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Opposition cynically exploits struggles of workers and farmers

Feb 14 (wsws) A key factor in Sri Lanka’s deep political crisis is the rising tide of opposition among workers, farmers and young people against the impact of the economic restructuring measures demanded by the IMF and World Bank on behalf of international finance capital. more..

Epitawaththe rebuffed

Feb 14 (LT) Dr. D.S.Epitawaththe, former vice-chancellor of the University of Jayawardenepura had requested to contest the forthcoming General Election from the UNP. Epitawaththe had made this request from Premier Ranil Wickremasinghe with the backing of Minister Ravi Karunanayake. more..

Railway Unions reject the post of Competent Authority

Feb 14 (LT) Railway Trade Unions United Front (RTUUF) has written to the President requesting her to immediately halt the appointment of a competent authority for the CGR. more..

Civic bodies prepare to monitor polls

Feb 14 (Gulf) Civic organisations in Sri Lanka are preparing to monitor the upcoming parliamentary elections with the backing of international support amidst fears that the vote would be rigged and complaints by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe's party that the state media was being misused by President Kumaratunga's party. more..

Bribery battle booms

Feb 14 (DM) The two major parties yesterday continued hurling allegations of high level bribery and corruption against each other - with a UNF delegation going before the Bribery and Corruption Commission yesterday to make more than a hundred allegations against President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the former PA government. more..

Aussies land in Sri Lanka

Feb 14 (BBC) Australia have arrived in Sri Lanka for three Tests and five one-day matches, as the post-Steve Waugh era begins. One-day captain Ricky Ponting was named Test skipper in January after Waugh's retirement, but the Test squad is not set to be named until 20 February. more..

National Think Tank to tackle urgent problems

Feb 14 (DN) President Chandrika Kumaratunga is to set up a National Think Tank to deliberate on and recommend urgent national policies and plans of action to be taken in economy, education, health, law and order, crime prevention, peace and other major issues. more..

Lankan donors say aid will keep flowing

Feb 14 (Reuters) Sri Lanka’s aid donors say a delay in the divided island’s peace process will not stop the flow of humanitarian aid, but they worry about what upcoming elections will mean for economic reforms. more..

World Photos - AP

Feb 14 (AP) Sri Lankan Buddhists meditate during a special meditating program held in Colombo, Feb. 14, to celebrate the Valentine's Day. In opposition to the traditional Valentine's Day, the Buddhist National Congress organized the mass event to teach young Buddhists how to celebrate without the emphasis on romantic love. more..

Soldiers regain their childhood

Feb 14 (IPS) Three months ago, a group of young Tamil rebels walked reluctantly into a local children's centre dressed in military T-shirts and displaying an air of militancy: shouting at staff, scowling, and being extremely boisterous. Last month, they left the centre as playful, laughing youngsters. more..

Ponting wants Australia to go all out

Feb 14 (CI) Ricky Ponting has urged his team to adopt a full-throttle attitude - the same approach that has paid rich dividends on home soil - as they embark on a testing tour of Sri Lanka. "I want the team to be able to win more away from home," he said. more..

Aussies dismiss security fears on Sri Lanka tour

Feb 14 (Reuters) Australia's team management dismissed security fears in Sri Lanka upon their arrival on Saturday, saying they were satisfied with the safety measures despite the parliamentary elections. more..

Marxists reject truce with Tigers

Feb 15 (TN) The SLFP-JVP Alliance will not abide by the cease fire agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers, instead it would try to negotiate a new CFA, the powerful propaganda secretary of the JVP, Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, told the latest issue of the Sinhala weekly "Lanka". more..

NECORD reactivates deep-sea fishing in Jaffna district

Feb 15 (TN) The NECORD project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has established a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) for the provision of fiberglass fishing crafts, nets and motors to fishermen through Jaffna district fisheries co-operative societies to reactivate deep-sea fishing in the northern sea, more..

Polling in LTTE areas to be discussed with truce monitors

Feb 15 (TN) Commissioner of Elections Saturday told Government Agents and Assistant Elections Commissioners from the Northeast that he would discuss with the SLMM and the Government’s Peace Secretariat about arrangements to enable more than two hundred thousand Tamils in regions that are not under Colombo’s control to vote in the general elections on 2 April. more..

Beware Mutiah's new mystery ball

Feb 15 (HS) ENGLAND captain Michael Vaughan believes Australia has the team to beat Sri Lanka in its backyard by countering the mystery ball baffling batsmen around the world. Ricky Ponting's Australians this week start a five-match one-day campaign followed by three Tests against a Sri Lankan side unbeaten in its last seven Test series at home. more..

We will support Tamils’ struggle: Vaiko

Feb 15 (Sify) Shortly after the general council of MDMK re-elected Vaiko as the party’s general secretary, the firebrand leader reaffirmed his party’s policy on the Sri Lankan issue. "There is no change in our policy. We continue to support the Tamils’ struggle against the Sinhalese government," Vaiko said. more..

CBK's act of political suicide

Feb 15 (SL) The Bandaranaike siblings and the President's daughter Yashodara were having a cosy dinner and discussing men and matters at President's House on the night of Saturday, February 7, when elder sister Sunethra's cellular started buzzing. more..

Thilanga's jail-house rock

Feb 15 (SL) Thilanga Sumathipala from his remand bed at the Merchant's Ward in the National Hospital chaired a board meeting of Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), which was called last Monday, with the intention of adopting a final resolution to remove him as SLT chairman. more..

IGP strict on police impartiality

Feb 15 (SO) The police have been placed on high alert to closely monitor the security situation as the count down for what's being termed an `intensely competitive election' begins, with nominations scheduled for Tuesday. Around 51 parties will be contesting the election, which political analysts and election monitors will be keenly contested. more..

Election Commissioner suspends Amparai local polls

Feb 15 (TN) The Commissioner of Elections, Mr.Dayananda Dissanayake, has instructed election officials in the eastern province to suspend all steps to hold polls to then seven local authorities in the Amparai administrative district, which is scheduled to be held on February 21 until further notice, more..

SLN takes charge of Indian fishing boats

Feb 15 (TN) The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Saturday took charge of five Indian fishing boats, which were captured by Point Pedro fishermen from poachers last week in the northern waters, on the orders of Point Pedro Magistrate Mr.K. Ariyanayakam, legal sources said. more..

Sri Lankan girl sedated for flight

Feb 15 (AAP) A Sri Lankan teenager forced to leave New Zealand after being refused asylum was reportedly heavily sedated and restrained during her flight home. The 16-year-old girl, whose high-profile immigration case involved claims she suffered years of sexual abuse by male relatives in Sri Lanka, more..

One more LTTE cadre surrenders

Feb 15 (SLA) An LTTE cadre (36) escaped from KILINOCHCHI LTTE camp was surrendered to the Entry/Exit Point at MADHU, about 36 km southeast of MANNAR town on 14 February 2004 around 10.30 a.m. seeking protection. more..

Seventeen illegal immigrants arrive

Feb 15 (SLA) Seventeen illegal immigrants including ten females with their baggages were arrested by Naval troops on duty in the general sea area URUMALAI WEST close to OLD LIGHTHOUSE on 13 February 2004 morning. more..

LTTE men raise LTTE flags

Feb 15 (SLA) An LTTE women leader for ECHCHANKULAM area had been hoisted the LTTE flag prior to commencement of the sports meet which was held at urban council ground in VAVUNIYA town on 14 February 2004 around 11.15 am. more..

Instability turns Sri Lanka's economic dream into nightmare

Feb 15 (CNA) For foreign investors and international lenders, Sri Lanka appeared on the verge of economic lift-off, but the dream is turning into a nightmare after the dissolution of parliament. more..

Sri Lanka truce 'security threat'

Feb 15 (BBC) The president's new allies say the ceasefire with Tamil Tiger rebels threatens national security. A spokesman for the People's Liberation Front (JVP) said his party was ready to discuss a new truce agreement on the basis of "reasonable demands". more..

Salt to Taste

Feb 15 (LBO) Plans to value Lanka Salt Ltd., prior to a 40 percent divestiture were, put on hold Friday, to allow industry experts to be included in the process. Public Enterprises Reform Commission (PERC) says industry experts are needed to determine Lanka Slat’s future potential. more..

Buddhist conclave in India to promote tourism linkages

Feb 15 (IANS) International Buddhist scholars, monks and members of the travel trade will be focusing on the relevance of Buddhist philosophy at a two-day conclave being held here from Tuesday. more..

Sri Lankan spinner making comeback

Feb 15 (AAP) HE'S not quite Sri Lanka's version of Shane Warne, but a young leg-spinner slated as a star of the future is making his way back after a four-month ban stemming from a tragic car accident. more..

Atapattu urges team to play attacking cricket

Feb 15 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's one-day skipper Marvan Atapattu has urged his team to play positive cricket in the forthcoming series against Australia and display the natural flair that helped them to win the 1996 World Cup. more..

Sri Lankan donor co-chairs meeting to be held in Washington as scheduled

Feb 15 (Xinhua) The meeting of four co-chairs of donors for Sri Lanka will be held in Washington as scheduled on Tuesday despite Sri Lanka's preparation for the upcoming general elections after the dissolution of the parliament, more..

Report of Minister Dissanayake belittling court is with CJ

Feb 15 (LT) The finding of the eight judges of the Supreme Court appointed to study the matters pertaining to statements made by Minister S.B.Dissanayake ridiculing the judiciary has been handed over to Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva. more..

UPFA launches campaign with rally in Anuradhapura

Feb 15 (LT) The inaugural election rally of the UPFA will be held in Anuradhapura on the 26th. Leaders of all parties representing the UPFA will participate at this rally. Before the commencement of the rally the leaders will participate at a special religious ceremony at Sri Maha Bodhiya. more..

Sampanthan likely to face charges of Contempt of Court

Feb 15 (AT) R. Sampanthan, General Secretary of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) might face charges in the court for his anti-party activities and for thus challenging the restriction provided by the District court of Colombo. more..

Oh God.. ! Save the Tamils from Joseph Pararajasingham and alike

Feb 15 (AT) There was a news item in one of the many Eelam websites that had mushroomed out of Canada, as "Joseph Pararajasingham as a senior journalist from Mattakalappu" (Batticaloa). This could be the biggest joke not for the year, but for the new millennium. A comical circus without par. more..

Hundreds of Christian Churches vandalised

Feb 15 (AT) In a petition to Abdelfattah Amor, Special Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance, attached to the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, it has been pointed out that in the recent past, attacks and vandalism against Christian Churches in Sri Lanka have intensified. more..

Thamilchelvan warns not to vote for a party that could push LTTE into an armed conflict again

Feb 15 (AT) In a special interview broadcast by the pro-Tamil Tiger "Sandeshaya" of the BBC from Zurich, Switzerland, the political head of the LTTE, S.P. Thamilchelvan said, if the Sinhalese did not want to push their terrorist outfit once again into an armed conflict, then they should put into power a political party that should be able to fulfill the political aspirations of the Tamils. more..

President's ally vows to scrap truce with Tigers

Feb 15 (AFP) Sri Lanka's faltering peace process was dealt a further blow when the Marxist coalition partner of Sri Lanka's president vowed to scrap a truce with Tamil Tiger rebels if they win April elections. more..

SLMM new head to visit Jaffna

Feb 15 (TN) The Norwegian head of the SLMM Major General (retd) Trond Furuhovde is scheduled to visit Jaffna district Monday. This would be his first visit to Jaffna following his assumption of duties as SLMM head on February 1st for the second time after replacing Major General Triggve Teleffsen, sources said more..

Lankan astrological mag predicted date of Ranil Govt's fall

Feb 15 (HT) The well-known Sri Lankan astrological magazine Ira Handha more or less correctly predicted the day on which parliament was dissolved and the curtain brought down on the two-year old Ranil Wickremesinghe Government, The Sunday Times, reports. more..

Sihala Urumaya to field Buddhist monks

Feb 16 (TN) The Sinhala nationalist Sihala Urumaya (SU) has decided to contest all the electoral districts in the island in the forthcoming parliamentary general election including northeast province and majority of SU candidates would be selected from the Buddhist clergy, more..

TNA to meet again to decide on election symbol

Feb 16 (TN) The leaders of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will meet again on February 18th to take a final decision regarding the election symbol to contest the forthcoming parliamentary general election, which is to be held on April 2, party sources said. more..

"Tamil party support needed for stable govt"-UNF minister

Feb 16 (TN) Senior minister in the UNF government, Dr.Rajitha Senaratne said that no stable government could be formed after the forthcoming general election without the northeast Tamil parliamentarians and that the UNP is prepared to collaborate with the TNA after the forthcoming general election, more..

Maheswaran says won’t contest April polls

Feb 16 (TN) Mr. T. Maheswaran, who was Minister for Hindu Affairs in Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Front (UNF) government, said Sunday he does not intend to contest elections to the Sri Lankan Parliament in April. more..

LSSP, CP agree to join SLFP-JVP alliance

Feb 16 (TN) Half a century old leftist political parties, LSSP and Communist Party (CP) agreed to join the recently formed United Peoples' Freedom Alliance. Leaders of LSSP and CP are to sign the Memorandum of Understanding in this regard with the leaders UPFA on Tuesday, sources said. more..

Sri Lanka ready to welcome back Warne

Feb 16 (TA) Hohns and his four-man panel will not announce the 15-man squad until Friday in Australia, but the big news in Sri Lanka is the imminent resumption of the race between Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan for Courtney Walsh's world record of 519 Test wickets. At present Warne has 491, six ahead of Murali. more..

Festival comes alive with enchanting Kandyan dance

Feb 16 (TOO) A Sri Lankan traditional Kandyan dance troupe, headed by renowned dancer Simon Wilabadage and Dulitha Perera, enthralled the audience at Al Khuwair Festival Plaza by its scintillating performances of traditional Kandyan and folk dances. more..

Sri Lanka Under-19s scrape home against Zimbabwe

Feb 16 (HZ) ZIMBABWE got their 2004 International Cricket Council Under-19 Cricket World Cup off to a losing start when they went down by two wickets to Sri Lanka in a Pool A match at the Bogra District Stadium here yesterday. more..