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Sri Lanka recalls ambassadors

Apr 19 (PTI) Sri Lanka has ordered the recall of its top envoys to 10 foreign capitals as part of a shakeup following the election of a new government. Sri Lanka's ambassadors named by the former government will be replaced by people loyal to the new administration led by President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party or by career officers. more..

PM to present road development act to parliament

Apr 19 (Rupavahini) Prime minister Mahinda Rajapakse has said that a National Policy will be formulated to develop the roads network in Sri lanka. He said that he would present a road development act to parliament for this purpose. The Prime minister was speaking while assuming duties as Transport minister today. more..

Dubai's import of tea from Sri Lanka reaches 230 million AED

Apr 19 (AME) Abdul Rahman Ghanim Al-Mutaiwee, the Director General of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, stated that Dubai imported tea for 230 million AED from Sri Lanka in 2003, which is 28 per cent of Dubai's total tea imports. more..

Q&A: Zimbabwe cricket crisis

Apr 19 (BBC) As a shadow Zimbabwe side prepare to face Sri Lanka and England continue their debate over whether to tour, we look at the key questions in the ongoing saga.
What is happening in Zimbabwe cricket?
Streak has not ruled out a return but it appears unlikely A group of 15 players are refusing to play for the national team in protest at selection policy and the sacking of captain Heath Streak.

Politics stall progress in Coal power project

Apr 19 (DJ) Recent political developments have stalled progress in Sri Lanka's first coal-fired power plant project, an official said Monday. "We are evaluating the bids, but we need parliamentary approval for the final decision. We still haven't had any meetings with the new government so far," more..

Tigers at war: The story behind

Apr 19 (PTI) Tamil Tiger rebels had entered into a “secret” pact with a renegade faction to end their internecine war recently. The deal had also been inspired to ensure the safety of a top Tiger intelligence operative Neelan, who had been detained by renegade leader Karuna, at the start of the rebellion early last month, more..

LTTE continues to flout CFA

Apr 19 (G2L) The LTTE continues to violate the Oslo-arranged Cease-Fire Agreement (CFA) by carrying out landings on the east coast between Sampur and Kadiraweli. Northern units are being inducted to bolster the group’s presence in the Ampara-Batticaloa region. more..

Lokubandara seeks help of JHU to become Speaker

Apr 19 (G2L) The United National Party has sought the assistance of the Jathika Hela Urumaya to get its candidate and former Buddhasasana Minister W.J.M. Lokubandara get elected to the prestigious position of Speaker. more..

Buddhists ring in new year

Apr 19 (FW) Curious, primary-colored-striped flags waving in the wind distinguish the split-level house from the rest of the homes on quiet, residential Webster Street. Shoes scattered on the stoop add to the intrigue. more..

US warship arrives in Sri Lanka

Apr 19 (AFP) US warship USS Cushing arrived in Sri Lanka today on a routine port visit, the US embassy confirmed. The 300-member crew of Cushing, a multi-mission destroyer, will "experience Sri Lankan culture, sightsee and enjoy Colombo's many attractions," the embassy said. more..

Religious leaders, intellectuals welcome Code of Conduct

Apr 19 (DN) Religious leaders and intellectuals yesterday welcomed President Chandrika Kumaratunga's guidelines for a Code of Conduct for Ministers. President of the Supreme Sangha Council of the Jathika Hela Urumaya, Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera, yesterday praised the guidelines more..

Chandrika alliance crisis deepens

Apr 19 (Gulf) The crisis in President Chandrika Kumaratunga's UPFA has further deepened and the formation of the government has been delayed after the policymaking central committee of the president's party rejected a key demand of the new-found Marxist ally. more..

UNICEF battles to help released child soldiers

Apr 19 (AFP) The UN's agency for children is struggling to help hundreds of child soldiers demobilised after an unprecedented split in the Tamil Tiger guerrilla movement, officials said. UNICEF was moving extra staff to register the rising numbers of underage combatants freed more..

Into the valley of death

Apr 19 (CI) As if the backdrop of virtual civil war within the cricketing establishment wasn't enough to undermine Zimbabwe's morale ahead of the first one-dayer against Sri Lanka at Bulawayo on Tuesday (0730 GMT), the Zimbabwe XI will be one of the least experienced - and inadequate - ever to have played an international game. more..

TNA MP from Batticaloa resigns

Apr 19 (TN) Mr. Kingsley Rasanayagam, elected from the Batticaloa district as a Tamil National Alliance candidate in the election son April 2, has decided to resign as an MP, citing personal reasons, sources in Batticaloa said. more..

Chandrika likely to evade issue of devolution for now

Apr 19 (HT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's proposal for a new constitution for Sri Lanka will avoid the contentious issue of devolution of power to the provinces. more..

LTTE men rob cash and valuables

Apr 19 (SLA) Some unidentified LTTE men took away a civilian, who was on his way to cast his vote and relieved him of his cash and valuables to the value of Rs. 132,000/= while the victim was in the general area of KALAWANCHIKUDY on 02 April 2004, more..

LTTE detainee escapes and seeks protection

Apr 19 (SLA) A 51-year old man abducted and subsequently detained by LTTE against non-payment of ransom when he was in the general area of PUNGUDUTTIV island, has managed to escape and surrendered to the naval troops on 17 April 2004, seeking protection. more..

Civilian’s textile shop robbed

Apr 19 (SLA) A Police complaint made by a civilian in the general area of VALAICHCHENAI claimed that he was ordered by six LTTE cadres to vacate the area within half an hour after delivering the keys of his shop to the LTTE. more..

Armed LTTE men’s unauthorized passage prevented

Apr 19 (SLA) An estimated group of 400 armed LTTE cadres in their uniforms were refused passage across the Main Supply Route towards LTTE’s BEIRUT camp while they were in the general area of VAKANERI on 17 April 2004 at about 9.30 p.m. since no prior information to this effect has been given to troops through the SLMM as per the ceasefire agreement. more..

Local Bound

Apr 19 (LBO) Local inbound travel operators will have yet another travel distribution system at their disposal to help increase tourist arrivals to a record 600,000 visitors this year. The Galaxy global travel distribution system gives wholesale-priced hotel rooms and transfers to retail travel agents and other travel professionals worldwide, more..

Cost Increase

Apr 19 (LBO) Former Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera returned to the post today, ending speculation that Presidential Advisor Mano Tittawella was up for the post. Though familiar territory to Jayasundera, his initial tasks could include increasing the government’s borrowing programme to foot the cost of the Alliance’s election promises. more..

Oil Attraction

Apr 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s first international road show to kick off a process of auctioning blocks of the island’s seabed for oil exploration, started in Texas on Sunday April 18. The exhibition in Dallas, Texas, displaying Sri Lanka’s potential to strike oil and gas, will go on till April 21 more..

Media bias: dangerous fruits, flowers and foliage

Apr 19 (TN) The Liberation Tigers’ adoption in November 2003 of the Gloriosa Lily as the national flower of Tamil Eelam, featured in TamilNet last week, prompted a spate of sensational news reports linking the flower with death and suicide. more..

'Peace process has not helped the war-affected' - Thamilchelvan

Apr 20 (TN) Despite the two and a half years of ceasefire, the people affected by the war in the Tamil homeland have not been able to return to their normal lives, and the Liberation Tigers consider this a setback in the peace process, said Mr. S.P. Thamilchelvan, more..

EPDP activist remanded in Kayts murder incident

Apr 20 (TN) The Kayts Magistrate, Mr. A.Premashankar, Saturday remanded Mr. Thirugnanam Sivakumar alias Velu, a key member of the paramilitary Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP), till May 1st, in connection with the murder last year of a young woman, more..

Murali report referee dumped for Zimbabwe-Sri Lanka series

Apr 20 (AFP) Match referee Chris Broad has been dropped from officiating in the Sri Lanka-Zimbabwe series which starts later today, the ICC announced in London overnight. The former England batsman had been due to oversee the series, which is due to start with a one-day international in Bulawayo. more..

Chandrika grants interim aid to displaced persons in east

Apr 20 (Hindu) President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, today allotted a sum of Rs. 10 million as an `interim measure' for assisting the resettlement of internally-displaced persons (IDP) in eastern Sri Lanka. more..

UNP seeks JHU support to elect speaker

Apr 20 (LT) Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe, leader of the UNP has requested the Bhikkus of Jathike Hela Urumaya to support candidate from his party at the election of the speaker scheduled to take place on the first session of the 13th Parliament on the 22nd. more..

No enthusiasm for Wayamba polls

Apr 20 (LT) Wayamba Provincial Council election campaign moves in a sluggish manner as the UPFA and UNP are engaged in an attempt to solve the internal crises that exist in both these parties. more..

Looks Interesting

Apr 20 (LBO) Taking stock of current ground realities will indicate if the present low interest rate scenario is sustainable says new Treasury Secretary. P. B Jayasundera says the government’s policy on interest rates will be reviewed shortly after assessing current requirements to spur economic growth. more..

Tamil NGOs aid rehabilitation of homeland - LTTE

Apr 20 (TN) Three organizations registered as legal Non-Governmental Organizations in Sri Lanka and in the North-East are contributing in a major way to the rehabilitation, reconstruction and humanitarian work in the Tamil homeland, the Liberation Tigers said in a statement Monday. more..

NECORD strengthens northeast rural banking system

Apr 20 (TN) The ADB funded North East Community Restoration Development (NECORD) Project Director Mr.T.Lankaneson Monday signed agreements with the Presidents of nine district multi purpose co-operative societies to strengthen the co-operative rural banking system in the NorthEast. more..

TNA MPs, Pirapaharan discuss peace talks, ISGA

Apr 20 (TN) “The Tamil people voted for you on the basis of the principles of Tamil nationalism. You should understand their feelings and work to realise their aspirations. Love for one’s country comes from one’s love for home, family, village and region. In this sense I encouraged love for one’s region, as it is necessary to strengthen a liberation struggle. more..

Stocks dip despite Lighthouse gains

Apr 20 (Reuters) Stocks closed lower on Tuesday on persistent worries over the island's political situation, but a local transaction lifted luxury resort owner Lighthouse Hotels Ltd. The key Colombo all-share index ended down 0.61 percent, or 7.34 points, at 1,201.52. more..

Resign or face death! - - Tigers threaten elected members

Apr 20 (LT) Tiger organization has ordered two Members of Parliament elected from TNA to Batticaloa District to resign from their Parliamentary seats. The two MPs who have been asked to resign are Mr. Kingsley Rajanayagam and Ms. Kangeshwari Kadiragaman. more..

New commerce Minister Against Privatisation

Apr 20 (NW) The privatisation of the State Trading Corporation (STC) and Salu Sala will be stopped with immediate effect, said the new Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Jeyaraj Fernandopulle yesterday. The proposed sale of the Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) properties and vehicles too will be terminated. more..

We should learn from Murali: Buchanan

Apr 20 (AAP) Australian coach John Buchanan believes it's time to stop lampooning Muttiah Muralitharan and start learning from him. Muralitharan's wrong-un, his controversial doosra, has been deemed illegal under ICC rules but biomechanics experts say he should be allowed to keeping bowling it until further research is conducted on the issue of throwing among slow bowlers. more..

Angry Shoaib to skip Lanka tour

Apr 20 (AFP) Stung by the recent spate of criticisms, temperamental Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has decided to pull out from one-day cricket series against Sri Lanka in Malaysia in a month's time. more..

Devananda says ITAK represents thieves

Apr 20 (G2L) Minister of Agricultural Marketing Development & Hindu Affairs Douglas Devananda says members of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) has no right to criticize his appointment as a minister of the UPFA government since the ITAK members represent a bunch of thieves. more..

Sri Lanka picks Sinopec for retail Petroleum slot

Apr 20 (DJ) Sri Lanka has selected Sinopec Corp.'s Hong Kong unit to own 100 filling stations and petroleum storage assets on the island nation, although the new cabinet still needs to approve the transaction, a government source said Tuesday. more..

Lankan troops stop 400 Tamil Tigers from crossing military line

Apr 20 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops blocked at least 400 armed Tamil Tiger rebels from crossing into a government-held area in the island’s embattled east, the defence ministry said yesterday. more..

Penalty for exam cheats

Apr 20 (TP) Sri Lanka’s Examinations Department is to introduce stiff penalties for those involved in cheating at the Advanced Level Examination scheduled for next month. more..

Twelve kilos of TNT found from Pannipitiya

Apr 20 (DN) Police recovered 12kgs of a highly explosive ingredient used in manufacturing bombs from an abandoned estate in Pannipitiya, Maharagama Police said. The explosives weighing 12 kgs were recovered on Sunday night while it was buried in two plastic containers containing 6kgs each, Police said. more..

President discusses the plight of displaced people of the North and East

Apr 20 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga was today briefed by heads of the UNHCR, ICRC, UNICEF, the UN Resident Co-ordinator in Sri Lanka and a representative from Save the Children on their current programmes particularly in the fields of Rehabilitation and Resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons [IDPs]. more..

Husband abducted, killed and buried by LTTE, says wife

Apr 20 (SLA) A civilian, said to have been abducted by some unknown LTTE cadres on 04 April 2004 was found buried in the general beach area of SEVAKADAI SEA in BATTICALOA, stated a complaint made at BATTICALOA Police station on 18 April 2004. more..

Detained EPDP activist fled from LTTE detention

Apr 20 (SLA) A political activist of the EPDP, who was detained by LTTE after he was forcibly taken away from the general area of SANDILIPAY, about 9 km north of JAFFNA on 18 April 2004, has managed to run away from LTTE detention and reached the troops for protection. more..

LTTE raise their flags

Apr 20 (SLA) LTTE men have hoisted their flag in the general town area of MANNAR on 19 April 2004 regardless of the provisions contained in the ceasefire agreement. These flags, raised close to the MANNAR bus stand and inside the Municipal Ground, were meant to mark an LTTE death anniversary. more..

Govt urges Tamil rebels to abide by truce

Apr 20 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Cyril Herath has expressed grave concern over numerous cease-fire violations committed by Tamil Tiger rebels when he met with the deputy head of the truce monitors, The Island newspaper reported on Tuesday. more..

Peace, reforms may hinge on new Sri Lanka parliament

Apr 20 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's new government is scrambling to patch together a majority before the opening of parliament on Thursday to give it a clear mandate to restart peace talks with Tamil rebels. more..