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US tells Govt to speak with one voice

Apr 20 (SAMN) Visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina B. Rocca Tuesday urged the government "to speak with one voice on the peace process" and together with the LTTE speedily agree to a joint mechanism for tsunami relief. more..

India jumps the gun over canal project

Apr 20 (SAMN) The Indo-Sri Lanka committee appointed to investigate the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project has not reached a decision yet, but the Indian Shipping Minister T.R.Baalu has claimed Sri Lanka has no objection to the project, according to reports from New Delhi Tuesday. more..

JVP leaders to meet Rocca

Apr 20 (SAMN) Leaders of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) will meet Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina Rocca Wednesday. A JVP spokesman said the US Embassy in Sri Lanka has invited the party to send a delegation to meet Ms Rocca at 11 am today. more..

Court orders winding up of Mundogas Lanka -Lawyer

Apr 20 (DJ) A Sri Lankan court has ordered the winding up of Mundogas Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. following a request by Mundogas SA of Hong Kong, a lawyer for Mundogas SA said. Mundogas SA wants Mundogas Lanka wound up as it believes the liquefied petroleum gas retailer is unable to repay its debts and there is no prospect of restarting business, more..

Sri Lanka union urges government to nationalize Sathosa

Apr 20 (DJ) A Sri Lankan trade union is expected to hold protests across the island Wednesday to urge the government to take back full ownership of the Sathosa supermarket chain that is currently under private management, a union official said. more..

U.S. government asks Sri Lanka, Tamil Tiger rebels to resume peace talks

Apr 20 (AP) A senior U.S. envoy Tuesday urged Sri Lanka's government and Tamil Tiger rebels to resume peace talks and appealed to the guerillas to stop killing rivals and recruiting child soldiers. more..

CID to quiz Prisons Chief

Apr 20 (DN) The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) conducting investigations into the escape of a remand prisoner from the Welikada remand prison will question Commissioner General of Prisons Rumy Marzook today. more..

Solheim expresses hope for agreement on Joint Mechanism

Apr 20 (TN) Mr. Erik Solheim, the Norwegian Special Peace Envoy, said Wednesday that the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers are close to enter into an agreement on the long awaited Joint Mechanism to distribute international aid for post-tsunami rebuilding effort in the NorthEast. more..

Sri Lankan film at Cannes

Apr 20 (PRIU) Sri Lankan filmmaker Vimukthi Jayasundara’s “Sulanga Enu Pinisa” (Forsaken Land) is just the second Sri Lankan film to compete at the world renowned Cannes International Film Festival in France, May 11-22, 2005. The first was veteran filmmaker Lester James Peries’ “Rekhawa” in 1957. more..

Reading reaching out to Sri Lanka

Apr 20 (EP) LOOK at these faces. These are the devastated people of a Sri Lankan region Reading will reach out to help in the wake of the Boxing Day tsunami so they can rebuild their shattered lives. In the first partnership of its kind between a British town and a Sri Lankan community, we will be helping to build new homes, schools and the coming months and years. more..

Anandasangaree says Tamils are not prepared to negotiate peace by subjugating to the LTTE

Apr 20 (LM) Tamil United Liberation Front Leader, V. Anandasangaree says that the Tamils in Sri Lanka are not prepared to negotiate peace by subjugating to the LTTE whose track record has no parallel to any other similar organization in the world. more..

US will engage the LTTE if they renounce violence

Apr 20 (LM) Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca says that the United States will be happy to engage the LTTE if the LTTE renounces violence in word and deed. She said that the American position regarding the LTTE has not changed and the US consider the organization as a terrorist organization unless they renounce violence, more..

Hakeem says Muslims Kept out of Joint Mechanism

Apr 20 (LM) SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem told US Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca that Muslims in Sri Lanka have been kept out of the discussions on the joint mechanism from the beginning though the Muslim community is the most affected in the north and the east. more..

Muslims shut out from Joint Mechanism SLMC leader tells Solhiem

Apr 20 (LM) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader and Member of Parliament Rauff Hakeem told visiting Norwegian Special Peace Envoy Eric Solhiem that Muslims were not being consulted over the joint mechanism for tsunami relief and other issues concerning the peace process. more..

Key member of Sri Lanka's ruling coalition threatens to quit over aid to rebel areas

Apr 20 (AP) A key partner in Sri Lanka's ruling coalition has threatened to quit the government if it forms a joint agency with Tamil Tiger rebels to oversee the distribution of foreign tsunami aid to guerrilla areas, a newspaper said Wednesday. more..

Scandal looming in promised $425 million for Sir Lanka tsunami victims that never arrived?

Apr 20 (CFP) Even as the association of Canadian Maurice Strong with "Koreagate Man" Tungsun Park was coming under world limelight, Sri Lankans were starting to demand answers about where the $425 million promised by Canada to tsunami victims is. more..

Christina Rocca meets JVP delegation

Apr 21 (TN) The JVP, Wednesday told Ms Christina Rocca, the visiting US Assistant Secretary of State, that JVP is opposed to the joint mechanism which was proposed to enable the Government and the LTTE to disburse funds from foreign governments and international aid agencies to assist tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction programme in the northeast, more..

Where the truce promise rings hollow

Apr 21 (TN) The cease fire agreement between the Government and the Liberation Tigers was greeted eagerly by the people of Batticaloa because it held out the hope that their daily lives would be spared of the tensions, fears, anxieties, stress and trauma which they suffered for two long decades of war. more..

Car bomb explodes in S.Lanka capital, 3 hurt

Apr 21 (Reuters) A car bomb exploded outside a hotel in dontown Colombo late on Wednesday evening, injuring three people inlcuding a police inspector, police said. It was unclear who was responsible for the attack. more..

Rocca rocks the tigers

Apr 21 (LT) Ms. Christina Rocca, the USA Assistant State Secretary for South Asian Region met Mr. Somawahsha Amarasinghe, leader of the JVP and Mr. Vijithe Herath, Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the JVP and Minister of Cultural Affairs and National Heritages. more..

S.B's back pain, a pain in the back of the UNP

Apr 21 (AT) The pint-sized, tough guy of UNP politics, the jailed S. B. Dissanayaka, has been taking it easy in the luxury Merchant Ward for the last two months on the excuse of a pain in the vertebrae. more..

The Lion’s share for the Tiger

Apr 21 (AT) A joint mechanism on tsunami relief and reconstruction, involving the LTTE, is both desirable and defensible, and may indeed be regarded as indispensable. However, if the uncontradicted BBC story is to be believed, the joint mechanism that seems to be taking shape, more..

Rampant Intervention of Police and politician in the illegal gem mining

Apr 21 (AT) Sri Lanka’s only gem related law enforcement agency – the National Gem and Jewellery Authority {NGJA} said that it has wide powers to arrest any kind of illegal gem miners even a law enforcement officer who involves in illegal mining. more..

‘Doing best to save Lankans in Saudi’

Apr 21 (BBC) Prime Minister says the government is ‘doing its best’ to secure the release of Sri Lankans in Saudi death row. ‘I have already spoken to the foreign ministry and the Saudi Embassy’ Mahinda Rajapakse told BBC Sadeshaya (BBC Sinhala). more..

No question of quitting - JVP

Apr 21 (BBC) Coalition partner JVP says that the UPFA government has not agreed to the proposed Joint Tsunami Mechanism. Cultural Affairs Minister Vijitha Hearth told BBC Sandesaya that there is no need for a special mechanism whilst there is already one which is sufficient to accommodate the people in the north and east. more..

LTTE is still on U.S. terror list, says Rocca

Apr 21 (Hindu) The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Christina Rocca, on Tuesday expressed optimism over the recent developments in the region. "I expect that over the coming four years, the United States will be devoting increasing attention to this region," more..

Tremendous progress in reconstruction efforts - Rocca

Apr 21 (RW) There has been "tremendous progress" in post-tsunami reconstruction work in Sri Lanka, US Assistant Secretary of State Christina B. Rocca observed yesterday. Rocca said the US would continue to cooperate closely with the Sri lankan Government in the reconstruction process. more..

Hot air over proposed tourism law

Apr 21 (LNP) An ambitious plan to prop up Lanka's tottering tourist industry is in trouble with Tourist Board Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara expressing serious concern over, what he had termed as, the proposed new tourism law. more..

Sri Lankan Tsunami accord will be signed in weeks, Solheim says

Apr 21 (Bloomberg) Norway's peace envoy to Sri Lanka said an accord creating a tsunami aid program operated by the government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam will be signed in a few weeks. more..

Asthma and heart disease rise in Sri Lanka

Apr 21 (PTI) Bad eating habits, genetic disorders and pollution is tipped to make cardiovascular and asthma the next biggest ailment to hit Sri Lanka, an Indian drug maker said here today. Sri Lanka's 173 million dollar pharmaceutical market is presently dominated by antiviral drugs, more..

Magistrate slams Bribery Commission

Apr 21 (SAMN) Colombo's Chief Magistrate Wednesday reprimanded the Bribery Commission saying it was acting in a biased manner with regard to suspects produced in court on bribery charges. more..

15,468 houses for tsunami victims

Apr 21 (SAMN) The number of temporary housing units constructed to relocate tsunami affected families now staying in welfare centres in the eight districts has totalled 15,468 by April 15 according to the statistics gathered by the head office of the Transitional Accommodation Project (TAP) more..

WPC to be dissolved?

Apr 21 (SAMN) The Western Provincial Council (WPC) crisis triggered by the UNP sponsored no-faith motion against the Chief Minister could result in the council's dissolution by President Chandrika Kumaratunga if a compromise between the Chief Minister and the JVP fails, more..

51 kasippu dens raided: Rs. 1m worth illicit liquor recovered

Apr 21 (LNP) Walana-Panadura Anti Vice Squad had raided 51 kasippu dens during the past three days around the country, which the local police stations countrywide had failed to detect for a long time and recovered illicit liquor worth around Rs. one million. more..

JVP suggests DDCs handle tsunami aid

Apr 21 (LNP) While reiterating its strong opposition to the ongoing efforts towards establishing a joint government-LTTE mechanism to handle tsunami reconstruction and rehabilitation work in the northern and eastern provinces, the JVP has suggested that the existing District Development Councils (DDCs) could be used to run the operation. more..

State's Rocca urges Sri Lanka to embrace reforms, end insurgency

Apr 21 (WF) Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina Rocca has urged Sri Lanka to continue to embrace economic reforms and to take advantage of the Millennium Challenge opportunity to enhance growth and reduce poverty. more..

Rocca assures TNA delegation US support for Joint Mechanism

Apr 21 (TN) Ms Christina Rocca, US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Wednesday assured the TNA parliamentary delegation that the US Government would support the establishment of the Joint Mechanism in disbursing foreign aid to tsunami-hit coastal areas in the northeast province, more..

Tigers say Vattamadu attack report psy ops

Apr 21 (TN) Sri Lanka army claimed Thursday that five Liberation Tigers were killed and seven wounded when a paramilitary attacked their positions in Vattamadu on the island's southeast coast. more..

Karuna Group cadre shot dead in Valaichenai

Apr 21 (TN) A youth believed to be a Karuna Group cadre was killed by an unidentified gunman Thursday around 11.30 a.m. in Valaichenai, 32 kilometres north of Batticaloa. He was gunned down on the Valaichenai Kalkudah road, according Police. more..

Teenager went for firewood injured

Apr 21 (TN) A sixteen-year old boy, suspected to have received gunfire injuries in the general un-cleared area of SAMPOOR, has been admitted to hospital by an LTTE cadre on 20 April 2005. The victim, NAKULAN (16) has reportedly gone into the jungles in SAMPOOR area more..

LTTE factional clashes continue

Apr 21 (TN) Two LTTE rival factions have reportedly clashed with each other Thursday (21) morning at WEMBADIKULAM in the general un-cleared area of KANCHIKUDICHCHIARU, information received by troops confirmed. more..

Police get LTTE flag removed

Apr 21 (TN) Troops were compelled to get the LTTE flag removed from a ceremony held in the general area of MEERAVODAI in VALAICHCHENAI on 20 April 2005 around 6.00 p.m. TNA Parliamentarian for BATTICALOA district Mr. JAYANANDA MOORTHI has also attended the LTTE ceremony with some other LTTE men. more..

Fleeing abductee shot and killed by armed LTTE men

Apr 21 (TN) LTTE gunmen shot and killed a twenty-eight year old man near the Church close to the VALAICHCHENAI Jetty this morning around 11.47 a.m. when he tried to flee from LTTE detention while he was being abducted by two motorbike-riding armed LTTE men. more..

US military chiefs receive updates from Jaffna Commander

Apr 21 (SLA) Admiral William J. Fallon of the US Army with six more Senior Officers was in Jaffna on a goodwill visit on the eve of Sinhala & Hindu New Year. Major General S. D Tennekoon, Commander Security Forces Headquarters, Jaffna after giving a warm welcome to the visiting US delegates briefed them on the current security situation more..

Discount travel deals and aid work draw in tourists that are filling up city hotels

Apr 21 (LBO) Discount travel deals and relief work are drawing in tourist numbers, as Indians and Europeans flocked into Sri Lanka and filled up city hotels in March. Arrivals in March this year jumped 31 percent on last year to 50,418 tourists, with half the growth in arrivals due to an influx of Indian traffic, more..

May Day Resolutions

Apr 21 (LBO) Government has promised lending agencies to turn a new leaf after May Day, kicking off the process with a hike in fuel prices, LBO learns. A top economics team headed by Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama attended the IMF and World Bank spring meetings this month and also had talks with World Bank's Vice President in Charge of South Asia, Praful Patel. more..

‘Guide us’ Sri Lanka President writes to new Pontiff

Apr 21 (AT) “Your Holiness has assumed duties at a significant moment of history, when there is a great yearning for peace and harmony in the world. I am confident Your Holiness will guide us with wisdom towards a better world,” wrote Sri Lanka’s President. more..

Bribery commission is ready to investigate all complaints received from the public

Apr 21 (SLBC) The Bribery Commission says all complaints directed to commission will be thoroughly investigated. Director General of the Commission Piyasena Ranasinghe says the commission is now swiftly functioning since all vacancies of the commission have been filled. more..

Sri Lanka: poverty breeds extremism in east

Apr 21 (Dawn) Batticaloa district, which has become a killing field defying the cease fire agreement, has one more intrigue added to its list of deathly confusions. The emergence of what is seen by some quarters as 'Islamic extremism'. more..

Sri Lanka official might be named UN next chief

Apr 21 (AN) Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Kadirgamar expressed confidence here Thursday a Sri Lankan official would be named to replace UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who would complete his term in 2007. more..