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Fishermen held for transporting refugees

Feb 14 (NIP) Three fishermen, who were released from a Sri Lankan prison recently, were arrested on Monday on charges of illicitly transporting Sri Lankan refugees from here. Sekar, Veluchamy and Arumugam, fishermen from Rameswaram, were held by the Sri Lankan Navy for trespassing into their waters. They were detained in a prison in Sri Lanka and released last week. more..

Manoharan succumbed to his head injury in Qatar

Feb 14 (AT) Manoharan, alias Kuruvi, (Bird - 26 years old), from Sittandy, Batticaloa, a handicap and a member of the TamilEelam Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal led by V.Muralitharan alias Colonel Karuna, succumbed to his head injury on Monday at the General Hospital in Doha, Qatar. more..

Nuwara Eliya readies to welcome visitors for the next season

Feb 14 (AT) Nuwara Eliya, the highland nature and colonial estates which gives unique and attractive atmosphere, readies to welcome local and foreign visitors during forthcoming April season. The central highland of Nuwera Eliya, a city famous for its golf courses, horse race course and the Victoria park which provides a large green area in the city centre more..

Integrate strategies for hazard reduction and disaster recovery in the national sustainable development strategy

Feb 14 (AT) The Second International Conference on Sustainable Hazard Reduction, Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Long Term Development (SHARM) was held recently at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. more..

LTTE urged to release the two policemen held under custody

Feb 14 (AT) Only one week to go for the crucial cease-fire talks to take place in Geneva the Liberation Tigers have not yet shown any interest over the release of two Government Policemen keeping under their custody since September last year. "There is no new development on the release of two Policemen", said SLMM Spokeswoman Helan Ollaffsdottir. more..

SLMC to boycott crucial Muslim Parliamentarians Forum meeting today

Feb 14 (AT) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress is to boycott today's special meeting convened by the Muslim Parliamentarians Forum to decide on the Muslim nominee to take part at the forthcoming talks between the Government and the LTTE on February 22-23 at Geneva. more..

The pursuit of the present peace pact is a petition for perpetual peril

Feb 14 (ISL) Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes generally occur in regions where the earth’s crust is weak or what are called the fault lines and also when its tectonic structures are moving around. Natural disasters are caused by such factors. more..

Return of the Northeast Provincial Government

Feb 14 (ISL) The recent presidential election has brought the topic of federalism and the devolution of power back into the limelight. The winner, Mahinda Rajapakse has abandoned his predecessor Chandrika Kumaratunge’s commitment to a new federal constitution in favor of preserving the unitary state. more..

Building a Pluralist Nation

Feb 14 (WS) In Kashmir last week, on my way to Gulmarg, high up in the mountains and snow laden, the road was blocked by what we gathered was a demonstration. The driver wanted to turn back, but the Sikh couple with whom I was sharing the car were as keen to go on as I was. more..

UNICEF- Devananda Meets To Rehab LTTE Child Soldiers

Feb 14 (ISL) UNICEF representative, Beth Verhey met Social Services and Social Welfare Minister K.N. Douglas Devananda at his Ministry yesterday morning and discussed issues concerning the rehabilitation and reintegrating of the children released by the LTTE, according to EPDP sources. more..

LTTE cadres to be released as sign of goodwill

Feb 14 (ISL) Four hardcore LTTE cadres are to be released by the government as a goodwill gesture, before the government and LTTE engage in talks on the implementation of the cease fire agreement, to be held in the capital of Switzerland this month. more..

SB to be freed next month

Feb 14 (ISL) The UNP firebrand S. B Dissanayake will be freed on March 27th due to his positive conduct in jail, according to reliable sources from Wellikade jail. Sources confirm than any prisoner can be freed after completion of 2/3 of jail time if the prisoner has a positive conduct in the jail. more..

Govt has allocated 1,500 million rupees to purchase paddy

Feb 14 (SLRC) Government has allocated 1,500 million rupees to purchase the paddy yield of the maha season. The expected yield is around 1.9 million metric tones. Addressing a special meeting, minister maitripala sirisena noted that the bumper paddy harvest was received owing to the government’s fertilizer subsidy programme. more..

Chandrika 'still faces threats to her life'

Feb 14 (Gulf) Former president Chandrika Kumaratunga has complained to President Mahinda Rajapakse that her security is being systematically pruned despite threats to her life. Chandrika is reported to have made the allegations in a letter to the President in which she claims that the threat to her life was from the Tamil rebels as well as sections from the government, more..

Judge orders Police to remove Road block in Kayts

Feb 14 (TN) Jaffna Acting District Court Judge Ms Srinithi Nanthisekaran, Monday, directed Kayts Police to remove the road block built across the Hospital road that leads to Kayts Police station, civil society sources said. Civil society members complained to the Judge who was visiting Kayts Monday on the inconveniences residents of the islet has to go through due to the road block. more..

Toddler injured in Kilinochchi admitted to Jaffna hospital

Feb 14 (SLA) AN INJURED TODDLER following an explosion that had reportedly occurred in un-cleared areas of KILINOCHCHI had been admitted to JAFFNA Teaching hospital on Monday (13) around 2.55 p.m. after he was transferred from KILINOCHCHI. more..

One more round of talks on Human Rights makes progress in Jaffna

Feb 14 (SLA) A WIDE RANGE OF MATTERS OF CONCERN to the masses in Jaffna as well as other measures of security importance to the Armed Forces and the Police were taken up during another round of cordial discussions held in Palaly Monday (13) evening between the security authorities and officials of the Jaffna more..

Trincomalee fisher families suffer due to fishing ban

Feb 14 (TN) Several hundred fishermen in the Trincomalee district are undergoing immense hardship to earn for their livelihood due to the fishing ban and other restrictions imposed by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) since second week of January, fisheries sources in Trincomalee said. more..

‘Mahinda Chitana’ should be the rationale for Geneva talks - JVP

Feb 14 (LT) ‘The objective of the talks to be held in Geneva on the 22nd and 23rd of this month should be to accomplish a constructive ceasefire. These discussions should be in compliance with the consensus between Mr Mahinda Rajapakse and the JVP as well as in accordance with the ‘Mahinda Chitana’ manifesto.’ more..

Clashes between Thamil Selvam and Balasingham become worse

Feb 14 (LT) The dispute between the theoretician of Wanni tigers and political wing leader has turned into worse according to intelligence revelations of the security forces. They expose that an unfriendly conversation has taken place over the telephone between the two recently. more..

Azad Salley UNP’s Mayoral candidate?

Feb 14 (LM) The UNP parliamentary group at a meeting yesterday opposed the nomination of Sirsena Cooray as the Colombo mayoral candidate. At the meeting presided over by party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe several MPs said Mr. Cooray was being promoted as the mayoral candidate by parliamentarians Milinda Moragoda and M.H.M. Maharoof. more..

President looks at British model of devolution

Feb 14 (LM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday ruled out LTTE demands for a separate homeland in the north and east, but said he would rein in armed groups - a central rebel demand ahead of crunch talks. "There's only one country, we can share power. Not a separate state. That idea must be taken off ... it is completely out," more..

CBK battles to retain party leadership

Feb 14 (SAMN) Amidst speculation that she would relinquish the Party leadership, former President and leader of the SLFP Chandrika Kumaratunga is reported to be actively heading the party’s LG elections campaign. She had urged party members in the Gampaha District to avoid disputes with the JVP members of the District more..

Fisheries resources to get legal cover

Feb 14 (SAMN) A Bill to protect the country’s fisheries resources and also exploit the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. Government spokesman said that proposed Bill entitled "Fisheries Management and Development Bill", submitted by Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Felix Perera, was approved by the Cabinet. more..

Japan funds for provincial road uplift

Feb 14 (SAMN) The Japanese Government has provided Yen 5,811 million towards the Provincial Road Development in the Kandy, Matale, Nuwara Eliya, Kegalle and Ratnapura districts, a release by Japanese Embassy said. The Ratnapura project commenced on February 11 while the Central Province rehabilitation work started in January. more..

Muslims split on reps. for Geneva talks

Feb 14 (LNP) With Muslim political parties largely divided over who should represent the community at the forthcoming Geneva talks, the Muslim Forum comprising all political parties meet at the Parliamentary complex today for a final decision the matter. more..

Govt. to use open source for `pro-poor, pro-choice`

Feb 14 (LNP) As part of its multi-pronged efforts to alleviate poverty with a pro-poor policy the Government is also harnessing the use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) under the broader Information and Communication Technology thrust. more..

US Congressman voices concern over LTTE violations

Feb 14 (PIS) The LTTE have committed a number of violations and the peace process has broken down though in a breakthrough agreement brokered by Norway in 2002, the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tigers signed a ceasefire agreement, said US Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. more..

Ten thousand scouts to attend Jamboree in N'Eliya

Feb 14 (DN) Around ten thousand scouts from here and abroad will attend the 7th National Scout Jamboree and 4th SAF Friendship Camp 2006 which will be held from February 21 to 26 at Nuwara Eliya Race Course grounds. One thousand two hundred scouts from the uncleared areas of the Northern and Eastern Provinces will attend the programme more..

Sri Lanka extends state of emergency amid Tamil boycott

Feb 14 (AFP) Parliament extends a state of emergency for one month, saying the country's security situation did not allow an easing of the tough anti-terror laws. Minority Tamil legislators kept up a boycott of the assembly as the government sought the extension of the emergency it declared on August 13, a day after then foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was assassinated. more..

Sri Lanka warned against denying Tamils homeland

Feb 14 (Reuters) Tamil Tigers were silent on Tuesday over President Mahinda Rajapakse's rejection of their demand for a separate homeland, but a pro-rebel politician said it could jeopardise peace talks later this month. Rajapakse told Reuters in an interview on Monday he would rein in armed groups the LTTE say are attacking them more..

Over 5,300 child soldiers in Sri Lanka since truce: UNICEF

Feb 14 (AFP) Over 5,300 child soldiers have been enlisted by Tamil Tigers since a truce went into effect in Sri Lanka, a UN agency said, asking the rebels to end the practice of underage recruitment. The UNICEF said it expected that truce talks in Geneva next week will focus on the plight of children. more..

Top U.N. seat likely to go to Asia

Feb 14 (KH) The race to become the next United Nations secretary-general moved into high gear yesterday after Korea's foreign minister Ban Ki-moon officially announced his bid for the post. Incumbent Kofi Annan from Ghana will step down in December this year after two terms in office. more..

Gilchrist and Katich seal series

Feb 14 (CI) Adam Gilchrist finished his home international season the way he started it by smashing a national record for the fastest century as he led Australia to a 2-1 VB Series finals victory. With Gilchrist, the Man of the Match, galloping to his hundred in only 67 balls - it arrived six deliveries sooner than his 103 in the second Super Series ODI more..

UNICEF appeals to LTTE to stop recruiting kids

Feb 14 (HT) UNICEF has appealed to the LTTE to stop recruiting children for its combat units, and return those already recruited to their parents. UNICEF's representative in Sri Lanka, JoaAnna VanGerpen, said in a press release on Tuesday that the LTTE had, in the past six months, recruited, on an average, 43 children a month. more..

Sri Lanka Marxists demand fresh peace process

Feb 14 (AFP) Sri Lanka's main Marxist party, a key member of the ruling coalition, has demanded a brand-new peace process to replace the Norwegian-led initiative, which it said had failed. The JVP, or People's Liberation Front, said President Mahinda Rajapakse should adopt a "fresh approach" to negotiating peace with the rebel LTTE. more..

Protest against proposed Norochcholai coal power plant in Kalpitiya

Feb 15 (ISL) A small scale protest was launched today against the proposed Norochcholai coal power plant by residents, according to sources. Sources added that the protestors demanded the immediate halt of the construction of the power plant by the government. more..

NESO Urges President’s Action Against LTTE

Feb 15 (ISL) North Eastern Sinhalese Organization, a Sinhalese chauvinist organization emerging from Northeast Sri Lanka urged President to take firm action against the LTTE in a petition campaign. However, the Northeast Sinhalese organization had ignored to condemn the recent human abuses done by the Sri Lankan security forces members in Northeast Sri Lanka. more..

100 billion borrowed to fulfill political pledges of 'Mahinda Chintana'

Feb 15 (LeN) The government is to borrow 1 billion US dollars (100 million rupees) from the open market at a high interest rate to fulfill pledges made by the Mahinda Chintana policy statement at the presidential election. City Bank of America has undertaken to provide this loan on a promise of paying back the loan within a 7 year period. more..

Monks as mayoral candidates for Colombo, Kotte and Dehiwala

Feb 15 (LeN) Buddhist monks will be mayoral candidates in the nomination lists of the Jathika Hela Urumaya for the Colombo, Kotte-Sri Jayawardanapura, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia and several other selected Municipal Councils. more..

Local factories get aid to improve labour relations, productivity

Feb 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s manufacturing sector will get a funding boost from the International Labour Organisation, to up productivity and quality at factories. The one year project to start in May this year will also cover labour relations and workplace safety for 12 chosen factories, more..

Sri Lanka questions commandos over student slaughter

Feb 15 (AFP) Sri Lankan authorities interrogated 12 elite police commandos over the massacre of five students which sparked major unrest in the island's north-east, official sources said. Detectives were grilling an inspector, a sub-inspector and 10 constables of the Special Task Force (STF) who were at the scene of the massacre on January 2 in Trincomalee, more..

Plantation Industry on a declining trend - A study

Feb 15 (AT) A recent study reveals that the Plantation Industry is in the verge of a declining trend and if timely action is not taken to rectify this situation, there will be a severe setback to the Industry within the next 10 - 15 years especially in the High/Medium Grown Tea which are mainly managed by the Regional Plantations Companies. more..

Cancel police transfers carried out on the eve of mini poll

Feb 15 (LeN) Deputy UNP leader Karu Jayasoriya has threatened to initiate legal action if all transfers in the Police Department which were carried out on political intervention after the declaration of the date to accept the nominations, were not cancelled. more..

Support of civil society needed for negotiations

Feb 15 (LeN) The civil society has expressed confidence that talks commencing on the 22nd between the government and the LTTE in Geneva on the cease-fire agreement would set the stage for peace negotiations, Professor Jayadeva Uyangoda, who was one of the representatives of civil societies who met LTTE political wing leader Tamil Selvam at Kilinochchi yesterday told 'Lanka e News'. more..

Another petition in court for 400,000 deprived of right to vote

Feb 15 (LeN) A voter of the Colombo District S.H.Karunaratne today (14) filed a petition in the Appeal Court seeking an order on the Elections Commissioner to suspend the acceptance of nominations and hold the local government election after May as over 400,000 voters of over 18 years of age would be disenfranchised at the election. more..

Outclassed all the way

Feb 15 (CI) Sri Lanka pushed Australia hard, showed a new-found feistiness and discovered bright new talent, but their opposition was truly outstanding, proving themselves worthy of their world champion tag. This Australian side is not invincible in ODI cricket, as Sri Lanka showed in Adelaide, but on-song they are a class ahead of the rest. more..

Minority parties blamed for delay in constituting, Constitutional Council

Feb 15 (AT) The Government announced in the Parliament on Tuesday that the minority parties should take the responsibility for the delay in setting up of the Constitutional Council, as they have not yet submitted their nominee for the Council. more..

Weerawansa commends government's delegation

Feb 15 (AT) Parliamentary group leader of the JVP and Colombo district MP Wimal Weerawansa told the Parliament that the task before the Government delegation at the Geneva talks was a challenging one as they are entrusted with the responsibility of not jeopardizing national security when dealing with the Liberation Tigers. more..

Qatar police arrest three LTTErs for the killing of Karuna group member

Feb 15 (AT) Qatar police has arrested three members of the LTTE in connection with the assassination of Manohran alias Kuruvi (Bird) (26) . According to the latest information, the police are hunting for a LTTE intelligence operative who is avoiding arrest. more..