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Dues deadlock puts 20 Lankan workers' dream on hold

July 29 (KT) The agonising wait to return home and reunite with their loved ones seems a distant dream for the stranded Sri Lankan workers of Moon Garments factory in Sharjah, living in misery for the last three months with no basic amenities and sufficient food, while its Bangladeshi factory owner continues to delay the settlement of dues under one pretext, or another. more..

Sri Lanka Telecom sees strong full-year growth

July 29 (Reuters) Sri Lanka Telecom Ltd said on Thursday it made 2 billion rupees ($19.4 million) in first-half pre-tax profit, and that accelerated payments of a new billing system would power it to higher full-year earnings. more..

Media plays crucial role to support national development - PM

July 29 (DN) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse said yesterday noted that the media can guide the nation towards sustainable development through the right kind of reporting. Premier said that "the media is a powerful tool we have, to mould our younger generation so that they will become citizens who are highly civic minded". more..

Sri Lanka not sliding towards war: official

July 29 (Xinhua) Government said that the country is not sliding towards war despite violence in capital Colombo and the east in the past few weeks. "In fact such violence only strengthens our resolve to start discussion with LTTE as quickly as possible and we'll do everything possible to try and bring the LTTE to the discussion table as soon as possible," more..

Sri Lanka opposition offers prop to push for peace

July 29 (AFP) Sri Lanka's main opposition has offered an unexpected life line to the minority government to revive peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels despite differences within the shaky coalition. more..

Government-Christian groups lock horns over anti-conversion bill

July 29 (OW) Christian groups are strongly opposing Sri Lanka's move to introduce a Bill banning religious conversions, with the Supreme Court also receiving 25 petitions in its favor and 21 against it, placing the government in a tight spot. more..

Sri Lanka willing to discuss rebel demand

July 29 (AP) Sri Lanka's government took a key step toward restarting stalled peace talks with Tamil rebels on Thursday when it dropped a longstanding refusal to discuss the guerrillas' self-rule proposal, a day after a peace envoy warned new warfare could break out. more..

'India should mediate between Lankan political parties'

July 29 (HT) A former top official at the Sri Lankan Peace Secretariat, Kalyananda Godage, has suggested that India should mediate between the government and the leader of the Opposition in Sri Lanka, to help them arrive at a "southern consensus" on the ethnic question, the peace process, and talks with the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka holds back new bank notes as minister denies signing them - official

July 30 (AFX) The Central Bank is holding back a mountain of new bank notes because Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama publicly denied signing them, an official said. The new notes are worth a total of over 20 bln rupees, said the official, who wished to remain unnamed. more..

South Africa worries mount on Sri Lanka tour

July 30 (AFP) South Africa go into next week's Test series against Sri Lanka worried about the energy-sapping hot weather, lost baggage, Muttiah Muralitharan and the fitness of prolific opener Herschelle Gibbs. more..

Dual policy of the Tigers repressing their opponents must be divulged to the world- JVP

July 30 (LT) The JVP in a communiqué says that the dual policy of the Wanni Tigers extending the hand of peace in one hand and continuing the war on the other in the face of the international community should be divulged to the whole world. more..

Govt. saws off State Timber Corp. sale

July 30 (LBO) Plans to sell off a 90 percent slice in State Timber Corp. have been suspended to keep in line with new government policy, Cabinet Spokesman said. The previous United National Party government had announced through the PPERC its intension to divest State interest and offer a 10 percent slice to STC employees. more..

British HC official to visit Trincomalee

July 30 (TN) Mr.David Waring, First Secretary for Investment and Trade in the British High Commission in Sri Lanka is scheduled to visit east port town of Trincomalee on a fact-finding mission on August 5, Colombo sources said. more..

Peace process is a rudderless boat - Kousalyan

July 30 (TN) "Sri Lanka's peace process is like a rudderless boat. We can achieve our political aspirations only if we have exceptional military power. We had only 17 female fighters in Batticaloa ten years ago. Anbarasi was one of them. Today we have a regiment in her name that fought tough battles to defeat Op. Jeya Sikurui", more..

Six Trade Agreements to be signed today between Sri Lanka and Thailand

July 30 (AT) Proposed bilateral talks for free trade between Sri Lanka and Thailand, expected to be set in motion soon, will continue bilateral talks initiated by the previous Government of Sri Lanka. The conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement will depend on the successful outcome of the talks. more..

Anandasangaree admonishes to stop the meaningless killings forthwith

July 30 (AT) Meaningless Killings in the Amparai – Batticaloa districts should be stopped forthwith, admonishes V. Anandasangaree, President of the TULF and the veteran Tamil politician. Anandasangaree was in Stuttgart, Germany recently on the invitation of his supporters and well wishers in the country. more..

Pakistan donates relief goods for drought-affected people

July 30 (APP) Pakistan has donated relief goods to help drought-affected people in Sri Lanka, a message received here said on Thursday. The relief goods include 55,000 kg rice, 20,000 kg of sugar, 13,000 kg Red Beans and 12,000 kg of pulse (Dal grams) and will be distributed amongst the people of the affected areas. more..

Percystently Sri Lankan

July 30 (NRI) Percy Abeysekara is literally the flag bearer of Sri Lankan cricket, though he insists on correcting that he loves his country and not the cricketers. The 70-year-old, who sprouts poetry, is on almost every ground whenever Sri Lanka plays and is the most photographed cricket fan in the world. more..

Ministerial committee has been appointed to control the cost of living

July 30 (Rupavahini) A cabinet sub committee has been appointed to control the cost of living and to make necessary recommendations towards this end. Minister Mangala Samaraweera told journalists that action would be taken to control the cost of living through the recommendations made by the cabinet sub committee. more..

RDA would not be privatized under any circumstances - PM

July 30 (Rupavahini) He disclosed that plans have been drawn up to submit a draft bill to strengthen the road development authority in parliament shortly. Premier Mahinda Rajapajkse made this disclosure when he participated as the chief guest at the 16th annual general meeting of the road development authority engineers association in Colombo today. more..

Pakistan coast to facile win

July 30 (CI) In a match of no real consequence Pakistan brushed aside Bangladesh to end their Asia Cup with a 4-1 win-loss record. This is small consolation for Inzamam-ul-Haq, and Bob Woolmer, the new coach, as Pakistan failed to reach the final, which India and Sri Lanka will contest on Sunday. more..

Blackwell threatens Sri Lanka's winning record

July 30 (CI) Sri Lanka A's proud unbeaten record on their tour of England was in danger of being broken after the close of the third day of their tour match against Somerset at Taunton. After Neil Edwards and Ian Blackwell helped Somerset to 424 for 9 declared, Sri Lanka A then closed at 87 for 3. more..

No "witch-hunt" over Murali says ICC

July 30 (AFP) International Cricket Council (ICC) general manager David Richardson insisted there would be "no witch-hunt" against Muttiah Muralitharan as he unveiled plans to carry out research into slow bowlers' actions. more..

ISGA will be discussed only in a UPFA Government minus the JVP

July 30 (AT) Janatha Vimukthi Perumuna, a junior partner of the United People’s Freedom Alliance Government had said very loud and clearly that they will not be party to any Talks that will lead to the division of the country. more..

Tamil Tigers' Split Jeopardises Peace Process

July 30 (IPS) The recent split within the Tamil Tigers and the ensuing violence in the capital Colombo and in the eastern town of Batticaloa are seriously undermining the two- year ceasefire between the Sri Lankan government and the militants. more..

Sri Lanka ruling coalition divided on peace talks

July 30 (IANS) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's efforts to revive peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels on the basis of an interim power sharing proposal have been opposed by one of her main coalition partners, Xinhua reports. more..


July 30 (LBO) Indians, Chinese, Koreans and Japanese are falling over themselves to invest in Sri Lanka, claims a senior government minister. "India is very keen to come here in a big way. They have requested a special desk at the BOI (Board of Investment) because this will make it easier for them to operate," more..

Jaffna Police to serve summons on SLA officials

July 30 (TN) The Chavakachcheri Magistrate Mr.P.Subramaniam Thursday directed his Registrar to serve summons on Lt. Colonel Dumminda Kepptigollawa, the Jaffna area commander of the Sri Lanka Army and another SLA commander in the Habeas Corpus applications filed on behalf of missing seven Tamil youths, more..

Broken down Indian trawler delivered to coastal guards

July 30 (SLA) An Indian fishing trawler turned non-functional in the general sea area southeast of PUNKUDUTTIVU on 29 July 2004 around 6.30 a.m. was towed by Sri Lankan naval troops up to the International Maritime Boundary Line in the sea off TALAIMANNAR. more..

Talduwa Rally Cross in August

July 30 (SLA) Motor Sports fever among soldiers is fast on the increase and this time it is the Talduwa Rally Cross, organized by Sri Lanka Army Motor Sports Committee in association with Motor Racing Association and Sri Lanka Racing Riders Association. more..

Maid, 22, dies after collapse

July 30 (GD) A YOUNG Sri Lankan housemaid has died, just eight days after arriving in Bahrain. Sivaranjini Nagalingam, 22, died of a septic shock at Salmaniya Medical Complex on Wednesday. She was taken into the SMC the day before by her Bahraini employers, after collapsing at work at their Muharaq home, said sources. more..

UNP attempts to sabotage graduates employment scheme --JVP

July 30 (LT) The UNP has launched a conspiracy to sabotage the employment scheme for unemployed graduates launched by the Alliance Government charges the JVP. The JVP has made this statement in reply to media statements published by the UNP denouncing the employment scheme by the Government. more..

Halt immediately acts of SLFP trade unions in the CTB --JVP

July 30 (LT) The JVP has asked the Prime Minister to take immediate steps to halt the totalitarian scheme of the SLFP unions in cluster bus companies. JVP states that the SLFP trade unions have appointed their political chums to director boards and sabotages the management of these companies. more..

India-Lanka tie fixed claims former Pak player

July 30 (ANI) The elimination of Pakistan from the Eighth Asia Cup due to its "flawed" bonus points system, has invited the ire of a former player, who said that it was a shame for a performing team to be removed this way. more..

Ntini quick off the mark for South Africa

July 30 (CI) Makhaya Ntini needed no time to hit his straps at the start of South Africa's five-week tour of Sri Lanka, as he ripped through a Board President's XI with figures of 5 for 37, on the opening day of their tour match in Colombo. more..

CBK meets Shinawatra

July 30 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga met the Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra for bilateral talks in Bangkok today. Following the bilateral talks between the two leaders, the Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and his Thai counterpart Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai signed a treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters. more..

Sri Lanka and Thailand broaden links

July 30 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga today called on Thailand’s Prime Minister Takshin Shinawtra. Ministers Lakshman Kadirgamar, Anura Dissanayake, Chandrasena Wijesinghe, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Thailand Ariaratne Wijewardene and senior officials were associated with the President at the official talks more..

Sri Lanka will win: Bob Woolmer

July 30 (MD) Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore and Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer believe Sri Lanka is the favourite to lift the Asia Cup cricket trophy on Sunday by beating India. Woolmer said the hosts would be better placed to win after the return of Chaminda Vaas and Muralitharan who did not play the previous game. more..

LTTE should stop all recruitment of children – UNICEF urge

July 30 (AT) Though LTTE has released Thirty four child soldiers in Kilinochchi last night, UNICEF insist that Tamil rebel outfit continues to recruit children for their armed brigades and urged the Tamil rebel outfit to release all those children currently held by them and to desist from recruiting anymore. more..

Asian leaders meet to build momentum for economic cooperation

July 30 (AFP) The first leadership summit of the BIMSTEC group of seven Asian nations representing 1.3 billion people started talks in Thailand's capital as analysts cast doubt over its long-term economic prospects. more..

Jan-May government revenue rises 1.7 pct

July 30 (Reuters) Government revenue in the first five months of 2004 was 119.4 billion rupees, up from 117.4 billion rupees in the same period in 2003, the central bank said on Friday. Total January-May spending was 193.8 billion rupees, up from 178.3 billion rupees in the same period in the previous year. more..

Government and the World Bank sign the 'Gemi Diriya' project agreement

July 30 (PIS) Supporting the Governments efforts to address the needs of the poorest of the poor communities in Sri Lanka, the World Bank signed today the agreement for providing a grant for US$51 million for the Community-Development and Livelihood Improvement “Gemi Diriya” project. more..

HC Judge escapes rape attack

July 30 (DN) A woman High Court judge of the Balapitiya court came close to being raped when two strangers broke into her quarters in the wee hours of yesterday, Police said. The judge escaped with an injured eye in the attack by one of the suspects armed with a knife. more..

Environmentalists challenge proposed power project

July 30 (OW) Sri Lanka's premier environmental group has gone to court against the government's move to grant permission for the construction of a hydro-power project on a protected waterfall in one of the country's most verdant highland reserves. more..

Two killed in Colombo Police garage explosion

July 30 (TN) A jilted Policeman killed himself and a Woman Police Constable (WPC) by exploding a hand grenade at the Police garage in Narahenpita, a suburb of Colombo Friday around 4 p.m. The WPC had rejected the Policeman's efforts to win her love. more..

Tigers release 34 child soldiers - U.N.

July 30 (Reuters) Tamil Tigers have released 34 child soldiers, the UNICEF said on Friday, but it added the rebels were continuing to recruit underage fighters. The group, which included 21 girls and 13 boys between the ages of 14 and 17, was handed over on Thursday evening to a UNICEF transit centre more..

Sri Lanka Navy establishes camp in Nedunthivu

July 31 (TN) The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) has been engaged in establishing a camp in Nedunthivu, one of the islets in the Jaffna peninsula, since last week. This has caused apprehension among the residents of the village, civil sources said. more..

China, Lanka, Bhutan express sympathy

July 31 (DS) Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, Sri Lankan President Chadrika Kumaratunga and Bhutanese King Jigme Singye Wangchuck have expressed their sympathy for the flood-hit people of Bangladesh. more..

Policeman in suicide bombing

July 31 (PTI) A constable today emerged the country's first police suicide bomber when he killed himself and his estranged lover at a police facility here, an official said. The man ordered colleagues out of a room in the police garage and then exploded a grenade while hugging his woman constable girl friend, more..

Ceylon Biscuits to take over Bakeman's

July 31 (BS) The Sri Lankan company, which entered the Indian market recently through its wholly-owned subsidiary Ritzbury India, has emerged as the highest bidder for the assets of Bakeman’s Industries. Other contenders for the assets were ITC Foods, Britannia and the Dubai-based Longulf. more..