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Legal experts divided over JSC nominations

Mar 6 (LNP) Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva has sent in two nominations to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to fill vacancies in the Judicial Service Commission but legal experts were divided over the executive powers to do so without the approval of the Constitutional Council which is now defunct. more..

`Mahinda Chinthana` is not to privatize State ventures: Mahinda

Mar 6 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa who sent a message of felicitation, on the occasion of the opening of the Union of Post and Telecommunication Officers (UPTO) building in Fort yesterday, said that the policy of the `Mahinda Chinthana` is not to privatize State ventures that are a strength to Trade Unions such as UPTO. more..

Doubts over next round of talks

Mar 6 (SAMN) The LTTE has raised serious doubts over the second round of talks with the government scheduled for next month following Saturday’s Vavunativu attack which killed two rebels.LTTE political head S.P. Thamilselvan alleged that armed groups operating with military backing were directly involved in the incident more..

Deadly blow from 300 factories program

Mar 6 (SAMN) Sri Lanka Chamber of Small Industry (SLCSI) has expressed fears over a possible invasion of foreign firms in response to the Government’s 300 factory programme and in the process threatening the existence of local industries. more..

Workshop for security professionals

Mar 6 (SAMN) A four day workshop for Certified Information Systems Security Professionals (CISSP) will be held from March 13 to 16. The programme would cover the foundations level of the ten domains of knowledge relevant to become a CISSP, including security management, cryptography, telecom and network security, more..

Random checks on official residences of Divisional Secretaries

Mar 6 (DN) Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister Dr.Sarath Amunugama has made it compulsory that the Divisional Secretaries who have official residences live in them and the Ministry would conduct random checks to find out whether they occupy the official residences. more..

Geneva talks a victory for the nation, says Rajapakse

Mar 6 (Hindu) Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapakse, has described the Geneva talks as a "victory for the entire nation," and promised to continue with his peace efforts despite opposition from his unitarist and hardline electoral allies, a media report said. more..

Lanka's masked realities

Mar 6 (HT) For a poor country Sri Lanka has indeed taken impressive strides in social development. The Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is lower, and life expectancy and literacy are higher in comparison with other South Asian countries. But this is a façade, which hides a grim reality, points out Dr ST Hettige, Professor of Sociology at the University of Colombo. more..

Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels kill a former Sri Lankan soldier

Mar 6 (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels shot and killed a former Sri Lankan army soldier, the military said Monday, in the latest violence threatening the country's uneasy cease-fire. Mohamed Navas, 22, who left the army last year after he was injured in an accidental grenade explosion, was shot three times in his chest at his home in eastern Valaichenai late Sunday, more..

Sri Lanka faces first post-Geneva challenge

Mar 6 (OW) In the aftermath of the first round of ceasefire talks in Geneva the question is whether the peace process will be a sustainable one or not. Compared to the last occasion that peace talks commenced, in Thailand in September 2002, the sense of optimism is less. This time around there is a more sober assessment of the possibilities. more..

Sri Lanka to turn back clocks by 30 mins in April

Mar 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will permanently move its clocks back by half an hour in April, a senior official said on Monday, putting the island five and a half hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in line with neighbor India. The director of the policy research and information unit at the president's office, Lucien Rajakarunanayake, said the decision came after parents complained that it was still dark when children left for school in the mornings. more..

President summons all parties in effort to save peace process

Mar 6 (AP) Sri Lanka's president summoned the leaders of all major political parties on Monday in a bid to salvage the country's faltering peace process, threatened by increasing violence as well as by sharp differences among his allies. "We all have to discuss and find ways to continue the peace process," more..

Sri Lanka hardliners back govt after rebel talks

Mar 6 (Reuters) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse's hardline Buddhist and Marxist allies agreed to keep backing his government on Monday despite concerns over talks with Tamil Tiger rebels. Both the Marxist JVP and Buddhist monk party the JHU have long opposed making any concessions to the LTTE, more..

Marxists call on Sri Lanka to take tougher line on rebels

Mar 6 (AFP) A key ally of Sri Lanka's government urged a tougher stance against Tamil rebels and to beef up training for the country's security forces to deter the Tigers from going back to war. "The government of Sri Lanka should speak softly and carry a big stick, which will greatly negate the LTTE threat of a return to hostilities," more..

High school students strike over military interference; rebels kill soldier

Mar 6 (AP) At least tens of thousands of high school pupils in northern Sri Lanka refused to attend classes Monday, blaming military interference and a ban on students taking part in rebel-related activities. Most of the 136,000 students in Tamil-dominated Jaffna province boycotted school after a military commander told educational authorities to prevent students from joining events organized by the LTTE, more..

Sri Lanka’s largest tyre maker strikes a Rs. 17.5 mn wage deal with workers

Mar 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s largest tyre manufacturer CEAT struck a deal with its trade unions for a Rs. 3275 wage hike over three years, as part of a newly minted collective agreement. The company announced on Monday that it had signed a three year collective agreement with its trade unions at its Kelaniya factory, which would result in productivity and efficiency gains. more..

Price hikes inevitable after election

Mar 7 (LeN) Economic experts have warned of an impending collapse of economy with escalating price hikes of essential commodities and services after March 30th local government polls. The government owes staggering 70 billion rupees to the Railway and Postal Departments, the Power and Energy sector, the Petroleum Corporation and the CTB, they pointed out. more..

Hakeem to join Rajapaksa govt

Mar 7 (BBC) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader Rauff Hakeem says his party is yet to decide whether to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government. The SLMC leader however avoided repeated questions by BBC Sandeshaya whether the party is considering any move towards joining the government. more..

UNP calls for direct talks

Mar 7 (BBC) The main opposition in Sri Lanka, United National Party (UNP), has demanded government engage in talks with them parallel to talks with the Tamil Tigers. Senior UNP lawmaker Dr. Jayalath Jayawardhane said that the party urged President Rajapaksa to conduct direct talks with the UNP and opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe. more..

Modern buildings do not necessarily reflect development of a country

Mar 7 (AT) Speaking at the Architect 2006 to mark the inauguration of the annual Sessions and the National Conference on Architecture, Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, Prime Minister said “In a developing country such as ours, architectural skills are called for an increasing volume and frequency”. more..

Norway clarifies it role as a neutral facilitator

Mar 7 (AT) Norway plays a neutral role stressed Norwegian Ambassador in Sri Lanka. This was the reaction of the Ambassador Hans Brattskar following a statement from Anandasangaree, President of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), said to be widely reported in the media in Sri Lanka. more..

Jayawardene enjoying captaincy challenge

Mar 7 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka's interim captain in the absence of Marvan Atapattu who has been rested for the tour, spoke to Cricinfo about the first Test against Bangladesh and the performances of his young players, many of who are bidding to stake long-term claims to regular places within the side. more..

Sri Lanka head running for ICC events

Mar 7 (CI) Sri Lanka is being targeted by the ICC as the country to host their first-ever Twenty20 World Cup in 2007 and the Champions Trophy in 2008. This heartening news comes in the wake of Sri Lanka successfully hosting the Under-19 World Cup last month. more..

CBK relinquished from duties of the president of the SLFP

Mar 7 (LT) Former president, Chandrika Kumaratunge has temporarily relinquished from the duties of the president of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. She in a letter addressed to the General Secretary of the SLFP has said that she took this decision as she has to be away from country for professional and health reasons. more..

Endeavour to create equality among all communities- President

Mar 7 (LT) President Mahinda Rajapaksha said that we should endeavour to create equality among all communities mainly Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burger and it is our collective responsibility to develop a peaceful environment where everyone can live with mutual understanding and in collaboration with each other. more..

Govt prepares to meet the national energy crisis that will crop up in the year 2010

Mar 7 (SLRC) Government prepares to meet the national energy crisis that will crop up in the year 2010. The ministry of power energy says that the construction of upper kotmale, norochcholai, kerawalapitiya and trincomalee power plants expeditiously is the only alternative to tackle this problem. more..

11 out of 12 endangered species of the country are on the verge of extinction

Mar 7 (SLRC) 11 out of 12 endangered species of the country are on the verge of extinction. A programme to tackle this threat of extinction is being implemented by local zoological gardens. sri lanka is one of the 250 high biodiversity areas in the world. Around 90 mammals are living in the island. Of this, 40 are on the verge of extinction. more..

The Govt’s programme of providing new houses for estate population

Mar 7 (SLRC) The government’s programme of providing new houses for estate population has been accelerated. Housing projects are being implemented in several plantation areas under the 50,000 houses programme for estate population fulfilling a pledge given in the mahinda chinthana. more..

'Tamils want their kids to be soldiers'

Mar 7 (ANN) Accused by a UN agency for abducting and recruiting over 5,375 child soldiers during the present ceasefire, and besieged by the international community for its record in this respect, the LTTE arrived in Geneva in February armed with its latest defence and explanations. more..

Consensus between Govt & UNP in the offing! - Karu Jayasuriya

Mar 7 (LT) Just as they wished that the first round of talks in Geneva would be a success they would like to wish that the next rounds of talks too would be successful said Mr. Karau Jayasuriya, deputy leader of the UNP. He said so at the All Party Conference held at President’s House yesterday (6th). more..

Northern fishermen call off protest action

Mar 7 (TN) Valligamam South and West fishermen temporarily called off their protest against Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) after the Northern Regional Sri Lanka Navy Chief assured the fishermen, at a meeting Monday at Mathagal, that he will take action to stop SLN soldiers from harassing the fishermen and damaging their fishing accessories, more..

LTTE delegation returns from Geneva

Mar 7 (TN) Members of the Liberation Tigers delegation which took part in the Geneva talks held on 22-23rd February returned to Kilinochchi at 3 Tuesday on a Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) helicopter, media sources in Kilinochchi said. more..

Tamil Democratic Congress Launches Website

Mar 7 (ISL) The Tamil Democratic Congress (TDC) which was formed in November 2005 has launched its website on the day before its major programme to hold a parliamentary campaign meeting in the House of Commons in London on 7 March 2006. The website is another addition to more..

Tigers deprived the voting rights of Tamil community

Mar 7 (LT) The European Union says that the Tiger organisation denied the franchise of the Tamil community depriving their right seriously. The European Union has stated this in their observation report on the last Presidential elections. The President of this Committee Mr John Kushnahan who arrived in the island yesterday (06) is scheduled to meet the President Mr Mahinda Rajapakse and other leaders of political parties. more..

Muslim Businessman shot dead in Eravur

Mar 7 (LT) An unidentified gunmen has shot and killed a 32-year old Muslim businessman on Navalady lane in Eravur town on Monday (06) around 9.15 p.m. The victim, Abdul Majeed Jaufer (32) of Rahumania Street, Eravur, was riding his push bicycle towards his home after closure of his shop late in the evening. more..

Credit Card users in the increase

Mar 7 (LT) According to latest reports of Central Bank of Sri Lanka, usage of credit cards by the public has considerably increased during the past year. The total of credit cards which was at 507,591 in December 2004 has been increased to 637,326 in December 2005. Thus an increase of 129,735 is recorded. more..

Suspects in several cases as candidates in mini polls

Mar 7 (LT) Police headquarters sources say many candidates at the forthcoming Local Government polls have been charged for various offences such as drug sales, murders, robberies, bribery and corruption etc. It is reported that these candidates are engaged in election campaigns with death threats to other candidates. more..

Govt attention on electronic monetary transactions

Mar 7 (LT) The Government is considering on implementing electronic monetary transactions in the country. This was stated by the Minister of Scientific Affairs Mr Tissa Vitharana in Parliament today (07). The Minister made this comment presenting the Act on Electronic Transactions. more..

Norway should not continue as the facilitator - Wimal Weerawansa

Mar 7 (LT) “We should not continue to keep Norway as the facilitator which plays a dubious role betraying our motherland. Our stance is that the motherland could not be protected without defeating both terrorist backing Norway and terrorist backing media” said Mr Wimal Weerawansa, Propaganda of the JVP. more..

War equipment brought by the Tigers released on a directive from the Defence Ministry

Mar 7 (LT) The Customs had detected several equipments used for war operations with the team who participated in Geneva talks on their arrival at Katunayake today (07). The Customs officers have detained these equipment with relevant catalogues. The Customs officers have informed the Airport authorities on this detection. more..

“Progress for women is progress for all “ – and Sri Lanka on Women’s Day

Mar 7 (TW) “No enduring solutions to society’s most pressing problems can be found without the full empowerment and participation of women,” says Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of United Nations Population Fund, in her tribute to women around the world marking the March 8th, 2006 Women’s Day. more..

Govt's programme to provide midday meal for students is now successfully in progress

Mar 7 (SLBC) The government?s programme to provide midday meal for students is now successfully in progress. Two hundred seventy one thousand eight hundred and seventy students at 6,027 schools across the island are receiving midday meal under this programme. more..

Lankan’s body to be sent home soon: official

Mar 7 (GT) THE body of Sri Lankan expatriate Manokaran, who was killed in a clash between two groups in the Industrial Area would be flown home shortly, said a Sri Lankan embassy official. Manokaran, said to be in the mid-20s, died on February 13 in hospital after being admitted following a group clash on February 6 in the camp of the cleaning company where he was employed. more..

President invites party reps. for talks monitoring

Mar 7 (PIS) President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday invited representatives from all political parties to get involved in monitoring the Ceasefire Talks in Geneva for the speedy resolution of problems that may arise during the talks. more..

President faces fire but firm on peace

Mar 7 (PIS) The joint statement issued after the two day talks in Geneva came under heavy fire by opposition parties at the all party conference yesterday -- deepening the confusion over the peace process, though President Mahinda Rajapaksa vowed he would go ahead with it. more..

Lasting peace not easy to gain - de Silva

Mar 7 (PIS) Although the first round of the peace talks between the government and the LTTE was quite successful, a lasting peace for the country could not be achieved easily, said Health and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. more..

Constitutional Council delays appointments to monetary board

Mar 7 (LBO) The monetary board of Sri Lanka's central bank is now short of one member as a procedural snag has held up the appointment of a replacement. The Monetary Board, which guides the country's economic direction by setting policy interest rates now consists of more..

CBK appoints Ratnasiri acting SLFP president

Mar 7 (LNP) Former President and President of the SLFP Chandrika Kumaratunga has turned on the heat in the simmering crisis in the SLFP appointing Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake as its acting President the period that she will be away from the country several months. more..

Do as we bid or we depart: JHU

Mar 7 (LNP) 'We are aware that the Cease-Fire Agreement (CFA) identifies the LTTE controlled areas and that they can bear arms within those territories. In the joint statement we have agreed to disarm all armed groups including the `Karuna` faction and criminal gangs in the South. The SLMM will submit a report to the next round of talks assessing to what extent the military managed to disarm them. more..

Govt. to implement national policy on Grade 1 admissions

Mar 7 (LNP) The Education Ministry yesterday appointed a committee to look into ways of implementing a national policy on Grade 1 admissions to both national and provincial schools next year. Ministry Secretary Ariyaratne Hewage told journalists the committee would comprise Ministry officials and provincial education authorities who would study the present system before making new recommendations. more..