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Kumaratunga buys saris, jewellery in Islamabad

Jan 7 (IANS) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who was here to attend the SAARC summit, visited tourist spots in the Pakistani capital and shopped for saris and jewellery, reports Online news agency. more..

Sri Lanka power struggle 'invalidates' truce

Jan 7 (ABC) Prime Minister says the truce with Tamil Tiger rebels has been invalidated due to the ongoing political power struggle within the Government. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says his Government reached the February 2002 cease-fire with the LTTE with the understanding that he controls the military. more..

Peace beneficial, says majority

Jan 7 (DN) The majority of Sri Lankans believe a lasting peace will bring peace dividends of which economic benefits are the most sought after by the public, according to the latest opinion survey by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA). more..

SLFP, JVP may compromise on ethnic issue

Jan 7 (DM) As SLFP-JVP talks continued with ups and downs, the possibility of a compromise on the ethnic conflict emerged yesterday. Informed sources said both parties might come to a consensus that they would accept whatever agreement was reached with the LTTE if it was approved by the people at a referendum. more..

PM steps up pressure on rival president

Jan 7 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's prime minister stepped up pressure on Wednesday on his rival, the country's president, saying her takeover of three ministries meant she also had to take charge of a stalled peace process with the island's rebels. more..

PM may annul Cease-Fire pact with rebels

Jan 7 (AP) A newspaper controlled by Sri Lanka's president reported Wednesday the prime minister - her political rival - may annul a two-year-old cease-fire he signed with the country's Tamil rebels. But a spokesman for the prime minister denied the report. more..

India, Lanka working on Defence Co-op Agreement: Kumaratunga

Jan 7 (PTI) President Chandrika Kumaratunga today said that India was more pro-actively involved in the current peace process in the island nation and the two countries were poised to increase their relations on the military front by working out a Defence Co-operation Agreement. more..

Russel Arnold praises A team effort

Jan 7 (CI) Russel Arnold, Sri Lanka A's current captain, believes his young side of hopefuls, who have started a super-intensive programme of A team tours, are quickly learning and growing in self-belief. Sri Lanka played impressively to win the recent Kenstar triangular tournament in Kolkata over the festive season, more..

"NorthEast deprived of ceasefire benefits" - Trinco NGOs

Jan 7 (TN) "The people of all provinces in Sri Lanka except the war-ravaged northeast enjoy the benefits of the ceasefire currently in force for the last two years," the President of the Trincomalee District Non-Governmental Organizations Consortium Mr.T.Thavasilingam said more..

PM: President should re-negotiate truce with rebels

Jan 7 (AP) Dimming hopes of resuming stalled peace talks, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said Wednesday the president - his political rival - should re-negotiate a fresh cease-fire agreement with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

PTA detainee released

Jan 8 (TN) Podisingam Shanmugam who was detained under Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) accused of shooting to death sub-inpector of Police, S.Yogendran, on 5 November 2001, was freed by Batticaloa District Magistrate, M.H.M.Ajmeer due to lack of evidence, legal sources said. more..

EU gives Sri Lanka tariff breaks to reward good labour practice

Jan 8 (EUB) The European Commission said Wednesday it was granting additional trade benefits to Sri Lanka in recognition of the country's efforts to protect basic labour standards for its workers. more..

Two illegal Sri Lankan migrants detained on Air Europa flight

Jan 8 (M2) Two men detained in Santo Domingo after arriving on an Air Europa flight on Sunday (4 January) were found to be illegal Sri Lankan migrants. The two men - originally described as Canadian - were said to have acted strangely during the flight from France to the Dominican Republic. more..

Lankan embassy keen to witness 'retail US politics'

Jan 8 (TN) The Sri Lankan Embassy in US has expressed its interest in joining a diplomatic delegation to witness the New Hampshire presidential primary described as a "preeminent showcase of grass-roots politics and the biggest celebration of American democracy," reported Wednesday edition of Washington Post. more..

Chariot festival held in Trinco temple

Jan 8 (TN) The statue of Lord Nadesar was taken around the historic Visuvanathaswamy (Sivan) Temple in an improvised structure called “Kattuther" at the conclusion of the ten-day "Thiruvembavai" pooja, sources said. more..

Dengue fever spreads in Batticaloa

Jan 8 (TN) Dengue fever is spreading throughout the Batticaloa district, with about 10 people in the district dead from the disease within the last two months, and in the first five days of the new year, already 5 people have developed the fever, more..

Business leaders to draw up strategy to end the countries political crisis

Jan 8 (LP) Sri Lankas top business leaders is to draw up a private sector strategy to help end the ongoing political crisis while the country's political situation is expected to take a new swing with Prime Minister asking his political rival President to take over the peace process. more..

Sri Lanka: Why don’t displaced persons go home?

Jan 8 (AT) A ceasefire in February 2002 halted Sri Lanka’s 19-year-long civil war, but little progress has been made in achieving a lasting peace agreement between the government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). more..

Terrorism is a plague exported by the West

Jan 8 (AT) The Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), the headquarters of the global fund-raising by agents of Tamil Tigers, is based in Melbourne, says Rohan Gunaratne, the expert on Tamil Tiger terrorism. more..

Sri Lankans reel under price rise in new year

Jan 8 (IANS) As Sri Lanka's war-weary population protests tax hikes on petrol, diesel and a slew of household goods in the new year, the government says it's a bitter pill the sick economy urgently needs, reports more..

Still Talking

Jan 8 (LBO) The deadline for final bids to take up a third slice in the retail petroleum market has been pushed back once again, to January 30. Interested firms had asked for more time, an official from state privatisation arm, the Public Enterprise Reform Commission (PERC), said Thursday. more..

Human skull, bones found in Kondavil pit

Jan 8 (TN) A human skull and skeletal remains were found in a pit at a house in kondavil in Jaffna Thursday. The house on Sebastian Street was abandoned by its owners who fled the war in 1995. The family came back from the Vanni to resettle in its home last month. more..

Trincomalee combats spread of Dengue fever

Jan 8 (TN) Trincomalee district health authorities Thursday warned the people of the district through loudhailers to take precautionary methods to prevent dengue fever. Four members of the Sri Lanka Navy located inside the naval dockyard have been detected with symptoms of dengue fever, more..

Wayside tea kiosk torched

Jan 8 (SLA) A wayside tea kiosk belonging to K.M. ISMAIL of sector 7, ALLA NAGAR, THOPPUR in the general area of ALLA NAGAR, about 20 km. southeast of TRINCOMALEE has been torched by some unknown men during wee hours on 07 January 2004. more..

Assaulted youth complains to Police

Jan 8 (SLA) A twenty-year old youngster in the general area of AKKARAIPATTU, who was kidnapped and assaulted by LTTE on 05 January 2004 has formally lodged a Police complaint after he was released by LTTE on 06 January 2004. more..

New Samadhi Statue At Nagadeepa Unveiled

Jan 8 (SLA) A new Samadhi Buddha statue to the Nagadeepa Raja Maha Vihara in the north, donated by Dr. Jayalath Jayawardene, Minister of Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Refugee affairs, was placed at the Bodhi precincts amidst a large gathering of religious dignitaries of all major denominations. more..

Allarai children, adults celebrate New Year dawn

Jan 8 (SLA) Both children and adults alike joined hands together with members of the Security Forces in the northern hamlet of Allarai during the dawn of the New Year 2004 to organize a series of sports and merry-making activities. more..

105th birth anniversary of late ‘S.W.R.D’

Jan 8 (PSL) Sri Lankans today commemorate the 105th birth anniversary of late Prime Minister, S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike. The Oxford educated legal luminary was elected Prime Minister in 1956. Bandaranaike led a peaceful but a powerful social revolution of the ordinary masses, more..

Man denies causing death of mother and baby

Jan 8 (Citizen) The three Sri Lankan asylum seekers charged in connection with the death of pregnant Deborah Peaty in a car crash near Potterspury have pleaded not guilty to the charges. At Northampton Crown Court, Ratnam Yogan, aged 28, denied causing death by dangerous driving. more..

LTTE ordered for bombs: Expert

Jan 8 (TP) A NORTHERN Jaffna-based Tamil daily has reported that a French military expert recently revealed to Sri Lankan military top brasses that the LTTE has placed orders to purchase powerful cluster bombs from an Argentine arms dealer, The Daily Mirror said. more..

Amendments to Councils Act

Jan 8 (TP) THE ruling United National Party (UNP) government has decided to introduce amendments to the Provincial Councils Act to enable polls for all councils to be held on the same day, party sources said after a meeting of the UNP Working Committee. more..

Tax on alcohol and cigarettes

Jan 8 (TP) IN a move to encourage Provincial Councils to raise their own funds, the National Finance Commission has given them the green light to impose a five per cent tax on cigarettes and alcohol sales, newspapers said. more..

Bangla down Lanka, move into semifinals

Jan 8 (EI) Bangladesh defeated Sri Lanka by four wickets to move into the semifinal of the inaugural Commonwealth under-19 championships at the TERI Oval ground in Gurgaon today. Due to foggy weather conditions, the start of the match was delayed by over two hours and the game was reduced to 36 overs each side. more..

Secession demand resurfaces as Lanka standoff continues

Jan 8 (OW) Frustrated at the tardy progress of the peace process, Sri Lanka's oldest Tamil party, the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), has declared that the minority Tamils in the North and the East should secede if the impasse continues. more..

Sri Lanka extends deadline for bids to retail fuel

Jan 8 (Reuters) Sri Lanka extended a deadline for a second time on Thursday for companies to finalise their bids to become the island's third fuel retailer, the government's privatisation agency said. more..

Save Sangaree Campaign: Conscientiously taken up by Tamil Expatriates in the West

Jan 8 (AT) It was "Asian Tribune," which understood the political implications of the threat on the life of. V. Ananandsangaree, President of the Tamil United Liberation Front and the Jaffna District Member of Parliament. more..

Have Indian military presence in Colombo to protect Tamils from tigers – Samy

Jan 8 (LT) An Indian military camp should be established in Colombo to protect innocent Tamil civilians from atrocities of the tiger organization says Subramanium Swamy, leader of Indian Janatha Party. more..

UNF govt. is forerunner of separatism - PNM

Jan 8 (LT) Minister Maheshwaran’s request asking the USA to de-proscribe tiger organization proves that Ranil Wickremasinghe’s UNF government is nothing but a forefront organization of Tamil Elam tiger terrorism says a communiqué issued by Patriotic National Movement (PNM). more..

History in LTTE textbook for school children

Jan 8 (DM) Text books on Social Science and History have been distributed by the LTTE among school children in the Jaffna peninsula as a move to supplement the textbooks supplied by the government. more..

Ranil washes his hands of truce

Jan 8 (Gulf) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday announced that he was relinquishing all responsibilities regarding the ceasefire between government troops and Tamil Tigers saying President Chandrika Kumaratunga would henceforth be accountable for this crucial leg of the peace process with the rebels. more..

Lanka ready to challenge SARS

Jan 8 (DN) The Health Ministry yesterday geared itself with precautionary measures to face a possible threat of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) amidst fears of a re-emergence of the deadly virus in the South Asian region. more..

JVP calls for Wickremesinghe' s resignation

Jan 8 (TN) JVP Thursday called for the resignation of Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe from the post of Prime Minister and from the current parliament if the Prime Minister wanted to withdraw from the two year-old ceasefire agreement (CFA) he signed with the LTTE, more..

Hoteliers bouncing back in Colombo

Jan 8 (IHT) Shares of the Sri Lankan hotel operator, John Keells Holdings, may be poised to resume a rally that stalled following a political crisis in November. The stock has gained 9.1 percent this week, buoyed by a government report showing that tourism continued to increase in December, beating a full-year target of 500,000 visitors. more..

Tigers tighten their grip

Jan 8 (Gulf) The unresolved political crisis between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is creating ideal conditions for the Tamil guerrillas to strengthen themselves and further establish their authority in the areas they control. more..

President refuses to take over peace negotiations

Jan 8 (AP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Thursday refused to take over Sri Lanka's fragile peace process after her political rival, the Prime Minister, said he was unable to continue talks with Tamil rebels after losing control over the Defence Ministry. more..

LTTE is beefing up its strength: Kumaratunga

Jan 8 (Rediff) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has alleged the LTTE increased its military strength during the truce period by recruiting over 11,000 guerrillas. "The LTTE has increased its cadre by three times from around seven thousand to over 18,000. Quite a few of them are small children and forcible recruitment was going on," she said. more..

Tigers launch drive to stop drug abuse in Mannar

Jan 8 (TN) The Liberation Tigers have launched a concerted campaign against drug abuse and AIDS in the Mannar District, Mr. S. Thangan, deputy leader of the political division of the Liberation Tigers, said Thursday. more..

Prez finds PM's posture untenable

Jan 8 (HT) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga finds Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's demand that she "renegotiate" the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) with the LTTE as being "untenable", says Presidential spokesman Harim Peiris. more..

Central Province complete world-record run-chase

Jan 8 (CI) If 2003 was the year of the bat with huge scores being piled up all round the world, then 2004 started in the same vein as another batting record was smashed in Sri Lanka's domestic first-class tournament on Tuesday. more..

Norwegian Ambassador meets Trinco LTTE leaders

Jan 9 (TN) The Norwegian ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. Hans Brattskar, Thursday afternoon met with the Trincomalee district military commander of the LTTE, Colonel Pathuman, and district political head, Mr.S.Thilak, at the LTTE district political secretariat in Sampoor, more..