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Govt-LTTE dialogue essential to develop North-East - GL

Aug 27 (DN) The Government yesterday emphasised the need to resume a direct dialogue and reach a consensus between the Government and the LTTE to develop the war ravaged Northern and Eastern provinces. more..

Sri Lanka sends ministers to business forum

Aug 27 (TS) THE Sri Lankan government is flying in three key ministers for the launch of its Opportunity Sri Lanka 2003 forum in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow. more..

Sri Lankan rebels want to keep controversial camp

Aug 27 (AFP) The political leader of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels on Tuesday dismissed the idea of dismantling a controversial military camp seen by international monitors as a violation of a Norwegian-brokered ceasefire. more..

Card Games

Aug 27 (LBO) Fast emerging as a serious player in the local banking segment, Nations Trust Bank on Tuesday launched its own credit card, to add muscle to its growing personal banking business. more..

LTTE cadre arrested with a Van

Aug 27 (SLA) The Police on duty in the general area of SATHURUKONDAN, about 6 km. northwest of BATTICALOA town have arrested an LTTE cadre with a van (253 – 1213) on 26 August 2003 around 10.30 a.m. when the suspect failed to produce relevant documents of the van. more..

Navy arrest ten persons

Aug 27 (SLA) Naval troops on routine patrol have arrested ten persons on suspicion while they were at URUMALAI bus stand on 26 August 2003 around 10.00 a.m. more..

Muslim civilians detained by LTTE for ransom

Aug 27 (SLA) Ten armed LTTE cadres have detained three Muslim civilians along with their bullock carts while they were collecting firewood in the general area of BOOGASDAMANA, about 25 km northeast of POLONNARUWA on 26 August 2003. more..

Lankan leaders condemn Mumbai bomb blast

Aug 27 (PRIU) President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe yesterday expressed shock and horror over the twin car bomb attack aimed at innocent civilians in Mumbai. more..

Sri Lanka Wants to Manufacture Israeli Goods

Aug 27 (DN) The Sri Lankan Ambassador, Mahinda Bandusena , met with Israel Diamond Exchange President, Shmuel Schnitzer, on the possibilities of increasing co-operation between the two countries' diamond and jewelry sectors. more..

Stocks tick lower after recent rally

Aug 27 (Reuters) Stocks edged lower for a fourth-straight day on Wednesday after a failed push towards eight-year highs spurred by stronger earnings on efforts to end the island's ethnic war. The key Colombo all-share index ended down a provisional 0.29 percent, or 3.13 points, at 1,077.66 points. more..

Trade body warns tax leaks hurting growth

Aug 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's largest trade chamber called on Wednesday for the government to expand its tax collection and crack down on evasion, saying leaks are hurting efforts to expand the island's peacetime economy. more..

State reports on WWW

Aug 27 (IL) With the view to enhance transparency and accountability and to promote good governance, the Ministry of Finance has taken steps to place in the website the Annual Performance Reports of the Ministries, Department and Public Enterprises for the Year 2002. more..

PM says recruitment will continue

Aug 27 (IL) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday assured Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Leader Rauff Hakeem that the government would not change its decision on the recruitment of Muslim police officers for the Eastern region. more..

WB grants 40 million to striking universities

Aug 27 (IL) The World Bank has released a colossal sum to our striking universities. The Bank has decided to grant Rs. 400 million to each university to carry out projects aiming at improving the welfare and academic facilities of undergraduates. more..

Sri Lanka's suicide rate soars, while media glorifies it

Aug 27 (IL) Sri Lanka has a record suicide rate of more than 5000 deaths a year, a report from the Centre for Policy Alternatives stated. The report says that the country has been listed as one of the few countries with such a high suicide rate. more..

4 die in building disaster

Aug 27 (DM) Four workers who were digging deep to build a foundation for a 15 foot parapet wall were buried alive in a horrifying tragedy at the hilly Kandawatta in Talangama yesterday morning, police said. more..

Latheef Farook: Tigers pussyfooting with government

Aug 27 (Gulf) The July 17 government proposals offering the separatist LTTE an Interim Administration in the North and East to revive peace talks, suspended in April following the LTTE's unilateral withdrawal, has sparked off a raging nationwide controversy . more..

UNF prepares for elections

Aug 27 (Gulf) The ruling UNF government yesterday launched what is seen as the first step to prepare for future elections by declaring that it was prepared to distribute the benefits of the Norwegian backed peace process and a 19 month long ceasefire. more..

EU condemns political killings in Sri Lanka

Aug 27 (Reuters) The European Union on Wednesday condemned a recent string of political killings in Sri Lanka, saying the murders undermined efforts to end two decades of fighting and threatened aid to rebuild the war-hit island. more..

Sri Lanka posting will help girl's development

Aug 27 (ICW) A BATHGATE teenager is swapping school for Sri Lanka this month. Jennifer Ritchie (17) from Hunter Grove is spending six months of her gap year teaching in a women's development centre on the Indian sub-continent, as part of the Link charity's overseas programme. more..

Hartal in Amparai town

Aug 27 (TN) General shutdown was observed in Amparai today and an organization called 'Committee to Safeguard East' lead a protest march through Amparai town, sources in the eastern province said. Several hundred Muslims and Sinhalese participated in the march that started at Brown Road junction and proceeded to the clock tower, sources added. more..

Lanka fugitives may have been seeking arms

Aug 27 (AP) Police on Tuesday said that two men reported missing in eastern Sri Lanka might have been trying to illegally obtain weapons. The police claim comes amid reports that Muslims are arming themselves because of fears of attacks by Tamil Tiger rebels, who were accused of killing at least four Muslims earlier this month. more..

SLA says students cannot attend Pongu Thamil in Vavuniya

Aug 28 (TN) The Sri Lanka Army has ordered that the students in Vavuniya schools should not be allowed to attend the Pongu Thamil (‘Tamil Upsurge’) event to be held on September 15 in the district as the SLA sees the event as a political event organized by the LTTE, sources in Vavuniya said. more..

PM, parliamentarians discuss police recruitment issue

Aug 28 (TN) Several decisions to strengthen the goodwill and security of Tamil and Muslim communities in the eastern province were taken at a conference called by the Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe Wednesday evening which was attended by parliamentarians of TNA , SLMC and NUA, more..

SLA restricts civilian visit to Point Pedro schools in HSZ

Aug 28 (TN) The Sri Lanka Army Wednesday said civilians would be allowed to visit Hartley College and Methodist Girls High School in the high security zone of Point Pedro town in Jaffna district only on Wednesdays and they will need prior permission obtained from the security forces, civil sources said. more..

North and East should be de-merged - Ferial Ashraff

Aug 28 (TN) “The North and East should be separate provinces and the administration of the provinces should be handed over to the people. All three ethnic groups in the country should have equal rights and proper authority to exercise their rights. Only then can the ethnic problems in the country be solved,” said Mrs. Ferial Ashraff, more..

Sri Lanka to offer Government workers early retirement plan

Aug 28 (Bloomberg) Sri Lanka plans to offer government workers an early retirement plan to cut its wage bill, a move aimed at trimming a budget deficit bloated by a 20-year civil war, a finance ministry official said. more..

$420,000 anti-drug offer by US

Aug 28 (Island) The US government has presented $ 420,000 to the Colombo Plan to facilitate the Plan’s Drug Advisory Programme activities for the fiscal year 2003. This was announced by US Charge d’Affaires James F. Entwistle, who presented the funds to Kittipan Kanjanapipatkul, Secretary General of the Colombo Plan Secretariat, more..

LTTE to extend Paris talks

Aug 28 (DN) Norwegian special envoy Eric Solheim met the LTTE members working on counter proposals in Paris as they were planning to wrap up deliberations and LTTE sources hinted at the possibility of the talks being extended for a few days. more..

Northeast Literary Day to be held in Vavuniya

Aug 28 (TN) A decision to hold the Northeast Literary Day on October 9,10,11 in Vavuniya was made at a meeting held at the Vavuniya Secretariat on Wednesday, chaired by Mr. S. Thiagalingam, the Northeast Provincial Education Ministry’s Secretary, sources in Vavuniya said. more..

Solheim, Canadians join as LTTE's Paris meet concludes

Aug 28 (TN) Eric Solheim, Norwegian special peace envoy, Lisa Gold of the Royal Norwegian Government, Hon. Bob Rae, former premier Ontario Canada and Prof. David Cameron of Canadian Forum of Federations joined the final day yesterday morning session of the LTTE discussions in Paris, sources close to the LTTE delegation said. more..

External Cleansing

Aug 28 (LBO) The government has sought the Asian Development Bank and World Bank help, to do an impact assessment on the ongoing Samurdhi programme. Donor agencies have been critical of the selection process of welfare beneficiaries, as well as the lack of an exit mechanism, which resulted in more and more householders being added, until half the country was receiving welfare benefits. more..

Chipping Away

Aug 28 (LBO) Silica quartz deposits in Mahagama are on offer for exploration, to develop high tech products like optical fibre, solar cells and silicon chips. Expressions of Interest have been sought to conduct site studies and to set up processing and manufacturing plants. more..

Rallying Support

Aug 28 (LBO) The Ceylon Chamber will mobilise private sector support for the state’s "Regaining Sri Lanka" initiative though its annual convention, which hopes to take the theme to its next level. The Chamber says local businesses are being risk averse and holding back on their capabilities until a permanent peace was established. more..

Four civilians abducted and assaulted by LTTE

Aug 28 (SLA) A civilian has made a complaint at the POLONNARUWA Police station stating that he and his three colleagues were assaulted by a group of armed LTTE cadres while they were in the jungle in the general area of TAMBALA, about 10 km northeast of POLONNARUWA with three others on 25 August 2003. more..

Thousands of devotees worship at Grand Nallur Temple

Aug 28 (SLA) The historic Nallur Kandasamy temple in Jaffna town drew thousands of local and foreign Hindu devotees when it held its famous CAR (“Ther”) festival this year. The temple site was seen congested with devotees flocked to attend this great annual festive occasion. more..

Commander Sri Lanka Air Force visits Kamra Complex

Aug 28 (TP) Air Marshal G D Perera, Commander Sri Lanka Air Force Wednesday visited Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra. The Sri Lankan Air Force Commander is on a week long visit to Pakistan. more..

Malaysia looking for more infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka

Aug 28 (Bernama) Malaysia will continue to look for infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka as the country provides a conducive environment for economic development, Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said Thursday. more..

Malaysia's investment in Sri Lanka worth RM2.014 Bln

Aug 28 (Bernama) Malaysia's investment in Sri Lanka since 1980's is US$530 million or RM2.014 billion, while in the 2003 alone it amounted to US$110.8 million or RM421.04 million and generated 2,700 job opportunities. more..

Strolling tourists lead Sri Lanka economic growth

Aug 28 (Reuters) Tourists, once scared to visit Sri Lanka, grip guidebooks and stroll in the capital in a visible sign that an 18-month truce is breathing life into the island's war-weary economy. more..

From United States with Love

Aug 28 (IL) The United States has granted office equipment including computers worth around 10 million rupees to streamline the functions of courts in the northeast. The Charge D'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka James F. Entwistle handed over the computers to prime ministers secretary Bradman Weerkoon. more..

Murder of Ministers: plot thickens

Aug 28 (IL) The C.I.D. informed the Colombo magistrate today that they have received information regarding the involvement of one Nihal Wickremasinghe alias Navala Nihal in the plot to assassinate ministers Rajitha Senaratne and Ravi Karunanayake. more..

Bidders at Oluvil

Aug 28 (IL) Six prospective bidders from Denmark are in Sri Lanka on a pre-bidding study on the proposed Oluvil Port. Minister of Ports and Shipping Rauff Hakeem had directed the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) to commence the construction work of the Oluvil Port before the end of this year and the visit of Danish parties was following an invitation by SLPA. more..

CBK raps Minister on regular blackouts

Aug 28 (DM) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has expressed concern over the continued power failures experienced in the country during the past few months. In a letter to Power and Energy Minister Karu Jayasuriya, the President has directed an immediate inquiry in to the continued power failures more..

Stocks gain on foreign buying in Keells

Aug 28 (Reuters) Stocks ended higher on Thursday after four days of losses, as foreign buying of conglomerate John Keells Holdings Ltd lifted the market in otherwise quiet trade. The key Colombo all-share index closed up a provisional 0.38 percent, or 4.05 points, at 1,081.68. more..

Otaishan Group in pact with Sri Lankan Urban Authority

Aug 28 (AN) A memorandum of understanding has been signed by Otaishan Group of Saudi Arabia and the Urban Development Authority of Sri Lanka to establish a world-class amusement park in Sri Lanka. more..

Colombo to re-evaluate controversial weapons deal

Aug 28 (Gulf) The Sri Lankan government will scrutinise a controversial deal to equip the country's Navy with Fast Attack Craft (FACs) fleet consisting mainly of Israeli-built vessels with upgraded weapons system, a local newspaper said yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka aims to be free of mines by end of 2006

Aug 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka aims to rid itself of an estimated 1.5 million mines laid during two decades of civil war by the end of 2006, an ambitious goal tied to a peace bid to permanently end the fighting. more..

'De-merger of NE a calamity to Sri Lanka' - TNA

Aug 28 (TN) "The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) desires to place on record that the de-merger of the northeast province which has existed for the past fifteen years by the President would be a calamity to the whole Sri Lanka, and urges the President to desist from taking this perilous course," TNA said more..

Teleffsen meets with SLA, ex-militants in Batticaloa

Aug 28 (TN) The Norwegian head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) Major General Triggve Teleffsen travelled to Batticaloa Thursday morning and held discussions with the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officials and political leaders of ex-militant groups, SLMM sources said. more..