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Indian, Sri Lankan Journalists Visit Negeri Sembilan

Feb 27 (Bernama) After five busy days covering the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Kuala Lumpur, 25 journalists from India and Sri Lanka visited tourist destinations in Negeri Sembilan today. The trip was jointly organised by the NAM Secretariat and the Negeri Sembilan Tourism Council. more..

FTA: Lankan minister due on March 11

Feb 27 (Dawn) The Sri Lankan Minister for International Trade and Commerce is due on March 11 to finalize the free trade agreement between the two countries. A senior official in the commerce ministry told that the minister, Ravi Kurukanaike has sent a formal request for visiting Islamabad next month to discuss the remaining items to be considered under FTA. more..

LTTE undermining SLMM

Feb 27 (PRIU) The LTTE has said that the release of the corporal and the police constable detained by them would take place only after they are presented to the ‘LTTE court’ on the 14th and the 24th of March respectively. more..

Article 19 condemns sentence imposed on HR activist

Feb 27 (PRIU) Article 19 has condemned the sentence of one years’ imprisonment imposed by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka on Michael Anthony Fernando for contempt of Court. Anthony Michael Fernando was convicted by the Supreme Court for repeatedly disturbing Court and sentenced to one-year's imprisonment on 6 Feb 2003. more..

Nation-wide survey gives insight into aspirations of IDPs

Feb 27 (PRIU) A joint nation-wide survey of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) was conducted in a joint effort between the Ministry of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Refugees (MRRR) and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) recently. more..

I will do what is best for the country — CBK

Feb 27 (AT) "The people of Sri Lanka have elected me as their President twice over to do what is best for the country and I will not fail in my duty", said President Chandrika Kumaratunga today. more..

Boom-or-bust time for Sri Lanka and West Indies

Feb 27 (AFP) Sri Lanka and the West Indies face off in a key World Cup showdown tomorrow as the nail-biting race for the Super Sixes from group B moves into the last stretch. The winner of the day-night game at Newlands will be assured of a place in the second round while the loser could take an early flight home. more..

Japan pledges grant for food security project in Sri Lanka

Feb 27 (Xinhua) Japan has pledged a financial grant of 160 million rupees (about 1.67 million US dollars) to Sri Lanka to implement phase one of the special project for food security in the war-torn country, the official Daily News said on Thursday. more..

Govt hopeful of peace process; Tamil Tigers

Feb 27 (AP) A year after the two sides signed a truce ending 19 years of war, Sri Lanka's government said on Wednesday that hopes for a permanent peace were better than ever while Tamil Tiger rebels said they were disillusioned. more..

PA, JVP set to forge wider alliance

Feb 27 (Gulf) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's People's Alliance (PA), the main opposition party in Sri Lanka and the Marxist JVP (People's Liberation Front) were preparing to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to create as a wider coalition to recapture power without elections. more..

Sri Lankan peace rapid, dramatic progress unrealistic: spokesman

Feb 27 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's peace process with the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels has reached a phase where it is unrealistic to expect dramatic and rapid progress, government spokesman G.L. Peiris said Thursday. more..

Ranil to leave for India for bilateral discussions

Feb 27 (UNI) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will leave for India tonight on an official visit to discuss bilateral issues with Indian leaders to further strengthen the relations between the neighbouring countries. more..

Legislation for oil exploration soon

Feb 27 (DN) Sri Lanka plans to make another attempt at striking oil, with the enactment of new legislation to facilitate the exploration of petroleum. Several previous attempts to discover oil in Lanka's territorial waters did not succeed. more..

Ashraff Congress comes into being

Feb 27 (DM) A new political party 'Ashraff Congress' was launched on Tuesday evening by the SLMC dissidents who are hoping to break the SLMC monopoly over Muslim politics. The party which has Highways Minister A.L.M. Athauallah as its Chairman was formed in the wake of an interim injuction issued by the Colombo district court suspending the Athaullah faction from holding any position in the SLMC High Command. more..

Fear fading away as Sri Lanka's ceasefire holds

Feb 27 (IANS) That Sri Lanka's yearlong ceasefire with the Tamil Tigers is holding is evident from this country's streets -- where people can do mundane things like shopping or taking evening walks without fear or security checks. more..

New Head of SLMM meets LTTE officials in Vavuniya

Feb 27 (TN) Tryggve Tellefsen, the new head of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission(SLMM), a group of Nordic monitors overseeing the year-old truce between LTTE and the Government, met with officials of the LTTE at the Vavuniya SLMM office, sources said. more..

SIHRN meeting to be held in Killinochchi

Feb 27 (TN) The meeting of the Sub Committee on Immediate Humanitanarian Rehabilitation Needs (SIHRN) scheduled to be held in Trincomalee on Thursday and Friday has been shifted to Killinochchi. The meeting of SIHRN will be held at the Killinochchi secretariat on the due dates, said Mr.M. Selvin Irenuess, more..

Sri Lanka to get 16 mn euro in aid from EU

Feb 27 (IRNA) The European Commission announced Thursday that over the next three years an indicative sum of 16.8 million euro has been earmarked for Sri Lanka to finance the EC cooperation strategy. more..

Jayasuriya tries to consign Nairobi humilaition to history

Feb 27 (CI) Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya hopes his side will consign the bitter memories of their shock defeat to history and approach their important clash against the West Indies positively. more..

Norwegian, LTTE leaders to meet soon

Feb 27 (UNI) Sri Lanka today said Norway's Foreign Minister John Peterson and his deputy Vidar Helgesen, who are scheduled to arrive in Colombo on March 12, will meet the leaders of the Tiger rebels in the Wanni to take up various issues regarding the truce agreement and the ongoing peace talks. more..

Commonwealth Union delegation visits Jaffna

Feb 28 (TN) A four-member delegation of the Commonwealth Union, led by its Secretary General, Mr. Don McKinnon, arrived in Jaffna Thursday and held a meeting with the Government Agent and representatives of people's organizations, sources said. more..

PM-Muslim delegation in pow-wow on separate representation

Feb 28 (Island) Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday afternoon met with a multi-party Muslim parliamentary delegation to discuss a gamut of issues, particularly the inclusion of a separate independent Muslim delegation for the ongoing negotiations between the government and the LTTE, more..

"Sri Lanka stands out as an island of optimism in this troubled world" - President Bush

Feb 28 (SLE) U.S. President George W. Bush has said, "The United States has been following the peace process in Sri Lanka with great interest" and that "living in trying times, Sri Lanka stands out as an island of optimism in this troubled world." more..

Tin Malu

Feb 28 (LBO) Adding to the IT infrastructure in Malabe will be a US $ 40 million Russian fish-canning factory. Fisheries Ministry reports say the factory will have a 50 tonne a day capacity for canning fish for the export market. Fish supplies for the canning factory will come from international waters in the Indian Ocean. more..

Lanka to check food hoarding in the event of war in Iraq

Feb 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka Thursday announced new laws and tough penalties against the black-marketing of essential food in the event of war breaking out in Iraq. Government spokesman G. L. Peiris said jail terms of up to five years and fines of 5,000 dollars will be imposed on traders hoarding food and other essential commodities. more..

Ranil to meet Vajpayee, Sonia

Feb 28 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, left for India this evening on a three-day visit, during which the two countries will initial an agreement on information technology. more..

Jayasuriya backing Sri Lanka to hit back at Newlands

Feb 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya is confident his team can bounce back from their shock defeat by Kenya and triumph over West Indies in Friday’s crucial World Cup clash at Newlands. more..

TNA MP gets computers to Trinco schools

Feb 28 (TN) Twelve rural schools from Pulmoddai in the north to Verugal in the south of the Trincomalee district have been supplied with computers purchased under the decentralized budget allocation for the year 2002 given to Trincomalee district parliamentarian, Mr.R.Sampanthan. more..

Police assault striking tea plantation workers

Feb 28 (wsws) Police from the town of Hatton in the central plantation area of Sri Lanka last week raided the Ottery tea estate in an effort to intimidate striking workers. About 20 police in plain clothes stormed into the workers’ residences, known as “line rooms,” on the evening of Feb 20 and assaulted Subramaniyam, a security guard on the estate. more..

Oslo team in Colombo ahead of peace talks

Feb 28 (Gulf) Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen and his deputy Vidar Helgesen are due in Sri Lanka in early March for talks with Tamil Tiger leaders to make preparations for the next round of peace talks in Japan and iron out issues connected with the ceasefire. more..

Telecom profits up, new competitors eyed

Feb 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka Telecom posted a 28 percent gain in 2002 profits on Thursday but said this year may prove difficult as it prepares to face new competition when the island deregulates its telecoms market. Full-year net profits grew to 2.69 billion rupees ($27.8 million) from 2.10 billion the year before. more..

Shocking truth about child abuse

Feb 28 (DM) The consultative meeting on "Violation of child rights in the implementation of the law relating to statutory rape" organized by Lawyers for Human Rights and Development which was held at Hotel Renuka on Wednesday, revealed some shocking truths about child abuse in our country. more..

Truce monitors slam Tamil rebels

Feb 28 (Xinhua) The Nordic truce monitors supervising the ceasefire between Sri Lankan government and the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels have slammed rebels saying backtracking on their promise to release two servicemen in their custody put the monitors own credibility at stake, more..

Fully committed to peace, says LTTE

Feb 28 (PRIU) A nine-member delegation of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference who visited the North to look into the welfare of the people, met the leader of the LTTE’s political wing S.P. Thamilchelvam in Kilinochchi on Tuesday. more..

CID quizzes Silumina Editor

Feb 28 (DN) A CID Assistant Police Superintendent accompanied by another police officer called on Silumina Editor Thilakaratne Kuruvitabandara at Lake House last Wednesday to obtain a statement regarding a news item in the Silumina of January 19. more..

World Bank given formal control over donations for rehabilitation of northeast

Feb 28 (AP) Sri Lanka's government and Tamil Tiger rebels signed an agreement Friday formally giving the World Bank control over aid aimed at rehabilitating the island's war-torn northeast. more..

Central Bank is forming rules for derivatives trading

Feb 28 (DJ) The Central Bank is forming guidelines that will help regulate and formalize derivatives trading, a senior official said Thursday. A market seemingly averse to risk, as well as regulatory and taxation issues, has prevented the development of the derivatives market in Sri Lanka. more..

Opposition for peace with Tamil rebels

Feb 28 (Xinhua) Main opposition People 's Alliance said Friday that despite forging an alliance with the leftist JVP the party was for a negotiated settlement to the country's 19-year ethnic conflict. "We are for a negotiated settlement," Sarath Amunugama, PA spokesman said. more..

UN slams Sri Lanka's chief justice, judiciary

Feb 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka's chief justice and the judicial system came under a scathing attack from a top United Nations official here Thursday over the bizarre jailing of a man who challenged the island's top judge. more..

Rebels renege on pledge to truce monitors

Feb 28 (Reuters) Tamil Tiger rebels reneged on Friday on a pledge made to neutral truce monitors to release a soldier and police officer from their custody. The LTTE agreed to a deal brokered by the monitors to free the pair in exchange for the release of seven of their cadres who were taken into custody by the navy last weekend in an area both sides claim as their own. more..

Chandrika gets closer to ousting Ranil government

Feb 28 (PTI) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party today announced that it was about to clinch a deal with the Marxists to oust the government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Kumaratunga's People's Alliance (PA) said it had four rounds of negotiations with the JVP, and was close to signing a Memorandum of Understanding, possibly early next month. more..

Peace dividend delay eroding Tamils' faith in talks – Col. Karuna

Feb 28 (TN) “There has been no development work in the northeast so far despite one year of peace. Our people find this disappointing; and it has eroded their confidence in the peace process,” said Col. Karuna, senior commander of the Liberation Tigers, more..

SIHRN-World Bank formalize Establishing NE development fund

Feb 28 (TN) The World Bank and the Sub Committee on Immediate Humanitarian Rehabilitation Needs (SIHRN) Friday signed a "Letter of Intent " as a prelude to establishing a North East Reconstruction Fund (NERF) in support of post conflict development efforts in the northeast province, a press release issued by the SIHRN said. more..

West Indies limit Sri Lanka

Feb 28 (DT) The West Indies have restricted Sri Lanka to 228 for 6 in their 50 overs in the crucial World Cup Pool B match at Newlands. With the daunting task of batting second under the lights, the West Indies would have been delighted to keep the Sri Lankans in check, especially as they made 278 for four at the same ground against South Africa during the opening game of the tournament. more..

Hotel trade goes to Jaffna

Feb 28 (IL) Jaffna may have the opportunity of being owners to a luxury 50 roomed hotel, within the next few years. The owners of the Sigiriya Elephant Corridor Hotel, are planning to build the 50 roomed hotel at a cost of Rs. 350 million in Jafffna. more..

A-9 open for Tamil ceremony

Feb 28 (IL) The Defence Ministry has decided to keep the A-9 road opened for traffic on Sunday March 2 from 7.00 am to 6.30 pm to facilitate the return journey of the Hindus taking part in religious ceremonies on Maha Sivarathri day which is celebrated on March 1. more..