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Opposition will only form an 'Undertaker Government'

Dec 11 (GDI) Minister DEW Gunesekara in reference to JVPs Anura Kumar Dissanayake's statement of a future Caretaker Government today cracked in a lighter vain that such a Government will only be 'Undertaker Government' that will bring doom to the nation. He said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa with 40 years of experience in politics was a tested and tried leader unlike Opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka who has to learn politics from kindergarten level. more..

'Education system needs a change for the better'

Dec 11 (GDI) The education system in the country needs a change at this crucial juncture to build the Sri Lanka as a knowledge center, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said while addressing the Educational Administrative Society members at the Temple Trees yesterday. As a Government, the curret administration had fulfilled the aims of the people and can on go before the people at any time. more..

Artistes pay tribute to leadership qualities of President

Dec 11 (GDI) Popular film actor Ravindra Randeniya and veteran actress Malini Fonseka together today called upon the voting population in the country to re-elect President Mahinda Rajapakse as the President to lead the country towards prosperity, at a media briefing. Randeniya said, “My only decision is to back the President at the forthcoming Presidential Election”. more..

Special budget pack for the festive season from STC

Dec 11 (LP) The State Trading (General) Cooperation (STC) introduces a special budget for the benefit of the consumers. The special budget pack introduced for the festive season compromises 05 essential items, Rice, Dhal, Sugar, Canned fish and gram. The first budget pack was handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by Minister Bandula Gunawardena at Temple Trees today (11). more..

Jaffna International Trade Fair 2010

Dec 11 (LP) The inaugural Jaffna International Trade Fair 2010 (JITF) scheduled to be held from April 18-20, 2010 at the Jaffna Central College. JITF will be organized by Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services (Pvt) Ltd in collaboration with the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka. The inaugural international Trade fair in Jaffna themed 'Your gateway to Yarlpanam' is more..

Asian Youth Network

Battle of the ‘Commons’ and (De) militarizing the Sri Lankan Society – Part 2

Dec 11 (GV) Militarization is a product and integral part of the neoliberal economy. The contribution of well meaning liberal constitutionalists and peace activists to demilitarization is limited because they ignore (even legitimate) how militarism is intertwined with the acquisition of power and wealth by a minority at the expense of the majority, therein the complicity of neoliberal institutions i.e. the UN, World Bank, IMF, and WTO. more..

Land for resettlement of displaced persons

Dec 11 (LP) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Irrigation and Water Management Chamal Rajapakse to have a further four acres of land released from the Telehera Farm, belonging to the National livestock Development Board to the Divisional Secretary, Kobeigane for the propose of Resettlement of people displaced by the Construction of Deduru Oya Reservoir scheme, in addition to the 112 Acres already released. more..

Urban development in Northern Province fast tracked

Dec 11 (MoD) Urban Development and Sacred Area Development Ministry has launched a program through the National Physical Planning Department and Urban Development Authority to expedite preparation of a regional plan for the Northern Region together with development plans for main cities identified such as Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Mankulam, Mannar and Vavuniya. The Ministry has also initiated a development program in more..

Japanese aid to re-develop Jaffna Teaching Hospital

Dec 11 (MoD) The Japanese Government has allocated two billion rupees for the re-development of the Jaffna Teaching Hospital (JTH). The hospital will get a new three-storey administrative building in addition to upgrading the already available facilities in it. The Japanese Government, which provided the funds through JAICA, signed the MoU for commencing the redevelopment of the hospital with the Government of Sri Lanka last month. more..

Video: The travelling circus

Dec 11 (GV) Obligingly recorded by Young Asia Television at the request of Groundviews, we are pleased to present a full-length video recording of The Travelling Circus, a play produced by Mind Adventures and directed by Tracy Holsinger, recently staged in Colombo. An in-depth review of the production is published on Groundviews here. The production divided opinion, with some liking it and others, with equal passion, disliking it. more..

U.S Afghan Commander accepts 'Sri Lankan style' against terrorism

Dec 11 (MoD) Gen. Stanley McChrystal, U.S military Commander in Afganistan was of the view that it be a prerequisite to eliminate "iconic figures" among terrorists and therefore such to be removed physically. The Daily-Telegraph, in its Wednesday (9) edition, quoted the military Commander as saying during a key note delivered at the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday (Dec 08). more..

'Rajapaksa - HR campaigner turned serious violator'

Dec 11 (LNW) The Committee for Investigations of the Disappeared (CID) organized a campaign today on Human Rights day, taking the form of a photo exhibition depicting pictures of the large numbers of persons abducted during the past 2 years or so. The exhibition was scheduled to take place at the Hyde Park, Colombo, and prior approval was duly obtained for that purpose. Having got wind of it, the Govt. ordered a last minute cancellation of the venue. more..

Korea downgrades travel advisory - Withdraws arms embargo on Lanka

Dec 11 (LP) The Korean Government had withdrawn the arms embargo on Sri Lanka as well as reducing the travel advisory on Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Ambassador in Korea Asitha Perera said in consequence of the withdrawal of the embargo imposed by Korea on Sri Lanka in consequence of being a signatory to the WASAMA Agreement there would be considerable potential for defence cooperation between the two countries in technology support, software and hardware. more..

Police stop Susanthika’s confession over TNL

Dec 11 (LT) The replay of a TV programme in which Ms. Susanthika Jayasinghe participated when Mr. S.B. Dissanayake was the Minister of Sports telecast by TNL TV channel yesterday night was immediately stopped by the police. At the telecast Ms. Jayasinghe talks about the sex abuse she was subjected to at the Ministry of Sports. However, while the programme was being telecast TNL suddenly stopped the programme at about 10.50 p.m. stating they had to do it due to an unavoidable reason. more..

'EU should consider conditions for GSP+'

Dec 11 (DM) The European Union should take into consideration the current conditions in Sri Lanka before assessing the future of the GSP plus scheme, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said. “The war is just completed and as such the EU must take into consideration the fact that there are human rights issues in the country, as in any country, which we are willing to work towards bringing it to an end,” more..

President, greedy for power, prepares for devolution package – NBF

Dec 11 (LT) At a time when his authority has been challenged Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse has shifted towards devolution of power to safeguard his authority says the chief patron of National Bhikku Front (NBF) Ven. Aththangane Rathanapala Thero. Certain leaders who ruled this country turned towards devolution of power when ever their authority was challenged said Ven. Aththangane Rathanapala Thero more..

You’ll be killed if you paste Fonseka’s posters – Armed govt. thugs attack JVP supporter’s house

Dec 11 (LT) A group of thugs who had arrived yesterday at about 6.30 p.m. in a vehicle without number plates at the residence of Lalith, a supporter of the JVP, has threatened the occupants with death and damaged the house near ‘three bridges junction’ at Pelawatta. At the time the thugs had come only Lalith’s mother Mrs. Somawathie had been at home. The thugs had broken into the house, threatened her with weapons and more..

An Eastern clique attempting to assassinate General

Dec 11 (LT) The group ‘The People's Liberation Army,’ active in the Eastern Province, is attempting to assassinate Gen. Sarath Fonseka and Parliamentarians of the opposition says Parliamentarian Mano Ganeshan. He says there are doubts that this organization is sponsored by the government adding that this suspicion is manifested from the attempts to evade strengthening security of those who have been threatened. more..

President rebukes PM

Dec 11 (LT) The President has reprimanded Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake over the phone for this scanty contribution for the presidential election campaign say internal sources of the Presidential secretariat. The reason for the President to be annoyed with Mr. Wickremanayake is the trivial contribution he has made for the presidential election campaign of Mr. Rajapakse at Horana, the electorate Mr. Wickremanayake hails from and more..

VVIP Passenger Craft built by Navy ceremonially launched

Dec 11 (MoD) Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe ceremonially launched the VVIP Passenger craft built by the Navy at a ceremony held in the Colombo Harbour yesterday. The launch coincides with the 59th Anniversary celebrations which mark the Navy's stepping into its 60th year of serving the Motherland. more..

Mahinda’s nephew swindles Rs.560 million under the pretext of road development

Dec 11 (LT) Uva Provincial Council has been able to approve Rs.560 million for ‘road repairs’ by presenting the 12th supplementary estimate presented in the year 2009. The governing party was able to get this adopted for this year despite there is only 20 more days until the end of the year. Only JVP Member in the Uva PC Sudath Balagalla voted against the motion. more..

The rights of the disabled in Sri Lanka: Marginal or mainstream?

Dec 11 (GV) As part of our video series for human rights day 2009 (falling on 10 December), Groundviews interviewed Sunethra Bandaranaike, Chairperson of the Sunera Foundation. With the interrogation of human rights in Sri Lanka often solely focussing on violations of political rights, Groundviews sought to focus attention on disability and the rights of the disabled in our country. more..

Sri Lanka ready to share evidence with USA

Dec 11 (DM) The government said that it was ready to share intelligence and evidence with the US authorities, if the need arose, in order to secure the arrest of senior LTTE activist V. Rudrakumaran who is believed to be operating from the US. Minister Keheliya Rumbukwella said the government hoped to gather evidence on the links between Rudrakumaran and the Tigers through the ongoing interrogation of Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP), in order secure Rudrakumaran’s arrest. more..

Seeking Human Rights in Sri Lanka is like looking for water on the moon

Dec 11 (LG) The world Human Rights Day was on the 10th December. The event passed in Sri Lanka without anything to celebrate in terms of any kind of positive achievements in the area of human rights. In fact, looking for human rights in Sri Lanka is becoming increasingly like looking for water on the moon or in the desert. Permissiveness of corruption which has now begun to permeate all areas of life, more..

Thus spake Blake

Dec 11 (LNP) The US has realised that it cannot defeat terrorism in Afghanistan without eliminating Osama bin Laden. Gen. Stanley McChrystal was quoted by the Daily Telegraph on Wednesday as having said that Osama had become an `iconic figure` among terrorists and therefore had to be removed physically. But, while the Sri Lankan military was closing in on Prabhakaran, another `iconic figure` of terrorists, the US and its allies demanded that war be suspended. more..

'UNP, JVP pledges of democracy a mirage'

Dec 11 (LNP) Mass Media and Information and Investment Promotion Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa yesterday described of democracy by the UNP and the JVP as a mere mirage. The Minister made this statement at a press briefing to inform Cabinet decisions, at the Information Department. Minister Yapa said the UNP and the JVP were poles apart in political ideology as well as in economic policies. more..

Kalmunai Tamil DS dvsn to be renamed as Kalmunai North DS dvsn

Dec 11 (PSM) Cabinet has granted formal approval for the existing Kalmunai Tamil DS Division which was operating under the Kalmunai Muslim majority DS division to function independently as a separte DS division and re-naming as Kalmunai North DS division. Accordingly the original Kalmunai DS division will consist of 29 Grama Niladhari Divisions and Kalmunai North DS division will consist of 27 Grama Niladhari Divisions. more..

Malwatte Mahanayake condemns politicians who are somersault sultans

Dec 11 (UNP) Mahanyake of the Malwatte Chapter Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri umangala Thero said yesterday, what we see and hear these days is politicians pole vaulting from party to party. These politicians have no policies, they are doing this for personal perks. A good example is of a politician who said he will support the General at the Presidential elections and then somersaulted to the other side just within two days. more..

'Anybody can ‘sell’ the war , but credit for war victory belongs to the Forces'

Dec 11 (UNP) UNP M.P. Gayantha Karunatileke said, no matter what grandiose claims the President may make, and tries to arrogate to himself the war victory credit, it is common sense that it is those on the battlefield who deserve credit. The President himself has acknowledged this although he is trying to plunder the credit. more..

Will President take the cue from Gen. Fonseka who will declare his assets at nominations?

Dec 11 (UNP) Opposition common Presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka who has by now come to be known best across the entire country for his honesty and his war strategies is setting the pace for other Presidential candidates to follow. He has of his own accord decided to bare his assets when handing over his nominations on the 17th. In the midst of the current raging allegations of corruption against the Government, more..

'UNP cannot keep members who do not respect discipline and rules of the party'

Dec 11 (UNP) Chairman of the UNP, Gamini Jayawickrema Perera said, the UNP has always been a party which had respected discipline, law, order and people’s needs and aspirations whether in or out of power. Hence, whoever who does not adhere to the party disciplinary code and the rules cannot be tolerated. Since of late there are some sabotage elements in the party ,who the Govt. is using to dismantle the programs of the UNP. more..

Fonseka hints at his policies

Dec 11 (DM) Common Opposition candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka yesterday said whatever he does as the President of this country-if he got elected -would be done with the approval of the Parliament. Gen. Fonseka reiterated that he would not be a ceremonial president but would have some powers to monitor the actions of the government to determine whether they are directed towards the betterment of the people. more..

Indian kingdoms and ancient Sri Lanka

Dec 11 (DN) The Indian kingdoms and the Sinhala kingdoms of the ancient and medieval period differed greatly from each other in standards of governance. The Sinhala state rapidly developed into a highly centralised state, under a single monarch. The Sinhala king was the head of state, fount of justice, protector of Buddhism and head of external trade. In contrast, India consisted of many kingdoms, each consisting of feudatories who pledged alliance to the king. There were sub-feudatories as well. more..

Calling customs officers to Temple Trees is a violation of election regulations - ACCSU

Dec 11 (LT) All Ceylon Customs Service Union states entertaining customs officers at Temple trees as a part of Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse’s election campaign is an attempt to use state employees in election work. All directors of customs, deputy directors and customs officers have been directed by the Director General of Customs Mr. Jayathilaka by his letter No.AB/S/1/SP to be present at Temple Trees. more..

Harry J to start insurance company

Dec 11 (Island) Harry Jayawardena-controlled alcohol producer Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka, a public listed company, is planning to enter the insurance industry with its own company months after it lost control of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation when the Supreme Court nullified the sale of the government-owned insurance corporation to Distilleries. Distilleries said it plans to make an initial investment of Rs.500 million in a new insurance company. more..

'Those who try to be coronated using the war have not done anything other than putting up posters & cutouts'

Dec 11 (LT) The President, attempting to be coronated with the help of the war victories, hiding behind and making use of it, is covering the whole country by pasting posters and putting up cutouts but has not done any service to the country says Common Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka. He said, “Democracy has been weakened in the country and law and order has completely broken down. more..

For children of Samurdhi beneficiary families: Rs 5,000 university admission grant

Dec 11 (DN) Children of Samurdhi beneficiary families, who gain entry to universities will receive a Rs 5,000 financial donation from next year to meet their basic needs at the time of entry. President Mahinda Rajapaksa while presenting Sipdora scholarships to eligible students yesterday, also directed Samurdhi Commissioner General Sarath Wijeweera to prepare the new financial donation program for university entrants. more..

Elections Chief to ensure fair media coverage

Dec 11 (DM) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake will, after nominations close on December 17, decide on the appointment of a Competent Authority to monitor the state media in the run up to the January 26 presidential election, a leading election monitoring group said. PAFFREL executive director Rohana Hettiarachchi said Mr. Dissanayake gave this assurance when they met him on Wednesday and more..

Upgrade expertise in hospitality industry

Dec 11 (DN) The country should focus attention on skills development in the hospitality industry to compete with regional destinations. An essential ingredient in this regard is to upgrade the expertise in the industry in all sectors and provide professional training and exposure, Galle Face Hotel General Manager Chandra Mohotti told Daily News Business. Sri Lanka is a relatively new destination in the market. more..

Two Indian coast guard men rescued from Sri Lankan fishermen

Dec 11 (IANS) The Indian Navy Friday afternoon rescued two Indian Coast Guard personnel held captive by two Sri Lankan fishermen in their boat since Wednesday. 'The Lankan fishing vessel was located around 200 km east of Chennai. Naval personal boarded the fishing vessel and rescued the Coast Guard personnel. The Lankan fishermen and their vessel have been towed to Vishakapatnam,' a naval official said. more..

Rajapaksa says ending terrorism shows Sri Lanka upholds rights

Dec 11 (BN) Sri Lanka’s defeat of terrorism with its victory over Tamil Tiger rebels shows the country will uphold human rights, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. “All Sri Lankans enjoy the freedoms they were denied for a very long period,” Rajapaksa said in a statement late yesterday marking Human Rights Day. The anniversary “is of special significance at it takes place when the entire country is liberated from the clutches of terrorism.” more..

Sri Lanka President visits oil exploring ship

Dec 11 (LP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday toured the Indian oil exploring ship docked in Colombo Port. The ship chartered by the Indian oil company Cairn India to survey the Mannar basin for oil deposits has arrived in the port. Sri Lanka is to strike oil and gas as soon as the reports on 3 D seismic studies are completed within two months. The study would enable to ascertain how much hydrocarbon deposits are available in the Mannar Basin. more..

Probe into Lasantha killing handed over to CID

Dec 11 (Island) Investigations into the assassination of the Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickramatunge were handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department yesterday on a directive from IGP Mahinda Balasuriya. The probe had earlier been conducted by the Mirihana Police. A team of special investigators, under the supervision of ASP Senaka Kumarasinghe, commenced investigations yesterday. more..

Restrictions on United States' military assistance to Sri Lanka

Dec 11 (AP) A bill passed by the US House of Representative today imposed restrictions on US military assistance to Sri Lanka and sought a report from the secretary of state on the alleged crime against humanity during the last phase of the 30-year-old civil war there. The Senate and House Conference report of the 2010 Appropriations Bill direct the secretary of state to submit a report more..

Commissioner of Elections cancels meeting of customs officers arranged by President

Dec 11 (LT) The Commissioner of Elections has stopped the political meeting that had been arranged to be held by Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse at Temple Trees tomorrow for customs officers. The Commissioner of Elections has taken this action considering a complaint made by All Ceylon Customs Service Union stating the meeting to be by Mr. Rajapakse was a violation of election regulations. more..

Banks told to slash interest on credit cards

Dec 11 (LBO) Central Bank said it has asked banks to sharply reduce interest rates charged on credit cards saying they had enough room to do so as interest rates in general had fallen. "Banks have been requested to reduce the interest rates levied on credit cards to at least a level between 24 percent and 36 percent," the regulator said. The Central Bank said it has observed "with concern" that interest rates charged by licensed banks on credit cards have remained unchanged in more..

President Rajapaksa should reveal his wealth to EC – JVP

Dec 11 (Island) General (Retd) Sarath Fonseka will submit a list of his assets along with his presidential nomination form, to the Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake on January 17. President Mahinda Rajapaksa should do likewise, JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. He said that in keeping with the directive of the Elections Commissioner for candidates to declare their assets Rajapaksa should also reveal how wealthy he was. more..

Foursome arrested by STF were tea racketeers

Dec 11 (Island) An investigation by the Special Task Force sleuths has revealed that the four men arrested by the STF last Thursday (3), from Kitulwatte Road in Borella, were partners in a massive racket involving tea exports. One suspect believed to be the mastermind of this multimillion rupee racket is known as Tea Suddha alias Tea Amin. A Sub Inspector of the Crime Bureau of the Police headquarters was among the suspects and his pistol was taken into custody. more..

Sri Lanka strives to recover after end of civil war

Dec 11 (DPA) Months after ending a 26-year civil war in Sri Lanka that claimed over 100,000 lives, fresh hopes have been raised about building ethnic unity, although scars remain. Government forces inched their way into the rebel-held territories in the northern part of the country in the final phase of the offensive in January this year. They eventually killed all the senior rebels of the LTTE including more..