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Sri Lanka probes claims of ethnic violence that triggered civil war

May 5 (AP) Sri Lanka on Thursday deployed 59 investigators to probe violence against ethnic minority Tamils in riots that triggered the country's civil war more than 20 years ago. The investigation comes nearly a year after the government agreed to pay about US$7 million in compensation to 939 victims of the anti-Tamil riots, more..

Probe Norwegian Connection with LTTE — JVP

May 5 (ANN) JVP Parliamentary Group leader Wimal Weerawansa making a statement in the House, said that Foreign Affairs Ministry should hold an immediate inquiry into the dealings between the Norwegian Embassy in Sri Lanka and the LTTE. more..

Tsunami aid deal with rebels to be limited to one year

May 5 (AP) Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tiger rebels plan to set up a joint group to distribute foreign aid to tsunami victims, officials said Thursday, despite a threat by the government's main ally to withdraw its support if such a body is created. more..

JVP politburo meets amid political uncertainty

May 6 (TN) The politburo of the JVP, a major constituent of the UPFA government is scheduled to meet Thursday night to take several important decisions regarding the latest political development following the walk out of the Cabinet meeting by JVP ministers Wednesday night, more..

‘Sivaram killing a blow against peace’ – US don

May 6 (TN) The abduction and murder last Thursday of political columnist and military analyst, Dharmeratnam Sivaram by suspected Sri Lankan state agents “will hinder peace and promote war” in Sri Lanka, writes Prof. Tom Plate, Director of Asia Pacific Media Network, more..

Sri Lanka’s anti-conversion Bill a “worry” even for Benedict XVI

May 6 (AN) The Pope is among those who are concerned by the anti-conversion bill which will be debated tomorrow in Sri Lanka’s parliament, Monsignor Joseph Vianney Fernando, Bishop of Kandy and President of the Sri Lankan Bishops’ Conference, told Asianews. more..

US seeks bids for tsunami reconstruction projects in Sri Lanka

May 6 (AFP) The United States has invited contractors to bid on 35 million dollars worth of construction projects it is funding in tsunami-hit Sri Lankan coastal regions, the US embassy said. A conference with possible contractors was scheduled for next week in Colombo, more..

Amunugama regrets 'harsh words'

May 6 (BBC) Ceylon Electricity Board(CEB) employees gave up their work- to- rule campaign launched on Thursday after Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama made a public apology. "I think I have used harsh words but what one should look at is not those words but the context in which I have said them, Minister Amunugama said. more..

Wrong procedure on CEB - JVP

May 6 (BBC) JVP say that under the restructing plan Ceylon Electricity Board will be transformed into a company with nine units. JVP Minister Anura Kumara Dissanayake said they boycotted the cabinet meeting on Wednesday to protest against the way the government is handling the CEB issue. more..

Norwegian Embassy activities exposed

May 6 (AT) Parliamentarians belonging to the ruling alliance demanded an immediate inquiry into nefarious activities of Norwegian Embassy. Several violation of diplomatic practices and underhand dealings of the Norwegian Embassy came to light when police inspected a vehicle on suspicion and found Rs 18 million in cash and several equipment being transported to the areas under the LTTE. more..

Remembering Sri Sabaratnam, the TELO leader

May 6 (AT) Today is the death anniversary of Sri Sabaratnam – a Tamil militant who fell on his knees and pleaded for his life when he was caught by the LTTE. But Kittu, who believed that he was loyally serving his master, Velupillai Prabhakaran, sprayed bullets into his body and silenced him forever. more..

President’s move to sign joint mechanism with LTTE-applauded by the LSSP

May 6 (AT) President’s determination to sign the joint mechanism with the LTTE regarding the relief and rehabilitation arrangements of the tsunami affected victims in the Northern and the eastern parts of the country has brought in support for her move from the Leader of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP). more..

Karuna Faction kills 4 hardcore Wanni Tigers

May 6 (LT) Four leading Intelligence cadres of the Wanni Tigers Organisation have been abducted and killed by Karuna Faction at Kudapokuna North in Welikanda. Among them were two leaders of the Intelligence Wing of the Wanni Tigers. more..

First batch of Peace Keepers returns to Sri Lanka

May 6 (LT) 375 of the Sri Lankan Peace Keeping Force that left for Haiti last September are due to return to Sri Lanka today (06). According to the agreement signed in this regard each battalion can serve there only for six months. more..

‘Media Monitor’ launch calls for greater journalistic freedom

May 6 (ANN) Media Monitor South Asia 2004, containing detailed reports about the situation of the media in South Asian countries was launched at the Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) on Tuesday, amidst calls for greater journalistic freedom. more..

Empty fire engines standby as fire destroys Jaffna shops

May6 (TN) Four shops at the Old Park road- Kandy road junction, near Jaffna Kachcheri were were destroyed by fire which broke out around 7 p.m. TamilNet correspondent in the northern town said. The cause of the fire is not yet known. more..

Father of four found dead with cut injuries in Vavuniya

May6 (TN) Mr. Kandiah Sritharan alias Mahalingam, a 55 year-old father of four children was found dead with cut injuries on his neck Friday morning around 7.30 a.m in Vaarikutiyoor, a village about 13 km west of Vavuniya. more..

TNA demands international commission to probe Sivaram murder

May6 (TN) Mr.R.Sampanthan, parliamentary group leader of the TNA Friday demanded in parliament that the government should take steps to constitute an international commission of inquiry comprising of impartial and qualified persons from the countries in the SAARC region, more..

LTTE go on fixing firing targets

May 6 (SLA) A group of about 15 LTTE cadres, clad in both civil and LTTE uniforms were seen fixing small pieces of tin sheets on to coconut trees in the general area of KATTAIPARICHCHAN, TRINCOMALEE, approximately 300 meters away from the KATTAIPARICHCHAN Entry/Exit point on 05 May 2005 around 1.55 p.m. more..

Prisoners want TNA MPs to secure their release

May 6 (SLA) Five LTTE remand prisoners in BATTICALOA prison started a fast after climbing on to the roof of the prison around 10.00 a.m. on 05 May 2005 demanding that they be released from detention. Those prisoners remain remanded on Magisterial orders for different offences related to possession or use of weapons for criminal acts. more..

Another Norwegian vehicle given to tigers to use as ambulance

May 6 (LT) A vehicle used illegally by an NGO was taken into custody by police today at about 7.45 a.m. This Norwegian NGO is active in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The vehicle taken into custody is a Land Cruiser bearing Reg. No. WPHH - 0623 and has been registered as an ambulance. more..

Scrap the cabinet paper -JVP

May 6 (LT) JVP Ministers say that the cabinet paper on restructuring the Electricity Board should be withdrawn. They said so at a press briefing held at the parliamentary complex yesterday. The cabinet paper presented contains no programme to boost the efficiency of the Electricity Board. more..

Four senior LTTE cadres killed

May 6 (PIS) Four senior LTTE members including two senior cadres who were under the direct control of LTTE intelligence chief Pottu Amman, had been allegedly killed by Karuna's men in Welikanda, military sources said. A senior military official said the two LTTE intelligence operatives have been identified as Madna Master and Raju. more..

President briefs Cabinet on joint mechanism with LTTE

May 6 (PIS) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has briefed the Cabinet on the details of the joint mechanism with the LTTE -- a subject hardly discussed in the Cabinet previously -- and undertook to give the Ministers a draft copy of the agreement soon. more..

Drawing new lines to Lanka

May 6 (NT) A group of nine archaeologists from Sri Lanka, on a 15-day trip to India, to trace out the cultural and archeological relationships of the two countries were excited to see the places they used to see only on text books, coming alive before them. more..

Laugfs Gas seeks legal advice after its Rs. 100 price hike plan was shot down

May 6 (LBO) Laugfs Gas is seeking legal advice to raise prices on a cylinder of LPG, despite the consumer watchdog shooting down its request for a Rs. 110 increase. The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) said on Wednesday that the increase was rejected on the grounds that it was ‘not reasonable’, and no alternate increase was suggested. more..

Bandara replaces Chandana at Gloucestershire

May 6 (CI) Malinga Bandara, a 25-year-old Sri Lankan legspinner, has been signed up as a like-for-like replacement for Upul Chandana by Gloucestershire. Chandana is expected to leave the county in early July to prepare for a Test series against West Indies that is then followed with a tri-series also involving India. more..

IDP vulnerability in Sri Lanka’s ‘uncleared’ areas

May 6 (RW) Despite a ceasefire agreement in February 2002 and a gradual transition from war to peace, Sri Lanka still has a significant internally displaced population. Although numbers have declined considerably in the past two years, there are still some 360,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) more..

Tsunami prompts women's swimming lessons

May 6 (BBC) "Many more women and children would have been saved if they knew how to swim," says Girlie Ganage, aged 44, as she practices her breast stroke in a private 12 metre pool. The school teacher from Mirissa, in the south-west of Sri Lanka, is among 25 women here who have decided that it is time to learn to swim more..

Sri Lanka reconstruction far from complete

May 6 (SO) A little over a hundred days after the Dec. 26 tsunami struck Sri Lanka, reconstruction efforts are far from being completed. “There is more than one kind of disaster going on there. There is still a lot of work to be done,” John Roberts, director of the Buddhist Council of the Northwest, a nonprofit organization, said. more..

Human rights organization finds breakdown in relief efforts

May 6 (PR) In a White Paper released this week, the International Foundation for Human Rights and Tolerance has found serious breakdowns in the international relief effort for Sri Lankan victims of the devastating December 26th tsunamis. more..

Chandrika faces flak over deal with LTTE

May 6 (PTI) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's proposed move to enter into a controversial deal with LTTE rebels has led to differences in the government ranks with Marxist coalition partner JVP threatening to launch a nation-wide agitation against the plan. more..

Tsunami-hit kids to hold festival, parade

May 6 (IANS) Children and youth affected by the Dec 26 tsunami will come together for a parade and festival in Sri Lanka's eastern town of Batticaloa Sunday. The festival will involve 3,000 children and volunteers from camps for the tsunami-affected in the Batticaloa area. more..

Top Sri Lankan cricketers to make charity run to Tamil capital?

May 6 (AP) Some of Sri Lanka's top cricketers will travel to the Tamil rebel capital Kilinochchi on Sunday to help children affected by the December tsunami and offer cricket tips to aspiring players. more..

US to host conference Tuesday on rebuilding Sri Lanka

May 6 (DJ) The U.S. will host a conference next Tuesday for Sri Lankan and foreign companies keen to assist in the island's post-tsunami reconstruction efforts. The conference, to be held in Colombo, will help interested parties to obtain information on the U.S. post-tsunami recovery program in Sri Lanka, more..

First baby born in Little Malta, Sri Lanka

May 6 (TOM) Two Red Cross Malta volunteers returned to Malta from Sri Lanka yesterday after spending five weeks overseeing and managing the work on the building of Little Malta in the Hamban-tota district. Godfrey Gambin, 29, of Iklin and Natal Falzon, 43, of Balzan said on their arrival yesterday the project more..

Tamils protest on prison rooftop, demanding cases handled

May 6 (AP) Five men believed to be Tamil Tiger rebels protested on a prison rooftop Friday, demanding that their cases be dealt with immediately or that they be released, police said. The ethnic Tamil men in Batticaloa prison, have been held for eight months to a year on charges of possessing firearms and hand grenades, more..

CPC suffers Rs.5,500m loss

May 6 (SAMN) The loss suffered by Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) due to subsidised fuel prices has amounted to Rs.5,500 million in the first four months of this year. CPC Chairman Jaliya Medagama said Wednesday's price increase of petroleum products would merely meet 10 per cent of their loss incurred by the soaring crude oil prices in the international market. more..

Government preparing for polls, says UNP

May 6 (SAMN) The government is forcing the Independent Police Commission to transfer some police officials as a part of preparations for an election, the UNP charged yesterday. more..

Acting custodian to Maligawa

May 6 (SAMN) The Basnayake Nilame of the Kandy Pathini Devalaya and one-time Basnayake Nilame of Alawatugoda Saman Devalaya, Rohana Paranagama has been appointed as the acting custodian of the Sri Dalada Maligawa. more..

Norway denies media reports

May 6 (LNP) The Norwegian Embassy yesterday denied media reports that an embassy vehicle was used as an ambulance by a locally registered NGO, and said that the MP who made the comments based on media reports would be invited for a discussion. more..

JVP Rally against the Mechanism next Tuesday - We will support the Joint Mechanism - UNP

May 6 (LNP) United National Party, Member of Parliament Dr. Rajitha Senaratne says the UNP will fully support the proposed joint mechanism because the party does not want the people living in the North and the East to suffer. more..

Govt warns about banks' crashing

May 6 (HT) Facing stiff opposition to its plans to restructure the terminally-ill state-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), the Sri Lankan Government has indirectly warned that the country's two main public sector banks will crash and the whole economy will go down, if the restructuring is not done immediately. more..

Power Crisis- General Strike on Tuesday?

May 6 (LM) The Ceylon Electricity Board employees launched a token strike at 2 p.m. to end at 8 a.m. tomorrow following a collective C.E.B. Trade Union. Decision, to press government to retract privatisation moves. Subsequent to the failed last ditch meeting with President Chandrika Kumaratunga last night, the Trade Unions' confab at 10 a.m. today, more..

Sri Lankan newspaper editor claims threat to his life, seeks police protection

May 6 (AP) A Sri Lankan newspaper editor Thursday wrote to the country's police chief claiming his life is under threat from a government politician, a week after a senior journalist was abducted and killed. more..

Ananda Principal released on bail

May 6 (DN) COLOMBO Ananda College Principal B. A. Abeyratne produced before Maligakanda Magistrate's court on charges of using forged documents as genuine and for aiding and abetting fraud was released on bail by Magistrate Priyantha de Silva yesterday. more..

Sri Lankan minister sees deal with rebels on aid

May 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's government is likely to approve a controversial pact with Tamil Tiger rebels on sharing tsunami aid, but a deal may not come before a mid-month meeting with donors, a senior minister said on Friday. more..

Sri Lanka nationalists step up campaign against aid deal with Tigers

May 6 (AFP) Sri Lankan nationalists have warned they will step up protests against a proposed government deal with Tamil rebels for the distribution of tsunami aid amid fears for the shaky ruling coalition. more..

JVP unions reject new Cabinet memo on CEB

May 6 (LBO) Largely JVP led unions refuse to consider an alternate reform model for the loss making Electricity Board, rejecting the new Cabinet paper that was passed on Wednesday. The now controversial Cabinet paper says the government will alter the reform model to keep the CEB in state hands and change the Electricity Reform Act. more..

UNP supporters ‘assaulted journalist’

May 6 (BBC) Supporters of the main opposition UNP is accused of assaulting a journalist in Polonnaruwa. Upul Shantha, a journalist working for government-controlled National Television (Rupavahini) has made a complaint to the police that he was assaulted by UNP supporters at Tamankaduwa Divisional Council premises. more..