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Sri Lankan tsunami reconstruction to start at last

Apr 7 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's government said on Thursday that a national tsunami reconstruction plan can finally get under way three months on because donors have now firmly committed $1.5 billion worth of tsunami aid. more..

London Temple management ordered to be given to Jeyadevan and his trustees

Apr 8 (AT) Justice prevailed in the injunction hearing of the London Eelap Patheeswarar Temple as the judge has ordered the temple to be handed over to the original trustees immediately. The London High Court Order was a big slap to the Tamil separatist outfit – LTTE. more..

Jaffna roads to be widened

Apr 8 (TN) Six major roads in Jaffna district are to be widened to accommodate two way traffic to reduce number of accidents, according to a decision taken at a conference held in the Jaffna district secretariat Thursday morning with the Government Agent Mr.K.Ganesh in the chair, sources said. more..

Sri Lankan Leaders Support Palestine Cause

Apr 8 (LM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has intimated the need for Movements like ‘Hamas' to be included in the Palestinian-Israel Peace Process if a sustainable solution to the conflict is sought. more..

“Pope was a symbol of religious harmony” – Hakeem

Apr 8 (LM) His Holiness the Pope was a great figure, who had been promoting peace in the world and his entire papacy had been a landmark era where the whole catholic world was encouraged to relate and discuss differences with other faiths said Hakeem, the Leader of the SLMC more..

Muslim Council of Sri Lanka Formed

Apr 8 (LM) With a view of being the ‘one voice' for the Muslim community, some 50 civil bodies have come together to form the ‘Muslim Council of Sri Lanka' (MCSL). The MCSL was officially formed mid last week. And the Council's first news conference is scheduled to be held on April 20. more..

“It was only a scratch “- SLMM

Apr 8 (LM) The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission denied media reports that a Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission official was injured in the shooting incidents took place in Trinco on last Tuesday (4'th). more..

Minor tsunami waves recorded off Sri Lanka after March 28 earthquake

Apr 8 (AP) An aquatic research agency said Thursday it recorded two small tsunami waves off the coast of Sri Lanka after an 8.7 magnitude earthquake shook Indonesia on March 28. Waves measuring a maximum height of 2.3 meters (7.6 feet) were recorded in seas near Kirinda in southern Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lankan family still suffers tsunami effect

Apr 8 (WPH) Twelve-year-old T.K Janani, a student of grade 7 in one of the finest schools in Matara, 161 kilometers (100 miles) south of Colombo has lived with her widowed mother at a relative's place since Dec. 26 last year, when the deadly tsunami waves destroyed their house on the beach. more..

Alleged assassin aims to stay here

Apr 8 (NP) Niranjan Claude Fabian does not dispute that he did bad things after coming to Canada as a refugee. He was a member of a violent Tamil gang called the VVT that shot up and terrorized Toronto neighbourhoods. more..

STF hampering Tsunami relief work, Tigers tell SLMM

Apr 8 (TN) The Special Task Force (STF), the elite counter insurgency arm of the Sri Lankan armed forces, is blocking the Liberation Tigers from delivering Tsunami aid in many areas of the Batticaloa-Amparai district, LTTE leaders told Nordic truce monitors more..

Sri Lanka army, Police cordon, search in Batticaloa

Apr 8 (TN) Sri Lanka army (SLA) and Police Thursday searched some parts of Batticaloa town and its outer suburbs. No one was arrested, Police said. SLA and Police also cordoned off and searched Aarumuhaththaan Kudiyiruppu, 12 kilometres north of Batticaloa for more than three hours Thursday morning from eight. more..

Tigers will not get vast powers

Apr 8 (BBC) The Tamil tigers will not be conferred any powers that are not relevant to Tsunami reconstruction said Foreign Minister Laxman Kadiragamar. Foreign minister admitted that the government has not yet been able to arrive at an agreement with Tamil Tigers on how rehabilitation should be conducted in rebel held areas. more..

Wen to sign agreement on rebuilding tsunami-battered Sri Lanka

Apr 8 (Bloomberg) China and Sri Lanka will today announce a multimillion-dollar project that will include building roads, ports and other infrastructure, said Sri Lanka's Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama. more..

Protestors say Govt failed to resume peace talks despite being in power for more than a year

Apr 8 (IL) Several hundreds of civilians along with Pro LTTE groups and organizations during a protest march in Puthukkudiyiruppu yesterday, demanded the United Peoples Freedom Alliance Government to immediately hand over an Interim Administration to the LTTE. more..

Intensify measures to curb rival killings -SLMM

Apr 8 (LT) Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission is now holding negotiations with the Army, Police and Tigers Organizations separately, as the Wanni Tigers have refused to sit with the other parties at the negotiating table. Therefore the SLMM had a discussion from 11.00 to 12.00 am this morning with security forces at 233 Army Headquarters in Batticaloa. more..

Govt. did nothing for tsunami displaced families -G.L.Peiris

Apr 8 (LT) How the money given by World Bank to put up houses for people displaced by tsunami was spent should be revealed to the country says Prof. G.L. Peiris. UNP Parliamentarian said the World Bank has given the Government US $ 400 million and this money was sufficient to spend Rs.400,000/- for each family displaced by tsunami. more..

NGO’s, Crows in search of dollars -Weerawansa

Apr 8 (LT) In a hard hitting speech the co chairman of the Patriotic National Movement, Member of Parliament Wimal Weerawansa says that if the much disputed joint mechanism, it would pave the way for the Tigers Organisation to interfere with the sovereign right of the parliament to handle funds. more..

Protest demonstrations held against the interdiction of the school principal

Apr 8 (AT) Students, parents and old boys of Ananda College, Colombo held a protest demonstration in front of the school on Friday morning, demanding an explanation from the authorities for the interdiction of the school principal. more..

18% school leavers are from grade 8

Apr 8 (LT) 18% of the children who get to grade 8 in Schools in Sri Lanka leave school says Ms. Michel Reebu, World Bank’s Officer in charge of Education for the South Asian Region. She made this observation in a press conference held yesterday referring to a report published by the World Bank. more..

NGOs hire local MPs

Apr 8 (AT) The Internationally and locally funded NGOs are now changing their strategies to win the hearts of the members of the Sri Lankan Parliament. At present a heavy demand has been made to investigate the funds of the NGOs and other aid received by the NGOs due to the recent tsunami devastation. more..

Ananda closed after protests

Apr 8 (LNP) Students, their parents and a group of past pupils of Ananda College yesterday staged a demonstration opposite the school`s main gate to protest the interdiction of the school principal for alleged malpractices in the Year 1 admission process. more..

Lanka heading for breakdown: UNP

Apr 8 (SAMN) The UNP Thursday charged that the country was drifting towards a state of anarchy with conflicts among the coalition partners of the government and within the cabinet of Ministers while essential services were facing the threat of a breakdown. more..

Missing UN tsunami funds: High level probe ordered

Apr 8 (ANN) A senior Batticaloa-based education official is under investigation for misappropriating UNICEF funds. The UN agency and the government audit had initiated the inquiry following allegations that funds made available by the UN agency to conduct an awareness campaign in the Batticaloa district had been embezzled. more..

Thondaman meets CBK: Portfolio likely

Apr 8 (LNP) CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman met President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday at President`s House for a decisive discussion. Sources said that on inquiry as to when Mr. Thondaman would get his ministerial portfolio, the President had said he would get it at the next Cabinet reshuffle. more..

Ex-Razeek Group cadre shot dead in Kattankudy

Apr 8 (TN) An ex member of the Razeek Group was gunned down by an unidentified gunman in Kattankudy, 5 kilometres south of Batticaloa, Friday morning around 7 a.m. The man was traveling in a bus from Batticaloa to Kalmunai when he was shot dead with a 9 mm pistol, Kattankudy Police said. more..

LTTE sentry in Muttur attacked, one killed

Apr 8 (TN) A helper of the LTTE was killed and another injured in an attack on a LTTE sentry by an unidentified group Friday early morning around four a.m within the LTTE controlled area, about five hundred meters from the Mahindapura sentry of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), more..

Two EPRLF cadres shot in Vavuniya

Apr 8 (TN) Unidentified gunmen opened fire on two paramilitary cadres in Nagar Iluppaikulam, about 8 kilometres southwest of Vavuniya, Friday around 12.30 p.m. One of them was admitted Vavuniya hospital with five gun shot wounds. The other is missing, Police said. more..

Tension between police and public in Potuvil

Apr 8 (LM) A tense situation is prevalent in Protuvil, Trincomalee after police had a confrontation with the public after villagers in Potuvil handed over a memorandum against illegal construction in their fishing areas. The situation intensified after last night's bomb attack by an unknown group. more..

72 Sri Lankans deported from Egypt arrived in Colombo

Apr 8 (AT) Seventy two Sri Lankans, who tried to enter Egypt illegally, arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) from Cairo early today. They had left Wennapuwa on the 26th of last month by sea. They were arrested by the Egyptian coastguard while trying to cross the Red Sea to enter Italy. more..

UK Court rejects LTTE grab of Shiva Temple in London

Apr 8 (AT) Yesterday Mr Justice Tugendhat put an end to the attempts of the LTTE to grab the Eelapatheeswarar Aalayam (Shiva Temple) in London by ruling that the original Trustees -- two of whom were held incommunicado in the Vanni --should take control and run the affairs of this Hindu Temple as they had done for the last six years. more..

New programme has been launched to utilize the property of the railway to generate more income

Apr 8 (SLBC) A new programme has been launched to generate funds for the maintenance of railways using its properties. It is envisaged to set up market complexes in all stations in the urban areas. The units in the complex will be given out on rent or on lease. more..

Joint mechanism is unnecessary to reconstruct affected areas in north and east -TULF

Apr 8 (SLBC) The former parliamentarian and leader of the TULF V. Anandasangari says that Sri Lanka could emulate India?s federal system in finding a political solution to the present crisis in Sri Lanka. more..

Despite the three year cease fire Buddhist farmers continue to flee from the North and East

Apr 8 (SN) We report that 30 families under terrorist threats in the village of Nilapola in Seeruvila, in Trincomalee District have fled from their traditional homes in the Buddhist villages which serve, (Godhuru Gammanaya) the Dana and care taking of village temples of the Seeruvila and Nilapola. more..

Please keep your pledges - Govt. appeals

Apr 8 (PRIU) The Government yesterday appealed to the International Community to make good its promises. Several pledges for assistance were made in the wake of the December 26th Tsunami. Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar told a media briefing that the Government has assessed the scale of the damage and made estimations of the current costs for reconstruction, and has identified projects. more..

Cricket: Malinga shines but Test drawn

Apr 8 (CI) The first Test, which had apparently been heading towards an inevitable stalemate after the high first-innings totals on a docile Napier pitch, crackled into life on the final morning before fading out into a draw when bad light stopped play shortly after tea. more..

Poverty kills 200 mothers, 4400 children

Apr 8 (SAMN) Around 200 maternal and 4400 infant deaths occur every year due to infections and complications during delivery, Acting Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayatilake said Thursday. He gave these figures during the World Health Day seminar at the Mahaweli Centre. more..

Rs.12,950 m spent on tsunami relief

Apr 8 (SAMN) Although the Government has received donor pledges amounting to US $ 2 billion as tsunami assistance following the December 26 tragedy, only US $ 750 million has been actually made available so far for disbursement, the Government told the media Thursday. more..

Caught between cops and hawkers

Apr 8 (LNP) Members of the public using Dalada Veediya, the main street of Kandy, are harassed by two forces - the pavement hawkers and the police. The vendors on the pavements, with their goods, inconvenience the public while on the other side, the police force the public onto the congested pavements. more..

Cricket: Umpires asked to remove trousers

Apr 8 (AFP) New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming has asked the umpires to remove their black trousers when Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga bowls in the second Test which starts in Wellington on Monday. The 21-year-old terrorised the New Zealanders in the first Test, which ended in a draw on Friday, taking a career-best five for 80 more..

Plans for joint deal to disburse aid delayed

Apr 8 (Gulf) Plans to reach a deal on a joint mechanism between the government and Tamil guerrillas to disburse money to tsunami victims has been further delayed. Nearly 12 weeks after the proposal was first discussed there were no immediate signs of the agreement being finalised more..

Sri Lanka's top insurer plans IPO, no date set

Apr 8 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's biggest insurer, Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, is planning an initial public offering on the Colombo bourse, Chairman Harry Jayawardena said on Friday, but no date has yet been set. Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation leads the local insurance sector in terms of assets, more..

Blackout on hold after the government agrees to hold back CEB reforms

Apr 8 (LBO) Electricity sector trade union plans for an island wide blackout, goes on hold after the government agrees to hold back Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) reforms. "The Minister of Power and Energy said the cabinet paper (to restructure the CEB) will not go ahead," more..

Govt. committed to safeguard country's free health and education system - Health Minister

Apr 8 (DN) "It is time for the public to stand up against unjustified trade union actions at the cost of the poor patients, Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition Nimal Siripala de Silva said addressing a ceremony to mark World Health Day 2005 at the Mahaweli Centre auditorium yesterday. more..

Chinese premier's visit to open new era of Sino-Lanka ties: newspaper

Apr 8 (PD) Sri Lanka's major English newspaper Daily News said Friday that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit will help boost bilateral relations further, heralding in a new era of ties. "The landmark visit will exemplify excellent diplomatic and cultural relations between the two nations," said the paper more..

SLMM say Tiger attack on navy boat a truce violation

Apr 8 (AFP) Scandinavians monitoring a truce between Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tigers ruled that the rebels were in breach of the ceasefire when they attacked a naval patrol boat. The SLMM said Friday the rebel LTTE violated the ceasefire agreement by attacking the craft three days ago. There were no casualties in the shooting. more..

Rebel fighting kills two more

Apr 8 (AFP) At least two people were killed in Sri Lanka's restive eastern province in what military officials described as escalating rebel factional fighting. A breakaway faction of the Tamil Tigers clashed with the main rebel outfit in the eastern region of Mahindapura early Friday, more..

Chinese PM opens talks in Sri Lanka

Apr 8 (AFP) Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao met for talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga shortly after arriving in the island on a visit marking the third leg of his South Asian tour. Officials said Friday the two leaders went in for talks at the tightly-guarded president's House in Colombo. more..

Netherlands urged to send fact finding mission to NorthEast

Apr 9 (TN) Expressing collective Tamil concern over Colombo's handling of the post-tsunami humanitarian crises in the war ravaged NorthEast, Mr. S.P.Thamilchelvan invited Thursday Netherland's Foreign Ministry to send a fact finding mission to the tsunami devastated NorthEast. more..

Hakeem express concerns on Norway’s role

Apr 9 (LM) SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem has expressed concerns that Norway and the international community continues to neglect the Muslims in the proposed joint mechanism. In an interview given to an international television channel Hakeem said that there is much frustration among the Muslim community on the proposals. more..