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Children reveal their “expectations”

Dec 9 (LT) We reported that resources and employees of Road Development Authority (RDA) which is under President Mahinda Rajapakse were being used to carry out propaganda campaign of presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapkse. This campaign is to take place in several steps and the first of these is the poster that was pasted with the question “What is the expectation of children?” more..

Debrief News - 08.12.2009

Govt. tells Fonseka: Clear confusion on Presidency

Dec 9 (LNP) The government yesterday challenged opposition presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka to disclose his stand on the abolishing of the executive presidency because the views held by him and his main supporters the UNP and the JVP were quite different. Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka told the weekly government news briefing at the Mahaweli Centre the people had a right to know about General Fonseka s views on this highly sensitive issue. more..

Sri Lanka records healthy economic growth

Dec 9 (LNP) Sri Lanka has become a middle income country with a per-capita GDP of over US $ 2000 recording a healthy economic growth of more than 5 percent in recent years according to the Sri Lanka Labour and Social Trends Report 2009 launched yesterday at the Hotel Intercontinental. The Report has been compiled by the Central Bank, Department of Census and Statistics and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Manpower. more..

SL economy under threat

Dec 9 (Island) Economic growth in Sri Lanka is under threat, a recent study shows and a labour economist of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) says Sri Lanka needs to make several policy level reforms including the wise investment of the ‘peace dividend’, diverting war expenditure into other priority sectors of the economy if sustainable equitable development is to be achieved. more..

Uncle Sam regains wisdom?

Dec 9 (LNP) The US used to earn plaudits from every Sri Lankan who abhorred terrorism, for its unequivocal condemnation of that dreadful evil. Its ban on the LTTE as a foreign terrorist organisation and moral support extended to Sri Lanka`s war on terror came as a blessing. America had, everybody thought, realised the danger terrorism posed to not only civilians but also one of Asia`s maturing democracies that needed support and protection. more..

Sri Lanka Navy brings three LTTE ships to Colombo

Dec 9 (LNP) Amidst a simmering political debate over LTTE assets seized by the government following the collapse of the LTTE in May, the Sri Lanka Navy brought three LTTE ships to the Sri Lankan waters. Well informed sources told The Island that the government had taken custody of the vessels following negotiations with foreign officials subsequent to information provided by the new LTTEleader KP, who had been in charge of the LTTE arms procurement network. more..

'It was SF who wanted more arms after war'

Dec 9 (Island) Leader of the House Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva charged in Parliament yesterday that it was General Sarath Fonseka who had wanted to procure more weapons after the end of the war in May this year and not the Defence Secretary as Fonseka had alleged. He refuted allegations that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had attempted to bring in more armaments after the conclusion of the conflict. more..

'SLMC leader has betrayed founder'

Dec 9 (DN) The SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem has fallen to the manipulation of international conspirators and intrigues and have completely betrayed the policies of its founder, late M.H.M. Ashraff, said Presidential Advisor A.H.M. Azwer. Ashraff played political chess game cleverly to win the Muslim communities' political rights. "Ashraff advocated the policy of strengthening an Executive Presidential Government, whereas more..

Sri Lanka Navy steps into its 60th year of serving

Dec 9 (MoD) Sri Lanka Navy steps into its 60th year of serving the Motherland today with a wide array of religious ceremonies and social functions conducted to mark the historical occasion. Many Naval ceremonies are scheduled to be held in keeping with the traditions and customs of the Navy. Navy's stepping into its 60th year was marked with the commencement of religious ceremonies held at more..

CB nod for more bank branches in Jaffna

Dec 9 (DN) Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said that permission had been granted to open more than 60 bank branches in Jaffna. Every week a branch had been opened. He said that not only local but international banks also could open their branches. The Bank of Ceylon will open its branch in Kilinochchi. More than 2 billion rupees have been deposited by IDPs. These bank branches have been opened at the welfare centres for the benefit of the IDPs. more..

Priceless statues found buried

Dec 9 (Island) The Puliyankulam Police with the assistance of IDPs unearthed 39 statues of various Hindu deities from the premises of the Muthumariamman Kovil yesterday. The police and hundreds of IDPs were engaged in a shramadana to clear the Kovil premises when the discovery was made. Police said the statues were invaluable and believe that they had either been buried to protect them from destruction during the war more..

We want federal solution – TNA

Dec 9 (DM) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said yesterday that a political solution based on federalism was foremost among their conditions for supporting either of the two main candidates at the presidential election. TNA leader R. Sampanthan has already held negotiations with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gen. Sarath Fonseka, but the party has not yet to decided on its final stand. more..

SLMC ‘hit by defections in East’

Dec 9 (Island) Top SLMC members are said to be leaving the party in the Eastern Province following its decision to support the UNF in the upcoming Presidential poll. "SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem has earned the wrath of the Eastern Muslims by his decision to support the UNF," said former party high-command member F. M. Ameerul Ansar Moulana. The former SLMC deputy national propaganda secretary also said he had now joined the National Congress, a constituent party of the UPFA, more..

Help Sri Lanka with just One Click!

Dec 9 (EL) Educate Lanka Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Washington DC, seeks the support of all the Sri Lankans in order to receive a donation from the Chase Community Giving – an initiative by Chase Bank to donate $5 million to the local charities. Chase will donate $25,000 to each of the top 100 most voted charities on Facebook by December 11th. Educate Lanka's mission is to empower underprivileged students in Sri Lanka to more..

Booty from President to artistes!

Dec 9 (LT) It is reported that a decision has been taken to pay Rs.500,000 for each artiste who takes part in advertisements supporting the candidature of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaske at the presidential election campaign. Accordingly, all artistes who have expressed their consent to participate in such advertisements have been paid this amount. ‘Tharuniyata Hetak’ organization headed by Namal Rajapske has been given Rs.50 million from government funds to pay more..

Temporary ID cards valid for Presidential polls

Dec 9 (DN) The temporary identity cards issued for voters at the recently concluded provincial council elections are valid for the forthcoming Presidential Polls as well, elections authorities said. Additional Elections Commissioner W.P. Sumanasiri said the decision had been taken, since the temporary IDs which were issued at recent elections were duly certified by authorised personnel of the Elections Department. more..

SB’s crossover: implications and opportunities for the UNP

Dec 9 (DM) Politics is made of revolving doors. Made for goings and comings. There was a time when people used to watch and lampoon Ronnie De Mel. And later Anura Bandaranaike. Pole-vaulters, they were called. Since then we’ve had cross-overs galore. There are no longer party stalwarts. They are temporary residents, strangers seeking a roof on a rainy night. Parties are not parties but IDP facilities. more..

Attempt to sell infant, four nabbed

Dec 9 (DM) Four people who had allegedly tried to sell an eight day old infant for Rs.30,000 were arrested by the Galagedara police yesterday. The police was informed by the mother of the infant that her paramour had tried to sell the infant despite her refusal to do so, police media spokesman I.M Karunaratne said. “A man and a woman from Kurunegala had come to a place in the area to buy the infant. more..

Three suspects remanded for alleged Massive e-banking fraud

Dec 9 (DM) Colombo Magistrate yesterday remanded three suspects who were allegedly involved in the fraud of massive amounts of money by hacking into e-banking systems of a number of Sri Lankan banks.Chief Magistrate Nishantha Hapuarachchi remanded the suspects Sriskandarajah Prasannaraj, Sriskandarajah Priyadarshini and Vadively Anandashiva who were alleged to have connections with international criminals. more..

Overseas LTTE assets will be used for development - PM tells Parliament

Dec 9 (GDI) The Government would act to acquire LTTE assets overseas , to utilize them for the development activities in the country, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake told Parliament yesterday, in reply to question by Chief Opposition Whip, Joseph Michael Perera, the Premier said intelligence authorities were now gathering information on LTTE assets, and the progress of such investigations could not be revealed prematurely. more..

20/20: Sangakkara powers SL past 200

Dec 9 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara hit his highest Twenty20 score, a classy 37-ball 78, as Sri Lanka charged to 215 in the first Twenty20 game in Nagpur. Chamara Kapugedera pitched in with a lovely cameo and India helped Sri Lanka's cause by dropping five regulation chances, including two off the openers. Sangakkara, though, stole the show. There was just one dot ball till he reached his fifty - from just 21 deliveries, the quickest for Sri Lanka more..

High-powered Sri Lankan delegation to visit India, discuss IDPs

Dec 9 (Hindu) A three member high powered Sri Lankan delegation consisting of President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Senior Presidential Advisor, Basil Rajapaksa is visiting India beginning on Wednesday for consultations. The troika has been functioning as an informal group on behalf of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to inform and interact with all those who matter within and outside the island nation in general and more..

Sri Lanka to free most Tamil Tigers

Dec 9 (ABC) Sri Lanka's government says most of the people associated with the Tamil Tiger rebels now held in detention will be released. The secretary of the Ministry for Disaster Management and Human Rights, Rajiva Wijesinha, says of the 11,000 Tigers, only 200 are being charged. He says the rest are in rehabilitation for eventual return to society. more..

Sarath Fonseka assures equal opportunities for women

Dec 10 (AD) He has lost most of his facilities including his vehicles and even his security as he entered politics, said Presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka addressing the UNP women’s wing Lakwanitha representatives meeting at the J.R. Jayewardene Centre in Colombo. Addressing the Lakwanitha representatives, Mr. Fonseka said that as a person who had commanded females too in the Sri Lanka Army, he knew well the hardships undergone by the women in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lankan banks told to be wary of cronies as directors

Dec 10 (LBO) Sri Lankan banks have been urged to select their boards of directors with care to ensure they hire capable people with integrity and not just based on friendship or wealth. Attorney general Mohan Peiris, the government's chief legal officer, said regulatory standards had been toughened in recent years amid heightened public expectations following a spate of corporate collapses. more..

Sri Lanka war risk insurance costly, says cruise line

Dec 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka's continued listing for war risk insurance is costly for shipping lines calling at Colombo port, a cruise line official said. Oneil Khosa, Managing Director of Louis Cruises, the world's fifth largest cruise operator that has just begun calls at Colombo, said the war risk premium paid by the line was about 10,000 euros per call. He described the war risk premium as one of the challenges facing the line and more..

‘High definition’ documentary on SL Navy to be telecast today

Dec 10 (AD) A ‘high definition’ documentary by veteran cinema, TV and teledrama director D.B. Nihalsinghe will be telecast tonight over several channels to mark the Sri Lanka Navy’s stepping into its 60th year of service to the nation. This documentary will be telecast over TV Derana at 10.30 pm tonight and at 1.30 pm tomorrow. Sri Lanka Navy today (December 9) steps into its 60th year of serving the nation. more..

US Assistance Secretary of State, Robert Blake meets President Rajapaksa

Dec 10 (IL) Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia and Central Asia and former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Robert O’Blake paid a curtsey call to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees last evening on 8th November. This is for the first time an American high diplomat visited Sri Lanka officially, after eradicating Tamil Tiger Terrorism in May. more..

'No decision to ban students from GCE OLs'

Dec 10 (AD) The Commissioner General of Examinations denied the report quoting him as saying that students suffering from contagious diseases including AH1N1 will not be permitted to sit for the GCE O/Level examination due to start on Dec 12. Mr. Anura Edirisinghe said that they had no way of identifying those who had contracted infectious diseases and it was up to the parents or guardians of the students to inform the respective examination centres if any students were suffering form any such ailments. more..

PM objects to his own Govt. MP making adverse comments against General Fonseka

Dec 10 (UNP) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake was visibly annoyed in Parliament when his own Govt. MP Lalith Dissanayake tried to make adverse comments against Gen. Sarath Fonseka , the Presidential candidate at the forthcoming elections. The PM told Lalith to stop his comments when he interrupted the PM during the course of his speech in Parliament yesterday ( 8)

President goes north

Dec 10 (BBC) For the first time since the end of the long Sri Lankan war last May, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has visited the area where the final fighting took place. He also paid his first visit to the huge refugee camp where tens of thousands of Tamil displaced people are still living and from which they are now allowed limited visits outside. This was a highly symbolic visit to the district of Mullaitivu in the north-east, more..

MphasiS to hire 2,000 in Sri Lanka

Dec 10 (Rediff) IT services provider Mphasis on Wednesday said it will open a centre in Sri Lanka by the middle of next year, for which it will hire 2,000 people. MphasiS Sri Lanka, a fully-owned subsidiary of the Mphasis Group, would be operational by the middle of 2010 and will start work with 500 people, MphasiS said in a statement. This number will be increased to 2,000 over the next three years and the centre will provide more..

U.S. says more hard work ahead in post-war Sri Lanka

Dec 10 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has made good progress in its post-war efforts at resettling people, but hard work remains on press freedom and human rights, the top U.S. envoy for south Asia said on Tuesday. Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake is on a three-day trip to the Indian Ocean island nation to discuss political matters and reconciliation after the end of a 25-year war with the Tamil Tiger separatists in May. more..

Kumar Sangakkara powers Sri Lanka to victory

Dec 10 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara scored an unbeaten 78 off 37 balls - Sri Lanka's fastest fifty - to lead his team to 215 in Nagpur, a total that proved beyond India's reach. Sri Lanka's terrific batting was aided by inept fielding from India - they dropped five catches. Gautam Gambhir led India's chase and they were ahead of the asking-rate after the Powerplay. A flurry of wickets, however, swung the momentum Sri Lanka's way and more..

'Trinco district turned into military garrison'

Dec 10 (TN) TNA MP R. Sampanthan brought to the notice of the parliament that Trincomalee district is being turned into military garrison day by day by the Sri Lanka Army and historic Hindu Koayils there are being desecrated and destroyed to settle Buddhist Sinhalese in traditional Tamil villages. He cited the recent incident where unidentified gangs had desecrated the several centuries’- old Sivan Koayil called as Agasthiyar Thaapanam and located in Kanguveali. more..

EP Hindu Association condemns destruction of Hindu temples in the East

Dec 10 (TN) Eastern Province Hindu Association (EPHA) has expressed its deep grief and strong condemnation against the theft of the Sivalingam of Akaththiyar Thaapanam at Kangu-veali in Moothoor and the destruction of a Murukan koayil on Kunchithapaatha Malai and the construction of a Buddhist Vihara at its location, in Trincomalee district, in a report released by EPHA president Thiyageswaran. more..

Debrief News - 09.12.2009

Zambia opens an Honorary Consulate in Colombo

Dec 10 (LG) Dr. Devapriya Nugawela, the Chairman and the CEO of the Link Natural Products Private Ltd., Sri Lanka’s leading Herbal Healthcare and Personal care Manufacturers has been appointed as the First Honorary Consul of the Republic of Zambia in Sri Lanka by the Government of the Republic of Zambia. The Honorary Consulate office was declared open by Keli Walubita, the High Commissioner for Zambia based in New Delhi on the 17th November, 2009 in Colombo. more..

Reform of a police system rotten at the top

Dec 10 (LG) The problem of policing is very much at the forefront of discussion these days. It would not be of much use to delve into details of all the accusations that are made against the police, which are usually being repeated all the time. It is better, rather, to go into the core issues of solutions, if there is a solution to this problem at all. The central problem with the Sri Lankan policing system is to do with the very top of the profession itself. more..

President stands tall as the leader of all communities - Matale Mayor

Dec 10 (GDI) “The President has removed the word 'minorities' from our vocabulary. No longer are the Tamils, Muslims, Burghers, Malays and any others are minorities. They all are Sri Lankans and the President knows the needs and the feelings of the Muslim community", said Mayor of Matale Municipal Council Hilmy Mohamed. He pointed out that 80% of Muslims will vote for President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the forthcoming Presidential Election for more..

The contradictory "shrapnel" from the bomb flung by Sarath Fonseka

Dec 10 (TC) Sarath Fonseka's announcement was like a bomb thrown by a terrorist, the shrapnel was hitting all over - bringing out contradictions. UNP’s Ranil (and Ravi Karunanayake and Kiriella) were eating their own words as the UNP who signed the CFA handing over large tracts to the LTTE, supports Sarath Fonseka SF - the liquidator of the LTTE. The UNP government once killed far more JVP members and their supporters than Fonseka and Rajapaksa’s government killed LTTE members. more..

"What went wrong with Sarath Fonseka"?

Dec 10 (TC) Question: Although the LTTE has been obliterated separatist elements are still operating in the country. Can you describe the present security situation in the country? Gotabhaya: After ending 30 years of terrorism people are looking forward to go back to normal life. The real benefit of ending terrorism can be gained only if we can regain what we have lost. more..

Sri Lanka begins groundwork for wind power

Dec 10 (LBO) Groundwork for Sri Lanka’s largest wind power project has begun ahead of its launch in May next year, with the contract for logistics services given to global firm, Agility Project Logistics. Project developers Seguwantivu Wind Power and Vidatamunai Wind Power (Pvt) Ltd are to build two 10 megawatt wind plants on the east coast of Puttalam. The two companies awarded Agility Logistics the contract for shipping, overland transport and more..

Festive season brings Sri Lanka trouble-free joy

Dec 10 (National) Despite uncertainty over next month’s presidential poll, Sri Lankans will soon begin enjoying their first Christmas and New Year holiday in three decades without the threat of Tamil rebel violence casting a shadow to dampen the good times. “I am going to have a great time in the next few weeks,” said Lakdas Dias, a manager at a computer store in Colombo. The past was different, he said, as “you always have this fear of bombs going off more..

The Presidential election, and the politics of the Tamil-minority

Dec 10 (TC) Prabhakaran is no more. Fonseka, an architect of the fall of the Eelam regime has crossed over to the pro-western, seemingly more minority-sensitive UNP led by Ranil Wickremasinhe. That the UNP is in a cabal with the anti-western, minority-insensitive JVP seems to have become as irrelevant as the JVP itself. While many Diaspora Tamils welcomed all mishaps to the Rajapaksa regime, they don't seem to know which way to turn. more..

Rajapaksa assures new life for Tamils

Dec 10 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday made an unannounced visit to Puthukkudiyirippu, the scene of the final battle between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan security forces, and dedicated a monument to the memory of the soldiers who died fighting the Tigers. He also reached out to the Tamil community with a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu and addressing war displaced Tamil civilians at the Manik Farm complex in Vavuniya. more..

President unveils a monument to commemorate the final battle in Nandikadal

Dec 10 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa unveiled a monument in Nandikadal lagoon at Pudumathalan, Pudukudirruppu this afternoon on 9th December in honour of the war heroes who engaged in the final mission on eradicating terrorism and its leadership. The monument was also erected to commemorate the valiant soldiers who laid down their valuable lives for the noblest of all causes at more..

Tharunyata Hetak at a loss after producing advertisements for Presidential election campaign

Dec 10 (LNW) The Tharunyata Hetak Organization is reportedly facing a severe financial crisis after spending millions of rupees on an advertisement for the Presidential election campaign. The Organization has requested for a loan from the Bank of Ceylon to resolve the crisis and it has been decided to provide assets belonging to the organization as sureties. more..

President takes the campaign North while oppositions fly allegations

Dec 10 (DBS) President Rajapakse worships at Our Lady of the Rosary Church at Marudhamadhu in Mannar dist known as famous Catholic shrine of Madhu Madha. President Mahinda Rajapakse visited IDP camps at Menik Farm, Chettykulam for first time & met displaced Tamils&inquired about their problems. President Mahinda Rajapakse visits Karaithuraipatru AGA div in Mullaitheevu district where the final stages of war with the LTTE took place. more..