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Norwegian minister meets Prabhakaran

May 12 (Gulf) The visiting Norwegian Foreign Minister, Jan Petersen, met with Tamil rebel chief Velupillai Prabhakaran in the guerrilla-held northern part of Sri Lanka moving a step forward in looking into the possibility of renewing the stalled peace process, but more unresolved issues are set to crop up over the weeks. more..

Sri Lanka to legalise cannabis

May 12 (TA) SRI Lanka plans to lift a ban on growing cannabis and begin government cultivation of the plant, which is a key ingredient in traditional medicine, a minister was quoted saying today. more..

Tamil Tigers want self-governing body established

May 12 (Bloomberg) Sri Lanka's LTTE group said it wants an interim self-governing body established in the region it controls before a final peace settlement can be reached with the government. more..

Police and army kill two plantation workers

May 12 (WSWS) More than 400,000 Sri Lankan tea plantation workers carried out a one-day strike on May 3 to protest the killing of two Tamil workers in the town of Kandapola by the police and army on April 28. more..

Police raid home of Tamil journalist

May 12 (WSWS) Sri Lankan police raided the Colombo home of longstanding Tamil journalist Dharmaratnam Sivaram on the night of May 3 in a heavy-handed attempt to intimidate him. more..

US official to visit Sri Lanka

May 12 (AP) The top U.S. official for South Asia will visit Sri Lanka this week to discuss bilateral and regional issues, the U.S. Embassy said in a statement Wednesday. Christina Rocca, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs, will meet government officials, politicians and other leaders beginning Thursday, more..

Sri Lankan Airlines flying high

May 12 (NW) SriLankan Airlines won the title of "Best Airline in Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent" for the fourth consecutive year, in the Airline of the Year 2004 survey by Skytrax, the world's largest survey of airline passengers. more..

Crime against women on the rise

May 12 (NW) At present a critical problem faced by some Sri Lankan women is violence by men who resent them going against their decisions. It is some men's girlfriends, wives, friends, daughters and even mothers who face this dilemma. How do women become victims of such men and why? more..

US President pledges support

May 12 (NW) US President George W. Bush in a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse on the latter's appointment to the high office, pledged the US administration's firm commitment to the peace process in Sri Lanka and to support efforts towards a return to negotiations with the LTTE. more..

Balasingham has to clarify whether ISGA proposals warrants constitutional changes

May 12 (AT) Anton Balasingham has to clarify whether Constitutional amendments required or not required to implement the Interim Self Governing Authority Proposal (ISGA) put forward by the LTTE? more..

In search of Colonel Karuna Amman’s family in Malaysia

May 12 (AT) LTTE had disposed a four member hit squad to Malaysia in search of Colonel Karuna Amman’s family. It is learnt that the four member hit-squad consisting of die-hard intelligent agents were told to deal with Karuna’s family as severely as possible. more..

SLMC to offer conditional support to minority UPFA government

May 12 (TN) SLMC politburo has decided to extend its support to the UPFA government on two conditions-one is to accommodate a Muslim delegation as a separate entity at the upcoming peace talks with the LTTE and the other is not to abolish the executive presidency as proposed, more..

Murali ready to dump the 'doosra'

May 12 (AFP) Muttiah Muralitharan has hinted he will drop the controversial 'doosra' delivery from his armoury after it was deemed illegal by the sport's world governing body. "The 'doosra' has always been at the back of my mind," Muralitharan was quoted as saying in the 'Daily News' in perhaps his first public statement on the controversial delivery. more..

Government, LTTE agree to check crime

May 12 (IANS) The Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger rebels have agreed to develop mechanisms to ensure information sharing and quick reaction procedures to prevent serious crimes, reports Xinhua. more..

Japan rebuilds Lankan hospital

May 12 (AFP) Japan has rebuilt a hospital in Sri Lanka's war-ravaged northern town of Kilinochchi as part of its support for the island's fragile peace process, the Japanese embassy here said Tuesday. more..

Second major drugs haul in a week

May 12 (DN) Police made yet another breakthrough in its battle against drugs when Marawila police officers seized 9.25 kilograms of heroin with a street value of nearly Rs. 25 million and two suspects described as drug barons from Thoduwawa, Marawila yesterday. more..

LTTE rules out Indian role in Lankan peace talks

May 12 (HT) Even as it ruled out India's participation in the Sri Lankan peace talks, the LTTE has said that India could help reconstruct the war-ravaged Tamil North Eastern Province (NEP). more..

Norwegian peace envoys leave without breakthrough

May 12 (AFP) Norwegian peace envoys left here after failing to secure an early agreement between Sri Lanka's new government and Tamil Tiger rebels to resume stalled negotiations, officials said. more..

Sri Lanka, LTTE set for 'very, very tough' talks

May 12 (IANS) With Sri Lanka's peace process entering a crucial stage, Norway is bracing for a long haul to ensure that the fragile truce doesn't derail because of unexpected turmoil in the country's ethnically explosive east. more..

JVP to block new privatizations

May 12 (DJ) Sri Lanka's Marxist People's Liberation Front (JVP), a powerful member of the recently-elected coalition government, plans to block any moves by the new administration to privatize state assets. more..

The "Courageous" Coast Guard ship of the USA is to be gifted

May 12 (Rupavahini) The "Courageous" Coast Guard ship of the United States is to be gifted to Sri Lanka next month. Foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar who is in an official visit to the US inspected the American Coast Guard vessel “Courageous’ which is anchored at the “Boltimor’ East Coastal Jetty. more..

Muslims feel let down by Kumaratunga

May 12 (KT) Sri Lanka's Muslims particularly those in the East feel let down by President Chandrika Kumaratunga's new government even though there were moves by the previous UNF administration to commence tripartite talks that would include a separate Muslim delegation. more..

JVP vows street revolution against UNF

May 13 (TN) the JVP Wednesday warned that it would launch a street revolution with the backing of masses if the main opposition United National Front (UNF) attempted to defeat the progressive policies of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance government in the parliament. more..

Snag over TNA MP's resignation removed

May 13 (TN) Parliament Secretary General, Ms Priyani Wijesekara, said Wednesday she had forwarded the resignation letter of Batticaloa district TNA parliamentarian, Mr. Kingsely Rasanayakam, to the Commissioner of Elections for necessary action, after Mr. Rasanayakam tendered his resignation letter direct to her, more..

Action demanded on shortage of teachers in North-East

May 13 (TN) The Ceylon Tamil Teachers Union (CTTU) Wednesday urged the North East Provincial Governor, Major General Asoka Jayawardene, to take immediate steps to appoint three thousand Tamil medium teachers to northeast schools which have been affected by acute teacher shortage. more..

Sri Lanka sign hosting agreement for Asia Cup

May 13 (Reuters) Sri Lanka signed an agreement with the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) to host the six-nation Asia Cup in July. ACC chief executive Ashraful Haq and Jagmohan Dalmiya, the chairman of the tournament organising committee, met Sri Lanka cricket board officials to finalise the details. more..

Sri Lanka hopes for talks with Tamil Tigers within three months

May 13 (AFP) Sri Lanka has expressed hope of opening "talks about talks" with Tamil Tiger rebels within three months as Norwegian peace brokers left the island failing to secure an early breakthrough. more..

Powerful bomb shattered LTTE Office

May 13 (AT) A powerful bomb went off in the early hours of this morning at the LTTE office located in the Batticaloa region. According to information received at Bangkok, all the five LTTE cadres sleeping in the office were critically injured. more..

Sri Lankan press cautious on peace

May 13 (BBC) There has been a guarded reaction in Wednesday's Sri Lankan press to the visit by Norway's foreign minister, Jan Petersen, who was hoping to restart talks between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels. Pro-government papers express qualified optimism at the possibility of a swift "political solution" with the rebel group. more..

Compensation for 1983 riots victims

May 13 (NW) The government yesterday approved a sum of Rs. 722 million to grant compensation to Tamils who were victims of communal violence from 1981 to 1985. Cabinet Spokesman and Media Minister Reginald Cooray said President Kumaratunga presented the Cabinet paper yesterday to obtain funds to more..

Peradeniya Campus "boys" clash with tuk-tuk drivers

May 13 (NW) The Peradeniya Campus was turned into a mini battlefield yesterday as University students and a group of three wheel drivers clashed with clubs and stones for several hours, but police said the situation was brought under control. more..

Wretched life for fake widow

May 13 (ST) She played a role in an elaborate scam to claim an insurance payout of more than $300,000, but Renuga Devi Sinnaduray received only $1,000 a month to live on. Six years ago, even that stopped, and the woman, now 47, had to become an odd-job worker to support herself and her youngest child. more..

Jaw-jaw or war-war, we're ready – LTTE

May 13 (G2L) LTTE’s Theoretician Anton Balasingham said on Tuesday that as much as "LTTE was committed towards peace, it was also ready for war". Balasingham made this comment in reply to a question from journalists as to what the LTTE had to say in relation to Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar having gone to the USA, to accept a naval vessel, while peace initiatives were on. more..

Baby Boomers

May 13 (LBO) Perfume isn’t all smell. Men and women who splash it on no less than baby cologne, are driving growth and pushing retail sales in the mass market for fragrances. Baby is big business, and dual use is common in a relatively low-end market driven by price, sheer convenience and the perception of perfume as a ‘family’ product. more..

Sweet Music

May 13 (LBO) The government on Wed. announced a Rs. 300 mn incentive package for the armed forces in a bid to retain trained personnel. Cabinet spokesman, Reginald Cooray says the sweeteners are aimed at those who have put in a minimum five-years of service. more..

Mist Cover

May 13 (LBO) Misty Mountains say it is still on track to establish its premium Sri Lankan brand of tea despite two of its deals falling through. Earlier this week its deal to buy Keells Plantation Management Services and a stake in HVA Lanka were called off at the end of the due diligence process and subsequent negotiations. more..


May 13 (LBO) A cash incentive proposed by the local tobacco monopoly for destroying smuggled fags, as opposed to auctioning it off, is yet to be finalised. In the meantime the Custom’s Revenue Task Force continues to nab cigarette smugglers, this week alone catching a fresh delivery over 40,000 Gold Seal brand cigarettes. more..

Vehicle with different particulars arrested

May 13 (SLA) Troops on duty at MADHU junction checkpoint on 12 May 2004 around 10.00 a.m. arrested a vehicle moving towards MADHU church since it had varying numbers on documents and the engine. more..

Wheelchair Tennis turns a new turn

May 13 (SLA) As General Henry Lee puts it, “A citizen, first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen”. So is the case with brave soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army, who sacrificed their today for our tomorrow and safeguarded the territorial integrity of this island-nation. more..

Don’t give interim administration to tigers - Douglas Devananda

May 13 (LT) The Government’s decision to accept tiger organization as the sole representative of the Tamil people to commence peace talks is not agreeable says Mr.Douglas Devananda, leader of EPDP in a letter to the President. more..

Commission to probe Samurdhi

May 13 (LT) A commission with full powers has been appointed by the President to inquire into allegations of misappropriation of money to the value of Rs.3000 million in Samurdhi progamme. The commission is headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court. more..

Stocks gain on earnings hopes, peace bid

May 13 (Reuters) Stocks closed higher on Thursday, supported by hopes for strong quarterly earnings and moves to get the island's peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels back on track. The key Colombo all-share index closed up 2.21 percent, or 27.76 points, at 1,284.41. more..

Priority should be given to Sri Lanka's displaced

May 13 (Scoop) UNHCR Inspector General Dennis McNamara called for renewed attention to the plight of Sri Lanka's hundreds of thousands of displaced persons as the country looks forward to the resumption of peace talks. more..

Police seek family details of dead Sri Lankan

May 13 (AN) Police are trying to find out the full identity and family details of a Sri Lankan killed on April 24 who was knocked down by a car as he crossed King Abdul Aziz Street opposite the capital’s Sahara Mall. At the time of death, he was wearing beige trousers and an off-white shirt. more..

Nightmare in paradise

May 13 (ICN) POLICE are investigating claims a North Wales businesswoman was raped twice during a luxury holiday on Sri Lanka's Paradise Island. Mum-of-two Barbara Wynne last night spoke of her ordeal which she claims left her close to nervous exhaustion and in need of counselling. more..

Rehabilitation in the North East to be streamlined

May 13 (PSL) In a move to streamline the various activities of Government and Non-Government agencies engaged in Rehabilitation and Reconstruction work in the North-East, President has decided to bring the various institutions dealing with this subject under one umbrella organization, more..

US backs government’s bid to forge peace with Tigers

May 13 (AFP) The United States backs the new Sri Lankan government’s bid to forge peace with Tamil Tiger separatists, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said on Wednesday after talks with Secretary of State Colin Powell and other US officials. more..

'Let's get the whole thing analysed' - Healy

May 13 (CI) Ian Healy, the former Australian wicketkeeper, has claimed that banning Muttiah Muralitharan from bowling his doosra does not go far enough - his entire bowling action should be re-examined. more..

Japanese peace envoy Akashi to visit Sri Lanka

May 13 (TN) Mr.Yasushi Akashi, special envoy of the Government of Japan is to pay a five-day visit to Sri Lanka commencing from Saturday 15th May to follow up his continued peace mission, said the Japanese Embassy in a press release Thursday. more..

Norwegian senior official meets Tamil rebels

May 13 (Xinhua) Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen traveled by a government helicopter on Thursday to the rebel-held north with a message from President Chandrika Kumaratunga on the resumption of peace negotiations, government officials said. more..