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Ex Policeman charged for raping fourteen year old girl

Oct 22 (TN) An ex-Policeman was charged in Vavuniya courts for raping a fourteen year old girl, legal sources in the northern border town said Thursday. The girl has given birth to a child, Police said. The Children’s and Women’s Welfare Division of the Vavuniya Police filed the case Thursday on a complaint by the girl’s parents. more..

Sinhala Buddhists want Norway out

Oct 22 (TN) Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), the powerful Sinhala Buddhist nationalist party in Sri Lanka's Parliament, Thursday launched an islandwide campaign to get ten million signatures to persuade President Chandrika Kumaratunga to reject peace talks with the Liberation Tigers. more..

Voluntary teachers’ travails end

Oct 22 (PSL) The Cabinet on Wednesday granted approval to give permanency to over 2000 school teachers island-wide. The President who holds the Education portfolio submitted the cabinet memorandum. more..

Sri Lanka board defends Sumathipala's trip to Pakistan

Oct 22 (CI) Sri Lanka's cricket board has publicly defended its decision to send Thilanga Sumathipala to attend the ICC executive board meeting in Pakistan last weekend after Arjuna Ranatunga, current deputy minister, made a formal complaint to President Kumaratunga over the appointment, claiming it had damaged the image of Sri Lanka. more..

Jan-Aug government revenue up 5.9 pct

Oct 22 (Reuters) The government's January-August revenue rose to 190.7 billion rupees from 180.1 billion rupees in the same period in 2003, the central bank said on Friday, a rise of 5.9 percent. Total January-Aug spending was 299.6 billion rupees, up from 278.5 billion rupees in 2003. more..

Students and railway workers discuss US election campaign

Oct 22 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka campaigned last weekend among rail workers and university students for two public meetings in Colombo and Kandy to be addressed by Bill Van Auken, the presidential candidate of the US SEP, on the Iraq war and the US elections. more..

Stocks at new life high, hotels lead

Oct 22 (Reuters) Stocks ended closed at a third successive all-time high on Friday, as local investors confident of a bumper tourist season this winter continued a buying spree in hotel sector shares, brokers said. The key Colombo all-share index gained a provisional 1.01 percent, or 15.68 points, to 1,560.84 points. more..

Malaysian high commission to help improve slum areas

Oct 22 (Bernama) Malaysia's new high commissioner to Sri Lanka, Nazeera Husain has visited some selected underdeveloped areas in the capital city with the purpose of helping out. more..

Former Primier Ranil has paid lavishly for ‘Advisor mates’

Oct 22 (UTPD) UPFA today revealed the amount of salaries paid for the advisor-friends of the prime minister of former UNP regime. According to the reports of payments given to advisors of a single project it had a cost of half the expenses that the project was donated. more..

40,000 quacks did not appear overnight: SLMC President

Oct 22 (DN) Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) President Dr. H.H.R. Samarasinghe responding to the report in the Daily News of October 19 headlined 40,000, Quacks, but only 10,000 genuine doctors' said: "Forty thousand quacks did not appear overnight. more..

Lankan Tamil press highlights flaws in Veerappan’s elimination

Oct 22 (HT) There are interesting differences in the way in which the Tamil press and the English language press of Sri Lanka have been reporting the killing of the Tamil Nadu bandit king, Veerappan. more..

U.S. official to visit Sri Lanka to discuss flagging peace talks

Oct 22 (AP) A top U.S. envoy will assess Sri Lanka's stalled peace talks and urge the government and Tamil Tiger rebels to resume efforts during a visit next month, U.S. officials said Friday. more..

Jayasuriya puts Sri Lanka in charge

Oct 22 (CI) A superb unbeaten 131 by Sanath Jayasuriya put Sri Lanka in charge of the Faisalabad Test. Jayasuriya's century, coupled with half-centuries from Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, helped the Lankans close the third day on 285 for 3, an overall lead of 264. more..

Treasury Secretary says won't hedge 2005 oil purchases

Oct 22 (DJ) Sri Lanka has no plan to hedge its purchases of oil next year as the price of a barrel of oil is expected to fall to around $45 by end- December, Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera said Friday. more..

US Presidential Elections and Sri Lanka

Oct 22 (BBC) A change in the US presidency could impact Sri Lanka in three important areas. First, in trade in 2003 US purchased $ 1,800m (35% of total exports) worth of goods from Sri Lanka, most of it garments. more..

Sun fails to heat up

Oct 22 (TS) AUGUST SUN is a non-partisan Sri Lankan film set against the background of two decades of bloody civil war. That already makes it unusual for Canadian audiences who, outside of the Toronto film festival, rarely have the chance to see big screen movies from less prominent countries, especially smaller Asian centres. more..

U.S. funds anti-narcotics programs

Oct 22 (USE) The United States today donated $ US 330,000 to the Colombo Plan to assist in combating drug use among Asian youth. At a brief ceremony held today at the U.S. Embassy in Colombo, Ambassador Jeffrey J. Lunstead handed over a check to Mr. Kittipan Kanjanapipatkul, Secretary-General of the Colombo Plan. more..

SLA gets new spokesman

Oct 23 (TN) Brigadier R.M Daya Ratnayake Friday assumed duties as the new spokesman and Director, Directorate of Media of the Sri Lanka army at a brief ceremony held at the SLA Headquarters in Colombo. Former Army spokesman Colonel A.K Sumedha Perera was removed from the post after his name was implicated in a land fraud case. more..

Thamilchelvan meets Swedish Foreign Ministry officials

Oct 23 (TN) S.P.Thamilchelvan met with State Secretary of Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Annika Bjurner Soder, at the Ministry building Thursday, LTTE sources in Sweden said. Thamilchelvan told the Swedish official of LTTE’s firm commitment to the peace process and the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA). more..

Civil, Military officials review law and order situation in Jaffna

Oct 23 (TN) Civil and Military officials in Jaffna, Friday, reviewed the deteriorating law and order situation in the peninsula at a discussion held in the Jaffna courthouse with Jaffna Magistrate Mr.R.T.Viknarajah in the chair, sources said. more..

Trinco Children Home director remanded on fresh charges

Oct 23 (TN) Trincomalee Magistrate Mr.M.Ganesharajah Friday ordered further remand for Mr.S.Sutheralingam, former director of a children home "Anbu Illam" in Trincomalee in connection with alleged child sexual abuse for October 29, rejecting the bail application made on his behalf, legal sources said. more..

Sri Lanka military responsible for actions of paramilitaries – judge

Oct 23 (TN) Vavuniya magistrate Friday observed that the Sri Lanka army should bear responsibility for the disappearance of Mr. Ariyathas Vijayakumar who was abducted by the paramilitary EPRLF (Varathar Faction) on 15 August 2000 in his findings forwarded to the Vavuniya High Court after preliminary inquiry into the Habeas Corpus application. more..

Govt decides to device a national salary policy

Oct 23 (Rupavahini) The government has decided to devise a national salary policy eliminating salary anomalies in the public sector. Minister of public administration Amarasiri Dodangoda disclosed that the new policy would be announced by January next year. more..

President pledges to provide benefits to the general public from the forthcoming budget

Oct 23 (Rupavahini) President Kumaratunge reiterates that the Government will present its maiden budget which will provide more benefits to the people despite any problems. She disclosed that several concessions including salary increases will be granted from the forthcoming budget to the people. more..

Postage goes up, Dept. wants to charge premium for business mail

Oct 23 (LBO) Snail mail users will have to lick a Rs. 5 stamp with immediate effect, as the Postal Dept., closes the gap with its rising cost of delivery. A midnight gazzet notification Thursday, hiked up portage for a 30 gram letter by fifty cents, to add Rs. 300 million to the Department’s revenues. more..

Central Bank joins Govt. move to curb vehicle imports

Oct 23 (LBO) The Government put another road block before vehicle imports, with the Central Bank Friday raising the bar on obtaining Letters of Credit (LCs). The directive, effective immediately, will require importers to post a minimum 100 percent cash margin when opening LCs to import vehicles for private use. more..

New parliament completes six months

Oct 23 (BBC) Sri Lanka’s new government completed its first six months in office having first met in parliament on April 22, 2004. The new UPFA only managed a few bills to introduce and the government lost the crucial post of speaker to a leader from the main opposition. more..

'We had advisors, not cronies' - UNP

Oct 23 (BBC) The UNP dismissed claims that the UNP led by Ranil Wickremesinghe spent millions of rupees on crony advisors while in power. Responding to allegations made by Mangala Samaraweera, Media Minister, UNP Parlimentarian Rajitha Senaratne said that most advisors used by the former UNP government were experts who advised the government on reviving the Sri Lankan economy. more..

Mandapam - Island of Hope Lankan Tamils

Oct 23 (Rediff) Mandapam means 'hall' in Tamil. This place is a hall where refugees congregate. Some are allowed to stay, the rest are transferred to other districts in Tamil Nadu. The refugee camp in Mandapam was built to accommodate Indian Tamils fleeing Sri Lanka after the island regained independence. more..

Prabakharan is not the solution to the Tamil issue, but the problem, says TIVM

Oct 23 (AT) The LTTE Chief Velupillai Prabakharan is not the solution to the Sri Lankan Tamil issue, but represents the problem itself, says the newly formed TamilEela Ikkiya Viduthalai Munnani - TIVM (TamilEela United Liberation Front). more..

LTTE’s 3 week European Visit coming to an end– gained political mileage, but lost Denmark

Oct 23 (AT) Three weeks European visit by the 15 member delegation of the LTTE led by S.Paramu Tamilselvan, head of the political division, came to an end, after their second meeting yesterday they had in Berlin. more..

Sri Lanka to ban import of two-stroke engine vehicles

Oct 23 (AFP) Sri Lanka is planning to ban the import of two-stroke engine vehicles widely used here in a bid to reduce pollution, the transport secretary said yesterday. The move would largely affect the Indian-made three-wheel scooters which are popularly used as taxis. more..

MP accused of forging papers

Oct 23 (TP) Police filed action before the Colombo Chief Magistrate on Thursday against a former Sri Lanka Muslim Congress MP, his wife and his coordinating officer for submitting forged documents to obtain a visa from the Canadian embassy, the Daily Mirror said. more..

Railways seeks steep hike in fares

Oct 23 (TP) A four-fold increase in train fares is necessary to meet increasing fuel costs and run an efficient service, General Manager Priyal de Silva said. He told the Daily Mirror that when the diesel price was Rs12.80 in 1995 a passenger was charged 21 cents for a kilometre. more..

Singapore sets age limit for maids

Oct 23 (TP) Singapore has decreed that Sri Lankan domestic workers wishing to work there should be at least 23 years of age from the earlier 18 years. The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment made the announcement on Thursday saying Sri Lankan women seeking employment there as domestic workers should be at least 23 years old. more..

CWE-Rotten Eggs

Oct 23 (NW) More trouble is brewing in the CWE with the Chairman threatening to resign after Consumer Affairs Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle appointed a union leader as a Board member. more..

I feel like jumping into the sea -President

Oct 23 (NW) Acknowledging that soaring oil prices were posing a major new crisis in the lives of the poor, President Chandrika Kumaratunga said yesterday she felt the pain of the people so much that she sometimes felt like jumping into the sea. more..

Thondman junior to fly-high

Oct 23 (NW) CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman is likely to be made the Minister of Aviation, highly placed political sources told the Daily Mirror. They said this was in consequence to a meeting Mr. Thondaman had with President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Thursday night. more..

Population continues to decline

Oct 23 (SLBC) According to the latest report from the Ministry of Health the population growth continues to decline in Sri Lanka and it stands at 1.1 today. "The infant mortality is down to 13 per thousand and a constant vigil on HIV/AIDS is placed by the health authorities", more..

Buddhist priests are allowed to own a driving license

Oct 23 (SLBC) The Court of Appeal yesterday issued notice on the Commissioner of Motor Traffic in the writ application compelling the commissioner to issue a driving licence to a Buddhist monk. more..

Trade pact with Egypt

Oct 23 (SLBC) Sri Lanka and Egypt are planning to promote trade in garments, fertiliser and industries in particular through private sector involvement, said Egyptian Assistant Foreign Minister for Asian Affairs, Ezzat Saad El Sayed.

I am glad my innings has put SL in control: Jayasuriya

Oct 23 (Jang) Sanath Jayasuriya after putting Sri Lanka in a commanding position in the first Test against Pakistan on Friday hoped his hundred would eventually carve a win for his team. more..

Maruthankerni villagers lack medical facilities

Oct 23 (TN) About five thousand families undergo hardships without medical facilities in their village Maruthankerni in Vadaramadarachchi east division in Jaffna district as the opening of the rural dispensary constructed with the funds allocated by the North East Community Restoration Development (NECORD) Project is being delayed more..

Parliament debates JHU motion against Norwegian facilitation

Oct 23 (TN) Parliament is to debate the motion tabled by the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) demanding the UPFA government to ouster the Norwegian facilitators from the country's peace process. The motion, moved by the Sinhala nationalist party, is to be taken up for debate on November 19th. more..

India's investment in Lanka dips to $35 million

Oct 23 (HT) India has been among the top-most foreign investors in Sri Lanka in recent years. In 2002 and 2003, it was right at the top of the pile. Its investments in the island in 2003, totalled US$ 172 million. But this year, between January and September, it has slipped to the fourth position, with an investment of US$ 35 million. more..

Veerappan was told he could escape to Prabhakaran’s Lanka

Oct 23 (HT) The Sri Lankan Tamil press on Saturday prominently featured a story that the bandit king, Veerappan, was tricked into coming out of the jungle by making him believe that he would be stealthily whisked away to the safety of the LTTE-controlled part of Sri Lanka. more..

Brig. Daya Ratnayake, new military spokesman

Oct 23 (SLA) Brigadier R.M.D.Rathnayake assumed duties as the new Military Spokesman and Director, Directorate of Army Media today (22nd) at a brief ceremony held at the Directorate of Media, Army Headquarters, Colombo. more..

Buddhist monk to bring message to area

Oct 23 (PO) Bhante Wimala, a Buddhist Monk from Sri Lanka, will bring his message of peace, loving kindness and non-violence to the Unitarian Universalists of Gettysburg (UUG). Hosted by the UUG Youth Group at 3 p.m. Oct. 31, he will speak in the Chapel Meeting Room of the Trinity United Church of Christ, more..

Parties poles apart in approach to peace

Oct 23 (Gulf) Sri Lankans in general are a deeply disappointed and frustrated lot today, not knowing what the future holds for them. No one knows the political and economic direction of the country despite all promises to end the ethnic conflict, ensure political stability and provide economic relief to the poor. more..

I will lessen your burdens within three weeks, raise your salaries - President

Oct 23 (DN) President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday expressed her government's commitment towards presenting a pro-people budget to lessen the burden on the people and to increase the government workers' salaries next month. more..