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Norway seeks international support on Sri Lanka

May 9 (Reuters) Norway said on Friday a return to direct peace talks to end Sri Lanka's two-decade separatist war would take time and appealed to the international community to continue backing the drive to end the conflict. more..

Maldives seeks joint tourism bid with Sri Lanka

May 9 (AFP) The Maldives is seeking joint tourism promotion with Sri Lanka as part of efforts to boost their bilateral trade and economic cooperation, President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom said here Friday. more..

Maldives offers to host Sri Lanka peace talks

May 9 (AFP) The Maldives Friday offered to host Sri Lanka's peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels and said it was willing to extend any help to end the island's ethnic conflict. more..

Sri Lanka weapons plan

May 9 (BBC) A retired Indian general has suggested the Sri Lankan army and Tamil rebels simultaneously de-commission their long-range heavy weapons as part of a plan to end the country's civil war. more..

LTTE likely to reject Indian General's proposals

May 9 (HT) The LTE are likely to reject, almost in toto, the proposals made by the Sri Lankan government's Indian consultant, Lt. Gen. (Rtd) Satish Nambiar, for improvements in the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) and on the question of rolling back the controversial High Security Zones (HSZ) in the Jaffna peninsula. more..

Phased de-escalation in Jaffna areas mooted

May 10 (Hindu) The former United Nations commander of peace keeping forces in erstwhile Yugoslavia, Satish Nambiar, has proposed linking the de-escalation of Sri Lanka's northern High Security Zones (HSZs) to the "simultaneous dismantling of operational military positions'' held by the LTTE. more..

Senior journalist receives death threat

May 10 (IFEX) The FMM expresses its utmost concern regarding the death threat received by senior Tamil journalist P. Manikavasagam on 7 May 2003. Mr. Manikavasagam is former president of the Tamil Media Alliance and the Vanni Journalists Association. more..

President's move fuels Lanka crisis

May 10 (GD) Sri Lanka plunged into the first major crisis of its cohabitation government yesterday when Prime Minister Ranil Wickre-mesinghe resisted a move by President Chandrika Kumaratunga to take away the functions of a minister. more..

Deadline to participate in June Donor Conference

May 10 (DN) The Government and the LTTE will have to convey their decision concerning the participation at the June Donor Conference to the Japanese Government by May 14. more..

Assumption of LTTE reverting to war premature: G L Peiris

May 10 (Island) The assumption that the LTTE will revert to war and not attend peace talks is premature, said Minister G. L. Peiris at the cabinet press briefing in parliament on Thursday. more..

Akashi expresses confidence in LTTE joining aid talks

May 10 (TN) Efforts to resolve the technical issues relating to administering North East Reconstruction Fund and to make the SIHRN more effective are underway to enable resumption of peace talks between the Government and the LTTE, said Japanese special peace envoy Mr.Yasushi Akashi Friday more..

Families of Vanni disappeared strapped in poverty

May 10 (TN) Families and relatives of 184 Tamils who disappeared after being arrested by Sri Lanka security forces between 1996 and 1998 while the forces occupied Kilinochchi, have not been given assistance by any Government authorities or any Humanitarian organizations and are living in abject poverty, more..

EU urges Tamil Tigers to take part in aid meeting

May 10 (Reuters) It would be a mistake by the Tamil Tigers to boycott a planned donor meeting to raise aid to rebuild war-hit Sri Lanka and would send the wrong message internationally, a European Union lawmaker said on Saturday. more..

President, PM clash head-on

May 10 (DM) The cohabitation disputes between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the Ranil Wickremesinghe government erupted into a major crisis yesterday when the President announced she would take over the lucrative Development Lotteries Board and the Premier fired out a terse letter saying she could not do it without consulting him. more..

National Handicraft Trade Fair in August

May 10 (DOI) The Natioanl Handicraft Trade Fair 2003 will be held in August in Kandy. "We should build the handicraft sector in the country. Handicraft festivals and trade fairs will allow us to introduce handicraft which represent our own cultural identity to the rest of the world. more..

Lanka-Maldives MoU to increase investment

May 10 (DOI) A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Republic of Maldives and Sri Lanka to increase the investment opportunities and to enhance the potential growth of tourism industry of the countries, visiting Maldivian President Abdul Gayoom said yesterday at a press conference held in Colombo. more..

Colombo Port transshipment volumes up by 24%

May 10 (DOI) The Port of Colombo which has emerged as the gateway to South Asia has handled 327,422 TEUs of transshipment containers during the 1st quarter of 2003 as against the volume of 265,029 TEUs of transshipment containers handled in the 1st quarter of 2002, there by recording a growth of 24%. more..

Stop Please

May 10 (LBO) The Court of Appeal on Friday issued a stay order against the Consumer Affairs Authority from allowing LPG gas to be filled by any trader. The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) earlier in May, issued a directive to all LPG traders and dealers to accept, refill and sell cylinders of any manufacturer. more..

Roll Out

May 10 (LBO) Legislature to roll out the e-Sri Lanka initiative is to be debated in Parliament on May 22. Science and Technology Minister Milinda Moragoda told participants at the first e-government conference on Friday that the ICT Bill was approved by Cabinet recently and would be debated in Parliament shortly. more..

Mine explosion damages tractor

May 10 (SLA) A tractor belonging to Security Forces on routing duties was damaged due to explosion of an Anti Personal Mine in the general area COLOMBUTHURAI about 4 km east of JAFFFNA town on 09 May 2003 around 10.30 a.m. However, no damagers were caused to any persons.

Unidentified man shoots civilian

May 10 (SLA) A civilian has been shot and injured by an unidentified person in the general area VARIKUTTUR, about 12 km southwest of VAVUNIYA on 9 May 2003 around 9.10 a.m. The injured person was identified as SIRI MANOHARAN (33) of POOWARASANKULAM, ILAPAKULAMA ROAD, SALAMBAKULAM VAVUNIYA. more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

May 10 (SLA) One thousand one hundred and twenty nine lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 02 May 2003 – 08 May 2003. more..

Nambiar flayed for Lankan de-escalation report

May 10 (PTI) A retired top Indian army officer, who was advising the Sri Lankan Government on relocating troops in the northern Jaffna peninsula, today came under attack from a newspaper and Tamil parties for his report on the matter. more..

EU MPs in Batticaloa

May 10 (IL) Members representing the European Union Parliament visted Batticaloa to study the ground situation last week. They met representatives of the EPDP, EPRLF and PLOTE at the office of the SLMM, however members of the Tamil National Alliance were not present at the meeting. more..

Norwegian Delegation Briefs the Prime Minister

May 10 (PISL) On their return from Kilinochchi May 8, 2003, the Norwegian Ambassador Designate, Mr. Hans Brattskar, and Special Envoy, Mr. Erik Solheim met Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees to brief him on their meeting with the LTTE in Kilinochchi earlier that day. more..

Pakistan in sight of big victory over Sri Lanka

May 10 (AFP) Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar inflicted two cripplling blows as Sri Lanka slumped to 111/8 in the opening tie of the Bank Alfalah Cup. Marvan Atapattu departed after a 61-run partnership with Kumar Sangakkara, which helped stablise Sri Lanka after the early loss of Sanath Jayasuriya. more..

European MP calls for conditional aid to boost peace bid

May 10 (AFP) A European parliamentarian Saturday urged international donors to Sri Lanka to attach "stringent conditions" in a bid to strengthen the island's foundering peace process. more..

LTTE should attend conference if it cares for Tamils: Official

May 11 (HT) A top Sri Lankan official, who heads the Peace Secretariat, has said that if the LTTE really cares for the Tamil people it represents, it will end the boycott of the negotiating process and attend the mega "Aid Lanka" conference in Tokyo in June. more..

Peace process in trouble

May 11 (FL) The LTTE unilaterally suspends the negotiations with the Sri Lankan government, insisting on the immediate implementation of its key demand - that the government troops be relocated from the Jaffna peninsula. more..

Signs of impatience

May 11 (FL) Fourteen months after the declaration of ceasefire in Sri Lanka, the Tigers' impatient growls are getting louder. On April 28, the LTTE displayed, for the second time since peace talks started last September, its military face by marking the third anniversary of its capture of the Elephant Pass military complex, Sri Lanka's most fortified garrison until 2000, which tilted the military balance on the ground in its favour. more..

Between fear and hope

May 11 (FL) Hopes of a lasting peace and the possible revival of the war-ravaged economy provide the necessary backdrop for the safe return of Sri Lankan refugees settled in Tamil Nadu to their homeland. more..

Sri Lanka seeks elections to settle cohabitation crisis

May 11 (AFP) Sri Lankan ministers Saturday asked President Chandrika Kumaratunga to call snap elections to avoid a deepening crisis in the cohabitation government, political sources said. more..

Govt. won’t escalate stand-off

May 11 (Island) The government is not going to escalate the stand-off between itself and President Chandrika Kumaratunga over the Development Lottery, senior governmental sources said yesterday. more..

Police investigating attack on Govt. Press

May 11 (SO) The situation at Government Printing Press on Baseline Road, Borella has calmed down and there have been no incidents reported from the area after tight security was imposed last Friday night, the police said yesterday. Army is assisting the police, Defence Brigadier Karunaratne said. more..

Talking peace and battling corruption

May 11 (SL) These are trying times indeed for the country and the UNF government. While the government, reeling under the effects of a Tiger rebuff by withdrawing temporarily from the peace process, has attempted to put the peace process back on track with a massive diplomatic offensive, the opposition has called for its immediate resignation. more..

Country plunged into crisis

May 11 (SL) UNF government yesterday decided to mobilise the people and counter any action by President Kumaratunge to take over ministerial functions whilst also appointing a three member committee to study the legal consequences of impeaching the President after the country was plunged into a constitutional crisis following a presidential directive. more..

Nambiar's de-escalation proposals criticised

May 11 (Hindu) The main opposition party and the Tamil alliance backing the LTTE have criticised the proposals of Satish Nambiar for a phased, simultaneous de-escalation of the island's northern High Security Zones (HSZs). Lt. Gen. (retd) Nambiar is advisor to the Sri Lankan Government on relocating troops in the northern Jaffna peninsula. more..

Murali poised for greatness, unless he breaks down

May 11 (IE) Having watched any number of Muttiah Muralitharan’s wicket hauls around the world, it is hard to distinguish which milestone he might have enjoyed the most. Whether it was the 50th, 100th or the 450th, they have been passed at a fairly rapid rate. more..

'I will review further participation'

May 11 (Hindu) Upset by personalised political criticism, Adviser to the Sri Lankan Government, Satish Nambiar, today said he would "review further participation" in the island's peace efforts. more..

Sri Lankan fast bowler fined for dissent

May 11 (Reuters) Sri Lanka fast bowler Prabath Nissanka has been fined and severely reprimanded by the match referee for showing dissent in the opening game of a triangular series against Pakistan on Saturday. more..

Lanka team studies labour problems

May 11 (TP) A two-member fact-finding team from Colombo is here to study the problems of Sri Lankan workers and explore further avenues of employment for fellow countrymen. The officials met a number of aggrieved workers at the Sri Lankan embassy in Doha yesterday and discussed their woes. more..

More HDU teams complete training

May 11 (TN) A ceremony to mark the completion of training of four new teams of the Humanitarian De-mining Unit (HDU), each consisting of 60 members, was held Friday at the HDU’s headquarters in Paranthan, the HDU said in a press release. more..

Building a Case

May 11 (LBO) The construction professionals are calling for a national policy to guide the industry and ensure its sustainability. The Chamber of Construction Industry on Thursday said ad hoc and outdated policies were hampering growth and wasting scares natural and human resources. more..

New Zealand pacers send Pakistan crashing to defeat

May 11 (Reuters) New Zealand benefited from Pakistan's batting woes by cantering to a seven-wicket victory Sunday in its first outing of a Sri Lankan tri-series in the central town of Dambulla. more..

U.S. envoy in Sri Lanka on Peace Talks

May 11 (AP) A senior U.S. official arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday for talks on ways to revive a stalled peace process between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels. Christina Rocca, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs, will meet with government officials and politicians during her three-day stay. more..

U.S., Norway step up efforts on peace bid

May 11 (Reuters) International efforts to restart Sri Lanka's peace process entered a second week on Sunday, with envoys from the United States and peace-broker Norway trying to get negotiations with Tamil Tiger rebels back on track. more..

Lanka political crisis threatens to scuttle peace bid

May 11 (PTI) Sri Lanka's latest political battle between the President and the Prime Minister over the former taking over the Development Lotteries Board could scuttle the island's fragile peace bid, officials and top politicians warned on Sunday. more..

Tigers seek more control of donor funds

May 11 (ST) Suave and astute international diplomat that he is, Japan's Yashushi Akashi, did his home work meticulously for many days before boarding a Sri Lanka Air Force helicopter last Wednesday to meet Tiger guerrilla leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, in Kilinochchi. more..

LTTE should enhance its military power – MP

May 11 (TN) “The LTTE should enhance their military power. This is the only way to ensure our rights in this country. If war is thrust on us again, every Tamil, regardless of any differences, should join the ranks of the LTTE’s armed forces. That is the only way for us to survive as a people," said Mr. Ariyanayaham Chandra Nehru, TNA MP for Amparai, more..

Education of 5000 children affected in Pallai region

May 11 (TN) Three schools in Kilali, Allipallai and Muhamalai areas in Pallai region in Kilinochchi district cannot function in the original premises due to the occupation of school buildings by the Sri Lanka security forces, said Mr. Ariyaratnam, the Kilinochchi district Commissioner of Education. more..