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Colombo begins wooing LTTE again

May 1 (Hindu) Seemingly undeterred by the peace impasse, the Sri Lankan Government today put on a confident face and wanted the LTTE to return to the negotiating table. It was a day marked by efforts aimed at wooing the Tigers, but without yielding. more..

UK envoy on fact finding tour in Trincomalee

May 1 (TN) The British High Commissioner Mr. Stephen Evans is on a three-day visit to Trincomalee district. He is to meet the political head of the LTTE in Trincomalee Mr.S.Tilak on Thursday at Sampoor in the LTTE held Muttur east, south of Trincomalee district, sources said. more..

Camp relocation done with army’s advice — GL

May 1 (Island) Government spokesman and chief negotiator Minister G. L. Peiris yesterday said the relocation of army camps in Jaffna had been done with the advice of the army and in a manner that would not be detrimental to national security. more..

Japan to send envoy to Sri Lanka to have rebels join talks

May 1 (Kyodo) Japan will send an envoy to Sri Lanka to ask a rebel group to take part in a conference in Tokyo in June to discuss the reconstruction of the country, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. more..

Ratwatte security tightened - IGP

May 1 (TN) The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr.T.E.Anandarajah, Wednesday informed the Justice Ministry that the security of the former Deputy Defence Minister General Ratwatte has been strengthened following the court instruction, police said. more..

Soaring High

May 1 (LBO) The Emirates Group has declared a 74 per cent increase in net profits to US$ 285.7 mn (Dhs1.05 bn) for the financial year ending March 31, 2003, driven by the growing confidence of its customers in the airline and travel-related group of companies. more..

Lanka's gem and jewelry exports increases by 26.26pc

May 1 (IRNA) Sri Lanka's total exports in the gems and jewelry sector recorded an increase of 26.26 percent during the first quarter of this year compared to the corresponding period of 2002, said P Piyadasa, director general, National Gem and Jewelry Authority. more..

Dead body of youth found

May 1 (SLA) Troops on routine patrol had found a dead body in the general area of KADJUWATTA BEACH, about 45 km. northwest of BATTICALOA on 30 April 2003 around 11.00 a.m. Preliminary investigations revealed that the deceased is about 25-30 years of age. more..

Dead body with hands and legs tied found

May 1 (SLA) The dead body of a civilian with his hands and legs tied has been found by the Police personnel from the general area of NAYAPATTUMUNAI, about 24 km. northeast of AMPARA town on 29 April 2003 morning. more..

High powered meeting on Mutur riots

May 1 (PSL) Civil leaders from the Eastern town of Mutur and Muslim Political leaders today called on the President to discuss the recent ethnic conflict and unrest in their area. Mutur in the Trincomalee District was the scene of anti Muslim riots earlier this month where five people were killed, extensive damage caused to property and 2,500 rendered homeless. more..

Rain threatens to wash out Lanka-NZ Test

May 1 (AP) Persistent showers are threatening the leadup to Sri Lanka's second and final Test match against New Zealand which starts on Saturday in the Sri Lankan city of Kandy. The arrival of the two teams from Colombo on Tuesday was met with heavy rain that washed out the practice session. more..

LTTE protests over exclusion from US aid conference

May 1 (wsws) The LTTE last week pulled out of the latest round of peace talks with the Sri Lankan government after the Bush administration prevented its representatives from attending an aid conference in Washington on April 14. more..

May Day messages

May 1 (DN) Mahinda Rajapaksa, Leader of the Opposition in a May Day message states: Today we commemorate the historic May Day which originated from a great struggle of the heroic working people in Chicago, in the USA against the injustices they faced. more..

President blasts PM for police mess

May 1 (DN) President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday warned Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe she would be compelled to intervene if the government continued to put political pressure on the police and allowed the service to degenerate further. more..

JVP seeks CBK's intervention on HSZ

May 1 (IL) The JVP yesterday called on President Chandrika Kumaratunga to immediately intervene and take urgent measures to halt moves by the government to shrink the Jaffna High Security Zone. more..

Ashraff Congress wants more Muslims in security forces

May 1 (IL) The SLMC rebel group the Ashraff Congress (AC) yesterday called upon the government to recruit an adequate number of Muslim youth to the regular security forces so that incidents such as what happened in Muttur and Thoppur could be avoided. more..

Japanese to invest in housing and industries

May 1 (IL) A Japanese mission in Sri Lanka is on a fact finding tour with regard to investing in housing and industries here. They visited the Ministry of Western Region Development and had discussions with Minister M. H. Mohamed with regard to possible nvestments. more..

Reduce Army - TNA

May 1 (IL) TNA parliamary group leader R. Sampanthan said it was the birthright of the internally displaced people to resettle in their own lands and there was no need for them to seek permission from the government or the Army to return to their own lands. more..

Sri Lanka warned to focus for second test

May 1 (AP) Sri Lanka's cricket authorities are blaming an overabundance of limited-overs cricket for causing blunders during a draw against New Zealand in the test series opener in Colombo that ended a winning sequence. more..

Balasingham says PM ignores 'key issues'

May 1 (Gulf) Tamil Tigers' chief peace negotiator Anton Balasingham has dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's response to the militant group's letter on the suspension of talks with the government. more..

Sri Lanka peace negotiators to visit India

May 1 (AFP) Sri Lanka's top peace brokers and backers are due to hold talks with Indian leaders on the island's stalled peace bid, officials have said. Norway's deputy foreign minister Vidar Helgesen, a key figure responsible for bringing Tamil Tiger rebels to the negotiating table in September, will be in Delhi at the weekend for official talks, more..

Repairs to Giant’s Tank after two decades’ neglect

May 1 (TN) Repair work on the long neglected Giant’s Tank (reservoir) in Mannar began Thursday under the World Bank North East Integrated Agricultural Project (NEIAP). The ancient reservoir feeds 160 minor irrigation tanks in mainland Mannar. The reservoir’s 10 sluice gates were opened Thursday to drain its waters for the repairs. more..

Tigers reject Jaffna troop offer

May 1 (BBC) Tamil Tiger rebels have warned the Sri Lankan Government that its latest plan for relocating a high security zone in rebel heartland is unacceptable. The rebels said the proposed new site in the northern Jaffna peninsula is too close to busy public areas and could provoke public protests. more..

LTTE ready to talk to Govt within Sri Lanka

May 1 (HT) The LTTE has said that it is ready to talk to the Sri Lankan government within Sri Lanka, and that the present boycott of the negotiating process applies only to talks in an international setting. more..

Tamil Tigers toughen stance on army camps

May 1 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels on Thursday rejected a government offer to relocate some of its troops in the Tamil heartland of Jaffna, deepening a standoff over stalled peace talks that could threaten an aid conference. more..

New HSZ location not compatible with CFA - Thamilchelvan

May 1 (TN) In a letter addressed to Mr. Austin Fernando, secretary to the Ministry of Defence in Sri Lanka, Mr. S.P. Thamilchelvan, head of the political section of the LTTE, expressed LTTE's dismay at SLA's new proposal to relocate the High Security Zone (HSZ) within Jaffna town. more..

Lankan, Norway representatives to brief India on peace bid

May 1 (PTI) Representatives from Sri Lanka, Norway and Japan will "brief" Indian leaders here tomorrow on the island-nation's peace process with LTTE, an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said today. more..

Sri Lanka look to change woeful Kandy record

May 2 (NZPA) New Zealand have taken more than a passing interest in Sri Lanka's ordinary cricket record at Kandy's Asgiriya Stadium as they shoot for a test series win. The home side's win-loss ratio in the mountain air of Sri Lanka's second-largest city is surprisingly poor, given their recent dominance at home, more..

Fulbright Fellowship a spiritual pilgrimage for Schirm

May 2 (UBR) During the first week David Schirm, professor of art, arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka, as a Fulbright Fellow in 1996, almost 60 people were killed and a political candidate assassinated—the work of suicide bombers. more..

Deadlock over de-escalation persists in Sri Lanka

May 2 (Hindu) The deadlock in the Sri Lankan peace process hardened today with the LTTE rejecting Colombo's latest Jaffna de-escalation offer as "incompatible" with the 14-month ceasefire agreement. more..

No anti-SARS measures at BIA, say passengers

May 2 (Island) While authorities say all possible steps are taken to prevent the deadly SARS virus from entering the country passengers coming through the Katunayake airport express surprise at the non-existence of precautionary measures. more..

‘Sri Lanka subjugated by US new imperialism’ – JVP

May 2 (TN) Opposition Thursday charged that UNF government was taking away workers’ rights under cover of the peace process. Opposition leader, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksha, addressing the PA May Day rally at Campbell Park in Colombo, said hard won rights of workers in Sri Lanka are being sacrificed to a ‘new-imperialism’. more..

Lorry with cement taken away

May 2 (SLA) A lorry with a consignment of 260 bags of cement has been taken away by force on 29 April 2003 by a group of LTTE cadres while it was in the general area of VANDARAMOOLAI, about 20 km northwest of BATTICALOA town, according to a complaint made at ERAVUR Police station by its driver. more..

Muslim firewood cutters beaten and threatened

May 2 (SLA) Two Muslim civilians, who went for firewood in the general area of VAKANERI, about 7 km west of VALACHCHENAI have been badly assaulted and threatened by two armed LTTE cadres on 30 April 2003. more..

Hand grenades lobbed at EPRLF office

May 2 (SLA) An unidentified person had lobbed two hand grenades at the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) office in the general area of TRINCOMALEE town on 30 April 2003 around 8.00 p.m. more..

Fishermen using gelignite arrested

May 2 (SLA) Six fishermen on two Fibre Glass Boats in the general sea area of MANNAR were apprehended by Naval troops on 01 May 2003 while these fishermen were engaged in using gelignite to get their catch in the sea at MANNAR-THALPADU area. more..

World Hindu Conference begins in Colombo today

May 2 (PSL) The second World Hindu Conference bearing the theme “Dharma and the Quest for Peace” began today at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka set for fresh cricket board elections

May 2 (CI) The Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) will hold elections after a government decision to end a two-year period of control by interim committees. The sports ministry confirmed on Wednesday that the BCCSL Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place in approximately one month more..

Stocks end down, retailers sell blue chips

May 2 (Reuters) Stocks ended lower on Friday on retail selling in blue chips as investors eyed developments in a stalled peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels. The key Colombo all-share index closed down 0.37 percent, or 3.08 points, at 821.27. more..

Sri Lanka aid unaffected by peace setbacks-W.Bank

May 2 (Reuters) The World Bank said on Friday its support for Sri Lanka was unaffected despite setbacks to the island's peace process. The bank has been chosen by donors to run a fund for reconstruction and resettlement of people displaced by the 20-year civil war. more..

Media men's role in peacetime laudable, says minister

May 2 (SLA) A seminar on "Media men's Role during ongoing Peace Process", organized by the Centre for the Study of Human Rights (CSHR), University of Colombo at BMICH this morning (28 April) was attended by a representative gathering of professionals, politicians, opinion-makers, military authorities and media personnel more..

Peace needed to attract investment - World Bank

May 2 (DJ) Donor funds and large private investment that are badly needed to resuscitate areas hit by Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict and propel the economy's growth will be curtailed unless the current impasse in a peace process is overcome, a senior World Bank official said Friday. more..

North East celebrates May Day

May 2 (TN) A four page joint statement declaring that a political solution should be found on the basis of a self-rule with self-determination to the Tamil national question was released at the combined May Day rally organized by LTTE, TNA, CTTU, and several civil organizations more..

PTA-ER detainee discharged

May 2 (TN) The East High Court Judge Mr.S.Paramarajah Wednesday discharged an accused who had been indicted in two cases one under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and another under Emergency Regulation (ER) when the prosecution withdrew the indictments on the instruction of the Attorney General, legal sources said. more..

Balasingham denies ‘irresponsible’ reports on Premier’s letter

May 2 (TN) The Liberation Tigers’ Chief Negotiator and Political Advisor, Mr. Anton Balasingham, Friday flatly denied press reports that he had dismissed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s response to the LTTE’s letter outlining its reasons for suspending Norwegian facilitated peace talks. more..

LTTE showing signs of becoming political entity - US State Dept

May 2 (DN) The LTTE's recent public statements give reason to hope that it intends to transform itself into a legitimate political entity, the US State Department said yesterday. more..

Pay rise within two weeks

May 2 (DM) The government promised a practical May Day gift to millions of workers yesterday saying that a substantial pay increase for public and private sector employees would be announced within two weeks. more..

Sri Lanka has a plan to stop Fleming's run flow, says Tillakaratne

May 2 (AP) The Sri Lankan bowlers have a plan to stop New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming's run-scoring spree, Hashan Tillakaratne said Friday. "We've got a game plan against Fleming, we'll see how it goes," said Tillakaratne on the eve of the second and last test of the series here. more..

Shell Sri Lanka may cut LPG prices on easing global costs

May 2 (DJ) Shell Gas Lanka Ltd. said Friday it may soon reduce the price of domestic liquefied petroleum gas, used as cooking gas, in line with easing global oil prices. "The government last week requested us to review prices, so we have agreed in principle to a reduction," more..

Apprehension grips northern Sri Lanka as Tamil Tiger rebels suspend peace talks

May 2 (AP) For more than 14 months, the guns have been silent in Sri Lanka's northern war zone after the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels signed a Norwegian-brokered cease-fire. more..