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Chandrika back in the country – several dramatic turn of events expected

Oct 9 (AT) Chandrika Kumaratunga, President who is in her twilight of her executive presidency was afforded with a pompous welcome – a guard of honor at the airport, when she returned back to the country yesterday evening by a Sri Lanka aircraft, after her successful visit to France to participate in the 33rd General Assembly of the UNESCO. more..

LTTE stepping up its own agenda

Oct 9 (PIS) On the sidelines of a presidential election campaign, gathering momentum after nominations closed last Friday, the LTTE appears to be stepping up its own drive. If the UPFA and the main opposition UNP, the two main contenders, are busy with polls related activity, the LTTE is increasingly preoccupied with military preparations. more..

Dissent over Tourist Board rebuilding

Oct 9 (PIS) A storm is brewing at the Sri Lanka Tourist Board (SLTB) after the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) Bill was last week ‘smuggled’ into parliament without the knowledge of one of its staunchest opponents — SLTB Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara. more..

Anura on Mahinda`s polls platform?

Oct 9 (LNP) SLFP heavyweights are confident of bringing Prime Ministerial candidate Anura Bandaranaike on to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse`s presidential election platform. Rajapakse is scheduled to launch his campaign from Anuradhapura today, his first meeting since nominations closed on Friday. more..

Police question Hakeem on Kumari`s death

Oct 9 (LNP) The Colombo Crimes Division yesterday recorded the statement of SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem on the death of Kumari Cooray who committed suicide by setting herself on fire outside Mr. Hakeem`s residence. more..

Kumari`s father does not suspect foul play

Oct 9 (LNP) The father of Kumari Cooray, the woman who committed suicide outside Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader Rauf Hakeem`s residence last week, said yesterday that he did not suspect any foul play in her death. more..

Wilpattu now open

Oct 9 (CT) Three new visitor bungalows have been opened recently at the Wilpattu National Park, which is one of the oldest protected areas in the country. The park, which was closed for 17 years due to security reasons is now open for visitors and once again becoming a popular tourist destination. more..

Tamil Tigers deny responsibility for rising killings in northeast

Oct 9 (AP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have written to European cease-fire monitors, denying responsibility for recent killings that have been blamed on the Tigers and threaten to plunge the country back into civil war. more..

Presidential hopefuls campaign on peace and prices

Oct 9 (AFP) Two main candidates for the presidency launched their campaigns at the weekend promising peace at last for the shattered island and lower consumer prices. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse was kicking off his campaign from the historic town of Anuradhapura on Sunday, a day after his main rival, former premier Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed supporters at another historic city. more..

New South Wales gearing to be tough with Sri Lanka’s Tamil separatist group

Oct 10 (AT) Pressure is applied on the New South Wales state government led by Labor party Prime Minister Morris Iamma to reinforce strict measures against LTTE, as the supporters and members of the outfit continues to take undue advantages of the Labor Party’s opposition to the Federal Government more..

NERD Centre struggles 8 years to find solution to coconut wastewater pollution

Oct 10 (AT) The National Engineering Research and Development Centre of Sri Lanka (NERD) after conducting research for the last eight years has come out with a solution to treat Desiccated Coconut mill waste coconut water with the application of anaerobic filters. more..

Sri Lanka may keep key interest rate unchanged to spur growth

Oct 10 (Bloomberg) Central bank will probably keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged this month to help the island's continued recovery from last year's tsunami. The Central Bank will leave the repurchase rate at which it drains money from the banking system at 8.5 percent and keep the reverse repurchase rate unchanged at 10 percent, more..

Peace talks vs justice

Oct 10 (ANN) The arrest warrants issued by the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) for five leaders of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda marks a watershed in the global efforts to remove the scourge of terror. more..

LTTE: Lift EU ban or face war

Oct 10 (ANN) The LTTE wants Norway to lift the EU travel ban imposed on their organization since Sept 26. LTTE Political Wing leader S.P. Thamilselvan Thursday (Oct 6) urged Norwegian Ambassador Hans Brattskar to make representations to the EU, a member of the four-member Co-Chairs on their behalf on an urgent basis. more..

Southern journalists on goodwill mission to Trincomalee

Oct 10 (TN) About fifty sinhalese journalists and three Buddhist monks from Hambantota, Galle and Matara from south of Sri Lanka arrived in Trincomalee Saturday evening on a four-day good-will mission to obtain first hand information about problems faced mainly by Tamil people and others in the Trincomalee district and in areas held by the LTTE. more..

Suspected Tamil Tiger weapons recovered

Oct 10 (SLA) A large stock of weapons and ammunition, concealed in a parcel was recovered by the Police on Monday (10) morning at about 8.30 a.m. from the general area of MAHAWEWA, MARAWILA after a civilian alerted the Police about his detection by the wayside. more..

Tamil Tigers hold seven civilians to ransom

Oct 10 (SLA) A group of about thirty armed Tamil Tigers who abducted seven civilians whilst they were collecting firewood in the general area of ONEGAMA jungle, POLONNARUWA on 09 October 2005 around 3.45 p.m. have demanded ransom against their release. more..

Tamil Tigers turn away Electricity Board Engineers

Oct 10 (SLA) Electricity Board Engineers had been turned away by Tamil Tigers (LTTE) at RAKKULI in un-cleared areas of MUTTUR on Sunday (09) after those engineers had gone to repair a transformer in the area. more..

Petrol bomb injures shop owner

Oct 10 (SLA) A petrol bomb explosion inside a shop at WELLAWATTE on Sunday (09) at about 10.30 a.m. injured the owner of the shop. Police investigations confirmed that an unidentified person has thrown the bomb towards the shop, HARRIS EMPORIUM of No. 62, WELLAWATTE and fled the scene. more..

Tigers strike civilian with sword

Oct 10 (SLA) Tamil Tiger (LTTE) cadres, led by KANNAN had caused injuries to a civilian in THAMBACHETTI area in POINT PEDRO on Saturday (08) night at about 8.00 p.m. Investigations revealed Tamil Tigers wanted that injured civilian in connection with some matters of concern to the LTTE. more..

Hakeem in Ampara

Oct 10 (LM) ‘Ranil Wickremasinghe is a leader who treats Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities equally and one who does not ally with Sinhalese extremist groups' said Rauff Hakeem when he was addressing an election campaign meeting at Damana, a predominantly Sinhala village in Ampara. more..

CBK to bat for Mahinda

Oct 10 (LM) President Chandrika Kumaratunga is expected to commence her campaign in support of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse for the presidency from Wariyapola in the Kurunegala district, from tomorrow (11th). She will be joined by Foreign Minister and brother Anura Bandaranaike. more..

Major General Trond Furuhovde arriving today on a damage control mission

Oct 10 (AT) Major General (ret’d) Trond Furuhovde, a former head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission is arriving in Sri Lanka today on a damage control mission to explore ways and means to save the fast eroding Ceasefire Agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE. more..

On Mervyn Silva's recommendation 'Kudu Lal' made a Justice of the Peace

Oct 10 (AT) W D J Seneviratne, Minister of Justice and Justice Reforms told Divaina that Lal Peiris alias 'Kudu Lal' of Maligawatte said to be a leading underworld gang member dealing with drug trafficking was made an All Island Justice of the Peace on the recommendation of the Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva more..

Rs 19 billion for security arrangements at Presidential Polls

Oct 10 (LT) According to DIG Gamini Navaratne Rs 19 billion is estimated being the cost of security arrangements. This is in addition to removal of posters he said. According to Elections Commissioner’s Office a sum of Rupees 139 million has been allocated to remove the posters. more..

Simon Navagattegama passes away

Oct 10 (LT) The veteran artiste Simon Navagattegama passed away yesterday afternoon after a brief illness. He was 65. Born in the remote village Navgattegama in the Puttalam District who had his primary education in the village school and later at Anuradhhapura Central College more..

Tigers give armed training to estate children

Oct 10 (LT) Security sections have been able to reveal that about 200 children from the estate sector were abducted and given armed training by wanni tiger organization. This was revealed when ten year old T. Prasadan who had escaped from a tiger camp and surrendered to police at Vavniya was questioned. more..

SLMM urges LTTE to release three policemen in custody

Oct 10 (PIS) The SLMM yesterday, urged the LTTE to immediately release three policemen attached to the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA). SLMM Chief Hagrup Haukland, said his organisation had been urging the immediate release of the three policemen attached to the NCPA who were detained by the LTTE on September 9. more..

Govt keen on a human rights declaration with the LTTE

Oct 10 (PIS) Mr. Ian Martin, International Human Rights Advisor to the Peace Process met with Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala, Secretary General of SCOPP on Monday 10 October. The discussion focused on the current status of the peace process and the need to address human rights issues as a matter of urgency within the current peace process. more..

When 'Remote' is Near

Oct 10 (LBO) Getting to know the movements of television viewers is becoming crucial for advertisers to find the best breaks to slot their commercials. Increased ownership of color TVs with remote controls has helped viewers to switch channels at will snubbing advertisers who interrupt their favorite TV programs. more..

I will never leave SLFP: FM

Oct 10 (SAMN) Finance and Planning Minister scotched speculations that he was quilting the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). ‘I will never leave the SLFP. I say it with responsibility; Finance and Planning Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama said at Galagedara on Saturday (08). more..

Why not a word about foreign policy?

Oct 10 (SAMN) IT IS strange that neither of the two leading candidates, in the forthcoming presidential election has uttered a word about the foreign policy that he would follow after he became the President of Sri Lanka. In the UNP manifesto issued at Sirikotha by presidential candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe, there was no reference to foreign policy at all. more..

LTTE, underworld link revealed in heroin deal

Oct 10 (LNP) Mannar Police arrested a suspect with a parcel of heroin worth over Rs 10 million on Saturday and found a lead to a large scale drug peddling network involved by the Colombo underworld and the LTTE. On a tip off received by HQI Mannar Sudath Asmadala, a special police team nabbed the LTTE suspect with the heroin parcel more..

Bombs flown into Colombo safely

Oct 10 (LNP) Bungling Sri Lankan Airlines official may have endangered the life of a planeload of passengers by carrying two unclaimed baggages in place of those belonging to two passengers on its flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday. more..

Meesalai Spiritual Refuge ransacked, buildings damaged

Oct 10 (TN) Buildings belonging to Sri Kayathiri Kamagodi spritual refuge ('Aachramam') in Meesalai in Thenmaradchy Jaffna, run by Swami Rajkumar, were damaged and the properties inside the refuge set on fire by an unknown group of persons Monday morning, sources said. more..

Sangakkara breaks into top ten of LG ICC ODI Player Rankings

Oct 10 (ICC) Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara provided the ICC World XI with some good news after their ODI whitewash at the hands of Australia by breaking into the top ten of the latest LG ICC ODI Player Rankings announced today. Sangakkara was the leading run-scorer for the ICC World XI more..

PM reassures religious freedom for all

Oct 10 (DN) PRIME MINISTER Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday re-affirmed his commitment to protect the freedom of worship of all citizens of the country, reiterating that it is a right which nobody could be deprived of under any circumstances. more..

PM expresses sorrow for Pakistan quake

Oct 10 (Xinhua) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse has sent messages to Pakistani leaders, expressing his sorrow and pledging assistance to them to overcome the disaster caused by the earthquake. Rajapakse expressed his condolences to Pakistan Ambassador in Sri Lanka Bashir Wali Mohmand within a few hours after the disaster, more..

Opposition Party Wants Budget Postponed

Oct 10 (DJ) The United National Party, wants the government to postpone the budget for next year, due to be presented in Parliament Nov. 8. The party is concerned the government may use the budget to present populist proposals ahead of a Nov. 17 presidential election, more..

LTTE may be neutral in Lankan Presidential election

Oct 10 (HT) Current indications are that the LTTE will remain neutral in the November 17 Sri Lankan Presidential election. But it may allow the Tamils of the North and the East to vote for whosoever they like, or even boycott the election if they so wish. more..

Retired Norwegian general in Sri Lanka to meet rebels, government

Oct 10 (AP) A retired Norwegian general was in Sri Lanka on Monday to review an Oslo-brokered truce between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels, an official said, amid continuing violence that threatens to derail the fragile cease-fire. Trond Furuhovde planned to meet several officials more..

Lanka gives monetary aid to Pakistan, sympathises with India

Oct 10 (PTI) Sri Lanka today gave USD 100,000 dollars to help earthquake victims in Pakistan while expressing sympathy with bereaved families in India. President Chandrika Kumaratunga in her message to Indian counterpart APJ Abdul Kalam recalled New Delhi's support to the island when it was hit by a tsunami in December last year. more..

Gilchrist queries Boucher choice ahead of Sangakkara in Super Test

Oct 10 (AFP) Adam Gilchrist queried the choice of South African Mark Boucher ahead of Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara as the World XI's wicket-keeper for this week's Super Test here against Australia. Sangakkara was one of the few successes for the badly-beaten World XI more..

More money for tsunami victims to find work

Oct 10 (LBO) Norway gives Rs 180 million ( around US$ 1.8 mn) to the International Labour Organization (ILO) to “speed up” tsunami rehabilitation in Sri Lanka. “We see the necessity to speed up the tsunami reconstruction work and are happy to contribute to TAFREN’s efforts for social- and economic reconstruction and poverty reduction", more..

Kumar Rupasinghe’s appeal rejected

Oct 10 (LT) When the petition filed by Mr.Kumar Rupasinghe, an active member of an NGO, requesting the court to arrest Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, Information Secretary of the JVP, the Appeal Court rejected issuing notice to the respondents. more..

JVP's economic policy criticized by FM

Oct 11 (TN) Foreign Minister Mr. Anura Bandaranaike, slammed at the JVP economic policy and their stance with regard to the scuttled P-TOMS at a press briefing held at his official residence Visumpaya Monday morning. This was the first press meet Mr. Bandaranaike convened soon after his return from New York on Sunday. more..

Appeal Court issues notice on AG in case against JVP leader

Oct 11 (TN) Court of Appeal Monday issued notice on the Attorney General to appear in court on 25 October and state his position on the Writ Application filed by Dr. Kumar Rupesinghe of the Foundation for Co-Existence (FCE), seeking an order directing the IGP to arrest and charge Mr.Wimal Weerasinghe, more..

LTTE's kingpin arrested in Colombo

Oct 11 (AT) Charles Gnanakone, originally from Katkovalam, Point Perdo, and presently an Australian Passport holder, who was wanted for questioning in connection with the assassination of former Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar on 12 August 2005, was taken into custody by the police yesterday morning. more..

Lethal weapons recovered before Chandrika’s participation in the election rally

Oct 11 (AT) A large stock of arms were recovered yesterday, before Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s participation in a presidential election rally in support of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse today at Wariyapola. more..

Anura Slams Mahinda JVP alliance

Oct 11 (BBC) Electoral agreements between Presidential Candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa and the JVP came under heavy criticism by Anura Bandaranaike. The prime minister designate in a future UPFA government says that policies agreed with the JVP Mahinda Rajapaksa is in "total contrast" with the SLFP Policies. more..