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JHU concerned over Gen. Fonseka's allies in political entry

Nov 20 (CT) The JHU has no issue with General Sarath Fonseka's possible entry into politics, but what it is concerned about is with whom he is going to do so, said JHU parliamentary group leader Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera. If he enters politics with the likes of Mano Ganeshan, Rauff Hakeem, Mangala Samaraweera and Ranil Wickremesinghe, who betrayed the country by opposing the war that defeated the LTTE, people would not forget about it, said the Thera. more..

War is over

The situation in Sri Lanka is deteriorating

Nov 20 (LG) The situation in Sri Lanka is deteriorating day by day, month by month. Young children are suffering from malnutrition in the IDP camps and resemble the same children suffering in regions such as Darfur in Sudan and Somalia. Unless or otherwise the North-East of Sri Lanka is re-merged, under the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987, the IDP’s in Vavuniya and other areas are released, and the citizenship rights of the upcountry Tamils is resolved more..

Politics threaten the environment – Part II

Nov 20 (LG) In his book Tread Lightly on the Earth Judge Weeramantry provides a compelling argument for humanity to rediscover the wisdom of traditional societies that found their happiness in less than in craving for more and more. For how long can 6.5 billion people keep on exploiting the limited resources of the earth? For how long can the market place keep on feeding the greed of consumerism and its own greed for profit by exploiting the greed of consumers? more..

Ranil, the Young Fox

Nov 20 (LG) The latest debate, MR (Mahinda Rajapakse) or SF (Sarath Fonseka)-SS (Sarath Silva) appearing to be out of the ring, at least at the moment. There is one man, a most important man, who has already won, certainly and obviously not the Presidency. RW (Ranil Wickramasinghe). Well, he would have, but chances of his defeating victorious commander-in-chief MR before April 2010 would be slim, though RW would certainly have given MR a very tough time this time around. more..

Restoration of the 5th Column

Nov 20 (AT) The 30 year war is over and despite the hydra headed maneuvers of the 5th column, the terrorists were annihilated. The country is moving towards the acclaimed goals of peace. Velu’s successor KP has been taken in a sting operation worthy of the world’s best Secret Services. The people await his disclosures. Suddenly those who had slept with the enemy after deserting the ranks awoke to the cold reality of deadly exposure. more..

President Mahinda Rajapaksa shall be re-elected for another term!

Nov 20 (IL) It is a privilege to pay tribute to the Greatest Patriot of Sri Lanka who saved the Nation from disaster with whom I am well acquainted for several years. Chapter VII of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in Article 30 states: 30. (1) There shall be a President of the Republic of Sri Lanka, who is the Head of the State, the Head of the Executive and of the Government, and more..

Pre-empting international enquiry on war crimes

Nov 20 (LG) Giving into pressure from some of the right thinking sections of the international community pursuing a just and reasonable result to the accusations of crimes against humanity committed both by the LTTE and the Sri Lankan State, the Sri Lankan government has finally admitted its guilt. This is primarily to get over the impasse on the GSP plus and to de-fuse the international pressure by dragging the red herring across its trail. more..

Anatomy of LTTE collapse and the Fonseka factor

Nov 20 (LG) Whatever the circumstances in which General Sarath Fonseka quit the army, a grateful nation should never forget his leading role in Sri Lanka’s victory over LTTE terrorism. Fonseka, the first Sinha Regiment officer to command the army achieved what many felt could not be feasible, particularly for a third world army though it had vast experience in fighting terrorism. Although, right thinking people would not condone, more..

General intentions

Nov 20 (Economist) When Sarath Fonseka sought permission this month to retire as chief of Sri Lanka’s defence staff from December 1st, President Mahinda Rajapaksa replied through his secretary that the general, who had led his government’s victory against the Tamil Tigers, could consider himself retired with immediate effect. So General Fonseka had to vacate his office in less than two days. He was told his large security detail would be slashed. more..

'No decision on elections yet; but we are not scared of anybody either'

Nov 20 (LeN) Information and media Minister Anura Piyadharshana Yapa, answering questions raised by the media today (19) at a media briefing said, it is still not decided whether it will be the Presidential or General elections which will be held first, adding that, at the cabinet meeting yesterday (18)this was not discussed. Hereunder are the questions posed by the media and the answers furnished by the Minsiter. more..

Western People's Front keeps options open on Prez candidates

Nov 20 (AT) ‘I have no obligation toward General Sarath Fonseka’ says Mano Ganesan. Law maker Mano Ganesan and his Western People's Front are keeping their options open on the Presidential election. He is aligned with the opposition UNF led by the UNP and its leader Ranil Wicikramasinghe. Yet he asserts that he has no obligation toward General Sarath Fonseka, whom the UNF is likely to field. more..

Govt. removes northern travel restrictions to avoid judicial intervention

Nov 20 (DBS) avoid: Govt removes security clearance travel requirement for North to avoid judicial intervention & claims it was a confidence building measure. challenging: All Ceylon Tamil Congress president Appathurai Vinayagamoorthy files fundamental rights (FR) petition in SC challenging travel restrictions. respondents: FR petition on travel restrictions cites Palaly Army commanding officer, Army Commander, more..

Will Bonapartist Foneska outgrow Sri Lankan democracy?

Nov 20 (SR) When a tea sapling was brought into Ceylon — present-day Sri Lanka — in 1824 from China and planted in the Royal Botanical Gardens, the British had no commercial interests in mind. It took another forty years before a plucky Scotsman planted the first seedling, which blossomed into the famous Ceylon Tea and became today’s unshakeable pillar of Sri Lanka’s economy. The ‘Emerald Island’ has obscure tales to tell. more..

In Praise of the Devil’s Advocate

Nov 20 (GV) “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to death your right to say it” said Voltaire after reading Rousseau’s Social Contract in 18th century France. We respect the courage and honesty of Voltaire and other leaders of the time for they laid the foundation for an enlightened century. Medieval dogmatism, prejudice and narrow mindedness was set aside at the political level to allow for more mature acceptance of questioning and criticism. more..

Jayalalithaa’s charge against Karunanidhi

Nov 20 (Hindu) AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa has charged that Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi is exploiting the Sri Lankan Tamils issue for personal gains. Reacting to the Chief Minister’s recent statement, Ms. Jayalalithaa said if Mr. Karunanidhi had real interest in finding a solution to the problem, he should have issued an ultimatum to the United Progressive Alliance government in 2008 stating that his party would withdraw support if it failed to ensure a ceasefire in Sri Lanka. more..

Ranil wants Indian form of democracy in Sri Lanka

Nov 20 (Hindu) As Sri Lanka awaits a formal announcement on dates for a Presidential and Parliamentary election, separately or together, the leader of the newly-floated 18-party UNF, Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday advocated switch over from the present Presidential to a model akin to the Indian system. A booklet in Sinhala titled “Anagatha Abiyogaya” outlining the shift from the Presidential to Parliamentary form of democracy with more..

IDPs taken to Vanni not allowed residing in their homes

Nov 20 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) does not permit the IDPs taken to Poonakari and Thu’nukkai in Vanni to reside in their houses but keep them lodged in the school buildings, sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, SLA in Jaffna takes a group of teachers to these areas and brings them back daily in buses claiming that they teach the children of the IDPs. This is but an attempt by the government to show that the released Vanni IDPs are leading a normal life as more..

Tamil, Muslim political parties find their table in Zurich

Nov 20 (TN) Widely speculated as a drama backed by ‘high-powers,’ leaders of most of the Tamil and Muslim political parties in the island of Sri Lanka are meeting for the first time in Zurich, Switzerland, between Thursday and Saturday. The move is said to be for ‘extracting’ a joint proclamation of them necessary for further power manoeuvres in the island. A couple of years ago it was such a behind-the-scene move of some powers that made most of these parties except more..

More Batticaloa IDP families released for resettlement in their villages

Nov 20 (TN) Fifty-one Internally Displaced Persons of eighteen families held in camps in Jaffna district were sent to Batticaloa Thursday by three state sector buses thorough A9 road. They are now given shelter in Batticaloa Sinhala Maha Vidiyalayam. They would be resettled in their villages in the district after screening by armed forces and police intelligence unit, sources in Batticaloa said. more..

Negombo Beach Festival 2009

Nov 20 (GDI) The ‘Negombo Beach Festival 2009’ is a power packed event to keep visitors on their toes, with Percussion Sessions, Beach Soirees, Street Parades, Paint Balling and 4 x 4 driving. An expanded childrens area will cater to the interests of the little ones keeping them actively engaged. It’s the coastal town to the north of Colombo, which beckons visitors this December when the weekend of 11th to 13th brings fun and excitement to the beach in Negombo, more..

Hambantota Airport to get off ground next week

Nov 20 (GDI) The proposed Hambantota International Airport will get off the ground on November 27 at Mattala with the phase one coming into operation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa said. The cost of the project revolves around US dollars 210 million and the airport would come up in an area of 2000 hectares of land. Phase one of the project will cover 800 hectares of land of the total area as construction work will kick off next week. more..

Art Gallery for Peradeniya Campus

Nov 20 (GDI) The Ministry of Higher Education has taken steps to establish an Art Gallery for the University of Peradeniya at a total cost estimate of Rs.6 million on self finance base. The construction of this project has awarded to Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau on “Design and Build (Measure and Pay) basis. It is expected to make payments on the rates approved by the Standing Technical Committee of the Ministry of Construction and Engineering Services and more..

National Carrier to fly more to improve tourism

Nov 20 (GDI) The national carrier SriLankan, which will initially operate four flights per week has obtained a fifth freedom traffic right between Colombo and Maldives from January 2010. It will then progress to daily flights from the summer of 2010. It will open up new opportunities for people traveling between Muscat and Colombo, and also Middle Eastern and European destinations as well as being a winner with both business and leisure customers. more..

Asian Food & Agriculture Cooperation Plan

Nov 20 (GDI) The Ministry of Agriculture Development and Agrarian Service has taken steps to establish the Asian Food and Agriculture Cooperation Initative (AFACI) with the collaboration of Rural Development Administration of the Republic of Korea. The purpose of this initiative is to contribute to solution of global food crisis of member states for food security, to industrialize Asian food and culture through customized, more..

Distribution of imported raw cashew to be streamlined

Nov 20 (GDI) The Government has taken steps to issue import licenses to selected associations and people’s companies recommended by the Sri Lanka Cashew Corporation under the supervision of the Ministry of Supplementary Plantation Crops Development and distribute such imported raw cashew consignments among the members of relevant societies and companies adhering to all mandatory regulations and quarantine requirements of Import and Export Control Department, more..

Resettlement can be completed soon - President tells UN Under Secretary

Nov 20 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is confident that the resettlement in the north could be completed within next few weeks. Majority of the IDPs have already been resettled at present. They have been provided with infrastructure facilities,common amenities with full security. Rest of the IDPs will also be resettled soon after solving their housing problem. more..

Janasabha Lekam posts for unemployed graduates

Nov 20 (GDI) Applications have been called for posts of Janasabha Lekam (Peoples Forum Secretary) or the setting up of a system of Jana Sabha offices to integrate all community organizations at village level. This is in accordance with the Government program of providing employment to more than 17,000 unemployed graduates. Applications will be accepted from today up to 1.00 p.m. on December 18. more..

'Public servants salaries will not be taxed'

Nov 20 (GDI) Commissioner General of Inland Revenue, Mahinda Madagoda today dismissed media reports that public servants would be taxed from salaries. He said tax was imposed only on rewards which was a usual practice done on a quarterly basis. Referring to the delay in the refund of VAT payments, Medagoda said a special unit was now in operation under the department to expedite the process in a speedy manner. more..

Defence Services games ceremonially opened at Sugathadasa stadium

Nov 20 (MoD) The fifth Defence Services Games was ceremonially declared open by the Secretary to the Treasury Dr. PB Jayasundara yesterday evening (19) at the Sugathadasa Outdoor Stadium. The sportsmen and women of the Army Navy and Air Force compete for supremacy in twenty nine sporting disciplines, and the event is held annually. This year the event is hosted by the Sri Lanka Navy. more..

Construction of a building for the faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Jaffna

Nov 20 (MoD) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by Minister of Higher Education Wishwa Warnapala to construct a three storied building for the Faculty of Graduate studies of Jaffna University with a gross floor area of 600sqm at a total cost estimate of Rs. 42.35 and to award the construction of building to the Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau on ‘Design and Build’ ( Measure and Pay) basis and to make payments on the rates approved by more..

German boost for Lanka's resettlement efforts

Nov 20 (MoD) Sri Lanka's efforts to resettle the war displaced will receive a further boost with Germany providing $ 450,000 to the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) engaged in mine clearing operations west of the A9 road. The FSD is one of the six INGOs carrying out mine clearing operations in support of the army. Their focus was on the area west of the A 9 though mine clearing operations were also taking place east of the road. more..

Five more IDP centres in Jaffna closed down as 2736 more civilians resettled

Nov 20 (MoD) An estimated crowd of 2736 displaced civilians, remained housed at four Jaffna based IDP Welfare Centers found way back to their original places of residence in Jaffna, Mannar and Vavuniya districts during past three days after Army troops facilitated their return under government's "Northern Spring" programme. Those people rescued from LTTE clutches during the height of humanitarian operations more..

'President will bring economic prosperity'

Nov 20 (MoD) Estate Infrastructure Deputy Minister and Ceylon Workers' Congress President Muthu Sivalingam said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was able to end nearly thirty years of war that gripped the country. He would be the only leader who could find a political solution to the ethnic problem. He recalled that during the years when the Ceasefire Agreement was in force no efforts had been made to find a political solution. more..

Tiger coming to blow up Colombo arrested

Nov 20 (SLW) A special police team arrested a front line Tiger terrorist in Vavuniya, who had been planning to cause a huge explosion in Colombo to project that the Tigers are still active. The police was also able to take in to custody a powerful bomb that was to be set off in Colombo. This Tiger named Ananda Vernan was arrested a few days ago and it has been revealed that he has contacts with Tiger leaders based in Malaysia. more..

Provincial Council Elections postponed

Nov 20 (LP) The Government has decided to postpone the next Provincial Council Elections which were due in March 2010. The elections have been canceled by a year as the Presidential and the General election is to be held next year said Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils Janaka Bandara Thennakoon. He also said that he has the authority to take such decision. The Local Government sections is now well developed said Minister Thennakoon. more..

'We are prepared to discuss with Gen. Fonseka'

Nov 20 (LT) The JVP is prepared to discuss with Gen. Sarath Fonseka if he is prepared to come forward as the common candidate says Information Secretary of the JVP Vijithe Herath. He said his party would not discuss such issues as development of the economy or the country at such a discussion but abolishing of the executive presidency and establishing democracy would be the main objective of such a discussion. more..

'Let’s make Sri Lanka the centre of IT through e-Asia 09'

Nov 20 (LP) The opportunity to host e-Asia 2009 is a great privilege to the country said Secretary to President Lalith Weerathunga. Speaking at a meeting with the e Asia 2009, State and Private sectors, the Secretary said that all those involved in the IT field should contribute towards the development of the field. e-Asia 2009 is a great opportunity for Sri Lanka to display its talents and capabilities in IT to the whole world and more..

Tamil migration within and beyond Sri Lanka

Nov 20 (LG) In recent months illegal migrants from Sri Lanka have been at the centre of turbulent debate in Australia. While the main focus has been on Sri Lankan Tamils that of a few Sinhalese boat people has gone under the radar. Among them were 12 Karava Catholic fishermen from the Negombo area who landed on the West Australian coast in November 2008. They expressed fears of bodily harm from both the government and the Tigers, more..

'We'll sit with TNA in Ranil's caretaker cabinet JVP'

Nov 20 (LNP) The JVP says it is not apprehensive about being part of the same Cabinet as its b te noire, the Tamil National Alliance, dubbed in Parliament as the mouthpiece of the LTTE, in the event of a caretaker government being formed with UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister. In reply to a question whether the JVP had no difficulty in sitting with the TNA in the same Cabinet after being critical of the latter s pro-LTTE stance, more..