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Armed LTTE men sighted on beach

May 19 (SLA) SLMM representatives were called in by naval troops on duty in the general area of SAMPOOR, TRINCOMALEE on 18 May 2004 after they sighted some armed LTTE men on the beach close to the restricted zone in TRINCOMALEE Harbour around 5.00 p.m. more..

Unidentified dead body found

May 19 (SLA) Information regarding the recovery of a dead body of an unidentified civilian from THONDAMANARU lagoon by some civilians has been received by the VELVETTITURAI Police station on 18 May 2004. more..

Estate development now under one ministry

May 19 (PRIU) Subjects under the Ministries of Community Development and Estate Infrastructure have now been brought together under one Ministry as per gazette notification published last week. more..

Sri Lanka pledges to protect cultural heritages

May 19 (PRIU) Sri Lanka has acceded to the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. The Instrument of Accession signed by Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was handed to the Director General of UNESCO by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to France Ananda Gunasekera. more..

Fortune 500 Tyco’s firm partners Brandix Lanka

May 19 (NW) The US based Fortune 500 Tyco Plastics & Adhesives Group yesterday formally entered into a strategic joint venture with Sri Lanka's apparel giant Brandix Lanka, to set up what would be in two years South Asia's biggest manufacturer of hangers. more..

Drive against lawyers

May 19 (TP) Tough action is to be taken against lawyers who are allegedly involved in seeking bail for top drug traffickers in courts through improper means, the Judicial Services Commission said on Monday. more..

No decision on importing rice

May 19 (TP) Sri Lanka’s Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle has called for a two-week observation period on rice prices before taking a final decision on importing rice, the Daily Mirror said. more..

Atapattu slams Murali treatment

May 19 (PD) Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu has hit out at Australia's attempts to "undermine" the achievements of record-breaking bowler Muttiah Muralitharan. Sri Lanka start their tour of Australia on June 24 when they will play Tests at Darwin and Cairns. more..

More SLMC MPs to cross over

May 19 (AT) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), the controversy ridden Muslim political party of Sri Lanka whose leader Rauf hakeem a close ally of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is once again in crisis, with some of its parliamentarians threatening to leave the party and join the government. more..

"President and the Minister of foreign affairs are holding divergent views"

May 19 (AT) There is a great amount of contradiction found in the views expressed by Sri Lanka’s President Chandrika Kumaratunga and that of Lakshman Kadirgamar - Foreign Affairs Minister, said S. Paramu Tamilselvan, Political Commissar, LTTE. more..

Karuna’s group caution Tamil people in the East not to hail Prabakaran

May 19 (AT) For the first time ever, Colonel Karuna Amman’s group has released a pamphlet throughout the Batticaloa and Amparai region, castigating the political leaders and general public not to hail any more Prabakaran, the leader of the LTTE. more..

Korean assistance for National Museum

May 19 (DN) Korean Ambassador Lim Jae Hong expressed his willingness to provide technical assistance to upgrade the Colombo National Museum during a discussion with Cultural Affairs and National Heritage Minister Vijitha Herath, a Ministry spokesman said. more..

Sri Lanka snubs ICC, drums up Asian support for Murali

May 19 (AFP) Sri Lanka's prime minister has vowed to drum up South Asian support and sue the International Cricket Council (ICC) over a decision to outlaw Muttiah Muralitharan's controversial 'doosra' delivery. more..

Sri Lanka aid to pick up with fresh peace bid -Japan

May 19 (Reuters) The disbursement of some $4.5 billion pledged to support Sri Lanka's peace process would pick up when direct talks to end 20 years of civil war resume, Japan, the island's largest donor, said on Wednesday. more..

Tamil MPs protest in Parliament

May 19 (TN) Tamil MPs carrying placards and wearing black bands on their arms marched to the Parliament from its main entrance Wednesday in a protest against Police firing on Tamil estate workers in the hill country town of Kandapola last month. more..

IMF loan tranche to Sri Lanka depends on Government policy

May 19 (DJ) The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday the earliest Sri Lanka could revive a loan program with the fund, if it chooses to do so, would be August or September, once the government is ready with an economic reform plan. more..

Peace talks likely in summer: Akashi

May 19 (Kyodo) Japan's special peace envoy Yasushi Akashi said Wednesday that stalled peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels may resume in the summer. "It may not be a matter of days or weeks. Maybe sometime in the course of the summer," more..

Ceasefire, rights issues benchmarks on Sri Lankan peace: envoy

May 19 (Xinhua) The degree of compliance with the ceasefire agreement and respect to rights issues would be the key benchmarks for progress in Sri Lanka's peace process with the Tamil Tiger rebels, a Japanese peace envoy said here Wednesday. more..

Sri Lanka produces superior quality garments - US Ambassador

May 19 (f2f) The cancellation of the garment quota system by the USA in 2005 would not affect the market for garments produced in Sri Lanka because they are of an exceptionally higher quality than those produced in most other Asian countries, said US Ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead. more..

Intruder threatened to kill me if I called out, says maid

May 19 (ST) THE Sri Lankan maid of a woman who was allegedly held hostage in her home told the High Court yesterday that an intruder had climbed over the gate, pointed a small knife at her and threatened to kill her if she shouted for help. more..

Military officer gets key peace secretariat post

May 19 (TN) President Kumaratunga Wednesday appointed Brigadier Sanath Karunaratna, the General Officer Commanding of the Sri Lanka army's 51 Division in Jaffna as the Director of Operations of the government peace secretariat, the institution in charge of handling Colombo's negotiations with the LTTE. more..

Father of Indian reforms heads for PM's office

May 20 (Reuters) He has neither the charisma nor the political legacy of the famous Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. Yet in a dramatic twist of events in India on Wednesday, former finance minister Manmohan Singh, a soft-spoken economist-turned-politician, was asked by President Abdul Kalam to form a new Congress-led government. more..

Spanish ship on maiden voyage missing off Sri Lanka

May 20 (Reuters) A Spanish-owned ferry on its maiden voyage has gone missing between Singapore and Sri Lanka with 12 crew members aboard, Spain said on Wednesday. The newly-built 500-seat high speed catamaran was making its way to Spain where it was to be used to ferry passengers between Spain and Morocco, more..

Sinister elements behind killing of police constable - Kausalyan

May 20 (TN) Mr. E. Kausalyan, the political head of the LTTE in Batticaloa, told TamilNet Wednesday that the LTTE has nothing to do with the killing of a police intelligence operative by unidentified gunmen Wednesday morning at a sub-post office in Batticaloa town. more..

LTTE team completes assessment of development in East

May 20 (TN) The team of political and administrative heads of the LTTE, led by the deputy head of the political division, Mr. S. Thangan, which visited the Batticaloa-Amparai district to assess development needs and activities, completed its assessment and returned to the Vanni Wednesday morning, more..

SLA soldiers threaten LTTE cadre released to parents

May 20 (TN) Parents of Mr.Nadaraja Tharasingham of Point Pedro Wednesday lodged a complaint at the Jaffna regional office of the HRCSL that his son who was handed over to them by the LTTE in the presence of HRCSL officials recently is being intimidated by the soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army for being in the LTTE, more..

LTTE’s Killing spree in the East goes on unabated

May 20 (AT) LTTE’s Killing spree in the East goes on unabated. Latest victim was M.S. Dassanayake, a reserve police constable from Batticaloa. He was fatally shot by one suspected gang member of the LTTE pistol group, about 11.30 in the morning on Wednesday – 19 May, while buying postage stamps at the sub-post office located near the hospital. more..

Japan urges compromise in Sri Lanka peace talks

May 20 (AFP) Japan has urged Sri Lanka's warring parties to compromise in peace talks to be revived by this summer as international donors were set to review financial support to rebuild the island. more..

SLMC suspends three MPs over opposition to Hakeem

May 20 (TN) The rank and file of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is in disarray following the decision of its politburo Wednesday to suspend three of its parliamentatarians and a member of the party for opposing the leadership of Mr.Rauff Hakeem, sources said. more..

Elilan meets SLA's Trinco commander

May 20 (TN) Mr.S.Elilan, political head of the LTTE in the Trincomalee district, met with the General Officer Commanding of the Sri Lanka Army in the district, Major General Sunil Tennekon, Wednesday afternoon in the Trincomalee office of the SLMM, and discussed the ground situation in the district in detail, more..

Change in India's Lanka policy unlikely: Japan

May 20 (UNI) The Indian policy on Sri Lanka would not change despite a change in guard at New Delhi, the Japanese special peace envoy said today. Yasushi Akashi, the Japanese special envoy in peace process with the LTTE said "foreign policies of a country unlike economic policies tend to remain more consistent". more..

A monk fined in north central province

May 20 (NW) Anuradhapura Magistrate Harsha Setunga yesterday fined the Chief Incumbent of Anuradhapura Nivaththakachetiya Raja Maha Viharaya Ven. Boose Vijitha Thera Rs. 15,000/- as he pleaded guilty to the charges filed by the Archaeological Department. more..

Monk denies that he was abducted

May 20 (NW) JHU dissident monk Ven. Kathaluwe Rathanaseeha Thera, whose controversial disappearance caused much political mayhem yesterday confirmed that he was not abducted, assaulted or intimidated by any one at anytime. more..

LTTE pilots on the skies

May 20 (NW) The LTTE which recently admitted to having built a runway at Iranamadu, had apparently flown an aircraft for a distance of 12 nautical miles from its territory and back on Monday night. Naval sources revealed that this object had been picked up on radar aboard a naval craft on Monday around 8 p.m. more..

Sri Lankan Parliament thrown into turmoil

May 20 (NW) The House was thrown into turmoil yesterday when Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara ordered the speech made by Freedom Alliance MP Wimal Weerawansa be expunged from the Hansard. The Speaker subsequently adjourned the House for June 8. more..

LTTE Commanders from the East recalled - lock ,stock and barrel

May 20 (AT) The leadership of the LTTE – the top echelon, has decided to sweep away the dirty mess in the Eastern region with the view to introduce sweeping changes in the region and to take once and for all some concrete measures to bring the East under control, despite endless continuous disruption caused by the enigmatic former commander Colonel Karuna Amman. more..

Cooling Summer

May 20 (LBO) The Connaissance Group is to make the best of the hot weather, enticing outbound Indian travellers with a summer promotion at its hotels. The Group is targeting a 5 mn strong Indian outbound market to fill up hotels in an ordinarily slow season, where occupancies hover around 45-50 percent. more..

Very Bad

May 20 (LBO) Central Bank on Wednesday issued a fresh warning against unauthorised deposit taking, as the public continued to chase after higher return for their savings. The top financial sector governing body says some firms are operating regardless of the Bank’s instructions to stop the illegal practice and continued to offer high interest rates to attract unassuming customers. more..

Foot pilgrimage From Jaffna to Kathirgamam

May 20 (TN) More than thirty hindu devotees have registered to begin a pilgrimage from Sannithi Murugan Temple in Jaffna to the Kathirgamam Murugan Temple in the South of Sri Lanka by foot Friday, local reports said. The pilgrimage was a regular annual event that got suspended more than a decade ago due to war. more..

Stocks end higher on strong earnings

May 20 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks closed higher on Thursday, boosted by a strong earnings season, and despite some profit-taking in Kuruwita Textile Mills Ltd. The key Colombo all-share index ended up 0.69 percent, or 8.98 points, at 1,303.23. more..

Missing Spanish ferry found, crew safe

May 20 (Reuters) A Spanish-owned ferry that went missing in the Indian Ocean on its maiden voyage reestablished radio contact on Thursday, the ferry company Balearia said. The crew were safe but the prow of the 500-seat high-speed catamaran Nixe was damaged and it was heading back to Singapore where it was built, more..

LTTE men with arms and grenade arrested

May 20 (SLA) Two LTTE cadres carrying one pistol, one hand grenade and two magazines with fifteen rounds were arrested by Policemen on duty at a roadblock in the general area of AKKARAIPATTU during wee hours on 19 May 2004. more..

LTTE man with hand grenade arrested

May 20 (SLA) An LTTE cadre with a hand grenade in his possession was arrested by troops on duty at BLACK BRIDGE Entry/Exit point on 19 May 2004 while he was traveling in a bus to CHENKALADY town in BATTICALOA. more..

LTTE men observed

May 20 (SLA) Troops on duty at the defence line in the general area of NAGARKOVIL, JAFFNA on 19 May 2004 around 4.15 p.m. have observed the presence of about 22 LTTE cadres right in front of the defence line for reasons only obvious to the LTTE.

Attempts to restart peace talks heighten political instability

May 20 (wsws) The newly-installed UPFA government is pressing ahead with steps to restart stalled peace negotiations with the LTTE to end the country’s 20-year civil war. After a flurry of diplomatic activity, the Colombo government and the LTTE have both indicated their willingness to begin talks. more..

Atapattu aims high after successful start to tenure

May 20 (CI) Sri Lanka's marathon man, Marvan Atapattu, is planning to lead from the front during coming years, hoping that the responsibility of the captaincy will drive his average upwards so he can retire from international cricket with an average of 40 plus in both forms of the game. more..

PM meets Indian envoy over spat with ICC

May 20 (AFP) Sri Lanka's prime minister held talks with India's top envoy here to seek support for taking legal action against cricket's world governing body over its decision to ban Muttiah Muralitharan's controversial 'doosra' delivery. more..

Sapphire hunters dream of hitting it big

May 20 (IOL) Dhakshina can't forget the day when he thought he had struck it rich. "I found a reddish-coloured gem this big," says the 19-year-old Sri Lankan, plucking a stone the size of a hen's egg from a wicker basket full of gravel. more..

Wider powers for peace panel chief

May 20 (TP) The Peace Secretariat is to be reconstituted with wider powers given to its new chief Jayantha Dhanapala, a former United Nation’s disarmament expert and one of the country’s top international diplomats, the Daily Mirror reported. more..

Complaint against rebel court

May 20 (TP) A Tamil resident in a government-controlled area in eastern Sri Lanka has filed a complaint with the police saying he has been asked to appear before a Tamil rebel court, newspapers said. more..