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Sri Lanka on track to tax stock trading profits

Nov 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka plans to go ahead with an unpopular proposal to tax investors who make profits on the bullish Colombo bourse to refill empty state coffers, Finance Minister K.N. Choksy said on Friday. more..

Only a patriotic alliance can defeat reactionary schemes - JVP

Nov 21 (LT) It is not correct for any party in Sri Lanka to hold discussions with tiger terrorists on the proposals they have put forward aiming to get legal sanction to establish a Tamil Elam state. Tamil Elam tiger organization’s scheme is to entrap the government in the framework of their proposals. more..

Missonary: "The desire for peace is immense between the Singalese and theTamil"

Nov 21 (Misna) “The people are tired of 20-years of guerrilla warfare and they want peace,” said Father Giuseppe Chianese to MISNA, a Jesuit missionary that has been living in Sri Lanka for 65 years. more..

It's business as usual for many sectors despite media hysteria, panic and gloomy predictions

Nov 21 (Gulf) The overall market situation recorded dramatic improvement after President Chandrika Bandaranaike and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe ended two weeks of uncertainty by agreeing to work together and appointing a committee of officials to work out a national consensus on key issues and take the peace process forward. more..

Missionaries rouse Sri Lankan Buddhists' wrath

Nov 21 (TT) Controversial missionary activities by fundamentalist Christian sects in Sri Lanka have inflamed passions among the predominantly Buddhist population to an extent that could rebound against older, established Christian groups such as the Catholics. more..

Education a casualty in North-East

Nov 21 (OW) Despite Sri Lanka's impressive 91 percent literacy rate, a whopping 94,000 children in the war-torn North and East are yet to get enrolment in schools, with teacher vacancies here touching 4820, thanks to lack of funds and the prevailing uncertainty. more..

Raped housemaid treated after panic attack

Nov 21 (GD) A Sri Lankan housemaid who claims she was raped by her employer had to be taken to hospital yesterday after she collapsed. Fatima Reshana, 25, is being treated by a psychiatrist and a urologist for mental and physical damage allegedly sustained in the assault. more..

Finance Minister: Open to discuss new capital gains tax

Nov 21 (DJ) Finance Minister K.N. Choksy said Friday he is open to discussion about a proposed new capital gains tax that has worried investors and pulled down share prices. In its 2004 budget announced Wednesday, the government said it will impose a 15% tax on capital gains, effective April 1. more..

Contraband for LTTE or another group?

Nov 21 (DM) In a turn of events it was reported that nearly 20 containers had been already cleared out of the Colombo ports during the past one and half months after the controversial seize of a container of two remote control airplanes along with a load of military technological equipment by the Customs Chief Preventive Office. more..

President's party ready to make up with premier

Nov 21 (AFP) President's party said it was ready to end its power struggle with the prime minister and attempt a fresh deal on governing together within three weeks. President's spokesman Sarath Amunugama Friday said the People's Alliance was prepared to forget the acrimony with the premier, more..

New chief of staff in Sri Lanka army reshuffle

Nov 21 (Reuters) President Chandrika Kumaratunga, locked in a power struggle with her prime minister, appointed a new army chief on Friday -- a man who has fought Tamil rebels and also participated in peace talks with them. more..

England one-dayer with Sri Lanka abandoned

Nov 21 (Reuters) The second one-day international between Sri Lanka and England has been abandoned without a ball being bowled due to heavy rain. The umpires made a final inspection at 5:45 p.m. local time (11:45 a.m.) on Friday and called the match off. more..

President sets deadline

Nov 21 (BBC) President has set a 15 December deadline for resolving a stand-off with her prime minister. President Kumaratunga's spokesman said she was "willing to forget the past and start anew". The move comes a day after PM Ranil Wickramasinghe said his rival could play a part in the peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels, which is on hold. more..

EU's Patten to visit Sri Lanka, meet top Tiger rebel

Nov 21 (AFP) EU External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten is to visit Sri Lanka next week for talks with the quarelling prime minister and president and the top Tamil Tiger rebel leader, officials said Friday. more..

David North addresses Sri Lankan Trotskyists on the 50th anniversary of the ICFI

Nov 21 (wsws) To mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), David North, Chairman of the WSWS International Editorial Board, addressed a meeting of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka on November 16 in the capital Colombo. more..

A crisis in Sri Lanka

Nov 21 (FL) Sri Lanka's first real cohabitation government and the Norwegian-facilitated peace process started facing their latest endurance test. Exercising her constitutional powers, the President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, took over the portfolios of Defence, Interior and Mass Communication, and prorogued Parliament. more..

`I did it in the larger interest of the nation' - Chandrika

Nov 21 (FL) As the constitutionally all-powerful head of state, President Kumaratunga took over the portfolios of Defence, Interior and Mass Communication on November 4. With this single move, the Sri Lankan peace process and also the bitter cohabitation government in Colombo have been jolted into a mid-course reality check. more..

The political deadlock

Nov 21 (FL) It was in several ways a showdown in the making. The constitutional and political standoff since November 4 has sent Sri Lanka into a state of suspended animation. From the day the Ranil Wickremesinghe-led UNF won the 2001 parliamentary elections, Sri Lanka's politics was set for change. more..

The LTTE's response

Nov 21 (FL) THE chief of the LTTE, V. Prabakaran, is a busy man these days. As in war, so in peace, he emerges when he has a point to make. On November 13, when the Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister was on a visit to Sri Lanka, Prabakaran met him for close to two hours in rebel-held Kilinochchi. more..

Waiting and watching

Nov 21 (FL) The Norwegian facilitators, who never publicly proclaimed the ups and downs during their involvement in the island's latest peace process said on November 14 that the peace process was on hold. more..

On Tiger turf

Nov 21 (FL) On October 31, in its 30th year of existence, the LTTE spelt out, for the first time, what it expected from the Sri Lankan government as an alternative to its demand for a separate state - self-rule for the northeast, with weak links with the Central government - as a "rational, reasonable and practical" interim measure. more..

SLA pulls down Heroes’ Day arches, festoons in Jaffna

Nov 21 (TN) The Sri Lanka army in Jaffna deployed additional troops along the Kandy Road (A9) from Kodikamam to the entrance of the northern town Friday and pulled down decorative arches and festoons put up for the LTTE’s Great Heroes’ Day in many parts of the peninsula. more..

Sri Lanka to extend voluntary retirement scheme to troops

Nov 21 (AFP) Sri Lanka will extend its salary-for-life golden-handshake to troops and police depending on the success of efforts to end decades of ethnic bloodshed, Finance Minister KN Choksy said on Thursday. more..

President `Not Optimistic' about political settlement

Nov 21 (Bloomberg) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga is "not optimistic" about resolving differences with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, said Janadasa Peiris, the presidential spokesman. more..

First-ever MoU between President, PM expected by Dec 15

Nov 21 (HT) The first ever Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between a President and a Prime Minister in the history of Sri Lanka is expected to be signed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Colombo, on or before December 15. more..

Arnold leads President's XI

Nov 21 (CI) Russel Arnold will have a chance to impress Sri Lanka's selectors, who will now be mulling over selection for the Test squad, when he captains a Sri Lanka Cricket President's XI against England next week. more..

Minister lashes out at UNF govt. over IDP’s plight

Nov 21 (TN) Hindu Religious Affairs Minister, Mr. T.Maheswaran, Friday lashed out against his own government that it has not taken any concrete steps to alleviate the suffering of several thousand internally displaced people (IDP) in the Jaffna district for the last two years." more..

SLA hands back Amban hospital, library

Nov 22 (TN) The Sri Lanka army Friday handed back to civil authorities a hospital and public library it had been occupying for more than three years in Amban, a village on Jaffna’s southeastern coast. more..

SLA permits Danish to de-mine again

Nov 22 (TN) The Sri Lanka army permitted the Danish De-mining Group (DDG) to resume work in Katkovalam, a coastal village near Pt. Pedro town in Jaffna from Friday, residents said. more..

SLMM defuses tension in Jaffna over SLA's interference

Nov 22 (TN) The Sri Lanka Army Friday afternoon stopped officials of the Jaffna district consumers' co-operative societies federation from hoisting the LTTE flag at the event held in the federation’s premises as a part of the Great Heroes' (Maveerar) Day celebrations. more..

UNF minister questions President's silence over LTTE camp

Nov 22 (TN) Tourism Minister, Mr. Gamini Lokuge, Friday queried the President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, as to what had happened to her warning to then Defense Minister to remove the Kurankupanchchan LTTE camp within ten days, as she had said it had been established after the signing of the ceasefire agreement more..

Speaker notified of an attempt to assault Maheswaran

Nov 22 (TN) Opposition parliamentarians brought to the notice of the Speaker Mr.Joseph Michael Perera Friday afternoon that an alleged assault attempt had been made by some ruling party members on Hindu Religious Affairs Minister, Mr.S.Maheswaran, inside the House after more..

Sri Lanka wash-out row shows contempt for the supporters

Nov 22 (Independent) The Abandoned one-day international here and the failure of England and the home side to agree on a format that would see the match re-scheduled today is another example of cricket failing to look after the people who pay its bills. more..

Trade unions ask govt where relief is

Nov 22 (Island) Analysing the third budget of the UNF Government, as a hollow one, Trade Unions demanded that the Government explain where the much hyped reliefs for the working class was. "Government ministers boasted in public and on television that public servants would get a bag- ful of money in the budget.," more..

Major breakthrough in Asthma control

Nov 22 (DN) A Sri Lankan doctor has introduced a generic drug for asthma that could potentially save millions of rupees per month in foreign exchange while drastically slashing the medical bills of local patients. more..

No Buzz

Nov 22 (LBO) There were no popping champagne corks or toasts as Minister Choksy celebrated round one of the budget, with brewers saying the state’s skewed liquor policy was taking the fizz out of industry. more..

Hidden Costs

Nov 22 (LBO) The total cost of the public sector salary hike will be much higher than the Rs. 12.5 bn estimated cost to the state say analysts. The minimum Rs. 1250 hike proposed in Wednesday’s budget will also push up non-salary commitments like EPF, ETF and other payments calculated as a percentage of the gross pay. more..

No Sacred Cow

Nov 22 (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..

Slithering Down

Nov 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom reported a 26 percent dip in net profits for the first nine months, due to an early retirement scheme, higher operating costs and losses from its cellular subsidiary. The monopoly telecom giant said Friday that net profits fell to Rs. 1.788 bn from Rs. 2.425 bn reported during the corresponding period 2002. more..

LTTE cut - out removed

Nov 22 (SLA) The structure which was erected in connection with an LTTE commemoration, in the general area of KAITHADI about, 06 km west of CHAVAKACHCHERI was removed on 21 November 2003 around 8.10 a.m. more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Nov 22 (SLA) One hundred and thirty one (131) lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 10 November 2003 and 16 November 2003. more..

NE Provincial Council holds 'IFTAR'

Nov 22 (TN) “The healthy relationship between Tamils and Muslims has deteriorated for various reasons in recent times. This should not be allowed to continue. All of us should make a concerted effort to bring back the golden era where two communities lived as brothers and sisters for centuries. more..

German government reconstructs destroyed Trinco building

Nov 22 (TN) The new building of the Sampalthivu Agrarian Services Centre (ASC), located in the village of Aththimoddai, about 7 k.m. north of Trincomalee town, and reconstructed at a cost of 2.9 million rupees with the financial assistance of German Agency for Technical Co-operation (GTZ) more..

Paper slams EU peace visit as "pig headed act"

Nov 22 (TN) Commissioner of External Affairs of the European Union, Mr. Chris Patten’s visit to Sri Lanka next week is expected to draw strong protests from Sinhala nationalists, political observers in Colombo said. more..

Sri Lanka military deploys more troops in Jaffna -report

Nov 22 (AP) Sri Lanka has deployed more army troops in the northern city of Jaffna as the Tamil Tigers rebels prepare to commemorate guerrillas killed during the country's 19-year civil war, rebel sources and a news report said Saturday. more..

UAE need just a point against Lanka today

Nov 22 (Gulf) UAE need just one point from their concluding Asian Cup qualifying match against Sri Lanka today to book their ticket to the finals in China next year. The match will be played at Al Shabab Club's Maktoum bin Rashid stadium, the same venue when the teams met in the first leg last Tuesday. more..

Noted educationist urges Colombo to help Sri Lankan School, Muscat

Nov 22 (TOO) Sri Lanka’s acclaimed educational administrator, R.I.T. Alles, has urged the Sri Lankan government to extend financial support to Sri Lankan School, Muscat, which according to him, “is doing excellent job” in respect of imparting better education and discipline to its students. more..

IOM launches EU-funded campaign to stop people smuggling through Sri Lanka

Nov 22 (AFP) The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said Friday it has launched a six-week campaign funded by the European Union to reduce people smuggling from Sri Lanka to mainly Europe and Australia. more..

Bid to deport Tamil gangs fails

Nov 22 (NP) Dozens of gang members arrested for deportation two years ago in a high-profile series of police raids are now back on the streets and efforts to remove them from Canada have all but failed, the National Post has learned. more..

EU attacks Chandrika on eve of Patten's visit

Nov 22 (HT) The European Union has attacked President Chandrika Kumaratunga on the eve of the visit of its Commissioner of External Relations, Christopher (Chris) Patten to the island. In a resolution passed on Thursday, the EU's parliament expressed "deep concern" about the recent developments in Sri Lanka more..