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CBK meets monks for Deputy Speaker

May 18 (SN) The President Kumaratunga has met the MP monks of the JHU to seek their support to the government candidates for Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairman of Committees. This meeting has taken place on 15th night at Charikaramaya, Colombo 07. more..

UNP reforms blocked by Old Guards

May 18 (SN) Although UNP reform program and new officer bearers were to announce today, it has been postponed due to unsettled internal conflicts. Although young parliamentarians such as Messrs Sajith Premadasa and Naveen Dissanayake wanted to appoint Mr S B Dissanayake as National Organizer, the party leader was under pressure from the old guards not to do so. more..

Hela Urumaya holds a Buddhist Rally at Maharagama

May 18 (SN) Jatika Hela Urumaya has launched a series of Buddhist rallies to explain the current political situation and its stand to the citizens of the country. Their first such rally was held on 24th April at Piliyandela. The second rally was held on 15th May at Panadura. more..

Police confirmed to have tortured child - Asian Human Rights Commission

May 18 (AT) An independent inquiry ordered by the Human Rights Commission (HRC) of Sri Lanka has found that the Ankumbura Police illegally arrested detained and tortured 17-year-old Chamila Bandara during July 2003. more..

Tiger Cadre Eeswaran involved in the killing of Subramanian Santhiralalith is still at large

May 18 (AT) The body of the person found lying with gun shot injuries, on 15 May, in the Racca Road, located near the Jaffna Kachcheri - Nallur road was identified. more..

New anti-torture policy of Sri Lankan rights body slammed

May 18 (AT) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) released a detailed statement exposing the weaknesses of the new policy to prevent torture adopted by the Human Rights Commission (HRC) of Sri Lanka. more..

Lankan School student shines in Junior National Athletics

May 18 (TOO) A landmark to relish, an achievement for pride and first step towards a glorious future. Minol Crescent De Silva, the star athlete of Sri Lankan School Muscat, has broken into bigger league and proved he has the potential to spearhead the Sri Lankan challenge in the near future. more..

Sri Lankan peace talks likely in July

May 18 (Hindu) The stalled peace talks between the Government and the LTTE are likely to recommence either in end-July or early August. The Norwegian Government, which has been requested by Colombo and the Tigers to continue with its role as facilitators, is to make a formal announcement on the dates and the venue shortly. more..

Travel Brews

May 18 (LBO) The idea of a ‘tea resort’ is growing within Watawala Plantations, to entice high-spending tourists to have a hands-on experience in tea making. Upto 15% of unproductive estate land has been earmarked for the tea resort and will sell rooms to an average US$ 200 per-night. more..

Ms. Nurse

May 18 (LBO) The Ministry of Health hired 2,000 new nurses on Monday to ease pressure on public sector demand for trained nursing staff. The country has around 16,000 trained nurses working in the public health sector but there is an immediate shortage of around 5,600 nurses in government hospitals. more..

Fine Tuning

May 18 (LBO) Successful collective bargaining with its unions saw Ceylon Tobacco tie pay to productivity and quality, cutting its wage bill in the process. Workers will get a flat 10 percent rise in the first year, and a 5 percent hike in the second and third years, with other increases linked to performance. more..

Gelignite sticks recovered from boutique

May 18 (SLA) One hundred and twenty gelignite sticks found inside a boutique belonging to a Muslim trader in WARIYAPOLA town were recovered by the Police on 14 May 2004 during a raid conducted on suspicion. more..

Batti schools criticized over merit admissions to universities

May 18 (TN) Though the Eastern University has been making efforts to increase the number of students from the Batticaloa district who would be admitted on merit, the University has not received the cooperation it needs from schools, teachers and parents, said the Vice Chancellor of the university, more..

Parliament meets Tuesday, one SLMC MP crosses over to govt. bench

May 18 (TN) The second sitting of the first session of the thirteenth parliament commenced Tuesday morning around 10 a.m. amid confusion and tension following the cross over of Mr. Hussain Baila, a National List parliamentarian of the SLMC, to the government the alleged abduction of a monk parliamentarian of the Jathika Hela Urumaya more..

Norwegian Ambassador's house stoned on national day

May 18 (TN) Unidentified persons threw stones at the house of the Norwegian Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Mr. Hans Brattskar on 17th May, the national day of Norway, according to a news report published by the online edition of the Verdens Gang, a leading Norwegian daily. more..

UNP strong men to resign if requested posts not given

May 18 (LT) Several party stalwarts of the UNP have threatened to resign from all posts of the party if they are not given the promised positions under Ranil Wickremasinghe’s re-organization scheme of the party. more..

Police hunting for several UNPers over Roofing Materials

May 18 (NW) Detectives investigating the countrywide aluminium roofing sheets scam carried out by UNP MPs and Pradeshiya Sabha Chairmen estimate the fraud in the illegal sale of public property was estimated at a colossal Rs. 2 billion. more..

A monk in custody trying to erect a canopy

May 18 (NW) Ven. Boose Vijitha Thera was taken into custody by Anuradhapura police for attempting to erect a canopy over the Samadhi Buddha statue in front of his temple and remanded till Wednesday after being produced before Anuradhapura Magistrate Harsha Setunge. more..

Donor Countries urge govt to look into HR violations

May 18 (NW) In the aftermath of the LTTE's ceasefire violations of 117 killings and 569 abductions, donor country representatives yesterday insisted on Human Rights being taken up as a key issue for discussion during the next round of peace talks between the government and the LTTE, more..

Monks, politics and violence

May 18 (NW) There was high drama on the eve of the election of a Deputy Speaker of Parliament today when Jathika Hela Urumaya MP Ven.Kathaluwe Rathanasara Thera who voted with the Government during the election of the Speaker on April 22 was mercilessly beaten up dragged out of his temple and abducted by a gang of six monks at Rawathawatta, Moratuwa last night. more..

LTTE expects 'better understanding' from Sonia Gandhi

May 18 (IANS) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas have finally broken their silence on Congress president Sonia Gandhi, hoping she will show "better understanding" of the situation in the island nation. more..

India's Gandhi reluctant to take office

May 18 (Reuters) Italian-born Sonia Gandhi is trying to back out of becoming India's next prime minister in a bid to end debate over her foreign birth and bring more allies into the new government, a senior party source said on Tuesday. more..

Parliament reopens with agreement on posts

May 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's parliament reopened amicably on Tuesday with key posts being decided by acclamation, meaning the minority government was excused from facing fresh questions about its strength. more..

ICC tells politicians to stay off field

May 18 (AAP) International Cricket Council president Ehsan Mani has told Australian Prime Minister John Howard and his Sri Lankan counterpart to stay out of the Muttiah Muralitharan controversy. more..

Chandrika alliance accused of trying to implicate Hakeem

May 18 (Gulf) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's ruling Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has been accused of trying to implicate the leader of a minority political party in a sex-scandal. more..

LTTE’s Special Commander Colonel T. Ramesh on the firing Line

May 18 (AT) Rumors are rife in Batticalao and Amparai region about the possible recall of Colonel Thambirasa Ramesh - Batticaloa – Amparai Special Commander of the LTTE. It is added that Colonel Ramesh who hails from Kokkaddicholai, is unable to satisfy the Vanni leadership despite the rising opposition to the LTTE in the east. more..

"Donor assistance, YES!, but Govt and LTTE should demonstrate genuine interest in the peace process"

May 18 (AT) In the second leg of his visit to Sri Lanka this time, Mr. Yasushi Akashi, the special Japanese envoy visited Kilinochchi today 18th May 2004 and had a meeting with Mr. S. P. Tamilselvan, Head of the LTTE Political Wing at the LTTE Peace Secretariat. more..

Parliament elects UPFA Deputy Speaker

May 18 (TN) The Parliament Tuesday unanimously elected Mr.Geethanjana Gunawardene of the ruling UPFA as Deputy Speaker and Mr. Murugan Sachchithanandan of the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) Deputy Chairman of Committees at its second sitting of the first session held Tuesday morning. more..

Dhammika Amerasinghe had three passports - cousin

May 18 (DN) When the Thilanga Sumathipala case was called before the Colombo Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge Sarojini Kusala Weerawardena yesterday on an application by Senior State Counsel Vijith Malalgoda, the Court house was cleared following fears of a threat to several prosecution witnesses in the case. more..

'Murali agreed not to bowl the doosra' - ICC

May 18 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan has agreed not to bowl his controversial doosra for the moment. Ehsan Mani, the president of the ICC, confirmed this to reporters at the launch of the ICC Champions Trophy in London yesterday. more..

New technology for Champions Trophy

May 18 (CI) The ICC is planning to test stump-microphone technology and conduct research into slow bowling during the Champions Trophy in England this September. Speaking at the tournament's official launch in London today, Dave Richardson – the former South African wicketkeeper who is now the ICC's general manager – outlined the plans. more..

President's nominee elected unopposed in Parliament

May 18 (AP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's minority government secured the deputy speaker's post in Parliament on Tuesday after the main opposition party offered no resistance to the move. more..

Sex, lies and missing monk dominate hung parliament

May 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka's main Muslim leader accused the government of implicating him in a sex scandal to secure his vote while a Buddhist monk alleged that a fellow clergyman-legislator had been abducted. more..

Tigers press Japan envoy on aid

May 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers pressed an envoy from Japan -- the island's biggest donor -- for more aid on Tuesday, but were told the government and rebels must express a "genuine interest" in the peace bid to end 20 years of war. more..

LTTE political, administrative heads visit Batticaloa

May 19 (TN) A group of political leaders of the Liberation Tigers, led by the deputy head of the political division, Mr. S. Thangan, is visiting the Batticaloa-Amparai district to redevelop the LTTE’s administrative structures and rehabilitation and development activities, more..

Tamil parliamentarians to debate Kandapola incident with black bands

May 19 (TN) Tamil parliamentarians irrespective of party affiliations would attend parliament wearing black bands on their arms when the adjournment motion on the Kandapola incident is debated Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Two were killed and several wounded when Police opened fire on Tamil estate workers in the hill country town last month. more..

Akashi meets Thamilchelvan in Kilinochchi

May 19 (TN) Japanese special envoy Mr.Yasushi Akashi had discussions with Mr. S.P. Thamilchelvan, head of the LTTE's political divison on issues related to the planned resumption of the long stalled peace talks between the Tigers and Colombo Tuesday morning in Killinochchi. more..

'It will be a big challenge without Murali' - Atapattu

May 19 (CI) Marvan Atapattu, Sri Lanka's captain, said that Sri Lanka's tour of Australia next month would be an even bigger challenge for his side if Muttiah Muralitharan decides to pull out. more..

Construction begins on Havelock City project

May 19 (Rupavahini) The Havelock city housing complex is to be built at the Wellawatta spinning and weaving mills premises. The total investment for the housing project will be in the region of 150 million US Dollars. The construction work is being carried out jointly by the Shin Quan Group of Singapore and the Bank of Ceylon. more..

Pakistan, Sri Lanka foresee no change in India policy

May 19 (ANI) Pakistan has welcomed a pledge by India's prime minister-elect Sonia Gandhi to continue peace process with Islamabad and said it was ready to resume talks next week. Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's widow, is likely to take over as prime minister on Wednesday, more..

Tearful Gandhi walks away from India PM job

May 19 (Reuters) Sonia Gandhi, heir to India's Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, tearfully gave up her chance to become prime minister on Tuesday to protect her new Congress government from damaging attacks over her Italian birth. more..

Abducted JHU MP tenders resignation

May 19 (TN) Venerable Kataluwe Ratnaseeha Thera, the abducted monk parliamentarian of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), Tuesday personally handed over his resignation letter to the Secretary General of the parliament, parliamentary sources said. more..

LTTE enjoying same freedom as during the UNF regime says JVP

May 19 (IL) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday admitted that freedom enjoyed by the LTTE during the Ranil Wickremesinghe regime was still being enjoyed by the rebels although not to the same extend. more..

Massive haul of explosives found near Colombo

May 19 (NW) Police believe a major disaster may have averted following an anonymous telephone call to Grandpass police at midnight Monday, when they discovered a large quantity of high explosives, grenades and ball razers used in the manufacture of claymore mines more..

JVP "gone red" over UNP-PA pact

May 19 (NW) Amidst apparent discontent by the JVP, PA parliamentarian Geethanjana Gunawardena was yesterday unanimously elected as the Deputy Speaker and CWC parliamentarian Murugan Satchithananda unanimously as the Deputy Chairman of Committees in Parliament. more..

Sportsman steals to buy dangerous drugs

May 19 (NW) A former cricket captain of a Kotte school and a former national carrom champion from a Nugegoda school were remanded yesterday for allegedly stealing valuable sports goods from the school to find money for their drug habit, police said. more..

Shoe Cut

May 19 (LBO) Over 100 employees from the shoemaker Bata staged a picketing campaign on the Parliament road on Tuesday - in time to the catch local Members of Parliament on their way to Parliament - asking the government to deliver on promises. more..

City Life

May 19 (LBO) Chinese millionaire Tao Shing Pee is 88, but his more than half-a-life-time love affair in tropical Sri Lanka is still going strong – in fact Tao is willing to lavish more money and attention than ever on his tropical love. more..

Police Constable shot and killed at close range

May 19 (SLA) A Policeman attached to the Counter Subversive Unit (CSU) of the BATTICALOA Police station was shot and killed at close range inside a post office on the outskirts of BATTICALOA by a suspected LTTE gunman on Wednesday (19 May 2004) at about 11.00 in the morning. more..

LTTE men assault and abduct employee

May 19 (SLA) Some unidentified LTTE men had assaulted an employee of a video centre in the general area of MOOR Rd, MANNAR on 18 May 2004 before he was abducted after forcing him to close down his workplace. more..