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UPFA triumphed handsomely in the six Provincial Council elections

July 11 (AT) In the polling held for the six provincial councils’ elections, ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance won. All most all the councils have gone to the UPFA except the Central province where a peculiar situation has emerged – a tie. Party positions in the six provincial councils are as follows: more..

Four Tamil youth arrested with weapons near Colombo

July 11 (TN) Police arrested four Tamil youth with weapons Saturday night in a town near Colombo. One of them is from Batticaloa, Police said. They were travelling in a bus from Hatton to Colombo when Police who were on high security alert for the provincial polls, stopped it in Mulleriya for a routine security check. more..

Sri Lanka woos Indian tourists with veg food, adventure tours, sapphires

July 11 (IE) Despite the recent suicide bombing incident, the Sri Lankan tourism industry hopes to woo more Indians to the country with what they prefer most - adventure tours and vegetarian food and sapphires. more..

Tamil rebels warn of looming war

July 11 (BBC) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have told the BBC they fear the country is drifting back to war. The head of the Tigers' political wing, SP Thamilselvam, has said the two-and-a half-year-old peace process has reached its lowest ebb. more..

LTTE slams Colombo for open support to renegade

July 12 (TN) Head of the Liberation Tigers' political division for Batticaloa, Mr. E Kousalyan, Sunday slammed the Sri Lankan government for "openly promoting" renegade commander Karuna by "providing him state radio facilities to attack the Tigers with the obvious aim of destroying the mutual goodwill on which the cease fire is based." more..

SLA hands over Nelliady occupied lands to owners

July 12 (TN) The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) after eight years of its occupation Sunday handed over a section of the agricultural land used for cultivation of subsidiary crops located in Nelliyady area in the Vadamarachchi division in Jaffna district to their owners more..

PC election victory endorses forward march of UPFA - JVP

July 12 (LT) The victory achieved by the United People’s Freedom Alliance is an endorsement of the path taken by the Alliance during the last two and a half months says the JVP in a statement issued by its Political Bureau. more..

Monks want emergency

July 12 (TP) An influential section of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist monks yesterday urged President Chandrika Kumaratunga to resort to a rather extreme measure to combat last week’s Tamil rebel suicide bombing in Colombo — restore emergency rule. more..

Australia will not lift the ban on LTTE – Alexander Downer

July 12 (AT) Australia’s Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer told the federal parliament that the Australian government would continue to ban the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a terrorist organization in that country. more..

Prabakaran is interested in a final assault against Sri Lankan forces and not in the peace talks – Karuna

July 12 (AT) Colonel Karuna Amman disclosed that when he went to Bangkok for the first time to participate in the peace negotiation with the Government, velupillai Prabakaran leader of the LTTE personally gave him a lethal weapon purchase list to be personally hand over to his arms broker K.Pathmanathan who lives in Bangkok. more..

Manitham – a Tamil Nadu based human rights organization to explore the effects on humanity by the proposed Sethusamudran Ship Canal Project

July 12 (AT) Manitham - Humanism, a Tamil Nadu regional based human rights organization, has taken up the issue of Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project to explore and ascertain the impact it might have on humanity and on Sri Lanka, once the construction – actually cutting of the canal starts in the Gulf Mannar Sea. more..

Forty held for poll violence

July 12 (TP) Sporadic violence was reported across the country during the provincial council elections held on Saturday. Several gangs chased away voters while cases of rigging and intimidation were low. At least 40 people were detained for election-related offences. more..

Tamil rebels say they are ready to return to war

July 12 (Bloomberg) LTTE said the government is using a breakaway rebel faction to try to weaken its forces and that the Tigers are ready to resume their two-decade-long civil war. "We are ready to face the war that the Sri Lankan state has decided to thrust on us," more..

Peace hopes hit rock bottom despite polls victory

July 12 (AFP) A victory by Sri Lanka's ruling party at local polls is seen as strengthening President Chandrika Kumaratunga, but despite her renewed mandate the country could be headed for more mayhem, analysts said. more..

Karuna to start political party

July 12 (Hindu) The former Special Commander of the LTTE, V. Muralitharan (`Col.' Karuna), today said he would start a political party "within a month" and charged his former leader, V. Prabakaran, with pursuing a war strategy. more..

LTTE hardens stance on talks resumption

July 12 (Hindu) The LTTE has further hardened its position on resumption of talks and said that restarting negotiations "will be under question" until the declining eastern situation is "brought under control." The Tigers have also accused the United States of "attempting to disrupt the military balance" between Colombo and the rebels. more..

No plans to ban Lankans from seeking house jobs

July 12 (KT) Sri Lankan Consul-General in Dubai, P.D. Fernando, said yesterday the Sri Lankan government has no plans to impose a ban on recruitment of Sri Lankan housemaids into UAE, but will discourage women from taking household jobs in some Gulf countries where harassment cases and non-payment of salaries is rampant. more..

Ex-Tiger commander breaks silence

July 12 (BBC) A renegade rebel commander has spoken publicly for the first time since he defected from the Tamil Tigers and went into hiding three months ago. Speaking to the BBC Tamil service by telephone, Col Karuna said he was currently in eastern Sri Lanka, where - he said - the people supported him. more..

Tax Treat

July 12 (LBO) A Sri Lanka-US taxation treaty kicked in on Monday, harmonising joint tax laws and allowing for tax credit and concessions for investors in both countries. Representatives of both governments exchanged Instruments of Ratification for the Convention of Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion, on Monday. more..

Putting It Up

July 12 (LBO) The Ceylon Electricity Board is looking at ways of controlling Sri Lanka’s unruly street lamps that show disturbing tendencies of behaving like local politicians. Sri Lanka’s political culture is rubbing off even on the country’s street lamps according to vexed CEB descriptions. more..

Drying Up

July 12 (LBO) Aid flows fell sharply in the first five months as the government lost donor support due to policy about-turns. Gross inflows in the first five months amounted to Rs. 28 bn with Rs. 98 bn being the target set by the previous government for this year. more..

Back To Front

July 12 (LBO) Top Indian Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) operator, WNS is setting up a 250-seat back office operation in the country. This is their first venture in Asia outside of India. more..

JVP mounts poster campaign against Peace Talks

July 12 (TN) JVP, ultra leftist and Marxist coalition partner of UPFA government today began a poster campaign in Colombo and suburbs against pursuing peace talks with the LTTE, political sources from Colombo said. more..

Husband shot and taken on tractor, claims wife

July 12 (SLA) A man went to work at his brick kiln has been shot at a location near the RATHU PALAMA in un-cleared areas and taken towards KARADIYANARU area by force on a tractor, alleges the wife, T. CHANDRADEVI of LAKE HOUSE Rd, PALACHCHOLAI, VANTHARAMOOLAI, in a Police complaint lodged at the ERAVUR Police station on 11 July 2004. more..

Woman with fake identity card held

July 12 (SLA) A woman carrying a fake identity card was held at OMANTHAI Entry/Exit point on 09 July 2004 around 2.30 p.m. when she tried to enter cleared areas for reasons known only to her. more..

LTTE boat sighted speeding up

July 12 (SLA) An LTTE boat movement occurred in the general sea area northwest of MULLAITTIVU light house around 12.35 p.m. on 10 July 2004 was observed by some naval fast attack craft on duty in the area. more..

President concerned about threat to CFA

July 12 (PSL) The President is deeply concerned over last week’s incidents of violence in Colombo and the East which threaten to disrupt the Ceasefire Agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, obstructing the permanent peace that we all seek. more..

“Country Forward” says President

July 12 (PRIU) President Kumaratunga yesterday urged people to shed all differences and dedicate themselves to the Government's "Country Forward" programme. “I greatly appreciate the confidence the people reposed in us and pledge to uphold it untarnished at all times. Let us dedicate ourselves to the sublime policy of "Country Forward," more..

Stocks rise on earnings hopes

July 12 (Reuters) Stocks closed higher on Monday, boosted by hopes for strong corporate earnings despite increasing concern about the island's peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels. The key Colombo all-share index ended up 0.77 percent, or 10.58 points, at 1,379.29. more..

Sponsor family sees fruits of its support

July 12 (TC) A Newent family's holiday to Sri Lanka saw them cut through thick forest to meet a boy whose life has been transformed thanks to their generosity. Caroline and Craig Grewcock swapped Southend Lane for the Sri Lankan jungle to meet Lahiru, a 12-year-old boy they sponsor through international children's charity Plan. more..

Institute of Policy Studies' Kelegama: Sri Lanka, Election

July 12 (Bloomberg) Saman Kelegama, executive director of the Institute of Policy Studies in Colombo, talks with Bloomberg's Ron Madison from Colombo, about provincial election, factors that may influence peace process and the government's moves on peace talks with the LTTE. more..

'Bus travellers' complain to Federation'

July 12 (DN) The Federation of Sri Lanka Commuter Associations has urged all bus travellers to send their complaints to the Federation's office against private bus operators who don't adhere to rules and regulations and behave in an uncivilised manner. more..

Warne's tall order to break Murali's world record on final day

July 12 (AFP) Shane Warne has the final day task of taking five wickets and bowling Australia to victory over Sri Lanka if he is to claim Muttiah Muralitharan's world wicket-taking record in the second cricket Test at Cazaly Stadium here. more..

Economic policy gets lukewarm response

July 12 (Gulf) Almost two weeks after the newly-elected minority government spelt out its economic policy statement, many have started expressing misgivings about its commitment to a free market economy and the ability to realise an earmarked six to eight per cent economic growth. more..

Fought her own and others' cancer

July 12 (TS) When Hema Abeygunawardena was diagnosed with breast cancer, instead of preparing to die, she decided to live. An academic who turned her focus to cancer activism, she fought a 14-year battle with the disease before succumbing to it on June 28 at the age of 62. more..

Young Sri Lankans Represent their Country at Global HIV/AIDS Conference

July 12 (AT) The 15th International AIDS Conference is being held in Bangkok, Thailand from 11-16 July 2004 with nearly 15,000 people in attendance. To provide an opportunity for young Sri Lankans to take part in this global event, UNICEF has supported three youth to fly to Bangkok to raise the issue of HIV/AIDS and young people in Sri Lanka. more..

Germany’s Deputy Chancellor Fischer expected in Lanka

July 12 (AT) Germany’s Deputy Chancellor Joschka Fischer is expected in Sri Lanka on the 17th of this month on a two day visit. She is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany. Fischer will be accompanied by a delegation of senior officials, parliamentarians and businessmen. more..

LTTE woman suicide bomber had stayed as a servant at the Colombo residence of a UNP activist

July 12 (AT) The LTTE woman suicide bomber who blew herself at the Kollupitiya Police station last week had stayed as a servant for more than a year at the Colombo residence of a UNP activist. more..

Hayden and Martyn set up a classic finish

July 12 (CI) Today, a day that rained water, wickets and runs, Australia muscled themselves into a position whereby they might yet win a game that had looked to be going nowhere. First they knocked over Sri Lanka's lower order, then they knocked up a 256-run lead that should enable them to declare sometime in the morning. more..

Poll victory to help Chandrika face LTTE challenge

July 12 (HT) Having swept the Sri Lankan provincial elections, winning all the six Provincial Councils up for grabs on July 10, the Chandrika Kumaratunga Government will find it easier to face the LTTE's challenge and be tougher at the negotiating table, if and when peace talks begin. more..

Sri Lanka sliding back to war, Tigers warn amid deepening rift

July 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels warned of a return to war as their unprecedented split deepened, signalling further trouble for the already faltering Norwegian-backed peace process. more..

Tamil Tigers used peace talks to procure weapons: Karuna

July 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels used peace talks as a cover to buy weapons and are preparing to go back to war despite Norwegian-backed efforts to end ethnic bloodshed, a renegade rebel said. more..

Tigers slam government, say ready to fight

July 12 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers accused the government on Monday of thrusting a war on them by using a rival rebel faction to weaken their forces and said they were ready to return to the battlefield. more..

CWC leaders meet Tuesday to decide future political strategy

June 13 (TN) Senior leaders of the CWC, a constituent of the main opposition UNF are scheduled to meet Tuesday to map out their political strategy following the capture of six provincial councils by the ruling UPFA at the Saturday polls, political sources said. more..

Katkovalam fisherman say SLA retarding trade

July 13 (TN) Fishermen of Katkovalam, a coastal village south of Pt. Pedro in Jaffna, Monday complained that a Sri Lanka army (SLA)checkpoint at their beach market is scuttling sales. more..

JVP declines to accept post in Provincial Council

July 13 (TN) JVP, coalition partner of the ruling UPFA government said Monday that it would not accept post of chief minister or minister in the newly elected six provincial councils. "We are against the provincial council (PC) concept and we do not want to strengthen the PC system in the country," more..

I have no contacts with SL security forces - Karuna

July 13 (LT) Karuna Amman, the leader of the Tiger Organization of the Eastern Province has told the BBC that he has no contacts with Sri Lankan security forces. He has said he would establish a political party to enter the democratic process against the anti-Tamil acts of Prabhakaran’s Vanni tiger organization. more..

80 JVP members in PCs

July 13 (LT) JVP candidates have got the majority preference votes in the districts of Gampaha, Hambantota, Matara, Colombo and Ratnapura. There are 80 (including the 9 elected to Vayamba PC) Provincial Council Members representing the JVP. more..

India and Sri Lanka the teams to beat in Asia Cup: Inzamam

July 13 (AFP) Pakistan cricket captain Inzamamul Haq was upbeat Monday about his revitalised team’s chances of winning the upcoming Asia Cup starting this week in Sri Lanka. “My team is now revitalised and after some organsied coaching I am confident that we will successfully defend our title,” Inzamam told AFP. more..

Stocks surge defies bearish outlook

July 13 (Bloomberg) Without a whiff of good news supporting them, stocks in Sri Lanka, the teardrop island off India's southern coast, are the world's fifth-best performers this year. more..