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Sri Lanka defeated by their own tactics

Feb 25 (CO) Sri Lanka slumped to an uncharacteristic 57 run beating by tournament minnows Kenya yesterday. Taking nothing away from the Kenyan effort, they bowled and fielded brilliantly. The bowling of Collins Ubuya, was simply exceptional and all the bowlers kept up the pressure. more..

Matthew Kelly cleared over child-sex claim

Feb 25 (TO) The television presenter Matthew Kelly was cleared of child abuse yesterday after police said that there was insufficient evidence against him. But Mr Kelly, 52, was forced to make a public apology to his fans and family after it emerged that a small quantity of cocaine was found in a search of his London home. more..

Sri Lanka's World Cup hopes still alive, says cricket official

Feb 25 (AP) Sanath Jayasuriya's lineup should forget its World Cup upset to minnow Kenya and concentrate on progressing to the next round, Sri Lankan cricket chiefs said in the wake of Monday's shocking loss. more..

Sri Lanka catches Thai men smuggling gems in condoms

Feb 25 (Reuters) Sri Lankan customs intercepted two Thai men attempting to smuggle out precious stones placed inside condoms and swallowed, officials said on Tuesday. Acting on a tipoff, customs officials at Colombo airport took the two to hospital for an X-ray examination that revealed 10 condoms full of contraband. more..

Lanka troops to keep vigil despite talks

Feb 25 (Gulf) Defence Minister Tilak Marapana has reiterated that the armed forces will remain alert regardless of the outcome of the talks to end the ethnic conflict. Marapana said that the armed forces have been instructed to remain vigilant while cooperating to maintain the ceasefire signed between the government and the Tamil guerrillas. more..

Prabhakaran's son applies for Sri Lankan passport

Feb 25 (PTI) Sri Lanka's elusive Tamil Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran's son has applied for a passport indicating the acceptance of the authority of the state his father challenged for decades, officials said. more..

President holds bilateral discussions with world leaders

Feb 25 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga who is attending the 13th Non-Aligned Summit in Kuala Lumpur has held bilateral discussions with several Heads of States and Governments. more..

Negotiated settlement, not war, the only solution - President

Feb 25 (PRIU) President Chandrika Kumaratunga spoke strongly against war, saying sufficient evidence had still not been seen to justify an armed attack on Iraq, “We are strongly of the view that a negotiated settlement can be arrived at, without using violence against Iraq.” more..

Commonwealth Editors Forum in Kandy

Feb 25 (PRIU) The fifth Commonwealth Editors’ Forum began Sunday in Sri Lanka’s hill capital, Kandy, attended by Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon. Commonwealth Press Union Chief Lindsay Ross welcomed the delegates to the three-day forum and commended press reforms initiated by the Sri Lankan Government. more..

Interview with Major General Trond Furuhovde, Head, SLMM

Feb 25 (PRIU) A unique experiment in peace-keeping has been underway in Sri Lanka over the past year. The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission was formed as a result of the Government and the LTTE signing a Ceasefire Agreement in February 2002. more..

Test of character at stake after Kenyan defeat says coach

Feb 25 (CI) Sri Lanka cricket coach Dav Whatmore said that today's stunning 53-run defeat by Kenya would be a very important test of character for each of the Sri Lankan players. "These boys are good players but at the end of the day our performance wasn't any good," said Whatmore more..

SLA soldier dies from gunshot wounds

Feb 25 (TN) Jayatillake Arachige Wijeratne (23) belonging to 8th Gemunu division of the Sri Lanka Army was found dead at the guard post close to the Koliyar Kulam checkpoint in Vavuniya, Monday, sources said. Wijeratne who is from Thenuwara region in Puttalam had gun shot wounds to his head. more..

PM vows greater freedom, responsibility for press

Feb 25 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe opened a Commonwealth editors' meet here Tuesday vowing greater press freedom but urging the local media not to sabotage his peace bid with Tamil rebels. more..

Public demands urgent reconstruction of Kiran Road

Feb 26 (TN) The road connecting Kiran in Batticaloa district to the Pulipainthakal to the west has become non-motorable and so badly dilapidated that even bicycles cannot be used on the road, the residents of the area said, and demanded that the government should take immediate steps to reconstruct the road. more..

Weapons in Nimalarajan murder case sent to govt. analyst

Feb 26 (TN) The Jaffna Magistrate, Mr.R.T.Viknarajah, hearing the case of the murder of the journalist Nimalarajan, Tuesday allowed an application made by the Police to forward the five 9 m.m. pistols with several rounds of live bullets, which had been recovered by the Sri Lanka Army from the EPDP, to the Government Analyst for analysis and report. more..

NorthEast teacher-librarians to be trained under World Bank aid

Feb 26 (TN) The School Library Development Unit of the North East Provincial Department of Education is to conduct a training program for teacher-librarians in schools under a project funded by the World Bank, Provincial Director of Education Mr.S.Mahalingam said. more..

Sri Lanka 2002 trade deficit widens in tough year

Feb 26 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's trade deficit widened last year, the central bank said on Tuesday, indicating its key exports of manufactured garments and tea had not recovered despite a peace process in the country. more..

Catholic bishops discuss arms smuggling, child recruitment accusations with Tamil rebels

Feb 26 (AP) Sri Lankan Catholic bishops met with Tamil rebels and expressed concern about arms smuggling and child recruitment in violation of a year-old cease-fire agreement, a spokesman said Tuesday. more..

Report peace process responsibly: Ranil

Feb 26 (Hindu) The Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, today inaugurated the biennial conference of the Commonwealth Press Union, with a promise to introduce a set of legislative measures aimed at providing greater transparency in governance. more..

SLMM to seek Norwegian help for release of soldier, policeman

Feb 26 (Island) Vexed over the LTTE’s continued defiance of its directives, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) yesterday said it would ask the Norwegian facilitators to intervene on behalf of a soldier and a policeman being held in Tiger jail. more..

Ouch! Kenya throw Sri Lankan plans into disarray

Feb 26 (CI) Ouch! Kenya have thrown Sri Lanka's World Cup plans into disarray. Yesterday's shambolic performance, fittingly described as "amateurish" by a fuming Sanath Jayasuriya, means that Sri Lanka's progression to the Super Sixes is no longer assured. more..

NE libraries to receive Internet facilities

Feb 26 (TN) School libraries of forty two schools in the eight districts of northeast province are to be provided with computers with Internet facilities before the end of this month, said Mr.N.Anandaraj, Co-ordinator of the School Library Development of the Provincial Ministry of Education Tuesday. more..

Teenagers produced before Magistrate

Feb 26 (SLA) Three teenagers, who gave up LTTE and had sought protection from MUTTUR Police, about 13 km south of TRINCOMALEE were produced before the MUTTUR Magistrate on 25 Feb. The court ordered the Police to surrender of these teenagers to their parents or next of kin. more..

Fishing boat sunk after collision

Feb 26 (SLA) A Naval craft crashed into a fishing boat (dinghy) in the general sea area north of KANKESANTHURAI on 25 February 2003 around 6.00 a.m. The fishing boat without its lights on had collided with the Naval craft but the crew on the boat have been rescued by the Navy. However, the ill-fated fishing boat has sunk.

ICC dismisses report of investigation into Kenya-Sri Lanka game

Feb 26 (AP) Cricket's world governing body on Wednesday dismissed rumors that its anti-corruption unit was investigating Sri Lanka's upset loss to Kenya. Both teams said they were disgusted and insulted by the allegation in a media report. more..

New head of SLMM begins visits to war-torn northeast

Feb 26 (AP) The new head of a European mission monitoring a year-old truce between Tamil rebels and the government of Sri Lanka visited the country's war-ravaged northeast Wednesday to assess the situation on the ground, a spokesman said. more..

Norwegian expert to advise on gender issues in Sri Lanka

Feb 26 (Xinhua) Astrid N. Heiberg, a distinguished Norwegian women's activist and politician, has been appointed an advisor to the Sub-Committee on Gender Issues under Norwegian- brokered peace process in Sri Lanka, more..

Tigers told to free soldier, policeman

Feb 26 (Gulf) Scandinavians monitoring Sri Lanka's year-old ceasefire have ruled that a soldier and a policeman held by the Tamil Tigers should be released immediately, a spokesman for the monitors said yesterday. more..

Govt. to introduce laws on election manifesto

Feb 26 (DM) The government is considering the introduction of new laws relating to election manifestos in a bid to prevent political parties from making false promises, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. more..

Japan’s involvement in the peace process

Feb 26 (wsws) Over the last six months, Japan has been quietly but insistently pushing to play a significant role in the so-called peace process in Sri Lanka. Tokyo is scheduled to host the next round of talks between Colombo and the LTTE in mid-March and a major donor conference on Sri Lanka in June. more..

Windies, Lanka set for showdown

Feb 26 (Reuters) Sri Lanka and West Indies are set for a major World Cup showdown on Friday, both sides struggling for form and well aware that defeat would probably end their hopes in the tournament. The winners of the day-nighter at Newlands could well finish top of Group B, while the losers risk failing to qualify for the Super Sixes. more..

Court orders disposal of mystery chemical containers

Feb 26 (DN) The Colombo Additional Magistrate Ananda Sarath Gamlath Arachchi yesterday ordered the Colombo Ports Authority to take immediate action to dispose of the controversial containers from endangering human life and the environment, under the supervision of the Government Analyst, more..

Ceypetco to halt Trincomalee Oil Pdt Imports

Feb 26 (DJ) Sri Lanka's Ceylon Petroleum Co., or Ceypetco, will stop importing oil products to the country's eastern port of Trincomalee, as state-owned Indian Oil Corp. (P.IOL) has taken over the oil tank farm there. more..

India backs Sri Lanka peace bid with cash: Minister

Feb 26 (PTI) Sri Lanka today said that India, which has extended a 200 million dollar credit line to the island nation, was supporting Colombo's peace bid despite domestic political compulsions. more..

Japanese IDI team to assess urgent needs of the North-East

Feb 26 (TN) A nine-member delegation of the Infrastructure Development Institute (IDI) of Japan will visit Sri Lanka on a fact-finding mission to assess the conditions of roads, water supply and sanitation, and flood control in the North-East province from February 28 to March 6. more..

Arab editor in Sri Lanka compares Osama bin Laden to India's Gandhi

Feb 26 (AFP) An Arabic editor Wednesday compared al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to India's apostle of non-violence, Gandhi, during a meeting here of the Commonwealth Press Union. Abdul Bari Atwan, the editor of the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi, who has met Osama bin Laden, said he regarded the al-Qaeda leader as a man of average intelligence and "not like the world's most wanted terrorist." more..

Sri Lanka asks media to lower expectations of Tamil peace

Feb 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka's chief peace negotiator, G. L. Peiris, said Wednesday the two sides in the nation's protracted ethic war were about to take up contentious issues and warned that high media expectations could undermine efforts to end the conflict. more..

Sri Lanka sets up VIP security modelled on India

Feb 26 (PTI) Sri Lanka today launched a new VIP security unit based on India's Special Protection Group (SPG) following advise from Indian experts, officials said. The new unit known as Protective Security Range (PSR) was established amalgamating the elite Prime Minister's Security Division (PMSD) and the larger Ministers' Security Division. more..

GL not certain about LTTE military training and arms procurement

Feb 27 (Island) Government’s chief peace negotiator Minister G. L. Peiris yesterday said he "cannot say with all sincerity" that military training and arms procurement by the LTTE had stopped. more..

Sri Lanka talks moved to rebel-held area after arms stand-off

Feb 27 (AFP) Sri Lanka's key rehabilitation talks will be moved to a rebel-held area Thursday following a dispute over whether Tamil Tiger delegates would be able to bring armed bodyguards, military officials said. more..

No state lands for tourism development - Trinco DCC

Feb 27 (TN) The Trincomalee District Co-ordinating Committee (DCC) has decided not to encourage foreign investment in the development of tourism in the east port town by granting state land. The decision was taken at the DCC meeting held Tuesday more..

Commonwealth's biggest media gathering gets underway in Sri Lanka

Feb 27 (AGM) The Commonwealth Press Union (CPU)'s 5th biennial conference of publishers and editors started on Sunday, February 23, 2003 at the Mahaweli Reach Hotel in Kandy, Sri Lanka, south Asia. more..

Huge inflows from Lanka spice up pepper trade

Feb 27 (TNN) Alarmed by the massive inflow of pepper from Sri Lanka, the Spices Board has asked the government to impose a quantity cap on the import at concessional duty rates of this commodity from Sri Lanka. more..

Lanka appreciates India’s peace push

Feb 27 (TS) Sri Lanka today said India, which has extended a $200 million dollar credit line to the island nation, was supporting Colombo’s peace initiative despite domestic political compulsions. more..

Unemployed Graduates picket in Batticaloa

Feb 27 (TN) The Unemployed Graduates Association of Batticaloa (UGAB) held an hour long picketing campaign at the Kallady bridge in Batticaloa Monday blocking vehicles lined up on both ends of the bridge causing traffic congestion in the area, sources said. more..

Stocks fall to near 6-mth low on war fears

Feb 27 (Reuters) Stocks fell to near six-month lows on Wednesday on moderate volumes, with small investors panicking on fears of war in Iraq. The key Colombo all-share index closed down 15.49 points, or 2.05 percent, at 738.49. a level last seen in late August 2002. more..

Teenaged daughter kidnapped by LTTE

Feb 27 (SLA) A complaint lodged at VAVUNIYA Police Station on 25 February 2003 by the civilian, A. KANDIAH claimed that her eighteen year old daughter who went to school has been kidnapped by LTTE to join their organization. more..

Men in restricted area arrested

Feb 27 (SLA) Naval troops on duty in the general sea area north of KANKESANTHURAI close to the main entrance to the harbour on 25 February 2003 have arrested six personnel with two fiber glass dinghies while they were in the restricted area of the harbour entrance. more..

Sri Lanka to sign IT agreement with India

Feb 27 (PTI) Sri Lanka would enter into an Information Technology and communications agreement with India during Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's three-day India visit, which gets underway later today, a senior minister announced. more..

Sri Lanka, Kenya furious over fixing suspicions

Feb 27 (CI) Sri Lanka's team management has reacted furiously to match fixing suspicions following their shock defeat to Kenya. A news wire report had earlier claimed the sport's Ant-Corruption Unit (ACU) was scrutinising the game closely. more..