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Tamil Tigers declare truce in Sri Lanka

Apr 11 (AP) The main Tamil rebel group claimed control Sunday of an area where a renegade faction was based and declared a two-day truce to allow civilians to celebrate the Buddhist and Hindu New Year. more..

Arjuna miffed over sports ministry

Apr 11 (AFP) Former cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga quit his position in the ruling party after he was passed over for the post of sports minister in the new cabinet. Ranatunga, 40, who was elected to parliament in the April 2 election, said he entered politics because President Kumaratunga invited him to be in charge of sports, but instead he was offered a junior position. more..

Tigers vow to crush breakaway faction

Apr 11 (Reuters) Tamil Tigers vowed on Sunday to reclaim territory held by a breakaway rebel commander after launching an offensive that shattered the calm brought by the island's two-year cease-fire. There has been no serious fighting since Friday more..

AP Photo

Apr 11 (AP) Sivapradasha Malasuri, a female cadre from the breakaway faction of Tamil Tiger rebels, recovers from injuries sustained from a land mine with her mother at the General Hospital in Batticaloa, more..

Decision week for Murali's doosra

Apr 12 (Age) Muttiah Muralitharan, who finally returned home to Colombo on Friday morning after a harrowing week bowling bare-torsoed in front of biomechanical boffins and high-tech cameras at the University of Western Australia, is confident that his controversial, so-called doosra ball, will soon be declared a legal, lethal weapon. more..

JHU rejects Peace Process, Norway Facilitation

Apr 12 (TN) "We totally reject the present peace process as we believe it will only lead to the division of this country. We also reject the facilitation of Norway because it is partial towards the LTTE," said Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Propaganda Secretary Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera more..

LTTE recovers arms, cadres from Karuna group

Apr 12 (TN) In the commando style attacks on the Karuna group in Vakarai, the LTTE have recovered large quantities of arms and a large number of cadres, the website (a shadow edition from the East of the Karuna group's TamilAlai) said. more..

The elephants go two by two

Apr 12 (BL) You have read about them in brochures, magazines and newspapers, and seen them on TV. But none of these prepare you for the live action at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka to recall five Gulf envoys

Apr 12 (AN) Sri Lankan ambassadors in five Gulf countries are to be recalled by the new government of the UPFA under President Chandrika Kumaratunga. They are the ambassadors to Qatar, Kuwait, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. The five were political appointees. more..

US Congress team arrives in Colombo

Apr 12 (TN) A bipartisan delegation from the House of Representatives of the United States of America arrived in Colombo Sunday and held discussions with Sri Lanka's new Prime Minister, Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse, Sri Lankan government sources said. more..

Lull in LTTE battles in the east

Apr 12 (Hindu) A lull in fighting has been reported from eastern Sri Lanka, where rival factions of the LTTE started armed battles on Friday. "There is no fighting now, but we expect a major one in a few days," a civilian in the eastern Batticaloa town told The Hindu this evening. more..

Battle lines drawn for election of Speaker

Apr 12 (TN) Battle lines are drawn by the two major political parties, the UPFA and the UNP, which have failed to obtain absolute majority in the general election on April 2, to show their strength when the thirteenth parliament is scheduled to meet on April 22 to elect the Speaker, more..

The Lankan Pie

Apr 12 (LBO) Protecting jobs at home has become a hot issue in the US presidential race as companies there, relocate some business processes looking for lower taxes and cheap labor. Americans are seeing a repeat of history when thousands of manufacturing sector jobs was lost to cheaper imports and the shift of production facilities abroad. more..

Potters Plight

Apr 12 (LBO) For Nishantha, a businessman in Bothale, Pahalgama, stacking 200 fragile clay pots of all shapes and sizes on to his mini tractor is not an easy task to take to the village fair. He makes sure that everything is safely in place since he has a long list of places to go to. more..

Passport to Reforms

Apr 12 (LBO) People waiting all day in long queues braving the blazing sun to get their passports at the Immigration and Emigration Department is a common sight in Colombo. The department, which issues passports, deals with over three thousand people who come to its cramped and dilapidated offices at Bambalapitiya daily to get new passports or renew old ones. more..

Here We Go Again

Apr 12 (LBO) Central Bank says non-bank private sector has capacity to absorb nearly Rs.100 billion in extra borrowings but warned any such move will push interest rates up. The UNF government announced in its last budget its net borrowing for the year would be Rs. 65 billion but the Central Bank says they can borrow up to Rs. 30 bn more from the non-bank private sector. more..

Two more LTTE cadres surrenders

Apr 12 (SLA) A 24 year old youth and a 28 year old youth have escaped from an LTTE camp and surrendered to the Army detachment at VALACHCHENAI, about 29 km northwest of BATTICALOA town on 11 April 2004 around 6.00 p.m. more..

Special medical clinic conducted for soldiers’ relatives

Apr 12 (SLA) A blood donation campaign cum special health clinic organised by the Seva Vanitha Branch of the Sri Lanka Army got underway at the Army Hospital at Panagoda on Saturday (10 April 2004) more..

President calls for unity and progress in her New Year message

Apr 12 (PSL) President Kumaratunga reiterated her call for unity among all communities in her message to the country to mark the National Year which dawns at 1832 hours Sri Lanka time on 13th April 2004. more..

Presidential team now in the East, to inspect needs of internecine conflict victims

Apr 12 (PSL) President Kumaratunga dispatched an elite committee headed by her former secretary K Balapatabendi to the East of the Island. The special team will look into the immediate needs of persons who’ve been displaced by the internecine fighting in the East. more..

Tiger Hunt

Apr 12 (Time) Until recently, the LTTE were considered among the most disciplined guerrillas on earth: an often suicidal force locked in a 20-year struggle to secure autonomy for Sri Lanka's Tamil minority. Today, the Tigers are fighting each other as rival factions clash north of the eastern city of Batticaloa. more..

China extends its fullest co-operation to Freedom Alliance Government

Apr 12 (Rupavahini) China extends its fullest co-operation to newly elected Freedom Alliance Government. This pledge was given by the Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka Sun Guoxiang when he called on foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar at his official residence in Colombo this morning. more..

Unicef urges LTTE to free child soldiers

Apr 12 (GD) The United Nations agency for children yesterday asked Sri Lanka's warring Tiger rebels to free child soldiers amid reports that young boys and girls had been killed and wounded in the fighting. more..

LTTE forces move into Batticaloa's hinterland

Apr 12 (TN) Liberation Tigers moved into the entire areas south west of Batticaloa town Monday. Several military units of the LTTE, which moved from different directions, took control of Kokkadichcholai around Monday noon. more..

PM vows to bring lasting peace

Apr 12 (IANS) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse has vowed to bring lasting peace to the country with dignity to all citizens and just rights to the minority communities. "The people gave us a clear mandate to extricate the country from the present abyss. The path ahead of us is extremely rough. We have to traverse it and rebuild the country," more..

Plunderers will be brought to book - Finance Minister

Apr 12 (DN) The deep-rooted bribery and corruption will be eliminated and the country developed on a planned basis, so that its dividends could be passed on to the people. Those who plundered the country's national assets will also be brought to book, said Finance Minister, Dr. Sarath Amunugama. more..

Govt against privatisation

Apr 12 (TP) The new Freedom Alliance government will not privatise strategic state enterprises but will move fast to pass legislation to set up a new body to run these organisations more efficiently to compete effectively with the private sector, a senior presidential aide said. more..

Kadirgamar hints at constitution change

Apr 12 (TP) The new government is planning to change Sri Lanka’s constitution in a three-phased manner, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar has said. First, the newly-elected parliament will be converted into a Constituent Assembly even as it will continue to carry on its functions. more..

Rajapakse signed ‘resignation’ letter

Apr 12 (TP) New Prime Minister Mahinda Rajpakse has handed over an undated letter of resignation to President Chandrika Kumaratunga, The Sunday Times reported. It said Rajapakse signed this letter before he took oaths as the Prime Minister last week. more..

Tigers in fresh offensive to remove renegades

Apr 12 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels opened a new front in their offensive to remove a renegade commander in a further blow to the island's faltering peace process, officials said. The main Tamil Tiger force mounted the initial onslaught from the northeastern port district of Trincomalee, but another drive was launched from the opposite direction, more..

Escalating conflict in LTTE threatens peace process

Apr 12 (OW) Amid rumors of talks between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the Tamil Tiger guerrillas, the government launched an army recruitment drive immediately after the April 2 polls, indicating the country could be readying for war while pursuing peace. more..

Karuna withdraws to jungle hideout

Apr 12 (TN) Renegade LTTE commander ‘Karuna,' Mr. Vinayagamoorthy Muraleetharan has retreated to his jungle hideout accompanied by a small number of his closest supporters and bodyguards, Sivagnanam Karikalan, a senior leader of the LTTE from the east, who is currently visiting Switzerland, told TamilNet. more..

Tigers on offensive, rival fighters defect

Apr 12 (Reuters) Thousands of fighters loyal to a Sri Lankan breakaway rebel commander defected on Monday, military officials said, after Tamil Tiger offensives that cast a cloud over efforts to end the island's 20-year civil war. more..

Connecting poor households to the power grid in Sri Lanka

Apr 12 (M2) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$1.5 million grant from its Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR), financed by the Government of Japan, that will enable more poor households in Sri Lanka to enjoy the direct benefits of rural electrification. more..

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

Apr 12 (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..

JVP on warpath with SLFP over ministerial portfolios

Apr 12 (TN) The General Secretary of the JVP, Mr.Tilvin Silva has written to President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunge, to summon the executive committee of the the UPFA, immediately to sort out all problems that have arisen over the appointment of Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse as Prime Minister and the nonallocation of "vital" ministries to JVP parliamentarians, more..

Government considers offering refuge to renegade Tamil leader

Apr 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka was mulling granting refuge to the renegade Tamil Tiger leader who abruptly ended a factional battle between Tamil rebels and disbanded his fighters, defence secretary Cyril Herath told AFP. more..

Lankan press indulges in India bashing

Apr 13 (HT) "India bashing" is back at the centre stage of Sri Lankan politics. Pro-opposition and pro-LTTE media are blaming India for the misfortunes of the defeated UNP and the troubles within the LTTE. more..

Gilchrist questions Murali testing

Apr 13 (AFP) AUSTRALIAN cricket vice captain Adam Gilchrist has questioned the value of the testing procedures to determine the legality of spinner Muttiah Muralitharan's controversial "doosra" delivery. more..

Interview with Mr. Balasingham

Apr 13 (Scoop) The interview with Mr. Balasingham follows Tamil Guardian: What is your assessment of the current crisis? Do you think that Karuna's mutiny will seriously undermine the Tamil national struggle? How far will it affect the peace process? more..

LTTE launches offensive to suppress dissident eastern faction

Apr 13 (wsws) The LTTE leadership based in the northern Wanni area of Sri Lanka launched a military offensive in the early hours of last Friday to suppress a dissident faction led by V. Muralitharan, also known as Karuna, in the East of the island. more..

Two more LTTE cadres surrenders

Apr 13 (SLA) A 24 year old youth and a 28 year old youth have escaped from an LTTE camp and surrendered to the Army detachment at VALACHCHENAI, about 29 km northwest of BATTICALOA town on 11 April 2004 around 6.00 p.m. more..

Freedom Alliance Grassroots Worried

Apr 13 (LT) The grassroot level supporters of the UPFA have got worried about the manner of nominating the cabinet ministers. Most of them are reportedly expressing dismay owing to the reasons as reported for the delay of nominating the ministers of new government. more..

Sri Lankan’s celebrate the Sinhala and Tamil New Year today

Apr 13 (Rupavahini) The New Year dawns at 6.32 p.m. tomorrow. The people are now engaged in making final preparations to celebrate the dawn of the New Year giving pride of place to age old traditions. more..

Initial work on amending the constitution is now underway

Apr 13 (Rupavahini) The first round of discussions in this regard was held recently at the Presidents house chaired by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge. It was attended by legal luminaries and advisors. more..

Renegade LTTE Tigers destroy artillery, mortars before fleeing

Apr 13 (PTI) Renegade Tamil Tigers crippled artillery guns and mortar launchers before ending their factional war with the main rebel outfit, military sources said today. The renegade commander Karuna, ordered the destruction of heavy guns, the sources said adding that a large quantity of small arms had however, been left behind. more..

Women's team to play tri-series in Sri Lanka

Apr 13 (TC) The Indian women's cricket team will be touring Sri Lanka to play in a triangular series from April 17 to 24, 2004. Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India will participate in the tournament. The Indian team are the favourites to win this tournament, more..

Little hope for Sri Lanka

Apr 13 (JT) Thirty years of civil war have done irreparable harm to Sri Lanka. The fight by the island's Tamils to secure a homeland has claimed more than 60,000 lives and deeply fractured the nation. A peace process appeared to be making progress, but divisions among Sri Lanka's Sinhalese majority derailed those efforts. more..

New Year messages

Apr 13 (DN) Maha Nayaka Thera calls sfor all to unite: People of all denominations and political parties must shed differences and unite this Sinhala and Tamil New Year, said The Most Venerable Rambukwelle Sri Vipassi Maha Nayaka Thera, Maha Nayaka of the Malwatta Chapter. more..

Sri Lankan forces help Karuna flee

Apr 13 (HT) The leader of the breakaway faction of the LTTE, Eastern Commander Col Karuna, has dispersed his forces and fled to an unknown destination outside Eastern Sri Lanka, possibly with the help of the Sri Lankan armed forces. more..