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‘With or without his 4 stars the people will support him’

Aug 16 (ST) When former Army Commander General (retd.) Sarath Fonseka was informed by the military court on Friday that he had been found guilty of engaging in political work while in active service; his reaction was to reject the findings of the tribunal. “Three Major Generals and one Rear Admiral cannot convict a General under the law. It has never happened anywhere in the world and it cannot happen here either,” were his words as the first Court Martial more..

Will Air Force Chief escape Justice?

Aug 16 (NS) Measures to tackle the growing problem of illegal construction of tourist hotels and holiday homes by the super rich in the protected Knuckles Range, which was recently adopted as a World Heritage site by the UNESCO, will be taken up at the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) tomorrow, with the participation of all relevant State sector organizations. more..

Boys 'abused' in Buddhist temple

Aug 16 (BBC) Three suspects, including a Buddhist monk, are missing after four under age boys were admitted to a hospital in eastern Sri Lanka with injuries, police said. Assistant Superintendant of Police (ASP - Kantale), Mahinda Dissanayake told BBC Sandeshaya that a search operation is underway to arrest the suspects. The suspects are missing since the parents of the abused boys lodged a complaint with the Serunuwara police, he said. more..

Loss of GSP+ facility: ‘Not a problem related to the way of doing business’

Aug 16 (DN) The loss of GSP+ facility is not a problem related to the way of doing business in the country, the Italian Ambassador said. “We understand that certain businesses will be affected by the withdrawal of GSP+ facility. We are concerned of the problem. However, we had to follow the majority in arriving at this decision. "The loss of the facility is not a problem related to the way of doing business,” the Ambassador Designate for Italy Rubens Fedele said more..

'Galle attack was not a creation of a few hot headed policemen'

Aug 16 (LT) The government had planned the attack on the agitation held by the DNA in Galle says JVP MP Tilvin Silva. Speaking at a media conference held at the head office of the JVP Mr. Silva pointed out that the manner the incidents were lined up indicates the whole affair had been carried out on a directive from the Rajapakse family. He said, “Agitation is a right available in the Constitution of the country. more..

Major cigarette smuggling racket kingpin arrested

Aug 16 (Island) The Excise Department over the weekend busted a major illegal cigarettes racket. Acting on public complaints received by the Department, the Narcotics Division Saturday night (Aug. 14) raided a luxury house in the Minuwangoda police area, where officers recovered a huge consignment of cigarettes worth approximately Rs. 45 million. They had been smuggled from China. more..

President ratifies stripping of Fonseka

Aug 16 (ST) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, on Friday night signed a proclamation to cashier retired General Sarath Fonseka. The move means the withdrawal of the former Army Commander’s rank as General as well as his medals and decorations. He will also forfeit his pension and all Sri Lankan security installations will be out of bounds for him. more..

Mervyn continues antics on reality show

Aug 16 (Island) UNP MP Rosy Senanayake yesterday chided MP Mervyn Silva for shooting off his mouth even after President Mahinda Rajapaksa had stripped him of his deputy highways ministry portfolio for tying up a Samurdhi officer to a tree two weeks ago. An irate Rosy said that Gampaha District MP Silva had not learnt a lesson, though being reprimanded for taking the law into his hands. more..

China says Sri Lanka should receive international support

Aug 16 (SL) Chinese Foreign Affairs Minster Yang Jiechi says that Sri Lanka, having rid itself of terrorism and embarked on the course of accelerated economic development with determination, should receive the support of the international community in achieving its objectives. Jiechi had made this comment to External Affairs Minster Prof. G.L. Peiris in Beijing. more..

Yuvraj diagnosed with dengue fever

Aug 16 (AFP) Indian middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh will miss Monday's tri-series ODI against Sri Lanka after being diagnosed with dengue fever in Dambulla. The development is a setback for Yuvraj, who has been battling poor form and fitness issues in recent months and was making a comeback to the limited-overs side after being dropped for the Asia Cup. more..

'What fills this port is the future prosperity of our nation'

Aug 16 (MoD) It is not sea water that will fill this port, but the future prosperity of our nation. From this port will emerge our true economic independence. This a great symbol of our moving away from the days when we said we are unable to develop for lack of funds, to a time when we can show how the country can be developed through our own strength, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the large gathering at the Karadiyawara Mangallaya, more..

'Chinese to be taught in schools'

Aug 16 (DM) Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane said yesterday his ministry would introduce the teaching of the Chinese language to the school curricular soon. The minister said he had already started the teaching of the Chinese language at Lumbini Vidyalaya in Colombo.“This is funded by China. We will expand it to other schools. The Chinese language will be one of the most dominant languages in the world in the future. more..

Lanka lauds India peace force, finally

Aug 16 (HT) Number: 165645-T Rank: Marine Engineer. Name: IIMS Joshi. Died: 17/01/1990. Joshi was probably among the last Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) personnel to be killed in action in Sri Lanka. More than 20 years later – and after being reviled by many in this country and forgotten by most in their own land -- Joshi and 1200 fellow soldiers are finally being honoured for laying down their lives on foreign soil. more..

Tamil died during voyage from Sri Lanka

Aug 16 (CBC) One of the nearly 500 Tamil migrants who set sail for Canada aboard a cramped cargo freighter died just weeks before the ship arrived off the British Columbia coast, the RCMP confirmed Sunday. The MV Sun Sea arrived near Victoria on Friday carrying about 490 people from war-ravaged Sri Lanka. They are expected to make refugee claims. "What investigators have passed along to us is that a 37-year-old man did die about more..

Revived India bowl out hosts for 170

Aug 17 (CI) India's bowlers cashed in on a breezy, overcast Dambulla day to lead the team towards recovery from a dispiriting defeat by New Zealand in their opening game. MS Dhoni's luckless run with the toss continued but Kumar Sangakkara's decision to bat gave India first use of conditions aiding swing and movement, and the hosts found the going tough before their tail steered them towards some respectability. more..

Dengue prevention becomes household chore

Aug 17 (IRIN) Sri Lanka has launched a massive community prevention campaign targeting dengue fever using billboards, TV spots and even schoolchildren. "I have made my parents clean up the garden," said Kasun Dilhan, a seven-year-old pupil at Maeliya Public School, in the northwestern Kurunegala District about 150km from the capital Colombo. "We also make sure the school and other areas like the temple are cleaned." more..

UNP emphasizes need for broad political alliance

Aug 17 (SL) The UNP today (16) said there is a need for a broad alliance to fight against the anti-democratic actions of the government. UNP Spokesperson and MP Gayantha Karunathileka told The Sunday Leader that the party is ready to assist such an alliance. Karunathileka said the party is even ready to assist such an alliance as proposed by the JVP and form a broad alliance together, as the UNP was already in the process of more..

Hearings to begin today for 490 Sri Lankan migrants

Aug 17 (CTV) Detention review hearings begin today for close to 500 immigrants who came to Canada last Friday aboard a rusty cargo ship. Police have confirmed that one Tamil man died aboard the MV Sun Sea cargo ship while it was en route to Canada but not yet in Canadian waters. According to sources, living conditions were horrific onboard the ship, with several hundred passengers sharing one toilet, and as little as one litre of fresh water allotted for each passenger, per week. more..

U.S. military members arrive in Sri Lanka for humanitarian, partnership mission

Aug 17 (MoD) More than 40 U.S. service members arrived in Sri Lanka Saturday, to begin a six-day combined medical and engineering training mission with the Sri Lankan government and medical representatives from the Maldives and Mongolia. The mission, called Pacific Angel-Sri Lanka, will be conducted at various sites near Anuradhapura and Puttalam. It will offer free medical and dental care and also feature repairs and more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 16- 08- 2010

Bowlers, Sehwag seal bonus-point win for India

Aug 17 (CI) India's bowlers and Virender Sehwag led India's recovery from a dispiriting defeat against New Zealand in the tournament opener, helping their team overpower Sri Lanka and secure a bonus point to leave each of the three sides with a win at the end of the first round of matches. MS Dhoni's luckless run with the toss continued, but Kumar Sangakkara's decision to bat gave India first use of favourable conditions on a breezy, more..

Celebrates 80th birthday with 80 grandchildren and great grandchildren

Aug 17 (NF) A great grandmother of Ja-Ela celebrated her 80th birthday in the company of all her children including 80 grandchildren and great grandchildren yesterday. Mary Lilian Gunasekera was born on August 15, 1921 and has 16 children. A special feature of the birthday celebrations was that over 100 of her family members numbering 112 were present to wish their beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother happiness and long life. more..

'Randiv no-ball was deliberate'

Aug 17 (CI) India's comfortable victory over Sri Lanka has been soured by a controversy over Suraj Randiv's massive no-ball, which proved to be the winning run and left Virender Sehwag stranded on 99, though the batsman slammed it over long-off for a six. Sehwag celebrated what would have been century No. 13, only to be told later the six didn't count. After the match, he said Randiv had bowled the no-ball deliberately, and more..

'We've got our World Cup squad more or less in place'

Aug 17 (CI) Having played the kind of Test we did at the P Sara Oval, I wonder why people want to change Test cricket. It's sort of like the way, not only with cricket, but in day-to-day life, people start talking about something and then forget it four or five days later. You have to know that people are going to talk about the feasibility of Test cricket and then also look forward to the next Test match. more..

'Selectors must take final call on resting players'

Aug 17 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lanka captain, has said that for a rotational policy to evolve in his team, the selectors must take the final call and assure players of their place in the side when rested. "From team point of view, we can recommend rest to certain players, especially fast bowlers because of their load. But the final call has to come from selectors, otherwise there is too much responsibility on the individual player. more..

Military presence 'irks people'

Aug 17 (BBC) A senior Tamil politician in Sri Lanka has questioned the government’s increased spending on housing for defence personnel in the north and east. Mr Anandasangaree, leader of the TULF has questioned this rationale when thousands of displaced Tamils are sheltered in bare minimum tenements. Testifying before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) the TULF leader said that the expansion of military establishment would only cause more..

Book Review: Rebuilding of Sri Lanka

Aug 17 (Hindu) Since the end of the military operations against the LTTE more than a year ago, the Sri Lanka watchers have been preoccupied with the question of how the government plans to go about the task of reconciliation between the majority and minority communities. Constitutional changes have apparently been rendered easier by the massive victory the coalition headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa scored in the parliamentary elections earlier this year, more..

Fishermen delegation arrives in Tiruchi for interaction

Aug 17 (Hindu) A 25-member team, comprising representatives of the fishing community and office-bearers of service organisations working for their welfare in Sri Lanka and India, arrived here on Monday for a four-day tour of coastal districts in the State. The team will interact with fishermen with the objective of evolving a permanent solution to the problems of fishermen in both countries. V. Vivekanandan, Convenor, Alliance for Release of Innocent Fishermen, more..

Fonseka charged with conspiracy

Aug 17 (BBC) Sri Lanka's former military commander, Sarath Fonseka, was charged on 41 counts on illegally recruiting army deserters during the presidential elections held earlier this year. The former general and his secretary, Captain Senaka de Silva, were jointly charged at the Colombo high court on Monday. They are accused by the authorities of illegally recruiting 10 army deserters, who are also currently in custody, more..

Tamil migrants: 'We are not terrorists'

Aug 17 (CBC) Letters purportedly written by two of the roughly 490 migrants who arrived in B.C. aboard a cargo ship deny any involvement with terrorism and claim they are fleeing "mass murder" in Sri Lanka. The Canadian Tamil Congress, which distributed the two letters on Monday, said they were written by two Tamil journalists on board the MV Sun Sea and contain the "opinions expressed" on behalf of the migrants. more..

'The UPFA does not campaign on behalf of Democracy and freedom'

Aug 17 (LeN) UPFA MP and Attorney at law Vasudeva Nanayakkara said, the UPFA is not a party which stands by Democracy, freedom and liberty. But those forces which are around it are dedicated to championing those causes. A common Front to campaign for Democracy is the need of the hour today. The power balance of 1977 has changed, and we are now in the same calamitous and catastrophic situation as in the 1980s, he added. more..

Sri Lanka seeks deal to share intelligence on migrants

Aug 17 (G&M) Sri Lanka is urging Canada to share more of its intelligence if it is serious about tackling what both countries have warned could be a human smuggling operation with ties to the Tamil Tigers. Sri Lankan High Commissioner Chitranganee Wagiswara said in an interview on Monday that there have been “unofficial discussions” with Canadian authorities in recent weeks on the subject, but more..

Sri Lanka told to keep fiscal policy promises to win investor confidence

Aug 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka must improve its business climate and stick to fiscal policy targets like reducing budget deficits to win investor confidence and foreign investment to accelerate growth and roll-over debt, an economist said. Andrew Colquhoun, Head of Asia Pacific Sovereigns at Fitch Ratings, said the island's level of public external indebtedness is high and had led to problems in 2008 which led to the IMF being called in. more..

Rajapaksa onslaught on basic rights is a common threat to all our citizens

Aug 17 (TC) The Samurdhi officials have shown that there is still a way. By refusing to tolerate the barbaric injustice done to a colleague and by using their collective strength to resist the über-power of the power-wielders, they compelled the Rajapaksa regime to digress, however temporarily, from its habit of impunity. Whether this unprecedented victory becomes a trailblazer to a more liveable future or a mere footnote in the history of more..

The Role of Woman in the Family

'President ratifying the decision of the military Court is unreasonable'

Aug 17 (LeN) Anoma Fonseka told Lanka e news that the chief incumbents of the Malwatte and Asgiriya chapters had declared to her in no uncertain terms that they do not under any circumstance approve of the ratification of the decision of the first military Court by the President to strip Gen. Fonseka of his official positions he held, and the rights and privileges he enjoyed. No matter what indictments have been piled on him, more..

Fonseka’s Trial and Sentence: A Bitter Road Ahead

Aug 17 (LG) The sentence seemed almost inevitable once the trial of General Sarath Fonseka Sri Lanka’s former Army Chief and the LTTE’s bête noir commenced in Colombo. The verdict delivered on 13August has reportedly been approved by the President the very next day. The urgency with which this has happened would itself be debated in the days to come. The dishonorable discharge of the General would also be ironic for it was his stellar leadership which more..

Tamil migrant ship linked to terror group

Aug 17 (TS) Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said Monday he fears the 492 Tamil refugees who arrived by ship on the west coast Friday morning might have paid as much as $50,000 each to be transported to Canada — money he fears could be put toward funding a terrorist group. Toews, who was in Winnipeg on Monday, said initial investigations of the MV Sun Sea vessel have uncovered links between some organizers of the voyage and the LTTE. more..

Waiting and hoping

Aug 17 (IFP) Neeraja Ganeshalingam paces in her London home, hoping the next phone call confirms that as many as 11 Tamil relatives were among 490 people who endured months at sea with a single toilet and now face an uncertain future as would-be Canadian refugees. The 19-year-old Sri Lankan has spent most of her life in Canada, the past six years in London with her family, too much of it getting calls from her homeland with frightening stories of bullets, bombs and deaths. more..

Lankan youth’s bravery in icy waters

Aug 17 (ST) Mount Rainier National Park situated in Washington sees over a million visitors each year. For Eric Mendis, a Sri Lankan serving in the US Army, it meant the ideal weekend he’d been looking forward to spending with friends. However, the events that unfolded that weekend in June not only caught Eric off guard, but also caught the attention of the US media, namely the Q13 Fox News crew who captured the day’s happenings on camera. more..

Beyond the bars

Aug 17 (NS) Is a cell skirted by iron bars the only answer to a man who has failed to pay a nominal fine? Is it a just punishment to a destitute family he leaves behind, to be stigmatised by civil society? Along with ‘hardcore’ convicts, a significant proportion of unconvicted ‘prisoners’, who have committed petty crimes, languish in prisons far exceeding the capacity of these institutions. more..

Women’s microcredit program launches retail outlets

Aug 17 (UCAN) A Church-run microcredit program for unemployed women has now launched its own retail outlets where women can sell the products they make. The program, which first began in 1986 in a single room, has assisted thousands of women during its almost 25 years of existence. Caritas Colombo runs the program that grants loans to unemployed women who depend on their husbands’ daily earnings. more..

Is democracy in Sri Lanka under stress?

Aug 17 (LG) Any votary of democracy would find it extremely difficult to reconcile himself to the situation in Sri Lanka , where the former Chief of Army General Sarath Fonseka has to face humiliation for his entering into politics and contesting the Presidential election. The person who was acclaimed as a competent army man who defeated the militants sometime back under the overall command of the present President of Sri Lanka cannot become an anti national over night. more..

Lankan workers have begun their struggle!

Aug 17 (LG) Last week Malinda Seneviratne said in his column in Lakbimanews “Nothing will happen. Not to Sri Lanka and not to Mahinda Rajapaksa. The man won’t be unseated by the so-called ‘international community’, or, more precisely the guns-in-booty-out thugs that run it”. That is some thing I always emphasized. Why should the global masters including India and Israel, or their various agencies want to unseat a loyal servant such as Mahinda? more..

One head, two heads or no head?

Aug 17 (LG) The conceptual and creative Editorials in The Island relentlessly activate and stimulate avid readers. The latest, yesterday, was on CFA – twice over. The star tortoise with 2 heads interested and intrigued us all. Eating with both mouths was fair by both heads, but will he (or she) eat double the quantity? Imagine a few MPs having two heads! One possibility is that he would bite and eat with both heads. more..

Wickremesinghe plays the game

Aug 17 (LB) If you asked me for how long the opposition’s goose is cooked, I would have to say for a very long time from now. The police broke up a DNA opposition protest last week in Matara even as the DNA leader Rtd. Gen Sarath Fonseka was given a dishonourable discharge from the Army by a court martial. But that was just the beginning of the bad news for the opposition. There doesn’t seem to be much hope for the main opposition party the UNP, even though it was decided at more..

‘Target real dengue breeding sites’

Aug 17 (NS) As Dengue cases and deaths continue to soar in certain parts of the country despite coming down at national level, with 76 local bodies in 65 divisional secretariats being declared as high risk zones for dengue, a health expert charged that the media was partly to blame for both the spread and the deaths caused by dengue. “The media must take the blame for feeding the public with conflicting messages about more..

Still ‘Mervyn way’ reigns

Aug 17 (LB) Anyone who is familiar with police drama or movies will be aware of a law enforcement investigatory technique called playing good cop/bad cop. In real life, this technique is also being frequently used by two politicians to deliver unpopular opinions or news and/or gain public support. When one looks at it closely, removing Deputy Minster of Highways, Mervyn Silva from his ministerial post and SLFP membership until a special commission investigates, and more..

Capri Club president, deputy found guilty of breaking rules

Aug 17 (ST) The President and the Vice President of one of Colombo's leading social clubs have been found guilty of violating their own rules and their own constitution over a VAT issue involving the club. A special select committee of the club membership has found that President Morgan Fernando and Vice President Ananda Chittampalam had circumvented club rules by hiring a tax consultant without involving others in the management committee and more..

Conflict Resolution and the ground reality