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Little Buddies

May 20 (LBO) Speciality brewer Three Coins has introduced two of its core products, the all malt lager and 3C Irish Dark in stylish 375 ml bottles. This pack-size conforms strictly to the concept of the stubby defined in the Oxford dictionary, the company said, claiming that this is in fact the only authentic stubby to be used in the packaging of beer in Sri Lanka. more..

First Phase

May 20 (LBO) A consortium of eight banks led by HNB and Commercial Bank, are in line to fund Aitken Spence’s 100 MW medium-term power plant. The US$ 60 mn project is being funded partly through a syndicated loan, officials say. more..

Over 200 dead in worst floods in 60 years

May 20 (wsws) More than 200 have been killed and over 175,000 people left homeless due to raging floods and related landslides, which hit five southern districts in Sri Lanka on Saturday. According to government officials, more than 700 people are missing, adding to fears that the death toll may further increase. more..

Robbed lorry arrested at Police roadblock

May 20 (SLA) A lorry robbed from the general Police area of HABARANA by an unidentified group and subsequently used by LTTE for its transport at its KARADIYANARU LTTE camp, was arrested on 17 May 2003 at the WAMBI-ADY Police roadblock, in the general area of ERAVUR. more..

LTTE men abduct and assault civilian

May 20 (SLA) A civilian abducted by LTTE on 16 May 2003 at gunpoint from the general area of PALIGACHOLAI, ERAVUR has managed to run away from LTTE and arrived at the Police station at ERAVUR for formal complaint on 18 May 2003. more..

Hand grenade hurled at PLOTE leader’s home

May 20 (SLA) A hand grenade has been hurled by an unidentified group of suspected LTTE cadres at the residence of a BATTICALOA leader of the People’s Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) in the general area of PUTTUR on 19 May 2003 around 6.00 p.m. more..

Suspect involved in cash theft arrested

May 20 (SLA) A suspect allegedly involved in a cash theft of Rs. 5 lakhs (US $ 5154) was arrested on 17 May 2003 by the MANNAR Police while he was at his residence in the general area of MANNAR. more..

Two soldiers caught in floods found dead

May 20 (SLA) Two soldiers from the Army camp at KURUVITA, who took part in rescue operations in flood affected areas on 17 May 2003 went missing and were found dead allegedly after caught in gushing waters. more..

Elderly couple injured in Batticaloa grenade attack

May 20 (TN) Thambipillai Tharmalingam (68) and his wife Kirupairajah Ariyavathi (65) were injured when unknown assailants lobbed a grenade inside their house in Settukudah 2km west of Batticaloa town at 8.40pm Monday, police sources said. Both have been admitted to the Batticaloa Teaching hospital, medical sources said. more..

Pakistan President expresses grief over loss of lives in Sri Lanka

May 20 (PNS) Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf on Monday expressed heartfelt grief over tragic loss of lives and property in Sri Lanka. In his message to the President Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga, at the tragic loss of lives and Widespread damage caused by the floods, President Musharraf expressed sympathies with the government and the people of Sri Lanka. more..

2 Indian aircraft leave for rescue operations in Lanka

May 20 (PTI) Two transport aircraft with 150 military personnel on board have left for relief and rescue operations in Sri Lanka, where rains have caused huge floods in South Central province taking a toll of more than 200 people. more..

Sri Lanka: Chain Saws Invade Eden

May 20 (OW) Experts warn that Sri Lanka is hurtling towards environmental disaster with the earlier 80 percent forest cover reduced to a dangerously low 22.4 percent, thanks to illegal timber merchants and a cash-crop hungry economy. more..

Disaster Management Cell set up

May 20 (DN) The Disaster Management Cell in its first meeting yesterday decided to implement a series of action plans to ensure the welfare and safety of nearly 70,000 people affected by the floods. more..

Tigers soften stand on Tokyo aid meet amid diplomatic push

May 20 (AFP) Intense moves by Norway showed signs of ending the impasse in Sri Lanka's peace process as Tiger rebels softened their stand on attending next month's donors conference in Tokyo. more..

Floods affect parliament

May 20 (AFP) Sri Lanka's parliament scaled down legislative business Tuesday to deal with the aftermath of the worst flooding in five decades, officials said. The assembly adjourned after just half an hour with bipartisan agreement on closing early and cancelling scheduled sittings on Thursday and Friday, more..

TELO accuses India of dividing Lankan Tamils

May 20 (HT) The Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO),which was considered an India-backed militant outfit in the 1980s, has now taken to India-bashing as one of its main planks to get close to the LTTE. more..

Local ACT members help flood victims

May 20 (ACT) Still reeling from the floods and landslides that killed at least 200 people and displaced tens of thousands of people from their homes, the people of Sri Lanka's lowlands continue to battle raging floodwaters. more..

Indian military joins relief effort after flood havoc

May 20 (AFP) India lent military personnel and the United States pitched in cash for Sri Lanka's relief operation as waters began receding after floods left more than 200 feared dead. more..

Minister raises death toll to 300 in floods, landslides

May 20 (AP) Sri Lanka's rehabilitation minister said Tuesday that at least 300 people died in the nation's worst flooding in five decades and appealed for international assistance. more..

AFP Photo

May 20 (AFP) A Buddhist monk salvages a Buddha statue from a temple in the flooded district of Matara in southern Sri Lanka. more..

Pakistan clinch place in final

May 20 (Reuters) Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami shared six wickets on Tuesday as Pakistan clinched a 22-run win over New Zealand to qualify for the tri-series final. Pakistan's victory means they now face New Zealand in the final on Friday. Sri Lanka failed to qualify for the final of a home tri-series for the first time in history. more..

Eyewitness: Wreckage of floods

May 20 (BBC) "I could not think that this would happen," said 14 year-old Mahesh, looking at his school now saturated with mud and broken desks. "This is very high this building," he says in English "but our houses are lower and they've been washed away." more..

Sri Lanka banks on foreign help as flood death toll hits 242

May 20 (AFP) The death toll in Sri Lanka's worst floods in five decades jumped to at least 242 as the government appealed for boats to reach thousands of villages cut off from food and supplies. more..

LTTE to hold crucial press conference on Wednesday

May 20 (MO) As international pressure mounts on the LTTE to take part in the Tokyo donor conference, its political wing chief, S P Thamilselvan has called a press conference tomorrow in Kilinochchi to announce the organization's stance with regard to the present situation of the peace process. more..

LTTE sets tough condition for attending Tokyo conference

May 21 (HT) The LTTE on Tuesday set a tough condition for going to the "Aid Lanka" conference in Tokyo on June 9 and resuming peace talks with the Sri Lankan government, which were stalled on April 21. more..

North-East reconstruction still on hold

May 21 (Island) The World Bank representative in Colombo is still waiting for LTTE response to the draft North East Reconstruction Fund (NERF), almost two weeks after it was endorsed by the government. more..

British anti-terrorist police get advice from Israel, Sri Lanka

May 21 (AFP) British police are consulting with authorities in Israel and Sri Lanka, which both have experience in dealing with suicide bombings, to improve prevention measures against such attacks, a senior police official said Tuesday. more..

Premier Wen sends condolence to Sri Lankans hit by disasters

May 21 (PD) Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao delivered a condolence message on Tuesday to his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe, expressing sincere sympathy with Sri Lankans who were hit by floods and landslides days ago. more..

SLA agrees to compensate Ketpali victims

May 21 (TN) The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officials of the 55-4 brigade Tuesday agreed to pay compensation to residents of Ketpali village for the damage caused to their possessions by inebriated soldiers who ran amok during Vesak day. more..

Sri Lanka seeks Aid after deadly floods

May 21 (AP) Sri Lanka needs international assistance in the aftermath of its worst flooding in five decades, which has killed at least 300 people and left an estimated 150,000 people homeless, the government said Tuesday. more..

Building Bridges

May 21 (LBO) The construction industry is anticipating Rs. 80 bn to Rs.100 bn worth of construction contracts over the next three years, following the Tokyo donor conference in June. Highways are among the projects topping the priority list, with the contract already awarded to eight contractors to begin rehabilitation work on the A9 route to Jaffna. more..

Building Schools

May 21 (LBO) Promoting home ownership and job creation, the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) is rolling out a campaign to disseminate construction skills to individuals. more..

Canadian High Commissioner concludes Trincomalee visit

May 21 (TN) The Canadian High Commissioner for Sri Lanka Ms Valerie Raymond Monday commenced her Batticaloa tour, concluding her two-day visit to Trincomalee district Tuesday. more..

Army in the forefront of rescue and relief operations

May 21 (SLA) The Sri Lanka Army, in its sustained efforts to relieve the sufferings of those affected by devastating floods that caused havoc and destruction in Ratnapura, Matara and Galle districts, more..

LTTE order fishermen to pay tax

May 21 (SLA) Fishermen in VAKANERI fishing village close to the VAKANERI tank in the general area of VALACHCHENAI in a complaint made to the Army detachment at 121mile post claimed that the LTTE on 19 May 2003 ordered them to pay Rs.150 per month as ‘taxes’ for their fishing in the VAKANERI tank. more..

Bullock carts robbed by LTTE

May 21 (SLA) Two bullock carts laden with firewood have been robbed on 18 May 2003 by LTTE cadres at INDIPITIYA and WELLAMKULAM while they were returning from the general areas of WELLAMPULI and WELLAMKULAM respectively. more..

Troops find railway track damaged

May 21 (SLA) Troops on routine patrol on 20 May 2003 around 6.30 a.m. observed that a section of the railway track between POLONNARUWA and BATTICALOA had been damaged in the general area of PUNANI, about 15 km east of WELIKANDA. more..

PM invites President to head Disaster Management Committee

May 21 (DOI) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has proposed the establishment of a Disaster Management Committee headed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga. The Committee will be entrusted with the task of putting into motion urgent steps that are necessary at times of natural disasters. more..

Seven disaster management programmes

May 21 (DOI) Employment and Labour Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday disclosed the details of seven major disaster management programmes to be implemented for the welfare of all flood victim families in the country. more..

CEB trying to restore power supply

May 21 (DOI) Heavy rains, strong winds and floods experienced in the past few days has caused recurrent power failures and total power blackouts in certain areas in the Ratnapura, Kalutara, Galle, Matara and Hambantota districts, the Ceylon Electricity Board announced. more..

Petrol, furnace oil down

May 21 (DOI) The prices of petrol and furnace oil were decreased by two rupees from yesterday midnight, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation announced. This price reduction was introduced considering the declining trend of petroleum prices in the international market, CPC chairman Daham Wimalasena said. more..

Mendis named Lanka coach

May 21 (Reuters) Duleep Mendis has been appointed Sri Lanka coach for next month's tour of West Indies, the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka said on Wednesday. Mendis, a former Sri Lanka captain, took over as interim coach in April after Dav Whatmore requested early leave from his contract, which expired at the end of May. more..

President visits flood-hit areas

May 21 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday inspected the flood-hit areas in the Ratnapura and Galle districts and held talks at the Chief Ministers’ offices about the disbursement of aid for victims. On Monday the President allocated Rs. 100 million to rebuild damaged houses and infrastructure. more..

Donations welcome for flood victims

May 21 (PSL) President’s Office wishes to thank all who contributed towards the humanitarian relief for victims of the flood. The special Human Disaster Vote within the President’s Fund receives donations for victims of disasters. Contributions however small are welcome. more..

LTTE organises relief programme for flood victims

May 21 (DN) In an unprecedented gesture signifying goodwill and reconciliation the LTTE has come forward to organise flood relief to the affected victims in the South. Most of the dry rations and similar items are to be collected from the North East population. more..

Further landslides likely

May 21 (DM) While Sri Lanka swirled in the aftermath of the worst ever floods in decades, with hundreds of people dead or missing and more than half a million homeless, an expert said yesterday, most slopes had become prone to landslides because natural drainage had been blocked and forest cover reduced through ill planned development. more..

Sri Lanka: handicapped by fear

May 21 (CI) Sri Lanka's unbeaten five-year home run in one-day cricket has been broken. Worse, for the first time in history Sri Lanka failed to qualify for a tri-series final on home soil. They came agonisingly close to making it – just nine runs – but the line between success and failure in sport is narrow. They failed. more..

Stocks flat as eyes on peace process

May 21 (Reuters) Stocks closed basically flat on Wednesday as the market waited for an indication from the Tamil Tiger rebels on whether they would attend a donor conference next month. The Tigers were set to hold a news conference on Thursday that may reveal their plans for the conference that could raise up to $3 billion in aid over three years. more..

Helgesen leaves as LTTE seeks time

May 21 (Gulf) Norway's Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen left Sri Lanka yesterday after Tamil guerrillas said they wanted more time to decide whether they would take part in next month's donor conference in Japan. more..

International aid starts to pour in

May 21 (Gulf) International assistance has begun to pour into Sri Lanka to assist flood and landslide victims as the death toll climbed to 300 and left more than 500 missing in one of the country's worst natural disasters. more..