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Japan to extend 21.6 bil. yen in low-interest loans to Sri Lanka

Mar 25 (Kyodo) The government signed an agreement Friday to extend up to about 21.6 billion yen in long-term, low-interest loans to Sri Lanka to finance several projects for port and tourism development and infrastructure repair to help stabilize the country's economy, the Foreign Ministry said. more..

Jaffna students 'violated' CFA

Mar 25 (BBC) The Sri Lanka military says their soldiers had to take action to remove an LTTE flag hoisted in Jaffna Technical College after repeated requests to remove it. Sri Lanka Army (SLA) was requested by the police to help remove the illegal hoisting of the flag, military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said. more..

Commissioner blasts electoral system

Mar 25 (BBC) The Elections Commissioner, Dayananda Dissanayake, has made a scathing attack on the island’s political leadership and the electoral system. The Commissioner says that the political party leaders should not be allowed to undermine the democratic rights of the voters to elect their chosen candidate. more..

JVP must accept a federal solution

Mar 25 (ISL) Statesmanship calls for great decisions. Sri Lanka has been crying for such for decades and all our political parties hooked to narrow interests have failed the country and its people. As a result corrosive issues have taken roots and today we stand mired in them unable to move towards sense and sensibility. more..

SL inaugurates a mega handloom exhibition in Colombo

Mar 25 (AT) Handlooms Development Minister Jayatissa Ranaweera says that economically collapsed handloom institutions now shows progress after launching the Mahinda Chinthana programme to end corruptions and improve its productivity. Minister said that local handloom weavers have shown good progress and now they contribute to improve the quality of their products. more..

Abductions worry Sri Lanka students

Mar 25 (BBC) Four years ago the Tamil Tigers agreed a ceasefire with the Sri Lankan government, but talks aimed at ending the violence forever and solving the island's political problems have yet to make a breakthrough. In eastern Sri Lanka there is an uneasy peace. more..

Norway Campus opens Skills Lab in Kallady

Mar 25 (TN) "We have established the Training and Skills Laboratory, the first of its kind in Sri Lanka, to the Eastern University (EUSL) to effectively address the medical needs of the East of Sri Lanka," said Chief Guest Ms. Solveig Wiesener, Director, Centre for International Health (SHI) of Norway Tromsø University Medical Faculty, declaring open the laboratory in Kalladi Batticaloa, more..

Sinhala groups tire of Norwegian peace brokers

Mar 25 (IPS) "Norwegians who conspire to divide Sri Lanka, get out," read a large banner carried by a group of 150 saffron-clad, head-shaven Buddhist monks demonstrating in front of Norway's mission here this week. To dispel any doubts, the monks, grouped under the National Bhikku Front (NBF), presented a memorandum to the mission outlining its misgivings and complaining that, more..

World Tea Expo in Las Vegas held March 27-29

Mar 25 (AT) The World Tea Expo, the United States’ premier marketplace for the tea industry, will have its three-day Expo from Monday, March 27 through Wednesday, March 29 with the participation of world’s premier quality tea producing countries such as Sri Lanka, India, China and Kenya here in this world famous gambling city of Las Vegas which attracts 3.5 million visitors annually. more..

Schools' wildlife programmes going on apace

Mar 25 (WS) The Wildlife Conservation Department’s special Wildlife Awareness programme for schoolchildren living in dangerous areas, begun in 2004 is going well, with children showing great enthusiasm for the programmes, an official of the department told the ‘Weekend Standard.’ The programme of awareness was extended to schools in dangerous areas in the Bundala,Hambantota and Uda Walawe districts. more..

Colombo's open air art fair, Kala Pola, is back

Mar 25 (WS) Sri Lanka’s annual open air art gallery cum fair ‘Kala Pola’ comes alive this year on Sunday the 2nd of April on the shady sidewalks outside the Art Gallery and just in front of the lush greenery of the Vihara Maha Devi Park in Colombo. Conceived and organized by the George Keyt Foundation, Kala Pola will be sponsored by John Keells Holdings for the 13th consecutive year. more..

Massive endeavour to salvage Sudu Ganga

Mar 25 (WS) A survey conducted by the Matale District Community Environmental Organisation has revealed that the Sudu Ganga 43 kilometers long carrying Mahaweli water from the Ukuwela Power Station to Bowatenna reservoir has been subject to erosion destroying its banks and bed since 1976. more..

Tremendous potential at handicrafts village

Mar 25 (WS) The handicraftsmen of the Sigiriya handicrafts village set up in historic Sigiriya to provide facilities to market their creations of local handicrafts to foreign buyers and tourists are faced with a number of problems. There are facilities for fifty two handicraftsmen here to produce batik, ruk kala, gold, silver and brass items, ola leaf books, Dumbara mats etc. more..

Cocktails by the seaside

Mar 25 (Hindu) THE Sri Lankans have a unique way of putting across things. With the avian flu fear permeating nearly every corner of the globe, newspapers have columns on how the import of chicken had been temporarily stopped and various reassurances provided to the public. But nothing could be as effective as the huge paper poster on a prominent wall on Galle Road. more..

TECH donates mini-lathe to self-taught craftsman

Mar 25 (TN) The Economic Consultancy House (TECH) donated a mini-lathe and other accessories costing about Rs 50K to a self-taught entrepreneur in Muthaiyankattu near Mullaitivu to encourage his inventive spirit amid poverty, and to reward technical astuteness despite his bringingup in an technologically deprived environment, more..

Three More Students Abducted By LTTE

Mar 25 (SLA) PARENTS HAVE REPORTED TO THE TROOPS that the three more teenaged female students of the ILAVALAI Convent have been abducted by the LTTE men on 23 March 2006, The abducted students, R.R. SARADHA (16), M.S. SINDRAJA (16) and D. WANITHA (16), have been taken forcibly to an undisclosed destination while they were traveling to VAVUNIYA through the LTTE held area. more..

JVP can’t help solve crisis

Mar 25 (TW) I read the article of Mr. Anandasangari and offer a few comments. Having been a keen observer of the political scene from village level I have a fair knowledge of the thinking of the rural population. When the Portuguese arrived in Ceylon in 1505 there were three independent Kingdoms, Kotte, Kandy and Jaffna. more..

Ten Questons For Sinhala Nationalists

Mar 25 (TW) In 1948, with the anticipation of independence which was to be declared on February 04, 1948, a motion was tabled in January 1948 calling for the adoption of Lion Flag of the last Sinhala King of Kandy, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe as the National Flag. Senator S. Nadesan who was part of the Parliamentary Select Committee has to say this. more..

The sacred, mundane, profane and obscene

Mar 25 (TW) In Saivite Hindu philosophy (Sithantham), Mayai/ Maya (Where the appearance belies the facts or truth- an illusion of sorts), is a central theme. A child given a wooden toy in the form of an elephant and asked what it is will definitely answer that it is an elephant. The same answer could be expected of most adults. more..

Tamil Canadians and the Human Rights Watch Report

Mar 25 (TW) The largest concentration of Sri Lankan Tamils outside Sri Lanka is in Canada. More than 250,000 Tamils live in Canada now. Of these more than 200,000 Tamils are in the Greater Toronto area. Toronto is the largest “Sri Lankan Tamil” City in the Global Tamil Diaspora. The Tamil population here is larger than those in North - Eastern cities and towns more..

Solution to the ethnic problem is in the hands of the JVP

Mar 25 (TW) It is with mixed feeling that I read your statement released on the eve of the Peace Talks in Geneva. I am pleased with the boldness with which you have expressed your views relating to the Dictatorial regime illegally established by the LTTE in parts of the Northern and Eastern Provinces but disappointed a little with some others. more..

‘Prima’ fire 1600 employees arbitrarily

Mar 25 (LT) Prime Ceylon Ltd. has arbitrarily dismissed 1600 employees. Employees of an institution belonging to Prima group, producing poultry products, staged a strike on the 20th to win over certain demands. Inter Companies Employees Union says the demands were presented to the authorities on several occasions. more..

JVP member seriously injured

Mar 25 (LT) Several members of the JVP were seriously injured when thugs of H.B. Serasinghe, Minister of Provincial Council and electoral organizer of SLFP for Anuradhapura East and Duminda Dissanayake, Deputy Minister of Ports attacked them. more..

President Rajapakse cuts out red tape to promote Korean investors

Mar 25 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse moved swiftly yesterday to facilitate the Korean investors proposing to build a multi-million dollar hospital project by cutting through red tape and bureaucratic delays. The Korean investors were about to pull out of Sri Lanka and take the project to Vietnam, when the President intervened to promote the Korean investment in Sri Lanka. more..

'Gamaneguma' programme aimed at developing 38 Thousand villages

Mar 25 (SLRC) The “Gamaneguma programme aimed at developing 38 Thousand villages countrywide has been launched at a ceremony held at “Jayamini” village at Siyambalanduwa in the Moneragala district this morning under the auspices of the president. This village Upliftment programme is being implemented to achieve rapid development in rural areas more..

Sri Lanka peace talks clouded by distrust

Mar 25 (Gulf) Sri Lanka is one country where you take no time to pick up the thread from where you left it be it three months or three decades ago. It is the same old ethnic divide in different forms at different times. The Sinhalese are on one side and the Tamils, particularly in the north, on the other. Sometimes, the divide takes an ugly turn. Then the two sides fight each other. more..

Lanka sees Pakistan as ally

Mar 25 (Dawn) With India keeping a non-committal stance on matters related to the Tamil ethnic question, Sri Lanka has begun to see Pakistan as an ally which can be counted upon if the LTTE provokes another war. President Rajapakse, who will make his first official visit to Pakistan later this month, is tipped to focus primarily on the purchase of military equipment, defence sources revealed. more..

Housemaid keeps child in fridge to make him stop crying

Mar 25 (KT) A Sri Lankan housemaid has been remanded to police custody for allegedly torturing a four-year-old boy in a bid to make him stop crying. Investigations of the Abu Dhabi Public prosecution in the incident, which was reported by the parents of the child, revealed that the domestic servant, used to keep the boy inside the fridge to prevent him from crying. more..

People in North-East must enjoy freedom and democracy - Mangala

Mar 25 (PIS) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera expressed hope the LTTE would accept the rule of law in the near future renouncing separatism and violence so that the people in the North and East can enjoy freedom and democracy like others. Minister Samaraweera said this would be the day all peace loving Sri Lankans would roll out the red carpet to welcome the LTTE into the multi ethnic and multi cultural Sri Lankan society. more..

No armed groups operate in controlled areas: Army chief

Mar 25 (PIS) Army Chief Sarath Fonseka yesterday reiterated that there were no armed groups operating in the cleared areas, as accused by the Tamil Tigers. The Army Chief assured: “I am 100 percent sure that there are no armed groups operating in our controlled area as we had taken tough action against the presence of such groups”. more..

Anura blasts Bogollagama for violating etiquette

Mar 25 (LNP) The Tourism Minister Anura Bandaranaike yesterday blamed Investment Promotion Minister Rohitha Bogollagama for holding a meeting with tourism representatives without consulting him and called it a violation of basic etiquette. In a thundering letter sent to Minister Bogollagama, he reminded him that he is no more in the UNP and now in the SLFP and vowed to take up the matter with President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Rain water harvesting system to be launched

Mar 25 (LNP) The first rain water harvesting system constructed under the `Improving Water Security in Southern Province Affected by Tsunami Through Domestic Rainwater Harvesting Systems` of the Lanka Rain Water Harvesting (LRWHF) will be handed over to the households at a ceremony on March 28 at 8.30 am at the Godamaga Buddhist Temple. more..

`Kandyans want change`

Mar 25 (LNP) People of Kandy are joining the general wave of support to the government as they want a change in the administration of the Kandy Municipal Council, which has been traditionally held by the UNP for almost six decades, Opposition Leader of the Council Sena Dissanayke said Thursday (23) at the monthly meeting of the council. more..

Dramatic court scene in heroin case

Mar 25 (SAMN) An accused in one of the largest drug detection cases Friday collapsed inside the Colombo High Court dock while the narcotic officer was identifying the packets of heroin recovered from a house at Ward Place. Chief Inspector Priyantha Liyanage was giving evidence before High Court judge Upali Abeyratne in the case where twenty three kilograms of heroin were detected when the accused Jayagodage Upali Abeygunawardena collapsed and the trial was postponed for March 31. more..

Mohamed guns for Milinda and Maharoof

Mar 25 (SAMN) UNP veteran M.H. Mohamed Friday called for disciplinary action against the two members who allegedly tampered with the UNP’s nomination list for the Colombo Municipal Election. Mr. Mohamed in a letter to party general secretary N.Y.K.K. Weragoda said the two members whom he identified as M.H.M. Maharoof and Milinda Moragoda should be stripped of all positions they hold more..

Walk with me, Akram tells Lankans

Mar 25 (SAMN) Pakistani cricket star Wasim Akram will lead a walk against diabetes, tomorrow from 8.00 a.m. from the Ceylinco House, Colombo and move forward passing the World Trade Centre, Lake House Roundabout, Trans Asia, Gangaramaya Temple area and end at the Island newspaper publication House premises. more..

Bumper harvest from Mahaweli areas

Mar 25 (DN) The Sri Lanka Mahaweli Authority has targeted to obtain 328,008 metric tons of paddy from paddy lands in the Mahaweli movement at the upcoming 2006 Yala season. According to estimated figures, paddy production in the Mahaweli areas in this year's Yala season will be worth over Rs.5,500 million, more..

Sri Lanka's poultry trade hit by bird flu scare: officials

Mar 25 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's poultry industry has been hit by unfounded fears over possible outbreak of bird flu, officials told a gathering of small scale poultry farmers and traders late Friday night. Poultry farmers and traders had suffered a 67 percent drop in their business turnover due to fears. more..

Tamil businessman shot dead in northern Sri Lanka

Mar 25 (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels shot dead an ethnic Tamil businessman in northern Sri Lanka after he refused their demands for money, the military said Saturday. His assistant was also injured. Ponniah Muruges, 45, was working at his shop in Vavuniya when armed men stormed in Friday night and opened fire, the military said on its Web site. more..

Sri Lanka rebels blow up selves, patrol boat - navy

Mar 25 (Reuters) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels blew up their own trawler and sank an approaching Sri Lankan navy attack boat on Saturday, leaving eight sailors missing at sea off the island's west coast, the military said. Eleven navy sailors escaped the blast but search teams were still scouring for eight members of the crew, more..

There is no President Rajapaksa if not for the JVP - Tylvin

Mar 26 (LeN) There is no President Mahinda Rajapaksa if not for the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and there is no Alliance government if not for the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, JVP General Secretary Tylvin Silva claimed. The President remains President because of the JVP, if not for the JVP he would not have been elected President, more..

Attorney General will not appear for IGP

Mar 26 (LeN) The Attorney General has stated that he is unable to appear on behalf of the IGP in the fundamental rights petition filed against him for illegal transfers of police officers. The Attorney General has explained that all transfers of the Police Department should be effected by the Police Commission and as the Commission is not functioning at present, transfers carried out now are illegal. more..

President urged to shoulder responsibility of war-affected children

Mar 26 (LeN) As the children of the North and East have been deprived of their basic rights due to the ethnic conflict, the President should take the leadership to ensure the duties and responsibilities towards them by the government are fulfilled since Sri Lanka is a signatory to the United Nations Children's Charter, more..


Mar 26 (TS) THE only positive outcome of the two-day talks between the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE in Geneva last month was the two sides agreeing to meet again in the Swiss capital from 19 to 21 April for the next round of talks. The danger of Eelam war IV breaking out, which seemed imminent, has receded, at least for the time being. more..

Saving the Tiger

Mar 26 (AT) The decision to postpone Local Government elections in Tamil majority districts of the North and the East is a victory for the LTTE and for the multi-partisan Southern policy of sacrificing the democratic rights of the Tamil people to appease the Tigers. more..

Sri Lankan girl deported from NZ taken in by Hong Kong

Mar 26 (RNZ) The Labour Department says a Sri Lankan teenager deported from New Zealand two years ago has been accepted as a refugee by the United Nations and is living in Hong Kong. In 2004, the girl was refused refugee status in New Zealand and sent back to Sri Lanka despite her claims she had fled sexual and physical abuse there. more..

The Sri Lankan knot

Mar 26 (DH) Sri Lanka is one country where you take no time to pick up the thread from where you have left it off three months or three decades ago. It is the same old ethnic divide in different forms at different times. The Sinhalese are on one side and the Tamils, particularly in the north, on the other. The divide takes an ugly turn, as it has done many a time before. more..

Below-par teams look to alter precedent

Mar 26 (CI) As competitive as the cricket has been between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the greater battle has always been to determine the more hospitable host - who offers more mehmaanawaazi (or hospitality). Pakistan have been courteous enough to not win a Test series against Sri Lanka at home since 1991-92. more..

Grand coalition on the cards: Colombo

Mar 26 (Hindu) The Government has said a "grand coalition" was on the cards with the support of key minority parties — the Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), in the coming months. Denying reports in the media of a possible national government with the main Opposition United National Party (UNP) or a snap Parliamentary poll, more..

CMC vehicle buying spree in Colombo

Mar 26 (WS) Despite the City of Colombo being plagued with many issues, the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has gone on a lavish vehicle purchase spree which has reportedly cost the Council a whopping Rs. 72 million. The Council approved the purchase nearly two months ago, despite vehement protests by the Opposition parties more..