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Minority MPs to take Lanka govt to task in House

May 13 (KT) The stage is set for legislators from the minority communities to take the minority government, comprising largely members of parliament from the majority Sinhalese community, to task in the August Assembly which will begin its second sitting on May 18 after a controversial opening last month. more..

When the People have spoken…..

May 13 (IL) Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar on "Third World Democracy in Action: the Sri Lanka experience" at Brookings Institute, Washington DC. The two major parties in Sri Lanka are tired, flabby, very corrupt and inefficient, which is why the people turned to the JVP in a big way, said Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. more..

Sri Lanka opposition says govt not serious on peace

May 13 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's opposition party accused the government on Thursday of flip-flopping on bid for peace with the rebels to try to build a parliamentary majority and said it would not support an effort that was not genuine. more..

UNP MPs handover reform report to Ranil

May 13 (DN) UNP MPs determined to end the domination of the Royal College clan of the party yesterday handed over the Reform Report to Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. MPs Tissa Attanayake, S. B. Dissanayake, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, Gamini Lokuge, Keheliya Rambukwella, Lakshman Seneviratne and Sajith Premadasa had met the Opposition Leader around 10 a.m. and handed over the report. more..

‘Talks announcement in a day or two’ – Balasingham

May 13 (TN) Mr. Anton Balasingham said Thursday that the LTTE and the Government have agreed on most of the fundamental issues related to the resumption of peace talks. Mr. Balasingham said the LTTE and Colombo would reach a decision in “a day or two” on the time and place for restarting the peace talks. more..

"ISGA, blue print for a future separate state"- Kadirgamar

May 13 (TN) Interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) proposal is a blue print for a future separate State and it will be difficult for a sovereign government to accept the proposal, said Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, during a talk he gave at the Brookings Institute in Washington D.C Wednesday afternoon. more..

Norway clinches talks breakthrough

May 13 (AFP) A top Norwegian envoy clinched an agreement with Tamil Tiger rebels on reviving peace negotiations with the government, the guerrillas said. The LTTE announced an end to the impasse over resuming peace talks after Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen made an unscheduled visit to the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi Thursday. more..

UNP will not support UPFA sham peace effort -Peiris

May 14 (TN) The UNP Thursday announced that it would not support the sham peace efforts of the UPFA government." UPFA leaders make contradicting statements on their peace efforts. It clearly shows that they are insincere in their peace moves. Hence the UNP will not support the sham peace efforts of the UPFA government," more..

Human Rights Commission to issue report on HSZ

May 14 (TN) "The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) is to release a report shortly in regard to the alleged violation of human rights of internally displaced families due to the continuous maintenance of High Security Zones in the Jaffna peninsula by the Sri Lanka Army", more..

I will bowl the doosra: Muralitharan

May 14 (Age) Muttiah Muralitharan has vowed to continue bowling his illegal doosra, despite the International Cricket Council warning the Sri Lankan off spinner that such a move could warrant a 12-month suspension. more..

Doosra ban divides opinion

May 14 (BBC) Unsurprisingly, the global cricket fraternity has reacted colourfully to the ICC officially declaring Muttiah Muralitharan's 'doosra' illegal. Nobody in the game polarises opinion like the Sri Lanka spinner, last week crowned the most successful bowler in Test history when he took his career haul to 521 wickets. more..

A National anti dengue campaign gets underway

May 14 (Rupavahini) A massive national programme is to be launched to prevent, combat and control the spread of dengue fever. The ministry of health will initiate it the programme. Around 2619 cases of dengue were reported in the island this yearand there were 11 deaths. more..

CWC, SLMC to decide their future with UNF this weekend

May 14 (TN) The Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), major constituents in the UNF, are likely to decide their future with the main opposition UNF before May 18th, political sources said. more..

U.S. embassy holds workshop for journalists

May 14 (TN) The US Embassy in Colombo has been conducting a series of workshops to enhance the knowledge of local journalists in Sri Lanka. Four workshops were held in Galle, Trincomalee, Kandy and Colombo on May 6,10,12 and 13th May respectively. more..

NUA to meet CBK shortly over separate Muslim delegation

May 14 (IL) Amidst reports that the Government will not accommodate a separate Muslim delegation at the peace talks, the National Unity Alliance (NUA) is scheduled to meet President Chandrika Kumaratunga within the next two days to clarify the ‘correct’ position about these reports, NUA Leader and Minister Ferial Ashraff said. more..

Bridges with India remain: Kadirgamar

May 14 (Hindu) "Relations between India and Sri Lanka are on such a firm footing that it did not depend on who comes to power; the `bridges' are there and the bilateral relationship is permanent and irreversible," says the Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar. more..

SA to start SL tour in July

May 14 (AP) South Africa will play Sri Lanka in two Tests and five limited-over matches starting July, the Sri Lankan cricket board said on Thursday. The South African team will arrive in the island on July 27 and play its only three-day practice match from July 30 in Colombo. more..

India's Sonia Gandhi sweeps BJP from power

May 14 (Reuters) Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee resigned on Thursday after a shock election defeat that paved the way for Italian-born Sonia Gandhi's Congress party to take power in the world's largest democracy. more..

IFJ concerned about growing trend of intimidation of journalists

May 14 (IFJ) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation of journalists representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, is deeply concerned over the reports of a raid on the home of a Tamil journalist, Sivaram Dharmeratnam (Taraki), by the Police on Monday, 3 May 2004 – World Press Freedom Day. more..

Spoilt Brats

May 14 (LBO) The latest threat to Colombo’s privileged is small, pesky and deadly. Municipal authorities reveal that Colombo city’s better off are under attack by dengue mosquitoes. The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) says that 70 percent of all reported dengue cases in Colombo now come from upper and middle class families. more..

Fresh Growth

May 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka shipped out 12 mn kilos more tea in the 1Q of 2004, up from 65 mn kilos exported in 2003. Adding to the good news, the total value of the export orders reached Rs. 18 bn from Rs. 14 bn, increasing the average price per kilo to Rs. 234.2 from Rs. 225 in the previous year. more..

Thumb Tags

May 14 (LBO) Sri Lankans applying to enter the US will be electronically fingerprinted with effect Wednesday, as the US toughens security laws at its embassies and consulates in 120 countries. Together with the standard digital photograph, the fingerprinting process will be the second biometric indicator on all visas to the United States. more..

Stocks hit 7-week high on peace hopes

May 14 (Reuters) Stocks rose to seven-week highs on Friday in anticipation of positive news on the island's peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels in the coming days, brokers said. The key Colombo all-share index ended up 2.75 percent, or 35.30 points, at 1,319.26, a level last seen on March 26. more..

Youth shot dead in vavuniya

May 14 (TN) Mr. Kalimuthu Santhakumar, 28, in Marambaikulam, Vavuniya, was shot dead on Thursday night at 9:30 p.m. by a group of unidentified men. The attackers escaped after stabbing another villager, Sabaratnam Jayanthan (24), who went out to check after hearing the gunshot, police said. more..

Balasingham heads to London

May 14 (TN) Mr. Anton Balasingham left Kilinochchi Friday morning after concluding extensive consultations with Mr. Velupillai Pirapaharan and senior officials of the LTTE regarding the resumption and continuation of peace talks with the Government of Sri Lanka. more..

UK SMEs needed for Sri Lanka trip

May 14 (SBC) The largest business-matching event ever organised in the region is about to take place in Sri Lanka and, in the UK, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is looking for suitable SMEs to take part in this EU-sponsored event. more..

Central bank leaves interest rates steady

May 14 (Reuters) The Central Bank left its key policy interest rates unchanged on Friday but said a decline in the country's inflation may have bottomed out. The repurchase rate remains at seven percent and the reverse repurchase rate at 8.50 percent, in line with market expectations. more..

Aussie PM labels Murali a 'chucker'

May 14 (AFP) Australian Prime Minister John Howard has entered the debate over Muralitharan's controversial bowling action, labelling the off-spinner a "chucker". Howard, a keen cricket fan, was asked at a lunchtime meeting of party faithful on the NSW south coast if Muralitharan threw the ball when he bowled and he replied: "Yes." more..

UNP welcomes President's invitation to Norway

May 14 (DN) The UNP acknowledges the welcome of President Kumaratunga to invite the Norwegian Government as an unbiased facilitator to forge ahead the peace process for which his party assures its unstinted cooperation, stated former UNP Minister Professor G.L. Peiris more..

Rehabilitation in the North and East receive a shot in the arm

May 14 (AT) North and East relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities receive a shot in the arm, when the President has decided to bring them under one organization. This new organization will come under a Ministry called Ministry of Relief, Rehabilitation and reconstruction. more..

First time Balasingham has spoken the truth

May 14 (AT) At last, it is a great sigh of relief, when it became a reality and a congenial atmosphere is to prevail sooner or later, as all roadblocks placed before the revival of the Peace Talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE is cleared and a green signal is on. more..

New Cong. govt may raise issue of Prabhakaran's extradition

May 14 (PTI) If the new Congress Government raises the question over extradition of Tamil Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, it would have to go through the legal route, visiting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said today. He, however, did not know whether the Congress would press on the issue. more..

Veteran UN diplomat is Secretary General of Peace Secretariat

May 14 (PSL) President Kumaratunga appointed Jayantha Dhanapala as Secretary-General of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process, viz the Peace Secretariat. He will also act as Senior Adviser to the President. Both appointments will take effect from June 1, this year. more..

Christina Rocca meets TNA delegation

May 14 (TN) "The international community should tell publicly to the Sri Lankan government that it would not prevent Tamils going in their own way to achieve their rights if Sinhala leaders fail to political solution to meet their legitimate aspirations. more..

Speaker summons first party leaders’ meeting

May 14 (TN) The new Speaker of the Parliament Mr.W.J.M. Lokkubandara has officially summoned the first meeting of leaders of political parties represented in the parliament Monday 17th noon, political sources in Colombo said. more..

Teasury Secretary: To end privatization policy

May 14 (DJ) Sri Lanka will terminate a divestment program initiated by the previous government, the treasury secretary said Friday. But the new government will increase public spending on poverty-reduction measures, which aren't expected to widen the budget deficit, he said. more..

LTTE abducted my thirteen year old daughter from Refugee Camp

May 14 (SLA) An LTTE cadre named, SURESH alias KANDAN has reportedly abducted a thirteen year old girl from the Refugee Camp, VARIKOTTAI in the general area of PAWAKKULAM, about 12 km south of VAVUNIYA on 12 May 2004, states a complaint made to the SLMM by girl’s mother. more..

Ex-LTTE cadre killed and another youth injured

May 14 (SLA) A former LTTE cadre from MAHARAMBAKULAM, VAVUNIYA, who was shot dead by a group of pistol men while he was at his home on Thursday night (14 May 2004), was the latest victim that fell prey to armed men. more..

Now, father claims LTTE abducted his teenage son

May 14 (SLA) An unidentified man, suspected to be from LTTE has forcibly taken away a youth from the general area west of PUTTUR, about 13.5 km northwest of JAFFNA city on 11 May 2004, complains his father to the ACHCHUVELI Police station. more..

Batticaloa Villagers staged protest march against LTTE

May 14 (AT) A massive protest march was staged by the Tamil villagers this morning in Batticaloa region, against the LTTE. It is learnt that hundreds of villagers from Arasadithievu, Kokkaddicholai marched against the LTTE in Paduvankarai which is located 25 km towards Kalmunai. more..

U.S. urges Sri Lanka to take Tiger peace bid forward

May 14 (Reuters) The United States called on Sri Lanka on Friday to pursue efforts to make peace with Tamil Tiger rebels, but said it would not lift its long-standing ban on the guerrilla group until it renounced violence. more..

Sri Lanka arrests U.S. national on sex abuse charges

May 14 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has arrested an American national on charges of child sex abuse, the National Child Protection Authority said on Friday. "The charges are of distributing child pornography and sexually abusing children," said Harendra de Silva, more..

US says no decision on free trade deal with Sri Lanka

May 14 (AFP) A senior US official said there was no decision yet on a proposed Free Trade Agreement with Sri Lanka that had been pushed by the government defeated at elections last month. "No decision has been made in Washington regarding the FTA," Christina Rocca, more..

Ebrahim shows some fight for Zimbabwe

May 14 (CI) Dion Ebrahim made a fighting 70 to help Zimbabwe to a respectable 228 on the opening day of the second Test at Bulawayo. Sri Lanka then closed on 18 for no wicket. more..

US not worried about Left govts in India and Lanka: Rocca

May 14 (HT) The emergence of left-leaning governments in India and Sri Lanka does not worry the United States because US policy is to work with any democratically elected government, no matter what it is, said Christina Rocca, the US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia. more..

Tigers must lay down arms -Rocca

May 15 (LT) Tiger organization must lay down their arms and enter peace negotiations with the Government and all other political parties should work to achieve this end says Ms. Christina Rocca, US Assistant Secretary of State. Ms. Rocca made this observation at a media briefing held in Colombo today. more..

Doctor last to join race

May 15 (TL) A Sri Lankan-born doctor on a mission to fight litter today became the final candidate to enter the race for London mayor. Tammy Nagalingam of Blackheath stumped up £20,000 of her own savings to stand, and collected 320 nomination signatures by knocking on doors across London. more..

Rocca: "Ending conflict is the key to prosperity in Sri Lanka"

May 15 (TN) " Peace, prosperity- and, of course, stability are married to each other, here in Sri Lanka no less than elsewhere," said Ms Christina Rocca, US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs, said Friday in a press release. more..

More vacancies in NEPC administration - Sampanthan

May 15 (TN) The Trincomalee district parliamentarian, Mr.R. Sampanthan, has brought to the notice of the North-East Provincial Governor that several vacancies exist in the permanent cadre of the North East Provincial Council (NEPC) administration. more..

HR cases put off for want of competent translator

May 15 (TN) The Chavakachcheri Magistrate Friday informed the Attorney General that he was not in a position to hold preliminary inquiries into twenty-two Habeas Corpus applications referred to him by the Jaffna High Court due to want of permanent competent translators, more..