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A President's concern

Apr 25 (FL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga was in India on a four-day working visit in the second week of April. Kumaratunga had a packed schedule during her stay in New Delhi. The talks between her and Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee centred mainly around the ongoing peace process. more..

Indian fishermen released on AG's direction

Apr 25 (TN) On the instructions of the Attorney General (AG), the Mannar Magistrate Friday released twenty six Indian fishermen who had been remanded by the court after being captured by local fishermen in Pesalai when they were poaching in Sri lankan waters, legal sources said. more..

India for restoration of lasting peace in Lanka

Apr 25 (PTI) India today reaffirmed its three-fold commitment to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and to the restoration of lasting peace through a peaceful, negotiated settlement that meets the aspirations of all elements of the Sri Lankan society. more..

JVP demonstrators condemn Muttur violence

Apr 26 (TN) The JVP held a demonstration Friday afternoon at Lipton Square, in downtown Colombo, condemning the violence in Muttur in the East against Muslims and demanding that Norwegian monitors should be ‘thrown out’ of the country to safeguard the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the island, sources said. more..

LTTE responds to US Ambassador

Apr 26 (TN) The Liberation Tigers Friday denied they had walked away from negotiations with the Sri Lankan government and said they were temporarily suspending talks “to provide time and space for the government to implement crucial decisions.” more..

Sri Lanka to check potential visitors from SARS-Hit lands

Apr 26 (AP) Sri Lanka said Friday that its diplomatic missions should demonstrate caution when issuing visas in countries affected by severe acute respiratory syndrome. Aviation authorities have also been asked to screen passengers coming to Sri Lanka from countries hard-hit by SARS, more..

Chandrika says 'no' to "internal self-determination"

Apr 26 (HT) The President Chandrika Kumaratunga has categorically rejected the LTTE's demand for 'internal self-determination' for the Tamil minority but says that she will not go back on federalism. more..

TVS ties up with United Motors in Sri Lanka

Apr 26 (TNN) TV Sundaram Iyengar & Sons, the parent and holding company of the TVS group, has restructured its Sri Lankan operations and has roped in United Motors Lanka (UMLL) as its new joint venture partner in TVS Lanka Private (TLP). more..

Tigers say talks suspension is temporary

Apr 26 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels, who this week suspended peace talks to end two decades of war, said on Friday the move was only temporary but also rejected U.S. calls that they lay down their arms. more..

SLMM clarifies issues in Proposals on Security at Sea

Apr 26 (TN) The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission issued a press release on 25 Friday clarifying issues in its proposals contained in the ‘Initial Discussion Paper’ that outlined arrangements to avoid future incidents at sea between the Sri Lanka Navy and Sea Tigers. more..

Tokyo confab to steer Lanka in to regional hub

Apr 26 (DN) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is optimistic that the Tokyo donor conference in June will prove to be a major step in securing the financial support for the overall development of Sri Lanka as a regional hub, more..

Policy framework on peace negotiations still not divulged — Kadirgamar

Apr 26 (Island) Lakshman Kadirgamar, charged that even after 14 months of the current negotiations, the Prime Minister and his negotiating team have yet not thought it fit to inform the country, the President and the Parliament and even, perhaps, most of the Cabinet, of the policy framework which should form the basis for negotiations. more..

Japan hopes for resumption of Sri Lanka peace talks

Apr 26 (ABC) Japan has asked Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels to resume peace negotiations with the Colombo government. In a statement, the Japanese embassy in Colombo says an aid conference scheduled in Tokyo for June will go ahead, and that it hopes the rebel LTTE will attend. more..

Clergy appeal for resumption of peace talks

Apr 26 (TN) Leading members of the clergy Friday appealed to the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE not to go back to war and to resume peace talks immediately to find a negotiated political settlement to the ethnic conflict. more..

CID told to produce Nimalarajan murder suspect

Apr 26 (TN) Jaffna district court Judge T. Vignarajah warned the officials of CID that failure to produce, Nepolean, the military head of the EPDP who is a key suspect in the Nirmalarajan murder case, will result in the court taking disciplinary action against the CID, more..

Swamy welcomes U.S. stand on LTTE

Apr 26 (Hindu) If the LTTE walks out of the peace talks with the Sri Lankan Government, the U.S. and the Indian Governments must exert influence on the Island Government to reach an agreement with the anti-LTTE Tamil coalition and unilaterally implement an Indian-type federal Constitution, the Janata Party president, Subramanian Swamy, has said. more..

Ranil: The Peacemaker

Apr 26 (Time) Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was born for politics. One of his ancestors was a 17th century King. And when Wickremesinghe was first elected to Parliament at the age of 28, the country's then Prime Minister was his uncle. more..

Tractor mishap injures soldiers

Apr 26 (SLA) A tractor carrying Security Forces personnel skidded off and toppled in the general area of KOKKUTUDUWAI, about 18 km. northeast of WELIOYA on 25 April 2003 around 3.00 p.m. more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Apr 26 (SLA) Eight hundred and fifty lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 18 April 2003 – 24 April 2003. more..

$800m ADB loan for Lanka

Apr 26 (Gulf) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said yesterday it is considering $800 million in economic aid to help Sri Lanka's battered economy recover from 19 years of civil war. more..

IMF says LTTE must take part in Tokyo aid meeting

Apr 26 (DM) Key donors fear Sri Lanka's peace process could suffer a setback if the LTTE pulled out of a crucial donor conference in June. The rebels suspended peace talks with the government on Monday and have also withdrawn from a planned aid meeting in Tokyo where donors were likely to have pledged substantial funds to revive the war-stricken economy. more..

SAARC ministers to discuss SARS

Apr 26 (Hindu) Health ministers from the seven SAARC nations will meet in the Maldives next week to discuss collective action on SARS, Maldivian Health Minister Ahmed Abdullah said today. more..

Growth Spurt

Apr 26 (LBO) The International Monetary Fund is asking the government to develop an alternative, lower growth scenario and a detailed map on how the country plans to achieve its milestones, spelt out in the Poverty Reduction and Strategy Paper. more..

Hot Topic

Apr 26 (LBO) Petrol prices rose by Rs. 1.00 on Friday, Ceylon Petroleum Corp.’s initiative to recover losses made over the last two months. Petrol prices went up by Rs. 1 to Rs. 54.00 for unleaded petrol and Rs. 57.00 for unleaded petrol. more..

Sri Lanka tightens visas for travellers from SARS hot spots

Apr 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Friday announced tightened visa procedures for travellers from countries hit hard by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), officials here said. more..

Opposition slams Wickremesinghe

Apr 26 (Gulf) Sri Lanka's joint parliamentary opposition yesterday urged President Chandrika Kumaratunga to take all constitutional steps to protect the sovereignty of the state and called for break-up of the exclusivity of Scandinavian ceasefire monitors by including monitors from India and two other countries. more..

UK puts pressure on LTTE to resume peace talks

Apr 26 (HT) Britain is mounting heavy pressure on the LTTE to end its boycott of the talks with the Sri Lankan government and to undertake to attend the mega "Aid Lanka" consortium meeting in Tokyo in June, top sources told Hindustan Times here today. more..

Tigers soften stand on talks after US barrage

Apr 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers sought to assure the United States that they were not scuttling talks with the government, two days after Washington's envoy slammed the rebels for suspending negotiations. more..

Fleming's epic 274 puts Sri Lanka to despair

Apr 26 (AFP) New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming hit a career-best 274 not out to lead the tourists to a commanding position in the first cricket Test against Sri Lanka here on Saturday. more..

LANKAN HOPES-II : Positive Signs For The Economy

Apr 26 (TS) Various religious and political groups in the Sri Lankan civil society are viewing the talks between the two sides and the modus operandi of the LTTE with a great deal of fear and suspicion. more..

Tillakaratne pays tribute to Fleming after marathon innings

Apr 26 (CI) Hashan Tillakaratne, Sri Lanka's new Test captain, paid tribute to his counterpart, Stephen Fleming, who scored an unbeaten 274 out of New Zealand's massive 515 for seven declared on day two of this Colombo Test. more..

TN: Heroin worth Rs. 13 cr. seized

Apr 26 (PTI) Narcotics Control Bureau officials today seized 13 kg. of heroin worth Rs. 13 crores, in the international market and arrested two Sri Lankan nationals, who were trying to smuggle the contraband to Sri Lanka via Rameswaram. more..

Bishop Deogupillai passes away

Apr 27 (TN) Jaffna's twelfth Bishop Most Reverend Dr Bastiampillai Deogupillai (1917-2003) passed away peacefully in the early hours of Friday at the age of 86. The entire Catholic community and Tamils, irrespective of religion, are mourning the death of a veteran Bishop who stood for justice and peace through dialogue. more..

Take forward Chelva's ideals - Tamilnadu Don

Apr 27 (TN) "We Tamils in Tamilnadu are openly supporting the Palestine liberation struggle. We are free to oppose the aggression of Iraq by the United States of America. But it is sad to state that we in Tamilnadu are prevented from expressing our moral support to our Tamil brethren in Sri Lanka," more..

Sri Lanka's export earnings rise over 15 percent

Apr 27 (IRNA) Sri Lanka's export earnings recorded an increase of 15.2 percent reflecting an increase of 19.4 percent in industrial exports. The export earnings rose to Rs.36,913.9 million as against Rs.32,041.4 million during January when compared to the same period in the previous year. more..

MoU signed to promote coastal fisheries

Apr 27 (Hindu) To promote sustainable coastal fisheries in the Bay of Bengal and for its efficient management for the benefit of small fishermen, an agreement was signed by India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh here today. more..

PM's battle to keep the peace

Apr 27 (SL) While the peace process suffered its first major setback last week with the LTTE deciding to suspend its participation in the peace talks "for the time being," the government moved swiftly to take damage control measures even as the opposition started pouring oil on troubled waters. more..

MPs on the rampage

Apr 27 (SL) THE United National Front (UNF) government elected to office in December 2001, brought with its first flush of victory a plethora of promises and lofty ideals into the political arena. A little over a year later, they seem to be on a path of digression. more..

Tigers must agree to Indian role: SLMM

Apr 27 (Island) A change in the composition of the Norwegian-led SLMM to include India as demanded by the joint opposition will not be possible unless the Tigers agree to alter the cease-fire agreement. more..

Thermal scanner for BIA under fire

Apr 27 (SO) The decision to import a thermal scanner from Singapore to expedite medical examination of passengers suspected of being infected with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has come under heavy criticism from health experts. more..

A pressure tactic, admits LTTE

Apr 27 (Hindu) LTTE on Friday admitted that its unilateral suspension of talks was to "pressurise the Government" to "implement crucial decisions". Justifying the move as a "fair and rational form of protest", the rebels said the unilateral suspension was "to provide time and space" for Colombo to implement agreements reached during the last six rounds of direct talks. more..

Tigers play for high stakes at peace table

Apr 27 (Gulf) It may be no more than pique that caused the rupture, but for Sri Lanka's northern insurgents, the decision by the U.S. to not grant them visas stems from their inability to see themselves as the world sees them. more..

Saving Buddhism's holiest tree from pollution, pests

Apr 27 (IANS) From a ban on burning oil lamps near it to regular use of pesticides, a team of scientists has suggested a slew of measures to protect the holy tree at Buddhism's birthplace from certain death. more..

Muttur lacks basic medical services - TNA MP

Apr 27 (TN) TNA parliamentarian Mr.K.Thurairetnasingham Saturday brought to the notice of the Minister of Health, Nutrition and Welfare that even after fourteen months of the ceasefire coming into operation Muttur residents are still without basic medical services, sources said. more..

PM to take over PERC

Apr 27 (ST) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is to take over the controversy-riddled PERC (Public Enterprises Reform Commission) following a spate of criticism over the way it has handled recent privatisation deals, The SundayTimes learns. more..

Won’t Disarm until Final Pact Reached: LTTE

Apr 27 (AFP) In response to a call by the United States to disavow violence, Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels say they will not lay down arms until a solution to the island’s ethnic war is agreed upon, the Tamilnet Web Site reported. more..

India should lift ban on LTTE before joining sea panel: TELO

Apr 27 (HT) K Srikantha, leader of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), has said that India will have to lift the ban on the LTTE if it is to accept the Sri Lankan opposition's demand that it become a ceasefire monitor here. more..

Sri Lankan peace broker reshuffled as Tigers suspend peace talks

Apr 27 (AFP) The Sri Lankan government is set to reorganise its main peace secretariat after Tamil Tiger rebels suspended talks, citing the government's failure to deliver on its promises. more..

Sri Lankan batsmen forge spirited reply

Apr 27 (CI) Sri Lanka's batsmen, faced with New Zealand's daunting 515 for seven, sparkled in the morning, wobbled in the afternoon and consolidated in the evening. When a thunderstorm forced a premature close for the second consecutive day, they were comfortably placed on 267 for four. more..

Army informant shot dead in Dehiwela

Apr 28 (TN) Lingarajah Thavarajah (32), a native of Kokkadichcholai in Batticloa district in the eastern province, was gunned down in Dehiwela Saturday night by unidentified gunmen who came in a three-wheeler, Police sources in Colombo said. Thavarajah was working with the intelligence wing of the Sri Lanka Army in the eastern province. more..