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LTTE vessel anchored off Galle Face Green for public view today !

Dec 27 (GDI) The LTTE weapons smuggling ship ‘Princess Chrisanta’ will be anchored off the Galle Face Green today for public view, Navy Spokesman Caption Athula Senarath said. However, the public would be able to board the ship today. It is to sail to the Galle Harbour to coincide with the “Galle Season” where the public would be able to board the vessel. more..

TNA D-day on January 4

Dec 27 (NS) The serious division that was developing in the Tamil National Alliance, which we exclusively reported in our page one lead stories in the last two Sundays, has now come into the open with at least three openly dissenting members not being invited to the last TNA meeting held this Tuesday after the return of Alliance Leader R. Sampanthan along with member Suresh Premachandran from Vienna. more..

Lighting up the nation

Dec 27 (SO) The Power and Energy Ministry’s main objective is to install more coal power plants within the next five years rather than constructing high cost diesel power plants. This will not only save a large sum of foreign exchange annually spent on diesel, but also help provide electricity to 4.3 million consumers at concessionary rates. Power and Energy Minister, W.D.J. Seneviratne said due to the development activities carried out by more..

Has annual Literary Awards Festival become a farce?

Dec 27 (SO) Since the birth of the Cultural Ministry in 1956 under the first ever S.L.F.P-M.E.P. Government there had been annual State Literary Award ceremonies almost each year. Have these Awards contributed to the enhancement of the Sri Lankan literature? If not, what have they achieved? Of course, every year Literary Awards have caused endless literary controversies among literary elite in the Island. more..

Havelock City first phase completed

Dec 27 (SO) Overseas Reality Plc owner, developer and Manager of the World Trade Centre (WTC) currently houses over 150 corporates under one roof. The facility is easily accessible by both tenants and visitors alike, being in the heart of the business hub in Colombo. With peace dawning in the country, the business sentiments have improved with increasing demand for office space, contributing to growth in occupancy levels at WTC. more..

'No room for communal, confrontational politics'

Dec 27 (SO) Former UNP MP Ali Zaheer Moulana discloses how Minister Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan entered the democratic main stream in an interview with the Sunday Observer. Q: Can we know a little about your pre-political life? A: I can start from 1987. I returned to the country after my education in US where I studied Computer Science. That was the Indian and Sri Lankan Peace Accord time. more..

Monks of a lesser Order?

Dec 27 (NS) As we keep edging towards modernity and extreme consumerism, we seem to be forgetting the core values that make up our culture and morality. We have failed in many respects, when it comes to treating fellow human beings with kindness and respect. Sadly, this is also true to the much revered Sangha society too. It is in this context, The Nation learnt of a Buddhist monk who has taken up the task of caring for debilitated and destitute monks at his temple. more..

SF kicks off Northern campaign next week

Dec 27 (NS) Common opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka will kick off his campaign in the North in the New Year with a religious ceremony at the historic Nallur Kovil on January 2 at 10:00 a.m. It will be followed by a meeting with Jaffna University students and lecturers. A spokesman for his campaign said leaders of the opposition alliance would also speak at the northern rallies organised to support his candidature. more..

Ven. Dhambara Amila Thero taken to CID

Dec 27 (LT) Ven. Dhambara Amila Thero, President of Patriotic National Centre (PNC) and reputed archeologist has been taken in by the CID for questioning states PNC sources. The General Secretary of PNC Parliamentarian Vijithe Herath says Ven. Dhambara Amila Thero has been taken into the CID as he has expressed his support to the apolitical Common Presidential Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka. more..

Govt. blocking buses to Jaffna: Wijeratne

Dec 27 (ST) Private bus operations in the lucrative Colombo-Jaffna route along the A9 Road have been blocked by a powerful government politician who is in charge of the Northern Development Project ‘Uthuru Wasanthaya’, Private Bus Association President Gemunu Wijeratne alleged yesterday. He said that although there was a need for 100 buses to carry passengers from Colombo to Jaffna, at present only two CTB buses and more..

Colombo South Harbour: Tough talks ahead

Dec 27 (NS) Putting aside the major stir caused by its local junior partner early this month, a big contingent from China Merchant Holdings will be here on January 6 to hold talks on the balance issues raised by them on the construction of the first terminal of the new Colombo South Harbour, informed shipping sources said. This is after CMH’s junior local partner Aitken Spence literally sued for peace after more..

Central Bank prepares to implement 20% bonus interest from January

Dec 27 (Island) The Central Bank is now busy preparing the necessary operative instruction to the banks to implement a 20% bonus interest scheme for senior citizens hard hit by the recent interest rate reduction. This scheme, announced last week by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a meeting with the Organization of Professional Associations, will be limited to a possible maximum of Rs. 90,000 per year and more..

Indian companies plan to make huge investments in Sri Lanka

Dec 27 (Island) Seven months after the bloody civil war ended in Sri Lanka, Indian companies that are already working in the island are now busy making plans to make huge investments to expand their business there. They appear eager to participate in the anticipated post-war reconstruction boom, especially in core sectors, such as energy and information technology. At least six such companies have finalized their plans. more..

'JVP won’t tie-up with UNP'

Dec 27 (NS) JVPers in general and their leader Somawansa Amerasinghe in particular appear to be genuinely sincere in their wanting to bring about urgently needed constitutional reforms, but their problem is that in trying to do so they have come to a marriage of convenience with their arch enemy the UNP and even the compromise candidate they have chosen to back jointly more..

Whom to vote for President

Dec 27 (Island) I compulsively read whatever my friend Kumar David, the brilliant engineering professor writes. Truth to tell, his is the first piece I read attentively in The Sunday Island. Most times I find myself in total agreement with his thinking. Even when I find myself disagreeing with him, as I occasionally do, I am never sure that he is entirely wrong. On two occasions during the past few weeks, however, I found myself greatly puzzled by his reasoning. more..

Major contenders’ campaigns get into gear

Dec 27 (Island) The election campaigns of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and General Sarath Fonseka are getting into their stride with both major contenders launching official websites last week. Rajapaksa launched his website at President’s House in Kandy on Thursday while Fonseka also launched his own website the same day at his election office in Colombo. Mahinda Chintanaya Two program was being finalized and will be published within the next few days. more..

‘PLA’ a creation of govt. to rig Presidential Election - Hakeem

Dec 27 (Island) The so-called Peoples Liberation Army does not exist and was a creation of the government aimed at rigging the forthcoming Presidential Election, SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem alleged. He said that the Rajapaksa regime was allegedly planning to use armed Tamil groups under the guise of them being the ‘PLA’ to prevent Tamils and Muslims from voting for General (Retd) Sarath Fonseka, more..

Match abandoned because of dangerous pitch

Dec 27 (CI) The final ODI between India and Sri Lanka on Sunday was abandoned after 23.3 overs after the match officials decided the pitch was of "extremely variable bounce and too dangerous for further play". The immediate fallout of the fiasco was the dissolution of the BCCI's Grounds and Wickets Committee but long-term repercussions could be far more serious: at stake is Delhi's status as a host of the 2011 World Cup, more..

Kerala expert helps clear Lankan mines

Dec 27 (EB) Maj K RAJU, formerly of Madras Sappers and Miners, is helping the Sri Lankan authorities rid the northern battlefields of landmines and other improvised explosive devices (IED) laid by the LTTE. A native of Thiruvananthapuram, Raju and his team of de-miners from the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) started work in the rice bowl area of Mannar district and gradually worked their way to Periyathampanai and Pannivirichchan in Vavuniya district. more..

Campaigns lacking vision and direction

Dec 27 (ST) Political campaigns for the Presidential Election by the two main contenders - President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gen. (retd.) Sarath Fonseka - appear to have lost their directions just two weeks after nominations. More glaring among the two is President Rajapaksa's campaign. In the past many days the singular focus has been on the allegation by former Commander of the Army, then Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka, that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa gave orders to more..

Land without checkpoints feels free to Tamil refugees

Dec 27 (Age) "IT FEELS like freedom, now," says Sanmugam Sarpatheepan. Around him are the markers of his new life; the modest home in Melbourne's west is well maintained but has few personal touches, except for a couple of unwashed teacups in the kitchen. Mr Sarpatheepan, 25, and his intellectually impaired housemate, Kanapathippillai Thajaparan, 24, are no ordinary new arrivals: they are the only Sri Lankans off the customs ship Oceanic Viking to more..

Bishop Duleep ask voters to be wise and key officials impartial

Dec 27 (Island) The people, candidates and officials "are obliged to think and act sensibly," Rt. Rev. Duleep de Chickera, Bishop of Colombo, said in the context of the forthcoming "crucial" presidential election "which will have immense repercussions (for the country’s future stability and wellbeing," in his Christmas message issued last week. more..

When tragedy called for healing touch of a doctor

Dec 27 (ST) This is how Dr. Sian Hughes, a paediatrician from Melbourne, Australia describes the traumatic but at the same time fulfilling experiences of not only Boxing Day when the tsunami hit Sri Lanka but also the days after when having rushed up a hill at Unawatuna they set up a temporary centre to look after the injured. Dr. Hughes, her husband and three children were holidaying at Unawatuna and had spent a lovely Christmas on the beach with more..

Public servants violate polls laws

Dec 27 (ST) The involvement of public sector officials including diplomats in the ongoing presidential election campaign has set a poser to the Department of Elections. Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake, has in writing told Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga and Ministry Secretaries that it would be a violation of the Establishments Code (Chapter 32) for public officials to engage in party propaganda activities. more..

‘Tsunami boy’ Asitha moves on

Dec 27 (ST) He is 14 years old and already taking on the role of the man of the house, fixing any electrical item such as a fan or a blender that needs repair and even climbing on to the roof when the asbestos sheets go askew. No more does he roam the streets of Katukurunda, Moratuwa, with his friends playing “teek bola” (marbles) but has his mind set on passing his Ordinary Level and more..

Political moves alleged to divide Islamic scholars

Dec 27 (ST) Reports that individuals aligned to the Government have taken steps to intimidate and divide the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) for political purposes have appalled Sri Lankan Muslims, former minister Imtiaz Bakeer Markar said. In a special statement Mr. Markar said that the role of the ACJU is of significant importance to the Muslim community especially as a minority within a multi-religious Sri Lanka, therefore more..

Father Mervyn Fernando: 50 years a Roman Catholic priest

Dec 28 (LG) Father Mervyn Fernando was in Bandarawela when my wife and I were on holiday in Haputale with our children. I wanted to show my wife where I had spent a good part of my childhood, which is now the Bandarawela St Thomas’ College Preparatory School. There he was seated with youth of different ages playing cricket. We sat near him and soon we both entered into a long discussion. I cannot remember the exact year, but it was in the seventies. more..

An inquiry needed into Lanka Logistics and Technologies Ltd.

Dec 28 (LG) The impression that is rapidly spreading is that affairs in Sri Lanka have descended to the level of the conduct of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. The government has insinuated that there has been misuse of purchase of arms, in an attempt to insinuate that General Fonseka has been involved in such conduct. The General for his part has categorically and forthrightly denied any involvement of such purchases and more..

Tamils and Election 2010: Choices, Threats, Delusions

Dec 28 (LG) What should Tamils do? The answer is obvious. Those who wish to vote for either of the main Sinhalese candidates in the upcoming 2010 presidential election could do so. But they must keep clearly in mind that they will get nothing in return. Irrespective of who wins, the current ethnocidal policy of the Sinhalese State vis-à-vis Tamils will continue unabated. What must Tamils do next? more..

India denies entry visa to Sivajilingam

Dec 28 (TOI) A Sri Lankan Tamil MP was denied permission to to enter the country and sent back as soon as he arrived from Dubai at Chennai airport a couple of days ago, immigration sources said. Tamil National Alliance MP M K Shivajilingam, a vocal LTTE supporter, had come from London to Chennai via Dubai on an Emirates flight. But immigration officials stopped him as soon as he landed. He was detained at the airport. more..

The General (Retired) and the UN (Geneva)

Dec 28 (LG) Reports of the alleged killing of LTTE leaders Nadesan, Pulidevan their families and about 300 LTTE cadres as they attempted to surrender to the army have been in the public domain for over six months. The allegation was given world wide publicity by Andrew Buncombe in a brief report from Colombo to the British newspaper The Independent (19th May 2009) and by Marie Colvin in Timesonline (24th May 2009). more..

Age age of reason or treason?

Dec 28 (LG) Much before the Twenty First Century, the Age of Reason dawned on humanity including Sri Lankans. Sri Lanka, now, however, appears to be slipping back in time from the Age of Reason into an Age of Treason. It began soon after President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s speech in parliament immediately after the victory over LTTE terrorism. Rajapaksa in his speech which has been called ‘historic’ — most of what he does or says now fitting into that description of being ‘historic’ more..

Sri Lanka conducting its own ‘war-crimes’ investigation is becoming imperative

Dec 28 (TC) General Sarath Fonseka claims during an interview that he had learnt that Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had given orders not to accommodate (kill) any LTTE leaders ‘attempting to surrender’. Later (on 20 December), General Fonseka states that as Commander of the Army during the final stages of the war, he ‘did not receive any communication that some LTTE leaders were planning or wanting to surrender’ and more..

Track record of Tamil Nationalist politics is repeated failure capped by defeat

Dec 28 (TC) When in the individual sphere there is a long continuity of failure, a rational human being re-examines his/her life, while an irrational one blames everyone else. The latter condition usually requires professional assistance to overcome. The empirically evident track record of Tamil nationalist politics in Sri Lanka is that of repeated failure capped by defeat. However the dominant tendency in Sri Lankan Tamil nationalist politics, more..

Both Mahinda and Sarath playing the lyre like Nero

Dec 28 (TC) Today, we need not listen to rumours as we can see Rajapaksha for ourselves who has got on to his private stage at “Temple Trees” and is comparing the new calamities with the old. The only difference is that Nero lacked a tele-prompter which Rajapaksha has. It is too early to prophecy when, where or how this disaster will end. more..

Sri Lanka need not panic

Dec 28 (CI) Sri Lanka's one-day squad travel back home disappointed, and no doubt exhausted, after what has been a long, tough tour. They'll only have a few days to recover before travelling to Bangladesh for another tri-series, but they'll be looking forward to a few days off with their families, some time to reflect on what went wrong and to recharge in time for the next assignment. There will be some equally disappointed Sri Lanka fans more..

Shopping complex to ‘prince’ from USA!

Dec 28 (LT) An offspring of Sri Lanka’s ‘royal family’ has bought a building worth US$6 -7 million from Manhattan in New York. This has been revealed to ‘Lanka Irida’ by Sri Lankans living in the US. This has been revealed when ‘Lanka Irida’ made an inquiry from Sri Lankans living in the US regarding information it had received that a person connected to politics in Sri Lanka had bought a building for an exorbitant price from Manhattan in New York. more..

Christmas 2008 to Christmas 2009 in Sri Lanka

Dec 28 (GV) Last Christmas, together with few friends, we prayed desperately, hoping a bloodbath would be avoided. This Christmas, we prayed and lit candles for the thousands killed and missing during the war, the ones who doesn’t have a grave as their family members had to run over the dead (and sometimes dyeing) bodies to save their own lives. Last Christmas, we prayed for a stop to political killings, disappearances, forced recruitments, unjust arrests and torture. more..

Resettlement only in demined places

Dec 28 (MoD) The Government will not allow re-settlement unless the people are provided with liveable conditions, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake said. Certain foreign conspirators put the Government into difficulties by demanding the re-settlement of IDPs, liberated areas, he said. The premier was addressing a meeting at the Kadirgamar Relief Centre in Vavuniya following the distribution of dried rations donated by the people in Horana. more..

Livid argument between Srinath, Atapattu over pitch

Dec 28 (PTI) The Ferozeshah Kotla pitch condition in the fifth and final ODI between India and Sri Lanka led to a heated argument between former speedster Javagal Srinath and ex captain from the island country Marvan Atapattu. As soon as the match was held up due to "unfit playing conditions", Atapattu thought the match should have been called off even earlier after more..

Sri Lanka gets World Bank funds for rural village

Dec 28 (LBO) The World Bank (WB) has approved 75 million dollars to fund the second stage of community development and livelihood improvement targeting 875 of the poorest villages in the country, a government minister said. "We have got 75 million dollars to implement second stage of community development project," cabinet spokesman and investment minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. more..

Hosts off to winning start

Dec 28 (CI) A thrilling opening match set up the Tri-Nation Under-19s Tournament in South Africa beautifully as the hosts held their nerve to beat Sri Lanka by four wickets in Johannesburg. The South African bowlers, led by Sammy Mofokeng, did well to keep Sri Lanka to just above 250, before the openers - Dominic Hendricks and wicketkeeper-captain Josh Richards - hit crucial half-centuries to ensure the hosts got off to a winning start. more..

Golden bat for Jayasuria on completing 20 years in cricket

Dec 28 (Nation) Disappointment was clearly within his heart when Sanath Jayasuriya, in his recent interview, said, “the sad thing is, I don’t know whether the Sri Lankan cricket board is even aware that I’m completing 20 years today!” Jayasuriya made his ODI debut against Australia at Melbourne exactly 20 years ago on 26th December 1989. Jayasuriya has seen the felicitation of his IPL-teammate Sachin Tendulkar who had received a warm felicitation for completing the same number of years in cricket. more..

Prabhakaran, Karuna clashed on federalism

Dec 28 (EB) The rift between the LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran and his eastern commander Col Karuna first appeared after Prabhakaran heard that during 2002 peace talk, Karuna had advised for settling the Tamil question within a federal structure. At the Norwegian peace talk with the Sri Lankan government in Oslo in December, Karuna had told Anton Balasingham, the leader of the LTTE’s delegation, that it might be a good idea to agree to a federal structure. more..

Lanka appreciates US-Singapore co-operation in terror probe

Dec 28 (AO) Welcoming the handing over of a politician allegedly involved with the LTTE to the US by Singapore, the Sri Lankan government yesterday said that the ongoing US investigation could shed light on clandestine links among the LTTE, Tamil Diaspora and some political parties. Government sources told The Island that it was an example of how the international community could co-operate in combating terrorism. more..

ACTC decides to boycott presidential election

Dec 28 (TN) All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) political party decided to boycott forthcoming presidential election and not to support any of the candidates contesting the election, in the ACTC National Conference held Sunday in Jaffna, presided by ACTC leader Vinayagamoorthy. 75 prominent members of ACTC and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Gejendrakumar Ponnambalam participated in the conference, more..

Govt seeks NGO's assistance to help resettled Vanni IDPs in Jaffna

Dec 28 (TN) Sri Lanka Government extended a request to the International and local Non-government Organizations in Jaffna to help the IDPs from Vanni now resettled in Jaffna, in a conference held with the NGOs Sunday at Jaffna Secretariat. Jaffna Government agent presided the conference which was attended by Minister Douglas Devananda and the Governor of Northern Province, Major. Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri, sources in Jaffna said. more..

Estate sector fully behind the President - Minister De Silva

Dec 28 (GDI) The Estate Sector has extended its support for the victory of the President by a huge majority. They unanimously decided to extend their support for the victory of the President at a meeting held recently. It was held at the Simon Peiris Commemoration Hall in Badulla under the patronage of Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition Nimal Siripala de Silva. more..

Don't be misled by mud slinging - President

Dec 28 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has requested the people not to be misled by the crude mud slinging campaigns launched by the opposition. Addressing the representatives of the Public Service United Nurses Union at the Temple Trees, the President said that for him the nurse is more of a motherly figure than a professional. The government has done substantial amount of work for the benefit of the nurses. more..

'Join hands to re-elect President'

Dec 28 (GDI) Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan addressing a news conference at the Mahaweli Centre today in Colombo called upon all people to re-elect President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a second tern to display gratitude to the President as the only leader who unified the fragmented nation. He said the President was a leader with determination and courage to achieve any impossible goal. "He has nowbarked upon a massive development drive and more..