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President’s media unit pressurizes media to conceal UPFA set-back

Oct 12 (LT) expected election result at the Southern PC election has not been achieved by the UPFA the Presidential media unit has directly mediated to prevent the media revealing the defeat of the UPFA say sources in media institutions. The government had stated that it would achieve a 90% of the votes at the election. These are a few examples: However, the government achieved only 68% of the polled votes. more..

Protect youth from bankrupt political forces - Minister

Oct 12 (DN) Minister Tissa Karaliyadda said on Thursday that students of the Indigenous Medical Faculty had caused a rumpus for nothing because steps had already been underway to meet most of the demands put forward by them. He said this when he met parents of the 14 Indigenous Medical Faculty students arrested by Police for allegedly trespassing into Ministry premises and causing damage to Ministry property who were released on bail, at the Ministry. more..

‘Endorsement of President’s policies’

Oct 12 (DN) The landslide victory gained by the UPFA is a further endorsement by the people especially the people of the South of the leadership and policies of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake. He made these observations after UPFA’s massive victory at the Southern Provincial Council polls last Saturday. With this victory the UPFA has made a clean sweep of all the Provincial polls held since more..

Grow more sugarcane and use by-products

Oct 12 (DN) We Sri Lankans consume far too much sugar. That might sound somewhat an unusual note for a beginning for an inaugural address at a seminar held to mark the 25th anniversary of the Sugar Research Institute. But I must repeat that we consume far too much sugar, for our health. Statistics show that diabetes is on the increase alarmingly. It is spreading even among children. And one of the main causes for this is the high consumption of sugar. more..

President to meet expats for development

Oct 12 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will soon hold discussions with Sri Lankan expatriates on their contribution to development as part of a special programme which educates the expatriates on possible investment areas. Special arrangements for this meeting are being made through the Sri Lankan missions abroad. The President will address them at the meeting on 14 November followed by a workshop on November 15 at the BMICH more..

Ali Sabry wins TOYP 2009 award for Law

Oct 12 (DN) Well-known civil lawyer M.U.M. Ali Sabry was recently awarded the prestigious Jaycees TOYP 2009 award (Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the Year) for the category Law. A product of Kalutara Muslim Maha Vidyalaya and Zahira College Colombo Sabry enjoys a lucrative and voluminous practice in original and appellate courts specializing in civil law. In the recent past Sabry has appeared in many landmark cases including more..

New Kinniya bridge to be opened for public

Oct 12 (MoD) The new Kinniya bridge constructed at a cost of Rs. 720 million will be opened for general public on 20th October, Ministry of Highways and Road Development said. This is a great achievement and a clear evidence of the Government's efforts for reconciliation and development in North and East. The bridge one of the longest bridges in Sri Lanka was funded by the Saudi Arabian Government. more..

Sri Lanka defends internment camps

Oct 12 (AJ) Sri Lanka has rejected a human rights group's claims that the lives of hundreds of thousands of Tamils held in internment camps are in "serious danger" from the imminent rainy season and a looming threat of disease. Rajiva Wijesinha, a spokesman for the government, told Al Jazeera that the camps were "ready to face the monsoon". Nearly 300,000 minority Tamils were forced into the military-run camps after fleeing the final months more..

Don't ignore militarised sexual violence

Oct 12 (Guardian) US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, caused a furore in Sri Lanka recently when she noted that rape had been used as a tactic of war in "Bosnia, Burma, Sri Lanka, and elsewhere" while speaking on the unanimous adoption of the US-sponsored UN security council resolution 1888, which recognises sexual violence as exacerbating situations of armed conflict and impeding the restoration of international peace and security. more..

I was terrified to work with Big B: Jacqueline Fernandez

Oct 12 (PTI) Sri Lankan beauty Jacqueline Fernandez calls her role in Aladin "a fairy-tale come true" but the debutante says that the idea of sharing screen with Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan was "intimidating and scary". "I have grown up on Amitabh Bachchan's films and my father is a huge fan. But working with Big B in my very first film? The thought was intimidating, scary and to be honest I was little bit hesitant initially," more..

4,000 occupational accidents a year in Sri Lanka

Oct 12 (Island) Labour Relations and Manpower Ministry Secretary Mahinda Madihahewa told a recent national workshop on occupational safety that 2.2 million people died annually in the world due to occupational accidents and diseases. Around 270 million suffered annually from serious non-fatal injuries and another 160 million people suffered from short or long term illnesses from work-related causes. more..

GSP Plus, other commitments will be met

Oct 12 (Island) The government is formulating an action plan on Human Rights aimed at protecting the rights of every citizen irrespective of caste, race, religion and political preference, which is also expected to help Sri Lanka meet its international commitments such as those required by the European Union to be eligible for GSP Plus trade concessions. more..

The lessons from the South

Oct 12 (DM) The predictions have proven correct, albeit with less enthusiasm than was envisaged. Ensuring a relatively free and fair poll at the Southern province, the government obtained 67.88 votes returning 38 members to the Southern provincial councils, over a 25.09 votes secured by the opposition UNP. The polls indicated a 65% voter turnout. Securing a convincing victory and a two thirds majority at Saturday’s provincial polls in the Southern provincial council, more..

Sri Lanka September tourist arrivals up

Oct 12 (LBO) Tourist arrivals into Sri Lanka in September 2009 rose 28.6 percent to 37,983 from a year ago, with strong growth from key European, East Asian and south Asian markets, the Tourism Authority said. It was the fourth straight monthly rise in visitors since May, when a 30-year war ended, compared with last year. But the arrival numbers were slightly lower than in August and July 2009 with these months being the off-season. more..

"A bit nervous" Sangakkara hopes to do well in commentary

Oct 12 (DM) Within months of breaking into the side at 22, Kumar Sangakkara became one of Sri Lanka's most influential players: a highly talented left-handed strokemaker, a slick wicketkeeper, a sharp-eyed strategist and an even sharper-tongued sledger, capable of riling even the most unflappable characters. He has won a certain degree of admiration for his clever use of sledging and is one of few cricketers who are willing to talk about the game openly. more..

Visitors flock to Sri Lanka

Oct 12 (TB) Visitors are continuing to flock to Sri Lanka despite concern over human rights abuses on the island and the continuing economic upheaval. The Indian Ocean island reported a 16.9 per cent increase in arrivals from the UK during August when compared to the same period last year. The increase may reflect a peace dividend, achieved after the conclusion of a long and bloody civil war between the island's majority Sinhalese community and minority Tamil people. more..

'This is my last address to Army'

Oct 12 (LT) General Sarath Fonseka Chief of Defense Staff addressing officers and men of the Sri Lanka Army at the 60th Army Anniversary Parade said it was the last time he was making an address of that nature. He said he has finished his obligations dedicated to the Army. “This may be the last occasion I make an address of this nature to officers and men of the Sri Lanka Army. more..

JVP jubilant over UPFA’s ‘poor show’ in H’tota

Oct 12 (Island) JVP MP ilvin Silva said that the UPFA government would not call an early presidential election as widely speculated in the run up to elections for the Southern Provincial Council. He said that Saturday’s result was nothing but a setback for the UPFA, particularly in the Hambantota District, where the ruling coalition polled 192,961 votes (66.95 %) despite President Mahinda Rajapaksa actively campaigning for UPFA candidates. more..

Muttuhettigama, Sajin, Anarkali secure slots

Oct 12 (Island) National Freedom Front leader Wimal Weerawansa’s brother Sarath, who contested in the Matara District on the UPFA ticket, failed to win a slot. He polled 12, 093 preference votes. All three candidates fielded by the NFF failed at Saturday’s polls. Former Chief Minister of the Southern Provincial Council Shan Wijayalal Silva, received 92,294 preferential votes at Saturday’s election to the Southern Provincial Council (SPC). more..

Toronto Tamils: 'We are people asking for help'

Oct 12 (TS) It is mid-afternoon, threatening rain, and a most remarkable daily demonstration is under way, some six lanes of live traffic from the U.S. consulate. Three women sit beneath a tree on a concrete planter. Two men are beneath another tree, wearing placards. Eight more picket signs are staked in newly renovated, as-yet-unplanted flowerbeds outside the provincial courthouse at 361 University Ave. more..

Prominent figures lose, Ministers’ relatives win

Oct 12 (DM) Several prominent personalities such as former DIG D.W. Prathapasinghe and actress Susantha Chandramali who contested on the UPFA ticket were defeated at this election based on the number of preferential votes. Mr. Prathapasinghe with 25,003 votes was placed 13th in the Matara district, from where only 12 candidates were elected to the SPC while relatives of cabinet ministers were elected with a large number of preferential votes. more..

'Get ready for Presidential or General Election'

Oct 12 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa summoned all the SLFP electoral organizers last evening to Temple Trees and requested them to get ready for either the Presidential or General election to be declared very soon. The President, however, did not say which election would be conducted first under the present circumstances. Minister Maithreepala Sirisena who addressed the meeting first asked the organizers to stop their overseas tours during more..

He lives in Jacksonville but his heart is in Sri Lanka

Oct 13 (NJ) Though he grew up in Michigan, Jacksonville resident Patrick Harrigan speaks English with a peculiar accent. That accent was acquired over two decades living in Sri Lanka, where he often spoke Sinhala and Tamil, the two predominant indigenous languages of the island nation off the Southeast coast of India. When Harrigan, now 59, first visited in 1971, Sri Lanka still was called Ceylon ( more..

Lankaenews journalists 'not guilty'

oct 13 (BBC) Courts in Sri Lanka have acquitted two journalists as police failed to provide any evidence to prosecute them. Gangodawila magistrate ordered the police to release Sandaruwan Senadheera and Bennet Rupasinghe, the editor and the news editor of Lanakaenews web newspaper. The pair was arrested after they informed police chief Jayantha Wickramantha, media minister, presidential secretariat and other media personnel of the abduction of Poddala Jayantha, earlier this year. more..

Sri Lankan bowlers set up series win

Oct 13 (CI) An all-round bowling display in the field secured Sri Lanka Under-19s a six-wicket win over Australia Under-19s at the Marrara Cricket Ground, and more importantly, clinched the series in the final match. This match was won in the first innings, after Australia opted to bat and managed to put up only 122 in 37.3 overs. Australia had made decent progress after Chathura Peiris removed the opener Tom Beaton for a 23-ball 4, reaching 43 for 1 in the 11th over. more..

Lankan migrants in Indonesia 'very ill'

Oct 13 (BBC) The Sri Lankan migrants captured off Indonesian waters are in very poor conditions and still feeling tired due to the long journey in the sea, Indonesian authorities say. Head of information department of Indonesian Navy, First Admiral Iskandar Sitompul told BBC Sinhala service that many Tamil nationals were among the captured migrants who have been “floating in the sea” for many days. 30 women and 30 children are among the 260 migrants in more..

Baalu drives Vavuniya collector

Oct 13 (EB) The leader of the Tamil Nadu MPs’ delegation to Sri Lanka, T R Baalu, on Sunday drove a Sri Lankan Tamil lady official to tears by throwing his weight around and using harsh language. Mrs B S M Charles, GA of Vavuniya district in north Sri Lanka told Express over the phone that Baalu questioned her bona fides and asked her not to interfere in the programme of the Indian delegation more..

MPs’ team visits hill region in Sri Lanka

Oct 13 (Hindu) The delegation of Members of Parliament from Tamil Nadu, now on a visit here to assess the state of the IDPs, on Tuesday flew down to Hatton and Nuwara Eliya in the hill region of the island nation for an interaction with Indian-origin Sri Lankans working in the plantation sector. Hosted by Sri Lankan Minister and leader of CWC Arumugam Thondaman, the delegation first visited the Indian-assisted vocational education training institute at Hatton. more..

Fonseka to join politics?

Oct 13 (Hindu) Chief of Defence Staff Sarath Fonseka, who as Army chief led the 2006-09 Eelam War IV, has announced that he has “finished his obligations” towards the military. In his address at the 60th Army anniversary parade here on Tuesday, General Fonseka said: “This may be the last occasion I make an address of this nature to officers and men of the Sri Lanka Army. Although I am still serving in the Army I have finished my obligations dedicated more..

Sri Lanka firms loath to adopt good governance practices

Oct 13 (LBO) Most Sri Lankan companies are yet to adopt voluntary good governance practices promoted by the regulatory authorities, a report by a think tank has said. The Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), a think tank partly funded by the government, said corporate governance and risk management issues have not got enough attention in Sri Lanka. This is despite the fact that they are of increased concern because more..

Sri Lanka invites investors to rebuild cement plant

Oct 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Ministry of Industrial Development has called for expression of interest from local and foreign investors to rebuild a cement plant destroyed by war in the northern Jaffna peninsula. The ministry said in an announcement it will receive expression of interest for the cement manufacturing project in Kankesanthurai up to November 6, 2009 with proposals received being opened the same day. more..

Post-war politics

Oct 13 (GV) Victors, if the pre-election shenanigans in the South are any barometer, violently differ on how to share the spoils of war. Unsurprisingly, the war and LTTE are still alive in the pre-election campaigns in the South. Victory against the LTTE and those who championed it are projected as superior, and better fit for political office than those who did not. The nostrums of national security gloss over concerns regarding IDPs. more..

Imagining the immediate (im)possibilities

Oct 13 (GV) My last reflection on the immediate possibilities of state power sharing had an unusual over 25,000 readers generating 77 comments amounting to a staggering 24,500 word count. Luckily for the most part, a very healthy debate was building particularly amongst writers such as SomewhatDisgusted, Disgusted and Undergroundview. Such intense and articulated engagement is rare. I am pleased if my writings had in anyway become a basis for such debate. more..

Muslim village in Ampara under threat again

Oct 13 (PSM) Recent attempts at putting up fences in the Muslim majority village of Kuduwil situated in the Irakkamam DS Division in the Ampara district by wildlife officials has created a sense of fear amongst the villagers again, said SLMC General Secretary and Parliamentarian Mr. Hasen Ali in a complaint made recently to the Ampara Government Agent. He urged the GA to immediately stop this action by the relevant officials. more..

Tamils want release from camps, not sympathy, says Ramadoss

Oct 13 (Hindu) Sri Lankan Tamils do not require the sympathy or concern of the Members of Parliament from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-Congress combine, but are seeking immediate release from the barbed-wire fenced refugee camps, said Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S. Ramadoss here on Monday. They should be resettled in their homes and helped to rebuild their lives, he said in a statement. more..

Lihiniya Surf Hotel

Reaping a better harvest

Oct 13 (LG) The results of scientific research need to reach the farming community for which there has to be a close working environment between the two. Agricultural development is of prime importance to attain self-sufficiency in our food requirement, with lowering production cost while noting that demands and aspirations, as well as social values and farmers’ attitudes are changing, this golden opportunity should be embraced by the staff and students of all the universities to more..

Opposition requires positive campaign to improve performance

Oct 13 (LG) The elections to the Southern Provincial Council that took place on Saturday were the last prior to the all important General Elections, and possible Presidential Elections, scheduled to be held by April 2010. Election monitoring organizations gave the alarm that the elections to the Southern Provincial Council were going to be more violent than the series of provincial elections that preceded it. more..

Puttalam-Mannar road to be re-opened

Oct 13 (PSM) A sum of Rs. 7500 million has been allocated to restore and re-open the Puttalam-Mannar road in attempts to speed up the process of resettlement in the North. Forcibly evicted Muslims from Mannar district have been demanding re-opening of this road as soon as possible for free movements to and from Mannar after the end of the LTTE which chased them out in 1990 with 24 hours notice from their traditional homes. more..

Media Minister thanks all parties committed to a free and fair election

Oct 13 (GDI) While thanking all the parties involved in conducting a free and fair election in the Southern Province and for the successful implementation of the Government's policy of restoring democracy in the south, Minister of Media Lakshman Yapa Abewardana today (13) said "The successful completion of the provincial elections in the south held recently would bring satisfaction to all those who value democracy. more..

Paddy production on the upward trend

Oct 13 (GDI) Paddy production has increased by 26 percent due to the success of the national cultivation drive. The growth in the Agri-economy sector has exceeded 4.5 percent, the data from the Department of Census and Statistics indicated. Minister Maithripala Sirisena said a report of the Department of Census and Statistics last month revealed that agriculture had recorded a growth of 4.5 percent. more..

Hambantota Hospital upgraded

Oct 13 (GDI) The Hambantota District Hospital meets the health needs of nearly 500,000 people in the district. However, patients encounter difficulties in meeting their requirements due to the dilapidated condition of this Hospital. The President who directed attention to this issue has given instructions to launch a mega project for the modernization of the Hospital. It is to be made a fully fledged Hospital. more..

Biggest political scam in Galle: Muthuhettigama

Oct 13 (LG) Nishantha Muthuhettigama, who contested the recently concluded Southern Province Provincial Council election, said yesterday that he would lodge a complaint with the Inspector General of Police against the biggest political scam that took place in the history of Galle. “I will take it to court and I will also inform the Elections Commissioner,” said Muthuhettigama. more..

People rally to make Sri Lanka a powerful nation - President

Oct 13 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said all Sri Lankans have gathered to shoulder the responsibility of making Sri Lanka one of the most powerful states of the world. The President pointed out the public mandates obtained by the UPFA government reflect that the people of the country were not ready to betray the victories of the nation. He made these remarks addressing a ceremony held at Kalutara yesterday. more..

New Jaffna Mayor commends President

Oct 13 (GDI) New mayor of Jaffna Patgunarasa Yogeshwary observed that it was President Mahinda Rajapakse who gave back the northern people confidence in life with liberty after experiencing dire hardships at the hands of the tiger terrorists. She noted that the tribute of the entire northern people should be extended to the President for that noble act. The Mayor, Deputy Mayor and main UPFA councillors of Jaffna took oaths last evening at the President’s Office. more..

Green Month from Oct 15- Nov 15

Oct 13 (GDI) The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources will celebrate Green Month with a series of programs to protect the environment. The Green month will commenced on October 15 and continue till November 15. In the past, the Green Month was celebrated by encouraging the public to grow trees. "At this year’s Green month celebrations hope to create an awareness among the public to protect and preserve the environment. more..

Northern Governor presents scholarship to Shri Harshan

Oct 13 (GDI) The Governor of the Northern Province Major General G.A Chandrasiri offered a scholarship to Yogeshvaran Shri Harshan, the outstanding Tamil student who came first in the Tamil medium at the recently held year five scholarship exam. Shri Harshan, an year five student from Jaffna College, Vaddukkodai obtained 192 marks to become the second island-wide. His parents are teachers of the Jaffna Saivaprakasha Maha Vidyalaya. more..

Civil Defence Department launches welfare shop in Mahavilachchiya

Oct 13 (MoD) The welfare shop attached to the Mahavilachchiya sub provincial office was declared open with a special ceremony held recently. This was opened under the project to establish welfare shops on provincial level all over the Island according to a concept of Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara. The main objective of the project is to develop activities for the welfare of the officers of the Civil Defence Department. more..

Construction of 240 m new bridge across Malwatu Oya expedited

Oct 13 (MoD) Under the "Uthuru Wasanthaya" development drive, construction work on the 240 m long new bridge across Malwatu Oya on the B-403 Arippu Marichchikadai-Mannar Highway has been accelerated. The estimated cost of the project is Rs.400 million. The bridge is 240 meters long and 7.35 meters wide. Mr. Basil Rajapaksa instructed the relevant authorities to expedite the work since the bridge will be of immense benefit to the public travelling to Jaffna on the A-32 Highway. more..

'General and presidential elections before April'

Oct 13 (GDI) The presidential and general elections will be conducted before April next year. A declaration in this regard will be made at the sessions of the SLFP on the 15th of next month, Minister Yapa Abeywardena said. The Minister pointed out that the Government extended its gratitude to the masses in the southern province who had given a two third mandate. more..