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Sri Lanka being pushed to brink of war, says main opposition

Aug 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka's main opposition, which holds the balance of power to make or break a peace deal with Tamil Tiger rebels, has accused the government of pushing the country to the brink of war. more..

Gibbs gives South Africa pause for thought

Aug 24 (CI) The wretched form of Herschelle Gibbs leaves South Africa facing a serious selection dilemma as they try to lift themselves out of a rut – a losing run that stretches back seven games – and keep alive their series hopes in Dambulla on Wednesday. more..

Paramilitary cadre arrested for rape, murder of girl

Aug 25 (TN) Vavuniya Police Tuesday found the skeletal remains of a girl who was allegedly raped and murdered by a member of a paramilitary working with the Sri Lanka army. more..

International seminar, to explore solutions to Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem

Aug 25 (AT) Leading Indian and Sri Lankan pro-democratic activist have resolved to hold an international seminar on the current situation in Sri Lanka and to explores the circumstances under which India has to intervene to ensure a long term democratic solution to the Sinhala-Tamil linguistic problem more..

Norwegian pro-LTTE paper Utrop challenged and on the mat

Aug 25 (AT) F.Ruvik of R senter Norway , have already taken legal action against Utrop a pro-LTTE fortnightly magazine from Oslo, Norway and its editor Manoranjan Vivekanathan for the smearing campaign against him. more..

Deputy Minister Off for Talks in Sri Lanka

Aug 25 (AA) Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Sue van der Merwe is due to arrive in Colombo, Sri Lanka for wide ranging talks on trade and investment with 17 of her counterparts from developing nations. more..

Two Lankans charred to death

Aug 25 (UNI) Two elderly Sri Lankan women tourists were charred to death in a fire at a shopping complex at Egmore in the city today. The deceased, hailing from Amparai in the island nation, were identified as H M Podinona (75) and P Hemavathy (70), police said. more..

Sri Lanka army says will revert if attacked

Aug 25 (NW) Responding to the attacks on security forces personnel in the East, Army Commander Shantha Kottegoda yesterday ordered the eastern army commanders to use their full strength to defend themselves if the need arose. more..

Sri Lankan olympic chief tongue lashes sprinter Susanthika

Aug 25 (NW) The president of Sri Lankas Olympic Committee Hemasiri Fernando said yesterday that woman sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghes bronze medal feat at the Sydney Olympic Games four years ago was a fluke and that it will only be a pipe-dream for the country to win a medal again. more..

SFD to Sign Sri Lanka Deal

Aug 25 (AN) Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka will sign a deal worth SR40 million in Colombo tomorrow for the construction of a bridge and widening a highway in the island nation.The accord will be inked between the Vice Chairman of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), Yusuf Al-Bassam, and Sri Lankan Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama. more..

SLT expects 40MB emergency bandwidth by end Tuesday

Aug 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom says it will secure 40 MB of bandwidth by late Tuesday, to restore internet and international voice services partially after its main international link was damaged last Friday. more..

Health Ministry plans to bring in laws to mandate private medical doctors to maintain patient records

Aug 25 (LBO) The Health Ministry plans to bring in laws to mandate private medical doctors to maintain patient records. The laws will be incorporated into an upcoming Private Medical Institutions Act, spelling out a hospital’s rights, duties and obligations towards patient care, more..

Revised bus fares are expected tobe implemented from next monday

Aug 25 (SLBC) Chairman of the National Transportation Commission Professor Amal Kumarage says revised bus fares are expected to be implemented from next Monday. The proposal to increase a private bus fares will be presented to the cabinet today for approval. more..

Replacement driving licenses within a day

Aug 25 (SLBC) Commissioner of Motor Traffic D. Wijayaratne says the programme to provide driving licenses within a day has been a success. Currently, around 50 driving licenses are being issued daily in place of lost ones. more..

Health minister takes immediate measures to overcome the shortage of drugs

Aug 25 (SLBC) Minister of Health Nimal Siripala De Silva takes immediate measures to overcome the shortage of drugs. The Minister said he has presented to the cabinet a memorandum requesting to release a further 3 billion rupees to purchase medicine. more..

Treasury releases Rs. 600 for drought relief

Aug 25 (LBO) The Ministry of Finance on Wednesday said the Treasury had released Rs. 600 million in drought relief over the week. Released in two parts, Rs. 550 million has been marked out for dry ration allocations for the drought victims. more..

Hot Rod

Aug 25 (LBO) A proposed 23 percent wage hike for Ceylon Electricity Board employees will be taken up tomorrow, appeasing trade unions that threatened to strike work on Wednesday. The proposed wage hike for its 14,000 employees will add a further Rs. 65 mn a month to the CEB's Rs. 350 mn monthly salary bill, if approved. more..

Time for stock taking of truce - SLMM

Aug 25 (TN) It is time for a 'stock taking' of the cease fire between the Liberation Tigers and the Government, of how it has fared since it was signed in February 2002, Head of the Nordic mission monitoring the truce in Sri Lanka, said when he met the LTTE in Kilinochchi Wednesday. more..

Greater inclusivity can revive peace process- NPC

Aug 25 (TN) The National Peace Council, in a press release issued in Colombo Tuesday said that killings during ceasefire are "totally unacceptable," and that a bipartisan approach is necessary to take the peace process forward to arrive at a "mutually agreed negotiated political solution." more..

LTTE abducted my son, says mother

Aug 25 (SLA) LTTE men on a van have abducted a 26-year old son of an assassinated Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) member from the general area of URASERY, KALLADY after he went out with a friend on a motorbike. more..

LTTE hartal draws poor response

Aug 25 (SLA) All state sector establishments in the general areas of KALUWANCHIKUDY, remained open as usual on Tuesday (24) despite LTTE orders to have them closed to sympathize with an LTTE hartal campaign. more..

More Indian trawlers continue poaching

Aug 25 (SLA) Naval troops on duty in the general sea area north of TALAIMANNAR and PESALAI have observed about 100 Indian trawlers poaching inside Sri Lankan waters on 23 August 2004 between 1.30-9.00 p.m. more..

Stocks fall as peace talk impasse nags

Aug 25 (Reuters) Stocks fell on Wednesday as foreign investors sold leading blue chips, brokers said, citing increasing pessimism over efforts to convert a truce between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels into lasting peace. more..

Sri Lankan thumbs up for BPCL deal

Aug 25 (PTI) Sri Lanka has said it will go ahead with its deal with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd in oil retailing in the island nation despite opposition from the Marxist JVP, or People's Liberation Front, in the coalition government. more..

Drought relief begins in south of Sri Lanka

Aug 25 (WVI) World Vision has provided drinking water to 8,200 people in five drought-affected villages in its Thanamalvilla Area Development Program (ADP). The water distribution program began today, with the assistance of the divisional secretariat in the area. more..

Lankan Board to blame for Murali fiasco: Ranatunga

Aug 25 (PTI) Former Sri Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga today welcomed the International Cricket Counicl's move to conduct a research on the action of spinners but said fast bowlers should also be brought under scrutiny. more..

Expulsion of three SLMC members null and void - SC

Aug 25 (DN) The Supreme Court yesterday determined the expulsion of three Members of Parliament by the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress as null and void. The Bench comprised Justices Dr. (Mrs.) Shirani Bandaranayake, Nihal Jayasinghe and N.E. Dissanayake. more..

South Africa restricted to 191

Aug 25 (CI) Herschelle Gibbs, South Africa's major selection dilemma ahead of their crucial must-win game, led a remarkably charmed life during his first contribution of the tour. But he battled hard, holding the South African innings together with 42 not out, more..

SLMM Chief conveyed to LTTE, Government’s condemnation on the Killing Spree in the East

Aug 25 (AT) Major General Trond Furuhovede and his team visited Kilinochchi today to convey the strongly worded message of condemnation from the Government of Sri Lanka to the LTTE. more..

Tamil Rebels Plan to Review Cease-Fire Agreement

Aug 25 (Bloomberg) Tamil Tiger rebels plan to review their ceasefire agreement with the island's government amid an upsurge in tensions, TamilNet Web site reported. Fighting between the LTTE and a breakaway faction has resulted in deaths on both sides since March. more..

Sri Lankan truce monitors travel north to meet rebels

Aug 25 (Xinhua) The international truce monitors observing Sri Lanka's fragile ceasefire with the Tamil Tiger rebels Wednesday traveled to the north to meet with the rebel leadership, defense sources said. more..

Tour makes dancers feel like superstars

Aug 25 (KN) Two-dozen members of the Tennessee Children's Dance Ensemble returned from a trip to Sri Lanka with the experience of a lifetime after leaving a bequest of goodwill they believe helped heal strained feelings toward the United States. more..

Free Money

Aug 25 (LBO) Laid off employees can get up to 48 months of compensation and a state dole to go home, under a newly minted labour employment formula rolled out on Wednesday. The controversial formula went back to the drawing board after snap elections more..

The compensation formula is to be abolished

Aug 25 (Rupavahini) The compensation formula has been abolished. The minister of Labour Athauda Seneviratne disclosed that a new insurance scheme is to be introduced to provide benefits and to ensure the security of employees. more..

LTTE expresses willingness to held talks for peace if the JVP and the Maha Nayaka Theras enter into discussions

Aug 25 (Rupavahini) The LTTE expresses willingness to held talks for peace if the JVP and the Maha Nayaka Theras enter into discussions. The LTTE political wing leader, S.P. Thamil Chelvan told newsmen in Kilinochchi today, that they are ready to hold talks with all parties concerned. more..

Atapattu stars as Sri Lanka win

Aug 25 (CI) Marvan Atapattu, with 97 not out, batted through the innings to make sure that Sri Lanka sealed the series in the third one-day international, at Dambulla. South Africa, defending 191, battled bravely, and picked up wickets at regular intervals. But Atapattu, mixing accumulation and aggression judiciously, made sure that Sri Lanka won. more..

US embassy official inspects USAID projects in Jaffna

Aug 26 (TN) Mr. James Endwills, US embassy official in Colombo, Wednesday visited three projects now being implemented in the Jaffna district with USAID assistance. He later attended a conference in the Jaffna district secretariat presided by the Government Agent Mr.S.Pathmanathan more..

Use maximum strength in defence against LTTE: Army Chief

Aug 26 (MO) Amid increasing attacks in the embattled Eastern Batticaloa and Amparai districts, Sri Lanka's Army Commander Lt Gen Shantha Kottegoda has ordered his regional commanders in the East to use their full force to defend themselves from the spate of LTTE attacks. more..

Olympic hurdle to restore Sri Lanka's Internet service

Aug 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka remained largely disconnected from the Internet as repairs to the main submarine telecommunications cable were delayed by high Internet traffic over the Olympics, the cable operator said. more..

Tamilselvan clarifies LTTE’s position

Aug 26 (AT) If in case President Chandrika Kumaratunga deploys Sri Lankan armed forces, to the region under the control of the LTTE, from that very moment Ceasefire Agreement would cease to exist, said Tamilselvan announced this on Wednesday after meeting with Major General Trond Furuhovede, Head of SLMM. more..

"Utrop" Editor ready to fight F.Ruvik - "- to fight him whatever form it takes."

Aug 26 (AT) The “Asian Tribune” received a letter allegedly from the editor of “Utrop” in Norway in which the writer has made vague references to an “Aryan fanatist” who organized the “Sinhala chauvinist conference in Oslo lately”. more..

NPC announcement to ensure disciplinary control of police a welcome move

Aug 26 (AT) The Hong Kong based Asian Human Rights Commission has welcomed the recent announcements of the Sri Lanka National Police Commission. The national Police commission of the country was the outcome of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, was a response to institutional malfunction and paralysis, and awareness of the need for change. more..

Lanka’s slinging star, fresh out of softball

Aug 26 (EI) To teammates he’s known as the "Pocket Rocket", to others the "Catapult Kid". Whatever handle he has, Sri Lanka’s latest fast bowling find Lasith Malinga offers a rare glimpse into the world of genuine raw talent that has arrived and makes others sit up and take notice. more..

Norwegians push for peace talks

Aug 26 (NW) The SLMM is planning to hold separate meetings with the LTTE and Army soon, in a bid to resume stalled talks between the two parties. But the SLMM said it had not agreed on a deadline in bringing both parties together. more..

Acting PM talks tough

Aug 26 (NW) Acting Defence Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake yesterday issued a warning that the LTTE should not push the government towards a war situation by continuing with the killings, the attacks on anti-LTTE elements and the violation of the Ceasefire Agreement. more..

Government warns the LTTE- "Don't draw us to war directly or indirectly"

Aug 26 (AT) Minister of Public Security, Law and Order and the Acting Defence Minister exhorted the LTTE, "Don't draw us to war directly or indirectly since the Government has no intention to get back to war." Acting Defence Minister said that there is a limit to patience. more..

Short Circuit

Aug 26 (LBO) Cabinet Spokesperson Mangala Samaraweera said Thursday that Cabinet approval for an electricity tariff hike was deferred, after no agreement was reached on how much. “Cabinet didn’t want tariffs for the first 90 units to be raised, but the CEB wanted a flat increase. It will be taken up again in about two weeks,” more..

Wire Tapping

Aug 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) will tap some 70 MB of bandwidth from regional internet service providers (ISP) to substitute for capacity lost to its damaged undersea cable. In a statement on Tuesday SLT said it is currently negotiating with other regional ISPs to restore the internet services and hopeful to restore partial internet services by August 26. more..

Kind Words

Aug 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka is banking on Saudi Arabia's tacit support to secure concessions from an upcoming OPEC Fund meeting. Saudi Arabia has been a long standing friend, says Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama and they have promised to ‘put in a word’ when Sri Lanka meets OPEC shortly. more..

Mannar youths lack vocational training opportunities- TNA MP

Aug 26 (TN) "Mannar district youths who leave schools without the opportunity of going to universities and other high educational institutions to obtain high studies are tempted to engage in illegal activities to earn a living. Vocational training for these youths are absolutely necessary to provide alternate employment opportunities for these youths," more..