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Fresh fertiliser subsidy policy will cost Rs. 12 bn

Nov 24 (LBO) Current plans to cap all retail fertiliser prices at Rs. 350, could cost the government a whopping Rs. 12 billion annualyy, Agriculture Ministry source said. The new Rajapakse government on Thursday said it would push though the poll promise to cut fertiliser prices to Rs. 350 from the subsidised Rs. 550 for a 50 kg bag now. more..

Sri Lanka to bring in new laws to speed up tsunami rebuilding work

Nov 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka will bring in new laws next year to set up a new Reconstruction and Development Authority to speed up rebuilding efforts in tsunami-hit areas, officials said. The new authority will amalgamate four tsunami reconstruction bodies, to cut delays in disbursing billions of dollars in aid, more..

Revolt in UNP Parliamentry Group for Leadership

Nov 24 (LeN) Ranil Wickremesinghe says a decision on the UNP leadership should be taken by the working committee of the party and not by the party's parliamentary group. A group of senior UNP parliamentarians met the UNP leader this afternoon and urged him to convene a meeting of the party's parliamentary group to take a decision on the party leadership. more..

We condemn LTTE enforced poll boycott - Somawansa

Nov 24 (LeN) As the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna has played its part to the full to ensure the victory of Mahinda Rajapaksa at the presidential election, the party is closely monitoring the President's future program of work, JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe has said. He made his comment at a media briefing in Colombo this afternoon. more..

TNA meets to discuss Mahinda’s peace plans

Nov 24 (LM) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is scheduled to meet either this afternoon or tomorrow morning to discuss the future stand to be taken by the party with a new government in power. TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah said the meeting was originally scheduled for this afternoon. more..

UNP is claiming political victimisation of UNP supporters

Nov 24 (LBO) the UNP is claiming political victimisation of UNP supporters after Presidential elections. The UNP told journalists on Thursday that hundreds of UNP supporters in state institutions - mainly the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and the Central Transport Board -are being harassed by government backers. more..

CBK might come back to Parliament?

Nov 24 (LM) Speculation was rife last night that former President Chandrika Kumaratunga might return to Parliament as a backbencher filling the national list vacancy created by the death of late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. more..

JVP does not accept any Ministerial portfolios – JVP Leader

Nov 24 (LT) “In supporting President Mahinda Rajapakse to implement his ‘Mahinda Chintana’ the JVP does not need any Ministerial portfolios or any other position” said its leader Mr Somawansa Amarasinghe. He made this statement in Colombo today at the first media briefing held after the Presidential elections. more..

Over 293 persons missing due to tank spill over

Nov 24 (LT) With the heavy floods in Mullattivu District 293 persons were reported missing as the Vavuniukulam tank overflowed yesterday (23). The tank situated in the un-cleared area overflowed early yesterday following the heavy rain for three days. more..

Australian Police raid LTTE premises and take in for questioning Tamil suspects funding terrorism in Sri Lanka

Nov 24 (AT) In a concerted move against the LTTE, the Australian Federal Police raided several homes of suspected LTTE agents in Melbourne early morning yesterday. The key suspects were taken in for questioning for funding the LTTE with Rs. 236 million between April 2003 and November 2005. more..

General election likely next year

Nov 24 (TP) President Mahinda Rajapakse is likely to dissolve parliament and call a general election early next year, the Daily Mirror quoted party sources as saying. They said the election would pave the way for him to obtain a bigger majority in parliament by offering various welfare measures to the people in the new budget to be presented next month. more..

UNP seeks EU action against terror

Nov 24 (SAMN) The UNP expects the European Union to take action against the LTTE for preventing the Tamils from exercising their franchise at the recently concluded presidential polls. Party sources said that that UK Presidency of the EU and EU Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner regretted the LTTE action. more..

Tigers abduct naval rating

Nov 24 (SAMN) LTTE last week abducted a Naval rating in Delft when he was coming out of the barracks to report to duty around 6.30 p.m. According to eye witnesses the sailor identified as P. P. Nandasiri has been abducted by the Tiger cadres who were decorating the road for the forthcoming Mahveerar Day. more..

Jumbo crisis deepens

Nov 24 (SAMN) UNP frontliner Milinda Moragoda is on a short overseas visit. He is expected to return early next week. Speculation is rife that an influential section of the party wants the Colombo District MP to take over the leadership. Contrary to initial reports, the defeated UNP candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe Tuesday dismissed an anticipated challenge to his leadership. more..

Lanka scrambles for elusive peace

Nov 24 (Dawn) Peace lobbyists claim war is not imminent, despite the newly elected President Mahinda Rajapakse appointing a hardliner prime minister, Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, who has previously supported a military crushing of the LTTE. more..

Jayasundera to remain Treasury Secretary - President Adviser

Nov 24 (DJ) P.B. Jayasundera will remain Sri Lanka's Treasury Secretary, despite a reshuffle of top government administrators, the president's economic adviser said Thursday. Nivard Cabraal told Dow Jones Newswires that Jayasundera will remain treasury secretary even though he has yet to be given a new letter of appointment. more..

Sri Lanka: unemployed youth speak to WSWS

Nov 24 (wsws) In the course of the Sri Lankan presidential election, Mahinda Rajapakse, the victorious candidate of the SLFP, promised to create 2.4 million jobs over the next six years. His rival, Ranil Wickremesinghe of the UNP, matched him with a pledge of “millions” of jobs. more..

Sri Lanka wildlife officials told to guard against bird flu

Nov 24 (Xinhua) The Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC) of Sri Lanka has urged wildlife officials to guard against possible detection of signs of bird-flu as the bird-migration season began, Daily News reported Thursday. more..

President meets flood victims

Nov 24 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapakse, soon after swearing-in the new Cabinet of Ministers yesterday, visited several areas submerged by torrential rains that engulfed many parts of the island during the last few days and inquired after the needs of the affected people. more..

President to present new budget on Dec. 8

Nov 24 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's new president, Mahinda Rajapakse, will present a revised 2006 budget to parliament on Dec. 8 modelled on his populist election manifesto, his government said on Thursday. Former Prime Minister Rajapakse decided to scrap a budget his party presented to parliament just days ahead of the Nov. 17 presidential election more..

Sri Lanka captain craves first Test win in India

Nov 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka's cricket captain Marvan Atapattu said he was confident his team can record its first Test victory in India despite the recent 6-1 one-day series drubbing. The Sri Lankans, who returned home after the one-dayers earlier this month, are back in India for three Test matches on the second leg of the split tour. more..

JVP not to join Rajapaksa govt 'for time being'

Nov 24 (HT) The Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), which played a major role in the election of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Sri Lankan President on November 17, has decided not to join his government "for the time being". more..

Sri Lankan new government invites all parties for peace talks

Nov 24 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's new government announced here Thursday that it has invited all political parties for consultations on reviving the peace talks with Tamil Tigers. Information and Media Minister Anura Yapa told reporters that President Mahinda Rajapakse has called for all political parties represented in parliament to venture into peace negotiations with the LTTE rebels. more..

India must take keen note of the change in Sri Lanka

Nov 24 (AM) The election of Mahinda Rajapakse as President of Sri Lanka might jeopardise the peace process in that country. Rajapakse, who has come to power with the support of Sinhala chauvinist forces such as the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (jvp) and the Jathika Hela Urumaya (jhu), is determined to adopt a hawkish policy. more..

Sri Lanka's new president to try to revive peace talks with Tamil rebels

Nov 24 (AP) Sri Lanka's newly elected president will immediately try to resurrect faltering peace talks with the country's Tamil Tiger rebels, the government said Thursday, and hinted at some flexibility on power-sharing with the guerrillas - an apparent reversal of his campaign stance. more..

JVP demands breakup of Tamil province

Nov 24 (AP) A radical partner of Sri Lanka's ruling coalition today demanded that an ethnic Tamil-majority province be broken into two- a move likely to provoke sharp objections from the Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Tigers to set the course for Sri Lanka's new government

Nov 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka's new hawkish president is to make a policy statement pledging prosperity, but analysts and diplomats say they are focusing on a speech by the Tamil rebel leader this weekend that could fan fears of a slide back to civil war. more..

Tamil Tigers in tsunami funds row

Nov 25 (TA) SRI Lanka warned the Howard Government that charity donations given by Australians after the tsunami may have been used to fund terrorist group the Tamil Tigers. The warning came ahead of police raids in Melbourne this week on a group suspected of raising funds to support the Tigers, more..

Tsunami survivors learn to live with elephant neighbors

Nov 25 (VOA) They survived last year's Indian Ocean tsunami, but the residents of one of Sri Lanka's A captured wild elephant,tied by rope, stands amid tea bushes waiting to be taken to a jungle area in Poonagala, Sri Lanka resettlement communities are facing a new problem: elephants. more..

Video pirate fined

Nov 25 (BBC) The courts slammed a heavy fine on video pirating. The Colombo commercial high court ruled on Thursday that prominent actor Joe Abeywickrama be paid ten million rupees in compensation. Kapila Kumara Kothalawala, proprietor of Torana Video was found guilty of making pirate copies of a teledrama produced by Joe Abeywickrama. more..

Sathosa land to be sold via Colombo Stock Exchange

Nov 25 (LBO) The government is planning to sell more than a billion rupees worth of land via the Colombo Stock Exchange, the newly re-appointed Trade Minister Jeyeraj Fernandopulle said. The 226 perch Union Place belonging to Sathosa is valued at around Rs. 5.5 million a perch. more..

RSF slams Mahinda on media freedom

Nov 25 (BBC) Newly appointed president Mahinda Rajapaksha should be criticised for not doing enough to protect journalist says Reporters without borders (RSF). Reporters Without Borders today urged Commonwealth heads of government to see that people killing journalists because of their work were duly punished, so the Commonwealth could become “a true home of democracy and freedom.” more..

Rajapaksa extends merger of Tamil North and East

Nov 25 (HT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to extend the merger of the Northern and Eastern Provinces so that there is a united Tamil-speaking province in Sri Lanka, which is otherwise dominated by the Sinhala community. more..

Rajapakse to deliver vital policy speech Friday

Nov 25 (TN) President Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse is set to deliver his first speech at the Lankan Parliament Friday where he is also expected to express his stand on the ethnic crisis, the Norwegian facilitation, economic policy and his foreign policy. A motion on re-imposing Emergency Regulations is also expected to be tabled in the Parliament Friday. more..

LTTE‘s olive branch due on Nov 27 will have more grenades than olives --- Douglas Devananda

Nov 25 (AT) Douglas Devananda, Leader of EPDP and the newly appointed Social Services and Social Welfare Minister , said that they are awaiting the LTTE’s response to the government’s offer to restart peace negotiations. more..

LTTE killed Sivaram, Kumar Ponnambalam and Kadirgamar -- Col. Karuna

Nov 25 (AT) In a startling revelation Colonel Karuna told the "Asian Tribune" that it is Velupillai Prabhakaran, his former commander-in-chief, who had ordered the killing of Sivaram Dharmaratnam, the editor of the pro-LTTE TamilNet in 2002. Sivaram, a former member of the PLOTE -- another Tamil militant group -- was better known by his pen name "Taraki". more..

COMMENT: A dark cloud over Sri Lanka

Nov 25 (DT) Sri Lanka’s best chance is that President Mahinda Rajapakse finds a formula for accommodating legitimate Tamil aspirations and LTTE gives up the idea of an endless civil war to establish a separate state that appears to be increasingly unnecessary. more..

Posters demanding military to leave Jaffna

Nov 25 (LT) A poster campaign has been carried out in Jaffna peninsular demanding that security forces deployed in the areas be immediately withdrawn. The posters, said to have been put up by an organization calling itself ‘Jaffna Tamil Army’, state that if the security forces don’t leave as demanded hostilities may escalate. more..

Rajapakse rejects Tamil Homeland, Right to Self determination

Nov 25 (TN) Rejecting the Tamil demand of right to self determination and the concept of traditional Tamil homeland, President Mahinda Rajapakse in his first address to the Parliament in Colombo Friday avoided reference to Norwegian facilitation and reiterated his hardline stand outlined in the "Mahinda Thinking" election manifesto prepared following his agreement with extreme Sinhala nationalist JVP and JHU. more..

Tamil Tiger attack on Army continues killing one more

Nov 25 (SLA) ANOTHER COWARDLY hand grenade attack of an unidentified Tamil Tiger at an Army vehicle in the general area of PULOLY West, JAFFNA on Thursday (24) around 8.00 p.m. has resulted in the death of one more soldier and injuries to four soldiers and one civilian. more..

IED intended for Army personnel recovered

Nov 25 (SLA) TROOPS ON ROUTE CLEARING PATROL in the general area of PULLAIYRADI, WELIKANDA, on the POLONNARUWA – BATTICALOA Main Supply Route have recovered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) buried wayside, probably intended to harm the troops, on Thursday (24) around 7.30 a.m. more..

Australian “terror” raids target Tamil groups

Nov 25 (wsws) For the second time this month, Australian police and security agencies have carried out politically-timed raids under the cover of combatting terrorism. On Wednesday, federal and Victorian state police raided an undisclosed number of homes and premises in Melbourne allegedly linked to Tamil organisations. more..

If they were President, 97% of children will abandon war

Nov 25 (LBO) If they were President, 97 percent of Sri Lankan children will abandon war for peace, shows island wide children’s poll. The children of Sri Lanka - a tropical island that has seen nearly 20 years of armed conflict, now on hold under a cease fire agreement – want peace. more..

Rajapaksa govt. looks at 8% growth and rural development

Nov 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s fifth executive president made his first address to parliament on Friday, setting out his policy framework for his six year term in office. Replacing the defunked Post Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS) with an all new proposal to share aid the LTTE was among the key issues President Mahinda Rajapaksa pledged to achieve. more..

Treasury secretary vows to implement new president's manifesto

Nov 25 (LBO) Treasury secretary on Thursday vowed to translate president Mahinda Rajapakse's subsidy-laden manifesto into economic jargon, though analysts warn that it could undo fiscal discipline and scare off investors. "We now have a new government and a new president. We should all unite to make it (the manifesto) a reality," more..

Lakhs of people were prevented from voting: Ranil

Nov 25 (LM) UNP leader and defeated Presidential candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe in a message to the people yesterday said he had plans to make Sri Lanka another Asian power and build a just and peaceful country and that only the future would tell whether he was right or wrong in the chosen path. more..

Admissions back to schools

Nov 25 (LM) The National Schools Grade 1 admission process handled by the Education Ministry will be reverted to school authorities from next year on a directive of newly appointed Education Minister Susil Premajayantha. Minister Premajayantha yesterday gave this assurance at a meeting with Ministry officials after assuming duties. more..

Ceremonial opening of Parliament by President Mahinda Rajapakse

Nov 25 (LT) The second session of the sixth Parliament of Sri Lanka was ceremoniously opened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at 10.20 a.m. this morning. The President who was escorted by an Army and Police motorcade was welcome by the Speaker and the Secretary of Parliament Mrs Priyani Wijesekara at the entrance of the Parliament. more..

Sripathi accepts new portfolio

Nov 25 (LT) Mr Sripathi Sooriaarachchi who resigned from his portfolio within hours of swearing in on Wednesday have accepted a new post. He has sworn in as the Deputy Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion. It is also learnt in addition to this he has accepted the post of Deputy Minister of Skills Development and Employment which he had rejected earlier.

Peace talks after obtaining Southern consensus

Nov 25 (ANN) The government said yesterday that it was keen on resuming peace talks with the LTTE, after obtaining a consensus among southern political parties. Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told yesterday’s (Nov 24), that the government of Mahinda Rajapakse was keen on resuming peace talks with the LTTE, but it needed some time to obtain the views of southern political parties. more..