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Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mahsen Aminzadeh yesterday. The two countries discussed ways of increasing bilateral trade and cultural exchanges. 
Picture by Sanjeewa Kellapotha

Minister allays fears of traditional religions' followers :

Conciliatory Council for religious harmony

The Government plans to appoint a Conciliatory Council for ensuring religious harmony and foster closer ties among followers of various religions. Buddha Sasana, Public Security, Law and Order Minister and Deputy Minister of Defence Ratnasiri Wickremanayake says that the Conciliatory Council will settle any issue that may come up among the followers of various traditional religions.
Full story

Anura stops officials' joyride to Singapore

Tourism, Industry and Investment Promotion Minister Anura Bandaranaike at the London Heathrow Airport, on his way to Colombo yesterday, was informed of a proposed trip to Singapore by 10 Tourist Board officials who were to go to Singapore on a "familiarisation" tour.
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SU faction urges JHU to support Govt

by Chamikara Weerasinghe

A breakaway faction of the Sihala Urumaya (SU) yesterday banded themselves as a pressure group to urge the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) to join hands with the Government. Former SU organiser for Colombo district, Kithsiri Wickremesinghe yesterday announced the launch of this alternative body to the JHU in Colombo.
Full story

No oil price hike, says Minister

by Manjula Fernando

Minister of Power and Energy Susil Premajayantha said the Government had no intention of increasing oil prices in keeping with world market rates since it would cause greater damage to the economy than the cost for retaining petroleum subsidy.
Full story

Army very successful in efforts to protect ceasefire - Lt. Gen. Lionel Balagalle

by Ranil Wijayapala

The Sri Lanka Army was 99.9 per cent successful in their efforts to protect the ceasefire between the Government and the LTTE, the outgoing Army Chief and the Chief of Defence Staff Lieutenant General Lionel Balagalle said yesterday.
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