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Minister Jeyeraj in USA

Oct 21 (NW) Trade Minister Jeyeraj Fernandopulle will leave on a tour to the United States on Friday to attend discussions for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries. The 4th Joint Council meeting will be part of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) to assess the feasibility of a FTA between Sri Lanka and the USA. more..

Entertaining Sri Lankan politics

Oct 21 (NW) The much-publicised tell-all media conference of JHU General Secretary Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera ended in an anti-climax when the Thera postponed his final announcement by two weeks. more..

President asks for explanation from JVP

Oct 21 (NW) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has asked for a written explanation from Agriculture Minister Anura Kumara Dissanayake within a week regarding the authenticity of the allegations he had made against Mahaweli Minister Maitripala Sirisena, the Presidential Secretariat said yesterday. more..

Constitution changes most likely

Oct 21 (NW) The Government is seeking to effect changes to the legal system by presenting the 18th Amendment to the Constitution in Parliament which enables the Appeal Courts to sit in the provinces and to increase the number of Appeal Court judges from 11 to 21. more..

Continue with free education: Union

Oct 21 (TP) Sri Lanka’s biggest university students’ union, the Inter University Students’ Federation, said it was launching an awareness campaign in 19 districts from October 20 to combat moves allegedly by the World Bank to reduce free education in Sri Lanka. more..

Bus strike hits commuters

Oct 21 (TP) Schoolchildren, office workers and the public experienced a lot of difficulties on Tuesday when private bus operators plying on route number 138, between Colombo and Maharagama (a suburb), launched a lightning strike. more..

Climatic change and Environmental hazards

Oct 21 (SLBC) The heavy rains have claimed its first lives in Colombo as three from the same family were killed at Kirullapona when a wall collapsed on them. Most of the road surfaces in Colombo have been damaged and the pedestrians are subjected to continuous spray of dirty water as the existing drainage system is of very poor quality. more..

Red Cross' humanitarian services spotlighted

Oct 21 (TN) The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) Tuesday launched its "Meet the Media" campaign in Trincomalee in collaboration with its district branch to brief media persons on the humanitarian services of Red Cross to victims of war and displacement and other natural disasters in the Trincomalee district Tuesday. more..

SLA issues Karuna Group leaflets in Batticaloa town

Oct 21 (TN) Sri Lanka army troops distributed leaflets condemning the Liberation Tigers and their leadership Wednesday night in Batticaloa town. The leaflets bear the name of the paramilitary led by renegade LTTE commander, Mr. Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan (Karuna). more..

Masked men flee leaving their bikes

Oct 21 (SLA) The troops on routine foot patrol in the general area of UYARAPULAM have taken four push bicycles in to custody on 20 October 2004 around 3.30 a.m. Seeing the arrival of troops, four unidentified persons with their faces covered with black masks have fled leaving those push bicycles at the location of the arrest.

Unidentified armed person kills civilian

Oct 21 (SLA) A civilian from the general area of AMBUVELIPURAM has been shot dead by two unidentified persons on 20 October 2004 around 8.00 p.m. The deceased, KRISNAPULLAI LOHANDAN had reportedly moved from BATTICALOA to TRINCOMALEE area and settled down at No 322, AMBUVELIPURAM, TRINCOMALEE some time back. more..

Confrontation between LTTE and another armed group claims Muslim’s life

Oct 21 (SLA) Five Muslim civilians who went to collect firewood on four bullock carts have been abducted by twenty unidentified LTTE cadres in the general area of VALACHCHENAI on 19 October 2004. more..

IGP Meets SF (J) Commander

Oct 21 (SLA) New Inspector General of Police (IGP), Chandra Fernando, met Major General Sunil Thennekoon, Commander Security Forces Jaffna [SF (J)], on Monday (18) during his first official visit to the Jaffna Peninsula after assuming the new office. more..

Balasingham helped Soosai to Escape

Oct 21 (UTPD) The leaving out of Sea tiger leader Soosai is arranged by Tamil Tiger theoretician Anton balasingham, reliable sources report. Sea Tiger leader of the Wanni Tigers, Thillayampalan Sivaneshan alias Soosai flew to Singapore for urgently needed overseas medical treatment, official reports said. more..

Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka thero postpones issuing a public statement

Oct 21 (LT) The general secretary of Jathika Hela Urumaya today asked the journalists to be patient until the 4th of November for the promised statement with revelations on the JHU issues. more..

Anti Tiger campaign to protest the visit of Tigers in Norway

Oct 21 (LT) The organization named ‘Liberal Democratic Tamils’ in Norway launched an anti Tiger campaign to protest the visit of Tigers in Norway. They exhibited the poster describing Wanni Tigers’ leader Prabhakaran as responsible for killings of: innocent children, politicians including India’s late PM Rajiv Gandhi and bomb blasts at Central Bank. more..

Horrifying discovery, medicine racket

Oct 21 (NW) A horrifying disclosure from the Kandy General Hospital yesterday is sending shock waves across the health sector. The expiry date of an expensive medicine sent by the Health Ministry supplies division to the Kandy hospital's Orthopaedic surgical unit had been found to be allegedly altered, sources said. more..

“We expect European Community to learn and sanity to prevail” – Tamilselvan

Oct 21 (AT) “European community as a whole is not on anyone side. We expect them to learn the truth. We want them to understand the ground reality. We believe that the truth would prevail. We expect sanity will prevail. We are fully committed to the peace process. more..

Lankan tourism to bank on high spending Indians

Oct 21 (HT) The Sri Lankan tourist industry will be banking on the arrival of an increasing number of high spending Indian and Chinese visitors from 2005 onwards, says the island's Minister of Tourism, Anura Bandaranaike. more..

Govt condemns murder of Tamil party's former MP

Oct 21 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan government condemned Wednesday the murder of a former parliament member (MP) of a Tamilpolitical party, saying the government would make every effort to bring those responsible to justice. more..

Pressing UPFA to start talks, our priority- UNP

Oct 21 (TN) "We are not pressuring the Government or its President that the ISGA must be granted to the North-East, nor do we impose our stand. Our party's stance is that the ISGA proposals should be used as the basis to start talks and that it is vital that talks start soon", more..

Sri Lanka set for new tourist arrival record in '04

Oct 21 (Reuters) Sri Lankan tourist arrivals are on track to hit a new record of more than 550,000 in 2004, the government said on Thursday, more than halfway toward a goal of making tourism the country's top foreign exchange earner. more..

Japanese envoy to visit Sri Lanka to push for peace talks

Oct 21 (SPA) A top Japanese peace envoy will push for fresh peace talks between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels during a visit next week, amid optimism that the deadlock could be broken, an official said Thursday. more..

Fernando and Herath help Sri Lanka claw back

Oct 21 (CI) Sri Lanka's bowlers, led by Rangana Herath and Dilhara Fernando, restricted Pakistan to 256 for 8 at close of play on the second day at Faisalabad. Most of Pakistan's top order got starts, but no-one made more than Yasir Hameed's 58. Both Fernando and Herath picked two wickets apiece. more..

Sri Lanka to spend LKR100 million on land to develop tourism

Oct 21 (DJ) The Sri Lanka Tourist Board said Thursday that it plans to spend LKR100 million to acquire 7,000 acres of land for the purpose of increasing the number of tourist accommodations throughout the country by the end of next year. more..

Malwatte Mahanayake will boycott politicians' functions if no unity

Oct 21 (DN) The Most Ven. Tibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thera said they would be compelled to boycott functions attended by politicians if the Mahanayake's repeated requests to all political parties to unite to find a lasting solution to the ethnic conflict were disregarded. more..

Tamil Tiger leader presses president over peace process

Oct 21 (AFP) The political leader of the Tamil separatist movement, S.P. Thamilselvan, called on President Chandrika Kumaratunga to make a "bold move" to get the peace talks back on track. "The president should make a bold move, without delay, in the right direction", more..

Is India again playing a role in Sri Lankan politics?

Oct 21 (IANS) An unexpected development has sparked speculation that India might be getting involved again in Sri Lanka's Tamil politics, for the first time since the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. more..

Sri Lanka scored 3.5 out of 10 on the international corruption perception index

Oct 21 (LBO) Oil companies fuel corruption in poor oil producing nations, says the international corruption watchdog, Transparency International(TI), calling on western governments to go public with transactions by oil companies. more..

Plantation unions expect end to wage talks by end October

Oct 21 (LBO) Estate Unions expect a settlement on worker wages by end October, as talks with the plantation companies progress amicably. Ceylon Workers Union (CWC) Vice President R. Yogarajan said that the numbers were still being thrashed out, with Wednesday’s meeting ending without resolve. more..

Govt. squabbling holds up Sri Lanka peace: opposition

Oct 21 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's main opposition party charged Thursday that internal squabbling between the main partners in the ruling coalition have held up peace process with the rebel Tamil Tigers. more..

Jaffna undergrads in murder case released on bail

Oct 22 (TN) Jaffna High Court Mr.K.P.S.Varatharajah Thursday ordered bail for Mr. Jeyabalasingham Thushikanth and Mr.Ratnasingham Thavaseelan, both undergrads of Jaffna University. They were among the eight suspects remanded in connection with the murder of Arunasalam Muththiah of Punnailaikadduwan on 9 September this year, more..

150 farmers honoured in Trincomalee

Oct 22 (TN) Northeast Provincial Department of Agriculture Thursday honoured 150 best farmers in the Trincomalee district at an event especially held at Divisional Agriculture Extension Office, which is located in Chelvanayakapuram settlement about three km off east port town. more..

Trincomalee Kalalayam holds annual festival

Oct 22 (TN) The fine arts institution, ‘Isai Nadana Kalalayam’ of Sri Muthucumaraswami Thevasthanam in Trincomalee held its annual 'Kalai Vilah' at the ‘Kalyana Mandapam’ of the Muthukumaraswami Temple recently. more..

All voluntary teachers serving in difficult areas are to get permanent appointments

Oct 22 (Rupavahini) Voluntary teachers who are serving in difficult areas are to be engaged in teacher service. The cabinet memorandum submitted by President Chandrika Kumaratunge for this purpose was approved yesterday. Accordingly, 2515 voluntary teachers will be engaged in teacher service shortly. more..

Govt decides to issue 15,000 national identity cards per day

Oct 22 (Rupavahini) The government has decided to issue 15,000 national identity cards per day under the programme of making the ID cards compulsory for elections. The cabinet memorandum submitted to seek financial and physical resources for this purpose was approved by the cabinet of ministers yesterday. more..

We are working with the LTTE - Govt

Oct 22 (BBC) Peace talks and rehabilitation should be seen as two separate issues says Sri Lankan President's spokesman Harim Peiris. Harim Pieris is visiting the United Kingdom on an invitation of the Foreign office. more..

Goal is Eelam - TamilEla Ikkiya Viduthalai Munnani

Oct 22 (AT) The newly formed TamilEela Ikkiya Viduthalai Munnani - TIVM (TamilEela United Liberation Front – TEULF) has said its goal remains a separate Tamil land or Tamil Eelam unless the Sri Lankan government comes out with a credible alternative, meeting all aspirations of the Tamil people. more..

Public doubts over judicial process in Sri Lanka - AHRC

Oct 22 (AT) Asian Human rights Commission, a human rights organization based in Hong Kong, has questioned the authority of the Sri Lanka Judicial Service Commission to reverse the order of a police Magistrate and suspend the judicial officer? more..

Sri Lanka is embarking on a US$ 7 mn tourism campaign

Oct 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka is embarking on a US$ 7 mn tourism campaign next year to boost the island's exotic image, the Tourist Board said Thursday. "We are going for a makeover to change our image from a war torn island," Director General, Sri Lanka Tourist Board, S Kalaiselvam told journalists. more..

Long arm-of the-law or wrong-arm-of-the law

Oct 22 (NW) Colombo Fort Magistrate Sarath C. Karunaratne remanded a policeman till October 29 for allegedly robbing two mobile phones each valued at Rs. 21,500/- from a businessman at Galle Face Green. more..

US Deputy Secretary to visit Colombo

Oct 22 (NW) US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage plans to make a four-nation tour of South Asia next month, visiting Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, senior State Department officials said yesterday. more..

Monk files a law-suit against Asgiri Maha Viharaya

Oct 22 (NW) A monk involved in a train accident in Rambukkana has filed a civil suit in the DC Colombo claiming Rs. 10 million from Sri Nahimi of Asgiri Maha Viharaya, Kandy cited SLRA and Attorney General as respondents. more..

JVP collides with the govt again

Oct 22 (NW) Several senior JVP members including Parliamentarians have criticized the UPFA government over its handling the issue relating to the abduction of two home guards. more..

Trincomalee Music, Dance School holds annual festival

Oct 22 (TN) The fine arts institution, ‘Isai Nadana Kalalayam’ of Sri Muthucumaraswami Thevasthanam in Trincomalee held its annual Cultural Festival at the Muthukumaraswami Temple, Wednesday. more..

Ex-LTTE cadres complain harassment by SLA soldiers

Oct 22 (TN) The Jaffna regional office of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has received several complaints of soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army harassing Tamil youths who have left the LTTE and have joined their parents and families. more..

Express CIO Summit in Colombo

Oct 22 (FE) The Indian Express Group, publishers of leading technology journals like Network Magazine and Express Computer, will host India’s largest CIO Summit-Technology Senate 2004 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from October 28-31. more..

Launching of "'Sanwardhana Sangramaya" a rapid development programme

Oct 22 (SLBC) President Chandrika Kumaratunga will launch the Government's new island wide development initiative 'Sanwardhana Sangramaya' in Anuradhapura today. All District and Divisional Secretaries are expected to implement Development projects in their respective areas by meeting the people and identifying their needs and requirements. more..

Inventing Impasse

Oct 22 (LBO) From automatic toilet flushing devices to automatic string hopper machines, Sri Lanka’s home made inventions are fascinating, but fall short when it comes to selling power. more..

Navy arrest three persons on suspicion

Oct 22 (SLA) Naval troops on a foot patrol in general area of URUMALAI have apprehended three Tamils, two males and one female, due to their suspicious behaviour on 20 October 2004 around 4.30 p.m. more..