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President offers unity govt, commits to Norway-led peace process

Nov 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president Friday invited all political parties to form a government of "national reconciliation" and assured the country the Norwegian-led peace process with Tamil rebels would continue. more..

Sri Lanka call for unity cabinet

Nov 8 (BBC) The prime minister will not find a legal challenge easy Sri Lanka's president has called for a national unity cabinet with her rival, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe. In a televised address, Chandrika Kumaratunga justified her decision to sack ministers and suspend parliament. more..

Prabhakaran is keeping judicious silence: LTTE

Nov 8 (HT) Tiger chieftain, Velupillai Prabhakaran, is keeping "judicious silence" on the drastic steps taken by the Sri Lankan President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, against the Ranil Wickremesinghe Government, says Colonel Karuna, a top military commander of the LTTE and a member of the LTTE's negotiating team. more..

President blasts political opponents but also calls for unity

Nov 8 (AP) President lashed out on Friday at her bitter rival, the country's prime minister, saying he had placed the country's security "in grave danger" in negotiations with Tamil Tiger rebels, but she called for parties to come together to form a government of national unity. more..

Chandrika proposes National Government

Nov 8 (HT) The Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has called upon all nationalist and patriotic parties in Parliament to come together and form a National Government of Reconstruction and Reconciliation (NGRR). more..

JVP, SLFP march in support of SL President

Nov 8 (TN) Leaders of JVP, SLFP, Buddhist monks and thousands of party activists and supporters Friday held a demonstration march in downtown Colombo under the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) banner, supporting President Chadrika Kumaratunga’s decision to take over key ministries more..

I shall take the defense of the country - President

Nov 8 (TN) "The Ceasefire Agreement between the UNF government and the LTTE will continue and the Norwegian monitors will be allowed to function with clear instructions. The Sri Lanka Army will be instructed to strictly abide by the ceasefire agreement. The Prime Minister can continue with the peace process. I shall take the defense of the country," more..

'Minister’s goon set upon PNM members'

Nov 8 (Island) The Patriotic National Movement (PNM) in a statement issued yesterday, claimed that supporters of a UNP Minister, residing in Borella, assaulted PNM supporters in the early hours of yesterday while they were carrying out propaganda work regarding yesterday’s protest in Colombo. more..

Sahara yet to get okay for flight to Colombo

Nov 8 (BS) The inaugural flight of Air Sahara between New Delhi and Colombo, scheduled for tomorrow, has been put off. Chief Executive Officer of Air Sahara U K Bose acknowledged that the airline had not received clearance for the flight from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. more..

Lankan crisis clouds IOC operations

Nov 8 (BS) As the political crisis in Sri Lanka deepens, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is not clear whether it will be able to sell its petrol and diesel in the prevailing conditions in the country. more..

111 Samurdhi Bank Societies mooted in N-E

Nov 8 (DN) The remarkable progress achieved by the Samurdhi programme in alleviating poverty among low income groups has inspired the Government to set up 109 Samurdhi Bank Societies in the North-East to provide financial support to boost economic activities among the people there. more..

Full moon gives Sri Lankans a breather from political turmoil

Nov 8 (AFP) Saturday's Buddhist fullmoon holiday gave Sri Lankans a breather from the intense political turmoil of the past five days, with most people taking time out to be with families or meditate in temples. more..

President tightens grip on security despite sop to rival

Nov 8 (AFP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has tightened her grip on security in Sri Lanka while backing down from a state of emergency and offering a political sop to her nemesis Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Norway goes ahead with visit despite Sri Lanka turmoil

Nov 8 (AFP) Norwegian envoys will go ahead with a planned visit to Sri Lanka Monday despite political turmoil that has cast a shadow over their peace efforts here, Norwegian embassy spokesman Tomas Stangeland said. more..

"Peace Process absolutely irreversible" - British Don

Nov 8 (TN) "Tamil issue has always been a political football in the grounds of the Southern political discourse, but this time around the situation is entirely different. Transparency of talks and the level of international engagement makes the current Peace Process absolutely irreversible," said Sri Lanka expert Prof. Chris Smith, more..

TNA leaders meet to discuss Sri Lanka crisis

Nov 8 (TN) The parliamentary group of the TNA held a meeting Saturday evening at the office of the TULF in Colombo and reviewed the President's address to the nation and the present political situation following the dismissal of three key ministers and the prorogation of the parliament for two weeks, more..

World Bank approves NEIAP-2 project for NorthEast

Nov 8 (TN) Nn a request made by the North East Provincial Council (NEPC), the World Bank has approved in principle the implementation of the North East Irrigated Agriculture Project (NEIAP-2) under which five hundred more focal villages and two major irrigation schemes in the eight districts of the NorthEast province will be accommodated, more..

ISGA proposals discussed at Colombo seminar

Nov 8 (TN) The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) in Colombo held a one-day seminar on the “Interim Self Governing Authority “ (ISGA) proposals submitted by the LTTE as its response to the government of Sri Lanka’s interim administrative structure proposals for the NorthEast, Friday afternoon at the Colombo Jai Hilton Hotel, more..

Controversial businessman seeks court protection

Nov 8 (DM) Alleged narcotic dealer Augustus A. Jesudasan - the man in the center of a controversy involving the former IGP - has filed a fundamental rights petition asking the Supreme Court for an order preventing the police from arresting him. more..

Muralitharan out of form, Lanka frets about England

Nov 8 (AP) With star bowler Muttiah Muralitharan out of form, Sri Lankans were worried about the resurgent England cricket team that arrives here next week to play three Tests and an equal number of one-day internationals. more..

Supporters of premier reject call for coalition government, demand president reverse power grab

Nov 8 (AP) Supporters of Sri Lanka's prime minister Saturday rejected the president's appeal to form a coalition government, continuing a political crisis that has engulfed this island nation for days. more..

Sri Lankan leaders are parting ways on a contentious issue

Nov 8 (GN) New Delhi has the knack of waking up after the event. It does not come as a surprise that it did not know what was happening in its own backyard, Colombo. At least our Foreign Office spokesman was candid enough to say: "We are surprised at the sudden political development in Sri Lanka." more..

Norway on notice as president vows to keep defence job

Nov 8 (CNA) Sri Lanka's peace broker Norway has come under fire ahead of fresh moves to revive the stalled talks between the beleaguered Colombo government and Tiger rebels, diplomats said. more..

Political Showdown Overshadows Civil War

Nov 8 (Reuters) When President Chandrika Kumaratunga sits down at the weekly meeting of the cabinet she heads, she sees at the end of the table her biggest political foe -- Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

JVP unhappy about CBK’s UNF offer

Nov 9 (Island) The JVP and other nationalist groups are annoyed by President Kumaratunga’s pledge to uphold the Oslo arranged cease-fire and Norwegian facilitation as well as the public invitation to the UNF on the formation of a national government, well informed political sources said yesterday. more..

Solar power brightens Vanni villages

Nov 9 (TN) Privately owned small scale diesel generators produce the only electric power available in key towns in the Vanni region. While a new 20MW thermal power plant in Jaffna was recently reactivated by the Sri Lanka Government officials, it is doubtful that Vanni towns and villages will enjoy grid supplied electric power for many years to come. more..

A Palace Coup that went bust inside

Nov 9 (SL) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was happily in dreamland at the Presidential Suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Washington after a hectic but successful day's work when he was rudely awakened by the incessant ringing of the telephone in the wee hours of Tuesday morning - 1:40 a.m. to be exact. more..

India, US put brakes on CBK

Nov 9 (SL) Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee during a 20 minute telephone conversation with President Chandrika Kumaratunga expressed surprise at her decision to sack three cabinet ministers and urged her not to disrupt the peace process. more..

Takeover plot began with PMship for Tyronne?

Nov 9 (ST) President Chandrika Kumaratunga had been plotting a parliamentary coup to defeat the UNF Government at least as much as five months ago when she offered Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando the Prime Ministership if he were to cross-over, The Sunday Times was told. more..

SLFP-JVP alliance solution for national crisis

Nov 9 (SO) Chief Opposition Whip, PA MP Mangala Samaraweera, said on Friday, that the country's national problem will be solved by an SLFP - JVP coalition which would lay a solid foundation for a final settlement and assured that parties allied with the PA and other minority parties like EPDP, PLOT and EPRLF will also be invited to join them. more..

US troops to continue their joint exercises in Sri Lanka

Nov 9 (PTI) The US troops in Sri Lanka will continue their joint exercises with local counterparts notwithstanding the taking over of defence portfolio by President Chandrika Kumaratunga in a power-struggle, the US embassy said. more..

35 per cent of our fighters are Indian origin Tamils: LTTE

Nov 9 (HT) The leader of the LTTE's political wing, SP Tamilchelvam, has made the startling revelation that 35 per cent of the fighting cadres of the LTTE are Indian Origin Tamils. Hindustan Times has learnt that Tamilchelvam made this revelation to some Tamil politicians who had met him recently. more..

Chandrika to tout multi-party steering panel for peace process

Nov 9 (HT) President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, would not accept Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's proposal that she take over the management of the peace process, in addition to the Defence Ministry which she had taken over earlier this week, a source close to the President told the Hindustan Times. more..

Sri Lanka ‘coup’ backfires on president

Nov 9 (AFP) The Sri Lankan president’s plan to oust her arch rival prime minister through a constitutional manoeuvre may have backfired and caused new rifts within her ranks, politicians and analysts said on Sunday. more..

Pakistanis deported by Sri Lanka reach home, says official

Nov 9 (AP) Sri Lanka has sent home 51 Pakistanis, who were being smuggled to Italy via the South Asian island nation by a Karachi-based gang of human traffickers, authorities said on Sunday. more..

Bangladesh FM hopes Sri Lanka crisis will stabilise

Nov 9 (AFP) Bangladesh's Foreign Minister Morshed Khan said Sunday he hoped Sri Lanka's political crisis would not affect the peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels. "As a country in the (South Asian) region we are concerned about the developments in Sri Lanka in the recent past," he told reporters. more..

Sri Lanka government takes up talks future with international backers

Nov 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka's government was Sunday set to discuss the future of its peace process with the main international backers of the Norwegian-led initiative, chief negotiator G. L. Peiris said. more..

Rivalry between leaders at heart of Sri Lanka's turmoil

Nov 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president and premier are often at each other's throats and in their uneasy 21-month-old cohabitation have shown little inclination to work together except for a rare meeting of minds over the nation's mental health. more..

Lankan prez denies peace process at risk

Nov 9 (AFP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has denied that the peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels is at risk due to her takeover of three key government portfolios, in an interview broadcast Sunday by the BBC. more..

Lanka's Muslims have critical say in the crisis

Nov 9 (AP) Sri Lanka's influential Muslim Congress party said on Sunday its crucial support for Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's coalition government will depend on how much say the country's Muslims have in areas that would be led by Tamil Tiger rebels under a proposed peace plan. more..

Ranil party willing to consider unity government offer

Nov 9 (Gulf) The UNF government yesterday said that it was willing to consider an offer by President Chandrika Kumaratunga to form a government of national reconciliation only after the President resummons parliament and restores the Cabinet portfolios of three ministers. more..

President Says PM Manipulative

Nov 9 (Reuters) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, locked in a power battle with the island's prime minister, called her adversary manipulative a day after asking him to form an all-party government to resolve the country's political crisis. more..

PM asks president to take over peace bid

Nov 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka's beleaguered government has asked its international backers to examine the possibility of getting hostile President Chandrika Kumaratunga to handle the peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels, a senior minister said. more..

Govt may let President handle Peace Bid

Nov 9 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan government, in a power struggle with the island's president, said Sunday it may ask her to take over a peace process with Tamil rebels if she does not reverse a decision to sack three ministers. more..

Her ex-supporters ask what went wrong with Kumaratunga

Nov 9 (SFC) A decade ago, her meteoric 18-month rise from private citizen to prime minister and then president was in some ways predictable, if in other ways astonishing. President Chandrika Kumaratunga's mother and father had both served as prime minister, making her the heir to a dynasty that ranks with those of the Gandhis of India and the Bhuttos of Pakistan. more..

NorthEast Trade Union criticises President's actions

Nov 10 (TN) North East Trade Unions Federation (NETUF) at a special meeting held Sunday condemned the recent actions by the President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge as a step to derail the peace talks between the UNF government and the LTTE," sources said. more..

Book on "Ceasefire 2001-Lessons for the present” released

Nov 10 (TN) "The time has come for all the lovers of peace to engage in a serious dialogue by contributing their share in solving this vexed [ethnic] problem by studying the [LTTE's] proposal and arriving at a consensus to implement it,” said Professor S.K.Sitrampalam, more..

Getting tough on the Tigers

Nov 10 (TN) President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s strategy for holding fast to the reins of power in Colombo is fundamentally in conflict with sustaining the peace process in Sri Lanka, Tamil politicians and commentators say. The President and her allies assert that the Sri Lankan state should get tough on the LTTE to safeguard Sinhala national interests. more..

Dangerous times in Sri Lanka

Nov 10 (Age) Last week, while Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was in Washington on a state visit, the country's President declared a state of emergency and suspended Parliament. more..

Chandrika calls for political unity to solve conflict

Nov 10 (Hindu) The President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, today said the Constitutional steps taken by her to take over Defence, Interior and Mass Communications portfolios were in the "larger interest of the entire nation", and called for political unity to solve decades-long separatist conflict. more..