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Ranil meets Commonwealth President

Feb 7 (LT) The leader of the opposition, Ranil Wickramasinghe has had a special discussion with the president of the Commonwealth Union on the situation in Sri Lanka after the tsunami disaster. President of the Commonwealth Union has agreed to provide with the expertise necessary in the rebuilding of the tsunami affected areas in Sri Lanka. more..

NGO vehicles will be re-exported

Feb 7 (LT) Ministry of Finance has decided to re-export the vehicles brought down to Sri Lanka by various NGOs as part of tsunami aid. According to custom sources NGOs have brought down more than 150 vehicles since tsunami tidal waves devastated the coastal areas in Sri Lanka. By re-exporting these vehicles the Government could earn about Rs.15 billion say these sources. more..

JVP boycott district committees

Feb 7 (LT) The JVP boycott the Matara district committee appointed to provide tsunami relief and to oversee reconstruction process headed by Minister Mangala Samaraweera. This decision was said to be taken by the JVP, as the party was disturbed by not appointing a single JVP minister or a parliamentarian to responsible posts in district boards appointed in affected areas throughout the country. more..

Trains on coastal line after tsunami

Feb 7 (LT) The restoration work of the railway track along the Western and Southern coastal belt, which was devastated by tsunami tidal waves, has been accelerated. As a result the train service that had been operating only up to Kalutara South will be continued up to Aluthgama from tomorrow. more..

Man made harm leads to bigger devastation

Feb 7 (BBC) Some areas along the southern coast of Sri Lanka where humans have not interfered with existing eco systems are the least affected by the tsunami waves of December 26th. Though several salterns in Bundala were destroyed by the tsunami no damage was reported from the National Park. more..

Sri Lanka withdraws tax on most goods related to tsunami

Feb 7 (Xinhua) The government announced that they have decided to withdraw taxes and duty exemptions on most goods needed for tsunami reconstruction. "Only certain items such as medical supplies, milk powder, infant milk, infant food, roofing material and components of pre-fabricated houses will be released free of duty," more..

Lankan media says LTTE acquires Swiss-built Turbo aircraft

Feb 7 (UNI) The LTTE have acquired at least one Swiss-built turbo aircraft to strengthen the outfit with aerial warfare capability that may give them the advantage of a "first strike capability" in the event the ongoing peace talks fail and in the breaking out of hostilities, a media report said. more..

EU grants 1.7 billion rupee for Sri Lanka's road rehabilitation

Feb 7 (Xinhua) The European Union (EU) has earmarked 1.7 billion rupee (about 17.17 million US dollars) for road rehabilitation in Sri Lanka's north and east, the local website Lankapage said on Sunday. more..

Spike Lee films to be shown as Sri Lanka marks 'Black History Month'

Feb 7 (AFP) The US embassy here said it will screen a series of movies by veteran US filmmaker Spike Lee in the Sri Lankan capital to mark "Black History Month." "In honour of 'Black History Month', famous director Spike Lee's works will be screened more..

Sri Lanka Urges Support for UN Measures

Feb 7 (AN) While endorsing the anti-terror center proposed by Crown Prince Abdullah, Sri Lanka proposed that the international coalition to defeat terrorism must firmly be committed to United Nations standards. more..

Health agencies must stop demonising DDT – it saves lives

Feb 7 (BT) Headache, high temperature, the shakes, an enlarged spleen and two billion parasites in my liver – that's the price of travelling to Sri Lanka to cover the aftermath of the tsunami. It was all so different last time: England had just played a great cricket match against the Sri Lankans, more..

Tension in East over relief

Feb 7 (SAMN) A tense atmosphere is developing in the East between Tamils and Muslims over the distribution of relief with each faction believing that the other is getting more aid. With protests already flaring in Kalmunai, people in the other areas are also planning more demonstrations, which residents fear might lead to violence. more..

Marxists oppose LTTE inclusion

Feb 7 (SAMN) UPFA government's main ally, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Sunday opposed the proposed joint mechanism between the government and the LTTE to handle financial aid and other relief measures in affected areas in the North and East. more..

Govt assures to carry forward the operations against the underworld gang

Feb 7 (SLBC) Minister of Public Security Ratnasiri Wickremanayake says that the programme to bring down the crimes of underworld gang will be continuously carried forward as scheduled. He states that no one has badly influenced the programme. more..

Colonel Karuna’s sister and family on the run, as they are being targeted

Feb 7 (AT) It is now clearly believed that the two brothers Colonel Karuna Amman and Colonel Reggie left the LTTE the Tamil rebel out fit, because of the pressure exerted by their family members - especially by the eldest sister Perinpamalar. more..

European Parliament MP opens free English centre in Jaffna

Feb 7 (TN) Mr. Robert Evans, MP of European Parliament declared open a free English resource and language centre in Jaffna Sunday evening. The MP is on a fact finding mission to Sri Lanka regarding the equitable distribution of international Tsunami aid in the country. more..

A question of land

Feb 7 (TN) “We appealed to the President, we appealed to the Special Task Force, we wrote to the Government Agent and we wrote to several ministers in the government. We pleaded with all of them to find us suitable land to restart our lives. We explained to them why we wanted to leave the camp for Tsunami refugees in Akkaraipattu. more..

TNA boycotts Tsunami reconstruction meeting

Feb 7 (TN) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) boycotted a meeting convened by Sri Lanka's President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge to discuss the question oTsunami reconstruction, held at 11 a.m. today at the Presidential Secretariat, political sources in Colombo said. more..

Country Reps of WB, ADB, JBIC, UN to meet LTTE

Feb 7 (TN) Sri Lanka's Country Representatives of the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) and the United Nations (UN) are visiting to Kilinochchi on Tuesday to meet LTTE's Head of Political Wing, Mr. S.P. Thamilselvan to discuss the post-tsunami rebuilding process. more..

Sri Lanka Navy rescues abandoned refugees

Feb 7 (TN) Seventeen refugees rescued by Sri Lanka Navy from a sandbank at mid sea were produced in the Mannar court Monday. Indian refugee runners who had promised to illegally ferry them to Mannar abandoned them on one of the shifting sandbanks of the Adam’s Bridge in the early hours of Saturday morning. more..

TRO gets steel balls as tsunami relief items

Feb 7 (SLA) A consignment of seventy-six metal pots, earmarked for Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), said to have been engaged in relief work in un-cleared areas of the north & east, has contained a stock of stainless steel balls (bicycle balls) hidden inside. more..

LTTE made to remove their leader’s photo from state building

Feb 7 (SLA) Failure on the part of authorities to remove a framed photograph of the LTTE leader at the entrance to the THIRUKKOVIL Divisional Secretariat office in AMPARA compelled troops and policemen to replace it with the photo of the President on 05 February 2005 around 10.00 a.m. more..

Karuna says Praba is killed

Feb 7 (SAMN) LTTE rebel leader V. Muralitharan alias Karuna claimed that LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and the head of the Intelligence Wing, Pottu Amman had died in the tsunami disaster and that it was an impersonator who had met the Norwegian Foreign Minister and his entourage. more..

Valuers want temporary respite

Feb 7 (SAMN) The Institute of Valuers of Sri Lanka suggested Sunday that until permanent settlements to house those displaced by the tsunami disaster are fully built, there should not be any restriction for the people to return to their original places of residence and start their livelihood on a temporary basis. more..

SEP meeting in Sri Lanka explains social roots of tsunami disaster

Feb 7 (wsws) More than 100 people attended a public meeting on “The Asian Tsunami Disaster: Causes and the Consequences” in the Colombo public library auditorium on February 1. The gathering reflected an important response to the analysis made by the WSWS and the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) of Sri Lanka. more..

Indo-Lanka Defense Agreement talks in Colombo?

Feb 7 (SN) A high level Indian defense delegation is in Colombo for talks which some sources said are likely to focus on the proposed Indo-Lanka Defense Agreement proposed by the previous government. more..

Finnish FM here on two day visit

Feb 7 (PRIU) The Foreign Minister of Finland Erkki Tuomioja currently in the island on a two-day visit met with Sri Lankan FM Lakshman Kadirgamar yesterday. This is the first ever visit to Sri Lanka by a Finnish Foreign Minister. more..

Spin rivals in charity double act

Feb 7 (BBC) Shane Warne is joining forces with spin bowling rival Muttiah Muralitharan to provide help for survivors of the tsunami disaster in Sri Lanka. He is donating money from the Shane Warne Foundation to help the rebuilding programme around Galle. more..

President due in Pak today

Feb 7 (AT) President Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga arrives in Islamabad today (Monday) on a two-day visit to Pakistan. Her plane is expected to touch down at Chaklala Air Base Islamabad at 9:00 pm local time. She would be welcomed by Foreign Minister of Pakistan Mr. Khurshid Mehmud Kasuri, Protocol Minister Liaqat Jatoi and other senior Pakistani officials and the Sri Lankan ambassador in Pakistan. more..

Tillekaratne leads Western Province fightback

Feb 7 (CI) Hashan Tillakeratne set Western Province up with the chance of a stunning comeback, by battling his way to 85 in their second innings total of 278. His personal score came from 189 balls with 10 fours, and was almost double the 43 that his entire team had managed in their dismal first innings on Day One. more..

Leaving the slopes to save an island

Feb 7 (KRT) Bruce French is a chef to rock stars. Bruce Springsteen and members of U2 and Red Hot Chili Peppers, to name a few. French, 45, was looking forward to a winter of snowboarding near his Telluride, Colo., home before going on tour with Pearl Jam this summer. more..

Back to school for children in Trincomalee

Feb 7 (RW) More than 1,300 children in the northeastern Sri Lankan district of Trincomalee went back to school last Monday, equipped with brand new school bags and exercise books courtesy of World Vision. more..

LTTE doesn't want Lankan bureaucracy in rehabilitation work

Feb 7 (HT) One of the reasons why there has been no agreement between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE over a joint mechanism to conduct post-tsunami rehabilitation work in the Tamil-speaking North East, is that the LTTE does not want the Sri Lankan bureaucracy to be a part of it. more..

Minorities flay Lanka Govt for neglect

Feb 7 (HT) Tamils and Muslims, who are a minority in Sri Lanka, but are a majority in the tsunami-hit coastal areas of Amparai and Batticaloa, have a grouse against the government. They allege that they are being discriminated against in post-tsunami rehabilitation work on "communal" grounds, by a "Sinhala-dominated" government. more..

No to joint mechanism with LTTE for tsunami relief: JVP

Feb 7 (HT) The Sinhala-nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has said that it will not support any joint mechanism or structure involving the LTTE, for post-tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction work in the Tamil-speaking North East of Sri Lanka. more..

Ranil's Brussels statement misleading

Feb 7 (DN) The Government yesterday described as totally incorrect and misleading in reference to a news item in which UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had made a statement implying that he had requested duty free access in respect of Sri Lankan Apparel Exports by meeting officials of the European Union, during his recent visit to Brussels. more..

Sri Lanka to set up presidential probe into tsunami lapses

Feb 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka is setting up a one-man presidential commission to probe any failures by government bodies in warning the public of approaching tsunamis on December 26, an official said. "The commission will see whether there was any lapse by government departments in warning the people and to analyse whether these huge damages could have been minimised," more..

Sri Lankan army says bomb materials found hidden in tsunami relief materials; accuses Tamil group

Feb 7 (AP) Sri Lanka's military on Monday accused a relief group of trying to smuggle bomb-making materials hidden in goods intended for tsunami survivors in areas controlled by Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

From Sri Lanka, a stunning gift to hip-hop

Feb 7 (ND) Just when you think hip-hop is sinking in its own commercial muck, someone will pop up to prove that the genre still is evolving into unpredictable new forms. The latest someone is M.I.A., and although she's not yet a full-fledged performer, she has produced what is likely the most extraordinary disc of this year, and possibly the next few years. more..

WFP says it is feeding 850,000 tsunami survivors in Sri Lanka

Feb 7 (AP) The U.N. World Food Program said Monday it is feeding about 850,000 tsunami survivors in Sri Lanka, and its monitoring teams are touring the affected region to ensure that food reaches the needy. "The WFP has not received any reports from the government, the agency's implementing partner in Sri Lanka, that survivors are not receiving food," more..

Sri Lanka donors pledge $225 million

Feb 7 (Reuters) International lenders have pledged $225 million (120 million pounds) in fresh tsunami aid for Sri Lanka and say they will reallocate around $275 million more in pre-agreed loans to rebuild the island's devastated coasts. more..

Lenders to talk with Tigers over Sri Lanka tsunami aid

Feb 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka's key lenders will hold fresh talks with Tamil Tiger rebels to assess tsunami damage amid hopes of finalising a reconstruction plan estimated to cost 1.5 billion dollars, officials said. more..

Kousalyan said killed in ambush

Feb 7 (TN) Mr. E. Kousalyan, head of the Liberation Tigers' political division for Batticaloa-Amparai district was killed in an ambush on the highway to Batticaloa Monday night around 7.45, Sri Lanka military sources said. Three persons who were travelling with him were also killed in the attack more..

Five Tigers, including regional chief killed in ambush

Feb 7 (AFP) A top Tamil Tiger leader was killed together with four other rebels in eastern Sri Lanka Monday in what appeared to be an internecine clash, government military sources said. The top political wing leader of the rebel LTTE in the eastern region was ambushed as his convoy was travelling to the coastal district of Batticaloa, more..

Study spotlights plight of Jaffna widows

Feb 8 (TN) A study conducted by the Federation of NGOs revealed that 26,745 women have become widows due to the two decades of war and other reasons in Jaffna district, and the children growing up in widowed families suffer from severe malnutrition. These families continue to be economically backward, the study further said. more..

UNFPA-trained volunteers lend social support to grieving women

Feb 8 (UNFPA) Sitting in a tent in the stifling heat, Latha Wijesiri, a volunteer health worker, talks quietly with four women about their immediate emotional and physical needs. One of the women, the youngest, lost her husband to the tsunami which ravaged Sri Lanka’s southeast coast a month ago. more..

Top donors optimistic of Lanka-LTTE jt mechanism for aid supply

Feb 8 (UNI) The top three multilateral donors to Sri Lanka -- the World Bank, the ADB and the JBIC, today expressed optimism that the government and the LTTE would soon reach an agreement on a suitable joint mechanism to disburse the international post-tsunami assistance. more..

Govt sends equipment to rebels for post-tsunami relief work

Feb 8 (Xinhua) The government on Monday sent machinery to the Tamil Tiger rebels to facilitate post-tsunami rebuilding in the war-torn north and east provinces, officials said. The government handed over six tractors, six trailers and waterbowsers to the LTTE, more..

Easy wins for North Central and Central

Feb 8 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara and Sajith Fernando added 110 for the third wicket to guard against any prospect of an upset, as Central Province eased to their anticipated victory over Western Province at the Sinhalese Sports Club. more..

Sri Lanka Reestablishment of the rule of Law: True or fake?

Feb 8 (AT) The establishment of the 'People’s Committee for the Establishment of the Rule of Law Again' by a group of concerned people is a welcome move. At the very inception of such well-intentioned work however, it must be asked whether this is not a belated move. more..