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Talks fail, bus unions back on strike

Feb 16 (BBC) Talks between the transport minister and trade unions to resolve a strike ended in a dead lock said the chairman of the transport board. Transport sector trade unions are on strike demanding a 2,500 pay hike given by the budget to state employees. more..

Youth killed in Batticaloa

Feb 16 (BBC) A man was found shot dead on Monday evening in government controlled Kommathurai in Batticaloa. The body was identified as of 22 year old Sambunathan Shashidharan also known as Boby who is a resident of the LTTE controlled Illuppadichainai area. more..

Cuba, Sri Lanka Pen Collaboration Agreements

Feb 16 (BA) Sri Lankan Science and Technology Minister, professor Tissa Vitarana, is expected to sign several collaboration agreements with Cuba Tuesday, as part of his official visit to the Island. more..

Saud Arranges Delicate Surgery on Lankan Infant

Feb 16 (AN) A nine-month old infant from Sri Lanka has been brought here for delicate surgery on an initiative from Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal. Fathima Razeena, who is accompanied by her father, Mohamed Rameez, and mother, Zainab Kamila, is suffering from Exomphalos-major. more..

Getty Images

Feb 16 (GI) Sri Lankan Buddhist monks light lamps at a religious service in Colombo, 14 February 2005 , to counter Valentine's Day celebrations. more..

Opposition vows to defy emergency

Feb 16 (SAMN) UNP vowed Tuesday it would defy certain provisions of the new emergency regulations and risk arrest. "Whenever the government uses emergency powers to suppress a legitimate struggle by someone or some group, we shall defy the government to safeguard democracy. Let them arrest us," UNP frontliner Rajitha Senaratne said. more..

UNP scoffs at JVP

Feb 16 (SAMN) Heaping scorn on the JVP and describing it as deaf and dumb, the main opposition UNP Tuesday requated the leftist party's position in the ruling coalition to that of a leech. "Even if the President kicks the JVP out, it will stick with the UPFA like a leech," UNP frontliner Rajitha Senaratne more..

Schools, police in bribery complaints

Feb 16 (SAMN) Although two months have elapsed after the dismissal of the former Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, the commission has received over 200 complaints, mostly against schools and police. more..

Haukland to head SLMM till Gen. Furuhove recovers

Feb 16 (TN) Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jan Petersen, on Wednesday has appointed former Chief of Staff, of the SLMM, Hagrup Haukland, as temporary Head of Mission. The appointment is coming to an immediate effect with Mr. Haukland assuming his new duties Wednesday. more..

Chandrika appoints new secretary to JVP's Fisheries Ministry

Feb 16 (TN) President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Tuesday has appointed a new Secretary to the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, one of the three ministries under the JVP control. Mr. E. Jinadasa, a senior officer in the Sri Lanka Administrative Service has been appointed as the new Secretary to the Ministry, replacing the former Secretary, Nandasena Bambaravanage. more..

Memorandum handed over to SLMM

Feb 16 (SLA) Another protest march organized by the LTTE and the Cooperative Societies of JAFFNA district in the general area east of ARIYALAI on 15 February 2005 around 10.30 a.m. had marched up to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) office to deliver a memorandum. more..

Army’s departure from conventional roles hailed

Feb 16 (SLA) The Sri Lanka Army’s ongoing de-mining role in former war-affected areas received a further boost on Tuesday (15) when the Norwegian People’s Aid (Norsk Folk Hjelp) organization through Japanese finance assistance, donated a modern MV 4 Mini Flail Machine to the Army, designed to accelerate the Army’s de-mining output. more..

Gem trade calls for diplomatic and trade ties with Madagascar

Feb 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery trade wants the government to extend the official hand of friendship to the African island of Madagascar, for business reasons. "We must at least appoint a Consul for Madagascar. It will give us legal standing in that country," said Altaf Iqbal, more..

Poor Deal

Feb 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka expects to reign in its galloping inflation in the next few months, but savers will still get a raw deal as the Central Bank fights shy to tighten monetary policy. "Although inflation continued to rise in January 2005, inflationary pressures are expected to moderate somewhat in the next few months due to favorable supply-side factors," more..

Sea and jungle life bounce back from the tsunami's battering

Feb 16 (IO) The first assessment of the damage to wildlife caused by the Asian tsunami found nature has been surprisingly resilient to the effects of the giant waves. More than 200,000 people are believed to have been killed and entire coastal settlements wiped out in the aftermath of the Boxing Day earthquake that sent a tsunami across the Indian Ocean. more..

Stocks inch higher, small investors buy

Feb 16 (Reuters) Stocks closed slightly higher on Wednesday after two days of losses, as small investors bought select shares looking for gains in the coming days, brokers said. The key Colombo all-share index rose a provisional 0.51 percent, or 8.67 points, to 1,703.78 points. more..

Sri Lanka professionals discuss post-tsunami housing strategies

Feb 16 (ISE) Initial reactions to the tsunami disaster and suggestions on how construction professionals can help long term emerged from a recent seminar on ‘Post tsunami housing strategies’ by the Society of Structural Engineers, Sri Lanka. The event attracted 350 people from a wide variety of organisations. more..

SB a political prisoner : Rajitha Senaratne

Feb 16 (LNP) At a special meeting held at the auditorium of the D.S Senanayake library in Kandy on Friday (11), to agitate for the release of former minister S.B. Dissanayake from imprisonment, UNP parliamentarian, Rajitha Senaratne said that in the past, judges adjudicated the law impartially, more..

Another Wanni Tiger killed

Feb 16 (LNP) Suspected Karuna faction gunmen shot and killed a top Wanni LTTE intelligence wing cadre identified as Tambunathan Sudeekaran at Batticaloa, on Monday (14) night sending fresh shock waves through the Wanni, LTTE intelligence sources said yesterday. more..

Clinton, Bush Sr to visit Sri Lanka

Feb 16 (IANS) Former US Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton will visit Sri Lanka Feb 20 to see the reconstruction efforts following the tsunami disaster. The two envoys are scheduled to tour Matara in the country's south, Xinhua quoted the Daily News as saying. more..

Lankan delegate visits Pestom Sagar park

Feb 16 (MD) On Feb 12, Leo Fonseka, a representative of the Sri Lankan government, visited Nana Nani Munna Munni Park in Pestom Sagar. Fonseka, who is part of an organisation called Management Resources for Good Governance (MaRGG), is visiting India to study how vermiculture has been successfully implemented across the country. more..

Tamil Group Offers Alternative to Sauna-Like Tents

Feb 16 (IPS) For the past week, Thurai Chandrakumar has led a gang of 11 men in a construction spree aimed at building shelters with local conditions in mind. Here, the day gets progressively hotter and by mid-morning temperatures in this village are almost furnace-like. more..

President sends condolences to Pakistan

Feb 16 (PRIU) President Chandrika Kumaratunga sent a condolence message to her Pakistani counterpart General Pervez Musharraf on Monday. Several people lost their lives and property last week in flash floods in Baluchistan and NWFP when a dam collapsed. more..

Tea Board Chairman satisfied with SL-Pakistan FTA

Feb 16 (PRIU) Niraj de Mel, Chairman, Sri Lanka Tea Board speaking to PRIU from Islamabad after the Free Trade Agreement was signed between Sri Lanka and Pakistan said he was happy that a quantity of 10 million kg of tea at zero duty had been included in the FTA. more..

Celebrations in Sri Lanka as "miracle" baby reunited with parents

Feb 16 (AFP) A baby found covered in mud after the tsunamis smashed into Sri Lanka's shores was reunited with his parents at a courthouse here, sparking celebrations in this remote town. more..

Tsunami Not a Word in Sri Lanka

Feb 16 (ABC) When the Heart of Virginia Tsunami Lifeline team traveled with Gleaning for the World, to oversee the delivery of aid to tsunami-devastated Sri Lanka, we immediately headed to the island's Eastern Coast. That's where most of the damage was done. more..

Promoting peace through a game

Feb 16 (Hindu) Sri Lanka's quest for sustainable peace will shortly rope in a vital constituency — its children — through an indigenously conceived board game "Friends". The game, to be introduced jointly by the Secretariat for Co-ordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) and the Ministry of Education, more..

IGP says Sri Lanka has now acquired the dubious reputation of being the country with the most number of accidents

Feb 16 (SLBC) Sri Lanka has now achieved the dubious distinction of being the country with the highest number of accidents. According to IGP Chandra Fernando, one person is killed every half an hour in a road accident in the island. more..

Veteran cinema artist vijaya kumaratunga commemorate today

Feb 16 (SLBC) Today marks the completion of 17 years of the killing of Veteran Cinema artist and humanist politician Vijaya Kumaratunga. He was brutally shot to death near his Polhengoda residence on the 16th of February 1988. more..

Hambantota to undergo massive transformation

Feb 16 (DN) The tsunami devastated Hambantota district is to undergo a massive transformation with modern facilities and constructions to replace the wasted landscape strictly adhering to the Government's 100 meter buffer zone. more..

CMC garbage to be cleared?

Feb 16 (IL) The ongoing squabble between the Colombo Municipal Council's Mayor, Deputy Mayor and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is likely to end, following UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe's mediation, the SLMC said yesterday. more..

Matchmaker says UPFA marriage won't break

Feb 16 (IL) Minister Mangala Samarweera who played a key role in bringing about the UPFA between the SLFP and JVP vowed yesterday that no power group would be allowed to topple the UPFA government until it had fulfilled its historic responsibility. more..

Sri Lanka says aid, reconstruction will cover tsunami losses

Feb 16 (AFP) Reconstruction work and foreign aid will more than offset the economic losses Sri Lanka suffered following the December tsunamis disaster, the central bank said. Economic growth for 2005 was revised upwards to around 5.5 percent, more..

Yahoo Photos

Feb 16 (Yahoo) Jenita Jeyarajah, right, and Murugupillai Jeyarajah ,second right, with their son Abilass Jeyarajah or 'Baby 81', pray at a Hindu temple, at Kalmunai, Sri Lanka, Wednesday Feb. 16, 2005. more..

CEB workers strike against privatization

Feb 17 (TN) Employees of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) held a one-day strike and a protest demonstration from 8 a.m. from 4.30 p.m Wednesday opposite the CEB Headquarters condemning moves by the Government of Sri Lanka to privatize the CEB, sources in Colombo said. more..

Employees of CWE demand pay increase

Feb 17 (TN) Employees of all Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) outlets held islandwide demonstrations between 10 am and 12 pm Wednesday opposite their respective Retail Outlets demanding an increase of their salaries. more..

Thamilchelvan arrives in Sampoor on three-day visit

Feb 17 (TN) Mr.S.P.Thamilchelvan, Political Head of the LTTE Wednesday evening around 4 p.m. arrived from Batticaloa to Sampoor Maha Vidiyalayam grounds in the LTTE controlled Muttur east, south of Trincomalee district by a Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) special helicopter, more..

Fernando wins Colombo in SLBA contest

Feb 17 (BBC) President’s Counsel Desmond Fernando has won the crucial district of Colombo in the annual election for the president of Sri Lanka Bar Association (SLBA). Fernando has received 1100 votes while his main rival incumbent president M Ikram Mohammad, PC has collected 880 votes in the Colombo district. more..

Kaushalyan killing : Monks protest UN

Feb 17 (BBC) Group of Buddhist monks belonging to National Bikkhu Front carried black banners, and took part in a demonstration outside the UN office in Colombo against the UN General Secretary Koffi Annan's expression of condolences on the death of a senior LTTE leader. more..

Sri Lankan refugees speak out over inadequate aid

Feb 17 (wsws) Although there are more than 1,060 homeless families in Akkaraipattu, there is only one refugee camp in the area. Located at the Mery Gold Garment factory hall, it provides accommodation for about 90 families. The remaining refugees have been forced to live with relatives or friends. more..

US football players touch down for UN tsunami relief in Sri Lanka

Feb 17 (UN) Continuing relief efforts to help survivors of the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, National Football League (NFL) players from the United States kicked off a four-day visit to Sri Lanka today to work with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on its emergency operation to feed hungry families. more..

UPFA tries to privatise Education - IUSF

Feb 17 (LT) Inter University Student Federation has charged the UPFA government that it is initiating the education privatisation plans prepared by the former United National Party regime. Government has been allowing the private sector to establish private institutions which have already started paid degree courses. more..

Tsunami aid go waste

Feb 17 (SAMN) More than 100 container loads of relief aid for tsunami victims are lying idle at the Colombo port as NGOs, to which they were consigned, are not clearing them because of heavy duties, other charges and bureaucratic procedures imposed by the government, more..

Tsunami victims get NICs

Feb 17 (SAMN) Around 16,000 applications have been received from tsunami victims of Kalutara, Galle, Matara and Hambantota districts at the mobile services conducted on Feb. 12 and 13, 2005. more..

Colombo-Matara train services from Monday

Feb 17 (LNP) The railway will resume services from Colombo to Matara from Monday with reconstruction work almost nearing, but Railway Chief Priyal de Silva requested the public to bear with the shortcomings they will have to undergo initially. more..

Ramesh, Karikalan among Tigers escorted north

Feb 17 (LNP) The deposed Ampara-Batticaloa Special Commander 'Colonel' Thambirajah Ramesh and former regional political chief Karikalan were among an LTTE group that had been moved under heavy military escort from the east to Omanthai, north of Vavuniya early this week. more..

Michael Cook sends information

Feb 17 (SS) Oakhurst resident Michael Cook traveled to Sri Lanka to help local villagers purify contaminated water [Sierra Star article, Jan. 14] after the tsunami hit the island. His big heart hasn’t gone unnoticed; many people donated money to help with his expenses for the trip costs estimated at $3,000. more..

UNP MP takes on IGP

Feb 17 (SAMN) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's revelation at Nittambuwa last week that IGP Chandra Fernando had 'waited for her word' to arrest the Western Provincial councillor, a suspect in the Namal Gunawardene murder case, calls for serious thought and also serious action against the IGP for dereliction of duty if her version is correct, more..

Vocational Training Center opened in Muttur

Feb 17 (TN) The Social Development Centre (SDC) headquartered in Killinochchi, opened the first vocational training centre (VTC) at Navaratnapuram, Sampoor in the Liberation Tigers controlled Muttur east, south of the Trincomalee district with the assistance of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) Wednesday morning. more..

NEHRP increases housing grant to conflict affected in NorthEast

Feb 17 (TN) Under the North East Housing Reconstruction Program (NEHRP) funded by the World Bank 46,000 houses will be built for poor conflict-affected families in the NorthEast, said a press release issued by the Worldbank in Colombo Wednesday. more..