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President writes to Prime Minister

May 27 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has written to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe requesting a response to her previous letter dated May 13, 2003 on the issue of the Development Lotteries Board. more..

LSSP on Balasingham's letter

May 27 (DN) The Lanka Sama Samaja Party has closely studied Dr. Anton Balasingham's letter to the Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesan conveying to him what can be gathered as the LTTE leadership's condition for participating in the next Donor Conference scheduled to be held in Japan next month. more..

CBK won't tolerate any more mud

May 27 (DM) President Chandrika Kumaratunga blasted the UNF government yesterday accusing it of using the state media to throw mud at her and warning she was not ready to tolerate it any longer. more..

Speaker’s nod sought to quiz MP over hotel havoc

May 27 (Island) The police is to seek the Speaker’s permission to question a Hambantota district UNP MP who had created havoc on Sunday (25) night by shooting in the air at the Colombo Hilton Hotel. Colombo Fort police had sought the approval of the Speaker to arrest this MP. more..

Atapattu retained captain for WI tour

May 27 (Reuters) Batsman Marvan Atapattu has been retained as Sri Lanka captain for the three-match one-day series in the West Indies next month. Atapattu, who took over the one-day captaincy from Sanath Jayasuriya in early May, has kept the job despite Sri Lanka's failure this month to qualify for a home tri-series final for the first time. more..

FTA: India tells Pakistan to learn from Sri Lanka's experience

May 27 (PTI) India today told Pakistan to take a lesson from Sri Lanka's experience to strike a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with New Delhi. "The Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement had benefitted both countries and should be an example to Pakistan," Indian envoy to Sri Lanka, Nirupam Sen, said more..

Trading in Union Assurance shares suspended

May 27 (DJ) The Colombo Stock Exchange Tuesday suspended trading in the shares of local insurance company Union Assurance Ltd., or UAL, amid an investigation into a recent transaction. The halt came after the SEC of Sri Lanka said it is in the process of examining a recent transaction. more..

India to dispatch a multi-disciplinary team to Colombo

May 27 (PTI) As part of its humanitarian assistance to flood-affected areas of Sri Lanka, India has decided to despatch a multi-disciplinary team to Colombo soon with relief supplies, official sources said today. more..

China offers emergency aid to flood victims

May 27 (PTI) China has announced emergency aid of USD 605,000 to Sri Lanka to rehabilitate the victims of the worst floods to the island nation in 60 years. Announcing the aid, China's Ministry of Commerce said the Chinese government and people were deeply concerned for the Sri Lankan people who were suffering the effects of serious flooding. more..

Two Maldivians held at knifepoint in Colombo for 30,000-dollar ransom

May 27 (HNS) Two Maldivians were recently held at knife point in Colombo and demanded 30,000 dollars in ransom for their release, a family member of one of the those held told Haveeru Tuesday. more..

Australia asks Tamil Tigers to end boycott

May 27 (HP) Australia asked Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas on Monday to end their boycott of Norwegian-backed peace talks and attend a crucial aid donors conference in Japan next month. more..

Floods hit Sri Lankan industries

May 27 (BBC) Flooding in southern Sri Lanka, which has killed hundreds of people, will hit mainstays of the economy after damaging tea, rice and rubber plantations. Last week floods and landslides swept through low-lying areas of the south Asian island state killing 250. more..

Chandrika blasts Ranil over law and order

May 27 (Gulf) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has blasted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for the breakdown of the law and order situation in the country after a provincial minister of her party was shot dead within a high security zone opposite the President's house in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka peace salvage bid suffers snag

May 27 (AFP) Norway's bid to revive Sri Lanka's peace bid suffered a setback as Tiger rebels put off responding to a government offer of financial powers aimed at ending the impasse, diplomats said. more..

Norway PM urges progress on Tamil Tiger request

May 27 (Reuters) The prime minister of Norway, which is trying to kick start a stalled peace bid between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels, said on Tuesday that the government side should show flexibility in response to the rebels' request to set up an interim administration. more..

Sri Lanka agrees to interim LTTE administration

May 27 (IANS) In a dramatic compromise, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has agreed to an interim administration by Tamil Tiger guerrillas in the northeast, evoking a barrage of criticism from opposition parties. more..

Flood aid proves India's 'stake' in Sri Lanka: Diplomats

May 27 (HT) By rushing to the aid of Sri Lanka in record time when floods devastated several districts of the island a week ago, India showed that that it had a "stake" in the island and that it was "the only" country which could render this kind of assistance at such short notice, diplomatic sources told more..

Nearly one million left homeless by floods

May 27 (wsws) The extent of the disaster caused by the floods and consequent landslides in Sri Lanka since May 17 is now emerging. Hundreds of people are dead and nearly a million more have been displaced. Many have been left without any government assistance and are struggling just to obtain the basic necessities of life. more..

PUP leader embarks on Sri Lanka peace trip

May 27 (UTV) Progressive Unionist leader David Ervine travelled to the south Asian country as a guest of US Aid to advise the government and Tamil Tigers on their peace process. Mr Ervine hoped the Tamils and the Government could learn from his experience of working alongside unionists, nationalists and republicans in Northern Ireland. more..

Lanka thanks India for support to tackle floods

May 27 (PTI) Sri Lanka today thanked India particularly its defence personnel for the immediate support and help extended to it to face the unprecedented floods in the island nation. more..

Committee to hold inquiry into assault on Jaffna journalists

May 28 (TN) The UNF government has appointed a committee to conduct inquiry into the alleged assaults in the past few months on three Tamil journalists by the Police and Security Forces in the Jaffna district, media sources said Tuesday. more..

World Vision provides relief

May 28 (Reuters) Ratnapura, the gem capital of Sri Lanka, was left devastated after the flash floods that affected Sri Lanka last week. Thousands of families are homeless and many have lost their loved ones. more..

Monks present petition with 30,000 signatures to Japanese Embassy

May 28 (Island) The Federation of the Bhikkhus for Rescue of the Motherland accused the Japanese envoy Yashushi Akhashi of striving to divide the nation and persuading the notorious Tamil Tigers to attend the Tokyo peace summit, thereby causing intervention and blatant violation of the sovereignty of Sri Lanka. more..

Weapon grabbed by an unidentified person

May 28 (SLA) The T-56 weapon of a Police Constable (PC) attached to the VEPPAMKULAM Police post (Base 1) has been forcibly taken away by an unidentified person on 27 May 2003 around 2.45 a.m. in the general area of VEPPAMKULAM, about 4 km. west of VAVUNIYA. more..

Ammunition and military-type items recovered

May 28 (SLA) Forty five rounds of T-56 ammunition, 01 Sub Machine Gun magazine, six Code Word Chits, several camouflage shirts and hats, and a cache of military-type accessories and items, have been recovered from the general area of HOROWPATHANA on 26 May 2003 by Naval troops on routine patrol in the area. more..

Army evacuates feared civilians after warnings

May 28 (SLA) Consequent to the warnings of impending disasters of landslides, rescue and relief teams of the Sri Lanka Army on Monday (26) night evacuated 117 families from vulnerable Pelmadulla areas in Ratnapura and over 218 families from Pasgoda in Matara respectively, to safe places after ensuring uninterrupted flow of vital needs. more..

CII seeks more flights to Sri Lanka

May 28 (PTI) The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has sought more flights to Sri Lanka for boosting bilateral trade between New Delhi and Colombo. The CII was pressing the government to allow private airlines to operate flights and help ease the pressure on Indian Airlines which offers only limited number of seats to Colombo, more..

India opens first petrol station in Sri Lanka

May 28 (Reuters) India's petroleum minister opened Indian Oil Corp's first petrol station in Sri Lanka on Wednesday after offering to help the island explore oil off its shores. Tiny flags with the Indian Oil logo fluttered in the breeze as Minister Ram Naik opened the spacious station that includes a convenience store and an automatic teller machine -- services not found at other fuel stations in the island. more..

Protecting the President's Fund and setting the record straight on Mahapola

May 28 (PSL) The President's office issued a press release today to apprise the public of recent threats to the President's Fund. The President's Fund has served as a vital recourse for humanitarian assistance for the underprivileged sections of our society. more..

Interim Council… not even an extra inch outside of a Constitution- President

May 28 (PSL) “It depends on what that extra mile is… in any case you cannot go an extra mile, one extra inch outside of a constitution as long as a constitution is there,” that was President Chandrika Kumaratunga response, when asked if she sees the ‘possibility’ of going the extra mile the LTTE has asked for. more..

“Govt. is for a development-oriented structure within the law”- Prof. Peiris

May 28 (PRIU) Cabinet spokesman Prof. G. L. Peiris said today that a development-oriented structure, contemplated by the Government in response to LTTE’s demand for an interim administration is entirely within the law of Sri Lanka. more..

The Tigers’ true stripes

May 28 (DT) Having unilaterally pulled out of the Norwegian-brokered peace talks, the LTTE has laid down impracticable and unreasonable pre-conditions for returning to the negotiating table as well as participating in the crucial `Aid Lanka’ conference scheduled to be held in Tokyo next month. more..

Sri Lanka calls for stronger trade ties with India

May 28 (AP) Sri Lanka has called for further enhancement of trade ties with India and said a white paper has already identified areas for cooperation. "India and Sri Lanka have to ensure that bilateral relations which had been initiated more than a decade ago are nurtured and allowed to grow further," more..

Renowned architect Bawa is no more

May 28 (PRIU) Well-known Sri Lankan Geoffrey Bawa died yesterday at the age of 84. Bawa was an architect of great repute whose work had a tremendous impact throughout Asia. He was accepted as an eminent scholar worldwide. more..

Battle over Sha FM hits legal wave

May 28 (DM) A radio battle between the Asia Broadcasting Corporation and one of its ex-employees has hit legal waves with the former seeking an interim order from the Colombo Commercial High Court preventing the defendant from braodcasting a radio channel under the trade mark Sha FM. more..

Posh households issued with warning notices

May 28 (DN) Several VIPs and top bureaucrats were issued warning notices ordering them strictly to clean their living environment in a week or face legal action. "These persons have been ordered to clean the environment, their homes as they are charged with dire consequences of failure to comply" more..

Deadly floods and landslides may expose new gems

May 28 (AP) Floods and landslides that struck Sri Lanka this month, killing 266 people, may bring a windfall for miners — the movement of tons of soil and rock is believed to have unearthed new gems, industry workers said Wednesday. more..

Sri Lankan missions conduct flood relief operations

May 28 (Gulf) The relief aid project launched by the Sri Lankan missions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, has been receiving overwhelming response from the community in the UAE. The relief aid has been launched at the behest of the Government of Sri Lanka to help rehabilitate more than 18,000 flood victims. more..

North-South peace sports festival to be held in Jaffna

May 28 (TN) Preparations are underway to hold the second North-South Peace Sports Festival in the Jaffna district during the first week of September this year, sources close to the chief co-ordinator of the festival, Minister of Lands Mr.Rajitha Senaretna said. more..

SLA soldier commits suicide at Thenmaradchchi

May 28 (TN) Mr.P.S.K.Dissanayake, a twenty five year old soldier of the Sri Lanka Army, Tuesday afternoon committed suicide by exploding a grenade when he was on duty at the forward defence position at Eluthumadduval army camp in Thenmaradchchi in Jaffna district, military sources said. more..

Ch. Amir calls on Sri Lankan parliament speaker

May 28 (PNS) Speaker of the National Assembly, Ch. Amir Hussain Tuesday called on the Speaker of Sri Lankan Parliament, Joseph Michael Perera in Colombo. The Speaker, who is leading a nine-member parliamentary Delegation to attend a regional Seminar organized by the Sri Lankan Parliament and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), more..

Sri Lanka makes fresh offer to save peace bid

May 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka has announced it was offering the Tamil Tigers a proposal to yield "speedy" results to address their demands in hopes of wooing them back to the peace negotiating table. more..

Sri Lanka propose aid body to Tamil Tigers

May 28 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan government on Wednesday offered to set up a special development body to oversee aid work in a bid to get the island's Tamil Tigers to attend a donor conference next month. more..

Sri Lanka chosen as venue of SARS-relocated match

May 28 (AP) The Davis Cup match between Lebanon and Hong Kong that was rescheduled because of SARS fears will be played in Sri Lanka next month. The International Tennis Federation said Wednesday the match will now take place in Colombo from June 20-22. more..

Bourse head to tackle investor apathy

May 28 (Reuters) Eraj Wijesinghe, the new chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange has a tougher task ahead of him than tasting tea, one of his previous occupations. After heading a group of companies with commodity and stock broking units, the financier now has to make the bourse attractive for foreign and local investors while encouraging listings. more..

Sri Lanka Stock Exchange to open second branch next week

May 28 (DJ) The Colombo Stock Exchange, or CSE, said Wednesday its second branch office will open next week, and will be located in the Sri Lankan hill capital Kandy. This is part of its efforts to broaden the market's local investor base. more..

Tamil Tigers review aid plan

May 28 (BBC) The Government says it has sent proposals to the Tamil Tiger rebels for a new structure to disburse aid for the north-east of the country. Last month, the rebels pulled out of a key donor conference because they said existing development projects were not being implemented properly. more..

India seeks joint exploration with Lanka

May 28 (PTI) Following up on the $100 million investment in Sri Lanka's oil retail sector, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Ram Naik today announced that India was keen on joining oil exploration in the island. more..

Lanka sore over ST hike in TN

May 28 (BS) Sales tax levied by the Government of Tamil Nadu on imported goods acts as a deterrent and makes the state an unattractive destination for the Sri Lankan companies importing the processed food. more..

Child soldiers, accountability worries in Sri Lanka despite truce: Amnesty

May 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka's human rights record improved following a Norwegian-brokered truce, but accountability and child soldiers remained problems, Amnesty International said Wednesday. more..