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SC judgment: Politicos voice their views

Aug 27 (SAMN) We do not mind whether the elections are in 2005 or 2006. We have already selected our candidates and all the constituent parties of the government have pledged support. We are ready to face election this year and we are very much confident of winning. more..

Hakeem's dilemma

Aug 27 (ANN) SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem must be a worried man. He is coming under pressure from many a quarter over issues ranging from frivolous to serious. His biggest trouble, however, is likely to be the newly formed Muslim Alliance, ‘United Muslim Ummah’ (UMU), whose goal is to bring all Sri Lankan Muslims under one banner. more..

'Mahinda must come out with policies'

Aug 27 (SAMN) The principal aspirants to the highest office in the land should state their policies on vital matters affecting the whole country. However, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse has not said anything with regard to any vital issue upto date. This is not an acceptable situation, said Prof. G. L. Peiris at a media briefing more..

Mixed reactions by the people

Aug 27 (SAMN) People on the streets of the capital Colombo yesterday welcomed the Supreme Court judgment maintaining that a presidential election should be held this year. A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva yesterday decided that the second term of President Chandrika Kumaratunga ended in 2005. more..

Thugs attack Ruhunu U`grads, 31 warded

Aug 27 (LNP) Thirty one (31) undergraduates, including two female students, of the Ruhuna University, were hospitalised following a mini battle between two rival student groups in the wee hours of yesterday. More than 60 Science union undergraduates assaulted the members of Students Council around 1.00 a.m. yesterday. more..

Abducted businessman keeps mum

Aug 27 (LNP) Police investigations are continuing into the recent abduction of billionaire Vavuniya businessman Kugadasan, who was kidnapped by suspected LTTE operatives, and subsequently released after payment of a ransom. more..

Sri Lankan media, parties call for fair and violence-free presidential polls

Aug 27 (AFP) Sri Lanka's media and political parties called for fair and peaceful elections in the conflict-torn island after a court ordered President Chandrika Kumaratunga to step down this year. more..

Warm welcome in House for Presidential candidates

Aug 27 (DN) THE Presidential candidates in the forthcoming election, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe were given a warm welcome by their Parliamentary colleagues yesterday as Chief Government Whip Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle conveyed the Supreme Court decision to Parliament. more..

Kumaratunga: Sri Lanka's daughter of destiny, mother of destruction

Aug 27 (AFP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga who steps down in December came to power promising to scrap the very office which she fought to cling to after 11 turbulent years dominated by a tortuous peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Global hotel chains flock to Sri Lanka

Aug 27 (Gulf) With a host of international hotel groups ploughing millions of dollars into new developments, Sri Lanka's hospitality sector seems to be right on track to becoming a world class tourist destination after being ravaged by the tsunami in 2004. more..

Kumaratunga meets Premier Rajapakse to map out poll strategy

Aug 27 (MO) Barely a few hours after the Supreme Court ruled that the next presidential election should be held before the end of this year, President Chandrika Kumaratunga met Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse -- her party's presidential candidate -- to map out strategy for the forthcoming election. more..

New envoy to India takes charge

Aug 27 (GT) The government has appointed C R Jayasinghe as the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India. He succeeds Mangala Munasinghe. The appointment came into effect yesterday. Meanwhile, the national daily newspapers have given wide publicity to Sri Lanka’s new Foreign Minister Anura Bandaranaiake’s visit to India and more..

Govt betraying nation: JHU

Aug 27 (GT) Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) member Champika Ranawaka has said that by deciding to hold peace talks with the LTTE without taking action against them for the assassination of Lakshman Kadirgamar, the government is insulting the late foreign minister. more..

Western diplomats must boycott LTTE, says Colombo

Aug 27 (IANS) The Sri Lankan government wants Western diplomats based in Colombo to stop interacting with Tamil Tiger guerrillas in protest against the assassination of foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. more..

Election Commissioner, IGP to ensure violent free, fair presidential election

Aug 28 (TN) Mr.Dayananda Dissanayake, Commissioner of Elections has summoned Returning Officers and Assistant Commissioners of Elections of twenty-five electoral districts for a conference on August 30 Tuesday morning at his office in Colombo to finalize arrangements to hold the presidential election. more..

JVP, JHU to decide next week on presidential election

Aug 28 (TN) The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) are to announce their decision during the first week of September whether to field their own candidate or to support one of the two main political parties in the forthcoming presidential election which is widely expected to be held in November second week, political sources said. more..

Sri Lanka's business sector organizes seminar on SSCP

Aug 28 (TN) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has organized a one-day seminar to raise concerns over the Sethusamudram Canal Project (SSCP) creating much discussion and debate among environmental groups, buisness community, government officials and the general public. more..

Solution for migrant workers

Aug 28 (TP) If there is a need to reduce migration to the Middle East by Sri Lankan workers in search of jobs and a better life, the only choice left to the government is to develop the economy and provide those jobs here, according to Ms Mary Sheehan, local Chief of International Organisation for Migration (IOM). more..

Sri Lankan presidential hopeful promises peace, jobs

Aug 28 (Reuters) Former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe promised peace, equality and jobs on Saturday to launch a campaign a day after the Supreme Court ordered a presidential election this year. more..

Take Bangladesh seriously, says Moody

Aug 28 (AP) Sri Lanka's cricket coach Tom Moody has urged his players to take the upcoming series against Bangladesh seriously, despite their opponents having little success since joining the ranks of test playing nations. more..

A Tamil para-military group arrested two LTTE operatives

Aug 28 (AT) A Tamil para-military group has claimed that they have arrested two LTTE killer squad operatives, namely Kandiah Sasikumar (22) and Kathamuthu Nallathamby 40, on Thursday at the Katunayake international airport, while they were waiting for their prey - the arrival of six ENDLF cadres from Chennai. more..

Exit: The mother of all bluff

Aug 28 (AT) Though the astrologers had assured that the inauspicious spell haunting President Chandrika Kumaratunga in 2005 will disappear after April the stars above decided to end her raja yoga the constellation of astrological forces that crowned her head – bringing her down to earth with a thud. more..

Another LTTE supporter in Australia celebrates the death of Lakshman Kadirgamar

Aug 28 (AT) The private celebrations of the LTTE following the killing of Lakshman Kadirgamar have now reached a new level with either Tamil politicians cooking up excuses for the killing or pro-LTTE spokespersons publicly gloating over the death of the late Kadirgamar. more..

Sampanthan manufactures excuses for the killing of Kadirgamar

Aug 28 (AT) Amidst allegations of the LTTE killing the Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, TNA Leader R. Sampanthan told the Asian Tribune: “Kadirgamar could have been less of an impediment in the peace effort.” Reflecting the LTTE antagonism to Kadirgamar he added: “He seemed to be a man in the Sinhala nationalist line like the JVP.” more..

Ensure free and fair elections, especially in the North and East – President Kumaratunga

Aug 28 (AT) Accepting the binding decision of the Supreme Court President Chandrika Kumaratunga has pledged to ensure free and fair election in the country, especially in the North and East, states a media release issued by Presidential Media Unit. more..

Presidential Elections and the North East Factor

Aug 28 (AT) In an election, simple arithmetic reigns supreme. The winner of the coming elections will be either Mahinda Rajapakse or Ranil Wickremesinghe and neither can win without some backing from the North and the East. Mahinda Rajapakse if he is serious about becoming the President will have to come to an alliance with the JVP; more..

Who monitors Tamil Tiger activities in U.S.? Asian Tribune or Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry?

Aug 28 (AT) Monitoring LTTE 'professional' lobby in the United States has several tasks. Understanding the misinformation, distortion of facts and half truths of the professionals who represent LTTE front organizations in the US that endorse Tiger agenda, is said to be most vital. more..

Talks neither in Killinochchi nor Oslo as elections stall peace process soon

Aug 28 (AT) The ruling given by a unanimous decision of a five-judge Bench of Supreme Court to hold the presidential election this year (and not next year, as argued by President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s lawyers) has thrown the political scenario and the peace process into a spin, according to political analysts. more..

National programme to bring victory to Mahinda Rajapakse! - Mangala Samaraweera

Aug 28 (LT) He will dedicate himself to establish law and discipline in the country and through that he hoped to bring about development and prosperity said Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse. He said this addressing the SLFP Bala Mandalaya of Martara District held at Uyanwatta esplanade. more..

I will make revolution to change country! - Ranil Wickremasinghe

Aug 28 (LT) As a result of wrong political decisions during the past Sri Lanka lost 80,000 lives and Rs.80,000 billion said opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe. When he was the Prime Minister he was able to get Rs.45,000 billion from Tokyo donor summit and a disaster management programme was presented to the Parliament but was not accepted more..

Switch to China, Pak if India doesn't sign defence pact: Lankan expert

Aug 28 (HT) A top Sri Lankan foreign affairs commentator has proposed that Sri Lanka should consider signing a Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) with China and Pakistan if India does not enter into one with Sri Lanka, despite the offer of attractive concessions by the island country. more..

Deja vu? Sri Lanka's Tamils fear return to civil war

Aug 28 (Reuters) Displaced four times by Sri Lanka's two-decade civil war with the Tamil Tigers, 22-year-old Nirmalashanthi Vijayakanth is ecstatic to finally settle into the first home she can call her own. more..

Two children, woman injured in Grenade attack

Aug 28 (TN) Two children, a six year-old-boy, a nine-year-old girl and a 28 year old woman were injured when unidentified attackers lobbed a grenade into a house in Thimilathivu, a suburb of Batticaloa, Saturday night around 8:30 p.m. The six-year-old boy, Navaratnarajah Jegatheeswaran (Vinoth) is transferred to Colombo Hospital in serious condition from Batticaloa Hospital, more..

International award for “Samanala Thatu”

Aug 28 (LT) “Samanala Thatu” directed by Mr. Somartna Dissanayake won award for the best film at International film festival held in Mexico. Nine countries had presented films for this festival. Films from Denmark, Brazil, Canada, Italy and France had entered for the final round and “Samanala Thatu” was able to secure the first place. more..

Sri Lanka Navy to get new chief

Aug 28 (TN) Rear Admiral Wasantha Karanagoda, Eastern Commander is to be promoted as Vice Admiral and appointed as the Chief of Sri Lanka Navy Monday at a ceremony to be held in the President's House Monday. more..

Asst. Commissioners of Election meet in Colombo

Aug 28 (LT) A special discussion presided by Commissioner of Elections is to be held in Election Commissioner’s office on Tuesday. The Presidential election is schedule to be held this year according to the decision given by the Supreme Court. more..

Mass Protest in Canada against LTTE

Aug 28 (AT) A well-attended massive protest against LTTE terrorism was held on Saturday starting from 11.00 am at Yonge and Bloor intersection in Toronto, Canada. Posters and banners decorated with anti-LTTE slogans condemning the political killings and child recruitment for war and demanding Canadian authorities to ban LTTE activities in Canada were displayed by the protesters. more..

Tough on Tigers

Aug 28 (KT) IT’S only understandable that after the assassination of foreign minister Kadirgamar, Sri Lanka has toughened its stance on the peace process with the Tamil Tigers. The government has rejected an offer by the LTTE to hold peace talks in Oslo, Norway. Colombo has emphasised that it’s not interested in Oslo talks. more..

Govt vetoes 'sizeable anti-insurgency op'

Aug 28 (ANN) Last Monday’s removal of Overall Operations Commander (OOC) Colombo, Maj. Gen. Vajira Wijegoonewardene signalled that the government would not sanction what well informed sources termed as a sizeable anti-insurgency operation in response to the recent assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar at his private Buller’s Lane residence. more..

Kadirgamar killing: Centre for Policy Alternatives pins blame on LTTE

Aug 28 (PIS) The Centre for Policy Alternatives has condemned the killing of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar as a brutal and cowardly act and said it was a grim reminder that the three years following the ceasefire agreement have not gone beyond the state of a `negative peace’ or what is called a `No War No Peace’ syndrome. more..

Britain goes easy on new TRO front

Aug 28 (PIS) Britain’s Charity Commission, a state arm monitoring charitable institutions, is disowning responsibility for a Tiger guerrilla front organization channelling millions of rupees to Sri Lanka after its precursor was banned. more..

Norway blocks Sri Lanka’s push against Tigers

Aug 28 (PIS) Norway is making frantic efforts to scuttle Sri Lanka’s new diplomatic initiative to have the international community crack down on the LTTE, highly reliable sources said.Norwegian diplomats are hastily contacting European capitals to stop them taking any action against the Tigers. more..

Rs. 10 subsidy for three wheeler owners

Aug 28 (LBO) Government announced a Rs. 10 a day subsidy to trishaw owners to help them whether the rising fuel prices and fulfilling a budget promise that according to analysts benefits the middle class. more..

Sri Lankan president on state visit to China

Aug 28 (Xinhua) President Chandrika Kumaratunga left for China early Sunday on a five-day state visit at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao, said the presidential office in a press release. more..

Lanka to pursue peace talks vigorously

Aug 28 (UNI) Notwithstanding the fact that the focus in Sri Lanka is now on the Presidential election, the Kumaratunga government has indicated it would pursue the stalled peace talks with separatist Tamil Tigers "more vigorously" Foreign Minister Anura Bandaranaike , more..

Tea with a Targeted Man

Aug 28 (IE) The foreign office in Colombo confirmed that I was the last journalist in the world to have interviewed Sri Lankan foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar at his official residence, two weeks before he was shot dead. I had made the realization myself, the evening of his assassination, and raced for my notebook to find two prophecies: one hopeful, the other eerie. more..

Sandagiri to continue as CDS after retirement?

Aug 28 (SN) Navy Commander Vice Admiral Daya Sandagiri is retiring later this month, but is likely to continue as Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). Sandagiri, during a recent visit to the Elara base in the Jaffna peninsula, indicated that he would be stepping down at the end of this month. more..

Building bridges in North-East

Aug 28 (SO) The Ministry of Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction (RRR) has identified 62 bridges to be rehabilitated in North and East at a cost of Rs.4 billion. This rehabilitation project will be implemented under the Rehabilitation of Bridges in the North and East Project, more..

Health as a fundamental right soon

Aug 28 (SAMN) Constitutional amendments to make health a fundamental right for the people are being drafted by the Law and Society Trust in association with the People’s Movement for the Rights of patients and other health action groups. more..

Preferential vote-snatchers warned

Aug 28 (SAMN) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe this week slammed various Foundations that have sprung up to steal votes from different electoral constituencies in the intra-party battle for the preferential vote and said that the party does not recognise them." more..