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Fishermen issue: T.N. MPs' plea

Mar 7 (Hindu) The plight of the 58 Indian fishermen languishing in jails in Sri Lanka, found expression in the Lok Sabha today as MPs from the AIADMK, the DMK, the PMK and the MDMK and Mani Shankar Aiyer of the Congress, sought the Centre's intervention for their early release. more..

Lankans are not scared

Mar 7 (TA) Sri Lanka's cricketers have one big advantage over most other teams when they play Australia ... they don't quiver in their boots. When England take on Australia the old enemy seems so frazzled that the Aussies could simply whisper "boo" and they would turn to jelly. more..

Over 1000 terrorist suspects released

Mar 7 (Island) Under a ceasefire agreement reached in February last year, the government has released over 1000 terrorist suspects, an authoritative source said yesterday, adding that the government was in the process of reviewing the remaining cases. During the same period no arrests have been made under the controversial PTA Act, more..

Moving On

Mar 7 (LBO) Mobitel will install a 200,000 line island wide GSM network by August, the first stage in its migration from its existing TDMA backbone. The migration could see mobile tapping the local financial market to raise the US $ 50 million it requires for the infrastructure project. more..

Final Call

Mar 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom is moving towards a two-tier tariff band to encourage people to talk more and pay less. The proposal forms part of its bigger plan for a 15 percent overall tariff increase. more..

Dud Ball

Mar 7 (LBO) Professional service sectors are trying to drum up support to push for amendments that will re-define the scope of the new Consumer Affairs Authority Act. Passed in Parliament in January, the Act has been heavily criticised for making a sweeping generalisation of controls available for all services as well as traders. more..

Sri Lanka fishing row worsens

Mar 7 (BBC) Sri Lanka has arrested another 21 Indian fishermen for trespassing, increasing the tension in the narrow channel that separates the countries. The new arrests came as a Sri Lankan court freed 93 Indian fishermen detained in violent circumstances this week. more..

Sri Lanka screeches to a stop

Mar 7 (Reuters) Friday is a normal working day, but Sri Lanka is coming to a halt. While the country's cricket team faces Australia at the World Cup in South Africa television sets are being be switched on in offices, beach-side shacks and thatched houses bordering paddy fields. more..

Tigers, monitors in bid to avoid prisoner impasse

Mar 7 (Gulf) Monitors from the SLMM and the Tamil Tigers discussed a mechanism to avoid a recurrence of the impasse over prisoner release after Tamil rebels on Wednesday released the two servicemen in its custody, ending a three-month standoff with the government. more..

United opposition trains guns on UNF

Mar 7 (Gulf) Opposition parties in Sri Lanka are organising one of the biggest protests against the Ranil Wickremesinghe-led UNF government on issues ranging from the truce with Tamil Tiger rebels to the spiralling cost of living, and are moving closer to forming a broad alliance. more..

Shops in Rameswaram remain closed following bandh call

Mar 7 (PTI) Shops in the holy town of Rameswaram remained closed today following the bandh call given by various fishermen's associations demanding the release of 41 fishermen who are still in the custody of Sri Lankan authorities. more..

Canadian Foreign Minister to visit Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (TN) Among several foreign envoys are to visit Sri Lanka next week to assess the progress of peace talks between the Government and the LTTE are Canadian Foreign Minister Mr. Bill Graham, Norwegian Foreign Minister Mr. Peterson, and his deputy Mr. Vidar Helgessen, more..

Raid on holiday home: Investigators recover more smut

Mar 7 (PRIU) The Department of Information Technology of the Colombo University has detected a large quantity child pornographic material while screening the contents of the computer recovered from a house raided last January by the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA). more..

Stocks drop on Iraq, domestic politics

Mar 7 (Reuters) Stocks fell on Friday as investors sold blue chips due to uncertainty over Iraq and domestic politics, brokers said. The key Colombo all-share index finished down 0.91 percent, or 6.70 points, at 730.48 points. more..

SLPA foul up on cargo stink

Mar 7 (DM) Blaming the Sri Lanka Ports Authority for exposing the country to environmental danger by allowing a ship to dump hazardous cargo here, Environment Minister Rukman Senanayake has obtained Cabinet approval to appoint a top level probe committee and ensure that such lapses do not take place again. more..

CA issues notice on all respondents

Mar 7 (DN) The Court of Appeal yesterday ordered the issue of notices to all respondents returnable on March 31, when a writ application challenging the import of equipment and the issue of a broadcasting license to the LTTE peace secretariat came up before Justice K. Siriapavan. more..

Women's panel stakes claim in Sri Lanka peace bid

Mar 7 (AFP) Sri Lankan women have staked a claim in helping guide the island's fragile Norwegian-brokered attempt to end three decades of ethnic bloodshed, diplomats said Friday. more..

Jaya writes to PM to take-up the issue with the Sri Lankan government

Mar 7 (NIP) The issue of over 100 Tamil Nadu fishermen being captured by the Sri Lankan police was raised by both the AIADMK and the DMK MPs in and outside the Parliament on Thursday. While 76 fishermen were captured by the Sri Lankan police on March 3, 42 more were abducted on the very next day. more..

Australia reach semis after Sri Lankan rout

Mar 7 (Reuters) Australia stormed into the World Cup semi-finals on Friday as Ricky Ponting and Brett Lee swept Sri Lanka regally aside on Friday. Ponting hammered his 12th one-day century to set the tone during Australia's 319 for five in their opening Super Six match. more..

X-ray shows no broken bone for Jayasuriya

Mar 7 (Reuters) Sri Lanka received a World Cup boost on Friday after it was revealed captain Sanath Jayasuriya had not broken his left forearm after being hit by Australia's Brett Lee in their Super Six match. more..

Straying fishing boats to be seized by Sri Lankan Navy

Mar 8 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan Defence Ministry has instructed its Navy to seize all fishing boats encroaching on Sri Lankan waters to prevent the recurrence of clashes between Sri Lankan fishermen and their Indian counterparts. more..

SPC minister complains to SC of torture by CID

Mar 8 (Island) The Agriculture and Immigration Minister of the Southern Provincial Council M. L. Ranjith Danmulla has complained to the Supreme Court of torture and illegal arrest by the CID and some officers of the Beliatta Police. more..

Mothers get right to pass on citizenship

Mar 8 (DN) A Lankan mother can now pass on her national citizenship to her offspring a right hitherto reserved for the male spouse of whatever nationality. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which was passed in Parliament on Wednesday seeks to recognise the right of a mother who is a Sri Lankan citizen to pass citizenship to her children irrespective of the nationality of the father. more..

Sri Lanka: where peace is getting a chance

Mar 8 (DT) Even on the eve of a major war, diplomacy can find a useful niche, however lesser the stakes. Consider the unheralded efforts of the Norwegian and Japanese governments to help reverse decades of vicious civil war on the island nation of Sri Lanka. more..

Cash Connect

Mar 8 (LBO) New interconnection rules came into effect on Friday, setting the ground work for external gateway operators to negotiate network access. The Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) on Monday issued the first batch of 21 External Gateway Operator (EGO) licences. more..

Shinning Star

Mar 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery industry is targeting a US$ 370 mn export growth by 2007, up from almost static levels of US$ 250 mn in 1997. Five-year industry plans released Thursday includes generating value addition of US$ 250 mn per annum and repositioning the industry to go up-market. more..

On The Edge

Mar 8 (LBO) People’s Bank is waiting for a fresh ‘letter of comfort’ from the Treasury to sign off its 2002 financial statements. The Treasury last issued the letter on April 3 2002, but subsequently withdrew it, with the hope of finding fresh investors for People’s Bank. more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Mar 8 (SLA) Nine hundred and forty one lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 28 February 2003 – 06 March 2003. more..

ADB President visits Killinochchi, holds talks with LTTE

Mar 8 (TN) The President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Mr.Tadao Chino, Friday reaffirmed ADB's commitment to supporting the peace process with rehabilitation and reconstruction assistance, during a meeting with representatives of the LTTE in Killinochchi, more..

LTTE-TNA agree to take forward peace process

Mar 8 (TN) The LTTE and the TNA Friday agreed to work jointly to take forward the present peace process strengthening the relationship between Tamils and Muslims, TNA sources said. The discussion between the LTTE and TNA was held Friday at the Killinochchi LTTE political secretariat. more..

Navy, Coast Guard to step up vigil

Mar 8 (Hindu) Even as members of fishermen's associations today called a dawn-to-dusk bandh at Rameswaram, seeking an early solution to their problem, the Indian Navy and Coast Guard got ready to step up their vigil on the seas to prevent recurrence of `mid-sea clashes'. more..

Jayasurya unlikely against India

Mar 8 (AFP) Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya, recovering from a battering by Australian paceman Brett Lee, is unlikely to play the World Cup Super Sixes match against India. "He was in considerable pain and he needs time to recover," a team source told more..

Govt okays separate Muslim delegation

Mar 8 (DM) The government yesterday agreed to have an independent Muslim delegation at the next round of peace talks with the LTTE in Japan later this month. Informed sources said the agreement was reached at a high-level meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Milinda Moragoda, Rauff Hakeem and Ferial Ashraff more..

Sri Lanka needs international help to sustain peace, says ADB president

Mar 8 (AP) The Asian Development Bank on Saturday urged the international community to help rebuild Sri Lanka, even before the country reaches a final settlement to end its civil war. more..

Indians wary of Murali's guiles

Mar 8 (PTI) Fate may have intervened cruelly for Sri Lanka to keep them worried on injured captain and marauding batsman Sanath Jayasuriya's count but they still have a cricketer who can turn a match on its head and the Indians better beware. more..

ADB sees economic gains as key to Sri Lanka peace

Mar 8 (Reuters) The economic benefits from Sri Lanka's peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels are key to the success of talks, the Asian Development Bank said on Saturday, but added it did not yet know if it would increase its aid. more..

GOSL, LTTE gender issues meeting said constructive

Mar 8 (TN) The Sub-Committee on Gender Issues, established by agreement between the Government and the LTTE during the third round of negotiations in December 2002, held its first stage of meetings on Wednesday and Thursday in Kilinochchi, more..

Rebels agree to develop plan to help war-affected children

Mar 8 (EW) The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the LTTE this week agreed to develop an action plan on war-affected children and child labour in northeastern Sri Lanka. "Our commitment to all children affected by war and not to recruit children has been firm and remains firm," said Mr. Tamilselvan, more..

Jayasuriya to be fit for match against India

Mar 8 (Reuters) Sanath Jayasuriya is expected to be fit for Monday's crucial World Cup game against India at The Wanderers on Monday. Jayasuriya suffered a bruised left forearm and a chipped bone in his left thumb when he was struck by Australia fast bowler Brett Lee in Sri Lanka's defeat to the world champions on Friday. more..

Whatmore says winning against will inspire Sri Lanka

Mar 8 (AP) Nothing inspires a team more than a winning run, and coach Dav Whatmore expects his Sri Lanka lineup to get on a roll in its next two World Cup Super Six matches. more..

Rameswaram tense after Lankan move

Mar 8 (PTI) Tension prevailed in Rameswaram today with local fishermen insisting on celebrating a festival in a church at Katchathivu in the Palk Straits tonight, despite pleas by the administration and police not to venture there in view of the recent mid-sea clash with Sri Lankan fishermen. more..

Resettlement to begin in Omanthai-Thandikulam HSZ

Mar 8 (PTI) In a meeting at the Government Secretariat presided by the Vavuniya Government Agent (GA), K. Ganesh, it was decided to resettle former residents of selected areas within the High Security Zone (HSZ) between Thandikulam and Omanthai centered around the A9 highway in Vavuniya district, starting from coming Monday, more..

SLN encourages poaching by Indian fishermen - Adaikalanathan

Mar 8 (TN) The Vanni district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Mr.Selvam Adaikalanathan in a letter to the Prime Minister Saturday blamed the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) for causing rift between Sri Lankan Tamil and Indian fishermen. more..

LTTE activist missing from police camp in Vizag

Mar 8 (UNI) One of the four LTTE activists detained for security reasons in a special police camp for want of passports for deportation, was found missing since last night. The police were on a massive manhunt in the city and suburbs as N Kesavan had not yet come back to the two-town police station where they were camping since June 2000. more..

Paying the price for indecision

Mar 9 (SL) With speculation rising of an impending parliamentary dissolution, Prime Minister Ranil Wickreme-singhe last week called his troops to order even as the SLFP-JVP combine planned a show of strength in the streets of Colombo to deliver the government a body blow. more..

JVP to share portfolios with SLFP

Mar 9 (SL) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) will accept portfolios in a future government they may form with the main opposition party, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). more..

PM to check on President's allegation

Mar 9 (SO) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday instructed Minister of Interior, John Amaratunga to investigate and report to him, an allegation by President Chandrika Kumaratunga, that there was a move to create communal unrest in Colombo, during the joint opposition rally and hold the Opposition responsible for it. more..

LTTE operatives hunting for Russian missiles in Laos

Mar 9 (ST) Attempts by Tiger guerrillas to acquire sophisticated surface-to-air missiles and other military items from Russia last month have come to light. Their efforts have been laid bare by the Russian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mikhail G. Karpov, in a 'Non-Paper' he handed over to the Foreign Ministry in Colombo this week. more..

Foundation stone laid for Kilinochchi hospital building

Mar 9 (TN) Mr. Tadoa Chino, the president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), laid the foundation stone for a new hospital building in Kilinochchi Friday during a ceremony organized by the Government Agent of Kilinochchi, T. Rasanayagam more..

PA-JVP deal-makers seek to resolve peace accord snag

Mar 9 (Island) Sharp differences over the disputed Oslo-led peace process leading to a permanent negotiated settlement to the north-east war have seriously hampered an SLFP-PA bid to reach a consensus on a MoU on a priority basis, opposition sources said. more..