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'I will never betray a military officer or soldier'

Dec 25 (DM) Common Opposition candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka said that as a military officer who faced the debacles and victories alike in the battle field and risked his life for the sake of the country, he would never betray any fellow military officer or soldier. He said he always stood by the forces whether it was during a drawback or a victory but did not erect giant hoardings to gain political mileage from it. more..

'I will protect democracy'

Dec 25 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he will never allow anyone to destroy the people s democratic right to elect their representatives through the exercise of their franchise without let or hindrance. As much as he liberated the Motherland from cruel terrorism, he will dedicate himself to protect and safeguard democracy in this country for the benefit of the future generation. more..

Potta Naufer sued for Rs. 50 million

Dec 25 (DM) Colombo District Court had ordered M.N. Naufer who had been sentenced to death for killing High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya, to file answers to another case in which he was sued for Rs 50 mn for demolishing a business premises at Moulana Building, Pettah. M.N. Naufer alias ‘Potta’ Naufer, was a convicted under world gangster who had been sentenced to death for the murder of High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya in 2004. more..

Govt. pays up Rs250 million dues to CIC

Dec 25 (Island) Chemical Industries Colombo PLC (CIC) says the government has paid its dues amounting to Rs250 million which would have a positive impact on the listed company’s profitability. "The Government of Sri Lanka has released Rs250 million due to price adjustments on sale of fertilizer made during the period November 2008 to March 2009. This will have an impact to the group profitability," more..

4 dead, 21 wounded in Moneragala road mishap

Dec 25 (CT) Four people are dead and 21 others wounded in a road mishap in Moneragala today (Dec. 24), police said. A half-truck carrying a group from Horana to Kataragama and a tipper were involved in the collision at Thanamalwila on Wellawaya-Matara road. The driver of the heavy vehicle has been arrested in connection with the fatal incident. The wounded have been admitted to hospital.

Catholics asked to engage in a soul searching mission

Dec 25 (Island) The President and the Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops Conference Most Rev. Bishop Vienne Fernando and Most Rev. Bishop Andradi in their Christmas Message 2009 call upon the Christians to engage in a soul searching mission to discern whether there is an atmosphere of good-will, understanding and solidarity in us as a Nation. "Once again we are reminded by the Prince of Peace, Jesus the Lord, that more..

Ministerial portfolios to dissident UNP MPs: Ex-CJ alleges poll law violation

Dec 25 (Island) The Opposition says President Mahinda Rajapaksa violated Presidential election laws by offering ministerial portfolios to UNP MPs Johnston Fernando and Indika Bandaranaike, immediately after they switched their allegiance to the ruling SLFP-led coalition. Opposition sources say that this was nothing but an inducement for the Kurunegala District MPs to crossover ahead of the presidential poll. more..

‘Sirasa’ threatened for displaying President’s incompetence

Dec 25 (LT) While President Mahinda Rajapakse’s speech was telecast over ‘Sirasa’ channel yesterday at 7.00 p.m. during main news telecast, the teleprompter used for his speeches was clearly visible and a senior member of presidential media unit has telephoned ‘Sirasa’ and threatened the media institution regarding telecasting the scene. He had asked ‘Sirasa’ staff not to use the same recording for their news telecast at 10.00 p.m. and more..

Proposals for Hambantota port industries to be called

Dec 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka's cabinet of ministers has kicked off the process to bring private enterprises to a new industrial port in Hambantota in the south of the island, the government's information office said. The ministers had given the nod to set up a cabinet appointed negotiation committee and a project committee to prepare requests for proposals and negotiate with investors to start a series of industries by April 2011. more..

Sri Lanka wants to protect a new "wave"

Dec 25 (IL) More than 35 000 deaths, 100 000 houses damaged, 500 000 people displaced: the Sri Lanka is the country, after Indonesia (130 000 deaths, 37 000 missing), which has suffered most from the tsunami of December 26, 2004. "The wave", as it is called here, has hit the south and southeast. Five years later, in the Hambantota district located in the south-east, the traces are still visible. more..

Govt objects to UN experts during poll

Dec 25 (DM) The government yesterday objected to moves to send experts from the United Nations here to monitor the presidential election scheduled for January 26. However, the government said it would not oppose the presence of UN election observers for this purpose. UPFA Secretary Susil Premajayantha had written to Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake in this regard, sources close to the Minister said. more..

Singapore party member extradited to US over Sri Lanka Tiger arms supply

Dec 25 (AFP) A Singapore opposition party member has been extradited to the United States where he stands accused of trying to supply arms to Sri Lanka's defeated Tamil Tiger rebels, according to a report Friday. Balldev Naidu, 47, a businessman and co-founder of the Reform Party, was extradited on December 18, the Straits Times newspaper said quoting the Ministry of Home Affairs. more..

LTTE bought five ships during Eelam War IV

Dec 25 (Island) An LTTE vessel recently seized and brought to Colombo by the Sri Lanka Navy had been among five ships acquired by the group during the Eelam War IV though they could not be used at least once to smuggle in weapons. Unlike the eight LTTE-operated vessels hunted down on the high seas from September, 2006 to October, 2007, the fleet of five ships bought legitimately had been registered with Lloyds. more..

In Saainthamaruthu: Indelible memories of kith and kin

Dec 26 (HA) “I saw the waves hitting at 500 meters & coming into the village very fast. Waves were black & came with a noise” says Mohamed Mustafa Najeem (23). “I stopped eating,took my maternal grandma & left her on a flat & began to help others. There was chaos & people began to panic”. “Many women in their bathing robes found dead in Saainthamaruthu. We cannot touch women’s body due to religious reasons, but had no other way”. more..

Sri Lankan illegal immigrant dies in Brunei

Dec 26 (NNN) A Sri Lankan illegal immigrant named Yakob passed away on Wednesday night at the Krakatau Media Hospital or RSKM here and his body was on Thursday still in the hospital`s morgue. “There is no certainty whether the body will be sent to the `Jaya Lestari 5` boat where the Sri Lankan illegal immigrant group to which he belonged are staying or repatriated,” more..

8 Sri Lankan migrants ordered released

Dec 26 (CNS) Another eight Sri Lankan Tamil migrants who were among the 76 men arrested off B.C.'s coast in October have been ordered released by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. The men, who cannot be identified due to a publication ban, were among 15 migrants who had detention orders quashed this week in IRB hearings in Vancouver. Seventy-six men were aboard the Ocean Lady - a rusty freighter shepherded to shore in Victoria by HMCS Regina on Oct. 16. more..

Self-confidence and courage amidst multiple tragedies

Dec 26 (HA) “I lost my house in Tsunami in 2004 in Kallady. I built the house not with my sweat, but with my blood ” recalls Rajeswary Sithravadivel. “I took a big loan & built the house,I could not bear it was completely destroyed” says Rajeswary Sithravadivel with tears filled eyes. She got some help from the Government & an NGO and managed to build a small house in Thiraaimadu, where Tsunami resettlement houses are built. more..

Tears, trial and triumph of humanity in Maruthamunai

Dec 26 (HA) “I lost 12 family members in Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004 including my parents” Sithy Quatha in Maruthamunai. “Lost our house as well. Human loss is irreplaceable. I managed to safe my sister’s baby” cries & describes her unforgettable memories of Tsunami. “The waves hit the height of a coconut tree in Maruthamunai.When I screamed “Sea waves are coming to our place, nobody believed me”. more..

Welegedara likely to be fit for last ODI in Delhi

Dec 26 (PTI) Chanaka Welegedara is on track for a fast recovery from the groin strain and is likely to be fit for the fifth and final One-day International against India in New Delhi on Sunday. Welegedara will remain with the squad and his injury will be assessed by Sri Lankan team physio Tommy Simsek during their practice tomorrow. "He should be fit to play in Delhi for the fifth one-day International of the series so he remains with the squad. more..

Ukraine, Sri Lanka to arrange tourism cooperation

Dec 26 (KP) Ukraine and Sri-Lanka are to arrange an agreement on tourism cooperation, the Cabinet of Ministers resolution No. 1591 of Dec. 23 declares. The government approved a draft agreement and authorized Vasyl Vovkun, minister of culture and tourism, to sign the related agreement. As reported, President Victor Yushchenko said in February about enhancement of mutual cooperation between Ukraine and Sri-Lanka.

'People must say that Sri Lanka treated us the best'

Dec 26 (CI) Suraj Dandeniya's previous association with Sri Lankan cricket had been very limited, with brief stints for St Thomas College, Mt Lavinia in 1975-76, and with SSC in 1977-78. Dandeniya, the nephew of the present interim chairman of Sri Lanka cricket, departed for the US to pursue a career in banking but has now assumed centrestage in executing Sri Lanka's leg of the 2011 World Cup with his role as tournament director. more..

Lessons from the Tsunami

Dec 26 (LG) Today, December 26, 2009 marks the fifth anniversary of the devastating tsunami that hammered the shores of Sri Lanka and many parts of Asia. Nearly 40,000 died in just an hour or two, and caused untold destruction to property in Sri Lanka. Five years on there are still stories of missing children and adults. Amongst these there was some good news: A woman who lost her husband and child in the ill-fated train that was trapped in the tsunami on more..

Natural barrier against natural disasters

Sinhala ultra-nationalist monk backs Fonseka

Dec 26 (TN) The Sinhala Buddhist extreme nationalist organisation, Patriotic National Centre (PNC) led by Buddhist Monk Venerable Dhambara Amila Thero, Thursday said that it has decided to support General (retd) Sarath Fonseka, contesting in the forthcoming Sri Lankan presidential elections. Dhambara Amila Thero has been opposed to outside influence, both the Western and the Indian, since the Norwegian brokered Ceasefire Agreement in 2002 and more..

The right war

Dec 26 (LG) The greatest betrayal or the General’s slip of the tongue, or whatever one calls it, it certainly directs one to this debate, current chief proponent of it being no one less-Nobel laureate B. Obama, wrong war and right war. The Obamian formula, which to some extent is reflected in the international legal regime, unfortunately, despite its “the good” genesis, cuts both ways much as it can be dangerous; classification of war into right or just and more..

Fighting political correctness on Christmas

Dec 26 (LG) “The Holiday Season” in the United States is a remarkable time of year. From October through December, a series of festival and holy days bring individuals, families, and communities together in a spirit of charity and consideration of others. Depending on your ethnic and religious persuasions, Halloween, or the Day of the Dead, honors the ancestors of each family or at the very least provides a night of fun more..

Issues and non-Issues at the forthcoming Election

Dec 26 (LG) This is an unusual Presidential Election we are facing. Although there are are an unprecedented 22 candidates, only two contestants have any realistic chance of being elected. But what is worrying is the extraordinary amount of non-issues that are being raised as also the abuse and venom directed at one of the candidates. This could, of course, boomerang against those who engage in this slanderous campaign, as this column has pointed out before. more..

In Sri Lanka, Tsunami anniversary inspires mixed reactions

Dec 26 (Time) They were the iconic images of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami from Sri Lanka — the twisted hulks of eight carriages and a locomotive swept aside and tossed around like matchboxes by the killer waves. The train was packed with passengers and others who had sought refuge in them when the first wave hit Sri Lanka's southern shore. more..

Would Rajiva Wijesingha also be treated as a traitor?

Dec 26 (LG) The government has announced that a letter written by Rajiva Wijesingha as the Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights to the UN Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings, Philips Alston, will be treated as withdrawn. The government sources gave wide publicity to the withdrawing of this letter. According to one news report, even the minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights has disassociated himself from this letter. more..

Better Governance: The Biggest Lesson of 2004 Tsunami

Dec 26 (LG) On 26 December 2009, we mark the fifth anniversary of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, one of the biggest and deadliest disasters in history. It left a trail of destruction across South and Southeast Asia, killing over 225,000 and shattering the lives of millions more. For many of us in the media and communication sectors, this was the biggest story of our lives. Because the killer waves hit numerous coastal locations in several countries, more..

JHU highlights contradictions in Fonseka campaign

Dec 26 (Island) Environment and Natural Resource Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said the parties, which backed Presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka at the upcoming election, contradicted each other’s statements at public rallies. He said General (Retd) Fonseka was also contradicting the statements made by members of other parties supporting him. more..

Mahawa- A'Pura rail track restored

Dec 26 (GDI) The train services on the Mahawa-Anuradhapura rail track have been restored. Train services on this track were disrupted on December 24 following a derailment of the night mail at Galgamuwa. Twenty eight injured passengers were admitted to Galgamuva and Anuradhapura hospitals. An investigation is now underway to look into the cause of the derailment. more..

Diplomatic misstep

Dec 26 (TN) Professor Rajiva Wijesinha, permanent secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, appears to have received a reprimand from his Department's Minister after making disparaging remarks on Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary execution, and for dismissing the letter from Alston, requesting explanation to Sarath Fonseka's allegations that Colombo may have committed war-crimes, as "another nuisance." more..

SLPA gains world recognition

Dec 26 (GDI) The world’s second largest shipping company has initiated discussions with the Ports Authority of Sri Lanka. Due to the efficient service rendered by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority during the recent past, several renowned shipping companies have started working with the Ports Authority. The latest company that initiated work with the Ports Authority has been ‘M.S.C.’, which is the second largest shipping company in the world. more..

'In a country of deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act'

Dec 26 (TC) Sri Lankans of several walks of life, from politicians to everyday readers have been ratcheting opinion on General Fonseka's interview with The Sunday Leader, in several media outlets in the recent days. The remarks are mostly negative on the reported allegations by the General in the Sunday Newspaper, at least the ones being carried by prominent media organizations. more..

IDPs on the A9 highway – victims of heartless politics

Dec 26 (LG) The IDPs had become the bone of contention between the government of Sri Lanka (GOSL), many governments and institutions in the international community, and the Tamil community at large-both within Sri Lanka and the Diaspora, after the war ended. Many tears – some genuine but mostly ‘crocodile’- were shed on the plight of these unfortunate people. more..

A plan to broadcast distorted version of Gen. Fonseka’s interview to ‘Sunday Leader’

Dec 26 (LT) A reliable source has revealed that a plan exists to publish a distorted version of the recording of the interview Common Presidential Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka had with ‘Sunday Leader’ Editor Frederica Janz. According to this source the government has planned to edit the recording of the interview and distort what Gen. Fonseka had said at the interview. When ‘Lankatruth’ inquired from MP Anura Dissanayake, more..

Uthuru Vasanthaya: Rural industries to boost

Dec 26 (MoD) The Rural Industries and Self-Employment Ministry will provide training, advanced technology and facilities to boost the living standards of the people in the North through the implementation of small and medium scale industries and self- employment opportunities. Plans have been made to construct two Shilpa Gammana in the North and East provinces according to requests of handicraftsmen in the area. more..

'Political interferencein public service will be halted'

Dec 26 (DM) Opposition common candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka said his objective was to create an atmosphere in the country where people belonging to all ethnic groups could live as one nation. “I aim at creating a constitution and the necessary environment in the country where no one would be treated as a second class citizen. more..

Political wranglings overshadow concerns of ordinary people

Dec 26 (TC) With the issues surrounding the alleged comment made by the opposition’s common Presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka to a newspaper gaining ground, almost all issues concerning the ordinary people have been overshadowed. Also the election campaign has turned into a smear campaign, as President Mahinda Rajapaksa said, days ago. The debate over the controversial remark allegedly made by General Sarath Fonseka too has become an appropriate case in point. more..

A photo story: Five years on, forgotten victims of the tsunami

Dec 26 (GV) Today is the 5th anniversary of a tsunami that devastated our country.Five years on, but how many of us still care for the people who suffered? The tsunami hit the Indian Ocean, killing nearly hundreds of thousands in eleven countries and inundating coastal communities with waves unto one hundred feet. According to experts, it was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. more..

Christmas 365 days a year...

Dec 26 (DN) In the sixth month of Elizabeth's (Mary's cousin) pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, "Greetings, favoured woman! The Lord is with you". Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. "Don't be afraid, Mary," the angel told her, more..

Copper scrap scam at Yard

Dec 26 (DN) The Customs is seeking Criminal Investigations Department (CID) assistance to trace the missing Rs 70 million valued copper scraps packed in four containers at the Customs D. Branch yard at Orugodawatta. The four containers were earlier forfeited by Customs Branch and put for sale. Due to a fresh claim made on the cargo, the Court of Appeal ordered the Director General to stop the sale and inquire into the claim. more..

'People will not accept politically bankrupt group'

Dec 26 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing a gathering in Kandy said the people of the country were not prepared to accept all falsehoods the politically bankrupt groups utter. Addressing the fourth conference of the Sanasa movement held at the President’s House in Kandy on Wednesday he said that the Co-operative system in the country had been invigorated. more..

Roads flooded as rains lash Polonnaruwa

Dec 26 (DN) Amban Ganga and Mahaweli Ganga have overflown and many areas have been inundated owing to the heavy rains. Irrigation and water management officials on the advice of Polonnaruwa District Secretary Nimal Abeysiri has made arranagements to open sluice gates of Parakrama Samudra. Accordingly, 10 sluice gates have been opened. Around a kilometre of Sungawila - Somawathi route is flooded while Yoda Ela of Elahara has also overflown. more..

Let there be rice!

Dec 26 (Island) Of late, there have been numerous complaints of a scarcity of rice and high prices. The government has blamed hoarding for this situation and promised tough action against wholesalers and millers, who have denied the charge. The government cannot absolve itself of the blame for hoarding, if that is the real cause of the rice scarcity, as some of its prominent members are involved in the rice business. more..

Misuse of public resources: TISL receives 60 complaints

Dec 26 (Island) More than 60 complaints have been received by Transparency International Sri Lanka’s Programme for Protection of Public Resources against the misuse of public resources by certain candidates and their party members as of December 25 – the Programme for Protection of Public Resources said. The complaints include treating people and public officials to meals at state expense, more..

'Ten year Road Map on disaster management'

Dec 26 (GDI) To deal with disaster risks in a scientific and systematic manner, the Disaster Management and Human Rights Ministry formulated a ten-year Road Map for Disaster Risk Management (2005-2015) and drafted a National Disaster Management Policy as well as a National Disaster Management Plan, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe mentioned issuing a massage to mark the fourth annual commemoration of the National Safety Day. more..

PAFFREL praises Polls Chief, calls for media controls

Dec 26 (Island) PAFFREL says it appreciates steps the Elections Commissioner has taken to conduct the Presidential elections in a free and fair manner. A PAFFREL says in a statement issued to the media: "We extend to you our gratitude as a monitoring organization particularly with regard to the initiative taken by you on our request to limit the certification of temporary identity cards to the Grama Niladhari and Estate Superintendents, more..

TNA in Disarray

Dec 26 (DM) In a new turn of events, the parties within the TNA have broken ranks with each other with one section trying to switch allegiance to Opposition Presidential Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka while some wanting support MP M.K. Sivajilingam as another group of MPs wanting to back President Mahinda Rajapaksa. TNA leader R. Sampanthan and MP Suresh Premachandran held a meeting with Gen. Fonseka accompanied by more..