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Does Sri Lanka's signature campaign have Tiger stamp

Feb 2 (OW) Amid suspicion that it is a rebel-backed drive, students in the northern city of Jaffna are launching a signature campaign on February 4 - Sri Lanka's Independence day - with a slew of controversial demands to the international community, including one to lift the ban on the LTTE. more..

Anti-Christian 'nationalism' creates debilitating fissures in Lankan society

Feb 2 (HT) No right thinking person will dispute that a revival of the extremely rich Sinhala-Buddhist culture will rekindle in Sri Lankans a sense of pride in their country at a time when this is wearing thin. But what Sri Lanka is witnessing today is not the revival of pristine Buddhism. more..

Sri Lanka to revive talks to end squabbling leaders' feud

Feb 2 (AFP) Top aides of Sri Lanka's squabbling president and prime minister will resume talks in a bid to hammer out a deal ahead of a key aid meeting in Washington this month, officials said. more..

Sri Lanka opposition calls for early polls

Feb 2 (Reuters) Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party, which sits in opposition in parliament, and allied groups called on Monday for early polls to end a stalemate in government and begin renewed talks with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Four Party Leaders sign pact with JVP-SLFP alliance

Feb 2 (TN) Leaders of four political parties Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP), National United Alliance (NUA), Sri Lanka Mahajana Party (SLMP) and Desha Vimukthi Janatha Peramuna (DVJP) Monday signed a pact with the newly formed United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) at a ceremony held at the BMICH, more..

EPDP to support JVP-SLFP alliance from outside

Feb 2 (TN) Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP), paramilitary group that works with the Sri Lankan armed forces in northeast, said in a Memorandum that it agrees with the policies of the newly formed United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and that it would extend its support to the UPFA, more..

Death penalty imposed by LTTE for desertion

Feb 2 (SN) Since LTTE could not cope with the dramatic increase in desertions, they have imposed death penalty for desertion. The latest victim of the penalty is reported from Mannar disctrict. On 28th December 2003, LTTE cadres attempted to abduct Jeyanthan John (age 20) in Pandarikandal of Mannar District. more..

ISGA proposal is in implementation stage now

Feb 2 (SN) While the south concentrates in-fighting and elections, the LTTE has commenced to slowly implement its proposal for Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA). One of the main demands of their proposals was the right to directly obtain the foreign aids. more..

Parliament will be dissolved on 7th Feb?

Feb 2 (SN) Reliable political sources told SinhalaNet that the President has decided to dissolve parliament on 7th February because of the pressure mounted by the JVP and the Christian fundamentalists. Astrologists have given three alternative days to dissolve the parliament. Out of these days, the most probable choice of the president is 7th February. more..

Michael Anthony Fernando attacked

Feb 2 (AT) Attack on the life of Mr. Michael Anthony Emanuel Fernando near the Kalubowila Hospital Road , this morning by an assailant describe as 'One with a beard,' was serious and condemnable. more..

NEERP funds hospital construction in Muttur east

Feb 3 (TN) Trincomalee district political head of the LTTE Mr. S. Thilak Monday noon laid the foundation stone for the proposed government hospital complex in Eachilapamathu village in the LTTE held Muttur east in the Trincomalee district. more..

NECORD funds new school buildings for Batticaloa district

Feb 3 (TN) Asian Development Bank funded North East Community Restoration Development (NECORD) project has selected 15 schools from the most backward areas in Batticaloa district for further development, sources said. more..

Sri Lanka PM due next Monday

Feb 3 (Nation) Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe will make an official three-day visit to Thailand starting next Monday, Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said yesterday. more..

BBC perceived as an ally of the LTTE

Feb 3 (ALZ) John Pilger in his column in the New Statesman (8th December.2003) "The BBC and Iraq: Myth and Reality" leaves no doubt in the mind of the reader that the BBC is continuing the policy of the first Director general John Reith recorded in his diaries "that impartiality was a principle to be suspended whenever the established order and its consensus were threatened." more..

Lawyers looking at bid to keep Sri Lankan teenager in NZ

Feb 3 (NZH) Lawyers for a severly abused Sri Lankan teenager are looking at further court action to stop her from being sent back to her homeland. The 16-year-old girl and her grandmother last week lost a legal battle to remain in New Zealand. more..

Tamil groups call for protests on I-Day

Feb 3 (Hindu) As Sri Lanka gears up to celebrate its 56th Independence Day, calls have been made by groups in the Tamil-majority northern and eastern districts to mark it as a "day of protest." more..

Amber Light

Feb 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s long-awaited sovereign rating has fallen victim to the ongoing political drama, with authorities opting to put the brakes on the issue once again. After toying with the idea for years, the government gave the greenlight late last year, to seek a country rating from at least two international rating agencies more..

President’s message for Hajj

Feb 3 (PSL) President Kumaratunga in a message to mark the Hajj festival, which fell yesterday, noted the importance of the day for the followers of Islam and said the Islamic precept of treating all alike would lead our country towards a solution to the existing crisis and help to build a prosperous Sri Lanka. more..

President’s Independence Day message

Feb 3 (PSL) President Kumaratunga in a message to mark Sri Lanka’s 56th Independence Day said the time has come for Sri Lanka to take stock of its achievements as an independent nation. “I believe we the elected leaders of Sri Lanka should reflect on how we would be remembered by the future generations. more..

Korea, Sri Lanka Share Commonalities

Feb 3 (KT) I am very pleased to send my greetings to the Seoul government and friendly people of South Korea through this column on the happy occasion of the 56th anniversary of Sri Lanka's independence, which is celebrated as Sri Lanka's National Day. more..

JVP-SLFP alliance heightens political tensions

Feb 3 (wsws) Political tensions in Sri Lanka have escalated following the decision of President Chandrika Kumaratunga to form an alliance between her Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). more..

Sri Lanka gears up for Bryan Adams bash

Feb 3 (AFP) Sri Lankan authorities announced tight security for Canadian pop icon Bryan Adams who is stopping over here for a concert in support of the island's peace drive. Police will deploy 400 constables in addition to dozens of private security officers at the venue next Tuesday for the 90-minute concert expected to be attended by a crowd of over 15,000, organisers said. more..

Thirteen more refugees arrive

Feb 3 (SLA) Thirteen Sri Lankan refugees arrived from India were arrested by Naval troops from the general area of the old pier at SOUTH BAR, TALAIMANNAR and delivered to the Police on 02 February 2004. The TALAIMANNAR Police are conducting investigations.

Chandrika, JVP alliance expands further

Feb 3 (Gulf) The newly formed alliance between President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party and the Marxist Janata Vimukti Perumana (JVP) yesterday expanded by getting four more political parties to join them and moved a step closer to a snap parliamentary election. more..

Pro-rebel groups plan protests on Independence Day

Feb 3 (Gulf) Pro-Tamil guerrilla organisations are planning to launch protest campaigns including hoisting of black flags in the north and eastern parts of Sri Lanka tomorrow coinciding with the Independence Day celebrations being held in the rest of the country. more..

Political Realignments and Peace Efforts

Feb 3 (PRIU) The electoral alliance of January 20, 2004, between the SLFP and the JVP, both with their support bases mainly in the Sinhalese segment of the electorate - has been subject to intense analysis and debate, producing a wide diversity of mutually irreconcilable views on its possible impact on the country's prospects for peace, stability and progress. more..

Sri Lanka Telecom could sack 1,000

Feb 3 (TT) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) will slash up to 1,000 jobs if the government succeeds in selling its remaining 49.5 per cent stake in the company, a workers union said at the weekend. The claims follow reports last week that the government wants SLT chairman Thilanga Sumathipala, who has been accused of breaking immigration laws to assist a gangster, removed from his post. more..

Aides of Lanka leaders push reconciliation bid

Feb 3 (AFP) Top aides of Sri Lanka’s squabbling president and prime minister will resume talks today in a bid to hammer out a deal ahead of a key aid meeting in Washington this month, officials said. more..

Prime Minister's Message for the 56th National Day

Feb 3 (MDN) This year's 56th National Day represents an important milestone on the road to peace and prosperity for all Sri Lankans. Despite recent upheavals we are about to celebrate two years of a ceasefire agreement that has already seen a more peaceful and prosperous environment in our island. more..

One third of Lanka's population in WP in future - Survey

Feb 3 (DN) A survey conducted by the Education Ministry has revealed that the Western Province will account for one third of the country's population in the near future. Hence the need has risen for a better developed primary school system as a major requirement to cater to all school going children in the country in the years to come. more..

Premier okays MoU; President yet to consider draft proposals

Feb 3 (DM) There will be no parliamentary election for at least for another year and the possible earliest date for it could be the date of the next Presidential election, according to a draft memorandum of understanding approved by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and likely to be signed soon if President Kumaratunga approves it. more..

Pro-LTTE Leader Vaiko Gets Conditional Bail

Feb 3 (NNN) Controversial Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) leader V Gopalswamy aka Vaiko, who has been detained under the Prevention Of Terrorist Act for over 18 months, was on Tuesday granted conditional bail by a POTA court in the city. more..

Pallai school reopens after 8 years

Feb 3 (TN) Kilinochchi district Government Agent, T.Rasanayagam, reopened Allipallai Government Mixed School in Pallai in its original location after eight years, local media reported. Displaced residents of Allipallai started resettling in their own lands beginning of year 2003, and have been lobbying for opening of their schools. more..

Long History Creates Diverse Culture

Feb 3 (KT) Recent excavations show that even during the Neolithic Age, there were food gatherers and rice cultivators in Sri Lanka. Documented history began with the arrival of a group of Indo Aryan speaking immigrants from northern parts of India in the fifth and sixth centuries B.C. more..

War Trauma Lingers In North Sri Lanka

Feb 3 (Bernama) Despite two years of calm and an end to bloody violence in Sri Lanka's war-battered northern city of Jaffna, the city's hospital still sees a stream of patients seeking treatment for mental trauma and depression. more..

Marshall leads Young WI past Lankans

Feb 3 (CMC) Xavier Marshall and Assad Fudadin hit half-centuries and then fast bowler, Lionel Baker, snared four wickets to help Young West Indies beat Young Sri Lanka by 29 runs in their One-Day practice cricket match at the Colombo Cricket Club Ground yesterday. more..

PM not keen on polls to end deadlock

Feb 3 (Reuters) Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is not keen on early polls despite opposition calls for an election to resolve a political standoff with the president, the head of his party said on Tuesday. more..

Sri Lanka brings out military might for independence celebrations

Feb 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka is bringing out its military hardware for the first time in six years for its independence anniversary amid fears that the country could slip back to war. Multi-barrel rocket launchers that helped stall a major Tamil rebel push to overrun the northern town of Jaffna in May 2000 were being paraded here Tuesday at rehearsals for Wednesday's celebrations. more..

Lankan I-Day fete in city

Feb 3 (NT) Even as Sri Lanka will be celebrating its 56th anniversary of Independence Day tomorrow, the Maha Bodhi Centre at Egmore here will be observing its nation's independence in a unique way. There are 30 Buddhist societies in the city and the Maha Bodhi Society has been an important place for Sri Lankan pilgrims visiting the country. more..

Rail Workers Demonstrate Over Govt Reforms

Feb 3 (AP) Thousands of striking railway workers demonstrated in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo Tuesday demanding the government withdraws reforms introduced to the state-owned institution. more..

Sri Lanka leaders to study fresh proposals to end feud

Feb 3 (AFP) Top aides of Sri Lanka's squabbling president and prime minister made fresh proposals to end the feud that has undermined peace efforts with Tamil rebels, officials said. The four aides will meet again Monday to discuss ways to break the deadlock more..

Stocks fall on snap election fears

Feb 3 (Reuters) Stocks fell 3.7 percent in early trade on Tuesday on fears of snap elections as a political row between the president and prime minister drags on, brokers said. Dealers said that elections could damage the economy, which has boomed in the past two years after a ceasefire was signed with the Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Anti-Christian feeling rises in Buddhist Sri Lanka

Feb 3 (Reuters) The church bells were silent at Christmas across Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka. After 20 years of civil war, Sri Lankans are no strangers to fear and violence, but as the island stumbles toward peace with the Tamil Tiger rebels it is grappling with a new problem -- a rise in anti-Christian sentiment. more..

Fernando to miss Australia one-day series

Feb 4 (CI) Dilhara Fernando, Sri Lanka's liveliest pace bowler and first-choice new-ball partner for Chaminda Vaas, will miss the forthcoming one-day series against Australia following another stress fracture in his lower back. Barring a miraculous recovery, Fernando is also a serious doubt for the three-match Test series, more..

Sri Lanka recall Lokuarachchi in training squad

Feb 4 (Reuters) Sri Lanka included rookie leg spinner Kaushal Lokuarachchi and left-arm spinner Rangana Herath in a 25-man training pool named on Tuesday for the one-day series against Australia in February and March. more..

Four Sri Lankans died in a stampede at the hajj stone throwing ritual

Feb 4 (AT) Reports from Saudi Arabia said that four Sri Lankan citizens who were on a pilgrimage to Mecca died during the Sunday stampede of a stone throwing ritual together with 240 other fellow Muslims from other parts of the world. more..

Sri Lankan girl given reprieve

Feb 4 (NZH) Immigration authorities have backed down from sending a sexually abused Sri Lankan girl home until aspects of her case are reassessed. Their rethink comes amid growing pressure on Associate Immigration Minister Damien O'Connor from Children's Commissioner Cindy Kiro and organisations such as Unicef, Amnesty International more..

Teachers proficient in 'Marine Fishery' needed - MP

Feb 4 (TN) TNA parliamentarian Mr.K.Thurairetnasingham and North East Provincial Education Ministry Secretary Mr.R.Thiagalingam Tuesday appealed to the Minister of Human Resources Development and Cultural Affairs to recruit Tamil medium teachers who are qualified to teach Marine Resources as a subject in the NorthEast schools, more..

SC confirms death sentence on Krishanthy murder accused

Feb 4 (TN) The Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court Tuesday confirmed the death sentence on the five Sri Lanka Army soldiers who were convicted for the rape and murder of four Tamils including a high school student, Krishanthy Kumarasamy, in 1996 in Jaffna district, legal sources said. more..

President, PM negotiators develop defense proposals

Feb 4 (AP) Top representatives of Sri Lanka's feuding president and prime minister have formulated a proposal to address thorny defense issues aimed at ending a bitter power struggle - threatening the island's best chance for peace in 20 years, officials on both sides said Tuesday. more..