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Sri Lanka airforce grounds kites

Aug 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka's airforce Thursday asked residents to ground kites which had blocked the flight path of two aircraft landing at the main domestic airport here, officials said. more..

JVP stage protest against government-Tamil rebel parleys

Aug 28 (AFP) Thousands of Marxist supporters headed to the Sri Lankan capital Thursday on the final leg of a four-day march protesting the Norwegian-brokered talks between the government and Tamil rebels, organisers said. more..

AFP Photo

Aug 28 (AFP) Thousands of Marxist supporters have protested in Sri Lanka against the government-Tamil rebel talks. more..

4 Sri Lankan trainees sue Hub firm

Aug 28 (BB) The ad in the Sri Lankan newspaper promised "Free! Restaurant Training in the USA." Of thousands of ambitious hospitality students who responded, Dev Srilan and 14 others won slots in what was described as an 18-month "training course" with Finagle a Bagel, the award-winning Boston-based franchise, which said it was seeking managers to run new sandwich shops in Asia. more..

UN grants 3.2 million dollars for mine clearance

Aug 28 (AFP) The United Nations granted 3.2 million dollars to strengthen Sri Lanka's de-mining efforts Thursday even though the war-torn island has not ratified the Ottawa convention banning land mines. more..

Groups File Challenge to Patriot Act

Aug 28 (AP) A coalition of legal groups and backers of Sri Lanka's Tamil community have filed a challenge to a section of the USA Patriot Act that makes it illegal to provide "expert advice and assistance" to groups with alleged links to terrorists. more..

Minister Jayalath visits Jaffna, meets with GA, LTTE and UNHCR

Aug 29 (TN) Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Resettlement Minister Dr.Jayalath Jayawardene Thursday arrived in Jaffna and held discussions with the Government Agent Mr.S.Pathmanathan at the Jaffna district secretariat, sources said. more..

Sri Lanka wishes to consume Nepalese electricity

Aug 29 (Yomari) The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe while delivering a "millennium lecture" organized by the M.S Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai on August 23 said that "India and Sri Lanka could cooperate in the area of power if an electrical grid stretching from Nepal to Sri Lanka was established." more..

Lankan Copper Exports Upset Udyog Bhavan

Aug 29 (FE) The preferential free trade agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka has thrown up a problem area. New Delhi has asked Colombo to stop export of copper strips and profiles immediately on grounds of “circumvention” of value addition criterion stipulated in the agreement. more..

CIDB-led team finalising Lanka highway project

Aug 29 (FE) A construction Industry Development Board (CIDB)-led consortium is finalising details on the proposed RM1.2 billion Colombo-Kandy highway in Sri Lanka. Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said once details such as pricing and period of completion are finalised, the consortium will submit the report to the Sri Lankan Government for approval. more..

President to study appointing two governors to N&E

Aug 29 (Island) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has informed the Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya that she would study legal provisions to appoint two governors to the North and East provinces. more..

SLMM Chief pledges to exercise full mandate

Aug 29 (DN) Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) chief Tryggve Tellefssen meeting Security Forces commanders in Batticaloa yesterday promised to exercise his full mandate in face of ceasefire violations by the Tigers and called on the Security Forces to exercise restraint. more..

Striving for Peace in Sri Lanka

Aug 29 (AAP) Tensions are still high, wounds are deep, and people are cautiously optimistic about the prospect of peace in Sri Lanka. A six-hour journey from the commercial capital of Colombo to the North, where the vast majority of inhabitants are Tamils, reveals the intensity of the conflict and in many ways feels like a journey to a different country. more..

Hot Wiring

Aug 29 (LBO) The telecom industry is buzzing of an impending marriage between Sri Lanka Telecom and Lanka Bell, the third private fixed operator. Industry analysts expect a memorandum of understanding to be signed within the next few weeks, but sources close to both telecom operators refrained from commenting over the possibility of such a move. more..

Flight Schedule

Aug 29 (LBO) The government will advertise shortly for private investors to manage its upper airspace, offering also, operations and maintenance at the Bandaranaike International Airport. “We have taken a decision to re-advertise for upper airspace management together with operations and maintenance at the BIA as a single package”, an official said. more..

Troops recover a box with explosive items

Aug 29 (SLA) Fourteen hand grenades, two 40 mm bombs and a claymore mine with a firing device have been recovered by the troops on duty in the general area of NAVATKULI, about 10 km. east of JAFFNA town on 28 August 2003 around 2.30 p.m. more..

Home Guard’s weapon taken away

Aug 29 (SLA) The weapon belonging to a home guard has been taken away by an unidentified person after throwing chilly powder at his face while he was going for duty in the general area RUHUNUKETHA VILLAGE, about 1.5 km west of WELIKANDA on 27 August 2003 around 10.30 p.m. more..

Father and son abducted by LTTE against ransom

Aug 29 (SLA) A son has made a complaint that about 40 armed LTTE cadres who appeared in the jungle abducted him and his father with their bullock cart while they were returning from the jungle in the general area of POLONNARUWA on 27 August 2003. more..

Lankan court frees TN fishermen

Aug 29 (CO) As many as 60 fishermen, including 13 boat drivers from Nagapattinam and Pudukottai districts' coastal areas, were ordered to be released by the Sri Lankan court today, according to an official of the Coast Guard. more..

Sri Lanka bags SAARC book award; India, Pak second

Aug 29 (EI) The SAARC Book Development Council today announced its first Excellence in Book Production Awards for children’s books at the 9th Delhi Book Fair in Pragati Maidan. The Runaway Beard (Sinhalese) from Sri Lanka bagged the first prize, more..

“A nation without a history is like a body without a soul”-President

Aug 29 (PSL) “A nation without a history is like a body without a soul. It is sad to see the ruin of stupas, irrigation tanks and dams built by our forefathers over 2500 years ago”, lamented President Chandrika Kumaratunga Thursday. more..

SLA bans NGOs from using Kinnaiyady lagoon access path

Aug 29 (TN) The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has imposed ban on travel by officers of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to areas controlled by the LTTE in the Batticaloa district through Kinnaiyady lagoon, security sources in the Eastern province said. Kinnaiyady is located 32 km off northwest of Batticaloa town. more..

Opposition slates Minister before Police Commission

Aug 29 (DM) The main opposition Peoples Alliance yesterday went before the Police Commission accusing Interior Minister john Amaratunga of making false statements regarding the work of the Commission when he spoke at a meeting of the Inter Parliamentary Union. more..

Sri Lanka Telecom profits drop, forecast cut

Aug 29 (Reuters) Sri Lanka Telecom Ltd , the island's largest listed company, said on Friday an early retirement scheme had cut into earnings, forcing it to slash its profit forecast for the full year. more..

Singapore, Sri Lanka to start free trade talks

Aug 29 (Reuters) Singapore said on Friday it would start talks with Sri Lanka for an economic partnership that would include a free trade agreement. The statement comes a day after the island republic, which forged Washington's first free trade pact in Asia, said it was likely to start another round of free trade talks with South Korea soon. more..

Sri Lanka agrees to supply Malaysia 40,000 maids and workers

Aug 29 (AFP) Sri Lanka signed an agreement with Malaysia Friday to supply between 40,000 and 50,000 trained maids and plantation workers, the official Bernama news agency reported. more..

Private sector urged to create more jobs

Aug 29 (Gulf) The role of the private sector in the development of the country's future has been the focal point of discussions during the past few weeks and the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe himself urged business leaders to make use of the generous incentives offered to expand, grow and create jobs. more..

Mark the prices on essential products

Aug 29 (IL) The government has made it mandatory for manufacturers and Traders to mark retail prices on 34 essential items under section 10(1) of Consumer Affairs Authority Act. more..

'Sick' MP gets bail

Aug 29 (IL) Matale District PA Parliamentarian Janaka Bandara Tennakoon who was remanded while undergoing treatment at the Nawaloka Hospital in Colombo on a warrant issued by the Dambulla Magistrate was yesterday released on a security bail of Rs. 100,000 by Colombo Fort Magistrate and Additional District Judge Sarath Chandrasiri Karunaratne. more..

No curbs on Police atrocities in Sri Lanka

Aug 29 (OW) With complaints of police torture reaching a crescendo in Sri Lanka, the country's infirm Human Rights Commission (HRC) is formulating proposals for a change in the prosecution procedure which lets the police go scotfree. more..

Conflict over 'Tamil Homeland' may stall Lanka peace talks

Aug 29 (HT) The snowballing conflict between the minority Tamils and the majority Sinhalas on the question of a unified North-East to constitute a single "Tamil Homeland" within Sri Lanka, is threatening to stall the peace process in the island. more..

AP Photo

Aug 29 (AP) A disabled Sri Lankan soldier runs past an artifical limb of another soldier during the 100 meter event at the annual national sports festival for disabled in Colombo, Aug. 27, 2003. more..

“Pack you bags and leave, we are taking over” JVP tell government

Aug 29 (IL) The JVP along with the SLFP announced today evening that the time has come for the United National Front government to pack its bags and leave. The SLFPs Anura Bandaranaike also announced that his party along with the JVP would topple the UNF government within the next six months. more..

Ceasefire monitors discuss Muslims' security

Aug 29 (TOI) The top ceasefire monitor in Sri Lanka flew on Thursday to the island's east to meet with army and rebel commanders and Muslim and Tamil community leaders to try to put an end to a spate of murders of Muslims, allegedly by the guerrillas. more..

CPC doing great

Aug 29 (IL) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has reported Rs. 80.1 billion in turnover for the year ended December 31, 2002 up from the Rs. 74.35 billion turnover for the corresponding period a year ago while the Gross Profit for the year under review was Rs. 12.9 billion, up from the Rs. 11.6 billion the previous year, more..

Of human freedom and well-being

Aug 30 (FL) "For the West, human rights is civil liberties. They do not want even to touch social and economic rights. For them, globalisation is civil liberties and the market. But we need to challenge that," says Dr. Savitri Goonesekere, Professor of Law, University of Colombo. more..

Safeguarding child rights

Aug 30 (FL) Excerpts from Prof. Savitri Goonesekere's responses to Asha Krishnakumar's questions on child rights:
What is the difference between child rights and child welfare? It is big. Originally we had the child welfare concept, which we have in our local traditions also. more..

Sri Lanka's film festival begins

Aug 30 (IL) The Film Week for the 28th Sarasaviya Film Awards Festival commenced today. Seven films directed and produced locally will be screened at the Regal Cinema, Colombo from today till September 04, 2003. more..

University strike continue

Aug 30 (IL) The second round of talks held between the university non-academic staff and UGC officials before Labour Commissioner collapsed one again over the firm stance of strikers on the demand of three salary increments. more..

CBK demands Ranil to inquire into CWE frauds

Aug 30 (IL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday in a letter to Prime Minister has requested enumerating five alleged frauds in connection with the CWE to conduct immediate investigations and furnish a report indicating the course of action to be taken on these allegations. more..

Railway strike postponed

Aug 30 (IL) The Railway strike organised to be launched on September 01, in order to win certain trade union demands by the Joint Federation of Railway Trade Unions has been postponed for three weeks. more..

Jumbo airport in the south

Aug 30 (DM) The highly controversial second International Airport is finally to come up in the south in what the government has projected to be a major regional cargo hub as well as a giant step towards the development of the south. more..

University convocations postponed due to strike

Aug 30 (TN) As the strike by the non-academic staff of universities in the country entered nineteenth day Friday, the University Grants Commission said all convocations and external examinations have been postponed indefinitely. more..

Jaffna IDPs to seek Supreme Court assistance

Aug 30 (TN) Internally displaced families from Manthuvil village in Thenmaradchchi division in Jaffna district have taken preliminary steps to file suit in the Supreme Court seeking permission to resettle in the their houses and lands which have been occupied by the Sri Lanka Army outside the high security zones, more..

SLA seeks fishermen’s co-operation to conduct checks

Aug 30 (TN) The Sri Lanka Army Friday asked the fishermen of Vadamaradchi to co-operate with them to conduct checks on fishing crafts before and after the fishermen enter the sea, and these checks will be conducted by army sentry points which are located along the shore, fisheries sources said. more..

PA wants commission of inquiry on arms deal with Israel

Aug 30 (TN) Sri Lanka's main opposition Peoples Alliance Friday requested the ruling UNF government to appoint a panel of Supreme Court judges to conduct an investigation into the alleged fraud related to the purchase of weaponry to high-speed attack crafts of the Sri Lanka Navy, political sources said. more..

Growth on Lanka's mind in new mood of optimism

Aug 30 (Gulf) Sri Lanka, taking heart from a ceasefire that has held for the past 18 months, is eager to get back to unfinished business. Business is the operative word in the South Asian island of 19 million people, which remains in the front ranks of SAARC nations in some areas of human development. more..

Alleged cellular fortune teller shot dead

Aug 30 (DN) A businessman alleged to be a "cellular fortune teller" who had defrauded over Rs. 700,000 from his clients was shot dead yesterday at the Samanmal Hotel, Medewatta, Matara by an unidentified gang, Matara Police said. Four shots fired at the businessman using a 9mm pistol had killed him on the spot while seriously injuring his female companion. more..

PM Says Muslim Security is a Concern

Aug 30 (PN) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Friday that the safety of the Muslim minority is a concern in the stalled peace process with the Tamil Tiger rebels. "The safety of the Muslims is a concern. We have to take steps to safeguard them." Wickremesinghe said more..

PA claims LTTE has agents in cabinet

Aug 30 (Island) The long-arm of the LTTE has now reached as far as the Cabinet of Ministers and is now attempting to jeopardise and delay the strategic up-grading of the Navy’s fire-power with Fast Attack Craft (FAC). more..