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Poor women, political power, Common Candidate and the next tragedy

Dec 7 (TC) Ranil W told the UNP at their special conference that this coming presidential election, “is a referendum for the people to decide whether they want to maintain this ‘Royal family’(meaning the Rajapaksa family) or chase them way.” He had, according to S/Times (06 Dec) told the conference, “You have to decide whether your family is more important or the ‘Royal family’ is more important.” more..

President in conversation with LMD

Dec 7 (DN) Q: Sir, you will undoubtedly be remembered as the President who freed the nation from terrorism. In that light, what does this award mean to you personally and in terms of a massive joint effort by all those who supported you in this difficult task, who (if any in particular) would you dedicate this honour to? A: When a reputed business magazine recognises the performance of an individual and more..

Councillor pushes for private universities

Dec 7 (Island) Central Provincial Council Member S. B. Ratnayake stresses the need for setting up private universities to meet the growing demand for higher education. The councillor, from the Nuwara Eliya district, expressed these views speaking at the council’s budget debate. He also urged that the Provincial Councils to explore the possibility of opening more universities. Ratnayake said the establishment of private universities had become an urgent need since more..

Sri Lanka seeks fresh maritime insurance risk evaluation

Dec 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka is sending a team of shipping and navy officials for talks with London underwriters to get the island off the war risk insurance rating list, shipping officials said. The team would seek a fresh risk evaluation following the end of the ethnic war and removal of the island as a listed area for war risk insurance. "We will be meeting the war risk insurance people to explain the current situation and to find a formula to get Sri Lanka out of the listed area," more..

'Developing country, President’s objective'

Dec 7 (DN) It is the objective of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to develop the country after obtaining a clear mandate from all the people including those in the North and East, said Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP. He made this comment at the inaugural meeting of the Vanni Presidential Election campaign held at the Vavuniya Cultural Centre on Saturday. more..

Outer circular highway construction begins in December

Dec 7 (DN) The construction of the Outer Circular Highway under the Greater Colombo Urban Transport Development Project at a cost of Rs 97 billion will commence at Kothalawala, Kaduwela today. Highways and Road Development Minister T.B. Ekanayake told the Daily News tthat the OCH will begin from the Southern Expressway at Kottawa across the five Divisional Secretariat areas of Maharagama, Kaduwela, Biyagama, Mahara and Wattala to Kerawalapitiya. more..

CSE Clearing Corporation: To minimize settlement risks

Dec 7 (DN) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) will set up a Clearing Corporation under the regulatory purview of the SEC to minimize the CSE settlement risks. The financial strength of the Clearing Corporation matters most and this will ensure that foreign and local major investors reduce the settlement risk of their transactions in the capital market. Therefore, having a Clearing Corporation would drastically reduce the settlement risks in the stock market transactions, more..

Over 100 AL qualified ex-Tigers to enter ‘uni’

Dec 7 (Island) The government will accommodate over 100 detained LTTE cadres, who obtained Advanced Level qualifications during the recently concluded war, at the University of Jaffna. Some of them may enter other universities as well. Contrary to fears expressed in some quarters that youth in government custody would be held for a long period, authorities will now go for an accelerated programme to help detainees resume civilian life. more..

“Snow Paradise” at Excel World

Dec 7 (LP) The one and only spectacular annual snow show commenced in Colombo on Friday. The seventh snow show, conducted during the December festive season every year will end on January 3 at the Snow Dome of Excel World. During this period the Excel World entertainment park has many colourful decorations. This year’s theme is “Snow Paradise” creating the mood for Christmas to attract the entire family. more..

'Fonseka is the much needed catalyst to change people’s despair into hope'

Dec 7 (UNP) Addressing the UNP special convention at Welisara on Saturday (5), Opposition and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe reputed for his straight deals and honest undertakings sans hypocrisies, rare traits among politicians said, he is not a leader who seeks hypocritical methods of talking in Tamil with a prompter and shedding crocodile tears for the Tamils. more..

State media to black out UNP events

Dec 7 (Island) The government yesterday said that state-run Rupavahini and ITN would not cover UNP political rallies and press conferences following Saturday’s attack on their media crews at Welisara, where the UNP held a special convention to announce the former Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka’s candidature at the forthcoming presidential election. Minister Anura Priyadhrashana Yapa said the UNP should not expect state media coverage after targeting media personnel. more..

Largest exporter not delivering goods

Dec 7 (Island) Sri Lanka has underutilised European Union trade concessions under the GSP Plus scheme for duty free exports, while the leading industry exporting to that region and availing itself of the concessions, apparels and ready-made garments, has hardly contributed to poverty reduction or sustainable development, a study published late 2008 says. "...In spite of duty free access to European markets under the GSP Plus... more..

World Challenge 2009: Safe bottle lamp

UPFA obligated to protect UNP cross-overs: Jayaratne

Dec 7 (DM) SLFP Senior Vice President Minister D.M. Jayaratne said the party was duty bound to protect those UNPers who joined UPFA. The minister pointed out that some UNPers who joined the Alliance had lost their due respect in his address to the election operational committee discussion of the Kandy District Alliance held at the official residence of the Central Province Governor on December 15. more..

CEB transference of assets unlikely to lesson financial woes

Dec 7 (DM) A cabinet decision to transfer Rs. 140.8 million of Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) assets will do little to offset its fragile financial position, of an operating loss of Rs. 35 billion in 2008 and Rs. 57 billion debt to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and independent power producers. Despite Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne's assurances that the money from the Swedish Expatriate Camp and Labour Camp at the Kukule Ganga Hydropower Dam site more..

Editorial: History is another country

Dec 7 (DM) A million dollar question – both literally and figuratively – has been posed to each Presidential candidate from the rival camp reminding the ordinary voter how unglamorous their own lacklustre ten rupee demand to bring down the cost of living is going to be in this presidential race. This election is going to be on corruption running into multi-million dollars and as the two camps are busy washing dirty linen in public more..

Sri Lankan safe lamp project wins BBC World's World Challenge 09

Dec 7 (DB) This Saturday, BBC World News will broadcasts the final programme of its popular World Challenge 09 series, announcing the 'safe bottle lamp project' as the winner. The Sri Lankan initiative, pioneered by burns surgeon Dr Wijaya Godakumbura, produces inexpensive lamps from recycled glass as a solution to burn risks in developing countries. Burns caused by makeshift kerosene lamps are a common problem in parts of Sri Lanka, more..

Lalkantha’s election office attacked

Dec 7 (DM) The election office of JVP MP K.D Lalkantha in Anuradhapura was attacked by an unidentified group on Saturday. Witnesses said several gun shots had been fired towards the office while some supporters were putting up banners in front of the office at the time. No one has been injured during the incident. Witnesses claimed the group attired in uniforms similar to those worn by the police had come in a jeep similar to those used by the police. more..

President’s posters put up by UDA

Dec 7 (LT) Violating the Election laws and using the human resources the UDA which is under the President is engaged in putting up propaganda posters for the Presidential Election on behalf of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. On behalf of the election campaign for the President, a notification has been issued island-wide. This has been issued on the orders of Presidential Advisor Mr Basil Rajapaksa. According to this notice the UDA is advised to put up 4 posters during 4 days. more..

Less confrontational approach by U.S. towards Sri Lanka

Dec 7 (Hindu) The Obama Administration is contemplating a ‘new policy’ on Sri Lanka, the New York Times reported on Monday. The paper quoting from a report of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which gives contours of the new policy, said that Washington wants to stop sermonising the Mahinda Rajapaksa government over its human rights record and humanitarian issues triggered by the war between the security forces and the LTTE. more..

SB rejoins SLFP to support President

Dec 7 (GDI) S.B Disanayaka who re joined The SLFP today said that Ranil Wickramasingha has a plan to remain has opposition leader till 2017 and after that to become the President over the Prime minister while the JVP was hiding behind the candidature of Sarath Fonseka to hide from a humiliating defeat. He said Ranil's plan will keep his party in the political wilderness for the next eight years and more..

Sri Lanka opposition suffers setback

Dec 7 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan opposition, fuelling the Presidential ambitions of the former Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka against the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa, suffered a setback on Monday afternoon as one of the senior members from its side broke ranks and announced not only all help to Mr. Rajapaksa but also joined the ruling SLFP. S.B. Dissanayake, the national organiser for the UNP, at a hurriedly convened crowded news conference here said the entry of the commander into politics was ‘dangerous’ for the UNP and more..

Three women para-Troopers join their male counterparts

Dec 8 (MoD) Three women Para-troopers including a lady officer who successfully completed their basic course on Para-troopers for the first time in the history of Sri Lanka Army passed out during the 52nd Basic Parachute Course conducted at Sri Lanka Air Force Base in Uhana, Ampara on 4th Dec. They are Captain M.N.S Vidanage of 4th Battalion of Women's Corps, Corporal R.A.N Hemanthi of 3rd Battalion and Corporal K.S Kapawala of 04th Battalion of the same Regiment. more..

Outplayed Sri Lanka fall short

Dec 8 (CI) India may still have gone on to win the series 2-0, but who knows? Kumar Sangakkara believes the absence of the Umpire Decision Review System system cost his side "over 500 runs and a lot of wickets", but that's not the point either. The point is, in two other series going on simultaneously, the review system is - reluctantly or willingly, successfully or otherwise - being used. It is but natural for Sri Lanka to feel frustrated. more..

Sri Lanka exporters relieved by US scanning law extension

Dec 8 (LBO) A US decision to extend the deadline for scanning all containers entering the country will afford relief to Sri Lankan exporters who had been concerned it would cause delays and raise costs. A new report by the US Government said the Customs and Border Protection has made relatively little progress in achieving the congressional goal by 2012 of inspecting 100 percent of all cargo containers loaded in foreign seaports and bound for the United States. more..

No transfers, appointments, promotions in Govt. institutions till end of poll

Dec 8 (AD) The Elections Commissioner has directed all government departments, corporations, statutory boards etc. to refrain from appointing, transferring or promoting personnel till the release of the Presidential election results. Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake said that he had received several complaints that these activities were being carried out by the said institutions. more..

Are presidential campaign meetings only for Mahajara Rajapakse? :Tense situation at Savsiripaya

Dec 8 (LT) A tense situation sprang up when permission to hold the meeting between common candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka and people’s representatives of the JVP to be held at the auditorium of Savsiripaya was cancelled. The people’s representatives of the JVP carried out an agitation against the move to cancel permission for the meeting. The JVP the organizers of the event had reserved the auditorium several days ago. more..

Sri Lankan man pleads to stay with ailing mother

Dec 8 (Age) A humanitarian appeal has been made to Immigration Minister Chris Evans to allow a 68-year-old Sri Lankan man who is the only carer for his 92-year-old ill mother to stay in Australia. Edward Joseph, who has lived in Australia nearly 14 years has been told by the Immigration Department that he must make arrangements to leave by December 16. Mr Joseph, a former school teacher, has cared for his mother Irene for 24 years and more..

Issue of Katchativu Island cannot be reopened: India

Dec 8 (PTI) Much to the chagrin of some of parties from the South, the government today said the issue of Katchativu Island cannot be reopened or renegotiated with Sri Lanka. "The sovereignty over Katchativu Island is now a settled matter. We do not propose to reopen or renegotiate this," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said in the Rajya Sabha. more..

Central bank in 5-year investment horizon for gold

Dec 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka is looking at a 5-year horizon for its reserve investments in gold, Central Bank governor Nivard Cabraal said as gold hit historic highs against the dollar amid unprecedented US money printing. Gold hit 1,200 against the Federal Reserve unit amid unprecedented loose monetary policy pursued by the Fed. There is a strong likelihood that gold price will fall when the Fed raises interest rates. more..

Sri Lanka war crime allegations surface

Dec 8 (ABC) Six months after the Sri Lankan Government won its war with the Tamil Tigers, allegations are surfacing of war crimes committed in the final months of the conflict. Last month the US Department of Homeland Security tried to question the Sri Lankan presidential candidate and US citizen, General Sarath Fonseka, about possible war crimes. But the Australian Government has made no such moves to question a prominent dual Sri Lankan-Australian citizen about his activities. more..

President's message for SAARC Charter Day

Dec 8 (GDI) "The underlying theme of the Mahinda Chintana Policy Statement of 2005 is the importance of collective self-reliance for the achievement of socio-economic development. Especially in the context of the current global economic crisis, the promotion and strengthening of collective self-reliance among the countries of South Asia which is enshrined in our Charter as one of SAARC’s objectives, assumes greater significance", more..

Political process has to be expedited in Lanka: India

Dec 8 (PTI) Government on Monday said that the political process in Sri Lanka has to be expedited to provide a lasting solution to the issue of the Tamil minorities in the country. "Political process has to be expedited. That only will provide lasting solution," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said in the Rajya Sabha answering clarifications sought by members to his statement. more..

Debrief News - 07. 12. 2009

Galle Sivan Koayil robbed, 17 artifacts stolen

Dec 8 (TN) Seventeen bronze statues including those of Lord Shiva, Krish'naa, and Murukan with his consorts Va’l’li and Theivaanai were robbed from Galle Sivan Koayil Sunday early morning between 12 and 1:00 a. m by an unidentified group of persons. The gang had attacked the watcher of the temple and later tied him to a pillar. Thereafter they forced open the doors of the Moolasthaanam of the Koayil and took away artifacts which are about 150 years old and more..

SB blames Ranil's 'autocratic conduct' & decision to back Sarath for crossing over

Dec 8 (DBS) SB Dissanayake joins Sri Lanka Freedom Party again & pledges to work for Mahinda Rajapakse in Presidential elections campaign. SB Dissanayake resigns all posts held by him in the United National Party including National Organizer. SB who crossed over from UNP to SLFP blames Ranil Wickremasinghe's autocratic conduct & decision to back Fonseka as reasons for his decision. more..

Ex-president in Yemen to promote women in politics

Dec 8 (CT) Former Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga arrived in the Yemeni capital Sana'a today (Dec. 07) for a visit. Her tour will include participation in a workshop on promoting women's political participation through dialogue. Mrs. Kumaratunga will also familiarize herself with the political experiences of Yemeni women based on their rights enshrined in the constitution. more..

From political parties to social movements

Dec 8 (AT) In his address at the AIDS Foundation of Sri Lanka, Minister Milinda Moragoda pointed out that initiative to find a cure for AIDS, to the shame of almost every government in the world, was led by ordinary people, civil society, the private sector and the media. He added that the movement to find a cure for AIDS demonstrates that civil society movements around the world have, and are taking the lead in solving some of the most pressing global challenges. more..

'Independent candidacy' my own view says M.K. Sivajilingam MP

Dec 8 (DBS) TNA Parliamentarian MKSivajilingam telling media in India that he would contest presidency if TNA does not field candidate is his own view. Tamil National Alliance will find out stance of presidential candidates on resolving Tamil national question before party makes own decision. All Parliamentarians from Tamil National Alliance to meet Govt team led by President Rajapakse this week. more..

I join SLFP to save UNP - SB

Dec 8 (BBC) If Sarath Fonseka wins the election the country would fall into the hands of a military dictatorship, warned former national organiser of the UNP. On Monday SB Dissanayaka announced that he has decided to join the governing SLFP to extend support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the January Presidential elections. Speaking to media S.B. Dissanayaka said "I joined SLFP to save UNP". more..

Marion Jones's medals from Sydney Olympics to be reallocated

Dec 8 (Guardian) Two of the three individual Olympic medals stripped from Marion Jones for drug taking are finally to be reallocated nine years after she won them at the Sydney games in 2000. However, her 100m gold will not be included as the runner-up was the Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou, herself involved in a drugs scandal at the 2004 Games in Athens. In the 200m Sri Lanka's Susanthika Jayasinghe will be promoted from bronze to silver and more..

US shouldn't 'lose' Sri Lanka: Senate

Dec 8 (AFP) A US Senate report warned Monday that Washington risked "losing" Sri Lanka as it recovers from war and called for more active engagement to stop the island drifting from the West. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a bipartisan study, said the United States should be firm on human rights concerns including treatment of journalists and said a "culture of fear and paranoia" had permeated Sri Lanka. more..

The danger of Bonapartist rule in Sri Lanka

Dec 8 (wsws) The candidacy of General Sarath Fonseka in the January 26 presidential elections in Sri Lanka is a sharp warning to the working class of the advanced preparations for police-state rule on the island. Amid a deepening economic crisis, powerful sections of the ruling elite are backing Fonseka, the common candidate of the main opposition parties, as the means of imposing new economic burdens on working people. more..

SLMC split in the East: More support President

Dec 8 (GDI) SLMC members in Batticaloa have opposed the stand of Muslim Congress leader Rauf Hakeem. Six local government representatives including Ahamed Lebbe, a member of the Muslim Congress Working committee have decided to strengthen the hands of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the upcoming election. They accused that the Muslim community had not benefited due to the present initiatives adopted by Rauf Hakeem. more..

Opposition in dilemma : No polls manifesto for Sarath Fonseka !

Dec 8 (GDI) The joint opposition led by the UNP and the JVP has run into a deepening crisis unable to decide on an election manifesto for its' candidate, retired General Sarath Fonseka, opposition sources disclosed short while ago. They said the main constituent parties in the joint opposition alliance, UNP and the JVP were at loggerheads over the policies such as monetary, trade and the vital ethnic problem. more..

Does the JVP accept UNP economic policies, asks Champika Ranawaka

Dec 8 (GDI) JHU MP and Minister, Champika Ranawaka today demanded the JVP to tell the country whether it accepted the economic policies of the UNP in the newly formed opposition alliance and added that the JVP was silent on many issues that concerned the people. Ranawaka said the joint opposition alliance was in a state of confusion while Ranil Wickremesinghe was dreaming of grabbing power using a retired military General like Sarath Fonseka. more..

UNP - JVP on a " Honeymoon"

Dec 8 (GDI) UPFA Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage claimed that if Ranil Wickremesinghe contested, Ranil would have polled more votes than Sarath Fonseka though defeat was certain for both if they contested at the upcoming presidential election. He said the UNP and the JVP under the guise of abolishing the executive presidency were trying to use the issue as a bridge to go on a honeymoon. more..

'President gave pride of place to vocational training'

Dec 8 (GDI) Under the 'Mahinda Chinthanaya' concept, the Ministry of Vocational and Technical Training has contributed for the benefit of school leavers who are deprived of doing higher studies at universities. They have been provided with latest vocational course to fulfill the demand of the present job market, such as Beauty Culture, Mechatronics, Plumbing, Welding, Tourism, Journalism, and Hotel Management. more..

1,27,905 IDPs still held in Vavuniyaa camps

Dec 8 (TN) While government claims that IDPs held in Vavuniyaa detention centres can move freely, 1,27,905 of them are still being held in the camps, according to information given by Northern Province governor, Major Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri, in a special press meet held by him Monday. The governor while admitting that there are nearly 35,000 children still held in Vavuniyaa camps said that more..

Death threats to journalists in Jaffna, a 'defence matter' – NP Governor

Dec 8 (TN) The Governor of Northern Province, Major Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri, said that the issue of death threats being issued to journalists at a time when the government claims that normalcy reigns in Jaffna is a matter of defence and hence out of his area of power, in response to questions raised by journalists, in a special press meet held by the governor Monday in Jaffna Secretariat. more..