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Sri Lanka’s ex-military chief announces presidential candidacy

Dec 2 (wsws) After weeks of behind-the-scenes manoeuvring with opposition parties, Sri Lanka’s former top general Sarath Fonseka announced on Sunday that he would stand in the presidential poll slated for January 26. Fonseka’s candidature marks the direct entry of the military into the political life of the island. As army chief, General Fonseka oversaw the brutal war that led to the defeat of the separatist LTTE in May. more..

Fish market in Dodanduwa

'Opposition's open economy will take Sri Lanka backward'

Dec 2 (GDI) Director and Advisor of the National Stategic Planning Institute, Prof. Ranjith Bandara to day claimed that the economic policy of the opposition candidate would only take the country backward when the nation must move forward towars economic development. He added that open economic policy was now outdated and rejected worldwide as it is impracticable to ensure growth under such policy. more..

'Women contributes more to economy'

Dec 2 (GDI) The Minister Sarath Amunugama said that the Sri Lankan economy is run by women. He said they contributed 7.2 billion dollars to the national economy. The Minister made this observation speaking at the launch of the Institute of Leadership and Management in Sri Lanka. Elaborating further, the Minister pointed out that three Billion US Dollars came from housemaids serving abroad. more..

Germany further eases travel advisory

Dec 2 (GDI) With the security situation in the country rapidly improving with the collapse of the LTTE in May this year, Germany has further relaxed travel restrictions imposed on German nationals visiting Sri Lanka. The German Embassy said that a long standing travel advisory had been eased enabling German tourists to visit Yala National Park and Arugam Bay. The Defence Ministry welcomed the move while more..

Certificates to those engaged in traditional professions

Dec 2 (LP) Measures are being taken to issue certificates to those who are engaged in traditional occupations. According to Minister Piyasena Gamage, those engaged in traditional occupations will be assed and the certificate will be issued by the National Institute of Training Advocacy (NITA). These steps were taken in order to secure and to add more value to the traditional occupations spreading across villages in Sri Lanka. more..

'Everyone's sacrifice brought victory over terrorism'

Dec 2 (MoD) Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya flew to the Minneriya Infantry Training Centre. Lieutenant General Jayasuriya was received on arrival by Major General Srinath Rajapaksa, the Commander Security Forces in the East at Higurakgoda Air Force Base. The Commander was welcomed by Brigadier Ashoka Amunugama its Commandant where the Army Commander was greeted to a Guard Turn Out. more..

“Invest Sri Lanka –Time is now” Seminar, on 26th November 2009, Singapore

Dec 2 (LG) The High Commission of Sri Lanka in Singapore and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Sri Lanka jointly organized a seminar titled,” Invest Sri Lanka –Time is now” on 26th November 2009 at the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore with the twin objectives of disseminating first hand information on emerging business opportunities in Sri Lanka in the post conflict era and more..

'District created in the past must be cleared'

Dec 2 (LG) “Looking back after 60 years of independence, we can see that unfortunately, things had gone wrong and the country had suffered. I think we can cry inside our hearts. However, another opportunity is before us,” said Karu Jayasuriya, Deputy Leader of the UNP on Monday. “We have to build this country. I think our time is gone. Most of us are playing the second innings. more..

Tamil Nationalists and Latin America

Dec 2 (LG) I fear that the attitude of supporters of the Tamil cause towards Latin America is rather subjective, and that their approach is still sentimental. I will come to that later in my response, but, before that, the Tamil nationalist, especially pro-LTTE, claims need to be studied with care. Firstly, accepting the right of Tamils in Sri Lanka to self-determination is correct. But the national question is far more complex than supporters of the Tamil cause in Tamil Nadu and more..

A review of The Travelling Circus

Dec 2 (GV) The late review is at an advantage, in that it is informed by the published critiques of others and subsequent responses online and in print. In this respect, watching Tracy Holsinger’s The Travelling Circus on the last day of its run was to juxtapose the live performance against reviews that dismissed the production as highfalutin nonsense and others that praised it as compelling theatre. more..

Whose country is it anyway?

Dec 2 (LG) When Imthiaz extended this invitation to me, it was impossible for me to refuse for three reasons. Firstly, Bakeer Markar was one of those unforgettable Speakers who could command the respect of the House; a legend in his time. Secondly, Imthiaz and I had known each other from the time we were school boys. He captained the debating team at Ananda College while I captained the debating team at St. Joseph’s College -- we met in those circumstances and have been friends since. more..

Maharaja has lost powers – A.J.M. Muzammil

Dec 2 (LNW) Western Provincial Councilor A.J.M. Muzammil told a media conference, “After the Southern provincial Council election, Maharaja decided to temporarily stop Rajapaksa relatives from entering politics. The king is now saying that he is the common candidate of the people. President Rajapaksa once said he made the larges alliance in the country. However, Rajapaksa’s largest financier at the last Presidential election, the JVP is no longer with him. more..

'Govt. sensing certain defeat vilifies JVP'

Dec 2 (LT) The government, which has got into a rage sensing certain defeat as Gen. Sarath Fonseka has come forward as the common candidate at the presidential election, is carrying out a mudslinging exercise against the JVP says JVP MP Anura Dissanayake. He said, “The government has got terrified when Gen. Sarath Fonseka was put forward as the common candidate with the mediation of the JVP. more..

IGP girds himself for battle

Dec 2 (LNP) IGP Mahinda Balasuriya has warned his subordinates that they will be taken to task, should election violence occur in their respective areas. It is feared that violence may erupt with the presidential election campaigns hotting up within the next few weeks. However, Balasuriya is not the first police chief to have made such a promise. We have been treated to such voluble pledges on many an occasion. more..

'President will win by 1.5 million majority'

Dec 2 (GDI) Former member of the Working Committee of UNP Asath Sally claimed that President Mahinda Rajapakse will definitely win the upcoming presidential election obtaining a majority of 1.5 million votes. He pointed out the President was the only leader who could provide solutions for the problems of minorities. He further noted that Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe did not have the capability to face an election by himself. more..

'Mahinda should be protected not from Fonseka but from henchmen around him'

Dec 2 (LT) President Mahinda Rajapaske, who is presenting himself as a presidential candidate should be protected not from Gen. Sarath Fonseka but from the wretched henchmen around him says Advocate S.L. Gunasekera. Speaking further Mr. Gunasekera said, “Mr. Mahinda Rajapske should be protected from those henchmen around him. Those wretched henchmen are Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse’s main enemies. more..

Access to credit, key to development - CB Governor

Dec 2 (LNP) Central Bank Governor, Ajith Nivard Cabraal said that access to credit is a key factor for development. Banks should be set up in the Northern province as soon as possible and credit provided to the public to continue their regular activities. There is tremendous growth in the banking sector and the interest shown by the banks to set up branches in the Northern province is also commendable. more..

Over 11,000 detained Tigers to vote at Sri Lanka presidential election 2010

Dec 2 (LNP) Over 11,000 LTTE cadres, including 2,000 women are expected to be given an opportunity to exercise their franchise at the forthcoming presidential election. The Election Secretariat has directed relevant authorities to take action in this regard. The Election Secretariat, the Defence Ministry and Justice and Law Reforms Ministry will work out modalities to set up polling booths within detention facilities in the Northern region. more..

CWC extends unconditional support to President

Dec 2 (DN) The Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) will unconditionally support President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Election, said its President - Estate Infrastructure Deputy Minister Muthu Sivalingam at a press conference. The CWC President said it was under President Rajapaksa the estate sector had seen enormous development. He also said that century-old line rooms were being replaced with new houses. more..

'JVP discussed only with General, not UNP'

'112,000 IDPs still remain in camps'

Dec 2 (AD) Vavuniya Government Agent P.S.M Charles speaking to Ada Derana said after visiting the IDP camps that approximately 112,000 displaced people still remain in the camps while approximately 700-800 people are using their freedom of movement to move in and out of the camp. The Government announced that from December 1, IDPs in camps in the North are free to move out as they please. Charles said that the some IDPs are going on to resettlement areas or more..

Let us stand up against child abuse

Dec 2 (DN) Just how big is the issue of child abuse in Sri Lanka? Obviously, a topic like this will always be in the shadows and one may have even look at the definition of ‘child abuse’ before giving an answer. But the figures are startling. According to the Head of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), reports of child abuse and infringements of child rights in Sri Lanka have tremendously increased in the past few years. more..

Electoral registers on display at Govt offices

Dec 2 (DN) Electoral registers will be exhibited for postal voters’ reference at the 2010 Presidential Election at several government offices in Colombo and in the outstation in District Secretariats and Kachcheris from today. The Elections Commissioner requested postal voters to send their applications for postal votes through certifying officers, the Elections Department said yesterday. more..

Motor Traffic Dept issues over 25,000 Smart Driving Cards

Dec 2 (DN) The Department of Motor Traffic has issued over 25,000 Smart Driving Cards, the new automated driving licence cards launched on March 27 this year and it is progressing well. The Department became the first paperless office in Sri Lanka with the introduction of this electronic filing system. The District Offices will be converted to an online system and the first district office to go online will be Kurunegala by the middle of next month. more..

Govt. accused of lying over loss of gunship

Dec 2 (Island) Kurunegala District MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that this tragedy could have been averted had authorities cancelled a scheduled ‘fly past’ to coincide with the launch of Maththala airport project after the crew reported a technical glitch. He claimed that a member of the four-man crew of the ill-fated chopper had phoned a girl living in Kurunegala at 10.34 on the day of the crash (Nov 27) and more..

'Fonseka’s language speaks of his character'

Dec 2 (DM) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, in an interview with the BBC, expressed regret over the comment made by General Sarath Fonseka who had reportedly termed President Mahinda Rajapaksa as a “tin pot dictator” adding that his tone of language speaks of his character. “I think his language there speaks for his character having served as the Army Commander. It is a very regrettable statement coming from the very army commander who more..

Govt intimidates opponents - JVP

Dec 2 (Island) The JVP yesterday accused the government of resorting to thuggery and intimidation to demoralise Opposition candidates in some areas including Colombo, Anuradhapura, Matara and Welimada. A spokesman for the JVP said that two of its supporters engaged in propaganda work, in connection with the rally planned at the Hyde Park, had been assaulted in Aturugiriya and one of them was receiving treatment at the Athurugiriya hospital. more..

Buddha Statues of Sri Lanka: part 6

Wijedasa Rajapakse joins UNP today

Dec 2 (AD) Government National List MP President`s Counsel Wijedasa Rajapkse will formally join the opposition UNP today. He crossed over from the government side to the opposition in Parliament on November 14, 2007. Mr. Rajapaksa crossed over during the second reading of the UPFA government’s third budget, when it was widely expected to be defeated by a combined opposition. However it did not happen when the JVP abstained from voting and the budget proposals were passed. more..

Gen. Fonseka and Prabha’s parents

Dec 2 (DM) The Opposition common Presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka declared that, even if Prabhakaran’s mother and Father deemed that they should extend support to him , he would accept their support. This declaration triggered a storm of controversy in the State media circles. Ministers of the Govt. too started claiming that seeking support of the parents of Prabhakaran is most perilous. more..

Botham back to cheer Sri Lanka tsunami survivors

Dec 2 (AFP) Legendary English all-rounder Ian Botham said Wednesday he was moved by the progress of post-tsunami rebuilding in Sri Lanka, as he visited a sports project he has backed. "Coming back has been heart-warming and very, very emotional," Botham, 54, said to hundreds of excited school children who greeted him on his third visit to the Indian Ocean island since 2005. more..

Editorial: Now’s not the time to lose our guard

Dec 2 (DM) The battle lines have been drawn and it promises to be the muddiest battle in history. From personal attacks, to revealing sensitive state secrets and taking sole credit for a much needed war victory, the Presidential race just begun promises to be the country’s darkest ever. Both President Rajapaksa’s and Gen. Fonseka’s camps will not shy away from stooping down to the lowest in the bid to win. more..

JVP to mull over combined polls campaign

Dec 2 (DM) The JVP yesterday said discussions with common candidate General Sarath Fonseka were underway to decide on matters relating to the election campaign and the possibility of conducting a combined campaign along with the United National Front and its allies for the upcoming Presidential election. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said the outcome of the talks and the dates when the General would be seen on JVP election platforms would be announced soon. more..

Don’t put LTTE assets under ‘Rajapakse Bros. and Co.’

Dec 2 (UNP) Following the recent capture of LTTE Int.leader, Kumar Pathmanathan (KP), in Malaysia, and who is now under detention in SL, large hauls of assets of the LTTE had been taken into custody by the Govt. Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe revealed this when speaking at a seminar organized by the ‘Nidahase Wedikawa’ held in Matara. more..

Sri Lanka must help released war refugees: Amnesty

Dec 2 (AFP) Amnesty International on Wednesday pushed Sri Lanka to grant full freedom to 130,000 Tamil civilians who have been allowed out of camps where they were detained following the island's ethnic conflict. The government said the camp inmates, who were displaced in the war against the Tamil Tiger rebels, were now free to leave. But many have been unable to return home as they have no transport and their villages are destroyed. more..

ICT- only tool breaking all barriers to progress - President

Dec 2 (MoD) We recognize that ICT is the only tool that will cross or break geographical barriers, social barriers and reach out to the rural, disadvantaged and vulnerable communities. I am of the firm opinion that our youth must be fully empowered to face the future with confidence. Knowledge of ICT will not only empower them but will also allow them to be a part of the global village with ease. more..

'Working class stood by to defeat terrorism'

Dec 2 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday asserted that Sri Lanka’s working class had firmly stood by the Government and supported its endeavour to defeat terrorism, despite various attempts to mislead them. The President attributed this support to a long-standing understanding and trust on both sides based on past support for working class struggles and more..

Toronto Tamil Tiger supporter describes how group murdered his father

Dec 2 (NP) A Toronto man who will be sentenced in the United States next month for procuring weapons for the Tamil Tigers rebels described in court documents how those same rebels murdered his father. Thiruthanikan Thanigasalam, 43, said in a sentencing memorandum in U.S. District Court that he fled to Canada after the Tamil Tigers took away his father and shot him eight times for refusing to give them money. more..

Sri Lanka loans to consumers rise for the first time in 2009

Dec 2 (BN) Sri Lanka’s consumer and corporate credit grew in September for the first time this year as the lowest interest rates in five years encouraged borrowing. Commercial bank loans rose to 1.18 trillion rupees ($10.3 billion) from 1.17 trillion rupees in August, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka said on its Web site. “We would like to see a momentum being built upon this,” Central Bank of Sri Lanka Governor Nivard Cabraal said more..

Dilshan and Mathews lift Sri Lanka

Dec 2 (CI) A clever hundred by Tillakaratne Dilshan, supported by half-centuries from Tharanga Paranavitana and Angelo Mathews playing the innings of their young careers, took Sri Lanka to a comfortable total on the first day at the Brabourne Stadium. Harbhajan Singh and Sreesanth bowled probing spells during the middle parts of the day but Dilshan and Mathews made sure a good start was not wasted on more..

World assured IDPs won’t be denied voting rights

Dec 2 (Island) Contrary to Opposition accusations, the government will give the war displaced an opportunity to exercise their franchise at the forthcoming presidential election. Of some 300,000 men, women and children displaced at the end of war in May, about 120,000 remained in government-run welfare camps in the North. Northern Province Governor Major General (retd) G. A. Chandrasiri yesterday told The Island that more..

Three captured LTTE ships being brought to Sri Lanka

Dec 2 (Island) In what could be described as the third biggest blow to the LTTEsince the decimation of its leadership in the Vanni last May, followed by the arrest and ‘extraordinary rendition’ of its self-appointed leader and chief arms procurer K. Pathmanadhan alias KP, Sri Lanka has seized three LTTE ships and is in the process of bringing them to Colombo. The rogue vessels being brought to Sri Lanka by the Lankan Navy were more..

Bank accounts of KP could be frozen

Dec 2 (Hindu) Minister and Defence Spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella disclosed at a news conference here on Tuesday that the government has sought the advice of the Attorney General’s office to take up the subject of possible freeze of nearly 600 bank accounts belonging to Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP), LTTE chief Velupillai’s successor, currently in the custody of the authorities here. more..

Opposition differences on devolution will affect Fonseka: Minister

Dec 3 (IE) The Sri Lankan government on Wednesday attacked opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka on the issue devolution of power for Tamils, saying differences between major parties supporting his candidature will prevent him from taking any stand on the matter. President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government is working on a devolution package for Tamil-dominated northern Sri Lanka but there are difference between the opposition JVP and UNP, more..

Dilshan favours referrals after wrong dismissal

Dec 3 (AFP) Tillakaratne Dilshan said on Wednesday he would still be batting in the third Test against India if the umpires' referral system had been in place for the series. Dilshan, who made 109 in Sri Lanka's first-day total of 366-8, fell to a poor decision by umpire Nigel Llong midway through the final session. The Englishman gave Dilshan caught at short-leg off Harbhajan Singh even as television replays showed the ball go off the batsman's pad to Murali Vijay. more..

Long road to recovery, say returnees

Dec 3 (IRIN) Thousands of IDPs who have left camps in Sri Lanka’s north say they are struggling to claim back their lives even as the government implements a programme to support them. In recent weeks, some 140,000 people have left the camps. Most have returned to their places of origin, including the war-torn districts of Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar and Mullaitivu in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province. more..

A pitch with something for everyone

Dec 3 (CI) Finally, at the third time of asking in this series, the conditions provided the perfect backdrop for an engrossing contest. The pitch in Ahmedabad was a sleeping beauty that even Don Juan couldn't have roused, while the one at Green Park in Kanpur was slow and low. On the opening day at this famous old venue, there was something for everyone. Zaheer Khan got the odd delivery to leap at the batsmen, Sreesanth troubled them with conventional and reverse swing, more..

Rajapaksa wins support of third Tamil party

Dec 3 (Hindu) In the build up to the Presidential election, the chances of a third contender in the form of a consensus Tamil candidate are fast receding with the Tamil parties declaring their loyalties to either the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa or the commander turned politician, Sarath Fonseka. On Wednesday the EPDP leader and Social Welfare Minister, Douglas Devananda, made it known that his party has decided to plug for a second term to President Rajapaksa. more..

Debrief News - 02. 12. 2009