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India, Sri Lanka discuss agreements, loan tranche

Oct 15 (Reuters) Sri Lankan and Indian officials met in Colombo on Wednesday to discuss economic agreements, with India approving a second tranche from a $100 million line of credit to the island. more..

Peace-driven stock rally hits high on IPO

Oct 15 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's booming stock market hit a record high on Wednesday, with enthusiastic buying of newly listed Hemas Holdings Ltd giving fresh impetus to a rally spurred by a ceasefire in the island's ethnic war. more..

Sinha meeting top Sri Lankan leaders

Oct 15 (IANS) Indian External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha is meeting top Sri Lankan leaders here Wednesday to reiterate New Delhi's support for the peace process in the island nation. more..

President feels excluded from peace talks

Oct 15 (AP) President on Tuesday accused her country's government of keeping her in the dark about crucial peace talks aimed at ending the nation's two-decade civil war. President Chandrika Kumaratunga shares an uneasy co-leadership arrangement with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

US to consult domestic stakeholders on signing FTA with Sri Lanka

Oct 15 (HT) The United States administration would consult the entire gamut of American stakeholders before taking a decision on entering into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka, the visiting Deputy US Trade Representative, Josette Sheeran Shiner, told more..

US mulls free trade deal with Sri Lanka

Oct 15 (AFP) The United States is impressed with Sri Lanka's commitment to economic reform and Washington will consider the island's request for a free trade agreement, a visiting top US trade official said. more..

Two men sentenced to death for bombing Sri Lanka's holiest temple

Oct 15 (AFP) A Sri Lankan court handed down the death sentence to two men for organising the 1998 bombing of the country's holiest Buddhist shrine, which killed 23 people. more..

India to release $30 mn credit to Sri Lanka

Oct 15 (HT) India on Wednesday inked an agreement to release to Sri Lanka, the second tranche of $ 30 mn, out of a total credit line of $ 100 mn. The agreement was signed by the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Nirupam Sen, and the Secretary of the Sri Lankan Treasury, Charitha Ratwatte, more..

India, Sri Lanka to work on broader economic pact

Oct 15 (AFP) The prime ministers of India and Sri Lanka will discuss a comprehensive economic partnership to boost their already ballooning bilateral trade, India's Foreign Minister Yaswant Sinha said. "We are working on this together and it will be ready when the two prime ministers meet in New Delhi," Sinha told reporters more..

Canada urges Tamil Tigers to return to talks

Oct 15 (Reuters) Canada, which has the largest Tamil population in the world after Sri Lanka and India, urged the Tamil Tigers on Wednesday to stop recruiting child soldiers and return to the negotiating table to end 20 years of war. more..

Sri Lanka still hungry for peace

Oct 15 (BBC) It's assembly time at the Kiranchchi school and 200 children are praying to the Hindu goddess of wealth. The irony doesn't strike them - so accustomed are they to poverty in these rebel held jungles of northern Sri Lanka. Some children walk up to an hour to reach school without breakfast. more..

TNA meets Indian Foreign Minister

Oct 15 (TN) The visiting Indian Foreign Minister Mr. Yaswanth Sinha told the Tamil National Alliance Tuesday that the Indian government would extends its support to all efforts taken to find a peaceful political solution to the island ethnic conflict through democratic means, more..

STF commandos stay on in hospital

Oct 15 (TN) Special Task Force (STF) said Wednesday it would further delay moving out of the Thirukkovil District Hospital, 76 kilometres south of Batticaloa. The hospital, which is in the midst of a large Tamil village, has been garrisoned by the STF for 17 years despite protests by local rights activists and politicians. more..

India rejects security fears in Sri Lanka, push trade

Oct 15 (AFP) India Wednesday strongly backed Sri Lanka's peace bid, broadly endorsing power-sharing to end ethnic bloodshed, and dismissed concerns that its economic interests in the country were vulnerable to attack. more..

India for 'homegrown' solution to Sri Lankan conflict: Sinha

Oct 15 (HT) Indian External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha has said India wants to see a "homegrown" solution to the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict because only such a solution will be "durable". Sinha said that foreign third parties could "facilitate" the peace process. "But mediating or giving guidance was best avoided." more..

Odd tactics deny SA 'A' win

Oct 15 (Sapa) The South African 'A' cricket side was denied a 2-0 series whitewash by a combination of doughty Sri Lankan 'A' defence and curious tactics at the North West Oval on Wednesday. Sri Lanka overcame a potentially disastrous triple strike and being able to field only eight fully fit players to bat out for the draw. more..

NE Provincial English Day held in Trincomalee

Oct 16 (TN) Twenty years of civil war and displacement have severely affected the educational standards of the Northeast province, said Mr.R.Thiagalingam, the North East Provincial Education Ministry Secretary, addressing the provincial English Day celebrations in Trincomalee Tuesday evening at the St.Joseph's College auditorium. more..

Dead whale washed ashore in Colombo

Oct 16 (TN) A large dead humpback whale was found washed ashore at the Bambalapitiya beach in Colombo Monday. Curious onlookers, including school children, gathered at the beach to see the mammal, sources said. more..

Severe punishment for those not attending “Pongu Thamil”

Oct 16 (LT) Those who keep away from “Pongu Thamil” ceremony scheduled to be held at Vavuniya tomorrow would be severely punished says a leaflet distributed by the tiger organization. The leaflet has also warned that all schools, government offices, commercial establishments should be closed down more..

India to help refurbish Sri Lanka's railways

Oct 16 (IANS) India will help Sri Lanka in the management, rehabilitation and refurbishing of the island's creaking railway system. An agreement for this was reached between the two countries at the 5th meeting of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission held Colombo Wednesday, more..

One-third nomination for women?

Oct 16 (Island) A joint front of several women’s organisations led by former MP Mrs. Renuka Herath urged the Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reforms to allow 1/3rd of all Parliamentary, Provincial or Local Government Elections nominations for women, last Monday October 13. more..

Civilian bus crashes into SLA sentry point

Oct 16 (TN) Two soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army were seriously injured Wednesday evening when a private passenger bus crashed into a sentry of the SLA at Nelliyady town in the Vadamaradchi division of the Jaffna district. The injured army soldiers were on duty at the time of accident inside the sentry point, police said. more..

Vavuniya LTTE political head writes to SLMM

Oct 16 (TN) Mr.S.Ezhilan, the Vavuniya district political head of the LTTE, Wednesday wrote to the SLMM, saying that he was concerned about the SLMM’s endorsement of the conditions laid down by the Sri Lanka Army on holding the funeral of an LTTE cadre in Vavuniya, as these conditions amounted, in his view, to interference in the political activities of the LTTE. more..

Sri Lankans take up Vajrasan renovation

Oct 16 (TOI) Sri Lankans are working on a project to renovate Vajrasan, the seat of Buddha’s enlightenment under the Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya where the Buddha is believed to have realised the ultimate truth some 2,500 years back. more..

Birth of Press Complaints Commission

Oct 16 (DN) The Sri Lankan Media marked a historical milestone, when the Press Complaints Commission was officially launched yesterday at No. 61, Carmel Road, Colombo 3. The Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka succeeds the now defunct Press Council which functioned as the official media watchdog in the country. more..

Sri Lanka chops rates to help post-war economy

Oct 16 (Reuters) Central bank chopped interest rates on Thursday for a fourth time this year to stimulate the economy as it recovers from a halt to a 20-year civil war. Rates are now at their lowest levels in a quarter century, based on the yields on one-year government paper. more..

More Money from Canada

Oct 16 (LBO) Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham reiterated the conditions tied to the funds pledged at the June Tokyo donor conference, while topping up Canada’s US$ 5 mn contribution with an additional US$ 1.25 mn. However, the funds are firmly tied to the success of the peace process, Graham told reporters on Wednesday. more..

Vadamaradchi forum spotlights educational problems

Oct 16 (TN) Educational Development Forum for the Vadamaradchi Zone (EDFVZ) in the Jaffna district has been inaugurated to raise the standard of education in the zone and to put into maximum use the available teaching resources and to provide proper training to teachers, more..

Sri Lanka felicitates Pope John Paul II

Oct 16 (PSL) The over one billion Catholics of the world today celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the papacy of His Holiness Pope John Paul II”. President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the Christian Affairs Minister sent greetings to the Holy Father. more..

President and Prime Minister meet

Oct 16 (PSL) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called on President Kumaratunga today to discuss several important issues such as the non-functional Commission to Investigate Bribery and Corruption and the LTTE military build up in the East and as such the threat to the Trincomalee Naval dockyard. more..

President appoints acting IGP

Oct 16 (PSL) President Kumaratunga today appointed DIG Indra de Silva as acting Inspector General of Police. The President recommended to the Constitutional Council the name of senior DIG for appointment as IGP, however since there was a delay in its response the President proceeded to appoint an acting IGP in terms of 41(C)(2) of the Constitution. more..

Third parties should only facilitate not mediate-Indian Foreign Minister

Oct 16 (PSL) Indian External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha said, ‘Third parties who facilitate conflict resolution should avoid mediating or offering guidance’. He was explaining India’s reasons for not actively involving itself in Sri Lanka’s current peace process. more..

LTTE exhume more and more dead bodies

Oct 16 (SLA) Three LTTE cadres, who dug up a graveyard at VANKALAI Christian Church premises in the general area of MANNAR on or around 8 October 2003, had exhumed four dead bodies and taken them away to an undisclosed location for reasons best known only to LTTE. more..

School children not allowed to join LTTE organized event

Oct 16 (SLA) Regional and other education authorities at SURIYATEVARAKADDAIKKADU School and a few other schools in the general area of MANNAR have turned down an LTTE’s request for school children’s participation at a Tamil ceremony held on 15 October 2003 in MANNAR town. more..

LTTE men flee when neighbours flock together

Oct 16 (SLA) An attempt, to abduct a teenager from his house in the general area of VAVUNIYA by five LTTE men on bicycles, was foiled on 14 October 2003 around 8.30 p.m. by irate next of kin and neighbours who gathered at the location, forcing LTTE men to flee the area in despair. more..

Civilian’s gold jewelry and cash robbed by suspected LTTE men

Oct 16 (SLA) Four armed men in camouflage uniforms, suspected to be from LTTE have robbed gold jewelry and cash to the value of Rs.1, 76,000 (US $ 1833) from a civilian resident in the general area of VALAICHCHENAI on 13 October 2003 because the civilian failed to pay ransom to LTTE. more..

Shopkeeper forced out for his failure to pay LTTE ransom

Oct 16 (SLA) Two self-claimed LTTE men have retaliated against a shopkeeper in the general area of ERAVUR on 15 October 2003, who failed to pay monthly ransom to LTTE by chasing and locking him out of his shop. more..

Political victimisation of SEP member

Oct 16 (wsws) On September 26, the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka granted Socialist Equality Party (SEP) member T. Subramaniam leave to proceed with a Fundamental Rights Application (FRA) regarding his unfair dismissal by the management of North Sea Ltd, formerly Cey-nor, on August 18. more..

It is time to end correspondence and begin discussions - G.L. Peiris

Oct 16 (PRIU) The LTTE’s proposals for autonomy to the Northeast of the Island will reach us by the end of October said Prof. G. L. Peiris today. He was speaking to journalists at the weekly briefing. more..

Sri Lanka may tax banks that don't cut rates -Minister

Oct 16 (DJ) Sri Lanka may tax commercial banks that don't make sufficient downward adjustments to lending rates in line with easing policy rates, a government minister said Thursday. "The action by banks so far has not been satisfactory," more..

Sri Lanka central bank says growth on target

Oct 16 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's robust economy will grow 6.5 percent next year as it recovers from two decades of civil war, up from a forecast 5.5 to 6.0 percent this year, an official from the island's central bank said on Thursday. more..

Biodiversity protection act in draft stage at last

Oct 16 (DM) The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources is to draft the long delayed Biodiversity and Rainforest Conservation Act, Ministry sources said. The Cabinet had approved the proposal presented by Minister Rukman Senanayake on September 12, more..

Sri Lanka hosts Teresa biopic

Oct 16 (BBC) As the Catholic Church prepares to beatify Mother Teresa on Sunday, a new film on her life is being shot in Sri Lanka. The Italian production, which will be shown in two parts, begins in Calcutta in the 1950s, with Mother Teresa still teaching. more..

Sri Lanka's troubled peace talks pushed back further

Oct 16 (AFP) The resumption of Sri Lanka's stalled peace talks is likely to be pushed back further as the government will be preoccupied with the national budget almost until Christmas, a senior minister said Thursday. more..

Govt hopes to hold Mtg with Tiger Rebels Nov

Oct 16 (AP) Sri Lankan officials have offered to meet Tamil Tiger rebels next month in hopes of resuming peace talks aimed at ending the island's two-decade civil war, a top minister said Thursday. more..

Stocks rally to life high

Oct 16 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks closed at a life high on Thursday, led by gains in largest-listed Sri Lanka Telecom Ltd , as a peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels drives the island's economic recovery. more..

Canadian Foreign Minister visits Jaffna

Oct 16 (TN) "I have come to Jaffna today to see first hand the devastation wrought by the long and tragic conflict, and to gain better understanding of the ground realities," said Canadian Foreign Minister Mr. Bill Graham, addressing a press conference Thursday at the Jaffna district secretariat. more..

Behave like a 'regional power', Lankan commentator tells India

Oct 16 (HT) Sri Lankan political commentator, CA Chandraprema, has said that India should behave like a regional power and militarily intervene to safeguard its vital interests in Sri Lanka. more..

LTTE delegation meets Norwegian Foreign Minister

Oct 16 (TN) The LTTE's peace delegation led by the head of the organization's political wing, Mr.S.P.Mr.Thamilchelvan, met with the Foreign Minister of Norway, Mr. Jan Petterson, Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Royal Norwegian Foreign Ministry, sources said. more..

Sri Lanka detains armed Indian trying to board flight

Oct 16 (AP) Sri Lankan police have detained an Indian national for allegedly carrying three pistols and a knife as he tried to board a flight at the island's only international airport, police said Thursday. more..