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US condemns recent Tamil Tiger attacks, welcomes Sri Lankan peace overture

Nov 20 (AFP) The United States condemned recent attacks by Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers as an "assault" on the country's fragile peace process and welcomed this week's government overture to the separatist rebels. more..

U.S. Urges Sri Lankan Government, Rebels to Resume Peace Talks

Nov 20 (USI) Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage urged the Sri Lankan government and rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to resume peace negotiations to settle the long-running conflict. more..

Singhalese monopolise Sri Lanka's national wealth - TNA MP

Nov 20 (TN) “This budget has been made to look after the interests of the Sinhala people. The Tamil people have been totally denied the right to share the national wealth of this country. Under Article 148 of the Sri Lankan constitution public finance is in the full control of this Parliament. more..

Trinco resettled IDPs' plight spotlighted

Nov 20 (TN) "No one can talk about peace and reconciliation when thousands suffer for want of shelter, food and clothes. Peace and reconciliation are only of secondary concern for them," said Mr.T.Thavasilingam, Chairman of the Consortium of Non-Governmental Organizations in Trincomalee district more..

Protest against VVT murders shuts down Jaffna

Nov 20 (TN) Shops were closed and roads were mostly deserted in Jaffna Saturday in protest against the killing of two youth who were playing football in Valvettithurai Friday evening. Protestors burnt tires and blocked roads in several parts of the peninsula. Some clashed with troops and Police. more..

'SLA responsible for VVT killings' - LTTE

Nov 20 (TN) Mr.C.Ilamparithi, LTTE Jaffna district political head in a statement issued Saturday said that the Sri Lanka Army should be held responsible for the brutal killing of two innocent Tamil youths in Valvettithurai on Friday evening as this dastardly crime had taken place in an area which is surrounded by several sentries and mini-camps of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA). more..

Pandemonium in Parliament over Jaffna incidents

Nov 20 (TN) Pandemonium reigned in the Sri Lankan Parliament as government MPs attempted to shout down the leader of the Tamil National Alliance, Mr. R. Sampanthan who wanted to make statement on the killings and unrest in Jaffna. more..

LTTE’s attempt fails but kills two civilians

Nov 20 (SLA) Two Tamil civilian watching a football match at VELVETTITURAI on Friday evening (19) around 6.10 p.m. feel victim to an LTTE firing directed at an EPDP supporter who was also watching the same match. more..

LTTE abduct another youth

Nov 20 (SLA) A father who reached the troops on duty in the general area of SITTANDY has reported that his son was abducted an taken to the un-cleared areas of SITTANDY by four LTTE men during small hours on 19 November 2004. more..

Some war like items un-earthed by Police

Nov 20 (SLA) On information received by Police some weapon have been recovered from the general area of MUTTUR on 18 November 2004. One T – 56 weapon, one sub machine gun (SMG), one self loading rifle (SLR), four SLR magazines, Eight No. 36 Unserviceable hand grenades and stock of ammunition berried in a marsh have been un-earthed by the MUTTUR Police. more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Nov 20 (SLA) Nine hundred and eighty one (981) lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 12 November 2004 and 18 November 2004. more..

Bus accident injures 46 in Sri Lanka

Nov 20 (Xinhua) Forty six passengers were injured when a bus ran off the road and fell into a precipice near Sri Lanka's central hilly city of Kandy on Friday, the official Daily News reported Saturday. The private bus was carrying about 50 commuters before it fell into the 15-meter precipice. more..

If no talks, expect war! -Sivaji Lingam

Nov 20 (LT) If peace talks are not resumed immediately another war is inevitable says TNA. Sivaji Lingam of TNA said so participating at the budget debate. If this happens the budget proposals will not be able to be implemented he added. more..

We'll safeguard workers' rights! - Ranil

Nov 20 (LT) The proposal to extend the working hours of state employees by an hour will be opposed by him personally and by the UNP said Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe, leader of the opposition. In a press release, he says, by this proposal the Alliance Government is trying to curb the rights of workers. more..

Work on Uva Province university begins next year

Nov 20 (SLBC) The new University in the Uva Province (the 14th State funded University) will commence construction in 2005. The construction will be in stages so that the first batch of new students will be admitted from the 2005 Advanced Level to commence studies in January 2006, states a Education Ministry press release. more..

SRI LANKA: Govt. offers industry friendly budge

Nov 20 (BT) Sri Lankan government offered incentives to the key garment industry in the Budget 2005, close to the end of a preferential trade agreement with the U.S. "We welcome the moves. Most of our proposals to the government have been accepted," Tuli Cooray told reporters. more..

LTTE Still Has 1,250 Child Soldiers – The Latest Global Report Says

Nov 20 (AT) The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, an alliance of leading international human rights and humanitarian organizations in its Global Report on Child Soldiers released on November 17 says that, “in February 2004 some 1,250 children were known to remain in LTTE more..

No hasty decision on Norway

Nov 20 (DN) No hasty decision should be taken for the 'immediate withdrawal of the intervention of Norway from the issue concerning the North and East' as proposed by the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), Media and Information Minister Mangala Samaraweera said yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka steps up security after assassination of judge

Nov 20 (AFP) Sri Lanka stepped up security in the capital Colombo Saturday as police launched an investigation into the slaying of a judge and his bodyguard, officials said. A section of a road leading to the residences of senior government figures was declared off limits more..

Sri Lanka's northern town hit by protest

Nov 20 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's main northern city of Jaffna came to a standstill on Saturday as a protest crippled the public transport and forced businesses to close in the day. An organization calling itself "The common organizations collective" has called the protest, more..

'Karuna not interested in entering democratic politics'

Nov 20 (HT) KN Douglas Devananda, Secretary General of the EPDP, who tried to get the LTTE's dissident commander Col. Karuna to enter Sri Lanka's mainstream democratic politics, now says that Karuna is not interested in entering democratic politics. more..

Murali seeks all-clear for series

Nov 20 (BBC) Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan will meet his surgeon next week to discuss the possibility of playing on the tour of New Zealand next month. Muralitharan has been sidelined since August after having shoulder surgery. more..

Pak PM to discuss trade, regional security

Nov 20 (TN) The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Shaukat Aziz, is scheduled to arrive in Colombo on Sunday 21 November on a two-day visit. He will mainly hold talks on a free trade agreement between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. more..

ECB to host Sri Lanka youngsters

Nov 20 (KT) The Emirates Cricket Board will host the Sri Lanka Cricket Academy Emerging team for a three one-day (day/night) and one two-day game at the Sharjah cricket stadium from November 30 to December 6. more..

Going, Going, Gone

Nov 20 (LBO) The year was 1904. Demand kept growing for Ceylon teas in the turn of the last century and commercial production of tea in the plantations began to pick up. For eleven years since the first tea was auctioned in Ceylon, aspiring white suited businessmen representing colonial era trading companies brokered deals with British buyers to sell tea and spices produced by their planter associates. more..

Sri Lanka to execute rape, murder and drug convicts

Nov 20 (AP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga said Saturday that Sri Lanka will lift a 28-year moratorium on the death penalty after a High Court judge was gunned down at his home. Kumaratunga said in a statement that the death penalty would be effective immediately "for rape, murder and narcotics dealings." more..

Muddy SLA detour jams traffic

Nov 21 (TN) Heavy morning traffic on the A9 highway near Omanthai, the main entry point to the northern Vanni region held by the Liberation Tigers, was blocked for more than five hours Saturday after two vehicles got stuck in a muddy side road made by the Sri Lanka army through a private property. more..

Book on Yogaswamy released in Kilinochchi

Nov 21 (TN) A book titled "Yogaswamy and Kilinochchi: A Spiritual Journey" describing the spiritual association of the popular Columbuthurai, Jaffna, sage Yogaswamy with Kilinochchi district was released Friday at the Kilinochchi Cultural Center by Srimath Aathma Ganananthaji swamy from Colombo Ramakrishna Mission, more..

New Media Institute to be built in Kilinochchi

Nov 21 (TN) Foundation stone for a new Media Technology Institute is to be laid in Ariviyal Nagar in Kilinochchi on Friday, 26 November, sources in Vanni said. Officials in charge of the Institute said that the Institute is intended to promote media education among the Tamil community more..

A public interest case filed against the implementation of the Sethusamudra Ship Canal Project

Nov 21 (AT) A public interest case requesting for an interim injunctions against the implementation of the Sethusamudram ship canal project is filed in the High Court of Chennai. more..

Heil Surya Thevan - I

Nov 21 (AT) The assassination of a judge who dared to do the unthinkable and sentence a God to 200 years in prison – if this turns out to be the handiwork of the Tigers, who can deny that this was a spectacular way of commencing the Mahaveer Week celebrations? more..

Judge’s murder is the price for neglect of the Sri Lankan judiciary

Nov 21 (AT) Asian Human Rights Commission while expressing its sympathy for the death of the High Court judge and his body guard, it has urged the Government to take appropriate action for the maintenance of law and order in the country. more..

Export of lethal weapons to Sri Lanka - Dual role of Norway exposed

Nov 21 (AT) Reasonable doubts are being raised about the export of lethal military hardware by Norway to the Liberation Tigers of Tamill Eelam - a rebel outfit ensconced in Sri Lanka and involved in a conflict for a separate state of Tamil Eelam for the last 20 years. more..

Loan Scheme for Lankan Expats

Nov 21 (AN) Sri Lanka’s new budget proposals will benefit its one million overseas workers including the 350,000 Lankan expatriates in the Kingdom. The annual budget, which was presented by Finance Minister Sarath Amunugoma on Thursday, includes a new housing loan scheme for the country’s overseas workers. more..

Marxist leader to undergo surgery

Nov 21 (TP) Marxist JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe is likely to undergo by-pass surgery at a private hospital in Colombo, hospital sources were quoted as saying in the Daily Mirror. The sources said Amarasinghe was admitted to hospital on Thursday morning, but declined to reveal further details. more..

Domestic workers to be repatriated

Nov 21 (TP) Sri Lanka’s wealthiest entrepreneur and biggest philanthropist has initiated a programme to repatriate female domestic workers stranded in Kuwait who have lost or left their jobs, or for other reasons. more..

Police unearthed several important clues regarding the assassination of high court judge

Nov 21 (Rupavahini) Director of the Colombo anti-crime unit, senior S.P Sarath Lugoda said that they have recovered the vehicle which was used by assassins to arrive at the scene of the murder. He disclosed the driver of the hired vehicle is being interrogated under detention. more..

`There is some hope'

Nov 21 (FL) Ten years after proposing to change Sri Lanka's unitary state to a union of regions, President Chandrika Kumaratunga believes that the island-nation is now "quite definitely" ready for federalism. more..

JVP Claims that a new national economic policy has been introduced from the budget

Nov 21 (rupavahini) The JVP claims that the maiden budget of the government will be an important milestone in the country's economy. Issuing a statement, the politbureau of the JVP noted that it has been able to direct the nation towards a new national economic strategy instead of a new liberal economic path. more..

Budget : Sugar coated bitter decoction -Tissa Attanayaka

Nov 21 (SO) The budget 2005 is a sugar-coated bitter decoction (kasaya) wrongly administered for the ailment and the people would see the repercussions after three months, claims the UNP Deputy Secretary General Tissa Attanayake. more..

Mahanayake Thera happy with tax on racing, gaming

Nov 21 (SO) Most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thera of Malwatte Chapter highly appreciated the increase of taxes on horse racing and gaming and the prices of liquor by the budget of the Alliance Government presented more..

Powerful bombs thrown at LTTE political offices in Batticaloa

Nov 21 (TN) Two powerful bombs were thrown simultaneously at the political offices of the Liberation Tigers in Batticaloa town and Kaluwanchikudy close to midnight Saturday. The bombs, made of high power plastic explosives packed with shrapnel in plastic cans, did not explode due to faulty detonating mechanism, Police said. more..

Pak, Sri Lanka Likely To Sign FTA

Nov 21 (SADA) Pakistan and Sri Lanka are likely to sign Free Trade Agreement (FTA) during the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz to Colombo. Both countries signed the framework treaty for FTA a couple of years ago when President General Pervez Musharraf visited Sri Lanka. more..

Chandrika ready to break stalemate in peace process

Nov 21 (Gulf) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumara-tunga yesterday blamed the Norwegian peace brokers for unduly putting pressure on her and declared her "willingness to go forward" to break the stalemate in the peace process. more..

Special security measures to counter organized crime

Nov 21 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga and her Government have expressed shock and concern at yesterday's assassination of High Court Judge Hon.Sarath Ambepitiya in Colombo. The President and her Government have expressed their deepest condolences to Mrs. Ambepitiya and the other family members. more..

New laws soon to combat crime wave

Nov 21 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga today 20th November appointed a special committee to revamp the criminal justice system with a view combating organized crime in the country. The eight member committee is tasked with considering amendments to existing laws and the introduction of new laws. more..

Pakistani prime minister arrives in Sri Lanka

Nov 21 (AP) Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday to discuss "a gamut" of bilateral issues before heading to India for talks on the Kashmir dispute. Aziz will also travel to the Maldives as chairman of the SAARC, more..

More violence reported in Sri Lanka's east

Nov 21 (Xinhua) More violence has been reported from Sri Lanka's eastern province, defense officials said Sunday. An informant of the military was shot dead by suspected Tamil Tigers rebels at around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in the eastern port district of Trincomalee, police said. more..

Norway putting pressure for peace talks: Lanka

Nov 21 (PTI) Sri Lanka has complained to the United States that peace broker Norway was putting undue pressure on it while sparing Tamil Tiger rebels, a media report said. President Chandrika Kumaratunga lodged the complain in a telephone conversation with US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage last week, more..

Sri Lanka killings escalate despite US pressure on peace

Nov 21 (AFP) Suspected Tamil rebels have escalated killings despite fresh pressure from the United States on Sri Lanka's warring parties to end a 19-month deadlock in peace talks, officials said. more..