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Murali's figures say it all

May 9 (BBC) Muttiah Muralitharan does not need to listen to the war of words that follows him off the field - he has the numbers on his side. The Sri Lankan star's unorthodox bowling has been the topic of hot debate since he was called for throwing by Australian umpire Darrell Hair in 1995. more..

Gov't says peace talks only with Tamil rebels

May 9 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan government has said that it will talk peace only with the Tamil Tiger rebels when the stalled peace process is resumed but all political parties and groups will be consulted for the solution to the two decades of ethnic conflict, more..

Norway launches diplomatic offensive to salvage peace bid

May 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka's peace broker Norway is set to escalate diplomatic moves this week to jumpstart stalled peace talks amid fresh fears that political instability could wreck the process, diplomats said. more..

JHU to repeat tit for tat

May 9 (G2L) As in the battle for the Speaker, the JHU will vote against the government in the election of the Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairman of Committees if its two rebel members vote with the UPFA again, a JHU spokesman said. more..

A source of inspiration and wonder

May 9 (CI) Put him up in front of a TV camera or microphone, and Muttiah Muralitharan will blush and appear shy, his face creased by a nervous smile and his answers, despite good English now, short and sharp. But let him stand up in a team meeting and he can hijack the floor. more..

The killing of Rajiv Gandhi

May 9 (FL) It is difficult to write with precision and poise on a traumatic incident that took place more than a decade ago, right before your eyes, especially if it carried heavy overtones of poignancy. You are liable to get sentimental and emotional and also slip up on facts. more..

Ranil planning to reform party

May 9 (Gulf) Opposition United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickramasinghe under pressure to reform the defeated party will announce a set of organisational changes tomorrow in a move to regroup in time for the forthcoming provincial elections. more..

Murali-mania grips Sri Lanka

May 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president and prime minister led millions of fans here to congratulate star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan for breaking the world record for Test match wickets. more..

Kumaratunga's party changes stance on peace talks

May 9 (PTI) In a U-turn in its approach to the peace talks, President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party on Sunday said they will recognise Tamil Tiger guerrillas as the sole representatives of the island's minority Tamils. more..

Tigers warn threat to Lanka peace process

May 9 (PTI) Claiming that the Sri Lankan Army backed a series of attacks against their cadres, Tamil Tiger rebels on Sunday warned of a serious threat to the island's fragile peace process. more..

Killings dim Sri Lanka peace hopes

May 9 (AFP) Suspected Tamil Tigers shot dead a soldier in eastern Sri Lanka after the rebels warned that Norway's renewed efforts to broker peace in the island were in jeopardy, a local official said. more..

Show some respect to Murali

May 9 (SMH) Muttiah Muralitharan's career has been a tale of astonishing achievement and unending controversy. No one has watched him with a cold heart. Spectators have enjoyed his prodigious deliveries. Captains have protected their match-winner or complained about the architect of their downfall. more..

Elilan meets Sri Lanka Security Forces Commanders

May 10 (TN) Mr.C. Elilan, new Trincomalee district political head of the LTTE Sunday morning held discussion with the Trincomalee heads of Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy and the Sri Lanka Police in the office of the SLMM in Trincomalee, security sources said. more..

"ISGA needed as confidence building measure for final solution" - Sampanthan

May 10 (TN) "The establishment of the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) in the northeast province is urgently needed as a confidence building measure to take forward the peace process to achieve a final and lasting political solution to the Tamil national question," more..

Labour Law Reforms to Reconsider

May 10 (LT) The Inter Company Workers' Union writes to Hon. Athauda Seneviratne, the UPFA govt Minister of Labour Affairs asking that the reforms of Termination of Jobs Law to be annihilated. The law was constituated amidst of island wide workers' protest on the 31st of January 2004. more..

35 year age limit disadvantageous to many -Unemployed graduates

May 10 (LT) The United Union of Unemployed Graduates has requested the government to withdraw the 35 year age limit in granting employment to graduates. more..

Bangladesh, Lanka to be worst affected by MFA phaseout: Oxfam

May 10 (DS) Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will be the worst affected countries by the phasing out of textile import quota from January next year, according to the latest Oxfam report. On the other hand, there will be a sharp rise in textile exports from India and China after the abolition of the quota system. more..

`LTTE a principal party to talks'

May 10 (Hindu) Ruling UPFA has described the LTTE as the "principal party" at the negotiating table along with the Government in the peace efforts. The announcement, made by the UPFA's general secretary, Susil Premajayantha, is against the backdrop of efforts by the ruling coalition to resume the peace talks, suspended last April. more..

ADB Outlook - Sri Lanka

May 10 (AT) With the peace dividends from the second year of the cease-fire, economic growth and policy reforms strengthened in 2003. But the promising year ended with unexpected political developments that might slow growth and weaken the economic reform agenda. more..

Building Up

May 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves took a 2.2 percent dip in February, slightly above a 5.7 percent drop in January 2004, according to latest data released by the Central Bank. Official or Central Bank reserves slipped to US$ 2,277.5 mn, more..

Army soldier’s funeral with military honours

May 10 (SLA) The funeral of the slain Army soldier inside a private bus on 09 May 2004 while the bus was traveling in the general area of THANDAVELI, BATTICALOA, is to be conducted with full military honours on 12 May 2004 at his native place in MIRIGAMA. more..

One more falls victim to LTTE internal rivalry

May 10 (SLA) Remains of a slain twenty-eight year old LTTE cadre with two gunshot injuries in his head were recovered by troops from the general area of PATTINIPURAM, PALAMPATAR on 09 May 2004 following information given to troops by a civilian. more..

Private bus with gelignite sticks arrested

May 10 (SLA) A private bus carrying 259 gelignite sticks from TRINCOMALEE towards MUTTUR was arrested by the Police when it was subjected to a routine roadblock check in the general area of KALLAR, about 30 km east of KANTALE on 09 May 2004 around 11.20 a.m. more..

Vehicle with men aboard taken in for questioning

May 10 (SLA) Policemen on duty at the MADHU Entry/Exit point on 08 May 2004 arrested a vehicle with its passengers on suspicion over its alleged involvement in some criminal acts. more..

Abandoned three-wheeler in Police custody

May 10 (SLA) A three-wheeler found abandoned in the general area of POMPAIMADU- KIDACHOOR road in VAVUNIYA was brought to the VAVUNIYA Police station premises on 09 May 2004 around 6.00 p.m. more..

‘A strong link with the village shrine will revive moral values among youth” - President

May 10 (PSL) President Kumaratunga yesterday 9th May launched a program to integrate the village community with the local temple. “This is the best time to pursue such a program to revive the morals of our people, especially the youth, whose values have been deteriorating rapidly”. more..

President admires Murali’s courage and determination

May 10 (PSL) President Kumaratunga sent off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan a congratulatory message, “Your courage and determination in facing the challenges and adversities in your cricketing career has been admirable. I wish you continued success and my very best wishes will be with you all the way”. more..

Secretary to the Cabinet appointed

May 10 (PSL) Mr. Dharmasiri Wijesinghe, a senior civil servant was today appointed Secretary to the Cabinet. President Chandrika Kumaratunga made the appointment in terms of the powers vested in the President by Article 51 of the Constitution. more..

Minister Kadirgamar in Washington DC

May 10 (PRIU) Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar will today discuss bilateral cooperation and peace initiatives with the US in Washington DC. Minister Kadirgamar will hold talks with the Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. more..

Navy arrests 36 Tamil refugees returning from India

May 10 (AP) Sri Lanka's navy arrested 36 Tamil refugees for allegedly attempting to return home illegally from neighboring India, where they had fled during the island's two-decade civil war, the Defense Ministry said Monday. more..

Massive fraud at Samurdhi Ministry

May 10 (DN) Samurdhi Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi and the new administration of the Samurdhi Ministry has discovered that billions of rupees granted by the previous government have been allegedly misused in a completely irregular manner. more..

Sixty-nine Lankans return from India

May 10 (HT) A group of 69 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees returned home from India and were being resettled by the local authorities, officials said today. The refugees returned in three batches on Thursday and Saturday and arrangements were being made to help them re-settle, more..

Peace process in danger - Tigers

May 10 (Gulf) Tamil guerrillas have warned that the ceasefire and the peace process could face a risk if the Sri Lankan military assists rival groups in their movement in the eastern part of the country where factional killings continue to take place. more..

Sri Lanka to relook Indian bids for Petroleum retail slot

May 10 (DJ) The new Sri Lankan government will reconsider bids made by Indian petroleum companies for state petroleum assets that were rejected by the previous administration, Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama said Monday. more..

Sri Lankan Airlines to fly to Kozhikode

May 10 (KN) Sri Lankan Airlines will begin flights to Kozhikode in Kerala from July, airline officials said here on Sunday. Kozhikode becomes Sri Lankan Airline's tenth destination in India and will be serviced by four flights per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, they said. more..

'Muted, hollow, underwhelming'

May 10 (CI) As a child I can remember the headlines when Lance Gibbs passed Fred Trueman's then world record of 307 Test wickets. In an era when sport was given a page – occasionally two – in most newspapers, and when saturation radio and television coverage was a generation away, the column inches devoted to the feat was the modern equivalent of a week of non-stop programming. more..

Gnanavel appointed Head of LTTE's Vavuniya Political Wing

May 10 (TN) LTTE appointed Gnanavel as their new Head of Polltical section for Vavuniya district, sources in Vavuniya said. Outgoing Vavuniya head, Elilan, introduced Gnanavel to the security forces commanders and to the SLMM at the Vavuniya SLMM's office Monday. more..

Sri Lanka's new FM in US for security talks

May 10 (AFP) Sri Lanka's new Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar will begin a visit to the United States for talks on trade and the stalled peace process with Tamil rebels, the foreign ministry said. more..

Peace process to get int'l boost

May 10 (Kyodo) Continuing international interest in reviving Sri Lanka's stalled peace process gathered momentum with the arrival Monday of Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen to be followed later this week by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina Rocca and Japanese peace envoy Yasushi Akashi, more..

Sri Lanka-US defence agreement may have adverse effects

May 10 (HT) The Chandrika Kumaratunga government's bid to sign an Access and Cross-Services Agreement (ACSA) with the United States Department of Defense may alienate India as well as the LTTE, political circles here feel. more..

Norway envoys in bid to jumpstart Sri Lanka peace

May 10 (Reuters) Norway's foreign minister arrived in Sri Lanka on Monday for meetings aimed at reviving a peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels, raising hopes the island's new government can restart stalled talks to end decades of war. more..

Murali record fires up Warne, says Aussie coach

May 10 (AFP) Muttiah Muralitharan's world record number of wickets has fired up Australian Shane Warne to seize it off him, Australian cricket coach John Buchanan said on Monday. more..

Sri Lanka trade deficit narrows, exports solid

May 10 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's trade deficit narrowed by nearly 10 percent in the first two months of the year, the central bank said on Monday, driven by increased exports of garments and tea. more..

Sri Lanka truce monitors say killings threaten peace

May 10 (Reuters) A spate of killings in Sri Lanka's volatile east poses a "serious threat" to a ceasefire with Tamil rebels and to the peace process to end two decades of war, monitors overseeing the truce warned on Monday. more..

India to play indirect role in Lankan peace process

May 10 (HT) With the United Peoples' Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government in Sri Lanka pushing hard for a quick resumption of peace talks with the LTTE, the controversial subject of India's 'role' in the process has once again come to the fore in public discussions. more..

JVP opposed to UPFA’s decision to talk only with LTTE

May 11 (TN) UPFA led by President Chandrika Kumaratunge, in a statement Sunday said that the UPFA government would hold peace talks only with the LTTE, thus conceding the LTTE’s demand to be recognized as the ‘sole representatives’ of the Tamil people, according to wire reports. more..

CWC MP tipped for Deputy Speaker post

May 11 (TN) Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) parliamentarian, Mr.Muthu Sivalingam, is tipped to be the common candidate for the post of Deputy Speaker of Parliament when it meets on May 18, political sources said. The CWC is one of the constituents of the main opposition UNF with eight seats in the parliament. more..

80,000 Families in Sri Lanka need emergency aid

May 11 (BNN) Nearly 80,000 Sri Lankan families need international emergency food, seeds and fertilizer following poor rainfall in the Indian Ocean island’s rice paddies, according to a United Nations report released today. more..

Sri Lanka eligible for millennium challenge development funds

May 11 (WF) Sri Lanka is one of 16 countries that will be eligible to request development assistance funds from the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) according to a May 6 press release from the U.S. government-funded Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). more..

Atapattu: 'Murali's achievement ranks alongside the World Cup'

May 11 (CI) Marvan Atapattu, expressed his pride at witnessing Muttiah Muralitharan break the world Test bowling record, adding that his team was so keen to help him achieve the feat, that they never felt as though they were playing a second-string Zimbabwe team. more..