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Tigers split won't hit talks says Premier

Mar 26 (GD) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says he will quickly restart stalled peace talks with the Tamil Tigers if he wins an April 2 snap election, saying a split within rebel ranks and his rivalry with the country's president have not dashed hopes of ending two decades of civil war. more..

178 Sri Lankan athletes arrive in Islamabad

Mar 26 (DT) The first batch of Sri Lankan athletes (178) for the 9th SAF Games were given a warm welcome on their arrival here on Thursday. Sri Lanka will participate in all the 15 disciplines of the Games including athletics, badminton, boxing, football, kabaddi, karate, rowing, squash, shooting, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling with their 274-member strong contingent. more..

Warrant issued for arrest of Nimalarajan murder accused

Mar 26 (TN) Judge R.T.Wignarajah of Jaffna High Court Tuesday issued an open warrant Thursday for the arrest of Kandasamy Jegatheeswaran, the first accused in Nimalarajan murder case, local Jaffna media reported. more..

Karuna Group threatens Pararajasingham's campaign

Mar 26 (TN) The Karuna Group threatened the chief candidate of the Tamil National Alliance in Batticaloa, Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham, to stop his campaign in the district immediately, sources close to the veteran eastern politician said Friday. more..

SLN gunboat rams fishing boat, killing one fisherman

Mar 26 (TN) Mr.Nicholsamy Jeyasingham (35) of Point Pedro is reported to have been killed in northern sea Thursday night when a gunboat of the Sri Lanka Navy rammed the plastic boat in which he and two others went for fishing. The body of the missing fisherman has not been recovered till Friday evening, fisheries sources said. more..

6151 NorthEast children suffer without psychiatric help

Mar 26 (TN) 6151 children in NorthEast are psychologically affected due to war induced trauma and remain without adequate help, said planning commissioner for Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), Mr.Malaravan in a press briefing in Vavuniya Thursday morning. more..

EPDP supporters come under attack

Mar 26 (SLA) Local Police assisted by troops quelled a violent brawl that erupted between two factions of the EPDP and the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in the general area of KOKUVIL in JAFFNA on Thursday (25 March 2004) around 11.00 in the morning. more..

LTTE cut-out violates ceasefire agreement

Mar 26 (SLA) Erection of a huge cut-out of the LTTE leader PRABHAKARAN at an election rally in the general area of NEERAVELY, about 11 km northeast of JAFFNA town, organized by former Member of Parliament Hon. RAVIRAJ was reported to the SLMM on 25 March 2004 seeking a ruling on the matter. more..

President sends good wishes to Bangladesh

Mar 26 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga sent good wishes to President Iajuddin Ahmed of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh on his country’s National Day, which falls on March 26. [Full text of the message] more..

Opposition spells out anti-working class agenda

Mar 26 (wsws) The opposition UPFA—a coalition between the SLFP and JVP—is trying to use the election campaign to exploit widespread disaffection with the government’s economic restructuring policies by promising to halt privatisation and lift living standards. more..

Langer faces disciplinary hearing over disrepute report

Mar 26 (Reuters) Australia's Justin Langer is to attend a disciplinary inquiry on Friday night after being reported for bringing the game into disrepute during the third day's play of the final test against Sri Lanka on Friday. more..

The great state Robbery saga continues

Mar 26 (NW) Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, also the Chairman of the Mahapola Scholarship Trust Fund has informed President Chandrika Kumaratunga that assets worth Rs. 3160.7 million belonging to the fund have been transferred to a private company without his knowledge. more..

Truth behind the JVP-SLFP manifesto muddle

Mar 26 (UL) The mystery of the multiple manifestos has been solved. The JVP's clever hijack of Manifesto 1 (issued March 11 th) has been belatedly discovered and an SLFP Cleanup Crew has worked up Manifesto 2, which was issued on March 21 st. more..

Ravi says Somawansa will be arrested after April 2

Mar 26 (UL) Commerce minister Ravi Karunanayake has made a fresh appeal to the law enforcement authority to immediately arrest Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader Somawansa Amarasinghe. more..

Multiple manifestos: A question of trust

Mar 26 (UL) The JVP-SLFP alliance has issued two manifestos, one on the 11 th of March and the other on the 21 st of March. Several key members of the Alliance are on record confirming the veracity of the second document. There is hair splitting on whether the second text is a manifesto. more..

Private TV stations making mockery of rules

Mar 26 (IT) UPFA sources yesterday charged that private television stations were guilty of making a mockery of rules of fair play during election period by refusing to telecast a TV commercial that dealt with facts on the murder of Vijaya Kumaratunga, husband of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. more..

Crumbling with Age

Mar 26 (LBO) Old age is catching up with Sri Lanka but taking it slow and easy in comfortable retirement is just not an option available to this island’s 19 million people. Sri Lanka needs to post 10 per cent economic growth over the next 15 years to nurse its fast aging population. more..

PM spurns personality war in battle for peace

Mar 26 (AFP) - His conflict with the president may have pushed Sri Lanka into early elections on April, 2, but Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says he would rather talk peace with Tamil rebels than wage war with the head of state. more..

All corrupt ministers will be punished under UPFA Govt.

Mar 26 (LT) The two year rule of the UNF government destroyed all the resources of the country says the President Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga. She made this accusation participating at the gigantic election rally of the UPFA held in Matara yesterday. more..

‘Satana’ to help UNP!

Mar 26 (LT) The UNP has commenced printing defamatory leaflets against the UPFA and the JVP. As such these mud-slinging leaflets are to be distributed throughout the island through a network of UNP supporters. more..

Violence erupts again at J'pura

Mar 26 (DM) With the parliamentary general election just a week away, violence erupted at the crisis-ridden Jayawardanapura University again yesterday when a JVP-affiliated student faction which lost an election virtually took over the campus, a rival student union leader charged. more..

Amendments to ceasefire will affect peace process - GL

Mar 26 (DN) LTTE Political Leader S.P. Thamil Selvan has clearly indicated that there will be a negative impact on the peace process and the possibility of war if new conditions are inserted into the Ceasefire Agreement, Cabinet spokesman Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said. more..

Ballot a blow to Sri Lanka recovery: World Bank official

Mar 26 (AFP) The power struggle that sparked early elections in Sri Lanka has slowed economic growth and delayed aid, but there is scope for recovery along with further risks, a World Bank official here said. more..

Cops accused of torture

Mar 26 (N24) An Asian human rights group on Friday accused Sri Lanka's police of the "gruesome" torture of suspects in custody, saying the island's law enforcement is nearing collapse due to a lack of discipline. more..

Stars shine for Sri Lankan astrologers

Mar 26 (AFP) In a country where presidents are sworn in and governments are sacked at astrologically auspicious times, Sri Lanka's seers are seeing their own fortunes rise ahead of next week's elections. more..

Detained would-be migrants live in limbo

Mar 26 (IPS) For almost three months, Shiran Russel and 268 others have been taken to a courthouse in the Sri Lankan capital every two weeks from a southern prison 45 kilometers away, unsure of their fate after having been caught trying to sneak into Italy by boat. more..

President reassures that she is fully committed for a lasting peace

Mar 26 (Rupavahini) President Chandrika Kumaratunge reassures that she is fully committed for a true and lasting peace when the alliance is elected to office. She disclosed that peace talks will resume with relevant parties including the LTTE, by correcting the flaws in the current peace process. more..

Prabhakaran decides to "get rid" of Karuna

Mar 26 (HT) In a move that may disrupt the parliamentary elections in the eastern districts of Batticalao and Amparai, the LTTE's mainline leadership has announced a decision to "get rid" of the rebel Eastern Commander, Col. Karuna, and has appealed to the latter's troops to desert him. more..

Split in LTTE takes wind out of its sail

Mar 26 (TOI) The vertical split in the LTTE had taken the world by surprise. It was practically thought of as a tightly bound militant unit, which had eliminated any form of descent. But, today its no more so. The tiger Villupillai Pirabhakaran's leadership has been challenged by the organisation’s eastern commander V. Muralitharan alias Col Karuna. more..

Tillakaratne leads Sri Lankan fightback

Mar 26 (CI) Hashan Tillakaratne has been under immense pressure after a prolonged run-drought and a losing record as captain, but on the third day in Colombo he scored a battling 74 not out from 201 balls to counter a searing spell from Jason Gillespie and steer Sri Lanka into a position of strength in the third Test against Australia. more..

Injury worries ahead of Zimbabwe tour

Mar 26 (CI) Sri Lanka's selectors have some difficult decisions to make after injuries to Dilhara Fernando, Prabath Nissanka and Nuwan Zoysa left them short of fast bowlers to support Chaminda Vaas on next month's tour of Zimbabwe. more..

'Indian fishermen defying laws'

Mar 26 (TOI) About all the hue and cry raised about the fishermen in Tamil Nadu being intercepted at Kachchathivu island in Gulf of Mannar and detained in Sri Lanka by the Lankan navy has been denied by the Indian High Commission here. more..

Admired and hated

Mar 26 (FL) In a flash, Karuna, the LTTE Eastern military leader, had an image makeover when he broke ranks with the organisation in early March. He was loved by those who had hated him and despised by those who had once referred to him in reverential tones. more..

The LTTE crisis

Mar 26 (FL) After decades of tactical manoeuvres and scores of battles, which finally took it to the negotiating table with the Sri Lankan government, the LTTE now faces its most serious challenge: revolt within. Its Eastern military commander, Karuna, has struck a belligerent note, which is an early sign of a possible implosion in the once-monolithic group. more..

The conflicts within

Mar 26 (FL) One factor baffling most observers of LTTE affairs is the real cause of the current crisis. The split within the LTTE came to light when its Eastern commander `Col.' Karuna himself informed the Norwegian facilitators of the current peace process about it and asked them to inform the Sri Lankan government of the situation. more..

`They can't function without me' - Karuna

Mar 26 (FL) Miles of sheer nothingness separates Karuna, the expelled rebellious military commander of the LTTE, from the rest of the island. He extended a firm handshake, deep inside eastern Sri Lanka's rebel-held Batticaloa on March 11. That was the second meeting between this correspondent and Karuna. more..

`An individual's problem' - Tamilchelvan

Mar 26 (FL) As far as we are concerned, under the present circumstances the problem created by Karuna is shocking. We have faced several betrayals. Karuna violated our principles and code of discipline. As a result we have taken disciplinary action. The present crisis is that he has not abided even by that. more..

Tiger Vs Tiger

Mar 26 (FL) In the most serious internal crisis the LTTE has faced so far, the Eastern commander `Col.' Karuna is pitted against the North-dominated `high command'. The latter has responded with restraint, but how long will the standoff last? What are the chances of success of the rebellion? more..

Justin Langer cleared

Mar 27 (N24) Justin Langer was cleared on a charge of bringing cricket into disrepute on Friday after he brushed a bail off the stumps during Sri Lanka's first innings in the third Test and prompted a strange appeal by the Australians. more..

EU's Election Observers to visit Trincomalee

Mar 27 (TN) The head of the European Union's Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM), Mr.John Cushnahan, and the head of the EU delegation in Sri Lanka, Mr.Wouter Wilton, are scheduled to visit Trincomalee on March 29, Monday, to hold discussions with local election officials, sources said. more..

Sangaree denies he is financed by Southern forces

Mar 27 (TN) Mr. V.Anandasangaree, the President of the TULF and the lead candidate of an Independent Group contesting the Jaffna electoral district in the forthcoming general election, addressing a press conference in Jaffna Friday, denied the charges made some TNA members and the public that he was being financed by forces in the South. more..

Jaffna HC orders deportation of 15 Indian boatmen

Mar 27 (TN) The Jaffna High Court Judge, Mr.K.P.S.Varatharajah, Friday ordered that fifteen of the sixty seven Indian boatmen who were arrested and detained in Jaffna prisons for poaching in the northern waters should be deported to their motherland, legal sources said. more..

CMEV delegation meets Jaffna LTTE political head

Mar 27 (TN) Mr.C. Ilamparithi, Jaffna district political head of the LTTE, Friday told a delegation of the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) that armed activists of the EPDP have engaged in unlawful activities such as intimidating, assaulting and provoking the people of the peninsula while conducting election campaign, more..

Rebels force pro-Prabhakaran candidate to suspend campaign

Mar 27 (HT) Joseph Pararajasingham, the lone pro-Prabhakaran candidate in the TNA list in Batticalao district, has stopped campaigning after being asked by LTTE's breakaway faction. However Pararajasingham, the most senior Tamil politician in Batticalao, told Hindustan Times that he would not withdraw from the contest. more..

Tillakaratne - 'I thought I was playing my final innings'

Mar 27 (CI) Sri Lanka's embattled captain, Hashan Tillakaratne, produced a crucial unbeaten 74 to carry his side into a position of strength on the third day against Australia in Colombo. But afterwards he admitted he had been driven on by the belief that he was playing his final match for his country. more..

Air taxi offers a taste of the high life in Sri Lanka

Mar 27 (Telegraph) Holidaymakers in Sri Lanka who fancy a slice of the James Bond lifestyle can now book themselves on to an air taxi that takes off on land and comes down on water — or vice versa. more..

Election arrangements in Trincomalee district finalized

Mar 27 (TN) Fifteen clustered polling stations will be established in the Muttur and Eachilampathu divisions enabling voters residing in the Liberation Tigers held areas in the Trincomalee district to exercise their franchise, said Mr. Gamini Rodrigo, District Returning Officer and Government Agent, more..

Ferry service between Colombo, Kochi on the anvil

Mar 27 (Hindu) As the ferry service between Tuticorin and Colombo has been ruled out, it is now being planned to introduce one between Colombo and Kochi or Vizhinjam near Thiruvananthapuram. The new proposal will take time as the process is at a preliminary stage, according to an official of the Indian High Commission here. more..

Qatar, Lanka in 'open skies' deal

Mar 27 (TA) The civil aviation authorities of Qatar and Sri Lanka have signed a deal to throw open their respective skies to each other. Under the agreement, carriers of both the countries can operate any number of passenger and freight services to each other's territory. more..

Looking for stability: Lanka set for polls

Mar 27 (SN) Sri Lanka goes to the polls on April 2, four years ahead of schedule. The last polls brought Ranil Wickramasinghe to power as Prime Minister in a government headed by Chandrika Kumaratunga. At the time, many interpreted the results as a sign from the electorate that they wanted the two rival parties to work together for peace. more..