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More & more Indian poachers in Sri Lankan waters

Feb 23 (SLA) Naval troops on duty in the general sea areas of north of DELFT ISLAND, north of TALAIMANNAR and south of TALAIMANNAR continue to sight Indian trawlers poaching inside Sri Lankan waters. more..

Racket to send workers to Iraq unearthed

Feb 23 (LT) A racket to send job aspirants to Iraq promising employment in Kuwait has been unearthed. Foreign Employment Bureau has thus caught 12 people while being taken to Iraq for jobs. Each of them had paid Rs. 75,000.00 which the agents wanted paid at the Air Port premises irtself. more..

Relatives want Rohana Perera’s body back home

Feb 23 (LT) Relatives of Rohana Perera who was killed in the last 11th bomb attack in Iraq have requested the government that his body be flown to Sri Lanka. Rohana Perera, a resident at Pannipitiya had gone to Saudi Arabia for employment. more..

JHU monk questioned the expansion of LTTE activities

Feb 23 (SN) Ven.Thero said that the news papers have reported a visit of the LTTE political leader Tamilchelvem to the central Hill Country, where all the Indian Tamils live, upon the invitation of a rebel type Indian Tamil politician, of the upcountry people’s front, Chandrsekaran. more..

Sri Lanka Tsunami suffering may inspire Sting song

Feb 23 (Reuters) Pop icon Sting has been deeply moved by the suffering of Sri Lankan children who lost parents to Asia's tsunami and may pen a song about the island's worst natural disaster, his wife said Wednesday. more..

Fernando holds key for Sri Lanka

Feb 23 (BBC) Sri Lanka's World Cup win in 1996 was one of the greatest days in the island's sporting history. It may be some time before the women's team emulate the men, but Hiruka Dilanthi Fernando is convinced they are on an upward curve. more..

Jug of silver: Kids' gifts go to needy in Sri Lanka

Feb 23 (BG) Because a seventh-grade class at St. Francis Upper School in Billings read a Truman Capote story, an extended family and a school in a Sri Lankan village slammed by the tsunami has received a generous gift. more..

Canadian terrorism expert criticise LTTE using tsunami to set stage for the resumption of war

Feb 23 (AT) A Canadian expert on terrorism has said that the Sri Lankan rebel group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, is making use of the tsunami tragedy to set the stage for the resumption of war in Sri Lanka. more..

War remains option as Sri Lanka celebrates 3 years of peace

Feb 23 (Kyodo) Sri Lanka marked the third anniversary of the cease-fire between the government and separatist Tamil rebels Wednesday, but despite hopeful noises that the "no war, no peace" scenario can be developed into a full-fledged political settlement, the military option hangs menacingly over the country. more..

Direct talks on interim authority

Feb 23 (PIS) In what is widely seen as a policy shift the government said yesterday it was ready to start direct talks with the LTTE on the establishment of an interim authority to address the urgent humanitarian and development needs of the North-East. more..

'Academic' issue causes uproar in House

Feb 23 (DN) A debate on whether the country's Legislators should posses academic qualifications to be members of Parliament caused an uproar during yesterday's sittings in the House when an oral question for demanding such qualification was raised by Colombo District UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake. more..

Peace still a long way from Govt. ceasefire with Tigers

Feb 23 (IPS) As the sun sets in this town that has been at the heart of Sri Lanka's two-decade-long ethnic conflict, gentle reminders of life in a time of peace emerge. The lights come on in homes, shops and in the increasing number of guesthouses -- unlike before, during the conflict, when power was a limited resource. more..

Sri Lanka marks longest truce amid war fears

Feb 23 (AFP) Sri Lanka marks the third anniversary of its longest ceasefire amid fresh diplomatic moves to salvage peace efforts after mutual confidence between the government and guerrillas hit rock bottom following a spate of rebel killings. more..

Yahoo Photos

Feb 23 (Yahoo) A Sri Lankan fisherman holds a fish at tsunami-devastated Dodanduwa fishing village in southern Sri Lanka February 23, 2005. more..

Just a week after reuniting, 'Baby 81' and parents prepare for trip to U.S.

Feb 23 (AP) A week after 4-month-old tsunami survivor Abilass Jeyarajah was reunited with his parents after a wrenching custody battle, the family of the boy known worldwide as "Baby 81" set off Wednesday on a trip to New York. more..

Sri Lanka army commander orders inquiry into soldier's killing

Feb 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's Army Commander Shantha Kottegoda has ordered an inquiry into Wednesday's killing of a soldier in the northern Jaffna peninsula. The soldier was killed by the Tamil Tiger rebel in the northern Jaffna peninsula Wednesday evening. more..

Tamil Tigers 'shoot soldier dead'

Feb 23 (BBC) The government says Tamil Tiger rebels have shot dead a soldier on the third anniversary of a ceasefire between the two sides. Defence ministry spokesman Daya Ratnayake said the soldier was killed and another injured in the incident at Killali in northern Jaffna district. more..

SC quashes death sentence, Tamil youth released after 15 years

feb 24 (TN) Mr.Shanmugam Ragupathi, a Tamil youth of Jaffna was released Monday after fifteen years in Welikada jail when the Supreme Court quashed the death sentence imposed on him by the Colombo High Court more..

LTTE told to take time-bound action plan to end child abuses

feb 24 (AT) At last UN Security Council has come forward to take action against those parties involved in child abuses and LTTE has been told very strictly to embark immediately on tangible actions, leading to a time-bound action plan to end, once and for all, the practice of child abuse. more..

Canada's Lloyd Axworthy urges strong action against LTTE

Feb 24 (AT) Former Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy has urged the Canadian Government to take a strong stand against the LTTE, on the issue of continued recruitment of child soldiers. Mr Axworthy’s made this call when he was interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in its program series “Whose Truth”. more..

Hakeem lashes out at Muslim Ministers

Feb 24 (LM) Sri Lanka's predominant Muslim political party's leader Rauff Hakeem today accused Muslim Ministers of virtually doing ‘absolutely nothing' to the community since the tidal waves devastated the nation, and in particular the Muslim community of the Eastern province. more..

Muslims in Trincomalee undergoing severe discrimination

Feb 24 (LM) With continuous claims made by authorities that there has been no bias towards any tsunami affected community, a recent fact finding mission revealed that in several rural villages of the Trincomalee district alone, bias towards the minority communities, specially against Muslims was rampant. more..

Tamil: effect of proposed anti-conversion laws

Feb 24 (Scoop) "The chilling effect of Sri Lanka's proposed anti-conversion laws, India's law, and similar efforts to criminalize Christianity in Southeast Asia will inevitably cut off the very lifeline that sustains the growth and redevelopment of the region," said Jared N. Leland, Esq. more..

People’s Bank to provide housing grants for Tsunami affected families

Feb 24 (ANN) Supporting the government in its efforts to re-build the Nation, the state owned People’s Bank has taken on the giant task of facilitating the disbursement of a special housing grant to help in the reconstruction of houses that have been destroyed in the recent tsunami disaster. more..

All fishermen will get houses & equipment

Feb 24 (LT) All fishermen who have lost their equipments and houses in tsunami catastrophe will be given them soon says Mr. Chandrasena Wijesinghe, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. Mr. Wijesinghe said this participating in a ceremony to hand over houses and equipment to fishermen in Trincomalee. more..

JVP remains firm against peace talks based on ISGA

Feb 24 (LNP) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) maintained its firm stand against the government, of which it is a part, holding peace talks with the LTTE on the basis of the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA). more..

Army Suranga re-arrested

Feb 24 (SAMN) Army Suranga, the notorious underworld gang leader who was among the escapees in the Embilipitiya Magistrate's Court jail break was re-arrested by a crack team from the Uva (Vice, Crimes and Operations) range late on Tuesday. more..

Tamil MPs protest march in Sri Lanka Parliament

Feb 24 (TN) TNA MP marched on the driveway to the Sri Lankan Parliament carrying placards condemning Colombo for failing to avail itself of the cease fire with the LTTE signed three years ago. Do not buy weapons with Tsunami aid”, “Disarm the paramilitaries”, “Don’t divide the Muslims and Tamils”, read some of the placards. more..

Twenty five LTTE men abduct twenty-eight year old youth

Feb 24 (SLA) A group of twenty five LTTE cadres had abducted a twenty-eight year old youth from the general area of KUDAPOKUNA, WELIKANDA on 23 February 2005 around 7.30 a.m., and taken him to un-cleared areas. more..

SLMM hands over dead soldier to troops

Feb 24 (SLA) Magistrate for CHAVAKACHCHERI, Policemen as well as officials of the SLMM have arrived at the Forward Defence Line (FDL) of the troops at KILALI lagoon in JAFFNA on Thursday (24) morning in order to investigate into the murder of a soldier by LTTE firing on Wednesday (23) evening. more..

North Central Province take firm control

Feb 24 (CI) Central Province made a nightmare start just before the close in reply to North Central Province's 314: they lost three wickets for six runs on the first day at the P.Saravanamuttu Stadium in Colombo. more..

An awkward third anniversary

Feb 24 (Hindu) A MEANINGFUL ANNIVERSARY usually has inbuilt implications of progress and improvement and holds promise for the future. It is difficult to summon up such a subtext for Feb 22, 2005, the third anniversary of the ceasefire between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE. more..

Asian tsunami disaster: the political issues

Feb 24 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka is holding a public meeting in Ambalangoda, one of the south coast towns hard hit by the December 26 tsunami, to discuss the historical and political issues raised by the disaster. more..

Govt. agrees for IA

Feb 24 (LT) According to a press release of the Government of Sri Lanka it has agreed for talks with Wanni tiger organization for the establishment of an interim authority and also to have direct negotiations to establish a join mechanism for the distribution of aid received from foreign countries and other organizations in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. more..

Stocks end at new high on earnings hopes

Feb 24 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks rose to a second consecutive life closing high on Thursday as local investors bought healthcare and construction stocks expected to post strong quarterly earnings and on hopes of dividend payments, brokers said. more..

Solheim hopes for mechanism to handle rehabilitation efforts

Feb 24 (Gulf) Norwegian special envoy Erik Solheim has expressed confidence in working out a joint mechanism in handling post tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction work in the north and eastern parts of the country. more..

President on open economy and Buddhist philosophy

Feb 24 (LNP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday said the open economy and globalization have posed challenges to Buddhism, but she said the answer to the challenges also lies within the Buddhist Philosophy. more..

Tens of Thousands protest in Kalmunai

Feb 24 (LM) The National Fisheries corporation combined with the district forum for fishermen organized a mass protest from Maradamunai to Sahindamaradu today (24'th) This was also supported by the farmers and labourers living in Maradhamunai, Sahindamaradu and Kalumunai. more..

In Lanka, it's Tiger vs Tiger

Feb 24 (HT) Looks like one Tiger is set to tame another! Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, better known by the nom de guerre of "Col Karuna", raised the banner of revolt against the Tiger chieftain, Velupillai Prabhakaran, in March 2004. more..

'Women Tiger cadres shot soldier'

Feb 24 (BBC) Women cadres of the Tamil Tigers were responsible for killing a soldier in the northern Jaffna peninsula, on Wednesday, a pro-rebel website says. Tamilnet says the women fired when two soldiers advanced into a no-go zone at a lagoon at Killali. more..

Over 1,000 Sri Lankan children lost both parents in tsunami

Feb 24 (Xinhua) Latest statistics revealed that a total of 1,060 children has lost both parents to the tsunami tidal waves while 3,414 children has lost one parent, official Daily News said on Thursday. more..

Toddy tapping industry affected by tsunami

Feb 24 (DN) The toddy tapping industry in the coastal belt from Panadura to Beruwala where more than ten thousand people are engaged in, has been affected by the tsunami catastrophe that hit country on December 26 last year. more..

Karuna challenges LTTE leadership

Feb 24 (AT) Leader of the splinter group of the LTTE, Colonel Karuna Amman has challenged the LTTE leadership for a showdown at Thoppilgala in the Eastern Province. "Without killing innocent people come out and fight like a man, face to face,” he had said in a statement issued on Tuesday. more..

Nature Bounces Back on Sri Lanka's Coast

Feb 24 (NPR) The deadly tsunami sparked by a massive Dec. 26 earthquake off the coast of Sumatra killed nearly 300,000 people and displaced countless more along Indian Ocean shores far removed from the quake's epicenter. more..

'Lanka can be economic bridge between India and Pak'

Feb 24 (HT) Sri Lanka can be an economic bridge between India and Pakistan, now that it has signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with both the countries, says Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Ishtiaq Andrabi. more..

JVP threatens to stall resumption of peace talks

Feb 24 (AT) A JVP cabinet minister, Chandrasena Wijesinghe was quoted in “The Island” today saying that his party will stand firm against the government holding peace talks with LTTE on the basis of the LTTE's proposed Interim Self Governing Authority. more..

We’ll withdraw from Govt. if tigers are given interim administration - JVP

Feb 24 (LT) If the Government acts to hand over an interim administration to Wanni tiger organization his party will withdraw from the Government says Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, the leader of the group of Parliamentarians of the JVP. more..

Peace talk offer attracts mixed response

Feb 24 (SAMN) Political parties came up yesterday with mixed reactions to the government's willingness to resume peace talks with the LTTE on the establishment of an Interim Authority. The main opposition UNP said that the government's response to the currently stalled peace process should be praised, more..

Budget prepared on falsehoods: UNP

Feb 24 (SAMN) The United National Party accused the UPFA government of preparing a budget based on falsehoods and said the people will feel the difficulties only when the budget is being implemented. more..

JVP throw hurdle in way of peace talks

Feb 24 (Kyodo) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's main coalition ally, the JVP, threw an obstacle Thursday in the way of the government reviving peace talks with Tamil rebels by publicly declaring firm opposition to any talks beginning on the basis of setting up an "interim authority" for the country's north and east, more..