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Lanka scare for copper firms

July 2 (TI) Primary copper producers are in danger of being swept away by a swelling tide of Sri Lankan imports, which have already cost them 20 per cent in lost sales. Hindustan Copper chairman Rana Som says a loophole in the Indo-Sri Lankan foreign trade pact is being used by companies there to swamp India with cheap fare. more..

Cops-shame on you

July 2 (NW) The Fort Police yesterday baton charged 268 trainee graduates fasting opposite the Bank of Ceylon Headquarters, urging the government to make them permanent in their employment in the bank. Police justified their action on grounds that the protest was being carried out in the High Security Zone. more..

UNPers luxury vehicles handed over Presidential office

July 2 (NW) Additional Secretary of the Agriculture, Livestock, Land and Irrigation Ministry on Tuesday handed over 11 luxury vehicles used by former ministers to the Presidential Secretariat. These vehicles were supposed to have been imported by the former PA government. more..

President hits out at the monks

July 2 (NW) President Kumaratunga warned yesterday that certain elements by going to Parliament to safeguard Sinhala Buddhism instead might destroy the religion. Pointing towards a group of Bhikkhus present at a school ceremony in Warakapola, the President said, "I do not understand how they try to safeguard Buddhism by taking to politics". more..

Govt silence over LTTE threats

July 2 (NW) The government yesterday remained silent on reports that the LTTE had told Norweigian facilitators that the controversy over alleged military backing for the rebel Karuna faction must be settled before peace talks are resumed. more..

UNP slams govt over media threats

July 2 (NW) UNP spokesman, Ravindra Randeniya yesterday condemned the Cabinet spokesmans alleged threat to Media personnel for publishing JVP Matara District Parliamentarians incident. Mr. Randeniya said that it was a threat to the Media personnel as they did in 1994. more..

Freedoms restricted? Sri Lankan cabinet approves law outlawing conversions

July 2 (CT) The Sri Lankan Cabinet has granted initial approval of a draft bill designed to prevent religious conversions, according to a June 24 report by Compass Direct news service. more..

Judiciary rejects SB’s fake Medical certificate

July 2 (LT) The Supreme Court yesterday decided to reject the medical certificate submitted by S.B. Dissanayake who didn’t turn up when the inquiry into contempt of court by him was taken up. more..

Legal action will be taken against UNP stalwarts

July 2 (LT) Legal action will be taken against all those who sold or rented out state lands to outsiders illegally said Mr. Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Lands and Irrigation. more..

$ 2.3 million to modernize Jaffna Technical College

July 2 (LT) The Government has decided to modernize Jaffna Technical College spending $23, 86,000/- says Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Cabinet spokesman. The Minister announced this at a media meeting held in Colombo to appraise the cabinet decision to the media. more..

Heavy Load

July 2 (LBO) The Treasury says it has forked out Rs. 6 bn todate to subsidise essential items like petroleum, wheat, flour, fertilizer and sugar. The lion share of the subsidies is channeled towards petroleum imports, Treasury Secretary, Dr. P B Jayasundara said. more..

Soft Pillow

July 2 (LBO) The government says it is working on US styled Chapter 11 bankruptcy laws to resuscitate ailing firms. The fresh laws will cover sole traders and partnerships, in addition to limited liability companies. more..

Acting Fast

July 2 (LBO) The Finance Minister has won the Cabinet nod to go ahead to enact five amendments to tax related acts to seal up its revenue lines and increase collection. The list of changes like re-imposition of the land tax also includes a change to the tax amnesty act. more..

Solheim briefs President on Kilinochchi visit

July 2 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga received Mr. Erik Solheim at the President’s House this morning in pursuance of Norway’s facilitation of the Sri Lankan peace process. Mr. Solheim briefed the President on his visit to Kilinochchi and his conversations with S.P. Thamilselvan. more..

Data bank for sending Lankans for jobs in Korea

July 2 (CT) The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment is to setup a separate data bank for job seekers in Korea this month. “We are ready to launch its first part which is important for job seekers in Korea,” said the chief of the Bureau Karunasena Hettiarchchi. more..

WP has highest no of drug users

July 2 (CT) A recent survey has shown that that the Western province is the province with the highest number of narcotic drug users. P.Ravi Kandaiah and Badrani Senanayaka of national Dangerous Drugs Control Board said that heroin related cases also increased in Northern and Eastern provinces between year 2001 and 2002. more..

Govt urged to look after migrant workers’ families

July 2 (CT) About 10 per cent of Sri Lanka’s working women are currently employed in Middle Eastern countries as housemaids, and 75 per cent of these migrant women workers are married, said two researchers of Save the Children Fund. more..

Have no fears of laws against unethical conversions - Ratnasiri

July 2 (CT) Dispelling fears regarding the enactment of legislation to prohibit unethical conversions by fundamentalists, Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake said that followers of traditional religions in Sri Lanka may not have any fears. He was responding to a letter by Dr. Janet Buckingham of the Evangelical fellowship of Canada. more..

Troops recover ammunition

July 2 (SLA) On an information received from a civilian, troops recovered 2100 T – 56 ammunition and 50 Multi Purpose Mashing Gun (MPMG) ammunition from the general area of MARAVANPULAVU, about 5 km south west of CHAVAKACHCHERI on 30 June 2004.

SLA stops Elilan at checkpoint from visiting Pulmoddai

July 2 (TN) Mr.S.Elilan, Trincomalee district political head of the LTTE Friday lodged a complaint with the SLMM in the east port town that the Sri Lanka Army soldiers stationed at the north of the district had prevented him from going to Pulmoddai village to carryout political work on Thursday, more..

MP highlights woes of garrisoned island

July 2 (TN) Three hundred families living in Mandaitheevu are still suffering without basic ameneties and ready access to drinking water despite two years of peace and promises by Sri Lankan military authorities to ease their burden, an MP who visited the area told TamilNet Friday. more..

President appoints new Court of Appeal Judge

July 2 (PSL) President Kumaratunga appointed Mr. Sundaram Sriskandarajah as a Judge in the Court of Appeal with effect from June 30th 2004. Mr. Sriskandarajah was admitted to the Bar in 1979. He joined the Attorney-General’s Department as a State Counsel in 1981 and was promoted as Senior State Counsel in 1995. more..

Photo exhibition reveals - Horror and Harmony

July 2 (AT) Sri Lanka’s war and peace photographs were on display from yesterday onwards. The photographic exhibition was launched yesterday at the Barefoot Gallery. The Foreign Correspondents’ Association (FCA) of Sri Lanka arranged the display of these photographs in the form of an exhibition to depict both the side of life in Sri Lanka – horror as well as peace and harmony. more..

We condemned Prabakaran and Pottu Amman for the killing of Rajiv Gandhi - Maran

July 2 (AT) "The twosome - Prabakaran and Pottuamman were responsible for the killing of Rajiv Gandhi", declared Maran the spokesperson Liberation Tigers Karuna Group. "We condemn Prabakaran and his Group for the killing of Rajiv Gandhi. Law should be allowed to take its course in this killing and we will definitely help in this issue", he emphasized. more..

Thamilselvan’s diatribes amount to Unilateral Declaration of Tamil Eelam

July 2 (AT) Diplomats from South Asia declared, without any hesitation, that the denunciation on the Government of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Army often made by S.Paramu Thamiselvan resembles to allegations made by a sovereign state on another sovereign state. more..

Chandrika slam body punches at LTTE over their unsubstantiated allegations

July 2 (AT) It was President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s turn yesterday to slam body blows at the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam against their wild, unsubstantiated allegations, that Sri Lankan army is harboring the renegade leader Colonel Karuna Amman. more..

Sri Lanka need 312 for unlikely win

July 2 (CI) Halfway through last week's warm-up game against the Sri Lankans, an unusually jolly Glenn McGrath told the assembled hacks that it "felt like the old days" out there. The following evening, things were looking even dandier: "It's the best I've bowled in two-and-a-half-years." more..

Mangala lambasts sections of media on school admissions issue

July 2 (DN) Cabinet Spokesman and Minister Mangala Samaraweera accused that a section of the media, driven by an unforeseen hand, maliciously highlighted the schools issue involving the JVP Matara district MP to sling mud at the UPFA. more..

Iran-Sri Lanka stress boosting ties

July 2 (IRIB) Sri Lankan officials in a meeting with Iran's deputy foreign minister for Asia-Pacific affairs Mohsen Aminzadeh here Thursday, underlined expansion of bilateral ties and called for Iran's participation in Sri Lanka's infrastructural projects. more..

Strike threats loom as new Lanka govt fails to deliver

July 2 (KT) The election pledge to employ tens of thousands of unemployed graduates within three months of the Freedom Alliance assuming power ends today and undergraduates from state universities are threatening to stage strikes and cripple the higher education system if the promises go unfulfilled. more..

UPFA economic policy announced

July 2 (CT) The United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Government's economic policy will focus on the promotion of agriculture, fisheries, livestock, exports and small and medium scale enterprises, Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama announced on Thursday. more..

Solheim completes Sri Lanka mission without breaking deadlock

July 2 (AFP) A top Norwegian envoy rounded off talks with Sri Lankan leaders but his second mission in a month to salvage the island's peace bid ended without results, officials said. more..

CTTU charges Director of Pension chauvinistic

July 3 (TN) Twenty thousand member strong Ceylon Tamil Teachers Union (CTTU) complained to President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge that the Director of Pensions has been showing racial discrimination towards Tamil teachers in attending their pension related problems, sources said. more..

LTTE accuses govt of 'proxy war' in Eastern Lanka

July 3 (Reuters) The LTTE has accused the Sri Lanka government and its army of conducting a 'proxy war' using auxiliary forces in the Eastern part of the country, in violation of the existing truce agreement. more..

Sri Lankan TV rights up for grabs

July 3 (CI) The Sri Lankan board has officially launched the bid process for the sale of its broadcasting and sponsorship rights for a four-year period starting in January 2005. Prospective broadcasters and rights brokers need to submit formal bids by July 22. more..

A branch of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi was planted at the parliamentary complex

July 3 (Rupavahini) A branch of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi was planted at the parliamentary complex at Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte at a ceremony held this morning. Premier Mahinda Rajapakse and speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara graced the occasion. more..

Religious ceremonies mark the important events of the life of Lord Buddha

July 3 (Rupavahini) Country wide religious ceremonies were held today in Buddhist temples through out the island to mark important events of the life of Lord Buddha on an Asala full moon Poya day. more..

Iran, Sri Lanka to cooperate on infrastructure projects

July 3 (IRNA) Sri Lankan officials in a meeting with Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Pacific Affairs Mohsen Aminzadeh here Thursday, underlined expansion of bilateral ties and called for Iran's participation in Sri Lanka's infrastructure projects. more..

Jayasuriya the key, says McGrath

July 3 (CI) Australia's back-to-form fast bowler Glenn McGrath has said that he will be targeting Sanath Jayasuriya's wicket when Sri Lanka begin their chase for 312 on the third day of the first Test at the Marrara Oval tomorrow. more..

Speed criticises Aussie PM

July 3 (C365) International Cricket Council chief Malcolm Speed has advised Australian Prime Minister John Howard to stick to politics. Howard was recently asked about Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan's controversial action and said in his opinion Muralitharan illegally chucks the ball. more..

BBC re-launches Tamil service website

July 3 (CO) Tamil speaking people across the world can now access news and current affairs summaries in their own language as the BBC Tamilosai -- BBC's Tamil service website -- has been re-launched with Tamil fonts and a new search link targeting Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka news from BBC sites. more..

Sri Lanka to try Twenty20 cricket

July 3 (CI) Sri Lanka are the latest country to announce that they will be jumping on the Twenty20 bandwagon and introducing a new domestic tournament later this year in an effort to rejuvenate spectator interest in domestic cricket. more..

Muralitharan seeks to rebuild his reputation in deepest Hertfordshire

July 3 (Independent) He is not quite The Man in the Iron Mask, but this week Muttiah Muralitharan became the off spinner in the steel brace as he set out to prove once and for all, to the cricketing public at least, that he is not a "chucker". more..

Baneng plans to buy plants in China, Sri Lanka

July 3 (TS) FABRIC and apparel manufacturer Baneng Holdings Bhd plans to acquire existing garment factories in China and Sri Lanka early next year to help strengthen the company's position in the international market, managing director Betty Lim Choon Hiok said. more..

Who are Vellalas?

July 3 (AT) The prosaic history of the Jaffna Tamils is marked by the absence of a titanic or venerable hero who could symbolize their collective identity or aspirations. Nor did the peninsular history leave a dynamic legacy that could hold together the mini-past of the peninsula under the flaming banner of a nation with outstanding historical achievements. more..

Sri Lanka hopes accord will cover manufacturing, construction workers

July 3 (AT) Sri Lanka on Friday expressed hope that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysia on domestic helpers and plantation workers will be expanded soon to include manufacturing and construction workers. more..

Govt to control drug prices

July 3 (NW) Medicinal drugs are to be declared as essential drugs and their prices brought under state regulations, Consumer Affairs Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said yesterday. He said the prices of drugs would be monitored by the wide-powered Consumer Affairs Authority more..

All ships calling over at Colombo ports to abide international law

July 3 (NW) The Navy yesterday insisted that all ships calling at Sri Lankan ports should comply with the newly introduced international security code. A senior officer said the Navy would strictly observe the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS). more..

Shopping bags to be banned in public

July 3 (NW) The use of harmful plastics including certain 'sili sili' type bags in public places and for decorations will be officially banned shortly. Environment and Natural Resources Minister A.H.M. Fowzie is to present a Bill banning the use of plastic and 'sili sili' bags thinner than 12 microns. more..

Police yet to learn the difference of a right and a wrong

July 3 (NW) Special invitees including members of the media who had gathered at the Cine City, Maradana, for a special press screening of Satyajith Maitipes Boradiya Pokuna (Troubled Waters) yesterday were in for a rude shock when police swooped down and arrested the manager. more..