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Sri Lanka central bank likely to keep rates steady

Jan 12 (Reuters) Inflationary pressure and an uncertain political climate mean Sri Lanka's central bank is likely to leave interest rates unchanged this week despite strong economic fundamentals, dealers said on Monday. more..

Karunanidhi raps Vajpayee over DMK-LTTE ties

Jan 12 (IANS) DMK leader Muthuvel Karunanidhi Monday gently took on Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee after the latter mentioned the DMK's alleged links with Sri Lankan Tamil guerrillas while attacking the Congress party. more..

Sri Lanka disagrees with most LTTE proposals

Jan 12 (IANS) The Sri Lankan government has acknowledged it does not agree with most proposals of the Tamil guerrillas on an interim administration in the country's north and east, a newspaper said Monday. more..

LTTE destroys pornographic material

Jan 12 (IANS) Tamil Tiger guerrillas destroyed a set of pornographic books written in Sinhala that were found abandoned in the northern Sri Lankan town of Vavuniya, TamilNet reported. People in the government-controlled town, where the LTTE have an office, said the books were left unattended near a rest room at the Vavuniya bus station Saturday. more..

From Sri Lanka to Ballarat - a sign of things to come

Jan 12 (Age) Two years ago Dr Shirani Gamlath and her husband Jayantha moved from Sri Lanka to Ballarat - and they couldn't be happier. Their daughter Ashini, 11, and son Yasith, 6, quite agree. The Gamlath family knew little about Ballarat, where Dr Gamlath took up a position in food sciences at the local university, but were not deterred. more..

Tamil guerrillas vow to keep the peace

Jan 12 (Gulf) Tamil guerrillas have vowed to maintain the 22-month-old cease-fire agreement with the government, despite the unsettled political crisis in the south of the country amidst international pressure for the country to maintain the peace process. more..

Tigers need to explain ceasefire violations

Jan 12 (GN) Scandinavians overseeing a truce in Sri Lanka have asked Tamil Tiger rebels to explain why they detained two monitors and made a death threat to a top military commander, a spokeswoman said yesterday. more..

John & Imthias to take oath again

Jan 12 (LT) The President has directed that the two ministers who held the portfolios of Interior and Mass Communication which were taken over by the President should take oaths again. The relevant letter has been sent to the Prime Minister. more..

Top team to probe attack by ministers' sons

Jan 12 (DN) Inspector General of Police Indra de Silva yesterday appointed a high powered team to investigate into the incident where the sons of two senior Cabinet Ministers are said to have run riot outside a City night Club causing a breach of the peace. more..

Possible police links to court slaying

Jan 12 (DM) IGP Indra De Silva yesterday said a special investigation was underway to find out possible police and political involvement in the shocking shoot out within the Colombo Magistrate's Court on Friday killing the underworld figure Dhammika Perera alias Dhammika Amaresinghe. more..

How Lanka paved the way for Indo-Pak dialogue

Jan 12 (HT) India and Pakistan seem to have made a breakthrough towards a historic rapprochement on the sidelines of the SAARC summit at Islamabad. Understandably, the general tendency will be to see it purely as a bilateral achievement. more..

Imported liquor in Parliament: MP calls for inquiry

Jan 12 (IL) UNP Parliamentarian Sanjeewa Kaviratne has complained to the Secretary General of Parliament Priyani Wijesinghe that a high-ranking parliamentary official has brought 31 bottles of imported liquor to his office in the parliamentary complex. more..

No fuel for Batticaloa while Petroleum boss refuses to pay LTTE tax

Jan 12 (IL) The LTTE had allegedly banned the distribution of fuel to filling stations in the Batticaloa District from the Ceylon Petroleum Cooperation (CPC) installation in the district, security forces in Batticaloa said. more..

Sri Lanka rebels warn power struggle threatens peace

Jan 12 (Reuters) A feud between Sri Lanka's president and prime minister was testing the patience of Tamil Tiger rebels in their bid to end 20 years of war but they would not break the island's truce, a rebel leader said. more..

"No truth in SLMM statement"- Trinco LTTE

Jan 13 (TN) Trincomalee district political secretariat of the LTTE Monday said "there is no truth in the statement by the media spokesperson of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) to BBC that the LTTE detained two monitors in Trincomalee district on 6 January, 2004." more..

Japanese to begin de-mining in Lanka

Jan 13 (AFP) Japan on Monday granted funding to clear land mines from a former war-zone in embattled north, a Japanese non-governmental agency said. The Japan Centre for Conflict Prevention (JCCP) said it was given 751,000 dollars by the Japanese government for demining work near the town of Vavuniya from March for 10 months. more..

Govt urged to speed Lanka FTA

Jan 13 (Nation) Business leaders have called on the government to expand its freetrade agreements to cover member countries of the BIMSTEC in anticipation of a marked increase in trade within the South Asian grouping. more..

Opening up of the Jaffna Public Library – Tug-of-war

Jan 13 (AT) Since of late, there are some concerted efforts to open up the Public library in the city of Jaffna, which was earlier torched to ashes in 1981. CVK Sivangnam recently submitted a memorandum to the present Commissioner of the Jaffna Municipality, urging the Government to declare open the Jaffna Public Library without any further delay. more..

President says snap poll under consideration with leftist alliance

Jan 13 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said that she was considering a move to hold a snap parliamentary poll by forging an alliance with main leftist party, state radio announced here Monday. more..

Shell Shelled

Jan 13 (LBO) The Consumer watchdog once again turned down requests by Shell Gas to raise prices of a 12.5 kg LPG cylinder from Rs.595 to Rs.660, on Tuesday. From January, Shell Gas incorporated an increased 15 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) into its costs, raising prices from Rs.595 to Rs.620 for a 12.5 kilo cylinder. more..

Joint Decision

Jan 13 (LBO) The Joint Business Forum(JBiz) sat on a second round of pow-wows , this time attended by religious and NGO groups, on a course of action to end the prevailing political sulks – and decided to slap the country’s leadership with an ultimatum. more..

Take Off

Jan 13 (LBO) An annual 6.5 percent growth forecast for the Asian aviation industry has prompted the EU to set up a regional training facility in Sri Lanka. more..

SLA opens new access road to Point Pedro seas

Jan 13 (TN) The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has opened a new access road to seashore enabling the fisher folk of Point Pedro-Thumpalai east area to get to the beach fronts easily. SLA soldiers Monday started removing a portion of the security bund using heavy equipments to open the new access road to sea, fisheries sources said. more..

Coal piles in Thampalakamam, potential health hazard - MP

Jan 13 (TN) TNA parliamentarian Mr.K.Thurairetnasingham Monday sent an urgent letter to Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Mr.Rukman Senanayake to take immediate steps to remove large coal piles in a private land in Thampalakamam, on the Trincomalee-Colombo trunk road. more..

Fishermen appeal for elimination of SLA Pass system

Jan 13 (TN) Vadamarachchi North fisheries societies in Jaffna district appealed to the Sri Lanka Army to replace the existing army pass system by recognizing the fisheries identity cards issued by the Department of Fisheries. The appeal was made at a conference held last week at the 52-4 brigade headquarters of the SLA in Point Pedro, more..

Torrential rain brings transportation to halt in Batticaloa villages

Jan 13 (TN) Continuous heavy rain in parts of Batticaloa district has brought travel in recently resettled villages of Vadamunai and Oothuchenai to a halt, civil society sources in Batticaloa said. Non-Governmental Organization, ZOA Foundation, is assisting transportation using small boats, according to residents. more..

Marauding armed men relieve traders of their money

Jan 13 (SLA) A group of about 20 armed and hand grenade carrying men, suspected to be from LTTE threatened some traders near hot water wells in KINNIYA during early hours on 12 January 2004 and relieved them of their money. more..

Public outcry compels LTTE to stop imposition of levy on fuel

Jan 13 (SLA) Amidst growing public criticism, the LTTE which imposed a levy on the distribution of fuel to BATTICALOA area earlier had to dispense with its decision and was compelled to allow resume regular supply of the Sri Lanka Petroleum Corporation fuel stocks back to affected areas beginning late in the afternoon on 11 January 2004. more..

LTTE men stage dramas during school hours

Jan 13 (SLA) Twenty LTTE men, despite assurances given to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission on several occasions, intruded into the TAMIL MAHA VIDYALAYA (school) in VAVUNIYA on 12 January 2004 during school sessions and staged a series of LTTE propaganda dramas without obtaining any permission to do so. more..

Sri Lanka Telecom powers Wi-Fi hotspot at BIA airport

Jan 13 (WIFI) Sri Lanka Telecom recently launched a Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) Mobile Internet Zone, popularly known as a Wi-Fi Hotspot, at the Bandaranaike International Airport terminal. Wi-Fi is a wireless broadband network which is simple to access, easy to use and does not require a waiting period for set up or preparation more..

Stocks end up on foreign buying

Jan 13 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks closed higher on Tuesday, spurred by foreign buying in the two largest listed companies, Sri Lanka Telecom Ltd and John Keells Holdings Ltd. The key Colombo all-share index ended up 1.01 percent, or 11.78 points, at 1,173.21. more..

Indonesia, Sri Lanka look to enhance agricultural links

Jan 13 (AP) Indonesia and Sri Lanka have agreed to cooperate in the agricultural field with the participation of their private sectors, Agriculture Minister Bungaran Saragih has said. "Sri Lanka is an Asian country with an advanced irrigation system and it is also known as the world's largest producer of tea and coconut," Bungaran said more..

Sri Lanka likely to extend contract with IOC

Jan 13 (PTI) Sri Lanka may extend its contract with state-run refiner Indian Oil Corp for import of diesel and jet fuel during February-April. "IOC's term contract for sale of 30,000 tonne of diesel and 10,000 tonne of jet fuel a month expired on December 31. Sri Lanka did not buy any fuel from IOC in January but it is likely to extend the contract by three months," more..

Government fails to investigate deaths of migrant workers

Jan 13 (wsws) There is a rising death toll among the large number of Sri Lankans, many of them women, who work in the Middle East as a means of trying to deal with financial hardships at home. Yet the Colombo government and state authorities have demonstrated a callous indifference toward the fate of these women and have failed to carry out any serious investigation into the circumstances of the deaths. more..

Anti-corruption officers probe cash-in-bedroom scandal

Jan 13 (CI) Two officers from the International Cricket Council's (ICC) anti-corruption unit have arrived in Sri Lanka, to investigate the report which appeared in the Sunday Observer on December 21. more..

Provincial polls in Sri Lanka to be held on same day

Jan 13 (Gulf) Sri Lanka is preparing for a crucial provincial election after the ruling United National Front (UNF) government and the main opposition parties, in a rare show of solidarity, agreed to have the polls on the same day instead of a staggered poll. more..

Colombo hosts AIESEC International Meeting

Jan 13 (PRIU) AIESEC, the university based international exchange program, will bring student leaders from all over the world to hold their International President’s Meeting from the 19-28th of February to Colombo. more..

Information tecnology reaches Jaffna

Jan 13 (PIS) Far behind many aspects of development, the Jaffna peninsula has suffered the effects of the protracted war. But with the ceasefire agreement and the opening of the A-9 road, people in Jaffna started to build hopes for a better future. more..

JVP-SLFP Agreement - expected sluice for snap poll, to be signed on 20 January

Jan 13 (AT) The People’s Alliance spokesman Dr. Sarath Amunugama announced that the Alliance Agreement between the country’s two main political parties - SLFP and JVP is at last finalized and soon the leaders would be signing the agreement. more..

Ven. Soma suffered chest pain twice: Rev. Jayasekera failed to call paramedics

Jan 13 (AT) The late Venerable Gangodawila Soma Thero suffered severe chest pains just before his plane touched Moscow airport and then during his immediate second flight from Moscow to St. Petersburg more..

Alliance will be definitely built within January

Jan 13 (LT) Today both the SLFP and JVP leaders got agreed that the alliance between their parties should definitely set up during the month of January 2004. According to that the alliance agreement will be signed during the last two weeks of the month. more..

President wants defense treaty with India hurried

Jan 13 (LT) It is reported that the President is making arrangements to send a special team of envoys to India to finalize the propose Indo-Lanka defense treaty. The team headed by Cyril Herath, Secretary to the Ministry of Defense and Lt. Gen. Lionel Balagalle will include experts from the Attorney General’s office. more..

Powerful Minister behind the Dhammika Amarasinghe Assassination

Jan 13 (LT) Colombo Police Criminal Bureau has revealed that a powerful minister of the government is behind the assassination of underworld leader Dhammika Amarasinghe. more..

RAW agents in LTTE-held areas?

Jan 13 (DM) It is learnt that LTTE intelligence has received information that members of Indian Intelligence (RAW) have entered areas in the North-East under LTTE control. Security sources in the North say that the LTTE have launched an operation to catch RAW members. more..

Case involving Telecom boss: Verdict on warrant issue today

Jan 13 (DN) Telecom Chairman and Sri Lanka Cricket President Thilanga Sumathipala was fit to attend court on January 8, Consultant Colombo Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) Dr. L. B. L. de Alwis said. more..

Bryan Adams to sing for peace in Sri Lanka

Jan 13 (AFP) Canadian pop icon Bryan Adams is to stop over in Sri Lanka next month to give a concert in support of the island's peace drive during a world tour, organisers said. The Bryan Adams Concert for peace will be held in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on February 10 more..

Norway to restart peace process in Sri Lanka

Jan 13 (SUN) After suspending its role as peace facilitators two months ago, Norway is set to restart the Sri Lankan peace process. he country’s special envoy Eric Solheim will be meeting LTTE’s chief negotiator and political advisor Anton Balasingham in London tomorrow. more..

"No decision on general election yet"- President

Jan 13 (TN) President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge Monday dismissed media speculation that the current parliament would be dissolved on January 26 in preparation to a fresh general election. "I have not taken any decision regarding holding a general election. However I have been studying several requests for a general election," more..

New Maternity ward opens at Nedunkerni Hospital

Jan 13 (TN) Medical and Maternity wards of the Nedunkerni Hospital, renovated at a cost of Rs.2m, was ceremonially opened Monday by Secretary of Ministry of Health for NorthEast, Mr.R.M.S.Ratnayake, Health Commissioner for NorthEast, S.Kumaravetpillai and Secretary of Nedunkerni Pradeshya Sabha, K.Iyampillai, more..

ICC probe Atapattu cash case

Jan 13 (BBC) Members of cricket's Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) are in Sri Lanka to investigate money found in the hotel room of Marvan Atapattu last month. A sum of £6,500 was discovered after a Test match against England in Kandy. more..