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Sri Lanka government under fire for failing to arrest rupee's decline

Nov 24 (AP) Sri Lanka's former finance minister criticized the government Wednesday for having no credible plan to prop up the rupee, which has lost about 8.5 percent against the U.S. dollar this year. more..

Firefight belies Sri Lankan Tiger truce status

Nov 24 (AFP) Security forces have arrested two suspected Tamil Tiger rebels who tried to kill military intelligence operatives in eastern Sri Lanka despite a truce. Gunmen believed to be from the rebel LTTE ambushed an army vehicle transporting two officers in the eastern town of Manampitiya Tuesday by opening fire, more..

UNP titans clash in Parliament

Nov 24 (DN) UNP stalwarts Mahinda Samarasinghe and Rajitha Senaratne almost came to blows in the Chamber of Parliament yesterday following a disagreement stemming from the on going dispute in the current controversy in connection with the eight hour work shift affecting public servants. more..

Prabhakaran turns 50, but will he change?

Nov 24 (IANS) As he prepares to celebrate his 50th birthday, Velupillai Prabhakaran remains firmly committed to his dream of breaking up Sri Lanka to carve out a Tamil Eelam state. For one whose favourite weapon once was a catapult with which he felled birds and squirrels, Friday will be day of stocktaking for the undisputed and ruthless chief of the LTTE. more..

Protesters demand end to killings in Sri Lanka

Nov 24 (AP) Thousands of people protested in Sri Lanka's capital Wednesday demanding that Norwegian peace brokers pressure Tamil Tiger rebels to end a series of alleged killings. The murders have raised fears that a 33-month cease-fire between Sri Lanka's government and the guerrillas may collapse. more..

Ministry of Health allocates Rs 50 mn to fight dengue

Nov 24 (LBO) The Ministry of Health allocates Rs 50 mn from the 2005 national health budget to launch an island wide battle against dengue from January. "For the first time we have allocated Rs 50 mn for dengue," Minister of Health, Nimal Siripala de Silva, told Lanka Business Online. more..

Two civilians decorating for Maveerar Day shot dead

Nov 25 (TN) Two civilians who were decorating their neighbourhood for the Great Heroes' Day observations in Vanthaarumoolai, 18 kilometres north of Batticaloa, were shot dead Tuesday night around 7:50 by gunmen riding a motorbike. more..

ICT Agency is filing its paperwork before rolling out information systems across the island

Nov 25 (LBO) The ICT Agency is filing its paperwork before rolling out information systems across the island, linking the Government engine to offer citizen services over the internet and increasing efficiency and transparency in its services. more..

Colombo port is aiming to surpass the target of two million containers for the first time

Nov 25 (Rupavahini) The Sri Lanka ports authority expressed confidence that this target to be achieved within the current months. The Colombo harbour has handled 1,976,972 containers so far this year. more..

Sri Lanka, Iran vow to strengthen economic ties

Nov 25 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga held talks with Iranian President Mohammad Khatami in Teheran on Wednesday with both leaders vowing to strengthen relations between the two countries in the fields of trade and economy. more..

Witness killed before case against police

Nov 25 (BBC) Gerald Mervin Perera, who was due to give evidence in court against seven police officers accused of torture, passed away on Wednesday at the Colombo General Hospital. He had been in a critical condition since he was shot on November 21 by an assassin. more..

Taking a day off to take to the streets, Sri Lanka's sex-workers help in AIDS awareness

Nov 25 (LBO) On December 1, 2004 a segment of Sri Lanka’s sex-workers will take to the streets, not peddling their services for one day, instead to make time for a very worthy cause. more..

Iran and Sri Lanka reviewed expansion of mutual relations and cooperation

Nov 25 (AT) Iran President Mohammad Khatami in a joint meeting between the Sri Lanka and Iran said: Logical negotiations between the Sri Lankan government and opponents on restoration of peace to that region is a wise act, adding that co-existence among followers of different religions in the country indicates that the country has been turned into a center for dialogue among civilizations. more..

Time to talk, Chandrika tells LTTE

Nov 25 (Hindu) Describing the current situation as "a very propitious moment," the Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, today renewed her call to the LTTE to resume negotiations to discuss an interim administration "within a united Sri Lanka." more..

Solheim on a whitewashing mission

Nov 25 (AT) Norwegian foreign minister Jan Petersen is dispatching the special envoy Erik Solheim to Colombo on December 07 in an obvious attempt to mend fences after Sri Lanka’s complaint to the World Policeman - the US against Norway’s partisan attitude. more..

Graduate appointments to be made permanent

Nov 25 (LT) All appointments of graduates recruited for state employment will be made permanent from the months of January and February and Rs.228 billion has already been allocated in the budget to meet the costs says Mr.Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Deputy Minister of Finance. more..

Fourteen injured as troops attack civilians, MP in Mannar

Nov 25 (TN) Fourteen civilians were seriously injured when Sri Lanka army troops indiscriminately attacked hundreds of people in Mannar town Thursday. TNA MP for Mannar, Mr. Vino Noharathalingam and the parish priest for Thalvupaadu were also attacked in the rampage. more..

Mannar situation calamitous- Thamilchelvan tells SLMM

Nov 25 (TN) S.P Thamilchelvan, in an urgent message to Head of SLMM Maj. Gen (retd) Trond Furuhovde described the situation in Mannar as "calamitous" that will lead to public unrest which is "totally undesirable" during the period of ceasefire and martyrs' day celebrations. more..

Sri Lanka Parliament adjourned after Tamil MPs protest

Nov 25 (TN) Sri Lanka’s Parliament was adjourned Thursday after TNA MPs sat in the well of the house in protest against military attacks on civilians in Mannar. The protesting TNA Parliamentarians refused to allow sittings to proceed until their demand that the Sri Lanka army should be withdrawn to barracks in the affected areas was met. more..

SRI LANKA: Apparel Industry Gets Productivity Push

Nov 25 (JS) With less than 6 weeks to go before global textile and apparel quotas are lifted, Sri Lanka’s Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) has launched an Apparel Sector Productivity Improvement Programme to boost output and cut costs at 100 factories. more..

Sri Lanka board cautions Muralitharan over interview

Nov 25 (Reuters) Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has received an official caution from his cricket board over contentious comments made in an unauthorised interview on an Australian radio show two weeks ago. more..

Kuruppu to manage Sri Lanka for New Zealand tour

Nov 25 (Reuters) Brendon Kuruppu has been reappointed as temporary senior team manager for Sri Lanka's tour of New Zealand starting next month. Kuruppu was called up for the Pakistan tour in October and was expected to fulfil one more assignment before the appointment of a full-time manager, more..

Sri Lanka sends troops to back US-installed regime in Haiti

Nov 25 (wsws) In its first major overseas military deployment since World War II, the Sri Lankan government has dispatched more than 700 troops to the small Caribbean nation of Haiti in a move designed to bolster the US-installed regime of Prime Minister Gérard Latortue. more..

Sri Lanka keen to tighten purse strings further

Nov 25 (LBO) When Sri Lanka faced a rapidly weakening currency and galloping inflation in early 2001, its central bank raised interest rates. But it found that a tighter policy didn't yield results until interest rates hit 20%. more..

Compensation package for termination of employment coming in January

Nov 25 (LBO) The Minister Of Labour says a compensation package for terminated workers and an unemployment benefit scheme will be implemented in January 2005. "We have decided on a new compensation formula. So it will come from January 1, next year," more..

Sri Lanka Sept exports $549 Million Vs $461 Million year ago

Nov 25 (DJ) Sri Lanka's export earnings increased 19% year on year in September due to a surge in garments exports, while imports expanded at a bigger pace due to high oil prices, data issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Thursday showed. more..

Caritas Appeals for Sri Lanka Peace Programme Funding

Nov 25 (CI) Caritas Internationalis has launched a $400,000 USD appeal to assist a national peace programme for Sri Lanka. The programme's aim is the prevention of future conflict in a country exhausted from two decades of conflict. more..

Iran’s Supreme Leader expressed hope that Tamil issue will be fully settled

Nov 25 (AT) In Sri Lanka Muslims plays an effective role in the government and important policy making centers of the country, said Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga in Tehran, when she met Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khameni at his office. more..

More CTB buses for school service

Nov 25 (SLBC) Transport Minister Felix Perera said yesterday the Government will not privatise any mode of passenger transport but, will continue them strictly as services to the people. more..

Sri Lanka stocks up, trade thin ahead of IPO

Nov 25 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks ended slightly higher on Thursday, but market volume was low ahead of Monday's initial public offering of the local arm of Indian Oil Corporation , brokers said. The key Colombo all-share index rose a provisional 0.4 percent, more..

Sri Lanka asks civil servant to work more

Nov 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka Thursday urged civil servants to work an extra hour saying it had the "dubious honour" of being the nation with the world's highest number of public holidays. Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera told reporters here Sri Lanka topped the world with 26 public holidays on top of a five-day week and another 45 days of annual leave. more..

'Paternity leave, on top of statutory leave is not an option'

Nov 25 (LBO) The 2005-Budget goodies will not extend to paternity leave on top of all the other sweeties, says the Sri Lankan government to disappointed Sri Lankan men. In November the UPFA government, in its budget for next year, tripled the current maternity leave quota for Sri Lankan working women. more..

Sri Lanka gov't ready to resume peace takls with rebels

Nov 25 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan government said Thursday it was ready to resume peace negotiations with the Tamil Tiger rebels and awaiting a message from the rebel group. "We are ready even today to start talks, the LTTE must respond",Mangala Samaraweera, government spokesman said. more..

LTTE put up flags and pandals

Nov 25 (SLA) LTTE have erected two pandals on 23 November 2004 in the general areas of KOVILKULAM and PADDANICHCHIPULIYANKULAM in connection to an LTTE commemorative ceremony. Troops on a foot patrol have observed that an LTTE pandal built at KOVILKULAM, about 3 k.m. southwest of VAVUNIYA, with an ‘Eelam map’ over it. more..

Teenager abducted by LTTE escapes and seeks the protection of Security Forces

Nov 25 (SLA) A sixteen year old boy, being kidnapped by the LTTE, has escaped and surrendered to the CHENKALLADY Army detachment seeking protection on 24 November 2004 around 2.25 p.m. According to the victim, he was being kidnapped on two motor bicycles by two LTTE cadres more..

Tension eased, Mannar now under control

Nov 25 (SLA) An effort taken by a group of violent people instigated by the LTTE to hoist the LTTE flag in the MANNAR town was foiled by the Police using the minimum force today (25) morning. A group of about 100 people armed with axes, iron bars, clubs etc. had tried to hoist the LTTE flag forcibly in the MANNAR main bus stand more..

LTTE obduracy compels troops to honour MoU commitments

Nov 25 (SLA) The Police and Security Forces in MANNAR, accompanied by SLMM officials, were reluctantly compelled to lower LTTE flags on Wednesday (24) evening that were hoisted in the MANNAR Town Hall premises and the Urban Council grounds, despite repeated requests made to the LTTE to refrain from doing so. more..

Deputy Ministers' Forum commends Finance Minister

Nov 25 (DN) The Deputy Ministers' Forum yesterday commended Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama for taking into consideration their suggestions in the preparation of the UPFA government's maiden budget. "We extend our gratitude to the Finance Minister for taking into consideration our views and suggestions in preparing this budget," more..

Two killed in Sri Lanka ahead of rebel celebration

Nov 25 (AP) Gunmen shot and killed two civilians in eastern Sri Lanka, officials said Thursday. Tamil rebels accused the military of being linked to the murders, saying it was determined to deter people from taking part in an important insurgent celebration this weekend. more..

Sri Lanka 's president says dropping secession no precondition for peace talks with Tamil Tigers

Nov 25 (AP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga said Wednesday she does not expect Tamil Tiger rebels to abandon their demand for separation immediately but invited the group for discussions on a federal constitution. more..

Sri Lanka's Tiger supremo turns 50 amid war and peace choice

Nov 25 (AFP) Elusive Tamil Tiger guerrilla supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, who turns 50 on Friday, is arguably the man who will decide whether Sri Lanka remains at peace or returns to war. more..

Lanka readies its gallows but there may be no one to hang

Nov 25 (HT) Following a presidential decision on last Saturday that death sentences will be carried out to stamp out heinous crimes, Sri Lanka is re-furbishing its gallows in the Welikade and Bogambara prisons, buying new ropes from China, and training the lone hangman, the 25-year-old Suranimala Wijetunge. more..

SRI LANKA: Industry keen on FTA with US

Nov 25 (BT) The Apparel Exporters Association Chairman, Arumugam Pillai Sukumaran said that the future of the country's apparel industry depends on the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States. more..

Sri Lanka, Iran sign trade agreement, MoUs

Nov 25 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka and Iran signed a preferential trade agreement and five memoranda of understanding (MoUs) Thursday afternoon in Teheran, said the Sri Lankan government in a press release. more..

Fratricidal war in the midst of Tamil groups heats up before the Martyrs day

Nov 26 (AT) Fratricidal warfare continues unabatedly as days get closer for the celebration of the fallen heroes both by the LTTE and Karuna’s group in two separate slated to be held as two separate events. more..

Looking back on 50 years of Prabhakaran

Nov 26 (AT) Celebrating death has become a way of life in the Tamil political culture. It has been so ever since Velupillai Prabhakaran took over the leadership of the northern Tamils. According to the established customs of his regime, this cult of death is going to be the highlight of his 50th birthday celebrations. more..

ENDLF Rangappa gunned down in Colombo

Nov 26 (TN) A senior member of the ENDLF, a Sri Lankan paramilitary group based in India, was gunned down by unidentified gunmen in Dematagoda, an outer suburb of Colombo, Thursday evening, Police said. The slain man was identified as Mr. Sonnyboy Occerz alias 'Rangappa'. more..

LTTE political worker shot dead in Akkaraipattu

Nov 26 (TN) A political worker of the Liberation Tigers was shot dead by gunmen suspected to be from a paramilitary in Akkaraipattu town, 64 kilometres south of Batticaloa, Thurday around 5 p.m. The LTTE political worker, identified as Umakanth, 21, died on admission to Kalmunai Hospital, Police said. more..

Lanka IOC readies island’s biggest IPO since 2002

Nov 26 (FE) The Sri Lankan unit of Indian Oil Corporation kicks off an initial public offering on Monday that will make it the fourth-biggest stock on the Colombo exchange and a contender for first place in the longer term. more..

Fifty five bridges on main highways are to be reconstructed

Nov 26 (Rupavahini) The cabinet of ministers who met yesterday has decided to build few new bridges along with the reconstruction programme. This was disclosed by cabinet spokesman and media minister Mangala Samaraweera at the cabinet media briefing held at the information department in Narahenpita today. more..