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Interview with the Prime Minister

Nov 4 (Time) Soon after taking over as Prime Minister in December 2001, Ranil Wickremesinghe lifted a long-standing government embargo that had impoverished the LTTE-controlled north and east. Opponents accused him of endangering national security, but the gamble paid off. more..

SC entertains written submissions on Kumaratunga's petition

Nov 4 (TN) The Supreme Court Monday entertained written submissions from the Counsels appearing for the petitioner, President Chandrika Kumaratunga, and the State in the inquiry into the petition seeking to resolve the issue of whether the executive president or the defense minister has the power over security of the country, more..

Piling coal in Thampalakamam said cause of pollution

Nov 4 (TN) Many thousand metric tons of coal unloaded at the Trincomalee harbor and piled on a plot of land located in a residential area at Thampalakamam, a Tamil village about 24 km west of the Trincomalee town, before being taken to the Puttalam cement factory, has caused environmental problems to the residents of the village and crops, more..

`No provision for pluralistic democracy in LTTE proposals'

Nov 4 (Hindu) The October 31 proposals by the LTTE give "flesh and substance" to the Thimpu Principles outlined in 1985, Tamil political leaders who were involved in the first attempt to find a negotiated settlement to Sri Lanka's separatist crisis, told The Hindu today. more..

Premier's meeting with Bush significant, says Moragoda

Nov 4 (DN) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's meeting US President George W. Bush is a continuing process and is very significant. "We see it as a long- term relationship in the context of our connections with his visits to India, Japan and European union countries," said Economic Reforms and Science and Technology Minister Milinda Moragoda. more..

Gang hijacking Intercoolers for LTTE nabbed

Nov 4 (Island) The Crimes Investigations Division of the Dehiwela Police have arrested three members of a 7-man gang, engaged in the hijacking intercooler vehicles, which they sold in the LTTE controlled area of the North and Eastern parts of the country, police sources revealed. more..

New Tiger blueprint for peace "significant" : Armitage

Nov 4 (AFP) A first-ever blueprint for peace unveiled by Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels is "significant" and "comprehensive" but oversteps internationally endorsed guidelines for a settlement, a top US official said Monday. more..

Implications of LTTE proposals

Nov 4 (Jang) Tiger rebel leader Velupillai Prabakaran wants to rule Sri Lanka’s North-East, two-thirds of the island nation’s landmass, and four-fifths of the seacoast for five years. What will follow next if no settlement is reached by then - whether there will be a stalemate, a war, or a state of Eelam, a new southern neighbour for India - remains a matter for conjecture. more..

Big Deal

Nov 4 (LBO) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe’s US visit will bring Sri Lanka once step closer to building a free trade area spanning two continents. The Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement (CEPA) between India and the Sri Lanka which is due to be signed in less than six months, will further integrate Sri Lanka’s economic ties with her giant neighbour. more..

Paper Trail

Nov 4 (LBO) Attempts to restructure and privatise the National Paper Corp. have attracted proposals from six investment banks, PERC said Monday. The PERC said Ernst & Young, Ford Rhodes Thornton & Company, Merchant Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Vanik Inc, and Management Frontiers sent in proposals to offer financial expertise to the government. more..

Zoysa back in Sri Lankan ODI squad

Nov 4 (CI) Nuwan Zoysa and Nuwan Kulasekera, an uncapped 21-year-old swing bowling allrounder, were included in a 16-man squad for England's three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka. more..

Chandrika blasts LTTE proposals

Nov 4 (Gulf) A wide debate over the counter proposals submitted by Tamil Tigers on establishing an Interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) has opened in Sri Lanka with President Chandrika Kumaratunga declaring that the proposals were beyond devolution. more..

President's party blasts LTTE's proposals

Nov 4 (HT) Blasting the LTTE's recent proposal for an Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA), the SLFP, headed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga, said on Tuesday that it is a blueprint for a plan to secede from Sri Lanka and form an independent state of Tamil Eelam. more..

Vajpayee, Lankan Prez to discuss LTTE's proposals

Nov 4 (HT) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee are expected to discuss security and other issues thrown up by the LTTE's controversial proposals for an Interim Administration in the Sri Lankan North East, when they meet in New Delhi sometime between November 8 and 10. more..

Reckitt offers voluntary retirement scheme

Nov 4 (DJ) Reckitt Benckiser Lanka Ltd. Tuesday announced a voluntary retirement scheme, or VRS, as part of efforts to streamline operations in Sri Lanka. The company markets various brands in household cleaning, pest control as well as health and personal care in Sri Lanka. more..

Up to India to get involved in peace process: Armitage

Nov 4 (Rediff) United States Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage has told that it's up to India whether to play a 'catalytic role' in the peace process. Armitage has been the Bush administration's point man in pushing for a peaceful resolution of the 20-year-old conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE. more..

Stocks slide five pct on political fears

Nov 4 (Reuters) Stocks slid more than five percent on Tuesday, led by retail selling in largest-listed Sri Lanka Telecom Ltd , as tension between the president and government fuelled the sell-off. The key Colombo all-share index ended down a provisional 5.02 percent, or 74.58 points, at 1,334.51, its lowest level in four weeks. more..

Days numbered for TULF leader

Nov 4 (DM) TULF leader V. Anandasangari yesterday expressed doubts about his future as the leader of the party since apparent pressure from the LTTE has driven a section of the moderate party to act against its leader. more..

Future of Sri Lanka’s peace hangs in balance

Nov 4 (TN) Prospects for ending the island’s two-decade-old conflict dimmed fast Tuesday as the status of the cease-fire agreement (CFA), which was signed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in February 2002, became uncertain after President Kumaratunga snatched the ministry of defence from his government Tuesday. more..

Rights group urges India, Sri Lanka to free detained fishermen

Nov 4 (AP) Civil rights activists Tuesday appealed to New Delhi and Colombo to release scores of fishermen languishing in jails across India and Sri Lanka. At least 50 Sri Lankan and 36 Indian fishermen are in jail for having strayed into Indian or Sri Lankan waters while fishing at sea, more..

President sacks key ministers, deploys troops in political crisis

Nov 4 (AFP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has sacked three cabinet ministers and deployed troops around key installations, setting off a political crisis after she rejected a landmark peace proposal with Tamil rebels. more..

Sri Lanka sacks ministers, ups security

Nov 4 (AP) Government was plunged into crisis and its peace process imperiled Tuesday when the president deployed troops around the capital and fired three key ministers who were trying to coax Tamil rebels back into talks to end a 20-year civil war. more..

Sri Lanka political crisis as 3 ministers sacked

Nov 4 (Reuters) President Chandrika Kumaratunga fired three cabinet ministers Tuesday, openly warring with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe after his government welcomed power-sharing proposals from Tamil rebels. more..

Sri Lanka thrown into political crisis

Nov 4 (BBC) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has suspended parliament and sacked three powerful ministers, plunging the country into crisis. Troops have been ordered to guard key installations, including the state television station. more..

Sri Lanka looks set for snap polls as political crisis hits peace push

Nov 4 (AFP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's sacking of key ministers and two-week suspension of parliament Tuesday was being seen as a prelude to snap elections and a blow to Norway's bid to broker peace with Tamil Tiger rebels, analysts said. more..

AP Photo

Nov 4 (AP) Sri Lankan army soldiers, left, stand guard the Government Press building in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2003. more..

Profile: Chandrika Kumaratunga

Nov 4 (BBC) Chandrika Kumaratunga came to power as president of Sri Lanka in 1994. Ms Kumaratunga threatened to sack the government earlier this year Her family credentials for the job were impeccable. Both her parents had been prime ministers of Sri Lanka: her mother, Sirimavoh Bandaranaike, was the world's first woman prime minister. more..

Prime minister slams president's moves

Nov 4 (AP) Sri Lanka's prime minister is accusing the country's president of seeking "chaos and anarchy." He says the firing of three top ministers, the suspension of parliament and the deployment of troops around the capital city endanger the chances of peace with rebels. more..

Media statement from the office of the President

Nov 4 (PSL) The President today 4th November relieved three cabinet ministers of their portfolios by virtue of the powers vested in the President under the Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka. The reasons for the action are in the national interest said a communiqué issued by the office of the President. more..

Q&A: Sri Lanka crisis

Nov 4 (BBC) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has used sweeping powers to sack three ministers and suspend parliament. Her move has taken the country into uncharted constitutional territory, and thrown the peace process with Tamil Tigers into question. more..

U.N. declares 2004 International Year of Rice

Nov 4 (IANS) Citing a pending crisis, the U.N. has launched a drive to increase the production of rice, the staple food of more than half the world's population. Jacques Diouf, director general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation, said the world population was growing but land and water resources for rice production were diminishing. more..

'Nothing to fear' in Sri Lanka

Nov 4 (BBC) A Sri Lankan official says England can safely play cricket there despite political turmoil in the country. Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka spokesman Ray Illangakoon said the whole country was "looking forward to the tour." more..

Government is to impeach the President

Nov 4 (LP) Ministers of Cabinet and the UNF Parliamentary group had decided to impeach the president, re summon the prorogued parliament and to mobilize the people against the undemocratic action of the President Chandrika Kumaratunga, government sources told the Daily Mirror. more..

Premier would not allow undermining the peace process and economic prosperity

Nov 4 (LP) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe pledged today that he would not allow President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s ‘desperate and irresponsible’ attempt to undermine the peace process and economic prosperity of the people to succeed. more..

Sri Lanka 'plunged into anarchy'

Nov 4 (BBC) Sri Lanka's president has been accused of trying to plunge her country into "anarchy and chaos". The accusation by Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe came after Chandrika Kumaratunga suspended parliament and sacked three powerful ministers. more..

PM's response to crisis

Nov 4 (BBC) Prime Minister, Ranil Wickramasinghe, responds to the decision by President Chandrika Kumaratunga to suspend parliament: "Whilst being out of the country on an important visit to the United States, a co-chair of the donor community, in furtherance of Sri Lanka's peace process and economic development, more..

Parliament prorogued to prevent impeachment of CJ

Nov 4 (HT) President Chandrika Kumarkatunga, who prorogued the Sri Lankan parliament till November 19, did so to prevent the Speaker from accepting a motion to impeach Chief Justice Sarath N Silva, informed sources told Hindustan Times. more..

Tigers watching Sri Lanka political crisis

Nov 4 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels said they were closely watching the country's unfolding political crisis and its implications for their truce with security forces. more..

Kumaratunga ready to talk with Tigers after sacking ministers

Nov 4 (AFP) Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga said she was ready to open peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels after sacking three key ministers and suspending parliament Tuesday. more..

Join Statement on Situation in Sri Lanka - EU

Nov 4 (EU) The Presidency of the European Union and the European Commission have noted with concern the actions this morning in Sri Lanka, including deployment of troops in the capital and the action to bring under the remit of the President the Cabinet portfolios of Defence, of Interior, and of Communications. more..

US monitoring Sri Lanka crisis

Nov 4 (CM) The US is closely monitoring the escalating political crisis in Sri Lanka, a senior official said today, a day before President George W Bush is due to meet Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the White House. more..

Tamil Tiger blueprint for peace is significant but prospects remain distant

Nov 4 (RSI) The United States has described the first-ever blueprint for peace unveiled by LTTE as "significant" and "comprehensive" However, US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, after meeting with Sri Lankan government officials in Washington, said the plan oversteps internationally-endorsed guidelines for a settlement. more..

Annan hopes moves by Sri Lanka leader will not harm peace process

Nov 5 (UN) United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today that he hoped the peace process in Sri Lanka would not be harmed by the President's decision to sack three cabinet ministers, temporarily suspend Parliament and order troops to guard key sites. more..

Interior Minister wants more security for FTZ employees

Nov 5 (Island) Acting on representations made by the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, Minister of Interior and Christian Affairs John Amaratunga on Monday directed Police to intensify police protection to employees of the Katunayake Free Trade Zone when they go home after work. more..

Cabinet disregards Presidential decision

Nov 5 (DN) The Cabinet of Ministers, at an Emergency Meeting held yesterday afternoon spanning over five hours in the aftermath of the President's decision to remove the portfolios of three Ministers, has decided to disregard the decision, a senior Cabinet Minister told more..

SL Security forces remove speed breakers in Kodikamam

Nov 5 (TN) Soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army along with police personnel Monday night removed the speed breakers which had been constructed in front of the Kodikamam Maveerar Thuyilum Illam (mausoleum) in the Thenmaradchchi division of the Jaffna district as a precautionary measure to avoid accidents, more..

Sri Lanka shortlists eight in bid for retail fuel

Nov 5 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has shortlisted eight firms seeking to enter the retail fuel market and expects to select the final bidder by early next year, the government's privatisation body said on Tuesday. more..

Sri Lankan developments take India by surprise

Nov 5 (IANS) India was taken by surprise on Tuesday by Sri Lankan President Kumaratunga's decision to suspend Parliament and sack three cabinet ministers, creating a political crisis in the island. There was however no official comment on the developments in Colombo, with which New Delhi has excellent relations. more..

SLFP for talks on core issues

Nov 5 (Hindu) The SLFP today expressed "grave concern" over the proposals released by the LTTE but said it was for "immediate" resumption of talks that should address the "core issues of the conflict". In a 14-page statement, the SLFP, said the proposals for an interim self-governing authority (ISGA) laid "the legal foundation for a future, separate, sovereign state". more..

Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 14 runs to enter U-19 final

Nov 5 (DT) Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 14 runs to enter final of the Asian Under-19 Cup Cricket Championship at the National Stadium here Tuesday. Coach Aaqib Javed’s highly-rated side were bowled out for 234 in 48.2 overs in reply to Sri Lanka’s total of 248 for five wickets in 50 overs. more..