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Fifteen months into cease-fire, rebel territories are largely unchanged

May 22 (AP) Fifteen months into a cease-fire, little has been done to rebuild Sri Lanka's war-ravaged northeast, although millions of dollars in foreign assistance is available for infrastructure projects. more..

Cong not interested in seeking Prabhakaran's extradition: Swamy

May 22 (PTI) On the 12th death anniversary of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday accused Congress of keeping "silence" on the issue of extradition of LTTE supremo Prabhakaran and wanted to know why the party was "shy" on the issue. more..

Rescuers find six new bodies

May 22 (AP) Searchers found more bodies from Sri Lanka's worst floods in three decades, which killed at least 266 people, while engineers worked Thursday to widen rivers to drain away floodwaters. more..

Flood relief convoy from North arrives Colombo

May 23 (TN) A convoy of six lorries loaded with flood relief supplies valued at more than three million rupees sent by the LTTE from north arrived Colombo Thursday, government sources said. The relief supplies were immediately sent to the affected areas in the south for distribution. more..

TNA briefs foreign envoys on NE interim administration

May 23 (TN) A delegation of the TNA Thursday told the American Ambassador for Sri Lanka Mr.Ashely Wills the urgency in setting up of an interim administration to rebuild the war ravaged northeast province and to rehabilitate the displaced families in their villages, TNA sources said. more..

LTTE’s political division cadre shot dead

May 23 (TN) The body of a member of the Liberation Tigers’ political division in the Amparai district was found in a paddy field with gun shot wounds Thursday afternoon. LTTE officials said that Mr. Poovannan was abducted by unidentified gunmen Wednesday night from Karaithivu, 48 kilometres south of Batticaloa. more..

Damaged boats keep Indian fishermen trapped in Mannar

May 23 (TN) Four Indian boatmen with their boats damaged during an earlier incident in mid-sea have been languishing in a weaving centre in Mannar for the last three months with no means to travel to South India. They have threatened to commit suicide if the authorities do not find a way to send them home immediately, sources said. more..

Former PS chairman wounded

May 23 (TN) Unidentified gunmen shot and wounded a former chairman of the Vaakarai Pradeshiya Sabha (local government institution), Mr.Samuel Pushparajah (40), around 8.30 p.m., Thursday, at Valaichenai, 32 km. north of Batticaloa. more..

Thai courts refuse bail for Tiger suspects

May 23 (Island) Thai courts have refused bail to three LTTE suspects arrested with a haul of arms, ammunition and communication gear, after police objected to their release on instructions of the Thai government. more..

Govt should go beyond constitution to set up Interim Admin: LTTE

May 23 (HT) The LTTE has said that it does not care if the Interim Administration (IA) that it wants for the Tamil North Eastern Province (NEP) is unconstitutional, but it has to has to be granted, if the Sri Lankan government wants the LTTE to attend the donors' conference in Tokyo in June and re-start the peace talks stalled since April 21. more..

Progressive Recovery

May 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s trade deficit widened during the first quarter of this year the Central Bank said Friday, as consumption demand picked up and the key textile and apparel sector showed a recovery. more..

Xpress Delivery

May 23 (LBO) Suntel on Thursday launched XDSL, beating SLT long awaited launch of ADSL. Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) described as an "always on" board band connection, offers subscribers continued high speed internet connectivity at relatively low costs through existing phone lines*. more..

Bitter power struggle flares up over lotteries board

May 23 (wsws) The political struggle in Sri Lanka between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the UNF government took another sharp turn earlier this month when Kumaratunga suddenly announced she was taking control of the Development Lotteries Board (DLB). more..

Grenade directed at Ex-TELO man’s shop fails to explode

May 23 (SLA) An ex-TELO member in a complaint to the BATTICALOA Police station alleged that a suspected LTTE cadre threw a hand grenade at his boutique in the general area of BATTICALOA on 21 May 2003 while he was at his home with his wife. more..

Parents told LTTE man committed suicide

May 23 (SLA) The dead body of an LTTE cadre, who has reportedly committed suicide while he was under LTTE has been brought to his residence in the general area of CHUNNAKAM, about 10 km north of JAFFNA on 21 May 2003 around 9.00 a.m. more..

Damaged railway track repaired

May 23 (SLA) The section of the railway track between POLONNARUWA and BATTICALOA, in the general area of PUNANI, about 15 km east of WELIKANDA, damaged by an unidentified group on 20 May 2003 has been repaired by railway authorities during the same evening. more..

Tamil civilian went for sand abducted by LTTE

May 23 (SLA) A Tamil civilian resident in the general area of TRINCOMALEE who had gone to WILGAMVEHERA area on a lorry with another man has been abducted by LTTE on 22 May 2003, alleges a complaint made to the UPPUVELI Police station. more..

Poverty reduction plan in trouble

May 23 (Gulf) The Poverty Reduction Strategy, jointly worked out by the business friendly UNF government and the World Bank, has got into trouble with a number of people's organisations complaining that the poor were not consulted in formulating this programme. more..

India plays vital role in Lanka flood relief

May 23 (Gulf) India is playing a vital role in providing relief assistance to tens of thousands of displaced persons in the central and southern parts of Sri Lanka due to floods and landslides. more..

Six rounds of talks a waste of time - LTTE leader

May 23 (Gulf) Sri Lanka's Tiger rebels yesterday said six rounds of talks with the government had been a waste of time, but left the door open for reviving the stalled peace process by promising not to return to war. more..

New thinking needed to break deadlock, says LTTE

May 23 (Hindu) Calling for a "new thinking" to break the deadlock in the peace process, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) today wanted the Government to "go the extra mile" to end the month-long impasse. more..

J'Pura undergrads plea against suspension from studentships

May 23 (DM) The Supreme Court yesterday(21) granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights violation petition filed by five students of Sri Jayawardenapura University against their suspension from studentships. more..

Cannes pays tribute to neglected Sri Lankan film master

May 23 (AFP) The Cannes film festival paid tribute to one of the masters of Asian cinema, Sri Lanka's Lester James Peries, at 84 the oldest director screening at the world's premier movie showcase. more..

Army’s wheelchair tennis players to compete in France

May 23 (SLA) Sri Lanka Army’s Wheelchair Tennis players, who excelled during last year’s tournament in Thailand having emerged as overall champions, are to represent Sri Lanka once again at the Open Wheelchair Tennis Tournament scheduled to be held shortly (July 1-6) in France. more..

Rs. 1 billion blocked from Lotteries Board Mahapola Fund to curtail scholarships by half

May 23 (DN) The Mahapola Trust Fund has announced that they would be able to meet only half, of the scholarships required this year due to the President's Fund blocking more than Rs. One billion due from the Development Lottery income. more..

Pallone urges LTTE to return to talks

May 23 (IANS) U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone, co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan Americans, has urged the Tamil Tiger guerrillas to return to the negotiation table and help find a peaceful solution to the country's insurgency. more..

Stocks slip despite foreign buying

May 23 (Reuters) Stocks slipped on Friday after Tamil Tiger rebels ruled themselves out of attending a crucial aid donor conference next month and despite a foreign fund buying into John Keells Holdings Ltd more..

Sri Lanka's 2003 privatization plan on track

May 23 (DJ) Sri Lanka will likely meet its 2003 privatization target with a further stake sale in Sri Lanka Telecom and energy sector divestitures later this year, a senior government official said Friday. more..

President's party rejects Tiger demands to revive talks

May 23 (AFP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party flatly rejected demands by Tiger rebels for an interim administration in war-ravaged regions in exchange for reviving stalled peace talks. more..

Flood waters fall, disease threat remains

May 23 (Reuters) Water has begun receding in parts of Sri Lanka hit by floods that killed more than 250 people, but a relief official said on Friday there was still a threat of disease and schools would stay closed for at least another week. more..

Fleming leads New Zealand to Bank Alfalah title

May 23 (Reuters) Skipper Stephen Fleming's 65 drove New Zealand to a four-wicket victory Friday in the tri-series final against Pakistan, clinching its second overseas one-day title. more..

An agenda for de-escalation

May 23 (FL) Lt.-Gen Satish Nambiar's report on the high security zones in northern Sri Lanka rejects the LTTE's demand for unilateral de-escalation and makes its search for military parity even more difficult. more..

A political spat

May 23 (FL) CRISES are brewing on both the political and peace-making fronts in Sri Lanka. Even as the LTTE remained unyielding in its decision to stay away from further negotiations, a mini tussle began at the highest level of the government. more..

Japan urges Tigers to attend Tokyo aid meeting

May 23 (Reuters) Japan urged Tamil Tiger rebels on Friday to attend a conference next month in Tokyo to raise money to rebuild the war-hit island, adding that if they did not the aid-pledging meeting would go ahead without them. more..

Government appeals to expatriate Sri Lankans to help flood victims

May 23 (DOI) In the aftermath of the worst hit flood and landslides which brought havoc to life and properties in several parts of the country, the Government of Sri Lanka is to embark on a project to rehabilitate the flood hit areas and to bring the life of the affected people to normalcy. more..

Special loan advance to affected public servants

May 23 (DOI) The government has decided to give special interest fee one month loan advance to all public servants in Divisional Secretary Divisions of Ratnapura, Hambantota, Matara, Galle and Kalutara districts, which were affected by floods, cyclone, and earth slips during this month. more..

International community hurries flood relief

May 23 (DOI) The international community and major donor agencies have urgently despatched food items, bottled water, school kits, tents and generators in large quantities to the flood victims of Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka counts cost of floods

May 23 (BBC) As flood waters begin to recede in Sri Lanka, the government is counting the cost of a disaster that has left 256 people dead and 55,000 homes destroyed. Minister of Power and Energy Karu Jayasuriya said the cost would run into tens of millions of dollars. more..

Sri Lanka seeks help to rebuild 300 flood-damaged schools

May 23 (AFP) Sri Lanka Friday called for urgent help to rebuild at least 300 schools damaged by unprecedented floods in the island's south where some 30,000 students lost their books. more..

LTTE, Muslim leaders appoint Mutur peace committee

May 24 (TN) The first meeting of the eight-member committee appointed under a four point agreement signed by the LTTE and Mutur Majlis Al Shura Council last Wednesday to resolve differences between Tamils and Muslims in Mutur area is to be held on May 29 morning at the office of the SLMM in Trincomalee district. more..

Resolving CFA issues focus of SLA, LTTE meet

May 24 (TN) A high level meeting between the commanders of the Sri Lankan Government armed forces and the LTTE in the Trincomalee district has been fixed for May 28 at no man’s zone at Kattaiparichchan in the Mutur division, south of the eastern port town, to resolve existing logistical problems in the implementation of the Cease-Fire Agreement, sources said. more..

Sri Lanka’s envoy all set for role

May 24 (TS) Sri Lanka's Rose Senanayake, who has excelled in her role as a UN Goodwill Ambassador, flew in yesterday with a pledge to do a better job in the world of diplomacy. The former beauty queen, who was Mrs World 1983, Miss Asia 1981 and Miss Sri Lanka 1980, has been posted as her country's new High Commissioner to Malaysia. more..

Epidemiologists visit stricken areas : Outbreak of diseases feared

May 24 (DN) As the flood waters recede and no clear picture yet on the full magnitude of the disaster authorities are bracing for a new threat as reports keep filtering of the rapid spread of diseases in the affected areas. As at noon yesterday the death toll stood at 265 while the number of houses destroyed was 24,756. more..

TNA wants US to pressure Sri Lanka on Interim Administration

May 24 (Island) The TULF-led Tamil National Alliance (TNA) wants the US to put pressure on Sri Lanka to set up an interim administration with adequate authority and legal status to pave the way for the Tigers to attend the forthcoming two-day Tokyo Donor Conference, more..

President slams Norway, Japan over stalled peace bid

May 24 (AFP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has slammed her embattled nation's peacebroker Norway and financial backer Japan for overstepping their brief as they struggled to revive a stalled peace bid. more..

Economic progress in Northeast lacking - EU's Wilton

May 24 (TN) European Union (EU) resident representative in Sri Lanka Mr.Wouter Wilton concluding his two-day fact finding tour in the Jaffna district announced at a press conference held Saturday that "although in overall the security situation of the country is improved considerably no visible progress is seen in the economic situation of the northeast as in the south." more..

Normalcy returns to displaced Tamils, Muslims in Muttur

May 24 (TN) Tamil and Muslim residents of Muttur division, south of Trincomalee town who sought refuge in schools, churches and mosques where their security was ensured following the outbreak of violence between the two communities last month, started to return to their own homes this Saturday after one and a half months in the temporary shelters, sources said. more..

Judge orders remand extension for two LTTE cadres

May 24 (TN) The Trincomalee Magistrate Mr.S.Thiagendran Friday ordered further remand till June 5 for the two members of the LTTE arrested on a charge of possessing explosives under the Offensive Weapons Act, legal sources said. The Sri Lanka Navy apprehended the two along with a third LTTE cadre on May 8 in the Trincomalee Sea. more..

Iran offers condolences to over floods

May 24 (IRNA) Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi has expressed regret over devastating floods which have killed more than 250 people and left hundreds more missing in Sri Lanka, IRNA reported. more..

Thai PM gets stern with arms suppliers to LTTEr

May 24 (HT) The Thai Prime Minister, Thakshin Shinawatra, warned "shady government officers and arms dealers" in Thailand, who, he believes, are responsible for supplying weapons to various separatist groups in Asia, including the LTTE. more..