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JVP to present their view on Geneva talks to President

Mar 3 (LT) JVP expects to express its objections to the President regarding the GoSL team to Geneva agreeing to continue with the CFA at its talks with tiger organization. JVP says that GoSL accepting CFA and agreeing to continue it was against 'Mahinda Chinthana' and was not compatible with the MoU signed between the JVP and Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse before the election. more..

Tourists are returning to Sri Lanka's beaches

Mar 3 (IHT) Tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka rose 37 percent in January from the previous year as tourists returned to the island after the December 2004 tsunami. Sri Lanka drew 52,231 visitors in January, compared with 38,190 a year before, the Sri Lanka Tourist Board said Thursday. more..

Missing LTTE cadres arrested by SLA, charges Elilan

Mar 3 (TN) The Liberation Tigers in Trincomalee said Thursday that they have submitted fresh evidence to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) to confirm that five of their members who had been reported missing since 25 September were arrested by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers. more..

President urged to write off agricultural loans

Mar 3 (TN) Amparai District Mosques Federation (ADMF) has appealed to President Mahinda Rajapakse to write off all agricultural loans given by state sector banks to farmers who were affected by tsunami and flood. The memorandum reminded the President that according to his policy statement "Mahinda Vision" agricultural loans to affected farmers would be written off once he assumed power, more..

Tiger rebels take schoolkids for 'battle show'

Mar 3 (ANN) The LTTE had on Feb 28 committed another CFA violation by taking a group of school children to witness its battle drill. An LTTE cadre had taken 40 school children and two teachers, during school hours, from Chavakachcheri, Jaffna to the LTTE-controlled Kilinochchi District where they were made to watch the LTTE cadres training for battle, Army sources said. more..

Iran, UAE to help Sri Lankan oil exploration

Mar 3 (Xinhua) Iran and the United Arab Emirates have pledged technological assistance to Sri Lanka to exploit its oil resources. Transport and Petroleum Resources Development Minister A.H.M. Fowzie said during his recent visit to the Middle East the two countries agreed to provide expertise on petroleum resources to Sri Lanka. more..

Lectures to recommence in Jaffna Campus

Mar 3 (TN) University educational activities, suspended end of last year due to impediment caused by the presence of State armed troops in university environs and resulting violent incidents, are to recommence partly Wednesday 8th March, University Student Union said in a press release issued Thursday. more..

Student participation in LTTE functions irks SLA commander

Mar 3 (TN) Major General Chandrasiri, Northern Region Commander of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), Thursday warned the five Regional Directors of Education in the Jaffna peninsula, not to permit students to participate in activities outside schools during school hours, education officials in Jaffna said. more..

Let the children go; let them go NOW

Mar 3 (ISL) Tuesday’s Associated Press report talks about the ceremonial and hypocritical handing over of 20 child combatants by the LTTE blaming it on the children themselves for having lied with their ages. According to LTTE’s Kilinochchi spokesman Daya Master, it seems this is part of a process taken by the Tigers to ensure that underage youths who voluntarily join the LTTE are sent back to their parents. more..

LTTE groups recommence extortions in Jaffna

Mar 3 (ISL) LTTE’s taxing and extortions, which were suspended for the last three months, have started again in Jaffna, according to sources from North. Sources added that the LTTE leadership instructed their money collectors and cadres who had started to operate in government control areas claiming to be political workers to resume the taxing and extortion campaign. more..

Karuna Group Opens Political Office In Batticaloa

Mar 3 (ISL) The Tamileela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal political party which is lead by former LTTE Eastern commander Karuna alias V. Muralitharan opened its first political office in Batticaloa town yesterday, according to sources from East. more..

Plan to nominate SB for Presidential elections in 2011

Mar 3 (LT) A group against Ranil within the UNP is planning to nominate Mr S B Dissanayake who is deprived of civic rights at the moment. SB who was given a special pardon by President Mahinda Rajapakse recently on his two year term of imprisonment for insulting the Supreme Court. more..

Two Swiss passport holders arrested for smuggling belts used by Black Tigers

Mar 3 (AT) Two Sri Lankans holding Swiss national passports were arrested at the Katunayake International airport for trying to smuggle in dangerous items used for suicide attacks and stealth military operations. more..

LTTE team meets Norway’s Foreign Minister today

Mar 3 (PIS) The LTTE delegation which took part in the just concluded Geneva talks with the government will meet Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støere in Oslo today to discuss the outcome of the talks on the implementation of the cease fire agreement. more..

Differences in Sri Lanka over Geneva talks outcome

Mar 3 (Hindu) Sri Lankan political parties and the LTTE have differed over the interpretation of the outcome of the recent Geneva talks. The difference is on an interpretation that the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) could be construed to have been amended "in spirit" as a result of the statement issued after the talks. more..

Bus crews plan massive strike

Mar 3 (LNP) Private bus crews have planned a crippling islandwide strike on March 27. The Secretary of the 40,000 strong All Ceylon Private Bus Employees Association (ACPBEA), Upul Premasiri told the media yesterday that the employees were facing numerous difficulties. more..

Chicken, eggs safe says Minister

Mar 3 (LNP) The avian flu (Bird Flu) has not entered Sri Lanka and the general public need not fear to consume chicken and eggs, local health authorities emphasised. The Ministry of Health has embarked on a ten-year programme to combat bird flu in case it enters the country. more..

The saataka-saree tangle

Mar 3 (LNP) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has fired a salvo at the Temple Trees in a bid to safeguard her party leadership. The battle of the Blues is raging and SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena has got caught in the crossfire. more..

Student invents flour sieving machine

Mar 3 (SAMN) A student, M.G.D.U. Marasinghe residing at Haloluwa in Katugastota has manufactured a machine for serving flour. He was a student at Haloluwa Junior School in 1997 and later entered Ranabima Royal College in Gannoruwa, after passing the Grade V scholarship exam. more..

Swedish head of SLMM, JHU concerned

Mar 3 (SAMN) The JHU Thursday voiced concern against the appointment of a Swedish head to the Sri Lankan Monitoring Mission, warning the government not to fall prey to a Norwegian trap of assisting the LTTE by making the appointment. JHU General Secretary Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera said the appointment of a Swedish national could obstruct the anti-LTTE sentiments in Europe including a full LTTE ban. more..

New legislation to protect coconut lands

Mar 3 (DN) The Government yesterday inaugurated a new Ministry for Coconut Development in line with a decision by President Mahinda Rajapakse to vigorously develop the country's coconut industry. The opening of the new ministry, the Ministry of Coconut Development took place yesterday at the Govijana Mandiraya, Ministry of Agriculture, Battaramulla. more..

Men charged with murder in tsunami theft

Mar 3 (UPI) Two Sri Lankan men will be tried for murder for grabbing a gold necklace from a woman during the 2004 tsunami, then letting her be swept away by raging waves. The cold-blooded act was caught on video, and the two men were imprisoned for theft on Jan. 13 last year. more..

Bribery Commission chiefs visit East

Mar 3 (SAMN) A group of executive officers of the Bribery Commission led by its Chairman Justice Ameer Ismail paid a special inspection visit in the tsunami-hit areas of eastern range during the past few days. The commission made this sudden visit to look into a number of complaints received by them related to the malpractices and corruption in the distribution of tsunami relief. more..

Sri Lanka to host change makers meet on gender violence

Mar 3 (OW) In the first ever effort in South Asia to raise the issue of Violence Against Women as many as 800 change makers from six South Asian nations will gather in Colombo on March 7, 8, and 9 to share their experiences on the efforts made in their countries towards ending such violence. more..

Sri Lanka canter to victory

Mar 3 (CI) Sri Lanka wasted no time in wrapping up a comprehensive victory in Chittagong, responding to an early setback with an authoritative run chase. Michael Vandort (64 not out) and Kumar Sangakkara (46) scored the bulk of the runs and Mahela Jayawardene (26 not out), Sri Lanka's new captain punched the winning runs through the covers off the last ball before lunch. more..

Sri Lanka may hold key to coping with climate change

Mar 3 (WT) WITH global warming threatening to bring a monsoon climate to the United Kingdom, a Bradford on Avon man is travelling to Asia to find out how our water systems would cope if the predictions come true. Dr Trevor Turpin, 59, of Avoncliff, will travel to Sri Lanka later this year to see how the islanders cope with monsoon conditions using 2,000-year-old water management systems. more..

India, Sri Lanka could rival S'pore as ship fuel hub

Mar 3 (Reuters) Ports in southern India and Sri Lanka have the potential to rival Singapore's dominance as Asia's shipping and marine fuels hub, if infrastructure concerns are overcome, a top shipping agent said. Christer Sjodoff, regional director in Asia for Gulf Agency Shipping (GAC), picked India's Cochin and Sri Lanka's Galle as ports with huge growth possibilities as more..

Orphanage not tied to Tamil Tigers

Mar 3 (TS) I am the Canadian nurse mentioned in this story. For 11 months, the Tsunami Tender Sprout Home Initiative (TTSHI) has raised funds for children at the Senthalir orphanage in Sri Lanka. Out of 132 children, 94 were killed during the tsunami of December 2004. more..

Govt to invite bids for oil exploration in May

Mar 3 (DJ) The government will soon call for bids for oil and gas exploration rights, after studies indicate there may be oil and gas reserves off the island's western coast. "Satellite and seismic surveys indicate there are oil deposits off Sri Lanka's coast. We are ready to call for bids by end-May," more..

Police find a haul of explosives hidden among coconuts

Mar 3 (AP) Police seized hundreds of sticks of dynamite from a truck transporting coconuts to the north, where an ethnic Tamil insurgency has raged for over two decades, a police official said Friday. The 348 sticks of dynamite were found Wednesday, hidden among a load of coconuts traveling to the eastern town of Mannar, more..

Truce monitors probe rebel claim of government arrests

Mar 3 (AP) European cease-fire monitors said Friday that they are investigating a complaint by separatist Tamil rebels that five of their members were arrested by the Sri Lankan government in violation of a cease-fire agreement. "We have received a complaint and we are now investigating," said Hagrup Haukland, who heads the 60-member mission, more..

SLA deny abducting LTTE cadres

Mar 4 (BBC) The military in Sri Lanka have denied any involvement in abducting Tamil Tigers in the volatile eastern district of Trincomalee. Sri Lanka Army (SLA) spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said no SLA personnel have entered the LTTE held territory since the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) was signed in February 2002. more..

Local egg prices tumble over bird flu fears

Mar 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s egg industry is cracking under pressure from bird flu scares, with farm gate prices dropping to low Rs. 2.00 levels around the island. A Colombo Egg Centre official told LBO on Friday that farm gate prices in the city had dropped to under Rs. 3.50 an egg, from an average of about Rs. 5.00 in January. more..

No need for explanations- Solicitor General

Mar 4 (LeN) The rejection of the nomination papers for the Colombo Municipal Council is a ministerial duty verbal order and as such there is no need to submit an explanation, Solicitor General Silva said in the Supreme Court today(3). more..

Explanation from Minister Siripala to Hela Urumaya is a failure

Mar 4 (LeN) The discussion held by the chief government negotiator Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva with Jathika Hela Urumaya policy formulator Patalee Champika Ranawaka to change the strong disapproval voiced by the party to the joint statement made by the government and the LTTE after the Geneva talks has failed. more..

Chandrika in France for Women's day

Mar 4 (LeN) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga will leave for France over the weekend to deliver a keynote address at a special ceremony organized in connection with International Women's Day falling on the 6th of this month. more..

Azwar media ombudsman

Mar 4 (BBC) President has appointed former opposition parliamentarian AHM Azwar as media ombudsman. The new ombudsman vowed to safeguard the right of the journalists to find correct information for their coverage. “I will also work according to Mahinda Chintana by listening to the concerns of the journalists and finding solutions,” he told BBC Sandeshaya. more..

A Temporary Reprieve

Mar 4 (OI) Nineteen million Sri Lankans heaved a collective sigh of relief when the new Mahinda Rajapakse government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam agreed to hold another round of talks in Geneva between April 19 and 21, at their meeting at the same location after a three-year hiatus. more..

Two children slain in home

Mar 4 (TS) A mother was clinging to life after her two small children were pronounced dead following an apparent double murder and attempted suicide in a Markham home last night. York Region police cordoned off the two-storey brick home and closed a section of Sophia Rd., in the McCowan Rd. and 14th Ave. area, immediately after the dinner-hour incident. more..

Colombo should demonstrate CFA obligations - Thamilchelvan in Oslo

Mar 4 (TN) "It is time for Colombo to prove demonstrated commitment to February 2002 Ceasefire Agreement," said LTTE's Political Head S. P. Thamilchelvan, who met Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahre in Oslo Friday. more..

Rehabilitation of King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha

Mar 4 (AT) On the 18th February 1815, Sri Vikrama Rajasingha (1798- 1815), the last serving monarch of Kandy was arrested, and subsequently transported to Vellore, India, where he died on 30th January 1832 at the age of 52. This was the darkest day in the history of the country - a defining moment. more..

The Tiger Mantra: Violate, Violence and Violation

Mar 4 (ISL) The ink has not even dried on the amended Ceasefire Agreement signed in Geneva between the respective delegations of the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, and yet the latter had the cheek and the insolence to violate it with utter disregard and impudence. more..

Construction of Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Project Commences

Mar 4 (LT) The foundation laying ceremony of the Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Project took place yesterday (3rd). Mr. W.D.J. Seneviratne, Minister of Power and Energy laid the foundation stone at an auspicious time for which CWC leader Mr.Arumugam Thondaman and several Parliamentarians of the party were present. more..

RO’s are not bound to give reasons for the rejection of nominations – SG

Mar 4 (LT) Solicitor General stressed before the Supreme Court that the returning officers are not bound to give reasons when they have rejected nomination papers. Solicitor general, C.R. De Silva said so when the appeal filed by the commissioner of elections soliciting court to set aside the injunction order issued by more..

S.B. should be made leader of UNP! - Mahinda Wijesekera

Mar 4 (LT) Mr. S.B. Dissanayake, jailed for contempt of court and was released on a presidential pardon should become the leader of the UNP, says Mr. Mahinda Wijesekera, Parliamentarian for Matara District. He said Mr. Dissanayake was sent to jail for expressing the viewpoint of the party. more..

Radio Transmission equipments were given Tigers by the then government- Solheim

Mar 4 (LT) Norwegian peace envoy, Eric Solheim has disclosed for the first time that Radio Transmission Equipment for the Tigers organization, which was at the center of controversy then, were purchased by non other than the government of Sri Lanka which was in power then. more..

UNP has no regard to the law

Mar 4 (LT) UNP parliamentarian, Mahinda Wijesekara at a meeting in Anuradhapura has said that whatever “Balu Theenduwa” (Notorious Court verdict) sent S.B. Dissanayake to prison and he was jailed for speaking out the stand of the party. He used the term “Balu Theenduwa” in reference to a verdict of the Supreme Court, more..

President Mahinda calls for explanations from Bogollagama

Mar 4 (LT) Sources from the President’s House said that president Mahinda Rajapaksha has decided to call explanations from Minister Rohitha Bogollagama in respect of several controversial problems that have arisen recently. This follows several complaints made by several members of the government delegation to Geneva for talks with the Tigers organization. more..

Local trademark applications get thrown out, as fortune hunters dig for gold

Mar 4 (LBO) About 35 percent of local trademark applications are thrown out, as fortune hunters try to strike gold by piggybacking on an already famous name, top officials said. "At least 35 percent of the trademarks that come to our office for protection should not have reached our office at all. These are all people having a free ride on someone else's trademark," more..

Kotte's UNP Mayor joins SLFP

Mar 4 (LeN) Kotte SLFP Organizer and Deputy Minister Aruna Ranatunga yesterday said that with the UNPers who crossed over to the SLFP, he was determined to set up a corrupt-free Municipal Council in Kotte. Mr. Ranatunga told a news conference that Kotte UNP Mayor J. M. Somadasa and councillors Siripala Cooray and Peremalal Athukorala had obtained SLFP membership. more..