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President insists on devolution, hails Ranil and ceasefire

Sep 7 (PIS) President Chandrika Kumaratunga in the last days of her 11-year presidency yesterday reiterated her stand on the ethnic issue, warning that the country might be plunged back to war unless there was devolution of power. more..

Brahimi meets CBK: no comment on talks

Sep 7 (SAMN) United Nations special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi held discussions with President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Monday evening in relation to the current state of the peace process. Although details of the meeting were not available agency reports indicated the two were expected to discuss a possible role for the UN in the peace process. more..

Train strike called off

Sep 7 (SAMN) The Locomotive Operative Engineers Union (LOEU) called off its one week long islandwide strike at 6 p.m. yesterday. The head of the Union I.L.K. Dissanayake told the Daily News that the train service would return to normal from today. more..

Saliya did not leave the UNP, he was removed: SB

Sep 7 (LNP) Former UNP strongman and Minister, S.B. Dissanayake said his brother Saliya Dissanayake leaving the UNP was a great consolation to him and his family. In a letter sent to Kalutara district UNPer Dr Rajitha Senaratne, Mr. Dissanayake said that his brother, who obstructed the fight to obtain his release from prison, did not leave the UNP but was removed from the party. more..

CBK`s request to UN proves Norway failed - JVP

Sep 7 (LNP) The fact that Norway has failed in its task as facilitators, is clearly indicated in President Chandrika Kumaratunga`s request to the UN to play a role in the peace process, JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe said yesterday. more..

Mahinda ready to walk that extra mile - Mangala

Sep 7 (DN) The SLFP Chief Campaign Coordinator for the Presidential Election, Minister Mangala Samaraweera in a media release yesterday clarified certain issues in the 12 point consensus reached between Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse and the JVP, more..

Fishermen in Batticaloa receive boats

Sep 7 (AN) For the past eight months 45-year-old Jeevaratnam Kiruparani and her three children living in Katiraveli village in Vakarai division of Batticaloa district were dependent on the support from aid organisations to meet their daily requirements. more..

Community spirit Asia antidote to US-style looting

Sep 7 (Reuters) Looting was the last thing that crossed Lalith Nagasinghe's mind when his restaurant in southern Sri Lanka was gutted by December's tsunami, as communities all around the Indian Ocean rim rallied to help their own. more..

Opposition accuses Sri Lankan ruling party candidate of militancy

Sep 7 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's main opposition has slammed a pact between the ruling party's presidential candidate and the leftist party JVP or the People's Liberation Front as a move which would take the country back to the separatist war with the Tigers. more..

JVP, Rajapakse sign 12-point policy plan

Sep 7 (TP) The Marxist People’s Liberation Front or JVP on Monday announced it was backing Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, the ruling party candidate, at presidential polls due in November. more..

Sri Lankan Army Chief visits Kashmir valley

Sep 7 (PTI) Sri Lankan Army Chief Lt Gen S H S Kottegoda, on a two-day visit to the Kashmir valley, toured the forward areas along the Line of Control (LoC), defence sources said here today. Lt Gen Kottegoda, heading an 11-member team, arrived here yesterday alongwith his wife more..

Sri Lankan military heightens tensions in the North and East

Sep 7 (wsws) Provocative actions by the Sri Lankan security forces following the assassination of foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar on August 12 have heightened tensions in the north and east of the island and threatened a breakdown of the tenuous ceasefire between the military and the LTTE. more..

Prime minister says he won't abandon truce with rebels

Sep 7 (AP) Sri Lanka's prime minister denied on Wednesday that he had agreed to redraft a cease-fire pact with Tamil Tiger rebels to win the support of the Marxist party for his candidacy in upcoming presidential elections. more..

Sri Lanka election a referendum against federalist moves: JHU

Sep 7 (Xinhua) The all Buddhist Monk party, the JHU or the Heritage Party, said that the forthcoming presidential election in this Indian ocean island is a referendum against moves to make Sri Lanka a federal republic. more..

President and PM at loggerheads over peace moves

Sep 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka's outgoing president will press ahead with plans to share power with minority Tamils in exchange for peace even though her prime minister has promised to ditch the plan if he succeeds her, an official said. more..

Norway chooses Sri Lanka truce talks venue: the airport

Sep 7 (Reuters) Seeking to break a deadlock between Sri Lanka and Tamil Tiger rebels over a venue for talks to preserve a strained truce, peace mediator Norway said it had been left with only one choice: the airport. more..

Youth shot and killed, SLA soldier, policemen injured in grenade attack

Sep 8 (TN) A Tamil youth was shot and killed by the Sri Lanka Army soldiers and policemen following a grenade attack at a police post located in Urani junction on Batticaloa-Valaichenai Road, 3 km north of Batticaloa town. more..

De Bruyn stands alone for South Africa A

Sep 8 (CI) South Africa A's allrounder, Zander de Bruyn, scored an undefeated 100 but his team could only muster 245 all out in the opening day of a four-day match against Sri Lanka A at the Nondescripts Cricket Club Ground (NCC) in Colombo. more..

Uncertainty goes as Sri Lanka reaffirms joining

Sep 8 (DS) Uncertainty over holding of the 13th Saarc summit in Dhaka scheduled for November 12-13 has been removed with Sri Lanka reaffirming participation in the summit despite its presidential election around that time. more..

Sri Lankan policeman killed by wild elephant

Sep 8 (ABC) A Sri Lankan police inspector was killed when he tried to chase away a wild elephant from a village in the north west of the country. Chief Inspector Nimal Rowel and a team of constables had been trying to scare away the marauder after it charged into the village of Wariyapola, 108 kilometres from Colombo. more..

Brahimi rules out UN role in Sri Lanka peace negotiations

Sep 8 (AFP) UN trouble-shooter Lakhdar Brahimi has wrapped up a four-day visit to Sri Lanka saying the world body had no plans to replace the island's peace broker Norway. Brahimi, a UN expert in conflict resolution, said his visit was triggered by a request for help from President Chandrika Kumaratunga more..

Tamil Tiger killed in eastern Sri Lanka attack

Sep 8 (Xinhua) A Tamil Tiger rebel was killed while another arrested in eastern Sri Lanka after they attacked a military road check on Wednesday, defense officials said. The suspected LTTE rebels arrived in a motor cycle and hurled a hand grenade at a military road check in the eastern town of Batticaloa around 6:30 p.m. local time (12:30 GMT). more..

Dhanapala to brief US Congressional Caucus

Sep 8 (Xinhua) Ambassador Jayantha Dhanapala will give a briefing today to the Sri Lankan Congressional Caucus on “The Sri Lanka Peace Process: the Role of the International Community”. The invitation to attend this briefing at Cannon Building, Independence Ave, Washington, has been issued by two Congressmen, Frank Pallone and Jerry Weller. more..

CPJ protests attacks on Tamil media

Sep 8 (BBC) A US based media watchdog has called upon the Sri Lankan government to investigate attacks on the Tamil-language newspaper Sudar Oli including the killing of a printing press security guard and assaults on reporters. more..

Bangladesh toil in Test warm-up

Sep 8 (BBC) Bangladesh's batting problems continued as they were bowled out for 195 on the first day of their Test warm-up game against a Sri Lanka Development XI. Opener Javed Omar top scored with 81 and tail-ender Tapash Baisya hit a six and six fours in his 54. more..

Search goes on for minister’s kin

Sep 8 (TP) Hundreds of posters have been put up as part of a countrywide search for Sri Lankan Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama’s uncle who went missing last month while visiting India with a tour group, Indian newspapers said. A W Amunugama, 83 years,went missing from the Bhopal railway station on August 25. more..

Sri Lanka gov't agrees to hold talks with Tigers in Colombo

Sep 8 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan government said Wednesday that it agreed with Norway's proposal to hold talks with the Tamil Tigers at an agreed venue in Colombo to review the Norwegian-backed cease-fire. more..

Talks venue must be acceptable to both parties- Thamilchelvan

Sep 8 (TN) Liberation Tigers Political Head, Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan, who met with Norwegian delegation in Kilinochchi Thursday morning told reporters that a southern venue, including the Colombo airport, does not provide the necessary conducive environment for direct talks. more..

Rajapakse, JVP sign policy deal

Sep 8 (TN) SLFP presidential candidate Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sinhala extreme nationalist JVP secretary Mr. Tilvin Silva signed the 12-point policy agreement Thursday morning at the Prime Minister official residence, Temple Trees in Colombo. more..

Police fire kills Tamil Tiger of Karuna Faction

Sep 8 (SLA) A Tamil Tiger from KARUNA faction was shot and killed in the general area of IRUDIYAPURAM, BATTICALOA by the Police Thursday (8) morning at about 10.15 a.m. when he fired at a Tamil Tiger of the PRABHAKARAN faction, who was walking along the road. more..

CEB engineers warn against using coal power as political tool

Sep 8 (LBO) Engineers union of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) warns politicians against using the Norachcholai coal power plant as an election tool. Sri Lanka’s singed an MOU with a Chinese company to build the island’s first coal power plant only last week on August 30. more..

Sri Lanka offers assistance to US hurricane victims

Sep 8 (PRIU) Colombo’s Envoy in the US Bernard Goonetilleke on Tuesday handed over a cheque for US $ 25,000 to the American Red Cross in Washington D.C. This was Sri Lanka’s contribution to assist those who were hit by hurricane Katrina. more..

Suspects released on Kadirgamar assignation

Sep 8 (LT) All 27 suspects who were taken into custody in connection with Mr Lakshman Kadirgamae assassination have been released as there is no sufficient evidence against them. In a report submitted to the Colombo Magistrate Courts the police says that no important information has been revealed in the investigations. more..

Ranil to administer with one policy for 15 years

Sep 8 (LT) A manifesto that could be acceptable to all people will be put forward said Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe and that he expected support of all political parties for this. He said this after meeting UNP Parliamentarians in the Parliament complex on Wednesday. more..

Urgent meeting of Co-Chairs summoned

Sep 8 (PIS) Norway's Foreign Minister Jan Petersen has called an extraordinary meeting of Sri Lanka's Co-Chairs in the peace process, in New York on September 19, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry said yesterday. more..

Don't torture the public!

Sep 8 (ANN) If Sri Lanka has achieved self-sufficiency, it is in political circuses. Hardly a day passes without a display of political gimmicks by one party or another. May Day is the worst, when politicians lead workers by the nose, straddling their backs. more..

Sethu project being implemented for political mileage: Jayalalithaa

Sep 8 (Hindu) The proponents of the Sethusamuthram project were throwing environmental concerns to the winds, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said at Singara near here on Tuesday after commissioning the Rs. 383-crore Pykara Ultimate Stage Hydro Electric Project (PUSHEP). more..

'Norway doing good job on peace process, will not be replaced'

Sep 8 (ANN) The United Nations has no intention of replacing Norway as facilitator of Sri Lanka’s peace process, said a visiting special envoy of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday. "There’s no question of that," said Lakhdar Brahimi, Annan’s special adviser on prevention and resolution of conflict. more..

SLMC Workshop for Eastern Province

Sep 8 (LM) The SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem was empowered to make a final decision with regard to the forthcoming Presidential Elections, by the party's Eastern Province delegates yesterday. Party stalwarts of Eastern districts Ampara, Batticoloa and Trincomalee who attended a two day workshop held in Colombo have empowered leader Rauff Hakeem to make the final decision. more..

Fewer Europeans visit Sri Lanka

Sep 8 (DPA) Sri Lanka's tourism industry is recovering from last year's tsunami disaster but is registering fewer visitors from European countries, according to the national tourist board. Between January and April 2005, the number of foreign guests rose compared to the previous year with hotels in Colombo, Negombo and Kandy seeing more foreign visitors. more..

UNP expects level playing field

Sep 8 (SAMN) Chief Opposition Whip Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday welcomed President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s vow to ensure a free and fair presidential election. She gave this pledge at Tuesday’s party convention at the Race Course. Samarasinghe expressed the belief that Kumaratunga would keep her promise. more..

PA parties disagree with JVP, JHU

Sep 8 (SAMN) Constituent parties of the PA have told SLFP Presidential Candidate Mahinda Rajapakse that they could not agree with the policies of the JVP and JHU. Party representatives said although they agreed on the need to join hands to defeat the UNP presidential candidate, they were against communal-minded parties like the JVP and the JHU. more..

UNP assures a modern Perakum era

Sep 8 (SAMN) The leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe has vowed to usher in a prosperous Perakum era in the country. Addressing the 59th anniversary celebrations of the UNP at party head quarters, Sirikotha in Kotte on Tuesday (6) he said more..

Anuruddha released on conditional bail

Sep 8 (LNP) Former Defence Minister Anuruddha Ratwatte who appeared in courts on charges of having spent Rs. 45 million over and above his declared income was released on conditional bail by Colombo Additional Magistrate yesterday. more..

Ranil wants to accommodate CBK

Sep 8 (LNP) UNP leader and presidential candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said thought should be given to find a way to get the services of President Chandrika Kumaratunga for the development of the country after her retirement from office. more..

Mahinda for stronger Indo-Lanka ties

Sep 8 (DN) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse in an interview with The Hindu way back in 1999 accurately predicted his candidacy in the current Presidential race. On that occasion six years ago Rajapakse also predicted a golden era in Indo- Lanka relations in the event of his election to the high office of President. more..

Peace brokers meet with Tamil Tiger rebels

Sep 8 (AP) European peace brokers met with Tamil Tiger rebels in northern Sri Lanka on Thursday ahead of crucial talks between the government and the guerrillas aimed at preventing the collapse of a fragile cease-fire, AP reported. more..

Woman killed, 62 injured after bomb hoax aboard Saudi aircraft

Sep 8 (TO) A woman was killed and 62 passengers were wounded in a stampede following a bomb hoax aboard a Saudi Arabian Airlines jumbo jet which was about to take off from Sri Lanka's Colombo airport, officials said. more..

BSNL to lay submarine cable to Sri Lanka through Tuticorin

Sep 8 (BL) Telecom service provider BSNL is in the process of laying a submarine cable between India and Sri Lanka to provide overseas connectivity, BSNL Chairman and Managing Director, Mr A K Sinha said on Thursday. "We are in the process of laying a sub-marine cable between India and Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka geared to guard against avian flu

Sep 8 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is prepared to meet any possible outbreak of Avian Flu or bird flu as it is currently sweeping many Asian countries, the Daily News reported Thursday. more..