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Hindu temple of ritual significance destroyed in Trincomalee

Dec 8 (TN) A Siva temple located at an ancient Hindu site called Akaththiyar Thaapanam, at Kangku-veali in the Moothoor division of the Trincomalee district, where Hindus gather especially to perform the Aadi Amaavaasai ritual for ancestors, was destroyed without any traces coinciding the Heroes’ Day on 27 November. The location of the temple is under the control of Sri Lanka Army stationed at a nearby Sinhala village, Neelaappola. more..

Friends and enemies: a note on the politics of doorways

Dec 8 (LG) I have heard people say that there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics. I also remember reading somewhere that if a person has one good friend he should be happy and that if he has two he is extremely fortunate indeed. It seems then that politics is not about friendships and enmities but interests, some that converge and some that don’t. When Sarath Fonseka decided to run for President, he was seen as a friend who switched loyalties, more..

Scrabble Bash – Brain Sports to be made an annual event

Dec 8 (LP) The international medical journal ‘The Lancet’ warns of an imminent dementia epidemic; it reports an alarming figure of one new case every seven seconds around the world. The number of people with dementia, worldwide, is projected to increase to 115.4 million by 2050. In Sri Lanka, the number of persons affected by Dementia is estimated at 120,000 and is projected to increase to half a million by 2050. more..

Fishermen of Kalmunai in Ampara

234 Brigade headquarters gifts items to children in orphanage

Dec 8 (MoD) Under the sponsorship of 234 Brigade, the Officer Commanding of the Town Sector II (Batticaloa), Captain R.M.J.B. Rajapaksha handed over one computer, a stock of sports items, books and dry rations and other educational equipment for the use of children in Arundappanee Children's Home, Poonachchimunai on 6th December 2009. The items were received by Rev. Father S. Puvanendran, more..

Resettled people receive Rs.3,150,000 as credit assistance and also bicycles free of charge

Dec 8 (MoD) The people of the resettled villages were given micro credit facilities to establish small business ventures totaling Rs. 3,150,000 and 150 bicycles valued at Rs. 1.4 million free of charge by Hon. Basil Rajapaksa MP, and Hon. Governor, Northern Province, Major General G.A. Chandrasiri. These were made available to the resettled people of the North on 05th December 2009. more..

Jaffna re-settlement complete

Dec 8 (MoD) All the displaced people in the Jaffna district have been re-settled and out of 272,751 internally displaced persons lived in welfare camps 144,846 were re-settled, weekly over 15,000 persons are returning from camps to their ancestral villages, Northern Province Governor Major General G.A Chandrasiri said. These people have been re-settled in cleared areas free from landmines. Each family has been provided Rs 5,000 to purchase basic requirements. more..

Presidential election and the Ranil factor

Dec 8 (LG) With the emergence of Sarath Fonseka as a candidate, the whole complexion of the forthcoming presidential election changed. Mahinda Rajapaksha had total assurance that he would be President of Sri Lanka for another term until the unexpected opponent appeared on the scene. People agree that Rajapaksha has played his part of the concluded war efficiently and effectively. more..

Well well well, treachery, eh?

Dec 8 (LG) Aren’t we sick and tired of people who are so blind because they refuse to see? The talk of continuity on grounds of entitlement is so jarring in my ears that I pause to wonder whether some Sri Lankans are fast taking leave of their senses. There is a coterie of people who are of the view that anything short of continuity at this point in time is traitorous, nay almost sacrilegious. more..

Ministry to reach 100 early warning centres target

Dec 8 (DN) Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said 50 early warning centres have been established islandwide during the past four years by the Disaster Management Centre and Cabinet approval has been granted for the construction of another 25 centres. Minister Samarasinghe was speaking at a press briefing at the Information Department, yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka should be vigilant of International conspiracies

Dec 8 (LG) From all that is happening now, it appears that the presidential election to be held in January 2010 is going to be a unique and an unprecedented contest. The entry of former Army Commander, Sarath Fonseka into the fray has created a peculiar type of excitement and concern in the presidential elections this time. Never has a previous presidential election evoked so much of interest among all strata’s of society be it the poor, the middle class or the wealthy. more..

Arugambay Travels to establish a hotel in the East

Dec 8 (BOI) The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka granted investment approval for Arugambay Travels Hotel (Private) Limited to establish a three star hotel at Arugambay. Mr. Dhammika Perera, Chairman, signed the agreement on behalf of the BOI formally presented the BOI Certificate of Registration to Mr. A. M. Jaufer, Managing Director of the Company. Arugambay Travels Hotel is a joint venture between Australia and Sri Lanka. more..

Will the President give a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to Minister Devananda’s claim

Dec 8 (LG) ‘Addressing the media personal at the Government Information Department, Minister Devananda said that the ten point program drafted by them were presented to the President and as he agreed to implement those, they came to this decision. He said that the ten point program would determine the destiny of the Tamil people’ more..

J'pura University to host 50th Anniversary Academic Conference

Dec 8 (LP) The Sri Jayawardanapura University will host an international academic conference from December 10 to December 12 at the Management and Commerce Faculty to celebrate its Golden Jubilee. The conference will be held under the theme of Buddhism, Science and Development. It will be attended by over 500 students’ academics and intellectuals. Science and Technology Minister Tissa Vitarana will be the Chief Guest. more..

The apprehension about military government

Dec 8 (NPC) The entry of former army commander General Sarath Fonseka into the political arena as the common opposition presidential candidate has set off a vigorous debate about the danger it can pose to Sri Lanka’s cherished democracy. At the same time, the retired General’s entry into the political contest has rejuvenated the opposition and revived public interest in the result of the elections. more..

Full Text: US Senate report on Sri Lanka

Dec 8 (TC) The administration is currently evaluating U.S. policy toward Sri Lanka in the wake of the military defeat of the LTTE, one of the world’s deadliest terrorist groups. It has been six months since the end of the war, and the Sri Lankan Government is dealing with a humanitarian crisis in the North where hundreds of thousands are still displaced and homes and infrastructure are destroyed. more..

'I don’t know why Akashi visited Sri Lanka'

Dec 8 (LT) Japan’s special envoy Yasushi Akashi has visited 23 times during the past, he had been given special privileges to visit Sri Lanka since he was appointed the special envoy but he was not aware the reason for Mr. Akashi’s visits to Sri Lanka said Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohithe Bogollagama. Minister Bogollagama said this answering a question asked by the JVP MP Premasiri Manage in Parliament today. more..

'Govt. suspends Parliamentary sessions curbing democracy'

Dec 8 (LT) The government, threatening democracy, has suspended parliamentary sessions unjustifiably and such decision would have negative effect on decisions and measures taken on behalf of the country said JVP MP Anura Dissanayake. Speaking at Parliamentary sessions today he said sessions have been suddenly suspended after the agenda, relevant questions and everything has been already arranged for the next three days. more..

'What happened to gold that belonged to LTTE?'

Dec 8 (LT) What happened to the large amount of gold and foreign assets that belonged to the LTTE but was taken over by the government when tiger leader prabakaran was killed in May this year asked UNP MP Joseph Michael Perera. He said media had reported that a large haul of gold was found after the tiger leader Prabakaran was killed in the North and more..

Is IGP a propagandist for Govt's candidate?

Dec 8 (LT) IGP Mahinda Balasuriya is carrying out the election campaign of Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse say sources in the Police Department. The IGP has arranged visits that cover all districts in the island since last week and as a part of this programme he visited Trincomalee District during last weekend. He had visited police stations at Kantale and Trincomalee and had discussions with all the officers in the two stations. more..

‘Maharaja’ who came down to be ‘caretaker’ is now terrified of becoming a ‘jailbird’ – Vijithe Herath

Dec 8 (LT) JVP MP Vijithe Herath said the President, who with pomp called himself ‘Maharaja’ earlier has become the ‘caretaker’ now. Later he’ll become the watcher. However, now he is terrified that he would become a ‘jailbird’ once Gen. Sarath Fonseka becomes the President after the 26th of January. The bunch of ministers and henchmen who sing hosannas to the government have been bamboozled now. more..

New Building and a Swimming pool for the Defence Services College

Dec 8 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared open the common facilities building and a new swimming pool for the Defence Services College on 7th December 2007. He promised to provide more facilities to bring up the standards of the Armed Forces in the future and appreciated the valiant service they did for the benefit of the nation by defeating brutal terrorism. more..

Sri Lanka may want an economic vision 2030

Dec 8 (GV) Sri Lanka today is in the category of a poor country status, listed in the “Institutional Investor,” September 2009 Country Credit Survey. It ranks No. 122 among 178 nations, behind Vanuatu and just ahead of Kiribati. This is no fault of its strategic position as an island nation in the Indian Ocean, or of its people, who are one of the most literate in South Asia. There is no doubt that the potential is there for sustainable development. more..

Govt and Intel to accelerate access to technology

Dec 8 (LNP) The Government and Intel EM Limited have come to an agreement to accelerate access to technology to improve opportunities for education, commerce and communication for Sri Lanka through a series of initiatives under Intel s World Ahead program. One aspect of this agreement was launched at Asia s premier ICT event - eAsia 2009 which commenced in Colombo, last week. more..

'Govt. offered privileges, special benefits & perks to silence me'

Dec 8 (LT) He was offered various privileges, special benefits and perks by the senior leaders of the government including the President to silence him but without demeaning himself and protecting his self-respect he decided to fulfill the momentous task of establishing democracy, which is the wish of the masses, said common candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka. more..

Govt. & SB plan mass scale rigging

Dec 8 (LT) A secret discussion had been held between senior members of Rajapakse family and S.B. Disanayake who joined the government yesterday regarding a massive vote rigging at the forthcoming presidential election. According to this source the discussion has been held at Temple Trees with the leadership of the President. At this discussion a senior member of the Rajapakse family has stated that it is necessary to juggle up at least 700,000 votes to win at the election. more..

Over 5,000 get Ranbhoomi title deeds

Dec 8 (DN) Over 5,000 persons who did not own an inch of land received Ranbhoomi title deeds to 20-perch blocks of land at a function at Temple Trees yesterday. Addressing those present, President Rajapaksa said the Opposition has resorted to a mud slinging campaign to cover up its political bankruptcy in the face of the Government’s victory over terrorism and the massive development drive. more..

First stage of Colombo Outer Circular Highway starts construction

Dec 8 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa inaugurated the construction of the first Phase of Colombo outer Circular Highway from Kaduweal to Kottawa with financial assistance from JAICA on 7th December. He ceremonially opened the plaque and inspected the road development project and sites closer by. Later President Rajapaksa attended the publicity rally organised by the local politicians more..

Anil K. Moonesinghe and the Citroen project

Dec 8 (DN) Anil was in the Upper Sixth (Arts) Form of Royal College, Colombo, when I joined the class in January 1945. He was reading British History, Government and English Literature - if my memory is correct - whilst I was reading Latin, Greek and English Literature. I remember Anil as highly articulate - vociferous, even - and an ardent follower of the Political philosophy of Leon Trotsky who had been assassinated in Mexico in 1940 by a Stalinist agent. more..

Tak tak on tuk tuks

Dec 8 (DN) Generally, he honours that deal. For men, women and children, returning home after a late night’s entertainment, or work, the three wheeler is an indispensable mode of transport. Three wheelers have a knack for scooting in and out of congested traffic to hurry before the slow trudge of a bus and squeezing through narrow by-paths and alleys. A metered vehicle do away with the haggling for a cheaper fare but more often than not, more..

Sri Lanka elected to United Nations migrant workers committee

Dec 8 (AT) Sri Lanka's candidate, Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam was re-elected to the UN Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW), to serve a four-year term, until the end of year 2013, at the election held in New York on 3rd December 2009. The election was held at the Fourth Meeting of the States Parties to the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. more..

Sri Lanka can be the ‘Next Singapore’

Dec 8 (Island) Now that a 30-year-old war has ended, Sri Lanka can be the "Next Singapore", Anand G. Mahindra, Vice Chairman of Indian conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra, said yesterday. Speaking to ‘The Island’ in Hyderabad, he said that the sky was the limit for Sri Lanka, provided it grasps all the opportunities that come its way. "Sri Lanka is well positioned and the sky is the limit, now that a 30-year-old war is overm," Mahindra said. more..

JVP’s devolution dilemma

Dec 8 (Island) Politics, to cynics, means poly-tricks. For, politicians practise the art of playing tricks on the hoi polloi and bluffing their way through. The two main parties in this country stand accused of pulling the wool over the eyes of electors to capture or retain political power. For them promises are like pie crust––made to be broken. The SLFP and UNP manifestoes are, in our book, like comics; they are there to be enjoyed and discarded. more..

TNA decision after studying manifestos

Dec 8 (Island) The TNA yesterday said they would carefully study the manifestos of the two main Presidential candidates and weigh the options available to the Tamil people, before deciding as to whom it would extend its support. TNA Leader R. Sampanthan said that he had a very cordial and lengthy discussions with the Opposition’s common candidate General Sarath Fonseka on Sunday night. more..

Cuba to provide 30,000 litres of Bti bacteria for aerial spraying

Dec 8 (Island) The Cuban government will provide thirty thousand litres of Bti bacteria to Sri Lanka for aerial spraying in three areas of the Kandy District. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said yesterday, that Bti had been approved by the Pesticide Registration Office at the Department of Agriculture, last week. Bti will be given as a government to government donation for aerial spraying which would commence in January 2010. more..

Religious leaders' responsibility to rally people for free, fair poll

Dec 8 (CT) A leading Buddhist prelate has said that religious leaders have a responsibility to rally the people towards ensuring a free and fair presidential election. They cannot and should not tell voters for whom they should vote, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera said. It is up to the people to choose between incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gen. Sarath Fonseka, and religious leaders had no right to name one of them to be their choice, said the Thera. more..

SB – a ripple or a tsunami?

Dec 8 (DM) No politician in Sri Lanka epitomizes unlimited, unguarded ambition, even to the point of being vulgar, as does by S.B. Dissanayake. A power packed political dynamo S.B. Dissanayake makes politics as tangible and physical as it can be that it is deemed that the worst fate that could befall a politician is to end up as SB’s enemy. Chandrika Kumaratunga had her share and at the end of her tether put him behind bars and more..

Palestine denies any connection to PLA

Dec 8 (DM) The Palestinian Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Dr. Anwar Al- Agha, yesterday denied reports that a link exists between the People’s Liberation Organization in Palestine and a new Tamil armed group called the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the East of the Sri Lanka. Dr. Agha said that he was not even aware of the existence of such a group, and that it is not possible for such ties to exist. more..

Sri Lanka November tourist arrivals up 20-pct

Dec 8 (LBO) Sri Lankan tourist arrivals for November went up 20.1 percent to 44,311 from a year ago, boosted by more visitors from key markets like the United Kingdom, Germany and India, while arrivals from Eastern Europe dipped. The number of visitors from Western Europe rose 18.0 percent to 15,212 with France up 43 percent to 1,424, the UK up 11.7 percent to 6,336 and Germany up 17.5 percent to 3,433. more..

Parliament extends emergency: sittings adjourned

Dec 8 (CT) Parliament today (Dec. 08) voted to extend the state of emergency by a further month, and adjourned sessions until next month. The emergency motion was passed with 95 members supporting it while 21 opposed. The UNP and the JVP were absent at the vote. Earlier, a ruling party-proposed motion to hold the next sitting on January 05, 2010 was passed with a 35 vote majority amidst objections by the opposition. more..

Ranil to tour Jaffna on campaign trail

Dec 8 (CT) Leader of the opposition and the UNF Ranil Wickremesinghe is due to tour Jaffna at the weekend to campaign for presidential candidate of the common opposition Gen. Sarath Fonseka. Leaders of several UNF affiliate parties, including DPF's Mano Ganeshan will accompany him in the visit, report said. During his two-day stay in the peninsula, Mr. Wickremesinghe will address a series of election rallies. more..

‘I will not be a ceremonial president’

Dec 8 (DM) Opposition Common Candidate General Sarath Fonseka said yesterday that he would not be a ceremonial president as he would have some powers to monitor the issues faced by the people were resolved in a proper manner. “I will not be a ceremonial president as William Gopallawa as I will have some powers as the president according to the agreement which I have got into with the opposition parties,” more..

Some claimed that any ‘fool’ could win a war: President

Dec 8 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that there was a time, where some people claimed that any ‘fool’ could win a war easily. Speaking at an event to open a new building and a swimming pool at the Defence School at Malay Street yesterday the President said that his government would do whatever the soldiers needed when sacrificing for their motherland. more..

Sri Lanka ex-general fears rebel attack

Dec 8 (AFP) Sri Lanka's former military chief who led troops to victory over Tamil separatists in May said he fears fugitive rebels will try to assassinate him during his presidential election campaign. Sarath Fonseka, who is trying to unseat President Mahinda Rajapakse in the January 26 elections, told AFP that about 1,000 Tamil Tiger fighters may have survived the end of the decades-long war. "The Tigers still have an international network and about 1,000 cadres who are mingling with the IDPs," he said. more..

A brief response to Dr G.L. Pieris

Dec 9 (GV) I refer to Dr G.L Peiris’s interview published by the Island on 6th Dec. He says “Any legislative measure to abolish the executive presidency must satisfy two conditions – it must be supported by a two-third majority in parliament and endorsed by the people at a referendum”. This of course is correct. But why does he assume that there will not be a 2/3 rd majority for the motion on abolition of the Executive Presidency? more..

Sri Lanka aim to put Test thrashing behind them

Dec 9 (CI) It would be easy, in the immediate aftermath of India's comprehensive Test series victory, to bill the hosts as favourites to win the two Twenty20 internationals against Sri Lanka. It would also be presumptuous because there are significant changes in personnel and the format is one in which India have struggled since the delirious high of World Twenty20 glory in 2007. The Indian players are stars in their respective IPL teams but more..

Senate report urges warmer ties

Dec 9 (IPS) Despite ongoing concern about the country’s human-rights situation, the United States should seek a more positive relationship with strife-torn Sri Lanka, primarily for geo-political reasons, according to a new report released here Monday by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The 18-page report, which was released on the eve of a two-day visit to the island by Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs Robert Blake, more..

Wimal admits building a palace

Dec 9 (LT) Mr. Wimal Weerawansa has admitted that he is building a palatial house worth Rs.75 million at Mangala Mawatha at Hokandara. He said if anyone proves that he was building the palatial house with money earned wrongfully he would resign from his Parliamentary seat. However, the issue, according to many quarters, is how he could save such a large sum of money from a parliamentarian’s salary. more..

Indian MPs' concern for Sri Lanka a joke

Dec 9 (UPI) M. Venkiah Naidu, a senior leader of India’s opposition BJP, has demanded that the Indian government send a parliamentary delegation to Sri Lanka to verify the situation of the Tamil minority in the island. Speaking of ethnic tensions in the country during a parliamentary debate on the peace process in Sri Lanka last Friday, Naidu said, "One can win the war but lose the peace … There is need to expedite a solution or the issue will resurface and have disastrous consequences." more..

Blue chips push Sri Lanka stocks to new 6-week high

Dec 9 (Reuters) Shares rose on Tuesday to a new six-week high, led by blue chip buying as investors were confident that market fundamentals could push up the bourse despite a presidential poll in January, analysts said. The All-Share Price Index .CSE closed 27.31 points up at 3052.68, its highest close since Oct. 23. "Investors believe the bourse will not fall due to economic fundamentals," more..