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Exodus of civilians observed after LTTE threats

Dec 8 (SLA) A large exodus of civilians with their members of families have been reported from general un-cleared areas of ANDANKULAM, KADDUKULAM and MURUVILKULAM during 4-6 December 2004 after LTTE WANNI faction men had reportedly threatened sections of civilians to vacate their places of residence immediately, claiming that they were LTTE KARUNA faction sympathizers. more..

Civilians threatened after firing at houses

Dec 8 (SLA) An unknown armed group had fired six T-56 rounds at a house in the general area of VALAICHCHENAI on 06 December 2004 around 11.30 p.m. and threatened a civilian, saying that he should not have any connection with the LTTE. more..

Boutique comes under attack

Dec 8 (SLA) A boutique of a civilian in the general area of BATTICALOA has been attacked by an unidentified group on 07 December 2004 around 6.00 a.m. after throwing two hand grenades at it. more..

De-listing is heading for success

Dec 8 (SLA) De-listing of the Army deserters in Anuradhpaura district is now in full swing at the Army Directorate of Recruiting, Malay street, Colombo beginning today (06). This newly-devised scheme for de-listing was activated by the Army in 2003 in an attempt to let those deserters to formally leave the Army after producing legitimate documents. more..

UDA says some 50 acres of water front property will be released with Beira restoration

Dec 8 (LBO) The Urban Development Authority (UDA) says some 50 acres of water front property in Colombo will be released for commercial use by 2006 under the second phase of the Beira Lake restoration project. more..

IFC spearheads US$ 10 mn project to improve technical skills in SME sector

Dec 8 (LBO) The International Finance Corp. (IFC) is spearheading a US$ 10 mn technical assistant project to uplift Sri Lanka's small and medium sector. The Washington based IFC has chipped in US$ 2 mn to start off the project, with the balance expected to come from donors like Netherlands, the EU, Japan and Norway. more..

Buddhist monks Protest against Sharuk Khan’s Show

Dec 8 (SN) Hundreds of Buddhist monks and Buddhist protesters led a protest march to the Indian diplomatic mission in Colombo to stop Bollywood stars staging a concert this weekend on the death anniversary of Late Ven Gangodawilla Soma Thero. more..

Sri Lanka gets more ADB funds for rehabilitation project

Dec 8 (DJ) The Asian Development Bank said Wednesday it has approved the second tranche of an $80 million loan to fund a rehabilitation project in northeastern Sri Lanka. An earlier tranche of $50 million was approved in January. more..

Sexual and gender based hostility a coarse violation of human rights – President

Dec 8 (PSL) “In a civilized society, ideally any form of violence should be condemned. Sexual and gender based hostility is a coarse violation of human rights; it denies the victim of his or her dignity and thwarts human development. The overwhelming majority of victims of sexual and gender based violence are women,” more..

South Asia celebrates SAARC Day

Dec 8 (PRIU) South Asia today celebrates the anniversary of the founding of its own regional groping. Nineteen years ago, the leaders of the seven countries in this region signed a charter in Dhaka, Bangladesh to establish the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). more..

Saudi consul workers used as shields, they say

Dec 8 (NYT) One of eight men who were used as human shields during the armed assault against the U.S. Consulate said Tuesday from his hospital bed that the most vivid moment came when the gunman who had been firing over the man's shoulder ordered him to raise his hands and scream "God is Great!" more..

Warrants issued against Ranatunga, Ibrahim Ahmed

Dec 8 (PTI) A local court today issued bailable warrants against former Sri Lanka cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga and ICC match referee Ibrahim Ahmed of Zimbabwe for their alleged role in the cancellation of a one-day match between India and Sri Lanka scheduled to be played here on December 25, 1997. more..

All parties should be part and parcel of peace talks -JVP

Dec 8 (LT) The contention that there is consensus in respect of the National Question in the North and not in the South implies that the North and the South of Sri Lanka have separated. This underlies a very serious implication than it looks on the surface, says the JVP in a press release. more..

Probe on police officers involved in Ambepitiya murder begins

Dec 8 (LT) The Police Commission has directed the IGP to inquire into and send a report on all police officers connected to High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya murder case. Earlier the Police Inspectors Union had written to the President and the IGP to hold an inquiry to find out if there were any police officers involved in the murder. more..

Ranil not in control of his own party, but poses as future president

Dec 8 (LT) Soon after the inaugural budget of the UPFA government not only the Opposition Front but also the UNP has begun to disintegrate, states a press release issued by the UPFA. This press release signed by the co-presidents Minister Mangala Samaraweera and parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa more..

Renuka to replace jailed SB

Dec 8 (LT) UNP sources say that Ms. Renuka Herath will be nominated to the Parliament seat made vacant as a result of S.B.Dissanayake, former minister and National Organizer of the UNP was sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment for insulting the Supreme Court. more..

Atapattu Hopes for Murali Inclusion

Dec 8 (PA) Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu hopes star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan will be fit for the Test series in New Zealand next month. Muralitharan will not play in the one-day series and is expected to have to prove his fitness for the Tests in a board-organised internal practice game on December 27. more..

Shah Rukh show in Sri Lanka not cancelled

Dec 8 (IANS) A show in Sri Lanka featuring Shah Rukh Khan and a galaxy of other Bollywood stars will go ahead Saturday in spite of protests from Buddhist monks in that country, say organisers. The monks wanted the "Temptations 2004" event to be postponed, saying it would coincide with the first death anniversary of monk Gongodawila Soma Thero. more..

CFA in danger of collapse, Prof Peiris says

Dec 8 (TN) "The JVP has demanded that the Norwegian facilitators engaged in the peace process should quit, whereas the President insists that they should continue to be the facilitators. It is evident that contradictions within the Sri Lanka's ruling coalition have reached the highest point... more..

Concrete-block manufacturing facility opened in Kilinochchi

Dec 8 (TN) The opening ceremony of a factory that builds concrete blocks from cement was declared open in Kilinochchi Monday, sources from Vanni said. The effort was funded by The Economic Consultancy House (TECH) a Non-Governmental Non-Profit Sharing Organization registered with the Government of Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka's Parliament suspended after uproar over jailed lawmaker

Dec 8 (AP) A session of Sri Lanka's parliament was twice suspended Wednesday after uproars erupted when opposition lawmakers urged the speaker to allow a jailed senior lawmaker to attend the meeting. more..

Sri Lanka Tamil Rebels will meet Norway's peace envoy next week

Dec 8 (Bloomberg) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels will meet Norway's peace envoy next week in an attempt to revive stalled negotiations with the government aimed at ending a two- decade civil war. more..

On-line lotteries will destroy our culture - PM

Dec 8 (DN) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse in a Media Announcement urged all parties concerned to abstain from introducing on-line lotteries, which are a gamble through Communication Technology leading not to the welfare of the country, but, to the social and cultural destruction of the Young Generation. more..

Indo-Lanka naval exercises next week

Dec 8 (ANN) Two Indian advanced Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) and maritime surveillance aircraft and an Indian built Chetak helicopter will join the Sri Lanka Navy to conduct a three-day joint naval exercise off the western coast early next week. more..

Sri Lanka in new statute crisis over jailing of MP

Dec 8 (AFP) Sri Lanka was plunged Wednesday into a constitutional crisis over the jailing of a key opposition MP, prompting calls for parliament to assert its power over the judiciary. Leading opposition legislator Mahinda Wijesekera said his colleague S.B. Dissanayake, jailed Tuesday for two years for contempt of the Supreme Court, could carry on as a member of parliament despite being behind bars. more..

New SLA sentry points in Trincomalee violate CFA- Elilan

Dec 9 (TN) Mr.S.Elilan, Trincomalee district political head of the LTTE Wednesday lodged a complaint with the SLMM that the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has established several sentry points in the Trincomalee town and its suburbs after December 2nd in violation of the Ceasefire Agreement signed by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, more..

Child abuse awareness campaign launched in Trinco

Dec 9 (TN) UNICEF supported Trincomalee District Child Protection Committee (DCPC) Wednesday launched the Awareness Campaign Against Child Abuse in Trincomalee District. The event was held at the Trincomalee Divisional Secretariat. The implementing agency of the campaign is the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization, UNICEF sources said. more..

Grenades thrown at Jaffna PLOTE office

Dec 9 (TN) Unidentified persons Wednesday night threw two grenades at the PLOTE office building located in front of Jaffna Teaching Hospital inside the High Security Zone in the center of Jaffna town. First grenade was thrown at about 8.55 a.m and the second around 9.15 p.m., Jaffna Police said. more..

Grenade attack on Thinakkural Batticaloa office

Dec 9 (TN) Unidentified persons threw a grenade Wednesday around 6 pm targeting the Batticaloa office of Thinakkural, a leading Tamil daily published in Colombo, Batticaloa police said. The Thinakkural office is located along Bailey Road close to Arasady Junction in a private building owned by a lawyer. more..

Sri Lanka heads for record trade deficit

Dec 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka heads for a record trade deficit in 2004 as rising global oil prices drain foreign currency reserves and threaten economic stability, the central bank said Wednesday. The island nation imports all of its oil needs which has fuelled a 20 percent increase in imports for the first 10 months of this year to 6.4 billion dollars, more..

Govt decides to bring a no confidence motion against the speaker

Dec 9 (Rupavahini) The constituent parties of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance have decided to bring a no confidence motion against the partial attitude of the speaker. MP Wimal Weerawansa said that serious questions were arisen regarding the conduct of speaker during the tense situations erupted in parliament yesterday and today. more..

Reciting of the national anthem and the hoisting of national flag has been made compulsory in public functions

Dec 9 (Rupavahini) The singing of the national anthem and the hoisting of national flag at public functions had been made compulsory. The ministry of public security, law and order has informed that any state function being held in any part of the country this should be carried out compulsorily. more..

Sri Lanka: Violence haunts judiciary

Dec 9 (AT) Sri Lanka's Judiciary and judges have faced violence on nine occasions since 2001. They are, arsonists destroying the record rooms of the Wattala, Ratnapura (twice) Matugrama and Avissawella courts, a prisoner trying to escape after aiming a grenade at the Avissawella magistrate, shooting a lawyer to death at the Avissawela courts premises, more..

CID investigation into Gerald Perera’s killing is dragging its feet

Dec 9 (AT) What is happening to Gerald Perera’s assaination case? Why the Sri Lankan police are dragging their feet? Why no arrest was so far made regarding a murder that was committed by assassins in broad daylight while the victim was riding a bus? more..

Sri Lanka: Corrupt cops, NPC to act

Dec 9 (AT) The National Police Commission is seeking the Attorney General's Advice on acquiring necessary powers to take disciplinary action against errant police officers. At present such powers are vested in the Inspector General of Police. The Commission is facing problems due to lack of staff to probe allegations against police personnel. more..

15 Indian fishermen released from prison

Dec 9 (NIP) The Mannar court in Sri Lanka has ordered the release of 15 Rameswaram fishermen, including six crewmembers, all of whom have now been sent to Mariyana De-camp near Colombo. The court has also issued orders to six boat owners to take away their vessels from the Sri Lankan waters. more..

GL wants no pardon for SB - Jeyaraj

Dec 9 (BBC) Chief government whip Jeyaraj Fernandopullai says that UNP spokesman GL Peiris did not want imprisoned legislator SB Dissanayake to be pardoned by the president. Former minister Mahinda Wijesekara in parliament requested a pardon from the president for SB Dissanayake. more..

UNP demands SB back in chambers

Dec 9 (BBC) Pandemonium broke out in the parliament on Wednesday when it met to continue the budget debate. While the Ministry of Environment budget discussions were in progress Mahinda Wijeskara, MP from the opposition camp made a statement with the permission of the Speaker. more..

“Towards Democracy and Peace on Sri Lanka” - Second International WAPS Conference

Dec 9 (AT) The World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka (WAPS) will hold its second international conference, “Towards Democracy and Peace on Sri Lanka”, in Colombo, on the 18th December, at the BMICH. The conference is co-organized with Sansadaya (Forum). more..

Sri Lanka: Anti-Neocolonialism Year

Dec 9 (AT) The Desha Hithaishi Jathika Vyaparaya (Patriotic National Movement) has declared 2005 `Anti-Neocolonialism Year.' The movement aims at "building national pride and defeating the foreign-oriented slavish mentality prevailing in Sri Lankan society." more..

Sri Lankan Christians await court decision on proposed amendement

Dec 9 (CP) After facing the defeat of a proposed anti-conversion law, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) party, composed entirely of Buddhist monks, is attempting once again to engrain Buddhism as the state religion and prevent the conversion of Buddhists in Sri Lanka, a persecution watchdog group reported Wednesday. more..

Two Jaffna shops destroyed by fire

Dec 9 (TN) A bookshop and a music shop located between the Jaffna bus stand and the hospital were completely damaged by fire Thursday early morning. Fire Brigade and the Sri Lankan Army were seen engaged in preventing the escalation of fire. more..

Sri Lanka rupee ends down, near life lows

Dec 9 (Reuters) The Sri Lanka rupee closed weaker on Thursday on high importer demand for dollars to settle trade bills, dealers said, edging towards life lows. The rupee closed 0.1 percent weaker at 104.93 against the dollar, compared to Wednesday's close of 104.82 rupees. more..

Second international airport in Koggala

Dec 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's aviation authorities have identified a new location for the second international airport for the island. The 800-acre plot is located in Habaraduwa in the Galle District, near an existing airstrip in Koggala. "The next step will be doing the feasibility study," more..

Beira Walk declared open

Dec 9 (PRIU) President Chandrika Kumaratunga in keeping with her promise to make Colombo the "Garden city of Asia" declared open the 'Beira Walk' to the public following renovations done to the Beira Lake after 56 years. more..

Maravanpalau Peace Village in Jaffna

Dec 9 (PRIU) Sri Lanka is once again in a grip of fear that the cease-fire will collapse. The separatist LTTE have threatened to return to hostilities if the government does not begin unconditional talks on handing over the administration of the Tamil-dominated north and east to them. The government on its part has refused. more..

Japan funds tube well water projects

Dec 9 (SLBC) The Japanese Government will provide Rs. 18.68 million towards two water supply improvement projects in the North Western and North Central Provinces under the "Project for Drought Relief by Installation of Hand Pump Tube Wells in Kurunegala District" and the "Project for Rehabilitation of Hand Pump Tube Wells in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa Districts".

Inadequate radiation protection endangers Sri Lankan health workers

Dec 9 (wsws) The cardiac investigation unit (CIU) at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) has been closed since November 5, except for emergency cases, after employees began to suspect that the lack of adequate radiation protection was endangering their health. more..

Big pay off for a tough Sri Lankan adventure

Dec 9 (GH) Adventurous Malmesbury mum Sharon Moore has returned from a six-day trek in Sri Lanka and raised a staggering £8,000 for Cancer Research UK. She spent more than five hours hiking daily through rainforests and tea plantations ­ in memory of her mother who died from the disease when she was only 15. more..

SB writes to the Speaker

Dec 9 (LT) UNP MP S.B. Dissanayake writing to the Speaker from the prison yesterday said that the judgment and the sentence is contrary to the basic tenets of all civilized systems of law and would not have been pronounced by any court in any democratic society. more..