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UNP said investigating Moulana

June 23 (TN) The main opposition United National Party (UNP) in a press release Wednesday reiterated its policy of non-interference in the internal matters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). more..

Let’s Chat

June 23 (LBO) The United States says it is keen to pursue a trade pact with Sri Lanka and agreed to meet in October to iron out issues. US Trade Representative, Robert B Zoellick told visiting Sri Lankan Trade Minister Jeyraj Fernandopulle that the TIFA process should be deepened to facilitate business and investment issues between the two countries. more..

Sri Lankan Tamil refugees rescued in Mannar Sea

June 24 (TN) Sri Lanka Navy Wednesday morning rescued 26 persons from seven Tamil refugee families returning from Rameswaram in South India from a sandbank in Talaimannar Sea. All Refugees originally displaced from Gurunagar, a suburb in Jaffna town during the war were left on a sandbank in the sea by the crew of an Indian boat, Police said. more..

Health workers issue ultimatum

June 24 (TN) The Health Sector Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) Wednesday issued an ultimatum to the Central Ministry of Health to fulfill their demands before June 28 or face further strike action, trade union sources said. The HSTUA would launch countrywide sick note campaign on June 29th and 30th. more..

ISGA Proposal is something aimed to "create a de facto separate state" – US State Dept Official

June 24 (AT) United States State Department official Christiana Rocca described the Interim Self Governing authority Proposal of the LTTE as something aimed to "create a de facto separate state." more..

Obituary - SIDA confirms the premature demise of "North East Herald"

June 24 (AT) Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) confirms of the premature demise of "North East Herald"which was brought as a Sri Lankan English language weekly promoted by Sweden to bring about "a diversity of opinion in Sri Lanka." more..

A gala event turns into tragedy

June 24 (NW) Making a mockery of the "Courteous Drivers' Week" organized by the police from June 21 to 28, a reckless bus driver snuffed out the life of two young girls and another at a pedestrian crossing outside Ratmalgoda MV, Polgahawela yesterday morning. more..

Policemen attempt to arrest Ravi Karunanayake

June 24 (NW) The UNP is to take legal action against police officers for allegedly violating the fundamental rights of UNP Colombo District Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake yesterday by trying to arrest him without an arrest warrant. more..

LTTE recruits volunteers for auxiliary forces

June 24 (Hindu) The LTTE today opened recruitment for "volunteers" from "citizens of Tamil Eelam" to join the "Tamil Eelam auxiliary force." A front-paged report in the Tamil daily, Sudar Oli, said announcements were made in eastern Sri Lanka calling applications from able-bodied male and female volunteers between aged 18-28 to join the "auxiliary force." more..

Long limbo for Sri Lankan peace, but war seen remote

June 24 (Reuters) After fifteen months without talks, a snap poll, a change in government and factional fighting, the dominant impression of Sri Lanka’s peace process is that it is going nowhere, slowly. more..

Pipe Dreams

June 24 (LBO) An independent US economic think tank says that a potential trade pact with the United States will help the Sri Lankan economy grow by at least three-percent. more..

Not Their Style

June 24 (LBO) The Freedom Alliance Government says recent security scares are not the LTTE’s style, but suspect other interested parties working to frighten citizens and foreign investors. more..

Jaffna university employees' strike to be called off

June 24 (TN) Nine days old strike of the Jaffna University employees is likely to be called off Thursday following an agreement reached between the union leadership and the Vice Chancellor at a discussion held Wednesday afternoon on several demands of the strikers, sources in Jaffna said. more..

Government admits SLA complicity in Karuna affair

June 24 (TN) Contradicting Defense Secretary Cyril Herath who denied Monday that Sri Lanka Army gave shelter to renegade commander Karuna, Information Minister of the UPFA government, Mangala Samaraweera, admitted to the BBC that the SLA helped Karuna "escape and wage a covert war of attrition against the Tamil Tigers" according a BBC report from Colombo. more..

Headless body found in Mannar coast

June 24 (TN) Headless body of an unidentified young woman washed ashore in the Mannar coast near Nadukuda village close Pesalai area. Residents of the area found the body lying on the beach Wednesday early morning, police said. more..

NGO vehicles on de-mining vandalized by marauding men

June 24 (SLA) Thirty four vehicles belonging to HALO TRUST Non-Governmental Organization engaged in de-mining work in the JAFFNA peninsula have been partly or completely vandalized by about 20 unidentified men during early hours on Thursday while those vehicles remained parked in their NALLUR parking yard. more..

Youths on train with arms and ammunition arrested

June 24 (SLA) Security Guards on the BATTICALOA-COLOMBO night mail train have recovered one T-56 weapon, one magazine and 30 rounds of ammunition from baggage belonging to four young Muslim passengers on 16 June 2004 while the train was at GALOYA railway station. more..

Agitation demands acceleration of de-mining

June 24 (SLA) Several hundreds of students and teachers gathered in front of the Divisional Secretariat at KOPAY on 23 June 2004 demanded that de-mining process in the peninsula be expedited. Their agitation followed delivery of a memorandum to this effect to the Divisional Secretary. more..

Army Chief Visits Wanni & Mannar

June 24 (SLA) In order to share a word with his soldiers, deployed in Wanni areas and inspect security arrangements there, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army Lieutenant General L.P.Balagalle recently made a formal tour to the areas under Security Forces Headquarters in Wanni. more..

TNA out of “United opposition”

June 24 (LT) Members of Parliament of TNA have decided to resign from the ‘united opposition’ formed a few days ago say reports. It is reported that the reason for the decision to resign is that they have lost confidence in the UNP as one of its members has harboured Karuna Amman, who is engaged in a war with Velupillai Prabhakaran’s faction of the tiger organization. more..

Parliamentary sittings were postponed with the agreement of the opposition - D.M. Jayaratne

June 24 (Rupavahini) The joint opposition is to appeal to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse to convene the parliament before the 20th July. Leaders of opposition political parties are ready to hand over a letter to the Premier urging him to convene the parliament as soon as possible. more..

Stocks end up on blue chip buying

June 24 (Reuters) Stocks ended higher on Thursday on renewed interest in blue chip stocks, despite a second day of technical problems at the stock exchange delaying trade for nearly one hour. The key Colombo all-share index closed up 0.33 percent, or 4.41 points, at 1,330.89, more..

Rupee weakens on political concerns

June 24 (Reuters) Sri Lanka rupee weakened on Thursday as importer demand for dollars and political uncertainty in the country increased, dealers said. The rupee ended at 102.45 against the dollar from Wednesday's close of 102.10, after opening at 102.05. more..

Sri Lankan man held in Ibaraki teenager's murder probe

June 24 (Kyodo) Ibaraki police said Wednesday they have arrested a Sri Lankan man on suspicion of overstaying his visa and are questioning him about his knowledge of the murder of a 16-year-old high school girl they believe he was seeing. more..

Langer punishes Sri Lankan bowlers

June 24 (AFP) Australian Test opener Justin Langer made light of a foot injury to flail the Sri Lankan bowlers for 151 and lead the Northern Territory Chief Minister's XI to a solid score here. Langer's innings lifted the invitational side to 364 for seven at the close more..

Sri Lanka Q1 GDP growth seen slowest in two years

June 24 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's economic growth probably slowed to 5.2 percent in the year through the first quarter, its weakest in two years, weighed down by political worries and a lacklustre banking sector, analysts said on Thursday. more..

$65 million bank loan for Lanka

June 24 (GD) The World Bank yesterday announced a $ 64.7 million loan to boost agriculture in Sri Lanka's war-torn north and east. It said the money will help about 400,000 people in 600 conflict-affected rural villages to move away from subsistence farming and towards higher production. more..

Lanka: A perfect escape for tourists

June 24 (BT) Legend and history record that Sri lanka has always delighted visitors to its shores. For centuries its fragrant species, priceless gems and pearls, legendary beauty, sublime culture and friendly people captivated princes, poets, traders, empire-builders and admires. more..

Karuna in one of UNP's safe-houses?

June 24 (AT) Media Minister and cabinet spokesman Mangala Samaraweera says the dual approach of the opposition United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremasinghe now become clear to the country following the resignation of UNP National list parliamentarian Ali Zahir Moulana. more..

Christian body condemns attacks

June 24 (TP) The National Christian Fellowship (NCF) has condemned an attack on one of its churches on Sunday and appealed to the international community and the president to take appropriate action against such acts. more..

Singapore PM to arrive tomorrow

June 24 (TP) Singaporean Premier Goh Chok Tong arrives in Sri Lanka tomorrow on a three-day visit at the invitation of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including ministers of home affairs, manpower and the minister in the prime minister’s office, more..

Foreign firms to help explore oil

June 24 (TP) Five foreign companies have expressed a desire to help Sri Lanka explore its oil resources along its western and northern coasts, newspapers said. The ministry of power and energy said the companies are from Norway, Australia and Sweden. more..

US-Lanka on course for FTA

June 24 (DN) Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle met US Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick Tuesday at the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and had constructive and bilateral discussions on deepening and broadening bilateral trade and investment relations. more..

Another blow to battered peace process

June 24 (OW) A Sri Lankan parliamentarian's admission that he helped breakaway Tamil Tiger leader Karuna is the latest setback to the country's fragmented peace process, already reeling under charges that the government is stoking unrest among the rebels. more..

Mob attacks Sri Lanka offices of demining charity

June 24 (Reuters) A mob attacked the northern Sri Lanka offices of British-based demining organisation HALO Trust, setting fire to vehicles and wounding guards, officials from the charity said on Thursday. more..

Harvesting Time

June 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom Ltd. may reap substantially higher revenue if an international call routing agreement with India's Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. takes effect, Asia Securities said in a research report Thursday. more..

Explosive salaries at the Rs. 17 billion overdraft hit CEB

June 24 (IL) Even the unskilled employees of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) such as the gardeners are the lucky recipients of ‘princely salary packages’ starting from Rs. 20,000 a month following the 23% salary hike which will come into effect from August this year, informed sources said yesterday. more..

JVP says no need arrest warrant or court order to arrest anyone

June 24 (IL) If police have sufficient evidence against anyone, it’s their bounded duty to arrest those who are alleged to have committed wrong sans an arrest warrant or court order, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) noted yesterday. more..

Railway Authority abolished

June 25 (LT) The Government has decided to abolish the Railway Authority act, which was passed by the UNP government without even considering strong opposition from the employees. This was announced by cabinet spokesman Mangala Samaraweera at a press meeting held yesterday to announce the cabinet decisions. more..

Govt to take legal action against Ravi K

June 25 (Rupavahini) Legal action is to be taken against those who obstructed the duties of the police when they visited the residence of mp Ravi Karunanayake to arrest him. The police say that they are on the look out for people who behaved in an unruly manner. more..

S'pore-Sri Lanka trade on the rise

June 25 (BT) With trade surging between Singapore and Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan officials are upbeat about Singapore investments in tourism, real estate and infrastructure. Sri Lanka High Commissioner to Singapore, Ajit Jayaratne, pointed to the growing bilateral trade, which in 2003 reached $920 million, up 30 per cent from a year ago. more..

Norway's top peace envoy expected amid fears of war in Sri Lanka

June 25 (AP) A Norwegian peace envoy will travel to Sri Lanka next week as part of efforts to salvage the island's peace process amid fears of renewed fighting between government forces and the Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said Thursday. more..

Colonel Karuna Amman’s Journey to Colombo

June 25 (AT) The story of Colonel Karuna’s journey from his Batticaloa hideout to Colombo has two sides. The flipside of the story according to the UNP Parliamentarian Ali Zahir Moulana- In the beginning it was Colonel Thambirajah Ramesh - LTTE’s Special Commander to Batticalao and Amparai districts telephoned from Killinochchi and requested to take Karuna Amman to Colombo. more..

JVP to intensify opposition to LTTE’s interim self-governing authority proposal

June 25 (AT) Janatha Vimukthi Perumuna’s opposition to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s Interim Self-Governing Authority Proposal is to move to the next stage by the next week. more..

UNP says there is an invisible govt within govt

June 25 (NW) Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe warned yesterday that an invisible force within the UPFA government was functioning secretly without the knowledge of most of the senior members of the Alliance government. more..

LTTE resume talks with military

June 25 (NW) The LTTE yesterday agreed to resume its regular meetings with government forces in Batticaloa and Ampara, Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission spokesperson Disa Finnboga said. She said an LTTE delegation would meet the STF and the police in Akkaraipattu tomorrow morning. more..

Two killed at Pettah

June 25 (NW) Two persons were killed on the spot when a four storey building in the heart of Fort collapsed in the wee hours of yesterday. Thirteen others with injuries were pulled out of the rubble of the collapsed building in Fourth Cross Street, Pettah, which is still under construction. more..

Govt comtemplates of taking Ravi K to courts

June 25 (NW) The Government in keeping with its election pledge to weed out bribery and corruption from the body politics and to bring the culprits to book, has decided to take legal action against former Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Ravi Karunanayake. more..

Purring Off

June 25 (LBO) Lion Air is swapping its large Avro aircraft for a smaller Shorts plane as it scrambles to stay afloat amidst falling passenger numbers. The airline presently shares the domestic aviation market with Expo Aviation and Serendib Air. more..

Gentle Reminder

June 25 (LBO) Get anti-money laundering legislation off the ground soon to block terrorist financing and improve Sri Lanka’s image internationally, warns the United States. Successive Sri Lankan governments have been working with the IMF to develop legislation to block money laundering activity for some years now. more..