16-03-2003 at 08:50 AM(SL Time)

How Thondaman took law in to his own hands
The past few months have seen several forays made by mobs into police stations. The latest incident is reported from Nallathanni, where mobs surrounded a police station and ran berserk after forest officers took into custody six persons over alleged illicit felling in the Sri Pada forest reserve.

The suspects, it is reported, had to be set free as the mob grew violent blocking as they did the main road with boulders. The mob, as our sister paper, the Divaina reported, consisted of estate workers.(The Island/Editorial)
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Jaffna mayor casts the last stone
Former Jaffna Mayor Sellan Kandiah claimed yesterday cast discrimination was behind the non re-opening of the Jaffna library recently. "I am a minority within the minority, caste-wise as such they have a problem in placing a low caste man's name on the plaque on the wall to commemorate the opening on that day" he said.

Mr. Kandiah said he believed that was the undercurrent which was going on and "I think they came and put that in another form by saying that they did not want the library to be re-opened since the work was not yet completed."(Daily Mirror)
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Sri Lanka in, host nation out

South Africa have gone out of the World Cup after a dramatic weather-hit tie with Sri Lanka in Durban.

Torrential rain brought the game to a premature end with five overs remaining and, under the Duckworth-Lewis method, both teams were awarded two points to end the hosts' progression to the Super Six stage. (BBC)
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UN slams Sri Lanka's chief justice, judiciary
Sri Lanka's chief justice and the judicial system came under a scathing attack from a top United Nations official here Thursday over the bizarre jailing of a man who challenged the island's top judge.

Dato Param Cumaraswamy, the UN special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, said he was "shocked" and "stunned" by Sri Lanka's Chief Justice Sarath Silva hearing a case against himself.(Pro Log/AFP)
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Norwegian, LTTE leaders to meet soon
Sri Lanka today said Norway's Foreign Minister John Peterson and his deputy Vidar Helgesen, who are scheduled to arrive in Colombo on March 12, will meet the leaders of the Tiger rebels in the Wanni to take up various issues regarding the truce agreement and the ongoing peace talks.

Chief negotiator of the Government delegation and Cabinet spokesman Prof G L Peiris today said the Norwegian ministers would discuss with the LTTE several issues, including the truce accord.(The Hindu)
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Ranil to meet Vajpayee, Sonia
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, left for India this evening on a three-day visit, during which the two countries will initial an agreement on information technology.

While Mr. Wickremesinghe's visit is to primarily address a symposium organised by India Today, he would also meet the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, the Leader of the Opposition, Sonia Gandhi, and the former Prime Ministers, Narasimha Rao and I. K. Gujral.(The Hindu)
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Monks hold pooja against division of country
An adishtana pooja organised by the Deshaya Surekeeme Bhikku Sammelanaya, and the Jathika Bhikku Peramuna was held on Tuesday afternoon at the historic Mahamaluwa of the Dalada Maligawa.

The Maha Sangha led by Prof. Kamburugamuwa Vajira Thera, Secretary of the Jathika Bhikku Peramuna Ven. Kalawelgala Chandraratana Thera, President of the All Ceylon Pavidi Sanvidane of Vatinapaha Somananda Thera, Ven. Kumbukkandawela Dheerananda Thera, President of the Jathika Bhikku Peramuna Handugala Ratanapala Thera arrived at the Dalada Maligawa in a procession from the Mahamaluwa and after offering flowers to the Sacred Tooth relic held a adishtana pooja there.(Daily Mirror)
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Soldier & Constable not released as promised by LTTE
The soldier of Army and the policeman detained by the LTTE have not been released as promised by the LTTE. The tiger terrorists had promised the SLMM that they would release the soldier and the policeman in exchange to the seven tiger terrorists who had been arrested by the SL Navy when they had crossed with arms to a government held area to extort money from bus passengers.

Hagrup Haukland, Deputy Head of SLMM had spoken to Pulithevan, a terrorist leader of the area reminding of the promise the LTTE had made but hasn’t had any result. SLMM had notified the Norwegian government in its capacity as facilitator as the cease-fire agreement does not specify the action the SLMM should take if a rift like the present one occurs.(Lankatruth)
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Sri Lanka talks moved to rebel-held area after arms stand-off
Sri Lanka's key rehabilitation talks will be moved to a rebel-held area Thursday following a dispute over whether Tamil Tiger delegates would be able to bring armed bodyguards, military officials said.

The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had wanted permission for their armed guerrillas to escort the head of its political wing, S.P. Thamilselvan, to a meeting in a government-held area.(Pro Log/AFP)
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CBK for peace: War is not the solution
President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday expressed confidence in the peace process spearheaded by the Wickremesinghe administration, and stressed the need for its continuance, despite the setbacks. The President however did not rule out the possibility of her intervening in the process in the interest of the people.

In the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur for the 13th Non Aligned summit, the President told the Daily Mirror that although she saw a lack of planning by the UNF in negotiating with a ruthless terrorist group like the LTTE, she had a lot of faith in the process, though Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had no faith in the process for eight years of the PA administration and had sabotaged it.(Daily Mirror)
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Sri Lankan PM vows greater freedom, responsibility for press
Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe opened a Commonwealth editors' meet here Tuesday vowing greater press freedom but urging the local media not to sabotage his peace bid with Tamil rebels.

Wickremesinghe told the Commonwealth Press Union biennial conference that Sri Lanka in the next few months will enact an information act and other measures to allow greater scrutiny of his government by the press(Pro Log/AFP)
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Passport, National Identity Card for Prabhakaran's son
Charles Anthony, son of LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran has been issued with a national identity card and passport with the direct intervention of an influential minister of the government.

The applications for the national identity card and the passport had been brought by the minister in question from the north to Colombo and he had contacted the Department of Registration of Persons and the Department of Immigration and Emigration personally. He had asked his personal secretary to get the national identity card and the passport, informed sources said.(The Island)
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Prabhakaran wants to send his son abroad for education but other little sons and daughters are sent to the grave
Prabhakaran’s son, Charles Anthony, according to reports, has obtained a passport and a national identity card with the help of a minister. The boy, we are told, is to be sent abroad for education. It was about two years ago that we reported he had fared well at the G. C. E. (O/L) examination.

Prabhakaran, despite his terrorist track record, has set an example in parenting for most politicians of the south whose sloshed progeny get involved in brawls over women at five star hotels or settle personal scores with rivals in public. (The Island-Editorial)
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SLMM to seek Norwegian help for release of soldier, policeman
Vexed over the LTTE’s continued defiance of its directives, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) yesterday said it would ask the Norwegian facilitators to intervene on behalf of a soldier and a policeman being held in Tiger jail.

"It is not enough to promise, the LTTE must now act," said Hagrup Haukland, deputy head of mission. The SLMM has made several representations to the LTTE over the issue and had even yesterday spoken to Pulithevan, a senior political leader(The Island)
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‘Iriyagolla’s standard Sinhala effort was commendable’
Addressing the annual All Island Hela Havula conference held recently, former senior lecturer in Sinhala Language and Literature, of the Dambadeniya Teacher Training College, A. A. Gunatilleke commended I.M.R.A. Iriyagolla’s contribution to standardise the Sinhala language.

The conference, which was held at the Susamayawardena School Hall in Borella, was presided over by the Hela Havula leader, poet and scholar, Arisen Ahubudu. It was attended by delegates representing provincial branches.(The Island)
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Sri Lanka mines take toll
Landmines and unexploded ordnance in Sri Lanka have killed 26 civilians and injured 100 others since a cease-fire came into effect a year ago, the United Nations says.

The majority of those hurt are adult males - breadwinners for their families. (BBC)
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Thai men stopped in Sri Lanka with precious stones in stomachs
Sri Lankan authorities detained two Thai men after X-rays showed they were trying to leave the island with precious stones in their stomachs, officials said Tuesday

The two men, aged 25 and 35, were stopped at Colombo international airport overnight as they were about to board a Bangkok-bound aircraft.(Pro Log/AFP)
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CBK opposes US war on Iraq
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad gives the inauguration address at the opening session of the 114-nation Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Kuala Lumpur, February 24, 2003.
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga is welcomed by Malaysian Prime Minister as she arrives to the opening session (insert). (pictures by REUTERS)
As the Non-Aligned Summit opened here with a powerful call from Malaysian Premier Mahathir Mohamed for all wars to be outlawed and all weapons of mass destruction to be destroyed, Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga joined other leaders in speaking out strongly against any US attack on Iraq.

"We have still not seen sufficient evidence to justify an armed attack on Iraq. We are strongly of the view that a negotiated settlement can be arrived at, without using violence against Iraq", President Kumaratunga said in a clear-cut policy statement in contrast to the stand of the UNF government which has asked Iraq to fully comply with the latest UN Security Council resolution.(Daily Mirror)
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LTTE cadres exchanged for soldier and policeman
The stand-off between the Navy and seven armed LTTE cadres in Kuchchuveli - Thiriyaya road was solved with the intervention of the SLMM after striking a deal to exchange a police constable and a soldier held by the LTTE for the seven armed cadres who entered the government controlled area on Sunday, military sources said.

Although the Navy had released the seven LTTE cadres after negotiations involving the SLMM late last night the soldier and the police constable were not released by the LTTE till noon yesterday.(The Island)
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JVP protest release of Tiger rebels
Sri Lanka's main Marxist party launched a scathing attack Monday against the government for freeing seven armed Tamil Tiger rebels involved in a tense stand-off with naval troops.

The Marxist JVP, or People's Liberation Front, accused the government of engaging in a "peace deception" and of not being prepared to defend its own truce accord with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). (Pro Log/AFP)
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Jayasuriya fumes at 'amateurs'
(file photo)
Sanath Jayasuriya branded his Sri Lanka side a bunch of "amateurs" after succumbing to a 53-run defeat to minnows Kenya.

The Sri Lankan captain was fuming after his side were surprisingly outplayed in Nairobi to reduce their chances of qualifying for the Super Six stage of the tournament. (BBC)
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Monitor the monitors
Disturbing news comes from the East that a ceasefire monitor, a lawyer by profession, has filed a motion on behalf of two LTTE members, who had been taken into custody recently while abducting two school girls, and obtained bail for them.

The Monitoring Mission has come under fire from various quarters for its failure to do effective monitoring and its alleged partiality towards the LTTE, which critics of the peace process say, is evident from the involvement of LTTE sympathisers like Eric Solheim in the peace process and the leniency the monitors has shown in dealing with serious ceasefire violations committed by the LTTE.(The Island-Editorial)
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No army honours for soldier killed by woman Tigers
The funeral of First Wijayaba Regiment soldier K. G. Dharmadasa (24) who was killed by woman Tigers near the Kilali front defence line was held on Wednesday (19) evening at the General Cemetery of Kanangamuwa, Matale

The funeral was attended by a large crowd including ex-Minister and MP Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, Matale Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman, Nihal Wijenayake, Opposition Leader Nimal Jayawardena, Matale Municipal Council Opposition Leader Rohana Dissanayake and his relatives and friends.(The Island)
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Tigers play tit for tat
Navy arrest 5 tigers, Tigers detain pilgrims
Five tiger cadres who had violated ceasefire agreement between the government and the LTTE have been apprehended by the Sri Lanka Navy in Trincomalee. As a revenge for this act the LTTE have detained two bus loads of pilgrims who had visited Trincomalee and other religious place in the East.

The tigers are demanding that the five arrested cadres should be released to set the pilgrims and the buses free. (Lanktruth)
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Sri Lanka averts flare up of fresh fighting
Scandinavian truce monitors Sunday helped pull Sri Lankan navy troops and Tamil Tiger rebels back from the brink of a gun battle breaching the ceasefire on its first anniversary, officials said.

The crisis began when seven armed cadres of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) tried to stop a navy vehicle at Kuchchaveli in the north-eastern port district of Trincomalee, official sources said.(Pro Log/AFP)
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Duty on LTTE’s satellite equipment not fixed yet
The Customs Department has forwarded a preliminary report to the Finance Ministry on the issue of Customs duty payable on the VoT satellite communication equipment imported for the LTTE.

Director General of Customs S.C. Jayathillake told The Sunday Times that he had sent the preliminary report to the Finance Minister but declined to comment further as investigations were still in progress.(Sunday Times)
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Ceremonies in South, hartal in North
The LTTE brought life in Batticaloa district to a standstill yesterday in protest against what they described as the government’s failure to fully implement the cease-fire agreement reached an year ago, as the government marked the first anniversary of the pact with a series of events.

The main ceremony took place at the Independence Square with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe lighting a large oil lamp. Scores of ministers, MPs and a large number of supporters took part in the ceremony.(The Island)
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JVP alleges brutal attack with chemicals
Parliamentary sessions were suspended yesterday for twenty minutes when JVP members staged a protest in the House holding placards and shouting slogans and vehemently denouncing the police attack on their protest march on Thursday.

JVP Parliamentary group leader Wimal Weerawansa rising to a point of order during the oral questions said their protest where some 100,000 took part was attacked brutally with the police spraying chemicals mixed with water.(Daily Mirror)
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We’ll bury 40,000 from the Army
If the LTTE soldiers are subjected to inspection by the Army or the women cadres are not allowed to wear their belts 40,000 Army personnel would be buried in their territory says the LTTE

This has been announced using public address systems fixed to buses. Security Forces had had intercepted one of these vehicles at 1.30 p. m. yesterday (20th) and complained to Pointpedro police which has informed the IGP.(Lankatruth)
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First Encyclopaedia on Sri Lanka in English
The first encyclopaedia on Sri Lanka in English — an A to Z guide to the country’s history, politics, culture, people, places etc., will be released on February 25 at 5.00 p.m. at the Galle Face Hotel Palm Lounge

Bradman Weerakoon will chair the event and the Minister of Human Resources Development, Education and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku will release the first copy.(The Island) Full Story

Asian countries, UN meet in Dhaka on development targets
Officials from eight Asian nations, the United Nations and non-governmental organisations will meet in Bangladesh at the weekend to work towards achieving development targets, officials said Friday.

During the three-day workshop in Dhaka beginning Sunday, representatives from South Korea, Iran, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, East Timor, Cambodia, Vietnam and Bangladesh will prepare national strategies for meeting their Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) statement said.(Pro Log/AFP)
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Deal with IOC triggers strike by China Bay CPC staff
The agreement signed between the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) on February 7, 2003, for the management of the tank farm at China Bay, has triggered a strike by the CPC staff attached to the China Bay tank farm.

This has resulted in fuel supplies, required by the security forces and the civilian population of the North and East, not leaving the CPC premises on schedule. At the time of writing the tanker MT Ramboda was non-operational and tied up at the CPC’s Trinco-malee jetty, a spokesman said.(The Island) Full Story

Writ against non-selection of Batty for argument
The Supreme Court on Friday fixed for argument on May 19, 2003, the writ application filed by the General Secretary of the LSSP about the non-selection of an LSSP nominee by the People’s Alliance, to be appointed as a National List Member of Parliament.

The petitioner, Batty Weerakoon of the LSSP, has cited as respondents the Commissioner of Elections, the People’s Alliance and D. M. Jayaratne, the General Secretary of the PA.(The Island) Full Story

Air surveillance capability low
The recent bungling of a disputed operation to track down a ship-load of armaments to the Tigers off Sri Lanka revealed the insufficiency of air surveillance capability to monitor illegal sea movements.

Contrary to claims and speculation, Sri Lanka was tipped off of the impending ship movement by a ‘source’ that was not Indian. A joint air and naval operation was unable to get off the ground swiftly as one of Airforce’s two US built Beachcraft was grounded. It was not the only aircraft grounded but just one among several including the two largest C-130 transport aircraft. The two C-130s have been grounded for over a year(the Island) Full Story

Govt. calls on SLMM to act
LTTE forcibly drove away ten SLCTB owned buses parked at the Batticaloa bus depot.
The government has urged Major General Trond Furuhovde, head of the SLMM to act firmly on truce violations on a priority basis, authoritative sources said.

Emphasising that high-handed Tiger ‘actions’ in government-held areas in the north-east jeopardise a ceasefire agreement reached a year ago, the government wants the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) to take up the disputed issues with the group, authoritative security sources said.(The Island)
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Red Cross dusts-off old files of 11,000 missing in Sri Lanka
The international Red Cross Wednesday said it had begun reopening files on some 11,000 people missing in Sri Lanka as it moved to help warring parties set up a system to establish the fate of the victims.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) office here said 11,000 requests for tracing missing people since 1990 were still unresolved, but they have reopened the files.(Pro Log/AFP)
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Sri Lanka thrash Canada
Canada lose opener John Davison as Prabath Nissanka has him caught behind by Kumar Sangakkara with the score on 0
(Photo courtesy : BBC)
Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya praised his opening bowlers after Canada collapsed to the lowest one-day international score in history.

Prabath Nissanka and Chaminda Vaas took the first seven wickets of the match as Canada were bowled out for 36, beating the previous all-time low of 38 by Zimbabwe.(BBC)
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Opposition expresses serious concern
No Sinhala reps. on review committees for land and related issues in East
The Opposition expressed serious concern over a disputed decision to exclude Sinhala representatives from three committees to be appointed to review land and all other related issues in the Ampara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts on a priority basis.

The government and the LTTE agreed on the formation of committees at the fifth session of peace talks at the Norwegian Embassy in Berlin, two weeks ago. The committees will consist of six representatives of the Muslim population and six representatives of the LTTE. (The Island)
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Thousands of Tamils demand Sri Lankan troops withdraw from Jaffna Peninsula
JAFFNA, Sri Lanka - Thousands rallied Friday in northern Sri Lanka to demand the withdrawal of government troops after a fistfight between soldiers and Tamil rebels dealt a blow to a year-old truce.

At least 8,000 people carrying placards and shouting slogas rallied in the northern town of Jaffna, in the traditional homeland of Sri Lanka's minority Tamils. (Yahoo News/AP)
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Diplomatic passports for Sri Lanka's tea traders
The Sri Lankan government Tuesday offered diplomatic passports and millions of dollars in incentives to help boost revenue from the island's main export commodity, tea.

Plantations Minister Lakshman Kiriella said tea promoters would receive diplomatic postings in Sri Lankan missions abroad to give an added push to the island's green gold.(Pro Log/AFP)
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Security measures not lax
The Sri Lankan Defence Minister, Tilak Marapane, today denied charges that the Government was lax on security and asserted that the state's vigilance mechanism had been strengthened.

Replying to a no-confidence motion brought against him by the Opposition People's Alliance (PA), Mr. Marapane told Parliament that the steps taken by the Government to ensure the return of normalcy in northern and eastern Sri Lanka, since last year's ceasefire agreement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), were "without endangering security''. (The Hindu) Full Story

‘Hand over son or face death’, LTTE threatens mother
A mother had made a complaint at the Central Camp police station in Ampara on 11 February 2003 that she would be killed unless her child was handed over to the LTTE.

An Army headquarters news release said that according to the mother, A Nila of ‘Hand over No. 04/99, Central Camp Road, Ampara, her son T. Suresh had escaped from an LTTE training camp a few years ago.(The Island)
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Ranil promises citizenship for disenfranchised Tamils
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, today promised to bring in a legislation to provide citizenship for nearly one lakh disenfranchised estate Tamils who had opted to stay in the island.

Addressing the concluding session of the 33rd biennial convention of the Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC), he said the Government was working on a draft bill that would provide citizenship for those who had stayed in Sri Lanka after the Srima-Shastri pact. All political parties, he said, had recognised the need and urgency for solving this issue. (The Hindu)
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Army rejects LTTE claim over killing of soldier
A simmering dispute over the army’s opposition to belts worn by female Tiger cadres, as part of their uniform in government-held parts of the Jaffna peninsula, took a new turn over the weekend as the army reported the death of a soldier in an incident involving a group of female cadres. He was identified as S/514701 K.P.A.Dharmadasa

Army headquarters yesterday vehemently denied Tiger claims that the soldier was among a group of soldiers who moved across the front-line.According to informed sources troops deployed in the area did not hear gunfire and were not aware of the fate of the soldier until the Tigers informed the army of the shooting through the SLMM.(The Island)
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Ranil’s security gets the works in clash with Thonda’s
The Prime Ministerial Security Division (PMSD) gave up security inspections at the 33rd Convention sessions of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) yesterday (16) at the Bogambara Grounds after the CWC leader, Minister Arumugam Thondaman, issued instructions to halt checking of his members entering the venue

The orders came from Minister Thondaman following a clash between the minister’s security and the PMSD personnel as thousands of CWC members gate crashed objecting to security checks.(The Island)
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Trooper shot dead as US, Japan voice concern for Sri Lanka peace
Tamil Tiger rebels shot dead a government soldier who moved into an area held by them in northern Sri Lanka where both sides are observing a truce monitored by Scandinavians, rebel radio said Sunday.

The incident came as the United States and Japan expressed concern about the stability of the island's Norwegian-brokered peace bid aimed at ending three decades of ethnic bloodshed that has claimed over 60,000 lives.(Pro Log/AFP)
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Sri Lanka rebels kill soldier as truce under strain
Tamil Tiger rebels on Saturday shot dead a Sri Lankan army soldier who they say trespassed into their territory in violation of a truce that has been keeping the warring sides at arm's length after 19 years of civil war The Tigers said in a statement released late on Saturday the soldier was killed by a female combat unit when he tried to throw a hand grenade after being discovered in rebel-controlled territory in the northern Jaffna peninsula. (Yahoo News/Reuters)
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Slicing up the East for Taliban and Tigers
Decades ago as a young engineer, I rode a Jeep along the Eastern coast during a two-month stint there. I then saw clusters of Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese habitations in a multi-cultural set up. But no more. Last month I drove again up the East Coast through its present different slices of Sinhalese, Muslims and Tamils.

Although the Pottuvil pansala is deserted after a Sinhala mill owner who supported it fled, the town still has a few Sinhalese traders. Pottuvil southwards is multicultural. The Akkaraipattu pansala was attacked by Tigers. Its Sinhala traders have run away, due to Muslim pressure. In the adjoining Tamil area, I hear from the LTTE office denunciation of Muslims. The Tiger spokesman -- claiming to have attacked the Colombo oil depots, and has a damaged eye to show for it -- says that Sinhalese and Tamils have commonalities but not the Muslims. (Sunday Times)
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Students, principals face arrest in Vavuniya
School children participating in a protest demonstration organised by pro-LTTE groups against the army's demand to remove web belts worn by LTTE women cadres when they enter government-controlled areas
(photo Courtesy:Sunday Times)
Education officials or principals who permit school children to take part in anti-government demonstrations in Vavuniya will be arrested and prosecuted in courts, the military and police have warned.

Education officials or principals who permit school children to take part in anti-government demonstrations in Vavuniya will be arrested and prosecuted in courts, the military and police have warned.(Sunday Times)
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Tiger ‘magistrate’ re-remands soldier
Soldier H. S. Nimal Kumara taken prisoner by the Tigers on December 24 when he unintentionally entered their area has been remanded by a Tiger magistrate again.

He was produced before an LTTE ‘magistrate’ last Thursday and was remanded till March 7. Kumara who had been with the army for eight years was attached to a detachment at Welioya at the time of the incident.(The Island)
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Tiger delegation takes 25 packages in two choppers
contained is not known
None of them had been opened for examination

The Tiger guerrilla delegation to the latest Berlin peace talks who arrived in Colombo last Friday for their return journey to the Wanni demanded two helicopters, one to carry their members and the other for more than 25 packages they brought along. They received both

The Sunday Times learns that LTTE Political Wing leader S. P. Thamilselvan, his deputy, Pulithevan (Prabagaran) and others arrived in Colombo in a SriLankan Airlines flight. They are said to have brought in more than 25 packages of various sizes.(Sunday Times)
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If you want weapons, come and get them— Balasingham
Anton Balasingham addressing the LTTE office in Dusseldorf, Germany has said while talks of leaders like S. J. V. Chelvanayagam were based on non-violence today, "We are talking on artillery strength."

Balasingham further said: "We are not terrorists..... We want self-rule under a federal framework like in other countries. We want a just solution to the Tamils and this has been commended by world countries. US, Britain and EU have welcomed this. On this basis a mischievous campaign is being carried out that Tigers have given up the Eelam demand. Our leader has clearly emphasized this in his heroes’ day message.(The Island)
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Rebel pressure halts reopening of Jaffna library
COLOMBO - Pressure from Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels has forced authorities to postpone the reopening of the Jaffna Library, a cultural icon for the country's Tamils, lawmakers said on Thursday.

The library was gutted in 1981 after ethnic majority Sinhalese police and thugs set it ablaze in an act that fuelled the rebels' movement for a separate state for minority Tamils. (Yahoo News/Reuters)
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LTTE planning to set up base in Vizag
Far from the strife-torn island of Sri Lanka, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) seems to be hatching a sinister plan to set up a base in the port city of Visakhapatnam. Highly confidential Intelligence reports are pointing in this direction.

The latest Intelligence reports confirm that LTTE activists or sympathizers are making regular but secret visits to Vizag. Three suspected LTTE sympathizers were in the city in December and January and one of these is said to have come here by the Chennai-Howrah Mail in the last week of December. He stayed in a lodge near the railway station and antecedents of two persons who met him at the lodge are being ascertained.(newindpress.com)
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Japan urged to link loan to S.Lanka with disarming Tamil rebels
Sri Lanka's main opposition party on Friday said they have asked the Japanese government to link a loan package with de-commissioning of weapons by separatist Tamil Tiger rebels.

Sarath Amunugama, spokesman for the opposition People's Alliance, told reporters here that he has personally conveyed to Yasushi Akashi, Japanese special peace envoy on the Sri Lankan government's peace process with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels, that all Japanese grants must be interlinked to decommissioning of weapons by the LTTE. (northenlight.com)
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Timely talk of war,peace
In 3,000 years of recorded history,no nation has achieved the undisputed role of world leadership that the United States has today -- not Rome, not England, Spain or Portugal.

Along with that role goes the obligation to lead the world toward peace, said Christopher Gregory Weeramantry, a judge with the United Nations International Court of Justice based in The Hague, Netherlands. (The Press-Enterprise)
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Emboldened by Japanese aid Tiger gunmen go haywire
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
The mayor of Jaffna Chellan Kandiah of the Tamil United Liberation Front(TULF) and other Municipal Councilors of Sri Lanka’s main Tamil city resigned from their posts after receiving death threats from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Jaffna political sources said.

Meanwhile the suspected LTTE terrorists shot and seriously wounded another head of a local government body in the Jaffna peninsula, the Chairman of the Kopay Pradeshiya Sabha , P.Gunasingham together with his police bodyguard, Sarath Abeysinghe in an ambush.
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Inspired Vaas destroys Bangladesh
Chaminda Vaas makes history by taking a hat-trick with the first three balls
(photo Courtesy:BBC)
Chaminda Vaas made history by taking a hat-trick with the first three balls of the game as Sri Lanka recorded a crushing 10-wicket victory over Bangladesh.

Vaas then added a fourth victim in his opening over before finishing with six for 25.
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Female Tamil Tiger rebels, Sri Lankan army clash over dress code, two cadres wounded
Two female Tamil rebels were wounded Wednesday in a fist fight with army soldiers that erupted when the women were ordered to remove their military-style belts before entering a government-held area, witnesses and military sources said

The fight occurred after the soldiers stopped three unarmed women at Manipay checkpoint, near the northern town of Jaffna, and told them to remove their belts, which can hold small arms such as pistols, said a witness who asked not to be named.
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50 days have passed, soldier still LTTE captive
Sri Lanka Army soldier H. S. Nimal Kumara who was taken into LTTE custody in December last year still remains in LTTE captivity due to the failure of the Sri Lanka government to secure his release.

H. S. Nimal Kumara of the Sri Lanka Light Infantry Unit was seized by the LTTE on December 24 when he was unknowingly crossing the front-line in the Weli-Oya area. The LTTE is using the soldier to pressurise the government to accept its legal system. The LTTE wants the government to send its lawyers to secure the soldier’s release.(The Island)
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Tamil terrorists broke peace in this country
Malwatte & Asgiriya prelates say
Peace cannot be achieved by the longing of only one section of the nation, the other side too should act towards peace in the same spirit said Most Ven. Rambukwelle Sri Vipassi Thero, Mahanayake of Malwatte Chapter when Mr. Yasushi Akashi, leader of Japanese State mission called on him yesterday (12th).

The prelate reminded the head of the Japanese mission that Sri Lanka and Japan have had a very cordial relationship for centuries specially due to their religious relationship and not do anything to harm it. He said that there had been speculation that Japanese aid is to be given only to one part of the country and stressed that aid given for the development of the country should reach all parts of the country.(Lankatruth)
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Council members in Tamil town in Sri Lanka resign to protest rebel threats
All 23 members of the town council in Tamil-dominated Jaffna resigned Thursday alleging they had been threatened by Tamil Tiger rebels seeking to postpone the reopening of a public library torched by anti-Tamil mobs nearly 22 years ago

The library was scheduled to reopen Friday, but it was unclear whether it would happen on time. (Yahoo News/AP)
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SLMM wants SL Police remodeled
Teitur Torkelsson, the spokesman for the SLMM has said that Sri Lanka Police is incompetent and it should be remodeled to meet challenges.

Torkelsson made this observation after the incidents at Manipay when Army riot squad had to be called in to control the disturbances that were triggered off by the LTTE when some of their women cadres had been asked at an Army check point to remove an offensive part of their garments they had been wearing. According to the ceasefire agreement signed between the government and the LTTE either party is prohibited from wearing uniforms or parts of it when visiting areas held by the other. (Lankatruth)
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Taxing the state!
How costly leniency could be in dealing with a terror outfit could be seen from the bitter experience of the Sri Lankan government. The LTTE according to press reports is now slapping ‘taxes’ on the government! The CWE and the Building Materials Corporation are reported to have marked up their prices in the North and East to meet inter alia the cost of ‘taxes’ they have to pay the LTTE.

The graduation of the LTTE from ‘taxing’ helpless civilians to extorting money from the government which is, we are told, backed by the ‘international community’ has been possible thanks to the pusillanimity of the government and the indulgence with which the so-called powerful nations are handling the LTTE. (The Island-Editorial)
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LTTE constructs bunkers in Sampur
The LTTE has commenced constructing bunkers in Sampur in Trincomalee, police sources said. This had been reported to the police headquarters yesterday (06).

The area where bunkers were being constructed had been declared a prohibited area by the LTTE, a senior police officer said.(The Island) Full Story

Kumaratunga asks PM to go public on LTTE peace plan
Colombo: Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga on February 4 asked her cohabitation government to go public with its Norwegian-backed peace plan as the island's Tamil-dominated areas boycotted the country's 55th anniversary of its Independence from Britain.

The authorities were forced to cancel a cultural show in the Northern town of Vavuniya where unsigned posters announced that the "Independence" was not for minority Tamils. (Indiainfo.com) Full Story

Chief suspect in Katunayake bomb blast to be indicted
The Attorney General will shortly indict, P. Nirmala Ranjan (Sea Tiger), the chief suspect of the Katunayake airbase bomb blast, in July 2001.

Riyaz Hamza, State Counsel yesterday requested the Supreme Court for further time to finalise the documents, pertaining to the indictment.(The Island) Full Story

LTTE women’s belts anti-MoU: riot squad action brutal — SLMM
The LTTE yesterday protested vehemently in the Jaffna town of Manipay after soldiers ordered removal of the belts worn by some LTTE women cadres as part of their uniform.
An army riot squad was deployed after more than 100 LTTE cadres gathered in the town and tension built up. Some protestors tore down branches and placed trunks of trees across streets. Members from the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) observed soldiers attacking by standers and passers-by with long sticks. At least, five people had been injured.(The Island)
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Rajiv assassination turned AIADMK anti-LTTE
Reiterating her steadfast opposition to the LTTE, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday said Rajiv Gandhi's assassination was a watershed in changing the AIADMK's policy towards the militant outfit for ever.

Taking the gauntlet thrown by her arch rival and DMK Chief M Karunanidhi to clarify her stand on the LTTE and the complaint she had reportedly made to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi about her mentor and AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran, she launched a broadside against the DMK supremo. (Sify News)
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[Previous Stories} Sri Lanka will seek more Indian help in air force training, spokesman says
OLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka may ask neighboring India for more help in training air force personnel during this week's visit by the head of the Indian air force, a military spokesman said Wednesday.

India's Air Chief Marshal Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy arrived Wednesday in Sri Lanka for a four-day trip. The visit will include meetings with his Sri Lankan counterpart, Air Marshal Donald Perera, said air force spokesman Ajith Wijesundara. (yahoo News)
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Women's leather belts raise Sri Lanka soldiers' ire
A bitter dispute over leather belts worn by Tamil women fighters triggered fisticuffs Wednesday between troops and rebels in northern Sri Lanka, officials said.

Police anti-riot squads were rushed to the town of Manippay in the Jaffna peninsula following the clashes between Tiger women combatants known as Freedom Birds and soldiers manning a checkpoint, officials said.(Pro Log/AFP)
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Govt. businesses in north face closure
Government businesses in the north may face closure with LTTE’s continuing to insist on "taxes". The LTTE which in the first few months after the opening of the A-9 highway exempted government entities has subsequently extended taxes to government establishments. Both the CWE and Building Materials Corporation branches will consider closure if their goods are not allowed through without LTTE imposed "taxes".(The Island)
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Defence ministry delayed following president's orders
President’s spokesman Harim Peiris yesterday accused the Defence Minister and the Defence Ministry for delaying and not adhering to orders from the President to act swiftly on ceasefire violations by the LTTE.

President’s spokesman Harim Peiris told a news conference yesterday that the incident near Delft last week was a good example of a situation where orders from the President who is the commander in chief of the armed forces were not carried out properly when there was a clear violation of the ceasefire of the MoU by the LTTE.(The Island)
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Threat to National Security
Fifth arms ship unloaded by the LTTE-says President
The fifth ship full of arms had been encircled by the Navy, this was communicated to her by the Commander of the Navy and immediately afterwards the Prime Minister contacted her and requested her not to take any action till he contacted Anton Balasingham says the President.(Lankatruth)
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Sri Lankan government, Tamil rebels clear decks to address critical issue of power sharing
Sri Lanka's government and Tamil Tiger rebels made their first commitment to tackle human rights during their latest round of peace talks, setting the stage for crucial negotiations on power sharing when they meet again next month.

A two-day session in Berlin ended Saturday with a fresh pledge by the rebels to stop recruiting child soldiers and help them reintegrate into society. Both sides also asked a former head of Amnesty International, Ian Martin, to draft a document with a series of human rights commitments to be met as the negotiating proceed. (Yahoo News/AP)
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Sri Lanka gets US training on weapons of mass destruction
The United States Monday began a training session for some 150 Sri Lankan troops and police on weapons of mass destruction and handling emergencies, the US embassy here said Monday.

The five-days of training, conducted with State Department anti-terrorism assistance, is aimed at helping local authorities deal with situations arising from the use of weapons of mass destruction, the embassy said.(Pro Log/AFP)
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Scandinavian monitors slam Sri Lanka Tamil Tigers over gun-running
Independent truce monitors Sunday rejected denials by Tamil Tiger rebels and said they had been caught smuggling arms and ammunition into Sri Lanka in violation of a ceasefire brokered by Norway.

The Scandinavian observing team known as the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) said three Tiger crewmen blew up themselves after two Norwegian monitors found an anti-aircraft gun and ammunition aboard their trawler.(Pro Log/AFP)
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Sri Lanka on alert as Tigers fire rockets to mourn suicide blast
Sri Lankan troops went on red alert Saturday as Tamil rebels opened fire and ordered residents to fly black flags to mourn three colleagues who blew themselves up aboard an arms-laden trawler, officials and the guerrillas said.

As peace continued in Berlin on Saturday, the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) asked residents in the northern peninsula of Jaffna to put up the flags to mourn Friday's deaths in the explosion.(Pro Log/AFP)
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Red alert in Lanka after suicide bombing
Sri Lankan security forces were today placed on red alert as LTTE guerrillas fired rockets and mortar bombs and put up black flags to mark the death of three rebels who blew themselves up after an anti-aircraft gun was found on their trawler.

Troops in the island's embattled northern and eastern regions were put on alert following yesterday's incident where three rebels blasted themselves to pieces and sank their boat.(Deccan Herald)
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Chandrika doubts LTTE after suicide blasts
Even as the LTTE and Sri Lanka government began the latest round of peace talks on Friday, President Chandrika Kumaratunga said the incident of three rebels blowing themselves up after the discovery of an anti-aircraft gun on their trawler raised doubts over the genuineness of Tamil Tigers' commitment to the peace process

"I have serious doubts about their sincerity and commitment to peace," Kumaratunga said in a statement issued shortly after the rebels carried out out the suicide blast off the island's north.(The Times of India)
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Defence, SLMM differ over explosion
The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) yesterday disputed an official defence ministry claim that LTTE cadres on board the fishing trawler which exploded on Friday had first requested SLMM members to jump overboard before setting it on fire.

"According to our monitors, there was no request or gesture to tell them to leave the boat," said Teitur Torkelsson, SLMM spokesman. "The boat was set on fire without them even knowing it at first."(The Island)
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Soosai snubs Berlin decision and orders Sea Tigers’ suicide
Sea Tiger Leader Soosai personally gave the order for the three Black Sea Tigers to blow up their own boat off Delft island on Friday and commit suicide in full view of two Norwegian ceasefire monitors, despite the LTTE’s negotiators agreeing in Berlin that the arms on board their boat would be handed over to the Sri Lanka Navy and the Tiger cadres allowed to go free, according to sources in the North.

This act showed the LTTE’s utter contempt for the entire peace process and their refusal to change their culture of terror.(The Island)
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Sri Lanka Navy, peace monitors responsible for Tigers' death: rebels
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have blamed the Sri Lanka Navy and the Nordic peace monitors for Friday's suicide blast, in which three Sea Tigers blew themselves up after the trawler in which they were travelling was apprehended with weapons on board, off the northern Jaffna Peninsula. The Tigers criticised the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission for not handling the incident in a "fair and responsible manner,'' and charged the Navy with "provocative, belligerent conduct.''

A report in the website, TamilNet, quoted the rebels as saying that an LTTE fast boat "set out to help" one of their trawlers which "developed engine trouble" while it was engaged in fishing on Thursday. When a Sri Lanka Navy boat was seen, the "the Sea Tiger crew of the fast boat removed the light machinegun fixed to the boat to assume a non-combative posture, left the gun in the trawler and motored near the (Navy's) Dvora to explain the situation.'(The Hindu)
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A Bland end of the shorten Fifth Session of Peace Talks in Berlin with Agreement for Future Talks.
The Tamil Tigers have pledged to stop the underage recruitment in their armed forces in future. Also the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, (LTTE) has agreed to a complete cessation of recruitment of and recruitment campaigns aimed at, persons under 18 years of age.

This was revealed at the Press release issued by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Berlin, after the conclusion of the two-day talks between the Sri Lankan Government delegates and the delegates representing the LTTE.(Asian Tribune)
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Sri Lanka's Tigers Vow to End Child Recruitment
Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers pledged on Saturday to stop recruiting child soldiers, one of the biggest obstacles to the rebels' hopes of being seen as a legitimate political party.

The rebels also agreed -- at the end of two days of peace talks in Berlin aimed at ending a war that has killed 64,000 people -- that a former Amnesty International head would draw up a blueprint for human rights issues linked to the peace process.(ABC News/Reuters)
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Government agencies pay taxes to LTTE
Tiger guerrillas have begun collecting "taxes" from Government organisations marketing goods in the Wanni and the Jaffna peninsula.

An investigation by The Sunday Times has revealed that this dubious exercise, by which the LTTE is in fact siphoning off large sums of money, is being carried out through state trading organisations like the Co-operative Wholesale Establishment (CWE), the Building Materials Corporation and the Sri Lanka Cement Corporation.(Sunday Times)
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The smokescreen
Somebody has to do it, and in offering a critical assessment of the peace process, if we have to do it, we shall, even at the risk of being misunderstood as being opposed to the peace process. We are not against the peace initiatives, but just opposed to being suckered because of them by a clearly two - faced and duplicitous organisation that is talking peace while smuggling anti-aircraft weapons to the country (see front page reports and the Situation Report.)

This is not the first time that the LTTE has timed their beach landings of weapons to coincide with specific sessions of the peace talks. It happened before, and it is happening again.(Sunday Times/Editorial)
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UNICEF not fooled by ‘mere assurances’
Taking a decisive stand on child soldiers, UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy yesterday called for words to be translated into action and asserted that she had dealt with the issue long enough not to be taken in by mere assurances.

"We don’t stop with words on a peace document," Bellamy said at press conference in Colombo. "We are satisfied as far as words are concerned. Now we want to see some action." Bellamy was speaking after a visit on Friday to the conflict-ridden north where she held more than two hours of talks with senior LTTE leaders.(The Island)
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Tamil Tiger Rebels to Tackle Child Recruitment
Tamil Tiger rebels, under fire for recruiting children, have suggested a way to clear up such complaints, truce monitors said on Thursday ahead of a rebel meeting with the head of the U.N. Children's Fund.

At a meeting in eastern Batticaloa between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the rebels had mooted holding meetings with parents of recruited children and truce monitors to sort out complaints. (Yahoo News/Reuters)
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UNICEF chief meets Tamil Tiger rebels over allegations of child recruitment
A top U.N. official traveled Friday to northern Sri Lanka to seek new assurances from Tamil rebel leaders that they will stop recruiting children as soldiers, a spokesman said.

UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy will discuss concrete measures to stop the practice in a meeting with the leader of the rebels' political wing, S.P. Thamilselvan, in the northern territory of Kilinochchi, said UNICEF spokesman Mohamed Nizar.(Yahoo News)
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Tamil Tigers 'to return child soldiers
Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have agreed to return child soldiers, international peace monitors say.

The move comes as the head of the United Nations children's agency (Unicef) prepares to meet the Tigers. (BBC)

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Tamil Tiger rebels blow up boat, killing themselves, after caught smuggling anti-aircraft gun

Chronology of Sri Lankan suicide blasts

Following are the major suicide bombings carried out by LTTE:

July 5, 1987: The LTTE carries out its first suicide bombing, killing 40 troops at the Nelliyady army camp in the north of the country

March 2, 1991: Defence minister Ranjan Wijeratne is among 19 people killed when a car bomb is detonated in Colombo

May 21, 1991: Former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi is killed at a meeting in southern India.

May 1, 1993: President Ranasinghe Premadasa and 23 others are killed by a suicide bomber in Colombo.

December 18, 1999: President Chandrika Kumaratunga is wounded and 38 are killed in two separate attacks on election rallies.

January 5, 2000: At least 12 killed and 24 wounded when a woman suicide bomber detonates explosives strapped to her body outside the office of Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike.(Pro Log/AFP)
Complete list
The monitors had earlier said the find was a ''clear violation'' of a cease-fire agreement the rebels signed with the government in February 2002.

"The discovery and explosion came only hours before a fifth round of peace talks were to start in Berlin, Germany. It was not immediately clear how the incident would affect the talks..(NBC/AP)
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Blast overshadows Sri Lanka talks
Sri Lankan peace talks have resumed in Berlin just hours after three Tamil Tiger rebels committed suicide when caught smuggling arms.

The rebels blew up their boat after Scandinavian truce monitors had boarded it off the northern coast of Jaffna.(BBC)
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Suicide bombing sinks boat, breaking Sri Lanka ceasefire
Three Tamil Tiger rebels blew themselves up off Sri Lanka's northern waters Friday to avoid capture by sailors after foreign monitors ruled they were breaking a truce, officials said.

The Tigers' first suicide bombing in 15 months came just hours before the two sides were to hold a new round of peace talks in Berlin and was the worst incident since the two sides entered a Norwegian-brokered ceasefire nearly a year ago.(Pro Log/AFP)
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PA calls on government to step down
The People’s Alliance called for the government to step down claiming that there was rampant corruption and incompetence in its administration. Addressing the regular press briefing yesterday, PA Media Spokesman Dr. Sarath Amunugama said the UNF government had pledged a "level playing field for investors and transparency prior to the elections.

He claimed that within one year the government had proved otherwise by allowing a few selected companies to "run rough shod over the awarding of tenders."(The Island)
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What is the future for Sri Lanka's peace talks?
The suicide of three Tamil Tiger rebels caught smuggling arms off the coast of Sri Lanka has cast a shadow over peace talks taking place in Germany.

The rebels blew up their boat after truce monitors found weapons on board in violation of a ceasefire accord. (BBC-Talking Point)
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SLFP and JVP MoU in the offing
The ongoing deliberations between the SLFP and the JVP to form a joint alliance has reached a decisive stage with the SLFP agreeing to consider a series of proposals on a range of contentious issues including the peace process forwarded by the JVP.

The JVP forwarded a document containing several proposals to the SLFP when party delegations met at Janadhipathy Mandiraya yesterday, a senior SLFP spokesperson said, adding they agreed to press on with their talks on a priority basis.(the Island)
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Bush taps career diplomat as Sri Lanka envoy
US President George W. Bush plans to nominate career diplomat Jeffrey Lunstead as ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives, the White House announced in a statement.(Pro Log/AFP)
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Banish Jan Westborg! -Bhikkus demand
Rev. Kalawelgala Chandaloka, of National Bhikku Front is being manhandled by Inspector of Police, Ranjith Wanaraja.The NBF had organized a protest to call upon the government to banish Jon Westborg, the Norwegian Ambassador.
(Photo courtesy: Lanktruth)
“Banish Jan Westborg who makes available high-powered broadcasting equipment, international recognition and Tamil Elam to tiger terrorists,” was the theme of a protest organized by the National Bhikku Front who staged a walk from the Bo tree in Colombo Fort to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

After presenting a petition Rev. Kalawalgala Chandaloka Thera, the Secretary of National Bhikku Front tried to address the more than thousand Bhikkus assembled there. The police, which had been called, snatched the mike from Rev. Chandaloka and manhandled him to the indignation of the public who had gathered there.
[Full Story Lankatruth]
[Full Story The Island] [Previous Stories}

Child soldiers to be issue at Sri Lanka peace talks
The fifth round of talks was to have focused on speeding up humanitarian work in war-hit areas, but accusations of continued recruitment of child soldiers by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) could overshadow that.

''It is something that will be on the agenda,'' said one Western diplomat. ''It is something the LTTE has to deal with. It is what the donors look at.'' (NBC)
[Full Story]

Daunting mission for Nambiar in Sri Lanka
The former head of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in Yugoslavia, Satish Nambiar, today visited the Jaffna peninsula as part his weeklong trip to the island to study sensitive military issues related to the ongoing peace process.

According to sources, Lt. Gen (retd.) Nambiar, told representatives of the public in Jaffna not to expect any miracles in his report which he would present in his personal capacity on the sensitive issue of de-escalation in the northern peninsula. The veteran U.N. peacekeeper is here in his personal capacity on the invitation of the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. (The Hindu)
[Full Story]

Sri Lanka's tricky transition to peace
The Tigers are accustomed to war rather than politics
As Sri Lanka's peace talks enter their fifth round this week it is clear the honeymoon is over.

The overall picture may still be positive but some of the developments on the ground are worrying. According to the international cease-fire monitors, 502 of the 556 cease-fire violations last year were committed by the Tamil Tigers. (BBC)
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Sri Lanka talks shift to Berlin amid uncertainty at home
President says the Tigers used the ceasefire to raise their strength from 6,000 to 16,000.
For Sri Lanka's president, peace talks opening in the German capital Friday are a charade, but for her cohabitation government they remain the best hope of ending three decades of bloodshed.

The fragile health of the London-based top Tamil Tiger negotiator, Anton Balasingham, 64, forced a shift from the regular talks venue in Thailand to Berlin, but President Kumaratunga sees the entire process as a "peace circus." "These are not peace talks," Kumaratunga told party supporters in a speech broadcast on national television Saturday.(Pro Log.AFP)
[Full Story]

Sri Lanka president wants peace plan, Tamils protest independence day
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Chandrika Kumaratunga celebrated the country’s 55th anniversary of Independence Day (Pic by Eranga Jayawardene)
(Photo courtesy: The Island )
Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga Tuesday asked her government to unveil its plans for a final peace deal with Tiger rebels as Tamil regions boycotted the country's independence day celebrations.

Unsigned posters in the island's Tamil-dominated Vavuniya region, 256 kilometers (160 miles) north of here, protested the celebrations saying minority Tamils did not enjoy freedom. (Pro Log/AFP)
[Full Story]
[Full text of President’s speech-(Lankatruth)

Black flags in Tamil city of Jaffna as Sri Lanka president calls for a new start for war-battered nation
For the first time in 20 years, Sri Lanka marked its independence day Tuesday without the specter of civil war.

ut in the once troubled Jaffna Peninsula, home to most of Sri Lanka's 3.2 million Tamil minority, the mood was subdued. Black flags fluttered over homes as most refused to take part in the government-arranged celebrations. (yahoo News/AP)
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Demand to Decommission LTTE Weapons Gathers Steam in Sri Lanka
With a rise in human rights violations against certain political and ethnic groups by Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the demand for decommissioning their weapons is gaining momentum here

" Judging by the ever increasing human rights and ceasefire violations by the LTTE despite the truce in force, it is mandatory even at this late hour to make a move to decommission LTTE weapons " stressed Opposition leader in the Sri Lankan Parliament Mahinda Rajapakse. (Yahoo News)
[Full Story]

Gamini Iriyagolle dies
Eminent lawyer, civil servant and professional Gamini Iriyagolle (67) passed away at a private hospital in Colombo on Monday.

He authored several books on Sri Lankan history. Mr. Iriyagolle was educated at Ananda College and Royal College, Colombo. (The Island)
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Tamil Tiger leaders leave for Berlin peace talks
Departed from the international airport they bombed 19 months ago.
Top Tamil Tiger rebel leaders left here Monday to attend the next round of peace talks with the Sri Lankan government scheduled to open in the German capital Berlin, official sources said.
The negotiations, the fifth round between Colombo and the LTTE since formal face-to-face talks arranged by peace broker Norway opened in September, will start Friday and end the following day.(Pro Log/AFP)
[Full Story]

"Stop recruiting child soldiers"
Chandrika appeals to LTTE
The Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, today appealed to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to stop recruiting child soldiers and sought a guarantee from the peace negotiators that the core issues of the conflict would be taken up "without delay.'' She made the appeal as part of her message to the nation on the eve of the 55th Independence Day celebrations. (The Hindu)
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Tamil Tigers and UNICEF to develop rehab plan for child soldiers
Tamil Tiger rebels and the U.N. Children's Fund will meet in Berlin next week to develop a plan to rehabilitate children used as combatants by the rebels in Sri Lanka's two-decade civil war, the top UNICEF official said Saturday. UNICEF and the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam representatives will meet after peace talks to be held Feb. 7-8 between the rebels and the Sri Lankan government in the German capital, said UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy.(Yahoo News)
[Full Story]

Ashly say, Moragoda do
Economic Reforms Minister Milinda Moragoda says that when the US Ambassador asks him to do things, he does not reason why, he just does it.

Startling Sri Lankans by attending a meeting of the re-launch of the US-based International Executive Service Corps (IECS), a body that promotes volunteer executives and consultants committed to promoting free enterprise worldwide at the World Trade Center, Mr. Moragoda, who was not originally listed to attend the function, said he was due to attend the function and was only there because the US Ambassador had told him to come. (Sunday Times)
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Sri Lanka Child Soldiers to Be Returned
Tamil Tiger rebels and the U.N. Children's Fund agreed to meet in Berlin to develop a plan to return child combatants who fought in Sri Lanka's two-decade civil war, the top UNICEF official UNICEF and the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam will meet after peace talks to be held Feb. 7-8 between the rebels and the Sri Lankan government in the German capital, UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said Saturday. (Yahoo News)
[Full Story]

LTTE Moves In to Eastern University
The Tiger identified as Avinian moved into the university situated at Vantharamoolai, Chenkalady several weeks ago, an informed source said. He was described as the one in charge of education in the area.

The source said the Tiger had been also given another room in the hostel. "Two telephones have been made available to him," the source said, adding that LTTE cadres regularly visit the university. (The Island)
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Chandrika raises more questions on VoT
"I cannot allow preferential treatment to be accorded to the LTTE, which is denied to others,"
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has told Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that in future both she and the Cabinet should be consulted on "sensitive matters" like allowing broadcasting equipment to the LTTE.

"As Head of State, I have to keep in mind at all times, the totality of all the elements that constitute the national interest - the interest of all our peoples - on any particular issue," she has said in a letter sent to Premier Wickremesinghe dated January 29.(Sunday Times)
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Tigers using Vietnam model of negotiations will give armed forces a ‘send off’
-V. Balakumaran-
With the talks, the Tigers have achieved international recognition. Everyone is competing to help them and those who earlier banned them are now considering de-proscription

This was stated in a speech delivered by V. Balakumaran (formerly known as V. Balakumar), a senior leader of the Tigers and one-time leader of the EROS, at the release of the book "Ini Vaanam Velichidum" ("Hereafter The Sky Will Be Clear"). The speech was delivered at the Suththananda Hall in Vavuniya on Jan. 11, 2003.(The Island) Full Story

Sri Lanka seeks end to war on freedom anniversary
The Sri Lankan army mascot a baby elephant "Kandula", takes part in rehearsals February 3, 2003 a day ahead of the island's 55th independence anniversary
(Photo courtesyAFP )
President Chandrika Kumaratunga urged Sri Lanka Monday to reflect on an end to decades of ethnic bloodshed as the island prepared to mark its 55th anniversary of independence from Britain.

Kumaratunga appealed to the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to stop recruiting child soldiers and said the country had reached a stage where war could be forgotten. "It is now time for us all to put the war behind us and look to a future where we would recognise and respect the rights and aspirations of every individual...," Kumaratunga said in the message delivered ahead of Tuesday's anniversary. (Pro Log/AFP)
[Full Story]

Sri Lankans to celebrate Independence Day with cease-fire in place
For the first time in two decades, Sri Lanka celebrates Independence Day on Tuesday without the threat of Tamil rebel attacks.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe were to participate in celebrations at Independence Square, where Sri Lanka — then known as Ceylon — was granted freedom by the British in 1948.(Yahoo News)
[Full Story]

Tamils march against Independence Day
Thousands of people in Sri Lanka's northern town of Vavuniya have protested against independence day celebrations planned for Tuesday.
Reports say about 3,000 students took part in the demonstration which was inspired, if not directly organised, by Tamil Tiger rebels. (BBC)
[Full Story]

Unicef Says Rebels in Sri Lanka Keep Their Child Soldiers
Separatist rebels in Sri Lanka have reiterated a pledge to stop recruiting child soldiers but have failed to explain how they will end the practice, the United Nation's Children's Fund said today.

Carol Bellamy, the executive director of Unicef, said after a three-day visit that the rebel group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, had not made any concrete progress on a plan to stop recruiting children, which the rebels had agreed to develop after December peace talks.(The New York Times/Reuters)
Full Story* *First time visitors to the NY Times; please signup for one time, free and no obligation subscription to read the article.
Sri Lanka expresses deep grief over Columbia shuttle disaster
Sri Lanka Sunday expressed deep grief over the US space shuttle Columbia's disaster that killed its crew of seven and said it was a tragic loss for the entire world.

"The government and people of Sri Lanka extend our deepest sympathy to the families and friends of the heroic astronauts who lost their lives," the foreign ministry said in a statement.(Pro Log/AFP)
Full Story

'Tigers still recruit child soldiers'
says United Nations
"The true number of child soldiers is unknown"
-Ms Carol Bellamy-
(Photo courtesy: BBC )
The head of the United Nations children's agency, Carol Bellamy, has strongly urged the Tamil Tiger rebels not to continue with child recruitment.

Ms Bellamy said Unicef still had more than 700 complaints of child recruitment on its books. But, speaking at the end of a three-day visit to Sri Lanka she said they did not know the total number of child soldiers. (BBC)
[Full Story]

"Taxi Abey" sponsors tiger "air force"
According to intelligence units of the Army the LTTE had, a few days ago, smuggled in, through Katunayake International Airport, equipment that could be used in building light air crafts. The packages in which the equipment had smuggled in had come with Gaminie Abeyratne alias ‘Taxi Abey’, the Working Director of Port Authority who had not allowed the Customs or the Air Force Officers to inspect them.

When Customs Officers had attempted to inspect the packages ‘Taxi Abey’ had prevented them from doing so saying the Minister of Defense had given orders not to open the packages.(Lankatruth)
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Analysis: "Sri Lanka's child soldiers"
he UN children's agency is trying to find out what Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels are doing about their child soldiers. The issue is casting a shadow over peace talks.

There is no doubt the rebels have extensively recruited under aged fighters - boys and girls sometimes as young as 12-years-old. Many have been forcibly abducted from their parents. (BBC)
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FM radio will be used to destroy T.N.
The Opposition in Sri Lanka today said the recently acquired FM radio equipment "will be used'' by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to destroy Tamil Nadu'' with pro-Eelam propaganda.

Participating in a debate on the peace process, the Opposition frontbencher, Anura Bandaranaike, told Parliament that the Government had endangered the security of Sri Lanka and India by "turning a blind eye'' to the activities of the LTTE, which, he said, had "abused'' the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa. (The Hindu) Full Story

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Double Standards of the British on Terrorism
And when the Northern Ireland Power sharing Arrangement was suspended recently, Prime Minister Tony Blair made no bones about what his government wanted. "IRA," he demanded, "has to commit itself publicly and verifiably to decommissioning." He went beyond this later when he demanded ‘demilitarisation,’ without being accused by the ‘international community’ of trying to ‘scuttle the peace process.’(The Island-Editorial)
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Muslims hold hartal in Oluvil
About 12,000 Muslims yesterday staged a hartal in the Oluvil South East University premises against harassment by the LTTE.

Muslim women too took part in the hartal organized by the students union of the University.(DailyMirror)
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Sri Lanka Peace Process Stalls
Tamil Tiger rebels would refuse to lay down weapons as a condition for allowing the resettlement of ethnic Tamils displaced during Sri Lanka's 19-year civil war, a top rebel official was quoted as saying Tuesday.

"What we are asking the government is to allow our people to return to their homes. It is the unconditional right of our people," the rebels' chief peace negotiator Anton Balasingham said on Tamilnet, a Web site often used to express the Tigers' views.(Yahoo News)
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Canada aid officials fear money going to LTTE terrorists in Sri Lanka
Canadian government aid officials are concerned they might be indirectly supporting terrorism because of their dealings with violent organizations banned by Ottawa and the United Nations, newly released internal documents show.

The officials were so worried they held a meeting last March on the "indirect financing of international terrorist organizations" at which they agreed more needed to be done to ensure terrorists did not receive Canadian aid money.(National Post)
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FM radio will be used to destroy T.N.
The Opposition in Sri Lanka today said the recently acquired FM radio equipment "will be used'' by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to destroy Tamil Nadu'' with pro-Eelam propaganda.

Participating in a debate on the peace process, the Opposition frontbencher, Anura Bandaranaike, told Parliament that the Government had endangered the security of Sri Lanka and India by "turning a blind eye'' to the activities of the LTTE, which, he said, had "abused'' the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa. (The Hindu) Full Story

Double Standards of the British on Terrorism
And when the Northern Ireland Power sharing Arrangement was suspended recently, Prime Minister Tony Blair made no bones about what his government wanted. "IRA," he demanded, "has to commit itself publicly and verifiably to decommissioning." He went beyond this later when he demanded ‘demilitarisation,’ without being accused by the ‘international community’ of trying to ‘scuttle the peace process.’(The Island-Editorial)
Full Story

Muslims hold hartal in Oluvil
About 12,000 Muslims yesterday staged a hartal in the Oluvil South East University premises against harassment by the LTTE.

Muslim women too took part in the hartal organized by the students union of the University.(DailyMirror)
Full Story

Sri Lanka Peace Process Stalls
Tamil Tiger rebels would refuse to lay down weapons as a condition for allowing the resettlement of ethnic Tamils displaced during Sri Lanka's 19-year civil war, a top rebel official was quoted as saying Tuesday.

"What we are asking the government is to allow our people to return to their homes. It is the unconditional right of our people," the rebels' chief peace negotiator Anton Balasingham said on Tamilnet, a Web site often used to express the Tigers' views.(Yahoo News)
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Canada aid officials fear money going to LTTE terrorists in Sri Lanka
Canadian government aid officials are concerned they might be indirectly supporting terrorism because of their dealings with violent organizations banned by Ottawa and the United Nations, newly released internal documents show.

The officials were so worried they held a meeting last March on the "indirect financing of international terrorist organizations" at which they agreed more needed to be done to ensure terrorists did not receive Canadian aid money.(National Post)
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Visiting British minister says decommissioning LTTE suicide cadres a must
British Foreign Office Minister Mike O’Brien on Wednesday said that decommissioning of LTTE fighting cadres, at least its suicide cadres was an important factor but declined to comment further in view of the ongoing peace process.

Responding to a question subsequent to his lecture on "New Threats to International Security" at the BMICH, the visiting minister said he did not approve of the forcible conscription of children by the LTTE. He stressed that recruitment of children should not take place in Sri Lanka or any other country.(The Island)
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Sri Lankan government, Tamil Tiger rebels discuss truce violations
Top Sri Lankan defense officials met Tamil Tiger rebel leaders Thursday to discuss cease-fire violations that include child conscription and contentious security matters, an official said.

The meeting was the first on security issues since the rebels earlier this month withdrew from a joint committee designed to de-escalate the 19-year conflict because of a disagreement over rebel disarmament and the dismantling of army camps in high security areas(Yahoo News)
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UNP accused of attacking opp. activists at Eppawela
The opposition yesterday accused the UNP of attacking a group of opposition activists at Eppawela.

"They were attacked when they were returning home from Anuradhapura," an opposition spokesperson said, adding that they were among a large group of people who attended a rally held in protest against the division of the country on ethnic lines(The Island)
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Sri Lankan govt says it's not time for disarming Tamil rebels
A Sri Lankan government minister said Thursday that time has not arrived yet to call for disarming of separatist Tamil Tiger rebels who have waged a bloody ethnic war in the country.

Minister of Economic Reforms Milinda Moragoda, who is also a government peace negotiator, told the Parliament that the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels have not been able to achieve the required level of trust despite a ceasefire which has lasted one year. (Xinhuanet)
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Tamil Tiger rebels to tackle child recruitment
At a meeting in eastern Batticaloa between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the rebels had mooted holding meetings with parents of recruited children and truce monitors to sort out complaints.

The rebels are set to meet Carol Bellamy, the executive director of UNICEF, on Friday to discuss the impact of Sri Lanka's 19-year ethnic war on children.(MSNBC)
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Sri Lanka plans Gulf evacuation
The Sri Lankan Government says tens of thousands of its nationals may have to be evacuated from Kuwait should there be war in neighbouring Iraq.

Labour Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said on Thursday that plans were in place to provide food and shelter to Sri Lankans in Kuwait.(BBC)

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Seven years ago today, the LTTE attacked the Central Bank in Colombo
"I only look at the traitors with sympathy when they shake hands with murders"
says a mother of a victim
On Wednesday January 1996 at 10:50 in the morning the LTTE blasted the Central Bank building with a truck bomb and killed more than 100 innocent people and wounded about 750
(file photos)
It is seven years today since the LTTE attacked the Central Bank in Colombo killing number of innocent people, Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims.

Last year High Court judge Sarath Ambeypitiya handed over a 200 year prison sentence to LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakran for the attack on the Central Bank. (The Lanka Academic)
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Sri Lanka ruling party says it is ready for snap polls
The Sri Lankan government Wednesday said it was ready to face a snap election as a hostile president moved to form an alliance with a Marxist party to regain control over parliament.

Government spokesman G. L. Peiris said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's administration, which came to power 13 months ago and has a slender two-seat majority, was prepared for an election at "any time."(Pro Log/AFP)
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Five arrested over Chinese man's killing in Sri Lanka
Five foreigners, including three women, were arrested in Sri Lanka as they tried to dump two bags containing dismembered body parts of a Chinese man, police said Saturday.

Police in the central town of Peradeniya arrested the five people of Chinese origin after local residents alerted them that human remains were being dumped in a village in the district of Kandy on Friday, a police official said.(Pro Log/AFP)
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Sri Lanka investigates its 'disappeared'
A commission of inquiry has started to look into the plight of hundreds of civilians who disappeared in the northern Sri Lankan town of Jaffna when the military retook the area from Tamil Tiger rebels seven years ago.(BBC)
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Norway names new head for Sri Lanka truce monitoring
Norway will replace the head of the Scandinavian team monitoring a truce between government troops and Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka, it was announced Friday.

Army major general Trond Furuhovde who headed the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) will hand over his position to another retired army general, Tryggve Tellefsen, the Norwegian embassy said.(Pro Log)
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Bhutanese monk's life behind the camera
A man in maroon robes, his shaven head covered by a baseball cap, sits in front of a black and white television monitor.

He speaks into a walkie-talkie, but has to shout to make himself heard over the roar of a nearby river. "Camera rolling.... Ready...action," he bellows.(BBC)
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Tamil Tigers 'admit recruiting children'
Tamil Tiger rebels have admitted they are still recruiting child soldiers, international peace monitors say.

But the Tigers' leaders blame the recruitment on ill-disciplined junior members of the organisation. (BBC)
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South Asian leaders urge Iraq peace
Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka all call for a peaceful resolution
South Asian leaders on Tuesday called for a peaceful resolution to the Iraq crisis, urging restraint on the United States.

They were responding to Monday's report by UN weapons inspector Hans Blix that said Iraq was defying international demands to disarm.(BBC)
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Crack down on LTTE `abductions':Chandrika
The Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, has ordered the island's police and military to crack down on the ``abductions'' reportedly carried out by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the east

In strong letters to top police and military officers, Ms. Kumaratunga wanted the forces to ``act immediately to prevent these unlawful acts and apprehend the culprits whoever they may be''. (The Hindu)
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S.Lanka rebels pledge action against rogue cadres
The head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Trond Furuhovde said Tiger political wing leader S.P Thamilselvan had asked the monitors for reports on trouble-making cadres and pledged action against them, during a three-hour meeting.

''Thamilselvan asked SLMM for detailed reports on issues of abductions, harassment and child recruitment. They took the complaints very seriously,'' monitors' spokesman Teitur Torkelsson told Reuters after speaking with Furuhovde by phone from the rebels' northern Sri Lanka base. (NBC)
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Karuna appeals for funds for LTTE military

"Your financial assistance will give us strength and power. We can achieve whatever we want in the battlefield" - "We need to strengthen our military capability." - "The MoU that was signed with the Sri Lanka Government is in our favour." - "Even at the peace table we take it easy." - "But our counterparts, run here and there, because they have to discuss with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe every ten minutes." - You do not have to worry about the battlefield. We have a lot of commandos waiting."
Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan alias Karuna, Tiger Guerilla "Commander" for the East and a member of LTTE's peace negotiating team, has appealed for continued financial support of the Tamil expatriate community to maintain their military strength.

"Our fighters should be kept fit and properly looked after," he told them at a meeting in Switzerland on December 7 during a visit there after he took part in the third round of peace talks in Oslo. He said their pledges made at the aid donor conference in Oslo last month were not for military needs. They are to be used for rehabilitation of Tamil people. Hence financial support to maintain LTTE's strong military capability should be forthcoming.(The Sunday Times) Full Story

"This is a permanent marriage, there can be no divorce later"
Tyronne Fernando
Its trademark weapon is the suicide bomber. Yet, in a remarkable turnaround, the dreaded Tiger leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran has emerged from the trenches and chosen to negotiate for a homeland within the framework of a unitary Sri Lanka with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's government.

Four rounds of negotiations, conducted at the Thai resort of Sattahip and in Oslo, Norway, have been completed. Dates for the fifth and sixth have been announced, with Norway continuing to play the role of facilitator.(Gulf News)
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We are being stampeded along the trail to self-destruction by the LTTE and Norway who now rule our country"
While the pillars of statehood — sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence, national self-respect — crumble by the day, we are being stampeded along the trail to self-destruction by the LTTE and Norway, who now rule our country. Rarely in the field of human conflict could so much harm have been done to so many by so few. In the meantime the helpless citizenry alternates between spells of euphoria, despair, confusion and apathy.(The Island-Politics)
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LTTE court further remands soldier
The soldier held in LTTE custody in Kilinochchi for the past one month has moved for bail in the LTTE courts through a lawyer, reports from the area said.

The soldier identified as Wimal Kumara moved for bail on Thursday, through lawyer T.S. Senthilvelar , but the application was turned down by the LTTE court and he was re-remanded until February 13.(The Sunday Times)
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Sihala Urumaya asks government if LTTE could have its own army
The Sihala Urumaya yesterday asked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Defence Minister Tilak Marapana why they still haven’t declared that the LTTE won’t be permitted to maintain their own army in any future power-sharing arrangement.

"We demand the government to declare publicly their stand on this issue," a SU statement said.(The Island)
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No separate armies: Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan Government has ruled out the possibility of two separate armies, but kept the option open for a separate police force as part of the political solution to end the island's decades-long separatist conflict.

Spelling out the broad parameters of what could form a power-sharing model, G.L. Peiris, who is Colombo's chief negotiator in the talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), told a meeting of army officers that it was "not the policy of the Government to give in to all demands (by the Tigers) fearing a breakdown in the peace talks". (The Hindu)
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India and the LTTE
MARKING a victory for Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy's consistent stand against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the Central government has submitted before the Madras High Court that there was "no participation by India" in the arrangement or management of the Sri Lanka Peace Support Conference of Donors held in Oslo on November 25, 2002. The government also stated that the terms of Section 21 (2) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) were "not attracted to such cases when a low level diplomat of India attended the opening ceremony only". About a hundred delegates from 39 countries took part in the conference, at which representatives of the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE were present.(frontline)
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Court issues stay order against removal of Dr. Sunil Ariyaratne
The Court of Appeal yesterday issued a stay order against the Vice Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayawardenapura on the removal of Dr. Sunil Ariyaratne from the post of the Head of the Department of Sinhala and Mass Communication of the University of Sri Jayawardenapura.

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayawardenapura - Dr. D. S. Epitawela, Prof. Tissa Kariyawasam, Prof. Chandima Wijebandara Dean of the Faculty of Arts and fourteen others have been cited as respondents to this petition. (The Island)
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The Death of Deshabandu Alec Robertson

Appreciation by Dr. Tudor Senanayake

I can hardly capture in words the feelings that assailed me when I heard of the demise of Alec Robertson - Alec to his friends. He left a void that can hardly be filled in the Buddhist affairs in the country. Alec devoted his whole endeavour for the propagation of Buddhism, through public lectures, broadcasting, news media, publication of books and also some lecture tours in foreign lands.(The Island-Opinion)
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Sri Lanka depend on his red-hot batting
(Photo courtesy:NDTV.COM)
His motto in life is to try and find the middle path in all things and that's what cricket's most famous Buddhist and Sri Lanka's most successful captain has been doing since taking charge in 1999.

Sanath Jayasuriya is best remembered for changing the face of the one-day game. He, along with Romesh Kaluwitharana, started the concept of aggressive batting in the first 15 overs during the 1996 World Cup.. (NDTV.COM) Sammanthurai Muslim businessmen complain to SLMM about LTTE tax
Muslim businessmen in the Sammanthurai area in the Ampara district have complained about LTTE taxations forced on them. The complaints have been made to the Sri Lanka Monitory Mission (SLMM) in Ampara recently.
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Wild elephants eat garbage in Sri Lanka,
(Photo courtesy:AP)
Stray cattle, crows and wild Elephants eat garbage in the northeastern town of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka.

Environmentalists say the lack of proper waste management in Sri Lankan towns is threatening the lives of human beings and animals. (yahoo News)
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Sri Lanka talks switch to Germany
Sri Lanka's next round of peace talks will be moved from Thailand to Germany amid concern for the poor health of the Tamil Tigers' chief negotiator, Anton Balasingham.

The fifth round of "talks will be held at the Norwegian embassy in Berlin", said a Norwegian foreign ministry spokesman, Karsten Klepsvik.(BBC)
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UNICEF focuses on war-hit children in Sri Lanka
UNICEF executive director Carol Bellamy travels to the headquarters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to meet rebel leaders in addition to meeting top government officials during her three-day visit which begins on Thursday.

''The impact of the armed conflict on children and the protection of children will be the primary areas of focus of her visit,'' UNICEF said in a statement on Friday. (NBC)
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Colombo, LTTE meet donors
India and the U.S., both stayed away
The Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) today met representatives of the bilateral and multilateral donor community based here in preparation for a larger donors' conference to be held in Japan in mid-June.

More than 20 representatives of the donor community attended the meeting, but India and the U.S., both of which are major economic partners of Sri Lanka and have banned the LTTE, stayed away. (The Hindu)
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Shipping threatened by militants trained in LTTE tactics - expert
Global shipping faces unprecedented threats from radicals linked to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network who have been trained in suicide attacks developed by Sri Lanka’s Tiger rebels, security experts said on Tuesday.

Suicide sea bombers are the latest addition to a growing list of threats facing the global shipping industry, which is already on heightened alert as Washington and its allies prepare for a possible attack on Iraq, shipping industry officials told a conference.(The Island)
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LTTE responsible for 90 percent breaches of the truce last year
-Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission-
The LTTE is responsible for over 90 percent of the ceasefire agreement violations during last year, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission said yesterday.(The Lanka Academic)
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Sri Lanka peace talks to shift from Thailand to Europe
Sri Lanka's peace talks will shift from Thailand to a European capital next month because of worries over the health of the top Tamil rebel negotiator, official sources said Wednesday.

The next round of direct negotiations between the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Colombo government was earlier due to be held at Nakhon Pathom, a river-side resort near Bangkok, from February 7 to 10.(Pro Log)
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S.Lanka president says rebels recruiting children
Sri Lanka's president said on Wednesday Tamil Tiger rebels had recruited thousands of children and had nearly tripled their forces since a truce was signed last February, but she voiced support for talks to end the war.(NBC)
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Crackdown on illicit Sri Lanka tobacco
The Ceylon Tobacco Company which has a virtual monopoly on cigarette production in Sri Lanka, says its sales grew 6% last year after several years in decline.

But it is not that more Sri Lankans are smoking - rather that they have switched from cheap illegal cigarettes to factory-made brands.
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Aravinda de Silva reaches 9,000 run milestone
Aravinda De Silva
(Photo courtesy:Reuters)
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Sri Lanka veteran Aravinda de Silva became the third player to reach 9,000 runs in one-day internationals during the triangular series match against Australia on Tuesday.

The 37-year-old provided one of the few highlights of the innings with the 27th run in his score of 44 from 73 balls. (Yahoo News)
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LTTE taking Wickremesinghe for a ride
A prominent Sri Lankan leader believes the Tamil Tigers are taking the "too trusting" Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for a ride and neighbour India is getting "disturbed" over trends in the peace process.

Former foreign minister and senior presidential adviser Lakshman Kadirgamar also says that Colombo and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are postponing discussions on key political issues because that could spell the collapse of the peace process. (Yahoo News)
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Sri Lankan president, leftist party talk on joint opposition
Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga and leftist party JVP or the People's Liberation Front Monday held talks here aimed at forging a possible joint opposition against the government.

"We held talks with the president to discuss the present political situation in the country, how it affects both parties and to arrive at a common program against the government's stands on the national as well as economic questions," Anura Kumara Dissanayake, legislator for the JVP, said. (Northenlight.com)
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India against Japan mediating in Sri Lanka
India would like Japan to restrict its role in Sri Lanka to reconstruction and rehabilitation and not to extend it to problematic areas as playing "mediator" or "facilitator" in an already tortuous peace process.(Yahoo News)
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LTTE action takes away fishermen’s only livelihood
The LTTE had abducted 13 Muslim fishermen fishing in the Wakaneri Tank along Punani Road in Valaichchenai and had threatened them with death if they were to be engaged in fishing in the future.(The Island)
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An incautious approach
THE SRI LANKAN President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, probably does not intend to immediately implement her threat to dismiss the country's Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, but the underlying concerns that have prompted her to raise the possibility of such action have to be taken note of. What merits attention is not so much the President's accusation that the Prime Minister has transgressed constitutional proprieties by failing to keep her adequately informed about the status of the negotiations with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).(The Hindu)
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People of Sri Lanka should pay back money given for Jaffna reconstruction
The World Bank said yesterday it would be the Sri Lankan government's responsibility to repay whatever money the bank lent for reconstruction and development work in northeast areas controlled by the LTTE.

"As far as the World Bank is concerned, any money we give would be as a loan undertaken by the sovereign people of Sri Lanka. That loan will be on the balance sheet of the government of Sri Lanka as a debt to the World Bank," Mieko Nishimizu, the visiting World Bank Vice President for South Asia, told The Sunday Times.(The Sunday Times)
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Sri Lanka miss deadline
Sri Lanka's players remain locked in a pay dispute with their own cricket board two days after missing a deadline to sign World Cup contracts.

The Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) has had its offer of performance-based payments turned down by the national squad.(BBC)
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Kelly's Sri Lankan home raided
The Sri Lankan home of TV presenter Matthew Kelly has been raided by police.

Officials seized 54 video tapes and a computer from the entertainer's home near Colombo, after a tip off from a journalist. (BBC)
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Destroying old Sri Lanka

Lake House journalists in recent times have not been known for their outstanding musical talents nor even journalistic talents. Thus, the controversial news report that they are to produce a CD with a hyped up (New Life) version of Sri Lanka’s National Anthem has surprised and intrigued not only music lovers but also ordinary citizens.(The Island-Editorial)
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Hands off Muslim affairs, Hakeem tells LTTE
Brushing aside LTTE chief negotiator Anton Blasingham's comments regarding the legitimacy of the SLMC leadership, Minister Rauff Hakeem yesterday called on the LTTE to desist from "interfering unduly in civil administrative matters in Muslim areas".

"In the interest of the need for an inevitable rapprochement between the SLMC and the LTTE which is crucial for sustaining the peace process, I would like to forget about this episode altogether,."Mr. Hakeem said referring to the statement made by Mr. Balasingham.(The Sunday Times)
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Japan to play supplementary role in peace process
Japan's special envoy for the Sri Lankan peace process, Yasushi Akashi, has said that he would play a "hands-on role'' in the efforts to restore peace in the island as it was "very important in the global context''.

As Sri Lanka's single largest donor, Japan would play a "supplementary role" to the efforts of the facilitators, Norway, Mr. Akashi said on Saturday at the end of a three-day visit to the island.(The Hindu)
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Sri Lanka threatens to pull out of World Cup
Sri Lanka has threatened to pull out of the World Cup or field a second string side after Sanath Jayasuriya and his team refused to accept a pay settlement.

The Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) made it clear in a two-page statement that it was contemplating other options as the dragging match fee dispute remained deadlocked, busting ICC's extended January 17 deadline to have the player contracts signed and forwarded.(MSN.CO.IN)
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Sri Lanka Govt. & LTTE have equal status
-Japanese special envoy Yasushi Akashi-
Sri Lankan government and the LTTE would have the same status when they attend the donor summit which will be held in Japan this year and Japan would commit itself more towards the peace process said Japanese special envoy Mr. Yasushi Akashi at a discussion held today. The discussion between the representatives of the JVP and Mr. Yasushi Akashi, the visiting special envoy from Japan was held today (17th) at the official residence of the Ambassador to Japan.(Lnakatruth)
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India not in Japan summit
India has decided not to participate at the summit of the donor countries that is scheduled to be held in Japan next month. This has been informed to Ms. Yoriko Kavaguchi, Foreign Minister of Japan who toured India last week. The Foreign Ministers intention of the visit had been to persuade India to participate at the summit.(Lankatruth)
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Tiger radio goes far and wide
Tamil guerrillas this week began operations of their radio station Voice of Tigers (VOT) but have exceeded the range of their broadcast as stipulated by the licence granted by Colombo.

The licence issued by the government granted permission to operate the radio station for a radius of 20 kilometres, but the reception of the VOT radio was being monitored over 70 kilometres away from the radio station at Kilinochchi.(The Sunday Times)
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A Petition of One Million Signatures to the secretary of the UNO
Arrangements have been finalized to hand over to Mr. Koffi Annan, the General Secretary of the UNO who is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on the 20th of February a petition of one million signatures demanding him not to engage in activities that would pave the way for the division of the country.(Lankatruth)
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Sri Lanka World Cup worry
Sri Lanka have not yet confirmed that their leading players will be at the World Cup because of a row over pay.

The Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) has seen a performance-related pay offer turned down by the national side.
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Murali fed up with Australia
Muttiah Muralitharan says he is fed up with Australia and will never tour there again after suffering abuse from loutish fans in Brisbane on Wednesday. (BBC)
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Constitution snag hits new national anthem
The President’s Office issuing a statement said the newly recorded national anthem should not be sung at the Independence Day celebrations until it is sanctioned by the Constitution.

In a letter to Minister of Power and Energy, Karu Jayasuriya and Minister of Media, Imtiasz Bakeer Markar, Presidential Secretary K. Balapatabendi said on Thursday that the present national anthem should not be changed on any account as it had a score and a tune accepted by the Constitution of Sri Lanka. (The Island)
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Sri Lanka President cold shoulders Japanese envoy
President Chandrika Kumaratunga abruptly cancelled a meeting with a Japanese special envoy who is aiming to drum up international aid for Sri Lanka's peace bid, an official said Friday

Yasushi Akashi was set to call on Kumaratunga Thursday but his team was told at the 11th hour that the president had to attend an "important political meeting" and that the appointment was cancelled.(Pro Log)
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Tamil Tiger radio goes legal
Tamil Tiger rebels have started broadcasting on FM radio in northern Sri Lanka
Critics of the move say the government has handed the rebels a powerful propaganda tool.(BBC)
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Army shouldn’t withdraw
-General Sathish Nambiyar-

At a time when the LTTE is armed to the teeth the report submitted by Gen. Sarath Fonseka, Sri Lanka Army’s Commander for the North should be adapted to the letter and failing to do this would bring disaster to the Army and the people as well states Gen. Sathish Nambiyar, a former military expert of the Indian army. (Lankatruth)
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Sri Lanka moves to bring back overseas Tamil refugees
A Sri Lankan minister Tuesday began talks with Tamil Tiger rebels on resettling thousands who had fled fighting between troops and guerrillas and sought refuge abroad, officials said. Rehabilitation Minister Jayalath Jayawardene met representatives from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the rebel-held northern town of Kilinochchi, officials said.(pro Log)
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Sri Lankan leftist party repeats call for expulsion of Norwegian envoy
Sri Lanka's leftist JVP or the People's Liberation Front Monday reiterated its call for expulsion of Norwegian ambassador to Colombo Jon Westborg.

The JVP accused Westborg of acting as an agent of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels for his role in facilitating a consignment of radio transmission equipment for theTamil rebels.(Xinhuanet)
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'Bomb' kills Sri Lanka children
At least six people, five of them children, have been killed in Sri Lanka after they tried to open a suspected parcel bomb, police say.(BBC)
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Sri Lanka peace row deepens
Hopes for reconciliation between Sri Lanka's two main parties have faded further after the president threatened to sack the prime minister for his handling of the peace process.(BBC)
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A sobering reality check
With the outcome of the fourth round of talks between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) not being as spectacular as that in previous rounds, doubts are being raised as to whether the Sri Lankan peace process is in trouble. Unlike the previous rounds of negotiations that saw the two sides making noteworthy shifts in their hitherto held positions or reaching momentous agreements, the latest round was somewhat of a disappointment.(Asia Times)
[Full Story]

Translating confidence into consensus
COLOMBO - The fourth round of talks between the government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Thailand that ended on January 9 marks a new phase in the peace process. A series of confidence building measures, commencing with a ceasefire almost 13 months ago, had led to a convivial atmosphere at each round of negotiations.(Asia Times)
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Sri Lankan President issues threat to sack PM
Sri Lanka's cohabitation crisis worsened Tuesday with President Chandrika Kumaratunga issuing a thinly veiled threat to sack her Prime Minister over the handling of the Norwegian-backed peace talks with Tamil rebels.

In a rare live televised interview with private television station Swarnavahini, she said she can sack Wickremesinghe and his entire Cabinet ‘‘with just one letter, even tomorrow’’. Asked by the interviewer if she planned shortly to sack the Prime Minister, Kumaratunga said ‘‘if I think he is doing harm to the country, I will not hesitate to do it.’’ She accused the Prime Minister of not keeping her informed about the ongoing peace bid with Tamil Tiger guerrillas and said ‘‘he is acting as an executive Prime Minister".
(Pro Log)-(The Indian Express)
[Full Story](pro Log) [Full Story]((The Indian Express)

India's role in Sri Lanka seen increasing
India is increasingly getting involved in the Norwegian-backed peace process in Sri Lanka

After the end of the latest round of talks in Thailand last week, a Sri Lankan negotiator and key minister, Milinda Moragoda, went straight to New Delhi.(rediff.com)
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Suicide Bombing Masters: Tamil Tigers
Inside the Kantharuban Arivuchcholai orphanage, which is set in a clearing hacked from the jungle's oppressive vegetation, sits a small painted hut, a mini-museum of sorts

Inside it is a picture of Kantharuban, who blew himself up in 1991. There is a picture of Captain Millar, who blew himself up in 1987. There is a picture of 12 cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam who swallowed cyanide capsules after capture by Indian troops in 1987.(New York Times)
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This is only a respite for the war!
As there are uncertainties in the talks between the government and the LTTE this period of ‘peace talks’ may be only a respite for the war said Mr. Rauff Hakeem, Leader of Muslim Congress & Minister of Port development & shipping, Eastern Development & Muslim affairs addressing the party convention held yesterdays.(Lankatruth)
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I won’t hesitate to send Prime Minister home!The President
She had decided to take action against the Norwegian Ambassador as his actions were becoming a threat to the security of this country and in such a situation she would not hesitate to send even the Prime Minister home said President Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga.(Lankatruth)
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Sri Lankan peace talks achieved little: opposition
Sri Lanka's main opposition said Friday the latest round of peace talks between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels had achieved little on the issue of dismantling security zones..(Pro Log)
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Serious violation of ceasefire agreement on A-9
The government has brought to the notice of the Norwegian-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) about a serious violation of a cease-fire agreement in relation to the overland movement of vehicles on the Kandy-Jaffna A9 road, authoritative sources said onn Wednesday .( The Island )
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Norwegian PM stresses 'impartial' role in Sri Lanka
Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik assured Saturday that Oslo was "impartial" and committed to peace in Sri Lanka, after criticism from the island-nation's president, Chandrika Kumaratunga.(Pro Log)
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UNP thugs beat up Bhikkus
Rev. Baragama Wimalabuddhi Thera, Assistant Secretary of the Hmbanthota Branch of National Bhikku Front and Rev. Rev. Baragama Gnanananda Thera, incumbent of Mahindarama at Uyanwatte , Matara were beaten up by UNP thugs led by Janaka Wedaarachchi, nephew of UNP MP for Hambanthota District Mr. Dillip Wedaarachchi. Rev. Wimalabuddhi is the registrar of Matara District branch of the Amarapura Chapter.(Lankatruth)
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Norwegian PM stresses ‘impartial’ role in Sri Lanka
Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik assured Saturday that Oslo was “impartial” and committed to peace in Sri Lanka, after criticism from the island-nation’s president, Chandrika Kumaratunga.(Daily Times)
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Colombo wants to buy peace at any cost: Kadirgamar
Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik assured Saturday that Oslo was “impartial” and committed to peace in Sri Lanka, after criticism from the island-nation’s president, Chandrika Kumaratunga.(Yahoo News)
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Mystery aircraft over MullaitivuIs, LTTE Air Wing active again?
A Dvora Fast Attack Craft of the Sri Lanka Navy was moving quietly on patrol off the coastline of the Mullaitivu district on the night of Monday, the 29th of December 2002.(The Island)
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Cash carrot keeps Sri Lanka foes talking, but tough times lie ahead
Sri Lanka's warring parties have survived their most difficult negotiations for fear of jeopardising millions of dollars in foreign cash, but diplomats say tougher talks are still ahead.(Radio Sigapore International )
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Sri Lanka: ICRC asked to help Solve Missing persons issue
During the last round of peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the parties agreed to ask the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to help them set up an independent verification mechanism to ascertain the fate of persons unaccounted for in connection with the conflict, a task which the ICRC has expressed its willingness to take on.(Reuters AlertNet)
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Why LTTE’s guns have gone silent?
LTTE spokesman Anton Balasingham was quoted by BBC on Wednesday saying that the Tamil people (read the LTTE) derived bargaining power from the Black Tiger units and therefore disbanding them was a matter that had to be taken up when a permanent solution was found. Since the signing of the ongoing ceasefire, he has said, these units have been non-operational.(The Island)
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Tigers collect Army uniforms
The Police have taken into custody a parcel of Army uniforms handed over to a driver of a bus plying between Wakare and Eravur by a band of LTTE members(Lankatruth)
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Sri Lankan talks end round without major breakthroughs
The Sri Lankan government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam concluded another round of peace talks today in Thailand with an announcement of incremental progress but without the dramatic breakthroughs of previous rounds(The New York Times)
[Full Story]

Sri Lankan peace talks achieved little: opposition
Sri Lanka's main opposition said Friday the latest round of peace talks between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels had achieved little on the issue of dismantling security zones

"It is very clear that very little was achieved on the question of military zones," said Sarath Amunugama, spokesman for the opposition People's Alliance (PA) headed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga(Pro Log)
[Full Story]

Sri Lanka peace talks to continue
The latest round of Sri Lanka peace talks ended in Thailand on Thursday, without any progress on the major military issues.(The Norway Post)
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Weerawansa wants PM to reply
JVP Parliamentary Group Leader Wimal Weerawansa yesterday submitted an oral question to be asked from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister of Policy Development and Implementation on the history of Sri Lanka with regard to matters that transpired at a meeting between the Prime Minister’s Secretary, Bradman Weerakone and Ms. Maria Carrilho of the European Parliament on December 25, 2002.(The Island)
[Full Story]

Sri Lanka Faces the Divisions Within
Each morning, a representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross rolls back a barrier dividing two nations within one country.On one side is Sri Lanka; on the other, Tamil Eelam.

Sri Lanka is an official state, the former British colony of Ceylon. Tamil Eelam is an unofficial one within it, carved from territory seized by rebels during a two-decade war of secession on behalf of the Tamil people (The New York Times)
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SU: Army must ‘stick to its guns’
Sihala Urumaya (SU) Leader Thilak Karunaratne said the fourth round of peace talks failed as the government and the LTTE were unable to sort out the dispute over High Security Zones (HSZ) in the Jaffna peninsula. He maintained that the army should "stick to its guns," until the LTTE laid down their arms before considering any form of withdrawal in the HSZ.(The Island)
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Tigers' suicide squad – “the Black Tigers” still an important says Anton Balasingham
"We have to keep them and pressurise the government to bring about a settlement that would satisfy the aspirations of our people."

"We rejected calls by President Kumaratunga to disband the squads."

"I feel the single biggest hurdle to the peace process is President Kumaratunga."(BBC)
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In the name of the Buddha: only for select audience?
Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando told parliament on Wednesday the government had taken all steps to prevent a general release of the film "In the name of the Buddha", when PA MP Venerable Baddegama Samitha Thera raised concern about the controversial movie.(The Island)
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LTTE gang abducts colleague from prison van
An armed LTTE gang abducted an LTTE prisoner who was being brought in a prison van from the Jaffna prison to Anuradhapura courts on Monday afternoon, Vavuniya police said.(The Island)
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Aung San Suu Kyi: Buddhism is the Panacea for curbing terrorism
Special interview with Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's leader of the Opposition, conducted by South Korea's "Buddhism" newspaper appeared when the newspaper recently celebrated its 43rd Anniversary.

Yangon, Myanmar -- Aung San Suu Kyi won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1991. She is the leader of the opposition in Burma, and considered all over as the symbol of democracy.(Asian Tribune)
[Full Story]

Sri Lankan Govt., LTTE disagree on SDN
NAKORN PATHOM (Thailand) Jan. 8. Public disagreement between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) surfaced for the first time in the latest peace process here today, with a continued deadlock between Colombo and the Tigers over the future of a panel to discuss the sensitive issue of de-militarisation and normalisation in the north east. (The Hindu)
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Rebels pull out of Sri Lankan peace talks
NAKHON PATHOM, Thailand Jan. 7 — Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels pulled out of talks with the government on military reductions Tuesday, the first major setback to hit negotiations on ending the country's 19-year civil war.(ABC News)
[Full Story] [Previous Stories}

"As long as Maj.Gen. Fonseka is operating in Jaffna there is no purpose in calling......''Anton Balasingham
NAKORN PATHOM (Thailand) JAN. 7. A continued soft approach at the Sri Lanka peace talks today averted the fledging process from a total breakdown. (The Hindu)
[Full Story] Sri Lanka rebels recruiting children despite truce
COLOMBO, Jan. 7 — Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers are still recruiting child soldiers despite months of peace talks and past promises to stop the practice, aid workers and truce monitors said.(NBC)
[Full Story] Norway delays envoys departure from Sri Lanka
NAKORN PATHOM, Thailand, Jan. 7 — Norway said its ambassador to Sri Lanka would delay his departure from Colombo till April, allowing him to attend more rounds of peace talks despite fierce criticism from opponents of the peace bid.(NBC)
[Full Story] Sri Lanka talks snag 'resolved'
A crisis over Tamil Tiger disarmament has been overcome at peace talks with the government in Thailand, the rebels say.(BBC)
[Full Story] Specify ‘sacrifices’
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe in his address to the nation while asking that no attempt be made to derail the peace process, has stressed that ‘...We must all make sacrifices to keep the Tamil people with us and protect the territorial integrity of the country.’

Such appeals are not uncommon. We have been treated to them ad nauseam. Under the previous political dispensation too, sacrifices were expected of the people to keep the peace process going as if the success of the processes that were on was dependent on their sacrifices alone. (The Island-Editorial)
[Full Story] EPDP briefs US ambassador on LTTE violations
The EPDP yesterday briefed the United States Ambassador in Sri Lanka Ashley Wills on the "systematic manner in which the LTTE was carrying on hostile acts against the EPDP and other democratic political parties".(The Island)
[Full Story] Sri Lanka-LTTE talks on de-escalation deferred by a day
NAKORN PATHOM (THAILAND) . The "toughest" session of Sri Lanka's fragile peace process began here today with Colombo and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) deferring the sensitive issue of de-escalation of the high security zones (HSZs) in the northern Jaffna peninsula to tomorrow.(The Hindu)
[Full Story] HSZ withdrawal: Beware of LTTE trap!
COLOMBO, Jan. 05:High Security Zones were established to protect our security forces, security installations, sensitive weapons and equipment etc. and hence the country and the people from the LTTE.(Sunday Times)
[Full Story] Tamil Tigers harden position before peace talks
COLOMBO, Jan. 4 — Days before the latest round of peace talks, Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels hardened their position on Saturday against calls to disarm in exchange for allowing refugees to return to army-controlled areas.(NBC)
[Full Story] Sri Lanka talks face hurdle
Sri Lankan Government and rebel negotiators are heading for Thailand for more talks amid growing differences on the issue of disarming.

The talks were meant to focus on a federal model as a way to meet Tamil Tiger demands for self-rule.(BBC)
[Full Story] Jaffna security in jeopardy: MEP
MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena criticising the government’s peace process yesterday said peace is the wish of all in the new year but it should not be "peace made at the point of a gun to appease the LTTE." Speaking at a press conference he said the government had put the country’s defence system in jeopardy in order to please the LTTE during the peace talks. (The Island)
[Full Story] Major General Fonseka will not be transferred - Defence Secy
Defence Ministry Secretary Austin Fernando yesterday said that Major General Sarath Fonseka, Security Forces Commander in Jaffna will not be transferred just because someone requests him to do so.(The Island)
[Full Story] Protect country before craving for power! -Mahanayake tells John Amarathunge
Before trying to establish power the country must be protected and the government must establish itself without harming its citizens said Rev. Rambukwelle Sri Vipassi Thero, Mahanayake of Malwatte sect to Mr. John Amarathunge, Minister of Internal Affairs. The Minister had visited the Mahanayake to make the prelate aware of the on going peace process.( Lankatruth)
[Full Story] UNP thugs murder activists of the opposition!
Two activists of the JVP and SLFP have been hacked to death by thugs belonging to the UNP.Dhanapala, Secretary of Helaudakande in Kolonna electorate was stabbed to death on 29th December by a gang of thugs lead by ‘Army Kumara’ alias R.P.Premadasa, an ardent supporter of the UNP in the area. ( Lankatruth)
[Full Story]

Kumaratunga to raise LTTE import controversy with Norway
Colombo, Dec 30 (IANS) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga will write to Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Bondevik protesting his country's embassy reportedly importing radio equipment for the Tamil Tigers. Full Story

India, Sri Lanka agree to cooperate to prevent arms smuggling
COLOMBO, Dec 30, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- India and Sri Lanka have agreed to enhance cooperation between navies of the two countries in naval surveillance operations to prevent Tamil Tiger rebels from smuggling more weapons, The Island newspaper said on Monday. Full Story

Chargesheet filed against MDMK chief Vaiko
Dec 30 TOI CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu police on Monday filed a chargesheet against MDMK chief Vaiko and eight others, arrested in July under Pota for their alleged remarks supporting the banned LTTE. Full Story

Japanese foreign minister to visit Sri Lanka
COLOMBO, Dec 30, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi will visit Sri Lanka next week at a special invitation of the government, according to the Foreign Ministry Full Story

Colombo decks up for best New Year in two decades
Colombo, Dec 30 (IANS) The streets are illuminated, the buildings and squares festooned, and Christmas carols are still floating in the air of a city dreaming of peace as New Year approaches. Full Story

Sri Lanka and Indian navies agree on closer cooperation
COLOMBO, Dec 29 (AFP) - The Sri Lankan and Indian navies have agreed to boost the sharing of information regarding the Palk Straits, a narrow sea strip between the two countries, officials said here Sunday.
Vice Admiral Daya Sandagiri, the Sri Lankan navy commander, returned Saturday from two days in India at which he met with his counterpart Admiral Madhavendra Singh. Full Story

S.Lankan President to deal directly with Norwegian PM over radio equipment
COLOMBO, Dec 29, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga will apprise Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Bondevik of her serious concerns over powerful radio equipment imported for Tamil Tiger rebels through Norwegian embassy in Colombo, The Sunday Times said. Full Story
Congress calls for protest against film insulting Buddhism
The All Ceylon Women’s Buddhist Congress (ACWBC) yesterday called on the President and Prime Minister to protest to the United Kingdom and Norway governments about the screening of the film "in the name of the Buddha" which is utterly blasphemous of Buddhism and grossly insulting to the Sri Lankan armed forces". (Dec 31 the Island) Full Story

Sri Lanka plays down 'crisis' with Tamil Tigers
COLOMBO, Dec 30 (AFP) - The Sri Lankan government Monday played down sharp disagreements with Tamil Tiger rebels over the relocation of military camps, an issue set to overshadow peace talks next week. Full Story
President & JVP discussed united action !
A special discussion was held at Presidents House between the President Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga and the leaders of the JVP. The JVP was represented by Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, Propaganda Secretary and the Leader of the Group of Parliamentarians of the JVP and Mr. Anura Dissanayake, Member of Parliament and Member of Political Bureau. (Dec 30 Lankatruth) Full Story

Tamil Tigers to push resettlement at peace talks
COLOMBO, Dec. 30 — A dispute over how to return residents forced out of military areas of war-torn northern Sri Lanka will overshadow negotiations on core issues at peace talks next week, the island's Tamil Tiger rebels said.
The government wants to discuss human rights and federal models of governing at the talks, but the rebels said that was unlikely after they rejected a call to disarm in return for allowing the refugees into the sprawling military camps. Full Story

As long as LTTE retains military capability
High security zones must continue - President
President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday said that existing High Security Zones (HSZs) in the north-east should remain intact as long as the LTTE retains `a military capability' to target key bases, particularly Palaly and KKS, a presidential aide said.
Quoting the president, her spokesman Janadasa Peiris said the president was in touch with relevant officials including the security forces top brass regarding the crisis. Yesterday's remarks were her first response on the LTTE call to dismantle HSZs.(Dec 28 Island) Full Story

Resettlement and normalisation ‘main issues’ for Thailand talks - Balasingham
The resettlement of displaced Tamil people and the normalisation of conditions in their areas of residence will be the main issues to be taken up at the negotiations in Thailand next month between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lankan government, the LTTE’s chief negotiator, Mr. Anton Balasingham, said Sunday. (Dec 29 Tamilnet) Full Story

Four Sri Lankans detained
Madurai, Dec 26: Four Sri Lankan nationals were arrested last night when they tried to get back to Sri Lanka from Rameswaram island clandestinely, police said. Full Story

Missing divers found off Sri Lanka
Fishermen off Sri Lanka's north-western coast have rescued five European tourists who went missing on a diving trip, police say.
The tourists - two Germans, two Dutch and a Briton - were in good health, despite drifting for 24 hours at sea. (Dec 27 BBC) Full Story
`LTTE broadcasts will not reach India'
COLOMBO. DEC. 26. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam today said that there was "no cause for concern" that its broadcasts from the recently-acquired FM transmitters would reach India. Full Story

Monitors urge Lanka govt, LTTE to show restraint
COLOMBO: International monitors called on the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels on Friday to restrain from trading accusations and consolidate the gains of historic peace process aimed at ending the country's 19-year civil war.(Dec 27 TOI) Full Story
LTTE radio facility was first turned down - govt. statement
The government in a statement regarding the issue of a licence to the LTTE peace secretariat to operate an FM radio transmission facility stated that the LTTE request was initially turned down by the government stating it could not be granted since no exemptions or duty on VAT were being permitted by the government.(Dec 28 Island) Full Story

UPDATED on 28-12-2002 at 05:42 AM(SL Time)

Read Paul Harris's letter from London
Sri Lanka Government misleads the world and the press.
Six days before my journalist's visa was to expire, I ran into Dayan Jayatilleke in Crescat Mall as I went about my weekly shopping. I happened to mention my visa was coming up for renewal. Now, I've always respected Dayan's extraordinary perception and powers of analysis and was more than mildly disturbed by his immediate, confident riposte. "No chance, Paul. Anton Balasingham has told Ranil not to renew it." (Dec 28 SPUR) Full Story

Sri Lanka protests alleged assault by drunk US marine
COLOMBO, Dec 28 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's foreign ministry has summoned the US envoy here to protest against the behaviour of a drunken US marine who allegedly attacked motorists and smashed windows, officials said Saturday. Full Story

Sri Lankan army rejects rebel charge of obstructing peace process
Dec 28 Yahoo COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - The army on Saturday rejected charges by Tamil rebels that it was undermining Sri Lanka's peace process by blocking resettlement of thousands of displaced Tamils in the war-ravaged north of the island.
"I wish to assert on behalf of all officers and men that we unequivocally support the peace process," army commander Lt. Gen. Lionel Balagalle said in a statement. Full Story
SLMM confirms missing soldier detained by LTTE
Representatives of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in VAVUNIYA on 27 December 2002 had informed that the soldier who went missing from the general area RANABAPURA about 9 km north of WELIOYA was being detained by LTTE in MULLAITTIVU. (Dec 28 Army) Full Story

India confirms participation in SAF meeting
Dawn LAHORE, Dec 28: India has confirmed it will send a delegation to attend the ninth SAF Games Organising Committee meeting scheduled to be held at Islamabad on Jan 9. Full Story

LTTE set up Fascist Tamil Elam! -Leaders of Tamil political parties
The LTTE’s attempt to establish a fascist Tamil Elam after annihilating all political organizations against them has been drastically intensified say leaders of political parties such as EPDP, EPRLF (Varadhraja Perumal faction) which are active in the North and the East. (Dec 28 Lankatruth) Full Story

Fire breaks out at naval complex near Sri Lankan capital
COLOMBO, Dec 27 (AFP) - A fire that broke out at a navy facility just outside the Sri Lankan capital Friday was brought under control without casualties, officials said. Full Story

Colombo hospital to benefit from Lanka's tour match
MELBOURNE: The proceeds of Sri Lanka's Australian tour match against a Victorian Country XI on Saturday will go towards helping a Colombo cancer hospital.(Dec 28 TOI) Full Story

Gas is up!
Gas distributed by both Shell and Laugh has gone up in price. Shell increased a 12.5 kg cylinder of domestic gas by Rs. 31.00 from mid night yesterday increasing the cylinder of gas sold at Rs. 567.00 to Rs. 598.00.(Dec 28 Lankatruth) Full Story

SLMM support for Army over HSZs is 'unacceptable' - LTTE
The LTTE Friday rejected the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission's justification of the Sri Lanka Army's High Security Zones on the grounds of security as "unacceptable," saying "this adjudication simply reinforces the SLA's position on the illegal military occupation of public property." Responding to a letter sent Thursday by SLMM head, Maj. Gen. Tronde Furuhovde, the LTTE's Chief Negotiator, Mr. Anton Balasingham, said:(Dec 27 Tamilnet) Full Story

A precursor to a breakdown?
COLOMBO. DEC. 26. The continued difficulties over the issue of resettling the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the insistence by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that this "humanitarian concern'' be addressed urgently could well be a precursor to a possible breakdown of talks, a senior military analyst has cautioned. Full Story

Sri Lanka turn to veterans
Veteran batsmen Aravinda de Silva and Hashan Tillekeratne have been named in Sri Lanka's final squad for the forthcoming World Cup.
The pair were both members of the side which won the trophy in 1996, and the selectors are looking to them to add solidity to the middle order after a run of poor results. (Dec 27 BBC) Full Story

LTTE playing with words
We have just completed one of the holiest days known to many people, yet as long as evil remains in the hearts of many among us, we cannot even for a minute let our guard down.
By all accounts it now increasingly appears that the Tigers were only playing with words to make us believe that they have changed and we being ever so gullible believed they had accepted such ideals as federalism, one Sri Lanka etc (Dec 26 DM) Full Story

Tamil Tigers slam Sri Lanka military over disarming demand
COLOMBO, Dec 26 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas Thursday accused the military of trying to scuttle the peace process and rejected its demand to decommission weapons ahead of a final settlement.
The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rejected as "belligerent and hostile" a proposal by the Sri Lankan army for the guerrillas to dismantle camps in the island's north in return for a de-commissioning of weapons by the rebels. Full Story

Cautious hopes for Sri Lanka peace
International monitors in Sri Lanka have praised efforts made in the past year towards a peaceful resolution to the decades-old conflict in the island.
In an annual review, the Norwegian-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) also expressed concern over pitfalls facing the ongoing peace process. (Dec 26 BBC) Full Story

UPDATED on 263-12-2002 at 06:51 PM(SL Time)

Sri Lanka opposition wants Norwegian envoy expelled
Colombo, Dec 26 (IANS) With the fourth round of peace talks between Sri Lanka and Tamil Tigers only 10 days away, the opposition wants facilitator Norway's envoy Jon Westborg expelled for perceived leanings towards the guerrillas.
Opposition parties led by the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) slammed Westborg for allegedly helping the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) get a valuable consignment of radio equipment under diplomatic cargo cover. Full Story

EPDP wants LTTE to disarm
Colombo, Dec 26 (IANS) A Sri Lankan Tamil political party has urged Tamil Tiger guerrillas to give up their huge arsenal of weapons if they sincerely believe in peace. Full Story

Sri Lanka tenders to buy Jan gas oil, jet A-1
SINGAPORE, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's state oil company Ceylon Petroleum Corp (Ceypetco) said on Thursday it has issued a tender to buy gas oil and jet A-1 for January delivery. Full Story

UPDATED on 26-12-2002 at 06:52 AM(SL Time)

Sri Lankan naval chief for Delhi
COLOMBO. DEC. 25. Sri Lanka's Navy chief, Daya Sandagiri, left for India today to hold high-level talks in New Delhi during the next two days in a move to curb smuggling of arms by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Full Story

Sri Lanka plans ID cards for expat workers
DOHA: Sri Lanka will issue special identity cards to its nationals leaving for the Middle East to take up employment.
Apart from name and photograph of the holder, the cards will also feature details like occupation and name of the employer. (Dec 25 Peninsula) Full Story

UPDATED on 25-12-2002 at 08:55 PM(SL Time)

Colombo asked to explain broadcast equipment to LTTE

The Sri Lankan government is under pressure to explain how high powered radio equipment was dispatched to the Tamil guerrillas in northern Sri Lanka. Buddhist monks were the latest group to join opposition political parties to protest against the Sri Lankan government for handing over the radio equipment.(Dec 25 Gulf) Full Story

Analysis: U.S. puts Colombo in a spot over refuelling request
Sri Lanka has bought time on a broad U.S. hint that it could ask for the South Asian island's facilities for an impending attack on Iraq.
Both Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando and cabinet spokesman Gamini Peiris have parried what is clearly a hot potato when the U.S. ambassador in Colombo last week stated that his government may ask Sri Lanka for refuelling facilities for its armed forces as they wage war on Iraq.(Dec 25 Gulf) Full Story

S.Lanka, India Navy to hold talks on preventing arms smuggling
COLOMBO, Dec 25, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The navies of Sri Lanka and India will hold high level talks this week on a range of issues, particularly enhanced cooperation between the two navies to prevent separatist Tamil Tiger rebels from smuggling arms, The Island newspaper said on Wednesday. Full Story

UPDATED on 25-12-2002 at 05:35 AM(SL Time)

Police reorganized to suit federal rule!
Sri Lanka Police Department will be re-organized to suit the federal administration which will be discussed at the next round of ‘peace’ talks said Minister G.L.Peiris, the cabinet spokesman at a media meeting held in Colombo yesterday (23rd) to announce cabinet decisions. (Dec25 Lankatruth) Full Story

Batticaloa high security zone cannot be withdrawn! - Army
The LTTE demand that the Army Head Quarters situated in the Batticaloa town and the High Security Zone should be withdrawn is vehemently rejected by the Army. (Dec25 Lankatruth) Full Story

Flag Burning Bhikkus Demand Banishment of Westborg
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
Decemberr 23 06:38 PM: In a spectacular demonstration of protest against the Norwegian government, the Buddhist monks of the Jathika Bhikshu Peramuna burnt a Norwegian national flag in front of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Colombo, and walked to the Presidents House and handed over a petition to President Chandrika Kumaratunga demanding that the Norwegian Ambassador Jon Westborg should be named a persona non grata and be immediately banished for aiding separatist terrorists in the country.
[Full Story] [Previous Stories}

Tamil tigers start killing abducted political rivals
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
Decemberr 23 06:38 PM: An alleged abduction victim of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Poopal Pillai Alagathurai who has been missing since December 16 was found dead with severe torture marks on his body in the Mandoor lagoon, Vellavely Police in the Eastern Province said. Poopal Pillai Alagathurai (35) who belonged to a rival Tamil political party of the LTTE terrorist group, EPRLF (Vardaraja Perumal Sect) held the post of the vice chairman in the local government body of Poratheevu Pattu Pradeshiya Sabha and was allegedly abducted by the terrorists of the Tamil Tigers six days before his body was found December 21. Full Story

UPDATED on 24-12-2002 at 06:55 PM(SL Time)

Martyrs' families settled in high-security zones!
The UNF government has decided to withdraw 8 high-security zones from the North thereby strengthening the LTTE further. With the government deciding to allow people to be settled in these high-security zones they would definitely yield to the military power of the LTTE say Security sources in the North. (Dec 23 Lankatruth) Full Story

EPRLF accuses LTTE of murdering local Tamil leader
Colombo, Dec 24 (IANS) A Tamil group Tuesday accused Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas of abducting and murdering one of its local leaders and urged Colombo and the international community to end the rebels' terror tactics. Full Story

Sri Lankans celebrate year of peace in holiday mood
Dec 24 COLOMBO (Reuters) - Bright lights, shoppers and Santas have replaced roadblocks, police checks and war worries in Sri Lanka.
While other parts of Asia stepped up security on Tuesday against possible terror attacks, the mood in the Sri Lankan capital was festive as shoppers revelled in freedoms brought by a peace bid between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels. Full Story

Indian tea keen on partnership with Lanka
Dec 24 Yahoo; Indian tea industry is looking at closer ties with its Sri Lankan counterpart, said industries minister Sri Lanka Rohitha Bogollagama. Speaking at an interactive session organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI), the minister said that he will be carrying this proposal to Sri Lanka. Full Story

Peace windfall still far off for Sri Lanka tourism
Dec 24 WADDUWA, Sri Lanka (Reuters) - Nature, culture and adventure. That's the formula Sri Lanka Tourist Board Chairman Paddy Withana hopes will fuel the tropical island's tourism industry as it begins to emerge from decades of ethnic conflict. Full Story

UPDATED on 24-12-2002 at 02:11 AM(SL Time)

Vice-Chairman killed by tigers!
Supala Singham Salagathure, vice-chairman of Prathivu Pradeshiya Sabha in Batticaloa who was abducted by the LTTE organization has been hacked to death. Police found his body on the 21st abandoned in a lagoon in Vellali area.(Dec 23 Lankatruth) Full Story

LTTE use of donor funds for arms will not be tolerated - Chandrahasan
"We will neither tolerate nor allow those very destructive forces, which were responsible for the destruction of the country, to divide the donor-booty between them". This was declared emphatically by S. C. Chandrahasan of the Organisation For Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation (OFERR) and of the Protection of Eelam Tamils against Genocide (ProTeg), the two non-governmental organisations based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.(Dec 24 Island) Full Story

Human rights to figure in next round of Sri Lanka talks
COLOMBO DEC. 23 . Sri Lankan peace negotiators will start the New Year by taking on contentious political and human issues such as power-sharing and the deployment of child soldiers in the next round of talks to be held in Thailand between January 6 and 9. Full Story

UPDATED on 23-12-2002 at 11:26 PM(SL Time)

Sri Lankan leftist party demands expulsion of Norwegian ambassador
COLOMBO, Dec 23, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Sri Lanka's leftists party JVP or the People's Liberation Front, Monday called for the expulsion of Norwegian ambassador to the country.
A group of Buddhist monks affiliated to the JVP burnt a Norwegian national flag and staged a march from opposite the Norwegian embassy to the office of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Full Story

Sri Lanka's Women Rebels Abandon Bullets for Bicycles
BATTICALOA, Dec 23 (OWSA) - In the Tamil dominated Batticaloa district in the south Asian island of Sri Lanka, aggressive women rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have embarked on an image makeover - morphing into docile champions of development. Full Story

VSAT military equipment brought by Norway missing at inspection
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
Decemberr 23 08:18 AM: Commenting on the latest controversy that that the terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has imported VSAT military satellite communication equipment with the radio transmitter the Ranil Wickremesinghe government and the Norwegian Embassy helped them to bring into the country Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary Austin Fernando said he knew there were preparations made to bring in such additional equipment into the country by the terrorist group but at the inspection they were found missing. Full Story

UPDATED on 23-12-2002 at 06:47 PM(SL Time)

Lanka forces offer phased withdrawal
Sri Lankan security forces have offered a phased withdrawal from parts of the High Security Zone in the northern Jaffna peninsula for civilian re-settlement if the Tamil guerrillas agree to disarm, withdraws artillery units and mortars and allow police full powers to operate in these areas, a local newspaper said.(Dec 23Gulf) Full Story

Sri Lankan gov't, Tamil rebels to discuss power sharing
COLOMBO, Dec 23, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Sri Lankan government and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels are to discuss power sharing at the next round of peace talks aimed at ending the country's long drawn out ethnic war, the government spokesman said Monday. Full Story

No formal request from US for use of Sri Lankan airspace: FM
COLOMBO, Dec 23, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando said on Sunday that there has been no formal request from the United States to use the country's airspace and ports for refueling warships in case the US launches war against Iraq, the official Daily News said on Monday. Full Story

Peace may help Sri Lankan spread wings
CHENNAI, Dec. 21. SRI Lanka is using the peace process to kick-start the economy and these initiatives are helping to attract investors especially in the infrastructure sector , according to Mr Daya Pelpola, Chairman Sri Lankan Airlines. He was here to attend the Chennai Fest and give the Sri Lankan perspective on tourism at the two-day exposition and debate. Full Story

UPDATED on 23-12-2002 at 05:47 AM(SL Time)

Lanka to emulate state on water management
TIRUPATI: Sri Lanka irrigation and water management minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera expressed willingness to have a 'working relationship' with the state government to share the expertise in the field of watershed development and management.
Interacting with the medical and health minister Kodela Sivaprasada Rao and employment generation minister B Gopala Krishna Reddy at Tirumala on Saturday, Perera complimented the state government in effectively tackling the drought. (Dec 23 tOI) Full Story

UPDATED on 22-12-2002 at 11:58 PM(SL Time)

SLFP & JVP to form alternative Govt.?
Several rounds of discussions have been held between representatives of the SLFP and the JVP with reference to forming a government. Both parties have come to an understanding that the UNP regime is betraying the country and subject the masses to misery. They have agreed that the UNP government should be replaced by a people friendly and patriotic government.(Dec 22 Lankatruth) Full Story

LTTE ‘court’ raided by Police!
A kangaroo court maintained by the LTTE at Kalmune in Ampare was raided by Kalmune Police.
A LTTE member alleged to be the chief of the ‘court’ and a few other members who had been present at the time of the raid together with 252 files were taken into custody. Some members who had been present had run away. (Dec 22 Lankatruth) Full Story

Sri Lanka marks a year without bloodshed
COLOMBO, Dec 22 (AFP) - Sri Lanka is set to mark a full year without major ethnic bloodshed as government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels notch up their longest ceasefire in the decades-old separatist war, officials said Sunday. Full Story

MEP demands immediate action against Norway for its gift for LTTE
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
Decemberr 22 07:18 PM: The Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) constituent party of the opposition People’s Alliance demanded immediate and drastic action to remedy the damage caused to the national interests of the people and the country’s security by Norway’s importation of high powered radio transmission equipment to aid separatism in Sri Lanka. Full Story

UPDATED on 22-12-2002 at 02:49 AM(SL Time)

Australia cruise to crushing victory over Sri Lanka
Ricky Pontings' all-conquering Australians overpowered a beleaguered Sri Lankans outfit, winning a predictably one-sided contest by a massive 142 runs at the WACA on Sunday night.
During the afternoon the Australian batsman, led by stand-in opener Darren Lehmann, who scored his third one-day century, ran riot, setting the confidence-short tourists a daunting 306 target. (Dec 22 CI) Full Story

Sri Lankan gov't forces offer conditions for withdrawal
COLOMBO, Dec 22, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Sri Lankan government forces have offered conditions for a phased withdrawal from parts of so called high security zone in northern Jaffna peninsula for civilian resettlement, the Sunday Times said. Full Story

Westborg leaves for Oslo
Norwegian Ambassador Jon Westborg left for Oslo yesterday for urgent consultation in the face of the breaking scandal on the import of radio equipment for the LTTE by the Norwegian embassy in Colombo as diplomatic cargo.(Dec 22 Sundaytimes) Full Story

Sri Lanka reports 600 rights violations since truce
Colombo, Dec 22 (IANS) Around 600 complaints of human rights violations were reported from Tamil Tigers-controlled areas in Sri Lanka's north since the signing of a truce between the government and the guerrillas in February. Full Story

Lanka plans money transfer strategy
The Sri Lankan Foreign Employment Bureau will develop a strategy with Gulf officials to ensure the full repatriation of money earned by migrant Sri Lankan workers. This was stated yesterday by Mahinda Samara-singhe, Sri Lankan Minister of Employment and Labour.(Dec 22 Gulf) Full Story

Sri Lankan Airlines to expand operations
By T.S. Shankar , CHENNAI , DEC. 21. The Sri Lankan Airlines, along with its equity partner, Emirates, has planned to open up newer points in India. Its chairman, Daya Pelpola, was here to share the airline's plan to explain the "international experience in the tourism sector" and how it was keen to establish a firm regional-level grid to promote tourism between India and the island nation. Full Story

Norway's Ambassador Should be Declared a Persona Non Grata says JVP
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
Decemberr 21 07:38 AM: The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) demanded from President Chandrika Kumaratunga that the Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo should be immediately declared “ a persona non ‘grata” and expelled from the country over the scandal of importing a high powered radio transmission equipment for the terrorist group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Full Story

UPDATED on 22-12-2002 at 03:06 AM(SL Time)

SL in dilemma over help for US
The government is in a dilemma over a possible request from the US to use Sri Lankan ports and airspace to mount an attack on Iraq as the US and UK continued war preparations.(Dec 22 Island) Full Story

Conceding High Security Zones will be the beginning of the end
The focus is on High Security Zones (HSZs) as the government explores ways and means of meeting the LTTE demand for resettlement of civilians within these zones, particularly in the Jaffna peninsula, without jeopardising security. (Dec 22 Island) Full Story

UPDATED on 21-12-2002 at 08:27 PM(SL Time)

Norwegian Ambassador Banished?
'Lankatruth’ understands that President Chandrika Kumarathunge is studying possibilities of banishing Mr. Jon Westborg, the Ambassador of Norway for exceeding diplomatic norms to import extremely powerful transmission equipment and handing them over to the LTTE and thereby violating the law of the country and acting in a way to disrupt the sovereignty of Sri Lanka.(Dec 21 Lankatruth) Full Story

LTTE must be disarmed before Security Forces are withdrawn from High-Security Zones-Tilvin Silva
For the Security Forces to be withdrawn from high-security zones LTTE must be disarmed first says Mr. Tilvin Silva, General Secretary of the JVP. Mr. Silva made this statement at a media meeting held at Hotel Nippon today.
The government, kneeling in front of the LTTE, is giving in to everything the LTTE demands alleging it is to keep the peace process going.(Dec 21 Lankatruth) Full Story

Police investigate explosives link to blast in Sri Lanka
Police and the Government Analyst departments in Sri Lanka are probing whether high-powered explosives usually used for making bombs were stored in a fire cracker shop in the capital, where at least 24 persons were killed and more than 50 sustained burn injuries in a fire last Tuesday.(Dec 21 Gulf) Full Story

Ministers Sons Make Night Clubs into Battle Grounds
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
Decemberr 21 08:26 PM: While the ordinary people of the country were starving without adequate foods and suffering to get clothes for this festive season of Christmas, well fed and well dressed sons of the Ministers of the Ranil Wickremesinghe government were hanging out in the opulent night clubs of the big hotels making them into virtual battle grounds charged People’s Alliance spokesman Dr. Sarath Amunugama . Full Story

UPDATED on 21-12-2002 at 07:32 AM(SL Time)

Withdraw Troops - LTTÉ orders Govt.
LTTE had asked the government to make the decision to withdraw security Forces from high security zones before tomorrow (21st). ?Lankatruth? had published earlier that the LTTE had made a request at the Defense sub committee, established under the peace process of the government and the LTTE, to withdraw Security Forces from high-security zones. (Dec 20 Lankatruth) Full Story

A tactical shift
The LTTE's decision to explore a federal structure does not seem to be motivated by a genuine reorientation of its political goals and approaches, but appears to be a move that has been made with definite short- and long-term objectives in view.
THE concept of federalism has re-entered Sri Lankan political discourse in a big way after the third round of talks between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) concluded on December 5. (Frontline Dec 21, 2002 - Jan 03, 2003) Full Story

US to seek Sri Lankan facilities in case of war with Iraq: envoy
COLOMBO, Dec 20 (AFP) - The United States was likely to seek Sri Lanka's permission to fly over its airspace and use its ports in the event of war with Iraq, US ambassador Ashley Wills said Friday.
Wills told reporters here that war with Iraq was a "last resort," but it was "conceivable" that Washington would seek Sri Lanka's help to refuel US military aircraft and warships in the Indian Ocean island. Full Story

Legal action against transmitter to LTTE?
Strongly accusing Norway for collaborating with the LTTE in boosting the group’s clandestine radio - Voice of Tigers (VOT) - the PA yesterday said it was considering legal action against the government.(Dec 21 Island) Full Story

Sri Lankan PM calls for regional free trade
COLOMBO, Dec 20, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday called for the establishment of a free trade area among a grouping of five countries in Asia to strengthen their economic cooperation. Full Story

Peace process must ensure unity: Ranatunga
MANGALORE DEC. 20. It is important that Sri Lanka remains united and does not split for any reason, an MP from that country, Arjuna Ranatunga, said today. Full Story

Gas works fire caused by LTTE bomb
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
Decemberr 20 07:38 AM: Police sources in Colombo said that the Gas Work Street’s roaring inferno which may have caused the deaths of an estimated crowd of more than twenty people might have caused by a high powered LTTE bomb which was hidden in the fire crackers shop. Full Story

Tamil tigers abduct five students in Batticaloa
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
Decemberr 20 04:31 PM: Tamil parents of five young students complained to the Eravur Police that their sons had been abducted by the terrorists of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam while the students were sight seeing the raging waters of a flood devastating the Eastern Province December 18. Full Story

UPDATED on 20-12-2002 at 11:02 PM(SL Time)

England triumph again as Sri Lanka subside
England completed their second successive victory in the VB triangular series, beating a lacklustre Sri Lanka by 95 runs at the WACA. After starting badly England were indebted to Paul Collingwood (100) and Craig White (48) for enabling them to reach 258, and Andrew Caddick then took three top wickets to maintain the revival and put England on course for a win. (Dec 20 CI) Full Story

UPDATED on 20-12-2002 at 04:02 PM(SL Time)

Internal crisis rocks Chandrika's party
President Chandrika Kumarat-unga's Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent party of the opposition People's Alliance (PA), has been rocked by an internal crisis with a section of the party trying to embarrass opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksha by making indirect claims that he was plotting to assassinate the President.(Dec 21 Gulf) Full Story

Indian Oil Corp to build diesel, jet fuel pipeline to Sri Lanka
NEW DELHI, Dec 20, 2002 (Asia In Focus via COMTEX) -- The state owned INDIAN OIL CORP (IOC) plans to build a pipeline to Sri Lanka for the export of diesel and jet fuel. Company sources said officials were looking at various options for laying a 30-km long pipeline from Tamil Nadu to northern Sri Lanka. Full Story

Sri Lanka to attract Indians with religious tourism
Colombo, Dec 20 (IANS) Bolstered by a sharp rise in Indian tourists, Sri Lanka is drawing up plans to pursue Indians with religion and culture-based packages and attractive discounts. Full Story

UPDATED on 20-12-2002 at 03:19 AM(SL Time)

Sri Lankan Muslim party leader issues ultimatum to dissidents
COLOMBO, Dec 19, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Crisis in Sri Lanka's main Muslim party has deepened when party leader Rauf Hakeem issued an ultimatum Thursday to dissidents of the party, who have been trying to oust him, to toe the party line or face expulsion. Full Story

'ICRC scaling down operations in Sri Lanka'
NEW DELHI DEC. 19. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is pursuing the cases of 10,000 missing persons in Sri Lanka for which they have records since 1992. Full Story

Lanka rolls out fiscal red carpet for IndianOil
NEW DELHI: Fortune 500 oil refining and marketing major IndianOil Corporation has secured major financial concessions from Colombo, practically giving it a free run of the growing Sri Lankan petrore (Dec20 TOI) Full Story

UPDATED on 20-12-2002 at 11:16 PM(SL Time)

Tigers given preference over Temple of the Tooth!
The media Ministry of this government which has given a license to the tiger terrorists who are determined to separate the country to maintain a radio link rejected a request made to offer programmes to the Buddhists requesting donations to restore the Temple of the Tooth after the tiger terrorists attacked the Temple of the Tooth said Mr. Ranjan Wijeratne, Diyawadene Nilame of the Temple of the Tooth. (Dec 19 Lankatruth) Full Story

Sri Lankans ready to cop flyers from England
Sri Lanka is expecting the short-pitched deliveries to fly again from England at the WACA Ground today, but it is more apprehensive about its World Cup matches in Kenya, where a hotel explosion claimed 16 lives last month.
Team manager Ajit Jayasekera admitted yesterday that Sri Lanka's three-game program in Kenya in February-March had created sufficient anxiety for an official communique to be lodged with the controlling World Cup body in South Africa. (Dec 19 The age) Full Story

Sri Lankan teen returns to pursue medical dream
She came to Calgary six years ago, a scared teenager steeling herself for life-altering surgery.
This week, 19-year-old Dilanie Anandappa arrived in Calgary again, this time to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. (Dec19 Canada.com) Full Story

UPDATED on 19-12-2002 at 06:28 PM(SL Time)

Sri Lankan Tamil rebels accused of abductions in east
COLOMBO, Dec 19, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Sri Lanka's separatist Tamil Tiger rebels are accused of abducting at least five youths in the eastern district of Batticaloa, police said Thursday.
The police in Batticaloa, about 300 kilometers from the capital Colombo, said that among the five are two students of a technical college, two who have just finished school and another university student. Full Story

Power-sharing 'must ensure Muslim rights'
A leading Sri Lankan Muslim who attended this month's Oslo peace talks between the government and the Tamil Tigers warned that failure to ensure the rights of Muslims in the proposed power sharing arrangements may derail the entire process. (Dec 19 Gulf) Full Story

Sri Lanka Telecom Signs Clarity as the Clear Choice for Operational Support
SYDNEY, Australia, Dec 19, 2002 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Award winning OSS product company Clarity, recently signed a contract to supply and implement Sri Lanka Telecom's next generation Operational Support System. Full Story

Sri Lanka floods force 100,000 families from their homes
Derc19 COLOMBO (Reuters) - Torrential rains throughout Sri Lanka's north and east forced nearly 100,000 families from their homes and disrupted transport in the region, local media said on Thursday. Full Story

IOC plans pipeline to Sri Lanka
Indian Oil Corporation, IOC, is planning to construct a pipeline to Sri Lanka to export diesel and aviation turbine fuel, or jet fuel to the island nation. "A team of officials is studying various options of laying a 30-km long pipeline from Tamil Nadu to northern Sri Lanka," highly placed company sources said, reports PTI. (Dec19 Yahoo) Full Story

Sri Lanka asylum rejects return from the Netherlands
COLOMBO, Dec 18 (AFP) - The Netherlands government has repatriated 45 Sri Lankans who had either illegally entered the country or failed to obtain political asylum, the Dutch embassy said Wednesday Full Story

Buddha's relics moved to ancient capital Oudong of Cambodia
PHNOM PENH, Dec 19, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Buddha's relics in Cambodia were relocated to the ancient capital of Oudong on Thursday, 45 km northwest of Phnom Penh, at the company of King Norodom Sihanouk and Queen Norodom Monineath. Full Story

LTTE openly demands one-party polity for Jaffna
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
Decemberr 16 06:50 PM: While increasing violent activities against its rival the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) by “manipulated mobs” the terrorist group the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) officially announced that it wanted the Tamil political party to be ousted from any political activity from the Jaffna peninsula. Full Story

UPDATED on 19-12-2002 at 03:21 AM(SL Time)

India turns down invitation for Kilinochchi UNHCR meeting
India will not take part in an UNHCR-summoned meeting in Kilinochchi tomorrow (20) to discuss a range of issues relating to the proposed repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees in India on a voluntary basis, an Indian spokesperson said yesterday.(Dec 19 Island) Full Story

Embassy cover for LTTE equipment `unwise' - Nowegian scholar
A visiting Norwegian scholar on conflict resolution Johan Gultung told an audience on Tuesday that the Norwegian Embassy's action of giving cover to the importation of telecommunication equipment to the LTTE radio station Voice of Tigers was "unwise". He said that it could become a "very hard voice". (Dec 19 Island) Full Story

India, Sri Lanka to move closer in petroleum sector
COLOMBO. DEC. 18. India and Sri Lanka are set to move closer in the crucial area of energy security, with plans on to build an oil pipeline linking the two neighbours. The proposal, still in its early stages, is to develop an offshoot from the proposed pipeline between Chennai and Madurai to reach Colombo, M. Nageswaran, managing director of the Lanka IOC (LIOC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Indian Oil (IOC) said here today. Full Story

Protest against police attempt to collect data on scribes
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
Decemberr 18 07:30 PM: Prajathanthra, a movement for social democracy in Sri Lanka has demanded the Inspector General of Police to immediately withdraw his circular to Police stations to open up files on journalists living in those particular areas. Full Story

UPDATED on 18-12-2002 at 09:44 PM(SL Time)

16 dead in Sri Lanka shopping centre fire
16 dead in Sri Lanka shopping centre fire COLOMBO, Dec 18 (AFP) - At least 16 people were killed and another 17 injured when a fire swept through a shopping area in the Sri Lankan capital, doctors and rescue workers said Wednesday.
Rescue workers deployed in Colombo's Pettah area to clear the rubble following the overnight fire pulled out six bodies from the rubble of a four-storeyed building Wednesday, taking the death toll to 16, officials said. Full Story

Indian oil to invest $100 m in Lanka
COLOMBO: India's state-owned oil company on Wednesday announced plans to invest $100 million in Sri Lanka's energy sector in partnership with the island's main oil monopoly.(Dec 18 TOI) Full Story

UPDATED on 18-12-2002 at 07:23 PM(SL Time)

Lanka confirms spotting ship with 'warlike items'
Colombo: Sri Lanka on December 18 confirmed that a mysterious ship, suspected to be carrying weapons, had been spotted on international waters last week, and said prompt action by its Navy prevented the off-loading of any shipment in its territorial waters. "Sri Lanka Navy got information about a suspicious ship carrying warlike items into Sri Lanka," a Defence Ministry release said, without disclosing when and where the vessel was sighted.(Dec18 II) Full Story

Australia washed Sri Lankan cricket shoes free
Australian officials cleaned shoes of Sri Lankan cricket players when they arrived in the country for a tri-nation tournament, the Australian High Commission (embassy) here said.(Dec 18 HT) Full Story

Maldives renews offer to host talks
The Maldives has renewed its offer to host peace talks between Sri Lanka and the Tamil guerrillas of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).(Dec 18 Gulf) Full Story

Sri Lanka records 1.7 mln dollar revenue on foreign employment
COLOMBO, Dec 18, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) recorded a revenue of 1.73 million US dollars in the first 10 months of this year, a 75 percent increase over the same period last year, according to the bureau's recently released annual performance review. Full Story

Chinese Premier hails trade pact with Sri Lanka as historical
BEIJING, Dec 18, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji sent a congratulatory message to the Government of Sri Lanka Wednesday on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the signing of a trade pact between the two countries. Full Story

Sri Lanka fire kills 10
COLOMBO, Dec 18 (AFP) - At least 10 people were killed and another 17 wounded when a fire swept through a shopping area in the Sri Lankan capital overnight, doctors and rescue workers said Wednesday. Full Story

Relax security otherwise we boycott peace talks committee say tigers
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
Decemberr 16 06:50 AM: The long-drawn campaign of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to get rid of the high security zones in Jaffna Peninsula took a new turn when LTTE’s Eastern Commander Karuna announced that the group would boycott the de-escalation and normalization sub-committee meetings between them and the government if a plan was not submitted to the army commander by the Northern Command of the army before December 21 enabling the resettlement of refugees in high security zones. . Full Story

Threats prevent opening of new library in Jaffna
A group of unidentified men have prevented the opening of a newly constructed library in Jaffna town. The incident occurred on the morning of December 15 the Sri Lanka Army website reported.
The new library constructed by the Pradeshiya Sabha (Local Authority) was to be opened by a Pradeshiya Sabha member of the Eelam People?s Democratic Party (EPDP).(Dec 17 Govt website) Full Story

UPDATED on 18-12-2002 at 02:10 AM(SL Time)

Lanka progresses towards peace, but implementation a different story
One of the bloodiest and longest-running conflicts in Asia held steady on the path of peace in 2002, but questions have arisen as to whether Sri Lanka's ruling party has the political clout to implement a lasting deal with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).(Dec 18 Pioneer) Full Story

Thousands homeless after Sri Lanka floods
OLOMBO, Dec 17 (AFP) - Over 70,000 families have been made homeless in eastern Sri Lanka due to floods after heavy rains, local officials said Tuesday.
The district of Batticaloa was the worst affected with over 60,000 families forced to leave their flooded homes, officials said, adding that heavy rain had lashed the region for four straight days.
Government officials said they had mobilised volunteers to help provide flood victims with temporary shelter and food.

Police top 'corrupt' South Asia list
A survey on corruption levels in the five biggest South Asian countries shows people see police as the worst offenders among seven basic public services. (Dec 17 BBC) Full Story

Sri Lanka has made important contributions to Maldives? current development: Gayoom
MALE, Dec 17 (HNS) President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on Monday said that Sri Lanka had made important contributions to Maldives? current development. Full Story

UPDATED on 17-12-2002 at 06:51 PM(SL Time)

England end 14-game drought with Sri Lanka win
Dec17 BRISBANE (Reuters) - Half-centuries by Nasser Hussain and Alec Stewart and an improved all-round bowling performance helped England break a 14-match run without victory and beat Sri Lanka by 43 runs on Tuesday. Full Story

UPDATED on 17-12-2002 at 00:32 PM(SL Time)

Tigers set deadline for lifting security zone
Tamil guerrillas have set a deadline for the Sri Lankan government to remove selected 'High Security Zones' in the northern Jaffna peninsula and declared that non-implementation of the demand could hamper the current peace process.(Dec 17 Gulf) Full Story

UPDATED on 17-12-2002 at 02:49 AM(SL Time)

LTTE hardens stand on demands
COLOMBO. DEC. 16. After a relatively smooth run, the Sri Lanka peace talks are headed towards the more difficult phase with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) saying that it would stay away from future meetings to discuss de-escalation unless the Government met three conditions by December 31. Full Story

U.N. Studies Children Fighting in Wars
Dec16 UNITED NATIONS (AP) - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan submitted a report to the Security Council that identifies warring parties that recruit children to fight, in an attempt to send a message that the international community is watching. Full Story

Controversial British film highlights Sri Lankan conflict
London, Dec 16, 2002 (PR Newswire Europe via COMTEX) -- London, December 16 /PRNewswire/ -- A film that has caused widespread controversy and speculation following its world premier last month is to be screened in London's West End on December 19. Full Story

UPDATED on 16-12-2002 at 11:17 PM(SL Time)

Govt. officials dumb over suspected LTTE weapons ship
Government officials were unable to comment regarding a suspected mystery weapons ship spotted over 100 nautical miles north-east of Mullaitivu on Friday.
The Indian Navy had located a ship allegedly belonging to the LTTE carrying weapons and fuel but had not intercepted the vessel in accordance with international law. (Dec 17 Island) Full Story

War-ravaged Sri Lankan region gets its first woman de-miner
COLOMBO, Dec 16 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's war-ravaged northern peninsula of Jaffna has its first female de-miner -- a 19-year-old woman who has joined the drive to remove millions of mines, a pro-rebel website said Monday.
Niroja Srirajakumar will be deployed for clearing land mines in the peninsula which has seen heavy fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger guerrillas, the Tamilnet website said. Full Story

Lankan delegation visits Integral Coach Factory
CHENNAI: A high-level delegation from Sri Lanka led by the Island's Railway Minister Tilak J Marapane on Monday visited the Integral Coach Factory here to explore the possibilities for buying railway coaches for Sri Lanka.(Dec 16 TOI) Full Story

UPDATED on 16-12-2002 at 06:43 PM(SL Time)

India expresses concern over broadcasting facility for Tigers
India has expressed its serious "concern" to Sri Lanka over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam acquiring modern equipment for its clandestine Voice of Tigers broadcasting station via Norwegian diplomatic channels, the Sunday Times newspaper reported yesterday.(Dec 16 Gulf) Full Story

Sri Lankan PM reassures rights of Muslims in east
COLOMBO, Dec 16, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has assured that the rights of the Muslim community in the east of the country will be secured in a political solution to the country's 19-year ethnic conflict, the state-run Daily News said on Monday. Full Story

UPDATED on 16-12-2002 at 07:01 AM(SL Time)

LTTE kill to conceal plans!
Ganesh Moorthi Thilakaraj who was murdered by the pistol clique of the LTTE on the 11th was an important member of the intelligence unit stationed at Millennium city housing scheme which was disbanded by the UNF government as soon as they came to power to fulfil a promise made to the LTTE. (Dec 16 Lankatruth) Full Story

Demoralising coverage, says Rana Viru Seva Authority
The Ran Viru Seva Authority in a statement said "it was good to see and hear Prabakaran’s war heroes day speech this year in its entirety, in the electronic media.(Dec16 Island) Full Story

LTTE given licence for FM station
COLOMBO. DEC. 15. The controversy over broadcasting equipment imported for the Voice of Tigers (VoT) has deepened with media reports that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was granted a temporary licence for a private FM radio station. The LTTE, the Sunday Leader said in a report today, was given the licence last month to broadcast at an assigned frequency of 98 MHz, subject to the condition that the station would be at Kilinochchi, with a coverage of 20 km radius and an altitude of 75 metres. Full Story

Infiltrated LTTE killers in Colombo start work
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
Decemberr 14 07:16 PM: The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had stationed hundreds of professionally trained marksmen and suicide bombers in the capital city of Colombo to destroy enemy targets and already they had begun work, police sources said. Full Story

Media minister says it was OK to give radio transmitters to tigers
By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles:
Decemberr 15 07:15 PM: While admitting there had been a delivery of equipment for the Voice of Tigers to acquire radio transmission facilities through Colombo’s Norwegian embassy and government of Sri Lanka the Media Minister of the Colombo government said, there was nothing wrong with it. Full Story

UPDATED on 15-12-2002 at 09:55 PM(SL Time)

Lanka govt issues licence for LTTE radio station
Colombo: Sri Lanka has issued a licence to the Liberation Tigers of Tail Ealam (LTTE) to set up a broadcasting station in the Northern town of Kilinochchi and assigned an FM (frequency modulation) band, reports 'The Sunday Leader'.
The licence was issued to the rebel group's 'peace secretariat', "To maintain and operate a private broadcasting station for which equipment worth more than $ 100,000 was imported by the LTTE last month", 'The Sunday Leader' said.(Dec 15 II) Full Story

Sri Lanka to buy four jet trainer aircraft from Israel, China
COLOMBO, Dec 15 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's air force has finalised plans to buy three jet trainer aircraft from China and a fourth from Israel, official sources said Sunday.
The air force seeks to purchase three Chinese-made K-8 planes and an Israeli Kfir trainer to augment its depleted fleet, the sources said, at an estimated cost of 25 million US dollars. Full Story

India extending support: Lankan minister
Sri Lanka's Defence and Civil Aviation minister Tilak Marapona on Sunday said that India was extending its full cooperation to Sri Lankan government in finding an amicable solution to the Tamils issue and bringing peace to the island nation. (Dec 15 HT) Full Story

UPDATED on 15-12-2002 at 08:37 PM(SL Time)

India tops in using Lanka for illegal immigration
Colombo: For years, it has been a predominantly domestic phenomenon in Sri Lanka - large numbers of aspiring emigrants adopting illegal means to reach Europe, but recent trends indicate that Indians are also keen to use the island nation for human smuggling. (Dec 15 II) Full Story

Former umpires say Murali's action worse than ever
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Two former Australian test umpires have criticised cricket bible Wisden for selecting Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan as the most valuable test bowler in history. (Dec 15 Yahoo) Full Story

UPDATED on 15-12-2002 at 07:14 PM(SL Time)

India voices concern over VOT
The Government of India has expressed serious "concern" to the Government of Sri Lanka over Tiger guerrillas acquiring modern broadcasting equipment for its clandestine Voice of Tigers broadcasting station via Norwegian diplomatic channels.
The Sunday Times learns that India's Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal who was on an official visit to Colombo early this week raised the matter during a meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.(Dec15 Sunday Times) Full Story

Sri Lanka de-escalation panel moves to dismantle military camps
COLOMBO, Dec 15 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's warring parties meeting in Norwegian-brokered peace talks have begun moves to dismantle military camps as a confidence-building measure in efforts to end decades of ethnic bloodshed, diplomats said Sunday.
Sri Lanka's top defence official, Austin Fernando, and senior rebel military commander Karuna led discussions Saturday, Norwegian diplomats said. Full Story

Sri Lankan Tamil rebel leader briefed on Swiss model of federalism
COLOMBO, Dec 15, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Representatives of Sri Lanka's separatist Tamil Tiger rebels attending the third round of peace talks in Norwegian capital Oslo earlier this month have briefed their leader Velupillai Prabhakaran on the Swiss model of federalism which they want to copy for their self-rule, the Sunday Observer said. Full Story

Lanka not pressing panic button after loss: Jayasuriya
BRISBANE: Captain Sanath Jayasuriya on Sunday said his Sri Lankan team were not about to press the panic button after their heavy 102-run defeat to Australia A in a warmup one-day match here. Full Story

Sri Lankan PM admits flaws in ceasefire agreement with Tamil rebels
COLOMBO, Dec 14, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday admitted flaws in his government's ceasefire agreement with separatist Tamil Tiger rebels reached between the two side in February this year in a bid to end the country's 19-year ethnic conflict, The Island newspaper said on Sunday. Full Story

Mani defence ridiculous: Swamy
CHENNAI Dec. 14. Describing the statement by the Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam activist, Kolathur Mani, "exonerating" the forest brigand, Veerappan, in the murder of the former Karnataka Minister Nagappa as "ridiculous", the Janata Party president, Subramanian Swamy, called on the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu Governments to give a "fitting reply" to the bandit and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Full Story

UPDATED on 15-12-2002 at 02:42 AM(SL Time)

500 timber containers sent abroad!
A load of Teak logs valued at Rs. 130 million is to be exported to India. This timber had been seized by the customs earlier when arrangements had been made to export it illegally. (Dec 14 LAnkatruth) Full Story

Norway, get out!
Patriotic disabled soldiers Union had written to the President asking her to cease all dealings with the Norwegian Ambassador. The Union had made this appeal quoting the instance where the Ambassador had used diplomatic immune to get down sophisticated communication equipment to the tiger organization.(Dec 14 LAnkatruth) Full Story

Police probing Colombo visit by MDF ultra
By K.T. Sangameswaran , CHENNAI , DEC. 14. The arrest of Muslim Defence Force extremists has led investigators to probe the Colombo visit by one of them. The police suspect that the purpose was to explore the possibility of giving training to the MDF cadres on the island. Full Story

Sri Lanka, Tigers look at returning war displaced
OLOMBO, Dec. 14 - Sri Lanka and Tamil Tiger rebels stepped up efforts on Saturday to demilitarise areas in the north of the island ravaged by nearly two decades of ethnic war.
Representatives from the two sides met for seven hours on the Jaffna peninsula to discuss ways to resettle people into areas controlled by the military. Full Story

Lankan parliament yet to get on with Tigers
COLOMBO: The Tamil Tigers are still officially "at war" with the government of Sri Lanka but that has not stopped the two sides sitting down to agree a federal solution to the island's ethnic crisis. (Dec 13 DAWN) Full Story

UPDATED on 14-12-2002 at 07:42 PM(SL Time)

Australia A beats Sri Lanka by 102 runs
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) -- Jimmy Maher's century inspired Australia A to a 102-run win over Sri Lanka Saturday in a limited-overs cricket match at the Gabba. Full Story

Sri Lanka peace sub-committees to resume sessions
COLOMBO, Dec 14, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Two peace sub-committees agreed between the Sri Lanka government and the Tamil Tiger rebels will resume their sessions, a source from the government peace secretariat said Saturday Full Story

Sri Lankan Prime Minister to visit Maldives
COLOMBO, Dec 14, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will leave for Male, capital of the Republic of Maldives, on Monday for a one-day visit at the invitation of the Maldivian government, the Prime Minister's office said Saturday. Full Story

Include disarming of LTTE in talks, says SLFP
COLOMBO. DEC. 13. Sri Lanka's main Opposition party, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), today urged the early inclusion of the sensitive issue of disarming the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the negotiations. Full Story

UPDATED on 14-12-2002 at 00:59 AM(SL Time)

Navy apprehends LTTE arms ship!
A large ship transporting arms had been encircled by the Sri Lanka Navy today at bout 8.00 p.m.
According to Naval sources a boat on a routine surveillance mission had first observed this ship. The officials manning the naval boat had informed the camp in Trincomalee and later the officials had informed the Air Force. (Dec 14 Lankatruth) Full Story

US trade official to visit Sri Lanka
OLOMBO, Dec 13 (AFP) - The US Assistant Secretary of Commerce, William H. Lash, is due to visit Sri Lanka next week to discuss promoting bilateral trade and investment, the US embassy here said Friday.
"The purpose of the visit is to discuss bilateral trade relations and Sri Lanka's investment climate," the embassy said in a statement. Full Story

Pondy official to take part in Delhi meet on fishermen
By Our Staff Reporter , Pondicherry , Dec. 13 . An official of the Pondicherry Administration will participate in the deliberations to be held at the instance of the Union External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi on December 17 to discuss the problems of fishermen between India and Sri Lanka Full Story