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'Rising sea levels could shrink coastline'

Feb 21 (Island) Minister Professor Tissa Vitarana warned that rising sea levels would cause severe upheaval, and as already identified, the Maldives would be submerged. Coupled with these facts, he said Sri Lanka too would be subject to rising sea levels. ‘When’, not ‘If’ that happened, it would be that coastal areas would be invaded by the sea. "We need to re-locate most coastal areas and towns, including Colombo to higher ground. more..

Minister, ‘poor’ wife in alleged land scandal

Feb 21 (ST) The wife of a non-cabinet minister allegedly posed off as a member of a low income group family and obtained a 15-perch state land worth millions in Battaramulla on the recommendation of her husband. The issue has been brought to the notice of the Commission to Investigate Allegation of Bribery or Corruption along with the documentary evidence which includes the letter sent by the minister’s wife and the recommendation given by the UDA. more..

Underused powers of the Commissioner of Elections

Feb 21 (Island) The CIMOGG has pointed out previously, in several different contexts, that the 17th Amendment has been increasingly violated from almost its very birth in October 2001. However, there is one provision of this Amendment that has been kept partially intact by the powers that be in order to permit elections to be held periodically without, however, conforming to the spirit of the bulk of the 17th Amendment. more..

Where will Fonseka go from here?

Feb 21 (ST) Retired General Sarath Fonseka continues to boycott the sessions before a senior Army officer tasked to record a 'summary of evidence', the prelude to his facing trial before a General Court Martial (GCM). He maintains that he is now a civilian and is therefore no longer subject to military law. As our front page report today reveals, his attorney, President's Counsel Wijedasa Rajapaksa, confirmed this. more..

Deadly drink

Feb 21 (ST) M.P. Suneetha Manel felt trapped. There was no one to turn to, no succour. She had begged and pleaded that she be sent home. She had suffered the hardships of a regimented routine of work, with hardly any free time. The "Madam" in Lebanon didn't assault her or the "Bossa" sexually abuse her, but they didn't give her to eat, while she slaved day and night. Off and on, as hunger made her faintish, she would surreptitiously steal a rotti with a small piece of fried batu (brinjal) from the fridge, more..

Give us honourable MPs please

Feb 21 (ST) Nominations are being accepted for the next General Election. The recently-dissolved Parliament virtually completed the full distance, just three months short of its mandated six years. It was lucky to have overcome a few hiccups on the way. Thanks to a mass defection of opposition members, the Government survived a 2007 budget vote that could have otherwise brought it crashing down. The previous two Parliaments, those of 2000 and 2001 had shorter life spans. more..

FR petition by CPA aimed at clarifying polls procedures

Feb 21 (Island) ‘The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) is strongly considering filing a fundamental rights petition in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, aimed at seeking clarification on the procedures to be adopted with regard to polling, ballot counting and other issues, which generated controversy at the Jan. 26 presidential poll’, the CPA’s Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu said. more..

President halts cyber censorship

Feb 21 (ST) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered the suspension of a plan by telecommunications regulator to censor anti-government websites by blocking access to it with Chinese assistance. This reversal of the decision by the TRC follows last week’s Sunday Times front page report which referred to measures to clamp down on anti government information disseminated via independent online media. more..

Ex-MPs face threats: IGP not acting on Polls Chief request

Feb 21 (ST) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake has urged Police Chief Mahinda Balasuriya to find a way to provide security to former opposition MPs, who have complained to him that the withdrawal of their security is posing a threat to their lives and hampering their campaign for the general elections. In a letter after he met opposition party leaders, the Polls Chief told the IGP he believes former opposition MPs --mainly some party leaders need police security. more..

Film, sports stars join in April 8 fray

Feb 21 (ST) Last-minute changes and party bickering dominated the selection process of candidates for the April 8 Parliamentary elections. At this stage, Parliament veterans and their families appear to have the edge. With five days to go before nominations close, the main parties have more or less finalised their lists. Film stars, sports personalities, journalists, businessmen and professionals are among those vying for seats. more..

Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayake- Acting Chief Justice

Feb 21 (IL) Senior Supreme court Judge, Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayake took oaths as the Acting Chief Justice before President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the President’s House this morning on Sunday 21st February. She took oaths in the post as Chief Justice Asoka De Silva is on an overseas visit. She was appointed for this post for many times even in President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s period when more..

Jackson Anthony won’t contest

Feb 21 (NS) Contrary to popular opinion, veteran media personality Jackson Anthony will not be contesting the upcoming general election. Speaking to The Nation, Anthony said,“There have been stories spreading around the media that I’ll be contesting the election from the government. This is not true. I have no interest in getting involved in active politics at this moment”. more..

President on General Sarath Fonseka's arrest

Feb 21 (GDI) Mahinda Rajapaksa, in a recent conversation with N. Ram, the Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu lasting for three-and-a-half hours at Temple Trees in Colombo, said the following on the arrest of the retired General and possible consequences of a Fonseka victory : When I heard about all this earlier, when the intelligence agencies were reporting to me on all this, the Army would have taken him over [under military law]. more..

Elections department divided over violations

Feb 21 (LB) The department of elections is divided over steps that need to be taken regarding state officials who ignore directives given by the Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake. While some of his top election aides have requested him to immediately seek the help of the Supreme Court, the elections commissioner had told them to wait until the nomination period ends. more..

Historical all-female Lankan cockpit crew on international flight

Feb 21 (LP) Two woman pilots of SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier have made history recently by being the first all female cockpit crew to fly a Lankan aircraft on an international flight. According to SriLankan Pilots’ Guild an Air Force veteran, the historic flight was flown in November 2009 from Colombo to Trichy in India by Capt. Anusha Siriratne and First Officer Madini Chandradasa. more..

Rajapaksa actions politicse Sri Lanka Army

Feb 22 (PRG) Since his re-election for a second term, President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa is clearly on a ‘purging spree’. All his actions clearly demonstrate his continued ‘dictatorial’ ways of cleansing opponents both in political parties, the media and governmental institutions. The proud Sri Lankan army, which has rooted out the dreaded LTTE, is the latest to face the ‘surgery’ – all because of the challenge thrown by former army chief, Gen (Retd) Sarath Fonseka, more..

GSP+ loss not unexpected

Feb 22 (LG) The announcement of a suspension of the GSP + concession to a section of Sri Lanka’s export sector shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Over the past 18 months, this duty-free facility has been in the balance over the human and labour rights issues based on UN conventions. The reality is that Sri Lankan has to fulfil these conditions to qualify for this facility. Fulfil or your out! It is not a right that Sri Lanka is entitled to, it’s a benefit offered to many countries. more..

President Rajapaksa inaugurates the Nagamu Purawara programme

Feb 22 (IL) “Nagamu Purawara”, a special programme to enhance infrastructure facilities of the low income housing schemes in the Colombo City area is launched under the patronage of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the early hours of Sunday on 21st of February. President Mahinda Rajapaksa made a surprise visit to the 60 (Hete) watta, Muhandiram Road this morning to inspected the area with more..

Our side on the democratic index

Feb 22 (LG) On the one hand, a former professor of law now turned strident government propagandist, Minister GL Peiris tells us that the due process of law is being followed in governmental actions against its critics. On the other hand, we have the unreservedly peculiar spectacle of magistrates routinely releasing opposition politicians, journalists and activists arrested and detained by the police and the CID on the basis that more..

We are losing our Democratic peace via entity ruled by Oligarchy

Feb 22 (LG) I, being a political writer or an analyst would liketo share my opinion with my loving nation who loves peace by means of democracy. The democracy has been stolen from the people by the Oligarchy. I had been pushing the nation via articles saying that “do not repeat the same mistake yet again by electing or selecting the incumbent president yet again for a hopeless term” but they could not comprehend though now they realize while it has been so late. more..

President Rajapakse – uniter or divider extra-ordinaire?

Feb 22 (LG) Dr. Rajasingham Narendran (RN) has contributed regularlyand usefully in that necessary discourse Sri Lanka can do without – between the academics from both sides of the divide - in search of that necessary peace and unity that has eluded us so far. He and I travel in the same trajectory in that both feel working with a mature and enlightened Sinhala political leadership free of anti-Tamil bias offers more..

Acting out

Feb 22 (LG) No doubt the debate about whether General Fonseka should or should not have been arrested and subject to a court martialhogs the discourse, and there appears to be a deepening consensus that he is being made a martyr of sorts by his incarceration. In the meanwhile, though there seems to be a constriction of the democratic space for free expression etc., ordinary people seem to be happy that more..

Parliamentary Elections 2010: Living through a kleptocracy and not wanting an alternative

Feb 22 (GV) Are we honestly serious in wanting democracy, our rights and human development, to live in Sri Lanka? If we are, how are we seeing to it, that we do really enjoy such a luxury in this beleaguered nation? All what had been happening and allowed to happen, don’t in any way even hint that this country is at least serious about living by the day, leave alone democracy, rights and development for the future. more..

Alas, how times have changed, how morals have degenerated!

Feb 22 (LG) It should have been the best of times for the victors and the worst of times for the losers. But why on earth are the victors instead of going from one victory to another continuing to bash the loser after having arrested and incarcerated him as well?That is not the way of winners. For example, take the new star of the Rajapaksa bandwagon, Sonna Boy Jayasuriya. more..

Sangakkara leads Kandurata to title

Feb 22 (CI) Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara powered his team Kandurata to the Inter-Provincial limited-overs title when they defeated Ruhuna by three wickets with five balls to spare in an enthralling final played at Moratuwa. The result looked very much in the balance when Sangakkara got out for a well-paced 76 off 79 deliveries, with 43 needed off 41 balls. But Chinthaka Jayasinghe's cameo knock of 28 off 23 balls carried them over the line in the final over. more..

Lanka IOC kept tap running by RIL supply

Feb 22 (BL) Almost 75 per cent of Lanka IOC Plc's petrol and diesel demand for the first six months of the current fiscal has been met by Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). “For the first six months, of the 300,000 tonnes of products imported almost 225,000 tonnes have come from RIL,” Mr K.R. Suresh Kumar, Managing Director, Lanka IOC, told Business Line. “In 2008-09 we had imported 550,000 tonnes of products of which 30-40 per cent came from RIL. more..

…for The Missing

Feb 22 (GV) A solitary lamp perched on a desk top lights a room. A man scribbles feverishly on paper, hunched over the light as if he’s jealously guarding what little he has. His desk is cluttered with cartoons and drawings – some of a President, others of two small children. He holds down his paper with one hand and writes with the other, so violently that other loose papers and articles shuffle with his movements. more..

TNA must disavow separatist politics and accept a political solution within a unitary state

Feb 22 (TC) 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 more..

Dengue fever rides high in Jaffna district

Feb 22 (TN) Four hundred and fifty five cases of dengue have been detected in Jaffna district from February 1 till last Wednesday while eight hundred and fourteen cases had been reported in the month of January. This shows an increase by about fifty percent, according to Health Ministry official in Colombo. 733 dengue cases have been reported from Colombo and 833 from Gampaha from January 1 till February 17. more..

India to screen academics of Sri Lanka attending conferences

Feb 22 (TN) Participants from Sri Lanka to conferences in India require advance security clearance from the Home Ministry of India. The restrictions are applicable to peoples of eight countries, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and to people of Pakistani origin and stateless persons, media reports said Friday, more..

Edward Jayakody gets state land

Feb 22 (LNW) Popular singer Edward Jayakody has been given a 20 perch land belonging to the Mahaweli Authority near the Ceylon Electricity Board office in Digana, Kandy on an easy payment scheme. While the land value in the area is Rs. 2 lakhs a perch, the total land has been given to the singer at a minimum valuation of Rs. 45,000. The land was given to Edward Jayakody at the said amount following a directive by Minister Maithripala Sirisena. more..

Sri Lanka to stop value added tax refunds to 1700 firms

Feb 22 (LBO) Revenue office will stop refunding value added taxes (VAT) to 1725 firms on the grounds that they have not submitted documents on time. The Sunday Times quoted the director general of Inland Revenue Department as saying that his office will "discontinue" the files of 1725 firms. These were firms that failed to "furnish monthly or quarterly returns" and those that have not made claims for refunds "over a considerable period." more..

Sarana Elders Home

Are Sri Lankan Marists eying for the opposition leadership?

Feb 22 (LP) The opposition coalition in Sri Lanka has shattered. The parties that backed the opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka are now divided. Major opposition UNP is no more actively supporting the campaigns for his release. Only the Marxist JVP has not abandoned him. JVP has decided to contest the general election under the 'trophy' symbol offering the leadership to Sarath Fonseka. more..

Tamil newspaper’s Scarborough office attacked

Feb 22 (TS) The front window of Uthayan newspaper’s office looked like a “vehicle drove right through it” when Kula Sellathurai arrived at the scene. Overnight, Sellathurai said, the newspaper’s editor received a threatening call and hours later its office on Progress Rd., near Markham Rd. and Highway 401, was vandalized. Police are on scene, but said their investigation is still in the early stages. more..

Rise of Sri Lankan President’s son Namal Rajapaksa sparks concern

Feb 22 (Times) Modesty is apparently not a strong point for Namal Rajapaksa, the 23-year-old son of the Sri Lankan President and scion of Asia’s newest political dynasty. His website says: “A future leader with a friendly spirit and possessing good values is what comes to mind when meeting the dashing and smashing young Namal Rajapaksa.” The keen rugby player more..

SriLankan Air to fly to Kochi

Feb 22 (DNA) SriLankan Airlines, the emerald isle’s flag carrier, plans to increase its flights to India this year. The carrier will add a flight to Kochi from Colombo, and is evaluating flights to Hyderabad andother destinations in the south, said Mohamed Fazeel, head of worldwide sales. It plans to start eight more flights from India this year. The carrier has ordered two Airbus A320s, which will be delivered this year. more..

Expelled Muslims happy to be back in Jaffna

Feb 22 (EB) The 100-odd Muslim families of the original 15,000, who had returned to live in Jaffna after being forced to leave the peninsula by the LTTE in 1990, are happy to be back in their old homes amidst the Tamils. They look at the LTTE era as an aberration. “None of us wants to go back to south Sri Lanka,” declared S.M.Faiz, a bearded religious leader involved in the running of five mosques in the town. “The Tigers are a bunch of uneducated fellows,” Faiz said, more..

Minister's chopper lands on Schools cricket match

Feb 22 (LT) A cricket match played for an inter schools tournament had to be abandoned due to a visit by Minister of Tourism Faizer Mustapha. The second day of the under 19 cricket match between Kalutara Vidyalaya and St. Sylvester's College Kandy was scheduled to be played at Asgiriya Grounds in Kandy yesterday. However the helicopter that brought Minister of Tourism Faizer Mustapha landed on the ground at 8.45 and was parked there for the whole day. more..

Exam Phobia in School Children

Feb 22 (LG) A large number of school children undergo exam related fears. Sometimes these fears are overwhelming. It can cause low performance and failure in exams. As a matter of fact most of the children who are shattered by exam phobia have a good IQ and positive motivation. They show favorable performances in the classroom. But when they go to the exam these students become highly stressed, have fear and they are unable to face the exam with confidence. more..