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President assures three-wheeler men of better deal

Dec 29 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has assured that a conducive environment would be created to enable the nation’s three wheeler drivers to ply their trade without hindrance,Walpitagamage Siriyaratne, Organiser of the United Three Wheeler Drivers Association, said. He spoke to The Island after his Association’s meeting with the President at Temple Trees on Sunday (28). more..

Hoteliers and revellers in a dilemma over liquor sales

Dec 29 (Island) New Year revellers will have to be on their best behaviour this year. Excise Department officials and Police officers will be out in full force to see to it that the revellers do not break the law concerning the sale and consumption of liquor. This year’s New Year’s eve also happens to be the Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day and liquor of any kind cannot be sold or consumed at hotels, night clubs, karaoke clubs etc. more..

'Govt. is so bankrupt in policies , plans and funds – it is now pilfering the civil defense Force funds too'

Dec 29 (UNP) Addressing a Press briefing, SLFP (M) leader Mangala Samaraweera said, the Govt. has exhausted all the possible lies it can tell, all the avenues of solving the problems of the country and it has exhausted all the public funds, so much so it has now started pilfering the funds of the Sena Vidhyaka fund or the civil defense Force fund. more..

Api Wawamu Rata Nagamu programme a farce - JVP

Dec 29 (Island) The JVP yesterday claimed that the land used for paddy cultivation had decreased during the Yala season this year. The government started Api Wawamu Rata Nagamu programme to encourage farmers and householders to cultivate, but it had not yielded the intended results. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, said that according to government statistics the extent of paddy lands had decreased by 27.3 per cent this year. more..

FR case filed in SC against President

Dec 29 (DM) One of the Presidential Candidates yesterday filed a fundamental rights violation petition seeking a declaration from the Supreme Court for the removal of President Mahinda Rajapaksa from the office of Minister of Finance. Petitioner K.G.Ravindra Lal Perera is also seeking declarations from the Supreme Court for the removal of Milinda Moragoda from the office of Minister of Justice & Law Reforms, Mohan Peiris from the office of Attorney General and more..

Fonseka ready to face Mahinda Rajapakse in public debate

Dec 29 (DM) Opposition Presidential Candidate General Sarath Fonseka is prepared to face President Mahinda Rajapakse in a public debate over allegations involving his son-in-law to an illegal arms deal, Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. He said that General Fonseka is prepared to face the President; in response to an invitation that was laid out yesterday by NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa; and more..

Jayasuriya, Malinga, Mendis, Kapugedara axed

Dec 29 (DM) The moment of truth has finally arrived for 40-year old Sanath Jayasuriya when Sri Lankan national cricket selectors decided yesterday to drop the legendary all rounder for the forthcoming triangular series in Bangladesh also involving India. According to sources, the dashing left hander who completed 20 years in international cricket on December 26 has lost his touch since lately and more..

Stop playing politics with nation building

Dec 29 (DM) Over 60 years after independence the damage that politics has done to nation building has been bared. All the hopes of the people coming together as one nation, as the country witnessed the end of a bloody three-decade-old ruthless terror of the LTTE, today seem too distant a dream, as the vicious claws of politics rip the country apart once more. It is sad to face the reality that we only needed six months for betrayals of more..

Certain VIPs collect Rs.3 for each egg supplied to IDP camps – UNP

Dec 29 (Island) Looking after the northern IDPs has become big business for certain VIPs in government, the UNP alleged yesterday. UNP Chairman Gamini Jayawickrema Perera told The Island that in the name of providing for the suffering IDP’s, these persons were even demanding and obtaining commissions on each egg, supplied to the refugee camps. more..

I will create a parliament accountable to people, says General

Dec 29 (LG) My aim is to establish democracy and create a parliament that is accountable to the people, says common opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka. He was addressing a propaganda rally held in Digana, Kandy on Sunday to pledge support to him, where several political party representatives were present. “I once had a dream to win this war. When I was appointed the Army Commander, I made the most out of it. more..

'No govt. would wish to admit LTTE assets'

Dec 29 (DM) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama yesterday said no foreign government would ever wish to admit the presence or the build-up of assets by LTTE on their soil as “there would be much international ramifications since it could amount to tacit support.” The minister was responding to comments made by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, who questioned on the action being pursued by the Sri Lanka Government with regard to the assets of the LTTE spread overseas, more..

'Sarath Fonseka on a journey of revenge'

Dec 29 (GDI) JHU Provincial Council Minister, Udaya Gammanpila today scoffed at the “Mata Pera Rata” poster of General Sarath Fonseka now on display on walls. He requested Fonseka to emerge from those walls and make a public confession that he has embarked on a vindictive campaign to defame the President and the Defence Secretary with a motive filled with revenge and vengeance. more..

A nation struggles to forget a tragedy

Dec 29 (IPS) Waves hitting a train and carriages half submerged in water. Scores of men, women and children leaping above the water, hands outstretched, bodies strewn all over. These images were captured on a mural that became a crucial part of the memorial at Peraliya, a village 90 kilometres south of Colombo, right next to the coast. Yet, images of post-tsunami impacts that are not depicted on the mural run the gamut of emotions. more..

'No misuse of funds for election purposes'

Dec 29 (GDI) We refer to some media reports alleging the misuse of public funds for the campaigns of candidates in the current Presidential Election. The allegations mainly refer to meals given at state expense, use of official vehicles and state buildings etc. for the campaign purposes of candidates. Reference has also been made to the meals provided at the functions held at Temple Trees. more..

Sri Lanka to cut petrol price ahead of January poll

Dec 29 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will slash the price of petrol by 11.5 percent with effect from Tuesday midnight, the government said, ahead of a presidential election scheduled on January 26. "The price of a litre of petrol will be reduced by 15 rupees effective midnight today," the government's official website said quoting the state oil firm. more..

Ven. Dambara Amila remanded till Jan. 8

Dec 30 (AD) Venerable Dambara Amila Thera who was arrested by the CID on Sunday has been further remanded till January 8, 2010. The Bandaragama visiting magistrate this morning (December 29) ordered the monk to be further remanded when the case was taken up. Ven. Dambara Amila Thera was taken into custody by the CID on Sunday for allegedly soliciting cash to send persons abroad for employment, more..

VIDEO: Unfortunate that some don’t appreciate war victory: PM

Dec 30 (AD) The victory in the recent battles against the LTTE was due to the collective efforts of the armed forces, police, Civil Defence Services (CDF) and the people. Nobody can claim the credit as that of a single person, says Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka. The Sri Lanka Army is a disciplined force. No one can do anything according to their whims and fancies or irresponsibly. Most appreciate the victory over the LTTE. more..

Will not join tomorrow’s protest, says PSUNU

Dec 30 (AD) The Public Services United Nurses’ Union (PSUNU) says that its membership will not participate in the protest by certain health nurses’ unions tomorrow (December 30), says a media release. The benefits gained and to be gained soon after discussions with the relevant authorities will be negated by the actions of these trade unions to mislead the health workers for short term gains, the PSUNU statement further adds. more..

'Fonseka yet occupying ‘General’s House’ despite undertaking to court'

Dec 30 (AD) Former Sri Lanka Army Commander General (Retired) Sarath Fonseka is still occupying his former official residence ‘General’s House’. This is despite his lawyer giving an undertaking to the Supreme Court, Army Chief Lt. General Jagath Jayasuriya told Adaderana during a discussion. When the fundamental Rights petition filed by Sarath Fonseka came up for hearing in the Supreme Court (SC) on December 17, more..

Debrief News - 29. 12. 2009

Sri Lanka make sweeping changes for Bangladesh tri-series

Dec 30 (CI) Poor form and player injuries have forced the Sri Lankan selectors to make sweeping changes to the squad for the tri-nation tournament in Bangladesh next month, also featuring India. Batsmen Sanath Jayasuriya, Chamara Kapugedera, fast bowler Lasith Malinga and spinner Ajantha Mendis were dropped from the squad after disappointing performances in the recently-concluded tour of India. more..

IDP resettlement 'election gimmick'

Dec 30 (BBC) The speedy resettling of war displaced by the government is an election gimmick, the main opposition presidential candidate has claimed. Addressing an election rally in Kantale, in Eastern Tirincomalee district, Gen Sarath Fonseka has said that it is premature to resettle the IDPs as de mining is yet to be completed. The IDPs are being resettled in areas where there are landmines, he said, and more..

War crimes probe request 'referred'

Dec 30 (BBC) The Sri Lankan government says it is seeking advice on a request by the United Nations for a war crimes probe. Sri Lanka's defence ministry said on Tuesday that a letter by UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston has been referred "for advice on the cause of action to be taken on the issues". UN has requested Sri Lanka government to send its observations over media reports that senior LTTE leaders who tried to surrender were killed in cold blood. more..

President’s son violating the Navy Act: JVP MP

Dec 30 (LG) President Rajapaksa’s son Yoshitha Rajapaksa has violated the Navy Act of 1950 by participating in his father's election campaign work, spokesman to Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s presidential campaign JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. Mr. Dissanayake addressing the media today said that Yoshitha, a second lieutenant of the Sri Lanka Navy was participating in and addressing several rallies. more..

'We accept the challenge, but not with swines'

Dec 30 (LT) Common Presidential Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka is ready for the debate relevant to presidential election but would not be prepared to have anything to do with a swine smeared with faeces says JVP MP Anura Dissanayake. He said, “At the first press conference of Gen. Fonseka the Leader of the JVP Comrade Somawansa Amarasinghe threw a challenge at President Mahinda Rajapakse to come for a public TV debate with Gen. Fonseka. more..

We will ensure none gets 50% of votes : Bahu

Dec 30 (LG) Our objective in this presidential election is to bring about a setback to both these candidates who are calling themselves the two leading contenders. Also this duo is planning to bow down before foreign forces, says presidential candidate of the Left Front, Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne. He said that they planned to ensure that none of the candidates got the 50 per cent of the votes to more..

Its high noon at the OK Corral

Dec 30 (LG) Sarath Fonseka and Mahinda Rajapakse were once a dynamic duo. Like the cowboy/sidekick duos of old they fought the biggest outlaw in the land and won, bringing peace to our battered nation. But now under the weight of our tropical sun and in the spotlight of an over excited media these two heroes face each other as bitter adversaries. The Wild West allusions might be overblown but there is something decidedly spaghetti western about Sri Lankan politics more..

Attorney General silent about witness protection and undue delays

Dec 30 (LG) A news report published in the Lankapuvath entitled ‘A stronger law is needed’ which reported a speech by the Attorney General, Mohan Peiris, raises some serious concerns as to whether the already seriously damaged criminal justice system in Sri Lanka is to suffer even greater setbacks in the near future. The thrust of the report under a stronger criminal seems to be not about assimilation of more..

Batticaloa-Jaffna bus service resumed after 30 years

Dec 30 (TN) The bus service between Battialoa and Jaffna was inaugurated after 30 years Monday by Battialcaloa SrI Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) Depot Manager, Thurai Manoharan, from Batticaloa Main SLTB terminal. Meanwhile, it has been announced that a bus services will operate between Kalmunai and Jaffna from 1st January. The bus to Jaffna from Batticaloa will leave at 5:00 a.m and reach Jaffna at 4:30 p.m daily. more..

President Rajapaksa claims credit for military victory over LTTE

Dec 30 (PTI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has claimed credit for the landmark victory over the Tamil Tiger rebels in the civil war as he squares off in next month's presidential polls against his former army chief, who led the nation to triump over the LTTE in May. Rajapakse and former army general Sarath Fonseka, who have been at loggerheads over who should claim credit for the military victory over Tamil Tiger rebels, are in a straight fight. more..

People flock to see “Princess Chrisanta”

Dec 30 (SLN) People are coming in great numbers to see ex-LTTE Ship “Princess Chrisanta” now anchored at sea off Galle Face. In response to numerous requests received, Ministry of Defence and Sri Lanka Navy made special arrangements to give General Public the rare opportunity of viewing an ex-LTTE ship at close quarters for the first time in history. The ship, which was brought to Sri Lanka after a well-coordinated national level Intelligence operation more..

Twist as Tamil refugees arrive today

Dec 30 (TA) Sixteen Tamil refugees rescued by the Oceanic Viking will begin arriving in Australia today, six via the Christmas Island detention centre. Forty of the Sri Lankan Tamils left Indonesia's Tanjung Pinang detention centre yesterday morning, courtesy of a special deal underwritten by the Rudd government to fast-track their resettlement in exchange for ending their month-long standoff aboard the Customs boat. more..

Truth has to be dealt with and cannot be avoided

Dec 30 (LG) The issue of the international community’s role in Sri Lanka has once again come to the surface due to the campaign for the Presidential Elections in January. Ironically, the issue of war crimes came to the fore due to an assertion by one of the two main contestants, former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, regarding the killing of LTTE leaders. In prosecuting the war against the LTTE the Sri Lankan government took stringent actions to ensure that more..

Sri Lanka urged by ADB to maintain roads

Dec 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s government must ensure adequate funding for road maintenance to prevent newly built and repaired roads deteriorating to previous levels, the Asian Development Bank has said. The bank, which has spent millions of dollars on roads in the island, said in a report its Road Sector Development Project (RSDP) had improved transport links and reduced costs for road users. more..

A thrilling read on the Sri Lankan conflict with LTTE

Dec 30 (LG) A Cause Untrue is a formula novel. There is violence, sex, even car chase, international conspiracy, plane hijack and eye ball to eye ball war situation. The Tamil terrorist group LTTE is the centre point of the plot. The story weaves around the way the group unleashes terror across the globe. The spotlight is on Canada which is mulling some tough measures against the militants’ activities in the country. more..

Sri Lanka draws more cruise ships

Dec 30 (LBO) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority said the cruise ship ‘Discovery’ of the Voyages of Discovery cruise line called at Colombo port as part of a cruise tourism revival with the end of the island’s ethnic war. The vessel, sailing under Bermuda flag, can carry 756 passengers and touches Colombo mainly on its voyages in the winter season. Improved security after the end of the war has created a conducive climate for a boom in tourism. more..

Private banks slow to adjust rates

Dec 30 (BL) Although Sri Lanka’s state banks have complied with the recent instruction given by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and reduced interest rates by around 7%, other private commercial banks which were also expected to follow suit are however a little sluggish to take a drastic rate cut, a senior official from Central Bank said. "rivate commercial banks unlike state banks were somewhat hesitant since they needed time to align the rate with their costs of funding". more..

UPFA manifesto out soon

Dec 30 (BL) The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) yesterday said the election manifesto of incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is running for a second term, will be launched within the next few days. Minister of Public Administration Sarath Amunugama addressing media in Colombo said the manifesto ‘Beyond Mahinda Chinthanaya’ will give prominence to ensure a prosperous future for the youth by providing more job opportunities. more..

TNA, the decisive factor in the Presidential race

Dec 30 (BL) Sri Lanka is heading for its first post-war major election in January 2010 and the focus, above all, is on the Tamil National Alliance, the largest coalition constituent of both moderate political parties as well as former militant groups as this election would decide where the country is heading in finding solutions to its long standing ethnic issue now largely considered as the national problem. more..

The man who wired Silicon Valley

Dec 30 (WSJ) Raj Rajaratnam liked to tell people that his first name meant "king" in Hindi, and, coupled with his last name, that made him "king of kings." He told the story with the broad, toothy smile that had ingratiated him to a generation of Silicon Valley executives. The grin softened the edge of a boss who'd call you an "idiot" or prod you into some humiliating stunt: Would you take $5,000 to be shocked with a stun gun? more..

Corruption: how to stop the evil?

Dec 30 (BL) Elections in both developed and developing countries are fought against two evils: economic hardships and corruption. The charge of the opposition is that unbearable economic hardships have been meted out to people by the ruling party, while relishing freely in self – fattening corrupt practices. Strangely, the ruling party also promises that, if it is returned to power for another term, it would take effective action to ease the people of hardships and eradicate corruption. more..

Arrest Anandarajah to freeze LTTE money

Dec 30 (EB) To access the LTTE’s money stacked away in more than 600 bank accounts across the world, and seize assets like ships worth millions of dollars, the Sri Lankan government must arrest the kingpin, Ponniah Anandarajah, an American accountant of Sri Lankan origin believed to be living in Europe. In 2003, LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran had replaced his international fund manager and arms procurer, Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, with Anandarajah. more..

'Sri Lanka cannot escape war crime charges'

Dec 30 (EB) Although Sri Lanka is not a signatory to the Rome Convention which set up the International Criminal Court (ICC), the island nation can still be dragged before the ICC without its consent, senior cabinet minister and a former Professor of Law, G.L.Peiris, has said. He told The Sunday Island on December 20, that the UN Security Council had the right to request more..

Will a troubled peace pay dividends in 2010?

Dec 30 (HT) As December in 2008 came to an end, the Sri Lanka army surrounded the Tamil Tiger’s administrative centre, Kilinochchi. Few would have forecast the rapid developments of the next five months. By May 18, 2009, the Tigers were defeated and, for the first time in 26 years, the beleaguered Island was looking at an uneasy peace. Will a troubled peace pay dividends in 2010? “Military victory over the Tamil Tigers will deliver a modest peace dividend, more..

Sri Lanka's bitter enemies learn to live in harmony

Dec 30 (Independent) It was the simplest of scenes and yet it was utterly remarkable. In the swimming pool of a Sri Lankan hotel, a dozen or so young men were playing and splashing and generally horsing around. To the casual observer their antics may not have warranted a second glance. Yet the young men laughing together in the pool represented the different religious and ethnic elements that constitute Sri Lankan society, more..

A whimper not a bang

Dec 30 (CI) Think of a stick of dynamite with the fuse lit and ready to blow. That is what Sri Lanka were all year, a crackerjack side hinting at an explosion; but at the end of a dramatic 12 months the fuse just didn't seem ready to detonate. The end result was a whimper. Sri Lanka rode into 2009 on the crest of the Ajantha Mendis wave and boosted by the knowledge they'd be playing five more Tests than the six they played in 2008. more..

I give up. Learnasia has a learning impediment

Dec 30 (LG) Perhaps it is too late now for the UNP to turn the clock back on flawed strategy that has animated its early campaign for the 2010 presidential election. But the UNP is not a learner party, even though led ideologically these days by Learnasia statisticians and lead economists. These Learnasia prototypes have a remarkable ability to be so full of themselves, that they cannot see beyond their squat spectacle-perch noses. more..

Anura Kumara Disanayake (P3)

Anura Kumara Disanayake (P2)

Anura Kumara Disanayake (P1)