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JVP joins UNP to wrest local councils

Dec 20 (ST) The UNP and the JVP have joined to veto funds for UPFA controlled local councils that do not fight corruption. The move came after the UNP and the JVP backed by two UPFA defectors defeated the Maharagama Urban Council budget on Friday on grounds of corruption in the council. The budget of the 22-member council was defeated with 13 members voting against and seven in favour. Another UPFA member abstained while a UNP member was absent. more..

No vote still for 200,000 IDPs

Dec 20 (ST) Despite President Mahinda Rajapaksa calling for early Presidential Election saying he wanted a mandate from the people from the north, an estimated 200,000 displaced have not registered to vote or applied as displaced persons to vote for the January 26 polls. The Elections Commissioner has given time till December 24 for the prospective voters to make an application through the Grama Niladharis of the areas they are now residing to qualify to vote but more..

Tamil event calls for Sri Lankan homeland

Dec 20 (TS) Many in Canada's Sri Lankan Tamil community took part in a referendum on Saturday, with a majority of those voting in the symbolic event expected to reaffirm support for the creation of an independent state for disenfranchised relatives back home. "The basic freedoms and rights that we have here in Canada are not being upheld in Sri Lanka," said Darshika Selvasivam, a spokesperson for the Coalition for Tamil Elections Canada, which organized the vote. more..

Pillayan wants action against Karuna

Dec 20 (ST) Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan has called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa to take action against Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna after accusing him of unleashing violence against TMVP supporters in the east. The appeal was made when Mr. Chandrakanthan met President Rajapaksa on Thursday in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka's war heroes battle for a clean image

Dec 20 (AFP) A presidential election in Sri Lanka next month will see two former allies from the country's bitter civil war slugging it out, but their record on corruption, not the battlefield, might swing the final vote. President Mahinda Rajapakse and his former army chief Sarath Fonseka are set to face each other at the ballot box on January 26 in the first national elections since the end of more..

Key players ruled out as teams start afresh

Dec 21 (CI) The build-up to this game has been dominated by the two-match ban handed down to MS Dhoni for India's appallingly slow over-rate in Nagpur. With Dhoni out of the fray, Sri Lanka's own woes have been obscured. Angelo Mathews, who clinched victory in Nagpur, is the latest to join the incapacitated list, with Thissara Perera flying in to take his place, and it's still uncertain whether Lasith Malinga will be risked after missing the first two games. more..

'Our pacers can trap Tillakaratne Dilshan early'

Dec 21 (CI) Virender Sehwag, India's stand-in captain, is confident his fast bowlers will come up with a plan to restrict Tillakaratne Dilshan , who has been Sri Lanka's leading batsman this series with back-to-back centuries. Dilshan is currently in the form of his life, scoring a combined ten centuries and eight fifties in Tests, ODIs and Twenty20 internationals since the start of the year. more..

Oceanic Viking Tamils finally reach destination

Dec 21 (TA) THE first of the 78 Sri Lankan asylum-seekers rescued by the Customs vessel Oceanic Viking arrived in Melbourne yesterday as more boat arrivals threatened to overwhelm detention facilities on Christmas Island. An intellectually disabled man and his carer - both understood to be in the mid-20s - became the first of the Oceanic Viking refugees to make their home in Australia. more..

Sri Lanka in good shape despite injuries

Dec 21 (CI) No one can complain they were not royally entertained during the first two games of what has the potential to develop into a titanic five-match series. Fears that Sri Lanka might fade after a Test defeat and in the face of Virender Sehwag's explosive pyrotechnics have proved unfounded. Sri Lanka have reacted positively to the challenge, meeting aggression with aggression and showing they are here to fight to the very end. more..

'Dhoni’s absence a big blow for India'

Dec 21 (Hindu) With Mahendra Singh Dhoni serving a two-match ban, Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara said his Indian counterpart’s absence has dealt a big blow to the home side ahead of the crucial third ODI here on Sunday. “I hope it (Dhoni’s absence) is a factor. He has been one of the players who has been in form, so obviously it’s a blow to lose him,” Sangakkara told reporters. more..

Lankan fishermen pose ‘big security risk'

Dec 21 (EB) The fact remains unequivocal: Sri Lankan fishing trawlers are of late increasingly intruding into Indian territorial waters. Only its fallout varies, depending on your profession. For the Indian Coast Guard, these boats pose big security risk — its eastern region has already sounded an alarm. Tamil Nadu’s mechanised fishing boat owners, on the other hand, are worried about losing the marine wealth to outsiders, who allegedly intimidate them too. more..

'Supporting Fonseka to abolish executive presidency'

Dec 21 (PTI) Sri Lanka's main opposition party is supporting the candidature of Sarath Fonseka in order to abolish executive presidency in the country, United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today said, as he hoped to be the prime minister if the former general wins. "I have functioned before as executive prime minister in an Executive Cabinet and I hope to do so again," more..

‘Dropping Sanath was hard, but team comes first’

Dec 21 (IE) Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara admitted on Sunday that dropping out-of-form Sanath Jayasuriya was a tough call but added that he had to take the decision keeping the right combination in mind. “Sometimes you’ve got to accept it whether it’s fair or unfair,” Sangakkara said, ahead of the third one-dayer. “As a captain, whether it’s a senior player or a new player (you are dropping), it doesn’t matter. more..

Sri Lankan legends inspire Cubs

Dec 21 (Gulf) It was an inspiring moment for the budding cricketers training at the Desert Cubs Cricket Academy. Three former Sri Lankan Test stars inspired them by visiting the Desert Cubs Cricket Academy (DCCA) and providing them with valuable tips. Arjuna Ranatunga, the captain who led Sri Lanka to a historic victory in the World Cup, Siddath Wettimuny and Rumesh Ratnayake mixed freely with the players during their brief visit. more..

The conquerors of the Tigers now battle for the spoils

Dec 21 (Time) Who will get the credit for ending Sri Lanka's 26-year war against the LTTE: the tough Army commander or the President who appointed him? That's the question at the heart of island's Jan. 26 elections that will pit President Mahinda Rajapaksa against retired Lieut. Gen. Sarath Fonseka. A political novice, Fonseka may not have the organizational strength to beat Rajapaksa, but he has proven to be a sharp thorn in more..

Ceat to hike stake in Lankan JV

Dec 21 (ET) Ceat is all set to increase its stake in Sri Lanka-based tyre manufacturing joint venture, Ceat Kelani International Tyres. At present, Ceat enjoys a 27% stake in Ceat Kelani International Tyres, which will be enhanced to 50% in the current fiscal. After the stake hike, the manufacturing capacity of Ceat Kelani will go up from 45 tonnes to 60 tonnes per day. The stake hike will be a fairly complicated process. more..

Curry book sells like hot cakes

Dec 21 (WNW) From a tea plantation in Sri Lanka to the leafy surrounds of The Gap, Vivienne Abeywardena is spicing things up in local kitchens after releasing her first cook book Mixing Cultures. The collection of authentic Sri Lankan recipes is aimed at the Australian public, but Ms Abeywardena said it was proving popular with Sri Lankans living in Australia as well. “After publishing the book I’ve also found that lots of Sri Lankans have bought it. more..

Tamil businessman joins the government

Dec 21 (LG) A well known multi millionaire businessman and a former Tamil Tiger campaigner have joined the government through the back door recently. Thilagarajah known in the LTTE circle in London as Tilak who had funded the LTTE operations and invested heavily in properties during the LTTE regime in the North of Sri Lanka have joined hands with the government to protect his extensive property investment portfolios in the former LTTE controlled areas in Sri Lanka. more..

President’s election campaign must focus on strengthening the relationship with the West

Dec 21 (LG) Past four year rule of the President Mahendra Percy Rajapaksa has been very acrimonious on many fronts. The period is marred by heavy human rights violations even in the non-conflict areas in the South and these have been systematic and reflected a trend of well orchestrated mission of the government to undermine the very basics of democracy and was seen as centralisation of governance within the circle within the family and friends of the President. more..

Lakhs of Tamils may not vote in Lanka poll

Dec 21 (EB) Lakhs of Tamils of North Sri Lanka may not vote in the January 26 Presidential election partly on account of the lack of the appropriate identity card or partly on account of a lack of interest in the election, given the trauma they had gone through during the war, and as refugees in camps ringed by barbed wire. Number of Tamil refugees who had registered to vote by filling the appropriate form, vary between 5,000 and 10,000. more..

Harvest for the Kandalama farmer from greening tourism

dec 21 (HA) Don Sekeralage Sripala. Unmarried. Age-47. He is a farmer from Upper Ara Ula village in Kandalama. He has been playing flute at Heritance Kandalama for 15 years (since its inception), he earns Rs.400/= per day for playing flute. We filmed him playing flute at Heritance Kandalama, and the interview was done in his agrifield in his village. He currently cultivates Brinjals (Egg Plant). more..

Sri Lankan civilians use highway closed for 24 years during war

dec 21 (BN) Sri Lanka let civilians use the main highway to the northern Jaffna peninsula for the first time in 24 years as the government tries to rebuild the region after defeating the rebel LTTE in May. “Any citizen can now travel on the A-9 road using either private transport or public transport with no restrictions whatsoever,” senior presidential adviser Basil Rajapaksa said yesterday, more..

Has the fight against corruption in developing countries now reached dead end?

Dec 21 (LG) It appears that the fight against corruption has now reached a dead end in several developing countries It is more than evident from the fact that the citizens of such countries do not any more react to multi million dollar scandals and scams where the public money is being looted by section of the country men. Several ministers, bureaucrats and business men accused of corruption walk with their heads high and do not feel any sense of shame. more..

'Does ‘patriotic’ Mahinda work according to directives from ‘patriotic’ Manmohan Singh?'

Dec 21 (LT) Does ‘patriotic’ Mahinda Rajapakse work according to advice from ‘patriotic Manmohan Singh asks General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. He said the President and the government that denounce apolitical Common Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka stating he has given into foreign forces and has betrayed the country has not made any explanation regarding the agreement of 10 points more..

Fun trip to Sri Lanka!

'President's leadership won war'

Dec 21 (MoD) There was a time when the Security Forces were without any proper direction and were stranded. The LTTE almost controlled certain parts of the country which were supposed to be under the Government. During this period, nearly 30,000 soldiers and policemen and another 90,000 civilians were killed. The country was in the throes of a catastrophe when the people handed it over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. more..

Meeting with Tamil Diaspora held in Colombo

Dec 21 (MoD) For keeping the Tamil Diaspora informed of the progress of the "Vadakin Vasantham" development programme, a meeting was organized at Saraswathy Hall, Wellawatta on 19th December 2009 by the All Ceylon Hindu Congress. Basil Rajapaksa MP, Chairman Presidential Task Force for the Northern Province, Milinda Moragoda Minister of Justice & Law Reforms and Governor, Northern Province, Major General GA Chandrasiri participated at this meeting. more..

Restriction on Upcountry Tamils traveling to Colombo to be lifted

Dec 21 (TN) Tamils of upcountry can travel to Colombo and other areas in the south without any restriction from Monday. Earlier they had to obtain clearance certificates from their respective police station due to security concerns. Presidential senior advisor Basil Rajapakse addressing meeting in support of President Mahinda Rajapakse Sunday in Hatton said the restriction on upcountry Tamils traveling to Colombo would be lifted from Monday.

Perversion of religion is possible when state and organized religion collaborate

Dec 21 (TC) The following is an attempt to focus on Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of God is within You (1894), in relation to the aspects mentioned above. Page reference is to the Dover Publications edition, New York, 2006, and the work is abbreviated as KGWY. The majority of Sri Lankans being Buddhist, reference is made to Buddhism, though Tolstoy himself does not mention Buddhism in KGWY. more..

The absence of thinking in Tamil politics

Dec 21 (TC) Of course I do not mean that there is no thinking among Tamils as a community, still less that Tamils cannot think! Nor am I complaining that there is an absence of systematic ideas and ideologies in Tamil politics. That’s hardly a priority and could be a blessing. What I do mean is that there is no thinking through, in the sense of serious exercise of the faculties of intelligence and analysis, in Tamil politics. more..

Azwer slams Rauff Hakeem for ignoring Muslim interests

Dec 21 (GDI) Advisor to the President and Media Ombudsman A.H.M Azwer today charged that SLMC leader, Rauff Hakeen has betrayed the interests of Muslims by supporting the candidature of retired General Sarath Fonseka as opposition candidate. He explained that Fonseka had no interest to protect the rights of minorities in this country and Rauff Hakeem was paying lip service to such a candidate betraying the entire Muslim community. more..

CWC will give unconditional support to President - R.Yogarajan

Dec 21 (GDI) “The President has removed the word 'minorities' from our vocabulary. No longer are the Tamils, Muslims, Burghers, Malays and any others are minorities. They all are Sri Lankans and the President knows the needs and the feelings of the Muslim and Tamil communities", National Organizer of the Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) and former MP, R. Yogarajan told a media briefing held at Mahaweli Center, Colombo today (21). more..

Eastern Muslims will vote for President - Hisbullah

Dec 21 (GDI) Minister of Eastern Provincial Health, Sports and Information Technology, M.L.A.M. Hisbullah claimed that majority of Muslims will vote for President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the forthcoming Presidential Election for the President as the President has done his duty by the country and the Muslim community. He made this observation while participating to a media conference held at Mahaweli Center, Colombo today (21). more..

UN questions Govt on Fonseka’s allegations

Dec 21 (GDI) The UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, has asked the government to provide explanations with regard to the circumstances of the death of three senior LTTE cadres and their families at the last stages of military operations to defeat the LTTE in May this year. The request for explanations follows the recent statement made by Gen (Rtd) Sarath Fonseka, more..

'Rudd blackmailed over asylum'

Dec 21 (SMH) The granting of asylum to two Sri Lankans involved in the Oceanic Viking stand-off shows the Federal Government had been "blackmailed into giving people what they wanted", Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says. Mr Abbott, who was the guest of his deputy Julie Bishop today, said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had shown he was "too ready" to give away Australia's sovereignty. more..

Polls violence: 65 complaints so far

Dec 21 (LP) Around 65 incidents of poll related complaints had been reported during the past few days. DIG Gamini Navaratne who is in charge of election activities said the Police have advised organizers of each party to ensure prevention of such incidents. About 15 persons have been taken into custody for breaking of Election law and bailed out. Police also advised them to remove banners and cut-outs that were put up in violation of election law, he said. more..

Handing over of 200 Nos. of bicycles and learning kits to school children at Welioya School

Dec 21 (GDI) The programme of handing over of 200 numbers of bicycles, musical instruments and learning kits to school children at Welioya School on the 16th. Hon. Governor, Northern Province Major General GA Chadrasiri graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Mr.P.Ariyaratnam, additional Provincial Director of Education - Vavuniya and Mr.S.Theivendran, Zonal Director of Education, Mullaitivu participated in the occasion as guests. more..

I have delivered – President

Dec 21 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing scholars and the business community in the Kurunegala District on Saturday said he had fulfilled the pledge given to the people to free the country from terrorism. “There was a time when we had to retreat due to international pressure. “Our then political leaders failed to comprehend the issues properly and precipitated matters which resulted in more..

'Chandrika to swing into action on her Father’s B’day'

Dec 21 (LeN) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunge is preparing to launch into political campaigning on Jan.8th – the Birthday of her Late father. According to reports reaching Lanka e news, the former President is to summon all the senior SLFPers of the Attanagala electorate and those SLFPers sidelined by the present Mahinda Rajapakse Govt. on the 8th of January, the Birthday of her father late S W R D Bandaranaike more..

Neutrality when SLFP organizers holding high positions in state Media Institutions - NEMIHR

Dec 21 (LT) The Network for Election Monitoring points out that the State media is engaged in an election propaganda openly exploiting state property violating media standards and ethics for the triumph of the Government candidate. It further point outs that it is futile to discuss on impartial media coverage when officers in key positions at Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Independent Television Network, more..

Rs. 800 Million damage to Kheththarama by the SLFP convention

Dec 21 (LT) Few cricket matches of the World Cup Cricket Tournament 2011 are to hold in Sri Lanka and cricket fans of neighboring countries and in Sri Lanka are longing for that day. Kheththarama, Pallekale and Suriyawewa Stadiums were proposed by the government for these matches. Kheththarama Grounds is the only international level ground amongst the three and the other two grounds are still under construction. more..

Wickramasinghe’s hope, power and the elite

Dec 21 (LG) The wholly Europeanised, English speaking wealthy class, the so-called elite of all communities, sharing the common latent agenda of dominance and suppression, a lot who have been eruditely misinterpreted to be above differences, took over the governance from colonial rulers and ventured to build the so-called independent nation on the rules constructed by them, these elites, for themselves. more..

'Those who are not corrupt in Govt. will join me'

Dec 21 (LG) Those who are not corrupt in the government will join me to stop corruption and develop the country, said presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka yesterday. “As a policy, I have always stood by my pledges and have carried them out. I will stop corruption and will develop this country,” the General said addressing the Matara district convention of the United National Front (UNF). more..

'As I become President I will appoint Commission to investigate State corruption , malpractices and wastages'

Dec 21 (UNP) Opposition common Presidential candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka addressing an election rally at Ambalangoda said, I will never ever betray the forces and the country despite the malicious and false propaganda which are being circulated against me. By hitting on the chest like a King Kong and screaming ‘I gave orders to fight the war’ while being confined to A/C rooms does not make one a War Hero, Fonseka pointed out. more..

Sabaragamuwa University reopens

Dec 21 (LP) Participating at a reception held by the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka at Hotel Taj Samudra last week to commemorate the birth anniversary of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first Minister of Education of Independent India, and to celebrate International "Students’ Day", Higher Education Minister Prof. Wiswa Warnapala highlighted the achievements and contributions of Maulana Azad in the field of education. more..

JVP breathes fire at India and America

Dec 21 (LNP) The JVP yesterday accused President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa of taking far reaching decisions favourable to India and the US, respectively at the expense of Sri Lanka. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that the Rajapaksas had caused irreparable damage to national interest by inviting foreign interference. more..

Galle promises boom with economic development

Dec 21 (DN) Socio-economic development of the Galle district has taken a high priority during the past four years. Under the Mahinda Chinthana policy of President Mahinda Rajapaksa now the long neglected Galle district was developing rapidly day by day. The Galle city capital of the Southern Province was badly destroyed by Tsunami. But now the city was completely changed. A number of constructions currently were going on and some were completed. more..

Lankan judiciary has won people’s confidence - Minister

Dec 21 (DN) In a background where the Judicial process in certain countries has led to controversy, the Sri Lanka Judiciary should be commended for wining the people’s confidence, Plantation Industries Minister D.M. Jayaratne said. The smooth functioning of the Judicial process of a country will act as a tool for strengthening its democracy, Minister Jayaratne added. He was speaking at a ceremony after opening the entrance to a lawyers’ office building complex in more..

Duty slashed on wheat grain

Dec 21 (DN) On the orders of President Mahinda Rajapaksa as a Finance and Planing Minister, the Customs duty on the import of wheat grain has been totally removed to benefit consumers for the upcoming festive season. Accordingly, the wholesale price of a kilo of wheat flour is expected to be reduced by Rs.10 in the market. Minister Bandula Gunawardene told the Daily News that the Government has commenced a special program to provide relief to consumers by more..

MICE sector helps develop the country

Dec 21 (LNP) Meeting Incentives Conferencing Exhibitions (MICE) sector could directly help the country to improve different industries with the dawn of peace. The MICE sector has numerous opportunities as there are no limits in the MICE sector. The MICE sector could directly help the country to improve different industries with the dawn of peace. It is important to have a proper diversification in these incentives that will assist the MICE sector to improve further, more..