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'No demos in and around Court complex'

Feb 14 (SO) Chief Justice Asoka de Silva said that no one should be allowed to conduct any demonstration or protest campaign in and around the Court Complex. The Chief Justice made this observation during the proceedings of General Sarath Fonseka’s Fundamental Rights application on Friday. When the Fundamental Rights application of General Sarath Fonseka was taken up before a three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Friday Deputy Solicitor General S. Rajaratnam, more..

'A new milestone reached in Lanka-Russia ties'

Feb 14 (SO) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama in an interview with the Sunday Observer says the international community must view the arrest of Rtd. Gen. Sarath Fonseka as an internal affair of Sri Lanka. Minister Bogollagama also highlighted the significance of Lanka-Russia ties, which received a boost with the President’s State visit. Here are excerpts from the interview: more..

Sinhalese direct Tamil education in East

Feb 14 (TN) After Rajapaksa was elected as president for his second term, top ranking education officers of the Eastern Province are being replaced by Sinhalese, trade union sources of educational administrative officers of the Eastern Province said. "Ninety percent of schools in the eastern province disseminate education in Tamil medium. Ninety percent of the student and teacher population are also Tamil speaking. more..

Arresting Fonseka Was the Right – and the Legal – Thing to Do

Feb 14 (AT) About twenty protestors gathered in the sunshine yesterday in front of the high-rise building housing the Sri Lankan Consulate in Mid-Wilshire Los Angeles. They very vocally voiced their displeasure over the arrest and detention of retired general Sarath Fonseka – who is in Sri Lanka, of course. When I heard about the feeble, not-well-attended protest I wondered why more..

Germen Technical College exhibition from tomorrow

Feb 14 (LP) The exhibition organized by the Germen Technical College to commemorate its 50 years will commence tomorrow (15). The exhibition will be declared open by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Germen Technical College premises in Moratuwa and it will go on till the 17th of this month. It is open to public from 10.00 am to 07.00 pm. The new building premises will also be vested on the students on the day with more..

Many victims of Matale food poisoning now discharged

Feb 14 (LP) Many of the students who were hospitalized due to poisoning of food in the Matale district have left the hospitals. According to Police Spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakodi, a total of 114 students from three schools in Matale were admitted to the hospital after consuming the noon meal provided to them by the school on the 10th of February. A grade 04 student of the Buddhagosha Vidyalaya, Kavishka Dhananjani died in admission to the hospital. more..

'Gordon Weiss' comment a false utterance'

Feb 14 (MoD) Minister of Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe refuting former UN spokesman in Colombo, Gordon Weiss's comment about civilian deaths during the final stages of the war against LTTE terrorism, said that no one should take serious note on his disclosure as it was a false utterance. "It is not worth commenting on his disclosure, which is completely misleading and false", more..

New programme launched for Lifetime Care of disabled soldiers

Feb 14 (MoD) A programme has been launched to look after the disabled soldiers throughout their lifetime. Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya said that priority was being given to the welfare of the war heroes. The Army Chief made this statement while speaking during a visit to the Eastern Province. It was his first visit to East since he assumed office as the Army Commander. A Guard-of-Honour was accorded to him at the 234th Brigade headquarters in Kalladdy. more..

Already 175,000 re-settled in the North

Feb 14 (MoD) People are being resettled in several areas of the North and 2216 people who were displaced due to LTTE's unlawful reign of terror will be resettled in Karachchi area in Kilinochchi, Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services, Rishad Bathiudeen said. He pointed out that, they will be provided financial assistance of 50,000 Rupees and dry rations, adequate for 6 months. Already 175,000 people have been resettled in the north. more..

Expo of Lankan artist’s works in Doha

Feb 14 (GT) Sri Lankan expatriate Janaka Kulasekera is organising a solo painting exhibition on February 19 and 20 at the Sri Lankan embassy. “The focus of my exhibition titled ‘Be together for all’ is to express gratitude to our gallant forces and to remember those who lost their lives during the last two decades,” he said yesterday. The paintings are dedicated to the memories of humanitarian operations carried out by the forces in Sri Lanka. more..

Gomin Dayasiri expresses concern over General's remarks

Feb 14 (GDI) Attorney at Law Gomin Dayasiri has expressed concern over the statement made by General Sarath Fonseka to the BBC that he is prepared to go before the international war crimes tribunals and give facts on war crimes committed in Sri Lanka. Expressing views to media, he said it is indeed extremely tragic that Sarath Fonseka having been defeated at the election has decided to target more..

Moratuwa to begin new course in IT and Management

Feb 14 (GDI) The University Grants Commission has decided to enroll thousand more students in universities. The Senior Additional Secretary to the University Grants Commission Priyantha Hemakumara has said that the number will be increased to 21,000 this year. The eligible students have to forward their applications before the February 26. Last year 20,000 students were admitted to the universities. more..

Jaffna University Convocation after three years

Feb 14 (LP) The University of Jaffna will hold its Convocation after three years on February 26. The Convocation will be significant as it is the first post-war convocation of the University of Jaffna, and clear a backlog of awards. Speaking to Lankapuvath Vice Chancellor of the University Professor N shanmugalingam said that a formal convocation was being organized after a lapse of three years. more..

TNA plunges into confusion

Feb 14 (NS) The TNA has been plunged into confusion with TNA hierarchy taking a unilateral decision to ask its members to send in nomination applications, but many members of its four constituent parties and its independent members are of the opinion there is no necessity for them to send applications as they were sitting members. One angry TNA former Parliamentarian said, “They have our bio-data and they know our record so what is this need for us to send in new applications?” more..

Arrest of Gen. Fonseka ‑ The dividing line

Feb 14 (NS) Q: You have expressed disappointment at the way General Fonseka was arrested. Can you elaborate on this matter? A: The arrest of General Fonseka happened in one of the most despicable, inhumane ways possible. Just a few months ago, the General was touted as a national hero. In fact, he was the main military leader who gave the most important military leadership in winning the war. more..

CWC hitches wagon to UPFA for general election

Feb 14 (NS) The biggest estate sector trade union and political party, the Ceylon Workers Congress, with a paid up membership of about 300,000 workers, this week decided to contest the general election under the UPFA, and its leader Arumugam Thondaman said yesterday that the party will field a total of ten candidates from seven districts. Though critics were ready to write off the party as a fast declining entity, more..

Will Party loyalty count for a seat in the House

Feb 14 (NS) After much speculation, Parliament was dissolved this week, paving the way for general elections in April,and, in preparing for the polls ahead, both the collective Opposition and the ruling UPFA has enough problems to contend with- although they are quite different from each other. Unlike the presidential election, which was called by President Mahinda Rajapaksa two years prior to the end of his six year term of office, more..

CID probes Danuna’s accounts

Feb 14 (NS) The Police CID probed bank accounts and safe deposit lockers belonging to the son-in-law of Sarath Fonseka- Danuna Tilakaratne, being maintained at a private bank in Colombo. The Government alleged that Danuna Tilakaratne had obtained commissions for weapons procurements made for the Sri Lankan Armed Forces during the time that Gen. Fonseka was at the helm of the Sri Lanka Army. more..

To safeguard the fountain of life

Feb 14 (NS) Parallel to affirmative laws, gender-based violence, women and development, increasing women’s participation in decision-making, women and skills training, women and labour are all interconnected issues, which should be prioritised by the State, believes Marini de Livera Attorney-at-Law, National Professional Personnel, UNFPA/Ministry of Child Development & Women’s Empowerment. more..

Kanneliya awaits justice: Brutal assault of game ranger by minister’s goons

Feb 14 (NS) As the entire country was engaged in celebrating its 62nd Independence Day, a group of supporters of a government minister was staging another ugly drama in the Kanneliya Forest reserve. According to environment activists, this was an unprecedented act. A range forest officer, who only inspired conserving the forest, was being brutally assaulted by a group of political henchmen for carrying out his duties. more..

Elephant – Swan tussle still unresolved

Feb 14 (Island) The Elephant vs Swan tussle remains alive and kicking with both the UNP and the JVP refusing to give in with nominations for the election commencing on February 19. The government side has nearly finalized its list of candidates with three nomination boards chaired by Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva, Anura Priyadharsana Yapa and W.D.J. Seneviratne completing their task. more..

‘Sixty percent of SME sector on verge of collapse’

Feb 14 (Island) ‘Unless the government extends a bailout package immediately to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector, a minimum of 60% of these enterprises would collapse, throwing a considerable number of the sector’s employees out on the streets’, Chamber of Small and Medium Industries president Aloy Jayawardene told the Monetary Policy Consultative Committee of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Feb. 11. more..

Moragoda’s new party spurns election campaign extravagance

Feb 14 (Island) Minister Milinda Moragoda’s new Sri Lanka National Congress, expected to run three candidates (including Moragoda) under the ruling UPFA banner in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, has in a letter to "fellow citizen’’ has criticized wastefull expensive election campaigns and pledged to curtail its own expenditure and spend the money saved in useful social work. more..

Catapults and mortar pieces

Feb 14 (Island) Days after President Mahinda Rajapaksa, with a magnificent presidential election victory under his belt, declared in his Independence Day address in Kandy that the country was entering a 'golden era’ in our international relations after ``a period of some controversy," we have once again attracted negative foreign attention by the Sarath Fonseka arrest. Several countries, including India, the United States and the European Union have called for more..

N-E Tamil Muslim parties still undecided

Feb 14 (Island) Tamil and Muslim political parties from the North and the East such as the EPDP, ACMC, NC, TMVP, NUA and the PLOTE continue with the selection of candidates but have decided to put off their earlier decision to contest alone until senior presidential advisor, MP, Basil Rajapaksa returns to the country next week, political sources said yesterday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa as well as UPFA General Secretary Minister Susil Premajayanth held discussions more..

Folly and fallout of Fonseka drama

Feb 14 (ST) A group of military policemen were rehearsing a top secret drill last Monday with their Provost Marshal, Brigadier Jagath Wijesiri, at their headquarters in Narahenpita. The questions the men raised and the answers they received showed it was a delicate operation. Various methods of dealing with their quarry played out. That included how to wrest control of him when seated or when he is standing. more..

Fonseka defies military inquiry

Feb 14 (ST) Retired General Sarath Fonseka on Friday refused to appear before a senior Army officer tasked to record “summary of evidence” – the prelude to a Court Martial – claiming he was now a civilian. Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya, assigned his number two, Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Daya Ratnayake, for this purpose. He was directed to obtain a written “summary of evidence” from witnesses over more..

Chinese here for cyber censorship

Feb 14 (ST) Experts from China — which is embroiled in a battle with global search giant Google over allegations of web censorship — will help Sri Lanka to block “offensive” websites. IT experts of China’s Military Intelligence Division will be here within the next two weeks to map out the modalities required for this process. The TRC will introduce necessary legislation to make registration with the institution compulsory for all news websites. more..

Angry US summons envoy

Feb 14 (ST) The United States has lodged strong protests with Sri Lanka over the arrest of opposition presidential candidate retired General Sarath Fonseka and remarks attributed to Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that the US funded the opposition’s campaign. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador Jaliya Wickremasuriya was summoned to the State Department in Washington to be handed a protest note over the two issues. more..

JVP says General to lead new alliance

Feb 14 (ST) Detained Gen (retd) Sarath Fonseka will give leadership to a new political alliance under which the JVP and other parties will contest the upcoming Parliamentary elections, a senior member of the JVP said yesterday. JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath said the party had decided to contest under a new party and a new symbol after the failure of talks with the United National Front (UNF) to contest under a common alliance. more..

‘Junior officers may not arrest a very senior Army officer’

Feb 14 (ST) The Supreme Court has granted leave to proceed in a fundamental rights petition filed by Anoma Fonseka, wife of defeated Common Opposition candidate, General Sarath Fonseka, against the unlawful and arbitrary arrest and detention of General Fonseka. In her petition, Mrs. Fonseka says that on February 8 her husband, General Sarath Fonseka, was holding a meeting with political leaders at his campaign headquarters when he was forcibly removed from more..

Sri Lanka monks back arrested ex-army chief

Feb 14 (AFP) Leaders of Sri Lanka's influential Buddhist clergy backed opposition demands Sunday for the immediate release of former army chief and defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka. Top monks of all key sects as well as the guardians of the island's holiest shrine, the Temple of The Tooth, made a joint appeal to President Mahinda Rajapakse to free Fonseka, who was taken into military custody last week. more..

Attempts by govt. to sanction ‘Sirasa’

Feb 15 (LT) The government has decided not to allow any UPFA candidates to participate in any programmes of ‘Sirasa’ TV and not to get any advertisement of the UPFA election campaign telecast through the channel. An individual who had joined the government recently after forming his own party when he was sacked by his former party and who by force obtained the ministerial portfolio given to his party when more..

JVP & General to contest election in a broad front

Feb 15 (LT) The JVP is prepared to contest the forthcoming general election with a broad alternative front says the JVP. The General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva, said his party would not fall down to the low level of isolating Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who contested the presidential election as the Common Candidate on the invitation of opposition parties but now being detained on false charges, and more..

The groomed thug at Maharagama exposed

Feb 15 (LT) We published photographs of a person in civilian clothes who suddenly emerged from nowhere during the police attack on the demonstration organized at Maharagama to protest against the illegal arrest and detention of the Common Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka and pointed out demonstrators and ordered police to arrest them. He was also seen assaulting demonstrators. We have received a large number of responses to our query and are able to present a few of them to our viewers. more..

Ethnic consciousness: The case of Sri Lanka

Feb 15 (TC) The dangers inherent in emphasising difference and exclusiveness as the foundations of collective identities are not to be underestimated. While group identities provide various benefits, the consequences of a group considering itself superior to others often results in violence. The polarised ethnic consciousnesses of the two main groups in Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese and the Tamils, has fuelled a violent civil conflict for over 25 years. more..

Fonseka's counsel 'threatened'

Feb 15 (BBC) The main opposition in Sri Lanka says that the lawyer representing former military commander is receiving threats. UNP says that Presidents Counsel Wijedasa Rajapaksa has received many calls since Saturday evening threatening him to stay away from representing Gen Sarath Fonseka. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told journalists in Colombo that Mr. Rajapaksa is preparing a petition, more..

Dismal outlook for banks to win the next financial crisis

Feb 15 (LG) I receive the ‘Finance & Development’, the quarterly publication of the International Monetary Fund, regularly; for more than three decades. But, I was never attracted to read all the articles in a single issue. It was different in the case of the last issue, released for December 2009. The present global economic crisis, something not seen since the great depression, has changed not only the thinking of the American ruling class but also that of the Imf. more..

“Fonseka’’ a F word for deeper fissures and faults..

Feb 15 (LG) For some people, there is a sign of deepening malaise in Sri Lankan society, but for others, it is business as usual. But last week’s peremptory incarceration of Sarath Fonseka, common opposition presidential candidate, seems also to highlight the developing chasm between two strands in our society —— the nationalist, and the globalist. Now, these are narrow definitions that would almost immediately invite criticism for oversimplification or naivete or both. more..

Independence celebrated in Bahrain amidst huge gathering of Sri Lankans

Feb 15 (IL) For the first time ever, the "Sri Lanka's National Day" was celebrated in an unprecedented scale by the Sri Lankan community in Bahrain on 12th February 2010 at the Indian School in Isa Town, with the presence of distinguished guests from the Bahraini Government, members of the Diplomatic & Consular Corps, the international community and a large gathering of Sri Lankans well over 1200. more..