Norway with remaining members of SLMM in Sri Lanka, using telephone and e-mail, writes the Norwegian daily Aftenposten in its Saturday issue. more..

PM says ready to seek mandate in elections

Dec 14 (Kyodo) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said Saturday that his ruling UNF government is willing to face fresh elections and obtain a new mandate from the people to relaunch the stalled peace process with the Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Buses off roads in Jaffna

Dec 14 (TP) BUS services in Jaffna were paralysed and shops closed on Thursday to protest against the alleged shooting of a bus conductor by government troops, The Daily Mirror reported. Reports said hundreds of private buses were off the roads while the state-transport service had only a limited service. more..

Deadline to resolve Lanka crisis ends tomorrow

Dec 14 (TP)As President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s battled for a face-saving solution to share power with the deadline for this exercise ending tomorrow, the government has decided to pass without a fuss the budgets of the three ministries taken over by the President, newspapers said. more..

Jaffna said apprehensive of US military aid to Colombo

Dec 14 (TN) Senior government officials in Jaffna told a visiting US state department official Sunday that Tamils in the northern peninsula are “apprehensive about US military assistance to Sri Lanka- they fear that it would jeopardise peace”. more..

Officials to have final meeting to solve Sri Lankan political crisis

Dec 14 (AP) Representatives of Sri Lanka’s president and the prime minister will meet on Monday in a last ditch effort to break a political deadlock between the two leaders that threatens to derail the island’s peace process. more..

Stepped up defence ties with India worries Lankan Tamils

Dec 14 (TN) Talk of increased defence cooperation with India, in general, and the just-concluded visit of the Sri Lankan Army chief Lt Gen Lionel Balagalle to New Delhi in particular, are worrying Sri Lankan Tamils, who tend to reflect the view of the LTTE in these matters. more..

Chandrika-Ranil row stymies defence pact with India

Dec 14 (HT) The prospect of starting talks soon on the much-touted Indo-Lanka Defence Cooperation Agreement (DSA) is dim because of the unending row over the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

India, Lanka pact to solve fishing row

Dec 14 (UNI) Sri Lanka will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India soon to permanently solve the unabated conflicts between the fishermen of both countries. Illegal fishing has been a longstanding issue with fishermen of both countries crossing respective borders in the Palk Straits. more..

India offers military aid to Sri Lanka

Dec 14 (IANS) India has agreed to offer a package of military assistance to Sri Lanka including supply of transport helicopters to enhance the armed forces airlift capability, reports Xinhua. more..

Hussain's attitude can galvanise players for escape act

Dec 14 (Telegraph) Duncan Fletcher, the England coach, says his players must take heart from their backs-to-the-wall escape in Galle as they try to save the second test against Sri Lanka today. more..

Warne getting fit and ready for trip to take on Murali

Dec 14 (AP) Shane Warne expects to be touring with the Australian cricket team within a month of his drug ban finishing in February next year. Warne yesterday said he was hopeful of earning selection to tour Sri Lanka in March where he'll come up against his old adversary Muttiah Muralitharan. more..

'People can exert force superpowers can't ignore'

Dec 14 (TOI) "People can exert a kind of force that even the world superpowers cannot oppose," said Dr AT Ariyaratne, Magsaysay awardee, president of Sarvodaya International, Sri Lanka. He is here to attend the 4th International Conference of chief justices of the world organised by the City Montessori School. more..

Murali's no tell-tale

Dec 14 (CI) On Thursday, Nasser Hussain raised the stakes in this Test series. He was no doubt frustrated by England's inability to mop up Sri Lanka's tail and probably annoyed by the apparently chummy attitude between some of England's younger players and Muttiah Muralitharan. However, Hussain appears to have deliberately tried to rile Muralitharan with a verbal broadside. more..