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Ranil-Hakeem Crucial Talks

Aug 10 (LM) Amidst the continuing controversy over the date of the next Presidential elections, wide anticipations among political observers that the elections would be held before December this year, the SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem held discussions with opposition leader and the UNP's presidential candidate Ranil Wickramsinghe yesterday (August 9). more..

Transport Strike Called Off …

Aug 10 (LM) The island wide private transport strike launched by the Association for the Protection of Vehicle Owners and Drivers was called off last night reaching a compromise after talks with government officials. Sources close to transport authorities said the government agreed to review the disputed new Highway Code and make amendments within two months. more..

President and Norway Conspired Against Muslims On P-TOMS

Aug 10 (LM) The Norwegian envoy and President Chandrika Kumaratunga who had conspired to sideline the Muslim community in the Post-tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS) were now trying to force it on them, accused K.A.Baiz MP, national organizer of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. more..

SLFP files court action on election

Aug 10 (Xinhua) The dispute over the date for Sri Lanka's next presidential election took a new turn here Tuesday when the ruling party filed court action to seek an order for the election chief to hold the election in 2006. more..

Review and refresh the ceasefire agreement

Aug 10 (PSL) Three and half years or forty two months is a considerably long period for a ceasefire in an intra-state conflict and despite the absence of plenary rounds of talks for nearly 29 months, the truce here has been often hailed as a success story by the international community which brokered it. more..

Govt. plans to solve national question through dialogue

Aug 10 (PSL) The government of the UPFA will enter into dialogue with the LTTE and other groups, based on reasonable conditions, to solve the country’s national question, a document tabled in Parliament by Constitutional Affairs Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara revealed yesterday. more..

Rail fare hike could help cut losses

Aug 10 (LBO) An August 01 railway fare hike will cut the commuter service’s losses by an estimated Rs. 500 mn, but increasing recurrent costs could keep losses high. Railway’s General Manager Priyal de Silva on Tuesday said the government approved a new four tier fare to replace the earlier two tier ticket charge with effect from August 1. more..

LTTE leadership okayed the murder of the Jaffna Police Officer

Aug 10 (AT) As more details came to light about the murder of Senior Superintendent of Police, Charles Wijewardena, in Jaffna, the Tamil website, (Honeybee) lashed out against the pro-LTTE media and website for distorting the known facts. more..

Sri Lanka goes ahead with long-delayed two power projects

Aug 10 (AT) Inability to meet the ever growing demand for energy forced the government to go ahead with two power projects that had been on the shelves for decades due to political reasons. The government finally accepted the need for the speedy construction of Norochcholai Coal Power plant and Upper Kotmale Hydro Power plant if the country is to come out of the energy crisis. more..

Legends of Sri Lanka

Aug 10 (AZC) The "Rolling Stones" of Sri Lanka are coming to Tempe. Singers Nanda Malini and Rohana Weerasinghe will present their inimitable styles of Sinhalese classical music at a concert 7 p.m. Saturday at Arizona State University's Lyceum Theater. The event is called Shravana Aradhana, which means "an invitation to listen to music." more..

Sri Lanka win Indian Oil Cup in style

Aug 10 (CI) Sri Lanka reasserted their superiority at home, scoring 281, the highest total of tournament, and then strangled wickets at regular intervals to keep India down to 263 for 9, and won the Indian Oil Cup, taking the final by 18 runs. more..

Lanka powerless to block LTTE satellite link

Aug 10 (LNP) The Telecom Regulatory Commission (TRC) is incapable of blocking live LTTE propaganda broadcasts to Europe and South East Asia originating from a secret location in the Vanni. It cannot jam broadcasts as the group has secured a direct link to Eurostar (satellite) facilities. `We have been bypassed,` an official said on the condition of anonymity. more..

Domestic Violence Bill up for debate in Parliament

Aug 10 (LNP) The Prevention of Domestic Violence Bill, aimed at bringing in laws to arrest the growing trend of domestic violence in the country, through mediation, was taken up for debate in Parliament yesterday. more..

UNP demands PM`s resignation

Aug 10 (LNP) The main opposition UNP yesterday demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse on the basis there was now proof of the misappropriation of Rs. 83 million in tsunami aid. more..

Time exhausted as JVP position debated

Aug 10 (SAMN) A heated debate on the phrasing of a question consumed the allotted time and Parliament was able to discuss only four questions out of the 15 in the order paper. The rest of the questions were taken together and replies were tabled by the chief government Whip. more..

August deadline for tsunami NGOs

Aug 10 (SAMN) The government yesterday set an end of August deadline for NGOs to either start building houses for the tsunami-stricken or to quit the job and run the risk of being exposed. A top government official told the Daily Mirror they held a series of meetings with some reputed NGOs which had been back tracking on construction. more..

Govt allocates Rs.500 m for paddy purchases

Aug 10 (DN) To face the bumper paddy harvest expected in the forthcoming Yala season the Government has allocated Rs.500 million to purchase paddy and an additional Rs.1100 million in the pipeline for State banks to issue loans for private sector buyers, Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B.Jayasundara said yesterday. more..

India has to play a role in Sri Lanka: Expert

Aug 10 (IANS) It is time India gave up its hands-off policy and played a pro-active role again to help end Sri Lanka's continuing ethnic conflict, says an American academic based in Britain. more..

Sri Lankan schools still not rebuilt after tsunami

Aug 10 (wsws) Education is the main path to escape from poverty for young people in the Ampara district, one of the most economically disadvantaged regions in Sri Lanka. The devastation of schools by the December 26 tsunami was a heavy blow to ordinary people, especially to students in this district along Sri Lanka’s eastern coast. more..

Yahoo Photos

Aug 10 (Reuters) Sri Lankan women walk past a wall plastered with election posters from the ruling Sri Lanka's Freedom Party's presidential candidate, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Nallur Kandasamy Temple festival begins

Aug 11 (TN) Twenty-seven day annual festival of the historic Nallur Kandasamy Temple in Jaffna began Wednesday morning with the Sacred Flag hoisting ceremony (Kodi Yetam) in the presence of large number of devotees. The chariot (THER) festival will be held on September 2 and the Water Cutting (Theertham) festival on September 3, more..

IOM to assist displaced Jaffna fisher families

Aug 11 (TN) The International Organization for Migration (IOM) agreed to construct semi-permanent houses for about five hundred displaced fisher families in a fifty acre plot located in the no-man zone in Valalai area close to Thondamannaru lagoon, east of Palaly high security zone, more..

Sri Lankan safari

Aug 11 (BP) The road was empty making for an easy drive through the Sri Lankan countryside. Suddenly, a giant of an animal stepped out of the bush by the roadside and crossed to the other side. The driver braked hard and the car came to a screeching halt. He looked out of the window to make sure there were no other animals waiting to cross the road. more..

Police fire tear gas to control student protest

Aug 11 (Xinhua) Police fired tear gas on Wednesday to quench a student demonstration protesting against the government's planned educational reform. A group of students of the Inter University Students' Federation (IUSF) staged a protest walk from Colombo northern suburb's Kelaniya University to the capital's main business area of Fort when they came under a tear gas attack. more..

Security of JVP MP Jayanthe Wijesekera strengthened

Aug 11 (LT) Security of JVP Parliamentarian for Trincomalee District Jayanthe Wijesekera will be strengthened said Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. He said this in response to a special statement made by Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa in the Parliament today. more..

LTTE preparing citizens’ brigades in villages to recruit children

Aug 11 (AT) Tamil Tigers are at the crossroads politically and militarily. Nearly three years after the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement, their army has gathered considerable rust despite attempts to oil and grease. Though they are loaded with modern sophisticated weapons smuggled into the country more..

US fear Tamil Tigers’ ability to smuggle arms and export bomb making capabilities

Aug 11 (AT) A top American expert on Sri Lanka said that Washington was highly concerned over the capabilities of the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers to smuggle arms across countries and to export its bomb making capabilities to other terrorist groups. more..

Massive students’ protest in Sri Lanka

Aug 11 (AT) Tens of thousands on university students walked to the capital today to protest against President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s criticism against students’ bodies. As two demonstrations from Kelaniya and Jayawardanepura where the two universities in the suburbs situated, reached the capital in the afternoon, students of Colombo University joined them. more..

Tuskers take to the street

Aug 11 (BBC) The Kumbal perahera of the annual Esala festival of Kandy paraded the streets on Wednesay(10th) night. This is the first Kumbul perahera(procession) conducted with the new Diyawadana Nilame of the Dalada Maligawa(Temple of the Tooth), Pradeep Nilanga Delabandara. more..

Santa Monica Teens "Overwhelmed" by Sri Lanka Trip

Aug 11 (SMM) On their return from a three-week tour of Sri Lanka, three Santa Monica students said that the “experience was overwhelming.” While there, the trio participated in community service oriented projects in the areas of the country that were devestasted by last December's extraordinary tsunami. more..

P-TOMS fate confirms Tamils' grave skepticism- Sampanthan

Aug 11 (TN) Mr. R. Sampanthan M.P. Leader Parliamentary Group TNA, speaking during the adjournment debate on the P-TOMS structure Thursday in the Sri Lanka Parliament said that JVP mounted a "high profile challenge levelled against the P-TOMS" because the "agreement was intended to substantially benefit the Tamil speaking people of the Northeast," more..

A dirty War of Attrition in the East- LTTE blames Colombo

Aug 11 (TN) The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Thursday blamed the Government of Sri Lanka for "covertly supporting a dirty war of attrition" against the Liberation Tigers in the Eastern Province in collusion with Tamil para-militaries that is gravely endangering the ceasefire. more..

Youths on Fast-to-death campaign against Dam project

Aug 11 (TN) Six youths from the HillCountry Youth Front (HYF) has launched a fast unto death campaign at the Talawakelle bus stand in protest of the proposed Upper Kotmale hydro electricity project Thursday, sources from Talawakelle said. more..

LTTE pistol men try to murder two more young men

Aug 11 (SLA) Two LTTE pistol men, VASANTHAN and ACHCHAN from LTTE’s pistol group after emerging from a wayside jungle shot and injured two young peasants on motorbike Thursday (11) morning at MALIGATHIVU, MUTTUR while they were proceeding to the paddy fields. more..

LTTE’s forcible entry into her house resisted

Aug 11 (SLA) Lady owner of a house that was converted to an LTTE office without her consent in close proximity to the Security Forces Camp at SITTANDY, BATTICALOA on Monday (08) resisted the LTTE’s unilateral move and removed the LTTE name - plate, the following day in anger. more..

LTTE pistol man “Sinnavan” assaults and robs his motorbike

Aug 11 (SLA) Five armed LTTE men waylaid and robbed the motorbike of a civilian after assaulting him with clubs at MAVADIVEMBU area while he was riding towards KATTANKUDY from VALAICHCHENAI on Wednesday (10) around 6.30 p.m., a Police complaint lodged by the affected civilian stated. more..

LTTE riders try to lure Sinhala young men

Aug 11 (SLA) Two LTTE cadres on motorbike with a view to luring Sinhala youth into joining the LTTE had visited KONGASPITIYA village in SIYAMBALANDUWA on 09 August 2005 assuring huge perks to the parents of the youth who would join the LTTE. more..

Government says education will not be privatized

Aug 11 (SLBC) The government says the education will not be privatized but will be restructured. The advisor to the education ministry R.S. Medagama says the President, the Prime Minister and Deputy Education Ministers have continuously pledged to protect the free education system in the country. more..

Health Ministry looking for peace of mind

Aug 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health is trying to broad base mental health treatment facilities, because mental hospitals have run out of room. "We are trying to open hospitals in the periphery and at least have one mental health clinic in every MOH (Medical Officer of Health) area," more..

Sri Lanka moves closer to maiden foreign bond

Aug 11 (LBO) The government is closer to launching a maiden bond issue in international debt markets than at anytime in recent years. Some market participants say the offering, which would refinance the government's debt portfolio and raise the country's profile among investors, could come early next year. more..

Clinton displays continued concern

Aug 11 (PRIU) Former US President Bill Clinton telephoned President Chandrika Kumaratunga early this week to enquire about the progress of Sri Lanka’s recovery efforts after the December 26th tragedy. more..

England U-19 fight back well

Aug 11 (CI) England fought back strongly on the day two of the second Test thanks to a resiliant lower-order and an excellent bowling performance, ending the day with a healthy lead of 83 over Sri Lanka. England started the day on 144 for 7, with Ben Harmison and Tom Smith at the crease. more..

Sri Lanka closes gap on Australia as Indian bowlers make biggest gains in LG ICC Rankings

Aug 11 (ICC) Sri Lanka has closed the gap to Australia at the top of the LG ICC ODI Championship to 15 points by winning the home tri-series against India and West Indies. Sri Lanka's new rating of 121 points is four higher than it was at the start of the series and the best rating held by any team in 2005 apart from Australia. more..

Death Fast and Hartal in Kathankudy

Aug 11 (LM) Normal life ground to a complete halt yesterday (Wednesday) in Kathankudy as a result of a hartal that was staged in solidarity with the ongoing picketing and fast unto death by tsunami-affected people in front of the Pradeshiya Sabha office . more..

SLMC should treat calls for open debate with contempt –TYC Resolution

Aug 11 (LM) The Trincomalee Youth Congress (TYC, a wing of the SLMC adopted a resolution that national leader of the party Rauff Hakeem MP should not accept calls from party dissidents for open debates on Muslims' political problems but instead should reject such calls with contempt because they had betrayed the party and the Muslims' cause. more..

JHU - JVP common Presidential candidate has 100% chance to Win – JHU

Aug 11 (SN) The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) is to present a common Presidential candidate with the JVP. Discussions were under way to appoint a candidate agreeable to both parties, according to the JHU. The decision was taken at a JHU Central Committee meeting presided over by leader the Ven. MP Ellawela Medananda Nayake Thero on Tuesday. more..

Sri Lanka's Stock Exchange Plans Roadshow In October

Aug 11 (DJ) The Colombo Stock Exchange plans to hold a roadshow in Australia and New Zealand later this year as part of efforts to boost foreign investments in Sri Lankan shares. The road show will be held "with the objective of attracting professionals and other Sri Lankans living in Australia and New Zealand to the Colombo Stock Market," more..

Tamil Tigers killed in Ampara

Aug 11 (BBC) Two Tamil Tiger rebels have been killed near Ampara in eastern Sri Lanka. The two LTTE political officers were travelling on a motorcycle when they were shot and killed by gunmen. According to the website Tamil Net, the gunmen then went into a government military base. more..

Private bus kills mother, row gets worse

Aug 11 (ANN) mother of four was killed by a speeding private bus yesterday (Aug 10) morning, barely hours after a private bus strike was called off following an agreement with the government which the police had opposed. According to eyewitnesses and the police, the private bus was engaged in a race with another Colombo-bound private bus. more..

ESP signs contract with Sri Lankan Govt to build and operate nation's first vehicle inspection program

Aug 11 (ZDN) The Government of Sri Lanka's Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) took a major step toward improving air quality when it signed a five-year contract with Environmental Systems Products (ESP) today to design, construct and operate the nation's first Vehicle Emissions Testing (VET) Program. more..