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Tamil party backs offer

July 31 (IHT) A Tamil Tiger-backed political party said on Friday that it welcomed a government decision to negotiate a power-sharing deal. In a major compromise that could revive stalled peace talks, Sri Lanka said on Thursday that it would drop its longstanding refusal to negotiate a power-sharing deal offered by the Tamil rebels. more..

White elephant spotted in Sri Lanka

July 31 (Nature) A rare albino elephant has been spotted roaming Sri Lanka's Ruhunu National Park, the first recorded sighting in the country. The pale-skinned pachyderm, thought to be around 11 years old, lives with a 17-strong herd of adult females and youngsters. more..

Sri Lanka to set up separate zone for Indian investors

July 31 (PTI) Sri Lanka will set up a separate industrial zone for Indian investors following a request from the new Congress-led UPA Government, Investment Promotion Minister Anura Bandaranaike said here today. more..

Sri Lanka to introduce GM import laws

July 31 (SD) Laws will be introduced soon in Sri Lanka to regulate imports of genetically modified foods and organisms, said the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources on Tuesday (27 July). The statement was made at a workshop of biosafety in the capital, Colombo. more..

Somerset send Sri Lanka A tumbling to defeat

July 31 (CI) Sri Lanka A's almost-all-conquering tour of England came to an inglorious end against Somerset, as they lost their final match by a massive 289 runs at Taunton. After resuming on a precarious 83 for 3, Sri Lanka's only objective had been to save the game and preserve their unbeaten record, more..

Love of cricket unites Sri Lanka

July 31 (BBC) Belonging to the minority Tamil community, Pradeep Jayprakash is a promising 19-year-old fast bowler in Sri Lanka. Jayprakash, who plays for a leading cricket club, Tamil Union, says he was celebrating and did not sleep the entire night when the Sri Lankan team won the World Cup in 1996. more..

Joseph Pararajasingham must keep his mouth shut

July 31 (AT) Joseph Pararajasingham must keep his mouth shut. Otherwise I have to start talking. Therefore it is advisable for him to keep his mouth shut if he does not want adverse comments made publicly, said V. Anandasangaree, President of the Tamil United Liberation Party. more..

Sri Lanka calls for the forming of an expert group within the BIMST-EC framework

July 31 (AT) Sri Lanka’s Minister of Foreign Affairs stated at the BIMST-EC Ministerial meeting held yesterdaysaid that BIMST-EC members are rich in biodiversity and traditional knowledge. In order to protect them from harmful exploitation, he suggested that the BIMST-EC members should form an Experts' Group. more..

Attempted rape of judge indicative of collapsed rule of law in Sri Lanka

July 31 (AT) The attempted rape Thursday of a High Court judge in Sri Lanka indicates the extent to which the rule of law has collapsed in the country; a circumstance towards which the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has repeatedly drawn attention. more..

FTA between the BIMST-EC countries is to be given topmost priority in the Summit – Chandrika

July 31 (AT) President Kumaratunga said that forming of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) among the seven member BIMST EC region would be one of the priorities at the Summit which would be held today. Speaking to the media she said that the proposed FTA would help to increase trade between the seven countries more..

Chandrika Government spurns UNP's offer of support

July 31 (HT) The Sri Lankan government on Friday rejected the UNP's offer of "unconditional" support, in case the JVP carried out its threat to walk out of the ruling coalition and bring down the government. Cabinet Minister Anura Bandaranaike told the media that the ruling UPFA would stay intact. more..

Inflation figures for July rise, pushed up by import costs and drought

July 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s inflationary rate for July rose marginally over June, as a prolonged drought and higher import costs pushed key food prices up. The Central Bank said Friday that the trend deviated from the usual seasonal pattern where prices tend to drop in July. more..

'Sri Lanka is not prepared to look after its senior citizens'

July 31 (LBO) A recent study of Sri Lanka’s ageing population shows that the island is not prepared to look after its senior citizens. The UK based Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in a study earlier this year says Sri Lankans have to work late into their old age due to a lack of formal social security systems. more..

Iraq job-seekers return home

july 31 (TP) Twenty-nine Sri Lankans who tried to enter Iraq through Jordan in search of jobs returned home on Thursday without success — also because of rising threats there against foreign workers. In a complaint to the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLBFE), the men said they were misled by employment agencies that had promised employment in Iraq. more..

Cooking gas price raised by Rs70

july 31 (TP) Shell Gas is to raise prices by Rs70 per 12.5kg cylinder of gas due to rising overseas costs of gas, officials said. The rise will add to the burdens of the people struggling to cope with rising fuel costs and of all essential goods. The new price of a Shell gas cylinder is expected to be Rs690. more..

Customs officer flees to Australia

july 31 (TP) Athula Lankadeva, a senior customs officer who was threatened with death over an investigation of a company that imported gold coins, has fled to Australia with his wife and two children. Custom sources were quoted as saying that after receiving threats, Lankadeva was worried about the issue and had left the country. more..

Another 'Karuna' associate shot dead in Weikanda

july 31 (TN) A person identified as an associate the renegade LTTE commander V. Muralitharan alias Karuna, was shot dead Friday in the general area of Welikanda, 70 kilometres northwest of Batticaloa. more..

Anura blames UNP for planting Karuna story

july 31 (TN) Minister and President’s Advisor Mr.Anura Bandaranaike today castigated former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe for attempting to make him earn the wrath of the LTTE by planting a concocted story in Colombo media that he transported LTTE renegade leader Karuna to Singapore. more..

Jaffna onion farmers face financial hardship

July 31 (TN) Market watchers warned that unplanned cultivation and increasing use of artifical fertilizers to grow onions are leading Jaffna farmers to face a tough market where the price of onions has plunged to less than Rs.12 per kilo in Colombo due to oversupply, Jaffna daily Uthayan reported. more..

LTTE man with weapon and ammo arrested

July 31 (SLA) An LTTE cadre carrying a weapon and some ammunition has been arrested by the Police and troops on duty at the UPPODAI Army/Police road block, about 3 km south of BATTICALOA town on 30 July 2004 around 10.30 a.m. more..

Youth escaped from LTTE surrenders to troops

July 31 (SLA) A Tamil youth who escaped from the LTTE has surrendered to the troops at the SITTANDY Army detachment. Approximately twenty LTTE cadres had abducted the victim and one other Tamil person while they were at their residences and taken them forcibly to the TOLIVEDDI LTTE camp on 29 July 2004 before they were accused of assisting a rival LTTE faction, more..

Three more LTTE cadres surrender to security forces

July 31 (SLA) Three LTTE cadres attached to the BASKARAN LTTE camp, UPPUWELI in TRINCOMALEE, have escaped from the LTTE and surrendered to the NILAWELI naval detachment on 30 July 2004 around 7.15 a.m. It was revealed during investigations that two of these persons had been abducted by the LTTE on 27 July 2004. more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

July 31 (SLA) One thousand five hundred and thirty four (1534) lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 23 July 2004 and 29 July 2004. more..

“Growth without equity neither meaningful nor sustainable” - President at BIMST-EC

July 31 (PSL) “As leaders, we have to be mindful of the wishes of our peoples. We must ensure that the fruits of globalization and regional economic cooperation reach the village and every nook and corner of our countries,” said President Kumaratunga addressing the BIMST-EC Summit, Bangkok this morning. more..

Peace talks should be resumed focusing attention on basic issues of Tamils but not only on interim administration -EPDP

July 31 (Rupavahini) The general secretary of the EPDP Douglas Devananda is of the view that the peace talks should be resumed focusing attention on basic issues of Tamils but not only on interim administration. more..

Enchanted by Sri Lanka

July 31 (TS) FOR an island that is slightly smaller than Sabah, Sri Lanka has remarkable diversity. Ringed by beautiful beaches, the island has grasslands, highlands and national parks with deer, elephants and a wide variety of birds. Ancient cities clutter the interior. more..

Malaysian netball team emerge victorious after thrashing Sri Lankans

July 31 (TS) Malaysia emerged victorious in the Fourth Asian Junior Netball Championship after beating arch-rivals Sri Lanka 70-50 in the final in Colombo yesterday. The win was sweet revenge for the Malaysians, who lost to the Sri Lankans in the final of the last championship in Kuala Lumpur two years ago. more..

Colombo Plans Orientation Center for Gulf Maids

July 31 (AN) Plans are under way to set up an orientation center in Colombo for Gulf-bound Sri Lankan housemaids to prepare them for household responsibilities in this region. The new center will be in addition to the existing 22 training centers in Sri Lanka more..

Sri Lankan High Commissioner Samsudeen bids farewell to Maldives

July 31 (HNS) The Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Maldives Zarook Samsudeen has bid farewell to Maldives after a successful tint as a great diplomat in this archipelago southwest of Sri Lanka. Samsudeen paid his farewell call on President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom at the President’s Office on Thursday. more..

‘Sri Lanka are a difficult team to beat in their own backyard’

July 31 (AN) “Sri Lanka are a difficult team to beat at home, in their own backyard,” said Indian vice captain Rahul Dravid here yesterday. “We are excited about reaching the final. The fact that we could beat them by four runs in our last match gives us confidence. more..

Watch Kandy Perahara online

July 31 (PRIU) The Kandy Perahara, the procession of the Sacred Tooth Relic, will parade the streets of Sri Lanka’s ancient hill capital tonight. This most spectacular pageant of Sri Lanka will be webcasted live over the National TV and the official website of the Dalada Maligawa at 1430 (GMT) today. more..

Tour packages bring Indian fans to Sri Lanka

July 31 (IANS) As the Asia Cup heads towards its climax, there is a new buzz all round - on the roads, in the restaurants/coffee shops and most of all in the Taj Samudra lobby, where suddenly lots of Indian tourists have descended to watch Sunday's final - and also take players' autograph and pose with them. more..

DIG - Police, denies stories planted in the media regarding the death of 8 men at Kottawa

July 31 (AT) K.P.P. Pathirana – DIG Police - Western Province – South, denied that he had ever made any statement to the effect that those eight person killed on last Sunday 25 July were not drugged. more..

Marxists oppose Tigers demand for self-governing authority

July 31 (Gulf) The Marxist JVP has taken a tough position regarding the Tamil guerrilla demand for establishing an Interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) and threatened to pull out their support if the President goes ahead to discuss the proposal. more..

Public will be kept informed of peace talks, final agreement - Ratnasiri

July 31 (DN) The final result of the peace talks will be fully communicated to the public, Public Security, Law and Order Minister and Deputy Defence Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake pledged yesterday. more..

LTTE kills leading Tamil army collaborator in Colombo

July 31 (HT) The LTTE on Saturday assassinated Kandiah Yogarajan, known widely as "Plote Mohan", a leading Tamil paramilitary commander who worked with the Sri Lankan army in Batticaloa. The 41-year-old Plote Mohan was shot dead opposite a popular clothing store "House of Fashion", on Duplication Road, a busy Colombo street, in broad daylight. more..

State Department announces 2005 Diversity Visa lottery results

July 31 (USE) On July 21, the U. S. State Department announced the results of the DV-2005 Diversity Visa lottery. Three hundred and eighty six (386) individuals from Sri Lanka were selected. The 100,000 winners were chosen randomly from more than 9.5 million qualified entries more..

Vandort helps to put Presidents XI on top

July 31 (CI) The South Africans may have made a bright start to their tour of Sri Lanka with the ball, but their batting didn't quite go to plan today. They were all out for 226 in their first innings against the Sri Lanka Board President's XI in Colombo, with Jacques Rudolph top-scoring with 49. more..