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Four Sri Lankans Die in Car Crash

Feb 5 (AN) Four Sri Lankans were killed in a car accident on Makkah-Jeddah Expressway on Tuesday. Fauzul Ameer, who works in a bank at Ruwais in Jeddah, told Arab News yesterday that he lost his wife, two children and brother-in-law in the accident. more..

More refugees return

Feb 5 (SLA) Thirty-three refugees including twelve children have been found landed on the beach in the general area of PERIYATHURAI DELFT on 03 February 2004 by Naval troops. more..

Civilians start a fast demanding return of lands

Feb 5 (SLA) A group of civilians have launched a fast in front of the Assistant Government Agent’s (AGA) office in CHAVAKACHCHERI on 04 February 2004 demanding the release of land in THANANKILAPPU. more..

Arnold back in Lanka squad

Feb 5 (AP) Batsman Russel Arnold and all-rounder Kaushal Lokuarachchi return to Sri Lanka's one-day squad announced yesterday for the upcoming series against Australia. The 25-man squad sent by Sri Lanka Cricket selectors for the sports minister's approval also includes uncapped batsmen Saman Jayantha and Thilina Kandambi who performed well in domestic tournaments. more..

Sri Lankan expatriates celebrate 56th Independence Day

Feb 5 (Gulf) Sri Lankan community in the UAE celebrated their country's 56th National Day yesterday by pledging their dedication to peace and prosperity. The occasion was marked at the Sri Lankan Consulate in Dubai where H.M.T Wijewickrema, the acting Consul General, lit a traditional lamp. more..

Collective effort must for peace: Chandrika

Feb 5 (Hindu) Sri Lanka today celebrated its 56th Independence Day with a rare public display of military hardware and a call by the President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, for a coming together of all political forces. She also `appreciated' the LTTE for its commitment to the ceasefire agreement. more..

Bird flu outbreak in Lanka remote

Feb 5 (DN) As migratory birds that come to Sri Lanka are from the West and not from Asia, the danger of an outbreak of Bird flu in this country is very remote, claim local experts who have conducted a study on Bird flu. According to this indepth study on the virus, not only poultry but human and pigs too could be affected. more..

Mano-Malik committee reaches Consensus

Feb 5 (DM) At last the three-month long political crisis, due to the tussle for the Defence Ministry, shows signs of ending with a new set of proposals agreed upon on Tuesday by the Mano Tittawela-Malik Samarawickrema committee. more..

Lanka grants amnesty to more than 2,000 prisoners

Feb 5 (AP) More than 2,000 prisoners have been granted amnesty to mark Sri Lanka's 56th independence anniversary celebrations, a senior official said on Thursday. President Chandrika Kumaratunga used her executive powers to pardon the prisoners — mainly those unable to pay fines or post bail. more..

Lankan airport opens after 10-hour closure

Feb 5 (PTI) Sri Lanka's only international airport reopened on Thursday after being shut for nearly 10 hours following the crash landing of a cargo plane that damaged the runway, an airport official said. more..

Sri Lanka truce healthy despite halt in peace talks

Feb 5 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's truce with Tamil Tiger rebels remains strong despite a feud paralysing Sri Lanka's government and a 10-month absence of peace talks, the new head of the truce monitors said on Thurdsay. more..

Rebuilt Trinco Orphanage celebrates golden jubilee

Feb 6 (TN) The rebuilt Trincomalee Sivananda Thabovanam (Spiritual Orphanage), which has currently given shelter to about two hundred children orphaned due to war in the Trincomalee district, held its golden jubilee celebration Thursday with the opening of a hospital for its inmates, children's playground and other facilities. more..

Tamil national unity forum launched in Colombo

Feb 6 (TN) “The greatest challenge before the Tamil people today is the coming together of Sinhala chauvinist forces bent on denying our rights. The alliance between JVP and President Kumaratunga’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party has gathered all the Sinhala chauvinist forces in strength under one umbrella. more..

No solution! The railway strike continues

Feb 6 (LT) Though the railway strike continues for the 10th day, no solution has been given by the authorities. Due to this strike about 300 train turns have been stopped and caused a loss of Rs. 50 Million to the Railway Authority. more..

Peasants ready to begin a hunger strike

Feb 6 (LT) All Island Peasants Congress ready to begin a hunger strike over dropping the prices of fertilizer. This hunger strike is due to be commenced on a stage that is being build up opposite the Port Railway station. more..

SLFP seeks dissolution of Parliament

Feb 6 (Hindu) The SLFP today requested the President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, to dissolve the island-nation's Parliament and call general elections. There has been no response from Ms. Kumaratunga, who is also the leader of the SLFP, to the request made by party leaders and MPs at a workshop here today to chart out a course of action to work with its new ally, the JVP. more..

Akashi calls for continued peace-building efforts in Sri Lanka

Feb 6 (Kyodo) Yasushi Akashi, Japan's special envoy on the Sri Lankan peace process, urged the international community Thursday to continue peace-building efforts in countries at risk of further conflict, such as Sri Lanka, but cautioned that such processes will take time. more..

Supporters to watch over Sri Lankan girl

Feb 6 (NZH) Supporters of a sexually abused Sri Lankan girl are coaxing her to eat and drink after a Government-commissioned psychiatrist raised concern about her health. The psychiatrist was alarmed to find the 16-year-old girl refusing food and liquids when he visited the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre to assess her fitness to be flown back to Sri Lanka. more..

LTTE opts for Estate youths

Feb 6 (IL) Information on a broad programme of forcibly recruiting innocent Tamil youths in estates, to the LTTE, has been uncovered. Details of this programme came to light after two of the three youths who were deceived and taken away from Nuwara-Eliya to the north managed to escape. more..

Fuel prices soar in North and East of Sri Lanka

Feb 6 (IL) The refusal by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation to pay 'LTTE tax' on fuel to the North-East has resulted in the LTTE reportedly imposing a Rs. 5 tax on civilians in the province. Sources said that the LTTE has imposed a Rs. 5 hike on every litre of petrol and diesel sold to civilians living in the North-East. more..

G.L. sounds warning bell

Feb 6 (IL) Cabinet Spokesman and Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday declared that if the country’s leadership failed to resolve their differences within the next three months and failed to resume peace talks soon Sri Lanka will lose the Rs. four billion as aid pledged at the Tokyo aid summit last year. more..

Sri Lanka set to enter auto export market

Feb 6 (Jang) Sri Lanka - the tiny island in South Asia - has become a passenger vehicle exporter with its scheduled export of 300 cars to Malta, annually. Sri Lanka’s sole car manufacturing company - Transmec Engineering - has received an order for 300 Micro cars annually from Malta. more..

Speed Bumps

Feb 6 (LBO) A shortfall of quality hotel rooms could crimp Sri Lanka’s chances of cashing in on the booming tourism market, says a new sector report. But the industry is hard pressed to ride the crest, due to high costs to roll out refurbishment and expansion plans, as it is still recovering from a period of non-profitability. more..

Break Free

Feb 6 (LBO) Indian telco giant, Videsh Sanchara Nigam Ltd (VSNL) has started routing traffic to Colombo, becoming the first to effectively compete with Sri Lanka Telecom on the international data and voice market. Starting late Tuesday, VSNL started transferring part of its international bandwidth through the SEA-ME-WE III submarine cable. more..

Jaffna schools said lacking basic facilities

Feb 6 (TN) Educational International consultant Mr. Iyathurai Rajaguru, who is on a visit to Sri Lanka, described at a discussion held with representatives of the Ceylon Tamil Teachers Union and education officials in Trincomalee, that he was shocked to see students studying in a school in Chavakachcheri sitting on broken furniture and without a blackboard. more..

Fasting Jaffna famer's condition said deteriorating

Feb 6 (TN) The condition of Mr. Sellakili Anandaranjan, the farmer who began fasting to death in Chavakachcheri from Wednesday, is deteriorating, relatives said. The farmer started the fast unto death protest against the Sri Lankan armed forces for occupying the homes and fields of hundreds of farming families in Thenmaradchi more..

A family including an infant in a blood bath

Feb 6 (SN) A family of three, including an infant, were murdered on 14th Jan 2004 in Kanakampuliyady, Chavakachcheri. Their throats were slit by sharp weapons; including that of the infant. The three are Ilankainathan Suthakaran (38), Swarnawathy Suthakaran (29) and Vathanan Suthakaran (Infant, 8 months old). more..

Tiger for LTTE. No Lotus for UPFA

Feb 6 (SN) The Election Commissioner, Mr Dayananda Disanayake turned down the request of United People’s Freedom Alliance to allocate Lotus flower as their symbol. The UPFA announced that their symbol was Lotus at the ceremony held to sign the MOU between the PA and the JVP. more..

Tamil separatists promote division of India

Feb 6 (SN) Tamil Nadu Liberation Front (TNLF) has launched a website on 1st December 2003 to promote the concept of greater Tamil Nadu. The TNLF has four demands with a view to achieve the Chola empire which was in existence 1000 years ago. more..

Elle Gunawansa Thero charged Japan and Norway not interested in any altruistic love for Sri Lanka

Feb 6 (AT) Venerable Elle Gunawansa Thero charged neither Japan nor Norway were offering to help Sri Lanka’s peace for the altruistic love of the nation and both nations would like to force a system on Sri Lanka that would help the business interests to succeed eventually. more..

Chandrika's party hints at snap poll

Feb 6 (Gulf) President Kumaratunga's party yesterday dropped a strong signal that her party was preparing for a snap parliamentary election. The party cautioned public sector officials not to help ruling party ministers to cover up allegations of corruption by removing vital documents from state institutions ahead of a possible change of the government. more..

Sri Lanka's oldest woman dies at 116

Feb 6 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's oldest living woman who broke her father's record of 110 years, died on Thursday at a village in southern Galle district at the age of 116. The women named O. T. Engonona died after a brief illness in her hut and her funeral will take place on Friday evening at her village. more..

Rally round us to achieve aspirations, says Mahinda

Feb 6 (DN) Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapakse called on the public to support the SLFP-JVP Alliance. "We need your courage and support in the future. Rally round us to achieve your aspirations," Rajapakse said at Dodamgaslanda Palleyaya Sri Vidyaraja Maha Vidyalaya recently. more..

Estate schools short of 10,000 teachers

Feb 6 (DM) The up-country plantation sector schools were suffering from a dearth of teachers and infrastructure facilities, Nuwara-Eliya district Up-country People's Front member for the Central Provincial Council (CPC), said yesterday. more..

Arnold to lead President's XI against Australia

Feb 6 (CI) Russel Arnold will lead a Sri Lanka Cricket President's XI against Australia on February 17. The warm-up match will be Australia's only chance of acclimitising to match conditions in the subcontinent before the opening one-dayer against Sri Lanka on February 20 at Dambulla. more..

LTTE men abuse and threaten army soldiers

Feb 6 (SLA) Two unidentified persons, suspected to be from LTTE, have abused and threatened two army soldiers who were on duty in the general area of ACHCHUVELI, about 15 .5 km. northeast of JAFFNA town on 05 February 2004 around 11.20 a.m. more..

Unidentified group attacks AGA’s office

Feb 6 (SLA) A group of unidentified persons have allegedly attacked the Assistant Government Agent’s (AGA) office in VALIKAMAM SOUTH about 14 km. northwest of JAFFNA town during early hours on 05 February 2004. more..

Young girl abducted by LTTE

Feb 6 (SLA) A civilian residing in the general area of THAMBALAGAMUWA has complained that a group of armed LTTE cadres abducted his daughter on 05 February 2004. The eighteen year old victim is an ex-LTTE cadre who had escaped from the LTTE some times ago. more..

Fourteen year old son abducted, complains father

Feb 6 (SLA) A complain made to the KALMADU police post on 05 February 2004 by a civilian states that his 14 year old son was abducted by the LTTE when he was in the general area of MARAWANAKULAM. According to the victim’s father, the LTTE has abducted his son on 03 February 2004. more..

Sri Lanka's Tigers stay away from truce review talks

Feb 6 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels stayed away from a key meeting aimed at reviewing their truce with government forces in the northern peninsula of Jaffna, the Scandinavian ceasefire monitors said. more..

Jaffna IDP protest concluded

Feb 6 (TN) The fast unto death protest in Chavakachcheri and Tellipalai in Jaffna were concluded Friday after assurances by TNA MPs and a senior official from the Prime Minister’s Office in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka looks to stars for clues on snap poll

Feb 6 (Reuters) Will she or won't she? For weeks now, Sri Lankans have wondered whether President Chandrika Kumaratunga will call snap elections. In most countries, politicians watch opinion polls to help make such decisions, but in Sri Lanka the clue may lie in the stars. more..

Railway strike called off

Feb 7 (TN) The ten day general railway strike in Sri Lanka was called off Friday night after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government gave an assurance that it will consider reversing the process to run the island’s railways under a semi government authority. more..

Muslim MPs urged to unite

Feb 7 (IL) Innocent Eastern Muslims who face unlimited harassment by the LTTE have demanded all Muslim parliamentarians to leave behind their petty political affiliations and unite towards a stronger Muslim representation, and have also urged their representative to try and find solutions to safeguard them from the Tiger atrocities. more..

Peace doomed due to PA-JVP combination

Feb 7 (IL) The Peace process that was sustained with much effort for a period of two years would definitely be in great peril in the hands of a Government partnered by the JVP as they are not committed at all to the pursuit of peace. more..

De-linking aid from peace may work

Feb 7 (FE) The four-year $4.5 billion aid package that the donor countries had voted at their Tokyo meeting last June is still waiting to be put to effective use. The reason: the donors had made it clear at the time that the actual disbursements would be linked to “tangible progress” achieved in carrying forward the peace process on the ground. more..

Indian fishermen in Lankan prisons demand common fishing pact

Feb 7 (UNI) Indian fishermen, remanded in the Jaffna prisons for allegedly fishing in Lankan waters, have called for a common fishing agreement between the governments of India and Sri Lanka to formalise fishing in territorial waters. more..

Pakistani cyclists to figure in Tour de Sri Lanka

Feb 7 (DT) A 12-member Pakistan squad will compete in the Tour de Sri Lanka cycle race to be run from February 24 to 29. The contingent, comprising six men, three women and three officials, will leave for Sri Lanka on February 22. more..

Lankan airline to launch Hyderabad service

Feb 7 (GD) PASSENGERS to India from Bahrain are being offered a new service to Hyderabad by SriLankan Airlines. The airline will offer flights between Colombo and Hyderabad every Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, starting on February 22, said Bahrain sales manager Ajith De Alwis. more..

New Floors

Feb 7 (LBO) Lanka Tiles is trying to break a ‘lowering-revenue-increasing-cost’ cycle this year by shifting its raw material supply base from West to East and increasing production capacity. more..