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Karuna Group orders Jaffna Tamils to leave Batticaloa

Mar 31 (TN) Tension and fear gripped Batticaloa town Tuesday evening as Karuna Group cadres ordered thousands of civilians and businessmen of Jaffna who are resident in Batticaloa to leave the eastern district immediately. more..

Murali bias claim rejected

Mar 31 (BBC) International Cricket Council president Ehsan Mani has reacted angrily to claims of bias against Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan. Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga believed the spinner was the victim of a conspiracy after his bowling action was reported to the ICC. more..

Sri Lanka A suffer third heavy defeat

Mar 31 (NZH) Sri Lanka A slumped to their third consecutive innings defeat by New Zealand A when their five-day match ended more than a day-and-a-half early in Christchurch yesterday. Having trailed by 383 runs on the first innings and having resumed at 70-2, the Sri Lankans collapsed to be all out for 125. more..

PM in election battle with long-standing rival

Mar 31 (AP) Soft-spoken Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe - in a tough election battle against rivals from the party of Sri Lanka's powerful president - is campaigning on his pledge to restore tranquility to this war-scarred tropical island. more..

Averting a blood spill in Batticaloa

Mar 31 (UTHR) The LTTE is being challenged as never before. Its outmoded reliance on violence to maintain political control over a frightened and beleaguered population has worn thin. Tamil politicians, journalists and ordinary members of the public are openly defying the LTTE’s blatant death threats, and more importantly, many are surviving. more..

President, PM in final bid to woo votes

Mar 31 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's feuding president and prime minister raced around the island by helicopter on Tuesday in a last bid to convince voters their parties were the best to negotiate peace with Tamil rebels after 20 years of war. more..

Murali headed for Perth

Mar 31 (AFP) Sri Lanka will send spinner Muttiah Muralitharan to Perth to have his action assessed after it was questioned at the weekend. English match referee Chris Broad has reported Muralitharan to the International Cricket Council, believing that he straightens his arm when delivering his doosra more..

Deutsche Bank signs collection deal in Sri Lanka

Mar 31 (FA) Sampath Bank will act as cash and cheque collection agent for the German bank's cash management customers. Deutsche Bank has signed a partnership agreement with Sampath Bank in Sri Lanka, increasing its cash management coverage in South Asia. more..

Toss A Coin

Mar 31 (LBO) Two main parties may find it hard to secure a comfortable lead, as weeks of campaigning comes to an end on Tue, an independent poll reveals. In its last survey to the run up of April 2 polls, independent research firm Org-Marg Smart says the opposition UPFA has a slight edge of 101 seats over the ruling UNF (99 seats). more..

Steady Flow

Mar 31 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s trade deficit for January expanded marginally, despite higher revenues from key exports sectors like apparels and tea, the Central Bank said Wednesday. Trade deficit for January grew US$ 4 mn to US$ 152 mn in 2004, more..

"Thanthai” Chelva remembered on 106th birthday

Mar 31 (TN) The 106th birthday of the late Tamil leader and the founder of the Federal Party, Mr.S.J.V.Chelvanayakam, falls on Wednesday. Tamils in the country, who still fondly remembering Mr. Chelvanayakam as “Thanthai (father) Chelva,” will celebrate the late leader's birthday Wednesday more..

Karuna cadres arrested with weapons in Batticaloa town

Mar 31 (TN) The Batticaloa Magistrate Mr.A.J.M.Ajmeer Wednesday ordered remand till April 14 for four persons who are said to be cadres of Karuna, renegade commander of the LTTE when they were produced in court on a report that they were taken into custody for possession of dangerous weapons, legal sources said. more..

Businesses close as Jaffna Tamils leave Batticaloa

Mar 31 (TN) Businesses belonging to Tamils from Jaffna remain closed in Batticaloa, Chenkalady, Kaluwanchikudi, Pandiriuppu and Kalmunai areas as the owners left the area on the orders of renegade commander Karuna said sources in Batticaloa. more..

Accused rapist of minor gets 27 year sentence

Mar 31 (TN) The Vavuniya High Court Tuesday sentenced an absconding accused, Chelliah Sivaji, 24, to 27 years of rigorous imprisonment for the abduction and rape of an eight years-old girl, and ordered the accused to pay 20,000 rupees as compensation to the victim and 3,000 rupees to the court, more..

Human rights group accuses Intl' community of helping LTTE

Mar 31 (G2L) A leading human rights group among the Tamils said that Tamil Tigers recent statement threatening to wipe out the group’s dissidents expressed Velupillai Pillai Prabhakaran’s complete disregard for human rights and international law. more..

President expresses sorrow over assassination

Mar 31 (PSL) President Kumaratunga expressed shock and sorrow over the assassination of TNA Batticaloa candidate, Rajan Saththiyamoorthi, yesterday by unidentified gunmen. The President sent messages of condolence to members of the families of Rajan Saththiyamoorthi and Kandhiah Kanagasabai who also lost his life in the same incident. more..

President appoints President, Judge for Court of Appeal

Mar 31 (PSL) President Chandrika Kumaratunga today appointed Saleem Marsoof as President of the Court of Appeal and L.K. Wimalachandra as a Judge of the Court of Appeal in terms of powers vested in her by the Constitution. more..

Interpreting Interpretations

Mar 31 (LBO) In the run up to the polls LBO published the opinion polls of Org Marg Smart. Dr. Harsha de Silva, a pioneer in opinion polling in Sri Lanka, who has been observing the polling by both OMS and the CPA and their interpretations has attempted a combined analysis of both the OMS and the CPA polls. more..

Consequences of the JVP/SLFP manifesto muddle: Diluting the SLFP further

Mar 31 (UL) The rather clumsy language and obsolete Marxist rhetoric found in JVP/SLFP Manifesto 1, released on 11 th March comes directly from the JVP's “Five Year Plan to Build the Country” published on 23 rd August 2000 . more..

UPFA, EPDP fail to cooperate with poll monitors

Mar 31 (UL) Peoples Action for Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL) chairman Kingsly Rodrigo says the UPFA and the EPDP have failed to cooperate with the election monitors appointed by the PAFFREL to watch the April 2 parliamentary elections. more..

Wimal has lied in a responsible manner

Mar 31 (SN) Mr Udaya P Gammanpila, Deputy Secretary for Hela Urumaya asked the progress of the investigation with regard to the complaint made by Ven Uduwe Dhammaloka thero from Mr Indra de Silva, IGP when he met party secretaries yesterday in the morning. more..

Sinhalese show their strength

Mar 31 (SN) Everybody was in tears. Even leading Buddhist monks did not want to hide their tears. Artists, journalists, professionals, academics and politicians were among them. The mother and the brother of late Ven Gangodawila Soma thero were among notable attendees. more..

Employees accuse that the Sathosa has been closed down without prior notice

Mar 31 (Rupavahini) Employees have made accusations that arrangements have been made to close down Sathosa without prior notice. All employees who had reported for work today had been prevented from entering the Sathosa premises. more..

Sri Lankan artistes to perform on Friday

Mar 31 (BT) FlashBack, the popular television and radio artistes and Sri Lanka’s most popular young band will perform in a concert on Friday night at the Delmon International Hotel’s poolside. more..

Caterpillar, Sinopec to expand in Sri Lanka as election looms

Mar 31 (Bloomberg) Telekom Malaysia, the largest telephone company in Southeast Asia, invested $90 million in Sri Lanka last year to expand the island's biggest mobile-phone network. It plans to spend more. more..

Lanka lament

Mar 31 (MD) Even as the Indian cricket team was estab-lishing domin-ance in the first Test against Pakistan in Multan, all of Sri Lanka, the island of serendipity, was plunged in gloom. “Sri Lanka Suffer First Home Test Whitewash” moaned the Daily News of “Colombo”, more..

Poll to weigh on economic growth, reforms

Mar 31 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's snap election on Friday will weigh on an economic recovery spurred by the island's peace process with Tamil rebels, with a predicted hung parliament likely to hinder reform programmes and deter investment. more..

Video test for Lord of the Spin

Mar 31 (AAP) Eeperts testing Muttiah Muralitharan's controversial "doosra" will use state-of-the-art, Academy Award-winning technology to get to the bottom of cricket's most vexing question. Murali, will arrive in Perth this week more..

Huge cut out of Prabhakaran at TNA meeting

Mar 31 (NW) Depiction of a cut-out of the LTTE leader PRABHAKARAN during an election meeting held in the general area of Nallur on 30 March 2004, was reported to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), seeking a ruling. more..

Anandasangari to prove that LTTE not sole representative of Tamil community

Mar 31 (NW) Leader of the TULF V. Anandasangari says it will be proven at the upcoming general elections that the LTTE is not the sole representative of the Tamil people. He was speaking at a press conference held at the TULF headquarters in Jaffna. more..

Strict measures against polls violence on April 2

Mar 31 (NW) The police have received orders to shoot at any persons involved in election violence at polling centers. Deputy INspector General of Police Gamini Navarathne said that all officers on election duty have been informed of this order. more..

PAFFREL Chairman accused of sacking employees who did not support UNP

Mar 31 (DN) A group of ex-People's Action For Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) employees accused PAFFREL Chairman Kingsley Rodrogo of sacking PAFFREL workers who did not agree to support the UNP. more..

Tamil Tigers seek voters' support

Mar 31 (BBC) Hundreds of Sri Lankan farmers and fishermen sit cross-legged on the ground in the dark, entranced by the very loud music. After 20 years of war, the music group made up of Tamil Tiger rebels is a major attraction on the tiny island of Punguduthivu, off the northern Jaffna coast. more..

Jaffna, the land of bombs and bullets, banks on ballots

Mar 31 (AFP) Troops and Tamil Tigers fought some of their bloodiest battles in this northern Sri Lankan town. But Jaffna is now banking on ballots to deliver what bullets failed to do for decades. more..

Few women in politics in Sri Lanka, despite legacy

Mar 31 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is the home of the world's first female prime minister, but a glance at the candidate list for its general election reveals a glaring shortage of women. more..

Monitors fear vote rigging in Jaffna by Tigers

Mar 31 (PTI) Sri Lanka's private election monitors today expressed fears that Tamil Tiger rebels and their allies could rig elections in the northern peninsula of Jaffna after blocking rivals from campaigning there. more..

Army deployed in Batticaloa after slaying

Mar 31 (AP) Combat-ready soldiers patrolled the streets of this largely Tamil town Wednesday, one day after unidentified gunmen killed a Tamil candidate in this week's parliamentary elections. more..

Tamil Muslim refugees unenthusiastic about own legislator

Mar 31 (AFP) Fourteen years after Muslim refugees were driven from their homeland in northern Sri Lanka by Tamil rebels, they have a chance to elect a legislator to represent them -- but few are excited at the prospect. more..

PM in emergency talks with truce monitors

Mar 31 (AFP) Prime minister held emergency talks with Norwegian truce monitors amid fears of factional war between rival Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said. Premier discussed the deteriorating security situation in the eastern district of Batticaloa where an election candidate and his relative were gunned Tuesday, more..

Lanka campaigning ends

Mar 31 (AFP) An ethnic Tamil candidate was shot dead in Sri Lanka yesterday at the end of a lacklustre five-week vote campaign that pointed to a hung parliament and raised fears of factional war, officials said. more..

Hung parliament likely in Sri Lanka's election

Mar 31 (Reuters) Sri Lankans vote on Friday in a general election that most expect will lead to a deadlocked parliament, further dragging out efforts to end 20 years of civil war with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Karuna group asks Northerners to leave Batticalao

Mar 31 (HT) Following the assassination of election candidate, Rajan Sathiamoorthy, on Tuesday, the breakaway LTTE group led by the Eastern Commander Col Karuna, has asked northern Tamils and the supporters of Supremo Velupilai Prabhakaran, to leave the Batticalao-Amparai area. more..

Tamil Tiger rebels to gain political power without peace deal

Mar 31 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tiger rebels could emerge as kingmakers in a divided government following elections, giving them political power without a peace deal requiring them to lay down their weapons. more..