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CTTU to protest against army presence near schools

Mar 5 (TN) The twenty thousand member strong Ceylon Tamil Teachers Union (CTTU) Tuesday decided to hold a one day token strike on March 11 in the northeast province demanding the removal of the presence of government troops in the vicinity of schools. more..

PM urged to solve Tamil medium teacher shortage in NE

Mar 5 (TN) The TNA Wednesday requested the United National Front government to grant permanent appointments to around one thousand volunteer teachers without any further delay as per the Cabinet approval already granted by the previous government more..

SLA soldier, Constable, in LTTE custody released

Mar 5 (TN) Sri Lanka Armay (SLA) soldier, Lance Corporal Nimal Kumara and Reserve Police Constable Philip Anandasekara who were in Liberation Tigers' (LTTE's) custody were released today in Kilinochchi to the SLMM more..

More Indian trawlers and fishermen nabbed

Mar 5 (SLA) Local fishermen in MANNAR have apprehended 42 Indian fishermen and taken them away towards the shore from the general sea area south of MANNAR on 4 March 2003 around 2.00 p.m. more..

PLOTE member threatened with death

Mar 5 (SLA) A member of the PLOTE, in a complaint made to the BATTICALOA Police station on 3 March 2003 stated that he was threatened with death by LTTE while he was in his paddy field. more..

Uncertainty over truce in Lanka

Mar 5 (Dawn) The fragile ceasefire in Sri Lanka faces a number of threats owing to the attitude of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elaam (LTTE), who are bent upon violating its true spirit. more..

Whatmore says Sri Lanka keen for contest with Australia

Mar 5 (AP) Defending champion Australia will face the 1996 titlist Sri Lanka in the first of the Super Six World Cup matches Friday, and Sri Lanka's coach Dav Whatmore is relishing the showdown. The Super-Six league encounter is the first World Cup encounter between the two since the 1996 final, when Sri Lanka defeated Australia to clinch the title. more..

Two national parks re-open this month

Mar 5 (DN) The Department of Wildlife Conservation will this month re-open for the public two important National Parks which had been closed for nearly two decades. The Yala East National Park will be re-opened on March 9, and the Wilpattu National Park will re-open on March 16, more..

Colombo High Court sitting on a bombshell

Mar 5 (DM) More than 40 live bombs and grenades which could produce a deadly explosion are reported to be stored in the production room of the Colombo High Court in Hulftsdorp. An official said the explosives had been brought in at different times as productions in cases relating to LTTE and underworld activities and had been stored haphazardly in the premises. more..

Fishing in waters between India, Sri Lanka

Mar 5 (IANS) The season for fishing in the waters of the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka is back, and fishermen from the two countries are again clashing with each other over catch. The Sri Lankan Navy detained as many as 76 fishermen from the Ramanathapuram coast in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu Monday night. more..

Pace vs spin when Aussies meets Lankans

Mar 5 (Reuters) Contrasting bowling line-ups are likely to decide the fate of Friday's opening World Cup Super Six clash between Australia and Sri Lanka at Centurion Park. Ricky Ponting's unbeaten world champions, minus suspended leg spinner Shane Warne, will rely heavily on fast bowlers Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Andy Bichel. more..

Sri Lanka's most profitable bank pushes ahead

Mar 5 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Commercial Bank of Ceylon Ltd said on Wednesday earnings jumped in 2002 on lower interest rates and improved trade finance but warned the bottomline may stagnate this year due to a new value-added tax. more..

Stocks close lower as Telecom dips

Mar 5 (Reuters) Stocks ended lower on Wednesday, pulled down by heavyweight Sri Lanka Telecom as investors continued to worry about a war in Iraq, brokers said. The key Colombo all-share index closed down 0.33 percent, or 2.43 points, at 741.45 points. more..

Finance ministry selects new SEC Chairman

Mar 5 (DJ) Sri Lanka's Finance Ministry has selected Denis Perera as the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission after its former head quit amid an investigation into alleged insider trading, the Daily Mirror reports, quoting sources. more..

Lanka to extend Army amnesty to Air Force, Navy

Mar 5 (PTI) Sri Lanka plans to extend the amnesty offered to some 51,000 Army deserters to cover another 9,400 deserters from the Air Force and the Navy in line with a major overhaul of the security forces, the island's Army Chief said on Wednesday. more..

Cease-fire monitors' meet Tiger rebel leaders over truce violations

Mar 5 (AP) European truce monitors on Wednesday accused Tamil rebels of undermining their authority by refusing to abide by the monitors' request to release a government soldier and a policeman. The head of the mission flew to Tamil territory Wednesday to discuss the crisis with the rebel leadership. more..

Indians make tracks for Sri Lanka

Mar 5 (AT) In a bid to increase sales, footwear component manufacturers are eyeing Sri Lanka and are in the process of cementing direct linkages between buyers and sellers, along with plans to open warehouses in the neighboring country. more..

Sri Lanka's Tigers free hostages

Mar 5 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels Wednesday freed two security personnel, ending a tense stand-off that threatened to jeopardise a Norwegian-brokered truce, officials said. more..

Sri Lanka launches new rights training for troops

Mar 5 (PTI) The Sri Lankan army today launched a new human rights training programme for its officers as part of efforts to win back international credibility. Army Chief Lionel Balagalle, said excesses by the security forces in the early stages of their crackdown against Tamil Tiger guerrillas damaged the army's image and eroded international confidence. more..

'Indo-Lanka bridge proposal treacherous'

Mar 5 (UNI) Marumalarchi DMK, a constituent of the Vajpayee Government, asked the Centre to reject Sri Lanka's proposal to build bridge across the Palk Straits, connecting Thalaimannar in Jaffna and Rameswaran in Tamil Nadu, calling it a "treacherous" ploy to scuttle the long pending Sethusamudram project. more..

Murali turns the screws on Australia

Mar 6 (NZH) The greatest spinner at the World Cup has perfected his wrong'un, goaded Australia's batsmen by claiming some cannot pick him and repeated his vow to never return to the country that tormented him last summer with "chucker" taunts. more..

Court releases Indian fishermen on police application

Mar 6 (TN) The Mannar Magistrate, Mr.M.P.Mohideen, Wednesday released 80 Indian fishermen from remand when the Police made an application to release them, saying there was turmoil in India over their arrest and the security of Sri Lankan refugees in South India was at stake until the Indian fishermen were released, more..

Sub committee for women, children's welfare meet in Kilinochchi

Mar 6 (TN) First meeting of the Subcommittee for the welfare and rehabilitation of war affected women and children took place in Kilinochchi on Wednesday, and Thursday at the Peace Secretariat of the LTTE, sources said. more..

SLT to increase overall tariffs by 15%

Mar 6 (DJ) Sri Lanka Telecom Ltd., or SLT, said Thursday it will increase overall tariffs by 15% as part of efforts to boost revenue. The price adjustment, which will affect call charges as well as rentals and new connection charges, will come into effect over the next few weeks, more..

Police guard points burnt

Mar 6 (SLA) Several makeshift guard points erected for Police personnel on VAVUNIYA - MANNAR Main Supply Route (MSR) in the general area of VEPPAMKULAM, about 04 km. west of VAVUNIYA had been burnt by unidentified persons in the midnight on 04 March 2003. more..

They were caught unawares

Mar 6 (Hindu) For more than a decade, Indian fishermen have been fishing in the troubled waters of Sri Lanka. And the 117 who did so on Monday were in for a shock. Their large trawlers were outnumbered by groups of mechanised boats carrying Sri Lankan fisherfolk, who assaulted them and handed them over to the island's authorities. more..

ADB president begins visit to Sri Lanka today

Mar 6 (AP) The President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Tadao Chino, will visit Sri Lanka from 6-8 March to reaffirm ADB's support for the peace process and the Bank's commitment to reducing poverty throughout the country. more..

Centre, State Govt. begin crisis defusing exercise

Mar 6 (Hindu) With another 42 fishermen from Rameswaram taken away by Sri Lankan fishermen and handed over to the island nation's authority, tension along coastal fishing hamlets has risen sharply in the past two days. more..

Court orders release of 93 Indian fishermen

Mar 6 (PTI) A court in Sri Lanka has ordered release of 93 Indian fishermen while ordering detention of 24 skippers, official sources said here today. The court yesterday placed 24 skippers under judicial custody and seizure of 30 fishing vessels and nets, they said, adding skippers were charged for poaching in Sri Lanka's territorial waters. more..

Maids relive Gulf War fears

Mar 6 (BBC) As preparations are underway for war in the Middle East some migrant workers caught up in the last Gulf War are still in the process of receiving compensation for lost income and injuries. Some 70,000 Sri Lankan maids have been compensated but more than a decade on, some are only now receiving cheques from the UN Compensation Commission. more..

Jail guards on strike

Mar 6 (Island) Jail guards launched a strike yesterday (05) morning against two jail guards being remanded for allegedly assaulting and wounding a prisoner, A. Emmanuel who had been imprisoned by Supreme Court for contempt of court. more..

Bad blood as Aussies face Sri Lanka

Mar 6 (Reuters) Australia and Sri Lanka go through their paces at Centurion, smiling at the right people and saying the right things. But there is bad blood in the air on the eve of Friday's opening Super Six clash. The two teams have not seen eye to eye for years. more..

Government to initiate complete change in existing political environment

Mar 6 (PRIU) The Government hopes to initiate a complete change in the existing political environment, by establishing seventeen Oversight Committees, aimed at securing better co-operation in Parliament. more..

Eye witness describes how he was assaulted

Mar 6 (DM) An eyewitness to the violence on the General Elections day in Kandy in December 2001 gave evidence before High Court-at-bar when the Pallethalawinne massacre case in which former deputy Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte and others were indicted with murder and intimidation was taken up. more..

Zeros to heroes in seven days

Mar 6 (BBC) They say a week is a long time in football, but the same is also true if you are a Sri Lankan cricketer. Having begun their World Cup with three emphatic wins, Sri Lanka became a laughing stock when they suffered a shock 53-run loss to Kenya. more..

Lanka has highest life expectancy rate

Mar 6 (DN) Sri Lanka has the highest life expectancy rate (72 years) among its South Asian neighbours while ranking second in the adult literacy rate which is 91.6 per cent behind Maldives (96.7 per cent). more..

Stocks fall on Iraq fears, Comm Bank up

Mar 6 (Reuters) Stocks fell on Thursday as investors, nervous over a possible war in Iraq, sold blue chips, but the most profitable listed bank inched up after announcing a jump in profits. The key Colombo all-share index finished down 0.62 percent, or 4.62 points, at 736.63 points. more..

More surcharges on the way

Mar 6 (IL) Power and Energy Minister Karu Jayasuriya sent out mixed signals as to whether the government would impose a surcharge on consumers in a bid to control the oil prices if a war breaks out in Iraq. more..

IPCC conference kicks off in Colombo

Mar 6 (IL) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) convened the three-day International Expert Conference on "Climate Change and Sustainable Development" at the Trans Asia Hotel, Colombo yesterday evening and will go on till the 7th, of this month. more..

Ericsson wins Sri Lanka network order

Mar 6 (Reuters) Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson said on Thursday it received an order for a GSM/GPRS mobile network from Sri Lankan operator Mobitel. Loss-making Ericsson said the network would be rolled out in three phases with initial installations to start in the second quarter of this year. more..

Pakistan exporters voice concern over delay in Fta with Sri Lanka

Mar 6 (AP) With no possibility of a regional trade agreement in South Asia, Pakistani exporters have expressed concern over a delay in the signing a free trade agreement with Sri Lanka. The world is fast moving towards regional and bilateral trade and Pakistan is one of the few countries that has not signed one single free trade agreement with any country. more..

Opponents of Sri Lankan peace plan to hold rally

Mar 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's main opposition parties said on Thursday they will hold a rally in the capital next week to protest against the government's plans for peace with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Japan to host peace negotiations March 18-21

Mar 6 (Kyodo) Japan will host a round of peace negotiations between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger rebels from March 18 to 21, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday. The meeting, the sixth of its kind, will be held in Hakone, a hot-spring resort town in Kanagawa Prefecture, southwest of Tokyo, more..

Sri Lanka's new opposition alliance seeks to oust government

Mar 6 (AP) Accusing the Sri Lankan government of giving too many concessions to Tamil Tiger rebels and failing to control prices, the country's new opposition alliance will launch a campaign to unseat the regime, a lawmaker said Thursday. more..

World Cup pitches suiting Sri Lanka, says Sangakkara

Mar 6 (Reuters) Pitches prepared for the current World Cup in South Africa are starting to suit 1996 champions Sri Lanka, according to wicketkeeper Kumar Sanagakkara. Sri Lanka have toured South Africa twice in the past five years with little success, their batsmen often undone by the country's traditionally fast, bouncy pitches. more..

Jayasuriya looking for early upset against Aussies

Mar 6 (CI) Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya is confident that his side can upset Australia in their first Super Six match at Centurion on Friday and book an early berth in the World Cup semi-finals. more..

Rudy to lead India at Colombo economic meet

Mar 6 (IANS) Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Rajiv Pratap Rudy will lead the Indian delegation to the 4th BIMST-EC economic ministers' meet in Sri Lanka. The Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation meeting starts Friday. more..

Shooting from the lip

Mar 7 (SMH) Arjuna Ranatunga has always had the ability to get under the skin of Australian cricketers. And the former Sri Lankan captain was not about give up the chance to do it again on the eve of his nation's World Cup showdown with Ricky Ponting's side in Friday's start of the super-six stage of the tournament. more..

Sri Lanka 'partition' warning

Mar 7 (BBC) A group of opposition parties have warned that the current peace process is paving the way for the country's division. The group is dominated by President Chandrika Kumaratunga's SLFP and the revolutionary leftist People's Liberation Front or JVP. more..

Chaminda Vaas eyes record World Cup haul

Mar 7 (CI) Sri Lanka's World Cup victory in 1996 was fashioned by the breathtaking bravado of their batting. This time it is the bowling that has paved the way for a likely semi-final place. Left-arm fast-medium bowler Chaminda Vaas has been the hero, riding a wave of exceptional form, bowling with greater confidence than anytime in his career. more..