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Counting irregularities galore at Presidential polls

Feb 2 (CaFEE) Charging that party representatives at some counting centres had not received copies of the result of the recently concluded presidential election, CaFFÉ yesterday called on Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake to send copies to them of the total votes polled at these centres as soon as possible. CaFFÉ Spokesman Keerthi Tennekoon said he had written to the polls chief asking him to send him copies of the result sheets. more..

Another human prey for UPFA thugs

Feb 2 (LT) Chandradasa Naiduwawadu, JVP Member for Ambalangoda Urban Council who was savagely beaten up by a group of UPFA thugs during the presidential election campaign succumbed to his injuries today. Mr. Naiduwawadu, a teacher of Devananda Vidyalaya at Ambalangoda, was 51 years old. He was assaulted by UPFA thugs on the 24th January and was admitted to Balapitiya Hospital with serious injuries.

Sivajilingam and Bahu to form alliance

Feb 2 (CaFEE) M.K. Sivajilingam and Left Front Leader Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne, presidential candidates are to form an alliance for the upcoming general election. Sivajilingam said that Dr. Karunaratne and he were to form an alliance islandwide for the upcoming election. However ,both candidates had stressed earlier at a joint press conference the need for obtaining a stay order from the Supreme Court to more..

Should Vice-Chancellors pledge support to the President?

Feb 2 (GV) The Official Government News Portal ( carried a news item, datelined 18 January 2010, that vice-chancellors of Sri Lankan universities pledged support to the President, with some of them asking the people of this land to vote him into a second term at the forthcoming elections. After a President is duly elected to office, the right and proper thing for all citizens to do is to pledge support to him, whatever their political affiliations. more..

Commencement of Sri Lanka President's second term: SC opinion today

Feb 2 (LNP) Bench of seven Supreme Court judges will today communicate its opinion on the commencement of the second term of President Mahinda Rajapaksa after his re-election to office. President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday consulted the Supreme Court under Article 129 of the Constitution for its opinion. In terms of the Constitution the opinion of the Court should be communicated to the President within 24 hours. more..

Goodbye extremism?

Feb 2 (LNP) It is reported that the British Tamils have overwhelmingly endorsed the principle of Eelam at a mock poll in Britain over the weekend. Over 99 per cent of 64,000 persons who took part in the poll, we are told, voted for a separate state in Sri Lanka. Why those LTTE sympathisers had to go so far as to conduct a vacuous poll is baffling. more..

EVES Group to expand markets

Feb 2 (LNP) Sri Lanka has much potential to grow as a software developing country. IT professionals in Sri Lanka are well skilled and the project management capabilities of them are very high where they could compete with the global IT giants, EVES Information Technology Lanka and EVES Group Germany Chairman Sebastian Ebel told Daily News Business. He said Sri Lanka could be a good competitor to India as more..

Fisheries Ministry secures captured vehicles’ release

Feb 2 (DN) The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ministry has obtained the release of 128 multiday fishing vessels taken into custody and confiscated by authorities in neighbouring countries in 2009 for, trespassing in their territorial waters. The Ministry was also able to obtain the release of 637 Sri Lankan fishermen taken into custody by the Coast Guard of these countries for the same reason. more..

Recultivating Jaffna economy

Feb 2 (DN) If the Vadamarachchi and Upparu lagoons become freshwater lakes, the water table and water quality in the wells will improve, and using lift irrigation it will be possible to irrigate these paddyfields without depending purely on the rainfall, and the paddy land now lying fallow can also be cultivated. The potential for improvement in yield and rice production is staggering. more..

Reflections on dream time

Feb 2 (DN) The electing-moment is made of a wide range of emotions and thoughts including hope, anxiety, fear, expectation, enthusiasm and even wonderment. The post-election moment is divisive. Indeed I can’t think of any moment that cleanly separates a polity into two distinct categories as ‘the moment after’. Immediately after the results are announced, we have society divided into two stark categories: those who identify with the winner and those who rooted for the loser(s). more..

Colombo garbage issue: Tenderers given one year

Feb 2 (DN) Two successful tenderers out of five short listed had been given a one year period to submit their proposals with all clearances including environment license for a sustainable solution for the garbage problem in the Colombo city. Each tenderer was given three districts from six city districts to operate garbage disposal process according to the proposals presented by them, he added. more..

Sri Lanka Travels

General Election 2010: JVP in elephantine dilemma

Feb 2 (Island) In the wake of a debilitaing defeat at the recently concluded presidential polls, an influential section in the Opposition is now pushing for a joint alliance to contest the forthcoming parliamentary polls. The TNA will not join the proposed alliance, though all other parties, including the JVP which supported Opposition presidential candidate General (retired) Sarath Fonseka, are expected to join the new alliance. more..

TNA, SLMC likely to contest general election under one banner

Feb 2 (Island) The TNA and SLMC are considering the possibility of working together in the North and East at the forthcoming parliamentary election, the two parties said yesterday. Addressing a news conference in Colombo, the TNA and SLMC leaders R. Sambandan and Rauff Hakeem said that they were discussing the kind of alliance that could be forged. "It is too early to make any specific comments. But we are in talks with all like minded opposition political parties. more..

UNP ready for electoral alliance

Feb 2 (DM) The main opposition UNP said yesterday that though it had decided to contest the general elections under the elephant symbol, it was prepared to discuss with other opposition political parties the formation of a joint electoral alliance. UNP front-liner Lakshman Kiriella told a news conference the party had not closed its doors for discussions on forming such a joint alliance. more..

UNF, NDF, JVP to launch public protest against ‘fraudulent’ presidential poll

Feb 2 (Island) The UNF, NDF and JVP said yesterday that they will stage a joint public protest in Colombo tomorrow against the "frudulent manner" in which Mahinda Rajapaksa was re-elected President. Sarath Fonseka, flanked by Karu Jayasuriya, Rauff Hakeem, Somawansa Amerasinghe, Mangala Samaraweera, Mano Ganeshan and Anura Kumara Dissanayake, said at a news conference in Colombo, that their protest demostration, will also highlight more..

Hakeem, Sampanthan must work towards development - JHU

Feb 2 (Island) The JHU yesterday said, having failed with the ulterior motive of king making, it is now high time that TNA leader R. Sampanthan and SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem give up vicious politics and work towards the development of the country. "Sampanthan and Hakeem thought that they could turn the tables through the North and East votes during the Presidential Elections, but they failed miserably – the people have given the right verdict," more..

Democratic system waning, says Fonseka

Feb 2 (DM) Defeated Presidential Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka said yesterday he would pursue his political career in the same way he contested the presidency. Gen. Fonseka charged his legitimate victory had been usurped through fraudulent means. He said unlike at the presidential election, it would not be easy for anyone to rig the poll at a parliamentary election since everyone battles for preferential votes. more..

Media personnel harassed at airport

Feb 2 (DM) Media personnel covering the airport alleged that they are being harassed by an official of the airport, who is reportedly demanding that they go through undue lengths to get into the airport premises. The official is to have allegedly informed reporters to abstain from getting involved in covering unexpected developments during the night, as approval was required from the Chairman. more..

Back to the Temple !

Feb 2 (DM) Undoubtedly, we in Sri Lanka have become a truly violent society. For those who would object let us say, stop burying your head in the sand, and wake up to all the horrors that are perpetrated on our people, on a daily basis. Be it the elderly, the children, the mentally troubled, or people who want their voices heard, the attacks by various entities are committed every single day. more..

Norway, Japan congratulate president Rajapaksa on re-election

Feb 2 (CT) Norway and Japan have congratulated president Mahinda Rajapaksa on his re-election for a second term. Norway's international development minister Erik Solheim, in a congratulatory message, said the clear result of the January 26 polls gave Mr. Rajapaksa a historic opportunity to lay the foundation for lasting peace. "I hope president Rajapaksa will give priority to more..

Telecommunications regulatory chief resigns

Feb 2 (CT) Director general of Sri Lanka's Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Priyantha Kariyapperuma has tendered his resignation. Secretary to the president Lalith Weeratunga confirmed receiving the letter this morning. Mr. Kariyapperuma has previously served as chairman of the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation among many top state sector positions.

Fonseka denies coup attempt to unseat Rajapaksa

Feb 2 (PTI) Defeated opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka says he never tried to stage a coup to unseat president Mahinda Rajapaksa, a day after Sri Lanka sacked 12 senior military officers, reportedly loyal to the former army chief, for hatching a "political conspiracy" during the polls. Fonseka denied he ever tried to stage a coup saying, he just had a couple of police personnel protecting him. more..

APRC to resume after General Election

Feb 2 (DN) The sittings of the All Party Representatives Committee (APRC) would continue after the General Elections, said APRC Chairman and Science and Technology Minister Professor Tissa Vitarana. Referring to the activities of the APRC, the Minister added that the Presidential election was over and President Mahinda Rajapaksa had won a massive victory. more..

TNA says nothing short of maximum devolution in N-E acceptable

Feb 2 (Island) The TNA, has never advocated a separate state, but has right along been for maximum devolution in the North and East of Sri Lanka, its leader R. Sambandan said. He told a press conference in Colombo that a perusal of the TULF’s 1978 manifesto (which was representative of the Tamils) will reveal that they had never wavered from their comitment to a unitary Sri Lankan State. more..

Work for lasting peace now: Solheim tells President

Feb 2 (DM) Norwegian Minister Erik Solheim, who was the controversial peace facilitator in Sri Lanka, yesterday congratulated President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his re-election and said the January 26 election results gave President Rajapaksa a historic opportunity to work towards lasting peace in the war-torn country. “Norway and Sri Lanka enjoy close and longstanding bilateral relations. more..

Rights groups criticise Sri Lanka govt after vote

Feb 2 (AFP) International rights groups Tuesday criticised the Sri Lankan government for a clampdown on opponents after last week's election and condemned the detention of suspected Tamil rebels. Amnesty International said pressure on opposition parties has been mounting since President Mahinda Rajapakse was re-elected on January 26, defeating his former army chief Sarath Fonseka. more..

Rajapaksa's second term starts in Nov. 2010: Supreme Court

Feb 2 (Hindu) The Sri Lanka Supreme Court on Tuesday made a determination on the opinion sought by the re-elected President Mahinda Rajapaksa that his second term in office would commence on November 19, 2010. He is to take fresh of oath of office and secrecy within two weeks from the date his second innings begins. In effect, this would mean that Mr. Rajapaksa more..

1,200 displaced Tamils to be resettled in Kilinochchi

Feb 3 (PTI) Over a year after Kilinochchi district was liberated from the LTTE, the Sri Lankan Army today started the process of resettling Tamil civilians displaced due to the war in the former de-facto capital of the Tamil Tigers. In the first phase, 1,200 civilians, who have been living in several camps in northern Lanka since January, 2009 will be resettled in and around Kilinochchi, more..

UNP to boycott Independence Day celebrations

Feb 3 (DM) The opposition UNP has decided to boycott the national Independence Day celebrations in Kandy on Thursday as a mark of protest over the alleged harassment of supporters of General Sarath Fonseka by the government. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayaka speaking to Daily Mirror online, said that the party had reached a collective decision, to refrain from attending the celebrations at a time when the country was in turmoil. more..

Debrief News - 02.02.2010

A wave of post-election violence in Sri Lanka

feb 3 (wsws) One week after the Sri Lankan presidential election, political violence is continuing, mostly against opposition parties and their supporters. The attacks are part of a broader government crackdown against supporters of the defeated opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka, who faces unsubstantiated allegations that he attempted to mount a coup against President Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Karunaratne brothers giving Lanka a new high in badminton

feb 3 (PTI) They may not be as good as the legendary Sidek brothers of Malaysia, but Niluka Karunaratne, Diluka Karunaratne and Dinuka Karunaratne have given Sri Lanka a new identity in badminton. The eldest Karunaratne, Niluka has been the reigning national champion for last nine consecutive years. The other podium places too have remained within the family for the last four years with 22-year-old Diluka and 23-year-old Dinuka finishing behind Niluka. more..

Aide to General Fonseka arrested over Lasantha murder

Feb 3 (Telegraph) Brigadier Duminda Keppetiwalana, aide to the former Sri Lankan army chief General Fonseka, was arrested over the murder last year of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunga. General Fonseka, who was last week defeated in the Sri Lankan presidential election by the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa, said the arrest of Brigadier Keppetiwalana was part of a wider attempt to isolate him and tarnish his reputation. more..

USAID funds IOM return and resettlement operations in northern Sri Lanka

Feb 3 (IOM) The USAID has announced USD 3 million in new funding to support IOM's return and resettlement operations targeting some 77,000 IDPs in the north of the country. The assistance will include transport to allow IDPs to return to their home districts; emergency shelter kits to build temporary housing and transitional shelters; water and sanitation facilities; and the provision of emergency health services across the region. more..

Mannar fishing restrictions 're-imposed'

Feb 3 (BBC) The Sri Lankan authorities have re-imposed fishing restrictions in Mannar district after the recently concluded presidential elections, fishing community organisations say. Thousands of fishermen in Thalaimannar, Pudukuduiruppu, Pesalai and Erukkulampitti are affected by the restrictions, they say. "We are now given passes by Sri Lanka navy personnel at 5am and asked to come back before 6pm," a fisherman who wished to remain anonymous told the BBC. more..

'Sri Lanka reserve ratio hike not ruled out'

Feb 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka is open to increasing the ratio of cash banks must deposit with the Central Bank as a policy to contain inflation, Governor Nivard Cabraal said, as consumer inflation accelerated to an eleventh month high in January. "We will not rule it (a reserve ratio hike) out," Cabraal said. "But the rise in inflation is not unexpected. We expected inflation to rise until April and then moderate." more..

Sri Lanka to study annual Indian crafts fair and replicate it

Feb 3 (AHN) A high level team from Sri Lanka will be visiting India soon to study one of its most famous international crafts fair in a bid to replicate it back home. India's annual Surajkund crafts mela (fair) is also set for a higher footfall this year. The 15 day long fair is a melting pot of craftsmen and folk artists from all across the country, showcasing India's unique culture, heritage and tradition and more..

As Tamil refugees resettle, their well-being could determine Sri Lanka’s

Feb 3 (CSM) Behind a barbed-wire fence, the vegetable garden is a sea of weeds. Stumps mark the spot of a coconut grove. Pubanesary Shanthakumaran’s yard has definitely seen better days. After government troops overran her rebel-held village in 2008, she fled with her husband and three children, then ended up in a refugee camp. In October, Ms. Shanthakumaran’s family was allowed to return home. more..

The glittering literati at Sri Lanka’s Galle festival

Feb 3 (PM) Thursday: three hours down to Galle with Pradeep Jeganathan, noted anthropologist, short-listed short-story writer, and member of my “post-war literary” panel. Started Out of Sheer Rage, the Tristram Shandy of literary criticism. in as much as, halfway through, the subject—Geoff Dyer’s proposed study of DH Lawrence—is still “not yet born”. more..