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Does the General need a manifesto?

Dec 14 (LG) Election manifestos in Sri Lanka could be described as pledges of candidates in long turgid prose which even the candidates are not familiar with and have no intentions of keeping them while voters too do not take these pledges seriously at all. But political manifestos do serve a function if the candidates are elected for they provide a grand opportunity for the opposition to read chapter and verse about broken promises. more..

'Executive presidency not the culprit'

Dec 14 (LG) Some pundits claim that the greatest tragedy in Sri Lanka today is the executive presidency; hence all attention is concentrated on that. Then they argue that as Mahinda does not agree to change the constitution to eliminate the executive presidency, he should be defeated. In other words, the whole campaign against the chauvinist repressive Mahinda regime is reduced to a debate on the executive presidency and the 17th amendment. more..

Sri Lanka mineral sands eyed by Indian state firms: report

Dec 14 (LBO) India is looking to buy more rutile and ilmenite mineral sands from Sri Lanka, a media report said quoting Kerala state industries minister Elamaran Kareem. Sri Lanka's The Sunday Times newspaper in a Kerala dateline report said two state-run firms Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd and Travancore Titanium Products Ltd was looking to import more mineral sands from Sri Lanka. more..

IDPs situation in Lanka not good, says Ranil

Dec 14 (PTI) Former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe today said there was "limited freedom of movement" for internally displaced Tamils lodged in camps in the island nation and their condition would improve and proper resettlement would take place only if opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka was elected President. "At the moment, there is limited freedom of movement for the IDPs and the situation is not good," Wickremasinghe told more..

India deploys heavy security for Sri Lanka ODI

Dec 14 (PTI) The first of five limited-overs internationals between India and Sri Lanka will be played under tight security this week with almost 1,500 police deployed to ensure player safety. ‘We have deployed 1,500 policemen including three companies of SRP (State Reserve Police ),’ Deputy Commissioner of Police Mayank Chavda was quoted as saying by PTI on Sunday. ‘About 100 policemen have been deployed at the hotel for the players security.’ more..

The Structure of Tamil Names

Dec 14 (GV) My name is Sivapuranam Thevaram, and my origins are in the northern parts of Sri Lanka. I usually identify myself as a Sri Lankan Tamil, strictly in that order. And that order is not negotiable. Equally significant, and not for negotiation, is the order of the two identifiers in my name: Sivapuranam is the one given to my father at his birth, Thevaram is mine. My brothers are Sivapuranam Thiruvasakam and Sivapuranam Thirumanthiram. more..

Prudent 2 point program for pragmatic Tamil Politics

Dec 14 (TC) Sri Lanka is a work in progress, a jigsaw puzzle that we have never been able to complete because the pieces haven’t been fitted together correctly. The Sinhalese and Tamil ‘pieces’ of the jigsaw want places bigger than the spaces available that would permit the whole to fit together. Both the Sinhalese and Tamils overestimate themselves and underestimate the other. more..

Interview with Sunila Abeysekera

Dec 14 (GV) To commemorate Human Rights Day 2009 Groundviews interviewed a number of leading activists in Sri Lanka to find out their perspectives on current challenges facing human rights in post-war Sri Lanka. In general, activists featured were asked to comment on the Sri Lankan State’s protection of human rights, the nexus between human rights and human dignity and opportunities for greater human rights protection over the coming years. more..

Seized Sri Lankan boat was equipped with hi-tech gadgets

Dec 14 (Hindu) The sophisticated fishing boat apprehended by the Indian Coast Guard off the Puducherry coast with five Sri Lankan fishermen on board was equipped with modern communication gadgets and radar. According to sources in Central intelligence agencies, the fishing boat Dinusha Baby (Meril Marine) was located 35 nautical miles from Puducherry and was engaged in fishing in Indian waters. more..

If they call me a traitor, you can imagine what they would say to others who retire

Dec 14 (LeN) The common Presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka addressing a Press conference said, if they are now calling me a traitor, you can imagine what they would say to all those in the Forces when they are retiring. Though cutouts area displayed at every nook and corner of the country of a single individual trying to pose as a Hero, there is no such need for him (Fonseka) to become a cardboard Hero, he observed. more..

SA accused of ignoring Sri Lankan genocide

Dec 14 (TL) The accusation follows a visit by the minister of international relations, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, to Colombo last month. During her speech to seal bilateral links, Nkoana-Mashabane said: "Sri Lanka has become a key partner on several international issues such as human rights, poverty alleviation, globalisation and the reform of the United Nations ..." She added that the countries shared a common interest in the promotion of human rights. more..

'I did not say, Gotabaya gave orders to kill the LTTE members who came to surrender'

Dec 14 (LeN) Gen. Sarath Fonseka the common Presidential candidate said that he did not state that Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse gave orders to kill those who LTTE ers who came to surrender during the last phase of the war. The General told this when answering a question raised by a media personnel with reference to a news item appearing in today’s Sunday Leader newspaper. more..

34 Lanka fishermen detained by Indian Coast Guard

Dec 14 (Hindu) Thirty four Sri Lankan fishermen who were intercepted by Coast Guard (CG) near Nizampatnam of Guntur district in the early hours of Sunday were brought here for questioning. However, the efforts of the Coast Guard and Fisheries Department teams proved futile as all of them knew only Sinhalese. Persons who could speak Sinhalese were requisitioned from Chennai. They are expected to arrive and question the fishermen on Monday.

Cracking the Rajapaksa siblings’ estate deals

Dec 14 (SL) The fortunes of the First Family and immediate family members continue to grow with one of the Presidential siblings setting his eyes upon becoming an estate owner in the Kurunegala District. A younger sibling of President Mahinda Rajapaksa is currently on the look out to purchase coconut estates in the Kurunegala District spending millions of rupees. The Sunday Leader after visiting the respective areas received confirmation from the villagers and

Is Sri Lanka heading for military rule?

Dec 14 (LMD) Upali, the driver, is confused. He’s feeling like the child of a broken marriage, torn between two disputatious parents. He doesn’t have any luxuries, but he is proud to be a citizen of Sri Lanka, secure in his sense of Buddhist Sinhala identity. He feels no acrimony for those of other ethnic groups or religions. Without any sense of triumphalism he rejoices that his country is at peace. more..

Two basic questions to the UNF and its allies

Dec 14 (TC) There are two basic questions that have NOT been answered directly by the UNF and its allies and the JVP in promoting and supporting their Common Candidate for presidency. One, IS IT ONLY A WAR HERO, a military commander, who could abolish the executive presidency and no one else ? Two, will all corruption, nepotism, human rights violations come to an automatic stop, ONCE THE EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY IS ABOLISHED ? more..

General to quit if he can not abolish executive presidency

Dec 14 (Xinhua) Opposition common candidate for the forthcoming presidential election in Sri Lanka, former Chief of Defense Staff General Sarath Fonseka said on Sunday that he will quit the post if he can not abolish the executive presidency once he is elected as the executive president. Fonseka said President Mahinda Rajapaksa's cutouts were set up every 10 meters, but the people will not vote for "cutout" politicians. more..

Opposition candidate promises presidency answerable to the parliament

Dec 14 (Xinhua) The common candidate of Sri Lanka's opposition parties for the forthcoming presidential election Sarath Fonseka said on Sunday that the main objective of his arrival to the politics is the abolition of executive presidency. Fonseka made the remarks at the first joint press conference hosted by the leaders of the opposition political parties which support Fonseka at the presidential election. more..

The Dirge for TNA in its final break- up

Dec 14 (AT) A Revolt within the TNA is seriously on the card and it is imminent that the TNA is to break up soon into three to four groups. At present the former TULF MPs, the offshoot of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi is trying to control the TNA which is being strongly resisted by the other groups. At the last TNA group meeting held to decide about TNA’s position in the coming presidential election, was postponed sine die, without making any decision, more..

Exploring Sri Lanka

Unions rally behind presidential candidates of ruling elite

Dec 14 (wsws) The anti-working class character of the plantation unions in Sri Lanka has been underscored by their role in the present campaign for the January 26 presidential elections. The unions, which represent an estimated 500,000 tea, rubber and coconut plantations workers, are backing one or other of the two main ruling class candidates—the incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse or his chief rival General Sarath Fonseka. more..

Sarath Fonseka's betrayal worse than the Millenium City betrayal - Weerawansa

Dec 14 (GDI) Opposition candidate, retired General Sarath Fonseka's statement accusing the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Brig.Shavindra Silva as stated by Fonseka in yesterday's issue of the SundayLeader, is the greatest betrayal of the nation than the one committed by the UNP on the Millenium City intelligence sleuths, said National Freedom Front (NFF),leader,Wimal Weerawansa. more..

'World commends accelerated demining process'

Dec 14 (GDI) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe announced that the international community has expressed plasure and commendation on the speedy demining process carried out in Sri Lanka in the post war period to accelerate resettlement of the displaced persons. He said Sri Lanka was the only country which had implemented a speedy demining process to clear the ground after a long 30 year protracted war that came to an end in May this year. more..

'Gen.Sarath Fonseka has violated the Official Secrets Act'

Dec 14 (GDI) Legal luminary,President's Counsel, Gomin Dayasiri today claimed that retired General, Sarath Fonseka had by Fonseka's statement to the "Sunday Leader" yesterday accusing the Defence Secretary,Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and then Brig.Shavindra Silva of having executed some LTTE frontliners carrying white flags to surrender violated Section 6 (E) of the Official Secrets Act of 1955. more..

Kilinochchi hospital being rebuilt

Dec 14 (MoD) Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry is now rebuilding the Kilinochchi Base Hospital for the second time. It was completely destroyed by the LTTE a few months back after the Ministry completely rebuilt it at a cost of Rs.500 million. At present the Ministry is rebuilding the hospital to cater to 30,000 IDPs who have already been resettled in the area. The Ministry has plans to obtain assistance from INGOs and foreign Governments for this purpose. more..

Commander of the Navy meets representatives of fishing societies in Trincomalee area

Dec 14 (MoD) Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe met with representatives of Fishing Societies of Trincomalee area recently. Commander Eastern Naval Area Rear Admiral SMB Weerasekara and many senior Naval officers were also present at this meeting. The meeting was held at the Mud Cove Fisheries Harbour in the morning. A large number of representatives from various Fishing Societies in and around Trincomalee attended this meeting. more..

'Exploring new spheres for a better future'

Dec 14 (MoD) The following keynote address was delivered at the Annual Symposium of the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University on December 4. Air Chief Marshal WDRMJ Goonetileke, Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force. 'Free of burning issues' has merely been a dream in the context of this historical land for almost 30 years until the evil menace of terrorism was crushed in the month of May this year. more..

Govt grants livelihood relief loans to resettled people

Dec 14 (MoD) The government with the objective of uplifting the living standards of newly resettled people in the North has introduced a special relief loan scheme, said Governor of Nothern Province Major General G.A. Chandrasiri. He further said that up to now Rs 7.5 million has been granted among the resettled people in Jaffna district under this programme. Funds of the Northern Provincial Council are being utilized for the granting of loans, more..

'All Army heroes contributed to Army's success story in Wanni'

Dec 14 (MoD) War Heroes in the whole of Sri Lanka Army who sweated with gusto over the final outcome of the Wanni Humanitarian Operations that ended in May this year received accolades and parchment scrolls from Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Army who paid his unreserved tribute to the determination and valour of all War Heroes in the Army. more..

More fish released to tanks in Kilinochchi and Vavuniya

Dec 14 (LP) A total of 850,000 fish have been released to the Tanks in Vavuniya and Kilinochchi said the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. The Ministry said that they released 5, 50,000 fish to the Iratteiperiyakulm, Pavatkulam, Kalumadu, Mamduwa, Mohanthamkulam and Kanagarayankulam tanks in Vavuniya. Meanwhile another 3, 00,000 fish were released to the Iranamadu, Puthumuruppu and Kanagambikulam tanks in the Kilinochchi district. more..

Twelve candidates for the Presidential Election

Dec 14 (LP) The Elections office reports that 12 persons have already deposited money to contest in the upcoming Presidential Election next year. President Mahinda Rajapakse made his deposits on the 07th of December and is contesting on behalf of UPFA. Eleven other candidates, the main candidate from the opposition, General Sarath Fonseka, Sirithunga Jayasooriya, Wickramabahu Karunaratne, M.D.Thaminimulla, J.A.Peter Nelson, Sarath Mamamenthira, Bathramulle Seelarathana Thero, Asala Suraweera, more..

Now Vavuniya nursing College bans Hijab for Muslim students

Dec 14 (PSM) The administration of the Nurses Training College in Vavuniya has prohibited the Muslim Nursing students and Midwife Trainees from wearing hijabs to the training college, according to reliable sources. Time and again this issue is taken up at different institutions in Sri Lanka by mischievous elements with vested interests. The students say the Muslim students from the Northern Province who more..

The New Lawyer’s Organisation formed

Dec 14 (LG) A lawyer’s organisation has been formed in Sri Lanka under the name LAWERS FOR DEMOCRACY with a view “to emerge as a forceful voice to discharge the social obligations and the responsibilities of the lawyers for the protection and advancement of democracy, rule of law and human rights.” They have declared a charter for the purpose. The lawyers have recognised “that the legal profession in the country need to play a serious role at a time of crisis where more..

President emphasizes the role of the Police in the combat against underworld

Dec 14 (LP) The police play a major role in dealing with the underworld and the honour of minimizing the underworld activities and arresting underworld kingpins goes to the Police. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, stated so addressing over 5000 Law enforcement officers at Temple Trees yesterday. The police should ensure that democracy prevails in the county and it is the responsibility of the Police to create a society in which all could live in dignity. more..

Do we need to change textbooks often to teach English?

Dec 14 (DN) The evolution of methods for teaching a second language has seen many approaches and methods getting discarded as and when experts in the field advocate. However, as knowledge expands such discourses are inevitable. When teaching methods change, consequently the materials are changed or vice versa. In the case of the general education in Sri Lanka, we have witnessed textbooks being changed a number of times in terms of their outlook over the past couple of years. more..

We should not forget Rizana

Dec 14 (LG) It was indeed mind-boggling a couple of years ago to note the concern for Rizana a poor girl from Mutur facing the death penalty in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Indeed the concern for her was unprecedented. When foreign human –rights organizations brought her unfortunates predicament to light, the government, social organizations and individual Sri Lankans did everything possible to alleviate the suffering of this poor girl. more..

Dilmah family helps Sri Lankans in need

Dec 14 (Scoop) The family behind Dilmah tea has spent more than $27 million on the first stage of a complex in Sri Lanka that will care for abused women, differently abled children and marginalized children from urban slums in Sri Lanka. The first phase of the MJF Centre, has been opened by Merrill J. Fernando, Founder of Dilmah and Settlor of the MJF Charitable Foundation, at Moratuwa, more..

Youth activists on human rights in Sri Lanka

Dec 14 (GV) To commemorate Human Rights Day 2009 Groundviews interviewed a number of leading activists in Sri Lanka to find out their perspectives on current challenges facing human rights in post-war Sri Lanka. In general, activists featured were asked to comment on the Sri Lankan State’s protection of human rights, the nexus between human rights and human dignity and opportunities for greater human rights protection over the coming years. more..

Meeting with the President limited to inarticulate Police Officers

Dec 14 (LT) The Police Officers who were present at Temple Trees yesterday had been influenced prior to the meeting by the senior officers not to ask any questions from the President, according to a police officer who participated in the said meeting. It is reported that the Inspector General of Police had informed the Officers in Charge to participate only those who will not ask any questions from the President. more..

A Challenge for an open debate by the General

Dec 14 (LT) The Common Candidate General Sarath Fonseka yesterday challenged President Mahinda Rjapaksa to come forward in an open debate on the existing problems faced by the country at this moment. He made this challenge at the media conference held yesterday which was convened by the leaders of the political parties who support the Common Candidate. General Sarath Fonseka further stated that he is ready to organize such a debate at any time decided by the President. more..

Democratic system at stake - Prof. Peiris

Dec 14 (LNP) What is at stake at this Presidential election is the survival of the democratic way of life and basic values entrenched in the democratic system of Government, said Export Development and Internal Trade Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris speaking at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party district office opening at Sitinamaluwa, Beliatta in Hambantota. Ports and Civil Aviation, Irrigation and Water Management Minister Chamal Rajapaksa presided. more..

'I will abolish executive presidency which is a curse for the country. If I fail I would resign'

Dec 14 (LT) “I will abolish executive presidency that is a curse for this country. I’ll resign if I’m enabling to do so. I would not like to receive merit money,” said non-party common candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka. He said this at a summit of intellectuals and professionals under the theme ‘Democracy, good governance and future of Sri Lanka’ organized by the JVP and more..

An attempt at hara-kiri

Dec 14 (LNP) There is a high octane performance on the part of government propagandists and their Opposition counterparts engaged in a ruthless mud-slinging contest. The government used to boast that it had ensured there were no irregularities in military purchases unlike in the past. But, now, we are being told that while Fonseka was the army commander, his son-in-law was involved in some questionable business deals with the army. more..

Reading election polls: To be misled or to be empowered?

Dec 14 (GV) Our past experience about elections in Sri Lanka confirms that there was hardly anything that parties and candidates did not exploit for their advantage. In the eve of elections, the incumbents in high postings often remembers to offer government jobs, pay hikes to the people who they think are their potential voter bases. Since independence every party and its candidates exploited the government’s food-rations and more..

Power to the women of Ampara

Assistant Health Officers work to rule from today, says union

Dec 14 (AD) Assistant Health Officers began a work to rule campaign against the recent Cabinet decision to absorb them into the normal Management Assistant Service by the Government. Addressing a media briefing at the Punchi Borella office, Convenor for the All Ceylon Health Workers’ Union Saman Ratnapriya said that the unions were against this move and had urged the authorities to cancel this decision some time back. more..

Nobody was carrying white flags that night: Sarath Fonseka

Dec 14 (AD) The Army has never involved itself in war violations and has acted according to international norms. As the then Sri Lanka Army Commander, he takes full responsibility to all actions from top to bottom of the army, said General (retired) Sarath Fonseka addressing a news briefing this afternoon (Dec. 13). Sarath Fonseka said that the issue raised last Sunday was due to a misinterpretation by the media that interviewed him. more..

Bio gas for cooking and three-wheelers

Dec 14 (DN) Master Divers (Pvt) Ltd and the University of Moratuwa has developed a bio gas cylinder that could be used for cooking and to run three wheelers. Chairman Ariyaseela Wickramanayake said that the new product has been tested and proven to be sustainable, economical and environment friendly. The company will launch the product commercially early next year. Wickramanayake said that this is a result of research and an experiment carried out by more..

'Rule of Law cornerstone for modern state'

Dec 14 (DN) Law should be supreme and should be the exclusive basis of equitable governance of the affairs of men and society, said Legal Aid Commission (LAC) Chairman S. S. Wijeratne delivering the key note address on "Supremacy of the Judiciary in the Protection of Human Rights in Sri Lanka." Rule of Law is the highest legal principle of general application- the cornerstone of the modern democratic state. more..

Wimal to complain to CID over Gen.'s statement

Dec 14 (CT) Leader of the NFF Wimal Weerawansa says he will lodge a complaint with the CID over a statement allegedly made by presidential hopeful Gen. Sarath Fonseka to a weekend English newspaper. The retired chief of defence staff has alleged defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had ordered the then Brig. Shavindra Silva to kill LTTE leaders who had surrendered during the final phase of the war, more..