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Mahinda's jubilee party for Anura
In an apparent move to heal a rift, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapakse has taken the initiative for a ceremony to felicitate ex-Speaker Anura Bandaranaike on his completion of 25 years in politics.

Since the last general elections, Mr. Rajapakse and Mr. Bandaranaike have been clashing over various matters - the latest being the move to expel veteran A. H. M. Fowzie.

An official at the Opposition Leader's office said Mr. Rajapakse was organising the felicitation ceremony at the BMICH while President Chandrika Kumaratunga was reportedly organising another ceremony for her brother.

CBK still gunning for Ravi
By Harinda Vidanage
President Chandrika Kumaratunga is to push ahead with her move to remove Minister Ravi Karunanayake from the cabinet for alleged defamation, a spokesman for the President's Office said.

He said the President would be sending another letter to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe stressing her powers to appoint or remove ministers.

The President's media spokesman Harim Pieris said the president believed Mr. Karunanayake's presence in the cabinet was a hindrance and danger to the process of cohabitation.

He said that the president had earlier made her point and the Prime minister had responded but she would take the appropriate decision at the right time.

The President earlier wrote to the Prime Minister, just before he left for the United States, asking for his view on her insistence that Mr. Karunanayake should be removed from the cabinet on her charge that the minister had accused her of bringing a bomb in her handbag to kill the Premier.

The Prime Minister responded saying he saw no reason for Mr. Karunanayake's removal while cabinet spokesman G. L. Peiris has insisted Mr. Karunanayake had made no reference to a killer bomb in the handbag.

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