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Sri Lanka Cricket frowns on Minister’s ‘observers’

Dec 17 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket is to incur an additional Rs.4 million to facilitate the passage of two ‘observers’ appointed by Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge for the Under-19 team’s tour of South Africa this month and next month’s tour of New Zealand for the World Cup, the Daily Mirror learns. Sri Lanka Cricket had no requirement to send observers for the two tours but Lokuge’s shocking move has left administrators frowning. more..

Wife complains against husband

Dec 17 (DM) A wife alleged before the Colombo Fort Magistrate court that her husband had committed a criminal breach of trust with regard to Rs.16.4 million she had won in a lottery ticket draw. The complainant, Sabrina Judith Cramer of Piliyandala had informed the CID that she had gone to Qatar seeking a job in 2005 and married S. L. Joseph Perera of Kollupitiya at the Embassy of Sri Lankan in Doha, Qatar. more..

FR petition filed to get free and fair election: Counsel

Dec 17 (DM) The five-member Supreme Court Bench yesterday put off for Friday General Sarath Fonseka’s Fundamental Rights Petitions challenging the alleged misuse of state media for President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s election campaign. The three petitions filed against Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC), Independent Television Network (ITN) and Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL) was taken up before the fuller bench more..

'We have not misquoted Gen. Fonseka at any stage' – Federica Janz

Dec 17 (SLW) Giving a telephone interview to the Derana TV Channel in Colombo the editor in Chief of Sunday Leader says “We have not misquoted General Fonseka at any stage”. She added that the retired general met with her an hour before he met the press on Monday. He has assured her that she has not misquoted him and there was no wrong impression created by the story as it was absolutely right. more..

Pradeep Jayawardena supports President, Arjuna Ranatunga for Gen. Fonseka

Dec 17 (DBS) JR Jayewardena's grandson Pradeep Jayawardena supports Mahinda Rajapakse for president.Says his grandfather if alive would have done the same. Former Sri Lankan cricket "captain cool" & UPFA parliamentarian Arjuna Ranatunga announces his support for Sarath Fonseka at presidential polls. Elections Commissioner accepts 22 out of 23 nominations for presidential elections. Rejects only Nelson Perera of Sri Lanka progressive Front. more..

Debrief News - 16. 12. 2009

Health Ministry ‘appointments breach election law’

Dec 17 (Island) The ACHSU has complained to Election Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayaka that the Health Ministry has violated election laws. The union said the ministry recruited 240 drivers, junior labourers and sanitary labourers, although the Commissioner had prohibited new appointments after November 23. The new recruits had reported for duty on December 6, 7 and 10 though their appointments were dated November 23, the union alleged. more..

Sri Lanka seen losing status as tea exporter

Dec 17 (LBO) China has overtaken Sri Lanka as the world's second largest tea exporter, and the island is in danger of losing its position as a major export origin, the Sri Lanka Tea Board has warned. It said the island's tea production appears to have peaked at 320 to 325 million kilos because of lower productivity, aging bushes and inadequate replanting in estates many of which are over a century old. more..

Arjuna with Common Candidate

Dec 17 (LT) UPFA MP for Colombo District Arjuna Ranatunga is to join apolitical Common Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka says a very reliable source. Mr. Ranatunga will hold a special discussion today evening and declare his support to Gen. Fonseka. He will join Gen. Fonseka’s election campaign says this sources. Speaking at the media meeting held afterwards Mr. Arjuna Ranatunga said, more..

Canadian Tamils prepare for referendum vote on independence

Dec 17 (IT) Canadian Tamils from Sri Lanka are being asked to declare they still support an independent Tamil state in their homeland. A group called Coalition for Tamil Elections Canada says it's holding a supervised secret-ballot vote in Canada Saturday on Tamil independence, one that will lead, says one supporter, to "transnational government of Tamil Eelam" by April. more..

Record 22 candidates to contest Sri Lanka polls

Dec 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's election commissioner on Thursday accepted a record 22 nominations for the January presidential poll, in which economic policies, and not war strategy, are expected to dominate the campaign. The candidates for the Jan. 26 poll include incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his former army chief, Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who led the military to victory over Tamil rebels after a 25-year civil war. more..

Gen. Fonseka’s nomination blacked out by State TV

Dec 17 (UNP) It is the consensus among political circles that never ever a whole ruling Govt. entertained so much fear for just one individual in the history of democratic politics. This monumental fear was clearly demonstrated when the State Rupavahini, the only channel which was allowed to telecast today’s proceedings of handing over of nomination papers by the candidates for the Presidential election 2010, totally blacked out the telecast of more..

EU to suspend trade concessions to Sri Lanka

Dec 17 (AFP) The European Commission has decided to suspend Sri Lanka's preferential trade status following a probe criticising the island's human rights record, an official said Thursday. Bernard Savage, the head of the European Union delegation to Colombo said the decision would be formally ratified within the next two months, with the suspension coming into effect six months later. more..

22 to contest Presidential poll

Dec 17 (Hindu) Sri Lankans across the island heaved a temporary sigh of relief on Thursday afternoon as the first phase of one of the most contentious election — the nomination process for the January 26 Presidential poll — passed off without any major hiccup. There are good reasons for the 20 million citizens of the island nation to feel a little cheerful as the forthcoming election is the first such mass exercise since the military defeat of the LTTE in May this year. more..

India hold the edge on run-friendly pitch

Dec 18 (CI) The bowlers will head into Nagpur with the Rajkot run fest on their minds, but they won't get much relief from another hard track at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium. India have the momentum and victory in Nagpur will give them a formidable 2-0 lead in the five-match series. Making it worse for Sri Lanka is the fact that they are down two bowlers. Muttiah Muralitharan and Dilhara Fernando have been ruled out for the series, more..

Sri Lanka subsidy ideology is a myth: business leader

Dec 18 (LBO) Sri Lankan people are being fooled by state subsidies when high inflation triggered by big budget deficits erodes their income, the head of Sri Lanka's top business chamber said. "The idea of subsidies is an absolute myth," said Anura Ekanayake, chairman, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Most people were not aware that subsidies given by governments that reduce the value of peoples' assets and income through high inflation were not really helpful, more..

Sri Lanka's first female paratrooper takes wings

Dec 18 (Xinhua) Samangi Widanage, 31, has been waiting for years before becoming Sri Lanka's first female paratrooper. Samangi in her 12-year service in the Army served mostly in the north, the place of a bloody civil war between the government troops and the rebel LTTE which was defeated in May. Samangi started the one-month training, combined with tough commando training on Nov. 2 at the Uhana Air Force Base in the east. more..

'Top Tigers ditched LTTE chief'

Dec 18 (EB) In the last phase of Eelam War IV, many of the top leaders of the LTTE foresook Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, and preferred to surrender to the Sri Lankan forces rather than attain martyrdom by fighting to the finish or consuming cyanide, the latest report of the University Teachers for Human Rights-Jaffna (UTHR-J) reveals. “Dissent was strong even amongst the leadership. more..

Merak Tamils seek same deal as Viking

Dec 18 (SMH) As the resettlement of 78 Sri Lankan asylum seekers who disembarked from the Oceanic Viking is given priority, more than 250 of their compatriots intercepted a week earlier have been unable to get even a first meeting with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Most of the 254 ethnic Tamils, including 31 children, remain on their boat in increasingly squalid conditions in the Indonesian port of Merak after more than two months. more..

Norway and New Zealand to resettle Tamil boatpeople

Dec 18 (TA) Norway has again come to the rescue of an Australian prime minister desperate to resettle stateless boatpeople, with Oslo confirming it will take some of the Tamils rescued by the Oceanic Viking. Seven years after the Scandinavian state gave a home to the Afghans rescued by the MV Tampa, Norwegian officials have confirmed they are considering taking three of the 78 Sri Lankans. more..

'Govt. in death throes feeding on lies to prolong its life'

Dec 18 (UNP) JVP M.P. Anura Kumara Dissanayake said, the Govt. has come to a desperate point where it has only a Hobson’s choice to feed itself on lies to prolong its life for another few weeks. Like its CTB bus which breaks down every now and then, and made to run on temporary repairs , without no permanent solutions, this Govt. is following the same pattern for its existence. more..

Naga Raksha is the mirror of the soul

Dec 18 (Faz) On the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, only eighty miles south of the metropolis Colombo, is a small place Ambalangoda. In him are hidden demons of all kinds just looking for demons of the struggle in vain - after the end of the Civil War are the peacemakers instead at a premium. Centuries-old traditions and the spirit of Buddha here in the old-established families Maskenschnitzerei their expression. The workshop of Wijesuriya clan, which is now owned and run by the fifth generation, more..

Sri Lankan woman to be charged with murder in Singapore

Dec 18 (ST) A 31-YEAR-OLD Sri Lankan woman was charged on Thursday with the murder of a 32-year-old Indian national. The dead man, Murugaiyan Selvam, an assembly worker, was found lying motionless, with head injuries, on his bed in a room at Kaki Bukit Crescent on Dec 4. The woman, Tharmalingan Puwaneswary, who works here as a maid, was arrested by police in the early hours of Wednesday morning. more..

Sri Lanka must now build peace

Dec 18 (UPI) The Sri Lankan government decided in 2008 to fight the LTTE with all its military might and in early 2009, eliminated the terrorist organization. This achievement by a democratic nation is unparalleled in modern history. In many ways, the Sri Lankan victory has become a case study for democratic countries to combat and root out terror from their lands. But the victory has also handed Sri Lanka the responsibility to protect the innocent, weak, women and children. more..

Who is a traitor ? the General who stuck here and won the war or one who fled the country in the thick of war ?

Dec 18 (UNP) SLFP (M) wing leader Mangala Samaraweera asked, who is a traitor ? is it the General Fonseka who nearly lost his life at the hands of a LTTE suicide bomber, but still stuck here to dedicate himself fully to win the war or the so called ‘patriot’ who fled the country at the height of the war in fear, and did not even come to his motherland for 15 years?. Returning to the country after gaining 15 years experience as a computer operator and more..

Debrief News - 17. 12. 2009

Why do Sri Lankan presidential candidates go back to history to launch their campaigns?

Dec 18 (LP) Today the nominations are closed for the January 25 presidential of Sri Lanka. Both the government and the major opposition will have their inaugural rallies tomorrow. President Mahinda Rajapakse's first propaganda rally is held in Anuradhapura while major opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka will climb the hill to address his inaugural rally held in Kandy. more..

Presidential election is an opportunity for the Tamils to air their grievances and aspirations - Sivajilingham

Dec 18 (AT) The Presidential election is an opportunity provided to bring to the notice, the grievances and aspirations of the Tamil nation. Therefore this golden opportunity should not be allowed to go by. After filing his nomination today as an independent candidate in the Presidential election, the former TNA MP M.K.Sivajilingham speaking to Asian Tribune said more..

Dead tracks prompt Jayawardene to bat for bowlers

Dec 18 (CI) After more than 800 runs were plundered in the first ODI in Rajkot, Mahela Jayawardene has called for lifting restrictions on bowlers, including relaxing the one-bouncer-an-over rule and leniency in the definition of a wide in ODIs. "I have always been critical of the fact that bowlers now have to bowl in the 'strike zone' basically," Jayawardene said ahead of the second one-dayer in Nagpur. more..

Race is on for the next Presidential Election- January 2010

Dec 18 (IL) Twenty two candidates have handed in their nominations for the upcoming Presidential Election at the Election Commissioner’s Secretariat this morning on 17th December. Eighteen candidates from recognized political parties and five Independent Groups are contesting the polls. All candidates met the Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake at his office at more..

Police arrest Sri Lankan fraudster in Ghana

Dec 18 (PO) Aruna Janaka Muthugama, a Sri Lankan businessman who swindled a compatriot of $80,000 under the pretext of supplying him with gold was on Thursday arraigned for defrauding by false pretences. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was admitted to bail of GH¢20,000 with one surety to be justified. The case has been adjourned to December 31. The prosecutor, ASP A.A. Annor, said in June 2008, one Suduth, who is based in Sri Lanka, introduced the complainant more..

Where now for Sri Lanka’s war refugees?

Dec 18 (Caritas) Caritas is making an urgent appeal for US$3,262,381 (234,236.72 euro) to help people rebuild their lives and homes in Sri Lanka following the end of its decades-long war. As the Government closes down the camps where people have been held since the end of the conflict in May, many people have the difficult task of finding a home and a job. “People are desperate to leave the camps, but they’re very reluctant because they have nowhere to go,” more..

Muralitharan and his Retirement

Dec 18 (AT) Last Wednesday the Hindustan times reported as “Sri Lanka’s hopes of clinching the one-day series after losing the Test and squaring the T20 series, suffered a setback when Muttiah Muralitharan and medium-pacer Dilhara Fernando were sent home with finger injuries”. According to the sources Murali injured his ring and middle fingers during the Mumbai Test (third and final match of the series held in the first week of December. more..

‘Comprehensive partnership to boost Pak-Lanka trade’

Dec 18 (News) If a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is signed between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, it will boost trade between the countries and market access to other markets like India, China and the EU. This was said by the VS Sidath Kumar, Consul General of Sri Lanka at a seminar on Pak-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, co-organised by the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry with the support of Sri Lankan Consulate. more..

Presidential Election: A challenge to the son of the soil Mahinda

Dec 18 (AT) The forthcoming Presidential election is a challenge between the son of the soil - Mahinda Rajapaksa and the foreign elements and their agents involved in destabilizing the country. The Education Minister A.D. Susil Premajayantha, speaking to Asian Tribune said that the UPFA is prepared to face the election as well as the challenges posed by the foreign forces and their agents in Sri Lanka. more..

After the deluge

Dec 18 (CI) In the recently concluded Test series between India and Sri Lanka, the team batting first invariably put a big score on the board. The tracks were flat and the team winning the toss chose to bat first. While batting first on a flat track is an opportunity to cash in, it's not so easy to score on the same surface after the opposition has put up a score in excess of 600. Big runs in the first innings give the batting team the advantage for a couple of reasons. more..

Learning on the lofty littoral of Beruwala

Dec 18 (HA) Joining on a journey with fellow journalists to Beruwala. Very pleased to be out of Colombo once again. Looking forward to the beautiful beach. Beruwala is a town & it is situated on the South Western coastal belt of Sri Lanka. The name Beruwala means a place where the sail is lowered. The area is also known as “China Fort”. Merchants from China Fort & miners from Ratnapura (City of Gems) have been in business for centuries. more..

World Bank assists rehabilitation in Northern Sri Lanka

Dec 18 (WB) The World Bank today approved a US$77 million package for Sri Lanka, designed to support the return of 100,000 IDPs to their places of origin in the Northern Province and to restore their livelihoods destroyed by three decades of civil war. The Bank will also support rehabilitation of provincial roads in Eastern, Northern and southern Uva provinces through a US$105 million credit for a Provincial Roads Project. more..

'A survey indicate President in the lead'

Dec 18 (GDI) An initial survey conducted by independent authorities have shown that President Mahinda Rajapaksa at present would lead at the upcoming presidential election while opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka trailed behind at a 24.8 per cent with 12.6 per cent yet undecided over the poll. These statistics were revealed at a news briefing now in progress at the Mahaweli Centre, Colombo by Transport Minister Dulles Alahapperuma. more..

'EU penalizing Sri Lanka on GSP+ for no reason'

Dec 18 (GDI) Minister Prof.GL Peiris lamented that the European Union was penalizing Sri Lanka on the GSP + for no valid reason and it was a conspiracy that could be well understood in the present day political context in the country. He said that all dignitaries who came here to inspect the war affected zone after peace was restored expressed satisfaction over the manner the displaced persons were looked after in the welfare camps. more..

Premjayantha poses questions to the JVP

Dec 18 (GDI) Yet the Opposition candidate,Sarath Fonseka had not officially denied the report made to the Sunday Leader newspaper” claimed Minister of Education Susil Premajayantha at a media briefing held at the Mahaweli Center, Colombo today (18). The Minister recalled that the JVP had earlier said that if War Heroes were to be taken before a War Tribunal that could only be done over their dead bodies. more..

Kandy - Jaffna SLTB bus service resume

Dec 18 (GDI) The Sri Lanka Transport Board’s service between Kandy and Jaffna suspended due to LTTE terrorism, resumed today (18). The first bus bound for Jaffna left the Kandy Goodshed bus stand at 3 a.m. The service will be operated by the Kandy CTB North Depot and the Yatinuwara Depot, CTB Kandy Provincial Chairman Mahinda Basnayaka said. Early reservations of seats in the Kandy-Jaffna buses are made available.

Maithripala Sirisena spells out the story of 40 years versus 40 days

Dec 18 (GDI) In this festive season, the scriptures remind us of the gospel story of 40 days and 40 nights.But, the latest story revealed by Agriculture Minister and SLFP General Secretary,Maithripala Sirisena is more timely and innovative. The minister was analyzing the merits of two contenders in the upcoming presidential election, one with 40 years behind him and the other just 40 days. more..

Sri Lankan health services best in South Asia - Dr.Mahipala

Dec 18 (GDI) The UNICEF and the World Health Organization have clarified that the health standard of Sri Lanka is better than any other country in the South Asia, said Deputy Director to Public Health Services of the Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry Dr. Palitha Mahipala. He pointed out that "Our health standards are unmatched with any other country in the South Asia region because we always go to the grass root level to tackle a problem. more..

Canada relaxes travel advice to SL

Dec 18 (LP) The Government of Canada has changed its Travel Report on Sri Lanka. While the new report advises appropriate caution, it no longer recommends prospective visitors to avoid non-urgent travel. Commenting on the change, the Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Bruce Levy, said "The new wording in our Travel Report was probably overdue and speaks to the reality that Sri Lanka has entered a new era with the end of the active conflict with the LTTE and more..

GSP as a political tool

Dec 18 (LNP) The European Commission (EC) decision to suspend GSP Plus trade concession to Sri Lanka has come as no surprise. That the EU/EC would time such action for the presidential election here was a foregone conclusion. The EU is still smarting from its failure to have the Vanni military offensive halted before the decimation of the LTTE leadership last May. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband frantically rushed here, more..

'Many more govt MPs will join me'

Dec 18 (LNP) The Oppositions Common Presidential candidate General (Retd) Sarath Fonseka predicted yesterday that many prominent government parliamentarians, including ministers, will join him in the near future. Addressing a news conference in Colombo, flanked by government MP Arjuna Ranatunga, he said that it was a matter of time, before many more UPFA mps deserted President Mahinda Rajapaksa and supported him. more..

Waiting for Godot?

Dec 18 (LG) President Rajapakse’s historic declaration of victory over the LTTE on May 19, 2009, marked the end of the armed Tamil secessionist campaign that started in the early 1970s. The cost of war has been enormous. It devoured close to 100,000 young lives and left many wailing widows, orphans, disfigured, and traumatised from all quarters of the Lankan society. The war denied the long-term economic prosperity for the island. Moreover, it brutalized us socially and culturally. more..

IDP’s can decide on poling station they wish to vote

Dec 18 (LG) The deadline for IDPs to decide on the polling station they would prefer to cast their vote at the upcoming presidential election, has been extended.The Elections Secretariat said that accordingly, voters who do not wish to cast their vote at the polling station designated to them could request their polling station be changed. The secretariat added that those individuals could change their polling stations after having submitted the relevant application. more..

'No need for additional security'

Dec 18 (LNP) The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed the rights petition filed by the former Army Commander and former Chief of Defence Staff Sarath Fonseka in respect of his impugned security reduction and issue on his residence. The Bench comprising Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, Justices N. G. Amaratunga and P. A. Ratnayake observed the Commissioner of Elections has the sole discretion to consider to provide adequate security under Article 104(B)4 of the Constitution. more..