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Tamil rebels hold president responsible for delay in resuming peace talks

Sep 20 (Xinhua) Tamil Tiger rebels on Sunday accused President Kumaratunga of being responsible for the delay in resuming stalled peace talks with them. In a statement issued by the peace secretariat of the LTTE, the rebels said that Kumaratunga did not translate her intention into action after her coalition government came to power more..

Popular radio network says plot to jam news

Sep 20 (TN) The management of Asian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the parent company of five popular radio stations in Sri Lanka Monday expressed concern over reports in local print and electronic media about an alleged request by the Ministry of Internal Security to jam news broadcasts on all the radio channels of the network. more..

LTTE once again hoists its flags

Sep 20 (SLA) LTTE cadres during a ceremony at KALAIMAGAL Sports Club ground in VAVUNIYA on 15 September 2004 hoisted the LTTE flag in contravention of the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). more..

Civilian with LTTE ID and items arrested

Sep 20 (SLA) Troops on duty in the general area of PARAPPANKANDAL, about 17 km. south east of MANNAR town, have arrested a civilian taking some items from un-cleared areas to cleared areas on 19 September 2004 around 7.15 p.m. more..

More Indian trawlers sighted

Sep 20 (SLA) Naval troops on duty in the general area north of URUNMALAI had observed the presence of about 50-60 Indian trawlers poaching in Sri Lankan waters, early morning on 19 September 2004.

New laws are to be introduced to flush out illicit arms

Sep 20 (SLBC) Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake says he will submit a cabinet paper shortly on introducing legislation that would enable the government to flush out illicit weapons. Mr. Wickremanayake said that according to estimates there were around 35 thousand such weapons throughout the country.

National committee to prepare a national stratergy for science and technolgy development

Sep 20 (SLBC) A national committee has been set up to prepare a national strategy to harness science and technology for development. Local scientists as well as the public and private sectors will be involved in this initiative. more..

Sri Lanka lost the game against England in mind

Sep 20 (TOO) ANDREW Flintoff is having the time of his life and everything is falling in place for him. His progress from an overweight, over-rated cricketer to one who can single-handedly change the complexion of the game, has been phenomenal to say the least. more..

Panel to look into Prima subsidy

Sep 20 (TP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has appointed a high-powered committee headed by Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar to resolve the Prima wheat flour subsidy issue. The other members of the committee are Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama and Commerce Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. more..

Rubber firm eyes fresh markets

Sep 20 (TP) The DSI group, one of the main drivers of the rubber products’ industry in Sri Lanka, is planning to set up factories in Asia and parts of Africa as it expands its horizon from a home-spun manufacturing unit. more..

Tax amnesty bill to be debated

Sep 20 (TP) Parliament is scheduled to debate this week the bill withdrawing a controversial amnesty offered by the UNF government to defaulters and non-declarants amidst reports that the new laws will permit fresh investigations on 50,000 persons who claimed the amnesty. more..

Poor get priority in foreign jobs

Sep 20 (TP) Sri Lankans who come from poor families and are beneficiaries of the Samurdhi programme — the local dole — will be given preference in foreign employment opportunities, the Foreign Employment Bureau said. more..

Raviraj blasts Colombo media, TNA to block road in bid to pressurize govt

Sep 20 (ANN) The TNA plans to block the only overland route to the Jaffna peninsula, at Muhamalai, as part of a stepped up protest campaign to pressurise the government to allow civilians to resettle in High Security Zones (HSZs). more..

Jaffna war exhibition unites artists

Sep 20 (BBC) From a distance, it looks like the drinks aisle of a supermarket - 500 plastic bottles that once contained Coca Cola or lemonade, stacked neatly on shelves in Jaffna's Public Library. more..

Volunteer escaped Sri Lanka violence

Sep 20 (TS) Robert Koil narrowly avoided being burnt alive, escaped murderous mobs and spent years fleeing hatred in his homeland. But only two years after finding a new home in Canada in 1992, he lost the person he hoped to share it with: his wife. more..

POTA: Vaiko for retrospective effect

Sep 20 (SUN) Repeal of POTA should have retrospective effect. Only then, it would give the desired results and all cases foisted against politicians could be withdrawn, MDMK general secretary Vaiko told reporters here today. He, however, said the decision to repeal the Act should be welcomed. more..

Canadian Ambassador meets Thamilchelvan

Sep 20 (TN) Ambassador of Canada in Colombo, Valerie Raymond met with Head of the LTTE Political Wing, S.P.Thamilchelvan in the LTTE Peace Secretariat building in Kilinochchi today, sources from Vanni said. more..

JVP vow to campaign for reforms

Sep 20 (Gulf) The Marxist coalition partner in the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has vowed to campaign for reforms while remaining within the government and set new standards including a simple lifestyle for politicians. more..

Sri Lanka begins to attract Indian tourists, investors

Sep 20 (HT) For over two decades, to an average Indian, Sri Lanka was nothing but a land of war, bomb blasts and assassinations. Travel to this pear-shaped island, where every prospect pleases the eye, was undertaken only if it was absolutely necessary. Needless to say, investors did not touch it with a ten foot pole. more..

LTTE replaces Batticaloa Commander in shake-up

Sep 20 (HT) In a move significant in both military and political terms, the LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran last week removed Col Ramesh from the post of Special Commander of Batticaloa and Amparai and appointed the veteran warrior Col Banu in his place. more..

Govt. says 'no' to LTTE swap call

Sep 20 (PIS) Defence Secretary Cyril Herath yesterday said it was impossible to meet the LTTE's demand to free ten of its cadres for the release of the two home guards abducted by the LTTE. He, however, noted that he is yet to receive a formal letter from the LTTE on this matter. more..

LTTE expects Mahanayake's intervention for lasting peace

Sep 20 (DN) LTTE's Political Wing leader S. P. Tamilchelvam has said the LTTE expects the intervention of the Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter to obtain a dignified and lasting peace to Sri Lanka. more..

Protestors place body outside embassy of peace broker

Sep 20 (AFP) Hundreds of Sri Lankan protestors carried the body of a slain political activist to the Norwegian embassy in a noisy protest against Norway's role in brokering peace with Tamil Tiger rebels, witnesses said. more..

Govt employees are to be given land free for house building

Sep 21 (Rupavahini) The government decides to provide plots of land free to around 750 thousand public sector employees to build their houses at the sometime finance minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said that they would be provided easy credit to build the houses. more..

President Kumaratunge will address the U.N. general assembly today

Sep 21 (Rupavahini) The 59th sessions of the UN general assembly opens in New York tomorrow. Already several world leaders have gathered in New York. Our special correspondent Saman Kumara Ramawickrama is at the United Nations to report on the event. more..

US Signals Sri Lanka on Religious Issue

Sep 21 (AT) We have just had a wake-up call but we are still snoring. On September 15, Secretary of State Colin Powell announced the release of the US State Department’s Report on International Religious Freedoms 2004. more..

“Hereafter, if LTTE kills any EPDP members, we will cremate them in front of the Norwegian Embassy” - EPDP

Sep 21 (AT) Hundreds of EPDP supporters carrying the Coffin of their slain member Thambithurai Sivakumaran, protested in front of the Norwegian Embassy in Colombo yesterday demanding Norwegian peace facilitator to declare their proposed action to put an end to the killing of political opponents by the LTTE. more..

Separatism must be defeated -Weerawanse

Sep 21 (LT) Whatever façade it takes, separatism should be defeated says Mr. Wimal Weerawanse, Parliamentary Member of the JVP. He made this observation making an address in a ceremony on the theme “Cultural heritage of the Muslim Society.” more..

Muslim need not have talks with tigers - Athaulla

Sep 21 (LT) In finding a solution for the National question the Muslim community should discuss only with the Government and it is not necessary to have any discussion with the tiger organization says Mr. A.L.M.Athaulla, leader of National Muslim Congress. more..

National Literature & Arts Festival begins

Sep 21 (LT) The National Literature & Arts Festival on the theme “Eyes for the nation” directed by the Ministry of Cultural affairs and National Heritage begins today. The festival commenced today evening at Viharamahadevi Park more..

Last week's electricity tariff hike takes the sector regulator by surprise

Sep 21 (LBO) Electricity tariffs were jacked up by about seven percent last week, taking not just consumers, but ironically, the sector regulator, by surprise. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) says it was not consulted on the increase. more..

Discussion on IDPs issue held in Jaffna

Sep 21 (TN) A one-day discussion organized by the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) on the problems of the internally displaced people was held on Monday in the auditorium of Jaffna district secretariat under the National Protection and Durable Solution for Internally Displaced Persons Project. more..

Provincial Tamil Language Day festival held in Trincomalee

Sep 21 (TN) Northeast Tamil Language Day competition at provincial level was held Sunday morning and the winners were awarded with certificates in the evening at the Provincial Tamil Language Day Festival the same day evening at Trincomalee St.Mary's College Theresian auditorium. more..

Milking the price of onions

Sep 21 (NW) The Consumer Affairs Authoritys permission has been sought by companies importing Anchor, Red Cow, Ratthi, Lakspray, Nespray, Maliban and Kerrygold milk powder and Laugfs Gas to increase the prices of their products. more..

No more tours for Sri Lankans

Sep 21 (NW) A German group which arranged for a so-called Sri Lankan handball team to visit Germany -- where they promptly disappeared -- said Monday it would suspend similar overseas tours for the islands athletes. more..

The International Day of Peace - Message by President

Sep 21 (AT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga in her world peace day message for 2004 states that She now has reason to be more confident than ever before and believes we are at the threshold of transforming our little country into a peaceful nation where all communities can live in peace and harmony. more..

Dr. PC Alexander bares it all on the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987

Sep 21 (AT) Velupillai Prabhakaran, the chief of the now banned LTTE was bent upon subverting the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord of 1987 right from day one, according to Dr. P.C. Alexander, former Principal Secretary to Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. more..

US Signals Sri Lanka on Religious Issue

Sep 21 (AT) We have just had a wake-up call but we are still snoring. On September 15, Secretary of State Colin Powell announced the release of the US State Department’s Report on International Religious Freedoms 2004. more..

Deputy Agro Minister returns from Italy with plans up his sleeve

Sep 21 (LBO) Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Land and Irrigation, Bimal Ratnayake returned from an Italian tour with much money under his arms and many plans up his sleeve. Italy is where the World Food Programme (WFP), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) are based. more..

Ceylinco joint venture could make electric car in Sri Lanka

Sep 21 (LBO) Ceylinco Consolidated signed up with India’s Maini Group, to explore the option of building an electric car for the local market. Initially however, Ceylinco will launch Maini’s Reva electric car here to establish a “pollution free” car culture in the island. more..

Shifting Focus

Sep 21 (LBO) Sri Lankan apparel industry should not fret over the absence of a free trade pact with the US, but focus on its core capabilities to survive when the gloves come off textile quotas next year, US Ambassador said. more..

Art competition spotlights suffering of displaced children

Sep 21 (TN) Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) held an art competition among the displaced children living in welfare centres in the Northeast Province and in Puttalam district to highlight the difficulties war affected children face. more..

Sit-on fast at TRINCOMALEE cripples normalcy

Sep 21 (SLA) The sit-on fast in TRINCOMALEE demanding the release of two LTTE-detained Home Guards gathered momentum on Tuesday (21) after transport came to a standstill and normalcy disrupted with the closure of shops and business ventures. more..

LTTE men resume its bunker work

Sep 21 (SLA) Four civil-clad LTTE men have resumed construction of a bunker, ahead of the LTTE Forward Defence Line at NAGARKOVIL at about 10.00 a.m. on 20 September 2004. Five more LTTE cadres atop an LTTE turret who were observing the FDL of the Security Forces were also sighted by troops on duty at their FDL at the same time. more..

School children compelled to attend LTTE event

Sep 21 (SLA) All students and the principal at KODIKAMAM Maha Vidyalaya were compelled to attend an LTTE organized commemorative event held in the general area of KODIKAMAM on 20 September 2004 around 11.10 a.m. About 150 uniform-clad school children and their principal were made to participate in the proceedings.

LTTE flag hoisting continues

Sep 21 (SLA) Despite repeated requests made by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, the LTTE went on hoisting its flags at ANAIPANTHY and MEESALAI in JAFFNA areas on 20 September 2004 around 9.30 a.m. The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission was kept informed of this flag hoisting.

New IGP to assume office

Sep 21 (TN) Inspector Chandra Fernando will assume duties as the 29th new Inspector General of Police (IGP) before 30 September if his nomination to the IGP post is approved by the Constitutional Council, security sources in Colombo said. more..

“Peace through dialogue, not through war”- President at Asia Society

Sep 21 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga assured yesterday that the Sri Lankan government will continue to pursue a lasting solution to the country’s ethnic conflict only through dialogue and not through war. more..

“Third World needs equal opportunities” –President Kumaratunga

Sep 21 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga said yesterday that the developing world needs equal opportunity for trade and access to global market more than financial assistance in their fight against hunger and poverty. more..

“We are at the threshold of transforming our little country into a peaceful nation” – President

Sep 21 (PSL) “I believe we are at the threshold of transforming our little country into a peaceful nation where all communities can live in peace and harmony,” President Kumaratunga said in her message to mark the International Day of Peace which falls today. more..