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Sri Lanka yet to identify truck driver taken hostage in Iraq

Oct 30 (AP) The foreign ministry said Friday it has not yet verified the identity of a reportedly Sri Lankan truck driver taken hostage by militants in Iraq. The ministry said in a statement that it has directed Sri Lankan embassies in Lebanon, Kuwait and Qatar to investigate and report on the incident. more..

Sri Lankan taken hostage in Iraq hangs for his life

Oct 30 (NW) Sri Lanka was yesterday drawn into the spine chilling hostage crisis in war-torn Iraq with reports that a Lankan truck driver had been abducted by an Iraqi group. more..

SB Dissanayake grounded

Oct 30 (NW) The Colombo Chief Magistrate yesterday issued an orderpreventing former ministers S.B Dissanayake, Amara Piyaseeli Ratnayake and five others from leaving the country while they faced charges in a case involving the alleged misuse of Samurdhi Development Funds. more..

Police chief asks people to keep a tab on his men

Oct 30 (NW) Police Chief Chandra Fernando has received information that both retired and serving police officers are allegedly involved in spate of criminal activity all over the country. more..

Conference on India’s policy proposal on peace process

Oct 30 (AT) The conference on “India’s Sri Lanka’s policy objectives, priorities and strategy in search for a solution” will be held today in New Delhi, at the Mangolia room, in the Habitat centre. More than 40 academics, political leaders, and speakers are expected to participate in the one day conference. more..

Japanese special envoy Akashi’s search to reconvene the peace talks continues

Oct 30 (AT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga emphasized the importance of resuming peace talks between the Government and the LTTE as soon as possible, when called on her on Friday evening at the President House in Colombo. more..

Danish police raided the office of LTTE’s front organization in Denmark

Oct 30 (AT) Police in Denmark recently raided the office a front organization of the Tamil rebel outfit - LTTE, which is called ”Thamilar Orungu Inaippu Onryam,” an organization to unite the Tamils and removed computers, floppy and CD diskettes, files, account books, and many other sensitive documents. more..

President head-on with JVP

Oct 30 (NW) President Chandrika Kumaratunga, angrily reacting to the recent JVP remarks on her and the Executive Presidency has lashed out at her main ally saying that if not for the SLFP, the JVP would not have the power it is enjoying today, informed sources said. more..

Demonstration against LTTE peacefully ends

Oct 30 (SLA) A peaceful demonstration had been organised by the “NEGENAHIRA UDANAYA”, a civil organization, near the mosque in MUTTUR town, about 13 km south of TRINCOMALEE on 29 October 2004 around 1.45 p.m. more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Oct 30 (SLA) One thousand three hundred and fourteen (1314) lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 22 October 2004 and 28 October 2004. more..

Oxfam launches Campaign to End violence against women

Oct 30 (TN) Oxfam sponsored District Campaign to End All Violence Against Women was launched in Trincomalee with an inaugural event held at Trincomalee St.Joseph's College auditorium Tuesday evening with Mr.Farid Hasan Ahmed, acting Country Programme Manager of the Oxfam (Great Britain), Sri Lanka as the chief guest, sources said. more..

Plantation workers face bleak future- UPF

Oct 30 (TN) "The Collective Agreement (CA) entered into between the Employers' Federation and the Joint Trade Union Committee does not provide plantation workers a wage increase that takes into account the increase in the Cost of Living (COL) index. Grim prospect of starvation is a realilty in Estate households," said S.Arulsamy, more..

'Will reconsider meetings if civilians are harassed' - Kausalyan

Oct 30 (TN) "We explained to the Sri Lankan armed forces about the fear among civilians caused by the drastic increase in searching and checkpoints. We are very carefully considering the progress of these meetings in relation to these developments. more..

JHU discusses peace process with all parties

Oct 30 (LT) Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera of JHU says he expects to discuss the North - East conflict with the President, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. more..

Howard Condemns Asylum 'Shambles'

Oct 30 (PA) Conservative leader Michael Howard today described the Government’s asylum policy as “a shambolic mess” that had to stop. Mr Howard was speaking after meeting a family of four from Sri Lanka who had fled from their home country after becoming caught up in the on-going conflict with the Tamil Tigers. more..

Pension Scheme for Overseas Sri Lankans

Oct 30 (AN) Sri Lanka is to introduce a pension scheme for its overseas workers, which will benefit 350,000 of the island’s citizens living in the Kingdom. Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) which looks after the island’s 1.5 million overseas workers is currently working out the modalities of the groundbreaking scheme. more..

Resistance to indian project

Oct 30 (TP) A local environmental group says it will go to the International Courts in the Hague to stall the launch of the proposed Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP) if the Sri Lankan government failed to react immediately to the situation. more..

Enjoy Sri Lankan culture in Tokyo

Oct 30 (DY) The Sri Lanka Festival will be held today from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Yoyogi Park in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, to introduce aspects of the island with which the Japanese may not be familiar. Highlights of the one-day festival include Sri Lankan cooking demonstrations, traditional dancing and music. Admission is free. more..

Sri Lanka stops rice import from Pakistan and India

Oct 30 (Jang) Sri Lanka has temporary stopped rice import from Pakistan and India, as the import of rice has resulted in a plunge in the commodity’s prices in the Colombo market by nearly 35 per cent. The ministry has already imported nearly 4000 metric tons of rice from Pakistan and India, more..

Solution to Tamil Issue should not affect Lanka's territorial unity, India

Oct 30 (AT) India has made it clear once again that the final solution to the Sri Lankan Tamil problem should not affect the territorial unity and constitutional cohesion of the Sri Lankan polity. more..

Wanni LTTE responsible for most political killings: Wimal

Oct 30 (AT) A forum of political parties and civil organizations against political killings and abductions was held yesterday at the BMICH with the participation of Tamil and Sinhala political and civil organizations. more..

Conference should consider India’s role, Dr. Subramanian Swamy

Oct 30 (AT) The one-day international conference on “India’s Sri Lanka Policy” got under way here Saturday with a call by Dr. Subramanian Swamy, the chief architect of the global meet, that the conference should focus, among other things, on a possible option for India to intervene at the invitation of the Sri Lankan government. more..

JVP in tough talk with Akashi

Oct 30 (PIS) The JVP yesterday told visiting Japanese peace envoy Yasushi Akashi, the LTTE should show its commitment in participating within a democratic framework, protecting Human Rights and accepting equality before the resumption of peace talks. more..

Colombo and Dhaka seek information on captives

Oct 30 (Gulf) The Sri Lankan government has sought information from its missions in the Middle East about a driver who has been taken hostage in Iraq, a spokesman for the ministry said yesterday. more..

Want to host meetings? Head to Emerald Isle

Oct 30 (NT) Sri Lanka is known for its breathtaking locales and lovely beaches. Tourists throng the island nation for holidays trips and usually have a whale of a time. Now, Lanka is fast gaining acceptance as an ideal venue for internationally renowned conferences, exhibitions and special events. more..

Jayasuriya leads rousing riposte

Oct 30 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya slammed a thrilling unbeaten 97 from 104 balls, to lead a rousing Sri Lankan fightback in the final session of the third day at Karachi. Earlier, Inzamam-ul-Haq's 20th Test century had given Pakistan a sizeable lead of 270 runs, but with Jayasuriya closing in on his second hundred of the series, Sri Lanka were clawing their way back into the match by the close. more..

Peace talks should begin soon, President tells Akashi

Oct 30 (DN) Visiting Japanese special peace envoy Yasushi Akashi called on President Chandrika Kumaratunga at the President's House yesterday evening. During the one and half hour discussion, President Kumaratunga emphasised the importance of early resumption of peace talks between the government and the LTTE, more..

Lankan Tamil party appeals to LTTE to return to talks

Oct 30 (PTI) A Tamil ally in the Sri Lankan government today attacked the LTTE for making the demand for Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) and asked it to immediately return to the negotiating table, saying any further delay in doing so would be a "betrayal" of Tamils more..

Sri Lanka's opposition rejects delaying election

Oct 30 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) said on Saturday that it would resort to people's power to fight against an alleged plan by the ruling party to postpone the next presidential election. more..

Three new ministers sworn in

Oct 30 (Xinhua) President Chandrika Kumaratunga Saturday swore in three new ministers in a bid to further strengthen the government's majority in Parliament. According to the President's Office, the three dissident members of the main Muslim party, SLMC,were sworn in as ministers of non-cabinet rank. more..

'India needs to adopt more pro-active Sri Lanka policy'

Oct 30 (PTI) India should make a shift from its "hands off" stance on Sri Lanka and adopt a more pro-active policy as relations are intrinsically linked to the Tamil issue, political leaders and foreign policy experts from the two countries suggested today. more..

HRCSL Commissioner visits Jaffna

Oct 31 (TN) Mr.S.Selvakumaran, a member of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) Saturday paid a visit to Jaffna and held talks with the political leadership of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Jaffna district. more..

LTTE delegation meets John Hume

Oct 31 (TN) “Learning to live with diversity and respect for each other is the cornerstone of a meaningful democracy," said Social Democratic and Labor Party (SDLP) Leader, former Member of EU Parliament and Nobel Laureate, Mr. John Hume, in a meeting with the S.P.Thamilchelvan, more..

Easing residency rules will affect Mannar born students, UGC told

Oct 31 (TN) The Organization of Parents/Guardians of School Children (OPGSC) of Mannar District Friday requested the Chairman of the UGC to implement the original residential requirement of five years to obtain university admission to safeguard the educational interests of students born and grew up in the district, more..

Dissident SLMC MPs sworn in as ministers

Oct 31 (TN) Mr.Najeeb Majeed, Mr.Rishard Badiudin and Mr.Ameer Ali, dissident parliamentarians of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Saturday afternoon were sworn in as Ministers without cabinet rank by President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge. more..

Govt prepares to increase the salaries of public servants by 9,500 rupees

Oct 31 (Rupavahini) The government focuses attention on the increasing of salaries of public servants by 9,500 rupees in three stages. Accordingly, the salary of public sector employees will be increased 3,000 rupees next year and another 3,000 rupees by the year 2006. more..

China beat Sri Lanka 30-16 to win Bowl title

Oct 31 (DT) China outplayed Sri Lanka 30-16 Saturday to win the Bowl competition at the 19th Asian Rugby Football Tournament. It was the first time that China had beaten Sri Lanka in an international rugby match. more..

Cry for Delhi role in Lanka

Oct 31 (TT) Several Eelam organisations today urged India to renew its “approach and intervention” in Sri Lanka’s ethnic Tamil problem by isolating the LTTE and its chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, the main accused in Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination. more..

Anthrax scare: Canada admits ‘unintended offence’

Oct 31 (AFP) Canada’s mission in Sri Lanka on Saturday said it might have caused “unintended offence” in dealing with an anthrax scare that led to the disrobing and dunking of three Buddhist monks. more..

Sheraton chef wins ‘Olympic’ medals

Oct 31 (TP) Upali Niyarepola, a Sri Lankan cheff at the Doha Sheraton has won gold and bronze medals in the “Olympics of the cooks” (“Olympiade der Koeche”) held in Erfurt, Germany recently. more..

Delhi declaration urged Terrorists should not be allowed to gain legitimacy in Sri Lanka

Oct 31 (AT) Delhi Declaration proclaimed a solution to the current problem of linguistic divide in Sri Lanka should not be so structured as to reward terrorism or permit any terrorist outfit on either side of the divide to gain in legitimacy or in access to authority of the state. more..

Tiger Jugglery and the Vanishing Oslo

Oct 31 (AT) So the Tiger did another somersault. Suddenly, according to the LTTE, there is no Oslo Declaration, no agreement on Federalism, no stepping back from Eelam. With the new Tiger volte face we are back, not to square one, but to several squares behind square one. more..

Don’t let the Tiger off the Oslo hook

Oct 31 (AT) Ever see a tiger wiggling? Well that’s what Anton Balasingham and SP Thamilchelvan are doing. They are trying to wiggle off the Oslo hook, and are being helped by – wait for it - the JVP! more..

Sri Lanka should take devolution seriously to isolate LTTE

Oct 31 (AT) Venerable Baddegama Samitha, 52, in appearance, does not portray a firebrand. But he has a long history of being in the forefront of mass agitation movements, escaping death, more than once, in the hands of right wing and ultra-left elements in Sri Lanka long before he entered parliament in early nineties to represent the deep south district of Galle. more..

Ranil sinking in his “Oslo Declaration”

Oct 31 (AT) The so-called “Oslo Declaration” was presented to the nation and the world as the final word of the two parties agreeing to a federal state. In his book War & Peace, Anton Balasingham has declared categorically that the LTTE did not agree to a federal state, abandoning their claim for a separate state. more..

It's Showtime

Oct 31 (LBO) Local hoteliers are injecting over US$ 150 mn to spruce up 10,000 unused hotel rooms, as the tourist industry kits up to greet a record 570,000 visitors this season, following 2½ years of ceasefire. more..

Diplomatic moves underway to release Sri Lankan hostage

Oct 31 (BBC) The government of Sri Lanka has confirmed the identity of hostage, Dinesh Dharmendra Rajaratnam (37) of Wattala a suburb of Colombo. An armed group in Iraq has claimed to have seized two truck drivers from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh who transported goods for US forces in Iraq across the Kuwait boarder. more..

Wimal Weerawansa's attack on President: Deputy Ministers, MPs express dismay

Oct 31 (SO) Convener of the Association of Deputy Ministers and Members of Parliament, Ports and Civil Aviation Deputy Minister Dilan Perera in a statement issued Friday expressed concern and dismay over a speech reportedly made by the Propaganda Secretary of the JVP Wimal Weerawansa, MP defaming the President. more..

LTTE website says Lanka has abandoned Tamil hostage in Iraq

Oct 31 (HT) The LTTE's Tamil website put out a story on Friday saying that the Sri Lankan government had "abandoned" the cause of Dinesh Rajaratnam, a Tamil truck driver taken hostage by Islamic militants in Iraq on Thursday. more..

LTTE killings: ‘enough is enough’ warning

Oct 31 (PIS) Since the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement in February 2002, the LTTE has either killed, attempted to kill or abducted more than 300 of its political opponents, members of the security forces, civilians and intelligence operatives. more..