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Election chief says he won't vote

Sep 24 (AFP) Election chief Dayananda Dissanayake will be running November presidential elections but won't be voting -- he doesn't trust politicians. Dissanayake, 64, is Sri Lanka's most reluctant election commissar. He wants to retire, but a constitutional quirk is forcing him, against his will, more..

Sri Lanka backtracks on reducing age of consent for sex

Sep 24 (ANN) The government said yesterday (Sept 23) that the proposal to reduce females age of consent for sexual relations from 16 to 13 , will be implemented only if the people approve of it. more..

Sri Lanka to thank President for education progress

Sep 24 (Xinhua) A special felicitation to Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga for her contribution towards education development in the past decade in the country will be held on Sept. 29, Daily News reported on Saturday. more..

Magistrate tranfer - lawyers protest

Sep 24 (BBC) 'Helping Hambantota' investigations have influenced the tranfer of Colombo Fort Magistrate, says the Colombo Fort Magistrate Courts Lawyers Association. Association's secretary, Ziras Noordeen says the sudden transfer of magistrate Sarath C.Karunaratne has been politically motivated and unfair. more..

LTTE-SLMM hold talks in Pallai

Sep 25 (TN) Mr.Hagrup Haukland, Head of the SLMM Friday met with Mr.C.Ilamparithi, Jaffna district political head of the LTTE at the latter's district political office located in Pallai in the LTTE controlled Killinochchi district, sources in Jaffna said. more..

LTTE - Muslim leaders meet, resolve Batticaloa land ownership

Sep 25 (TN) More than sixty five percent of paddy lands owned by Muslims which were in possession of Tamil farmers in LTTE controlled areas of Paduwankarai in the Batticaloa were formally handed back to Muslims in a meeting at Mandavathady in Thalaiyadi Saturday. more..

Youths arrested for putting up posters against power project

Sep 25 (TN) Five upcountry Tamil youths were arrested by the Nuwera Eliya police on Friday night at 11.30 pm for putting up posters on the conference to be held against the Upper Kotmale Power Project by the Upcountry People's Front (UPF) at Talawakele Kathiresan Temple Hall on Sunday. more..

The Presidential Election and Tamil Democracy

Sep 25 (AT) The LTTE has a history of speaking in parables. When the Tigers say they are willing to talk about the proper implementation of the ceasefire ‘even this minute’ what they mean is that they want to inform the Sri Lankan government what it should do (and must do) to rid Mr. Pirapaharan of his bęte-noire, Col. Karuna. more..

Supplement development process with major infrastructure construction activity

Sep 25 (AT) It is an accepted principle that the extent of construction activity of a country would reflect the economic conditions of the country as when people have extra money, they start building houses for their living and when the country has additional funds the government would launch mega construction projects more..

President urged international community to fulfill pledges made for reconstruction and recovery of tsunami affected victims

Sep 25 (AT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Thursday urged the international community and the UN to continue to keep the focus on the reconstruction and recovery effort in the tsunami affected countries and to ensure that pledges made are fulfilled. more..

JVP sold the house it was allowed to stay and threatens to kill the owners

Sep 25 (AT) A petition has been filed at the National Human Rights Commission by a person complaining against the Kandana Police and several JVP members including the former minister Vijitha Herath for the failure of the Kandana Police to investigate a complaint lodged more..

Sri Lanka’s War on Peace

Sep 25 (AT) Kicking off his campaign for the country's presidential election due in November, the UNP's Presidential candidate, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, accused his rival candidate Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse, now backed by a coalition of political parties for forming an 'anti peace' alliance with parties of 'war mongering' sentiments. more..

CMU neutral at presidential polls

Sep 25 (BBC) Prominent trade unionist Bala Thampo said that they have decided to stay neutral in the presidential election. Bala Thampo, General Secretary of the Ceylon Mercantile Union (CMU) said that both the main candidates to the presidency have not shown any indication of abolishing the executive presidency. more..

Pakistan to hold talks with Sri Lanka over FTA

Sep 25 (DT) In a new development, Pakistan is going to hold secret talks to make some changes in the existing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka on September 28-29 in Colombo which has already been operational since June 2005. more..

Discrimination in Bank recruitment, protests TNA

Sep 25 (TN) Mr.R.Sampanthan Sunday faxed a written protest to President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge calling for the cancellation of all appointments made by the State Banks, Bank of Ceylon and Peoples Bank to their branches in the Tamil dominated NorthEast or that the new appointees be recalled more..

SLA's pass system burdens Ariyalai farmers

Sep 25 (TN) Discussions on restarting cultivation in more than one hundred acres of fertile land located inside the High Security Zone (HSZ) in Ariyalai Jaffna was held in Ariyalai Sri Parvathy Vithiyalayam Sunday, sources in Jaffna said. more..

Dendro to add 100 MW to national grid by 2010

Sep 25 (CT) Cabinet has approved the Dendro electricity expansion Bill which targets to add 100 MW to the national grid by 2010. The paper presented by Minister of Power and Energy Susil Premajayantha proposed an extensive plan to increase Dendro thermal generation and extend fuelwood plantation. more..

Colombo South Port development project gets underway

Sep 25 (SLBC) Sri Lanka Ports Authority says the Colombo-south port development project will commence before the end of this year. The project which is in the region of two billion US dollars is the biggest ever development project implemented in the country. more..

National economy will be developed - Mahinda Rajapakse

Sep 25 (LT) The country will be guided towards development and prosperity without diverting from accepted economic principles but breaking the monopoly in the trade said Prime Minister Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse, presidential candidate of the SLFP. more..

Solitary path has come to an end - Ranil Wickremasinghe

Sep 25 (LT) The end of the secluded path has come to an end and the only alternative now is for the two main parties to join hands says UNP leader and presidential candidate Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe. He made this observation after participating at religious observance of lighting 84,000 lamps held at Jayasiri Maha Bodhi at Anuradhapura. more..

Murder suspect shot dead by police

Sep 25 (LT) A suspect of the shooting incident of two police officers at Nivithigala in Ratnapura was shot dead by the police. The police say he was shot when the suspect tried to hurl a grenade at the police. The suspect, a former sergeant of the Army, had earlier handed over two firearms used by the assassins. more..

EPDP for reviving North-East provincial administration

Sep 25 (Hindu) With the peace process between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE stalled for more than two years, a Sri Lankan Tamil party is seeking the revival of the provincial government in the country's conflict-torn North-East as an alternative interim solution. more..

Tragedy beyond compare

Sep 25 (ANN) The lives of some human beings are too tragic to even contemplate. Trapped in a cycle of birth and death, they grapple to survive with a grief so acute that it leaves them questioning their very existence. Koneshwari Kiripeswaran stares out the door of the tsunami camp, eyes heavy with sadness. more..

British leaders angry at LTTE terrorism

Sep 25 (PIS) The Lakshman Kadirgamar assassination has triggered the personal concern of British leaders over the conduct of the LTTE. Prime Minister Tony Blair has personally written to President Chandrika Kumaratunga assuring her that Britain actively supports the listing of the LTTE as a terrorist organisation by the European Union, more..

India as a co-chair: Norway blows hot and cold

Sep 25 (PIS) Norway is under intense pressure to co-opt India as the fifth co-chair of the Tokyo donor conference mandated to underwrite the peace process and launch the post-war reconstruction of Sri Lanka. At the meeting of co-chairs in New York last week, the Norwegians did relent and invited Indian External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh. more..

Facilitator role: Norway no change

Sep 25 (PIS) The government has written to the Norwegian Labour Party Leader Jens Stoltenberg whose Center-Left bloc emerged winners at the Norwegian Parliamentary Elections, requesting the continuance of the role of his government in the peace process. more..

Hotel worker stabs roommate and throws him from fourth floor flat

Sep 25 (Gulf) Police have arrested a Sri Lankan man who stabbed his roommate to death and threw his body out of their fourth floor window, Gulf News was told yesterday. Ajman police sources said the crime took place in a building located on a busy Gold Market street in the Al Karama area on Thursday at about 7pm. more..

Battle on for control of state media

Sep 25 (SAMN) The battle for the control of state media is hotting up with Premier Mahinda Rajapakse’s camp accusing his detractors of carrying out a relentless campaign to undermine his propaganda campaign. The premier’s camp recently prevented the state-run electronic and print media from reporting that JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe was directly involved in the assassination of Vijaya Kumaratunga. more..

Trade unions warn of protests

Sep 25 (SAMN) Warning of trade union action from midnight on Monday, President of Union of Posts and Telecommunications (UPTO), Navaratne Bandara yesterday urged Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse to intervene urgently to halt the privatisation of the postal sector and grant their ‘just grievances’. more..

Polls boss dissatisfied with election law as it stands

Sep 25 (LNP) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake on Friday said that the 17th amendment to the constitution, which had been hurriedly drafted and legalised in parliament, with 215 MPs voting in favour, did not cover all the shortcomings in the electoral system. more..

CBK`s extended stay abroad sign of cooling off?

Sep 25 (LNP) Will CBK rock Mahinda`s campaign boat' This was the question that was (and is) agitating political circles. Her return home from the U.S. had been delayed and the word was, as this is being written, that she would be back some time on Saturday. more..

Crush LTTE militarily ? Kotakadeniya

Sep 25 (LNP) A senior JHU spokesman yesterday said that their party will not share Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse`s election platform as they have a distinct identity and policy and they have made it clear to Rajapakse that their agreement was with him and not his party. more..

Free trade agreement with Sri Lanka

Sep 25 (Dawn) India should review the free trade agreement with Sri Lanka, under which imports of vanaspati or hydrogenated vegetable oil are allowed with zero duty, to safeguard the domestic industry, a trade body said. It said the government should at least cap the present import of vanaspati at 100,000 tons and purchases should be made only by a state-run agency. more..

Indian model best for us: Poll chief

Sep 25 (Hindu) Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake has said the Indian model is best suited for the island-nation, which is yet to give effect to an independent poll body. "The most appropriate body for Sri Lanka will be that of India; otherwise it will be difficult to conduct elections in this country," more..

Mubarak stars in Sri Lanka A win

Sep 25 (CI) Jehan Mubarak shone with both bat and ball, scoring 59 runs and taking 5 for 59, as New Zealand A were restricted to 239 for 6 in their pursuit of Sri Lanka A's 251. Mubarak ran through the New Zealand A middle order after Matthew Sinclair (51) and Peter Fulton (56) had taken them to a strong position at 146 for 3. more..

Policemen in LTTE custody to be released on Tuesday?

Sep 25 (SO) The fate of the three Police Officers including a Sub- Inspector of Police and two police constables attached to the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) currently being held by LTTE cadres will be decided when they will be taken before the LTTE courts in Killinochchi on September 27, Police said. more..

Minority Tamil to run for Presidency

Sep 25 (AP) A former ethnic Tamil rebel said Sunday he will run for president in the Nov. 17 election in Sri Lanka, which has been ruled exclusively by ethnic Sinhalese leaders since its independence. A.R. Arudpragasam, a former militant, said he would run on a platform advocating a federal solution to the island's decades-long civil war. more..

Tsunami aid in wrong hands in Sri Lanka: Auditor General

Sep 25 (PTI) Widespread corruption has been detected in the distribution of foreign and local tsunami aid in Sri Lanka, the country's chief auditor said today. Large scale misappropriation was found in the north-western, southern and eastern regions, Auditor General Sarath Mayadunne, said more..

Lanka Prez poll: Personality may tilt the balance

Sep 25 (HT) According the Sinhalas, who are the majority community in Sri Lanka, there is little to choose between the two main candidates in the Sri Lankan Presidential election in terms of policies, but they believe that differences in personality may tilt the balance. more..

Tamil training for Sinhala police

Sep 26 (TN) "Majority of the people in the Trincomalee district are Tamil speaking. The police serving in the district should learn Tamil language to promote better understanding with Tamil speaking people and to discharge their duties effectively," said Mr.Raja Collure, Chairman of the Official Languages Commission of Sri Lanka, more..

TNA parliamentarian detained at Omanthai SLA checkpoint

Sep 26 (TN) Soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) manning the check point at Omanthai on A 9 highway Saturday afternoon detained Jaffna bound Mr.M.K.Eelaventhan, TNA national list parliamentarian, for about one and a half hours even after he identified him as a lawmaker. more..

Swamy demands probe into KGB links

Sep 26 (UNI) Janata Party President Dr Subramanian Swamy today demanded a full-fledged commission of inquiry by a retired Supreme Court judge into infiltration of KGB agents into India. Addressing a press conference here, he said since 2001 he has been raising the issue of the Russian intelligence agency paying money to some Indian politicians. more..

Tailor killed inside his shop

Sep 26 (SLA) An unidentified pistol man has shot and killed another Tamil civilian in the general area of BATTICALOA town on 24 September 2005 around 7.20 p.m.. The victim, WELU KRISHOKUMAR (26) had been inside the Aradhana Tailor Shop, owned by him when the assassin intruded to the shop and shot him at point blank range. more..

Civilian in possession of military uniform items arrested

Sep 26 (SLA) On information, troops attached to the SAPUGASKANDA oil refinery in COLOMBO have arrested five suspected Tamil persons with some military uniform items while they were in a house about 200 meters away from the oil refinery on 24 September 2005 around 10.30 p.m. more..

CEB reforms to go ahead Despite Premier's pact with the JVP and dissenting CEB Chairman

Sep 26 (PSL) Notwithstanding the agreement signed between Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse and the JVP, Power and Energy Minister Susil Premajayanth says that the government would continue with the proposed Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) reforms. more..

SLHRC calls explanation from SLA

Sep 26 (BBC) National Human Rights Commission in Sri Lanka (SLHRC) has called upon the Sri Lanka Army to report within 14 days on restrictions imposed upon the Tamil fishermen in Jaffna. The SLHRC has made this request upon receiving a complaint by the fishermen in Velvetithurai, Jaffna, on the restrictions imposed by the SLA more..

Take a cue from the Ambepitiya trial to expedite long delayed murder trials

Sep 26 (AT) The norm goes "Justice delayed is justice denied" and in Sri Lanka there are Court cases sometimes more than 15 years running for a decision. A human rights organization in Sri Lanka was able to detect a woman suspected of a triple murder case was in remand for 15 years and more..

Self-rule meeting “to demand occupying Sinhala forces to vacate land and seas of Northeast with immediate effect”

Sep 26 (AT) The Tamil self-rule meeting is to be held in Sydney, Australia at the Ryde Civic Centre on 02 October, 2005. The proposed meeting is to be organized by the so called South Pole Federation of Tamil Peoples Association, New South Wales. more..

Sri Lankan archbishop arriving today

Sep 26 (TOO) Dr Oswald Thomas Gomis, archbishop of Colombo and head of the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka, is arriving here today on a four-day visit. Earlier this month, Pope Benedict XVI had appointed 72-year-old Archbishop Dr Gomis as secretary-general of the Asian Bishops’ Conference more..

Don’t bring budget before election - Tissa Attanayaka

Sep 26 (LT) If the budget is presented before the presidential election it would be defeated says Mr. Tissa attanayake, Deputy General Secretary of the UNP. He said the government intends presenting the budget before the presidential election to get political advantage. more..