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Sri Lanka risks losing aid over stalled peace talks -ADB

Nov 4 (Reuters) Sri Lanka risks losing valuable donor support due to the stalemate in efforts to cement lasting peace between Sri Lanka and Tamil Tiger rebels, the Asian Development Bank said. more..

World Photos - Reuters

Nov 4 (Reuters) Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (R) meets with Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga during their meeting in New Delhi Nov 4. Kumaratunga is in India for a four-day official visit. more..

PM appeals to Iraqi militants

Nov 4 (SLBC) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse issuing a statement on the hostage taking of Sri Lankan driver Dinesh Rajaratnam in Iraq states. "I am extremely disturbed and distressed to hear the news that Dinesh Rajaratnam, a Sri Lankan driver working in Kuwait has been taken hostage by Iraqi militants. Mr. Rajaratnam is the sole breadwinner of a family of four including three small children.

Sri Lanka: Free Nallaratnam Singarasa

Nov 5 (AI) The deadline has now passed for the Sri Lankan government to respond to a UN recommendation calling for the release or retrial of Nallaratnam Singarasa, who was tortured and has spent more than ten years in prison following an unfair trial. more..

Give tax breaks to companies that do good deeds, says local legal eagle

Nov 5 (LBO) Companies should get tax benefits for spending on good deeds, says legal eagle Justice Mark Fernando. The retired Supreme Court Judge suggests tax benefits for corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities because they reduce the welfare burden on the State. more..

S B pleads innocence

Nov 5 (BBC) The government is involved in a political witch-hunt while preparing for an illegal change of constitution says Sri Lanka's main opposition, the UNP. "I ask the president to stop politically motivated victimisation" said former minister S B Dissanayake at a press conference in Colombo. more..

India thanks Sri Lanka for support on UN security council bid

Nov 5 (BBC) The Indian Government thanked President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga who is in New Delhi for her support extended for India’s bid for a permanent seat in the security council of the UN. more..

"Shilpa - 2004" exhibition begins with the aim of improving the standard of rural industrialists

Nov 5 (Rupavahini) Shilpa - 2004, an industrial exhibition and trade fair organized by the ministry of small and rural industries was opened at the BMICH premises in Colombo today. This is the first time that an exhibition of this nature connecting small industries, textiles and handicrafts industry being organized in the island. more..

Govt decides to write-off 25 % of bank loans of small and medium scale rice mill owners

Nov 5 (Rupavahini) The government has taken a decision to write-off 25% of bank loans obtained by small and medium scale rice mill owners. Finance minister Dr.Sarath Amunugama noted that the Freedom Alliance administration has also decided to extend the period of re-payment of bank loans of rice mill owners by 10 years. more..

Don’t leak cabinet decisions to the media - President tells the ministers

Nov 5 (LT) The president has advised all the cabinet ministers to immediately stop disclosing cabinet decisions to the media. This step has been taken following several ministers making complaints to the president that ministers other than the cabinet spokesman issuing statements to the media have created a state of confusion. more..

JHU to the list of parties in dispute

Nov 5 (LT) Election Commissioner’s office has decided to add JHU to the list of parties in dispute. Therefore that will party will not be able to contest snap elections in the future. The Election Commissioner has taken this decision following the dispute within that party over the control of the party and there being two secretaries of that party. more..

Deputy Ministers’ Alliance to meet the UPFA leadership

Nov 5 (LT) The deputy ministers of the SLFP have decided to meet UPFA leaders with the hope of resolving problems faced by them. They are reportedly agreed to stop issuing media releases until after an agreement is achieved among the leaders and ministers regarding the problems those already made public. more..

Defeat reactionary propaganda & forward with Tank Project -Minister of Agriculture

Nov 5 (LT) Even the reactionary forces initiate propaganda against the Ten Thousand Lakes programme the ministry is ready to continue it in its successful steps, the Minister of Agriculture, Land, Irrigation and Livestocks Anura dissanayake said. more..

Rauf Hakeem: Go ahead with your challenges

Nov 5 (AT) The vituperative politics of Mr. Hakeem who is nowadays notorious among the Sri Lankan Muslims as “Romeo Hakeem” is severely damaging the reputation built for the community by the patriotic Muslim politicians of the past who were regarded by all communities as National leaders. more..

Former Tamil militant killed

Nov 5 (Hindu) At least two persons, including a former Tamil militant, Velayutham Dayalakumar (44), was shot dead at a Colombo suburb tonight by "unidentified gunmen." The victim was a former member of the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE). more..

Ready to resume talks with LTTE: Chandrika

Nov 5 (Hindu) President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, today discussed the state of the peace process in her country with the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, in the capital. Officials privy to the discussions said that Ms. Kumaratunga told Dr. Singh that her Government was ready to resume the dialogue with the LTTE. more..

Science should be the base of development

Nov 5 (SLBC) Priority should be given towards the promotion of science and technology and its expansion if the country is to develop, Science and Technology Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana said. more..

NorthEast Governor pays surprise visit to Jaffna

Nov 5 (TN) North East Provincial Governor (retd) Major General Asoka Jayawardene Thursday paid a surprise visit to Jaffna municipal library, district secretariat sources said. Jaffna Government Agent Mr.S.Pathmanathan, Jaffna Municipal Commissioner Dr.S.Gunarasa and provincial council officials accompanied him. more..

Sri Lankan clue in murder hunt

Nov 5 (H24) A SRI Lankan connection has emerged from a police appeal on BBC Crimewatch for the identity of a man whose body was found burning in a ditch. A facial reconstruction of the Asian man who was found in the ditch in Hilfield Lane, Aldenham, just after 2am on Wednesday, September 29, was shown on TV. more..

Chettikulam IDPs oppose forced resettlement

Nov 5 (TN) Official are making efforts to move Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in welfare centers in Chettikulam and Adapankulam in Vavuniya district to Manikfarm area against their wishes, refugees say. more..

Veteran Tamil scholar dies

Nov 5 (TN) Mr.R.Vadivelu, a veteran Tamil and Hindu scholar in Trincomalee passed away at the age of 85 Friday afternoon around 1 p.m. at his residence located in Vidiyalayam Lane in the heart of east port town. Cremation is to take place in Trincomalee Hindu Cemetery Saturday evening, family sources said. more..

LTTE arrest spouses seeking their husbands

Nov 5 (SLA) Two spouses who entered un-cleared areas of KODUVAMADU, VALAICHCHENAI on 04 November 2004 in search of their missing husbands have been detained by LTTE, information received from civilians confirmed. more..

EPDP office comes under grenade attack

Nov 5 (SLA) EPDP political office at CHENKALADY came under hand grenade attack at about 6.00 p.m. on Thursday. A suspected LTTE man on a private bus bound for ERAVUR from VANDARAMOOLAI has hurled the hand grenade at the EPDP office while the EPDP supporter RAVI was inside it, more..

Teenager goes missing from home

Nov 5 (SLA) A thirteen-year old boy from the general area of UDUPPIDY has reportedly gone missing after he left his house on 01 November 2004. The boy, RANJITH KUMAR of THUVALI Street, UDUPPIDY living with his parents generally returns home if he did not stay overnight with some of their relatives in the area, away from home. more..

There is no Muslim fundamentalism in Sri Lanka - Muslim leaders

Nov 5 (MG) In the backdrop of the clashes in Kathankudi which saw certain reports linking the incidents to Muslim extremist elements in the East, Muslim politicians yesterday ruled out the existence of any Islamic fundamentalist groups in the East. more..

Through Lanka tea plantations by train

Nov 5 (BT) The 300km train journey in 11 hours – maybe the slowest in Asia – more than makes up for its pace in scenery as you pass through 46 tunnels, bridges and viaducts, wondering about one of the great achievements of British railway engineering in Sri Lanka, writes georg alexander. more..

Resumption of Talks: Is it so crucial?

Nov 5 (PIS) Many who are interested in and a few who analysed and talked about the peace process seem to think that the immediate resumption of peace talks between the LTTE and the Government is the most essential next step to reactivate the currently stalled peace process. more..

India will respond to calls for strengthening democratic pluralism

Nov 5 (AT) The question whether India will like to have a ‘helpful, positive’ role in the Lanka peace process, “opportunities to strengthen the institutions of democratic pluralism whenever we are called upon to do so’ was answered in a manner of speaking by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. more..

There is an 'Oslo Declaration'- GL

Nov 5 (SLBC) Prof. G.L. Peiris, National List UNP MP told a media conference in Colombo that both he and LTTE Theoretician Anton Balasingham were the signatories to the Federal System of Government, the highlight of the second document prepared by the Norwegian Government, more..

Sonia Gandhi calls on President

Nov 5 (PSL) Chairperson of the ruling Congress led United Progressive Alliance Shrimathi Sonia Gandhi called on President Chandrika Kumaratunga last evening. The two leaders recalled the warm and friendly ties the Bandaranaikes and the Nehru-Gandhi families have had over several years. more..

Rupee ends flat, halts 7-day slide

Nov 5 (Reuters) The Sri Lanka rupee ended flat on Friday, halting seven days of consecutive declines but still at all time lows, as dollar sales by some banks offset importer demand for the currency to settle trade bills, dealers said. more..

Norway to `explore ways to move forward peace process'

Nov 5 (Hindu) The Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister, Jan Petersen, is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on a three-day visit next week "to explore" from the Government and the LTTE "possible ways" to take forward peace process and "to hear" from the two sides if they "wish to move toward" resumption of talks, more..

Indo-Lanka relations now at the highest point ever – President

Nov 5 (PRIU) “Indo-Lanka relations are now at the highest point ever,” President Chandrika Kumaratunga said briefing the Sri Lankan media personnel in Delhi at the end of the first day of her 5- day working visit. more..

Restoration of Kandy Lake begins

Nov 5 (DN) "Ours is a blessed land in which everything grows everywhere. The Kandy City could be easily developed for tourism and it will not take much effort with the natural beauty it has been gifted with and the beautiful mountains skirting it," Minister of Finance Dr. Sarath Amunugama said. more..

It is back to square one in Sri Lanka

Nov 5 (IANS) Finally, after more than two and a half years of the Norway-sponsored peace parleys, more and more Sri Lankans are ready to believe that the ethnic conflict can resume again. more..

Sri Lanka raises security amid wave of killings

Nov 5 (Reuters) Sri Lanka police are reinforcing checkpoints in Colombo with 1,000 more officers, doubling numbers in response to a wave of killings of army and police informants and opponents of Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said on Friday. more..

Norway says Sri Lanka peace hopes dim, offers exit

Nov 5 (AFP) Peace broker Norway said it would ask Sri Lanka's feuding parties if they wanted to resume talks as Tamil Tiger rebels warned foreign aid donors not to interfere in the faltering peace process. more..

Top Tiger returns home amid fresh bid to salvage peace bid

Nov 6 (AFP) The London-based chief negotiator of the Tamil Tiger rebels is slated to return home ahead of Norway's planned fresh bid to salvage the island's stumbling peace process, official sources said. more..

Trying hard to wipe "go to Sri Lanka for boys" image

Nov 6 (LBO) Last month a 40-year-old, wealthy planter was put away for 48 years for repeatedly raping his own children. “This is the highest jail sentence awarded in the world against child sexual abuse,” says Maureen Seneviratne, Chairperson, Protecting Environment and Children Everywhere (PEACE). more..

Eppawala Phosphate mines could finally be tapped

Nov 6 (LBO) The Eppawala Phosphate mines could finally be tapped, with a proposal to commercially produce soluble phosphate due later in November. Lanka Phosphate Ltd., Chief Dr. C P Udawatte says the plan is to set up an annual 300,000 MT capacity plant to produce Eppawala Super Phosphate (ESP) more..

President congratulates Bush on re-election

Nov 6 (Xinhua) President Kumaratunga has sent a congratulatory message to US President George W. Bush on his re-election, the government said in a press release. "The government and people of Sri Lankan join me in extending to you our warmest congratulations on your historic re-election asthe president of the United States of America," more..

Japan Urges End To 'Inhuman' Killings

Nov 6 (Bernama) The Japanese government has urged an end to "inhuman" killings and reiterated the need for early resumption of peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). more..

UPF demands compensation for Bindunuweva victims

Nov 6 (TN) Senior member of Upcountry People front (UPF) and Uva provincial council member A.Arvindakumar in a letter to President Chandrika Kumaratunga, demanded urgent and speedy action to provide compensation to the families of those who were massacred in the Bindunuweva transit camp and to the victims of the 1983 ethnic riots and violence, more..

Construction work of the UVA - Wellassa University begins

Nov 6 (Rupavahini) The construction work of the UVA - Wellassa University will begin on Thursday the 11th. A sum of one billion rupees will be spent for the project. A ceremony to launch the construction work of the university will be held in Badulla under the patronage of President Chandrika Kumaratunge. more..

Fake Fishing

Nov 6 (LBO) Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) have got stronger but counterfeits are pouring into Sri Lanka because rights holders don’t take action, say the experts. “Our Intellectual Property laws are on par with those of developed countries, but people are not interested,” said Dr. Harsha Cabral, more..

LTTE pettifogging Oslo Declaration, reflects unsettled stand on Peace by negotiation

Nov 6 (AT) On the eve of Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen’s visit to Sri Lanka, diplomatic circles in Colombo expressed total disgust with the continuous intransigency and belligerence of Tamil militant leadership. more..

Chandrika sees hope in the peace process, promises extremely flexible approach

Nov 6 (AT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has voiced optimism that the on-going peace process would help resolve the ethnic issue in Sri Lanka. Speaking at the Second “Hindustan Times Leadership Summit” here on Friday, she said her government would be ‘extremely flexible’ on its part to find a lasting solution to the vexed question. more..

Indian business leaders meet Chandrika; discuss investment proposals

Nov 6 (AT) Some 18 Captains of Indian Industry and trade met President Chandrika Kumaratunga here on the sidelines of the Hindustan Times Leadership summit and disused with her the opportunities for new investment opportunities. more..

Chandrika’s clarion call for Unity in Diversity - Keeping South Asia Together

Nov 6 (AT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga in her address in New Delhi made a clarion call for the unity and friendly ties amongst the countries and people in the South Asian Nation and emphasised on unity in diversity. more..

Lankan Muslim sect attacked for spreading 'Hindu' ideas

Nov 6 (HT) Life in the Muslim stronghold of Katthankudy in eastern Sri Lanka was brought to a standstill for five days recently as the orthodox Jamiat- ul-Ulema indulged in violent protests against a "Sufi" group, which was allegedly spreading "Hindu" ideas. more..