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Doctors’ strike enters 2nd week

Mar 18 (TP) A strike by doctors moved into its second week with other health sector workers also threatening to protest if the demands of the doctors are met, the Daily Mirror reported. It said a pregnant mother brought to the Kalubowila hospital, delivered the baby at the gate of the hospital, as admissions had been suspended. more..

Civil servants stage rally

Mar 18 (TP) Nearly 1800 civil servants and members of Sri Lanka's Administrative Service (SLAS) staged a demonstration in Colombo to protest against the government’s failure to rectify their salary anomalies. more..

A split in the LTTE heightens danger of war

Mar 18 (wsws) A major split has erupted between the northern and eastern wings of the LTTE that has the potential to undermine the current ceasefire in Sri Lanka and plunge the country back to civil war. more..

Regulators Target Advertisers' Wild Claims

Mar 18 (IPS) The Sri Lankan government is clamping down on advertisers' wild claims about the benefits of certain food products, starting with new restrictions on nutritional and protein claims to take effect on Apr. 1. more..

813 refugees to return to Sri Lanka

Mar 18 (CO) As many as 813 Sri Lankan refugees in a camp in Sivaganga district in Tamil Nadu have been allowed to return to their country. Officials, quoting Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner to India Sumit Nakanthala, today said the Sri Lankan government had already issued travel permit to the refugees, housed in Okkur refugee camp. more..

Karuna was unofficial Number Two in LTTE

Mar 18 (SN) Tamilnet Web Master, Mr Sivaram who writes in the penname Taraki has confirmed that Karuna was unofficial deputy leader of the LTTE in his article published in Daily Mirror of 18th March. more..

Asgiriya Maha Nayake Thero blesses the contesting monks

Mar 18 (SN) Maha Nayake Thero of Asgiriya Chapter, the most Ven Udugama Sri Buddharakkita thero yesterday endorsed the JHU monks’ decision to contest the election. He endorsed the monks when the contesting monks met him at Asgiriya temple in Kandy. more..

Monks are threaten to resign

Mar 18 (SN) Ven Samandeniye Dhammaloka thero, a candidate of the Hela Urumaya for Kurunegala district was threaten by a UNP member of Mawathagama Pradeshiya Sabha demanding him to resign. He has lodged a complaint to Mawatagama Police Station. more..

SLMM becomes the ham in the sandwich

Mar 18 (SN) Both the LTTE and RTTE (Karuna’s recently formed Revolutionary Tigers of Tamil Eelam) have accused the SLMM of supporting their rival group. Karuna’s secretary Varthan charged on 15th March that the SLMM and Norway assists the LTTE to move cadres to the East from Vanni to fight with the RTTE. more..

Doctors' strike deadlocked: CNH Chief warns of chaos

Mar 18 (DN) The doctors' strike entered its eight day yesterday paralysing the public health sector as the striking doctors warned to stop admissions to the Badulla and Peradeniya Teaching Hospitals if a meeting scheduled yesterday afternoon with the Health Minister did not materialise to forge a satisfactory solution. more..

Balasingham downplays LTTE split

Mar 18 (gulf) Tamil guerrilla theoretician Anton Balasingham has vowed to end a power struggle within the group without armed violence and bloodshed and declared that the rebellion staged by a regional military wing leader was a 'temporary aberration'. more..

Martyn grinds out a ton on a wet day

Mar 18 (CI) Damien Martyn batted studiously throughout the first half of the third day to keep Australia in front in the second Test at Kandy. Australia lost two wickets in the morning - including Adam Gilchrist's for 144 - and another after lunch, more..

Jathika Hela Urumaya asks State media men to quit

Mar 18 (DM) JHU National Organiser Ven. Kolonnawe Sumangala Thera yesterday called on all journalists attached to state media institutions to resign forthwith rather than be a party to what he called an 'anti-nationalist and anti -religious' propaganda and mudslinging levelled at JHU members. more..

Sri Lanka Politics: Frequently Asked Questions

Mar 18 (HT) Q. How did President Kumaratunga undermine the role of Prime Minister Wickeramasinghe led peace process?
A. The LTTE pulled out of the Norway brokered peace talks with the Sri Lankan government in March 2003 on the grounds that it was being sidelined. more..

Central bank says rates could ease in 2004

Mar 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank said on Thursday it could cut interest rates by a small margin in 2004, with expectations the island's peace bid would continue to spur economic growth and inflationary pressure would ease. more..

'India's success story should inspire Sri Lanka'

Mar 18 (IANS) A prominent Sri Lankan politician has urged the people to draw inspiration from India's economic success to have "a dream of our own". Milinda Moragoda was Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's point-person for the negotiations with the Tamil Tiger guerrillas, has cited the Indian example to the voters in his personal website. more..

Karuna sets agenda

Mar 18 (HT) The rebel LTTE leader, Colonel Karuna, has asked the TNA in his fiefdom of Batticaloa-Amparai, to fight the parliamentary elections on the basis of regional development issues, and not on the political issue of "Tamil Nationalism", as demanded by the Prabhakaran faction based in northern Sri Lanka. more..

Japan to send monitors for Sri Lanka election

Mar 18 (Reuters) Japan said on Thursday it will send a team to observe Sri Lanka's approaching election, adding to a small army of monitors seeking to ensure a fair poll and support the island's peace process. more..

Garment firms to promote compliance post-2005

Mar 19 (JS) Sri Lanka’s garment industry is so confident of its high standards of social compliance that it plans to use them as a marketing tool to boost business post 2005. A special committee has been set up to help all apparel export companies become socially compliant, more..

Sri Lankan health sector remain crippled

Mar 19 (NW) The doctors' strike entered its eight day yesterday paralysing the public health sector as the striking doctors warned to stop admissions to the Badulla and Peradeniya Teaching Hospitals if a meeting scheduled yesterday afternoon with the Health Minister did not materialise to forge a satisfactory solution. more..

A Sri Lankan Chef a Big "curry flavour" in US

Mar 19 (NW) Kumar Wickramasingha is used to having his picture in nationally circulated restaurant trade magazines. For about the 10th time - he's lost count - the owner and executive chef at Alpha's on the Riverfront, 709 Avenue H, is featured in one of those magazines. This time it's Chef Magazine, and Wickramasingha is excited. more..

Dinesh Chandrasena a big hit in Los Angeles fashion scene

Mar 19 (NW) Chandrasena has created dream gowns for singer Shania Twain, Sandra Bullock (in the movie, Miss Congeniality), Julie Andrews (for the movie, Princess Diaries), and Julie Moran (as compere for the Miss Universe 2000 pageant). more..

Salaries before end this month due to polls

Mar 19 (NW) President Chandrika Kumaratunge has requested the Ministry of Labour to pay the March salary of all casual and temporary employees in the private sector on or before the March 31st. Normally salaries of casual employees are paid on the 10th of the following month. more..

CBK insists that Rosy is involved in politics

Mar 19 (NW) The Presidential Secretariat says that although Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando denies allegations that Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Malaysia Rosy Senanayake is involved in electioneering work, it has learnt from reliable sources that she is actually engaged in such work. more..

Sri Lankans may not have power today

Mar 19 (NW) The countrys power supply is likely to face a threat of disruption today with speculation rife that some 10,000 CEB workers who are launching a token strike might resort to acts of sabotage. more..

Trincomalee UNP Tamil contestant withdraws candidacy

Mar 19 (TN) Mr. Nagarajah Sambasivamoorthy, one of the seven candidates put forward by the ruling United National Party to contest the forthcoming general election in the Trincomalee electoral district, said Thursday that he has withdrawn from the contest, more..

President pledges to resume peace talks

Mar 19 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's president called a split in the Tamil Tiger rebels a dangerous situation but said on Thursday she was determined to quickly restart peace talks if her party wins next month's general election. more..

Trinco TNA Muslim candidate appeals for unity

Mar 19 (TN) Mr.Abdul Hassan Sahul Hameed, sole Muslim candidate contesting in the Trincomalee district on the TNA ticket Thursday appealed to Muslim voters to exercise their franchise to promote unity and harmony between the two communities in the district, more..

2006, target date for mine free Jaffna district

Mar 19 (TN) “All anti-personnel mines buried in the Jaffna peninsula could be completely removed and deactivated by the end of the year 2006 if the current peace environment continued and the financial assistance promised by the international community is disbursed as scheduled”, said Mr. Tim Horner, more..

President calls Tiger split dangerous

Mar 19 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's president called a split in the Tamil Tiger rebels a dangerous situation but said on Thursday she was determined to quickly restart peace talks if her party wins next month's general election. more..

Kumaratunga gives Tigers warning

Mar 19 (BBC) President Chandrika Kumaratunga says the recent split in the Tamil Tiger rebels will complicate peace negotiations for the government. She told the BBC the breakaway Tiger commander in the east of Sri Lanka had made attempts to contact her party but that she had not reciprocated. more..

Forces turn down security for Prabha’s tigers to visit East

Mar 19 (LT) Tiger organization had requested permission from the government’s peace secretariat for a team of their representatives to go to the East. This request has been made through Norwegian ceasefire monitors, the SLMM. more..

President shuts down 10 ministries ahead of elections

Mar 19 (DPA) Sri Lanka's president today closed down 10 ministries ahead of next month's parliamentary elections in an apparent move to prevent former ministers of the opposition misusing state facilities for the campaign, officials said. more..

Seeing Red

Mar 19 (LBO) The JVP is marrying its past with the present, to give the party its first significant political victory next month. “We did not take part in active politics for 34 years. We watched and we saw what was happening. Things were getting so bad, we decided to return to support the JVP and the Alliance,” says Sunil de Silva. more..

Oven Fresh

Mar 19 (LBO) In 1912, one man with a life savings of 75 cents turned a tea kiosk into one of the largest biscuit manufacturers in the country. With a third generation at the helm, Maliban talks of going public as it charts a course of new growth. more..

Target Practice

Mar 19 (LBO) Despite an independent police commission in place, local officers continue to harass and torture innocent victims, the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) said Wednesday. more..

Milk Money

Mar 19 (LBO) Restructuring MILCO could see part ownership transferred to milk farmers to increase their involvement and productivity in the venture. The divesture process will also list a stake in the Colombo Stock Exchange and with employees also getting a percentage hold in the milk processing venture. more..

Sri Lankan MP’s wife dies in Riyadh

Mar 19 (AN) A Sri Lankan parliamentarian's wife died on a Colombo-bound flight before it took off from the King Abdul Aziz International Airport here on Wednesday. Fathima Sabrina, 41, wife of parliamentarian Myown Mustaffa, died a few minutes after she boarded the Sri Lankan Airlines flight N. UL 266. more..

Fly Colombo: Air Sahara kicks off mega price war

Mar 19 (TOI) Air Sahara on Thursday unleashed a price war in international skies with its overseas flight to Sri Lanka. Passengers can now book a return economy class ticket from Delhi to Colombo for Rs 17,080, a 22% discount to existing fares of Sri Lankan Airlines on the same route. more..

Politicians try to keep business leaders in good spirit on poll eve

Mar 19 (Gulf) Wooing the business community has become a popular pastime for almost every political party in the country in the run up to the parliamentary elections on April 2. more..

Thousands suffer as doctors strike drags on

Mar 19 (Gulf) Sri Lanka's doctors have gone on strike after placing a virtually impossible demand before the caretaker government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe ahead of the next month's parliamentary elections. more..

Indian poachers with their fishing items arrested

Mar 19 (SLA) Four Indian fishermen poaching in the Sri Lankan water have been apprehended by naval troops on duty in the general sea area off URUMALAI on 18 March 2004 around 6.30a.m. Naval troops, after observing a suspicious boat movement, had approached the scene and arrested those Indian fishermen while they were engaged in poaching in the sea area north of URUMALAI. more..

Daniel stands tall for Sri Lanka A

Mar 19 (CI) Gerald Daniel gave Sri Lanka A a real cheer with a stroke-filled century that took the team to 276 on the first day of their match against New Zealand A at Lincoln. At the end of the day, New Zealand A had negotiated seven overs safely and put 14 runs up on the board. more..

Sri Lanka committed to one-China policy: gov't

Mar 19 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan government on Friday reiterated its commitment to the one-China policy, urging the Taiwan authorities to refrain from any action that would aggravate tensions in the region. more..

More Australian funding for land mine action in Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (TN) Australia and UNDP signed an agreement 10 March 2004, which allocates AUD 1 million (LKR 75 million) towards the UNDP Mine Action Project in Sri Lanka. The Australian aid will assist capacity building, technical support and operational coordination, according to UNDP officials in Colombo. more..

Move polling booths closer to checkpoint - Senathirajah

Mar 19 (TN) General Secretary of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) Mr. Mavai Senathirajah urged Vavunaiya Government Agent K.Ganesh to make arrangements to locate the polling booths near the Sri Lanka Army checkpoint in Omanthai, sources said. more..

The socialist alternative in the Sri Lankan elections

Mar 19 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) calls upon workers, young people and intellectuals, along with our supporters and readers of the World Socialist Web Site, to participate in the campaign for a socialist alternative in the April 2 Sri Lankan elections. more..

LTTE chief rejects amnesty for renegade

Mar 19 (Dawn) Death looms for Karuna, the renegade member of the LTTE who holds command over the eastern region. Vellupillai Prabhakaran, in a statement aired over the rebel "Voice of Tigers", said that it was "too late" for Karuna, who had opted to break away from Prabhakaran's leadership, and that no appeals would be entertained. more..

Govt. alleges JVP hand behind strikes

Mar 19 (DM) The UNF government yesterday alleged that the JVP's "invisible hand" was behind the recent string of strikes and called upon the people to defeat this "unruly element" which it claimed did not even understand the simple fact that a care-taker minister cannot take decisions. more..

PM urges Freedom Alliance to place alternate proposals

Mar 19 (DN) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Wednesday, urged the Freedom Alliance to place its alternative proposals before the people to resolve the country's main burning problems, without giving a basket of promises. more..