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Sri Lankan trouble of its own making, says Whatmore

Mar 10 (AP) Sri Lanka's coach Dav Whatmore on Monday challenged his players to find a way out of the World Cup mess they'd created for themselves. Sri Lanka crashed out for 109 in a massive 183-run loss to India, which had plundered 292 for six after being put in to bat. more..

Tight security at Norwegian embassy in Sri Lanka

Mar 10 (AFP) Elite police commandos were deployed outside the Norwegian embassy here Monday as opposition demonstrators denounced Oslo's role in brokering peace on the island. more..

LTTE Vehemently Condemns sinking of merchant vessel in International Waters

Mar 10 (TN) LTTE condemned the sinking by the Sri Lanka Navy of an LTTE merchant vessel in international waters, 220 nautical miles off Trincomalee, today. In a letter to Sri Lankan Defence Minister Tilak Marapane, Mr. S. P. Tamilselvan, condemned the attack in which eleven LTTE cadres were killed as “a grave violation of the ceasefire agreement.” more..

Mannar fishermen protest Government 'inaction'

Mar 11 (Hindu) Hundreds of fishermen in this northern district today took out a protest march against what they termed the Sri Lankan Government's "lack of action" to stop the continued encroachment by Indian fishermen on the island's waters well beyond the controversial Katchchathivu islet. more..

Killing cannot be prevented by killing — Civil Rights Movement

Mar 11 (Island) The Civil Rights Movement of Sri Lanka said that judicial hanging was one of the few horrors that our country had been spared for over a quarter of a century and the Civil Rights Movement could not credit that the government would now restore it. more..

A threat to ceasefire in Sri Lanka

Mar 11 (Hindu) A four-hour exchange of fire in international waters preceded today's sinking of a merchant vessel belonging to the LTTE by the SLNS SAYURA, an Indian-built offshore patrol vessel, acquired by the Sri Lankan Navy in 2000. more..

Rice exporters seek free trade accord with Sri Lanka

Mar 11 (DT) The Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) has sought a Free Trade Agreement with Sri Lanka by government to boost exports of rice. In a letter to Minister for Commerce Humayun Akhter Khan on Monday, the REAP claimed that Sri Lanka has raised import duty from Rs 5 per kg to Rs 7 per kg. more..

A/L Revision

Mar 11 (LBO) Lessons from Tharuna Aruna scheme for the unemployed graduates will help structure a new project aimed at the G.C.E. Advanced level qualified labour population. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to a US $ 10 million allocation for the project, more..

Varsity Basics

Mar 11 (LBO) A World Bank project to revamp tertiary education, pegging university funding to performance for the first time, will be rolled out by May this year. The US$ 43 mn project funded by the World Bank will see the project through its implementation, spread over a five-year period. more..

Teachers protest against army occupation in Northeast

Mar 11 (TN) Teachers in Northeast organized a symbolic strike by calling in sick demanding the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) vacate the schools, places of worship, private residences and public buildings which have been converted to SLA camps, sources in Batticaloa said. more..

Postal service wont be privatised - Bakeer Markar

Mar 11 (DOI) The Minister of Mass Communication Imitiaz Bakeer Markar said at a meeting that the postal service would not be privatised and its losses will be reduced gradually. He also promised to modernise the Postal Service. He said so at a meeting held at the opening of the Communication Locale (Teleshop) at the Deraniyagala Post office premises. more..

Government gives Rs. 50m to purchase Ampara paddy harvest

Mar 11 (DOI) The Government has released Rs.50 million to the Ampara district to purchase the bumper Maha paddy harvested in the region, Agriculture and Livestock Minister S.B.Dissanayake said. The Minister said 74,900 hectares in Ampara district had been cultivated with paddy this Maha season and the total harvest expected is nearly 288,000 Metric tons. more..

Nation moulded by sports can meet today's challenges - Mahinda Wijesekera

Mar 11 (DN) The Government is aiming at a noble solution to the ethnic issue within the framework of an undivided Sri Lanka: with the certainty of economic and political freedom to consolidate the spirit of such a solution an unselfish nation devoted to implement and execute development programmes, is the prime need of the day. more..

Premaratne blocks others from joining UNP

Mar 11 (DM) An enjoining order was issued yesterday by the Colombo District Court preventing the PA rebel group headed by G. L. Peiris, S. B. Dissanayake and six others from joining the United National Party. more..

Wake up or perish, disgusted coach blasts team

Mar 11 (AFP) Coach Dav Whatmore lashed out at his World Cup squad, saying they had no one but themselves to blame for facing an early flight home. "It is difficult to have sympathy for the boys when they play like that," Whatmore thundered a day after Sri Lanka crashed to a humiliating 183-run defeat by India at the Wanderers on Monday. more..

Germany to help Sri Lankan displaced people

Mar 11 (Xinhua) Germany will provide Sri Lanka a total of 400,000 Euro (about 416,660 US dollars) for a project to help the return of the country's war-displaced people in the north and east, The Island newspaper said on Tuesday. more..

Saudi Arabia to donate food items for Sri Lanka's displaced Muslims

Mar 11 (Xinhua) Saudi Arabia will donate food items for Sri Lankan Muslims who have been displaced by the 19- year ethnic war between the government and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in the north and east of the country, according to the Foreign Ministry. more..

Norway foreign minister postpones visit to Sri Lanka

Mar 11 (NP) Foreign Minister Jan Petersen, who was to have left for Colombo Tuesday night, for talks with the two sides in the Sri Lanka conflict, has postponed the visit. The reason is the unclarified situation at the UN regarding the Iraq conflict. more..

Navy retaliated only after provocation - Navy Spokesman

Mar 11 (PRIU) The Navy reiterated today that it had retaliated only after being fired at by the suspect vessel, in the incident involving the Sri Lanka Navy and an unidentified vessel in the northeast of Sri Lanka, yesterday. Navy Spokesman Capt. Jayantha Perera said that the incident occurred in an area well within the Navy’s area of operation. more..

Sri Lanka-Hong Kong finalise agreement on criminal matters

Mar 11 (PRIU) Sri Lanka recently finalised an Agreement with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. The objective of the Agreement is to improve the effectiveness of law enforcement of both parties in the investigation, prosecution and prevention of crime and confiscation of criminal proceeds. more..

Lankan coach backs India for final

Mar 11 (PTI) Sri Lankan cricket coach Dav Whatmore today gave full marks to India for outplaying Sri Lanka and said with its current form it could go on to meet Australia in the World Cup final. "India is the in-form team. They are playing very well at the moment. Their confidence is up," Whatmore said more..

MTN Networks Counting On Intl Call Revenue

Mar 11 (DJ) Sri Lanka's MTN Networks Ltd. said Tuesday it expects revenue from international calls to form a large part of its total earnings this year, following a sharp reduction in tariffs. Currently, revenue from international calls makes up about 6% of total earnings. more..

Sri Lankan maid mauled by a pack of Rottweilers in Hong Kong

Mar 11 (AFP) A domestic helper from Sri Lanka was in a stable condition on Tuesday after being attacked by a pack of Rottweilers in a house in Hong Kong, a government spokeswoman said. more..

Thousands protest Colombo peace bid

Mar 11 (Gulf) Sri Lanka's main opposition parties yesterday staged one of the biggest protest campaigns against the ruling UNF government on a variety of issues, including allegations of mishandling the peace process and allowing the Tiger guerrillas to reinforce. more..

Peace deal opens investment gateway to Jaffna

Mar 11 (DJ) Arunasalam Krishnarajah has been the custodian of the precious savings of Sri Lankans living in northern Jaffna peninsula for much of the country's 20-year civil conflict. more..

Stocks close lower on Iraq, sea clash

Mar 11 (Reuters) Stocks fell to their lowest levels in more than six months on Tuesday on fears that a war in Iraq is near and after 11 people were killed in a clash between the navy and Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Diplomatic efforts to salvage peace bid after ship sinking

Mar 11 (AFP) Diplomatic moves were underway in Sri Lanka to keep a Norwegian-backed peace bid afloat after Tamil Tiger rebels warned of "far reaching consequences" following the sinking of one of theri vessels by the Navy. more..

Sri Lanka monitors investigate rebel-navy clash

Mar 11 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's truce monitors scrambled on Tuesday to keep peace talks on track after the navy sank a rebel ship suspected of smuggling weapons, killing 11 people and prompting the rebels to warn of consequences. more..

Tiger rebels open 'appeal court'

Mar 11 (AFP) Tamil Tiger guerrillas said they had opened a "court of appeal" Tuesday in the northern rebel-held town of Kilinochchi. The LTTE inaugurated their higher courts at a new building in the battle-scarred town, 330 kilometres (206 miles) north of here. more..

No separate unit for Muslims-TULF

Mar 11 (IL) The TULF which had been advocating a separate unit for the Muslims in the Ampara district has now been persuaded by the LTTE to give up that position. When Members of Parliament belonging to the TULF and other constituent parties of the TNA met with British Adviser Anton Stanislaus alias Balasingham and political commissar S. P. Tamilchelvan of the LTTE. more..

Lankan media roasts cricket team

Mar 11 (PTI) Sri Lankan media on Tuesday was scathing in its criticism after Sanath Jayasuriya's team crashed to a humiliating 183-run defeat to India in a Super Six contest on Monday and moved to the brink of ouster from the World Cup. more..

Lanka to buy potatoes from Punjab

Mar 11 (PTI) The world's third largest producer of potatoes, India, is focusing on Sri Lanka for export of the commodity and one of the importing companies has ordered for a purchase of 6,000 tonnes. more..

Naval incident exposes deep rift in Sri Lankan ruling circles

Mar 11 (wsws) As the fifth round of peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE was about to begin in Berlin last month, a naval incident involving the tragic death of three LTTE cadres revealed the deep-going political division wracking ruling circles in Colombo. more..

Batticaloa schools function without course books

Mar 11 (TN) Government schools in Batticaloa district are functioning without the necessary school books and students are being severely impacted by this shortage, education officials in Batticaloa said. more..

Former Sri Lanka child soldier faces bleak future

Mar 11 (Reuters) At 25, Rani has fought in more than 20 battles, been shot four times and can't recall how many government troops she has killed. Now she sews tapestries instead of firing a machine gun. more..

US Ambassador visits Jaffna, meets civil group leaders

Mar 12 (TN) The Ambassador for United States of America in Colombo, Mr.Ashely Wills, paid a one-day visit to Jaffna Tuesday and held discussions with representatives of Jaffna civil groups and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians, sources said. more..

Sinking of LTTE vessel: SLMM seeks details

Mar 12 (Hindu) The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) has asked the island's defence authorities for exact location of Monday's engagement in the high seas, in which the Sri Lanka Navy sunk an LTTE merchant vessel. more..

No immediate return to war: LTTE

Mar 12 (Hindu) The LTTE today said there would not be an immediate return to war but wanted an assurance from Colombo that incidents similar to Monday's naval engagement, in which a rebel merchant vessel was sunk, would not recur. more..

Navy action was legitimate - Defence Secy

Mar 12 (Island) Defence Ministry Secretary Austin Fernando yesterday maintained that the action taken on the part of the Navy was "legitimate" and the Navy stood by the sequence of events as explained in the release issued by the Navy regarding the sinking of an LTTE ship suspected to be carrying arms. more..

A nation hangs it head in shame

Mar 12 (CI) Oh dear. A cricket-loving nation hangs it's head in shame. On Monday, after a disgraceful and unacceptable performance, Sri Lankan cricket fans surrendered whatever slender hopes they had of winning the 2003 World Cup. more..

Sri Lanka frees 41 fishermen

Mar 12 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan Government today reportedly released 41 Tamil Nadu fishermen and six boats, who were taken into custody by the island Navy and fishermen on the charge they had encroached on Sri Lankan territorial waters recently. more..

Minister elopes!

Mar 12 (IL) When the government and the opposition is at loggerheads fighting for the chair of power, one of the Minister's of the ruling United National Front government has stunned all by eloping with a popular sinhalese vocalist. more..

Indian Oil expects Trincomalee tank farm buyout in 3 months

Mar 12 (FE) Fortune 500 company Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has initiated the process of acquiring Trincomalee Tank Farm of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) — a critical move for the oil major to garner ready storage facility for its products in Sri Lanka. more..

'We are committed to peace' - Balasingham

Mar 12 (TN) Mr.Anton Balasingham said that the LTTE will not allow the peace process to become a trap to weaken the Liberation Tigers. "Despite provocations and attacks on us we are determined to participate constructively in the peace process. We want to convince the world, particularly the Sinhala people, that we are committed to peace," more..

US Ambassador visits Jaffna, meets civil group leaders

Mar 12 (TN) The Ambassador for United States of America in Colombo, Mr.Ashely Wills, paid a one-day visit to Jaffna Tuesday and held discussions with representatives of Jaffna civil groups and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians, sources said. more..

President, Premier in crisis talks

Mar 12 (DM) Amidst intensified moves by the proposed SLFP-JVP alliance to oust the UNF government, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday met President Chandrika Kumaratunga for two-and-a-half hours of talks on various issues. more..

Sri Lanka talks tackle nitty gritty

Mar 12 (CNN) The next round of peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE is to be held in Japan from March 18 to 21, almost exactly one year after a cease-fire was agreed. But the prospects for ending a civil war in which 65,000 people have died over nearly 20 years is still fraught with perils. more..

Cargo Business

Mar 12 (LBO) SriLankan Cargo, the cargo arm of SriLankan Airlines, has handled the largest volume of transhipment cargo in January 2003 since July 2001. The volume of transhipment cargo handled in January totalled 1,341 metric tonnes, the airline said on Wednesday. more..

Jayasuriya must grin and hide

Mar 12 (Reuters) Sanath Jayasuriya will have to put up with pain from his broken thumb for the rest of the World Cup, according to team physiotherapist Alex Kountouri. "Sanath's forearm is not a problem but the left thumb is broken right at the tip and he will only fully recover after the World Cup," he said. more..

Armed and uniform dressed LTTE men cross road at midnight

Mar 12 (SLA) Police personnel in the general area of KANTALE had come across a group of armed LTTE cadres in uniforms, similar to those of the Army on 12 March 2003 around midnight while LTTE men were walking towards KADDAWANA jungle across JAYAPURA junction on KANATALE-TRINCOMALEE main road. more..