Budget in November
Finance Minister K.N. Choksy will present the Appropriation Bill to Parliament on October 8.

The second reading of the second budget of the UNF government will be on November 6.

Seven days will be allowed from November 6 for the debate on the second reading of the Budget. the number of days allotted for the committee stage has been reduced to 13 from the usual 19 days allowed on the last occasion, the Ministry said.

The committee stage will be from November 18 to December 2.

The date for the third reading has been fixed for December 3.

No clue yet to engineer's killing
A breakthrough has still to be made into the killing of the 54-year old engineer who was here on holiday.

According to Dehiwela Police, although the assailants had fled leaving a knife, they are yet to make any headway in the investigations.

"We found the knife at the scene of the crime and a sheath was found a few yards away", an officer said.

According to a female neighbour, Muthulingam had come to Colombo on September 3 and travelled to Jaffna the same night. He had returned to Colombo on September 9 and was staying with his sister at Dehiwela.

At around 10.30 p.m. on September 10, two boys had walked up to the gate of the house and called out 'Muthu, Muthu', and he had invited them inside. "His wife and mother were in the same room when they came in. After a few seconds they had stabbed him", she said.

She also said that they had stabbed him about five to six times and he had died immediately.

His sister had tried to close the door, in order to prevent the assailants from fleeing. They had however pushed her to the ground and fled, leaving the knife at the scene, she said.

She said that according to Muthulingam's wife, her husband had been involved in managing a Hindu temple in Perth, Australia and there had been a financial dispute with the previous management.

"Mrs. Muthulingam feels that there was a grudge over the management of the temple", the neighbour further said.

Railway loses on concessionary travel
Public servants travelling on season tickets pay less than three cents a kilometre for train travel, said the General Manager of Railways.

GMR Priyal de Silva told The Sunday Times that of 125,000 commuters travelling to and from the Fort Railway Station each day, 30 per cent are public servants using season tickets and paying between 2 1/2 to 3 cents per kilometre.

Public servants pay one tenth the normal fare, calculated as eleven trips for the three-month period for which a season ticket is valid.

Private sector employees using season tickets comprise a further 40 per cent spending 8 cents a kilometre, one third the normal fare. Meanwhile the Railway Department is running at a loss, with no fare hikes having been made after 1996, the GMR said.

Sinhala Buddhist groups oppose Anandarajah
The National Movement Against Terrorism, Sihala Urumaya and the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress have petitioned the Constitutional Council saying the appointment of T. E. Anandarajah as Inspector General of Police might pose a threat to national security.

The NMAT said that Mr. Anandarajah had been SSP in Jaffna when police stations were abandoned under attack from the LTTE.

It also alleged he was appointed DIG at the request of the then North-East Chief Minister Varatharaja Perumal who later made a unilateral declaration of independence while Mr. Anandarajah was stationed there.

The NMAT said that Mr. Anandarajah had been named as the IGP despite Senior DIG, H.M.G.B. Kotakadeniya being senior to him.

The organizations have called the Constitutional Council to name the most suitable person to the post after considering the representations made by them.

PA divided on talks
By Harinda Vidanage
The main opposition People's Alliance appears to be divided on its approach to the peace talks.

PA spokesman Sarath Amunugama sounding a moderate note said his party wished the government well on a process that was initiated by the PA.

Dr. Amunugama said the two parties needed to go beyond logistics to substantive and core issues aimed at working out a political solution.

But SLFP propaganda chief Mangala Samaraweera took a hardline saying the PA would not consider the talks in Thailand as official because a representative of the President had not been included.

Peace talks live on Rupavahini
State Television Rupavahini will give live coverage of the government-LTTE talks starting in Thailand tomorrow from 11.30 a.m.

A Rupavahini official said that though the talks as such would be behind closed doors state television would give live updates from Sattahip tomorrow, on Tuesday and Wednesday. The media briefing at 3.00 p.m. on Wednesday would also be given live.

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