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Election Commissioner refuses to meet Tigers

Mar 2 (SN) Election Commissioner turned down the request from the LTTE for an appointment from him stating he is not empowered to discuss with such representatives. He indirectly meant that he was not ready to talk to terrorists. more..

Political Parties endorse International Monitors

Mar 2 (SN) All political parties and independent groups who contest the forthcoming parliamentary election endorsed the election commissioner’s decision to invite the international election monitors today in the evening at a meeting convened by the commissioner. more..

Paramitha Perahera of Hela Urumaya tomorrow

Mar 2 (SN) Jatika Hela Urumaya will launch its election campaign tomorrow in Kandy. A vehicle procession will leave Kelaniya Temple tomorrow at 8am after paying homage to Lord Buddha. Hundreds of vehicles decorated with Buddhist flags and banners will join this procession named as Paramitha Perahera. more..

Prime Minister denounces UPFA

Mar 2 (SN) Premier Ranil Wickremasinghe denounced the UPFA for its stand on the LTTE speaking at a rally organized by the UNF in Mawathagama. His denouncement came as a response of the president’s speech at the inaugural meeting of the UPFA in Anuradhapura. more..

Rauff Hakeem Shows His Power

Mar 2 (NW) SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem and a group of his supporters along with a Police Inspector had allegedly stormed into the Samanturai Police station yesterday in an attempt to get two of their supporters released from custody. more..

Nine Tamils arrested on suspicion

Mar 2 (SLA) Nine self-claimed Tamil fishermen have been arrested on suspicion by troops on duty in the general area of KALKUDA on 01 March 2004. The suspects all from MULLAITIVU, were proceeding towards TRINCOMALEE at the time they were arrested by troops. more..

The Army donates wheel-chairs in Point Pedro

Mar 2 (SLA) Humanitarian assistance recognizes no boundaries, colour or creed, nor does a legitimate army approve any discrimination when it concerns well-being of any segment of the people for whom security is provided at state expense. more..

Stocks end up, profit-taking clips blue-chips

Mar 2 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks finished higher on Tuesday, with foreign buying lifting conglomerate John Keells Holdings Ltd but other blue-chip shares dropped on profit-taking. The key Colombo all-share index ended up 0.36 percent, more..

Saffron+votes=ultimate peace

Mar 2 (N24) Buddhist monks have launched their formal drive for Sri Lanka's parliament from a historic temple town with a vow to cleanse politics and restore "ultimate peace". more..

Sri Lankan elephants desperately need a job

Mar 2 (Reuters) Elephant polo is a slow game at the best of times, and especially so in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan mahouts do not normally ride their elephants, but walk beside them, so the animals are not used to being steered by someone sitting astride. more..

Three centuries in practice match

Mar 2 (AAP) TWIN centuries to middle order rivals Simon Katich and Darren Lehmann have only added to Australia's first Test selection headaches after the opening day of the tour match against a Sri lanka Cricket President's XI at the Colombo Cricket Club. more..

Sri Lankan American president of top law publication

Mar 2 (IANS) A Sri Lankan American has been named president of the top law publication, Harvard Law Review. Thiru Vignarajah is a second year student at Harvard Law School (HLS). He is the 118th president of the Harvard Law Review. more..

MatchPoint scores with Spicy Lanka

Mar 2 (NT) Even the Tigers fighting in Sri Lanka would let go off their booming guns and prefer to sit across the table to have a slice of 'Spicy Lanka', a festival on the cuisine of the island nation that is on at MatchPoint in Taj Coromandel, Chennai. more..

Monks attack Marxists ahead of ballot

Mar 2 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Buddhist clergy accused President Chandrika Kumaratunga's Marxist allies of launching a "smear campaign" against them in the run up to parliamentary elections. more..

Monks begin poll campaign with unity pledge

Mar 2 (Reuters) Red-robed monks launched their campaign Tuesday for Sri Lanka's approaching election with offerings to Buddha and a pledge to keep the country united in the face of demands to devolve powers to Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Ranil dares Chandrika over strategy

Mar 2 (Gulf) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called his arch rival President Chandrika Kumaratunga and her newly formed alliance to declare its stand on how it plans to continue with the peace process and the ceasefire agreement with Tamil guerrillas. more..

SEP to stand in Sri Lankan elections

Mar 2 (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..

Buffalo case: If letters are genuine, ex-ministers face arrest

Mar 2 (DM) The CID was ordered by Pelmadulla Magistrate Inoka Priyanthi Bandara yesterday to immediately inquire into the genuineness of three letters found in a file in a lorry transporting buffaloes. more..

20 m Lankans groaning under high COL burden

Mar 2 (DN) The Freedom Alliance yesterday vehemently rejected the statement made by the UNF in its election campaign that the UNF Government has rebuilt the economy and brought down the cost of living during the past two years. more..

Violence threat looms over polls

Mar 2 (OW) Barely six days after the closing of nominations for the April 2 polls in Sri Lanka, more than 158 major election-related clashes were registered, amid threats by Tamil rebels, indicating a violence-ridden campaign that is likely to scare away voters in the coming weeks. more..

Second killing related to polls campaign

Mar 2 (AFP) Gunmen shot dead a political activist in eastern Sri Lanka in a second murder believed to be related to next month's elections and blamed on the Tamil Tiger rebels, police said. The attackers gunned down Ponniah Yogendran, 28, from the EPDP in the district of Batticaloa on Monday night, more..

World Photos - Reuters

Mar 2 (Reuters) Red robed Buddhist monks pray after they offered flowers in the Kelaniya temple in Colombo, before they launched their general election campaign on March 2, 2004. more..

SLRCS youth camp concludes in Trincomalee

Mar 2 (TN) Three-day youth camp organized by the Youth Wing of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) in collaboration with the Trincomalee branch of the SLRCS concluded Sunday evening at the banks of Mahaidivulewea in Morawewa division in Trincomalee district. more..

Lagoon fishing ban irks Thondamanar fishermen

Mar 3 (TN) The Sri Lanka army agreed Tuesday to permit a limited number of fishermen to wade for prawns in the Thondamanar lagoon in Jaffna after fishermen’s organisations in the region threatened to launch a mass struggle. SLA prohibited fishermen from entering the Thondamanar lagoon from 26 February. more..

President bans beer ads

Mar 3 (TN) President Kumaratunga Tuesday banned all beer ads in state media which are under her control, according to a press note from her office Tuesday evening. The ban was imposed after several representations had been made to her by religious organisations regarding the deleterious effects of the beer ads, more..

Sri Lanka Elections: News in Brief

Mar 3 (TN) Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), a party fielding Buddhist monks in parliamentary elections, begins its campaign in Kandy, candidates withdraw nominations in Digamadulla and Batticaloa, and a Tamil candidate dies of heart-attack in Nuwara Eliya, media reports said. more..

Rough Edge

Mar 3 (LBO) Clothing giant Salu Sala has made a turn around notching an operating profit of nine million rupees for the fiscal year ending Dec. 2003. Total revenues rose to Rs. 188.390 mn over Rs. 177.992 mn reported during the corresponding period 2002, more..

Laying back in Sri Lanka

Mar 3 (MP) The leafy tropical island of Sri Lanka is back in business. Two years ago a negotiated truce between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers ended a 20-year civil war. Once again travellers are flocking to the small island southeast of India for honeymoons, beach holidays, ancient cities and a peek at remnants of British colonialism. more..

Incited fishermen disperse after discussion

Mar 3 (SLA) An attempt by an incited group of about 20-30 fishermen to fish in the THONDAMANARU lagoon in the general area of POINT PEDRO regardless of security restrictions in place was thwarted by Policemen and troops on 01 March 2004 around 4.45 p.m. more..

Skeletal remains and uniforms found

Mar 3 (SLA) Skeletal remains of a human-being along with some scorched LTTE camouflage uniforms were detected by a private de-mining team on 03 March 2004 from the general area of ARIALAI, about 5 km east of JAFFNA town. more..

More and more Indian poachers in Sri Lankan waters

Mar 3 (SLA) Naval troops on duty in the general sea areas of KANKESANTHURAI, KARAITIVU and North of DELFT ISLAND in the JAFFNA peninsula continue to sight Indian trawlers poaching inside Sri Lankan waters. more..

LTTE men with Pajero-Intercooler arrested

Mar 3 (SLA) A luxurious vehicle with forged documents was apprehended at the OMANTHAI Entry/Exit point on 02 March 2004 around 8.00 a.m. while it was being driven towards un-cleared areas by two LTTE men for reasons best known only to them. more..

LTTE responsible for murder, say the Police

Mar 3 (SLA) Police investigations conducted into the murder of the EPDP political activist on Monday evening while the victim was inside his residence in VALAICHCHENAI confirmed that the LTTE was responsible for this assassination, according to the VALAICHCHENAI Police station. more..

School children forced to participate in LTTE protest

Mar 3 (SLA) A section of school children in BATTICALOA areas have been forced by LTTE to launch a protest campaign on 02 March 2004 against an alleged public statement said to have been made by some state authorities. more..

SLFP, JVP confusing everyone says former minister

Mar 3 (TN) Former Minister of Lands Mr. Rajitha Senaratne accused the JVP of having no clear policy to resolve the northeast crisis and said the contradictory positions of the two coalition partners - the SLFP and the JVP -were confusing everyone. more..

Sir Arthur makes Sri Lanka’s first video mobile call to President

Mar 3 (PRIU) Space Age Visionary and Author Sir Arthur C Clarke made Sri Lanka’s first Third Generation (3G) telephone call to President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday, March 2. This marks the dawn of a new era in Sri Lankan mobile communications. more..

Sri Lankan maid to drop rape charges

Mar 3 (GD) THE Sri Lanka housemaid who was allegedly tied to a table and raped three times in five hours by her Bahraini employer has agreed to withdraw the case against him. more..

Carrying tunes all the way from Sri Lanka

Mar 3 (NYT) The recovering addicts and alcoholics settled into the community room at Coney Island Hospital's substance-abuse clinic for a bit of what their counselors call socialization. More than a few kept their winter coats on, as if to signal an intention to leave at the first opportunity - even if this was a party. more..

Sri Lankan pace attack weakened by loss of Dilhara Fernando

Mar 3 (AP) Sri Lanka's speed bowling attack looks shaky heading into Monday's first Test against Australia with paceman Dilhara Fernando ruled out due to injuries. more..

Hostile reception awaits 'Shame' Warne

Mar 3 (AFP) Australia's Shane Warne is set to face hostile Sri Lankan fans when he returns from a drug-induced ban to take part in next week's Test series, newspapers said. The star leg-spinner, who served out a 12-month ban after failing a dope test before the World Cup last year, was dubbed "Shame Warne" by the media more..

Sri Lanka rupee firms to eight-week high

Mar 3 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee continued to strengthen on on Wednesday to hit a two-month high, as exporter conversions dominated the market. The rupee closed at 96.70 against the dollar, a level last seen on January 1, compared to Tuesday's close of 97.65. more..

MTN networks launches pilot 3G services project

Mar 3 (DJ) MTN Networks Ltd., a Sri Lankan mobile phone operator, late Tuesday launched a pilot 3G or third generation mobile telephony services project as part of an ongoing expansion plan. more..

Lee crashes through President's XI

Mar 3 (CI) After an overnight declaration at 484 for 6, the Australians let loose Brett Lee and Stuart MacGill, who crashed through the Sri Lanka Cricket President's XI and brought the innings to an end in 36.2 overs. But Avishka Gunawardene stood in their way with a counter-attacking 70, and carried his team to 166. more..

UNP trying to woo ‘on the fence PA candidates’?

Mar 3 (LT) The UNP is said to be conspiring to bribe a few PA candidates who are contesting from the UPFA to get their nominations withdrawn. The UNP has decided to take this step to decrease the gain of victory of UPFA as the UNP is aware of the blatant defeat they would get at the General Election. more..

Political killings can exert chilling effect on free and fair elections

Mar 3 (PAFFREL) The killings of a UNP candidate in Batticaloa who was contesting the forthcoming general election is an event of utmost concern to PAFFREL. The manner of the killing is particularly reprehensible as the victim was first shot and wounded and later shot to death in the Batticaloa general hospital. more..

President brings NLB under her wing

Mar 3 (DN) President Chandrika Kumaratunga acting on powers vested in her under Article 14 1A of the Constitution yesterday placed the National Lotteries Board under her purview. A Gazette Notification was issued yesterday by the President to this effect. more..

Anura stakes claim for presidency

Mar 3 (DM) UPFA National Organiser Anura Bandaranaike said yesterday he would be the candidate of the Alliance at the next presidential poll. "I will be the last of the Bandaranaikes to be in politics and the dynasty will end with me. Even if the President's children take to politics, they will not belong to the Bandaranaike family. They will be Kumaratungas," he told more..

Candidates pull out of election amid death threats

Mar 3 (AFP) Tamil Tiger death threats have forced ruling party candidates in eastern Sri Lanka to pull out of the running for next month's parliamentary elections, police said. Two candidates from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's party said they were withdrawing after a fellow candidate was gunned down more..

Japan should not push dams on Sri Lanka

Mar 3 (Asahi) Last summer, I visited Sri Lanka's central highlands, a land with waterfalls scattered across its breadth, including the Ramboda Falls, which plunges 100 meters, and the Devon Falls, which tumbles 86 meters into the valley below. more..

I have never supported LTTE's terrorist activities : Vaiko

Mar 3 (PTI) MDMK chief Vaiko today told the Central POTA Review Committee that he has been wrongly charged by the Tamil Nadu government under the tough anti-terrorism law as he did not support any terrorist activities of the banned LTTE in his speech near the temple town of Madurai three months after the Act came into force. more..