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Many more IHL & HR Officer Instructors pass out

Feb 24 (SLA) The third session of the Advanced Refresher Training Course of the Officer Instructors of the Armed Forces on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (IHL & HR) culminated on Friday (20) with its awards presentation ceremony more..

Jayantha set to replace Kaluwitharana in ODI

Feb 24 (AP) Selectors are likely to opt for explosive opener Saman Jayantha in place of Romesh Kaluwitharana in Sri Lanka's third One-day match against Australia, Sri Lanka Cricket officials said on Tuesday. If Jayantha is selected in the final eleven for Wednesday's match, it will be his debut for Sri Lanka . more..

Reliance wins Sri Lanka tender

Feb 24 (Reuters) Reliance Industries has won a tender to supply Sri Lanka with 180,000 barrels of gas oil and 120,000 barrels of gasoline for March, an official from state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corp (Ceypetco) said on Tuesday. more..

Lanka may not always use one pacer: Coach

Feb 24 (AP) Sri Lanka won't always play just one fast bowler against Australia's strong batting line-up in the ongoing One-day cricket series, coach John Dyson said on Tuesday. The hosts used only one paceman, Chaminda Vaas, and six spinners for Sunday's second match at Dambulla, more..

Nominations for polls close today

Feb 24 (Gulf) Nominations for snap Parliamentary elections close today as the main parties prepare for a grueling five week long election campaign. President Kumaratunga's alliance and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe's UNP handed over nominations in some of the main districts yesterday. more..

Gilchrist fined for breaching code-of-conduct

Feb 24 (AP) Australian vice-captain Adam Gilchrist was found guilty at a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday, of showing dissent following an umpire's decision in Australia's second limited-overs international against Sri Lanka. more..

Buddhist monks protest against Jathika Hela Urumaya

Feb 24 (G2L) A group of Buddhist monks of the National Bhikku Front opposed to some of the Buddhist priests contesting the forthcoming general election, staged a protest fast yesterday (23) at Thimbirigasaya, Colombo, in front of the residence of Sihala Urumaya leader Tilak Kaunaratne. more..

Mahanayake refuses to meet monks in politics

Feb 24 (DM) The Venerable Rambukwelle Sri Vipassi Mahanayake Thera of the Malwatte Chapter has declined to meet the Venerable Ellawala Medhananda Thera, the prime mover behind the decision by a section of the Buddhist monks to contest the forthcoming general election. more..

Parties begin filing nominations

Feb 24 (DN) The two main contenders in the April 2 general election, The United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and the United National Party (UNP) commenced filing nominations yesterday. more..

Britain warns Sri Lanka parties not to undermine peace process

Feb 24 (AFP) Britain urged Sri Lanka's political parties to keep down their rhetoric in the run up to April elections and warned against undermining fragile peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Indian poaching in Sri Lankan seas takes violent turn

Feb 24 (OW) Soon after a fast-unto-death campaign by jailed Indian fishermen in Sri Lanka, the contentious issue reached a flashpoint Monday after a violent attack on Sri Lankan fishermen by their Indian counterparts, triggering a crisis in relations between the two South Asian countries. more..

171 candidates vie for six Vanni seats

Feb 24 (TN) Ten different registered parties and nine independent groups are presenting 171 candidates for the forthcoming elections in the Vanni district for six seats. In the last elections held in 2001, 207 candidates from 23 groups competed in Vanni, more..

UNP, UPFA avoid Jaffna district

Feb 24 (TN) The Returning Officer of the Jaffna electoral district Mr. S.Pathmanathan Tuesday accepted nomination lists from eight political parties and two independent groups to Contest the forthcoming general election fixed for 2 April, more..

Sri Lanka muscle past South Africa

Feb 24 (CI) Sri Lanka blew Super League Group 1 wide open, as they defeated South Africa by 29 runs at Fatullah. For Sri Lanka, it was an essential victory after their 19-run loss to West Indies on Sunday, while for South Africa, it was a disappointing follow-up to their thrilling three-run win against India. more..

Rebel-backed candidates running in Sri Lanka vote

Feb 24 (Reuters) Rebel-backed candidates are among several thousand who filed papers on Tuesday for Sri Lanka's third election in four years, a vote that will focus on how to resume a peace bid with the Tamil Tigers after decades of war. more..

SEP to stand in Sri Lankan elections

Feb 24 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka has decided to stand a slate of 23 candidates in the district of Colombo in the general elections scheduled for April 2. The district is the largest in the country and its industrial and commercial hub. more..

Ponting vows Australia will bounce back from dissent distraction

Feb 24 (Age) Australian captain Ricky Ponting conceded the dissent charges levelled against Andrew Symonds and Adam Gilchrist had proved a distraction throughout the week, but vowed to maintain a single-minded, intimidatory approach towards Sri Lanka's batsmen throughout Wednesday's encounter at Premadasa Stadium. more..

112 candidates from Ten political parties contest Trincomalee

Feb 24 (TN) Trincomalee electoral district Returning Officer Mr. Gamini Rodrigo Tuesday accepted nomination lists from ten political parties and six independent groups that are presenting candidates to contest the forthcoming general election for four Trincomalee seats, political sources said. more..

Colombo to decide on clustered booths in Trincomalee - GA

Feb 24 (TN) Trincomalee District Government Agent and Returning Officer Mr. Gamini Rodrigo said Tuesday that he is considering locating clustered polling booths in no man zones to enable voters in the uncleared areas in the Trincomalee district to exercise their franchise, election officials in Trincomalee said. more..

Protest against attack by Indian poachers

Feb 25 (TN) Fishermen of Vadamaradchchi division in Jaffna district Tuesday did not go fishing in protest to the attack by a group of Indian poachers on local fishermen. Vadamaradchchi north fisheries federation sources said that it is organizing a mass protest against the attack on local fishermen by Indian poachers Wednesday. more..

Record number of candidates contest poll

Feb 25 (AFP) Nominations for Sri Lanka's snap elections closed on Tuesday with a record 6,024 candidates in the running for 225 parliamentary seats amid fears for the island's fragile peace process. more..

Ranil, Peiris among over 6,000 candidates in fray

Feb 25 (Hindu) More than 6,000 candidates, including the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, are contesting the 13th Parliamentary elections to be held on April 2. more..

Bhikkus who contest election belittle Buddha Sasana -Mahanayake

Feb 25 (LT) Mahanayake of Malwatte Chapter rejected a request made by Ven. Ellawela Medananda to give him an opportunity to explain why the Bhikkus were contesting for the forthcoming General Election. more..

Serious consequences if Tamil voters’ rights are denied – Thamilchelvan

Feb 25 (TN) “The consequences will be serious if the rights and wishes of our people are denied”, said Mr. S.P Thamilchelvan, responding to reports Tuesday that the Sri Lanka army will not allow the free movement of voters from areas held by the LTTE for polling on 2 April. more..

Bad Bottles

Feb 25 (LBO) Bottle water is turning out to be the next "hip-thing to do" in the tropical fashion scene, a trend entrepreneurs across Sri Lanka are capitalising on while policy makers vet legislation to control quality. more..

Political Pickle

Feb 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka is heading for a hung parliament after April elections with no decisive majority for either the ruling United National Front or the main opposition United Peoples Freedom Alliance. more..

Coming To Colombo

Feb 25 (LBO) Sri Lankan aviation authorities have cleared Abu Dhabi based industry newcomer, Etihad Airways to fly daily to Colombo from March 03. Area Manager for Sri Lanka, Kumar de Silva says Etihad will take off with three weekly fights to Colombo with the main stray of initial sales coming from the migrant labour population. more..

Short Burst

Feb 25 (LBO) Cabinet has agreed to partially privatise State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company (SPMC) by selling off a 40 percent block. Employees will be gifted 10 percent of its stock, the Public Enterprise Reform Commission said. more..

SLMM informed of new LTTE guard point

Feb 25 (SLA) Troops on duty in the general area of PUNANAI north were compelled to keep the SLMM informed of the establishment a new LTTE guard point near the ZD CANAL area on 24 February 2004 before the MAHAWELI Authority surveyors began their survey on 25 February 2004. more..

LTTE assault the convert and detain his bicycle

Feb 25 (SLA) A civilian from the general area of RIDEETENNA was beaten by three LTTE men after detaining his bicycle while he was returning home with a load of firewood from OMADIYAMADU SAMURDHIPURAM village on 24 February 2004, states a complaint made to the VALAICHCHENAI Police station. more..

President sends good wishes to Kuwait

Feb 25 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga sent her felicitations to Kuwait Ambassador Abdullah Naser M Al-Sanousi on the country’s national day, which falls on February 26. [Full text of the message] more..

These are the heroes

Feb 25 (PRIU) Hats off to embattled TULF Leader V. Anandasangaree, EPDP Leader Douglas Devananda, PLOTE Leader D. Siddarthan and all their candidates for deciding to contest alone despite all odds being against them, while virtually all-noteworthy minority parties have opted to ride piggyback on the two major contenders or simply act according to the dictates of the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka may have tourism website in Hindi

Feb 25 (IANS) If all goes well, Sri Lanka may soon have a tourism website in Hindi. The island nation, considered a tourist paradise, on Tuesday launched a new website in English to explore the potential of tourism industry and meet its target of 600,000 arrivals set for this year, more..

Sri Lanka, India stay in contention for semis

Feb 25 (Dawn) Sri Lanka and India scored much-needed victories on Tuesday to leave wide open the Group-I of the Super League at ICC Under-19 World Cup. Sri Lanka owed their 29-run victory over South Africa largely to opener Upul Tharanga who struck a 140-ball 117 that helped lift the total to 277 for five. more..

Hard task to get evidence from expelled Sri Lankan girl

Feb 25 (Stuff) Officials face a daunting task gaining evidence from the expelled Sri Lankan teenager about how her lawyer's notes reached Prime Minister Helen Clark's electorate office. more..

TNA admits being LTTE’s proxy

Feb 25 (TP) The TNA on Monday admitted that it was contesting the April 2 parliamentary poll on behalf of Tamil rebels. R. Sampanthan, the TNA’s lead candidate in the eastern Trincomalee district, disclosed when he addressed the city’s first election seminar. more..

Indian model in police uniform row

Feb 25 (TP) An Indian model who danced at a fair in a Colombo hotel wearing a Sri Lankan police inspector’s uniform has triggered a row with the authorities. Police chief Indra de Silva told that a special police team has been deployed to investigate the incident because it is illegal for a civilian to wear a police uniform in public. more..

Mendis new Sri Lanka chief

Feb 25 (BBC) Duleep Mendis has been named the new chief executive of Sri Lanka cricket, the former captain replacing Anura Tennakoon on 1 January. Mendis, 51, made his Test debut against England during Sri Lanka's inaugural Test in 1982, and went on to play 24 Tests and 79 one-day internationals. more..

State media told to stick to guidelines

Feb 25 (Gulf) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake has set out guidelines to the state-run electronic media and cautioned them that he could name a competent authority to manage the broadcasts related to elections, in the event of any violation of the regulations. more..

Stocks close flat, volumes healthy

Feb 25 (Reuters) Stocks closed virtually flat on Wednesday after a five day streak upwards, with market turnover boosted by foreign activity, brokers said. The key Colombo all-share index closed up 0.05 percent, or 0.63 points, at 1,199.57, more..

Sri Lanka Party To Field 260 Buddhist Monks As Candidates

Feb 25 (AP) A radical nationalist party said Wednesday it will field 260 Buddhists monks as candidates in the April 2 parliamentary elections - the first time monks have entered the political fray in an organized way. more..

The JVP reassures Sri Lankan business leaders

Feb 25 (wsws) One of the first initiatives of the newly-formed alliance between the SLFP and the Sinhala extremist JVP has been to meet with top business leaders in Colombo to offer reassurances that corporate interests will be safeguarded in the event that the parties win the April 2 election. more..

Jayawardene's 80 takes Sri Lanka to 226

Feb 25 (CI) After a disastrous start, Sri Lanka - inspired by Mahela Jayawardene's 109-ball 80 - partially dug themselves out of a Jason Gillespie-dug hole to post a modest total of 226 for 8, a score that Australia would back themselves to overhaul on a flat Premadasa pitch. more..

Major place for minorities in national lists

Feb 25 (DM) The national lists of the two main parties, the UNF and the UPFA, were handed over yesterday with Ronnie de Mel being a notable inclusion in the UNF list while former Premier Ratnasiri Wickremenayake and former strongman Anuruddha Ratwatte were notable exclusions from the UPFA list. more..

Parties gear for polls campaign

Feb 25 (DN) Nominations for the April 2 General Election closed at 12 noon yesterday with both main political parties, the United People's Freedom Alliance and the United National Front fielding candidates in 21 districts. more..

40 hurt in clashes as election campaign begins

Feb 25 (AFP) Sri Lanka's national election campaign got off to a violent start, with at least 40 people, including a Buddhist monk, wounded in inter-party clashes, police said. At least 40 people were treated in hospital following 27 incidents reported in southern and north-central regions more..

Sri Lanka government sees chaos if opposition wins poll

Feb 25 (Reuters) Sri Lanka faces chaos if the president’s alliance wins approaching elections, the prime minister’s party warned on Wednesday, saying the coalition could not agree on how to pursue peace moves with Tamil rebels. more..

Lanka has plans for Indian tourists

Feb 25 (ET) Sri Lanka has set a target of wooing one-and-a-half lakh Indian tourists during the current calendar year. It attracted 98,000 tourists from India last year. more..

Protest continues, SLN to help locate missing fisherman

Feb 25 (TN) Hundreds of Vadamarachchi fishermen did not go fishing for the third day and participated in a protest meeting held in the premises of Sakkottai St. Francis Xavier Church Wednesday morning condemning the recent attack on local fishermen by Indian poachers in the northern waters, fisheries sources said. more..

International community should protect Tamils right to vote - TNA

Feb 25 (TN) TNA will appeal to the international community to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan government to ensure voters in the Liberation Tigers controlled areas in the northeast province to exercise their franchise in the forthcoming general election without any interruption, more..