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Baby girl dies in floodwater in Jaffna

Nov 16 (TN) Two-year-old baby girl M. Mary Kensia Monday about noon drowned in a pothole filled with floodwater in Pommaiveli, a suburb in Jaffna town. Her body was handed over to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital later in the afternoon, medical sources said. more..

"Collective Agreement, a violation of democracy"

Nov 16 (TN) President of the Kandy Human Development Organisation (HDO), Mr. P.P. Sivapragasam, said at a media conference held at the Brighton Hotel, Colombo Monday that the Collective Agreement (CA) entered into between the Employers' Federation and some Trade Unions on wage increase to the Plantation workers, was a violation of democracy. more..

Jaffna man killed by Police fire in Anuradhapura

Nov 16 (TN) A sixty year old man from Jaffna who was returning from Colombo in a van with relatives from Germany was shot dead by Police in Anuradhapura around 3.15 a.m Tuesday. Anuradhapura Police said that the van was fired at because it did not stop when it was signalled to do so. more..

Debate intensifies around how much the government has printed money to finance the deficit

Nov 16 (LBO) The debate is intensifying around how much the government has printed money to finance the deficit. The Central Bank says some numbers quoted in media reports are misleading. more..

Domestic banks are still far from modern risk management techniques

Nov 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s domestic banks are still far from coming to grips with modern risk management techniques, though branches of foreign banks were coping better, a survey that was out in November, has revealed. more..

HIV/AIDS cases on the rise in Sri Lanka

Nov 16 (IANS) Unprotected sexual activity is behind an increase in the number of Sri Lankan youngsters threatened by sexually transmitted infections (STI), including HIV and AIDS. The reported number of HIV cases in the island nation were 591 and AIDS cases stood at 174 till the end of September, more..

Wanni Tigers Demand ransom from teenagers and businessmen

Nov 16 (LT) Reports say that Wanni Tigers are demanding ransom even from school children for celebrating their Martyrs Week. Wanni Tigers Organisation wants people to pay ten rupees each. In addition to this they decree that 200 rupees should be paid per each three wheeler and three wheel drivers must pay 300 rupees each. more..

UNP Pessimistic on economic prospects under the UPFA regime

Nov 16 (LT) UNP Parliamentarian Bandula Gunawardene yesterday said that the UPFA government’s maiden budget is similar to that of the PA’s in 2001 and it is a total failure, which will shoot up the cost of living and worsen the ailing economy further. more..

Consensus urged for peace talks

Nov 16 (Gulf) Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga has called for consensus among the southern political parties to continue peace talks with the Tamil guerrillas aimed at finding a negotiated political settlement to the ethnic crisis. more..

Singapore, Sri Lanka reach Open-Skies agreement

Nov 16 (DJ) Singapore and Sri Lanka Tuesday reached an open-skies agreement that will allow their airlines to operate between and beyond the two countries with immediate effect. The Singapore government said in a statement that the pact complements an open-skies agreement on cargo services concluded in October last year. more..

Worms at the grassroots

Nov 16 (ANN) During the past few decades, devolution, has come to be considered as the panacea for all existing political and administrative ills.It was first recommended when the rumblings commenced in the Northern and Eastern Provinces and finally it came to be considered as the ultimate cure to the mounting problems of the two provinces. more..

McGrath riled by Murali 'throwing' comments

Nov 16 (Reuters) Muttiah Muralitharan's suggestion that Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie all bowl illegal deliveries was disappointing and unfair, Australia's players and officials said on Tuesday. more..

Sri Lanka for increased partnership in small units

Nov 16 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner, Sumith Nakandala, today called for increased Indian partnership in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the island nation to help in rehabilitation of refugees and also to exploit in full the potential of the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA). more..

When and how the peace deadlock is likely to end

Nov 16 (PIS) Despite their inability to secure a pledge from the Government and LTTE to resume peace talks, the most recent visit by the high powered Norwegian delegation to Sri Lanka, comprising its Foreign Minister and other top facilitators, revealed that the peace process was in a stable condition. more..

Sri Lanka set for deficit budget amid economic gloom

Nov 16 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Marxist-backed government is set to unveil its first budget amid a foreign exchange crisis, galloping inflation and pressure from coalition partners to maintain a welfare state. more..

Sri Lankan opposition to keep dialogue with president on peace process

Nov 16 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's main opposition said Tuesday that it would keep the dialogue going with President Chandrika Kumaratunga on her efforts to revive the stalled peace talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Tilvin Clarifies JVP Stand on Peace Negotiations

Nov 16 (LT) JVP general Secretary Tilvin Silva issuing a press release claimed that JVP stand on finding a solution to the national problem had been distorted by certain media reports on November 13 giving an idea that the JVP stand on devolution of power has been changed. more..

Red light for ultra-heavy vehicles

Nov 16 (DN) The Transport Ministry has decided to remove certain categories of heavy vehicles from the roads to minimise the damage caused to the road network by such vehicles. Transport Minister Felix Perera has issued an order preventing two types of vehicles weighing over 30.5 tonnes from operating on public roads. more..

Tiger rebels, Tamil lawmakers discuss Sri Lankan peace process

Nov 16 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebel leaders and their supporters in parliament met Tuesday to discuss efforts to revive peace talks with the Sri Lankan government, a rebel spokesman said. All 22 lawmakers from the TNA, were meeting with S.P Thamilselvan, more..

Cry the beloved country 10 years later

Nov 16 (IPS) Ten years after she was elected as Sri Lanka's first woman president, Chandrika Kumaratunga presides over a nation unable to escape the curse of being burdened by self-inflicted wounds. more..

'Clear evidence' of LTTE camps presented

Nov 16 (PIS) The Defence Ministry, which rejected the SLMM report that there are no LTTE camps around the Trincomalee Harbour, has handed its latest report to the Monitoring Mission head Trond Furuhovde on the matter with 'clear evidence', confirming the existence of LTTE camps around the eastern main harbour. more..

Political consensus in South Lanka must for talks: Chandrika

Nov 16 (HT) Sri Lanakan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has said that a political consensus in South Sri Lanka is a must before talks begin with the LTTE to end the five-decade-old ethnic conflict in the country. more..

No to referendum : UNP tells president

Nov 16 (BBC) The UNP laid down conditions to extend its support to the president in resuming the peace process. Spokesman for the UNP Gamini Laxman Peiris said on Tuesday that the government should not hold any referendum to change the present constitution "illegally". more..

Truce monitors studying Sri Lanka's LTTE camp report

Nov 16 (IANS) International truce monitors in Sri Lanka are studying a government report on an alleged military build-up by the Tamil Tigers around the eastern port of Trincomalee, Xinhua reports. more..

Tamil Tigers warn stagnation in peace talks may lead to 'self-rule'

Nov 16 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebel leaders threatened Tuesday to secede from Sri Lanka if peace talks with the government do not more forward, a Tamil lawmaker said. Twenty lawmakers from the TNA met with the Tigers' political-wing chief S.P. Thamilselvan more..

"Collective Agreement, a violation of democracy"

Nov 17 (TN) The President of the Kandy Human Development Organisation (HDO), Mr. P.P. Sivapragasam, said at a media conference held at the Brighton Hotel, Colombo Monday that the Collective Agreement (CA) entered into between the Employers' Federation and some Trade Unions on wage increase to the Plantation workers, was a violation of democracy. more..

LTTE wants UPFA to state its unified stand on peace talks

Nov 17 (TN) "The Sri Lankan government and all its coalition partners should convey to us their unified stand, their consensus in support of the peace process. The Sri Lankan government's coalition partner, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and others are opposing the peace process. more..

Jaffna-Pannai road is to go under sea due to erosion

Nov 17 (TN) Due to neglect and lack of maintenance by the Road Development Authority the Pannai road which links Jaffna mainland with islets, is in the verge of going under sea between Pannai and Allaipiddy due to sea erosion, civil sources said. more..

Health Ministry prescribes prevention instead of cure

Nov 17 (LBO) Prevention, they say, is better than cure – it is also a lot cheaper, as Sri Lanka’s cash starved health authorities have finally worked out. On Tuesday the Ministry of Health and the World Bank launched a joint Rs. 7.26 bn health sector development programme more..

Sri Lanka wants a headcount of its IT professionals

Nov 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka will take a headcount of its IT professionals to help match supply with private sector demand for the trained personnel. The census is part of a US$ 12,000 study to help policy makers plan for the needs of the industry and its growth potential. more..

Central Bank response on printing of new money

Nov 17 (Rupavahini) Sri Lanka central bank denies certain media reports regarding the printing of new currency notes amounting to 60 billion rupees. Financial reserves of 20 billion rupees have been increased owing to the escalating economic needs. more..

Hambantota fort development plan is to be accelerated

Nov 17 (Rupavahini) The implementation of the proposed Hambantota fort development plan is to be accelerated. This decision was taken at a meeting held at the urban development ministry today. Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Minister Dinesh Gunawardene chaired the meeting. more..

Oslo declaration going down the Vanni drains

Nov 17 (AT) The history of the north-south relations is saturated with the north blaming the south for everything that went wrong in the post-independence era. Every failure of the peace talks in the past too were blamed on the south with the NGOs manufacturing excuses justifying the northern claims. more..

UPFA Government must declare its unified agenda on the peace process – Demands LTTE leader

Nov 17 (AT) Velupillai Prabakran , Leader of the LTTE had conveyed in a message to the President of Sri Lanka, that to move the peace process forward without any hiccups then the UPFA Government should come up with a public statement about it's stand on the agenda regarding the peace talks. more..

Sri Lanka to introduce new taxes to narrow its Budget deficit

Nov 17 (Bloomberg) Sri Lanka will levy new taxes in this week's budget in an effort to narrow the deficit, said Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama. The government will "widen the tax net" in tomorrow's budget to help cut the deficit to 7.5 percent of gross domestic product next year, more..

Lankan president asks Tigers to join peace talks

Nov 17 (AP) Sri Lanka's president told the Tamil Tiger rebels on Tuesday to "stop making excuses" and return to the table for peace talks. President Chandrika Kumaratunga, in an interview on state-run television, said her government believes there must "be a negotiated settlement... Some sort of power-sharing" deal with the guerrillas, who are seeking self-rule. more..

Three prison guards suspended

Nov 17 (TP) Three prison guards attached to the Sri Lanka’s main prison in Colombo were suspended on Monday while action is likely to be taken against 10 more guards in connection with the clash between two groups of prisoners over the weekend. more..

Top official faces graft charges

Nov 17 (TP) Sarachchandra Seneviratne, Sri Lanka’s Public Trustee who is also a high-powered state official, was charged in a Colombo court on Monday with receiving a bribe of more than Rs1m for investing Rs183m of public funds in the now defunct Pramuka Bank. more..

Ex-FM to take up governor’s post

Nov 17 (TP) Sri Lanka’s former foreign minister Tyronne Fernando is tipped to be the next Governor of the North-East Province replacing Major General (Retired) Asoka Jayawardene who is to assume duties as the defence secretary from December 1, newspapers said. more..

Dengue menace again warns Health Ministry

Nov 17 (SLBC) The Health Ministry yesterday renewed its warning to the public on the spread of dengue fever which has claimed 76 lives so far during this year. Many new cases are reported daily from the provinces. more..

IDP shelters inundated by floodwater

Nov 17 (TN) Torrential rain the past few days has left several low-lying areas in villages north of Trincomalee town inundated by floodwater. Internally displaced families sheltered in welfare camps in Nilaveli village and other areas are under going severe hardships, civil sources said. more..

Civilian watching TV gunned down

Nov 17 (SLA) A civilian watching TV at his home in the general area of KARUWANKERNY, BATTICALOA has been gunned down by an unidentified assassin, Tuesday (16 November) evening at about 8.00 p.m. more..

Two criminals escape and flee

Nov 17 (SLA) Two men in handcuffs brought to the POINT PEDRO Court for trial on Tuesday (16) had slipped through the prison guards and escaped after the court sessions were over. Both escapees were among five other prisoners who were guarded by three prison guards at the time of the incident. more..

Sri Lanka gags mouthy Murali

Nov 17 (AP) The Sri Lankan cricket board said it had banned offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan from making statements on the bowling actions of other players. The decision comes after Muralitharan, in media interviews, questioned the legality of the bowling actions of leading Australian bowlers Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee. more..

Sri Lanka stocks up, trade thin ahead of 2005 budget

Nov 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks ended slightly higher on Wednesday but market volume was very low as investors waited for the 2005 budget due for release on Thursday, brokers said. The key all-share index ended up a provisional 0.63 percent, or 9.12 points, more..

‘Sahashra Thaksala’ education development project

Nov 17 (PSL) ‘Sahashra Thaksala’ education development project The Ministry of Education has launched an innovative project to accelerate schools development with private sector assistance. more..

“Indo-Pak ties will benefit all of South Asia” – President on AIR

Nov 17 (PSL) In an exclusive interview broadcast on All India Radio on 15th November President Chandrika Kumaratunga gave details of Sri Lanka’s Economic and Defence ties with India. She also explained the current status of the peace efforts with the LTTE. more..

Fresh water fisheries to pop up rural economy

Nov 17 (LT) Fresh water fisheries project will enable a genuine difference in the rural economy said Mr.Nihal Galappaththi, Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. According to this project fish-lings will be released to all fresh water resources and lagoons throughout the country. more..

Fuel prices cannot be reduced - CPC

Nov 17 (LT) Though fuel prices in the world market have gone down the corporation is not in a position to give its customers a reduction as the Petroleum Corporation is run at a loss says its Chairman, Jaliya Madagama. more..

Perils of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees facing deportation, community silent?

Nov 17 (AT) Living in an alien land and without proper residency papers is nothing but a nightmare. It is even worse when there is a chance of deportation to your home country where conditions remain hostile to you. more..