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WJM Vs Ratnasiri : Battle for speaker post

Apr 10 (SN) Veteran politicians, Messrs W J M Lokubandara of the UNP and Ratnasiri Wickremanayake of the UPFA have come forward to become the third citizen of the country, speaker of the parliament. Mr W J M Lokubandara was the Leader of the House and former Minister of Buddha Sasana & Justice. more..

Wanted: government backbenchers

Apr 10 (SN) Calculations indicate that there are vacancies for government backbenchers due to lack of government parliamentarians. Every prime minister’s burden in the past was lack of ministerial posts to fulfil the aspiration of MPs. Sri Lanka’s 13th Prime Minister, Mr Rajapakse has a different problem. more..

Wimal will be the JVP’s presidential candidate

Apr 10 (SN) The JVP’s moves indicate that Mr Wimal Weerawanse will be the next presidential candidate of the JVP. The JVP will contest the presidential election in 2006 according to political analysts. Before the parliamentary election, political analysts predicted that the JVP would be in the UPFA maximally for two years. more..

Anandasangaree responds to JHU : No. Thanks

Apr 10 (SN) Mr V Anandasangaree has responded to the offer of a parliamentary seat by Jatika Hela Urumaya. Mr Anandasangaree has refused the offer appreciating Hela Urumaya’s good intentions. He has expressed confidence in Hela Urumaya for its support for democratic rights of Tamils in North and East. more..

Rajapakse looks forward to better ties with Kingdom

Apr 10 (AN) Following in the footsteps of the world’s first woman Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the new Sri Lankan Premier Mahinda Rajapakse hopes to step up relations with Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Arab world. more..

Parties urged to stem violence

Apr 10 (TP) The Presidential National Advisory Council for Prevention of Crime has urged leaders and activists of political parties to take immediate steps to ensure that the good work done in conducting a free and fair general election is not marred by post-election violence, Internal Security Ministry Secretary M N Junaid said. more..

The geo-politics of South Asia and Sri Lanka’s changing fortunes

Apr 10 (Sangam) Two dramatic developments in Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict recently are the USA’s direct involvement in it and India’s renewed interest in the affairs of the island nation. more..

Sinister strategms and odd entanglemnts

Apr 10 (Sangam) The situation in Sri Lanka seems so tenuous, that it is very likely that a vote of no confidence on a single major issue raised can lead to a toppling of the present government in the not too distant future. The present struggle is not between the Sinhalese and the LTTE. more..

President likely to take defence, finance portfolios

Apr 10 (AP) In a bid to secure more power, President was set to name herself Defence Minister and Finance Minister at her new Cabinet's swearing-in today, an official said. President Chandrika Kumaratunga's coalition emerged as the strongest presence in last week's parliamentary elections, more..

Sri Lanka aggressively woos Indian tourists

Apr 10 (IANS) As Sri Lanka targets to receive a million tourists, it's aggressively wooing Indians. Visitors from India have become the largest arrivals in this enchanting island after Britons, even soaring past the Germans. Sri Lanka is slowly but surely moving away from its over-dependence on the European market. more..

Sri Lanka to prevent post election violence

Apr 10 (Xinhua) President Chandrika Kumaratunga said that stern action would be taken against those who engage in politically motivated acts of violence after the April parliamentary election in which her freedom alliance emergedvictorious, more..

Rural backlash in Sri Lankan elections

Apr 10 (wsws) In the December 2001 general election in Sri Lanka, the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)-led coalition suffered a sharp defeat losing 6 percent of its vote and winning in just one of the country’s 22 electoral districts. more..

My priority is peace talks - Mano Ganeshan

Apr 10 (DN) Western Peoples Front Leader Mano Ganeshan, who was elected to Parliament at the recent General Election on the UNP ticket, yesterday said he had conveyed messages from President Chandrika Kumaratunga and former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to the LTTE political leadership three days ago. more..

Sri Lanka to take up Tiger fighting with Norway

Apr 10 (AFP) Sri Lanka's new government will take up with peace broker Norway an outbreak of fighting between Tamil Tiger factions as a violation of a truce, the defence ministry said. more..

Textile exports via Sri Lanka seen zooming

Apr 10 (Rediff) The Indian textile industry has tremendous potential to increase its exports to the United States and the European Union markets through Sri Lanka post-2005. The lifting of trade quota is expected to lead to a higher offtake of apparel from Sri Lanka. more..

Red Cross investigates fighting in Sri Lanka

Apr 10 (ABC) The International Committee of the Red Cross says it's investigating reports that hundreds of civilians have fled fierce fighting between two rival Tamil Tiger factions in Sri Lanka. Ten people are reported to have been killed in the fighting. more..

Sri Lanka East on edge after rebel factions clash

Apr 10 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's east remained volatile on Saturday with unconfirmed reports of fresh clashes between rival Tamil Tiger factions, a day after the worst fighting since a two-year truce halted the island's civil war. more..

Karuna pulls back fighters

Apr 10 (AP) A renegade rebel commander has pulled back thousands of fighters to defend his base in eastern Sri Lanka after the main rebel faction attacked him with heavy mortar and gunfire, a military official and witnesses said Saturday. more..

Karuna pulls back fighters

Apr 10 (AP) A displaced Tamil boy eats bread provided by relief agencies in Mankeni School in Eastern Sri Lanka Saturday, April 10, 2004. A renegade Tamil rebel commander has pulled thousands of fighters back to defend his fortified base more..

A large scale illegal foreign currency smuggling racket has been unearthed

Apr 10 (Rupavahini) Details of a large scale illegal foreign currency export racket have been revealed. A millioner business who was involved in the foreign currency racket has been taken in to custody by customs officials at the Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake early this morning. more..

Two Sri Lankan youths held in Rameswaram

Apr 10 (PTI) Two Sri Lankan youths, who fled the island nation not willing to be trapped in the clash between two LTTE groups, were arrested by the Coastal Police in Rameswaram Island under Foreigners Act on Saturday, police said. more..

JVP boycotts UPFA cabinet swearing in ceremony

Apr 11 (TN) The first cabinet of the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government was sworn in Saturday evening in the President’s House with no live coverage by the State electronic media. more..

Sri Lankan new cabinet sworn in

Apr 11 (Xinhua) Thirty one out of the total 35 new cabinet members of Sri Lanka were sworn in by President Chandrika Kumaratunga at the President's House on Saturday, the president's office said. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse has been given the additional portfolio of highways. more..

LTTE forces move into Vakarai

Apr 11 (TN) LTTE took control of Vakarai, the main village south of the Verugal River, Saturday afternoon. There was no resistance from the Karuna Group when troops of the LTTE’s Jeyanthan Brigade entered the village, 62 kilometres north of Batticaloa, more..

President keeps three posts in new cabinet

Apr 11 (Reuters) President kept three portfolios including defence when the island's cabinet was named on Saturday, concentrating her power after saying she would also take charge of restarting a peace bid with Tamil rebels. more..

Sri Lanka army to restore law, order amid Tiger war

Apr 11 (PTI) Sri Lankan security forces have been ordered to restore law and order in the island's east amid a fighting between Tamil Tiger factions even as the new Government said it will take up with peace broker Norway, the issue of the internecine war because it was "violation" of an Oslo-arranged truce. more..

Friendless Karuna faces a daunting task

Apr 11 (HT) The odds are stacked against the breakaway LTTE leader 'Colonel' Karuna, who is now engaged in a desperate rearguard action to thwart the advance of forces loyal to the outfit's Supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran. more..

Operation to expel Karuna from Tamil homeland begun- LTTE

Apr 11 (TN) The political section of the LTTE in a press release said that the LTTE has started co-ordinated operations to expel renegade LTTE commander ‘Karuna,' Mr. Vinayagamoorthy Muraleetharan, from the Tamil Homeland, Daya Master, media coordinator for LTTE, said from Vanni. more..

TRO, Red Cross care for displaced in East

Apr 11 (TN) About two hundred families, who fled to Muttur to escape from the fighting between the LTTE and cadres loyal to renegade commander Karuna in Verugal and Kathiraveli villages, are given shelter and food in schools in Eachilampathu division in the Muttur south held by the LTTE, more..

UNICEF, Japan strengthen Jaffna health services

Apr 11 (TN) UNICEF Jaffna Field Office head Ms.Judith Bruno and Jaffna District Assistant Director of Planning Mr.S. Sivapatham Saturday handed over 39 motorcycles to public health inspectors in the Jaffna district to facilitate community actions that promote a safe and healthy environment for women and children, more..

Kumaratunga dispatches service chiefs to East

Apr 11 (UNI) Ruling the worsening LTTE factional fighting as a "ceasefire violation" President Chandrika Kumaratunga today sent her Chief of Defence Staff and service chiefs to the troubled Eastern Batticaloa district to enforce law and order. more..

No change in Congress policy vis-a-vis Sri Lanka

Apr 11 (UNI) The Congress today said it did not support a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka and that there was no change in its stand that LTTE Supremo V Prabhakaran should be extradited to face trial in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. more..

PM stakes and the war setting

Apr 11 (SL) With a hung parliament the order of the day, back room political manoeuvering by the major political parties is continuing apace and Sri Lanka seems set for a roller coaster ride that will land her in hot water sooner than later. more..

Beginning of the end for SLFP

Apr 11 (SL) In the words of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, "it is the highest political victory recorded by an SLFP led coalition in post independance," and nobody would contest the veracity of Kumaratunga's address to the nation, made in the afterglow of a convincing political victory. more..

Sri Lankan economist passes away

Apr 11 (Hindu) Lal Jayawardena, noted Sri Lankan economist and former diplomat, passed away here on Thursday after a brief illness. He was 70. Dr. Jayawardena held several key positions in Sri Lanka and abroad, including that of economic adviser to the President, Chandrika Kumaratunga. more..

LTTE feud should end: Chidambaram

Apr 11 (Hindu) The armed fighting between the northern and eastern factions of the LTTE was a very sad development and a major setback for peace talks in Sri Lanka, the former Union Minister and the Congress Jananayaga Peravai leader, P. Chidambaram, said. more..

Chandrika appoints 31-member Cabinet, retains key portfolios

Apr 11 (Hindu) The President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, today appointed a 31-member Cabinet of Ministers. She hasretained the key portfolios of Defence, Constitutional Affairs and Education. The Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapakse, was appointed Minister of Highways, in addition to his Prime Ministerial duties. more..

A violation of truce agreement: Colombo

Apr 11 (Hindu) The Government today said that it considered the fighting between the two factions of the LTTE as a "violation of the ceasefire agreement." A day after the LTTE started its attack against the defiant former eastern military commander Karuna, a lull is reported in the fighting, with the two factions consolidating their positions. more..

Thirty-one Ministers take oaths before President

Apr 11 (SO) The 31 Ministers and Deputy Ministers of the UPFA Government were sworn in before President at the President's House yesterday. The Secretary to the President W.J.S.Karunaratne assisted at the ceremony where the family members and friends of the cabinet members and the senior party members were present. more..

JVP boycotts cabinet swearing-in

Apr 11 (AFP) President Kumaratunga yesterday inducted a 31-member cabinet for the new minority government but her main ally boycotted the ceremony. Kumaratunga had delayed the swearing-in ceremony to give more time to hammer out a compromise with the Marxist JVP over a key appointment but failed, officials said. more..

IA team to visit Lanka for finalising code-share pact

Apr 11 (AF) AN Indian Airlines delegation is slated to travel to Colombo later this month to conclude discussions on continuation of various agreements between Srilankan (UL) and IA, including the code-sharing arrangement. more..

LTTE forces move into Amparai, Batticaloa south

Apr 11 (TN) The LTTE took control of the areas held by the Karuna Group in the Amparai District on Saturday night. Troops led by the LTTE's Amparai district military commander, 'Janarthan', moved into the main base areas in Kanjikudichcha Aaru region, about 96 kilometres south of Batticaloa, more..

Warring Tigers, moody Marxists stalk new government

Apr 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s new government begins its first day in office on Sunday under the threat of being dragged into renewed conflict with Tamil Tiger rebels and with cracks in the shaky minority government. more..

Australians taught me about team unity: Atapattu

Apr 11 (AP) New Test captain Marvan Atapattu says Australian cricketers, who completed a tour on the island in March, taught him some valuable lessons in team unity. "I learnt quite a few things from the Australians. I remember Ricky (Ponting) telling the press conference before the series that they feel for one another and stuff," more..

Chucking charges against Murali unfortunate: Harbhajan

Apr 11 (PTI) The much maligned Sri Lankan off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan on Sunday received staunch support from his Indian counterpart Harbhajan Singh who said the allegations of chucking against the record breaking bowler was "unfortunate". more..

ICRC preparing list of missing in Sri Lanka

Apr 11 (IANS) The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is engaged in preparing a mammoth document that will list the names of all those who have gone missing in Sri Lanka's northeast since 1990. more..

'LTTE killed Rajiv as he opposed Eelam'

Apr 11 (PTI) The LTTE's fear that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi would return to power in 1991 elections had prompted the terrorist outfit to assassinate him as it saw him as a threat to the carving out of Eelam (separate homeland) in Sri Lanka, according to a latest book. more..

Tigers gain control as Karuna retreats

Apr 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s Tiger rebels yesterday consolidated gains over vast territory taken from renegade rebels, but at least 11,000 civilians fled their homes fearing more fighting, officials said. more..

Tigers launch fresh offensive to remove renegades

Apr 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels launched a new front in their offensive to remove a renegade commander in a further blow to the island's faltering peace process, officials said. more..

'Cadres of LTTE's breakaway faction gave in without a fight'

Apr 11 (HT) Cadres under the breakaway LTTE commander Col Karuna fled from their positions in Verugal, Kathirveli and Vaharai in North Batticalao district virtually without a fight, sources in Batticaloa told Hindustan Times on Friday. more..