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Sri Lanka to utilize Satellite Imagery for disaster management

Feb 19 (IL) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe to hold the 5th Sentinel Asia System Operation Training in Colombo from 22nd to 26th February 2010 with technical support from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and to utilize an amount of up to Rs. One million from the consolidated fund for this purpose as the local component. more..

'To contest with a common symbol would be the proper way'

Feb 19 (LT) The most proper way for the opposition to contest the general election is to do it without any division and with a single symbol says renowned artist W. Jayasiri. He said a united opposition is the need of the hour due to the present situation in the country. Speaking to the V-FM radio channel today Mr. Jayasiri said, "The UNP has already decided to contest with the 'elephant' symbol. This is the decision of traditional UNP supporters. more..

Sri Lanka Seylan Bank ends year with profit

Feb 19 (LBO) Seylan Bank group said losses narrowed to 16.5 million rupees in the December quarter from 689 million a year ago and that it ended the year with a profit. The bank said in a stock exchange filing that it made a full year net profit of 569 million rupees compared with a loss of 142 million the year before. In the December quarter the loss per share was down to 0.35 rupees compared with a loss of 16.50 rupees the year before. more..

Japanese funds to improve Jaffna Teaching Hospital

Feb 19 (IL) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to sign the Exchange of notes with the Government of Japan pertaining to the Project for improvement of central function of Jaffna teaching hospital and to enter into a grant agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to obtain a grant of Japanese Yen 2,298 million for the implementation of the project. more..

Sri Lanka wins a war and diminishes democracy

Feb 19 (Nation) In its 62 years of independence, Sri Lanka has never had a better chance than it has now to stamp out the last fires of ethnic hatred, violence and mindless chauvinisms that have left over 80,000 people dead in civil wars across one of the most physically beautiful countries in Asia. Tragically for all Sri Lankans, it looks as if its increasingly autocratic president, reelected in January on a surge of Sinhala triumphalism following more..

Combat Trauma from the ancient times to modern day

Feb 19 (LG) The psychophysical effects of combat have been recorded since the early days of Human civilization. From the time of Homer’s ancient story of the battle between the Trojans and the Greeks, (1200 BC) military personnel have been confronted by the trauma of war. According to the historians, Saul the King of Israel (11 Century BC) had abnormal behavior with inclination towards violence. On one occasion, he went in to a brutal rage and tried to kill his son Jonathan. more..

Murdered Sri Lankan journalist honored as 'hero'

Feb 19 (CNN) A Sri Lankan journalist who was fatally shot last year has been recognized by the International Press Institute as a hero for freedom of the press, the group announced Thursday. The institute said it is naming Lasantha Wickrematunge, who was editor of The Sunday Leader, as an IPI World Press Freedom Hero. Wickrematunge, a fierce critic of the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger militants, more..

Removal of electoral organizer posts violates SLFP Constitution

feb 19 (LNW) A senior government minister told Lanka News Web that the President’s decision to remove the posts of electoral organizers by replacing them with the posts of district organizers is a complete violation of the SLFP Constitution. He explained that the party organizers have been allocated with specific powers and any one who wished to join the party could do so only through the electoral organizers. more..

Conscienceless fabrication no impediment to hold public office?

Feb 19 (LG) A group of security staff for the retired General Sarath Fonseka, who was the common candidate in the last presidential election,were released by a magistrate yesterday (17th February) as there was no evidence against them to hold them in detention any further. They were arrested on the 27th of January while the election results were being counted. A large military contingent of soldiers was sent to guard the hotel where more..

'Maha Sangha Assembly never cancelled'

Feb 19 (BBC) The proposed Maha Sangha Assembly was never cancelled, says the Ven.Prof. Aththangane Rathanapala Nayaka Thera. The Maha Nayaka Thera of the Malwatte Chapter hopes to re-schedule and summon the postponed Maha Sangha Assembly in the future, the Ven.Prof. Aththangane Rathanapala Nayaka Thera told reporters on Thursday. The Maha Sangha Assembly called by the Maha Nayakas of the three chapters was more..

Ayaram And Tamil

Feb 19 (LG) The recent ‘jest ‘of film star Jayaram against the Tamil as black skinned , buffalo like and therefore less human has been taken as just a joke by the cultural scene of Kerala. Not only that sympathy was expressed for the poor victim that he is, inadvertently cracking an innocent joke and thereby exposing himself to the ire of ‘violent’ Tamil,even solidarity was expressed with the right to crack such jokes by the ’ordinary folks’. more..

Some exclusives on Fonseka Coup

Feb 19 (LG) The first allegations that Fonseka was plotting against the political leadership of the country came in late 2005 when he was chosen and subsequently appointed Army Commander. These allegations were made by some top-ranking Army officers. We were privy to some of this information at that time. While a good section of President Rajapakse's close aides took it seriously, Secretary Defence Gotabhaya Rajapakse vetoed the allegations and defended Fonseka. more..

'TULF is a legacy of ‘Thanthai Selva’ to the Tamil Speaking People'

Feb 19 (TC) There is no doubt that the present situation demands absolute unity of all Tamils and Tamil speaking people, not only of the North and the East but also of the West, South and the Centre, not to confront the Government but to evolve a consensus towards finding a lasting solution, acceptable to the Tamils, without prejudice to the interests of the other communities in Sri Lanka. more..

AFC Challenge Cup: Sri Lanka 1-3 Tajikistan

Feb 19 (Goal) Tajikistan bounced back from their opening game defeat with a comprehensive 3-1 win over hosts Sri Lanka, who have now lost both their matches. The Central Asians scored twice in the first half and were cruising in the second period until the Lankans pulled one back. But another Tajikistan goal in injury time sealed all three points for the 2006 winners. Tajikistan made a very good start and nearly took the lead after five minutes when more..

‘Fish collection’ for parish restarts after war ends

Feb 19 (UCAN) A traditional practice of selling fish to support their parish has restarted among Tamil fishermen in Jaffna, thanks to the end of the 26-year civil war. These days in the early mornings, one can see 78-year-old Soosai Sebastian, clad in a white sarong and shirt, standing with a container at the beach and shouting, “Fish for the church! Fish for the church!” Fishermen, returning from their night catch, more..

Catholic leaders upset over Fonseka’s arrest

Feb 19 (UCAN) The Conference of Major Religious Superiors of Sri Lanka (CMRS) has expressed its concern over the arrest of the country’s former army chief and called on the government to respect the rule of law. “Respect … basic human rights and uphold the principle of reconciliation, forgiveness, freedom of the media, freedom of speech and the right to dissent,” more..

Sri Lankan parties part ways

Feb 19 (Hindu) Sri Lanka's mainstream opposition parties, which demonstrated a rare unity by backing the presidential candidature of the former Army Chief, Sarath Fonseka, have decided to part ways and form their own alliances for the April 8 parliamentary election. The (UNP) has decided to fight under its own election symbol and is wooing several smaller opposition parties that had thrown their weight behind General (retired) Fonseka. more..

Lanka determined to Court Martial Fonseka

Feb 19 (EB) Despite protests from the national opposition parties and the international community, the Sri Lankan government appears to be determined to Court Martial former Army Commander and defeated Presidential candidate Gen.Sarath Fonseka, reliable sources say. It is unofficially learnt that the Court Martial would be headed by the senior most officer in the tri-services, Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetileke. more..

Permanent prejudices of the establishment: 20 years after Richard de Zoysa

Feb 19 (TC) Richard de Zoysa died twenty years ago, in the early hours of February 18th 1990. He had been abducted from his home earlier that night by a posse of armed men, part of the death squads which had dealt with what was seen in those days as the JVP menace. The methods used during that period to rid the country of what was seen as terror are now all forgotten. more..

Transport allowance for teachers

Feb 19 (MoD) The Government has decided to offer a transport allowance to schoolteachers serving in Government schools in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu areas. Considering transport inconvenience faced by the schoolteachers in these areas the Government will give Rs. 2,000 as transport allowance from this month. Accordingly the teachers will receive the allowance with the February salary. more..

UK aids child friendly activities in IDP centres

Feb 19 (MoD) Around 21,500 children are benefiting from child-friendly activities at Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) established by the UNICEF, in collaboration with partners. 130 Child Friendly Spaces are established in the North and East IDP centres that are providing children with psychosocial support through cultural, recreational and other guided activities. 66 of these have been supported with funds from the UK, more..

'President sent his secretary Weeratunga secretly for talks with the LTTE'

Feb 19 (TC) What we have observed in this country over the past several decades, is that when one crisis is over, it’s followed by an even bigger crisis. Once the LTTE problem was finally dealt with, we had to face what was in my view the biggest threat to democracy in the post independence history of this country in the form of last month’s presidential election. more..

Attacks on the Press 2009: Sri Lanka

Feb 19 (CPJ) On May 19, the government formally declared a victory in its 26-year civil war with the secessionist LTTE, which had claimed territory for an ethnic Tamil homeland. Victory came at a high price for the press. Escalating attacks on independent journalists coincided with the government’s 2006 decision to pursue an all-out military victory, CPJ found in a February special report, “Failure to Investigate.” more..

300,000 public servants to be deployed for election duty

Feb 19 (GDI) Elections Secretariat will deploy 300,000 Public Servants for election duty in the forthcoming general election. Two hundred and fifty thousand public servants were engaged in election duty during the Presidential Election. The Elections Secretariat sources said that the number of public servants has to be increased parallel to the number of elections officials engaged in election duty. more..

Thousands of Tamils still in detention camps

Feb 19 (wsws) Tens of thousands of Tamil civilians, who fled the fighting in the final days of the military’s offensive against the LTTE, remain in squalid detention camps in northern Sri Lanka. The official total is 106,000, with around 80,000 people still in the Manik Farm camps near the town of Vavuniya. After the LTTE’s defeat last May, the army rounded up 280,000 men, women and children and put them in detention centres more..

Sri Lanka only country in Asia Pacific region to eradicate Malaria by 98%

Feb 19 (GDI) Sri Lanka is the only country in the Asia Pacific region that has eradicated Malaria by 98% and the country has emerged as one nation, following the total eradication of terrorism that prevailed for almost three decades, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said at a special conference held at Kandy, targeting the elimination of Malaria from South East Asian region. more..

ADB and Japan to help improve Power sector

Feb 19 (GDI) The ADB and Japan will provide support to Sri Lanka to improve its power transmission system and expand rural electrification. An ADB statement said this will contribute towards the Government’s goal of widening public access to electricity services from 80 percent to 98 percent by 2016. Country Director of ADB’s Resident Mission, Richard Vokes said that in Sri Lanka, power sector development will be critical to post war development. more..

IDPs allowed to cast vote at other centres

Feb 19 (GDI) Applications for displaced persons to cast their votes at an alternative polling centre will be received until the 26th of this month. The Elections Secretariat announced that these applications should be directed to it within seven days of the announcement of nominations. Accordingly, based on the situation prevailing in the area where the respective polling booths are located, more..

Nominations accepted from today

Feb 19 (GDI) The nominations for the General Election will be accepted from today. It will continue till the 26th of this month. Two hundred and twenty five Members of Parliament will be elected in the General Election. Out of this total, 196 will be voted while the remaining 29 will be appointed from the National List. The independent groups have already started placing their deposits. 9 independent groups had placed their deposits up to 16th of February. more..

Transport allowance for Kilinochchi & Mulaitivu teachers

Feb 19 (MoD) The Government has decided to offer a transport allowance to schoolteachers serving in Government schools in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu areas. Considering transport inconvenience faced by the schoolteachers in these areas the Government will give Rs. 2,000 as transport allowance from this month. Accordingly the teachers will receive the allowance with the February salary. more..

Govt and UK to set up fund for N & E development

Feb 19 (GDI) The Government is focusing on setting up a new fund to carry out development work in the North and East with the help of Great Britain. Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama made this observation at a media briefing held recently with the participation of British Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox. more..

Clearing operations continue

Feb 19 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army troops engaging the clearing operations in northern part of the island recovered some war items yesterday too. Troops of 59 Division found one 130mm mortar bomb in general area Mulathivu and two 99RANGAN AP mines in general area Andankulam. Meanwhile the troops of 683 Brigade recovered four T-56 MK11 weapons and twelve T-56 Mags in general area Sugandipuram and the troops of 561 Brigade doing their clearing operations in general area more..

PM tells architects, time has come for change

Feb 19 (GDI) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake has said that the time has come to develop the country while surmounting challenges. Addressing local and Commonwealth architects, the Prime Minister said they had come to Sri Lanka at a time when changes were taking place across the country in various fields. He said that the country’s development programmes are being implemented and this is the time for change, challenges in the country. more..

“Uthuru Mithuru” fund, a link between North and South

Feb 19 (LP) The handing over of contributions for “Uthuru Mithuru” was made to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the 17th at Temple Trees. What the Government recognizes through “Uthuru Mithuru” fund is the sacrifice of the public and Trade Uninons which surpass symbolic contributions they make stated the President. The Common people and Trade Unions have understood their duty by their own people President elaborated. more..

Political processions banned as from today

Feb 19 (LP) Election related processions have been barred till the 15th of April 2010 in view of the forth coming Parliamentarian Election on the 08th of April. The decision to bar processions was brought in keeping with section 69 of of the Parliament Act 1981 according to Senior DIG Gamini Nawaratne. Stern action will be taken on those who violate this law and they will be arrested immediately he said. more..

New Ambassadors handed over Credentials

Feb 19 (LP) Six new Ambassadors handed over credentials to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at President’s Office this morning (19). President Mahinda Rajapaksa received credentials from the new Ambassadors of The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal Mr. Sushil Chandra Amatya, France Ms. Christine Robichon, The Republic of Bulgaria Mr. Borislav Kirilov Kostov, The Republic of Sudan Mr. Khidir Haroun Ahamed Abdulrazig, more..

The learned monks attempt to revive civil society

Feb 19 (LG) At a press conference held on behalf of the Sanga Convention monks of the three leading Buddhist chapters explained the reasons for postponing the National Convention of Buddhist Monks which was to be held at Kandy yesterday, the 18th February. The three monks who spoke at this press conference were, the Ven. Pro. Atthangane Rathanapala, the Ven. Atthangane Sasanarathna and more..

Making a mockery of Patriot Act

Feb 19 (LNP) The apex court in the US is scheduled to hear a case which is expected to redefine the differences between humanitarian aid and aiding and abetting terrorist groups like Hamas, al-Qaeda and Tamil Tigers. The lawsuit filed by a left-wing special interest group known as the Humanitarian Law Project (HLP) is said to be the first constitutional test of the so-called `material support` provision of the US Patriot Act, more..

Disappearance of human rights defender Mr Pattani Razeek

Feb 19 (LNW) Front Line is gravely concerned by reports of the disappearance of human rights defender, Mr Pattani Razeek, managing trustee of the Community Trust Fund (CTF) and member of the Executive Committee of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA). The CTF provides emergency relief assistance to those affected by the civil war in Sri Lanka as well as by natural disasters. more..

TNA considers opening offices in Delhi, Colombo

Feb 19 (TN) On being asked whether TNA has plans to open its party offices in Delhi and Colombo, Suresh Premachadran, TNA spokesman and MP, said that efforts are being taken to open the two offices but they will be opened only after the parliamentary election. In response to a question whether the Indian Government has granted permission to open an office of TNA in Delhi, he did not give a clear answer. more..