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Murali bowls out Bangladesh for 234

Mar 8 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan's tour of milestones continued as he followed up 1000 international wickets in Chittagong with another full harvest in Bogra, claiming 5 for 79, his 50th five-wicket haul in 101 Tests. Bangladesh started with an early run splurge against the new ball but were soon pegged back after Muralitharan's introduction and they were soon bowled out for 234. more..

Sri Lanka presses for bigger slice of the Indian banking business

Mar 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka is pushing for greater access into the Indian banking industry when both countries meet for bilateral trade talks in May, industry sources said. Neighboring India recently streamlined capital requirements for banks entering into the country but there are still limitations on shareholder ownership and the number of branches that each bank can open. more..

SLMC seeks judicial remedy

Mar 8 (BBC) SLMC has urged the judiciary to order the Elections Commissioner to accept nomination papers for local elections earlier rejected due to an injunction order. The General Secretary of the SLMC, Asan Ali, has produced 12 petitions before the Appeals Court on Wednesday citing the Commissioner and the relevant retaining officers. more..

Lankan women demand 30% reservation

Mar 8 (HT) Taking a cue from their counterparts in India, Sri Lankan women are asking for 30 per cent reservation in all elected bodies, including parliament. This follows a finding that there are too few women in these bodies, though women are 50 per cent of the island's population of 20 million, and are over 50 per cent of the electorate. more..

Child soldier escapes from Tamil rebel camp, surrenders to Sri Lankan police

Mar 8 (AP) An underage combatant pressed into service by the Tamil Tiger rebels escaped from the group and has surrendered to police in eastern Sri Lanka, the country's military said Wednesday. The youth, now 15, was recruited into the Tigers along with three of his friends last July and taken to a camp near the eastern city of Batticaloa, more..

Sri Lanka's first mobile phone firm enters troubled areas

Mar 8 (AFP) Sri Lankan mobile phone company Celltel announced plans to invest 100 million dollars to bring services to the island's embattled northeast, but not in areas controlled by Tamil rebels. Celltel said they will add 500 new base stations in the north and east such as the port district of Trincomalee within three months. more..

EU chief election monitor calls for immediate electoral reforms

Mar 8 (AP) The European Union's chief election observer in Sri Lanka on Wednesday called for immediate electoral reforms in the island nation, warning that failure to do so could result in a loss of EU goodwill."It is not proper for me to issue threats," John Cushnahan told reporters about persistent delays in enacting EU-suggested reforms, more..

Time to stop Sri Lanka rebels distorting elections - EU

Mar 8 (Reuters) A Tamil Tiger boycott that swayed last year's Sri Lankan presidential poll was a travesty and urgent measures are needed to stop the rebels compromising future polls, the chief EU election monitor said on Wednesday. John Cushnahan said Sri Lanka will not be able to hold a comprehensive national election until the Tigers are reined in. more..

EPRLF decried Anton Balasingham for calling them a '‘paramilitary group'’

Mar 9 (AT) Eelam Peoples Liberation Front has slammed Anton Balasingham, alleged to be the one 'glorifies suicide bombers' and 'issues death threats to other from London' for labelling them as a 'paramilitary group.' T.Sritharan, General Secretary, EPRLF (P) - Pathmanabah Group was highly critical of Anton Balasingham. more..

President Mahinda Rajapakse’s UK style devolution analyzed

Mar 9 (AT) Mahinda Rajapakse has failed to comprehend the genuine aspirations of the Thamil people when he announced of a UK style devolution is the maximum he is prepared to concede to the Thamils and nothing more – this he said under his so called "maximum devolution under a unitary state" concept. more..

LTTE's Brussels Meeting A Major Flop

Mar 9 (ISL) The LTTE front Tamil Centre for Human Rights (TCHR) based in Geneva held a secret meeting in the European Parliament on March 7, 2006. The meeting was organised to influence the Commissioner for External Relations for the European Union Ms Benita Ferraro Waldner to take a more conciliatory LTTE line. more..

The Treasury to fork out Rs. 25 mn in dendro power subsidies

Mar 9 (LBO) The Treasury is to fork out a subsidy for wood based electricity generation, making tariffs for dendro-power higher and more investor-attractive. State utility, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) pays private developers who supply electricity to the national grid, on the basis of a Standard Power Purchase Agreement. more..

Transformation, not just reform of the state is the need of the hour

Mar 9 (TW) Transformation, not just reform of the state is the means to find a solution to the ethnic conflict, said a delegate at a symposium on Peace Processes organised by the Foundation for Co-Existence (FCE) on February 22 and 23 at the Ceylon Continental Hotel. more..

Solicitor General in a bid to score points

Mar 9 (LeN) Legal sources say Solicitor General C.R.De Silva is making plans to file a revised petition against the rejection of the petition filed by the Elections Commissioner in the Supreme Court seeking an order to dismiss the Appeal Court order which restrained the rejection of the UNP nominations for the Colombo Municipal Council. more..

Top positions not exclusive domain of women of elitist class- President

Mar 9 (LeN) Participating as Chief Guest of today's International Women's Day commemorative ceremony at the BMICH, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that some people still believe in the misconception that higher positions are still the exclusive domain of the women of the elitist class and stressed it is high time to disprove this wrong concept. more..

Reconstruction work on tsunami ravaged Galle Harbour starts

Mar 9 (RW) The laying of the foundation stone for the Galle Fisheries Harbour funded by the Government of Japan took place yesterday. The Galle Fisheries Harbour was among one of the worst affected by the 2004 tsunami. The estimated cost of the construction is approximately Rs. 559 million. more..

UN tsunami envoy chides Sri Lankans, praises India for response to disaster

Mar 9 (RW) United Nations tsunami recovery envoy calls it "unfortunate" that Sri Lankan leaders did not rise above their political differences to seize the opportunity for peace after the December 2004 tragedy ravaged the country. But, Eric Shwartz praised India's government for its efforts to rebuild following the disaster. more..

Muslims urge Government, LTTE and Co Chairs to take their demand for a delegation seriously

Mar 9 (AT) Representatives of Muslim Civil Society and the Political Leadership which met at a round-table discussion has reiterated their demand for a separate independent delegation to represent the Muslim interest at any future talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE. more..

Rise in the number of public offices charged with offences of bribery, corruption

Mar 9 (SLBC) The number of government offices arrested in connection with the charges of extortion of bribes or corruption has risen. A report of the Commission to investigate into allegations of bribery or corruption revealed that there is a considerable increase in this regard within the past three years. more..

Sri Lankan State lacks consent of Tamil people - TNA MP

Mar 9 (TN) Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, the Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian, speaking at a symposium in Brussels, Belgium,Tuesday, explained how the Sri Lanka state failed to win the consent of the Tamil people, whom it claimed to govern. more..

Manju sets sights on Asian Games instead

Mar 9 (ANN) Injured high jumper Manjula Kumara Wijesekera who has been ruled out of next week’s Commonwealth Games in Melbourne has set his sights on winning the Asian Games title and retaining the South Asian title with a new mark. "After the unfortunate incident, winning in Colombo and Qatar are my top priorities now," more..

Politics and cricket: Games Sri Lankans love to play

Mar 9 (KT) A FEW years ago, a Sri Lankan journalist received a call from a provincial cricket correspondent who wanted to give a match report over the phone. The young journalist, who had spent much of her life in the US, knew very little about cricket. She took down the notes, typed out a copy and handed it over to the sports editor. more..

Protesting tsunami refugees occupy government building

Mar 9 (wsws) Tsunami refugees from Kalmunai in eastern Sri Lanka occupied local divisional secretariat premises on February 22 in an angry protest over the failure of government authorities to provide permanent housing. The mostly Muslim and Tamil populated area was one of the worst affected by the Tsunami. Fourteen months later, the refugees are still living in temporary shelters. more..

Continuous Search Operations Recover More Explosives

Mar 9 (SLA) TROOPS ON SEARCH AND CLEAR OPERATION IN JAFFNA have found three hand grenades, two grenade launcher bombs and thirteen T-56 magazines with ammunition form the waysides of KANKASANTHURAI - THELIPPALAI main road on Tuesday (07) around 6.15 p.m. more..

Positive contribution by International players, key to Peace in Sri Lanka - Senewiratne

Mar 9 (TN) "Marginalising and excluding the Liberation Tigers, a key player to the peace process in the island, will mean the end of the failed state Sri Lanka," a Sinhala expatriate physician supportive of Tamils right to self-determination told a gathering of EU officials at a symposium organised in the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday. more..

Brussels speaker misses the point on genocide

Mar 9 (ISL) The LTTE’s Brussels efforts to impress on the members of the European Parliament emerged like a dew of the dawn and evaporated into the thin air in no time. The LTTE was more successful gathering their goon(da)s in Geneva to attack a community of Sri Lankans – Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims – who expressed their democratic rights to demonstrate for a peaceful solution to the ethnic crisis. more..

Fuel station operators warn of downside in petroleum retailing

Mar 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s fuel station operators are warning potential industry newcomers of the downside of petroleum retailing in an effort to halt further fragmentation of the industry. The Petroleum Dealers’ Association, which represent the over 600 fillings stations island-wide, said the business is becoming unviable as new filling stations spring up too close to existing outlets. more..

UNP’s only duty attending Courts and insulting the JVP – Wimal Weerawansa

Mar 9 (LT) ‘Except insulting the JVP and attending Courts to safeguard the rejected nominations and the UNP has no other duty today’ said Parliamentarian Mr Wimal Weerawansa, the Propaganda Secretary of the JVP. He made these comments at a rally held at Kantalai town today (09). more..

Child suicide cadres tell horrifying tale

Mar 9 (PIS) Two young would be suicide cadres who made a daring escape from the clutches of the LTTE yesterday revealed a tale of continuing child abductions carried out by the rebels despite an assurance to the contrary given to the international community at the Geneva talks. more..

Ex- Sri Lanka players take hardcore stand to save cricket from doom

Mar 9 (LNP) Fearing the worst for Sri Lanka`s cricket, three former Test players of contrasting styles yesterday made a vibrant appeal to President Mahainda Rajapaksa to restore what they called democracy in the game through the dismantling of the controversial interim committee and holding of an election to pick its governors. more..

Norochcholai coal power project - Agreement to be signed on March 15

Mar 9 (LNP) The agreement on the much awaited Norochcholai coal power plant will be signed between the Sri Lanka government and the Chinese government on March 15. A Ministry of Power and Energy official said that the Norochcholai power plant will be built initially to generate 300 MW power which will be developed to supply 900 MW under three phases. more..

Azwer assures his best for `Mahinda Chintanaya`

Mar 9 (LNP) Media Ombudsman A.H.M.Azwer stated that President Mahinda Rajapaksa handed over a gigantic task to him with many responsibilities and assured the Media Community, that he will do his best for the success of` the `Mahinda Chintanaya.` Mr.Azwer was speaking at a Media function held at the Fathima Muslim Balika Vidyalaya, in Colombo - 12. more..

JHU begins polls campaign from Kandy

Mar 9 (SAMN) The Jatika Hela Urumaya started its local government election propaganda campaign from Kandy making an offering of its manifesto to the Sri Dalada Maligawa, Kandy on Tuesday (7). The manifesto enclosed in a silver casket was placed before the Sacred Tooth Relic on the mal asanaya of the shrine by the leader of the JHU, Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera. more..

US reassures support for truce talks

Mar 9 (SAMN) The US Government's has pledged its fullest support towards the second round of truce talks to be held in Celigny next month. This assurance was made by US ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead at a meeting with Healthcare and Nutrition Minister and Leader of the Government Delegation for truce talks, Nimal Siripala de Silva. more..

Educate public on human rights: Judge

Mar 9 (SAMN) Intellectuals for Human Rights (IHR) organized a full-day workshop on protection of human rights which was held recently at the National Library Auditorium, Independence Square. Five speeches on different aspects of human rights delivered by the distinguished legal experts in Sri Lanka included, more..

President to launch 'Gamata Karmantha' programme

Mar 9 (DN) Applications for 150 industries have been handed over to the Ministry of Industrial Development according to the request by the Ministry to initiate industries based upon the tax concessions declared by the budget 2006 to established industries in divisional secretary areas, according to "Mahinda Chinthanaya". more..

Tharanga powers Sri Lanka to safety

Mar 9 (CI) Upul Tharanga starred with a career-best 160 not out, his maiden Test century and highest first-class score, to revive a Sri Lanka innings that was in a parlous state in the morning. Batting throughout the day, Tharanga battled hard, as Sri Lanka closed on 302 for 8, a lead of 68 runs. more..

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2005

Mar 9 (USDS) Sri Lanka is a constitutional, multiparty republic with a population of approximately 20 million. President Mahinda Rajapaksa,elected on November 17 to a 6-year term, and the 225‑member parliament, elected in April 2004 alsofor a 6-year term, share constitutional power. more..

Sri Lanka raises investment limits for foreign-owned firm

Mar 9 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's investment officials said here Thursday that minimim levels of investment applicable to foreign-owned small businesses will be raised by five fold. As a result, 250,000 U.S. dollars minimum is required with immediate effect to set up business such as restaurants, health clubs, shops and other businesses in the island. more..

Prof. Hoole appointed VC of Jaffna Campus

Mar 9 (TN) University Grants Commission (UGC) announced Thursday the appointment of Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole, Professor Peredeniya University and member of (UGC), as the new Vice Chancellor (VC) of Jaffna University by President Mahinda Rajapakse. He will succeed Prof. S. Mohanathas whose tenure expires end of March, education officials said. more..

Sri Lanka aims to almost quadruple foreign investment this year

Mar 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka aims to almost quadruple foreign investment from 2005 to one billion dollars this year by raising the amount of cash required to earn tax breaks, the country's investment arm said. "We have raised minimum investment levels in order to attract bigger investors and boost total investments," more..

Muslims assail LTTE ‘plots’

Mar 9 (Dawn) Sri Lanka’s chief Muslim party, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), has accused the LTTE of carrying out a ‘sinister operation’ to link Sri Lankan Muslims with extremist Muslim groups such as Al Qaeda and vehemently denied accusations by the Tamil Tigers that a Muslim Jihadi group was operating in the east of the country. more..

Coast Guard saves 5 Lankan fishermen

Mar 9 (NIP) The Indian Coast Guard, Chennai has co-ordinated with the Sri Lankan authorities and rescued five Sri Lankan fishermen, who were adrift on board of a boat on the high seas, 100 km East of Karaikal. The fishermen, who had left Tangale on February 26, were adrift for 10 days due to a machine break down, a Coast Guard press release here said. more..

Foreign Minister visits Europe for talks on island's peace process

Mar 9 (AP) Foreign minister left Thursday for Europe to discuss the island nation's peace process, as a resumption of violence threatened to derail a fragile four-year-old truce. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will visit Britain, France and Belgium for talks on "a range of bilateral issues and certainly, the peace process too," more..

Yahoo Photos

Mar 9 (Reuters) A model in Sri Lanka's traditional clothes poses during the opening day at the 40th International Tourism Fair (ITB) in Berlin March 8, 2006. The world's largest tourism fair representing about 10,400 exhibitors from over 180 countries more..

UNP calls for genuine power sharing

Mar 9 (Xinhua) UNP says that a solution to the country's long drawn out separatist armed conflict could only be reached through a genuine power sharing plan with the minority Tamil community. S.B. Dissanayake, the UNP national organizer, told reporters here Thursday that his party would be extending its fullest support to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse's peace plans. more..

SLMC granted further hearing

Mar 9 (BBC) The judiciary in Sri Lanka have ordered the authorities not to conduct local government elections in Chilaw district without reaccepting rejected nomination papers. The Appeals Court on Thursday ordered the elections commissioner to report on 13 March whether rejected nomination papers of the SLMC will be reaccepted. more..

Military accuses Tamil rebels of truce breach in North; civilian shot dead

Mar 9 (AP) Sri Lanka's military on Thursday accused the Tamil Tiger rebels of violating their fragile four-year-old cease-fire after soldiers uncovered hauls of ammunition and weapons in the country's north. The caches, including three grenade launchers, 13 live magazines for T-56 rifles and some hand grenades, were discovered in Karaweddi and Tellippalai, more..

Garment workers petition president for wage increase

Mar 10 (JS) More than 24,000 garment workers have signed a wage position which has been handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Sri Lanka’s US$ 2.7bn export garment industry directly employs around 200,000 people – mostly women from rural parts of the island where alternate employment is scarce. The basic, minimum wage of a garment worker is LKR4,300 (US$ 43). more..

JVP protests paddy "propaganda"

Mar 10 (BBC) Police in Sri Lanka have baton charged farmers calling for the government to establish a proper programme to sell their cultivation at Welikanda, Polonnaruwa. Thousands of protesters blocked Kaduruwela area for nearly three hours accusing the rice mill owners of influencing the paddy prices. more..