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NPC holds workshop on de-mining in Jaffna

May 1 (TN) "De-mining work in the northeast province has been severely hampered as the international aid agencies show reluctance to provide funds for such work due to the failure to sign the Ottawa convention that prohibits the use of landmines and other related explosives more..

Women's equality stressed in May Day Message

May 1 (TN) "Tamil Nationalism has embraced equality of women as a fundamental tenet. On this May Day we call upon everyone to join hands and work towards eradicating the remaining hurdles faced by women so that our social progress can reach still higher levels," more..

Tamil and Muslim parties plan to unite in Sri Lanka

May 1 (HT) Putting behind decades of mutual animosity, strife and bloodletting, political parties representing the Tamil-speaking people of Sri Lanka are planning to institute a forum of Tamil-speaking parties. more..

India doesn't expect UPFA to fall: Kadirgamar

May 1 (HT) India is not expecting the minority UPFA to fall, says Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, just back after talks with Indian leaders in New Delhi. "The Indian leaders are not at all contemplating the fall of the Government in Colombo. We all have to live with minority Governments. more..

Kandapola killings create suspicions on UPFA’s complicity - EPRLF

May 1 (TN) “The ethnic violence directed against the Tamil people in Kandapola, in the Nuwara Eliya district, by thugs and Police resulting in the killing of Tamils, has created suspicions in the minds of the Tamil people that the violence was instigated and by the UPFA government more..

Lanka frees 1000 prisoners to mark Vesak

May 1 (AFP) Government has granted amnesty to some 1,000 prisoners, including 269 jailed for trying to travel illegally to Italy, to coincide with a Buddhist religious anniversary, officials said on Friday. more..

Assault, detention of LTTE cadres sparks protest

May 1 (TN) The Sri Lanka Police severely assaulted and detained two members of the Liberation Tigers’ sports division Friday at Puthur Junction in Jaffna. Several civilians and a journalist were also assaulted and manhandled by the Police when the two Tigers were taken away in a truck. more..

Security strengthened in Colombo for May Day

May 1 (TN) Colombo has been put on red alert and more police and army personnel have been deployed at strategic places to ensure a violence-free May Day celebrations Saturday. Several roads have been prohibited for traffic within certain periods on the May Day to avoid traffic jam and to ensure security for processions and rallies, more..

Ranil and Mahinda to fight for the rights of JHU monks

May 1 (AT) Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the controversial minister in Ranil Wickremesinghe’s former government Mahinda Wijesekera both have come to the defense of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), the political party of the Buddhist monks in parliament, more..

Series against SL quite significant: PCB

May 1 (Jang) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Friday it was attaching a lot of importance to the three-match One-day International series against Sri Lanka scheduled to be played in Malaysia next month. more..

U.S. officials plead guilty to Visa fraud

May 1 (AP) An American husband and wife, both former employees of the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka, pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Sacramento to charges related to visa fraud and alien smuggling, the State Department announced. more..

Oil Dollars

May 1 (LBO) Response to Sri Lanka’s first road show to showcase its oil exploration potential was ‘encouraging’, with about five interested offers from independent and major oil firms. more..

Sowing New Seeds

May 1 (LBO) The new JVP Minister taking over the Agriculture Ministry say they will try traditional medicine for the ailing sector. The UPFA government’s agriculture policy that focuses on reinstating agriculture to its rightful place in the national economy is due in June. more..

Blind Corner

May 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka will be hard pressed to meet its key economic targets this year, due to higher international crude oil prices, a protracted drought and new welfare spending measures puts a squeeze on the public purse. more..

Jaffna poll monitors say not paid

May 1 (TN) The consortium of NGOs in Jaffna said Saturday that PAFFREL, a leading elections monitoring group in Sri Lanka, has not paid four hundred and sixteen persons whom it hired to monitor polls on 2 April in Jaffna. more..

CWC observes May Day as day of mourning

May 1 (TN) The Ceylon Workers' Congress, the largest Tamil trade union in Sri Lanka's tea and rubber plantatons said Saturday it was observing May Day as a day of mourning and as a balck day in protest against the Police shooting in Kandapola. more..

Norwegian peace delegation arrives in Colombo

May 1 (TN) A high level Norwegian peace delegation led by Norways's Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Vidar Helgessen, arrived in Colombo Saturday early morning in a bid to resume the peace talks between the Government and the LTTE on an invitation extended by Sri Lanka’s President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge, more..

Minor incidents disturb normalcy in KANDAPOLA

May 1 (SLA) A house and a shop belonging to a Sinhalees businessman have been destroyed after setting fire to them by unidentified group in the general area of KANDAPOLA on 30 April 2004 around 10.00 a.m. more..

Civilian in a boat arrested on suspicion

May 1 (SLA) The Naval troops accompanied by Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) representative on 30 April 2004 around 6.40 p.m arrested a boat with an identification board claiming it to be from the NAVY whilst it was in the general JAFFNA lagoon area. more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

May 1 (SLA) Seven hundred and fifty one (751) lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 23 April 2004 and 29 April 2004. more..

Soldiers Join “Rata Perata” Shramadana

May 1 (SLA) The countrywide Shramadana campaign on thematic “Country forward with people-friendly pride under a pristine pure official shade,” (Supirisudu Nila Sevanka Janathavadi Abhimanayen Rata Perata) meant to mark May Day, was joined by hundreds of Army soldiers at Army Headquarters on Thursday (29). more..

Lanka's bank warns of recession

May 1 (GD) Sri Lanka's central bank yesterday forecast an economic slowdown this year after 5.9 per cent growth in 2003 and warned of a recession unless the new government pursues peace with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Central bank warns Sri Lanka to stick with peace process or perish

May 1 (AFP) Sri Lanka's central bank has forecast an economic slowdown this year after 5.9 percent growth in 2003 and warned of a recession unless the new government pursues peace with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

We will have 113 seats in Parliament soon - Anura B.

May 1 (LT) A force of 113 could be created in the Parliament without little help from Jathike Hela Urumaya says Mr. Anura Bandaranayke, Minister of Industries, Investment and Tourism Promotion. Already discussions are being held with several political parties representing the Parliament he said. more..

Sri Lanka targets high-income Arab market

May 1 (Gulf) The Sri Lanka Tourism Board (SLTB) has doubled its exhibition space at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2004 and has launched a new public relations campaign in the Middle East to raise its profile throughout the region. more..

Ranil urges halt to slur campaign

May 1 (Gulf) Former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday called the ruling UPFA to stop a mud-slinging campaign against the newly elected Buddhist monks to Parliament and vowed to build local and international pressure on the government to stop criticising the monks. more..

Korean delegation comprising ten monks is now in Sri Lanka

May 1 (Rupavahini) A Korean delegation comprising ten monks headed by the chairman of the Korean Chogu Sangha Council, Bab Jang Thera is now in Sri Lanka. They called on President Chandrika Kumaratunge at presidents’ house in Colombo today. more..

President in Labour Day message

May 1 (PSL) In her message to mark International Labour Day the President referred to the negative effects of globalization on the developing world. Kumaratunga said the time has come for all nations faced with a similar dilemma to take joint action. more..

LTTE still on the US ban list

May 1 (HT) The LTTE will continue to be in the list of Foreign Terrorist Organisations (FTOs) banned in the United States, because it has not renounced terrorism and violence in "word and deed," a US State Department report said. more..

May Day housing bonanza for workers

May 1 (DN) Following discussions Labour Relations and Employment Minister Athauda Seneviratne had with President Kumaratunga, the Government has decided to grant housing loans at four per cent interest to approximately 6.5 million workers from the Employees' Provident Fund. more..

Norway envoy arrives in Sri Lanka to revive talks with Tamils

May 1 (AFP) Norway's deputy foreign minister has arrived in Sri Lanka for talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga on reviving the island's stalled negotiations with Tamil Tiger rebels, diplomats said. more..

On the path to enlightenment

May 1 (TS) Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world make it a point to visit holy sites in India and Nepal at least once in their lifetime. Not only do they discover Buddha's glorious legacy but they also walk in his footsteps. FOONG THIM LENG came away enlightened. more..

Trinco May Day rally spotlights discrimination against Tamil workers

May 2 (TN) "Tamil speaking workers are not given all the rights that are enjoyed by the majority community workers in the country," said Mr. S.Thandayuthapani, President of the Ceylon Tamil Teachers' Union (CTTU), presiding over the May Day meeting held in Trincomalee more..

UPFA's dirty tactics to swing MPs

May 2 (SL) While the events following the government's defeat on the Speaker's vote in parliament compelled President Kumaratunga last week to hurry a compromise with the JVP in relation to the Mahaweli portfolio, shocking conspiracies were also afoot to secure a simple majority in parliament for the purpose of forming a constituent assembly and abolishing the executive presidency. more..

Monks' battle with politics

May 2 (SL) If ever Sri Lanka's political destiny is to be re-fashioned or refreshed it will be now. For the first time in Sri Lanka's political history and since its parliamentary independence in 1948, nine Buddhist monks created political history on April 22, when they took their seats when 13th parliament was convened. more..

Sri Lankans under pressure against Zimbabwe A

May 2 (Jang) The Sri Lankans were 66-2 at close of play on Saturday after the first day of their three-day match against a Zimbabwe A side featuring five white players playing their first match since going on strike. The Zimbabwe side had scored 294 all out after winning the toss, with Sean Ervine making 75 and Elton Chigumbura 63. more..

Tens of thousands of workers celebrate May Day

May 2 (SO) Tens of thousands of workers, fully clad in red and blue, took to the streets shouting May Day slogans and singing their party anthems, as they wound their way to the venues of their mass rallies in Colombo and the outstations. more..

Tiny traveller's long hop

May 2 (EN24) MEET one of the world's smallest stowaways — a tiny tree frog who has travelled all the way from the sunny shores of Sri Lanka. The frog, who is only about two centimetres long, was discovered in a Norfolk greenhouse after hiding away in a shipment of coconut fibre. more..

3 SLA soldiers charged in December shooting incident

May 2 (TN) Police has filed papers in Jaffna District Courts against three Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers, Nagoda Witharna, Ranjith Samarakoon and Sunil Rohana for attempted murder of a newspaper vendor in Jaffna bus stand on December 9 of last year, local media reported. more..

Van carrying gelignite sticks arrested

May 2 (SLA) Four men in possession of 199 sticks of gelignite were taken into Police custody from the general area of AGBOPURA, about 5 km southwest of KANTALE on 28 April 2004 evening when the Police checked their van (52-6093) on suspicion. more..

Soldier dies in accident

May 2 (SLA) One soldier succumbed to his injuries and another was injured on 01 May 2004 around 12.50 p.m. after their tractor skidded off the road in the general area of HELAMBAWAWEWA, NOCHCHIYAGAMA, about 25 km. southwest of ANURADHAPURA due to damp whether. more..

Keep UNP invalidated forever -- Somawanse Amarasinghe

May 2 (LT) Defending the mandate given by the people to the UPFA and fulfilling their aspirations are the irrevocable responsibility of the Alliance says Mr. Somawanse Amarasinghe, Leader of the JVP. Mr. Amarawanse made this observation addressing the mammoth May Day rally of the UPFA in Colombo yesterday. more..

Launching of Neruppu - Fire – an online daily of Colonel Karuna group

May 2 (AT) – literally meaning The Fire, a new online Tamil daily has been launched to prpogate the ideals of the Batti-Amparai Liberation Tigers Organization led by Colonel Karuna. more..

DMK-Congress tie-up and LTTE

May 2 (TOI) IK Gujral could be justifiably upset over this constituency: His brief stint at South Block ended when Congress, jumping at the JainCommission's interim report on Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, withdrew support to the UF government by branding DMK guilty. more..

An appeal to the Batticalao - Amparai public – Do's and Don'ts by Colonel Karuna

May 2 (AT) Reject all administrative measures taken by the proxy’s of Vanni leadership in the Batticaloa – Amparai region and desist from supporting the Vanni Gang - appeals Batti – Amparai LTTE. more..

Funeral of the late speaker K.B. Rathnayake will take place in Anuradhapura

May 2 (Rupavahini) The body of the late speaker was brought to parliamentary chambers today. The body of the late speaker K.B. Rathnayake was received by the present speaker, prime minister, government ministers, parliamentarian and the parliamentary staff headed by its secretary general. more..

Norwegian team to request written format of talks from government

May 2 (Gulf) Norwegian facilitators are to ask the government for a written undertaking on the format and basis on which they want peace talks resumed with the Tamil guerrillas. Norway's Deputy Foreign Minister, Vidar Helgesen, is to raise this matter when he holds talks with President Kumaratunga. more..

Subsidies, drought to hit economy as truce stays fragile

May 2 (AFP) Subsidies promised by Sri Lanka's new leftist government could undermine economic growth while uncertainty prevails over a fragile truce with Tamil Tiger rebels, analysts warned. more..

Norway resumes effort to salvage Sri Lanka peace process

May 2 (AFP) Norwegians envoys began talks with Sri Lanka's new government to salvage the stalled process aimed at ending the island's ethnic conflict which has claimed more than 60,000 lives, officials said. more..

Sri Lanka peace talks to take time: Norway

May 2 (AFP) Sri Lanka's peace broker Norway warned it would take time to revive stalled negotiations, but urged government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels to maintain an Oslo-brokered truce in the meantime. more..