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EU GSP+ sounds better than it works

Dec 1 (LBO) Sri Lankan apparel exporters say the European Union’s latest trade concession to the island – the GSP+ - sounds better than it works. Apparel exporters say they cannot get through the duty free window opened by the GSP+ because the rules of origin get in the way. more..

Ministers demand a commission to probe Chandrika's corruptions

Dec 1 (LeN) A group of Ministers has appealed to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to appoint a high powered commission to investigate into corruptions, irregularities and malpractices alleged to have taken place in the Ministries administered by retired President Chandika Kumaratunga. more..

Sangaree urges President to go for federal solution

Dec 1 (LeN) TULF leader V.Anandasangaree has appealed to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to go for a federal solution within a unitary Sri Lanka if he genuinely wants to usher in a lasting peace. Sangaree, who supported Mahinda Rajapaksa at the presidential election made this appeal in a letter directed to him yesterday. more..

TNA to boycott general elections

Dec 1 (TW) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is unlikely to participate in a future general election given the latest decision by the LTTE to exclude and boycott the Sri Lankan polity and its power system in the future. LTTE Chief Velupillai Pirapaharan in his Maveerar Day speech said more..

WTO agreements 'disastrous'

Dec 1 (BBC) Activists are urging the government not to enter into any agreement at the World Trade Organisation talks next month. The Alliance for the Protection of National Resources and Human Rights (APNRHR) say that any commitment to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting in Hong Kong will be "totally disastrous" to the country. more..

Unsettled Sri Lanka face India test again

Dec 1 (Reuters) Past history and recent poor form will weigh heavily on Sri Lanka when they face an upbeat India in a three-test series starting on Friday. Sri Lanka have yet to win a test in India from five previous trips and are in some disarray after they were thrashed 6-1 in a one-day series by India hardly three weeks ago. more..

After the tsunami, rising birth rate brings challenges

Dec 1 (RW) Aruentathy, 30, sits at the door of her temporary house, nursing her one-day-old girl, both weary after the ordeal of birth. Her sister Vickneaswary, 28 and seven months pregnant, is by her side, ready to help if needed. more..

Federalism within a United Sri Lanka is the solution to the ethnic problem - V. Anandasangaree

Dec 1 (AT) V. Anandasangaree, President of the TULF has urged the President Mahinda Rajapakse to come forward to settle the ethnic problem with the federal set-up following the Indian pattern, within a United Sri Lanka as a solution to the ethnic problem. more..

Church sword killing was divine order: Sri Lankan

Dec 1 (DPA) A 25-year-old Sri Lankan man who attacked a congregation in a German church with a samurai sword told a court Wednesday he had been acting on divine orders. He has been indicted for the manslaughter of a 43-year-old woman. more..

Sri Lanka is attractive FDI destination: Minister

Dec 1 (II) Rajitha Bogollagama, Minister of Investment Promotion of Sri Lanka, has emphasized that Sri Lanka is an attractive destination for investments. Addressing a session ‘Sri Lanka:The Business Perspective’ at the India Economic Summit 2005 in New Delhi, he said that there is special consideration for investment in the country. more..

Heroes Day celebrations in Vanni were not well attended by others from the Government controlled regions

Dec 1 (AT) Contrary to the claims of Sudaroli, the unofficial LTTE mouth piece and the other pro LTTE Tamil newspapers in Colombo, the statistical data shows that the recent LTTE Heroes Day Celebration was not a complete success in the Vanni. more..

The Fate of the Tamil Nation

Dec 1 (AT) For the LTTE this Heroes Day could have been different. Despite the Karuna Rebellion the last three and a half years have been good for the Tigers. They got a ceasefire agreement which for the first time put them on par with the legitimate government of Sri Lanka. more..

Chandrika’s budget to be scrapped and replaced by Mahinda’s budget on December 8 – Basil Rajapakse

Dec 1 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse’s brother and his Presidential election Campaign Manager, Basil Rajapakse, who did the hard work behind the scene to win the first term, vowed to win the second term too. more..

No party for Kumaratunga

Dec 1 (TP) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s brainchild — a state farewell with a guard of honour for the outgoing and incoming Presidents - turned out to be a non-starter when she finally decided to go home sans the much awaited and much-postponed ceremony on Tuesday. more..

Govt. moves to get 3 policemen released

Dec 1 (LT) Highest attempt would be made to get the three police officers attached to National Child Safety Authority, who have been abducted by wanni tiger organization and are being kept under arrest, released said Dr. John Gunaratna, head of the Peace Secretariat. more..

Heading for a stalemate?

Dec 1 (Hindu) INTERNATIONAL ENGAGEMENT is a buzzword in Sri Lanka's conflict resolution process. Within days of a new President, Mahinda Rajapakse, assuming office, the two sides to the conflict — the Sri Lankan state and the LTTE — have indicated how they plan to engage with the outside world. more..

Strengthening anti-LTTE safety net vital - The Hindu

Dec 1 (PIS) Strengthening the 'international safety net' against the LTTE's militarism and terrorism will be intelligent ways of preparing for what lies ahead, The Hindu said yesterday in a commentary. more..

SLMM in crucial talks at Kilinochchi

Dec 1 (PIS) Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) head Hagrup Haukland is expected to travel to Kilinochchi today for important talks with the LTTE following the Martyrs’ Day speech by LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran on Sunday. more..

Relief reduction draws protest from HSZ displaced

Dec 1 (TN) Hundreds of families displaced from the High Security Zone (HSZ) in Valigamam district and living in refugee camps for more than fifteen years picketed in front of Uduvil Pradeshya Sabha offices protesting against the reduction in the relief assistance announced by the Government of Sri Lanka, more..

Unusable cartridges recovered from the sea

Dec 1 (SLA) FOUR UNUSABLE SHELLS with cartridges, similar to those of six-pounders, believed to have been left in the sea had been recovered by a few fishermen in the general area of KALPITIYA on Wednesday (30) around 11.00 a.m. more..

“Sole representatives” want De-miners killed in Jaffna

Dec 1 (SLA) Tamil Tigers, held accountable for the series of continuing orgy of violence and various criminal acts in the north and east of the country, seem as if they (Tamil Tigers) are least bothered about any of the ongoing humanitarian or welfare activities for Tamil community in the northern Jaffna peninsula, either by the State or Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs). more..

59 Sri Lankans arrested on attempted US visa fraud

Dec 1 (LBO) The US Embassy says 59 Sri Lankans were arrested this year so far, on attempted visa fraud. The US Embassy investigated 987 suspicious applications this year out of 13,000 immigrant and non-immigrant applications for US visa. more..

Tsunami survivors are stewing in uncertainty

Dec 1 (LBO) Nearly one year after, Sri Lanka’s tsunami survivors are stewing in uncertainty while tsunami recovery stagnates in politics. One year into recovery, very little has changed. The duplication, confusion, corruption, political interference, poor communication and lack of consultation that UN agencies and local institutions warned about, are thriving. more..

Sri Lankans skip their daily milk requirements

Dec 1 (LBO) Most Sri Lankans miss out on their daily milk requirements, due to affordability and storage limitations, says a New Zealand dairy giant. The World Health Organisation recommends around two glasses of milk each day, which equals to 146 litres per capita annually. more..

No pardon for SB from President

Dec 1 (CT) President Mahinda Rajapakse has decided not to grant former Minister S.B. Dissanayake a pardon after details of a discussion that was held between his emissary and Dissanayake was revealed in the media. more..

Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat in a last ditch bid to get the release the three policemen held by the LTTE

Dec 1 (AT) Government is making attempt to get the three policemen attached to the National Child Protection Agency who were held in custody since 10 September by the LTTE released. It is reported that the Sri Lanka Government’s Peace Secretariat is taking steps to get the three policemen released. more..

Iran, Lanka to explore oil and gas deal

Dec 1 (LM) Yesterday's talks between President Mahinda Rajapakse and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Mehdi Safari centred on how Iran could provide petroleum and gas on a concessionary basis to Sri Lanka. Iran is one of the world's leading producers of oil and gas. more..

‘Yudham’ or ‘Samadanam’? Ball now in Govt. court

Dec 1 (LM) "We have six votes in our family and all of us would vote for Ranil if we are allowed to vote. This is the last chance for us to reach peace. If not, it will be ‘Yudham," my taxi driver Selva was telling me, exactly ten days before the Presidential Polls while driving me from Jaffna to Nagadeepa. more..

Govt. did all to entice LTTE for negotiations - Dhanapala

Dec 1 (PIS) "I think there are two reasons why the peace process did not reach any form of success," Dhanapala outlined. "One was the Karuna rebellion which was something that hadn’t previously been seen within the LTTE. They had been regarded as a solid monolith but Karuna disproved that and has lived so far to tell the tale." more..

LTTE Heroes Day speech reveals an organisation in crisis

Dec 1 (wsws) Each year the leader of the LTTE, V. Prabhakaran, delivers a “Heroes Day Speech” that is regarded a major statement of policy. This year’s speech on November 27 revealed an organisation in deep political turmoil, caught between a return to war and a “peace process” that has no resolution in sight. more..

Mahinda for maintaining SLFP identity

Dec 1 (SAMN) At a meeting with party organisers President Mahinda Rajapakse insisted on the need to maintain the SLFP identity without creating a division within the party and urged the organisers to step up their campaign ahead of the local government elections. more..

New President's Councils in a fix

Dec 1 (SAMN) Five newly appointed President's Counsel have been left in the lurch. They were appointed as PCs, by former President Chandrika Kumarathunga just before she left office, but have been unable to take their oath of office. more..

Passengers protest 14-hour flight delay

Dec 1 (SAMN) Special trained Commandos had to be deployed to defuse a tense situation at the Bandaranaike International Airport when passengers on board a SriLankan Airlines flight refused to disembark until they were paid compensation for a delay of about 14 hours. more..

Fowzie walks out of meeting

Dec 1 (LNP) A disagreement between Transport Minister A H M Fowzie and Former Parliamentarian Chandana Kathriarachchi resulted in abruptly ending a meeting at the Kesbewa SLTB Depot yesterday morning after Mr Fowzie walked out midway. more..

Hot air at Sirikotha over LTTE polls boycott order

Dec 1 (LNP) A veteran UNPer on Monday accused a party frontliner of sabotaging UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe`s presidential election bid. The Working Committee member slammed Milinda Moragoda for making a damaging statement vis a vis the LTTE, thereby prompting an unprecedented LTTE-ordered polls boycott in the northern and eastern provinces. more..

Chandrika on `irregular cheques`

Dec 1 (LNP) Referring to news reports in the media on Sunday and Monday on irregular cheques issued by President Kumaratunga from the President`s Fund, the office of former President Kumaratunga said: 'President Kumaratunga categorically denies these allegations, more..

Fertilizer subsidy sub-committee meets

Dec 1 (DN) The Fertilizer Subsidy Sub-committee met at the Prime Minister's Office chaired by Premier Ratnasiri Wickremanayake yesterday (30) to discuss the strategies to supply fertilizers to the farmers at the concessionary price of Rs.350 per bag of 50 kilograms. more..

Cyclone Baaz threatens India-Sri Lanka Test

Dec 1 (AFP) A severe cyclonic storm building in the Bay of Bengal has threatened to curtail the first cricket Test between India and Sri Lanka. Cyclone Baaz is expected to hit the southeastern coast of India later on Thursday amidst fears of heavy rain in this cricket-mad metropolis already reeling under bad weather over the past month. more..

Aid scramble wasting Sri Lanka tsunami relief, think-tank says

Dec 1 (AFP) International and local charities have wasted aid money meant for tsunami relief and slowed reconstruction efforts in Sri Lanka, an independent think-tank said. The Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) asked the Sri Lankan government to rein in the number of charities, more..

Top European truce monitor meets with Tamil Tiger rebels

Dec 1 (AP) The head of a European truce monitoring team met with a top Tamil Tiger leader Thursday to discuss a faltering cease-fire with the Sri Lanka's government. Hagrup Haukland met with S.P. Thamilselvan, chief of the separatist rebels' political wing, in Kilinochchi, more..

Sri Lanka says has not yet contacted Tiger rebels

Dec 1 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's new government said on Thursday it had not made contact with Tamil Tiger rebels to restart stalled peace talks, despite repeated pledges by the incoming president he would talk to them. more..

Sri Lanka rejects Tiger deadline for peace deal

Dec 1 (AFP) Sri Lanka dismissed a Tamil rebel ultimatum for a political settlement and said no deadline could be imposed to resolve the ethnic conflict that has dragged on for over 50 years. Constitutional affairs minister D.E.W. Gunasekara said: "We don't get excited by these deadlines," set by the rebel LTTE for the government to come up with a reasonable settlement. more..

New New New agri-policy in the making

Dec 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s agro experts will split hairs once more to draft yet another national policy for the sector, adding to the many already drafted and collecting dust in some bookshelf. The Cabinet of Ministers this week agreed to appoint a committee to draft a fresh national policy that will spur growth and alleviate poverty. more..

Amnesty International asks King Abdullah not to behead Sri Lankans

Dec 2 (LBO) Amnesty International has renewed an appeal to grant clemency to three Sri Lankans who are under imminent threat of execution in Saudi Arabia. Amnesty International has renewed an appeal to grant clemency to three Sri Lankans who are under imminent threat of execution in Saudi Arabia. more..

Sri Lanka: Happily Immune From AIDS?

Dec 2 (IO) AIDS was a mere speck on the horizon when the World AIDS Day was first observed in Sri Lanka in 1990. At the time there was a sense of complacency about AIDS in Sri Lanka. Though other South Asian countries were feeling the urgency of the scourge, Sri Lanka seemed to be happily immune. more..

Send us your tsunami memories

Dec 2 (BBC) A simple sound can evoke powerful images. Everyday noises and happenings can conjure different meanings for different people. Based on this idea, the BBC is creating a Tsunami Audio Memorial. more..

Count Lanka out at your own peril

Dec 2 (PTI) The Sri Lankans can regroup and Chennai can provide the proof even if the match itself is not slated to go the distance. We in Sri Lanka know the fury of weather enough to submit to its wishes. It can be a good pointer for the two Tests that remain. more..

India for 'internal solution' to Sri Lankan conflict

Dec 2 (IANS) India Thursday told Sri Lanka that a solution to its simmering ethnic conflict could 'only emerge essentially through internal political processes', ruling out any intervention in the island nation. more..

Sri Lanka assures India of commitment to political solution

Dec 2 (UNI) Sri Lanka today assured India that it would extend a "firm invitation" to the LTTE for negotiations on finding a political solution to the crisis in the island nation even as India reaffirmed its support to a negotiated settlement acceptable to all sections of the Sri Lankan society and within the framework of its constitution. more..

Sri Lankan new foreign minister says his government committed to peace with Tamil rebels

Dec 2 (AP) Sri Lanka's new government is committed to a cease-fire with Tamil Tiger rebels and negotiations to politically settle the decades-old ethnic dispute, the country's foreign minister said Thursday. more..