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Indian Reds build bridges with Lanka’s controversial JVP

Mar 30 (HT) Indian communists have shed their reserve about Sri Lanka's controversial JVP, and are building bridges with it. JVP's supremo, Somawansa Amarasinghe, and central committee member Bimal Ratnayake, are currently in Chandigarh, in Punjab, to participate in the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of India (CPI) beginning on Wednesday. more..

Pakistan A secure a thriller in the gloom

Mar 31 (CI) Pakistan A clinched a thrilling victory over Sri Lanka A in fading light at the Sinhalese Sports Club, to clinch the final of the A-team triangular series. After restricting Sri Lanka to a mediocre 192, Pakistan looked on course to confirm their status as the outstanding side in the three-team tournament, more..

Please let me stay here

Mar 31 (ST) AN asylum seeker is pleading with the authorities to let him stay permanently, after he lost all his family in the tsunami. Balasingham Ravi, of Clayton Avenue, Alperton, has been left grief stricken after his mother, uncle, aunt and three cousins perished in their small village of Valvettithurai, in Jaffna, more..

Govt launches bank to assist small, medium Cos

Mar 31 (DJ) The government Wednesday launched a bank aimed at providing financial assistance to small and medium-sized enterprise companies on the island. The "SME Bank" is expected to offer an extensive range of financial services, more..

Equitable distribution of aid stressed in Helsinki meet

Mar 31 (TN) “Post-tsunami aid should be equitably distributed in proportion to the damage," said Ambassador Mikko Pyhala, Asia and Oceania, when he met the Liberation Tigers' delegation led by S.P Thamilchelvan, at the Finland Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tuesday, LTTE sources in Helsinki said. more..

TECH Official departs for European tour

Mar 31 (TN) Sivalingam Suhunan, Executive Director of the Economic Consultancy House (TECH), a NGO which works exclusively in NorthEast, left for a 4-week tour of European Countries Wednesday morning, sources from Kilinochchi said. The iterinery for the privately funded visit includes Norway, Denmark, France and Germany, sources added. more..

Sri Lanka posts trade surplus, breaking deficit trend in 2004

Mar 31 (LBO) Increased foreign inflows to the government and the private sector in November and December 2004 helps Sri Lanka break its trade deficit trend, with a US$ 40 mn surplus for the fourth quarter 2004. more..

Sri Lanka board in gambling claim

Mar 31 (BBC) Sports minister Jaeevan Kumaratunga has accused cricket board boss Thilanga Sumathipala of links with gambling in an ongoing row. Kumaratunga told BBC Sinhala the International Cricket Council has sent a detailed report concerning Sumathipala's conduct. more..

Sri Lankans in death row seek help

Mar 31 (BBC) A number of human rights activist and organizations have urged the Sri lankan Government to take prompt action to secure the release of the four Sri Lankans who are currently facing death sentences in Saudi Arabia. more..

'Tsunami joint mechanism now'

Mar 31 (BBC) Trade unions and mass organisations urged the government to establish a joint mechanism with Tamil Tigers for tsunami relief work. Demonstrating in front of the Colombo Fort railway station on Wednesday, they demanded the government stop privatisation plans and safeguard the rights of workers. more..

Tsunami refugees face health risk

Mar 31 (BBC) Health authorities fear an outbreak of epidemics in the Eastern district of Trincomalee. Kinniya Divisional Health Director Dr. Marshuka Ruwaiz says that tsunami refugees, who have been living in temporary tents for more than three months, are suffering from diseases like chicken pox, diarrhoea, throat infections and high fever. more..

Turkey contests President’s "we have not received a red cent" claim

Mar 31 (LM) Contesting a recent statement made by President Chandrika Kumaratunga when she claimed that her Government had not received a ‘red cent' from the international community to rebuild the country, a Turkish Red Crescent Delegation informed SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem that Turkey has since the tsunami, transferred a sum of US $ 1.6 million to the President's account. more..

Lindsay Principal forced to withdraw her decision on Muslim dress

Mar 31 (LM) During a meeting held today under the patronage of Western Province Governor Alavi Moulana, and attended by Chief Minister Reginald Cooray in his capacity as Provincial Education Minister. more..

Political killings and Sri Lanka’s stalled peace

Mar 31 (UTHR) Once again a wave of political killings in northern and eastern Sri Lanka is threatening the security of civilians; the violence also threatens their fragile psychological recovery from the devastating tsunami disaster. more..

Sri Lankan Airlines to increase services to 5 Indian cities

Mar 31 (PTI) Sri Lankan Airlines will be increasing services to five Indian cities, including Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, besides extending three flights from Mumbai to Karachi, Regional Manager-Far East, Pacific and South Asia, Fazeel, said. more..

Trade Union discussions on attempts to privatize CEB & CPC

Mar 31 (LT) Minister of Power & Energy Susil Premjayantha says discussions will be held within the next two days with the trade unions on restructuring of Ceylon Electricity Board and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. The Government will consider the decisions of the trade unions and take a final decision said the minister. more..

Workers will never allow Electricity Board to be privatized

Mar 31 (LT) The trade unions of Ceylon Electricity Board have warned the Government that if a discussion for them was not given within a day they would consider resorting to trade union action. This was stated at a trade union meeting held in Colombo yesterday. more..

TCP likely to export flour to Sri Lanka

Mar 31 (DT) Trading Corporation of Pakistan is negotiating with the Sri Lankan government to sell 10,000 tonnes of flour, and if a deal is cut, the island would be the second destination of Pakistani flour after Afghanistan. more..

Plan for post-tsunami buffer zone contested by bishop

Mar 31 (ENI) Sri Lanka's top Anglican bishop has criticised a government plan to create an uninhabited buffer zone next to the sea to protect against tsunami-type disasters which authorities say has gained new urgency following Monday's earthquake in Indonesia. more..

Experts explain why quake didn't cause tsunami

Mar 31 (AP) Why was there no tsunami this time? After the magnitude-8.7 earthquake off Indonesia on Monday night, warnings blared along coastlines in Thailand, India and Sri Lanka, and frightened residents fled inland for fear of a deadly tsunami like the one in December. more..

Sanath Jayasuriya is Sportsman of the Masses

Mar 31 (ANN) Sri Lanka’s dashing opening batsman and former cricket captain Sanath Jayasuriya was named Sportsman of the Masses, at a ceremony on March 28. He was named Sportsman of the Masses based on research conducted by TNS and audited by SJMS. It was organised by the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing. more..

Latest tsunami hits Leader of the Opposition, Ranil

Mar 31 (AT) Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Leader of the Opposition is struggling to recover from the backlash of the latest tsunami threat that has hit his campaign to keep communities near the shoreline. Coastal communities, however, fled into higher ground on Tuesday night when the news reached that another tsunami was likely to hit them. more..

If Tsunami was sent by God, then we are oblivious to His message

Mar 31 (AT) Another tidal wave is inundating the Island of Sri Lanka. The Christian fundamentalist are notifying the natives that the destructive tsunami was the handiwork of God. more..

Former senior UNP Minister Adhikari vows to oust Ranil

Mar 31 (LNP) A longstanding UNP stalwart in Rajarata and former Minister A. M. S. Adhikari yesterday vowed to set up an anti-Ranil UNP organisation and conduct countrywide protest campaigns to drive away Ranil Wickremesinghe from the party leadership. more..

LTTE removes tyres from Kalmunai depot forcibly

Mar 31 (LNP) A group of LTTE cadres forcibly entered the Kalmunai Bus Depot and forcibly removed tyres after threatening the security personnel on duty at the depot on Tuesday. Military spokesman Brig. Daya Ratnayake said about 20 LTTE men on two vehicles had forcibly removed about 50 tyres from the premises more..

CEB trade unions take tough stand

Mar 31 (SAMN) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) trade unions said Wednesday they would not settle for anything less than the withdrawal of the CEB Reforms Act that envisages the restructuring of the CEB and warned of tough trade union action if the Government failed to do so. more..

Thilanga Vs. Jeevan

Mar 31 (LNP) Former Sri Lanka Cricket (CLC) chief Thilanga Sumathipala yesterday initiated a legal tussle against the Sports Minister by filing an application challenging the Minister`s decision to suspend the Cricket Board. more..

Sri Lanka welcomes acclaimed Chinese Actress

Mar 31 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is playing celebrity this week with the arrival of acclaimed Chinese actress and director, Xu Jinglei. Xu was appointed Honorary Goodwill Tourism Ambassador for Sri Lanka by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board (SLTB) on March 4 in Beijing, more..

London Eelap Patheewarar Temple hearing today

Mar 31 (AT) London Eelap Patheeswarar Temple case is expected to be taken up today afternoon at the London High Court to decide further on the exparte injunction given on 25 March on a motion filed by N.Seevaratnam of the Sivayogam Trust. more..

Fuel prices going up?

Mar 31 (SAMN) A price hike of petrol, diesel and kerosene is imminent according to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Indian Oil sources. The sources claim that prices of petrol would be increased by Rs. 4, diesel by Rs. 8.50 and kerosene by Rs. 17.80. more..

Murali cleared to bowl

Mar 31 (TA) SRI Lanka spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan has been given the all clear to resume bowling and start the second stage of his rehabilitation from shoulder injury. Muralitharan will travel to England on Monday to start pre-season training with Lancashire more..

Police beef up security in the Colombo city during the festive season

Mar 31 (SLBC) Police have implemented a special security programme in the Colombo city during the festive season for the safety of consumers. DIG Colombo Sirisena Herath says nearly 1,000 special police team has been deployed for this purpose. more..

Government is on a mission to increase the salaries of foreign employees

Mar 31 (SLBC) The government will carryout special propaganda mission to increase the salaries of foreign employees . Local and International job agents will also assist the programme. Accordingly Bureau of Foreign Employment will organize a propaganda campaign from next month aimed at government?s and job agents in the Middle East region. more..

Sri Lanka seek to perform well without Muralitharan

Mar 31 (Jang) Ace off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan may have been ruled out of Sri Lanka’s two-Test cricket series against New Zealand but the Lankan coach John Dyson says his side has proved it can win without Muralitharan. more..

Health volunteers protest, demand permanency

Mar 31 (TN) Fifty-five health volunteers, fifty three women and two men Wednesday began hunger strike in front of the office of the North East Provincial Ministry of Health in Trincomalee demanding that they should be made permanent. more..

LTTE delegation in Finland, meets with Foreign Minister and Åland representative

Mar 31 (TN) "The Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) was supposed to bring normalcy. But, under the pretext of High Security Zones (HSZ), Tamil people were denied of access to their homes. The war-displaced people were then heavily struck by the tsunami that multiplied the hardships. more..

Bata Sri Lanka Comes under OECD Scrutiny

Mar 31 (GU) Bata is under increased pressure to resolve the situation at its company in Sri Lanka. The Canadian OECD National Contact Point confirmed yesterday that follow-up into the behaviour of Bata’s Sri Lankan subsidiary was warranted and would go ahead. more..

Sri Lanka arrests three Indians for heroin trafficking

Mar 31 (AP) The Sri Lankan navy has arrested three Indians trying to smuggle a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of heroin into the country, officials said on Thursday. The men were traveling in a boat from southern India when they were captured near Mannar, 220 kilometers north of the capital Colombo, late Wednesday, more..

Sri Lanka may outlaw all missionary efforts

Mar 31 (DN) "Anti-conversion" legislation in Sri Lanka could target missionaries and faith-based humanitarian aid workers, according to The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Among the faith-based groups affected by the bill would be The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more..

Passport delay leaves Sri Lankans in the Lurch

Mar 31 (AN) Sri Lankan expatriates in Saudi Arabia who applied for new passports through their embassy in Riyadh three months ago, are left in the lurch due to the inordinate delay in getting their travel documents from Colombo. more..

Joint mechanism to be finalised

Mar 31 (PIS) The proposed joint mechanism between the government and the LTTE for post-tsunami management in the North and East is to be finalised shortly, an informed diplomatic source said yesterday. "The differences are now being ironed out and the joint mechanism is expected to go into operation within two weeks", the source said. more..

HRC to stamp out extra judicial killings

Mar 31 (SAMN) Inspector General of Police Chandra Fernando, when summoned by the Human Right Commission of Sri Lanka recently, said there was no policy on extra judicial killings on the part of the police and promised his cooperation to the HRC in investigating extra judicial killings, more..

Sri Lanka eyes Chinese market to revive tsunami-hit tourism

Mar 31 (AFP) Sri Lanka is hoping to attract more Chinese tourists to the tsunami-hit island with the introduction of direct air services to Beijing, a top official said Thursday. Ceylon Tourist Board chairman Udaya Nanayakkara said he hoped that the number of Chinese holidaymakers visiting the island will triple to 30,000 this year, compared to 9,088 last year. more..

Experts to probe students' death in central Sri Lanka

Mar 31 (Xinhua) Four epidemiological teams from the capital Colombo have left for the central region to investigate the sudden death of two students and the vice principal of a rural school in Badulla, the official Daily News reported Thursday. more..

Safe haven for coast, Batticaloa line trains

Mar 31 (IL) The Transport Ministry is to initiate a special programme to protect commuters and trains in case of another tsunami. Minister Felix Perera asked railway authorities at a meeting held at the Ministry yesterday to identify safe places along the Coast Line and Batticaloa Line where trains could be stopped in a tsunami type emergency. more..

Kandy MC opposition stages walkout

Mar 31 (DN) The opposition in the Kandy Municipal Council staged a walk out yesterday accusing the administration of massive irregularities and rampant corruption. The opposition comprising the SLFP and JVP which stormed out of the monthly meeting of the council vowed to continue their boycott until fresh elections are held to the local body. more..

Battlelines drawn in Sri Lankan legal dispute

Mar 31 (CI) The legal battle for control of Sri Lankan cricket has officially started after Thilanga Sumathipala's executive committee – all appointed at Sunday's AGM in defiance of the government's suspension of the board – filed an application in a Court of Appeal. Sumathipala's legal team requested an interim order to prevent the suspension of the board. more..

Electricity Board Engineers lashes out at Govt’s ‘spineless attitude’

Mar 31 (LM) Senior Electricity Board Engineers today fired out at the Government's ‘spineless attitude', following their failure to go ahead with the institution's reforms process. The engineers charged that it was sad to note the Government's powerlessness in the hands of one of their ally's. more..

LTTE submits fresh proposals for joint tsunami aid project

Mar 31 (KT) Tamil rebels who rejected the Sri Lankan government’s revised version of a joint mechanism to distribute foreign tsunami aid has handed over a fresh proposal to the Norwegian Peace Envoy Erik Solheim in Vienna, a Tamil newspaper reported yesterday. more..