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Connecting the Unconnected: World Bank to support E-Sri Lanka

Sep 22 (WB) The World Bank today approved US$53 million credit for itsfirst integrated e-development project, the e-Sri Lanka project -- a comprehensive program of leveraging Information Communication Technologies (ICT) to improve more..

Ministry launches Education For All program

Sep 22 (DN) Education For All (EFA), a program aimed at ensuring every child's access to education and improving the quality of the country's education has been launched by the Education Ministry. more..

Govt rejects Tamil Tiger demand for prisoner exchange

Sep 22 (AP) The government rejected a Tamil Tiger demand for a prisoner exchange on Wednesday, as a town in eastern Sri Lanka mourned the kidnapping of two security guards by the rebels. The Tigers said they would release the guards seized from Trincomalee town on Aug. 10 if the government agreed to free 10 rebels being held in a state prison. more..

Leadership changes show LTTE may get tough

Sep 22 (IANS) Crucial changes Tamil Tiger guerrillas have made in their ranks in Sri Lanka's east portend trouble ahead despite mounting concern voiced by Western diplomats over escalating tensions in the country. more..

Govt. forces, Tamil rebels meet in east

Sep 22 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels met Wednesday in eastern Batticaloa after a long gap to discuss cease-fire related issues in the east of the country, the pro-rebel Tamilnet website reported. more..

2005 budget to narrow deficit

Sep 22 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's 2005 budget will close tax loopholes to slash a government revenue shortfall and focus public investment on rural development projects, but there will no tax hikes, a top Treasury official said. more..

Lanka demands decision making powers for UNGA

Sep 22 (HT) President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, has demanded a greater role for the General Assembly in the decision-making process of the United Nations. Kumaratunga said that as the representative of all the member states of the UN, the General Assembly "should have a larger and more active role as a deliberative and decision-making body." more..

South Korea assists IT development in Jaffna Technical College

Sep 23 (TN) South Korea has donated 238 million rupees for the development of information technology in the Jaffna Technical College. South Korean Ambassador Mr.Lin Jae Hong made this announcement when he paid a visit to Jaffna Technical College Wednesday morning, sources said. more..

Vadamaradchchi residents agitate for electricity

Sep 23 (TN) Association for Preservation of Natural Resources in Vadamaradchchi East Wednesday made an appeal to the Jaffna District Government Agent to take immediate steps to provide electricity supply to villages in the division. more..

Chandrika makes spirited appeal for Security Council seat for India, Japan

Sep 23 (AT) Taking a spirited, combative stand, President Chandrika Kumaratunga has passionately pleaded Asia’s cause in the U.N. and backed India and Japan for permanent membership in the Security Council. more..

Presence of LTTE’s Military representatives is a must to discuss Security situation in the East

Sep 23 (AT) Security Forces Chiefs in Batticaloa yesterday expressed their dissatisfaction over the absence of LTTE military wing leaders for Batticaloa Ampara district at the meeting held between the two parties under the facilitation of the SLMM in the Eastern district of Batticaloa. more..

Govt passes tax amnesty amendment bill

Sep 23 (Xinhua) The government for the first time since being elected to office in April managed to pass its first piece of legislation on Wednesday. Parliamentary officials said that the tax amnesty amendment bill was passed with 112 votes in favor and 62 against. more..

Take steps to get ‘gramarakshkas’ in tiger custody released -Weerawanse

Sep 23 (LT) The Government should intervene to get the two ‘gramarakshakas’ abducted and detained by Wanni tigers released immediately and in doing so the Government should not abide by the agenda of the tigers said Mr. Wimal Weerawanse in the Parliament today. more..

One man was reported killed in the floods at Baddegama in Galle

Sep 23 (Rupavahini) The body of the victim who had been swept away by strong currents was recovered yesterday. Our correspondent reported floods in several areas of the Galle District. About 65 families at 6 Grama Niladari divisions in Baddegama have been displaced by the floods. more..

Govt. compromise on Upper Kothmale project will see 20% generation capacity loss

Sep 23 (LBO) In a compromise with its new coalition partners, the CWC, the Government has agreed to water down its Upper Kotmale Hydropower Plant. The compromise is to not tap the Devon, Puna and Ramboda Waterfalls in constructing the Upper Kotmale hydropower project, losing 20 percent of the generation capacity of the project. more..

The apparel sector launches a productivity improvement programme in Oct.

Sep 23 (LBO) The apparel sector will launch a productivity improvement programme in October, to help local apparel firms survive intensified competition next year when quotas are lifted. more..

Double Celebration

Sep 23 (LBO) Rising profits from passenger sales, catering, ground handling and an accounting standards change helped SriLankan Airlines buck the international trend and show a 75 percent profit jump last year. more..

Eastern province army commander pledges to quit, if allegations are proved

Sep 23 (NW) The Batticaloa-Ampara Commander Vajira Wijegunawardena yesterday challenged the LTTE to prove that the military was supporting renegade leader Karuna and was behind the attacks on the Wanni faction in the east, and pledged to shed his uniform and quit the army if the allegations were proved. more..

Sri Lankan road traffic laws to be changed

Sep 23 (NW) The proposed one-way traffic plan on Galle Road and R A de Mel Mawatha (Duplication Road) will be put into trial by the Police City Traffic division on September 28 (Poya Day) and Sunday, October 03. more..

Heavy fight in eastern Sri Lanka on the cards

Sep 23 (NW) A new outfit calling itself the Thamilar National Brigade and claiming to be headed by former LTTE renegade leader Karuna has called upon the youths and girls to join its cadres to fight against the Wanni leadership of Velupillai Prabhakaran. more..

Beef to be banned in Sri Lanka?

Sep 23 (NW) The Jathike Hela Urumaya (JHU) yesterday moved an adjournment motion in parliament proposing to ban the slaughter of cattle in the country, and the Government promised to bring forth legislation to ban the slaughter of cows at least in the near future. more..

Three DS Senanayake teachers granted bail

Sep 23 (NW) Three teachers of D. S. Senanayake College who were indicted with assault and cruelty on a student were granted bail by Colombo High Court yesterday. High Court judge Deepali Wijesundara ordered Rs 10,000 cash bail and Rs 100,000 personnel bail for the accused more..

CWC joins an unstable Sri Lankan government

Sep 23 (wsws) After five months of behind-the-scene negotiations, President Chandrika Kumaratunga has finally induced the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), a political party/trade union based among Tamil-speaking plantation workers, to join her coalition government. more..

North, South youths meet

Sep 23 (TN) Forty youths from the North and about 20 youths from the South are participating in an event labelled "Time to heal the wounds of division" organized by the National Council of YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) from 24 September, Friday, to Tuesday, in Jaffna, more..

Two vehicles with false documents arrested

Sep 23 (SLA) Two vehicles with forged documents have been arrested on suspicion by the troops on duty at the UYILANKULAM Entry/Exit point on 21 September 2004 around 6.45 p.m. more..

Fishermen in restricted zone arrested

Sep 23 (SLA) Six Muslim fishermen engaged in fishing inside the restricted zone at TRINCOMALEE were arrested by naval troops on duty at KODDIYAR Bay on 21 September 2004 around 7.30 p.m. more..

LTTE-detained civilian flees and seeks protection

Sep 23 (SLA) An LTTE-detained civilian in their camp at SAMPOOR has managed to run away from the LTTE on 22 September 2004 at about 9.30 a.m. and sought protection from THOPPUR Police post. more..

Tamil civilian shot dead by unknown gunman

Sep 23 (SLA) An ex-LTTE cadre has been shot dead in the general area of MANAMPITIYA by an unknown gunman on 21 September 2004 around 8.00 p.m. The victim, an informant of the Army has been identified as RAJUDURAI SIVANANDAN alias KUTTY (24) of KOLANIYA ROAD, MANAMPITIYA. more..

LTTE internal clashes cause deaths

Sep 23 (SLA) An alleged confrontation between the LTTE WANNI faction and the breakaway group of KARUNA that occurred early morning Thursday (23 September) in un-cleared areas of BATTICALOA, had reportedly caused several deaths, according to reports received by troops in the east. more..

Suspected LTTE pistol man takes another life

Sep 23 (SLA) A suspected LTTE pistol man shot and killed a civilian attached to the EPDP Leader & the Minister Hon Douglas Devananda’s security division while the victim with his wife was at his residence in the general area of WELLAWATTE, COLOMBO 6 this afternoon (23 September 2004) at about 2.30 p.m. more..

Governement to keep fertilizer subsidy

Sep 23 (SLBC) The Agriculture Ministry will sell a 50 Kg bag of Urea fertiliser below Rs. 600 whilst increasing the subsidy given to fertiliser companies for the import of Urea fertiliser. more..

Stocks fall, hotel sector gains skimmed

Sep 23 (Reuters) Stocks fell on Thursday as retail investors sold select hotel sector shares, taking profits after a fortnight of gains amid expectations of higher tourist arrivals, brokers said. The key Colombo all-share index ended down a provisional 0.94 percent, or 13.64 points, at 1,443.65. more..

Visitor traffic to Sri Lanka keeps growing

Sep 23 (AME) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals maintained a strong upward trend for the first eight months of 2004, with a sharp increase from Middle East starting from June this year. The latest statistics for January to August 2004, indicate that visitor numbers will surpass last year, more..

Sri Lankan airlines benefitted from India's open sky policy

Sep 23 (PTI) Despite stiff competition from private Indian airliners, the Sri Lankan national carrier has benefitted from India's open sky policy, top airline officials said here today. The Sri Lankan airlines, formerly known as Air Lanka, said the recent entry of Jet and Sahara airways had not affected their operations. more..

CBK discounts force to tackle terror

Sep 23 (PIS) President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday disagreed with American president George W. Bush's speech before the UN general assembly that the main strategy of meeting terrorism in the world is through force, a UN press release said. more..

UNICEF chief calls on President Kumaratunga

Sep 23 (PSL) UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy commended the Sri Lankan initiative to launch the National Plan of Action for Children that proposes to build a better world for them, fulfilling a commitment made by the world leaders at the UN special assembly session in 2002. more..

Solheim to renew peace efforts in Sri Lanka

Sep 23 (IANS) Norwegian special envoy Erik Solheim will renew next week efforts to persuade the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger guerrillas to resume peace talks, diplomatic sources said Thursday. more..

Kumar's legal fight may eclipse past challenges as CEO

Sep 23 (ND) He immigrated to the United States an impoverished teen from Sri Lanka and beat all the odds by rising to the top of one of the world's largest software company. But the latest chapter in the story of Sanjay Kumar may rise to become the challenge of his life. more..

Lanka seeks $145 million to improve sewer system

Sep 23 (PTI) Sri Lanka is seeking USD 145 million in foreign aid to upgrade Colombo's sewer system designed nearly 120 years ago, said the government. Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the government is keen to improve the sewer system designed for Colombo in 1886 and put into operation in 1916. more..

LTTE comes under unexpected Danish fire

Sep 23 (AT) In the heels of anti LTTE wave in Canada, the militant organisation is faced with an unexpected onslaught in Denmark. Four political parties in Denmark including one party in the ruling coalition urged the government to ban the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka asked to probe into alleged kidnapping, attack by police sergeant

Sep 23 (AT) Hong Kong based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has yesterday called on the Sri Lankan authorities to investigate and take action against a police sergeant in Negombo for allegedly kidnapping a 27-year-old man and keeping him for two days more..

Tamil rebels kill another rival political activist

Sep 23 (Xinhua) Tamil Tiger rebels areblamed for yet another killing of a rival Tamil political activist here on Thursday. The 39-year-old father of three children, Somasunderam Warnakulasingham, belonging to the EPDP became the latest victim of the LTTE rebels. more..

JHU to urge the President to strip diplomatic representation with Norway

Sep 23 (AT) Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) is to launch an ambitious campaign against the Norwegians facilitating the peace process in Sri Lanka by collecting one million signatures to urge President Chandrika Kumaratunga to cease diplomatic relationship with Norway. more..

Govt. committed to ensure release of two homeguards - Ratnasiri

Sep 23 (DN) The Government is committed to take all possible steps within the Ceasefire Agreement to ensure the release of the two homeguards abducted by the LTTE in Trincomalee, acting Defence Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake told Parliament yesterday. more..

LTTE kills Karuna's brother

Sep 23 (HT) A strike force of the mainstream LTTE on Wednesday ambushed and killed Reggie, the number two in the dissident Tiger faction led by the former Batticaloa commander Col Karuna. Reggie also happened to be Karuna's brother. more..

Mines Advisory group (MAG) clears the air

Sep 23 (SLA) The Mines Advisory Group (MAG), engaged in de-mining activities in Batticaloa area refutes media claims that dead bodies in the attack on the LTTE camp at Periya Pullumalai on 07th September 2004 were carried to a nearby Army camp on MAG vehicles, or that the de-miners heard Sinhalese language being spoken by fleeing attackers. more..

United States to hold conference on human trafficking in Sri Lanka

Sep 23 (AP) The United States will hold a conference in Sri Lanka to help train investigators and judges here in ways to fight human trafficking, the U.S. Embassy said Thursday. Hundreds of Sri Lankans try to illegally migrate to Europe and the United States every year in search of work. more..

Illvalai residents demand return of occupied houses

Sep 24 (TN) Internally Displaced Peoples' (IDP) Welfare unit of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has taken steps to get back about thirteen houses from the occupation of Sri Lanka Police in Ilavalai and to hand over them to the displaced owners who are now staying in welfare centres, sources said. more..

SLA-LTTE delegations meet in Jaffna

Sep 24 (TN) Representatives of LTTE and Sri Lanka Army Thursday morning met at the Jaffna office of the SLMM, security sources said. Major General Sunil Tennekon met with the Jaffna LTTE leaders for the first time after he assumed duties as the Jaffna area commander. more..

India's Sethusamudram ship canal project will be a challenge to Sri Lanka

Sep 24 (AT) The proposed Sethusamudram ship canal project by the Indian Government will be a challenge for Sri Lanka, Cabinet Spokesman Mangala Samaraweera said here in Colombo. "It will be a challenge for Sri Lanka", Minister Samaraweera said on Thursday. more..