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President initiates action to meet the heads of state institutions at district level

Mar 20 (SLRC) President Mahinda Rajapakse initiates action to meet the heads of state institutions at district level to inquire into problems in the public service. The first meeting of the heads of state institutions at district level was held at the Nuwara Eliya divisional secretariat yesterday. more..

The first complete biography of dr. Lester James Peiris

Mar 20 (SLRC) The first complete biography of dr. Lester James Peiris, one of the greatest film makers of Asia and of the world was launched at a ceremony held at the Bmich in Colombo yesterday. The biography of Dr Lester James Peiris comprehensively covers his life from his childhood in colonial Ceylon, through the post-war years in London where he work as a journalist and then an experimental film maker more..

SLA steals prawn catch, Vallai fishermen complain

Mar 20 (TN) Fishermen who are catch prawns in the Vallai lagoon located between Point Pedro and Valigamam complained Monday that the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) stationed in the area regularly steal their catch and also has made fishing difficult by installing concertina fences in key areas in the lagoon, sources in Jaffna said. more..

India assisted Bio Institute opens in Hill-country

Mar 20 (TN) President, Mahinda Rajapakse, Saturday, ceremonially opened a Bio Technology Institute set up under the assistance of an Indian Agricultural expert in Kotagala, press release issued from Colombo said. Leader of CWC, Arumugam Thondaman, welcomed Mr Rajapakse and India's High Commissioner, Ms Nirupama Rao to the opening ceremony. more..

Trinco art exhibition promotes community amity

Mar 20 (TN) The Trincomalee District Development Association (TDDA) held a one-day Art Exhibition labelled "Kids in touch" in Trincomalee Hindu Cultiral Hall with the financial assistance of the Save the Children-Sri Lanka (SciSL) Saturday to promote better understanding between all three communities and to ensure peace in the district, sources said. more..

Bullet-riddled youth’s dead body found in sea

Mar 20 (SLA) A BULLET-RIDDLED DEAD BODY of an unidentified young man in the age range of twenties was recovered by a fisherman this morning (20) from the PULLAIRADY lagoon in BATTICALOA. Troops after being alerted by the fisherman recovered the remains with gunshot injuries with the help of Police and dispatched it to the BATTICALOA hospital for post-mortem. more..

Tamil Tigers once again fire at naval troops

Mar 20 (SLA) A GROUP OF TAMIL TIGERS under training in the seas off the NORWAY point in TRINCOMALEE have once again directed a few rounds of small arms fire towards the Naval detachment at NORWAY point on Saturday. Naval observations further confirmed that fifteen LTTE cadres with their weapons after arriving on the beach (Smooth Beach) for training carried out the firing towards the NORWAY point. more..

Policeman’s weapon grabbed

Mar 20 (SLA) A COMBINED POLICE AND ARMY CORDON AND SEARCH OPERATION was launched in the general area of VAVUNIYA town Sunday (19) morning after a Police Constable (PC) was relieved of his T-56 weapon by two unidentified men while he was returning to VAVUNIYA Police station after duties. more..

US troops leave Sri Lanka after emergency plane landing last week

Mar 20 (AFP) More than 100 US troops who were stranded in Sri Lanka after their aircraft made an emergency landing last week left the island Monday aboard a chartered plane, airport officials said. A Boeing 757-200 aircraft carrying 119 troops and crew was diverted to Colombo's BIA on Thursday while travelling from Singapore to the Maldives more..

Witchhunt of Sri Lankan newspaper for allegedly breaching “national security”

Mar 20 (wsws) The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Sri Lankan police last Monday questioned Lasanthe Wickrematunga, editor of the Sunday Leader, for two hours over spurious allegations that his weekly newspaper was “jeopardising the security of the country.” more..

Today we have to face violence from our own friends - Tylvin

Mar 20 (LeN) In the past we had to face the violence unleashed by the UNP and today we are being subjected to violence of our own friends, party General Secretary Tylvin Silva said. Commenting on the rising incidents of violence during the local polls campaign, the JVP General Secretary appealed to the relevant authorities to curb the violence and pave the way for a free and fair election. more..

$1b FDI target: No action, Talk only

Mar 20 (LeN) Sri Lanka's target to achieve US$ 1 billion in Foreign Direct Investments this year under the Mahinda Chinthana has thus far proved a Herculean task with the Board of Investment's (BOI) success ratio being only a paltry 23%. The target of US$ 1 billion was announced by Minister Rohitha Bogollagama as soon as he assumed duties. more..

President solicits the cooperation of local government bodies to make development a reality

Mar 20 (SLBC) President Mahinda Rajapakse solicits the cooperation of all local government institutions to achieve success in development efforts. He points out that if any hindrance is directed by the local government bodies when implementing development programmes, it will adversely affect the people. more..

Only JVP with a practical development plan at LG polls

Mar 20 (LT) It is only the JVP that has come forward with a practical programme to develop the country at village level, said Mr Tilvin Silva, General Secretary of the JVP. Mr Tilvin Silva made this comment at a media briefing held this morning. He said whatever the other parties pronounce through the media, it is only the JVP that has presented a village development plan in writing. more..

UNP is still strong despite the festering roots and fallen branches

Mar 20 (LT) It is difficult to destroy the huge tree of UNP in spite of some festering roots and fallen branches, said its Deputy Leader, Mr Karu Jayasuriya at a meeting held in Anuradhaura yesterday (19). Mr Jayasuriya added that his party has done a great service to the country since independence. more..

Mini polls in 53 Local Government authorities postponed for 6 months

Mar 20 (LT) The Commissioner of Elections has decided to postpone the Local Government elections in the un-liberated areas in the North and East provinces. He has informed the relevant Assistant Returning Officers and the Divisional Secretaries. more..

Woolmer refused Sri Lanka coaching role

Mar 20 (CI) Pakistan's coach, Bob Woolmer, twice turned down an offer to coach the Sri Lankan cricket team. Woolmer, the former South Africa coach, said he had been taking time off from the game when the first offer was made, and had not been satisfied at the manner in which the second offer was made. more..

N-E development should continue, urges Japanese envoy

Mar 20 (PIS) The country’s biggest bilateral donor, Japan yesterday said that urgent socio-economic development in the North East should continue irrespective of whether the peace bid is moving or stalled. Japanese Ambassador in Colombo Akio Suda told the Daily Mirror that development in the war ravaged North East should be an ongoing effort. more..

Tracing the Sri Lanka-Kerala link

Mar 20 (HT) When one looks at Sri Lanka's historical links with India, the focus is almost exclusively on those with Tamil Nadu and places in Gangetic North India in which the Buddha lived and preached. If Kerala comes into the picture at all, it is only when the subject is the landscape, dress or food, where the similarity is indeed striking. more..

SLMM downplays Muttur attack

Mar 20 (LNP) The SLMM yesterday downplayed an alleged LTTE attack what the military described as a gross violation of the cease-fire agreement. The Military in a statement charged that armed LTTE cadres opened fire on a craft in the seas off Muttur and another Naval craft that carried SLMM officials on Friday. more..

Wire woman in Puttalam

Mar 20 (LNP) Hours before President Mahinda Rajapaksa`s visit to Puttalam yesterday, a woman travelling in a Puttalam-bound bus with wire wrapped around her body was handed over to the police yesterday. Police said the woman who was arrested near Wanathawilluwa had about two kilos of wire strapped around her arms and legs. more..

Data base on households for better development

Mar 20 (LNP) The Government is to compile a list of Householders countrywide beginning next month and a data base set up covering each household in order that meaningful development reach all citizenry. The data collection will pay attention to resources available at the village level, more..

UPFA, UNP begin LG polls campaign

Mar 20 (SAMN) With less than two weeks to go for the local government elections, the UPFA and the UNP during the weekend kicked off what is seen as an aggressive campaign for victory. President Mahinda Rajapakse picked the cooler climes of Nuwara Eliya, the stronghold of his new ally the CWC to kick off the UPFA campaign more..

JVP trying to incite people: Bandula

Mar 20 (SAMN) UNP Colombo district MP Bandula Gunawardene Sunday accused the JVP of trying to incite anger among the people and create violence. Mr. Gunawardene told a media conference that the JVP was trying to create communal and religious violence among the people. more..

Bhikkus to stage protest Tuesday

Mar 20 (SAMN) Thousands of bhikkus will take to the Colombo streets Tuesday demanding the immediate withdrawal of Norway from its role as facilitator to the peace process between the Government and the LTTE. "Norwegian involvement in the guise of a facilitator has been proven detrimental and dangerous to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our motherland. more..

Urgent action to tackle CoL

Mar 20 (DN) A committee comprising political leaders and Government officials will be appointed soon to take immediate measures to control the prices of essential commodities to bring down the cost of living, President Mahinda Rajapakse said yesterday. The Committee will be entrusted the task of making recommendations to the Government to bring down the cost of living. more..

Airforce officer dies in training mishap

Mar 20 (Xinhua) A Airforce officer died in a training mishap near the capital Colombo Monday morning, defense officials said. The 26-year old officer was taking part in a training exercise off the coast of the Colombo suburb of Mount Lavinia. He was trying to help three fellow trainees on board a boat to get on to the helicopter as part of the training exercise. more..

Centre urged to lift ban on LTTE

Mar 20 (NIP) Thanthai Periyar Dravida Kazhagam (TPDK) has urged the Centre to lift the ban on LTTE. In a resolution passed at the Eelam protection conference held at Theppakulam ground here on Sunday, the party insisted the Centre to recognise the Eelam struggle and abstain from extending direct or indirect military support to the Sri Lankan government, more..

Sri Lanka poised to maintain 6 percent growth rate in 2006

Mar 20 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka will be able to maintain a 6-percent economic growth by the end of this year, President's Senior Economic Advisor Ronnie De Mel was quoted by Daily News as saying Monday. He said that Sri Lanka could expect even a higher rate by the end of the year if there are no major negative impacts from the world economy and the peace holds. more..

Gunmen kill one person in Sri Lankan capital

Mar 20 (AP) Unidentified gunmen fatally shot a man in a Tamil-majority neighborhood in Sri Lanka's capital, police said. "We are still investigating who were the killers," police spokesman Rienzie Perera said of the slaying in Colombo's Wellawatta neighborhood. He said the identity of the victim was also not yet known. more..

Local elections postponed in Tamil regions

Mar 20 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan election authorities said here Monday that local council elections scheduled to be held on March 30 for councils in the war battered regions in the north and east have been postponed till September 30. The six month's delay was announced due to difficulties in holding the elections stated by the respective district election returning officers, more..

Peace talks key issue as postal vote begins

Mar 20 (Reuters) Government officials and soldiers began posting ballots on Monday for Sri Lanka's March 30 local elections, with the island's peace process a central issue but no decision yet on whether residents in rebel areas can vote. More than 200,000 government officials and soldiers are allowed to send in ballots early for village, more..

President to hold talks with Pakistan leaders this month

Mar 20 (AP) President Mahinda Rajapakse will travel to Pakistan later this month for talks with Pakistani leaders, the Foreign Ministry said Monday. Rajapakse will meet with his Pakistani counterpart, President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz during the three day visit that will begin on March 31, ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said. more..

Mixed reactions for NE polls delay

Mar 21 (BBC) Political parties supporting President Mahinda Rajapaksa are divided over the decision to postpone elections for the local bodies in the north and east. Buddhist monk-led Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) praised the decision by the election commissioner to put off the polls. more..

LTTE agents target Jo Becker -- the Children's Rights Advocacy Director

Mar 21 (AT) Once again the LTTE agents in Canada have mounted a propaganda campaign against Jo Becker -- the respected Children's Rights Advocacy Director for the Human Rights Watch. In the past they have criticized her for exposing the forcible recruitment of child soldiers by the LTTE. more..

Poultry breeders accuse the adverse media reports jeopardizing their industry

Mar 21 (AT) The International Poultry Science Association, Sri Lanka Branch announced that Sri Lanka is free from Bird Flu and that there is no danger in consuming chicken products. Meanwhile researchers have indicated that a global flu pandemic cannot be avoided solely by containing at its source, because more..

RRDA plans to help exporters to export aquatic plants

Mar 21 (AT) The Regional Resources Development Authority, which comes under the purview of the North Western Provincial Council [NWP]has decided to become one and only regulator, distributor and re-seller for banned aquatic plants, which is a money spinner for local exporters. more..

Nothing more than legally entitled for Chandrika - Supreme Court orders

Mar 21 (LeN) The Supreme Court today issued an interim injunction restraining the implementation of the Cabinet decision to grant one and a half acre land for former President Chandrika Kumaratunga from Madiwela, Kotte. The Court also issued another stay order restraining the decision to assign additional security personnel and staff more..

'Myanmar to promote cooperation with Sri Lanka'

Mar 21 (ANN) Myanmar is paying serious attention in promoting social, economic and spiritual development with Sri Lanka said the Ambassador of the Union of Myanmar Tin Oo Lwin. "Myanmar and Sri Lanka are both developing countries with similar economic challenges and promoting cooperation between Myanmar and Sri Lanka will surely benefit both countries more..

International and local NGO's disburse 79% of Rs40 bn aid received

Mar 21 (LBO) Non-governmental organisations operating in Sri Lanka's tsunami-hit regions has received Rs40.1 billion (US$400 million) in aid for reconstruction work last year, the Central Bank said Monday. According to a bank survey, which tracked 256 non-governmental organisations or NGO's, 79 percent of the funds received had already been withdrawn. more..

Sri Lanka gears to a new era in transportation management and vehicle tracking

Mar 21 (AT) Minister of Transport A. H. M. Fowzie, said that the country is gearing towards a new era of transportation management and vehicle tracking. He stated this when he participated at a ceremony held recently to launch a vehicle tracking and fleet management service in Sri Lanka. more..

Ilamparithi details SLA's CFA violations to SLMM

Mar 21 (TN) Violations of the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) by Sri Lanka Armed forces after the February Geneva talks were pointed out to the officials of the Jaffna SLMM when Jaffna district Political Head of the LTTE, Mr. C. Ilamparuthi, met the SLMM officials Monday 10 a.m at the LTTE Jaffna district Political Secretariat in Pallai, sources said. more..

Pakistani Navy Frigate on goodwill visit to Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (TN) A Pakistan Navy Frigate will call on Colombo port on March 23 on a good will mission. During its 3-dy visit, the PNS Shahjahan will take part in joint exercises with the Sri Lanka navy (SLN) and the Commander of the ship will meet senior officials of the Sri Lankan navy to strengthen professional linkages between the two forces, more..

LTTE goes to court protesting EPDP election to Pudukidiyiruppu

Mar 21 (ISL) LTTE’s Independent Group leader Sivambaram Ravichnadran of Udayrkattu, Pudukudiyiruppu has filed a case against the uncontested election of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party to the Pudukidikyiruppu Regional Council in Mullaitivu District and to obtain a writ order from the Court of Appeal, according to EPDP sources. more..

TNA boycotts Parliament

Mar 21 (LT) The Tamil National Alliance abstained from attending the Parliament sessions today (21). A spokesman for the Party said that they have decided to keep away from the sittings since the Government has not taken steps to realize the agreement reached at Geneva talks. more..

Navy and Tigers shooting in Muttur

Mar 21 (LT) A suspected Wanni tiger boat which entered the High Security Zone in Trincomalee attacked two Navy vessels including a Dora vessel. The Navy noticing the suspected tiger boat has retaliated when the Tiger boat retreated. No damage has been reported on vessels of either side, according to news reached from the Navy. more..

Former Deputy Minister in South further remanded

Mar 21 (LT) Mr H R Piyasiri who was a former Deputy Minister of Labour, and Southern Province Member was ordered to be further remanded by the Matara Additional Magistrate Ms. Chandima Kumari Delabandara yesterday (20). Mr Piyasiri was taken into custody on April 3rd in connection with the mysterious death of his son. more..

VAT fraud of Rs 357 m. revealed

Mar 21 (LT) A massive fraud of Rs 357 m. on Value Added Tax has been exposed by the Auditor General in his report to the Inland Revenue Department. The report cited a criminal misappropriation of Rs 357 million. The Inland Revenue Department made a complaint on this issue following the report to the Criminal Investigations Department on which the investigations have been carried out. more..

Website is launched to inform the public on natural disasters

Mar 21 (SLBC) A website and a disaster information system will be launched to inform the public on natural disasters. Minister Amir Ali stated the website will include particulars of 11 thousand disasters which affected Sri Lanka since 1974. The public will be educated on facing and minimizing disasters through the initiative. more..

Engage in election without violence – President

Mar 21 (SLRC) President Mahinda Rajapaksha calls upon all political activists to conduct a free and fair election without engaging in conflicts with opponents and other political parties in the run up to the local government elections. The president made this appeal at a meeting held yesterday to encourage candidates of the U.P.F.A contesting the local polls in the Puttalam district. more..