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Cabinet nod needed for Lanka flight plan

Nov 12 (PTI) The Union Cabinet's nod is required to give effect to the government decision to allow private carriers to fly to Colombo, Civil Aviation Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy said on Wednesday. more..

India and Sri Lanka to resume ferry service in December

Nov 12 (AP) India and Sri Lanka will resume a passenger ship service in December, 20 years after it was discontinued due to ethnic strife in the island nation, according to Indian officials. The ferry will ply the waters between Colombo and Vizhinjam, a port near Kerala’s capital, Trivandrum, more..

Sri Lanka names Ford Rhodes adviser for national paper sale

Nov 12 (DJ) The Sri Lankan government has picked local accountancy firm Ford Rhodes Thornton & Co. to assist in the sale of state-run National Paper Co. Ltd., the government's privatization body said Wednesday. more..

Norway continues peace efforts on Sri Lanka

Nov 12 (NP) Norwegian diplomats are continuing their efforts at preventing the collapse of the peace process in Sri Lanka. Undersecretary of State, Vidar Helgesen and Special Envoy Erik Solheim will be meeting with both sides in the conflict during their two-day visit. more..

Rupee closes firmer after early slip

Nov 12 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee closed stronger on Wednesday after slipping early on import demand and political uncertainty. The rupee fell to 96.40 against the dollar, but closed at 95.80 compared to Tuesday's close of 96.00, on active volumes. more..

Stocks up on hopes for crisis end

Nov 12 (Reuters) Stocks rose on Wednesday on hopes for a resolution to the island's political crisis, with rivals President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe holding talks. The key Colombo all-share index closed up a provisional 3.07 percent, more..

UNF flatly rejects national govt.

Nov 12 (DM) The Government Parliamentary Group yesterday unanimously rejected the offer of President Chandrika Kumaratunga to form a national government, but asked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to meet her to discuss the endangered peace process. more..

Prabhakaran likely to meet Norwegian facilitators on Thursday

Nov 12 (HT) The elusive LTTE supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran, is expected to meet the Norwegian peace facilitators, Deputy Foreign Minister, Vidar Helegessen, and Special Envoy, Erik Soleim, in Kilinochchi on Thursday, according to reliable sources. more..

LTTE free jailed comrades in Trinco

Nov 12 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels broke into a fortified prison in northeastern Sri Lanka Wednesday and escaped with four of their detained comrades, a police official said. It was the first time that the rebels - who signed a cease-fire with the government in February of last year - carried out such a jail raid. more..

Jail break by LTTE may mar Chandrika's image

Nov 12 (HT) The daring escape of four LTTE remand prisoners from the Trincomalee jail on Thursday, may mar the image of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Only last week Kumaratunga had taken over the Interior Ministry from the Ranil Wickremesinghe government saying that the law and order situation was getting worse and the government was being too soft on the LTTE. more..

President to meet Norwegian facilitators tomorrow

Nov 12 (PRIU) President Kumaratunga will meet with Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgessen and special envoy Erik Solheim tomorrow, Wednesday November 12, at President’s House Colombo. more..

Now Sri Lanka's east battles mosquitoes

Nov 12 (IANS) Peace may have finally descended in Sri Lanka's north and east, but the region has a new battle on its hands - mosquitoes. To fight the menace, Lions International has launched a project to supply free mosquito nets to low-income families in the northeastern province, more..

No Breakthrough in Sri Lanka Talks

Nov 12 (AP) The first direct talks between Sri Lanka's president and prime minister since their power struggle erupted into a political crisis last week ended Wednesday without a breakthrough, an official at the prime minister's office said. more..

President, PM agree to meet again

Nov 12 (Reuters) The first meeting between Sri Lanka's feuding prime minister and president since their power struggle erupted into a political crisis last week went well and another session has been planned, the rivals said on Wednesday. more..

No progress in Sri Lankan talks

Nov 12 (BBC) President and prime minister have agreed to meet again, after inconclusive talks to ease the country's constitutional crisis. It was the two leaders' first meeting since the president fired top ministers and suspended parliament last week. more..

Batting, not politics worry Tillekeratne

Nov 12 (AP) Sri Lanka's cricketers are looking forward to facing England despite the political turmoil that is currently affecting their country. Indeed looking ahead to the tour skipper Hashan Tillekeratne joked that he was more concerned with the form of his side's middle order than he was with the political situation in the country. more..

American's book on Ganesha stirs Hindu outrage

Nov 12 (IANS) When an American religion professor wrote a book about Hindu god Ganesha 18 years ago, none outside the academic circles noticed it. However, last month Emory University teacher Paul Courtright's "Ganesha: Lord of Obstacles, Lord of Beginnings" picked up attention after Internet messages appeared attacking it as porn and an affront to the god. more..

Reuters Photo

Nov 12 (Reuters) Children play on the roof of a war-damaged school building in rebel-held Kilinochchi town. The area was devastated by the war between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels, but is turning around after a ceasfire more..

Can’t achieve anything with the Constitution’ – Victor Ivan

Nov 12 (TN) “The situation is very critical and not very easy to resolve. This crisis will affect the peace process in a big way. Our constitution is the problem. It is wrong. We can’t achieve anything with it. It has to be reformed while a door is kept fully open for a solution to the ethnic conflict. more..

Troops in Jaffna distribute gift rations

Nov 12 (SLA) Hundreds of needy residents in Kaithady, Nelliady and Katkovalam areas/hamlets in Jaffna peninsula were in for a generous treat by members of the Security Forces on last full moon day under the auspices of Security Forces Commander (Jaffna), Major General Sarath Fonseka. more..

Political stalemate to hang over Markets

Nov 12 (DJ) Talks between Sri Lanka's warring president and prime minister ended without a breakthrough Wednesday and the prolonged uncertainty will likely cast a pall over financial markets in coming days, analyst say. more..

President says she won't run peace process

Nov 12 (Bloomberg) President Chandrika Kumaratunga told Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe she doesn't want to take charge of the peace process, though she will retain control of defense, Minister for Lands Rajitha Senaratne said. more..

TNA urges UNF not to abdicate responsibility

Nov 13 (TN) The Tamil National Alliance Wednesday told Prime Minister, Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, that its support to the UNF government was totally related to the peace process and assured him its continued support to further the peace process. more..

Coast conservation officials visit Vadamarachchi

Nov 13 (TN) A team of Coast Conservation Department officials including an engineer Wednesday visited the coastal areas of Vadamadarachchi in the Jaffna district on the instructions of the Prime Minister's office more..

KCCI for FTA between Pakistan, Sri Lanka

Nov 13 (PT) President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Siraj Kassam Teli has stressed the need of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The proposed FTA between the two countries be finalized and executed after removing bottlenecks, if any, to step up the pace of trade volume, he said more..

With political upheaval LTTE has become stronger than Forces

Nov 13 (Island) Tilak Karunaratne, leader of Sihala Urumaya speaking at a ceremony organised by the party said that “the country is in a political upheaval where the LTTE has become stronger and the armed forces have become weak”. more..

LTTE to comment on Southern Developments

Nov 13 (DN) The LTTE is to come out with its stance on the peace process in the context of the recent political developments in the South, following their meeting with Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgessen today in Kilinochchi, LTTE sources in the Vanni said yesterday. more..

FMM expresses concern over present crisis

Nov 13 (IL) The Free Media Movement (FMM) has expressed concern over the situation in the state media institutions following the President's takeover of three key ministries. A statement by the Free Media Movement said: more..

Stalemate continues despite Chandrika-Ranil meet

Nov 13 (Hindu) Sri Lanka's weeklong political stalemate continues despite a "cordial and friendly" meeting between the Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, and the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, today. more..

Surfers head for Sri Lanka

Nov 13 (JEP) TWO Jersey surfers will compete in the Sri Lankan Airlines BPSA Champion of Champions Surf Contest in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka next June. Scott Eastwood and Andy Cummins have been on the Headworx BPSA UK Surf Tour this season and are on the list of invitees with fellow top-20 surfers from the tour. more..

Presidential Guarantee

Nov 13 (LBO) Moves of a Nov. 19 budget re-surfaced, as President Chandrika Kumaratunga met with representatives from multilateral donor agencies on Wednesday, to assure her full support for ongoing economic reforms. more..

Playing Ball

Nov 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom Chairman, Thilanga Sumathipala expects commercial talks with Lanka Bell to kick off in four weeks, when the ongoingtechnical and financial due diligence process ends. more..

Jaffna police collect details of government vehicles

Nov 13 (TN) The Sri Lanka Police in Jaffna have started collecting information on vehicles now in the possession of government departments and other state institutions in the Jaffna district, official sources said. more..

Only thing for tourists to fear in Sri Lanka is fear itself

Nov 13 (Guardian) One thing you have to concede about the life of an England cricketer is that it certainly gives you a keen insight into the troubles of the world. In this year alone England have been warned about violent crime in South Africa and have spent days debating the threat to their lives more..

Peace envoys to meet Tamil Tigers

Nov 13 (BBC) Norwegian envoys are due to hold talks with Tamil Tiger rebels on Thursday in a bid to get the country's stalled peace moves back on track. The envoys have gone to rebel-held territory in the north where they are expected to meet the Tigers' leader. more..

Political stability necessary for talks - Pirapaharan

Nov 13 (TN) "Mr. Pirapaharan sought guarantees from the Norwegians that the Sri Lankan government would continue its commitment to the cease fire and for the safety of the LTTE’s political activists in areas controlled by the Sri Lanka army," Mr. Thamilchelvan said, more..

UNF stresses the urgency to reconvene parliament

Nov 13 (TN) "The burning problem of United National Front Government for the moment is the need to reconvene the parliament which has been prorogued by the President till November 19," the Cabinet spokesman and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mr. G.L.Peiris said more..

President, Prime Minister brief their constituent parties

Nov 13 (TN) President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge and Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe Thursday began separately briefing their constituent parties in the main opposition PA and the UNF respectively with regard to the outcome of their talks held Wednesday more..

Speaker undecided on reconvening parliament

Nov 13 (TN) The Speaker Mr. Joseph Michael Perera said Thursday that no one has asked him to reconvene the parliament before 19th November responding to a written request from a group of opposition parties that parliament should not be reconvened before the stipulated date fixed by the President in her proclamation proroguing the parliament, more..

No representation – no participation! - SLMC

Nov 13 (LT) Muslim congress has emphasized to the Norwegian peace brokers that if the Muslims are not allowed to participate as a separate entity, that party would not participate in future discussions held between the government and the tiger organization. more..

President Kumaratunga completes nine years in office

Nov 13 (PSL) Chandrika Kumaratunga emerged as a national leader after guiding her Peoples’ Alliance to victory in the 1994 General Elections. She was the country’s 2nd woman prime minister. In October that year she was elected Executive President with an unprecedented majority. more..

President tells Norway… Prime Minister would continue with peace process

Nov 13 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday met with Norway’s Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgessen special envoy Erik Solheim and a Norwegian delegation. The discussions centered on the recent political development and it’s possible impact on the peace process. more..

India's Air Deccan to fly to Colombo from December

Nov 13 (AP) Air Deccan, the newly launched domestic carrier, will commence operations to Colombo from December, according to a top official of the airline. With the federal civil aviation ministry giving the green signal, the airline had decided to commence flights from Thiruvanthapuram to Colombo. more..

HNB 9-month net triples, gains from bonds

Nov 13 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Hatton National Bank Ltd, the country's largest-listed bank by assets, said on Thursday nine-month group profits more than tripled as credit demand improved and it made gains from its bond portfolio. more..

Sri Lanka loses $150 Mln of investments amid political crisis

Nov 13 (Bloomberg) Sri Lanka has lost $150 million dollars of new investment amid a political crisis that started last week and may lose more if the deadlock between the island's two leaders is not resolved soon, a government agency said. more..

New website to facilitate lankan expats trade online

Nov 13 (RD) Sri Lanka has opened an online trading platform which would open a vista of trading opportunities for businessmen in all parts of the globe including Saudi Arabia. Export Development Board which is at the forefront of developing the island’s products and services has launched, more..

One mother's efforts at peace

Nov 13 (TN) When Visaka Dharmadasa shuts her eyes, she's right back with the rebels of Sri Lanka. For two decades, the LTTE have waged a rebellion costing more than 64,000 lives in this island off the coast of India. Desperate for news of her middle son, missing in action, Visaka had pled for word of his fate. more..

LTTE chief gets his sixth karate black belt

Nov 13 (AP) The reclusive leader of the separatist Tamil Tigers, who is credited with perfecting human bombs, has won his sixth black belt in karate, according to a pro-rebel newspaper. The Tamil Guardian carried a picture of Prabhakaran wearing his black belt along with a gold medal. It did not say how and where he won the honors. more..

Sri Lanka a test of Delhi's resolve

Nov 13 (AT) India's strategic community has seldom been so united. Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga's attempted coup against the government of Ranil Wickremesinghe, technically her own government, has achieved this near miracle. more..

Sri Lankan princess to give jewels to Russian Orthodox church

Nov 13 (AFP) A member of the former Sri Lankan royal family is to make a donation of jewellery to the Russian Orthodox Church in gratitude to the city of Kostroma where her daughter was baptised, media reported Thursday. more..