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CWC scoffs UPF alliance move

Jan 26 (DM) In the background of media reports of the emergence of a grand Tamil alliance, Ceylon Worker's Congress Leader and Housing Minister Arumugam Thondaman on Saturday reportedly had said there was no need to form a common alliance between Tamil parties in the up country and north east at a future election. more..

Japan urges Sri Lanka to resolve constitutional crisis

Jan 26 (AFP) Japan has urged Sri Lanka's leaders to settle their differences and warned that any delays in resolving the constitutional crisis would seriously undermine international aid flows in support of peace. more..

Sri Lanka government optimistic on feud compromise

Jan 26 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan government raised hopes on Monday that a compromise in the feud between the island's president and prime minister could be found after months of wrangling that endangers the peace process with Tamil rebels. more..

Army officers in illegal Safe House raid sacked

Jan 26 (DN) Army Commander Lieutenant General Lionel Balagalle with Defence Ministry approval on Friday stripped the commissioning ranks of two Army officers and ordered the premature retirement of another senior Army officer for their alleged connections with the Athurugiriya Safe House raid. more..

LTTE expresses 'serious concern' over Indo-Lanka defence pact

Jan 26 (TN) LTTE has expressed serious concern over the envisaged Indo-Sri Lankan Defence Agreement (DCA) arguing that it could have far-reaching negative consequences for the current peace process, sources told TamilNet Monday. more..

Parties that respect democract must not tolerate political violence - PAFFREL

Jan 26 (LW) Reports reaching Paffrel from its members in various parts of the country point to an increase in the level of politically motivated violence over the past several weeks. We are concerned that this violence can spread as the date for provincial elections nears. more..

Sri Lanka seeks to end political feud before Washington aid meet

Jan 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka's government said it hoped to end its power struggle that threatens to jeopardise a vital 4.5-billion-dollar aid package before donor nations meet in Washington next month. more..

Officials seek removal Sumathipala on immigration charge

Jan 26 (AFP) Government has called for the removal of the head of the country's biggest telecom carrier, Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), who has been charged with breaking immigration laws to help a gangster. more..

Health workers launch hunger strike

Jan 26 (TN) A group of forty senior members of the Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) Monday around noon launched a fast unto death campaign opposite to the Health Ministry office in Colombo, demanding the removal of salary anomalies and payment of arrears fully in one installment once a solution is found. more..

London artistes excel

Jan 27 (IL) Highly rated tele-drama Pushparagaya reached its peak in TV ratings at second place with its last episode on ITN shown on the 16th January this year. Excellent performances by London actors and beautiful London locations contributed to its high popularity TV ratings. more..

Train services canceled due to strike threat

Jan 27 (TN) Railway Authority Monday cancelled all night passenger and mail train services to and from Colombo to Badulla, Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Trincomalee following the announcement by the United Railway Trade Union Alliance (URTUA) that about fifteen thousand employees would go on an indefinite strike from Monday midnight more..

CPA honours talented Trincomalee youths

Jan 27 (TN) Centre for Performing Arts (CPA) presented awards to talented youths in Trincomalee during its annual cultural event held at Trincomalee Sri Koneswara Hindu College Sunday evening, sources in Trincomalee said. Trincomalee Divisional Secretary Mr. Sundaram Arumainayagam was the chief guest at the event. more..

For poor students, English makes a difference

Jan 27 (IPS) The children trudge into the Mohoththawagoda Secondary School, a few wearing white shoes and socks, some in rubber slippers but most of them barefoot. This is not an unusual sight since some 40 percent of Sri Lanka's population live below the poverty line. more..

Federal Judge strikes down part of Patriot Act

Jan 27 (Reuters) A federal judge in Los Angeles has struck down as too vague part of the Patriot Act that bars providing "expert advice and assistance" to foreign terrorist groups -- marking the first time a court has declared part of the law unconstitutional. more..

Concerned by 'difficult situation' in Sri Lanka, Annan hopes peace talks can restart

Jan 27 (UN) Voicing concern over the difficult situation in Sri Lanka, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said he still hopes that the peace talks between the Government and the LTTE can resume in the near future. more..

‘Donors can assist through local organisations’- Thamilchelvan

Jan 27 (TN) “During our visit, we will explain to European governments that the immediate humanitarian needs of our people require urgent attention. We will explain to them that the political impasse in Colombo should not delay this anymore. more..

LTTE abducted her son, complains mother

Jan 27 (SLA) Three unknown LTTE men on a three wheeler have abducted a twenty-six year old youth from the general area of AKKARAIPATTU and allegedly taken him to the LTTE office on SAGAMA Rd early morning on 25 January 2004 for reasons best known only to the LTTE. more..

Unserviceable hand grenade destroyed

Jan 27 (SLA) Policemen on duty in the general area of NAWAGIRIYAWA had come across an unserviceable hand grenade from a location close to the NAWAGIRIYAWA tank on 25 January 2004. The Bomb Disposal Team had however destroyed the hand grenade.

Committee to recommend increments to police salaries

Jan 27 (LT) Minister of finance has appointed a committee to recommend solutions for the complications in the salary increase and increments of police officers. Paskaralingam, an advisor to the Ministry of Finance and officials of the police department have been appointed to this committee. more..

PNM holds inaugural convention on the 3rd

Jan 27 (LT) The National Executive Committee of the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) has appointed three committees at its second meeting held on 25th January, 2004 at Sawsiripaya auditorium. more..

"Devolved power ensures efficient governance”- President

Jan 27 (PSL) President Kumaratunga said yesterday decentralization or effective devolution of power to the periphery would be a solution to the country’s ethnic problem and it would also ensure better governance. She welcomed the fact that the two major political forces the UNP and the SLFP are committed to devolution of power. more..

Government exudes optimism

Jan 27 (Hindu) The Government today expressed the hope that the island's political deadlock could be resolved shortly following "some positive indications" from a joint committee of officials appointed by the President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, and the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Up for What?

Jan 27 (LBO) Colombo’s benchmark All Share Price Index (ASPI) shot up about 100 points on the back of more reports of a breakthrough in the political deadlock. However, stockbrokers say the actual ground situation on the political front has not changed significantly from two months ago. more..

Port of Call

Jan 27 (LBO) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has set sail a proposal that will allow it to operate ports in foreign shores. SLPA Chairman, Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake told Lanka Business Online on Monday that the Prime Minister had approved the proposal by its management. more..

Fabric First

Jan 27 (LBO) The apparel sector is expected to lead foreign investments this year, displacing the IT and Telecom sector that brought in the bulk of the total US$ 300 mn in 2003. On the map for fresh capital are the now shut down fabric mills, Pugoda Textiles, Kabool Lanka, as well as spinning and weaving mill in Pannala, East West Textiles. more..

MGR gave us Rs 6-crore, says LTTE

Jan 27 (NIP) Anton Balasingham, the LTTE ideologue, has claimed that the late M G Ramachandran had assiduously promoted the interests of his organisation. He helped them out financially too, giving them as much as Rs 6 crore from out of his personal funds, and in hard cash at that. more..

India, Lanka to increase SSI cooperation

Jan 27 (Rediff) India and Sri Lanka on Tuesday agreed to increase cooperation in six areas of the small-scale sector -- food technology and fisheries, light engineering, automobiles and auto components, leather industry, IT, and cottage industry. more..

Dead man's 'sighting' triggers Singapore insurance inquiry

Jan 27 (AFP) Police are investigating the possibility that a Singaporean man reported killed in Sri Lanka 16 years ago might still be alive in what could be an elaborate insurance fraud, a spokesman said on Tuesday. more..

If no secret deal who decides on peace? -UNP

Jan 27 (DN) Despite denials by Presidential Advisor and JVP sympathiser Anura Bandaranaike that there was no secret MoU signed a few days before the public effort last Tuesday there are some serious questions that have to be answered if the alliance is to be taken seriously, more..

SC probes conduct of Sumathipala lawyers

Jan 27 (DM) More than 50 citizens - most of them Members of Parliament have signed a memorandum commending Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva for the action he has taken so far in the Thilanga Sumathipala bail case and urging him to initiate an inquiry into the alleged misconduct of senior lawyers in the case. more..

Church torched in Sri Lanka

Jan 27 (AFP) A church has been burnt down in Sri Lanka amid increasing attacks on the island-country's Christian minority. A member of the Catholic church on Tuesday said dozens of men stormed overnight into the "Shrine of the Mother Most Pure" at Mattegoa, 18km east of the capital Colombo and escaped after torching the premises. more..

Pat on the back for Lankan cricket

Jan 27 (C365) England and Wales Cricket Board vice chairman Michael Soper feels his country can take a leaf out of Sri Lanka's book when it comes to instilling a passion for the game. Soper was present with the England team during last year's winter tour of Sri Lanka and expressed his amazement at the amount of young people watching the game. more..

UNF pushes for solution to political crisis

Jan 27 (Gulf) The ruling UNF government yesterday declared that it was favouring an early resolution to the political crisis between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Tyronne, Kadirgamar to address India meeting

Jan 27 (PRIU) India has invited Minister Tyronne Fernando and former FM Lakshman Kadirgamar to attend the 6th Asian Security Conference in New Delhi. Indian Defence Minister George Fernandez who is President of the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) has extended the invitations on behalf of his Government. more..

Sri Lanka minister urges Britain to lift ban on Tigers

Jan 27 (TN) Minister for Hindu Affairs, Mr. T. Maheswaran Tuesday urged the British government to lift the ban on the Liberation Tigers. The minister gave a memorandum to the British High Commissioner and the Sri Lanka desk officer of the British Foreign Office who met him at his office in Colombo Tuesday. more..

UNICEF donates vehicles, computers to aid project supervision

Jan 27 (TN) UNICEF Sri Lanka's representative Mr. Ted Chaiban on Wednesday will officially hand over twelve vehicles, six motorbikes and three computers with printers worth 17.7 million rupees to the North East Provincial Education Ministry Secretary Mr.R.Thiagalingam more..

Catholics to fast, pray for religious amity

Jan 27 (TN) The Catholic Church of Sri Lanka has called for a day of fasting and prayer next Sunday, 1 February 2004, and to bring back religious tolerance in the hearts of Sri Lankan people. The Archbishop of Colombo Rt.Rev. Oswald Gomis has appealed to all Catholics in the country to conduct special Holy Hour Prayers with the exposition of Blessed Sacrament. more..

Sri Lanka bans live chick imports to keep country clear of bird flu

Jan 27 (AFX) Sri Lanka has announced a total ban on live day-old chick imports in a bid to protect the local poultry industry from the bird flu virus spreading across southeast Asia. The government said strict quarantine procedures will be followed at the country's only international airport and the main sea port in an effort to prevent bird flu getting on to the island. more..

SBI cards set for Sri Lanka debut

Jan 27 (BS) The State Bank of India (SBI)-GE Capital joint venture is set to launch SBI Cards in Sri Lanka. SBI will be the first Indian bank to sell its credit cards overseas. At present, HSBC and Standard Chartered are present in the five-lakh credit card market in Sri Lanka. more..

Signature campaign to restart peace process planned in Jaffna

Jan 27 (TN) Representatives of civil groups in the Jaffna peninsula are to meet Wednesday at Nallur Navalar Cultural Hall to launch a campaign to collect signatures for a memorandum stressing the urgency to restart the stalled peace process more..

Strike cripples Sri Lanka's train service

Jan 27 (TN) The strike launched by railway employees from Monday midnight has brought the Sri Lanka's train services to a halt. Talks held between a delegation of railway trade unions and two Cabinet Ministers Tuesday evening ended in a failure, sources said. more..

'Mydoom' Computer Infections Still Climbing

Jan 28 (WP) A virulent computer worm continued its spread across the Internet today, moving with unprecedented speed and accounting for as much as 10 percent of all e-mail, security experts said. Reported infections caused by the "Mydoom" e-mail worm rose as employees returned to work Tuesday morning and opened attachments that contained the virus. more..

SLN soldier found dead with gunshot wounds

Jan 28 (TN) Prashanth Wijewardene from Bandarawela who was manning Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Ganjadeva Navy Brigade sentry in Karainagar, Jaffna, was found dead with gunshot wounds to his head around 5.45am Monday, local media reports in Jaffna said. more..

Norwegian Ambassador meets Col.Karuna

Jan 28 (TN) The Norwegian ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. Hans Brattskar, Tuesday morning met with the Senior Commander of LTTE, Col.Karuna at the Thenaham Guest House in Karadiyanaaru, Batticaloa. The meeting lasted more than an hour. more..

India, Lanka MoU On SSIs Co-op

Jan 28 (PTI) India and Sri Lanka on Tuesday agreed to increase co-operation in six areas of the small-scale sector — food tech, fisheries, light engineering, automobiles and auto components, leather, IT, and cottage industry. more..

Armed guards for Sri Lanka church

Jan 28 (BBC) Armed guards have been posted at a church near Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo, after the latest in a series of anti-Christian attacks. A mob of about 20 men smashed statues and set fire to bibles at the church in Mattegoda on Monday night. more..

MIS seminar held in Trincomalee

Jan 28 (TN) "Management Information System (MIS) is a necessary component for facilitating efficient implementation of projects and better utilization of project funds This is particularly important in respect of the North East where communication and transportation are major problems," said the Prime Minister's Secretary Mr.Bradman Weerakoon more..

Lanka stars to shine at music gala

Jan 28 (GD) Sri Lankans will be in for a treat this Eid Al Adha as five of their country's leading movie and radio stars get set to perform in Bahrain. The Welcome 2004 Golden Musical Stars Night on Sunday is set to be held at the Delmon International Hotel in Manama. more..

Standard Rates

Jan 28 (LBO) The Tourist board is drawing up standards for emerging niche areas like Ayurveda, eco-tourism and spas, to certify and rank tourist hotels and resorts. Modelled on similar experiences in places like Costa Rica, where resorts are ranked on their eco-friendliness, Sri Lanka is trying to raise the profile of its tourism products. more..

Take Home

Jan 28 (LBO) Microsoft could couple a home edition license of its new Office 2003 software package free with every corporate license it sells in Sri Lanka. The incentive is meant to popularise the use of original software in the local personal computer (PC) population, as Microsoft plans to set up shop here in Sri Lanka. more..