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Nursing students protest ministry's move

Dec 21 (SAMN) The Nursing School Students Union is protesting against the Health Ministry’s decision to recruit AL students of the arts stream to the Nursing Schools. Move will only produce unqualified nurses and lower the quality of the nursing service," Sisira Senaratne, Convenor of the Union told The Island Tuesday. more..

Millions spent, hostel still incomplete

Dec 21 (SAMN) Public funds running into millions of rupees have been wasted and continue to be wasted on a project to build new hostels for undergraduates of the Sri Jayewardenepura University. This is due to the inability of university administration to complete the project which was expedited due to student pressure and demand for hostels, more..

In Parliament yesterday

Dec 21 (LNP) Defence Ministry budget allocations put to the vote. Parliament unanimously approved budgetary allocations of 35 Ministries for the year 2006. A vote however had to be taken to approve the allocations for the Ministries of Defence, Public Security, Law and Order after the TNA called for a division. more..

Jeyaraj attacks church hierarchy

Dec 21 (LNP) Senior Minister and Chief government Whip Jeyeraj Fernandopulle in parliament yesterday said the scheme of the UNP and Lalith Kotelawala to turn the Catholic vote against Mahinda Rajapakse was a complete failure, because it was rejected by the Catholic masses. more..

Another clash in Jaffna as troops enter campus

Dec 21 (LNP) At least two policemen were injured when a group of Jaffna University students along with some other militant youth attacked a police jeep and tried to set it on fire yesterday in front of the Jaffna University, Police said. more..

Tsunami anniversary - a day of mourning

Dec 21 (LeN) The government has decided to name December 26, which marks the completion of one year to the tsunami catastrophe as a day of national mourning. On that day a special commemorative ceremony has been planned under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to at Peraliya, where the world's worst train tragedy took place. more..

India close in on victory

Dec 21 (CI) Sri Lanka began their last innings of this tour 508 runs behind, on a pitch whose bounce and spin suited the Indian spinners, a template that beckoned a fourth-day finish. And yet they fought hard, despite being outplayed, and ended the day on 235 for 6, still 273 behind. more..

South must unite to find 'marketable' solution to national question - PM

Dec 21 (DN) The biggest challenge the country faces today is finding a solution to the national question for which successive Governments failed, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake said. more..

UNHCR completes its post-tsunami shelter commitments

Dec 21 (RW) In the immediate aftermath of last December's devastating tsunami, providing transitional shelter for the hundreds of thousands of people who had seen their homes dashed to pieces seemed a daunting task. But the UN refugee agency and its partners have overcome many obstacles to deliver all the shelters they had promised well before the first anniversary of the disaster. more..

Tsunami trauma not over for Baby 81 as family tries to reclaim his name

Dec 21 (AP) Nine hours after the tsunami struck Sri Lanka's coast, rescue workers found a 10-week-old boy caked in mud and took him to Kalmunai Base Hospital. There he was registered as "Baby 81," the 81st person admitted on that chaotic day. more..

Sri Lankan tsunami survivors still dream of a normal life

Dec 21 (OW) When the first big wave came in on December 26 last year, H Priyantha thought it was just that — a big wave. Then the sea pulled back. The fisherman from Balapitiya in southern Sri Lanka rushed into the sea to tie his boat — and saw the monster wave coming. more..

Suspected Tamil rebels kill government soldier in northern Sri Lanka

Dec 21 (AP) Suspected Tamil rebels attacked an army patrol in northern Sri Lanka, killing one soldier, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday. Military spokesman Brig. Nalin Witharanage said the soldiers were on patrol in the northern town of Jaffna late Tuesday when they were ambushed from inside a Hindu temple. more..

Sri Lanka seeks greater Indian role in peace bid

Dec 21 (PTI) Ahead of his three-day India visit, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Wednesday said he will seek greater involvement of New Delhi in the island's faltering peace bid with the LTTE when he holds talks with the leadership there. more..

NPC: Resume low level talks

Dec 22 (BBC) Peace activists in Sri Lanka called on the government and the LTTE to resume local level meetings to stop escalation of violence in the northern city of Jaffna. The National Peace Council (NPC) of Sri Lanka said there is an immediate need for the government and LTTE to take steps to defuse and de-escalate the growing crisis. more..

Sri Lanka's tsunami survivors suffer from social stigma

Dec 22 (Xinhua) Social stigma, depression among widowers, increased alcohol use among teenagers are all highlighted in "people's consultations" with Sri Lanka's tsunami survivors, the United Nations Development Program said here Wednesday in a press release. more..

Sri Lankan military fires on Jaffna university protest

Dec 22 (wsws) On two successive days this week, the Sri Lankan security forces have fired on and assaulted unarmed protesters from Jaffna University. These provocative actions have further inflamed an already tense situation in northern Sri Lanka and threaten to undermine the three-year ceasefire between the government and the LTTE. more..

Government intervention in Shell gas Business - Jeyaraj

Dec 22 (LT) The Minister of consumer affairs, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle says that if the Shell Gas Company shows no mercy to the trade. The discussions in this regard are taking place these days and the government intervention will be made in the future to Shell gas at lower prices, the Minister said. more..

Norwegian Parliamentarians intervention sought in the release of abducted PLOTE Cadre

Dec 22 (AT) Norwegian Parliamentarian’s intervention was sought in the release of the abducted senior PLOTE cadre Sinnathamby Ganeshalingham alias Farook by the Liberal Democratic Tamils of Norway. Several Norwegian Parliamentarians have assured them that they will take up the matter with the Stoltenberg Government immediately. more..

India moves to restrain LTTE with no impact on its violence despite Co-chairs warning

Dec 22 (AT) India has stepped up its involvement in Sri Lankan politics making strategic political moves to block LTTE attempts to gain the upper hand through violence. It has intervened in two key areas: 1) internationally, at the meeting of the Co-chairs in Brussels and more..

Sri Lanka’s 'Titanic hero'

Dec 22 (HT) Wannigaratna Karunatilake, 50, was the guard of the train that was swept away in Peraliya, southern Sri Lanka, during last year’s tsunami. More than 1,000 people died. Karunatilake and his assistant R.U.A. Gunaratna survived. This December 26, Karunatilake says he will be where he was last year — at Peraliya. more..

Tharanga’s was a stylish trench war

Dec 22 (EI) Young Upul Tharanga has joined Tillekeratne Dilshan in the trenches of Test combat. He may be more of a stylist in his strokeplay than the adventurous all-rounder, but the Sri Lanka opening batsman did at least show that he liked to get involved. more..

India should be involved in peace process -President

Dec 22 (Hindu) PRESIDENT MAHINDA Rajapakse on Wednesday invited India to join the international quartet comprising the United States, the European Union, Japan, and Norway who are the co-chairs of the global efforts to financially back Sri Lanka's peace process and reconstruction. more..

Town of Hambantota regains some normalcy after Tsunami a year ago

Dec 22 (VOA) Sri Lanka's southern coast, where thousands of fisherman have returned to the sea in the months since the tsunami. They rely on the sea to support their families. Many, like the men in the town of Hambantota, know no other way of life. On December 26th, 2004, that way of life was torn apart. more..

Tsunami Survivors in Sri Lanka take a critical look at reconstruction

Dec 22 (RW) Social stigma, depression among widowers, increased alcohol use among teenagers are all highlighted in the voices of tsunami survivors that were captured in a series of "People's Consultations" in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka Tsunami recovery hobbled by inflation

Dec 22 (Bloomberg) One year after the tsunami, a majority of the half-million people whose homes were swept away in Sri Lanka by ocean waves are living in temporary shelter because new houses are being built too slowly. more..

Bereaved Sri Lankan mother yearns for children, work

Dec 22 (Reuters) The horror of watching Asia's tsunami swallow her six children still haunts Sri Lankan housewife Viyarseeli Nadarajahlingam and she prays that commemorating the anniversary of their deaths will help her move on. more..

EU not happy with Tiger rebels

Dec 22 (ANN) The European Union (EU) said it has not witnessed any progress in the LTTE attitude since its decision in September to imposed a travel ban on the rebels, says EU Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner. "Most unfortunately, we have not witnessed any progress in the LTTE's attitude since our September statement. more..

'Let's seize this opportunity to bring peace'- Dhanapala

Dec 22 (PIS) Sri Lanka has to seize this opportunity provided by President Mahinda Rajapakse to move speedily on to peace. These timely thoughts come from former Secretary General and at present Consultant to the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process, Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala. more..

LTTE urges Norway to initiate steps to restore normalcy

Dec 22 (TN) Noting that the Tamil people have been highly pertubed over the brutal rape and the murder of Tharshini Ilayathamby in Punguduthivu, and the military-unleashed violence on the peaceful demonstration where the Vice Chancellor of the Jaffna Univeristy was attacked and a lecturer was shot, has created "tension, panic and uncontrollable civilian unrest," more..

Gunmen clash with SL troopers, attacks escalate in Jaffna

Dec 22 (TN) Four civilians were seriously injured when unidentified gunmen and Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers exchanged gunfire for more than five minutes at Ainthusanthi, a junction in the outer suburb of Jaffna town, around 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Grenade attacks were reported in Ariyalai and near Nachimar Temple in Jaffna. more..

Disguised Tamil Tigers fire on naval craft & abduct sailors

Dec 22 (SLA) Armed Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in a flotilla of about ten LTTE boats this morning (22) around 7. 40 a.m. directed fire on two Fibre Glass Dinghy (FGD) craft of the Sri Lanka Navy on routine patrol in the seas off PALLIMUNAI, MANNAR island and abducted three sailors causing severe injuries to one more sailor. more..

LTTE (Tamil Tigers) violence continues with scant regard to lives

Dec 22 (SLA) THE CONTINUING RUTHLESS ACTS OF VIOLENCE OF LTTE in the north and east took the life of another Army soldier on Wednesday (21) late evening, just less than 24 hours after they killed another soldier in JAFFNA and inflicted injuries on several other soldiers and civilians, including two Army Officers and three Police Officers in JAFFNA. more..

Police and troops search abducted sailors

Dec 22 (SLA) THREE NAVY SAILORS abducted by Tamil Tigers (LTTE) on Thursday (22) morning at PALLIMUNAI, MANNAR after attacking two naval craft have been identified as Petty Officer P. PARANAWITHANA, Leading Patrolman S.R. GUNAPALA and Able Patrolman R.A.T. BANDARA. more..

Cowardly terrorist attacks on the Army continue

Dec 22 (SLA) AN ARMY VEHICLE belonging to the 51 Division in JAFFNA came under Tamil Tiger fire Thursday (22) around 4.20 p.m. while it was on routine duty in the general area of Hindu College junction, about 3 km away from JAFFNA town. more..

Tamil activist shot dead in Jaffna

Dec 22 (TN) Mr K. Navaratnam (47), Jaffna district organizer for Tamil Resurgence Task force, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in front of the Thinakural offices in KKS road in Jaffna town at 5.30 a.m. Thursday, sources from Jaffna said. more..

Sri Lanka's Central Bank hikes interest rates

Dec 22 (LBO) Central Bank Thursday raised its key interest rates by quarter basis points for the fourth time, to reign in inflation and curb monetary expansion. The repurchase rate, which drains money from the banking system, goes up 25 basis points to 8.75 percent and the reverse repurchase rate moves up to 10.25 percent, more..

Talks on JVP quota at local government polls

Dec 22 (LeN) Even though it has still not been decided whether to contest the local government elections under the Freedom Alliance, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party has decided to hold talks with the JVP regarding the number of local government bodies they intend to contest and the number of candidates. more..

Tamil youth should be recruited to Army

Dec 22 (LeN) President Mahinda Rajapaka suggested, during a discussion with TNA parliamentarians this evening at Temple Trees that Tamil youths shouldbe recruited to the Army and Police to be deployed in the North and East. The meeting was held to discuss the prevailing unrest in the North, killings and security arrangements. more..

Discussions underway to amend Local Government Election Act

Dec 22 (LeN) The Election Law is to be amended to enable the conduct of local government elections under former electoral divisions. The local government polls for 18 Municipal Councils, 37 Urban Councils and 256 Pradeshiya Sabhas are scheduled to be held after March net year. more..

Stop harassing civilians: Mahinda tells military

Dec 22 (LM) President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday vowed to take disciplinary action against any security personnel found guilty of irresponsible actions during recent incidents in Jaffna including charges of rape and killing of a girl in Punkuditivu. The President gave the assurance during a special meeting with a TNA delegation, more..

We must try to understand what motivates Tigers: Mahinda S.

Dec 22 (LM) Chief Opposition Whip Mahinda Samarasinghe said in Parliament yesterday that it was important to understand what motivates the LTTE and its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, when handling the peace process. Mr. Samarasinghe said there should be a discussion in the South, to try to evaluate the nature of the LTTE and also try to understand what motivates Prabhakaran. more..

PAFFREL wants local Govt elections postponed

Dec 22 (LM) Director General of PAFFREL, Kignsly Rodrigo, told us that he has requested Commissioner of Elections ,Dayananda Dissanayake, to postpone Local Government elections by six months. Elections for local government bodies, such as Provincial Councils, Pradeshiya Sabhas, Municipal Councils and Urban Councils, which are due to be held before April 2006. more..

Bribery Commission Inquiries Not

Dec 22 (LM) The Commission for the Investigating Allegations or Corruption (CIABOC) is presently investigating 1000 complaints on bribery and commission, officials said. Of a total of 1900 complaints received this year, about 900 allegations were dropped because they did not have enough material to proceed, the sources said. more..

President’s flexible stance on

Dec 22 (LM) President Mahinda Rajapakse seemingly stepping down from his earlier rigid stand with regard to resolving the national ethnic problem has lately made several statements which signal possibilities that the long stalled peace process will be back on the track in the near future. more..

Jaffna remains tense as sporadic incidents of violence continues to emerge

Dec 22 (AT) Sporadic incidents of violence exacerbates in the Jaffna peninsula, as the LTTE is engaged in a hide seek battle against the Sri Lanka Army. The Tamil rebel outfit as well as the Army are said to be on the offensive against each other, while incessant charges and countercharges continues. more..

Foreign Minister should continue late Mr Kadirgarmer’s process – Bimal Ratnayake

Dec 22 (LT) Speaking in Parliament today, Mr Bimal Ratnayake, the JVP Parliamentarian said that Foreign Minister Mr Mangala Samaraweera has a great responsibility to lengthen the affairs carried out by late Mr Lakshman Kadirmarger. He stressed that the Foreign Minister has to carry forward the modus operandi adopted by late Mr Kadirgarmer against terrorism. more..

Para groups of Wanni tigers not responsible for the incidents in the North – Government

Dec 22 (LT) Government has denied the allegations of the Tokyo Air Group countries made in Brussels on the 20th instant that para military groups of Wanni tigers are carrying out terrorist activities developing in the North and East provinces of the country. more..

JVP trade union workers to volunteer in rail track extension in the South

Dec 22 (LT) Mr Sumathipala Manawadu of the Organisation for the Protection of the Properties and the Rights of Railway Employees told yesterday that the JVP unionists will work voluntarily in the proposed extension of the Sourhtern railway line project. more..

Thonda or Prabha can’t take decisions about my party - Mano Ganeshan

Dec 22 (LT) Tiger organization or CWC have no right to take decisions about his party says Mr. Mano Ganeshan, Leader of Western Province People’s Party. A communiqué issued by Mr. Ganeshan states that the future programme of the party will be decided by his party and not by any other individuals or organizations. more..

JVP slams Govt. policy on agriculture

Dec 22 (SAMN) The present government policy of having three separate ministries to handle agriculture and cultivation came in for severe criticism from the JVP in Parliament Wednesday. Former Agriculture Minister Anura Kumara Dissanayake slammed the government for not having one ministry to handle all issues related to agriculture more..