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Thondaman plans CWC shuffle

Sep 30 (ST) The top leadership of the crisis-ridden Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) officials has stepped down on the orders of party leader Arumugam Thondaman, so that he could reshuffle the positions amidst growing differences over whether to accept cabinet ministerial positions or remain as an independent group in Parliament. Mr. Thondaman on Friday instructed those holding party posts to step down, enabling him make the changes at the national convention likely to be held in October. more..

‘Mr. 10%’? Prove it, says Basil

Sep 30 (ST) Until two weeks ago, Basil Rohana Rajapaksa, the youngest brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has been a key player in the government from behind the scenes. As Senior Advisor to the President, from an obscure but highly secured office in the second floor of the Presidential Secretariat (the former parliament building), he gives leadership to the enforcement of Government policy on a number of matters. more..

Hotel defends its $14,500 dessert

Sep 30 (BBC) The manager of a top Sri Lankan hotel has defended the decision to charge $14,500 (£7,127) for what it calls the world's most expensive dessert. Axel Jarosh, general manager of The Fortress hotel in the southern town of Galle, said that the chocolate pudding was not obscene in a poor country. He said that the dessert contains a gemstone and was "especially designed for the hotel's exclusive clientele". more..

Jayasuriya knows how to approach his targets: wife

Sep 30 (PTI) Sanath Jayasuriya's life on the 22-yard is full of aggression but few people know that while marrying his lady love, the giant-slayer had to bear abuses but chose to stay calm and win over his in-laws. Sri Lanka's cricket star, Jayasuriya, faced marriage obstacles on his being dark complexioned and fears of his children being born black, says his wife Sandra. more..

Lanka opposition abandons "minorityism"

Sep 30 (HT) The opposition United National Party (UNP), which had earlier depended heavily on the support of the Tamil minority to come to power, has now chosen to down grade this constituency and seek greater support in the majority Sinhala community by identifying itself with the latter's fears and aspirations more forcefully. As the first step, it gave up its commitment to instituting federalism to solve the ethnic question. more..

'Cowardly' slaying of teen

Sep 30 (TS) Honours student Akila Badhanage was knifed to death during a random swarming by "cowardly" young men, leaving even seasoned homicide detectives seething at the senseless violence. "This could have been anyone's son," an outraged Peel homicide Insp. Norm English said yesterday. "It was a group of cowardly undesirables preying on a lone, vulnerable innocent person. more..

LTTE can't be bought over with money: Rajapaksa's advisor

Sep 30 (HT) The LTTE, who are fighting for an independent Tamil state in Sri Lanka, cannot be bought over with money, says Basil Rajapaksa, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's brother, Political Advisor and MP. "We will only fool ourselves if we underestimate the LTTE. If we say that the LTTE can be bought over with money, then we are fooling ourselves. We are not fools to do such a thing," Basil Rajapaksa told Sunday's edition of The Nation. more..

At least 5 Tamil separatists killed in northern Sri Lanka, military says

Sep 30 (AP) At least five Tamil Tiger separatists were killed in a clash with government troops in northern Sri Lanka, the military said Sunday. The fighting occurred in northern Mannar district Saturday afternoon, an official at the Defense Ministry information center said. No casualties were reported among the soldiers, the official said on condition of anonymity citing policy. more..