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Main political parties refuse to comment on LTTE rift

Mar 5 (UNI) Sri Lankan political parties have refused to comment on the rift in the Tamil Tiger ranks, saying it was the "internal matter of the rebel organisation." Major political parities are in the midst of their campaign for the April 2 elections are seeking fresh mandate from its electorate to resume peace talks with the Tamil Tigers. more..

LTTE admits internal rift

Mar 5 (hindu) For the first time in its decades of existence as a guerrilla organisation where dissent is fatal, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) today admitted to an internal rift, but termed it a "temporary crisis" that would be "resolved soon". more..

Revolting Tigers demand fresh truce as crisis deepens

Mar 5 (AFP) A regional commander who broke away from the main Tamil rebel organisation has asked for a new defence pact and a truce with Sri Lankan troops, defence officials and rebels said. more..

LTTE’s rebel faction goes public on grievances

Mar 5 (HT) Even as the Leader of the LTTE’s Political Wing, SP Tamilselvan, declared in Kilinochchi on Thursday that the crisis in his organisation was “temporary” and that it would be resolved “soon”, the rebel faction in the Batticaloa-Amparai district led by Senior Commander Colonel Karuna, went public on its “grievances.” more..

Flashing Dollars

Mar 5 (LBO) America has pledged more peace and development oriented funds for Sri Lanka as it rolled out its South Asia assistance plan for the coming financial year. Most of the funds will be broadly for “short-term, high impact programs that are both an incentive to peace, and a boost to reconstruction and reconciliation in war torn areas,” the plan said. more..

What’s Brewing?

Mar 5 (LBO) Local tea exporters are eying a 4 million to 6 million kilo order from Iraq under the current World Food Programme (WFP) that is supplying the war impoverished Middle East nation since the US led attracts ended last year. more..

Batey's Music

Mar 5 (LBO) Making its music, Sri Lanka will have its first annual drum festival in September, showcasing local drummers and from far a-field as Africa and South America. To be held in the hill country capital of Kandy, the three-day festival could also coincide with the Kandy Perahera. more..

Political Talk

Mar 5 (LBO) The UNF claims the JVP faction in the Freedom Alliance has rejected international aid agency assistance and is quoted saying it would also control imports. The claims came on Friday, as the UNF builds up more ammunition against its key competition in the upcoming April polls - the Freedom Alliance. more..

Hand grenade thrown at EPDP candidate injures civilians

Mar 5 (SLA) A hand grenade hurled by an unidentified man at a section of EPDP political activists, engaged in distribution of some propaganda leaflets in the general town area of KALMUNAI on 04 March 2004 around 12.30 p.m. caused injuries to an EPDP candidate and three more civilians. more..

Self-claimed LTTE men rob cash and jewelry

Mar 5 (SLA) Three self-claimed LTTE men armed with guns robbed gold jewelry and cash belonging to a civilian in the general area of KATTANKUDY during wee hours on 03 March 2004. These gunmen relieved A. K. M. FAIZ of Rs. 30,000 (US$ 312) in cash and his jewelry to the value of Rs 69,000 (US$ 718). more..

Political feud destroys dwelling places

Mar 5 (SLA) A political feud that erupted between two groups of Muslims over some political differences resulted in an arson attack on cadjan-thatched dwelling places of some Muslims in the general area of MANCHOLAI, about 3 km. south of VALAICHCHENAI on 02 March 2004 around 8.00 p.m. more..

Motorbike rider fires into the air

Mar 5 (SLA) An unidentified man riding a motorbike had fired a couple of shots into the air for reasons best known to him in the general area of MATTUVIL, about 3 km north of CHAVAKACHCHERI during early hours on 04 March 2004. more..

Sri Lanka says cease-fire not endangered by reported Tiger split

Mar 5 (Kyodo) Sri Lanka on Thursday sought to allay fears that the two-year cease-fire between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels was endangered by a reported split between Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and his eastern military commander. more..

"Let us function directly under your leadership"-Karuna

Mar 5 (TN) "Please let us function independently under your direct leadership. We are not leaving you. We are not opposed to you. I do not want to commit the historical mistake of not pointing out to you the aspirations of our people, disregarding their feelings and those of our fighters here. more..

Monks' Sinhala Buddhist call will derail Kumaratunge - NSSP Leader

Mar 5 (TN) Dr. Vickremabahu Karunarathne, the leader of the leftist NSSP, when asked if UPFA has any chance of getting absolute majority in the 2 April elections said that "with Buddhist Monks contesting separately, openly proposing 'Sinhala Buddhist' dictatorship, it is very unlikely that UPFA could become first in any of the districts." more..

Batticaloa military commander says crisis being resolved

Mar 5 (TN) "We have discussed the situation in Batticaloa with our leader in detail. I am certain that we will resolve the problem smoothly. Our leader will soon clarify the situation to the Tamil people and the world", LTTE's special commander for the Batticaloa-Amparai region, T. Ramesh told TamilNet Friday. more..

Cushnahan condemns election violence

Mar 5 (TN) Member of the European Parliament and former European Union Chief Observer, Mr. John Walls Cushnahan, in a press release issued 3 March, has "condemned all election violence especially the two recent murders in Batticaloa and Valaichchenai." more..

Private sector's views on the government grow louder

Mar 5 (Gulf) Even as the private sector aggressively asserts itself in politics, urging that their voice be heard and grievances addressed in the interests of what they claim to be the country's economic well-being, their new role has come under criticism from certain quarters. Some even accuse them of hypocrisy. more..

Sri Lanka confirm April tour to Zimbabwe

Mar 5 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will tour Zimbabwe in April and May, the Sri Lankan cricket board said on Friday. "We were invited, fixed a schedule and will honour that commitment," the board's chief executive Duleep Mendis told Reuters. "No safety or security issues have come up and we have no concerns." more..

Sri Lankan Government, Norway mum

Mar 5 (Hindu) Sri Lanka's peace facilitators, Norway, the Government, and the Opposition were today guarded in the reactions to the most serious internal rift in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). more..

Analysis: Divided Tigers

Mar 5 (BBC) The Tamil Tiger rebel movement has been plunged into the biggest internal revolt in its two-decade history - throwing Sri Lanka's already ailing peace process into even more jeopardy. more..

Experienced NZ A team named to play Sri Lanka A

Mar 5 (NZPA) A New Zealand A cricket squad deep in experience have been named to play a series of matches against Sri Lanka A starting next week. Eleven players confirmed in the squad today include eight who have represented New Zealand in tests or one-day internationals. more..

Code of conduct for candidates released

Mar 5 (Gulf) A presidential appointed council in Sri Lanka consisting of religious leaders, civil society representatives and public officials has come out with a code of conduct to be implemented during the run up to the April 2 parliamentary election and the post-poll period. more..

Why UNP mum about murder of its candidate? -UPFA

Mar 5 (LT) UPFA has asked the UNP why they were silent when Sinnathambi Sundarapillai, one of their candidates in Batticaloa District has been shot dead by the tiger organization. more..

Song for Ven. Soma is not for nitwits -Its creators tell Hela Urumaya

Mar 5 (LT) The composer, singer and musician of the song, “Dayama Pubuduwalu…Soma himi oba…” (Venerable Soma, who awakened a Nation) sung at the cremation of Ven. Gangodawila Soma Thero have asked Hela Urumaya party not to make use of the song for its election propaganda. more..

We were coerced to compete

Mar 5 (LT) Several Bhikkus who had been forced by the leading Bhikkus of Hela Urumaya to forward their nominations to contest the forthcoming General Election are contemplating withdrawing their nominations say sources. more..

UNF government worst ever says Mangala

Mar 5 (NW) Former chief opposition whip Mangala Samaraweera today claimed that the United National Front government elected to power in December 2001 has been the most corrupt government ever. more..

CTTU urges members to work for TNA's victory

Mar 5 (TN) Twenty thousand members strong Ceylon Tamil Teachers’ Union (CTTU) Friday issued a circular to its zonal and district secretaries to participate in election rallies and seminars in support of the TNA candidates contesting the forthcoming general election more..

Police provides protection to Vavuniya candidates

Mar 5 (TN) Vavuniya Police Friday started providing security protection to candidates of political parties on their request. Two police personnel are deployed to provide protection to each candidate, said Vavuniya Police Headquarters Inspector Mr.R.M.Wijenayake. more..

Rid country of corrupt politicians, says President

Mar 5 (DN) President Kumaratunga yesterday said it was the crying need of the hour to rid the country of corrupt politicians. "Since 1977, politics has become a money spinning business and honest and educated people who can serve the country immensely are not willing to enter politics", she said more..

Sea water in Kelani river: Supply to Greater Colombo cut off

Mar 5 (DM) Most areas in and around Colombo were without water from early yesterday as sea water had seeped into the Kelani river forcing the Water Board to cut off supply, an official said. He said sea water had seeped in because the water level of the Kelani river had plunged due to the drought. more..

Rift among Tamil Rebels widens, says media

Mar 5 (Reuters) A split in Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels -- which could threaten moves to restart peace talks -- has widened with a renegade commander demanding a separate truce with the government, local media reported on Friday. more..

Vaiko supports LTTE's terrorism: TN

Mar 5 (PTI) The Tamil Nadu Government today told the Central POTA Review Committee that MDMK chief Vaiko lauds LTTE terrorist activities whenever he delivers a speech and seeks support and sympathy for the banned organisation in India and all over the world. more..

Warne and Muralitharan prepare for spin duel

Mar 5 (Reuters) The two most controversial and prolific wicket takers in modern cricket are poised for a head-to-head race to Courtney Walsh's world test record of 519 wickets on Monday. more..

Tamil Rebels face turmoil over split

Mar 5 (Reuters) Tamil Tiger rebels sought Friday to contain an internal rift that could threaten moves to restart peace talks, after reports a renegade commander had demanded a separate cease-fire with the government. more..

LTTE say splinter group can't negotiate

Mar 5 (Bloomberg) Tamil Tigers said a breakaway unit must not be allowed to negotiate a separate peace agreement with the government to end the 20-year civil war. `Colonel' Karuna "is now a man on his own and it's unwise of him to seek separate talks. more..

Lanka rejects pact with revolting Tiger

Mar 5 (PTI) Sri Lanka on Friday rejected a call by revolting Tamil Tiger commander Karuna for a defence pact with security forces and a fresh ceasefire replacing the truce arranged by Norway. Defence Secretary Cyril Herath said he could not agree to the demand from V Muralitharan, also known as Karuna, more..

Balance of forces tilt against rebels in LTTE

Mar 5 (HT) The split in the LTTE is for real, despite public statements to the contrary from the eastern rebel leader Col Karuna and the head of the LTTE's political wing, SP Tamilselvan. And as of now, the balance of forces is tilted against the rebels and in favour of the north-dominated, Wanni-based leadership of the militant organization, presided over by the redoubtable Velupillai Prabhakaran. more..

TNA campaigns, Thiriyai to vote after two decades

Mar 5 (TN) A group of resettled villagers attended a TNA election meeting held Wednesday evening after twenty-one years in Thiriyai, a traditional Tamil village in Trincomalee which was completely destroyed in military operations launched by the Sri Lanka Army, sources said. more..

Karuna asks Prabhakaran for complete regional autonomy

Mar 5 (HT) The rebel LTTE commander Col Karuna has demanded complete autonomy for the Batticalao-Amparai district within the LTTE administration. In a letter to the Supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran, dated March 2, written on behalf of Karuna by the BA district administrator-in-charge, there is a demand that all the 30 departments of the LTTE administration functioning in the district should be put under the regional unit. more..

EU condemns pre-poll killings by LTTE

Mar 6 (TOI) The European Union on Friday condemned the recent killings by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels of political activists who opposed their views ahead of Sri Lanka 's upcoming parliamentary elections. more..

Economic prospects appear good but sustainable growth requires further reform

Mar 6 (M2) Sri Lanka's economic prospects appear favourable, provided that peace and political stability are maintained and economic reforms, particularly those aimed at reducing government intervention, are continued, according to a report on the trade policies and practices of Sri Lanka, released March 5 by the WTO Secretariat. more..

UNICEF provides school building for Nochchikulam students

Mar 6 (TN) About fifty students of resettled families in Nochchikulam village in the Morawewa division in the Trincomalee district Thursday moved into a new building, which has been constructed with the funds provided by the UNICEF. The children of the resettled families studied under tree shades till the completion of the semi-permanent building. more..

Who is your Prime Minister? UNF asks UPFA

Mar 6 (NW) The UNF has called upon the UPFA to name their potential candidate for the post of Prime Minister. The UNF blamed what it called the Alliance's lack of transparency and demanded that it the Alliance name a Premier in the event a UPFA administration is elected to office at the April 2 General Election. more..

Prisoners set fire to Welikada Prison

Mar 6 (NW) The Welikada prison was up in smoke today night when a group of agitated prisoners set fire to several lockups and surrounding areas within the locality, following the gruelling water shortage which has affected nearly the entire Western Province for there consecutive days. more..

Mr. Clean politics comes under JVP attack

Mar 6 (IL) 'Mr. Clean politics' yesterday came in for a lot of flak by the JVP who alleged that he has been out of the country most of the time during the tenure of his government than attending parliamentary sessions and discussing issues facing the people who elected him to power. more..

UNF vows to block President's move to change the constitution

Mar 6 (IL) Amidst repeated claims by President Chandrika Kumaratunga that she was seeking direct approval from the people to change the constitution, her main rival, the UNF vowed yesterday it would not be part of any unconstitutional exercise to bring about a new Constitution. more..

LTTE rift widens, separate administration for east sought

Mar 6 (Hindu) The rift within the LTTE widened today with the LTTE special commander for Batticaloa and Amparai, V. Muralitharan, (a.k.a. `Col.' Karuna), demanding a "separate administration" for his region, his political aide told The Hindu . more..

Road's End

Mar 6 (LBO) All assets of state owned construction firm Road Construction and Development Company (RCDC) is to be packaged and sold off following its shut down last year. State privatization arm PERC has called for consultants to help value the assets including plants, machinery, quarries and workshops, which can be sold as ongoing commercial concerns. more..

Under Scrutiny

Mar 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka will join the elite band of 25 countries that have signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with world watchdog for securities markets, IOSCO. The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) is the global standard setting body, regulating more than 90 percent of world securities markets. more..