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Communist Party calls for consensus on national issues

Jan 10 (DN) The victims of religious conversions largely and invariably come from marginalised groups in cities and rural areas, predominantly in the war-battered zones, estate sector and dry zones, the Communist Party of Sri Lanka said yesterday. more..

Train service to Batticaloa resumes

Jan 10 (PIS) The train service to Batticaloa was resumed on 23rd Dec 2003. There are two passenger trains and one freight train to and from Battiacaloa for a day. The train services to the region have got disrupted many times due to the protracted war. more..

Railway workers' worsening salary woes

Jan 10 (TN) More than 7000 railway workers who supervise railway crossings along local roads and highways have not received only minimal salary raises for the past fifteen years, Railway Workers Union officials said. In addition, the promise of making the workers permanent employees of Railway Department also has not materialized, more..

Civil group appeals for Muslim, Tamil unity

Jan 10 (TN) In a leaflet addressed to "Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters," distributed in Batticaloa-Amparai district, the Batticaloa Development Committee appealed for co-operation between Tamils and Muslims in the two districts and called on the community leaders to work jointly to combat forces trying to divide the two communities. more..

Mysterious gang kills youth in Kalvayal

Jan 11 (TN) A youth was shot dead by an unidentified group in Kalvayal in the Thenmaradchi division of Jaffna Saturday, Sri Lankan Police said. The youth was brought in a Toyota van and shot dead by the group around 10.30 a.m. behind the Aiyanar Kovil near the Thurkkai Amman temple in Kalvayal. more..

Vavuniya private bus owners call off strike

Jan 11 (TN) Vavuniya private bus owners and drivers called off their strike 10 am Friday after discussions with Vavuniya police organized by the Government Agent, Vavuniya, transportation sources said. more..

Response from Kilinochchi: 'LTTE will abide by MoU'

Jan 11 (SO) The LTTE will continue to abide by the ceasefire as provided for under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) despite Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's pronouncement concerning the MoU last week, an LTTE spokesman told the 'Sunday Observer'. more..

Countdown for Thilanga

Jan 11 (SL) The case against Thilanga Sumathipala and the dreaded underworld killer Dhammika Amarasinghe took a chilling turn on Friday, January 9, when Dhammika was shot dead while being produced for a non-summary inquiry at Court No. 6 in Hulftsdorp. more..

Political gloom and a ray of hope

Jan 11 (SL) With the Prime Minister declaring war on the President after weeks of negotiations failed to yield a compromise settlement to the political deadlock over the defence portfolio, Chandrika Kumaratunga under pressure domestically as well as from the international community was by Thursday once again waving the olive branch to Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Sri Lanka reeling from death link

Jan 11 (Telegraph) Sri Lanka may seem far away now that England's series there, with its strange goings-on, has finished. But the island's tangled cricket politics, culminating in a man being shot dead two days ago, are coming ever closer. more..

Call for debate on LTTE's history books

Jan 11 (Hindu) Controversies over history school books, an oft-raised point of contention between communities in conflict, is entering the mainstream media debate in Sri Lanka, following reported moves by the LTTE to distribute its history textbooks in northern Sri Lanka. more..

Nedunkerny hospital to recruit doctor

Jan 11 (TN) A search is being conducted for a doctor to serve at the Nedunkerny hospital, in the Vavuniya district, under a scheme to recruit doctors funded by the World Health Organization (WHO), said Dr. Armugam Ketheeswaran, the Deputy Director of Health Services in Vavuniya. more..

Will fast to death says Jaffna refugee

Jan 11 (TN) Mr.Sellakili Anandaraja, a refugee in Jaffna whose home and fields are occupied by the Sri Lanka amy said Sunday he would fast to death if he and more than 600 diplaced families in the Thenmaradchi divison of Jaffna are not permitted resettle in their villages before the end of January 2004. more..

SLFP seeks dialogue with the LTTE

Jan 11 (AT) The SLFP is wooing the LTTE in a bid to pave the way for direct peace talks between the two sides. The Sunday Times learns that informal contacts have been made through link groups of the LTTE over the past few months and the party is trying to establish closer links. more..

Marxists, Chandrika to finalise coalition accord

Jan 11 (Gulf) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's SLFP and the Marxist JVP are on the verge of finalising a coalition agreement on contesting future elections and the formation of a future government. more..

Balasingham puts off visit on Norway's advice

Jan 11 (Gulf) Tamil guerrilla's theoretician Anton Balasingham has delayed a scheduled visit to Sri Lanka on the advice of the Norwegian facilitators as the political crisis in the country continues to remain unresolved hampering the progress of the peace process. more..

Caring for Sri Lanka's wounded rebels

Jan 11 (BBC) It is just after dawn and a group of Tamil Tiger fighters lines up in front of the flagpole at a camp in rebel-controlled northern Sri Lanka. They pledge to sacrifice their property, their souls and their bodies for the liberation struggle. more..

Girl reunited with refugee parents after ten years

Jan 11 (NIP) A girl with whom her parents lost contact in Sri Lanka was reunited with her on Saturday at the refugee camp at Kaliakavilai near here on Saturday amidst tears of joy. Jogalakshmi, now 19 yrs was the second daughter of Chidambaram (45) and his wife Ilanchiam of Kilinochi in northern Sri Lanka. more..

Dead body of unidentified youth found

Jan 11 (SLA) On an information received from a civilian, a dead body of an unidentified youth with a gun shot injury has been found in the general area of NUNAVIL about 3 k.m. northwest of CHAVAKACHCHERI on 10 January 2004. The dead body which was lying beside the road was taken to the JAFFNA Hospital. more..

Hand grenade damages civilian’s house

Jan 11 (SLA) An unknown person has lobbed a hand grenade at a house belonging to civilian in the general area of MIRAVODAI about 30 k.m northwest of BATTICALOA on 09 January 2004 around 08.00 p.m causing damages to its windows. more..

Wired Jackpot

Jan 11 (LBO) Starting March, the National Lotteries Board will retail Sri Lanka’s first online lottery “Rapido” through over 150 agents in the Western Province. Retailing at Rs 30 a piece with the chance of winning upto Rs 600,000 every fifteen minutes, more..

Muslim group, Tamils to discuss resettlement

Jan 11 (AP) A Muslim peace group will negotiate with Tamil Tiger rebels on resettling thousands of ethnic Muslims driven away by the rebels from Sri Lanka's Tamil-majority north, a newspaper reported Sunday. more..

LTTE arrests Indian on spying charges, says report

Jan 11 (HT) The LTTE has arrested a south Indian businessman on the suspicion that he is a spy for India, according to a report in The Sunday Times. A senior LTTE cadre, of the rank of "Major", has also been taken into custody in this connection, the paper added. more..

Prabhakaran's daughter to marry top Tamil politician?

Jan 11 (HT) Wedding bells could be ringing in Tiger chieftain Velupillai Prabhakaran's house deep in the jungles of the Wanni later this year. The Sunday Times has reported that efforts are on to get top Tamil politician, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, to marry Prabhakaran's daughter, Dwaraka. more..

Batticaloa faces petroleum shortage as youths disrupt supply

Jan 11 (TN) Unknown group of youths Friday, in Sitthandy, Batticaloa, forced a private bowzer carrying Petroleum products to Batticaloa from Colombo, forcing the authorities to suspend further petroleum shipments to Batticaloa. more..

Jaffna leaflet warns of war

Jan 11 (TN) "War would be inevitable if Sri Lankan leaders insidiously reject the LTTE's Interim Self Governing Authority proposal and if they consider this peace period as a time to cheat", warned a leaflet issued in Jaffna Sunday by an organisation called Tamil National Awareness Movement. more..

National Patriotic Movement calls for general election

Jan 11 (TN) The National Patriotic Movement (NPM) Sunday said that the only way to solve the current political impasse is to dissolve the parliament and call for fresh general election. "This is the wish of the general public and intelligentsia of the country," more..

Scandinavians demand explanation over truce violations

Jan 11 (AFP) Scandinavians overseeing a truce in Sri Lanka have asked Tamil Tiger rebels to explain why they detained two monitors and made a death threat to a top military commander, a spokeswoman said. more..

Running a restaurant half a world away

Jan 12 (Kyodo) His hair is white and his complexion ruddy. There's a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face. He laughs easily and is possessed of prodigious energy. How else could a man of 73 with virtually no sleep for 24 hours look as fresh as the proverbial daisy? more..

Withdrawal of Ceasefire Agreement amounts to Declaration of Hostilities

Jan 12 (AT) What is Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe is up to? Is he trying to either withdraw or renege the Ceasefire Agreement he entered on behalf of the Sri Lankan Government with the Tamil rebel outfit, LTTE? more..

Tamil leaflet threatens war again in Jaffna

Jan 12 (Hindu) A leaflet in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula today warned that "war would be inevitable" if the Sri Lankan political leaders rejected the proposal by the LTTE for an interim self-governing authority (ISGA). more..

LTTE `detains' Indian businessman'

Jan 12 (Hindu) An Indian businessman has been reportedly "detained" by the LTTE last week on "suspicion of being an Indian infiltrator". According to information reaching here, the person, said to be from Tamil Nadu, was in Sri Lanka on a business visit when he was reportedly "detained". more..

CWC reveals election strategy

Jan 12 (TN) The Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), a major constituent of the United National Front (UNF) government said it would decide about its future political alliance with any major political party only after the announcement of a general election. more..

Security of law courts strengthened

Jan 12 (TN) The security of law courts in Sri Lanka would be strengthened from Monday to ensure safety to suspects, litigants, witnesses, lawyers and judicial officers in the wake of the killing of a notorious underworld leader, Dhamikka Amarasinghe, in the well of the Colombo Chief Magistrate's Court last week, more..

Army chief visits Jaffna

Jan 12 (TP) MAJOR General Susil Chandrapala, the new army commander in Sri Lanka’s war-torn northern city of Jaffna, had a cordial meeting with the LTTE’s Jaffna political wing leader Chemmanan at the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) office in the peninsula on Friday. more..

Ministers’ sons in public brawl

Jan 12 (TP) SONS of two cabinet ministers were once again involved in skirmishes with a group of relatives of a non-cabinet minister and their friends outside a nightclub in Colombo on Friday night and are said to have damaged two vehicles in a brawl, police said. more..

Polls in all seven provinces in April

Jan 12 (TP) PRIME Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapakse agreed on Friday to hold elections to all seven provinces outside the North and East on a Saturday — all on one day — in April before the Sinhala New Year, The Sunday Times reported. more..

President, premier reaching point of no return

Jan 12 (Gulf) Talks between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to work out modalities for an understanding on the peace process with the LTTE and on how to run a cohabitation government have all but collapsed, Gulf News was told. more..

Sri Lankan held, heroin seized

Jan 12 (Hindu) The Narcotics Intelligence Bureau of the State Police arrested a Sri Lankan Tamil on charges of smuggling narcotics and seized one kg of heroin from him on Saturday. The cost of the contraband is estimated at Rs. 1 crore. more..

Swedish opposition MPs meet Thamilchelvan

Jan 12 (TN) Four Swedish opposition women MPs Monday met the head of the political division of the Liberation Tigers, Mr. S. P Thamilchelvan, for discussions on wide ranging issues. They were accompanied by head of mission of the Embassy of Sweden in Colombo, Ms. Anne Marie Fallenius, and the UNICEF representative in the Vanni. more..

Trinco, Batticaloa writers remembered

Jan 12 (TN) The seventh death anniversary of Trincomalee born versatile Tamil writer, Mr.Tharmu Sivaramoo, and the 28th death anniversary of Batticaloa poet, Mr.Thuraineelavanan, were observed on Sunday with a public meeting held at the Sri Vigneswara Maha Vidiyalayam in Trincomalee. more..

LTTE men on a three-wheeler abduct teenager

Jan 12 (SLA) Five self-claimed LTTE men on a three-wheeler have abducted a sixteen year old boy from the general area of TRINCOMALEE on 10 January 2004, states a complaint made by the victim’s father at TRINCOMALEE Police station. more..

LTTE want ransom from 114 villagers

Jan 12 (SLA) Two unidentified LTTE men had issued a letter, demanding the payment of a ransom of Rs. 5000 (US$ 52) each from about 114 villagers in the general area of THABALA village, states a complaint made to Police by the Chairman of THABALA Muslim Mosque on 11 January 2004. more..

Army corporal’s wife threatened and LTTE visit home afterwards

Jan 12 (SLA) Two LTTE cadres threatened the wife of an Army soldier in the general area of BATTICALOA town on 04 January 2004, saying that her husband would be killed unless he immediately resigns from the Army, says a complaint made to BATTICALOA Police station. more..

Woman defies armed LTTE men’s order

Jan 12 (SLA) Four armed LTTE men threatened a woman in the general area of KALMUNAI on 08 January 2004 around 7.30 p.m. and fired in the air, asking her to open her residence but the victim defied LTTE order and refused to go with LTTE men for an alleged questioning. more..

Army truck collision kills civilian

Jan 12 (SLA) Army personnel, allegedly involved in a motor accident causing death to a civilian in the general area of MANTHUVIL, about 21 km west of JAFFNA on 10 January 2004 in the night, were to be taken in for questioning by the Police at NELLIADY. more..

Hat Collection

Jan 12 (LBO) The government is looking for donor assistance to give the local asset securitisation market some legal teeth. Securitisation allows firms to borrow against future cash flows, which are channelled into a separate legal entity or a special purpose vehicle (SPV). more..

Striking Gold

Jan 12 (LBO) Indian giant Oil and Natural Gas Corp. are already staking out prospects in Sri Lanka’s fledgling exploration industry, sending in a proposal for joint exploration. Site studies indicate that Sri Lanka could strike oil in the Cauvery Basin, off the Mannar coast, with plans to offer identified blocks at an investor road show. more..

Calling Lanka

Jan 12 (LBO) The Board of Investment is mooting changes to the BOI Act for bigger tax holidays encouraging call centres to relocate here. Currently Sri Lanka trails behind neighbouring countries like India and the Philippines as potential centres for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). more..

Tour de Farce

Jan 12 (LBO) Even before the dust settles on 2003, the tourism industry is gearing up to break last year’s arrivals record this year. Sri Lanka Tourist Board officials say they expect the numbers to continue their upward trend. more..