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Why the removal of Bribery Chief spells disaster for good governance

Mar 9 (SL) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) released a position paper for public awareness and debate on the recent removal by President Rajapakse of the Director General of the Bribery Commission Piyasena Ranasinghe. We reproduce the report: Transparency and good governance are key to the progress of any country. In today’s context, growth and prosperity of a nation are strongly linked to an anti corruption environment. more..

Lanka fumbles to cover its human rights shame as case examples pile up

Mar 9 (SL) While the myth that the war was nearing an end came to be exploded by the government no less last week, with frightening figures of casualties reported, the international community came one step closer to slamming the door on Sri Lanka even as the opposition read the riot act to the Rajapakse regime spelling more disaster in the weeks ahead. more..

CEB's shock treatment solution

Mar 9 (SL) Sri Lanka's power sector is in a crisis. Thirty per cent of the island's people, mostly living in rural areas do not have access to electricity while the demand for power grows at a steady 10%. Debilitated by excessive debt, mismanagement, massive fuel subsidies all of which get passed on to consumers, Sri Lankans also pay one of the highest electricity tariffs in the world. more..

Out with India

Mar 9 (LB) The JVP is now busy defending the interests of Sri Lanka against India. The other day, JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe attended a night function organised by a diplomatic mission. There he met a junior Indian diplomat and engaged him in conversation about the current political situation. The Indian diplomat tried to assure Somawansa that India would never interfere in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs and that she would always remain a friend. more..

Prostitution LTTE ploy; They almost killed the President

Mar 9 (LB) Money, sex and booze are three integral parts of a successful espionage operation. Intelligence Agencies have always bought over informants and obtained crucial intelligence using these ruses. The fact that LTTE cadres were employing prostitutes to associate with security services personnel as a means of collecting information relating to security measures was reiterated by the Government Intelligence Unit some time ago. more..

The record-breaking collector of records

Mar 9 (LB) Young Ranijith Edirisinghe and his half a dozen siblings would eagerly wait till their aunt came home in the afternoon. A music teacher by profession, Ranjith’s aunt would bring the latest gramophone records consisting of music tracks of both Hindi and Sinhala films. Like a ritual — every afternoon — Ranjith and his siblings would sit around the gramophone and listen to music. It was in mid 1950 that Ranjith’s father brought home a ‘Philips’ radio. more..

India uses13th Amendment for political control - Anura Kumara Dissanayaka

Mar 9 (LB) LN:The delay in appointing the Constitutional Council is frustrating. Why is the JVP keeping mum? AKD: Apparently the Government has converted this issue into a burden; obviously the Government is deliberately dragging this issue. They could easily finish it off, but unfortunately they are not doing so. Obviously, they don’t want to appoint this Council soon because they need to appoint their own people to important positions in the state hierarchy. more..

Minimum wage boon for Lankan workers

Mar 9 (TP) The Sri Lankan government is seeking a mechanism to effectively implement the minimum salary structure it recently introduced for overseas Sri Lankan workers, the country's Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Dr Keheliya Rambukwella said here yesterday. The minister is currently in Qatar with a top Sri Lankan delegation. The visit follows the signing of the agreement between Qatar and the south Asian nation earlier this year, seeking to organise the employment of Sri Lankans in Qatar. more..

Sri Lanka to release 47 Tamil Nadu fishermen

Mar 9 (Hindu) Sri Lanka will release 47 of the 59 Tamil Nadu fishermen detained by its Navy after they strayed into its waters on Thursday. Official sources said two of the six boats seized too would be released and the other fishermen would be produced before a magistrate. Fisherfolk of both countries straying into each other’s waters is a common occurrence and has been a constant source of friction. more..

Rizana Case Moves to Supreme Judicial Council

Mar 9 (AN) The Cassation Court in Riyadh has sent the case of a Sri Lankan maid, who was sentenced to death last year for allegedly murdering a four-month-old baby in her care, to the Supreme Judicial Council, the Kingdom’s final appeals court. “Our lawyers have filed further submissions to the Supreme Judicial Council,” said Basil Fernando, executive director of the Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). more..

CPC to boost cooking gas production; start retailing by June

Mar 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-owned petroleum utility will enter the liquid petroleum gas (LPG) market by June using fuel dealerships a top official said, while a plans are underway to boost gas production. Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) now produces about 60 metric tonnes of LPG a day or about 10 percent of the island's requirement, which it sells to private player Laugfs Gas. more..

Sri Lanka media rights body concerned over journalist arrests

Mar 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Free Media Movement (FMM) expressed concern over the arrest of several journalists connected to a news website and called and called on authorities to follow due process. "The right to retain lawyers at police stations while statements are being recorded and their right to inform family and colleagues as to where they are being questioned are basic rules that have to be followed," more..

The Philosophy and Legitimacy of Sri Lanka’s Republican Constitution

Mar 9 (SLW) I am referring to the article on Sri Lanka's Constitution by Mr Nihal Jayawickrema in the "Island" newspaper of March 2nd, 2008. Mr. Nihal Jayawickrema is obviously a learned lawyer which I am not. However the last paragraph of his article leaves much to be desired. He has said the people of the North and East have shown that they wish to have autonomy. I am not sure on what basis he is stating this. more..

A Response to Mr. Rasalingam's Island Article

Mar 9 (SLW) Mr. Rasalingam’s arrogant assumption that age has blessed him with a superior understanding of Sri Lankan politics should make him an appropriate candidate for a Sinhalese knighthood. He ignores the fact that Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan fought the British to release Sinhalese leaders who were incarcerated for allegedly generating the riots of that time. more..

Disappearance of Prof. Mahendrarajah

Mar 9 (SLW) According to witnesses, Shenthilvel Mahendrarajah was abducted by unidentified armed men on 19 December 2007 from the village of Vinayakapuram in eastern Sri Lanka. He may have been the victim of an enforced disappearance. Witnesses reported that six armed men in civilian clothes arrived in Vinayakapuram in a white van with no registration plates. The witnesses stated that the men dragged Shenthilvel Mahendrarajah from his home at around 3am into the van and drove away. more..

The Endless War in Vanni

Mar 9 (SLW) There are several “Truths & Untruths” floating in Sri Lanka (SL) when it comes to the situation of the on-going Eelam War IV in the Vanni. A Wiseman once said, “It is the Truth that is the first victim in a war.” Accusations, counteraccusations, lies and more lies are the rule of the day in SL today. One minister would claim that 30 LTTE were killed, while the military spokesman would claim the death toll to be over 35. more..

Who killed Tamil parliamentarian?

Mar 9 (SLW) The LTTE accused the Sri Lanka Army Deep Penetration Unit (DPU) for the murder of its front Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian K Sivanesan. According to the LTTE news agency Tamilnet: ‘the attack had taken place between Pu'liyangku'lam and Maangku'lam ….The MP's vehicle was targeted when he was returning to his residence in Mallaavi, after attending the parliamentary sessions in Colombo. more..

The 17th Amendment and its Enemies

Mar 9 (LG) It was a portentous declaration. At his recent meeting with the Opposition Leader the President is said to have stated that he will not appoint the Constitutional Council. Given the absence of even a clarification, it is reasonable to assume that this story (reported in last Sunday’s English papers) is correct. The President has sworn an oath to protect and uphold the constitution. more..

LTTE in desperate fight for Adampan

Mar 9 (DW) For the first time in history the LTTE has deployed its Sea Tigers under Mannar Sea Tiger Commander Lakshman to defend a land-based location from the Army. The location is Adampan Town. A large contingent of Sea Tigers have been brought and deployed from Veduthalthivu Sea Tiger base. 581, 582 and 583 Avenues of Approaches under the 58 Divisions laying siege on Adampan today captured a small tank situated south of Adampan (too small to show in a map). 12 more..

'We’re not against India. We are against manoeuvres of a few bureaucrats who instigate India to spread its hegemony in the region'

Mar 9 (LT) A few bankrupt politicians and certain media is carrying out a campaign to develop a view that the JVP was against India. However they oppose only a set of few arrogant and conservative set of bureaucrats who try to instigate India to spread its hegemony in the region says JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe. Mr. Amarasinghe said this addressing a ceremony organized by Socialist Women’s Union of the JVP held at more..

UNP (D), a govt. ally at an election for north

Mar 9 (LD) The UNP Democratic Group has decided to form an alliance with the government and field candidates if the government decides to hold snap elections for the northern province after a military victory. The decision was taken after a meeting held on March 06th. However, UNP (D) leader Karu Jayasuriya said that the President had assured him that general elections will not be held until implementation of a solution, based on the 13th Amendment, to the ethnic crisis. more..

CCD detains & question 5 media-men

Mar 9 (LD) The Colombo Crime Division is reportedly detaining several media personnel for questioning. They include Sivakumar, Spokesman of the Free Media Movement, who is also Chief Editor of 'Advan', published by Ravaya, and 'Sarinihar.' The CCD is also holding J.S. Tissanayagam, Chief Editor of 'Outreach' website and freelancer for 'The Sunday Times' and 'Daily Mirror.' more..

Unlawful appointment to Appeal Court?

Mar 9 (LD) The judiciary is expressing serious concern over the nomination of Upali Abeyratne to fill an impending vacancy in the Court of Appeal, by overlooking three other judges in the High Court who are senior to him. The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) has made the recommendation to the President, according to sources. The judges who have been ignored are D.S.C. Lekamwasam of the Kandy HC, C.M.D. de Sivla of the Avissawella HC and K.C. Mitrasiri of the Commercial HC. more..

Anandasangaree demands LTTE to take full responsibility for the killing of MP Sivanesan and his driver

Mar 9 (AT) In a strongly worded statement V.Anandasangaree, demanded the LTTE led by Velupillai Prabakaran to take complete responsibility for the killing of Kiddinan Sivanesan the TNA member of parliament of the Jaffna district and his driver Maheswararajah, in Vanni on 06 March. While condemning the killing of Sivanesan and his driver Maheswararajah, Anandasangaree has posed pertinent question to the LTTE to response regarding these killings. more..

Jaliya Wickramasuriya, New Sri Lankan Ambassador Designate in Washington D.C.

Mar 9 (AT) Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Sri Lankan Consular General in Los Angeles has been selected as the new Ambassador to United States of America. He is expected to take up the new assignment in Washington D.C. once the formal appointment procedures are finalized. He had a brief but highly successful spell as Consular General in LA where he brought a sense of unity to over 60,000 expatriates who reside there now. more..

Genocidal policies exposed, Sri Lanka stands weakened - Nadesan

Mar 9 (LNP) `Signs of desperation are evident in Sri Lanka s defense hierarchy as the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) divisions stay bogged down within a few square kilometers in Mannaar, unable to advance for nearly a year. While SLA commanders are on foreign jaunts to build hurried military alliances, Colombo has also suffered politically with its racist policies in governance exposed internationally, and has earned opprobrium from international community for the escalating human rights violations,` more..

UNP condemns new Sri Lankan media policy

Mar 9 (LNP) The main opposition UNP yesterday charged the government s proposed national media policy would be an attempt to apply pressure on media personnel to toe the ruling party s line. Commenting on the new media policy announced by Minister Anura Priyadaeshana Yapa, UNP frontliner Lakshman Kiriella said the government should expel fear psychosis prevailing among journalists today and dispel confidence in them. more..

Strategic plan to ease Sri Lanka`s city traffic congestion

Mar 9 (LNP) The Ministry of Transport is formulating a transport policy to reduce the number of vehicles coming to Colombo to minimise traffic congestion, save fuel consumption and reduce air pollution. The proposed strategic plan for traffic management in the city targets to reduce the number of private vehicles from 175,000 to 125,000 by the end of 2010. This will improve traffic speed by 50 percent and the impact of air pollution by half. more..

A shocking crime!

Mar 9 (LNP) It is with shock and dismay that we note the killing of TNA MP K. Sivanesan on Thursday. With his tragic end, the number of the slain members of the present Parliament has risen to six. Sivanesan was travelling through an LTTE-held area when a claymore mine hit his vehicle. The kneejerk reaction of the LTTE was to blame it on the army long rangers. The government lost no time in holding the LTTE responsible for the blast. more..

No problem in doing honest job for Tamil or Sinhala paymaster

Mar 9 (FI) Looking at the qualifications of Mr. Wakeley Paul I see that he is an extremely distingushed and educated person, with such labels like Cambridge, Stanford, London, New Jersey etc. I salute him because my heart warms to see that people can actually reach such distinction. I will address his letter as best as I can, and with the respect he desreves. I for one was brought up in Jaffna, lived in Mannar, Hatton and Colombo. more..

A Colombo “Male” perspective on Women’s International Day

Mar 9 (TC) Come March 8, Women’s International Day, we are bound to witness Women’s Organisations coming out to scream for gender equality and to make other demands. The day glitters for some leaders of those organizations. Diana would dress herself in the best saree with a mod cap her head. Jennifer would stand before the mirror, wear a cap to avoid sun burn and ask her daughter whether ‘Mummy’ looked pretty to lead the march. more..

MR’s election tactics: SLMC cries foul

Mar 9 (SAMN) Nearly 8,000 Police personnel have been deployed for Monday’s local government polls in Batticaloa, even as the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) cried foul, alleging that the government was attempting to buy over votes in order to win the election. Batticaloa Elections DIG H.M.D Nawarathne said 6,000 Police personnel will be on duty while another 2,000 Special Task Force (STF) personnel would be deployed on election duty as an additional precautionary measure. more..

Sri Lanka facing brain drain

Mar 9 (SAMN) Sri Lankan management accountants are seeking job opportunities mainly in Australia, Africa, Middle East, UK and Canada which is triggering a brain drain of this talent in the country. The demand for Sri Lankans is in middle management positions in finance, IT, and engineering in the West and the SAARC region as well said CIMA Sri Lanka Council member and Managing Director Cornucopia Lanka Ltd Dinesh Weerakkody when he addressed the first CIMA HR leaders forum in Colombo this week. more..

Funding for gender equity good in SL: UN

Mar 9 (SAMN) Investment in girls and women in Sri Lanka is reflected on the good level of primary education for women and the relatively low levels of maternity mortality in the country, the UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka Neil Buhne said. He was speaking at an event Friday when the UN-HABITAT Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific announced the awards of a region-wide award process on Gender and Rights-Responsive Sustainable Cities in Asia and the Pacific. more..

MR finds flaws in CMC commission report

Mar 9 (SAMN) Western Province Chief Minister Reginald Cooray has appointed yet another commission to probe allegations against the officials of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) arising from the report submitted by the Chandradasa Nanayakkkara Commission. Cooray had appointed a second commission without making a mandatory ruling on the first report as to whether he was accepting it or not. more..

'Let's take the Irish example'

Mar 9 (SO) While getting ready to invite the UNP for the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) once again, Science and Technology Minister and the APRC Chief Prof. Tissa Vitharana said that the pledge by the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe would take the country's politics into a new dimension. Sitting on one of the 'hottest' seats in the recent past and being under constant pressure to come up with a solution to the burning ethnic crisis, Prof. Vitharana, more..

107 and still counting

Mar 9 (SO) A commotion! An old man with silver hair, clad in a clean white national suit was shouting, someone should open the gate. He was trying to storm into the house when I got down from the three wheeler after an assignment. A big cloth bag and some shopping bags were on the ground. The neighbours were trying to comfort him until 'Mahaththaya' came. But the old man who was stubborn and restless wanted to get in. more..

Govt breaks private sector monopoly

Mar 9 (SO) The private sector monopoly and cartel of the essential commodity market which is the main reason for higher prices of essential items has been successfully broken by the government. This will bring down the essential food item prices in the coming weeks said Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena. The establishment of the State Trading Wholesale Company Ltd, 'Lak Sathosa' and Co-op City super shops, the islandwide government Marketing network were able to break the private sector monopoly and cartel of essential commodity market, he said. more..

Sri Lanka's oldest scout leader dies

Mar 9 (SO) The oldest scout leader of the Sri Lanka Scout Association, George R. de S. Samarasinghe died at the age of 101 on March 4 after brief illness and cremated yesterday at Galkissa cemetery. He was an Assistant Scout Commissioner for the Colombo District and a honorary life member of the Sri Lanka Queens and President Scout Guild. In 1918, when he was attending S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia, at the age of 12 years joined the 15th Colombo Open Scout Group, more..

Moves to oust Attanayake

Mar 9 (NS) Trouble is brewing within the main opposition United National Party (UNP) following attempts by several individuals to oust UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake. According to informed party sources, Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has been rendered helpless in the face of mounting pressure from the group headed by former UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema and a few others, including SLFP (M) Leader Mangala Samaraweera. more..

A gamble MR can’t afford to lose

Mar 9 (NS) Tomorrow will see local government elections in Batticaloa, in what has become a controversial move by the government to re-assert its authority in the Eastern Province. The Mahinda Rajapaksa regime claims it is a watershed in the struggle against separatism and terrorism-and its detractors say it is a sham poll designed to hoodwink both the people of the Eastern Province and the international community. more..

A tale of two wars

Mar 9 (NS) Sri Lankan politics has been in turmoil for some time now, especially, after Mahinda Rajapaksa ascended the highest pedestal of his political career, the Presidency. This is because the Rajapaksa regime decided to pursue a military strategy instead of a political solution to deal with the LTTE. Earlier too, personalities who ascended the Presidency, tried the military option, but, later, realised that the country’s economy couldn’t sustain such an option, because more..

‘Sick’ principals to be transferred

Mar 9 (NS) Several principals in the North Western Province are to be transferred as punishment for participating in the teachers’ sick leave strike on March 4, in protest against the government’s failure to settle their salary anomalies. “North Western Province Chief Minister Athula Wijesinghe has ordered the provincial education director to transfer the principals of the schools where the strike was 100% successful,” more..

Cop teams up with Tiger to collect police reward

Mar 9 (Island) The shocking revelation that a police officer and an LTTE intelligence wing operative, now in custody, had received cash rewards for thwarting an LTTE claymore mine attack which they themselves had planned last year has stunned the defence establishment. Police headquarters had recommended cash rewards for them for their role in the detection of an eight kg claymore mine set to go off at Sir Baron Jayatilleke Mawatha on June 8, last year. more..

Lankan missions abroad being packed with political stooges

Mar 9 (Island) Sri Lanka’s overseas missions are being deluged with non-career personnel as the government, regardless of public opinion, is going full steam ahead appointing favoured public servants to missions abroad. Beside two SLAS officers presently based in Sydney (Consul H.G.U Pushpakumara) and Rome (Minister W. A. Wijeratne), the government plans to make a series of appointments lower down. more..

Free legal assistance on citizens' issues

Mar 9 (Island) 'Law Week', conducted from March 10 to March 16, will feature the provision of "free-on-the-spot legal advice from lawyers to the public" throughout the island through branches of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, its President Nihal Jayamanne (PC) told 'The Sunday Island.' Conducted for the second consecutive year, the theme of the upcoming 'Law Week' would be "Legal Awakening for Social Justice". more..

Micro Cars spread wings to Caribbean

Mar 9 (Island) Micro Cars Ltd., the first-ever Sri Lankan manufacturer of automobiles, unveiled plans to launch a production plant in Guyana in the Caribbean to target the Latin American motor car market. The agreement was signed at the Export Development Board (EDB) under the patronage of Prof. G. L. Peiris, Minister of Export Development and International Trade recently. more..

HR crisis: Lanka facing last rites

Mar 9 (ST) For the first time since the January abrogation of the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement, international attention focused sharply on Sri Lanka this week. The buzz was in Geneva where the seventh session of the United Nations Human Rights Council is under way. Government's troubleshooter on human rights issues and aspirant to the post of Foreign Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe, telephoned President Mahinda Rajapaksa this week. more..

Troops make progress in north, but major battles ahead

Mar 9 (ST) State intelligence agencies have been paying close attention in the past two days to the goings-on in Mallavi, located in the Mullaitivu district west of the A-9 (Kandy-Jaffna) highway. This small township was once the centre of power for the LTTE. This was when Kilinochchi was under security forces control. This new focus is after Thursday's killing of Jaffna district TNA parliamentarian K. Sivanesan. more..

Govt’s revenue collecting body has no head

Mar 9 (ST) The controversial Inland Revenue Commissoner A.A. Wijepala retired on Thursday, leaving the Inland Revenue Department headless and bringing work to a standstill. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Non-Cabinet Finance Minister Ranjit Siyambalapitiya, at a meeting with IRD unions, assured that Mr. Wijepala would not be given an extension and the next most senior officer would be considered for the post. more..