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Sri Lanka Telecom 2005 net rises 139 pct due to levy

Feb 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka Telecom said on Friday group net profit more than doubled in 2005 from a year earlier, citing growth in revenue, debt collection and the fact that 2004 results had included a levy payment from the previous year. Group net profit totalled 3.09 billion rupees ($30.3 million) compared with 1.29 billion rupees in 2004. more..

Tamil Tigers to leave for Geneva for Sri Lanka truce talks

Feb 17 (ANN) Tamil Tiger rebels are to leave for Geneva to attend crucial peace talks with the Colombo government, officials said. S. P. Thamilselvan, head of the political wing of the LTTE, will lead the rebel delegation heading to Switzerland, officials close to the peace process said. more..

Nordic mission rejects Sea Tigers’ unilateral right

Feb 17 (PIS) The Norwegian led truce monitoring mission has strongly disputed the LTTE’s right to conduct sea movements without government approval. Head of mission Hagrup Haukland advised the LTTE against sea movements as it would jeopardise the Cease-Fire Agreement (CFA), an authoritative official said. more..

Yahoo Photos

Feb 17 (Reuters) A Tamil woman cycles past soldiers as soldiers secure a street in Jaffna, February 17. Talks between Sri Lanka and Tamil Tigers in Switzerland next week will determine if there is peace or war, the rebels said, more..

Nihal Jayamanna Becomes Bar Association President

Feb 17 (ISL) President’s counsel Nihal Jayamanna who obtained majority votes from Bar Association election yesterday became the new President for the Bar Association for 2006- 2007. A significant low participation was seen at the election held in Colombo yesterday as only 1486 voters out of 4558 out of registered eligible voters exercised their franchise. more..

Final session of talks on talks today

Feb 17 (PIS) The second session of the All Party Conference to discuss the upcoming peace talks in Geneva will be held this evening at the Presidential Secretariat under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President’s Office announced yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka's U-19 batsmen click into shape

Feb 17 (CI) Sri Lanka put a troubled couple of days behind them as their top order finally clicked into gear at the SSC to take them to the Super League play-off final in the Under-19 World Cup. With Angelo Mathews, their captain, unavailable through injury for the rest of the tournament and Sachithra Serasinghe sacked from the side for misconduct, this was a fine example of triumph over adversity. more..

Buddha Bar draws wrath of Buddhists

Feb 17 (GT) A BAR that owes its popularity to lounge music and Lord Buddha, deity for well over a billion people around the world, seems to be slipping into the eye of a fast-building storm with Buddhists peeved at the "gross misuse" of their lord, his name and teachings. more..

Fingerprint attendance causes varsity rumpus

Feb 17 (LNP) In a scathing attack on the striking university non-academics, Colombo University Vice Chancellor Prof. Tilak Hettiarachchi yesterday charged that they were urging for the removal of the recently installed state-of-the-art fingerprint attendance machines be removed because the new system deprived them of cheating in their attendance. more..

U`grads allowed bail in sexual abuse case

Feb 17 (LNP) Seven 2nd year undergraduates of the Horana Sri Palee Campus, of the Colombo University, who were arrested by Horana Police for allegedly sexually abusing nine freshers in a chumery on Valentine`s Day, were on Wednesday allowed bail by the Horana Magistrate and ordered to be produced in Court on 1 March. more..

180 governments for gender equality

Feb 17 (LNP) With the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and the commitment to the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) at the Fourth UN World Conference on Women, 180 governments committed themselves to gender equality. more..

SB getting back to politics from today

Feb 17 (SAMN) Released UNP strongman and former Minister S.B. Dissanayake Thursday said he was counting on the judgment of the UN Human Rights Commission on what he called the injustice caused to him, and vowed to start his political campaign from today. He said he would address a mass gathering and fully back his party’s reorganising moves. more..

School head arrested on bribery charge

Feb 17 (SAMN) The Principal of Sri Jayawardhanapura Balika Vidyalaya, Kotte was arrested by Bribery Commission officials Thursday for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs. 20,000 to admit a Year Five scholarship student to the school. The principal was arrested on a complaint made by the parents more..

Registration of jumbo tusks a must

Feb 17 (SAMN) The Department of Wildlife Conservation will again register persons who possess family inherited elephant tusks. Under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance, keeping elephants tusks is an offence. However, there are several people who have tusks which their families had inherited. more..

Leaders, politicians must be exemplary

Feb 17 (DN) Our elders, leaders and politician must be exemplary to our younger generation in order to build an independent and new Sri Lanka, as the future of the country depend on the activities of the leaders to come, said President Mahinda Rajapakse in Kuruwita. more..

Tension falls in Sri Lanka north, key talks watched

Feb 17 (Reuters) Normality is returning to northern Sri Lanka after the region went to the brink of war in January, residents say, but coming talks between government and Tamil Tiger rebels in Geneva will decide if the peace will last. Troops keep up a high presence on the streets of the Jaffna peninsula, dominated by the island's Tamil minority, more..

Sri Lanka plans rated bond to restructure debt

Feb 17 (DJ) Sri Lanka wants to float an international bond this year to gauge market response as well as see if it can raise debt at a reasonably low interest rates, the treasury secretary said Thursday. The treasury is awaiting a response from Citibank advising on the size of the issue, more..

Tamil Tiger Team to Meet With Government

Feb 17 (AP) A team of top Tamil rebels headed to Geneva Friday for their first direct talks with the Sri Lankan government in nearly three years. The Geneva talks, scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, come amid escalating violence that has strained a Norwegian-brokered cease-fire. more..

Sri Lanka frees Tamil Tiger suspects ahead of talks

Feb 17 (AFP) Sri Lankan authorities freed four suspected Tamil Tiger rebels from custody as part of a goodwill gesture ahead of crucial ceasefire talks next week, official sources said. The four men from the LTTE were released on bail in the north-eastern port district of Trincomalee as part of a behind-the-scenes deal, more..

Sri Lanka monk says no peace until top rebel dead

Feb 17 (Reuters) A Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka, who heads a religious party opposed to a Tamil homeland in the north and east, says the country would be better off if the reclusive rebel leader of the Tamil Tigers were dead. Venerable Ellawala Medhananda, head of the National Heritage Party, or Jathika Hela Urumaya, said more..

Getty Images

Feb 17 (GI) Sri Lanka's best known convict, S. B. Dissanayake (C) waves at supporters after leaving a prison in Colombo 17 February 2006 after receiving a presidential remission of his two-year sentence on a charge of contempt of the Supreme Court. more..

Sri Lanka rebels say will release prisoners in swap

Feb 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers agreed to a prisoner swap on Friday, as a rebel delegation left for next week's crunch talks in Switzerland which are seen as a last chance to avert a return to civil war. The LLTTE said they would release a policemen they detained in September after the government released four rebels on bail more..

Tamil rebel team leaves for Geneva talks, Sri Lanka releases four rebels

Feb 17 (AP) A delegation of top Tamil rebels left Colombo for Geneva Friday, where they will hold their first direct talks in nearly three years with the Sri Lankan government amid increasing violence between the two sides. The government, meanwhile, released from prison four members of the Sea Tigers, more..

Sri Lanka take all India sevens

Feb 18 (RR) Some of those 20 had to spend the day before the tournament qualifying, as the tournament was over-subscribed with over 30 team applications. Five groups of four teams were drawn early on Friday morning, with the four seeds - holders Chennai Cheetahs, Mercaltile club of Sri Lanka, Bangalore Refugees and Bombay Gymkhana. more..

Sri Lanka Police 'violated FR'

Feb 18 (BBC) The Supreme Court in Sri Lanka has ruled that officers in Welipenna police have violated fundamental rights of a detainee. Three-member bench chaired by Dr. Shirani Bandaranaike ruled that the Sub-Inspector (SI) Silva of Welipenna police was guilty of torturing detainee Palitha Tissa Kumara. more..

Telecom watchdog gives 15 day ultimatum to seven telco firms

Feb 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s telecom watchdog on Friday gave a 15 day ultimatum to seven telco firms for delays in presenting their financial statements. Firms failing to comply with the order by the deadline begining February 17, will be slapped with fines or an embargo on regulatory approval for tariff, equipment imports and frequency allocation. more..

Geneva talks will be conducted with a new approach - President

Feb 18 (LT) Government team to forthcoming talks in Geneva would be instructed to conduct the discussions with a new approach said President Mahinda Rajapakse. He said this addressing the representatives of political parties attending All Party Conference held in Presidential Secretariat yesterday (17th). more..

Geneva talks should ensure there are no second class citizens in this country! - JVP

Feb 18 (LT) A statement issued by the Political Bureau of the JVP for the all Party Conference held today reiterates its stand for a multicultural, multi ethnic and multi religious society in Sri Lanka without any ethnic or religious borders. more..

SB: No solution under unitary Lanka

Feb 18 (BBC) Sri Lanka would not be able to find a solution to the national question if the authorities insist on a unitary Sri Lanka, former minister SB Dissanayake said. Addressing a rally in Vihara Maha Devi Park in Colombo, the senior leader of the UNP insisted that the president change his approach in finding a solution to the grievances of minority Tamils. more..

UPFA to contest three Jaffna local councils

Feb 18 (TN) Ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) is contesting three local councils in Jaffna district, Chavakachcheri, Point Pedro and Valvettithurai urban councils, and has submitted nomination papers for these councils, election officials in Jaffna said. more..

Shadow hangs over Sri Lanka tourism

Feb 18 (BBC) Sri Lanka's government is due to hold talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels in Geneva next week. The aim is to revive the island's peace process, which was all but destroyed by a series of killings in recent months. The threat of a return to war has led to uncertainty in Sri Lanka's tourism industry. more..

Tamilselvan wants Karuna handed over to them

Feb 18 (AT) Tamilselvan wants Sri Lanka Government to hand over Colonel Karuna to them to take disciplinary action against him. “Turning Karuna to the LTTE is the proper thing to do," emphasized Tamilselvan, before his departure on Friday morning from Kilinochchi to Colombo to leave for Geneva. more..

UNP's nomination list blunder was an act of sabotage by a party's MP

Feb 18 (AT) Angry UNP supporters have called for the expulsion of senior UNP member Mohammed Mahroof –the alleged culprit behind the party's nomination list blunder which led to the Election's Secretariat rejecting their list for the Colombo Municipal Council on Thursaday. more..

Freed S.B. Dissanayake speaks of supporting Mahinda Rajapakse

Feb 18 (AT) S.B. Dissanayake who was released yesterday from the Welikada prison under a special pardon from President Mahinda Rajapakse promised to extend his party's conditional support to the President in his peace bid. S.B. Dissanayake made his first public appearance on Friday at Viharamahadevi Park Colombo, more..

The Ceasefire Agreement - A stalled prelude

Feb 18 (TW) The ceasefire agreement (CFA) signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE in February’2002 will be the subject of discussions in Geneva in the third week of February. The LTTE has re-iterated that it will not brook any discussions on changes to the CFA and on subjects beyond it. more..

Tigers demands for more prisoners release to set free both the Sri Lanka policemen

Feb 18 (AT) Tamil Tigers yesterday demanded the release of four more LTTE cadres, for them to release both Policemen who were taken under their custody in September last year when they strayed into the Tiger controlled area in Mannar in their bid to arrest a foreign pedophile. more..

Ceasefire Agreement helped Tigers to consolidate their positions and not the Tamils - V.Anandasangaree

Feb 18 (AT) The Ceasefire Agreement has put the LTTE in an advantageous position and it had helped the Tamil rebel outfit to stabilize themselves more in areas under their control and to gradually take control of the areas under the control of the Government as well, pointed out V.Anandasangaree. more..

LTTE is one stake holder, but there should be room for other parties also in the peace process –President

Feb 18 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse on Friday said he hoped to take forward the peace process based on the start at the ceasefire talks in Geneva in a transparent and healthy manner sticking to stipulated time frames. more..

Anti-LTTE groups demonstrate for peace in Sri Lanka

Feb 18 (AT) Three days before the talks between the Sri Lanka Government and the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) open in Geneva, seven London-based groups are calling for an end to war and for democracy and justice to prevail in the island republic. more..

Tamil parties demand democratic freedom for poll campaign

Feb 18 (AT) The Peoples Democratic Liberation Front (PDLF), which has filed nomination papers yesterday for 44 local government bodies in the north and east urged the government to ensure democratic rights for election campaigning in the rebel held areas. more..

D.M's thugs assault journalist and snatch his camera

Feb 18 (LeN) 'Sirasa' and Lake House journalist Prasad Purnamal who was returning from the Puttalam Kachcheri after covering the handing in of nominations had been assaulted by supporters of deputy Minister D.M.Dassanayake. The assailants had also damaged his video camera and snatched another camera. more..

LTTE backs TNA at mini poll

Feb 18 (LeN) The LTTE which prevented voters in areas under their control from voting at the presidential election, has decided to extend fullest support to Tamil National Alliance candidates who have entered the fray under the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi banner. more..

Chandrika takes over election battle

Feb 18 (LeN) A series of seminars are being organized in support of the UPFA candidates contesting the local government election under the patronage of SLFP leader Chandrika Kumaratunga. Amidst calls from certain Ministers and organizers that Kumartunga who retired from the Presidency should resign from the SLFP leadership, more..

Released SB says even though deprived of civic rights he can make the people win

Feb 18 (LeN) Addressing a large public meeting at the Vihara Maga Devi Park this evening (17) former Minister S.B.Dissanayake who was released from the Welikada prison today(17) said even though he has no rights contest or cast his vote at an election, he has the power to make the people win at elections. more..

JVP Delighted On UNP Nominations Rejection

Feb 18 (ISL) The top officials of JVP are delighted over the recent rejection of UNP nomination list in Colombo, according to inside JVP sources. Sources added that the rejection of UNP nomination had boosted JVP confidence in Colombo as the Marxist face no threat whatsoever in causing a huge impact to the results in Colombo Municipal Council. more..

PAFFREL To Monitor LG Polls

Feb 18 (ISL) People’s Action For Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL) had expressed its willingness to monitor the upcoming local government polls with a view to ensure that the elections had been conducted in an impartial, free and fair manner. more..

Grenade attack on Batticaloa TELO office

Feb 18 (TN) Unidentified attackers hurled grenades at the the Batticaloa Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) offices located at the Sri Sabaratnam Road in Batticaloa town Friday night 9.30 p.m., sources said. Explosions destroyed a motorbike parked in front of the building and damaged the front entrance of the building. more..

LTTE releases second Sri Lanka policeman

Feb 18 (TN) Following the Sri Lanka Government facilitated release of four LTTE sea tiger cadres in Trincomalee, Liberation Tigers released a policeman held in custody for more than five months as a goodwill gesture ahead of Geneva Talks, Daya Master from the media section of the LTTE said from Kilinochchi Saturday. more..

New laws will be introduced to develop the fisheries sector

Feb 18 (SLBC) The government will introduce new laws to develop the fisheries sector of the country. A Bill to this effect has already been drafted by the Department of Legal Draftsmen. Secretary to the Ministry of Fisheries E. Piyasena says the new laws will enable the expansion of the sea area belonging to Sri Lanka and to protect seabed resources. more..

Has Veluppillai Prabhakaran been effectively sidelined?

Feb 18 (ISL) The 2002 Ceasefire Agreement went through a relative lull with hardly any major eruption until the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004. Even the Karuna Rebellion was treated like a domestic problem of Wanni despite it being a major schism from which the LTTE will never recover. more..