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Sarath Fonseka detained for `military offences'

Feb 9 (Hindu) Sri Lanka’s former Army Chief and Opposition presidential candidate, General Sarath Fonseka, was detained by a team of investigators late on Monday night for “certain fraudulent acts and military offences” from the ‘safe house’ he had been living in since he lost the election. Three days after the poll outcome, the government accused the commander-turned-politician of plotting a coup to more..

Fonseka arrest could be poll issue

Feb 9 (Hindu) With the dissolution of the Sri Lankan Parliament expected on Tuesday and the general election scheduled for the first half of April, the arrest of the former Army Chief and consensus Opposition presidential candidate, General Sarath Fonseka, could be one of the main poll issues. Though nearly two weeks have passed since the January 26 presidential election, there is no coherent explanation from either Gen (retd.) Fonseka or more..

Sri Lanka shares hit new record on bullish sentiments

Feb 9 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares hit an all-time high on Monday, led by hopes of better earnings due to post-war economic recovery in an overheated market, dealers said. The All-Share Price Index .CSE of the Colombo Stock Exchange rose 2.53 percent to hit an new record high of 3800.81 points in the intraday trading, surpassing its previous record high of 3735.86 hit on Tuesday. more..

Central Bank chief upbeat on Sri Lanka economy

Feb 9 (BBC) The governor of Sri Lanka's Central Bank has said that his country is "open for business" and that it is "only a matter of time" before the economy enjoys a boom. In an interview with the BBC's Lesley Curwen ahead of a meeting with European investors, Ajith Nivard Cabraal also addressed human rights concerns that may damage confidence in potential backers. more..

Justice Everywhere?

Feb 9 (GV) A young TV journalist asked me whether Martin Luther Kings’ philosophy of non-violence will work in bringing true peace to Sri Lanka ? I cannot remember how I answered it facing the camera, but I hope I would have said something like this. Martin Luther King Jr. paid the ultimate price violently driving a non violent campaign to win freedom for African American people who gained their official freedom 100 years earlier. more..

Grade 6, 10 school text books on Internet

Feb 9 (LP) In keeping with the “E-text books” concept measures were taken by the Education Ministry to make available text books of grade 6 and 10 on the internet. Accordingly the grade 06 Sinahala Literature, Mathematics and Science text book and the grade 10 Mathematics, Buddhism and English text books are available on the internet. The books available on internet are much easier to refer as a word search and a search by paragraph is included said the Education Ministry.

Rapid increase in fish production

Feb 9 (GDI) Fish production in the northern sector has increased rapidly, claimed the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. The fishing industry in the North flourished after the government lifted all restrictions on fishing after the conclusion of the war last May. The ministry has taken steps to transport the excess catch to Colombo to compete with the market in the city areas. more..

School uniforms for resettled students in Vavuniya

Feb 9 (LP) The uniform materials which are to be distributed among the school children of the welfare villages in Vavuniya will be sent today (09). The Education Ministry said that uniform material worth Rs 14 million will be distributed among 5000 school children living in the North and South areas of Vavuniya. This is the first set of uniform material being sent to the school children of the resettled while more..

Eva Ranaweera is no more

Feb 9 (GDI) Renowned novelist and Senior Journalist Eva Ranaweera, 85 passed away today. At the time of her death, she held the position of Coordinator at an organization called Voice of Women. Eva Ranaweera had her education at Holy Cross College Gampaha and held the distinction of being its very first student to enter university. She began her working career at the Department of Official Languages and more..

A protest against ministers' informal appointments

Feb 9 (UL) Ceylon school non academic union expresses that 184 appointments of laboratory assistant have been granted informally for the necessity of the government, instead of promoting to the post of laboratory assistant from nearly 2000 of highly experienced laboratory employees who are employed at national schools of the island. more..

Where is my father?

Feb 9 (LNW) I am Aparna Fonseka, youngest daughter of General Sarath Fonseka of Sri Lanka. Today, 8 February 2010, I decided to start this blog because of the unfortunate and disgraceful incident that happened to my father. I am tired of watching from the sidelines and reading what people have written without being able to defend. However vile, destructive or poisonous the remarks about him and my family have been, I’ve been listening silently. more..

Foreigners overstaying visas to be blacklisted

Feb 9 (GDI) The Department of Immigration and Emigration has decided to bring into effect a ruling that will effectively blacklist all foreigners found overstaying their visas. Assistant Controller and Head of the Investigations Unit William Devendra Raja explained that visa-on-arrival facilities were afforded to travelers from 84 select countries in Europe, North America and the SAARC region. more..

“Deyeta Kirulal” ends Tomorrow

Feb 9 (GDI) The 4th “Deyeta Kirual” exhibhition which is now being held in Pallakele Kandy ends tomorrow (10). Although there were requests to extend, the exhibition has not be extended said the Deputy Minister State Revenue of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya. The exhibition is being held in an area of 60 acres and has more than 500 State and private sector stalls. more..

Comments on the arrest of General Fonseka

Feb 9 (LG) General Sarath Fonseka, former Chief of Defence Staff, and the common opposition candidate who contested the presidential poll was arrested in Colombo last night. A summary of answers to questions put by various national and international print and electronic media on February 8 & 9 , 2010 is given in the following paragraphs. Actually the government had taken a series of actions to build up a case against him ever since more..

Political persecution of Sarath Fonseka

Feb 9 (LG) The retired army commander, General Sarath Fonseka, was arrested yesterday in the presence of several leading politicians in Sri Lanka by the Military Police and is being held in their custody. It is reported that, he will be charged with some military offenses. The entire process of the arrest of the most popular opposition leader in Sri Lanka at the moment by the Military Police is to prevent him being brought before the courts and more..

2010: Our 1984

Feb 9 (LG) Thus begins the Rajapakse era, with the arrest of Gen. Sarath Fonseka. I did not and do not consider Sarath Fonseka to be a hero, any more than I consider Mahinda Rajapakse and Gotabhaya Rajapakse to be heroes. Still I believe Fonseka’s arrest should be a matter of gravest and most intimate concern to all those who value democratic freedoms, because it symbolises the conclusive triumph of a new political commonsense more..

'This is the gift my husband got for finishing a 30 year old war'

Feb 9 (LT) Speaking at a media briefing held at their official residence, Mrs Anoma Fonseka, wife of General Sarath Fonseka, said that General Fonseka was not arrested but virtually kidnapped by the Government– “ this is the gift he got for finishing the 30 year old war” a tearful Mrs Fonseka said. “ The army came to arrest him last night at around 9.30 pm. more..

Throwing up an enlightened, sensitive leadership is the immediate imperative for Tamils

Feb 9 (TC) In the context of a presidential election just concluded and a general election in the offing, there lies a great challenge before the Tamils. Throwing up a leadership enlightened in every respect and sensitive to what the Tamils look forward to, is the immediate imperative. Their political ideas are crystallising in a situation totally without precedent. The future will be distinctly different from the past. more..

Lives reduced to cold statistics

Feb 9 (LNP) Political violence naturally disturbs us and the media are full of reports of threats and actual incidents of such atrocities. We are not short of people to take them up and stage protests. But, sadly, we have turned a blind eye to the danger posed by an insidious killer on the prowl preying as it does on innocent men, women and children almost daily. Drunk driving is the name of this monster at large. more..

'Sri Lanka Presidential election most free and fair'

Feb 9 (LNP) The January 26 Presidential election is the most free and fair election held in Sri Lanka in recent times where there was no impersonation or stuffing of ballot boxes said Udunuwara SLFP Organiser l S.B. Dissanayake. Dissanayake said so addressing a meeting of the Yatinuwara SLFP Central Organisation at Urapola Sri Abhayaraja Piriven Viharaya, Pilimatalawa. more..

Win win result for all 3 communities

Feb 9 (PSM) The Presidential Election result shows that it has created a win-win situation to all three communities - Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. Majority Sinhalese feel that they have won by re-electing President Mahinda Rajapaksha and majority Tamils and Muslims feel that they have shown their protest to the President by voting for opposition common candidate Sarath Fonseka. Some people argue that this voting pattern has created polarization of ethnic communities. more..

Bishops want code of conduct for politicians

Feb 9 (UCAN) A group of bishops have urged politicians to stop politics-related violence in the country so as to further lasting peace and democracy. “It is quite normal for people to side with a candidate before and during a democratic election, but it is unacceptable for them to be victims of reprisals once the election is over,” Anglican Bishop Kumara Illangasinghe of Kurunegala told UCA News. more..

Rohan Edrisinha on YaTV

Film Star murder case Sentence postponed

Feb 9 (DN) Panadura Provincial High Court Judge Malanee Gunaratne postponed the sentence for February 18 on the accused in the Film Star Dhammi Fonseka murder case. The accused Wickramage Padmasiri alias Tanthuwa of Kahatuduwa was found guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The accused was acquitted on the second count as he was not found guilty of committing the robbery of jewellery and cash from the actress’s possession. more..

Lanka to produce own thyroxine

Feb 9 (DN) Sri Lanka will produce its entire requirement of Thyroxine tablets from next month. The State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC) will produce the first consignment of Thyroxine tablets which will be distributed among all State hospitals and to the market, a Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry spokesman said. The total annual Thyroxine requirement of Sri Lanka is 24 million tablets. more..

Russia to explore oil here

Feb 9 (DN) Russia has agreed to start oil and gas exploration in the seas off Mannar after President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited the Russian Gas and Oil company Gazprom, Moscow yesterday. The President held talks with the Chief Executive of the company Alexei B. Miller at their head office in Moscow. The Russian company also agreed to give Sri Lanka concessions in the purchase of refined and crude oil. more..

'Govt will get two-thirds majority'

Feb 9 (DN) The Government will get two thirds majority at the forthcoming Parliamentary Election. The polling of the Presidential Election stands to prove that politics of bargaining with “block votes” have ended, said Minister Champika Ranawaka. He was speaking at the Lahugala National Park where he opened a new Park Office of the Wildlife Department. The Lahugala National Park was closed from 2006 due to terrorist problems until it was opened recently more..

Fonseka challenges Mahinda to arrest him if he can

Feb 9 (Island) Former Presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka yesterday challenged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to arrest him if there were any valid charges without using Emergency Regulations to lock up his security personnel on baseless allegations. Addressing the relatives of 32 of his body guards who had been arrested by the CID for allegedly assisting him (Fonseka) to stage a coup on January 26 and 27, more..

Resettlement of IDPs continues

Feb 9 (Island) The Government on February 2 continued the re-settlement of all IDPs from the districts of Killinochchi, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya North in the Northern Province in a big way, Governor of the Northern Province (Retd) Maj Gen. G. A.Chandrasiri said yesterday. The Governor said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had directed all Government authorities to provide the necessary assistance required to more..

Essential consumer items rising steeply

Feb 9 (Island) The steeply rising cost of living since last year, continues to be a big burden on the lives of the ordinary citizens of this country. They complain that the government does not show any interest in bringing down the prices of essential consumer items such as rice, vegetables, fish, chicken, etc. Numerous consumers pose just one question. Who manipulates the prices of consumer goods in the open market? more..

SF’s security officers complain to SC of illegal arrest, detention

Feb 9 (Island) Eight security officers of Sarath Fonseka have complained to the Supreme Court of illegal arrest and illegal detention by the CID. They have said that while serving at Fonseka’s office at the Rajakeeya Mawatha, Colombo 7, office, they were arrested arbitrarily on January 29, 2010 and detained at the Terrorist Investigations Unit. They are being detained in a small room where about 40 persons are held, they have complained. more..

JHU fields Champika to Colombo from UPFA

Feb 9 (DM) The JHU yesterday announced that it would field Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka to contest the Colombo district at the parliamentary polls from the UPFA. A statement issued by the JHU said the decision to field Minister Ranawaka from Colombo was based on a wide variety of reasons including his unwavering commitment to national integration over the past twenty five years, more..

Battle of Titans in Colombo

Feb 9 (DM) With Environment and Natural Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka yesterday announcing his bid for Colombo thus joining his Cabinet Colleagues Susil Premajayantha, Dinesh Gunawardena, Bandula Gunawardena, Rohitha Bogollagama, Milinda Moragoda, Gamini Lokuge, A.H.M. Fowzie, Jeevan Kumaratunga and Achala Jagoda to battle it out in the district, Colombo is assured of one of the most closely contested polls this time. more..

Pro Fonseka officers file FR petition

Feb 9 (DM) Eight former armed services personnel who were actively engaged in ensuring the safety and security of common opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka yesterday filed fundamental rights petitions challenging their arrest and detention which they claimed was arbitrary. In their petitions to the Supreme Court they claimed they were subjected to unlawful arrest and detention, for the only reason that they held a political opinion which was different to that of the incumbent administration. more..

Dissolution tonight: General Elections likely on April 8

Feb 9 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to dissolve parliament tonight with the general election likely on April 8, sources close to the government said yesterday. The term of the present parliament ends on April 22 but the President can with a presidential proclamation end its term earlier and he is expected to do so when he returns to Sri Lanka today. more..

Potta Naufer faces Civil Trial following death verdict

Feb 9 (DM) M.N. Naufer alias Potta Naufer, a notorious underworld figure, who has been sentenced to death for the murder of High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya, has now been made a defendant in a civil suit. M.N. Naufer is the party defendant in an action for damages amounting to Rs 50 million for demolishing a business premises at Moulana building, second cross street, Pettah, Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka opposition to strike after leader held

Feb 9 (AP) Sri Lanka's opposition called Tuesday for countrywide protests after its defeated presidential candidate was arrested for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government while serving as army commander. The threat follows Monday's dramatic arrest of former army chief Gen. Sarath Fonseka, the opposition's leading figure, who last year led government troops in their crushing defeat of Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

Elephant tramples Swan, Fonseka runs with Hare

Feb 9 (Island) The loose Opposition Alliance that the UNF and the JVP cobbled together to field Gen (Retd) Sarath Fonseka under the Swan symbol has collapsed because of the UNP’s decision to contest the forthcoming parliamentary polls under the Elephant symbol. Deprived of the Swan symbol of the National Democratic Front (NDF), Fonseka and the JVP have decided to more..

Arrest stokes fears of repression across Sri Lanka

Feb 9 (SMH) sarath Fonseka's arrest was not unexpected, but it was swift. The former military chief, who lost to the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, in elections two weeks ago, was hauled from the offices of the main opposition alliance by military police about 9.20pm on Monday and taken away in a van. Mano Ganesan, a Tamil-speaking MP who was with him at the time, said the general had been dragged away "like a dog" and assaulted. more..

UNHRC may gloss over alleged ‘war crimes’

Feb 9 (EB) The UNHRC which is to meet in Geneva from March 1, might gloss over the war crimes allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces in the final phase of the war against the LTTE in 2009, a top Lankan official told Express here on Monday. The Secretary to the Ministry of Human Rights Dr Rajiva Wijesinha said that the alleged war crimes were unlikely to be a significant issue at the meet though, in the past, more..