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TB sufferers avoiding help will be prosecuted

Mar 21 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Wednesday ordered tuberculosis sufferers to seek urgent medical treatment or risk prosecution and forced hospitalisation. "Fearing social ostracism and considering the six month period of treatment, some TB patients do not come forward to seek treatment," the ministry said, adding that each patient could infect another 15 people. more..

Sri Lanka, India agree on joint border patrolling

Mar 21 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan government claimed Wednesday that the Indian and Sri Lankan governments have agreed to conduct joint patrolling of the maritime border between the two South Asian nations. Keheliya Rambukwella, the Minister of Foreign Employment and the government defense spokesman said "the Indian government has agreed in principal and the two governments will jointly work out a mechanism." more..

India debunks charge against its traders in Lanka

Mar 21 (HT) The Indian High Commission has told the Sri Lankan Minister for Consumer Affairs, Bandula Gunawardene, that his charge that traders of Indian Origin are responsible for the steep rise in the prices of essential commodities in the island is unfounded and unfair, and that such accusations will only increase the sense of insecurity in a beleaguered ethnic minority. more..

Rights monitors can't be forced on us: Lanka

Mar 21 (HT) In the face of a persistent demand by several international organisations that a special international body be set up to monitor the "deteriorating" human rights situation in Sri Lanka, the government has said that the imposition of any monitor on Sri Lanka will be an infringement of its sovereignty. "Monitors would have to come only on our invitation. We are a sovereign country," more..

At least 17 die in northeast Sri Lanka clashes

Mar 21 (AP) Separatist Tamil Tiger rebels and Sri Lankan troops battled overnight for territory in a volatile eastern district, leaving at least eight rebels and four soldiers dead, the military said Wednesday. A separate clash in north killed at least five rebels. Air force fighter jets strafed two rebel positions to assist soldiers on the ground as fierce fighting continued Wednesday, more..

Heavy fighting in Sri Lanka kills 19

Mar 21 (AFP) Tiger rebels fought pitched battles with troops in Sri Lanka while war planes bombed guerrilla positions, officials said, placing the death toll from both sides at 19. Troops and the Tamil Tigers were locked in fierce mortar and artillery duels Wednesday for five hours in the east of the island, where some 150,000 civilians have been displaced by recent fighting, more..

Sri Lanka seal comprehensive win

Mar 22 (CI) Sri Lanka steadfastly resisted the temptation to do what India did, which is to play below par against, at least on paper, a much weaker opponent. Showing no signs of shakiness whatsoever they blanked out Bangladesh in their match at the Queen's Park Oval in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. The match was, for all practical purposes, sewn up when Sri Lanka scored 318 after being put in to bat, but even the second half, interrupted by rain as it was, gave Bangladesh little hope as they caved in to a 198-run loss. more..

Industrialists do not response to update Industrial Registry of Sri Lanka – DCS

Mar 22 (AT) Local industrialists pay poor attention to reply questionnaires provided by the Department of Census and Statistics on Annual Survey of Industries. Mrs.D.B.P.Suranjana Vidyaratna of the Department of Census and Statistics [DCS] said the industrial sector is very important for preparation of accurate GDP. more..

Intel launches World Ahead programme in Sri Lanka

Mar 22 (AT) World’s renowned blue-chip company –Intel Corporation has launched its newest worldwide concept “World Ahead Programme” in Sri Lanka. This programme covers 60 countries, including Sri Lanka , said Chris Thomas, its Strategic Manager at a media briefing held in Colombo on Tuesday. The Intel Corporation invests one billion US$ to launch this project and to speed access to un-compromised technology and education for people in the world’s developing communities. more..

Govt assures Hindu acharyas about Sethu project

Mar 22 (FE) Faced with both religious and environmental protests, the government has assured Hindu acharyas that utmost care will be taken of the Adam's Bridge or Ram setu and the National Marine Park in the Gulf of Mannar while undertaking dredging and construction work for the Rs 2,400 crore Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project. more..

'Forced conscription' by LTTE

Mar 22 (BBC) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers are accused of forcibly recruiting civilians who have sought shelter in sacred Madu church. Rev. Emilius Pillai of Madu church BBC Sandehsya that nearly 10,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) have taken refuge in the church. The IDPs are facing a stark shortage of food and other essential supplies but the government and the non governmental agencies have failed to support them, the priest added. more..

Mawbima journalist released

Mar 22 (BBC) Sri Lanka's Supreme Court ordered authorities to release a woman journalist who has been detained for months under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Mawbima journalist Munusamy Parashwaree was arrested in November, last year and detained under an order by Defence secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. She was not charged of any offence. more..

“Safeguard security of Jaffna Journalists”

Mar 22 (TW) The Editor of Jaffna Daily Uthayan has written to the The President and Secretary of The Editors Guild of Sri Lanka, seeking their attention to bring the plight of Uthayan and other Jaffna Journalists to light. N.V. Kanamailnathan, Editor of Uthayan has called for urgent action by the Guild, “to safeguard the human security Jaffna Journalists”, in his letter. more..

Woolmer's death 'suspicious' - police

Mar 22 (CI) Police are now treating Bob Woolmer's death as suspicious, Mark Shields, the deputy commissioner of police, told a news conference in Jamaica. A full-scale investigation has been ordered. "We have already informed the Woolmer family of these developments," Shields said. "Having met with the pathologists, our medical personnel and investigators, there is now sufficient information to continue a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Woolmer, which we are now treating as suspicious." more..

Reckless Justice

Mar 22 (TN) Discharge papers to release Mawbima journalist, Munusamy Parameswary, 25, who was arrested on 22nd November under Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), and held for nearly four months, on suspicion of "helping the LTTE and a suspected suicide bomber," were sent Wednesday morning, by Harshika De Silva, State Counsel representing the Attorney General (AG), to Colombo chief Magistrate Court. Parameshwari was released Thursday at 10:00 a.m.. more..

SL Forces reintroduce fishing ban in Vadamaradchy

Mar 22 (TN) Sri Lanka Armed Forces stationed along the coastal belt of Vadamaradchy reinstated the ban on fishing from Wednesday morning on Vadamaradchy north and east seas until further notice, fisheries society sources said. Fearing sea-borne attacks by the Liberation Tigers, Sri Lanka armed forces imposed restrictions from one week before the 5-year anniversary of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) that fell on 22 February, across the Jaffna peninsula. more..

Mangala also to be arrested on a complaint lodged by a foreigner

Mar 22 (LeN) It is being reported to 'LeN' that there are plans of arresting former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera as well. It is being reported to us that a complaint has been lodged to the CID by a foreigner, mentioning the name of Samaraweera, after a discussion which was held between a UNP Colombo district Muslim MP and a high ranking official of the government. more..

Sri Lanka tea exports recover in February

Mar 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea exports grew six percent in February while higher prices also pushed earnings higher, commodities broker Asia Siyaka said. Sri Lanka exported 26.5 million kilograms of tea in February (24.9 mn kg in 2005) but was unable to fully recover losses in January when production plummeted as estates recovered from the fallout of a strike in December and unfavourable weather. more..

Earthquake southeast of Sri Lanka measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale

Mar 22 (LBO) A earthquake of the measuring 5.8 in the Richter Scale has occurred in the Indian Ocean 1,350 kilometres South East of Colombo, the US Geological Survey reports. Sri Lanka's Department of Meterology which contacted the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre was told that there was no danger of a seismic wave. The breach occurred at 11.40 am Sri Lanka time at depth of 30 kilometres. more..

Intel to make Sri Lankan schools tech savvy

Mar 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s education ministry has tied up with tech giant Intel to give local schools computers and teacher training to boost technology levels and skills. Intel on Tuesday launched its one billion dollar, five-year ‘World Ahead’ program in Sri Lanka and is already in operation in 60 countries around the world. more..

Jayawardene determined to secure Super Eight points

Mar 22 (CI) Sri Lanka have almost certainly sewed up their Super Eight berth with an emphatic victory against Bangladesh but Mahela Jayawardene has said that they would play hard against India on Friday to secure the two Super-Eight points that are up for grabs. "We will take it [the India match] really seriously," Jayawardene told AFP. "I think we've played some really good cricket here and we deserve to carry that two points. We're 100 % focused for that game." more..

Strengthen the Parliament with more meaningful and strong changes – President

Mar 22 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa vows to enact strong and meaningful changes in the Parliament in the near future to suit the changing time and the needs of the country while strengthening the democratic system. President Rajapaksa emphasized that these needs, bring in meaningful and strong amendments to the existing Parliament system, as vital in harmonizing with the current demands of the society. more..

80% attendance not compulsory for AL exam

Mar 22 (GDI) Education Ministry revises the existing eligibility criterion of compulsory eighty percent attendance faced by GCE Advance Level students that is stated under the circular 2006/45, Ministry sources states. Ministry of Education has taken this decision following the constant protests by students and parents to amend the circular, which did not allow the candidates who failed to mark 80 per cent attendance to submit their applications. more..

Military Agreement between United States and Sri Lanka Could be politically tricky

Mar 22 (AT) The Acquisition and Cross-Services Agreement (ACSA) signed between the United States and Sri Lanka on March 5, which provides for among other things logistics supplies and re-fuelling facilities, has created uproar in opposition political parties in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka, Tamil Tiger Rebels Fight a War That Can't Be Won

Mar 22 (BB) Sri Lanka and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam escalated fighting in recent months, creating a refugee population of more than 200,000 people, in a conflict that analysts said won't be won by either side. "The two parties have decided to fight each other," said Rohan Gunaratna, head of terrorism research at Singapore's Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies. more..

The saffron robe and the khaki suit: Some questions

Mar 22 (ANN) It is reported that a Buddhist monk wants to be an ASP. He has reportedly undertaken to face an endurance test prescribed by the IGP. In so doing, he has gone way beyond the others of his ilk given to unorthodoxy. So far, we have had monks seeking to be lawyers, applying for driving licenses, entering politics etc. but this particular monk is sure to stir up a bigger controversy, if he wants to be a police officer without giving up the robe. more..

Tigers use MBRLs to prove their presence in East

Mar 22 (PISL) The LTTE yesterday deployed a mini multi barrel rocket launcher as it mounted a series of coordinated attacks on the army in the Batticaloa district. Troops based at Morakkodd-anchenai and Mavadivembu, and points along the Trincomalee Batticaloa A-15 road came under artillery and mortar fire as units mounted raids on army positions at Chenkalady and Black Bridge. The army lost four soldiers while a dozen men were injured. more..

War meeting in London was held in absolute secrecy

Mar 22 (LNP) As reported by SiberNews on Monday, members of the Buddhist extremist JHU, Marxist Sinhala nationalist JVP, Karuna paramilitary group, Jihad Islamic extremist group and Mr Anandasangaree participated in a meeting with several British parliamentarians at the House of Commons in London on Monday evening. Tamils who attempted to take part in the meeting were told that attendance was by invitation only. more..

Allegations of Tender manipulations to afford - Norway oil search contract rejected

Mar 22 (LNP) The Petroleum Ministry yesterday denied accusations that the government`s tender procedures are being manipulated to involve the Norwegians in the ambitious oil exploration project. `There is absolutely no truth in this,` Secretary to the Ministry of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development A. P. A. Gunasekera said. more..

'Executive Presidency to be amended'

Mar 22 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday emphasised the need to bring amendments to the existing executive Presidential system. President Rajapaksa vowed to enact such changes in the near future to suit the changing times and the needs of the country while strengthening the democratic system. The President was speaking after unveiling the portrait of former President Jayewardene at the Parliament complex. more..

Principal booked on bribery charge

Mar 22 (SAMN) The Bribery Commission yesterday charged the Principal of Sri Jayawardenepura Girls’ College, N. M. Dayani Usgodaarachchi in the Colombo High Court with accepting a bribe of Rs. 25,000 for admitting a student to Grade 6. The Commission told the Court that the accused had solicited and accepted the said amount from H. B. Karunaratne on February 13, 2006. more..

LTTE extortion ring in Colombo bared

Mar 22 (SAMN) The LTTE is reported to be carrying out a very effective extortion campaign within Colombo targeting the relatives of the expatriate Tamils. An elderly couple residing in the City were approached by the LTTE’s collectors recently demanding Rs 5 million for its war effort. The children of the couple are living in Britain, the Daily News learns. more..

National plan to protect heritage sites

Mar 22 (SAMN) The National Heritage Ministry will launch a special programme to create awareness about the country's national heritage among schoolchildren in collaboration with the Education Ministry, Minister Anura Bandaranaike said. Bandaranaike said this when he called on the Most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thera at the Malwatte Maha Viharaya, Kandy to receive his blessings on Sunday. more..

Self employment projects to uplift rural industrial sector

Mar 22 (DN) The Government is making maximum efforts to uplift the rural industrial sector by setting up self employment projects on a countrywide basis, said Rural Industries and Self Employment Promotion Minister S.B. Nawinna. He was speaking at the opening of two industrial villages under the national programme to boost rural industries at Puwakdandawa and Viskampura in the Beliatte electorate recently. more..

No prior notice on President’s security arrangements - Leader of the House

Mar 22 (DN) Leader of the House Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva yesterday said the conduct of UNP MPs in Parliament has created doubts whether the UNP has a conspiracy to assassinate President Mahinda Rajapaksa. President Rajapaksa unveiled a portrait of late first Executive President of Sri Lanka J.R. Jayewardene in the Parliamentary Complex yesterday. more..

Mervyn, new Kelaniya SLFP organiser

Mar 22 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday appointed Labour Minister Mervyn Silva as the new Sri Lanka Freedom Party organizer for the Kelaniya electorate. The president’s office said President Rajapaksa had presented the appointment letter yesterday at Temple Trees. He replaces the sacked minister Sripathi Sooriyarachchi. more..

Pakistani heroin smuggler gets life

Mar 22 (DM) A Pakistani national who pleaded guilty to trafficking in heroin was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Negombo High Court yesterday. The accused had smuggled 236.5 grams of heroin into Sri Lanka in August 1994, having come here on the pretext that he was a cricket fan who wished to watch a test cricket tournament. He had been arrested at the Katunayake airport. more..

Baptist General Secretary Protests Against Sri Lanka Abductions

Mar 22 (CT) The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) General Secretary, Denton Lotz, has appealed to the Sri Lankan President, Mahindra Rajapakse to bring an immediate halt to the abuse and persecution faced by civilians on the country. Appealing directly to the Sri Lankan leader, Lotz called for the government to do all within its power to stop the abductions and harassment being experienced by civilians. more..

TN fishermen leave for Sri Lanka

Mar 22 (AFP) A team of 11 fishermen from Rameswaram left for Sri Lanka today to survey the condition of the mechanised boats seized by the navy of the island nation for crossing the International Maritime Boundary. The team would be visiting Talaimannar where as many as 25 boats have been seized and handed over to judicial custody, Fisheries Department sources said. more..

No decision yet on `coordinated patrolling'

Mar 22 (Hindu) India has received a proposal from Sri Lanka for "coordinated patrolling" of their maritime waters, but no decision has been taken on the issue, highly placed Government sources told The Hindu on Wednesday. Making a clear distinction between "coordinated patrolling" and "joint patrolling," the sources stated that the proposal was only for patrolling that would be coordinated in advance. There was no proposal for the two navies to patrol the seas together, they added. more..

Sri Lanka calls for collective effort to combat terrorism in South Asia

Mar 22 (KUNA) Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has called for a collective effort to combat terrorism in South Asian region, ahead of the 14th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit at Delhi on April 3-4. Bogollama, who was visiting Delhi from March 18-20, emphasised that a successful response to terrorism required a collective effort, effectively addressing it in all its forms and associated manifestations, more..

Lanka devolution package may be ready in 60 days

Mar 22 (IANS) A senior Sri Lankan minister tasked with preparing a credible power sharing formula with the consent of all major parties wants the exercise to be completed over the next 60 days. Science and Technology Minister Tissa Vitarana, who heads the government-sponsored All Party Representative Committee (APRC), said he had told the dozen parties in the panel to reach a consensus within two months. more..

Mahinda Rajapaksa wants Presidency pruned

Mar 22 (HT) The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa wants the powers of the Executive Presidency to be pruned to suit the changing times. Speaking after unveiling a statue of the first Executive President JR Jayewardene in parliament on Wednesday, Rajapaksa said that he would amend the powers in the near future. Sri Lanka is now in the process of re-writing its constitution. more..

Sri Lanka troops in clearing operations after fighting

Mar 22 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops were engaged in clearing operations, the day after simultaneous Tamil Tiger guerrilla attacks left at least 20 people dead and dozens more wounded, officials said. Fighting on Wednesday in the eastern district of Batticaloa and Muhamalai in the north of the war-torn island claimed the lives of 15 Tamil Tiger rebels, four government troops and a civilian, officials said. more..

Sri Lankan police reject Buddhist monk who wants to be a police officer

Mar 22 (AP) A Buddhist monk who wanted to join Sri Lanka's police force had his application rejected and told he'd first have to give up his saffron robes and leave the monastery. The monk was among nearly 1,000 people who applied for a job on the force, said Neville Piyadigama, chairman of the National Police Commission, an independent body that handles recruitment. more..

Sri Lanka and India in trade talks in Colombo next week

Mar 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka and India will hold another round of trade talks in Colombo next week on liberalizing professional services, investments and trade in goods. The talks on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or CEPA, has been ongoing for three years, to widen trade to include areas like professional services. more..

Police raids "Ya television"

Mar 23 (LeN) It is being reported to 'LeN' that a group of police officers from the Mirihana police have entered the production company of "Young Asia Television" and looked into the computers and other documents. Young Asia Television is a BOI approved company that produces programmes in English, Sinhala and Tamil and has a work force representing all ethnicities. more..

Maddened by defeat Tigers play havoc with civil lives

Mar 23 (GDI) Around midnight yesterday (21), LTTE blasted a high tension tower in Rideethenna in Batticaloa resulting in power cuts to a vast area effecting thousands of civilians living in the vicinity, Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) reports. In addition, in Kaluwankerni area further North of Welikanda, Tigers hit a transformer cutting off the electricity supply to people of Valachchenai and Kumbumulla area. more..

Summary of the Cabinet Decisions - 21.03.2007

Mar 23 (GDI) The Cabinet has granted its approval to a Memorandum submitted by Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development to select suitable consultants and appoint them as the Urban Development Authority (UDA), the constructor of the administrative complex at Battaramulla Sethsiripaya stage II project. The selection will be by the Ministry in consultation with the UDA. more..

"Safeguard our lives" - journalists

Mar 23 (BBC) The chief editor of the Udayan newspaper published in Jaffna calls upon all fellow journalists to act immediately and take necessary action to safeguard journalists associated with Udayan, and all Tamil journalists in the Jaffna. Publishing the daily newspaper Udayan in Jaffna is an increasingly Herculean and dangerous task with armed gunmen who continuously threaten its work and staff, says the chief editor, V.Kanamailnathan. more..