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Kumaratunga firm on her decision

Nov 18 (Reuters) President Chandrika Kumaratunga stood firm on Tuesday ahead of a meeting with the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, as the feuding pair manoeuvred in a power struggle that has frozen the island's peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

England crash to 88 all out v Sri Lanka

Nov 18 (Reuters) England just avoided a record low as they crashed to 88 all out against Sri Lanka in the first one-dayer on Tuesday. England, who opted to bat, were dismissed in 46.1 overs. The team's lowest score in one-dayers was 86, against Australia at Old Trafford in 2001. more..

Sri Lanka's quarrelling leaders appoint panel to settle differences

Nov 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka's quarrelling president and prime minister agreed Tuesday to appoint a panel to end their power struggle, which caused Norway to suspend diplomacy to end the island's three-decade ethnic war. more..

Committee to Look at power-sharing fight

Nov 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's president and prime minister appointed a committee on Tuesday to resolve their feud over sharing power, but no early end was in sight to the dispute that has frozen a peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Chandrika, Ranil form officials' panel on cohabitation

Nov 18 (HT) The president Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday took the first concrete step towards cohabitation in two years, by setting up a committee of officials to work out the necessary framework for it. more..

AFP Photo

Nov 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka's tourism industry has been dealt a body blow by the crisis gripping the political establishment. more..

Chandrika sabotaging peace talks: Vaiko

Nov 18 (CO) The MDMK today alleged that Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga had "sabotaged" the peace talks between the island's government and the LTTE so that she could crush Tamils living in that country. more..

Sri Lanka humiliate England

Nov 18 (Telegraph) England have lost their first one-day international against Sri Lanka by 10 wickets after narrowly avoiding their lowest-ever total in the one-day game. Sri Lanka bowled England out for 88 with four overs in hand as the tourists registered their worst total since being dismissed for 86 by Australia more..

President will not attend opening session of parliament

Nov 18 (TN) Parliament is scheduled to meet Wednesday morning at 10.30 a.m. after two weeks' prorogation by the President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge. However, the President will not attend parliament and speaker Mr.Joseph Michael Perera will deliver the opening address instead, parliamentary sources said, will read her inaugural address. more..

Appeal Court reserves order in case against President

Nov 19 (TN) The Court of Appeal Tuesday reserved its order for December 17th on an application made by the Legal Aid Foundation seeking the court to order President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunge, to appear in person in a case in which she has been cited as respondent for failing to appoint members to the National Independent Election Commission more..

Indian Colts in control against Lankans

Nov 19 (PTI) Middle order batsman T Kandamby and skipper Naved Nawaz scored patient half centuries to help Sri Lanka `A' emerge from a shaky start to declare their first innings at a modest 235 for nine on the opening day of their three-day match against India U-19 at Madhavrao Scindia cricket ground here on Tuesday. more..

SLFP's talk of alliance with JVP could be a ploy against Ranil: Analysts

Nov 19 (HT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's SLFP may be talking of entering into an electoral alliance with the JVP only to pressurise Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to fall in line with the President on the cohabitation issue, political observers say. more..

Sri Lankans fear feud imperils fragile peace

Nov 19 (BG) A political feud between rival leaders, President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, is threatening the country's high-profile peace process, leaving many Sri Lankans worried about their future. more..

Not just bad losers ... horrible ones

Nov 19 (CI) For one reason or another, the English have long been accused of being bad losers. Today, they fully justified that tag. This loss was not just bad, it was horrible. Not only did they crumble to their lowest one-day score overseas, they did so despite avoiding the perils of Dambulla's new floodlights, more..

Landmines continue to impede resettlement in Jaffna

Nov 19 (TN) Many parts of Jaffna still remain unsuitable for resettlement and human habitation due to landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO), according to statistics gathered by Sri Lankan government officials in the northern peninsula. more..

PA calls for public sector pay hike

Nov 19 (DN) The People's Alliance stressed yesterday that it was not perturbed about the resumption of Parliament and made several suggestions that could be incorporated in the budget, including a substantial pay hike as proposed by the Tissa Devendra Commission. more..

Ranil renews call to CBK to take over peace process

Nov 19 (Island) Assuring his government’s support, Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe has urged President Kumaratunga to take charge of the peace process. The Premier reiterated his call when he met the President at President’s House Tuesday afternoon to explore ways and means of taking the peace process forward. more..

Indian support essential for Lankan talks: Solheim

Nov 19 (TOI) Norwegian mediator Erik Solheim says talks between the Sri Lankan government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will not succeed "without the active support of India". more..

Woeful England in game for only eight balls, says Vaughan

Nov 19 (Independent) Dambulla still awaits its first proper day-night match following England's horrendous batting performance here against Sri Lanka. At best yesterday's inaugural floodlit game at the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium could be described as a day-evening encounter but calling it a match may be pushing things a bit far. more..

UAE defeats Sri Lanka 3-1 in Asian Cup qualifier

Nov 19 (AP) Subait Khater netted the game-winning goal late in the first half Tuesday as the United Arab Emirates beat Sri Lanka 3-1 and moved closer to qualifying for the 2004 Asian Cup finals. more..

England’s Ashley Giles consults Sri Lankan palm reader

Nov 19 (AFP) England’s Ashley Giles consulted a Sri Lankan fortune teller ahead of the three-day international cricket match that began in this tourist town Tuesday. Giles, who began his career as a fast bowler and then switched to spin, sat cross-legged in front of the palm reader at the Culture Club Hotel more..

Colombo hugs detached Delhi

Nov 19 (TT) The current crisis has seen all political parties in Sri Lanka activate their lines to New Delhi, much in contrast to the time not very long ago when India was blamed for everything that went wrong in the country. more..

Sri Lankan parliament to reopen

Nov 19 (BBC) Sri Lanka's parliament is due to meet on Wednesday, two weeks after President Kumaratunga suspended it and plunged the country into crisis. She is locked in dispute with Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe over how to bring peace with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Sri Lanka stars to wow fans

Nov 19 (GD) Six Sri Lankan stars are to be the main attraction of a concert next Wednesday at the Delmon International Hotel in Manama. The event, entitled Ran Taraka Golden Musical Stars Night, is set to held first at 1.30pm and again at 8.30pm to ensure that most of the stars' fans in Bahrain get to watch the show. more..

Why Colombo sits uneasy

Nov 19 (HT) It is ironic how, occasionally, the solution can become the problem. The Sri Lankan Constitution is a classic example of this conundrum. It would be over-simplistic to ascribe the recent crisis in Sri Lanka to any single cause. more..

Norwegian interlocutor allays India's fears over Lanka turmoil

Nov 19 (NIP) Employing Track-II diplomacy, India on Tuesday conveyed its concerns about the peace process to Norwegian interlocutor Erik Solheim who was here on a two-day visit to apprise the Government why they had put the peace talks "on hold" till the Sri Lankan President and Prime Minister sorted out their differences. more..

US Linking

Nov 19 (LBO) A visiting US trade team to Sri Lanka was bullish on investment prospects, adding however that increased foreign investments would hinge on progress in privatization and electronic trade. more..

Economic Charge -- Budget 2004

Nov 19 (LBO) A new tax called Economic Service Charge (ESC) of one percent over turnover or assets will come into effect next year, in an attempt to net in firms not paying government taxes. more..

Express Service -- Budget 2004

Nov 19 (LBO) Two new export-processing zones will spring up next year, as part of the government’s plans to spur economic activity. A second export zone will come up in Keragala, Biyagama in addition to another location in Pannala. more..

Southern Bound -- Budget 2004

Nov 19 (LBO) The government unveiled grand policies to develop the Southern province with plans to develop an airport, a port and set up an oil refinery. Finance Minister K N Choksy told legislators on Wednesday that the Southern expressway will be extended to Hambantota and Wellawaya. more..

Value Add -- Budget 2004

Nov 19 (LBO) The value added tax is to unified to a single 15 per cent rate from January 2004, from the current 10 and 20 per cent, while the government has abandoned plans to bring wholesale and retail trade into the VAT system. more..

In Person -- Budget 2004

Nov 19 (LBO) Personal tax exemption threshold would be raised to Rs 300,000 from the current Rs 240,000 and the income slabs widened, with effect from 2004/2005. Terminal benefits exemption limit raised to Rs 3.5 mn from the current one million rupees. more..

Hospital destroyed by SLA, IPKF reconstructed

Nov 19 (TN) The central dispensary and hospital located in the village of Mahilavettuvan, 30 km West of Batticaloa town in territory controlled by the LTTE in the Batticaloa district, recommenced operation Tuesday, sources said. more..

Work on new Sellasannithi chariot begins

Nov 19 (TN) The first piece of wood for building the new chariot (Ther) for the historic Thondamanaru Sellasannithi Murugan Temple in Jaffna was carved and consecrated Wednesday morning according to Tamil religious rites at the Bambalapitya Manikkapillaiyar Kovil in Colombo. more..

Stocks jump six pct as parliament reopens

Nov 19 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks surged more than six percent on Wednesday as parliament reopened after a two-week suspension, fuelling hopes of a return to normalcy after a political crisis that has jolted the market. more..

Sri Lanka rupee strengthens despite import demand

Nov 19 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee strengthened on Wednesday in active volumes on what dealers said was trade-related demand. The rupee closed at 95.80 against the dollar, compared to Tuesday's close of 96.85. more..

Lloyd warns Sri Lankan, England players

Nov 19 (PPI) ICC Match referee Clive Lloyd has warned that he will take a tough line over any misbehaviour by players during England's cricket tour to Sri Lanka. The ICC is determined to enforce discipline on the field and Lloyd has spelt the message out to captains and coaches. more..

Chandrika clears alliance with JVP

Nov 19 (Gulf) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party has given the approval to forge an alliance with the Marxist JVP (People's Liberation Front), but a section of the party members is strongly opposed to such a move. more..

2004 Budget to spur Economy, help create jobs -PM

Nov 19 (DJ) Sri Lanka's 2004 budget, to be read later Wednesday, will help spur the already resurgent economy to a higher growth path, says Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. "The budget will spur the economy for job creation," he told the private Sirasa television station. more..

Norway’s suspension of peace bid only ‘tactical’: Indian official

Nov 19 (AFP) Norway remains committed to the Sri Lankan peace process and suspended its mediation only as a ”tactical” move to resolve the island’s political crisis, Indian Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal said on Wednesday. more..

Chandrika hits out at JVP elements in SLFP

Nov 19 (DM) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has come out strongly against some of her party members who she claimed were working on the JVP agenda and appointed a four-member committee to review an agreement with the JVP by Thursday, political sources said. more..

Norway has not withdrawn from Sri Lanka peace process

Nov 19 (IANS) Norway has assured India that it has not withdrawn from Sri Lanka's peace process and remains firmly committed to bringing lasting peace to the island nation. more..

Sri Lanka improves roaming settlements

Nov 19 (CN) Cibernet says that Sri Lanka's Mobitel has selected it's integrated GSM Data Management and Financial Settlement Program to manage their international roaming data clearing and settlement. more..

Lankan Speaker for 'very urgent' constitutional amendment

Nov 19 (HT) Speaker of the Parliament Joseph Michael Perera on Wednesday proposed that the constitution be "very urgently" amended to enshrine parliament's right to reconvene itself even when it had been prorogued by the Executive President. more..

Accept permanent Indian base in Colombo, urges Lankan daily

Nov 19 (HT) The independent English language daily The Island has supported Janata Party president Dr Subramanian Swamy's demand that Sri Lanka allow India to establish a permanent military base in Colombo, in return for military help to face the threat from the LTTE. more..

Crisis-hit Sri Lanka plans infrastructure boost

Nov 19 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's government, caught in a power struggle with the president, promised more spending on infrastructure for the war-torn economy and pay hikes for civil servants in its budget on Wednesday. more..

Parliament declares president's power grab illegal

Nov 19 (AFP) Sri Lanka's political power struggle has deepened with the reopening of parliament and its declaration that its two-week suspension by a hostile president was illegal. more..

Sri Lanka parliament reopens to uproar

Nov 19 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's parliament reopened to an uproar on Wednesday when the speaker criticised the island's president for suspending the legislature and launching a crisis that put a peace bid with Tamil rebels on hold. more..

US funds rural development projects in Sri Lanka

Nov 19 (AFP) The United States is helping to upgrade rural medical facilities in war-torn Sri Lanka under a two-million-dollar project aimed at spreading the message of peace, the US embassy here said Wednesday. more..

IMF says crisis-hit Sri Lanka's budget reasonable

Nov 19 (Reuters) The International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday that Sri Lanka's budget for 2004, that envisaged pay hikes and higher infrastructure spending, was reasonable given the political turmoil the island was in. more..