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7 political parties submit nominations in Jaffna electorate until Thursday

Feb 26 (TN) Five political parties submitted their lists of candidates contesting Jaffna electoral district in the parliamentary election at Jaffna Secretariat Thursday making a total of seven political parties contesting the election including Tamil Arasuk Kadchi (TAK) and Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP), sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, 3 independent groups have also submitted nomination lists Thursday, more..

British PM's presence at GTF ‘unethical’

Feb 26 (GDI) British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s presence at the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) conference in London is an ‘unethical’ act of a government that preaches democracy, said Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwela. He made this statement to Daily Mirror Online adding, “If the GTF is affiliated with the LTTE, then we regret that a nation such as Britain would preach democracy while attending a forum that preaches terrorism. more..

Historical Matale temple set for major festival

Feb 26 (Island) The annual Ther Festival of Arulmigu Sri Muthumariamman Hindu Kovil will be held on Sunday February 28. The temple, situated in the historic town of Matale, is a very religious shrine and one of the largest Kovils in Sri Lanka. It was built by the Indian Hindu community, mostly traders who came from Tamil Nadu and Kerala to do business in and around the tea estates in Matale, about 250 years ago. more..

UNP Colombo District aspirants scramble for positions in General's nomination list

Feb 26 (LeN) A number of former UNP MPs scrambled for positions in the nomination list for the Colombo District of Gen. Fonseka's Democratic National Front (DNF) of which he is the leader, a spokesman for DNF told Lanka e news. The General is also the leader of the Colombo District group of candidates of the DNF. Owing to this hectic scramble for nomination , the finalization of the Colombo District nomination list has been postponed, the spokesman more..

Don’t harass UNP MPs who joined the Govt. -President reprimands Ministers

Feb 26 (LeN) It is reported that President Rajapakse has reprimanded his Seniors, front-liners and Ministers not to harass, insult or humiliate the UNP ers who have joined the Govt. and taken portfolios. He has issued this warning at a Cabinet meeting. The President stated, the UNPers have complained to him that they have to bear the brunt of the insults, back-stabbing and humiliation which are being hurled at them by the SLFPers. more..

UPFA nominations for Colombo, Kalutara, Badulla, Kandy, Trincomalee & Galle handed-over

Feb 26 (GDI) Colombo district will extend the highest contribution for the alliance to take a two thirds majority at the forthcoming parliamentary election, General Secretary of the UPFA Susil Premajayantha said. He made these remarks after handing over the nomination list of UPFA candidates contesting the election from the Colombo district at more..

Keheliya marginalized in Kandy

Feb 26 (LT) It is reported that Ministers Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Sarath Amunugama had not accompanied Minister Keheliya Rambukwella at the handing over of nomination papers in Kandy yesterday. It is reported that although the media personnel were informed the event was to be started at 10.00 a.m. the two Ministers had arrived early at the Kachcheri and had summoned the media personnel at 8.30 a.m. and had handed over the nomination papers officially. more..

All 23 supporters of General released

Feb 26 (LT) Another supporter of Gen. Sarath Fonseka who was being detained by the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) on charges of conspiracy to over throw the government was released by Colombo Magistrate today. He was arrested at the election office of Gen. Fonseka at Royal Avenue in Colombo and was brought before Colombo Magistrate today. The TID informed Magistrate that they did not have sufficient evidence to prosecute him and asked the Court to release the suspect. more..

Jaffna reawakening with ICT

Feb 26 (LP) Mini INFOTEL Jaffna - the Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Exhibition under the theme of “Re-awakening with ICT” commenced today at the Vembady Girls High School with the objective of promoting ICT in the northern region.’ The exhibition which features an ICT career guidance program for northern youth will end on the 28th of February. more..

The unspeakable in pursuit of the unattainable

Feb 26 (LNP) Sri Lanka has rightly raised objections to British Foreign Secretary David Miliband`s speech at an eelam summit in London, organised by the Global Tamil Forum, an umbrella organisation for some notorious LTTE fronts. Colombo`s consternation is understandable in that Britain must not grant legitimacy to any outfit bent on destroying a fellow Commonwealth nation. Miliband may get some votes from the LTTE sympathisers in more..

More Muslim candidates for April polls

Feb 26 (PSM) Over 100 Muslim candidates from recognized political parties and independent groups will be contesting at the upcoming Parliamentary elections to be held on 8 April 2010 with nominations closing at 12 noon today. All candidates of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) will be contesting under the Elephant symbol of the UNP with SLMC Leader Mr. Rauff Hakeem contesting from the Kandy district. more..

Govt targets cheaper electricity

Feb 26 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa speaking at the opening of the multi fuel combined cycle power plant at Kerawalapitiya yesterday said that the Government will focus on how the consumers are to be relieved from the burden of higher electricity bills soon. The Government focused on alternative energy sources to generate electricity with the escalation of oil prices in the world market. more..

JHU for society based on the five precepts

Feb 26 (DN) Jathika Hela Urumaya yesterday announced at a press conference at the National Library and Documentation Services Board auditorium, Colombo that they will contest the forthcoming General Election under UPFA based on 10 principals that envisions the preservation of the country's territorial integrity, unitary status and the environment, as foremost among these. more..

Winning over the 4.17 million

Feb 26 (DN) There are some nice words in the English language, good to say but hard to obtain. I am thinking of words such as consensus, agreement and unanimity. We hear them a lot in political circles. Sometimes we are even told that important people have reached ‘agreement’, ‘consensus’ etc., but that doesn’t really fool anyone. We know that in politics, for example, there is arm-twisting, backroom deals, ignorance, naivet‚ and even innocence, more..

Several small parties hand-over their candidate lists in Matara

Feb 26 (Island) The ‘Sinhale Maha Sammatha Boomi Puthra Pakshaya’ and an independent group contesting the forthcoming general election handed in their nominations to Returning Officer, Matara Mrs. W. K. K. Athukorale on Feb. 24. The following are the names of the respective candidates: The Sinhala Maha Sammatha Boomi Puthra Pakshaya: Somachandra Vitharana, Shelton Gunaratne, Prince Rubasinghe, more..

Directive to Policemen: Always be in uniform

Feb 26 (DN) The Police Headquarters yesterday directed all Police Stations and the Divisional Heads to ensure that Police officers providing security to the candidates should be in uniform during the election campaign. This directives came in the wake of several complaints made by the public that some Police officers are often see in civil attire. more..

Agriculture expert joins poll race

Feb 26 (Island) Jathika Hela Urumaya executive member and attorney-at-law M C Jayaratne who will be contesting the upcoming parliamentary elections representing Kurunegala District, said yesterday he would use his expertise in the field of agriculture to make the country self-sufficient. "We have identified about 50,000 acres in the Kurunegala District. If this land is properly utilized, 50,000 milking cattle could be reared. more..

Protest against removal of Kandy Mayor

Feb 26 (Island) The UNP members of the Kandy Municipal Council wearing black arm bands walked out of the council meeting yesterday protesting against the suspension of the Mayor L. B. Aluwihare, by the Chief Minister Central Provincial Council. The UNP Councillor also protested against the results of the Presidential election. The UNP members who attended the Finance Committee meeting earlier in the day staged a boycott as the monthly general meeting was more..

Hashan to contest from Colombo under the trophy

Feb 26 (LNW) UNP Western Provincial Councilor and Avissawella Organizer Hashan Thilekaratne has reportedly signed nomination papers to contest the forthcoming general election under the trophy symbol of the DNA. It is learnt that Hashan had arrived at the decision to contest under the DNA following continuous requests made to the effect from General Sarath Fonseka and Arjuna Ranatunge. more..

'Insulting monks and disgracing Temples continue'

Feb 26 (UNP) The Nalandaramaya Temple in Nugegoda whose Chief incumbent is Ven. Thinyawala Palitha Thero was searched by the Mirihana police yesterday (24) for explosives. It is well to recall that this Ven. Thero was the petitioner in the case filed in the Supreme Court sometime ago against the Govt.’s hedging ‘soodhuwa’ and alleged fraud involving billions of rupees loss to the country. more..

Elections, here and there

Feb 26 (DM) The latest one hears is that a starlet who lost her main role in a teledrama for supporting Sarath Fonseka has been given nomination for the April polls, this time from the UNP. She will join the long list of poorly-qualified candidates who lack knowledg on statecraft and thus jeopardize the move to make parliament a place for the educated and the honourable. During the last few weeks many editorials in the national newspapers devoted space to more..

Remembering Loss

CCD ordered to identify suspects from photos

Feb 26 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate yesterday directed the Colombo Crime Division to identify culprits from the photographs that were filed in the court by the defence regarding the clash that took place at Hulftsdorp recently. During the magisterial inquiry the CCD informed the Magistrate that despite requesting TV channels like to provide visuals taken during the pandemonium, none of them responded except Sirasa. more..

Teenage mother dumps infant in bag

Feb 26 (DM) A new born baby had been stuffed into a bag of corn cobs and husks and left in a forested area in Kalegama, Mawathagama for more than five hours. It was traced and rescued after the doctor who treated the child’s underage mother notified the police. A doctor at the Anuradhapura General Hospital had noticed that the teenaged mother whom he was treating was acting strangely. He had informed the Eppawala police of his suspicions. more..

EXIM Bank coming to plug brain drain

Feb 26 (DM) Sri Lanka is to set up a Chinese model EXIM Bank (Export - Import Bank) to plug brain drain, invest in foreign countries and use Sri Lankan expertise in overseas development projects, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. Addressing a ceremony held in connection with the commissioning of the second stage of the Kerawalapitiya power plant that added MW100 to the national grid, more..

The decay of parliamentary democracy in Sri Lanka

Feb 26 (wsws) An editorial in last weekend’s Sunday Times entitled, “Give us honourable MPs please,” bemoaned the impotence of the Sri Lankan parliament and the poor quality of parliamentarians. The editorial was one of a number of opinion pieces and comments calling for an improvement in political standards as the country prepares for parliamentary elections on April 8. more..

Sri Lanka inflation hits 1-yr high in Feb

Feb 26 (Reuters) Inflation in Sri Lanka hit a one-year high in February as low interest rates spurred consumer demand for goods and as commodity prices rose, data showed on Friday. Consumer prices rose 6.9 percent this month from year-ago levels, its highest since February 2009 and edging up from last month's 6.5 percent. Inflation hit a record high of 28.2 percent in June 2008 as global oil prices surged. more..

Comprehensive Sri Lanka promotion in Europe launched in Brussels

Feb 26 (IL) The Sri Lanka Embassy in Brussels in collaboration with Sri Lanka Tourism is holding a week long promotion of Sri Lanka in Brussels this week, a programme intended to be replicated in other European capitals. Centered on Sri Lanka's participation as the host country at the BELASIA annual travel fair which projects over 25 Asian countries as a tourist destinations, more..

JVP indirectly works for the CIA: Govt. Minister

Feb 26 (GDI) The JVP is indirectly working for CIA said Minister Nandana Gunatilleke. The JVP is working with a surveillance agency of a foreign country. He also said that a one time politburo member of the Peramuna, Premakumara Gunaratne, who is currently abroad is the main person behind these transactions. The JVP during the recent presidential election acted upon the needs of the intelligence division of the party. more..

DNA-UNP to work to save democracy

Feb 26 (DM) The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) led by retired General Sarath Fonseka yesterday stressed the need for all opposition political parties including the UNP to work together to get its leader released and to re-establish democracy in Sri Lanka. “With this objective in mind the Alliance would liaise with other opposition parties though they were contesting the General Election separately, more..

Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Committee divided into three factions

Feb 26 (LNW) The internal administration system at Sri Lanka Cricket is reportedly in a mess following the split in the Interim Committee. Sources from Sri Lanka Cricket said one faction of the Interim Committee consisted of its Chairman D.S. De Silva, Suraj Dandeniya and Kapila Wijegunawradena. Another faction includes Nishantha Ranatunge and Pramodya Wickremasinghe while more..

Video: Military court looms over Fonseka

Feb 26 (AD) Twenty five people have come forward to give evidence against Rtd. Gen. Sarath Fonseka, Military Spokesman Maj. Gen. Prasad Samarasinghe said. He added that collecting evidence for the case is almost over. In an exclusive interview with Ada Derana Samarasinghe said that Fonseka has rejected the chance to cross examine the witnesses and a chance to provide witnesses to support his case. more..

Halt in EU tariff scheme gives workers the jitters

Feb 26 (IPS) For garment factory workers like Anoma Piyaseele, the European Union’s (EU) concessionary tariffs for imports from Sri Lanka meant little more than a vague term for policymakers to deal with – until news came that they would be suspended soon. As it is, Piyaseele says, she is not sure whether this preferential scheme – officially called GSP Plus that has helped Sri Lanka continue to be more..

Ranil does a JRJ to prevent UNF MPs defecting

Feb 26 (Island) The UNF will obtain sworn affidavits from all its candidates contesting the forthcoming Parliamentary Elections, to the effect that they will not switch their allegiance to another party after the election. This move is somewhat similar to that made by President J.R. Jayewardene, who obtained undated letters of resignation from his MPs to thwart crossovers. UNP sources told The Island that the party had to take this decision to prevent crossovers. more..

President pledges highest point in development

Feb 26 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said he has been mandated by the people to reach the highest point of development free from corruption and terror. He urged the Opposition to do away with politics of malice and hatred and instead extend its fullest cooperation to the Government's development endeavour. Speaking at the commissioning of a community water supply project at Suriyawewa, more..

U.S. govt takes Sri Lankan officials on land study tour to Timor-Leste

Feb 26 (USE) The USAID is taking 13 government officials from central and provincial ministries on a 7-day study tour to learn how land ownership issues are being resolved in Timor-Leste (also known as East Timor), a country recovering from conflict. USAID, the development agency of the U.S. Embassy, supports efforts to address land ownership issues in areas of Sri Lanka affected by the conflict. more..

Debrief News - 26. 02.2010

IMF backs Sri Lanka central bank stance

Feb 27 (LBO) The International Monetary Fund, which put a deal with Sri Lanka on the shelf till at least May on a runaway budget, has backed the monetary policy stance of the island's central bank. The central bank met its two performance criteria under the 2.6 billion US dollar deal, a target for foreign reserves and domestic reserve money, a very narrow money supply that is used to clear final transactions in the economy. more..

1867 candidates contesting in North-East

Feb 27 (TN) A total of 1867 candidates are set to contest the up coming April eight Parliamentary Elections in Sri Lanka’s north and east where 31members will be elected to the SL Parliament. The candidates will contest in the districts of Jaffna, Vanni, Batticoloa, Trincomalee and Digamadulla. The total includes those from eight recognized political parties while the rest are independent and from smaller parties more..

Sri Lanka pledges to protect sea turtles

Feb 27 (BBC) The Sri Lankan government says that it is concerned about the welfare of sea turtles which live and breed on the island's southern coastline. The authorities say turtle hatcheries are operating there which contravene conservation laws and that they will prosecute those people involved. Sri Lanka is a vital habitat for sea turtles as five of the seven species come ashore here to lay their eggs. more..