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Shares end tad down on select retail selling

Feb 21 (DJ) Shares ended slightly lower Friday on the back of retail selling in select blue chips, but volumes were spread thin, brokers said. A one-off foreign trade in Lanka Hospitals Ltd. helped limit the market's downside, they added. more..

Bourse plans new board to boost corp governance

Feb 21 (DJ) The Colombo Stock Exchange plans to set up a new board that would highlight good corporate governance to encourage better management of listed companies, an exchange official said Friday. more..

Govt, Tamil rebels to discuss ceasefire violations

Feb 21 (Xinhua) Representatives of the Sri Lankan government and the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels are to meet next week to discuss ceasefire violations, the official Daily News said on Friday. more..

Select Committee to report on allegations against Bribery commissioner

Feb 21 (DN) A parliament Select Committee has been appointed by speaker Joseph Michael Perera to investigate and report on alleged misconduct of Bribery Commissioner Kingsley Wickremasooriya. more..

Mystery chemicals unloaded in port

Feb 21 (DM) Thirteen containers of chemicals were unloaded at the Colombo port from a ship which entered the harbour stating that a fire broke out while it was sailing towards West Asia from China Bay, an official said. more..

Extremists, scepticism biggest obstacles to peace in Sri Lanka

Feb 21 (PTI) Sri Lanka's fragile ceasefire marks its first full year on Sunday with foreign monitors warning that extremists on both sides and a sense of scepticism could be the biggest obstacles to bring peace. more..

Pandemonium in parliament following JVP sit-in-protest

Feb 21 (TN) Pandemonium reigned in the Sri Lankan parliament Friday as MPs from the JVP held a sit in protest holding placards and shouting slogans against the UNF government and the LTTE. The parliamentarians were protesting against the police who dispersed their earlier demonstration Thursday. more..

Truce monitor says balance of power vital

Feb 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's military and Tamil Tiger guerrillas should maintain the current balance of power to safeguard a ceasefire that marks one year on Saturday, the head of the international group monitoring the truce said. more..

Sri Lanka once again a serious threat

Feb 21 (AGE) They've trounced a World Cup contender. They've demolished minnows. They've set records, scored dashing centuries and completed devastating spells of pace and spin bowling. And they're not captained by Ricky Ponting. more..

Vaas joins Klusener at top of individual standings

Feb 21 (CI) Sri Lanka bowler Chaminda Vaas has joined Lance Klusener at the top of the Man of the Tournament standings for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003. Vaas's unique ICC CWC hat-trick with the first three balls of the match against Bangladesh earned him Man of the Match in that game. more..

Bloodshed to brinkmanship marks Sri Lanka's record truce

Feb 21 (AFP) Sri Lanka's warring parties who are still officially foes will this weekend mark their first full year of a foreign-monitored truce with bloodshed giving way to brinkmanship. more..

Uncertainty looms over Jaffna residents

Feb 22 (hindu) As Sri Lanka marks one year of ceasefire tomorrow, the longest since the separatist conflict erupted in 1983, human rights organisations in the northern peninsula have called for a two-hour general closure to protest against the "slow pace of return to normalcy for the civilians". more..

Protest against GOSL failure to implement ceasefire agreement

Feb 22 (TN) The Jaffna District People's Forum (JPDF) Friday called for a token hunger campaign in front of the Nallur Kandasamy Temple on Sunday to highlight that cease-fire agreement (CFA) signed by the UNF government and the LTTE has not benefited Tamils in the northeast province. more..

Sri Lankan School — a saga of many successes

Feb 22 (TOO) It all began as a small step towards providing quality education to Sri Lankan expatriates in Muscat. An educational institution with just 12 students initially, has, in a span of 14 years, grown into a revered and highly sought-after establishment favoured by both Sri Lankans and other communities in Muscat. more..

The uphill road to peace

Feb 22 (IE) The barbed wire now protects the flower beds in places in the LTTE-held north; the migratory birds are back in Jaffna. Twenty thousand Sinhalese travelled as domestic tourists on the A-9 from Kandy to Jaffna to see the North last June when the highway was opened after years. more..

Dramatic reduction in international call charges soon

Feb 22 (DN) A substantial reduction in overseas telephone calls is likely beginning from the middle of this year according to a new agreement the government will sign with telecommunications service providers shortly. more..

PA to petition SC on proposed ‘Organized Crime Prevention’ Bill

Feb 22 (Island) The opposition People’s Alliance yesterday announced that it would petition the Supreme Court next week requesting it to dismiss the government’s proposed Bill on the Prevention of Organised Crime. more..

Sri Lanka looks toward permanent peace as it marks one year without bloodshed

Feb 22 (AP) After suffering two decades of war, Sri Lanka marks the first anniversary of a landmark cease-fire on Saturday, now free of suicide bombings that once terrorized the capital and hopeful of securing permanent peace. more..

Soothing EGOs

Feb 22 (LBO) Soothing balm over the telecom industry, the government announced the final tariffs external gateway operators should pay local networks to terminate traffic. For the first year, external gateway operators or EGO have to pay US$ 0.11 or around Rs. 10.60 per minute on all international incoming calls terminating on local networks. more..

Out Of Order

Feb 22 (LBO) Lawyers for Pramuka depositors told court Friday that the monetary board had no authority to liquidate Pramuka Bank. Depositors argued that the Monetary Board ceased to exist after certain amendments were made to the Monetary Law Act. more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Feb 22 (SLA) Nine hundred and ninety six lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 14 February 2003 – 20 February 2003. more..

Presidential nod for Rajitha’s Land Bill

Feb 22 (DM) President Chandrika Kumaratunga at Wednesday's Cabinet meeting told Lands Minister Dr.Rajitha Senaratne that she would give her assent to the proposed Land Bill. She had promised to instruct her Secretary Mr. K Balapatabendi to meet Lands Ministry secretary and sort out any shortcomings to expedite the issuance of title deeds to those who did not have valid deeds. more..

IOC aims at 30% share in Lanka

Feb 22 (BL) Indian Oil, as part of its globalisation plans, has drawn up a blueprint for Sri Lanka covering retail marketing, aviation fuel services and bulk storage terminal, Mr M.S. Ramachandran, Chairman, Indian Oil, has said. more..

Sri Lanka shows way to counter terrorism

Feb 22 (Star) The Sri Lankan government, led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, exemplifies how a nation managed to counter terrorism holistically instead of resorting to military aggression. more..

De Silva looking forward to playing Kenya

Feb 22 (Reuters) Aravinda de Silva will take to the field against his favourite World Cup opponents on Monday hoping that lightning strikes twice. The Sri Lanka batsman, one of the game's greats and the third highest run-scorer in one-day international history, has yet to make a mark on the 2003 tournament. more..

Anti-doping tribunal bans Warne for 12 months

Feb 22 (AP) Shane Warne will appeal an anti-doping tribunal's decision to ban him for 12 months, the high-profile cricketer saying he's the "victim of doping hysteria." An Australian Cricket Board anti-doping tribunal today suspended Warne from all organised cricket until 10 Feb 2004 after finding him guilty of taking a banned diuretic. more..

Sri Lanka striving to become India's Hong Kong

Feb 22 (ST) Sri Lanka, rebuilding after a 20-year civil war, will improve roads and ports and offer tax breaks in a bid to become a manufacturing and services hub for the Indian subcontinent's 1.3 billion people, a senior government official said. more..

Sri Lanka to light lamps for truce anniversary

Feb 22 (AFP) Sri Lanka was set Saturday to mark the first anniversary of its Tiger truce, with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe leading a campaign to light lamps across the country. more..

Tamils cite shortcomings of year-old truce

Feb 22 (AP) While the Sri Lankan government celebrated Saturday the first anniversary of a cease-fire with Tamil Tiger rebels, residents of the Tamil town of Jaffna shut themselves in to protest that the truce has not yet normalized life in the former war zones. more..

Tamils celebrate truce anniversary, ignoring boycott calls

Feb 22 (PTI) Residents in Northern Sri Lanka today celebrated the first anniversary of a truce between Tamil Tiger rebels and government and staged street marches, defying a call by some university students to boycott the event. more..

New Norwegian chief of international peace monitors arrives in Sri Lanka

Feb 22 (AP) The newly appointed head of an international mission monitoring a cease-fire in Sri Lanka arrived in the island on Saturday, an official said. Tryggve Tellefsen, a retired army major general, succeeds another Norwegian, Trond Furuhovde, as the head of SLMM. more..

Comply Fully With U.N. Resolution, Sri Lanka Tells Iraq

Feb 22 (Bernama) Sri Lanka, describing itself as a very close friend of Iraq, Saturday appealed to the war-threatened nation to comply fully with the United Nations Security Council resolution to disarm. more..

Mixed response to Lanka's ceasefire anniversary

Feb 23 (Hindu) Public celebrations in Colombo contrasted with a muted response here in the northern Jaffna peninsula, as Sri Lanka marked its first anniversary of ceasefire between the Government and the LTTE today. more..

An opposition in disarray

Feb 23 (SL) While the opposition was in disarray last week following successive defeats in parliament, the government was slowly but surely tightening its grip on the economy by attractive massive dividends on the strength of the peace process. more..

Govt. to debate capital punishment

Feb 23 (SL) The government is planning to debate the re-implementation of the death penalty next month in parliament. The government will forward parliament’s decision to President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Kumaratunga will have to make the final decision on whether to re-enforce capital punishment or not. more..

Ceasefire violations parley on Friday

Feb 23 (SO) The year-long dispute between the armed forces and the LTTE over ceasefire violations which threatens to deviate the ongoing peace process from brass tacks will be subjected to a lengthy discussion between the government and the LTTE at a meeting to be held in Kilinochchi on Friday February 28. more..

GL asks critics: What’s the alternative?

Feb 23 (Island) The chief government peace negotiator Prof. G. L. Peiris says that the government has very good reason to celebrate the first anniversary of the ceasefire agreement. "There have been no deaths and the fear that stalked us for two decades is a thing of the past," he says. more..

World Bank helps Vavuniya families to resettle

Feb 23 (TN) As the first phase of World Bank's Unified Assistance program for helping displaced families resettle in their own villages, World Bank's resident representative in Sri Lanka, Peter Harold, presented checks of Rs.25,000 (US $250) to forty families, more..

Rotary housing project for Vanni returnees at Varothia Nagar

Feb 23 (TN) The Trincomalee Rotary Club Saturday laid the foundation stone for a forty-house project at Varothia Nagar, 5 km north of Trincomalee town to the returnees from Vanni region. The German Technical Co-operation (GTZ) has agreed to finance this project by allocating 3.6 million rupees, more..

NorthEast students' Math performance alarms officials

Feb 23 (TN) More than sixty percent of students who sit for the G.C.E.ordinary level (O.L) examination from the northeast province fail in mathematics. This is due to severe shortage of Mathematics teachers, non-availability of necessary resources and delay in supplying required textbooks in time, more..

'Peoples' commitment needed to achieve peace'- Westborg

Feb 23 (TN) Sri Lanka's Norwegian ambassador Mr.Jon Westborg Saturday appealed to all citizens to continue their commitment to overcome the obstacles in the path of achieving permanent peace, while addressing a meeting Saturday held at the Colombo Town Hall more..

SLA tightens security at Muhamalai, Uyilankulam checkpoints

Feb 23 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers manning Muhamalai check point have tightened their checks and interrogation after the Manipay incident in which LTTE women cadres, civilians and journalists were assaulted by the SLA soldiers and police, sources said. more..

Toxic container unloaded at Colombo port

Feb 23 (ST) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority is saddled with a container load of pesticide waste after it was dumped here by a ship which developed a fire mid sea while on its way to Iran from China. more..

Reuters Photo

Feb 23 (Reuters) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe prepares to release a white pigeons during a ceremony to mark the first anniversary of a landmark ceasefire agreement between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels in the capital Colombo Feb 22. more..

Protests bring life to a standstill

Feb 23 (Gulf) Life in the north and eastern provinces was crippled yesterday as Tamils staged protest campaigns saying that they were not satisfied with the progress of the implementation of the ceasefire MoU signed with the government a year ago. more..

Constable in Tigers' remand till March 14

Feb 23 (Gulf) Tamil guerrillas have remanded a police constable who was taken into their custody after he mistakenly ventured into an LTTE-controlled area in the Jaffna peninsula. The police constable identified as Ananda Gunesekera was remanded by the LTTE courts until March 14 on Friday in Killinochchi. more..

Sri Lanka consider re-shuffle for 'paradise pitch'

Feb 23 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will decide on Sunday whether to reshuffle their World Cup batting against Kenya in a bid to give their middle-order some valuable time at the crease. Captain Sanath Jayasuriya, struck on his left thumb during nets before being given the all-clear after icing his hand, said: "I know it has been frustrating for the middle order batsmen. more..

Last Chance

Feb 23 (LBO) The government and the World Bank will sit together for a final round of talks soon to finalise a big budgetary finance loan. The third meeting will be the last between the two parties before a proposal is put before the World Bank board in May. more..

Points To Ponder

Feb 23 (LBO) State tourism officials are drawing up plans to restrict the ‘all inclusive’ tourist packages to Sri Lanka. The all-inclusive is believed to be low-end market. This means tourists will now have to settle for bed and breakfast packages or luxury suite offers. more..

Home Grown

Feb 23 (LBO) An Increasing number of software companies are now developing and marketing software aimed entirely at the local market. Earlier they were trying making inroads to the international market. But making it big internationally hasn’t been easy especially in a market recovering from an IT slump. more..