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SriLankan pushed back plans to launch its floatplane ferry service to the North

Jan 20 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines has pushed back plans to launch its floatplane ferry service to the North, following increased violence in Jaffna and falling passenger numbers. National carrier SriLankan Airlines has a permit to operate its floatplanes to Jaffna and Vavuniya in the North, but no flights have taken off as yet. more..

Sri Lanka's ageing rail-network could soon get a new extension

Jan 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's ageing rail-network could soon get a new extension, with policymakers this week agreeing to set up a unit to study the feasibility of the projects. Cabinet of Ministers this week cleared the Ministry of New Railroad Development to set up a project management unit, to undertake surveys and study the feasibility of new rail projects. more..

Sri Lankan exports fall as agriculture declines

Jan 20 (BN) Exports from Sri Lanka fell in November as the island shipped fewer clothes and less agricultural produce including tea, the central bank said Thursday. Exports dropped 3.5 percent to $500.9 million from a year earlier, when November exports jumped 27 percent, the Central Bank said. Imports slid 0.8 percent to $756.1 million. more..

JVP kneels down before America along with Mangala

Jan 20 (LeN) The JVP which was a major constituent partner of the government and its main electoral ally at the presidential election is today enacting a new role with a series of misleading lectures titled 'Challenges confronting the country today' as it is unable to come before the people today, UNP Assistant General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said at a press briefing in Colombo today. (19) more..

Southern consensus for talks

Jan 20 (BBC) The all party conference convened by President Mahinda Rajapakse has decided that peace talks with the Tamil Tigers should commence as soon as possible said Vijitha Herath, JVP parliamentarian. Hearth spoke to Sandeshaya after representing the JVP at the meeting where all major parties attended. more..

The closure of Jaffna University, a terrible tragedy

Jan 20 (ISL) Seats of higher education are the primary sources of learning, edification and inspiration to any dynamic society. A university is the leader in any sphere of development and progress, and no nation or people can afford to overlook its significance and value. more..

World Vision art exhibition brings colour back into children's lives

Jan 20 (RW) 'Sithuvili Siththam' (Paintings of Imaginations), a children's art exhibition organised by World Vision was recently held in Kalutara, with nearly 300 colourful drawings painted by tsunami-affected children of World Vision-run Child Societies (CS). more..

LTTE's fund raising spree in England; Home Ministry unconcerned

Jan 20 (ISL) Despite being proscribed as a terrorist outfit under the Terrorism Act in the United Kingdom, the LTTE activists are fearlessly collecting large sums of money from the Tamil people. The LTTE is particularly targeting businesses and professional doctors and large sums are being collected using coercive tactics. more..

LTTE incapable of driving out Sri Lankan armed forces says EROS Nesan

Jan 20 (ISL) The son of the late Shankar Raji, leader of EROS labelled Balakumaran as a traitor who was responsible for the fall of the EROS party in 1990, by joining the LTTE, after receiving threats from Prabhakaran, (EROS Nesan’s father the late Shankar Raji defied Prabhakarans threats and continued to run the organisation in the democratic mainstream). more..

All Parties decide to immediately commence peace talks

Jan 20 (LT) Representatives of 15 political parties met at the Presidential Secretariat today (19th) on the invitation of President Mahinda Rajapakse. All parties unanimously decided to commence peace talks without delay. more..

Charity match didn't help Sri Lanka, bowler claims

Jan 20 (SMH) SRI LANKAN bowler Muttiah Muralitharan has accused the charity organisation World Vision of failing to pass on more than $14 million in donations raised at last year's tsunami match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. more..

Unconditional support for an undivided Sri Lanka! - UNP

Jan 20 (LT) UNP will unconditionally support the peace process of President Mahinda Rajapakse’s Government said its Deputy Secretary General Tissa Attanayake. He said this at a media meeting held at the office of the Leader of the Opposition. more..

Tamil Resurgence Conference and Sennan Padai

Jan 20 (AT) Sennan Padai (Force), an unknown armed group, has warned all school principals, teachers students as well as the ordinary civilians in Batticaloa not to participate in the Tamil National Resurgence Convention expected to be held today at Ambalanthurai, a Tamil Tiger control area in the Paduvankarai region. more..

Eastern University students rejected Tigers' proposal to give up studies

Jan 20 (AT) Eastern University students rejected the Tigers'request to temporarily give up their higher education. Furthermore, the student population of the Eastern region refused to be intimidated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. more..

Sri Lankan Tamils trickling into south India

Jan 20 (IANS) Fearing war, Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka are once again fleeing to India. Although the number of those who have landed by boats on Tamil Nadu's coast from northern and northwestern Sri Lanka in the past month is just 68, activists here fear the total could go up. more..

War fears, tension wreck lives in Sri Lanka's east

Jan 20 (Reuters) Unnerved by fears that civil war may resume, perhaps within weeks, tension between communities is spiralling in Sri Lanka's northeast and growing numbers are fleeing their homes, aid workers and residents say. more..

Muslims oppose LTTE demands

Jan 20 (Dawn) As President Mahinda Rajapakse initiated an all party conference on Thursday to seek a southern consensus on a political solution to prevent another war with separatist Tiger guerillas, the SLMC, representing the country’s seven per cent Muslim population, say they will oppose any move to bow down to the LTTE demand of recognition for a separate state. more..

Govt considers the possibility of exporting rice

Jan 20 (SLBC) The government is considering the possibility of exporting rice. This is the result of an increase in the country?s rice production. President Mahinda Rajapakse has directed relevant authorities to gather information regarding the existing world market for rice. more..

Sri Lankan parties unite with call for talks with Tigers

Jan 20 (ANN) Sri Lankan political parties showed rare unity by calling for talks with Tamil Tiger rebels to end violence that has killed at least 140 people in six weeks. Representatives of 15 parties, agreed during a meeting on Thursday evening (Jan 19) to support immediate talks with the Tigers, more..

LTTE criminal acts continue with explosion of more and more Claymore mines

Jan 20 (SLA) THE LTTE’S RUTHLESS ORGY OF KILLING AND DESTRUCTION still continues unabated in some areas of the north and east disrupting normalcy and inconveniencing peace-loving members of the public to a great extent. more..

Those dead & injured in Thursday (19) LTTE attacks identified

Jan 20 (SLA) THREE POLICE CONSTABLES and the civilian died in the brutal LTTE claymore mine attack Thursday (19) evening at THANDAVANVELY in BATTICALOA have now been identified. Reserve Police Constable MOHAMMED ABDUL GAFFOOR, Reserve Police Constable W.M.K. WIJEKOON and Reserve Police Constable W.H.D. PETER DANISTER FERNANDO, more..

Unofficial letter sent by the Parliament on SB – Commissioner of Elections

Jan 20 (LT) It is reported that the Commissioner of Elections has written to the Secretary of the Parliament indicating that she has sent only an unofficial letter on Mr S B Dissanayake’s vacancy. Consequently he has informed her to send him an official letter on the issue. more..

Former Deputy Defence Minister and sons acquitted in Udatalawinna Case

Jan 20 (LT) The judgement of the controversial Udatalawinna case was proclaimed this morning at the High Courts in Colombo. 15 personnel were accused against the assassination of ten Muslim youth in December 2001. Five accused of the Army have been sentenced to death. more..

Luxury vehicles worth Rs 207 million at Port for MPs

Jan 20 (LT) 23 Duty free vehicles to the value of Rs 9 lakhs each have been landed in Colombo port. It is learnt that these vehicles of ‘Prado Intercoolers’ have been imported by 23 Members of Parliament consisting SLFP, JHU, TNA, Lanka Muslim Congress and Ceylon Workers’ Congress. more..

Kidney disease outbreak baffles doctors

Jan 20 (SAMN) Around 2,300 people in the Anuradhapura, Medirigiriya, Padaviya and Medawtchchiya areas have been hospitalised as they have developed a chronic kidney failure. People seeking medical treatment for this sudden disease are on the increase, according to Provincial Director Health Services Dr. Attapattu. more..

Udaya wins tourism top slot

Jan 20 (SAMN) The battle for tourism top hat has taken a new turn with the appointment of former PA MP Navalage Bennet Cooray as a member of the Sri Lanka Tourist Board. Earlier, Cooray was tipped to be Tourist Board Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara’s successor as Tourism Minister Anura Bandaranaike’s former brother-in-law will continue as the Tourist Board Chief. more..

New Faculty at Eastern University

Jan 20 (SAMN) The Sri Lanka Medical Council has not taken any decision regarding the Faculty of Health Care Sciences, of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka no has it even discussed it. Hence, there is no basis for the claim that approval was granted. The SLMC states referring to our news item of December 9 on a new faculty at the EUSL. more..

President pays glowing tribute to Wijesoma

Jan 20 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday paid a glowing tribute to the late The Island and Divaina cartoonist W. R. Wijesoma aka Punchi Singho, who passed away two days ago. Expressing his deep sorrow at Wijesoma`s death, the President said his cartoons `were always a pleasure to see even to those who were the victims of his good hearted lampooning`. more..

Sripathi vacates post to strengthen Government

Jan 20 (DN) Skills Development and Employment Minister and Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Deputy Minister Sripathi Sooriyaarachchi resigned from his Deputy Minister portfolio yesterday. Addressing the media before handing over the letter of resignation, the Minister said he decided to vacate the post with the objective of strengthening the Government and its political process. more..

Sri Lanka keen to initiate joint ventures with Pakistani traders

Jan 20 (APP) The Consul General of Sri Lanka, Manel De'Silva showed her keen interest in initiating joint ventures between the business community of her country with the local investors and exporters. She said that the government of Sri Lanka was friendly to private investment and wanted to enhance the exports. more..

Murali puts his own spin on the world

Jan 20 (SMH) IT'S AN overcast weekday morning and Muttiah Muralitharan is sitting in the SCG members' stand, watching groundstaff prepare the surface for tomorrow's one-day international between his Sri Lankans and the Australians. more..

Sri Lanka's first coal plant to take off in March

Jan 20 (LBO) Work on Sri Lanka’s first 300 MW coal plant is to start in March with Chinese funding, regardless of political pressure, the government said Friday. “Work on a 300 MW coal power plant in Puttalam will start in March. The funding has been found. We will go ahead with it regardless of political pressure because we badly need cheap energy to meet our future needs,” more..

Sri Lanka's undeclared war may burst into open

Jan 20 (Reuters) Ancient Arab seafarers called Sri Lanka Serendib, which gave us the word serendipity -- the faculty for making happy and unexpected discoveries. But there is little serendipitous today about the emerald green Indian Ocean island, which appears set to resume a civil war that was one of the world's bloodiest before a 2002 truce. more..

'Oslo rejected not due to problems in visiting there'-President

Jan 20 (LeN) Oslo is rejected as a venue for peace talks not because any problem in visiting there but as people might be tempted to think that the request was granted in fear of LTTE attack on security forces, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has stated. more..

Tamil rebels confirming top reclusive leader to meet with Norwegian peace envoy

Jan 20 (AP) Top Tamil Tiger rebel leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran will meet with a senior Norwegian peace envoy next week, a rebel official said Friday, a day after Sri Lanka's president won support to restart peace talks aimed at avoiding a return to civil war. more..

European cease-fire monitors resume limited operation in Trincomalee

Jan 20 (AP) European cease-fire monitors said Friday they were partly resuming operations in Sri Lanka's port of Trincomalee three days after suspending work there citing security concerns, the group's spokeswoman said. "The situation there has calmed down somewhat, so we are partly resuming our work there," more..

Court acquits ex-deputy defense minister, two sons of murder

Jan 20 (AP) High Court on Friday acquitted a former deputy defense minister and his two sons of charges in the slayings of 10 rival political activists in 2001, but sentenced five of their bodyguards to death for the crimes. The two-judge bench cleared Gen. Anurudda Ratwatte and his sons, Lohan and Shanuka, of charges of murder and conspiracy for lack of evidence. more..

Yahoo Photos

Jan 20 (Reuters) Former Deputy Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte (R) comes out the court with a police escort at the High Court of Colombo January 20 2006. Ratwatte and his two sons were accused of shooting dead 10 youths during a 2001 general election. more..

Jungle talks will be futile; peace is anathema to the LTTE

Jan 21 (ISL) The Sri Lankan Tamils, until about a couple of decades ago took pride in their literati, professionals, artistes and highly skilled people at various levels of achievements and expertise. more..

Bishop Rayappu Joseph Blasts Security Forces

Jan 21 (ISL) Bishop Rayappu Joseph of Mannar in a letter to Tamil Democratic Forum said that the Army violence in the Northeast is increasing causing severe problems to the Tamil population. more..

Killinochchi ‘contalks’ will achieve nothing

Jan 21 (ISL) The news report from Sri Lanka stating that members of fifteen political parties met together in Colombo to indicate their support for talks with the Tigers was only amid fears of a return to violence. This meeting attended by the ruling coalition and the main opposition parties appear not to have tackled the key problem with a positive posture. more..

For Rajini 23rd February 1954 * 21st September 1989

Jan 21 (ISL) I met Rajini Rajasingham-Thiranagama only once, in the Netherlands, in the autumn of 1984. The Sri Lankan Workgroup, of which I was a founder, organised a Sri Lanka Day, in Utrecht, in the aftermath of the terrible events of the Black July of '83. more..

EROS Nesan commends Eastern University students for rejecting the LTTE’s orders

Jan 21 (ISL) EROS Nesan commented that he was pleased that the University students had stood up to the LTTE for once and ignored their threats and intimidation. “For once the younger Tamil generation are realising that the LTTE are not representing or working for the Tamil communities best interests as they so claim. more..

Sri Lankans urged to work to create environment for peace – British Minister

Jan 21 (AT) To create a conducive environment where parties involved in the peace process can meet face to face to have meaning full talks, it is important that all the people in Sri Lanka has to work to create this environment, urged, Ian Pearson who on a two-day visit to Sri Lanka. more..

President by hook by crook

Jan 21 (LeN) The failure to draw a positive response for his request from the non-cabinet Ministers to resign from the Deputy Ministerial posts voluntarily to pave the way for allocating posts to UNP parliamentarians about to cross over to the government has prompted the President to adopt a tougher line. more..

US expresses concern over situation in Nepal, Sri Lanka

Jan 21 (UNI) The United States today expressed serious concern over the situation in Nepal and Sri Lanka and, along with India, called for peace and democratic reconciliation in the Himalayan kingdom. more..

Inland fishing interest surges in Sri Lanka

Jan 21 (AT) Ornamental fish exporters and breeders are demanding that they need non-collateral loans, as development capital, to invest in the inland fishing infrastructure to breed and produce edible fish, to meet the increasing demand for local consumption. more..

Norway -- "the peace-maker" -- is one of the biggest exporters of arms

Jan 21 (AT) Norway which struts the international stage parading as a peace-maker is also one of the world's largest manufacturers and exporters of military hardware. The SIPRI has revealed in its latest report that Norway is not only a leading exporter of arms but it is also raking huge profits from the arms industry which has recorded a strong growth. more..

Pro LTTE Uthayan warns war if South fails to understand Tamil problem

Jan 21 (ISL) The pro LTTE Uthayan newspaper criticized the South and the Sinhalese masses for not understanding the Tamil problem and taking a hardline stance on the ethnic issue. However, the newspaper deliberately avoided commenting on LTTE mass forced disenfranchising of Tamil population in Northern Sri Lanka which ultimately led to the victory of the Sinhalese hardline candidate Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Jaffna school attendance hits record low

Jan 21 (ISL) The ongoing violence contest between the Sri Lankan Armed Forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Tigers had negatively affected the school and lower education structure in Jaffna. Parents are in fear to send their children to schools due to LTTE child abductions and LTTE-SLA confrontations in Jaffna. more..