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Opposition hand in Colombo blast, says Chandrika

Dec 14 (Gulf) A fresh political row has been sparked between political parties in Sri Lanka over Saturday's grenade attack at the Bollywood musical show in Colombo. President has accused the main opposition of playing a part in the incident which claimed two lives and left 14 injured. more..

Suspects allowed bail in transporting mines to Jaffna

Dec 15 (TN) The Chavakachcheri Magistrate Mr.P.Subramaniam Tuesday allowed three persons on personal bail in a sum of ten thousand rupees each in a case in which they have been charged for allegedly transporting anti-personnel mines and landmines in a vehicle through Muhamalai army checkpoint to Jaffna town, more..

Attack on Bollywood show creates political storm

Dec 15 (TN) The grenade attack on Bollywood concert held Saturday in Colombo killing two and injuring several has created a political storm in the country following a speech by President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge at Matara Sunday accusing a parliamentarian of the main opposition UNP and some monks of the JHU for causing the crime. more..

SLA corporal commits suicide in Jaffna

Dec 15 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) corporal, Mr.Ajantha Bandara, 21, committed suicide by shooting himself with a T-56 gun Monday night around 8.30 p.m. in a sentry point which is located in Colombagam within the municipal limits of Jaffna town, police said. more..

New NE Governor arrives in Trincomalee

Dec 15 (TN) Mr.Tyronne Fernando, newly appointed Governor of the North East Province is scheduled to assume duties in the Governor's Secretariat Wednesday morning after a religious ceremony where dignitaries of all faiths would offer their blessings. more..

Anti-War Front to organize national conference in Colombo

Dec 15 (TN) National Anti War Front (NAWF), an umbrella organization of thirteen trade unions is to hold a regional conference on January 22 at Anuradhapura in the north central province and a national conference in Colombo Sugathathasa Stadium on February 26 to exert pressure on the Government to take forward the stalled peace process, more..

Sri Lanka will drum up support for its tourism industry

Dec 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka will drum up support for its tourism industry, with a band of international percussion artists beating it out in late March. The Tourist Board Chairman Udaya Nanayakara hopes the event will strike a high note in the global tourism calendar and sell the island as a platform for other international events. more..

Govt allocates 40 million rupees to provide relief to flood victims

Dec 15 (Rupavahini) The government has allocated 40 million rupees to provide prompt relief for families affected by flash floods. The minister of social welfare, Sumedha Jayasena says necessary measures will be taken if the situation becomes worsen. more..

Indo-Sri Lanka Naval exercises

Dec 15 (AT) Two Indian Navy ships called at Colombo today to take part in the Indo-Sri Lanka Joint Naval exercises scheduled to begin off the West coast on Thursday. SL Navy Media Spokesman, Commodore Jayantha Perera said that five SLN vessels will join the INS Saaranga and Durgabai Deshmuk in the exercises. more..

PM ends Myanmar visit

Dec 15 (Xinhua) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa ended his five-day official visit here Tuesday with someachievements in bilateral relations with Myanmar. During his visit in Myanmar, Rajapaksa met with Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council Senior-General Than Shwe and had discussions with his Myanmar counterpart Lieutenant-General Soe Win on economic, more..

SL airforce airlifts Solheim direct to Vanni

Dec 15 (BBC) President Chandrika Kumaratunge has directed the Sri Lankan air force late Tuesday to provide flight facilities for Norwegian special peace envoy up to LTTE held Kilinochchi. Talking to BBC Sandeshaya Erik Solheim confirmed that he would be flown by a government helicopter up to the rebel held area. more..

Ravi Karunanayake to sue Wimal Weerawansa for SL.Rs.1000 million

Dec 15 (AT) One of the senior leaders of the UNP Ravi Karunanayake said that he will sue Parliamentarian and the Propganada Secretary of the JVP, Wimal Weerawansa for Sri Lankan Rs. 1000 million for falsely accusing Karunanayake of instigating the bomb blast at the Bollywood Musical show – “Temptation 2004.” more..

Blast and politics

Dec 15 (ANN) The bomb attack on Temptation 2004 appears to have developed into a political battle with the government propaganda cannon firing repeated volleys at political rivals and a private media institution. Even before the police have concluded investigations, names have been named and certain persons are being subjected to media trials. more..

Sri Lanka’s credibility for UN Secy. Gen. post questioned

Dec 15 (TN) In an editorial Tuesday, the Colombo-based Tamil language daily, Sudar Oli, questioned Sri Lanka’s credibility to nominate Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala to the United Nations Secretary General post, arguing that Sri Lanka has “earned the status of an oppressive state that seeks to enslave an ethnic minority within its own territory, more..

USAID supported project in Trinco on 'Democracy'

Dec 15 (TN) The USAID, with the support of Eastern Rehabilitation Organization (ERO) in Trincomalee, has launched a new project: " Improving Local Democracy through Citizen Participation." The inaugural event was held Sunday at the Trincomalee Hindu Cultural Hall as a part of the International Human Rights Day celebrations more..

Transport issues delay Solheim's meeting with Thamilchelvan

Dec 15 (TN) The meeting between Norwegian peace envoy Eric Solheim and Liberation Tigers Head of Political Wing, S.P.Thamilchelvan expected to be held in Kilinochchi at 11.30am Wednesday will take place at 2pm, according to LTTE sources in Vanni. more..

Address the JVP problem - Tokyo co-chairs urge President

Dec 15 (TN) Three of the four co-chairs of the Tokyo Donor Conference, Japan, EU and US, in a joint press release issued Wednesday expressed deep concern about the ongoing JVP-led actions against the peace process in Sri Lanka and the Government of Norway's efforts as facilitator. more..

Ex-LTTE man denied to rejoin the LTTE shot dead

Dec 15 (SLA) An unidentified gunman, suspected to be from the LTTE, has shot and killed an ex-LTTE cadre in front of his house in the general area of AKKARAIPATTU on 13 December 2004 around 9.00 p.m. more..

Armed group abducts ex-LTTE cadre

Dec 15 (SLA) A group of armed persons, suspected to be from the LTTE, have abducted another youth from the general area of TOPPUR on 11 December 2004 around 3.00 a.m. The abducted person had been with the LTTE for some time and left the organization about one year ago, according to information. more..

LTTE cadre surrenders to troops

Dec 15 (SLA) An LTTE cadre who left the organization has surrendered to the troops on duty at the MUTTUR road block seeking protection on 14 December 2004 around 11.45 a.m. This twenty two year old LTTE cadre has further revealed that he joined the LTTE seven months ago and worked at the KADARAWELI LTTE camp after his LTTE training. more..

World Bank cleared a US$ 75 million loan to Sri Lanka

Dec 15 (LBO) A World Bank Wednesday cleared a US$ 75 million loan to Sri Lanka for housing reconstruction in the war ravaged North and East of the island. Around 46,000 poor, conflict-affected families from the North and East will see their homes patched up, with the project also hoping to provide employment in the community. more..

Sri Lankan PM and party visit Shwedagon Pagoda

Dec 15 (MN) Sri Lankan delegation led by Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Mr Mahinda Rajapakse and Madame Shiranthi Rajapakse this morning visited Shwedagon Pagoda. more..

Sri Lanka rates kept unchanged, hike seen in Jan

Dec 15 (Reuters) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka kept its overnight repurchase and reverse repurchase rates unchanged on Wednesday, as expected, but analysts forecast rates will be raised in January to combat inflationary pressure. more..

Sri Lanka Floods Kill Police Constable

Dec 15 (AP) A police constable was swept to his death as torrential rains forced about 133,000 people to vacate their homes in eastern and northern Sri Lanka, an official and news reports Wednesday. more..

WB, IMF, WTO and governance in South Asia

Dec 15 (ANN) Globalisation has brought about growing interdependence of countries which carries an enormous challenge for global governance. The emergence of the global economy has not led to an equitable and efficient performance by the institutions of global governance. more..

Army deserters court martialled

Dec 15 (AT) All army deserters who failed to respond to obtain legal discharge from the military are to be court martialled. Thirty six deserters who missed the opportunity given them to surrender have already been imprisoned. more..

A clarion call to Chandrika and Ranil: The country needs peace

Dec 15 (PIS) In the background of what is happening in the House and the general lawlessness in the country, one comes to the conclusion that the time has come to think afresh. This is not the time to strengthen one's side and weaken the opposite side for political gains. more..

Donor fears over Sri Lanka peace

Dec 15 (BBC) Foreign donor countries have strongly urged the Sri Lankan government not to allow a key coalition partner to undermine peace efforts. Japan, the US and the Netherlands say they are concerned by the activities of the JVP which is staunchly opposed to the Norwegian-brokered peace deal. more..

Sri Lankan court jails senior opposition politician for contempt

Dec 15 (wsws) Sri Lanka’s highest court last week found S.B. Dissanayake, a leading parliamentarian and the chief organiser for the opposition United National Party (UNP), guilty of contempt of court and sentenced him to two years imprisonment. more..

Bribery commission dead again

Dec 15 (SAMN) The Commission investigating into allegations of bribery and corruption is defunct again with the term of office of the three commissioners ending Tuesday and no new members being appointed. The Commission's Director General Piyasena Ranasinghe said Tuesday investigations and raids could not be conducted due to the situation. more..

No more polythene from February

Dec 15 (SAMN) Use of Polythene is to be prohibited from February 1 next year and the police have been advised to take steps against those who use polythene to destroy environment, declared Environment and Natural Resources Minister A.H.M. Fowzie. more..

Lanka to produce trains

Dec 15 (SAMN) Sri Lanka is to produce its first ever locally manufactured train as a result of a joint venture between the Transport Ministry and a local vehicle manufacturer. Transport Minister Felix Perera said the estimated cost for the new train to be manufactured by Micro Cars Ltd which produced the first Sri Lankan car is around Rs 42 billion. more..

Plan to conserve highlands

Dec 15 (SAMN) The Agriculture, Lands and Irrigation Ministry has taken steps to streamline the activities of Sri Lanka Hadabima Authority (SLHA) with effect from next year. The SLHA which comes under the Ministry is engaged in the conservation of the highlands in the central hills with the participation of farmers who own these infertile lands. more..

Renuka causes storm in UNP

Dec 15 (DN) Former senior Minister and present Provincial Councillor for Nuwara Eliya District Renuka Herath has caused a storm that has reverberated the green hills of Nuwara Eliya and threatens to split the UNP asunder. more..

Sri Lanka evacuates 2,000 from flood-hit reservoir

Dec 15 (Reuters) Flood-hit Sri Lanka evacuated more than 2,000 people on Wednesday to drain a centuries-old reservoir as 250,000 others stranded by monsoon rains sheltered in schools and community centres. more..

Donors urge Sri Lanka to stop peace bid disruptions

Dec 15 (Reuters) Donor nations urged Sri Lanka's government on Wednesday to stop its hardline nationalist coalition partner from disrupting efforts to forge lasting peace with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

4 people buried in landslide in Sri Lanka

Dec 15 (Xinhua) Four people were killed due to a landslide in Sri Lanka's hilly Central Province, police said Wednesday. Landslide, caused by heavy rains which lashed Welimada on Tuesday night, accounted for the lives of four in the area, police said. more..

Sri Lanka floods kill two, 625,000 forced from homes

Dec 15 (AFP) A policeman and a child have been killed and an estimated 625,000 people forced from their homes by severe flooding in three districts in Sri Lanka, the social services department said. more..

Aid donors accuse Marxists of sabotaging Sri Lanka peace bid

Dec 15 (AFP) Foreign aid donors on Wednesday pressed President Chandrika Kumaratunga to rein in her coalition allies, accusing them of undermining Norwegian-led peace efforts and pushing Sri Lanka back towards war. more..

Meeting fails to break peace deadlock

Dec 15 (TN) "We focussed our discussion on issues that are endangering the peace process. Norwegian delegation was unable to give assurance that Sri Lanka Government will take any constructive steps to take the peace process forward," said Thamilchelvan, head of LTTE political wing, more..

Lankans extol SRK's virtues

Dec 15 (HT) Sri Lankans not only see Shahrukh Khan as a great actor, but also as a cultured and humane person who represents the best in Indian and Asian culture. The Indian screen icon, who is the darling of millions in Sri Lanka also, is coming in for high praise because Sri Lankans are filled with remorse after a Buddhist fanatic threw a bomb at his concert last Saturday and killed two innocent youngsters. more..

Sri Lanka peace bid at critical low - Norway envoy

Dec 15 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's bid to forge lasting peace with Tamil Tiger rebels after two decades of civil war is at its most critical ebb since a 2002 truce, Norway's peace envoy to the country said on Wednesday. Envoy Erik Solheim met the head of the Tigers' political wing in the northern rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi more..

Urgent need of relief to flood victims in NE - TRO

Dec 16 (TN) "There is an ugent need to supply cooked meals, fresh drinking water, shelter and other immediate necessities to the flood victims in the NorthEast", a TRO official told TamilNet. more..

GoSL entirely responsible for resuming talks - LTTE

Dec 16 (TN) "The responsibility of resurrecting the stalled peace process is entirely with the government in ensuring that its coalition partners reflect the thinking of the president, if she is in fact really sincere, and her military refrains from coercive and provocative actions", Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan, more..

Twenty Tamil refugees return to Talaimannar by sea

Dec 16 (TN) The Sri Lanka Navy Tuesday evening arrested 20 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees when they landed in Talaimannar coastal area and one of them with about one and half kilogram of ganja. All the twenty were handed over to the Talaimannar Police, sources said. more..

Batticaloa NGOs, Humanatarian Agencies appeal for peace

Dec 16 (TN) A group of non-governmental organizations (NGO) and humanitarian agencies based in Batticaloa district in a press statement released Wednesday urged all those responsible for the maintenance of peace and stability in Batticaloa District to bring to a close the pattern of violence. more..

Tyronne Fernando assumes duties as NE Governor

Dec 16 (TN) Mr.Tyronne Fernando, newly appointed Governor for the North East Province Wednesday assumed duties in the Governor's Secretariat which is located at Orr's Hill, a suburb in Trincomalee. Dignitaries of all faiths blessed him before he started his duties in his office. more..

FTA with Pakistan in honour of President's visit

Dec 16 (LBO) Pakistan and Sri Lanka will meet next week to tie up a free trade agreement between the two countries by the time Sri Lanka’s President pays a visit to Pakistan next year. "A Pakistani trade delegation is coming here on the 21 and 22 this month to finalise the FTA documents," more..

Indian forensic expert gets death threat in Lankan case

Dec 16 (HT) Prof Chandra Sekharan, the Indian forensic expert who shot into fame for scientifically identifying the body of Rajiv Gandhi's assassin Dhanu in 1991, has refused to come to Sri Lanka to testify in a high profile forgery case, saying that he has been receiving death threats over the phone. more..

Norwegian peace envoy's talks with LTTE fail

Dec 16 (HT) The talks, which the Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim had with the LTTE's political wing leader SP Tamilselvan in Kilinochchi on Wednesday had failed to yield any results. However, like the Sri Lankan government, the LTTE said that it would abide by the ceasefire agreement. more..