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'Sarath Fonseka wants a military regime'

Dec 28 (GDI) Minister of Nation Building and Resettlement, Risarth Baithudeen today warned that if Sarath Fonseka was elected by error for a six year term, Fonseka would turn Sri Lanka into a military regime within six days. Baithudeen said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was a democratic leader who re-established brotherhood among all communities after crushing the cruel LTTE terrorism. more..

Polluters must pay

Dec 28 (LNP) With the presidential election campaign now on first gear, there have been newspaper reports on the removal of illegal propaganda hoardings, posters and other material on public display. The police were awaiting provision of funds by the elections department to hire labourers for this work, we are told. Such funds, apparently, are now forthcoming. Why should the taxpayer bear the cost of this work? more..

Nation building in 7 Districts

Dec 28 (LP) Steps have been taken by the Ministry of Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development to implement the second phase of Community Development and Livelihood Improvement Project in Badulla, Monaragala, Hambantota, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Nuwara Eliya and Polonnaruwa Districts. The World Bank has approved IDA Credit of US Dollars 75 million to implement the Second Community Development and Livelihood Improvement Project. more..

Lokuge on sport targets for 2010

Dec 28 (GDI) Ministry of Sports and Recreation, Gamini Lokuge, today said that infrastructure facilities n sport at all schools would be the development target in 2010. Minister Lokuge said all indoor stadiums at schools will be provided with adequate facilities to attract the student generation to take to sports. “We will also set out a mechanism for overseas training for Sri Lankans sportsmen and women”, said Minister Lokuge. more..

'A stronger criminal law is needed in the country'

Dec 28 (LP) Addressing the Asia Crime Prevention Foundation of Sri Lanka annual general meeting held in Colombo recently, Attorney General President’s Counsel Mohan Peiris said that the rising incidence of crimes, is a concomitant of some structural drawbacks which prevail in the criminal justice. It is often said that if there are stronger criminal laws, crime prevention becomes easier to achieve he said. more..

Court restrains demolishing Chatham Street building

Dec 28 (DM) Colombo District Court restrained a landlord from demolishing or causing any act to hinder the peaceful occupation of a business premises at Chatham Street until the hearing of the case. Colombo District Judge M. Laffar Thahir issued an injunction restraining the owner and landlady Mrs. F.I.S. Caffoor of No 85, Barnes Place, Colombo 7, from demolishing or causing any damage to premises more..

Dealing with corruption in Sri Lanka is like dealing with alcoholism

Dec 28 (LG) The speech against General Fonseka, insinuating among other things that there had been irregularities in the purchase of arms, and the speech by General Fonseka categorically denying all such allegations and stating that it was the Secretary of Defense who had the power to make decisions in the purchase of arms through Lanka Logistics Limited, has brought to focus the issue of corruption relating to the purchase of arms. more..

There was “No Rain” to ITN

Dec 28 (LNW) All Sri Lankans have now realized that the State Media is blatantly violating all the norms and regulations of the elections law. But along with these violations there are obvious humor provided by these organizations to the unassuming viewers. The main newscast of ITN on the 27th December at 9 pm showed some visuals from the President’s meeting held at Minuwangoda in Gampaha District. more..

No police complaint about the Major’s disappearance

Dec 28 (LNW) Senior DIG Nimal Mediwaka says there is no police complaint about the disappearance of one of opposition common candidate General Sarath Fonseka’s supporters. General Fonseka recently lodged a complaint with the Election Commissioner that the head of his personal security unit Major General Athula Rajapaksa had disappeared and that it was associated with election related violence. more..

Sesame sweets in Matara

Sunday Leader Editor came and cried before me: I am filing legal action -Gen. Fonseka

Dec 28 (LeN) Opposition common Presidential candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka said, because the Sunday Leader Editor came and cried before me I did not want to take action at once against the Sunday Leader news report. Yet I am preparing to file legal action against the false propaganda in the news report aimed at misleading the country. Gen. Fonseka making a special statement to the Lanka e news, more..

Rs 33 billion disaster loans for Railway workers still pending

Dec 28 (LT) The allocation of Rs 33 billion disaster loan for Railway workers from the last years’ Budget has not been disbursed by the General Treasury so far. It is reported due to this delay over one thousand railway workers have faced with difficulties. The railway workers have been faced with this difficulty although their loans have been approved two years ago. According to the railway workers more..

'Arrest of Ven Amila Thero reveals dictatorial frenzy of Rajapakse regime'

Dec 28 (LT) A sudden media conference was called yesterday by the Patriotic National Centre (PNC) regarding the arrest of Ven. Dhambara Amila Thero, President of PNC, Chief Judiciary Sangha Nayake of Four Korales of Raigam, Salpiti, Hevagam and Pasyodun, Senior Lecturer of Archeology at Jayawardenepura University and authority on Archeology. more..

Rs. 8 billion out of state funds used for election campaign

Dec 28 (LNW) Executive Director of Transparency International of Sri Lanka, Attorney J.C. Weliamuna says close to Rs. 8 billion out of state funds and properties have been misused for the Presidential election campaign. Weliamuna addressing the media along with several intellectuals on the 22nd said that a special investigations team headed by former Senior DIG Upali Seneviratne to look into the misuse of state properties and public tax funds in the Presidential election period. more..

'Using LTTE assets for private use without confiscation is a betrayal of what the Forces fought for and won the war'

Dec 28 (UNP) Speaking at a well attended public rally organized by the UNF and the JVP in support of the Opposition Presidential common candidate General Sarath Fonseka at the Wilfred Senanayake playground at Moratuwa on the 26th, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe frowned on the Govt. using the LTTE assets for private purposes without impounding them officially. more..

'Govt. day dreaming of creating disaffection between the Forces and I'

Dec 28 (UNP) Addressing a mammoth rally at Homagama on the 26th, organized jointly by the UNF and the JVP, the Opposition common Presidential candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka said, the Army will never forget me who earned the credit for the Forces by winning the war against the most deadly terrorist outfit. In like manner I will never forget the sacrifices my men made at the battlefield. more..

Politics, funds and Tammanyism

Dec 28 (LNP) With less than a month to go for the next presidential election, we have politicians trading mud with a generous hand. Leading the `mud battle` from the front are the jumped up jumpy jumpers, who have taken on their former bosses and parties with the so-called enthusiasm of the new convert. They are going hell for leather to inflict the maximum possible damage on their erstwhile leaders in the run-up to the polls and prove their worth to their new masters. more..

Rice, potatoes, big onions cheaper

Dec 28 (DN) Trade, Marketing Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Services Minister Bandula Gunawardene said that sufficient stocks of rice, potatoes and onions have reached Colombo over the weekend. Following the tax relief on rice imports granted by the Government recently, over 44, 000 metric tonnes of rice imported by the private sector traders will be released from the Colombo Port over this weekend,” the Minister said. more..

Nepotism served UNP leader - Weerawansa

Dec 28 (LNP) NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa said Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who has pledged to end nepotism of politicians is the first person who secured undue advantage by entering politics due to his close relationship with the then UNP Leader President JR Jayewardene. He was speaking at an election rally at the Minuwangoda Urban Council ground yesterday. more..

Body of Lankan migrant to be flown back to Lanka

Dec 28 (JP) A Sri Lankan boat person, one of 250 moored in Indonesian waters for the past 11 weeks, has died after reportedly being denied access to medical care. The Indonesian Foreign Ministry said the 29-year-old man, identified only as Yakob, had died of natural causes. "He died in hospital, so we did give him medical help,". "We're preparing to send his body back to Sri Lanka." Antara reported Saturday that Yakob's body was still at Krakatau Medika Hospital in Cilegon, Banten province. more..

Going ballistic

Dec 28 (DM) Young Sajith Premadasa looked quite incensed when a private TV channel featured him for 8 pm news on Saturday. In fact he looked furious, or so he appeared. “The UN is now talking about the LTTE cadres who came with white flags. I would like to ask from these whites where they were when the LTTE killed monks at Arantalawa and launched attacks on Sri Dalada Maligawa and Sri Maha Bodhi. more..

‘Govt. scared of Ven. Dambara Amila supporting the General’

Dec 28 (LG) The government is scared of the Venerable Dambara Amila Thera supporting General Sarath Fonseka, who has come forward to protect democracy and to abolish the executive presidency, says the Venerable Aludeniye Sumana Rathana Thera, executive member of the National Patriotic Centre. The thera said: “It is because of this fear that the Venerable Dambara Amila Thero was arrested and more..

Youth robbers and killers on same platform - President

Dec 28 (DN) Those who robbed the youth from their families to recruit cadres for a rebellion were on the same political platform with the people who burnt the rebellious youth on tyre pyres, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. Those who took the youth to join their revolt then, have built friendship with the patrons of vigilante killer groups known as ‘yellow cats’ and ‘green tigers’ today, more..

Yala breaks records

Dec 28 (DN) The Yala National Park has earned a record breaking income of over Rs. 700,000 on December 25. The Yala National Park has drawn attention of a large number of local and foreign tourists in the aftermath of the war. She said there is an influx of daily visitors to the park which is rich in natural beauty adorned with flora and fauna and wildlife attractions with endemic species of mammals and birds. more..

'Plan to destroy minorities’ political power'

Dec 28 (Island) SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem charged that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government was systematically destroying the political power of minorities. Addressing a recent press conference in Kalmunai, he alleged that the local government election amendment bill and the attempt to de-register ethnicity based political parties were parts of such attempts. more..

‘Corruption, on the increase since the seventies, must end’

Dec 28 (Island) A senior economist told Sri Lanka’s President that winning the socio-economic war would not be as difficult as winning the war on terror unleashed by the LTTE, but corruption needs to be eliminated as it reduces Sri Lanka’s productive potential and aggravates poverty. Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Colombo, A. D. V. de S. Indraratna, President of the Sri Lanka Economics Association and more..

Govt. accused of forcing unemployed graduates to back Mahinda’s campaign

Dec 28 (Island) The Combined Association of Unemployed Graduates yesterday accused the government of deceiving them by calling for applications, though jobs could not be given early next year, due to the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary polls. Sujith Kuruwita, convenor of the association told The Island that unemployed graduates had been told that anyone wanting to join the government service should more..

Gota accepts responsibility for turning away Chinese military cargo

Dec 28 (Island) Responding to criticism that the Sri Lankan government had jeopardised relations with China by turning away a ship carrying a consignment of armaments ordered by the Army soon after the war ended in May, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on Saturday, said that he had no option but to refuse the cargo as that particular purchase was not required in the post-LTTE era. more..

Too many cooks spoil the soup

Dec 28 (DM) Sri Lanka’s disastrous cricket tour of India has exposed the true bluff, hypocrisy and rot that is taking place in the team as well as the establishment. All what was hidden has been completely exposed by the shoddy performance on a tour that will go down in history as one of the most appalling by way of results and probably the worst since the infamous tour of India in 1993-4. The question doing the rounds is who or what decides the final playing eleven. more..

Highest postal voting applications for Presidential Elections 2010

Dec 28 (LP) It is reported that the highest number of applications for postal voting is for the upcoming Presidential Elections 2010. The Elections Commissions Office has received over 4,50,000 applications. The handing of applications for postal voting ended on the 17th. The returning officers in the respective districts have completed selecting the eligible postal voters from out of the applications received and they are been informed. more..

Sri Lanka readies Ceylon tea intellectual property claim

Dec 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka is readying a claim for intellectual property protection for different types of Ceylon tea under global 'Geographical Indicators' rules that would help market the product. Sri Lanka Tea Board chairman Lalith Hettiarachchi said they are seeking recognition for GI indicators for seven tea growing districts in the island. more..

UNFA Presidential candidate to file action against Fonseka

Dec 28 (DM) UNP Alternative Front Presidential candidate Sarath Kohongahage said yesterday he would file action against common opposition candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka on the grounds that the latter was a person who had obtained US citizenship and had pledged his loyalty to the American Constitution. Mr. Kohongahage told a news conference yesterday that anyone who had dual citizenship, both Sri Lankan and US citizenship, more..

Ape Jathika Peramuna moves courts to seek removal of Ministers and AG

Dec 28 (AD) The Ape Jathika Peramuna (AJP) Presidential candidate has filed a Fundamental Rights petition before the Supreme Court citing the President, a Minister and several Government officials as respondents. AJP Presidential candidate for the upcoming Presidential poll K.G. Ravindra Lal Perera filed the FR petition this morning. In his petition Mr. Perera seeks Supreme Court intervention to seek the removal of more..

'Govt. conspiracy to involve Gen. Fonseka in an Int. quagmire via a newspaper canard'

Dec 28 (UNP) The Govt. is moving heaven and earth unsuccessfully to blow out of proportion a misreport in an English news paper allegedly attributing to a statement made by the Opposition common Presidential candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka. The Govt.’s motive is to maliciously create a wrong impression in the minds of the people by distorting the news. The General immediately following the publication, more..

Spielberg to visit Lanka

Dec 28 (DN) Globally acclaimed filmmaker Steven Spielberg had agreed to visit Sri Lanka due to an invitation extended by Sri Lanka’s award winning film producer and director Chandran Rutnam. The maker of hit movies like ‘Saving Private Ryan’, ‘Jaws’, ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ and ‘Jurassic Park’ worked with Rutnam 25 years ago in ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ which was shot in Sri Lanka. more..

'No room for dictators in Sri Lanka'

Dec 28 (DN) When the footsteps of an oppressor with dictatorial tendencies are heard in the vicinity, the first people who will rally round to counter him are the intellectuals, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Doctors, engineers, lawyers, university dons, artistes and all other intellectuals have now come forward to perform their duty by the nation by correctly identifying this threat, he said. more..

Sangakkara signs for Lancashire

Dec 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara will be Lancashire's overseas player next season, the English county announced Monday. The 32-year-old Sangakkara, one of the world's leading batsmen, will arrive at Old Trafford once he has completed his international commitments at the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean and at the proposed Asia Cup. The left-hander has an impressive Test batting average of 55.10. more..

Sri Lanka takes more time to study war crime charges

Dec 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president has given legal experts four more months to study a US State Department report cataloging alleged war crimes on the island, the presidency said in a statement Monday. President Mahinda Rajapakse extended the December 31 deadline of the panel he appointed in November to formulate a response to the US report, which accused Sri Lankan forces of war crimes while battling Tamil separatists. more..

'It's a hair transplant pitch'

Dec 29 (CI) "It's a hair transplant pitch with bald patches …" Sunil Gavaskar calls it right during the inspection ahead of the start of the game. "Luckily, most of our batsmen were left-handers, so the ball was actually going away from them. If there were right-handers batting, they would've probably got hit on the chest or head." Mahela Jayawardene on how Sri Lanka managed to escape with bruises. "I took blows on my helmet, shoulder, knuckles... Batting was tough, but I had to stay put." more..

Unpredictable LTTE landmine pattern baffles mine experts

Dec 29 (PTI) Demining experts in Sri Lanka are struggling over the unpredictable pattern of LTTE landmines that are obstructing the resettlement of displaced Tamils by January 5 deadline here. "There is no set pattern of landmines laid by the LTTE landmines and we confront with various challenges," Major K Raju, who was also in Indian army told reporters. Raju and his team of mining experts from Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) commerced work in north-western Mannar district and more..

Sri Lanka stocks peak again, up 122 pct in 2009

Dec 29 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares .CSE hit a fresh record high on Monday led by strong retail buying, on expectations of better profits due to post-war economic optimism amid low interest rates ahead of a January election. The All-Share Price Index .CSE of the Colombo Stock Exchange jumped 1.75 percent or 57.74 points to a fresh record high of 3,350.50, surpassing its previous high of 3,340.56 points hit on Wednesday. more..

US re-evaluating relationship with Sri Lanka; Rajapaksa in damage control

Dec 29 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday referred the December 18 letter of Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur, seeking an explanation from the Government, on charges made (subsequently withdrawn) by the former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka against Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa about the sequence of events in the last phase of Eelam War IV, more..

Taliban, terror, Tigers and a bit of Bollywood

Dec 29 (SMH) I saw my first front-line battle casualty this year. The young Sri Lankan soldier was lying on a stretcher, near a dusty helicopter pad in northern Sri Lanka, close to where Government troops were battling Tamil Tiger rebels. His left foot had been blown off and blood seeped through a bandage over his eyes. A medical report tied to his arm said he had experienced a "traumatic amputation". more..

Sri Lanka 'chickened out', says DDCA vice-president

Dec 29 (CI) The DDCA vice-president and former India Test player Chetan Chauhan has said that Sri Lanka "chickened out" out of the final ODI against India after finding themselves in trouble at 83 for 5 in the 24th over. He claimed while the match at the Feroz Shah Kotla was held up, with the officials pondering whether it would be wise to carry on, the ICC match referee Alan Hurst told him that the visitors were reluctant to carry on. more..

Debrief News -28.12.2009

Ocean Viking refugees still waiting to learn fate

Dec 29 (ABC) The Federal Government has been called on to develop a fresh approach to the way it deals with asylum seekers, as the remaining 63 refugees from the Oceanic Viking wait to learn their fate. Two from the group have been sent to Melbourne and 13 others were taken in by Canada. The refugees have been in an Indonesian detention centre after their month-long stand-off aboard the Australian Customs ship. more..

Where is the Tsunami money gone!

Dec 29 (LG) On the fifth anniversary of the Tsunami invasion of Sri Lanka, many questions have been raised in the media about the unaccounted funds of the donor countries for relief work. President Mahendra Percy Rajapakse’s regime is accused of siphoning off large sums of the relief funds that should have reached the victims of the tragedy. In parallel, considerable efforts were made to collect funds by the diaspora Tamil organisations and more..

The judicial role and constitutional transgressions

Dec 29 (LG) Precisely eight years ago, when petitions asking that the state media should not be used as the party propaganda organs of the then Chandrika Kumaratunge Presidency were filed before Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court using legal precedents laid down by that very Court in previous years, former Chief Justice Sarath Silva dismissed them with nary a second glance. The petitioners who were academics and activists had filed the petitions in the public interest. more..

Election not about is Army Commander unfit to lead the nation nor is President unsuitable for second term

Dec 29 (TC) The presidential election of 2010 has been called by President Rajapaksa two years ahead of time and giving up two years of the term mandated by the people in 2005. The rationale given for this by the President himself, is the end of the war and for the nation as a whole, including the people of the North and East, to be able to provide a genuine national mandate for a president. more..

Minister Doug bought nine luxury coaches with the help of Basil

Dec 29 (LG) The non-cabinet Minister Douglas Devananda is said to have obtained funding from the President’s political advisor and brother Basil Rajapakse millions US dollars to purchase luxury coaches to operate between the northern town of Jaffna and Colombo on the A9 road. From the funds given so far, nine luxury coaches have been imported from India. more..