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President Rajapakse: Which Path? Which Future?

Nov 20 (AT) Two statements issued by two rival Tamil leaders give an indication of the two divergent paths the newly elected President can take and the two different futures that would result. V. Balakumar of the LTTE has expressed confidence that Mr. Rajapakse would take the path back to the past, to 1956. more..

Liberation" for What? An open letter to all concerned.

Nov 20 (AT) The LTTE’s liberation struggle is supposedly for the future of ‘their’ people. Who is the future? Of course, today’s Children. The state of the three police officers who were committed to child protection and previously recommended for rewards and promotions by the former President of Sri Lanka, more..

President Rajapakse speaks to the Asian Tribune on Indo-Lanka relations

Nov 20 (AT) The new President, Mahinda Rajapakse, in his first media interview with the “Asian Tribune” after taking his oaths, said that Indo-Srilanka accord will be respected and implemented fully." more..

Peacemaker or Partisan: Sri Lanka's iconic former president leaves uncertain legacy

Nov 20 (AP) There's an old saying in Colombo that former President Chandrika Kumaratunga's father sparked Sri Lanka's seemingly intractable ethnic conflict, her mother stoked it and she was left to douse the flames. "If that is true," said Rodney Fernando, a Colombo businessman, "then now what?" more..

Unskilled jobs for Lankan ‘experts’

Nov 20 (TP) Low salaries back home are prompting a number of very highly qualified Sri Lankans to take up jobs in Qatar that do not call for any skills or even promise higher returns. Mohiuddin Sameeu, 45, hails from Matale district in the central Sri Lanka. more..

Election fails to enthuse most Lankan Tamils in Qatar

Nov 20 (TP) Many Sri Lankan Tamils in Doha do not know who the president-elect of their home country Mahinda Rajapakse is and what his policies are, although a majority of them seem to be aware that the LTTE, a party they secretly sympathise with, had given a public call to boycott the presidential poll. more..

Rebels see victory in Rajapakse win

Nov 20 (AFP) A senior Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger rebel said the election of hardline Mahinda Rajapakse as the island’s new president had paved the way for a final rebel victory, a radio transcript given to Reuters yesterday said. more..

Sri Lanka surprise Pakistan, South Africa thrashes Zimbabwe

Nov 20 (UNI) Sri Lanka surprised World Champions Pakistan with a 40-run win, while South Africa gave a warning signal to their rivals with an authoritative eight-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the Afro-Asian Under-19 One-day cricket tournament here today. more..

Muslim couple shot dead in Valaichenai

Nov 20 (TN) Unidentified gunmen shot and killed Mr. Meerasaivu Ahammed Lebbe, 44, and his wife Fowziya Lebbaithamby, 43, Sunday morning at 1:30 a.m. in Miravodai, a Muslim village 28 km nortwest of Batticaloa. Mr. Ahammad Lebbe, a Middle-East employement agent and a supporter of the United National Party, died on the spot at his house. more..

SLMC - winner in the east

Nov 20 (LM) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has claimed its biggest victory after sweeping six Muslim dominated areas in the just concluded presidential election, becoming the leading Muslim party in the country. The SLMC swept through the Muslim areas like Pottuvil, Samanthurai, Kalmunai, Ottamawadi, Eravur and Muttur. more..

Some big names lose at Presidential poll

Nov 20 (LM) Several Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers and some senior UNP MPs were among those who lost their electorates at the closely contested Presidential poll.Among the big losers were Minister D.M.Jayaratna who lost the Gampola seat, Minister Sarath Amunugama - Galagedera and Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva - Badulla. more..

JVP won't accept portfolios

Nov 20 (LM) The JVP will not accept any cabinet portfolios in a future government, reliable sources said. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake has told his close associates that even if the party decides to allign with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) again, it would not accept cabinet portfolios. more..

Tributes for the new President from afar

Nov 20 (LT) Several countries have congratulated the new President of Sri Lanka. Indian Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh in his message said that the relations that had been between the two countries for more than 2500 years could be further strengthened with the election of Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse as the President of Sri Lanka. more..

The new President pays his reverence to the Sri Dalada Maligawa

Nov 20 (SLBC) The Maha Sanga invoked blessings on President Mahinda Rajapakse after he engaged in religious observances at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy this morning. Speaking in Kandy the President assured his dedication to preserve the Buddha Sasana according to the constitution. more..

Mr. Lalith Weeratunga has been appointed the Secretary to the President

Nov 20 (SLBC) A senior administrative officer, Mr. Lalith Weeratunga has been appointed the new Presidential Secretary. Mr. Weeratunga joined Sri Lanka administrative service in 1997 and held a number of positions including acting secretary to the Prime Minister, more..

New President has got mandate to work for political settlement - Erik Solheim

Nov 20 (PIS) Norwegian Minister International Development Erik Solheim said that the Norwegian government looks forward to continuing the close cooperation with the new president and the government of Sri Lanka in a wide range of areas, including support for efforts to achieve a lasting peace that inspires confidence in all Sri Lankans." more..

Two EU states delaying ban on LTTE?

Nov 20 (PIS) Denmark and Sweden are blamed for blocking European Union moves to ban the LTTE and add it to the EU list of outlawed terrorist organisations, according to anti-LTTE Tamil groups that demonstrated in Brussels last week. more..

Ethnic issue: TNA seeks president stance

Nov 20 (SAMN) The Tamil National Alliance Saturday said they were waiting for the new President to define his stance on the ethnic issue and would be “closely watching” him prior to deciding their next step on the peace effort. more..

CMEV calls for repoll in North and East

Nov 20 (SAMN) The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) has called upon Dayananda Dissanayake to use the powers vested in him as Commissioner of Elections to call for a re-poll of the north and east in order to ensure that a truly free and fair election of the Chief Executive of Sri Lanka has taken place. more..

Bishops moot regret voters deprivation

Nov 20 (SAMN) Commending the conduct of the presidential election, which was not marred by violence, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Sri Lanka, however, regretted that a section of our population was unable to exercise their franchise. more..

LTTE plans two Heroes Day meetings in UK despite ban

Nov 20 (SAMN) Despite the LTTE being banned as a terrorist outfit in the United Kingdom, London-based LTTE theoretician Anton Balasinghan is expected to address the Tigers` Heroes Day celebrations on November 27 at the Alexandra Palace in London, Tamil sources said. more..

Nirupama meets Ranil, contacts with Mahinda

Nov 20 (LNP) Indian High Commissioner Nirupama Rao met with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in Colombo yesterday sparking speculation that India is interested in helping an understanding between the winner and loser of Thursday`s presidential election on working together towards a peace deal with the LTTE. more..

Winners and losers

Nov 20 (LNP) Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe`s no show at the Election Secretariat where Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse was declared elected Sri Lanka`s fifth Executive President did him no good among friends and foes alike. The common perception of this failure is that he is a bad loser, who having lost a contest he was desperately anxious to win lacked the character to do what winners and losers alike must do when the result is finally out. more..

Request for repoll rejected

Nov 20 (TP) The main opposition UNP, defeated at Thursday’s poll, said on Friday that the Elections Commissioner had rejected the party’s request for a re-poll in the north and east, though election monitors and public officers confirmed there had been intimidation, violence and obstruction of voters in the areas. more..

UNP may rethink strategy

Nov 20 (TP) The defeated UNP is under heavy pressure to re-think its strategy vis-a-vis the LTTE after Thursday’s extraordinary polls defeat engineered by the LTTE, the Island newspaper said. The LTTE prevented a certain victory by UNP candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe, a party official was quoted as saying asserting that it was part of the group’s strategy. more..

EPF withdrawals before retirement

Nov 20 (SO) A proposal to withdraw Employees Provident Fund (EPF) balance before the mandatory retirement age of workers, employed in the private sector institutions will be discussed by a panel of Labour officials under the purview of the Labour Minister Athauda Seneviratna shortly. more..

'Market reaction to Mahinda’s elevation disappointing'

Nov 20 (ANN) Ajith Nivard Cabraal -- who was a major campaigner for newly-elected Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse -- yesterday (Nov 19) expressed disappointment that the market had reacted negatively to the election of the new president. more..

Sri Lanka Mkts may fall further; President's policies key

Nov 20 (DJ) Sri Lanka's markets are headed for a period of uncertainty after the election of a hardline president who may find it difficult to resume peace talks with Tamil rebels and rein in government spending, say analysts. more..

Poll outcome spells return to arms

Nov 20 (IPS) True to the hawkish image that propelled him to electoral victory, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, has begun his six-year-term in office by indicating readiness to review not only a Norwegian-mediated peace process with Tamil rebels but also the historic 2002 ceasefire. more..

For peace, West seeks amends in Sri Lanka

Nov 20 (IANS) With a new president taking office in Sri Lanka, the Western community is seeking greater access to LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran and an end to anti-Norwegian rhetoric in Colombo to restart the stalled peace process, well informed diplomatic sources say. more..

Kalam congratulates Rajapakse

Nov 20 (IANS) Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Sunday congratulated Mahinda Rajapakse on his assumption of office as the president of Sri Lanka. "Let me warmly congratulate you on your assumption of office as the president of Democratic, Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka," Kalam said in his message to Rajapakse. more..

Plantation workers are the poorest segment

Nov 20 (LBO) Plantation workers are the poorest segment in the country despite tea being an export crop and heavy private sector involvement in its trade. Government divested ownership in plantation companies in the early 1990's which led to productivity gains and some improvement in living conditions of workers. more..

Tigers mute as Sri Lanka's peace hopes dim

Nov 20 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers remained mute on peace talks offered by the new president whom they had dubbed the "war candidate" while a pro-rebel newspaper has said new talks were not on the cards. more..

President's win angers rebels

Nov 20 (AP) Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels reacted angrily Sunday to the election of hardline President Mahinda Rajapakse and his inaugural speech, saying they showed the country's Sinhalese majority had no understanding of Tamil aspirations for a homeland. more..

Trincomalee experiences heavy rain, families displaced

Nov 21 (TN) Torrential rain in Trincomalee has caused flood in several villages forcing hundreds of tsunami-affected families to seek refuge in schools and public buildings from their water inundated shelters. Several roads have gone under water interrupting smooth transport system between villages and outstations of the district, more..

UNP to hold postmortem on presidential poll defeat

Nov 21 (TN) The working committee and parliamentary group of the main opposition UNP are to meet this week to decide its future course of action following the defeat at the presidential poll held on Thursday, Mr.Tissa Attanayake, UNP Assistant General Secretary said more..

President Rajapakse selects new team

Nov 21 (BBC) Newly elected president, Mahinda Rajapkse, has begun selecting his new administrative team. Former Trade Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopullai told BBC Sandeshaya that senior Minister DM Jayarathne will most certainly be appointed the next Prime Minister of the island nation. more..

Employment opportunities at the door step of job seekers

Nov 21 (AT) In an attempt to minimize the unemployment and skills mismatch, JobsNet a combined effort by the Ministry of Labour, Ceylon Chamber of Commercie and the International Labour Organization is organizing job fairs in various parts of the country. more..

German Red Cross & GTZ reconstructs primary schools

Nov 21 (AT) As a part of their Tsunami assistance commitment, the German Red Cross and GTZ will reconstruct primary schools in Sri Lanka with the support of the German city Bielefeld. German Red Cross (DRK) will finance the reconstruction of four schools in Sri Lanka, which were destroyed in last December. more..

Acquisition of nerve gas and other lethal chemical weapons by the LTTE

Nov 21 (AT) How did the LTTE, the Sri Lanka’s Tamil terrorist organisation, have a stockpile of chemical weapons? Which was the country that has provided the LTTE with these deadly weapons banned all over the world? more..

UNP’S media anchors – winners and losers

Nov 21 (SLE) Senkadagala electorate nursed by former TNL (Janahanda) and Swarnavahini (Ratu Ira and Kiniheera) political affairs commentator Chanadana Sooriyabandara was won by UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Wickremesinghe polled 28,894 votes (55.51%) against Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse who managed 22,670 votes (43.53%). more..

I am a temporary trustee of the public good - New President

Nov 21 (SLE) Percy Mahinda Rajapakse who celebrated his sixtieth birthday on a winning note on Friday was sworn in as the fifth President of the country yesterday by the Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva approximately at 1.20 p.m. at the Presidential Secretariat which housed the old Parliament. more..

Jayaratne to be sworn in as Sri Lanka's new PM tomorrow

Nov 21 (UNI) General Secretary of the Sri Lanka's Freedom Party (SLFP) and Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, D M Jayaratne is to be sworn as the island nation's Prime Minister tomorrow, the sources in the President's office said. more..

Karu the leader of UNP, S.B. the deputy leader?

Nov 21 (LeN) It is reported that Ranil Wickremesinghe, after his defeat at the presidential election, is to put forward a proposal to appoint Karu Jayasooriya as the leader of the UNP and jailed parliamentarian S. B. Dissanayake as his deputy and Sajith Premadasa as the Assistant Secretary. more..

Rats jump from sinking ship

Nov 21 (LeN) A group of UNP parliamentarians are engaged in a bid to work closely with the new Mahinda Rajapaksa government. Discussions in this connection are now underway and one group has expressed willingness to cross over to the SLFP while the other group is to forge a consensus with the government for a period of one year. more..

Parliament to be prorogued

Nov 21 (LeN) The government is to put forward a proposal at tomorrow's party leaders' meeting to prorogue Parliament session and to ceremonially open a new session by the President. The party leaders will also discuss the government proposal to withdraw the appropriation bill and present a new budget incorporating policies of the Mahinda Chintana manifesto. more..

Sri Lanka to witness major political changes

Nov 21 (Hindu) Major political changes are in the offing in Sri Lanka following the election of President Mahinda Rajapakse on Friday. The imminent changes are in Government as well as within the two main political parties — the ruling SLFP and the Opposition UNP. more..

‘Mahinda’s victory paradigm shift’

Nov 21 (DH) The election of UPFA leader Mahinda Rajapakse as President marks a paradigm shift in Sri Lankan polity, a senior Tamil leader has said. R Sampanthan, floor leader in Parliament of the four-party TNA which toes the LTTE line on the Tamil question, feels Mr Rajapakse’s election is a throwback to 1956. more..

SLDF expresses shock and outrage at the attack on Akkaraipattu mosque

Nov 21 (LD) The Sri Lanka Democracy Forum (SLDF) expresses its shock and outrage and outright condemnation of the attack on the Akkaraipattu Mosque in the Eastern province of Sri Lanka and the murder of innocent Muslim civilians engaged in prayer, on the morning of Friday 18 November 2005, more..

Rajapakse for Strong Kingdom Ties

Nov 21 (AN) Establishing stronger relations with Saudi Arabia and rest of the Arab world will be his top priority, said Mahinda Rajapakse, the new Sri Lankan president. Rajapakse, who took oath as the 5th president of the island country on Saturday, more..