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Tamil general splits from Tigers

Mar 3 (AP) A general commanding thousands of rebels in Sri Lanka has split from the main Tamil Tiger army because of disputes over the deployment of fighters, a senior rebel said Wednesday. The breakaway faction will be headed by Karuna, the rebel leader in the Indian Ocean country's east, more..

Sri Lanka Lawmaker: Rebels threatening election candidates

Mar 3 (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels are intimidating candidates in the run-up to Sri Lanka's parliamentary elections, a lawmaker said Wednesday, following the shooting deaths of an activist and a politician who opposed the guerrillas. more..

Mother of Ven Soma on Hela Urumaya stage

Mar 3 (SN) The mother of late Ven Gangodawila Soma thero, Mrs Chalet Weertunga appeared on the stage of Jatika Hela Urumaya rally in Kandy yesterday. Ven Ellawela Medhananda thero offered a copy of the election manifesto to her pledging to continue her son’s effort to build a righteous state. more..

Sri Lanka is a unitary Buddhist country

Mar 3 (SN) Sri Lanka should be non divisible unitary Buddhist state according to the election manifesto of Jatika Hela Urumaya which was launched yesterday in Kandy. Protection and propagation of Buddhism is a paramount duty of the state. It should nevertheless ensure the right to practice religions of the minorities. more..

Lions vs. Tigers

Mar 3 (NR) Sri Lanka is technically in a state of civil war. It is just barely held together by a tenuous ceasefire that is splintering day by day, threatening to dash the hopes of a country that yearns for peace. Last month, President Chandrika Kumaratunga dissolved parliament more..

Rift in LTTE?

Mar 3 (Hindu) A serious rift is reportedly brewing in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) over the recent killing of non-LTTE political activists in the eastern Batticaloa district. more..

LTTE's leadership ticks off cadres for election killings

Mar 3 (HT) The LTTE's leadership has ticked off its cadres for killing two opposition election candidates in the eastern district of Batticaloa on Monday, according to reports reaching Colombo. more..

Code of conduct for parties, public officials issued

Mar 3 (TN) A National Advisory Council appointed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga released a code of conduct for political parties, voters and public officials to be adhered during the elections and during the post poll period. more..

TNA will get less than last time at the election - JVP

Mar 3 (IL) Though Ranil Wickremesinghe dreams that the TNA would get more seats than last time from the North and the East, he is in for an unpleasant surprise as the TNA would get much less votes compared to the 2001 election, JVP member Vijitha Hearth claimed today during a meeting in Wattala. more..

President as Minister of Interior responsible for political killings: Kapukotuwa

Mar 3 (IL) The United National Front (UNF) yesterday alleged that there was a clandestine move by certain elements to get rid of UNF candidates who pose a threat to United Peoples' Freedom Alliance at district level. more..

If you want continued peace, the choice is simple! tells GL

Mar 3 (IL) UNF spokesman Minister G .L. Peiris asked the JVP/SLFP Alliance on what grounds they would go for talks with the LTTE and would they declare the peace process so far null and void. The full text of the statement issued by Minister G. L. Peiris is as follows: more..

Despite EU trade benefits, violations of basic workers’ rights still flourish

Mar 4 (ICFTU) In a new report released today by the ICFTU on core labour standards in Sri Lanka, the international trade union body warns that despite the government’s official claim that it respects core labour standards, serious violations of those fundamental rights continue and are still widespread. more..

New bid to get abuse girl back

Mar 4 (NZH) Lawyers are redoubling efforts to bring back the expelled Sri Lankan teenager after receiving a graphic account of an allegedly intrusive physical examination by male doctors. The 16-year-old girl's grandmother has written that the two doctors sought evidence of rape so charges could be laid against abusive uncles. more..

No regional split - LTTE

Mar 4 (TN) A spokesman for Col. Karuna, senior commander of the Liberation Tigers told TamilNet Wednesday night there was no split in the LTTE. "We will be functioning directly under the command of our leader", he said referring to reports that there was a major split in the LTTE. more..

PAFFREL to implement a special programme

Mar 4 (NW) A frontline local election-monitoring organisation will implement a special programme in its bid to create awareness among the people on how to conduct a free and fair election. The PAFFREL organization told reporters that the aim of this exercise is to strengthen the people’s rights to elect their own representatives. more..

Sri Lanka Tigers face rift, Norway bid to save truce

Mar 4 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas faced their most serious rift, prompting peace broker Norway to move in to save a fragile truce with government forces, diplomatic sources said. more..

LTTE commander defies order to move troops north

Mar 4 (HT) There is serious dissension in the LTTE, with the Eastern Commander, Colonel Karuna, refusing to obey orders to send 1,000 combat cadres from the Batticalao-Amparai area to the Wanni in the North, informed sources say. more..

Go Slow

Mar 4 (LBO) Development projects are on track but are slowing down because of jittery foreign investors says the UNF. “Whatever projects that were initiated by the UNF government are still going on but progress of these projects have slowed down because foreign investors are moving very slowly,” more..

Under Way

Mar 4 (LBO) While Sri Lanka’s impoverished national railway struggles to make ends meet above ground, prospects are under evaluation to build a new rail network underground supported by Korean technology. more..

Off Shore A/C

Mar 4 (LBO) The Sathosa brand is venturing abroad, with the first franchise outlet already operating in Zurich, Switzerland since late 2003. Overseas franchises are available through Sathosa International for a deposit of Rs. 1 million, and will source goods from Sri Lanka on Letters of Credit. more..

Don’t Worry

Mar 4 (LBO) Finance Minister K N Choksy came out strongly to defend the money and capital markets saying the recent spikes would ease up in the run up to April polls. After rising against the dollar, the rupee lost around 1 percent, as the markets panicked over a snap poll. more..

TNA holds election meeting in Trinco Muslim village

Mar 4 (TN) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader, Mr.Sampanthan, launched the village level campaign for the forthcoming general election in the Trincomalee district from Pulmoddai, a traditional Muslim village, about 60 km north of the eastern Trincomalee town Tuesday. more..

NECORD capacity building workshop held in Vavuniya

Mar 4 (TN) North East Community Restoration and Development Project (NECORD) funded capacity building workshop with assistance from German Technical Cooperation for contractors from Vavuniya and Mannar districts was held in Vavuniya Ellapar Maruthankulam Agricultural Training center, more..

Batticaloa LTTE reiterates stand

Mar 4 (TN) "We are functioning with commitment to our cause under the command of our national leader Veluppillai Pirapaharan and the guidance of commander Col. Karuna" a senior official of the LTTE in Batticaloa was quoted as saying in Thursday's edition of the Thamil Alai, a regional daily published from Kokkaddicholai, more..

Two more LTTE men flee LTTE prison camp

Mar 4 (SLA) Two LTTE cadres in their twenties had escaped from an LTTE prison camp at night on 03 March 2004 and surrendered to the KANDEGAMA Police post in the general area of ARALAGANWILA seeking protection. more..

LTTE threaten and assault civilian

Mar 4 (SLA) A civilian resident in the general area of AKKARAIPATTU in a complaint made to the Police on 03 March 2004 claimed that he was threatened and assaulted by LTTE’s REGAN after he was summoned to their AKKARAIPATTU office for an alleged inquiry. more..

Men with dynamite arrested

Mar 4 (SLA) Three men in possession of dynamite chargers and some other items were arrested by Naval troops from the general beach area of KALLIMUNI, KUCHCHAVELI on 03 March 2004 around 9.00 a.m. more..

EPDP leader photographed

Mar 4 (SLA) Ten suspected LTTE men, for reasons best known only to them had taken photographs of the CHAVAKACHCHERI Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) leader, Mr. CHARLES when he was attending an election meeting in the general area of CHAVAKACHCHERI on 03 March 2004. more..

Gen Ranjan Wijeratne Remembered

Mar 4 (SLA) Late General Ranjan Wijeratne’s thirteenth death anniversary commemoration, organized by Ranjan Wijeratne Commemorative Foundation before his statue at Thimbirigasyaya took place on Tuesday amidst a distinguished gathering of grateful men and women, more..

Chandrika's brother eyes presidency

Mar 4 (Gulf) President Chandrika Kumaratunga's brother, Anura Bandaranaike, is staking a claim for Presidency despite a firm assurance from Kumaratunga that the executive Presidential system would be abolished, in the event of returning to power. more..

Etihad Airways launches Lanka service

Mar 4 (TA) Etihad Airways has launched its first route outside the Middle East, with the commencement of services to Colombo. The first scheduled flight from Abu Dhabi to Colombo, EY201, departed on Tuesday, leaving at 2150h and arriving at 0430h. more..

Stocks end down, Spence boosts activity

Mar 4 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks fell on Thursday for a third day, as investors took profit in blue chips, but turnover rose to more than triple last week's average after a block transfer in Aitken Spence and Co Ltd. more..

Guarantee our right to do politics unarmed -EPDP

Mar 4 (LT) EPDP held a protest opposite SLMM office at Batticaloa against the murdering by the tiger organization of those who are politically against it. They had brought the body of Ponnasamy Yogendran, the EPDP member who was shot dead by the tiger organization yesterday and placed it opposite the SLMM office while the protest was going on. more..

Hela Urumaya flex their muscles

Mar 4 (LT) The production crew of ‘Ya’ TV engaged in covering the propaganda rally held yesterday by the Jathike Hela Urumaya Party in Kandy were attacked by the cadres of the party and their equipment were damaged. more..

Remove JSU president

Mar 4 (LT) Members of Jathike Sevake Sangamaya of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation affiliated to the UNP have requested the party leadership to remove Erananda Hettiarachchi, the President of the Union. more..

Conflicting reports from Sri Lanka about LTTE split

Mar 4 (Reuters) Sri Lanka’s peace process was thrown into further confusion on Thursday with conflicting reports about a split in the Tamil Tiger rebel group. The fate of efforts to end the 20-year war was cast into doubt in November when President Chandrika Kumaratunga sacked three government ministers more..

Breakaway rebel was aide to Tamil Tiger chief

Mar 4 (AP) A rebel officer who reportedly broke away from the main Tamil Tiger guerrilla army along with more than a third of its fighters is considered a tough military strategist and once was the chief bodyguard of top rebel leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran. more..

Lee injury scare mars Australia victory

Mar 4 (Reuters) Australia strike bowler Brett Lee sustained an ankle injury during his team's 245-run victory over a President's XI on Thursday. Lee, who completed figures of four for 29 in the first innings following an explosive spell with the new ball, hobbled off the field during the hosts' second innings after bowling just 3.4 overs. more..

Peace monitors head to Sri Lankan rebel stronghold

Mar 4 (AP) A "dangerous" split in the Tamil guerrilla army topped the agenda Thursday for Norwegian-led peace monitors heading to northern Sri Lanka to meet with rebel leaders, a top monitor said. more..

Non TNA candidates forced to pull out

Mar 4 (G2L) A large number of non-TNA candidates from the mainly Tamil electoral districts of Wanni and Batticaloa have complained privately that the LTTE gunmen who visited had threatened to kill them if they did not withdraw from contesting the coming general elections within the next ten days more..

ITN World Service launch next Monday

Mar 4 (DN) The Independent Television Network will reach the expatriate Sri Lankan audience next Monday, as its chairman Newton Gunaratne put it in a "giant step forward in the country's television industry". more..

PAFFREL situation report

Mar 4 (PAFFREL) The President, Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga dissolved the 13th Parliament of Sri Lanka on 7th Feb 2004. It was decided that nominations for elections to the 14th Parliament be received at District Secretariats in the 22 Electoral Districts from 17th February 2004 to 24th Feb 2004. more..

JVP tells US to ensure democracy in North-East

Mar 4 (DM) JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe yesterday called on the United States and Amnesty International to not only denounce the recent killings allegedly carried out by the LTTE but also to ensure democracy was re established in the North-East. more..

Lanka reacts cautiously to Tiger rift

Mar 4 (AP) Sri Lanka's main political parties on Thursday reacted cautiously to reports of a rift with Tamil Tiger leadership as Norway moved to salvage a fragile truce. President Kumaratunga's party reacted cautiously to the power struggle within the LTTE saying they believed it was not serious. more..

Prabhakaran undisputed leader, says LTTE's eastern wing

Mar 4 (HT) The LTTE's Batticalao and Amparai wing has denied that it has split from the main organisation, but it has made it clear that it will take orders only from the supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran. more..

Grenade attack on EPDP in Kalmunai

Mar 5 (TN) An EPDP candidate contesting the General Election in the eastern province was injured in a grenade attack in Kulmunai Thursday afternoon, police said. The candidate Mr.Thurairaja Lal contesting in Ampara District was distributing hand bills with his supporters in Kalmunai area when he was attacked. more..

Amended US court ruling protects WTCC, FeTNA

Mar 5 (TN) Judge Audrey Collins has issued an order dated March 3, 2004 which provides that World Tamil Co-ordinating Committee (WTCC) and Federation of Tamil Organizations of North America (FeTNA), as well as their members, are covered by her January 22, 2004 injunction permitting the provision of "expert advice or assistance" toward the peaceful and lawful ends of the LTTE and the PKK, more..

Sri Lanka name spin-heavy Test squad

Mar 5 (CI) Sri Lanka have called up Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Nuwan Zoysa, Avishka Gunawardene and Nuwan Kulasekera into a 15-man squad for the first Test match against Australia, which starts in the south coast town of Galle on Monday. more..

Tamil breakaway group seeks new truce with government

Mar 5 (NI) THE breakaway group of Tamil Tiger rebels has asked the government to negotiate a separate truce, the dissident faction's leader said today. "We think it's very important to have a separate defence pact with the security forces," head of the breakaway group Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan said more..

EPDP vows to go ahead with election campaign

Mar 5 (IL) Naming the recent killings as a 'desperate act by a desperate organisation', the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) yesterday vowed to go ahead in contesting the election as they had the support of the people despite a series of disturbances carried out by the LTTE. more..