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'No election posters, cutouts in govt. offices'

Feb 25 (DM) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake has directed all District Secretaries to take immediate action to remove election posters, banners and cutouts in government office premises. The Elections Commissioner has made the directive through a circular issued to the District Secretaries. He had asked them to ensure that no government premises including schools, pradeshiya sabha office premises, more..

Minister critical of ICJ presence at SC hearing

Feb 25 (DM) Commenting on the alleged appearance of some international jurists at the Supreme Court hearing on the FR case of General Fonseka on Tuesday, Minister Abeywardana said it was unnecessary and unwarranted. “The administration of justice in Sri Lanka has never been a case for debate and our judiciary has been regarded in high esteem for its independence and forthrightness. more..

'UPFA expects 150 seats'

Feb 25 (DM) The UPFA is expecting to win 19 more seats than the 131 it already has to enable it to obtain a two third majority, in the next Parliament, to amend the Constitution, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said. He said that Robert O’ Blake’s statement on the internal issues of Sri Lankan was baseless because he had criticized the government to the effect that it had not meted out justice. more..

'Fonseka arrested for breach of discipline'

Feb 25 (DN) The Government decided to arrest and institute action against General Sarath Fonseka as he had used his official position as the Army Commander and Chief of Defence Staff to establish connections with political parties with a view to enter politics, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said yesterday. He said the Sri Lanka Army and the Indian Army had held a high record of discipline in Asia as more..

'2 Charges to be framed against General'

Feb 25 (GDI) The government has announced that charges will be framed against General Sarath Fonseka in civil courts under the Sri Lankan Penal Code and Exchange Control Act in two weeks' time. The Government said charges will be filed against General Sarath Fonseka within the next two weeks under the Sri Lankan Penal code where he will be accused of fraud, condoning fraud, more..

General Sarath Fonseka to stand in Sri Lanka election

Feb 25 (BBC) Defeated Sri Lankan presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka - currently detained in military custody - is to stand in April's parliamentary polls. Party sources told the BBC that he would lead a new opposition alliance. Sri Lanka's authorities have meanwhile announced a raft of possible civilian charges against Gen Fonseka in addition to any military cases against him. more..

Gotabhaya interviewed by Tehelka

Feb 25 (TC) Inderjit Bhadwar: Under what specific charges did your government arrest Gen. Fonseka? Gotabhaya Rajapaksa: I cannot talk about specific charges because the summary of evidence preceding the charge sheet is now being prepared by the military authorities under specific rules of procedure that guarantee due process and a fair trial. That is the work of the prosecutor. more..

Keeping Democracy on the agenda

Sri Lanka crackdown shreds hopes of reconciliation

Feb 25 (AFP) In the afterglow of his thumping re-election last month, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse promised to build a strong and unified country that would consign its 37-year civil war to the past. Instead, his government launched a sweeping crackdown that has seen the man he defeated at the polls, former army chief Sarath Fonseka, taken into military custody, and other opposition figures and senior journalists arrested. more..

IMF delays third tranche of $2.6 bln Sri Lanka loan

Feb 25 (Reuters) The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday it is delaying the third tranche of a $2.6 billion loan to Sri Lanka after the government missed its 2009 deficit reduction targets. IMF officials told a news conference that Sri Lanka's domestic budget borrowing -- consistent with a budget deficit target of 7 percent of gross domestic production -- was exceeded by a substantial amount. more..

Nearly 500 teachers transferred after election announcement

Feb 26 (CT) A teachers' union has alleged that nearly 500 teachers and educational officers have been given transfers on political grounds after the announcement of the parliamentary polls. According to chairman of Ceylon Teachers' Union Joseph Stalin, teacher transfers have been made in all educational zones in the western province. In the Negombo and Gampaha zones alone, 100 teachers have been given postings to other schools, he alleged. more..

Sri Lankan opposition fights to be heard

Feb 26 (AT) Street protests that erupted in Colombo and other cities following the February 8 arrest of defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka have yet to gain wider support from non-political groups. The protests began on a fiery tone when about 2,500 pro-Fonseka protesters chased down by pro-government supporters braved tear gas and water cannons to hold their first rally near the country's highest court on February 10. more..

Debrief News 25 02 2010

Move on from the Tigers

Feb 26 (G&M) Tamils around the world feel defeated, and a vindictive Sri Lankan government, not sated by victory in a civil war, continues its oppressive ways at home. The Tamil diaspora may despair, but it must also come to terms with a choice: to revive the hopeless cause of the LTTE, or to renounce violence and work for justice and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Evidence that much of the diaspora is out of touch and more..

Call for effective investigation on Eknaligoda disappearance

Feb 26 (BBC) The World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) has urged President Mahinda Rajapaksha carry out a prompt and, effective investigation into the disappearance of journalist. Prageeth Eknaligoda. One month after his disappearance, his whereabouts remain unknown. The OMCT says that police has so far failed to make any inquiry findings public and is concerned with the reluctance of the Homagama police to record a complaint regarding the disappearance. more..

Sri Lankan government voices anger as UK MPs address Tamil group

Feb 26 (Guardian) The diplomatic rift between London and Colombo has widened after Gordon Brown and David Miliband met delegates from a new worldwide Tamil union despite "strong protests" from the Sri Lankan government. Miliband, the foreign secretary, used his address to the inaugural conference of the Global Tamil Forum at the Commons yesterday to urge the Sri Lankan government to embark on more..

Sri Lanka Etisalat unit says to expand 'aggressively'

Feb 26 (LBO) Etisalat's new Sri Lankan mobile subsidiary said it plans to expand coverage to cover the entire island, offer high speed links and use its international group network to give preferential rates to win customers. "We're here to stay in Sri Lanka," Etisalat group chief marketing officer Essa Al Haddad told a news conference held to announce the launch of services under the new brand. more..

Navy brings released Sri Lankan Fishermen safely home

Feb 26 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy brought twenty-two Sri Lankan fishermen safely home after their release from Indian custody yesterday (24). The fishermen and four fishing vessels were handed over to SLN officials by the Indian Coast Guard Ship "Kittur Chenamma" at the Indo-Sri Lanka International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in the seas north of Kankasanthurei. They were brought to the KKS Harbour yesterday evening by Sri Lanka Naval Ship "Wickrama 2" and more..

In Sri Lanka, the silence of weapons ... and feathers

Feb 26 (LM) No island, war, death in the jungle, the blood on the beach, the rage of ethnic, Sinhalese against Tamils, Hindus against Buddhists, fever diaspora ... Writers, thinks it, go grab a matter so worried they are going to squaring and scoop to feed works. At a time when the Sri Lanka taste finally found peace, the silence of weapons will he fertile? more..

IMF says Lanka doing well

Feb 26 (BBC) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says that the overall economic condition in Sri Lanka is improving as expected. “The economy is poised for a recovery this year. External balances are strong, remittance inflows continue at a high rate, tourism prospects are rapidly improving, and gross reserves remain at comfortable levels” says an IMF mission led by Dr Brian Aitken. more..

Disabled soldier abducted and told to make false statement about General Fonseka

Feb 26 (LG) A former soldier, J. Asoka Kumara, gave an interview about his abduction and the incident that followed to Lanka E-News. This was published on the 23rd of April 2010. J. Asoka Kumara was a sergeant attached to the military and suffered serious head injuries during the war with the LTTE,as a result of which he has a metal plate inserted in his skull. During the presidential election he helped the more..

Gotabhaya Rajapakse on ITN

The Arrest of Sarath Fonseka and Comrade Dayan's critical response

Feb 26 (TC) I must disagree with some of Comrade Dayan Jayetileke’s recent writings Arresting Sarath Fonseka, he wrote was a “Perfect Political blunder”. But then nobody is perfect. Otherwise they would not blunder. Perfect blunder seems so oxymoronic. Dayan and I have shared similar positions from the days of the ceasefire agreement. I was lavish in my praise of his stellar performance at the Human Rights Council and more..

Police raid Nalandaramaya at Nugegoda

Feb 26 (LT) Mirihana Police armed with a search warrant broke into Nalandarama Temple at Nugegoda today (25) evening said incumbent of the Temple Ven. Theeniyawala Palithe Thero. The police officers had told Ven. Palithe Thero the raid was carried out on an anonymous telephone call that had stated there were weapons in the temple. However, there were weapons in the Temple. He said it was the most deplorable insult he had been subjected to in his 48 years as a clergyman. more..

Sri Lanka relations with West sour over rights abuses

Feb 26 (National) Amid tension between Sri Lanka and western countries over Colombo’s treatment of defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka – following much western censure over the government’s war with Tamil Tiger rebels – questions are being asked in Sri Lanka about the country’s relations with the West. Robert Blake urged Sri Lanka not to try Mr Fonseka before a military tribunal, but rather in a civil court. more..

Rift in SLFP circles in Jaffna

Feb 26 (TN) Mahintha Thilakumara Udugama, SLFP organizer of Jaffna and Vanni, paid Thursday deposit money to contest as an independent candidate in Jaffna district as he was not included in the SLFP nomination list, sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, TNA accused the government for paying money to many independent groups to contest Jaffna district with the view to split the votes in Jaffna peninsula, the sources added. more..

TNA submits candidates’ list to contest Vanni district

Feb 26 (TN) TNA submitted Wednesday its list of candidates to contest Vanni district in the forthcoming parliamentary election at Vavuniyaa Secretariat, sources in Vavuniyaa said. Meanwhile, UNP is expected to submit Thursday its list of candidates contesting Jaffna district with Ms. Vijayakala Maheswaran, wife of late Thiyagarajah Maheswaran, former Colombo district parliamentarian, as its chief candidate. more..

India's intervention in Sri Lanka is an immediate imperative!

Feb 26 (IL) When the war against LTTE in Sri Lanka got over, it was thought that finally peace would arrive in the island nation after a brutal civil war for more than three decades. It was expected that there would no more be any major turmoil in that country and that finally it would be able to concentrate on the much ignored economy. It was also expected that tourism would finally get a breather more..

Three "Bees" for Britain-Brown, (Mili) Band and Bogol (lagama)

Feb 26 (TC) Gordon Brown is no match for Tony Blair. In fact he was very jealous of Blair and tried his best to undermine him. It is also no secret since Blair’s wife, Cheri has written all about it in her book. Brown is not charismatic like Blair. He is also not an elected Prime Minister. He is an accidental Prime Minister. The world also knows that very soon that Brown will become a non entity after the elections in UK. more..

Sri Lankan Tamils disillusioned with India must forget the "North" and turn "East" towards China

Feb 26 (TC) In the Asian region, hardly any people have had such close cordiality as the Tamils of Sri Lanka with the people of Tamil Nadu and by extension with India. Ethnic affinity, linguistic homogeneity, cultural identity and physical proximity, all conduced to a remarkable harmony if not solidarity. Today all what remains is an edifice in ruins. Friends have turned foes. Admirers have become detractors. more..

Chanaka Amaratunga: A Sri Lankan liberal leader who had no followers

Feb 26 (LG) These days who would not want to think of liberalism? In a country where the idea of tolerance and individual freedom is totally lost, the idea of limited government isreplaced with the absolute power of a single man known as the executive president who is above the law and even the constitution. Where the notion of government depending on the consent of the people is more..

Sri Lanka Coca Cola regains market leadership

Feb 26 (LBO) Coca Cola says it regained market leadership in Sri Lanka last year on the back of aggressive investments and better employee relations, despite the overall market not growing. "Both in sparkling drinks and juices we are market leaders and not just that we have gained leadership in each of the segments that we are in," claims Manish Chaturvedi country manager of Coca Cola Far East. more..

What is the crisis in the Tamil National Alliance?

Feb 26 (LP) Many ex-MPs of the TNA of Sri Lanka have not been given the opportunity to run for the elections under the ticket of the TNA. A number of those who lost nominations have become the pets of the government. But, a considerable number of MPs like Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, S. Kajendran, Pathmini Sithamparanathan, M.K. Sivajilingam and N. Srikantha etc. are denied nominations due to political reasons. more..

Ananda-Nalanda in final work out

Feb 26 (LNP) The traditional rivals Ananda College and Nalanda College will have their final preparations ahead of their annual Big Match when they take on St. Joseph s College and S. Thomas College Mount Lavinia respectively in two high profile inter-school Under 19 cricket tournament matches starting today at Darley Road and Campbell Place. The Anandians will be looking to maintain their impressive record this season with a number of senior players in the line-up. more..

Suriyawewa gets South Asia’s largest ever community water supply project

Feb 26 (GDI) A ceremony was held last evening to mark the commissioning of South Asia’s largest ever community water supply project by the President. Around 15,700 persons of 3000 families in Venivelaara, Mahapelessa, Viharagala, Bendigantota, Alioluaara and Beddeveva West in Sooriyawewa will benefit from this massive project. The Sooriyawewa integrated community water supply and sanitation project was constructed at Viharagala, Sooriyawewa. more..

62nd Independence Day celebrations in the USA

Feb 26 (MoD) Held on Sunday February 14th, 2010 at Royal Albert's Palace in Edison in New Jersey. The event was successfully organized by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York and was attended by well over 500 Sri Lankan expatriates living in the east coast of the United States. The chief guest was the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, Dr Palitha kohona. more..

Colombo Tamils Organization supports UPFA

Feb 26 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has assured to solve Colombo district Tamils problems, Colombo District Tamil Organization (CDTO) President A.S. Poobalasingham said. Therefore, the CDTO will support the United People s Freedom Alliance at the Parliamentary Elections. The CDTO President said they had faith in the Mahinda Chintana and strove hard for President Rajapaksa s victory at the Presidential Election. more..

Nuptial Bliss Gifts Blind War Hero with Both Bride & New House

Feb 26 (LP) War Hero, Private K. Thushara of 7 Sri Lanka National Guard (SLNG), now under rehabilitation following battlefield injuries was exceptionally lucky to receive not only a beautiful life-time partner but also a new house, donated by a philanthropist. Mrs Laly Kobbekaduwa, Chairperson, Lieutenant General Denzil Kobbekaduwa Foundation after the philanthropist, Dr. Mrs C. Pallewela offered her patronage for house construction, more..

EC declares District Secretariat areas as HSZ

Feb 26 (TN) Twenty-two district secretariats in the island are declared as special High Security Zones (HZS) from Friday, according to instructions issued by the Commissioner of Elections. Friday is the final day to submit nominations for the forthcoming general election. Submitting nominations by registered political parties and independent groups began on February 19. Approach roads to the District Secretariats in the twenty-two districts will be closed more..

‘Battle of North’ begins in Jaffna

Feb 26 (TN) The annual cricket match between St. John’s College and Jaffna Central College, two leading educational institutions in Jaffna, which first took place in 1904 has begun with the cheerful engagement of the student community in the peninsula. Most of the schools in the peninsula have declared Thursday and Friday as holidays, the sources added. Rev. Jacob Thompson, the principal of St. John’s College in Chu’ndukku’zhi and more..