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War scars slowly heal in Jaffna peninsula

Mar 14 (Reuters) The road from the airport into town is often a good indicator of what a place is like. Nowhere is this more true than in Jaffna, the spiritual capital of the minority Tamils in northern Sri Lanka and a key battleground in a two-decade-old civil war. more..

UPFA silent on peace process, CFA - Ranil

Mar 14 (TN) "Eventhough there is a voice in the south that is calling for the abrogation of the Ceasefire Agreement and to start war, we are determined to pursue the path of peace," said Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe speaking at an election meeting held in Vavuniya Urban Council grounds Saturday. more..

Limited Edition

Mar 14 (LBO) The Joint Business Forum (JBiz) has asked the new government to restrict Cabinet members to 25 and Deputy Minister to 25. The limited edition, JBiz says should be complimented with a Consultative & Advisory Committee at Ministry’s with representatives from Parliament. more..

Bouncing Up

Mar 14 (LBO) With court room and board room battles firmly behind, the diversified Richard Pieris Group made it to the news this week to pick up two plantation companies. The acquisition is the latest, after picking up Sathosa and getting a tentative foot into financial sector through Pramuka Bank. more..

Sri Lanka drop Dharmasena for second test

Mar 14 (Reuters) Sri Lanka have dropped off spinner Kumar Dharmasena from their 15-man squad for the second test against Australia that starts on Tuesday. Dharmasena took two wickets in the first innings in the first test in Galle, but failed to make an impression in the second innings. more..

Tigers in mud-slinging war

Mar 14 (Gulf) Tamil guerrilla rival factions have started exposing each other over major scandals which have rocked their movement with no immediate signs of the two sides settling their disputes. more..

32 children take part in Youth Leadership Programme

Mar 14 (BT) The fifth Youth Leadership Programme conducted by the Sri Lanka Club Toastmasters concluded on Friday evening with a special programme held at the Carlton Hotel. Twenty-three children, aged 12 to 15, took part in the YLP. more..

Sri Lanka peace hopes dim as Tiger leadership fractures

Mar 14 (AFP) Sri Lanka's hopes of ending three decades of ethnic bloodshed and emerging as Asia's latest tiger economy have been shattered by a shock rift in the leadership of the Tamil Tiger rebels, analysts said. more..

Dad's biscuit empire behind spinner's sweet success

Mar 14 (SMH) Sri Lanka hope Muttiah Muralitharan's return to his birthplace for the second Test will inspire them, writes Alex Brown in Kandy. Elephants and tuktuks compete for space on the narrow, winding road that links the Asgiriya International Stadium and Luckyland cookie factory. more..

Sri Lanka rebel faction confident in jungle lair

Mar 14 (Reuters) The rebel soldier looked about 16, dressed in black with a machine gun slung across his back. For a member of a breakaway faction of LTTE, which deals harshly with any dissident -- the soldier who guided visitors on a 90-minute drive through the jungle was relaxed and quick to smile. more..

Polling stations to be located in no-man zones in NE

Mar 15 (TN) Commissioner of Elections is to hold consultation with the chiefs of three State armed forces and the Police on Monday regarding his decision to locate polling stations in no man zones in the northeast province enabling the voters residing in the Liberation Tigers held areas to exercise their franchise without any difficulties more..

President rejects war, seeks talks with Tamil rebels

Mar 15 (AP) President on Sunday rejected a military solution to the country's ethnic conflict, and promised to resume peace talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels if her party is elected in elections in April. President Chandrika Kumaratunga has in the past passionately criticised a truce with the rebels. more..

Sri Lanka to increase international poll monitors

Mar 15 (ABC) Sri Lanka's elections department plans to increase the number of international observers to monitor next month's parliamentary election in a bid to discourage cheating and violence. more..

Kalubowila Hospital affected by doctors strike

Mar 15 (NW) The GMOA has decided to stop the admission of patients at the Colombo South Teaching Hospital, Kalubowila from 12 noon today. Media spokesman of the GMOA, Dr. Channa Perera has said that the doctors strike will continue as the government has failed to respond positively to their demands. more..

CMEV worried about election violence involving politicos

Mar 15 (NW) The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) has said that it is disturbed by reports received over the past few days that point to the involvement of senior politicians in acts of election-related violence. more..

Chandrika regrets calling snap polls

Mar 15 (AFP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has apologised for calling snap elections but says the move was necessary due to the failure of her attempts to work with the government. In a televised address to the nation, Mrs Kumaratunga says she sincerely regrets having to call a third parliamentary election within four years. more..

Maha Sangha pledge to save Sasana, Motherland & people

Mar 15 (LT) Thousands of Maha Sangha including Mahanayakes representing 9000 villages throughout the country arrived in Colombo at 12 noon and pledged to fulfill eight fold declaration for the benefit of the Buddha Sasana, the Motherland and the people. more..

National policy of health presented to UPFA

Mar 15 (LT) Proposals for a National Health policy have been forwarded by the National Health Alliance. These proposals were launched at a ceremony held at BMICH today. The policies have been proposed safeguarding the free health service and the rights of the patients as well as the health employees. more..

Chandrika meets business leaders

Mar 15 (TP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has assured the business community that the executive presidency would be abolished if her Freedom Alliance party were to be elected to office at the April 2 polls. The president called the meeting of frontline business leaders to explain the economic policies of the Alliance, more..

Fishermen against foreign trawlers

Mar 15 (TP) The fishing community in the southern districts of Matara and Hambantota have protested against foreign trawlers operating in southern seas and releasing their catch to local markets, Samuel Silva, president of a fishermen’s union told the Daily News. more..

Govt to sign UN treaty

Mar 15 (TP) Sri Lanka will sign the UN Convention against corruption, Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando said. According to newspapers, Fernando has authorised Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN Charlie Mahendran to sign the convention on behalf of Sri Lanka. more..

Karuna followers on protest fast

Mar 15 (TP) Eight supporters of Tamil rebel renegade leader Karuna began a protest fast on Friday in the eastern town of Batticaloa demanding that LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran declare Karuna as the LTTE leader of the eastern province. more..

Sri Lankan Team to Streamline Consulate Functioning

Mar 15 (AN) A Sri Lankan advisory team has arrived to streamline the running of the country’s consulate in Jeddah. The consulate has recently been the target of media attacks in Sri Lanka. The team is led by the Director General of Consular Affairs Muhammad Mahroof, more..

Finally, Lanka to enshrine IPKF, says it fought terrorism

Mar 15 (IE) Sri Lanka will finally mitigate some of the anger that continues to simmer in the Indian Army over its humiliating withdrawal from the island nation 14 years ago, when it lays a foundation stone for a memorial to the Indian Peace-Keeping Forces (IPKF) in Colombo next month. more..

Baddegama II

Mar 15 (LBO) Last year alone, severe drought and floods hit the Southern Sri Lanka alternatively leaving many families homeless and poor. But for the villages in the Hambantota district these conditions are a part of their lives. more..

Too Vague

Mar 15 (LBO) The Freedom Alliance unveiled its manifesto promising to stop the tide of privatisations most of which were initiated by the previous PA administration, a party to the alliance. The UPFA says road, rail, petroleum, electricity, ports and airports, water and state banks will not be privatised more..

Second Airport

Mar 15 (LBO) More than 30 international airport developers have shown initial interest in building and perhaps taking a stake in a new international airport in the south of the country. Secretary to the Aviation Ministry said some global players have also shown interest to build the airport at Wellawaya. more..

Say Watt?

Mar 15 (LBO) As the drought, dubbed as the worst in the last fifty years, drained the hydro reservoirs making it hard for the electricity utility to meet peak consumer demand, the government stepped in saying it would pump in Rs. 3 billion to secure emergency power to shore up the national power grid. more..

SLA soldier absconds after killing colleague

Mar 15 (TN) A.K.G.P.Vijitha Bandara (24), an Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldier attached to the Jaffna based 512nd Brigade was shot to death by another soldier, Sumantha Kumara from the same camp during an altercation Saturday midnight, Jaffna daily Uthayan reported. more..

Dissent within Karuna loyalists?

Mar 15 (TN) In a sign of emerging dissention within cadres working with renegade commander, Mr. Vinayagamoorthy Muraleetharan (Karuna), the website that used to carry Mr.Karuna's messages asked for pardon from the viewers for displaying messages against Liberation Tigers leader V.Pirapaharan. more..

LTTE want ransom for fishing boats

Mar 15 (SLA) Twenty-four fishermen, who reached the troops on duty in the general area of THIRUNELVELY, about 3.5 northeast of the JAFFNA town on 13 March 2004 claimed that their five fishing boats were detained by the LTTE after they had refused to pay ransom to the LTTE. more..

LTTE abduct and release a teenager

Mar 15 (SLA) LTTE had abducted a teenaged boy while he was at VAVUNIYA bus station in the town on 13 March 2004 for reasons best known only to the LTTE. However, these abductors for reasons best known only to the LTTE have late on the same day had delivered the victim to the SLMM. more..

No bar on foreign investment - President assures business leaders and academics

Mar 15 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga said the UPFA would extend maximum support for agriculture and small and medium scale enterprises. She assured that incentives for foreign direct investments would be maintained. more..

President condemns Madrid bomb attacks

Mar 15 (PSL) In a letter of condolence to the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, President Kumaratunga condemned in the strongest terms the multiple bomb attacks in Madrid, March 11, which killed close to 200 and injured more than 1400. more..

Mason cleans up Sri Lanka A

Mar 15 (CI) Michael Mason took 5 for 21 as New Zealand A bundled Sri Lanka A out for 148 in their second innings, to win comfortably by an innings and 237 runs. The Sri Lankans had begun the day on 56 for 2, 329 behind, and they lasted just 35 overs. more..

Biting the bullet

Mar 15 (CI) After the heat of seaside Galle, the cool of hill-country Kandy. Sri Lanka come to the island's most sacred city looking for a change in fortunes. Australia, though, have momentum on their side, and a pace attack that is pawing the ground in anticipation of a pitch that promises them greater life than the turgid surface at Galle. more..

President blames gov't for ignoring problems in peace process

Mar 15 (PD) President Kumaratunga on Sunday blamed the government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for their ignoring problems in the peace process with the Tamil Tiger rebels. "It helped the LTTE to increase its strength by three fold. The government turned a blind eye to recruitment of child soldiers and increasing of their armory," more..

Leaders scale down campaign

Mar 15 (TP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have scaled down their respective election campaigns for security reasons based on intelligence reports, party sources were quoted as saying in the Sunday Times. more..

Govt has failed on economic front: Poll

Mar 15 (TP) Sri Lankans believe that for the first time that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNF government has failed in handling the economy but on the other hand handled the northeast issue well, according to latest Org-Marg Smart opinion poll exclusively reported in the Sunday Times. more..

Assurance on water quality

Mar 15 (TP) While thousands of residents in the capital Colombo are complaining about a peculiar, salty taste in their tap water, the city’s top public health official assured residents on Saturday that tests had revealed that the water was not harmful. more..

Herbal painkiller launched

Mar 15 (TP) A local herbal medicinal products manufacturer is now ready with a herbal paracetamol tablet that will relieve pain and fever. The drug is awaiting the approval of the Drug Regulatory Authority, company officials were quoted as saying. more..

Ranil to fight poll on peace plank

Mar 15 (PTI) Launching his parliamentary election campaign, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today sought a stronger mandate to complete his Government's "unfinished business" of holding peace talks with Tiger rebels and handling of the economy. more..

Murali cleared for second Test

Mar 15 (N24) Muttiah Muralitharan is expected to play despite a stomach upset on the eve of the second cricket Test and his skipper Hashan Tillakaratne is confident the off-spinner will cause Australia trouble on his home ground. more..

SB dares CBK to renounce immunity

Mar 15 (DM) Minister S.B. Dissanayake, in an interview with the Daily Mirror yesterday, threw an open challenge to President Chandrika Kumaratunga to renounce the immunity clauses in the Executive Presidency so that he could sue her for Rs. 1 billion for the defamatory remarks she has made of him. more..

Freedom Alliance policies will not solve problems, says Prime Minister

Mar 15 (DN) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, criticising the policy statement of the Freedom Alliance, on Friday stressed that those policies would not resolve the country's burning problems. more..

Sri Lankans to be more aggressive against Warne

Mar 15 (Reuters) Sri Lanka are set to tackle the key threat of leg spinner Shane Warne by adopting a more aggressive approach, captain Hashan Tillakaratne said on the eve of the second test. Warne sparked a dramatic final innings collapse during the first Galle test, taking three wickets in the space of 15 balls, as Sri Lanka slumped to a 197-run defeat. more..

Sri Lankan Media Caught in Pre-Poll Crossfire

Mar 15 (OW) Objectivity has become a casualty on the eve of polls in Sri Lanka, with the national media divided between the president and prime minister, and regional dailies targeted by rival factions of Tamil Tiger guerrillas. more..

Sri Lanka to honour Indian soldiers

Mar 15 (IANS) Thirteen years after ordering their unceremonious withdrawal, Sri Lanka is set to honour Indian soldiers who died fighting Tamil separatists by building a monument to them. "We want the whole of India to know we deeply appreciate their sacrifices and the whole country supports the (building of the) monument," Sri Lankan High Commissioner Mangala Moonesinghe told IANS. more..

Allegations against the contesting Buddhist monks

Mar 15 (SN) SinhaNet has summarised the answers given by the contesting Buddhist monks of Jatika Hela Urumaya for allegations levelled against them. These questions and answers are given in View Point. It will be updated after receiving answers from Jatika Hela Urumaya for the remaining questions. more..

How April 2 Lankan polls are critical for LTTE?

Mar 15 (HT) Assuming that the internal war in the LTTE between supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran and his sacked eastern commander, Colonel Karuna, is not resolved one way or the other within the next few days, the April 2 elections to the parliament will become a major battleground for the two. more..