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Pistol men’s prey succumbs to injuries

Feb 22 (SLA) THE TWENTY-ONE YEAR OLD YOUNG MAN who was shot by two suspected LTTE pistol men on Monday (20) at VANDARAMOOLAI, BATTICALOA has succumbed to injuries whilst being transferred to COLOMBO National Hospital. The remains of the victim, KAILASAPILLAI RAVEENDRAN (21) were handed over to the DAMBULLA hospital mortuary more..

Sri Lankan Officials in mess over Lasantha’s incident at Airport

Feb 22 (ISL) Sri Lankan immigration and emigration officers are in a confusing situation over the illegal detainment of Lasantha Wicramatunga, the Editor of The Sunday Leader and Sirasa TV News-First correspondent for Geneva ceasefire talks. more..

Judges' resignations demand a response from the president says Rights Group

Feb 22 (ISL) The resignation of two judges from the three-member Judicial Service Commission (JSC) continues to be a matter of topmost public interest. Comments made by numerous persons reflecting different points of view with regard to the resignations are reflected in both the print and electronic media said the Asian Human Rights Commission in a statement. more..

JVP writes to President on using state property for LG polls

Feb 22 (LT) The JVP General Secretary Mr Tilvin Silva in a letter to President Mahinda Rajapakse has pointed out several malpractices of Local Government institutions in the island. He has pointed out that most Local Government authorities with their power in the preceding period continue to use it for the election campaign in various ways. more..

Separated rebels attack Tamil Tigers – one killed

Feb 22 (LT) In an incident occurred at Pulipaynthakal in Kiran of the the Eastern a Tamil tiger member was killed. Army spokesman said it is believed that a faction of Tamil insurgents has attacked the Tamil tigers. It is noted that this killing has marked the beginning of the Geneva talks. more..

JVP intervenes in appeals for rejected nominations

Feb 22 (LT) JVP in a news release says it has focused its attention on the appeal petitions forwarded to the Courts with regard to the rejected nominations at the Local Government polls. Certain political parties including the UNP are making an attempt to void the decision of the Returning Officers. more..

Govt. to press for fresh clauses

Feb 22 (PIS) The Sri Lankan government will inform the LTTE of the need for fresh clauses and safeguards but will not insist on replacing the pact when they meet today for the first time in nearly three years to prevent the country from slipping back to war, officials said. more..

Govt's agenda is for peace

Feb 22 (PIS) Official spokesman for the Government delegation in Switzerland, Minister Rohitha Bogollagama says the Government's agenda during the Ceasefire talks in Switzerland would be peace. "We are looking for a formula for peace. This conflict has affected all our people. We need to restore democratic values to our people," Minister Bogollagama said. more..

1,000 graduates for Inland Revenue

Feb 22 (SAMN) The Inland Revenue Department plans to recruit over 1,000 graduates to increase their cadre in June. This is the first time after year 2000 that new recruits are being taken to the Department. In addition, over 90 per cent of the present cadre too would be promoted, addressing the grievances of some long-serving employees. more..

Kumaratunga moving to Indep. Avenue

Feb 22 (SAMN) As the battle between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and ex-President Chandrika Kumaratunga over party leadership is hotting up, ahead of local polls, Ms. Kumaratunga is expected to move in to her Independence Avenue residence in Colombo next week. more..

Korean assistance for agriculture

Feb 22 (SAMN) Korean Technical co-operation will be incorporated into agricultural development in the future. There will be various improvements in the sector, said Vice Chancellor of Peradeniya University Prof. Kapila Gunasekera. He was speaking at the inauguration of an agricultural exhibition and workshop for farmers at the Gannoruwa Plants Genetic Resources Centre. more..

56 Revolution must continue: President

Feb 22 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday that the 1956 revolution led by late S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike should be renewed and continued for the benefit of the people. Addressing the golden jubilee celebration of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna at Nawa Rangahala yesterday the President said that the great 1956 revolution united all leftists and nationalists forces. more..

CEB unions split over today`s work stoppage

Feb 22 (LNP) Trade unions in the Ceylon Electricity Board appeared to be split yesterday on a proposed work stoppage today in support of demands for salary increases. The JVP-backed Lanka Viduli Sevaka Sangamaya leader, Ranjan Jayalal, claimed they had the support of several unions and some 14,500 employees for the work stoppage and demonstration today. more..

Clash of Chinthanayas in Geneva

Feb 22 (LNP) The Norwegian peace facilitators were holding separate meetings with the government and LTTE delegations yesterday in Geneva as the two parties go into direct talks today on a hopeful note. Norway`s International Development Minister and chief facilitator Erik Solheim arrived in Geneva last afternoon more..

Bangladesh defeats Sri Lanka in historic win

Feb 22 (CI) Bangladesh batted with controlled aggression for their first-ever victory against Sri Lanka at the Bogra District Stadium. Javed Omar got the run-chase off the ground, Mohammad Ashraful provided the ballast, and Aftab Ahmed finished it off in style after a fine allround bowling performance - Syed Rasel, Mohammad Rafique and Alok Kapali grabbed two wickets apiece more..

Renegades say kill Sri Lanka rebel before talks

Feb 22 (Reuters) Renegade Sri Lankan rebels said on Wednesday they shot and killed a Tamil Tiger rebel just hours before talks in Switzerland seen vital to avert a return to civil war, dismissing Tiger claims the army was involved. An aide to breakaway rebel leader Col. Karuna said they had fired in self-defence. more..

Sri Lanka keeps eye on birds and humans as bird flu ravages Asia

Feb 22 (AP) Sri Lanka is keeping a close eye on poultry farms and bird sanctuaries after an outbreak of bird flu in neighboring India resulted in the slaughter of half a million chickens, a health official said Wednesday. Health Ministry epidemiologist Pabha Palihawadana said wild bird sanctuaries across the country are being monitored, more..

SL's main aim at Geneva will be to keep talks going

Feb 22 (HT) "Caution" will be the watch word for the Sri Lankan negotiating team at the talks with the LTTE on the implementation of the controversial Ceasefire Agreement (CFA), which are to begin in Geneva on Wednesday. Indications are that the government's negotiating team will try not to alienate the LTTE, even though efforts will be made to change the CFA to rid it of some glaring distortions. more..

Sri Lankan government, rebels mark end to deadlock, but expectations low

Feb 22 (AFP) Sri Lanka's warring parties marked the formal end to a three-year deadlock in efforts to halt a conflict which has claimed 60,000 lives, kicking off talks at a peaceful Swiss chateau with a frosty handshake. Sri Lanka's government and Tamil Tiger rebels sat down to talk about saving their fragile truce that marks its fourth anniversary Thursday amid fresh violence back home. more..

Government's opening statement at Geneva

Feb 22 (TN) "Ceasefire Agreement entered into between the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mr. V. Prabhakaran, the leader of the LTTE on the 22nd February 2002 is contrary to our Constitution and law," declared Nimal Sripala De Silva, Head of the Sri Lankan delegation at the opening session of the talks more..

Yahoo Photos

Feb 22 (AFP) LTTE negotiator Anton Balasingham (2ndL) shake hands with his Sri Lankan counterpart Nimal Siripala de Silva, at the Bossey's Castle, near Geneva. more..

Sri Lankan military accuses Tamil Tiger rebels diversionary tactic as peace talks start

Feb 22 (AP) The Sri Lankan army on Wednesday denied involvement in the alleged killing of a Tamil Tiger rebel and accused the separatists of linking the military to the death as a diversionary tactic. Daya Master, a spokesman for the rebels, said one member of the rebels' auxiliary force was killed Wednesday by militants from a group that split off from the Tamil Tigers in early 2004. more..

Violence and Threats against Sri Lankan Christians increases

Feb 23 (CT) Sri Lanka has recently witnessed an increase in attacks and threats against the Christian community there. The increase has led to fears that a new wave of anti-Christian violence is about to begin, reports Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). more..

NZ backs Lanka's moves on peace talks

Feb 23 (AP) New Zealand supports efforts to bring peace to Sri Lanka, Foreign Minister Winston Peters told visiting lawmakers from the South Asian state today. "New Zealand will continue to support efforts aimed at resolving the outstanding challenges facing Sri Lanka," He said in a statement more..

Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Christian scholars pray for peace

Feb 23 (AP) Hundreds of delegates from Sri Lanka's four main religious groups prayed for the success of peace talks between the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels and the government opening in Geneva later Wednesday. Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian leaders and teachers gathered at an international conference center in Colombo and prayed for the talks' success. more..

Say yes to peace; the people are with you

Feb 23 (LeN) The peace talks commenced today (22) between the Mahinda rajapaksa government and the LTTE with a new approach at the historic 'Chateau De Bosche' Palace in Geneva, Switzerland have received the blessings and best wishes of the Sri Lankan community in its entirety more..

Parties stick to their guns

Feb 23 (BBC) Talks between the government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Tamil Tigers kicked off in Geneva with the GOSL stressing the need for amendments to the truce while the LTTE stressing the importance of fully implementing it. The GOSL termed the Cease Fire agreement (CFA) signed with the Tamil Tigers in February 2002 was illegal and against the country’s constitution. more..

LTTE asks Govt to disarm Karuna and other Tamil rivals

Feb 23 (HT) At the opening of the Geneva conference on the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) on Wednesday, the LTTE asked the Sri Lankan Government to disarm its Tamil paramilitaries, chiefly the Karuna group. From the statement of the LTTE's chief negotiator, Anton Balasingham, it is clear that this is the main issue for the organisation. more..

Over 1000 will participate in a campaign to end violence against women

feb 23 (AT) Campaign to end violence against women will kick start in Colombo at the Viharamahadevi Park on the 7th until the 9th of March, where more one thousand people including representatives from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan are also expected to participate. more..

First day’s morning session ends with heated arguments

feb 23 (LT) The first session of the first day of the talks between GoSL and the LTTE being held in Geneva has concluded say our reporter, Hemanthe Jayatilleke, in Geneva. The talks held today (22nd) was closed for lunch at 4.40 p.m. Sri Lanka time. The next session of talks will begin at 1.00 p.m. Swiss time (6.00 p.m. Sri Lanka time). more..

No-war-no-peace situation in Sri Lanka -Urs Ziswiler

feb 23 (LT) The crucial goal of this effort should be to jointly ensure the human security of ordinary Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim people in Sri Lanka and their prospects to live "free from fear" in freedom, peace and with the chance to determine and develop their lives according to their wishes within a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious Sri Lanka, more..

JVP wants Norway out of peace facilitator role

feb 23 (TN) "Norway is an accomplice to the Liberation Tigers in the LTTE's Nationalist struggle and fight for secession. We demand the Sri Lanka Government to relieve Norway from facilitator role," said Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) the Sinhala nationalist ally of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) more..

Not due to Atha's sons - General Manager

feb 23 (LeN) In an explanation sent to 'Lanka e News' on our article titled 'Korea sector sealed due to Atha's sons', Foreign Employment Bureau Chairman, H. Batagoda has said that the Korea division of the Bureau was closed due to fraudulent acts of some officials of the Bureau and added the Minister or any of his relatives had nothing to do with it. more..

Sripathi in 'embassy custody'

feb 23 (LeN) It is reported that instructions have been issued from Colombo not to involve Minister Sripathi Suriyarachchi, who went to Geneva as a resource person and consultant, in any of the talks. According to well informed sources, these instructions have been given as an unofficial request had been made by the LTTE not to involve Suriyaarachchi in talks as he was alleged to have links with the Karuna faction. more..

India, Lanka to ink MoU for E&P activities in hydrocarbon sector

feb 23 (FE) A bilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and Sri Lanka to jointly collaborate in the exploration and production activities in the hydrocarbon sector of Sri Lanka is on the anvil. A senior government official told FE that Sri Lanka has conveyed to the Indian authorities that the proposal be concretised through an MoU between the two governments. more..

Colombo, LTTE take opposing positions

feb 23 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE commenced in Geneva on Wednesday their two-day direct talks on implementation issues of the four-year old ceasefire agreement (CFA). The two delegations took distinct and sharply opposed positions in their opening speeches. Colombo's chief negotiator, Nimal Siripala de Silva, proposed to "rectify certain grave anomalies" in the CFA. more..

Sri Lankan peace talks struggle to create trust

Feb 23 (Reuters) Sri Lankan officials and Tamil Tiger rebels struggled on Thursday to restore some trust as talks to prevent a return to open war went into a final day. A first round of discussions on Wednesday saw the two sides, having their first contact since 2003, restate well-known positions with little sign of compromise, diplomats said. more..

Where do they go from Geneva?

Feb 23 (ISL) Great expectations from the Geneva Talks will be a foolhardy anticipation when one analyzes the attitudes, ideas and plans with which both contending parties have entered into this Swiss Meet. The LTTE have a continuous history of scuttling agreements reached after such conferences held since the Thimpu Talks of 1985 more..

Lanka tense as truce talks open

Feb 23 (Gulf) Military convoys pass through the busy streets of Jaffna in broad daylight with their flashing head lamps and all civilian traffic remains at a standstill until the convoy has moved out. The action by the military is a precaution to avoid claymore mine ambushes they experienced in the past two months. more..

A Secretary-General for an Effective UN

Feb 23 (AT) There is much speculation going around about who is going to be the next Secretary General of the United Nations, and some Sri Lankans even seems to think that it is Sri Lanka’s turn and not merely Asia’s turn. First it was Tyronne Fernando, then Jayantha Dhanapala, of course for valid reasons, and now some even speculate it could be Sri Lankan born Niranjan Deva-Aditya. more..

US expresses concern at a controversial decision to tax imported television programs

Feb 23 (LBO) The United States has expressed concern at the growing trade protectionism of the Sri Lankan government, in the wake of a controversial decision to tax programs imported for the entertainment of minority language users of the country. more..

Sri Lanka Peace: Efforts, Failures and Lessons

Feb 23 (TN) Volume two of "Negotiating Peace in Sri Lanka: Efforts, Failures and Lessons," edited by Dr Kumar Rupesinghe, chairman, Foundation for Co-Existence, was launched in Colombo Wednesday. Volume 2 deals with United National Front (UNF)– LTTE negotiations of 2002-2003, including a detailed chapter on the background to the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) and its security, more..

CEB unions stop work, without blackouts

Feb 23 (LBO) Some workers at Sri Lanka's state owned power utility struck work on Wednesday in protest over unpaid wages, without disrupting power supplies. The politically affiliated Viduli Sevaka Sangamaya (VSS) said they would be on a 'sick-note' campaign, not reporting to work until 4.00 pm on Wednesday evening. more..

Sri Lanka sets a record for January tea exports

Feb 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka shipped 24.8 million kilos of tea in January, the highest ever in a single month, a commodity brokering house said Thursday. The previous highest record was 24.6 million kilos of tea sold in January 2004, Asia Siyaka Commodity Brokers said. more..

Geneva: LTTE is devious, deceitful and dishonest

Feb 23 (ISL) A Sri Lankan-born British terrorist takes his stand as the leader of an outfit proscribed as a terrorist organization in many countries, and accuses the Government of Sri Lanka as party to abductions, killings and extortions and other crimes while contending over an illegal agreement that was signed four years ago. more..

Religious leaders pray ‘no more war’

Feb 23 (LM) Religious leaders of various faiths yesterday welcomed the resumption of direct talks between the government and the LTTE in Geneva and urged the stakeholders to ensure there was no return to war. more..

Govt. allegations exaggerated: LTTE

Feb 23 (LM) The LTTE's chief negotiator Anton Balasingham yesterday rejected government allegations of 5464 ceasefire violations by the LTTE and said it was an "exaggerated figure". Government Chief Negotiator Nimal Siripala De Silva highlighted a string of truce violations by the LTTE, including more..

LTTE is trying to credit all their sins into Karuna’s account- IGP

Feb 23 (LT) In yesterday’s sessions in Geneva talks, LTTE negotiator Anton Balasingham said that Karuna Faction perpetrated atrocities on the civilians in the North East of Sri Lanka. His contention was that disarming the Karuna Faction would pave the way for peace after two decade long war. more..

US and UK too recruit children over 16 years at war –Balasingham at Geneva talks

Feb 23 (LT) The talks between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE Organization which started at 8.00 a.m. at Swiss time ended yesterday (22) after 5.00 p.m. Although the talks after lunch were scheduled to start at 1.00 p.m. for some reason the talks resumed after nearly 2 hours. more..

Crisis within the LTTE over Minister De Silva’s speech

Feb 23 (LT) Political analysts have raised concern over how the opening speech of the leader of the government negotiating team, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva, was mostly in reply to the issues raised in the speech of the LTTE chief negotiator Anton Balasingham. more..