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Prisons Commissioner before parliamentary privileges committee

Dec 10 (LT) UNP wants Prisons Commissioner Rumi Marzook before parliamentary privileges committee, accusing he did not obey the Speaker's decision to allow S.B. Dissanayake to attend Parliament. more..

Donations may fund child-soldier recruiting in Sri Lanka, group says

Dec 10 (G&M) An international human-rights organization is warning members of Canada's Tamil community that their donations to organizations in Sri Lanka may be used in the recruitment of child soldiers. Human Rights Watch reported sectarian rebel group LTTE has continued to recruit child soldiers more..

Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan hostages freed in Iraq: officials

Dec 10 (AFP) Two truck drivers from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka who were kidnapped in Iraq in October have been released by their captors, officials said. "Our embassy in Kuwait informs us both men are free," Bangladeshi State Minister for Overseas Employment Mohammad Quamrul Islam told AFP. more..

Protesting Sri Lankan monks camp outside Bollywood concert venue

Dec 10 (AFP) Buddhist monks protesting against the staging of a Bollywood concert in Colombo camped outside the venue in a desperate bid to block the Indian artists. Dozens of monks slept overnight in a tent at Colombo's former race course where film star Shahrukh Khan and his troupe are billed to perform "Temptatpion 2004" on Saturday. more..

Buddhist monk warns of self-immolation if Indian film stars' show goes on

Dec 10 (AP) Buddhist monks may set themselves on fire in protest unless organizers postpone a concert of Indian film stars that coincides with the anniversary of a cleric's death, a monk said Friday. Saturday's planned concert featuring Bollywood heartthrob Shahrukh Khan would come a day before the first anniversary of the death of Gangodawila Soma, more..

Sri Lanka parliament approves radical 2005 budget

Dec 10 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's parliament gave final approval to the government's 2005 budget on Friday, officials said, paving the way for the biggest state worker pay hike in over a decade, tax cuts on essential foods and higher taxes on luxury goods. more..

Japan's double standards in tackling terrorism

Dec 10 (ANN) Japanese Special Emissary Yasushi Akashi has made his seventh visit to Sri Lanka within two years to force the Sri Lanka Government to resume peace talks with the LTTE and to request or plead with them to restart talks with the government. All his missions so far have failed due to his lop-sided approach to the issue. more..

Indian film star says he'll perform despite Buddhist monks' self-immolation threats

Dec 11 (AP) Indian film idol Shahrukh Khan said Friday his concert in Sri Lanka can't be postponed despite Buddhists monks' threats to set themselves on fire to protest the show, which coincides with the anniversary of a cleric's death. more..

Veteran Tamil educationist "Sokkan" dies

Dec 11 (TN) Mr.Kanthapachettiyar Sokkalingam fondly called as "Sokkan" passed away peacefully at the age of seventy-seven Friday afternoon in Jaffna. Jaffna University recently conferred Honorary Doctorate of Literature on him for his invaluable services more..

Colombo continues to violate Tamils’ rights- Thamilchelvan

Dec 11 (TN) “We have established a system of government that upholds and protects the fundamental rights of our people in regions under our control in the northeast. Our judiciary and Police are committed a society based on the Rule of Law in which our people can enjoy their freedoms and pursue their interests with self respect. more..

Govt guarantees the payment of the salary increase granted through the budget this month

Dec 11 (Rupavahini) The ministry of public administration and home affairs says the pay hike provided to government employees by the budget will definitely be included in this month's pay packet. The relevant circular is to be issued in the coming days. more..

Sri Lanka can be part of the world’s second largest manufacturing bloc for apparel

Dec 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka can be part of the world’s second largest manufacturing bloc for apparel and textile but should look smart about it, says an Indian trade expert. "India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have the potential to create the second largest trade bloc in the world for apparel and textile," more..

People are not eating much bread anymore as locals shift to better food, phones and fun

Dec 11 (LBO) People are not eating much bread anymore, as early Central Bank findings show locals spending instead on better food, phones, education, and more fun. The Central Bank just wrapped up its Consumer Finance survey of 12,000 households across Sri Lanka, to study lifestyles and living trends. more..

Duty-bound: Lankan tiles stuck at Chennai

Dec 11 (ET) The cup of woes of Sri Lankan exporters to India under the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISLFTA) is spilling over once again. After the port restrictions on copper, it is now the turn of vitrified and porcelain tiles. Importers complain that over 150 containers of vitrified tiles are stuck at Chennai customs. more..

Big vessels may have to skip Lanka canal

Dec 11 (BS) Questions are being raised on the long-term viability of the government’s Rs 2000-crore Sethusamudram Canal project. This is because Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) like Suezmax, Panamax and Aframax would not be able to pass through the canal while the trend worldwide is to move towards a large-vessel regime. more..

ENDLF Leader detained in Kachipuram under the Foreigners Act

Dec 11 (AT) Tamil Nadu police revealed that the General Secretary of Eelam National Democratic Liberation Front G. Gnanasekaran and eight others had been detained under the Foreigners Act for overstaying. They had been lodged in the Chengalpattu sub-jail in Kancheepuram district in Tamil Nadu, since 05 Decemeber. more..

CBI: Chandraswamy may be involved in Rajiv Gandhi assassination

Dec 11 (AT) Thirteen years after Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by the Sri Lanka’s Separatist Tamil rebel outfit LTTE at Sriperumbudur in Tamilandu, India’s premier investigating agency claims the controversial ‘God-man’ Chandraswamy may be involved in the cruel act. more..

Colombo: City of 1000 foreign sex workers

Dec 11 (AT) There are around 1000 foreign `sex workers' in Colombo city, according to the police. Among them are Chinese, Thais, Russians, Ukrainians, Indians and Pakistanis. Their modus operandi is to arrive in Sri Lanka on three or four month tourist visas and continue to engage in their profession even after the visa period has expired. more..

Respect rights of the people: They have a right to know the true conduct of the lawmakers

Dec 11 (AT) Recently the Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle in a statement made in the Parliament said that the judiciary and the police are totally corrupt and by arresting the suspects of High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya’s murder will not clean the police of their dark patch. more..

Human Rights Day meeting held in Trincomalee

Dec 11 (TN) "The right to live has not been included in the Sri Lankan Constitution and laws relating to human rights are only in the Statute but several of such laws are not in force," said Attorney-at-Law Mr.T. Karikalan addressing the International Human Rights Day meeting held in Trincomalee more..

Rise in street kids below age 5

Dec 11 (AT) Fifty percent of Sri Lanka's street children have not gone to school, while six percent are orphans. Even most of those who are not orphans have only a single parent. Over 50 percent of them spend the night on pavements, on the door steps of buildings and in abandoned or half-completed buildings. more..

Sri Lanka: Politico had ganja worth Rs. 2 M

Dec 11 (AT) Police arrested a Pradeshiya Sabha Member (local councilor) and two others following the seizure of 250 kilos of ganja worth around Rs. 2 million that had been concealed in a house for smuggling to Colombo from Thanamalwila. more..

Ranil meets SB in jail

Dec 11 (AT) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and leading UNPers met S.B. Dissanayake at the Welikada Prisons on Friday 10 December and inquired after his health. Wickremesinghe assured that the Opposition's campaign over the issue would continue. more..

LTTE GEARS UP FOR WAR : A Federal Constitution the best answer

Dec 11 (TS) Velupillai Pirapaharan, the LTTE leader, has warned that he would be compelled to launch the “freedom struggle” unless there was an unconditional resumption of peace talks on his proposal for an Interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) submitted to Government on 1 November 2003. more..

Vavuniya Rights Day focusses on Death Penalty

Dec 11 (TN) "Whether death penalty is a violation of human rights is a fundamental question debated in societies around the world. In Sri Lanka, after the murder of Judge Ambepitiya, the death penalty has been reintroduced. There has to be vigourous debate by the citizens on the States right to inflict death on an individual," more..

Newspaper office under grenade attack

Dec 11 (SLA) Two unidentified persons have lobbed a hand grenade at the office of THINAKURAL newspaper in the general area of BATTICALOA town around 12.00 noon on 10 December 2004. According to information, two unidentified persons who came on a motor bicycle had thrown the hand grenade towards the office more..

LTTE continue to screen their video films

Dec 11 (SLA) LTTE members have continued to screen a video film on LTTE military activities in the general area of KUMBURUPIDDI on 10 December 2004 around 6.45 p.m. Earlier, the LTTE had screened a video film containing their assaults on Security Forces in the general area of KUMBURUPIDDI on 09 December 2004 around 7.15 p.m.

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Dec 11 (SLA) One thousand three hundred and sixty eight (1368) lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 03 December 2004 and 09 December 2004. more..

S.B stands trial for corruption charges

Dec 11 (LT) Corruption and Bribery Commission yesterday filed charges in courts against the former MP S.B.Dissanayake. Corruption and Bribery Commission in its charge sheet submits that S.B. Dissanayake had failed to explain how he had earned a sum of rupees 290 million between December 2001 and April 2004. more..

UNP has no concern for the law -JVP

Dec 11 (LT) The leader of the Parliamentary group of the JVP Wimal Weerawansa says that the United National Party has come to be the leading group that is challenging the sovereignty of the judiciary. He said this in the parliament yesterday. more..

DPI against defence pact with Sri Lanka

Dec 11 (Sun) Dalit Panthers of India (DPI) leader R Thirumavalavan has urged the Central Government not to sign the proposed Defence Co-operation agreement with the Sri Lankan Government, which he said was arbitrary and against the interests of the Tamil people. more..

World Buddhist leaders call for promotion of Buddhism

Dec 11 (Xinhua) Buddhist leaders attending the World Buddhist Summit here called on their followers to promote and propagate Buddhism, enhance Buddhist unity and strive for friendship and mutual understanding among them and contribute to the peace and prosperity in the world. more..

Norwegian peace envoy to arrive in Sri Lanka

Dec 11 (Xinhua) Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim will arrive in Sri Lanka on Monday for his regular visit to the island country, Daily News reported on Saturday. Solheim is due to meet President Chandrika Kumaratunga, other representatives of the government and opposition as well as with civil society. more..

Sri Lanka-India naval exercises to begin

Dec 11 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan and Indian naval forces are to begin joint naval exercises next week, the state radio announced here Saturday. Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation quoted Sri Lankan Naval Chief Rear Admiral Daya Sandagiri as saying that the exercises will begin next week. more..

Bio-data of Prime Minister of Sri Lanka

Dec 11 (MN) Mr Mahinda Rajapakse was born on 18 November 1945 in Weeraketiya, Southern Province DSRS. He is a Buddhist. Mr Rajapakse is the 19th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. He is the Second Political Leader from the South to be elevated to the prestigious office of the Prime Minister of the Sri Lanka. more..

Father Christmas

Dec 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka has tapped Norwegian government's generosity for a US$ 1.13 mn grant to settle part of its debts owed to the World Bank. The grant has been provided to a trust fund to be administered by The World Bank and will be utilised for debt-service payments due from Sri Lanka to the World Bank. more..

PM to attend Buddhist Summit

Dec 11 (PRIU) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse will make an official visit to Myanmar over the weekend, where he will attend the closing ceremony of the World Buddhist Summit in the capital Yangon. more..

Nawfer not in Kalutara, allege lawyers

Dec 11 (DN) Mohamed Niyas Nawfer alias Potta Nawfer, the first suspect in the killing of Colombo High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya and his police bodyguard Chief Inspector R. A. Upali, had not been taken to the Kalutara Remand Prison as ordered by the Colombo Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge Sarojini Kusala Weerawardena. more..

Uproar in Lankan parliament over budget allocations

Dec 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s national parliament resumed after uproar for a third straight day on Thursday as minority Tamil legislators protested the passage of budget allocations for ministries without a debate. more..

Freed Sri Lankan hostage in Iraq to return home next week

Dec 11 (Xinhua) The released Sri Lankan national who had been taken hostage in Iraq for more than one month will return home next week, the state radio reported Saturday. SLBC quoted Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Wiswa Warnapala as saying that Dinesh Rajaratnam, who was released by a militant group, will return home next week. more..

Indian star says sorry to monks but show will go on

Dec 11 (AFP) A top Indian movie star apologised to Sri Lanka's Buddhist clergy for holding a concert here on the first anniversary of the death of a popular monk, but said the show would go on. more..

Sri Lankan monks call off stir following apology

Dec 11 (PTI) Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka today called off their agitation against a concert featuring Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan, here after the organisers gave a written apology for holding the event on the death anniversary of a popular priest. more..

Hats in the ring for top UN post

Dec 12 (AT) When Britain’s Sunday Times last week named the Thai foreign minister as the front-runner to replace UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the candidature of Sri Lanka’s Jayantha Dhanapala had only just been officially announced. more..

Ranil jumps into SB’s cage

Dec 12 (AT) At a time when the judiciary is terrorized by drug dealers and underworld gangs, Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Leader of the Opposition, has allowed his MPs to run amok in parliament challenging the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court to sentence S. B. Dissanayake (SB) to two years rigorous imprisonment. more..

The Right to a Future

Dec 12 (AT) In the introduction to his autobiography Ecce Homo, Friedrich Nietzsche implies that mankind’s ‘right to a future’ is dependent on the values it adopts. Perhaps a country, a community too has to prove through its words and deeds, through what it does, what it permits to be said and done in its name whether it has a right to a future. more..

Swiss envoy opens school building in Chavakachcheri

Dec 12 (TN) Mr.Bernadino Regazzoni, Swiss envoy in Sri Lanka Saturday declared open a new school building constructed at a cost of about 7.5 million Sri Lankan rupees in the Chavakachcheri Drieberg College in Jaffna district. more..

Ensuring Language Rights a must to resolve conflict- Collure

Dec 12 (TN) "Until the language rights of Tamil people enshrined in the Statute are implemented in true spirit, no satisfactory solution to the conflict between the two communities can be found," said Mr.Raja Collure, more..

Religious ceremonies to commemorate the first death anniversary of the Ven. Soma Thera

Dec 12 (Rupavahini) An all night Pirith chanting ceremony was held to invoke merit to the late Ven. Gangodawila Soma Thera last night at his mother's residence, in Kotalawala, Kaduwela. The Pirith chanting was organised to commemorate the first death anniversary of the Ven. Gangodawila Soma Thera. more..

Buddhism will be immensely helpful to win the present world challenges -PM

Dec 12 (Rupavahini) The delegates attending the world Buddhist congress in Myanmar have decided to expand basics of Buddhism worldwide. 1,000 Buddhist priests and representatives of several countries including Jamaica and Japan participated in the final sessions of the world Buddhist congress. more..

No privileges for prisoner H21569

Dec 12 (SO) The Commissioner General of Prisons Rumy Marzook reiterates that all facilities provided to UNP Parliamentarian S.B. Dissanayake complies with the the normal 'Prisons Ordinance' and practices. Marzook said, "nothing special is given to S.B. Dissanayake. He sleeps on a 'padura'. more..