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Actor or politician, what difference?

Feb 22 (LG) The trend of actors aspiring to be politicians has to be viewed in the context of their current employment status, popularity and the ability to act. It is reported that Sri Lanka cinema industry is struggling to survive at present. The main reason for the one-time popular industry to decline so rapidly is the prevailing poverty level among the masses. The poor have to be content with the cheapest and easily accessible entertainment sources. more..

Hope for the future for Priscilla's family

8th Anniversary of the futile ceasefire, today

Feb 22 (GDI) Today is the 8th anniversary of the Ceasefire Agreement that would have pushed the country into a dark era of terrorism. It was an era when the Sri Lankans were dreaming of a free and a sovereign nation. It was a period in which the security forces were risking their lives when ruthless terrorists were attempting to wage war at different locations throughout the country. On 22nd February 2002, an agreement was signed betraying the entire nation. more..

Release of opposition supporters undermines “coup” claims

Feb 22 (wsws) A magistrate’s court last week unconditionally released 14 supporters of opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka who had been detained following the January 26 presidential election. The government and the state-owned media accused Fonseka, who was the country’s top general until November, of planning to overthrow President Mahinda Rajapakse. The court ordered the release on February 17 after police were forced to admit that more..

NCCSL to meet President on GSP+ proposals

Feb 22 (GDI) The business community in Sri Lanka believes that further discussions must be carried out to re-obtain GSP plus tax concessions to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka National Chamber of Commerce points out accordingly that a joint programme by the private and state sectors should be launched. The business community hopes to meet the President in this regard, Chairman of the National Chamber of Commerce Lal De Alwis said. more..

Justice Thilakawardene recommends Child court & detention centre

Feb 22 (GDI) The Ministry of Justice and Law Reform has taken steps to establish a Children’s Court. The Government has already decided to finalize arrangements in this respect. According to the Justice Ministry, this is the first time in Sri Lanka’s history that such a scheme is being planned as a Mahinda Chinthana Policy, on the instructions of the President. more..

Expats in UK Invoke Blessings on President Rajapaksa

Feb 22 (GDI) Sri Lankan Community in London organized a special "pooja" recently to invoke blessings on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and their homeland. It brings the memories that exactly, year ago on this day Sri Lankans were protesting peacefully in front of British Prime Ministers official residence, asking not to interfere with Sri Lankas internal issues, organizers of the event said more..

Commander of the Navy visits INS "Sukanya" at the Port of Colombo

Feb 22 (GDI) The official web site of SLN reports that the Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe had visited INS "Sukanya" at the Port of Colombo on 19th February 2010. He had been warmly received by the Commanding Officer of INS "Sukanya" Commander Paresh Sawhney upon his arrival on board the Ship. Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka His Excellency Asok K. Kantha and more..

Sri Lanka identified as a Bio-diversity hotspot

Feb 22 (GDI) Sri Lanka has been identified by the environment activist group Conservation International as one of the 25 biodiversity hot spots in the world. Sri Lanka’s tropical rain forest ecosystem is considered as an area which is disturbed by human activity, but still exceptionally rich in animal and plant species found nowhere else. more..

President donated three-wheelers to disabled war heroes

Feb 22 (LP) A special welfare program was organized today (22) at the SL Army Head quarter Grounds to donate 100 three-wheelers for deserving soldiers. The three-wheelers were donated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to soldiers who were disabled during the fight to save the motherland from terrorism. The project for the distribution of three-wheelers was organized by the combined efforts of the "Ranaviru Seva" Authority and the Ministry of Defence, more..

Mano to contest from Kandy

Feb 22 (LT) Democratic People’s Front (DPF) leader Mano Ganesan has decided to join the fray from the Kandy District this time, informed sources said. His brother Prabha Ganeshan is expected to contest from the Colombo District according to sources. The senior members of the party had discussions with the UNP leadership on Saturday morning where these changes were agreed on. The party would come to a final decision by today as more..

Democratic National Alliance (DNA) launched

Feb 22 (LT) The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) that would contest the general election under the leadership of Gen. Sarath Fosneka was formally presented in Colombo today. This occurred at a press conference held at its main office at Royal Avenue in Colombo. Ms. Anoma Fonseka on behalf of Gen. Sarath Fonseka, Mr. Vijithe Herath, General Secretary of DNA, Mr. Tilvin Silva, more..

'My husband who shed his blood for the country is prepared to dedicate himself again for the Motherland'

Feb 22 (LT) Her husband Gen. Sarath Fosneka is a person who has shed his blood for the country; he faced death on three occasions in defending the Motherland and is prepared to dedicate himself for the Motherland in the future as well said Ms. Anoma Fonseka. Speaking at the inaugural press conference of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) held at its head office today Ms. Fonseka said, more..

Gangarama perahera this time on a grand scale

Feb 22 (GDI) This year’s perahera (procession) of the Gangarama Temple in Hunupitiya will be organized on a grand scale. The Perahera will be staged on the 27th and 28th of this month. The offering of robes to the Maha Sangha who will be participating in the event, took place recently. Several sponsoring establishments provided material and cash donations. Chanting of pirith by laymen will continue for seven days. more..

A parliamentary seat could be sold for a lot of money: JHU

Feb 22 (LG) "A parliamentary seat could be sold for a lot of money. It is the reality. Those with poor mentality could fall victim to opportunists and cunning politicians," said the venerable Dr. Omalpe Sobihta Thera, general secretary of the Jathika Hela Urumaya yesterday. He was addressing the special National Convention in Maharagama. more..

New Honda product introduced

Feb 22 (LNP) There is much potential and a good market for the motorcycles in the Northern and Eastern provinces. During the last month there has been a growth of 300 percent in the motorcycle sales compared to the corresponding year s January growth. The company expects a growth of 25 percent in the motorcycle segment this year, Stafford Motor Company Ltd., Managing Director/CEO, Dr. Kalinga Kaluperuma told Daily News Business. more..

Empty stomachs and thumping majorities

Feb 22 (LNP) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has warned the voting public against granting any political party a two-thirds majority in Parliament at the next general election. He has said such a mandate will be detrimental to democracy. His assertion is not without some truth under both the SLFP-led United Front government (1970-77) with a two-thirds majority and the UNP regime (1977-94) with a five-sixths majority, democracy received debilitating blows. more..

President promises smaller Cabinet

Feb 22 (DN) The future Government has no intention of having a large Cabinet of Ministers, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Addressing the Badulla SLFP district organisers’ meeting at Bandarawela Town Hall on Saturday, President Rajapaksa said young politicians with commitment and a correct attitude would be given a major role to play in the Nation’s future development. more..

Lanka Cricket appoints Anura Tennakoon as new national team manager

Feb 22 (LNF) Sri Lanka Cricket has appointed Anura Tennakoon as the new manager of the national team effective from Saturday. Tennakoon, the 'A' team manager was appointed to replace former Sri Lankan wicket keeper batsman Brendon Kuruppu whose contract with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) expired this month, SLC said. Tennakoon, 63, was a pre-Test era batsman and the CEO of the former Board of Control (BCCSL) form 2000 to 2003. more..

Sanctuaries, biodiversity parks for Kotte

Feb 22 (DN) The Environment and Natural Resources Ministry and the Urban Development and Sacred Areas Development Ministry have made arrangements to add environmental features such as bird sanctuaries and biodiversity parks in the city of Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte. Minister Champika Ranawaka after launching a project to develop the biodiversity park and bird sanctuary at Baddegana in Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte said steps will be taken to improve the scenic beauty of more..

Tapping the best resources

Feb 22 (DN) Centenary celebration of the Rubber Research Institute (RRI) of Sri Lanka, the oldest rubber research institute in the world, falls this month. Research on rubber in Sri Lanka was started by British planters as far back as 1909, in the field of coagulation of rubber latex obtained from the Hevea tree. Later it was expanded by them to other areas as well, covering both agronomy and rubber technology. more..

February 22, 2010: Two versions

Feb 22 (DN) What happened in Sri Lanka eight years ago, do you remember, ladies and gentlemen? Do you remember the colour of the sky that morning? Do you remember how that day was heralded as the launching of peace and prosperity for all time and a day or two more to boot? Do you remember when there were white doves set free, trees planted to mark the historic moment? Do you know that on that occasion, a Prime Minister called all editors of newspapers and more..

Lokuge blunders in approving payment

Feb 22 (Island) The Ministry of Sports and Public Recreation has utilised money from the annual budgetary allocations meant for the development of sports activities to assist a sports controlling body to pay arrears in taxes/rent due to the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC). The ‘mini cabinet’ of the Ministry chaired by Minister Gamini Lokuge met in December last year and granted a request made to the Ministry by this sports controlling body for Rs. 1.5 million to pay its arrears to the CMC. more..

In the land of lotuses

Feb 22 (DM) Wijesinghe Jayaweera Mudiyanselage Lokubandara was not meant to be a controversial politician. For long the witty, scholarly and very Sinhalese UNP stalwart from Haputale was seen as a predictable politician, a symbol of stability. Of course his election as Speaker in 2004 came after quite a controversial ballot which he won with a single vote majority. The close fight and the drama, while making the vote controversial, more..

Govt thirsty for funds, rupee under pressure to appreciate

Feb 22 (Island) Dealers said last week the rupee was under pressure to appreciate while government appetite for short term funds was a reason for benchmark Treasury bill rates to inch upwards while commercial bank indicative rates inched downwards, indicating that private sector demand was not yet strong. Dealers said the market had a surplus dollar position as a foreign investor bought rupee government bonds equivalent to US$ 26 million through more..

SLFP-CWC combine poised to take Badulla comfortably

Feb 22 (Island) The UNP, which comfortably won five out of the eight seats in the Badulla electoral District at the last parliamentary election in April 2004, will face an overwhelming task of retaining the district without the support of the CWC. Two CWC members, M. Satchithannathan and Vadivel Suresh entered Parliament on the UNP ticket. Of them, M. Satchithannathan recently took membership of the UNP whereas Suresh threw his weight behind the UPFA. more..

CGR promotions delayed by bureaucratic red tape

Feb 22 (Island) Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma says that promotions in the CGR have been delayed owing to bureaucratic red tape and political influence. The minister said that the public sector employees must get their promotions on the basis of merit and seniority. Promotional prospect of employees was one of the main motivating factors. more..

UPF goes alone in N’Eliya and Badulla districts

Feb 22 (DM) Ms. Kanthi Chandrasekeran, wife of the late UPF Leader P. Chandrasekeran, had been appointed as the Presidential Advisor of Community Development and Social Equity, party sources said. Minister Chandrasekeran was in charge of this Ministry prior to his sudden death on January 1 this year and President Rajapaksa has taken over this Ministry after Mr. Chandrasekeran’s death according to sources. more..

TNA kicks out nine former members

Feb 22 (DM) The TNA has denied nominations for at least eight former MPs including Batticaloa district member Ms. Thangeswari Kathiraman and Jaffna district member Pathmini Sithamparanathan who were in Parliament last time. The TNA, which enjoyed 22 parliamentary seats last time, finalized its nomination papers for some electorates such as Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Digamadulla yesterday. It has also left out its dissident members M.K. Sivajilingam and N. Sri Kantha from the lists. more..

TMVP challenges EPDP in north

Feb 22 (DM) The TMVP announced yesterday that it had decided to contest the upcoming General Elections in the Northern Province as well, and take on the EPDP led by Minister Douglas Devananda head on. TMVP spokesman Azad Moulana said that the party led by Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan would hand over its nomination papers on Tuesday to contest more..

Fired TNAers gather under UPFA

Feb 22 (DM) TNA members who were kicked out of the party, signed nomination papers yesterday to contest the Parliamentary Elections under the Betel leaf symbol of the UPFA. Of them, former MP Ms. Thangeswari Kathiraman would contest in Batticaloa district, sources said. Besides, former MPs S. Kanagaratnam and Sivanathan Kishor were to sign the nomination papers to join the fray from the Vanni District. more..

Lanka appeals for priceless artifacts abroad

Feb 22 (LP) Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said that Sri Lanka would officially appeal to a number of museums in several countries as well as private collectors to return cultural and religious artifacts and statues spirited away from the country. He said that the decision had been made after recommendations by a special Cabinet approved committee of scholars who handed over their report last week. more..

Sri Lanka to ban guilty NGOs

Feb 22 (DM) Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) found to be conspiring against the government of President Mahinda Rajapakse will be banned once investigations are complete, Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services, Rishard Bathiudeen said. He said that the government had launched an investigation and those found guilty will be deported. more..

Summons issued on Myown Mustafa over 'bribing'

Feb 22 (CT) Summons has been issued on former deputy minister Myown Mustafa to appear before court on an alleged bribing of a parliamentarian. Mt. Lavinia chief magistrate issued the order today. The CID sought a court notice on Mr. Mustafa, saying the attorney general has found enough grounds to file charges against him. He has allegedly given Rs. 4.2 million to the then MP Mohammed Musammil of the National Freedom Front in the run up to the January 26 presidential polls. more..

Gen. Fonseka’s analysis opens President’s eyes

Feb 22 (UNP) During the last Presidential campaign, Gen. Sarath Fonseka, the Presidential candidate and the closest rival of Mahinda Rajapakse, promised to curtail the Cabinet of Ministers if he comes to power. At the moment, this cabinet comprising 132 Ministers for such a small country is considered the biggest in the world. Besides, all the luxuries and monumental perks enjoyed by them at State expense had more..

Missing Sri Lanka journalist's wife appeals for help

Feb 22 (BBC) The wife of a Sri Lankan journalist who disappeared mysteriously almost a month ago has appealed to the authorities to do more to find him. Prageeth Eknaligoda, who wrote for a news website that carried dissenting views, went missing two days before the presidential election last month. The website shut itself down after police searched its premises. more..

Home of Matara mayor attacked

Feb 22 (CT) The home of Matara mayor Upul Nishantha has come under attack last night. According to a complaint lodged by the mayor, a group had arrived in a black car while he was away. They had hurled stones at the house and had threatened his wife and children, said the complaint. The assailants had also warned that Mr. Nishantha should leave politics. He was elected as mayor from the UPFA ticket, but extended his support to common opposition candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka more..

Post-Election protests fail to get wide support

Feb 22 (IPS) Street protests that erupted in Colombo and other cities following the Feb. 8 arrest of defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka have yet to gain wider support from non-political groups. The protests did in fact begin on a fiery tone when around 2,500 pro- Fonseka protestors chased down by pro-government supporters braved tear gas and water cannons to hold their first rally near the country’s highest court on Feb. 10. more..

Now, Ranil, SF to battle it out in Colombo

Feb 22 (Island) With the failure of a last ditch UNP attempt to avert a split in the Opposition votes, UNP and Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will now face defeated Opposition Presidential candidate General (retd) Sarath Fonseka and NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa for the top spot in the Colombo district. A three-cornered contest is expected to dominate the battle for preferential votes more..

Sri Lanka former war zone seen as economic catalyst

Feb 23 (LBO) The revival of Sri Lanka's northern and eastern provinces can position them as economic catalysts for the country in the long term, its investment promotion chief Dhammika Perera said. It will provide opportunities for further policy reforms and private-public partnerships, he said in a speech at Oxford Union, University of Oxford in the UK. The re-integration of the north-east with the rest of the economy opens about two-thirds of the maritime and more..