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Restoring textile workers' livelihoods

Apr 27 (RW) In rural Madampagama on Sri Lanka's southern coast, December 26 began for Piyawathi De Silva and her two daughters with their usual work of spinning coconut husks (known as coir) into rope. Before the morning was over, the sea had swept away all of Piyawathi's equipment more..

Four-member gang in custody

Apr 27 (LNP) Sapugaskanda police have taken into custody four members of a robber gang, alleged to have been involved in murder and looting committed in several areas in the island. The gang is alleged to have killed a gang member and taking the body in his own car to Pussellawa more..

JVP, UNP furious over prorogation

Apr 27 (LNP) The crisis-ridden Western Provincial Council was plunged into virtual chaos yesterday when Governor Alavi Mowlana prorogued it for three weeks -- just quashing the no-confidence motion against Chief Minister Reginold Cooray. more..

Embezzlement of Govt Revenue ` Evidence overwhelming

Apr 27 (LNP) Customs investigators have uncovered another massive revenue fraud committed by organised fraudster mafia with the corroboration of certain unscrupulous elements in the Customs administration. more..

President appoints independent committee to probe allegations

Apr 27 (DN) An independent committee will be appointed with immediate effect on the directive of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga to look into 11 allegations levelled against the Western Province Chief Minister Reginald Cooray by the UNF from its No confidence motion. more..

Bus-train collision in Sri Lanka leaves dozens dead

Apr 27 (AP) An intercity passenger train collided with a bus that tried to dash through a railroad crossing in northwestern Sri Lanka on Wednesday, killing 35 people and injuring dozens, police and witnesses said. more..

Dozens dead as Sri Lanka train hits bus

Apr 27 (Reuters) About 50 bus passengers were feared killed and dozens injured when a train rammed into the crowded vehicle at a level-crossing in Sri Lanka on Wednesday, crushing it and setting it ablaze, officials said. more..

Yahoo Photo

Apr 27 (Yahoo) A Sri Lankan man stares at the wreck of a passenger bus which collided with an express train in Polgahawela, central Sri Lanka April 27, 2005. more..

Suspected Tamil rebels attack rival group's office, wounding one: military

Apr 27 (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels attacked the office of a rival Tamil group in restive eastern Sri Lanka Wednesday, wounding one man, the military said. Two suspected guerrillas barged into the EPDP office near Batticaloa, eastern Sri Lanka's biggest town, and opened fire, more..

President sadden by railroad tragedy

Apr 27 (AT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga expressed her shock and grieve when she was informed by the authorities this morning about train – bus accident that killed 58 people. A press release from the Presidential secretariat said “President Chandrika Kumaratunga was shocked and saddened when informed of this morning’s railroad tragedy. more..

Protest at Sri Lanka truce monitors’ HQ

Apr 28 (TN) An organization calling itself ‘National Fortress for Safeguarding Military Intelligence Officers’ protested in front the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) headquarters in Colombo Wednesday accusing the Nordic truce monitors of impartiality. more..

Police sleuth gunned down in Chenkalady

Apr 28 (TN) Unidentified gunman riding a motorbike shot a Sri Lanka Police intelligence operative in Chenkalady, 16 kilometres north of Batticaloa Wednesday around 5.30 p.m. He died on admission to Eravur Hospital, Police said. more..

Buddhist monk watches horror on highway

Apr 28 (AFP) A Buddhist monk said he watched in horror Wednesday as a packed bus jumped a red light and tried to beat an express train only to be crushed in an accident that claimed 35 lives. Monk Archan Ariyadamma said he saw the bus speeding on the wrong side of the road more..

Sri Lanka may come back empty handed from lobbying in the European Union for early tax breaks

Apr 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka may come back empty handed from lobbying in the European Union for early tax breaks, with local EU representatives saying that Lanka is just not the issue. more..

Sri Lanka pushes for ethical labeling on exports

Apr 28 (LBO) The EDB is putting together a set of procedures and criteria for ethical labeling, with plans to later set up an independent standards body. Export Development Board Chief Rohantha Athukorala said Sri Lanka cannot match the low prices achieved by countries like China, India and Brazil through economies of scale. more..

Sri Lanka fishes for bigger bite of world ornamental fish market

Apr 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka is fishing for a bigger bite of the world ornamental fish market, with targets set for 10 percent of global billings by 2010. Island currently exports 40 species of aquarium fish, billing Rs. 749 million in 2004 or some three percent of the global trade, up from Rs. 623 million in 2003. more..

Tamil guerrilla fetches millions in Norway yearly

Apr 28 (AT) Three Norwegian news papers with the largest circulation in the country, have pubished a report on the illegal fund collections by the LTTE in Norway. This is the first time the Norwegian newspapers dared to expose the fund collection by the LTTE amidst growing conviction that the funds are being used to purchase weapons. more..

UNP to bring no-faith motion against the WPC governor

Apr 28 (AT) The United National Party would bring another no-faith motion against Alavi Moulana Governor of the Western Provincial Council. Western Provincial Council’s Leader of opposition Kithsiri Kahatapitiya said the UNP would negotiate with the JVP to bring their no-faith motion. more..

Gory sight of the Rail Road Tragedy

Apr 28 (AT) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse visited yesterday the Kurunegala Hospital and the site of the accident where nearly 60 people died tragically, at a railroad accident that occurred on Wednesday morning when a bus and the intercity train collided. more..

Lanka need a coach, where can he apply?

Apr 28 (EC) India’s well-chronicled search for a coach, though moving at a snail’s pace, at least has the advantage of a known employer to whom CVs should be addressed. The case of Sri Lanka is much more fluid: There are two addresses, with neither talking to the other. more..

CEB Chairman fires out letters to his top managers demanding explanation on irregular payments

Apr 28 (IL) Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Chairman Ananda Gunasekara has fired out letters to his top managers demanding them to explain as to why they have been receiving multiple allowances for the same job they perform, sources said yesterday. more..

JVP goes anti Joint Mechanism on May Day

Apr 28 (IL) Government’s main coalition partner will officially kick off their campaign against the proposed Joint Mechanism set up on May Day (Sunday) in Colombo. The JVP is making elaborate plans to bring down many thousands of masses to the BRC Grounds in Colombo from all parts of the country as the first step towards denouncing the mechanism, more..

Jungle’s law in the North-East?

Apr 28 (LT) Excerpts of a letter sent by the president of the EPRLF to the President of Sri Lanka on the Joint Mechanism. International Organisations, which support the Tigers through Norway and those who support the Tigers within Sri Lanka are influencing the government to form the Joint Mechanism with Tigers for the rehabilitation of tsunami victims. more..

We do nothing! - Colombo head of SLMM

Apr 28 (LT) Nothing could be done about the abduction of J Rajaratnam, the intelligence officer attached to Mt. Lavinia police, only a request from Wanni tiger organization could be made said the head of the Colombo office of the SLMM. more..

New regulations within two weeks ' NTC : `Bus crews behave like animals`

Apr 28 (LNP) The Private Bus Owners Association (PBOA) yesterday claimed that most drivers and bus conductors behaved like `animals` (thirisannu) and blamed the government and provincial authorities for failing to impose standards. more..

Kiran methodist parish home bombed

Apr 28 (TN) The parish residence of the Methodist Church in Kiran, 28 kilometres north of Batticaloa, was damaged in a grenade attack Wednesday night around 11.30. The pastor, Rev. N. Arulnathan and his family were away when unidentified persons lobbed a grenade at the parish home. more..

LTTE men continue to resist entry of Sinhalese and Muslims

Apr 28 (SLA) LTTE cadres at the ECHALANPATHTHU, LTTE roadblock are continuing to block free passage of Sinhalese and Muslim civilians into un-cleared areas across that roadblock for reasons best known only to those LTTE men. The latest two incidents reported from the general un-cleared area of MAHINDAPURA more..

Norwegian support for tsunami affected, education and culture

Apr 28 (AT) Norway continues to assist various aspects of Sri Lanka’s development. The areas include tsunami affected, cultural rehabilitation and education development. Norway has allocated Rs 1.7 billion for post tsunami relief work in Sri Lanka. more..

Central Bank clamps down on illegal money changers

Apr 28 (LBO) The Exchange Control Department of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, has cautioned the public not to buy foreign exchange from moneychangers, a type of dealer who is only authorised to buy foreign exchange from the public. more..

Newspapers say Its Mass Murder

Apr 28 (LM) Sri Lankan newspapers have branded the private bus operators, drivers and conductors as mass murderers after yesterday's bus train collision which killed 35 innocent passengers and injured 60 in Alawwa. 'The Island' editorial screamed Mass Murder! Rein in asphalt cowboys! more..

Joint Mechanism comes under fire

Apr 28 (LM) While Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse's recent statement that he knew nothing about the long discussed and head-line hitting joint mechanism has sent shock waves among local and international political observers, the National Bhikku Front, an affiliated body of the JVP, has threatened to file action in Supreme Court against the proposal. more..

A spate of police killings in Sri Lanka

Apr 28 (WSWS) In the midst of an ongoing law-and-order campaign in Sri Lanka, there have been a series of suspicious police killings. Over the last four months alone, the media has reported the deaths of at least 19 people. more..

Lankan new year festival today

Apr 28 (TP) Day-long cultural and entertainment programmes have been lined up for the Sri Lankan New Year Festival which will begin at the MES Indian School premises tomorrow at 8am. The festivities will continue until 6pm. more..

Stocks at fresh high, Asian Cotton leads

Apr 28 (Reuters) Stocks rose to a life high for the fourth straight day on Thursday on heavy local buying in a range of shares expected to gain in the weeks ahead, brokers said. The key Colombo all-share index rose a provisional 0.48 percent, or 8.78 points, to 1,823.64 points, more..

Thailand – Sri Lanka in mutual tourism pact

Apr 28 (TNA) Thailand and Sri Lanka are to work together to make both countries important destinations for religious tourism, Tourism and Sports Minister Somsak Thepsuthin revealed today. more..

Sri Lanka accepts China offer to build Coal power plant

Apr 28 (DJ) The Sri Lankan government said Thursday it has accepted an offer from China to build a controversial 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant in the island. "The government of China has offered assistance on building the coal power plant. The offer has been accepted," more..

Displaced Muslims: Minister seeks meeting with Prabha

Apr 28 (PIS) Rehabilitation and District Development (Vanni) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has requested a meeting with LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran to discuss the resettlement of Muslims who were driven out from their homes in the North in 1990. more..

Lankan coalition party fears island’s split

Apr 28 (Dawn) The government of President Chandrika Kumaratunge once again finds itself in a tangle with her coalition nationalistic party, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), stoically opposing the current peace moves planned out by the government. more..

Asian Development Bank to give Sri Lanka aid to save elephants

Apr 28 (AP) The Asian Development Bank pledged Thursday to help protect Sri Lanka's dwindling elephant population. Sri Lanka housed up to 15,000 elephants a century ago, but that number has dwindled to 3,000 today, largely due to poaching and habitat loss. more..

Marxists block water policy

Apr 28 (SAMN) Agriculture Minister Anura Kumara Dissanayake on Monday said the "controversial water policy" would appear and disappear but Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) will not allow it to be approved in the Cabinet but would present a different National Water policy paper. more..

Govt has deprived peoples' rights: Ranil

Apr 28 (SAMN) The government had deprived the Fundamental Rights of the people who were affected by the tsunami devastation, which struck Sri Lanka four months ago. The UNP is committed to safeguard the rights of those people said Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

3,000 families to benefit through Hettige Oya project

Apr 28 (DN) The Agriculture, Lands and Irrigation Ministry yesterday ceremonially launched the Hettige-Oya Development project which intends to cultivate nearly 2,000 acres of fallow paddy lands located close to Hettige-Oya in Kaduwela, Homagama. more..

Legal action against errant importers

Apr 28 (SAMN) A consignment of chicken meat has been imported here in an unauthorised manner recently according to information received by the Agriculture, Livestock Lands and Irrigation Ministry. The Department of Animal Production and health is probing it, said the Ministry in a press release issued Wednesday. more..

Cops on trail of stolen vehicles

Apr 28 (LNP) A routine vehicle check by Udawalawe police recently led to the arrest of a security forces deserter believed to be involved in nefarious activities, Senior DIG Jayantha Wickramaratne said. Wickramaratne, praised the Udawalawe police for apprehending the suspect described as an ex-Kotalawela Defence Academy (KDA) cadet. more..

Kingswood demands authorities to reinstate interdicted Principal

Apr 28 (IL) Despite the charges leveled against the Kandy Kingswood College interdicted principal Ranjith Chandrasekera, the school’s old boys, students and parents demanded authorities to immediately reinstate their dismissed principal. more..

Tens of thousands of tsunami victims still homeless, government says

Apr 28 (AP) About 50,000 people in Sri Lanka made homeless by last December's tsunami are still in tents and relief centers, the government said Thursday. Aid groups and the government have built temporary housing for 77,000 people, but the task is proving tougher than expected, more..

LTTE ready for international supervision of harbour repairs

Apr 28 (HT) The Tamil rebel group, LTTE, has agreed to allow international supervision of the reconstruction of tsunami-hit harbours in areas under its control in North East Sri Lanka, to check if it is misusing donors' funds to improve its naval facilities, more..

No LTTE response on Jeyaratnam abduction

Apr 28 (PIS) The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission said yesterday that it had inquired from the LTTE whether they had abducted Police Inspector T. Jeyaratnam, but it had not yet received a response from the rebel organization. more..

Angry Sri Lanka to discipline buses after deadly crash

Apr 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka vowed on Thursday to regulate its unruly private transport sector as survivors of a train-bus collision battled for life, a day after the worst accident in more than a decade killed 37 bus passengers. more..

Sri Lanka plans to bend its 100 meter buffer zone rule slapped on tsunami hit areas

Apr 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka plans to bend its 100 meter buffer zone rule slapped on tsunami hit areas, enabling landowners to use their title deeds as collateral to rebuild elsewhere, a top official said Thursday. more..