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Kumara wins amateur golf title

Feb 23 (AFP) Sri Lankan Lalith Kumara won Pakistan’s national championship here on Sunday, beating an Indian duo in the race to become the best South Asian golfer. Kumara, 25, from Colombo, finished with a nine-under-par 285 more..

Love From India

Feb 23 (LBO) The promoters of India’s first Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) system have offered to help the government to set up a similar system to help ease congestion in Colombo. Delhi Metro, India’s first MRT has submitted a feasibility study report to the government, which has been accepted in principle. more..

Getting Cold

Feb 23 (LBO) The refuse tea export, though illegal, has become the latest threat facing the tea industry, adding to other global pressure. The export demand for fiber and stalk from the tea plant called refuse tea has spawned a whole industry undermining the image and the quality of the brand ‘Pure Ceylon Tea.’ more..

Battle of the Brew

Feb 23 (LBO) Niche brewers Three Coins, will flag off the upcoming ‘Royal-Thomian’, and keep fevered spirits high at the traditional Battle of the Blues, with its limited edition draught beer ‘Blue Spirit’. more..

TNA submits nomination lists for NE electoral districts

Feb 23 (TN) The TNA Monday noon submitted its nominations for the five electoral districts, Jaffna, Vanni, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai, in the Tamil dominated northeast province. TNA fielded its candidates in the name of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) and its election symbol "HOUSE". more..

Ten groups compete in elections for Vanni district

Feb 23 (TN) Vavuniya Government Agent (GA) and Vavuniya election officer, K.Ganesh, accepted nominations papers from three independent groups and seven different political parties for the Vanni electoral district comprising Vavuniya, Mannar and Mullaitivu districts, more..

LTTE’s attempt to dupe fails

Feb 23 (SLA) An LTTE attempt to dupe Security Forces into believing that three passengers inside a vehicle proceeding towards un-cleared areas were of the same family (mother and two sons) was foiled at OMANTHAI Entry/Exit point on 21 February 2004 since passengers when questioned contradicted what the LTTE men claimed. more..

Military uniform-clad armed men rob businessman’s jewellery

Feb 23 (SLA) An armed group of four unidentified men, attired in military-type uniforms fired at a business assistant and robbed his jewellery worth Rs.10 million (about US $ 10309) while he was in the general area of VARANI Rd in CHAVAKACHCHERI on 21 February 2004 around 8.45 a.m. more..

More and more Indian trawlers poach in Sri Lankan waters

Feb 23 (SLA) Naval troops on duty in the general sea areas of ANALATHIVU, SOUTH OF DELFT ISLAND and SAND BANKS have observed a total of 106 Indian trawlers engaged in poaching in Sri Lankan waters respectively on 18, 20 and 21 February 2004. more..

LTTE rob two fishing canoes

Feb 23 (SLA) An unidentified LTTE man in the company of four other unknown men had robbed two fibre glass canoes on 20 February 2004 while they remained anchored at PATTI-ADY fishing lagoon in THOPPUR. more..

Australians accuse U.S. air authorities of hauling them off flight because of their skin color

Feb 23 (AP) The government said Monday it had spoken to U.S. officials about the treatment of four young Australian men of Sri Lankan origin who were hauled off a U.S. flight, handcuffed and interrogated for hours on apparent suspicion of terrorism. more..

Rupee slips on importer demand for dlrs

Feb 23 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee slipped in thin trade on Monday, with importer demand for dollars and an upcoming election keeping the currency under pressure. The rupee closed at 99.00 against the dollar, compared to Friday's close of 98.95. more..

Bhikkus contesting elections is an omen of a catastrophe

Feb 23 (LT) Buddhist priests on various pretexts deciding to contest elections is a premonition of a future catastrophe of the sasana say the Prelates of Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters. more..

A new Constitution form the Alliance Govt.

Feb 23 (LT) The President has decided to convert the government formed by the United People’s Freedom Alliance at the General Election on 2nd April to a Constitutional Assembly say sources at President’s House. more..

Passengers who misbehaved pay Dh 50,000 to Air Lanka

Feb 23 (KT) Ten French nationals have paid Dh 50,000 to Sri Lankan Airlines so that the airline drops a civil suit against them for their actions on a Sri Lankan airlines flight from Paris to Colombo, their lawyer Hussein Al Jaziri confirmed on Sunday. more..

Kuwaiti envoy hails ties with Sri Lanka

Feb 23 (KT) Kuwait Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Abdullah Al-Sanoosi yesterday commended the relations between the two countries, describing them as positive in all aspects. Al-Sanoosi was speaking on the occasion of the 43rd National Day and the 13th Liberation Day of Kuwait more..

Sri Lanka invites bids for international airport project

Feb 23 (DJ) The government called for expressions of interest Monday for the development of a second international airport. "The government invites expressions of interest from reputed organizations/ consortia/joint ventures for the development of an international airport at Kudaoya in Southern Sri Lanka," more..

Lanka probes middleman's local business connections

Feb 23 (Gulf) Sri Lanka has begun probing the local business connections of one of its nationals, Buhary Syed Abu Tahir, the middleman who acted for Pakistani nuclear scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan. more..

LTTE bans Tamils from contesting

Feb 23 (TP) The LTTE has imposed a ban on any Tamils contesting the forthcoming general elections for parties representing the president or the prime minister in the North and East. more..

Lawmakers asked to vacate residence

Feb 23 (TP) Parliament Secretary General Priyani Wijesekara has asked former parliamentarians occupying official residences near the legislature to vacate them since parliament has been dissolved, newspapers reported. The deadline for the vacation of these premises has been set for March 7. more..

India's private airlines to fly to Sri Lanka

Feb 23 (Reuters) India's private airlines can begin flying to neighbouring Sri Lanka under a new policy, the civil aviation minister said on Monday, breaking a decades-old monopoly of state-owned carriers over international routes. more..

Aussie cricketers face inquiry

Feb 23 (CM) TWO Australian cricketers will face a disciplinary inquiry today on dissent charges following an umpire's decision in their second one-day international against Sri Lanka. Australia lost yesterday's match in Dambulla by a solitary run. more..

Ranil seeks fresh mandate for a stable government

Feb 23 (UNI) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called on the people to give his United National Front (UNF) a fresh and clear mandate to form a stable government for the next six years in order to bring peace and economic stability in the country. more..

One more Lankan involved in N-ring, say reports

Feb 23 (TP) A Dubai-based Sri Lankan businessman at the centre of an international scandal involving two Pakistani senior nuclear scientists who allegedly sold nuclear technology to Iran and Libya has apparently dragged another Sri Lankan into the drama, more..

National Muslim Congress, Freedom Alliance sign MoU

Feb 23 (DN) The Freedom Alliance is firmly committed to protecting the rights of the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim and other communities by preserving their own identities, President Chandrika Kumaratunga told a gathering of religious dignitaries, intellectuals, community leaders and a group of businessmen in the East more..

CBK surprised at the resignation of de Mels

Feb 23 (DM) In what is seen as the biggest understatement of the election campaign, President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said she was surprised by the resignation of Ronnie and Mallika De Mel from the United People's Freedom Alliance. more..

President's propaganda tolls, the state media biased

Feb 23 (NW) The UNP charged yesterday that the state media were continuing to act in an appalling manner as the propaganda tools of the President in the election campaign in cynical contempt even of the guidelines issued by the PA's new media minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar. more..

Sri Lanka's troubled Jaffna library opens to students

Feb 23 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Jaffna library, a cultural icon for the country's minority Tamil community, quietly reopened to students on Monday, more than two decades after it was gutted in an act of ethnic violence. more..

A fine gesture that will strengthen the game

Feb 23 (CI) World cricket woke up stronger on Monday morning. Not just because it had witnessed a pulsating game of one-day cricket between Sri Lanka and Australia in Dambulla – a rarity for such a formulaic version of the game – but because an ancient spirit of the game was awoken in the fierce heat of battle. more..

Prospect of return to Sri Lanka brings fear

Feb 23 (Age) Hundreds of Sri Lankans settled in Victoria fear the Federal Government is about to forcibly return them to their war-torn homeland. Among them is "Rani", who has lived in Australia with her husband and two children on bridging visas for 10 years. more..

Monks, Marxists at centre of Sri Lanka election race

Feb 23 (Reuters) After 20 years of war, Sri Lanka kicks off its first election under ceasefire on Tuesday with saffron-robed monks and Marxists among those filing nominations for April's parliamentary vote. more..

Sri Lanka name unchanged one-day squad

Feb 23 (Reuters) Sri Lanka have named an unchanged squad for the third and fourth one-day internationals against Australia. The third game of the five-match series starts under lights in Colombo on Wednesday on what is expected to be another spin-friendly surface. more..

Sri Lanka claims Indian boats increasing poaching

Feb 23 (PTI) Sri Lanka 's military today claimed that it had noticed a stepping up of poaching by Indian trawlers off the island's northern waters. At least 106 Indian trawlers were within Sri Lankan waters off the islets of Analathivu and Delft on three consecutive days, more..

Rauff Hakeem to contest for Digamadulla District

Feb 23 (NW) Muslim Congress leader Mr. Rauff Hakeem is not to contest his home town Kandy this time, and he will be leading the Muslim Congress team for the Digamadulla District, in the Eastern province. more..

UXO eplosion kills one, injures two in Jaffna

Feb 24 (TN) Vettivel Sivaloganathan, 37, a resident of Gurunagar died on the spot and two others, Antony Prasanna (22) and S.Johnson (24), also of Gurunagar, sustained grievous injuries when a live artillery shell found abandoned in the Ariyalai-Nedunkulam area in the Jaffna town exploded Monday afternoon at about 12.35 p.m., police said. more..

Tell me I've been dreaming

Feb 24 (Age) It's been an interesting few days to say the least and with our one-day series against Sri Lanka now locked at one win apiece, I am sure the weird and wonderful will not end there. more..

Sri Lanka: British and Norwegian ministers discuss developments

Feb 24 (FCO) Foreign Office Minister Mike O'Brien today met with the State Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vidar Helgesen, to discuss recent developments in Sri Lanka, including the forthcoming elections. more..

Pt.Pedro fisherman attacked by Indian poachers, missing

Feb 24 (TN) Kanagaretnam Ratnam Sivanandam (31), one of the three Jaffna fishermen who were alleged to have been attacked by a group of Indian poachers with swords in the northern sea Monday morning is reported to be missing. more..

"Elections will strengthen LTTE's position" - Sampanthan

Feb 24 (TN) "We openly state that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is contesting the forthcoming general election on behalf of the LTTE," said Tamil National Alliance lead candidate in Trincomalee district, Mr.R.Sampanthan, more..

Complaining election chief, reluctant monks in Lanka polls

Feb 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka's upcoming elections will be conducted by a man who is fed up and wants to quit, the campaign includes saffron-robed Buddhist monks who detest politics and few want the ballot in the first place. more..

LTTE claim to set the theme for electoral battle

Feb 24 (Hindu) Exactly two years after the guns fell silent in Sri Lanka the battle for the ballot began today in the Tamil majority north-eastern districts, with the LTTE embarking on an indirect Parliamentary political offensive. more..

Poor Show

Feb 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka may fall short of achieving a projected six percent growth this year, as politicking keeps investors at bay, Finance Minister K N Choksy said. Despite political jitters post November 11, the country notched a 5.6 percent growth last year, in line with Central Bank’s expectations, Choksy said. more..

Private Tours

Feb 24 (LBO) Privately owned helicopters could come to the rescue in medical and natural disasters and fly in to transport shipping crew between land and sea before long. Helicopters are due to make a comeback to Sri Lanka skies after initial groundings in 1995 and the new arrivals will not be limited to tourist transport. more..

Mushroom Magic

Feb 24 (LBO) The centuries-old therapeutic magic of the Ganoderma mushroom, ranked by the ancients of China and Japan as the king of some 38,000 varieties of mushroom found on the planet, will soon be just a sip away for Sri Lankans. more..

Bits and Baggage

Feb 24 (LBO) Waving in traffic from the web, the Tourist Board on Tuesday launched the first phase of its country promotion web portal. is a complete overhaul of its previous static website, replacing it with dynamic content that appeal to the modern traveller who demands more information on the web. more..

'Vaasy showed his class' - John Dyson

Feb 24 (CI) John Dyson, Sri Lanka's coach, has praised his team for pulling off a nailbiting one run victory against Australia, a result which he believes will be a major confidence-booster for the rest of the series. more..

Local fisherman missing after rift between local and Indian fishermen

Feb 24 (SLA) A heated rift between local and Indian poachers in the general sea area off POINT PEDRO during early hours on Tuesday morning (24 February 2004) resulted in the disappearance of a local fisherman and severe injuries to two others. more..

Ignorance brings death to civilian

Feb 24 (SLA) A civilian completely ignorant of the danger of a mortar-bomb fell victim to it in the general area of COLUMBUTHURAI, about 4 km. east of JAFFNA town when he along with two others tried to cut it into pieces on 23 February 2004 around 2.15 p.m. more..

Men removing rails arrested

Feb 24 (SLA) Two men, caught by troops on mobile duty while they were removing rails on the railway track in the general area of OMANTHAI, about 10 km north of VAVUNIYA, were taken in for questioning by Police on 23 February 2004 around 10.45 a.m. more..

Man holding gun arrested

Feb 24 (SLA) A man in possession of a locally-made gun was arrested by troops on 23 February 2004 while he was in the general area of ICHCHANKULAM, about 12 km northwest of VAVUNIYA. The suspect, KANDASWAMY IGNESHWARAN (24) was subsequently handed over to the VAVUNIYA Police station for further investigations. more..