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Of those political amoebae

Nov 20 (LNP) We, Sri Lankans, numbering about 20 million inhabiting an area of 65,000 sq km have over 4,000 political representatives at different levels of government. As if that were not enough, there has sprung a plethora of political parties and if they continue to grow at the present rate the day may not be far off when we have a political party each to represent all of us. It is reported that the registration of some political parties has lapsed for legal reasons and according to a new law, more..

Global investors target Sri Lanka

Nov 20 (LNP) The global investor community is keen on exploring opportunities in Sri Lanka as there is a peaceful environment that facilitates growing investor confidence. The next decade would be prosperous for the country as there will be growth potential in its financial market, said Leopard Capital Asia CEO, Douglas Clayton. Leopard Capital Sri Lanka is a joint venture between Orion Capital Partners in Sri Lanka and Leopard Capital of Hong Kong. more..

'Attempt to assassinate Gen. Fonseka'

Nov 20 (LT) A conspiracy to assassinate Gen. Sarath Fonseka is being hatched say reports. A Tamil politician who has merged with the government recently has brought a woman trained in suicide attacks to Colombo for this purpose states these reports. It has been revealed to the intelligence sections that the woman known as ‘Wasanthi’ has had very close relations with the relevant Tamil politician. ‘ more..

U.S. issues revised travel warning for Sri Lanka

Nov 20 (AT) The United States has issued a revised travel warning for Sri Lanka to reflect improving security conditions in the country. Travel warnings are issued by the Department of State to alert American citizens of potential dangers when traveling to certain countries. While the security situation in Sri Lanka has improved since the end of hostilities, the Department of State continues to warn Americans of possible safety concerns, more..

Interview with Dr. Kumar Rupesinghe

New mechanized seeder and transplanter for paddy farmers

Nov 20 (DN) Two new mechanical devices to be introduced to farmers by Hayleys Agro Products Limited (HAPL) could substantially reduce costs of crop establishment and significantly improve yields of rice paddy from the current Maha and forthcoming Yala seasons. Locally developed and fabricated with inputs from the Farm Mechanisation Research Centre (FMRC) of the Department of Agriculture, more..

‘Mathata Thitha’ implemented with 44 liquor shops at Kelaniya

Nov 20 (LT) Kelaniya, the place venerated by Buddhists as the land where Lord Buddha treaded, boasts of 48 Buddhsit Temples and 44 liquor shops and bars at a time ‘Mathata Thitha’ (Taboo intoxicants) concept is being implemented. According to residents in the area the approval of a powerful politician of the government in the area and the protection of police officers in Kelaniya and Kiribathgoda areas are received by the owners of these liquor shops and bars to carry out their businesses. more..

Govt. so desperate , Media Minister invites UNP ers to join it and prop it

Nov 20 (UNP) While the President Rajapakse is now a bundle of confusion following the sudden change of events in the political scenario after the media began splashing news that General Sarath Fonseka is coming forward as the common candidate for the next Presidential elections, Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa made an announcement which further underscored the desperation of the Govt., when he invited the UNPers to join the Govt. more..

'President has two more years to go'

Nov 20 (Island) The much-awaited election announcement, expected at yesterday’s Cabinet press briefing did not materialise, with the government simply saying that it was prepared for any poll and President Mahinda Rajapaksa would announce his decision shortly. "The President has two more years of his tenure left. He will make an announcement soon with regard to the conduct of Presidential and Parliamentary Elections," more..

'Lankan Foreign Ministry failed to project the reality'

Nov 20 (AD) International counter-terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna said that the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry had failed to project the reality of what happened in Sri Lanka during the final stages of the war. He explains that this failure the Sri Lankan image was tarnished. Rohan explained that the Ministry did not prepare by recruiting information specialists who have the capacity and the expertise to counter the LTTE propaganda overseas. more..

As Govt. gets increasingly jittery over elections, Opposition gets increasingly stronger and makes headway

Nov 20 (UNP) SLFP (M) Leader Mangala Samaraweera addressing a weekly news conference yesterday said, the Opposition political parties are making headway in view of the elections regardless of whether it is the Presidential or General elections which will be held first. The President and the Govt. who were so vociferous about elections have however undergone a sudden turn about, and are dumbfounded now. more..

'The quest for power should not be based on resentment'

Nov 20 (Island) UNP parliamentarian Vajira Abeywardene is no stranger to controversy. In this interview, he speaks to C. A. Chandraprema about the UNP’s plan to field a common candidate at the presidential elections, the newly formed UNP-led political alliance and allied matters. Q. Who will be the UNP’s choice of candidate at the presidential election? more..

Five State drug suppliers banned for two years

Nov 20 (DN) Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said that the Ministry has stopped using injections, saline and other drugs supplied by the companies which provided unsafe injections, saline and other drugs to Sri Lanka. Arrangements will be made to estimate the total value of those drugs in order to obtain refunds from the companies, a Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry spokesman said. more..

Public sector casual employees: Permanency from Nov 1

Nov 20 (DN) Public servants including temporary employees will benefit by decisions made by the Government to grant permanent status to those still serving in temporary or casual capacities. There will also be an increase in allowances for the armed forces, public servants and pensioners. Casual, temporary, relief contract-basis and preliminary grade employees or those recruited on contract in the public sector and provincial government services who more..

Dallas refutes UNPclaim that govt. ill treating Gen. Fonseka

Nov 20 (Island) Transport Minister Dallas Alahaperuma refuted a statement made by UNP deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya on the Government’s failure to mete out proper treatment to General Sarath Fonseka. "I was disappointed to hear such a statement," he said. Minister Alahaperuma told The Island that he regretted that UNP Deputy leader had used the name of Ananda College, Colombo in connection with a political issue. more..

New strategies vital to tackle labour issues

Nov 20 (DN) As a developing country, Sri Lanka is faced with the main challenges of creating a conducive environment for full and productive employment. These include payment of a fair wage and social protection by domestic enterprises faced with increasing competitive pressures in the global economy; providing productive decent employment for the large number of people employed in the informal economy; more..

Fonseka can pick his guards

Nov 20 (Island) The government yesterday said that General (retd) Sarath Fonseka had been allowed to pick his security contingent. A spokesman for the Presidential Secretariat told The Island that that the Defence Ministry had instructed Army Chief Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya to release officers and men requested by the former Army Commander. He said that the entire security contingent, including commandos would be selected by the recently retired Chief of Defence Staff. more..

Don't blame it on Prabhakaran, Jaya tells Karunanidhi

Nov 20 (AT) AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalitha has said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president M Karunanidhi cannot cover up his "betrayal" of the Sri Lankan Tamils by saying that LTTE leader V Prabhakaran had brought upon himself his own destruction and the end of the Eelam armed struggle. Ms Jayalalitha taking exception to Mr Karunanidhi's view that Prabhakaran brought it upon himself by killing fellow Tamil leaders like more..

Sri Lanka orders import of A/H1N1 vaccine

Nov 20 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's health authorities said on Friday that immediate orders have been placed for Novel A/H1N1 injection to prevent the spread of the disease. This follows action to close down schools in the entire Central Province for fear of rapid spread of A/H1N1. "There have been 258 cases reported in the country so far and there could be a lot more unconfirmed cases," W. M. B. Wanninnayake, the Health Ministry spokesman said. more..

Ranil outlines new plan for Lanka

Nov 20 (DM) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in his booklet “Anagatha Abiyogaya” yesterday outlined a 25-year policy plan including the election of an Executive Prime Minister, while President would have the responsibility to safeguard the Constitution and a clean political system. He also proposed the setting up of a State Assembly to formulate national policies and that the general election, more..

Opposition working out strategy and symbol for major poll

Nov 20 (DM) SLFP (M) leader Mangala Samaraweera said opposition political parties were making headway in selecting a symbol to be used by the common candidate at a possible presidential election. Mr. Samaraweera told a weekly news conference that a proper strategy should be agreed upon for a presidential campaign. Though he was careful not mention the name of former Chief of Defence Staff Sarath Fonseka as the common candidate handpicked by the opposition, more..

How 'common' is the common candidate?

Nov 20 (DM) The move to send General Sarath Fonseka (Retd) to parliament, a prerequisite for an independent candidate, has taken an interesting turn. Among the options that are being contemplated is one to get the SLMC to sacrifice one if its national list slots in the UNP to allow the star candidate to enter the parliament. Notwithstanding his right wing remarks to Canada’s National Post that he “strongly believed that Sri Lanka belongs to the Sinhalese” more..

Artists strengthen cross cultural ties

Dad wants Mahela Jayawardane to break Lara’s record

Nov 20 (DM) Mahela Jayawardane’s father Senerath said yesterday that he expects his son to break Brian Lara’s record Test score one day."I am sure that he will break Lara's World record of 400 runs in a single Test innings because he has the necessary temperament and the skills to achieve the same" Jayawardene told “Daily Mirror” following Mahela’s epic 275 against India at Ahamedabad yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka slips in corruption index

Nov 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka has slipped five places to 97 in the annual corruption perceptions index in an annual perception survey conducted among 180 countries, by Transparency International, a corruption watchdog. "What we see is a clear indictment on Sri Lanka and the urgent need for major systemic changes to wipe out corruption," J C Weliamuna, executive director of Transparency International's Sri Lanka chapter said. more..

'Sri Lanka has released half of war-displaced'

Nov 20 (AFP) Sri Lanka has released more than half of the thousands of displaced civilians held in government camps after the end of the country's ethnic conflict earlier this year, a minister said Friday. "We feel the security situation has eased considerably now to allow people to return to their homes," Human Rights minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told reporters here. more..

IMF says Sri Lanka reserves at ‘Comfortable’ levels

Nov 20 (BN) The IMF said Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves are at a “comfortable level”, as it reviews the island’s economy for the release of a third payment in its $2.6 billion loan. The Washington-based lender expects Sri Lanka’s economic growth and credit demand to pick up, Brian Aitken, the IMF’s Mission Chief for Sri Lanka, said. The IMF said Nov. 9 that the approval to disburse $329.4 million to Sri Lanka this month indicates more..

Tendulkar, Gambhir, dead pitch frustrate Sri Lanka

Nov 20 (CI) Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, and a dead Ahmedabad pitch (21 wickets and seven centuries in five days) put paid to Sri Lanka's dream of a first Test win in India. Gambhir played out 110 deliveries for 40 runs, and Tendulkar 211 for 100 runs; both of them looked entirely at home in the role of saving a Test, not letting dot balls affect their minds. By the time the final session of the match arrived, the only question left unanswered was whether more..

Sri Lanka's ex-army chief vows to 'restore' democracy

Nov 20 (AFP) Sri Lanka's former top military officer who resigned last week promised on Friday to "fight for democracy" amid reports he will challenge the president at upcoming elections. General Sarath Fonseka, who quit as chief of defence staff following a spat with President Mahinda Rajapakse, said he was committing himself to restoring the democratic rights of the people. more..

Measures to prevent spread of water borne diseases in North

Nov 21 (GDI) With heavy rains prevailing these days in areas in the North, the Governor of the Northern Province GA Chandrasiri has advised the officials of the Department of Health of the Northern Province to take steps to commence a special health programme for the prevention of Malaria and Dengue in the resettled areas. This was mentioned at a Progress Review Meeting held at the Regional Assistant Commissioner’s Office in Vavuniya more..

How the lens of Sudath Silva saw life and times.....

Nov 21 (GDI) An eye for photography is a gift from birth. All are never gifted with such an eye. A sharp eye to capture aspects of nature and man is a very rare gift. Sudath Silva, the young dynamic man was blessed with such eyes from birth and it is an undisputed fact. In his long journey of a quarter century, this sharp eyed personality captured four first citizens of this nation. Certainly, his photographic eyes are devoid of color... more..

Beware of Lanka’s China-Pakistan axis

Nov 21 (Tehelka) In May 2006, TEHELKA carried my column arguing that a flawed understanding of newly-elected Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s politics had kept India from a crucial role there. Inactivity by India in the Sri Lankan crisis, I argued, would only hasten a process that could turn the island into a battleground of big power rivalries inimical to India’s long-standing interests – enforcing a Pax Indiana on the Indian Ocean. more..

Fonseka Keeps Green Card

Nov 21 (SL) In all the sound and fury over Sarath Fonseka’s recent visit to America, most commentators have passed over the principal reason for the trip — Fonseka’s immigration status. As a permanent resident of America, Fonseka is required by law to return to the country every year to renew his Green Card. The impending expiration of his Green Card may explain why Fonseka would risk traveling to a country that recently issued a report accusing him (as well as other government officials) of war crimes. more..

Is Murali losing his touch?

Nov 21 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan has been Sri Lanka's go-to man for several years now, but over the last three years he's had to work much harder for his wickets. He finished the Ahmedabad Test with match figures of 3 for 221 from 63.5 overs, of which only one victim was a top-order batsman. Equally worrying was his lack of bite on the last day, admittedly in conditions which offered little assistance for bowlers. more..

Hosts Sri Lanka facing battle

Nov 21 (ur7s) Sri Lanka are facing some difficulties ahead of the final round of the IRB Asian Sevens Series next weekend at the home leg the International Carlton Sevens in Colombo (28-29 November). Many of the players expected to represent the natioal side have been in joining up with the squad with 15-a-side commitments, with players from the Army and Navy NOT available for practices due to a Defense Services Tournament. more..

New banknote 'election gimmick'

Nov 21 (BBC) There's been a row in Sri Lanka this week over the issuance of a banknote marking the government’s military defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels six months ago. An opposition politician has called the release an election gimmick. The new limited-circulation note for one thousand rupees is printed in bright colours. On one side it depicts the security forces hoisting the national flag, as they did on securing the entire coastline just before their final victory. more..

Ministers speak on future elections

Nov 21 (GDI) Minister Maithripala Sirisena today said the date of holding the next presidential election will be announced shortly. The minister at a media briefing in Colombo today further said that all parties of the government were getting prepared for the election. He added that there iwasno doubt that a landslide victory could be achieved at any future election under the leadership of the pPesident. more..

Anoma Fonseka resigns from Ranaviru Seva Authority

Nov 21 (LT) The wife of Gen. Sarath Fonseka Mrs. Anoma Fonseka, , the President of Ranaviru Seva Authority, has decided to resign from her post from today (19th) say sources in Ranaviry Seva Authority. Mrs. Fonseka who held the guardianship of ‘Senehasa’ school constructed for the children of disabled soldiers was removed from her responsibilities of the school yesterday (18th) on orders from the Secretary of Defense. more..

University Degrees for brave men

Nov 21 (LNW) The Convocation for post graduates of the Kelaniya University will be held in the BMICH on the 20th. The ceremony will be held in two sessions presided over by the Chancellor of the University the Ven. Welimitiyawe Kusaladhamma Thero and the Vice Chancellor Professor Sarath Ammunugama. The President Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse will receive a Honorary Master of Literature Degree while more..

Sangakkara rues missed opportunity

Nov 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara rued a lost opportunity early in the first test after India escaped with a draw on a flat pitch on Friday. Sri Lanka, aiming to win their first test on Indian soil after 27 years of trying, had the home team struggling in the first innings before they recovered to 426 all out. "We had our best chance when we had them 32 for four but we gave it away after lunch (on the opening day)," more..