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Army Escort Truck In Road Mishap Kills One Soldier

Feb 9 (SLA) AN ARMY escort (buffle) truck driving in convoy skidded off the road between 55th – 56th km post in MURUNKAN area around 12.45 p.m. this afternoon (09) and turned turtle killing one soldier and injuring seven more soldiers including an officer. more..

Wanni stripes on Jaffna’s Peoples Army?

Feb 9 (ISL) Capitalizing on the facility extended to them under the Ceasefire Agreement to do political work in Jaffna, or rather government held regions of the Northern and Eastern Provinces, the LTTE began a covert operation of cajoling, coaxing and eventually coercing the civilian people of the Jaffna peninsula to have some idea about handling land mines, more..

Final War LTTE volunteers continue to plague Canadian Tamils

Feb 9 (ISL) Canadian Tamils are threatened with dire consequences if they do not make contributions to the Final War Chest of the LTTE, and worse, if they seek the help of the RCMP, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The volunteers have been quite specific about the threats, in fact so explicit and unequivocal the victims are scared of sharing their dreadful experiences even with their friends. more..

Stocks quiet, close lower, rupee rises

Feb 9 (Reuters) Stock market closed lower on Thursday with traders unwilling to take up new positions ahead of key talks between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels, while the rupee rose as exporters sold dollars. The Colombo All-Share index closed down 0.23 percent at 2,139.34, with a low turnover of 126 million rupees. more..

Lawyers’ blunder lost opportunity to postpone elections! - Rajithe Senaratne

Feb 9 (LT) Rejection of the request by the UNP for a writ order to halt nominations for local government elections by the Appeal Court was a fault of the lawyers of the party says Dr. Rajithe Senaratne, Parliamentarian of the UNP. He made this observation participating at a media briefing held at the office of the leader of the opposition today (9th). more..

Nominations for local government elections are on!

Feb 9 (LT) Receiving of nominations for the forthcoming local government elections began today (9th). Already 16 political parties have announced that they would forward nominations for the elections and several other parties have requested for registration as political parties say sources in the Office of the Commissioner of Elections. more..

Last chance for peace, say Tigers

Feb 9 (SAMN) The LTTE has said the upcoming Geneva talks will be the last chance for peace in Sri Lanka and warned that any attempt by the Government to once again drag the process while conducting a ‘shadow war’ will prove futile. more..

Plum diplomatic postings for ex-chiefs

Feb 9 (SAMN) Former Army Chief Lt. General Shantha Kottegoda is tipped to be Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Brazil, W.J.S.Karunaratne High Commissioner to Canada and former National List MP M. M. Zuhair ambassador to Iran. The High Posts Committee of the Parliament is believed to have approved the appointments. more..

G.L, Milinda brief peace team

Feb 9 (SAMN) Former Minister Prof. G. L. Pieris Wednesday briefed a group of ministers and officials in his former capacity as head of the peace delegation during the tenure of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister. The briefing took place at the Presidential Secretariat on the second day of a two-day programme to appraise the government delegation of the peace process more..

Lawyers Front hits out at Desmond

Feb 9 (LNP) The Sri Lanka Progressive Lawyers Front yesterday condemned the statement issued by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka President Desmond Fernando on the JSC crisis as conteptuous. 'It is clear from the statement that Mr. Fernando has issued this statement without obtaining the approval of the BASL Executive Committee. more..

Cooray returns to stake claim

Feb 9 (LNP) Former UNP General Secretary B. Sirisena Cooray is returning from Australia in the backdrop of an influential group led by frontliner Milinda Moragoda calling for his immediate appointment as the party`s candidate for mayor of Colombo. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is believed to have phoned Cooray after Moragoda accompanied by M.H.Mohammed and Mohammed Maharoof urged the leader to declare Cooray`s candidature. more..

Protest over suspension of salary circular

Feb 9 (LNP) The unilateral decision to suspend the latest salary circular is not only a deviation from that very concept but also a severe blow to the policy of transparency ardently followed by this government, the Sri Lanka Administrative Service Association said yesterday. It issued the following statement: more..

Humanitarian Situation Report - Sri Lanka

Feb 9 (RW) The parties to the conflict in Sri Lanka, the Government 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..

UNP presses for agenda for talks with Tigers

Feb 9 (Xinhua) UNP has urged the government to disclose its agenda for proposed direct talks with the Tamil Tigers. Tissa Attanayake, the UNP spokesman, said Wednesday it was high time that the government revealed to the public the agenda for talks with the LTTE rebels which is scheduled to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, more..

Priority to develop rural sector - President

Feb 9 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapakse said yesterday that he will give priority to develop the rural sector, changing the present city-centred development culture through the Government's vision 'Mahinda Chinthana'. Welcoming a team of UNP Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) members from the Kandy district who joined the SLFP yesterday, more..

Norwegian and Swiss ambassadors in Sri Lanka to visit rebels

Feb 9 (DPA) The Norwegian and Swiss Ambassadors in Sri Lanka Thursday visited Tamil rebels to prepare for peace talks between the rebels and the Sri Lankan government due to be held in Geneva on February 22 and 23, Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said. more..

Tamil diaspora must stop funding LTTE

Feb 9 (MD) Many Tamils seem to support the LTTE as they tend to believe that a truly Tamil-land (Tamil-Eelam) can be established where the Tamils will have complete self- governance. Tamils around the globe are donating funds generously towards this movement so that it could have the best military equipment to challenge the Sri Lankan army. more..

Murali's action passed all the tests, but some won't accept the umpire's decision

Feb 9 (SMH) AUSTRALIANS must stop treating Muttiah Muralitharan as a pariah. A nation proud of its hospitality and supposedly committed to all that is best in sport continues to tolerate hundreds of boofheads who routinely call "no ball" whenever the good-natured Tamil takes his turn at the bowling crease. more..

Tamil businessman abducted in Colombo

Feb 9 (AP) Unidentified gunmen abducted an ethnic Tamil businessman in the Sri Lankan capital in the latest of a spate of kidnappings across the country, police said Thursday. Six men, two dressed in uniforms similar to the police, abducted Vadivel Ananthan Siva, 53, late Wednesday more..

Three elephants die in Sri Lanka after stepping on land mine

Feb 9 (AP) Three wild elephants died from their injuries after stepping on a land mine in northeastern Sri Lanka because government veterinarians refused to go to rebel-held territory without army and Red Cross escorts, officials said Thursday. more..

Sri Lanka coach keen on short attack

Feb 9 (AAP) Sri Lankan coach Tom Moody has welcomed the thought of an Australian short-pitched pace assault on Sanath Jayasuriya in Friday's first tri-series final in Adelaide. Australian skipper Ricky Ponting said he expected Jayasuriya to receive an ample helping of bumpers in an effort to intimidate the incendiary left-hander, more..

Japan donates equipment for Colombo sewer cleaning

Feb 9 (Xinhua) The Japanese government has donated 146 million rupee (1.46 million U.S. dollars) worth of equipment to the Sri Lankan capital Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) for sewer cleaning, Daily News reported Thursday. The official handing over of the equipment by Ambassador of Japan in Sri Lanka Akio Suda to more..

Lanka to talk about 'meaningful ceasefire' at Geneva

Feb 9 (HT) The government would talk about a "meaningful ceasefire" at the negotiations with the LTTE in Geneva on February 22 and 23, cabinet spokesman Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said in Colombo on Thursday. Yapa told newspersons that there was a need to talk of a meaningful ceasefire because there had been 5464 violations by the LTTE more..

Sri Lanka eyes prisoner swap with Tigers

Feb 9 (Reuters) Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers are considering a prisoner swap to pave the way for trust building at talks this month that could be the island's last chance for peace, a government negotiator said on Thursday. "The Tigers are holding two police constables we are hoping will be released before talks begin," more..

Sri Lanka names negotiators amid Norway, Swiss moves

Feb 9 (AFP) Peacebroker Norway and talks host Switzerland have stepped up diplomatic moves to arrange face-to-face talks between Sri Lanka's warring parties as Colombo named more peace negotiators. Norway's top envoy here, Hans Brattskar, and Swiss ambassador Bernadino Regazzoni flew to the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi more..

Sri Lanka to exchange elephants for rhinoceros with Japan

Feb 10 (AP) Sri Lanka will receive two black rhinoceros from Japan in exchange for a pair of baby elephants, a government spokesman said on Thursday. Two baby elephants now housed at an elephant orphanage at Pinnawela, about 70 kilometers (46 miles) east of Colombo will soon be sent to Nagoya Higashiyama zoo in Japan, more..

TRO opens first Sinhala pre-school in Trincomalee

Feb 10 (TN) The first pre-school constructed by the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) for Sinhalese children in the Trincomalee district with the funding of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) at a cost of one hundred and fifty thousand rupees was declared open Thursday morning, in Vijithapura, a Sinhala suburb in the Trincomalee town. more..

Marketers say clean up cities and manners before branding tourism

Feb 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s tourism branding came under heavy criticism on Thursday for the island’s lack of focus, inability to deliver on promise and for bad public practices. Destination branding was taken up in one of the technical session at Thursday’s Chartered Institute of Marketers (CIM) one day conference. more..

Sri Lanka: Back from the brink of war?

Feb 10 (SP) JUST A week or so ago, the four-year long ceasefire in Sri Lanka's civil war was on the verge of collapse. In seven weeks more than 100 people had been killed, most of them members of Sri Lanka's armed forces. But on 23 January, two key figures involved in efforts to renew peace talks arrived in the capital, Colombo. more..

Suspected LTTE militant gives the slip

Feb 10 (UNI) A 25 year-old Sri Lankan National suspected to be an LTTE militant, gave the slip, when the authorities wanted to check his identity before boarding a colombo bound Sri Lankan Airlines flight at Anna International Airport here today. Police sources said the man produced his passport, Chennai- Colombo-Paris air ticket and other travel documents to the airlines' counter. more..

Sri Lanka can be conduit for Indo-Pak trade: Expert

Feb 10 (HT) Sri Lanka can be a conduit for India-Pakistan trade which is hampered by deep-seated political differences between the two countries, says Dr Saman Kelegama, Executive Director of the Colombo-based Institute of Police Studies. more..

Canadian government is urged to ban the LTTE

Feb 10 (AT) In an open letter written to three of the most powerful cabinet ministers of Canada, who are from the Conservative Party, Asoka Weerasinghe, a naturalized Sri Lankan, an academic and a member of the Conservative Party of Canada has urged them to ban the LTTE, the separatist Tamil rebel outfit of Sri Lanka. more..

Pallone’s resolution focuses on encouraging peace talks in Lanka

Feb 10 (UNI) Leading lawmaker Frank Pallone, Jr introduced a resolution today in the US House of Representatives urging the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to engage positively in the forthcoming peace talks. more..

Tamil Struggle: The Need for self-determination

Feb 10 (AT) Struggle is not a new experience for the Tamils of North and East of Sri Lanka. From the time the British merged the North and East with the rest of the country in 1833, Tamil Nationalism, political aspirations and the concept of self determination began due to many factors. more..

Sri Lanka too joins in condemning controversial cartoon of Prophet Muhammed

Feb 10 (AT) The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) a network of over 50 of the largest and most influential National organizations of Muslims in Sri Lanka joined over 1.5 Billion Muslims the world over to condemn the publication of the blasphemous cartoons depicting our Prophet Muhammed, which initially was published in a Danish newspaper 'Jyllands Posten'. more..

Geneva Talks: Tigers only want Karuna’s head on a platter

Feb 10 (ISL) No purpose will be served if the forthcoming Geneva Talks fail to pursue the groundwork for a political solution as the primary factor and take the necessary measures to halt all violence and strengthen the truce to good effect. more..

LTTE was responsible for kidnapping of school principal

Feb 10 (ISL) It was widely reported in the media that the Valaichenai Hindu College Principal Murugesu Thavarajah was kidnapped by two persons who took him away from the school. When the news about the kidnap filtered through the media, uproar developed among the students and they started to agitate for the release of their Principal. more..

238,755 persons qualified to vote in Trinco local election

Feb 10 (TN) Trincomalee Election Office has made arrangement to accept nominations lists from registered political parties and independent groups to contest thirteen local authorities including two Urban Councils (UC) and eleven Pradesiya Sabah (PS) from Thursday February 9 till 16th February. more..

Batticaloa farmers discriminated in compensation payments-TNA MP

Feb 10 (TN) Mr.T.Kanagasabai, Batticaloa district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian, made an urgent appeal to the Minister of Agriculture not to show racial discrimination in paying compensation to farmers whose paddy crops had been destroyed due to flood by heavy rain during the end of last year, sources said. more..

UNP, instead of assisting Govt’s peace process, tries to sabotage it! - Yapa

Feb 10 (LT) UNP’s accusation that the agenda for the talks between the Government and LTTE in Geneva would be prepared according to conditions of the LTTE is vigorously rejected says Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa. He said this at the media meeting held at the auditorium of the Government Information Department yesterday (9th) morning to inform cabinet decisions. more..

Chief Minister of Sabaragamuwa province exposed

Feb 10 (LT) The ruling party of Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council today rejected debating a special proposal brought up by the JVP to halt appointments of subject directors and acting principals made by chief minister of Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council as the Minister of Education against the accepted policy of appointments. more..

Earth slip obstructs Colombo – Hatton main road

Feb 10 (LT) An earth slip at Hatton town atton townHthat occurred due to torrential rain prevailing in the area has obstructed the Colombo-Hatton main road. Hence, police have advised the general public to find alternative ways to come to Hatton. more..

Call for commitment from President

Feb 10 (BBC) World’s largest organization for Children’s welfare, Save the Children, has asked the President Mahinda Rajapakse to make a commitment towards the protection and promotion of the rights of all Sri Lankan children. The President expressed his dedication towards children’s welfare at the recent launch of the national Year of Children - 2006. more..

Court action sought for assistance of released TRO members for police inquiry

Feb 10 (AT) Government on Thursday blamed the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization for not extending their support to identify the so-called abductors involved in the alleged abduction case of TRO members and has sought the Court assistance by way of ‘B' report to compel the released TRO members to come forward for conducting the Police inquiry. more..

JVP has even got the atlas wrong today

Feb 10 (LeN) Even though the JVP and pro-Mahinda groups emphatically stated at the presidential election that they would conduct talks with the LTTE in transparent manner, the agenda for the Geneva talks has still not been made public, UNP Assistant General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said and urged the government to immediately place before the people, the agenda of peace talks. more..

Why can't Mahinda meet S.B, if he can meet Prabhakaran who was convicted for 200 years?

Feb 10 (LeN) If President Mahinda Rajapaksa says he is ready to travel up to Kilinochchi to meet with Prabhakran who was sentenced for 200 years, why cannot he visit jailed S.B.Dissanayake who sat with him in the same cabinet, launched protest marches together from Vihara Maha Devi Park and shared the same bottle, UNP parliamentarian Dr. Rajitha Senaratne questioned. more..

Chandrika meets Mahinda on 'appointment'

Feb 10 (LeN) The Chairman of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga visited Temple Trees last night and met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a special discussion on candidate lists of the SLFP at the mini poll and certain individuals who are contesting as group leaders. more..

President-JVP meeting to change decision to go alone

Feb 10 (LeN) A crucial meeting between the President and the JVP will take place tonight to forge an agreement with the SLFP and the JVP to contest the mini polls under one banner. Amidst the crisis of the two parties as a result the SLFP not agreeing to SLFP conditions JVP General Secretary Tylvin Silva yesterday sent a strongly worded to SLFP General Secretary Maithreepala Sirisena more..

Local elections will highlight Upcountry Tamils' unity- Chandrasekaran

Feb 10 (TN) "In the forthcoming local elections, Hillcountry Tamils should unite to initiate a joint action program to increase their representation, and create the foundation for strengthening the political power and unity of Sri Lanka's Tamil people." said Thamilchelvan, more..

Businessman's kidnappers demand 20 million rupees ransom

Feb 10 (TN) The kidnappers of a Tamil businesman, Vadivel Anandan, who was abducted Wednesday night in Colombo, have demanded a 20 million Lankan rupees ransom for his release, family members told media Friday. The abductors, who allowed the businessman to call his family members for two minutes on Thursday, have threatened not to divulge any information to the Police. more..