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Green Battles

Dec 13 (LBO) A local environmental body has agreed to drop charges against the state for illegal encroachment into the Muthurajawela Sanctuary, but is lobbying for a dedicated Wetland Conservation Act. more..

No more chopper rides for Tigers

Dec 13 (SAMN) There will be no more helicopter rides for members of the LTTE either to arrive at the Bandaranaike International Airport or to commute between the North and the East. The move follows a decision by the Sri Lanka Air Force, in consultation with the Ministry of Defence, not to operate any helicopter flights to "uncleared" areas in the Wanni or the East. more..

Lanka vows to punish those behind Shah Rukh Khan's concert attack

Dec 13 (PTI) Sri Lanka today vowed to punish those responsible for a bomb blast at Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan's mega concert here even as the main Buddhist group which had initially opposed the event denied any involvement in the attack. more..

Hostage released on 'no to US' pledge

Dec 13 (BBC) Dinesh Dharmendran Rajaratnam, Sri Lankan hostage held in Iraq arrived in Colombo on Sunday after more than a month in captivity. The captors, believed to be Ansar al-Sunna, have agreed to release Rajaratnam and Bangladeshi national Abul Kashem Mohammed Farooq after their Kuwaiti employer promised not to transport supplies in future to US bases in Iraq. more..

Lankans blame each other for Shahrukh tragedy

Dec 13 (HT) Shocked and embarrassed by the grenade attack on Bollywood icon Shahrukh Khan's mega concert on Saturday, in which two persons were killed, Sri Lankans are blaming each other. In a statement on the ugly incident, the Sri Lankan government said on Sunday, that "intense investigations" were being conducted "on a priority basis" more..

UNP trying to resume campaign of terror to destabilize country - President

Dec 13 (DN) Addressing a public rally at the Sanath Jayasuriya Stadium in Matara on the final day of "Nilwala Harasara" to mark her 10 years in office, the President noted that the UNP was attempting to change a correct and independent judgement delivered by the Supreme Court via Parliament. more..

Sri Lanka says Bollywood attack aimed at India ties

Dec 13 (Reuters) Sri Lanka apologized Monday to a troupe of Bollywood stars for a deadly weekend grenade attack that marred a concert they staged in Colombo, blaming it on elements bent on hurting close ties with neighboring India. more..

'I saw the people who died' -Shah Rukh

Dec 13 (Rediff) The world was rocked by news of a bomb blast at Shah Rukh Khan's recent concert in Colombo. The actor was performing alongwith Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta, Priyanka Chopra, Celina Jaitley and Zayed Khan. The blast left two dead and 18 injured. more..

India's industrialisation inspires Lanka

Dec 13 (HT) In a contrast to India where independence from British rule had given a fillip to industrialisation, in Sri Lanka, independence did not usher in industrialisation. In fact, independent Sri Lanka has been inhospitable to indigenous industrial entrepreneurship. But signs of change are showing. more..

Two die in road accident at Muhamalai army checkpoint

Dec 14 (TN) Mr.Sambasivam Rahulatharan aged 22 of Tellipalai in Jaffna district and Mr.Narayanasamy Radhakrishnan aged 39 of Nuwareliya district died on the spot near Muhamalai army checkpoint when their motor bike and a private passenger bus collided in a head on crash Monday evening around 6 p.m., police said. more..

India loans Sri Lanka $150 mn to facilitate petroleum imports from IOC

Dec 14 (IE) India is extending a $150 million loan to Sri Lanka, even though the island nation continues to owe $30 million to government-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC). The five-year loan is being given from Exim Bank of India to Sri Lanka for import of petroleum products from any of the government-run Indian oil firms. more..

Militants mistook him for Afro-American :Rajaratnam nearly executed

Dec 14 (AT) The Islamic militants who captured Sri Lankan truck driver Dinesh Dharmendra Rajaratnam (37), suspected him to be an Afro-American serving the U.S. in Iraq, because of his dark skin and other features. His Bangladeshi colleague Abul Kashem Faruk (44) was mistaken for an Egyptian. more..

Contempt of justice causes legalised cruelty

Dec 14 (AT) Asian Human Rights Commission, a human rights organization based in Hong Kong has raised a pertinent question at the backdrop of Sri Lanka's Member of Parliament S.B.Dissanayake’s recent conviction and imprisonment for the contempt of courts, regarding the miscarriages justice. more..

Sri Lanka: UNP's long march

Dec 14 (AT) The United National Party has organized a long march from Hanguranketha to Colombo, on behalf of the Party's Chief Organizer S.B. Dissanayajke, who is now languishing in prison. The march, which will commence on Saturday 18 December more..

Public sector training for public-private partnerships

Dec 14 (LBO) The government is looking at public-private partnerships for donor funded development projects in future, says the Treasury Secretary. "In future planning agencies and line ministries will have to realise projects that complement public-private partnerships. Not just plan for the budget," more..

Severe floods are reported from many parts of the country

Dec 14 (Rupavahini) A woman was killed in a landslide at Mihindupura in Kandapola in the Nuwara Eliya district. Meanwhile, the president has directed the authorities concerned to provide immediate relief to the people displaced by the floods in the eastern province. The president was responding to a request made by Minister Mrs. Farial ashroff. more..

An act of barbarism

Dec 14 (ANN) The dastardly grenade attack on the Temptation 2004 musical show on Saturday was by all means an act of barbarism! The perpetrator of this crime has not yet been identified and the attack has left two dead and fourteen injured. more..

Colombo blast, a message for Government?

Dec 14 (Hindu) Sri Lankan security analysts and eyewitnesses feel Saturday's grenade explosion at a concert featuring Indian filmstar, Shah Rukh Khan, was the outcome of lax security, possible clash of business interests and the jostle for space in the island's bitterly contested domestic politics. more..

Solheim back in town

Dec 14 (BBC) Norway's special envoy to Sri Lanka Erik Solheim has arrived on another round of shuttle diplomacy. On a three day visit he'll be meeting both sides in an attempt to revive the faltering peace process. more..

Muralitharan smiles through the setbacks

Dec 14 (Reuters) Muttiah Muralitharan lost his world record, had one of his most dangerous deliveries banned, refused to tour Australia after a prime-ministerial put-down, lost five months to the surgeon's knife and ended 2004 as the happiest cricketer alive. more..

Lanka wooing business tourism from India

Dec 14 (TP) SriLankan Airlines is now promoting the country as an attractive Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (Mice) destination in India, following a recent, comprehensive marketing campaign, the airline's country manager for Qatar, Ajith De Alwis, said here yesterday. more..

Lankan Aids activist dies

Dec 14 (AFP) Kamalika Abeyaratne, probably one of Sri Lanka’s bravest women, died at the weekend of HIV/Aids after a long and dedicated battle not only against the disease but fighting for the rights and needs of other victims. She was 70. more..

Norochcholai thermal project to receive Chinese support

Dec 14 (SLBC) The government has decided to go begin the construction of the Norochcholai Thermal Power Project with the support of the Chinese government. The present government has decided to go ahead with the Norochcholai coal power project and the President has also signified approval of the project through a Cabinet paper. more..

HRCSL lacks teeth, says Human Rights activist

Dec 14 (TN) "Lawmakers of the country should give teeth to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka to implement its determination on violation of human rights. Presently the HRCSL is only empowered to submit its recommendation on human right violation complaints. That's why the violation of human rights are on the increase", more..

NECORD provides building to Salli students

Dec 14 (TN) A three storied building, constructed under the Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded North East Community Restoration Development (NECORD) project at a cost of 5.986 million rupees, was declared open in Salli Ambal Maha Vidiyalayam on Sunday evening. more..

Iranaimadu spill water submerges Paranthan villages

Dec 14 (TN) Torrential rain across Vanni district the last three days has filled the Iranaimadu tank to levels close to the maximum 34 feet forcing the spillway administrators to open the sluice gates at 32 feet water level, sources in Vanni said. more..

Nine Indian poachers to be repatriated

Dec 14 (TN) Mannar Magistrate Mr.N.M.M.Abdullah Tuesday ordered the repatriation of nine of the twelve Indian poachers now in remand in Anuradhapura prison. He made this order on the written direction of the Attorney General, legal sources said. more..

13 SL Tamil refugees surrender in Mannar

Dec 14 (TN) Mannar Magistrate Mr.M.N.M.Abdulla Tuesday ordered the civil authorities to send all thirteen Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who returned from India after fourteen years in refugee camps to their respective villages in the districts of Jaffna, Mannar and Vavuniya, more..

Pak, Syria, Lanka queue up to hop on board Metro

Dec 14 (TOI) The Metro will now help build bridges with our neighbours. Delhi's model is now being considered by Pakistan and Syria to decongest their cities and provide a greener mode of transport. Next in line is Colombo, which has in-principle accepted a study conducted by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). more..

A possible call off of the Mega Musical might have become a legal issue

Dec 14 (LT) If the Temptation 2004 musical show participated by the Bollywood superstars was cancelled as a result of violence riots erupted under the patronage of Sihala Urumaya extremism it was possible for fans who expected to enjoy the show to file a court case against the organizers, legal experts point out. more..

Batty counseling UNP to rescue SB

Dec 14 (LT) Batty Weerakoon the former minister of the PA government and the former General Secretary of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party has reportedly given legal consultancy to the UNP in order to rescue SB. more..

Politico Racketeers attempt to escape the country

Dec 14 (LT) Some of the politicians who are accused for corruption have planned to go abroad without facing legal actions against them Lankatruth learns. When investigations are being launched several of the politicians have become the prime suspects of the cases filed by the Sri Lankan government. more..

It could have been me: SRK

Dec 14 (TOI) To say that what happened on the night of December 11 in Colombo was unfortunate would be stating the obvious. A throng of 25,000 people had come to watch the show. I was completely overwhelmed with the love of the people of Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka fit and confident to face New Zealand says Atapattu

Dec 14 (AP) Sri Lanka's skipper Marvan Atapattu said Tuesday that his team remained fit and confident and looking to dominate New Zealand from the beginning in the upcoming tour. "It's all about winning the first one. When you do that it's hard for the other side to make up and come back," Atapattu told reporters more..

Bomb blast: Target wasn't movie star

Dec 14 (AT) Investigations into Saturday's bomb blast at the Bollywood musical event `Temptation 2004' in Colombo revealed that security had been lax towards the end of the show, though the police had been very vigilant at the start. more..

Summons on Minister's wife and doctor

Dec 14 (AT) The Colombo Magistrate's Court ordered the Borella Police on Monday to issue summons on Cardiologist, Dr. S. Narenthiran of the Lady Ridgeway Hospital, Colombo and Advanced Technology Minister Rohitha Bogollagama's wife Deepthi Bogollagama following a complaint of stabbing and a counter complaint of attempted sexual harassment made to the police. more..

Rice from Myanmar

Dec 14 (PRIU) Myanmar has expressed willingness to provide rice at a reasonable price to Sri Lanka. This follows discussions between visiting Premier Mahinda Rajapakse and Prime Minister of Myanmar Lt. Gen. Soe Win. Discussions focused on economic, political and cultural relations between the two countries. more..

Do we need lights to remind us of birth of Christ?

Dec 14 (ANN) Once again, for many Christians Christmas is around the corner, is it the birth of the Saviour Lord Jesus Christ we are remembering or is it the tinsel, goddies, and all the merriment that goes along with it that is important to us the children of God? more..

Fuel costs delay SriLankan expansion

Dec 14 (BT) SriLankan Airlines, the island's national carrier, said it will delay its expansion, including starting flights to China, because of higher fuel costs. The carrier will post losses in its airline division for the year ending March 2005, chief executive Peter Hill said in an interview here, more..

War talk without compromise takes country to brink

Dec 14 (PIS) The LTTE's dissatisfaction with the peace process has become increasingly evident and strident in recent weeks. The Heroes Day speeches by LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and ideologue Dr Anton Balasingham contained distinct references to a preparedness for a renewed war. more..

Batticaloa seeks sustainable peace

Dec 14 (PIS) Since the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement in 2002 a positive climate of change has been experienced in Sri Lanka, encouraging movement from relief to rehabilitation and development and fostering a spirit of reconciliation between communities deeply affected by nearly two decades of conflict. more..

India should neutralise Sea Tigers - Expert

Dec 14 (DN) A South Asian expert has warned India of the serious threat posed by the LTTE's Sea Tigers to its maritime security and has urged that India should neutralise the Sea Tigers gradually emerging as a credible third naval force in the southern part of Asia. more..

Cement ship drifts to LTTE area

Dec 14 (SAMN) A cement carrying ship broke from its moorings in Trincomalee harbour on Sunday due to the strong tide and is reportedly stuck on the shores of an LTTE-controlled area. The Panamanian registered ship, which had reportedly been transporting cement to the Mitsui factory in Trincomalee, had anchored near Kevilea lighthouse more..

JHU rejects President's charge

Dec 14 (SAMN) Commenting on the statement made by President Chandrika Kumaratunga linking two Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) monks and a politician from Kotte to the recent grenade attack on the Shahrukh Khan concert, the JHU Monday called upon the President to investigate the incident prior to making 'irresponsible' statements. more..

Sri Lanka Prepares for Return of Execution

Dec 14 (AP) The country's 25-year-old executioner has no experience. The hanging ropes have rotted. The bolts on the gallows have rusted. This island nation hasn't had an execution in 28 years. But after the murder of a prominent judge a few weeks ago, the president lifted a moratorium on capital punishment. more..

Violence against broadcasting group and Tamil newspaper

Dec 14 (RSF) Reporters Without Borders voiced concern about threats to the news media in the war-torn north and east of Sri Lanka today after a Tamil-language daily newspaper and the premises of a radio and TV group were the targets of violent attacks two days apart. more..

Blast at Khan's concert not an act of terrorism: Sri Lanka

Dec 14 (PTI) Sri Lanka today said the blast at Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan's concert here was not a terrorist act as described by India but was result of a "local problem" and "security lapses." "Last Saturday's incident is not a terrorist act. It is to do with a local problem. I don't think it will be repeated," more..

Invite SRK again to correct Lanka's image: JVP

Dec 14 (HT) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), a partner in the Sri Lankan government, has said that Sri Lankans should invite the Bollywood icon Shahrukh Khan to the island again, to "erase the bad image" created by the grenade blast at his concert in Colombo last Saturday. more..

Solheim begins talks to try to save Sri Lankan peace

Dec 14 (AFP) Norwegian envoy Erik Solheim began talks with truce monitors and foreign donors as part of his latest efforts to get the Sri Lankan government and Tamil rebels to resume peace talks, diplomats said. more..

Monsoon floods strand 250,000 Sri Lankans

Dec 14 (Reuters) Heavy monsoon rains across north-central and eastern Sri Lanka have killed one person and forced 250,000 more to flee flooded homes and seek refuge in schools and temples, government officials say. more..