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Hefty oil bill widens trade gap for Sept.

Nov 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's trade deficit for the first nine months expanded further, as a hefty oil import bill continued to take its toll on the country’s meager earnings, the Central Bank said Wednesday. The tropical island's US$ 20 billion economy is presently creaking under the strain of high international oil prices and double-digit inflation. more..

Background to the current Sri Lanka presidential election

Nov 17 (AT) The number 13 figures prominently in this presidential election. There are 13 candidates competing to win the hearts and minds of 13 million voters. This is also Ranil Wickremesinghe's 13th attempt to win power. 56-year-old Wickremasinghe, the leader of the opposition, has lost 12 times before. more..

SLDF Condemns the Brutal and Cowardly Attack on Loganathan Master in Germany

Nov 17 (LD) On 12 November 2005, Vaithiyanathan Loganathan, aged fifty-five and resident in Neuss, Germany, was brutally attacked by three to four men. Mr. Loganathan, known in the Tamil community as Loganathan Master, was a teacher at Central College in Jaffna in the early 1980s and has since been resident in Germany for the last two decades. more..

Tsunami village highlights Sri Lanka tensions

Nov 17 (TG) On one level it is a petty village squabble. But almost a year after the Boxing Day tsunami struck, killing 40,000 people, tiny Peraliya's problems could represent those of the whole country. more..

Presidential elections: Two visions, one divided country

Nov 17 (TI) Kaluachchi Chaminda, a fellow fisherman, agrees. Mr Chaminda does not even have a temporary hut. His wife and all his children died in the tsunami. Now he is alone, and homeless. He roams around, sleeping on the floor of friends' huts or in the local Buddhist temple. more..

Be wise, election-wise

Nov 17 (ANN) Today is E-Day. Sri Lanka is poised to elect its fifth Executive President. The contest looks a neck-to-neck race with two candidates ahead of the rest and, weather behaving, heavy polling is expected. Conflicting reports were reaching Colombo from Kilinochchi yesterday (Nov 16) as to the LTTE's stand on the polls. more..

Sri Lanka's presidential candidate promises an uncompromising peace

Nov 17 (AP) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, the presidential candidate of Sri Lanka's governing party and a self-described "proud son of Sri Lanka," has campaigned on the simple message that his country must remain whole. more..

Security Tight As Sri Lankan Voting Begins

Nov 17 (AP) Security forces guarded polling sites across Sri Lanka Thursday as voting began in an election seen as a referendum on the peace process in a country bloodied by more than two decades of civil war. more..

Elections and a nation at the crossroads

Nov 17 (Hindu) SRI LANKA's 13.32 million voters have a vital task to perform on November 17. The fifth Presidential election is about much more than determining whether Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse or Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will be at the helm of affairs in the conflict-scarred island-nation for the next six years. An entire nation is at the crossroads. more..

Blood-splattered start to Sri Lanka polls

Nov 17 (AFP) Presidential elections got underway Thursday as officials feared overnight violence that killed at least six people could scare away voters in embattled regions. Police and security forces kept up a red alert across the island as voting opened at 7.00 a.m. (0100 GMT) to elect Sri Lanka's fifth executive head of state. more..

Voting begins in tightly-fought Sri Lankan election

Nov 17 (FT) Polling began in Sri Lanka on Thursday amid tight security, with a too-close-to-call contest between two candidates with radically opposing views on how to settle their country's 20-year civil war with Tamil separatists. more..

SL troops temporarily withdrawn from Trinco town

Nov 17 (TN) Soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy and police personnel of the Sri Lanka Police deployed in main junctions and near schools in the Trincomalee town since the controversy of the illegal erection of Buddha statue in the vicinity of the Trincomalee central bus stand have been withdrawn to barracks from Thursday more..

Presidential Polls: Near Fizzle-Out in North East

Nov 17 (TN) Very low attendance of voters was reported at the cluster-polling booths in the North-East as the voting in Sri Lanka to elect the fifth executive president began at 7:00 a.m Thursday. Situation in Jaffna remained calm in complete contrast to the polls eve marred with grenade attack incidents in the peninsula. more..

Sri Lankan stockmarket plunges on poll day

Nov 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tiny stockmarket plunged on the day of the presidential election with investors cashing out on fears that a crucial Tamil vote will not help the market-friendly opposition leader's victory. During a short three-hour stint of trading, the benchmark All Share Price Index dropped 57 points or about 2.2 percent to 2,494, more..

More people to fly away in search of greener pastures

Nov 17 (LBO) The number of men and women moving to richer countries in search of better paying jobs, will increase further over the next 20 years. A World Bank report says aging labour forces in Europe, Japan and the US will pull in large chunks of working age men and women from developing countries. more..

Tamil Tiger (LTTE) violent behaviour affects polling

Nov 17 (SLA) A SPATE OF TAMIL TIGER (LTTE) VIOLENCE, orchestrated in the north and east on the eve of Sri Lanka’s Presidential Election and Election Day saw four soldiers and one Policeman receive serious injuries, murder of civilians and political activists, attempted murders, grenade attacks against Tamil Tiger rivals or political offices, etc. more..

JVP appeals to the voters not to be mislead by mischievous propaganda ploys

Nov 17 (AT) Somawansha Amarasinghe, Leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Perumuna (JVP), appeared on ITN TV channel and Rupavahini during their noon news broadcasts today and stated that the UNP, enraged by certain defeat, is resorting to spread falsehoods. more..

Voting to determined the 5th President began, despite LTTE instigated violence in the North and East

Nov 17 (AT) The Tamil rebel outfit LTTE has let loose threat and intimidation in the North and East of Sri Lanka as the eligible voters in the other parts were set to elect the fifth executive president of the country. more..

13 Soldiers Jump Boyagane Army Camp Jail

Nov 17 (AT) Day-before-yesterday (15 November) 13 soldiers who were incarcerated at the Boyagane, Kurunegala Army Camp Jail have escaped, according to Army information. A senior Army Officer has revealed that when the prison gates were opened for the jailed soldiers to have their dinner, the imprisoned soldiers have assaulted those soldiers who brought the dinner and escaped. more..

Mahinda Wijesekera stretches his arms

Nov 17 (LT) JVP Parliamentarian Mr. Premasiri Mannage was injured in a clash that had occurred at a polling centre in Galle this evening. UNP Parliamentarian Mahinda Wijesekera had broken into the polling booth with about 150 of his supporters and created a disturbance. more..

UPFA accuses private media of violating

Nov 17 (SAMN) Key campaign organizers of the UPFA candidate Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday accused the private media for continuing election publicity after Tuesday’s deadline and warned legal action would be taken against the offending media stations. more..

PAFFREL 'exposes' state, private media

Nov 17 (SAMN) The PAFFREL interim report on media behaviour on the Presidential election has stated that the State media, both print and electronic, have been heavily biased in favour of the UPFA candidate Mahinda Rajapakse. The report also stated that the State media had allocated more time to the ruling party candidate Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Rs 238m Japanese aid for college

Nov 17 (SAMN) The commencement of reconstruction work of the Sri Sumangala College, Panadura was held on November 15 at the college premises. The estimated cost of the construction is Rs. 283 million. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) assisted in the preparation of the designing of the school building. more..

Mahinda won’t tilt the scales in favour of the majority - JHU

Nov 17 (SLE) Senior JHUer and Ex. Senior DIG, H. M. G. B. Kotakadeniya said that he firmly believes that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse will hold the scales evenly in all matters pertaining to the minorities and majority community. “We have to settle for good decisions taken on the basis of consideration of race, religion, caste, creed etc.” more..

A Muslim vote for Ranil will strengthen US aggression against Muslim countries

Nov 17 (SLE) Every single Muslim vote cast for Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse's victory would be vote ensuring the rights of Muslims in this country to live with respect as equal citizens with dignity Minister for Trincomalee District Development, Najeeb A. Majeed said yesterday. more..

Polls chief promises re-poll in troubled centres

Nov 17 (SLE) Polls chief Dayananda Dissanayake yesterday warned the two main candidates that in case of any intimidation, malpractices and violence during voting at polling stations from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. today he would annul the polls in the said centres and call for a re-poll on November 19 which would result in delaying the announcement of the final results. more..

Mahinda, Ranil confident of victory

Nov 17 (SLE) Both, the ruling party and the UNP, yesterday claimed victory at today’s presidential poll, as police and foreign-funded local NGOs, monitoring the poll, acknowledged that there was a significant reduction in pre-poll incidents. more..

Vote, act peacefully, CBK tells nation

Nov 17 (SLE) President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday requested all citizens to act peacefully and exercise their right to vote at today's presidential poll. In her address to the nation over TV, President Kumaratunga said her government had ended the tradition of imposing a curfew after polls. more..

Unimpeded access to polling booths for monitors

Nov 17 (DN) Two local monitoring bodies and three main international organisations will have access to polling centres to monitor the Presidential Election today. PAFFREL and CMEV have been permitted by the Elections Commissioner to deploy stationary observers at polling centres more..

Candidates face moment of truth

Nov 17 (LNP) More than 13 million people are eligible to vote at today`s Presidential polls to elect Sri Lanka`s fifth Executive President into office. These voters will cast their ballots for the presidential candidate of their choice at 10,486 polling booths in the country in 22 electoral districts. more..

Polls chief directs Rupavahini not to sponsor musical show

Nov 17 (LNP) Asoka Peiris appointed to oversee the state electronic media is believed to have met Rupavahini Chairman M.M.Zuhair at the latter`s office. Peiris, of the Administrative Service, is believed to have asked Zuhair not to sponsor a musical show that was to be held at the Independence Square today with the participation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Tamil kingmakers shun Sri Lanka vote

Nov 17 (AFP) Polling booths in this de facto border post were built for minority Tamils, seen as potential kingmakers in Sri Lanka's presidential elections Thursday, but only four turned up to vote. Election official P. Paskaran said 64 polling booths in this frontier area of Sri Lanka, racked by ethnic conflict, saw only four people cast ballots in the first four hours. more..

Sri Lanka votes for new president

Nov 17 (BBC) Polling has now ended in a presidential election observers say will be key to Sri Lanka's future. However, most members of the Tamil minority in areas controlled by the Tamil Tiger rebels boycotted the poll. That could harm the main opposition candidate, the former Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe. more..

LTTE boycott keeps Tamils away

Nov 17 (HT) Bomb blasts and a call for boycott by the LTTE had led to very low polling in the Tamil areas of the troubled North Eastern Province in the Sri Lankan Presidential election till mid day on Thursday. Outside the North East, about 50 to 60 per cent had polled by noon, an Election Commission official said. more..

Violence, Intimidation Hinders Tamil Vote

Nov 17 (AP) Burning tires, well-armed rebels and sporadic explosions blocked thousands of minority Tamils from voting Thursday for a new president of Sri Lanka, a country bloodied by decades of civil war and devastated by last year's tsunami. more..

Yahoo Photos

Nov 17 (Reuters) An election worker carries a ballot box as they are distributed for transportation to various regions of Colombo November 16, 2005 ahead of Sri Lanka's presidential election. more..

Burning tyres mark S.Lanka rebel vote boycott

Nov 17 (Reuters) A pall of smoke from burning tyres on the edge of no-man's land in eastern Sri Lanka is enough to deter any voter wishing to cross from Tamil Tiger areas to vote in Thursday's presidential poll. more..

Rebel boycott, grenades mar Sri Lanka vote

Nov 17 (Reuters) Sri Lankans voted in a closely fought presidential poll on Thursday seen as a referendum on how to rescue the country's faltering peace process and tsunami-hit economy, but a Tamil Tiger boycott and sporadic violence marred the election. more..

Sri Lankan election attacks

Nov 17 (AFP) Ten people have been wounded after unidentified attackers lobbed grenades at polling booths in the volatile northeast of Sri Lanka. The Thursday attack ripped through a booth at Chenkaladi, in the district of Batticaloa, wounding two women and five men. more..

Yahoo Photos

Nov 17 (Reuters) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse puts his ballot into a box as his wife Shirani looks on at a Madamula college polling station in Weeraketiya, 220 km (137 miles) from Colombo more..

Yahoo Photos

Nov 17 (Reuters) Sri Lankan presidential candidate and leader of the main opposition party, Ranil Wickremesinghe (R), and his wife Maithree walk toward a polling station in Colombo, more..

Former Sri Lankan PM vows peace with Tamil Tigers

Nov 17 (AFP) Opposition candidate for president, Ranil Wickremesinghe, voted saying his first priority if elected would be to cut a peace deal with the Tamil Tigers. Wickremesinghe and his wife Maithree voted at the "College House" polling booth in Colombo, where he told reporters he was confident of becoming the island's fifth executive head of state. more..

Counting begins after Sri Lanka polling booths closure

Nov 17 (Xinhua) Counting of vote in Sri Lankan fifth presidential election started at 7:30 p.m. Thursday following polling booths closure. Election officials said counting of ballot papers cast Thursday would begin around 7:30 p.m., and it is expected to have all results available by early Friday morning. more..

Cumulative Results

Candidate| Votes| (%)
Mahinda Rajapaksha (UPFA)4,880,95050.3
Ranil Wickramasinghe (UNP)4,694,62348.4
Siritunga Jayasuriya (USP)35,3190.4
Achala Suraweera (JSP)31,1550.3
Victor Hettigoda (ELPP)14,4470.1
Chamil Jayaneththi (NLF)9,2860.0
Aruna De Zoysa (RJP)7,6710.0
Wimal Geeganage (SLNF)6,6330.0
Anura De Silva (ULF)6,3450.0
Ajith Kumara (DUA)5,0470.0
Wije Dias (SEP)3,4880.0
Nelson Perera (SLPF)2,5160.0
Shantha Dharmadwaja (UNAF)1,3100.0

Attack on mosque kills four

Nov 18 (AP) Suspected separatist rebels tossed grenades into a Mosque during morning prayers Friday, killing at least four Muslim worshippers, police said. The attack came a day after Sri Lanka held its presidential election, which was boycotted by the Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Prime minister claims victory in presidential election

Nov 18 (AP) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse's office claimed Friday that he has won Sri Lanka's presidential election based on unofficial returns and appealed to supporters to celebrate peacefully. No formal announcement had been made by the election commission, which was still counting votes. more..

Troops re-deployed in Trincomalee town

Nov 18 (TN) State armed forces who were taken out from the sentry points in the Trincomalee town Thursday early morning took up their positions again following the closure of Sri Lanka presidential polling in the evening. more..

LTTE slams Mosque attack, urges calm

Nov 18 (TN) A communiqué issued by the LTTE Political Division, Amparai District, Friday, has condemned the attack on innocent Muslim civilians congregated for prayers at the Grand Mosque, Akkaraippattu, during early hours, Friday. more..

LTTE killings & criminal acts continue in full swing

Nov 18 (SLA) The hysterical crime wave of the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in the north and east after the LTTE had ordered the masses to boycott the Sri Lankan Presidential Election just ended continues to claim more and more innocent lives as well as other damages including many gunfire and hand grenade attacks. more..

Tamil Tigers tampering claymore mine fell into their own trap

Nov 18 (SLA) TWO TAMIL TIGERS poised to harm Security Forces and Police personnel have fallen into their own snare and died on the spot following an explosion today (17) around 1.35 p.m. in the general area of PANDIRIPPU, KALMUNAI. more..