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Sri Lankan envoy to visit Japan for talks on peace process

Nov 19 (Kyodo) A special envoy of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will visit Japan from Thursday to Monday for talks with Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi and other Japanese officials on peace process and its political situation, Japanese officials said Wednesday. more..

Sri Lanka warns of threat to recovery

Nov 19 (IHT) The government warned Wednesday that economic growth could be undermined by a political dispute that has hampered efforts to end the country's two-decade-old civil war. The dispute "has dealt the economy a severe blow and reversal," Finance Minister K. N. Choksy said more..

Sri Lanka ups salaries despite woes

Nov 19 (AFP) Sri Lanka's crisis-ridden government has increased salaries and farm subsidies in its budget for next year and vowed economic stability despite an unprecedented political crisis. more..

Lazy Bums -- Budget 2004

Nov 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka Wednesday announced it was shedding 300,000 state-sector jobs and offered a generous severance package that will effectively pay employees to stay at home for the rest of their lives. more..

Bargain Basement -- Budget 2004

Nov 20 (LBO) Giving a leg up to the local tourist trade, the government plans to develop Maskeliya and Puttalam as a future hotspot for the travel trade. The lagoons in these regions will be developed to be a major resort area, with funds pumped in to expand the Bentota resort stretch. more..

Adding Roofs -- Budget 2004

Nov 20 (LBO) The government is coming up with a series of housing loan packages targeted at different segments, to help spur a construction boom. The housing programmes will have four components based on the levels of affordability of different categories of people. more..

Lights On - Budget 2004

Nov 20 (LBO) The Treasury will pump in Rs. 35 bn over the next three years to develop the power sector, upgrading generation, transmission distribution and rural electrification. The funds will likely go toward ongoing restructuring, with state monopoly the CEB being dismantled into eight units of generation, distribution and transmission. more..

Norway ready to help in Sri Lanka, fears for truce

Nov 20 (Reuters) Norway said on Wednesday it willing to revive its peace role in Sri Lanka but warned that time was running out for the island with a political crisis threatening a truce with Tamil Tiger rebels and pledges of foreign aid. more..

SLFP to examine JVP proposals on alliance

Nov 20 (Island) PA Spokesman Dr. Sarath Amunugama on Tuesday announced that the SLFP had accepted in principle the draft proposals of the JVP to form an Alliance. Amunugama said that they would now examine them closely, before reaching a conclusion. more..

Pandemonium as Opposition challenges Speaker's ruling

Nov 20 (DN) There were scenes of pandemonium in Parliament yesterday as Speaker Joseph Michael Perera made his statement overruling the Presidential prorogation of Parliament. Opposition members were heard to retort at every turn the Speaker made a case against the prorogation. more..

Sami Labs sets shop in Sri Lanka

Nov 20 (BS) Sami Labs, the Bangalore-based healthscience company has announced the launch of its operations in Sri Lanka. The company has tied up with Harcourts Ltd, a leading co-marketing and distribution company in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka invites NTPC to set up power plant

Nov 20 (FE) The government of Sri Lanka has invited the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to put up a 300 mw power project. The project will be on build-operate-own (BOO) basis and will be set up as a joint venture with the Sri Lankan government. more..

Japan renovates war-destroyed community building in Jaffna

Nov 20 (TN) The First Secretary of the Japanese Embassy in Sri Lanka, Mr. Hiroshi Karube, Wednesday afternoon declared open the renovated building of the Madduvil Srivetpillai Community Center in Chavakachcheri in the Jaffna district at a cost of one million rupees more..

Pacers help Lanka rein in Indian Colts

Nov 20 (IE) Riding on a five-wicket haul by Tharanga Lakshitha, Sri Lanka A bundled out India Under 19 for 219, clinching a 16-run first innings lead, on the second day of the three-day match here on Wednesday. The visitors had lost three wickets for 180 in the second innings at stumps. Sri Lanka A now lead India colts by 196 runs. more..

For a lasting settlement

Nov 20 (IB) Is Sri Lanka poised at the brink of disaster? With the suspension of Norwegian facilitation, a train of events that could lead to a return to war that plagued the country for a near twenty year period cannot be ruled out. more..

Expanding Seams

Nov 20 (LBO) Regional trade pacts are swinging in Sri Lanka’s favour in an emerging quota-less era of top apparel retailers free to buy from wherever and whomever they choose. A Multi-Fibre Agreement has regulated the US$ 500 bn world trade in textiles for the past thirty years, more..

SL Security Forces told to strictly observe CFA

Nov 20 (TN) Sri Lanka's Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General Balagalle, SL Navy Chief, Vice Admiral Daya Sandagiri and Chief of SL AirForce Air Vice Marshall Donald Weerakody met Thursday with Commanders of Sri Lanka Army (SLA), Navy (SLN) and Air Force (SLAF) serving in Batticaloa district more..

Top military & police men visit Batticaloa

Nov 20 (SLA) A top level delegation from Armed forces and Police, headed by Chief of Defence Staff and Army Commander Lt. Gen L. P Balagalle flew to Batticaloa on Wednesday (19) to review security situation there and attend to the needs of serving members of Security Forces and Police. more..

Sri Lanka expecting England to fight back hard

Nov 20 (Reuters) Sri Lanka coach John Dyson expects England to return to form quickly following their humiliating 10-wicket loss in the opening match of the three-game one-day series. Sri Lanka bowled England out for 88 at Dambulla on Tuesday, almost a record low total, but Dyson said he knew Michael Vaughan's side were capable of big scores. more..

Sri Lanka plans 40% cut in government staff by 2006

Nov 20 (HT) In a bold initiative, the Sri Lankan government has proposed a 40% reduction of its staff by the year 2006, under an attractive Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS). The scheme was announced by Finance Minister KN Choksy in his budget speech in Colombo on Wednesday. more..

Behind the crisis in Sri Lanka

Nov 20 (SWO) A battle for power among Sri Lanka’s most powerful officials is threatening to open a new stage in the country’s bloody civil war. On November 4, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga caused a constitutional crisis by imposing a state of emergency and stripping authority from key members of parliament. more..

Balasingham better, to resume 'duties': LTTE

Nov 20 (IANS) Anton Balasingham, the self-styled ideologue of Tamil Tigers, is all set to return to Sri Lanka to help rebel chief Velupillai Prabhakaran during future peace talks with the government. According to TamilNet website, Balasingham was forced to take rest earlier this year because of deteriorating health. more..

Tamil Tigers want to know who's leading peace process

Nov 20 (Bloomberg) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers rebels want to know who's in charge of the government's side of the peace process, and plan to replace their own chief negotiator for talks in January, a rebel official said. more..

PM willing to work with president on peace bid

Nov 20 (AP) Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's government announced Thursday it was willing to give the country's separately elected president - a political rival of the premier - a broader role in the peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Chandrika tells troops to stick to MoU with LTTE

Nov 20 (HT) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Wednesday despatched the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and Army Commander Lt Gen Lionel Balagalle, to tell frontline troops in Batticaloa that they should stick to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka coach satisfied despite defeat

Nov 20 (AF) SRI Lanka coach Markus Vinicius said he had little to complain about despite his team's 3-1 defeat to UAE. Sri Lanka were always meant to be the whipping boys of Group G in the Asian Cup qualifying but having packed men behind the ball during their battle on November 18, the 3-1 loss was a performance that Vinicius can take a lot of heart from. more..

CY optimistic after launch of Sri Lanka route

Nov 20 (CM) Cyprus Airways (CY) yesterday hailed its first flight to Sri Lanka via Dubai on Tuesday as a great success and said that bookings for December were very encouraging. “Load factors are already satisfactory,” said CY spokesman Tassos Angelis. more..

Prime Minister offers President an olive branch

Nov 20 (RSI) Sri Lanka's government has offered President Chandrika Kumaratunga an olive branch to end their power struggle, saying it is willing to share responsibility for the economy and the Tamil Tiger peace process. Spokesman, G.L. Peiris, said the government is prepared to forget any differences it has with the President. more..

Suspend 70-day “death fast”

Nov 20 (DM) The fast unto death campaign held in front of the Fort railway station for the past 70 days by the Combined Association of Unemployed Graduates was suspended due to the successful discussions held on Monday at the President's House. more..

PM offers olive branch to president as legislative row looms

Nov 20 (AFP) Sri Lanka's government Thursday offered an olive branch to the president in hopes of ending a power struggle that has stalled peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels and hurt the economy, officials said. more..

EU Commissioner due in the island

Nov 20 (PRIU) The European Commissioner for External Relations Christopher Patten will visit Sri Lanka from November 25-26. Mr. Patten is due to meet with President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando, more..

England suffer blow as Anderson injured on Sri Lanka tour

Nov 20 (AFP) England fast bowler James Anderson was ruled out of the remaining two one-dayers against Sri Lanka due to an ankle injury, dealing a blow to the tourists' hopes of winning the series. more..

Parliament on collision course with president

Nov 20 (AFP) A landmark ruling by the Sri Lankan parliament has deepened rifts among political parties while the legislature could be headed for a direct collision with a hostile president, politicians and officials said. more..

India, Lanka U-19 match ends in draw

Nov 20 (PTI) India U-19 Opener Robin Uthappa and Sri Lanka ‘A' skipper Naveed Nawaz blazed sparkling centuries for their teams even as the three-day match between the two teams ended in draw on the third and final day here Thursday. more..

England gear up to battle with Sri Lanka - and the weather

Nov 20 (CI) In every sense, except the one that matters most, Colombo's weather has been regular as clockwork. At three o'clock this afternoon, with the groundstaff hovering expectantly between two practice nets in the middle of the Premadasa Stadium, the clouds rolled over and the rain came pouring down. more..

UNF seeks MoU with PA on peace and economy

Nov 21 (Island) The UNF government is seeking a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the People’s Alliance pertaining to a range of crucial issues including the peace process and the economy. The proposed MOU is to be based on an agreement brokered by former British Minister Liam Fox. more..

EU external relations commissioner to meet LTTE

Nov 21 (TN) The Commissioner of External Relations of the European Commission, Mr. Chris Patten, will visit Sri Lanka next week and meet the Liberation Tigers, President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, more..

Canada to strengthen peace in Lanka

Nov 21 (IL) The World University Service of Canada (WUSC) announced the launch of the fourth phase of the Project for Rehabilitation through Education and Training (PRET IV) to take place today at 5.30 p.m. at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo. more..

EU lawmakers rap president over power struggle

Nov 21 (EU) The European Parliament expressed concern Thursday over a power struggle being waged by Sri Lanka's president which has stalled peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels and hurt the nation's economy. more..

LSSP says case over PA's National list pre-empted

Nov 21 (TN) Mr. Batty Weerakoon, the leader of the LSSP, has charged that when his party was about to finish its submissions before the three-member bench of the Supreme Court hearing the case against the People’s Alliance General Secretary, Mr.D.M. Dayaratne, and the Elections Commissioner, more..

Unified VAT: Mixed fortunes for consumers

Nov 21 (DN) With the Value Added Tax moving to a unified figure of 15 percent the prices of several items including motor vehicles, electrical equipment and audio and video equipment will come down considerably from next year. more..

Japan urges Sri Lankan talks, envoy due in Tokyo

Nov 21 (Reuters) A Sri Lankan government envoy was due in Tokyo today as Japan urged Colombo's president and prime minister to smooth over their differences and return to negotiations with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

No Sacred Cow

Nov 21 (LBO) The UNF administration looks set go ahead with the tax on share trading profits, with the same determination, it is implementing unpopular reforms against less privileged classes in the country. more..

Firewood-cutters tortured, chained and abducted

Nov 21 (SLA) Six armed LTTE men in civil clothes tortured five Muslim firewood cutters and abducted them while they were in the general area of WELIKANDA on 19 November 2003 around 6.30 p.m. according to one victim, who escaped and ran away from LTTE. more..

Remaining civilian finally released

Nov 21 (SLA) A civilian, abducted earlier from the general area of KANDEGAMA, about 30 km southeast of POLONNARUWA and subsequently detained by LTTE along with two others, has been released at WADAMUNE Road on 18 November 2003 around 7.00 a.m. more..

Pandal blocking highway not allowed

Nov 21 (SLA) An attempt by about 20 LTTE men to erect a huge pandal obstructing the A-9 road passage at CHAVAKACHCHERI was prevented by troops on 19 November 2003 with the assistance from Police. more..

A common programme to put country on right path

Nov 21 (PSL) The two major southern political parties in the country should join hands on a common programme, at least on the major issues such as the ethnic issue, good governance and strengthening democratic institutions said President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday. more..

Five new envoys present credentials

Nov 21 (PSL) Five new envoys presented their letters of credence to President Kumaratunga at President’s House today. They are Akio Suda for Japan, Sudrago Mangunwidjojo for Indonesia, Joaquim Jose Lemos Ferreira Marques for Portugal, Don Rafael Conde de Saro for Spain, and Dio Debeljuh for Croatia.

Ethnic issue before politics-President

Nov 21 (PSL) The basis for the current talks between the President, Prime Minister and their officials is the formation of a government of Reconstruction and Reconciliation said People’s Alliance spokesman Dr. Sarath Amunugama. more..

President appoints new regional commander for Jaffna

Nov 21 (TN) Major General Paramee Kulatunga has been appointed as the new Jaffna regional commander of the Sri Lanka Army replacing the incumbent Major General Sarath Fonseka. Major General Sarath Fonseka has been put in charge of the SLA Volunteer Corp, in a shake up in the military establishment made by the President, more..