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Will Ranil lose everything?

Nov 13 (SLW) It is reported that some conflicts have developed within the newly formed United national Alliance after UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe’s statement on the post of Prime Minister. The other parties in the newly formed alliance like the JVP is of the opinion the UNA will suffer a setback because of this statement. Political observers point out UNP had no other choice other than to form the United National Alliance, as being the biggest opposition party, more..

Swindle with Solar Lanterns? Anura accuses – Berty rejects

Nov 13 (SLW) During a press conference in Anuradhapura opposition leader of the north central province K. Anura Dhanayake stated that during the purchase of solar powered lanterns to be distributed to families without electricity and construction of milk collecting centers, a massive swindle of Rs. 100 million has taken place. He also said that when they presented a proposal in this regard to the assembly govt members did not allow us to do so and more..

Major shake-up of U.K.’s immigration rules

Nov 13 (Hindu) Thousands of skilled jobs, now open to immigrants, are proposed to be restricted only to native Britons and immigrants from the European Union in a major shake-up of Britain’s immigration rules announced by Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Thursday as part of his promise of “British jobs for British people”. Hospital consultants, engineers, chefs and care workers are among a wide range of categories of skilled professionals who would be recruited locally. more..

Acute fuel shortage in Jaffna peninsula

Nov 13 (TN) As employees of Petroleum Corporation continue to fight for salary increase to meet the spiraling cost of living in Sri Lanka an acute fuel shortage prevails in Jaffna peninsula. Most of the fuel stations in Jaffna peninsula stand empty without customers and vehicles idle due to an acute shortage for petrol, diesel, kerosene in Jaffna peninsula though government makes much publicity of having brought around 60.000 liters of fuel through A9 road to Jaffna recently, more..

'Conditions of IDP centres are good and impressive'

Nov 13 (GDI) The conditions of the relief villages where the Internally Displaced are accommodated are good and impressive, and of a much higher standard than expected, said the visiting South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana Mashbane after meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa. She stressed that her country has vast experience in dealing with the post conflict situations and they are ready to share their experiences with Sri Lanka, the statement added. more..

'I want to serve people of Sri Lanka'

Nov 13 (LG) Sri Lanka's hero in the war against LTTE, General Sarath Fonseka resigned from his post as Chief of Armed Forces on Thursday (November 12), bringing to end weeks of speculation that he had decided to shed uniform and join politics. Speaking to an Indian based Television Chennel, Gen Fonseka said that while he has not yet decided what to do post-retirement and he also does not rule out entering politics. more..

International Diabetes day tomorrow – creating public awareness

Nov 13 (LP) International Diabetes day falls on 14th November. In Sri Lanka one in ten adults over 20 years and one in five in the urban areas are affected by diabetes. Diabetes is no longer a disease of the elderly, with it increasingly being diagnosed in younger populations. South Asians have a particularly higher risk of developing diabetes and is compounded by the declining age of onset of the disease. more..

Postgraduate courses debarred in Jaffna university

Nov 13 (TN) University Grants Commission in Colombo has ordered the university of Jaffna to stop postgraduate courses conducted at present in its postgraduate faculty, media sources in Jaffna said. Even though the reason is said to be quality of coaching, academic circles in Jaffna believe that Colombo doesn’t want development-oriented courses to be conducted in this university in the Tamil region, more..

Police force

Nov 13 (LG) Current topic today is the behaviour of some police officers tarnishing the image of the “Police Force”. Police Officers are entrusted with the maintenance of law and order which is a difficult exercise and it is obvious that it is not possible to satisfy all the parties concerned in a dispute. On the other hand any police force in the world is engaged in an unparalleled service without which the “Law and Order” and “Due Process” will not prevail in any Democratic Society. more..

A stream of Gods love and healing in the midst of the dessert

Nov 13 (LG) God did answer a prayer in a wonderful and mysterious way. The prayer came out of my deep despair and cry to my Master- to let me have a chance to put my arms around my broken & shattered people in Vanni and assure them of love & hope through Christ. One night this opening came though an agent of God-Christy Thiagarajah who suggested the possibility of my going with Rev John Bottomley-Director of the Creative Ministries. more..

Mob attack on suburban church needs to be unequivocally condemned

Nov 13 (TC) A mob attack on a place of religious worship in a Colombo suburb recently, while drawing public attention to the simmering fires of religious intolerance in some quarters in this country, provokes a reexamination of unresolved issues at the heart of Sri Lanka’s citizenship question. The attack on the place of worship needs to be unequivocally condemned by all, including, of course, the state. more..

Comprehensive report on North Muslims 20 yrs after expulsion

Nov 13 (PSM) An NGO commission appointed to research on the forcibly evicted Muslims from the five districts of the Northern Province is to submit its report in October next year coinciding with the 20th year of expulsion. The main purpose of the commission is to prepare an authoritative document with regard to the forcible eviction of the Muslims. Community trust fund together with Peoples Forum and the Rural Development Foundation appointed this commission, more..

Rajapakse & Fonseka: Simmering feud out in the open

Nov 13 (DBS) Accepts: Sarath Fonseka resigns & Mahinda Rajapakse accepts. Simmering feud out in the open. UNP-JVP led opposition will back SF against MR at prez. What: What will happen if Mahinda Rajapakse does NOT have early presidential poll as opposition expects? Sarath Fonseka can't be "common"candidate? Nov 15: What will President Rajapakse announce on Nov15? Will he have presidential or Parliamentary polls first? Or have both polls simultaneously? more..

'Rules of military engagement needs re-evaluation'

Nov 13 (SLW) Ambassador Palitha Kohona, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN said that much of the rules of war are based on the presumption that the parties to the conflict are conventional armies of responsible states engaging other state parties. Dr. Kohona told the UN Security Council “terrorists totally disregard these laws and principles as they wage asymmetric warfare. more..

Both Gotabhaya Rajapakase and Sarath Fonseka are men of integrity

Nov 13 (TC) The rarest commodity under the free market economy in this country today appears to be integrity. Not only in this country but in the whole world, judging by what is happening around the world including in the British Parliament. Not only in public life, but even in personal life. It appears as if almost nobody could be trusted particularly with power, authority, money or property or even with love. more..

Aitken Spence Hotels go for 500-room property in Nilaweli

Nov 13 (LNP) Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels, Malin Hapugoda said on Wednesday that this would be a mixed development hotel project where they would offer luxury Villas, standard rooms and apartments. We already have a 100-acre property and I think this is the time to invest in it, he said. Having completed over three decades in the hotels industry, Aitken Spence has a chain of luxury hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, the Maldives, India and Oman. more..

President’s men deprive Sri Lanka of colossal ocean economic area

Nov 13 (LT) The exclusive economic ocean area twenty three times as large as the land area of Sri Lanka entitled to Sri Lanka has been forfeited to us due to blunders committed by the committee of advisors appointed by President Mahinda Rajapakse. Members of this committee who have very close links with foreign countries and NGOs have purposefully neglected sending the relevant reports to the UNO. more..

Can you identify this thug who obstructed Gen. Fonseka at Kelaniya yesterday?

Nov 13 (LT) We revealed yesterday how a group of people engaged in an obstruction and insulting Gen. Sarath Fonseka when he visited Kelaniya Temple yesterday after handing over the letter of resignation. Despite other media reporting this incident as a group of people obstructing Gen. Fonseka clearly indicated that it was a group of ‘government thugs’ who carried out the hooliganism was instructed by Minister of Labour Mervin Silva. more..

Will Pottu Amman show up on Martyr's Day?

Nov 13 (AT) Popular Tamil weekly Ananda Vikatan has said there is widespread expectation among the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora that Prabhakaran's deputy and the now defunct LTTE's intelligence chief Pottu Amman will make an appearance and address the people on Nov 27, observed as martyrs day in memory of Tigers who laid down their lives in the armed struggle for an independent Eelam. more..

UPFA gave highest number of State sector jobs

Nov 13 (LNP) The UPFA Government has provided the largest number of employment opportunities for graduates and non-graduates, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. It has also increased the salaries and benefits of public sector employees than any other government in the past, he said. He said the Government under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa recruited 58,156 graduates in 2004 and gave employment to 261,897 non-graduates. more..

Yapa unable to explain Gen Fonseka's decision to run for SL Presidency

Nov 13 (LNP) Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said that he was not in a position to explain why General Sarath Fonseka, having worked with President Mahinda Rajapaksa to defeat the LTTE, was now said to be his opponent at a future Presidential Poll. `I don t know the reasons for his purported decision. That is something only General Fonseka can answer`, Yapa said when asked, why he thought the General, was challenging Rajapaksa, after having cooperated with him, through thick and thin. more..

Master stroke by the President

Nov 13 (AT) Contrary to all expectations of what a politician would do in a situation where he could legitimately prevent his opponent from contesting him MR surprised us all by promptly accepting the resignation of SF which I see is a master stroke. His next master stroke will be when he will not even refer to or attack SF in the campaign trail but concentrate in elaborate detail the traitorous activities of the UNP leader. more..

Emergency: To revoke or not to revoke

Nov 13 (LNP) Sri Lanka is coming under pressure from the international community, especially France, to revoke the Emergency regulations forthwith. It may be argued that since the war is over, there is no need for the continuation of draconian laws detrimental to the people`s fundamental rights. Ideally, the state of Emergency is the least desirable in any society which upholds democratic values. But, the question is whether time is opportune for this country to relax the extraordinary laws more..

Is Sri Lanka on the East Asian Path?

Nov 13 (GV) Many questions with regard to democratic values and system of government in Sri Lanka have surfaced in recent years and it has been argued by some that Sri Lanka is heading at accelerating pace towards an authoritarian regime similar to that can be found in countries like Zimbabwe. An assassination of media persons, curtailment of civic rights, death threats for dissidents, non-implementation of relatively democratic amendments to the constitution are more..

What must it be like to live behind these Kovil gates?

Nov 13 (GV) I was on my way for practice yesterday, when I passed the Bambalapitiya Kovil, all lit up, and people thronging the entrance. I was a bit early, and also realized that I’d never set foot into a Kovil in Colombo before, so I thought, why not? Having criss-crossed past the entrance three times or so, I asked the flower garland kade man if there was some sort of special festival going on at the Kovil. more..

SLFP convention on massive scale

Nov 13 (DN) The SLFP’s National Convention will be held on November 15 at the Khettarama Stadium, Colombo under the theme of ‘Let us now build the country’ to consolidate the victory gained after elimination of terrorism. SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena said arrangements have already been made to conduct the National Convention on a grand scale with the participation of about 100,000 party members from all over the country under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Ending Police Brutality

PLOTE to go with President

Nov 13 (DN) Former parliamentarian and PLOTE leader D. Siddharthan said that his party would not support the National United Front. He expressed hope that President Mahinda Rajapaksa would be able to find a just solution to the ethnic problem. Siddharthan said all Tamil parties were for the resettlement of the IDPs. The Government has started the process and more than 130,000 left the Manik Farm welfare centre in Cheddikulam. more..

Building social capital on the foundation of national unity

Nov 13 (DN) The following are excerpts from this year’s D. A. Rajapaksa memorial oration delivered on November 11 at the BMICH by Professor Karunaratne Hangawatte of the Department of Criminal Justice, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, US. I am honoured humbled by the invitation to deliver this year’s Hon. D.A. Rajapaksa oration on this solemn occasion commemorating the life and legacy of the late Mr. Rajapaksa. more..

'Working to rule has resulted in defeat'

Nov 13 (Island) The work to rule which commenced on Wednesday has been wholly ineffective with no disturbance caused to the community by way of a scarcity of petrol, interruptions to power, water or movement of imports and exports. Minister A.H.M. Fowzie told the Island Financial Review that the workers who are protesting against delayed salary increments have conceded defeat in their attempt to embarrass the government. more..

Rs.10 million spent on a 20 min. dance item for SLFP convention

Nov 13 (LeN) The National youth service Council is spending Rs. 10 million just for its 20 minute gymnastic display event at the SLFP convention to be held in Colombo 0n the 15th of Nov. JVP M.P. Sunil Handunetti in a letter addressed to Minister of Youth affairs, Pavithra Wanniarachi had pointed out that 2400 youths are undergoing training in camps from last 09th to this 15th for an arabic gymnastic event.; and a sum of Rs. 10,20,364.00 has been paid as more..

Henry Jayasena: Last of the great Sinhala dramatists

Nov 13 (DN) Henry Jayasena is dead. I heard the devastating news as I reached Lake House last afternoon. I wanted to weep but I couldn't muster enough tears; they had dried with old age. I lost a dear old friend but his loss was greater to the arts of this country. Although he was not moulded in the hallowed Shakespearean traditions he stood tall on the Sinhala stage in the poor modest unsophisticated Lumbini Theatre more..

Lankans stranded in Jeddah cry for help

Nov 13 (Island) A Sri Lankan maid stranded in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia cried her heart out at a press conference held by Uva Provincial Council Opposition leader Ranjan Ramanayake via a teleconferencing facility at Hotel Nippon yesterday. She told the press that there were about 350 Lankans stranded and leading a miserable life under a bridge without proper food, sanitary facilities. "I don’t want to reveal my identity. There are five other pregnant women like me. more..

Opposition alliance motorcade nears Kandy

Nov 13 (CT) Leaders of the main opposition political alliance - United National Front - are proceeding in a motorcade to Kandy, where they will seek blessings of the sacred tooth relic and handover their policy manifesto to the chief prelates of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters. They began the journey after paying tributes to the D.S. Senanayake Statue at Independence Square, Colombo this morning (Nov. 13). more..

Minister Bandula who said even Sakraya’s son can’t reduce prices turns ‘magic karaya’ to reduce them

Nov 13 (UNP) UNP M.P. Ravi Karunanayake said, the Bandula Gunawardena, Minister of consumer affair who is much better known as Minister of consumer despair earlier said, he can never bring down prices of goods because Sakraya’s son too cannot. But, this same Minister has brought down the prices of goods with the speed of lightening. more..

Public sector received over Rs. 10 bn in duty concessions to import vehicles

Nov 13 (Island) The UPFA granted the public sector duty concessions in excess of Rs. 10 billion in 2008 though the government had experienced severe economic difficulties due to global financial crisis, escalating defence costs and unprecedented oil bill. The move to appease the public sector had caused a revenue loss more than double the losses incurred by the government due to illegal refunds of VAT during the previous UNP-led UNP administration. more..

UNF pledges socially responsible market economy

Nov 13 (DM) The UNP led UNF yesterday pledged to transform the current open economy into a socially responsible market economy where the state would play an important role. Opposition Leader and Leader of UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe who addressed the launch of a five-point plan of governance put out by the Platform of Freedom yesterday said a future UNF government would introduce such a reform if elected. more..

President promptly accepts Fonseka’s resignation

Nov 13 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday accepted Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka’s resignation letter. Accordingly, Gen. Fonseka will cease to be CDS with effect from Dec. 01, 2009. Gen. Fonseka informed the President of his desire to resign at a one-to-one meeting on Wednesday, where they were expected to iron out their differences. Cordial as the meeting was, President Rajapaksa said he had no objections to more..

JVP joining with UNP and TNA: Shame says Wimal

Nov 13 (Island) NFF Chairman Wimal Weerawansa yesterday condemned the JVP for joining hands with imperialist parties such as the UNP and the TNA which promoted separatism in the country, without any shame. He said that he was puzzled and saddened by the JVP move to join hands with a UNP leader who was one of those who, without the prior approval of President Ranasinghe Premadasa, ordered the killing of the party’s pioneer leader Rohana Wijeweera. more..

Leadership brought the victory: Govt.

Nov 13 (DM) The government yesterday insisted it was the political leadership that brought about the victory against the LTTE. Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said the blame for the defeat or praise on the victory of a war went to the political leadership and even history would highlight only the performance of the political leadership. The responsibility to lead the country to victory or disaster lies in the hands of the political leadership, Minister Yapa said. more..