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Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga has removed 39 non-cabinet rank junior ministers before parliamentary elections on 2 April, a spokesman for her office said on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have said a snap poll called by the president is a "grave setback" to peace efforts.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga has dissolved parliament and called elections on 2 April, seeking to end a power struggle that threatened to take Sri Lanka back to civil war. 

Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has called for talks to end a political stalemate on the war-battered island, but gave no hint she planned snap polls.

Tamil Tiger rebels have warned that Sri Lanka could return to war after President Chandrika Kumaratunga's latest political pact with a leftist party opposing autonomy for minority Tamils. 

The Sri Lankan president offered her rival prime minister a role in running the country's defence ministry as part of a compromise deal, but the latter has turned it down.

Sri Lanka's President's party says it is studying a Tamil rebel warning of secession unless a Norwegian-backed peace bid is revived. 

European Union External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten has faced hostile protesters upon arrival in Sri Lanka to strengthen international efforts to resume stalled peace talks with Tamil Tiger rebels.
Sri Lanka's government has offered an olive branch to the president to end their power struggle, saying it is willing to give the latter a broader role in the peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels.
Sri Lanka's parliament has ruled as illegal the president's suspension of the assembly two weeks ago.
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