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President holds talks with JVP

Dec 8 (GT) PRESIDENT Mahinda Rajapakse on Tuesday met his main alliance partner the JVP for a special discussion on the current situation in the north. The meeting, chaired by President Rajapakse, commenced at 8am and went on for nearly three hours at Temple Trees, more..

President installs unstable minority government

Dec 8 (wsws) The minority government formed by Sri Lanka’s new president, Mahinda Rajapakse, late last month is a sign of deep political instability. With only 70 seats in a 225-seat parliament, he is completely dependent on the support of the two Sinhala chauvinist parties—the JVP and JHU—that backed his presidential election campaign. more..

LTTE use innocent Tamil civilians as bait to gain their meagre ends

Dec 8 (SLA) LTTE ONCE AGAIN proved their duplicity violating International Humanitarian Law when a group of Tamil Tigers used innocent civilians as a human shield to attack Security Forces today (08) in the general area of KALADY on the JAFFNA-KANKESANTHURAI road. more..

Muslim religious leaders cross over to un-cleared areas

Dec 8 (SLA) Three Muslim religious leaders accompanied by the representatives of the SLMM had entered the un-cleared area of SAMPOOR across the Security Forces roadblock at THOPPUR, about 17 km southeast of TRINCOMALEE, on 06 December 2005 around 11.00 a.m. more..

LTTE cadre murders his own sisters and injures infant

Dec 8 (SLA) A 15-year-old LTTE cadre has shot and killed his own two sisters in the general area of MAVADIVEMBU, about 19 km northwest of BATTICALOA town, on 07 December 2005. According to an eyewitness, NADEESHA PILLAI NADAR, this brutal act of assassination has been committed by SURERASA SIVALINGAM (15) of LTTE, more..

Five civilians and three STF personnel injured in LTTE hand grenade attack

Dec 8 (SLA) Three constables of the Special Task Force (STF) and five civilians in the general area of AKKARAIPATTU in AMPARA escaped death on Wednesday (07) around 7.00 p.m. when a group of LTTE cadres hurled a hand grenade at them. more..

Mahinda asked to accept CBK nominees

Dec 8 (SAMN) The Bar Association wants President Mahinda Rajapakse to endorse his predecessor Chandrika Kumaratunga’s appointment of five President’s Counsel four days before the November 17 presidential elections. The Island learns that Bar Association President Desmond Fernando, PC, is seeking an urgent meeting with Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President, to brief him in this regard. more..

Both parties should observe CFA: Hakeem

Dec 8 (SAMN) SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem yesterday called on the government and the LTTE to observe the ceasefire in the “right spirit”. He urged both parties to ensure that nothing would disturb the harmony that exists between the Muslims and Tamils in the East. more..

'LTTE must condemn not deny attacks'

Dec 8 (SAMN) UN Special Rapporteur for Extra Judicial Killings, Phillip Alston at a media briefing at his Hotel last night said that he told the Tiger rebels that simply denying their involvement in an attack was not acceptable unless they went ahead and also denounced the crimes and urged their supporters to refrain from engaging in such acts. more..

Jaffna security beefed up

Dec 8 (LNP) A special security blanket will come into effect in the Jaffna peninsula and the military is to take tough action against any terrorist acts in the peninsula, following a directive from President Mahinda Rajapakse, after violence claimed the lives of many soldiers in the region. more..

Dissapointed female graduate commits suicide

Dec 8 (LNP) A computer technology graduate Dishani Thusharika of Bahirawakanda Road, Kandy disappointed over the delay of her marriage by one year has committed suicide by swallowing an over-dose of diabetes control pills. This was disclosed at the inquiry into the death of the young woman by the Kandy city and Kandy hospital inquirer into sudden deaths Deshakeerthi Supun Mapalagama. more..

Kurakkan with a touch of wheat flour

Dec 8 (LNP) Former Finance Minister and UNP parliamentarian Ronnie de Mel`s pre election leap to the ruling camp has yielded intended results. However, his appointment as an economic advisor to President Mahinda Rajapakse is not totally a gesture of gratitude. Ronnie was the UNP`s Finance Minister, when Sri Lanka`s economy was prised open in 1977. more..

State media institutions to be upgraded

Dec 8 (DN) Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa vowed to lay the foundation for a new and decent media culture. Minister Yapa said that he would take steps to upgrade the institutions under him with sound administration, efficiency and productivity. more..

Violence simmers in Sri Lanka's multi-ethnic east

Dec 8 (Reuters) Ethnic tension between Sri Lanka's minority Tamil and Muslim communities is rising in the island's east after a November grenade attack on a mosque killed seven and as observers fear the island's 2002 truce is falling apart. more..

Rejuvenated Sri Lanka ready for second India Test

Dec 8 (AFP) Sri Lanka go into the second Test against India at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground here with morale high after gaining a psychological advantage in the previous match. Bowling out Rahul Dravid-led India for a meagre 167 in a truncated drawn opening Test in Chennai helped the tourists regain confidence more..

Sri Lanka awarded first international credit rating

Dec 8 (Reuters) (Reuters) - Standard & Poor's on Thursday assigned a B+ long-term foreign-currency rating to Sri Lanka, with a stable outlook, saying the rating reflected the sovereign's growth prospects. S&P also assigned a BB- local-currency rating to the country. more..

Sri Lanka peace: Norway not in hurry

Dec 8 (HT) The new Sri Lankan President, Mahanida Rajapaksa, on Wednesday asked Norway to continue to be the official facilitator of the peace process in the country. But Oslo is not in a hurry to resume that highly tricky and controversial role. more..

Monks and Marxists object to Norway's role in peace bid

Dec 8 (AFP) Sri Lanka's hardline Buddhist monks and Marxists, key allies of the new president, said they oppose his invitation to Norway to resume peace efforts but pledged to maintain support for him. President Mahinda Rajapakse's invitation Wednesday to Norway followed a recent surge in violence more..

Norway says 'deeply concerned' about Sri Lanka's escalating violence

Dec 8 (AP) Norway is "deeply concerned" about escalating violence in Sri Lanka's north and east, a Norwegian Embassy statement said Thursday, after Oslo-led peace monitors warned that a recent spike in attacks could re-ignite the tropical island's civil war. more..

Sri Lanka raises taxes and spending in populist 2006 budget

Dec 8 (AFP) Sri Lanka raised taxes for companies and salary earners and pledged to spend more to help farmers in its revised federal budget for 2006 unveiled by the president and finance minister. more..

Coal power and upper Kotmale top priority

Dec 9 (LBO) President says coal power and upper Kotmale hydro power project are top priority in infrastructure development. Delivering the budget speech, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said “the coal power plant and Upper Kotmale hydro power project will be given highest priority in order to provide low cost electricity to the people as early as possible.” more..

India, Norway discuss Sri Lanka peace, business ties

Dec 9 (IANS) India and Norway Thursday reviewed the faltering Sri Lankan peace process and explored ways to expand bilateral ties straddling diverse sectors, including business, energy and technology. more..

Move to make Norway quit truce monitoring

Dec 9 (HT) One of the issues that will be taken up in the forthcoming bilateral talks between Sri Lanka and Norway on the latter's role as the peace broker in the island, is whether or not Norway should continue to head the truce monitoring mission also. more..

Farmers get bumper harvest from budget

Dec 9 (LBO) Paddy farmers got a bumper harvest in the Mahinda Chintana budget, with subsidized fertilizer and paddy buying prices upped by one rupee to Rs. 17.50. The Budget proposal said that all verities of fertilizer will be (sold) at Rs. 350 per 50 kg bag for cultivation of paddy and Vegetables. more..

Sri Lanka's bid to woo rebels

Dec 9 (UPI) Sri Lanka's invitation to Norway to continue mediating in its conflict with Tamil rebels is aimed at persuading the LTTE against returning to conflict, analysts said. "The move could be a bid to prevail upon the LTTE not to resume ethnic conflict because Norwegian peace negotiators recognize only the LTTE as the sole representative among Tamil groups in Sri Lanka," more..

China becomes Sri Lanka's 2nd largest tourist source nation in N. Asia

Dec 9 (Xinhua) China has become Sri Lanka's second largest source of visitors in north Asia, said Nihal Rodrigo, Sri Lanka ambassador to China. Sri Lanka hopes to attract over 250,000 Chinese visitors by 2010, he said. more..

UN expert calls on all sides to act against extrajudicial killings

Dec 9 (UN) The United Nations expert on arbitrary executions has called on all parties to the conflict in Sri Lanka to take more determined action to tackle the killings that have plagued the country in recent days. more..

Mahinda to probe abuses by security forces

Dec 9 (BBC) The Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers must act urgently to stop the escalation of violence and human rights abuses in the north and east of the country, says Amnesty International following a four-day high level visit to Sri Lanka. more..

Diabetes takes endemic proportions in Sri Lanka

Dec 9 (AT) In Sri Lanka ailments like Diabetes and Heart diseases are on the increase and it is estimated that around 5 percent of the population suffer from diabetes, which is considered to be endemic and further this figure could rise as around 50 percent if have not been tested for their conditions. more..

President instructs Security Chiefs to strengthen security in Muslim and Tamil border villages

Dec 9 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse has directed the Security Chiefs to urgently strengthen the security of Muslim and Tamil border villagers in the East, following an urgent appeal made by National Unity Alliance Leader Ferial Ashraff, during a meeting with the President. more..

Three months in Sri Lanka

Dec 9 (TO) After a year at Mount Holyoke College, Weston High School graduate Julie Angiolillo decided to try something completely different. In early September she left for Sri Lanka to volunteer at the Kalutara North Tsunami Camp. After spending almost three months there, she flew back home at the end of November. more..

Mahinda envisages to build a new economy with social justice through his revised budget- 2006

Dec 9 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is also the Minister of Finance, breaking with tradition went to the Parliament yesterday and presented a new budget based on his election manifesto ‘Mahinda Chinathana.’ more..

Lankans see gains in promoting Vaas

Dec 9 (EI) There are times when it is easier for short guys like Chaminda Vaas to talk to Tom Moody when the man mountain sized-Sri Lanka coach is sitting down. Vaas, Sri Lanka’s new vice-captain, has been in this position more than once this year. more..

Budget conforms to agreement with JVP - Wimal Weerawansa

Dec 9 (LT) They were satisfied that President Mahinda Rajapakse has taken steps to present a budget conforming to the agreement reached before the presidential election between him and the JVP said Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, Parliamentarian and Information Secretary of the JVP. more..

Budget brings relief package to working people

Dec 9 (LT) The finance minister, President Mahinda Rajapaksha presented his budget for 2006 based on "Mahinda Chinthana" to parliament today. After he won the November 17th Presidential election, he said that a new budget will be presented to parliament to enable him to fulfill the promises given by him at his election platform to win mostly rural voters and government employees. more..

Petition against land to former president

Dec 9 (LT) A petition has been presented to court requesting an order against the decision taken by the previous cabinet to make available a one and a half acre land to former president Chandrika Kumaratunga. The petition has been submitted to appeal Court by the editor of ‘Ravaya’ Mr. Victor Ivan. more..

UNP takes over BOI!

Dec 9 (LT) Prof. Laxman Watawala, who signed an advertisement of certain intellectuals asking people to vote for the UNP has been appointed as the chairman of Board of Investments (BOI). Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has made the appointment. Prof. Laxman Watawala is said to be an ardent supporter of the UNP. more..

On the train tracks in Sri Lanka, life does move on

Dec 9 (UT) The sea shimmers to the west as the train rattles north toward Colombo. It passes a Christian cemetery, fields where grazing cattle listlessly watch boys in white uniforms play cricket, and crumpled shacks unrepaired nearly a year after the waves came. more..

Australia condemns ceasefire violations

Dec 9 (PIS) Australia is deeply concerned about the recent escalation in violence in the North and East and condemns in particular the two attacks in Jaffna on December 4 and 6 by the LTTE, which killed 14 members of the Sri Lanka Army. more..

Brattskar visits tsunami transit camps in Mullaitivu

Dec 9 (TN) Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo, Hans Brattskar, toured tsunami affected Mullaitivu area and visited transit centers housing tsunamil refugees to directly witness their living conditions. Ambassador Brattsker arrived in Mullaitivu at 2.30 p.m. Sunday after travelling overland from Jaffna via A9 highway, sources said. more..

Muslim labourer shot dead inside Saw Mill

Dec 9 (SLA) ONE MUSLIM CIVILIAN was killed and another critically injured when a group of unidentified gunmen opened fire at them Thursday (08) around 12.30 midnight in the general area of ERAVUR. more..

Two RPG rounds found

Dec 9 (SLA) ON INFORMATION received from a civilian, troops have recovered two Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) rounds hidden under a bush in the general area of SITTANDY, BATTICALOA on 8 December 2005 around 10.00 a.m. more..

Tamil Tiger wanted for former FM’s murder arrested

Dec 9 (SLA) FOLLOWING AN INFORMATION received by 119 Police Emergency Centre, one Tamil Tiger involved in the assassination of former Foreign Minister LUXMAN KADIRAGAMAR has been arrested by a special Police team in the general area of GALEWELA, KURUNEGALA, on 08 December 2005 around 8.10 p.m. more..

Suspected Tamil Tiger lobs hand grenade at STF and flees

Dec 9 (SLA) A SUSPECTED PERSON, believed to be a Tamil Tiger, has lobbed a hand grenade at Special Task Force (STF) personnel Wednesday (07) around 9.30 p.m. in the general area of DANAGIRIYA in AMPARA. The suspected LTTE cadre, on seeing the STF personnel reaching him, has thrown the hand grenade at them and fled the scene. more..

Small victory for Sri Lanka, with WTO decision to amend the TRIPS

Dec 9 (LBO) Small victory for Sri Lanka, with WTO decision to amend the TRIPS, to ensure access to medicines for poorer countries. After years of lobbying, poorer members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) saw a small victory this week by getting an agreement to emend the controversial TRIPS agreements. more..

Budget 2006 - Where does it all stand?

Dec 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka Thursday announced higher taxes on corporates, gambling, smoking and liquor to fund a spending spree that includes farm and electricity subsidies and jobs for unemployed. President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is also the country’s Finance Minister, unveiled the 2006 budget granting salary increases to public servants more..

Govt. to investigate damage to undersea cable, over a year after the incident

Dec 9 (LBO) The government on Friday said it would investigate the damage to a crucial submarine cable connecting the island to the rest of the world, over a year after the incidence. A one man Presidential Committee has been appointed to investigate the incident and ascertain its implications to the country, more..

LTTE Welcomes Norway's return

Dec 9 (LeN) The LTTE yesterday welcomed the government's decision to continue with Norway as peace facilitator in Sri Lanka's protracted ethnic conflict while Oslo said it will now sit with both parties and discuss way to take the process forward before beginning its facilitatory role. more..

Hakeem wants review of SLMM also

Dec 9 (LM) SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem yesterday proposed that the Nordic Council which is the forum for the governmental co-operation of Nordic countries, should send a special team here to assess the performance of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM). more..

Sinhla and Muslim undergraduates at Jaffna University relocated

Dec 9 (LT) With the increase of provocation activities in Jaffna area the University Grant Commission has taken steps to move Sinhala and Muslim students of the Jaffna University to other locations. more..