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We can surprise Australia, says Jayasuriya

Mar 17 (UNI) Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya has reminded Australia of the 1996 World Cup final at Lahore and said the "Aussies should not underestimate us". Sri Lanka who just managed to make it to the last four will take on Australia in the first semi-final on March 18 at Port Elizabeth. more..

LTTE to toughen stand in Japan talks

Mar 17 (Hindu) The LTTE is set to toughen its negotiating position in the sixth round of talks with Colombo early this week in Japan on both military and political matters. When the Tigers and the Government start talks on Tuesday, the sinking of an LTTE ship by the Sri Lanka Navy on March 10 is set to dominate the initial phase. more..

Sri Lanka to probe rebel attempt to seek Russian missiles in Laos

Mar 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka has begun a probe into a report that Tamil Tiger rebels attempted to buy Russian-made missiles in Laos despite a year-old truce on the island, official sources said Sunday. more..

Women's belts, ship sinking to figure at Japan talks

Mar 17 (AFP) Women's leather belts and the sinking of a suspected Tamil rebel arms shipment are set to dominate Sri Lankan peace talks in the Japanese hotspring resort of Hakone, according to diplomats. more..

Retd. Rear Admiral stresses the need to maintain effective maritime surveillance

Mar 17 (Island) The recent destruction of an LTTE-owned ship, suspected to be carrying a large consignment of armaments, including 130 mm artillery pieces, in north-east waters, coming within Sri Lanka’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), has resulted in claims that the navy has no right to ‘act’ in the EEZ. more..

Hot Air

Mar 17 (LBO) Government plans to make Sri Lanka an air-hub after finalising a deal with the management partner of the national carrier. State aviation officials are drawing up a cabinet paper recommending freer access for airlines to the country’s airports. more..

Secret Weapon

Mar 17 (LBO) Garment industry is gearing for cutthroat competition in the US market from Chinese and South Asian rivals with a secret weapon – lingerie!! Victoria Secret, the secret behind Sri Lankan lingerie market, has been uplifting profits while the rest of the apparel industry sags on the lack of quotas. more..

Development Board formed in Vavuniya to further education

Mar 17 (TN) An Education Development Board to work towards improving the general standard of education in Vauniya district, to establish means of providing educational assistance to poor children and to raise the level of technical education, has been formed in Vavuniya, sources said. more..

CTTU threatens strike over teacher appointments

Mar 17 (TN) The Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union (CTTU) warned the UNF government that if one thousand Tamil medium volunteer teachers now working in the northeast schools are not made permanent within one week the union will launch a continuous strike till the demand is met, more..

New U.S. visa rules begin today

Mar 17 (TS) As of this morning, Canadian landed immigrants from most Commonwealth countries will need a valid passport and visa to enter the United States. The new rules were introduced to tighten border security following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. Until now, Canadian landed immigrants from the Commonwealth were allowed to visit the U.S. without a visa. more..

Troops show restraint and complain to SLMM

Mar 17 (SLA) The forced entry of a group of about 200 armed LTTE cadres into the cleared areas of SAMPOOR in MUTTUR on 16 March 2003, in spite of warnings issued by troops on duty, has been brought to the notice of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in TRINCOMALEE. more..

LTTE’s attempt to waylay cement consignment thwarted

Mar 17 (SLA) An attempt by two LTTE cadres to divert a lorry transporting a consignment of cement towards the un-cleared areas on 16 March 2003 around midnight while it was in the general area of VANTARUMULAI, about 20 km northwest of BATTICALOA town has been thwarted. more..

LTTE threaten EPDP member to quit

Mar 17 (SLA) S.K.DHARSHANI of THAMBADI, NARANTHANAYA north had made a complaint at KANKASANTHURAI Police station stating that three members of KAYTS’ LTTE political office had threatened her on 14 march 2003 around 7.30 p.m. more..

LTTE man bitten by snake provided humanitarian assistance

Mar 17 (SLA) An LTTE cadre stung by a snake has been provided Police transport up to KOVILADY hospital on 15 March 2003 on humanitarian grounds after LTTE cadres carrying the victim sought travel assistance from Police. more..

Sri Lanka's chance to dish out humble pie

Mar 17 (CI) Phew! Sri Lanka made it, booking their place in the semi-finals with a clinical performance against Zimbabwe. Yes, Sanath Jayasuriya's men needed India's assistance; and, perhaps, some might gripe that a place in the final four is undeserved but, sorry, who cares? They are through and now face Australia in a do or die clash on Tuesday. more..

Murali threatens to turn nasty

Mar 17 (Age) Muttiah Muralitharan says Australia has a weakness he can exploit, the kind of flaw he's preyed on for years: a vulnerability against the slow, turning ball. Big-name players rise to big-match occasions. more..

Peace talks to focus on rebuilding, revenue-sharing

Mar 17 (Xinhua) The four-day peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger rebels in Japan will focus on key issues of rebuilding the war-ravaged country, Kyodo News reported on Sunday. more..

Rising crime rate due to poor enforcement of laws - Prof. Peiris

Mar 17 (DN) Laws not properly enforced is the major problem in our society today and this condition facilitated the increase in the crime rate. So in order to face this situation, the Government is proposing to enact new laws said prof. G.L. Peiris, more..

SL has to be mentally strong: Coach

Mar 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Australian coach Dav Whatmore insists his team will have to be mentally strong if they are to beat the reigning champions in Tuesday's World Cup semi-final. more..

Astrologers differ over India's World Cup chances

Mar 17 (IANS) The winner of the cricket World Cup will not be known till Sunday, but Indian astrologers are already dusting their almanacs and busy doing celestial calculations to predict India's fate. more..

Govt. puts schools to the test

Mar 17 (DM) The UNF government is to review the performances of schools coming under opposition controlled Provincial Councils. The report of the review committee dealing with the examination results and other curricular activities of national schools and schools coming under provincial administrations, most of which are controlled by the PA, would be handed over to the Education Minister. more..

Northern Sri Lanka banks on peace efforts to resurrect its economy

Mar 17 (AP) Norwegian-backed peace efforts that opened up trade and travel links to war-ravaged northern Sri Lanka have improved lives, but investor reluctance to take a chance on the region threatens to halt the gains, local businessmen said. more..

Peace in Sri Lanka everybody’s cup of tea

Mar 17 (PRIU) After twenty years of bloodshed, a war weary Sri Lanka is grappling with a Peace Process and an uneasy calm. While the ordinary people of this isle are hoping for a permanent peace, Mythologists, Analysts, Politicians, Armchair critics and Opinion writers both local and foreign are having a field day. more..

Future depends on aid

Mar 17 (SL) Last week was an eventful week. Events were unfolding one after another at breakneck speed. In retrospect, last week indicated the priorities of local political players in the coming months. The government would be concentrating on the twin issues of peace negotiations and the economy. more..

UNF Govt. is sleeping, says Bala

Mar 17 (SL) LTTE's Chief Negotiator Anton Balasingham last week, lashed out at all non-governmental organisations working in the Wanni. Addressing, judges, lawyers, LTTE cadres and invitees at last Tuesday's ceremonial opening of a new LTTE court complex at Kilinochchi, Balasingham ridiculed the NGOs in the Wanni saying "they drive around in luxury vehicles and talk a lot of nonsense, but don't deliver." more..

Stocks end down on Iraq in thin trade

Mar 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks closed lower on Monday in thin trade ahead of a local holiday and with investors anticipating an outbreak of war in Iraq. The key Colombo all-share index ended down 1.15 percent, or 8.27 points, at 709.05. more..

Donors eye peace talks ahead of aid meet

Mar 17 (Reuters) Aid donors funding the reconstruction of parts of Sri Lanka will be keeping a close eye on peace talks beginning on Tuesday after the most serious clash between the government and rebels since they agreed to a truce. more..

Truce monitors submit report on sinking of rebel vessel

Mar 17 (Xinhua) The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) has submitted to the government and the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels a report on the sinking of a rebel vessel by the navy in the northern sea off Mullaitivu, the official Daily News said on Monday. more..

Truce monitors decline to rule on naval clash

Mar 17 (AP) Cease-fire monitors have decided not to rule on a recent clash between the Sri Lankan navy and a suspected rebel arms ship, they announced Monday, the eve of peace talks between the government and the guerrillas. more..

Sri Lanka negotiators in Japan for toughest talks

Mar 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka's peace negotiators arrived in this Japanese mountain spa resort to attend what is expected to be the toughest round yet of negotiations in the Norwegian-led initiative to end three decades of conflict, diplomats said Monday. more..

Offensive Jayasuriya keeps things polite

Mar 17 (Reuters) Sanath Jayasuriya is a rarity. He may, indeed, be unique. How else to describe a man who manages to be modestly macho, while outrageously thrilling, all in a quiet, understated sort of way? more..

Australia wary of enigmatic Sri Lankans

Mar 17 (CI) On paper there is no contest: cricketing superpower Australia, unbeaten during their past 15 matches, versus Sri Lanka, a side whose form has seesawed throughout the tournament and who limped into the last four. During their earlier Super Six encounter at Centurion the South Asians were swept aside, losing by 96 runs. more..

Navy apprehends Tamil Tiger rebel vessel suspected of smuggling arms

Mar 17 (AP) Hours before peace talks were to resume, the Sri Lankan navy on Monday apprehended a Tamil Tiger rebel vessel suspected of transporting weapons, a senior navy officer said. A navy patrol boat detected the rebel vessel near the government-controlled eastern port city of Trincomalee, chased it down and arrested three guerrillas on board, more..

Truce monitors won't blame either party for vessel sinking

Mar 17 (AFP) The Scandinavian truce monitoring team in Sri Lanka's peace process between the Tamil Tigers and the government said Monday they are not able to hold any party responsible for an incident involving the navy's sinking of a rebel vessel. more..

Japan marks shift in aid policy with Sri Lanka experiment

Mar 17 (AFP) Japan marks a major shift from its traditional aid policy to become a stronger political force in South Asia with the hosting of Sri Lanka's peace talks here Tuesday, diplomats said. more..

Development Board formed in Vavuniya to further education

Mar 18 (TN) An Education Development Board to work towards improving the general standard of education in Vauniya district, to establish means of providing educational assistance to poor children and to raise the level of technical education, has been formed in Vavuniya, sources said. more..

LTTE peace secretariat launches official website

Mar 18 (TN) The peace secretariat of the LTTE has launched its official website from its headquarters in the Vanni, and the website,, will regularly carry the official press releases, current updates, events and photographs of the peace process, more..

Navy arrests three rebel cadres carrying arms

Mar 18 (AFP) The Navy has arrested three members of the sea wing of the Tamil Tiger rebel group who had allegedly been transporting weapons, a defence official said Monday. The arrests took place after the Navy gave chase to a boat near the eastern port of Trincomalee in the early hours of Monday. more..

Saudi assists

Mar 18 (IL) Saudi Arabia has donated 120 tons of food-stuff and 1300 tents to Sri-Lanka to be distributed among the internally displaced Muslim families in the North and East. This follows requests made by Minister of Vanni Rehabilitation Noordeen Mashoor through Saudi Ambassador in Sri-Lanka Mohammed M. Al-Ali, who visited he affected areas on several occasions. more..

Grand Father rapes Grand Daughter!

Mar 18 (IL) A 13-year-old girl who was living with her grandparents was found five months pregnant, she had been raped allegedly by her grandfather last October in Dambulla. The girl's parents had been divorced and she was under the custody of grandparents since she was four years old. more..

House to debate bill cushioning Iraqi war effect here

Mar 18 (Island) Parliament is expected to debate an urgent bill tomorrow providing for measures to deal with an emergency situation that might arise with the outbreak of war in the gulf region, parliament sources said. more..

Sinking of vessel: SLMM blames LTTE, Govt.

Mar 18 (Hindu) The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) today faulted both the Navy and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for not informing it of the March 10 engagement on high seas, in which a rebel merchant vessel was sunk. more..

Fishing in troubled waters

Mar 18 (TS) Tamil fishermen from Sri Lanka’s Jaffna and Mannar districts attacked a fleet of fishing boats from Rameswaram on 3 March, took more than 125 fishermen captive and burnt their boats. more..

Sri Lanka's grudges against Australia brings out the best

Mar 18 (AP) When it comes to playing Australia, the Sri Lankan cricketers like to fight tooth and nail. Another no-holds-barred battle can be expected when they meet in the first semifinal match of World Cup 2003 at St. George's Park on Tuesday. more..

Efforts to save Buddha's Bo tree

Mar 18 (ABC) Sri Lanka is to send experts to India in an attempt to preserve a sacred Buddhist tree which has been hit by a deadly viral attack. It is growing at the pilgrimage site at Bodhgaya in the Indian state of Bihar. more..

SLA vacated schools in HSZ still closed

Mar 18 (TN) The Eluthumadduval North Maruthankulam Government Tamil Mixed School in the northern Jaffna district has not started functioning even after the Sri Lanka Army troops who occupied the school premises have vacated. more..

Interactors pledge to promote mutual understanding

Mar 18 (TN) The fourth annual zonal Interact conference held for two days in Trincomalee came to a close Sunday evening as Interactors from Jaffna, Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts expressed their firm commitment to promoting a better understanding, thus ensuring progress of their societies and the country at large, sources said. more..

Historic Trinco temple chariot festival draws large crowd

Mar 18 (TN) Several thousand devotees from all parts of the island participated at the Chariot (Ther) festival of the historic Trincomalee Pathirakali Ambal Temple held Monday. Three chariots were taken in procession around the temple while devotees chanted 'Arohara,' sources said. more..

CBK guns for 'Taxi Abbey'

Mar 18 (DM) The Airports and Aviation company's controversial Executive Director Gamini Abeyratne nose-dived to a national spotlight yesterday with President Chandrika Kumaratunga directing Aviation Minister Tilak Marapana to send him on compulsory leave, an official said yesterday. more..

Going Fishing

Mar 18 (LBO) A state initiated study hopes to eek out the livelihood potential in the fisheries sector, findings that will set guidelines for development projects for the industry. more..