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New Army’s Chief of Staff

Dec 9 (LT) The Deputy Chief of Staff Major General Sarath Fonseka will be appointed as the Army’s Chief Of Staff following the retirement of Army’s Chief of Staff Major General Chula Seneviratne today at the age of 55. more..

Sri Lankan artist in high-society drug bust leaves Singapore

Dec 9 (AP) A Sri Lankan artist arrested along with 13 others in a high-society drug bust has gone missing after he claimed to have left for psychiatric treatment in Australia, a local newspaper reported today. Jeremy Mahen Chanmugam, 40, who was charged with possession of one gram of cannabis, more..

Sweatshop workers in Sri Lanka get ready for pink slips

Dec 9 (UW) On Jan. 1, 2005, the World Trade Organization will completely dissolve export quotas for all textile factories around the world. So, while cable-knit Abercrombie sweaters and bootleg jeans from Gap should be more affordable after Christmas, more..

More tourists opting for Lanka, Maldives

Dec 9 (TP) With both Sri Lanka and the Maldives recently voted among the world's top 10 islands in a reader poll conducted by Conde Nast Traveller, increasing numbers of tourists from Qatar are combining the destinations in a two-centre holiday that offers the best of both these destinations, more..

Trouble in the Parliament: TNA protests

Dec 9 (AT) Trouble erupted again in Parliament today, when members of the Tamil National Alliance (Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kachchi) tried to disrupt proceedings. It happened as this morning's proceedings were coming to an end. When the sergeant-at-arms Wijaya Palliyaguru was bringing the mace, the TNA members did not allow him to do so. more..

Sri Lanka Navy ready to meet any threat - Defence Chief

Dec 9 (AT) Sri Lanka Navy is ready to confront any eventuality and is on a round-the-clock alert, Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Daya Sandagiri said today to mark the Navy's 54th anniversary. Stressing that the SLN was now sufficiently strong to deal with any combat situation, more..

Lanka's ceasefire holding firm: Kadir

Dec 9 (PIS) The ceasefire in Sri Lanka was holding firm and intense efforts were on to resume peace talks, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar assured the Davos-based World Economic Forum (WEF) organized India Economic Summit in New Delhi on Tuesday. more..

Tamil Nadu fishermen attacked by Sri Lankan Navy

Dec 9 (PTI) Sri Lankan Navy personnel allegedly hit and sank a fishing boat and looted the fish catch from many other boats belonging to fishermen from here when they were fishing near Katchatheevu island in the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday night, police said on Thursday. more..

LTTE leader disappointed with India's attitude

Dec 9 (Dawn) With the 20-year-old ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka failing to reach a workable solution, LTTE political adviser, Anton Balasingham is a worried man. He is also a very sick man, suffering from a long drawn illness that is an immense source of worry to the guerrilla LTTE chief, Vellupillai Prabhakaran, who depends on Balasingham, more..

LTTE women abduct sixteen-year old girl

Dec 9 (SLA) A group of LTTE women cadres who visited a house in the general area of KANNIYA had abducted a sixteen-year old girl from her residence on 07 December 2004 around 4.30 p.m. Her mother, MANJULA and father RAVINDRA had brought the abduction to the notice of the troops. more..

LTTE attempt on another minor failed

Dec 9 (SLA) An LTTE attempt to abduct a fourteen year old girl from her house in the general area of KANNIYA was thwarted on 08 December 2004 around 3.45 p.m. when the victim took to her heels and escaped. more..

Damage to the TV station revealed

Dec 9 (SLA) One TV transmitter, one radio transmitter, one TV decoder, one radio decoder, one modem, one tuner, one Panasonic radio, one TV monitor, one air conditioner, one land phone and one hand phone with dialog connection are among several equipment that were damaged during the attack on the SHAKTHI TV/Radio station more..

Sri Lanka would consult India on Sethusamudram project

Dec 9 (PTI) Sri Lanka would consult the Indian government regarding the Sethusamudram canal project on which some apprehensions have been expressed in the Island republic, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said today. more..

Parliament turns violent

Dec 9 (LT) One peon was injured on Tuesday when UNP MP T. Maheswaran threw a glass and a saucer in the direction of the mace, which hit the mace stand and broke into pieces. A mark where the glass hit can be seen on the mace stand. It was obscure as to how the peon got injured, but he was seen holding a bleeding finger. more..

LTTE suspect nabbed with Rs. 6m worth heroin

Dec 9 (DN) A suspected LTTE cadre who tried to smuggle 3.2 kg of pure brown sugar worth over Rs. 6 million to Colombo was nabbed by Murungan Police at the Parayanakulam junction Police post. more..

Grenade explosions rock northern and eastern Sri Lanka

Dec 9 (AP) Unidentified attackers hurled grenades at a newspaper office in eastern Sri Lanka and at a building in the north belonging to a political party opposed to the Tamil Tiger rebels, police and military officials said Thursday. There were no casualties. more..

Sri Lanka Parliament suspended for a second day amid chaos

Dec 9 (AP) Sri Lanka's parliament was suspended for a second day Thursday after opposition lawmakers protested the legislature's decision to pass several budgets without a vote. Lawmakers from the TNA blocked parliamentary officials from erecting a staff that symbolically opens each session, more..

Varani families demand payment of resettlement allowance

Dec 10 (TN) Resettled families in Varani village in Thenmaradchchi division Thursday held a sit-in protest preventing employees of Jaffna district secretariat entering the building bringing the civil administration to a halt till noon, civil sources said. more..

Sri Lanka army permits hinder Kalmadu resettlement

Dec 10 (TN) Refugee families that resettled in Kalmadu, 15 kilometres northwest of Vavuniya, said Thursday that rebuilding their lives is difficult because they have to obtain special permits from the Sri Lanka army for access to their fields. more..

HIV/AIDS awareness seminar held in Trincomalee

Dec 10 (TN) "Students of the east port town should exercise constraint in their sexual behaviours and should not fall to prey to the deadly disease. Six persons have already been affected by HIV/AIDS affected in Trincomalee district," warned Dr.E.G.Gnanagunalan, more..

Halt the drift and resume peace process, NPC tells GoSL, LTTE

Dec 10 (TN) "The danger in the present situation is the possibility of escalation that suddenly goes out of control of both sides and plunges the country into inadvertent war...We also call upon the two parties to make a concerted effort to ensure that the safeguards in the Ceasefire Agreement are functional," more..

Police constable shot dead in Batticaloa

Dec 10 (TN) A Tamil policeman from the Kattankudy Police was shot and killed at Trinco Road in Batticaloa town Thursday evening around 6.30 p.m, security sources said. The policeman has served as bodyguard to Mr T.Thangavadivel, a former parliamentarian in Batticaloa district. more..

Girl found dead with cut injuries in Point Pedro

Dec 10 (TN) Ms Murugesu Elilarasi aged 22 of Point Pedro in Jaffna district was found dead in her house Thursday morning with cut injuries on her head and abdomen. Her house is located along B.M.C Road in Point Pedro, police sources said. more..

Govt. ramining stakes in NDB, Lanka Cement and Ceylon Shipping Agencies up for sale

Dec 10 (LBO) The Government’s privatization arm has added a fresh set of minority stakes including parcels in NDB, Lanka Cement and Ceylon Shipping Agencies, to its list of passive investments for sale. more..

T.Maheshwaran is to be called before the parliamentary privileges committee

Dec 10 (Rupavahini) A decision has been taken to call UNP parliamentarian T. Maheshwaran before the parliamentary privileges committee. Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara said that this decision was taken to investigate into the conduct of the UNP MP in parliament during the past two days. more..

Minister Dew Gunasekara says that 1978 constitution has decided present fate of S.B. Dissanayake

Dec 10 (Rupavahini) The minister of constitutional affairs Dew Gunasekara says that the 1978 constitution was deciding factor of the present fate of former minister S.B. Dissanayake. He added that the opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe should also take the blame for this situation. more..

President pledges to transform Colombo as the garden city of Asia

Dec 10 (Rupavahini) President Chandrika Kumaratunge has expressed the belief that the city of Colombo would be transformed and modernized as the garden city of Asia before the year 2007. She made this observation at a ceremony where Beire Lake project was declared opened following its renovation. more..

Sri Lanka to intensify security for foreign embassies

Dec 10 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan government has decided to implement a special security program to provide protection to foreign embassies in the country, the national television station reported Thursday. Legal action will be taken against those who are taking photographs of foreign embassies in the island without permission, more..

'Bodhi Puja and Seth Kavi' for SB - UNP

Dec 10 (BBC) In a bid to to get imprisoned parliamentarian S B Dissanayaka released the UNP has formed a campaign group called the Movement for Democracy (MD). President of the newly formed organisation Mahinda Wijesekara told journalists in Colombo on Thursday that the UNP is also exploring the possibility of getting a bill passed in parliament to quash the sentence against SB. more..

Sri Lankan hostage Dinesh released-unconfirmed reports from Iraq

Dec 10 (BBC) The senior Sri Lankan diplomat in Kuwait speaking to BBC Sandeshaya on thursday said that Dinesh Dharmendran Rajaratnam has been released by his captives. The BBC bureau in Baghdad said that they too have received information of the release of Rajaratnam. more..

Right speech and right conduct

Dec 10 (ANN) Time is propitious for our leaders to reflect on correct speech and correct conduct even though they are light years away from correct thoughts. The usual Sri Lankan practice is to kick a fallen man in his teeth and say: "You deserved it." more..

Sri Lanka Churches Disapprove Restored Death Penalty

Dec 10 (CP) Church leaders in Sri Lanka have added their voices to criticism of the government's decision to reinstate the death penalty last month after a High Court judge was shot dead in the capital, Colombo, by a suspected drug gang. more..

Tens of thousands of children have been displaced from their homes as a result of the conflict - UNICEF report

Dec 10 (AT) In Sri Lanka, tens of thousands of children have been displaced from their homes as a result of the conflict, and many others have been left orphaned, said Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Representative in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka: Ministers under bribery probe

Dec 10 (AT) The Bribery or Corruption Commission has recorded 34 complaints against Ministers and MPs in 2004, but only in 13 cases have investigations been completed. Commission Member Kingsley Wickremasuriya said that there was an urgent need to strengthen the commission's legal frame work to make it effective. more..

Buddhist Monks to stage fast

Dec 10 (AT) Buddhist monks have decided to stage a fast in protest against the holding of the Bollywood musical extravaganza in Colombo on Saturday, 11 December. The fast is being organized by the Dharmapala Foundation and the Ven. Gangodawila Soma Commemoration Foundation. more..

Sri Lanka's Muslims warn of backlash

Dec 10 (BBC) Sri Lanka's Muslims are warning of a militant backlash as increasing tension between them and the Tamil community in the east of the country fuels feelings of frustration and anger. more..

Women protest against new army sentry points in Trinco

Dec 10 (TN) Hundreds of Tamil women in Trincomalee Thursday protested in front of the Trincomalee office of the SLMM demanding the removal of new sentry points established by the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) following the violent incidents on 2 December in the east port town, sources said. more..

Mothers of disappeared hold prayer on HR day in Jaffna

Dec 10 (TN) Members of Jaffna Mothers' Front (JMF) and Jaffna District Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (JDCHA) Friday morning till afternoon held a prayer in front of the regional office of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) after lighting the flame more..

Private buses on Colombo-Vavuniya routes under attack

Dec 10 (TN) Private bus operators are refusing to provide transport along the different Colombo to Vavuniya routes due to a recent spate of attacks on the vehicles where the bus windows were smashed by stones thrown by unknown persons in Kurunagala and Puttalam areas. more..

Give urgent priority to ISGA, IFT tells Colombo

Dec 10 (TN) Noting that the the proposal to resume Talks based on ISGA was accepted by the previous Government of Sri Lanka at the end of six rounds of talks and much deliberations between parties, the International Federation of Tamils (IFT), a consortium of expatriate Tamil organizations based in Geneva, more..

Suspected armed LTTE men abduct a minor and two youngsters

Dec 10 (SLA) Three youngsters, including a minor, resident in the general area of KUDAPOKUNA, SINHAPURA, about 15 km. northwest of WELIKANDA have been abducted on 09 December 2004 around 12.30 p.m. by suspected LTTE WANNI cadres armed with T-56 weapons, according to information given by civilians to the troops. more..

Armed LTTE men seen ahead of the FDL

Dec 10 (SLA) Twenty one armed LTTE cadres were seen approaching their turret, ahead of the Forward Defence Line (FDL) position, held by Security Forces at NAGARKOVIL, JAFFNA on 09 December 2004 around 9.55 a.m. Most of those LTTE men armed with two LMGS (Light Machine Guns), two pistols and T-56 rifles were in their uniforms and some were in civil clothes. more..

Lankan who died in Jeddah attack buried in Makkah

Dec 10 (AN) The funeral of the Sri Lankan who died in Monday’s terror attack on the US Consulate in Jeddah took place in Makkah yesterday after Isha prayers in deference to the wishes of his parents. A large number of Sri Lankans and officials of the Sri Lankan Consulate General were present to pay their last respects more..

Sri Lankan exports on a high

Dec 10 (PRIU) Sri Lanka’ s export earnings increased by 36 per cent to US dollars 582 million in October 2004 outperforming the 5 per cent growth recorded in the corresponding period in 2003. According to a Central Bank communiqué this is the second highest monthly export earnings ever recorded. more..

Prabhakaran drives into a cul-de sac

Dec 10 (PRIU) Amidst propaganda hype and media frenzy the LTTE leader's annual speech was delivered on 27th November 2004. The LTTE has built up a vast media network across the globe. It is a multi-million dollar entity; resources are partly drawn from the funds Tamil Diaspora is donating to the liberation struggle. more..

Sri Lankan cricket star attends IVD

Dec 10 (WVW) Famous Sri Lankan Cricketer, Muthiah Muralitharan joined International Volunteer Day celebrations with 200 volunteers from various volunteer sending agencies in Sri Lanka. All international volunteer sending agencies working in the country participated in the event held from 3 to 4 December 2004 more..

Ensure release of TN fishermen: CM to PM

Dec 10 (NT) Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today urged Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to take effective steps through diplomatic channels to release the 46 fishermen from Tamilnadu including 13 arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on 8 December from Jegathapattinam fishing base. more..

Chaos for third day running: TNA havoc in Parliament

Dec 10 (DN) Turmoil in Parliament continued for the third day yesterday, this time the TNA occupying centre stage when its members strode to the well of the House blocking the entry of the Speaker in the aisle at the commencement of sittings in their attempt to grab at the Mace from the Serjeant-at-arms. more..

Towards a failed state with our MPs

Dec 10 (ANN) Parliament, after a brief period of quietude, is once again in the eye of a storm. On Tuesday, UNP MP, T. Maheswaran flung some glass objects at the Mace of Parliament that resulted in the splinters of glass flying in all directions. more..

President urges to Cherish noble qualities of humanity, on human rights day

Dec 10 (AT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga in her message to mark International Human Rights Day urged the countryman to be united in their resolve to emerge triumphant in the efforts to create a society that would cherish the noble qualities of humanity. more..