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LTTE cadre strangled to death in Trincomalee

Nov 6 (TN) The body of a youth found at the Trincomalee beach Tuesday morning close to Fort Frederick had been identified as that of an LTTE cadre, Mr. Nanthan, who was on leave from the Vanni recently. The postmortem examination held at the Trincomalee general hospital revealed that he had been strangled to death, more..

Five-star fund raiser by SLFP

Nov 7 (Island) The SLFP on Wednesday held a five-star fund raising dinner at the Galadari. The Rs. 3,500 per head dinner was attended by many leading businessmen. President Chandrika Kumaratunga headed the guest list, an entrepreneur said, adding that the hotel’s banquet hall was packed with people. more..

Govt. committed to peace process: Peiris

Nov 7 (Hindu) The Government is deeply committed to the peace process and intends to proceed with the negotiations with the LTTE, according to Colombo's Chief Negotiator, G.L. Peiris. "It is definitely our intention to proceed with the negotiations on the lines already indicated in our response to the LTTE's proposals," more..

Sri Lanka's Muslims: the double-edged sword

Nov 7 (Aljazeera) Amid Sri Lanka's political turmoil, its long-forgotten Muslim minority is caught between a rock and a hard place. President Kumaratunga has provoked a national crisis in the Indian Ocean island by suspending parliament, sacking key ministers and declaring a state of emergency. more..

Childhood playmates, now leaders, play out bitterness on political stage

Nov 7 (AP) They were childhood playmates who grew up amid the genteel luxury of Sri Lanka's elite. There were lessons at the golf club and weekends at family homes in the tropical highlands. There were dances in wood-paneled clubs right out of Victorian London. more..

Lanka's political turmoil hits tourism industry

Nov 7 (UNI) The recent political turmoil, that erupted after President Chandrika Kumaratunga declared a state of emergency has hit Sri Lanka's tourism industry severely with the country losing Rs 73 million within two days. more..

Chandrika stands to lose, but so do the Lankans

Nov 7 (NIP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga could be going for the broke by precipitating a major show-down with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, but ultimately she might stand to lose. But more than her personal fate, it is the future of the Sri Lankan Tamils that should cause all round concern. One never knows how the LTTE would react. more..

Robbers steal Kalutara pension money

Nov 7 (DN) Two armed suspects who stormed the Kalutara Main Post Office had got away with Rs. 4.9 million in cash which had been brought to pay pensioners. According to Kalutara Police, the two suspects who had come on a motor bike around 8.40 am had stolen the money at gunpoint and had fled. more..

Soul Searching in Sri Lanka: Dialogue or War?

Nov 7 (WPR) President, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, unleashed a storm of protest and controversy Nov. 4 when she dissolved Parliament, fired three Cabinet ministers, deployed troops around the capital, and soon after declared a state of emergency “for administrative and logistical reasons.” more..

Australians warned to avoid crowds in Sri Lanka

Nov 7 (Reuters) Australians warned its citizens on Friday to avoid demonstrations and large gatherings in Sri Lanka following political tensions that have threatened the country's peace. Australia's foreign office advised its citizens to exercise a high level of caution in Sri Lanka and closely monitor developments that might affect their safety. more..

Lanka tea prices edge up despite politics

Nov 7 (Reuters) Sri Lanka tea prices edgedhigher at the latest auction yesterday on buying for the winter period unperturbed by a political crisis in the island. The anticipated gross sales average was 162.50 rupees per kg, compared to 162.15 rupees per kg last week, Forbes and Walker Tea Brokers said in a statement. more..

A chance to help Sri Lanka

Nov 7 (IHT) Just when it appeared there was a chance to resolve the conflict between minority Tamils and majority Sinhalese on the island nation of Sri Lanka, President Chandrika Kumaratunga seized the occasion of a visit to the White House this week by her political rival, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, to fire three cabinet ministers and suspend Parliament. more..

Woman behind Sri Lanka's turmoil

Nov 7 (CSM) When President Chandrika Kumaratunga decides to do something, she does it big. Just this week, she has suspended parliament, sacked key ministers, declared a state of emergency that give her vast powers of arrest and detention, and thrown the 20 month-long peace process with Tamil insurgents into doubt. more..

Canada concerned with Sri Lanka political crisis

Nov 7 (AFP) Canada said Thursday it was concerned with Sri Lanka's growing political crisis ahead of a potential showdown between Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and a hostile president who has been tightening her grip on power through emergency laws. more..

British High Commission refutes rumours

Nov 7 (PRIU) The British High Commission, Colombo, today rejected reports that the British government had advised Britons against travel to Sri Lanka. “We have only been making factual updates to its Travel Advice with the recent development of events in the country”, a communiqué said. more..

"No solution other than the devolution of power is possible" - Batty Weerakoon

Nov 7 (TN) "LSSP shares the realist approach that given the nature of constitutional amendment no solution other than the devolution of power is possible. As to how comprehensive it can be is subject to negotiation," said Batty Weerakoon, more..

Vavuniya judicial officers demonstrate in support of CJ

Nov 7 (TN) The judicial officers in Vavuniya protested against the alleged motion by the United National Front Government of Sri Lanka in parliament to impeach the Chief Justice (CJ), stopping work at half-day on Thursday to hold a demonstration, sources in the Northern town said. more..

"We are strong, we will be patient" – Karuna

Nov 7 (TN) “We have to observe the political turmoil in Colombo quite soberly. As you all know our leader has made no comment on the situation– he remains judiciously silent. We can remain patient as long as we are strong. Selfish gain and self-aggrandizement motivate and guide the politics of Sri Lankan leaders. more..

Prime Minister Arrives Home

Nov 7 (AP) Prime minister returned home Friday to a big welcome from supporters and Cabinet colleagues as he faced his toughest-ever political confrontation against an increasingly hostile president. "Father of peace, we are with you," read a welcome poster at Bandaranaike International Airport. more..

Thousands gather to welcome PM home amid political turmoil

Nov 7 (AFP) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe returned home Friday for a showdown with President Chandrika Kumaratunga who tightened her grip on power during his trip to Washington. Wickremesinghe was greeted by senior cabinet ministers and several thousand supporters more..

President withdraws state of emergency

Nov 7 (AFP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has withdrawn the state of emergency she declared in a showdown with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, a senior government official told AFP Friday. more..

Prime minister vows to reopen parliament

Nov 7 (AFP) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe Friday vowed on his return from a trip abroad to reopen parliament which has been suspended by his rival President Chandrika Kumaratunga until November 19. more..

Naveed Nawaz to lead Sri Lanka A in India

Nov 7 (CI) Naveed Nawaz, vice-captain during the A team's recent tour to South Africa and Kenya, will captain Sri Lanka A during a five-week tour of India later this month. Lanka de Silva, a wicket-keeper batsman, who had been included in the national one-day squad, has been named as his deputy more..

Cabinet to remove CBK appointees

Nov 7 (DM) The Cabinet has resolved to remove several top officials appointed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga in her "Constitutional coup" that politically rocked the government, a spokesman announced yesterday. more..

Holding Hands

Nov 7 (LBO) In 2001, many a Sri Lankan and some foreign residents here at the time, dropped what they were doing, to hold hands on the streets instead. There could be a repeat of event, but this time its organisers, Sri Lanka First, is also considering alternative proposals just in case the state of emergency now in force, stifles the hand holding momentum. more..

Civilian injured in accident

Nov 7 (SLA) An unregistered motorbike belonging to a civilian has collided with an Army vehicle in the general area of VIYAPARIMULAI about 04 km west of POINT PEDRO on 05 November 2003 around 06.30 p.m. The civilian, MAHALINGAM MANOHARAN (24) of KADIRAPULLA STREET, THANBASEDDI has received minor injuries following the accident. more..

Government servant abducted by LTTE for ransom

Nov 7 (SLA) LTTE has abducted another civilian who refused to pay ransom to the LTTE in the general area of ERAVUR on 04 November 2003. The victim, identified as SATHYA SEELAN (37) of MPK ROAD, KOMMUTHURAI, was going for his work at the Divisional Secretary’s Office where he was employed at the time of abduction. more..

LTTE arrest and detain a civilian

Nov 7 (SLA) LTTE has taken a civilian into custody in the general area of AKKARAIPATTU on 05 November 2003 and kept him in the LTTE office at THIRIKKOVIL. The arrested civilian, SINEE MOHOMUDU of OLD POLICE STATION ROAD, AKKARAIPATTU, has been taken into custody by LTTE for alleged questioning. more..

Stocks surge on PM's return

Nov 7 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tiny stock market posted its biggest point gain ever on Friday after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe flew in to tackle political turmoil that has threatened a delicate peace with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

PM says Chandrika should have consulted him

Nov 7 (Gulf) United National Front (UNF) supporters are to give Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe a rousing welcome on his return to Sri Lanka today from an official visit to the US in a show of strength and solidarity. more..

Confusion surrounds state of emergency

Nov 7 (wsws) Extraordinary confusion has surrounded President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s decision on Wednesday to impose a state of emergency on the island. Coming in the wake of Kumaratunga’s sacking of three key ministers—defence, interior and information—and her proroguing of parliament, it constitutes a further step toward the establishment of a military junta. more..

Ambitious project to usher in e-governance

Nov 7 (OW) Sri Lanka began preparing for the WSIS way back in December 2002, after the Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission formed a working group to support WSIS activities. But, it was only in July 2003 that work on the WSIS picked up speed more..

England cricket team to get high security in Lanka

Nov 7 (AP) The England cricket team will be protected by an elite police unit normally used to guard visiting heads of states, cricket officials said on Friday, as prospects brightened for the team's scheduled arrival next week. more..

Kumaratunga sabotaging peace: LTTE

Nov 7 (IANS) In their first major reaction, Tamil Tigers have accused President Chandrika Kumaratunga of plunging the country into political chaos and derailing the peace process. But a senior leader of the LTTE, designated Colonel V. Karuna, said Thursday night that the Tigers would remain patient despite the political turbulence in Colombo. more..

Sri Lankan developments pose dilemma for India

Nov 7 (IANS) The counter-proposals by the LTTE that provoked Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga to take drastic measures are reminiscent of those LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakarn negotiated with India in September 20-27, 1987. more..

Envoy to represent Sri Lanka at SAARC meet

Nov 7 (IANS) Sri Lanka's information minister will not attend a conference of his regional counterparts here next week but that is not linked to the political turmoil in the island, Sri Lankan diplomats said. more..

Unprecedented clash between the legislature and the judiciary

Nov 7 (PSL) In an unprecedented turn of events the judiciary island wide came to standstill on the 5th of November. This is the first such incident in Sri Lanka’s legal history. Around 200 judges and some 3000-court staff around the country stayed away from their courthouses. more..

President orders troops to provide public security

Nov 7 (Xinhua) Facing one of the worst political crises in Sri Lanka, President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Friday ordered in a decree that armed forces maintain public order. Kumaratunga on Tuesday sacked three key ministers of the government headed by her arch political rival Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, more..

Sri Lankan developments causing 'increasing anxiety': Britain

Nov 7 (AFP) The crisis in Sri Lanka, where the president sacked three ministers, suspended parliament and declared and then withdrew a state of emergency, is causing "increasing anxiety", a British minister said in a Friday statement. more..

PM unlikely hero in time of crisis

Nov 7 (Reuters) Painfully shy and an unimpressive orator, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe seems an unlikely man to be feted with a hero's welcome. But the leader of the ruling UNP was greeted by cheering crowds on Friday when he arrived home more..

Sri Lankans enjoy peace amid political turmoil

Nov 7 (Reuters) Young lovers sat holding hands under umbrellas on Colombo's Galle Face Green on Friday as soldiers played rugby nearby, little concerned about a political battle that threatens their peace. more..

President delays speech

Nov 7 (Reuters) President Chandrika Kumaratunga, caught up in a power struggle with her prime minister, has delayed an address to the nation on the political situation until later on Friday, government officials said. more..

PM defiant, stresses peace process

Nov 7 (Reuters) A defiant Sri Lankan prime minister returned home on Friday saying a peace process with Tamil rebels at the heart of a power struggle with the island's president must stay on track. more..

AFP Photo

Nov 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe (centre) got a hero's welcome back home. more..

The LTTE's blueprint

Nov 7 (FL) A mild drizzle set the tone for an event Sri Lanka had waited for nearly two decades. With an ever-present smile, the political wing leader of the LTTE, S.P. Tamilchelvan, welcomed the mediapersons who had assembled in the garden of the LTTE's peace secretariat in Kilinochchi to announce more..

Stepping stone to a separate state

Nov 7 (FL) THE long awaited counter proposals of the LTTE are finally out. The six-page document represents the first ever proposals submitted by the Tigers for an interim political arrangement within a united Sri Lanka and, as such, deserve careful analysis by Sri Lanka watchers. more..

The India factor

Nov 7 (FL) IN the ever-swinging bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka, October 2003 marked a new high. A visit by External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha to Colombo and a meeting between Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in quick succession saw the India factor emerging yet again in the island's conflict resolution process. more..

The tiger's claw

Nov 7 (SMH) The graves are numbered in thousands, ranked like the battalions of a ghost army trudging through slanting light that turns golden towards sunset. In northern Sri Lanka this is sacred ground, consecrated with the blood of martyrs in a vicious 20-year civil war on an otherwise heavenly Indian Ocean island. more..

ADB: Sri Lanka aid not frozen despite political woes

Nov 7 (DJ) The Asian Development Bank said Friday that aid to Sri Lanka hasn't been frozen despite the country's latest political woes. "We are not seeing any changes, either in government or policy, and even the broad peace agenda," ADB country head John Cooney told more..

President backs off as PM vows to revive peace push

Nov 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president withdrew tough emergency laws as her rival, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, returned from the United States to a hero's welcome and vowed to revive a controversial peace bid with Tamil rebels. more..