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Seminar for intellectuals from General, dinner & transport from President!

Dec 12 (LT) A summit of intellectuals on establishing democracy and good governance has been arranged at to be held at Solice Reception Hall at Pita Kotte tomorrow (13th) at 10.00 a.m. Intellectuals, scholars including university dons and professionals will participate in the summit which will be presided by the common candidate of the presidential election Gen. Sarath Fonseka. more..

You're free even to kill a man – Gotabhaya

Dec 12 (LT) Any citizen has the right to murder any other citizen says Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse. Participating in an interview with ‘Lakbima Irida Sangrahaya’ to be issued tomorrow Mr. Rajapakse has made this observation when answering questions on non-party common candidate of the presidential election Gen. Sarath Fonseka. Mr. Rajapakse says Sarath Fonseka has displayed his hunger for power and selfishness by contesting the presidential election. more..

Representatives of Industrialists & business community meet JVP leaders

Dec 12 (LT) Representatives of several commercial councils that represent industrial and business community in Sri Lanka met the Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe and Member of the Central Committee Sunil Handunneththi today (12th) morning. They said that a future economic plan of the JVP should pay attention on the tax policy, infrastructure facilities and improving productivity. more..

Employees of Govt., Press agitate against removal of General’s cutout

Dec 12 (LT) The employees of Government Press at Borella engaged in a protest campaign today noon against the removal of a cutout with the photograph of Gen. Sarath Fonseka fixed at the premises of the press. An unknown gang that had arrived yesterday night had removed the cutout and according to information it has been carried out on orders from the top. However, nothing has been done to the cutout more..

Film Corporation in President’s campaign

Dec 12 (LT) Despite state employees have been debarred from taking part in election campaigns, Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse is engaging employees of ‘The National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka’ in his election campaign. The Consultant to the National Film Corporation T.M. Sangadasa sending a letter under the title “Presidential election – a media conference of artistes” has asked all those who belong to fine arts sector in the island to more..

'Dangerous conspiracy'

Dec 12 (DN) There is a very grave situation in the country with the most dangerous conspiracy afoot since independence. It was a Washington consensus nomination putting together the unholy JVP-UNP extreme Left extreme Right combination, Constitutional Affairs and National Integration Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera said yesterday. He said all reactionary national and international forces mysterious and unseen have come together. more..

UNF asks Polls Chief to discipline ‘public servant Gothabaya’

Dec 12 (Island) The UNF called on Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake to take action against Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa, for violating election laws. Leader of the SLFP(M) Mangala Samaraweera, said that Gothabaya, as a public servant, could not be seen or heard to be campaigning for any candidate at the forthcoming Presidential campaign, but he had become the media spokesman of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

‘Farmers should pay more attention to animal health’

Dec 12 (DN) The Livestock Development Ministry has taken steps to ensure that healthy livestock of farmers is maintained properly through Animal Production and Health Department. “It is our duty to look after animals properly to develop the livestock of the country. Animals play the key role in the development of livestock. Without healthy animals we can’t do anything in this field. But most farmers do not pay attention to animal health. more..

Govt to import 50,000 mt of samba rice

Dec 12 (DN) The Government will import 50,000 metric tonnes of samba rice to provide relief to consumers for the forthcoming festive season. Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operatives and Consumer Services Minister Bandula Gunawardene told the Daily News that consumers will be able to purchase the samba rice at lower prices sans a scarcity as adequate stocks will be available in the market during this festive season. more..

Opposition candidate hankering after power

Dec 12 (DN) Though the JVP-UNP combine was talking about freedom and democracy Opposition candidate Fonseka is hankering after power as he had already said he does not want to be a ceremonial President like William Gopallawa, SLFP General Secretary and Agriculture and Mahaweli Development Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. “He works with a military mind and his first poster was in yellow letters on a black background. more..

President, Defence Secy, General face same security threat – Counsel

Dec 12 (Island) Romesh de Silva PC, counsel for General Sarath Fonseka yesterday told the Supreme Court that President Rajapaksa, the Secretary Defence, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and General Sarath Fonseka were in the same class, where the security threats were concerned. Among the three, the President and General Fonseka were rival candidates at the forthcoming Presidential poll. President Rajapaksa had a security staff of 2,000 personnel. more..

Foreign media invited to liberated Vanni east

Dec 12 (Island) With the government gradually opening up the liberated Vanni region to the outside world, the Colombo-based international press is seeking access to former LTTE strongholds. In keeping with a Defence Ministry directive, the Presidential Media Division, n concurrence with the Army Media Directorate, had accommodated a group of foreign correspondents among local media covering President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s recent visit to Puthukudirippu, more..

'Joint Opp. agitating to restore democracy when it is abundantly practised here'

Dec 12 (Island) When democracy is fully practiced in the country, it was really amusing to observe one of the main slogans of the UNP and JVP repeatedly stating that they wanted to overthrow President Mahinda Rajapaksa to restore democracy, General Secretary of the SLFP Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. The SLFP General Secretary was speaking at a press briefing on the Presidential campaign of President Mahinda Rajapaksa more..

I don’t go begging for posts: Sajith

Dec 12 (DM) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa, who scotched speculation that he had been appointed the party’s national organizer, said he would accept whatever responsibility assigned to him by the party. However, Mr. Premadasa said he would not go after anyone seeking posts in the party. “There are posters put up here and there saying that I have been appointed the national organizer. Unscrupulous persons have probably done this to sling mud at me. more..

Will Tamils boycott the election this time as well?

Dec 12 (DM) With the Presidential election campaign heightening, main issues affecting the ordinary people are being increasingly replaced by allegations, invectives and insults against each other by political party leaders. The questions why elections should be held and on what grounds people should elect their representative have been totally put in the back burner, giving an impression that anybody who has the financial power can contest any election. more..

Vain attempt at General's house

Dec 12 (DM) The Bullers Road residence of Opposition presidential candidate General Sarath Foseka had reportedly been surrounded by a group of Military Police officers and police constables from the Cinnamon garden police yesterday evening. Sources close to Gen. Fonseka said there were at least 150 personnel who wanted to check the house saying they had evidence that several army deserters were being harboured by General Sarath Fonseka and also being included in his security contingent. more..

'I brought diverse parties together'

Dec 12 (DM) Common opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka yesterday said that he had not signed any contract with anyone by agreeing to contest the upcoming presidential election. Addressing a religious ceremony organized by the National Bikkhu Front to invoke blessings on him at the Abhayarama temple in Narahenpita yesterday. Gen. Fonseka said the political parties that are backing him hold different ideas and more..

Sri Lanka in push for solar energy

Dec 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's renewable energy promotion agency is in a new drive to push larger solar power plants connected to the national grid in Sri Lanka though the technology is still relatively expensive. In rural Sri Lanka small off-grid plants are being sold by a number of private firms and solar hot water systems are also being used in grid connected buildings. "Sri Lanka considered as a solar hot spot due to many reasons," more..

Sri Lanka wants more players in oil race

Dec 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka plans to offer three more blocks off the island's northwestern shores for oil exploration, the government said on Saturday. "We need more players in the oil exploration race and the government plans to call for tenders for three more blocks off the Gulf of Mannar early next year," Petroleum Resources Minister A.H.M. Fowzie told AFP. Cairn India, a unit of Britain's Cairn Energy Plc, began a 100 million-dollar seismic survey more..

Sri Lanka Navy searching for fishing vessel

Dec 12 (Hindu) Sri Lanka on Saturday said its Navy along with the Indian Navy is engaged in search operations to rescue two of the five crew members of the “Wind Marine 8”, the island nation’s multi-day fishing vessel which was apprehended on December 9 by the Indian Coast Guard. A statement by the Foreign Ministry said the vessel was arrested on December 9 by the Indian Coast Guard, on the suspicion of illegal fishing off the east coast of India and thereafter, more..

Opposition launches election bid in north

Dec 12 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's main opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe visited the northern capital of Jaffna on Saturday to launch the presidential election campaign, officials from Wickremesinghe's office said. Wickremesinghe's visit was aimed at launching the election campaign of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, who is the common candidate of the opposition parties for the presidential election scheduled to be held on Jan. 26, 2010. more..

Sri Lanka war refugees face uneasy homecoming

Dec 13 (AP) Three years ago, Vairamuttu Bavani left her home in eastern Sri Lanka to attend her cousin's wedding in the north. She didn't make it back until September. Trapped by the civil war, Bavani, a Tamil, lost six members of her family and both her legs to a bomb. She spent months detained in an overcrowded refugee camp. And even now, she remains under tight scrutiny by local authorities, more..

All-round Yuvraj Singh helps India draw level

Dec 13 (CI) Yuvraj Singh gave himself a 28th birthday present with three wickets and a witheringly powerful half-century as India became only the second team to successfully chase more than 200 in a Twenty20 international. Kumar Sangakkara's dazzling 31-ball 59 had been the foundation of Sri Lanka's imposing 206 for 7, but with Virender Sehwag clearing the ropes with ease during his 64 off 36 balls and more..

Prabhakaran, Amman dead; Rajiv case may be closed

Dec 12 (Topnews) Decks have been cleared for the closure of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case with Sri Lankan government confirming the deaths of two most important conspirators in the case, LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran and its intelligence chief Pottu Amman, formally to India. New Delhi had asked for the death certificates of the two, immediately after the Lankan army operations against LTTE were over and the demand was taken up with Colombo by a high level delegation of more..

"Boat destroyed in India", says fishermen

Dec 13 (BBC) Fishermen say that they believe one of the boats in the custody of Indian coast guards has been set on fire. Sri Lankan fishermen took two Indian coast guards hostage on Thursday when Indian coast guards had attempted to apprehend them while fishing in Indian territorial waters. Chairman of the Fisheries Co-operative Society, Iranamadu, Bernard Fernado said that one of his relatives was in the boat and more..

Colombo sacks Tamil doctor for internment camp comments

Dec 13 (TN) Ministry of Health has interdicted a Tamil doctor, Dr Murali Vallipuranathan, for speaking out on the conditions on the detention camps, and informed him that the Ministry "found him to have acted in a manner that brought disrepute on the Government of Sri Lanka," Lakbima reported. Ministry of Health's communication, said that Dr Vallipuranathan was being removed from service for causing disrepute to the Government, and that his salary was also being stopped. more..

Mahinda, all out to destroy the Tamils

Dec 13 (LG) Whilst making speeches in Tamil and espousing wonderful economic development programmes being initiated in the North and East to appease the oppressed Tamil people, the President and his government are engaged in a systematic way to further extend their control to strengthen their hegemonic interests in the war ridden areas. The Eastern flank of the A9 road is a prohibited area for the inhabitants and visitors. more..

Insight City campus launched in Colombo

Dec 13 (LG) The Insight Institute of Management and Technology, City Campus was launched on the 8th of December at 18A Palmyrah Avenue, Colombo 3, in the presence of a large gathering. Justice Saleem Marsoof PC, Judge of the Supreme Court was the Chief Guest and the Executive Director for the Association for Academic Quality (AFAQ), Pakistan Mr. Shahid Warsi was the Guest of Honour. more..

Fonseka is "capable" but Rajapaksa deserves presidency says Cooray

Dec 13 (AT) Former UNP General Secretary and now Chairman of the newly formed Sri Lanka National Congress, Sirisena Cooray spoke to Asian Tribune on his decision to back President Rajapaksa’s candidacy at the upcoming vote, his take on the rival presidential contender Fonseka and the plight of his former party, the main opposition UNP. more..

Negombo fishermen protesting against government and police

Dec 13 (AN) The small fishermen of Negombo lagoon are protesting against illegal fishing, which destroys fish stocks in the area and weighs on their activities. Five hundred people, including several fisherwomen (photo), demonstrated December 10 near the beach of Negombo, 40 km north of Colombo. The initiative, organized by the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (nafso) in collaboration with more..

Shell shock to Palaly syndrome

Dec 13 (LG) Palaly is a well-known area in Jaffna and it is famous for the Palaly Air Base. Most of the soldiers go to the Northern Peninsula via Palaly airbase. Therefore, Palaly is a part of them. Palaly is in their memories, sometimes in their intrusions. Palaly syndrome describes various clinical and psychosocial ailments experienced by the Sri Lankan combatants and in the final scores how it affects the society at large. more..

“Gota ordered them to be shot”

Dec 13 (SL) Common opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka says Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa instructed a key ground commander in the north that all LTTE leaders must be killed and not allowed to surrender. General Fonseka the then Army Commander said he had no information communicated to him in the final days of the war that three key LTTE leaders had opted to surrender to Sri Lanka’s armed forces as the battle drew to a bloody finish. more..

Building mansions the socialist way

Dec 13 (SL) The construction of mansions worth millions of rupees has become a hallmark of the current administration with its members, from the Head of State to politicians affiliated to the government, not wasting any time in ensuring they acquire all possible luxuries within a short period of time. The latest member of the present administration to join in the “mansion building” race is none other than National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader Wimal Weerawansa. more..

'I survived to do my duty by my country'

Dec 13 (SL) There were 28 holes in my body. But I was so near the blast I felt nothing. The men in front of me were dead. Around me I could hear the screams of the dying. My driver was dead, my outriders had been blown away. From my car’s shattered window, I watched the surviving commandos take up positions around the bomb site and secure the area. Then first-aid teams came and began taking the survivors to hospital. more..

A Trip To Batti

Dec 13 (SL) There are two ways into Batticaloa, by road and by rail, and both are heavily guarded. On a recent journey from Colombo my train was stopped by government forces and searched from top to bottom. The police officers went from car to car, checking to make sure that every piece of luggage was claimed, before allowing the train to proceed into town. The next day, army officers stopped the local bus I was riding and forced everyone except more..

As election heats up, candidates throw mud and recruit crossovers

Dec 13 (SL) They are off! President Rajapaksa’s envoy, in the form of Susil Premajayantha, trotted along to the Elections Commissioner and paid his deposit, as did General Sarath Fonseka, marking the formal start of what we call the Mother of All Elections, with apologies to Saddam who made the “Mother of All Battles” ever so infamous. It is however a strong sense of De Ja Vu that the Sri Lankan voter is experiencing. more..

Head to head : The candidates’ profiles

Dec 13 (SL) Name: Gardihewa Sarath Chandralal Fonseka Born: 1950, Ambalangoda, Western Province, Address: Presently homeless, but occupying generals house at Bullers Lane, Colombo7, offices at Reid Avenue, Colombo 07. Background: Born to a family of teachers Fonseka can legitimately claim to be a man of the people. He describes spending his early childhood in a thatched roof cottage in Ampara. more..

TNA tortured over Presidential poll

Dec 13 (LB) While the TNA is split on whether to field a candidate at the forthcoming presidential election or not, Jaffna MP Sivajilingam has said that in a power vacuum created in the eventuality the TNA does not contest, he will step into the void and contest independently. He has expressed opinion that a Tamil candidate not contesting for the Presidency, would be tantamount to the same boycott by Northern Tamil voters that happened in the 2005 Presidential election more..

Presidential election: A complicated race

Dec 13 (DS) The presidential election in Sri Lanka, scheduled for January 26, is expected to witness tough contest between the two top candidates. Both can legitimately claim credit for the government victory over the Tamil militants, thus bringing an end to the long running civil war. Incumbent President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is seeking another term, basking in the glory of crushing the three-decade-old insurgency demanding a separate independent Tamil state, more..

Police speculated to ban "yagna" to make a thunderbolt fall on President Rajapakse

Dec 13 (DBS) A special "Yagna" will be held on Dec 13th in Tamil Nadu temple town Rameshwaram to make a thunderbolt fall on President Rajapakse & kill him. The "Hindu Makkal Katchi"(Hindu peoples party) Youth secretary Saravanan will organize the Yagna on Dec 13th to invoke divine punishment. Saravanan says the "Thirumurai Gnana Velvi" Yagna conducted in Tamil seeks divine blessings for Tamil Eelam & destruction of enemies of Tamils. more..

Govt strategy think-tanks work overtime

Dec 13 (LB) Will the government, now pulling all stops to stop General Sarath Fonseka’s challenge, dissolve parliament before the presidential elections, with a view to creating dissent among UNP and JVP organizers who would then jealously protect their electoral turfs —-because the UNP and JVP would never contest the general elections together? A move to divide parliament is rumoured, but it may be nothing more than a reflection of foot-soldier and sentiment. more..

'Fonseka was not known ... like Wimalaratne, Kobbekaduwa'

Dec 13 (LB) Ever since Sarath Fonseka announced that he would challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the presidential election, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has participated in a whirl of intense interviews to “set the record straight”. Last week, LAKBIMAnEWS was also granted a discussion with Mr Rajapaksa albeit one that was abruptly shortened by the arrival of a US official at his office. more..

The poisoned media masala

Dec 13 (LB) It’s nearly 11 pm and I should be asleep but there’s a man in a national suit yelling raucously into a megaphone, spewing hatred against the opposition and a certain presidential candidate who has apparently committed the unforgivable sin of challenging the status quo. The enthusiastic bunch of campaigners arrived at the neighbourhood in a vehicle convoy. The plan is to stop in several locations and to propagate their message as shrilly as possible. more..

Journeying to bridge the gap...

Dec 13 (LB) The bus ride from Colombo to Jaffna takes about 15 hours and as ‘preparation’ or a ‘rehearsal’ for the long journey, the SLTB makes the would be passengers wait three to four hours at the reservations office at the Pettah Central Bus Stand to book their tickets. People gather near the reservations office as early as 5am although the official time for reservations commence at 6.45 am. I was asked to come between 6.45am and 7 am to the reservation counter but more..

'Baduth eyage, naduth eyage'

Dec 13 (LB) Presidential Candidate and former army chief general Sarath Fonseka talked about his vision for the country and the rift with the Rajapaksa regime in an interview with Ranga Jayasuriya. Q: On your entry into politics, you pledged to abolish the executive presidency. Recently, you have said that you don’t want to be a ceremonial head of state. It looks like there is no clarity in your position? A: The power bestowed on the executive presidency is unlimited. You can see it, can’t you? more..

Macho Rajapakse's metamorphosis to a mother; a definite failure in Sri Lanka polity

Dec 13 (LP) In 2005, when Mahinda Rajapakse was contesting the presidential for the first time, he was portrayed by his propaganda managers as a macho personality who can run up the ladders of a stage waving like a hero of a Kollywood film. His appearance was vis-a-vis UNP candidate Ranil Wickramasinghe who did not exhibit the macho outlook that is expected by most of the voters of Sri Lanka from a President. more..

People, not law, will punish non-declaration of assets

Dec 13 (LB) A media spokesman for General Sarath Fonseka maintained last week that the former army commander will hand over his assets declaration along with his nomination paper to the elections commissioner next week. Fonseka’s camp is evidently hoping to use the declaration of assets as a promotional tool. Based on the assumption that most candidates do not comply with the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Law, more..

Sri Lanka wants India’s help ‘to defeat LTTE politically’!

Dec 13 (TC) Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa delivering the Olcott Oration at Ananda College, Colombo on 14 November is reported to have said: “The relationship developed over the past four years where our closest ally, India, helping us with our war against terrorism. Having their support helped reduce the pressure by other nations and thus we were able to proceed with our ‘humanitarian operations’. He also said that “it was important to develop good relations with India to defeat the LTTE politically in the international arena and more..

Early campaign push via posters and person to capture minority votes

Dec 13 (TC) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe is currently visiting Jaffna Peninsula. He prayed at Nallur Kanthaswamy temple, and Naaga Vihare. He is visiting the University of Jaffna right now. He will stay in the Peninsula for two days. Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe also visited Uthayan office. He paid a courtesy call to Bishop of Jaffna Rt. Rev.Thomas Soundarnayagam. Blue flags flutter around Eravur. more..

Sri Lanka invites investors to rebuild cement plant

Dec 13 (ARI) Sri Lanka's Ministry of Industrial Development has called for expression of interest from local and foreign investors to rebuild a cement plant destroyed by war in the northern Jaffna peninsula. The ministry said in an announcement it will receive expression of interest for the cement manufacturing project in Kankesanthurai up to November 6, 2009 with proposals received being opened the same day. more..