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Centres to train 15,000 nurses in three years

Jan 14 (SO) Training Centres have been set up to train 15,000 nurses within the next three years. Two new training centres have been set up under this program at the Matara and Hambantota General Hospitals in addition to the centres at the Colombo National Hospital, Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital Kotte, Teaching Hospital, Karapitiya, General Hospital Badulla and Teaching Hospital at Kalubowila. more..

Federalists in – JVP

Jan 14 (ST) As the Rajapaksa government gets ready to welcome more than a dozen UNP MPs into its fold, the JVP yesterday accused President Rajapaksa of violating the agreement signed with it before the elections. An angry JVP frontliner Anura Dissanayake said the party had worked hard to help Mr. Rajapaksa win the 2005 presidential election, but now he was blatantly violating many of the clauses in the 12 point pre-election agreement between the two parties. more..

LTTE strengthens its striking power

Jan 14 (ST) The undeclared Eelam War IV now raging is assuming a unique character different from the three phases earlier. Never before have members of the public countrywide been forced to personally feel the impact. This is the direct result of bombs that exploded inside buses. The one in Nittambuwa on January 5 left six dead and more than 50 injured. The other in Godagama in Hikkaduwa on January 6 left 15 killed and over 40 wounded. more..

Half the Govt. corrupt: JVP

Jan 14 (ST) More than half the members of the Government are allegedly linked to bribery and corruption but due to the lax attitude in taking action against them, the practice is continuing unabated and unrestrained, senior JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake charged. The JVP member who on Thursday revealed an attempt to lease the Government-owned business undertaking BCC in a fraudulent manner said appeals to President more..

Britain hopes to sign protocol on investing in big Sri Lankan projects

Jan 14 (ST) Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom are expected to ink a protocol on investment in mega infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka, official sources said. Colombo will now prepare the general outline and refer it to London by March leaving the relevant ministries on both sides to thrash out the specific details, The Sunday Times was told. more..

President's son sails to UK demolishing Navy traditions

Jan 14 (LeN) "The Sunday Leader" news paper today reported that the president's second son Yoshitha Rajapakse has been sent to the UK last week on a full naval scholarship to "Dartmouth academy". According to this report, from his batch it is only Yoshitha who had the "luck" to be selected for the scholarship. According to web based naval sources, normally selections for limited berths in basic training abroad will be based on performance during training. more..

Pakistani nuclear expert alleges Harry extorted $ 2 million

Jan 14 (NS) Controversial business tycoon Harry Jayawardene is alleged to have extorted US Dollars 2 million from a Sri Lankan born businessman involved in the international nuclear technology smuggling scandal. A letter written by “The father of the Pakistan nuclear bomb”, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan to the then President Chandrika Kumaratunge and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe reveals facts relating to this scandal. more..

Consumer Courts to the rescue of housewives

Jan 14 (NS) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) proposes to establish Consumer Courts this year to protect the consumers. Chairman of the CAA Sarath Wijesinghe told The Nation that they proposed to have specific courts for consumer affairs to promote fair trade and to prevent unfair and restrictive trade practices. more..

JVP unions to flex muscle over six demands

Jan 14 (NS) The JVP affiliated trade unions in the government sector are to launch a token strike on February 2, urging the government to implement six demands put forward by them including a 35 percent salary increase and an increased cost of living allowance. Chairman of the National Trade Union Action Centre and JVP MP K.D. Lalkantha said that all employees in government departments and public enterprises will resort to trade union action over six demands. more..

Hectic lobbying as crossover moves intensify

Jan 14 (NS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has moved shrewdly to strengthen his position in parliament by attracting more members from the UNP to the government ranks while at the same time keeping the main opposition silent by tying them down to an MoU signed between the two parties to cooperate on four vital areas. However UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe too has moved in swiftly to stem the erosion within his party ranks by speaking to most of the MPs in the rebel group. more..

Sri Lanka violence kills 11, commandos take Tiger bases

Jan 14 (AFP) At least five soldiers and six civilians have been killed in Sri Lanka as Tamil Tiger rebels and government troops traded long-range artillery fire in the island's restive east. The rebel LTTE fired artillery at army positions in Mankerni in the district of Batticaloa on Saturday killing five soldiers in two attacks, the defence ministry said in a statement. more..

Sri Lanka flood toll hits 18 as rescuers reach the stranded

Jan 14 (AFP) The death toll from floods and mudslides in Sri Lanka climbed to 18 as relief workers reached marooned residents, the National Disaster Management Centre said. The centre's director, Nimal Hettiarachchi, said 18 deaths had been reported in the southern, eastern and central parts of the island which were the worst hit by heavy monsoon rains. more..

SLC's interim committee set for the long haul

Jan 14 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket's (SLC) interim committee administration under entrepreneur Jayantha Dharmadasa has been in office for nearly two years. Reviewing the work done by the interim committee in the past 21 months, Dharmadasa said he was happy the way things had gone. He said that along with head coach Tom Moody and the cricket committee, the interim committee members had got together and worked as a team with each individual doing his part. more..

Food supplies arrive in Jaffna

Jan 14 (BBC) A shipload of essential food items have arrived in Kankasanthurai port, Jaffna, authorities said. Government officials said the second shipload to arrive to be distributed through Cooperative shops and other private trade outlets. 350 private shops have been selected by the Divisional Secretaries, Journalist Ponniah Manikkawasagam said. more..

The forgotten Sinhalese Thai Pongal festival - Alootsaulmangalle

Jan 15 (AT) Thai Pongal – a harvest festival and it is celeberated to thank Sun God for prosperity. The celeberations is used to be held on the First day of the Thai (January) month in the Tamil calendar. A similar festival was celeberated by the Sinhala Buddhists in the ancient days. It is called Alootsaulmangalle. - the Festival of new Rice, which is held in the month of January. more..

Large scale exodus from LTTE controlled areas continue unabated

Jan 15 (AT) The large scale exodus from LTTE controlled areas continued unabated with more than 200 civilians fleeing several Tiger controlled villages during the past few days alone. A spokesman attached to the media centre for national security said that about 97 displaced persons who were living in LTTE controlled Vaharai had escaped to the government controlled area on Friday evening. more..

No candles, kerosine for villagers cut off by landslides in Sri Lanka

Jan 15 (AP) Isolated and cut off from supplies because of heavy landslides, displaced people in this remote central Sri Lankan village say their stocks of candles and kerosine oil are exhausted. "We lit our last candle yesterday and our kerosine oil stock is finished so we will have no lighting at night," said R.B. Weerasooriya, a village administrative officer. more..

Counties want Bandara

Jan 15 (ECB) Sri Lanka leg-spinner Malinga Bandara is courting interest from English county sides for the forthcoming summer. Bandara is one of the short-listed candidates for the prestigious “most promising player award” and his English manager, Rob Ashwell, confirmed there had been contact from at least three county sides. more..

Is Sri Lanka becoming another Congo of the 1980s?

Jan 15 (TW) Today, there are many parallels between the Congo under Mobutu and Sri Lanka of today. Corruption is rampant at all levels of government, the city of Colombo is littered with garbage, and the roads full of pot holes; maverick bus drivers drive at breakneck speed endlessly tooting their trumpet like air horns with scant regard for schools, churches, embassies or even the Temple Trees, the President’s residence. more..

A time for renewal and rededication - President

Jan 15 (GDI) All families celebrating Thai Pongal in our country today will look forward to better days that bring peace to our country, achieve trust and understanding among our people and help bring in bountiful harvests from our fields, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. more..

Former CJ S. Sharvananda attached great importance to independence of Judiciary - President

Jan 15 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a condolence message on the death of former Chief Justice and eminent Jurist Desamanya S. Sharvananda states: "I am deeply grieved on hearing of the passing away in Australia of Desamanya Suppiah Sharvananda, the former Chief Justice and eminent Jurist." more..

Economic resurgence to continue in 2007

Jan 15 (GDI) The Government is targeting a growth rate of 7.5 per cent for 2007 and is expected to sign development projects worth US $ 2000 million to achieve the target, Finance Ministry sources said. Treasury Secretary Dr P.B. Jayasundera said official remittances may exceed US$ 2.7 billion, Foreign Direct Investments US$ one billion and tourism US$ 500 million in 2007. more..

Unfolding misery

Jan 15 (TN) More than 72,000 Tamil civilians internally displaced due to the military confrontations in the East, residing in 50 temporary camps in Batticaloa district's LTTE and GoSL controlled areas, are facing serious shortage of food, accommodation, drinking water, sanitation and toilet facilities, according to Batticaloa District Secretariat. more..

More than 250 Tamils arrested in South for questioning

Jan 15 (TN) Sri Lanka Security forces assisted by Police arrested 209 youths in Gampaha, 36 in Nittambuwa, 22 in Minuwangoda, and 7 in Borelesgamuwa Friday and Saturday during separate cordon and search operations, sources in Colombo said. Many were released after proving their identity, and others were detained for further questioning, sources said. more..

Crucial meeting between Sri Lanka government and main Muslim party tonight

Jan 15 (AT) A crucial meeting between two high ranking delegations representing the SLMC and the government will be held tonight (Monday). The meeting also comes just hours after the SLMC's high command gave the green light to its leader Rauff Hakeem to go ahead and seal a deal with the government if it agrees to four main points forwarded by the Muslim party, which currently has six seats in Parliament. more..

India’s position on Sri Lanka's second coal-fired power plant in Sampur

Jan 15 (AT) Has India formally objected to building Sri Lanka's second coal-fired power plant in the island republic's Sampur area in the troubled northeastern Trincomalee district? No says Sri Lanka's minister for enterprise development and investment promotion who is due to launch the Indo-Sri Lanka Partnership Summit in Bangalore tomorrow. more..

Police investigate into aircraft parts found hidden inside Maheshwaran’s cargo ship bound to KKS harbor in north

Jan 15 (AT) Sri Lanka Harbor Police in Colombo has discovered with the help of the Sri Lanka Navy parts of an airplane hidden inside a cargo ship owned by the United National Party parliamentarian T. Maheshwaran. The UNP Tamil parliamentarian who is alleged to have clandestine relationship with the separatist LTTE for a long time since more..

Cricket: New venue to replace Sri Lanka's Asgiriya stadium

Jan 15 (AFP) The historic Asgiriya stadium in Sri Lanka's hill resort of Kandy is to be replaced by a brand new venue in the same area, a senior cricket official said on Monday. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) secretary K. Mathivanan said an agreement would be signed next week with the island's foreign investment regulator to develop a stadium at Pallekele, near Kandy. more..

Tatas In Talks To Acquire Sri Lanka's Suntel

Jan 15 (RTT) The Tatas seems to have initiated discussions to acquire Sri Lanka's private telecom operator, Suntel, in order to become an integrated telecom player in the island nation. The group, through its international arm, VSNL Global, recently bagged international long distance and internet service provider licences in Sri Lanka. more..

`Karuna` attempting to rule Batticaloa

Jan 15 (LNP) The `Karuna` faction is disrupting civil administration in Batticaloa by moving around with arms in Government controlled areas and intimidating civilians, urging them to report their problems to their political offices, and not to the police, sources in Batticaloa told the Daily Mirror. more..

SLMM to meet Govt. and LTTE this week

Jan 15 (SAMN) SLMM Chief Lars Johan Sølvberg will meet both the Government and the LTTE separately this week to discuss changes to the role of the monitors arising from the SLMM workshop held for over a week. SLMM spokesman Thorfinur Omarsson confirmed that the SLMM head would meet Dr. Palitha Kohona, the Secretary General of the SCOPP and now Foreign Secretary Monday. more..

Getty Images

Jan 15 (AFP) A Sri Lankan family leaves their flooded home in the southern Sri Lankan town of Tissamaharama, 14 January 2007. At least 18 people were killed and 61,000 made homeless more..

Wimal vows to topple Govt.

Jan 15 (SAMN) JVP parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa Sunday vowed that his party would not hesitate to topple the Government if it goes down the wrong path, even though they had contributed immensely in the formation of the present Government. Weerawansa, who is also the General Secretary of Patriotic National Movement, said that they dedicated their time and labour while helping in the formation of this Government, more..

Colombo records highest divorce rate

Jan 15 (SAMN) A record-breaking number of divorce cases have been filed in Colombo, with at least two cases a day being filed before the Colombo District Court, a court report stated. A recent survey conducted by the Colombo District Court has found that during the year 2006 over six hundred divorce applications were filed in Court from the Colombo Judicial division more..

Rs.361 mn for agriculture development

Jan 15 (SAMN) The Government plans to spend nearly Rs. 361 million for the development of agriculture this year. Among the aims of the Agriculture Ministry this year are implementing horticultural crops regionalisation, improving granaries, developing agrarian products, controlling post harvest damage of vegetables and fruits and improving standards and certification of organic conditions. more..

UNDP Action Plan goes to President

Jan 15 (SAMN) Lalith Weerathunga, Secretary to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on Friday accepted the UNDP Action Plan to curb waste, corruption and irregularities. The top UNDP representative in Sri Lanka skipped the meeting due to the recent criticism of the UN agencies’ role by a senior official, sources said, adding that some officials in charge of the fight against corruption are critical of the UNDP initiative. more..

Sri Lanka arrests 10 Indian fishermen

Jan 15 (PTI) The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested 10 Indian fishermen who had strayed into the island's territorial waters, the defence ministry said on Monday. It said the navy stopped a fibre glass dingy with 10 on board off the seas of Talaimannar on Sunday evening. more..

Tamil rebels suffer casualties in eastern Sri Lanka clashes

Jan 15 (Xinhua) Tamil Tiger rebels have suffered deaths and injuries in clashes with the government troops, defense officials said Monday. At least two LTTE cadres were killed at Vantharumulai area in the eastern district of Batticaloa. The Army retaliated when the rebels attacked a foot patrol at around 10 p.m. local time Sunday (1630 GMT). more..

National Patient care centre for aged, sick Bhikkhus

Jan 15 (DN) The Health Care and Nutrition Ministry has made arrangements to establish a fully fledged National Patient Care Centre for the aged and sick Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka at a cost of Rs. 25 million under the direction of Health Care and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva, a ministry spokesman said. more..

Floods, landslides affect 15,600 families

Jan 15 (DN) Eight camps have been set up at Hanguranketha to house those displaced by earthslips and floods, Disaster Relief Services Minister M.I.S.M. Ameer Ali told the Daily News yesterday. Another 34 small camps have also been set up at Walapone to provide shelter for small groups of people consisting of 10 to 15 families. more..

Four Arabs arrested in Puttalam

Jan 15 (DM) Police yesterday arrested four Arabs for allegedly robbing a jewellery shop in the Puttalam town. Police say these four foreigners, who came in a vehicle, had entered the jewellery shop yesterday morning to purchase some items. Later, they had requested the shopkeeper to exchange over 2600 US dollars for them saying that they wanted Sri Lankan rupees to buy some items. more..

Defence Ministry clears ZOA of links to the LTTE

Jan 15 (DM) “The Ministry of Defence communicated to ZOA Refugee Care Netherlands, that press reports alleging suspected links with the LTTE, were based on a misunderstanding by the Army’s media centre,” ZOA said in a statement. The aid agency claimed that the Defence Secretary had expressed full confidence in ZOA and encouraged ZOA to continue its important work. more..

Concern over arrest of Lankan Indians

Jan 15 (HT) A Sri Lankan minister representing Tamils of Indian Origin has expressed concern over the arrest of a large number of them just because they had not registered themselves with the police as per the Defence Ministry's regulations. In the last few days, over 300 Tamils, including those of Indian Origin, had been arrested in and around Colombo and sent to the recently re-opened high security Boosa prison near Galle, more..

Yahoo Photos

Jan 15 (AP) A Sri Lankan ethnic Tamil offers prayers celebrating Thaipongal, the harvest festival, at a Hindu temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, Jan. 15, 2007, more..

Sri Lanka troops kill five Tamil Tigers

Jan 15 (AFP) Government forces killed at least five Tamil Tiger rebels during long-range artillery exchanges in Sri Lanka where six civilians were also shot dead, military officials said. The LTTE targeted army positions in the eastern district of Batticaloa on Sunday and troops retaliated killing three guerrillas, a military official said on Monday. more..

Military asks fleeing Tamil rebels to surrender in eastern Sri Lanka

Jan 15 (AP) The Sri Lankan military urged Tamil Tiger rebels fleeing attacks by army and commandoes in the east to surrender on Monday, as operations against the insurgents' camps intensified. Village heads in Ampara district were told to deliver the announcement to Tamil Tiger rebels who were in hiding or on the run after four rebel bases and seven smaller camps fell to military control last week, more..