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Arjuna returns Warne serve

Feb 21 (CM) FORMER Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga – a long-time sparring partner of Australian leg spinner Shane Warne today hit back at the Victorian for making fun of his size and eating habits. "Arjuna, he's probably slotting himself around at 150 kilos at the moment, is he? Swallowed a sheep or something like that," Warne said at a recent press conference. more..

Sri Lanka consider dropping fast bowler

Feb 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka are considering playing just one pace bowler in the second match of their five-game one-day series against Australia on Sunday. Australia cruised to a comfortable 84-run victory in the opening match on Friday, a defeat that has prompted a rethink of the home team's tactics on what is expected to be another spin-friendly pitch. more..

Private airlines set to fly to Colombo

Feb 21 (Rediff) Two months after a decision of the Union Cabinet to allow domestic private carriers to fly to SAARC countries, a notification is likely to be issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Monday to give a go-ahead to the operations to Sri Lanka, civil aviation ministry sources said on Friday. more..

Atapattu - 'We have to minimise our mistakes'

Feb 21 (CI) Sri Lanka's coach, John Dyson, had his chin up as he spoke about the team's performance in the first one-dayer. But he felt that the dismissals of Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana were a bad setback. more..

Deported Sri Lankan teen refusing medical treatment

Feb 21 (NZH) The Sri Lankan teenager deported from New Zealand last week is refusing medical treatment. The girl is being cared for in a Catholic convent in Sri Lanka after immigration authorities in New Zealand refused to allow her to stay after she claimed she was sexually abused by family members in Sri Lanka. more..

JVP Members’ salaries will be used for people’s benefits

Feb 21 (LT) In the government formed by United People’s Freedom Alliance the Members of Parliament of the JVP would not use their salary for their personal use but would use it for the service of the masses says the JVP. more..

Taraki confirms SinhalaNet prediction

Feb 21 (SN) Web Master of TamilNet Mr D Sivaram has confirmed that the TNA would ask for a mandate to implement the ISGA proposal forwarded by the LTTE at the forthcoming election. Mr Sivaram confirmed SinhalaNet prediction publishing an analysis in Daily Mirror of 18th February under the penname of Taraki. more..

Hela Urumaya gives nomination for Colombo & Jaffna

Feb 21 (SN) A colourful pageant led by traditional drummers fetched the candidate Buddhist monks of Hela Urumaya yesterday to Colombo district secretariat to hand over the nominations for the forthcoming general election. more..

Muslims caught with explosives

Feb 21 (SN) Officers of Kantale Police station were able to capture yesterday a Muslim lady and her son who were smuggling high explosive 112 Gelignite sticks. They were travelling in a bus to Kinnya from Colombo having packed these sticks in a bottom of a travelling bag. more..

JVP is for talks with LTTE

Feb 21 (SN) People’s Liberation Front known as JVP has issued a press release reiterating they stand for a negotiated settlement with separatist armed group, LTTE. This press release has been issued by Mr Wimal Weerawanse, media spokesman for the party. more..

Realty sector unfazed by political turmoil

Feb 21 (Gulf) The overall mood in the country following the dissolution of parliament is one of wait and see, with the forthcoming general elections scheduled for April 2 - an event which most people do not look forward to but have to live with. more..

Aussies 'torture' Lanka, says media

Feb 21 (AP) Sri Lankan newspapers on Saturday described the Australian cricket team's emphatic 84-run victory over Sri Lanka in their One-day international opener as amounting to "torture." "Aussies torture Sri Lanka in the tour opener," said The Island newspaper more..

Polls Chief can take over SLBC, SLRC

Feb 21 (DM) Claims by Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake that he is "powerless" to prevent state media abuses during the elections campaign because parliament did not approve enabling laws under the 17th Amendment were made in ignorance of the fact that Parliament did pass such laws, more..

LTTE continues replacing MP's with their own Boys

Feb 21 (GL) Voters of Tamil political parties, that are members of the TNA have been protesting against the interference of the terrorist outfit LTTE removing even Members of Tamil political parties from candidate lists of the TNA and replacing them with the active members of the LTTE. more..

Breakaway faction of the Muslim Congress give a deathblow to Ranil

Feb 21 (GL) In a deathblow to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s ambition to form another minority supported government following the April general elections a strong faction of the UNF ally, the SLMC is breaking away from the party and joining the United People’s Freedom Alliance led by President Kumaratunga. more..

Surveys forecast victory for Freedom Alliance

Feb 21 (DN) A countrywide survey conducted by a joint university panel has indicated that the Freedom Alliance would secure a clear victory at the April 2 General Elections. A Reuters survey of financial institutions also revealed that the Freedom Alliance would win the most number of seats. more..

Sri Lankan cease-fire holds firm

Feb 21 (AP) Fighting between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels is unlikely to resume, with a 2-year-old truce holding firm because of strong international support, the chief of the European monitoring group says. more..

Monks march to contest Sri Lanka's snap polls

Feb 21 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Buddhist monks walked in procession here to hand in their nominations to contest parliamentary elections as an all-clergy party with hopes of emerging kingmakers. more..

Buddhist monks may undermine others in Sri Lanka

Feb 21 (IANS) The decision by Sri Lanka's leading organisation of Buddhist monks to contest the upcoming parliamentary election is being seen as a clear threat to the prospects of mainstream parties, reports OneWorld. more..

Ratwatte dropped from nomination list

Feb 21 (Gulf) Sri Lanka's former Deputy Defence Minister and President Chandrika Kumaratunga's uncle General Anuruddha Ratwatte been dropped from the nomination list for the forthcoming Parliamentary elections amidist fears that their alliance would lose some of the minority Muslim votes. more..

Maheswaran nominated UNP candidate in Colombo

Feb 21 (TN) Mr. Thiyagarajah Maheswaran, former minister for Hindu Affairs and ex MP for Jaffna, will contest in Colombo as a candidate of the United National Party, sources said. UNP officials said that the ex minister was expected to sign nomination papers for the electoral district of Colombo Saturday evening. more..

Jaffna polling cards security issues discussed

Feb 22 (TN) Sri Lanka's Post Master General (PMG) Mr.K.A.Senadhira said Saturday that Jaffna district polling cards will be sent from Colombo by air. He made this announcement on his visit to Jaffna Saturday, postal department sources said. more..

Gunmen shoot, rob jeweler in Chavakachcheri

Feb 22 (TN) Masked gunmen in military fatigues shot and wounded a jeweler in Chavakachcheri Saturday morning. A boy who was on the road at the time was also injured in the firing. Police said the gunmen had robbed the wounded jeweler of a bag of gold jewels he was carrying. more..

Just cop it sweet, Murali

Feb 22 (AP) MUTTIAH Muralitharan's threat to never tour Australia again is ridiculous and I hope he isn't serious about following it through. There is no doubt he cops a bit from the crowds in Australia when he tours, but it's no different to the abuse the Australian players cop when we tour England, South Africa, New Zealand and the subcontinent. more..

Politics of duplicity

Feb 22 (SL) While policy differences between the SLFP and JVP were threatening to derail the alliance election campaign with each passing day in the run up to the April 2 general election, President Chandrika Kumaratunga was planning a full blown campaign aimed at browbeating the UNF coalition into submission as a damage control exercise. more..

LTTE rejects renegotiating MoU

Feb 22 (SL) The LTTE last week said it will not re-negotiate the present Memorandum of Understanding signed between its Leader, Vellupillai Pirapaharan and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on February 21, 2002. more..

More teeth for police to deal with election violence

Feb 22 (SO) The Election Secretariat set up at the Police Headquarters had received 17 election-related complaints from different parts of the country upto yesterday. According to DIG Gamini Nawarathne, these included complaints of two attempted murders from Arachchikattuwa and Chilaw. more..

Sri Lankan’s Kumra jumps to top in Pakistan Amateur Golf

Feb 22 (DT) Sri Lankan Lalith Kumra jumped to the top of the leaderboard with a decent five-under-par 67 on the penultimate round of the Mobilink 43rd Amateur Golf Championship at the Arabian Sea Country Club on Saturday. more..

Call for united vote to TNA in Vavuniya

Feb 22 (TN) The Federation of People’s Organizations (FPO) in Vavuniya, in a statement last week, has asked the public to vote for the policies of the Tamil National Alliance in order to gain maximum parliamentary representation for the Tamil people, more..

Vaas bowls Sri Lanka to one-run win

Feb 22 (CI) Sri Lanka hopes of levelling the series started to wane as Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden both scored unbeaten fifties. Australia, chasing a tricky target on a slow pitch, were cruising after 30 overs on 146 for 1. Ponting was unbeaten on 68 and Hayden was on 61. more..

Sri Lanka Elections: News Brief

Feb 22 (TN) TNA plans to submit nomination papers in the districts of NorthEast at the same time Monday noon, SLMC is to compete in Jaffna alone, SLMM is exploring ways to help people in LTTE controlled areas to exercise their right to vote, EPDP and EPRLF (Varather faction) to contest jointly in Jaffna, more..

Wickremesinghe appeals for renewed mandate for peace

Feb 22 (TN) Prime Minister Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe Sunday addressing the special convention of the UNP held at Colombo New Town hall appealed to the voters to give his coalition a fresh mandate with absolute majority that will enable him to take the peace process forward and to build a new nation in the next six years, more..

22 Tamil fishermen return from Sri Lanka

Feb 22 (DG) Twenty two Tamil fishermen, who were forcibly taken to Sri Lanka by the Island's fishermen recently, returned to Rameswaram on Sunday, officials sources said. The fishermen, 11 from Thangachimadam and the rest from Nagapattinam, were taken to Sri Lanka when they were fishing near Kodiakarai near Rameswaram, more..

IGP: Agency can quiz Tahir

Feb 22 (TS) Sri Lankan businessman B.S.A.Tahir is still in Malaysia and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is free to question him, Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Omar said yesterday. He said that police were more than willing to assist IAEA with regard to Tahir, more..

Airport to screen passengers

Feb 22 (TP) Health authorities at the Colombo airport will screen passengers arriving from countries affected by the disastrous bird flu and have visited a poultry farm within a stipulated period, newspapers said. more..

Parties urged not to attack CMC staff

Feb 22 (TP) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has urged all political parties to dissuade supporters from threatening and attacking CMC workers who remove posters on unauthorised pubic locations, the Daily News reported. more..

Election violence reported

Feb 22 (TP) At least 15 incidents of election violence were reported to the police election secretariat up to Friday. Five cases were reported by the UNP, three by the PA, two by the UPFA, three by the JVP and other parties two. Most of the incidents were minor reported from Ratnapura, Chilaw, Badulla, Ampara, Kalutara, Negombo and Tangalle.

Marxist JVP polarising force in Sri Lanka politics

Feb 22 (Reuters) The alliance between Sri Lanka's president and a Marxist nationalist party looks set to deepen divisions in the country ahead of an April 2 general election, analysts say. more..

PM kicks off campaign on truce anniversary

Feb 22 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's prime minister kicked off his election campaign on Sunday on the second anniversary of a ceasefire with Tamil Tiger rebels, saying his re-election will being more peace and prosperity. more..

Civilian dies in accidental explosion

Feb 22 (SLA) A civilian has died due to an explosion of a misfired Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) when he tried to examine the bomb at his residence in the general area of KAHAGOLLA, DIYATALAWA on 21 February 2004 around 5.30 p.m. more..

Nineteen illegal immigrants arrive

Feb 22 (SLA) Nineteen illegal immigrants including children with their baggage were arrested by Naval troops on duty in the general sea area west of URUMALAI, MANNAR, close to the OLD LIGHTHOUSE on 21 February 2004 around 5.00 a.m. more..

More refugees return

Feb 22 (SLA) Four refugees including two children were found landed on the beach in the general area of THEETHAKARAI, DELFT ISLAND on 21 February 2004 around 9.00 a.m. According to the preliminary investigations, they have left CHENDAKKAI refugee camp at RAMESHWARAM, INDIA more..

Atapattu's sportsmanship praised after Symonds decision

Feb 22 (Reuters) Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu was praised for his sportsmanship by match referee Mike Procter after allowing Australia's Andrew Symonds back to the crease on Sunday. more..

Best game of my career, says Vaas

Feb 22 (Reuters) Left-arm seamer Chaminda Vaas described his match-winning performance for Sri Lanka against Australia on Sunday as the best game of his long career. The 30-year-old Vaas followed three wickets for 48 with a nerveless final over performance more..

Sri Lanka marks truce anniversary as fear of war returns

Feb 22 (AFP) Sri Lanka marks the second anniversary of a truce with Tamil Tiger rebels, but the fragile peace process is eclipsed by growing threats of violence ahead of an election which many fear would be marked by attacks. more..

Lawyers trying to bring girl back

Feb 22 (NZH) Lawyers for the deported Sri Lankan girl whose case became the downfall of Lianne Dalziel as Immigration Minister are preparing an urgent application to the new minister to get the girl back to New Zealand. more..

Windies beat Sri Lanka in U-19 WC

Feb 22 (CI) Sri Lanka's top order let their side down to fall 19 runs short of a modest target set by West Indies in the Super League match at the Fatullah District Stadium. Sri Lanka won the toss and put West Indies in. Accurate bowling restricted progress and it wasn't until the 29th over that they reached the 100 mark. more..

Ronnie de Mel changes sides again

Feb 22 (TN) Mr. Ronnie de Mel, Sri Lanka’s longest serving finance minister, crossed over to the UNP from President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s SLFP, UNP officials in Colombo said Sunday. His wife Mallika de Mel, a former MP from the Matara district, also joined the UNP along with her husband. more..

SLA bans fishing in Thondamanaaru lagoon

Feb 23 (TN) Sri Lanka Army Sunday banned fishing in the Thondamanaru lagoon in the Jaffna district, fisheries sources said. Hundreds of fisher families residing in Kerudavil, Akkarai and Thondamanaru areas in Vadamaradchchi division have been badly affected by the ban, more..

"Ceasefire has failed to bring normalcy to Jaffna residents"

Feb 23 (TN) The Jaffna District Humanitarian Agencies Consortium (JDHAC) Sunday handed over a memorandum to the head of the SLMM in Jaffna stating that normalcy has not returned to the lives of several thousand Tamil people including internally displaced in the peninsula even after two years of ceasefire, more..