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Tigers, govt agree on Swiss ceasefire talks

Jan 25 (Reuters) Government and Tamil Tiger rebels will meet in Switzerland for crunch talks on implementing their strained 2002 truce, Norway said on Wednesday, resolving an impasse on the venue. A string of suspected rebel attacks on troops in the Tamil dominated north and east over the past two months have pushed the country to the brink of war. more..

Sri Lanka rupee rallies as peace talks fixed

Jan 25 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's rupee rallied sharply in late trade on Wednesday after Tamil Tiger rebels agreed to a Norwegian proposal to meet the government in Switzerland for ceasefire talks. The news is also expected to further boost stocks, traders said. more..

Tigers pledge not to attack troops

Jan 25 (Reuters) Tamil Tiger rebels will not attack government forces provided the military ceases violence against Tamil civilians, the rebels said on Wednesday as they agreed to Swiss peace talks. The rebels had previously denied involvement in a string of attacks on government forces more..

Two UNP parliamentarians swore in today as Ministers

Jan 25 (LeN) Two United National Party parliamentarians swore as ministers other four were expected to cross over to the government today. A spokesman for Temple Trees told 'Lanka e News' they will be sworn in as Cabinet and non-Cabinet Ministers at this afternoon. more..

Yahoo Photos

Jan 25 (AP) LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, center, leader of LTTE political wing P. Thamilselvan, left, and political strategist of LTTE Anton Balasingham, right, sit in meeting with Norwegian peace envoy Eric Solheim, more..

Norway breaks peace deadlock, talks in Geneva

Jan 25 (AFP) Norway broke a near three-year deadlock in Sri Lanka's peace talks by clinching a deal with warring parties to meet face-to-face in Geneva by mid-February. The talks would focus on strengthening their ceasefire which was on the brink of collapse after a surge in violence since December killed 152 people, more..

Moody hits out as the Sri Lankans confront horror schedule

Jan 26 (TA) SRI LANKA coach Tom Moody yesterday expressed concern at a lop-sided schedule which sees his team disadvantaged by having to play four one-day internationals in eight days. Moody conceded the gruelling itinerary put in place by Cricket Australia was agreed to before he began his tenure as coach of the team last year. more..

NMAT doing different role against the LTTE terrorism in Sri Lanka

Jan 26 (SN) The NMAT (National Movement Against Terrorism) held media briefing this afternoon at the national library services board auditorium Colombo 7, Explaining it's position regarding the current political situation in the country specially with regards to national security. more..

Education, Skills and Community Acceptance: Sri Lanka

Jan 26 (CCF) Christian Children's Fund is working in Sri Lanka to help blind children better their lives through education. CCF and the Sri Lanka Council for the Blind entered into a partnership this past March, providing educational assistance and financial support to 13 schools for blind children in Sri Lanka. more..

Proposed peace talks: The challenge of enforcing cease-fire

Jan 26 (RW) The announcement made by Norwegian Minister for International Development Cooperation and Special Peace Envoy, Erik Solheim today that the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE have agreed to hold talks in Switzerland is welcome. Solheim has been on a visit to Sri Lanka since 23 January 2006 to salvage the deadlocked peace process. more..

Local universities in talks for schols to top US colleges

Jan 26 (LBO) The University Grants Commission is talking to top US colleges for scholarships to send local students abroad for post graduate studies. Representatives of the North Dakota State University (NDSU) are in Colombo to draw up plans on how students enrolled at local universities can transfer to its College in the United States. more..

War fears end in Sri Lanka with talks breakthrough: Colombo

Jan 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka expressed "major relief" and said prospects of the island returning to full-scale war with Tamil Tiger rebels have subsided after Tiger rebels Wednesday agreed to resume talks. more..

New housing guidelines tries to keep coastal dwellings standing

Jan 26 (LBO) A new set of housing guidelines published by the National Housing authority, tries to keep coastal dwellings standing should a tsunami strike again. The National Housing and Development Authority (NHDA) on Wednesday, published a 70-page reference guide for coastal housing, also tackling shortfalls in current infrastructure. more..

Annan hails new talks, calls on both sides to observe ceasefire

Jan 26 (UNW) Welcoming news that Sri Lanka’s Government and the separatist LTTE have agreed to hold direct talks next month, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on both sides to strictly observe the ceasefire on the troubled island. more..

LTTE to release one detained Policeman

Jan 26 (ISL) Inside sources from the LTTE indicate that the movement is willing to release one of the detained policemen who were capture last year in a move to win the international community. The detained Policemen were captured by the LTTE when they entered LTTE areas to capture a British pedophile upon prior assurance given by the LTTE for their mission, according to Mannar Bishop. more..

No to “Oslo” and Yes to “Geneva”

Jan 26 (ISL) The political games Southern Sinhalese political parties are playing to the gullible Sinhalese masses can be illustrated with the latest decision taken by JVP, Mahinda Rajapakse and JHU on peace talk venue. Both Oslo and Geneva are not located in the European Union map. more..

Petition seeking stay order against Polls Chief in Court

Jan 26 (LeN) A petition was filed in the Appeal Court today by United National Party General Secretary N.V.K.K.Weerakoon seeking an enjoining order to restrain the Elections Commissioner from holding the local government election without amending the electoral lists. more..

LTTE's talks to centre on the disarming the paramilitaries

Jan 26 (AT) At last the LTTE has seized the opportunity to negotiate with the Government of Sri Lanka about the Ceasefire Agreement in February. They are of the opinion that by coercing the Government for a strict enforcement of the outdated ceasefire agreement, they will be able rid the stiffest challenges they faces at present in the Eastern province. more..

Editorial: Peace Prospects in Lanka

Jan 26 (AN) The news that the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels have been persuaded by Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim to hold talks in Geneva next month has to be welcomed as a positive development; but it is not easy to be optimistic. Technically there is a cease-fire agreement in operation on the island but the reality is very different. more..

Getty Images

Jan 26 (GI) A member of a special army motorcycle unit, who are trained to deal with any emergency situation, stands alert during a search near the parliament in the capital of Colombo, 25 January 2006 amid fears of bomb attacks. more..

Sri Lanka’s demons of terror and racism must be exorcised

Jan 26 (ISL) Sri Lanka never readied herself to become an independent state. The 1948 event that made the country a dominion from a crown colony status was a mere accident resulting from confusion in Britain’s Whitehall when India made a successful bid for her freedom. more..

Needed: A stitch in time!

Jan 26 (ANN) President Mahinda Rajapakse's government is said to have as one of its pillars the Pancha Maha Balavegaya. And whoever masterminded the five explosions in the city and its suburbs on Tuesday appears to have resorted to, as it were, a Pancha Maha Bombavegaya as part of a sinister campaign to destabilise the government. more..

Set aside political difference and work to defend country - Mahinda Samarasinghe

Jan 26 (LT) The time has come to set aside political differences and policies and unite to safeguard the country says Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Chief Whip of the Opposition and UNP Parliamentarian for Kalutara District. Mr Samarasinghe said this after being sworn in by President Mahinda Rajapakse as the Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights. more..

Envoy says Sri Lanka peace needs patience

Jan 26 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's peace process is back on track but patience is sorely needed and will be key to any success, Norwegian envoy Erik Solheim said on Thursday after the government and Tamil Tiger rebels agreed to meet for talks. more..

Three Vehicles & House Damaged In Explosion

Jan 26 (SLA) AN UNIDENTIFIED MAN caused damages to a house of a civilian in PANDARIKULAM, VAVUNIYA after throwing a hand grenade at it on Thursday (25) night around 10.25 p.m. Three vehicles, a car (NPHQ 9495), a three-wheeler (NPHA 7031) and a motorbike have been damaged in the explosion along with a section of the house. more..

LTTE Captured One Police Sergeant Released

Jan 26 (SLA)LTTE) Thursday (26) morning released one of the policemen captured and detained by the LTTE after a Police team entered ARIPPU, north of MURUNKAN in un-cleared areas to hunt down a foreign pedophile, back in September last year. more..

Using Indian lessons to get rid of Presidential immunity

Jan 26 (LBO) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) urges Sri Lanka to take a leaf out of Indian Supreme Court ruling and bring Constitutional violations to book. A recent Indian Supreme Court ruling shows that Presidential immunity may not extend as far as Constitutional violations. more..

The govt. under fire over GM food regulations

Jan 26 (LBO) The government’s lethargy over genetically modified organism regulations is putting the public at risk, say environmental activists. “GM animals, plants and microbes are made in many countries. But the controversy is about crop plants, animals and food containing GM ingredients,” said environmental lawyer Jagath Gunawardane, more..

Local beer consumption to grow at six percent annually

Jan 26 (LBO) Singapore based Asia Pacific Breweries Limited (APB) expects local beer consumption to grow at six percent annually, despite attempts to curb marketing and advertising through a new statutory body. APB acquired a 60 percent equity stake in Lankan beer maker United Breweries in September 2005, more..

Prabhakaran needs to accept the fact that he is isolated says EROS Nesan

Jan 26 (ISL) In a statement exclusive to the Independent, EROS Nesan stated that Prabhakaran was beginning to lose the battle on all frontiers with the continuation of killings and bombings in the capital and North Eastern regions. more..

UNP MP Remanded For Assaulting Young Lady

Jan 26 (ISL) The Puttlam district UNP Parliamentarian Ranga Bandara who was accused of assaulting a young lady was ordered to be remanded till 27’th by the Puttalam magistrate Anil Tilaratne yesterday. Sources from Putlam claimed that the UNP MP is infamous in the district for his notorious activities. more..

US welcomes Government- LTTE talks in Geneva

Jan 26 (AT) The United States has welcome the agreement by the Sri Lankan government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to hold peace talks in February in Geneva. "We commend Special Envoy Erik Solheim for his effort to advance this positive development and fully support Norway's facilitation of the peace process," more..

8 wanni tigers killed by Karuna faction

Jan 26 (LT) Seven members of wanni tiger organization were killed and three injured in an attack carried out by members of Karuna faction of the tiger organization at Wadumune area south of Welikande. The attack had been carried out at about 10.00 a.m. today(26th). more..

Stocks end sharply up on new peace talks

Jan 26 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks rose sharply on Thursday as the market cheered an announcement that the government and Tamil Tiger rebels would resume peace talks next month in Switzerland. more..

A programme to train foreigners as mahouts

Jan 26 (SLBC) A programme to train foreigners as mahouts has commenced. Director of the National Zoological Gardens Dehiwela Brigadier H.A.N.T.Perera told the SLBC there is a strong demand for trained mahouts in western countries including the united states. more..

Nominations for local govt. elections on 9th

Jan 26 (SLBC) Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dishanayake says acceptance of nominations for the Local Government Election will take place between the 09th and 16th of next month. The Independent Groups could file deposits till 12 noon on the 15th of next month. more..

Muslim Council wants Muslim Representation in peace talks

Jan 26 (LM) The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL), the umbrella organization for some 58 Muslim organizations in the country has expressed its disappointment over President Mahinda Rajapakse's rejection of a Muslim delegation at peace talks. more..

Keeping UNP parliamentarians in the party is not our problem - Yapa

Jan 26 (LeN) Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa has explained the decision of a group of United National Party parliamentarians to support the government as a forward step of the democratic process. more..

President has no clue on the issue - Siritunge Jayasuriya

Jan 26 (LeN) "President Rajapaksa does not know what he is doing right now", said Presidential candidate Siritunge Jayasuriya, General Secretary of the United Socialist Party, referring to the deepening North - East crisis. more..

Colombo Port initiates to US Megaport

Jan 26 (LeN) 'Megaport' initiative through the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration of the United States of America will come into operation from today on a 24 hour basis in the Port of Colombo thus making it the first to embark on such a program in the South East Asian Region. more..

Sinhala - Muslim clashes in Beruwela - Shops set on fire

Jan 26 (LeN) A forcible removal of several mobile phones from a shop owned by a Muslim trader resulted in clashes between Sinhala and Muslim groups in Dharga Town, Beruwala last night and the area resembled a mini battlefield today as a result of sporadic clashes between the two groups. more..

Teachers block chief minister's house

Jan 26 (SAMN) The Ceylon Teacher Service Union which held a protest against the unfair teacher transfers and discrepancies in giving appointments, near the Western Province Chief Minister’s Office, Marcus Fernando Mawatha Wednesday blocked the gates demanding that the Chief Minister Reginold Cooray should come out and solve the problem. more..

Tigers are our citizens: Dew

Jan 26 (SAMN) Minister of Constitutional Affairs and National Integration Dew Gunasekera said he believes that India could only play a limited role in Sri Lanka’s problem as it was an internal affair. "Even though they are the warring party, the LTTE are our own citizens, our brothers and sisters, not foreigners or invaders". more..

'Single entity behind all five blasts'

Jan 26 (SAMN) Police investigating the explosions that rocked Colombo City and suburbs on Tuesday night have received clear evidence to prove that a single organisation was behind all five explosions but failed to name it. Police have found that bombs with high explosives have been exploded using non-electrical detonators at all five places, more..

Govt eyeing two third majority

Jan 26 (LNP) UNP stalwarts Mahinda Samarasinghe and Keheliya Rambukwella joined the UPFA government and were sworn in before President Mahinda Rajapakse as Cabinet Ministers yesterday (25) at the Presidential Secretariat. more..

Bogus employment agent cheats youth

Jan 26 (LNP) About 200 young men and women yesterday afternoon complained to Chilaw police about a bogus job agent. The job agent had collected over Rs. 2 million on the promise of providing job opportunities in Italy. He is now absconding. The crowd told Chilaw ASP Chandana Alahakoon that the Marawila police refused to inquire into their complaint. more..

GTZ donates books to Jaffna library

Jan 26 (LNP) The German Technical Co-operation Agency (GTZ) has donated books worth nearly Rs.5.0 million to the Jaffna library said Secretary to Nation Building and Development Ministry M.S. Jayasinghe. This donation was arranged by the Ministry he said. more..

No fixed agenda for talks: Colombo

Jan 26 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE on Wednesday agreed to unconditional talks to discuss the implementation aspects of the ceasefire agreement in Switzerland next month, Nimal Siripala de Silva, the Government spokesperson on the peace process said. more..

No liquor sales in vicinity of Sri Dalada Maligawa

Jan 26 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapakse has directed tourism industry authorities to take immediate action to stop the sale of liquor in the vicinity of the Sri Dalada Maligawa as soon as possible. The President made this instruction at the progress review meeting of the Tourism Ministry held on Monday. more..

Tigers release policeman after talks deal

Jan 26 (Reuters) Tamil Tiger rebels released a policeman as a goodwill gesture on Thursday, a day after agreeing to peace talks in Switzerland with the government. The stock market soared on news of fresh talks, but some in the war-weary north were less euphoric. more..