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Why are troops denied use of A9?

Mar 24 (Island) Controversy surrounds a government decision to charter a large ferry to transfer police and security forces personnel between Trincomalee and Kankesanthurai (KKS) without taking advantage of a cease-fire agreement to use the Jaffna-Kandy A9 road. more..

Lanka party merger suffers setback

Mar 24 (Gulf) A proposed merger between two of the main opposition parties in Sri Lanka has suffered an early setback with the two sides differing on their stand about a solution to the country's ethnic problem. more..

Sri Lankans prefer prosperity to peace

Mar 24 (AT) New poll results showing that Sri Lankans are most concerned about daily economic woes explain why it is not easy to mobilize a greater mass movement in support of the peace process. This is despite the fact that the ethnic war in Sri Lanka has cost 65,000 lives in the past 20 years. more..

Sri Lanka barge operator puts term deal on hold

Mar 24 (Reuters) Sri Lankan marine fuel bunker barge operator, Lanka Marine Services Ltd (LMSL), has delayed signing its first term contract to import fuel oil and gas oil due to price volatility, a company official said on Monday. more..

Iraq War may jeopardise aid, fears Sri Lanka

Mar 24 (OW) With the United States, United Kingdom and Japan already formulating plans for rebuilding Iraq, an insecure Sri Lankan government is making determined efforts not to lose prospective donors, essential for its long overdue reconstruction program. more..

Sri Lanka rescuers recover bodies after sea attack

Mar 24 (Reuters) Rescuers began recovering the bodies of Chinese fisherman killed in an attack off Sri Lanka while international truce monitors investigated whether Tamil Tiger rebels were to blame, officials said on Monday. more..

Aravinda de Silva appointed as national selector

Mar 24 (CI) Aravinda de Silva has been appointed as a national cricket selector just days after retiring from international cricket. De Silva, Sri Lanka's highest run scorer in Tests and ODIs, is one of three new faces on a five-man selection panel to be announced on Tuesday. more..

Muralitharan confused by omission from Sharjah squad

Mar 24 (CI) Sri Lanka's star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has reacted with surprise and confusion to his omission from a 15-man squad for the forthcoming Sharjah Cup. Muralitharan was left out of the original squad after official sources claimed him to have aggravated a groin injury during the World Cup. more..

SA pull out of Sharjah tour for security reasons

Mar 24 (Reuters) South Africa have withdrawn from next month's triangular one-day tournament in Sharjah because of fears for player safety following the outbreak of war in the Gulf region. South Africa had been scheduled to play in the competition with Pakistan and Sri Lanka from April 1 to 10. more..

More bodies recovered after Sri Lanka trawler attack

Mar 25 (AFP) Five more bodies of 18 Chinese crew feared dead after suspected rebel Tamil Tigers sank a trawler off eastern Sri Lanka have been recovered, adding to two already found, a naval officer said Monday. more..

Sri Lanka to conduct elections in war battered regions: PM

Mar 25 AFP) Sri Lanka is to hold local council elections in the embattled northern and eastern regions including areas held by the Tamil Tigers, prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said. more..

Sea Tigers quizzed by SLMM over sinking of Chinese trawler

Mar 25 (Island) The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission on Sunday questioned the Sea Tigers at a meeting in Kilinochchi about the sinking of a Chinese fishing trawler off the Mallaitivu coast last Friday. more..

India presents books to Jaffna library

Mar 25 (Hindu) India today presented a collection of books, comprising over 1,000 English and Tamil titles, to the renovated Jaffna Public Library, the re-opening of which was called off last month following threats from the LTTE. more..

Tamil Attitudes Toward Terrorism

Mar 25 (WP) The road was framed on both sides by barbed wire fences warning passers-by that there were landmines throughout the area, cautioning children not to play in the fields. As we lurched and swerved to avoid the craters caused by the rushing waters of the rainy season, I was grateful that I had been too nervous to eat anything for breakfast that morning. more..

TULF President talks tough with LTTE

Mar 25 (DM) TULF President V. Anandasangaree threatened to dissolve the party rather than bowing to the dictates of the LTTE. Addressing a meeting at the Jaffna party office, Mr. Anandasangaree said the party had initially agreed to support the government with the sole intention of solving the long-drawn ethnic conflict. more..

India to exempt Sri Lankan goods from customs duty

Mar 25 (FT) India has kept its promise to bring zero duty on all goods of Sri Lankan origin within three years of the implementation date of the Free Trade Agreement. The department of revenue issued a notification on March 18, ’03 to conclude the historic Vajpayee-Chandrika agreement of December 28, ’98 more..

Spotting Leopards

Mar 25 (LBO) Hot on the trail of the eco tourism inclination, Bogawantalawa Plantations is promoting four infrastructure projects among local and overseas investors. Taking centre stage among the projects is the Leopard Mountain Hotel, a Rs. 500 million facility proposed by the people behind the Elephant Corridor Hotel. more..

Sri Lanka's January trade deficit widens

Mar 25 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's trade deficit widened in January, the central bank said on Tuesday, as tea exports declined due to tension in the Middle East, but the main export of garments showed some growth. more..

Sri Lanka gets LKR27 Billion JBIC loan package for Devt projects

Mar 25 (DJ) The Japan Bank for International Co-operation, or JBIC, Tuesday granted a 27 billion Sri Lankan rupee ($1=LKR96.92) concessionary loan package to fund several development projects here. more..

Sri Lanka: Sharjah Cup 'cancelled'

Mar 25 (Guardian) The upcoming Sharjah Cup has been cancelled, according to Sri Lanka's team manager. The triangular tournament, due to begin on April 1 in the United Arab Emirates, was thrown into serious doubt yesterday when South Africa announced their withdrawal because of the war in Iraq. more..

Sri Lanka rate cut tied to inflation

Mar 25 (DJ) The Central Bank is expected to cut key interest rates to add momentum to an economy reviving after 19 years of civil war. But first it must be convinced that inflation is headed lower, and this will depend on a speedy end to the U.S.-led war against Iraq. more..

Tigers to take part in local elections

Mar 25 (Gulf) Tamil guerrillas are for the first time set to contest elections in the north and eastern parts of Sri Lanka after they agreed to permit the government to hold long overdue elections to the region. more..

LTTE 'terrorising parents over child conscription'

Mar 25 (Gulf) A group of academics has claimed that Tamil guerrillas are pressuring civilians to stop them from lodging complaints to the Scandinavian monitors who are in charge of monitoring the 14-month-old truce between the government and the LTTE. more..

Peace talks fail to stir Lankan public opinion

Mar 25 (Dawn) New poll results showing that Sri Lankans are most concerned about daily economic woes explain why it is not easy to mobilize more mass movement in support of the peace process, analysts say. This is despite the fact the ethnic war in Sri Lanka has cost 65,000 lives in the past 20 years. more..

Hikkaduwa UC Chairman shot dead

Mar 25 (DN) Hikkaduwa Urban Council Chairman, Gamini Pinnaduwage (54) was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen yesterday at around 1.30 pm while he was in his office in Hikkaduwa. Police suspect political motives behind the killing, Galle SSP Sisira Gunawardane told the Daily News more..

Stocks close lower in thin trade

Mar 25 (Reuters) Stocks finished lower on Tuesday in razor-thin trade as falls in global markets on concerns over a protracted war in Iraq hurt sentiment. The key Colombo all-share index closed down 0.23 percent, or 1.67 points, at 715.38 points. more..

‘SriLankan’ flights to Kuwait resume tomorrow

Mar 25 (PRIU) Sri Lankan National carrier said today it will resume operations to Kuwait from tomorrow, 26 March 2003. Flights were temporarily on hold with the outbreak of war in Iraq. more..

Scandinavian Monitors keen to avert sea clashes

Mar 25 (PRIU) A working group of the SLMM starting today is working on a set of mechanisms and rules on preventing further sea clashes. “These will be adopted by the government and the LTTE to prevent further sea incidents”, SLMM spokesman Teitur Torkelsson said. more..

Escapee seeks protection from ICRC

Mar 25 (SLA) A civilian, who escaped from LTTE custody had approached the ICRC officials at the entry/exit point in OMANTHAI on 24 March, around 7.45 a.m. The escapee, identified as ILATHAN RASA WASANTHAN of MURUGAN, KOVILADI, THANANKILAPPU had sought protection from ICRC office after he arrived there. more..

Flame and explosions observed

Mar 25 (SLA) Troops on duty in the general area of MUHAMALAI had observed a pall of flame and smoke consequent to the explosion of a suspected Anti-Personnel Mine away from a distance of about 350 meters of the Forward Defence Line on 24 March 2003 around 11.15 a.m. more..

Trawler in restricted zone arrested

Mar 25 (SLA) A trawler, engaged in fishing inside the COLOMBO Harbour restricted zone has been arrested by Navy with its personnel onboard on 24 March 2003. The trawler was handed over to Harbour Police for investigations along with fishing gears and suspects. more..

China demands Sri Lanka investigate trawler attack

Mar 25 (AFP) China said Tuesday it has asked the Sri Lankan government to conduct a "swift investigation" into an attack on a Chinese trawler suspected to have been carried out by Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

US gives Sri Lanka peace talks vote of confidence

Mar 25 (AFP) The United States renewed its support for Sri Lanka's peace drive, as Colombo's top negotiator briefed Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage on latest talks with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

U.S. urges S.Lanka rebels to stop smuggling arms

Mar 25 (Reuters) The United States urged Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels on Tuesday to stop smuggling weapons after a clash at sea nearly scuttled peace talks with the government. more..

Sri Lanka says it is investigating attack on Chinese fishing boat

Mar 25 (AP) Sri Lanka said Tuesday it is investigating an attack on a Chinese fishing boat by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels that left 17 people dead. "Inquiries by the Sri Lanka navy and police into the incident have taken place based on the eyewitness accounts of the survivors," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. more..

Organisers want Sharjah Cup in Sri Lanka

Mar 25 (IOL) Organisers of the Sharjah Cup said on Tuesday they were trying to move the one-day tournament from the United Arab Emirates to Sri Lanka after South Africa pulled out because of security fears. more..

No evacuation yet for Sri Lankans in Middle East: govt

Mar 25 (AFP) Sri Lanka said Tuesday there was no need yet to evacuate its nationals living in the Middle East because of the Iraq war. "There is no threat to safety of our workers at the moment. We do not want to create a panic situation where relatives would unnecessarily try to have them evacuated," Minister of foreign employment, Laxshman Yapa Abeywardena, told reporters. more..

Differences between TULF, LTTE come to the fore

Mar 26 (Hindu) Simmering differences of opinion between Sri Lanka's two major Tamil formations — the parliamentary TULF and the militant LTTE — came to the fore with the TULF president, V. Anandasangaree, asserting that his party was not prepared to be dictated to by the Tigers at every turn. more..

Roving Eye

Mar 26 (LBO) The Employees Trust Fund is knocking on regulators doors to expand its investment reach, as the local capital markets offer limited scope. The Rs. 40 bn state Fund, saw its revenues hit Rs. 5 bn in 2002, for the first time since its inception in 1981. more..

Hard Knock

Mar 26 (LBO) Ceylon Petroleum Corp. raised fuel prices on Wednesday, as world crude oil prices rose over fears that the war in Iraq could drag on. Petrol prices have shot up Rs. 2.00 to Rs. 53.00 and Rs. 56.00 for unleaded petrol. But Auto and Super diesel prices remained static at Rs. 30.00 and Rs. 35.30 respectively. more..

Sri Lanka move into Asian Cup final qualifying round

Mar 26 (AF) Asian Cup preliminary round Group B hosts Sri Lanka needed a 78th minute winner from E.B. Channa to scrape a 2-1 win over Chinese Taipei, a victory that sealed their place in the final qualifying group against United Arab Emirates, Syria and Turkmenistan. more..

'Tamil voters' fundamental rights violated' -- Supreme Court

Mar 26 (TN) The Supreme Court Tuesday held that the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army and the Commissioner of Elections had violated the fundamental rights of the voters in the LTTE held areas of the North-East province by preventing them from casting their votes at the last general elections held in December 2001, legal sources said. more..

CTTU to picket education offices in support of volunteer teachers

Mar 26 (TN) The Ceylon Tamil Teachers Union (CTTU) Tuesday announced that its members would picket the offices of North East Provincial Department of Education and the Provincial Ministry of Education in Trincomalee from April 1st more..

PM urged to stop SLA camp in Jaffna municipal land

Mar 26 (TN) An urgent appeal has been made to the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, Tuesday on behalf of the people of Jaffna that the Sri Lanka Army should not be allowed to relocate its Jaffna brigade headquarters in the municipal council land close to the Jaffna fort, sources said. more..

Escaped young man abducted again

Mar 26 (SLA) A young man, who fled from LTTE custody and reached home two days later after he was abducted on 23 March 2003, has been re-abducted by four LTTE cadres on Tuesday (25) while the victim was at his residence in the general area of MAMANGAMA, about 2.7 km northwest of BATTICALOA. more..

Government condemns attack on Chinese vessel

Mar 26 (DOI) The government last night issued a strong condemnation of the attack on a Chinese owned fishing vessel which resulted in the deaths of seven Chinese and two Sri Lankans on March 20 in the seas off Mullaitivu which it called "unprovoked." more..

Japan provides over Rs. 26,000m loan package

Mar 26 (DOI) The Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) has granted a concessionary loan package of Rs. 26,070 million for six development projects in Sri Lanka. The signing of the Exchange of Notes took place yesterday at the Ministry of Finance more..

Human-elephant conflict to be resolved

Mar 26 (DOI) The Department of Wildlife Conservation is planning immediate action to solve the Human-Elephant conflict in the North-Western and Southern Provinces where the problem is regarded as extremely severe, official sources said yesterday. more..

Human rights: Civic groups seek DPL pressure

Mar 26 (DM) Civil society groups are to meet diplomatic missions in Colombo to urge the government and the LTTE to agree to the proposal to have an international team to monitor human rights violations in LTTE controlled areas. more..

Sri Lanka tea market crashes

Mar 26 (SA) Sri Lanka's tea market fell significantly on Tuesday due to a majority of exporters withdrawing supplies from auctions and a slump in prices due to the outbreak of war in Iraq, Tea brokers said. more..