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Tsunami survivors strive to make a living

Dec 14 (Xinhua) The 32-year-old A. D. Malani and her husband operate a small grocery beside their temporary house in Dadalla, a small village two km north of Galle, one of the districts badly hit by last year's tsunami. "We opened this shop about six months ago. We can earn about 1,000 rupees (about 10 US dollars) per month from this shop," said Malani in her shop, more..

France extends Euro 10m soft loan to Sri Lanka

Dec 14 (TN) France and Sri Lanka signed a financial protocol Tuesday extending 10 million euros soft loan to the Government of Sri Lanka for assist in building Greater Trincomalee Integrated Water Supply Scheme, a joint press release issued by the Embassy of France in Colombo said. more..

Protest in Vavuniya

Dec 14 (BBC) PLOT supporters held demonstrations for the release of the Vavuniya area leader Daya Mohan who has been abducted. Daya Mohan was abducted on Monday. Dinasena Rathugamage reporting from Vavuniya says that protesters who blamed the Tamil Tigers for the abduction insisted that the truce monitors intervene immediately. more..

Sri Lanka's Dhanapala touts ability to lead U.N.

Dec 14 (DY) With one year left for the United Nations to choose a successor to Secretary General Kofi Annan, one of the two declared candidates stressed Tuesday his experience at the world body as giving him an edge over potential rivals, making him a credible reformer. more..

Disputed liquor bill may keep Anton Balasingham away from peace talks

Dec 14 (AT) The proposed peace talks to be held in Japan may have to proceed without Anton Balasingham, the Chief Negotiator of the Tamil Tigers who led the failed peace talks. At the conclusion of the Sixth Round of Peace talks in Hakone, Japan from 18 – 21 March 2003 he vowed never to return to Japan -- all because of a dispute over a liquor bill. more..

Sri Lanka urges Norway to stop all aid to the LTTE -- New Times, Norway

Dec 14 (AT) In its latest report the Ny Tid (New Times) of Norway has revealed, among other things, that (1) the Government of Sri Lanka has urged Norway to stop all aid to the LTTE and (2) that Anton Balasingham, the LTTE negotiator at the peace talks held in Thailand, also did go to the brothels in Bangkok to look at the :"doll like" Thai prostitutes. more..

Iniyabarathy -- the man reported dead by the LTTE -- is alive

Dec 14 (AT) Iniyabarathy, the dare - devil commander of the Karuna’s group, who was reported dead in the LTTE websites and Tamil newspapers published in Colombo and Jaffna, spoke to the Asian Tribune yesterday. Twenty-four-year-old Iniyabarathy said jokingly: " Aiyah (Sir) contrary to reports I am still alive and healthy . Not dead yet and will never be afraid of death too." more..

4 vie for Kadir’s seat

Dec 14 (LT) Four names have been forwarded for the vacancy created in the Parliament as a result of the murder of former foreign Minister Laxman Kadirgamar. This was disclosed by Minister Maithripala Sirisena at a media meeting held in Colombo yesterday. more..

UNO should be restructured - President

Dec 14 (LT) The President Mahinda Rajapaksha says that the United Nations Organisation should be restructured if its objectives are to be accomplished. He expressed this view addressing a ceremony held at the BMICH in Colombo to mark the 50 year long membership Sri Lanka has had in UNO. more..

Govt. has broken confidence of people- Nandna Gunatilleke

Dec 14 (LT) The Government has broken the confidence the people had in it by appointing a cabinet of 80 said JVP Parliamentarian Nandana Gunatilleke. He said this participating in the second reading of the budget in the Parliament yesterday. more..

Don’t use situation in North for political advantage - Maithripala writes to Ranil

Dec 14 (LT) Minister Maithripala Sirisena, General Secretary of the SLFP has invited Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe to support the peace initiative of President Mahinda Rajapakse without engaging in petit political gambling using the situation created recently by the terrorist acts of the tiger organization. more..

Going back to war

Dec 14 (TW) Despite the hope held out of a meeting in Japan to discuss the implementation of the CFA, there is every likelihood of a return to hostilities in the short term, with the main actors hoping that such a return would be a clarifying and catalytic act with regard to a resumption of negotiations under a changed balance of forces. more..

Sri Lanka: "We cannot afford to only help people affected by the tsunami"

Dec 14 (RW) The cemetery lies baking in the sun -- a sandy stretch of land set aside some twelve months ago as a final resting place for those who died on December 26 last year, when a tsunami roared in from the India Ocean, destroying everything in its path as it hit Sri Lanka's coastal areas. more..

LTTE undecided on Japan’s offer

Dec 14 (PIS) Suspected LTTE cadres fired mortar bombs at an army camp in Batticaloa yesterday, military sources said as the rebels said they had not decided whether to attend peace talks offered by Japan. more..

Tamil Tigers with grenades and jewellery arrested

Dec 14 (SLA) TWO TAMIL TIGERS (LTTE) with two hand grenades and gold jewellery were arrested at CHENKALADY Public Market road late night on Monday (12) while they were roaming in the area at about 11.00 p.m. more..

Tamil Tiger internal strife claims two more lives

Dec 14 (SLA) THE ERAVUR POLICE moved in and took the remains of two youngsters to the mortuary at CHENKALADY hospital on Tuesday (13) morning for post-mortem after a villager in PARANIKYAMADU, BATTICALOA alerted the Police over his recovery of two dead bodies in the area. more..

UK NGO helps Trincomalee disabled

Dec 14 (TN) Leonard Cheshire International (LCI) of United Kingdom (UK), an organization which assists people with special needs worldwide, handed over livelihood assistance to fifteen selected tsunami affected disabled beneficiaries to rebuild their lives and to parents to generate income to maintain their disabled children, more..

Self-employment assistance centers open in Pooneryn

Dec 14 (TN) Opening event for a Sewing Training Center and a Center for Animal Husbandry Training built with financial aid from Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and International Labor Organization (ILO) was held in Pooneryn Monday. Planning Director for ILO, Mr Janarthanan presided the event. more..

15 garment factories in Sri Lanka closed down

Dec 14 (LBO) At least 15 garment factories in Sri Lanka closed down, abandoning workers, since the quotas came off in January, say non governmental organisations. “We can’t say for sure whether the closures are directly linked to the MFA phase out. They could be due to inefficiencies. But the MFA is used as an excuse,” more..

Workshop for party Secretaries on revising electoral registers

Dec 14 (LM) The Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake organized a workshop for secretaries of all 53 recognized political parties on the enumeration of names for the annual Revision of the Electoral Register for 2005. The meeting took place at the Mount Lavinia Hotel yesterday (13) at 9 a.m. more..

Tigers summon civilians for arms training

Dec 14 (LM) Civilians living in the north and east have been ordered by the LTTE to participate in a special three-day armed training programme, security sources in the North said. Residents in the areas currently held by the LTTE have told the security forces that the LTTE has made armed training mandatory for all. more..

Usually Late CBK delays UL flight

Dec 14 (LM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga—well known for being usually late, flew into a similar controversy yesterday when she persuaded SriLankan Airlines and airport authorities to delay a Singapore-bound SriLankan flight at the BIA, much to the anger of the passengers. more..

Government provoking war: Tamil National Alliance

Dec 14 (LM) On the third day of the budget debate, TNA's Batticloa District MP Ms. Thangeshwari said in Parliament yesterday, that the government was preparing for war because several Navy camps had been established in east. more..

Request to stop assisting in Palaly airport restructuring

Dec 14 (LT) A pro LTTE student union of the Advanced Educational Institute has sent a request to the Indian Prime Minister to abstain from assisting the restructure of Palaly airport in Jaffna. They have cited that it will not benefit the residents because around 30,000 families of the Tamil community have been displaced since it has been declared as a high security zone. more..

Despite tsunami, more Indians visit Sri Lanka

Dec 14 (IANS) Sri Lanka, both countries are trying to woo back tourists. And Sri Lanka is getting more and more Indians and Pakistanis. For the Maldives, economic damage has been far worse than the physical harm. A total of 108 people died or went missing in the Indian Ocean atoll nation in the wake of the disaster. more..

Sri Lanka Oct Exports +4.3% on year at $607 Million

Dec 14 (DJ) Sri Lanka's exports rose 4.3% on year in October, but imports surged 21% in the same month due to a 45% increase in crude oil import costs, widening the trade deficit. Exports increased to $607 million in October, helped by an increase in agricultural exports comprised mainly of tea. more..

Tigers looking for recruits: USF

Dec 14 (SAMN) Batticaloa based LTTE cadres had visited hostels of the Eastern University and demanded that the students undergo armed training, the Inter University Students Federation said. The LTTE cadres had visited the university several times but only a few had followed their orders, as the majority of students were Karuna loyalists, more..

Opp runs short of speakers in the House

Dec 14 (SAMN) Deputy Chairman of Committees S. Sachithanadan, presiding at the time called for a speaker from the Opposition when the last speaker for the Government, Professor Wiswa Warnapala had finished his speech, but there was no one to answer the call from the Chair. more..

Farmers still in misery: Hemakumara

Dec 14 (SAMN) UNP Galle District MP Hemakumara Nanayakkara told parliament Tuesday that there is red tape in the process of giving fertilizer at Rs. 350. Mr. Nanayakkara complained that farmers have to face a lot of difficulty to get fertilizer at Rs. 350. more..

Unrest at Isipathana

Dec 14 (LNP) Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera, the Parliamentary Group leader of the JHU, told parliament yesterday, that unrest had been created at Isipathana College Colombo due to a Norwegian volunteer teacher forcing students to engage in Christian prayers. more..

Shocking robbery by tax dodgers

Dec 14 (LNP) A staggering loss of Rs. 95 billion 'more than even the Defence Budget' has been suffered due to tax evasion last year, the Finance Ministry informed parliament yesterday. According to a report tabled in parliament, the Department of Inland Revenue had been deprived of about Rs. 39 billion due to evasion of Value Added Tax, more..

Biggest intl. engineering conference at BMICH

Dec 14 (LNP) The biggest ever international engineering conference ICIA 2005 to be held in Sri Lanka will be held at the BMICH from December 15 to 18 with the participation of prestigious technological leaders like USA, Japan, Canada and Germany and 23 nations taking part in it more..

New Sri Lanka for country's children - President

Dec 14 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday said he will fully dedicate himself towards building a new Sri Lanka as enunciated in his Mahinda Chintana for country's children making collaborative efforts with the United Nations to achieve this goal. more..

Kumble takes ten as India wrap up huge win

Dec 14 (CI) Anil Kumble continued his romantic affair with the Feroz Shah Kotla, stretching his tally to a stunning 48 from five games, as India wrapped up an emphatic 188-run win to take a 1-0 lead in the series. A pugnacious partnership between Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan, delayed the inevitable but Kumble broke through just before the lunch break and sealed the issue. more..

Sri Lanka issues cheaper coins to save a packet

Dec 14 (AFP) Sri Lanka launched a new series of lightweight coins with a lower metal content in a bid to reduce minting costs. The new series in denominations of five, two and one rupee and fifty and twenty five cents were plated brass, nickel and copper compared to traditional coins made with copper and zinc, more..

EC urged to take up security concerns of Sri Lankan Muslims

Dec 14 (Xinhua) The safety concerns of Muslim minority must be taken up at a meeting to be held next week in Brussels, the main Muslim party leader said. Rauff Hakeem, the leader of the SLMC, told reporters after meeting a senior European Commission delegation led by its Colombo envoy Julian Wilson that he had raised the issue with the delegation. more..

Sri Lanka, India in first ever joint naval exercise

Dec 14 (PTI) India and Sri Lanka today conducted their first ever joint naval exercises off the island's western coast, carrying out various manoeuvres including professional fleet managment and transfer of personnel between ships. more..

Suspected Sri Lanka Tiger rebels fire at helicopter

Dec 14 (Reuters) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels damaged a Sri Lankan military helicopter in the first attack on an aircraft since a 2002 truce, the military said on Wednesday, as soldiers in the north searched houses for hidden weapons. more..

Newly approved Sri Lankan operators fear crowded airspace could ground international flights

Dec 15 (LBO) Three local airlines are on a six-month test run to India for a licence to fly international, but sentiments are mixed, with some fearing a crowded airspace. Last week, the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAA) gave three airlines, provisional licences to fly to India. more..

Sri Lanka budget burdens larger companies

Dec 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's 2006 budget plan announced last week could spur investment in less developed areas of the country, although the government's pro-poor focus also means higher taxes which could hit corporate profitability, analysts and investors said. more..

Cabinet size, luxury vehicles draw JVP fire

Dec 15 (TN) The extreme Sinhala nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Parliamentarian Nandana Gunatillake severely criticised the new President Mahinda Rajapakse during the Budget debate Tuesday for appointing a large cabinet thus violating the election pledge. more..

Jaffna tense as SLA cordon, searches continue

Dec 15 (TN) Tension prevailed in Jaffna as Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers cordoned off and searched several villages in Jaffna district including Kachchai area in Thenmaradchy, Ariyalai in Jaffna, Myilankadu in Valikamam North, Erlalai North and Mandan in Vadamaradchy area, Wednesday morning as the troops continued their security operations for a second day, more..

New Delhi presses ahead with plans for an Indian “Suez Canal”

Dec 15 (wsws) The Indian government is proceeding with plans to dredge a deep-water canal in the Palk Strait between southern India and northern Sri Lanka despite opposition in both countries from fishermen and environmentalists. The aim of the Sethusamudram project is to facilitate commercial shipping and particularly to allow more rapid deployment of the Indian navy. more..

Mahindras to set up Indian Economic Zone in Lanka

Dec 15 (HT) Mahindra and Mahindra are to set up and maintain a special economic zone for Indian investors in Sri Lanka. Rohitha Bogollagama, Sri Lankan minister for Investment Promotion and Enterprise Development, has promised to give land for the Indian Economic Zone either in Kalutara or in Puttalam, more..

Sri Lanka in talks with Norway on resuming negotiations with rebels

Dec 15 (DPA) Sri Lanka is to open talks with Norway on ways to resume the stalled peace talks with Tamil rebels in a bid to find a political solution to the ethnic conflict, now temporarily halted due to a ceasefire, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Wednesday. more..

Narrow escape Italian Deputy Foreign Minister

Dec 15 (LT) Around 3:00.p.m this afternoon an attack has been aimed at the MI-17 Air force Chopper by the Wanni Tiger which was a its way to pick the Deputy Foreign Minister of Italy Ms. Margherita Bonivar who visited Arumugam Bay. The chopper was flying about 10 air miles away from Arumugam Bay at the time of the attack. more..

U-19 Cricket: Saqibul Hasan blasts Bangladesh to victory

Dec 15 (CI) Saqibul Hasan produced an allround performance to grace any stage as Bangladesh surged to a six-wicket win against Sri Lanka in the final of the Under-19 triangular tournament. They have been the form side throughout the competition and the result confirms them as the rising stars at this level. more..

Cricket: Blame the selectors

Dec 15 (CI) India's winning margin, a walloping 188 runs, makes depressing reading from a Sri Lankan perspective. The reality, though, is that Sri Lanka had a fine opportunity to win this match thanks to some solid top order batting early on and the remarkable wiles of Muttiah Muralitharan, more..

President meets JVP

Dec 15 (LT) The President and the Leaders of the JVP met yesterday night (14th) at 7.30 p.m. to discuss the steps that should be taken to achieve peace and a final political solution. This discussion went on for two hours. Discussed here was about a lasting solution that would pave the way for honourable peace where all communities could live together in harmony. more..

President calls for probe on delaying a flight to accompany former President

Dec 15 (LT) President Mahinda Rjapakse has called for a report from the Air Port authorities for delaying flight No. UL 316 to Singapore which was scheduled to leave KIA at 12.40 a.m. yesterday. It had been delayed until former President Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga arrived at 1.40 a.m. she was flying to Singapore. more..