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Running mate away from campaign

Sep 23 (SAMN) Prime Ministerial candidate Anura Bandaranaike is likely to be unavailable for Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse's presidential election campaign at least for the next ten days. Foreign Minister Bandaranaike is away in the US. more..

UNP demands apology from Mahinda

Sep 23 (LNP) The main opposition UNP yesterday asked Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse to apologise to the armed forces and the police for the manner in which they were humiliated and undermined during a speech by the JVP leader at last Tuesday`s Town Hall rally. more..

Husband convicted of murdering wife and sister-in-law

Sep 23 (LNP) Uva Province High Court Judge Sunil Gamini Perera sentenced to death Ratnayake Mudiyanselage Amarasiri for the brutal killing of his wife and sister-in-law on June 10, 1995 at Ethiliwewa in Weherayanga. The victims were N. Badathuruge Udeshiha Sanjeewani (18) and N. Niluka Harshini (16). more..

Politicos miss launch of mega-tourist promotion project

Sep 23 (LNP) Deputy Ministers in charge of Tourism Arjuna Ranatunga and Faizer Mustapha missed Wednesday`s launch of WOMAD SRI LANKA FESTIVAL OF DRUMS, a multi-million dollar project initiated during the previous UNP administration. more..

More tourists but less business for Sri Lanka hotels

Sep 23 (AFP) More tourists are visiting Sri Lanka despite the tsunami that devastated coastal hotels but they are spending shorter holidays, slowing a recovery of the battered hospitality sector, officials said. more..

Presidential Polls to cost over LKR930 Million

Sep 23 (DJ) Sri Lanka's presidential polls will cost the government more than LKR930 million, the total cost of the previous presidential election in 1999, although analysts don't expect this amount to have much of an impact on 2005 budget estimates. more..

Re-poll could delay Sri Lanka Presidential poll result

Sep 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's election chief warned here Friday that announcement of Sri Lanka's presidential election result could be delayed if he was forced to order a re-poll. more..

Sri Lanka to stop tsunami victims voting from the grave

Sep 23 (AFP) Sri Lanka announced measures to prevent voters impersonating the tsunami dead as well as special arrangements for those displaced by the calamity to vote in November's presidential elections. more..

No polling in rebel-held areas, says poll chief

Sep 23 (AP) Voters living in Sri Lanka's rebel-held northeast will be driven by bus to government-controlled areas to vote in the upcoming presidential election to ensure the ballot is free and fair, the country's Election Commissioner said on Friday. more..

Sri Lanka seeks help in oil exploration

Sep 23 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan government hopes to get foreign expertise for the exploration of oil and natural gas deposits in Sri Lanka. "We have been informed that oil and natural gas resources are found in Sri Lanka from Puttlam to Matara and also in the Bay of Mannar as well," more..

Unable to retire, Sri Lanka's election chief prepares for another poll

Sep 23 (AP) He's been Sri Lanka's election chief for 10 years, overseen a dozen or so elections - many of them violent - and suffered six heart attacks: Dayananda Dissanayake thinks he's earned his retirement. more..

Sri Lanka plays host to the Queen's Baton relay

Sep 24 (AP) The torch that will light next year's Commonwealth Games flame in Australia toured Sri Lanka's capital Wednesday in relay-style, with diplomats, school children and sports celebrities escorted by a motorcade led by a red vintage Austin car. more..

Jaffna gets new High Court Judge

Sep 24 (TN) Mr.S.Thiagendran, Trincomalee District Judge has been promoted High Court Judge. He is to assume duties as High Court Judge of Jaffna with effect from September 26, filling the vacancy created following the retirement of Mr.K.P.S.Varatharajah from judicial service. more..

CARE International begins construction of permanent houses in Trinco

Sep 24 (TN) Mr. Nick Osborne, Country Director of CARE International- Sri Lanka Thursday laid the foundation construction of permanent houses for tsunami-affected families in Naduoothu, a Muslim village in Kinniya division in Trincomalee district. more..

WOMAD's Sri Lanka debut a smash hit

Sep 24 (CNA) The World of Music, Arts & Dance — Womad for short — made a triumphant debut in Sri Lanka's capital city Colombo on Wednesday night. Considering that this event had been hugely hyped (with the backing of the Sri Lankan Tourism Board and a host of other major sponsors), the fact that it was so well received must have been a relief. more..

Court order on daughter of convicts in Rajiv murder

Sep 24 (AT) The Madras High Court has directed the Centre to consider and pass orders on the visa application of Srikaran Megara, daughter of Nalini and Murugan, convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, in six weeks. more..

Somawansa's insult to the Army, Prime Minister should make a public apology

Sep 24 (AT) The statement JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe has made in front of Mahinda Rajapakse that the Army should be sent home amounts to an insult to the Sri Lanka Army and therefore the Prime Minister should make a public apology to the nation, Tissa Attanayake, Deputy General Secretary, UNP said more..

Eradicate mismatch and prioritize employment generation process

Sep 24 (AT) JobsNet - The National Employment Sourcing and Delivery System is a referral system benefiting jobseekers, local and foreign employers and self-employment seekers by providing referrals for jobs and training, information, advice and career guidance. more..

Harris gives NZ hope but Sri Lanka prevails

Sep 24 (Stuff) A miserly bowling spell from Chris Harris in his comeback match was not enough to stop Sri Lanka A beating New Zealand A by 12 runs in their tri-series one-day cricket opener in Dambulla yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka's first listed dotcom, seeks cash to upgrade its hard drive

Sep 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka's first listed dotcom is raising up to Rs. 70 million via a rights issue, to penetrate deeper into the healthcare sector. currently offers a fully networked platform, which allows patients to book specialists and doctors at leading private hospitals. more..

Govt to write off tsunami affected home loans

Sep 24 (LBO) The government on Friday said it was setting aside Rs. 500 million to write off mortgages on homes affected by last December’s tsunami as a further relief measure to the victims. Write-offs will be capped at Rs. 250,000 for each affected home or for a household which lost its main income earners. more..

Sri Lanka rushes laws to give pay hike in the run up to polls

Sep 24 (LBO) The government ramped up its election campaign by rushing through a law that forces Sri Lanka's private sector to pay a Rs. 1,000 (US$ 10) more to its workers. Parliament unanimously approved the 'Budgetary relief allowance for workers bill' presented by Labour Minister Athauda Seneviratne on Friday, more..

IA-YMMA Suggests Humanitarian Relief Instead of Celebration

Sep 24 (LM) The International Assembly of YMMA (IA-YMMA), Sri Lanka, has strongly suggested to cancel the belated National Meelad-Un-Nabi celebrations to be held in Vavuniya on September 30, 2005 by the Department of Muslim Affairs. more..

DLF split on support to Rajapakse

Sep 24 (TN) Senior member of Democratic Left Front (DLF), Professor Kumar David, Friday dissociated himself from a press release issued by Secretary of DLF, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, and party's National Organizer, Quintus Liyanage, that expressed support to Sri Lanka's Presidential candidate Rajapakse in the forthcoming presidential elections. more..

SLA soldiers assault Vadamaradchchi fishermen

Sep 24 (TN) Soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army manning coastal checkpoints assaulted a group of fishermen Saturday early morning for returning to the shore after fishing before the stipulated time given by the Sri Lankan armed forces. more..

Strict Adherence to Election Laws – Polls Chief

Sep 24 (TN) The Commissioner of Elections has appealed for the cooperation of all political parties in the Presidential election on 17 November. Dayananda Dissanayake, explaining the arrangements for the election at a news conference held Friday issued a stern warning against vote rigging, lifting of ballot boxes, attacks on polling booths and other related violence, more..

SLA troops, Police round up Eravur village, public market

Sep 24 (TN) Around five-hundred Sri Lanka Army and police personnel conducted Saturday morning a house to house search operation in Thannamunai village in Eravur, 14 km north of Batticaloa. The armed forces also cordened off the Eravur public market and searched the shops and the market compound, civilian sources said. more..

Suspect near Minister’s house arrested

Sep 24 (SLA) Troops on duty at the LEYARDS roadblock in the general area of BAMBALAPITIYA, COLOMBO 04, arrested another suspicious man on 23 September 2005 around 6.15 p.m. when the person was roaming near Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) leader, Minister DOUGLES DEVANANDA’s residence. more..

A new neurological unit is to be set up in the Colombo National Hospital

Sep 24 (SLBC) A new neurological unit will be set up at the Colombo National Hospital under the project to expand infrastructure facilities in the health sector. The Saudi Arabian Development Fund and the government of Sri Lanka will provide financial assistance for the project which is in the region of 1.5 billion rupees. more..

Germany and France provide more aid to Sri Lanka

Sep 24 (SLBC) Germany and France have come forward to provide more aid to Sri Lanka. The government has decided to obtain 84 million Euro aid pledged by these countries. 63 million Euros out of this amount will be utilized to develop infrastructure facilities damaged by tsunami. more..

Only 13.5% of Tsunami Aid Used

Sep 24 (UNP) The Auditor General has released a shocking report that has exposed the Governemnt’s mismanagement of foreign funds collected for tsunami reconstruction. Of the USD 1168.8 agreed in foreign funding only USD 158.34 had been spent by 30 June 2005. more..

Livelihood concerns over Sethusamudram project being studied

Sep 24 (IANS) The government is studying the long-term impact of the Sethusamudram ship canal project after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha and others raised concerns about its impact on the livelihood of fishermen. more..

Sri Lanka to participate in World Golfers Championships

Sep 24 (AP) Six golfers have been selected to represent Sri Lanka in the World Golfers Championship to be held in Turkey Nov. 19-26, state-run media reported Saturday. The team was chosen after a qualifying tournament, the Daily News reported. more..

Colombo sees 2006 budget gap under 8% of GDP

Sep 24 (Reuters) Sri Lanka’s government wants to cut its budget deficit in 2006 to below 8.0% of gross domestic product and, despite a looming election, will unveil its fiscal plans on November 8, the Treasury Secretary said yesterday. The government is aiming to increase its revenue by 1 percentage point to 15% of GDP in 2005, more..

No Decision taken

Sep 24 (LM) The High Command of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress which met last evening at party Headquarters, Darussalam to take a final decision on the forthcoming presidential elections has not taken any decision. more..

2.5 million jobs for youths

Sep 24 (LT) Once Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse becomes the President 2.5 million youths will be given jobs said Mr. Mangala Samaraweera. The Minister said 325000 youth will be given permanent jobs next year and this has been included in the election manifesto as well. more..

Ceylon Transport Board to replace cluster bus companies

Sep 24 (LT) At a press briefing held yesterday deputy minister of transport Lasantha Alagiyawanna said that a ceremony with the President as the chief guest will be held in Nittambuwa to mark the setting up of the Ceylon Transport Board once again. more..

Ranil’s Cut Outs and Banners Disfigured in Colombo

Sep 24 (UNP) UNP in a complaint to the Police headquarters says that the propaganda exhibits of Mr. Wickremesinghe put up at a number of locations in the city with prior approval from the local authorities had been vandalised on tuesday. more..

Brush Strokes of Peace in Sri Lanka

Sep 24 (PIS) The Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) together with the Peace Education Division of the Ministry of Education commemorated the International Day of Peace on Wednesday (21) as declared by the United Nations with the inauguration of a child art exhibition on the theme Brush Strokes of Peace in Sri Lanka. more..

Kadirgamar always advocated federal solution to the ethnic problem: Ranil

Sep 24 (PIS) The late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar always advocated a Federal solution to the ethnic problem, as he believed that no other solution would be acceptable to the Tamil people, UNP presidential candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe said in parliament yesterday. more..

Peace Secretariat representatives meet Norwegian Envoy

Sep 24 (PIS) GOVERNMENT Peace Secretariat representatives met Norwegian Ambassador Hans Brattskar on Wednesday to obtain details about the visit of Former Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission Rt. Major General Trond Furuhovde. more..

Rebels offer food to recruit youth

Sep 24 (ANN) The United Nations Human Development Report for 2005 says that in countries such as Sri Lanka, rebel groups have recruited youth from the poorest backgrounds by offering them or their families cash or food. more..

In search of Lankan arts and society

Sep 24 (ANN) In the morning, I now turn to the newspaper’s last page with a cup of tea to read of the artistry of Shane Warne, Murali, and Vaas. In days gone by, I started the day with Reggie Siriwardena, A. J. Gunawardena, or Mervyn de Silva, reviewing the current cultural scene. more..

'Ranil has pledged to unite Sri Lanka'

Sep 24 (SAMN) “UNP leader and Presidential candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe has already pledged that he will unite this Nation under his administration which will be run professionally. In Mr. Wickremesinghe we have a leader possesing all the qualities that is required at this moment. more..

Primier's series of election promises

Sep 24 (SAMN) Kick starting a series of election promises ahead of the November 17 presidential poll, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse’s Chief Campaign Organiser Mangala Samaraweera yesterday pledged to grant 20,000 new jobs in the public sector in 2006. more..

Foreign election monitors coming, but for what?

Sep 24 (LNP) Election monitors from the United Nations, European Union, Commonwealth and Asian nations are expected here for the November 17 elections ' but Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake said yesterday he believed local monitors could do a better job. more..

DPL vehicle robbery: Four suspects arrested

Sep 24 (LNP) After weeks of a countrywide search police detectives yesterday arrested four suspects in connection with the robbery of Deputy Indian High Commissioner`s Toyota Prado jeep last month at Warakapola. more..

Sigiriya to be turned into Model tourist village

Sep 24 (LNP) Plans are afoot to convert Sigiriya into a model tourist village. As a step towards achieving this objective, the Ministry of Tourism together with the Sri Lanka Tourist Board has organized a series of activities to be conducted in Sigiriya to mark World Tourism Day 2005 which falls on 27th September. more..

Biggest- ever forex haul at BIA

Sep 24 (DN) THE biggest-ever currency detection by the Customs department was made yesterday when an Indian businessman was detained at the Bandaranaike international Airport with Rs. 45 million in foreign currency. more..

Sri Lanka contributes an additional US$ 25,000 towards hurricane Katrina relief

Sep 24 (AT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga presented a cheque to the value of US $ 25,000/- to former President Bill Clinton at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington D.C., on Thursday 23 September, to be credited to the ‘Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund’, more..