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Defense chief says eastern port under threat

Sep 15 (AP) A major Sri Lankan naval base is under threat from Tamil Tiger rebels, but security forces are preparing to defend it, a top defense official said Wednesday. Sri Lanka's seas have remained tense despite a government-rebel cease-fire signed in 2002. Peace talks have stalled over disagreements. more..

Off the Path

Sep 16 (LBO) What’s to be done when an American guy, who incidentally says Buddhism is the religion he most connects with, poses for a publicity photo straddling a statue of the Buddha? Government top representative for the teaching of the onetime prince, the Buddha Sasana Ministry on Wednesday alleged the poster was part of a larger anti-Buddhist conspiracy. more..

Convict Exchange

Sep 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka and Lebanon are in talks for a prisoner swap so that the convicted of both countries can be tried on home ground. As at right now, there are no Lebanese prisoners in local jails, but Sri Lanka’s track record isn’t that great, with crimes ranging from shoplifting to murder. more..

Service Charge

Sep 16 (LBO) The Inland Revenue says a new tax – the Economic Service Charge (ESC) – will be enforced on companies from next week. “We will advertise for companies to pay next week,” said Commissioner of Inland Revenue, R P L Weerasinghe. more..

Pre-school opened in Nedunkerni

Sep 16 (TN) A pre-school constructed by the Nedunkerny Development Rehabilitation Organization (NDRO) with the financial assistance provided by the Siththi Vinayagar Kovil Society in Kerning, Denmark and sponsored by the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization and Pre-school Development Organization was declared open Wednesday morning. more..

Paramilitaries said behind threat to poison supply wells

Sep 16 (TN) The chief water works engineer for Batticaloa said Wednesday that squatters on land reserved for tapping underground springs were threatening to poison wells from which water is pumped the eastern town to stop authorities from evicting them. more..

Solheim to meet Thamilchelvan Thursday

Sep 16 (TN) Norwegian special peace envoy Mr. Erik Solheim is scheduled to meet Mr.S.P. Thamilchelvan Thursday morning in the Killinochchi. September 16th Thursday marks the second anniversary of the grand opening of the peace talks between the then UNF government and the LTTE at Sattahip, Thailand for the first time after signing the ceasefire agreement. more..

Japan comes forward to increase technological assistance

Sep 16 (Rupavahini) Japan has come forward to increase its assistance to Sri Lanka in the field of technology. The Japanese minister of economy, trade and industry Soichi Nakagawa gave this pledge when minister of foreign affairs, Lakshman Kadirgamar met him in Tokyo recently. more..

Lanka to purchase helipad Vessel from India

Sep 16 (UNI) Newly-appointed Sri Lankan Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Vice Admiral Daya Sandagiri today said this country would purchase one more helipad Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) from India. more..

Sri Lankan monks storm government office in "Hollywood Buddha" protest

Sep 16 (AFP) Dozens of Buddhist monks stormed a Sri Lankan government office urging the authorities to act over a controversial film poster which has enraged the religion's followers. more..

N.Sumatera Explores Export of Fresh Fish to Sri Lanka

Sep 16 (AP) The Indonesian province of North Sumatera is exploring the possibilities of exporting fresh fish to Sri Lanka, a potential market for various marine commodities, a local official said. more..

No constructive message from Colombo - Thamilchelvan

Sep 16 (TN) "The Norwegian facilitators did not bring any constructive message from the Sri Lankan government. It is unfortunate that the Sri Lankan government is not speaking in one voice about the peace process" said Mr. S. P Thamilchelvan, more..

U.S. Consular officials to visit Jaffna

Sep 16 (TN) Consular officials of the American Embassy in Colombo will be visiting Jaffna on Monday, 20 September to provide opportunity for U.S. citizens residing in Jaffna to meet the officials, a press release from the U.S. Embassy said. more..

Agitators do not want new LTTE appointee

Sep 16 (SLA) Hundreds of irate civilians in the general un-cleared areas of KOKKADICHOLAI, BATTICALOA stormed the LTTE office on 14 September 2004 and demanded the removal of newly-appointed LTTE leader, BANU for the eastern province, according to information reported to the troops. more..

Armed LTTE men torch hut and threaten soldier’s wife

Sep 16 (SLA) Two armed LTTE men fired shots into the air and set fire to a cadjan hut of a residence in the general area of AIYANKERNI, VALAICHCHENAI on 09 September 2004 at about 9.45 p.m. while simultaneously threatening the wife of a soldier with death for reasons best known only to the LTTE, more..

LTTE ignores MOU provisions and raises its flag

Sep 16 (SLA) LTTE men continue to raise their flags in the general areas of KOPAY, NAGARKOVIL, GAJASINHAPURA, MEESALAI, VELVETTITURAI, MANNAR and NANADDAN regardless of the provisions contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Government and the LTTE. more..

LTTE construct bunkers despite SLMM rulings

Sep 16 (SLA) Seven LTTE cadres in civil clothes had commenced construction of a new bunker at the NAGARKOVIL Forward Defence Line (FDL) in JAFFNA on 15 September 2004 around 7.50 a.m. despite rulings given by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM). more..

Sit-on fast demanding release of Home Guards continues

Sep 16 (SLA) The sit-on fast launched by next of kin of two LTTE abducted Home Guards in TRINCOMALEE town continues for the third consecutive day today (16 September 2004) drawing support from the members of the public as well as the organizers of the North-East Sinhala Organization. more..

Norwegian Peace Envoy tours Jaffna

Sep 16 (SLA) Norwegian Peace Envoy Mr.Erik Solheim and a diplomatic delegation from the Norwegian embassy in Colombo were in Jaffna on Wednesday (15) to meet a cross section of the Security Forces, Intelligentsia, Religious dignitaries, SLMMM, Non-Governmental Organizations, business community and members of the civil society. more..

Dutch ambassador visits Jaffna

Sep 16 (SLA) Exploration of the possibilities of re-settling displaced persons in Jaffna peninsula and how the international community could help in this direction, etc were among a few issues that were taken up by Mrs. Susan Th-Blankhart, Ambassador for Netherlands in Sri Lanka more..

Special allowance to the teachers work in difficult areas

Sep 16 (SLBC) The Cabinet has approved a proposal to pay special allowance to the teachers who work in the schools of difficult areas. Accordingly, an additional allowance of 2,500 rupees will be paid to the teachers in the most difficult areas from January next year. more..

Marshy lands will be vested in the Natural Resources Ministry

Sep 16 (SLBC) All Marshy land with an environmental value will be vested in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. The Minister A.H.M.Fowzie said that a cabinet memorandum in this connection will be presented to the cabinet shortly. more..

Customs pledge to bar items which offence Lord Buddha

Sep 16 (SLBC) The Customs has given a pledge to the supreme court that action will be taken to prohibit the importation of items, which ridicule Lord Buddha. The chief incumbent of the Sammodhi Vihara had submitted a fundamental rights petition to the supreme courts requesting for a directive to prohibit importation of items, which disgrace Buddha. more..

Pavement hawkers barred from Colombo city

Sep 16 (SLBC) Pavement hawkers will not be allowed in the city of Colombo from tomorrow. The Colombo Municipal Council said that pavement hawkers would be removed from the streets with assistance from Police. more..

Patient’s son saves doctor’s life with liver donation

Sep 16 (AO) HOW true the old proverb, one good turn deserves another. A doctor treated a man for diabetes for years and then became close friends with him. Later, when the man died, the doctor became a father figure to his two sons. more..

Rupee down as importers pay trade bills

Sep 16 (Reuters) The Sri Lanka rupee weakened for the second day in a row on Thursday after having held steady for almost a month, as import demand for dollars increased as trade bills flooded the market, dealers said. more..

SRI LANKA: Major textile deals in North Carolina

Sep 16 (BT) Less than 10 percent of Sri Lanka's annual $1.2 billion textiles import trade is done with the United States, and country officials said they'd like to see it reach 25 percent to 30 percent by 2007. more..

Opposition pledges support to govt peace

Sep 16 (PD) Main opposition said Thursday that they would extend support to President Chandrika Kumaratunga's peace effort with LTTE. G.L. Peiris, spokesman for UNP, said that while the government can count on the UNP support, it must sort out the internal differences of opinion within the ruling coalition. more..

Murali taking his time

Sep 16 (BBC) Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan could be out of action until March as he recovers from shoulder surgery. Muralitharan underwent surgery in Australia last month and is happy to be taking his time. He told BBC Sport: "It could be five months, seven months or eight months before I return to match action. more..

Opposition will march on Colombo streets on Sept 24

Sep 16 (LBO) The main opposition United National Party, is trying to shake off 'its sleepy giant image', with a countrywide street protest against the rising cost of living. The move comes just days after the Marxist JVP, threw a challenge at the UNP, to show its strength by galvanising public support. more..

Two police officers killed in shooting at Kalawana

Sep 16 (LT) In a shooting incident that occurred at Manana Road at Kalawana two police officers were killed. The two police officers had been on night patrol at the time of the shooting. They were shot dead by an armed gang in a three wheeler when it was stopped to be inspected on suspicion. more..

Don’t base talks on interim administration - University Teachers tell Govt.

Sep 16 (LT) The Alliance of University Teachers have emphasized to the government that talks should not be based on interim administration which would give Tamil Elam to the tiger organization on a platter. more..

Cinema village to come up at Film Corporation premises

Sep 16 (DN) Work on the establishment of a fully-fledged Cinema Village complex in the premises of the State Film Corporation at Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo which will provide a host of facilities for film producers and filmgoers will commence next week, a Film Corporation release said. more..

India will underwrite Lanka's integrity, says Indian Navy chief

Sep 16 (HT) India will underwrite Sri Lanka's territorial integrity, says the Chief of Staff of the Indian Navy, Admiral Arun Prakash. "We are solidly behind Sri Lanka's efforts to safeguard its territorial integrity. Its integrity is certainly in our interest. We can't watch Sri Lanka falling apart. We are committed to underwriting its integrity," more..

Chandrika proposal gets opposition backing

Sep 16 (KT) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had the sanction of his deputy and another prominent party legislators with international clout to support President Chandrika Kumaratunga's proposal for a bi-partisan approach to resolve the ethnic conflict during a meeting of the two leaders on Thursday. more..

Sri Lanka to approach Unesco over misuse of Buddha

Sep 16 (IANS) Angry over a US-based film advertisement that shows a man sitting on top of a Buddha statue, the Sri Lanka government plans to rope in Unesco to prevent misuse of Buddha images for commercial purposes. more..

Lanka forms ministerial panel to study Indian ship canal project

Sep 16 (HT) The cabinet on Wednesday set up an inter-ministerial committee to study the impact of India's controversial project to dig a ship canal through the Palk Strait. "This may be a premature judgement, but we fear that the Sethusamudram project could have serious implications for Sri Lanka. more..

Swift Sri Lanka peace deal beyond even Buddha - envoy

Sep 16 (Reuters) Turning a two-year ceasefire between Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels and the government into permanent peace would pose problems for even Jesus or Buddha, Norway's peace envoy said on Thursday. more..

LTTE says ISGA proposals not final, open to discussion

Sep 16 (TN) The LTTE said its interim administration proposals were not rigid or final and it was ready to negotiate the issue but it saw the lack of clarity on the part of the government as the main stumbling block, for the resumption of peace talks, the Daily Mirror reported Wednesday, more..

No breakthrough in peace talks as Norwegian envoy ends meeting with rebels

Sep 16 (AP) A Norwegian envoy and Tamil Tiger rebels failed to reach a breakthrough on stalled peace talks in a meeting Thursday, a pro-rebel Web site said. "The Norwegian facilitators did not bring any constructive message from the government. It is unfortunate that the government is not speaking in one voice about the peace process," more..

Teacher alleges assault by Kodikamam Police

Sep 17 (TN) Miss T.Indranee, a teacher conducting evening classes to drop-out students the under UNICEF project "Regaining Lost Education" in Mirusuvil north in Thenmaradchchi in Jaffna district Thursday complained to the Jaffna regional office of the HRCSL that she and her students had been severely assaulted by Kodikamam Police Tuesday, more..

Tamil Language Festival to be held in Trinco

Sep 17 (TN) North East Provincial Tamil Language Festival for Tamil medium schools in the province is to be held on September 18 and 19 in Trincomalee St.Mary's College Theresa Auditorium. Provincial Folkdance Festival will be held on the first day and Tamil Language Festival on the second day, more..

US$ 140 million UNICEF plan to uplift lives of children

Sep 17 (PSL) At the launch of the National Action Plan for Children yesterday, President Chandrika Kumaratunga said “This is a definite statement of the Government’s commitment to the advancement of the rights and interests of our children.” more..

President appreciative of Norway’s commitment

Sep 17 (PSL) The President reviewed the recent developments in the Peace Process expressing her deep concern over the LTTE’s violations of the Ceasefire Agreement and the delay in the resumption of negotiations between the GOSL and the LTTE, despite the flexibility demonstrated by the GOSL on the matter. more..

Toy tiger present leaves Vaiko annoyed

Sep 17 (NIP) MDMK leader Vaiko makes no bones about his support for the LTTE's cause in Sri Lanka. Even after a 19-month stay in jail under POTA for his speeches in support of the outfit, Vaiko says he remains steadfast in his support for the LTTE's cause. more..

President inquired about recent political developments in the Maldives

Sep 17 (TVM) President Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga, today inquired about recent political developments in the Maldives, in a telephone conversation with President Gayoom. She called the President during his brief transit in Colombo, en-route to Saudi Arabia to attend the General Congress of the Muslim World League. more..

Solheim's efforts to revive talks to end in a fiasco one more time

Sep 17 (AT) Norwegian Special Peace Envoy Eric Solheim is scheduled to leave Sri Lanka on Friday (Sep 17) following yet another failed attempt to bring the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lankan Government to the negotiation table to end ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. more..

President expressed frustration over the dilatory measures adopted by the LTTE

Sep 17 (AT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga expressed her frustration over the dilatory tactics adopted by the LTTE regarding the recommencement of the Peace talks and termed it as, ‘unsatisfactory,’ and urged the Tamil rebels to come forward for talks without any further delay. more..

President welcomes Norway's role

Sep 17 (TN) President Chandrika Kumaratunge welcomed Norway's role in the peace process and accused the LTTE of "indecision over commencement of talks," in a press release issued today after discussions with Norwegian Peace Envoy, Eric Solheim at the President's House in Colombo. more..

ISGA must form basis for talks- UNP

Sep 17 (TN) Opposition UNP Thursday reiterated its stand that the future talks between the UPFA the LTTE should commence on the basis of the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA), said UNP's media spokesman and former minister Professor G.L.Peiris addressing a press briefing in Colombo. more..