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Gen. Fonseka falls on his sword

Dec 17 (LG) Gen. (retd) Sarath Fonseka thought he was hurling a deadly missile when he accused Maj-Gen. Shavendra Silva of carrying out the orders of the Defence Secretary, in his absence, to eliminate the top LTTE leaders in Nanthi Kadal as they were coming out with white flags. But his missile hung in the air for a while and instead of hitting his opponents it swung violently and boomeranged on him, knocking him down and more..

Mahajana Viyawastawa – A new constitution for Sri Lanka’s future

Dec 17 (LG) Although several months have passed since the combined might of the three defence services and the police, ably supported by the President of Sri Lanka and the Secretary Defence was able to defeat the LTTE terrorists, the expected peace dividend has not yet materialised. We are advised that our foreign exchange reserves are better, but that has not made any difference to the people, especially the poor people. more..

Ranil urges voting rights to Tamils in the camps, elsewhere

Dec 17 (AT) Opposition party leader Ranil Wickramasinghe on Wednesday said at Chennai airport, the Election Commission in the island nation has been urged to give voting rights to Tamils in the forthcoming polls to be held there in January next year. He said he urged the Election Commission to accord voting rights not only to the Tamils living in the camps set up by the government, but also to those who had moved out and were staying with their relatives. more..

The joy of Jaya

Dec 17 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya has been at once a devastating hitter and amongst the foremost opening batsmen of his period. It is no mean combination. His career, his very life, has told of a man given a gift and able to express it in any company. He is the bathroom singer who became an opera star. He is not to be remembered as he has appeared in the last few fading seasons, as a fitful batsman of rare power but more..

Christians unite with message of reconciliation

Dec 17 (UCAN) Christians have come together in an ecumenical service, praying for the thousands of unknown dead in the country's ethnic conflict, and for unity and reconciliation in the years to come. About 50 Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists and Pentecostals attended a candlelight prayer service in the Anglican church of St. Michael in Colombo on Dec. 12. "We are here on behalf of the Churches ... for peace and reconciliation among the people," more..

Priests hold Masses for former Tamil rebels

Dec 17 (UCAN) Catholic priests have celebrated the first few Masses for former Tamil rebels held in camps in the country's north. Military officials gave priests their approval for the services last week. “We are allowed in only for religious purposes,” said Father Emilianuspillai Santhiappillai, head of Vavuniya deanery in Mannar diocese, where most of the 17 rehabilitation camps for Tamil rebels are located. more..

Govt. not opposed to Tissainayagam Bail

Dec 17 (BBC) Courts was informed that the AG would not oppose to a bail application made by journalist JS Tissainayagam who has been sentenced to 20 years rigorous imprisonment under anti terrorism laws. The Supreme courts on Wednesday ordered the registrar to fix a date to further consider the bale application. Tissainayagam, the first journalist in Sri Lanka to be convicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has requested to be released on bail. more..

President awards defected UNP MPs with ministerial portfolios

Dec 17 (TN) Two parliamentarians who resigned from the main opposition UNP Wednesday morning were appointed minister and deputy minister in the UPFA government led by the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the evening. UNP MPs Johnston Fernando and India Bandaranaike were elected on the UNP ticket at the last general elections from Kurunagala district in North Western (Wyamba) province. more..

Karuna, Pillayan groups supporting Rajapaksa clash in Ampara

Dec 17 (TN) Three paramilitary men were reported missing when a major clash broke out between rival paramilitary men of TMVP Pillayan group and SLFP Karuna group around 2:15 p.m. at Thirukkoayil in Ampaa'rai district where a group of 50 operatives of Pillayan had gone in three vehicles to campaign for Mahinda Rajapaksa passing the office of the SLFP manned by Karuna's paramilitary men headed by operative Iniyapaarathi. more..

Special training for masons, carpenters with UNDP assistance

Dec 17 (MoD) A special programme to train masons and carpenters was launched in Seruwila recently. Under this programme 100 selected trainees will be put through two phases with a view to employing them in the housing construction programme implemented in the Seruwila, Eachchampattu, Muttur and Thoppoor areas under the 'Negenahira Navodaya' programme. Unemployed youth in rural areas will be selected for this training programme with more..

To expedite resettlement: More land mine detectors, accessories

Dec 17 (MoD) The UN has gifted 200 mine detectors and accessories. Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP said though it came 160 days late it was most welcome and useful in expediting the land mine clearing process to accelerate resettling IDPs as scheduled. United Nations Resident Representative Neil Buhne and UNDP Senior Program Manager Wuria Kradaghy handed over the detectors at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday. more..

Allai project nears completion

Dec 17 (MoD) Rehabilitation work on the Allai project implemented under the Re-wakening Project at a cost of Rs 385 million with World Bank financial assistance is nearing completion, said Regional Director of Irrigation S. Shanmugasivananthan. He was speaking at the Provincial Coordinating Committee Meeting of the Eastern Province in Trincomalee yesterday. The Allai Irrigation Scheme is a branch canal of the Mahaveli River which flows into the sea at Trincomalee bay. more..

The Rajapakse regime: Brickbats, Plaudits

Dec 17 (GV) This is a disjointed exercise that does not claim comprehensiveness. That is impossible in a short essay, the more so because I write without ethnographic exposure to the experiential subjectivities of either the Tamil people in Sri Lanka or the poor people from every community struggling with the cost of living. In a recent essay I have briefly annotated the government’s failure to prevent a series of killings and more..

The JVP’s campaign among the Tamils, 1977-1982

Dec 17 (GV) During the last four decades Sri Lanka has witnessed three major insurrections mainly by its youth. Since the 1970s, younger generations of Sinhalese and Tamils from similar socio-economic backgrounds have revolted against the erosion of their democratic rights. These insurrections reflected the diverse, but significant and unfulfilled aspirations of the Sinhala and Tamil youth. more..

Sri Lanka faces trade deal suspension: EU

Dec 17 (LBO) The European Union will recommend suspending a trade deal giving duty free access to Sri Lankan exports but hopes to reverse the decision following talks with the island's government, its envoy said. European Union ambassador Bernard Savage said the European Council, its decision-making body, will "logically have to recommend suspension" of the GSP Plus trade deal with Sri Lanka. more..

Canadian tourists to Sri Lanka will increase

Dec 17 (GDI) The Government of Canada has adopted a positive attitude in its Travel Report on Sri Lanka considering the now prevalent peaceful atmosphere in the island nation. This positive change will attract more Canadian tourists to the country, tourism industry sources believe. While the new report no longer recommends prospective visitors to avoid non-urgent travel a welcome sign that will boost tourism here. more..

Candidates arrive in process to hand in nominations

Dec 17 (GDI) Candidates contesting the forthcoming presidential election are now arriving at the Election Commissioner's Secretariat to hand in nominations, reports from the venue stated. These reports said already twenty candidates have arrived to hand over nominations. The main contender from the ruling party, President Mahinda Rajapaksa was expected at any moment to hand in his nomination papers, reports said. more..

Nelson Perera's nomination rejected

Dec 17 (GDI) The Commissioner of Elections, Dayananda Dissanayake today rejected the nomination papers filed by candidate Nelson Perera of the Sri Lanka Pragathisheeli Peramuna when nominations of 23 candidates were recieved this morning at the Election Secretariat, Rajagiriya. Dissanayake pointed out that Perera's nominations papers were not in conformity with the stipulated requirements as the Peramuna he represented was not a political entity that was legal in nature. more..

'First election under a unitary state to elect the President'

Dec 17 (GDI) The Government today proudly claimed that the upcoming presidential election was the first election in the recent history to be held under a unitary state and assured a just, free and fair election to enable the people to elect their Head of State. These observations were made by Minister, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa at the weekly cabinet press briefing more..

An air time of 45 Mts on State media for Presidential Candidates

Dec 17 (LP) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake stated that beginning from today he would take measures to accommodate Presidential Candidates on State Media within a week’s time. Afore mentioned air time of 45 minutes would be allocated on the State television and Broadcasting cooperation channels. However he would have to make the request from the state media institutions listed in the Elections act and more..

National Eye donation day tomorrow

Dec 17 (LP) The first Eye Donation day will be celebrated tomorrow (18) by the Eye Donation Association. The service rendered by the founder of the Association Late Dr Deshabandu Hadson Silva will also take place tomorrow at 10.00 am at the Sri Lanka Eye Donation Association Headquarters. Minister of Health and Nutrition Nimal Siripala de Silva will attend the function as the Chief Guest. more..

German among two killed in crash

Dec 17 (DN) At least two persons including a foreigner were killed and 50 others injured in two separate accidents in Hettimulla and Ampara. Two persons including a German national were killed when a van and a bus collided head on along Galle Road in Hettimulla at around 10.15 p.m. on Tuesday, police said. "A private bus plying from Matara to Colombo collided with the van coming from the opposite direction. more..

UN gifts more equipment to speed up the demining process

Dec 17 (LP) Sri Lanka received more mine detectors and accessories from the United Nations (UN) to accelerate the demining process. The UN gifted 200mine detectors and accessories worth Rs 2, 00,000 and was handed over to MP Basil Rajapaksa by United Nations Resident Representative Neil Buhne and UNDP Senior Program Manager Wuria Kradaghy. MP Rajapaksa thanked UN Under Secretary General Sir John Holmes and other UN agencies for supporting the de-mining process. more..

Swift measures to assist flood victims

Dec 17 (MoD) The National Disaster Management Center (NDMC) had taken swift measures to assist the flood victims in the Eastern Province. NDMC has set up several camps in Batticaloa to provide shelter for the victims. Around 50,000 families were affected due to the floods in the Eastern Province resulting from heavy rains. Arrangements have been made to distribute dry rations and provide temporary accommodation to the flood victims and more..

Allai project nears completion

Dec 17 (MoD) Rehabilitation work on the Allai project implemented under the Re-wakening Project at a cost of Rs 385 million with World Bank financial assistance is nearing completion, said Regional Director of Irrigation S. Shanmugasivananthan. He was speaking at the Provincial Coordinating Committee Meeting of the Eastern Province in Trincomalee yesterday. The Allai Irrigation Scheme is a branch canal of the Mahaveli River which flows into the sea at Trincomalee bay. more..

Kalmunai North DS division issue shelved

Dec 17 (PSM) Cabinet yesterday decided to shelve its decision to re-name existing Kalmunai Tamil DS division and carve out a separate and independent Divisional Secretariat unit known as Kalmunai North, Ampara on a request by leader of NUA and Minister Ms. Ferial Ashraff. On an earlier occasion also Ms. Ashraff had requested the subject Minister Sarath Amunugama to shelve the issue as it is ethno sensitive in nature. more..

Don’t mix up war crimes investigations with political issues in Sri Lanka

Dec 17 (GV) Presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka, in an interview published on 13 December, asserted that he had information that persons coming forward to surrender with white flags raised were shot dead, in cold blood, by the army, pursuant to a premeditated decision by government leaders. This is the then army commander speaking, so it warrants the utmost attention. more..

Kekirawa UNP organizer, 5 others taken into custody

Dec 17 (LG) The chief organizer of the United National Party in Kekirawa and five others were taken into custody by police in Kekirawa town yesterday. Police media spokesman, SSP I. M. Karunarathne said that a tense situation had arisen with the public protesting at attempts by the UNP group to put up posters around 11am. A person inside a vehicle had threatened the public with a firearm prompting the people there to react, police said. more..

‘Samurdhadevi’ not for the JVP

Dec 17 (LT) Members of the JVP branch at Kotte engaged in a protest movement against the sudden cancellation of ‘Samurdhadevi’ reception hall of Kotte Municipality which had been reserved to hold their ‘Bala Mandala’ meeting yesterday. A large number of members of the JVP belonging to Kotte branch including Lakshman Nipunarachchi and several other local council representatives participated at the protest. more..

Dr. P.R. Anthonis passes away aged 98

Dec 17 (CT) Dr. P.R. Anthonis, one of the greatest surgeons Sri Lanka has ever produced, has passed away. He was 98. The funeral takes place on December 19 at Borella Cemetery. Born on 21, January 1911, he received his education at St. Peter’s College, Colombo, and at Colombo Medical College. Dr. Anthonis passed his FRCS examination in England in 1947. more..

SLRC forbids swan!

Dec 17 (LT) The right to telecast the handing over of nomination papers for the 6th presidential election has been given by the Commissioner of Elections only to the state TV channel SLRC. The handing over of nomination papers by the non-party Common Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka was scheduled to take place at 9.27 a.m. today but SLRC deliberately stayed away from telecasting the moment. more..

'Those who carry out mudslinging exercise against students’ movement flee like nincompoops when challenged'

Dec 17 (LT) Those who had discredited the student movement in absence of anyone to contradict them have fled like nincompoops before the challenge of the students says convener of the Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) Udul Premaratne. He said this at the open debate held at ‘Guru Gedera’ on the theme ‘Allegations against students’ movement & responses to them.’ more..

Addressing torture in Sri Lanka

Lawyer petitions SC against SF occupying General's House

Dec 17 (LNP) Attorney-at-Law Upali Premalal Jayamanne has petitioned the Supreme Court that General Sarath Fonseka, who has retired from service, should vacate the official residence of the Army Commander, and make the residence available to the present commander of the Sri Lanka Army. He has requested the Court to direct the Secretary Defence and the present Army Commander to take possession of the official residence and any other quarters occupied by Fonseka. more..

US$ 100 m tower building to be set up in Peliyagoda

Dec 17 (LNP) Construction work on a tower building to house broadcasting antennaes will commence next month in Peliyagoda with an investment of US$ 100 million. The tower building project initiated by the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) will be a national icon and tourist attraction. The project will be completed within one and a half years. more..

A damsel in distress and chivalrous knights

Dec 17 (LNP) The usually harassed and abused journalist becomes the belle of the ball, as it were, for politicians during election times. We see at present politicos of all hues falling over themselves to woo the media, which they obviously despise and detest like a pest at other times. Palatial mansions and posh hotels are running red with wine in honour of humble scribes who are regaled with pleasantries and jokes by `kings` and more..

Elections Commissioner and State TV in united conspiracy?

Dec 17 (LeN) Even though it was only a State television channel, Rupavahini exclusively which was to telecast the handing over of nominations to the Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake, and the Commissioner’s permission had been granted for a live telecast of the proceedings, the State television avoided the telecast of the Opposition common candidate General Sarath Fonseka’s handing over of nominations to the Commissioner at 9.27 a.m. more..

'UNF will not permit pro-UPFA armed groups to run amok during polls'

Dec 17 (Island) Rauf Hakeem MP, leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), an ally of the UNF which has put forward General Sarath Fonseka as its common candidate in the run up to the January 26 Presidential Poll, said that they would not allow armed groups patronised by the UPFA Government to take the law into their hands and deter free and fair polls in the Eastern province. more..

Elections chief to get tough

Dec 17 (DM) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake had agreed to appoint a competent authority to monitor the State media in the run-up to the Presidential election. Several opposition frontliners including UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya and JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva told reporters that the polls chief had assured that a competent authority would be appointed after the receipt of nominations today. more..

FR case against State Media: Court pinpoints many errors

Dec 17 (DN) The Supreme Court yesterday directed the Senior Counsel for Sarath Fonseka, Opposition Presidential Candidate for the forthcoming Election to file a fresh amended Fundamental Rights Application, as the application before court has not complied with the law and having several mistakes in the application. The Bench comprising Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, Justice Shiranee Tilakawardena, Justice Nimal Gamini Amaratunga, Justice Saleem Marsoof PC and more..

Adverse reactions due to reckless statement - President

Dec 17 (DN) An outrageous and irresponsible statement relating to the Security Forces has posed a number of problems to the country, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said the entire country has to face the adverse impact of this type of misleading and reckless statement. “This type of erratic statement could bring problems not only to the Defence Secretary but to the country at large,” he said. more..

International bodies to monitor Presidential Election

Dec 17 (LP) The Commonwealth Union and the Asian Association of Election Authorities (AAEA) have given a positive reply to the invitation forwarded by the Elections Department. Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanyake, said that there was no reply from the European Union although they were informed. The Elections Commissioner said that International bodies had to be called for election monitoring due to the action of the then opposition in the year 1988 and more..

President wields his powers against judiciary

Dec 17 (LT) The annual sessions of officials of judiciary service or the judges is scheduled to take place at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel in Colombo on the 18th. Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse has informed the organizers of this sessions to make room for him to deliver a speech at the sessions. There had been an argument between two sections of the organizers of the event one - side favouring a speech by Mr. Rajapakse and others opposing the move more..

Sarath and Sarath

Dec 17 (DM) The war victory changed both of them for good. It made one who was feted as a potential common opposition candidate to take a step back and the other who was no where in the fray to land like a comet and occupy the slot left vacant by the former. If prudence made one to shun to politics then the ‘devil may care’ attitude of the other has left him where he is today. more..

'40,000 cutouts, billboards promote President'

Dec 17 (Island) Nearly 40,000 cutouts and billboards promoting President Mahinda Rajapaksa, had been displayed throughout the country, deputy UNP leader Karu Jayasuriya said yesterday. He said the propaganda material had been sponsored State institutions. In addition, a youth organisation was using its events said to help young people, for the purpose of promoting the President, Jayasuriya said. more..

Lankan takes ‘Best Cinematographer’ award at DIIFF

Dec 17 (AD) Sri Lankan Cinematographer Channa Deshapriya has won the award for the ‘Best Cinematographer’ at the Dubai International Film Festival held last night.. He was recognized for his contribution to the ‘Ahasin Wetei’ (Between Two Worlds) Directed by Vimukthi Jayasundera. In all, 28 prizes were distributed for excellence in acting, cinematography, editing, music and scriptwriting in addition to the jury general excellence awards. more..

Lanka joins ‘space race’

Dec 17 (Island) Sri Lanka will soon establish the Sri Lanka Space Agency (SLASA) and has signed an MoU with an English company to launch its first geostationary satellite to be named after an internationally renowned physicist and visionary who made Sri Lanka his home, the late Sir Arthur C Clarke. After obtaining Cabinet approval, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRC) signed a MoU to acquire National Satellite Capabilities in more..

SLFP holds ‘Workshop’ to issue temporary IDs

Dec 17 (LT) It is reported that a ‘workshop’ for issuing temporary identity cards has been held by the SLFP. The chief organizer of this ‘workshop’ is said to be the Mayoress of Maharagama Municipality and SLFP electoral organizer for Maharagama Kanthi Kodikara. The ‘workshop’ to be held at Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium on 18.12.2009 has been informed by a letter dated 11.12.2009 stating temporary identity cards for voters will be issued through more..

Postgraduate MSc programs by Colombo University

Dec 17 (DN) The Colombo University Science Faculty will introduce two MSc postgraduate programs in Mathematics aiming to cater to the growing demand for a knowledge in Mathematics locally and internationally. Under this initiatives, MSc Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Mathematics Degree Program and MSc Postgraduate Diploma in Mathematics Education Degree Program will be implemented by mid January next year. more..

Human Rights and Election promises