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LTTE held teenagers delivered to Police

Feb 18 (SLA) Police personnel on duty at the entry/exit point at UYILANKULAM, about 15 km. southeast of MANNAR have arrested an LTTE cadre in the company of two teenaged boys on 17 February 2003 while they were trying to cross the entry/exit point. more..

Hand grenade hurled at EPRLF leader's home

Feb 18 (SLA) A hand grenade had been thrown at the residence of Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front’s (EPRLF) BATTICALOA leader in the general area of GALVETIKANDA, about 2 km. southwest of BATTICALOA town by two unidentified persons on 17 February 2003 around 10.30 p.m. more..

Two female LTTE cadres released on bail

Feb 18 (SLA) The two female LTTE cadres, who were arrested and subsequently produced before the TRINCOMALEE Magistrate for their alleged involvement in the abduction of two school girls, were released on bail on 17 February 2003 after postponing further hearings for May 2003. more..

Stocks finish lower on war fears

Feb 18 (Reuters) Stocks fell on Tuesday in light volumes, as worries about the situation in the Middle East kept buyers away despite strong corporate earnings. The key Colombo all-share index finished down 0.59 percent, or 4.52 points, to 765.33 points, closing lower for an eighth straight day. more..

High cost of living brings protesters to Colombo streets

Feb 18 (TN) Party members and parliamentarians of the main opposition party of Sri Lanka Parliament, People’s Alliance (PA) held a protest demonstration against high of cost of living under UNF Government, on Monday afternoon in down town Colombo, sources in the capital city said. more..

Mirusuvil massacre inquiry put off

Feb 18 (TN) The inquiry into the Mirusuvil massacre case was put off for February 19 as the prison officials reported to the Trial-at-Bar Monday that the fourth accused has fallen ill, legal sources said. more..

LTTE cadres released, hartal called off in Trincomalee

Feb 18 (TN) The Trincomalee Magistrate Mr.S.Thiagendran Monday released the two women cadres of the LTTE on surety bail and the hartal (general shut down) which was being observed in the east port town Monday demanding the release of them from morning was called off by noon, more..

Indian TATA company to expand investment in Sri Lanka

Feb 18 (Xinhua) Chairman of the Indian business giant TATA company R.N.Tata will visit Sri Lanka later this week and discuss the expansion of its investments in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Fiance Ministry said. more..

Waiting to Exhale

Feb 18 (Time) Exiting the international airport in Colombo can be alarming: uniformed men tote guns, and there are acres of razor wire. Colombo's quaint commercial center is clogged with police checkpoints. more..

Plantations to get five new LTs

Feb 18 (DOI) Five new Labour Tribunals (LTs) will be set up in major plantation areas of Talawakele, Bandarawela, Kegalle, Matugama and Nawalapitiya benefitting estate workers, Employment and Labour Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. more..

Child Care Services Dept to rehabilitate street children

Feb 18 (DOI) Street children in 18 cities throughout the country will be rehabilitated by the Department of Probation and Child Care Services which conducted a survey to identify the exact number of street children. more..

People's Bank levies service charge

Feb 18 (DOI) The People's Bank will levy a service charge for accepting payments of electricity bills from subscribers beginning this month. However customers with a bank balance not less than Rs. 3000 will be exempted from this 'commission'. more..

Govt to ban snack packets with toys

Feb 18 (Xinhua) The government has decided to take action against manufacturers and importers selling snack foods containing small toys which has posed threat to the safety of children. The decision came after the recent death of an infant who has swallowed a toy rubber ball found in a snack food packet, more..

Child Care Services Dept to rehabilitate street children

Feb 18 (DN) Street children in 18 cities throughout the country will be rehabilitated by the Department of Probation and Child Care Services which conducted a survey to identify the exact number of street children. more..

Education an important leveler in human society - President

Feb 18 (PSL) “The special importance of Distance Learning is that it can reach communities living in far away places, with little access to formal education systems” said President Chandrika Kumaratunga more..

Reuters Photo

Feb 18 (Reuters) Suresh Kumar, who lost his leg in a landmine blast fighting for Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels, tests out his artificial leg after having it serviced at the rebel-run White Pigeon project in the northern Sri Lankan town of Kilinochchi Jan 31. more..

Govt denies giving in too much to Tamil rebels

Feb 18 (Xinhua) The government Tuesday denied that it has given in too much to the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels during the peace talks between the two sides. Defense Minister Tilak Marapana told the parliament that the rebels of the LTTE continue to possess arms and run their own courts and police stations and these are some of the subjects for discussion and negotiation. more..

Sri Lanka resist temptation to experiment against Canada

Feb 18 (CI) Sri Lanka will resist the temptation to experiment against Canada as they try to boost their Net Run Rate (NRR) and secure their path to the Super Sixes stage of the competition. more..

IMEXPRO 2003, thanks to peace

Feb 18 (IL) An international trade fair, "Imexpro 2003" will be held in Sri Lanka from March 30 to April 1, at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre. Imexpro 2003 is expected to provide a boost to the promotion of exports and imports in Sri Lanka and take Sri Lanka forward to new heights in the globally competitive market. more..

JVP in action again

Feb 18 (IL) The JVP yesterday called upon all patriotic Sri Lankans, to join hands and take part in a massive protest rally organised by them on Thursday evening, against the "one year celebrations of the so-called ceasefire agreement and to banish Ranil, G.L. and Milinda from the country." more..

Defence Ministry says, LTTE baggages inspected

Feb 18 (IL) The Defence Ministry yesterday said no package in the possession of the LTTE delegation to the Berlin peace talks left the Katunayake Airport premises without due inspection. The baggage had been inspected in Germany at the point of embarkation prior to their boarding. more..

101 Villages in NE selected for NIAP development

Feb 18 (TN) The World Bank assisted North East Irrigation and Agriculture Project (NIAP) officials said that under the 2003 program for renovating irrigation tanks in NorthEast, 101 villages have been selected in districts of Vavuniya, Mannar, Trincomalee and Batticaloa where implementation activities will begin in March, more..

Sri Lanka prepared for war or peace with foreign support: minister

Feb 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka is bracing for both war and peace with increased foreign support even as it keeps up political negotiations with Tamil Tiger rebels, Defence Minister Tilak Marapone said Tuesday. more..

TNA refutes PA MP's charge on Buddhist shrines

Feb 19 (TN) The TNA parliamentarian Mr.K.Thurairetnasingham participating in the debate on the no confidence motion against the Defence Minister Tuesday refuted charges made by a PA parliamentarian Gunawardene that Hindu temples have been constructed after destroying Buddhist shrines in the eastern province, more..

Chandrika inaugurates online distance-learning project

Feb 19 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, today inaugurated a seven-nation online distance-learning programme, aimed at linking the SAARC countries through a non-governmental initiative. more..

Diplomatic passports for Sri Lanka's tea traders

Feb 19 (AFP) The Sri Lankan government Tuesday offered diplomatic passports and millions of dollars in incentives to help boost revenue from the island's main export commodity, tea. more..

Ranatunga blasts Warne

Feb 19 (TOI) Former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga slammed spin king Shane Warne as a crook after his B sample reportedly tested positive for diuretics. Known for his acid tongue, Ranatunga wondered what fate would have awaited an Asian if he had committed the same blunder. more..

`Security measures not lax '

Feb 19 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan Defence Minister, Tilak Marapane, today denied charges that the Government was lax on security and asserted that the state's vigilance mechanism had been strengthened. more..

No Sinhala reps. on review committees for land and related issues in East

Feb 19 (Island) The Opposition expressed serious concern over a disputed decision to exclude Sinhala representatives from three committees to be appointed to review land and all other related issues in the Ampara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts on a priority basis. more..

Revving Up

Feb 19 (LBO) A newly set up Indo-Sri Lanka joint venture, plans to lure ladies to hop on and popularise motorbikes in Sri Lanka. United Motors Lanka Ltd (UML) on Tuesday tied up with India’s TVS Group to form a 50:50 joint venture to sell motorbikes and motor spares. more..

Incited students hand over petition to government representative

Feb 19 (SLA) A protest campaign attended by a group of about 200-300 incited students and teachers of the BATTICALOA Technical College ended peacefully in the general area of KADDAMUNAI in BATTICALOA on Wednesday (19) morning, after handing over a petition to the Divisional Secretary in BATTICALOA. more..

Ex-TELO member managed to escape from LTTE

Feb 19 (SLA) A civilian, who was proceeding to his wife’s residence on a push bicycle has been abducted by two LTTE cadres from the general area of PULIYADDIKUDA in BATTICALOA town on 18 February 2003 around 1.10 p.m. more..

Three nabbed for attempted conscription

Feb 19 (SLA) Police post at MUHAMALAI were able to apprehend three suspects from the general area of KODIKAMAM, about 6.5 km northeast of CHAVAKACHCHERI town on 16 February 2003 around 7.30 p.m. for their alleged attempt to conscript a civilian to the LTTE. more..

ICRC to help trace missing persons

Feb 19 (DOI) The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) yesterday said that out of a reported 20,000 complaints, 2,200 persons have been confirmed as missing in the last 12 years of the war. more..

Government- LTTE MoU: Elaborate programme to celebrate first anniversary

Feb 19 (DOI) The People's Peace Front (PPF) in collaboration with several non-governmental organisations has planned an elaborate programme to celebrate the first anniversary of the Government-LTTE MoU on Saturday and portray the people's movement dedicated to peace. more..

SAARC yet to achieve its potential - President

Feb 19 (DOI) The SAARC created with the noble objective of consolidating on our civilisational strengths has failed to achieve its objectives in any substantial manner after two decades of existence, President Chandrika Kumaratunga said yesterday. more..

Radiation leak: Doc sues hospital

Feb 19 (DM) A doctor working at the Maharagama Cancer Hospital is suing the Health Ministry for Rs. 125 million on charges that negligence on its part had made him a victim of radiation. more..

Police bust massive vehicle racket, eight in custody

Feb 19 (DN) A massive vehicle fraud was uncovered by the Western Province North Police Anti Corruption Unit yesterday when they detected 22 vehicles worth more than Rs. 200 million which were hijacked and stolen from various parts of the country. more..

Sri Lanka at sea over sand project

Feb 19 (AT) What the Sri Lankan government took as a green-friendly step this month - the use of sea sand instead of exploiting river sand that has put the environment under threat - may not be so green after all. more..

World Bank assists demining efforts in northeastern Sri Lanka

Feb 19 (AP) The World Bank has agreed to provide US$500,000 (47.5 million rupees) to clear land mines in Sri Lanka's war-ravaged northeast, the finance ministry said Wednesday. The agreement was signed on Wednesday by the World Bank, the U.N. Development Program, and Sri Lankan government officials, it said. more..

Tamil guerrillas fail to show up at government meeting

Feb 19 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels on Wednesday stayed away from a program launched by the government to promote trust among various ethnic groups. More than 250 representative from all districts, multilateral agencies and the private sector came together to draw a relief, rehabilitation and reconciliation scheme more..

Sri Lanka wins by nine wickets after Canada's record 36 all out

Feb 19 (AP) Sri Lanka bowled out Canada for a record low 36 and cantered to a nine-wicket win in just 28 balls in a World Cup match that lasted just 105 minutes on Wednesday. Sri Lanka scored 37 for the loss of skipper Sanath Jayasuriya's wicket as Marvan Atapattu, 24 not out, and Kumar Sangakkara, four not out, scored the runs in 4.4 overs. more..

Sri Lanka has been ravaged by invasion, war and political unrest for centuries

Feb 19 (PDE) The island’s people have been caught up in ethnic and religious conflicts, with wealth and work at the heart of blood-soaked massacres. Tens of thousands of lives have been lost through revolt and riots, particularly between the republic’s Tamil and Sinhalese peoples - whose killings amount to ethnic cleansing. more..

Government, Emirates to ink fresh SriLankan air deal

Feb 19 (DJ) The Sri Lankan government and Emirates Airlines are expected to sign a fresh agreement on the partial sale of national carrier SriLankan Airlines, SriLankan Chief Executive Peter Hill said Wednesday. more..

Donor funds key to mending Sri Lanka's war-hit economy

Feb 19 (DJ) The Sri Lankan government will rely heavily on international aid to mend its war-damaged economy this year rather than pressure an already overstretched budget for reconstruction funds. more..

Sri Lanka amends laws to help bridge budget deficit

Feb 19 (DJ) The Sri Lankan parliament Wednesday approved amendments to tax and pension laws aimed at boosting state revenue and reducing the government's hefty pension liability. more..

Marapana survives no-trust vote

Feb 19 (Gulf) Defence Minister Tilak Marapana survived a no-confidence motion in parliament yesterday, but the opposition made maximum use of the debate on the motion to criticise the government for its failure to prevent ceasefire violations by Tamil guerrillas. more..

Sri Lanka keeps fingers crossed as truce holds a year

Feb 19 (Reuters) Until a year ago, people in the Sri Lankan capital worried about suicide bombings, military checkpoints and sirens of ambulances bringing wounded soldiers home from the warfront. more..

Reuters Photo

Feb 19 (Reuters) Young Sri Lankan schoolgirls play on one of the many beaches in the capital Colombo's Galle Face on Feb 18. Sri Lanka will mark the first anniversary of a truce between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels on Saturday. more..

Sri Lanka moves to protect tea industry

Feb 19 (BBC) The government in Sri Lanka is acting to protect the country's $700m tea industry in the event of war in Iraq. Sri Lanka is the world's biggest tea exporter - last year it exported 291 million kilograms with more than half of it going to the Middle East and North Africa. more..