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Debra's pledge after visit to tragic Sri Lankan village

Mar 3 (HDE) A FORMER Huddersfield woman has made a moving journey to tsunami-wrecked villages in Sri Lanka. And now Debra Hindle and husband John, who live in Sri Lanka, have promised to do all they can to help the suffering villagers. more..

Strict procedures for exports under Pak-Lanka FTA, Commerce Department

Mar 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka will follow strict procedures when implementing the FTA with Pakistan, to avoid misuse of tariff concessions, says Commerce Department. "We have agreed to very strict procedures to ensure there is no trade diversion," more..

Perera steals initiative for Central Province

Mar 3 (CI) Central Province look poised to win their second consecutive Provincial Tournament after another day of tumbling wickets in Dambulla. North Central Province led by just 138 runs with two second innings wickets remaining at stumps on day two after Central Province had earlier scored 202. more..

Shooting of senior LTTE cadre rocks Lankan peace process

Mar 3 (HT) The Sri Lankan peace process and the fragile ceasefire agreement between the government and the LTTE took a further blow recently, when a district women's wing leader and two of her colleagues were "critically" wounded in a shooting incident in the Amparai district of eastern Sri Lanka. more..

Protests in Colombo against privatisation

Mar 3 (BBC) There has been a series of protests in Colombo on Wednesday to protest UPFA government’s privatisation plans. Medical Faculty Students Action Committee (MFSAC) demonstrated in front of the Colombo Medical Faculty against the government’s recent moves to allow private institutions to issue higher education degrees. more..

Several charities unite to bring relief to Tsunami devastated regions of Sri Lanka

Mar 3 (NBC) Over the last two days we’ve shown you the devastation and the children orphaned by a tsunami that struck the shores of Sri Lanka. Tuesday night, our KBTV-4 News team sent to East Asia on assignment told us how getting supplies to that region is a story of its own. more..

Minister’s wife given death penalty

Mar 3 (BBC) Sri Lanka’s judiciary sentenced Parliamentary and Christian Affairs minister’s wife and four others to death on Wednesday. Colombo high court ruled that the wife of Minister Milroy Fernando and three others were guilty of abducting and murdering two women in Vennappuwa. more..

President Kumaratunga stirs the “sleeping giant” – the SLFP

Mar 3 (AT) Sri Lanka Freedom Party stalwarts addressed various threats faced by the party at the Youth Conference held in Maharagama yesterday. In her speech President Chandrika Kumaratunga compared the SLFP to a “sleeping giant” when in power. However she added: “If someone attacks we will not hesitate to return it,” more..

Mahinda & Anura on SLFP at the youth meet

Mar 3 (AT) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday said the SLFP does not belong to the “Bandanaranaikes and the Rajapakses” or for that matter just a handful of other politicians and it was a party of the general public of the country. more..

Two months on, north still awaits aid

Mar 3 (BBC) Sri Lanka has been emerging from a lengthy civil war and the tsunami aid effort has re-ignited some of the festering grievances. New disputes have erupted between the government in Colombo and the Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

'Baby 81' Comes to America as Symbol of Hope

Mar 3 (Reuters) "Baby 81," the infant who became Sri Lanka's most celebrated tsunami survivor, made his debut on U.S. morning television Wednesday to raise funds for quake victims back home. more..

Consensus, need for progress: Ranil

Mar 3 (SAMN) The opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at the inaugural ceremony of the discussion on the national agenda held on Tuesday at Galle Face hotel said for any country to march towards prosperity consensus of the people was essential. more..

President Kumaratunga walking on CWC/JVP egg shells

Mar 3 (AT) The fragility of the UPFA government is revealed in the recurring threats posed by its coalition partners – the CWC and the JVP. These threats indicate that President Chandrika Kumaratunga is walking on egg shells. more..

With no LTTE factions appearing, Probe Commission of no use

Mar 3 (LNP) A Presidential Commission (of Inquiry) tasked with investigating the ongoing wave of attacks on the LTTE (Vanni faction) wouldn`t be able to proceed unless the warring factions appeared before it. more..

UNP fish in murky JVP waters

Mar 3 (LNP) The UNP is investigating irregularities at the JVP-run Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ministry, particularly the use of ministry funds to equip a party office at Mahamodara in the South. more..

After Baby 81, now child snatch by desperate couple

Mar 3 (LNP) A couple, desperate for a child, had allegedly spirited away a baby boy from the maternity ward of the Mahamodera hospital, 22 hours after he was born, police said. The baby`s mother and the Mahamodera hospital Director had made a complaint to the Galle police that the baby had gone missing during visiting hours more..

Chandrika slams parties with violence

Mar 3 (SAMN) President Chandrika Kumaratunga Wednesday said though the SLFP did not resort to violence, some parties who took up arms and went on a killing spree in the past have today entered mainstream politics holding key ministerial portfolios thanks to the SLFP. more..

Flour price increases

Mar 3 (TP) Sri Lanka’s monopoly flour miller and distributor, on Tuesday raised its price of bread per loaf after the state subsidy that they were receiving was withdrawn by the government, the Daily Mirror reported. But Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said bakers who use flour sold through the ministry would have no reason to raise bread prices. more..

SLMM members allegedly assaulted by LTTE

Mar 3 (SLBC) An incident of assault on two members of the SLMM by a group of LTTE cadres at the LTTE office is reported from Vavuniya. The two members of the Monitoring Mission had visited the LTTE Vavuniya office on Tuesday to inquire into a complaint that a group of persons detained in that office were being tortured. more..

US $ 7 billion exports swindle

Mar 3 (SLBC) Export proceeds amounting to nearly 7,000 million US dollars have not been remitted to the country, an official of the Inland Revenue Department revealed. "This is about three to four times the country's present official foreign exchange reserves," he said. more..

CRM wants responsible governance

Mar 3 (SAMN) The Civil Rights Movement of Sri Lanka (CRM) has called upon the President to act according to the Constitution and the law when exercising emergency powers, and Parliament to be punctilious when exercising supervisory control over emergency rule. more..

Ninety per cent of MPs engaged in politics for business - President

Mar 3 (DN) In a frank, forthright and hard hitting address at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party Youth Conference yesterday, President Chandrika Kumaratunga pulled no punches when she said that politics has become a business for a majority of people entering politics. more..

Chandler teacher aids tsunami victims in Sri Lanka

Mar 3 (AZC) Shortly after the tsunami struck Southeast Asia, the magnitude of the tragedy compelled Deidre Grafel to do something to reach out to survivors. Instead of donating money to a relief organization, Grafel bought an open-ended plane ticket to Sri Lanka. more..

Death penalty for Minister's wife

Mar 3 (ANN) Colombo High Court Judge Upali Abeyratne Wednesday imposed death penalty on Minister Milroy Fernando’s wife Monica Fernando and three other accused who were convicted for murder. They were charged with kidnapping and murder of the minister’s mistress and her servant in Katuneriya on January 03 1992. more..

GTZ releases booklet on School Nutrition

Mar 3 (TN) A Training manual "School Health and Nutrition" prepared by the Teacher In-service Project (TIP) under the German Technical Co-operation (GTZ) funding was ceremonially released at an event held Wednesday afternoon at the provincial education ministry auditorium, sources said. more..

Gunman who shot Kuveni worked for SLA intelligence – paper

Mar 3 (TN) The gunman who allegedly shot and grievously wounded head of Liberation Tigers’ political division for Batticaloa-Amparai (women), Ms. Kuveni and two female LTTE political activists, was a former Sri Lanka military intelligence operative, the Tamil daily Virakesari said Thursday quoting Sri Lanka army Headquarters sources. more..

JVP sets up illegal Sinhala settlements, Trincomalee tense

Mar 3 (TN) Tension is mounting in the eastern port city of Trincomalee Thursday as members of JVP, a major constituent of the UPFA government, attempt to construct small houses to settle Sinhalese people in State land in a portion of the esplanade of the urban council in the heart of Trincomalee town, civil sources said. more..

LTTE Peace Secretary ignores security threats and travels on his own

Mar 3 (SLA) Head of the LTTE Peace Secretariat, PULIDEVAN with two accomplices, regardless of numerous warnings given by Security Forces of imminent dangers posed to their lives by their own rival LTTE cadres, showed up at Army sentry post at TANDIKULAM on Wednesday night around 9.50 p.m. in order to proceed further without giving any advance notice to the Security Forces. more..

School children and teachers forced to walk the streets

Mar 3 (SLA) A few hundreds of uniform – clad school children were among a large number of protesters, who were incited to stone several Army guard points along the road during an LTTE organized protest march on 02 March 2005 in the general area of NALLUR, JAFFNA. more..

LTTE men threaten passengers

Mar 3 (SLA) A group of LTTE cadres had threatened the Sarvodaya District Coordinating Officer for AMPARA, D. M. S. JAYASUNDARA and his driver D. M. NIMALRATNE to rush some injured female LTTE cadres to THIRUKKOVIL hospital in his vehicle (51-5153) on 28 February 2005 around 4.00 p.m. while their vehicle was in the general area of THAMBILAVEL –2. more..

Bus workers denounce union betrayal

Mar 3 (wsws) Sri Lankan bus workers angrily criticised union leaders after they shut down last month’s bus strike. Workers launched the campaign on their own initiative, but the union brokered an agreement with the government to end the industrial action. more..

Unions scuttle islandwide bus strike

Mar 3 (wsws) Unions in Sri Lanka have succeeded in shutting down an indefinite strike by 35,000 bus workers, clearing the way for the destruction of thousands of jobs. The indefinite strike erupted on February 14, despite the opposition of trade unions, after workers at a number of bus depots run by state-owned Regional Transport Companies (RTC) had walked out several days before. more..

Chandrika's probe order unlikely to please Tigers

Mar 3 (Dawn) President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Tuesday appointed a Commission to probe recent attacks on LTTE cadres thus paving the way for a thaw between the Tigers and the government's coalition partners. In an unprecedented move, President Kumaratunga also said that the government is willing to talk to the LTTE on its 'Interim Authority' proposal. more..

Tsunami aftermath: community trauma in Sri Lanka

Mar 3 (OW) Tsunami relief aid has been pouring in to Sri Lanka since 26th December 2004. Has it been spent wisely? In Colombo, I listened to fervent urban arguments. The foreigners have been wonderful. No, they have been corrupting the local economy. Thank goodness trauma counsellors have arrived. No, forget the psychobabble and get on with the practicalities. more..

Pakistan Air Force Chief of Staff here next week

Mar 3 (IL) Chief of Staff of the Pakistan Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Kaleem Saadat will arrive here on a four day-visit starting March 8. The Pakistan Air Chief, who is accompanied by three senior air force officials is here on an invitation of Air Force Chief Donald Perera, Air Force sources said yesterday. more..

Hotels struggle to recover after tsunami

Mar 3 (Gulf) Many hotels and tourist resorts in Sri Lanka say the number of visitors has plummeted by at least 80 per cent following the tsunami. Hotels, guesthouses and tourist attractions have been forced to lay off staff because holidaymakers are frightened to visit the island after December's tragedy. more..

Foreign investors boost stocks to new high

Mar 3 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks reached a second consecutive life closing high on Thursday, boosted by foreign investor bying in select blue chips, brokers said. The key Colombo all-share index moved up by a provisional 0.68 percent, or 11.80 points, to 1,737.45 points. more..

Lankan ceasefire pact defective: Expert

Mar 3 (HT) With the recent completion of the third year of the Sri Lankan ceasefire agreement amid heightened tensions and killings, a New Delhi-based expert has said that the longest running truce deal requires changes. "The problem is that the ceasefire agreement is defective. The SLMM only points out violations and no more. more..

European monitors probe allegations of torture by Tamil Tiger rebels

Mar 3 (AP) European cease-fire monitors on Thursday investigated allegations that Tamil Tiger rebels abducted and tortured two people in northern Sri Lanka, and police said the guerrillas had harassed the investigators. more..

Only fraction of vowed tsunami aid given

Mar 3 (Reuters) Donors may have pledged billions of dollars in tsunami aid, but so far ravaged Sri Lanka has received less than $75 million -- or around 4 percent -- of its estimated reconstruction costs, the government says. more..

Sri Lanka blames LTTE for escalation of violence

Mar 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Thursday accused Tamil Tiger rebels of ignoring security warnings and sparking a spate of attacks against their members. The defence ministry in a statement said the rebel LTTE ignored advise to inform security forces and obtain protection before moving in areas held by government forces. more..

Jayasuriya signs for Somerset

Mar 4 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya has signed a short-term contract to play for Somerset, as a replacement for Australia's captain, Ricky Ponting, who was unable to confirm his availability. Jayasuriya, now 35, had previously been approached by Scotland but turned down the offer. more..

Mubarak to lead Sri Lanka A

Mar 4 (CI) Jehan Mubarak will lead Sri Lanka A against England later this month in two unofficial four-day Tests. The national selectors, who met on Tuesday, picked a squad of 15 players for the two games, which are to be played at CCC Grounds from March 7-10 and at the NCC grounds from March 13-16. more..

World Bank funding for social accountability

Mar 4 (LBO) The World Bank is inviting non-governmental and civil society organisations to apply for grants for social accountability programmes. The World Bank Colombo Office is inviting non-governmental and civil society organizations in Sri Lanka to submit their applications for the Small Grants Program 2005, more..

Sri Lanka party to Paris Declaration on effective use of foreign aid

Mar 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka become party to yet another international declaration on Wednesday – this time on the effective use of foreign aid. The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness agrees to take "far reaching and monitorable action" to manage aid. more..

Helping a community, helping ourselves

Mar 4 (KT) EVER since the killer tsunami devastated beaches along the Indian Ocean the day after Christmas, the inbox of my personal email account has been full of letters relating to relief efforts in Sri Lanka. Specifically, my wife and I have been involved in a concerted drive to provide relief to fishermen near the small coastal town of Tangalle, more..

SLMC dissident Ministers undecided whether to attend politburo meeting or otherwise

Mar 4 (LM) Minister of Rehabilitation and District Development for Batticaloa, M. S. S. Ameer Ali, said yesterday the four MPs, Rishard Badurdeen, Abdul A. Majeed, Hussein Baila and himself, who crossed over to the government and accepted Ministerial posts, have not yet decided whether to attend the meeting of the high command more..

Plan USA donations to Sri Lanka top $11 million

Mar 4 (WB) Plan USA, a children’s charity based in Warwick that helps children and their families in 45 different countries, is teaming up with Rhode Island residents and organizations in order to raise funds to assist long-term rebuilding efforts in tsunami-effected Sri Lanka. more..

Mark helps out in Sri Lanka

Mar 4 (AI) A KIND-hearted Aberdeen oil engineer has returned from Sri Lanka following a mission to help victims of the tsunami disaster. Mark Reynolds was so moved by the scale of the tsunami tragedy that he sacrificed two weeks of his annual holiday entitlement to fly to Colombo to offer his skills. more..

Montessori schools build village in Sri Lanka

Mar 4 (Sun) When a girl came to the door of the Ask house seeking money for tsunami relief, 3-year-old Blake Ask of Plymouth asked his mother Kelli what he could do to help. So she told him to sell the pictures he spends hours drawing to employees in her office. more..