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UFA, UNF ready to release election manifestos

Mar 9 (TN) The two major political parties contesting the forthcoming general election, UNF and the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) are giving final touches to their election manifestos which are expected to released in the next few days, political sources said. more..

Switching Off

Mar 9 (LBO) Lower import tariffs for fully assembled TVs could see Singer Industries switch off its local assembly plant shortly. Chairman and Managing Director Hemaka Amarasuriya told shareholders that the closure of the assembly plant was imminent unless duty for complete TV sets was increased from the current 12 per cent rate. more..

Dry Run

Mar 9 (LBO) Colombo may run out of water to drink and water for electricity generation this Avurudu season while the country’s policy makers run around the country side canvassing for political power. more..

Not Fair

Mar 9 (LBO) Sampath Bank chief has rapped authorities for continuing to look at financial instruments as a convenient source of raising revenue. The banking sector currently forks out 15 percent of their earnings as Value Added Tax. more..

New Sri Lanka Envoy

Mar 9 (AN) Maznavee Sadiq has been appointed Sri Lanka’s new Consul General in Jeddah. He succeeds Abdul Cader Ibrahim who has been here for nearly four years. Sadiq, with more than a decade of experience in the foreign service, more..

Suspected LTTE men burn propaganda posters

Mar 9 (SLA) Suspected LTTE cadres, who by force stopped a vehicle belonging to one candidate contesting the elections in the north, had burnt propaganda posters found inside the vehicle while it was running in the general area of PARAMESHWARAN junction in JAFFNA on 07 March 2004 around 12 noon. more..

EPDP leader’s passage blocked

Mar 9 (SLA) Suspected three LTTE men, who blocked the onward passage for an Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) leader along the A-9 road, were arrested on 08 March 2004 in the general area of CHAVAKACHCHERI by the Policemen who provided security to the EPDP man. more..

Hundreds of Indian trawlers sighted

Mar 9 (SLA) Naval troops on duty in the general sea area north of DELFT ISLAND on 06 March 2004 around 3.00 p.m. sighted about two hundred Indian trawlers poaching inside the Sri Lankan waters. more..

Women want KARUNA as their leader

Mar 9 (SLA) A gathering of women assembled in the general area of ARSHADY in BATTICALOA town on 08 March 2004 to mark International Women’s Day marched towards the HINDU COLLEGE grounds at BATTICALOA, demanding KARUNA should be allowed to function as LTTE leader for the east. more..

Thilak slams SLBC over Pathuman story

Mar 9 (TN) The news that LTTE Trincomalee district military commander Colonel Pathuman has been killed in Vanni is a canard to create panic and confusion among Tamil people by some interested parties, LTTE Trincomalee district political head Mr.S.Thilak told more..

British envoy meets Thamilchelvan

Mar 9 (TN) The British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Mr. Steven Evans and other British officials met with S.P.Thamilchelvan in Kilinochchi today and discussed matters related to the current situation in Batticaloa, delivery of humanitarian assistance and voting issues in the forthcoming general elections, more..

SEP candidates speak on Sri Lankan TV

Mar 9 (wsws) Socialist Equality Party candidates delivered a three-minute address in three languages—Sinhala, Tamil and English—on a privately-owned TV network on Sunday evening. The Sinhala channel is named SIRASA, the Tamil channel SHAKTHI and the English channel MTV. more..

Corrupt ministers sacked within 24 hours - President

Mar 9 (PSL) Corruption, fraud or theft will not be tolerated under a Freedom Alliance Government warned President Kumaratunga, she said any Minister or official found guilty will be removed within 24 hours. more..

'Karuna still holds the upper hand'

Mar 9 (Hindu) Despite being sacked from the LTTE and stripped of his post of regional commander, V. Muralitharan (a.k.a. `Col.' Karuna) continues as the renegade head of the district unit of the rebels. The control wielded by `Karuna', as the expelled leader is popularly known, apparently continues. more..

Behind Karuna's revolt

Mar 9 (Hindu) TWO YEARS years ago, when Velupillai Prabakaran addressed his first press conference in a decade, sharing the dais with him in that makeshift hall in Killinochchi were those he considered his closest confidantes. more..

Beware when Tigers fall out

Mar 9 (AT) Another complicating dimension has been added to Sri Lanka's beleaguered peace process following a formal split in the LTTE. While the division is expected to weaken the LTTE's military capacity, it could lead to the organization hardening its position at the negotiating table. more..

CMEV on election violence incidents

Mar 9 (DN) The CMEV has recorded a cumulative total of 321 incidents of election related violence since nominations were called for (17 February 2004) in the April 2004 General Election of these Incidents 127 have been categorized as Major Incidents, more..

Samurdhi will be maintained directly by me says President

Mar 9 (DM) Addressing a meeting of Samurdhi Officers at the President's house on Sunday, President Chandrika Kumaratunga said if the United People Freedom Alliance comes to power Samurdhi Authority will be converted to a corporation and will be maintained under herself. more..

LTTE rebel commander claims to be in control of his region

Mar 9 (IANS) A breakaway commander of Tamil Tiger guerrillas has asserted that he fully controls the thousands of men and women fighters in the country's sprawling east. V. Muralitharan, known by his nom de guerre Karuna, asserted that the LTTE had lost control over the fighters in the east. more..

Rebel rift puts Sri Lanka candidates in quandary

Mar 9 (Reuters) Campaign plans for candidates in Sri Lanka's east were going ahead on Tuesday despite a split in Tamil Tiger ranks that threatens the island's peace process and complicates what already promised to be a violent election. more..

Dilshan puts Sri Lanka in control

Mar 9 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan followed Muttiah Muralitharan's first-day heroics with a superb hundred, the third of his career and certainly the best, as Sri Lanka tightened their grip on the first Test at Galle. Dilshan scored 104 as Sri Lanka piled up 352 for 6 to finish the day more..

Need to promote peace in Sri Lanka

Mar 9 (KT) Tamil Tigers have broken up. A new faction led by a renegade leader does not listen anymore to the rebels' top leadership. And the new faction is threatening to unleash violence if the government does not recognise it and sign a pact. The minority Tamils' fight seems unending. more..

Civilian interests must be upheld in resolving eastern crisis - NPC

Mar 9 (PS) A situation that potentially threatens the peace process has developed in the north east with the unexpected and sudden split in the LTTE caused by the break away of its former eastern commander, Colonel Karuna Amman. more..

LTTE warlords squabble over the 'spoils of peace'

Mar 9 (HT) LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran and his erstwhile Eastern satrap Colonel Karuna are now engaged in a bitter struggle over the "spoils of peace". The latest report of the UTHR-J reveals that the ongoing conflict in the LTTE is essentially an intra-elite quarrel over the "spoils" of the peace process. more..

Sri Lanka's breakaway Tamil Tiger commander rejects amnesty offer

Mar 9 (AFP) A breakaway Tamil Tiger commander rejected a fresh amnesty offered by rebel leaders despite a Catholic bishop intervening to bridge the rift that has threatened to undermine Sri Lanka's peace efforts. more..

Sri Lanka looks to cut electricity demand as drought prevails

Mar 9 (DJ) The Sri Lankan government Tuesday asked consumers to conserve energy and generate their own electricity to prevent power cuts amid a severe drought that has affected the country's hydropower-dominated supply. more..

Stocks gain as John Keells boosts trade

Mar 9 (Reuters) Stocks rose on Tuesday, reversing early losses, as gains in diversified conglomerate John Keells Holdings Ltd spurred blue chip buying. The key Colombo all-share index ended up 1.07 percent, or 13.10 points, at 1,231.77. more..

Voters from LTTE controlled areas wont be checked - SLA

Mar 10 (TN) The Sri Lankan security forces commander for Jaffna, Maj. Gen. Susil Chandrapala said Tuesday that the military would not check people who come to vote at the 2 April general elections from the LTTE controlled Kilinochchi district. more..

Unidentified youths prevent THINAKURAL sale in Batticaloa

Mar 10 (TN) An unidentified group of persons is reported to have forcibly removed several parcels containing more than three thousand copies of a leading Tamil daily "THINAKURAL" between Valaichchenai and Vantharumoolai in Batticaloa district Tuesday morning when they were transported from Colombo to Batticaloa for distribution, more..

Warne's back - tall of tale but short of bounce

Mar 10 (CI) Forget the figures (32-4-103-2, since you ask). Today at Galle Shane Warne bowled as if he'd never been away - that is to say, with accuracy and unceasing determination. It would be tempting to say that he bounced back, if it weren't for the fact that bounce -­ or lack of it -­ was most of his problem. more..

Sri Lanka Telecom's Anan says poll may hurt profit for 2 years

Mar 10 (Bloomberg) Sri Lanka Telecom Ltd., the nation's biggest phone company, said the general election may crimp profit for as long as two years because of delays in raising funds for expanding its mobile-phone business. more..

Tamil Tigers 'preparing for war'

Mar 10 (BBC) A breakaway Tamil Tiger commander in Sri Lanka has accused rebel leaders of readying for possible war after elections due in April. In an interview with the BBC, Colonel Karuna said he believed this was the reason why he was asked to send 1,000 troops from the east to the north. more..

NZ media accused of exploiting deported girl for commercial gain

Mar 10 (Stuff) Sri Lankan child protection authorities have hit back at "misleading and unethical" New Zealand media reports that a sexually abused girl is being forced into a prosecution. more..

Tamil Tiger renegade vows no return to war

Mar 10 (AFP) A top rebel who led an unprecedented split within the Tamil Tigers vowed he would not return Sri Lanka to its three-decade war but rejected an amnesty offered by the guerrilla chief. more..

Karuna rejects amnesty offer; LTTE calls for calm

Mar 10 (Hindu) The renegade regional military commander of the LTTE, V. Muralitharan (a.k.a. `Col.' Karuna), has declined the amnesty offer granted to him by the rebel leadership, and insisted on top-level changes in the rebel-group's organisation to rejoin it. more..

EU deploys election observers to Sri Lanka

Mar 10 (EU) The EU is to send a 70-strong team to oversee the Sri Lankan general election on April 2. Sri Lanka’s commissioner of elections invited the EU to send a mission to inject a stabilising influence into the country’s fragile peace process. more..

Harassment of Maids Persists

Mar 10 (AN) While Saudi Arabia’s demand for domestic workers is rising, more of them are running away from their sponsors. At present 80 runaway maids are accommodated in a villa by the Sri Lankan Consulate General alone. About 100 are reported in Riyadh. more..

Panel lists poll rule violations

Mar 10 (TP) Elections Department on Sunday released the list of offences under the Parliamentary Elections Act which has stiff penalties for those found voting twice or for destroying or forging nomination papers and giving a forged nomination paper to a election officer. more..

30 more prisoners injured in clashes

Mar 10 (TP) A further 30 prisoners were injured on Saturday night in a second clash between two groups over insufficient water at Colombo’s Welikada prison. On Friday, 20 prisoners were injured in a similar clash over water. more..

Contact with outside world to blame for rift in LTTE: Report

Mar 10 (AFP) Foreign travel to peace talks by Tamil Tigers previously confined to Sri Lankan jungle bases may have fuelled an unexpected split among the otherwise rigidly controlled rebels, reports said yesterday. more..

Traders urged to get FTA with SL approved

Mar 10 (Jang) The Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Islamabad General (R) C S Weerasooriya has urged the business community to use their influence for getting the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Lanka approved at the very earliest. more..

Poll violence on decline

Mar 10 (GD) Campaign-related violence has declined ahead of Sri Lanka's April 2 parliamentary election which has been overshadowed by an unprecedented split among Tamil Tiger rebels, a watchdog said yesterday. more..

Emergency Merit

Mar 10 (LBO) The Power Ministry is calling upon the Sri Lankan public to collect merit for their after-life by saving power, while industrialists with generators will also get cash into the bargain, if they use their own power. more..


Mar 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom said it was pumping Rs. 600 mn to float a fully owned subsidiary – Telecom City (Pvt) Ltd. SLT said the capital injection would come in on a staggered basis to suit progress and development of the project. more..

LTTE compelled to release detained Army soldier

Mar 10 (SLA) LTTE cadres, who abducted and detained an Army soldier for reasons best known to the LTTE on 09 March 2004 while the soldier was on duty in the general area of TARANIKKULAM in VAVUNIYA covering a political meeting, were forced to release the soldier after the SLMM intervened. more..

Men assaulting policemen arrested

Mar 10 (SLA) Two assailants were arrested from the general town area of TRINCOMALEE beach road on suspicion by a mobile Police team while they were assaulting two Policemen on 07 March 2004 around 9.45 p.m. Both Policemen received injuries and were referred to hospital for medical treatment. more..

Three LTTE men surrender seeking protection

Mar 10 (SLA) Three LTTE cadres in their twenties had fled the LTTE TORA BORA camp and surrendered to the troops in the general area of ARALAGANWILA on 09 March 2004 in search of protection for their lives. more..

Sri Lanka launches its first biodegradable bag

Mar 10 (PP) The first ever locally manufactured degradable polythene bag is soon to be launched on the Sri Lankan market, having already been successful on the British and Australian markets. A spokesman for the company behind the bags, said that the lifetime of these products could be controlled and that they could be made to degrade through heat, sunlight, oxygen or bacteria. more..

Lee pulls out of Sri Lanka tour

Mar 10 (Reuters) Australia were hit by a double injury blow on Wednesday when fast bowler Brett Lee pulled out of the Sri Lanka tour with an ankle injury and Michael Kasprowicz suffered a shoulder injury. more..

Doctors stage 4-hour strike

Mar 10 (TP) About 10,000 doctors in government hospitals staged a countrywide strike on Monday paralysing health care services for four hours. Colombo National Hospital Director Dr Hector Weerasinghe said hundreds of patients were turned away at the outpatients department while routine operations were also postponed. more..