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WB to provide Rs 2400 mn for road development

Feb 1 (MoD) The World Bank had agreed to provide Rs. 2400 million to develop roads in in the backwoods of the Badulla District, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. He said that around 100 villages in the Badulla district did not have proper infrastructure facilities and he had held discussions with the Treasury, the Highways Department and the World Bank. The World Bank had come forward to fund the project, the minister said. more..

Sinhala 'intellectuals' with 'pariah' thoughts replace 'mau-basa' with 'mau-bima' and 'kaduwa' with 'traitor'

Feb 1 (TC) It's been hilarious reading the “pariah” thoughts of Sinhalese “intellectuals” over the past few weeks in a Sri Lankan newspaper, especially as the term was derogatorily used previously as “Para” demala. Over thirty years ago, when I was growing up in Sri Lanka, people whom present day Sinhalese “intellectuals” refer to as English-speaking pariah?s were derogatorily referred to as “karapoththas”. more..

Short memory spans and nation building

Feb 1 (DN) It is done and over with. People have given their verdict. Like it was said by you, there is no time to waste. Victory and its celebration settle to be no more than memories within a few months, if not weeks. It only brings momentary joy and feelings of a high. Most of the time they turn sour so early, it surprises the skeptics and frustrates the optimists. We witnessed the thirty-year reign of terror of the LTTE and more..

Attempt to arrest General Fonseka on cooked up charges!

Feb 1 (LT) Sources from within the Government state that a major attempt is underway to have General Fonseka arrested on charges of “planning to assassinate the President”. The arrest of Colonel (retired) Kapila Ratnayake and Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Rohan Wijesinghe and many other former service personnel was cited as the first step in this attempt. more..

Conspiracy to take over Tissa Pradeshiya Sabha

Feb 1 (LT) A conspiracy to take over Tissamaharama Pradeshiya Sabha in Hambantota District that is under the administration of the JVP on false charges and hand it over to the Local Government Commissioner has been launched by the present government. The conspiracy was launched even before the presidential election as there had been obstructions for the functioning of the Pradeshiya Sabha. more..

UNP urges President to halt post-poll violence

Feb 1 (LNP) The UNP yesterday called for President Mahinda Rajapaksa s personal involvement to prevent UPFA supporters from instigating post-polls violence in government departments and statutory boards. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, in a letter addressed to the President, said he had received information that UPFA supporters in public institutions such as the Petroleum Corporation, Sri Lanka Transport Board, Ports Authority and more..

Justice delivered! Judge reverses ban on Lanka

Feb 1 (LT) In upholding the citizens’ right to information, Gangodawila Magistrate overturned the temporary ban imposed on Lanka newspaper, when the hearing came up before him today. The CID informed Court that in order to proceed with the case against the Editor of Lanka, Chandana Sirimalwatte, the banning of the newspaper must be upheld. more..

On direct road to error?

Feb 1 (LNP) Another election is on the horizon. The parliamentary polls will have to be held before the end of April. Thereafter, we will be able to gain a breather hopefully. The government is toying with the idea of amending the electoral system posthaste. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing his last propaganda rally in Piliyandala on Jan. 23, promised to kiss the preferential vote (or manape) system goodbye, more..

Manipulated election results provoke Opposition protests from Wednesday

Feb 1 (UNP) The main Opposition party the UNP said that massive protests will be staged from Wednesday (03) against the Govt.’s alleged manipulated 26th January Presidential elections, and the fraudulent election results. All Opposition parties and several civil Organizations will be participating, and many thousands are expected to take to the streets. Theses protests are also to be carried on indefinitely. more..

'Elections Commissioner’ s face alone betrayed his powerlessness against the raging election frauds and rigging'

Feb 1 (UNP) Addressing a media briefing today (01), at the UNP media unit, UNP M.P. Lakshman Kiriella stated, the election malpractices and election results manipulation were clearly brought to light by none other than the Elections Commissioner, Dayananda Dissanayake himself when he exclaimed in disgust that he did not have the power even to safeguard a ballot box. more..

River for Jaffna project to boost cultivation

Feb 1 (DN) Three River projects from different eras and different global locations: 1. A River for Jaffna in modern Sri Lanka; 2. The River Arno project in late medieval Italy; and 3. Parakrama Sagara including Koththabadhanijjara in early medieval Sri Lanka. The article deals with three river projects starting with the River for Jaffna, that was taken up for early implementation on the orders of President Mahinda Rajapaksa even before the conflict in the Vanni was concluded. more..

President assures facilities to provincial journalists

Feb 1 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa told Anuradhapura district provincial media personnel that every facility will be made available for the media to continue their task of contributing to the country’s future prosperity and creating a virtuous society. The President yesterday hosted the UPFA activists and top ranking Government officials, Provincial Council members and Pradeshiya Sabha Chairmen, provincial journalists and more..

All National Parks open

Feb 1 (DN) All National Parks in the country will soon be open to foreign and local visitors, said Minister Champika Ranawaka. He said this on Saturday after opening the Kumana National Park that had been closed to the public from 1985 to 2003 due to terrorist activities, and also after being badly affected by the tsunami in 2004. The park has also remained closed from 2006 with more..

TNA: Whom do they represent?

Feb 1 (LG) I humbly appeal to the TNA Members of Parliament in general and to M/s. S.Senathirajah, R.M.Imam, Selvam Adaikalanathan, Vinotharalingam and Suresh Premachandran of the Federal Party, TELO and the EPRLF of the alliance, not to mislead the innocent Tamil speaking people who easily get swayed by sentiments. Their statements appearing in the media, thanking the Tamil and Muslim voters for taking a common stand at the Presidential Poll more..

About 700,000 did not vote in North

Feb 1 (Island) Of 988,334 the registered voters in the Northern Province, only 292,812 have exercised their franchise at last week’s presidential election. The Jaffna District had 721,359 registered voters but only 185,132 voted while of the 266,975 eligible voters in Vanni District only 107,680 voted. Both districts in the Northern Province were won by opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka, who polled 184,244 votes, while President Rajapaksa received 72,894 votes. more..

Policy rates will stay low for growth: Dealers

Feb 1 (Island) Inflation and benchmark Treasury bill rates moved upwards last week and dealers said inflation could pick up as global food prices increase but were confident the Central Bank would keep policy rates unchanged so as to fill the growth gap, hopeful the government would not expand its expenditure beyond the IMF mandate adding further inflationary pressure. Headline inflation had increased to 6.5 percent in January 2010, more..

Douglas to go it alone at Parliamentary polls

Feb 1 (Island) EPDP leader, Social Services and Social Welfare Minister, Douglas Devananda, said he would go it alone at the next Parliamentary polls. He said that the Jaffna people knew him as EPDP leader and if he contested on the UPFA ticket, it would affect his vote base. "However, I will not leave the UPFA as a constituent party and I will join with President Mahinda Rajapaksa after winning this election," more..

President Rajapaksa to tour Russia

Feb 1 (LP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be leaving on an official visit to Russia within the next few days. According to the Presidential Media Unit the days of the visit is not yet confirmed. The President is expected to meet his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev and other Russian leaders. He will be discussing issues regarding bilateral relations between the two countries and economic assistance to Sri Lanka. more..

S.H. Sarath: Painting for freedom

UNF contests under elephant symbol

Feb 1 (DM) The United National Front will be contesting the upcoming General Election under the elephant symbol of the UNP, political party sources said yesterday. Sources said discussions among constituent parties of the United National Front had taken place to this effect. Inside party sources added the discussions had been positive and were heading towards a successful conclusion. more..

Special Identity Cards: Charles accuses Elections Commissioner

Feb 1 (DM) Vavuniya District Secretary Mrs. P.S.M. Charles yesterday found fault with the Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake for not approving the special identity card issued for the displaced as a valid document for voting, right till the day of polling. Mrs. Charles siad that she, shortly after the declaration of the Presidential Election, requested the Commissioner to accept this as a valid ID card for the displaced civilians to cast their ballots. more..

'Duped Muslims, Tamils voted against President'

Feb 1 (DM) Muslim and Tamil voters duped by foreign extremist forces voted against President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said S.B. Dissanayake at a media briefing at Kandy. He added that the Muslims and Tamils should not be blamed. They must be provided with more and more facilities. Parents would not be confronted with the calamity of abducting children for war in the North and East. more..

Killing the optimism

Feb 1 (DM) Even after the recent election victory of President Mahinda Rajapaksa many in his inner circles hold that the private media here are conspiring to oust President Mahinda Rajapaksa. They feel that a major chunk of private media including websites are part of an international conspiracy to bring down the President. The private media on the other hand believe that from morning till night the UPFA government is plotting to close media offices. more..

British-based Tamils vote for independent state in Sri Lanka

Feb 1 (Guardian) British-based Tamils have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the creation of an independent sovereign state in Sri Lanka, days after the man credited with crushing the Tamil Tigers's 26-year rebellion won a second term as the island's president. Nearly 65,000 members of the British Tamil diaspora turned out to vote in the weekend poll organised by the Tamil National Council. more..

Mervyn vows to end politics of hatred

Feb 1 (Island) Labour Minister Mervyn Silva said yesterday he would resign from politics if the government failed to keep its promises to the people by 2013. Participating in a religious ceremony held at the Uppalawanna Sri Vishnu Temple on Kandy Road, Kelaniya, the minister vowed to eliminate hatred and revenge from politics. more..

Lights, camera and a Sri Lankan election

Feb 1 (NDTV) The many nuances of Sri Lanka's politics played out for the world to see on the street of the Cinnamon Lakeside hotel in Colombo as counting of votes for the presidential election began on the 27th of January. Sri Lankan army soldiers surrounded the building, as President Mahinda Rajapakse's main rival Sarath Fonseka occupied an entire floor of the hotel with his team, moving there right after polls closed on the 26th night, citing security reasons. more..

Kamal and Chinthana win Golds for Sri Lanka at SAG

Feb 1 (LP) Sri Lanka was in the second place of the medal tally yesterday (31st Jan) at the 11th South Asian Games (SAG) 2010 held in Dhaka. Sri Lanka has so far won 5 medals with 02 golds, 02 silvers and one bronze. India is in the first place with 5 Gold and 1 bronze. Pakistan is in 3rd place with 1 gold medal, 5 silvers and 1 bronze. Weight-lifters Kamal Bandara and Chinthana Vidanage won gold medals at the Weightlifting Competition. more..

Opposition Sri Lankan Tamils, Muslim parties vow to stay united

Feb 1 (PTI) Opposition Tamil and Muslim parties today pledged to continue their alliance in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, buoyed by a favourable electoral tide in north and east of the country in the recent Presidential polls. "We have decided to work very closely with each other," the Parliamentary group leader of the pro-LTTE TNA R Sampanthan told more..

IDPs divided over election outcome

Feb 1 (IRIN) As the results of Sri Lanka's first post-war presidential election poured in, the mood at Menik Farm, in the main government-run camp for the ethnic Tamil internally displaced (IDPs), in the northern town of Vavuniya, was sober. Only 6,000 residents of the camp, home to some 118,000 IDPs, sought to register for the 27 January polls. "We want an opportunity to rebuild our shattered lives," said a resident, Sellamma Vallimuttu. more..

The new Rajapaksean regime

Feb 1 (Himal) The major lesson of the first post-war national election in Sri Lanka is that politics in the country is transforming. The debates, the challenges and the election itself were not so much about the two candidates, but rather were a response to incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse. It was a challenge that he did not expect after the war; but calling presidential elections two years ahead of schedule has indeed worked out, winning him another term. more..

Waiting for the Jaffna train

Feb 1 (Himal) When I visited Jaffna recently, like all those returning home after years away I too sensed feelings of nostalgia welling up inside. This was my first visit in six years, and almost 25 since I had last lived in Jaffna, as an 11-year-old. The opening lines are by A E Manoharan, the Tamil pop star and baila singer who took Jaffna by storm in the 1970s – a time when, in my mind, Manoharan was more popular than more..

India gets Prabhakaran's death certificate

Feb 1 (PTI) The CBI has received the “documentation” confirming the death of LTTE chief V. Prabakaran, prime accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination from the government of Sri Lanka, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said here today. “The CBI has told me that they received documentation from the Government of Sri Lanka confirming the death of Prabakaran,” the Home Minister said. more..

I won’t run away – SF

Feb 1 (Island) Opposition presidential candidate General (Retd.) Sarath Fonseka said an affidavit prepared by him would be made public if anything untowards happened to him. Addressing a media briefing at his residence on Saturday evening, he said his office had been searched for about five hours on Friday afternoon by the CID, assisted by the Special Task Force (STF). more..

Towards a Rajapakse future

Feb 1 (Himal) The president now has to set out ruling, and healing, a divided island. Will he? The outcome of Sri Lanka’s presidential election removed the only real impediment to the dynastic project of the ruling Rajapakse family. Unsurprisingly Mahinda Rajapakse won the election. He obtained 57.9 percent of the valid vote, in sharp contrast to the 40.2 percent polled by his main rival, Sarath Fonseka, more..

12 Army top brass asked to retire over alleged conspiracy charges

Feb 1 (DM) Twelve top army officers including three Major Generals have been asked to retire from the service with immediate effect over a ‘political conspiracy’ while in the service, a highly placed military official said yesterday. “These officers have been asked to retire as their service is no longer required to the Army,” the military official told the Daily Mirror on the condition of anonymity. more..

Fear and anxiety in battered Tamil city

Feb 2 (BBC) Beneath the surface in Jaffna - the cultural capital of Sri Lanka's Tamils - there is underlying concern and anxiety following last week's presidential election. President Mahinda Rajapaksa won the election by a huge margin. But he got fewer votes than his rival, retired General Sarath Fonseka, in Tamil-dominated northern and eastern regions, particularly in Jaffna. "We are disappointed with the election result. more..

SEP condemns EPDP thuggery on Kayts

Feb 2 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) condemns the actions of EPDP thugs on the northern island of Kayts last Thursday, following the January 26 presidential election. Clearly shocked by the low voter turnout and lack of support for President Mahinda Rajapakse, an EPDP gang physically attacked dozens of people—young and old—berating them for not voting, or for voting for opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka or SEP candidate Wije Dias. more..

Minister resigns on health reason

Feb 2 (Xinhua) Agriculture Minister Hemakumara Nanayakkara resigned from his portfolio on Monday on the reason of bad health condition. "I have been given instruction by my cardiologist to get a long rest," Nanayakkara said. He told reporters that he is also resigning from active politics and will not contest for any future election. He said although he will not contest the forthcoming general election he will continue his support to President more..

Aftermath of Sri Lankan Election

Feb 2 (KT) As the information of President Mahinda Rajapaksa's landslide electoral victory trickled out of Colombo, this columnist like most political analysts was taken by surprise. A vast majority had indeed forecast a neck-to-neck fight between Rajapaksa and the opposition presidential candidate, Sarath Fonseka, in this historic poll. Theories of the spiraling cost of living and unfettered nepotism and corruption denting Rajapaksa's political support more..

Shares at new record on post-poll buying

Feb 2 (Reuters) Shares hit a new record on Monday as retail investors bought shares in heavy trade, banking on post-election stability and economic recovery after President Mahinda Rajapaksa's re-election on last week. The All-Share Price Index .CSE of the Colombo Stock Exchange jumped 1.86 percent to touch a new record high of 3704.20 points, surpassing a previous all-time high of 3647.80 recorded on Thursday. more..