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Sri Lanka alerts Italy over 154 illegal immigrants

Feb 15 (AFP) Sri Lanka alerted Italian officials Monday that 154 illegal immigrants in a modified fishing trawler are heading for its coast, a police spokesman said. The men had reportedly left the island’s northwestern town of Wennappuwa late last month in a trawler that had been converted to accommodate the immigrants, more..

No underworld in Sri Lanka says IGP

Feb 15 (BBC) There is no underworld in Sri Lanka the country's top police officer said on Monday. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chandra Fernando told BBC Sandeshaya that the concept of 'underworld' is a creation by the media. more..

CTB strike runs out of control

Feb 15 (SAMN) The Central Transport Board (CTB) strike over a pay increase ran out of control Monday with employees of several other depots stopping work and leaving tens of thousands of commuters stranded. more..

Health unions threaten work-to-rule

Feb 15 (SAMN) The Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) warned Monday that they would resort to a work-to-rule campaign if the Health Ministry failed to allocate the adequate amount of money for health services. more..

JVP to act with restraint

Feb 15 (LNP) While remaining as the coalition partner in the UPFA government, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) will continue to take up issues which are detrimental to the country, Cultural Affairs and National Heritage Minister Vijitha Herath said yesterday. more..

Intra party rivalry led to murders:Gen.Ratwatte

Feb 15 (LNP) Former Deputy Minister of Defence, Anuruddha Ratwatte, while denying any involvement in the Pallethalawinna murders, told the Trial-at-Bar, that fierce rivalry between two Muslim candidates, contesting the Kandy District, led to the deaths of ten young Muslim men on December 5, 2001. more..

Govt. to take buffer zone to people

Feb 15 (LNP) At a party leader`s meeting yesterday (14) at the President`s House, the President said that a seminar would be held with the participation of local and foreign experts to create awareness among the people of the scientific and socioeconomic background of the government`s decision to enforce the 100 metre coastal buffer zone. more..

"Tiger flag is Tamil nation’s flag" – Mannar Bishop

Feb 15 (TN) "There is nothing wrong in the Tamil nation raising its national flag. The Tamil national flag is not the Tigers’ flag but it is the Tamil people’s flag. Hoisting it is not against peace. Many who shout against it are silent over the recent killings. more..

Now, LTTE men in Mannar protest

Feb 15 (SLA) An LTTE organised protest march to condemn the recent murder of LTTE political leader for east, KAUSHALYAN wended its way towards the central bus stand at MANNAR on 15 February 2005 around 12.00 noon after protesters assembled at Hospital junction in the area at about 10.00 a.m. more..

LTTE cadre resists routine checks

Feb 15 (SLA) An LTTE cadre, M. SENTIMIL verbally abused a soldier on duty at MUHAMALAI Entry/Exit point after the LTTE man was subjected to routine check on 13 February 2005 around 4.30 p.m. All passengers as well as vehicles are subjected to routine checks at this point for security reasons after that checkpoint was established some years back. more..

Another LTTE man wants sentry point dismantled

Feb 15 (SLA) One more LTTE cadre from its political wing once again on 14 February 2005 around 9.40 a.m. demanded withdrawal of the sentry point at KAITADY junction after meeting a Police officer on duty at the location. more..

Youth on motorbike gunned down

Feb 15 (SLA) Unidentified motorbike gunmen, suspected to be from LTTE have shot dead another motorcyclist in the general area of KOMMATHURAI, BATTICALOA whilst he was riding along the VISHNU KOVIL Road, VANTHARMULAI on Monday (14) night at about 8.45 p.m. more..

Finding tsunami orphans a home

Feb 15 (LBO) Irangani Amarasiri, a Sri Lankan government official, flips through a manila folder containing the names of 90 children who vanished from refugee camps in this island nation's southern provinces in the weeks after the tsunami disaster. more..

Kyoto Protocol kicks in on Wednesday, opening up carbon trading options for Sri Lanka

Feb 15 (LBO) With the Kyoto Protocol to battle global warming taking effect on Wednesday, it opens up interesting options for Sri Lanka like carbon trading, but time may be running out. The agreement, ratified by 141 nations, is the first of its kind that tries to cut down on global pollution more..

”Amawessa” drowns Valentine day in Sri Lanka

Feb 15 (SN) The Amawessa “The immortal rain” which means the “Fall of the Buddha Damma in to the minds of the people” enlighten them on the noble manner of livelihood from child hood to every stage of life of child adults, parents and grand parents has been now well rooted in Sri Lanka more..

JHU MP Monks delegation disappointed by the President

Feb 15 (SN) The Central Committee of the JHU requesting an appointment with the President of Sri Lanka to advisor on matters of great national importance. They are, 1. The situation in the country subsequence to the Tsunami Disaster. 2. Unethical conversion of Tsunami refugees by evangelizes and pastors. more..

Govt want expatriate’s monthly remittance, but keeps them purposely in the dark

Feb 15 (AT) Majority of the Sri Lankans living outside Sri Lanka due to the 1983 holocaust were completely taken by surprise at a press release by the President Secretariat about extending the date of receiving applications for compensation by victims of ethnic violence (1981 – 1983) more..

Bata Atha Leather Complex Project not initiated by Norway

Feb 15 (AT) Norwegian Government has not initiated the Bata Atha Leather Complex project located in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. This was disclosed in a press release by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Sri Lanka. more..

Chandrika piqued at Marxists' threat to quit government

Feb 15 (Gulf) President has expressed her displeasure at the Janata Vimukti Peramuna's threat to quit the coalition government. President Kumaratunga said while she was making efforts to resolve the ethnic conflict, the coalition partners were threatening to leave the government. more..

Call to disarm Sri Lanka militias

Feb 15 (BBC) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have urged the government to disarm paramilitary groups allegedly working with the army, a Tamil website reports. Rebel negotiator Anton Balasingham made the demand during a meeting with a Norwegian peace envoy in London. more..

Vaas signs for Worcestershire

Feb 15 (CI) Worcestershire have announced that Sri Lankan fast bowler Chaminda Vaas has agreed a two-month contract for the early part of the 2005 season. "Chaminda's career record, mostly on wickets in the sub continent, speaks for itself and it is our belief that his style of bowling will ideally suit the playing conditions during the early part of the season," more..

Rupee dips, importer dollar demand high

Feb 15 (Reuters) Rupee weakened slightly on Tuesday as importer demand for the U.S currency to settle trade bills pressured the exchange rate, dealers said. The rupee closed dipped to 99.40 against the dollar from Monday's close of 99.38, though the local currency had earlier firmed to 99.33 rupees in intraday trade. more..

Bogollagama wins Mutiny in UNP

Feb 15 (LT) The Supreme Court has decided that the decision taken by the UNP to sack UNP Member of Parliament and Minister Rohithe Bogollagama is illegal. The judgment taken by a three member bench consisting of Supreme Court Judges Nihal Jayasinghe, Nimal E. Dissanayake and Raja Fernando was unanimous. more..

Govt. to take over 1/3rd shares of Petroleum shares from Treasury

Feb 15 (LT) Previous UNP government sold a part of the Petroleum Corporation to Indian Oil Company (IOC) and reserved another part in the treasury to be sold to another company. The third part continued to be under the government. more..

Bill to tackle post tsunami scenario

Feb 15 (DN) The Government will bring in a Tsunami Disaster (Special Provision) Bill seeking to deal with certain developments that have cropped up in the post tsunami scenario. The Bill will deal with issuance of death certificates, adoption of children and appointment of foster parents, more..

Emergency a virtual Police State: UNP

Feb 15 (SAMN) Prof. G.L. Peiris Monday said the UNP, decided against supporting the Emergency Regulations promulgated by the President on February 3 for the undermentioned reasons. There is no justification for these Regulations to be brought into force in the whole of the 14 Administrative Districts. more..

Administrative activities in the higher official public service are to come within a commission

Feb 15 (SLBC) Appointments, transfers and promotions in the higher echelons public service come within the purview of the Public Service Commission. Minister of Public Administration Amarasiri Dodangoda said that therefore, the Ministry had nothing do in that regard. more..

Govt to be cautious in constructing highways with minimum damage to the people and assets

Feb 15 (SLBC) The committee appointed to the look in to the irregularities committed and inconveniences caused to the general public in the construction of highways has handed over its report to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse today. more..

Transport Minister is to hold another round of talks to find a solution to the bus strike

Feb 15 (SLBC) The strike of the bus employees continues. The Ministry of Transport says bus service of 48 depots have been completely disrupted. Secretary to the Ministry D.S Jayaweera told the SLBC that however, none of the trade unions engaged in the strike has informed in writing to the Ministry of the strike. more..

Susil refutes misuse allegations

Feb 15 (IL) The Power and Energy Minister yesterday denied allegations against him by CEB and CEYPETCO officials who claimed that he was misusing his portfolio. CEB and CEYPETCO officials alleged that Minister Susil Premajayantha was using several luxury and semi-luxury vehicles belonging to these institutions, apart from his official vehicle. more..

Lending agencies threaten to unplug CEB

Feb 15 (IL) The Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank (WB) and the Japan Bank for International Corporation (JBIC) is reportedly pressurizing the Government to go ahead with the restructuring process of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) despite mounting opposition, sources said yesterday. more..

Growing dissatisfaction in eastern Sri Lanka over lack of aid

Feb 15 (wsws) Even before the tsunami hit Sri Lanka, the Eastern Province was one of the poorest and most economically backward regions of the island. Like the Northern Province, the area has been ravaged by two decades of civil war and many people live below the poverty line. more..

Indian troops praised in once hostile southern Sri Lanka

Feb 15 (PTI) India today received praise for post-tsunami relief operations in soutrhern Sri Lanka, a hotbed of Sinhalese militants who once rioted against the Indian Peace Keeping forces on the island. The chief district collector in Galle in a letter to the Indian military praised its in building bridges, more..

Did You Know? - Sri Lanka Treasures

Feb 15 (ABC) When we went to Sri Lanka with Gleaning For The World, we were impressed with the country's culture and its people. In our Did You Know report, some things you may not know about Sri Lanka. more..

End of the road for Sri Lanka's tsunami-hit 'lucky' Test venue

Feb 15 (AFP) The Galle Cricket Stadium was one of the most breathtaking Test venues, but the tsunami has exposed its vulnerability and brought down the curtain on Sri Lanka's "lucky" ground. more..

World Bank gives $75M loan for housing project

Feb 15 (DJ) The International Development Association, an arm of the World Bank, will provide a $75 million loan to fund a housing reconstruction program in Sri Lanka's war-ravaged northeast. The project will facilitate the reconstruction of over 40,000 houses over a four-year period, more..

Tigers want paramilitary units immediately disarmed

Feb 15 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tiger rebels have told peacebroker Norway the government should immediately disarm paramilitary groups allegedly behind the assassination of a senior Tamil leader, a pro-rebel website said. more..

President's speech misinterpreted with malice Presidential Secretariat

Feb 15 (LT) Addressing an opening ceremony of a rural bank in Nittambuwa, President Kumaratunga had said that a man named Prabhakaran claiming to a homeland sought to divide the country and the government was making every effort to resolve the crisis. more..

Sri Lankan facing murder charge after victim dies

Feb 16 (CM) A 27-year-old Sri Lankan student will be facing premeditated murder charges in connection with the brutal killing of his girlfriend, it was reported yesterday. Thirty-two-year-old Mirosha Shiromi died on Friday from head injuries allegedly inflicted by the suspect last Sunday week. more..

Christian education ministries support Post-Tsunami counselling

Feb 16 (CT) The call for mental care and counselling in tsunami-hit countries has now become very desperate, according to international aid agencies. While the basic requirements for survival - water, food, shelter, medicine - are being received one by one by the dedicated efforts of aid agencies, more..


Feb 16 (FP) Mike McKee sees progress along the Sri Lanka coast. The debris is being cleared. People are anxious to move out of shelters and restart their lives. "You can see a glimmer of hope where before there was none," says McKee, a Livonia native and Salvation Army minister. more..

Some members of DART team return to CFB Trenton after month in Sri Lanka

Feb 16 (CP) About 80 DART personnel returning from Sri Lanka after a month of tending to tsunami survivors arrived late Monday at this eastern Ontario base. Defence Minister Bill Graham was not on hand as planned to greet the returning members more..

'Baby 81' Parents Won't Mark Homecoming

Feb 16 (AP) Mindful of couples who lost their children to the tsunami, the parents of the 4-month-old survivor Abilass Jeyarajah will refrain from celebrating their son's homecoming following an agonizing eight-week custody battle, the boy's father said Tuesday. more..

LTTE denies murdered man was member

Feb 16 (TN) A man identified as Mr.Sambunathan Sasikaran, 22, was shot dead Monday night around 8.45 in Kommathurai, 17 kilometres north of Baaticaloa. Sri Lanka army spokesman claimed the man was a member of Liberation Tigers. more..

Canadian homeland security chief hints Ottawa may outlaw Tamil Tigers

Feb 16 (AFP) Canada's senior minister responsible for homeland security hinted strongly that she was not excluding adding Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers rebel group to a list of outlawed terrorist organizations. more..

Three Million Euros for Sri Lanka in 2005

Feb 16 (RW) For the year 2005, Malteser Germany will realize emergency relief and rehabilitation programmes in Sri Lanka with a total volume of 3 million Euro. “The programmes are run partly by Malteser staff and in the main by our partner organisations ”, states Robert Hansen, Malteser emergency relief expert more..

LTTE is for the Muslims too: Tamilselvan

Feb 16 (HT) In a significant attempt to reach out to the Muslims, who are an important segment in the eastern districts of Sri Lanka, the LTTE's political commissar, SP Tamilselvan, met top leaders of Muslim civil society in Kokkadicholai on Tuesday, and assured them that the LTTE stood for their rights too. more..

Pettigrew says condemning Tamil Tiger actions as far as Canada can go for now

Feb 16 (CP) Canada condemns terrorist activity by the Tamil Tigers, including suspected recruitment of child soldiers, but the Liberal government still isn't ready to outlaw the organization, says Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew. more..

Rebuilding Hambantota After the Tsunami

Feb 16 (VOA) Where once there was a bustling seaside community, little remains. Located on Sri Lanka's southern coast, Hambantota was a fishing village and home to roughly 12,000 people. Thirteen hundred of them died when the tsunami struck -- nearly 7,000 more were injured. more..

Central Bank to regularise NGO's receiving funds

Feb 16 (AT) The Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has issued an operating mechanism that all Non Government Organizations in Sri Lanka has to channel their funds received from donors and foreign Governments in a special bank accounts. more..