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Lanka show displays children’s talents

Mar 21 (GT) SEVENTY-SIX children from the Sri Lankan community took part in the fourth annual Lanka Lions children’s talent show held at the Stafford International School. The four-hour programme featured a total of 25 items comprising music, songs, dances, dramas, speech, instruments and ballet. more..

UNP says situation in South bad if not worse

Mar 21 (LNP) The UNP yesterday while agreeing with the decision to postpone elections in the North and East because of security concerns warned there were more serious security concerns in the south. Deputy UNP Leader Karu Jayasuriya said they had no quarrel with the Elections Commissioner`s decision but warned that election related violence was on the rise in the south more..

Tell them where to get off!

Mar 21 (LNP) Private bus mudalalis are getting a dose of their own medicine. Their golayas (bus crews) are threatening to strike unless their grievances are redressed. They want job security guaranteed among other things. As at present, a spokesman for the bus employees has said, they could be dismissed without notice. more..

Nurse arrested for stealing infant

Mar 21 (LNP) Peradeniya Police have arrested a female nurse of the Peradeniya Teaching (General) Hospital for allegedly stealing a female infant from the hospital. The nurse is reported to have removed a three-day old baby while her mother fell asleep at about 4.45 p.m. on Saturday (18). more..

Samurdhi fraud: 307 officers netted

Mar 21 (SAMN) The Samurdhi and Poverty Ministry is to take disciplinary action against 307 officers who have allegedly committed financial fraud within the Samurdhi movement. These 307 officials include 235 Samurdhi Development Officers and 72 Samurdhi Managers who have engaged in various financial frauds, more..

Closure looms for illegal turtle hatcheries

Mar 21 (DN) The Department of Wildlife will launch an extensive turtle conservation campaign which will lead to the closure to unauthorised and substandard turtle hatcheries mushrooming along the coastal belt as a lucrative business. Wildlife Director Dayananda Kariyawasam said the Department would issue guidelines on scientific hatchery practices more..

Woolmer surprised at wicketless Murali

Mar 21 (CI) Bob Woolmer, Pakistan's coach, is surprised that Muttiah Muralitharan has gone without success in the first two ODIs in Colombo. He said that Pakistan had done their homework on how to play him. Pakistan lead the series 1-0 after winning the second match on Sunday. more..

Sri Lanka skipper impressed with cricketing youngsters

Mar 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has backed his young, injury-depleted side to beat Pakistan in the final one-day international and level the series. Sri Lanka trail 1-0 after losing a tense low-scoring encounter at Premadasa International Stadium by four wickets, more..

Tamil party boycotts parliament

Mar 21 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's main Tamil minority political party stayed out of Tuesday's parliamentary session to highlight alleged inaction by the government to implement agreements reached in Geneva with the Tamil Tigers, the party sources said. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), a LTTE rebel proxy political party has 22 MPs in the 225- member assembly. more..

300,000 public sector workers strike for higher pay

Mar 21 (wsws) Sri Lankan public sector workers held a one-day strike on March 16 throughout the island to demand a 65 percent pay increase to make up for rising prices and deteriorating living standards. An estimated 300,000 workers took part across many departments, including postal, health, education, more..

President asked to drive squatters out

Mar 21 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapakse was asked on Saturday to crackdown on organised gangs of squatters in the Nuwara Eliya district. This was brought to his notice at a meeting held at the newly built wing of the Nuwara Eliya kachcheri. Rajapakse was told of seizure of state lands, particularly those which came under the purview of the Forest Conservation Department and Lands Reforms Commission. more..

Three accused possessed 13 heroin bags

Mar 21 (SAMN) IP Priyantha Liyanage of Police Narcotics Bureau said the three accused were taken into custody at Ward Place with 13 bags of heroin which weighed 23 kgs. He made this observation before the High Court Judge Upali Abeyratne hearing the Ward Place Heroin Case when he was examined by the Senior State Counsel Chethiya Gunasekara. more..

Elections Commissioner meets all parties tomorrow (22)

Mar 21 (LT) The Commissioner of Elections, Mr Dayananda Dissanayake has summoned leaders of all political parties to attend a meeting tomorrow. It is reported the Commissioner will brief the party leaders on the decision taken to suspend the North and East Local Government Polls. more..

EU presses Sri Lanka on peace process

Mar 21 (ZN) The European Union has urged Sri Lanka to persevere with efforts to make progress in the island state's peace process, despite recent warnings of a resurgence of violence. EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner made the appeal yesterday after talks in Brussels with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, more..

Parliament OKs Changes To Financial Bills

Mar 21 (DJ) Parliament Tuesday passed amendments to several financial bills to accommodate proposals announced in the country's 2006 budget. Under the Inland Revenue Bill, the parliament approved an increase in the Port & Airport Development levy to 2.5% from 1.5%. A proposal to exempt articles imported for export after value addition was also approved. more..

2006: A Spice Odyssey

Mar 21 (SMH) In Sydney's heart, a team of food fans investigates Sri Lankan grocery stores and restaurants. Joanna Savill reports. Shopping with a chef is always fun. But when it's Flying Fish's Peter Kuruvita and the store is a tiny Sri Lankan spicery in the geographic centre of Sydney, it's nothing short of fabulous. more..

CEAT invests Rs300 million into new radial tyre factory

Mar 21 (LBO) CEAT Kelani Associated Holdings will invest Rs300 million into a new project to manufacture radial tyres for light weight vehicles. Funding from local banks has just been finalised for the project at Kelaniya, Rohan Fernando, Managing Director of parent company Kelani Tyres, told LBO on Monday. more..

Sri Lanka suspends lavish perks of former president

Mar 21 (AFP) Supreme Court has ordered the withdrawal of extra cars and staff serving former president Chandrika Kumaratunga after a complaint that her retirement benefits are excessive, a court official said. Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva made the order Monday after launching an investigation into a complaint by three lawyers that the former president was too much of a burden on taxpayers, more..

Violence down, but Sri Lanka extends state of emergency

Mar 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka on Tuesday extended a state of emergency first imposed after the assassination of its foreign minister six months ago, but said violence had fallen sharply since talks with Tamil Tiger rebels in February. Introduced after Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was gunned down by a suspected Tiger assassin last year, the state of emergency gives the police and army wide powers. more..

Buddhist monks to stage mega rally today

Mar 21 (GT) Thousands of Buddhist monks will stage a rally in Colombo today demanding the immediate withdrawal of Norway 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..

Sri Lanka navy denies Tiger rebel claim of attack on villages

Mar 21 (AFP) Sri Lanka's navy has denied a charge by Tamil Tigers that it fired indiscriminately at rebel-held villages in the northeast, saying the incident was a retaliatory strike. The rebel LTTE said the navy launched an attack on four villages in the Trincomalee district on Monday morning. more..

Sri Lankan navy, Tamil Tigers exchange gunfire; government extends emergency rule

Mar 21 (AP) Government extended emergency rule for another month Tuesday, hours after Tamil Tiger rebels in two small boats fired at navy vessels and then retreated when they drew return fire, officials said. The incident took place near the strategic northeastern port of Trincomalee. The government controls the main port and the town, but the rebels operate from adjoining areas. more..

World water day in Sri Lanka on 22 March

Mar 22 (AN) Malteser International starts a new kind of water project in southern Sri Lanka: In the districts of Hambantota, Matare and Galle rainwater is collected in tanks from the roofs of 3,000 private houses and public buildings. The aim is to cope with seasonal water shortages. Each year after monsoon the population suffers from water shortages even in southern Sri Lanka. more..

If boat overturns we all will drown- Vasu

Mar 22 (LeN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, elected as the leader of the country can only implement 'Mahinda Chintana' policies if he was handed over the rule of villages and as such the Freedom Alliance led by Rajapaksa should be elected to power at the local government polls, SLFP General Secretary Maithreepala Sirisena said at a media briefing more..

Minister Uncle's vehicles for sun in law's election campaign

Mar 22 (LeN) Minister of Labor Relations and Foreign Employment Athauda Seneviratne paying scant respect to specific instructions issued by President Mahinda Rajapaksa not to use public property for election related purposes, has released two vehicles of the Foreign Employment Bureau to his son in law and a Coordinating Officer who are in the fray for the Ruwanwella Pradeshiya Sabha. more..

Local and foreign investors to invest over US$ 75 million

Mar 22 (AT) Around 20 local and foreign investors will invest over US$ 75 million in Sri Lanka under the "Nawa Nipayum" industrial project initiated by the Government of Sri Lanka. These industrialists will generate over 9,000 new employment opportunities through their industrial projects which are to be located in remote areas. more..

Tsunami aid received by NGOs disappear

Mar 22 (LT) Rs.13 billion received by NGOs as tsunami aid has disappeared. This money received from foreign countries had been directly deposited in bank accounts of NGOs. Though agreements were signed with the government for various projects, none of them have materialized. It is reported that the money received by NGOs have been withdrawn from bank accounts. more..

Join JVP to develop dignity of village – Somawansha Amarasinghe

Mar 22 (LT) A dignified village could be developed only by joining forces with the JVP said Mr. Somawansha Amarasinghe, Leader of the JVP addressing a rally at Badulla. The forthcoming local government election was important said Mr. Amarasinghe adding that the JVP has come forward to contest the election with a programme to develop the village. more..

SLMC opposes election postponement

Mar 22 (ML) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is objecting to Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake’s decision to postpone local government elections in the North and East Province, especially the Batticaloa District in the east. SLMC Leader Rauf Hakeem charged that it was unfair to postpone the elections, adding that it was against all democratic practices. more..

TISL wants President to act on corrupt ministers

Mar 22 (ML) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has criticised President Mahinda Rajapakse’s large cabinet as well as the extravagant spending of some ministers at public expense. TISL has further said that Sri Lanka was one of the few countries where the government, despite an unbearably strained Treasury, continues with unrestrained spending for an unmanageable number of ministers. more..

Wanni civilians turn to military training

Mar 22 (ML) The queues near the Kilinochchi public grounds were long. No one was complaining and everyone waited in anticipation to get in. Women with children tucked under their arms hurried to join the queues, fearing that they might be turned away for the day. more..

Airport and Aviation Services bars Sri Lankan products displayed at the only International Airport

Mar 22 (AT) Sri Lanka is one country where its government is not helping the local industry, but the help is limited only to lip service and towards these dealings, the activities of those government agencies are neither just nor transparent. more..

Defiant Jo Becker promises to further investigate LTTE abuses of human rights

Mar 22 (AT) Dismissing LTTE attacks on Human Rights Watch, as typical of the LTTE to "the discredit the source of any criticism" Jo Becker, Director of the Human Rights Watch said that she will continue to investigate violations of human rights by the LTTE. more..

TNA MP condemns SLN attacks on Muttur coastal villages

Mar 22 (TN) Mr.K.Thurairatnasingham, Trincomalee district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian in a statement issued on Tuesday condemned the continued attack by the Sri Lanka Navy on the coastal villages Soodaikuda, Koonitivu, Sampoor and Kadatkaraichchenai for the second day Tuesday from about 11 a.m. more..

“All Politics is local” - HRW Report and Canadians

Mar 22 (TW) Spring is in the air. However, ‘The shock and awe’ of HRW report on LTTE fundraising in Canada is adding to the winter chill feel, as if something of a lesser ‘no war’ situation is at the door steps of the Sri Lankan diaspora. Online, print and on air mediums since then are filled with fingers being pointed at Tamil ‘quislings’ and Sri Lankan government having a hand in the HRW report about LTTE fundraising in the West. more..

Sri Lanka rebels may postpone April crunch talks

Mar 22 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels will view any further attacks by renegades they say are military-backed as an act of war and may postpone crunch talks unless the state disarms them, their chief negotiator has warned. The LTTE are due to attend a second round of peace talks with Sri Lankan officials in Geneva in April, more..

Sri Lanka to ban Polythene by 2007

Mar 22 (Xinhua) The government will ban the use of polythene by 2007 and popularize eco-friendly packaging among the public, Rural Industries and Self Employment Promotion Minister S.B. Nawinna was quoted by Daily News Wednesday as saying. A trade exhibition was recently organized by the National Craft Council (NCC) to introduce eco-friendly packaging manufactured by the local craftsmen. more..

LTTE gunmen flee after firing on Troops on duty

Mar 22 (SLA) TROOPS ON A DUTY POINT in MANALKADU area, about 32 km Northeast of JAFFNA centre were compelled to open retaliatory fire this afternoon (22) at about 12.45 p.m. on fleeing LTTE men who have directed fire on the troops from a distant place. more..

LTTE Proxies In Armed Vehicle Robberies Remanded

Mar 22 (SLA) POLICEMEN SWIFTLY MOVED IN AND ARRESTED FIVE LTTE (Tamil Tigers) proxies involved in a spate of armed robberies of vehicles while all five of them, disguised as “military personnel” tried to rob one more vehicle on the highway at KATTANKUDY area in BATTICALOA. more..

One more teenager flees LTTE & seeks security from ICRC

Mar 22 (SLA) ONE MORE TEENAGER FORCIBLY DETAINED BY THE LTTE after he was ordered to visit un-cleared areas in WANNI on 15 Match 2006 has run away from the LTTE training camp at PALAI and surrendered to the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) Office at the entry/exit point in MUHAMALAI on Tuesday more..

LTTE hands over arrested home guards to Thamileelam Police

Mar 22 (TN) LTTE said that they have handed over to the Thamileelam Police the two home guards who they arrested on March 14 caught riding in a motorcycle inside the LTTE controlled area, The Thamileelam Court in accordance with the normal procedure could release these two home guards, Mr.Sithik Reseen (23) of Valaichchenai and Mr.Haniffa Anzar (30) of Thoppur, more..

Tigers reject Colombo's "pre-conditions" for re-entry of political cadres

Mar 22 (TN) LTTE, in a letter addressed to the Head of SLMM on Wednesday accused Colombo of imposing pre-conditions for the re-entry of their political cadres into Sri Lanka Army (SLA) controlled areas in the NorthEast. Rejecting the concept of "new pre-condtions," the Tigers charged Colombo of violating the understanding reached in Geneva more..

Sri Lankans sceptical about British promises to curb LTTE fund-raising

Mar 22 (AT) A wide cross-section of Sri Lankans interviewed by Asian Tribune since Britain said in mid-March it would help crackdown on fund raising by the LTTE among the substantial Tamil community in the country believes that this is only an attempt to placate the Colombo government and London is not serious about it. more..

Parliament pass several financial bills, including tax on TV entertainment

Mar 22 (LBO) Parliament Tuesday passed amendments to several financial bills, including a tax on foreign television programmes and compulsory lending to agriculture sector, that were proposed in the 2006 budget.bUnder changes to the Banking Act, licensed commercial banks or LCB's are required to maintain a minimum Rs1 billion in capital. more..

Sri Lanka's leisure industry recovers in February

Mar 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tsunami-hit tourism industry continued to recover this year, with arrivals for the two months to February rising 40.2 percent to 104,918 visitors, the Tourist Board said Wednesday. The tropical island greeted 52,687 (up 43.8 percent) holidaymakers in February. more..

New organization for separation of North & East

Mar 22 (LT) A new organization called “Alliance for Protection of Rights of the People in the East” (APRPE) was formed today (22nd) with the participation of several political parties. The meeting convened by Patriotic National Movement (PNM) and held at ‘Savsiripaya’ today morning was attended by representatives of 7 political parties. more..

Foreign trips are waste of money - NOC Chairman

Mar 22 (LeN) Sri Lankan authorities have to think twice when they send teams for overseas competitions, National Olympic Committee (NOC) Chairman Hemasiri Fernando said. Fernando who is also one of the officials of the massive Sri Lankan entourage here in Melbourne for the Commonwealth Games said that Sri Lanka should stop sending teams overseas for at least another three years. more..

Jeevan silent as US visa scam raised in parliament

Mar 22 (LeN) Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael Perera brought up in Parliament yesterday the forgery of US visas by sports ministry officials and demanded a response from the government. He said the government had an added responsibility to tell the public on the issue especially as Sports Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga has been implicated in the scandal. more..

CBK tells people to back Mahinda, UPFA

Mar 22 (LNP) Former President and SLFP leader Chandrika Kumaratunga who had been on a collision course with President Mahinda Rajapaksa for several months and reportedly flew off to Europe in a huff, yesterday changed course and called upon the people to strengthen the Rajapakse administration, at the local council elections next week. more..

Visa racket: CID to grill Jeevan again

Mar 22 (LNP) The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) is to question Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Jeevan Kumaratunga, once again, in connection with the Visa racket , which was found to have been conducted in his Ministry, police sources said yesterday (21). Kumaratunga returned from Japan on Monday (20) night. more..