112 Reports

PM secretary told Jaffna difficulties

[TamilNet, Saturday, 31 August 2002, 20:58 GMT]
The difficulties faced by the students and fishermen of the Jaffna district were highlighted at a conference Saturday morning at the Jaffna district secretariat, despite the existence of the ceasefire agreement. The Prime Minister's secretary, Mr. Bradman Weerakone, attended the conference. Education officials said that the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) still occupies sixty schools and students fear to attend classes in several schools, which arestill surrounded by SLA camps.
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Displaced DS office moves to Kuchchaveli

[TamilNet, Saturday, 31 August 2002, 20:56 GMT]
The office of the Kuchchaveli Divisional Secretariat, which temporarily functioned at Nilaveli, has shifted to its original place after a lapse of seventeen years. The Kuchchaveli DS office was displaced in 1985 due to the mass displacement of people from the villages of Thiriyai, Kuchchaveli, Thennamaravadi and Kumburupiddy, which come under its administration.
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SLMM seeks return of Pesalai market, library

[TamilNet, Saturday, 31 August 2002, 20:22 GMT]
Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission officials in Mannar said Saturday they visited three places occupied by the Sri Lankan security forces in the region on complaints from the Church and a widow. The Sri Lanka Police occupies the public cemetery, market building and the public library in Pesalai, 14 kilometres west of Mannar town.
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'Peace vital for economic development'- Minister

[TamilNet, Saturday, 31 August 2002, 19:12 GMT]
"The twenty year old brutal war has now come to an end paving way to promote better understanding between all communities in the island. Permanent peace is vital for the economic development of the country," said Minister of Public Administration, Provincial Councils and Local Government Mr.Alick Aluwihare at the conclusion of the one-day mobile service held at Trincomalee St.Mary's College Saturday.
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US defence experts to arrive Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Saturday, 31 August 2002, 18:49 GMT]
A team of United States defence experts is to arrive Colombo Sunday to assess urgent needs to boost training Sri Lankan security forces, State run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) reported Saturday quoting government sources. "The arrival of US defence experts to Sri Lanka at a time when direct peace talks are scheduled to commence between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam will not hinder the progress of such talks," stressed Constitutional Affairs Minister Professor G.L.Peiris Saturday in clarification.
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Special court in prison to expedite PTA cases

[TamilNet, Saturday, 31 August 2002, 18:43 GMT]
The special High Court established in the Welikada prison to hear cases filed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) is to function from September 15, Judicial Service Commission (JSC) sources said Saturday. This is the first time a special court has been set up in a prison to expedite the disposal of PTA cases, legal sources said.
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Navy assaults Karainagar civilians

[TamilNet, Friday, 30 August 2002, 22:01 GMT]
Seven Tamil civilians, including two school children, were assaulted by Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) personnel at Karainagar in Jaffna, around 7 p.m.,Wednesday, according to a complaint made by area residents to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in the northern peninsula.
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Prisoners swap postponed by ten days

[TamilNet, Friday, 30 August 2002, 21:55 GMT]
The exchange of prisoners between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has been postponed by about ten days and it will not take place as scheduled for Saturday at Omanthai in Vavuniya, the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) sources said.
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PM to meet WB President next month

[TamilNet, Friday, 30 August 2002, 21:54 GMT]
A government delegation led by Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe is to visit several countries seeking foreign aid for the development of the island soon after the first round of direct peace talks commenced at Thailand in mid September, Constitutional Affairs Minister Mr. G.L.Peiris said Friday. During his visit to United States of America, the Prime Minister is to confer with the World Bank President regarding the proposed aid to the country, he said.
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Cabinet approves 19th constitutional amendment

[TamilNet, Friday, 30 August 2002, 13:24 GMT]
The United National Front (UNF) government said Friday that it will gazette the nineteenth amendment to the constitution restricting powers to the Executive President to dissolve parliament, on September 3 Tuesday. “The cabinet has approved the proposed amendment and it will be tabled in parliament on September 11. The President can make any statement regarding the constitutional amendment on or before September 3,” said Constitutional Affairs Minister and government media spokesman Mr. G.L.Peiris Friday at a press briefing held at the Department of Information.
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Vanni artistes highlight detainees' plight

[TamilNet, Friday, 30 August 2002, 05:46 GMT]
A Tamil parliamentarian Thursday called for the repeal of Sri Lanka’s notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) under which hundreds of people continue to be detained. Mr. K. Thurairatnesingham, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was addressing people assembled at Trincomalee St. Joseph's College auditorium Thursday evening to view the play enacted by the Vanni Teachers' Aesthetic Society, a group of teacher-artistes of Vanni region.
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Opposition split as confidence vote postponed

[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 August 2002, 19:21 GMT]
Sri Lanka's opposition parties were divided Thursday on the postponement of the debate on the vote of confidence in the United National Front government. The Marxist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna protested the decision while the main opposition Peoples Alliance (PA) had requested the delay, to enable twenty more PA parliamentarians to attend.
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PTA case without evidence dropped

[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 August 2002, 19:18 GMT]
The Mannar Magistrate Thursday discharged a man charged under the Prevention of Terrorism (PTA) when the Attorney General withdrew the indictment against him. The accused was brought to Mannar Wednesday from Kalutara prison and produced in court Thursday.
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Gen. Ratwatte's bank lockers searched

[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 August 2002, 14:45 GMT]
The Criminal Investigation Department officials Wednesday night searched several safety deposit boxes in a leading private bank in Colombo and found cash around five million rupees and several secret documents. CID officials said Thursday that the said safety deposit boxes belong to the former Deputy Defence Minister General Anurudhha Ratwatte and his wife.
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Cabinet approves move to curb President

[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 August 2002, 08:13 GMT]
(News Feature) The constitutional standoff between Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe deepened this week as state media reported that the cabinet Wednesday adopted the 18th amendment which seeks to curb the powers of the President to dissolve parliament whilst also precluding action against members who vote for same.
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Congress of Religions for LTTE ban removal

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 August 2002, 20:51 GMT]
The Congress of Religions Wednesday said that it disassociates with the statements made by some members of the organisation at a press conference held Tuesday regarding the removal of ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The Congress of Religions in its statement issued Wednesday said that especially Hindu and Christian leaders in the organisation are of opinion that that the ban on LTTE should be lifted."
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AG to charge police officials for torturing

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 August 2002, 20:49 GMT]
The Attorney General (AG) has taken steps to expedite filing indictments against police officers who face charges of torturing arrested suspects. Most of the tortured persons are Tamil youths and have been arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). A special unit has been set up for this purpose with a senior state counsel Mr.Yasantha Kotegoda as its head, AG department sources said.
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Court seeks Chemmani report

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 August 2002, 14:42 GMT]
The Colombo Chief Magistrate has directed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to submit on November 26 a full report regarding the investigation into the mass graves at Chemmani. The court issued the directive when the case against six Sri Lanka Army suspects held in connection with the Chemmani graves was taken up for inquiry Tuesday.
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LTTE decides on delegation for talks

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 27 August 2002, 16:50 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers have decided on the delegation they will be sending to the Norwegian facilitated peace talks in Thailand next month, a Tamil expatriate newspaper reported Tuesday. The LTTE will be sending a four person delegation led by the movement's chief negotiator and political advisor, Mr. Anton Balasingham, to the 3-day negotiations scheduled to begin on September 16, LTTE sources told Tamil Guardian Monday. The paper also quoted LTTE officials as welcoming the Sri Lankan government's announcement Sunday that the ban on the movement would be lifted on September 6.
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Prime Minister briefs Archbishop on peace process

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 27 August 2002, 16:40 GMT]
The Archbishop of Colombo, Right Reverend Dr. Oswald Gomes, Tuesday urged Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe to take forward the peace process and find a honourable solution to the ethnic conflict. The Archbishop made the plea when the Prime Minister met him Tuesday afternoon and briefed him on the present status of the Norwegian peace initiative.
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WHO, ADB to help NE rehabilitation

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 27 August 2002, 13:51 GMT]
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Tuesday announced that it has allocated four thousand million rupees for the rehabilitation of war ravaged Jaffna district. The money will be spent on rehabilitating schools, medical institutions and housing in the peninsula, ADB officials said.
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International help to Vanni demining operations

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 27 August 2002, 00:13 GMT]
The Humanitarian Demining Unit (HDU), a subsidiary of Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) has begun operations in Vanni with modern protective gear provided by the British demining agency Mine Action Group (MAG), UK with the assistance of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
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Fishing restrictions reimposed in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 26 August 2002, 23:51 GMT]
More than six hundred fishermen residing in three villages close to the east of Sri Lanka Army's main Palaly base in Jaffna district did not go fishing Monday protesting against the restriction imposed by the SLA that they should go to sea from the shore where the Myliyathanai army camp is situated. The SLA has further instructed them not to keep their fishing crafts in their villages but to keep them at Myliyathanai army camp site under its supervision.
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18th amendment draft tabled

[TamilNet, Monday, 26 August 2002, 23:49 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Finance Minister, Mr. K. N. Choksy said Monday that the draft bill of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution would be tabled at the next cabinet meeting, scheduled to be held on Wednesday.
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Special govt. team arrives Kilinochchi

[TamilNet, Monday, 26 August 2002, 11:21 GMT]
A special team of development experts and bank officials flew to Kilinochchi in a special Sri Lanka Air Force helicopter, Monday morning , to hold talks with the leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, government sources said.
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Govt.to lift LTTE ban on Sept 6.

[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 August 2002, 20:57 GMT]
The United National Front government Sunday announced that it will lift the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam with effect from September 6, ten days ahead of direct talks begin in Thailand, the state run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation reported Sunday.
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St John Ambulance National Cadet camp concludes in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Sunday, 25 August 2002, 20:50 GMT]
More than eight hundred youths of all communities from north to south of the country attended the five-day National and Cadet Camp for the year 2002 of the St.John Ambulance Association and Brigade held at Trincomalee Vipulananda College.
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Announcement on lifting ban due soon

[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 August 2002, 20:50 GMT]
The United National Front government said Saturday that official announcement on lifting the ban on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam will be out in a day or two. "The government has already decided to lift the ban on the LTTE if it would be an obstacle for having direct talks with that organisation to find a negotiated political solution to the present conflict. There is no change in that decision. The government is now in the process of making arrangements to issue an official announcement in this regard," said the Defence Minister Mr.Tilak Marapone.
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Govt. special team to visit Killinochchi

[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 August 2002, 20:32 GMT]
A government special team headed by Peace Secretariat Secretary General and comprising top representatives of several development agencies is to visit Killinochchi on Monday to have extensive talks with the leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
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Law minister to AG "expedite PTA cases"

[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 August 2002, 20:28 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Law Minister has instructed the Attorney General to expedite all cases against the suspects who have been held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) with only their confessions as evidence against them. "It is better for the Attorney General to represent the people instead of the State," said Mr.W.J.M.Lokkubandara in his instruction to the AG's department.
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North-South peace sports festival proposed

[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 August 2002, 19:05 GMT]
A conference, chaired by the Minister of Lands, Mr.Rajitha Senaratne, was held in Trincomalee Saturday to discuss holding a four-day, North-South Peace Sports Festival in Kalutara, in the south of the country.
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Govt. peace official holds talks with Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 August 2002, 21:01 GMT]
The Peace Secretariat Secretary, General Mr.Bernard Gunatillake, Friday held talks with the leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The two-hour talks held with Mr.S.P.Thamilchelvan by the government peace official centred on various issues including the development of the north east province, government sources said.
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Government corresponds with NEPC in Sinhala language

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 August 2002, 20:55 GMT]
The central government of Sri Lanka still maintains official correspondence with Tamil dominated North East Provincial Council only in Sinhala language. This has caused provincial officials immense difficulties in getting those letters and circulars translated into Tamil or English, NEPC sources said.
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Thenmaradchi farmers appeal to PM

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 August 2002, 20:52 GMT]
Farmers of Thenmaradchi in Jaffna district have sent a memorandum to the Prime Minister requesting him to take immediate steps to allow them to do rain-fed paddy cultivation in their fields as earlier promised by Minister Milinda Morogoda and Defence Secretary Austin Fernando when they visited the area some weeks back.
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AG withdraws indictments in sixteen PTA cases

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 August 2002, 13:25 GMT]
The Jaffna High Court Friday discharged seven accused in sixteen cases when the State Counsel withdrew the indictments filed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, on the instruction of the Attorney General. In one case, the accused was enlarged in bail, court sources said.
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TNA meets Armitage

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 August 2002, 09:35 GMT]
"The United States of America should help the Tamils to find an alternate and just political solution to their longstanding problems while reiterating its stand against the division of the country," the delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) told the visiting US Deputy Secretary of State Mr. Richard Armitage when it met the latter at the official residence of the US ambassador in Colombo Thursday evening.
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Peace official to meet LTTE leadership

[TamilNet, Thursday, 22 August 2002, 16:29 GMT]
The ruling United National Front (UNF) Thursday said it expects Norway to announce in a few days the date direct peace talks between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are to commence in Thailand. "Peace Secretariat Secretary General Mr. Bernard Gunatilake is scheduled to visit Killinochchi shortly to hold vital talks with the Head of the LTTE's political wing, Mr.S.P.Thamilchelvan. Talks are also expected to focus on development activities in north," said Minister G.L.Peiris, cabinet spokesman Thursday at a press briefing.
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US Deputy Secretary of State visits Chavakachcheri

[TamilNet, Thursday, 22 August 2002, 11:36 GMT]
The United States Deputy Secretary of State, Mr. Richard Armitage, visited Chavakachcheri Urban Council grounds Thursday morning accompanied by Sri Lanka’s Economic Reforms Minister Mr. Milinda Morogoda, Defence Ministry Secretary Mr. Austin Fernando, US Ambassador in Colombo Mr. Ashely Wills and the three heads of the armed forces. While touring the Chavakachcheri area, the visiting US diplomat said, "It reminds me of Vietnam where I served for six years. This shows the urgent need of finding a political solution to Sri Lanka's crisis."
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NE resident doctors give ultimatum to Government

[TamilNet, Thursday, 22 August 2002, 06:48 GMT]
Resident doctors working in the Northeast province who are members of the Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) have categorically told the ministry of health that they will launch a continuous strike after one month if the authorities failed to pay the one-year special mission allowance now being paid to non-resident doctors from other provinces serving in Northeast.
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UNF to move confidence vote in parliament

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 August 2002, 15:42 GMT]
The United National Front Wednesday decided to move a vote of confidence on the government led by Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe in parliament next week. The motion will be taken up for debate on August 29. A decision to this effect was taken at the meeting of leaders of all political parties represented in parliament, Minister W.M.J. Lokubandara, leader of the House said Wednesday.
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Twenty injured at music festival

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 21 August 2002, 09:38 GMT]
At least twenty people, including two policemen, were injured in clashes during the last day of a musical show held in Trincomalee. The five day mega industrial exhibition 'Yuga Thekma', organised by the Industries Ministry in Trincomalee, ended in the early hours of Wednesday.
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'Economic recovery depends on permanent solution' -Sampanthan

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 August 2002, 21:35 GMT]
"The economy of the country will be improved only when the interim administration starts functioning with necessary powers to develop the Northeast province following the Thailand peace talks scheduled to be held in mid September," said Mr.R.Sampanthan, leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentary group when addressing the fifth and final day of the 'Yuga Thekma' industrial exhibition held in Trincomalee esplanade.
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Unions demand halt to privatisation moves

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 August 2002, 20:20 GMT]
Hundreds workers from state owned banks, insurance and petroleum corporations and members of trade unions aligned to the Sinhala nationalist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) demonstrated Tuesday against the United Front Government's plans to privatise public institutions that have become a heavy burden on the island's cash strapped economy. The demonstration at Lipton Circus, a busy intersection in the heart of the city, was organised by the JVP backed All Ceylon Trade Union Federation.
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Leadership training for Trinco war widows inaugurated

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 August 2002, 18:47 GMT]
The first phase of leadership training for war widows in the Trincomalee district was inaugurated Tuesday in Trincomalee by the District Planning Secretariat and sponsored by the World Food Programme.
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'Released Tamil youths harassed by Police' -Selvam

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 August 2002, 18:21 GMT]
"I wish to bring to the notice of the Defence Minister that the Tamil youths released from prisons are being harassed by the Police. These youths find in difficult to live in peace in their homes due to unwanted interference by the Police," said Vanni district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian Mr.Selvam Adaikalanathan, Tuesday, in parliament participating in the second day debate on the no-confidence motion against the Interior Minister moved by the opposition.
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Nimalarajan murder suspects further remanded

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 August 2002, 18:11 GMT]
The Jaffna acting Magistrate Tuesday allowed an application made by the Police seeking permission to send the 9 mm pistol and two spent bullets which had been recovered from the office of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) to Colombo for forensic examination and report. The Police recovered the pistol and bullets when they raided the EPDP office, August 9.
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TRO launches new scheme in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 August 2002, 17:18 GMT]
The Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) in Trincomalee has decided to launch a scheme called 'Grama Dhrasanam' (Village Vision) in the district, giving priority to the rehabilitation of the displaced families. A decision to this effect was taken at its directors' meeting held Tuesday.
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First Sea Movement of LTTE Successful -SLMM

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 August 2002, 15:15 GMT]
The Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, Major General Trond Furuhovde, said Tuesday that the first sea movement of the LTEE members between Mullaithivu and Vaakarai, this weekend has clearly demonstrated the parties’ determination and willingness to find solutions on complicated matters. "The sea movement, as challenging it is, can form the very symbol of commitment and confidence of the Parties," Mr.Furuhovde said in a statment issued by the SLMM, Tuesday.
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NE doctors strike over pay discrimination

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 20 August 2002, 12:58 GMT]
More than three hundred resident medical officers working in the Northeast government hospitals and dispensaries, Tuesday, went on a strike, demanding that they also should be paid special mission allowance now being paid for non-resident doctors from other provinces.
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TNA accuses 'PA playing dual role'

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 August 2002, 21:46 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Monday accused the main opposition People’s Alliance playing a dual role regarding the present peace process brokered by the Norwegians. "The People’s Alliance should come forward to tell its clear stand on the peace process now being taken forward by the United National Front government," said Mr.R.Sampanthan, leader of the Tamil National Alliance parliamentary group participating in the debate of no confidence motion against the Interior Minister John Amaratunge.
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Batticaloa SLA commander replaced

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 August 2002, 21:38 GMT]
Col. Rajitha de Silva will assume duties as the commander of the 23-3 Brigade of the Sri Lanka army in Batticaloa from Wednesday, replacing Lt. Col. V. L. R Anthoniz, sources in the eastern town said Tuesday.
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'Last chance to find peace' -Chandrasekaran

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 August 2002, 21:18 GMT]
"This is the last opportunity given to a government in the island to find permanent peace with honourable political solution to the Tamils," said Minister and the leader of the Upcountry People's Front Mr. P.Chandrasekaran when addressing as the guest of honour at the fourth day of the five-day 'Yuga Thekma' exhibition in Trincomalee.
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SLA hands over two schools in Tellipalai

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 August 2002, 20:13 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army Monday (SLA) officially handed over Tellipalai Union College and ‘Thanthai Chelva’ Tamil School to the Department of Education in Jaffna district. The SLA allowed only students and teachers to enter buildings of these two schools.
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High Court discharges accused in PTA cases

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 August 2002, 20:05 GMT]
The Eastern High Court Monday discharged two men indicted by the Attorney General under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) when the Defence counsel submitted that the two key police officials who recorded the confession purported to have been made by the accused had failed to appear on all the trial dates.
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Jaffna cine film distribution to be streamlined

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 August 2002, 17:55 GMT]
All cine and video films screened in the Jaffna district will be censored and distributed with immediate effect. This responsibility has been entrusted with the Jaffna District Cine Films Distributors' Association (JDCFDA) which was inaugurated Monday.
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US Deputy Secretary to visit Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 August 2002, 17:45 GMT]
A three-member defence team of the American Embassy in Colombo Monday arrived Jaffna to ensure security for the UA Deputy Secretary of State Mr. Richard Armitage who is scheduled to visit the peninsula Thursday. The US team flew into Palaly main SLA base Monday morning.
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NE doctors to strike against discrimination

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 August 2002, 17:40 GMT]
Resident medical officers working in the northeast province have decided to strike from Tuesday, demanding that they should also be paid one year special mission allowance now being paid for the non-resident medical officers serving in northeast hospitals.
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Sea Tiger convoy sails under SLMM aegis

[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 August 2002, 20:25 GMT]
The first Sea Tiger convoy sailing from Mullaitivu under a working agreement between the Sri Lankan Navy and the Liberation Tigers brokered by international ceasefire monitors arrived in Vaakarai Sunday. Two patrol boats of the Sri Lanka Navy provided escort to LTTE boats.
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Peiris to lead Sri Lanka delegation to Thailand

[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 August 2002, 18:25 GMT]
"The Thailand peace talks will pave way for permanent peace in Sri Lanka. I will be leading country's delegation to the peace talks scheduled to be held in mid September," said Constitutional Affairs Minister, Professor G.L.Peiris, Sunday. The Minister was addressing after opening the third day of ‘Yuga Thekma’ industrial exhibition in Trincomalee Sunday evening.
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Peace front to be formed in south

[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 August 2002, 16:33 GMT]
The United Socialist Party (USP) Sunday announced that it has already taken steps to form a united front comprising political parties in the south, to canvass support for the current peace process. "We met LTTE Jaffna district political head Mr.Ilamparuthi Saturday and Sunday. We have assured the LTTE that our party will not be an obstacle to the liberation of Tamil people in this country," said Mr. Siritunge Jayasiri, General Secretary of the USP at a press briefing held Sunday afternoon around 3 p.m. in Jaffna Town Hall.
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Ranil on Thailand peace talks

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 August 2002, 16:01 GMT]
"We cannot fix a time table for peace talks. We cannot put forward a concrete proposal to start peace talks. First, we must take steps to understand the basic problems of the other side. Thereafter only both sides could continue the peace process. However, the goal is to find a permanent solution to the problem without dividing the country and upholding the democratic ideals," said Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe when addressing the final day deliberations of the United National Party national executive committee meeting held Saturday in Trincomalee Mc Heyzer stadium.
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Naval personnel assault Tamil civilians

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 August 2002, 15:56 GMT]
Seven civilians were assaulted severely by Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) personnel at Naranthanai, an islet in the Jaffna district Friday afternoon, according to a complaint made by the Kayts Palmyra and Coconut Development Society to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission ( SLMM ) in the peninsula. Six SLN personnel entered a toddy tavern in the area and assaulted the civilians, around 2.30 p.m. Friday, the complaint further states.
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Batticaloa fishermen demand equal rights

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 August 2002, 23:30 GMT]
A large number of Tamil fishermen in Batticaloa district Friday held a protest march demanding the government to lift restrictions on fishing and to provide the same privileges now being enjoyed by fishermen in the South. The fishermen also demanded the government to take immediate steps to stop foreign fishing vessels entering Sri Lankan territorial waters.
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'Peace vital for economic development' -Ranil

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 August 2002, 23:21 GMT]
"The economic development of the country critically depends on the outcome of the peace talks. We have strengthened the ongoing peace process by laying a firm foundation for the proposed peace talks," said Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, Friday morning, when addressing a gathering which followed the ceremonial inauguration of the first common user multi purpose berth in the port of Trincomalee.
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PA-JVP anti-peace moves criticised

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 August 2002, 23:13 GMT]
"People's Alliance (PA) and the Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) are working together to derail the peace process. Peace loving people of the country should not allow these elements to succeed," said Media Minister Mr.Imtiaz Bakeer Markar when addressing a gathering Friday in Trincomalee, after opening the newly built Rs.112 million Post Office complex.
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International welcome for talks announcement

[TamilNet, Friday, 16 August 2002, 12:12 GMT]
(News Feature) The United States, Britain and Japan this week welcomed the announcement that the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers will commence direct talks in Thailand in mid-September. The governments also strongly endorsed the Norwegian facilitated peace process and applauded the efforts by all sides to end Sri Lanka’s protracted conflict.
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Ranil hails Oslo agreement

[TamilNet, Thursday, 15 August 2002, 18:48 GMT]
"The agreement reached between his government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to fix date for direct talks in September is a watershed in the peace process" said Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe Thursday addressing the ruling United National Front parliamentary group.
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SLAF crash in Dodangoda

[TamilNet, Thursday, 15 August 2002, 18:07 GMT]
A Sri Lankan Air Force Y-8 flight crashed in a paddy field in Dodangoda 51 kilometres south of capital Colombo in the district of Kalutara District Thursday afternoon, military officials said.
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Peace draws 400,000 to forest shrine festival

[TamilNet, Thursday, 15 August 2002, 16:38 GMT]
More than four hundred thousand Sinhala and Tamil devotees from all parts of Sri Lanka thronged the Madhu feast this year, which concluded Thursday. "The number of devotees is unprecedented. After a gap of nineteen years the devotees of the Madhu Maatha (Ave Maria) poured out their suppressed devotion. The hundreds of thousand faithful who flocked to the shrine have expressed their love for peace. Everyone who gathered here have shown that they are against war," Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph, the Bishop of Mannar told TamilNet. The forest shrine of Ave Maria is in his diocese.
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SL forces urged to leave public, private property

[TamilNet, Thursday, 15 August 2002, 15:15 GMT]
Sri Lankan armed forces occupy 160 public and private buildings and properties in the Mannar district, Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission sources said. Following requests made by the SLMM and several civil society groups the Police, army and Navy vacated ten properties in Mannar town in accordance with the terms of the Cease-fire Agreement (CFA) between the government and the Liberation Tigers signed in February. The Police vacated some private homes it was occupying in Murunkan.
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UNF decides to limit Executive Presidency powers

[TamilNet, Thursday, 15 August 2002, 11:42 GMT]
The United National Front government has decided to bring in amendments to the 1978 Constitution to limit the discretionary powers of the Executive Presidency to dissolve parliament and measures to allow parliamentarians to vote according to their conscience, Constitutional Affairs Minister and Cabinet spokesman Mr. G.L.Peiris said Thursday.
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Peace talks in September - Norway

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 August 2002, 16:31 GMT]
Direct talks between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lankan government will commence in Thailand with Norwegian facilitation between 12th and 17th of September, an official statement by the Norwegian government said Wednesday.
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Foreign diplomats visit Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 August 2002, 15:58 GMT]
Netherlands and German diplomats Wednesday visited Jaffna on a fact finding mission to assess the ground situation after the signing of the Cease-fire agreement between the United National Front government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. They met a group of leading representatives of the Jaffna District Humanitarian Agencies Consortium (JDHAC).
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Opposition protests against UNF economic policy

[TamilNet, Monday, 12 August 2002, 22:11 GMT]
A protest campaign was held Monday afternoon at Lipton Square, in down town Colombo against the increase of cost of living and privatisation. A procession and rally in commemoration of 1953 'hartal' (general shut down) by leftist political parties was organised by the main opposition People's Alliance (PA) and its trade unions.
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Relatives of disappeared persons demonstrate in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 12 August 2002, 22:09 GMT]
Hundreds of relatives of the disappeared persons in Jaffna district Monday held a demonstration in front of the Jaffna district secretariat, demanding that Colombo investigate the fate of more than 600 youth who went missing after being arrested by the Sri Lanka army in Jaffna in 1997-96. The demonstration was organised by the Missing Person's Guardian Association (MPGA).
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SLA opens road following protest

[TamilNet, Monday, 12 August 2002, 14:59 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army opened the main road through Morakkoddanchenai, 26 kilometres north of Batticaloa, after twelve years following a sit in protest by villagers Monday. The protesting crowds surged ahead through soldiers when the SLA commander for Batticaloa, Lt. Col. V. R. L Anthoniz agreed to open an inner road as well.
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SLA troops 'provoking' LTTE, monitors told

[TamilNet, Monday, 12 August 2002, 04:51 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers Sunday protested to international ceasefire monitors and Sri Lanka Army (SLA) commanders that government troops are engaged in provocative acts such as advances from their lines and the establishment of new positions closer to LTTE lines in Jaffna. Senior military commanders from both sides met under the auspices of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), the Voice of Tigers (VoT) radio said.
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Murder weapon in Nimalarajan case seized

[TamilNet, Sunday, 11 August 2002, 22:25 GMT]
The Police have claimed that the weapon allegedly used for killing journalist Mylvaganam Nimalarajan on 19th October 2001 has been recovered from Jaffna EPDP office. The seized weapon is of 9 mm category, the State run Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) night reported Sunday quoting police sources.
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Morogoda visits Valikaamam-north, Thenmaradchi

[TamilNet, Sunday, 11 August 2002, 13:51 GMT]
A senior minister of the United National Front government Saturday evening said in Jaffna that the resettlement of the displaced in Valikaamam north and Nagarkovil area will take place after the commencement of peace talks between the government and the Liberation Tigers (LTTE). Minister of Economic Reforms Mr.Milinda Morogoda told this to Tamil National Alliance parliamentarians during his visit to Jaffna Saturday to look into the prospects of allowing resettlement in high security zones in the peninsula, Tamil sources said.
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ACTC urges Tamil - Muslim unity

[TamilNet, Sunday, 11 August 2002, 13:37 GMT]
The All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), Sunday appealed to Tamils and Muslims not to fall prey to the chauvinist forces that are very active in adopting divide and rule policy to achieve their political ends. A resolution to this effect further stated that Tamils and Muslims should work together with one voice to ensure their rights in the Northeast province.
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SLA urged to open road in Jaffna town

[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 August 2002, 21:18 GMT]
A large crowd staged a token sit in protest in the heart of Jaffna town Saturday morning, blocking Sri Lanka army vehicles going to the Palaly base for about one and half hours. The protestors demanded that the SLA should open to the public a key road in the northern town's busy centre.
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Soaring demand for flights to Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 August 2002, 21:14 GMT]
More airlines are set to start flights to Jaffna while present operators intend to expand services to meet soaring demand for seats, the state-owned Daily News reported Saturday. Sri Lanka's only domestic airline in operation, Expo Aviation (Pvt) Ltd, servicing the Colombo-Jaffna route is doing brisk business with over 11,000 seats being sold within the last two months, the paper said.
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Resettlement to commence after demining Thiriyai village

[TamilNet, Saturday, 10 August 2002, 09:20 GMT]
Five hundred and thirteen displaced Tamil families are to be resettled in Thiriyai village in the Trincomalee district in the first stage during September after demining is completed. "The Prime Minister has allocated five million rupees for the resettlement in addition to 3.5 million rupees already allocated," said Mr.R.Sampanthan, Trincomalee district parliamentarian addressing a top level conference held Friday evening at the Trincomalee district secretariat. The Government Agent Mr.N.H.K.Nelumdeniya presided.
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Batticaloa journalists protest against attack on Thinakathir

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 August 2002, 08:50 GMT]
Journalists in Batticaloa friday afternoon staged a half an hour picketing blocking the traffic across the main road in front of the newspaper office. The picketing was organised by the East Lanka Journalists Association, condemning the attack on Thinakathir newspaper office thursday night.
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Gang ransacks office of Batticaloa daily

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 August 2002, 03:57 GMT]
The office of Thinakkathir, the Tamil daily paper published in Batticaloa, was ransacked by a gang Thursday night. A gang of more than five had forcibly entered the paper office around 11 p.m. tied up and blindfolded the staff and took away office equipment, Thinakkathir editor Mr. Kodeeswaran Rushangan told TamilNet. Two journalists were wounded in an attack on the office in Batticaloa town's high security zone on 26 December 2001.
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Protest to demand road reopening

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 August 2002, 00:36 GMT]
A protest demonstration will be staged Saturday if the public's demands for the immediate reopening of a section of the Palaly Road is not met by the Sri Lanka Army, the Valigamam South East Welfare Organizations Consortium said Thursday.
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Mylanthanai massacre commemorated

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 August 2002, 00:08 GMT]
The tenth anniversary of the massacre by Sri Lankan troops of thirty nine men, women and children in the eastern village of Mylanthanai was marked Thursday by survivors who have been living in Kalmadu refugee camp. Meanwhile the Sri Lanka Army held a remembrance ceremony for the Army and Navy officers, whose deaths in a landmine attack on August 8, 1992, triggered the retaliatory massacre.
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Displaced protest security zone

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 August 2002, 19:55 GMT]
More than five hundred displaced people staged a token sit in protest Wednesday in front of the Chavakachcheri Divisional Secretariat (DS) demanding that they should be allowed to resettle in their villages - Eluthumadduval, Mirusuvil and Karampagam - in the Thenmaradchi area. The DS office did not function because of the picketing.
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Valaichchenai refugees starve without relief

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 August 2002, 19:53 GMT]
More than four hundred families living at Valaichchenai refugee camp in the Batticaloa district undergo untold hardships in running their day-to-day lives, as they have not been provided with dry rations for the last two months.
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Thadchchanamadu murder suspects identified

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 August 2002, 19:48 GMT]
All the eleven suspects in the Thadchanamadu murder case were identified Wednesday before the Mannar acting Magistrate Mr.S.A.Johnthasan. All the fifteen witnesses who were present in the court identified the accused when the identification parade was held in five. The suspects were produced under heavy security.
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Stolen vehicles 'sold in north'

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 August 2002, 17:52 GMT]
People in the north of Sri Lanka should be wary of buying vehicles which could be stolen in the south of the island, the Vavuniya Magistrate warned. "People in Killinochchi, Mullaitivu, Jaffna, Vavuniya and Mannar should think twice before purchasing a vehicle from strangers, as a gang is operating in selling vehicles which have been stolen in the south," Mr.M.Illancheliyan, said at a murder inquest.
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Attorney General against political pressure

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 August 2002, 17:50 GMT]
The Attorney General Wednesday announced that the suspects who have been detained under the Prevention of terrorism Act (PTA) would be released only if there was no substantial evidence against them. The AG Mr.K.C.Kamasabeyson has decided not to give into political pressure in this regard, the state and private radio and TV reported Wednesday night.
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Moragoda to visit Thenmaradchchi

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 August 2002, 17:50 GMT]
A senior minister in the United National Front government is to visit Thenmaradchchi area in Jaffna district Saturday to inquire into complaints that members of state armed forces are removing palmyra trees cut down in the north to south of the country.
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Another EPDP member arrested in Nimalarajan murder

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 August 2002, 17:45 GMT]
The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) of the Jaffna Police Wednesday arrested another member of the Eelam People Democratic Party (EPDP), in connection with the murder of journalist Mylvaganam Nimalarajan. The arrest had been made consequent to the warrant obtained by the Police from the Jaffna Magistrate Tuesday to search the offices of the EPDP in Jaffna and Kayts.
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Japanese Ambassador meets Tamilselvan

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 August 2002, 18:48 GMT]
The Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. Sciichiro 0tsuka, met the head of the Liberation Tigers' political section, Mr. S. P. Tamilselvan, in the Vanni on Tuesday. Mr. Seiichiro Otsuka was accompanied by Ms. Noriko Iseki, First Secretary for Economic Cooperation and Mr. S.A.S. Devotta, Senior Assistant for Political Affairs.
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Police to search EPDP offices

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 August 2002, 16:33 GMT]
The Jaffna Magistrate Tuesday allowed an application by the Police to search two offices in Jaffna of the paramilitary Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP), in connection with the murder two years ago of journalist Mylvaganam Nimalarajan.
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Japanese Ambassador visits Vavuniya

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 August 2002, 11:47 GMT]
The Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. Sciichiro 0tsuka, visited Vavuniya Monday and reviewed resettlement now being undertaken in the northern district. The Ambassador's visit was intended to study how his government could assist about nine thousand villagers who have been resettled in more than twenty villages in the Nedunkerny divisional secretariat area, Vavuniya Government Agent, K. Ganesh, said.
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Tractor triggers pressure mine

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 August 2002, 02:06 GMT]
A 26-year old driver was killed instantly Monday afternoon at Ariyalai near Jaffna town when his tractor ran over a pressure mine left in the area, police sources said. Another youth aged 24 was admitted to Jaffna teaching hospital with serious injuries.
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NE District Unions in new Consortium

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 August 2002, 01:56 GMT]
A new organisation, the Consortium of North East Thrift and Credit Co-operative Societies Unions (TCCS) has been formed with its headquarters in Trincomalee. Eight district member unions of the NorthEast province which had been aligned with the Sri Lanka Federation of TCCS Ltd with its headquarters in Colombo became members of the TCCS.
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Six arrested entering Vanni

[TamilNet, Monday, 05 August 2002, 17:09 GMT]
The Tamil Eelam police arrested six people who entered LTTE-held Vanni without permission in two separate incidents on August 4, Tamil press reports said Monday. Among those arrested were three weapon-carrying Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troopers who attempted to infiltrate into LTTE-held areas.
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Trinco-Batticaloa highway to reopen

[TamilNet, Monday, 05 August 2002, 12:47 GMT]
The A15 highway between Batticaloa and Trincomalee is to be reopened for public use following discussions between representatives of the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers, Tamil press reports said Monday. A significant portion of the 132 km long road is under the control of the LTTE.
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TNA to coordinate with LTTE offices

[TamilNet, Sunday, 04 August 2002, 21:51 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said Sunday that it would exert pressure on the United National Front (UNF) government to fully implement the ceasefire agreement with the Liberation Tigers. "We will inform foreign envoys in Colombo the urgent need for the full implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement by the UNF government," TNA parliamentarians told reporters.
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US teams train Sri Lanka navy, army

[TamilNet, Sunday, 04 August 2002, 11:30 GMT]
A team from the US Navy special forces, the SEALS, will provide combat training for Sri Lankan Navy commandos this month whilst a US Army team has completed a course for Sri Lanka Army troops, the state-owned Sunday Observer reported this week.
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TNA MP criticises Jaffna trade exhibition

[TamilNet, Saturday, 03 August 2002, 17:32 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Mr.M.K.Sivajilingam Saturday said that the Jaffna business community has considered holding trade exhibition at this juncture a mockery when it has not been compensated adequately for the loss due to the war.The Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Refugee Affairs Minister Dr.Jayalath Jayawardene declared open the three-day trade exhibition at Jaffna Central College Saturday afternoon.
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IDPs to be resettled in Thiriyai village

[TamilNet, Saturday, 03 August 2002, 17:31 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Ports Development and Eastern Regional Development Minister Rauff Hakeem Saturday handed over a cheque for a sum of three and a half million rupees to the Government Agent, Trincomalee as a token gesture for the resettlement of five hundred displaced families in the village Thiriyai in the northern sector of the Trincomalee district. Presiding over a conference regarding the development of the Trincomalee district Saturday, Mr.Rauff Hakeem said his ministry would take steps to resettle another two thousand displaced families in the eastern district.
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EPDP man remanded in Nimalarajan murder

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 August 2002, 20:49 GMT]
The Jaffna Magistrate Friday ordered remand for a member of the Eelam People's Democratic party (EPDP) in connection with the murder of journalist Mylvaganam Nimalarajan on 19 October 2000.
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Hindu Minister visits devastated Nagarkovil village

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 August 2002, 20:48 GMT]
A group of civilians headed by the Hindu Affairs Minister Mr. T. Maheswaran visited Nagathambiran Temple located in Nagarkovil village, which is in a high security zone in the Vadamaradchi area of the Jaffna district Friday. This was the first time a civilian group had gone to Nagarkovil since its capture by the Sri Lanka Army two years ago, sources said.
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Navy vacates three schools in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 August 2002, 14:56 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Friday handed over three government schools, whichthey had been occupying in the Trincomalee district, to the northeast provincial department of education. The handing over event took place at Iranakerni Government Tamil Mixed School hall, one of the three schools, Friday afternoon. The Contingent Commander of the Nilaveli SLN Jayantha de Silva handed over the documents related to the schools to the Trincomalee Zonal Director of Education Mr. K. Thilakaretnam. The other two schools vacated Friday are Thiriyai Tamil Maha Vidyalyam and Sakarapura Sinhala Vidyalyam.
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Ceasefire ‘mostly implemented’ in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 August 2002, 09:39 GMT]
The ceasefire agreement between the Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lankan government has largely been implemented in Trincomalee, the head of the international monitors in the eastern district said Thursday. Ms Victoria Lund was addressing the weekly meeting of the Trincomalee Rotary Club as its guest speaker where she answered several questions on the ceasefire agreement.
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Meetings as troop relocation deadline is missed

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 August 2002, 00:32 GMT]
(News Feature) As the last of the stipulated deadlines for the Sri Lanka military to withdraw from civilian properties passed Thursday without the related terms of the government’s ceasefire agreement with the Liberation Tigers being implemented, international monitors met with senior LTTE officers to discuss the truce while Tamil parliamentarians protested to the Prime Minister.
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Navy fires on fishing boat

[TamilNet, Thursday, 01 August 2002, 00:00 GMT]
Tamil fishermen were assaulted by Sri Lanka Navy personnel near Vettilaikerny and Kattaikkadulast on Friday, Tamil press reports said. A SLN Dvora gunboat also fired on their fishing boats, damaging one, the Uthayan newspaper reported Wednesday.
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Vadamarachchi fishermen flee threats

[TamilNet, Thursday, 01 August 2002, 00:00 GMT]
Indian fishermen Wednesday chased away large numbers of fishermen from Vadamarachchi in Jaffna who had been engaged in fishing in Sri Lankan territorial waters in about two hundred fifty boats.
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