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Now the world knows - Keheliya

Feb 28 (LNP) Defence spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told The Island that the Government had repeatedly told the international community that the LTTE was a terrorist organization which had no respect for humanity. `Not many took us seriously. Now the world can see the real picture. The LTTE mounted this attack on a delegation that went to Batticaloa to see the plight of the Tamil people. more..

A show of barbarity!

Feb 28 (LNP) It is with shock and dismay that we note yesterday`s dastardly terror attack in Batticaloa, where shells fired by the LTTE fell near two helicopters, injuring some foreign ambassadors who were on their way to a meeting on government invitation to discuss ways and means of resettling the war displaced. The LTTE has, true to form, trotted out a lame excuse. It says it was unaware of the presence of the foreign envoys and insists that it should have been informed of their arrival. more..

CID says Tiger suspect committed suicide

Feb 28 (LNP) An LTTE suspect detained by the Criminal Investigation Department allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself inside CID premises yesterday morning. The victim, a Sinhalese was found hanging inside a bathroom in the CID premises in Fort around 10.00 a.m. yesterday. According to the CID the suspect had been taken into custody by the army at a checkpoint in Nawaladi area last November. more..

Wickramabahu launches new Forum for peace

Feb 28 (SAMN) The New Left Front Leader, Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne launched an International Solidarity Forum to establish permanent peace in Sri Lanka. Dr. Karunaratne told a press conference Tuesday that a Solidarity Forum had already been launched in the UK during his recent visit. He said he will launch it in other countries with the minority political parties in those nations. more..

No progress in VC abduction case

Feb 28 (SAMN) The family of the abducted Vice Chancellor of the Eastern University Prof. S. Raveendranath is still awaiting news of him, even 75 days after the abduction. Dr. M. Malaravan said the issue was discussed at the meeting held in Batticaloa on Monday (26). He said that the representatives of the Education Ministry had stated that they would make sure that steps were taken for his release. more..

Ice rain a freak weather pattern

Feb 28 (SAMN) Ice rained down in Matara on Monday for around half and hour due to the mysterious weather conditions prevailing around the world the Metrological Department in Colombo said. Director, K. R. Abeysinghe said although the situation looked peculiar it was common and the incidence of ice rain in Mawarala village in Matara was a result of mysterious weather conditions. more..

Commonwealth Day celebrations in Colombo

Feb 28 (SAMN) Sri Lanka will be the host country of the Commonwealth Day celebrations scheduled to be held in Colombo in March 12. The Youth Affairs Ministry will coordinate and organise all the activities of the celebrations, Youth Affairs Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said. The Youth Affairs Ministry has made arrangements to commemorate the event with the participation of youth representatives from eight countries more..

Free Trade Zone proposed for building materials

Feb 28 (DN) The Government has decided to set up a new Free Trade Zone for providing high quality building materials at reasonable prices in the area from Godagama to Malabe. Trade, Marketing Development, Co-Operative and Consumer Services Minister Bandula Gunawardena told the Daily News that most building materials are sold to consumers at unfair prices and without proper quality. more..

Steps to reform parliamentary committee system

Feb 28 (DN) Higher Education Minister Prof. Wiswa Warnapala now in Australia on a study tour with the parliamentary delegation is of the view that the study tour would help them to carve out methods to reform the parliamentary committee system in Sri Lanka to make the Parliament an effective watch-dog over legislative and administrative matters. more..

Farmers encouraged to grow cash crops

Feb 28 (DM) Farmers in Ampara must seriously think of growing more cash crops as the change in weather patterns in the Ampara District helps such crops grow.The shift from cultivating paddy to potatoes would help to bring in more money to the countryís paddy farmers, and the farming community can profitably utilize the highlands for the cultivation of potatoes,Ē Deputy Director of Agriculture, Nimal Dayaratne said. more..

Lake House Chairmanís funeral today

Feb 28 (DM) The funeral of Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd. Chairman, Anil Obeysekere who passed away on Monday will take place today at 6 pm at the General Cemetery, Kanatte. Born in May 1938 he had his early education at S. Thomas Collage, Mt. Lavinia. Following the family tradition he entered the Law College in 1959 and passed out in 1962. He was appointed a Presidentís Counsel in 1995. more..

Chances bright for Water at Houston fest

Feb 28 (HT) Sarala, the bubbly and mischievous child widow Chuliya in Deepa Mehta's Water couldn't make it to the Oscars, though the film had been short listed. But all is not lost. She will be off to the United States in April for the Houston International Film Festival. "Water is likely to bag an award there," said the 11-year-old Sri Lankan child star's father, Sarath Kariyawasam. more..

Tamils reject economic refugee claims

Feb 28 (Age) REPRESENTATIVES of the Tamil community have rejected claims by a Sri Lankan Government minister that 83 asylum seekers are economic refugees. Health Care Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva admitted he knew little about the Sri Lankan men, but said: "If they are in fear of their life, they should have run to India, which is 16 or 20 kilometres from Sri Lanka, so how could they finance such a large venture?" more..

Use of Sri Lanka anti-terror law against media condemned by rights body

Feb 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's use of anti-terror law against the media has been condemned by the Reporters without Borders (RSF) which called for the release of a media official arrested two days ago. RSF called for the release of Dushantha Basnayake, financial director of Standard Newspapers, which publishes the Sinhalese-language weekly Mawbima, who was arrested on the two days ago. more..

Jakarta refuses to take Sri Lankans

Feb 28 (Age) Australia'S plan to send 83 Sri Lankan asylum seekers to Indonesia appears certain to collapse, with Jakarta rejecting calls that it should allow them to make asylum claims. The men will be sent to detention on Nauru unless the Howard Government does an about-face and allows them to be processed on Christmas Island - where they have been held since their boat was intercepted last week. more..

18 killed in Sri Lanka battles

Feb 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka has escalated sea and land attacks against Tamil Tigers and killed at least 18 people, a day after the rebels shelled helicopters carrying diplomats and a minister, officials said Wednesday. The navy engaged a flotilla of rebel boats off the northeastern coast in a pre-dawn clash, sinking two craft together with at least 15 people, navy spokesman Commander D.K.P. Dassanayake said. more..

Sri Lankan Navy destroys LTTE vessel

Feb 28 (HT) The Sri Lankan Navy destroyed a 300 ft long LTTE gun running vessel, 185 nautical miles off the Devundara coast in the south of the island on Wednesday. Naval spokesman Com DKP Dassanayake said that a routine naval patrol off the southern coast had seen a large vessel without a flag moving towards Sri Lanka. When asked to identify itself, the vessel gave false information. more..