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LTTE's federal solution is in doubt

Nov 29 (IB) With the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam remaining noncommittal on federalism, there is apprehension in political circles that the group could renege on a specific commitment made two years ago to explore a "federal solution." more..

Mixed signals from Prabha

Nov 29 (PIS) LTTE leader Velupiilai Prabhakaran yesterday directly attacked President Chandrika Kumaratunga for acting with what he called a "deceptive mask of peace" and accused her of being captive of her main coalition partner, the JVP. more..

Prabhkaran’s Sinhala-bashing speech gives no hope to Tamils

Nov 29 (AT) The first point to note about Velupillai Prabhakaran’s Heroes’ Day speech is that there is nothing new in it. It is a mere regurgitation of the various accusations, threats and demands put forward by the LTTE apparatchiks exposing their usual intransigence. more..

Sri Lanka rupee firms, exporters cash in earnings

Nov 29 (Reuters) The Sri Lanka rupee closed firmer on Monday, as exporters cashed in dollar earnings and importer demand for the U.S. currency eased, dealers said. The rupee closed at 104.88 against the dollar, compared to Thursday's close at 104.97 rupees. more..

Pak-Sri Lanka’s New dimensions of co-operation

Nov 29 (AT) Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, during his visit to Colombo last Sunday as chairman of SAARC, utilized the occasion to push forward the existing bilateral economic and commercial relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka more..

Scramble for IOC shares in Lanka

Nov 29 (PTI) Investors on Monday scrambled for shares in the Sri Lankan unit of Indian Oil Company as the company's initial public offer opened in Colombo amidst indications that it would be oversubscribed. more..

Doors shut for drug smugglers

Nov 29 (DN) Inspector General of Police Chandra Fernando said yesterday that police had strengthened all entry points to the country to prevent the smuggling of hard drugs by deploying special police teams in those areas to arrest heroin traffickers. more..

Detainees on hunger strike say goodbye

Nov 29 (AAP) A group of Sri Lankan men at the Baxter detention centre has written goodbye letters, believing they will die as a result of a hunger strike. Refugee advocates said one man was hospitalised on Monday after refusing to eat for the past six days at the South Australian immigration facility. more..

2005: Boon or bane for Lanka?

Nov 29 (HT) Will Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga tame the Tamil Tigers and solve the long-standing Tamil problem in 2005? Or will the LTTE Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran succeed in his mission to secure autonomy for the Tamils? more..

Sri Lankan police arrest illegal immigrants

Nov 29 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan police said on Monday they arrested a group of Sri lankan people, who are to head for New Zealand illegally. The arrest was made in the early hours of Monday at the northwestern coastal area of Kalpitiya as they were planning to board a fishing trawler, more..

Sri Lanka mulls Tiger threat to return to war

Nov 29 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president and top aides were studying the latest Tamil Tiger threat to return to war amid mounting tension in embattled northern and eastern regions, officials said. more..

Lanka has always thwarted LTTE's bid to use peace to strengthen itself

Nov 29 (HT) The LTTE have always tried to use a peace process to secure their cardinal objectives, including secession from Sri Lanka to form an independent "Tamil Eelam". But the Sri Lankan state has consistently thwarted such attempts. more..

Sri Lanka attack raises tension

Nov 29 (BBC) Members of the Sinhala and Tamil communities have clashed again in eastern Sri Lanka after a grenade attack on a bus left one person dead. Police have imposed a curfew on the town of Trincomalee. more..

Sri Lanka rebel threat seen as pressure tactic

Nov 29 (Reuters) A Tamil Tiger threat to resume civil war is a pressure tactic to push the Sri Lankan government to open discussions on their demand for self-rule, analysts and diplomats say, playing down fears of a return to hostilities. more..

Curfew in Trincomalee as strike leads to grenade attack on bus

Nov 29 (AFP) The Sri Lankan government ordered a curfew in the eastern port city of Trincomalee after one person was killed in a grenade attack on a bus that defied a strike call by rebel sympathisers, police said. more..

Sri Lanka violence leaves one dead, three wounded

Nov 29 (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels attacked a passenger bus and clashed with security forces and civilians in the port town of Trincomalee on Monday, leaving one person dead and three injured, officials said. more..

Troops poured to Sri Lanka region amid fresh violence

Nov 29 (AFP) Additional troops were deployed in this curfew-bound Sri Lankan town after a passenger was killed in a grenade attack on a bus that defied a pro-rebel work stoppage, police said. Hundreds of heavily armed soldiers from a nearby military base were called to reinforce this strategic port district more..

Govt has identified information technology as an important instrument in promoting development - PM

Nov 30 (Rupavahini) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse says government has identified information technology as an important instrument in promoting development and alleviating poverty. A four-year programme has already been launched for this purpose. more..

Several areas of the Ampara district are flooded following heavy rains

Nov 30 (Rupavahini) Heavy rains have flooded several areas of the Ampara District. Vehicular traffic has been disrupted as almost all the roads in the Akkaraipattu, Alayadiwembu and Addalachchenai are under water. more..

No duty cuts for tea, says Iran

Nov 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka signed a preferential trade pact with Iran last week but is unlikely to see its main export tea get any duty cuts into Iran. A framework agreement for a preferential trade pact was signed last week between Sri Lanka and Iran but the enforcement date and the items that get concessionary access are still to be finalised. more..

SLN, SLA chiefs arrive in Trincomalee

Nov 30 (TN) Rear Admiral Daya Sandagiri, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy and the Chief of Armed Forces and Major General Shantha Kottegoda, Commander of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) are reported to have arrived in Trincomalee Monday evening to assess the security situation in the east port town more..

Prabhakaran speech not a war cry : Minister

Nov 30 (BBC) LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran has sent a positive message regarding the peace talks in his Heroes' day speech, a senior member of the ruling coalition said. Minister for Constitutional Reforms DEW Gunasekara said that it regards the speech as a constructive message towards resumption of negotiations. more..

Military top brass in Trinco crisis meeting

Nov 30 (BBC) Top Military heads rushed to Trincomalee on Monday to hold a crisis meeting with officers stationed in the area. Army chief Shantha Kottegoda and chief of defence staff Daya Sandagiri arrived in troubled Trincomalee after tension heightened between the Sinhala and Tamil communities more..

Judge murder suspects identified

Nov 30 (BBC) Four were identified as suspects for the killing of High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya. In two identification parades held over two hours on Monday in Colombo witness identified Nishantha Udayakumara and Sampath Thushara Wijewardhana as suspects who shot Judge Ambepitiya and his police bodyguard R A Upali. more..

‘India lags behind even Lanka in IT use’

Nov 30 (FE) India has chronically under-invested in IT in comparison not only to US, Europe and China but also compared to Sri Lanka and Egypt. It should not measure its success in IT merely by looking at its exports but also on the basis of IT use within the country, more..

Getting Prabhakaran’s Message

Nov 30 (AT) Velupillai Prabhakaran’s Great Heroes’ day speech this year was probably his most significant. It was a masterly and deadly serious performance in which he reassumed his full dimensions as the single individual who has most influenced, and arguably determined, our collective destiny for at least two decades. more..

Prabakaran has readied himself for the war – Anton Balasingham

Nov 30 (AT) Prabakaran has readied himself. He has readied himself for the war. Now it is left in the hands of Madame President Chandrika Kumaratunga to determine whether it is war or peace. This was what Anton Balasingham, the ideologue of the LTTE told a crowd of enthusiastic of Tamil Diasporas. more..

Kalu ganga (Matale) scheme is on

Nov 30 (SLBC) The Agriculture, Lands and Irrigation Ministry has allocated Rs.300 million to implement the "Kalu Ganga" scheme. This will enable over 8,000 farmer families in Kantale to recommence sugarcane cultivation and also re-open the Kantale sugar factory closed down in 1992 by the then UNP Government. more..

Tamil Media Alliance holds award ceremony

Nov 30 (TN) Former news editor of Virakesari and Sudaroli newspaper Mr. S. Edward won the Senior Journalist award during the annual award ceremony held by Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance (SLTMA) at the Wellwatte Ramakrishna Mission Hall Sunday, sources in Colombo said. more..

Navy, Army chiefs meet Trincomalee civil, religious leaders

Nov 30 (TN) Rear Admiral Daya Sandagiri, Chief of Defence Staff and the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Tuesday morning met a group of religious dignitaries of all faiths and civil leaders representing all communities in Trincomalee town. more..

Vepankulam shooting, gross misuse of power- Judge

Nov 30 (TN) Vavuniya district Judge M Ilancheliyan issued orders on Monday to Sri Lanka Army Commander of Vanni region and to the 211st Division Commander to assist the Police investigations relating to the shooting at the Tamil Marty’s Day celebrations in Verpankulam , legal sources said. more..

Southern consensus, a prerequisite to resume talks- Thinakural

Nov 30 (TN) "Is the Sri Lanka Government, which tells the world that LTTE is unwilling to talk about permanent solution, prepared to talk to the Tigers with clarity of purpose and in one voice? If not, is the government at least prepared to acknowledge that its call for talk on permanent solution is not genuine?" more..

President cannot prolong No war, No peace situation - Jaffna Daily

Nov 30 (TN) "The Sri Lankan President should take urgent and constructive steps if the cease fire agreement is to survive", said the Jaffna Tamil daily Uthyan in its editorial Monday, commenting on Colombo's stand on the peace process in the aftermath of Great Heroes' Day speech of LTTE leader Mr. Velupillai Pirapaharan. more..

Sri Lankan driver held hostage in Iraq

Nov 30 (wsws) The fate of Dinesh Dharmendram Rajaratnam, a Sri Lankan truck driver, who was captured in Iraq by Islamic extremists along with fellow driver Abul Kashem from Bangladesh late last month, is still unknown. They are being held by the notorious Ansar al-Sunna, the group responsible for the cold-blooded slaughter of 12 Nepalese workers in August. more..

Three vehicles torched and one house damaged in Trinco

Nov 30 (SLA) Three vehicles were reported to have been set on fire by unidentified groups in the general area of TRINCOMALEE on 29 November 2004. A private bus (EPHL 9936) belonging to a civilian has been removed by a group of unidentified persons to a jungle from a garage at and later set on fire in the presence of its driver, more..

Accident injures protester

Nov 30 (SLA) A Navy vehicle moving towards HABARANA has knocked down a civilian and injured him while he was attending a hartal in the general area of THAMABALAGAMUWA JUNCTION on 29 November 2004 around 9.00 a.m. more..

LTTE cadre carrying T-56 and ammo arrested

Nov 30 (SLA) Troops on duty in the general area of MAWADIWEMBU have arrested an LTTE cadre carrying a T-56 weapon on 29 November 2004 around 9.30 p.m. The arrested LTTE man, identified as S JENISON (23), and the weapon with its filled magazine have been handed over to the ERAVUR Police. more..

Sri Lanka economy: Squeezing the rupee

Nov 30 (EIU) Rising political instability and a sharp increase in the price of imported oil have placed Sri Lanka’s currency under mounting pressure in recent months. Although a full-blown currency crisis is unlikely, the rupee is vulnerable, and support from international donors may be necessary if economic or political conditions deteriorate further. more..

No short cuts to peace, says a South African peace delegation

Nov 30 (LBO) Peace doesn’t come easy, so start working at it, says a team of South African peace delegates, to Sri Lanka’s business community. As Biki Minyuku, the former head of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission put it, "There are no short cuts to peace, it’s a long haul flight." more..

EU invests in local intellectual property rights laws to safeguard European brands

Nov 30 (LBO) The EU is investing € 100,000 in local intellectual property laws to make sure European brands and copyrights are protected in Sri Lanka. "The budget for the entire project is around Î 100,000. Implementation can take place within the next three weeks," more..

Judicial Security by STF

Nov 30 (SLBC) On the instructions of President Kumaratunga the Special Task Force (STF) deployed a special STF team to provide security to protect Judicial Officers from yesterday. Police Department has established another Police Division, "Judicial Protection Division". This Division will be headed by Senior SP Ceasar Ranaweera.

Iraq travel bid thwarted

Nov 30 (TP) Twenty-four young Sri Lankan men who were planning to go to Iraq on employment in the guise of tourists going to Jordan were turned away at the airport by the airport unit of the state-owned Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau, the Daily Mirror reported. more..

Asserting one's position while ignoring others’ concerns

Nov 30 (PRIU) This year LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran's Heroes’ Day speech was keenly awaited for any possible clues it may have to break the deadlock that has blocked progress in the peace process for the past 21 months. more..

India to step up naval cooperation with neighbours

Nov 30 (IANS) India is to induct more warships into its navy and significantly step up naval cooperation with several neighbours, including Sri Lanka and Myanmar, the naval chief said Tuesday. more..

Buddhists pray for peace at religious conference in Nepal

Nov 30 (AFP) Buddhist monks prayed for world peace at the start of a conference in the Nepal village of Lumbini - revered as Buddha's birthplace - that is aimed at promoting the site as a "city of world peace." more..

More funds for healthcare

Nov 30 (DN) The Government has decided to allocate more funds to improve infrastructure, building facilities and provide medical equipment to the healthcare sector in the year 2005, Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. more..

Detainees on hunger strike taken to hospital

Nov 30 (ABC) It is claimed that two detainees on a hunger strike in South Australia's Baxter detention centre have been taken to Port Augusta Hospital for treatment. Support group Rural Australians for Refugees says the two Sri Lankan men have been fasting since last Tuesday, with one reported to be on a saline drip in hospital. more..

Australia aids Sri Lanka mine clearance

Nov 30 (AAP) Australia is to spend an extra $1.5 million on landmine clearance in Sri Lanka and $3.5 million to promote the country's recovery from the long civil war. Parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs Bruce Billson said 20 years of civil conflict has devastated much of Sri Lanka, more..

Lanka IOC's stunning success silences critics

Nov 30 (HT) The stunning success of the Lanka Indian Oil Corporation's initial public offer on Monday, may help silence the company's carping critics in Sri Lanka. "The overwhelming confidence which Sri Lankan investors have reposed in the LIOC is a fitting reply to its critics here," more..

Sri Lanka orders soldiers to report for duty after violence erupts in Trincomalee

Nov 30 (AP) The Sri Lankan army ordered soldiers on leave to report for duty and deployed more troops to a northeastern port town after a grenade attack killed one civilian and wounded three others, the military said Tuesday. more..