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Tigers ignore Japan deadline for talks

May 15 (PTI) Tamil Tigers today ignored a deadline set by Japan to give up their boycott of a crucial donor conference talks in Tokyo and instead indicated they were firm on reconstruction and rehabilitation of the civilians in the northeast as a precondition for participation. more..

US warns danger for Sri Lanka peace bid, power struggle worsens

May 15 (AFP) The United States Wednesday warned Sri Lanka's deeply divided government not to sabotage the fragile peace bid with Tamil Tiger rebels as a political power struggle worsened into constitutional crisis. more..

LTTE shows no signs of climbdown

May 15 (Hindu) The one-week deadline set for the LTTE to convey its participation in next month's Tokyo donors' conference ended today with the rebels showing no signs of a climbdown. The two immediate demands are on creating formal structures for reconstruction and the de-escalation of the northern High Security Zones (HSZs). more..

Decision unchanged and valid even if gazette is not published, says President

May 15 (Island) President Chandrika Kumaratunga strongly rejected the arguments of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe against her move to take over the Development Lotteries Board (DLB). Her decision remained "unchanged and valid", she had stated. more..

Suspected SARS patient dies in Jaffna

May 15 (TN) A young woman who was suspected to be suffering from symptoms akin to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) died at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital (JTH) Wednesday morning, medical sources in the northern town said. more..

TELO member shot and killed

May 15 (SLA) A member of Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) has been shot dead by unidentified gunman who came on a three wheeler while he was at the TELO office in the general area of VAVUNIYA town on 13 May 2003 around 8.30 a.m. more..

Soldier injured

May 15 (SLA) The accidental discharge of a weapon caused injury to one soldier at KONDUVATTUVAN camp AMPARA while a group of soldiers were under routing training on 13 May 2003. The injured soldier was evacuated to AMPARA Base Hospital and later transferred to BATTCALOA Hospital.

US assistant secretary of states meets commander

May 15 (SLA) US Assistant Secretary of state for South Asian affairs, Ms. Cristina Rocca visited the Army Headquarters this evening (13, Tuesday) and met the Commander of the Army Lt. Gen. L. P Balagalle. more..

Sri Lanka's Buddhists celebrate Wesak Day

May 15 (AP) Hundreds of thousands of Buddhists dressed in white robes to symbolize purity thronged temples Thursday to mark the birth of their faith's founder, Buddha. The festival turns the island nation into a riot of glowing lanterns after dusk, as clay lamps illuminate trees and temples, and colored lanterns adorn the streets. more..

Brilliant young doctor and family drowned in Bolgoda horror

May 15 (DM) The Bolgoda lake - a breath-taking holiday spot but also a death trap of no return for many - was the scene of a horrifying tragedy yesterday when a brilliant young doctor, his doctor wife, their infant child and a university friend were drowned after their holiday boat capsized. more..

Sri Lankan bell hung in Ayutthaya

May 15 (AT) A Sri Lankan made religious bell was yesterday hung in a temple belltower in Ayutthaya in an event attended by hundreds of Thai and Sri Lankan Buddhists. The handover ceremony marked the close of a two year restoration project at Wat Dhammaram, the temple that dispatched monks to Sri Lanka 250 years ago to restore its declining Sangha institutions. more..

'Toss will be vital in remaining matches'

May 15 (Jang) Pakistan coach Javed Miandad believes that the toss will play a vital role in deciding the outcome of the remaining matches of the Bank Al-Falah triangular one-day series to be held at the Rangiri international stadium in Dambulla. more..

Health authorities satisfied about measures to avert SARS

May 15 (DN) Health authorities expressed confidence about the measures so far taken to avert any possible outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Sri Lanka while many Asian countries are fighting hard against this deadly virus. more..

Norway FM in talks with Tigers to save peace bid

May 15 (AFP) Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen opened talks with the Tamil Tigers, a day after the rebels insisted on pre-conditions for resuming peace negotiations, diplomats said. more..

LTTE raises new issues

May 15 (PTI) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas today raised new issues for resuming peace negotiations as Norwegian Foreign Minister, Jan Petersen, opened talks with the rebels in an attempt to salvage the island's stalled peace process, diplomats said. more..

Tigers say Colombo should implement talks’ decisions

May 15 (TN) LTTE will not participate in peace negotiations with the Sri Lankan government until Colombo implements decisions taken at six rounds of talks since last year, Mr. Velupillai Pirapaharan told Norway’s Foreign Minister Mr. Jan Peterson during a crucial meeting in Kilinochchi Thursday. more..

Norway says Sri Lanka peace bid stalled

May 15 (Reuters) A huge donor conference to raise aid to rebuild war-hit Sri Lanka could fail if the island's Tamil Tiger rebels reject international pressure to attend, peace mediator Norway said on Thursday. more..

Norway FM fails to end Sri Lanka peace deadlock

May 15 (AFP) Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen failed to break the stalemate in Sri Lanka's troubled peace process despite a high-profile meet with the top Tiger rebel leader, Tamil sources said. more..

Of Buddhism and its success story

May 15 (NT) The remarkable capacity of Buddhism to assimilate, incorporate and amalgamate and finally synchronise its ideology at different levels with societies in transition was the success story of Buddhism, according to professor Sudharshan Seneviratne, Head of the Department of Archaeology, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. more..

Peace mission brings Gujarati cyclist to Batticaloa

May 16 (TN) S. Kumar Soni (30), an Indian citizen from Gujarat, currently on a world cycle tour promoting peace, arrived in Batticaloa today, sources in Batticaloa said. Kumar has visited several villages and cities in the South of Sri Lanka and came to Batticaloa via Amparai. more..

Norwegian FM sees mine menace in Iyakkachchi

May 16 (TN) Norwegian Foreign Minister Mr. Jan Peterson, who visited Kilinochchi Thursday to meet the leader of the Liberation Tigers, held discussions with senior officials of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) about issues hindering the restoration of normalcy in the war torn northeast. more..

LTTE to reconsider its decision to participate in Tokyo confab

May 16 (UNI) The LTTE today said it would reconsider its decision to participate at the Tokyo Donor conference, only if Colombo established an "administrative and financial structure" with adequate powers to rebuild the North-East region. more..

Thailand wants Lanka to join probe on LTTE gunrunners

May 16 (Island) Thailand has asked Sri Lanka to join investigations into the recent arrest of three LTTE cadres charged with illegal possession of weapons and carrying concealed weapons in public, according to a Bangkok Post news report. more..

‘SARS patient’ died of pneumonia – state media

May 16 (TN) The suspected SARS patient who died in Jaffna hospital Wednesday morning was suffering from pneumonia, state media reported Friday. “This patient is believed to have died of a typical pneumonia with secondary infection,” the Daily News quoted a ‘senior health official’ as saying. more..

Indian trawler with nine arrested

May 16 (SLA) Naval troops on routine patrol had sighted a dhow with nine personnel on board in the general sea area of THALAIMANNAR on 15 May 2003 around 9 a.m. When questioned, it has been revealed that all nine personnel on board are Indian Nationals. more..

Cash and motor bicycle robbed

May 16 (SLA) A group of unidentified persons who had held an owner of a Telephone Communication Center in the general area of KODIKAMAM about 6.5 km northeast of CHAVAKACHCHERI had forcibly taken away his motor bicycle and cash to the value of Rs. 65,000/= (US $ 677) on 14 May 2003 around 10.30 p.m. Police are making inquiries.

Lanka frees 1,500 convicts to mark Buddhist anniversary

May 16 (AFP) Authorities Thursday freed some 1,500 convicts from the country's jails to mark Buddhist anniversary celebrations, prison officials said. The inmates were freed from several jails in an amnesty for Vesak, or the celebration of the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha. more..

Tamil Tigers set pre-conditions for talks

May 16 (Gulf) Tamil guerrillas yesterday set out pre-conditions for returning to the negotiating table, saying they want the government to establish a "firm administrative and financial structure with adequate powers" to carry out resettlement and reconstruction work for the North and East. more..

President to summon DLB directors; Govt. to reduce security

May 16 (DM) As President Chandrika Kumaratuga and the UNF government put their chips down in the crisis over the Development Lotteries Board, Presidential officials said yesterday she would be summoning DLB directors for an emergency meeting as a sign of her authority over them. more..

LTTE seeks mechanism to administer N-E funds

May 16 (DN) Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen and his deputy Vidar Helgesen yesterday met LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran to coax the Tigers back into negotiations, a day after Japan's deadline to confirm LTTE participation at the Tokyo aid parley expired. more..

PM in India on private visit

May 16 (AFP) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has left for India on a two-day private visit amid a raging constitutional crisis at home with the president, officials here said. Wickremesinghe travelled to the southern Indian state of Kerala where he is due to visit a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, more..

Norway in fresh bid to revive Sri Lanka talks

May 16 (AFP) Norway's deputy foreign minister Vidar Helgesen was making a fresh bid to salvage Sri Lanka's peace process, a day after his boss failed to end the talks stalemate, diplomats said. more..

Lanka's winning record at home under threat

May 16 (AP) Sri Lanka's five-year winning stretch in limited-overs series at home is under threat as the hosts brace for the second round of the tri-series against Pakistan and New Zealand, when pace bowlers are again expected to dominate. more..

Opposition wants Govt to back gunrunning probes

May 16 (AP) Sri Lanka's main opposition party Friday advised the government to help Thailand investigate an alleged gun-smuggling attempt by three suspected Tamil rebels. The three men were arrested Monday by Thai police in a hotel in southern Ranong province with 13 pistols that they allegedly planned to smuggle out by boat. more..

President, Rebels push back peace

May 16 (OW) With President and LTTE rebels displaying inflexibility barely three weeks before the crucial Tokyo donor conference to fund reconstruction of the country's war-torn provinces, longstanding peace prospects have dimmed. more..

Aid should come directly, says LTTE

May 16 (HT) The LTTE is understood to have demanded that international aid for relief and reconstruction work in the war-ravaged North East Sri Lanka, should not be routed through the Government, as at present, but given directly to a new, legally established development agency in the North Eastern province, with autonomous policy making, implementation and financial powers. more..

Colombo launches stopgap measure in north

May 16 (TN) A military officer appointed by Colombo to assess the number of houses and properties occupied by the Sri Lanka army (SLA) in Jaffna began work Friday, according to SLA sources. more..

CPA holds peace-arts festival in Jaffna

May 16 (TN) A three-day arts festival of the Centre for Performing Arts (CPA) inaugurated in Jaffna Wednesday is to conclude Friday evening. "The arts festival, the first event of its kind to take place in Jaffna, represents a bold, path-breaking move for CPA in its work for peace through creative arts," said a spokesman of the CPA. more..

Japan urges Tamil rebels to attend aid meeting

May 16 (Reuters) Japan made a final urgent appeal to Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels oon Friday to reverse a decision to boycott a donor conference next month in Tokyo. more..

PM visits Guruvayoor temple

May 16 (IANS) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe arrived Friday morning on a two-day private trip to Kerala to visit the famous Guruvayoor temple in Thrissur district. A top temple official said the prime minister and his wife came to the temple at 12.30 p.m. Friday. more..

Protests over Sri Lanka war film

May 17 (BBC) A film which will probably never be seen in India or Sri Lanka opens in cinemas in London on Friday. In the Name Of Buddha has courted controversy since it was premiered at the Oslo Film Festival in Norway last November. more..

Three special Police units to record human rights violations

May 17 (DN) Police Department has set up three special units to record statements of persons who had made complaints to the Police Department in connection with the violation of their human rights. more..

LTTE order to oust TULF president condemned

May 17 (HT) The British branch of the moderate Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) has condemned the LTTE's reported order to the TULF to oust V Anandasangaree from the presidentship of the party by the end this month or face the consequences. more..

Civilian’s dead body found

May 17 SLA) A dead body of a civilian has been recovered by the Police from the general area of MANIPAY, about 7 km. north of JAFFNA on 17 May 2003 around 1.00 a.m. The deceased has been identified as A. HEMACHANDRAN of 5th LANE, MANIPAY ROAD, UDDUVIL who was working in the Rehabilitation Camp TELLIPPALAI.

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

May 17 (SLA) One thousand one hundred and twenty lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 09 May 2003 – 15 May 2003. These consignments had reached areas in KILINOCHCHI and MULLAITTIVU districts via OMANTHAI and UYILANKULAM entry/exit points. more..

Lanka, Pak captains want batsmen to perform

May 17 (AP) Rival captains Marvan Atapattu of Sri Lanka and Pakistan's Rashid Latif have challenged their batsmen to produce runs when the second round of the limited-overs tri-series starts on Sunday. "My batsmen must start valuing their wickets, they need to quickly fight a way out of the batting slump," Atapattu said more..

Crucial game for Sri Lanka

May 17 (CI) After a four-day break for Vesak, Sri Lanka's festival of lights, the Bank Alfalah Cup resumes on Sunday with all three teams still in the hunt for a place in the final. Sri Lanka, who were bowled out by Pakistan – the team they face again on Sunday – for a paltry 139 before winning unconvincingly against New Zealand, were the team in most need of a time-out. more..

Reap economic growth with timely measures

May 17 (Gulf) Sri Lanka's economy recorded a growth rate of four per cent last year, recovering progressively from the contraction of 1.5 per cent in 2001. Theservice sector amounted for about 80 per cent of this overall growth, benefiting mainly from recovery in trade, transport, port services and tourism and continuation of the growth momentum in the telecommunication and financial services. more..

Govt. to address LTTE concerns

May 17 (DM) The government is taking action to address some of the main concerns of the LTTE and to improve the environment so that the Tigers could return to the peace talks and attend the Aid Conference in Tokyo, Minister and negotiator Milinda Moragoda said yesterday. more..

Norwegian envoy meets Tigers to salvage Sri Lanka talks

May 17 (AFP) Norway's Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen travelled to rebel-held northern Sri Lanka in a renewed bid to jumpstart stalled peace talks, officials and rebels said. more..