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SLMM head meets SF Commnder & Police Chief in Jaffna

Feb 17 (SLA) Head, Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Major Gen Trond Furuhovde (Retd) after his recent assumption of duties was in Jaffna on Monday (16 February 2004) in a bid to receive an update of the current situation and other developments in the war-affected peninsula. more..

Swiss Parliamentarians Meet SF Commander

Feb 17 (SLA) Five Swiss Parliamentarians, who are currently in Sri Lanka on a fact-finding visit toured the Jaffna peninsula last weekend and met the Commander, Security Forces Jaffna Major General M. D. S Chandrapala in order to get an update on the security situation in the peninsula. more..

European media watchdog slams Kadirgamar

Feb 17 (TN) Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontiers-RSF), a European media watchdog, condemned the Sri Lankan information and communication minister's decision, announced Monday, to cancel the TV broadcast channel licence that was granted to the Asian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in 1995. more..

Tamils should vote only for policy-Thamilchelvan

Feb 17 (TN) "We unanimously decided today that the Tamil people should vote only for policies of the TNA. This is the wish of our leader and our leadership. Tamils should unite under one leadership and one policy for this election," said Mr. S. P Thamilchelvan more..

Do not use misuse public funds says President

Feb 17 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga warned all Ministry Secretaries that they would be held personally responsible for any irregular disbursement of public funds under their respective ministries. more..

Media secretary clarifies

Feb 17 (PRIU) “The letter regarding the revoking of the television license granted to the Asia Broadcasting Corporation (Pvt) Ltd was sent to the corporation Saturday February 7, 2004 at 3pm. This was before the dissolving of Parliament more..

IOC plans IPO of Sri Lanka unit

Feb 17 (BS) Indian Oil Corp is planning an initial public offer of its Sri Lankan subsidiary Lanka IOC by June this year to raise around $20-25 million. According to senior IOC official, "We are considering offering up to 24% of equity in Lanka IOC to involve local population in our operation in the island nation." more..

Central Bank intervenes to support currency

Feb 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank intervened in the island's currency market to support the rupee, which fell to a life low of 99.25 to the dollar in early trade on Tuesday, dealers said. more..

Mending Children's Hearts in Sri Lanka

Feb 17 (OW) A unique private foundation is saving the lives of poor children with congenital heart disease in Sri Lanka, where the treatment cost is thrice the national per capita income and a three-year wait is par. more..

Sri Lankans happy to be sledged

Feb 17 (Age) Sri Lankan captain Hashan Tillekeratne has encouraged Australia to try its best sledging during the coming Test and one-day cricket series. Tillekeratne, who is captain of the Test team, works on the principle of "what happens on the field stays on the field" more..

Lankans refuse Aussie's 15-a-side practice proposal

Feb 17 (AP) The Sri Lankan cricket board yesterday rejected an Australian proposal to allow its entire 15-man squad play in a practice match ahead of their upcoming five-match limited-overs series. more..

MoU clears skies for raising number of flights to Sri Lanka-Jordan

Feb 17 (JT) A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed here on Monday by Jordan and Sri Lanka aims at increasing the number of flights between Amman and Colombo, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Director General Hanna Najjar said. more..

Sri Lanka opens election process

Feb 17 (BBC) Nominations have opened for the Sri Lankan elections ordered for 2 April after President Chandrika Kumaratunga dissolved parliament. The contenders hope the polls - the third in four years - will offer a way out of a power struggle between the president and the prime minister. more..

Australia crush Sri Lanka Cricket President's XI

Feb 17 (AP) Cricket world champions Australia warmed up for its five-match limited over series against Sri Lanka with a crushing five wicket win against the Board President's XI on Tuesday. Chasing 284 runs in its allotted 50 overs, Australia reached its target in 44.1 overs. more..

Health Alliance calls off strike

Feb 17 (DN) The Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) last evening decided to suspend their strike scheduled for today after the Health authorities agreed to grant a 65 per cent salary hike to all health employees. more..

Nominations open for Sri Lanka's snap polls

Feb 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka's elections commissioner began accepting nominations from candidates hoping to run for parliament in snap elections called by the president for April 2, officials said. more..

Faleiro denies major role in Lanka talks

Feb 17 (Gulf) Former minister of state for external affairs Eduardo Faleiro (Congress) is at present in Colombo enroute to Jaffna in the north of Sri Lanka. Faleiro who flew to Colombo through Trivandrum is in Colombo to attend a seminar. more..

No place for southern parties in Tamil ‘homeland’: LTTE

Feb 17 (DM) While elections can be held in the North and East under the supervision of the SLMM, the main parties in the South will have no place in the Tamil 'homeland', said LTTE political wing leader Thamil Selvam on Sunday. more..

Sri Lanka cabinet says opposition win may hurt peace

Feb 17 (Reuters) A two-year-old ceasefire between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels will be in danger if the opposition comes to power in April 2 elections, the ruling party said on Tuesday. more..

Sri Lanka facing instability - PM

Feb 18 (TN) In a special address to the nation on a private TV station Tuesday night, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that Sri Lanka is facing instability because of the actions of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. The cease-fire agreement is in jeopardy and the economy has suffered because of her action, he said. more..

Indian boatmen on fast unto death campaign in Jaffna prison

Feb 18 (TN) Sixty seven Indian boatmen captured in the northern sea when poaching and now being kept in remand in Jaffna prison have started a fast unto death campaign demanding that their cases against them be expedited and those who are not charged be sent back to India immediately, prison sources said. more..

NECORD funded Girls' Hostel opens in Trincomalee

Feb 18 (TN) A two-storied girl hostel constructed in Trincomalee Methodist Girls College at a cost of about 5 million rupees allocated by the NECORD project, which is funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) was declared open Monday by the Trincomalee district former parliamentarian Mr.R.Sampanthan. more..

Court to hear SLMC rival faction's appeal on holding Key posts

Feb 18 (TN) The appeal filed by the rival faction of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) on the interim injunction order issued by the Colombo District Court last year restraining it from claiming the key posts of the party was fixed for hearing on May 24, legal sources said. more..

SLFP-JVP alliance office bearers announced

Feb 18 (TN) Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge was appointed President of the United Peoples Freedom Front (UPFA) at the first executive committee meeting of the UPFA held Tuesday at the Presidential secretariat. more..

We have no faith in Southern politics say civilians in Kilinochchi

Feb 18 (NW) People in Kilinochchi claim they cannot trust Southern politicians anymore. While Southern Sri Lanka may be all hyped up about the forthcoming general elections- the third in four years, Northerners living in LTTE- controlled areas show a complete disinterest in the electioneering process. more..

Leading Buddhist monks will contest the Elections

Feb 18 (SN) All leading Buddhist monks in the nationalist movement have decided to contest the forthcoming general election having the objective of building a righteous state. Ven Ellawela Methananda thero, Athuraliye Ratana thero, Dr Omalpe Sobhitha thero and Rajawatte Vappa thero of the JSS are among these monks. more..

LTTE ban national parties in North & East

Feb 18 (SN) Thamilchelvan, the head of Political Wing of the LTTE told last Sunday in Killinochchi, “Although the elections can be held in the North & East under the supervision of the SLMM, the national parties will have no place in Tamil homeland”. more..

Murali hopes to race with Warne towards 500-wicket mark

Feb 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan hopes Australia's selectors will name leg-spinner Shane Warne in their squad for the three-match test series between the two sides. more..

Ranil slams Kumaratunga for scuttling truce

Feb 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Tuesday accused the country's president of jeopardising a ceasefire with Tamil rebels and scuttling economic recovery in his first public address since his government was sacked 10 days ago. more..

LTTE may emerge as kingmakers in poll

Feb 18 (Sify) Sri Lanka's Tiger rebels said Tuesday they would throw their weight behind a moderate Tamil party in forthcoming elections, a move analysts say could turn them into kingmakers in the polls. more..

Polls Chief to get tough

Feb 18 (IL) By virtue of powers vested in him, Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake has decided to cancel polls in any polling station where corruption takes place and hold fresh elections in those areas within two weeks. more..

Electricity shocks in Sri Lanka

Feb 18 (IL) As the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) battled hard to provide uninterrupted electricity to the nation amidst a severe drought, the government has approved a CEB suggestion to impose a Re. 1/- surcharge on all domestic, commercial and industrial sectors from next month. more..

Pakistan-Sri Lanka business forum

Feb 18 (DT) General Srilal Weerasooriya, high commissioner of Sri Lanka, has announced the formation of Pakistan-Sri Lanka Business Forum that would help boost trade between the two countries. Mr Weerasooriya said tourism could play a prominent role in bringing people of the two countries closer. more..

"Sinhala border villagers fear renewed war"- Provincial Minister

Feb 18 (TN) "Sinhalese people in border villages of the northeastern province live in fear of a renewed war following President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge's recent action of taking over the three key ministries and the formation of a political alliance between the SLFP and the JVP," more..

TULF leaders' appeal in Sangaree case to be heard Thursday

Feb 18 (TN) The appeal filed by the Secretary General and Senior Vice President of the TULF Mr.R.Sampanthan and Mr.Jospeh Pararajasingham respectively against the interim injunction issued by the Colombo District Court in favour of the TULF President Mr. V.Anandasangaree is listed for inquiry in the Court of Appeal on Thursday, more..

JVP leader apologises for past violence

Feb 18 (Reuters) The leader of Marxist JVP party apologised for the first time on Tuesday for past bloodshed caused by his party, in a surprise gesture as the JVP bids for power in general elections. The JVP, which led rebellions in 1971 and 1987-89 in which more than 80,000 people died, renounced violence in 1994 and entered mainstream politics. more..

Alliance Calling

Feb 18 (LBO) Wooing support for its ticket to govern the country, the newly formed SLFP-JVP alliance flirted with the Colombo based business and international community on Tuesday. The gala two-hour PR campaign, the first major public appearance since the alliance was signed in late January was mooted to ally fears of an anti-private sector regime in the making. more..

Patch Work

Feb 18 (LBO) A fast track approach to strike a free-trade pact with the US is still on the cards, to obtain orders and secure jobs in the apparel trade. US trade negotiator Robert Solieck has assured Sri Lanka that they are pleased with its economic progress and are keen to sign up this year. more..

Small Change

Feb 18 (LBO) The government wants to hand out a state subsidy on rain guards for rubber smallholders, to encourage production and boost yields by as much as 30 percent in ten months. The state is looking at absorbing up to about 25 percent or as much as half the cost of laying rain guards for rubber trees on smallholder estates this year. more..

Sangaree walks out of crucial TULF meet

Feb 18 (TN) The crucial meeting of the TULF Wednesday to decide the party's stand on the April elections to the Sri Lankan Parliament ended inconclusively after party president Mr. V Anandasangaree walked out over strong disagreements with his collegues on the question of nominating candidates. more..

Three more teenagers give up LTTE and surrender

Feb 18 (SLA) Three teenagers who escaped from LTTE have surrendered to the Naval troops on duty at the New Jetty MUTTUR, about 13 km south of TRINCOMALEE on 17 February 2004 morning, seeking protection. more..

Twenty one year old son abducted, mother complains

Feb 18 (SLA) A complaint made to the KALAWANCHIKUDI Police Station on 17 February 2004 by a mother states that her 21-year old son was abducted by the LTTE when he was in the general area of the KALAWANCHIKUDI town. more..

Donor Co-Chairs call for early return to peace talks

Feb 18 (USDS) The co-chairs of the Tokyo Conference on Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka (the United States, European Union, Japan, and Norway) met in Washington today to discuss the international community’s support of Sri Lanka’s peace process. more..

Sri Lanka party scares investors

Feb 18 (IHT) The recent rise of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, or JVP, party in Sri Lankan politics has overseas and domestic investors concerned. JVP opposes privatization of state-owned assets and acquisition of Sri Lankan land by foreigners. more..

'Lanka not like India or Pakistan'

Feb 18 (MD) Australian vice-captain has contrasted the relaxed atmosphere of Sri Lanka with the ‘‘fanatical’’ interest in the game in India and Pakistan. more..

Sri Lanka name final squad for one-day series

Feb 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's selectors finalised their 15-man squad for the first two one-dayers against Australia on Wednesday, making two changes to the squad picked against England last November. more..

Dalziel source of leak in Sri Lankan deportation case

Feb 18 (Stuff) Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel was today exposed as running a media campaign against a deported Sri Lankan girl. Ms Dalziel yesterday claimed the girl's lawyers were guilty of mounting a "deliberate campaign of manipulation" of public opinion. more..

Indian fishermen in Sri Lanka begin protest fast

Feb 18 (IANS) Some 82 Indian fishermen, arrested while fishing in Sri Lankan waters, have begun an indefinite protest fast in the LTTE stronghold of Jaffna in northeast Sri Lanka. more..

'Chief financier' in nuclear network had close business ties with Malaysian PM’s son

Feb 18 (AP) A Sri Lankan accused of being the chief financial officer for an international nuclear black market sat on the board of a company owned by the Malaysian prime minister’s only son, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. more..

Chandrasekaran meets Thamilchelvan in Kilinochchi

Feb 18 (TN) Upcountry People's Front (UPF) leader and Minister in the UNF government, Mr.P.Chandrasekaran, met with Head of LTTE's Political Wing, S.P.Thamilchelvan, in Kilinochchi Wednesday morning and discussions on ways UPF can forge a common agenda with the NorthEast Tamil parties at the forthcoming elections, more..