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Pakistan and Sri Lanka agree to boost cooperation

Oct 18 (DT) Pakistan and Sri Lanka agreed to increase mutual cooperation in economy and education in the first foreign secretary bilateral level talks that concluded in Colombo on Saturday. more..

I'll get the record back, says Murali

Oct 18 (TOI) Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan sent a congratulatory fax to Shane Warne after the Aussie leggie broke his Test record tally of 532 on Friday. "I will speak to him later," said the Lankan off-spinner from Kandy. Warne claimed Irfan Pathan as his 533rd victim in Chennai. more..

SRI LANKA: Clothing jobs threatened

Oct 18 (GL) Sri Lanka's clothing industry, which directly employs 340,000 workers and indirectly employs another million, faces a “sudden collapse” when the Multi-Fibre Agreement (MFA) expires next year, according to Kalani Subasinghe, a staff member of the Sri Lankan Oxfam office. more..

Samurdhi keen to tie dole to self-help projects

Oct 18 (LBO) Condemning the way traditional subsidies are doled out to the poor, the Freedom Alliance Government is gearing to launch a fresh poverty reduction programme later this week. more..

Tamils, LTTE, MPs lose patience on peace process -Sampanthan

Oct 18 (TN) "Tamils, LTTE and we (parliamentarians) have started losing patience on the current peace efforts with the Norwegian facilitation because of the inability of the Government of Sri Lanka in coming to terms on the basis of resuming peace talks with the LTTE due to internal rift among its constituents," said Mr.R.Sampanthan, more..

CTB is to be reestablished

Oct 18 (SLBC) CTB is to be reestablished Transport Minister Felix Perera has decided to re-establish the Central Transport Board (CTB) to upgrade the loss making state bus sector. more..

President will launch two major programmes on poverty alleviation

Oct 18 (SLBC) President will launch two major programmes on poverty alleviation Gemi Pubuduwa and Jana Pubuduwa aimed at alleviating poverty will be launched on Friday the 22nd October 2004. more..

All are keen on peace talks and request LTTE to be responsive

Oct 18 (SLBC) All are keen on peace talks and request LTTE to be responsive The call by the Most Ven. Thibbotuvawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala the Mahanayake of the Malwatte chapter on the UNP and the TNA has accelerated the process towards peace. more..

Stocks at new closing high on earnings hopes

Oct 18 (Reuters) Stocks climbed to a record closing high for the fourth day in a row on Monday, helped by hopes for better company earnings, brokers said. The key Colombo all-share index ended up 0.43 percent, or 6.44 points, at 1,507.36. more..

Tigers treated us badly- Two home guards

Oct 18 (LT) Tigers treated us badly during the two month Tiger custody and they had fettered us on our legs with chains, said the home guards released recently. Chandana Piyasiri of Gomarankadawala who was released from 67 day Tiger custody said that they were not given enough food. more..

Butterfly carnival, a thumping success

Oct 18 (Rupavahini) Large crowds visited the celebrating childhood cultural and education exhibition organized by the ministry of information on the second day today. Today was the Sri Lanka broadcasting corporation day of the exhibition, which is being held at the premises in Colombo. more..

Three main roads in each and every Pradeshiya Sabha area in the island

Oct 18 (Rupavahini) The ministry of highways has made arrangements to reconstruct three main roads in each and every Pradeshiya Sabha area in the island under the government's road development initiative. This was disclosed by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse when he paid an observation visit to Kithulgama in Kegalle recently. more..

Released home guards speak to President

Oct 18 (PSL) The two home guards that were captured and held for a month were released by the LTTE, their captors yesterday evening. At the request of President Kumaratunga her Secretary Mr. W.J.S. Karunaratne, Minister Maithripala Sirisena and Law and Order Ministry Secretary Tilak Ranaviraja were at Sampur in Eastern Sri Lanka to receive the captives. more..

Home truths for Sri Lankan film

Oct 18 (BBC) Sri Lankan cinema is highly acclaimed abroad - its films have won dozens of awards at international festivals. Film makers tackle gritty subjects, including family relationships, abortion and the ongoing conflict between the military and Tamil Tiger rebels in the north. more..

SEP campaigns for Sri Lankan meetings of US presidential candidate

Oct 18 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka is conducting a vigorous campaign to build two important public meetings that are to be addressed by Bill Van Auken, the 2004 presidential candidate for the SEP’s sister party in the United States. more..

Youth found shot dead on roadside

Oct 18 (SLA) On information received from civilians, Security Forces recovered a dead body of a youth with gunshot injuries from the general area of IRIDIYAPURAM, 2 km. West of BATTICALOA town today morning. The victim’s legs were chained and tied together at the time of recovery. more..

Troops observed LTTE training

Oct 18 (SLA) Troops in the general area of NAGARKOVIL on 17 October 2004 morning have observed, LTTE carders conducting training along the coastal belt. A group of around 10 – 15 LTTE carders were seen engaging in live firing exercises with heavy and light machine guns at the time. more..

More Sri Lankan refugees return from India

Oct 18 (SLA) Naval troops on duty have found twenty-seven Sri Lankan refugees dropped in general sea area of URUMALAI by an Indian trawler on 17 October 2004. It was revealed that each refugee had paid Indian Rs. 2500/- to the Indian trawler for the journey. more..

Sri Lankan resort offers guests a back-to-nature experience

Oct 18 (CNA) Sri Lanka's Elephant Corridor is a 200-acre tourist resort that offers guests a unique back-to-nature experience. Located near the country's famous heritage site, the Sigiriya Rock Fort, the resort is also a place where animals roam freely. more..

55 SLFP members get ministership

Oct 18 (TP) With the recent elevation of four more MPs to the rank of deputy minister in the cabinet, the total number of SLFP ministers and deputies has gone up to 55. Of the 58 SLFP MPs elected and appointed on the National List, only three remain as ordinary MPs. more..

ID card scheme gathers pace

Oct 18 (TP) The Department for Registration of Persons (DRP) is expected to install 150 new computer terminals and deploy 15 additional staff to initiate the 2.5 million National Identity Card (NIC) issuing programme due to start on December 1. more..

Work on new harbour soon

Oct 18 (TP) Work on the Hambantota harbour in southern Sri Lanka will begin within two weeks with Chinese government participation, Chairman, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Dileep Wijesundera said. Hambantota is a natural harbour with a depth that can easily take in any large ship a few metres from the coastline. more..

Shadow cabinet plan shelved

Oct 18 (TP) The main opposition United National Party (UNP) has abandoned a controversial plan to name a shadow cabinet with shadow deputies. Sunday newspapers said the leadership announced the plan at a recent meeting of its parliamentary group but the majority didn’t like it. more..

Steps to curb increasing Palm Oil imports

Oct 18 (Bernama) Plantation Ministry is planning to impose a tax on all palm oil products in the forthcoming budget in an effort to curb increasing palm oil imports. The step was aimed at improving the country's coconut industry which has been severely affected by palm oil imports. more..

Path of prudence

Oct 18 (PIS) The LTTE has reportedly indicated their willingness to resume talks on the basis of both the ISGA proposals and the government's counter proposals. Although there are also reports to the contrary, we choose to be optimistic and believe that the LTTE has taken the path of prudence. more..

India-Lanka defence pact to be ready in a few weeks

Oct 18 (HT) The much-awaited Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) between India and Sri Lanka is to be finalised "within a few weeks" according to official sources in Colombo. Three joint secretaries from the Indian Ministries of Defence and External Affairs are in Colombo to open discussions with their Sri Lankan counterparts more..

Govt for talks only if LTTE adheres to Oslo charter

Oct 18 (HT) The Sri Lankan government has indicated it will not commence talks with the LTTE unless the latter publicly reiterates its commitment to the Oslo Statement of 2002, which had said that it would explore a solution within a federal and united Sri Lanka. more..

Sethu project will revive Jaffna’s ancient maritime glory: Historian

Oct 18 (HT) Contrary to the alarmist view held by most Sri Lankans about the impact of India's Sethusamudram project on their island country, a renowned Sri Lankan Tamil historian believes that it will only bring immense benefits to the island, and revive Jaffna's glorious past as a maritime trading power. more..

President has special discussion with Asgiriya, Malwatte Prelates

Oct 18 (DN) On the invitation of President Kumaratunga, the Malwatte Chapter Mahanayaka Most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayaka Thera and the Asgiriya Chapter Maha Nayaka Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha Mahanayaka Thera met the President more..

Tigers reject Sri Lanka's new plan to end peace deadlock

Oct 18 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels have rejected Sri Lanka's latest proposals to revive stalled peace talks and played down prospects of resuming negotiations next month, a report said. The rebel LTTE said Monday they would open talks only on the basis of a self-rule plan unveiled by them in October last year seeking an "ISGA" in embattled areas. more..

'Government tried to gain political mileage’

Oct 18 (BBC) The United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in Trincomalee tried to gain political mileage from the home guard release, their relatives allege. Home guards Sarath Bandara and Chandana Piyasiri were released on bail by the LTTE on Saturday. more..

Tree planting day events held in NorthEast

Oct 19 (TN) As a followup to International Environmental Day held earlier this year, Tree planting day events were held in Kilinochchi, Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Mannar Friday, sources said. more..

IGP visits Jaffna

Oct 19 (TN) IGP Mr.Chandra Fernando paid his first official visit Monday to Jaffna after he assumed his new position. "More police personnel fluent in Tamil language would be appointed to police stations in Jaffna district," he told officers-in-charge local police stations more..

LTTE delegation meets Belgian, EU Officials

Oct 19 (TN) Liberation Tigers delegation lead by Head of Political Wing, S.P.Thamilchelvan, met with Officials of Foreign Affairs Section of the Belgian Government and of the European Union in two separate meetings Monday, LTTE sources from Brussels said. more..

Jaffna Court orders inquiry into habeas corpus application

Oct 19 (TN) Jaffna High Court Judge Mr.K.P.S.Varatharajah Monday referred the Habeas Corpus application filed by Mr.Kanapathipillai Velupillai seeking the production of his son Mr.Velupillai Uthayakumar who was reported disappeared after the arrest by Sri Lanka Army soldiers during 1996 period more..

Journalist Nimalarajan to be remembered

Oct 19 (TN) Jaffna Nimalarajan Foundation (JNF) is to hold a one- hour demonstration in Jaffna bus stand Tuesday in connection with the fourth death anniversary of Jaffna journalist Mylvaganam Nimalarajan who was shot dead on October 19th, 2000 in his house more..

Talks should start immediately- UNP

Oct 19 (TN) Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, former Minister and UNP spokesman said during a Media Conference held at the Opposition Leader's Office Sunday, that there is no need for any counter-proposals to the LTTE's Interim Self-Govering Authority (ISGA) proposals to start discussions with the LTTE, sources said. more..

Germany supports Poverty Research Symposium in Colombo

Oct 19 (AT) The 5th Annual Symposium on Poverty Research in Sri Lanka will be held in Colombo from 19 to 21 October, 2004 at the BMICH, supported by the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany (BMZ), through the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and Konrad-Adenauer Foundation. more..

UNP condemns Sunday's grenade attack on Swarnavahini

Oct 19 (LBO) UNP condemned the grenade attack on the independent Swarnavahini television station, and called for an inquiry to find the culprits. “We strongly condemn the attack on Swarnavahini, which had been impartially reporting what is happening in the country,” UNP’s Tissa Attanayake said. more..

Sri Lanka agrees to EU demand to open up its bilateral air service deal with France

Oct 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka has agreed to tweak terms of its bilateral Air Service Agreement with France, to allow other EU carriers from its ‘common market’ to fly in here. The European Union has been trying to implement what it calls its ‘open aviation area’ for its 25 member states. more..

A national initiative seeks to help dairy farmers overcome the problems faced by them

Oct 19 (Rupavahini) The ministry of agriculture and livestock resources is launching a new project to bring small scale dairy farmers throughout the island into the national development process. It will be implemented covering 14 districts of the country. more..

Mr. Thilak Karunaratne betrayed - venerable Athuraliye Rathana Thera

Oct 19 (Rupavahini) The constitution of the Jathika Hela Urumaya is being amended. The acting general secretary of the party the venerable Kotapola Amarakiththi Thera said that the exercise is aimed at overcoming the crises the party faced at present. more..

Monks split over monks’ and laity’s roles

Oct 19 (BBC) The constitution of the all monk parliamentary party Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) need to be modified as the current constitution was created hurriedly just before the last general elections, party’s new secretary said. more..

TNA takes LTTE proposals to the East

Oct 19 (BBC) Tamil parliamentarian M K Sivajilingam said that the LTTE is left with no other option than declaring the Interim Self Government Authority (ISGA) unilaterally if the Sri Lankan government keeps on postponing the recommencement of peace negotiations. more..

In defence of Karuna

Oct 19 (AT) was surprised to read an anonymous critique of Karuna’s recent political platform and statements in the “Asia Tribune” (October 18). To my mind, Karuna’s recent statements contain at their core, a powerfully penetrating message: Prabhakaran can secure neither Tamil Eelam nor peace. more..

Sri Lankan cops looking for Malaysians involved in scam

Oct 19 (TS) Police here have deployed a special team to trace 15 Malaysians who are allegedly involved in a forged credit card scam in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka CID officials disclosed this before Colombo Fort Magistrate and Additional District Judge Sarath C. Karunaratne more..

India's most wanted bandit killed in shootout

Oct 19 (Reuters) Police have shot dead India's most wanted bandit Koose Muniswamy Veerappan, accused of chopping up many of the more than 100 people he killed, officials said on Tuesday. Veerappan, who operated from southern jungles and was believed to have ties with Tamil militants that officials said extended to Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, more..

Thamilchelvan meets MEPs in Brussels

Oct 19 (TN) LTTE delegation led by Head of Political Wing, S.P. Thamilchelvan met with Mr. Robert Evans, Labour Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for London, and other MEP’s Monday at the European Parliament building, LTTE sources from Brussels said. more..

Water Board to support tree planting

Oct 19 (SLBC) National Water Supply and Drainage Board has begun to establish nurseries to grow tree saplings required to protect water source areas, which come under its jurisdiction. The projects have begun in Kandy, Anuradhapura and Hambantota districts yesterday on the National Tree Planting day.

ISGA critical to peace- Elilan

Oct 19 (TN) "If the Government does not accept our committed stand to find a negotiated political resolution to the Tamil national question on the basis of our Interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) proposals then war will be inevitable. We are prepared to face that prospect," said Mr.Elilan, more..