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Sri Lanka computerises all birth certificates issued since 1864

Feb 16 (LBO) Registrar General’s Department will computerise its database of birth certificates issued since 1864, for easier access to public records. The country has no proper computerized birth certificate, death certificate and land deed database, with paper certificates still clogging up the system. more..

Court order against SLMC bears less repercussion than expected?

Feb 16 (AT) Despite the Colombo District Court yesterday issuing a enjoining order preventing the SLMC from handing over the nomination papers of its candidates for the forthcoming local government elections, party's Secretary General M.T. Hasan Ali said that his party members had made deposits at the Election Secretariat to contest as 'Independent groups'. more..

Slovak President visits Sir Lanka

Feb 16 (LT) Slovak president, Ivan Gasparovic will arrive in the Island today and stay here for one day en route to his tour in India. Slovak was one of the member states of the former republic of Yugoslavia the president of which was Marshal Tito. After the collapse of the Republic of Yugoslavia, Slovak remains to be the best country among its member states. more..

SB released but deprived of civic rights

Feb 16 (LM) Country's best known prisoner and UNP national orgainser S.B. Dissanyake was yesterday released on a presidential order before the completion of his full jail term. Though President Mahinda Rajapakse ordered the early release of Mr. Dissanayake his civic rights would not be restored. more..

UNP Kotte, Kurunegala Mayors now in UPFA

Feb 16 (LeN) The Mayor of Kotte J.M. Somapala who was a member of the UNP crossed over to the government and had obtained the membership of the party. He is expected to contest the local government elections on the UPFA ticket. The Kotte Mayoral candidate of the UPFA Udaya Niyathapala told that the present Mayor had obtained the party membership on Monday. more..

Telwatte tragedy could have been averted

Feb 16 (SAMN) The Telwatte train disaster which resulted in the deaths of over 1000 people during the 2004 Asian tsunami could have been averted if not for human and technical failures resulting from the Railway Control Room being unable to contact the Ambalangoda railway station to stop the Matara bound train. more..

Refilling fertile lands discouraged

Feb 16 (SAMN) Ministry of Agrarian Services and Development along with farmer communities have commenced a series of measures to encourage farmers to re-cultivate fertile lands which have not been cultivated for many years. The ministry has said it would provide farmers with small scale irrigation facilities and infrastructure facilities. more..

Police Department to be restructured

Feb 16 (SAMN) In a bid to increase the efficiency of the police service as well as to minimise corrupt practices in the police force, IGP Chandra Fernando has decided to establish four special committees to cover the four main police ranges of the country. more..

Trains back on track today

Feb 16 (LNP) The 24 hour lightning strike staged by train controllers and other staff over the suspended salary circular, was called off at midnight yesterday. Thousands of commuters were inconvenienced by the 24-hour strike. `The train services will continue as usual from today,` the president of Railway Stationmasters` Union, P.A.S. Warnasuriya said. more..

JHU submits LG nominations in 14 districts

Feb 16 (LNP) The Jatika Hela Urumaya (JHU) is to submit nominations for 13 districts for the Local Government Elections. The party`s Colombo group is headed by JHU stalwart and Jatika Sanga Sammelanaya Financial Secretary Ven. Rajawatte Vappa Thera. Two other party strongmen will lead the groups contesting for Dehiwala Mount Lavinia and Maharagama Municipal Councils. more..

Carrot-and-stick approach

Feb 16 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing a seminar on public enterprises and their future, on Tuesday, reaffirmed his antipathy towards privatization of weak State institutions and explained how the Government proposes to get public sector enterprises to operate without being a burden on the Treasury. more..

World Bank Public Information Centre opens in Colombo

Feb 16 (DN) Minister of Mass Media and Information Anura Priyadharshana Yapa inaugurated the World Bank's Public Information Centre in Colombo on Tuesday. At the ceremony Peter Harrold, Country Director for the World Bank presented the first copy of the 'Sri Lanka Country Assistance Strategy Progress Report' to Minsiter Priyadharshana Yapa. more..

B'desh protesters want Sri Lanka to play in Dhaka

Feb 16 (Reuters) Hundreds of Bangladeshi cricket fans, led by a former skipper, protested in Dhaka on Thursday a decision to exclude the capital as a venue for a home series against Sri Lanka. The protesters former a human chain around the Bangabandhu National stadium in the capital, carrying placards and banners asking: "Why not cricket in Dhaka?" more..

Shocked UNP tries to recover from their 'blunder"

Feb 16 (AT) The United National Party's (UNP) Colombo nomination list was rejected because one of the candidates was under age, according to Election Secretariat sources. However UNP sources claimed that this person who was reportedly a provincial councilor's son had completed the stipulated 18 years of age. more..

Sri Lanka opposition warns of unfair local poll

Feb 16 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's main opposition UNP warned Thursday that the forthcoming local elections in the country may not be free and fair. The UNP spokesman Tissa Attanayake told reporters that mass scale transfers of police personnel are being effected by the government which could be a move to favor the ruling party. more..

Rival Tamil Tiger factions clash in eastern Sri Lanka, one dead, two wounded

Feb 16 (AP) Rival factions of the Tamil Tiger rebels clashed in eastern Sri Lanka, killing one combatant and wounding two others, police said Thursday. The fighting took place in areas controlled by the mainstream rebel group in Batticaloa district, a police officer said on condition of anonymity. more..

Sri Lanka urges fair coverage of Tiger talks

Feb 16 (Xinhua) The government urged fair and unbiased media coverage of negotiations with the Tamil Tiger rebels, state radio reported Thursday. The SLBC said Minister of Media and Information Anura Priyadarshana Yapa had called for unbiased coverage devoid of political flavor on the forthcoming negotiations with the LTTE rebels. more..

Sri Lankan businesses to pray for truce talks success

Feb 16 (AFP) Sri Lanka's influential trade lobby has asked businesses to light an oil lamp next week and pray for the success of truce talks between Tamil Tigers and the Colombo government. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in a statement asked shops and other business organisations to maintain a lamp vigil on Tuesday, a day before talks open in Geneva between Colombo and the Tigers. more..

Sri Lanka to introduce underground trains

Feb 16 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan Railway Track Development Ministry has decided to introduce an underground tube train system to Sri Lanka capital City of Colombo and the suburbs, Daily News reported Thursday. The main objective of introducing a tube system to Sri Lanka is to ease the traffic congestion and also reduce the number of vehicles coming into the city, more..

Tamil rebels say they are committed to cease-fire, want Sri Lanka to fully implement it

Feb 16 (AP) A top Tamil Tiger leader said Thursday the rebel group is committed to a four-year-old cease-fire, and will press for its full implementation at the upcoming Geneva talks. Seevaratnam Puleedevan, chief of the rebels' Peace Secretariat, implied that all-out war would not be ruled out if the Feb. 22-23 talks between the LTTE and the government failed. more..

UNP Colombo list and SLFP Gampaha lsit rejected

Feb 16 (LeN) The nomination papers filed for the local government election by the United National Party for the Colombo Municipal Council was rejected by the returning officer today. The reason cited for the rejection was that one of the candidates in the 18-35 year age category has still not reached the stipulated age limit. more..

Yahoo Photos

Feb 16 (Reuters) A Tamil woman makes a handicraft in her shop at a central market in Tamil Tiger rebel-held Kilinochchi. Crunch talks between government and Tamil Tiger rebels in Switzerland next week will determine if there is peace or war, the rebels say, more..

Sri Lanka rebels say talks will decide peace or war

Feb 16 (Reuters) Talks between Sri Lanka and Tamil Tigers next week will determine if there is peace or war, the rebels said, branding President Mahinda Rajapakse's refusal to consider a separate Tamil homeland as "childish". Suspected rebel attacks in December and January all but destroyed a Norway-brokered 2002 ceasefire, but violence fell after the two sides agreed to meet in Switzerland. more..

Sri Lanka to hold nationwide local elections in March

Feb 16 (Reuters) Sri Lanka said on Thursday it would hold local elections on March 30, including in Tamil Tiger rebel-held areas, but analysts said the vote could prove to be a double-edged sword. While some welcomed the fact that the poll would enable the LTTE to take part in the electoral process through their proxies in parliament, others feared the rebels could scare off opponents to secure more power at a local level. more..

Three suspects arrested for transporting explosives to Mannar

Feb 17 (TN) Mannar Police Thursday arrested three persons, two Muslims and a Sinhalese, in two separate incidents when they were allegedly transporting dynamite sticks from outstations to Mannar Island. The Police recovered 125 dynamite sticks from one incident and about 100 in the other, police sources said. more..

105 nominations accepted, 26 rejected in Amparai

Feb 17 (TN) Twenty-six nomination lists out of 131 submitted by political parties and independent groups were rejected by the Amparai District Returning Officer Thursday for failing to furnish requirements as stated in the election law. Till noon Thursday 57 independent groups and fourteen registered political parties have submitted their nomination lists, more..

More private vehicles roam the city as public transport disappears

Feb 17 (LBO) Transport experts say more private vehicles are coming into Colombo despite a drop in the number of people traveling to the city. Fewer bus runs and appalling service levels on public transport contributed to the rise in private vehicles entering Colombo, former National Transport Commission chief Prof. Amal Kumarage said Thursday. more..

Silver lining in Sri Lankan impasse?

Feb 17 (DS) A silver lining has fortunately emerged in the complex situation in Sri Lanka over the civil war centering the Tamil problem as both the government and the Tamil rebels have agreed to resume their dialogue after a long stalemate that had further worsened in recent months raising fears of resumption of the full blown hostilities. more..

Free and Fair elections in North-East ?

Feb 17 (BBC) Free and fair election is not a foregone conclusion says a veteran election monitoring organisation. They say local elections in the North and the East will come under heavy pressure due to the political pressures in the region. “It is refreshing to see the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) coming in to the local election”, more..

Sri Lanka upbeat despite defeat

Feb 17 (BBC) Team manager Michael Tissera says Sri Lanka's showing in the VB Series in Australia bodes well for the future. Marvan Atapattu's side beat Australia in two matches, including the first of the best-of-three finals series, before defeats in Sydney and Brisbane. more..

SL delegation in a fund rising mission to Australia

Feb 17 (AT) A Sri Lanka delegation will present their proposals before international donors in Sydney, Australia to raise funds to improve the living conditions of the Sri Lankan plantation workers. The donor conference is organized by Resources Mobilization Australia Ltd in Sydney. more..

UNP to seek redress in court over the rejection of CMC list

Feb 17 (LeN) The United National Party is to file a petition in court tomorrow challenging the rejection of party's nomination papers for the Colombo Municipal Council. The reason given by the returning officer for rejecting the list was that one of the candidates was 17 years of age in 2004. more..

Highest number of candidates at this election from JVP

Feb 17 (LeN) The highest number of candidates at this local government election has been fielded by the JVP. The JVP has fielded 4919 candidates for 277 local authorities in 22 districts. Even though the JVP appealed to the public in the past to elect a few members of the party for each local government body, this time around the party will appeal to the public to elect it to power, more..

700,000 deprived of franchise in March 30th election

Feb 17 (LeN) Seven hundred thousand voters will be deprived of their right to vote if the local government election was held under 2004 electoral registers, attorney at law Upul Jayasuriya pointed out at the Appeal Court today. He made this statement when a petition filed by S.A.Karunaratne, seeking an order on the Elections Commissioner to conduct the election after May more..

President to brief the south political parties on the ceasefire talks

Feb 17 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse will meet representatives from all political parties in Colombo to brief them of the developments on the scheduled ceasefire talks in Geneva on February 22 and 23. Representatives from all political parties representing the Parliament are expected to participate in this all party conference to express their view on the ceasefire talks. more..

Rejection of UNP list brings to an end 50 years of rightist rulein the Municipality - Vasudeva

Feb 17 (AT) The United People's Freedom Alliance, Mayoral candidate for the Colombo Municipal Council Vasudeva Nanyakkara yesterday said the rejection of the United National Party nomination list was the first sign towards the end of 50 years of rightist rule in the Municipality. more..

Sri Lanka says pepper price fall not due to rise in duty-free import

Feb 17 (FT) Pepper price falls in India due to slump in the prices globally, and not because of a rise in duty-free pepper import from Sri Lanka, according to a study by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board. Pepper prices in the country, have fallen 64% since the pact between the two countries for duty-free imports came into being in 2000. more..

2500 Tamil teachers to be given appointments

Feb 17 (ISL) Responding to the severe Tamil teachers shortage in the Northeast, the government had taken steps to provide over two thousand Tamil teacher appointments in the island, according to a top government education ministry sources. more..

Douglas hands over LG nominations

Feb 17 (ISL) Douglas Devananda, the EPDP Secretary General and Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare had handed in the nominations for the coming local government elections yesterday morning in Jaffna and Vavuniya, according to EPDP sources. more..

Muslims need independent participation in talks

Feb 17 (ANN) At the signing of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA), Muslim concerns were not looked into. The Muslim community in the East is very much affected by the consequences of the CFA, particularly by the lawless behaviour that is going on, much of it directed against the Muslim community under the cover of the ceasefire. more..

Political identity for members of Govt team for Geneva

Feb 17 (LT) Government has decided to present the members of its team for forthcoming talks in Geneva with their political identities at the discussion table. Accordingly Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, the leader of the team will be introduced at the discussion table as a minister of the government and a member of the SLFP. more..

UNP Clash in public

Feb 17 (LT) The internal crisis in the UNP has deepened to the point of their nominations for the Colombo Municipal Council being rejected with the inclusion their nomination list of a youth below 18 years of age, UNP sources said. When their nomination papers were rejected UNP leaders expressed their dissatisfaction in public. more..

Election battle begins

Feb 17 (LT) Main political parties have stepped up their election campaigns as soon as it was officially announced that the local government elections will be held on the 30th March. The slogan “Country & village- both for Mahinda’ will be the slogan of the SLFP election campaign said Minister Maithripala Sirisena. more..

Parliamentary activities can be accessed from the internet from today

Feb 17 (SLBC) The new website of the Parliament will be launched at the Parliamentary complex today by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake. The new website can be accessed by the address It is developed as a part of the Parliament modernization programme. more..

A special security plan for the local government poll

Feb 17 (SLBC) The Police emphasizes that necessary measures have been taken to hold the local government election in a free and fair manner. A special security programme is in place for this purpose. DIG Gamini Nawaratne says the Police will take stern action regarding those who violate election laws and regulations. more..

Tsunami 'widow' arrested after husband is seen alive

Feb 17 (TG) A mother of three who was supposedly widowed in the 2004 tsunami has been arrested by police after reports that her husband is still alive. Yohini Shanthakumaran, 26, won the support of her MP and local press after publicising her claim last year that her two-year-old son had been stranded in Sri Lanka after her husband drowned in the Boxing Day disaster. more..

NGOs in Kilinochchi demand release of TRO staffers

Feb 17 (TN) The Kilinochchi Federation of NGOs staged a peace protest march Friday 17th in Kilinochchi at 10 am, demanding the release of the seven employees of the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), abducted at gun point and held captive for more than 20 days in the Wellikanda region by paramilitaries. more..

Army Uniform Concealed In The Lorry Apprehended

Feb 17 (SLA) TROOPS AT THE BLACK BRIDGE entry/exit point in BATTICALOA apprehended a green colour Army uniform whilst being taken concealed in a lorry transporting passengers on Thursday. The suspicious uniform was found packed in a polythene bag and hidden inside the lorry carrying some passengers from un-cleared MYLAWETTUVAN area more..

UNP plans to accentuate Geneva talks as unsuccessful at mini polls

Feb 17 (LT) It is revealed that it is the belief of the United National Party that the Geneva talks will be a failure. If their expectations become a reality, the UNP is planning to give it a significant place in the Local Government polls in a bid to defeat the Government. more..

Parliament Launched its Website

Feb 17 (LeN) The new website of the Parliament was launched at the Parliamentary Complex by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake today. The new website of the Parliament is developed as a part of the Parliament modernization programme which aims at making its legislative, representative and oversight functions more effective and efficient. more..