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Mini Polls – Voters 1,33,27,160 and Candidates 23,331

Mar 27 (LT) 1,33,27,160 voters will be eligible to cast their vote at the Mini Polls on Thursday (30) at 10,803 centres. 4442 Members will be elected among 23,331 candidates at this election. There are 330 Local Government institutions in the island which comprises 18 Municipal Councils, 42 Urban Councils and 270 Provincial Councils. more..

Commission to probe illegal arms transaction begins investigations

Mar 27 (LT) The commission appointed by President Mahinda Rajapakse to look into the alleged illegal transactions in buying weapons for the Sri Lanka Navy has initiated its investigations on the President’s instructions. High Court Judge Mr Nimal Gamini Amaratunga acts as the Chairman of this commission while retired Administrative Officer Edmund Jayasuriya performs as the Secretary to the commission. more..

MP hospitalized due to heavy assault by thugs

Mar 27 (LT) The JVP notifies that its Galle District Parliamentarian Mr Thilakaratne Withanachchi has been hospitalized consequent to an assault by a group of supporters led by a UPFA candidate in the district. The group which comprised of 50-60 people had tried to abduct Parliamentarian Ajith Kumara at this incident which was prevented by the crowd. more..

Standard of degrees should be raised to international level -President

Mar 27 (LT) President Mahinda Rajapakse said the standard of degrees in Sri Lanka should be raised to international standard. He said this at a ceremony held at Presidential Secretariat to distribute Mahapola scholarships. The government spends Rs.600 million annually for Mahapola Scholarships. more..

Govt. promised honourable peace but convenes all party conferences – Ranil

Mar 27 (LT) The Government which promised honourable peace during the presidential election campaign convenes all party conferences to ask for the views of political parties before Geneva talks said Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe. Mr. Wickremasinghe said not only the political parties that supported the Government were invited for those summits but those parties that didn’t represent the Government too were invited and said it was a hilarious act. more..

Having two different parties to rule village & country is not a problem – JVP

Mar 27 (LT) Administration of the village and the country being shared separately by two parties won’t be a problem says Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, Information Secretary of the JVP. He was addressing a propaganda rally of the JVP at Wennappuwa. A four year programme has been prepared for all local government councils and it would be implemented to develop the villages after the JVP wins local government elections said Mr. Weerawansa. more..

All evidence points finger at LTTE - Security Forces

Mar 27 (PIS) The Security Forces categorically stated yesterday that they have both material and personal evidence to establish that the perpetrators of Saturday's attack on the Sri Lankan Navy vessel which killed eight sailors, was an act by the LTTE and it was a serious violation of the CFA. more..

President to take up Dvora attack at int’l level

Mar 27 (PIS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to take up Saturday’s LTTE suicide attack on the Navy’s Dvora at international level, while intelligence reports claimed there were aircraft parts, missiles and explosives on board the blown up LTTE trawler. more..

Four policemen netted for robbing vehicles

Mar 27 (LNP) Four policemen including an Inspector in charge of a Police Sports Unit in Kurunegala division responsible for a series of vehicle robberies in the area were taken into custody during the weekend. The suspects an Inspector and three Police Constables were arrested on a tip off by a person whose vehicle was robbed by the suspects at gun point recently. more..

SLMM condemns attack on Navy

Mar 27 (LNP) The SLMM in a statement said yesterday that it could not rule out the possibility of LTTE`s involvement in Saturday`s attack on a Navy vessel. While strongly condemning the attack, the SLMM said it was still too early to establish exactly the details of the attack and that it was currently conducting investigations. more..

President increases Mahapola scholarship allowance by Rs. 500

Mar 27 (LNP) On presidential orders, the Mahapola scholarship which stood at Rs. 2,000 was increased to Rs. 2,500 from yesterday. The President announced the increase at a ceremony held at the Presidential Secretariat to grant Mahapola Scholarships for the year 2004-2005. This means that within a two-year period, the Mahapola Scholarship grant has been increased by Rs. 850. more..

Politicians under attack by judiciary

Mar 27 (SAMN) The Court of Appeal could not be completed for the next eight to ten years as no action had been taken by successive governments to decentralize the Court of Appeal. He made this complaint at the 32nd annual convocation of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) which was also addressed by Appeal Court President Andrew Somawansa. more..

Take attack on Navy seriously: Parties

Mar 27 (SAMN) The LTTE attack on navy’s Dvora drew a host of reactions from political parties with the main opposition UNP roundly condemning the incident. UNP Assistant General Secretary Tissa Attanayake cited the incident as a blatant violation of the Ceasefire Agreement especially at a time when both parties had pledged to honour it. more..

UNP will form new govt. in 2007 - Karu

Mar 27 (SAMN) Addressing a rally organised by the Kandy branch of the UNP, Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya said that his party, with twenty-seven thousand branches island-wide could not be subdued by any individual as the people knew it was the only party which created an environment in which all communities in the country could live in harmony. more..

CHRONOLOGY-Recent suspected Tiger rebel attacks

Mar 27 (Reuters) A suspected Tamil Tiger front threatened on Monday to resume attacks against Sri Lanka's military two days after the Navy accused rebels of sinking a patrol boat in a suicide attack. Here is a chronology of recent attacks on Sri Lankan military personnel blamed on the LTTE -- the vast majority of which the rebels deny any hand in. more..

War, tsunami displaced in Sri Lanka denied right to vote

Mar 27 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's civil war displaced and the victims of the Indian ocean Tsunamis are denied the right to vote at this week's local council election, an independent election watch dog said here Monday. People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) Executive Director Kingsley Rodrigo told reporters more..

Industrial village for Uva Province

Mar 27 (DN) Under the "Mahinda Chinthana" programme the Uva Province will soon have an industrial village where villagers in the Uva area will have jobs and their living conditions improved said Uva Province Chief Minister Gamini Wijayamuni de Soysa at Dodamgolla Kanista Vidyalaya, Bibile recently. more..

Roots of Muslim identity in Sri Lanka

Mar 27 (HT) A community's search for identity and its subsequent development as a political unit, stem from an environment of communalism. The search for an identity, now referred to by the term "identitarianism" could be a reaction either to the hegemony of the majority community or to the communalism of a minority community. more..

Farhat and Asif give Pakistan the advantage

Mar 27 (CI) Pakistan moved with trepidation into a position of strength against Sri Lanka on the second day of the first Test in Colombo. Having made the most of helpful conditions to dismiss Sri Lanka for 185 by tea, thanks to spectacular opening bursts from Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul, Pakistan overcame an edgy start, to end the day on 124 for 4, more..

Military arrests four suspected Tamil Tiger rebels, seizes weapons

Mar 27 (AP) The Sri Lankan military arrested four suspected Tamil Tiger rebels and discovered weapons during a search of a government-held northern town, the military said Monday. The suspected rebels included two women and were arrested late Sunday in Vavuniya, the military said. T-56 rifles were found in their possession, it said in a statement. more..

Terror papers probed

Mar 27 (NP) Police are examining documents that appear to support allegations the Sri Lankan terrorist group known as the Tamil Tigers has been collecting money in Canada. Members of the Tamil-Canadian community have given investigators copies of a pledge form and receipts they claim are evidence of Tamil Tigers fundraising. more..

Truce helps develop rural areas: opposition leader

Mar 27 (Xinhua) The internationally backed truce agreement with the LTTE rebels had led to development in rural Sri Lanka, the main opposition leader said Sunday. Ranil Wickremesinghe, the leader of the UNP, told party election rallies in the central district of Kandy that the cease-fire with the LTTE in 2002 had brought foreign assistance to the island to develop rural areas. more..

President awarded damages over tsunami graft probe

Mar 27 (AFP) Supreme Court has awarded 5,000 dollars in damages to President Mahinda Rajapakse over a pre-election police investigation into a complaint that he siphoned off millions of rupees in tsunami aid. A three-judge bench unanimously held that Rajapakse's fundamental rights were violated by the inquiry at a time when he was campaigning for the November 17 presidential election. more..

Sri Lanka suspected rebel front warns of new attacks

Mar 27 (Reuters) A suspected Tamil Tiger front threatened on Monday to resume attacks on Sri Lanka's military, with the government and rebels seen unwilling to compromise weeks before talks aimed at averting renewed civil war. Tension fell in the island's minority Tamil dominated northeast after the two sides met last month in Geneva for the first high level talks in three years. more..

Sri Lanka's apparel industry sets new growth targets

Mar 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's apparel industry has re-visited its five year goals, downgrading expectations of 12 percent annual growth and a US$ 4 billion turnover by 2007. The new roadmap focuses attention on two main export areas instead of four – casual wear and intimates that have seen in the region of 30 percent to 40 percent growth. more..

Media 'biased' on election coverage

Mar 28 (BBC) Election monitors in Sri Lanka say media institutions are biased towards their chosen political parties in the run up to local government elections. Peoples Action For Free and Fair Elections (PAFFEREL) said while private media favoured main opposition UNP, state-run media were biased towards the government. more..

'Prove allegations' SLA challenges SLMM

Mar 28 (BBC) Sri Lanka military authorities have challenged the international truce monitors to prove the accusations that the military is maintaining close links with the paramilitary groups. SLA spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said the monitors should prove their allegations that the SLA officers are aware and/or closely working with the paramilitary groups operating in the north and the east. more..

We support Tamil right to self-rule in Sri Lanka - Erik Solheim

Mar 28 (TW) Erik Solheim, Norwegian Minister of International Development in a wide ranging interview to Indian magazine Tehelka has said Norway is supporting Tamil right to self-rule in Sri Lanka. He also said, “The US seems to have taken a pro-Sinhala stand”. Text of the interview as follows: more..

Sri Lanka bans fishing after gunboat sinking

Mar 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka banned deep-sea fishing off its troubled northern coast from Monday, two days after Tiger rebels blew up a navy gunboat and killed eight sailors, a defence official said. The ban would apply to all fishing trawlers and vessels would need written permission from navy chief Wasantha Karannagoda to enter the prohibited zone, the official said. more..

Jaffna resents the return of LTTE cadres to do political work

Mar 28 (AT) Majority of the Tamil people living in the Jaffna, who are getting used to some degree of normalcy, fear that their lives will be unsettled once again if the cadres of the LTTE return to open up a political offices in the Peninsula. This is the general view expressed by Tamils in the Peninsula, from academics to the average man in the streets and farms, to Douglas Devananda MP, more..

Export of Tea becomes a serious job soon –Exporters

Mar 28 (AT) Tea exporting sector needs to attend tough regulations and guidelines imposed by tea buying countries and several other institutions. Exporters say that they have to follow these guidelines and modern packing materials to meet the requirements of the buyers. more..

Guide on Sri Lanka Education

Mar 28 (AT) A comprehensive guide on Education in Sri Lanka was published for the first time by Neptune Publications, recently in association with JobsNet – The National Employment sourcing and delivery system Sri Lanka. The book comprises information on what, when, where and how Education in Sri Lanka. more..

Funding the final war: Extortion, an exception to the Rule

Mar 28 (AT) The report "Funding the final war" by the Human Rights Watch, a New York based not for profit organization, has created a stir of controversy among the Tamil Diaspora. The Tamil Diaspora in Canada home of over quarter million expatriate Tamils, came out strongly against the report which made the Human Rights watch to re-issue a statement of clarification. more..

JVP will suffer the same fate as the Bandaranaikes

Mar 28 (LeN) After the local government election, the JVP too will inherit the fate that befell the Bandaranaikes during the 4 month rule of Mahinda Rajapaksa, UNP Galle District parliamentarian Gayantha Karunathilake said. He predicted that the Freedom Alliance already split into 3, more..

Signs of SLFP- JVP marriage breaking up

Mar 28 (LeN) The JVP has communicated to government top rungers that it will take a decision whether to continue its support to the government after the local government elections unless acts of violence unleashed on the JVP by the SLFP were not brought to an immediate end. more..

Minister's secretary shot dead

Mar 28 (BBC) Senior Minister Maithreepala Sirisena’s private secretary has been shot dead in the boder village of Manampitiya in Polonnaruwa district. GD Dharmasiri has been returning home late night after attending local government election meetings with the General Secretary of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), Minister Sirisena. more..

350 arrested on election violations

Mar 28 (LT) Police Elections Bureau says 350 persons have been arrested so far on election violations. Among these there are candidates for the Local Government polls. A group of them have been released on bail while others are being held in remand prison. more..

Muslim Federation demands separate delegation in talks

Mar 28 (TN) In a statement released at a press briefing held Sunday evening at Sainthamaruthu Jumma Mosques conference hall, the Eastern Province Mosques Federation (EPMF) demanded that a separate Muslim delegation should be included in any future peace talks between the Government of Sri Lanka and LTTE, sources said. more..

Trinco fishermen protest against SLN ban

Mar 28 (TN) Hundreds of men, women who are members of four fisheries co-operatives societies with their children held a two-hour protest in front of the Trincomalee office of the SLMM Monday morning demanding that they should be allowed to fish in Trincomalee Harbor Sea, or given relief to enable them to live without the income from fishing, sources said. more..

SLA, constant threat to security of Jaffna residents– Ilamparithy

Mar 28 (TN) "Residents from 26% of land area of Jaffna peninsula remain driven out of their homes; Fishermen, trying to recover from the tsunami devastation, are unable to freely pursue their occupation; and the entire student community in Jaffna district is continuously being targetted and victimised by the Sri Lanka Army soldiers," LTTE's Political Head C. Ilamparithy told media more..

Attacks on the JVP intensified

Mar 28 (LT) The JVP in a letter addressed to the inspector general of police says that the attacks on the candidates and members of the JVP by thugs of the UNP and the people’s Alliance have been intensified. It says that these incessant attacks on the candidates and members of the JVP, campaigning peacefully in the election, are a serious threat to a free and fair election. more..

Govt. uses police officers as pawns! - Jayalath Jayawardene

Mar 28 (LT) The Government is using the police officers as pawns said UNP Parliamentarian Jayalath Jayawardene. Speaking at a media meeting held in Colombo Dr. Jayawardene said such a situation has arrived as the ‘Independent Police Commission’ was not established. more..

We ask for things that we could do! - Wimal Weerawansa

Mar 28 (LT) The JVP asks the people for things that it could perform said Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, Information Secretary of the JVP adding that it would never ask for things that it couldn’t perform. Mr. Weerawansa said no other party which asks for the administration of the village has put forward a programme to develop the village. more..

UNP’s contest is to get the second place! -Mangala Samaraweera

Mar 28 (LT) UNP has already given up winning the local government election but is trying hard to at least come to the the second place said Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. Addressing a media meeting held in Colombo yesterday Mr. Samaraweera said this had been confirmed in a study made by the UNP itself. more..

Fire destroys Chandrasekaran's Colombo residence

Mar 28 (TN) Nuwara Eliya district parliamentarian and Leader of Upcountry Peoples Front (UPF), Mr Periyasamy Chandrasekaran's residence in Kepitikollawa in Colombo was destroyed by fire at 10.30 p.m. Monday, sources from Colombo said. No one was injured in the incident and the cause of the fire is under investigation, Cinnmon Garden police said. more..

Lanka to create first Muslim battalion

Mar 28 (TP) Sri Lanka is setting up its first infantry battalion made of only Muslims, the country third largest community, to protect Muslim residents in the east from Tamil rebels, the first ever exclusive battalion for any community, the government said. Military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said interviews for recruitment to this battalion will start tomorrow, Tuesday, more..

Let not Tigers be more equal!

Mar 28 (ANN) The Norwegian-led SLMM has warned that the LTTE attack on a naval craft on Saturday (March 25) is fraught with the danger of pushing Sri Lanka back to war. SLMM has condemned the attack. But nothing more usually gets done about such blatant ceasefire violations and water closes in on them shortly afterwards. more..

UAV comes down in Vavuniya

Mar 28 (TN) An unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) used by Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) for surveillance and reconnaissance missions crashed down colliding against the television antenna in a private house Tuesday morning at about 10.15 in Poonthodam Maharambaikulam, in Vauniya. more..

Unidentified Men Rob De-mining Office

Mar 28 (SLA) A DE-MINING GROUP AT ANAIPANTY in JAFFNA has complained of a theft of electronic, communicative and some other worthy equipment from their office by an unidentified group on Monday (27) around 3.00 a.m. According to the complaint made by officials of the DANIS de-mining group at ANAIPANTY in JAFFNA, an unidentified group hase robbed Laptop Computers, Digital cameras, Satellite phones, Multi tools etc that were inside the office more..

Army refutes pro-LTTE web report

Mar 28 (SLA) SRI LANKA ARMY TROOPS, in neither manner after the cease-fire agreement was signed, have disrupted democratic and legitimate political activities of the LTTE (Tamil Tiger) or any other civil organization to-date, nor have the troops conducted any offensives against the LTTE except for retaliatory counter attacks during last December-January months. more..