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LTTE protest against alleged govt troop harassment

Feb 19 (Xinhua) Public transport came to a halt with schools and business shut in Sri Lanka's eastern cities of Trincomalee and Batticaloa on Wednesday as a result of the Tamil rebels calling for a protest campaign against an alleged government troops harassment of their members, residents said. more..

Red Cross dusts-off old files of 11,000 missing in Sri Lanka

Feb 19 (AFP) The international Red Cross Wednesday said it had begun reopening files on some 11,000 people missing in Sri Lanka as it moved to help warring parties set up a system to establish the fate of the victims. more..

U.S. Backs Sri Lanka's Peace Process

Feb 20 (WF) The United States will give "significant further assistance" to Sri Lanka, if its government quickly moves to protect the rights of all Sri Lankans and if rebels stop smuggling weapons and recruiting child-soldiers. more..

SA, Sri Lanka to boost ties with business council

Feb 20 (BD) Whatever may happen in the cricket, SA's commercial relations with Sri Lanka are due to be boosted with the establishment next month of an SA-Sri Lanka business council. This new body intends to boost the low levels of trade between the two countries, to tap the potential which Sri Lankan diplomats believe exists. more..

Signals Up

Feb 20 (LBO) The ADB expects Sri Lanka will clock in a 5 percent growth in 2003, building on the back of renewed economic stability and a global recovery in the second half of the year. “This performance builds on the progress the Government has made in achieving short-run macroeconomic stability in 2002”, the Bank said more..

Shelter For Old

Feb 20 (LBO) Parliament on Wednesday passed amendments to the state pension funds, paving the way for a new contributory style retirement scheme for public sector employees. The Employees Provident Fund Act was amended to allow a new pension scheme for public sector employees to start off from January 1. more..

Shares end firmer; more retailers return

Feb 20 (DJ) Shares ended firmer Thursday as more retailers, who recently exited the market on worries over a possible U.S.-led attack on Iraq, reinvested in select blue chips, brokers said. "The Iraq situation seems to have been factored in, but not many are returning to the market," said one Colombo broker. more..

Ratan Tata to hold talks with Sri Lanka premier

Feb 20 (PTI) India's leading industrialist Ratan Tata will hold talks with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to discuss possible investments by the Tata group in the island nation. more..

School children dragged to protest over religious site

Feb 20 (SLA) A group of about 100 incited uniform clad school children along with about 25 civilians have launched a protest march from KANTARODAI Maha Vidyalaya premises to the UDUVIL Divisional Secretariat Office on 19 February 2003 around 11.00 a.m. more..

Life crippled in VALACHCHENAI town

Feb 20 (SLA) Public transport came to a standstill, schools, shops and public offices remained closed disrupting normalcy in the general area of VALACHCHENAI town on 19 February 2003 following a protest campaign launched by LTTE. more..

Teachers stop students with LTTE black bands

Feb 20 (SLA) Teaching staff at SITHIVINAYAGAR Hindu Vidyalaya and ST. LUCIA’s Convent in the general area of MANNAR have prevented school children with black bands from entering the school premises on 19 February 2003. more..

Army soldier dies of accident

Feb 20 (SLA) An Army soldier under routine training on 18 February 2003 in the general area of MUHAMALAI has died of an accident. Preliminary investigations disclosed that the said soldier, a tank driver struck his head against the gun barrel accidentally while he was trying to get out of the driving compartment. more..

Police drag out hearings over LTTE’s threats against SEP

Feb 20 (wsws) Despite continuing threats by the LTTE against members of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) on Kayts Island in northern Sri Lanka, three court cases earlier this month confirm that the police are in effect shielding the LTTE. more..

JVP, PA seek to block flow of foreign aid

Feb 20 (Gulf) Sri Lanka's ruling United National Party has accused the Marxist JVP (Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna or People's Liberation Front) and sections of the main opposition People's Alliance (PA) for canvassing foreign countries to block aid coming into the country. more..

Sri Lanka invites Petronas to invest in Colombo gas market

Feb 20 (UO) Malaysia's national oil corporation Petronas, and multinational Caltex, have been invited to enter Sri Lanka's domestic and industrial gas market, Commerce Minister Ravi Karunanayake said on Wednesday. He told Bernama that there was an "open" invitation for Petronas to invest in Sri Lanka. more..

Cheaper drugs at CWE outlets

Feb 20 (DM) In a bid to provide quality drugs at affordable prices, the government is to sell five commonly used drugs at reduced prices from tomorrow. Consumer Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake said drugs like Amoxycillin, Cefalexin, Erythromycan, Metrormin and Atnelol will be sold at prices less than 35 to 85% in comparison to the current market prices. more..

Eight luxury cruise liners here soon

Feb 20 (DN) Eight luxury cruise liners including the world renowned Queen Elizabeth II will call at the Colombo Port within the next few weeks, a Ports and Shipping Ministry spokesman said yesterday. more..

Nissanka provides another piece to Sri Lanka jigsaw

Feb 20 (CI) Sri Lanka were always expected to overpower Canada'a part-time club cricketers but the speed with which victory was achieved was nevertheless a surprise. This was the shortest game in World Cup history, lasting a total of just 23.2 overs and 105 minutes of play, more..

Jayasuriya says minnows have a future in the World Cup

Feb 20 (AP) Is there a future for the minnows in World Cup cricket? The overwhelming answer is yes. This is despite witnessing the highs and lows and upsets and embarrassments by the four minnows - Canada, Kenya, the Netherlands and Namibia - in less than two weeks of World Cup cricket. more..

There will be greater transparency in Peace Process - G.L. Peiris

Feb 20 (PRIU) Prof. G.L. Peiris today promised greater transparency in the ongoing peace process to mark the first anniversary of the Ceasefire Agreement, February 22. more..

Help avoid a major catastrophe - Sri Lanka tells UN

Feb 20 (PRIU) Ambassador Rubert Jayasinghe, Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN said that the Government of Sri Lanka hopes that Iraq would fully comply with UN resolution 1441. more..

Resident Mission in Hanoi

Feb 20 (PRIU) A resident Sri Lanka Embassy was established in Hanoi, capital of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam with effect from 16th January 2003. M. M. Jaffer has been appointed Sri Lanka’s first resident Ambassador in Vietnam. more..

SAF conforms in spirit and purpose to SAARC - Kadirgamar

Feb 20 (PRIU) “The reason for the South Asia Foundation is regional cooperation, nourished by our common culture, propelled by modern technology, and fired by the energy and idealism of youth,” said Lakshman Kadirgamar more..

President to J'pura Deans: Increase residential facilities

Feb 20 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga instructed the Vice Chancellor and Heads of Faculties of Sri Jayawardenepura University to check the possibility of increasing residential facilities in the University. more..

SriLankan Airlines likely to report improved earnings

Feb 20 (AP) SriLankan Airlines is likely to post improved earnings in its fiscal year ending March, but the coming year is clouded with uncertainty due to the specter of a war in Iraq, chief executive Peter Hill said Thursday. more..

Sri Lanka fails to attract bids for stakes in 7 bus companies

Feb 20 (DJ) The government Thursday said it failed to attract bids for stakes in seven state-run bus companies. "We didn't get any offers when the acceptance of bids officially closed yesterday (Wednesday)," said a spokesman at the PERC, the government's privatization arm. more..

Indian companies eye Sri Lanka for investment

Feb 20 (AFP) Indian investors were showing greater interest in Sri Lanka following its peace moves with Tamil Tiger rebels, a senior minister said on Thursday. Minister, G L Peiris said Tata group chairman, Ratan Tata would hold talks on Thursday with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

After peace Sri Lanka looks for prosperity

Feb 20 (AP) A year after a cease-fire ended fighting between the military and Tamil Tiger rebels, Sri Lanka's government said Thursday it was satisfied with progress made and was preparing for a major donor conference to rebuild the war-ravaged nation. more..

Sri Lanka announces dates for donor conference in Japan

Feb 20 (Xinhua) The Japanese government is to host a conference of Sri Lanka's international donors on June 9 and 10 in Tokyo, a senior Sri Lankan government official said Thursday. more..

Sri Lanka given police guard

Feb 20 (BBC) Sri Lanka's cricketers arrived in Nairobi on Thursday for their Group B match against Kenya amid tight security. The team were greeted by anti-riot police and surveillance planes, with Kenyan authorities keen to take no risks over the one World Cup match they are now hosting. more..

Changes to Sri Lanka banking act soon to foster mergers

Feb 20 (DJ) Sri Lanka is soon expected to make amendments to its Banking Act that will include provisions that give greater freedom for banks to amalgamate, a senior central bank official said. more..

Police break up anti-truce demo in Colombo

Feb 20 (AFP) Police fired water cannons to break up a march here Thursday by thousands of activists demonstrating against a ceasefire between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels, witnesses said. more..

Tiger supremo asked to go to court

Feb 20 (AFP) Top Tiger rebel has been asked to appear in court to explain his truce with the government, officials said Thursday. The Court of Appeal Wednesday ordered 48-year-old Velupillai Prabhakaran, a fugitive at home and abroad, to present himself for a hearing on May 19 over the Norwegian backed ceasefire agreement he entered into with the government on Feb. 23 last year. more..

Trinco port workers hold demonstration against privatisation

Feb 21 (TN) Hundreds of workers of the Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) Thursday afternoon staged an hour long protest demonstration in front of the SLPA main office in Trincomalee, demanding that the UNF government not hand over the functions of the SLPA to the private sector, more..

Police ban protest march in Trincomalee

Feb 21 (TN) The Trincomalee Police Thursday banned the black band protest march of the Tamils Women's Front in the eastern port town from St.Joseph's College to the office of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), which is located at the Inner Harbour Road. more..

PM upbeat on peace but sees hurdles ahead

Feb 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's prime minister said he was satisfied with progress on the island's peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels, but cautioned a final settlement to the 19-year-long ethnic war was still a long way off. more..

Rail track a death trap say engineers

Feb 21 (Island) The Institution of Engineers (IOE) has warned the government that rail tracks between Panadura and Fort and between Avissawella and Maradana are in a poor ‘state of maintenance’ and this could result in death, injury and damage to person and property of it was not remedied early. more..

Peace Secretariat on the appointment of Committees in the Eastern Province

Feb 21 (AT) The Secretariat for Co-ordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) in Sri Lanka clarifies the reasons for not appointing any Sinhalese members in the committees that are to be appointed in the Ampara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. more..

Warning Bells

Feb 21 (LBO) Russia has upped import duties on packed tea by 100 percent, prompting fears that this will eat into demand for Ceylon tea in Sri Lanka’s biggest market. Russia announced recently that it was increasing duties on tea bags from current levels of 0.4 percent to 0.8 percent per kilo while duties on bulk tea stayed the same at 5 percent. more..


Feb 21 (LBO) A proposal to start a second stock exchange via electronic communications networks has got regulatory attention. Investor Access Asia led by Asanga Seneviratne, has written to the Securities & Exchange Commission asking permission to trade local securities on an electronic exchange. more..

SLMM reports abduction of youth

Feb 21 (SLA) The representative of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in BATTICALOA has informed the Army camp at BATTICALOA on 20 February 2003 around 3.30 p.m. that a youth had been abducted by LTTE from the general area of VALACHCHENAI on 08 February 2003. more..

SLMM don’t want disruption but receive protest letter

Feb 21 (SLA) SLMM officials in TRINCOMALEE, who ignored a protest campaign, to be held by an association called, District Women’s Society in the center of TRINCOMALEE town on 20 February 2003, instead made organizers to hand over their letter of protest at St JOSEPH’s COLLEGE premises, the point of origin of the protest march. more..

Kerosene bowser turned back unchecked

Feb 21 (SLA) A Kerosene bowser destined for KANKESANTHURAI had to be turned away at entry/exit point at OMANTHAI on 19 February 2003 due to objections raised by its driver against routine checking. more..

UP to export potatoes to Gulf, Lanka

Feb 21 (BL) Significant quantities of quality Indian potatoes are to be exported to the UAE for the first time this year, following the thrust given by the Uttar Pradesh Government to tap overseas markets in the wake of increased production of potatoes in the State. more..

More tax incentives to spur investment

Feb 21 (DOI) The Government has decided to grant additional tax incentives to several industries to promote foreign and local investment involving large-scale employment generation. more..

President to lead Lankan delegation to NAM

Feb 21 (DOI) The Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the 13th Non Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit commenced here yesterday (20) with a special emphasis on the issues on the situation in Iraq and the Middle East, the two main topics that are likely to dominate the entire Summit. more..

Cheaper pharmaceuticals soon

Feb 21 (DOI) The prices of several pharmaceutical products will come down soon in line with a government initiative to import low-cost generic drugs. Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake has announced the launch of parallel imports and generic pharmaceutical products to drop prices. more..

The killing has stopped in the past year - SLMM

Feb 21 (PRIU) Chief of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission Trond Furuhovde reviewing the first year of operation of the Ceasefire Agreement in an exclusive interview with the PRIU said that what is most important is that the killing has stopped. more..

Sri Lanka rubber output to expand on price spike

Feb 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka, one of Asia's smaller rubber producers, is hoping to raise output this year as international producers of natural rubber enjoy a revival of fortunes, officials said on Friday. more..

In-form Sri Lanka not taking Kenya lightly

Feb 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya has underlined the fact that his in-form team will not be taking their next World Cup Group B opponents Kenya lightly. "We can't afford any complacency, more so given that Kenya will be playing at home and under their own conditions," Jayasuriya told Reuters more..