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Sri Lanka Govt declares readiness to talk with LTTE, ‘even within this month.’

Nov 17 (AT) The Government of Sri Lanka is prepared to resume direct negotiations with a the LTTE at any time , emphasized President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Sri Lankan President publicly made this declaration in a nationally telecast interview on Tuesday night. more..

Sri Lankan painted mask

Nov 17 (TOL) DIVING once more into the world of visual deception and trickery, Object Lesson moves into the Science Museum. In Future Face, their current exhibition, visitors are confronted with the physiological enigma that is the human face. more..

Sri Lankan teachers lack of training

Nov 17 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan has recorded the world's highest percentage of untrained teachers employed in government schools due to education policies implemented by the previous government, The Island quoted local teacher trade unionists said on Wednesday. more..

'Atapattu has done a good job'

Nov 17 (gulf) Marwan Atapattu has proved to be an excellent captain, remarked Roshan Mahanama, the former Sri Lankan skipper turned match referee to Gulf News. "Atapattu has done a wonderful job. He has bound the team together and got the best out of them. more..

LTTE's efforts to break up Lanka thwarted

Nov 17 (PIS) The LTTE has taken a page out of the story of India's partition and how a civil war was provoked to alienate the communities and create the impression that separation was inevitable. July 1983 was not a gift to the LTTE; it was the LTTE's greatest achievement. more..

Trinco humming with tourists

Nov 17 (DN) With the guns falling silent and the near two year calm in its wake, Trincomalee has turned into a veritable tourist hub with both local and foreign visitors flocking to this Eastern capital in their multitudes to savour the multifaceted delights on offer at the idyllic tourist haven. more..

Sri Lanka pledges populist 2005 budget

Nov 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's left-leaning government is set to present a populist budget that seeks to improve tax collection and help those most in need. Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama told Reuters on Monday his budget, due on Thursday, more..

Peace monitor to discuss Sri Lanka truce violations with Tamil Tiger leader

Nov 17 (AP) A top Norwegian peace monitor met with Tamil Tiger leader S.P Thamilselvan Wednesday to discuss allegations of political killings and rebel truce violations in Sri Lanka's north and east, a spokesman for the truce monitors said. more..

Defence pact is meant to set India against Tamils, warns LTTE

Nov 17 (HT) The LTTE has told MPs belonging to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) that the basic idea behind the Sri Lankan government's bid to sign a Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) with India is to set India against the Tamils. more..

Sri Lanka president gives Tigers two weeks to decide on talks restart

Nov 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president has asked Tamil Tiger rebels to decide within two weeks whether they wish to resume talks which have remained deadlocked for 19 months. President Chandrika Kumaratunga asked the LTTE to return to the negotiating table they left in April last year. more..

Remember martyrs peacefully, truce monitors urge Tamil Tigers

Nov 17 (AP) A top Norwegian peace monitor urged Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels on Wednesday to peacefully observe an annual ceremony later this month commemorating their fallen members, a report said. more..

Foreign employment agent shot dead with T-56

Nov 18 (TN) A foreign employment agent was shot dead with an assault rifle by unidentified gunmen Tuesday night in a settlement near Valaichenai, 32 kilometres north of Batticaloa, Police said. more..

Expression of Unified position vital- Ranil

Nov 18 (TN) "Sri Lanka's President must candidly discuss the peace process with leaders of JVP and arrive at a common position acceptable to both President Kumaratunge and the JVP," said opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe more..

JVP slams WB, IMF on eve of Sri Lanka budget

Nov 18 (TN) A trade union of the JVP put up thousands of posters in Colombo Wednesday warning that her government’s maiden budget, which is to be presented Thursday in Parliament, should not fall prey to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. more..

Chandana sent to Singapore for medical tests

Nov 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka leg-spinner Upul Chandana has been sent to Singapore for urgent medical tests on a respiratory complaint. Chandana has struggled with his breathing since Sri Lanka's recent tour of Pakistan and is an injury concern for the forthcoming tour to New Zealand. more..

Local retail outlets are gearing for a busy holiday season

Nov 18 (LBO) Indian tourists looking around for branded bargains are on a buying spree in Sri Lanka and local retail outlets are gearing for a busy holiday season. “There has been an increase in Indian tourists over the last few years and that’s been very good for us,” more..

Budget Joust

Nov 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Finance Minister lashed out at the country's English press and an international wire service on the eve of the budget, for what he termed biased reporting of the economic situation of the country. more..

Finance Minister promises to confound his critics through the budget

Nov 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's government is promising to confound its critics through a budget, which will signal a shift in policy from recent years. "I can only say that it will be a people friendly budget," Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama said. "I think it will confound the critics." more..

Uda Walawe left bank development has been dedicated to the people

Nov 18 (Rupavahini) The left bank development project of Uda Walawa in the Mahaweli special zone has been vested in the people. The ministry of Mahaweli and river basin development said that 10,000 families would be settled under this development programme. more..

President has pledged not to privatize the education system

Nov 18 (Rupavahini) President Chandrika Kumaratunge says she who went in procession against the white paper on education would never privatize the country's system of education. She said that she has committed herself to protecting free education. more..

Sri Lanka: The Essence of Colonialism

Nov 18 (AT) Tamil Nationalism in Sri Lanka has undergone many changes in the last half century. At the outset it sought power sharing at the center in order to ensure the political rights of the Tamil-speaking community. more..

'Pro-growth, pro-poor' budget : UPFA

Nov 18 (BBC) The UPFA is ready to announce its inaugural budget of "pro-growth, pro-poor", finance minister Sarath Amunugama said. While the government is happy of the growth of certain areas of activity during the recent past, the government will be mainly concentrating on the development of rural areas he said. more..

Sri Lankan President says she is not afraid of the media

Nov 18 (NW) President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday accused the media of distorting her speeches but vowed she was not afraid of it. Addressing a public meeting in Nawalapitiya, President Kumaratunga said, having lost an eye for the sake of the country, she would not fear anyone now. more..

Sri Lankan bar association voices its concern over remarks made by president

Nov 18 (NW) The Bar Association yesterday claimed the recent statement made by President Chandrika Kumaratunga regarding corruption in the judiciary, has seriously undermined the confidence of the people in the administration of justice in the country. more..

Sri Lankan bus drivers tells President take it or leave it

Nov 18 (NW) Private bus operators are planning a countrywide strike urging President Chandrika Kumaratunga to oversee the private bus service as they found it difficult to work with the present Transport Minister. more..

LTTE cadres in Colombo

Nov 18 (NW) With government informants being regularly gunned down by allegedly unidentified LTTE gangs, the latest intelligence reports have revealed an estimated 1000 LTTE cadres from the North-East have taken up residence in Colombo and its suburbs. more..

Five bridges in Colombo

nov 18 (TP) Five overhead bridges are to be built around Colombo to ease traffic congestion with work commencing in January. Highways Ministry Secretary S Amarasekere told the Daily News that Ministry officials are finalising initial preparations for the project to be carried out by the Road Development Authority (RDA). more..

Rally in support of Maldives struggle

Nov 18 (TP) A group of about 25 Sri Lankans sympathetic to the democracy struggle in the Maldives protested outside the Maldivian High Commission in Colombo on Sunday, the Island daily reported. more..

Seoul’s warning to illegal workers

Nov 18 (TP) The South Korean government has asked illegal Sri Lankans workers to leave the country immediately, local authorities said. The SLBFE has also urged Lankans staying in Korea working without a valid permit to return home through a general amnesty granted by the Korean government, more..

UNP ready for peace talks

Nov 18 (TP) Sri Lankan Opposition UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is ready to hold a series of talks with President Chandrika Kumaratunga to take the peace process forward, party spokesman G L Peiris told reporters on Tuesday. more..

Jaffna IDPs oppose Palaly runway extension

Nov 18 (TN) Union of Welfare Organizations of Displaced (UWOD) in Jaffna District Thursday in a press release appealed to the Government of India not to lend any assistance to the Sri Lanka government's plan to extend the Palaly airbase runway more..

Teenaged LTTE cadre shot dead at roadside

Nov 18 (SLA) An unidentified gunman has shot dead an eighteen-year old LTTE cadre while he was at the roadside in the general area of VALAICHCHENAI on Wednesday (17) night for reasons best known only to the assassin. more..

LTTE office comes under grenade attack

Nov 18 (SLA) An LTTE office in the general area of ARIYAMPATHY in BATTICALOA came under grenade attack on Wednesday (18) night around 11.00 causing damages to the building. The inner side of the building has been damaged according to initial reports.

Two under LTTE training break ranks

Nov 18 (SLA) Two LTTE cadres, claimed to have broken ranks with LTTE while under training were arrested when they reached the Forward Defence Line (FDL) in KASAVAPULIYANKULAM on 17 November 2004 around 1.30 p.m. more..

Three wheelers to be sheltered from future fuel price increases

Nov 18 (LBO) Three wheelers to be sheltered from future fuel price increases and three-wheeler leasing to be exempt from VAT. "About 200,000 three-wheeler operators carry one million passengers daily, occupying the least amount of road space and using the lowest volume of fuel," said Minister Sarath Amunugama. more..

Railway to operate as a commercial enterprise within the department structure

Nov 18 (LBO) The railway will operate as a commercial enterprise within the department structure, says the Finance Minister. Minister said the railway authority law would be repealed but that the railway will be given the "freedom to operate as a commercial enterprise within the department structure." more..

"What is the problem for Tamils been born as Tamils?" Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thero

Nov 18 (AT) "What is the problem for Tamils been born as Tamils?" This was a question raised Venerable Elle Gunawansa Thero, in an exclusive interview with the “Asian Tribune” in London. more..

Sri Lanka to end subsidies that benefit high-income group

Nov 18 (DJ) The government Thursday said it will halt subsidies that benefit high-income groups and focus on providing relief to the poor as part of its budget for 2005. Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama told Parliament the government will reduce tax concessions and eliminate duty exemptions enjoyed by businesses. more..

Stop dilly-dallying

Nov 18 (PIS) During the interview with President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Tuesday night, over the state electronic media, conducted by ITN and SLBC, which lasted more than 60 minutes, the President said much that deserves careful attention by concerned sections of people in this country. more..

Sri Lanka stocks inch higher, await 2005 budget

Nov 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks were slightly firmer at the Thursday midsession, as investors waited to see the government's populist 2005 budget due to be unveiled after the market close, traders said. The key Colombo all-share index was up 0.32 percent, more..

Sri Lanka targets 6-7% mid-term growth: Budget

Nov 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's government is targeting six-seven per cent growth in the medium term, according to the text of Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama's 2005 budget speech obtained by Reuters on Thursday. more..

Tax on used vehicles halted

Nov 18 (LT) The tax levied on used vehicles has been halted until the 30th of this month on a court order. The court has made this order considering petitions presented against the levying of the tax by 25 companies importing used vehicles. more..

I will lessen your burdens by January 1 - President

Nov 18 (DN) President expressed optimism yesterday that the Government will be able to lighten the people's burdens by January through the increase of salaries of more than one million government servants and through the steps taken by the government to reduce the prices of essential goods. more..

Tamil Tiger rebels accuse Sri Lankan president of insincere peace moves

Nov 18 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels on Thursday accused Sri Lanka's president of misleading international peace backers and blamed her for a 19-month stalemate in efforts to permanently end two decades of civil war. more..

Clueless in Colombo

Nov 18 (KT) How serious is President Chandrika Kumaratunga in her attempts to revive the dialogue with Tamil separatists? The president's commitment to the peace process cannot be above board because not long ago she dismissed the elected government of Ranil Wickremesinghe accusing it of giving too many concessions to the Tigers. more..

Tigers blame Sri Lanka president for talks deadlock

Nov 18 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels accused President Chandrika Kumaratunga of "deceit" as she gave the guerrillas two weeks to decide if they wanted to revive stalled peace negotiations. LTTE said they had received no response to a request sent to Kumaratunga asking for a clear statement on her coalition government's stand on ending ethnic bloodshed. more..

Report: Tamil Tiger rebel killed in eastern Sri Lanka

Nov 18 (AP) Unidentified gunmen shot to death a Tamil Tiger rebel in eastern Sri Lanka, police said Thursday. A pro-Tiger Web site said they suspected government intelligence officers of involvement. more..

Army intelligence officer shot dead in eastern Sri Lanka

Nov 18 (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels fatally shot an army intelligence officer and a Tamil civilian in Sri Lanka's volatile east Thursday, police and military officials said, a day after unidentified gunmen reportedly killed a rebel in the area. more..

Chandrika moots three-year pact with UNP to solve ethnic problem

Nov 18 (HT) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has suggested a two to three-year agreement between her government and the opposition United National Party (UNP) to help solve the ethnic problem in the country. more..

Sri Lanka peace process may be slipping

Nov 18 (AP) More than two years ago, a cease-fire with Tamil Tiger rebels brought a semblance of peace to this tropical island nation savaged by nearly two decades of civil war. But talks broke down more than a year ago, neither side trusts the other and enduring peace remains a distant ideal. more..