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Nearly 20,000 garment workers face the cut

Jan 24 (SAMN) According to the Migrant Service Centre, 20,000 jobs in the garment sector are at stake this year. They are at risk of falling prey to illegal labour recruiters and a new type of manpower contractors well placed to benefit from this situation. They could be lured across national borders for employment including sex trade, the center said. more..

JHU roars against LTTE

Jan 24 (LNP) As the government went in to crucial discussions for the resumption of peace talks with the LTTE, an important ally the JHU yesterday took a tough line against the Tigers. JHU leader Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera told a news conference the LTTE should agree to end violence and respect the ceasefire agreement. more..

Private tuition for Year 5 a must or else?

Jan 24 (LNP) A father of a student attending Dambulla Weera Mohan Jayamaha Vidyalaya requests the authorities to look into the harassment of students preparing for Year-5 scholarship exams. A resident of the area, E.M. Jayatissa Bandara has complained to the Zonal Director of Education, that teachers, giving private tuition for the scholarship exam, often harass students for not attending their tuition classes. more..

Bank robbers` escapade ends at police roadblock

Jan 24 (LNP) Kalpitiya police yesterday arrested two bandits of a three-member gang fleeing after holding up the Wayamba Development Bank branch at Palakudah, Talawila. The other member of the gang was shot dead in the shootout when he attempted to escape. more..

Countrywide program to provide electricity for all

Jan 24 (DN) A countrywide program to provide electricity for all will be launched by the Ministry of Power and Energy shortly. Almost 90 per cent of the rural sector will be covered by this program within the next 2 years. Power and Energy Minister W. D. J. Seneviratne disclosed this when he commissioned the Kosagama, Pahala Kadigamuwa and Heenpannawa rural electricity schemes in the Bingiriya electorate. more..

South Africa beat Sri Lanka by nine runs

Jan 24 (CI) Andrew Hall grabbed two wickets in two balls in a brilliant display of one-day death bowling, as South Africa snatched a thrilling nine-run victory from the jaws of defeat in the VB Series at Adelaide. Chasing 264 for victory, Sri Lanka had been cruising on 224 for 4, but were unable to close out the game, despite the best efforts of Tillekeratne Dilshan, who finished unbeaten on 82. more..

Yahoo Photos

Jan 24 (Reuters) Tamil protesters burn effigy of President Mahinda Rajapakse after a protest march against the Sri Lankan army on the A9 highway at Omanthai unman area in Vavuniya, northern Sri Lanka January 24. more..

Real peace not yet on the agenda in Sri Lanka

Jan 24 (AFP) Prospects for real peace in Sri Lanka remain distant if not bleak, analysts say, despite Tamil rebels and the government being pushed back to the negotiating table in the coming months. US and Norwegian envoys are making a concerted bid this week to stem the bloodshed and kickstart talks that the separatist rebels walked out of in 2003. more..

Peace envoy meets President

Jan 24 (Reuters) Norwegian peace broker Erik Solheim met Sri Lanka's president on Tuesday for talks aimed at averting civil war, but officials said the government would probably not give in to rebel demands talks be held in Oslo. Suspected Tamil Tiger attacks on troops have strained the 2002 truce brokered by Solheim and raised the specter two decades of war will restart. more..

Sri Lanka asks Norway to arrange early talks amid killings

Jan 24 (AFP) President has asked peace broker Norway to arrange early talks with Tamil Tiger rebels and help stem the latest wave of violence that has killed at least 151 people, officials said. President Mahinda Rajapakse held closed-door talks with Norway's top peace envoy, Erik Solheim, on salvaging the island's Oslo-backed peace process, more..

Burns calls LTTE a reprehensible terror group

Jan 24 (HT) The US Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns on Monday described the LTTE as a "reprehensible terrorist group keeping Sri Lanka on the edge of war." Speaking to newspersons in Colombo, the visiting US official said that the LTTE was primarily responsible for the spiraling violence in the island. more..

The marvel that is Murali

Jan 25 (CI) The delicious irony was that Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lanka's off spinning genius, celebrated his latest 400th wicket milestone and the joining of another exclusive club at Adelaide. The ground has been the scene of so much personal heartache back in 1998-`99 more..

Two blasts in Colombo, no injuries-army

Jan 25 (Reuters) Two small explosive devices were set off in Colombo late on Tuesday but no one was hurt, the army said, although there was confusion over whether they were grenades or small bombs. An army spokesman said two hand grenades had exploded, one towards the south of the city and one in the central-eastern district of Borella. more..

Tigetrs attempting to shut down Jaffna University

Jan 25 (TW) The LTTE organization often makes the vainglorious boast that it knows what is best for the Sri Lankan Tamil people. Many tiger actions were and are based on the assumption that they and only they have a monopoly of political wisdom in matters affecting the Tamil people. more..

Buddhist monks willing to meet LTTE

Jan 25 (BBC) The Congress of Religions in Sri Lanka say that it hails attempts made by President Mahinda Rajapaksha to bring peace to the country. A number of prominent religious leaders met in Colombo to discuss the current crisis in the island. more..

Intelligence Chief Zacky in Jaffna to step up campaign

Jan 25 (TN) Director of Military Intelligence (DMI) Brigadier Rizvy Zacky, a hardliner, has been recently posted as Brigadier General Staff Officer (GSO, Intelligence) at the Sri Lanka Army Head Quarters (SF HQ) Jaffna in a major reshuffle of the SLA and Intelligence apparatus. more..

BOI dishes out tax breaks, luring investors to rural Sri Lanka

Jan 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Board of Investment Tuesday dished out several tax incentives, encouraging investors to set up 300 new factories in rural regions of the country. The project open to local and foreign investors, tries to take development outside of the rich Colombo and Gampaha districts to under-developed regions of the country. more..

Sri Lanka on ‘neutral’ ground after latest round of WTO talks

Jan 25 (LBO) The latest round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in Hong Kong, has “neutral” impact on Sri Lanka, say trade experts. The outcome of the sixth WTO ministerial meeting – the highest level policy setting council of the 149 WTO countries – will have no immediate impact on Sri Lanka, more..

Prabhakaran is losing the battle on all fronts

Jan 25 (AT) Hopes of the facilitators cutting a peace deal began to sink further with a series of bombs exploding in Colombo and LTTE killings going on in the north and the east unabated. With violence moving at the pace dictated by Prabhakaran he is indicating clearly that he has the capacity to disregard the presence of US Under Secretary, Nicholas Burns, and other international pressures hitting him. more..

EROS Nesan commends Hatton Police and mocks LTTE Air force

Jan 25 (ISL) In a statement exclusive to the Independent EROS Nesan (son of the late Shankar Raji of EROS) applauded the police force’s efforts in arresting suspects affiliated to the LTTE. “It is time for the LTTE to realize that their footmen will be unable to camouflage themselves for much long. more..

Tamil Tiger Radio brands Conservatives, racist

Jan 25 (ISL) Following last night’s announcement of the Canadian election results, Canada’s ethnic radio Thamilosai – midnight to dawn – relayed Britain’s pro-LTTE IBC radio’s news which said that the Canadians had returned the racist Conservative Party to power. more..

Where was RSF when non-LTTE Tamil Journalists were killed?

Jan 25 (ISL) Today as I read the brutal killing of a Sudaroli journalist in Trinco, I remembered the good old days we spend in Jaffna press with fellow colleagues thirty years ago. Political killing was unknown for most of us. more..

Fast unto death until SB is released

Jan 25 (LeN) A delegation of the leaders and representatives of parties represented in Parliament is to meet to make a joint appeal from the President to release jailed UNP parliamentarian S.B.Dissanayake. The decision was taken last night by the Committee to seek the release of S.B. Dissanayake. more..

President's discussion with Solheim a secret

Jan 25 (LeN) Visiting Norwegian Minister of International Development, peace envoy Eric Solheim held a two hour discussion with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees this morning, a press release by the Presidential Secretariat said. more..

Lankan director plans to film little terrorists

Jan 25 (AA) Sri Lankan documentary filmmaker Upali Gamlath, who screened his 14-minute film Treacling Down, is disturbed by the plight of the people in his country. His film was screened as part of the on-going Jeevika South Asia Livelihood Documentary Festival at the India Habitat Centre. more..

Yahoo Photos

Jan 25 (Reuters) A police Special Trust Force trooper checks garbage after five small bombs exploded in Colombo, but no one was hurt and police said they might have been set off by common criminals rather than Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

President to look into enhancing the efficiency at government ministries

Jan 25 (SLBC) President Mahinda Rajapakse has decided to personally look in to the progress evaluation reports of the new programme to enhance efficiency at government ministries. Under the first phase of this programme, the progress evaluation at the ministry of tourism took place at the temple trees yesterday. more..

Army consults bomb experts on Mannar blast

Jan 25 (LeN) It is reported that the armed forces are highly concerned whether the loud explosion heard from LTTE controlled Adampan,Mannar on Saturday was caused during a testing of a latest high powered weapon of the LTTE. As the explosion was heard as far as 12 kilometers, bomb experts of the security forces believe that the explosion may have caused by a high powered bomb. more..

All eyes on Wanni talks today

Jan 25 (PIS) The LTTE and Norway will hold “do or die” talks in the Wanni today with all eyes on the rebel response to the offer expected to be delivered to the LTTE leadership by the government via the peace facilitators. Norwegian Minister and special peace envoy Erik Solheim will travel to the Wanni today to meet LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran more..

National policy on housing in the coastal zone will be unveiled today

Jan 25 (SLBC) The National Policy on housing in Sri Lanka?s coastal zone will be unveiled in Colombo today. The policy was formulated by the Housing Development Authority in collaboration with the German Technological Cooperation Institute. more..

One More LTTE Attack Injures Policeman

Jan 25 (SLA) LTTE (TAMIL TIGERS) CADRES repeated their terrorist practices at PUTHOTTAM in VAVUNIYA around 6.25 a.m. this morning (25) after detonating a hand grenade targeting a Police bunker in the area. One Police Constable on duty was injured following the explosion of the grenade. more..

US organization gifts medical items to the Army

Jan 25 (SLA) COLONEL (RETIRED) WILLIAM BARCO OF THE US ARMY who was in at the Army Headquarters, Colombo Monday (23) morning met Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka and handed over documents related to donation of a stock of medical accessories and equipment for the use of inmates at Ranaviru Sevana, Ragama. more..

SLTMA urges action on journalist killing

Jan 25 (TN) The Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance (SLTMA) in an urgent letter to the Media Minister Mr.Anura Priyadarshana Yapa has asked him to reveal his proposed actions to prevent future killings and harassing of Tamil media journalists following the murder of Tamil journalist on Tuesday in Trincomalee. more..

LTTE, GoSL to hold talks on truce implementation in Geneva

Jan 25 (TN) Liberation Tigers said Wednesday that they have agreed to hold talks in Geneva with the Government on "smooth implementation" of the February 2002 Cease Fire Agreement. Mr. Anton Balasingham, told reporters that the talks, expected to begin in mid-February, would be limited to the implementation of the truce which has come under increasing strain recently. more..

Ranil challenges Wimal and Champaka to join armed forces to fight against LTTE

Jan 25 (ISL) The opposition leader Ranil Wicramasighe Ranil Wicramasighe challenged JHU and JVP front-liners to join the army ranks if LTTE declares a war against the government. “The people who lead the country to war will not fight. It’s the sons and daughters of poor people in this country who will be ultimately dying because of the war. more..

UNP politico behind Colombo explosions?

Jan 25 (LT) Security sections have received information that the minor explosions that occurred in several areas in the suburbs of Colombo yesterday evening was the handiwork of members of the underworld on the instigation of a UNP politician. more..

SriLankan Airlines takes flight to the hills

Jan 25 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines expands its floatplane service to Kandy, after recently shelving plans to go to the North of the island due to outbreaks of violence and falling passenger numbers. The Airline will operate its amphibious aircraft from a site on the Mahaweli River in Kandy, the airline said in a statement on Wednesday. more..

Hakeem condemns President’s stand on Muslim participation at talks

Jan 25 (LM) The visiting Norwegian delegation lead by the International Development Minister and special envoy of the government of Norway to the Sri Lanka peace process Erick Solheim met the SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem at his residence today. more..

'We will deal with those crossed over to govt' - Attanayake

Jan 25 (LeN) Disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with the party constitution against UNP parliamentarians who accept government posts, Assistant General Secretary of UNP. Tissa Attanayake told 'Lanka e News'. more..

Ranjan sacrificed for 'killing' Selvam

Jan 25 (LeN) Editor of the state-run 'Dinamina' newspaper, Ranjan Amararatne tendered his letter of resignation today to the Director of Editors Board, Karunaratne Paranawithana. Co-editor Dr. Ranjith L.Abeywickrema has temporarily been appointed as acting editor. more..

Avert impending disaster

Jan 25 (ANN) The news about 20,000 Sri Lankan women that are likely to fall prey to human traffickers is shocking. We yesterday quoted the Migrant Service Centre (MSC) that the female workers whose jobs are at stake in the garment industry would be victims of illegal labour recruiters and other manpower contractors awaiting easy prey. more..

No stopping operation demolition

Jan 25 (LNP) The government will go ahead with its policy of removing all unauthorized constructions in the main towns and Colombo city`s busiest areas like the Pettah, the Acting Director (Law Enforcement) T. A. Perera told The Island yesterday (25). more..

JHU welcomes Burns` support to combat terrorism

Jan 25 (LNP) The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) yesterday welcomed US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns` support to the Sri Lankan Government to combat terrorism to bring peace to the country. more..

LTTE denies claymore attacks on military, blames civilians

Jan 25 (LNP) Incidents of violence in the North and East should come to an end for the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran to agree to peace talks, spokesman for the LTTE Daya Master, now in Kilinochchi, told The Island yesterday (24). He denied the LTTE`s responsibility for the recent bomb attacks on the armed forces saying they were carried out by other parties. more..

Project to opened for factories launch

Jan 25 (SAMN) The 300 factories programme spelled out in the Mahinda Chintana was launched yesterday with a total of 104 investors being registered to establish new ventures worth Rs.18116 million and providing 26320 job opportunities in rural areas. more..

Vets go wild over restructuring

Jan 25 (SAMN) Wildlife Veterinarians will resort to a work-to-rule campaign, begining today (25) in protest against the Department of Wildlife Conservation’s decision to restructure the administration. "We are compelled to oppose the restructuring programme to be implemented from April 2006", more..

Crisis Management Plan for tourism

Jan 25 (DN) Drawing on its recent tsunami experiences, the Sri Lanka Tourist Board (SLTB) has formed a crisis unit and created a Crisis Management Plan that the country's tourism industry could deal with all types of disasters in the future. more..

Court battles to hit Sri Lanka local elections

Jan 25 (Xinhua) The forthcoming Sri Lankan local council elections scheduled to be held in April will face the prospect of having to battle at least two court cases, an local independent election watch dog said Wednesday. more..

World's Patience With Tamil Tigers Ebbs

Jan 25 (IPS) A reluctance to eschew violence and a failure to grasp prevailing political currents have earned Tamil Tiger rebels a place in the world's doghouse, rather than be accorded international legitimacy. Nothing conveys this better than a harsh statement this week, by a senior U.S. government official about more..

Tigers are top suspects in Sri Lanka bomb attacks: police sources

Jan 25 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels are key suspects in a string of bomb attacks in the capital, police sources said, as a Norwegian envoy arrived in guerrilla-held territory for talks on saving a failing peace drive. more..