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Swift probe ordered on TRO abductions

Feb 6 (BBC) The President has ordered the security forces to speed up the investigations regarding the alleged abduction of a group of Tamil charity workers. Security forces were ordered to investigate Welikanda area and find the missing workers of Tamil Rahabilitation Organisation (TRO), if those involved in the abduction are camping in Welikanda, Polonnaruwa. more..

U-19 Cricket: Sri Lanka survive Scottish scare

Feb 6 (CI) Hosts Sri Lanka were given a scare by Scotland but were the eventual winners of their opening match in the Under-19 World Cup at the R. Premadasa Stadium. After being put into bat, Scotland gave a good account of themselves after recovering from a hopeless position of 30 for 5 to make a respectable 186. more..

Demand for rights on agenda of Sri Lanka talks

Feb 6 (AFP) Amnesty International Sunday asked Sri Lanka's warring parties to thrash out human rights issues during crucial talks this month to stem a wave of killings, abductions, and child recruitment. The London-based watchdog in a statement sent here said it welcomed peace broker Norway's efforts to arrange talks between Sri Lanka and Tamil Tiger rebels after a three-year deadlock, but wanted rights on the agenda. more..

Wimal Weerawansa targets media as a diversionary ploy

Feb 6 (ISL) Political commentators claim that recent attacks against the media by JVP Propaganda Secretary, Wimal Weerawansa is a diversionary ploy to cover up JVP’s volte face on the CFA and talks with the LTTE in Europe. more..

Signs of peace in twilight says Vavuniya GA

Feb 6 (ISL) Government Agent of Vavuniya, C. Shanmugam, after hoisting the National Flag at the Independence Day celebration held at the district secretariat yesterday said that signs of peace are emerging in the country. “May permanent peace dawn for all to live in harmony in Sri Lanka. There are signs of peace in twilight. more..

LTTE snatch trawlers in Gurunagar

Feb 6 (ISL) LTTE cadres had forcibly snatched the trawlers from the fishermen of Gurunagar, Jaffna while they were engaged in fishing on 29.01.2006. The cadres had taken 6 trawlers with the fishing gear and 26 fishermen at gun point. They had confiscated the trawlers and fishing gear and released the fishermen later, more..

Another EPDP member beaten to death by LTTE

Feb 6 (ISL) An EPDP member Marimuthu Mahendram (48) alias Chandrabala of Thavkalai Mallikai Estate was beaten to death by the LTTE Friday (03-01-06) afternoon, according to sources. Sources added that he was kidnapped and taken away by the LTTE while he was returning from a saloon at the Kurumankadu Junction. more..

Abducted principal released

Feb 6 (LT) Mr. Murugesu Nadarsa, the principal of Hindu College, Valachchena in Batticaloa who was said to have been abducted by wanni tiger organization returned home yesterday (4th). Batticaloa police has questioned him and has taken a statement from him. Further investigations have begun on the statement given by Mr. Nadarasa say the police. more..

Southern Journalists meet counterparts, NGOs in Jaffna

Feb 6 (TN) Nearly 30 journalists representing different media organizations in the South, met with Journalists from Jaffna district at the University of Jaffna Campus in Thinnaively at 3.30 p.m. Sunday, sources said. Head of Jaffna Journalists Union, K Kathirgamathamby, presided over the meeting. more..

UNP Parliamentarians unhappy over Ranil’s absence at Independence ceremony

Feb 6 (LT) Several Parliamentarians of the UNP have apologised to the President for the absence of leader of the UNP, Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe at the Independence celebrations held at Gall Face under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Batticaloa Ramakrishna Mission head passes away

Feb 6 (TN) Srimath Swami Geenavanandaji, Head of the Batticaloa Ramakrishna Mission passed away at the age of 82 on Saturday night in a private hospital in Batticaloa. His funeral is to be held Tuesday evening in the premises of Saratha Girls Home in Batticaloa. more..

Protest against kidnappings shuts down Batticaloa

Feb 6 (TN) Entire Batticaloa district, on Monday, observed a shut down protest against the abductions of the seven humanitarian staffers of the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO). The protest, called by the employees of local and foreign NGOs, who abstained from work, also drew support from private businesses and public services. more..

Political parties finalize nomination lists for local polls

Feb 6 (TN) The Writ Application filed by the Peoples Action for the Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL), a poll monitoring body in Sri Lanka, seeking the Court of Appeal to postpone the scheduled local government election for a period of six months is to be taken up for inquiry Monday (February 6) while more..

USAID, CPA hold symposium on federalism

Feb 6 (TN) The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA), Monday held a symposium titled "The future of Sri Lanka and the federal idea," at BMICH, Colombo, engaging more than 500 participants in a discussion on the history of the Sri Lanka's conflict, more..

LTTE Abducted Principal Returns After Detention

Feb 6 (SLA) LTTE ABDUCTED SCHOOL PRINCIPAL, attached to VALACHCHENAI Hindu College, Mr. MURUGARASU THAVARASA (56) on 04th February 2006 around 2.10 p.m. returned home after he was detained at KARADIYANARU LTTE camp for questioning after he was taken away by an LTTE cadre identified as ANBU. more..

Son abducted by LTTE, complains father

Feb 6 (SLA) THE FATHER OF A TWENTY-TWO YEAR OLD YOUNGSTER reported to the MAVADIVEMBU Army camp in BATTICALOA that his son, KUMARA MOHAN RAJ (22) was abducted by two armed LTTE cadres while he was at home at about 9.15 p.m. on Sunday (5th). The victim, according to the Police was at home on SEVADI ROAD, MAVADIVEMBU when those two-armed LTTE men stormed their house and took their son away by force. more..

UK sponsored study course on defence inaugurated

Feb 6 (SLA) A UK DEFENCE MINISTRY SPONSORED international short study course on “The Governance & Management of Defence” under its Defence Diplomacy Scholarship Scheme, was declared open by Sri Lanka-based British High Commissioner His Excellency Steevan Evans this morning (6th February 2006) at a leading Colombo Hotel. more..

LTTE meets Muslims in Ampara to restore relationships

Feb 6 (LM) A three-month deadlock in meetings between the LTTE and Muslim representatives in Ampara was broken yesterday when both parties finally met in an effort to strengthen the recently strained relationship between Tamil and Muslim communities in the east. more..

Resignations won't affect work of JSC - CJ's Secretary

Feb 6 (LeN) The Judicial Service Commission Secretary yesterday said the process of administration of justice would not be impaired by the resignation of any member of the commission. Issuing a statement its Secretary C.Jayathilake said that Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva who is the chairman of the JSC wanted him to deny media reports that the resignation of the two members from JSC would badly affect the commission. more..

Karuna's group threaten to dislodge Prabhakaran if he cotinues to oppress Tamil people

Feb 6 (AT) In the latest press release issued by TMVP -- the LTTE wing that broke away from Prabhakaran's command -- has warned that it will be forced to withdraw from its unilateral declaration of ceasefire and confront Prabakaran if he continues with its provocative acts by targeting his people. more..

U.S. Government committed to safeguarding Sri Lanka's territorial integrity – Ambassador Goonetilleke

Feb 6 (AT) The most recent pronouncements by leading personalities of the United States administration clearly reflect the commitment of the United States to safeguard Sri Lanka’s territorial integrity and the support it gives to pursue a durable peace in Sri Lanka, more..

Unreliable Ranil facing another party crisis

Feb 6 (AT) UNP nomination board is meeting today to decide as to who will get the Mayoral seat after the next local government elections. The six candidates in the contest are Sirisena Cooray, Tilanga Sumathipala, Hemasiri Fernando, Asath Sally, Omar Kamil and Bodhi Ranasinghe, says the General Secretary of the party MP Tissa Attanayake. more..

A draught team to play chess in Geneva

Feb 6 (ANN) The much advertised truce talks in Geneva should figure high on the Sri Lankan government agenda. The state media is all out to have the people believe that in Geneva the government and the LTTE are going to negotiate peace. This is nothing but a propaganda lie aimed at gaining some political mileage. more..

A lost nation

Feb 6 (NIP) Sri Lanka evokes images of a beautiful island ravaged by never-ending war. There are more than a million forgotten faces, of people who have been killed, injured, displaced or just disappeared. Filmmaker Helen Drowasky has captured the life of Rajani Thiranagama, a renowned humanist, her love for a revolutionary, her early Tamil political idealism and finally, betrayal by her own war-loving ‘brothers’. more..

LTTE child recruitment on the rise - Amnesty

Feb 6 (PIS) The recruitment of children by the LTTE is on the increase and children are mainly recruited at temple festivals and junctions, Amnesty International (AI) said in its latest report. AI said even a large international presence following the tsunami has not significantly helped protect children from LTTE recruitment. more..

Local Govt. polls on same day

Feb 6 (SAMN) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Disanayake decided Sunday to conduct the countrywide local government polls on the same day notwithstanding the TNA request to postpone the North-East polls. The commissioner announced this decision at a meeting held to discuss the arrangements for the elections with the Assistant Elections Commissioners Sunday. more..

Plastic containers and bags to be banned

Feb 6 (SAMN) The Health Ministry plans to obtain Cabinet approval to ban the manufacture and the use of polythene and plastic containers to arrest the growing number of dengue cases in the country. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has directed Epidemiology Unit to draft the Cabinet Memorandum in this regard more..

JHU calls for free and fair local polls

Feb 6 (SAMN) Jatika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Sudnay called for the holding of local government elections in the Northeast province simultaneously with those in the other provinces and urged the government and the Elections Commissioner to ensure a free and fair election. more..

President belongs to the entire nation

Feb 6 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapakse does not belong to the PA alone but to the entire nation. The President, he said, is duty bound to serve all communities and religions without discrimination. As such it is the responsibility of the masses to help to implement the `Mahinda Chintanaya` concept to achieve peace and solidarity in the country. more..

JVP in quandary practices brinkmanship

Feb 6 (LNP) The JVP is in a quandary over the upcoming Local Government elections as it is faced with a hard choice between entering the fray separately and making the UPFA grant its unwieldy demand. According to sources, the JVP is wary of contesting the polls separately as it fears more..

Stocks down on crunch peace talks impasse

Feb 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's stock market fell slightly on Monday as traders worried that a disagreement between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels on the date for key talks might herald an unravelling of the island's peace process. The Colombo All-share closed down 0.24 percent at 2,124.36 points, more..

Sri Lanka initiative to promote skills development for Tsunami-hit women

Feb 6 (OW) UNIFEM's South Asia Regional Office, in its endeavour to promote skills development for women tsunami victims with a view to economic rehabilitation entered into partnership with the Damrivi Foundation to implement a professional Counselling Certificate Course with Buddhist Insights. more..

Sri Lanka play SA for final place

Feb 6 (BBC) Sri Lanka take on South Africa in Hobart for the right to face Australia in the one-day VB Series finals. And Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody says his side must stay switched on throughout to snatch the opportunity. Sanath Jayasuriya had set them up for a huge total against the Proteas last Tuesday, before nine wickets tumbled for 84 runs in a five-wicket defeat. more..

ITMF global conference to be held in Sri Lanka

Feb 6 (Xinhua) The International Textile Manufacturers' Federation (ITMF) will hold an annual global conference in Sri Lanka in September at the invitation of the Fabric Apparel Accessory Manufacturers' Association of Sri Lanka, Daily News reported Monday. more..

Housing scheme for tsunami victims in Payagala

Feb 6 (DN) THE Family Help Programme (FHP) has set an example on effective utilisation of donor money for tsunami reconstruction projects, said Counsellor of the Netherlands Embassy in Sri Lanka Harry Van Dijk while handing over a housing project in Payagala to tsunami victims last Tuesday. more..

Why donors failed to bring peace to Sri Lanka

Feb 6 (HT) In the past four years, the international donor community has pledged billions of dollars to Sri Lanka with the aim of promoting peace and economic reform. And a lot of it has already gone into the country's kitty. Yet, aid has not met its objectives. more..

Suspected Tamil Tigers abduct a Tamil civilian in restive eastern Sri Lanka

Feb 6 (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels abducted an ethnic minority Tamil civilian from his home in Sri Lanka's restive east, the Defense Ministry said Monday, the latest in a spate of disappearances across the country. The 20-year-old man disappeared from his home in Batticaloa late Sunday, more..

East Sri Lanka tense as Norway tries to save peace bid

Feb 6 (Reuters) Protesters burned barricades at Tamil Tiger checkpoints in east Sri Lanka on Monday and tsunami aid workers stayed inside as peace broker Norway tried again to patch up a shaky peace process and arrange crunch talks. more..

Tigers to finalise talks dates with Norway envoy

Feb 6 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels were meeting with Norway's top peace envoy to finalise dates for crucial talks with the Sri Lankan government on saving their troubled truce, a pro-rebel website said. The chief negotiator of the LTTE, Anton Balasingham, was due to meet with Solheim in London Monday more..

Donors say successful peace talks crucial for Sri Lanka's growth

Feb 6 (AP) Major international donors pledged their commitment to upcoming peace talks between Sri Lanka's government and Tamil Tiger rebels but warned that recent violence could hamper development projects. In a joint statement, the World Bank and Asian Development Bank said that a successful outcome to the talks - will be essential for Sri Lanka's growth and post-tsunami reconstruction. more..

Sri Lanka grasps for truce while peace stays out of reach

Feb 7 (IHT) The first face-to-face meeting in three years between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil rebels is being wrongly billed by the media, and hailed by the U.S. State Department, as peace talks. The discussions, which will take place this month, are better viewed as negotiations to prevent a collapse in an ungainly truce. more..

Tigers are the traitors to the Tamil cause

Feb 7 (ISL) The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have shown to the world that they are only herders and the Tamils of Sri Lanka, their source for milk and mutton. They have taken them for a ride as their champions in their struggle for liberation against Sinhala oppression. more..

President orders disciplinary inquiry against Cooray

Feb 7 (LeN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to order a disciplinary inquiry against Western Province Chief Minister Reginald Cooray. He has already given relevant instructions to SLFP General Secretary Maithreepala Sirisena. The President has disclosed this at a recent meeting held at temple Trees with the participation of 12 SLFP councilors of the Western Provincial Council and the leader of the JVP group, more..

Did Nimal let the cat out of the bag?

Feb 7 (LeN) The Head of he government peace delegation, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva says that the government has paid attention on granting wider powers to Provincial Councils in order to find a political settlement to the country's protracted ethnic problem. The chief government negotiator stated this at a foundation laying ceremony for a four storey building of the Embilitya hospital. more..

China continues to torment Sri Lankan apparel exporters

Feb 7 (LBO) Sri Lankan apparel exporters fear losses in the lucrative US market this year due to massive Chinese quotas, industry officials said. The US is Sri Lanka’s largest apparel market, with American brands buying 59 percent of the island’s total export production. more..

Colombo's bona fides on creating normalcy ahead of talks, questionable - paper

Feb 7 (TN) Uthayan, the Jaffna based daily, in its Monday editorial warned of the potentially dangerous consequences of the attitude being displayed by the Sri Lankan Government insisting on its innocense and not taking urgent action to secure the release of the seven humanitarian workers of the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) in the east. more..

Truce talks in Geneva on February 22 - Norway

Feb 7 (TN) The Norwegian Foreign Ministry on Monday informed the press that the parties to the conflict in Sri Lanka, the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, have asked Norway to facilitate talks in Geneva from 22 to 23 February. "The parties will discuss how they can improve the implementation of the ceasefire agreement that was signed on 22 February 2002," more..

Case against Weerawansa rejected

Feb 7 (BBC) The courts have rejected a petition to arrest a senior leader of the JVP, as the petitioner has decided to withdraw the case. The Appeals Court rejected the petition by Kumar Rupasinghe, a NGO activist, to arrest the parliamentary group leader of the JVP on charges of provoking masses against peace activists. more..

Probe urged on JSC resignations

Feb 7 (BBC) The Judicial Services Commission has been made dysfunctional after two senior Supreme Court judges tendered resignations, according to Sri Lanka Bar Association. JC Weliamuna, a senior member of the SLBA said Judges Shirani Bandaranaike and TB Weerasooriya have tendered resignations not due to personal reasons, more..

JSC resignations present a window of opportunity for much needed - AHRC

Feb 7 (ISL) A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission states that the recent Judicial Service Commission resignations present a window of opportunity for much needed corrective action. “A serious controversy has resulted after two senior judges resigned from their positions in the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), as they found that remaining in office would compromise their conscience. more..