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Sri Lanka chief goes to hospital before court

Jan 9 (AP) Sri Lanka Cricket president Thilanga Sumathipala is in hospital and unable to appear in court to face charges of altering a passport for an alleged gangster, a lawyer said Thursday. more..

Catastrophic fire averted in Vavuniya town

Jan 9 (TN) A potentially catastrophic fire at the petrol station located at the intersection of Jaffna-Kandy road and Mannar road in Vavuniya town, Thursday night, was prevented by the timely action of alert Police officers, sources said. more..

Health workers protest

Jan 9 (LT) Health workers engaged in a protest campaign in front of all hospitals throughout the country today protesting against the failure of the authorities to find a just solution for the question of salary anomalies. more..

Resign from Premiership as well as from the Parliament - JVP

Jan 9 (LT) The Premier should withdraw not only from the ceasefire agreement but also from the premiership said Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, Propaganda Secretary of the JVP. Mr.Weerawansa expressed this view at a media meeting held in Hotel Nippon in Colombo to explain the present political situation in the country. more..

PM trying fear tactics -Tamil political parties

Jan 9 (LT) Prime Minister’s name would be recorded as a black mark in history if he withdraws from the ceasefire agreement he signed with the tiger organization without any valid reason say several Tamil political parties. more..

Shop Talk

Jan 9 (LBO) The cream of Sri Lanka’s business community on Thursday, failed to come up with a pressure plan to get the warring political parties to see eye-to-eye. Businessmen expressed various opinions and ways and means of pressuring the President and the Government towards a continuation of the peace process. more..

Bulk Business

Jan 9 (LBO) The 49 per cent sake and management control in the Corporate Wholesale Establishment’s (CWE) wholesale arm could fetch about Rs 100 million if a lone standing bid is approved. more..

Taking Money

Jan 9 (LBO) Parliament is due to pass a new law in February, to round up all financial institutions currently not governed by the Central Bank. The new system will legalise and supervise all small scale financing activity including lending and taking public deposits. more..

Bad Grade

Jan 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka is set to score very low in a second review of the peace process by the international donor community set for January 23. The first review in September 2003 pleased donors, who, at the June Tokyo donor confab tied US$ 4.5 billion in aid to progress with the peace process. more..

Vadamarachi mooring points can be dredged - Maj. Gen. Chandrapala

Jan 9 (TN) The Commander of the Sri Lankan security forces in Jaffna, Maj. Gen. Susil Chandrapala told fishermen's organisations on the peninsula's Vadamaradchi coast Thursday that they can dredge and rebuild mooring points for their boats from this month. more..

SLA builds camp in de-mining showcase

Jan 9 (TN) The Sri Lanka army is constructing a new camp in the Kandalkaadu area of Sarasaalai in Jaffna. The region was often presented as a singular showcase for the prolonged de-mining projects supported by the UNDP and the US army in Jaffna. more..

New SLA commanders said no panacea for normalcy

Jan 9 (TN) “Normalcy is yet to be restored in Jaffna despite the Sri Lankan government appointing new military commanders for the peninsula," said Mr. Semmanan, the deputy leader of the LTTE’s political division in Jaffna, more..

Illamparithy meets Norway Foreign Ministry Officials in Oslo

Jan 9 (TN) Liberation Tigers' Head of Jaffna District Political Wing, Mr.Illamparithy, who is currently on a tour of European countries met with Norwegian Foreign Ministry officials at the Oslo Foreign Ministry Building Tuesday, 6 January at 11 am, sources in Oslo said. more..

Armed LTTE men cross via cleared areas

Jan 9 (SLA) Troops in the general area of PACHCHANOOR, about 06 km south of MUTTUR showed restraint and allowed a group of about 75-100 armed and uniform-clad LTTE men across KANDALKADU area on 07 January 2004 around 10.30 p.m. regardless of their failure to give prior information to the troops through the SLMM. more..

Armed LTTE men carrying radio set on public bus

Jan 9 (SLA) Three armed LTTE men, carrying a radio set have arrived in the general area of KADJUWATTE, about 45 km northwest of BATTICALOA town on 08 January 2004 on a public bus and disappeared into KIRIMICHCHIYA area for reasons best known only to these armed LTTE men. more..

LTTE distribute provocative literature

Jan 9 (SLA) Area Headquarters of the Security Forces in MANNAR lodged a formal complaint with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission about LTTE’s distribution of some provocative “Eelam” literature among the public on 07 January 2004. more..

Three-wheeler hijacked

Jan 9 (SLA) A three-wheeler belonging to a civilian in the general area of CHENNAIKUDURIPPU, about 35 km northeast of VAVUNIYA town has been hijacked by an unidentified gang on 07 January 2004 around 10.30 p.m. more..

Thirty three Graduate from Staff College

Jan 9 (SLA) Thirty three Senior Officers of the Armed Forces and the Police, who followed the Course No. 6 at Sapugaskanda Army Command and Staff College, received their graduation at a glittering ceremony in BMICH on Thursday (08), more..

Peace in jeopardy

Jan 9 (Gulf) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's call for President Chandrika Kumaratunga to take over command of the peace process has created uncertainty amidst opposition demands that the Premier cannot drop his responsibilities over the process in a hurry. more..

Borough chess project a hit in Sri Lanka

Jan 9 (RWT) THE Rotary Chess Education Initiative, an international project set up in the borough, is sponsoring a major chess competition in Sri Lanka. Next Monday the British High Commissioner will be greeting the finalists in Colombo, more..

Cambridge B'band Wins Sri Lanka Order

Jan 9 (LT) MTT Network, the Sri Lankan major operator of local access, international telephony and broadband services, has placed an expansion order for three additional Cambridge Broadband 3.5GHz VectaStar fixed wireless access base stations. more..

Sri Lanka Hopes For 600,000 Tourists In'04

Jan 9 (DJ) The Sri Lankan government hopes to attract a record 600,000 foreign tourists this year through increased room capacity and aggressive promotional campaigns, assuming peace on the island prevails, a senior government official said Friday. more..

Sri Lanka plans preliminary bids for airport highway project

Jan 9 (DJ) Sri Lanka is seeking fresh bids for a key highway project linking the capital to the country's only international airport, an official from the Bureau of Infrastructure Investment said Friday. more..

Court move on displaced Tamils' claims closely watched

Jan 9 (IPS) Tamils are hoping that Sri Lanka's Supreme Court will step into a void created by the country's stalled peace process - and rule on the thorny issue of their regaining the homes many lost to the army during the two-decade old ethnic conflict. more..

Ven. Dr.Omalpe Sobhitha challenges Minister Vajera Abeywardena for public debate

Jan 9 (AT) Ven. Dr. Omalpe Sobhitha Thero, executive Committee member of the Jathika Sangha Sammelenaya (JSS) has challenged for a public debate on the subject of proselytizing, the powerful UNP Minister Vajera Abeywardena of the UNF Government. more..

South Asia-and integrated security zone - Kadirgamar

Jan 9 (HT) International Affairs Advisor to President Kumaratunga and former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, has said that South Asian countries must show concern for India's security. "Each of us must always have an abiding concern for India's security," Kadirgamar told Hindustan Times. more..

Colombo JMO to examine Thilanga

Jan 9 (DN) Colombo Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge E. M. Y. T. B. Boyagoda yesterday directed Colombo Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) Dr. L.B.L. de Alwis to examine Sri Lanka Telecom Chairman and Sri Lanka Cricket President Thilanga Sumathipala, warded at Apollo Hospital room number 6030 and submit a report to court on or before Monday. more..

House to probe safe house reports

Jan 9 (DM) Amidst uproar in parliament, the ruling UNF yesterday pushed through a motion to appoint a parliamentary select committee to scrutinise the findings and recommendations of an Army probe and a Presidential Commission inquiry into the police raid on a military safe house at Athurugiriya. more..

Lankan Govt assures truce with LTTE stands

Jan 9 (PTI) The Sri Lankan government on Friday ruled out cancelling the ceasefire agreement with the LTTE although Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has asked President Chandrika Kumaratunga to renegotiate a deal with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Key witness shot dead in court

Jan 9 (CI) In the latest twist to the ongoing passport fraud affair in Sri Lanka, Dammika Amarasinghe, the central figure in the scandal involving Thilanga Sumathipala, the president of the Sri Lanka cricket board, was shot dead inside the court buildings on Friday morning by an assassin. more..

Alleged gangster linked to Thilanga Sumathipala killed

Jan 9 (AP) An alleged gangster at the center of a passport forgery scandal involving Sri Lanka's cricket chief was shot dead Friday while he was set to appear in a Colombo court. A man dressed in the black robes of a Sri Lankan attorney fatally shot Dhammika Amarasinghe as he was about to face murder charges unrelated to the scandal, more..

Fantasia invests LKR50m in lingerie elastic expansion

Jan 9 (JS) Elastic maker Fantasia Elastics is attempting to capitalise on the burgeoning intimate apparel market with a LKR50 million expansion of its Mt Lavinia manufacturing facility. more..

TN fishermen demand license to fish in Lankan waters

Jan 9 (HT) Fishermen from Tamil Nadu will insist on getting licenses to fish in Sri Lankan waters when they meet officials of the State and Centre governments in Chennai on Monday, according to an informed source in Ramanathapuram. more..

Sri Lanka power struggle begins to hit budget

Jan 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka will not be able to meet its economic targets this year because of a foreign aid freeze following the power struggle between the president and the prime minister, the government announced. more..

Defective CFA undermines Peace Process - Prof. Peiris

Jan 9 (TN) The government media spokesperson, Minister Professor G.L.Peiris, said Friday that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has decided to withdraw from the current peace process as the ceasefire agreement has become defective with Ms.Kumaratunge's take over of the defense ministry, more..

SriLankan Air to fly to Beijing and woo tourists

Jan 10 (Bloomberg) SriLankan Airlines, the nation's biggest airline, will start flights to Beijing this year with the aim of attracting more Chinese tourists to the South Asian island, chief executive Peter Hill said. more..

Japan to review Lanka's crisis to decide on aid release

Jan 10 (UNI) Amidst mounting international pressure on both President Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe to resolve their political bickering, Japanese special envoy Yasushi Akashi is scheduled to arrive here on January 19 for a review meeting regarding the peace process. more..

Clergy community mediators to be trained

Jan 10 (TN) The National Integration Programme Unit (NIPU) of the Ministry of Justice, Law Reform and National Integration is to launch a project to train a group of community mediators from among the respected clergy of all faiths in selected seven districts in the country to provide voluntary services to promote peace and national integration. more..

Buddhists Prelates accuses the Minister for reneging agreement

Jan 10 (AT) Leading members of the all powerful Jathika Sangha Sammelenaya (JSS), biggest organization of Buddhist prelates clashed with the Buddhist Affairs Minister W. J. M. Lokubandara and accused him of reneging the agreement his government reached with the Buddhist monks to draft necessary legislation against religious conversion. more..

New Page

Jan 10 (LBO) The government is looking at amending laws to allow foreign investors into the corporate debt market, without liberalising the capital account. Foreigners are currently restricted to equity investments. They can also invest in government debt through unit trust. more..

Funding Skills

Jan 10 (LBO) Legislation to set up a Human Resource Endowment Fund is in the works, offering needy students stipends on a voucher scheme, for vocational training. The US$ 40 mn Fund was mooted in the 2003 budget, with a proposal at the time to impose a levy on companies paying 30 percent of corporate tax. more..

Muslim vigilante group arrests Amparai Tamil youth

Jan 10 (TN) Accusing Nallaratnam Sivakumar, a Tamil youth from Sorikalmunai in Amparai district, for the disappearance of a Muslim youth seen with him, a vigilante Muslim group arrested Mr. Sivakumar Saturday morning, security sources said. Mr.Sivakumar was later handed over to the Kalmunai Police. more..

Two more female LTTE carders flee the organization

Jan 10 (SLA) Two LTTE female cadres (17) were arrested by troops in the general area of MUHAMALAI, about 3.5 km. east of ELUTHUMADDUVAL on 09 January 2004 around 00.40 a.m. At the time of the arrest they dressed in dark green uniform and carrying two civil bags and civil cloths. more..

LTTE demand ransom people refused

Jan 10 (SLA) A group of LTTE members have distributed Tamil language leaf lets among Tamil and Muslim businessmen and government servants instructing them to gather near a KOVIL in the general area of MANAMPITIYA, about 17 km east of POLONNARUWA on 08 January 2004 around 10.45 a.m. more..

Armed LTTE carders observed

Jan 10 (SLA) The troops on duty at KADJUWATTA army camp was observed a movement of approximately 10 LTTE carders at a distance of 300 – 500 meters on 09 January 2004 around 2.45 pm. in the general area of KADJUWATTA, about 45 km. northeast of BATTICALOA. more..

Business leaders lead bid to end political impasse

Jan 10 (Gulf) Flexing its muscles, Sri Lanka's vibrant private sector urged President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe to help move the economy forward and avoid an economic chaos with unpredictable consequences by resolving their differences peacefully. more..

Fresh challenge for Chandrika

Jan 10 (Dawn) The Sri Lankan government upped the stakes on Friday in a battle with the island's president that risks efforts to end 20 years of civil war, telling her to redo a ceasefire with Tamil guerillas or give up control of security. more..

Japanese peace envoy to visit Sri Lanka on Jan. 19

Jan 10 (Kyodo) Japan's special peace envoy, Yasushi Akashi, will arrive in Sri Lanka on Jan. 19 to review the stalled peace process between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels, cabinet spokesman Lakshman Peiris said Friday (Jan. 09). more..

Pudukottai fishermen begin indefinite stir

Jan 10 (CO) Fishermen from the coastal villages of Pudukottai district in Tamil Nadu began an indefinite strike today demanding the release of 19 of their colleagues, taken into custody by the Sri Lankan navy. more..

Opposition proposes pension scheme for migrants

Jan 10 (DM) The opposition yesterday called upon the government to introduce a pension scheme for migrant workers. PA Parliamentarian Chamal Rajapakse proposed to the house that the government should immediately find strategies to implement a pension scheme for migrant workers, as their wages are a major source of foreign exchange for the country. more..