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HIV/AIDS - Sri Lanka Country Data Sheet

Dec 16 (AT) Sri Lanka has a relatively small number of HIV/AIDS cases, but high-risk behaviors that contribute to the spread of the infection are prevalent, making the country highly vulnerable to an AIDS epidemic. Sri Lanka has a narrowing window of opportunity to forestall a large-scale epidemic, more..

LTTE is 'extremely comfortable' with Norway and SLMM

Dec 16 (AT) LTTE's Trincomalee District Head S. Elilan has recently informed SLMM Head Hagrup Haukland that his Organization is 'extremely comfortable' with the Norwegian Peace facilitators and the Nordic Monitors and saw absolutely no need for modification to the Ceasefire Agreement. more..

Arms from Pak, brains from Sri Lanka

Dec 16 (HT) Brains or guns, the Naxalites don't mind getting them imported as long as it helps them in their war for the people — against the "brute state". Perhaps for the first time, the CPI (Maoist)'s central committee members admitted having weapons of Pakistani and Chinese make. more..

Karuna warns LTTE to give up their war in the east or to face intensified attacks

Dec 16 (AT) V. Muralitharan, alias Col. Karuna, states in a press communiqué that the LTTE has contrived successfully to force the Sri Lankan government to seek the assistance of the Norwegian government by targeting Security Forces with claymore mines. more..

Christina Rau visits Sri Lanka

Dec 16 (AT) Christina Rau, wife of Johannes Rau the former President of Germany who is the special envoy of the German Government for the Tsunami Aid, and was on an official visit to Sri Lanka from the 10th to 14th. She is the head of the Inwent – the help coordinating office for Germany. more..

Reviving Pramuka Savings and Development Bank

Dec 16 (AT) The members of the Pramuka Savings and Development Bank (PDSB) Depositors Association met last week at Gurugedara, Colombo and expressed their sincere appreciation for the Government's attempts to revive the collapsed Pramuka. more..

Switzerland Supports Human Rights Commission

Dec 16 (AT) Switzerland has once again come forward to assist Human Rights Commission to establish stronger institutions and procedures for human rights protection, and to create a culture of human rights awareness and accountability. more..

Anandasangaree lambaste LTTE for potshots at the helicopter

Dec 16 (AT) The Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Ms.Margarita Bonvier who had a narrow shave with death when the gunmen belonging to the LTTE fired at the helicopter belonging to the Sri Lankan Air Force is tend to bring about serious consequences and the international community’s repercussions are going to be beyond ones imagination, said V. Anandasangaree, more..

New generation of 'chit culture' gets cracking

Dec 16 (LeN) Media personnel and artistes who stand for a negotiated settlement for the national problem have received threatening messages from an organization called the 'Lion Liberation Army.' (Sinha Vimukthi Hamudawa) Among those who received threatening messages are Ravaya editor Victor Ivan, Free Media Movement spokesman Sunanda Deshapriya, more..

His Highness, are there any other vehicles than this vehicle and that vehicle?

Dec 16 (LeN) A 'Jaguar' full option vehicle for 20 million rupees is to be purchased for President's brother, Deputy Minister Chamal Rajapaksa. It is to be bought under the pretext of buying a vehicle for the official car pool of President's Rajapaksa. more..

JVP insist on Asian venue

Dec 16 (LeN) The JVP has insisted that an Asian country should be the venue for peace talks, when a party delegation met President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a discussion as part of the President's efforts to forge a consensus among Southern political parties before the resumption of the peace process. more..

Tamil Tigers take over Europe-based newspaper

Dec 16 (ANN) Newslanka, the oldest free circulating Sri Lankan community weekly in Britain and Europe has been acquired by a party connected to the LTTE, The Island learned. The paper, published every Thursday, was founded by an expatriate Sri Lankan journalist Reggie Fernando and published every week over the last two decades. more..

SLDF calls on donor Co-Chairs to push for a southern consensus on a permanent political solution

Dec 16 (LD) The Sri Lanka Democracy Forum (SLDF) is alarmed by the escalation of violence in the North and East, which threatens the possibility of reaching a negotiated political solution to the conflict. more..

World Bank supports road and education sectors

Dec 16 (WB) The World Bank today approved a US$160 million package of assistance from the International Development Association (IDA) to Sri Lanka, of which a US$100 million credit will finance development of the national road network, and a US$60 million grant will support the education system. more..

Rival fighting claims one more life

Dec 16 (SLA) TWO TAMIL TIGER gunmen, suspected to be from LTTE PRABHAKARAN faction brutally gunned down a 28-year old civilian while he was watching television at home in the general area of KUDAPOKUNA, WELIKANDA on Thursday (15) around 9.25 p.m. more..

FMM is disturbed over search of News paper office in Jaffna

Dec 16 (FMM) Free Media Movement (FMM) is disturbed that government military has searched the editorial, administrative and press sections of the Tamil daily Namathu Eelanaadu in Jaffna today. Namadu Eelanaadu is one of the four daily news papers published in the capital of war ravaged Northern Province, Jaffna. more..

Kukule Hydropower plant catches fire - possible shut down

Dec 16 (LBO) A fire broke out at the Kukule Hydropower station late Thursday night due to a suspected technical fault, damaging one of the two 40 MW generators. The fire was brought under control after about an hour, but an official with the Ceylon Electricity Board said it was too early to assess the damage. more..

IMEXPRO 2006 will attract over 200000 visitors

Dec 16 (CT) Mr. Tilak De Zoysa, Chairman, IMEXPRO 2006 said that ‘IMEXPRO 2006’, an International Trade Fair to be staged at the BMICH from 16th to the 18th March 2006. This is the third International Fair to be organized by the CCC and IMEXPRO 2006 is the second in the series branded under the ‘IMEXPRO’ Banner. more..

CWC to meet LTTE in Kilinochchi

Dec 16 (LM) A high powered delegation of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) is scheduled to meet the LTTE's political wing leader Tamil Chelvan in Kilinochchi tomorrow. Deputy leader of the CWC R. Yogarajan told media today that a delegation lead by party Arumugam Thonadaman will meet Tamil Chelvan tomorrow. more..

LTTE To Announce UDI?

Dec 16 (LM) The LTTE which has been on a two decade long armed struggle for freedom under the ‘North-East Tamil Homeland' concept and having its own civil administration in certain parts of the two provinces with no free access to ‘outsiders' is to announce Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) soon, according to a Colombo-based Tamil-language weekly. more..

CWC To Join Hands With TNA, UPF and WPPF

Dec 16 (LM) The Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC) led by Arumgan Thondaman has taken a decision to take recourse to new political strategies to consolidate its political position in the wake of the recent defection of one of its parliamentarians, Suresh Vadivel, to the UPFA government. more..

Security of Muslims Is LTTE’s Moral

Dec 16 (LM) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) national leader Rauff Hakeem MP told the media that at his meeting with European Union representatives last Wednesday at his Colombo residence, he clearly explained the Muslim Community's security problems in relation to the peace process. more..

Wanni tigers killed 419 people within one year

Dec 16 (LT) According to the Special Media Unit of the security forces the total killings by Wanni tigers during the past one year was 419 while 504 were injured in various incidents carried out by the tigers. It has launched 272 attacks against the security forces of which 164 had been against the Army and 90 against the Police. more..

Farmers complain on delay in fertilizer subsidy

Dec 16 (LT) While appreciating the Government's decision to distribute fertilizer at Rs 350/- the farmers lament over their inability to get the fertilizer over the past ten days. They urge the authorities to streamline the distributing system. more..

Five UNP Parliamentarians to join the Government during the Budget debate

Dec 16 (LT) According to reliable sources five United National Party Members of Parliament will join the Government during the Budget debate within the next few days. Among these it is said a former of the UNP regime is also included. more..

Tsunami-hit orphanage rebuilt

Dec 16 (BBC) Inside a yellow building smelling of fresh paint and with bright red floors a number of girls go through dance steps under the watchful gaze of their choreographer. They clap hands in time to the tinny music being played on a cassette recorder that has seen better days, one eye anxiously on their instructor. more..

Stop threatening critics, UNP tells SLFP

Dec 16 (SAMN) The UNP on Wednesday hit back at the SLFP saying that it should stop threatening its critics and start governing the country based on the Mahinda — JVP-JHU combing promises made at the Presidential election. more..

EU conveys concern to TNA on N-E

Dec 16 (SAMN) THE European Union expressing its concerns on the current situation in the North and East at a meeting with the Tamil National Alliance, insisted on stabilising the efforts in finding a political settlement to the ethnic crisis, informed sources said. more..

Sinhala Radio on the Web from Friday

Dec 16 (SAMN) Sinhala National Service of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation will today make a giant stride in the country's radio broadcasting history by joining the Internet network to mark the `80th Radio Day Anniversary', December 16, more..

Abducted policemen phone plea for freedom

Dec 16 (LNP) The three policemen, being held by the LTTE, had pleaded of police headquarters , to arrange for their freedom. They were captured by the Tigers when they entered an uncleared area to arrest a British paedophile, accused of abusing a number of children, even those in the LTTE-held areas. more..

`Shooting at chopper meant to hit back at EU`s stand on LTTE`

Dec 16 (LNP) The LTTE shooting attack on the SLAF helicopter, which was sent to bring Italian Deputy Minister Ms. Margherita Boniver, Ambassador Pio Mariani from Arugambay, was an act of defiance against Italy over its banning the Tigers as a terrorist group, Air Marshall Donald Perera told The Island yesterday. more..

Bharatha unhappy over Dallas` appointment

Dec 16 (LNP) The appointment of Dallas Alahapperuma to the SLFP national list slot has reportedly caused a stir among some party members. President Mahinda Rajapakse`s former advisor, Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, who pinned hopes on the post, had personally told Mr. Allahapperuma that it was 'not done' for him to accept the offer. more..

Sri Lanka celebrates its 80th year in broadcasting

Dec 16 (SLBC) Today marks the 80th anniversary of Broadcasting in Sri Lanka. Transmissions began in 1925 under the department of telecommunications. Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation as the national and state broadcaster has committed itself to broadcast educational and entertainment programmes for the past 79 years. more..

Nurse recruitment drive: Arts students too eligible

Dec 16 (DN) IN a bid to accelerate the recruitment of 15,000 nurses, the Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry has decided to adopt a flexible policy and expand the selection criteria to include even those who had passed the arts stream in the AL examinations. more..

Sri Lanka President to visit India from Dec.27

Dec 16 (ANI) Sri Lanka's newly elected President Mahinda Rajapakse will arrive in India on a four-day official visit from December 27 to December 30. Official sources said that the visiting dignitary is likely to meet a cross-section of the Indian leadership, including President A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, more..

Rising Sri Lanka violence could hit tsunami aid work

Dec 16 (Reuters) Rising violence that is stirring fears of fresh conflict in north and east Sri Lanka may force agencies to abandon rebuilding projects after last year's tsunami, aid workers fear. Both the government and Tamil Tiger rebels say they want peace, but warn they are ready for war and believe they can win. more..

Sri Lanka awaits Tiger response to start talks

Dec 16 (Xinhua) The government said Friday it awaits for a response from the Tamil Tigers to an offer to start stalled peace talks. Nimal Siripala De Silva, the Minister of Health and the government spokesman, said "We have conveyed to the Tigers through the Norwegian facilitators that the government is ready to start peace talks." more..

Sri Lanka draws less than a tenth of tsunami loans

Dec 16 (AFP) Sri Lanka as of end-September had utilised less than a tenth of the loans and a quarter of the grants offered by foreign donors since last year's unprecedented tsunami disaster, a top official said. The government drew only 393.7 million dollars, or 25 percent of the 1,562.9 million dollars pledged more..

Key issues in SL Govt-LTTE talks on truce pact

Dec 16 (HT) The activities of the anti-LTTE Tamil paramilitary groups and the assassinations being carried out by the LTTE, will be among the major issues to come up at the talks between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE on the truce agreement to be held early in 2006. more..

Sri Lanka agrees to key rebel demand for peace talks abroad

Dec 16 (AFP) The Sri Lankan government has formally invited the Tamil Tigers to resume peace talks, saying it was "amenable" to a key guerrilla demand to hold negotiations abroad. Government spokesman Nimal Siripala de Silva told reporters that Colombo no longer insists that any future negotiations be conducted within the island. more..

President invites Tiger rebels to talks

Dec 16 (Reuters) President Mahinda Rajapakse has invited the rebel Tamil Tigers to crunch talks amid escalating violence which has raised fears of a return to Civil war, the government said on Friday. "The President and the UNP have agreed to resume talks with the LTTE," government spokesman Nimal Siripala de Silva told reporters, more..

World Vision revives Maadel fishing industry

Dec 17 (RW) World Vision is part of a groundbreaking project to restore the tsunami-hit maadel fishing industry in Sri Lanka. Maadel fishing, a traditional eco-friendly fishing method unique to Sri Lanka, was threatened following the tsunami. World Vision in response, has implemented a project to help 30 fishermen engaged in this work. more..

Tsunami grant summaries

Dec 17 (RW) In addition to providing critically needed medicines, supplies and equipment, comprising full courses of treatment to 4 million Tsunami affected individuals, Direct Relief also is providing cash grants to in-country health facilities in order to improve water and sanitation, repair damaged health care facilities, more..

Distracted India aim to keep Sri Lanka down

Dec 17 (Reuters) A distracted India will look for inspiration from Anil Kumble's 100th test to seal a series victory against Sri Lanka in the third and final match starting on Sunday. The hosts lead 1-0 after leg spinner Kumble captured 10 wickets to help achieve an emphatic 188-run victory in the second test in Delhi. more..

Secretary-General urges Sri Lanka to establish a strong independent election commission

Dec 17 (NB) Secretary-General Don McKinnon today urged Sri Lanka to "seize the democratic opportunity" by taking up the recommendations of the Commonwealth Expert Team (CET) which was present for the 17 November 2005 Presidential Election. more..

Humanitarian Situation Report: 10 - 15 Dec 2005

Dec 17 (RW) The Sri Lankan government has established a National Data Centre in Colombo in collaboration with IOM to carry out registration of tsunami survivors. The project is expected to cover an estimated one million tsunami-affected people. more..

Apology by Evening Standard to CBK

Dec 17 (BBC) The Evening Standard has apologised to President Chandrika Kumaratunge for publishing an incorrect story which said she has bought a manson in the UK, said the Presidential Secretariat on Friday,16th. The Managing Editor of "The Evening Standard" which is published in the UK, Dough Wills has written to President Kumaratunge. more..

Maintaining symmetry of power, key to meaningful peace talks- Adaikalanathan

Dec 17 (TN) "Instead of choosing a constructive political path setting incremental milestones to monitor progress in addressing the national crisis, various Sri Lanka governments in power, were preoccupied with an "oppressive mindset" and have attempted to weaken the Tamil struggle by purposely dragging out peace processes," more..

SLA cordons off, searches Ariyalai village

Dec 17 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers cordoned off and conducted a house to house search Mulli, a village in Ariyalai in Nalllur Pradeshya Sabha Friday morning. Villagers who assumed the presence of SLA troopers as part of intensified patrol of the area were alarmed when troops entered houses and demanded national identity cards from villagers, residents said. more..

Building better and hoping for better times

Dec 17 (WB) Umendra Janaki has a simple answer when asked about her new home. "We have built better," Janaki says, extending her hand out to the living room as if to underline its size. Janaki was able to rebuild her house with nearly US$7000 [LKR 700,000] she received from the Red Cross and the World Bank. more..