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An attack on a church

Jan 30 (FL) HOMAGAMA is a mere 25 kilometres from the capital, Colombo. Its layout and general features are similar to those of any other Sri Lankan town. The placid town shot into news when on January 14 its Roman Catholic St. Michael's Church was attacked for the second time since November. more..

History from the LTTE

Jan 30 (FL) HISTORY was in a sense rewritten in ethnically divided Sri Lanka when the LTTE decided to distribute history textbooks, commissioned by its education wing, to schoolchildren in government-controlled areas of the Tamil-majority northern Jaffna peninsula. more..

Sri Lankan's gang murder: police raid on Ware house

Jan 30 (MN) Teams of police officers swooped on a house in Ware following a brutal murder in London by a gang of men armed with hammers and sticks. The Metropolitan police officers, wearing body armour, arrived in six vans to raid a house in the Canons Road area in a bid to trap a murder suspect. more..

Russia, Sri Lanka sign military co-operation treaty

Jan 30 (TN) Russia and Sri Lanka signed a military technical co-operation treaty in Colombo Friday, Ministry of Defence said Friday. The agreement will entail exchange of military expertise, supply of military hardware required by the Sri Lankan military and training, according to a MoD statement in Colombo Friday. more..

Sri Lanka leaders' crisis talks on power dispute collapsing

Jan 30 (AP) Crisis talks between Sri Lanka's president and the prime minister to solve a bitter power dispute is collapsing, throwing the country's attempts to solve a two-decade civil war into uncertainty, an official said Friday. more..

Colombo magistrate refuses bail to Thilanga

Jan 30 (AFP) A Colombo magistrate remanded cricket chief and head of the main telecommunications company after formally charging him with breaking immigration laws, a court official said. Thilanga Sumathipala was ordered to be remanded in custody for 10 more days pending further police investigations, more..

Somawansa Amerasinghe determined to make JVP- SLFP Alliance a success

Jan 31 (AT) The JVP leader Somawansa Amerasinghe told the mammoth inaugural rally of the newly formed United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) at Town Hall grounds in Central Colombo, that his party was determined to take the agreed pact with the SLFP to its fullest victory in implementation and usher freedom and prosperity to Lanka. more..

Tamil villages to be annexed to Sinhala-dominated Seruwila AGA

Jan 31 (TN) Tamil villages of Upooral and Cheenenveli in the Muttur division should remain under the administration of the Verugal-Eachilampathu Assistant Government Agent (AGA) division and not moved under Sinhala dominated Seruwila AGA division, more..

Seven SLA soldiers discharged from murder case

Jan 31 (TN) The Chavakachcheri Magistrate Mr.P.Subramaniam Friday, on the instruction of the Attorney General, discharged all seven soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army who were arrested and later released on bail in connection with the murder of a Tamil civilian, more..

Attacks on Sri Lanka churches said well planned

Jan 31 (TN) National Christian Council, the umbrella organization of protestant and Catholic churches in Sri Lanka, Friday said it is “gravely concerned over the continuous stirring up of resentment against Christians and increasing incidence of unchecked violence directed at Christian places of worship”. more..

Thai PM vows to fight terrorism

Jan 31 (SN) Making a patriotic speech over the radio Prime Minister of Thailand, Mr Thaksin Shinawatra on 28th January, vowed to fight back the separatist terrorism. He told the nation, "I will never let anyone take away even a square inch of Thai soil," more..

Sightings of 'dead' man: Wife charged over $330,000

Jan 31 (ST) About 16 years ago, Renuga Devi Sinnaduray, then 36, declared that her husband was dead - and collected a life insurance payout of some $330,000. Yesterday, the mother of four was in court, accused of cheating three insurance firms into giving her cheques for $200,832, $32,213 and $98,294 in May 1989. more..

Trade Unions warn of island wide strikes

Jan 31 (LT) The ‘death fast’ started by the health sector employees has entered the sixth day but the authorities have failed to find solutions. Out of the 12 who have started the ‘death fast’ the condition of four is very grave say the Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA). more..

Thondaman rebuff Chandrasekeran

Jan 31 (LT) Minister Arumugam Thondaman, Leader of Ceylon Workers’ Congress has rejected the proposal made by Minister P. Chandrasekeran, Leader of Upcountry People’s Front to form an alliance of all Tamil political parties to contest the next election. more..

Farmers to launch ‘death fast’ opposite Finance Ministry

Jan 31 (LT) A ‘death fast’ would be launched opposite the Ministry of Finance if a solution to the ‘fast’ launched demanding the reduction of fertilizer prices is not found before next Monday says All Ceylon Farmers’ Federation (ACFF) in a letter to the Minister of Finance. more..

Sustained development eludes Vakarai

Jan 31 (TN) Vakarai region in the east, an area with large fertile fields north of Batticaloa town, has suffered through war and has seen hardly any development in the past decade. "I have never seen electricity used in Vakarai since I was born. more..

Public Services Trade Unions to support Railway Workers' strike

Jan 31 (TN) The Public Services Trade Union Federation (PSTUF), an umbrella organization for several trade unions warned the UNF government that it would rally all public sector institutions and would launch an island wide strike if the railway employees' strike is not settled more..

Quick Time

Jan 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka Customs will launch a Gold Card scheme for its ‘good customers’ in March, to give direct access to the speedy clearance procedures of the new Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system. more..

Mayday Mayday

Jan 31 (LBO) Energy Minister sent out an urgent call asking the public to curb their electricity consumption by ten percent. With all signs pointing to a drought extending well into the next three months, Minister Karu Jayasuriya called for voluntary cuts in electricity usage with immediate effect. more..

Sea Legs

Jan 31 (LBO) The government’s deadline to set up a port regulator is due in August 2004, with only a draft bill to govern the industry available so far. The regulator was due to police tariffs between the privet and state port operators when a pricing restriction on South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) lapses in August. more..

Eight years for the Central Bank Bomb

Jan 31 (SN) Today (31st January) is just another day for the most of us. That was the case with Mrs Gilda Gunaratne, the wife of late Senior DIG Merrick Gunaratne, till 31st January 1996. But this fateful day changed her life. In fact, her life virtually did not move from this day onwards. more..

Three Sinhalese civilians killed by alleged LTTE laid land mine explosion

Jan 31 (AT) A farmer, son and another person were killed instantly on January 27, on the Wilachchiya road, located in the Anuradhapura region, while traveling on a Land Master – a three wheeled mini tractor, due to a land mine explosion, suspected of had been laid by the Tamil rebel outfit - Tigers, police sources said. more..

Dubai firm gets $37m loan for Lanka mill

Jan 31 (Gulf) Dubai's AG Group has obtained a Rs3.6 billion ($36.9 million) loan from Sri Lankan banks to build a flour mill in the Colombo port, the lead arranger to the loan said yesterday. more..

JVP push for parliament elections

Jan 31 (Gulf) The Marxist JVP (People's Liberation Front) are pushing for early parliamentary elections despite President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party showing more interest in the proposed Provincial Council elections due to be held in April. more..

Lanka’s landmark hotel moves upmarket amid truce

Jan 31 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s 19th century Galle Face Hotel announced on Thursday an ambitious upgrade to woo guests willing to fork out $1,000 a night after a deal with Raffles of Singapore fell through. more..

LTTE assures Buddhists of protection

Jan 31 (Dawn) In what was seen as a tactful move to placate the Sinhala Buddhists, the LTTE on Thursday welcomed a delegation of Buddhist monks at their headquarters in Killinochchi. The Tamils assured the monks of measures to protect the few remaining Buddhist sites in the region. more..

Bringing back a smile on tear-shaped island

Jan 31 (Gulf) Sri Lankans who eagerly looked forward to peace and economic prosperity two years ago are confused and frustrated today. They do not know where the country was heading, ever since the political crisis was sparked off on November 4, 2003, when President Kumaratunga fired three ministers and prorogued the parliament. more..

Rameswaram fishermen returned home after their release from Sri Lankan jails

Jan 31 (Sun) Six Rameswaram fishermen returned home after their release from Sri Lankan jails. A Sri Lankan court ordered their release. After a long wait of nearly two months between their release and their actual home-coming, the fishermen returned home to a joyful re-union. more..

Last-gasp bid to halt eviction

Jan 31 (NZH) Lawyers have launched a last-ditch bid to prevent a Sri Lankan girl being sent home to "almost certain death". The 16-year-old fled to New Zealand two years ago with her grandmother after years of sexual abuse by male members of her family. more..

Sri Lanka and Russia sign deal on arms and training

Jan 31 (Reuters) Sri Lanka and Russian have signed a defence cooperation deal to allow imports of arms and training for the Indian Ocean island’s military, Sri Lanka’s defence ministry said in a statement late on Friday. more..

People's Bank Rs. 4b loan shock

Jan 31 (DN) Banking sources yesterday made the shocking disclosure that the People's Bank was in the process of settling a massive Rs. 4.8 billion debt owed it by Yasodha Group, for as little as Rs. 10 million. more..

Norway backs aid for Sri Lanka without pre-conditions

Jan 31 (HT) Norway wants the conditions attached to development aid for Sri Lanka to be relaxed to enable the ceasefire to continue and the peace process to go forward, Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgessen was quoted as saying in the pro-LTTE daily Sudar Oli on Saturday. more..

Don't enter into defence pact with India, TULF tells Chandrika

Jan 31 (HT) The president of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), V Anandasangaree, has asked the Sri Lankan President and Defence Minister, Chandrika Kumaratunga, not to enter into a Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) with India "at this juncture." more..

LTTE Pistol Group Alerted to Target Sanagree

Jan 31 (AT) Several Central Committee members of the TULF had complained of the short notice they received for holding the Central Committee meeting, at the Party Headquarters in Colombo, on 01 February and they said that the duration was practically not enough for them to attend and they have urged the meeting be postponed for another convenient date. more..

Crisis talks face breakdown; snap poll likely

Jan 31 (DM) The proposal by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for his government's nominee to have some sort of direction and control over the army, navy and airforce while allowing President Chandrika Kumaratunga to retain the defence portfolio was unlikely to receive the nod of the Chief Executive. more..