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In-form Fleming steers Kiwis to draw in first Test

Apr 29 (AFP) New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming defied the Sri Lankan bowlers for the second time in the match to ensure the first cricket Test ended in a draw here on Tuesday. The left-hander, who hit a magnificent 274 not out in the first innings, batted for five hours in the second knock to remain unconquered on 69 and thwart Sri Lanka's late bid to force a result. more..

Sri Lanka management lament missed opportunities

Apr 29 (CI) Sri Lanka's captain Hashan Tillakaratne and coach Duleep Mendis lamented their side's poor fielding in the opening Test but praised the efforts of the bowlers and batsmen. more..

China hopes peace process will continue

Apr 29 (Xinhua) China sincerely hopes that the peace process in Sri Lanka will continue, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao here Tuesday when asked for his comments on the suspension of peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE. more..

Fleming delighted with performance against Muralitharan

Apr 29 (CI) Stephen Fleming believes New Zealand are now better-placed to win the second Test at Kandy after having shown that they can survive against Sri Lanka's leading spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. more..

German assistance to contain malnutrition in Trinco district

Apr 29 (TN) The IFSP in Trincomalee Monday donated a consignment of forty mother and child-weighing scales to the Department of Health Services to be supplied to the public health midwives in the Trincomalee district to monitor malnutrition prevalent especially amongst women and children less than five years of age, more..

Security to be tightened for Ratwatte trial

Apr 29 (TN) The trial-at-bar inquiry into the Udathalawinne massacre case has been put off for May 5 for security reasons when the defence brought to the notice of the three-member bench of High Court Judges when the case resumed Tuesday that the life of one of the accused, former deputy defence minister General Ratwatte, is under threat, more..

Muslim-Tamil amity crucial for peace - Ramesh

Apr 29 (TN) Though the LTTE has temporarily suspended participation at the peace talks, its talks with Muslim representatives will continue, as strengthening Tamil-Muslim amity is crucial to the two communities regardless of the state of the peace process, more..

Stocks close higher, banks trade

Apr 29 (Reuters) Stocks finished higher on Tuesday, hitting fresh three-month highs helped by gains in DFCC Bank Ltd and Commercial Bank of Ceylon Ltd. The key Colombo all-share index closed up a provisional 0.32 percent, or 2.63 points, at 825.78 points, more..

Seven killed, 90 wounded in Sri Lanka bus crash

Apr 30 (AFP) At least seven people were killed Tuesday and another 90 wounded when their bus fell into a valley in central Sri Lanka, police said. more..

Sri Lanka steps up moves to reopen talks with Tigers

Apr 30 (AFP) Sri Lanka was stepping up diplomatic and political moves to reopen peace talks with Tamil Tigers Tuesday, a day after the rebels displayed heavy weapons to mark their biggest military victory. more..

HSZ move highly risky say parties

Apr 30 (Island) Political parties and other organisations in Colombo yesterday said the government’s decision to withdraw from high security zones in the Jaffna peninsula was a bad move since the LTTE has not stopped stockpiling arms and training its cadres. Tamil parties however welcomed the move. more..

LTTE shows signs of impatience

Apr 30 (Hindu) Showing signs of impatience with negotiations, the LTTE displayed its military hardware on Monday and took the latest impasse on the peace process to "its people," asking them "to decide" if a solution could be reached through talks. more..

Balasingham to visit Vanni next week

Apr 30 (TN) The Liberation Tigers Chief Negotiator and Political Advisor, Mr. Anton Balasingham, will return to Vanni next week for deliberations with the LTTE leadership on the Norwegian peace process and related matters, sources said Tuesday. more..

Grow Up

Apr 30 (LBO) The Central Bank is calling for speedy reforms, accelerated economic growth and productivity improvements, if the country is to benefit from the ongoing peace initiatives. more..

Exporting Talent

Apr 30 (LBO) Bangladesh has become a late entrant to the 'supermarket era' with help from professionals from Sri Lanka, comparatively a super-marketing veteran in the region. more..

Mendis fumes at unfit Sri Lanka as Fleming conquers

Apr 30 (AFP) Sri Lanka's coach Duleep Mendis lashed out at his unfit team after New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming set new batting standards in the drawn first Test here. more..

Security tightened for May Day in Colombo

Apr 30 (TN) More than five thousand Police personnel will be deployed to maintain law and order in Colombo when several political parties hold May Day rallies, processions in Colombo on May 1st Thursday, Deputy Inspector General of Police Mr.Bodhi Liyanage said Tuesday. more..

Sri Lanka appeals to LTTE to resume talks

Apr 30 (TN) Prime Minister this week admitted that efforts to restore normalcy to the Tamil areas had not taken place “at the pace which we might have desired” and vowing matters would improve, appealed to the Liberation Tigers to nevertheless resume peace talks which the LTTE had put on hold two weeks ago. more..

SEP May Day meeting to go ahead

Apr 30 (wsws) Despite the UNF government’s decision to block the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka from using its allocated venue, the party has rescheduled its May Day meeting for the YMCA Hall, Bristol Street in downtown Colombo at 3 p.m. on May 1. more..

President's May Day message

Apr 30 (PSL) “The workers' rights are indivisibly connected with the democratic rights of all ethnic and religious groups, their human rights and their freedoms,” says President Chandrika Kumaratunga in a message to mark the May Day. more..

Stocks end up on buying in Comm Bank

Apr 30 (Reuters) Stocks closed slightly higher on Wednesday, coming back from some profit-taking in early trade on institutional buying in Commercial Bank of Ceylon Ltd. The key Colombo all-share index ended up a provisional 0.1 percent, or 0.81 points, at 827.01. more..

Central bank sees 2003 growth at 5.5 pct

Apr 30 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank said on Wednesday the economy could grow 5.5 percent this year after expanding a better-than-expected four percent in 2002, bolstered by a bid to end a 20-year civil war. more..

Sri Lanka rates, inflation to dip-cenbank official

Apr 30 (Reuters) Sri Lanka could see lower interest rates this year along with a drop in inflation and an improvement in government finances, a central bank official said. The central bank has said the inflation rate, would drop to 7 to 8 percent at the end of the year from 9.6 percent at the start. more..

Tigers deny receiving assurances on role in aid meeting

Apr 30 (Gulf) The chief negotiator of the Tamil Tiger rebel group Anton Balasingham has denied that they got any assurances from a Sri Lanka government negotiator that the rebels would be allowed to participate in a recent aid group meeting in Washington from which they were left out. more..

Sri Lanka expects pace bowler Fernando to be fit for one-dayers

Apr 30 (AP) Sri Lankan pace bowler Dilhara Fernando failed to recover from a back injury to make the squad for the second test against New Zealand, but is expected to be fit for the limited-over tri-series, team coach Duleep Mendis said Wednesday. more..

Arnold to lead Sri Lanka 'A' against Pakistan

Apr 30 (CI) Russel Arnold will skipper a Sri Lanka A side against Pakistan in a one-day warm-up at the P. Sara Oval on May 7. For Arnold, dropped from the national squad after a low scoring World Cup, the game will provide an opportunity to convince the selectors that he is ready to return to international cricket. more..

Oslo takes PM's letter to LTTE

Apr 30 (DM) Two Norwegian envoys flew to Kilinochchi yesterday carrying a five-page letter from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to the LTTE in relation to the reasons given by the Tigers for temporarily pulling out of the peace talks with the government. more..

National Vesak Festival from May 15 to 18

Apr 30 (DOI) The Ministry of Buddha Sasana has organised special Vesak programs with the participation of the Government and the private sector to celebrate Vesak on a grand scale this year. more..

International Industrial Fair to commence on May 17

Apr 30 (DOI) The Ministry of Industries will be the facilitator of the International Industrial Fair 2003 organised by the Sri Lanka Chamber of Small Industry which will be inaugurated by President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on May 17. more..

Housing for the needy in N'Eliya

Apr 30 (DOI) The Minister of Housing and Plantation Infrastructure Arumugam Thondaman said housing among the poor has become an absolute necessity. He as a minister was tapping all avenues and sources to meet this challenge in Sri Lanka. more..

Four star hotel for Jaffna

Apr 30 (DN) Work on Jaffna's first four star class hotel, `Peninsular City' is scheduled to commence later this year, redressing a long felt need in the war ravaged city now opening up for travellers after more than 20 years. more..

Rebel negotiator to meet LTTE leaders for talks

Apr 30 (Reuters) The Tamil Tigers' top negotiator will fly to Sri Lanka next week to discuss the island's stalled peace bid, Tamil sources said on Wednesday, the clearest sign yet a fragile peace process was still on track. more..

PM slurs over High Security Zones issue; LTTE disappointed

Apr 30 (HT) In his detailed reply to the LTTE's letter of April 21 announcing its temporary withdrawal from the peace talks, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has avoided making any commitments about modifying or reducing the controversial High Security Zones (HSZ) in the Jaffna peninsula, more..

Sri Lanka calls on Tiger rebels to reconsider pullout

Apr 30 (Reuters) Prime minister on Wednesday acknowledged delays in rebuilding war-hit areas but said that was inevitable after years of war and he called on Tamil rebels to reconsider a decision to suspend peace talks. more..

Diplomatic push to revive stalled peace talks

Apr 30 (AFP) Sri Lanka expressed hopes of reviving stalled talks with Tamil Tiger rebels as a letter from the prime minister urging them to re-enter the peace process was delivered by Norwegian peace brokers. more..

Accidental discharge kills soldier

Apr 30 (SLA) The accidental discharge of the personal weapon of a fellow soldier caused death to a soldier on 29 April 2003 in the general area of JAYASINGHEPURA, about 1 km. south of KOKKUTUDUWAI after he was admitted to SIRIPURA Hospital with injuries. more..

LTTE builds bunker

Apr 30 (SLA) Information received confirmed that some LTTE members were engaged in constructing a bunker in the general area of MORAKOTTANCHENAI, about 24 km northwest of BATTICALOA town facing the lagoon. more..

Sri Lanka 'deadlock broken'

Apr 30 (BBC) The Government says the country's peace process is being put back on track after Tamil Tiger rebels reopened channels of communication with Norwegian mediators. The rebels suspended peace talks 10 days ago, complaining they had been marginalised, and cut off direct contacts with Norwegian officials. more..

EU concerned by stalled peace talks

Apr 30 (ABC) The European Union is expressing concern at an announcement by the Tamil Tiger rebels that they are pulling out of Sri Lankan peace talks. "The EU notes with concern the recent LTTE statement of its intention to suspend participation for the time being in the peace negotiations," the EU said. more..

Norwegian ambassador meets Thamilchelvan

Apr 30 (TN) The newly appointed Norwegian ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. Hans Brattskar, accompanied by the outgoing ambassador, Mr. Jon Westborg, Wednesday held extensive talks with the political head of the LTTE, Mr.S.P.Thamilchelvan, at the LTTE's headquarters in Kilinochchi, Vanni sources said. more..

Murali enters final stage of his career

Apr 30 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan, Sri Lanka's star offspinner, set to become the highest wicket-taker in Test history during the next two years, believes he has entered the final phase of his career. more..

Nepal to learn from Sri Lankan peace process

Apr 30 (PTI) A group of Nepalese politicians, including a Maoist leader is currently in Colombo to learn from the Sri Lankan peace process. A 17-member team including left today for Colombo, party sources said. more..

Sri Lanka's troubled cricket board goes to polls after four years

Apr 30 (AFP) Sri Lanka's troubled cricket control board is set to hold elections in June after being managed by government-appointed committees for the past four years, officials said. more..

Peace envoys to make a beeline for New Delhi

Apr 30 (HT) Given the complication of the Sri Lankan situation in the past week few days, and the increasing demand for a pro-active Indian role in the peace process, peace envoys from Sri Lanka, Norway and Japan will be making a beeline to New Delhi to brief the Indian government on the latest developments. more..

Central bank sees peace-driven growth

Apr 30 (Reuters) Hopes of lasting peace could drive up Sri Lanka's economy by 5.5 percent this year after a truce fuelled a larger-than-expected rebound of four percent in 2002, the central bank said on Wednesday. more..