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President warns PM over stalled peace bid

Jan 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president warned that the Tamil Tigers may lose patience if the country's prime minister, who has been locked in a political battle with her, washes his hands of the Norwegian-backed peace process. more..

Sweeping electoral reforms

Jan 24 (DM) A hybrid version of the proportional representation system and the first-past-the-post system, making the Identity Card compulsory for voting and the introduction of an electronic voting machine as in India are among some of the sweeping recommendations made by the parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms. more..

Sri Lanka: the changing face of an embattled nation

Jan 24 (EJ) Channa Perera's Aussie bush hat, khaki shorts, and bushy beard sporting an animal bone quickly identify him as an outdoors enthusiast. He is a man of towering stature, and the riverside rainforest enclave he created has an ancient air -- suitable perhaps, given the presence of a Stone-Age cavern a short distance away. more..

Valvettithurai fishermen remanded pending AG report

Jan 25 (TN) The Mallakam Magistrate Ms Sarojini Ilangovan Saturday ordered two weeks' remand for the four fishermen of Athikoviladi in Valvettithurai when the Kankesanthurai police produced them in court on a report from the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) that the suspects had been arrested when trespassing in the Kankesanthurai sea area Friday morning, more..

UNP on the Rampage against SLFP-JVP alliance

Jan 25 (AT) Flabbergasted by the sudden success in the formation of the alliance between SLFP and JVP, the ruling UNP, reacted with launching violence, so far resulting in three deaths and maiming many others and hurling serious allegations against the newly found political alliance. more..

UNICEF underage list under review - LTTE

Jan 25 (TN) The LTTE, responding to a report released by UNICEF which expressed concern in the use of "children as soldiers," said that only about 10% of the individuals listed by the UNICEF as below 18 years have birth certificates and that a 3-person committee is reviewing UNICEF's list, taking steps to ascertain the ages of the rest of the individuals. more..

Heralding an alliance of doom

Jan 25 (SL) While the much heralded SLFP-JVP alliance proved to be a damp squib with none other than President Kumaratunga pouring cold water over it, the possibility of a snap general election also receded last week following the resumption of the Mano-Malik talks at the President's initiative. more..

Now - An indictment against Thilanga

Jan 25 (SL) Even as the hammer fell for Thilanga Sumathipala last Monday in the Magistrate's Court, Attorney General K. C. Kamalasabayson is expected to file an indictment in the High Court charging Sumathipala for criminal breach of trust. more..

Minister Chandrasekaran left off the hook by Ranil

Jan 25 (AT) Immediately after declaring that the Tamils were ready for a war at a LTTE propaganda rally in Eastern Sri Lanka, the UNF government’s cabinet minister Periyasamy Chandrasekaran said that he had discussed with the LTTE the possibility of forming a political party alliance consisting of all the minority political parties. more..

President-PM compromise in the offing

Jan 25 (SO) After a near three-month confrontation between the President and Prime Minister, commencing November 4 following the take over of the ministries of Defence, Interior and Media by the President, a compromise between the Presidency and the Government seems to be certain within the next few days. more..

"Foreign nations understand LTTE’s central role to Sri Lanka's progress" –TNA MP

Jan 25 (TN) “Currently, diplomats of foreign countries, ambassadors and representatives of donor nations who visit Sri Lanka and meet those in power in Colombo, are also visiting the Vanni to meet with the Liberation Tigers. more..

Rule of Law, values said basis of Tamil society

Jan 25 (TN) “Foreigners who visit the Vanni assume that two decades of war would have torn apart the fabric of our society. They expect a total break down of law and order; that crime and corruption would be rife as in societies ravaged by war in other parts of the world. more..

Gangsters use police weapons

Jan 25 (AFP) More than 40,000 illegal weapons — some of them stolen or slipped out from the police armouries — are being used by gangsters for criminal operations in Sri Lanka, newspapers said. more..

Somawansa to address rally

Jan 25 (AFP) Controversial JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe, who returned to Sri Lanka on Tuesday, will appear in public on January 29 to address the first national convention of the newly formed United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in Colombo, newspapers reported. more..

Iran to buy Lankan tea

Jan 25 (ID) Iran agreed to buy Sri Lankan tea under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the two governments at the end of their Joint Economic Commission meeting at the Galadari Hotel. more..

SLMC urged to quit Lanka alliance

Jan 25 (Dawn) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is likely to join the main opposition, the People's Alliance, sources in the party told Dawn. The sources said on Saturday they would be meeting soon to discuss the issue. more..

Tigers propose alliance of Tamils to fight elections

Jan 25 (Gulf) Tamil guerillas want minority Tamil parties to form a fresh alliance aimed at contesting future elections in the central part of the country populated with Indian origin plantation workers in a fresh attempt to widen its support. more..

Iran-Sri Lanka ink trade agreement

Jan 25 (IRIB) The 7th Iran-Sri Lanka economic commission meeting was held in Colombo on January 22-23, it was announced here Saturday. Iran's Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Tahmasb Mazaheri met with his Sri Lankan counterpart and reviewed expansion of cooperation and signed a MOU on trade cooperation between the two countries. more..

Sri Lanka ready for Aussie assault

Jan 25 (AAP) Sri Lanka's hard-hitting opening batsman, Sanath Jayasuriya, has a lot of homework to do ahead of next month's Australian tour of Sri Lanka. "The Aussies will have a plan for each of us and I feel we need to practice more," Jayasuriya told the privately owned Sunday Island newspaper. more..

Sri Lanka rebels deny recruiting child soldiers

Jan 25 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers have denied they are recruiting child soldiers, saying on Sunday the accusations are designed to discredit the separatist movement. more..

Sinha meets Sri Lankan minister

Jan 25 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s Economic Reforms Minister Milinda Moragoda held talks in New Delhi yesterday with Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha, an Indian foreign ministry official said. more..

Sri Lanka under foreign pressure to avoid snap polls

Jan 25 (AFP) Sri Lankan leaders are under international pressure to end their power struggle and avoid snap polls that could further damage a peace bid with Tamil rebels, diplomatic sources said. more..

LTTE revive fundraising drive for arms purchases: media

Jan 25 (UNI) The Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka have reactivated their fundraising campaigns in the Western countries for fresh military procurements to keep themselves prepared for what they call an imminent war, local media reported today. more..

Japan says donors still committed to Sri Lanka

Jan 25 (Reuters) A power struggle between Sri Lanka's president and prime minister threatens aid flows to the island, but donors are still committed to backing a peace process with their money, Japan said on Sunday. more..

Lankan President allows LTTE to use military flights

Jan 25 (PTI) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has given the green light for Tamil Tiger guerrillas to use military helicopters when travelling to the island's international airport to catch international flights. more..

Kumaratunga, Wickremesinghe likely to reach compromise: report

Jan 25 (IANS) Sri Lanka's feuding leaders, President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, are likely to reach a compromise in the next few days to end the political crisis in the country, reports Xinhua. more..

Japan: Sri Lanka govt spat will slow delivery of international aid

Jan 25 (AP) International aid to rebuild Sri Lanka's war-torn north and east regions will slow down because of a bitter power struggle between the country's president and the prime minister that is seen hindering peace efforts, an official said Sunday. more..

JVP-SLFP alliance seriously jeopardizes Peace Process - American Academics

Jan 26 (TN) North American academics expressed pessimism about the future of the peace process after the JVP-SLFP alliance. Prof.Oberst of Nebraska Weslyan University said, "it has complicated the peace process...LTTE leadership [will be] hesitant to agree to anything until after the next general election." Prof Mia Bloom from McGill University said more..

NECORD funded school buildings opened in Eachilampathu

Jan 26 (TN) The Trincomalee district military commander of the LTTE, Colonel Pathuman, Saturday declared open two new buildings in two schools in the Eachchilampathu division, in the LTTE held Muttur east, constructed by the Asian Development Bank more..

India may delay defence pact with Sri Lanka

Jan 26 (UNI) India is likely to delay the signing of proposed Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) with Sri Lanka until the ongoing political tussle between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is resolved, probably through a snap poll, a newspaper report said. more..

Open Arms

Jan 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will dismantle all non-tariff barriers blocking trade between the countries, as a first step to a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA). “The two countries decided last week in Dhaka, to dismantle all non tariff barriers with immediate effect,” said Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Harsha Wickramasinghe. more..

Religion and Economics

Jan 26 (LBO) Economists who measure and comment on growth generally ignore the political and social forces that have a heavy bearing on the economy. A century ago Max Weber, a founder of sociology observed that the “Protestant work ethic” was what made northern Europe and America rich. more..

Wet Garments

Jan 26 (LBO) US Ambassador poured cold water on Sri Lanka’s hopes of signing a free trade deal with the US soon. Ambassador Jeffery Lunstead says the US is keeping an FTA as an option, but it would not like to jump into it just yet. more..

Mother's Front demands candidacy in next election

Jan 26 (TN) Subbu Satkunam, Secretary of the Jaffna Missing Persons Guardian Association (MPGA), tabled a motion during a meeting of the representatives of MPGA and Jaffna Mothers Front (JMF), Sunday, demanding the TNA to include candidates from JMF as part of the alliance to compete in the next elections, more..

Lack of funds hurts NorthEast Health services

Jan 26 (TN) "Provincial Health Ministry is unable to fund rehabilitation of damaged hospitals or to make permanent more than 2065 volunteer health service workers who have been helping the hospitals for the last 15 years without any wages. more..

Abducted and tortured civilians admitted to hospital

Jan 26 (SLA) Police arrested two suspects from the general area of BATTICALOA on 23 January 2004 in connection with an alleged disappearance of two men after two unidentified LTTE men visited the house of a civilian in the company of these two suspects. more..

One more LTTE teenager surrenders

Jan 26 (SLA) An eighteen year- old LTTE cadre escaped from the PALAYADIMADDAI LTTE camp has surrendered to the PADIRIPPU BRIDGE Security Forces camp in the general area of KALAWANCHIKUDY on 24 January 2004 around 06.00 a.m. seeking protection. more..

Hand grenade thrown at liquor shop

Jan 26 (SLA) An unidentified person has thrown a hand grenade at a recently opened liquor shop in the general area of ARAYAMPATHI on 24 January 2004 around 10.30 p.m. Explosion of the hand grenade has however caused no damages to property or human lives. more..

Ravi Jayawardene removed from Defense

Jan 26 (LT) Ravi Jayawardene, son of former President late J.R.Jayawardene, who was a consultant to the Ministry of Defense, has been removed from that position. This has been communicated to him by Mr. Cyril Heart, Secretary of the Ministry of Defense verbally. more..

Give salary increase to security services - JVP

Jan 26 (LT) The JVP calls upon the government to make available the salary increase given to government servants to the police and security services as well. Though government ministers earlier stated that the security services were entitled for this salary increase, in the gazette issued subsequently it has been withdrawn. more..

'We believe in harmony and solidarity of all communities'

Jan 26 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's interview on national television last Friday, January 23, 2004
Q: With regard to the recent alliance between the SLFP and the JVP, there has been some concern expressed in certain quarters with regard to the alliance with the SLFP. Is there a cause for concern? more..

Lanka Lions plans mini-marathon to mark Independence Day

Jan 26 (TP) The Lanka Lions Sports Club, as part of Sri Lanka's 56th independence anniversary celebrations, will conduct its annual mini-marathon for Sri Lankans at 8am on February 13, said Lokitha Karavita, the club's president. more..

Mystery surrounds maid's death

Jan 26 (AT) An unidentified Sri Lankan maid died in mysterious circumstances when a tent in Mina Al-Zour caught fire, reports Al-Anba daily. Another maid, also Sri Lankan, who was also in the tent at the time of the incident and suffered severe burns was rushed to a hospital. more..

Government wants to resolve crisis before donor meet

Jan 26 (Bloomberg) The Sri Lankan government is trying to resolve differences with President Chandrika Kumaratunga over the handling of peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels before a donor meeting on Feb. 17, a Cabinet spokesman said. more..

Colombo: Modest Perfection

Jan 26 (Time) In Colombo, Sri Lanka's busy commercial capital, the disco-loving night crawlers tend to be far removed from the city's working class. But there is one place where their two worlds intersect: Hotel de Pilawoos. No evening out in Colombo is complete without an after-midnight pit stop by this grungy eatery on the Galle Road. more..

Japan's envoy to Sri Lanka praises Norway's peace broker job

Jan 26 (Bloomberg) Japan, Sri Lanka's largest aid donor, praised Norway after increased criticism of the peace broker by island President Chandrika Kumaratunga and her allies for its alleged bias toward the Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Sri Lanka seeks valuation for Lanka Transformers share

Jan 26 (DJ) Sri Lanka's Public Enterprise Reform Commission on Monday called for applications from investment banks or chartered accountants to carry out a valuation of engineering company Lanka Transformers Ltd. more..

Minister Chandrasekaran leading the Upcountry Tamils to the "Killing Fields."

Jan 26 (AT) An Upcountry Tamil maverick Politician and Minister’s proposal for a grand alliance of the Tamil political parties to be led by Tamil Tiger rebel outfit has been described as an ‘election gimmick’ more..

Govt concerned over forming of opposition

Jan 26 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan government said Monday that it was concerned over the formation of a political alliance by two main forces in the opposition as it posed a threat to the ongoing peace process with the Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Sri Lanka may be heading for a Sinhala-Buddhist version of Hindutva

Jan 26 (HT) Sri Lanka is now witnessing the beginnings of a revivalist movement, the third in the last 100 years. Political circles here are abuzz with talk of the arrival of politico-cultural nationalism akin to Hindutva in neighbouring India. more..