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'Absence of review system hurt us'

Dec 7 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka's captain, has lamented the absence of the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in the Test series against India, which he said cost Sri Lanka "over 500 runs". The UDRS - or lack of it - once again figured prominently at the media conference after India beat Sri Lanka by an innings to become the top-ranked Test team, with Sangakkara saying that the three-match contest was the best advertisement for having the review system. more..

Moves underway to field Supreme court Judge Wikneswaran in Prez poll

Dec 7 (TC) Moves are on to make former Supreme court Judge Wikneswaran the common Tamil presidential candidate. But will he agree? TNA Parliamentarian Sivajilingam threatens to contest presidential elections as an "Independent" if there is no Tamil party common candidate. Akhila Ilankai Tamil United Front (AITUF) will support Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne at presidential elections with primary preference vote. more..

Activists urge acceptance of HIV patients

Dec 7 (UCAN) Christian pastors were among the 400 people who gathered at a park to mark World Aids Day recently. The event, organized by NGO Lanka Plus at Vihara Mahadevi Park in central Colombo, attracted around 400 HIV/AIDS patients and well wishers of various faiths. Participants lit candles amid displays of posters, leaflets and exhibition of products made by those infected with HIV. more..

Jogging along London’s canals: Glimpses of dickens

Dec 7 (LG) When I was a child, my father and I had a lot of fun conversing with each other in lyrical “free” verse to bemuse ourselves during walks to the Mullewatte well for bathing or on other occasions when our minds turned to leisurely pursuits. Although my father had never visited England, his “colonial” education at Mahinda College had fostered in his mind a picture of London as the “greatest” city in the world. more..

Poll spending or economic stimulus package?

Dec 7 (LG) Elections are here again and that too during the festive season. Furthermore this is at a time when the conflict is over, an event war-weary Sri Lankans - from all sides of the spectrum -- have been waiting for. In this context, hopefully the elections fever and possible violence won't dampen the spirits (and the one that cheers) of many planning to have fun and be carefree this season. Hotels are reporting good bookings and more..

How much does experience matter?

Dec 7 (LG) This is the time for superlatives. Who is ‘the best,’ ‘the greatest,’ ‘most heroic leader,’ ‘the saviour of the nation,’ ‘the man with foresight and vision,’ and ‘the most experienced man who can lead the nation’? Read the state-controlled newspapers and listen to state TV and radio and you will know who this personage is. The Daily News, we must admit, has a sense of humour. We choked over our morning cup of tea the other day reading more..

Kids Clubs in Trincomalee

Dear mendacious politicians, never rush a constitution

Dec 7 (LG) It is undisputed that the present Constitution, in its thirty-one years existence, so far, has caused a plethora of problems; it has been so morbid that everyone is all out to replace it. However, it is extremely vital that the political leaders concur, without going astray, on a defined process in drafting a new constitution. A caretaker government, a constituent assembly, an interim government of 180 days are some of the methods that we hear about. more..

Mega corruption and an election

Dec 7 (LG) When a Right to Information Law was drafted over the course of several months in 2003 by a team headed by then Attorney General, Mr KC Kamalasabeyson, PC (one of the lamentably few in recent decades who held that post with a measure of commitment to do the best he could in undoubtedly difficult times) and comprising representatives from government ministries as well as media groups, it is no secret that more..

Rehabilitation of Tamils in Sri Lanka

Dec 7 (LG) With the ending of the ethnic war in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan government must be now realizing that winning peace is as difficult as winning a war. In indulging in war, all that one need to do is to destroy the enemies. But, in ushering peace, one need to protect the people and win their loyalty and confidence which require far greater efforts and statesmanship The type of quality of leadership that need to be provided to more..

PTSD Sri Lankan experience

Dec 7 (LG) PTSD or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is a cluster of psychological Symptoms that can follow a psychologically distressing event. The typical symptoms of PTSD occur after recognizable stress or traumatic event that involved intense fear and horror. PTSD denotes an intense prolonged and sometimes delayed reaction to an extremely stressful event. The Columbia University Encyclopedia describes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as more..

New Bhikku Hospital ceremoniously opens by President Rajapaksa at Galaha, Kandy

Dec 7 (IL) A well equipped new bhikku hospital for Maha Sanga was ceremoniously opened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Galaha, close proximity of Kandy city on 6th November. The new hospital which was built in a land donated by the parents of Ven Delthota Dhammajiththi thero at the cost of 50 million rupees. President also planted a tree in the hospital land to mark the occasion, declared open the electricity supply of the hospital and more..

News report compromises integrity of newspaper: Ada Derana tells Sunday Times

Dec 7 (AD) In response to a front page news report in The Sunday Times of today (Dec. 6) branding Ada Derana as “heavily pro-Government”, Ada Derana has written to the publishers, Wijeya Newspapers. stating that such news reporting compromises the integrity of the newspaper which publishes such content. “We believe the observations made in your above article violate all norms and ethics of journalism where fellow media entities are accused of biases based on one’s own personal judgment. more..

Charges, counter-charges galore in Sri Lanka

Dec 7 (Hindu) Though there are 11 days to go for the filing of papers for the Presidential election, charges and counter-charges from the ruling party and the Opposition have become the order of the day. Responding to charges of nepotism and corruption levelled by the retired General Sarath Fonseka at a convention of the main Opposition UNP, the government accused the Opposition of carrying out a vicious campaign against the family members of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Only a federal Tamil State will bring lasting peace to Lanka: MP

Dec 7 (AT) TNA MP M K Sivajilingam has said that only a federal State for the Tamils, comprising the north and east, will bring llasting peace to Sri Lanka. Speaking on the post-war Sri Lanka and the ethnic issue, Mr Sivajilingam said though the Tamil parties had given up their demand for a separate Eelam, only a federal solution will meet the legitimate aspirations of the Tamils. more..

Swine flu threat closes Sabaragamuwa University

Dec 7 (CT) A threat of swine flu has closed University of Sabaragamuwa for two weeks. All lectures have been suspended and students accommodated in university hostels asked to leave, said vice chancellor Prof. M.S. Rupasinghe. He said the decision has been taken in consultation with the university staff and medical authorities. Earlier, all state-run schools in central province had to be closed following the detection of several AH1N1 patients.

'Reveal to the country the agreement reached with Dougles Devananda'

Dec 7 (LT) Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse should immediately explain whether the promise he has made to Mr. Dougles Devananda includes devolution of power that exceeds the 13th amendment, that establishes regional self rule and that accepts Tamil homeland concept as requested by the tiger organization at Thimpu talks emphasizes the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. more..

Sri Lanka score six against Bhutan and qualify for semis

Dec 7 (Goal) Sri Lanka took a giant step towards semi final qualification after thrashing Bhutan 6-0 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka in a Group B match of the 2009 SAFF Cup on Sunday afternoon. The goalless draw between Bangladesh and Pakistan in the evening game, confirmed Lanka's place in the last four. Striker Kasun Jayasuriya scored a hat-trick, Ediri Channa bagged a brace and midfielder Chathura Gunaratne also got on the scoresheet. more..

Banks in Lanka mint money from resettled Tamils

Dec 7 (HT) Internally displaced Tamils have deposited nearly SLR 2 billion in cash and jewellery in banks opened for them in the refugee camps of northern Sri Lanka. That amount translates to more than Rs 810 crore, almost enough to start an infrastructure company. Several mobile bank branches with ATMs are functioning in camps in Vavuniya in north Sri Lanka. Thousands of savings accounts and jewellery lockers have been opened in these branches. more..

U.S. report on Sri Lanka urges new approach

Dec 7 (NYT) A report on Sri Lanka to be released next week by the Senate Foreign Relations committee urges a less confrontational approach to that nation, citing strategic American interests in the region. The report says that while the Sri Lankan government has been widely criticized for its handling of the war against the Tamil Tigers, the government has also achieved a measure of progress in resettling the conflict’s displaced and rebuilding the war-shattered east of the country. more..

Tamil National Alliance in a dilemma

Dec 7 (AT) Nearly three to four Tamil groupings, that came into existence in the political arena on the diktat of the former LTTE Supremo V.Prabhakaran. The Parliament members of this TNA, contested in the last 2004 April parliamentary general elections in the North and East of Sri Lanka under the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchchi ticket. Today, after the demise of Parbhakaran and the complete routing of the LTTE, the chances of TNA breaking up has become more and more imminent. more..

President Rajapaksa pays homage to the Temple of Tooth

Dec 7 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa was in Kandy this morning (6) and paid homage to the most sacred Temple of Tooth Relic in Kandy during his visit to hill country. Last evening (5) the President visited the chief incumbents of Most Venerable Agga Maha Panditha Udugama Sri Buddha Rakkitha Nayaka thero of the Asgiriya Chapter and the most Venerable Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Nayaka thero of the Malwattha Chapter and more..

New Tamil group People’s Liberation Army vows to start a fresh war

Dec 7 (Times) A Marxist group of Tamil militants with connections to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and Cuba is preparing to mount a new insurgency in Sri Lanka six months after the Government declared an end to the 26-year-old war there. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was founded in eastern Sri Lanka four months ago and has vowed to launch attacks against government and military targets unless its demands for a separate Tamil homeland are met. more..

Emergence of a new Tamil militant group was inevitable, a new insurgency is not

Dec 7 (Times) For some months after their May obliteration along the lagoons and shoreline of northeastern Sri Lanka, supporters of the LTTE hoped for a sudden, miraculous regeneration of the organisation. Although the Tamil Tigers’ leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, was slain, LTTE funding lines, weapons smuggling routes and bank accounts remained up and running. There were reports that two key LTTE leaders were still at large. more..

Who is this mysterious purchaser who paid Rs 6 billion? –Mangala

Dec 7 (LeN) Who paid Rs. 6000 million and purchased aland of 300 acres at Batdolawatte, Nittambuwa? Who is the purchaser who came in a helicopter and purchased 92acres in Galbangala and Nakkawatte in Kuliyapitiya? Who is the other purchaser who speaks on behalf of the future of the youths who arrived in a helicopter and bought 42 acres of land at Pansala Raod, Giriulla.? ( Those who were eye witness to this have said this must be on behalf of his future). more..

President Rajapaksa Courts SB

Dec 7 (SLNN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited the residence of S.B. Dissanayake in Hanguranketa Sunday afternoon in what is believed to be a bid to win his support for the upcoming election. Dissanayake, who is currently the national organizer for the United National Party (UNP) and the opposition leader of the Central Provincial Council, had travelled to the region to attend a UNP district organizer’s meeting. more..

Sarath season or Rajapaksa return?

Dec 7 (LG) It is alternately nauseating and hilarious that some who have never looked violent death in the face say or heavily hint that General Sarath Fonseka who has shed blood copiously for the Sri Lankan cause, carries enemy lead in his body, and was the driving force of the main force – the army – of the historic victory against the Tamil tigers, is a traitor. more..

Tea for two in Sri Lanka, the emerald isle with the sunshine coast

Dec 7 (DM) Sleeping in the back of a Sri Lankan taxi is no easy task. Buses roar into view, their smiling drivers beeping blithely. Bicycles ignore cars brushing their backsides, pedestrians saunter across the road and dogs lie in the middle. A bus aptly emblazoned with, 'Jesus save us' passes within a whisker. But the hair-raising driving is not the only reason to stay awake. The ever-changing scenery provides more thrill than fear, more..

Buddhists, Christians clash over attacks on Vihare, Church in Ja-Ela

Dec 7 (TN) Police riot squads were called to prevent clashes between two groups representing Sinhala Buddhists and Sinhala Christians following two separate attacks on a Buddhist Vihare and a Catholic church in Ja-Ela area by unidentified persons. Unidentified group of persons suspected to be Sinhala Buddhist hardliners Sunday morning attacked a Christian church and set fire to several vehicles. more..

KKS harbour to be renovated

Dec 7 (MoD) In line with the rapid development process in the country's sea transportation system, moves are under way to renovate the Kankesanthurai harbour at a cost of Rs 100 million. The renovation process will be carried out by the Navy. The Kakesanthurai harbour had mainly been used for military purposes. As a result of the peaceful situation in the country, the harbour can now be utilised for general activities. more..

In post-independence Sri Lanka, CFA was the greatest betrayal

Dec 7 (MoD) The greatest betrayal of the country during the past 60 years was the UNP signing the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) with the LTTE terrorists equating the terrorists force to the legally constituted Armed Forces when the officers of the Armed Forces were asked to shake hands with terrorists and discuss peace, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said at an interview with the Sri Lanka Rupavahini telecast on Saturday night. more..

We will not ask for anything else from the govt who liberated us say resettled people

Dec 7 (MoD) We who were liberated from terrorism and given all protection and given a new lease of life will not ask for anything else from the Government said the people of Jayapuram area on 04th December 2009 when they met with Hon. Governor, Northern Province. This was stated by the resettled people of the village of Jayapuram in Poonagary, Kilinochchi when the Hon.Governor met them on his visit to look into their welfare and well-being. more..

'Rehabilitation of LTTE child soldiers commendable'

Dec 7 (MoD) The Government's humanitarian programme to rehabilitate LTTE cadres and transform them back to the society has earned bouquets and acclamation of Tamil businessmen and Intellects. The Government has restored freedom to the civilians of the North and East to uplift their livelihoods after crushing terrorism. The Tamil intellects and businessmen said the programme mooted by the Government to rehabilitate LTTE cadres in the immediate aftermath of the war was creditable. more..

Kokavil transmission tower to be commissioned by next year

Dec 7 (LP) The Kokavil transmission Tower will be commissioned by the end of next month. The constructions of the tower being constructed at a cost of Rs 200 million, is progressing well. Kokavil tower is a common telecommunication broadcasting tower and will be shared by telecommunication operators and broadcasters. Work on the foundation of the 172-metre tower has been completed. more..

Sri Lankan fisherman in Indian custody released

Dec 7 (LP) The Indian Government has released 51 fishermen who were held custody by the Indian Government. The fishermen were arrested for illegally entering Indian territorial waters seven months ago. They left the Sri Lankan shores on March 9, 2009. The release was made subsequent to the discussions made between the Fisheries Ministry and the Indian Central Government. more..

Commemoration of SAARC Charter Day tomorrow

Dec 7 (LP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa the current Chair of SAARC extended his warm greetings and best wishes of the Government and people of Sri Lanka to the Governments and people of South Asia on the occasion of the commemoration of the SAARC Charter Day. Twenty-four years ago, Sri Lanka came together to establish SAARC with the conviction that regional cooperation among countries of South Asia is mutually beneficial, desirable and more..

The Dynamics of the “War Heroes’ Battle”

Dec 7 (GV) Undoubtedly, Comrade Wickramabahu will attract a politically mature vote-base around him – particularly those who are disgusted with the Mahinda-regime’s fascistic rule the way it’s been treating the Tamil civilians. This minority consists of convinced opponents of the government, and they’ll be happy to vote for Wickramabahu whose politics appear to be closest to their own mindset. more..

Regret over failure to re-establish Buddha Sasana ministry

Dec 7 (PSM) "We are not opposed to the appointing of ministers for Hindu, Christian and Muslim affairs. However, it is a matter of serious concern that the govt. has failed to re-establish the abolished Buddha Sasana Ministry". This was told by the Mahanayake of the Malwatta Chapter, the Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera. He also expressed concern over the failure to allocate funds to re-establish the Buddha Sasana Ministry, more..

'Strengthening Sri Lankan identity must'

Dec 7 (PSM) Diversity has to be understood as a rich resource because whether it is the Hindus, the Muslims or the Christians, these are the communities that have some kind of links, some overlaps with the world outside. So together, and enjoying equal rights as citizens, the Sinhala Buddhists and the minorities can have the best of both worlds; can strengthen Sri Lankan identity with one functioning almost as a citadel or a castle, and more..

Sri Lanka’s presidential polls – a change in direction?

Dec 7 (LNW) Two main architects of Sri Lanka’s successful military campaign against Tamil Tigers are now confirmed to be fighting against each other to be the country’s next head of state. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the commander in chief of armed forces, is credited with giving political leadership and provided the military with latest arms and equipment to counter LTTE war machine, together with his brother, the powerful defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. more..

Three Sri Lankan ambassadors summoned to the country for campaign work

Dec 7 (LNW) The President has requested the Foreign Ministry to summon Sri Lankan ambassadors to Iran, Myanmar and the Philippines, namely M.M. Zuhair, Newton Gunaratne and Nawalage Bennet Cooray respectively back to the country to participate in the Presidential election campaign. The three ambassadors are to arrive in the island on Monday and the Foreign Minister has ordered Ministry officials to pay them their respective salaries and allowances during their stay in the country. more..

Radiation treatment at Maharagama comes to a stop

Dec 7 (LT) Lives of patients at Maharagama Cancer Hospital have been severely jeopardized due to breaking down of the machine used for radiation therapy. The only radiation therapy machine owned by the hospital has been nonfunctional for the last 12 days and as a result patients who come for daily clinics have to go without treatment. Patients need radiation therapy continuously and any break in the treatment would be life threatening. more..

Six new meet records set up on the final day

Dec 7 (LNP) Six new meet records were established on the final day of the fourth Kegalle District Open Masters Athletic Championship concluded at Kegalle Public ground yesterday. Altogether a total of 13 new records were set up at this meet which was conducted by the Sri Lanka Athletic Association. Kegalle District emerged overall champions while Colombo District finished in second place. Gampaha and Kandy Districts ended in third and fourth places respectively. more..

Fishermen In Galle

VIDEO: Sling mud at us, not Karannagoda – Wimal

Dec 7 (AD) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa today asked the Common Opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka not to sling mud at Former Navy chief Wasantha Karannagoda but to do so to politicians such as him. Wimal added that it is not ethical to defame a person who was instrumental in the defeat of the LTTE. Wimal commenting on the picture of the new political office opening ceremony of the Retired General Sarath Fonseka said that more..

Govt. obstructs JVP - General meeting

Dec 7 (LT) The media unit of the JVP complains that the government has taken measures to obstruct the meeting to be held between people’s representatives of the JVP and common candidate for the presidential election Gen. Sarath Fonseka today afternoon. Arrangements had been made to hold the cordial meeting of JVP Members of the Parliament, Provincial Councils and other local government councils at ‘Savsiripaya’ in Colombo today afternoon. more..

Fonseka ready to launch his election campaign on his birthday!

Dec 7 (LT) General Sarath Fonseka who is nominated to contest in the forthcoming Presidential Election as a common candidate is scheduled to commence his election campaign on 18th December. This will coincide with his Birthday and will be launched at an auspicious moment on the 18th from Kandy, the city with historical significance. According to his election campaign office, General Fonseka will first worship the Tooth Relic at Dalada Maligawa. more..

Military leadership must not be confused with political leadership

Dec 7 (TC) What is there on file on the contender? A long military record, not quite the Kobbekaduwa or Wimalaratna, but a record of 40 years including participation in notable operations. Midnight Express, Balawegaya, Jayasikuru and Riviresa. Then there is the steady graduation to Chief of Staff of the Army and upon the Mahinda Rajapaksa Presidency, promotion to Commander of the Army, rank of General, and finally Chief of Defence Staff. more..

Robert Blake not visiting Colombo to confront but reconcile with Govt

Dec 7 (DBS) Contrary to hostile speculation in Sri Lanka, US Asst secy of state, Robert Blake is not visiting Colombo to confront but reconcile with Govt. Major policy shift in US towards Sri Lanka because of report by Senate Foreign Relations Committee to be released next week in Washington. The US report recommends moving away from current hardline approach towards Sri Lanka because of alleged human rights violations & war crimes. more..

Preachers as hypocrites

Dec 7 (LNP) We unreservedly condemn Saturday`s attack on ITN and Rupavahini crews assigned to cover the UNP convention at Welisara. We do so not because we are great fans of the State media or endorse their spin-doctoring but because we firmly believe that media personnel are not there for thugs to rough up or account for at will, whatever their faults may be. The UNP`s kneejerk reaction has been to deny its involvement in Saturday`s attack. more..