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Dhaka, Colombo sign consultation pact

Apr 21 (Gulf) Bangladesh and Sri Lanka yesterday signed a protocol agreeing to hold annual consultation at the foreign secretary level for further strengthening cooperation between the two countries. more..

Naval unit status for Sea Tigers studied

Apr 21 (Gulf) Scandinavians monitoring Sri Lanka's truce between government forces and Tamil guerrillas proposed the government "recognise the LTTE Sea Tigers as a de facto naval unit" and demarcate areas at sea for "live firing exercises" by the Tigers. more..

Sri Lanka Unit of Singapore's Transmarco Restructures Debt

Apr 21 (AP) Transmarco Limited (SGX:TRSS) announced that Lanka Bell, in which it has a 60.04 per cent stake through its wholly-owned susidiary Transasia Telecom Limited, has agreed with its creditors to restructure its debt. more..

South Africa willing to host peace talks

Apr 21 (DOI) South Africa, with its firm convictions relating to the political resolution on ethnic conflict, has been following closely the evolving peace process in Sri Lanka, and wishes to express its admiration of the bold and far-sighted policy of the Government of Sri Lanka. more..

No Lankans affected by Iraq war - SLBFE

Apr 21 (DOI) The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) yesterday confirmed that no Sri Lankan workers employed in the Middle East region has been affected by the Iraq war. more..

US, international representatives reaffirm support for peace process

Apr 21 (DOI) US and international agency officials have expressed strong support for providing Sri Lanka with increased assistance for the peace process and reconstruction activities during the recent visit to the US by Milinda Moragoda, more..

Oil basins on coastal belts favourable- Minister Jayasuriya

Apr 21 (DN) Minister of Power and Energy, Karu Jayasuriya told a meeting at Pattipola of the government venturing and exploring the fortunes of finding Oil Basins in the Hambantota and Mannar coastal belts. more..

Muslim leaders won't meet in LTTE area

Apr 21 (DM) Muslim community leaders in Muttur have decided to reject an LTTE invitation to meet in a Tiger-controlled area urging that such a meeting should be held in Trincomalee in the presence of SLMM officials. more..

Sri Lanka appreciates Indian support for peace

Apr 21 (IANS) Sri Lanka appreciates India's supportive approach to the peace negotiations with rebel Tamil Tigers in the island country. "India has constantly emphasised that they would very much like to see a resolution of this conflict at the political level," G.L. Peiris, told IANS here. more..

Proposal to recognise Sea Tigers stirs hornet's nest

Apr 21 (IANS) A proposal by Norwegian truce monitors that Sri Lanka recognise the Sea Tigers -- the sea wing of the Tamil Tigers -- as a de facto naval unit has stirred a hornet's nest. The Sri Lankan government has already submitted revised proposals to the Norway-backed SLMM about its suggestion to recognise the Sea Tigers. more..

President notes positive developments in peace process

Apr 21 (AFP) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga said her government's peace talks with Tamil Tigers rebels to end three decades of bloodshed had brought some postive developments and should continue. more..

Top negotiators of S.Lankan govt, rebel group to meet

Apr 21 (Xinhua) The top peace negotiators of the Sri Lankan government and the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels are to meet in London to discuss issues relating to the forthcoming peace talks, government sources said Monday. more..

LTTE reluctant to attend next round of talks

Apr 21 (HT) Through careful plants in a section of the press, the LTTE has been indicating that it does not want to attend the next (seventh) round of peace talks scheduled to be held from April 29 and May 2 in either Bangkok or Oslo. more..

Kumaratunga 'not afraid of impeachment'

Apr 21 (BBC) The president, Chandrika Kumaratunga, has said she has no fears of being impeached. Speaking at a news conference at the end of an official trip to Bangladesh, she said that in her eight-and-a-half years in office she had done nothing legally or morally wrong. more..

Gen. Michael Rose (retd) visits Jaffna

Apr 21 (SLA) UK General Sir Michael Rose KCB CBE DSO QGM (Retd), widely acclaimed as a lecturer on “Peace-keeping” who is now in Sri Lanka, traveled to the northern Jaffna peninsula on Sunday (20) in a bid to receive an evaluation of social and security developments taking place there. more..

LTTE suspends negotiations with Sri Lanka pending implementation of agreements reached

Apr 21 (TN) Expressing deep displeasure over certain critical issues relating to the ongoing peace process, the LTTE leadership Monday informed the Sri Lankan government that it has decided to suspend its participation in the negotiations for the time being. more..

New Zealand bowlers hold Sri Lanka A for 284 in second warm-up match

Apr 21 (AP) Left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori snared three wickets as New Zealand restricted Sri Lanka A to 284 Monday on the opening day of the second cricket tour match. Vettori returned 3-72 from 19 overs, more..

Tiger rebels say suspending peae talks

Apr 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels said on Monday they had suspended peace talks with the government because of "displeasure" over some critical issues, the most serious setback since the process started more than a year ago. more..

Maldivian President to visit Sri Lanka

Apr 21 (AFP) Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is to pay a three-day official visit to Sri Lanka early next month, officials here said Monday. Gayoom, one of the longest serving heads of state in Asia, will arrive here on May 6 more..

Fresh violence triggers new tension in Muslim town

Apr 21 (AFP) Tamil mobs shot dead a Muslim man in northeastern Sri Lanka Monday, raising tensions in an area already wracked by violence, police said. The latest killing came as order was being restored following two days of rioting more..

Lanka unfazed by LTTE's withdrawal from negotiating process

Apr 21 (HT) The Sri Lankan government is unfazed by the LTTE's temporary withdrawal from the negotiating process. Hindustan Times learns that the government is optimistic about the rebel group's returning to the negotiating table. more..

Loss against India haunts Whatmore

Apr 22 (AP) Dav Whatmore’s most painful moment as Sri Lanka coach came in the lopsided loss to India at the World Cup. "I always think positively, but even I had some moments that haunt me," Whatmore, his wife Kathryn sitting beside him, told a news conference on Monday where he said good-bye to Sri Lanka. more..

LTTE and Muslim leaders reach peace agreement

Apr 22 (TN) Representatives of the LTTE and the Majlis Al Shura of Muttur division Monday agreed to prevail upon the Tamil and Muslim peoples to end all acts of violence against each other and to work towards ensuring peace, said a press release issued by the SLMM in Trincomalee. more..

'Balasingham wants India to assist in peace efforts'

Apr 22 (Hindu) The LTTE's chief negotiator, Anton S. Balasingham, reportedly wants India to talk to the banned outfit and its leader, V. Prabakaran, to assist in peace efforts in Sri Lanka. more..

No plan to dissolve Parliament: Chandrika

Apr 22 (Hindu) The President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, dismissed the idea of dissolving Parliament, dominated by her political rival, the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, here on Sunday. "No, at the moment I don't have any such plan," she said at a press conference here, more..

Muslim civilian brutally murdered and head taken away

Apr 22 (SLA) A Muslim civilian, who went for a bath on Tuesday (22 March) morning with another in the general area of PALA THOPPUR, about 20 km south of TRINCOMALEE, was found chopped to death and his head taken away by an unidentified group of assailants. more..

Teenaged girl went for bath shot and injured

Apr 22 (SLA) A teenaged girl, who went for a bath has been shot by an unidentified gunman in the general area of PAHALA THOPPUR, about 20 km. south of TRINCOMALEE this morning (22 Monday) around 6.30 a.m. more..

Theft of Indian trawler averted

Apr 22 (SLA) Navy troops on routine patrol in the general sea area of VANKALAI PADU, about 10 km. south of MANNAR, have spotted a suspicious boat movement where a defunct trawler was being towed away by some unidentified men with the help of another boat on 20 April 2003 around 10.30 p.m. more..

PM allocates fifty million rupees for Muttur rehabilitation

Apr 22 (TN) Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe has instructed the Treasury to allocate fifty million rupees as first installment for the rehabilitation of the thousands of displaced people in Muttur division, south of Trincomalee district. more..

Injury haunts New Zealand, Sri Lanka ahead of first test

Apr 22 (AP) New Zealand and Sri Lanka reported injuries Tuesday, two days before the two sides play their first test in the Sri Lankan capital. New Zealand all-rounder, Scott Styris, has a shoulder injury and Sri Lanka's fast bowler, Dilhara Fernando, is ruled out from playing in the test because of back strain, more..

Stocks end down, Mercantile stems losses

Apr 22 (Reuters) Stocks ended lower on Tuesday on retail selling after the Tamil Tiger rebels said they were suspending peace talks, but losses were stemmed by buying in Mercantile Leasing Ltd , which also boosted volumes. more..

President, Premier meet today amidst uncertainties

Apr 22 (DM) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will meet President Chandrika Kumaratunga today at the President’s House for talks on several vital issues foolowing the shock announcement that it was temporarily suspending the peace talks. more..

Norway's help sought as LTTE pulls out of talks

Apr 22 (IANS) Sri Lanka is seeking Norway's intervention after Tamil guerrillas opted out of peace talks, citing their bar on a meeting in the U.S. and lack of moves by Colombo to settle Tamils displaced by years of fighting. more..

LTTE proves Chandrika right

Apr 22 (Rediff) President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who had been repeatedly expressing her unhappiness and concern over the way Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe's government had been negotiating with the LTTE and blindly trusting its promises of good behaviour, must feel vindicated by the LTTE's suspension of its participation in the negotiations on April 21. more..

President keeps close watch on the government’s handling of peace talks

Apr 22 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga recently told The Washington Times.... “As head of state, it is necessary that I both advise and caution the government regarding its handling of the peace process. more..

President hopes talks would recommence

Apr 22 (PSL) The President expresses her deep dissatisfaction at the LTTE's unilateral decision to suspend negotiations with the Government. However it has been clear for sometime now, that it was the LTTE which was responsible for a series of violations of the Ceasefire Agreement, the parties entered into in February last year. more..

Sri Lanka to invite bidders to conduct oil exploration

Apr 22 (DJ) The government will invite bidders in the second half of 2003 to conduct oil exploration in the country, the chairman of state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corp., or Ceypetco, said Tuesday. The move is part of the government's efforts to reduce the country's dependance on oil and natural gas imports, more..

LTTE-backed associations ask UN not to send refugees back to Lanka

Apr 22 (Island) LTTE-backed Swiss Federation of Tamils Associations, which has its address as Kilinochchi District, has appealed to the United Nations Office in Geneva to stop sending Tamil refugees back to Sri Lanka until a definite solution is found for the ethnic conflict in the country. more..

Tamil Tiger pullout not end of Sri Lanka peace bid

Apr 22 (Reuters) A decision by Tamil Tiger rebels to pull out of peace talks with the Sri Lankan government appears to be more of a cry for recognition than any threat to return to decades of war, political analysts said on Tuesday. more..

Sri Lanka on alert as Tigers suspend talks

Apr 22 (AFP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has placed security forces on red alert after Tamil Tiger rebels suspended peace talks with her cohabitation government, a spokesman said Tuesday. more..

President puts country on alert

Apr 22 (AP) President on Tuesday ordered security measures increased after Tamil Tiger rebels suspended peace talks in a blow to hopes of ending the 19-year insurgency. Chandrika Kumaratunga, who is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, held an overnight meeting with top military brass to discuss the security situation after the rebels' announcement Monday. more..

Peace hopes dim as Tigers pull out of talks

Apr 22 (AFP) Sri Lanka's prospects of ending decades of ethnic bloodshed have been seriously dented after Tamil Tiger rebels pulled out of internationally backed peace talks, diplomats and officials said. more..

Chandana puts Kiwis in a spin

Apr 22 (BBC) Sri Lanka's second-string side emerged with a moral victory after bowling the tourists out for one run fewer than they themselves managed on Monday. With this two-day warm-up match officially a two-innings affair, the match ended in a draw. more..

Sri Lanka goes the IMF way

Apr 22 (AT) When Sri Lankan Sarath Fernando failed to stop his government from presenting a controversial economic roadmap to the World Bank and the International Monetary (IMF) that would further liberalize the economy in return for loans, he decided to take his case to the two institutions themselves. more..

LTTE peace process: JVP wants Indian intervention

Apr 22 (IE) Sri Lanka's main Marxist party on Tuesday asked New Delhi to get involved in the island's peace bid to prevent what it called western designs to "destabilise" India. more..

Sri Lanka include four specialist spinners in 15-squad

Apr 22 (CI) Sri Lanka's selectors have picked a 15-man squad for the opening Test against New Zealand, including the previously out-of-favour wicket-keeper, Romesh Kaluwitharana, and four specialist slow bowlers. In all, eight changes have been made since Sri Lanka's last test against South Africa more..

European Commission rehabilitates 55 schools

Apr 22 (IL) The European Commission has implemented a project to rehabilitate 55 schools in the five educational zones of the Jaffna peninsula with 11 local contractors carrying out the work. more..

India hopes Sri Lanka peace process will remain on track

Apr 22 (IANS) India Tuesday said it hoped the peace process in Sri Lanka would remain "on track" despite the decision of Tamil Tiger rebels to opt out of peace talks. The LTTE took a dramatic decision on Monday to temporarily pull out of the peace talks that followed a ceasefire in Feb 2002. more..

Sri Lanka growth high if peace continues

Apr 22 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's economic growth could leap ahead if a peace process in the island continues, the central bank governor said on Tuesday. Amarananda Jayawardena told reporters the economy could expand by an average 6.5 percent during the next four years, up from about an expected 3.5 percent last year. more..

LTTE condemns attack on Muslims in Allai Nagar

Apr 22 (TN) The LTTE Tuesday said it strongly condemns the attack on a group of Muslim people at Allai Nagar in Thoppur in the Muttur division Tuesday morning. "We believe that it is the work of forces working against peace," said the LTTE’s more..