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Make this country a haven for children! - Mahinda Rajapakse

Oct 2 (LT) All steps would be taken to safeguard the future of the children said Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse. He pointed out that the fundamental rights of the children in the North and the East are being violated. These children’s fundamental rights are being seriously violated as a result of conscriptions of children by Wanni tiger organization. more..

I’ll shoot myself if Ranil betrays the country! - Rajithe Senaratne

Oct 2 (LT) UNP will not act to betray the country says Mr. Rajith Senaratne, UNP Parliamentarian for Kalutara District. He said UNP presidential candidate had never acted to betray the country. Mr. Senaratne made this observation addressing the annual conference of professionals in Puttalam District. more..

Ranil’s Clear Policies Sends PM’s Campaign into Disarray

Oct 2 (UNP) While UNP Presidential candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe unveiled his election manifesto last week with an across the board economic package for the public at large, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse was left struggling to put together his manifesto due to sharp policy contradictions within his alliance. more..

CBK, Anura away from Mahinda’s campaign

Oct 2 (SAMN) Contrary to reports, President Chandrika Kumaratunga is unlikely to join Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse’s presidential election campaign shortly. Kumaratunga yesterday left on a semi-official visit to France after presiding at Friday’s executive committee meeting at Janadhipathi Mandiraya, more..

Pre-Buddhist drawings lure archeologists

Oct 2 (SAMN) Kotiyagala Myella cave temple drew the attention of archaeologists H.C.P.Bell and Senarat Paranavitana because of its drawings on the surface of the cave that date back to pre- Buddhist era. It was believed that the early settlers lived here and did hunting for their existence, which they recorded, on the cave surface with their drawings. more..

30-year jail for child recruitment

Oct 2 (LNP) Under new amendments to be debated in Parliament this week, tough punishment will be imposed on those who engage in or recruit a child forcibly or compulsorily for use in armed conflicts while offences related to adoption too are being broadened. more..

Mahinda and Thonda fail to strike deal

Oct 2 (LNP) Talks between Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse and CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman to secure the estate leader`s backing for Rajapakse`s presidential bid appeared to have collapsed following Rajapakse`s refusal to meet Thondaman`s demands. more..

Private buses and the CTB

Oct 2 (LNP) The rebirth of the Sri Lanka Transport Board, more popularly known by the acronym CTB, last week is an acknowledgement that the privatisation of the public bus service has not been as successful as desired. more..

STF exposes LTTE child conscription

Oct 2 (PIS) The Special Task Force (STF) yesterday deplored the continuous child conscription by the LTTE. In a press release it questioned LTTE claims of representing the Tamil people, saying it was inhumanely persisting with child recruitment while denying its involvement in such acts. more..

EU ban: Where will Norway’s money go?

Oct 2 (PIS) Norway, which has been subsidising the LTTE Peace Secretariat to the tune of about Rs. 1.2 billion every year since its creation in January 2003, may have to look elsewhere to channel its generosity. The monies were mostly earmarked for the purchase of air tickets and hotel accommodation for LTTE leaders on their peace safaris overseas. more..

EU ban : No impact on peace facilitation

Oct 2 (PIS) The European Union travel ban on the LTTE will not impact on the role of the Norwegian peace facilitators, a Norwegian Embassy spokeswoman said. "We are not party to the declaration...The ban will not have any impact on us," Norwegian Embassy spokeswoman Kjersti Tromsdal told the Sunday Observer. more..

Divisions in the left emerge

Oct 2 (BBC) Batty Weerakoon of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party(LSSP) says that SLFP and UNP should come into a undetstanding on the county's ethnic problem before the presidential elections. "No promise can be fulfilled without finding a solution to the national question", he told Sandesaya. more..

Murali buries Hair hatchet

Oct 2 (CM) SRI Lanka spin bowler Muthiah Muralitharan says he and Australian umpire Darrell Hair are at peace with each other. He has no fears of a chucking controversy erupting in the Johnnie Walker Super Series. It will be 10 years this summer since Hair no-balled Muralitharan seven times for throwing in the 1995-96 Boxing Day Test at the MCG. more..

Double deckers on roads again

Oct 2 (SO) Double decker buses will be deployed once again on selected routes of Colombo city by the Transport Ministry with the re-launching of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB). 18 double decker buses, gifted by the Japanese Government under a special grant will be shipped to Sri Lanka shortly to fulfil this need. more..

Sri Lankan tourism dented by image put out from aid agencies

Oct 2 (AFP) Efforts by relief agencies to raise funds to help rebuild Sri Lanka's tsunami-battered coastlines by projecting images of massive destruction have backfired on the island's tourism industry. Clicking "help Sri Lanka tsunami victims" into the Google search engine turns up more than 1.1 million results. more..

EU’s big three pushed for the travel ban

Oct 2 (PIS) Several key European Union members supported Sri Lanka’s call for sanctions against the LTTE. Britain, which pushed Sri Lanka’s case on to the EU agenda, was strongly supported by France, Germany and The Netherlands, diplomatic sources based in Brussels told The Sunday Times. more..

Saudi Arabia Funds Colombo Trauma Unit

Oct 2 (AN) Saudi Arabia is funding a neurosurgical unit at the Colombo National Hospital. Sri Lankan Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva laid the foundation for the SR40 million, nine-story building on Monday. more..

CTTU to strike on Teachers Day

Oct 3 (TN) The Ceylon Tamil Teachers Union (CTTU) gave notice to Dr Tara de Mel, Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Higher education, that its members will go on one day sick leave as a token trade union action on October 5 as the Education Ministry has failed to fulfill its promises regarding its twenty five demands. more..

UNP Deputy General Secretary says that LTTE is not responsible for Mr Kadirgarmar’s assassination

Oct 3 (LT) Mr Tissa Attanayake, the Deputy General Secretary of the UNP says that there is no evidence against LTTE with regard to Mr Kadirgarmer’s assassination but the Government, making it a point has obtained a ban on tiger members from the European Union preventing them from traveling in Europe. more..

An indictment of Sri Lanka Government

Oct 3 (AT) The Sinhalese dominated Sri Lankan government stands indicted of genocide against the minority Tamils, who are the original inhabitants of the land. The following facts from the date of independence, proves beyond doubt the ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the successive Sinhalese regimes. more..

Sri Lanka government-backed secret group in London

Oct 3 (AT) Reports are emerging of a secret slush fund set up by the Sri Lanka Government to fund a group of hardcore Sinhala Buddhists in London to lay the groundwork to ban the Tamil separatist outfit - Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in all the 25 European Union member countries. more..

Hakeem: Kalmunai favours Ranil

Oct 3 (BBC) SLMC leader says the party will almost certainly support leader of the opposition Ranil Wickramasinghe in the forthcoming presidential elections. Rauff Hakeem said the regional leaders are strongly in favour of supporting the former premier, Wickramasinghe. more..

Kumaratunga not to join PM’s campaign

Oct 3 (TP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga, contrary to earlier reports, is unlikely to join Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse’s presidential election campaign, the Sunday Island reported. Kumaratunga and Rajapakse are at loggerheads over the latter’s campaign strategy particularly to issues relating to the peace process. more..

US Agency alarmed at move to make Buddhism Sri Lanka's state religion

Oct 3 (AP) U-S officials are sounding the alarm over a move to declare Buddhism the state religion in Sri Lanka. A constitutional amendment to that effect is to be considered Tuesday by Sri Lanka's parliament, according to the U-S Commission on International Religious Freedom. more..

Election campaign focused on winning over Tamils

Oct 3 (ANN) Leader of the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) and minister Douglas Devananda says his party would, after nomination day, intensify the election campaign in the north and the east on behalf of the SLFP’s Presidential hopeful, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Tigers humming a different tune

Oct 3 (ANN) Whoever wins the upcoming presidential election, the LTTE does not care, LTTE political wing leader S.P. Tamilselvam has told the media in Kilinochchi. The reason given is that both SLFP and UNP candidates are from the majority community, "communalists" and leaders of parties from the South. more..

Aussie MPs, Tamils gather in support of Tamil Resurgence

Oct 3 (TN) Federal Members of Australian parliament, Ms Julie Owens, and John Murphy, Chairman of International Commission of Jurists Justice John Dowd and several hundred Tamils from Sydney and adjoining counties participated in an event held at the Ryde Civic Center in Sydney Sunday in support of the Tamil Resurgence events being held by fellow Tamils in the NorthEast. more..

Teacher supporting EPDP gunned down by Tiger pistol men

Oct 3 (SLA) A supporter of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), headed by Minister DOUGLAS DEVANANDA was the latest to fall victim to Tamil Tiger (LTTE) pistol men in the general area of VANNARAPANNAI, NEW Road, ARUGALMADAM, JAFFNA Monday (03) morning at about 7.30 a.m. more..

Jaffna University aspirant killed for sand collecting

Oct 3 (SLA) A twenty-two year old student, qualified to enter the University of JAFFNA shortly was brutally hack to death Monday (03) early morning by Tamil Tigers in VALLIPURAM area in JAFFNA since the student has not obtained a Tamil Tiger permit to transport sand for his construction work. more..

Tigers threaten troops with grenade attacks

Oct 3 (SLA) A Tamil Tiger cadre after closing in on troops on duty at the strong point in NAGAROKOVIL, about km. of JAFFNA on Sunday (02) around 12.15 noon had threatened the troops saying that they (Tamil Tigers) would lob grenades to duty points of the Security Forces late night on the same day. more..

Tiger guns pound the shop

Oct 3 (SLA) A group of Tamil Tigers have fired ten rounds of T-56 ammunition at a cadjan-thatched shop belonging to a Muslim in the general lagoon area of ULATHAKALAI in MUTTUR on Sunday (02) around 5.30 p.m. However, only two rounds out of the total ten struck the shop that were fired from a hiding in MUTTUR area. more..

Sailing Tigers with video camera arrested

Oct 3 (SLA) Four Tamil Tigers, apparently on a reconnaissance mission while sailing very close to the High Security Zone (HSZ) near TRINCOMALEE harbour were arrested by naval troops on Saturday (01) around 6.45 p.m. with one Video camera, one small manual microphone, two mobile phones and several other items. more..

Muttur town back at work after anti LTTE Harthal

Oct 3 (SLA) MUTTUR town area, with her pre-dominant Muslim population rose against continuing Tamil Tiger (LTTE) atrocities during the weekend (1-2 October) after calling for a two-day long Harthal (protest campaign) with all business ventures kept closed and all other services crippled. more..

Former Karuna faction cadre shot dead inside home

Oct 3 (SLA) A Tamil Tiger defected from LTTE KARUNA faction was shot and killed reportedly by a rival faction suspected to be from LTTE PRABAKARAN faction on Sunday (02) night around 8.55 p.m. while the victim was inside his house in the general area of KUDAPOKUNA, POLONNARUWA. more..

UNP betrays the country & nation by refusing to accept political murders including that of Kadirgamar - political analysts

Oct 3 (LT) In a situation where even international community has accepted that LTTE organization was responsible for the murders of former Foreign Minister Luxman Kadirgamar and other political leaders, the UNP’s unwillingness to accept it proves to the country the treacherous nature of that party say political analysts. more..

UNP government will change local government system!

Oct 3 (LT) The prevailing local government system will be changed and the “Grama Rajya” (Village centered administration) concept as mentioned in their “National Agenda” (The UNP election manifesto) will be introduced says former UNP Parliamentarian Imtiaz Bakeer Markar. more..

When Ranil is elected he will give annual bonus to all public servants -UNP

Oct 3 (UNP) Deputy General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayaka says that when the Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe comes to power he will take steps to pay an annual bonus to all government servants, including the police and security personnel. more..

Prime Minister assures not to privatise the agricultural sector

Oct 3 (SLBC) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse pledges not to privatize any service in the agricultural sector. He says a paddy purchasing center will be set up to coordinate the produce of the farmers in place of the paddy Marketing board which was sold out during the UNP regime. more..

Maheshwaran challenges Thondaman

Oct 3 (SN) UNP Parliamentarian T. Maheshwaran yesterday threw an open challenge to CWC leader Arumugam Thonadaman to contest against him in any district and prove that he had a bigger voter base. Mr. Maheshwaran told that he was prepared to contest against Mr. Thondaman in any district under any symbol and prove he had a better voter base than the CWC leader. more..

Colourfully chaotic Colombo

Oct 3 (EN) RAUCOUS, chaotic and plagued by gridlocked traffic and frequent power cuts, Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo, is also a colourful, spirited and laidback city awash with optimism and exhilarating food. more..

Tamil youth fall prey to LTTE recruiters

Oct 3 (PIS) Religious festivals are cherished by Tamils here, a time to worship traditional deities at the local temple with loved ones. But holy days have become a time of hiding for Tamil youth wary of walking into a trap. Hindu teenagers who want to pray have become prey for the notorious Tamil Tigers guerrillas from the LTTE who stalk worshippers at festival time. more..

SLMM determined to prevent N-E polls violence

Oct 3 (PIS) The SLMM will intensify monitoring activities in the North-East to prevent violence during the Presidential Polls campaign, SLMM Chief Hagrup Haukland said. Two men were shot dead in Valaichchanai in the Batticaloa district shortly after an election rally attended by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse in Ampara on Friday night. more..

EU travel ban: occasion for rethinking peace strategy

Oct 3 (PIS) The European Union's (EU) decision that LTTE will no longer be received in any of its member states signal the increased level of concern of the international community at the deterioration of Sri Lanka's peace process. more..

Anti-Conversion Bill to be shelved

Oct 3 (SAMN) Government has agreed to a request by the United States to shelve the controversial Anti-Conversion Bill, a top US State Department official told the Daily Mirror. The official speaking on a note of anonymity said extensive discussions were held with the Sri Lankan Government to express US concerns before receiving a positive reply. more..

SC summons principal on student's plea

Oct 3 (SAMN) The Supreme Court granted leave to proceed with a Fundamental Rights violation petition filed by a 16-year-old student against the principal of her school, complaining that she was brutally assaulted with a guava stick, fracturing her right wrist. more..

EPDP to intensify Mahinda`s campaign in North and East

Oct 3 (LNP) Leader of the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) and minister Douglas Devananda says his party would, after the nomination day, intensify the election campaign in the north and the east on behalf of the SLFP`s Presidential hopeful, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Three discharged in Sri J`Pura student murder

Oct 3 (LNP) Gangodawila Magistrate Mrs Padmini Ranawak Gunathilaka while discharging three of the accused in the Sri Jayawardena Pura University student murder case, committed the first suspect Chanaka Mahesh Kumara Hewagama, to stand trail in the Colombo High Court. more..

Mushrooming pharmacies in Hambantota cause concern

Oct 3 (LNP) Mushrooming pharmacies in Hambantota district is causing concern among the residents. According to the Food and Drugs Act of the Ministry of Health the first and foremost requirement to run a pharmacy is the availability of a qualified pharmacist. more..

Sri Lanka to taboo cut-outs after nominations day

Oct 3 (Xinhua) The display of all Sri Lankan candidates' posters, banners, billboards, cut-outs and propaganda material in public places will be forbidden from Oct. 6 midnight, the eve of nominations day for the Nov. 17 presidential poll, Daily News reported Monday. more..

Ceylon Workers Congress to back Ranil in election

Oct 3 (Gulf) An influential political party representing the Indian origin plantation sector has decided to back opposition Presidential candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe at the upcoming elections, a local newspaper said yesterday. more..