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An Indian mirror for politics in Sri Lanka

Feb 16 (ST) FOR the third time in four years, Sri Lankans will be going to the polls on April 2 to elect a new government, but this is set to become a landmark election which could herald a new era of Buddhist revivalist politics in the island republic. more..

Sri Lanka constitution key pawn in stalemate

Feb 16 (Reuters) As Sri Lanka prepares for its third general election in four years, one theme recurs constantly in newspaper front pages and TV newscasts -- the constitution. more..

Doubts over continuance of ceasefire pact with LTTE

Feb 16 (Hindu) The ceasefire agreement (CFA) between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE is unlikely to continue in its present form if the recently formed United People's Freedom Alliance wins the April 2 parliamentary election. more..

Removing Police Narcotics unit from Airport is a conspiracy

Feb 16 (LT) The attempt to remove Police narcotic unit from Katunayake Airport is a ploy to fulfill a political interest say reports. During the reign of UNF government Gamini Abeyratne alias Taxi Abbey, Working Director of Katunayake Airport sent the relevant letter to Police Narcotics Unit. more..

Special committee studies commission report on Millennium City incident

Feb 16 (LT) The IGP has appointed a special committee to study the punishments that should be meted out to those involved in the Millennium City Safe House incident who have been found guilty by a Presidential Commission. more..

Chicken Safe

Feb 16 (LBO) Lunchtime at KFC outlets is not as rushed as it used to be a few weeks ago these days. People are staying away from poultry based products due to the bird flu that has sent goose bumps across Asia killing 19 of the 25 infected people in Thailand and Vietnam. more..

Back to Basics

Feb 16 (LBO) The problem with subsidies is that the rich enjoy them as much as the poor. The cross subsidy on diesel is a classic example. Owners of fuel guzzling sports utility vehicles enjoy a significant portion of the subsidy. more..

Project ‘Put Off’

Feb 16 (LBO) The Colombo Commercial Company property facing the Beira Lake is owned by the UDA. A part of the property has been given on a 50-year lease to the Commercial Company while the rest of it is on a shorter lease, which ends next year. more..

Kadirgamar cancels private media group's TV license

Feb 16 (TN) Ministry of Information and Daily Communication, which is controlled by President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Monday, cancelled the TV operating license of Asian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), a successful private media group that runs five FM radio stations. more..

One more LTTE man gives up and surrenders

Feb 16 (SLA) A young person, conscripted by LTTE in 1999 and given weapon training at LTTE’s Arul Base camp has escaped from LTTE and surrendered to the TRINCOMALEE Police station on 14 February 2004 seeking protection. more..

LTTE flag raised in state ceremony

Feb 16 (SLA) An LTTE cadre, identified as KANNAN during the opening ceremony of a new co-operative building in the general area of KAYTS on 15 February 2004 has raised the LTTE flag, according to Police. more..

More and more Indian poachers sighted

Feb 16 (SLA) Naval troops on duty in the general sea area north of ANALATIVU in JAFFNA on 14 February 2004 around 7.45 p.m. sighted a flotilla of about fifty Indian trawlers poaching inside Sri Lankan waters. more..

LTTE flag hoisted in the Municipal ground

Feb 16 (SLA) Organizers of a sports meet in the Municipal Council ground at MANNAR have raised the LTTE flag on 15 February 2004 around 10.30 a.m., confirmed information received by troops on duty in the area. more..

Choksy replaces Moragoda

Feb 16 (PSL) President Kumaratunga Friday, February 13, appointed Minister K.N. Choksy as Minister of Economic Reform, Science and Technology in addition to his Finance portfolio. Minister Milinda Moragoda resigned from the cabinet of caretaker ministers last week.

Presidential think-tank

Feb 16 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga will soon set up a National Think Tank to recommend national policies and action plans in areas of economy, education, health, law and order and crime prevention, peace and other major social issues. more..

Vijaya remembered

Feb 16 (PRIU) The 16th death anniversary of popular film actor turned politician Vijaya Kumaratunga falls today, February 16. He was the husband of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Vijaya made his entrée to silver screen playing the lead role in the film “Hanthane Kathawa”. more..

Sri Lanka hope to trap Aussies on turners

Feb 16 (AFP) Sri Lanka's ODI captain Marvan Atapattu on Monday sounded a warning to Australia, saying the world champions will find it difficult to cope with turning tracks and hot weather. more..

Sri Lanka eyes convention to test oil exploration plans

Feb 16 (DJ) Sri Lanka will gauge interest in the country's oil and natural gas exploration efforts at an international energy convention in April in the U.S., an energy ministry official said Monday. more..

Group of Lankan Journalists Attends Program

Feb 16 (AN) The Imam Muhammed Ibn Saud Islamic University has launched an Islamic orientation course for Muslim journalists to prepare them for the challenges facing the Islamic world. A group of Sri Lankan Muslim journalists, both from print and electronic media, is the first to attend the program here yesterday. more..

Middleman kept low profile but led luxurious life

Feb 16 (ST) The Sri Lankan businessman whom US President George W. Bush accused of brokering deals for nuclear technology had a taste for Versace suits and liked to mingle with diplomats and politicians. more..

$250m aid blocked for Lanka

Feb 16 (GD) For foreign investors and international lenders, Sri Lanka appeared on the verge of economic lift-off, but the dream is turning into a nightmare after the dissolution of parliament. more..

In Sri Lanka, Hindu Gods are subordinate to the Buddha

Feb 16 (HT) Sri Lanka is an avowedly Buddhist country, and its population is overwhelmingly Sinhala-Buddhist. But the Buddhists here are also ardent worshippers of Hindu Gods. When the need arises, they may even indulge in Hindu ritualistic practices. more..

Most Indian tourists want to come back to Sri Lanka

Feb 16 (HT) The experience of Indian tourists in Sri Lanka is so good that more than nine out of ten want to come back, says a survey conducted by the Ceylon Tourist Board. The study, covering 1,000 existing Indian passengers, between April and July 2003, found that 98 per cent had enjoyed their stay here. more..

Fund shortage hits poll candidates

Feb 16 (Gulf) Sri Lanka's ex-parliamentarians are struggling to fund their election campaigns prompting some of them to obtain bank loans as they face the third general election in four years. more..

Eradicate rancours, hatred, greed and animosity - Prime Minister

Feb 16 (DN) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that it was to bring in peace between two royal Princes Chulodara and Mahodara who fought over a gem studded throne that the Buddha visited this sacred soil where after appeasing the two hostile brothers, the throne was enshrined to mark peace. more..

Give me a massive mandate, if anything less give it to the UNF: CBK

Feb 16 (DM) President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday called upon the people to either give her party or the UNF a "clear and massive" mandate in the upcoming elections as she found it impossible to cohabitate with the Prime Minister. more..

Tiger rebels reject running in Sri Lanka's polls

Feb 16 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have ruled out running for parliament but are vetting minority Tamil candidates who could emerge king-makers at the April elections, Tamil politicians said here. more..

Law and order said deteriorating in Jaffna

Feb 16 (TN) "We told Maj. Gen. (ret) Furuhovde that the law and order situation is deteriorating in Jaffna and that steps should be taken to arrest this trend. We did our best to cooperate with the Police to arrest the trend in Jaffna. But Police did little to rectify the situation," said Mr. S Ilamparithy, more..

CA issued notice on Minister Kadirgamar in ABC suit

Feb 16 (TN) The Court of Appeal Monday decided to hear the petition filed by the Asia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) against the decision by the Minister of Information and Daily Communication Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar to cancel its television permit. ABC obtained license for starting a TV station in November 1995, more..

European Nations financial assistance soon expected to the rebel outfit – Tamilchelvan

Feb 16 (AT) Tamilchelvan said that he is confident that European countries would provide financial assistance soon to their outfit. He added that the he met government representatives of half a dozen of European countries, while he was journeying through Europe more..

Shocking! Is Congress patching up with LTTE?

Feb 16 (NT) Has Congress president Sonia Gandhi despatched an emissary to Sri Lanka to meet LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran at a secret location in Killonichi tomorrow? It may sound incredible, but Janata Party president Dr Subramanian Swamy has claimed so. more..

Kumaratunga sacks Christian affairs minister

Feb 16 (PTI) Sri Lanka's political scene was thrown into further turmoil on Monday with President Chandrika Kumaratunga virtually sacking the Christian Affairs minister for "not taking oath" and withdrawing his security along with that of the 39 junior ministers removed recently. more..

Sampanthan, Pararajasingham go to Appeal Court on Sangaree affair

Feb 17 (TN) TULF's Secretary General Mr.R.Sampanthan and Senior Vice President Mr.Jospeh Pararajasingham Monday filed a petition in the Court of Appeal, seeking to vacate the interim injunction order issued on them by the Colombo District Judge on an action instituted by the TULF President, Mr. V.Anandasangaree, more..

Tamil's murder blamed on village feud

Feb 17 (HT) A MAN who died in a violent attack, which was possibly connected to village feuds in his native Sri Lanka, was unlawfully killed, a coroner ruled. Partheepan Balasinghan, 23, of Norton Road, Wembley, was set on by a group of men in the early hours of June 8 in a car park more..

Murali may boycott Australia

Feb 17 (HS) CONTROVERSIAL spin bowler Muthiah Muralidaran is considering boycotting Sri Lanka's winter tour of Australia - and perhaps sacrificing a world record - in protest against hostile Australian crowds. more..

Ama Wessa was a great success

Feb 17 (SN) Over 15,000 youths from different parts of the country had gathered to Vihara Maha Devi Park by 7am on 14th January. They want to observe eight percepts or Ata Sil in protest of westernised Valentine Day celebrations. This event was organized by the JSS. more..

Four men battle for premiership in UPFA

Feb 17 (SN) A hotly fighting battle has emerged for the premiership in the UPFA having four contestants. Long time rivals Mahinda Rajapakse and Anura Bandaranaike are openly in a verbal battle over the post. Mr Rajapakse’s main argument is appointment of the former Leader of Opposition to the premier post is the tradition. more..

Premier is condemned for his “Self before Party” policy

Feb 17 (SN) UNP stalwarts are angry with the Prime Minister Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe over his selfish policies. They think the Prime Minister would have saved the government from the dissolution if he agreed to compromise with the president over abolition of the executive presidency. more..

TNA in a hot soup

Feb 17 (SN) The LTTE controlled Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is in a hot soup although acceptance of nominations will commence tomorrow. The LTTE has ordered all TNA candidates to give their undated resignation letters prior to signing the nomination papers. more..

Immigration Minister says Sri Lankan girl doesn't deserve sympathy

Feb 17 (NZH) Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel broke her silence last night on the expelled Sri Lankan teenager, accusing the girl's lawyer of unethical manipulation. She said that the 16-year-old girl and her grandmother did not deserve "one jot of public sympathy" after what she claimed was a pre-planned media campaign to resist being removed to Sri Lanka. more..

Beating Australia is the ultimate: Atapattu

Feb 17 (CI) World champions Australia are in for a shocker. Marvan Atapattu, who leads Sri Lanka's one-day side, said that the present climatic conditions in the country would surprise Australia, who arrived on Saturday for a six-week, ten-match tour of the country. more..

SLA permits opening of HSZ temples for Sivarathiri celebrations

Feb 17 (TN) The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) has allowed celebrations for Maha Sivarathiri day to be held with some restrictions in three Hindu temples, Murugan Kovil and Valliamman Kovil in Kaithady-Navatkuli area and Thoppur Pilliayar Kovil in Maravanpulo area, which are located in the High Security Zones in Thenamaradchchi division in Jaffna district, more..

TNA leaders to meet LTTE leadership in Killinochchi

Feb 17 (TN) Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader Mr.R.Sampanthan said Monday that vital decisions would be taken in consultations with the leadership of LTTE on Tuesday in Killinochchi regarding the forthcoming parliamentary general elections. more..

Peace process: Chandrika seeks clear mandate in poll

Feb 17 (Hindu) The President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, has called for a "clear mandate" in the snap parliamentary elections to be held on April 2 "to initiate discussions with the LTTE and the relevant parties on the ethnic question and end it through a political solution." more..

Posters about Chandrika husband death raise poll heat

Feb 17 (Reuters) Posters asking who was responsible for the murder of President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s husband 16-years-ago were plastered across Colombo today, raising the temperature ahead of general elections. more..

Lawyer for deported teenager rejects minister's claim

Feb 17 (Stuff) The lawyer for a deported Sri Lankan teenager today rejected Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel's claim of a "deliberate campaign of manipulation" of public opinion. Notes by lawyer Carole Curtis, which were leaked to TV3, set out a strategy for keeping the 16-year-old girl in New Zealand. more..

Rs45bn spent on polls in 6 years

Feb 17 (TP) The Sunday Times newspaper in a non-scientific study says five major elections in Sri Lanka over the past six years have cost the people over Rs45bn (nearly $500m) which could have been put into more productive use elsewhere. more..

Different Lines

Feb 17 (LBO) The telecom watchdog is looking at giving payphone operator Tritel, a facilities based licence to allow it to penetrate deeper into the rural areas. Tritel has been calling for a facilities based licence since 1999, to expand into rural areas that are not serviced by other telecom network operators. more..

LTTE man beats girl inside bus and robs her wallet

Feb 17 (SLA) An LTTE cadre, who snatched a wallet with Rs.1940 (US$ 20) from a girl and disappeared after she was beaten inside a bus at OTTAMAVADI town on 16 February 2004, is being pursued, according to the VALAICHCHENAI Police station. more..

LTTE abduct two school-goers

Feb 17 (SLA) Two teenaged school children returning from school at ALANKERNI have been abducted by LTTE on 16 February 2004 around 2.00 p.m. while they were in the general area of ALANKERNI, information received by troops confirmed. more..