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UPFA, UNP to launch election campaign Thursday

Feb 25 (TN) Two major Sinhala political parties, United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and UNP are to launch their election campaign with rallies scheduled to be held in Anuradhapura in the north central province and Kandy in central province on February 26 Thursday, more..

TNA, LTTE begin deliberations on manifesto

Feb 25 (TN) Party leaders of the TNA and the Liberation Tigers began deliberations on drafting the election manifesto of the TNA in Kilinochchi Tuesday. The meeting was adjourned in the afternoon for lunch. LTTE and TNA leaders said that the deliberation would continue later in the day and on Thursday. more..

Sri Lankan community to protest over report

Feb 25 (Stuff) Members of New Zealand's Sri Lankan community will protest this Saturday over what they claim was a biased and inaccurate TVNZ report that reflected badly on Sri Lankans. more..

Put pressure on Sri Lanka, says envoy

Feb 25 (NM) Norwegian Foreign Minister Jen Petersen yesterday urged all parties involved in the Sri Lankan peace process, particularly its sponsors, to remain engaged and push the negotiations forward. more..

Symonds seals Australian win

Feb 25 (CI) Australia bounced back from their one-run defeat at Dambulla, and the distraction of Adam Gilchrist and Andrew Symonds' disciplinary inquiries, to reclaim the advantage in this five-match series with a comfortable five-wicket victory against Sri Lanka under the lights at the Premadasa stadium. more..

Flaws removed, India hope to floor SL

Feb 26 (IE) It’s the kind of situation that separates men and boys. India take on Sri Lanka at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka tomorrow, the winner’s prize being a berth in the semifinal. With all four teams in the Super League Group 1 on 2 points, India must win to make sure they go through. more..

Angola And Sri Lanka Sign Bilateral Accord

Feb 26 (AA) Angola and Sri Lanka signed last Tuesday an accord, aiming at establishing diplomatic relations between both countries. The representative of Angola at the United Nations, Ismael Martins, and his Sri Lankan counterpart, Chithambaranathan Mahendran, signed the agreement, more..

SLRC renovates Trinco welfare centres with UNHCR funds

Feb 26 (TN) Trincomalee district branch of the Sri Lanka Red Cross (SLRC) is renovating four welfare centres in the Trincomalee district with one million rupees allocated by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sri Lanka. more..

TNA holds talks with LTTE on manifesto

Feb 26 (Hindu) Sri Lanka's four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) today began discussions with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to draft its manifesto for the coming Parliamentary elections, scheduled for April 2. more..

Official urges senate approval of Japan, Sri Lanka tax treaties

Feb 26 (WF) The Bush administration is urging Senate approval of new bilateral tax agreements with Japan and Sri Lanka that aim to eliminate barriers to trade and investment by setting clear ground rules on cross-border taxation issues, says a top Treasury Department official. more..

After Polls

Feb 26 (LBO) The telecom watchdog says it will decide when to implement a caller party pays (CPP) regime after April 12, 60 days from when it first announced the additional rates fixed-line users would pay to call a mobile. more..

Who’s The Fool?

Feb 26 (LBO) A new law to label food items gets activated from April 1, giving traders barely a month to redesign their packaging materials. April is certainly looking to be an eventful month for the local business sector. more..

Adding Up

Feb 26 (LBO) Industrial and agro exports claimed higher prices in 2003 compared to the prices for imports, shifting the terms of trade in Sri Lanka’s favour. The trend however did little to contain the trade deficit rising to US$ 1.54 billion for the full year in 2003, US$ 133 million over the 2002 deficit. more..

Two twenty-year old cadres and one teenager run away from LTTE

Feb 26 (SLA) Three young LTTE men, who fled LTTE camp at SAMPOOR, have surrendered to the MUTTUR Police station on 25 February 2004 around 7.30 in the morning, seeking protection. more..

Burnt dead body of the woman identified

Feb 26 (SLA) The charred remains of a woman lying inside a Catholic cemetery in the general area of KALLIYANKADU, about 01 km north of BATTICALOA town have been recovered by troops on mobile patrol on 25 February 2004. more..

Angry local fishermen stage protest

Feb 26 (SLA) A group of about 150-200 local fishermen in the general area of SATHKOTAI, about 02 km west of POINT PEDRO on 25 February 2004 staged a peaceful protest campaign to voice their opposition to assaults of Indian fishermen on local fisher-folk. more..

Two more Indian trawlers sighted

Feb 26 (SLA) Naval troops on duty in the general sea area north of DELFT during early hours on 25 February 2004 have sighted two Indian fishing trawlers poaching within Sri Lankan waters.

Former Army captives receive bonanzas

Feb 26 (SLA) Five soldiers of the Army, who were held captive by LTTE for a long period of time and subsequently released, were finally compensated for their bravery and determination on Tuesday (24) when they received keys for their newly-built houses gifted by Deshamanya Lalith Kothalawala. more..

Humanitarian de-mining in the Northeast goes on

Feb 26 (SLA) Pioneers in the field of De-mining, the Sri Lanka Engineers of the Sri Lanka Army, despite numerous setbacks and dearth of modern technical equipment and know-how, continue to engage themselves in the formidable task of humanitarian de-mining in war-affected Jaffna peninsula more..

People's Bank seeks capital, profit up

Feb 26 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's second-largest state bank, People's Bank, needs an injection of capital over the next four years, company officials said on Thursday after announcing higher profits in 2003 on a boom in local stock and bond markets. more..

Stocks gain on strong corporate earnings

Feb 26 (Reuters) Stocks ended higher on Thursday as strong corporate results drove buying, though brokers warned the market will remain volatile in the run-up to April 2 general elections. The key Colombo all-share index closed up 1.16 percent, or 13.88 points, at 1,213.46. more..

Sri Lanka 2003 trade deficit widens, exports recover

Feb 26 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's 2003 trade deficit widened by 9.2 percent to $1.54 billion from $1.41 billion in 2002, the central bank said on Thursday, as the island's expanding economy drove demand for investment and consumer goods. more..

Deported Sri Lankan girl's mother says she cannot be with her

Feb 26 (Stuff) The mother of a sexually abused Sri Lankan teenage girl deported by New Zealand's immigration authorities says that she wants to be with her daughter but is prevented by money problems. more..

Warne plans surprise ball

Feb 26 (BBC) Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne plans to introduce a new delivery in next month's Test series against Sri Lanka. "There's something I've been working on. I'm saving it for the Test series, if I get picked," said Warne. more..

Stop Bhikkus from electioneering

Feb 26 (LT) The Bhikkus forming a political party called ‘Jathike Hela Urumaya’ and forwarding nominations for the forthcoming General Election is an anti –Sasana act as well as against the code of discipline of Bhikkus says Ven. Madithiyawela Vijithesena Thero, Anunayake of Sri Lanka Ramaggna Chapter. more..

President launches campaign in Anuradhapura

Feb 26 (AP) President launched her campaign Thursday for re-election in April polls after dissolving parliament in her rift with the prime minister, a political power struggle that could mar the nation's chances for peace with Tamil rebels. more..

UNICEF assists Vavuniya health sector development

Feb 26 (TN) UNICEF Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Mr. Ted Chaiban Thursday handed over 1,288,000 rupees worth fourteen motorbikes to the Deputy Provincial Director of Health Services in the Vavuniya district to increase the mobility of health staff in the Vavuniya north division. more..

Tiger ban forces Tamils to keep off fray

Feb 26 (Gulf) A Tamil guerrilla ban on the main political parties fielding Tamil candidates in the north and eastern parts of Sri Lanka seriously affected the political parties contesting in the region as nominations for the April 2 snap parliamentary poll closed. more..

Politicians keen to expose financial scams of rivals

Feb 26 (Gulf) Sri Lanka's politicians are bent on exposing their rivals' corruption scandals ahead of the upcoming Parliamentary election in a bid to gain maximum mileage for their campaigns. more..

EPRLF decides to contest Jaffna as tribute to slain Subathiran

Feb 26 (DM) The EPRLF yesterday confirmed that they were presenting candidates to contest the elections in the Jaffna district as a tribute to their assassinated member Robert Subathiran. A statement of the EPRLF says that the EPRLF had decided to contest in Jaffna as a tribute to Comrade Robert Subathiran. more..

Don't approve Cabinet confirmed quasi appointments

Feb 26 (DN) President Kumaratunga yesterday requested the Public service Commission not to approve a Cabinet decision taken in her absence to confirm the temporary, casual and contractual employees on the personal staff of Ministers stating such appointments were incorrect and irregular. more..

Sri Lanka parties launch vote campaign amid violence

Feb 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka's main political parties were launching their campaigns for April's parliamentary elections amid reports of increased vote-related violence, police and monitors said. more..

Chandrika, Ranil to begin campaigning

Feb 26 (UNI) Sri Lanka's two major political parties, led by President Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe respectively, will launch their campaign today for the April 2 snap general elections, with a record number of nearly 6000 candidates running for 225 parliamentary seats. more..

Opinions differ on wicketless Murali

Feb 26 (Age) Muttiah Muralitharan has had 29 wicketless overs, averaged 61 and dismissed just two Australian batsmen over the past three limited-overs internationals. The wickets? Dry and dusty. The crowds? Pro-Sri Lanka. The "mystery" ball? Landing OK. more..

Police seek military help to quell violence

Feb 26 (AP) Sri Lanka's police have asked the army, navy and air force to help stop rising poll-related violence as the main political parties prepared to launch their election campaigns, officials said Thursday. more..

U.S. slams Sri Lanka rebels for rights abuses

Feb 26 (Reuters) The Tamil Tigers were accused of widespread rights abuses in a report released on Thursday that raises questions over whether the rebels would let opposing Tamil politicians campaign freely in Sri Lanka's upcoming election. more..

UPFA prepared to talk to LTTE - Kumaratunge

Feb 26 (TN) President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge Thursday afternoon launching the election campaign of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) at Anuradhapura said she is prepared to commence peace talks with the LTTE, more..

UNF committed to achieve lasting peace - Wickremesinghe

Feb 27 (TN) Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe launching the election campaign on behalf of the UNF Thursday evening at Kandy, appealed to the people to vote for the UNF which he said is committed to taking the peace process forward, political sources in Kandy said. more..

Jaffna Muslims express solidarity with LTTE

Feb 27 (TN) "We accept the leader of LTTE, Pirapaharan, as our leader. We are not in a position to accept the leadership of Rauf Hakeem from the SLMC," said Al Aleem Marleen, President of the Jaffna Muslims Peace Consortium speaking to reporters in Jaffna. more..

USAID funds training center for war-affected women

Feb 27 (TN) Regional Programme Manager of the USAID Ms.Brenda Barrett Thursday declared open a bi-lingual sewing training centre in the Trincomalee Government Technical College to assist war affected girls of three communities to find gainful employment. more..

Dhawan's ton help India reach semis, beat Lanka by 56 runs

Feb 27 (UNI) A swashbuckling 146 runs by in-form batsman Shikhar Dhawan helped India storm into the semi-finals, defeating Sri Lanka by 56 runs in ICC under-19 Cricket World Cup Super league group encounter at the Bangabandhu stadium here today. more..

Sri Lanka to expel Maldives activist

Feb 27 (BBC) The Sri Lankan government has given a well-known political activist from the Maldives, Mohammad Latheef, a week to leave the country. Mr Latheef said he believed the Sri Lankan government had succumbed to pressure from the Maldives where opposition parties are illegal. more..

Election campaigns start at holy sites

Feb 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's feuding president and prime minister kicked off parliamentary election campaigns at the island's most holy sites on Thursday with promises to end a two-decade separatist war with the Tamil Tigers. more..

US praises Sri Lankan government

Feb 27 (BBC) The US State Department's latest human rights report says the Sri Lankan government generally respected the rights of its citizens in 2003. But it says that Tamil Tiger rebels continued to commit serious abuses. more..

Expelled girl's role yet to be decided

Feb 27 (NZH) Auckland QC Kit Toogood has yet to decide how or even whether to contact the expelled Sri Lankan girl for his inquiry into her lawyer's guinea-pig notes. Mr Toogood was reluctant yesterday to discuss the inquiry, more..

Tamils hit Sinhalese in Upcountry

Feb 27 (SN) Sinhalese have become victims of Tamil anger after 12 year old schoolgirl was run over by a private bus killing her on the spot. This unfortunate incident took place in Norwood yesterday in the morning. Norwood is a small town situated 6Km towards Bogawanthalawa from Hatton. more..

Dilhara given chance to prove fitness

Feb 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka fast bowler Dilhara Fernando, who has been troubled by stress fractures in his back, has been given a chance to prove his fitness ahead of next month's test series against Australia after being named in a President's XI squad. more..

Long Journey

Feb 27 (LBO) Trade between India and Sri Lanka has jumped by 24 folds, but our giant neighbour still accounts for a fraction of total exports, a recent economic report reveals. From 1993 to 2003 exports from Sri Lanka to India has increased over 24 fold more..

It Stinks!

Feb 27 (LBO) Although once lucky with SARS and twice lucky so far with the Avian Flu the next outbreak of a new infectious disease could push luck beyond its limits - but at this point Sri Lanka has very little but luck to count on. more..

Quick Trot

Feb 27 (LBO) Rubber slippers made in Sri Lankan will walk into South India on Friday to cater to a market of over 62 mn people. Home grown family footwear manufacturer DSI is opening its first foreign retail outlet in Channai, India to test the Indian market for natural rubber products. more..