203 Reports

"Hold Tamil medium teacher recruitment exam in NE" - CTTU

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 31 December 2003, 19:18 GMT]
The Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union (CTTU) and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) have protested to the United National Front (UNF) government that the advertisement published by the Ministry of Human Development Resources, Education and Cultural Affairs calling for applications for the appointment of one thousand G.C.E. (Advanced Level) qualified teachers to Tamil medium schools in northeast province is "faulty and imperfect," according to a memoranda submitted to Ministry of Education, sources said.
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"NorthEast health infrastructure destroyed in war"- Provincial Official

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 31 December 2003, 14:27 GMT]
The two-decade old war has destroyed the health infrastructure of the northeast province and there is acute dearth of medical officers and para medical staff because of brain drain. The government is also not in a position to train required para medical staff to fill the vacancies existing in the northeast province due to shortage of funds, said the North East Provincial Director of Provincial Health Services Dr.S.Kumaravetpillai presiding over the inaugural event of the External Pharmacists Training Programme (EPTP) in Trincomalee district Tuesday.
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Two youths shot dead in Vavuniya

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 31 December 2003, 14:03 GMT]
Justin Fernando, 24, and Theivendran Thushyanthan, 18, of Nellukulam in Vavuniya were shot dead and their partially burnt bodies recovered from Pampaimadu area 31 December Wednesday morning, security sources in Vavuniya said. The youths have been missing from Monday after they went to Pampaimadu to collect sand in their two-wheeler, sources said.
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Tigers, SLA open for new year's eve

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 31 December 2003, 14:02 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers and the Sri Lanka army will keep the entry points to Jaffna and the Vanni open until 9.30 p.m. on New Year eve as a gesture of goodwill, officials on either side of the line of control in northern Sri Lanka said Wednesday. The International committee of the Red Cross left its position on either side of the no man's land at the Muhamalai entrypoint in Jaffna at the usual closing hour.
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Jaffna GA denies TamilNet report

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 31 December 2003, 11:01 GMT]
In a letter sent to Sri Lanka’s Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Refugees Jaffna Government Agent (GA) and forwarded to TamilNet "on advise of the Hon. Minister Prof. Jayalath Jeyawardena, MP," the GA, Mr. S. Pathmanathan categorically denied stating that the government of Sri Lanka “had not spent a red cent for rehabilitation and development in Jaffna for the last two years” at a meeting in Chavakachcheri on 27 December. The TamilNet correspondent who covered the meeting and took photographs of the event said he stands by his story.
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Kantalai Sivan Temple ruins to be protected

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 31 December 2003, 00:25 GMT]
The North East Provincial Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs has taken steps to construct a permanent facility to safe keep all stone scriptures and other ruins found in the vicinity of the destroyed Sivan temple built by the Chola King Rajendra Cholan around BC 1010 at Kantalai, said custodians of the temple.
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Teacher shortage imperils NorthEast education - Sampanthan

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 December 2003, 19:21 GMT]
"The quality of education in Tamil medium schools in the North East province is very adversely affected from the level of primary education through the level of secondary education as a result of the severe shortage of Tamil medium teachers," and dismal student performance at the GCE (advanced level) examination is a direct result of this shortage, said the parliamentary group leader of the Tamil National Alliance Mr.R.Sampanthan in a six page letter sent to the Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe Monday.
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SLA hands over houses to civilians in Thenmaradchchi

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 December 2003, 18:02 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Tuesday handed over six houses to civilians, which are located along the Varani-Vembirai road, close to the Vembirai junction in Manthuvil west in the Thenmaradchchi division in Jaffna district, civil sources said. SLA soldiers have been occupying these houses since 2000 when the SLA launched a military operation in Thenmaradchchi division.
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Sri Lanka urged to end regime of impunity

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 December 2003, 13:16 GMT]
At a press conference in New Delhi while releasing its 139 pages report, "The State of Civil and Political Rights in Sri Lanka", Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) Tuesday highlighted the massive violations of civil and political rights in Sri Lanka and urged the Sri Lankan government to implement the recommendations made by the United Nations Human Rights Committee on 6 November 2003.
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Curbing rising lawlessness, focus of Vavuniya meet

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 December 2003, 12:45 GMT]
Vavuniya district Judge M.Illancheliyan, President of Vavuniya Bar Association, M.Sittampalam, Assistant Superintendent of Police for Vavuniya Ranjith Kasturiyarachi and other Police officials met Monday afternoon at the Vavuniya Court House to discuss urgent stratgies to arrest the rising lawlessness in Vavuniya district, said civil sources in Vavuniya. The meeting was organized by the Government Agent (GA) K.Ganesh.
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“Political impasse cannot be allowed to continue” - Armitage

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 December 2003, 05:10 GMT]
The U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, Mr. Richard Armitage, who met with Sri Lanka’s Minister for Economic Reform, Science and Technology, Mr. Milinda Moragoda, in Washington, DC, on Monday, said that “the current political impasse cannot be allowed to continue,” and that the U.S. “looks forward to an early resumption” of the peace talks between the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
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USAID funds Trinco Sri Shanmuga Boys' Home development

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 December 2003, 00:16 GMT]
The seminar hall of the Sri Shanmuga Boys' Home in Trincomalee, refurbished with modern equipment at a cost of 3.1 million rupees with the financial assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), was declared open Sunday evening by the USAID/OTI Regional Programme Manager, Ms. Brenda Barrett.
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LTTE to close commercial vehicles section on 30, 31 December

[TamilNet, Monday, 29 December 2003, 18:23 GMT]
The heavy commercial vehicles section of the Liberation Tigers’ customs at the Puliyankulam entry point, 20 kilometres north of Vavuniya, would be closed on the 30 and 31 December, Mr. Daya Master, the LTTE’s media co-ordinator, told TamilNet Monday. He said that the Finance Division of the Liberation Tigers had decided to close the heavy commercial vehicles section of its customs department due to year-end work.
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Postmortem of xenophobia

[TamilNet, Monday, 29 December 2003, 18:10 GMT]
The preliminary report by the Sri Lanka Police on the rioting at the funeral of the Buddhist monk, Ven. Gangodawila Soma, was handed over to the Inspector General of Police this weekend. Five persons were severely assaulted by angry Sinhala Buddhist mourners at the funeral. Four of these were attacked because they looked like Tamils. But all of them were later confirmed to be Sinhala Buddhists, Police sources said. The crowd assaulted the fifth after it identified him as a Christian.
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CEB said ignoring Trincomalee electrification

[TamilNet, Monday, 29 December 2003, 15:58 GMT]
The Ministry of Power and Energy came in for severe criticism Monday at this year's last meeting of the Trincomalee District Co-ordinating Committee (DCC) for not implementing a single electrification project in the Trincomalee district although a sum of 3.8 million rupees had been allocated for the year 2003 under the decentralized budget for such projects.
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Electricity Grid to extend to Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi

[TamilNet, Monday, 29 December 2003, 14:12 GMT]
Kilinochchi district Electric Engineer Selvarajah Prabhakaran said that under a 2-year plan funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) the national electricity grid is to be extended to a new sub-station in Kilinochchi through a 132KV line. As precursor to this 2MV generators are to be installed in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu to provide electricity to key towns in the two districts, he added.
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Sri Lanka PM office delegation visits Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 29 December 2003, 11:34 GMT]
A delegation of officials from the Sri Lankan prime minister's office held a conference at the Jaffna district secretariat Monday to identify development and rehabilitation priorities in the war devastated peninsula. Funds for development and rehabilitation in Jaffna would be allocated by ministries in Colombo next year, according to officials who were at the meeting Monday.
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Jaffna missing persons's parents protest in Colombo

[TamilNet, Monday, 29 December 2003, 10:23 GMT]
Parents, wives and children of persons who went missing after being arrested by the Sri Lanka army in Jaffna in 1996-97 demonstrated in front of Sri Lanka's Ministry of Justice Monday. In a memorandum to the Minister of Justice they allege that the disappearances were part of a “well planned plot” by the Sri Lanka army “in conjunction” with a Tamil paramilitary group. Mr.S. Satkunam, the secretary of the Missing Persons Guardian Association, was questioned by Sri Lanka Police who wanted the demonstrators to disperse.
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World Bank funds pharmacist-training programme in NE

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 December 2003, 20:00 GMT]
North East Provincial Ministry of Health launched a project called "External Pharmacist Training Programme (EPTP) 2003-2004" to train eligible persons from the NorthEast to qualify as pharmacists to prevent unqualified persons in running the private pharmacies. The project is being implemented under the North East Emergency Rehabilitation Programme (NEERP), funded by the World Bank.
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Sri Lanka police constable commits suicide in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 December 2003, 19:57 GMT]
Mr.S.M.Premaretna, a constable of the Sri Lanka Police Saturday night committed suicide by shooting himself while staying in barracks located at Nedunthivu in Jaffna district. His body was handed at the Jaffna teaching hospital Sunday morning, police said.
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Parents of Jaffna Missing to Protest in Colombo

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 December 2003, 16:13 GMT]
Fifty four mothers and fathers who are Members of Jaffna Missing Persons Guardian Association (MPGA) and Jaffna Mothers Front (JMF) will picket in front of the Justice Ministry and Offices of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission in Colombo on Monday and Tuesday, said Subbu Satkunam, president MPGA.
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Jaffna fishermen want 19th century lighthouse rebuilt

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 December 2003, 14:22 GMT]
“We need two lighthouses on this coast to help the deep-sea fisheries industry that’s trying to find its feet now - after dwindling to nought during 20 years of Sri Lanka army and navy imposed bans, restrictions and neglect”, spokesman for the Vadamaradchi East Federation of Fishermen’s Co-operative Societies told TamilNet Sunday. The only lighthouse on this long fisheries coast in Jaffna was destroyed when the Sri Lanka army bombed it in 1996, according to local fishermen. The British built the Vettilaikerni lighthouse in 1870.
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Hill country youths denied permanency in Police Force

[TamilNet, Sunday, 28 December 2003, 01:34 GMT]
More than 350 Hill-country youths of Indian origin continue to serve in the temporary Reserve Police even after 14 years of service whereas Sinhala youths who joined the Reserve Force during the same period have been made permanent, Uthayan, a popular Tamil Jaffna daily reported.
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Eastern University students to organize Pongu Thamil

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 December 2003, 22:31 GMT]
Eastern University students are preparing to organize 'Pongu Thamil' celebrations in Batticaloa district after the New Year, medial reports in Jaffna said.
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‘Colombo hasn’t spent a cent on Jaffna’s development’- GA

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 December 2003, 16:34 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government did not allocate a red cent for rehabilitation and development in Jaffna for the last two years said the Government Agent for Jaffna, Mr. S Pathmanathan, addressing a consultation meeting Saturday on rehabilitation and development work planned for 2004 in the Thenmaradchi Division of the northern peninsula. The GA said that all rehabilitation and development work in the peninsula in the last two years was carried out with international aid.
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Health employees to launch black band campaign

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 December 2003, 14:42 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) Saturday announced that it would launch a black armband and black flag hoisting campaign in protest against the government's failure to resolve health sector salary anomalies.
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Colombo court calls for objection in “Sangaree case”

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 December 2003, 14:39 GMT]
The Colombo District Court Saturday called for objection through press advertisement published in three daily newspapers, Daily News, Thinakaran and Dinamina to the plaint filed by Mr. V.Anandasangaree against the Secretary General and Senior Vice President of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) Mr.R.Sampanthan and Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham respectively for summoning the party central committee meeting without his written approval, legal sources said.
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LTTE’s starts intensive AIDS awareness drive in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 December 2003, 08:06 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers began an intensive AIDS awareness campaign in Jaffna this week. Hundreds of local volunteers and members of the political division of the Liberation Tigers are going to every village and town in Jaffna daily to create awareness among the people about the dangers of AIDS. “We cannot let AIDS spread in Jaffna. It is a threat to our society. So we decided to nip it in the bud. We urge everyone’s cooperation to make people aware of the real nature of problem”, Mr. Daya Master, the LTTE media co-ordinator told TamilNet Saturday.
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Ministry of Internal Security declared in Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 December 2003, 21:54 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s President Chandrika Kumaratunga haspromulgated a Ministry of Internal Security from Saturday, sources at the Presidential secretariat in Colombo said Friday night. The special gazette notification establishing the new ministry was signed and formally promulgated by the President at midnight Friday.
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Committee formed to promote Tamil-Muslim amity in Trinco

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 December 2003, 16:20 GMT]
A twelve member committee comprising six Muslims and six Tamils was formed at a meeting held Wednesday evening at the conference hall of the Jumma Mosque located on the Ehambaram Road in Trincomalee town to strengthen relationship between the Muslims and Tamils in the Trincomalee bazaar area and to resolve differences that may arise in future, sources said.
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SLA truck collision injures two Jaffna youths

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 December 2003, 13:13 GMT]
A Sri Lanka Army (SLA) truck hit and seriously injured two youths, Paul Raj (18) and Sanjeevan (22) in Kantharmadam, Jaffna, Wednesday night, Voice of Tigers (VoT), reported in its morning broadcast Thursday.
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Four fishermen missing in Jaffna lagoon

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 December 2003, 12:51 GMT]
Four fishermen of Gurunagar of Jaffna town, Gratien Jemmar (35), S.Ravi (45), Benedict Ranjit (35) and L.Uthayakumar (37), are reported to be missing since December 22 while fishing in Iranaitivu sea area in Jaffna lagoon, Jaffna Fishermen Union officials said.
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Delays frustrate Colombo-Batticaloa train commuters

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 December 2003, 20:37 GMT]
The re-established train service between Colombo and Batticaloa takes four hours more than the regular 10-hour trip causing severe hardship to regular passengers using the train service, sources said. Passenger said that Railway authorities' decision to use an old locomotive engine between the Galoya-Batticaloa leg of the journey was the root cause of the problem.
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LTTE, CEB jointly act against illegal electricity usage

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 December 2003, 20:21 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam are jointly working with the Ceylon Electricity Board to detect illegal electricity usage in LTTE-controlled areas of Batticaloa district. In recent months, the LTTE has caught and issued warnings to those who use wires to tap electric power lines illegally in Karadiyanaru and confiscated the wires, sources said.
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Table Tennis tournaments begin in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 December 2003, 16:17 GMT]
Four-day North-East and All Island Table Tennis tournaments for the year 2003, based on the theme " Peace through Sports," began in Trincomalee Sunday at the Hindu Cultural hall under the aegis of the Asian German Sports Exchange Programme in collaboration with the Table Tennis Association of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Schools Table Tennis Association, Trincomalee District Table Tennis Association, Eastern Province Table Tennis Association and the Sri Lanka Police Department in Trincomalee.
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Batticaloa hit by worst drought since 1938

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 December 2003, 12:05 GMT]
Batticaloa has been hit by the worst drought to afflict this rice-producing district since 1938. Rice cultivation will be severely affected by the prevailing drought, agrarian service officials in the eastern district said. Thousands of acres were sown this season in expectation of the monsoon rains.
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"Don't ruin Tamils' future" Jaffna Bishops tells President, PM

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 December 2003, 12:03 GMT]
The Bishop of Jaffna Rt. Rev. Thomas Saundranayagam in his Christmas message Thursday appealed to Sri Lanka’s President and Prime Minister not to let the current power struggle between them ruin the opportunity for the Tamil people to achieve a prosperous future. “The leader of the Liberation Tigers, Mr. V. Pirapaharan, made a firm commitment to finding a peaceful resolution to the longstanding Tamil question in his Heroes’ Day speech. We welcome his stand at this critical juncture”, the Bishop of Jaffna said in his message.
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MGR remembered in Vavuniya

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 December 2003, 04:57 GMT]
The 16th death anniversary of the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Mr.M.G.Ramachandran, was commemorated in Vavuniya Wednesday at the Veerasingham Hall at the Multi-Purpose Cooperative Union (MPCU) building. The LTTE’s political head in Vavuniya, Mr. S. Ezhilan, and the Vanni district Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian, Mr. N. Sivasakthi Anandan and several other prominent personalities in Vavuniya participated, sources said.
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Christians in Batticaloa get ready to celebrate X’mas

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 December 2003, 03:57 GMT]
Christians in Batticaloa are making plans to celebrate Christmas grandly this year, and crowds of public coming into the town from all directions could be seen shopping in the past few days, sources said.
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Hospital struggles without adequate medical supplies

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 December 2003, 19:51 GMT]
Senior Physician at the Kaluvanchikudi Hospital in Batticaloa district, Dr.S.Vaseekaran, told TamilNet that although there has been steady increase in the number of patients, lack of medical supplies in the hospital has seriously hampered providing proper medical care to the patients.
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Parents of missing Jaffna youth to meet Sri Lanka’s President

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 December 2003, 14:13 GMT]
The parents and relatives of the young men and women who went missing after they were arrested by the Sri Lanka army in Jaffna in 1996-97 have been invited by President Chandrika Kumaratunga for a meeting with her on 31 December, a spokesperson for the Missing Persons Guardian Association (MPGA) said Wednesday. Members of the MPGA and the Jaffna Mother’s Front will travel to Colombo in a bus provided by Sri Lanka’s Minister for Hindu Affairs, Mr. T. Maheswaran.
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SLA closes Muhamalai point at usual time

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 December 2003, 14:12 GMT]
Sri Lanka army closed the only entry point to Jaffna on the A9 highway at the usual hour on Wednesday evening despite the announcement by the Liberation Tigers that they would have their side of the border open until 9.30 p.m. for the convenience of people travelling to the peninsula on Christmas Eve and Christmas. A Sri Lanka army officer at the SLA’s Muhamalai entry point told TamilNet’s Jaffna correspondent Wednesday evening that there were no orders from his high command to reciprocate the LTTE’s gesture for Christmas and New Year.
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Melee after monk's funeral, Police fire tear gas

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 December 2003, 13:50 GMT]
Three persons wee injured in a clash between angry mourners and the Police at the funeral of the Buddhist monk, Ven. Gangodawila Soma Thero, in Colombo city Wednesday evening. Police fired tear gas to disperse unruly mourners following the funeral. A photographer from the Daily Mirror, an English daily published from Colombo was assaulted in the melee.
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Education Conference urges speedy resolution of political crisis

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 December 2003, 13:20 GMT]
9 million member Asia Pacific Region branch of Education International (EI), in a resolution adopted at the Fourth Asia Pacific Regional Conference held in Kaohsiung, Taiwan from 10th to 12 th December, urged the Sri Lankan President and Prime Minister to bring the current political impasse to an end without further delay and to invite the Norwegian facilitators to carry forward the peace process and to restore normalcy in the northeast province by handing over schools located in the high security zones in the Jaffna district, attendees to the conference said.
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Deprived area Pre-school teachers to get free training

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 December 2003, 12:42 GMT]
Education Wing of the Liberation Tigers are organizing a free practical training and lecture classes for pre-school teachers at ten locations in the economically deprived Paduvankarai and other areas in Batticaloa district in January, education officials said.
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Commemoration of Major Murali held in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 December 2003, 12:14 GMT]
"The Indian government should recognize the self determination right of Tamils and come forward to assist them to reach a fair and just political solution to meet their legitimate aspirations," said the President of the Jaffna District National Resurgence Forum Mr. P.Kanagalingam Tuesday addressing the sixteenth death anniversary commemoration event of Major Murali and nine other LTTE cadres who died in a battle with the Indian Peace Keeping Force on December 23, 1987 at Urumpirai in Jaffna district.
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HSZs not a matter for GA - Maj. Gen. Chandrapala

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 December 2003, 08:10 GMT]
Maj. Gen. Susil Chandrapala, the new Sri Lankan security forces commander for Jaffna, told TamilNet Wednesday that the question of Sri Lanka army high security zones in Jaffna is not a matter for the district’s Government Agent but it is one that’s under his purview. He was speaking to the local press after a meeting between civilian officials and the military at the Jaffna District Secretariat Wednesday morning.
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Colombo-Batticaloa train service restarted

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 24 December 2003, 00:00 GMT]
The train service between Colombo and Batticaloa has been restarted and the first train from Colombo reached Batticaloa Tuesday morning. The train started its return journey in the evening on the same day, sources said.
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GTZ funded report on NorthEast primary education released

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 December 2003, 19:55 GMT]
A report on impact study of primary education of the northeast province was released Monday at the auditorium of the provincial ministry of education, cultural affairs, sports and youth affairs. The Project Officer of the Impact Study Team Mr.S.Varathaseelan handed over the first copy of the report to the Chief Secretary of the NEPC Mr.S.Rangarajah.
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Paper seller had no grenade say Jaffna Police

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 December 2003, 17:06 GMT]
The paper seller who was shot at by a Sri Lankan army soldier in Jaffna town on 9 December pointed out his assailant at an identification parade in the Jaffna district court Tuesday. The Officer in Charge (OIC) of Sri Lanka Police station in northern town states in his First Information Report (FIR) submitted to the court that he found neither evidence of a hand grenade nor any trace of an explosion at the scene of the shooting. The SLA alleged that the paper seller had tried to lob a grenade at the soldier.
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LTTE says Pullumalai bunker in area under its control

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 December 2003, 16:08 GMT]
The bunker of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Pullumalai in the Batticaloa district, about which the Sri Lanka Army has complained to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, lies within the LTTE-controlled area, the LTTE has told the SLMM, according to a spokesman at the SLMM’s Batticaloa office.
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SLA’s new Jaffna commander meets NGOs

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 December 2003, 14:17 GMT]
"I want the people of Jaffna to live without the interference of the military in their day-to-day lives. I want good relations with them," said Maj. Gen. Susil Chandrapala, the new Sri Lankan security forces commander for Jaffna, during a discussion with the Council of Non-Governmental Organisations in the northern peninsula, according to NGO Council officials who took part in the meeting Tuesday.
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NorthEast sports coaches training programme concludes

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 December 2003, 12:49 GMT]
A Three day residential training camp for the newly recruited sports coaches and sports officers for the northeast province concluded Sunday evening at the Trincomalee Mc Heyzer Stadium auditorium with the awarding of certificates to the participants. Provincial Education, Cultural Affairs and Sports Ministry Secretary Mr.R.Thiagalingam was the Chief Guest at the event.
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Student peace education workshop held in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 December 2003, 12:24 GMT]
Two-day residential workshop on peace education organized by the Trincomalee zonal education of the North East Provincial Ministry of Education, for Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim students was held in Trincomalee Sri Vigneswara Maha Vidiyalayam on Saturday and Sunday, civil society sources said.
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Tigers to open more hours for X’mas , New year

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 December 2003, 10:51 GMT]
The Liberation Tigers will keep their entry points to the Vanni open until 9.30 p.m. for Christmas and New Year for the convenience of the people during the festive season, Mr. Daya Master, the LTTE spokesman told TamilNet Tuesday. The entry points are normally open from 7 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. The LTTE’s entry points at Muhamalai, Puliyankulam and in Mannar would be open to the public until 9.30 p.m. on 24 and 25 of and 31 December and on 1 January 2004.
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Volunteer Health workers picket in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 December 2003, 00:01 GMT]
Volunteer health workers in the Batticaloa district held a picketing campaign Monday in front of the office of the Deputy Provincial Director of Health Services (DPDHS) in the district, demanding that they be given permanent appointments.
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Vavuniya youth wins cash award for bravery

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 December 2003, 19:28 GMT]
Richard David Remsy Teroni, a youth from Sivapuram in Vavuniya district was awarded Rs.15,000 for fighting off three burglers who attempted to rob his family home on 6 November and recovering a T-56 rifle from the burglars that was earlier stolen from a Police Division in Mannar road. Vavuniya district Judge gave the cash rewards during the annual Police ceremony held in Vavuniya Urban Council Pavilian Monday.
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Jaffna prison overcrowded

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 December 2003, 18:19 GMT]
The Jaffna prison, which is located in a small private building on Main Street in the town, has been overcrowded with convicted prisoners and suspects on remand, prison sources complained Monday. Currently, more than two hundred and fifty prisoners have been kept in the prison building, the sources said.
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Indian coast guard escorts boats to Jaffna seas

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 December 2003, 16:37 GMT]
The Indian coast guard escorted ten fishing boats from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka’s maritime boundary in the Palk Strait Monday. The Indian fishing boats were received by the Sri Lanka Navy and were guided to the island of Delft (Nedunthivu) off Jaffna Monday evening.
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SLA charges LTTE of building bunker in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 December 2003, 14:18 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) charged the Liberation Tigers (LTTE) of building a new bunker in Pullumalai in Batticaloa district in violation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), and registered a complaint with the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), security sources in Batticaloa said.
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Japanese Ambassador meets Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 December 2003, 13:47 GMT]
Mr.Akio Suda, the new Ambassador for Japan in Sri Lanka met with Head of the Political Wing of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at the LTTE Peace Secretariat building in Kilinochchi Monday morning for discussions on current political situation and on support of the Japanese Government to the people of Vanni through United Nations agencies, LTTE peace secretariat website reported.
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Sri Lanka's new IGP sworn in

[TamilNet, Monday, 22 December 2003, 10:25 GMT]
Mr. Indra de Silva was sworn in as Sri Lanka's new Inspector General of Police (IGP) at an official function held at the Police headquarters, Monday. He will function as the IGP till his retirement in February next year, police sources said.
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IFSP winds up its rehabilitation activities in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 December 2003, 21:40 GMT]
The Integrated Food Security Programme (IFSP) sponsored by the Federal Republic of Germany’s Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development and implemented through the German Agency for Technical Co-operation (GTZ) in the Trincomalee district will be officially closed on December 31.
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MPGA seeks action on Jaffna disappearances

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 December 2003, 16:58 GMT]
The Missing Persons' Guardians Association (MPGA) in Jaffna, in a letter to Sri Lanka’s Minister of Justice, Mr. W.M.Lokubandara, has reminded him that no action has been taken on the disappereance of more than 600 persons in Jaffna after being arrested at checkpoints or abducted from their homes by the Sri Lanka Army in 1996, and demanded to know what happened to the youths.
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Colombo crisis danger to peace - Hakeem

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 December 2003, 16:09 GMT]
"The crisis gripping Government of Sri Lanka portends danger to future of peace. Uncertainty on the trajectory this crisis may take in the coming months is causing concern and fear in the minds of public. International community which took a keen interest in Sri Lanka's progress towards peace stands perturbed by the political chaos that shows little sign of subsiding," said Rauf Hakeem, Leader of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, and Minister in the United National Front government, in a meeting in Amparai held Saturday, 20 December.
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Conference to identify Jaffna development projects

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 December 2003, 13:14 GMT]
Members of a committee appointed by Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will attend a conference at Jaffna Secretariat on December 29 to review and prioritize development projects to be carried out in Jaffna district for the year 2004, secretariat sources said.
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LTTE opposes land ministry mobile service in Kantalai

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 December 2003, 18:29 GMT]
The Trincomalee political secretariat of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Saturday condemned the decision of the Land Minister to hold a mobile service to resolve disputes related to State land matters of the Seruvila electorate of the Trincomalee district. “ Holding of such mobile service would seriously damage the progress of the peace negotiations,” said the LTTE Trincomalee political secretariat in a statement issued Saturday.
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Thamilchelvan outlines condition for future talks

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 December 2003, 16:31 GMT]
“We are ready to negotiate with anyone who comes to power at a general election in Sri Lanka as long as he or she is a person ready to work towards an agreement on the political aspirations and expectations of the people living in the unified northeast region with commitment and sincerity,” said Mr. S. P Thamilchelvan, the head of the political division of the Liberation Tigers, during wide ranging discussions with a group of Muslim and Tamil journalists from the eastern province on Friday night.
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Police suspects in Mannar torture, rape to be indicted

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 December 2003, 15:57 GMT]
The Attorney General has decided to indict four of the six suspects in the Mannar torture and rape of two married Tamil women S.Sivamani and Vijikala by several police officials and soldiers in March 2001 while the women were being held by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) of Mannar Police, legal sources said.
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"We understand the political aspirations of Muslims" - Thamilchelvan

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 December 2003, 13:58 GMT]
"It is not a problem for us to understand the political aspirations of the Muslim and to reach a solution guaranteeing their security and future interests. But this will not be possible when the Muslims are encompassed by Sri Lankan state power and seek to fulfil their aspirations having them centered within that power", said Mr. S. P. Tamilselvan, Head of the Political Wing when the Muslim Press Association of the Eastern Sri Lanka met him at the LTTE political headquarters in Kilinochchi yesterday, 19th December 2003, the LTTE peace secreatariat website said.
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ADB funds Jaffna Water, Sanitation study

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 December 2003, 11:45 GMT]
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded Conflict Affected Area Rehabilitation Project (CAARP) will undertake a feasibility study for Jaffna peninsula water supply and sanitation at an estimated cost US $ 1.2 million, Jaffna Secretariat officials said. Of this amount ADB will provide one million US dollars and the remainder will be contributed by the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL). The study will be implemented over nine months commencing from 1st April 2004, a project official told Tamilnet.
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Tamil Eelam Resurgence Federation opens office in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 December 2003, 05:38 GMT]
The Tamil Eelam Resurgence Federation (TERF) opened an office at Potpathy in the Jaffna district Friday. The Head of the TERF, Mr. K. Sanjay, declared open the office, sources said.
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Training program for NE sports coaches begins

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 December 2003, 03:57 GMT]
A Three-day residential training programme for ten newly recruited sports coaches in the North East province began Friday at the Trincomalee McHeyzer stadium auditorium. North East Provincial Assistant Director of Sports, Mr. K.W.Wimalarajah, inaugurated the programme, sports department sources said.
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Rape accused sentenced to 20 years RI

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 December 2003, 03:25 GMT]
The Jaffna High Court Judge, Mr.K.P.S.Varatharajah, Friday sentenced an accused in an abduction and rape case in his absentia for twenty years rigorous imprisonment. The accused had been indicted with abduction of a sixteen-year-old girl and raped her three years ago at Mallakam village in the Jaffna district, legal sources said.
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Tamil owners under pressure to sell their homes to STF

[TamilNet, Saturday, 20 December 2003, 01:49 GMT]
Tamil owners of 18 houses in Oorani, Poththuvil division, currently occupied by the Special Task Force (STF) and used as their camps, are being pressured to sell the houses to the STF, the LTTE peace secretariat web site reported. The STF are refusing to pay rent to the home owners as part of their pressure tactic, the website added.
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LTTE urges Tamil-Muslim harmony in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 December 2003, 18:12 GMT]
“Tamils and Muslims live peacefully in this region. But some evil forces are bent on disrupting the peace between the two communities. Our commander, Col. Karuna, is firm that nothing should be allowed to harm the amity that prevails between the Tamils and Muslims here” said Mr. S. Senathirajah, the head of the LTTE’s political office in Batticaloa town, addressing a meeting of Tamil and Muslim civil society leaders convened Friday to resolve friction over the stoning of passenger buses in the Muslim town of Kattaankudy on Thursday.
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HDU to hire more deminers next year

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 December 2003, 15:57 GMT]
The Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) said Friday that in order to expedite the demining in the Vellaveli division in Batticaloa, it would support the hiring of 50 more deminers by the Humanitarian Demining Unit (HDU).
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LTTE meets Swiss Foreign Ministry Official in Geneva

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 December 2003, 13:17 GMT]
The Deputy Head of the Political Section of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Jaffna District, Mr. S. Ilamparithi, who is currently visiting European cities, met with Swiss Foreign Ministry Director in-charge of Sri Lanka Affairs, Mr. Markus Heiniger, on Wednesday at 1.00 pm for 90 minutes, at the Swiss Foreign Office in Geneva, Switzerland, Tamil expatriate sources in Switzerland said.
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Polish TRO donates school supplies to Batticaloa children

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 December 2003, 12:38 GMT]
Director of Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) of Poland, M.Pulendran, who is on a fact finding visit to Batticaloa district, presented parcels containing school supplies to children living in Children Homes run by the TRO, in a meeting held Thursday, sources said.
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Grenade attack on Muslim shop in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 December 2003, 12:25 GMT]
No one was injured and the front portion of the building was was damaged when unidentified persons Thursday midnight lobbed a grenade at a textile shop run by a Muslim trader, which is located along the Third Cross Street in the heart of Trincomalee town, Trincomalee police said.
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Trinco students receive Samurdhi Scholarships

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 December 2003, 00:07 GMT]
One hundred ten students who come from Samurdhi (poverty alleviation scheme) families in the Trincomalee district were awarded scholarships under the Samurdhi Social Development Trust Fund (SSDTF) at an event held Thursday at the Trincomalee Sinhala Madya Maha Vidiyalayam, education officials in Trincomalee said.
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Sri Lanka’s IGP controversy resolved

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 December 2003, 17:10 GMT]
Mr.Indra de Silva, who has been acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) of Sri Lanka since the post fell vacant when the previous IGP, Mr.T.E.Anandarajah, retired from the service last month, is to be appointed as the new IGP. The Constitutional Council of Sri Lanka (CCS) that met Thursday afternoon at the parliamentary complex confirmed Mr.Indra de Silva in the IGP post, parliamentary sources said.
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ADB project to study northern coastal resources

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 December 2003, 16:37 GMT]
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded Eastern Coastal Community Development Project (ECCDEP) has now been renamed, as the North East Coastal Community Development Project (NECCDEP) and the project will undertake a study on the coastal resource management issues in the northern province during the early part of next year, said its Project Director Mr.S.M.Croos.
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Sri Lanka's parliament adopts UNF budget

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 December 2003, 16:23 GMT]
Sri Lanka's parliament Thursday evening passed the 2004 draft budget of the United National Front (UNF) government with a majority of thirty-two votes. 112 parliamentarians voted for and eighty voted against, parliamentary sources said.
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Islamic group shuts down Muslim towns in Batti-Amparai

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 December 2003, 15:41 GMT]
Shops and businesses were closed and few people were on the roads in several Muslim towns in the Batticaloa and Amparai districts Thursday in response to a call by a shadowy Islamic militant body in the east calling itself ‘Muslim Resurgence Group’. The Islamic militants called the shut down in protest against the inaction of Muslim politicians whom they described as “venal opportunists”. Unidentified members of the group stoned and damaged four long distance buses that were passing Kattaankudy, a large Muslim town 5 kilometres south of Batticaloa.
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Peiris warns of Sri Lanka losing foreign aid

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 December 2003, 15:03 GMT]
The media spokesman and Constitutional Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka's United National Front (UNF) government, Mr. G.L.Peiris, Thursday warned that the country is at risk of losing millions of dollars in aid because of the feud between the executive presidency and parliamentary legislature, which followed the take-over of three key ministries by the President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, last month.
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Stolen statue from Jaffna temple recovered

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 December 2003, 12:34 GMT]
Vavuniya Police Tuesday recovered the statue of Hindu God Ganesh stolen from Kokkuvil Jaffna Pillaiyar Temple when two Kokuvil residents, Balasingham Sivalingam (30) and Sinnarajah Mayooran (29) attempted to smuggle the statue through Omanthai checkpoint, Vavuniya Deputy Police Inspector, P. Pathamanathan said.
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Missing youth last seen arrested by SLA - Witnesses

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 December 2003, 05:41 GMT]
Two witnesses told the Vavuniya district court Judge, Mr. M.Ilancheliyan, during court proceedings yesterday that they saw Anthonythas Ariyathas, a youth from Mullaithivu, being arrested by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers at the Mullaithivu beach before his disappearance in 25 August 1985, legal sources in Vavuniya said.
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PA media spokesman meets Jaffna journalists

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 December 2003, 16:44 GMT]
The media spokesman of the main opposition People's Alliance, Dr.Sarath Amunugama, Wednesday met with a group of Jaffna-based journalists at the parliamentary complex and answered several questions posed to him on the current political situation.
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USAID opens new office in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 December 2003, 16:09 GMT]
"We do not want a naval base in Trincomalee. We have come to Trincomalee to respond to the needs of all three communities in the Trincomalee district and to assist them in support of the current peace process," said the U.S. Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Mr. Jeffrey J.Lunstead, addressing the opening event of the Trincomalee office of the USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) held Wednesday morning.
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"Don't miss this opportunity for peace" - Sampanthan

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 December 2003, 12:35 GMT]
"We call upon the Sri Lankan State to put its house in order and the bring the current constitutional impasse to an end and commence negotiations on the interim self-governing authority on the basis of proposals submitted by the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam," the parliamentary group leader of the Tamil National Alliance Mr.Rajavarothayam Sampanthan said participating in the committee stage debate on the Votes of Defense Ministry in Parliament Wednesday afternoon.
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Court issues temporary order against TULF meetings

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 December 2003, 11:25 GMT]
Colombo district court today issued an interim injunction against the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) holding Central Committee meetings until the 31 December, legal sources in Colombo said.
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Kilinochchi to get additional telephone lines

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 December 2003, 10:56 GMT]
A new Telephone Exchange capable of supporting 500 land lines to Kilinochchi district has been built in Paranthan and new telephone services are to begin starting from this Friday, said S.Kanagasooriar, Director of Sri Lanka Telecom NorthEast district.
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TNA votes against Sri Lanka's defense budget

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 17 December 2003, 09:20 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance voted against the Sri Lankan government’s 2004 budget allocation for defense and interior when it came up for voting at the committee stage in Parliament Wednesday afternoon. Mr. Selvam Adaikalanathan, TNA MP for the Vanni, told TamilNet the alliance opposed the 80 billion-rupee allocation “to register a strong protest against the increase in defense spending in peace time and against President Kumaratunga for jeopardizing the peace process by her precipitate actions”.
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ADB funds new project for North-East rehabilitation

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 December 2003, 18:18 GMT]
A new four-year development project called Conflict Affected Area Rehabilitation Project (CAARP), funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL), is to be launched in the North and East with effect from January 1st 2004. The objective of the project is to support rehabilitatation of essential infrastructure and restoration of community livelihoods in the most severely conflict-affected areas of the North and East, predominantly in the districts of Jaffna, Mannar, Killinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai, CAARP sources said.
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Jaffna court sentences man to death in absentia

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 December 2003, 17:29 GMT]
A man accused of a murder committed twenty-two years ago was sentenced to death by the Jaffna High court last week on 10 December 2003. This is the first time in 25 years that a person from Jaffna has been sentenced to death, legal sources in the northern town told TamilNet. Sri Lanka’s judicial system became defunct in Jaffna in 1984.
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U.S. Ambassador declares open USAID office in Kalmunai

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 December 2003, 17:09 GMT]
The Ambassador of the United States for Sri Lanka, Mr. Jeffrey Lunstead, declared open the Kalmunai office of the USAID (United States Agency for International Development) Tuesday, sources said.
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Sinhala Nationalists demand arrest of Sri Lanka’s PM

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 December 2003, 16:20 GMT]
The Patriotic National Movement (PNM) of Sri Lanka, an alliance of Sinhala nationalists and hardline Buddhist monks, Tuesday held a demonstration in Colombo and handed over a letter to Sri Lanka’s President, Ms. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, saying that the Prime Minister, Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe, and all persons responsible for the police raid on the Millennium City military safe house should be arrested immediately and punished.
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Tamil Eelam bank operates without SL Govt. approval - Minister

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 December 2003, 12:02 GMT]
"Neither the Central Bank of Sri Lanka nor the Ministry of Finance of Government of Sri Lanka has given approval for the functioning of the Tamil Eelam Bank, several branches of which are located in the Liberation Tigers controlled areas," said United National Front government’s Finance Minister, Mr.K.N.Choksy, during discussions in Sri Lanka parliament today, political sources from Colombo said.
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Medical equipment donated to Batticaloa hospital

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 December 2003, 00:10 GMT]
Terre Des Hommes (TDH), the International Volunteer Organization, donated medical equipment to the Baby care unit of the Maternity Section at the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital Monday, sources said.
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Muttur farmers form company to promote commercial production

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 December 2003, 17:43 GMT]
The newly formed Kottiayarapattu People's (Farmers') Company Limited in the Trincomalee district was officially inaugurated Monday at a special event held at the provincial guesthouse auditorium in Uppuveli, a suburb of Trincomalee town. The Kottiayarapattu Farmers' Company has been established with the support of the Department of Agriculture and the Integrated Food Security Programme (IFSP) of the Agency for German Technical Co-operation (GTZ), a development agency of the German government.
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Amban yet to benefit from hospital returned by SLA

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 December 2003, 17:31 GMT]
The Amban hospital and agrarian services centre in southeast Jaffna, which the Sri Lanka army handed back to the public last month, continue to remain derelict inside the military’s high security zone in the area, residents said. Mr. R. Rajathurai, the President of the Kudathanai Farmers’ Association told TamilNet that the SLA in Amban is refusing to let the agrarian services centre be renovated.
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LTTE, STF meet in Amparai

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 December 2003, 16:51 GMT]
Members of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam led by Batticaloa-Amparai district Head of Political section, E.Kausalyan, met with a delegation from Sri Lanka's Special Task Force (STF) led by Senior Police Officer Upul Seneviratne in Akkaraipattu, in Amparai district Monday between 10am and 12noon, security sources in Amparai said.
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US Ambassador to open USAID Trinco Office

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 December 2003, 14:47 GMT]
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Sri Lanka is to open its Trincomalee Regional Field Office on December 17th morning. The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr.Jeffrey Lunstead, will declare open the office, which is located at Kings Garden in Trincomalee town, USAID sources said.
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Final talks to end Colombo deadlock fail

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 December 2003, 13:38 GMT]
A last ditch attempt to overcome the forty one day dead lock between Sri Lanka's President and Prime Minister failed Monday, senior officials in Colombo said. Spokesmen for the President and the PM tried to play down the impasse. "Both sides appear to have come to the conclusion that eventually a general election is the only viable end to this deadlock", a source close to the PM said.
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Book on Malaria released in Kilinochchi

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 December 2003, 13:24 GMT]
''An Investigation on Mosquitos in Vanni Region,'' a book written by Ponmail Rajathurai, an entomological investigator, under the direction of Dr.K.Sujanthan, Regional Medical Offecer, Anti Malaria Campaign, Vanni Region, was released at a launching ceremony held on 14th dec 2003 at Kilinochchi.
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Saiva revivalist Arumuga Navalar remembered on 181st birthday

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 December 2003, 12:51 GMT]
Tamils in several parts of the northeast observed the 181st birth anniversary of the Saiva-Tamil revivalist Sri Arumuga Navalar on Sunday. Sri Arumuga Navalar is chiefly remembered for his work to revive Saivism in Jaffna and South India. He is also considered one of the important pioneers of Tamil revival in the 19th century.
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Trincomalee resident wins UNHCR Award

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 December 2003, 09:17 GMT]
Miss Arunothini Arulsubramaniam of Trincomalee has received a prestigious award from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Ruud Lubbers, at the Geneva Headquarters on 5th December 2003 for Promotion of Gender Equality and Empowerment of Refugee women.
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Language Don felicitated in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 December 2003, 01:01 GMT]
"Tamil people are grateful for the services rendered by Professor Mounaguru to the growth of Tamil arts and culture, and it is fitting that we are today celebrating his reaching 60th year," said E.Mounaguruswamy, Government Agent for Batticaloa district speaking as the chief guest in an event held Sunday afternoon in celebrating Prof.Mounaguru's birthday.
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White Pigeon conducts mine awareness campaign

[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 December 2003, 19:30 GMT]
The Trincomalee White Pigeon Technical Institute of Prosthesis Sunday hurriedly organized a mine risk education awareness campaign in the village of Kumburupiddy which is located in the north of Trincomalee district, about 22 km off east port town when some resettled internally displaced people reported the presence of two unexploded mines in their agricultural land discovered as they prepared the land for onion cultivation.
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UNICEF launches campaign against child abuse

[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 December 2003, 18:15 GMT]
Speaking at the inaugural event of the UNICEF's campaign on child protection in Trincomalee district, UNICEF Child Protection Officer Ms Christina Torsein Saturday appealed to the people to create an environment that ensures children are free from all forms of violence and abuse.
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Tamils warned to prepare for snap election

[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 December 2003, 16:45 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentary group leader Mr.R.Sampanthan Sunday said Tamil people should rally round under one banner to increase their parliamentary strength if the current crisis between Sri Lanka's President and the Prime Minister precipitates a snap election. “The LTTE leadership has endorsed this stand,” said Mr.Sampanthan.
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Officials' indifference costs Valaichenai poor Samurdhi houses

[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 December 2003, 14:35 GMT]
Due to negligence of officials attached to the Valaichenai district secretariat six prospective families in Koralaipattu, Valaichenai in Batticaloa district, lost the opportunity to own houses under the housing lottery scheme run by the Samurdhi Ministry, sources said.
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LTTE announces tax relief measures

[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 December 2003, 13:36 GMT]
At a press briefing held at the office of the Thamileelam Police at Pallai Sunday morning, Head of the Financial Division of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Mr. Thamilenthi, announced that a list of essential materials including books, magazines, agricultural inputs, animal feed, boats, outboard engines, fishing gear, candle and camphor would be exempted from tax with effect from January 1st next year, sources from Pallai said.
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Jaffna said apprehensive of US military aid to Colombo

[TamilNet, Sunday, 14 December 2003, 09:59 GMT]
Senior government officials in Jaffna told a visiting US state department official Sunday that Tamils in the northern peninsula are “apprehensive about US military assistance to Sri Lanka- they fear that it would jeopardise peace”. Mr. Nicholas J. Dean, Deputy Director, Office of India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan Affairs, US State Department, visited Jaffna Sunday and had discussions with senior government officials and the Bishop of Jaffna. The US officials and his team refused to speak to local media.
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SLMM Chief grounded in Oslo - Paper

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 December 2003, 22:24 GMT]
For the last one and a half months, since he was declared persona non grata by the Sri Lankan President the chief of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), Major General (ret.) Tryggve Tellefsen (62), is forced to work from Oslo Norway with remaining members of SLMM in Sri Lanka, using telephone and e-mail, writes the Norwegian daily Aftenposten in its Saturday issue. The paper adds that the situation is unsatisfactory that the likelihood of Tellefsen resigning from his post cannot be ruled out.
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Colombo urged to delegate Rights cases to Provincial Courts

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 December 2003, 20:19 GMT]
Leading human rights activist Mr. Kasinathar Sivapalan Saturday appealed to the Sri Lanka government to transfer the jurisdiction of inquiring into fundamental and human right applications from Colombo Supreme Court to the provincial high courts. “Ordinary citizen should be given easy access to obtain relief where he or she lives,” said Mr.Sivapalan addressing the Universal Human Rights day celebrations held Saturday at the Trincomalee Hindu Cultural Hall.
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NE bags 24 first places in Tamil day competitions

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 December 2003, 17:59 GMT]
The All Island Tamil day celebrations and distribution of awards to winners of competitions to mark the day would be held Sunday morning at Bambalapitya New Kathiresan Hall in Colombo. Of 47 events in the competitions, first places in 24 events and second places in 07 events have been won by students from schools in the Tamil dominated northeast province, provincial education sources said.
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"UNP ready to seek fresh mandate from people" - Wickremesinghe

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 December 2003, 14:52 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe Saturday said the Presdient has no power to take over the defense ministry according to the constitution and her action in this regard should be considered a violation of the peoples’ mandate at the last general election. “The President should work in close co-operation with the political party having a majority in the parliament,” said Mr.Wickremasinghe addressing the 49th National Convention of the United National Party, Saturday at Sugathathasa Indoor Stadium in Colombo.
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MPGA criticises Rights Commission of inaction

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 December 2003, 14:44 GMT]
At the Universal Human Rights (UHR) day celebrations held Saturday in Jaffna Veerasingham Hall under the auspices of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCS), members of the Missing Persons’ Guardians Association (MPGA) of Jaffna distributed pamphlets to the participants criticizing the HRC for its inaction with regard to cases of missing persons filed with the commission, civil sources in Jaffna said.
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NECORD funds village development project in Kanniya

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 December 2003, 13:25 GMT]
Under the Village Rehabilitation Programme (VRP), Asian Development Bank supported North East Community Restoration Development (NECORD) project is funding reconstruction of abandoned roads and public wells and other infrastructure facilities destroyed in Kanniya, a village located about eight km off the east port town along Trincomalee-Anuradhapura main road, TRO Trincomalee district co-ordinator Mr. K.Mathavarajah said.
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Vavuniya Tamils decry Indian objections to ISGA

[TamilNet, Saturday, 13 December 2003, 06:27 GMT]
Criticizing the comments made by the former Indian foreign secretary, Mr. M.K. Rasgotra, at a conference in Colombo on December 4, saying that India could not accept the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) proposals submitted by the Liberation Tigers, the Federation of Vavuniya Cattle breeders unions said in a statement Friday that the Tamil people would totally reject the opinion of Mr. Rasgotra.
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Danish group demines in Kanniya

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 December 2003, 20:24 GMT]
The Danish Demining Group (DDG) has been engaged in identifying and recovering unexploded ordnance (UXO) buried in the village of Kanniya, located along the Trincomalee- Anuradhapura trunk road, about 8 k.m. northwest of the Trincomalee town. DDG workers Friday morning exploded three such mines recovered from the vicinity of the Kanniya Tamil School where children of resettled internally displaced families are studying, sources said.
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Supreme Court directs AG to enlighten on Jaffna HSZ legality

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 December 2003, 18:20 GMT]
The Supreme Court Thursday directed the Attorney General to take immediate measures to enlighten the court on the legality of the high security zones in the Jaffna peninsula in response to the fundamental rights applications filed by three persons including Jaffna district parliamentarian Mr. Mavai Senathirajah. The inquiry into the applications would be taken up for inquiry on December 19, legal sources said.
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IDPs take part in HR art competition in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 December 2003, 15:29 GMT]
The four-day celebrations that began on December 10 to mark the Universal Human Rights day in Trincomalee district is to conclude on Saturday (December 13) in Trincomalee town with the Eastern High Court Judge, Mr.S.Paramarajah, as the chief guest. A committee comprising Eastern rehabilitation Organization (ERO), UNICEF, UNHCR, UNDP, Consortium of Humanitarians Agencies, Danish Refugee Council, USAID, Legal Aid Foundation and Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, has organized the final event.
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PA lays condition for returning defense ministry

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 December 2003, 15:20 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s main opposition Peoples Alliance Friday called on the ruling United National Front government (UNF) to bring a proposal for the abolition of the executive presidency if the UNF insists on taking control over the defense ministry for taking the peace process forward.
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NorthEast farmers face dire economic future - Adaikalanathan

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 December 2003, 12:13 GMT]
"Farmers in NorthEast have been facing severe hardship for the past several years. Many have to pawn their belongings now to continue to be able to cultivate their lands and earn a living," said Leader of Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) and MP Selvam Adaikalanathan during a parliamentary debate on allocation of funds for the Ministry of Agriculture and livestock, sources in Colombo said.
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SLA trooper sentenced to death

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 December 2003, 07:29 GMT]
Vavuniya High Court Judge J.Visvanathan Friday sentenced to death Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldier, Dinapalage Jayantha Dinapala, for murdering two brothers, Kanagasabai Kanagalingam, Kanagasabai Kanagendran, and their cousin Thamotharampillai Pulendirarajah, in the village of Chambaikulam in Vavuniya on 03 March 1996, legal sources said.
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Indian PM urged to recognize NE Tamils’ rights

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 December 2003, 01:36 GMT]
In a letter to the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee, sent Wednesday and signed by Prof. A. Sanmugathas, head of the Federation for Advancement of Tamils’ Education (FATE), and the Federation’s secretary, Mr. P. Kamalanathan, the FATE said that “until our people’s legitimate rights are secured, India should recognize our right to internal self-determination and help to restore normal life, with peace and dignity.”
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LTTE Education Council spotlights NE shortcomings

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 December 2003, 00:01 GMT]
" We earnestly request the international agencies and other authorities to take effective measures to remove the Sri Lanka Army from the areas in the northeast province where schools are located in the high security zones and from the vicinity of schools, so that they can function in a favorable and peaceful atmosphere," the LTTE's Education Council of Thamileelam said in a paper presented at the workshop held in Trincomalee Thursday.
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NE Educational Development Workshop held in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 December 2003, 22:28 GMT]
A one-day North East Education Development Stakeholders Consultation Workshop was held Thursday in Trincomalee with the Provincial Governor, Major General (retd.) Asoka Jayawardene, as the chief guest. Representatives of UNICEF, World Bank, The German Agency GTZ, NECORD, Asian Development Bank and other international donor agencies participated in the workshop, which was held at the provincial guesthouse at Uppuveli, suburb in Trincomalee town.
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UNICEF launches report on World Children in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 December 2003, 16:46 GMT]
The UNICEF released its new flagship report, State of the World Children-2004, in Trincomalee Thursday afternoon at an event held at the auditorium of the NorthEast provincial guesthouse. The report reveals that, whilst Sri Lanka has achieved high female enrolment and literacy rates compared to many other parts of the world, the conflict in the NorthEast has taken a heavy toll on the education and welfare of the children there.
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Manalkaadu SLA minefield issue before HRC

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 December 2003, 13:33 GMT]
The Jaffna coordinator for the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRC) Mr. R. P Ruwan Chandrasekera told TamilNet that he intends to take up with the Government Agent for Jaffna the issue of the Sri Lanka army laying a new minefield near the village of Manalkaadu on the peninsula’s southeastern coast. He said the people from Manalkaadu had complained to the HRC’s Jaffna office on Tuesday about the new minefield the SLA had planted near their village.
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Mannar rally protests violence against women

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 December 2003, 05:14 GMT]
A rally organized by the Women’s Development Society (WDS), to protest the violence inflicted on women within families and in the larger society, was held in Mannar Tuesday, and more than 300 women participated, sources said.
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Jaffna shuts down in protest against SLA shooting

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 December 2003, 04:56 GMT]
Shops, businesses, public offices were closed and few people and vehicles were on the roads in Jaffna Thursday in response to a call to observe a general shut down (Hartal) in the peninsula against the Sri Lanka army for shooting at a newspaper seller and wounding a commuter on Tuesday in the busy centre of the northern town.
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Land grab by Muslims alleged in Amparai Tamil village

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 December 2003, 04:08 GMT]
Some Muslim families are settling by force in the Tamil area of Koddukal village in the Pottuvil division of the Amparai district, the Tamil people of the village have complained to the Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian from the district, Mr. Ariyanayagam Chandraneru, sources said.
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UNICEF funded immunization survey begins in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 11 December 2003, 00:27 GMT]
The expanded programme of immunization survey is to be launched in the Jaffna district, after two decades, with the UNICEF funding Thursday. All children under school-going age would be brought under the survey to ensure whether they have been immunized properly during the war period and after, health ministry sources said.
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WB team inspects NEIAP focal villages in northeast

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 December 2003, 21:31 GMT]
A World Bank team is to begin its six-day tour in the northeast province and its border areas Thursday to assess the ongoing rehabilitation and development works in the selected villages under the North-East Irrigated Agricultural Project (NEIAP), which is funded by the Bank, sources said.
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NE pre-school education development program inaugurated

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 December 2003, 17:58 GMT]
A seven-day residential training camp for pre-school education coordinators of the education zones of Trincomalee and Vavuniya south began Wednesday in Trincomalee. The training program has been organized by the North East Pre School Education Development Council (PSEDC) and funded by the Norwegian-Swedish agency, FORUT, and the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization in the northeast province, TRO sources said.
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SLA prevents student leader from entering Kilinochchi

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 December 2003, 16:44 GMT]
Soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army located at Muhamalai sentry Tuesday evening prevented a delegation of the International Students Association of Thamileelam (ISAT), headed by its President, Mr.S.Gajendran, from proceeding to Kilinochchi to meet students of Kilinochchi Technical College, sources said.
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SLA soldiers remanded for firing at Jaffna civilians

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 December 2003, 16:30 GMT]
The Jaffna additional Magistrate, Ms Srinithi Nandasekaran, Wednesday ordered remand till December 23 for three soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army when they were produced by the Jaffna Police in connection with the shooting incident that had taken place in Jaffna bus stand Tuesday evening, causing injuries to civilians, legal sources said.
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Sri Lanka President, PM talks inconclusive on peace

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 December 2003, 09:07 GMT]
Crucial talks between Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Wednesday failed to reach any consensus on how Colombo is going to restart peace negotiations with the Liberation Tigers, sources said.
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Parents of Jaffna missing protest against HRC

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 December 2003, 08:33 GMT]
The Jaffna Missing Persons Association and Mothers’ Front held a protest in front of the office of Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRC) in the northern town Wednesday. The protesting parents of the 234 young Jaffna men and women who went missing after they were arrested by the Sri Lanka army in 1996 and 97 accused the HRC of sidelining their issue in its recent work on the human rights situation in the northern province.
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Departing Vanni SLA commander commends LTTE’s cooperation

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 December 2003, 06:01 GMT]
“During the last 13 months of my service in Vavuniya, the Sri Lanka Police and the LTTE’s political cadres, who are working in the SLA-controlled areas, cooperated with me. The problems that arose with respect to the LTTE’s peace-related political activities and other issues were solved with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, and we were able to maintain peace and order in Vavuniya,” said Maj. Gen. Susil Chandrapala, the outgoing Vanni commander of the Sri Lanka Army, during a Police farewell given to him in Vavuniya Monday, sources said.
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Jaffna undergrads condemn army firing in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 December 2003, 16:45 GMT]
The Jaffna University Students' Consortium Tuesday in a press release condemned the action of the Sri Lanka Army for having opened fire at a newspaper seller at the Jaffna bus stand and causing injury to a private bus conductor. The JUSC further blamed the paramilitary Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) for aiding and abetting the army in this regard.
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Thenmaradchchi civilians assault EPDP members

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 December 2003, 16:14 GMT]
Members of the public Tuesday evening assaulted a group of members of the paramilitary Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), which works closely with the Sri Lanka Army, when they were engaged in distributing handbills with the assistance of soldiers of the SLA at the common market in Kodikamam in the Thenmaradchchi division of the Jaffna district. The EPDP cadres later complained to the SLA officials that some persons had assaulted them, police said.
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TNA, LTTE urge end to southern instability

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 December 2003, 15:37 GMT]
The political head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Mr.S.P.Thamilchelvan, responding to a question at the press briefing he held Tuesday afternoon in Kilinochchi, said that if the current political crisis in the South were to continue indefinitely, it would seriously impact the peace process and the LTTE would carefully study its options, the Voice of Tigers radio said Tuesday.
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SLA sentry fires on paper seller, injures commuter

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 December 2003, 12:50 GMT]
A commuter in a bus was seriously wounded when a Sri Lanka army soldier opened fire on a paper seller in Jaffna town Tuesday around 5.45 pm. Police and military dispersed a group of angry civilians that surrounded the sentry point near the town’s main bus station in which the soldier was on duty. The shooting followed an argument between a person who was selling 'Eelanatham' newspaper near the sentry point and the soldier who had ordered the paper seller to leave place, commuters who witnessed the firing said.
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TNA parliamentarians meet LTTE political leadership

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 December 2003, 09:08 GMT]
Talks between Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians and the political leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) began Tuesday morning around 11 a.m. at the Killinochchi LTTE political secretariat, Vanni sources said.
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Manalkadu villagers say SLA laid new mines

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 December 2003, 04:49 GMT]
A group of soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army Monday visited Manalkadu, a village on the southeastern coast of Jaffna district, and asked the residents to make statements to the effect that SLA did not lay mines in their areas. However, several residents of area Tuesday reiterated that they had seen army soldiers laying new mines and ordered them not to enter area where mines had been laid, sources said.
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SLFP-JVP undecided on political alliance

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 December 2003, 03:53 GMT]
Another round of talks held between the leaders of the Sri Lanka Freedom party (SLFP), chief constituent of the main opposition People's Alliance, and the Sinhala nationalist cum Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which is the third largest party in the current parliament, Monday night concluded without fixing a date for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to forge a political alliance, political sources said.
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SLN occupies Thampalakamam grazing land

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 December 2003, 19:16 GMT]
The Trincomalee district Parliamentarian, Mr.Sampanthan, has made representations to Sri Lanka’s President, Prime Minister and Defence Ministry officials to take urgent action to release Attavaniakulam pastureland in Thampalakamam for cattle grazing. Cattle breeders in Thampalakamam say the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) High command has barred cattle grazing in the village, saying it comes under their High Security Zone (HSZ). Attavanaikulam is situated about 8 k.m. from Kalmuttian Kulam SLN camp.
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SL embarrassed by Kadirgamar's Commonwealth defeat

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 December 2003, 17:59 GMT]
Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar, the former foreign minister of Sri Lanka who broke the Commonwealth tradition to challenge the incumbent Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Mr. Don McKinnon, was defeated in a ballot last week, with only 11 of the 52 nations voting for him, despite initial claims in the Sri Lankan and Indian Press that he would pose a spirited challenge.
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India urged to adopt positive stance towards Sri Lankan Tamils

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 December 2003, 17:40 GMT]
The International Students' Association of Thamileelam (ISAT) in a press release issued Monday appealed to the Indian government to adopt a positive stance that would help the Tamils of the country to arrive at a fair and just political solution meeting their legitimate aspirations.
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TNA rejects SU invitation for public debate

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 December 2003, 16:15 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Monday rejected the invitation extended by the Sinhala nationalist political party, Sihala Urumaya (SU), for a public debate on the "Vaddukoddai resolution" and "Thimpu principles," saying that they cannot enter into "any debate with any political or any other group which has not got a mandate from the Sinhala people," according to the TNA parliamentary group leader, Mr.R.Sampanthan.
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Displaced Kinniya Tamils want permanent solution

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 December 2003, 15:12 GMT]
Hundreds of displaced Tamil families from Kadaloor and Upparu in Kinniya division in Trincomalee district, who have been staying as refugees at the Eechantivu Vipulananda Tamil Vidiyalayam, Sunday complained to the Trincomalee district parliamentarians, Messrs R.Sampanthan and K.Thurairetnasingham, that they should find a permanent solution to their problems as they had been displaced due to threat and violence thrice since 1990.
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Sangaree objects to TULF Central Committee Meeting

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 December 2003, 11:50 GMT]
The Central Committee meeting of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) scheduled to be held in Amparai on the 14 December is against the Party's constitution, said Anandasangaree the 'past' president of TULF who was the subject of a no-confidence motion that passed successfully on 30 November in a TULF meeting held in Colombo, media reports said. Anandasangaree, however, has rejected the validity of the voting procedure that dislodged him from his post.
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Protesting minister blocks military vehicles in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 December 2003, 09:21 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s minister for Hindu Affairs, Mr. T. Maheswaran, blocked military vehicles on Palaly Road, one of the main traffic arteries of Jaffna, Monday in protest against the Sri Lanka army for refusing to let him visit Keerimalai, a temple village inside the peninsula’s garrisoned northwest sector, on Sunday. The Minister and his supporters blocked Sri Lankan armed forces vehicles plying the Palaly Road with a bus from 8 a.m. to noon.
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Youth Forum to explain ISGA proposals

[TamilNet, Monday, 08 December 2003, 02:35 GMT]
“The Interim Self Governing Authority proposal of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has several good aspects, but some people who have only a cursory glance at the proposal are conducting a malicious campaign against it. It is our duty to explain the proposals to the youths of this country,” said Mr. Wimal Dharmasiri, the deputy commissioner of the National Youth Service Forum (NYSF), speaking at a conference in Batticaloa Sunday, sources said.
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TNA parliamentarians meet Kinniya Muslim religious leaders

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 December 2003, 17:32 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians Mr.R.Sampanthan and Mr.K.Thurairetnasingham Sunday held discussions with the leaders of the Kinniya Jamiathul Ulama Council (Muslim Theologians) at the office of the Kinniya Police station in an effort to restore normalcy in the division hit by several incidents of violence since November 26.
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SLA lays new minefield near Jaffna village

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 December 2003, 14:29 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army is planting landmines in the vicinity of Manalkaadu, a village on the southeastern coast of Jaffna, residents told TamilNet Sunday. Three cattle from the village were killed in newly laid minefield on Saturday and another was blown up Sunday morning, according to them.
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SLMC to submit administration proposals

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 December 2003, 11:14 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), a constituent of the ruling United National Front government Saturday announced that it would submit its response to the government’s proposal for an interim administrative structure for the Northeast by the end of December.
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Balasingham: LTTE seeks ‘new, creative’ relationship with India

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 December 2003, 10:09 GMT]
Asserting the importance of the role of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in bringing about peace and stability to Sri Lanka, the movement’s theoretician, Mr Anton Balasingham, Saturday urged the Indian government to rethink and re-orientate its approach towards the organisation. Speaking at the Remembrance Day event in London, Mr Balasingham said the LTTE welcomed the international community’s efforts towards promoting peace in Sri Lanka, but would not accept the terms of a political solution being dictated to the Tamil people.
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Better to solve cohabitation crisis through talks - Wickremasinghe

[TamilNet, Sunday, 07 December 2003, 05:35 GMT]
Speaking at a meeting held in Puttalam Saturday, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe, said that if the current cohabitation crisis is solved through talks, it would usher in a new political culture, but if the crisis is not resolved, the public would face several difficulties, sources said.
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"Kinniya Tamils live in fear without security" - TNA

[TamilNet, Saturday, 06 December 2003, 18:16 GMT]
"Displaced Tamil people from the villages of Alankerni, Upparu and Eechantivu live in fear and without any security to their lives and properties," parliamentarians Mr.Adaikalanathan and Mr.Sivajilingam of Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO), a constituent of the TNA told media persons Saturday in Trincomalee after visiting displaced Tamil families staying in Eechantivu Tamil School as refugees for more than three weeks following violence in Kinniya.
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UNICEF funds mine education programme in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Saturday, 06 December 2003, 17:52 GMT]
"Venpura" (White Pigeon) Technical Institute of Prosthesis in Trincomalee has launched a Mine Risk Education (MRE) programme in twenty villages in the district with the funding of the UNICEF, said its Co-ordinator Mr. M.J.Wilfred.
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Lt.Col.Jeevan's second anniversary commemorated

[TamilNet, Saturday, 06 December 2003, 13:05 GMT]
The second anniversary of the death of Lt.Col.Jeevan and seven Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fighters who were killed during a battle with Sri Lanka Army (SLA) near Batticaloa-Colombo road in Vakneri on 6 December 2001 was celebrated in three locations in LTTE controlled areas in Batticaloa district Saturday.
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Asylum seeker says EPDP recruiting in India

[TamilNet, Saturday, 06 December 2003, 07:22 GMT]
The EPDP cadre who sought asylum from the Liberation Tigers in Kilinochchi, Mr. Iyampillai Yogarajah, 33, told mediapersons in Kilinochchi Saturday that the paramilitary group recruited him from a refugee camp in India eight months ago. He said the EPDP is recruiting many Tamil youth like him from refugee camps in India promising good pay and perks. The paramilitary group works closely with the Sri Lankan armed forces in psychological operations, intelligence and counter insurgency.
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White Pigeon assists Trincomalee disabled

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 December 2003, 17:53 GMT]
The Trincomalee White Pigeon Technical Institute of Prosthesis Friday morning distributed wheel chairs, tricycles and clutches to disabled persons in the area to mark the International Day for Disabled. The event was held at the White Pigeon Trincomalee office.
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SLA soldier surrenders to LTTE in Muhamalai

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 December 2003, 16:33 GMT]
A Sri Lanka Army soldier has surrendered to the LTTE at their checkpoint at Muhamalai in the North Thursday, LTTE peace secretariat sources said, adding that the soldier has been handed over to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) at the Peace Secretariat in Kilinochchi.
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SL President-PM talks fail to reach consensus

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 December 2003, 16:11 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunge, and Prime Minister, Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, held talks on the cohabitation crisis Friday, but did not reach any consensus. They agreed to meet again on December 10 and terminate their talks on or before December 15, ruling United National Front sources said.
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Security tightened in Muttur after bomb blast

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 December 2003, 15:37 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Army and police Friday strengthened the security of the Muttur town following the death of a Muslim person, Mr. Raheem alias Bala, in a bomb blast that had taken place in Muttur town close to a mosque Thursday night around 7.30 p.m., police said.
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SLA permits work on Pt. Pedro landing points

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 December 2003, 13:56 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army gave permission on Friday to deepen fisheries landing points on the coast of three villages close to Pt. Pedro town in Jaffna. Soldiers from the SLA’s 52-4 Brigade worked with local fishermen Friday to clear the coral rock clogged micro breakwaters. “We do not have a war to fight now. Therefore would like to engage in development activities such as this”, Col. K. S Ratnayake, the commander of the brigade told TamilNet.
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Japan reiterates its continued support to the peace process

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 December 2003, 13:20 GMT]
In a statement released on Thursday, Japan's minister for foreign affairs, Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, said her government welcomed the continued commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE to the ceasefire, and expressed hope that the question of who on the part of the Government of Sri Lanka is responsible for the peace process would be resolved through talks between Sri Lanka's President and the Prime Minister.
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EPDP cadre seeks asylum in Kilinochchi

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 December 2003, 10:51 GMT]
A member of the EPDP , a paramilitary group that works with the Sri Lankan armed forces in Sri Lanka’s northeast, has sought asylum from the Liberation Tigers in Jaffna, military sources in the northern town said Friday. The LTTE’s media co-coordinator, Mr. Daya Master, confirmed that a member of the paramilitary was given asylum in Kilinochchi. The EPDP is a close ally of President Kumaratunga.
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NECORD launches village rehabilitation program

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 December 2003, 00:01 GMT]
The Asian Development Bank funded North East Community Organization for Restoration and Development (NECORD) Project Thursday launched the Village Rehabilitation Programme (VRP) under the Community Development Project (CDP) in eight districts of the North-East, with the signing of two agreements with non-governmental organizations to implement two projects in the Trincomalee district.
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'More aid if Colombo bans landmines’ - UN

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 December 2003, 19:14 GMT]
Sri Lanka would get more funds for clearing mines in the northeast if it accedes to the Ottawa Convention banning the use of landmines said Mr. Ted Chaiban, the head of the UNICEF in Sri Lanka, in a brief presentation on behalf of the UN at the launch of ‘Mine Action Media Campaign’ at the Prime Minister’s office in Colombo Thursday. Sri Lanka is one of the 44 countries that have not signed the Ottawa Convention.
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British defense team visits Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 December 2003, 18:08 GMT]
The Consortium of Jaffna District Non-Governmental Organizations Thursday told the visiting British Defense Ministry officials' team that the UK government should exert pressure to end the current political instability in the south of Sri Lanka to take forward the stalled peace process so that a final settlement to the national conflict could be reached, civil sources said.
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Buddhist monks protest against LTTE’s proposals

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 December 2003, 17:36 GMT]
Hundreds of Buddhist monks from the National Bhikku Front held a demonstration and protest march against the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) proposals of the Liberation Tigersof Tamil Eleam (LTTE) Thursday afternoon in Colombo, sources said.
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Army deserter remanded for selling weapons in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 December 2003, 15:10 GMT]
The Chavakachcheri Magistrate, Mr.P.Subramaniam, Thursday ordered remand for an army deserter till December 18 when the Kodikamam Police produced him in court on a charge that the suspect had sold a T56 rifle and live rounds to four Tamil civilians before decamping from Jaffna district, legal sources said.
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TNA questions Kadirgamar's competence for Commonwealth post

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 December 2003, 15:02 GMT]
Commenting on the reported candidacy of Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar, Sri Lanka's former foreign minister and a confidante of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, for the post of Commonwealth Secretary General, the Tamil National Alliance in a statement Thursday highlighted several grave human rights abuses of his government and said, "... Kadirgamar’s misrepresentations in regard to [such] incidents, which constituted a flagrant violation of human rights, are a severe indictment on his capacity to be impartial and truthful."
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US Court ruling makes conviction difficult under 'terrorism' law

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 December 2003, 11:35 GMT]
San Francisco based U.S Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled Wednesday that the United States Government "cannot convict groups of individuals of violating a federal law against 'material support' for terrorist organizations unless it proves beyond a reasonable doubt that they knew the organizations were involved in terrorist activity," The Washington Post reported in its Thursday edition. The case was brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of a human rights organization in Los Angeles and several groups of Sri Lankan Tamils in the U.S.
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Sinhala nationalists dared to go beyond Vavuniya

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 December 2003, 03:40 GMT]
“I dare Wimal Weerawanse and Champika Ranawaka to go beyond Vavuniya. They can’t. But I can take them now or even during war because we have trust in the Tamil people,” said Mr. Dharmasiri Bandaranayaka, a well known and respected Sinhala film director, addressing a meeting organised by leftist political parties, trade unions and civil society groups at the New Town Hall in Colombo Wednesday. The Liberation Tigers control most of the northern province beyond Vavuniya.
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International Day for people with special needs held in Vavuniya

[TamilNet, Thursday, 04 December 2003, 00:01 GMT]
People with special needs (the handicapped) in Vavuniya gathered at the Urban council hall in the Northern town Wednesday to participate at the International Day for people with special needs, and re-iterated in an oath that disability did not mean lack of talent and that they would demand equal rights in spheres where such rights are currently lacking, sources said.
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NE environmental management workshop begins in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 03 December 2003, 18:23 GMT]
A four-day international workshop on Environmental Management in the NorthEast of Sri Lanka began Monday at the Kailasapathy auditorium of Jaffna University. The University of Jaffna, Eastern University of Sri Lanka and The Economic Consultancy House (TECH) have jointly organized the workshop. The concluding session of the workshop is to be held on Thursday with Dr.Jay Maheswaran in the chair.
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SLA assaults Thenmaradchchi fishermen

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 03 December 2003, 14:47 GMT]
The Kachchai fisheries society in Thenmaradchchi in Jaffna district Wednesday made a complaint to the authorities concerned that its three members had been assaulted by soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army located in the coastal sentry point when they were returning to shore after fishing in Kachchai lagoon thirty minutes behind the scheduled time, civil groups said.
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LTTE, SLA commanders meet at no-man zone in Muttur

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 03 December 2003, 14:42 GMT]
A delegation of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, led by Trincomalee district regional commander Colonel Pathuma, and Sri Lanka Army's General Officer Commanding in Trincomalee district, Major General Sunil Tennekoon, held discussions at the no-man zone in Kattaiparichchan in the Muttur division Wednesday evening, Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission sources said.
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SLN arrests Indian poachers in northern waters

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 03 December 2003, 13:52 GMT]
The Kayts Magistrate, Mr.Annalingam Premashankar, Wednesday remanded 11 Indian boatmen till 5th December when the police produced them on a report they had entered the territorial waters of Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka Navy took 71 Indian fishermen and 11 trawlers into custody Tuesday night when they had been engaged in fishing in northern waters off Karainagar-Kayts coast, police said.
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Stateless Tamils register for citizenship in Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 03 December 2003, 09:28 GMT]
More than 6,000 Tamils of Indian origin registered themselves as Sri Lankan citizens last weekend as part of a 10-day programme by the Ceylon Workers Congress to enable them to gain citizenship. The programme was supported by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
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‘Flagrant discrimination’ in allocation of Health funds alleged

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 December 2003, 23:01 GMT]
The allocation of funds for a program on emergency Obstetrics and Child Health in the war-ravaged areas of the North East, jointly sponsored by the UNICEF and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), flagrantly discriminates against Tamil provinces, several health officials in the North East told TamilNet’s Vanni correspondent Tuesday.
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Sri Lanka's President urged to ensure security to Kinniya Muslims

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 December 2003, 16:32 GMT]
A delegation of the North East Muslim Parliamentarians' Forum (NEMPF) Tuesday afternoon met with Sri Lanka’s President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunge, and discussed in detail the deteriorating security situation in the Trincomalee district, especially the Kinniya division. The delegation urged the President to take immediate steps to bring the situation under control and to help the Muslims there from being killed and wounded, sources said.
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Kinniya Tamil refugees' problems discussed at Trinco conference

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 December 2003, 16:07 GMT]
At a conference held Tuesday at the office of the United Nation High Commission for Refugees in Trincomalee town, representatives of non-governmental organizations brought to the notice of the authorities of the difficulties they have been facing in taking essential food items and other relief to the Tamil villages of Alankerni and Eechantivu in the Kinniya division, sources said.
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Vavuniya Courts hears case of missing youth

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 December 2003, 11:33 GMT]
Ariyathas Puvaneswary, mother of Ariyathas Vijayakumar, who went missing after 15 August 2000 when he was arrested by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers from the Vavuniya 211 Brigade, gave evidence at the Vavuniya courts when the case was taken up for hearing under District Judge M.Ilancheliyan, legal sources in Vavuniya said.
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HRC concludes Batti visit

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 December 2003, 11:08 GMT]
The head of Sri Lanka’s national human rights commission (HRC) Dr. Radhika Kumaraswamy, told journalists in Batticaloa Tuesday that the process of restoring normalcy in the district is still hindered. She said the Sri Lankan armed forces continue to occupy public buildings in the district and that complaints to the Police are recorded in Sinhala. Dr. Kumaraswamy said that the HRC has received complaints in the district against the Sri Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers.
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32 Indian poachers held by Mannar fishermen

[TamilNet, Monday, 01 December 2003, 21:59 GMT]
The local fishermen of Vidathaltheevu in Mannar district have arrested 32 Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters Saturday night, and are holding them in their custody, but the detained fishermen will soon be released, sources said.
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SLMM, Police act jointly to bring normalcy in Trincomalee

[TamilNet, Monday, 01 December 2003, 18:45 GMT]
Two conferences were held Monday in Trincomalee town to defuse tension between two communities, Muslims and Tamils and bring back normalcy in Kinniya and Trincomalee police divisions, which had been rocked by violence for the last few days, police said.
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Curfew re-imposed in Trincomalee, Kinniya

[TamilNet, Monday, 01 December 2003, 18:32 GMT]
A curfew has been reimposed in Trincomalee and Kinniya police divisions in the Trincomalee district with effect from 7 p.m. Monday. It will be lifted at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, Trincomalee police said.
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“Implement NE disappearance commission recommendations” - TNA

[TamilNet, Monday, 01 December 2003, 18:10 GMT]
Mr.R.Sampanthan of the Tamil National Alliance, participating in the committee stage debate on the votes of the 2004 budget Monday, urged the United National Front government to implement the final report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Involuntary Removal or Disappearance of Persons in the Northern and Eastern provinces.
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Sri Lanka Police officer kills own children, commits suicide

[TamilNet, Monday, 01 December 2003, 16:04 GMT]
A Sri Lanka Police officer in charge of the police sentry at Thamana in the Amparai district on Monday shot dead his two children and committed suicide by shooting himself, sources said.
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SLA hands back part of Jaffna suburb

[TamilNet, Monday, 01 December 2003, 12:22 GMT]
The Sri Lanka army Monday handed back part of a densely populated coastal suburb of Jaffna it had been occupying since 1996. “We are vacating this area on the instructions of Maj. Gen. Sarath Fonseka”, Sri Lankan military sources in the northern town said. More than four hundred homes that were inside the garrisoned part of Navaanthurai are all damaged, according to residents.
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Colombo talks produce no breakthrough

[TamilNet, Monday, 01 December 2003, 11:50 GMT]
Meeting of a four-member committee appointed by Sri Lanka's prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunge to work out a cohabitation arrangement between them ended Monday without a breakthrough, media sources in Colombo said.
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HRC visits Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Monday, 01 December 2003, 10:49 GMT]
Four members of Sri Lanka's Human Rights Commission (HRC), lead by Dr. Rathika Kumaraswamy arrived in Batticaloa Monday morning on a two day visit to study the situation prevailing in the eastern province, civil sources said.
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ANC-LTTE meet in South Africa

[TamilNet, Monday, 01 December 2003, 10:42 GMT]
The African National Congress (ANC) in a statement issued on Monday said that the ANC is meeting with members of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) delegation currently on a study tour to South Africa. The ANC would also meeting Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando on Tuesday, the statement said.
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