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Contrary speeches confuse intl. community

Oct 2 (PSL) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s recent address to the 58th UN General Assembly has caused some confusion in the international arena as to the stand adopted by the government of Sri Lanka regarding the US led attack on Iraq. more..

“We were not consulted” – Bribery Commission Chairman writes to President

Oct 2 (PSL) The debate over the proposed amendments to the Bribery Law took a new turn Tuesday 30th September with a letter from the Chairman and a member of the Bribery and Corruption Commission to President Kumaratunga stating that “at no stage” did the government consult them on the proposed changes. more..

PM gives new thrust to Lanka's foreign policy

Oct 2 (DM) A new strategy for the country's foreign policy is to be launched by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe shortly. The Prime Minister made the decision during his recent visit to the UN in New York. He is determined to give it a thrust, sources told the Daily Mirror. more..

Fincl bids for 3rd Sri Lanka Pete player due by Oct 21

Oct 2 (DJ) Shortlisted parties for the third slot in Sri Lanka's petroleum sector need to submit their bids by Oct. 21, an official from the government's privatization body said Thursday. more..

U.S. business body announces Sri Lanka working group

Oct 2 (IANS) The United States Chamber of Commerce has announced the creation of a new Sri Lanka working group. This is seen as a first step towards the possible creation of a permanent U.S.-Sri Lanka Business Council to advance trade and investment opportunities between the two countries. more..

Anura plans no-trust motion against Ranil

Oct 2 (Gulf) Anura Bandaranaike is canvassing for opposition party support to move a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on his remarks at the UN General Assembly last Friday where he almost extended Sri Lanka's support for the US-led invasion of Iraq. more..

Tamil Tigers release 50 child soldiers in UNICEF program

Oct 2 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels freed 50 soldiers under age 18 Thursday, the first batch of children demobilised under a UNICEF program, the agency said. The children will be moved to the first "transit home" for former underaged fighters to be opened Friday in the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi, more..

Helen endures culture shock

Oct 2 (FG) When visiting a country like Sri Lanka, you have to do a bit of homework and prepare yourself for the culture shock. But no matter how many guide books you read and how much research you do, the reality is always so different. more..

Sri Lanka awards 20-MW emergency Pwr contract to Agrekko

Sep 2 (DJ) The government has awarded a contract to Agrekko International Ltd. to supply 20-megawatts of emergency power to the war- ravaged northern Jaffna peninsula. The country's Energy Supply Committee said in a statement posted on its Web site that quotes were sought from three emergency power suppliers. more..

Sri Lanka to choose consultant for coal power project next week

Sep 2 (DJ) The government will award a consultancy contract next week for a 300-megawatt coal power project in the country, an official said Thursday. "We are in the process of selecting a consultancy firm. We hope to finalize our decision by Oct. 6," more..

New method to decide rain-affected matches

Oct 2 (FT) There was bad news on Wednesday for those still trying to come to terms with the intricacies of the Duckworth/Lewis method, the system introduced to ensure fairness in rain-affected cricket matches. It is about to be changed. more..

Maid In Sri Lanka, Stranded in the Middle East

Oct 2 (OW) While thousands of Sri Lankan workers in the Middle East, mainly housemaids, who are victims of abuse and exploitation by employers, wait to return home, the government is yet to sign an employment agreement with any of the countries in this region. more..

Sri Lanka opposition fails to alarm India

Oct 2 (PTI) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party had failed to alarm India and get it involved against the island's fragile peace process, the government here said today. Government spokesman G L Peiris said the main opposition led by Kumaratunga's PA party, had tried and failed to get India involved. more..

Floods, landslides kill 10 in Sri Lanka

Oct 2 (Reuters) Floods and landslides have killed 10 people in Sri Lanka's south, a local newspaper said on Thursday, five months after the worst rains to batter the island in half a century killed 250 people. more..

Tamil Tigers prepare response on peace talks

Oct 2 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels prepared on Thursday to fly to Ireland to finalise a plan to restart stalled peace talks, which the government said would be more intense than an earlier round of negotiations. more..

Lankan Govt says Oppn planning a 'blitzkrieg'

Oct 2 (HT) The government on Thursday charged the combined opposition with planning a "blitzkrieg" (or lighting war) to overthrow it. Cabinet spokesman, GL Peiris, told newspersons, that the blitzkrieg would be in the form of an "emotional campaign" against the idea of granting an Interim Administration to the troubled North East Province. more..

SLA intelligence officer killed in Trincomalee

Oct 2 (TN) Mr T.Vigneswaran, an intelligence officer of the Sri Lanka Army working at the 221 Brigade headquarters located in Plantain Point in Trincomalee died Thursday evening due to severe assault with pointed weapons and iron rods by unidentified persons, Trincomalee police said. more..

Sri Lanka aid seen up despite stalled talks

Oct 2 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will receive about 50 percent more aid this year to revive its war-battered economy even though peace talks between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels have stalled, aid donors said on Thursday. more..

Lenders link further assistance to progress in Sri Lanka peace bid

Oct 2 (AFP) Sri Lanka's top three lending agencies called Thursday for progress towards a political settlement for the island's three-decade separatist conflict as a precondition for fresh financial aid. more..

Nearly 50 Sri Lanka child soldiers to get U.N. help

Oct 2 (Reuters) Nearly 50 child soldiers will soon be released by Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels to a transit centre for eventual return to their homes, the U.N. agency for children said on Thursday. more..

Railway workers suspend strike

Oct 3 (TN) The UARTU Thursday appealed to its members to return to work from Thursday midnight after the forty eight hours' strike, which crippled the railway services in the country, with a warning to the government that it would resort to stringent trade union action if their demands were not met within the next fourteen days. more..

Spanish Red Cross assists Trinco returnees

Oct 3 (TN) The Spanish Red Cross (SRC), with the assistance of Sri Lanka Red Cross and funded by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (EHCO), Wednesday began distributing agricultural inputs and implements to the returnees and war affected communities in the Trincomalee district, more..

The March marches on!

Oct 3 (LT) The March organized by the Patriotic National Movement to protest against the division of the Motherland by attempting to grant an interim administration to tiger organization by Ranil Wickremasinghe’s government was concluded at Lipton Circus today (1st) after holding a mass rally. more..

Vehicle thefts:CID gang involved?

Oct 3 (Island) A police superintendent serving in the CID is believed to have been involved in a gang of CID personnel accused of theft of vehicles over a period of time. Initial investigations revealed the superintendent and two sub-inspectors also serving in the CID were deeply involved in this. more..

JVP tells Kofi Annan not to come to SL

Oct 3 (IL) United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan should not visit Sri Lanka because the country is presently being administered by a government which justified the US led invasion of Iraq, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna said. more..

Govt seeks change in talks format

Oct 3 (DN) The Government yesterday emphasised the importance of having discussions with the LTTE to change the format of talks with regard to powers of the interim administrative structure. more..

India's support strengthens peace process: Lanka

Oct 3 (UNI) Sri Lanka today said India's support to the Norwegian-brokered peace process was an "inestimable source of strength" for the success of the presently stalled process to find a lasting settlement to the ethnic conflict in the island nation. more..

US designates Sri Lanka's 'Tigers' as 'terrorist'

Oct 3 (Reuters) The United States on Thursday designated the LTTE as a "foreign terrorist organization," saying the group continued to commit acts of terrorism even while engaged in a peace process with the Sri Lankan government. more..

LTTE's hunt for legitimacy

Oct 3 (Hindu) Since the currrent peace process in Sri Lanka began some five years ago, one of the strategic aims of the LTTE has been to win legitimacy and parity of status with the Government of Sri Lanka. The Tigers have won plenty of ground, thanks to the Government's eagerness to please. more..

Shh…its floating. Really!

Oct 3 (LBO) The rupee’s recent rally against the US dollar is the strongest evidence since April 2002 that Sri Lanka’s currency is really floating, though reassuring noises are coming from Central Bank that the rupee is not likely to appreciate further. more..

Mapping BIA

Oct 3 (LBO) A top taskforce is in talks with consultancy firms from the US, UK and Malaysia, to draw up bid documents, offering a private stake in the country’s international airport. “We are trying to identify a consultant to work with the Sri Lankan team to develop Expressions of Interest (EOI) and Request For Proposal (RFP) documents”, more..

Husband's hands and legs tied up and taken away by LTTE

Oct 3 (SLA) A civilian taken to an LTTE office on 02 October 2003 around 5.00 a.m. for an alleged inquiry was found his hands and legs tied with a rope and taken away forcibly towards KOKKADICHCHOLAI, claims a complaint made by his wife at AMPARA Police station. more..

Army soldier hacked to death

Oct 3 (SLA) An Army soldier turned ex-LTTE man serving the Army was hacked to death in the general area of TRINCOMALEE on 02 October 2003 around 2.00 p.m. by LTTE men while he was returning to the Army camp after a visit to TRINCOMALEE town, according to a Police complaint. more..

Abducted deserter flees LTTE and surrenders to SF

Oct 3 (SLA) An Army deserter while being abducted on a motorbike by LTTE on 02 October 2003, has managed to escape and surrendered to the Security Forces in the general area of BATTICALOA. On 30 September 2003 a group of unidentified LTTE cadres abducted the youngster K. G. NIMAL (21) from the general area of AKKARAIPATTU more..

Arrested woman released

Oct 3 (SLA) The woman arrested at the UYILANKULAM entry/exit point in the general area of MANNAR with a forged Identity Card (ID) in her possession on 01 October 2003, was released by MANNAR Police on 02 October 2003 after seeking clarifications on her identity from NEDUNKANDAL Grama Sevaka (State Official). more..

More skeletons found in Kilinochchi

Oct 3 (TN) Human skeletons were found Monday under the debris of the Kilinochchi provincial health services building during its reconstruction, sources said. The Sri Lanka Army occupied the Kilinochchi town area following its ‘Sath Jaya’ military operation in 1996, and the occupation lasted until when the area was re-captured by the LTTE in 1998. more..

SLFP to mobilize people support against UNF government

Oct 3 (TN) The SLFP has decided to conduct agitation campaign against the policies of the UNF government in Colombo within the next two weeks, party sources said. President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge who is the president of the SLFP has been conferring with party senior leaders and electoral organizers to mobilize large crowd for the opposition rally and demonstrations scheduled to be held shortly, more..

Postal employees threaten strike demanding salary hike

Oct 3 (TN) The UAPEU Thursday announced that a picketing campaign would be conducted in Colombo Friday to force the Sri Lanka government to consider three demands including a salary increase, said Alliance organizer Mr.V.Vivekandalingam. At the end of the picketing the date for strike action would be announced, he added. more..

Status of LTTE

Oct 3 (USDS) Although the LTTE are engaged in a peace process with the government of Sri Lanka - a process that the United States fully supports - the United States has determined that the LTTE continues to engage in terrorist activities. The United States, therefore, today re-designated the LTTE as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) pursuant to Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended. more..

BSNL and Sri Lanka Telecom revive call link

Oct 3 (Reuters) India's key telecoms firm, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), and Sri Lanka's largest operator, Sri Lanka Telecom Ltd (SLT), will revive a microwave link to cut costs of international calls, the operators said on Friday. more..

Sri Lanka Telecom eyes India traffic with Bharat deal

Oct 3 (DJ) Sri Lanka Telecom Ltd. hopes to tap the lucrative Indian market through an agreement signed Friday with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. or BSNL, said SLT's chief executive. SLT agreed with Bharat to establish a microwave telephone link between Sri Lanka's north western Talaimannar region and India's south eastern Rameshwaran region. more..

Sri Lanka rebels begin to send "baby brigade" home

Oct 3 (Reuters) The first transit centre to return Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers' "Baby Brigade" to civilian life opened on Friday, but doubts remained over whether the rebels are sincere about giving up their child soldiers. more..

Malaysia's biggest investor in Sri Lanka exits

Oct 3 (Bernama) Tan Sri Wan Azmi Wan Hamzah, a Malaysian businessman who had a controlling stake in two of Colombo's biggest hotels, last month exited from his investments at a time when many Malaysian investors, enthused by Sri Lanka's peace process, were preparing to come in. more..

Sri Lanka avg prime lending rate dips to 9.31 pct

Oct 3 (Reuters) The average prime lending rate of Sri Lanka's commercial banks fell to 9.31 percent in the week to October 3, from 9.32 percent in the previous week, the central bank said on Friday. The average lending rate one year ago was 12.58 percent, it said in its latest weekly economic report.

Tigers prepare response to power-sharing proposal

Oct 3 (Gulf) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels prepared to fly to Ireland yesterday to finalise a plan to restart stalled peace talks, which the government said would be more intense than an earlier round of negotiations. more..

Koffi Annan cancels Lanka visit

Oct 3 (LT) Koffi Annan, General Secretary of UNO who was scheduled to visit Sri Lanka next week, has decided to cancel his trip according to sources. Government media had earlier announced that Koffi Annan would make a special study of the government’s peace process and would meet tiger organization to have discussions. more..

People have a right to decide whether there should be war or peace:GL

Oct 3 (DM) Those who criticized the apparel industry when the late President Ranasinghe Premadasa launched the garment factories programme saying it was intended for making under-garments for white women, are now criticizing and obstructing the peace process, Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said. more..

Inside an Elusive Mind. Prabhakaran

Oct 3 (AT) Mathematicians term proofing of complex theorems enigma decryption. Veteran journalist M R Narayan Swamy has accomplished nothing less than enigma decryption by authoring an incomparable biography of Sri Lanka's ultra-secretive guerrilla supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran. more..

Tamil Tigers regret extension of US ban

Oct 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels Friday expressed regret over the US' decision to extend a ban on them for a year amid moves to revive the island's stalled peace process. more..

Tamil Tiger child soldiers begin landmark demobilisation

Oct 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka's first foreign-backed bid to demobilise hundreds of child soldiers got underway Friday in this battle-scarred northern town with UNICEF taking in 49 youngsters released by Tamil Tiger rebels. more..