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World Bank unit to facilitate higher FDI in Sri Lanka

Oct 20 (DJ) The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, a member of the World Bank Group, said Monday it stands ready to facilitate greater foreign investment into Sri Lanka, especially in the area of infrastructure. more..

Monitors in hot water over navy operation

Oct 20 (Gulf) The Sri Lankan Navy has accused the Scandinavian monitors of jeopardising a military operation to round up a Tiger guerrilla arms ship off the north eastern part, a local newspaper said yesterday. more..

Pramuka Chief speaks from hideout: Alleges bribery, blackmail

Oct 20 (DM) A year after the Pramuka Bank was suspended by the Central Bank, its Chief Executive Rohan Perera who fled the country in December last year charged that he was blackmailed by a minister who demanded 50 million rupees to reopen Pramuka. more..

LTTE trying to rehabilitate its ace arms procurer

Oct 20 (HT) The LTTE is reportedly trying to rehabilitate its ace arms smuggler - the most wanted Kumaran Pathmanathan alias Tharmalingam Shamugam Kumaran alias KP - by making him a member of its peace negotiating team. more..

Sri Lanka PM meets Indian leaders

Oct 20 (AFP) Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe began a series of meetings with India's political leadership here, the first day of an official visit aimed at boosting defence and economic ties. more..

Hold talks with Lanka on fishermen: Vasan

Oct 20 (NT) AICC secretary G K Vasan has appealed to both the State and the Central governments to immediately hold talks with the Sri Lankan government to find a permanent solution to the problem faced by fishermen from the State who get attacked by Lankan navy while fishing in high seas. more..

Tigers to unveil power-sharing plan by end of month

Oct 20 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels announced they will unveil their first ever comprehensive power-sharing plan by the end of this month. The LTTE said on Monday, over their Voice of Tigers radio that they will present a proposal for the setting up of an interim administration for embattled northeast on October 31. more..

Tamil Tigers say ready for peace talks

Oct 20 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers said on Monday a proposal on power-sharing, which will set the framework for renewed direct talks, would be given to the government by October 26 and they were ready to restart negotiations anytime. more..

Lanka Navy to check foreign monitors from giving info to LTTE

Oct 20 (HT) The Sri Lankan Defence Ministry has asked the Navy to devise procedures to ensure that the Scandinavian-staffed SLMM does not leak operational information to the LTTE during raids against rebel arms carrying vessels. more..

PM orders probe into military leak to rebels

Oct 20 (DPA) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered an inquiry into an allegation that sensitive military information was leaked through Scandinavian monitors to Tamil rebels, a news report said on Monday. more..

Government’s policy ruins local industries

Oct 20 (LT) The economic policy of the present government has turned out to be a policy of completely ruining the local industries warn economists. This was revealed at a special three day economic summit which began at Colombo Plaza Hotel on Friday. more..

Return of Lankan housemaids in coffins raises questions

Oct 20 (HT) Hundreds of thousands of young women from the rural outbacks of Sri Lanka make a beeline to the Middle East every year to work as housemaids. Most come back with a modest income to make their dreary and problem-filled lives a little better. But some come back in coffins. more..

India, Sri Lanka move closer to economic pact

Oct 20 (IANS) India and Sri Lanka have made progress in efforts to frame a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement that they hope to sign in early 2004, officials said here Monday. more..

Vadamaradchi residents ban removal of coastal sand

Oct 21 (TN) Residents of Kudathanai and Manalkadu areas in the Vadamaradchi east division in Jaffna district Monday imposed a ban on removing coastal sand from the northern coast. Hundreds of vehicles that had gone to these areas to remove sand returned empty due to the ban, sources said. more..

Palmyra Development Board celebrates its silver jubilee

Oct 21 (TN) About 2.5 million Palmyra trees in Jaffna district had been felled during the two decade old war by the Sri Lanka armed forces, said Mr P.Sivapatham, President of the Palmyra Development Board, at the inaugural session of the two day silver jubilee celebrations of the PDB held Monday at the Jaffna Central College, more..

Raalkuli people win in their battle for electricity

Oct 21 (TN) The people of Raalkuli, a small hamlet about ten square km in extent in the LTTE held area in Muttur division, have succeeded in their struggle for electricity with the facilitation of the SLMM when the Ceylon Electricity Board Monday unveiled the name board of the electricity supply project for the village. more..

Wap Magul in Yapahuwa after 10 years

Oct 21 (DN) The National Wap Magul Festival organised by the Agriculture Ministry as a symbolic gesture to traditionally start the paddy cultivation of Maha Season commenced at Kakunawa paddy field Yapahuwa at the auspicious time of 10.36 am yesterday. more..

Norway to recommend deproscription of LTTE to US

Oct 21 (UNI) The government of Norway, which is facilitating the fragile peace process between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE, has agreed to make the recommendation for the removal of ban on the Tamil Tigers in the United States, a media report here said today. more..

Sri Lanka 'A' beat Kenya by six wickets

Oct 21 (DN) Kenya lost a second game in a row to the touring Sri Lanka 'A' who beat them by six wickets at Ruaraka Sports Club yesterday. Maurice Odumbe was named man-of-the match for his impressive performance with the bat scoring a (119). more..

Now, public servants to strike

Oct 21 (Island) Public servants of 60 institutions islandwide will go on a one- day token strike and sick note campaign today demanding swift solutions for the problems existing in their services and pay hikes. more..

Finnish Ambassador meets Thamilchelvan

Oct 21 (TN) Mr. Mikko Pyhala, Ambassador, Asia and Oceania, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland expressed his country's support to the peace process in a meeting he had with the Head of Political Wing of LTTE, S.P. Thamilchelvan at the Kilinochchi Peace Secretariat Building today, sources said. more..

Skeletal remains unearthed in Jaffna

Oct 21 (TN) Construction workers unearthed human skeletal remains while they were laying the foundation for the common market in Kalviyankaadu in Jaffna on Monday, the Jaffna based Tamil language daily, Uthayan, reported Tuesday. more..

Design Phase

Oct 21 (LBO) The government has called for financial consultants to help sell its 90 percent stake in State Engineering Corp. The Public Enterprise Reform Commission says the International Development Association (IDA) has come forward to fund the consultancy. more..

Twin Sharing

Oct 21 (LBO) Domestic charter flight giants Lion Air and Expo Aviation are within days to seal the hatch on a deal, to cross market their services. The airlines will fly on a shared schedule and will cross sell seats through their agents in Colombo and Jaffna. more..

Suspicious vehicle taken in for questioning

Oct 21 (SLA) A van carrying a bonnet of another vehicle was taken in for questioning along with its driver on suspicion by Policemen on duty at PUTTUR roadblock, about 15 km northeast of JAFFNA town during early hours on Tuesday (21 October 2003). more..

Indian cargo vessel searched

Oct 21 (SLA) On receipt of information, Naval crafts on duty in the general sea area off KALUWANKERNI, about 18 km northwest of BATTICALOA rushed to identify a suspicious vessel anchored in deep sea on 20 October 2003. more..

LTTE men rob money from fisher folk

Oct 21 (SLA) A group of armed LTTE cadres have robbed cash and two identity cards belonging to six fishmongers in the general area of SALLIYA in SAMPALTHIVU on 20 October 2003 while they were on their way to buy fish for retail selling. more..

Get back Katchatheevu, BJP tells Centre

Oct 21 (CO) Prime Minister A B Vajpayee should take necessary action to get back Katchatheevu, given to Sri Lanka in the 1970s, to settle frequent problems that occurred between Indian fishermen and the Sri Lankan Navy, a Tamil Nadu unit BJP leader said today. more..

President congratulates China

Oct 21 (PSL) President Kumaratunga congratulated the Peoples Republic of China on its first human space mission, in a letter to President Hu Jinto, yesterday. “On behalf of the people of Sri Lanka, I congratulate you and the Chinese people on this major triumph in your first human space mission and becoming only the third nation to achieve this feat. more..

Defence minister ordered to probe leak of military information to LTTE

Oct 21 (gulf) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered an inquiry into military information regarding the presence of an LTTE arms shipment being leaked to the guerrillas through the Scandinavian monitors. more..

Sri Lanka trying to sell bus companies again

Oct 21 (DJ) The Sri Lankan government is trying to sell its 13 cash-starved bus companies again, after an earlier deal to offload stakes in six of them fell through because of political pressures. more..

S'pore, Sri Lanka begin inaugural talks on bilateral free trade agreement

Oct 21 (MCN) Singapore and Sri Lanka have already begun inaugural discussions on a bilateral free trade agreement. The inaugural discussions on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Sri Lanka and the Singapore (CEPASS) were held from 20 to 21 October 2003 in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka sells Kahawatte minority stake at LKR6.50/Share

Oct 21 (DJ) The Sri Lankan government Tuesday said it has sold its minority stake of 3.8 million shares in Kahawatte Plantations Ltd. The shares were sold at 6.50 Sri Lanka rupees ($1=LKR94.50) apiece. more..

Sri Lanka to sign military pact with India

Oct 21 (IANS) Sri Lanka, whose leaders forced Indian troops to quit their island in 1990 after inviting them, now wants to sign a military pact with New Delhi that will guarantee its unity and territorial integrity. more..

Malaysian firms set to enter Sri Lankan LPG market

Oct 21 (Reuters) Two Malaysian firms plan to distribute liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in Sri Lanka under investments totalling $116 million, an investment promotion official said on Tuesday. more..

Undertaker goes upmarket amid slump in sales during truce

Oct 21 (AFP) A Sri Lankan undertaker has launched a deluxe funeral service, including a luxury hearse and horse outriders, amid a slump in sales due to a ceasefire between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

SLFP wants foreign monitor declared persona non grata

Oct 21 (HT) The opposition Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), headed by the country's President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, has asked the government to declare as "persona-non granta", the Scandinavian ceasefire monitor, who allegedly leaked vital military information to the LTTE. more..

Land powers bone of contention in Sri Lanka's NorthEast

Oct 21 (OW) The Sri Lankan Land Minister's statement that the government may hand over land powers to the LTTE rebels in the North and East, has sparked fears among the region's Sinhalese and Muslims, who fear it will further empower the LTTE. more..

U.N. says Tamil Tigers free more children

Oct 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have released a second group of abducted children their critics say they possibly intended to use as soldiers, the U.N. children's agency said on Tuesday. more..

Maj. Gen. Foneseka reproves Jaffna media

Oct 21 (TN) Commander of Sri Lankan armed forces in Jaffna, Maj. Gen. Sarath Foneseka told a group of northern journalists Tuesday that newspapers in the peninsula publish “half information’ and distorted reports intended to make people angry at the military. more..

Lots of tea, little cash on ailing estates

Oct 21 (Reuters) For years the smell of tea in the Sri Lanka hills was the smell of money. Time hasn't changed the smell of tea, but the whiff of cash is getting fainter. Static auction prices are not new, but after the Iraq war hurt sales to the Middle East and the worst flooding in half a century hit low-grown areas, the island's plantations are struggling harder than ever. more..

Freeing Wildlife Parks of politics

Oct 21 (DM) Environmentalists yesterday came out strongly against the continuing encroachment of the Lunugamwehera National Wildlife Park while pointing an accusing finger at Deputy Minister Sajith Premadasa of trying to protect the encroachers. more..

Stocks edge up led by bank stocks

Oct 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks edged higher on Tuesday with a spurt of buying in two bank stocks by institutional investors. The key Colombo all-share index ended up a provisional 0.30 percent, or 4.20 points, at 1,392.41 points. more..

India keeps door open for defence pact with Sri Lanka

Oct 21 (HT) With the Sri Lankan side pressing for a Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA), India is understood to be keeping its doors open for discussions on the matter at an appropriate time, The Hindustan Times learns from well-placed Sri Lankan sources in Colombo. more..

India to train Sri Lankan defence staff

Oct 21 (PTI) India and Sri Lanka would soon sign a defence cooperation agreement which would enable Lankan defence personnel to get trained in defence establishments in India, visiting Lankan Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando said here today. more..

Peace plan making progress but coming months crucial: PM

Oct 21 (AFP) Sri Lanka's fragile peace process is making steady but slow progress with the coming months crucial, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Wickremesinghe, closing a three-day visit to India, said he remained optimistic despite Tamil Tiger rebels' suspension of peace talks in April. more..

Muslims want seat at peace talks

Oct 21 (Reuters) A separate Muslim delegation must be involved in Sri Lanka's peace talks if the negotiations are to succeed, the island's top Muslim politician said on Tuesday. The issue is likely to be discussed by the government and the LTTE before the talks -- suspended by the rebels in April -- resume, perhaps early next year. more..

Reuters Photo

Oct 21 (Reuters) A tea worker plucks leaves on the Holyrood Estate in Sri Lanka's hill country of Thalawakele. The industry is facing hard times, with the cost of inputs like labor and energy rising and tea prices static at auction. more..

India opens skies to Sri Lankan flights

Oct 21 (IANS) India has virtually thrown open its skies to Sri Lanka, allowing the island's airlines to operate daily flights to five metropolitan cities and given it "unlimited access" to 18 tourist destinations in the country. more..

Sri Lanka proposes ferry service between Kochi and Colombo

Oct 21 (UNI) Sri Lanka today proposed commencement of a ferry serivce between Kochi (Kerala) and Colombo. The proposal was suggested by visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe during his meeting with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee yesterday. more..