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Indian filmmaker says "Suicide Bomber" script complete

Mar 1 (AP) Top Indian filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said Tuesday he had completed the script for an upcoming movie that explores the mind-set and motivations of a would-be suicide bomber. Based loosely on the events of the London subway bombings, "Suicide Bomber" will begin filming in London in July and then shift its location to Kashmir, Bhatt said. more..

Rising costs of electricity, firewood and milk tea fail to push inflation

Mar 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's annual inflation rate for February slipped to 10.3 percent from 11.1 percent in January, despite high costs of firewood, electricity and milk tea. The government uses the 12-month moving average – as measured by the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) – to calculate the island's inflation and indexed wages. more..

Treasure or travesty?

Mar 1 (TA) Once, it was enough for romantics, explorers and other travellers to walk, or ride, agog through sublime scenery, from the Lake District to the Alps and beyond, or to stroll, eyes wide open, through exotic cities. Such experiences, though, are not enough for today's insatiable tourists. more..

Postal Department is scouting for Rs. 25 million to launch business mail service

Mar 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s state run Postal Department is scouting for Rs. 25 million in private investment to launch a dedicated business mail service. The planned business mail service will allow commercial establishments to purchase postage over the internet and use digital encoding or barcodes instead of stamps and even addresses on their mail. more..

JVP questions Geneva statement

Mar 1 (BBC) The JVP says that there is a contradiction between the final statement of the Geneva talks and the initial statement made by the governmentat the inauguration. Commenting on the agreement JVP parliamentarian Vijitha Hearath said that it was a mistake for the government delegation to agree to strengthen the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA). more..

Govt fools the country and the world by claming cease-fire was amended-UNP

Mar 1 (LeN) At a time the President had admitted the reality that the cease-fire should be upheld to find a lasting solution to the North- East problem, certain remarks by the members of the government delegation had pushed the President to the wall, UNP parliamentarian Bandula Gunawardane said more..

Double standard of Attorney General

Mar 1 (LeN) If incumbent Attorney General Kamalasabaysan accepted faulty nomination lists in a settlement reached at the Appeal Court while serving as Solicitor General in 1997, as to why he doesn't act in the same manner as Attorney General, Judge Sri Pavan questioned in Appeal Court today(28). more..

'Mahinda Chintana' intimidates Swarnavahini owners

Mar 1 (LeN) The proprietors of Swaranavahini TV channel have been so scared by the indirect threat made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the news on death threats made against the two presenters of 'Deshapalana Sathiya' Claude Gurubewila and Manoj Nilanga has not been given any publicity until three days after the incident. more..

Rejection of nomination papers hinders local government polls - Appeal Court

Mar 1 (LT) Holding back election of local government bodies where nomination papers were rejected would hamper the local government elections states Appeal Court. This was stated when the petition of an independent group whose nomination for Waththegama Pradeshiya Sabha had been rejected, was taken up yesterday. more..

I’ll protect only the party, not individuals - Ranil Wickremasinghe

Mar 1 (LT) My duty is to protect the party not the individuals said Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremasinghe. He said this addressing the UNP group of candidates who had handed over nominations for Colombo Municipality. The report of the commission appointed by the UNP to investigate the reasons for the rejection of nomination papers for Colombo Municipality is to be handed over to the party tomorrow. more..

U.S. Welcomes Sri Lankan, Tamil Tiger Commitment to Cease-fire

Mar 1 (WF) The United States joined Japan, Norway and the European Union (together known as the Co-chairs of the Tokyo Donors’ Conference) in welcoming the renewed commitment by the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to their 2002 cease-fire agreement. more..

JHU threaten to pull out of govt

Mar 1 (AFP) A Buddhist monk-led political party on Tuesday has threatened to withdraw support for the president’s shaky minority government in parliament over ongoing peace efforts with Tamil rebels. The all-Buddhist monk party known as the JHU said President Mahinda Rajapakse should fulfill a pre-election pledge he made to subdue Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

How the Tamils view the Geneva talks

Mar 1 (TW) The great tussle "what and when to talk" was overshadowed by the shrill debate spearheaded by the fringe cousins JVP-JHU "where to talk." Though the equally obstinate LTTE screamed "Oslo or nothing" after much haggling, the Lundsteadt-Nick Burns tongue lashing, the GoSL and the LTTE agreed to meet in Geneva. more..

Tigers have resorted to the old game after the Geneva Talks

Mar 1 (LT) A couple, Rajawikrama aged 30 and his wife Nagalingam Daya resident at Daniel Road, Thimilathive, Batticaloa were abducted at Pulipanchikal on 24th February while they were working on a paddy field. They earned their livelihood by reaping paddy for money. more..

Sri Lankan Government caught in a soup

Mar 1 (ISL) There is hardly any doubt the Sri Lankan Government is caught in a pea-thick soup added with mushrooms and asparagus. It is virtually a Lewis Carroll delicacy and one cannot identify the pea from the mushroom and the asparagus from the rest. What you see you glug and gulp and what you gulp and glug is what you see! more..

Supreme court hears Jaffna HSZ Fundamental Rights case

Mar 1 (TN) The Supreme Court (SC) Monday gave additional time to the prosecution to obtain a report from the Jaffna Government Agent which dealt with issues related to allowing cultivation on lands within the high security zones in the Jaffna district. more..

Jaffna fishermen's woes discussed in SLN, civil society meet

Mar 1 (TN) A meeting between Northern Region Commander of Sri Lanka Army (SLA), Major General Chandrasiri and a delegation of civil society members held at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Kankesanthurai command of the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) to explore solutions to hardships faced by fishermen in Jaffna district, ended inconclusively, sources in Jaffna said. more..

President to meet JVP, JHU separately before APC

Mar 1 (TN) President Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse is planning to meet the leaders of the Sinhala nationalist JVP and all monks' party JHU separately before holding the All Party Conference (APC) to brief the outcome of the Geneva peace talks between the Government and LTTE, political sources in Colombo said. more..

Health Ministry won’t chicken out on bird-flu

Mar 1 (ANN) Around 20 major hospitals in 20 districts have been provided with equipment and drugs required to combat avian flu in case the virus enters Sri Lanka, said Health Ministry sources. A spokesman told The Island that another 20 hospitals in 20 districts would be selected in due course to be equipped with anti-bird flu drugs and medical equipment. more..

Hold your tongues, sirs!

Mar 1 (ANN) The bane of any peace process is the politics that surrounds it. Politics oftentimes takes precedence over the goal of peacemaking, blinds the parties concerned to reality and brings them on a collision course. It generates acrimony hatred and bigotry and inhibits peacemaking and finally renders a peace process hollow. more..

Private bus held in un-cleared areas against ransom

Mar 1 (SLA) A PRIVATE BUS owned by a Sinhalese businesswoman has been taken to un-cleared areas of KARADIYANARU by its driver changing normal destinations of the bus without the knowledge of the owner. more..

LTTE protest to Govt over amendment issue

Mar 1 (TN) The LTE has registered its strong protest, expressing deep displeasure to Sri Lankan President Rajapakse administration over the stand taken by members of the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) negotiating team claiming that the Ceasefire Agreement has been amended. more..

‘Lakbima’ news paper in a crisis

Mar 1 (LT) Consequent to a reduction of privileges of the employees of Sumathi Newspapers Ltd, a protest had been initiated by its employees today (01) at the premises of the press. All employees had participated in this protest. They have demanded all the rights including the salary increase which were held back by the Company. more..

Court orders 3 ex-ministers of UNP to appear on 4th April

Mar 1 (LT) Following a complaint made by the Ministry of Public Administration an Home Affairs, Additional Magistrate L Liyanarachchi ordered the eviction of three former UNP ministers who were still occupying their official residences in Colombo. more..

100,000 Govt. officials for the mini polls

Mar 1 (LT) According to Elections Commissioner’s Office, around 100,000 Government servants will be engaged in election work at the forthcoming mini polls throughout the island. A spokesman for the Elections Office that they have already informed all the Heads of Government institutions on this matter. more..

Order on SLMC nomination today

Mar 1 (LM) The Colombo District Court yesterday postponed its order on SLMC nomination papers for today as Counsel for Rauff Hakeem continued arguments that one petitioner had denied the right of the people to vote for SLMC by obtaining an order misleading the Court. more..

CPC unions threaten strike today

Mar 1 (LM) A fuel shortage or crisis may arise today with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) trade unions threatening strike action to protest over alleged scandals and shady deals. An official of the CPC Joint Trade Union Federation warned last night that they would launch an island wide strike today if effective action was not taken. more..

All party conference put off till March 06

Mar 1 (LT) All parties conference which was to be held on 3rd March has been put off till Monday 06th, March. Earlier this meeting had been convened by President Mahinda Rajapakse. The purpose of this meeting is to brief the party leaders on the developments of direct talks with the LTTE held on 22-23 of last month in Geneva. more..

HL insists ceasefire deal was amended

Mar 1 (LNP) Senior lawyer H. L. de Silva who represented the government at last week`s talks with the LTTE in Geneva reiterated yesterday that the Ceasefire Agreement was amended. Dismissing LTTE claims that his interpretation of the joint communiqué was bizarre and ridiculous, Mr. de Silva gave specific points to underline his argument that the ceasefire agreement was amended. more..

Video Conferencing from Temple Trees to Tangalle

Mar 1 (LNP) Swedish Trading Audio Visual Ltd., the leading supplier of Audio Visual equipment in Sri Lanka, presented a Video Conference System worth Rs.1.5 million to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in collaboration with Polycom USA. This system will enable the President to have face to face meetings with world leaders, as well as with local parties in Sri Lanka. more..

5,000 fake Samurdhi recipients return cards

Mar 1 (LNP) Nearly 5,000 persons who fraudulently obtained Samurdhi subsidies have returned their Samurdhi cards following a request by the Samurdhi and Poverty Alleviation Ministry. Earlier, the Ministry appealed to those who have obtained Samurdhi by furnishing false information to return their cards. more..

SLMM tells military to be truthful

Mar 1 (SAMN) The SLMM Tuesday urged the military to be truthful on the issue of armed groups operating in the east with outgoing SLMM head Hagrup Haukland insisting “there is no doubt that such groups do exist.” The military have said there was no evidence to prove that such armed groups operated in the east. more..

48-hour railway strike on Thursday

Mar 1 (SAMN) Sri Lankan railway commuters will be stranded for two days as engine drivers, driver assistants, signalmen, shunters and pointsmen of the Sri Lanka Railway Department are going on strike for 48 hours starting on the morning of March 2. The workers’ main demand is that the pruned distress loan be reinstalled and paid according to the new salary schemes, more..

Indian scholarships for ‘A/L’ students

Mar 1 (SAMN) The High Commission of India launched the ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ annual scholarship scheme A/L students under which, 100 scholarships will be granted for students from the Southern, Western, Central, Eastern and Northern regions of Sri Lanka. The scholarships will consist of a grant of SLR 1,500 per month. more..

Southern development to be accelerated

Mar 1 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday chaired a discussion on the role of the Southern Development Authority (SDA) in implementing Mahinda Chintana, the Presidential Secretariat said. It said the President expressed his displeasure over the manner in which allocations had been made by the Authority for Southern development. more..

New Ambassadors present credentials to President

Mar 1 (TN) New Ambassadors from Colombia, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, State of Palestine and Panama presented their credentials to Sri Lanka's President Mr.Mahinda Rajapaksa at Presidential Secretariat Wednesday morning, diplomatic sources in Colombo said. more..

Rafique and Haque peg back Sri Lanka

Mar 1 (CI) A 117-run partnership between Farveez Maharoof and Thilan Samaraweera lifted Sri Lanka from a shaky 178 for 5 to 313 for 6 by the end of the second day at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium. Bangladesh had struck in the post-lunch session, after a strokeful 63-run stand between Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara threatened to take the game away, more..

Three Tamil youths arrested with explosives inside railroad tunnel

Mar 1 (AP) Three ethnic minority Tamils were arrested with a bag containing explosives inside a railroad tunnel in mountainous tea-growing region. Regional police chief Chandana Gamage said the youths, aged between 21 and 24, were carrying 300 grams (10.58 ounces) of explosives when they were arrested in the tunnel in Hatton late Tuesday after a tip-off. more..

Yahoo Photos

Mar 1 (Reuters) A mother cuts her child's hair in a refugee camp in Trincomalee, eastern Sri Lanka February 27, 2006. more..

Uncertain future preventing Sri Lanka's civil war refugees from returning home

Mar 1 (AP) Sri Lankans displaced by the country's civil war are refusing to return home, citing fears of renewed fighting between the military and Tamil Tiger rebels, the European Commission said Wednesday. Since a cease-fire agreement in 2002, about 400,000 refugees - or half the total number in Sri Lanka - have gone back to their homes in formerly strife-torn areas, more..

Conflict still dominates life in rebel-run Sri Lanka

Mar 1 (Reuters) Residents of this thin strip of rebel territory look across to government-held land, just a few hundred meters away across a no-man's land of mined scrub and lagoons, and regard it with a mixture of envy and fear. A 2002 truce halted 20 years of civil war in Sri Lanka and left the LTTE in control of a seventh of the island in the minority Tamil-dominated north and east. more..

Tamil Tiger rebels say 20 child soldiers released

Mar 1 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels said Wednesday they have released 20 combatants who had lied about their ages in order to join the insurgency, hoping to ease U.N. criticism that they forcibly recruit children under 18 to fight in their war. "This release is part of a process taken up by us to ensure that underage youths who voluntarily join the LTTE are sent back to their parents," more..

A large haul of explosives found from estate sector

Mar 2 (LT) A person with a large haul of powerful explosives was apprehended near Sinnamale railway tunnel at Hatton. After interrogating him two other persons too have been taken into custody. The weight of the apprehended explosives is about 500 grams and they have been sent to Government Analyst's Department. more..

Do not antagonize our allies-President

Mar 2 (LT) President Mahinda Rajapaksha addressing the PA candidates contesting the forthcoming local government elections from all corners of the country at Sugatadasa Stadium yesterday said that the road has been cleared for the candidates to become chairmen, PC members or even the Prime Minister or the President with their skill and commitment. more..

Jaffna security reviewed

Mar 2 (BBC) Security officials in the northern Sri Lankan town of Jaffna have agreed to scale down their presence in an attempt to bring the normalcy to the city where violence increased before talks between the government and the Tamil Tigers. The regional commanders of the Sri Lanka military have pledged to human rights activists not to deploy security forces in front of schools in Jaffna. more..

Enjoining order restraining Muslim Congress nominations removed

Mar 2 (LeN) The Colombo District Court today removed the enjoining order issued on the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader and its Secretary barring them from filing nominations on behalf of the party for the local government polls. The order was issued by additional Colombo District Judge Devika Thennakoon. more..

Conference is unconstitutional alleges Chandrika as it was in progress

Mar 2 (LeN) As the conference of SLFP candidates of the local government polls, convened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa was going on at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium this morning, a letter was sent to SLFP General Secretary Maithreepala Sirisena by party Chandrika Kumaratunga alleging the conference was against the party constitution. more..

A win for the diplomacy, for how long?

Mar 2 (TW) The Geneva talks brought the diplomatic win over policy yet a sigh of relief to the public both in the northeastern part as well as in the rest of the Island. It is success in a stand point that 1) No overt war in the near horizon 2) The issue of war affected children’s well being taking precedence more..

Batticaloa residents refuse to rent their buildings to LTTE

Mar 2 (AT) Tamil Tigers popularity in the East is beginning to wane, as residents in the government controlled areas have began to resist all forms of bullying by the gun-toting Tiger cadres. According to report emerging from Batticalao, it is learnt that house owners in the district capital has said very clearly and with finality that they will not give their houses on rent or on lease to be used by the LTTE, more..

SL's largest CDMA network plans to connect every home

Mar 2 (AT) Sri Lanka's largest CDMA network Suntel now offers a wide range of services to its clientele with speedy Internet access. Jerry Huxtable, Managing Director of Suntel Ltd says the company plans to install another 100 base stations to cover the entire country within next three months. more..