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Oil deposits will be used for developing whole country - PM

Oct 3 (DN) PRIME MINISTER Mahinda Rajapakse taking part in the "Subharathi" Programme of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation aired yesterday morning pledged to use the newly identified oil deposit in the coastal belt for the economic uplift of the entire country, including the war-torn North-East. more..

Coalitions Spell Disaster -Ranil

Oct 3 (UNP) UNP leader and presidential candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe said that alliances formed between the SLFP and the JVP in the past had only spelt disaster for the country and the present coalition too would bring about the same results if given the chance. more..

Killings reported from Sri Lanka's north

Oct 3 (Xinhua) Murders of three people have been reported from Sri Lanks's north, police in the capital Colombo said Monday. The pistol gang of the LTTE was blamed for the killing of an ex-member of the rival EPDP in Kokuvil in the northern Jaffna peninsula. more..

Kumaratunga's search for a new role

Oct 3 (HT) Due to demit office in November this year, President Chandrika Kumaratunga is now engaged in rearguard action to maintain her relevance in the ruling SLFP and the politics of Sri Lanka. Her future is uncertain because her exit will be coinciding with a radical change in the character of her party. more..

In Sri Lanka, Polls take priority over housing

Oct 3 (IPS) Democracy does not come cheap and Sri Lankan victims of the Dec. 26 Asian tsunami are discovering that their already long wait for permanent housing could now be delayed for more than a year after November's presidential polls are completed. more..

Sri Lankan Airlines plane returns after telephone threat

Oct 3 (AP) A London-bound Sri Lankan Airlines plane returned to Colombo's international airport Monday after a caller said there was a bomb on board, police said. The aircraft landed safely and a search was on for any explosives, airport police officer Asoka Wijetillaka said. more..

Navy foils rebel spy mission against seaport

Oct 3 (AP) The Sri Lankan Navy, acting on a tip-off from police, arrested four Tamil Tiger rebels who were allegedly gathering intelligence on the island's strategic port, police and officials said Monday. The four members of the LTTE were arrested Saturday after police spotted their boat in the harbor at Trincomalee more..

Tiger travel ban welcomed

Oct 3 (BBC) A London-based lobby group has welcomed the travel ban imposed upon Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers by the European Union. Welcoming the ban, The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers has urged the LTTE to halt all recruitment of under-18s and demobilize all children in its ranks. more..

Tsunami teenager disappears in UK

Oct 4 (BBC) A Sri Lankan boy whose family sent him to the UK for a "better life" after their fishing business was devastated by the Asian tsunami has gone missing. Kajanthan Annathurai was last seen dropping his younger cousin at North Primary School, in Southall, west London, on 29 September. more..

Sri Lankan cricket board secretary Tryphon Mirando dies

Oct 4 (AP) Sri Lankan cricket board secretary Tryphon Mirando died in London on Monday, an official said. He was 53. "Yes, he passed away in U.K. What we hear is that he collapsed suffering a heart attack," Sri Lanka cricket official Adel Hassim said. more..

Over 1 million registered voters can’t vote because they work abroad

Oct 4 (LBO) Over one and a half million registered voters of Sri Lanka can’t vote at elections because they are working abroad. Nearly 12 percent of registered voter base of 13 million people can’t vote at local elections, because the election laws make no provisions for people working abroad to vote. more..

UNESCO could play key role in creating conditions for peace -President

Oct 4 (AT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga addressed delegates from 140 member states numbering over a thousand who assembled at the UNESCO Head Quarters in Paris. The President of the General Conference Mr. Michael Omolewa who welcomed President Kumaratunga to the podium said she was a courageous leader who a sacrificed much or her country. more..

Life threat on the life of Selliah Nagarajah – Asian Tribune writes to John Howard

Oct 4 (AT) Asian Tribune has taken up the urgent life threatening issue – the death threat on the life of Selliah Nagarajah, Asian Tribune’s Sydney correspondent by Ellalan Padai, the auxiliary force of LTTE based in Australia, with John Howard MP, Prime Minister of Australia. more..

Saudi prisoners ‘like Battery chicken in cells’

Oct 4 (BBC) “A Pakistani national was beheaded in front of us a couple of weeks ago,” recalls a Sri Lankan inmate at al-Hair prison in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh. “He was held here in the prison more than two years in the prison before carrying out the capital punishment.” more..

President: Development key for peace

Oct 4 (BBC) President Chandrika Kumaratunga says UNESCO could play a vital role in creating conditions for peace in the world. Addressing the 33 session of UNICEF in Paris, the president said: “Peace can only be acquired through economic development to eliminate poverty and despair and through dialogue and understanding.” more..

Celebrating Sri Lankan culture

Oct 4 (DB) Despite being struck by tragedy recently, with the devastation of the tsunami followed by the assassination of their foreign minister, the American-Sri Lankan community had something to celebrate Sunday night – their culture. more..

We are happy to be terrorists! - T. Chandrasekaran

Oct 4 (LT) If the struggle by the Tamils to live with dignity is terrorism, we would be happy to be called terrorists said UNP Parliamentarian T. Chandrasekaran at ponguthamil cerebration held in Jaffna. “It was because they were unable to face the liberation struggle of the Tamils the communalist government rejected war and came to the negotiation table. more..

Maheswaran MP on a berserk mode, while LTTE bares him

Oct 4 (AT) The recent comical display put up by T.Maheswaran MP in the floor of the Parliament of Sri Lanka has been described as a ‘show-off’ and the pro- LTTE news websites alleged it a ploy that clearly revealed of the secret pact he had with Sinhala Buddhist extremist groups, who are considered sworn enemies of the LTTE. more..

'Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers,' welcomes EU travel ban imposed on the LTTE

Oct 4 (AT) The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers welcomes the recent European Union (EU) agreement that LTTE delegations will no longer be received in EU member states. It calls on the LTTE to halt all recruitment of under-18s and to demobilize all children in its ranks. more..

Will EU declaration help Sri Lanka's peace?

Oct 4 (TN) The European Union’s (EU’s) announcement that it "will not receive members of the LTTE in its member states until further notice," and is considering formally listing the LTTE as a terrorist organization has raised both controversy and questions over whether the move will aid or hurt the island’s stalled peace process. more..

Multi-coloured Army flags adorns Sri Maha Bodhi precincts

Oct 4 (SLA) Religious ceremonies of Buddhist faith that were precursors of a series of commemorative events to occur in connection with the forthcoming Army Day (10th October) and its 56th Anniversary were inaugurated at break of Saturday (01) at Anuradhapura Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi sacred premises where 260 flags of the Sri Lanka Army were blessed. more..

UNP Lashes Out at JVP/Mahinda Objection to Dagoba

Oct 4 (UNP) The protest raised against UNP Presidential candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe’s manifesto proposal to build the worlds largest dagoba in Sri Lanka came in for condemnation by the UNP. Mr. Hemakumara Nanayakkara said that it is ironic that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse together with the JVP were protesting against the proposal. more..

PM is abusing public funds and property -UNP

Oct 4 (UNP) The UNP yesterday warned Prime Minister’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga that he would be personally held accountable for the alleged misuse of public funds and public property by his office for political purposes. UNP Deputy General Secretary Tissa Athanayake’s full letter to Mr. Weeratunga is as follows: more..

SLFP’s double standards might jeopardise relationship – Hassan Ali

Oct 4 (LM) Deputy Minister Sripathi Suriyarachchi, has undermine the SLMC and the importance of its support at the upcoming presidential elections. Hasan Ali, SLMC's Secretary General said "we are confused with the way things happen, while a group of SLFPers are negotiating with us another group from the same camp are undermining us as a party. more..

Migrant workers get pay hike

Oct 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka has imposed a minimum US$ 150 wage per month for foreign employment, with effect from October 01. The legislated increase missed two earlier deadlines in January and June 2005 on lobbying from recruitment agencies. The minimum wage for migrant workers up to now was about US$ 100 per month, more..

Sea sand – an unique alternate raw material for the construction industry

Oct 4 (CT) Sand is an unique raw material for the construction industry, at present, but contractors say that they have to spend more allocations for obtaining bulk loads of sand for their construction work. more..

European Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ECCSL) to assist Sri Lanka Joint Apparel Association

Oct 4 (LT) The European Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (ECCSL) hopes to obtain experts to amalgamate with Sri Lanka Joint Apparel Association to encourage the local small and medium apparel manufactures according to a ‘Daily News’ news report. more..

UNP to take disciplinary action on Mr Maheswaran

Oct 4 (LT) According to the United National Party sources disciplinary action is to be taken against parliamentarian T. Maheswaran on charges that he is acting and speaking contrary to party policies and interests whilst the Ceylon Workers` Congress prepares to make a crucial announcement on their support at the presidential election. more..

Chief Minister Reginald Cooray yesterday vows to give up politics

Oct 4 (LT) Western Province Chief Minister Reginald Cooray vowed to give up politics if he was found guilty of bribery and corruption charges. Mr. Cooray giving evidence at the presidential commission, which was appointed to look into the charges against him called upon the commission to give a fair judgment so that he could live in dignity for the rest of his life. more..

Former Deputy Minster Anuruddha Ratwatte indicted by bribery commission

Oct 4 (LT) Former Deputy Minster Anuruddha Ratwatte is to be served indictment on bribery charges on 07th this month before Colombo High Court. He was to be served indictment yesterday but was absent in Court since he kept away from appearing without sufficient protection owing to threats on his life by Wanni tigers his Counsel informed the Courts. more..

President attends Sri Lanka Tourist Board's Paris launch

Oct 4 (LT) After her address to the UNESCO General Conference on Monday 3 rd October President Chandrika Kumaratunga and her Ghananian counterpart John Agyekum Kufuor were conducted to the Education for All [EFA] Exhibition at the UNESCO HQ. The two Presidents spent some time at the Sri Lanka and Ghana stands. more..

Mr Ananda Sangari speaks on the opportune stance of the UNP

Oct 4 (LT) According to the leader of Tamil United Liberation Front leader Mr Ananda Sangari, the statements made by the United National Party Deputy General Secretary make it obvious the opportune stance of the UNP on the LTTE. more..

Doctors, PM party in talks

Oct 4 (TP) Government doctors on Saturday held an hour-long discussion with the ruling party’s presidential hopeful Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse to obtain each other’s support ahead of the poll on November 17. GMOA Secretary Dr Uditha Herath told the Daily Mirror that the Premier had reacted positively to several of the doctors’ concerns during the meeting. more..

US interfering in Sri Lankan affairs-JHU

Oct 4 (SN) The Jathika Hela Urumaya yesterday accused the United States of blatant interference in Sri Lankan affairs shamelessly coercing the Sri Lankan government to shelve the Anti- Conversion bill. JHU accused the US of interfering in religious affairs and human rights in the country. more..

Wider implications of EU travel ban

Oct 4 (PIS) When the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE signed the Ceasefire Agreement in February 2002 they both accepted an international facilitative role in the resolution of the country''s long festering ethnic conflict. more..

SLMM probes army complaint

Oct 4 (PIS) The army has lodged a complaint with the ceasefire monitors stating that the LTTE has erected a new construction in the separation zone in Nagarkovil in violation of the Cease Fire Agreement. more..

Warming up for a political leap frog?

Oct 4 (SAMN) With the presidential election only one and a half months away, the political acrobats are starting their undercover activities. A senior government minister from the hill country had met UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe twice last week to tell him he had decided to cross over to the UNP after the presidential election, more..

Rivals hijacked my motto, says Mahinda

Oct 4 (SAMN) Addressing a massive crowd during a propaganda rally at Godakawela play grounds, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse said he had always acted on the concept of ‘Ability for life and employment for the ability’. more..

Plan launches exciting Child-friendly Sri Lankan website

Oct 4 (LNP) As Plan Sri Lanka marks its 25th year of working for Sri Lankan children, it has launched a website detailing its work in this country. The new website, gives special emphasis to Plan Sri Lanka`s ongoing efforts to rebuilding lives and communities that were shattered by the tsunami. more..

Promoting the same old products

Oct 4 (LNP) Who doesn`t know Mahinda and Ranil' We have seen enough of them from their salad days to the present day. They have been elected many a time consecutively by the people who know them for what they are. more..

Hayleys takes Fujifilm`s latest in digital photo processing to Vavuniya

Oct 4 (LNP) A state-of-the-art Fujifilm Frontier 570 digital minilab has been installed in Vavuniya by Hayleys Consumer Products Limited (HCPL) offering residents in this district the latest digital photo processing technology. more..

Despite distorted views all will ensure Mahinda's victory - DM

Oct 4 (DN) All in the party from the leadership to the rank and file were committed to make a united effort to ensure the victory of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse at the Presidential Elections, said Posts and Telecommunication and Udarata Development Minister D. M. Jayaratne. more..

British colonial laws on stray dogs, cats becomes election issue

Oct 4 (AP) Leftover British colonial laws regarding stray dogs and cats have become a campaign issue in the coming presidential election in Sri Lanka, whose majority Buddhists promote compassion toward all beings. more..

2006 gov't spending tad higher on tsunami

Oct 4 (Reuters) Sri Lanka plans to raise government expenditure by 1.4 percent in 2006, mainly for spending on the country's recovery from the Dec. 26 tsunami, officials said on Tuesday. However, the estimates do not include government fuel subsidies -- expected to cost the state around 16 billion rupees ($158 million) in 2005 more..

FAO, Japan and Belgium collaborate to boost the resumption of livelihoods in the east

Oct 4 (RW) The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (MFAR) distributed close to 2,628 fishing nets and 90 engines to 248 tsunami affected fishers this weekend. more..

Vocational Programs in Batticaloa, benefit former child combatants and tsunami survivors

Oct 4 (RW) On its recent assessment mission to Sri Lanka, Refugees International spent some time at a vocational training program in Batticaloa, a town that was hard hit by the tsunami and is at the epicenter of on-going tensions between the LTTE and the government of Sri Lanka. more..

Rights Groups Hail EU Travel Ban on LTTE

Oct 4 (IPS) Human rights organisations are urging the international community to follow the lead set by the European Union (EU), which has imposed a travel ban on leaders of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a Sri Lankan rebel group notorious for recruiting child soldiers. more..

Tamil North East grew faster than South after truce

Oct 4 (HT) The war-affected North Eastern Province has grown faster than the rest of Sri Lanka after the ceasefire came into effect in February 2002, a study by the Government Peace Secretariat reveals. more..

EU clarifies policy on Norwegian peace facilitation

Oct 4 (HT) The European Union (EU) on Tuesday refuted Sri Lankan media reports that its strong action against the LTTE, announced on September 26, was a "defeat" for the "pro-LTTE" Norwegian peace facilitators. more..

Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels shoot at prison vehicle, prisoners escape

Oct 4 (AP) Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels on Tuesday shot at a prison vehicle, injuring one guard and enabling four prisoners to escape, the military said. The incident came as escalating violence, which has left scores dead, is increasingly threatening a three-year-old truce between the government and rebels. more..