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‘Media can enter camps now’

Dec 4 (DM) Media personnel will be permitted to enter the IDP camps in Vavuniya, if their individual requests are approved, Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Minister Rishad Bathiudeen told Daily Mirror online today. Earlier, Foreign Minster Rohitha Bogollagama, in an interview with the BBC in London, had said that there were no restrictions with regard to journalists visiting the camps and that they would be free to visit the IDP camps. more..

Sri Lanka to rebuild northern town

Dec 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka plans to spend 15 billion rupees on rebuilding a northern town that was affected by fighting between security forces and Tamil Tiger separatists, the Ministry of Urban Development said. It said in a statement that an entirely new city will be built in the town of Vavuniya under the Vavuniya Urban Development Plan, which is to be implemented by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) responsible for city planning. more..

Presidential Election 2010 the battle begins

'Sri Lanka's high deficit spending hurt investment capital'

Dec 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka's deficit spending, heavy state consumption, opaque monetary and fiscal policies and resulting high inflation has stifled investment credit markets and skewed savers towards the short term, analysts have said. Sri Lanka's state budgets allocate large volumes of money for current expenditure, which has been in excess of total revenues since 1987, and small volumes for capital expenditure, which is therefore totally financed by debt. more..

Dhoni ton gives India 333-run lead

Dec 4 (CI) In the fourth over of the day, Muttiah Muralitharan got one to dip on Virender Sehwag. For a change Sehwag played in front of his body and scooped it back to Murali, who took the catch after a juggling act. Having added nine to his overnight 284, Sehwag became the fourth man to be dismissed in the 290s. And just after the standing ovation, the cricket came out of a trance. The ball started turning again, the bowlers bowled to a plan again, more..

Foreign dignitaries were here to help Prabha: Minister

Dec 4 (DM) The government said yesterday that 99 percent of foreign dignitaries who visited Sri Lanka during the last leg of the war were interested in salvaging LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran through the cessation of humanitarian operations. Minister Maithripala Sirisena told a news briefing that these foreign representatives never came here for their affection or friendship towards Sri Lanka. more..

SC rebukes AG's office for detention request

Dec 4 (DM) The Supreme Court yesterday commenting on a request made by the Attorney General’s Department stated that there is no justification in the request for a detention order against a person who had already been enlarged on bail and noted that it is an abuse of the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The Bench also noted that the rights of a suspect could not be deprived and the confession could only be used against the person who made it and not against others. more..

Sri Lanka keeps up media ban on war refugees

Dec 4 (AFP) Sri Lanka has maintained its ban on journalists reporting the plight of war-displaced civilians who have been allowed out of their internment camps, officials said. Minister Rohitha Bogollagama declared in a BBC interview Tuesday that the media now had full access, prompting a flood of requests from reporters to travel to the former war zone in the north. But restrictions on visits to Vavuniya where the government maintains its camp complex remain in place despite them being declared "open" on Tuesday. more..

You are the real heroes - President says to disabled servicemen

Dec 4 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday, paid his heart felt tribute to the country's disabled war heroes saying although they were physically handicapped, today they have displayed their giant strength before the world. "Although you are today disabled I am eternally grateful to the strength you all gave me as the leader who defeated the most ruthless terrorist organisation in the world," more..

Sri Lanka Humanitarian update

Dec 4 (UNCHR) We are encouraged by the Sri Lankan government's long-awaited decision this week to allow increased freedom of movement for some 135,000 IDPs remaining in 20 closed camps in Vavuniya, Mannar, Jaffna and Trincomalee in the north of the country. UNHCR field staff reported that over 7,000 IDPs from the Menik Farm camps in Vavuniya and another 25 people from the camp in Trincomalee left the IDP sites the first day the new policy of the Sri Lankan government came into force. more..

Sri Lanka refugees found to have shrapnel wounds

Dec 4 (BBC) Bullets and shrapnel have been found in a group of people recently resettled from displacement camps in Sri Lanka. The bullets were found when 13 students were being checked for tuberculosis, Jaffna's district tuberculosis officer, Dr S Jamunanantha said. Most of the students were aged between 10 and 18 years. Until recently they were housed in camps in Vavuniya. Tens of thousands of people have now left camps where they had been detained since May. more..

Fonseka in India, triggering speculation

Dec 4 (Reuters) The joint opposition candidate in the Sri Lankan Presidential election, Gen.Sarath Fonseka, is currently in India on a short visit. Informed sources told Express that the General turned politician was on a religious pilgrimage. He reportedly went to Mumbai and might perhaps go to Bodh Gaya in Bihar. As to whether he would make a dash to New Delhi for a pow wow with the Indian leaders is not known. more..

Sri Lanka state ICT initiative funding not guaranteed: World Bank

Dec 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka will have to lobby to retain funding for its e-Sri Lanka initiative, as the World Bank draws up a lending program for Sri Lanka for the next three years, an official said. The World Bank currently supports the e-Sri Lanka project – an initiative to improve access and use of ICT by citizens, businesses and government – with a 53 million dollar credit. more..

'No reason why we can't score 400 tomorrow'

Dec 5 (CI) Trevor Bayliss, the Sri Lanka coach, has said that setting India a target of "150 on a wearing wicket" was probably the best his team could hope for at this stage, after the hosts took a 333-run first innings lead on the third day in Mumbai. "From a win point of view, it just doesn't look right at the moment but, on day one when there was a bit in the track, we made 366 for 8 having lost a few wickets in the middle," Bayliss said. more..

'Name UNPer as Presidential candidate'

Dec 5 (AD) The UNP is in an unfortunate situation today due to the pitiable stand taken by it leader Ranil Wickremesinghe regarding the Presidential candidate, said UNP Kurunegala district parliamentarian Johnston Fernando. He urged Ranil Wickremesinghe to reconsider the decision to nominate General Sarath Fonseka and instead name a UNP candidate to contest the upcoming poll. more..

Sri Lanka tea export earnings hit monthly high

Dec 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea export earnings in October hit a record high and average auction prices this year were much higher than in the last two years, although shipments were down owing to production problems, brokers said. Prices at this week's Colombo auctions fell sharply owing to lower quality and less demand although a global tea shortage is likely to keep prices buoyant in the short term, they said. more..

Sri Lanka mulls support for desiccated coconut exporters

Dec 5 (LBO) Plantations Industries Ministry is considering giving an export rebate to desiccated coconut product exporters. Ministry Secretary Indrani Sugathadasa said exporters are demanding a rebate to help cope with high cost of production and overseas competition from cheaper origins. A high import tax on palm oil imports, imposed to protect coconut growers, has pushed up the price of raw nuts which has raised the raw material costs of DC exporters. more..

Man arrested for faking son's abduction, demanding cash

Dec 5 (DPA) A father who allegedly faked the abduction of his son and demanded a ransom from his wife in southern Sri Lanka has been arrested. The man, identified as K Karunaratna, reportedly hid his 10-year-old son at a relative's house and got an anonymous caller to demand a ransom of 1 million rupees (8,750 dollars) from his wife, claiming that the boy had been abducted, the Sinhalese-language Lankadeepa newspaper reported. more..

Lanka law school wins NLS Debate; Nalsar just misses

Dec 5 (LI) Two Nalsar Hyderabad debating teams suffered a tight double defeat at the hands of the double-winners Faculty of Law Colombo at the 8th National Law School Parliamentary Debate held at NLSIU Bangalore. Nalsar's first team was the Indian law school that performed best out of around 10 Indian law schools competing and progressed to the knock-out rounds. In a competition of 60 top Indian and South Asian universities, more..

Magistrate renews Nishantha Muthuhettigama arrest warrant

Dec 5 (CT) Udugama magistrate Mahi Wijesiri today (Dec. 04) renewed a warrant for the arrest of UPFA southern provincial councilor Nishantha Muthuhettigama for evading the court. He had been due to appear before the magistrate on November 26 over an incident in the run up to the southern provincial council polls. Mr. Muthuhettigama failed to turn up for the hearing, and more..

Activists urge acceptance of HIV patients

Dec 5 (UCAN) Christian pastors were among the 400 people who gathered at a park to mark World Aids Day recently. The event, organized by NGO Lanka Plus at Vihara Mahadevi Park in central Colombo, attracted around 400 HIV/AIDS patients and well wishers of various faiths. Participants lit candles amid displays of posters, leaflets and exhibition of products made by those infected with HIV. more..

Nine-man Sri Lanka narrowly beats Pakistan in opener

Dec 5 (Goal) Sri Lanka registered a 1-0 win over Pakistan thanks to a first half penalty goal from Chathura Gunaratne in the opening game of the 2009 SAFF Cup in Bangladesh. Two Lankan players were shown red cards in the closing stages of the game while Adnan Ahmed failed to convert a late spot kick for Pakistan. It took a while for both teams to get going as there were no real openings in the first twenty minutes. more..

England Masters cruise into final

Dec 5 (CI) England Masters cruised into Saturday's final of the inaugural Cricket Legends of Barbados International Cup with a commanding five- wicket win over Sri Lanka Masters in the fifth match of the competition. Graeme Hick continued his good form, scoring an unbeaten 66, his second successive half-century as England, chasing 168 for victory, won with four balls to spare. more..

Navy arrest Indian smugglers in Mannar

Dec 5 (SLN) Naval craft on patrol apprehended three Indian nationals and a boat engaged in a lucrative smuggling racket in the seas south of Mannar yesterday (03). Among the apprehended items are 23 sacks of highly expensive dried sea cucumber weighing 1031 kilograms, a hand-held GPS and a mobile phone. The smugglers are residents of Madras and Tuticorine in India and their boat is fitted with more..

Debrief News - 04.12.2009

Muslim groups clash in Colombo

Dec 5 (BBC) A protest against the main opposition candidate at the forthcoming Sri Lanka’s presidential elections was forced to disperse after a rival group interrupted. The protest against Gen (rtd.) Sarath Fonseka was organised in Maradana, Colombo, after Friday Muslim prayers. Colombo district SLFP organiser, Ajmal Mawjud, was among the main organisers. “We cannot trust Mr. Fonseka. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has fulfilled all his promises,” he told journalist KS Udayakumar. more..

‘LTTE funds being clandestinely misappropriated to Rajapakse family coffers’

Dec 5 (DBS) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe demands the Govt must disclose to Parliament details of funds & assets owned by the Liberation Tigers. Ranil Wickremasinghe alleges that funds & assets of the LTTE are being clandestinely misappropriated by the Rajapakse brothers to family coffers. Ranil alleges that funds & assets obtained from the LTTE through tiger leader KP in custody are being used to fund Govt election campaign. more..

President Rajapakse forbids media interviews of Gotabhaya

Dec 5 (DBS) President Rajapakse forbids media from interviewing Def secy Gotabhaya & provoke him into making adverse statements against Sarath Fonseka. Gotabhaya Rajapakse's "emotional" comments about Sarath Fonseka in media interviews causing negative image of Mahinda Rajapakse polls campaign. UNF wants Elections Commissioner to appoint competent authority to ensure free & fair coverage by state-controlled media. more..

TNA plans to join fray, says Sivajilingam

Dec 5 (AT) The TNA is thinking of contesting the upcoming presidential election in Sri Lanka, party MP Sivajilingam said here on Friday. Talking to reporters here, Mr Sivjilingam said the Tamil people did not want to vote for either President Mahinda Rajapaksa or his rival and opposition candidate Gen(Retd) Sarath Fonseka "as they were both responsible for the killing of innocent civilians" in the final battle with the LTTE which more..

Visualising key speeches and submissions of Sarath Fonseka

Dec 5 (GV) Now officially a Presidential aspirant, erstwhile Army Commander Sarath Fonseka has, since late October 2009 made a number of verbal and written submissions regarding his candidacy and political life after retirement. In October 2009 he made a speech at a Buddhist Temple in Washington DC. On the 12th November, he handed in his resignation addressed to the President. more..

Did Fonseka come to Mumbai on secret visit?

Dec 5 (HT) Presidential hopeful general Sarath Fonseka returned to Colombo on Friday afternoon after a day visit to India apparently to open a line of communication with Indian political leaders. Though it was learnt that he flew to Mumbai, neither he nor his political aides were willing to share any details about the visit. “He flew to Mumbai. But from Mumbai, one can go any where. He had to meet some people," were the cryptic remarks of an aid. more..

Chennai firm dubs Lankan film

Dec 5 (EB) Chennai-based company has undertaken to dub and distribute all over India Road From Elephant Pass which is Sri Lanka’s official entry for the Oscars next year. Southern Digital Screenz (SDS) run by Usman Faiz would dub the film into Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannda and Hindi, and release it in 1000 digital cinemas in India, the director of the film, Chandran Rutnam, told Express here on Friday. more..

It is KP’s money which is spent on Rajapakse gigantic cutouts and million posters -Ranil

Dec 5 (LeN) Opposition and UNP Leader made a startling and shocking accusation that the Rajapakse family after collecting the assets and foreign funds of the LTTE which were in the possession of KP, the LTTE Organization’s ‘brain’, is now the world’s richest family. The Rajapakse family Co. is spending these funds for the Presidential election. more..

UPA partners join attack on government

Dec 5 (Hindu) The Opposition, joined by the Dravida Munetra Kazhagam and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (both part of the United Progressive Alliance), on Friday demanded in Parliament that the government ensure the speedy resettlement and political mainstreaming of Sri Lankan Tamils and called for a proactive policy to end their plight at the earliest. Punctuating her interventions with a smattering of Tamil, more..

An open letter to Tiger or any celebrity from a soldier

Dec 5 (LG) I am a Solder and would like to present this article as words of advice or a future lesson to Tiger Woods, any celebrity, or any other married person who cannot control his sexual urges or sex drive. As married Soldiers we deploy on year long tours without sex or alcohol, a bummer for a person with very fragile moral fiber! A vast majority of us, Soldiers, are very glad that we do not have wives who need to be forced to wear chastity belts, and more..

Making constitutions and constituent assemblies

Dec 5 (LG) Some key political figures have hinted of a possible constituent assembly, of course subject to a couple of big “If”s, in the near future, with a view to enacting a new constitution. The Constitution is unambiguous about the procedure to be followed in amending or repealing it. The Constitution cannot be amended without the approval of a 2/3 majority in parliament while amendment of some entrenched provisions, in addition, requires the people’s approval at a referendum. more..

Rule of law and good governance

Dec 5 (LG) Shelley’s ironical poem is about human power and a vain man’s capacity to project himself and his self-styled achievements. A broken statue lies in the desert. All what remains on the pedestal of the statue are two trunkless legs with the above words inscribed thereon. Shelley ends the poem: ‘Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away.’ more..

Yala National Park Sri Lanka

EPDP Offers Support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa with a Ten Point Program

Dec 5 (AT) The EPDP leader Minister Douglas Devananda on Friday revealed that his Party had decided to support the UPFA presidential candidate President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the elections. Minister Devananda said that the ten point program drafted by them were presented to the President and as he agreed to implement those, they came to this decision. more..

Unions shut down pay campaign

Dec 5 (wsws) Sri Lankan public sector unions have caved in to President Mahinda Rajapakse’s ban on industrial action and ended their limited campaign for pay rises, despite previously declaring they would continue the campaign. Far from fighting Rajapakse’s draconian emergency measures, the unions function as the industrial policeman for the government and big business in imposing the burdens of the country’s deepening economic crisis on the working class. more..

Legal status for e-banking soon

Dec 5 (GDI) Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana said that a bill has been presented to Parliament to give legal effect to E-Banking. He pointed out that banking activities were being facilitated and accelerated with the advancement of technology. However, he said due consideration has to be given to crimes related to this sector. Interact and computer transactions, which are currently emerging will revolutionize society. more..

Fonseka, the political arriviste–a historical irony

Dec 5 (LG) The caste factor which has for long been swept under the carpet has begun to raise its ugly head in Sri Lankan politics with the entry of Sarath Fonseka into the Presidential elections. It is of special concern that in his column Ninavva in the last Lakbima volume this distasteful topic of caste was begun by another Presidential candidate. This candidate who contested the Central Province Provincial Council in 1988 distributed a leaflet with more..

Trincomalee reports 1st H1N1 case in the area

Dec 5 (LP) For the first time a positive case of AH1N1 (Swine Flu) was reported from the Trincomalee area. It is reported that the victim was a soldier of the SL Army. He had fallen ill while attending training in Trincomalee. Health Authorities in the area have taken measures to prevent the spread of H1N1 in the military camp. Meanwhile another patient died of swine flu at the Karapitiya hospital on Thursday. more..

Identity mandatory for voting - Polls Chief

Dec 5 (GDI) Establishment of the identity with a photograph of the voter for confirmation at the forthcoming Presidential poll is a mandatory requirement. The Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayeka said the production of an identity to exercise the franchise was compulsory. The national identity, the passport, the driving license, the pensioners’ identity or the elder’s identity can be forwarded to establish the identity. more..

Spence expands Heritance brand to Tea Factory

Dec 5 (LP) Sri Lanka's popular hill country hotel, The Tea Factory, is being re-branded as a Heritance Hotel on 15 December. This is the natural outcome of the successful development of an abandoned tea factory building into an eco-friendly, world class hotel. Recognizing that a hotel does not stand in isolation but is part of its social and ecological environment, the group wanted a name that conveyed its commitment to the local community more..

Rs.40 million to repair 100 buses

Dec 5 (LP) The Government has commenced a project to repair and deploy the fleet of 100 Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) buses which have only minor defects and not currently operational. An extra 100 buses will be added to the bus fleet before end of this year under this project. The Treasury will allocate Rs.40 million to carry out the project. The SLTB employees will repair these 100 buses at the workshops around the country. more..

Closing date for postal voting application extended

Dec 5 (LP) The date of accepting postal voting applications for the forthcoming Presidential Election has been extended informed the Elections Department. The deadline for accepting applications was to end next Monday (07). Accordingly the applications will be accepted till mid night of 17th December. The duly filled applications should be submitted to the relevant authorities on or before the 17th said the Department. more..

KP in Mahinda’s campaign – a plan to get votes in the North for President

Dec 5 (LT) There is an attempt to use Kumaran Pathmanadan alias KP, Daya Master and George Master to get votes of the people in the North to President Mahinda Rajapakse at the presidential election states a very reliable source. KP is detained in a special protective house with the mediation and supervision of the Defense Secretary. Under the election exercise of the government it has been proposed to have discussions with Rudrakumaran, more..

Dr Bahu with CID-press Conference

Defense Secretary suddenly remembers security of heads of defense forces!

Dec 5 (LT) A newspaper favourable to the government yesterday published that Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse had presented a proposal to the government stating that commanders of the three forces should be provided lifelong security. The newspaper further states that government sources had said the relevant proposal was sent to Legal Draftsman's Department. It is further said this step had been taken considering instances where terrorists had more..