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Dec 6 (TG) Two Sri Lankan asylum seekers, accused of sexual offences on girls, appeared at Gloucester Crown Court. Balisubramaniam Santhoorem, 25, and Sivalokthan Sutham, 23, both of Wheatsone Road, Tredworth appeared for a preliminary hearing. more..

Sri Lanka vows to strengthen military, rejects Tiger talks offer

Dec 6 (AFP) Sri Lanka vowed to strengthen its security forces and meet "any threat" after reiterating that Tamil Tiger conditions to resume stalled peace negotiations were unacceptable. more..

Sri Lanka's parties unite in defense budget vote

Dec 6 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's ruling party and the main opposition party in a rare show of unity joined together Monday to vote in favor of the country's defense allocations for 2005 on Monday. more..

Estate hospitals starved of development funds

Dec 7 (TN) "Provincial Administrations routinely employ discriminatory policies in healthcare for estate workers. Financial allocations have been made to improve every Government run hospital in Uva Province. But all of the six Estate Hospitals have been left out. This situation must change," more..

Sri Lanka rights panel slams police over killing of torture victim

Dec 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Human Rights Commission said Monday the recent murder of a port worker who had won compensation for torture carried out by police could only harm public confidence in law enforcement. more..

No more running from war, say weary SriLanka Tamils

Dec 7 (Reuters) Sri Lankan driver Vinayagam Krishnamoorthy shudders at the prospect of Tamil Tiger rebels' following through on a threat to resume a bloody two-decade war for autonomy. He was one of hundreds of thousands of minority Tamils who fled the northern Jaffna peninsula when a cease-fire collapsed in 1995. more..

US consulate gunbattle: Sri Lankan injured

Dec 7 (BBC) At least twelve people are reported to have died after gunmen stormed the US consulate in the Saudi city of Jeddah. Three gunmen were killed and two more arrested as security forces regained control of the compound, the Saudi authorities say. more..

Maheshwaran defies UNP stand on defence

Dec 7 (BBC) Defence expenditure for the coming year was approved by the Sri Lankan Parliament on Monday with a majority of 118 votes. During the debate Minister of Public Security Ratnasiri Wickremanayake said, "We are ready to meet any threat to this sovereign nation." more..

Stern measures taken against employers who default EPF contributions

Dec 7 (Rupavahini) Minister of labour relations Athavuda Seneviratne has instructed the authorities concerned to act immediately against employers who default contributions to the employees provident fund. The minister issued these instructions when he inspected the EPF office at Kollupitiya recently. more..

President appoints Commission of Inquiry into Ven. Soma Thera's death

Dec 7 (Rupavahini) The president has named a three-member commission to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the Venerable Gangodawila Soma Thera. The commission is effective from the 1st of December. more..

Donation of five million rupees has been made to the family of slain judge Sarath Ambepitiya

Dec 7 (Rupavahini) President Chandrika Kumaratunge has donated a sum of five million rupees to the family of assassinated high court judge Sarath Ambepitiya. The cheque for this amount was handed over by President Kumaratunge to Mrs. Ambepitiya at the President's house this afternoon. more..

Members of the public are fully involved in the Nilwala Harasara felicitation festival

Dec 7 (Rupavahini) The 'Nilwala Harasara' national felicitation ceremony centred on the Matara district entered its second day today. The ceremony has been organized to pay the nations tribute on the completion of 10 years in office by President Chandrika Kumaratunge. more..

Talks with LTTE linked to final settlement: Colombo

Dec 7 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan Government today said its "clear policy" on the resumption of the stalled peace negotiations with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was that talks on an interim self-rule should be linked to a final settlement. more..

Witnesses in Mervin Silva case charged

Dec 7 (LT) The Attorney General has decided to take legal action against two people who have been accused of giving false evidence in a case against Parliamentarian Mervin Silva for attacking a club in Colombo. more..

Attempt to help Naufer to escape?

Dec 7 (LT) An attempt is being made to help Pottu Naufer, the accused in High Court Judge Sarath Ambewela murder case to escape from remand prison said Parlimentarian monk Athraliye Ratana Thera in Parliament today. more..

Sri Lanka way ahead of India in 'quality of life'

Dec 7 (ANN) Sri Lanka has been ranked 43rd out of 111 countries, which is well ahead of its neighbour and regional giant India, in the ‘Quality of Life’ index for 2005, prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a sister concern of the Economist Group. more..

Tour de Lanka starts today

Dec 7 (SLBC) The oldest and the biggest cycle race in Sri Lanka starts today opposite Lake House, Colombo at 7 a.m. today, after a lapse of eight years. The first stage will be from Colombo to Anuradhapura and the competitors will ride pass Dankotuwa, Kurunegala, Wariyapola and Eppawela.

Lankan Expatriate Killed in Attack Had Applied for Leave

Dec 7 (AN) Of the expatriates killed in the US Consulate attack in Jeddah, yesterday, two have been identified as Sri Lankan and Sudanese nationals. The Sri Lankan Mohamed Sadiq Jaufer, 23, from Gelioya and Emad Musa from Sudan succumbed to gun shot injuries when caught in the crossfire between the terrorists and the Saudi security forces. more..

Grenades thrown at Batticaloa LTTE office

Dec 7 (TN) Unidentifed persons threw four hand grenades at the Batticaloa town political office of the LTTE Tuesday early morning around 1.20 a.m., Batticaloa police said. Although few LTTE political activists were at the office, no one was injured in the attack, police sources said. more..

Jaffna SLA refuses access to garbage disposal site

Dec 7 (TN) The administration of the Jaffna Municipal Council (JM) is struggling to keep the city clean as the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has refused permission to use the dumping ground of the council located in the Sandilipay Divisional Secretariat division to dispose garbage collected within the municipal limit, JMC Commissioner Dr.S.Gunarasa said. more..

Motorbike – riding men damage TV/Radio station

Dec 7 (SLA) The transmission of the Shakthi TV/FM radio channel run by a private company was suspended last night (06th December 2004) at about 9.15 p.m. after a group of masked motorbike-riding men stormed the TV station and damaged its transmission equipment for reasons best known only to those miscreants. more..

Land Cruiser with mines arrested

Dec 7 (SLA) A Land Cruiser jeep transporting five mines without obtaining prior permission was arrested and handed over to KODIKAMAM Police for necessary investigations on 06 December 2004 around 4.00 p.m. more..

Fourteen refugees land in URUMALAI

Dec 7 (SLA) Fourteen Sri Lankan refugees, including six children who had arrived from INDIA after paying money to Indian fishermen were found dropped near the SAND BANKS, URUMALAI on 05 December 2004 around 12.15 p.m. more..

S.Lanka rupee down, approaches life lows

Dec 7 (Reuters) The Sri Lanka rupee closed a shade weaker on Tuesday, slipping towards all-time lows as importers bought dollars to settle trade bills, dealers said. The rupee closed a tad weaker at 104.85 against the dollar, compared to Monday's close of 104.78 rupees. more..

JVP accepts big gift from Norway

Dec 7 (SN) Though the JVP has been firing hard against Oslo's role in the peace process, Norway last saturday handed over a cheque for Rs. 11. 1 million to Cultural Affairs Minister Vijitha Herath to purchase library books for 120 Cultural Centres in the country. more..

IMF may resume loan talks with Sri Lanka in 2005

Dec 7 (DJ) The International Monetary Fund could resume discussions with the Sri Lankan government on stalled concessional loans soon, but the lender will want to see the government's revised plan on reducing poverty first, a senior official said. more..

Murali to miss first leg of New Zealand tour

Dec 7 (Reuters) Sri Lanka have abandoned plans to take spinner Muttiah Muralitharan on the first leg of their New Zealand tour. Muralitharan was to have travelled with the team as part of his rehabilitation from shoulder surgery but will instead need to prove his fitness before joining them. more..

ENDLF Leader taken under protective custody by the Tamil Nadu Police

Dec 7 (AT) Tamil Nadu Police yesterday, has taken into protective custody G. Gnanasekaran, President Eelam National Democratic Front in Chennai and keeping him in an undisclosed location said to be for his safety against an impending planned attack on his life by the LTTE. more..

Prabakaran should release Rajaratnam immediately - Demands Anandasangaree

Dec 7 (AT) V.Anandasangaree demands V.Prabakaran to release Packiyanathan Rajaratnam nom de guerre Mano Master immediately, who is being kidnapped and held under the custody of the LTTE. more..

Tirumavalavan says he visited Jaffna to meet LTTE leaders

Dec 7 (PTI) Dalit Panthers of India leader T Tirumavalavan today disclosed that he had recently visited 'Eelam' (Tamil-dominated areas in Sri Lanka) to "salute that land". "Police were searching my whereabouts when I did not participate in an agitation called by the Tamil Protection Movement (led by him) in Chennai last month. Now I tell you, where did I go. more..

SAARC to move fast if India, Pak reach understanding on eco matters: Sri Lanka

Dec 7 (PTI) Sri Lanka today said SAARC, handicapped by the baggage of history and shackled by political constraints, would move fast if India and Pakistan reached an accomodation at least on economic matters. more..

Supreme Court jails Dissanayake for contempt of court

Dec 7 (TN) Sri Lanka's Supreme Court Tuesday sentenced Mr.S.B.Dissanayake, UNP parliamentarian and a former minister in the governments of PA and UNF to two years rigorous imprisonment for contempt of court for making a statement defaming the country's superior court, legal sources said. more..

Readmission agreement with Sri Lanka

Dec 7 (EU) MEPs will be holding a non-binding vote on whether to approve the readmission agreement signed between the EU and Sri Lanka. The report from Ewa KLAMT, for the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, recommends Parliament should vote in favour. more..

CID informs PMG to take disciplinary action against 16 employees

Dec 7 (DN) The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) investigating in connection with the tampering of foreign mail bags and the removing of foreign currency sent to Sri Lankans from abroad yesterday informed the Post Master General to take disciplinary action against the 16 employees of the Postal Department who are involved in the alleged fraud. more..

Violence reported from Sri Lanka's north and east

Dec 7 (Xinhua) More violence has been reported from Sri Lanka's troubled north and east provinces, police said Tuesday. At least four bombs were thrown at the Tamil Tiger rebels' political office located at the eastern town of Batticaloa around 1:30 a.m. local time (1930GMT) Tuesday by unknown persons, but no one was hurt, more..

War fears rise as Sri Lanka vows to meet Tiger threats

Dec 7 (AFP) Fears that Sri Lanka may be drifting back to war mounted amid sporadic violence, a day after the government vowed to strengthen its military to meet any security threat. A Tamil rebel office in the island's troubled eastern district was bombed while another office of a Tamil political party was targeted in a pre-dawn strike, more..

No Pak support for Lankan Tamil separatism

Dec 7 (HT) Pakistan does not support Tamil separatism in Sri Lanka, and stands for the unity and integrity of that country, Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner Iftar Hussain Andrabi told Hindustan Times here on Tuesday. more..

S.B. Dissanayake jailed for court jibe

Dec 7 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Supreme Court sentenced a leading opposition MP to two years rigorous imprisonment on Tuesday for making derogatory statements about judges, court officials said. It was an unusually severe penalty for contempt of court in Sri Lanka. more..

SB jailed for two years RI

Dec 7 (BBC) Sri Lanka's Supreme Court on Tuesday jailed former Samurdhi and Agriculture minister S. B. Dissanayake for two years of rigorous imprisonment for contempt of court for a speech he made critical of the judges. more..

Sri Lanka parliament in uproar after jailing of opposition MP

Dec 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Supreme Court Tuesday jailed former agriculture minister and leading opposition figure S.B. Dissanayake for contempt, sparking angry protests in the national parliament. more..

ISGA is a credible document, Business Leader says

Dec 8 (TN) "Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) proposal from the Liberation Tigers is a credible document. Many Southern political parties endangering peace by rejecting the ISGA without comprehensively analysing the proposal and identifying the positive aspects," more..

SLA humiliates women in Jaffna- Ms Sithamparanathan

Dec 8 (TN) "Women in Jaffna suffer humiliation daily. Smartly dressed women are asked whether they belong to the Liberation Tigers and whether they received military training. Women, especially those with fair complexion, are sexually harassed, said Ms Padmini Sithamparanathan, TNA parliamentarian more..

UPFA claims that the UNP leader had failed to control his party

Dec 8 (Rupavahini) The United People's Freedom Alliance reiterates that the UNP leader who is talking about ruling the country cannot even control his party. The UPFA points out that the United National Party would be further weakened owing to the weak leadership. more..

Over thousand secondary schools get a US$ 35 mn makeover

Dec 8 (LBO) Over thousand secondary schools will get a facelift through a US$ 35 mn Asian Development Bank loan, the Manila based bank said Monday. The project upgrades 1,100 1AB and 1C schools, make them more responsive to labour market requirements more..

Computers that read Sinhalese printed documents as text

Dec 8 (LBO) A local company broke the language barrier, developing a Sinhalese text recognition solution that interprets printed documents as text. Developers, Sanje Lanka say the Sinhala Optical Character Recognition (OCR) system allows users to move away from saving images of documents to cataloging documents in text formats. more..

Agriculture Ministry hoping to hatch small scale poultry farms at a village level

Dec 8 (LBO) The Agriculture and Livestock Ministry is hoping to hatch small scale poultry farms at a village level, to meet perceived local demand for chicken and eggs. The project is slated for implementation in 2005 with technical support from the National Livestock Development Board. more..

Unions blast media for inaccurate coverage

Dec 8 (BBC) Trade union leaders accused the media of incorrect reporting on industrial action by Telecom workers. Speaking at a demonstration by the Telecom Trade Union Alliance in Colombo on Monday, Anura Perera said that the electronic media specially "keeps quiet" due to pressure from Sri Lanka Telecom through massive advertising deals. more..

Buddhists blast Bollywood bash

Dec 8 (AT) The Venerable Gangodawila Soma Commemoration Foundation has strongly urged President, Prime Minister and the Indian High Commissioner to put off by two days Temptation 2004, the musical extravaganza scheduled to be held at the Colombo Race Course on December 11 - the first death anniversary of the popular Buddhist preacher, the Ven. Gangodawila Soma. more..

S.B.'s conviction: UNP not convinced

Dec 8 (AT) Uproar followed in the House today (Dec. 7) after former UNP Cabinet Minister S.B. Dissanayake was sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment after being convicted of contempt of court. Rajitha Senaratne expressed UNP's displeasure over the conviction as MP Mervyn Silva and other government members tried to shout him down. more..

SB political prisoner: UNP

Dec 8 (BBC) UNP says international lawyers are calling for a more liberal attitude towards contempt of court procedures. At an international conference held at Haryana, India, on “Law and Justice,” representatives of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka called for a liberal approach on contempt of court offences, UNP lawmaker Rajitha Senarathne said. more..