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Country at Crossroads

May 6 (LBO) Broader and deeper structural reforms in the last two years gave the economy a boost together with progress in peace talks. Central bank governor A S Jayawardene told LBR in an interview that the resilient Lankan economy could post double the current growth if permanent peace is achieved. more..

Cost of Life

May 6 (LBO) Twenty five per cent of Sri Lankan households now have some form of motorized transport up from 15 per cent in 1996. 28 percent have refrigerators, up from 16 per cent. Television usage had gone up to 68 per cent. The latest consumer finance survey by the Central Bank shows a big jump in living standards around the country. more..

Insurance or Hazard

May 6 (LBO) Following the failure of Pramuka Bank, the Central Bank is looking again at the concept of deposit insurance. This yearís annual report talks of a financial safety net that exists to protect depositors. Deposit insurance is part of the safety net. more..

CWDR celebrates second year of womenís training

May 6 (TN) The womenís training centre, sponsored by the Centre for Womenís Development and Rehabilitation (CWDR) has completed its second year of training, and a function to mark the event and distribute certificates was held in Kilinochchi Wednesday, more..

Threatening posters emerge

May 6 (SLA) Some wall-posters threatening that those cooperating with Security Forces would be penalized had appeared in the general area of ELUTHUMADDUVAL on 04 May 2004. These posters further called upon the public to refuse any assistance or provisions, provided by the Security Forces to the civilians in the area. more..

School teacher falls off ferry

May 6 (SLA) Naval troops swiftly conducted a rescue operation in the general sea area of DELFT PIER on 02 May 2004 around 2.15 after the public reported that a civilian aboard a passenger ferry had fallen off it accidentally while he was proceeding to KURIKATTUWAN with some others. more..

SB before Supreme Court on May 7

May 6 (G2L) S.B. Dissanayaka , the brain of the UNP political strategies and controversial former cabinet Minister will be brought before the nationís highest judiciary , the Supreme Court making him to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt of court. more..

Sri Lankan FM appoints senior advisor

May 6 (PRIU) Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar has appointed former Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tourist Board Renton de Alwis as his Senior Advisor on Tourism and Communications. more..

Man dies after Tube attack

May 6 (LL) A murder investigation has begun after a Sri Lankan man who was attacked outside a Tube station died in hospital yesterday. Police said Vipaul Prasanna, 41, was pronounced brain dead about 6pm, leading to the decision to turn off his life support machine at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. more..

Solheim sees many hurdles in peace talks

May 6 (Gulf) Sri Lanka's new hardline government and Tamil Tiger rebels will likely run into many difficulties once they resume peace talks to end the island's 20-year civil war, a top Norwegian peace broker said ahead of his departure yesterday. more..

Thailand to provide Rs. 7m for cultural centre

May 6 (DN) Religious cooperation and friendship between Thailand and Sri Lanka for over 250 years is an example to the whole world. The Sri Lankan Government is committed to foster and protect Thai-Sri Lanka friendship at its optimum, said Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama. more..

Politician Monks at Logger-heads

May 6 (NW) Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Gampaha District MP Ven. Aparekke Punnananda Thera, in a letter to the party Supreme Sangha Council Secretary Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera, Tuesday, expressed surprise and severely criticised the appointment of Kalutara District MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera as the leader of the Parliamentary Group of the JHU. more..

Death Due to Deangue is on the Rise

May 6 (NW) The number of dengue cases reported in the city during the past few months is a cause for concern as it is far higher than the number that was recorded last year. In fact in March and April there had been 34 and 37 cases respectively and compared with last year's figures of 14 and 7 more..

Sweet Sugar is bitter for Sevanagala industry employees

May 6 (NW) In the aftermath of the crisis at Sevanagala Sugar Industries where a group of employees were allegedly politically instigated by a Government politico to stage a strike last week, the disidents have now wreaked havoc by looting the twenty official bungalows of the staff officers and demanded that the outgrower farmers also join the rebellion. more..

Government plans to cut down defence expenses

May 6 (NW) The Government will slash the Rs. 78 billion which was allocated by the previous United National Front Government for Defence for 2004 by Rs. 5 billion while initiating a series of revenue measures in order to meet the welfare expenditure it has planned. more..

US extends fullest support to the peace process

May 6 (Rupavahini) The US government has extended their fullest co-operation to peace talks between the Freedom Alliance Government and the LTTE, which are to be resumed shortly. more..

Pakistan-Sri Lanka one-day series faces cancellation

May 6 (CI) A three-match one-day series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, which was supposed to be held in Kuala Lumpur in the last week of May, is likely to be cancelled due to lack of sponsorship. more..

Sri Lanka to hold six provincial council polls

May 6 (IANS) Sri Lanka is likely to hold elections to the remaining six out of seven provincial councils in the first week of July, election officials said Thursday. Provincial Council Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon has requested President to ensure that simultaneous polls are held in all the provincial councils, more..

India pushes economic pact with Sri Lanka's new government

May 6 (AFP) India will pursue a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with Sri Lanka's new government amid plans for an aid package to rebuild the island's embattled regions, a top envoy said. more..

Indian envoy slams Lankan media for unfair criticism

May 6 (HT) India's High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Nirupam Sen, on Thursday slammed the Sri Lankan Tamil press for its unfair and unwarranted criticism of India's Sri Lanka policy. more..

Sri Lanka rebels again recruit child soldiers - UN

May 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have recruited children in the past few days, UN officials said on Thursday, raising fears of a fresh recruitment drive just weeks after their biggest yet child demobilisation. more..

GCE. Advanced level examination begins tomorrow

May 6 (Rupavahini) This yearís GCE. Advanced level examination begins tomorrow. 240653 will sit for the examination at 1,765 centers. Commissioner General of examinations Mahinda Wijesiri says of this 1, 98,848 are school candidates. more..

Murali nears world mark v struggling Zimbabwe

May 6 (Reuters) Muttiah Muralitharan took four of the seven wickets he needs to become cricket's leading test wicket-taker on the opening day of the first test against a makeshift Zimbabwe side in Harare on Thursday. The Sri Lanka off spinner claimed four for 31 as Zimbabwe, who lost the toss, limped to 145 for eight at tea. more..

Murali equals Warne's Test tally

May 6 (CI) Sri Lanka took command in the opening session of the first Test at Harare, as Zimbabwe's inexperienced new team floundered on a beautiful batting wicket. By lunch they had slipped to 57 for 4, with three of those wickets going to the left-arm paceman, Nuwan Zoysa. more..

Two LTTE activists shot dead in Batticaloa

May 7 (TN) Mr.Sivanathan Murali alias Pahalavan and Mr.Vathanan, two unarmed political activists of the LTTE, were shot dead Thursday afternoon around 2 p.m. at Thannamunai, located 9 kilometers northwest of Batticaloa town in the Sri Lanka Army-controlled area. more..

Norway to help create medical faculty at Eastern University

May 7 (TN) A group of academics, administrators and nurses from the University of TromsÝ in Norway is visiting Batticaloa to discuss the assistance needed to create a Medical Faculty at the Eastern University, sources in the Eastern town said. more..

Eastern University to hold convocation on June 5

May 7 (TN) The Eastern Universityís annual convocation will be held at the Swami Vipulananda School for Music and Dance on June 5, according to Mr. A.D. Harris, the Registrar of the university. more..

EU urged to suspend aid until ISGA is established

May 7 (TN) The TNA Thursday appealed to the member countries of the European Union to release their aid to the Sri Lanka government only after the establishment of the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) in the northeast province, sources said. more..

Parliament to debate Kandapola shooting

May 7 (TN) Speaker, Mr. W.J.M. Lokkubandara, Thursday agreed to allocate time for a debate in the parliament on the Kandapola incident last week in which two Tamil youths were killed when the police opened fire on a group of upcountry Tamils, political sources in Colombo said. more..

Sigiriya will be made safer soon

May 7 (LT) Sigiriya which was temporarily closed for visitors on the 2nd due to disturbance of wasps was opened to public again on the 5th. However, the visitors were allowed only up to the mirror wall. more..

All responsible for Kandapola incident will be punished - President

May 7 (Rupavahini) President chandrika kumaratunge has assured that she will not leave room for the recurrence of unfortunate incidents such as the Kandapola clash. A special programme has been devised for this purpose. more..

Bishops called on the Mahanayakes

May 7 (Rupavahini) A delegation of religious dignitaries including Bishops headed by the president of the Sri Lanka bishops conference Arch bishop the Rt. Rev. Dr. Oswald Gomis called on the Mahanayakes of the Asgiriya and Malwatte Chapters this morning. more..

U.S. names 16 countries, including Sri Lanka, eligible for development aid plan

May 7 (AP) Sixteen countries, including eight in Africa, have been designated the first participants in a new program that will provide them with $1 billion. The countries are Armenia, Benin, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Georgia, Ghana, Honduras, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Senegal, Sri Lanka and Vanuatu, the State Department announced Thursday. more..

Poor Fit

May 7 (LBO) Workers at the Bata Shoe Company took to the street Thursday, protesting a decision to lay off 145 workers to reduce high costs of production. A Voluntary Retirement Scheme rolled out last year saw about 100 takers, though employees later withdrew applications. more..

Whatís In A Name?

May 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom is scouting for a consultant to value, build and manage its 100-year old SLT brand. Work is expected to start this year, and SLT hopes to include its brand valuation into its 2004/5 financial statements. more..

Losing Weight

May 7 (LBO) Carsonís is exploring alternate uses for its loss-making Pegasus Reef Hotel, from an urban housing project to up-scale entertainment. The hotel has been struggling under a string of accumulated losses of about Rs.100 mn, laying off staff and scaling back on operations last year. more..

Dump Yard

May 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka produces nearly 50,000 tonnes of hazardous waste every year but has no proper disposal system for dangerous discards. The National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC) estimates that between 40,000 tonnes to 50,000 tonnes of hazardous waste gets dumped every year. more..

Govt may sell more of SriLankan Airlines - paper

May 7 (Reuters) The government is considering selling some of its remaining stake in flag carrier SriLankan Airlines as part of its privatisation programme, a newspaper reported on Friday. "We are also reviewing areas where we can get into the stock exchange and raise funds," more..

Internecine clashes claim more lives

May 7 (SLA) An unidentified group of pistol men shot and killed two motorbike riding LTTE men in the general area of THANNAMUNAI, about 08 km northwest of BATTICALOA close to the mosque on 06 May 2004 around 1.00 p.m. while those LTTE men were on their way towards ERAVUR from BATTICALOA. more..

Civilian taken out and shot dead

May 7 (SLA) An unidentified group, suspected to be from LTTE has shot dead a civilian at close range around 7.00 p.m. after he was taken out of his residence in the general area of KALUWANKERNI, BATTICALOA on 5 May 2004. more..

An American held on child abuse charges

May 7 (NW) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) special police unit arrested a 60 year old American for sexually abusing Sri Lankan children. Investigations conducted for one year was carried out under cover, a NCPA spokesman said. more..

Monkey Business

May 7 (NW) The villagers in the Gramaseva Division of Duwemodera, Kosgoda in the Galle District are undergoing hardships due to extensive damages caused by wild monkeys. Many accidents have occurred due to fights and disruptive actions of monkeys on the Galle Road complain residents. more..

Govt pursue deal with US

May 7 (NW) The Government will pursue the UNF Government - initiated and proposed Free Trade Agreement deal with the United States of America which is expected to bolster Sri Lanka's competitiveness in apparel exports in the light of the Multi Fibre Agreement which lapses at the end of this year. more..

India to fund upgrading Sri Lankan hospital

May 7 (IANS) India will provide $5.1 million for the construction of a 200-bed facility to upgrade a rural hospital in central Sri Lanka, reports Xinhua. The facility being built at the Dickoya rural hospital will cater to a population of around 200,000 living in the hilly upcountry area, more..

It's just another record, says Muralitharan

May 7 (AFP) Star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was unfazed after equalling the world Test wicket record of 519 during the first Test against Zimbabwe, telling a local newspaper today it was all in a day's work. "I didn't feel anything when I equalled it because to me it was just another record," Muralitharan told more..

Rebels seek more soldiers, deny recruiting children

May 7 (Bloomberg) Rebel LTTE group has started recruiting soldiers over 18 years of age, even as it supports starting peace talks with the new government. "We are recruiting soldiers to maintain our manpower, but any soldier who is underage we send back to their homes," more..

Two top LTTE spies were killed to avenge an assasination

May 7 (G2L) The internal Tamil Tiger conflict still raging between the Karuna and Prabhakaran factions in the Eastern Province resulted in the killing of two top intelligence officials of the LTTE, security sources in the Eastern Province said. more..

Proposed Beef ban stokes discontent in Sri Lanka

May 7 (OW) Sri Lanka's newly elected party of Buddhist monks has announced a decision to campaign for a complete ban on cow slaughter, triggering a controversy in the beef-loving island nation. more..

CWC to decide after next round of PC polls

May 7 (DN) The Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC) led by Arumugan Thondaman which has eight MPs having contested the April 2 General Elections as a constituent of the UNP will decide whether or not to join the UPFA Government after the next round of elections to Provincial Councils, more..

Balasingham returns to Sri Lanka; talks eyed

May 7 (Reuters) The top negotiator for Tamil Tiger rebels returned to Sri Lanka on Friday for the first time since the group suspended peace talks a year ago as signals mounted that negotiations to end decades of war may resume. more..