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Ceasefire in Sri Lanka boosts economic recovery

Oct 7 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka registered a 5.6 percent economic growth in the first half of this year thanks to a historic ceasefire between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels. "Improved macro economic conditions and the continuation of theceasefire between the government and the LTTE impacted positively on overall economic activities as well as consumer confidence," more..

Celltel launches next phase of digital operations

Oct 7 (DJ) Celltel Lanka Ltd., Tuesday launched the latest coverage and capacity expansion phase of its digital network, which will cost the Sri Lankan private cellular telephone operator $4 million. "Phase four of our GSM expansion will also result in a 100% increase in switch capacity levels," more..

Nation likely to be turned into a duty-free country

Oct 7 (Gulf) Under the envisaged programme Sri Lanka will soon be turned into a country which will promote trade and tourism, and not simply import trade, while concentrating on creating a manufacturing and export base in the country. more..

Registration made compulsory for Sri Lankans in garment factories

Oct 7 (Gulf) Employers who wish to recruit Sri Lankans for working in clothing factories will now have to get their labour contract registered at any Sri Lankan missions in the UAE. This decision has been taken by the Sri Lankan Bureau of Foreign Employment in order to safeguard the rights of Sri Lankan workers in case of sudden closure of their factories and non-payment of salaries. more..

House of minister's brother attacked

Oct 7 (Gulf) A senior ruling party politician's brother's house situated in the outskirts of the capital has been attacked by a gang led by a millionaire businessman and top level inquiry has been launched into the incident. more..

TimesClassifieds drops anchor in Sri Lanka

Oct 7 (ET), the country’s most comprehensive classifieds portal, has set its sights on Sri Lanka. Now, users across the world can use the booking engine of TimesClassifieds to post ads in any publication from Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd, more..

Ties with Lanka improving: US ambassador

Oct 7 (KT) Days after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe justified the United States' unilateral invasion of Iraq during his speech to the United Nations drawing sharp criticism from the opposition and newspapers here, the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka on Monday highlighted the growing friendship between the two countries. more..

Goodwill Ambassador Jolie releases journals on Kosovo, Sri Lanka

Oct 7 (UNHCR) The UN refugee agency's Goodwill Ambassador, Angelina Jolie, today released two journals offering rare insight into her recent experiences with displaced people in Kosovo and Sri Lanka. more..

Govt. ready to face proposed no-confidence motion

Oct 7 (DM) Samurdhi Minister S.B. Dissanayake yesterday said the government gladly welcomed the proposed no confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as an opportunity to expose the political bankruptcy of the People's Alliance. more..

Sri Lanka to grant citizenship to 168,000 Indians

Oct 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka granted citizenship Tuesday to 168,141 ethnic Tamils who had decided but failed to return to their native India under a bilateral agreement over the past two decades. The parliament unanimously approved legislation granting citizenship more..

Govt depends on US to contain LTTE

Oct 7 (HT) The Sri Lankan Government's pro-US stand in the UN General Assembly and also in the world trade negotiations in Cancun, stems from its dependence on the United States, the world's only super power, to prevent the separatist LTTE from going back to war. more..

UNICEF criticises Tamil Tigers on child soldiers

Oct 7 (Reuters) The U.N. children's agency blasted the Tamil Tiger rebels on Tuesday for abducting more children in eastern Sri Lanka just days after it opened a centre to return their child soldiers to civilian life. more..

Many Asian countries fail report card on corruption

Oct 7 (AFP) Asia has fared poorly in a global report on corruption released on Tuesday, with many nations in the region ranked among the worst in the world for graft and honesty. Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan were among the few leading lights for Asia, more..

Lankan information minister arriving Friday

Oct 7 (RD) Sri Lanka’s minister of Mass Communications, Imtiaz Bakeer Markar, will arrive here on a goodwill mission Friday. The minister, who will head a seven member delegation, will be the special guest of the Minister of Telecommunication Engineer Mohammed Jameel Mullah more..

'Discards' shine for SA A

Oct 8 (N24) Discarded Test cricketers Martin van Jaarsveld and Roger Telemachus ensured South Africa A took command of the four day match against Sri Lanka A at Willowmoore Park on Tuesday. At stumps on the first day, South Africa A had moved to 163 for one, a lead of 36 after the tourists had been dismissed for a meagre 127. more..

Vavuniya police arrests youths over abduction

Oct 8 (TN) The Vavuniya district judge, Mr. M. Ilancheliyan, ordered remand under high security for three youths arrested by the Vavuniya Police Monday in connection with the abduction of two girls who were thought to have joined the LTTE, but were in fact abducted by unidentified men who later abandoned the girls at the Maravankulam settlement, more..

SLN truck collision injures motorcyclist in Jaffna

Oct 8 (TN) A motorcyclist, Mr.Magikson Sahayathasan, 40, was knocked down by a speeding truck of the Sri Lanka Navy Tuesday night around 8 p.m. near the Vilundy Pilliayar Kovil in Koddady, a suburb in Jaffna town, police said. Mr. Sahayathasan was immediately admitted to the Jaffna teaching hospital with multiple injuries. more..

Stateless Tamils’ long struggle bears fruit

Oct 8 (TN) A bill to grant citizenship to 168,141 stateless Tamils in Sri Lanka descended from people who settled in the hill districts of the island in the 19th century was passed Tuesday without opposition in Sri Lanka’s Parliament. more..

‘War has ruined education of NE Tamil students’

Oct 8 (TN) The Dean of the Faculty of Business Studies of the Jaffna University, Mr.R. Nanthakumar, Tuesday said that the twenty-year war has ruined the education of students in the Northeast province, and the standard of education among Tamil students in the province has gone down to the extent that more students enter universities on district quota system than on merit as in the past. more..

Prelates to forward undergrads’ woes to authorities

Oct 8 (Island) The Mahanayake Theros of Malwatte and Asgiriya consented to make representations to the President, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education regarding the grievances of the undergraduate population of the trouble — brewing University of Sri Jayawardenapura, Kotte. more..

Angry Lankan car maker mulls shifting to India

Oct 8 (HT) His "futuristic" micro car is ready to go on to the assembly line. Already, there have been enquiries from prospective franchisees in Italy, Malta, Egypt and Bangladesh. And yet, Dr Lawrence Perera, the designer and manufacturer of Sri Lanka's first micro passenger car, fears that his venture may turn out to be a non-starter. more..

Tigers deny abduction charge amid allegations

Oct 8 (TN) The spokesperson for the Liberation Tigers in Batticaloa denied Tuesday that they had forcibly recruited school children from the town of Valaichenai amid widespread allegations that they abducted the young persons to serve in their military. more..

Allegations against IGP : Interior Minister orders inquiry

Oct 8 (DN) Interior Minister John Ameratunga yesterday instructed Ministry Secretary M. N. Junaid to carry out an impartial inquiry into the serious allegations made against IGP T. E. Anandaraja that he(IGP) had attended a birthday party of drug kingpin Jesudasan's daughter two years ago. more..

Bush Tourism

Oct 8 (LBO) The tea plantation industry has identified 20 estate bungalows as potential sites for boutique tourist retreats. Mooted in conjunction with the Sri Lanka Tourist Board, the project is also encouraging other plantation companies to diversify into tourism under an ADB project that is looking to spread the risk and increase the profit centres for plantation companies. more..

Quick Fix

Oct 8 (LBO) Ceylon Hospitals Ltd., the owning company of Durdans Hospitals, plans to use some of its IPO proceeds to expand its satellite labs. The hospital is raising Rs. 240 mn this month to retire some debt, add another 27 beds and put in new state-of-the-art equipment. more..

Widows & their children talk to Defence minister

Oct 8 (SLA) A friendly meet to discuss and find ways and means to redress grievances and difficulties of the widows of War Heroes, if any, was recently held at Royal College auditorium, under the auspices of Defence Minister Thilak Marapana. more..

LTTE defy SLMM ruling and raise their flag

Oct 8 (SLA) LTTE defied ruling given by Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and continued to hoist the LTTE flag at SHIVANANDA SCHOOL ground in the general area of NAVATKUDAH, BATTICALOA on 07 October 2003 around 3.30 p.m. more..

Abducted civilian flees from LTTE and seeks protection

Oct 8 (SLA) A civilian, abducted by LTTE has managed to flee from LTTE custody and surrendered to the troops at CHENKALADY town, about 15 km northwest of BATTICALOA on 07 October 2003 around 11.45 a.m. seeking protection. The civilian has been abducted on 30 September 2003 and taken to LTTE base at MARAPALAM in un-cleared areas. more..

LTTE men involved in slaying identified

Oct 8 (SLA) Information, received by troops, confirmed that LTTE cadres, SHIVAM KEERTHI and NAGAMANI JEGAHEEVARAM alias JEGAN, both from ARIYAMPATHY area, were involved in the killing of the TELO member SUBRAMANIYAM THIRUBAKARAN (36) of ARIYAMPATHY on 04 October 2003 while the victim was in the general area of BATTICALOA. more..

Seven youngsters hospitalized after LTTE’s assault

Oct 8 (SLA) LTTE cadres abducted seven youngsters attached to POONTHODDAM Refugee Camp (unit seven) in the general area of VAVUNIYA on 07 October 2003 and assaulted them severely, causing them to seek admission to VAVUNIYA Base hospital for treatment. more..

One more LTTE abducted civilian flees LTTE

Oct 8 (SLA) A civilian abducted by LTTE on 28 September 2003 has managed to flee from LTTE detention and reached troops at KALU PALAMA, about14 km. northeast of BATTICALOA town during early hours on 06 October 2003, seeking protection. The escapee was later delivered to BATTICALOA Police station for necessary onward actions.

President offers advice to PM

Oct 8 (PSL) President Kumaratunga has written Prime Minister offering him advice and guidance. The letter dated October 06, refers to the threat posed by the LTTE build up in the vicinity of the Trincomalee Naval base and harbour. more..

SriLankan Airlines: Increased flights to Europe, Malaysia

Oct 8 (DJ) SriLankan Airlines Wednesday announced increased flights to Europe and Malaysia to meet an anticipated rush in tourist arrivals in the coming weeks. "The airline is increasing flights to London, Zurich, Frankfurt, Paris and Kuala Lumpur with its new winter schedule that begins in late October," more..

High Court dismisses asylum seeker rape claim

Oct 8 (SMH) The High Court today dismissed the case of a Sri Lankan asylum seeker suspected of inventing a rape claim to bolster her bid to be granted refugee status. A majority of the High Court found the unnamed 29-year-old woman had not been denied natural justice when her case was heard by the Refugee Review Tribunal. more..

Find my baby: Mum's appeal 13 years on

Oct 8 (Mirror) THE mother of a baby boy who vanished 13 years ago yesterday made a fresh plea for help as police reopened the investigation. Five-month-old Ames Glover was taken from the back of his father's car in 1990. Now, on his 14th birthday, mum Shanika and police have appealed for new information to solve the mystery. more..

Sri Lanka sees jump in govt revenue, spending

Oct 8 (Reuters) Sri Lanka said it hoped to boost government revenue five percent in 2004 as the island reaps the benefit of a bid to end two decades of ethnic war. Finance Minister K.N. Choksy told parliament government revenue would climb to 356 billion rupees ($3.77 billion) next year from a targeted 339 billion in 2003. more..

Sri Lanka to sell 20-year bonds as economy picks up

Oct 8 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's government will issue 20-year treasury bonds this month to try to create a market for long-term securities as the economy revives after an ethnic war, analysts and traders said on Wednesday. more..

Government seeks assistance with Timber Corp. sale

Oct 8 (DJ) The Sri Lankan government Wednesday invited proposals from investment banks and accountant firms to assist in the sale of government- owned State Timber Corp. Interested parties should submit proposals on or before Oct. 23 by 10:00 GMT, more..

Don't be lapdog of US: LSSP

Oct 8 (DM) The LSSP charged yesterday that the UNF Govt. by condoning the US invasion of Iraq was acting shamelesssly as an agent of US imperialism and making Sri Lanka a pariah among the third world community. more..

Lanka Prez wonders if PM 'facilitated' LTTE arms smuggle

Oct 8 (HT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga is wondering if Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe "facilitated" arms smuggling by the LTTE in the name of "confidence building for the peace process", newspaper reports said. more..

President warns PM of national security threat by Tamil rebels

Oct 8 (Xinhua) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has warned her arch political rival Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that the country is facing military threat posed by separatist Tamil Tiger rebels and urged him to take actions to ensure the security of the country. more..

Sri Lanka rejects criticism of peace moves

Oct 8 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's ceasefire has given the Tamil Tiger rebels a chance to strengthen militarily, the island's defence minister said on Wednesday, but added that was the price of pursuing peace to end two decades of ethnic war. more..

Monks arrested over sexual abuse of war orphans

Oct 8 (AFP) Two Buddhist monks and eight men were arrested Wednesday for sexually abusing 11 war orphans between the ages of nine and 13, officials said. The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said it had investigated an orphanage for victims of the island's drawn out Tamil separatist conflict and carried out the arrest after reports of systematic abuse of children there. more..

IGP under heat to resign

Oct 8 (TN) The Sihala Urumaya has called for the resignation of Inspector General of Police (IGP), T.E.Anandarajah, saying the IGP is “misusing his position of authority” and “supporting the LTTE,” and has warned it would conduct a protest campaign against the IGP, media sources in Colombo said. more..

Water Test

Oct 8 (LBO) A forward market interface for the agro sector is part of an initial set of ten pilot projects picked to kick off the e-Sri Lanka initiative. The pilot projects will test the waters before embarking on a grand scale migration towards electronic information dissemination and rural and state sector empowerment. more..

LTTE has increased strength around Trincomalee: minister

Oct 8 (IANS) Sri Lanka's defence minister Wednesday said Tamil Tiger guerrillas had increased their strength in the strategically important town of Trincomalee since they agreed to a ceasefire with the government in 2001. more..

Journalists allowed to visit Trinco LTTE camp

Oct 8 (TN) For the first time since the controversy broke out over the location of the Kurankupanchan camp of the LTTE in the Trincomalee district, the LTTE Wednesday allowed a group of journalists from Colombo and Trincomalee to visit the camp, located 32 km west of Trincomalee town, more..

Sri Lankans come out blazing

Oct 8 (N24) Sri Lanka A made a spirited, but in all likelihood vain attempt to save their four day "international" cricket match against South Africa A at Willowmoore park on Tuesday. Facing a first innings deficit of 234, the tourists had moved to 107 for two and reduced the deficit to 109 at the close of play on the second day. more..

Rewarding tyranny: Undermining the democratic potential for peace

Oct 9 (UTHR) This latest report by UTHR(J) examines grave contradictions between the rhetoric of peacemaking in Sri Lanka over the past 21 months and its reality. UTHR(J) contends that while the LTTE leaders were honing their diplomatic skills abroad, their cadres were carrying out their orders for military and political expansion, terrorising opponents and sowing communal discord at home. more..

Norway sees silver lining amidst concern about truce breaches

Oct 9 (Island) Norway sources in a recent communication said that they shared the concerns of ordinary Sri Lankans about political assassinations, breaches of the truce agreement and LTTE disregard for Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) rulings. more..