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Chandrika seeks trade concessions from US to rebuild economy

Feb 22 (UNI) Outlining the magnitude of the unprecedented tsunami disaster in Sri Lanka, President Chandrika Kumaratunga told the visiting former Presidents of the US, George Bush Senior and Bill Clinton that US could help the island nation by giving some trade concessions to help boosting the tsunami-hit economy. more..

Strike paralyses NCP general hospitals

Feb 22 (SAMN) The two main hospitals in the North Central Province were paralysed as nearly 4000 members of the Health Sector Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) went on strike Monday demanding the payment of the salary hike granted to all state sector employees through the budget. more..

Work with LTTE, US tells govt

Feb 22 (SAMN) Visiting former US President Bill Clinton declared Monday he was happy to learn that the government and Tamil parties had begun working together after the tsunami disaster, urging the two parties to use the opportunity to narrow the differences. more..

India an opportunity not a threat ' Foreign Secretary

Feb 22 (LNP) Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran says that the challenge for Indian diplomacy lies in convincing its neighbours that it is an opportunity not a threat. Saran said that there has to be a minimal consensual basis on which to pursue SAARC cooperation. more..

SB watched in his jail cell

Feb 22 (LNP) CID undercover agents have been deployed inside the Welikada Remand Prison allegedly to check whether UNP strongman S.B. Dissanayake was engaged in political activity inside the prison, a senior prison official revealed. more..

Rio Rico schools adopt sister school in Sri Lanka

Feb 22 (NI) Rio Rico students have adopted a Sri Lankan primary school, destroyed in the Dec. 26 tsunamis. So far, $1,800 has been collected to help the Welithara Primary School in Galle District. more..

Getty Images

Feb 22 (GI) A foreign tourist gestures saying "no train" as he walks out of the main station in Colombo 21 February 2005 as services came to a standstill following a work stoppage by technicians. more..

Civil groups demand action against sex assaults

Feb 22 (TN) Citizens Committee, Justice and Peace Commission, Peoples Forum and Traders Association of Mannar district Monday appealed to President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge to take stern action against errand policemen who are involved in sexual assaults on students and women in Mannar, more..

Ranil calls for unity to safeguard the ceasefire

Feb 22 (TN) "Parties with vested interest would like to go back to war. But the reality is, this country cannot face another war. We will all be destroyed by the fight", leader of the opposition and former Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Tuesday said more..

Stalled Peace talks strains Ceasefire, says SLMM chief

Feb 22 (TN) The Scandinavian truce monitors, monitoring the ceasefire agreement between the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE since the day it came into operation on Feb 22, 2002, cautioned on Tuesday that the prolonging stalemate in the peace talks causes serious strain on the very existence of the ceasefire. more..

Weapon washed away in tsunami recovered

Feb 22 (SLA) Two civilians had found a T – 56 weapon from the general area of PULMODDAI along with 14 rounds of ammunition which was submerged due to the tsunami tidal wave and handed it over to the Army camp at PULMODDAI around 10.15 a.m. on 20 February 2005.

Aid flows to fisheries can lead to over fishing and logistical mess, FAO

Feb 22 (LBO) Aid is flowing into Sri Lanka’s tsunami destroyed fisheries sector, but the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is warning against excessive fishing capacity build up. "Clearly, fisheries in the affected countries are in need of extensive reconstruction," more..

A renewed possibility of progress in the peace process

Feb 22 (PIS) The present ceasefire is the fruit of the Ceasefire Agreement signed on February 22, 2002 by the Sri Lankan government and LTTE. It brought to a full stop a civil war that had been steadily escalating in intensity and spread, with hundreds of casualties after each battle, more..

Stocks up on upbeat full-yr earnings hopes

Feb 22 (Reuters) Stocks rose on Tuesday as investors bought shares in the bourse's largest listed company, conglomerate John Keells Holdings , on expectations of upbeat full-year earnings, brokers said. The key Colombo all-share index rose a provisional 0.23 percent, or 3.99 points, to 1,718.54 points. more..

Kuwait establishes housing project for Sri Lankan tsunami victims

Feb 22 (KUNA) The Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) signed Tuesday a memorandum of understanding with the government of Sri Lanka to establish a housing village for the tsunami victims. more..

Prevention of Domestic Violence Postponed

Feb 22 (LT) Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, the government chief whip today(22) announced that the Bill on Prevention of Domestic Violence was postponed without presenting it to the table for approval by the members. more..

Government to set up new camps in Welikanda

Feb 22 (LT) Security authorities have decided to set up new camps and check points in Welikanda to prevent the ongoing assassinations resulting from the frequent clashes between the Eastern Tigers and Wanni Tigers factions of the Tigers organization. more..

Lankans’ fear of black sky dispelled

Feb 22 (HT) The Arthur C Clarke Institute of Modern Technologies in Colombo has dispelled a fear in south Sri Lanka that the skies will become black during a solar storm, which they expect between February 22 and 24. more..

Killings threaten to break Sri Lanka ceasefire

Feb 22 (Reuters) This month's assassination of a top Tamil Tiger poisoned relations between the rebels and Sri Lanka's government and further killings could drive the island back to civil war, the chief ceasefire monitor warned. more..

Sri Lanka rupee dips, importer dollar demand up

Feb 22 (Reuters) The Sri Lanka rupee closed slightly weaker on Tuesday amid heavy importer demand for dollars to settle trade bills, dealers said. The rupee closed at 99.37 rupees against the dollar, after falling to 99.42 rupees in intraday trade. more..

Sri Lanka to tour India in April for ODI series

Feb 22 (IANS) Sri Lanka will tour India in April to play five one-day internationals while South Africa will come in October, also to play one-dayers, say well-placed sources in the Indian cricket board. more..

Germany pledges 100 million euro for Sri Lanka

Feb 22 (DN) The Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul who called on Finance and Planning Minister Dr.Sarath Amunugama yesterday pledged 100 million euro to the Sri Lankan Government towards the reconstruction drive in tsunami stricken areas. more..

Norway opens peace talks with Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels

Feb 22 (AFP) Peacebroker Norway opened talks with Tiger rebels ahead of the third anniversary of an Oslo-brokered truce, amid signals by Sri Lanka that the guerrillas were aiding tsunami relief work. more..

Sri Lanka's ceasefire under threat but war not imminent

Feb 22 (MO) A spate of killings has seriously threatened hopes for peace between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels, the chief of a European monitoring group warned, as the island marked the third anniversary of a ceasefire between the two sides on Tuesday. more..

Clinton: 'A lot of emotional damage' in Sri Lanka

Feb 22 (AP) Wrapping up a tour of tsunami-ravaged nations, former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush sat with child survivors at a shelter in Sri Lanka on Monday, and mingled with European tourists in the Maldives. more..

Tsunami threat to water supplies

Feb 22 (BBC) Fresh water supplies in countries hit by the Asian tsunami are under serious threat, according to a UN report. Drinking water sources have been contaminated by salt water and sewage, and every well in Sri Lanka may have been affected, the study says. more..

Tigers say Sri Lanka truce in peril

Feb 22 (Reuters) Tamil Tigers have warned that a ceasefire after two decades of civil war was at breaking point following the killing of one of their top cadres. Tuesday was the third anniversary of the ceasefire between the two sides. more..

Lanka truce under threat: Ranil

Feb 22 (ANI) The opposition leader and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has warned that the truce with tamil tigers was under threat and the government should resume the talks because the country could not face another war. more..

Foreign education officials visit tsunami hit Jaffna, Mullaitivu

Feb 23 (TN) Mr.Fred van Leeuwen, General Secretary of the Education International (EI) and Mr.Aloysius Mathews, Chief Co-ordinator of the EI, Asia Pacific region accompanied by Mr.T.Mahasivam, General Secretary of the Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union (CTTU) Monday visited the tsunami hit coastal areas in the districts of Jaffna and Mullaitivu, sources said. more..

Colombo should stop covert war - Thamilchelvan

Feb 23 (TN) "The Sri Lankan military has formed new paramilitaries to wage a covert war on the Liberation Tigers and our people. This covert war should be stopped immediately. We pointed out during the discussion that the cease fire and peace would fall apart if this covert war against us continues. more..

UPF commends Norwegian role in peace process

Feb 23 (TN) Mr.Periyasamy Chandrasekaran, leader of the Upcountry Peoples Front (UPF) and an elected member of Sri Lanka parliament, appealed to the Norwegian government, in a statement issued Tuesday, to continue its facilitator role in the peace process in Sri Lanka more..

CFA has failed to foster trust – Batticaloa VC

Feb 23 (TN) “What has the cease fire agreement achieved if it has not been able to foster enough trust to form a joint body to deliver aid to the Tsunami hit people of the northeast? We can asses the status of the cease fire agreement from the simple fact that the Sri Lankan government is protesting to the UN over a condolence message for Kousalyan. more..

German minister gifts boats, engines, nets

Feb 23 (TN) German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Ms. Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, visited Manalkaadu, a Tsunami devastated fishing village on Jaffna's southeastern coast Tuesday. She gave fifteen boats and out board motors to fishermen who lost their homes and all belongings. more..

Thambattai showcases model resettlement village

Feb 23 (TN) A model village in Thambattai in Amparai district, providing temporary accomodation for the families displaced by the tsunami, built by the Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), an NGO registered with Government of Sri Lanka and working exclusively in the NorthEast, more..

Sri Lanka's first train south since tsunami hit

Feb 23 (Reuters) Some stared in disbelief, others came close to tears aboard Sri Lanka's first train south since a tsunami swept 1,000 passengers to their deaths last December. As the Galle Princess neared the village of Telwatta on the southern coast, passengers confronted the scene where the earlier train was swamped by the Indian Ocean island's worst natural disaster. more..

Sri Lankan railway track claims first life after tsunami

Feb 23 (AFP) A woman was killed by a train Tuesday on a coastal track in Sri Lanka reopened after more than 1,000 people died when eight coaches were swept away in the December tsunamis, police said. Sirimadura Thilakawathi, 57, tripped on the tracks in front of the Samudra Devi (Ocean Queen) passenger train, police said. more..

Norway fails to clinch tsunami relief deal with Tigers

Feb 23 (AFP) Peace broker Norway Tuesday failed to get Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels to agree on a coordinated tsunami relief plan with the government seen as crucial for reviving stalled peace talks, officials said. more..

Sri Lankan troops determine to sustain Cease-fire

Feb 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan troops determine to sustain Cease-fire Agreement (CFA) with rebels despite the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) the rebel's repeated provocations, the Sri Lankan army said in a statement Tuesday. more..

President Kumaratunga unaware of U.S. proposal to benefit Sri Lanka apparel exports

Feb 23 (AT) When visiting former United States presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush asked how the U.S. Government could be of assistance (to Sri Lanka’s economy), the President of Sri Lanka Chandrika Kumaratunga and her officials said the U.S. is Sri Lanka’s biggest trading partner more..

President sends condolences to Iran

Feb 23 (AT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga sent a message of condolence to Iran’s President Seyed Mohammed Khatami on behalf of the people of Sri Lanka. Tuesday’s earthquake in the Kerman Province of South Eastern Iran had caused the deaths of hundreds people. more..

Ceasefire fails to bring meeting of minds in Lanka

Feb 23 (HT) It has been three years since the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE signed a ceasefire agreement and a MOU. The ceasefire has held, despite many provocations by both sides. But there has been no meeting of minds, which is necessary for the two parties to take the high road to lasting peace more..

Jaffna journalists meet PM, Wimal & Jeyaraj

Feb 23 (LT) A large number of journalists from Jaffna had a long discussion with Premier Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse, Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, leader of the group of Parliamentarians of the JVP and Mr. Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Minister of Trade and Commerce at the Parliament yesterday (22nd). more..

A `green parrot` sqawked from Ravi`s house, alleges Weerawansa

Feb 23 (LNP) UPFA Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa yesterday told the House that it has now transpired that the caller who posed as Minister Lal Kantha and contacted the ITN during the live telecast of a political debate was an individual employed at the residence of Colombo District MP Ravi Karunanayake. more..

Ranil exhorts Govt. not to be obstinate

Feb 23 (LNP) Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the eviction of tsunami affected people from their traditional habitat is not in keeping with international law and principles and expressed concern about the obstinate moves taken by the Government. more..

People want Mahinda as President

Feb 23 (SAMN) Members of Provincial Councils, Pradeshiya Sabhas and Urban Councils have requested that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse be officially named as the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) candidate at the next Presidential Election. more..

Heart disease still baffling researchers

Feb 23 (SAMN) Health research authorities, who conducted intensive studies in an attempt to trace the cause of the heart ailment known as 'Myocarditis', which is rapidly spreading in and around theBadulla district, have come up against a blank wall, health sources said Tuesday. more..

Govt's privatisation policy a hoax: MP

Feb 23 (SAMN) United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian Bandula Gunawardene speaking at a press conference said that although the UPFA promised to stop privatisation, they were carrying on with it, which they criticised severely when in opposition. more..

Jaffna undergrads prefer South to North

Feb 23 (SAMN) Security concerns are driving Sinhala and Muslim undergraduates at the Jaffna University to seek enrolment in universities in the south. UGC Chairman Prof. B.R.N.N. Mendis said 21 Sinhala undergraduates at the Medical Faculty had made appeals to the UGC for admission in southern universities. more..

German Minister meets with TRO officials

Feb 23 (TN) German Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Ms. Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul who is currently in Sri Lanka on a fact finding visit to see the tsunami damages met with Director of Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) Colombo office, Mr Chandru Pararajasingham, more..

No Tamil Unit in Central Education Ministry

Feb 23 (TN) Tamil and Muslim educationists have expressed serious concern that espite assurances given by Education Ministry Secretary, Dr.Tara de Mel, a separate Tamil Administration Unit has not been established in the Central Ministry of Education. more..