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Identity not must for voters: SC

Nov 10 (SAMN) The Supreme Court Wednesday held that an identity card is not necessary for a voter to cast his/her ballot. However, if a person with only an official poll card and no other means of identification is challenged at the point he is seeking a ballot or the relevant official has sufficient grounds of suspicion, more..

Cabinet decides benefits for journalists

Nov 10 (SAMN) The government yesterday said the necessary legislation would be brought to Parliament soon to provide the media personnel a host of welfare benefits including a pension scheme. President Chandrika Kumaratunga had presented the cabinet paper in this regard and their welfare fund too would be exempted from the income tax. more..

Devolution within united Lanka: Ranil

Nov 10 (SAMN) "I will never make false promises for the sake of becoming the President of Sri Lanka", said Opposition Leader and leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing election rallies in Negombo and Anuradhapura on Tuesday. more..

Mahinda distressed at Archbishop`s letter

Nov 10 (LNP) UPFA Presidential candidate Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse has told Colombo Archbishop Oswald Gomis that he read with sorrow a letter of the Archbishop reproduced in some national newspapers. more..

Minister justifies budget proposals

Nov 10 (LNP) Government Spokesman Nimal Siripala De Silva addressing a news conference in Colombo justified the carrying of "Mahinda Chinthana" proposals in the budget and said there was nothing illegal in it. He said the budget presented in Parliament on Tuesday reflected the vision of a leader. more..

No Mahinda Chinthana in Budget: UNP

Nov 10 (LNP) UNP front liner Milinda Moragoda said yesterday the UPFA government`s 2006 Budget proposals were inconsistent with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse`s manifesto -- Mahinda Chinthana. 'Much attention is being focused as to whether the 2006 Budget proposals contained the promises included in the Prime Minister`s election manifesto. more..

Sri Lanka scraps plan for free incoming calls on mobiles

Nov 10 (AFP) Sri Lanka has abandoned plans to allow free incoming calls on mobile telephones, shifting away from the liberal communications system neighbouring countries have adopted to spur growth. more..

NPC urges LTTE to make public it's not opposed to voting

Nov 10 (TN) National Peace Council (NPC), in a press release issued in Colombo Thursday said that it will be a "postive gesture in the part of the LTTE to continue to make it known that they are not opposed to the people casting their votes in the Presidential elections." more..

Grenade lobbed at TNA MP's Lodge in Jaffna

Nov 10 (TN) Unidentified attackers lobbed a grenade into the premises of the lodge owned by Jaffna Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Mr. Suresh Premachandran at 4:30 a.m. Thursday. The lodge is located in Kattaipirai on Jaffna Point Pedro Road. No one was injured in the incident. more..

Sri Lanka, England women play historic one-day cricket game

Nov 10 (Xinhua) The Sri Lanka women's cricket team will take on the touring England women in a historic one-day international in Sri Lanka capital city Colombo Thursday. This is the first time Sri Lanka will be up against England in a one-day international on home soil although the two teams have earlier met thrice in three World Cups more..

Committee for elimination of rabies to be set up in Sri Lanka

Nov 10 (Xinhua) The Sri Lanka Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry has decided to establish a National Steering Committee for the elimination of Rabies for which Cabinet approval has already been given, Daily News reported Thursday. more..

Rajapaksa's position among Christians worsens

Nov 10 (HT) The publication of the US State Department's International Religious Freedom Report (IRFR) for 2005, and an open letter written by the Archbishop of Colombo, are likely to further alienate Christians from Mahinda Rajapaksa, candidate of the SLFP in the presidential election of November 17. more..

Sri Lanka Tamils shun poll, may hurt ex-PM's chances

Nov 10 (Reuters) Tamil politicians allied to Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers vowed on Thursday to remain neutral in the island's upcoming presidential poll, a move analysts said could hurt the chances of main opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Indo-Lankan naval exercises to prevent infiltration

Nov 11 (UNI) Indian and Sri Lankan Navies have launched coordinated patrolling along the Palk Bay as an experiment to ensure that fishermen of the two countries do not cross territorial waters. more..

International religious freedom report 2005 - Sri Lanka

Nov 11 (USDS) The Constitution accords Buddhism the "foremost place," but Buddhism is not recognized as the state religion. The Constitution also provides for the right of members of other faiths to practice their religion freely. While the Government publicly endorses this right, in practice there were problems in some areas. more..

Sri Lankan refugees return and rebuild

Nov 11 (RW) Sri Lanka’s long-running civil conflict prompted an estimated 80,000 people to seek refuge in India, but with a ceasefire in place, a growing number are returning to their homeland and rebuilding their lives. At the age of 26, Pushparani Miranda has already lived a lifetime’s worth of turmoil. more..

England make winning start

Nov 11 (CI) England Women launched their tour of Sri Lanka with a resounding 164-run win in the first one-day international at Colombo. Laura Newton and Arran Brindle struck half-centuries before the England attack skittled Sri Lanka for just 60. more..

US to fund election monitoring in Sri Lanka

Nov 11 (AFP) The United States will fund two private election monitoring outfits in Sri Lanka in a bid to ensure that next week's presidential vote is free and fair, the US embassy said Thursday. more..

World Bank funds Rs. 900 million renewable energy project

Nov 11 (PIS) In order to insulate the country from the continued oil price hikes an initiative that will bring in Rs. 900 Million has been launched funded by an SDR59.3m line of credit from IDA (World Bank) and a US$8.0m grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), said the Director for the National Council for Economic Development (NCED) Rohantha Athukorala. more..

LTTE-TNA conference concludes: "Tamil people have no interest in SL Presidential elections"

Nov 11 (TN) Emerging from the three and a half hour meeting with the Political Wing of the LTTE, Wednesday, R.Sampanthan, Leader of the TNA Parliamentarians, categorically declared to the awaiting media, "Nothing worthwhile would be achieved by supporting either of the two leading candidates in the Presidential candidates." more..

Finding the Sri Lankan ICT sector's secret sauce

Nov 11 (LBO) A US based venture capitalist says Sri Lanka has it own ‘secret sauce’ in the ICT arena and should use that to tap the US$ 100 billion global outsourcing business. “Someone else will always be cheaper”, say Washington based WTP Capital chief Abhishek Jain adding that Sri Lanka should focus on the opportunities, more..

The NSSP and the dead-end of national opportunism

Nov 11 (wsws) Most political parties have directly lined up behind one of the two major parties—the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)—in the November 17 presidential election. The New Left Front (NLF), a proxy for the Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP), is one of the few exceptions. more..

Committee against Torture begins review of report of Sri Lanka

Nov 11 (rw) The Committee against Torture this morning began its consideration of the second periodic report of Sri Lanka on the efforts of that country to give effect to the provisions of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. more..

LTTE asks Tamils not to take interest in poll

Nov 11 (HT) The LTTE and its parliamentary proxy TNA on Thursday said that the Tamils "need not take any interest" in the Sri Lankan presidential election to be held on November 17. The decision to make such a suggestion was taken at a meeting between the LTTE's political leader SP Tamilselvan and the MPs of the TNA, more..

Sri Lanka acts to boost tourism revenue

Nov 11 (DJ) Faced with a decline in tourist spending, Sri Lanka is trying to shift away from dependence on beach lovers and budget travelers and lure more well-heeled tourists. Hotels are going up-market, adding herbal spas and gourmet restaurants, while the government has taken legal and budgetary measures more..

SLA tightens restriction on food, fuel transport to Muttur

Nov 11 (TN) The Sri Lanka Army (SLA) tightened their restriction on transport of goods including eggs, meat and fuel into Muttur east from army controlled areas through the checkpoint of the SLA Kaddaiparichchan army camp from this week. more..

LTTE (600,000 votes) abandons Ranil: Ranil's loss is Mahinda's gain

Nov 11 (AT) Yesterday’s statement of R. Sampanthan, leader of the TNA, disowning both presidential candidates, has left Ranil Wickremasinghe high and dry. "Nothing worthwhile would be achieved by supporting either of the two leading candidates in the Presidential election," said Sampanthan. more..

Dhanapala resigns to focus more on his campaign to win top job in the UN

Nov 11 (AT) Jayantha Dhanapala, head of the Sri Lankan Peace Secretariat, has resigned from his post to focus more on winning the Asian nomination for the Secretary-General's post in the UN. more..

Chandrasekar accuses Ranil of initiating and implementing anti-Tamil policies and violence

Nov 11 (AT) It would be a historic win for Mahinda Rajapakse on November 17, 2005 at the presidential polls, claimed Ramalingham Chandraseker, JVP’s national list Member of Parliament, and Mahinda’s victory is already a forgone conclusion. more..

Malteser to fund Children's Home building construction

Nov 11 (TN) Malteser International, Order of Malta Worldwide Relief, finalized agreement to fund the second phase of the reconstruction of a three storey building for "Anbu Illam," a Trincomalee children home, for a cost of about Rs.8.3 million, officials said. Anpu Illam has been providing shelter to orphans who lost their parents in the war. more..

GTZ supplies boats, engines to Muttur east fisher families

Nov 11 (TN) German Technical Co-operation (GTZ) of the German Federal Government with the funding of World Vision-German inaugurated the first phase of handing over fishing boats, engines and fishing nets and related materials to tsunami affected fishermen of four villages in the Muttur east in Trincomalee at an event held at Kadatkaraichchenai Thursday. more..

Budget only a document to deceive & mislead people -Ranil

Nov 11 (UNP) Commenting on the budget presented on Tuesday by the Finance Minister, Dr. Sarath Amunugama, UNP Presidential candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe said that it was only a document with statements to deceive and mislead the people. Ranil made this statement at a propaganda rally held at Matale Ambagahamulla bus stand on Wednesday. more..

Distribution of Tsunami Relief at Oluvil Ends Up in a Riot

Nov 11 (LM) A ceremony to distribute relief for Tsunami devastated people of the Oluvil area at the Circuit Bungalow of the Oluvil harbour was abandoned to due unrest created by nearly 2000 participants at the scene, yesterday. more..

Rupavahini says ‘NO’ to SLMC election advertisement

Nov 11 (LM) Rupavahini Chairman M.M. Zuhair had refused to air four advertisements submitted by the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, in support of the UNP presidential candidate Ranil Wickremasinghe, today. more..

Hakeem vows 100,000 Votes in Digamadulla For Ranil’s Victory

Nov 11 (LM) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader Rauff Hakeem said that the upcoming presidential poll was not a fight between the UNP and the SLFP instead it was a battle between the SLMC and its traitors. He said it at an election propaganda meeting last Sunday in Akurana. more..

Sri Lanka`s first-ever free-flow salt refinery will meet 50% of national demand

Nov 11 (CT) Sri Lanka`s first-ever free-flow iodized salt refinery will begin production in Puttalam this year under a Rs. 300 million investment by the Kingdom of Raigam, the company`s Chairman/CEO Dr. Ravi Liyanage said. `With a production capacity of 50,000 MT, we will be able to meet 50% of the country`s salt requirements`, he assured. more..

Staying the course to peace

Nov 11 (PIS) "PLEASE STAY THE COURSE". This is President Chandrika Kumaratunga's request to her countrymen on the eve of her leaving office, while discussing issues relating the country''s conflict with the Indian national daily The Hindu. more..

Games LTTE plays

Nov 11 (Hindu) Every election in Sri Lanka has a non-contesting candidate, you know who. The November 17 presidential contest between Mahinda Rajapakse of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the United National Party's Ranil Wickremesinghe will be no different. more..

Lanka wants Saarc anti-terrorism forum

Nov 11 (SAMN) Foreign Affairs Minister Anura Bandaranaike who arrived in Dhaka, Bangladesh two days before the inauguration of the 13th SAARC Summit opened bilateral talks with his Bangladesh counterpart M. Morshed Khan here in Dhaka Thursday. more..

Ice Manju hiding in Tiger camp?

Nov 11 (SAMN) The suspect, identified as Ice Manju, wanted in connection with the killing of Major Muthaliph is reportedly hiding in the LTTE camp in Sampur, the CID said. The CID has obtained evidence that Ice Manju was also responsible for killing Col. Meedin, it said. more..

Minister calms bird flu fears

Nov 11 (SAMN) Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva Thursday stressed that the public need not fear about Bird Flu as all preventive measures have been taken to prevent the disease invading the country. "So far no bird flu case has been reported here," more..

SLRC offers channel for live debate

Nov 11 (LNP) The State owned Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation yesterday requested the two main presidential candidates to allow the SLRC to host their public debate. This came after Prime Minister and UPFA Presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday officially accepted the challenge thrown by UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe for a live, more..

Indian model is ideal sangaree queries JVP stand on federal solution

Nov 11 (LNP) TULF leader Vinayagamorthy Anandasangaree in a letter to the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva on Wednesday claimed that the JVP has a clean record of not having not harmed a single Tamil or a Muslim the party had not even thrown on them and no inflammatory speeches that could promote dissension among various communities the letter said. more..

Mangala attacks Bribery Commission, Kotelawala

Nov 11 (LNP) UPFA Presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapakse`s campaign chief Mangala Samaraweera yesterday launched a scathing attack on the Commission to Investigate Bribery and Corruption, Ceylinco Chairman Lalith Kotelawela and two private newspapers, all of whom he alleged were biased towards the UNP candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Project to uplift dry zone farmers

Nov 11 (DN) The Agriculture Ministry yesterday launched a seven-year project titled the "Sri Lanka Dry Zone Livelihood Support and Partnership Programme" (DZ-LiSSP) to uplift the income level and living conditions of farmers in the region. more..

A revealing episode in the election: troops deployed against striking workers

Nov 11 (wsws) The brutal class reality behind all the false promises being made in the November 17 presidential election was graphically exposed by the line up behind the government’s decision to deploy troops against striking health workers on October 27-28. more..

Sri Lanka axe Jayasuriya for India tests

Nov 11 (Reuters) Sri Lanka have dropped experienced opening batsman Sanath Jayasuriya for their three-test tour of India next month. The 36-year-old, Sri Lanka's most experienced player with 100 test appearances, was dropped on the grounds of fitness and poor form during the current seven-match one-day international series against India. more..

China to help build Sri Lanka National Performing Arts Theatre

Nov 11 (Xinhua) China will help Sri Lanka to build Sri Lanka National Performing Arts Theatre. Addressing a foundation ceremony for the project held Friday, President Chandrika Kumaratunga expressed deep appreciation on behalf of her government and Sri lankan people to the Chinese government and people for this project. more..

More AIDS cases reported in Sri Lanka

Nov 11 (Xinhua) Thirty-eight new HIV/AIDS cases have been reported in Sri Lanka during the third quarter of this year, bringing the overall figure to 712. "Accordingly, the estimated figure of the adults (15-49 years) who have contracted the deadly HIV/AIDS is around 3,500 while children (below 15 years) number around 100," more..

Two LTTE suspects escape from Jaffna jail

Nov 11 (TN) Two suspects alleged to be members of Liberation Tigers kept in remand in Jaffna jail escaped with two accomplices who entered the jail posing as spectators and threatened prison officials with hand guns at 4.30 p.m. Friday, security sources in Jaffna said. The four escaped in motorbikes along Columbuthurai Road. more..