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Oiling The Palm

Aug 16 (LBO) Government has subsidized fuel by almost Rs. 6 billion in the first 7 months of this year with the highest subsidy coming in July of Rs. 1.2 billion. Continuing to sell fuel at below cost coupled with the weak rupee and rising crude oil prices will put pressure on the government’s budget. more..

Copper Fields

Aug 16 (LBO) Processing copper scrap for export to India is big business here in Sri Lanka. Half a dozen companies, with Indian investment, import copper scrap, melts them and reshapes them in to bars for re-export to India where it's used as raw material. more..

VIP Trouble

Aug 16 (LBO) Central Bank officials say they will prosecute directors of the failed Pramuka Savings and Development Bank which is being liquidated by the regulator. The Attorney Generals department is currently examining provisions available in the Companies Act and the Banking Act on holding the directors and senior management of Parmuka responsible for its collapse. more..

British, Dutch, EU envoys meet LTTE

Aug 16 (TN) The British High Commissioner for Sri Lanka and the ambassadors of European Union and Netherlands met the head of the LTTE's political division, Mr. S. P Thamilchelvan, Monday in Kilinochchi for discussions about the island's long deadlocked peace talks. more..

Trincomalee gets separate High Court

Aug 16 (TN) Mr.Anton Balasingham, currently Trincomalee District Judge, has been promoted as the first Judge of the newly established High Court of Trincomalee district. He is to preside over the inaugural sitting of the Trincomalee High Court Monday, legal sources said. more..

EPDP Media Secretary gunned down at broad daylight

Aug 16 (SLA) Two motorbike-riding unidentified pistol men shot and brutally killed the Media Secretary of the EPDP, this morning around 8.10, Monday (16 August 2004) while he was by the wayside close to his home in the general city area of WELLAWATTE, COLOMBO 6. more..

Chained and murdered victims identified

Aug 16 (SLA) The two abducted victims, who were murdered in KIRAN, BATTICALOA on 12 August 2004 after or before fastening their limbs together with a welded iron chain, have been identified as those from the KARUNA faction of the LTTE. more..

Explosion damages windows

Aug 16 (SLA) A hand grenade explosion occurred in the general area of MIRAVODAI early morning on 15 August 2004 has damaged two windows of a house. Troops at MIRAVODAI camp heard the explosion at first and conducted a search in the area to find that those windows of the house were damaged after an explosion, more..

LTTE defy SLMM ruling and hoist their flag

Aug 16 (SLA) The LTTE defied Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) ruling and had the LTTE flag flown during a public meeting held at SALLI KOVIL in the general area of SAMBALTHIVU, TRINCOMALEE on 14 August 2004 around 11.45 a.m. more..

EU condemns political murders

Aug 16 (PRIU) “The killing of political opponents is a breach of fundamental human rights. There is no excuse for such violence, which can never resolve the internal differences in Sri Lanka,” the Netherlands Embassy in Colombo said in a communiqué issued on behalf of EU today. more..

Govt in talks with petroleum firms

Aug 16 (TP) The government is holding talks with the three companies short-listed to come in as the third player in the petroleum retail sector, Treasury Secretary Dr P B Jayasundera told The Sunday Times. “No decision has been taken. All three parties are still conducting studies,” he said. more..

Veddhas get nod to enter forests

Aug 16 (TP) Veddhas, Sri Lanka’s indigenous people, who live close to jungles will be provided special permission to enter jungles to continue their traditional lifestyles. The Veddhas have been clashing with authorities for permission to enter the jungles, their habitant for centuries until some decades back. more..

Ceasefire could be broken: Japan

Aug 16 (TP) Japanese Ambassador Akio Suda has warned that the ceasefire was only part of the peace process and was in danger of bring broken. “Unless the parties sit at the negotiating table, nothing will move forward. The delay in resumption of talks would raise scepticism among the people and the international community about the peace process,” more..

Ex-minister wants LTTE, JVP to talk

Aug 16 (TP) Former minister P Chandrasekeran, a politician close to Tamil rebels, has told the JVP that he could arrange a meeting between the JVP and the LTTE, newspapers said. In a letter to JVP Propaganda Secretary Wimal Weerawansa, he has asked for an appointment with the JVP to discuss the matter further. more..

Govt to abolish subsidies

Aug 16 (TP) Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama has warned that the government is planning to remove subsidies on a variety of consumer items, including sugar, chillies, onions and potatoes — leading to further price increases. He told a regional workshop in Colombo that the decision would be carried out in the next two weeks or so. more..

Colombo US Mission reopens

Aug 16 (PRIU) The US Embassy in Colombo, closed since last week, has reopened and returned to normal operating hours today. The embassy was forced to shut down indefinitely on Tuesday after a suspicious powder contained in a letter in the mail set off an Anthrax scare. more..

Lanka may offer limited autonomy to Tigers-Fresh move to revive peace talks

Aug 16 (AFP) Sri Lanka's peace broker Norway is expected to make another attempt to jumpstart stalled negotiations amid fresh proposals of limited autonomy for Tiger rebels, diplomats and officials said. more..

Sri Lanka hit by oil strike

Aug 16 (BBC) Workers at Sri Lanka's main oil company have ended a two-day strike, held in protest at government plans to sell more of the company. Last year, the Sri Lankan government sold one third of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (Ceypetco) to Lanka Indian Oil Corporation. more..

Crossing the seven seas

Aug 16 (Hindu) For Bula Chowdhury, who dominated the competitive aquatic pools as a short-distance champion, crossing the seven seas has been a long-held fascination. She says: "My dream is to cross the seven seas. more..

Gunman holds up Bahraini couple

Aug 16 (GD) A PREGNANT Bahraini woman and her husband have been robbed at gunpoint on holiday in Sri Lanka. Bahraini Fayez Abdulmahdi Al Monshid and his 29-year-old wife, who is six months pregnant, were robbed of souvenirs worth more than $1,500 (BD567), their credit cards, cash, their passports, CPR cards and driving licences. more..

JVP to counter anti-party propaganda unleashed in the midst of the Tamils

Aug 16 (AT) Janatha Vimukthi Perumuna – People’s Liberation Front, has decided to concentrate to counter the systematic anti-JVP campaign unleashed in the Tamil language media in the midst of the Tamils and Tamil speaking population in the country. more..

Rauf Hakeem should resign from SLMC Leadership – Muslims of Kalkudah

Aug 16 (AT) A large group of Muslims from in Meerachchodai, located at Kalkudah, in the Batticaloa district staged a protest campaign yesterday. The protest was organized against the visit Rauf Hakeem, leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress to Valichenai, neglecting the parliamentarian M.S.M. Ameer Ali. more..

Surgeons in Peradeniya successfully performed a kidney transplant operation

Aug 16 (AT) Surgeons at the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital have successfully performed a kidney transplant operation for an eight old child – a girl. This was the first time that such a kidney transplant was performed in Sri Lanka. more..

Peace Talks dead ended as LTTE maintains an uncompromising position

Aug 16 (AT) Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has told with finality that the Peace Talks has to be conducted in the way they wanted and not on any other format, Sri Lanka’s President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga wanted. more..

Sri Lanka to set up free trade zone for Singapore investors

Aug 16 (CNA) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has revealed that Sri Lanka is setting up a free trade zone solely for Singapore investors, following a recent goodwill visit by Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. Sri Lanka's economy has been battered by years of ethnic conflict and frequent changes in government. more..

An advertisers dream

Aug 16 (BBC) In England, very few non-cricket fans would be able to identify members of the national team, bar the likes of Andrew Flintoff and Michael Vaughan. But in many other countries, especially the sub-continent, cricketers are treated like demi-Gods and are even more well known than film stars and musicians. more..

Jayasuria targets 10,000 runs in ODI

Aug 16 (UNI) Swashbuckling Sri Lanka opener Sanath Jayasuriya, who redefined pinch hitting is keen to reach the milestone of 10,000 runs in the shorter version of the game. "I wish to get 10,000 runs in ODIs. I know I am almost there and it is a small goal I am setting for myself", more..

Large number of policemen have laid down life for country: President

Aug 16 (DN) During the period of 100 years a large number of police personnel laid down their lives in the fight against the insurrections and terrorism. Ironically the police force continued to be the hub of public criticism, President Kumaratunga said. more..

Why ISGA is LTTE's irreducible minimum

Aug 16 (HT) The LTTE have now made it abundantly clear that they will not entertain any alternative to their proposal for an Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) for the predominantly Tamil, North Eastern Province (NEP) of Sri Lanka. more..

Protesters pray for religious freedoms

Aug 16 (ABC) In Sri Lanka, over 1,000 people have marched through the capital, Colombo, to protest planned laws restricting religious conversions. Christian leaders say the proposed laws will divide society and fuel violence against Christians. more..

Tigers reject Sri Lanka counter proposal to revive talks

Aug 16 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels said they will spurn any new government proposals to revive peace talks not giving them self-rule as peacebroker Norway was set to try to jumpstart the negotiations. more..

Key anti-rebel activist shot dead in Colombo

Aug 16 (AP) A key member of a Tamil political party opposed to the Tamil Tiger rebels was shot and killed on Monday on a busy street in the capital, police and party officials said. An unidentified gunman on a motorcycle shot Bala Nadarajah outside his home and police were at the scene investigating, more..

World Photos - AP

Aug 16 (AP) A Sri Lankan police officer points at the gunshots on Bala Nadarajah, who was shot and killed on a busy street in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, Aug. 16, 2004. more..

New political killing clouds peace bid

Aug 16 (Reuters) A Tamil politician opposed to Sri Lanka's Tiger rebels was shot dead on Monday in the latest in a string of political killings, as European peace brokers tried to break an impasse in efforts to end two decades of civil war. more..

Tigers reiterate stand, say Tamils losing peace hope

Aug 16 (TN) "We explained to the European Union envoys the LTTE leadership's stand that we are ready to restart negotiations with the Government of Sri Lanka on the basis of the ISGA proposal which was endorsed by the Tamil people at the general elections", said Mr. S. P Thamilchelvan more..

Sri Lankan dispels myth of wild African elephant

Aug 16 (Reuters) When Uttum Corea arrived in Africa from Sri Lanka he was puzzled by the widely held notion that African elephants could not be tamed. Three decades later the 57-year-old accountant -- a senior partner for a U.S. firm in the southern African country of Botswana -- feels he has helped prove that the idea is a "complete fallacy." more..

Murali surgery successful

Aug 16 (Age) Sri Lankan world record-holder Muttiah Muralitharan will not be able to bowl for four months following surgery on his shoulder in Melbourne last night. Surgeon David Young said the operation had been a success and that Muralitharan was feeling fine. more..

President prepared to meet Tamil Tiger rebel leader

Aug 16 (CNA) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said she is keen to meet Tamil Tiger rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. At the same time, she warned that if troubles persist, she is prepared to order troops to march into Tamil Tiger-controlled areas to arrest armed trouble makers. more..

Power and Energy Minister assured US, Worldbank support

Aug 17 (TN) Minister of Power and Energy, Mr. Susil Premajayantha, concluded a one day visit to the US receiving a positive response from the US Trade and Development Agency and the World Bank for assistance in diversifying and upgrading the power and energy sector in Sri Lanka, more..

SLA numbers IDP occupied houses in Palaly HSZ

Aug 17 (TN) Sri Lanka Army Monday started numbering the houses in villages Pannalai and adjacent areas located in the Palaly high security zones where internally displaced families have resettled after signing the ceasefire agreement. The SLA authorities say that they do the numbering enabling them to easily identify the occupants. more..

EU urges early recommencement of talks

Aug 17 (TN) While noting that the meeting with the LTTE was constructive and the matters were discussed in a frank and open manner, the EU in a press statement issued on Monday called upon the LTTE for the earliest resumption of peace talks and stated that the peace process and the development process are inter-linked. more..

Inter-militant violence on rise in Lanka; 1 killed

Aug 17 (HT) Inter-militant warfare in Sri Lanka claimed the first Tamil Brahmin victim on Monday, when a LTTE's 'pistol gang' killed Bala Nadaraja Ayyar, an activist of the anti-LTTE Eelam Peoples' Democratic Party (EPDP), in Colombo. more..

Response to Prof. Schalks attack on Oslo Peace Conference

Aug 17 (AT) World Alliance for Peace (WAPS) in Sri Lanka has lambasted Professor Shalks, Jehan Perera and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for the uncalled for remarks on the speakers of the conference as well as on the forthcoming Peace Conference itself. more..

Government should stop procrastinating on the peace Talks immediately

Aug 17 (AT) LTTE has told very loud and clearly that they are only prepared to participate in a peace talk with the Government of Sri Lanka on the basis of the ISGA proposal put forward by them on 31 October 2003 and not on any other basis despite international community’s pressure on the Tamil out fit to start the stalled peace talks. more..

Government condemns murder of EPDP Media Secretary

Aug 17 (AT) Sri Lanka Government in a statement posted in its official website yesterday, has strongly condemned the killing of Kandasamy Iyer Balanadarajah, Media Secretary of the EPDP, and co-founder of the Eelam Revolutionary Organization of Students (EROS). more..

GOSL – LTTE - Talks to be based on the proposals of both sides

Aug 17 (AT) “We have accepted the status that the government and the Tigers are equal partners in the peace talks; we accord mutual respect. Therefore, there should be no persistence that the talks should be based on the proposals put forward by only one side. more..

Construction work on the Colombo-Matara expressway has been speeded up

Aug 17 (Rupavahini) The highway which is the first of its kind to be built in Sri Lanka will cost 30 billion rupees. Construction of the stretch of the road between Kurundugaha Hathapma in Galle and Matara is now in progress. more..

E.U. concerned at `human rights violations' by LTTE

Aug 17 (Hindu) In the strongest statement so far by the international community, the European Union today conveyed to the LTTE its "concern and alarm" over the "recent increase" in violation of "fundamental human rights" and said that adhering to "good governance, pluralism, human rights and democracy" were vital if the LTTE is "to obtain recognition as a political player in Sri Lanka." more..

President cautions rebels

Aug 17 (UPI) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has cautioned the separatist LTTE that she would order troops to march into the rebel-controlled areas if the internecine war between the guerrillas were to endanger the country's stability. Such action would amount to a violation of the two-year-old Norwegian brokered cease-fire. more..

Sri Lanka to Build Surgical Unit With SFD Grant

Aug 17 (AN) Sri Lanka has opened pre-qualification of contractors from the Kingdom for a Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) aided project in Colombo. The SFD grant totals 1.2 billion rupees ($10 million) for a neuro-trauma center at Colombo’s National Hospital. more..