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Anura denies secrecy in SLFP-JVP pact

Jan 23 (TN) Peoples Alliance parliamentarian Mr.Anura Bandaranaike in a statement issued Friday denied any secrecy in the agreement signed by the SLFP and the Sinhala Nationalist Marxist JVP in forming the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) more..

Uniform-clad school children taken for LTTE ceremony

Jan 23 (SLA) Four hundred and eighty one uniform-clad school children on eight buses were taken towards BATTICALOA from VAKARAI area on 21 January 2004 around 9.00 a.m. to attend an LTTE ceremony in BATTICALOA where the LTTE flag was hoisted. more..

More and more Indian fishing trawlers sighted

Jan 23 (SLA) Naval troops on duty in the general sea areas of DELFT ISLAND, URUMALAI and PESALAI observed over 300-350 Indian fishing trawlers poaching in Sri Lankan waters on 21 January 2004 between 7.30-11.00 p.m. more..

NCC new course participants in jungle training

Jan 23 (SLA) “Leadership and Adventure Training Course,” a new initiative launched by the National Cadet Corps (NCC) saw its associated final competitions inside the jungles of Loggaloya on Badulla-Mahiyangana road on 17 and 18 January. more..

The non functional Bribery Commission, Why?

Jan 23 (PSL) There has been much public debate in the past one year about inaction on the part of the State to curb bribery and corruption said to be rampant. One of the reasons attributed to the failure is a non functional Bribery Commission. more..

India to make two tours of Sri Lanka

Jan 23 (CI) India have agreed to visit Sri Lanka and play two triangular one-day tournaments in 2005 and 2006, announced Mohan de Silva, the secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), on Wednesday. The agreement is a major boost for Sri Lanka's cash-strapped board, more..

Lanka to hold Asia Cup cricket in July

Jan 23 (PTI) Sri Lanka will host the long-awaited Asia Cup limited-overs cricket tournament in July, Cricket Board officials said here on Friday. "Sri Lanka has agreed to host the tournament after touring Zimbabwe, but we don't have the exact dates confirmed as yet. We are working on it right now," an official said. more..

Sri Lanka aid meeting gets underway without Tigers

Jan 23 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels boycotted an international aid meeting amid a worsening political crisis in the government, officials said. The meeting, opened by Sri Lanka's main financial backer Japan on Wednesday, more..

Sri Lanka donors worried about political crisis

Jan 23 (Reuters) International donors want aid to keep flowing into war-torn Sri Lanka, but voiced concern on Friday that a political crisis would make that difficult by hindering efforts to revive the island's stalled peace process. more..

Arrest Somawansa, Rajitha urges CBK

Jan 23 (DM) Minister Ranjitha Senaratne has urged President Chandrika Kumaratunga to arrest JVP's self-exiled leader Somawansa Amarasinghe who returned to the country on Tuesday to unearth details about the assassination of her husband and Sri Lanka Mahajana Party leader Vijaya Kumaratunga. more..

Massive Rs. 285m fraud bared

Jan 23 (DN) A massive fraud costing the state Rs. 285 million has been bared following a probe into a contract for supplying medical equipment to the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Children's Hospital,a Committee appointed by the UNF government had revealed. more..

Know the saga of Indians in Lanka

Jan 23 (NT) The Indo-Lankans: Their 200-year saga, a book recalling the history of the early settlers of India in Sri Lanka, and written by noted historian and author S Muthiah was formally launched by the Governor P Ramamohan Rao at a function in Chennai Wednesday. more..

Stocks dip, more foreign purchases

Jan 23 (Reuters) Stocks dipped on Friday after a three-day rising streak with brokers saying the market was seeking direction with political uncertainty hanging over it. The key Colombo all-share index closed down a provisional 0.58 percent, or 6.47 points, at 1,116.93 points. more..

They are ready for war with the Government of Sri Lanka

Jan 23 (AT) A Tamil cabinet minister of the ruling UNF Government warned that the Tamils were now ready for a war with Sri Lanka, whilst two of the trusted officials of the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe were seated in the podium, reports three LTTE controlled websites on January 21. more..

Norway to help LTTE get humanitarian aid without strings

Jan 23 (HT) Norway, which is the official facilitator in the Sri Lankan peace process, is to help the LTTE get a few million dollars in humanitarian aid from Scandinavian countries without any political or administrative strings attached, Hindustan Times learns. more..

LTTE trying hard to stall Indo-Lanka defence pact

Jan 23 (HT) The LTTE is trying hard to stall the India-Sri Lanka Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA), which the Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga hopes will be signed by the end of February. more..

Now LTTE and JVP are courting India

Jan 23 (IANS) When India deployed troops to Sri Lanka in 1987, the country's two most radical and well-knit groups united to declare that New Delhi had no right to meddle in the country's internal affairs. Today, some 15 years later, both the LTTE and the JVP are actively and loudly courting India. It is a dramatic turnaround by any yardstick. more..

Intl Donors Discuss Sri Lanka's Threatened Peace, Aid

Jan 23 (AP) International donors met Friday to discuss the future of billions of dollars in aid to Sri Lanka amid a fragile peace process and fears of a return to civil war. Japan's special envoy Yasushi Akashi hosted the meeting of diplomats from 11 donor countries and representatives from seven international aid agencies more..

Foreign donors say Sri Lanka risks losing billions in aid

Jan 23 (AFP) International donors have warned Sri Lankan leaders to end their bitter political feud or risk losing 4.5 billion dollars in aid pledged to rebuild the war-ravaged island republic. more..

Chandrasekaran calls for a Joint Tamil Front

Jan 23 (TN) Mr.Periyasamy Chandrasekaran, Leader of the Upcountry People's Front and a Member of Parliament for the Nuwara Eliya district appealed to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to join forces with parties of upcountry Tamils to strengthen the political power of Tamils. more..

New NATO spokesperson, Canadian Tamil

Jan 23 (TN) James Appathurai, 35, a Canadian Tamil, has been appointed as the spokesperson of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Friday, Associated Press reported. "Appathurai, 35., has worked in NATO's Political Affairs and Security Policy Division since 1998, more..

President wants peace bid restarted

Jan 23 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's stalled peace process must not be allowed to simmer for long, the island's president said on Friday as she defended her actions in a showdown with her rival prime minister. more..

Tigers may be running out of patience: Chandrika

Jan 23 (PTI) Tamil Tiger rebels may be running out of patience as the Norwegian-backed peace process remains in limbo, President Chandrika Kumaratunga warned today. Kumaratunga, who is locked in a power struggle with her arch rival Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe, faulted him for trying to wash his hands off the peace process. more..

SLN arrests four Valvettithurai fishermen

Jan 24 (TN) Sri Lanka Navy Friday arrested four Tamil fishermen of Athikoviladi, Valvettithurai in Jaffna district when they had gone to the sea in search of missing fishing gear. The Palaly Military Headquarters has informed the SLMM monitors in Jaffna later Friday evening that the fishermen in custody would be produced in Mallakam court Saturday, more..

Linganagar Tamils complain of SLA harassment

Jan 24 (TN) The People Welfare Society (PWF) of Linganagar Friday made a complaint to the HRC and the SLMM in Trincomalee that soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army soldiers manning a check point in the area are harassing the residents of Linganagar, a crowded suburb of Trincomalee town, civil rights sources said. more..

NorthEast to get 1000 more Tamil medium teachers

Jan 24 (TN) The Ministry of Human Resources Development, Education and Cultural Affairs has decided to recruit another batch of one thousand Tamil medium teachers from advanced leveled qualified persons to fill the vacancies exist in the northeast Tamil medium schools, more..

British Embassy officials meet Pararajasingham

Jan 24 (TN) Deputy Secretary for Political Affairs at the British Embassy in Colombo, Ms.Margaret Tongue, and Official in-charge of SouthAsian affairs, Ms.Catherine Ceeve, met Batticaloa Parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham Thursday evening and had discussions on the current political situation in Colombo, more..

Workshop for NE cultural officers begin in Trincomalee

Jan 24 (TN) A three-day residential workshop for North East Cultural Officers began Friday at the provincial guesthouse auditorium in Trincomalee under the guidance of Provincial Management Develpoment and Training Department (MDTD). more..

Committed to peace process: Chandrika

Jan 24 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, tonight reiterated her "total commitment" to the island's peace process and said that "no alliance with any party would change it" unless "forced by [a] historical situation". more..

Lanka to brief India on crisis, peace process

Jan 24 (AP) A top Sri Lankan minister plans to discuss his country's deepening political crisis and faltering peace efforts with Tamil Tiger rebels when he meets India 's foreign minister Saturday. more..

Alliance is for the people - President

Jan 24 (LT) The economic policy in “Panche Maha Piliveth” the five great objectives of the Alliance is capitalism with a human face which the PA has been following during the past said Ms.Chandrika Kumaratunga, the President participating in an interview telecast by the ITN tonight. more..

2096 die in motor accidents in 2003

Jan 24 (LT) According to Police Motor Department 59,444 motor accidents have occurred during 2003 and 2096 persons have died of these accidents. Compared to year 2002 the number of accidents have gone up in 2004 by 4413. It is an increase of 8%. more..

Chandrika asks Tamils not to 'mortgage destiny' to LTTE

Jan 24 (HT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Friday asked Sri Lankan Tamils not to mortgage their destiny to the LTTE but determine it themselves. In an interview to the state-owned TV channel “Eye”, she said that the Tamils must collectively decide what was good for them and not go by what one or two people in the LTTE told them. more..

Telekom unit in Sri Lanka gets US$50mil facility from IFC

Jan 24 (TS) TELEKOM Malaysia Bhd's wholly-owned subsidiary, MTN Networks, which operates under the service brand name Dialog GSM, has signed up for a US$50mil credit facility with the International Finance Corp (IFC). more..

Lankan domestic airlines to begin India operations

Jan 24 (TOI) In response to the opening up of skies between India and Sri Lanka, three private domestic carriers of the island-nation — Lion Air, Serendibya and Ya Lanka — are preparing to start scheduled operations to smaller cities and Buddhist destinations in India. more..

Alternate Landings

Jan 24 (LBO) The Board of Investment will call for bids to develop the country’s first alternate airport on a ‘Design Build Turnkey’ model, in two weeks. A pre-feasibility has been done, but the new developer will be responsible for detailed designs, procurement and building of the airport. more..

Route Re-Shuffle

Jan 24 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines will scale back its flights on a once lucrative Middle East run, as it fights for space with other no-frills carriers that have begun to ply the route. Carrying mainly labour traffic, the Middle East is among the Airline’s top destinations, since it began flying the route some ten years ago. more..

TNA refuses to sign electoral reforms interim report

Jan 24 (TN) Parliamentary group leader of TNA, Mr.R.Sampanthan, representing the TNA refused to sign the interim report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reforms tabled in parliament on Friday, saying that electoral reforms within the existing constitution is meaningless for Tamil people more..

Sinhala leadership lacks capacity to understand national crisis - Uyangoda

Jan 24 (TN) "[The SLFP-JVP alliance] raises some disturbing questions about the incapacity of the old as well as the emerging political leadership in the Sinhala society to even simply understand what the Sri Lanka's present crisis is all about," said Prof.Jeyadeva Uyangoda more..

LTTE take away Muslims by force

Jan 24 (SLA) Ten Muslim civilian working in a sawmill were forcibly taken away by armed LTTE men towards the general area of PALIKUDIRIPPU, about 20 km south of TRINCOMALEE town on 21 January 2004 around 2.30 pm. more..

LTTE men carrying radio set arrested

Jan 24 (SLA) Policemen arrested two LTTE cadres on a motorbike carrying a radio set in the general area of the SIDAMBARAPURAM Police post, about, 8 km south of VAVUNIYA town on 23 January 2004 around 1.00 p.m. more..

More refugees arrive in MANNAR

Jan 24 (SLA) Eight Sri Lankan refugees arrived in the general beach area of PESALAI, MANNAR from INDIA were taken in for questioning on 22 January 2004 by police. THALAIMANNAR Police are conducting investigations.

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Jan 24 (SLA) One thousand two hundred and seventy-five (1275) lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 12 January 2004 and 18 January 2004. more..

Shock political accord puts fear in business

Jan 24 (Gulf) At a time when the country is thriving with its market economy the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between President Chandrika Kumaratunga's SLFP and the Marxist Nationalist JVP has sent shockwaves through the private sector. more..

After Sri Lanka, biometric tests extended to Africa

Jan 24 (IANS) After introducing biometric tests for visitors from Sri Lanka, Britain has made it mandatory for citizens from five east African countries to provide fingerprint data before they enter the country. more..

Norway must continue Lankan talks: TULF

Jan 24 (UNI) TULF leader V Anandasangari has urged President Chandrika Kumaratunga not to dispense with the services of Norwegian facilitators under any circumstance and "instead invite them to continue their facilitatory effort in the peace process". more..

Qwiky's to have more outlets; plans second store in Lanka

Jan 24 (AF) COFFEE pub Qwiky's will open five or six outlets in the next two months. Speaking to Business Line here, Mr Shashi Chimala, the CEO of Chimayo Chains, which runs Qwiky's, said Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Colombo, in Sri Lanka, were among the cities the new outlets would be set up in. more..

Supreme Court dismisses plea against Nedumaran's bail

Jan 24 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday dismissed a petition by the Tamil Nadu government challenging the bail granted to Tamil nationalist leader P. Nedumaran, a close ally of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers. more..

Consensus committee on Sri Lanka crisis resumes sittings

Jan 24 (Xinhua) A committee looking at ways to enda political feud between Sri Lankan president and the prime minister resumed its sittings on Friday after a long recess, officials said. more..

TULF leader appeals President, Premier to join hands

Jan 24 (DN) TULF Leader V. Anandasangaree has urged President Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to join hands to resolve the ethnic crisis. In a letter to the President, the TULF leader has requested that Norway who is here as facilitator at the invitation of the President should be retained. more..