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Maid 'raped by employer'

Nov 17 (GD) A Sri Lankan housemaid was allegedly tied to a table and raped three times in five hours by her Bahraini employer. Fatima Reshana, 25, claims she was stripped naked at knifepoint by the head of the household, who used part of her shredded clothes to bind her ankle to the table leg. more..

India should replace Norway as peace facilitator: Lankan Oppn

Nov 17 (HT) The Leader of the Opposition in the parliament, Mahinda Rajapakse, has said that it was time, Norway was replaced by India, as the peace facilitator in Sri Lanka. "India must come forward," Rajapakse is quoted as saying by the pro-LTTE Tamil daily Sudar Oli on Monday. more..

Rain threatens England's one-day opener

Nov 17 (AFP) Bad weather has threatened to ruin the start of the three-match one-day series between England and Sri Lanka here. Preparations for the maiden day-night international on Tuesday in this central town have been hit by week-long rains and the north-east monsoons show no signs of receding. more..

Pondy inks pact with Sri Lanka

Nov 17 (NT) The Union Territory of Pondicherry has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sri Lanka for mutual exchange of tourists, Lakshmi Narayanan, Pondicherry Education Minister, has said. more..

Homeward bound Sri Lankan refugees fear war

Nov 17 (OW) Around 60,000 Sri Lankan refugees - languishing for years in camps in southern India - are afraid the Constitutional crisis in Colombo and saber rattling by Tamil rebels could spark trouble, endangering their return home. more..

Factory improvement programme in apparel sector

Nov 17 (BT) The International Labour Organisation (ILO) in collaboration with the Employers' Federation of Ceylon (EFC) and the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) launched their second Factory Improvement Programme (FIP-2) in the apparel sector. more..

LTTE's Balasingham back in saddle

Nov 17 (Sify) Anton Balasingham, Chief negotiator and political advisor of the LTTE, who was said to have been sidelined by the elusive Tiger Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, returned to his 'original position' in the rebel organisation last week. more..

Top Indian origin Tamil leader threatens to align with LTTE

Nov 17 (HT) Arumugan Thondaman, who heads the biggest party of Indian Origin Tamils (IOT), the Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC), has threatened to align with the LTTE, if an all-party National Government is formed as proposed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga. more..

Fresh talks in Sri Lankan crisis

Nov 17 (BBC) Sri Lanka's president and prime minister will meet this week for talks on the country's political crisis. A spokesman for Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe said he was ready to hold talks on Tuesday or Thursday. more..

Monitors bolster patrols in northeast to ensure truce

Nov 17 (Gulf) The Scandinavian monitors are intensifying their patrolling and other monitoring activities along the northeast frontline in a bid to ensure the continuity of the cease-fire between the government and the Tamil rebels in the wake of the political crisis in the south. more..

Government offers to meet president

Nov 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's government rejected a call for a national unity coalition on Monday, but said it hoped to hold talks with the president this week to resolve a political crisis and allow peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels to resume. more..

Sri Lankan company to supply soles for Viet Nam's shoes

Nov 17 (VNA) The Arpitalian Compact Soles Company of Sri Lanka will supply 100 containers of synthetic rubber soles (20 percent of Viet Nam's market) to be used in the production of shoes. more..

Power struggle keeps Sri Lanka guessing who is in charge

Nov 17 (AFP) The bitter stand-off between the president and prime minister has left Sri Lanka guessing who is in charge, with investors and donors joining Norwegian peace brokers in staying away until the situation clears up. more..

'One powerful human story such as this is worth a dozen political platitudes'

Nov 17 (Independent) Once a year I escape the scandal-driven British press to breathe the headier air of a developing country's media. It is my attempt to cleanse my soul of the sin of trivia. So 10 days ago I found myself in the National Cancer Hospital, Colombo, with a bunch of Sri Lankan reporters, talking to Digna. more..

"Executive Presidency must be removed" - Ravaya

Nov 17 (TN) Influential Sinhala political weekly, Ravaya, in an editorial argued for the abolition of executive presidency or at the minimum clipping the powers of the Presidency. It said that neither the President Ms. Kumaratunge nor the Prime Minister Wickremesinghe are inclined to do so because of their self-interest. more..

Sri Lanka to study French cohabitation model amid stand-off

Nov 17 (AFP) The government said it could draw from the French political system in a bid to head off a bitter power struggle with a hostile president. Minister G. L. Peiris said the French system of cohabitation could be adopted in the Sri Lankan context where the president and prime minister are from rival political parties. more..

Sri Lankan monks say constitution at root of political evil

Nov 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka's influential Buddhist clergy has called for the scrapping of the country's constitution, blaming it for the power struggle between the president and the prime minister, temple officials said Monday. more..

Sri Lanka crisis hits tourism

Nov 18 (BBC) Sri Lanka's political crisis has cut tourist bookings to the country, according to the UK's leading long-haul tour operator. But Kuoni Travel said business could quickly bounce back if the situation is resolved. more..

Call for national govt unclear – GL

Nov 18 (Island) Cabinet Spokesman Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday told journalists that the call for a ‘National Government’ is unclear due to the lack of clarity on the allocation and distribution of responsibilities and that a mere creation of ministries and distribution of those ministries alone would be elusive and would not solve the issue. more..

Solheim briefs India on Lanka crisis

Nov 18 (BS) Eric Solheim, the facilitator in the trilateral talks between the LTTE, the Sri Lankan government and the Muslim groups in northern and eastern Sri Lanka, arrived in Delhi today to meet top Indian bureaucrats and political leaders to apprise them of the situation in Sri Lanka. more..

Where nonsense makes sense

Nov 18 (HT) Can nonsense make sense? It seems it does - in Sri Lankan politics. For seven out of her nine years in the Presidency, Chandrika Kumaratunga had a dim view of the Sri Lankan constitution. She would publicly denounce it as a "bahubhootha vyavasthava", or a ridiculous and nonsensical constitution. more..

Chandrika refuses to give up on ministries, National Govt

Nov 18 (HT) Unfazed by domestic and international criticism of her actions against the Ranil Wickremesinghe Government since November 4, the Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, on Monday clearly indicated that she did not intend to backtrack. more..

Balasingham to stage a comeback

Nov 18 (HT) The LTTE supremo, Velupillai Pirabhakaran, is likely to recall to active duty his political advisor and former chief peace negotiator, Anton Balasingham, says the latest issue of the pro-LTTE Sudar Oli weekly. more..

CMU will partner with Sri Lanka

Nov 18 (TT) On November 4, the same day that the president of Sri Lanka sent the military into the capital, Carnegie Mellon and the government of Sri Lanka announced the formation of an “Information and Communication Technology Partnership” to develop information/communication technology practices more..

Govt accuses Chandrika for Norway's suspension

Nov 18 (UNI) UNF government today charged that President Chandrika Kumaratunga was the main cause for the Royal Norwegian Government to suspend their role as "facilitator" in the ongoing peace process. more..

President Muslim card irks Tigers

Nov 18 (TT) The LTTE are determined to ensure that President Chandrika Kumaratunga does not use the Muslim card to “disrupt” the peace talks. Even though, at present, the talks are in limbo, the Tigers have already started to campaign against the Muslim presence at the negotiating table. more..

Finance Minister promises stability, relief

Nov 18 (DN) The Government will ensure the restoration of stability which prevailed before November 3 in the country, said Finance Minister K.N. Choksy addressing the media at his Ministry on the 2004 budget proposals, to be presented to Parliament tomorrow. more..

War-Torn region on edge with peace process uncertain

Nov 18 (IPS) The ravages of war in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula scar this verdant region some 21 months after the start of the ceasefire between Tamil Tiger rebels and the government - one that has now been put in peril by the country's political crisis. more..

Maldives funds for Lanka hotel

Nov 18 (TP) UNIVERSAL Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, Maldives, one of the country’s leading hotel chains, is to invest $500m in a boutique type hotel at Balapitiya in Sri Lanka’s southern coastline, The Daily News said. more..

Dizzy Heights

Nov 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s largest family owned private hospital partially opens its doors for private investors next month. What started off as a remedy for family and friends 18 years ago, Nawaloka Hospitals has since cured thousands of patients. more..

Long Haul

Nov 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka is in the top three alongside Thailand and the Maldives as a tourist hotspot for long-haul travel, but still needs a vital mix of peace, competitive rates and new infrastructure to give it that edge. more..

Amparai floods raise fears of displacement

Nov 18 (TN) Floods caused by torrential rain in the Amparai district on Sunday and Monday have disrupted traffic on the Navithanveli-Kittanki road as the road is submerged in 4 ft of water. Officials fear that if the rain continues, there will be displacement of people in low-lying areas, more..

Germany extends support to NE redevelopment

Nov 18 (TN) "The German government has decided to extend its support to the North East Community Restoration and Development Project (NECORD) with additional funds of EURO 2.4 million (Rs. 260 million) spread over the next three years", said a press release issued by the German Technical Cooperation today. more..

Sangaree declines invitation to meet President

Nov 18 (TN) V. Anandasangaree, a Tamil Member of Parliament (MP) and President of TULF, declined an invitation to meet with Sri Lanka's President Ms.Kumaratunge saying that such a meeting will create misunderstanding among Tamil people, a popular Jaffna Tamil daily Uthayan reported. more..

Fleeing LTTE cadre found inside bus

Nov 18 (SLA) Police in the general area of RKM JUNCTION, KALMUNAI came across a fleeing teenaged LTTE cadre, hidden inside a bus on 17 November 2003 when the Police conducted a routine check on the bus. more..

Unconscious LTTE teenager rushed to hospital

Nov 18 (SLA) An unconscious teenager, found lying close to a Police checkpoint in the general area of RKM JUNCTION, KALMUNAI on 17 November 2003 around midnight was rushed to the KALMUNAI Hospital by Policemen. more..

More & more families receive help from the Army

Nov 18 (SLA) The innocent and the needy in northern Jaffna, after years of fighting now long for a lasting peace, perhaps more than anybody else in this island nation since they are well aware that it is peace that brings all communities live together and prosperity in the long run but not violence. more..

A Presidential Intervention

Nov 18 (PSL) On November 4, 2003, President Chandrika Kumaratunga exercised her constitutional powers to take over the cabinet portfolios of Defence, Interior and Mass Communication, dismissing three members of the UNF from their respective ministerial posts. more..

Man to be deported once paroled

Nov 18 (TS) A Toronto man, sentenced to life in prison for the double murder of his relatives, will be deported to Sri Lanka on the day he's eligible for parole, a judge ordered yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka central bank trims growth forecast

Nov 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank trimmed its forecast for 2004 economic growth on Tuesday but said the island's political crisis would not hurt the economy if the turmoil ended quickly. more..

Political crisis pricks Sri Lanka tourism bubble

Nov 18 (AFP) Just when Sri Lanka's hotels had begun turning up their noses at guests arriving without bookings, the tourism industry has been dealt a body blow by the crisis gripping the political establishment. more..

No sign of compromise ahead of key meeting

Nov 18 (Gulf) Sri Lankans are pinning their hopes on a crucial meeting between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe scheduled for today to end a political deadlock but the two sides have shown no signs of compromise. more..

Kumaratunga still for national government

Nov 18 (IANS) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has again called for a national government to move forward the stalled peace process. "Many stakeholders in the peace process, including the LTTE, civil society, religious leaders and the international community have called for this national unity, consensus and commonality of purpose," more..

"Govt. health sector assured a place in Guinness Book"

Nov 18 (DM) The Government health sector is sure to qualify for a place in the Guinness Book of Records for most number of strikes and walkouts in the country said Dr. Lucien Jayasuriya a former additional secretary and Director of Teaching Hospitals of Health Ministry. more..

Sri Lankan opposition to ally with leftist party

Nov 18 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's main opposition party has unanimously decided to forge an alliance with the leftist JVP,or People's Liberation Front, state radio announced here Tuesday. more..

India, Sri Lanka to restore sea link

Nov 18 (Rediff) India and Sri Lanka are preparing to launch a ferry service, twenty years after the cancellation of such a facility between Colombo and Chennai. But the service, which starts December 1, will be on a different route, thanks to stiff opposition from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to the renewal of the Colombo-Chennai link. more..

Hodgson not taking Sri Lanka for granted

Nov 18 (AF) AFTER missing out on all six points against Turkmenistan, UAE coach Roy Hodgson is not going to allow complacency to creep into his squad when they face Sri Lanka on November 18. more..

As peace falters, activists turn to ICT to build bridges

Nov 18 (OW) While the future of the peace process hangs in the balance, an ambitious Information Communication Technology (ICT) initiative to network and facilitate fading communication between the major stakeholders will be launched in the capital Thursday, similar to successful projects in the Middle East. more..

Opposition hails truce with Tamil rebels

Nov 18 (Xinhua) Main opposition party Tuesday hailed the ceasefire agreement between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels, saying it would continue. The spokesman for the People's Alliance Sarath Amunugama, told reporters "the ceasefire agreement is a fact of Sri Lankan life." more..

Sri Lankan army team to participate Maldives volleyball invitation cup

Nov 18 (HNS) The Sri Lankan army team will participate the upcoming volleyball invitation cup here, in which Maldives invites foreign teams. Sri Lanka’s five national players may arrive with the army team to participate Volleyball Invitation Cup scheduled for 15 to 22 December in Male. more..