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UNICEF-LTTE agree to work to uplift war affected children

Feb 1 (TN) The UNICEF and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Friday agreed to work together for the welfare of the war affected children in the northeast after a meeting in Kilinochichi lasting nearly two hours between the UNICEF Executive Director, Ms Carol Bellamy, and LTTE political head Mr.S.P.Thamilselvan, sources said. more..

'Peace talks enter crucial stage'- Ranil

Feb 1 (TN) Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe Friday said in parliament that the peace talks between his government and the LTTE has entered a crucial stage. Concluding the debate in parliament on his presentation during the aid conference in Oslo, he said his government would not allow the peace talks to be derailed at any cost. more..

Draft statute proposals a starting point for solution: PM

Feb 1 (Hindu) The draft Constitution proposed by the Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, "will be one of the starting points" for arriving at a political solution through negotiations with the LTTE, the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, said today. more..

Daylight armed robbery at Pelawatte Bank nets millions

Feb 1 (DN) An armed gang yesterday robbed 5.6 million rupees from the Pelawatte branch of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) which is situated just several hundred meters from the heavily guarded Parliament. Parliament was debating the peace process when the four men armed with T-56 assault rifles entered the bank and emptied the vaults around 11 AM. more..

CBK will use powers to prevent violations by LTTE — Anura

Feb 1 (Island) SLFP stalwart Anura Bandaranaiake declared in parliament yesterday that President Chandrika Kumaratunga would use her full powers as the executive President and Commander of the armed forces to direct the forces to prevent the LTTE from violating the ceasefire in the future. more..

'FM radio will be used to destroy T.N.'

Feb 1 (Hindu) The Opposition in Sri Lanka today said the recently acquired FM radio equipment "will be used" by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to destroy Tamil Nadu" with pro-Eelam propaganda. more..

SB turns tables on Bribery boss

Feb 1 (DM) Samurdhi and Agriculture Minister S.B. Dissanayake who himself faced bribery and corruption charges is now leading a campaign to turn tables on one of the Commissioners. more..

Analysis: Sri Lanka's child soldiers

Feb 1 (BBC) The UN children's agency is trying to find out what Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels are doing about their child soldiers. The issue is casting a shadow over peace talks. Allegations of child recruitment have dogged the Tamil Tiger rebels for years. more..

UNICEF Chief Opens Talks with LTTE on Child Soldiers

Feb 1 (AFP) The UNICEF Friday opened talks with Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels on their practice of recruiting child soldiers, officials here said. UNICEF executive director Carol Bellamy travelled to the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi for discussions with the LTTE on Friday, more..

Sri Lanka's orphans bear scars of war

Feb 1 (BBC) Sri Lanka's two-decade long civil war has left thousands of children on all sides orphaned - facing a bleak future. Perhaps the worst affected are those who live in rebel-controlled areas. more..

Lankan army uniform sets seized

Feb 1 (Dawn) Lankan police on Friday seized 300 sets of army uniforms in a lorry suspected to belong to the LTTE. The truck was on way to Vanni from Vavuniya. The police confiscated the items and investigations are under way, sources said. more..

What Firms Want

Feb 1 (LBO) Sixty per cent of the private sector is betting on a three to five per cent growth in the economy for 2003, below government forecasts. A wistful 58 per cent expect prices to swell within a range of seven and eleven per cent in 2003. more..

Hand grenade hurled at EPDP office

Feb 1 (SLA) An unidentified persons had hurled a hand grenade to the office of Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) in the general area of ATCHUVELY, about 15.5 km. northeast of JAFFNA town on 31 January 2003 around 8.15 p.m. No damagers caused due to explosion.

Navy arrest two, off Kankasanthurai harbour

Feb 1 (SLA) Naval troops on routine patrol had arrested two personnel on a Fiberglass Dinghy while they were fishing in the general sea area off KANKASANTHURAI harbour in JAFFNA PENINSULA on 31 January 2003 around 8.30 p.m. more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Feb 1 (SLA) Nine hundred and sixty one lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period 24 January 2003 – 30 January 2003. more..

SLA suspects identified in attempted rape case

Feb 1 (TN) In the identification parade conducted today at the Vavuniya Courts associated with the attempted rape last Sunday in Ganesapuram in Vavuniya district, two Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers were identified as the alleged offenders by the witnesses, legal sources in Vavuniya said. more..

UNICEF pressures LTTE to give up child soldiers

Feb 1 (PTI) The United Nations Children's Fund on Saturday called for stepped up pressure on Tamil tiger rebels to give up recruiting child soldiers and announced plans to help demobilise underage combatants. more..

SAARC Cultural Affairs Ministers to meet in Sri Lanka

Feb 1 (Xinhua) Cultural affairs ministers of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries will meet in Sri Lankan capital Colombo from Feb. 5 to Feb. 7, the official Daily News said on Saturday. more..

PM renews call for opposition cooperation for peace

Feb 1 (Xinhua) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has renewed his call for cooperation of the opposition for the success of the ongoing Norwegian-brokered peace process. He urged the opposition not to miss this opportunity. "There will be no other bus waiting for us," he noted. more..

UNICEF gets pledge, no action from rebels

Feb 1 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels again pledged to stop recruiting child soldiers, but came up short on concrete steps to end the practice, the head of the United Nation's Children's Fund said on Saturday. more..

The players' side of the story

Feb 1 (CI) For more than a fortnight the sports headlines were constantly focussed on the battle between the BCCSL and the Sri Lanka World Cup cricketers represented by Graeme Labrooy of the SLCA over the payment of compensation for using players' rights during the upcoming World Cup. more..

Hard work should reap rewards, says Whatmore

Feb 1 (CI) Sri Lanka cricket coach Dav Whatmore believes the three hard months his team underwent in South Africa and in Australia should reap its rewards during the 2003 World Cup in Africa. more..

UNICEF seeks deal on demobilising Sri Lanka child soldiers

Feb 1 (AFP) UNICEF announced plans Saturday to demobilise child soldiers in Sri Lanka and said it will hold detailed negotiations with Tamil Tiger rebels next week. more..

Sri Lanka will play in Kenya

Feb 1 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will honour their World Cup fixture in Kenya despite security concerns from rivals New Zealand, captain Sanath Jayasuriya said on Saturday. New Zealand on Friday refused to play their match against Kenya in Nairobi because of fears over their players' safety. more..

Playing the political chess game

Feb 2 (SL) While the President was toying with the idea of a snap election in May, the UNF government went into overdrive last week, mapping out strategy to meet a situation where parliament is dissolved without notice. more..

Ominous hostage threat by LTTE

Feb 2 (SL) Chairman, Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in Batticaloa, Heikki Hulkkonen said last week that the LTTE has told the SLMM, for every child that escapes its baby brigades, it will take hostage another member of that family. more..

UNICEF not fooled by ‘mere assurances’

Feb 2 (Island) Taking a decisive stand on child soldiers, UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy yesterday called for words to be translated into action and asserted that she had dealt with the issue long enough not to be taken in by mere assurances. more..

Independence Day Parade : President to take salute

Feb 2 (SO) The 55th Independence Day of Sri Lanka will be celebrated on February 4th at the Torrington Square with pomp and pageantry, under the patronage of President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe prior to the main ceremonies. more..

LTTE pulls northern children out of Independence

Feb 2 (ST) School children from the North have been banned by Tiger guerrillas from taking part in the 55th national independence celebrations on Tuesday. 'Independent Students' Consortium, a front organisation of the LTTE summoned school principals and ordered them not to release any children to travel to Colombo. more..

Police arrest eight Tamil youths in Point Pedro

Feb 2 (TN) The Point Pedro Police Saturday arrested eight Tamil youths in the Kudathanai village in Vadamarachchi division following a dispute between the soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA)and the members of the vigilant committee of the area. more..

Trincomalee senior citizens honoured by Rotary Club

Feb 2 (TN) Rotary District Governor Mr.S.Pathmanathan Saturday evening honoured four senior citizens of Trincomalee at an event held at the Rotary House in Trincomalee. The Trincomalee Rotary Club organized this event for the first time in its history, its President Mr.R.Thirukumaranathan said. more..

Koneswara Hindu College celebrates national school day

Feb 2 (TN) More than a century old leading Trincomalee Sri Koneswara Hindu College celebrated its national school day Saturday holding a road race where more than seven hundred students in three groups participated, east port town sources said. more..

UNICEF wants LTTE to stop recruiting children

Feb 2 (Hindu) Stepping up the international pressure on the LTTE, the UNICEF today "strongly urged" the rebels to discontinue recruiting children. Terming the recruitment of children "a severe threat," the UNICEF Executive Director, Carol Bellamy, said the multilateral agency "did not approve of it." more..

Prime Minister visits war affected villages

Feb 2 (Xinhua) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe whose government is currently engaged in peace talks with separatist Tamil Tiger rebels visited the villages affected by 19-year ethnic conflict to assure protection, officials said Saturday. more..

Over 700 cases of child recruitment by Tamil rebels to be resolved

Feb 2 (Xinhua) Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Carol Bellamy said on Saturday that 730 cases of child recruitment by Sri Lanka's separatist Tamil Tiger rebels are yet to be resolved despite the rebel commitment to child rights. more..

Sri Lankan makes Sri Lanka proud

Feb 2 (IL) SriLankan Airlines has won the coveted Skytrax award for 'World's Friendliest Cabin Staff' in the global airline survey which covered airlines in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia/Pacific and North and South America, statement from the Airline said. more..

Return to war-torn Jaffna

Feb 2 (BBC) They are not talking about war in every corner of the world. In Sri Lanka, they are celebrating peace. Fighting in the long civil war there stopped last February when the two sides signed a ceasefire deal. more..

Lanka extends 10 yr tax holiday to IOC

Feb 2 (TOI) The Sri Lankan government has extended a 10-year income tax holiday to state-owned refiner Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) for its petro retailing business in the island nation. IOC, which took over 100 petrol stations of Sri Lankan national oil company Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) on Sunday, more..

Tamil Tigers seek to travel without driving licences

Feb 2 (Gulf) The LTTE have demanded that the law enforcement authorities ignore enforcing the law against their members who do not possess driving and vehicle licences when they enter government-controlled areas in northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka. more..

Qatari plane returns to Sri Lanka to drop off drunk passenger

Feb 2 (AFP) A Qatar Airways jet heading to Doha made an emergency return back to Colombo to drop off a drunk and unruly passenger, officials said Sunday. more..

Child soldiers take centre stage in Sri Lanka peace bid

Feb 2 (AFP) UNICEF hopes to clinch a deal with Tamil Tiger rebels on demobilising child soldiers as a key element of Sri Lanka's peace bid, the UN agency's head said at the end of a visit here Sunday. more..

Sri Lanka Child Soldiers to Be Returned

Feb 2 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels and the U.N. Children's Fund agreed to meet in Berlin to develop a plan to return child combatants who fought in Sri Lanka's two-decade civil war, the top UNICEF official. more..

Sri Lanka expresses grief over loss of Columbia space shuttle

Feb 2 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan government Sunday expressed grief over the loss of Columbia space shuttle in the United States and extended deepest sympathy to the families of the seven astronauts who lost their lives in the disaster. more..

Sri Lanka struggling to find form before World Cup

Feb 2 (IANS) Former winner Sri Lanka may have been struggling for form lately, but the islanders are expected to have an easy passage into the second round of the World Cup that begins in South Africa Saturday. more..

Women Tigers refused entry to Vavuniya

Feb 3 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers manning the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) Omanthai check point refused to allow twenty three cadres belonging to LTTE women's wing to cross over to Vavuniya, objecting to the attire of the women tigers, sources in Vanni said. more..

SLN stops repairs to LTTE war memorial

Feb 3 (TN) The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Sunday morning deployed its personnel preventing repairs to a Liberation Tigers war memorial at the Gopalapuram junction, in Nilaveli village, sixteen km off north of Trincomalee town, residents of the area said. more..

Rama’s bridge is only 3,500 years old: CRS

Feb 3 (IE) The Adam’s bridge over Palk Strait, said to be the remains of a bridge built by Lord Rama, dates back to only 3,500 years and not 1.7 million years as claimed earlier. A team from the Centre for Remote Sensing (CRS) of Bharathidasan University, Tiruchi, has come up with startling facts about this "bridge". more..

Setback to Colombo's efforts to bring north closer

Feb 3 (Hindu) Efforts by the Government to symbolically bring the Tamil majority north closer to the State have hit a hurdle with front organisations of the LTTE reportedly banning northern school children from participating in this week's Independence Day celebrations in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka's destroyed Tamil library raised from ashes

Feb 3 (AP) In a bid to win back the confidence of Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil minority, the government has renovated the public library in war-torn city of Jaffna, nearly 22 years after it was burned down by anti-Tamil mobs. more..

Controversy over LTTE leader getting office in Eastern Campus

Feb 3 (Island) Controversy surrounds a decision of the eastern university to furnish a senior LTTE leader with an office room in the university. The Tiger identified as Avinian moved into the university situated at Vantharamoolai, Chenkalady several weeks ago, an informed source said. more..