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Banks and Robbers

Jan 15 (LBO) The Rajarata Development Bank’s (RDB) decision to interdict the entire staff at its Medirigiriya branch after it was robbed at gunpoint recently will be met by protests by the employees of all six regional development banks. more..

Deputy Mayor of CMC to resign

Jan 15 (LT) Asad Saly, deputy Mayor of Colombo Municipal Council is to tender his resignation. He had stated that he was unable to work with Mayor Prasanna Gunawardene who acts as a despot. There had been a dispute between the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor and this is the end result of it. more..

Hospitals sick

Jan 15 (LT) Work in all hospitals was affected as a result of the strike conducted by employees of the health sector demanding a solution to their salary anomalies. Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) which had organized the strike says essential services were allowed to function. more..


Jan 15 (PIB) A three-member Defence Delegation headed by Mr Cyril Herath, Defence Secretary of Sri Lanka arrived in New Delhi on a three-day visit. The delegation held a meeting with the Indian delegation today. In the meeting they discussed about the mutual cooperation in military training and other defence related issues. more..

Rift over Chandrika's plan to extend term

Jan 15 (Gulf) Sri Lanka was heading for another political and constitutional crisis after President Chandrika Kumaratunga admitted that a second swearing- in ceremony was held after the last Presidential elections and declared that she could carry on until 2006 – a year later than she was expected to end her term. more..

Life goes on for man mauled by mincer

Jan 15 (Gulf) Three weeks after his hand was crushed in a meat mincer, Suleiman Lobby Jaafar is back on his feet and looking forward to a return to work. The young Sri Lankan was attempting to fix the powerful meat mincing machine when his hand got stuck in it and was crushed. more..

Cease-fire holds despite power grab - LTTE

Jan 15 (AP) The Tamil Tiger rebel group has promised Norwegian peace brokers it will honor a cease-fire with the Sri Lankan government despite a power struggle between government leaders that has blocked peace efforts, a pro-rebel report said Thursday. more..

Church torched in Sri Lanka amid mounting religious strife

Jan 15 (AFP) A Roman Catholic church was set on fire near the Sri Lankan capital Colombo amid mounting inter-religious tension in this Buddhist majority island, police said. The St. Michael's church at Katuwana, about 25 kilometres (15 miles) east of here, was attacked by an unidentified group of people who broke into the premises, more..

Sri Lanka moving towards polls as crisis worsens

Jan 15 (AFP) Sri Lanka was headed for snap elections as the president cut a deal with hardline leftists amid a worsening political crisis and fears of a return to war, political sources said. more..

Ravi wants Ranil to be sworn-in as President

Jan 15 (DM) Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Ravi Karunanayake said that the Cabinet of Ministers, at its meeting yesterday, had decided to take up the second swearing in ceremony of President Chandrika Kumaratunga in Parliament. more..

Ministers' sons evading arrest -CID

Jan 15 (DN) The CID probing into the attack by Ministers' sons yesterday said that the two wanted youth were evading arrest. On Monday the Colombo Fort Magistrate and Additional District Judge Sarath C. Karunaratne, on an application by the CID, impounded the passports of the two ministers' sons more..

New political pact shatters peace hopes in Sri Lanka

Jan 15 (OW) Analysts believe Wednesday's pact between President Chandrika Kumaratunga's SLFP and the firebrand Marxist political party -- JVP -- has dealt another blow to the fractured peace process, and may trigger anarchy in the island nation. more..

Two men drown in Point Pedro seas

Jan 15 (TN) Celebrating Thai Pongal festival ended tragically when Peranantham Umasuthan (29) and Sribalaganeshamoorthy Suthakar (23) were caught in strong currents and drowned while bathing near Katkovalam, a beach village 5km east of Point Pedro town Friday morning. more..

NECORD conducts capacity building workshop for NE contractors

Jan 15 (TN) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded NECORD in collaboration with German Technical Co-operation (GTZ) is to hold seven capacity building workshops in the districts of NorthEast province for small and medium size contractors working in the northeast development projects. more..

‘Nothing from Colombo to rebuild Chavakachcheri’ – UC

Jan 15 (TN) ‘The Government of Sri Lanka hasn’t provided any assistance at all so far to rebuild or repair public buildings and amenities in Chavakachcheri which were destroyed in the war although two years have gone by since the town’s residents resettled’, said the Secretary of the Chavakachcheri Urban Council, Mr. M. S Saravanabhava, more..

LTTE, Muslims, SL Police meet in Amparai

Jan 15 (TN) A delegation from LTTE, representatives from Muslim community and officers from Sri Lanka Police met at the SLMM in Akkaraipattu Wednesday from 9am to 12 am to discuss ways to resolve disputes that arise between communities, security sources said. more..

Atapattu investigation 'not finalised'

Jan 15 (CI) The International Cricket Council has dismissed reports from Sri Lanka that the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit has finalised its recent investigations into the cash-in-the-bedroom incident. During England's recent tour of Sri Lanka, 1.1 million rupees were discovered in a room that had been occupied by Sri Lankan batsmen Marvan Atapattu. more..

India, Lanka hold talks on bilateral defence pact

Jan 15 (PTI) India and Sri Lanka on Thursday held high level talks to discuss a bilateral defence agreement between the two countries covering military training and arms sales. more..

Any Takers?

Jan 16 (LBO) Saddled with debts of over Rs. 11 bn, the CEB is coming to the market again to securitise its future cash flows by borrowing over a billion rupees. CEB tapped the capital markets last year and raised Rs. 1.4 bn through securitised paper, though it still relies on expensive bank overdrafts for working capital. more..

Akashi to visit Colombo, Kilinochchi next week

Jan 16 (TN) Japan's special envoy for Sri Lanka, Mr. Yashushi Akashi will visit Colombo and Kilinochchi next week for talks with Sri Lankan leaders and the Liberation Tigers. During his visit Mr. Akashi will chair the second follow up meeting of the Tokyo donors' conference on reconstruction and development of Sri Lanka on 23 January in Colombo. more..

Hand grenade lobbed at EPRLF member’s house

Jan 16 (SLA) An unknown person has thrown a hand grenade at a residence in the general area of LAKE ROAD, BATTICALOA on 14 January 2004 around 9.00 p.m. The hand grenade has fallen in front of the house belonging to R. THURAIRATNAM of LAKE – 01 ROAD, BATTICALOA, a member of the EPRLF. more..

Fishermen discuss problems with Jaffna SF Commander

Jan 16 (SLA) Elaborate talks, aimed at resolving hardships and problems of the fishing community in northern Point Pedro and its environs, if any were conducted recently at Point Pedro Brigade Headquarters, following an initiative mooted by the newly appointed Commander Security Forces Jaffna Major Gen Susil Chandrapala. more..

Police assures co-operation for Batticaloa Pongu Thamil event

Jan 16 (TN) Batticaloa district Senior Superintendent of Police, Mahes Samradiwagara assured the President of Batticaloa Pongu Thamil Committee, Rajan Sathiyamoorthy and Batticaloa district Parliamentarian G.Krishnapillai (Vellimalai) that the Police would cooperate with them more..

Sri Lanka end-Nov foreign reserves up 28.1 pct

Jan 16 (Reuters) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka said on Friday the country's gross official foreign exchange reserves at the end of November stood at a provisional $2.18 billion, up 28.1 percent from $1.70 billion in December 2002. more..

Lanka likely to hold elections in April

Jan 16 (Dawn) With the signing of an agreement between the SLFP of President Chandrika Kumaratunge and the Marxist JVP just days away (Jan 20) , political sources are speculating that the next move by the president would be to call elections in April. more..

Atapattu affair takes another twist

Jan 16 (Age) The mystery surrounding $15,000 found in a hotel room previously occupied by Sri Lanka batsman Marvan Atapattu in December last year took another turn yesterday when the International Cricket Council strongly denounced claims by Sri Lanka Cricket that the player had been cleared of wrongdoing. more..

HPCL bid to enter Lankan oil market not welcomed

Jan 16 (HT) It is well known that the public sector Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) is hoping to enter the Sri Lankan oil market as the third player in the context of privatization of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). And on the face of it, HPCL stands a good chance because its non-binding offer, pegged at $ 100 million, is the highest so far. more..

U.S. Court ruling seen as aiding Tamil Rebels

Jan 16 (IPS) A U.S. court ruling could ease efforts to raise funds for the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka, where the rebels are bolstering civil projects amid a cease-fire with government forces. more..

Peaceful image helps Sri Lanka to tourism record

Jan 16 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tourism industry, battered by years of civil war, hit a record last year as the island's image as a safe, exotic destination grows after a ceasefire was signed in early 2002. more..

Tea industry sees smooth road ahead

Jan 16 (Gulf) Prospects seem to be brighter this year for the tea industry which has traditionally been one of the main sources of foreign exchange to the island known for its lush green tea gardens and global tea exports. more..

President’s Thai Pongal message

Jan 16 (PSL) On this auspicious Thai Pongal day, I wish to extend my heartfelt greetings and best wishes to all those who celebrate this festival. Thai Pongal is a time when thanks is given to Sun-God and to nature for a bountiful harvest and preparations are made for the change of seasons that comes with it. more..

SLMC - LTTE MOU: Conveniently forgotten by Rauff Hakeem

Jan 16 (AT) The MOU signed between the LTTE and the SLMC which gave much hope to the Tamil and Muslim communities in the East and North, has suddenly seen an abrupt end in December last year, when the Tiger’s political wing leader S. P. Thamilselvan announced that the LTTE-SLMC agreement signed in April 2002 has been annulled. more..

Somawansa Amarasinghe returns to Sri Lanka

Jan 16 (LT) Mr. Somawansa Amarasinghe, Leader of the JVP who engages in politics while living abroad would arrive in Sri Lanka on the 20th evening says the Political Bureau of the JVP. The arrival of Mr. Amarasinghe at a time when the JVP and the SLFP are moving towards an alliance is significant says political analysts. more..

Only Elam bank to function in Jaffna?

Jan 16 (LT) Tiger organization has ordered that Rs.4 million belonging to Jaffna Development fund in People’s Bank branch of Jaffna should be transferred to Elam Development Bank. more..

Health talks fail – strike imminent if no solution found - HSTUA

Jan 16 (LT) Health workers would recommence their trade union action on Monday as the discussions the Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) had with the officials of the treasury about the problem of salary anomalies of the workers in the health sector ended unsuccessfully. more..

Swedish MPs visits North on study tour

Jan 16 (DN) Swedish Members of Parliament, Hillevi Engstrom, Cristina Husmark Pehersson and Inger Rene visited Killinochchi and Jaffna on January 12 on a UNICEF hosted study tour. The MPs learnt more about the peace process, concrete results of Swedish development co-operation and the situation of children affected by war. more..

Major shift in stance by JVP?

Jan 16 (DM) With the date now finalized for the signing of the much-talked of SLFP-JVP alliance, SLFP Genereal Secretary Maithripala Sirisena yesterday ruled out a general election in the near future as reiterated by President Chandrika Kumaratunga. more..

Chandrika's 'second swearing-in ceremony' criticised

Jan 16 (Hindu) Sri Lanka's bitter political standoff between the President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, and the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, today showed signs of escalating further with the Cabinet spokesman, G.L. Peiris, strongly criticising Ms. Kumaratunga's "second swearing-in ceremony" more..

Sri Lanka vows tough action against hate attacks on churches

Jan 16 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s president ordered tough action on Friday to stop hate attacks after a Roman Catholic church was set ablaze, the latest in a wave of strikes against Christian worship sites in the majority Buddhist nation. more..

New head for Sri Lanka truce team

Jan 16 (BBC) The head of the Scandinavian ceasefire monitoring mission in Sri Lanka is being replaced. Tryggve Tellefsen left the country last October after President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party complained he had jeopardised national security. more..

President insists on extended term

Jan 16 (AFP) The party of Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga insisted her term of office would be a year longer than expected and challenged her rival, the prime minister, to settle the matter in court. more..

Plugging Leaks

Jan 16 (LBO) The Water Board will incur an additional Rs.50 mn in Value Added Tax on domestic customers this year, following a state directive to absorb a 5 percent increase in tariffs. The heavily subsidised sector saw a five percent increase in taxes in the 2004 budget, more..

Winning Runs

Jan 16 (LBO) Continuing a robust recovery, Sri Lanka’s export earnings clocked in a double-digit growth for the first eleven months of this year, which saw the trade deficit expand marginally, the Central Bank said Friday. Despite higher export numbers, the trade deficit for November remained flat at US$ 135 mn year on year. more..

Colombo Municipal Council plans to set up permanent dog sterilisation centre

Jan 16 (IL) Colombo Municipal Council Veterinary authorities are planning to construct a permanent dog sterilisation centre in the city in an effort to find alternative methods to bring down stray dog numbers and thereby reduce risk of rabies. more..

OPA urges stern action against VIP sons'

Jan 16 (IL) The Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka in a letter to President Chandrika Kumaratunga had appealed to her to direct the Police to ensure that speedy and stern action taken against the sons of Ministers S.B.Dissanayake and Mahinda Wijesekera. more..

Angst of an island

Jan 16 (FL) SRI LANKA today is an island-nation that is adrift. Having made a tricky transition from war to peace in the year 2003, it now finds itself delicately poised on the political front. more..

LTTE may use snap poll to get support for self-determination

Jan 16 (HT) A proposal to make the next Sri Lankan parliamentary elections a referendum among the Tamils on their right to self-determination is being discussed at the highest levels in the LTTE, informed Tamil sources say. more..

LTTE ditches PM Ranil and opts for Prez Chandrika

Jan 16 (HT) It is now fairly clear that the LTTE is no longer with the Ranil Wickremesinghe government. It is cosying up to President Kumaratunga, who it sees as the new power in the Sri Lankan state, and an emerging one in the politics of the majority Sinhala community of south Sri Lanka. more..

Jaffna parents protest, want schools reopened

Jan 17 (TN) Parents demonstrated in two separate places in the Thenmaradchi division of Jaffna Friday demanding that schools where their children studied before they fled the war in 1999-2000 be reopened without delay. more..

Couple, infant murdered in Jaffna high security area

Jan 17 (TN) A couple and their eight month old infant were found murdered near the Kanakampuliyadi Junction in Jaffna Friday, Police in Chavakachcheri said. The couple’s home is in an isolated spot surrounded by a large number of Sri Lankan military positions and camps. more..