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Sri Lanka is in a directionless moment of drift - Prof.Uyangoda

Feb 13 (TN) Third parliamentary elections in four years indicate that Sri Lanka's "political order is unstable, the polity is acutely fragmented, political forces are divided in hostility and the country is in a directionless moment of drift," writes Professor Uyangoda more..

Highest ranking USAID official visits Jaffna

Feb 13 (TN) Mr. Mark S.Ward, Deputy Administrator of the Assistant Administrator of the Asia and Near East Bureau, USAID, visited Jaffna Thursday to evaluate the progress of several USAID projects providing development assistance to the people of Jaffna, civil society sources said. more..

Election should focus on future coexistence and cooperation - NPC

Feb 13 (TN) Noting that Sri Lanka is facing its third general election in less than four years and the country is plunged into an election when it is faced with acute financial difficulties, the National Peace Council (NPC), a Colombo based Sri Lankan peace group, in a media release issued in Colombo today said more..

TNA readies to face poll with ‘house’ or 'lighthouse'

Feb 13 (TN) General secretary of the Federal Party, Mr. Mavai Senathirajah and general secretary of the TELO, Mr. Indrakumar Prasanna, informed Commissioner of Elections their party’s intent to contest following uncertainty over the TULF's legal wrangle, a spokesman for the Tamil National Alliance said Wednesday. more..

Vehicle defying stop order fired

Feb 13 (SLA) Policemen on mobile patrol were compelled to open fire at a vehicle in the general area of NAVATKADU, about 3.5 km northeast of KODIKAMAM on 12 February 2004 after it defied to stop when signalled to do so. more..

Local fishermen nab Indian poachers and deliver to Police

Feb 13 (SLA) Irate local fishermen in the general sea area north of ALVAI, POINT PEDRO continued to nab Indian fishermen and their trawlers while they were poaching in the Sri Lankan waters on 11 and 12 February 2004. more..

Minor explosion in garbage dump

Feb 13 (SLA) Police along with Naval troops rushed and commenced investigations into the circumstances that caused a minor explosion in the general area of MANNAR on 12 February 2004 while a civilian set fire to a garbage dump nearby his home compound. more..

Fishermen using gelignite arrested

Feb 13 (SLA) Naval troops on mobile duty in the general area of PALLAIMUNAI on 12 February 2004 arrested a fibre glass dinghy with four men on board on suspicion while they were using gelignite for fishing. more..

Sri Lanka raises some oil product prices due to global rise

Feb 13 (DJ) Sri Lanka's state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corp., or Ceypetco, has increased prices of some petroleum products in line with higher global prices, a company official said Friday. The price of gasoline has been increased by 2 Sri Lankan rupees more..

Seven Seas wins Lanka deal

Feb 13 (TA) The Dubai-based Seven Seas Computers has won a deal to deploy its hotel management system at Sri Lanka's Connaissance Holdings, a publicly listed hotel group. The installation of the 'momentohs' hotel management system at three of Connaissance's hotels and its head office will be done over the next four months, more..

Pak offers to play India in Lanka

Feb 13 (TOI) The cash-strapped Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is willing to offer India the option of playing the Test and one-day international series even in Sri Lanka if all other avenues — including president Pervez Musharraf talking to Prime Minister Vajpayee one-on-one to salvage the tour fails more..

Stocks rise on hopes for gov't poll win

Feb 13 (Reuters) Stocks jumped for a third straight day on Friday as the market placed a bet on the pro-business governing UNP party winning the April 2 elections, brokers said. The key Colombo all-share index finished up 2.9 percent, or 31.17 points, at 1,119.33 points. more..

Economy heading towards uncertain future

Feb 13 (Gulf) The abrupt dissolution of parliament last week shocked the island's private sector which time and again pleaded with political leaders to sort out their differences through negotiations rather than plunging the country into yet another uncertain future with a general election. more..

PM’s contention dismissed

Feb 13 (PSL) The Presidential Secretariat yesterday dismissed a claim by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe that the dismissal of three non-cabinet ministers had affected relief distribution work in the North-East and other matters pertaining to the peace process. more..

Bribery bomb wreaks havoc in UNF

Feb 13 (DN) Fourteen Ministers of the United National Front Government and six powerful officials are facing allegations of bribery and corruption amounting to billions of rupees. A complaint in this regard was lodged by a group of SLFP members to the Commissioner of Bribery and Corruption, more..

Major new move to stop rigging

Feb 13 (DM) In a significant move to curb rigging or other malpractice, the Elections Commissioner has for the first time provided official accreditation to a local group to monitor the upcoming general elections from within the polling stations. more..

UNHCR ExCom. Cautions Against "Gap" in Assistance to IDP's and Returnees

Feb 13 (AT) The chairman of the Executive Committee of the UNHCR, Ambassador Jean-Marc Boulgaris, today cautioned that the immediate humanitarian needs of more than 380,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in North and East should not be neglected in the midst of a growing focus on development activities and the general election. more..

Sri Lankan Army fights security fears amid pressure to return homes

Feb 13 (OW) Government troops in Sri Lanka's war-ravaged Northern Jaffna district are caught in a cleft stick between security concerns and demands from Internally Displaced People (IDPs) for the return of their homes. more..

Moving into election mode

Feb 13 (FL) Sri Lanka moves from a phase of political uncertainty to that of an electoral one as the President dissolves Parliament, and the LTTE is watching the situation to see how best it can derive long-term advantage from the political imbroglio. more..

Malaysia ties up with Sri Lankan Airlines to lure Indian tourists

Feb 13 (Bernama) Tourism Malaysia has entered into a tie-up with Sri Lankan Airlines to attract more Indian tourists. The tie-up offers a special package to Indian tourists from Delhi and Mumbai proceeding to Kuala Lumpur. more..

US warns Sri Lanka against political instability

Feb 13 (AFP) Sri Lanka's worsening political crisis is jeopardising international support needed to rebuild the country's war-ravaged economy, a senior US development official said. Mark Ward, the US deputy assistant administrator for the USAID, said widespread, multi-partisan support was necessary to take Sri Lanka's fragile peace bid forward. more..

US asks Lankans to take responsibility for carrying peace process forward

Feb 13 (HT) A top US official on Friday ticked off Sri Lankans for not doing enough to further the peace process in their war-ravaged country. Mark S Ward, the highest USAID official in charge of South Asia, told newsmen in Colombo on Friday, that other countries would be able to help, but the bulk of the responsibility for taking the peace process forward should be taken up by the Sri Lankans themselves. more..

LTTE leader rushes back to Lanka over poll nominations

Feb 13 (HT) SP Tamilchelvam, leader of the LTTE's political wing, is cutting short his European tour and rushing back to Kilinochchi to settle conflicts brewing among the Tamil parties and finalise the nominations for the Sri Lankan parliamentary elections due on April 2. more..

President denies risking peace bid with Tigers

Feb 13 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president has denied risking an internationally-backed bid to end ethnic bloodshed with her action against the government of her rival prime minister, officials said. more..

President tightens grip ahead of snap polls

Feb 13 (AP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga further pressured her rival, the prime minister, Friday by banning government appointments and promotions, as the U.S. warned political instability could threaten crucial overseas aid. more..

Poachers to be handed over to Indian Navy

Feb 13 (TN) Pt. Pedro judge Mr. K. Ariyanayagam ordered that 22 Indian fishermen who were produced in court Friday should be handed over to the Indian Navy through the Sri Lanka Navy in 24 hours. more..

Key LTTE leaders to meet in Zurich for 'strategic discussion'

Feb 13 (UNI) Key leaders of the Tamil Tiger rebels will meet today in Switzerland to "workout strategic actions" in response to the sudden political developments in Colombo, mainly the dissolution of Parliament and the forthcoming general elections, scheduled to be held on April 2. more..

Sri Lanka’s SC hears case over voters' register

Feb 14 (TN) The Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court Friday took up the fundmental rights case filed by four Amparai voters over the use of voters' register compiled in 2000 in the local government elections, scheduled for February 21, more..

SL soldiers charged in Chavakachcheri for traffic offence

Feb 14 (TN) The Chavakachcheri Police Friday filed plaint against two soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army in the Magistrate’s court, charging them for causing injuries to a Tamil civilian by hitting him with their field motorbike on January 9th along the Post Office road in Chavakachcheri, more..

“Ama Wessa” Today

Feb 14 (SN) “Ama Wessa” Buddhist youth program will be held at Vihara Maha Devi Park in Colombo, today. This program has been organized by Jatika Sangha Sammelanaya (JSS) for youth to counter westernised Valentine Day celebrations. Ama Wessa will be an annual event from this year onwards. more..

LTTE plans to unilaterally establish ISGA in May

Feb 14 (SN) The LTTE has planned to unilaterally establish Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) in May 2004. They will invite all parliamentarians to be elected at the forthcoming general election for the North & East, to serve as members of the ISGA. more..

Gov't appeals for int'l assistance to fight drought

Feb 14 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's caretaker government on Friday made an appeal to the international community to assist in its efforts to overcome the difficulties faced by the people affected by the drought currently prevailing the country. more..

Australia can win in sub-continent - Ponting

Feb 14 (AAP) Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said his team was capable of conquering the challenges of playing in the Indian sub-continent as the world champions left for a tour of Sri Lanka. more..

Expulsion puts girl's life at risk says lawyer

Feb 14 (NZH) Immigration authorities were accused last night by a lawyer for an expelled Sri Lankan teenager of endangering her life. Philippa Cunningham, who is a trained nurse as well as one of the lawyers for the sexually abused 16-year-old girl, said she believed the authorities and a doctor who cleared her client as fit to fly "did an absolutely dangerous thing". more..

Over 1,000 join Lanka I-Day marathon

Feb 14 (TP) More than 1,000 Sri Lankans turned up at the annual marathon held by the Lanka Lions at the Doha Corniche yesterday to commemorate Sri Lanka's 56th Independence anniversary. The Sri Lankan ambassador A L M Yousuf was the chief guest on the occasion. more..

India beats Sri Lanka 3-0 in carrom series

Feb 14 (UNI) India completed a clean sweep in the Indo-Sri Lanka Carrom Test series with the men's team winning the third test match 2-1 and the women mainting their victory run 3-0 today. The first two test matches had also been won by India, thereby making it a 3-0 sweep, more..

Dengue spreads in Trincomalee town

Feb 14 (TN) The North East Provincial health department Friday launched an emergency awareness campaign in Trincomalee to educate the residents of the eastern port town against the spread of dengue fever after medical officials detected eleven suspected positive cases in recent days, sources said. more..

Bits of Crime

Feb 14 (LBO) The long overdue Computer Crimes Bill is low on ram, but more laws are on the way to legalise digital signatures and set minimum security standards for electronic transactions. “The Electronic Transaction Act, that will legalise digital signatures, is now at the Legal Draftsman,” more..

Tapping Rubber

Feb 14 (LBO) A US$ 100 mn rubber development project in Moneragala got off the ground on Thursday, to feed quality raw materials to the local industry. Seven of Sri Lanka’s largest rubber product manufacturers are backing the project and will use the output to churn out value added rubber products. more..

SLMC to go solo in contests for 13 districts

Feb 14 (TN) The politburo of the SLMC has decided to contest thirteen districts, including Colombo, Kandy, Gampaha and Amparai, without an alliance with other parties in the forthcoming parliamentary general elections, more..

FSD completes training to deminers in Vavuniya

Feb 14 (TN) The Swiss Demining Federation (FSD), involved in demining in Vavuniya and Mannar districts, has given training to the third batch of 44 deminers in Vavuniya, and a ceremony to award certificates was held Friday at the FSD’s office in Vavuniya, sources said. more..

Sixteen year old son abducted, father complaints

Feb 14 (SLA) A complaint made to UPPUVELI Police station on 13 February 2004 by a civilian states that his 16-year old son was abducted by the LTTE when he was in the general area of UPPUVELI in TRINCOMALEE. more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Feb 14 (SLA) One thousand two hundred and seventy nine (1279) lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 06 February 2004 and 12 February 2004. more..

Lanka spankers

Feb 14 (TA) RICKY Ponting has warned Sri Lanka that his aggressive Australian side will take the battle to rubber-wristed Muttiah Muralitharan. Before flying out for Sri Lanka yesterday, where the Aussies will play five one-dayers and three Tests, Ponting served notice that his men aren't afraid of spin wizard Muralitharan more..

Sri Lankan child agency concerned for girl

Feb 14 (Stuff) Sri Lanka's premier child rights organisation fears a Sri Lankan teenager forced to return there from New Zealand will not be safe from male relatives. more..

Tamil Tigers free another 15 child soldiers

Feb 14 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s Tiger rebels said yesterday they had freed another 15 child soldiers, raising to 25 the number of their “baby brigade” troops released since an appeal by the United Nations children’s agency Unicef. more..

Chandrika ‘Had No Alternative’

Feb 14 (AN) Security fears and the rising cost of living in the country were the main considerations for the dissolution of the Sri Lankan Parliament, said Abdul Hameed Fowzie, Sri Lankan legislator, who was in transit in Riyadh on Monday prior to returning home after performing Haj. more..

Zeti Attends 39th SEACEN Conference In Sri Lanka

Feb 14 (Bernama) Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz has attended the 39th South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Governors Conference held in Colombo, Sri Lanka from Feb 12-13, 2004. more..

Sri Lankan Niluka: We’ll not go down without a fight

Feb 14 (TS) It was a quiet 19th birthday for Sri Lanka’s top men’s singles player Niluka Karunaratne yesterday. And it is also set to be a tame outing for Sri Lanka - the badminton minnows - in the Thomas Cup Asian Zone qualifying tournament. more..

Beware of Lanka

Feb 14 (MD) Sri Lankan coach John Dyson threw down the gauntlet even as the Australians were winging their way to the island on Friday the 13th. Dyson, a former Australian batsman, believes the Australian Test side is no longer the force it was and has warned the world champions to expect a bruising fight. more..