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US calls for role for LTTE

May 15 (LNP) An influential advisor to a VVIP had recently met a group of NGO bigwigs at the offices of a leading international NGO to discuss ways and means of tackling the JVP-led campaign against the proposed Joint Mechanism to handle tsunami reconstruction and rehabilitation work in the Northern and Eastern provinces. more..

Hi-tech driving licences soon

May 15 (LNP) Sri Lankan drivers will have a hi-tech driving licence in six to eight months, where a policeman on the road would use a handheld device to the licence and read all the details of the licence holder. The new licence will have a special `chip` inserted in it, which will enable the police or authorities to verify information directly from it. more..

UNP gears up for polls

May 15 (LNP) Preparing for the next Presidential Election, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe kicked off his campaign last Tuesday with the official launch of the Youth Propaganda Force (YPF) at the party headquarters Sirikotha. Three youths from each polling booth island-wide were summoned to Sirikotha, more..

Legislation on way to enforce private sector salary hike

May 15 (SO) Labour Relations and Foreign Employment Minister Athauda Seneviratna on Friday, May 13 stressed that employers in the private sector will have to comply with the proposed Rs. 1,000 salary hike which will come into force after the parliamentary approval next month. more..

Politics steals the thunder from Sri Lanka's aid parley

May 15 (AFP) Sri Lanka's hopes to firm up two billion dollars in pledged tsunami aid at a donor meet here will be overshadowed by trouble on the peace front and delayed economic reforms, diplomats said. "The bilateral donors are looking more at the politics while multilateral lending institutions are keen on the reforms," more..

Bomb attack kills 3 in Sri Lanka

May 15 (Xinhua) Three people were killed in a bomb attack of a house in northwestern Sri Lanka, police said Sunday. The attack on the house belonging to a brother of a main opposition United National Party (UNP) provincial politician took place at around 8 pm local time (1400 GMT) on Saturday. more..

Sri Lanka draws plan to uplift 5 million poor affected by civil war, tsunami

May 15 (AP) Sri Lanka has drawn up plans to helps millions of people plunged into poverty by the country's two decade civil war and the December tsunami, with a first-time study identifying the country's critical development needs. more..

‘Sleepless nights awaiting fateful Fridays’

May 15 (BBC) Inmates awaiting punishments in al-Hair prison in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia do not usually sleep on Thursdays as the fateful Friday arrives. “I could not sleep whole night yesterday,” said DD Ranjith de Silva, a Sri Lankan sentenced to death by Saudi authotiries. more..

Sri Lankan Buddhist monks vow to stop government, rebel tsunami aid pact

May 15 (AP) An influential Buddhist organization vowed on Sunday to oppose any deal between the government and Tamil Tiger guerrillas on the distribution of foreign tsunami aid to rebel-held areas. more..

Commitment to shed political divisions, prerequisite for peace- NPC

May 16 (TN) Commenting on the forthcoming donor forum meeting in Kandy, National Peace Council (NPC), in a press release issued in Colombo Sunday said, "...there is little the donor community could do for us in ensuring recovery from the tsunami, more..

Seven Tamil refugees die in Mannar Sea, seven escape

May 16 (TN) Seven Sri Lankan Tamil refugees of fourteen returning from Ramanathapuram coast in South India to Talaimannar died when their boat capsized in sea due to rough weather Saturday early morning. However seven other refugees escaped by swimming to a nearby sandbank in the Sri Lanka territorial waters. more..

SLA corporal killed by fellow soldier in Kilali

May 16 (TN) Sri Lanka Army Corporal T.R.M.Bandara of Puttalam was shot dead by a fellow soldier during an altercation Sunday morning around 10 a.m. in Kilali camp located in the high security zone in Kilali in Jaffna district, security sources said. more..

TNA kept out of Development Forum

May 16 (TN) "The programme formulated for the Sri Lanka Development Forum (SLDF) which is to be held in Kandy on May 16th and 17th seeks to marginalize the North East and fails to recognise diversity, and respect the democratic verdict of the people of the North East," more..

Heavy security greets Sri Lanka donor forum delegates

May 16 (Xinhua) Heavy security arrangements are in place for the Sri Lanka Development Forum meeting to be held here on Monday and Tuesday. Around 150 delegates representing Sri Lanka's international donor community are assembling here to discuss post-tsunami rebuilding efforts more..

Protests against power plants

May 16 (BBC) Protesters in the North West and the hill country of Sri Lanka in two separate demonstrations called for the abolition of two power projects proposed by the government to solve the energy crisis. Residents of Norochcholai protested in front of the Catholic Church in Narakkalliya against the proposed thermo power plant. more..

Ranil hit by lumps of confetti as he launches his presidential campaign

May 16 (AT) Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Leader of the Opposition, is heading for a torrid time with his campaign to win the next presidential election. Last week he opened his presidential campaign (no one is quite sure as to when it will be held) with his friends in the media casting doubts about his capacity to win the race. more..

Committee for Protection of Journalists taken for a ride by fake threats to journalists – SPUR

May 16 (AT) According to media analysts it is increasingly becoming clear that the threat sent to selected journalists by the mysterious T. Brigade (Theraputhabahaya Balakaya --Therapuththabhaya Brigade) is a fake. more..

Why I am Proud to be What I am : A Sinhala Buddhist

May 16 (AT) It is not fashionable to be identified as a Sinhala-Buddhist in the current climate where all blame is heaped on them for the north-south crisis that exploded in devastating proportions in the last decades of the 20th century. more..

'Founders of Sri Lanka’s civilization have come from South India and not from North India'

May 16 (AT) “Up to now, generally people thought that early inhabitant of Sri Lanka or the founders of Sri Lanka’s civilization come from North India under the leadership of Prince Vijaya and founded the Anuradhapura kingdom, more..

Surging oil prices were having mixed results

May 16 (LBO) Surging oil prices were having mixed results on the two listed down stream petroleum products marketing companies as the Colombo bourse closed at a fresh high on Friday. The share price of Lanka IOC was boosted by an announcement that more..

Building - and Protecting - Houses in Sri Lanka

May 16 (NPR) The tsunami that struck coastal communities on the Indian Ocean last December displaced more than 500,000 people in Sri Lanka alone. Many survivors are still without permanent homes. Architect Terrance Brown of the American Institute of Architects recently returned from a survey of the country's damaged coastline. more..

Sri Lanka hosts donors' meeting in hopes of rebuilding from civil war, tsunami

May 16 (AP) Sri Lanka will ask international donors for new funds and urge them to honor previous commitments during a conference starting Monday aimed at helping the island rebuild its economy, devastated by two decades of civil war and last December's Asian tsunami. more..

Background papers presented by Sri Lanka at the May 16-17 Development Forum

May 16 (LBO) Background papers presented by Sri Lanka at the May 16-17 Development Forum. INITIAL POST TSUNAMI RECOVERY PHASE RESULTS AND CHALLENGES (106KB) Mr. Tilak Ranaviraja, Chairman, Task Force for Relief (TAFOR). REHABILITATION AND RECONSTRUCTION ACTIVITIES IN NORTH AND EAST PROVINCES (104 KB) more..

Army sees irony in LTTE stand

May 16 (PIS) The Sri Lanka Army said yesterday it was ironic for the LTTE to call itself the sole representative and guardian of the Tamils as it obstructed the Army's humanitarian mine clearance team from clearing a patch of mined land on the side of the A9 road to prepare a civilian crossing point. more..

Sri Lanka bow to India in hunt for new coach

May 16 (AFP) Sri Lanka have delayed naming a new cricket coach until prospective candidates have been considered by Test rival India, the chairman of the goverment-appointed administration team said. "We are trying to finalise the coach soon, but it will not be before the Indians finish their interviews this week," more..

Buddhist Monk Ingests Poison in Sri Lanka

May 16 (AP) A monk drank poison and was rushed to a hospital Monday moments after becoming the first Buddhist clergyman to be convicted of the sexual abuse of a child in Sri Lanka, court officials and police said. Monk Bellana Panniyaloka was found guilty of grave sexual abuse of a 16-year-old girl in 2001 and was given the maximum 20-year penalty, more..

The Walls of Galle Fort

May 16 (RC) The heart of the city of Galle is an old Fort built as an anchor for Dutch colonial rule in the 1600s. Over the centuries, the Dutch came and left as did the Portuguese and the British. But the Fort remains and inside its walls lie the center of tourism in Galle town and all the people who keep the tourist machine well oiled and running. more..

Over 40% of Lanka's tsunami-dead were Muslims: Report

May 16 (HT) Muslims constitute eight per cent of Sri Lanka's 20 million people, but they account for 40.8 per cent of the dead in the December 26, 2004 tsunami. Out of the total of 30,718 people killed in the island, 12,562 were Muslims. Amparai district in southeastern Sri Lanka accounted for 7258 (58 per cent) of the total Muslim dead, more..

Rs. 7.5B housing project for war hit NE

May 16 (SAMN) The Government will launch a massive Rs. 7.5 billion project to construct 31,500 war affected houses in the North and East parallel to the permanent housing projects for the tsunami affected in the province, Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Reconciliation Ministry Secretary M. S. Jayasinghe told the Daily News. more..

SLMC rejects North-East Joint Mechanism

May 16 (SAMN) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress has decided to reject the North-East Joint Mechanism, for tsunami reconstruction, since it is not being considered as an equal partner. Political sources said that this was conveyed to visiting Japanese peace envoy Yasushi Akashi, by SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem during talks they held on Thursday. more..

Legal action looms over PSC

May 16 (SAMN) The Public Service Commission (PSC) may face legal action instituted by the Ministry of Education if the PSC fails to transfer the reinstated school principals found fault for irregularities in Grade 1 school admissions by the Presidential Investigations Unit (PIU). more..

Tigers threaten to shoot army de-miners

May 16 (LNP) The LTTE had threatened to shoot a group of army de-miners tasked with clearing a part of the demilitarised zone covering the Omanthai entry/exit point. Army headquarters had recently authorised the deployment of US-trained de-miners after the ICRC made representations to relevant authorities including the government agent of Vavuniya. more..

Sirikotha slams JBIZ over criticism of Ranil

May 16 (LNP) Sirikotha has slammed the Joint Business Forum (JBIZ) for being critical of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe`s decision not to participate in discussions on the hotly-debated Joint Mechanism (JM) to handle tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction work in the northern and eastern provinces. more..

How idiotic can a Govt. get

May 16 (LNP) While it is in knots over its inability to introduce reforms to its troubled business undertakings like the Ceylon Electricity Board, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and the National Water Supply and Drainage Board, the Cabinet has recently approved a decision to reacquire the management of the Cooperative Wholesale Establishment from the private sector. more..

Bulk of permanent housing project for tsunami victims gets off the ground

May 16 (DN) The Government said 90 per cent of the permanent houses for tsunami affected families will be completed by the fourth quarter of this year. Addressing the fortnightly media briefing of the Task Force for Relief and Reconstruction (TAFREN) on Friday, more..

Chandrika has little incentive to fight for Joint Mechanism

May 16 (HT) Heated opposition in South Sri Lanka, a palpable fall in international donors' interest, and a change in the LTTE's stand, may combine to dampen President Chandrika Kumaratunga's ardour to push for the establishment of a Joint Mechanism with the LTTE for post-tsunami reconstruction in the Tamil-speaking North Eastern Province (NEP). more..

Sri Lanka says coordinating tsunami aid with rebels could bridge country's ethnic divide

May 16 (AP) Sri Lanka's plan to jointly coordinate tsunami aid with Tamil Tiger rebels in Tamil-majority areas could be a golden opportunity to resolve the country's two-decade ethnic conflict, the president told the opening of a donors conference Monday. more..

A top Buddhist monk asks President to stop rebels from gaining air power

May 16 (AP) An influential Buddhist monk used a post-tsunami international donors meeting Monday to challenge President Chandrika Kumaratunga to stop the Tamil Tiger rebels from acquiring air power and recruiting child soldiers. more..

Lanka President fears for her life, vows deal with Tigers

May 16 (PTI) Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga today said that she feared for her life as her government moved to enter into an aid-sharing deal with Tiger rebels despite opposition from within the coalition partners. more..

JVP represented by Minister Herath

May 16 (LM) The JVP is represented at the Donor Conference by Cultural Minster Vijitha Herath despite speculation to the contrary that the party would not be attending the conference. The proceedings got underway at the Earl's Regency Hotel in Kandy. more..

Chandrika throws down the gauntlet at the Donor Conference

May 16 (LM) President Chandrika Kumaratunga assured the international community attending the Donor Conference that began in Kandy this morning that the majority in the government was fully behind her in supporting the joint mechanism for tsunami aid distribution. more..

Sri Lanka president appeals for rebel aid deal

May 16 (Reuters) President appealed on Monday for support for a deal with Tamil rebels to rebuild tsunami ravaged areas in rebel-controlled parts of the country. Political opposition to the deal with the LTTE and an increase in violence - blamed on fighting between the rebels and a breakaway faction - has held up the proposed "Joint Aid Mechanism" for tsunami reconstruction. more..

Yahoo Photos

May 16 (Yahoo) Kunio Senga, Director General of South Asia Department of Asian Development Bank lights the traditional lamp during the opening ceremony of the 'Sri Lanka Development Forum 2005' in Kandy, more..

Opening speeches underline sharp differences in the thinking of a typical third world country and donors

May 16 (LBO) The opening speeches at Sri Lanka's annual aid and policy review conference, underlined the sharp differences in the thinking of a typical third world country and donors who try to prevent governments from following policies that impoverish its citizens. more..

Sri Lanka says post-tsunami foreign aid tops US$2.2 billion

May 16 (AP) Sri Lanka said Monday post-tsunami foreign aid commitments topped US$2.2 billion (€1.74 billion), as the country's president told a donor conference her plan to jointly coordinate aid with Tamil Tiger rebels could be a golden opportunity to resolve the country's two-decade ethnic conflict. more..

Aid donors must push Sri Lanka to probe journalists' deaths, media advocacy group says

May 16 (AP) Aid donors must put pressure on the government to investigate the unsolved murders of several journalists in Sri Lanka and bring their killers to justice, a media advocacy group said Monday. more..

'No development without peace'

May 16 (BBC) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has opened Sri Lanka Development Forum (SLDF) donor conference in Kandy with an indirect appeal to end internal dissent. President Kumaratunga emphasized that unless there is peace and political stability, Sri Lanka cannot gain the benefits of its development programs. more..

Chandrika for Joint Mechnism with LTTE

May 16 (HT) President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, has pledged to establish a Joint Mechanism with the LTTE and pursue the peace process, despite threats to her life from "Northern terrorists and Southern extremists". "We are fully aware that the lives of some of us are in extreme danger. But sometimes we have to take hard decisions, even dangerous decisions. more..

Workshop on school library development begins in Trinco

May 17 (TN) Three-day workshop for Principals on school library development in the northeast province began Sunday in Trincomalee Human Resources Development Centre. "In some schools in the province libraries are used as stores and staff rooms. This practice should be stopped. more..

High drama at the opening of foreign donors meeting in Kandy

May 17 (AT) Unexpected high drama interrupted yesterday’s inaugural session of the Sri Lanka Development forum held in Kandy. Soon after President Chandrika Kumaratunga finished her own emotional speech in which she said that her life was at risk in sticking to the Joint Mechanism more..