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Lalith Kotelawala gets cash bail of Rs. 200,000, surety bail of Rs. 10 mn

Oct 10 (Island) Colombo Chief Magistrate yesterday ordered the first suspect in the Finance & Guarantee Property Developers PLC criminal misappropriation case, Chairman Deshamanya Lalith Kotelawala, to be enlarged on a cash bail of Rs. 200,000 and a surety bail of Rs. 10 million with three sureties. His passport was impounded. Kotelawala was ordered to report to the CID every Sunday. more..

Prabha’s doctor makes voluntary statement

Oct 10 (DM) A doctor who served in the Jaffna Government Hospital and later joined the LTTE medical team and treated its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and LTTE cadres who sustained injuries in conflicts with the forces, made a voluntary statement in camera before Colombo Additional Magistrate Ayesha Abdeen yesterday. The suspect, Sivapalan Sinnadurai, who is in detention in the CID over his involvement with the LTTE and its leader, more..

'Sri Lanka power grid failure worst in history'

Oct 10 (LBO) Three consecutive failures of Sri Lanka's national power grid has raised new questions about the reliability of the island's distribution system, but officials say there will be a probe to examine ways to reduce blackouts. The immediate cause of the failure seemed to be a cable break in a key 132,000 volt transmission line in the capital Colombo from Kolonnawa to the Kelanitissa power complex more..

Indian MPs head to Sri Lanka

Oct 10 (IANS) Ten MPs belonging to India's ruling alliance are headed to Sri Lanka Saturday and they said their main aim is to see the conditions in the camps where thousands of Tamils displaced by the war are housed. "Our primary focus is to see how the internally displaced people are being maintained in the special camps in Sri Lanka and how the aid is being distributed to them," E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan, Congress MP and a member of the delegation, told IANS. more..

Sri Lanka, India in joint navy training exercise

Oct 10 (LBO) The Indian and Sri Lankan navies held a three-day joint exercise in the seas off Colombo earlier this week to train officer cadets and practice manoeuvres for maritime security operations. The manoeuvres included flights by an Indian navy light helicopter which dropped supplies on two Sri Lankan navy patrol vessels to provide training for the island's navy which has announced plans for a naval air wing in future. more..

Tensions mount as camp conditions deteriorate

Oct 10 (HRW) The Sri Lankan government should immediately release the 250,000 displaced Tamils still held in detention camps, Human Rights Watch said today. Deteriorating conditions, including a shortage of water since October 5, 2009, combined with the prospect of flooding during the imminent monsoon season, have led to rising tensions among camp residents and clashes with the military. more..

Behind the Sri Lankan bloodbath

Oct 10 (Forbes) Thousands of noncombatants, according to the United Nations, were killed in the final phase of the Sri Lankan war this year as government forces overran the Tamil Tiger guerrillas. Nearly five months after Colombo's stunning military triumph, the peace dividend remains elusive, with President Mahinda Rajapaksa setting out--in the name of "eternal vigilance"--to expand by 50% an already-large military. more..

It won’t be a guided tour: Kanimozhi

Oct 10 (EB) A delegation of MPs that will leave for Sri Lanka on Saturday will not have any representation from Opposition parties. In fact, it is a delegation of MPs from the DMK-led front in Tamil Nadu. The delegation consists of T R Baalu, Kanimozhi, T K S Elangovan, A K S Vijayan and Helen Davidson (all DMK); Sudarsana Natchiappan, J M Haroon, N S V Chithan and K S Azhagiri (all Cong); and Thol Thirumavalavan (VCK). more..

Sri Lankan held at airport trying to flee after killing compatriot

Oct 11 (ATO) The criminal behind the Riggae area murder had been caught by the authority, said an official on Friday. Thanks to the efforts by the criminal investigation unit, the killer had been caught at Kuwait International Airport as he was trying to flee the country Friday. The killer, a Sri Lankan national, killed a fellow national due to a dispute over an illegal international phone calling operation, indicated Al-Sabr. more..

U.K and U.S. demand terrorists be set free

Oct 11 (SP) LTTE members living outside Sri Lanka have reorganized themselves as victims, and used that to persuade host country officials to pressure Sri Lanka to ease up on efforts to find LTTE members still in Sri Lanka. This effort centers around getting all 250,000 Tamils in the north, immediately freed from the camps they were placed in after the LTTE combat forces were crushed there earlier this year. more..

Sixty percent turn out at PC polls

Oct 11 (BBC) Counting of votes in the Southern Provincial Council (SPC) elections has begun, and the first resut is expected by 12 midnight. 1091 candidates from 52 political parties and Independent groups contested for the 55 member seats in the Southern Provicial Council. Our correspondents said that the elections have been peaceful. There were only minor incidents at the polls which concluded at 4 pm. more..

Mutual bailing out game over Hilary Clinton’s Rape story in Sri Lanka

Oct 11 (AT) To get away after making that statement in the UN Security Council session on September 30, 2009 presided by her would not have been easy for Hilary Rodham Clinton. The media present in New York saw the weakness of her position when she placed Sri Lanka in the short list of countries where she said rape was used as a tactic of war. The relevant paragraph reads: "Now, reading the headlines, more..

Allowing EU investigators into Lanka is a "quasi-judicial process"

Oct 11 (AT) Reiterating its uncompromising stand in its bid for the GSP plus, Sri Lanka said allowing EU experts into the country for investigations is nothing short of bowing down to a “quasi-judicial process.” The comment came by high level sources close to the EU, who however wished to remain anonymous. “Allowing EU experts to arrive here for investigations is clearly agreeing to a quasi-judicial process,” more..

Sri Lanka's defenders mark their Army day & 60th anniversary

Oct 11 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army, the renowned "Defenders of the Nation" which has triumphantly accomplished a record multiplicity of tasks in its sixty years of survival as a distinguished and admirable force to reckon with, marked its 60th Anniversary cum Army Day (Oct 10th) today during a colourful parade and other important features. Commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee of the Army, an anniversary made exceptionally significant comes more..

Tissanayagam not regretful for what he stands for and for what he has written

Oct 11 (AT) Tissanayagam, the journalist who is imprisoned for 20 years for his role in promoting LTTE, an outlawed Terrorists outfit in Sri Lanka as well as internationally said, "He is not regretful for what he stands for and for what he has written." He has told that “he decided to make a confession for otherwise he felt threatened that he would be subjected to torture. more..

Not signing the Rome Statute is not enough!

Oct 11 (LG) Mangala Samaraweera, MP, had raised an interesting point about the Rome Statute which set up the International Criminal Court (ICC). This was during a recent press conference. The point raised was that President Rajapaksa should be thankful to Ranil Wickremasinghe who, as the Prime Minister during 2001-2004, took a firm decision not to sign the Rome Statute; thereby preventing Sri Lankan leaders and/or Armed Forces personnel from being tried before the ICC. more..

No restrictions for UPFA candidates to transport voters

Oct 11 (LT) Many incidents of UPFA candidates transporting voters in their vehicles with stickers displaying their preference numbers have been reported from all three districts of Galle Matara and Hambantota. A relative of President Mahinda Rajapakse is transporting voters in 16 vehicles pasted with his preference number at electoral areas of Weeraketiya, Walasmulla and Kappetiyawa in Hambantota District. more..

Row over MPs’ trip to Lanka

Oct 11 (DH) Just as the 10-member MPs’ team from Tamil Nadu led by DMK Parliamentary Party leader, T R Baalu, left for Colombo on Saturday, questions were being raised over the delegation not representing all major political parties. The issue has taken an ultra-sensitive hew, as the team has raised new expectations of the Indian efforts to secure a “fair deal” for the Sri Lankan Tamils since the civil strife with the LTTE ended in May this year. more..

UPFA predicts landslide victory in the south

Oct 11 (SL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa had a thoroughly enjoyable fortnight. He campaigned relentlessly, punched the air a million-plus times, smiled, physically touched thousands of hands and touched over 300,000 people’s hearts: he was, as an elderly lady put it, “lovely” — she wished they were both younger! As the southern provincials were under way and as the final results start coming in, the substantial vote of confidence being sought by more..

Of winning elections and governing...

Oct 11 (LB) The cabinet met this week in Embilitpitiya, and there is a vote on account instead of a budget. If anybody needs confirmation, there it is - - Sri Lanka will be submerged almost exclusively in election activity the early part of next year, and this is happening when the stock market —- the best performing stock market in the world last week —- was looking for more forward momentum..... more..

Sarath Fonseka Pulling his Punches

Oct 11 (SL) General confusion prevailed in government quarters as to whether former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka had accepted his new appointment as Secretary to the Ministry of Sports with even Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge expressing his lack of knowledge on the issue. Lokuge told The Sunday Leader yesterday evening, “I don’t know whether he has accepted this because I am in Matara, call me on Monday and I will tell you.” more..

More nepotism in IT contracts

Oct 11 (SL) Blatantly disregarding government tender regulations, the Rajapaksa regime has once again allowed nepotism to reign in a multi-million-dollar scandal centring on an IT-related contract. It is alleged that the Samsung Corporation was awarded the contract simply because the Sri Lankan agent of the Korean company is a relative of the First Lady, Shiranthi Rajapaksa. more..

Getting a British Visa a daunting task

Oct 11 (SL) One morning in August, a senior researcher at a Colombo NGO lined up to apply for a UK visa at the Visa Facilitating Services (VFS) centre on Duplication Road, Colombo 3. Having earned his undergraduate and law degrees at a British university, the man, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals by the UK High Commission, didn’t expect to have any problems. But after waiting for several hours in the queue, he began to grow worried. more..

Rannuge transferred for controversial comment on GSP+, opts to retire prematurely

Oct 11 (LB) Former secretary to the ministry of export development and international trade S. Rannuge had tendered his resignation letter because of pressure brought to bear on him by the government after he told media that Sri Lanka may not secure an extension of the GSP+. Minister of Export Development and International Trade G L Peiris recently told media that Rannuge was not removed over his controversial comment but that he was due to retire. more..

CID and AG’s dept lock horns over Golden Key issue

Oct 11 (LB) Reliable sources told LAKBIMAnEWS that there was a possibility of both Lalith Kotelawala, chairman of the Ceylinco group of companies, his wife Sicille Kotelawala and many others getting away scot free due to the confused state of investigations regarding the Rs.26 billion financial fraud of the Golden Key Credit card company. The Attorney General’s (AG’s) department is laying the blame on the CID for the haphazard manner investigations were being done, more..

Nail the rail gate calamities, Dullas!

Oct 11 (LB) I cannot understand how any transport minister can canvass for votes with his pants on when he has failed to have rail gates installed at unprotected crossings despite holding his portfolio for what seems like a lifetime. And, yes, I have to talk about this again because someone almost died even last week. In principle, Dullas Alahapperuma is not a bad politician though he appears to have quietly slipped into the trap of enjoying his publicity a little too much. more..

Sangaree writes letter to President in "desperation, disappointment and disgust"

Oct 10 (TC) Your Excellency, In utter desperation, disappointment and disgust I am writing this to you, having failed to bring relief for several thousand IDPS who are facing innumerable problems, some of which were brought to your notice off and on by me, during the past few months. You are aware that many people in the IDP camps were my constituents of Kilinochchi and Mullaitheevu. more..

Tiger mastermind spills beans on botched Mahinda, Gota attacks

Oct 11 (LB) The State Intelligence Service (SIS) has revealed that the leader of the Colombo Tiger attack force, Giridaran alias Giri who made several attempts on the life of President Mahinda Rajapaksa with the support of a high-ranking army official and planned several attacks on the Defence Secretary (DS) Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, is responsible for 3/4 of the Tiger activities in Colombo after 2001. more..

Redeemable state authoritarianism and irredeemable fascist totalitarianism

Oct 10 (TC) I did not expect the Rajani commemoration to be a posthumous Nuremburg Trial for Velupillai Prabhakaran, as Dayapala Thiranagama seems to suggest. I did expect a single mention— a moral indictment strong and clear — of Prabhakaran, for Rajani’s murder, but obviously I expected too much. I thought it especially necessary as an antidote to ambiguity and ambivalence because the evening’s mentions of the LTTE were scattered among more..

No sir, no sir, but give us three bags full

Oct 10 (SL) Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full. Well, that’s how it is supposed to be. Just ask the 17 UNP pole-vaulters, or the 10 from the NFF for that matter. Of late, however, there is something odd going on in this island of ours. ‘We don’t want it, but we want it.’ ‘We don’t need your preaching, but give us the moolah,’ we have been telling the West. Ditto with the IMF: ‘No conditions please; we are Sri Lanka, so just dole out the 2.5 billion.’ more..

Work hard to live in peaceful co-existence - Army Commander

Oct 11 (SO) Army Commander Lt.Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya called upon his officers and men to give priority for humanitarian tasks and be part of the Government’s development activities. The Army Chief was addressing his men and officers to mark the 60th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Army at the Army Headquarters in Colombo yesterday. Prior to his address a Guard of Honour was accorded to him. more..

Convenient bogeys and the real fear

Oct 11 (LG) Some months back, these column spaces carried a reflection titled ‘Why is the Government so terrified of the 17th Amendment (to the Constitution)?” In this purportedly ‘post-conflict’ stage and in a context where the Rajapakse administration does not need really to demonstrate that it has overwhelming public support, this pithy question carries more relevance than ever. What has the government to fear from an independent Police Commission or more..

Elections Commissioner extends thanks…

Oct 11 (LP) The Commissioner General of Elections ,Dayananda Dissanayaka today express ed his happiness that the poll was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere with out the illegal display of posters, banners and cut outs on the date of the election. The poll was held at 1485 polling stations for 1,761,859 voters in Galle, Matara and Hambantota districts to elect 53 members from 1901 candidates. more..

UNP and govt. policy are same on war, devolution and economy

Oct 11 (TC) Government is in crisis. But the bourgeois opposition is in a worse crisis. Every other day we are told that a joint opposition will be formed. But the agreement so far is confined to those who are already in the UNP camp. Mano is already a UNP MP while Mangala is virtually a UNP member. They say they have agreed on the removal of the presidency. But can the Tamil speaking people - the Tamils and Muslims, agree to that withouta proper devolution of power. more..

Red for Danger: Time to abandon the red scarves

Oct 11 (LG) Since election of Mahinda Rajapakse as President of Sri Lanka in November 2005, an image has been created about him. A piece of cloth worn round his neck with his Sinhala national attire attempts to reflect him as the foremost patron saint of the Sinala-Buddhist nation. Unfortunately since the election, the country has sunk into irredeemable decay and his rule is proceeding through with spillage of blood to establish a more..

A dazzling performance that brought honour to the nation

Oct 11 (SO) Relatively unknown to Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the most celebrated theatre festival in the world, Ranganika (Island of Dance) a production by Arakavila Theatre Foundation has marked Sri Lanka’s name not only at the festival securing four star rating but also among thousands of fans who attended the festival. Owing to the unique Sri Lankan dances such as Asadrusha Vannama, Nonchi Kolama, more..

Advising ‘Yankee Doodles’ and ‘Consulting’ in Colombo

Oct 11 (LG) At the junction where you get off the bus, a gravel road forking southward across a vast rice paddy implicitly entices you to cross over to the other side to enjoy the salubrious breeze sweeping through the paddy stalks. There you enter the village of Happawana hidden by a thick growth of massive tropical trees presumably for protection against “evil eyes.” more..

Mankulam a regional capital soon

Oct 11 (SO) A centrally located northern rural town, Mankulam, 30 kilometres from Vavuniya on the A 9 highway would be developed as a Regional Administrative Capital along with the resettlement and rehabilitation of over 250,000 IDPs now in the Vavuniya and Chettikulam welfare villages. With the French GIS satellite mapping system, the Government has identified Mankulam to be developed as a provincial administrative capital. more..

“Making peace more challenging than making war”

Oct 11 (NS) Professor Rohan Gunaratna is Head of International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism Research, and Professor of Security Studies at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. A former senior fellow at the United States Military Academy at West Point and at the Fletcher School for Law & Diplomacy, more..

Why is Indian delegation here, whose interest do they represent?

Oct 11 (LT) A delegation from India visited Sri Lanka yesterday allegedly to see the conditions of the displaced people in IDP camps in the Wanni. The delegation is headed by Parliamentarian of DMK T R Baalu and other members of the delegation are Kanimozhi, T K S Elangovan, A K S Vijayan and Helen Davidson (DMK); Sudarsana Natchiappan, J M Haroon, N S V Chithan and K S Azhagiri (Congress); and Thol Thirumavalavan (VCK). more..

No food scarcity in IDP welfare villages

Oct 11 (SO) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has refuted recent JVP allegations that IDPs at the Vavuniya and Chettiklulam welfare villages were facing a food scarcity and were buying food items from traders at exorbitant prices, including infant milk food at Rs. 2,000 per packet. Adequate quantities of dry rations and infant milk food are being distributed among the IDPs in addition to supplies from INGOs and NGOs. more..

'Manape' alone won’t make CM

Oct 11 (NS) Polling the highest number of preferential votes at the Southern PC election held yesterday will not be the sole qualification for a UPFA candidate to be considered for appointment as the Chief Minister, a top authoritative government source told The Nation yesterday. This is a sequel to a change in the criterion made by the party and government leadership. “Earlier, the UPFA leadership had decided to more..

SLMC yet to decide on proposed UNP alliance

Oct 11 (NS) The politburo of the SLMC has decided that whatever the alliance they may join will have to address the issues faced by the ‘minority’ communities. Therefore, they will not hasten to take a final decision on joining the joint opposition alliance led by the UNP. The Party’s politburo that met on Friday night decided that the matter of joining the alliance should be discussed further and the final decision will not be taken until the politburo meets once again. more..

Man for all seasons

Oct 11 (NS) From Soorasena of Palingu Menike to Bogala Sawundaris, the range of portrayals he exploited is diverse. Renowned for the myriad of facial expressions, Sriyantha Mendis has displayed his versatility as an actor, becoming a household name via the small screen. The Nation recently met his gifted artiste of stage, cinema and television to delve into his portrayals. more..

A healthy mind just as important as a healthy body

Oct 11 (SO) Nimal believes that the television records our lives - at home, at work as well as at the hospital. “Even aliens know about me. Through all the TV stations, those living beings of the universe are extracting facts about our lives,” he said. “How do you know aliens are aware of your life?” asked the doctor. “They speak to me through the television,” ‘Nimal’ answered. “Why do the aliens want to know about you?” the doctor asked. more..

Day of reckoning down South

Oct 11 (NS) While the Southern Provincial poll results should give confidence to the Alliance about its prospects for the general and presidential elections, for the UNP and the JVP, it will provide a measure of their respective vote bases. The JVP’s own performance in the Hambantota district will be under the microscope and provide a fair indication of how seriously the party’s fortunes have been affected as a result of President Rajapaksa’s surge in popularity in the aftermath of the war. more..

Fishermen can now have a wife in each coast: Wimal

Oct 11 (Island) Wimal Weerawansa, MP last week told a propaganda rally held in support of UPFA candidates contesting Southern Provincial Council election now that the LTTE had been eradicated fishermen could have a pawula (read as wife) on both northern and southern coasts. A smiling National Freedom Front leader said that this was one of the many benefits of the government’s war victory over the LTTE. more..

JJ to complain of ‘harassment’ of Opp. MPs in Geneva, London

Oct 11 (Island) The UNP will make representations to Inter-Parliamentary Union, Commonwealth as well House of Commons next week regarding harassment of Opposition MPs at the hands of the Rajapaksa administration, a party MP said. The UNP will brief them of what Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena, MP, Assistant Secretary in charge of Relief and Human Rights, called "rapidly deteriorating democratic values in Sri Lanka." more..

BOC investment in Seylan was a "gentle request’’ says Cabraal

Oct 11 (Island) Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal yesterday said that the Bank of Ceylon taking a 10% stake of the Seylan Bank was more a "gentle request" than a directive, as stated by BOC in a Stock Exchange filing. "I’d prefer to call it a `gentle request’ rather than a directive," he said. "A similar request was made to the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation. more..

Let the Rule of Law prevail

Oct 11 (Island) The polls-related irregularities which occurred with disconcerting rapidity in the lead-up to the just-concluded Southern Provincial Council election compel us to revert to the demand that the authorities stringently ensure the prevalence in this country of the Rule of Law. While who will emerge victorious in our usually keenly fought local electoral contests is always a matter of priority concern for most voters, more..