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SLFP convention Tomorrow in Colombo

Nov 14 (AT) The 19th Convention of the SLFP will be held tomorrow at the Khettarama Stadium, Colombo with the participation of over 100,000 party members, supporters and a foreign delegation representing 39 countries, Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said. Minister Yapa said that this is the first SLFP Convention to be held after the victory of over 30 years of terrorism and the convention also generates lot of expectations locally and internationally as more..

President deems Gen. Fonseka's resignation effective from Nov. 13

Nov 14 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered that Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka be deemed to have resigned with immediate effect in spite of an earlier decision to let him continue in that post until Dec. 01, 2009. Accordingly Gen. Fonseka's resignation letter submitted to the President through the Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge on Thursday took effect yesterday itself. more..

Hopes high for fresh leadership as election looms

Nov 14 (IPS) Political developments are rapidly unfolding as the public eagerly awaits the President’s announcement on Sunday of the date for the next presidential or parliamentary polls—an event widely expected to bring about a new leadership that could bring to fruition the people’s collective yearnings for a return to law and order as well as discipline. "Discipline has crumbled in the country. There is no order," more..

An Elegy for Sarath Fonseka

Nov 15 (AT) When there was a move by some disgruntled group in the army to surreptitiously stage a coup with a view to snatch power through the barrel of gun, Sri Lanka Government rightly turned to India which kept it troops on high alert on the 15th October to overcome any eventually. This startling disclosure, made by General Sarath Fonseka himself in his letter of resignation addressed to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, clearly shows that Sri Lanka had survived another grave disaster, more..

Asylum-Seeking Good Business

Nov 15 (SLW) United Nations for Political Affairs who visited the IDP camps in the north commented that he was “impressed by the work done by the army, the demining teams, the UN staff and the civil society” and that the team also wit¬nessed the rehabilitation work that was underway. He also stated that in Jaffna, they were able to feel that the people were looking forward to getting more opportunities and that there was a feeling that a “whole era was waiting for them”. more..

“Independent” public sector unions kowtow to Rajapakse

Nov 15 (wsws) A Sri Lankan trade union alliance known as the PSSRTUC, which declares itself to be “independent” of political parties, held a delegates conference on November 5 to discuss a campaign over salaries. There is widespread discontent among public sector workers over the erosion of pay and conditions. Over the past three years, President Mahinda Rajapakse has exploited his communal war against the separatist LTTE to effectively freeze wages even as prices have soared. more..

Congress delegates at Lanka party meet

Nov 15 (AA) Aiming at strengthening the bonds between the two parties in the post-LTTE phase, Congress president Sonia Gandhi has sent a delegation to attend the 19th convention of the ruling Freedom Party in Sri Lanka on November 15. Sources said following an invitation from the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, the Congress president has sent a two-member delegation including senior leader and editor of Congress Sandesh Anil Shastri and more..

Brandix exclusive apparel designs on the catwalk

Nov 15 (F2F) The latest designs that propel high street fashion in leading international markets will be on display later this month at a rare exposition of current production styles and exclusive in-house designs by Brandix, Sri Lanka’s top apparel exporter. Billed to be ‘a veritable feast for the eyes,’ the Brandix fashion show will be the opening segment of the Industry Fashion Show that more..

The unwritten revelations of Sarath Fonseka’s letter requesting retirement from service

Nov 15 (GV) After weeks of media speculation on the prospective “Common Candidate”, to every one’s relief, confirmed news about General Sarath Fonseka’s decision to retire from military service with effect from 01st December, 2009, came on 12th Thursday afternoon. It would in reality mean his retirement from the extended service in the army. Yet it is also taken as his retirement from his new post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), as well. more..

Fonseka's claim without substance: Tharoor

Nov 15 (PTI) India today dismissed former Sri Lankan Chief of Defence Staff Sarath Fonseka's claim that its troops were put on alert at the instance of President Mahinda Rajapaksa following fears of a coup. Strongly refuting Fonseka's claim, Minister of state for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor said there was "no substance to the story." "We should be a little wary of making too much of these kinds of speculations," he told reporters here. more..

Disgraceful treatment of LTTE captives

Nov 15 (LG) A military source disgusted with the behaviour of the army officials involved in the rehabilitation of surrendered LTTE cadres in a rehabilitation camp located in Mudaliyar Kulam in Vanni, confirmed to the Sri Lanka Guardian requesting anonymity that the suspected LTTE detainees are being put through harrowing and humiliating experience in the camp. The source said the army officials have implemented strict routines in the camp. more..

“Economics as a driving force of International Relations”

Nov 15 (PIB) Following is the text of the speech of the Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee which he delivered at ‘Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture, Colombo: “I am grateful to the organizers for inviting me to pay homage to a great Leader of Sri Lanka Dr Lakshman Kadirgamar. I would like to thank Mrs. Suganthie Kadirgamar for inviting me to deliver the 4th L.K Memorial lecture. I shall speak on “Economics as driving force of International Relations”, which is topical. more..

'Sri Lanka should find political solution that benefits all'

Nov 15 (PTI) India today said Sri Lanka should find a political settlement to the Tamil issue as a sequel to the victory over the LTTE, and ensure every stakeholder gains from the solution irrespective of religion and ethnicity. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is visiting Sri Lanka, said that the country should also ensure that the political solution to the ethnic problem does not come at the cost of any particular community. more..

Gold to be 'important anchor' for Sri Lanka foreign reserves: CB Governor

Nov 15 (LBO) Central bank, which maintains a soft peg with the US dollar, said gold would be an 'important anchor' for its foreign reserves, which have zoomed in 2009 with large foreign inflows. Gold has hit new highs in recent weeks, with the US dollar again weakening under extended loose monetary policy, reversing gains made in late 2008. "In very volatile circumstance across the world you need to have intrinsic value created in your portfolio," more..

Retiring Sri Lankan Gen. contends Gov. politicians planted coup rumors

Nov 15 (VOA) Sri Lanka's president Friday gave the country's top military figure permission to leave his post immediately, a day after the army general submitted retirement papers to his commander-in-chief. In his 2,200-word retirement request submitted Thursday General Sarath Fonseka says he was misled about his promotion this year to chief of defense staff, finding that he had "basically no authority." more..

Nightmare for girls undergoing training for gymnastic display at SLFP summit

nov 15 (LT) A large number of girls who are being trained by National Youth Council for a gymnastic display at the SLFP summit to be held tomorrow (15th) have been taken ill say reports. A large number of them have been admitted to hospitals while many more are being treated at National Youth Council at Maharagama by getting down doctors to the council building at Maharagama. 72 girls have been admitted to Homagama Hospital while 40 have been admitted to Kalubowila Hospital. more..

Muralitharan looking to sign off in style in India

Nov 15 (Reuters) Muttiah Muralitharan seeks to scale twin peaks in the series against India -- win Sri Lanka's first test on Indian soil and put his country top of the world test rankings for the first time. It would be a perfect overseas sign-off for test and one-day cricket's highest wicket-taker who announced in July his intention to retire from tests in 2010. Despite flying high in second place to South Africa in the test rankings, more..

No deals on asylum: Rudd

Nov 15 (TA) Kevin Rudd has emphatically denied that Sri Lankan asylum-seekers on board the Oceanic Viking are receiving special treatment from Canberra. The Prime Minister said the offer made to those on board the Australian Customs vessel, 22 of whom agreed to go ashore last night, was in line with Australia's international obligations concerning the handling of asylum-seekers and subsequent resettlement of refugees. more..

General Fonseka as the chief executive officer of future Sri Lanka

Nov 15 (LG) As a concerned person who has kith and kin in Sri Lanka I am impelled to write this. And let me state the bottom-line-up-front (BLUF); In the present times and circumstances Sri Lanka needs an uncorrupt and capable Chief Executive Officer with a vision, and a mission sanctioned by a vast majority to manage the country authoritatively than a Presidency, an administration, or a political system that thrives in a rough and tumble political atmosphere. more..

Lanka and Myanmar: Challenges ahead

Nov 15 (AT) The Sri Lanka visit (Nov. 12-15) of Myanmar’s Head of State Senior General Than Shwe came in the wake of allegations being made over the past six months against the Rajapaksa regime that it was moving away from the ‘democracies’ and getting closer to 'dictatorships.' The accusers have been sections of the Opposition and the media and the usual ‘anti-war’ crusaders. more..

“I am at risk” ­— Gen. Sarath Fonseka

Nov 15 (SL) Following General Sarath Fonseka’s resignation from the post of Chief of Defence Staff last Thursday, the government on Friday, reduced his security contingent consisting of 400 elite commandos to a mere 25. General Sarath Fonseka was assigned 400 security personnel and 25 vehicles after he was appointed Chief of Defence Staff. Announcing that the General’s resignation be made effective immediately from November 13, the General’s security contingent was reduced to 25 security personnel. more..

Fonseka Does It In Style On Facebook

Nov 15 (SL) With a soaring fan base even on Facebook, Sri Lanka’s much hyped former Army Commander, General Sarath Fonseka is gathering his mass support in style, leaving no stone unturned be it on the world wide web or even in rural Sri Lanka. The Facebook page ‘Sarath Fonseka-Next Sri Lankan President’ which was created on October 3, has become one of the most active pages and among the fastest growing pages in the social networking website more..

India's love affair with gold

UNPers unhappy over Fonseka’s premature resignation

Nov 15 (SL) Senior United National Party (UNP) members have expressed their displeasure over General Sarath Fonseka’s premature resignation. Highly placed sources told The Sunday Leader that the UNP leadership had adviced Fonseka against submitting his resignation letter to the President immediately and at least not until the President announced the dates for the presidential election. more..

'There will be an executive Prime Minister and ceremonial President'

Nov 15 (SL) In the event the UNF wins the next presidential election UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella insists the Executive Presidency will be abolished and Sri Lanka will revert to an Executive Prime Minister with the President merely serving a ceremonial role. According to Kiriella, with General Sarath Fonseka as the common candidate supported by the UNF and other opposition political parties has created a golden opportunity for the country to defeat the present Rajapaksa administration. more..

'More surprises for government'

Nov 15 (LB) DPF leader Mano Ganeshan first wanted to leave the recently formed UNF if they were going to nominate General Sarath Fonseka as the presidential candidate of the UNF. But, later Ganeshan decided to support him. Excerpts of the interview as follows. Q: You have reportedly expressed a willingness to support Gen. Sarath Fonseka in the event the latter is placed as the presidential candidate by the UNA of which your party is an ally. more..

Delay in poll announcement: President uncertain?

Nov 15 (LB) Despite an expectant nation waiting with bated breath for President Mahinda Rajapaksa to announce his position at today’s SLFP General Convention as to which poll - Presidential or Parliamentary, he will hold first, the announcement is not due for certain reasons. Media reports indicated in recent weeks that President Rajapaksa would be making a formal announcement today as to which poll he would go for first, more..

The Hela Humbugs

Nov 15 (SL) The Jathika Hela Urumaya or JHU is a bundle of contradictions. In late September 2007 the ruling military junta in Myanmar launched a brutal crackdown on peaceful protests being carried out by monks in that country. Many including monks were killed in the process and hundreds ended up injured. The usually vocal JHU that takes upon itself the role of guardian angel of the sangha remained largely mum except for a curt statement by its Parliamentary Group Leader, Ellawala Medhananda Thero, more..

Battle stations, all

Nov 15 (LB) The president, from all information we have at time of going to press, will postpone the announcement about which election to hold first - general or presidential. Altering earlier plans to announce today, he would make the announcement next week, in an official release. Though indications are that he would go for a presidential election no matter what happens, there is no doubt that the government is in a reasonable quandary over more..

Faith healing , subtle way of converting people?

Nov 15 (LB) The recent deaths of two women who allegedly lost consciousness while attending healing sessions conducted by a Christian fundamentalist priest held at the Victoria Park last month, has for the umpteenth time brought to the spotlight, the controversial topic of unethically converting gullible people into religions other than the one they are born into, under the guise of curing long-standing illnesses and ailments etc. more..

The ‘lions’ are beginning to claw !

Nov 15 (LB) Such a shame we no longer live in mud huts. The way things are unraveling on the political front, there will be enough sludge flung around to construct housing for around - and this is only a rough estimate - three generations of Sri Lankans. It is almost certain now that Gen Sarath Fonseka will contest at whatever election or elections President Mahinda Rajapaksa decides to call next year. He has promised a “grand announcement” at today’s SLFP convention more..

Refugees on the run: Part 2

Refugees on the run: Part 1

Rajapaksa writes to Fonseka

Nov 15 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday replied to the letter of Chief of Defence Staff Sarath Fonseka seeking permission for pre-mature retirement. Frenzied political activity is expected in the next few days as Mr. Rajapaksa is to preside over the convention of the ruling SLFP on Sunday to consider dates for the general election and a possible presidential election, amid sufficient indications that “war hero” General Fonseka is all geared up to enter politics. more..

A historic opportunity for Sri Lanka”

Nov 15 (Hindu) Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said Sri Lanka has a historic opportunity to permanently change the relationship between the majority Sinhalese community and the minorities, including the Tamils, in the post-Prabakaran era. Delivering the Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture in the presence of the island nation’s Prime Minister, Ratnasiri Wickramanayake and a host of other leaders here, Mr. Mukherjee said while a military victory has been achieved, more..

Ministers shocked to hear President approved rude demonstration

Nov 15 (DBS) shocked: Cabinet ministers who criticised Mervyn for staging rude demonstration against Sarath Fonseka shocked to know it was approved by president. instructions: Mervyn Silva claims he organized vulgar demonstration against Sarath Fonseka at Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara on instructions of the President. DISAPPOINTED: Mahinda Rajapakse DISAPPOINTED by Sarath Fonseka spurning"olive branch"extended by president on Nov11 at private meeting in"Temple Trees". more..

Rajapakse regime and the Fonseka phenomenon: Genesis of current crisis

Nov 15 (DBS) Notwithstanding desperate denials to the contrary, current developments have clearly demonstrated the deep divisions existing between the ruling Rajapakse regime and former Army commander Lt.Gen Sarath Fonseka. In a controversial turn of events General Fonseka has submitted his resignation from the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) post held by him. more..

Tillakaratne Dilshan recovers, keeper's slot undecided

Nov 15 (CI) Sri Lankan batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan has recovered from the ankle sprain he suffered at practice and will resume training on the eve of the first Test against India in Ahmedabad starting on November 16. The captain Kumar Sangakkara also confirmed that one of Prasanna Jayawardene and Kaushal Silva will keep wicket, meaning that Dilshan will play as a specialist batsman. The Sri Lankans go into the Ahmedabad Test without match practice, more..

'We have not been provided enough security'

Nov 15 (DH) The Sri Lankan team management has expressed its dissatisfaction at the security measures that had been put in place in Mumbai during the Islanders’ stay in the country’s commercial capital for six days before departing for Ahmedabad on Saturday. Mumbai is to host the final match of the three-Test series, from December 2 to 6, and team manager Brendon Kuruppu has made it clear in a letter dated November 11, three days after the Lankans landed in Mumbai, more..

'UNP ready for elections with strong opposition candidate'

Nov 15 (SLNN) The general secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayake, in an exclusive interview with SLNN, says his party is prepared to face elections with a strong candidate. He says the party will announce the name of the candidate as soon as the government declares elections. “If the government decides to conduct a presidential election, we are ready to inform the country about our candidate after it has been officially announced,” more..