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Sri Lanka negotiators urge world to remain committed

Mar 21 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels ended their latest round of talks on Friday, with both urging the world to stay committed to the peace process on their island despite the U.S.-led war against Iraq. more..

Peace talks agreed statement on behalf of the parties

Mar 21 (M2) The Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE held the sixth session of peace talks at Hakone, Japan from 18 to 21 March 2003. The parties met amid growing security concerns following recent incidents on land and at sea. more..

Suspected Tamil Tiger boats sink vessel carrying Chinese, 17 dead

Mar 21 (AP) A suspected Tamil Tiger rebel fleet attacked and sank a vessel carrying Chinese workers fishing off Sri Lanka's eastern coast, killing 17 people, a navy official said Friday. more..

Chinese trawler sunk in attack off Sri Lanka, 18 feared dead

Mar 21 (AFP) Eighteen crew of a Chinese trawler are feared dead after the boat was sunk off Sri Lanka's east coast in an attack suspected to have been carried out by Tamil Tiger rebels, a defence official said. more..

Hakone talks focus on federalism, security concerns at sea

Mar 21 (TN) The Government of Sri Lanka and LTTE delegations in their sixth session of peace talks agreed to have their senior naval and political personnel meet to 'workout effective arrangements for the operation of naval units.' more..

US Demining group arrives in Jaffna

Mar 22 (TN) A group from the US State Department’s Quick Reaction Demining Force (QRDF), headed by demining advisor Mr. Don Smith of the US, and consisting of twenty-two demining technicians from the Republic of Mozambique and four mine-sniffing dogs, arrived in Jaffna more..

New progress in Sri Lanka peace talks

Mar 22 (NN) The peace process on Sri Lanka remains on track after a four-day meeting at Hakone, Japan this week. The meeting between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE are the sixth in a Norwegian government-brokered peace process. more..

Learn from us, LTTE tells U.S., Iraq

Mar 22 (Hindu) The LTTE today said the United States and Iraq should learn from its example of making peace with the Sri Lankan Government and urged the United Nations to prevail upon the two warring parties to restore normality. more..

Young UNP activist threatened with death

Mar 22 (Island) Vasantha Senanayake, Vice President of the Young Professionals’ Organisation of the United National Party and a UNP activist in the Polonnaruwa District has complained to the IGP of being threatened with death over a demand that he quit a land of his at Minneriya. more..

Anti-war protests in Colombo, North-East

Mar 22 (TN) Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Colombo, after Friday's Jummah prayers, protesting the US-led war on Iraq. Government and opposition parliamentarians, including those from the Janata Vimukti Peramuna, took part in the protest, sources said. more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Mar 22 (SLA) One thousand and forty three lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 14 March 2003 – 20 March 2003. more..

Jayasuriya offers his resignation

Mar 22 (CI) Captain Sanath Jayasuriya has offered his resignation, according to Johnston Fernando, the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports. Johnston told that Jayasuriya had informed him that he was ready to step down in the "best interests of the game" shortly after the team's arrival in Colombo on Friday. more..

Thank you for the pleasant memories Ari

Mar 22 (CI) The cricket World Cup has more or less over the years become a benchmark for ending players' international careers, the axing of captains and the creation of new stars. The eighth edition of the World Cup, which is coming to an end in South Africa, is no exception. more..

Court reserves order on RDA Expressway land acquisition

Mar 22 (DM) The Court of Appeal on Thursday reserved its order for May 12 on the writ application filed by several residents of Akmeemana area against the Road Development Authority and two others challenging the decision to acquire their properties for the purpose of constructing the Matara-Colombo Expressway. more..

Outgoing SLMM Head Lauds Army’s Role During CFA

Mar 22 (SLA) The outgoing Norwegian Head of SLMM, Major General (Retd) Trond Furuhovde whose tenure of office spanning over a year in Sri Lanka expires shortly, in a special letter that befits the Army, has commended its Officers and soldiers for their “proven professionalism”, “flexibility and constraint” and “maturity”. more..

Sida supported projects at universities in Sri Lanka

Mar 22 (DN) The Swedish International Development Co-operation (SIDA) Department for Research Co-operation provides assistance for strengthening research capacity in the University in Sri Lanka. State a press release from the SIDA. more..

Sri Lanka negotiators leave Japan with little progress

Mar 22 (AFP) The last of the Sri Lankan peace negotiators were leaving Japan after four-days of talks, hoping that Tokyo would drum up millions of dollars in foreign aid for reconstruction, diplomats said. more..

Sri Lanka women clinch series

Mar 22 (NN) Sri Lanka clinched their six-match limited-overs women’s cricket series against West Indies when they won the fourth game by nine runs at Arnos Vale on Thursday. more..

Aravinda de Silva: The end of the Road

Mar 22 (CI) So the time has come to say farewell. An old man's hesitation and tardy running may have cost him the chance of a fitting swansong but the memories will live long anyhow. more..

No Reports of Sri Lankans Being affected – Sri Lanka Red Cross

Mar 22 (AT) Sri Lanka Red Cross Society in a press release has stated that they have not received any reports of any Sri Lankan affected due to in the war-ravaged region Iraq and from the countries around Iraq. more..

Sri Lanka has safety and evacuation plans for Middle East workers

Mar 22 (AFP) Sri Lanka has had plans in place for several months to provide safety for its nationals working in the Middle East in the eventuality of a war breaking in Iraq, a government minister said Saturday. more..

Backroom diplomacy that propelled peace process in Hakone

Mar 23 (SL) While tension prevailed in the run up to the sixth round of peace talks in Hakone, Japan following the Mullaitivu incident, backroom diplomacy and international pressure saw compromises reached and the talks ending on an optimistic note. more..

LTTE abandons armed struggle

Mar 23 (SL) The LTTE on Friday (21), announced that it has now abandoned the armed struggle for separation and also abandoned violence, but accused the media of creating paranoia in the south of an arms build up by the organisation to help 'racist' parties like the JVP. more..

No request for Lankan base

Mar 23 (Island) Contrary to expectations, a US request to use Sri Lankan facilities to refuel warships and aircraft and to secure related facilities in the event of an attack on Iraq, was not made, a ministerial source told the Sunday Island. more..

Colombo, LTTE for better truce compliance

Mar 23 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE ended their sixth round of talks in Japan on Friday, with the Tigers sticking to their guns on several issues, including the sensitive one of maintaining the military balance. more..

No request for Lankan base

Mar 23 (Island) Contrary to expectations, a US request to use Sri Lankan facilities to refuel warships and aircraft and to secure related facilities in the event of an attack on Iraq, was not made, a ministerial source told the Sunday Island. more..

SLFP-JVP merger faces major snag

Mar 23 (ST) Whilst the SLFP and the JVP have reached accord on the policy that they would continue peace talks with the LTTE should they regain power one snag still remains. more..

Charges traded over Chinese trawler

Mar 23 (SO) The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission will meet the Sea Tigers to hold an inquiry into the attack on a fishing trawler in the Mullaitivu waters on Thursday, informed sources said. more..

Sri Lanka takes measure to deal with situation in wake of Iraq war

Mar 23 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan government has take various measures to deal with the situation both at home and abroad following the outbreak of the US-led war against Iraq on Thursday. more..

Jayasuriya stays on as skipper

Mar 23 (BBC) Sanath Jayasuriya will remain as Sri Lanka captain after cricket chiefs refused to accept his resignation. Jayasuriya handed in a letter of resignation to the nation's cricket authorities late on Saturday following their World Cup semi-final defeat to Australia. more..

Monks demonstrate demanding consultation with Maha Sangha

Mar 23 (TN) "Constitutional reform of any form should be carried out in consultation with the Maha Sangha and should satisfy the aspirations of the Sinhala nation. The Sanga Sammelanaya will institute a National Constitutional Reform Commission to fulfill this task," said spokesperson for the Buddhist Monks more..

Bodies of four Chinese boat crew wash ashore in northern Sri Lanka

Mar 23 (AP) The bodies of four crew members of a Chinese fishing vessel sunk by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels washed ashore along Sri Lanka's northern coast, a navy spokesman said Sunday. "The bodies were found this morning in Point Pedro and we have informed the Chinese Embassy about it," navy spokesman Jayantha Perera said. more..

Northeast photographic exhibition opens in Trincomalee

Mar 23 (TN) A two-day photographic exhibition of the North East Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs was declared open Saturday by the Secretary of the Provincial Public Service Commission, Mr.P.Balasingham. more..

Sri Lanka axe middle order trio for Sharjah Cup

Mar 23 (CI) Sri Lanka will announce a new-look one-day squad next week having axed the rump of their middle order for the forthcoming Sharjah Cup 2003. Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Russel Arnold have all been left out of the 15-man squad after their lacklustre performance during the World Cup. more..

Australia win the World Cup

Mar 23 (IA) Any doubts anyone had as to the strength of Ricky Ponting's Australian outfit were ruthlessly dismissed as the captain himself led his side to a magnificent defence of the World Cup, defeating India by 125 runs on the back of some sensational batting from the Australian top order. more..

Number Hunt

Mar 24 (LBO) Telecom regulators are proposing a new numbering plan for telephones, which they say, will aid growth in the industry. If implemented the plan will change the country’s phone numbers for the first time in decades. more..

Paradise Bliss

Mar 24 (LBO) Brides and grooms in search of the dream wedding locations with a tropical twist have found the ideal setting in local beach resorts. The south coast is slowly emerging as one of the top wedding destinations for Europeans who want a beach ceremony. more..

LTTE 'pistol groups' targeting informants: report

Mar 24 (Hindu) The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has reportedly sent two pistol groups here to kill Tamil informants and those in the island's military intelligence who were behind last year's killing of senior rebel leaders, a newspaper report said here today. more..

Compulsory transfer for NE teachers to serve in difficult areas

Mar 24 (TN) North East Provincial Ministry has instructed its twenty-four zonal directors of education to formulate a transfer scheme for teachers to serve in schools in difficult rural areas in the province for at least three years, sources said. more..

Seven dead bodies of Chinese nationals recovered

Mar 24 (SLA) Seven dead bodies of the crew members of the ill-fated Chinese vessel have been washed ashore in the general beach areas of MADALKADU, about 8 km southeast of POINT PEDRO on 23 March 2003 & this morning (24). more..

Businesses in Sri Lanka worried about war impact

Mar 24 (Gulf) Sri Lanka's business community is worried that the U.S.-led military strikes on Iraq could set back the island's fledgling economic recovery due to possible losses from imminent freight rate hikes, higher insurance premiums and a drop in the export of low grown tea which is in big demand in the Gulf and the Middle East. more..

BCCSL stands to lose US$ 500,000 over player contract issue

Mar 24 (CI) The International Cricket Council (ICC) withheld US$ 500,000 from the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) for failing to meet the deadline for completion of its Player Contracts. The decision was taken at the ICC's Executive Board meeting held here on Saturday. more..

Candlebox - The day of the tigers

Mar 24 (MT) The armed Forces of the Philippines has reportedly accused the Moro Islamic Liberation Front of buying a midget submarine through military hardware dealers from North Korea and Malaysia, allegedly to be used for its terrorist attacks and guerrilla warfare via the country’s precious seas and marine coasts. more..

LTTE scares off people from SLMM

Mar 24 (DM) Terror has increasingly been used to prevent the people from lodging complaints against the LTTE with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, a report by the University Teachers' on Human Rights (Jaffna) stated recently. Terror is being increasingly used to prevent complaints reaching the SLMM. more..

Stocks dip, war hits plantation sector

Mar 24 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks closed lower on Monday, with plantation stocks losing ground as the war in Iraq took a toll on the sector. The key Colombo all-share index finished down 0.26 percent, or 1.83 points, to 713.72 points. more..

Government, LTTE make significant progress in peace talks - Rocca

Mar 24 (DOI) U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Ms. Rocca on Thursday praised the commitment shown in moving forward the Sri Lanka peace process and said the Sri Lanka Government and the LTTE "have made significant progress toward a political solution that protects the dignity and security of all Sri Lankans and preserves that country's unity". more..

Government aim to strengthen peace process - PM

Mar 24 (DOI) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday expressed the Government's confidence about the LTTE's willingness to hold the Local Government elections in the Northern and Eastern areas and elect members to the Local bodies in a democratic manner. more..

Overwhelming support for peace talks - poll

Mar 24 (DOI) An overwhelming majority (83.7%) believe peace can be achieved through peace talks, the latest result of an opinion poll on peace conducted by Social Indicator has revealed. The poll conducted from 31 January to 14 February says that 81.9% Sinhala, 95.2% Tamil, 91.8% Muslim and 89.9% Upcountry Tamils believe in negotiations to achieve peace. more..

Continuous supply of Petroleum products assured

Mar 24 (DOI) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) assured a continuous supply of petroleum products despite the U.S. led war on Iraq. A senior CPC official said that the OPEC and Saudi Arabia has assured that they would keep on delivering oil, 'whatever happens' during the war in Iraq. more..

16 member PSC to visit Gulf region

Mar 24 (DN) A sixteen member Parliament Select Committee (PSC) headed by Foreign Employment and Welfare Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana will leave for Middle East on March 27 (Thursday) to look into the welfare facilities gained by Sri Lankan expatriate workers in the war torn Gulf region. more..