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'It was leadership that saved Sri Lanka soldiers strength'

Dec 18 (LNP) Major General Shavendra Silva explained how Army s 58th brigade eliminated the ruthless terrorists and rescued the innocent civilians held hostage in the environs of the beautiful Nandikadal lagoon in the last battle against the LTTE terrorists, in a rare talk delivered at the Mahaveli Centre Auditiorium yesterday. Addressing the Royal Asiatic Society members the Major General said the Tiger leader died like a pussycat by the side of Nandikadal mangroves. more..

'Development challenge easy for me'

Dec 18 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said he succeeded in crushing LTTE terrorism and he is confident of developing the country to create a better future for the younger generation. "I carried out the most arduous exercise of eradicating terrorism in the country and I will win the development war to create better future for our posterity", he said. more..

Jaffna s tourism industry to bounce back in 2Q, 2010

Dec 18 (LNP) The travel and tourism industry in Jaffna is expected to be fully operational by the second half of next year as development work is improving rapidly, Manoj Express Services, Managing Director, S. Manoharan told Daily News Business. He said that entrepreneurs in the travel industry are getting ready to meet this potential demand by improving accommodation, building new hotels, improving transport and other services. more..

CID withdraws complaint against Lanka e news Editor

Dec 18 (LeN) When the Courts too k up the case today (17) for the third time, filed by the CID against the Lanka e news website editor Sandaruwan Senadheera, the Courts held against the Police request to get a Court order to elicit the source of information in regard to a news item ‘Minister requests IGP to transfer disobedient Police officers’ published by Lanka e news. Consequently, the CID had to withdraw the case. more..

Luxury bus service run by Douglas

Dec 18 (LG) Paramilitary leader and the non-cabinet Minister Douglas Devananda (Doug) is said to be progressively increasing his paramilitary and financial stake-holding in the affairs of the Tamil people in the north. According to concerned residents, Minister Doug is progressing to substitute the LTTE with the backing of the hard line Sinhala extremists associated with the President. more..

EC decries adversemedia reports

Dec 18 (DN) Elections Commissioner Dayananada Dissanayake yesterday deplored adverse media campaign to the effect that the majority of voters do not possess valid identity cards. Contrary to this misleading news reports, the Elections Commissioner yesterday stressed that 88 percent of total voters in the country have valid identity cards to exercise their right to vote at the forthcoming Presidential election. more..

UPFA defeat begins from Maharagama

Dec 18 (LT) The government party was defeated at the vote for budget proposals of Maharagama Municipal Council for the year 2010 held today. The vote for the budget was held at the Municipal Council Office today under the chairmanship of Maharagama Mayoress Kanthi Kodikara. 6 Members of the UNP, 5 Members of the JVP and 2 Members of the UPFA voted against the budget proposals. The budget proposed by the UPFA received only 7 votes. more..

The circular by Secretary to the President is a hoax

Dec 18 (LT) The circular regarding cancelling of all new appointments, transfers and promotions of stae employees during the election period sent by the Secretary to the President to ministries, departments, corporations and other institutions has been violated by the Presidential Secretariat itself. According to circular SP/SB/06/06 all transfers in state institutions have been cancelled. more..

Oldest political party in Sri Lanka: LSSP turns 74

Dec 18 (DN) The Lanka Sama Samaja Party - the oldest political party in Sri Lanka celebrates its 74th Anniversary on December 18. The LSSP has a long history in Sri Lanka. It was set up in 1935 as a progressive movement, fighting against Imperialism and to work for the common man. One of its founders and leader Dr. N. M. Perera was a student of Prof. Harold J. Laski of the London School of Economics. more..

I’ll end corrupt regime & establish good governance – Gen. Fonseka

Dec 18 (LT) He would win the presidential election and bring forth a country with good governance just as he was able to defeat terrorism said Common Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka after handing over nomination papers for the presidential election yesterday (17th). He said fraud and corruption is rampant in the country at present and the cost of living has gone up unchecked. more..

National Social Security System vital for elders

Dec 18 (DN) Sri Lanka needs a National Social Security System to ensure the welfare of the elderly population which is expected to be 25 percent of the total population by 2025. It is necessary to strategically plan and draw up a mechanism to face this challenge as people’s lifestyles have changed rapidly over the years. The country will face the elderly care problem in the near future, more..

Four new bus services to Narahenpita DEC

Dec 18 (DN) The Transport Ministry has commenced four bus services for the convenience of commuters traveling to the Dedicated Economic Centre (DEC) in Narahenpita from yesterday night. Following a request made by Minister Bandula Gunawardene, Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma has taken measures to launch these bus services along Kiri Mandala Mawatha in Narahenpita where the SLTB bus service was not operated earlier. more..

Goodwill Hardware

Manner of voting at a Presidential election

Dec 18 (Island) The manner of voting at the Presidential Election is different from what the voters are used to when they cast their votes at the parliamentary and Local Government elections. At the latter elections the voter was required to indicate his vote by making a cross thus (X) opposite the name and symbol of the recognized political party or independent group of his choice. Thereafter he could indicate his preferences for the candidates of that political party or independent group by more..

2009 budget deficit target ‘too difficult’

Dec 18 (Island) A senior official of the Treasury says Sri Lanka is not likely to meet the budget deficit target of seven percent of GDP for 2009 but the IMF would be flexible enough to allow a relaxation of targets set in the agreement between Sri Lanka and the IMF for the US$2.6 billion standby facility. According to the programme with the IMF, the budget deficit for 2009 must be contained at seven percent of GDP. more..

Swine flu invades universities

Dec 18 (Island) The Health Ministry is continuing to warn the public on the new influenza A H1N1 which has now infiltrated the universities too. Two students aged 22, who had been admitted to the Sri Jayawardhanapura Hospital with symptoms of swine flu, had been diagnosed positive. The Sabaragamuwa and Peradeniya Universities were most affected and several students were admitted to hospital. Sputum tests carried out however were negative. more..

Sri Lanka economy expands 4.2-pct in 3Q: statistics office

Dec 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's economic growth slowed to 4.2 percent in the third quarter of 2009 from 6.3 percent a year earlier, but was up from 2.1 percent in the second quarter, the government's statistics office said. "In economic terms we have had a V-shaped recovery," said deputy statistics director Nalini Kumarasinghe. "Peace is a key factor that drove the economy during this quarter. The stock market and hotels sector improved and investment sentiment improved during the quarter," more..

Polls chief requests CC be reconstituted

Dec 18 (Island) Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake yesterday urged political party secretaries to reconstitute the Constitutional Council even without a full panel and help appoint the Independent Election Commission in time for the forthcoming Presidential Election. The Commissioner said: "This is long felt need. An independent Election Commission should be formed on the lines of the Indian model which has proved to be a success. more..

Military says Prabakaran’s daughter’s body not found

Dec 18 (DM) The military says it had not found the body of LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabakaran's daughter and so could not confirm the veracity of images circulating on some websites of a dead female body with gunshot wounds supposedly found in the north claiming to be that of Dwaraka, the Tiger leader’s daughter. Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said that the military had never found bodies of Prabhakaran’s family members except for his son Charles Anthony. more..

Candidates and shadow candidates

Dec 18 (DM) Dayananda Dissanayake, the Commissioner of Elections knows it better than anybody else. When he requested the presidential candidates to abstain from promoting other candidates during their air time everybody knew what he was talking about. Twenty two is certainly an inflated number if that is the number of candidates vying for a small nation’s top job. The figure, instead of indicating the number of Sri Lankans with inflated egos, more..

Promoting reconciliation amongst children

India mum on Pakistan media claims over Fonseka’s removal

Dec 18 (DM) The Indian government remained mum on claims made by a Pakistani newspaper which had alleged that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had removed General Sarath Fonseka from the military on the advice of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. When contacted by Daily Mirror online via email for a response to the claims Indian External Affairs spokesperson Vishnu Prakash simply said “We do not wish to comment on such speculative reports”. more..

Sri Lanka stocks hit new high

Dec 18 (LBO) Shares closed at an all-time high Friday on strong buying by institutional and retail investors who brokers said appeared to be gaining more confidence in the market. The benchmark Colombo All Share Price Index (ASPI) closed up 1.73 percent (54.35 points) to end at 3,188.82 Monday, while the Milanka index of liquid stocks gained 2.10 percent (74.73 points) to close at 3,630.48, according to provisional stock exchange data. more..

Sri Lanka call to end tax exemptions for public servants

Dec 18 (LBO) The head of Sri Lanka's top business chamber has called for an end to tax exemptions given to public servants, saying it was unfair by hardworking private sector employees and also eroded government revenue. Anura Ekanayake, chairman of the Ceylon chamber of commerce, said two critical issues facing the economy in the post-war period were increasing revenue and ending wasteful spending. more..

India 301-7 v Sri Lanka

Dec 18 (CI) After MS Dhoni had elected to bat first, Kumar Sangakkara said that on a track that looked full of runs, he'd be happy with a target of 260. At 125 for 3 after 25 overs, he had reason to feel satisfied. In the initial stages the ball did a bit, but nowhere near enough to cause concern, and India's first three wickets owed to lapses in concentration. The Sri Lankans adopted a tidier line from Rajkot and were vastly improved in the field. more..

President visits Kandy to take part in religious observances after his nomination

Dec 18 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Kandy to engage in multi religious activities just after handing over his nominations for the upcoming Presidential election which will be held in January 2010. President Rajapaksa visited Sri Dalada Maligawa first and paid homage to the most sacred Tooth Relic and received blessings from Maha Sanga. more..

Landmine clearance a long-haul effort

Dec 18 (IRIN) Progress is being made in clearing landmines to allow IDPs in Sri Lanka’s north to return home, but clearance will ultimately be a long-term process with no fixed deadline, agencies say. The random placement of mines, a lack of mapped information about their location, not enough mine flail machines, which safely detonate mines, and the speed at which IDPs are returning all add to the challenge, they say. more..

Ottawa fights order to free five more Tamil migrants

Dec 18 (G&M) Two months after a ship of Tamil migrants sailed into Canadian waters, the Immigration and Refugee Board has ordered five more of the incarcerated men released. But the federal government appears determined to keep these men behind bars as it investigates suspicions that they could be Tamil Tigers. The men were ordered released at separate hearings on Tuesday, Wednesday and yesterday afternoon. more..

All set for big battle

Dec 18 (DM) Incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa of the UPFA and General Sarath Fonseka of the New Democratic Front will be among the 17 candidates from political parties contesting the upcoming presidential election together with five independent candidates who handed over their nomination papers to Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake yesterday for the January 26 poll. more..

Sri Lanka economy expands post-war

Dec 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka's economic growth accelerated at its fastest pace this year after the end of a bloody ethnic civil war in May, helped by new investment, official data released Friday showed. The economy grew by 4.2 percent during the third quarter to September, faster than the 2.1 percent growth it posted in the second quarter. "Peace is a key factor that drove the economy during this quarter," more..

Navy provides electricity and drinking water facilities to Kokilai and Pulmudai

Dec 19 (SLN) Under the direction of the Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, Sri Lanka Navy has been engaged in providing humanitarian assistance to war-affected areas after the liberation of Northern and Eastern provinces from LTTE terrorism. Naval personnel are helping the residents of these villages to resume their livelihoods with fresh hopes with the dawn of the peace ushered in by valiant Government Security Forces. more..

Navy rescues multi-day fishing trawler with crew of six

Dec 19 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy rescued a Multi-day Fishing Trawler with a crew of six in distress in Eastern deep seas on the 17th December 2009. The ill-fated fishing trawler had been drifting for three days due to an engine failure when Naval personnel sighted it in the Eastern seas. The 40-foot-long multi-day fishing trawler named “Samagi 05” had left for fishing from Dickwella Fisheries Harbour on the 05th. It had begun drifting on the 13th due to an engine failure. more..

Sri Lanka presidential campaigning heats up

dec 18 (BBC) Sri Lanka's presidential election campaign has begun in earnest, with the two main candidates addressing rallies a day after nominations closed. There are 22 in the frame, although the most dominant are the two major figures seen as appealing to Sinhalese nationalist sentiments. Incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa is being challenged by the disaffected former forces chief Gen Sarath Fonseka. Voting is due to take place towards the end of next month. more..

Debrief News - 18.12.2009

Democracy, transparency and the war

Dec 19 (LG) This latest report from the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) documents the final chapter of Sri Lanka’s war 26-year war. Drawing on individual eyewitness accounts, it chronicles the relentless violence experienced by survivors of the conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam between September 2008 and May 2009, when the Sri Lankan government ultimately crushed the LTTE leadership and declared victory. more..

"Elephant " off the ballot paper for first time - Bogollagama

Dec 19 (GDI) For the first time in the election history the UNP and JVP have degraded the parties to such an extent of the parties not being able to field a candidates for the presidential election and the UNP’s elephant symbol and the party name would not appear on the ballot papers of the upcoming Presidential election, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama recently at Piliyandala, more..

'Opposition Leader suffers from loss of memory'

Dec 19 (GDI) The Government has categorically refuted allegations by the Opposition Leader outside the country that civilians in welfare villages will not enjoy the right of exercising their franchise. Minister of Education Susil Premajayanth said all citizens have been assured their right to vote after 30 years. He said the Opposition Leader has completely forgotten that at the last Presidential polls and in elections during the last 30 years, more..

Pre poll bonus seat in EPC for TMVP

Dec 19 (PSM) TMVP - Tamil coalition party of the ruling UPFA in the Eastern Provincial Council is given the remaining bonus seat in the Eastern Provincial Council. The TMVP's Batticalao organizer and Chief Minister's private secretary P.Prasanthan is to be sworn in for this bonus seat on Tuesday when the EPC meets. This was decided at a meeting the TMVP had with Chief Presidential Adviser, Basil Rajapahksha, informed sources said. more..

Dilshan, Mathews help Sri Lanka draw level

Dec 19 (CI) The second humdinger between these two teams this week ran the gamut from wonderful to what-the-heck as runs and wickets flowed in equal measure in good batting conditions. Sri Lanka leveled the series with a three-wicket win in a match defined by two individual innings, contrasting in style and strength, at either end of a collapse that threatened to give India the advantage and a 2-0 lead. more..

Monk accused of flogging a Vedda

Dec 19 (TN) A Vedda aborigine of the island of Sri Lanka was allegedly flogged severely by a Buddhist monk during a recent temple festival in Mahiyangane and the police refused to register a complaint, says AHRC, requesting international public to intervene by sending urgent appeal to relevant authorities. Mr. Wijerantne, 43-years-old Vedda aborigine, was running an ice cream stall during the Saman Devale festival at Mahiyangane, during August this year. more..

Improve lives of resettled people in Moothoor, demands IDP Union

Dec 19 (TN) The president of IDPs Union requested government authorities to take several actions which could greatly help the resettled people to improve their lives, in a meeting held Wednesday around 10:00 a.m in Kaddaippa’richchaan Vipulaanantha Mahaa Viththiyaalayam. Eastern Province Chief Minister, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, Governor Mohan Vijayavickrama, Government Agent T. T. R. de Silva, Cooperative Development Minister, more..

Who fought the war?

Dec 19 (TC) State television covering presidential nominations had no images of Sarath Fonseka during live telecast except shaking hands with President. If Mahinda Rajapakse is confident of winning presidential poll why was Sarath Fonseka “blacked out” by State Television on Nomination day? The new 1000 rupee currency note issued by Central Bank to commemorate war victory over LTTE casts doubts on the ethnicity of SL soldiers. more..

'Gotabhaya Rajapakse absolved govt & blamed army for alleged violations'

Dec 19 (DBS) Gen.Sarath Fonseka tell "Daily Mirror" online that it was Def Secy who first told US authorities about alleged killing of LTTE leaders. Sarath Fonseka charges that Gotabhaya Rajapakse in recent media interview had indirectly absolved govt & blamed army for alleged violations. Fonseka tells DM that he would defend his troops to the hilt at any international court & will safeguard & stand by the army whatever the cost. more..

Dash of re-openings for Jaffna, in devotion, daily life and development

Dec 19 (TC) Naguleswaram temple in Jaffna will be kept open for the devotees. Limited access was permitted for 30 years. Sri Lanka Transport Board has begun its first service from Kandy to Jaffna today after a long time.The journey'll be through A9 highway. Kilinochchi District Hospital was renovated & re-opened for the public. It has maternity ward,dental clinic and Out Patient Department (OPD). more..

Which is bad, getting “donation” from Praba’s father or fleecing the country?

Dec 19 (DBS) Mahinda Rajapakse attacks Sarath Fonseka indirectly in Anuradhapura by alleging that accepting cash from Prabakharan's parents is a betrayal. Mahinda says he nor govt will take money from ex-LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran's parents for any matter & wont betray nation by doing so. What is wrong in getting a "donation" from Praba's father Velupillai who was a duty-conscious, honest, incorruptible retd govt employee? more..

MS Dhoni banned for two ODIs

Dec 19 (CI) MS Dhoni, India's captain, has been banned for two ODIs for India's failure to maintain the over-rate during the second match against Sri Lanka in Nagpur. The ban is effective immediately, which means Dhoni will be unavailable for the games in Cuttack and Kolkata, returning only for the final ODI in Delhi. Virender Sehwag will captain the side in his absence. The severity of the penalty - a ban instead of a fine - is because India were three overs short, more..

'Govt blocked doctorates to Defence service chiefs'

Dec 19 (DBS) Sarath Fonseka says that Colombo University wanted to award honorary doctorates to all 3 def service chiefs but was forbidden by the govt. Fonseka says that the three service chiefs denied doctorates by the Rajapakse brothers had to watch Mahinda & Gotabhaya receiving doctorates. Former Army chief Sarath Fonseka describes present Army commander Jagath Jayasuriya as a "weak" person in a media interview. more..

Unprecedented crowd attends Fonseka's meeting despite heavy downpour

Dec 19 (DBS) Mahinda Rajapakse & Sarath Fonseka after filing nominations hold political meetings with large crowds in Anuradhapura & Kandy respectively. While Govt transports crowds to meeting an unprecedented crowd attends Fonseka's meeting on his birthday (Dec 17th) despite pouring rain. Sarath Fonseka discloses his assets to religious leaders in Kandy. Will Mahinda Rajapakse reveal his & assets of his Siblings publicly? more..

Gen Fonseka declares his assets

Dec 19 (LT) The common Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka declaring his assets said he has a bank account, two plots of bare lands, a house and a Mercedes Benz car. He also stated that his wife has four bank accounts and jewellery worth Rs 1,692,000. Gen. Fonseka submitted a declaration of his assets when he handed over his nominations to the Commissioner of Elections on the 17th and more..

Gammanpila lies regarding ‘‘Bhikku of resoluteness’

Dec 19 (LT) Udaya Gammanpila of Hela Urumaya has made a blatant lie at the ‘Satana’ political programme being telecast at the moment over ‘Sirasa’ TV channel. Mr. Gammanpila said the Bhikku that appears in a photograph that was hailed as ‘Bhikku of resoluteness,’ which shows a Bhikku engaged in a ‘Sathyagraha’ braving volleys of bullets when masses protested the signing of ‘Indo – Lanka’ accord, is Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero of JHU. more..