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Tigers collect taxes from passengers travelling by air to the northeast

Mar 23 (Gulf) Tamil guerrillas have started taxing passengers who travel by air to the northeastern part of the country. This has prompted many of the affected people, including expatriate Tamil community returning on holiday to seek the assistance of security forces, military officials said yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka says slow aid delays post-tsunami rebuilding

Mar 23 (Reuters) Reconstruction of tsunami-hit infrastructure and homes along Sri Lanka's ravaged coast has been delayed because pledged donor aid is only trickling in and relief agencies are still discussing plans, the government says. more..

LTTE delegation in Bern, meets with Foreign Affairs officials

Mar 24 (TN) The delegation led by Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan, on Wednesday, met with Ambassador Thomas Greminger, Head of Political Affairs Division IV (Human Security), Switzerlands Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and discussed the post-tsunami joint mechanism and the current state of peace process. more..

Sri Lanka’s referendum blues

Mar 24 (TN) Opposition fears that President Chandrika Kumaratunga is making serious moves to hold on to the reins of power were further exacerbated when thousands of posters calling for the immediate abolition the country’s executive Presidential system appeared in many part of the island’s capital and suburbs this week. more..

JVP will never quit UPFA government, Kadirgamar assures to BBC

Mar 24 (TN) Throwing his weight fully behind the JVP, Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, in a live television interview with the BBC on Tuesday said that the JVP is for the negotiated political settlement with the LTTE and assured that it would never quit the ruling coalition in this regard. more..

Foundation laid for Trinco campus new building complex

Mar 24 (TN) Foundation stone was laid Wednesday morning for the 91 million rupee-project to construct a building complex to house the Trincomalee campus of the Eastern University in 250 acre-land allocated in Konesapuri, 16 km north of Trincomalee town along Trincomalee-Pulmoddai road. more..

Local civil aviation laws are being tweaked to make it easier for aviation sports to take to the skies

Mar 24 (LBO) Local civil aviation laws are being tweaked to make it easier for adventure aviation sports like gliding and para-jumping to take to the skies. Aviation sports have long been restricted by security fears and cumbersome regulations, with ballooning being the only one to take off in certain areas excluding Colombo. more..

BOI companies in tax net from April

Mar 24 (LBO) BOI companies will be pulled into the local tax net for the first time from April this year, through the Economic Service Charge (ESC). "The BOIs were not expected to pay ESC last year but from April this year they must also start paying ESC," said R P L Weerasinghe, Commissioner General, Inland Revenue. more..

Sri Lanka's tourism beset by problems

Mar 24 (BBC) The stillness of a spring afternoon in southern Sri Lanka is broken by the sound of workmen hammering as they rebuild a beachfront hotel. Three months ago, I met Nath Gunawardene of the Dilen's hotel in the country's southern coast standing amid the debris of his property. more..

'Powerless to save Sri Lankan in death row'

Mar 24 (BBC) Attempts to save the life of a Sri Lankan from being executed in Saudi Arabia have failed say the Sri Lanka foreign ministry. Deputy Foreign minister prof. Vishva Warnapala told BBC Sandeshaya that a scheduled visit to the region to save Sri Lankans facing executions was delayed due to tsunami. more..

Peraliya villagers protest in Colombo

Mar 24 (BBC) Peraliya villagers and relatives of the victims of train accident protesting in front of the Colombo Fort Station urge the railway authorites to pay compensation. The authorities should not get away from their responsibility but come out with the truth, they said. more..

Tsunami kills one percent of Sri Lankan Muslims

Mar 24 (DT) Bashir Wali Mohmand, Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, said that one percent of Sri Lankan Muslims died in tsunamis that struck the Indian Ocean island on December 26. The High Commission on Tuesday, he said more than 20,000 victims of tsunamis in Sri Lanka were Muslims. more..

Foreign Ministers condemnation of torture needs to be backed by action in Sri Lanka

Mar 24 (AT) “Sri Lankan government's declaration of a policy of “condemnation of torture without reservation” must accompany short and long term preventative mechanisms to address the underlying issues of custodial torture. more..

Sri Lanka gets more investments on cable television

Mar 24 (AT) A number of foreign-based companies have indicated their willingness to invest in Sri Lanka, to expand in the local Cable Television industry. Managing Director of Lanka Broad Band Network - LBN, Shirantha Herath said that companies expect to invest their capital in the next five years. more..

Programme to provide one million telephone connections to rural areas

Mar 24 (SLRC) A programme to provide one million telephone connections in rural areas has been launched. All private telephone provider companies have agreed to provide new connections by levying a nominal charge. It is equal lent to one third of the present charge for telephone connections. more..

Government fuel coupons abused

Mar 24 (LNP) Speculation is rife that there is extensive abuse of government fuel coupons issued free to politicians. Well informed sources said that free coupons issued to politicians representing both the ruling party and the opposition are sold. more..

Norway reprimanded for partial facilitator role in Sri Lanka

Mar 24 (AT) Recently formed Norwegian forum, the Sri Lanka United (SLU) has appealed to the Norwegian government to help the democratic and peaceful majority of Sri Lankans of all ethnic groups to fight terror; to build a peaceful, democratic and united Sri Lanka. more..

Katunayake-Colombo Highway improved

Mar 24 (SAMN) The re-development and rehabilitation of the present Katunayake-Colombo Highway linking Bandaranaike International Airport to Colombo and rest of the country has progressed steadily resulting in the road now in a much improved state than it was four months earlier, a progress review meeting of the project held recently has revealed. more..

NPC urges Colombo to disprove Government support to Karuna group

Mar 24 (TN) Pointing out the existence of a camp manned by militants of the Karuna group in Government-controlled territory that borders the north east, the National Peace Council (NPC), called on the Government to disprove the allegations regarding its support for the Karuna group immediately more..

Man with gelignite arrested

Mar 24 (SLA) A Muslim carrying five kilos of gelignite sticks was taken into custody at the ERAKKANDI naval roadblock by the naval troops on 23 March 2005 around 10.30 a.m. while he was on a bus bound for PODUWAKATTU from TRINCOMALEE. more..

LTTE man abuses Security Forces

Mar 24 (SLA) Security Forces providing security to Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) office at ATCHCHUVELY have been abused by an LTTE cadre, called KAJAAN, who is also the deputy LTTE political leader for ATCHCHUVELY on 23 March 2005 around 11.00 a.m. more..

Monk fasting unto death is in poor state of heath

Mar 24 (SN) The health of Ven. Hamulugamuwa Nandaretna, Viharathipathi of Mahadiulwewa Sri Pabatharama Raja Maha Viharaya, performing starvation unto death is on its 3rd day. His health is reportedly weakening. more..

World TB Day is not a celebration – President

Mar 24 (AT) In her message on the occasion of the TB day President Chandrika Kumaratunga said that World TB Day is not a celebration and have no cause to applaud yet, in spite of our scientific breakthroughs, TB has been the greatest killer of humans throughout history and sadly, it still is prevalent. more..

JVP hails ‘One China Policy’

Mar 24 (LT) JVP has welcomed the outcome of the annual session of The National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China. A letter signed by Mr. Somawansha Amarasinghe to Mr. Hu Jintao The President of China states the new reforms passed by the National People’s Congress will benefit 1.3 billion people in the People’s Republic of China. more..

JVP meets Mahanayake of Malwatte

Mar 24 (LT) Leaders of the JVP met Mahanayake of Malwatte Chapter yesterday. Completing one year of UPFA in power and the future functions of the Alliance Government were discussed. Any person has the right for dreams but these dreams don’t always come true said Mr. Somawansha Amarasinghe, leader of the JVP. more..

Remaining 3 SLMC Dissident MPs too expelled

Mar 24 (LM) The three remaining Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Dissident MPs, namely Messrs Rishard Badiudeen (Wanni), Najeeb A. Majeed (Trincomalee) and M.S.S.Ameer Ali (Batticaloa), have also been expelled from the Party for flouting the terms of its Constitution and Code of Conduct. more..

Sethusamudram is for Indian security and will not threaten Sri Lanka economically

Mar 24 (LBO) India’s US $ 400 mn Sethusamudram canal is aimed at improving Indian security and will not threaten Sri Lanka economically, say experts. Local experts say Sethusamudram will only accommodate feeder vessels and the time difference between navigating the canal and going around Sri Lanka, will be negligible. more..

Tsunami damaged industries need a minimum Rs. 1.2 bn to rebuild businesses

Mar 24 (LBO) Industrial Development Board says micro, small, medium and large scale industries damaged by the December tsunami need a minimum Rs. 1.2 bn to reestablish their businesses. The findings are part of the post-tsunami study the Board will use to raise and coordinate funds to rebuild the sector. more..

ADB to disburse $150 million Tsunami aid in May

Mar 24 (DJ) The Asian Development Bank said Thursday it plans to begin disbursement of a $150 million grant in May to help Sri Lanka rebuild areas devastated by the Dec. 26 tsunami. The grants are tied to projects such as housing and roadwork, and will likely be disbursed over three years, more..

Tempe naturopath leaves Sri Lanka a changed man

Mar 24 (AZC) When naturopathic doctor Eric Udell arrived in the tsunami-ravaged Sri Lankan village of Wellamada last month, the American doctor and his brand of medicine seemed strange to the villagers. Skeptical and curious, they lined up nonetheless, glad to see some form of medical aid that they so desperately needed. more..

Sri Lanka mother mourns 6 children lost to tsunami

Mar 24 (Reuters) It has been three months since Sri Lankan housewife Viyarseeli Nadarajahlingam saw her six children swallowed up by Asia's tsunami, but crumpled in grief at a makeshift shrine, she often longs for death. more..

Coastal Hospitals to be modernized with Aussie assistance

Mar 24 (PRIU) Three tsunami-affected hospitals in Batticaloa, Ampara and Galle are to be upgraded. One of Australia’s largest private hospital groups has made an assessment study of the short and long term needs of these hospitals. more..

Could this be end of the cuppa?

Mar 24 (SM) FOR millions of people throughout the world, starting the day without a cup of tea would be unthinkable. But the latest innovation from India’s leading tea laboratory is a "tea pill" to be popped in your mouth to save time in the morning. more..

A bovine tussle over a lawn

Mar 24 (ANN) The SLFP and the UNP are, true to form, in for a showdown, we are told, on the Town Hall ground, where both parties want to hold their May Day rallies at the same time. There is hardly anything that they don’t fight over and this is yet another manifestation of their deep seated political enmity, more..

Sri Lankan Cricket board set to be dissolved

Mar 24 (CI) The Sri Lankan cricket board is all set to be dissolved. Parliamentary sources revealed to Cricinfo that that there was every likelihood this would happen on Thursday afternoon, with an announcement to this effect following. more..

DNA tests for criminals

Mar 24 (TP) Blood samples of suspects for DNA tests, extending detention periods without a warrant and expediting High Court trials are among the tough new provisions presented in parliament as part of the government’s latest moves to crack down on rising crime, newspapers said. more..

House cheers Murali wedding

Mar 24 (TP) Parliament on Tuesday cheered the wedding of the country’s most famous personality, cricket star Muttiah Muralitharan who married Madhimalar Ramamurthi in Chennai on Monday. MPs across the floor bade the star off spinner a blissful wedded life with the wish that he would be gifted with children who would bring added fame and glory to his Motherland, more..

Biggest ever paddy harvest anticipated

Mar 24 (SAMN) The country is in for the biggest ever bumper Maha season with nearly two million metric tons of paddy ready for harvesting. The main reason being attributed to the record yield is the initiative taken by the government to cultivate a large number of abandoned paddy lands in most areas more..

JVP will not quit Govt: Somawansa

Mar 24 (SAMN) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader Wednesday vowed his party would not leave the government come what may despite media speculation of a clash between the two main partners of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) coalition. more..

Hands off school children

Mar 24 (LNP) The Education Ministry yesterday warned school principals, education authorities and Chief Ministers of Provinces to be vigilant about alleged moves to bring school children to participate in street agitations against the proposed education reforms. more..

Campaign for abolition of Executive Presidency begins

Mar 24 (HT) A peoples' movement for the abolition of Sri Lanka's powerful Executive Presidency began on Monday, with the appearance of thousands of posters in Colombo calling for the abolition. "Amend constitution forthwith to abolish Executive Presidential System," the posters issued by the Peoples' Movement for Democracy said. more..

ASP Udugampola who raided Army safe house at Athurugiriya arrested

Mar 24 (DN) ASP Kulasiri Udugampola who raided the Army safe house at Athurugiriya on January 2, 2002 was arrested yesterday morning by a special police investigation team in Kandy. Udugampola was on compulsory leave. more..

ADB awaits Sri Lanka's move with Tigers on tsunami relief

Mar 24 (AFP) The Asian Development Bank has asked Sri Lanka to step up the momentum of tsunami reconstruction and said it was awaiting agreement between Tamil Tiger rebels and the government over relief distribution. more..

Lankan tsunami survivors rebuilding their lives from scratch

Mar 24 (ANI) Nearly three months after the killer tsunami waves hit the Indian Ocean's shore and killed nearly 40, 000 people and displaced another 500,000 in Sri Lanka, survivors are struggling to rebuild their lives. more..

Health reconstruction in Sri Lanka gets green light

Mar 25 (IFRC) The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) and the International Federation have been given the green light for a major project to rebuild and rehabilitate 34 health facilities damaged by the tsunami on 26 December. more..

England women humiliate Sri Lanka

Mar 25 (BBC) Claire Taylor struck a brilliant century in Pretoria to put England on the path to a thumping 214-run win over Sri Lanka at the Women's World Cup. Taylor hit 136 off 128 balls, including 11 fours and a six, with Charlotte Edwards and Clare Connor striking fifties as England posted 284-4. more..

Caritas rebuilding lives in Sri Lanka 3 months on

Mar 25 (CI) Three months after the devastating Tsunami of 26 December 2004, Caritas representatives met in Colombo to look at current emergency assistance activities and to plan ongoing programmes responding to the recovery and reconstruction needs of Tsunami-affected communities along the coastal belt of Sri Lanka. more..

JVP supports Cuba, China’s anti secession law

Mar 25 (TN) Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said Thursday that Sri Lankan should oppose the US resolution against Cuba at the UN Human Rights Commission. “It is the internationalist duty of this government to oppose the US resolution and support of Cuba”, said Mr. Wimal Weerawansa MP, more..

Australian Labor Party attempts to channel tax payers money to TRO

Mar 25 (AT) The second attempt by the Australia Labor Party (ALP) to channel Australian funds to the banned LTTE through its bogus front, Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), was thwarted in Parliament when the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, rejected it outright on March 16, 2005. more..

Sri Lanka conflict experience used for tsunami support

Mar 25 (IFRC) Psychosocial support for people affected by the years of conflict in Sri Lanka is being adapted and applied to help survivors of the tsunami in that country. The Danish Red Cross has been a partner with the Sri Lanka Red Cross since 2003 in a programme assisting children affected by the conflict in Jaffna. more..