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The Political Timing of the Tiger Bombs

July 17 (AT) The stunning results of the last Provincial Council elections proved that for once Ranil Wickremesinghe is correct: the political battles in the future will be the with JVP and not with the mainstream SLFP. Out of the 73 candidates fielded the JVP 71 were won by them. more..

British government extends assistance to implement English language training programmes for university students

July 17 (Rupavahini) This was an outcome of discussions between foreign minister Laxshman Kadirgamer and British secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs jack strew in London. more..

Beggar's Paradise

July 17 (LBO) About US$ 3 bn, 96 projects and 50-years later, Sri Lanka is still begging for financial assistance from the World Bank. Sri Lanka's total project allocation for 2004 tops US$ 400 mn, but World Bank's Vice President South Asia Region, Praful Patel says the county has missed opportunities during the half century partnership. more..

Human Rights watchdog warns that Black July may not be gone for good

July 17 (LBO) Black July is past but not gone for good, warns the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) pointing to cases of police torture that continue to occur in Sri Lanka. In January this year, the High Court of Colombo sentenced a Sub-Inspector of Police to seven years rigorous imprisonment with a fine for torturing an innocent civilian. more..

Milking India

July 17 (LBO) The Agro Ministry could milk India’s Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), owners of the popular Amul band of dairy based products, for a hand with restructuring state owned milk processing giant Milco. more..

Minority parties backing Speaker Lokubandara

July 17 (IL) The three main minority parties yesterday came out strongly against the government's demand for Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara to resign immediately and assured they would not support any move to remove the Speaker. more..

In-form Sri Lankans offer Windies tough final tune-up

July 17 (CMC) With precious little time and opportunity to prepare for the Test series - in stark contrast to previous tours of England - West Indies take on an in-form Sri Lanka A-Team in their final tune-up before the first Test at Lord's mindful that there is much improvement to be made on the evidence of their last match. more..

UPFA, UNF draw battle lines to prove Parliamentary majority

July 17 (TN) With three days to go for the next session of parliament, the minority ruling UPFA and the main opposition UNF are making frenzied efforts to prove their majority. The UNF still claims it has 114 members of the 225 member parliament. more..

Murali's magic is unique and should not be copied

July 17 (GU) If I had enjoyed a pint for every time the following topic of conversation has come up, I'd have been a guest of Betty Ford a long time since. It goes something like this: "You're supposed to know something about it, does Murali chuck it?" more..

Government believes that LTTE is interested in starting the Talks – Kadirgamar

July 17 (AT) “Government of Sri Lanka has good reason to believe that the LTTE is very much interested in getting the Peace Talks started again.” This was told by Laksman Kadirgamar, Minister of Foreign Affairs who was at present on an official visit to the United Kingdom. more..

Police Commission promises to rectify lapses regarding Police promotions

July 17 (AT) Chairman of the Police Commission Ranjith Abeysuriya has promised to rectify any blunders in granting promotions at the Police Department. He said that the Police Commission prepared a list of nominees for promotion solely by reviewing reports of the Department. According to him, no one had intervened in this process. more..

Jayasuriya unable to bowl

July 17 (CI) Sri Lanka have been forced to re-think the composition of their side for the Asia Cup because Sanath Jayasuriya, a key allrounder in the one-day game, has suffered a side strain that will prevent him from bowling. Jayasuriya first suffered the injury during Sri Lanka's recent tour to Australia. more..

Lanka to import medicine, fish, mutton from Bangladesh

July 17 (BSS) Sri Lanka is interested in importing pharmaceutical goods, fish and mutton from Bangladesh, reports BSS. High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Bangladesh Gamini Sarath Munasinghe on expressed his country’s interest in this regard when he called on Commerce Minister Air Vice Marshal (Retd) Altaf Hossain Chowdhury more..

India and Bangladesh cruise to easy wins against minnows

July 17 (Reuters) Middle order batsman Rahul Dravid and seam bowler Irfan Pathan powered India to an emphatic 116-run win against the United Arab Emirates in the six-nations Asia Cup on Friday. more..

World Bank offers help to revive Sri Lanka peace bid

July 17 (AFP) The World Bank, which is to channel international aid to rebuild Sri Lanka’s embattled regions, yesterday offered help to revive the island’s stalled peace bid amid fears of a return to war. more..

Public gallery in parliament closed

July 17 (TP) The public gallery in parliament has been closed indefinitely with a decision to open it to be made only after the legislature meets next on Tuesday, newspapers said. Parliament Secretary General Priyani Wijesekera said the decision was made following a meeting between Speaker W J M Lokubandara and parliamentary officials. more..

Arabic classes for housemaids

July 17 (TP) Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry yesterday said Iran has offered financial and technical assistance to conduct Arabic language classes for thousands of housemaids and other skilled and unskilled workers leaving the island for employment in the Middle East. more..

Police officer killed in clash

July 17 (TP) Bloody clashes between residents of a southern town and police on Thursday led to the death of a police constable, newspapers said. Hundreds of residents at Kosgoda town were protesting against police inaction over a road accident that occurred earlier in which the victim died. more..

Suspected Tiger bomber held

July 17 (TP) Police on Thursday arrested a suspected Tamil rebel suicide bomber at Mattakkuliya, a Colombo suburb, who was apparently targeting President Chandrika Kumaratunga. The detection came just a week after a female suicide bomber blew herself up when being examined by the police in Colombo. more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

July 17 (SLA) One thousand five hundred and twenty four (1524) lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 09 July 2004 and 15 July 2004. more..

Two Muslim civilians killed and another injured by unidentified group

July 17 (SLA) Two Muslim civilians have been shot dead by an unidentified group of people in the general area of SAFI NAGAR, about 4 k.m. Southwest of MUTTUR on 16 July 2004 around 8.40 p.m. more..

More Sri Lankan refugees arrested

July 17 (SLA) Naval troops on duty in the general sea area West of URUMALAI had arrested thirty four Sri Lankan refugees at the beach near the OLD LIGHTHOUSE on 16 July 2004. During investigations, it was revealed that they had returned from India in an Indian dhow paying Rs. 500/= per head. more..

Batti-Amparai TNA MPs meet Thamilchelvan

July 17 (TN) Batticaloa-Amparai Tamil National Alliance parliamentarians met with LTTE Head of Political Wing, S.P. Thamilchelvan in the LTTE Peace Secretariat premises Saturday morning, source in Vanni said. more..

Sri Lanka to recreate India's dairy revolution

July 17 (IANS) Gujarat's dairy cooperative movement that revolutionised milk production in India and bettered the lives of millions of farmers may be replicated by Sri Lanka. The island nation is currently studying the structure and operation of the Anand milk cooperative, famous for its Amul brand. more..

Footlights shine on Tamil life in Canada

July 17 (TS) In the old country, they are heads of their households. But in Canada, many Tamil seniors depend on their children for every aspect of their lives. That's just one theme being explored in an annual Tamil theatre performance in Markham. more..

NTB holds media and tour operators meet in Sri Lanka

July 17 (AM) Nepal Tourism Board organised, 'Media and Tour Operators Meet' in Colombo on Tuesday with help from the Nepali embassy in Sri Lanka. Speaking on the occasion, Nepal's ambassador to Sri Lanka, Bala Bahadur Kunwar, emphasised the friendly relations between the two nations. more..

Visa broker guilty of bribery, fraud

July 17 (AP) A visa broker pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to bribery and visa fraud in a scheme that involved paying kickbacks to a married couple who worked at the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka, prosecutors said. more..

CID probes massive NIC racket

July 17 (DN) The forging of National Identity Cards (NICs) is a serious threat to national security, top CID officials said yesterday. The CID team probing the Kollupitiya suicide bomb blast had unearthed evidence pointing to the involvement of Department of Registration of Persons employees in this racket. more..

PM appreciates India's gesture on eve of visit

July 17 (HT) Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapakse, has appreciated India's gesture of granting a $150 million credit line to help Sri Lanka face the oil crisis, on the eve of his first official visit to New Delhi. "The sharp rise in the international price of oil is one of the biggest problems Sri Lanka is facing now. more..

Stage set for constitutional battle in Sri Lanka House

July 17 (Gulf) Sri Lanka's ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and the main Opposition were setting the stage for a constitutional battle as Parliament is scheduled to meet next week with the public galleries closed. more..

Chinese Opera rendered in Tamil

July 18 (TN) Tamil version of a Chinese Opera from Peking, The Red Lantern, was staged by Veruveli Drama Group of the Fine-Arts Department of the Arts Faculty of University of Jaffna Saturday. more..

Indian fishermen rescue refugees, get jailed

July 18 (TN) Mannar judge Saturday remanded until 30 July two Indian fishermen who had rescued a group of refugees stranded at midsea in an overloaded boat. The judge released the thirty four refugees after reprimanding them for giving contradictory statements more..

Children's Home Director, aide arrested on child abuse charge

July 18 (TN) The administration of "Anpu Illam," a leading institution providing shelter for children, majority of them victims of war in the Trincomalee district, has been handed over to the North East Provincial Department of Probation and Child Care more..

German FM in Colombo to lobby for UN security council seat

July 18 (TN) German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer arrived in Sri Lanka Saturday night for a two-day visit as part of his ten- day tour in Asia. He is scheduled to meet several Sri Lankan leaders, including President Kumaratunga, during his short visit. more..

SLA returns 450-acres paddy fields back to Thenmaradchchi farmers

July 18 (TN) The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Saturday handed over 450 acres of paddy lands in Maravanpulo village, which come under the high security zone of Thenmaradchchi south division, to the Jaffna District Government Agent Mr.S.Pathmanathan, civil sources said. more..

Dates for parliamentary debate on ISGA to be decided Monday

July 18 (TN) The dates for the three-day debate on the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) proposal submitted by the LTTE last year, will be decided at the Monay meeting of the leaders of political parties represented in the current Sri Lanka parliament, more..

CWC blows hot and cold

July 18 (TN) The Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), a member of Sri Lanka’s opposition, blew hot and cold on joining the President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s minority government, according to reports in the Tamil press last week. more..

Gunawardene stars at Dambulla

July 18 (CI) It was a rout, but it need not have been. The United Arab Emirates bowled with a maturity far beyond their experience to take regular wickets after Sri Lanka chose to bat first, but the one man they couldn't stop was Avishka Gunawardene, whose fine 73 helped Sri Lanka to 239. more..

Bravo, Joseph stake claim

July 18 (JG) SYLVESTER JOSEPH made the most of his first opportunity on tour and Dwayne Bravo joined the contest for a spot in the West Indies team for next week's first Test against England at Lord's. more..

No more War, Start the Peace Talks immediately – Tamil expatriates

July 18 (AT) Government and the LTTE should start the stalled peace talks without any further delay, emphasized hundreds of expatriates Tamils who met V. Anandasangree, the leader of the TULF and the former Member of Parliament for the Jaffna district. more..

India, Sri Lanka to enhance economic cooperation: FM

July 18 (PTI) India today said it is looking at new areas for enhancing economic cooperation with Sri Lanka, including agriculture, and a line of credit for the island nation was in the pipeline. more..

Prime Minister on a 'Working Visit' to India

July 18 (AT) Mahinda Rajapakse, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka is currently on a working visit to India from 17 – 19 July, at the invitation of India's Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. more..

Facing up to the dark legacy of state-sponsored riots In Sri Lanka & Gujarat

July 18 (AT) July 2004 is the 21st anniversary of the government-sponsored riots against Tamils in Sri Lanka. The month became known as Black July. Similar state-sponsored violence took place in Gujarat, India in February 2002, when the state government organized and instigated massive attacks on Muslims there. more..

Eastern region TNA Parliamentarians met Thamilselvan – A home & home friendly

July 18 (AT) TNA Parliamentarians and officials of the LTTE met yesterday morning S.Paramu Thamilselvan, head of the Political Davison at the LTTE Peace Secretariat. Meeting was said to be a familiarizing session for the regional parliamentarians and the officials of the LTTE by Paramu Thamilselvan, more..

Ceasefire under threat: Norway

July 18 (TP) The Norwegian-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission — that ensures the government and Tamil rebels stick to a ceasefire agreement — on Friday warned that the ceasefire is under threat as the LTTE and the government was beginning to violate the agreement. more..


July 18 (TS) Vinayagamoorthy Muraleetharan, also known as Col. Karuna, former Commander of the LTTE for Batticaloa-Amparai, is all set to launch LTTE (K), a splinter group of the hitherto monolithic Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. more..

Iran to boost ties with Sri Lanka

July 18 (IRIB) President Mohammad Khatami called Saturday for expanding all-out relations with Sri Lanka, economic areas in particular. Khatami stressed that the two countries are passing through transition periods, saying "we should make use of know-how and international facilities to fade out poverty." more..

Playing politics with peace

July 18 (SL) With the constituent partners in government unable to arrive at a consensus on the basis for resuming the peace process, a tactical decision was reached last week to throw the ball into the opposition court while the LTTE breathed fire the process faced imminent collapse. more..

Bribery Comm. goes after politicos

July 18 (SL) THE Bribery Commission that resumed functions after a lapse of one and half years is to take politicians and VIPs, whose names are pending before the commission for inquiry to task. more..

Dubious land deals:LRC flexes muscles

July 18 (SO) The Government has decided to take back government lands alienated and leased by certain Statutory Agencies without proper approval of the Land Reforms Commission (LRC) during the last UNP regime. A special Presidential Committee has revealed that these land transactions and alienation have violated laws and procedures. more..