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EU fourth co-chair of Sri Lanka Donor Conf.

Mar 29 (Island) The European Union yesterday agreed to become a fourth co-chair of the Tokyo Donors Conference in June. This news brings in fifteen more nations within the European Union determined to support aid for Sri Lanka at a critical time in the Peace Process, a Government communing he said. more..

SLFP for quick end to war

Mar 29 (Hindu) The Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the country's main Opposition party, today described the war against Iraq, led by the U.S. and backed by 40 countries, as one waged by "Ali Baba and the 40 thieves" and wanted it stopped immediately. more..

Privatisation, a prerogative of the government says World Bank

Mar 29 (DN) The World Bank reiterated that the privatisation programme is a decision of the Government and the bank's advice and support is simply one of sharing information and experience. more..

Muralitharan lauds Indian team

Mar 29 (NIP) Off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan said the difference between the Australians and other sides lay not in talent but in confidence. "They are on a high and that comes with winning so many matches on a trot, A single defeat will bring them back to earth," the wily off-spinner said. more..

Ranatunga lashes out at Lankan cricket board

Mar 29 (Hindu) "I am not injured," Muttiah Muralitharan was defiant when queried about the reported groin strain, which the Lankan selectors cited as a reason for omitting this off-spin wizard from the triangular limited overs competition in Sharjah. more..

‘Normalcy in NE only when displaced are resettled’ - Sampanthan

Mar 29 (TN) Normalcy will return to the North East province only after thousands of displaced people now languishing in refugee camps and welfare centers are resettled in their own lands, said Mr.R. Sampanthan, the TNA parliamentary group leader, more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Mar 29 (SLA) One thousand and fifty eight lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 21 March 2003 – 27 March 2003. more..

SLA soldier injured in shooting incident

Mar 29 (TN) A soldier of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) was admitted to the Palaly military hospital Friday morning with grievous gunshot wounds obtained in a shooting incident allegedly by another soldier, security sources said. more..

SLA warns public from entering Council lands

Mar 29 (TN) The Army has put up a notice board Thursday warning the civilians not to enter the Jaffna municipal lands which have been earmarked for establishing new army camps. "This is a government-military property. Any unauthorized intruders will be dealt with minimum force," said the notice board erected near the MC lands, more..

U.S. Supported QRDF Mine experts arrive in Jaffna

Mar 29 (SLA) A group of de-mining experts from the Quick Reaction De-mining Force (QRDF), assisted by Colombo’s US Embassy is now in Sri Lanka to resume de-mining activities on the Jaffna peninsula. more..

Muralitharan and Sangakkara included in new Sharjah squad

Mar 29 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan and middle order batsman Kumar Sangakkara have been included in an amended squad for the forthcoming quadrangular series at Sharjah. Both Muraliltharan and Sangakkara had been surprise omissions from a 15-man squad selected last weekend that was rejected by Johnston Fernando, the Ministry of Sports. more..

CII team explores opportunities in Sri Lanka

Mar 29 (Hindu) A business delegation of the Confederation of Indian Industry, southern region, which is on a visit to Colombo to participate in an import export promotion fair (IMPEXPRO 2003) discussed with members of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, more..

Organ trade and child porn at Orugodawatte mystery house

Mar 29 (DM) The Orugodawatte siege over the alleged torture of a child who was kept tied under a bed with a dog's chain produced more shocks yesterday with disclosures that children were allegedly adopted for the sale of human tissues or organs or for child sex and pornography. more..

Lanka, B'desh get the hots for Indian chillies

Mar 29 (ET) The controversy over alleged high pesticides residue in Indian chillies notwithstanding, they are still very "hot" in demand abroad, if the exports figures compiled by the Spices Board are anything to go by. more..

Monitors say no evidence in Sri Lanka boat ambush

Mar 29 (Reuters) International truce monitors in Sri Lanka have no evidence that either Tamil Tiger rebels or the navy attacked a Chinese trawler last week, the bloodiest incident since a government-rebel ceasefire, an official said on Saturday. more..

Mannar HSZs discussed as re-settler loses arm

Mar 30 (TN) The Bishop of Mannar said Saturday that High Security Zones (HSZs) are necessary only during war and that displaced people should return to their homes as there is peace now. The armed forces should understand this and leave the HSZs at least in stages, Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph said, more..

Bullock cart 'buses' Mullaitivu school children

Mar 30 (TN) Students in Meelivanam village located 5km from the Karipattamurippu Government mixed school in Mullaitivu district will use an improvised bullock drawn carriage as transportation to and from their school, sources in Mullaitivu said. more..

Vakaneri fields cleared for paddy cultivation

Mar 30 (TN) LTTE, Saturday 29 March, permitted paddy cultivation in more than 90% of arable land owned by Muslim farmers in the Vakaneri irrigation scheme located in Kalkuda, 34 km northwest of Batticaloa district, LTTE sources in Batticaloa said. more..

India XI rout Sri Lanka in charity match

Mar 30 (UNI) A scintillating unbeaten 116 of 108 balls by Dinesh Mongia and useful bowling performances by Zaheer Khan and Sanjay Bangar enabled India XI to trounce Sri Lanka XI by 124 runs in a charity one-day match at the Wankhede Stadium here today in aid of the Dinnanath Mangeshkar Cancer Hospital. more..

PM’s referendum move for peace

Mar 30 (SL) While the SLFP alliance with the JVP ran into rough weather last week, the government decided to be proactive on the peace process and take the battle to its detractors in a make or break strategy. more..

The ugly face of cricket Administration

Mar 30 (SL) Even as Sri Lanka’s cricket fans watched in dismay the national team unravel at the seams, petty infighting between some members of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) while in South Africa, has resulted in the tear widening — shattering any illusions about these individuals’ commitment to cricket. more..

Looking beyond the peace talks

Mar 30 (FL) By attempting to win legitimacy for the instruments of "state power" it has established in northern Sri Lanka, the LTTE plans to present a fait accompli in the event of a federal model evolving out of the current peace process. more..

A troubled course

Mar 30 (FL) The Ceasefire Agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE suffered a major jolt on March 10 when an LTTE ship allegedly ferrying arms was destroyed by the Sri Lankan Navy. The incident was crucial: for the first time since the ceasefire came into force on Feb 23 last year, a Tiger ship had been destroyed by the Navy. more..

US expected to invite Tigers to Washington DC

Mar 30 (Island) Speculation is rife about the US inviting the LTTE to take part in a crucial meeting in Washington DC next month despite it being among the groups including Al-Queda proscribed by the Bush administration as a part of its strategy against international terrorism. more..

Killer pneumonia: BIA on high alert

Mar 30 (SO) The outbreak of the killer pneumonia, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), in several South East Asian countries has compelled health authorities to place the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) on high alert with airport officials monitoring arrivals from Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, China and Canada. more..

Federal thorn in SLFP-JVP deal

Mar 30 (ST) An accord on the structure of the federal setup to settle the ethnic conflict is holding up the SLFP-JVP memorandum of understanding, which is widely speculated as the precursor to snap parliamentary elections. more..

A tribute to Aravinda De Silva

Mar 30 (CO) 2003 World cup has been and gone we have seen some brilliant cricket from the teams of cricket nations however inexperienced they were. But with this World Cup, cricket lovers all over the world will see the end of the road for a brilliant star of the cricket world who has been entertaining them for nearly two decades. Yes I am referring to none other than the master batsman of Sri Lanka Aravinda De Silva. more..

Visa graft inquiry at British mission in Sri Lanka

Mar 30 (AFP) Britain's high commission (embassy) in Sri Lanka has suspended one of its visa officers as a corruption investigation got underway, a press report said Sunday. more..

Foreign truce monitors for demarcating LoC in NE

Mar 30 (UNI) Nordic monitors have said truce-related incidents in the recent past had compelled them to demarcate the `Line of Control (LoC)' for the Government and the LTTE in the north-eastern region to strengthen the existing monitoring mechanism and to ensure that truce agreement is not violated by either parties. more..

Chariot festival in Koneswaram temple after AD 1624

Mar 31 (TN) For the first time after the destruction by Portuguese invaders in 1624 “ Ther” (chariot) festival is to be held in the historic Koneswaram temple in Trincomalee on April 3rd Thursday. The newly constructed “Ther” was taken around the temple on a trial-run successfully Sunday morning amid thousands of devotees chanting prayers. more..

Golden Handshake

Mar 31 (LBO) The government is seeking World Bank funding to reduce the public sector cadre by offering them a voluntary retirement package. The government is planning to reduce the number of public servants by around 25 percent over the next few years. more..


Mar 31 (LBO) The country is readying it self for record tourist arrivals this year with the industry being the first to benefit from the peace dividend. Tour operators are also looking for a large part of that growth to come from the Asian region and also from the big neighbour India. more..

LTTE cadres allowed to cross MSR

Mar 31 (SLA) A group of 147 LTTE cadres were allowed to cross the TRINCOMALEE – HABARANA Main Supply Route (MSR) on 30 March from southward to north around 1 a.m. in the general area of JAYAPURA, about 18 kms. southwest of TRINCOMALEE on the advice of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM). more..

LTTE force civilian to withdraw his complaint

Mar 31 (SLA) Two LTTE cadres, who visited M. SHANTHA KUMAR’s House at SHIRANCHOLAI, about 36 km northwest of TRINCOMALEE town on 29 March around 3 p.m. had forced him to withdraw a complaint, he had made at KUCHCHIVELI Police Station against the loss of a gold necklace. more..

Feared civilian complains

Mar 31 (SLA) A complaint made by A. SATHISKARAN of No 25/5, ADIKAR ROAD, BATTICALOA to the BATTICALOA Police Station claimed that his house was visited by 05 LTTE cadres on 27 March around 9.30 p.m. for reasons known only to them. more..

Soldiers clean up trenches at Dalada Maligawa Temple

Mar 31 (SLA) A massive team effort to clean and renovate the historic trenches (diyagal) at sacred Dalada Maligawa entry archway (vahalkada) in Kandy on the instructions of the Army Commander was launched on 18 March by soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army on a request extended to the Army by Mr Neranjan Wijeratne, Diyawadana Nilame. more..

More Officers of Armed Forces trained on Human Rights

Mar 31 (SLA) Award of certificates to thirty six Officers of the Armed Forces, who followed the twenty-day long International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Instructor Training Course, organized by the Directorate of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (HR & HL) of the Sri Lanka Army concluded on Thursday (27 March) more..

Dispute over new Jaffna Hq

Mar 31 (Island) The government will go ahead with a disputed decision to shift troops stationed at Subash and Gnanam hotels to temporary facilities on state land near the Jaffna library, an authoritative official said yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka selectors justify Sharjah Cup choices

Mar 31 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's selectors defended their side for the forthcoming Sharjah Cup on Monday after the initial squad, which left out off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, was rejected by the sports ministry. more..

Controversial bus deal persists

Mar 31 (DM) Amidst reports that the government is to sign an agreement to hand over the management of the Metropolitan Bus Company to the controversy - ridden British consortium Ibis today pending payments for acquiring 39 percent stake in the seven cluster bus companies, confusion has arisen as to who should take the responsibility for the entire controversial deal. more..

Fiscal Responsibility Act before Parliament soon - PM

Mar 31 (DOI) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing a Janahamuwa in Matara yesterday pledged to the people that the loans taken for war expenses will be paid once the Fiscal Responsibility Act is brought before Parliament shortly. more..

Sri Lanka targets billion dollar Chinese travel market

Mar 31 (DOI) Sri Lanka Tourism is looking at the billion dollar Chinese travel market, propelled by the recently acquired official destination status and backed by a Rs. 50 million assistance credit line from the Chinese Government. more..

Tourism should be developed through zonal system - PM

Mar 31 (DOI)Tourism should be developed through the zonal tourism system whereby a tourist coming to Kataragama can visit Tissamaharama, Yala, Kirinda, Bundala, Maligawila, Uda Walawe and Hambantota. more..

50,000 more farmers for pension scheme

Mar 31 (DOI) The Agricultural and Agrarian Insurance Board (AAIB) will enroll another 50,000 farmers to its Farmers' Pension Scheme this year under the five-year corporate plan formulated to expand the benefits of the scheme to the farmer community in a more productive manner. more..

Orugodawatte house: No hard evidence of prostitution, organ sales

Mar 31 (DN) The Colombo Crime Division investigating the controversial house at Orugodawatte has found no hard evidence of prostitution or sale of human organs at the house. more..

Stocks end up, select blue chips rise

Mar 31 (Reuters) Stocks ended higher on Monday on the back of gains in select blue chips, but brokers said the market remained worried over a prolonged war in Iraq. The key Colombo all-share index closed up 0.96 percent, or seven points, at 738.26. more..

Sri Lanka sack coach Whatmore

Mar 31 (Reuters) Sri Lanka have sacked coach Dav Whatmore, cricket board chief executive Anura Tennekoon says, because the team needs a change and "fresh thinking". Whatmore, a Sri Lankan-born Australian who guided the team to their 1996 World Cup victory, will remain as coach for the Sharjah Cup, more..

Traders seek cap on Pepper import from Sri Lanka

Mar 31 (FE) The Centre’s recent decision to allow 100 per cent waiver of import duty on Sri Lankan pepper, which was 90 per cent till recently, has raised a hornet’s nest in the market with fears of easy flow of cheap varieties of pepper not just from Lanka but from several other countries with Sri Lanka playing the conduit. more..

US official: assistance to Sri Lanka unaffected despite Iraq war

Mar 31 (Xinhua) US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has assured Sri Lanka that the US development assistance to the country will not be reduced in any manner due to the Iraqi war, the official Daily News said on Monday. more..

UNF worried over Chandrika move

Mar 31 (GULF) The ruling United National Front (UNF) government is bracing for a threat by President Chandrika Kumaratunga's People's Alliance (PA) of going in for snap parliamentary polls before the end of the year. more..