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100-meter rule will leave thousands homeless

Feb 26 (ANN) There is a university student in Dodanduwa who, after the Tsunami, is trying to collect money to build a new house. The curious thing is that her (until recently legal) house which was outside the Coast Conservation Departments earlier reservation was not badly damaged by the Tsunami and yet she has been asked by the government to vacate her land and move to flats which are yet to be built. more..

Quality not qualifications

Feb 26 (ANN) Colombo District MP Mr. Ravi Karunanayake stirred a hornets’ nest on Tuesday in parliament when he raised an Oral Question on the educational qualifications of a particular MP. more..

Party withdraws support for Kumaratunga Govt

Feb 26 (HT) The UPFA Government was reduced to a minority on Thursday, after the eight-member Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC) said that it was withdrawing support. The Government will be really in danger of collapsing altogether, if the 39-member JVP carries out its threat to withdraw support. more..

Red Cross well-cleaning crews enable tsunami survivors to return home

Feb 26 (RW) According to Gisella McGuinness, the ICRC water and habitation specialist in Batticaloa, many tsunami survivors in welfare centres want to return to their homes but are unable to do so because their wells were contaminated as a result of the disaster. more..

Tigers request talks on child soldiers with UN

Feb 26 (BBC) In a letter sent to Olara Otunnu, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC), the Tamil Tigers had requested for a dialogue on the issue of child soldiers. more..

"Children and Armed Conflict "

Feb 26 (AT) Sri Lanka commends the Secretary-General for his report on "Children and Armed Conflict" submitted in terms of Security Council Resolution 1539 (2004), which provides information for the period 10 November 2003 through December 2004. more..

Japan donates Rs 8.9 million to upgrade Thellipalai hospital

Feb 26 (TN) The Government of Japan today donated a sum of USD 90,204 (approximately Rs. 8.9 million) towards the "Project for Emergency Rehabilitation of Water Supply and Sewerage Systems at Thellipalai Hospital" in the Jaffna peninsula more..

Hakeem proposes amendments to the 18th Amendment in the Constitution

Feb 26 (LM) Mr Rauf Hakeem, MP and Leader of The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) speaking in Parliament today, brought out the following amendments to the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution more..

JVP won`t go, but UNPers coming - DM

Feb 26 (LNP) The UPFA is fully confident that it`s coalition partner the JVP will not pull out of the government and it is also certain that a number of UNPers are waiting to join the government, Senior SLFP politician D. M. Jayaratne said yesterday. more..

Private institutes must get university status: UGC

Feb 26 (LNP) University Grants Commission Chairman Ranjith Mendis said yesterday it was essential to upgrade private educational institutes to university level to accommodate a large number of students who were eligible to enter university but could not do so due to the limited number of national universities. more..

Tourism 'worsened' tsunami, says UN

Feb 26 (TT) The United Nations has blamed tourism development for worsening the effects of the recent tsunami, according to a new report. The report, undertaken by the UNEP, revealed that in areas where mangrove forests or reefs had been destroyed to make room for tourist developments the tsunami had a more devastating impact than it would have had otherwise. more..

Sack the “Corrupt Guy” in the Cricket Board – Arjuna

Feb 26 (AT) In his characteristic style, firing at point blank range, Arjuna Ranatunga, “Captain Cool” who won the World Cup for Sri Lanka and now the now Deputy Minister for Tourism, has blasted the “corrupt guy” in the Cricket Board who is in charge of handling Cricket Aid. more..

JVP won't go

Feb 26 (AT) Despite the JVP clashing headlong with the SLFP faction in the UPFA (United People Front Alliance) it is unlikely that they will walk out of the coalition and government. On Thursday JVP spokesman and parliamentrina Wimal Weerawansa severely attacked the government more..

Karuna issues warning against LTTE: Muslims asked to be on the alert

Feb 26 (AT) In a note of caution to the Tamil-speaking communities, Col Karuna, former LTTE Commander of the Eastern Wing, has advised the Tamil-speaking Muslim community in the east not to be duped by the latest LTTE maneuvers of S. Paramu Tamilselvam to get them back into the Tiger fold. more..

Clashes in children’s park kills CWC member

Feb 26 (LT) Clashes that occurred after the opening ceremony of a children’s park at Lindulla at Thalawakelle resulted in a member of Thondaman’s Ceylon Workers’ Congress getting killed. While the children’s park was being constructed members of Kandurata Janatha Peramuna had made arrangements to have the opening ceremony by force. more..

Sri Lankan obsession with doctors, lawyers and engineers telling on labour market

Feb 26 (LBO) The Sri Lankan obsession with doctors, lawyers and engineers is finally telling on the local labour market. "Parents still educate children with the very narrow view point of making them doctors, lawyers or engineers," says Kamal Abeysinghe, more..

Formidable threat to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty

Feb 26 (ANN) Ever since the tsunami disaster of the 26th December, local media reports as well as other evidence from the first hand experience of those directly involved with the supply and distribution of emergency relief to victims, have left in the public mind an indelible impression of the common humanitarian bond which linked all sections of our people, responding to the national crisis. more..

UN to come down hard on offenders

Feb 26 (ANN) The LTTE will come under further pressure to cease their child recruiting antics as the UN Security Council plans to set up a mechanism to bring an end to the use of children as soldiers and severely punish offenders. more..

Officials accused of bullying Sri Lanka players

Feb 26 (CI) Shane Warne's recent visit to Sri Lanka, a trip designed to raise awareness of the plight of tsunami victims and raise much-needed funds for rehabilitation, has sparked a controversy that has erupted into the public arena this week after Arjuna Ranatunga, accused Thilanga Sumithipala, more..

Dilshan shines in dress rehearsal stalemate

Feb 26 (CI) The run fest continued on what has turned out to be a dress rehearsal for next week's final in Dambulla. North Central Province, missing six rested players included their captain Mahela Jayawardene, responded strongly to Central Province's 545 and secured an easy draw. more..

Cricket; Suresh Perera arrested on assault charges

Feb 26 (Reuters) Former Sri Lanka all rounder Suresh Perera has been arrested on assault charges following a drunken brawl, police said on Saturday. Perera, who played in 20 one-day internationals and three tests, was drinking at home with friends last week when they were allegedly antagonised by a passing group of men and drawn into a fight that left two in hospital. more..

Kadirgamar thanks India for tsunami help

Feb 26 (IANS) Two months after the tsunami ravaged Sri Lanka, the island has not only recovered its moorings, but has embarked on an ambitious reconstruction programme in which India will play a crucial role, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said Saturday. more..

Mystery death of CNO data

Feb 26 (SAMN) With officials still struggling to go ahead with reconstruction efforts two months after the worst-ever natural disaster hit the country, the information collected during the first month after the tsunami by the Centre for National Operations (CNO) has reportedly gone missing. more..

Govt. committed to equal aid allocation

Feb 26 (PIS) President Chandrika Kumaratunga received the Special Advisor of the Royal Norwegian Government Erik Solheim at President’s House on Thursday, 24th February. Mr. Solheim briefed the President on his discussions with Anton Balasingham in London earlier this month more..

New law seeks to avoid future disasters

Feb 26 (SAMN) The increase of natural and man made disasters over the last two decades affecting Sri Lanka's economy, its people and the environment has compelled the government to introduce the Sri Lanka Disaster Management Bill, Minister of social welfare, Sumedha G. Jayasena told parliament Friday. more..

Bills fulfill political ambition: MP

Feb 26 (SAMN) Former UNP Deputy Finance Minister Bandula Gunewardana said in Parliament Friday that the majority of UPFA Bills were produced to fulfill some form of political ambition, and only one or two Bills were drafted in the national interest. more..

Computer literacy low among grads

Feb 26 (SAMN) The knowledge of computer literacy particularly in areas like internet, E-mail and Networking among the university community still remains at a low level, according a study conducted by L-King group, more..

Sri Lanka Tiger chief gets relatives flown in for funeral

Feb 26 (PTI) Sri Lanka today "facilitated" the return to the island of a large number of relatives of Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran to attend a family funeral. Ten close relatives of Prabhakaran, 50, arrived at Sri Lanka's only international airport today from Malaysia and travelled to the rebel-held north of the island, officials said. more..

National Bhikku Front lauds President for speaking against errant NGOs

Feb 26 (DN) The National Bhikku Front has paid tribute to President Chandrika Kumaratunga for speaking out against the NGOs which are exploiting Sri Lanka. Addressing a ceremony at the Thawalama Vidyaraja Vidyalaya, the President had said there were NGOs in the country who earned their dollars over the corpses of those who died in the tsunami. more..

Prince Charles to inspect tsunami destruction in Sri Lanka

Feb 26 (AFP) Britain's Prince Charles will make a lightning visit to Sri Lanka to see first-hand the devastation left by the tsunami disaster as he starts a four-nation tour, officials said. He is slated to arrive here Monday and travel to the embattled eastern district of Batticaloa, more..

Solheim meets LTTE in east

Feb 26 (TN) Norway’s special peace envoy for Sri Lanka, Mr. Eric Solheim Saturday met head of LTTE’s political division for Batticaloa-Amparai district, Mr. Irasaiah Ilanthirayan for discussions on post Tsunami work and the political-security situation in the region. more..

Indian envoy visits Jaffna, discusses developing Pt.Pedro hospital

Feb 27 (TN) A delegation led by Ms Nirupama Rao, Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Saturday arrived in Palaly military air base Jaffna by a special aircraft and held discussions at the Point Pedro base hospital regarding its development with the funds allocated by the Government of India, health ministry sources said. more..

SLN rescues twelve Tamil refugees from midsea

Feb 27 (TN) Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) rescued 12 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, five children, three women and four men men, returning from South India from a sandbank in the midsea between Thanushkodi and Rameswaram Thursday, and handed them over to Talaimannar Police, security sources said. more..

Sri Lanka says it has no time to haggle peace with tiger rebels

Feb 27 (ANI) Saddled with massive devastation and grief, tsunami-hit Sri Lanka has no time to haggle peace with Tamil Tiger rebels, Sri Lanka's foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar told a news conference on Saturday. more..

IOM: Tsunami Victims Vulnerable to Traffickers

Feb 27 (VOA) The International Organization for Migration is mounting an information campaign in camps housing tsunami victims in Sri Lanka. The IOM is warning them to be wary of human traffickers, who may take advantage of their desperate situation and make false promises of a better life abroad. more..

Tsunami delays prospects for renewed Peace Talks: Kadirgamar

Feb 27 (VOA) Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar says, the time is not right to resume long-stalled peace talks. But he stresses that the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE, must still cooperate. more..

DART ends relief work in Sri Lanka

Feb 27 (CBC) The last contingent of Canada's Disaster Assistance Response Team, or DART, arrived back in Canada on Saturday, after more than six weeks of providing tsunami relief in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka rules out immediate revival of talks with LTTE

Feb 27 (UNI) Sri Lanka today ruled out resuming the stalled peace process with the LTTE, saying both the government and the rebels had their immediate attention on rebuilding the tsunami-ravaged communities. more..

Sri Lankan Govt not under threat: Kadirgamar

Feb 27 (PTI) A day after a constituent of Sri Lanka's ruling coalition threatened to quit, the country's Foreign Minister today said the Government faced no danger. "I see no danger whatsoever to the Government, simply because nobody in Sri Lanka wants another election at this stage," more..

Climate conducive for resumption of negotiations

Feb 27 (AT) Norwegian peace envoy, Eric Solheim has told President Chandrika Kumaratunga that the climate was now favorable for resumption of peace negotiations between the government and the LTTE, well informed government sources said. more..

Who Created Prabaharan?

Feb 27 (AT) This is the first of the two part series on Prabaharan, Leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, written by H.L.D. Mahindapala, a veteran journalist with 50 years of experience, former Editor of Observer and the Australian Bureau Chief of Asian Tribune. more..

Anniversaries, Revolts and Impasses

Feb 27 (AT) The South has reached a political impasse. The alliance between the SLFP and the JVP has turned out to be a far from happy marriage but divorce is a possibility for neither party. A break up of the UPFA will result in the breakdown of the government; more..

Government communiqué – A wedge within the UPFA parties

Feb 27 (AT) The recent Government communiqué issued by the Information Department has become a bone of contention and one that would definitely drive a wedge in the midst of the ruling parties which constitutes the UPFA to bring about confusion, conflict, dissension and bring about a split within. more..

Sri Lanka to welcome Afghanistan, but not Iran, to SAARC

Feb 27 (UNI) Sri Lanka today endorsed Afghanistan's bid to join SAARC but expressed its reservations over Iran's desire to become member of the South Asian regional grouping. "Way back in 1985, when SAARC was founded, the grouping treated Afghanistan to be part of South Asia," more..

Sri Lanka’s United Nations Mission has no clout over Tigers

Feb 27 (AT) “The Sri Lanka Permanent Mission to the United Nations can only make suggestions and make our concerns heard in UN forums, which we did at the Security Council on February 23, but it is up to the permanent members of the security council to make a decision more..

Foreign money for peace NGOs

Feb 27 (LT) It is reported that Norad from Norway has donated one billion rupees to National Peace Council and NGO active in Sri Lanka. This money has been made available to this NGO during a period of ten years from 1993 to 2003. more..

Two months to tsunami!

Feb 27 (LT) Two months have passed since Tsunami tidal waves ravaged the coastal areas in many countries around the Indian Ocean on the 26th of December, 2004. Nearly 40,000 thousand died and more than 300,000 people have been displaced in the havoc. Majority of these people still live in rehabilitation camps. more..

JVP help declined

Feb 27 (BBC) The Relief services unit attached to the JVP had to withdraw from the Periyakallaru area of the east. The ‘Sahanaseva Balakaya’ of the JVP led by Colombo district Provincial councillor kanchana Pieris arrived in the area to build temporary shelter for those who have been displaced by the tsunami. more..

India pledges aid for hospital in Colombo

Feb 27 (Hindu) The Indian Government has pledged a $7.5 million grant assistance to build a state-of-the-art cancer hospital in Colombo, the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Nirupama Rao, said here today. more..

Chandrika thanks Manmohan for helping hand after tsunami

Feb 27 (Hindu) President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, today conveyed the "deep gratitude and appreciation" of her Government and people to the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, for the prompt and "most generous assistance" extended to Colombo by India in the aftermath of the December 26 tsunami devastation. more..