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Warning Signals

Aug 17 (LBO) A day ahead of crucial talks with Ceypetco unions, government officials say that plans for a third player to foster competition will have to go ahead. "We can enhance the levels of competition with a third player coming in. We have had a history of union strikes but it will be considered if it is in the larger national interest," more..

SLMM monitors not allowed to proceed

Aug 17 (SLA) An attempt by officials of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) to inquire into the presence of a suspicious trawler beached in the general beach area of CHALAI, MULLAITTIVU, was turned down by LTTE on 16 August 2004 according to information received by naval troops. more..

Remains of soldier brought down for post-mortem

Aug 17 (SLA) The dead body of a soldier died of gunshot injuries was recovered from the general area close to the MUHAMALAI Entry/Exit point on 16 August 2004. The soldier, Private K. A. P PUNYARATNE (S/414405) was found dead with gunshot injuries by fellow-soldiers. more..

LTTE continue to raise their flag

Aug 17 (SLA) LTTE cadres have hoisted their flag in the general areas of PULOLY south and ALVAI south in JAFFNA on 15 August 2004 around 3.30 p.m. during some of their celebrations. The matter has been reported to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) by Security Forces.

President hands over the Act of Appointment to new Mahanayake

Aug 17 (PSL) President Kumaratunga today ceremonially handed over the Act of Appointment to the Most Venerable Thibbotuwawe Siddhartha Sri Sumangala Thero, the new Mahanayaka of the Malwatte Chapter of the Siyam Maha Nikaya. more..

Screening ISGA proposals through federal frame

Aug 17 (PIS) First it was the President who was accused of speaking differently at different times to different audiences. Now it is the JVP. Different leaders of the JVP are being quoted as speaking differently on the issue of the LTTE's proposals for an Interim Self Governing Authority. more..

Peace talks should be over ISGA proposals - Mannar Bishop

Aug 17 (TN) “The Interim Self Governing Authority [ISGA] document was only a proposal for discussion as a step towards a viable alternative to separation. The current talk of a counterproposal to be made by the [Sri Lanka] government is not acceptable to the Liberation Tigers, more..

Drug smuggling ring arrested in Mannar

Aug 17 (TN) Sleuths from Sri Lanka's Anti -Narcotics Bureau arrested four persons with 4.5 kilograms of pure heroin in Mannar, Police in the island town said Tuesday. The arrest was made on information provided by a man from Mannar and two Indian nationals with 1490 grams of pure heroin who were taken into custody more..

Dumping of nuke waste feared

Aug 17 (TP) Central Environment Authority (CEA) Chief Tilak Ranaviraja late last week warned of a move to dump nuclear waste in Sri Lanka. Ranaviraja was quoted in newspapers as saying that he had alerted the relevant authorities of an attempt by industrialised countries to dump nuclear waste and outdated industrial plants and machinery. more..

Employment drive hits roadblock

Aug 17 (TP) Unemployed graduates are to submit a proposal to the Finance Ministry outlining their recommendations for the smoother conducting of the government’s graduate employment drive. more..

Bus, train fares to be raised

Aug 17 (TP) Private and government bus fares along with train fares are expected to rise in the wake of the latest upward revision in the diesel price, a Transport Ministry spokesman said on Sunday. He was quoted as saying that the minimum bus fare of Rs3, which has not been increased since 2000, would rise to Rs4 if the hike is implemented. more..

Murali's redemption, and our arrogance

Aug 17 (CI) It must have taken Murali a lot of courage to decide to do this: to put on a brace on his bowling arm that did not allow him to straighten it, and to go out and bowl, in front of television cameras covering him from various angles, the three staple deliveries in his arsenal – the prodigious offbreak, the guileful topspinner, and the controversial doosra. more..

Muralitharan to make full recovery - surgeon

Aug 17 (Reuters) Muttiah Muralitharan had shoulder surgery overnight and will be back to full fitness in five months, the off spinner's surgeon David Young said on Tuesday. "He'll have his arm in a sling for four weeks and after about three months he will start bowling," Young told Reuters. more..

BPCL's Lanka plan hits union block

Aug 17 (PTI) The plan by Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) to begin oil retailing in Sri Lanka hit a roadblock with trade unions in Sri Lanka threatening strikes if the Indian firm was given approval to buy 100 petrol stations. more..

Another vicious police attack on Bata strikers

Aug 17 (wsws) On the afternoon of August 12, Sri Lankan police attacked striking workers who were blocking the compound gate in front of Bata Shoe factory warehouses in Ratmalana on the outskirts of Colombo. The workers were lying down on the road in an attempt to stop vehicles loaded with stocks of shoes from leaving. more..

Journalist murdered in Colombo

Aug 17 (RSF) Reporters Without Borders called today on the Sri Lankan government to immediately investigate the killing of newspaper journalist Kandasamy Iyer Balanadarajah, who has been shot dead in Colombo, and to end the climate of lawlessness and impunity that has targeted the country's media. more..

Muralitharan is being victimised - Shastri

Aug 17 (PTI) Former India cricketer and television commentator Ravi Shastri says Sri Lanka spin ace Muthiah Muralitharan is being singled out and victimised just because he is Asian and a successful bowler. more..

Increased people smuggling and poaching activities observed in the Gulf of Mannar sea region

Aug 17 (AT) Sri Lankan Army’s official website has reported of increased people smuggling and poaching activities in the Gulf of Mannar sea region, the sea area belonging to Sri Lanka. more..

War or Peace – Chandrika is ready

Aug 17 (AT) President has announced that she is ready to meet the elusive rebel leader Velupillai Prabakaran and talk peace or in case the Tigers continues to avoid peace talks, then to send troops to settle the issue of peace with definite finality. more..

Abdul Cader further remanded

Aug 17 (DN) Colombo Chief Magistrate Ms. Sarojini Kusala Weerawardena yesterday refused an application to discharge former UNP Co-operative Minister A. R. M. Abdul Cader remanded in connection with criminal misappropriation of Rs. 1 million of Samurdhi funds and re-remanded him till August 30. more..

Nawaloka IPO likely fully subscribed -Analysts

Aug 17 (DJ) In a market that hasn't seen a public offering so far this year, Thursday's planned IPO of Sri Lanka's Nawaloka Hospitals Ltd. is likely to be fully subscribed given the buoyant local stock market and the company's strong outlook, say analysts. more..

EU nations slam Tiger rebels as fresh killings dim peace hopes

Aug 17 (AFP) European Union nations criticised Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels for killing rivals and recruiting child soldiers, appealing to the guerrillas not to undermine the Island's Norwegian-led peace bid. more..

Monks dealt anti conversion bill blow

Aug 17 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's all monk political party was dealt a blow by the country's supreme court here Tuesday when it ruled that a planned legislation by the party was inconsistent with the country's constitution. more..

LTTE's killing spree causes concern

Aug 17 (HT) Sri Lanka seems to be in the midst of an unending killing spree by the LTTE. The recent spurt in the activities of its assassination units called "pistol groups" and the indifference of the Sri Lankan government and civil society to the killings, are worrying the local intelligentsia and the international community. more..

Lankan workers move mission on wages

Aug 17 (TP) The Sri Lankan Embassy in Doha has said it would soon send petitions to some 40 to 50 companies that employ a large number of Sri Lankan workers urging them not to deduct visa fee from the salaries of workers who draw less than QR1,000 a month. more..

Two condemned of intentional murder hanged

Aug 17 (KUNA) Two Sri Lankan nationals convicted of premeditated murder were hanged Tuesday in Nayef Palace in the capital's þgovernorate.þ The execution sentence was carried out after the ratification of His þHighness the Amir on August 4th and under orders from The Higher Cassations Court. more..

Tamil Tigers are unlikely to change their stripes

Aug 17 (IANS) For the first time since Sri Lanka's peace process got under way in February 2002, Tamil Tiger guerrillas have come under flak from the West amid growing signs of a revival of the armed conflict. more..

Controversial bill against religious conversion gets court nod

Aug 17 (AFP) Supreme Court has approved a controversial bill seeking to outlaw "unethical" religious conversions in the Buddhist-majority island, the parliament was told. The court ruling clears the way for the bill to be passed into law with a simple majority vote, despite protests from minority Christian organisations. more..

Sri Lankan violence triggered by rift in Tamil camp

aug 18 (ISN) On the morning of Monday, 16 August, as Kandaswamy Balanadarajah left his house in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo to see his son off to school, two men on motorcycles pumped six bullets into him and sped off. The senior leader of the EPDP lay dead in a pool of blood. more..

Army officials' committee holds inquiry into Tamil journalist's complaint

aug 18 (TN) A three-member committee comprising military officials of the Sri Lanka Army commenced inquiry Tuesday into the complaint made by journalist Mr.Velupillai Thavachelvam that he had been threatened with death by a military officer when he was covering the visit of a leading Buddhist prelate to Jaffna during the early part of this year. more..

Private bus fares up by 9%

Aug 18 (LT) Representatives of the private bus union say that private bus fares will be increased by 9% from next Monday. In keeping with the national policy on bus fare hikes and increased oil prices these fare hikes would come into effect. more..

Sri Lankan navy detects Tamil rebels smuggling weapons

Aug 18 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan navy on Tuesday detected a trawler of the Tamil Tiger rebels suspected of smuggling weapons in seas close to Mullaitivu in northeast of the country, the Defense Ministry said. more..

Norway’s Sri Lankan peace monitors as great escape artists

Aug 18 (AT) World Peace Alliance – Sri Lanka Conference Organizers in a statement has called the Norwegian Peace monitors as "Great Escape Artists". The Conference Organizers in their statement stated: “Indeed the 20th August conference was planned months ago and the invitations were sent out to these peace seekers also months ago.” more..

All parties should be united to overcome challenges faced by local Buddhists

Aug 18 (Rupavahini) The Mahanayaka of the Malwatta chapter, the most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Nayaka Thera emphasises the need of uniting all parties to win challenges faced by the members of the Maha Sangha and local Buddhists. more..

Drought affected people have not been provided with any relief - UNP

Aug 18 (Rupavahini) The United National Party claims that no relief has been provided to drought affected people. UNP M.P - W.D. Ekanayaka said that the Anuradhapura district is especially deprived of drought relief. more..

Not under pressure: LTTE

Aug 18 (Hindu) The LTTE has said that it was not under pressure by the international community and blamed Sri Lanka's "political contradictions" and "power struggles" for having resulted in "the Tamil people losing faith in the peace process." more..

Never allow division of country under guise of interim administration - Weerawanse

Aug 18 (LT) No one will be allowed to betray the sovereignty of the country to the tiger terrorists for $4500 million said Mr. Wimal Weerawanse, Propaganda Secretary and Member of Parliament of the JVP. more..

Tamil MP Speaks Against Sri Lankan Killings

Aug 18 (Scoop) "The Sri Lankan state and military are using armed groups to divide and rule Tamil society in Batticaloa. They did it in the past. My people will never fall prey to the machinations of divisive forces because they have made immense sacrifices for the Tamil cause", said Mr. Senathirajah Jeyanandamoorthy, more..

LTTE suspected of unloading large cache of military hardware in the Cahalai sea area

Aug 18 (AT) Reports reaching to Colombo clearly indicate that LTTE - the Tamil rebel outfit was recently unloading large cache of arms and ammunitions in Chalai Sea region off Mullaitivu. more..

Agriculture Minister Anura Dissanayake will launch tomorrow Tank renovation scheme at Yapahuwa

Aug 18 (AT) UPFA Government with the view to bring about an agro-based economic revolution in the country, as a first step, has decided to renovate about 1,000 tanks across the country with people’s participation, in the first phase of their ambitious 10,000 tanks renovation scheme. more..

Nawaka U19 tours Sri Lanka

Aug 18 (FT) THE Senivalati Laulau-coached Nawaka Under-19 rugby team will participate in the second Isipathana international sevens competition in Sri Lanka this weekend. The 13-member squad departs for Sri Lanka today and will face an international field in Colombo. more..

Lankan maid's hand 'burnt for cooking tasteless food'

Aug 18 (KT) The Dubai-based employers of a Sri Lankan maid allegedly inflicted second-degree burn injuries on her hands for failing to cook tasty food for the eight-member family. The 21-year-old maid Fathima Fazana said that she had fled from the household in Jumeirah after three months of torture more..

Local companies turn a speculative eye on carbon trading

Aug 18 (LBO) Local company Eco Power has initial approval to trade in about 129,000 tonnes a year of carbon saved from its three small hydro projects. After years of talking, mostly by the Ministry of Environment and a few die-hard environmentalists, local businesses are turning a speculative eye in the direction of carbon trading. more..

Railway workers protest in Colombo

Aug 18 (TN) More than three hundred railway workers demonstrated in Colombo Wednesday against moves by the government to privatise the railway system. The Joint Trade Union Front of Railway Services, which comprises 32 unions, wants Colombo to abolish the Railway Authority Act. more..

Two civilians arrested with forged IDs

Aug 18 (SLA) Two civilians have been arrested with forged identity cards in their possession by troops at entry/exit point OMANTHAI on 17 August 2004. more..

Retired Policeman shot dead

Aug 18 (SLA) A civilian had been shot dead by an unknown gunman in the general area of SEWANAPITIYA, about 05 km north of WELIKANDA on 16 August 2004 around 11.30 mid night. According to the Police, the victim P. GUNAWARDANE (32) was inside his residence at the time of his assassination. more..

Navy observes LTTE’s firing

Aug 18 (SLA) Naval troops on routine sea patrol duties have observed a few tracer rounds of small arms being fired into the air in the close proximity of the Fisherman’s Rock in the general area of SAMPOOR. The firing, suspected to be by the LTTE had taken place on 17 August 2004 around 7.20 p.m.

Army denies media statement

Aug 18 (SLA) Naval troops on routine sea patrol duties have observed a few tracer rounds of small arms being fired into the air in the close proximity of the Fisherman’s Rock in the general area of SAMPOOR. The firing, suspected to be by the LTTE had taken place on 17 August 2004 around 7.20 p.m. more..

IGP’s term of office extended

Aug 18 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday extended the service of Inspector General of Police (IGP) Indra de Silva till September 30, 2004. IGP’s term of office was due to conclude Tomorrow 18, August 2004.

Middle East travelers flock to Sri Lanka

Aug 18 (AME) Middle East travelers have been choosing Sri Lanka as a key holiday destination during 2004, as the latest inbound tourist figures show more than 50 per cent increase in travel from the region in the past 6 months. more..