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Six months later: Post war overview

Contradictions wrapped in ironies

Nov 19 (LNP) The JVP leader once accused the SLFP of kerb-crawling. He could not have used a better term to describe what the two main parties usually resort to when an election draws near. They run behind even microscopic political entities. And the small parties, for their part, practise the oldest profession in the world! The JVP has offered its services to both the SLFP and the UNP at different times and is honeymooning with the UNP at present. more..

Come and borrow- It’s easy, beneficial, says BoC

Nov 19 (DN) The number of beneficiaries of the low interest loans offered by the Bank of Ceylon needs to be increased to stimulate economic activities of the country. More awareness is necessary among the public regarding the loan scheme to encourage the borrowers to obtain loans at reduced interest rates, Bank of Ceylon Chairman Dr. Gamini Wickramasinghe told the Daily News yesterday. more..

Colombo records highest rainfall since 2005

Nov 19 (DN) Colombo recorded a 207 mm rainfall yesterday, the highest since 2005, a spokesperson for the Meteorological Department said. Meanwhile, Ratmalana recorded a 210mm rainfall, Kandy (93mm), Kalutara (113 mm) and Matugama (75.6 mm). According to today’s forecast, thundershowers will develop over the island in the afternoon and evening, with morning showers in the Eastern province. more..

Laptops for each student in 13 schools

Nov 19 (DN) In line with the national drive to arm the younger generation with the knowledge of English and Information Technology, the Education Ministry has taken steps to issue laptop computers to each and every student in thirteen schools. The program is carried out under the “One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program conducted by the Education Ministry in collaboration with the University of Colombo. The program is funded by the World Bank. more..

Lake House: Then and Now

Nov 19 (DN) I am back at Lake House and my teeth - cutter in journalism Daily News after 30 years - I am old (76 years and something) but Lake House is stimulatingly new, the newness of a mischievous babe and incredibly sophisticated, not the kind of adjectives that my old news barrack - rooms would have had the audacity to use: my colleagues in that past era would have screamed in horror at such pedestrian vulgar descriptions. more..

'Gen. Fonseka is now being called a villain by villainous Govt. of cardboard heroes'

Nov 19 (UNP) UNP M.P. Dayasiri Jayasekera stated, this is a Govt. which after celebrating General Sarath Fonseka as a War Hero soon after winning the war, is now calling him a traitor. This is because the Govt. has lost its right senses and its memory after the raging rumors that Ge . Fonseka is going to contest the President at the next Presidential elections. more..

President calls Jaffna government heads for urgent meeting in Colombo

Nov 19 (TN) President Mahinda Rajapakse has invited the top government officials in Jaffna District including the Government Agent, Divisional Secretaries and Additional Government Agents for an urgent meeting at his official residence Temple Trees Thursday 6:00 p.m, Jaffna Secretariat sources said. This meeting taking place on the occasion of the President completing his fourth year of term and more..

IDP camps in Jaffna to be closed, retaining Thenmarraadchi camps

Nov 19 (TN) Government has decided to close the Jaffna camps in which IDPs are detained while retaining Kodikaamam and Mirusuvil camps in Thenmaraadchi, Jaffna Secretariat sources said. According to this plan 68 persons from Mullaiththeevu and Ki’linochchi districts who had no relatives to take responsibility of them were transferred to Thenmaraadchi camps Wednesday from Koappaay Teachers’ College, the sources added. more..

Milinda forms new party; Pledges support to Rajapaksa

Nov 19 (AT) Justice and Law Reforms Minister Milinda Moragoda has formed his own party, the Sri Lanka National Congress in a bid to reach what he called the “nation’s full potential.” The new entrant into politics however would remain a constituent party of the UPFA led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He says the new party would steer the country based on ethical values whilst more..

SLA continues detention of IDPs in Kaithadi camp

Nov 19 (TN) Sri Lanka Army authorities in Jaffna continue to detain a group of IDPs including female undergrads of Jaffna University though action is taken to close all IDP camps in Jaffna and to detain the remaining IDPs in Raamaavil camp in Thenmaraadchi, sources in Jaffna said. Though the relatives of the above IDPs in Jaffna had applied to take responsibility of the IDPs they are continued to be held as SLA has not issued the needed ‘clearance’ to release them, more..

CWA threatens estate strike

Nov 19 (Island) The Ceylon Workers Alliance said yesterday that it would launch a general strike, if the government does not grant estate workers a basic salary of Rs. 405. General Secretary of the CWA and Uva Provincial Council Member S. Sathasivam said that the present basic wage of Rs. 285, was grossly inadequate and the workers cannot live on it. "The Labour Minister has betrayed us, with the assistance of those aligned to the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime," he said. more..

National Productivity Award to Motor Traffic Dept. shocks Corruption Watch

Nov 19 (Island) Corruption Watch, an independent body that monitors activities in the public sector, expressed surprise that the Motor Traffic Department, which is one of the government institutions noted for corruption, had been awarded the National Productivity Award. Western Provincial Councilor Rohana Gamage told a media conference, that the department was incurring a loss of Rs 800 million annually by entrusting the issue of driving licences to a private company despite more..

'The JVP won’t try to dominate us'

Nov 19 (Island) Mangala Samaraweera, the chief architect of the UNP led alliance and the principal advocate of the strategy of fielding a common candidate at the next presidential elections, speaks to C.A.Chandraprema about several important political issues of the present moment. Among the matters discussed in this interview are; the absence of a viable presidential candidate in the newly formed UNP-led alliance, and more..

'Gen. Fonseka must accept UNF’s 10 point policy statement'

Nov 19 (Island) Leader of the UNF Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday that General Sarath Fonseka’s nomination as Presidential candidate was subject to his acceptance of the UNF’s ten-point policy statement. Wickremesinghe said that a decision on the Presidential candidate would be taken only after an election was announced and he was confident that Fonseka had a clear understanding of the UNF policies. more..

Sri Lanka tea crop lowest in 10 years

Nov 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea production in October 2009 improved from that of the same month last year when the market had crashed but output in the 10-months is the lowest in 10 years, brokers said. Production of black in October 2009 rose seven percent to 25.9 million kilos from a year ago with the gains coming from low grown teas made by small farmers in the south. Production of tea in the high and medium grown elevations fell mainly because of bad weather, more..

JVP Political Bureau discusses ‘common candidate’

Nov 19 (LT) According political sources the JVP had a lengthy discussion in its Political Bureau meeting held yesterday regarding a common candidate that would be nominated if a presidential election is held in the near future. The Political Bureau of the JVP had met yesterday under the chairmanship of the General Secretary of the party Tilvin Silva as Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe has gone to France to attend a ‘November Heroes’ commemoration ceremony held there. more..

Asking for ships: India denies

Nov 19 (DM) The Indian Defence Ministry denied reports yesterday that the Indian Government had asked the Sri Lanka Navy to return two Coast Guard vessels given by the Indian Government on an annual, renewable lease. “The Indian Government has not asked for these boats to be returned,” Ministry of Defence, New Delhi Public Relations Officer, D. Mohanty said. The Sri Lanka Navy echoed this comment. more..

Ranil proposes creating an executive Prime Minister

Nov 19 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, in a booklet released today containing what he called a 25 year policy plan for the country, has suggested setting up of an Executive Prime Minister Post, a President who is responsible for safeguarding the Constitution and a clean political system and also setting up of a State Assembly that will formulate national policies. more..

General Fonseka asked to vacate his house by Sunday

Nov 19 (DM) Former Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka has been asked by the Defence Ministry to vacate his official residence by Sunday and he is finding it difficult to find a new house within a short period of time, sources close to the General told Daily Mirror online. The General has earlier been given the option to remain at the official residence of the Army Commander until he finds a suitable place to move to, more..

India in talks with Sri Lanka to bring back prisoners: Krishna

Nov 19 (IANS) External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna has said the government is in talks with Sri Lanka to bring back the Indian prisoners languishing in jails in that country. "We have been in discussions with the Sri Lankan government on the matter and continue to pursue it vigorously keeping in mind the humanitarian aspect," Krishna told Thol. Thirumaavalavan, VCK MP from Tamil Nadu. more..

Swine flu brings early vacation for Central province schools

Nov 19 (CT) All schools in central province will have an early closure for the December vacation owing to the prevailing threat of swine flu or H1N1 novel influenza. The schools will remain closed from November 23 to December 09, said the province's chief minister Sarath Ekanayake. Several children and women have died in the province due to swine flu, he said. Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has decided to import a special vaccine from the US to counter the possible outbreak. more..

Commitment for change

Nishantha Muthuhettigama refused bail

Nov 19 (CT) Jailed UPFA councilor of southern province Nishantha Muthuhettigama has had a bail application filed by him rejected. Galle chief magistrate Thamara Tennakoon said today (Nov. 19) the politician has breached his bail conditions over previous cases. Mr. Muthuhettigama is in remand custody over a charge of incurring damage to the property of the PC. Magistrate will take up the case once again tomorrow. more..

Residents blame politicos for floods

Nov 19 (DM) As torrential rains paralysed Colombo City and suburbs the residents of Boralesgamuwa and the shop owners in Pettah yesterday charged that the politicians in the main parties UPFA and UNP who ruled this country have created the situation by failing to take adequate steps to prevent floods and improve an eco-friendly development. They made this point when a Daily Mirror team visited the affected areas yesterday. more..

Gambhir keeps Sri Lanka at bay

Nov 19 (CI) Sri Lanka gave themselves a minimum of 134 overs and an ample cushion of runs to try and register their first Test win in India, but the Ahmedabad pitch got deader and deader with every passing minute. Gautam Gambhir got into long-innings mode, reminiscent of his match-saving effort in Napier earlier this year, but Chanaka Welegedara brought Sri Lanka right back with Rahul Dravid's wicket 15 minutes before stumps. more..

Sri Lanka approves $891 mln China loan for coal power

Nov 19 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has approved $891 million loan from China's Export-Import bank to fund a coal power plant, an official said on Thursday, as the island nation focuses on infrastructure after the end of 25 years of war. China along with India are now increasingly competing to win lucrative and strategic investments in Sri Lanka since the fighting stopped in May. Both India and China provided military assistance, more..

Rajaratnam begins offloading holdings in Sri Lanka

Nov 19 (Hindu) Sri Lanka-born U.S. business tycoon, Raj Rajaratnam, arrested by the FBI on October 16 on charges of vast insider trading, has began selling part of his firm’s holdings in Sri Lanka to cover some of the money required to finance his $100 million bail. Mr. Rajaratnam, the billionaire chief of the Galleon Fund, lost in the first week of November his bid to reduce the value of his bail condition. more..

Religious ceremonies to invoke blessings on President Rajapaksa's birthday

Nov 19 (IL) Various religious programmes are being organised countywide to invoke blessings on President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his 64th birthday and overnight Pirith Chanting was conducted at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday to celebrate the birthday and the fourth anniversary in assumption of duties as Executive President. He also spent his birthday engaging in various religious observances yesterday. more..

58,000 homeless after Sri Lanka flash floods

Nov 19 (AFP) Nearly 60,000 people were left homeless in Sri Lanka Thursday following flash floods in the capital Colombo and the suburbs, an official said. "We have a list of over 58,000 individuals who were left homeless in and around Colombo," Kodipillai said, adding that they were being housed in public buildings. Thousands of homes were flooded on Wednesday, forcing people to seek temporary shelter in public buildings, he said. more..

Crosby man escapes war in Sri Lanka and Tamil Tiger violence to be targeted by racists in Liverpool

Nov 20 (CH) A CROSBY man who fled civil war in Sri Lanka to start a new life in Britain is being targeted at work by a gang of racist thugs. A van belonging to Nathan Yogeswaran, who owns two Londis businesses in Aintree, has been firebombed and he has been subjected to years of hate crime intimidation by a gang of local youths. Last week vandals slashed the tyres on his Ford transit van more..

Sri Lanka army recovers LTTE satellite equipment

Nov 20 (PTI) The Sri Lankan army has recovered several things including a satellite equipment and packets containing 3 Kilogrammes of cyanide powder during their search operations for arms and ammunition left by the vanquished Tiger rebels. The Criminal Investigations Department with the the Trincomalee Police recovered the Satellite equipment of the LTTE was recovered. more..

War displaced children back to books

Nov 20 (Xinhua) Ten-year-old Priyanthi is yet another war displaced child in a relief camp in Vavuniya, but she is special because she had scored 162 at the recently-held Grade Five Scholarship Examination -- the highest marks among all children in Sri Lanka's northern Vanni area formerly dominated by Tamil Tiger rebels. Some months back, Priyanthi's parents carrying her and her younger brother ran from one place to another to save their lives. more..

Tamil women, children behind bars in Indonesia

Nov 20 (ABC) Ten Sri Lankan women and children who came off the Oceanic Viking yesterday say they are locked up and unable to leave an Australian-funded detention centre in Indonesia. Holding their young children up to the bars of the facility called a temporary holding room, the women say they are unable to come and go as they please, contradicting claims made by Australian officials. more..

Gutsy Gambhir holds India's fortunes

Nov 20 (CI) Virender Sehwag's frustrating dismissal had sent blood pressure levels soaring, the Sri Lankan spinners - backed by a huge first-innings lead - were enjoying bowling into the rough and extracting sizeable spin and, with more than 120 overs left in the game, India were deep in the rut. What eased the tension for Indian fans on a dismal day for them was the knowledge that Gautam Gambhir was still around. more..

Students from Jaffna university meet JVP leaders

Nov 20 (LT) A group of students from the ‘Management studies section’ of the University of Jaffna met General Secretary of the Tilvin Silva and other leaders of the JVP yesterday states media unit of the JVP. Member of the Central Committee Ramalingam Chandrasekar MP, Central Committee Member Duminda Nagamuwa and former PC Member Marugan Mogan and several other leaders of the JVP too participated at this event. more..

UN confirms Tamil exodus from Sri Lanka refugee camps

Nov 20 (BBC) UN humanitarian chief John Holmes has confirmed that more than half the Tamils who were in refugee camps in northern Sri Lanka have now left them. The camps were set up to house Tamils who fled the final stages of Sri Lanka's 25-year civil war, which ended in May. Mr Holmes, who has just visited the area, said fewer than 135,000 people now remained in the camps. more..

All set for expeditious farming in the North

Nov 20 (GDI) In a bid to expeditiously execute the cultivation of farmlands in the Northern region, the Government today (19) dispatched farming equipment worth Rs. 50 million to that region. The donation granted by the Asian Development Bank was received by MP Basil Rajapaksa. These equipment will be distributed among the newly resettled residents in Mullaittivu, Mannar and Kilinochchi regions under the guidance of the Governor of the Northern Province, G.A. Chandrasiri. more..

UN presses for freedom for war-displaced

Nov 20 (AFP) The United Nations on Thursday stepped up pressure on Sri Lanka to free thousands of war-displaced civilians held in state-run internment camps. "Months after the conflict ended, our main concerns haven't changed. People are still not given free access to leave these camps on their own free will," UN humanitarian chief John Holmes told AFP after a visit to the camps. Holmes said some 130,000 men, women and children remained inside the tightly-guarded camps. more..

Ranil might do a ‘Mohini’ act on Somawansa - Wimal

Nov 20 (AD) Ranil Wickremesinghe might like ‘Mohini’ give the Common Candidate over to JVP leader Somawansa Amerasinghe, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa said. He claimed that the UNP leader Ranil Wickremasighe has got the wind that if the Common Candidate is put forward in a third party there is a chance for him. Wimal states that Ranil might give the baby (Common Candidate) to Somawansa as Somawansa himself is without a baby. more..