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Eastern killings threaten cease fire- truce monitors

Mar 9 (TN) "SLMM perceives the recent killings in the eastern parts of the country as a direct threat to the CFA and the Peace Process" said the Nordic truce monitors in a statement issued Tuesday. "SLMM monitors are currently making inquires into all the incidents. more..

Protesting Muslims cook on highway in Maruthamunai

Mar 9 (TN) Thousands Muslims who lost their homes when the Tsunami hit Maruthamunai, 35 kilometres south of Batticaloa, blocked the main highway to Kalmunai Tuesday protesting against the Government of Sri Lanka for not helping them rebuild their houses. more..

LTTE, Sri Lanka joint mechanism urgent need - EU

Mar 9 (TN) The European Union's Commissioner for External Relations, Ms.Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Tuesday called for the speedy establishment of a joint mechanism between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to distribute Tsunami aid. Addressing a news conference in Colombo Tuesday she emphasized that the joint mechanism was an ‘urgent need’. more..

Jaffna celebrates Women's Day, calls on SLA to quit

Mar 9 (TN) The Jaffna Women Cultural Forum celebrated the International Women's Day in the Jaffna district Tuesday calling on "the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) occupying the Tamil motherland should quit." An effigy symbolizing the SLA occupation was cremated at Parameswara Junction in Thirunelveli, sources said. more..

Sri Lankan School gems shine

Mar 9 (TOO) The Annual Inter-House Athletics Meet 2005 of the Sri Lankan School Muscat (SLSM) has been held in grand style at the ROP Stadium in Wattayah. The day started on a somber note as a minute’s silence was observed as a mark of respect for the victims of the tsunami tragedy which devastated the Asian countries. more..

Sri Lanka, Tiger rebels must share tsunami aid - EU

Mar 9 (Reuters) Sri Lanka urgently needs a mechanism to ensure tsunami aid is distributed fairly, including to Tamil Tiger-held areas, the EU's external relations commissioner said on Tuesday. more..

"Army oppose resettlement in HSZ"

Mar 9 (BBC) Sri Lanka's top legal official say that the army is opposed to settling displaced people in the government designated High Security Zone (HSZ) in the northern Jaffna peninsular. Attorney General (AG) KC Kamalasabeysan told the Supreme Court (SC) that the Sri Lanka Army has refused to allow resettlement in HSZs as they are "very sensitive" on security. more..

"Buffer zone hinders resettlement"

Mar 9 (BBC) More than two thousand tsunami victims launched a protest in Marandamunai in northern Ampara saying the government is not acting to provide them with housing. The protesters claimed the government should take immediate action to build permanent housing for the tsunami victims from the area. more..

Majority favours federal solution -President

Mar 9 (LT) Addressing thousands of women at the Viharamahadevi Park, the President said the SLFP had the courage to go ahead with a majority decision on a federal solution or other issues although 10-15 percent of the people might oppose it. more..

Whole episode - A political manipulation by the Government

Mar 9 (AT) The Chairman of the Sri Lanka Islamic Centre while denies the allegations leveled against him on the misuse of Tsunami relief fund says that the matters have been brought to the Fraud Bureau’s attention for the investigations. more..

Chandrika talks of 80% support for a federal solution

Mar 9 (AT) In a statement that is likely to stir up controversy within the UPFA coalition, President Chandrika Kumaratunga told the SLFP women’s conference held at Vihara Maha Devi Park yesterday that 80% of the population would vote for a federal solution. more..

Jeyadevan held incommunicado in a torture cell in Vanni

Mar 9 (AT) Friends and relatives of 50-year-old Rajasingham Jeyadevan, a British resident, fear that he is languishing in a torture camp of the Sri Lankan separatist Tamil Tigers in Vanni, Sri Lanka. more..

Post tsunami Ecotourists see New Birds in Sri Lanka

Mar 9 (SB) Eco-tourists and birdwatchers who have heeded calls to travel to Tsunami struck Sri Lanka, to resurrect tourism, are being rewarded with sightings of rare migrants. Red-headed Bunting, Black-headed Bunting two migrant species of birds, not recorded before in Sri Lanka have been observed at Uda Walawe National Park. more..

LTTE skips meeting with visiting European Commissioner

Mar 9 (LT) EU’s commissioner for external relations, Benita Ferrero Waldner was due to leave for Wanni today (08) to meet Tiger leaders including their leader Welupille Prabhakaran, but she has had to cancel her visit on a sudden notice served on her by the Tigers Organisation. more..

Bandula says Anura, Kadir playing games with JVP

Mar 9 (LNP) A UNP Parliamentarian said the UPFA is divided into two groups and Minister Lakshman Kadirgamer is trying to get the Prime Ministerial post which he lost, being a mouth-peace of the JVP and Minister Anura Bandaranailke was trying to be the presidential candidate with the help of the JVP. more..

LTTE air power : Norway to act

Mar 9 (SAMN) The government has protested to the Norwegian Prime Minister and the US government about the LTTE's acquisition of an airstrip in Iranamadu and an aircraft in violation of the ceasefire Agreement. more..

Muslim abducted, killed in Batticaloa north

Mar 9 (TN) A Muslim auto rickshaw driver who was abducted Tuesday evening by unidentified gunmen in the in the general area of Kadjuwatte, about 55 kilometres north of Batticaloa, was found shot dead Wednesday morning, Sri Lanka army (SLA) spokesman Brig. Daya Ratnayaka said. more..

Paris meet discusses Asia Tsunami warning system

Mar 9 (TN) Experts from Indian Ocean countries affected by December tsunami and other countries held discussions organized by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO's) Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) from March 3 to 8, in Paris, sources said. more..

Refugees allege were raped, robbed by Sri Lanka Navy men

Mar 9 (TN) A group of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees alleged in a complaint to the Mannar Citizens’ Committee Wednesday that they were beaten, robbed and molested on a sandbank in the seas off Mannar last Saturday by five men suspected to be Sri Lanka Navy personnel. more..

Sharpening tensions in Sri Lankan government over talks with LTTE

Mar 9 (wsws) Attempts by Sri Lanka’s president Chandrika Kumaratunga to resume peace talks and set up a joint body with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for tsunami relief has deepened already sharp tensions in the ruling coalition. more..

New EU legislation by April 1, to help Sri Lankan garment exports

Mar 9 (LBO) The European Commission is trying to get new legislation in place by April 1, to help Sri Lankan apparel exports. Under the new legislation Sri Lankan apparel, made from raw materials from ASEAN countries, will also qualify for duty concessions. more..

Head of Japan Sri Lanka Parliamentarians' League calls on President

Mar 9 (PRIU) Japanese Parliamentarian Hosei Norota called on President Chandrika Kumaratunga today. He was a Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries in Japan’s Cabinet. Mr. Norota and his delegation expressed their sympathy to President Kumaratunga for the December 26 disaster. more..

Peter Harrold belittles sovereignty of Sri Lanka - Wimal Weerawansa

Mar 9 (LT) JVP Parliamentary group leader Wimal Weerawansa made special statement this morning at the parliament with the permission of the speaker W,J.M.Lokubandara. In his statement he referred to the remarks WB representative in Sri Lanka Peter Harrold had made, more..

With no Muslim consultation Government will not last long -Hakeem tells EU

Mar 9 (LT) SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem, who met the visiting European Union Commissioner for External Affairs Benita Ferrero-Waldner yesterday (8), urged the international community to emphasize to the LTTE that the Muslims have to be counted as a separate community more..

Action against food outlets

Mar 9 (TP) The Colombo Municipality is to take tough action against food outlets, including supermarkets, if they were found selling an imported brand of sauce containing a food colouring called ‘Sudan 1’ which reportedly causes cancer. more..

New circular to amend the widows and orphans pension scheme

Mar 9 (SLBC) Department of Pensions says a new circular to amend the widows and orphans pension scheme has been released. Director of Pensions of the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs K.A. Thillakaratne says under the revisions, widows of government servants who retired prior to 31st of December 1996, are subjected to a new pension scheme more..

‘Deliberate discrimination in the efforts to resettle and rehabilitate the tsunami victims’- Hakeem

Mar 9 (LM) During a speech made in Parliament early today, SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem said that he wishes to invite the attention of the government to the grave situation developing in the Amparai district. more..

Muslim Parliamentarian accused of misappropriating tsunami aid, investigations underway

Mar 9 (LM) The Colombo Fraud Investigation Bureau is reported to have questioned several Board Members of the Sri Lanka Islamic Centre following allegations that the Centre Chairman had allegedly misused tsunami funds. more..

Stocks fall, earnings sap optimism

Mar 9 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks fell for the third day running on Wednesday as foreign and small investors continued to skim profits after recent gains and a batch of lacklustre third quarter earnings sapped optimism, brokers said. more..

SriLankan Airlines to Post Loss

Mar 9 (AP) The Asian tsunami and high fuel costs have hit SriLankan Airlines hard and the national carrier said Wednesday it expects to lose about US$10 million (euro7.55 million) this fiscal year. The loss forecast comes after the airline made a net profit of US$45 million (euro34 million) in the fiscal year to March 31, 2004. more..

Did suspect fake death?

Mar 9 (TS) THE ALLEGED trigger man accused of killing Amretta Singh might fake his death as a tsunami victim to avoid capture, Peel Regional Police say. Vijayarajah Manickavasagar, 23, of Toronto, who's known as "Bullet" and "Vijay," was on the lam in his native Sri Lanka when the tsunami struck, police said yesterday. more..

Crisis and chaos over containers

Mar 9 (LNP) About 250 containers loads with hundreds of millions of rupees worth of urgently needed relief items for tsunami victims have been lying at the Colombo port and airport for some six weeks -- stuck in a bureaucratic muddle. more..

JVP continues protests in universties

Mar 9 (LNP) Despite assurances that universities will not be privatised, JVP student unions will stage demonstrations today at several universities against the proposed reforms in the education sector. more..

CWC does not want Thamilselvan

Mar 9 (SAMN) Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) leader Arumugam Thondaman has requested President Chandrika Kumaratunga to prevent LTTE political wing leasder S.P. Thamilselvan from visiting upcountry estate areas, a party official said. more..

Mahanayaka Theras appeal to politicians

Mar 9 (DN) The Mahanayaka Theras of the Malwatta and Asgiriya Chapters of the Shyamopali Maha Nikaya urge Parliamentarians to support the cause of decentralizing, the Appeal Court jurisdiction in the interest of the litigants, if they are true Statesmen. more..

Airline SriLankan loses 40 million dollars in revenue due to tsunamis

Mar 9 (AFP) National carrier SriLankan has lost 40 million dollars in revenue due to a drop in tourist traffic since the December tsunamis, an official said. The airline suffered a double blow due to higher fuel costs and to the falloff in traffic on the normally lucrative European and Japanese routes due to tourists avoiding the tsunami-hit region, more..

de Mel denies pressure over Tillakaratne

Mar 9 (CI) Ashantha de Mel, Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors, has dismissed claims that his seven-man selection committee has faced serious pressure from top-level cricket administrators to include Hashan Tillakaratne in Sri Lanka's squad for New Zealand next month. more..

Refugees of Sri Lanka conflict are back in camp after tsunami

Mar 9 (RW) Victoriya Albonz and her family are back in camp after being driven from their village on Sri Lanka's northeast coast first by civil conflict, then by the tsunami of 26 December 2004. Manatkadu was one of several villages caught in the crossfire between government naval forces and Tamil Tiger separatists, more..

JVP demand expulsion of World Bank official

Mar 9 (AFP) JVP has demanded the expulsion of the World Bank's country director after accusing him of giving official recognition to Tamil Tiger guerrillas. The People's Liberation Front, or the JVP, said the official, Peter Harrold, had extended de facto recognition to the LTTE when he said in an interview the World Bank recognised that the guerrillas were in control of parts of the country. more..

'A deep spirituality and subtlety' inhabit Sri Lankan art, exhibit curator says

Mar 9 (SR) Two decades ago, John Listopad, curator for Asian art at the Cantor Arts Center, spent several months traveling and doing fieldwork in Sri Lanka, in search of influences on the development of Thai art, his specialty. more..

Norwegian envoy meets top Tamil Tiger rebel negotiator amid escalating violence

Mar 9 (AP) Norway's peace envoy hoped to reduce tension by meeting Wednesday with the Tamil Tiger rebels' chief negotiator, while a Muslim man was shot, the latest in a string of killings in Sri Lanka's east that have threatened a fragile cease-fire, officials said. more..

President plans referendum on federalism

Mar 9 (HT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has indicated that she is planning to hold a referendum on devolution of power to solve the ethnic conflict in the country. She told women cadres of her SLFP in Colombo on Tuesday that 80 per cent of the people of Sri Lanka were in favour of solving the Sinhala-Tamil conflict through the devolution of power more..

Tsunami boat aid to Sri Lanka could backfire - UN

Mar 9 (Reuters) Relief agency pledges of new boats for Sri Lanka's fishermen could backfire because too many new vessels will increase competition, reduce the average catch and endanger fish stocks, a United Nations agency warned on Wednesday. more..

Norway ‘optimistic on joint mechanism’

Mar 10 (TN) Norwegian Peace Envoy, Mr. Erik Solheim, told the Liberation Tigers’ Political Strategist and Chief Negotiator, Mr. Anton Balasingham, whom he met Wednesday that Oslo was optimistic that a joint mechanism for aid distribution could be agreed “soon” between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government. more..

Thamilchelvan, Nadesan bound for Europe

Mar 10 (TN) A high level delegation of LTTE will begin an official visit to several European capitals from Friday. “Our meetings will focus on delivering aid to Tsunami affected people in northeast directly and efficiently”, Mr. S. Puleedevan, Secretary General of the LTTE peace secretariat in Kilinochchi, told TamilNet. more..

The tree is free : Vandana Shiva

Mar 10 (BBC) Group of environmental campaigners have won a landmark victory at the European Patent Office (EPO) preventing an American multi national company from patenting a natural substance derived from the Kohomba (Neem) tree. more..

Ambepitiya trial : Computer sole witness

Mar 10 (BBC) The prosecution case in a murder trial will be established solely through computer-based evidence suggesting telephone conversations between five accused, for the first time in the judicial history of Sri Lanka. more..

LTTE must Renounce Violence and stop recruiting child soldiers - EU’s Commissioner

Mar 10 (AT) The European Union’s Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero pointed out with grave concern that the recent outbreak of violent incidents in Sri Lanka has marred the Ceasefire. more..

Shah extends England A advantage

Mar 10 (BBC) Half centuries by Owais Shah and Michael Powell put England A in a commanding position on the third day against Sri Lanka A in Colombo. The tourists were 240-5 at the close, a lead of 436, and will now look to their bowlers to try and force a victory. more..

Lanka's concern over new airstrip in Wanni 'unfounded': LTTE

Mar 10 (UNI) London-based chief negotiator and political advisor of the Tamil Tiger rebels, Anton Balasingham told the Norwegian facilitator at a meeting today in London that concern raised by the Sri Lankan government over a new airstrip of the LTTE in the rebel-held Wanni region was unfounded. more..