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Problems for Red Cross from LTTE

Mar 9 (IL) S.Vasantharajah, the Chairman of the Batticaloa Branch of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society is being pressurised by the LTTE to resign from his post. Vasantharajah had earlier refused to oblige ‘Durai’ a LTTE leader, whenever he had demanded Red Cross vehicles for the use of the LTTE. Hence, the pressure on him to resign, the EPDP claimed.

Ruthless Australians take aim at rival skippers

Mar 9 (AFP) When Brett Lee sent Sanath Jayasuriya to hospital on Friday, he opened up another front in Australia's relentless World Cup campaign. The message was clear - target the skipper and the rest will follow. more..

Encroachment adds to fishermen's woes

Mar 9 (Hindu) "This is already a forgotten district in Sri Lanka. The recurring encroachment by Indian fishermen has only added to our woes," laments Selvam Adaikalanathan, the Parliamentarian representing this northern district. more..

Retrieve Katchatheevu to end woes: AIADMK

Mar 9 (Hindu) The AIADMK has urged the Centre to take immediate steps to retrieve Katchatheevu from Sri Lanka for a lasting solution to the fishermen problem in Tamil Nadu. Speaking to The Hindu here today, the Labour Minister, A. Anwar Raja, said more than 90 Tamil Nadu fishermen had been killed by the Sri Lankan Navy since the ethnic conflict erupted in the island nation. more..

Fishermen leave for church festival

Mar 9 (Hindu) Fifteen fishermen from Rameswaram ventured into the sea in the early hours today to participate in the two-day annual festival of St. Antony's church in Kathchatheevu. According to the police, Rameswaram fishermen used to visit Katchatheevu every year in March first week to participate in the annual event. more..

I'm 80 pc certain to play: Jayasuriya

Mar 9 (Reuters) Sanath Jayasuriya has given himself an 80 per cent chance of playing in the World Cup Super Six game against India at The Wanderers on Monday. Jayasuriya, who suffered a bruised left forearm and a chipped bone in his left thumb when he was struck by Australia's Brett Lee on Friday, more..

PAFFREL report on Akuressa election

Mar 9 (IL) The People's Action For Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) have received nine complaints of election related violence up to Wednesday. These include two cases of arson, which are considered to be grave violations of electoral peace. more..

Sri Lanka to face serious climate change

Mar 9 (IL) Despite Sri Lanka facing a threat of a serious climate change within a decade, adequate measures have not been taken to minimise the impacts of the climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change addressing the media in Colombo said. more..

Jayawardene must end form slump on his own - coach

Mar 9 (Reuters) Coach Dav Whatmore says it is up to Mahela Jayawardene to wrench himself out of his World Cup form-slump. The leading 25-year-old batsman has endured a miserable tournament, with 16 runs from five innings including a three-ball duck against Australia more..

Sri Lanka's ace spinner plans Indian ambush

Mar 9 (AP) Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan is planning to spin a new web to trap star Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar when the leading exponents of their respective arts renew their cricket rivalry on Monday. more..

Sri Lanka can go all the way

Mar 9 (CI) So we meet again. Cricket-crazy India and cricket-mad Sri Lanka - two nations separated by the Palk Straits but joined by our great love of the game. Monday's encounter at Wanderers promises to be a fantastic spectacle and all of us in the Sri Lankan camp are eagerly looking forward to the challenge. more..

Opposition plans protest

Mar 9 (Gulf) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has urged Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to provide additional security to a major joint opposition protest rally due to take place in the capital tomorrow and claimed that pro-government supporters were planning to unleash violence and blame opposition supporters. more..

Tigers seeking Russian missiles in Laos

Mar 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have attempted to buy Russian-made missiles from a representative of a Russian arms exporting company in Laos, a press report said Sunday. more..

Aravinda De Silva

Mar 9 (AP) Aravinda de Silva wanted to bow out of cricket with the status he deserved and says he only came back to prove his talent to the critics. The veteran Sri Lankan has done it with an unmatched flair and a torrent of runs as he prepares for retirement after the World cup. A big innings against India is in the offing. more..

Indonesia, Sri Lanka impose

Mar 9 (MT) The Philippine government has received word that Indonesia and Sri Lanka will also ban their domestic helpers from going to Hong Kong over wage cuts. Presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye said the governments of Sri Lanka and Indonesia have followed Manila’s decision last week to ban Filipino women from working in Hong Kong as maids. more..

Sri Lanka: Elephants and more

Mar 9 (Times) Few visitors to Sri Lanka forget their first elephant encounter. If you want to follow Isabella Tree’s example and cut your tusks at the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, it is open daily from 6am to 4pm, with pujas at 6am, 10am and 6pm. The Esala Perahera festival this year runs from July 28 to August 12. more..

Sri Lanka's trump card

Mar 9 (Times) From forklift truck to faithful friend, the majestic elephant is at the religious and cultural heart of society - Isabella Tree, of The Sunday Times, reports from Kandy on the animal you'll never forget. more..

Vavuniya Hospital to provide expanded health services

Mar 9 (TN) Vavuniya Government Hospital is to be upgraded to a General Public Hospital by the Government of Sri Lanka, said H.A.P. Gajantha Liyanage Health Services Commissioner. more..

Modern equipment assists Swiss Organization to demine NE

Mar 9 (TN) The Swiss Demining Federation (FSD) is currently clearing mines in Thallaimannar and in LTTE controlled areas surrounding villages of Pallamadu, Paapamoddai, and Periya Madhu, with a view of preparing these areas ready for resettlement, said a spokes person for FSD, more..

Murali says it’s difficult to fox Sachin

Mar 9 (IE) Ace Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has admitted that it is not easy to bowl to Indian maestro Sachin Tendulkar. Monday’s match between India and Sri Lanka is set to unfold an absorbing battle between the two top notch performers in world cricket. more..

Minister addresses Security forces in Vavuniya

Mar 10 (TN) "Our government is committed to and working hard to finding a political solution through peace talks. Every citizen of this country should be able to live with dignity and freedom and enjoy equality of status. Based on this premise, we are engaged in talks with the LTTE, to find a solution that provides extensive devolution of political powers within a united Sri Lanka," said Prof. G.L.Peiris, more..

Minister addresses Security forces in Vavuniya

Mar 10 (TN) The IGP has ordered an inquiry into the complaint of torture by a Jaffna based Tamil journalist Mr.A. N .S. Thiruchelvam when he was under detention at the Terrorist Prevention Division of the police during the year 2001. more..

Aussies take it easy as India, Sri Lanka bunker down for Asian derby

Mar 10 (AP) Some Aussie cricketers took advantage of a great break Sunday, while India and Sri Lanka bunkered down on the eve of their subcontinental Super Six clash at the World Cup. more..

Govt divided over re-introduction of the death penalty

Mar 10 (Island) Rehabilitation Minister Dr. Jayalath Jayawardene opposes a government decision to resume what he described as ‘judicial executions’. "I have no intention of supporting the re-introduction of the death penalty," he told The Island, more..

DJ sacked after Sri Lanka 'vermin' outburst

Mar 10 (AFP) A South African radio presenter has been suspended from his job after making a series of insulting remarks about the Sri Lanka team following their dramatic tie which knocked the hosts out of the World Cup. more..

Hard and fast wicket for India-Lanka match

Mar 10 (Rediff) Christopher Scott is a worried man. As chief groundsman of The Wanderers he has to ensure that the World Cup final is a 100-over game and worthy of being a fitting finale to the biggest cricket event ever held. "I pray before every game that it does not rain. If it rains before the final I am doomed," he says. more..

Colombo put on red alert to face opposition demonstration

Mar 10 (TN) The city of Colombo has been put on red alert from Sunday and more than two thousand armed police personnel have been deployed at strategic junctions and near key buildings to thwart any disturbances when the joint opposition procession comprising the SLFP, JVP, MEP and, NUA is scheduled to commence Monday around 1 p.m., more..

Trinco historic Pathirakali Amman temple festival begins

Mar 10 (TN) The annual festival ('mahotsavam') of the historic Pathirakali Ambal Temple in Trincomalee commenced Saturday with the flag hoisting ceremony. The ten-day 'Mahotsavam' comes to an end on March 17 with the chariot (Ther) festival. The next day water cutting ceremony will be held in the Back Bay Sea in the east port town, more..

Resettlement begins near Vavuniya HSZs

Mar 10 (DOI) The resettlement of residents close to the High Security Zones (HSZs) in Vavuniya will begin this week with Vavuniya Government Agent (GA) K. Ganesh approving a resettlement programme in several locations between Thandikulam and Omanthai High Security Zones (HSZs). more..

ADB President discusses reconstruction needs

Mar 10 (DOI) The President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Tadao Chino, reaffirmed the ADB's commitment to supporting the peace process with rehabilitation and reconstruction assistance during a meeting with representatives of the LTTE in Killinochchi. more..

An active force in global affairs - PM

Mar 10 (DOI) Message by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to mark Commonwealth Day "I am pleased to issue this message on the Commonwealth Day, an event celebrated by about one third of the world population. This special day serves to recall the deep-seated linkages of the Commonwealth heritage. more..

Southern Expressway work begins

Mar 10 (DOI) The first stage of the construction of the Southern Expressway Project commenced yesterday with the laying of the foundation stone at Kurundugahahethempa. The expressway, at 131 kilometres, is the longest yet planned in Sri Lanka. more..

Chief Justice at Police Oath of Honour

Mar 10 (DN) "On my honour, I promise that, I will never betray my profession, My integrity, my character or the public trust.I will always have the courage to hold Myself and others accountable for our action in terms of the 'Code of Ethics'. I will always uphold My country, the laws and the Sri Lanka Police Force I serve." more..

Muslims-LTTE talks likely

Mar 10 (DM) A meeting between the LTTE and the Muslim community as agreed at the last round of talks and reiterated at the Austin Fernando -Karuna meeting is likely to take place by mid- week, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission said yesterday. more..

16 TN fishermen freed, 41 still in Lankan custody

Mar 10 (IANS) Sri Lanka has freed 16 fishermen from Tamil Nadu arrested for allegedly trespassing into that country's waters, but another 41 are still languishing in Colombo's custody. more..

Mahanama criticises Sri Lankan skipper

Mar 10 (Gulf) "Jayasuria let the Australians settle down," noted Roshan Mahanama, the former Sri Lankan skipper to Gulf News at Centurion on Friday. "We just didn't manage to get anything right from the start. Even before the Australians started hitting, Jayasuriya changed the field and shuffled the catching position fielders. more..

Neutral zone keeps Sri Lanka, rebels at arm's length

Mar 10 (Reuters) There is no visa stamp, but the scrutiny at the border ensures the journey across is not exactly trouble free. Truck driver M. Manlivannan is only too familiar with the process of crossing into "Tamil Eelam", the rebel-controlled country-within-a-country in northern Sri Lanka. more..

We are in despair: Sri Lankan fishermen

Mar 10 (Hindu) The main fishing village in the Mannar island, Pesalai, is today in a mood of suppressed anger. "Continued poaching by Indian trawlers", the fishermen here say, have "not only hit our livelihood, but also destroyed the continental shelf, which we have protected for centuries". more..

Muslims to attend Lanka peace talks

Mar 10 (Dawn) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will send an independent team of Muslim representatives to attend a forthcoming round of peace talks, set to begin in Japan on March 18. The PM said after meeting with a parliamentarian group representing Muslims of the North East province on Friday. more..

Partnership, the essence of the Commonwealth – President

Mar 10 (PRIU) “This year’s theme ‘Partners in Development’ is especially fitting as the essence of the Commonwealth is partnership,” President Chandrika Kumaratunga said in a Commonwealth Day Message, today. more..

Sri Lanka inflation to ease barring prolonged war

Mar 10 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's inflation rate could drop steadily this year as long as a war in Iraq did not boost international crude oil prices for more than a couple of months, a central bank official said on Monday. more..

Stocks close lower on Telecom, Iraq

Mar 10 (Reuters) Stocks fell to a six-and-a-half month low on Monday, weighed down by weaker Sri Lanka Telecom shares and uncertainty over a war in Iraq, brokers said. The key Colombo all-share index finished down 1.53 percent, or 11.15 points, at 719.38 points, a level last seen on August 20. more..

Sri Lanka on red alert ahead of anti-peace pact rally

Mar 10 (AFP) Tens of thousands of opposition supporters arrived in the Sri Lankan capital Monday to protest the government's Norwegian-backed peace bid with Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said. more..

Sri Lankan navy sinks suspected rebel arms boat

Mar 10 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan navy sank a Tamil Tiger rebel ship that was suspected of smuggling weapons on Monday after an exchange of fire off the island's northeast coast that also wounded four sailors. more..

Opposition holds peaceful demonstration against peace process

Mar 10 (TN) The joint opposition demonstration with hundreds of thousands of people wearing red caps, buddhist monks, and front line leaders of the SLFP, JVP, MEP and the NUA participating, commenced around two p.m. from Campbell place in Colombo and arrived at the Town Hall by five p.m. without any incidents. more..

Mannar fishermen protest

Mar 10 (TN) Members of Parliaments (MPs) Selvam Adaikalanathan, N. Sivasakthi Anandan and K. Rajakuganeswaran joined members of the Federation of Mannar fishing coopertive in a protest march today against South Indian fishermen poaching in SriLankan seas, said sources from Mannar. more..

Four Sri Lankans make ducks

Mar 10 (Reuters) India reduced Sri Lanka, chasing 293 to win, to 22 for four after five overs in their World Cup Super Six match on Monday with each of the quartet failing to score. Javagal Srinath removed Marvan Atapattu and Jehan Mubarak in his first over as Sri Lanka slumped to two for two. more..

India into semifinals with rousing win over Sri Lanka

Mar 10 (AP) India ensured a World Cup semifinals berth with a rousing 183-run victory over Sri Lanka in Monday's Super Six encounter at Wanderers. Spurred by star batsman Sachin Tendulkar's sparkling 97, India scored 292 for six from 50 overs and then bundled Sri Lanka out for 109 in 23 overs. more..

Opposition urges president to exercise powers

Mar 10 (Xinhua) Main opposition groups in a massive joint anti-government demonstration Monday urged President Chandrika Kumaratunga to exercise her authority against what they termed action to divide the nation through the ongoing peace bid with the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Sri Lanka sinks suspected rebel arms boat, 11 dead

Mar 10 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan navy sank a Tamil Tiger rebel ship suspected of smuggling weapons on Monday, killing 11 on board after an exchange of fire off the island's northeast coast that also wounded four sailors. more..