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Nominations called for Southern PC poll

Aug 10 (GDI) Nominations are invited from political parties for the forthcoming Southern Provincial Council election beginning August 21 and will end at noon on August 28,Elections Commissioner, Dayananda Dissanayake said in a news release. The Independent Group leaders have been advised to submit their respective nomination lists by noon August 27. Each independent candidate will have to deposit Rs.2000/-,the release stated. more..

Will Bishop Rayappu Joseph confess his terrorist sins publicly?

Aug 10 (SLW) According to a feature appearing in the Sunday Times today by Franklin Satyapalan, the Bishop of Mannar, the Rt Rev Dr Rayappu Joseph wants the annual Madhu Feast to be a symbol of absolute spiritual orientation for all the pilgrims. He goes further: "They must have the spiritual attitude to pray for peace in the country and resettlement of the 300,000 or more displaced people living in the vicinity of the church". more..

Dancing Queen joins Douglas Devananda

Aug 10 (LG) The infamous Ankayatkanni Selvarajah k/a Dancing Queen have joined the Minister Douglas Devandand’s EPDP recently. Resident of London, backed by controversial political history, Ankayatkanni is said to be one of the street campaigners propping up the LTTE in London until recently. Closely connected to the LTTE’s former international Finance Head Emden Seevaratnam who manages the resourceful Muththumari Amman temple in Tooting in London, more..

Sri Lanka pick Udawatte for lone Twenty20 international

Aug 10 (CI) Sri Lanka have included left-hand batsman Mahela Udawatte in their 15-man squad for the lone Twenty20 international against Pakistan, to be played at the R Premadasa Stadium on Wednesday. Udawatte, 23, had impressed in the tour match between Sri Lanka A and the Pakistanis in Kurunegala ahead of the five-match ODI series. He top-scored with 161 and helped the hosts win by 15 runs. more..

'LTTE network shattered forever'

Aug 10 (MoD) "The arrest of LTTE mastermind Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP has thwarted completely the possibilities of LTTE raising its ugly head again" Defence Secretary Mr. Rajapaksa was quoted as saying during an interview with the Sunday Observer commenting on the arrest of the LTTE arms dealer. According to Secretary Defence, the arrest was a result of hard work done for nearly two months with the help of several countries. more..

Rear Admiral Martin Alabaster calls on the Commander of the Navy

Aug 10 (MoD) Commandant, Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth in 2007 Rear Admiral Martin Alabaster called on the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe at the Naval Head Quarters yesterday. Rear Admiral Martin Alabaster is on a private holiday in Sri Lanka with his family. He is now the Flag Officer Scotland, Northern England and Wales & Northern Ireland- Flag Officer Reserves. more..

Over 250,000 Sri Lankans engaged in foreign employment

Aug 10 (LP) Over 250,000 individuals leave the country in search of foreign employment annually said Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. Adressing the media at the launch of the web site, of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) he said that there are over 1.6 million Sri Lankan migrant workers employed in 24 countries. more..

Navy to delist deserters

Aug 10 (LP) The Sri Lanka Navy has obtained approval of the Defence Ministry to de-list Navy deserters without subjecting them to punishment from Navy tribunal. Accordingly, all Navy deserters who left service on or before May 31, 2009 will be de-listed without punishment. They are requested to report at the nearest Navy Camp with their National and Navy Identity Cards between August 10, 2009 and September 10, 2009 for de-listment.

Gotabhaya throws carrot stick at Fonseka

Aug 10 (LNW) A well known monk on the basis of anonymity told Lanka News Web that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse, who is planning on contesting the next election from the Kurunegala District and becoming the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister, had promised several monks that the post of Defence Secretary that would fall vacant then would be given to General Sarath Fonseka. more..

Man ahead of his times

Aug 10 (DN) He was a man of silence by nature. It was his practice to close his eyes and caress his forehead with his fingers as he intensely listened to the MPs doing their rounds at the House. But at the right time, and the most opportune moment he would stand like colossus and speak in a raised voice either to reply an MP or to stretch a point. He was a disciplined man. He knew the Parliamentary codes of conduct like the palm of his hand. more..

Smuggled elephant calf found

Aug 10 (CT) A team from the Department of Wildlife Conservation has found an elephant calf that had been smuggled from Udawalawa National Park at a house in Balangoda. Three residents of Ellepola, Opanayake and Habarana have been arrested in the raid. Investigations indicate that several others are connected to the racket, which has being continuing for some time. The suspects, who were produced before the Balangoda magistrate, were sent to remand custody until August 20th. more..

Salusala to be restored to the earlier glory

Aug 10 (AT) If things happened according to what media (Paththarawala) said we would neither won the war nor defeated terrorism, Said Basil Rajapakse, MP and Senior Presidential Advisor while opening old Salusala with a new name “Lak Sasusala” at Jawatte, Colombo. He said that Salusala has a very good track record in the past where even it had given a large amount of money to salvage Air Lanka and more..

Human - elephant conflict in focus

Aug 10 (DN) After the Perehara had taken to the streets of Kandy and elephants are in the news, award winning director Somaratne Dissanayake’s movie Bindu which focuses on the timely aspect of the human - elephant conflict is waiting at the helm of EAP circuit to be released. This explicit creation of the filmmaker who had won accolades for each one of his creations was shot in the wilderness areas of Sigiriya, the real dwelling places of wild elephants, for two months. more..

Alternative energy sources to promote frugality

Aug 10 (DN) The Science and Technology Ministry will introduce alternative sources of energy that can be produced locally to cut down fuel imports, said the Science and Technology Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana. Sri Lanka spends 40 percent of foreign exchange earnings on fuel imports, the Minister said at a seminar organized by the National Science Foundation, recently. The Government approved a Cabinet memorandum submitted by his Ministry and more..

Childhood for sale

Aug 10 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently showed his concern about certain local TV advertisements and their adverse impact on children. “Parents have complained to me that their young children were affected by advertisements telecast over certain channels and have requested me to take necessary action,” he said. The President promised early action. The parents’ concern is justified. Today, our children have become the new darlings of the big-time consumer corporate bosses. more..

KP may shed light on LTTE ships in S. China seas

Aug 10 (Island) Last week's arrest of Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP would give the Sri Lankan government an opportunity to verify the acquisition of four merchant vessels by the LTTE after the navy blew up eight of its ships carrying armaments on the high seas in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Authoritative sources said though the navy had obtained details of the four legitimately registered ships some time ago, more..

Sri Lanka Fishing

A boringly predictable outcome

Aug 10 (Island) Conducting postmortems on election results in the southern parts of the country has, of late, become a rather boring exercise for want of an element of surprise. The outcome of Saturday's Uva PC polls was highly predictable. The government's electoral performance is at its zenith; it has obtained a majority of over two thirds in the Uva PC both in term of votes (72.39 per cent) and seats (25 out of 34 including two bonus seats). more..

SPC polls: Anarkali on UPFA ticket

Aug 10 (Island) Actress Anarkali Akarsha on Saturday said that she would contest the forthcoming Southern Provincial Council elections on the UPFA ticket. Akarsha, who had been involved in a damaging row with Western Provincial Councillor Duminda Silva recently, told a live musical programme on TNL that she preferred the UPFA though she had received invitations from several political parties. more..

Shasheendra tops Moneragala preferential votes list

Aug 10 (Island) UPFA chief ministerial candidate Shasheendra Rajapakse, who contested the Moneragala district topped the Uva Province preferential vote list with 1,36,697 preferentila votes (85 per cent) He was followed by R. M. Kumarasiri Ratnayake (44,623), Vijitha Berugoda (35,079), Wimal Galagama Arachchi (29,777), Chandaan Weliwita (26,856), Saliya Sumeda (26,079), Senarath Attanayake (23,930), Udaya Kumara (23,718) and Dayaratne Bandara (22,366). more..

UNP to work out new strategies

Aug 10 (DM) In the aftermath of the defeat at the Uva Provincial Council election, the main opposition UNP yesterday stressed the need to work out new political strategies and plans to face future elections successfully. UNP general secretary Tissa Attanayake told a news conference the government used and abused all possible state resources to win this election at any cost. “It is common knowledge that local elections are normally won by the party which is in office at the Centre. more..

Sangakkara plays down Younis spat

Aug 10 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka's captain, has played down his theatrical act during the Pakistan innings saying that the umpires were the most competent judges to decide what takes place on the field. Sangakkara was involved in a heated argument with Younis Khan after the Pakistan captain was ruled not out on 70 by umpire Gamini Silva when replays showed he had nicked Dammika Prasad. more..

The Jaffna blunder

Aug 10 (DM) Right now the total number of voters in the Jaffna municipality is not more than 60,000. That’s why it was reported that only 56,543 ballot cards were delivered this time despite 94,807 being issued. However, notwithstanding this fact the Elections Department continues to display a streak of stubbornness and sticks to the pre-war figure of 100,417 while almost 40 per cent of these voters have either settled down abroad or left Jaffna for Colombo or elsewhere in the country. more..

Sri Lanka breaks down on day of shame

Aug 10 (DM) Sri Lankan umpire Gamini Silva became the laughing stock of world cricket and brought justice to the lowest depths imaginable as he mucked up the final one-day international between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the Premadasa stadium yesterday. Officiating the first ball of the match, Silva could call himself no umpire as he raised his finger to rule Pakistani batsman Kamran Akmal out leg-before after the ball had taken the inside edge of the bat and more..

'People accepted UPFA policies'

Aug 10 (GDI) Minister Maithreepala Sirisena claimed it has become extremely clear by the results of Uva Provincial Council and Northern local government elections that the people have aligned themselves to a common political front. The masses have accepted the political commitment of the government,he noted. The Minister said that the voters through their verdict have also expressed their gratitude for the public service performed by the government more..

Sri Lanka coast guard sets up bases

Aug 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka's new coast guard has begun setting up bases and will get vessels from the navy for initial patrol work to protect ocean resources and for maritime security, its director-general Daya Dharmapriya said. Sri Lanka's parliament last month passed a bill approving the creation of the coast guard to protect the island's waters. Dharmapriya said the coast guard's first two bases would be in Colombo and Mirissa, more..

Sri Lanka collects US$739.35mn US dollars since float

Aug 10 (LBO) Central bank has collected 289.10 million US dollars from forex markets in July, bringing the total to 739.35 million US dollars since the float of the currency in March, the latest official data shows. Sri Lanka ran into a balance of payments crisis in September 2009, when foreign investors fled the country amid international turmoil. The central bank's monetary policy which had been tight up to then and more..

'Sri Lankan banks profitability low, bad loans rising'

Aug 10 (LBO) Sri Lankan commercial banks which seem to enjoy wide interest margins on the surface have low profitability, amid high taxation and rising bad loans, a senior banker has warned. "Capital providers would probably not think of banks as a prime sector to invest in this market" Nihal Fonseka, chief executive of DFCC Bank said at a monthly seminar at the Central Bank's centre for banking studies. more..

Rate policy to remain cautious in '09

Aug 10 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's plans to maintain its monetary policy of cautiously easing interest rates throughout 2009, and sees no reason to adjust the present rupee exchange rate, the central bank governor said on Monday. Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal also said he wants to bring the Indian Ocean island's foreign exchange reserves up to $6 billion in the next 20 months. more..

In Sri Lankan polls, Tamils affirm desire for self-rule

Aug 10 (CSM) A pro-rebel political party won a key council in Sri Lanka's elections this weekend – an indication, should it be needed, that Tamils are still eager for self rule. The polls, held Saturday, were the first in the island's north in 11 years. The LTTE, who had fought for an independent homeland for the island's Tamil minority since 1983, ran most of northern Sri Lanka as a de facto state until May, when the government recaptured it and ended the war. more..

Sri Lanka gets more US funds for refugees

Aug 10 (LBO) The United States said it had donated another 15 million dollars of food to help resettle people displaced by Sri Lanka's ethnic war whose early return to their homes Washington is pressing for. The US embassy said in a statement the aid through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), its second shipment this year, consists of wheat, lentils and vegetable oil. more..

Winning belief helped us win series - Sangakkara

Aug 10 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka's captain, has credited the team's belief in itself as key to breaking a long run of home ODI series defeats. Sri Lanka had lost their last three bilateral ODI series played at home to India (twice) and England but in the five-match contest against Pakistan, turned it around to record a 3-2 win. Significantly, it was their first home series wins against Pakistan in both forms of the game. more..

Douglas feels defeated in polls

Aug 10 (DM) EPDP Leader Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda said yesterday though he could get nine of his members elected to the Jaffna Municipal Council, he was not happy with the election results. The EPDP fielded 20 candidates under the UPFA’s betel symbol for the election, and nine of them have been returned. There were four other Muslims, three from the All Ceylon Muslim Congress and one from the SLFP were elected to the Municipal Council on the UPFA ticket. more..

Unlock the camps in Sri Lanka - AI

Aug 10 (AI) Hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the recent war in North East Sri Lanka and living in camps are being denied basic human rights including freedom of movement, said Amnesty International on Monday. The organization's Secretary General, Irene Khan, launched the Unlock the Camps campaign at the start the organization's International Council Meeting, a gathering of international delegates in Turkey. more..

Polls results: Victory of policies to stabilize democracy - President

Aug 10 (MoD) "The ability to hold elections no sooner terrorism was defeated and thus providing the opportunity for democratic expression to the people of Vavuniya and Jaffna, is also seen as a victory of our policies to stabilize democracy", said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He made this comment in a communique‚ issued on the outstanding victory achieved by the UPFA in the elections held to the Uva Provincial Council and the Jaffna Municipal Council. more..

Sri Lanka under pressure to clarify circumstances of Tamil Tiger leader capture

Aug 11 (Telegraph) Pathmanathan, formerly the LTTE's chief fundraiser and arms supplier, was reported to have been seized from a hotel in Kuala Lumpur by a Sri Lankan intelligence team acting with support from Malaysian officials. His capture has dealt a serious blow to the LTTE's hopes of regrouping as a political force. Diplomats in Colombo said Pathmanathan had not faced an extradition hearing while more..

Luxury bus service to Jaffna

Aug 11 (GDI) A luxury bus service from Colombo to Jaffna will be launched soon. Five buses will be allocated under the first phase of this service, the Ministry of Transport said. There are plans to operate more luxury bus services from Jaffna to Kandy, Batticaloa, Trincomalee and Vavuniya. Meanwhile, the regular bus service between Jaffna and Colombo function under two stages with Medawachchiya as the transit point. more..

Union concerned about situation of displaced teachers and pupils

Aug 11 (EI) The Ceylon Tamil Teachers’ Union (CTTU) submitted a report to the Sri Lankan minister of education, Hon Susil Prema Jeyanth, expressing its concerns about teachers and pupils currently living in refugee camps in the Vanni region, located in the northern part of the country. 90761 pupils and 2934 teachers are reported to be displaced from their homes as a result of the 25-year civil war that has ravaged the country until recently this year. more..

'Speed up rehabilitation of Sri Lankan Tamils'

Aug 11 (IANS) The rehabilitation of Tamils displaced by fighting in Sri Lanka should be speeded up, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said Monday. Speaking to reporters, he said: 'The rehabilitation process has started and it should be speeded up. We will inform the central government if we have any doubts on the rehabilitation process.' more..

ICC clears Pakistan players of bookie contact

Aug 11 (Reuters) The International Cricket Council (ICC) has cleared Pakistan players of coming in contact with bookmakers on their recent tour of Sri Lanka. The ICC said in a statement Monday it was satisfied "no evidence of any such contacts exists" after its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit held an investigation following media reports that the visitors had been approached. more..

Malaysia refuses to confirm Tiger leader's capture

Aug 11 (AFP) Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak on Monday refused to confirm whether a captured Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger rebel leader was detained on Malaysian soil. The defeated rebels have demanded answers from Malaysia on what they describe as the "abduction" last week of their new leader, Selvarasa Pathmanathan. Officials in Colombo have declined to say how Pathmanathan was detained, but more..

Treasure hunters 'vandalise' Mihintale

Aug 11 (BBC) Archaeological officials in Sri Lanka say that treasure hunters have destroyed a historical Buddhist site in Mihintale, Anuradhapura. According to a complaint lodged at the police by archaeological officer in charge of Mihintale ancient Buddhist site, Champa Kumari Tennakoon, the treasure hunters had destroyed some valuable carvings. Two security personnel at the site have informed the officials after rock carvings surrounding the flattened more..

Defeat of the LTTE and the future of Tamil Militancy

Aug 11 (LG) The death of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the charismatic founder-leader of the LTTE, along with almost the entire first and second line leadership in the last lap of the Eelam War IV in May 2009 represents a milestone in the history of Tamil militancy in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s war against Tamil extremism in all its forms had been going on for the last three decades. 1 Out of the 38 insurgent groups that came into being in this period barring the JVP, more..

Bogollagama spends over Rs. 400,000 for two meals in London

Aug 11 (IANS) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama is well known for extravagance rather than his prowess in handling diplomatic activities. Following the example of his leader, Bogollagama is also of the habit of taking along with him members of his family as well as friends and relatives on official foreign tours. When it comes to flying overseas with a large contingent, Bogollagama comes a close second only to the President. more..

Analysis of how Jaffna voted

Aug 11 (GV) It appears to me that the TNA and TULF might have got more of the Tamil votes than EPDP in Jaffna. Out of 13 seats for the UPFA, 4 have gone to Muslims candidates. 9 are from EPDP. A Northern Displaced Muslim friend of mine says that 3000 votes were cast by the displaced Muslims living in Puttalam (If anyone has a better/accurate number i am willing to correct myself on this). Moulavi Sufiyan of Independent Group 1 himself polled around 1100 votes. more..

Implications of the Northern election verdict

Aug 11 (LG) The just completed local government elections in Jaffna and Vavuniya were the first in a long while to take place in those northern towns. The last occasion on which municipal elections were held in Jaffna was in 1999, while in Vavuniya it was even further back in 1994. At that time the LTTE was active and the elections were conducted in an environment fraught with tension and potential for violence. more..

The way ahead

Aug 11 (LG) We all know about our glorious past of the three sangams, our great language and literature which stand as second to none as the most ancient but still modern except the Chinese. But four and a half centuries of European colonialism and 60 years of genocidal Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinist colonialism have pushed the Eelam Tamils to the bottom of civilization into concentration camps. more..

Rev. S.Jayanesan arrested!

Aug 11 (LG) A notorious priest – The Rasputin of Sri Lanka a fugitive who was given shelter by one of the Tamil Cabinet Ministers of Jaffna origin was finally arrested for having alleged LTTE links. Jayanesan is a romantic priest with a track record of syphoning millions by way of NGO’s and INGO’s. These were possible with the assistance of a Cabinet Minister who was in charge of the NGO Secretariat until recently when his powers were stripped and more..

Implications of the Northern election verdict

Aug 11 (NPC) The just completed local government elections in Jaffna and Vavuniya were the first in a long while to take place in those northern towns. The last occasion on which municipal elections were held in Jaffna was in 1999, while in Vavuniya it was even further back in 1994. At that time the LTTE was active and the elections were conducted in an environment fraught with tension and potential for violence. more..

Vas innocent, then are we babies? - SLIIT students clamour.

Aug 11 (LT) Students of Sri Lanka Institution of Information Technology clamoured yesterday against kidnapping and brutally assaulting to a student of SLIIT Nipuna Ramanayake. There they protest against forcing him to make a statement by SSP Vas Gunawardana that he is a member of under world. Students showed placards stating, "Now Nipuna thug, Vas innocent, then are we babies", more..