The Colombo stock market took a plunge as President Chandrika Kumaratunga sacked three key ministers and took over the portfolios of Defence, Interior and Media.
Government Spokesman Gayrika Perusinghe told LBO that President Kumaratunga had removed Ministers Thilak Marapana (Defence), John Amaratunga (Interior) and Imthiaz Bakeer Markar (Media) and their respective line bureaucrats with immediate effect.rn

rnKumaratunga has been at loggerheads with the three ministers over their handling of the peace process and the overall country security situation.rn

rnNews of the Presidents move triggered a selling spree on the Colombo bourse with the key indices heading south.rn

rnThe benchmark All Share Price Index closed 70.60 points to 1334.51 and the liquid Milanka Price Index ended 147.43 points lower at 2,414.84.rn

rnTotal turnover for the day was Rs. 750.69 mn.rn

rnldblquote This is only the initial reaction. Confirmation of these rumours will send the market down further,
dblquote one stockbrok