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Lanka denies attacks on Indian fishing vessels

Feb 12 (SNS) The Sri Lankan government today denied that it had anything to do with the attacks on Indian fishing vessels in Indian territorial waters. "The government of Sri Lanka wishes to categorically state that the Sri Lankan navy has not been involved in these incidents," more..

Bar Association demands new Law Faculty at Trinco campus

Feb 12 (TN) The Trincomalee District Bar Association,(TDBA), a branch of the Sri Lanka Bar Association, requested the Higher Education Ministry to establish a Law Faculty in the Trincomalee campus of the East University, enabling students of the northeast province to study for Bachelor of Law degree in their region. more..

Cup Runneth Dry

Feb 12 (LBO) Despite recent financial concessions for the tea industry and what the government says is over a billion rupees pumped in over the last decade, tea traders are asking for more. But intensive lobbying for further concessions has invited a stinging rejoinder by the Plantation Ministry, that this time the asking may be just too much. more..

Rough Guide

Feb 12 (LBO) Ripping open the wild side of the paradise isle, Sri Lanka will stick its spokes into the international world of adventure sports with its first race set for July 2003. Adventure Centre Asia, a Nepalese based company is pitching its tent in Sri Lanka to open up the island for serious adventure sports enthusiasts. more..

LTTE women cadres, civilians injured in SLA assault

Feb 12 (TN) Four women members of the LTTE and several Tamil civilians were injured when soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Wednesday unleashed violence at Manipay junction, about 13 km off Jaffna town following the refusal by LTTE women cadres to remove their waist-belt, sources said. more..

Japanese peace envoy on visit to Sri Lanka

Feb 12 (Xinhua) Japanese special envoy Yasushi Akashi arrived here on Wednesday to help internationally-backed peace deal with the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said. more..

Police riot squad deployed in northern Jaffna after skirmish

Feb 12 (Xinhua) A Sri Lankan police riot squad was deployed Wednesday in the northern city of Jaffna following an exchange of fisticuffs between a group of government soldiers and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said. more..

India's Infosys mentor to advise Govt. on IT policies

Feb 12 (AP) Narayana Murthy, the chief mentor of Bangalore-based Infosys Technologies, has been roped in by neighbouring Sri Lanka to advise the island country's government on IT related policies and increasing IT penetration. more..

Akashi role becomes focus of Sri Lanka political rivalry

Feb 12 (Kyodo) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's uneasy ties to her prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, broke into the open on Tuesday, with Kumaratunga publicly challenging newspaper reports on the role of Japan's peace envoy Yasushi Akashi in Wickremesinghe's government. more..

Govt to ensure free flow of pharmaceuticals

Feb 12 (DN) Amid gathering war clouds in the Middle-East region, the Health Ministry has set up a special committee to ensure an uninterrupted supply of drugs and other pharmaceutical items to face a war situation. more..

Sri Lanka stops people-smuggling boat headed for Italy

Feb 12 (AFP) Sri Lankan police seized a trawler and arrested 41 people who were trying to smuggle themselves out of the island and reach Italy, officials said Wednesday. more..

U.S. criticises rebels over arms smuggling

Feb 12 (Reuters) The United States said on Wednesday a recent attempt by Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels to smuggle weapons was highly destabilising and could cast doubt on their desire for peace. more..

Women's leather belts raise Sri Lanka soldiers' ire

Feb 12 (AFP) A bitter dispute over leather belts worn by Tamil women fighters triggered fisticuffs Wednesday between troops and rebels in northern Sri Lanka, officials said. more..

Mother complains her Daughter abducted

Feb 12 (SLA) A mother, in a complaint made to the troops at UPPODAI roadblock, had stated that her daughter had been abducted allegedly by suspected LTTE cadres while she was on her way to their paddy fields at ERALAKULAM village about, 24 km northwest of BATTICALOA town on Feb 10 about 3.00 p.m. more..

Muslim businessman shot dead

Feb 12 (SLA) An unidentified gunman has shot dead a Muslim businessman in the general area of MARADAMUNAI about 24 km northeast of AMPARA town on 10 February 2003 around 1.00 a.m. when he was working past a filling station in the area. more..

Indian Air Force Chief arrives in Sri Lanka

Feb 12 (PTI) Indian Air Force Chief S Krishnaswamy arrived here, on an official five-day visit today, officials said. Krishnaswamy will hold talks with Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga, later in the day and inspect a guard of honour by the air force tomorrow. more..

Sri Lanka will seek more Indian help in air force training

Feb 12 (AP) Sri Lanka may ask neighboring India for more help in training air force personnel during this week's visit by the head of the Indian air force, a military spokesman said Wednesday. India's Air Chief Marshal Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy arrived Wednesday in Sri Lanka for a four-day trip. more..

France to send constitutional experts to Sri Lanka

Feb 13 (TN) French foreign minister Dr.Renaud Muselier Wednesday said the people of Jaffna expect a political solution to their conflict with internal self-determination. French minister said this at media briefing Wednesday before leaving Colombo after a three-day visit to Sri Lanka. more..

We are not dithering on LTTE issue: CM

Feb 13 (Hindu) The Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, today rejected the charges levelled by the DMK president, M. Karunanidhi, that she lent support to the LTTE and that she wrote to Rajiv Gandhi, when he was Prime Minister, saying the late Chief Minister, M.G. Ramachandran, had resented her popularity. more..

LTTE brings down ‘tax’ by 3%

Feb 13 (Island) The LTTE in the eastern province which imposed a code of ethics and a ‘taxation‘ on all civil servants and private sector workers in the Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara districts has reduced the tax from eight to five per cent. more..

AIDS awareness among children is Education Ministry's responsibility

Feb 13 (DM) Director of HIV / AIDS unit Dr. Hiranthi Abeyewickreme said on Tuesday the Education Ministry should take over the responsibility of educating school children about preventing HIV/AIDS. more..

One More Try

Feb 13 (LBO) Hoarders who played hide and seek with revenue officials have been coming clean in droves in response to the governments tax amnesty, Deputy Finance Minister Bandula Gunewardene said. more..

Cashing The Tigers

Feb 13 (LBO) The government is discussing ways of financing the administrative units to be set up in a possible devolution and has also taken up the Tiger tax issue, Cabinet Spokesman G. L. Pieris said. more..

UNICEF helps war damaged Nedunkerni hospital

Feb 13 (TN) The UNICEF Wednesday donated a consignment of materials including emergency lighting system, motorcycles, water pumps and first aid boxes, materials needed for the maintenance of basic health facilities of Nedunkerni government hospital, which has been damaged by the war in Mullaitivu district, sources said. more..

Sri Lanka military 'jeopardizing' peace talks - LTTE

Feb 13 (TN) The Liberation Tigers this week condemned the attack Wednesday on their unarmed female cadres in Manipay by Sri Lankan soldiers and warned that such incidents would "seriously jeopardize" the Norwegian peace process, the London based Tamil Guardian reported. more..

Japanese special peace envoy meets Buddhist prelates

Feb 13 (TN) The Japanese special peace envoy Mr. Yasusi Akashi arrived Colombo Wednesday early morning on a four-day visit. He immediately rushed to Kandy, capital of the central province and held vital discussions with the Mahanayake Theras of Malwatte Chapter Venerable Vipassi and Venerable Palipane Buddharakita Thera, more..

ICRC informs LTTE conducts live firing exercises

Feb 13 (SLA) Troops who were on duty at the entry/exit point at OMANTHAI in VAVUNIYA had heard explosions of hand grenades/RPG’s and small arms firing at close proximity to the Forward Defence Line (FDL) on 11 February 2003 around 12.35 p.m. more..

Soldiers receive injuries but show restrain

Feb 13 (SLA) A group of female LTTE cadres had been stopped on 11 February 2003 around 5.30 p.m. by the Security Forces personnel in the general area of SIRUVILAN in MANIPAY, about 16 km. north of JAFFNA town since one of them had been wearing a military belt. more..

EPDP office fired injuring two

Feb 13 (SLA) An unidentified person had fired few shots towards the Eelam People Democratic Party (EPDP) office in the general area of CHAVAKACHCHERI, about 17 km. east of JAFFNA town on 12 February 2003 around 9.00 p.m. more..

Mother threatened to give her son to LTTE

Feb 13 (SLA) A mother had made a complaint at the CENTRAL CAMP Police station in AMPARA on 11 February 2003 that she would be killed unless child was handed over to the LTTE. more..

SEP replies to a right-wing supporter of the LTTE

Feb 13 (wsws) In the following exchange, the Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka replies to an email from a supporter of the LTTE defending the organisation’s involvement in the peace negotiations with the Colombo government. more..

New system to trace ownership of title land deeds

Feb 13 (DOI) A new system to trace deeds of title land is being initiated with the help of the World Bank. The World Bank has granted Rs. 480 million (five million dollars) to fund the pilot project of the "Title Registration Method". The Ministry of Lands, has completed initial discussions to solve the problems regarding land. more..

PM asks citizens to brace for fuel prices rise

Feb 13 (DT) Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe has urged the people already burdened under a rising cost of living to act with restraint if fuel prices were increased in the event of war breaking out in the Middle East. more..

Distance Learning Center launches tomorrow

Feb 13 (PSL) The formal launch of the Distance Learning Center (DLC) – a World Bank assisted virtual learning institute for senior civil servants and corporate executives - will take place tomorrow in the presence of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. more..

Fracas over ceasefire violation

Feb 13 (Hindu) A fracas over black belts worn by women cadres of the LTTE today brought areas of the northern Jaffna peninsula to a halt. The dramatic events of the day started when a soldier reportedly saw the woman cadres entering government-held territory with a waist-belt worn over their shirts and removed it as it was violating the ceasefire agreement. more..

Govt, Tamil rebels make progress on human rights issues

Feb 13 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan government and the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels have made significant progress on human rights issues, the chief government peace negotiator said Thursday. more..

Sri Lankan Catering gets ISO certification

Feb 13 (PRIU) Sri Lankan Catering, a wholly owned subsidiary of SriLankan Airlines has been awarded the prestigious ISO 9001:2000 certificate from SGS United Kingdom Ltd. for catering flights departing from Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) as well as catering for the Airport Restaurant. more..

CID to probe violation of secrecy laws

Feb 13 (DN) The Attorney General has directed the Criminal Investigations Department to probe an allegation that a member of the Bribery Commission violated secrecy provisions in the law governing the workings of the Commission. more..

India’s form worries Murali

Feb 13 (MD) What has happened to your side? They were playing solid cricket just a few months ago. But in the last couple of months you are no longer the team you were. I really don’t know why your team has suddenly lost the touch,” inquired an inquisitive Muttiah Muralitharan. more..

Sri Lanka delighted to bounce back from depths of despair

Feb 13 (AP) Former champion Sri Lanka is elated at its batsmen's return to form after being in the depths of despair ahead of the eighth cricket World Cup. more..

Upbeat Lankans relishing easy ride

Feb 13 (Reuters) Upbeat Sri Lanka can afford to throttle back in their next three matches before facing West Indies and South Africa to complete the World Cup's first phase. more..

Indian Exim bank extends $5 Mln. credit line to Sri Lanka

Feb 13 (AP) Export-Import Bank of India has extended a line of credit of $5 million to Sri Lanka to support India's exports to the island nation. An agreement to this effect was signed between Exim Bank and Hatton National Bank (HNB) Ltd of Sri Lanka here Wednesday, more..

Government to absorb higher costs of some Petroleum products

Feb 13 (DJ) The government said Thursday it will temporarily absorb price increases in diesel and kerosene in a bid to cap a rise in the cost of living. "The government, despite financial constraints, has decided not to pass on the increased cost of kerosene and diesel to the consumer," more..

Monitors open talks with army, Tigers

Feb 13 (Gulf) Scandinavian monitors have opened discussions with the Sri Lankan army and the Tamil guerrillas to end a bitter dispute over female guerrillas entering military-controlled areas wearing leather belts which are considered part of their uniform. more..

Rebel leader warns belt flap could jeopardize peace process

Feb 13 (AP) A Tamil rebel leader warned that a flap over whether women in their ranks should be allowed to wear military-style belts in areas controlled by government troops could "seriously jeopardize" a year-old truce, a newspaper reported Thursday. more..

Sri Lanka raises fuel prices amid Iraq war fears

Feb 13 (AFP) Sri Lanka Thursday increased fuel prices by nearly six percent amid fears of war in Iraq, but said the government was planning relief measures to cushion the impact. Government spokesman G. L. Peiris said the government was concerned that war in Iraq could have serious implications for Sri Lanka's economy. more..

Revenue sharing to figure at Sri Lanka peace talks

Feb 13 (AFP) Sri Lanka's warring parties will discuss revenue sharing under a federal structure when they open fresh talks in Japan next month, the government's chief peace negotiator said here Thursday. more..

Rebel pressure halts reopening of library

Feb 13 (Reuters) Pressure from Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels has forced authorities to postpone the reopening of the Jaffna Library, a cultural icon for the country's Tamils, lawmakers said on Thursday. more..

Council members in Tamil town resign to protest rebel threats

Feb 13 (AP) All 23 members of the town council in Tamil-dominated Jaffna resigned Thursday alleging they had been threatened by Tamil Tiger rebels seeking to postpone the reopening of a public library torched by anti-Tamil mobs nearly 22 years ago. more..

Jayasuriya warns against complancency

Feb 14 (CI) Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya has warned his side against complacency as they prepare to take on international minnows Bangladesh on Friday. Bangladesh lost to Canada in their tournament opener and go into the Pool B clash with a diabolical losing run that stretches back 27 matches. more..