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UNESCO to host World Press Freedom Day meet in Sri Lanka

Mar 2 (OW) The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will be hosting its annual World Press Freedom Day conference in Sri Lanka on 1-3 May 2006, which will focus on the link between freedom of the media and poverty eradication. more..

Nandana-Rathana Vindana

Mar 2 (TW) I received a call from my friend Daya at 5 p.m. on February 23 and got a surprise invitation to join him to attend a welcome ceremony for the delegation of Sri Lankan MPs at Mt. Albert memorial hall, Auckland at 7 p.m. Leaving all domestic affairs aside, I agreed to join him as he indicated that MPs representing all major parties in Parliament will grace the occasion, more..

Govt is to pay compensation for Kabul Lanka workers who lost their jobs

Mar 2 (SLRC) Government is to pay compensation for Kabul Lanka workers who lost their jobs. government has decided to pay compensation to 3,200 workers who lost their jobs owing to the closure of bankrupt kabul lanka textile factory in Thulhiriya. more..

SLMM informed of the mysterious school trip

Mar 2 (SLA) TRANSPORT OF FORTY SCHOOL STUDENTS with two teachers into un-cleared areas of KILINOCHCHI by an alleged LTTE supporter from CHAVAKACHCHERI Hindu College for an undisclosed motive, has been reported to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) by Security Forces in Jaffna. more..

Farther claims his son abducted

Mar 2 (SLA) FOUR UN-IDENTIFIED MEN on two motorbikes on Tuesday (28) around 5.30 p.m. have abducted a twenty-three year old man from KILIVEDDY area in TRINCOMALEE. The abducted man’s father, A. KADIRAGAMAN, has informed the troops about the abduction of his son, A. DINESHWARAM (23) the previous day. more..

HRC happy over progress in Jaffna talks

Mar 2 (SLA) THE THIRD ROUND OF MUTUAL DISCUSSIONS on ways and means to further promote relations and understanding between civil sector organizations and the Security Forces in Jaffna was held Tuesday (28) afternoon at Palaly where a few more concerns were raised by a representative gathering of Human Rights Commission (HRC). more..

Move to install Buddha statue in Hindu Temple stirs controversy

Mar 2 (TN) Leader of Upcountry Peoples Front (UPF), Periyasamy Chandrasekaran, has brought to the attention of Inspector General of Police (IGP), Chandra Fernando, the alleged attempts by local Sinhala residents to install a Buddha statue inside the premises of the historic Hindu Temple in Ukkuwela in Avissawala, more..

Japan provides US$185m development loan to Sri Lanka

Mar 2 (TN) Japanese Government Tuesday announced a new package of loan of US$185 million (Yen 21,560m) for three projects, Galle Port Development (US$125m)), Infrastructure Development of Eastern Province (US$38m), and Tourism Resources Improvement (US$22m). more..

Lord Konesar three-day procession concludes

Mar 2 (TN) The three- day procession of Lord Konesar, chief deity of historic Koneswaram temple which began on Monday evening after Maha Sivarathiri day observance covering entire Trincomalee town in three stages concluded Thursday morning with the return to temple located inside the Fort Frederick, Trincomalee residents said. more..

Excessive rain curbs Sri Lankan tea production

Mar 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s tea production for January dipped to 24.7 million kilos from 26.0 million kilos a year earlier due to excessive rain, a commodity broker said Thursday. January production shows a slight increase over December figure of 23.3 million kilos, but Sri Lanka’s crop has been on the downward slope since October 2005, more..

Lankan Pilgrim Dies at Airport

Mar 2 (AN) One of the Sri Lankan Haj pilgrims breathed his last at the Colombo International Airport last Thursday. Consul General Masihudeen Inamullah said that Mustaffa Ahamed Kalanther Lebbe, 70, who could not return home with other pilgrims due to his serious illness died at the Bandaraniake International Airport. more..

Candidate for top UN post seeks Qatar’s support

Mar 2 (TP) Jayantha Dhanapala, the Sri Lankan candidate for the post of the UN Secretary-General in the next elections to be held by the end of this year is in Doha seeking support from the Qatari government for his candidacy. Dhanapala, a seasoned diplomat is currently senior adviser to the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Ramaraj Affair: LTTE On The Spin

Mar 2 (ISL) The so-called "National Liberation Struggle" spearheaded by the LTTE is showing its ugly face once again on a defenceless man who has been incarcerated by the Swiss government which prides itself as beacon of democracy. The Tamil Broadcasting Corporation head V Ramaraj was arrested by the Swiss police in Geneva on February 23, more..

President curbs foreign trips for Ministers

Mar 2 (LeN) Ministers should not undertake more than five overseas trips a year. President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. The President in a directive cautioned the Ministers that they should not undertake more than two private trips and at no time should a minister be accompanied by the Ministry Secretary on overseas Trips. more..

Private tsunami donations top Rs. 26 b.

Mar 2 (LeN) Central Bank disclosed yesterday that the private tsunami relief donations as at end January 2006 was Rs.26.5 billion. It said that the funds had been received by the Government, non-Governmental Organizations and others in Sri Lanka as private foreign and local donations through banking channels towards tsunami disaster relief. more..

SLMC to seek relief from Court of Appeal to accept their Nominations

Mar 2 (LM) SLMC intends to file applications in the Court of Appeal tomorrow to get an order from the court instructing the elections commissioner and the returning officers, especially in the electoral districts of NE and Puttalam to accept the nominations submitted under the party symbol Tree. more..

UNP, JVP, JHU, LTTE dismiss CFA amendment claim by Govt.

Mar 2 (LNP) The main Opposition UNP, the JVP, the JHU and the LTTE yesterday in separate statements dismissed government claims that the ceasefire agreement was amended at last week`s Geneva talks. The LTTE registered its strong protest to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, more..

Plans to replace Mental Health Act

Mar 2 (LNP) Plans are underway to present a new Mental Health Act to replace the 137 year old act which is currently in operation. The President of the College of Psychiatrists Dr. Jayan Mendis said that they had drafted a new act with necessary modifications to the old act which is outdated in today`s context. more..

Mistaking shadow for substance

Mar 2 (LNP) The plethora of arguments and criticism about the outcome of the Geneva talks reminds us of the story of the seven blind men who, in their attempt to ascertain the shape of an elephant, described the animal in terms of the part of the elephant`s anatomy each touched. more..

UNP report yet to be submitted

Mar 2 (SAMN) The committee appointed to investigate the rejection of the UNP nomination list for the Colombo Municipal Council is yet to submit the report despite claims by some UNP frontliners that the report had already been submitted. more..

Joint protest by university students

Mar 2 (SAMN) The Sagara Vishva Vidyala Maha Shisya Sangamaya together with student unions of all the other universities is to stage a continuous sit-in at the Fisheries University premises in Matakkuliya, beginning today, to press the state authorities to affiliate their Vidyalaya to the University of Jayawardenepura. more..

Hotline for farmers

Mar 2 (SAMN) The Agriculture Development Ministry has established a special hotline service "Govi Sahana Sarana" for the benefit of farmers to provide immediate information on agricultural matters. The Ministry has set up this hotline service at the Audio Visual Centre, Gannoruwa, Peradeniya. more..

Railway strike suspended

Mar 2 (SAMN) The strike threatened by 23 railway unions was suspended Wednesday after successful talks with Transport Minister A H M Fowzie. The unions which threatened to go on a 48 hour strike today and tomorrow were promised the three salary increments and appropriate incentive allowances as demanded. more..

Sticker campaign against sexual harassment in buses

Mar 2 (DN) A campaign against sexual harassment in public transport will be launched on the International Women's Day March 8th by the Women's Education and Research Centre. The campaign will be carried out with the help of the Police, with the pasting of stickers in the buses according to Women's Education and Research Centre. more..

January tourist arrivals up 4.4% on year

Mar 2 (DJ) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals in January climbed 4.4% on year, indicating the island has fully recovered from effects of the catastrophic 2004 tsunami, a government official said Thursday. "The January numbers are encouraging, and we are hoping to achieve a full year record target (for 2006) of 600,000 visitors," more..

Sri Lanka progress towards victory

Mar 2 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan, celebrating his 100th Test match, claimed a decisive advantage for Sri Lanka with a mesmerising second-innings spell, claiming 6 for 54 as Bangladesh were skittled for 181. Sri Lanka, forced to scrap hard for two and a half days, finished on 25 without loss needing just 138 more for victory. more..

Murali breaks the 1000-wicket barrier

Mar 2 (BBC) When cricket fans of the future look back on the period either side of the millennium, Muttiah Muralitharan will surely be viewed as a phenomenon. In 13 and a half years representing Sri Lanka, he has sent more than 1,000 international batsmen on their way back to the dressing room. more..

India welcomes talks between Sri Lankan Gov't and LTTE

Mar 2 (Xinhua) India welcomes talks held between Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE in Geneva on Feb 22, Indian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. "We are also happy to note that both sides have renewed their commitment to respecting and upholding the Ceasefire Agreement," a statement by the ministry said. more..

SL's stand on truce pact will damage peace process: LTTE

Mar 2 (HT) The government's claim that the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) was amended at the recent Geneva talks will "seriously undermine" the peace process, the LTTE has warned. "These attempts to distort and misinterpret the joint statement issued by the parties after the Geneva talks, will damage mutual trust and seriously undermine the peace process," more..

Lanka opposition wants ceasefire details out in open

Mar 2 (Gulf) The controversy over amendments reported to have been made to the existing Ceasefire Agreement with Tamil rebels has taken a further turn with the opposition demanding that the government make a clarification on the amendments. The main opposition is demanding that the government makes public the amendments it is reported to have made to the existing CFA. more..

Japan asks Colombo, rebels to stop bickering, settle issues

Mar 2 (AP) A top Japanese envoy urged the Sri Lankan government and separatist rebels to take a practical approach to resolve their differences and stop "tirelessly arguing formula or conditions." "A violence-free Sri Lanka will invite more development assistance and investment from all over the world - strengthening the country's financial position," more..

Japan tells Sri Lanka: Don't take aid for granted

Mar 2 (Reuters) Japan warned Sri Lanka on Thursday not to take hundreds of millions of dollars' in aid for granted, saying future assistance will depend on the government tackling policy inconsistencies and reform delays. more..

Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels abducts Tamil man

Mar 2 (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels abducted a Tamil man from his home in northern Sri Lanka, the military said Thursday, as authorities investigated whether the victim is linked to groups that oppose the guerillas. Four suspected rebels snatched A. Dineshswaram, 23, from his home in Muttur last week, more..

'Lakbima' in hot water over salary issue

Mar 2 (LeN) A worker unrest has erupted in Lakbima Newspaper Publications agaisnt the tapping of all incoming and outgoing telephone calls of journalists of 'The Lakbiba', 'The Rejina' and The Samudura newspapers and the pruning of overtime and other allowances under the pretext of a pay hike. more..

Sri Lanka lifts ban on Indian poultry feed

Mar 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka has decided not to ban imports of poultry feed inputs from bird flu hit India, on condition that it is thoroughly fumigated before it is shipped here. All Island Poultry Association chief D D Wanasinghe said Indian exporters had agreed to fumigated its maze exports to Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka Telecom links up with Maldives

Mar 3 (LBO) Fixed line giant Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) will add the Maldivian incumbent telco operator to its list of regional clients, commissioning an undersea cable by late 2006. Tenders for the 10 gigabit undersea cable project are now being evaluated, SLT Deputy Chief Operating Office C B R Perera told LBO on Tuesday. more..

No peace in government media policy

Mar 3 (LeN) A decision has been taken to appoint an ombudsman to look into the grievances of media personnel, secretary to the Media Ministry Ganegala told a media briefing this evening. The heads of the state media institutions were also present at the media briefing and Ganegala said the government has decided to appoint a committee to formulate a policy for the state media. more..

President has taken JVP and Hela Urumaya for a ride -UNP

Mar 3 (LeN) The President has taken the JVP and the Hela Urumaya for a ride, UNP parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella said at a media briefing in Colombo today. Prior to the presidential election, Mr. Rajapaksa promised these parties to rip off the peace process or at least to amend it, but agreeing to uphold the cease-fire agreement signed by Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Geneva talks, the President has fooled these two parties. more..

Negotiating team to brief Hela Urumaya and JVP

Mar 3 (LeN) President Mahinda Rajapakasa has instructed the government negotiating team to brief the JHU and the JVP in the wake of their opposition to the joint statement issued after the Geneva talks. The two parties alleged that the government's agreement to uphold the cease-fire agreement was a violation of the consensus reached by these two parties with Rajapaksa prior to the presidential election. more..

U.Va. Art Museum features Buddhist art of Sri Lanka in special exhibit

Mar 3 (UV) Organized by the Phoenix Art Museum and drawn from private collections, “Guardian of the Flame: Art of Sri Lanka” is the first U.S. exhibition to comprehensively explore the rich Buddhist heritage of Sri Lanka. The exhibition, which runs from Jan. 21 through March 19, comprises approximately 100 rare and historic works made of stone, bronze, ivory, crystal and wood. more..

UNV hosts sports camp to gain Sri Lankan youth

Mar 3 (UNV) Youth from different communities and backgrounds in Sri Lanka are taking part in a three-day sports camp this week to boost awareness of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and foster cultural dialogue. Backed by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme-led sports camp will run from March 3 to 5. more..

Language barrier

Mar 3 (FL) WHAT'S in a language? Everything, as far as Sri Lanka is concerned. Fifty years after Ceylon (as it was then called) opted for Sinhala as the main official language, the course of the island-nation has been charted along linguistic lines. South Asia's 19-million-strong paradise island has battled the language issue ever since. more..

Sri Lanka plans to setup tea promotion centers

Mar 3 (AT) The Sri Lanka Tea Board and the Ministry of Plantation Industries are planning to set up Tea Promotion centers in many foreign countries. Presently, according to the Ministry, they are holding discussions with foreign partners to set up these Tea promotion centers in many foreign countries. more..

Sri Lanka's national carrier begins pilot hunt

Mar 3 (AT) The country's national carrier SriLankan attempted to play down the ongoing crisis they are facing with currently, and claimed that despite the airline losing 'several' pilots, they were also in the process of recruiting new ones, sources said. more..

Sri Lanka still not an independent country – Prime Minister

Mar 3 (LT) Prime Minister Rathanasiri Wickramanayake says that foreign forces are still in action within this country. He expressed this view at a special ceremony held at Wariyapola Sri-Sumangala Vidyalaya at Asgiriya, Kandy to mark its 15th anniversary. more..

Holding mini poll in un-cleared areas in a quandary

Mar 3 (LT) Holding elections for 78 local bodies in un-cleared areas is in a quandary says office of the Commissioner of Elections. The reason for this is inability to provide security. According to ceasefire agreement signed between RaniI Wickremasinghe and Velupillai Prabhakaran, government security forces are barred from entering un-cleared areas. more..

Monthly telephone bill of the Ports Authority chairman is Rs.190,152/-

Mar 3 (LT) All Ceylon General ports Employees Union says in a letter addressed to the president that the mobile phone bill of the chairman of the ports Authority for the month ending on 4.02.2006 amounts to Rs.190,152.36. Ports Authority has paid Rs.150, 000.00 on 15.02.2006 by the voucher No. EM/13/5821 in settlement of this bill. more..

JVP to take action against election violence by tigers

Mar 3 (LT) The JVP has paid attention to take actions to prevent election violations that the tiger organization is expected to commit during the mini poll for local government bodies in the North and the East. A spokesman for the JVP speaking to 'Lankatruth' said the Political Bureau of the party had idely discussed the matter and is prepared to discuss with anti-tiger Tamil political parties. more..

Container clearance to K-Port Company?

Mar 3 (LT) All Ceylon General Ports Employees Union says in a letter addressed to the president, plans are underway to assign the clearance and issue of the containers presently handled by the employees of the Ports Authority to the K-Port Company. more..

SLFP Leadership should go to Mahinda – S.M. Chanadrasena

Mar 3 (LT) Deputy Minister of Agriculture, S. M. Chandrasena says that the leadership of the SLFP should be vested with the president. He pointed out that the leadership to the country and to the party should always go together and the two in deviation with each other could make things difficult to work towards a better future. more..