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Anoma Fonseka on Ada Derana

Media Persons May be Quizzed Over 'Coup Plot'

Feb 9 (PTI) Sri Lankan authorities are likely to question several media persons, who were present at a Colombo hotel during defeated opposition presidential candidate Gen Sartah Fonseka's stay there, over the alleged plot by him to stage a coup and assassinate incumbent Mahinada Rajapaksa. "The purpose is to get information as to what (former army chief) Sarath Fonseka's officials planned by detaining them within the hotel rooms," more..

What's next in Sri Lanka's post-election fallout

Feb 9 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's former army chief General Sarath Fonseka is in army custody, facing a court-martial on charges he conspired against President Mahinda Rajapaksa before unsuccessfully vying for his job in a Jan. 26 poll. Here are some questions and answers about what's next: WHY WAS FONSEKA ARRESTED? The government says Fonseka planned his presidential bid while he was still serving in the army, more..

Namal Rajapakse applies to contest from Hambantota

Feb 9 (CT) Namal Rajapakse, the eldest son of president Mahinda Rajapaksa, is intending to contest the upcoming parliamentary polls from Hambantota district. The 24-year-old today handed in his application of candidacy to the UPFA nomination board. He is presently leading the 'Tharunyata Hetak' organization. A past student of S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia, more..

Fonseka was 'hell-bent' on betrayal

Feb 9 (IE) Sri Lanka's government on Tuesday said defeated presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka was "hell-bent" on betrayal and would be court-martialled on charges of conspiring against the president. Fonseka lost by an 18 percentage point margin to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a Jan. 26 election, after which he accused his former commander-in-chief of vote-rigging, more..

Wife of arrested former presidential candidate fears for his safety

Feb 9 (NYT) Angry supporters of the retired Sri Lankan general who was arrested Monday night after his unsuccessful run for president accused the government on Tuesday of assaulting him and said they were worried about his safety while in government custody. Anoma Fonseka, the wife of the retired general and losing presidential candidate, Sarath Fonseka, said that she has not been able to find her husband since more..

Sri Lanka’s election aftermath – Media under attack

Feb 9 (IPS) Sri Lankan journalists, for whom intimidation, threats, assault and killings seem to have become unavoidable professional hazards, are bracing themselves for a fresh confrontation with the government as curbs on reporting intensify. In recent weeks, one journalist has disappeared, a newspaper has been sealed, only to be forced open by a court order while a few journalists and media workers have been in hiding since more..

Gen. Fonseka was forcibly dragged away from his office

Feb 9 (DBS) In a disturbing turn of events, retired four star General Sarath Fonseka was taken into custody by a contingent of military police on the night of Monday, February 8th 2010. General Fonseka a widely regarded as the most successful army commander in post-Independence Sri Lanka was roughly manhandled, assaulted and forcibly dragged away by military personnel who had saluted him with respect only a more..

Opposition leaders: Sri Lankan general's arrest 'an abduction'

Feb 10 (CNN) As the Sri Lankan government declared it would court-martial its most decorated former soldier on conspiracy charges, main opposition parties said they would stage nationwide protests over his arrest. Retired Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who ran against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in January, was arrested Monday at his Colombo offices by heavily-armed military officials. more..

Charges against Fonseka serious enough for arrest: Govt.

Feb 10 (PTI) Sri Lanka today claimed that charges against defeated opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka were “serious enough” to warrant his arrest, raising a question mark on his participation in the forthcoming Parliamentary elections. “The gravity of his offences will flow from the summary of evidence collected against the former general,” senior cabinet minister Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters. more..

Sri Lanka president sacks parliament: spokesman

Feb 10 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president Mahinda Rajapakse on Tuesday sacked the national parliament and cleared the way for a national election two months ahead of schedule, his spokesman said. Rajapakse, who won re-election in presidential polls last month, signed a decree dissolving the national assembly with effect from midnight Tuesday, spokesman Lucien Rajakarunanayake said. more..

Military 'needs to be modified'

Feb 10 (BBC) The Sri Lankan military is in need of modification and new equipment though the civil war has just ended, a Sri Lankan minister has said. Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told BBC Sandeshaya that military equipment, as in any other country, needs to be regularly repaired. He was commenting on the agreement signed between Sri Lanka and Russia for a $300 million credit facility for arms and ammunition from Russia. more..

Sri Lanka shares fall amid political woes

Feb 10 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares retreated on Tuesday after closing at a record high in the previous session on growing political concerns after the ex-army chief was arrested for on charges of conspiring against the president. The All-Share Price Index .CSE of the Colombo Stock Exchange closed down 0.11 percent or 4.09 points at 3785.28, after rising 0.26 percent in early trade a day after former army commander General Sarath Fonseka was arrested. more..

'Rajapakse regime attacked democracy without any fear or shame'

Feb 10 (LT) “General Fonseka, who dedicated himself to eradicate terrorism from this land, was apprehended the way a terrorist is seized and Rajapakse regime, by carrying out the move, attacked without any shame, what was left of democracy in the country said Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe. He said this speaking at a press conference held at the office of Gen. Sarath Fonseka today (9th). more..

Sri Lanka: Constitutional incongruity

Feb 10 (FL) Though it has now been settled by the highest court of Sri Lanka that the second term in office of the re-elected President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, will begin on November 19, 2010, several questions relating to the issue remain. The apex court communicated its opinion on February 2 on a request sought by the incumbent President. Rajapaksa is to take the fresh of oath of office and secrecy within two weeks from the date of commencement of his second innings. more..

Sri Lanka: The landslide

Feb 10 (FL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa proved pundits wrong by trouncing former Army chief and the common opposition candidate, General Sarath Fonseka, by a margin of nearly 18 percentage points. The hype and hyperbole created by the political foes of Rajapaksa had convinced everyone that the general-turned-politician would unseat the incumbent President. As one commentator noted, “considering pre-election prognostications by almost everyone in the punditry that more..

Debrief News - 09. 02. 2010

Sri Lanka: Danger signal

Feb 10 (FL) THE single largest negative fallout of former Sri Lanka Army (SLA) chief Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s decision to join the just-concluded presidential race is the politicisation of the nation’s military like never before. A series of developments – including what has been dubbed the biggest purge in the higher echelons of the military and the detention of a number of former military officers and soldiers – after the defeat of Fonseka, more..

Sri Lanka: Uncertain alliances

Feb 10 (FL) AT the end of a six-week-long nasty and extremely personal campaign, there is a clear winner in incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Now he will be able to preside over the proceedings of the general elections scheduled for April and also the elections in 2015. The current Constitution bestows enormous powers on the President. For instance, the President has the power to dissolve Parliament a year after it comes into existence without assigning any reason for doing so. more..

Sri Lanka eyes foreign funds to boost infrastructure

Feb 10 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is taking advantage of its key Indian Ocean location to boost infrastructure with foreign funds, but will not allow countries such as China to open naval bases, its central bank governor said on Tuesday. Ajith Nivard Cabraal said Sri Lanka was targeting both Western investors and bilateral loans from emerging powers such as China and India. more..

'Arrest of General Sarath Fonseka – An act of vengeance'

Feb 10 (LT) The National Bhikku Front has condemned the arrest of General Sarath Fonseka as act of vengeance. The communiqué issued by the President of the National Bhikku Front, Ven. Dambara Amila reads as follows: On behalf of the patriotic Bhikkus we condemn the arrest of General Sarath Fonseka last night. This is obviously an act of revenge. The people who urged on stage ‘against taking revenge’ have turned their own speeches as incredible today by this act. more..

Editorial: A Frankenstein scares Rajapaksa

Feb 10 (EB) Developments in Sri Lanka have taken a predictable course since President Mahinda Rajapaksa began to view his army commander, General Sarath Fonseka, as a threat to his life as well as his government, in the closing stages of the war against the LTTE and immediately thereafter, last year. Fonseka’s arrest on Monday and the decision to haul him before a court martial for a variety of ‘military crimes’ including a bid to stage a military coup and more..

Editorial: Set General Fonseka free

Feb 10 (Hindu) If the combined forces of the opposition in Sri Lanka showed appalling political judgment in fielding retired Army general Sarath Fonseka as their presidential candidate, the government has returned the favour through an act that is as miscalculated and reckless as it is authoritarian and ugly. The decision to arrest and court martial the former Army Chief, and the manner in which his arrest was carried out, has shocked everyone who values democracy. more..

Editorial: Familiar Games in Sri Lanka

Feb 10 (KT) Where’s Sri Lanka headed? The nation that only recently heaved a sigh of relief after the rout of the Tamil Tigers and end of the civil war appears to be moving towards another era of political chaos and instability. The arrest of former army chief General Sarath Fonseka, who lost a bitterly fought election against President Mahinda Rajapaksa last month, does not bode well for the peace and political stability of the island nation. more..

Leaderless Sri Lankan opposition faces uphill task

Feb 10 (BBC) With parliament dissolved, Sri Lanka must hold a general election by April. The opposition is now in huge difficulties, with its one recent figurehead incarcerated. The security forces' dramatic removal of Gen Sarath Fonseka from his office building late at night - dragged by his hands and feet, according to eyewitnesses, by dozens of men - has raised still further the political temperature on the island. more..

UN chief alarmed by fate of Fonseka

Feb 10 (AFP) UN chief Ban Ki-moon is alarmed by the arrest of Sri Lanka’s defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka and urged Colombo to guarantee his safety, his spokesman said. UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Ban “is following developments in Sri Lanka with concern” and urged Colombo authorities “to follow due process of law and provide all necessary protections (for Fonseka) and guarantees to his safety.” more..

CaFFE demands copies of election results

Feb 10 (CaFFE) The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFÉ) yesterday said that they had asked the Elections Commissioner for carbon copies of the result sheets issued at each counting centres in the presidential election, but he had not responded to this request. The Director of CaFFE Keerthi Thennakoon said that they made this request on January 31 adding that this was evidence of how the election were conducted. more..

Fonseka’s many firsts

Feb 10 (EB) There are many firsts in the controversial military and post military career of the arrested Sri Lankan soldier turned politician Gen.Sarath Fonseka, who was arrested by the Military Police on Monday, and is to be tried for “military crimes” by a Court Martial. -- Gen.Gardihewa Sarath Chandralal Fonseka became the first retired Sri Lankan Army chief, to be arrested. He will also be the first Army Commander to be tried by a Court Martial. more..

Govt. explains Gen. Fonseka arrest

Ven. Malwatte Mahanayake on TV

Is Sri Lanka’s President a law abiding servant of the people or....?

Feb 10 (LG) People the world over may wonder as to whether the Sri Lanka President who dresses in immaculate white to symbolise purity, honesty and justice is really a law abiding servant of the people or a revengeful, dishonest, deceitful and scheming brute? Is Mugabe of Zimbabwe a close parallel? There are many high calibre party leading eye witnesses who claim that General Fonseka was assaulted and dragged by more..

Health sector under public microscope

Feb 10 (BL) With 4,326 dengue cases being reported within the last month alone and 47 A/H1N1 related deaths also being reported, the situation in the Sri Lankan health sector doesn’t look too good. On top of that, health workers and many others have been complaining that there is a clear shortage of essential drugs and not to mention the controversy over the Rubella vaccines. So, with all of this in mind The Nation set out on to the streets of Colombo to ask more..

TNA and the new era of Tamil politics

Feb 10 (GV) The TNA, the remnant of old politics in the Tamil community has entered a new era. The post LTTE politics has made it possible to create conditions for a democratic culture in the North and East. But the defeat of the LTTE alone will not make it possible to create a genuine democratic culture. The Sinhalese political leadership should show its sensitivity and empathy towards a community of more..

Arrest of General Fonseka heats up political climate

Feb 10 (BL) On Monday night General Fonseka met JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe, JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti, SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem and People’s Democratic Front leader Mano Ganesan to discuss plans relating to their contesting the upcoming general election. While the discussion was proceeding, a group of personnel from Military Police, who entered the place, said that they had come to arrest General Fonseka. more..

Blunder like no other

Feb 10 (BL) When the thirty-year-old bloody war ended last May, Sri Lanka was expecting a bright future in the economic sector, especially with a notable contribution from the tourism sector. But alas, even after eight months has lapsed since the ‘glorious victory’ our tourism ministry which is an equally important portfolio like the foreign affairs ministry seems to be stagnated in finding a proper tag-line to go along. more..

Mixed reactions over SF’s arrest

Feb 10 (BL) Sri Lanka’s business leaders and top academics have expressed mixed reactions over the arrest of former army chief and defeated presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka on Monday night and warned a possible reprisal from the international community on the country’s economic front. However, almost all the leaders that The Bottom Line spoke to were of the view that more..

GSP+ : Is it arms twisting privilege human rights violence?

Feb 10 (LG) GSP+ is a system introduced by USA and EU to conditional help and encourages trade industries and production in selected and identified countries by adjusting tariff and other facilities for a given period. European Union and the member countries intensified the scheme during and aftermath of Tsunami Disaster for Sri Lanka. Before the introduction of this facility managed our affairs without this concession and more..

Editorial: Fonseka’s arrest

Feb 10 (AN) Sri Lanka's recently re-elected President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday dissolved the Parliament and as expected called a new general election, to capitalize on his convincing win in last month’s contest for the presidency. The surprise, however, has been Monday’s arrest of the retired army general, Sarath Fonseka, the man who had challenged him for his country’s leadership and has protested the result in part because he claims Rajapaksa’s campaign made unfair use of the media. more..

No link between Fonseka arrest and run for prez: Lanka envoy

Feb 10 (TOI) A day after the arrest of former army chief Sarath Fonseka, Sri Lankan high commissioner to India Prasad Kariyawasam said the development would have no adverse effect on the island nation’s stability as the charges against Fonseka are not linked to his status as the main opposition candidate in the January presidential elections. more..

Post-war Sri Lanka: Will the economy take off?

Feb 10 (Roubini) Although the war is over, without political stability and good governance Sri Lankan economy is unlikely to settle to a sustained growth trajectory. Without economic growth and inclusive development the phoenix of war may come to life again. Singapore’s economic architect, Dr Goh Keng Swee, based on his experience, pointed out that at the developmental stage non-economic factors play a much bigger role than economic factors. more..