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Roundtable on salination of Jaffna lands, water sources

Oct 28 (TN) Means of preventing salination of arable lands and fresh water sources in the Jaffna peninsula were explored at a roundtable organised by the National Water Supplies and Drainage Board at the Jaffna District Secretariat Tuesday. more..

More Indian fishermen released by Jaffna courts

Oct 28 (TN) The Kayts Magistrate, Mr. A.Premshankar, Tuesday released fifteen Indian fishermen who had been captured by local fishermen and Sri Lanka Navy when poaching in northern sea and were kept in remand, on the instructions of the Attorney General, legal sources said. more..

Sri Lanka to import 200 rail coaches from India

Oct 28 (IANS) Sri Lanka has requested Indian help to revamp the railway network in the island country and also supply 200 rail coaches. The request to import rail coaches was made by Sri Lankan member of parliament Anura Bhandarnayake during a meeting with Minister of State for Railways Basanagouda R. Patil more..

Five jailed for Tamil tribal slaughter

Oct 28 (HT) A Tamil gang leader who orchestrated murder, kidnapping and torture in a wave of tribal violence was jailed on Friday. The Sri Lankan gunned down a 26-year-old married Wembley man at the end of a brutal 24 hour campaign to exact revenge for a killing in his own country. more..

Underworld threatens prison officials, families

Oct 29 (Island) Several prison officials have been reportedly threatened by members of the underworld after a successful raid conducted by a special squad of the prisons on Monday night where several cellular phones were recovered from the possession of underworld figures in the Colombo remand prison. more..

Sri Lankan army 'racist'

Oct 29 (BBC) An official inquiry team in Sri Lanka has concluded that the police and armed forces are institutionally racist towards Tamils. The team was asked to investigate nearly 300 disappearances in the northern town of Jaffna - most of them Tamils who were taken into custody by the military. more..

Interior minister visits Kinniya

Oct 29 (TN) Interior Minister, Mr.John Amaratunge, Tuesday evening visited Kinniya in the Trincomalee district and inspected the residences of three Muslim parliamentarians of the district that had been damaged by Muslim mobs due to the recent unrest that prevailed over the abduction of a cart and tractors belonging to Muslims by unknown persons last week, more..

Court hears petition against president

Oct 29 (TN) At the next date of inquiry, the Court of Appeal will announce its decision on whether to summon the President to appear in court. Counsel Krishantha Waliyamunne, who appeared for the petitioner, said that the President is duty-bound to appoint members to the National Election Commission as recommended by the Constitutional Council under the 17th amendment to the constitution more..

LTTE ready for talks with Government

Oct 29 (Hindu) The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam today said it was ready to "commence talks with the Government on the proposals for an interim administration" for Sri Lanka's northeast. more..

SLMC delegation meets Eric Solheim

Oct 29 (DN) The Muslim delegation led by Rauff Hakeem met Eric Solheim, Special Envoy and Ms. Lisa Golden, advisor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who had arrived in London from Norway specially to meet the delegation at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. more..

Dhaka, Colombo talk FTA Nov 1-2

Oct 29 (DS) After initiating talks on a free trade agreement (FTA) with India this month, trade officials sit with their Sri Lankan counterparts on November 1-2 in Dhaka to discuss FTA. Dhaka and Colombo have a meagre bilateral trade, which too tilted to the Indian Ocean Island state. more..

Bush submits protocol to govern U.S.-Sri Lanka tax treaty

Oct 29 (WF) President Bush submitted a protocol updating the 1985 U.S.-Sri Lanka tax convention for Senate approval in an October 28 missive. Following is the text of the President's letter: more..

Abuse of women migrant workers starts at home

Oct 29 (IPS) When she was a domestic worker in the Middle East, Uma was sexually abused on a regular basis by a member of the family she worked for. When she became pregnant as a result of this abuse, Uma, 36, returned to Sri Lanka. But to avoid the stigma - she was a widow with a teenaged daughter - she decided give the baby up for adoption. more..

Colombo may review visa policy for Islamabad

Oct 29 (Jang) Sri Lanka has warned Pakistan that it might revise its liberal visa policy for Islamabad if the present trend of using the former as a conduit by human traffickers remained unchecked. more..

Safe House

Oct 29 (LBO) The Labour Ministry will tap into a pool of Rs. 6.5 bn in dormant EPF monies, for seed capital to set up an Unemployment Insurance Fund for retrenched workers. “The Rs.3 bn fund will be topped up with an employer contribution of 0.15 percent and employee contribution of 0.1 percent on the last drawn salary”, more..

Big House

Oct 29 (LBO) A US$ 1 billion housing project is being cemented to construct 100,000 homes, with the three locations already short listed for development. Amona Peace Development Private Limited, the BOI joint venture between Amona Sdn Bhd., and a Lankan entrepreneur will initially develop a 720 unit apartment complex more..

Smokey Trail

Oct 29 (LBO) Ceylon Tobacco has begun gaining lost ground in a battle with illegal, low cost bootlegs, but is still losing Rs. 50 mn a year in a new range of counterfeits competing with its top slot brands. more..

Protesters turn violent after three Muslims were beaten

Oct 29 (SLA) The Police were compelled to call in additional troops to bring tense situation that ensued at MOLLIPATANA, about 23 km southwest of TRINCOMALEE this morning under control after three Muslims in WANELA area, were beaten and hacked during early hours on Wednesday (29) by a group of Tamil men. more..

Unidentified group torches four fishing boats

Oct 29 (SLA) An unidentified group has torched four fishing boats belonging to Muslims and a fishing bank in the general area of PARARIPANCHAN, about 14 km south of TRINCOMALEE town on 28 October 2003 around 2.30 p.m. more..

Bathing Muslim shot and injured

Oct 29 (SLA) Two Tamils, suspected to be from LTTE shot and injured a Muslim civilian on 28 October 2003 around 4.30 p.m. while he was taking a bath in a stream in the general area close to MUTTUR town. more..

Planned violence prevented

Oct 29 (SLA) Naval troops on duty rushed to the general beach area of SAMPUR, about 13 km southeast of TRINCOMALEE on 27 October 2003 after information was received that some Muslim fishermen at MUTTUR pier were getting ready to launch an attack on SAMPUR fishermen. more..

Driver claims he was beaten

Oct 29 (SLA) A driver attached to Eastern Bus Company, who was delivered to LTTE office in SAGAMA by four conductors of the same company, claimed that he was abused and badly beaten on 27 October 2003 around 5.30 p.m. while he was riding his motorbike in the general area of AKKARAIPATTU. more..

Lanka not to allow 2nd Indian retail co

Oct 29 (TOI) Sri Lanka is unwilling to allow a second Indian entity an entry into its petroretail market irrespective of the island nation's ongoing efforts to forge closer economic and political ties with New Delhi. more..

Joint statement of India and Sri Lanka welcomed

Oct 29 (UNI) The India-Asean-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce and Industry today welcomed the recent joint statement issued by the Prime Ministers of India and Sri Lanka and described it as another milestone in the steady progress in the evolution of economic relations between the two countries. more..

`Sri Lanka should compensate'

Oct 29 (Hindu) The Centre must take steps to get compensation from the Sri Lankan Government for the death and injury suffered by Tamil fishermen in the high seas, the Fisher Movements Coordination Committee of Tamil Nadu has said. more..

Sri Lanka cigarette smuggling 'soars'

Oct 29 (BBC) The world's highest tax on tobacco could be making tax revenues fall rather than rise, according to Sri Lanka's cigarette monopoly. The Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) - owned by UK giant British American Tobacco - says rising cigarette prices have sparked a surge in illicit Rising cigarette prices have sparked a surge in illicit sales. more..

Chandrika moves court over threat to presidential powers

Oct 29 (Gulf) The power struggle between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the ruling UNF government has been taken to courts with the president seeking a supreme court determination whether the defence minister had encroached on the power vested with the executive presidency. more..

Massive crowds at ‘Patriotic’ rally

Oct 29 (LT) The second National rally on the theme “Defend Motherland; let’s march forward!” organized by Patriotic National Movement (PNM) was held at Anurathapura today. The rally commenced after the leaders participated at religious observances at Sri Maha Bodhiya. more..

I won’t recognize anyone as leader of Tamils! - Ananda Sangaree

Oct 29 (LT) Mr.V.Ananda Sangaree, Leader of the TULF has said that he wouldn’t recognize any individual or organization as the sole representative of the Tamil people. Mr. Joseph Prarajasingham, TULF MP for Batticaloa had said in a meeting at Batticaloa held after meeting Thamilselven of the Tiger organization that Mr.Ananda Sangaree should be ousted from the party. more..

Sri Lankan MP calls on Minister

Oct 29 (Hindu) Anura Bhandarnayake, MP and brother of the Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, today called on the Union Minister of State for Railways, Basangouda R. Patil, and discussed with him further prospects of mutual cooperation between the two countries in the railway sector. more..

Lanka rights panel name 44 military men for excesses

Oct 29 (PTI) A probe by the country's human rights watchdog into the disappearance of over 300 people in northern Sri Lanka has identified 44 military officers who were allegedly responsible for excesses, a member of the panel said. more..

CWC, UPF tell different stories to Tigers

Oct 29 (DM) A Ceylon Workers Congress delegation led by Minister Arumugam Thondaman yesterday met the LTTE leadership for talks on the proposed North-East interim administration - but what surfaced more was a conflict of opinion between the CWC and the Upcountry People's Front. more..

Mob attack Sinhala-Tamil Cultural Festival in Colombo

Oct 29 (TN) Four persons including two journalists were wounded when a Sinhala nationalist mob attacked the Sinhala Tamil Cultural Festival at the New Town Hall in Colombo Wednesday morning. more..

Key party of Indian Tamils in Lanka firm on separate identity

Oct 29 (HT) In opposition to the demand of some leaders of the Indian Origin Tamils (IOT) that the IOT should make common cause with the indigenous Sri Lankan Tamils and come under the leadership of the LTTE, the largest party of the IOT, Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC), has said that the problems of the two communities are different and that they should not be mixed up in a common agenda. more..

Troops, Tigers accused in disappearances

Oct 29 (Reuters) Racist attitudes by both Sri Lankan government forces and Tamil Tigers were responsible for the disappearance of Tamils and Muslims during the island's ethnic war, a human rights report said on Wednesday. more..

U.S. to help Sri Lanka on ship container security

Oct 29 (Reuters) The United States signed a deal with Sri Lanka on Wednesday to help the Indian Ocean island beef up security at Colombo port as part of an effort to ensure the safety of U.S.-bound cargo. more..

Zoysa, Arnold called up to Sri Lanka squad

Oct 29 (Reuters) Fast bowler Nuwan Zoysa and middle-order batsman Russel Arnold have been recalled into Sri Lanka's 22-man training squad for England's tour of the island next month. Zoysa, who last played for Sri Lanka in July 2002, more..

Fernando worried about Sri Lanka future

Oct 29 (PA) Sri Lanka 'A' team coach Ranjith Fernando fears the progress of the country's finest young cricketers is being stifled by their reluctance to cut free from the shackles of authority. more..

Scandinavians review role in Sri Lanka as President targets truce chief

Oct 29 (AFP) Scandinavian countries will review their truce monitoring role in Sri Lanka after President Chandrika Kumaratunga demanded the removal of the chief monitor, the Norwegian Foreign Minister said Wednesday. more..

LTTE activist released on surety bail

Oct 29 (TN) The Point Pedro Magistrate Wednesday released an activist of the Sea Tigers in the Vadamaradchi division, Mr. Gamini, on surety bail when a woman witness failed to identify him as the person who attempted to abduct a private vehicle on the day of the incident, legal sources said. more..

SLA soldier in Jaffna charged for traffic offence

Oct 29 (TN) The Jaffna Additional Magistrate, Ms. Srinithi Nandasekaran, Tuesday ordered a soldier of the Sri Lanka Army, Mr. Liyanage Somawanse, to pay two thousand rupees as charity in a case in which he had been charged with driving an army truck negligently, causing damage to two vehicles belonging to civilians, more..

Aussie MP meets Jaffna LTTE political head

Oct 29 (TN) Australian parliamentarian Mr. Alan Griffin Wednesday held discussions with the Jaffna district political head of the LTTE, Mr.C.Ilamparuthi, the women's political wing head, Ms. Kalaivilzi, and activist Mr.Manivannan at the district political office of the LTTE located at Kokuvil in Jaffna district, more..

Norwegian FM responds to President

Oct 29 (TN) The Norwegian Foreign Ministry in a press release Wednesday said that the Foreign Minister, Mr. Jan Petersen, has responded to the letter from President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, in which she referred to incidents on October 16, 2003, involving the Norwegian-led SLMM. more..

LTTE extortion rates in Kinniya

Oct 30 (IL) In the Kinniya Division, the LTTE extorts Rs.1500 per acre of paddy land owned, Rs.300 per head of cattle owned, and, Rs.1000 for engaging in firewood business. In addition, monthly extortions of Rs.15,000 from owners of mechanical plows and Rs.1,000 from owners of fishing boats are also collected by the LTTE. The majority of the population of Kinniya Division are Muslims, the EPDP Alleged.

Mullipottanai Muslims protest against attack

Oct 30 (TN) A group of Muslim villagers of Mullipottanai in the Trincomalee district Wednesday held a hartal and a picketing campaign on the Trincomalee-Kandy highway, blocking all traffic to and from Colombo and Trincomalee, protesting an attack by unknown persons that injured at least three Muslim civilians Tuesday more..

Raviraj slams CBK for SLMM remark

Oct 30 (IL) A TNA parliamentarian said that the President's demand that the head of the SLMM be removed was contrary to the spirit of the ceasefire agreement and if war broke out as a result of her short-sighted policy, she should be held responsible for it. more..

18 children, 5 adults die due to delay in surgery

Oct 30 (Island) Twenty three heart patients, including 18 children on the waiting list for cardiac surgery, at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, have died due to the delay caused by nurses of the Cardio Thoracic Unit over the dispute about allowance paid to them from the President’s Fund for assisting in surgeries. more..

Govt, LTTE should abide by SLMM decision: PM

Oct 30 (DN) The final decision on any problem within the truce is a matter for the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and both the Government and the LTTE are obliged to abide by that decision, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told the Cabinet Meeting last evening. more..

Whizzing Through

Oct 30 (LBO) The UDA has short listed six parties, one of whom will undertake the construction of a mass transit network for Colombo. The mass transport system will stretch along Galle Road and reach the airport and the outskirts of Colombo city. more..

First Blood

Oct 30 (LBO) The Attorney General told the Appeal Court on Wednesday that the government would not go ahead and recruit a Chief Executive Officer to head the upcoming Revenue Authority of Sri Lanka. more..