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Sri Lanka inflation accelerates, vindicating pause in rate cuts

Dec 31 (BN) Sri Lanka’s inflation accelerated to a nine-month high in December, vindicating the central bank’s decision to pause its policy of cutting interest rates. Consumer prices in the capital, Colombo, rose 4.8 percent from a year earlier after gaining 2.8 percent in November, the statistics agency said on its Web site today. That was more than the median 4.2 percent forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of six economists. more..

Dilshan is MVP in India-Sri Lanka ODI series

Dec 31 (Rediff) Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan ended his most successful year in international cricket by becoming the most valuable player (MVP) in the recently-concluded India-Sri Lanka ODI series, with his fellow-opener Upul Tharanga just behind him. Sadly, Sri Lanka's greatest ODI opener Sanath Jayasuriya had a terrible series: he scored just 20 runs, failed to take a single wicket and conceded a lot of runs at an economy rate of 8.4. more..

President’s giant cutouts above the law

Dec 31 (UNP) Unknown parties had destroyed the giant cutouts of the President Mahinda Rajapakse which held sway illegally at Marawela, Kakkapaliya and Muguruwatawana. Such displays are prohibited under the election laws as the President is a candidate for the forthcoming Presidential elections Display of Cutouts, banners and posters are illegal after the nominations date is over. more..

Debrief News - 30. 12. 2009

Govt. 'misled' world powers

Dec 31 (BBC) Senior leaders of the Sri Lanka's ruling coalition have accused Mahinda Rajapaksa administration of misleading the international community to wage war against the LTTE. R Yogarajan, National Organiser of Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) said the government pretended to find a solution for the national question through an all party committee to get international support for the war. more..

Sri Lanka launches tourism promotion in Western China

Dec 31 (AT) The newly established Consulate of Sri Lanka in Chengdu together with Sri Lanka Tourism organized a country promotion workshop on 16th December 2009 at the Consulate premises. The workshop, the first ever of its kind organized by Sri Lanka in Sichuan province, was attended by over 60 representatives from local travel agencies, media and airlines. Presiding over the event, Hussein A. Bhaila, more..

‘Tamils without Tamil’

Dec 31 (TN) “Why we need 1700 temples for only 3 million Indians in Malaysia? It does not make sense but we still continue to build temples and fight for it. We only have 450 Tamil schools in Malaysia and it is getting lesser,” says a news-group posting from Hindraf, New York. At least the Indian Tamils raise the issue, but the more affluent Jafanese or Ceylonese have forgotten Tamil and Tamil schools with their first generation. more..

A market-based solution

Dec 31 (Economist) SQUATTING under an umbrella bearing an EU logo, a woman in a faded sari dips into her blue UNICEF bag and pulls out two towels, some toothbrushes and toothpaste, sanitary napkins and a small bottle of disinfectant. She is soon ringed by hagglers wanting her paltry wares for even less than the pittance she asks. Another woman clambers from a bus lugging a sack of flour donated by the World Food Programme. more..

Central Bank clarifies the issue of 1000 rupee note with President's image

Dec 31 (IL) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka issued a commemorative note in the denomination of Rupees 1000 to mark the ushering of peace and prosperity to Sri Lanka. The issue of this note was well received by the public. However, certain statements have been made by a few individuals who have obviously not properly understood the circumstances behind the issue of this commemorative note. more..

New child-friendly schools provide stability five years after tsunami

Dec 31 (UNICEF) Dressed in homemade costumes to represent the different wild animals native to Sri Lanka, the children of Navalady Namahal Vidyalaya High School make a colourful and lively spectacle as they run through the final dress rehearsal of a play in the main hall. A crow, a deer and even a tortoise will all have a role to play in the performance. Dressed as a mischievous fox, Sundaralingham Gnanasekaram, 10, has one of the most important roles, which he plays with enthusiasm. more..

Lankan journalists have suffered the worst

Dec 31 (SLW) A report prepared by the South Asia Media Commission (SAMC) states that journalists in Sri Lanka have suffered the worst adversities by all standards, “considerably more serious than even the travails that counterparts in Pakistan have faced” and many top journalists had to flee the country fearing for their life. Pakistan topped the list of on-duty media persons’ deaths in South Asia, losing seven of 12 journalists in the conflict zones more..

Exploring the Myth that the Tamil vote will be the decider at the Presidential Elections

Dec 31 (GV) Two Tamil Dailies Thinakkural and Uthayan (Jaffna) carried yesterday a headline report of retired Supreme Court Justice C.V. Wigneswaran’s opinion on whom the Tamils should vote for at Presidential elections. (Justice C. V Wigneswaran is a highly respected member of the Tamil intelligentsia and while on the Supreme Court was known to be extremely independent and forthright in his views. more..

Desecration of Tiger war memorials deserve condemnation

Dec 31 (TC) The photographic images that have been deployed on web in my essay on “The Tamil Tigers and Their Practices of Homage” ( as well as a host of less accessible academic articles convey the importance placed on the commemoration of the fallen by Pirapâharan and the Tiger leadership. The institutionalisation of mortuary rites of burial for their fallen from circa 1989 – more..

Presidential aspirants must reveal where the beef is and how they would cook it

Dec 31 (TC) Two thousand and nine will be a year to remember and with relief, regret, sadness, hope and joy or a mix thereof depending on one’s political sympathies and affiliations. It began with the smashing of the MTV studios and assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunga, its mid point was the defeat of the LTTE which brought relief to most after three decades of debilitating war and more..

Music in the midst of Sri Lanka's civil war

Dec 31 (MPR) One of the stories of 2009 was the end of 25 years of brutal civil war in Sri Lanka. Government troops forced the surrender of the Tamil Tiger rebels in the island nation just south of the Indian continent. One Minnesotan who got an inside view of the conflict was journalist Jesse Hardman In the midst of the chaos he came upon an amazing story of a forgotten people. Jesse Hardman went to Sri Lanka to train and lead a team of local journalists. more..

Ashok Meenaria leads India to second win

Dec 31 (CI) An all-round performance by captain Ashok Meenaria ensured India sailed through to their second consecutive win in the Tri-Nation Under-19s Tournament at the King Edward VII School Ground in Johannesburg. Meenaria top scored with 69 to take India to 237 and later chipped in with three late wickets to keep Sri Lanka to 192. After opting to bowl, Sri Lanka's Kasun Madushanka removed the openers more..

Sri Lankan CG’s ‘challenging’ assignment comes to an end

Dec 31 (AN) For Sri Lankan Consul General Abdul Latiff Mohamed Lafeer, the Jeddah assignment has been a challenging one. “Challenging, because of the large work force we have and their mounting labor problems, in addition to streamlining the procedure for our Haj and Umrah pilgrims,” Lafeer told Arab News in an interview on the eve of his return to Colombo on Friday at the end of his term spanning two-and-a-half years. more..

Officials were overwhelmed. Monks fed the frantic crowds as best they could

Dec 31 (Independent) In its original usage, the term meant something akin to "harbour wave" in Japanese. Five years ago, it came to mean much more than that, and this time to a global audience. A devastating undersea earthquake, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, in Indonesia, measured between 9.1 and 9.3 on the Richter scale, the second strongest earthquake ever recorded on a seismograph. more..

Partnering for Prosperity

Executive Presidency the problem

Dec 31 (LG) Once again the time has come to elect our next President. Taking their opposing places on the battleground are an experienced politician and an amateur politician. This letter explains why I am prepared to take the gamble and vote for the amateur, despite my being a senior government servant. In the past 60 years since Independence, we have seen a political seesaw – Left to Right, Right to Left. more..

Tsunami’s heroic technology has few backers in Sri Lanka

Dec 31 (GV) Five years ago, in the immediate aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, amateur radio helped revive emergency communications with some of the worst affected locations. The decades old practice was hailed as the ‘low tech’ miracle that literally helped save lives. Where electricity and telephone services — both fixed and mobile — had been knocked down, amateur radio enthusiasts (or ‘radio hams’) restored the first communication links. more..

Mano Ganesan taken by surprise at CWC stalwarts crossover

Dec 31 (DBS) Ramiah Yogarajan and Murugan Satchithanandam of Ceylon Workers Congress cross over from Govt ranks to opposition & join UNP. Yogarajan former Colombo & national list MP is CWC national organizer. Sathchithananda from Badulla is national list MP & dep education minister. Mano Ganesan taken by surprise at CWC stalwarts crossover. UNP and UNF leaders did not inform their ally Mano of the political defection. more..

Sri Lankan ambassadors working for Mahinda from the Cinnamon Grand

Dec 31 (LNW) Sources from the Foreign Ministry say that while 14 Sri Lankan ambassadors have been summoned to the country from several foreign missions, they are engaged in election campaign work from various five star hotels they are currently residing in. Sri Lankan ambassador in Washington DC Jaliya Wickremasuriya, Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner for Canada Bandula Jayasekera and ambassador to Korea Asitha Perera it is learnt are residing at more..

Why we vote for the President

Dec 31 (LG) Mahinda Rajapaksa as a very good manager selected the best in the country for the highest priority project for Sri Lanka for which he was appointed by the people of Sri Lanka as President. The war of 39 years - He coordinated all aspects of the project from keeping the people happy to sacrifice their every day needs, keeping away the pressures brought by our international interests, diplomatic actions, supply of logistics to more..

President's son treats his father with Rs. 3.25 billion worth advertising campaign

Dec 31 (LP) President's eldest son, Namal Rajapaksa is treating his beloved father with an advertising campaign worth of Rs. 3.25 billion in which famous persons urge the publc to vote to a 'sensitive' leader at the presidential scheduled to be held on January 26. Namal Rajapaksa, an unemployed young person as far as we have learnt, spends these monies from the fund of an organization called "A Tomorrow for Youth" that he leads. more..

Is Sri Lanka opposition dare to debate?

Dec 31 (LP) The leader of JNP has challenged opposition president candidate Sarath Fonseka for a debate on the arms deals Fonseka's son-in-law is allegedly involved. Weerawansa has asked to name other suitable persons, maximum two, to represent Fonseka, if he cannot debate, to the debate that Weerawansa proposes to be held before all media. Weerawansa's suggestion is timely as reports and rumors point to mass scale corruption in the arms deals under more..

Passikudah Resort development project

Dec 31 (GDI) The Passikudah Resort Development Project has attracted the interest of many investors. However, in order to avoid any haphazard development, the SLTDA deemed it necessary to prepare a Master Plan for the Resort, ensuring the construction of a state of the art resort as well as the protection and preservation of the natural resource base. Furthermore, the SLTDA has requested developers to submit more..

Welfare of war heroes will continue - Army Chief

Dec 31 (GDI) "The welfare of the war heroes will not be curtailed although the war has come to an end. The Government has taken maximum measures on behalf of the welfare of the heroes ", Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya said while speaking at a Ranviru felicitation ceremony at Polgahawela. The Army Commander saidt the President succeeded in confronting all challenges. more..

'President only leader to crush LTTE'

Dec 31 (GDI) Chief Minister of Sabaragamuwa Province, Mahipala Herath said it was possible to defeat the LTTE because of the correct and bold decisions taken by the President without being subjugated to international pressure. The Chief Minister pointed out that United States, Europe and other countries exerted pressure on the Government to halt the war against terrorism. more..

Ombudsman for tourism services

Dec 31 (GDI) The Voluntary Ombudsman System is a service provided by the Ministry of Tourism to solve issues, complaints, injustices, and any unfair treatments pertaining to the tourism sector, especially for foreign visitors. B.L.K. Wimalachandra, former Judge of the Court of Appeal, Sri Lanka, was appointed as the Commissioner for Tourism Administration in 2008. Generally, a complaint made against any institution within the Ministry of Tourism or more..

My experience meant to develop the nation - President

Dec 31 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has emphasized that he would make use of the 40 year experience gained with the public in building the country. The President pointed out that there was no development if there is no peace and vice versa. They did not drag the war, but succeeded in drawing it to a close. The number of public employees increased to 1.2 million from 600 thousand. more..

UNP Suduwella Organizer arrested

Dec 31 (CaFFE) Chief Organizer for the UNP Suduwella ward in the Colombo Municipal Council area Kithsiri Rajapakse, thought to have been abducted early yesterday evening in Maradana, is in the custody of the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) according to Senior Police Media Spokesman DIG Nimal Mediweka. The Special Task Force (STF) arrested Mr. Rajapakse for charges against involvement in organized crime in the area. more..

'War victory a collective effort'

Dec 31 (GDI) The victory in the recent battle against the LTTE was due to the collective efforts of the Armed Forces, Police, the Civil Defence Services and the people and no one can claim the credit as that of a single person, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake said while addressing the Graduation Ceremony for Course Number Three of the Defence Service Command and Staff College more..

People flock round President at Mihintale

Dec 31 (GDI) The large crowds that flanked President Mahinda Rajapaksa during a visit to Mihintale described the President as their leader who liberated them from the clutches of terrorism. The President visited the weekly fair premises at Mihintale yesterday. After arriving there last morning, the President inspected the activities at the weekly fair. A large number was frequenting the Fair to purchase their daily requirements. more..

2010 - Information Technology Fertility Year

Dec 31 (GDI) The large crowds that flanked President Mahinda Rajapaksa during a visit to Mihintale described the President as their leader who liberated them from the clutches of terrorism. The President visited the weekly fair premises at Mihintale yesterday. After arriving there last morning, the President inspected the activities at the weekly fair. A large number was frequenting the Fair to purchase their daily requirements. more..

Why Sampanthan adamantly opposes Mahinda?

Dec 31 (AT) The parliamentarians belonging to the TELO, ACTC, and some Independents have decided to put forward a compromise formula at the forthcoming Parliamentary Group meeting of the TNA fixed for 4th January in the New Year. This move is aimed to salvage the unity of the TNA that faces the imminent possibility of its fragmentation. more..

56 Military Officers receive DSCSC graduation

Dec 31 (MoD) The third graduation ceremony at the Defence Services Command and Staff College, Sapugaskanda was held Tuesday morning at the DSCSC auditorium, chaired by Prime Minster Ratnasiri Wickramanayake as Chief Guest. Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Air Force Air Marshal Roshan Gunatillake, Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Tisara Samarasinghe and more..

Public servants to commence work with oath of allegiance

Dec 31 (LP) A national programme “Saubhagya Dasakayata Piyanagamu” is to be launched tomorrow. This island wide program aimed at obtaining the contribution of 1.2 million public servants in overcoming the challenges in the country's development machinery beginning in 2010 will take place at all government offices in the country at the same time on January 1. All public servants will take an oath of allegiance on more..

New Year dawns with a lunar eclipse

Dec 31 (LP) There will be a partial lunar eclipse on the night of the 31st of December 2009 visible to Sri Lanka and to the regions covering Alaska, Indonesia, Australia, India, South Africa, Europe including the British Isles and the Arctic regions. The eclipse begins by 10.47 pm on 31st night with the moon entering into penumbra of earth’s shadow (less dark Shadow) but the demining on the moon light at this phase will not be noticeable to the naked eye more..

2009 in retrospect

Dec 31 (LP) The year that brought permanent peace to Mother Lanka. January 2: Kilinochchi liberated - Countdown to extinction begins for LTTE. The 57 Division and the Task Force 1 of Sri Lanka Army today scored the greatest victory in their noble battle against terrorism by liberating the Kilinochchi town, the so-called administrative hub of the LTTE terrorists. January 7: The Cabinet had taken a unanimous decision to proscribe the LTTE. more..

"Princess Chrisanta" draws large crowds at Galle Season 2009

Dec 31 (MoD) The ex-LTTE Ship "Princess Chrisantha" is drawing large crowds at the Galle Season 2009 exhibition now being held in Galle. In a rare opportunity to view an LTTE Ship once used for arms smuggling across international waters, General Public have been granted permission to board the ship which is now alongside at the New Jetty in the Galle Harbour and more..

Teachers hold a responsibility in creating a productive future generation- President

Dec 31 (LP) President Mahinda Rajapakse points out teachers hold an immense responsibility with regard to the creation of a productive future generation. Addressing the pre-school and Dhamma school teachers in Anuradhapura yesterday (30) President Rajapaksa pointed out that an intelligent and disciplined generation must be created in order to take the country to great heights internationally. more..

Naveen in a quandary: stops stooping to Rajapakse and comes to Colombo

Dec 31 (LeN) Investment promotion Minister Naveen Dissanayake has abandoned all election activities connected with President’s campaign in Nuwara Eliya and come to Colombo. According to the latest reports reaching Lanka e news, Naveen Dissanayake had stopped his Presidential campaign activities in Nuwara Eliya three days ago and has come to Colombo over a breach of faith issue with President’s office or with the President. more..

Govt rejects news report on former Thai PM Thaksin Sinawatra

Dec 31 (GDI) The Government today categorically denied and rejected reports in the local print media quoting the Bangkok Post, that former Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Sinawatra would take up position as an Adviser to the Sri Lankan Government. A statement issued by the Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunga claimed there was no such move more..

UPFA budget defeated at Dehiattakandiya PS

Dec 31 (LT) In a series of defeats of budgets of local government bodies, on Tuesday the budget of the Dehiattakandiya Pradeshiya Sabha was defeated by 05 votes, PS sources said. When the Budget was presented for approval, it was defeated by 05 votes with opposition UNP members and JVP members voting against the budget. When the budget was presented UPFA Pradeshiya Sabha Member Patrick Jayasinghe stated that more..

The ‘Subharathi’ program blatantly violates the election laws

Dec 31 (LG) Today’s ‘Subharathi’ program was completely devoted to election propaganda in favour of one of the candidates, Mahinda Rajapaksha, with direct and indirect adverse and damaging references being made throughout the program against another candidate, General Sarath Fonseka. The program called people to vote for Mahinda Rajapaksha at the election on the 26th as an act of gratitude by the people of the country to their greatest leader. more..

Election of a President in a climate of gross lawlessness and overrunning Presidential dross in the country

Dec 31 (LeN) It is the general consensus that the President is seeking to conduct Presidential elections 2010 riding roughshod on all the laws of the country. It is also an undisputed fact that this is the first time in the history of Sri Lanka, constitution has been usurped, election laws trampled and the Elections Commissioner by passed so much so that there appears to be a de facto dictatorship established by more..

A brief response to a charge of mercenary intellectualism

Dec 31 (GV) This is a response by Dayan Jayatilleke to a recently published article by Prof. Peter Schalk of Uppsala University, Sweden, who identified four western educated individuals hired by the Government of Sri Lanka to defend Colombo's decisions and criticisms from the West, labelling them "mercenary intellectuals". In the spirit of engagement, Groundviews invited two of the four mentioned in the article, more..

Govt gets ready for witch-hunt against prominent Sarath Fonseka supporters

Dec 31 (DBS) Moves underfoot to "attract" MP's from opposition ranks to govt side as retaliatory measure for crossing over by CWC stalwarts. Govt in panic after CWC cross-overs. More cross-overs of MP's and even ministers anticipated. Monitoring of those suspected to cross is on. Govt gets ready for witchhunt in new year against prominent Sarath Fonseka supporters. more..

Pre-schools get Govt grant

Dec 31 (DN) The Government will provide pre-schools with a grant (according to their needs) to up their standards, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Addressing pre-school and Dhamma school teachers in Anuradhapura yesterday, President Rajapaksa said there are about 17,000 registered pre-schools in the country and also many un-registered ones. A program to strengthen Dhamma schools and help teachers too are in the offing, he added. more..