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ACTC submits own list of candidates to contest Jaffna electorate

Feb 27 (TN) All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) party which had quit Tamil National Alliance (TNA) submitted Friday its nomination list at Jaffna Secretariat with Sinnathurai Varatharajan, a teacher of economics, as its chief candidate, sources in Jaffna said. Many prominent people in the peninsula as well as the Jaffna University community are said to be supporting ACTC in the forthcoming parliamentary election in Jaffna district electorate. more..

324 candidates contest Jaffna electorate for 9 seats

Feb 27 (TN) Until Friday noon 15 registered political parties and 12 independent groups had submitted their lists of candidates to contest parliamentary election in Jaffna district electorate competing for nine seats for Jaffna electorate, sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, the nomination lists of Sri Lanka National Front political party and four independent groups were rejected by Jaffna Assistant Commissioner of Elections, more..

Sri Lanka army officers remanded over 'coup plot'

Feb 27 (BBC) A Sri Lankan court has ordered that six army officers suspected of plotting to overthrow the government should remain in custody. The officers appeared before Colombo Chief Magistrate Champa Janaki Rajaratne on Friday. The government has accused one of the suspects of being involved in the assassination of Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickramathunga last year. more..

Top Sri Lanka economist seeks parliamentary entry

Feb 27 (LBO) Top Sri Lanka economist Harsha de Silva has been nominated as a candidate from the main opposition United National Party for parliamentary polls to be held in April. De Silva is on the so-called 'national list' of lawmakers that a party can use to bring professionals from various fields to the assembly. Under Sri Lanka's proportional representation system each party gets more..

Organiser of Darkmarket fraud website jailed

Feb 27 (BBC) A man who created a website trading in stolen financial information linked to tens of millions of pounds in losses has been jailed for nearly five years. Renukanth Subramaniam, 33, founded Darkmarket, a "Facebook for fraudsters" where criminals could buy and sell credit card details and bank log-ins. The site was shut down in 2008 after an FBI agent infiltrated it, leading to more than 60 arrests worldwide. more..

Govt. rejects 'Lanka Guardian' claim regarding the Norochcholai project

Feb 27 (GDI) Ministry of Power & Energy in a press release this evening refutes baseless and damaging statements published by some Pro-opposition web site called Lanka Guardian on the February 23 with regard to the Norochcholai Power Plant. The statement in the questionable website alleged that many materials that are used in this project are of low quality. It added that the coating of some metal structures had already been displaced. more..

The case against military justice for Sarath Fonseka

Feb 27 (DBS) When I began writing this article on Thursday February 25th my intention was to argue that retired four star General and defeated Presidential elections candidate Sarath Fonseka should not be court-martialled by a military tribunal. It was in a sense an extension and further elaboration of what I had stressed in my previous column for “Daily Mirror” of February 12th headlined more..

Whither the new Sri Lanka proclaimed by the triumphant Head of State?

Feb 27 (TC) Many questions about the methods used in gaining the astounding military and Presidential election victories remain unanswered. The interest of the majority has been on the victory and not how it was achieved. The joint political and military leadership also believed the end would justify the means. This mindset prevailed among many Tamils too during the time the LTTE were active. more..

Marine Archaeological Museum to open soon

Feb 27 (GDI) The unique Marine Archaeological Museum in Sri Lanka newly established by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and National Heritage in Galle is scheduled to be inaugurated under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 4th March 2010. According to the Cultural Ministry the Museum built under a special grant of Rs.177 million made by the government of the Netherlands and it is 40,000square feet in extent. more..

Threatened and endangered legal profession vote for a new leadership

Feb 27 (AHRC) In the Bar Council elections held this week the lawyers voted overwhelmingly against a candidate who was openly promoted by the government. Shibly Aziz won the election with a majority of 450 votes against Mr. Palitha Kumarasinghe PC. For over a long period the legal profession in Sri Lanka has been under serious attack. more..

US Senator Casey remarks read at Global Tamil Forum event

Feb 27 (TC) U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, provided the following statement which was read at the Global Tamil Forum inaugural event in London on Wednesday. "As Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on South Asia, I have examined the unfortunate effects of the conflict in Sri Lanka. more..

Children go back to school in Sri Lanka

Feb 27 (SOS) Thousands of children have gone back to school in northern Sri Lanka, as the area’s shattered education service is being rebuilt. The government’s goal is to send children from the five districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Vavuniya and Mullaitivu back to school by the end of April and to have all the schools rebuilt by the middle of the year. Thousands of schools across the north of the island were destroyed in the 30-year-long civil war more..

Sri Lankan Embassy and World Bank spice up the Bank's restaurants with a Sri Lankan food festival

Feb 27 (IL) On Tuesday (23), Restaurants Associates (RA) at the World Bank and the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington, D.C. inaugurated the first day of “Celebrating Sri Lankan Cuisine, a special country promotion, launched under the RA’s “Heritage Days” luncheon series. The inaugural luncheon, prepared by two leading chefs specially flown from Sri Lanka, more..

Paradise lost - Jaffna will rise againTamil Militancy

Feb 27 (LG) On the Jaffna Political platforms Mrs.Maheswaran the leading candidate for the UNP Jaffna District may pose a few questions as to who killed her husband? Gajan Ponnambalam may pose the question as to who killed his father who was my good friend ? I will ask the question as to why I was threatened by a political bandit during the Western Provincial council elections, my campaign office attacked and my mothers residence attacked. more..

India remains silent over Sri Lankan Tamils

Feb 27 (LG) After President Mahinda Rajapaksa won in the elections, held in January this year, for the second consecutive time. Indian leaders issued statements congratulating Rajapaksa. India, too, requested that Rajapaksa carefully handle Sarath Fonseka, the former army general, who contested as the main oppositing candidate against Rajapaksa. The Indian leaders’ statements were in empathy on the arrest of Fonseka and more..

Japan offered to hide Bamiyan statues, but Taliban asked Japan to convert to Islam instead

Feb 27 (AFP) Japan offered to hide Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Buddha statues to prevent the Taliban from destroying them, but the hardline regime instead suggested the Japanese convert to Islam, a new memoir says. Abdul Salam Zaeef, who was Taliban-ruled Afghanistan’s most public face as ambassador to Pakistan, wrote that Japan was the most active country in pressing the regime not to demolish the more..

Sri Lanka stocks at record, foreigners continue to exit

Feb 27 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares hit a record high on Friday on retail buying, but foreigners stuck to the exit trajectory after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delayed the third tranche of a $2.6 billion loan to the island nation. The All-Share Price Index of the Colombo Stock Exchange surged 1.1 percent to hit a new record high of 3823.44 points, surpassing its previous all-time high hit on Feb. 10. more..

Who are we? A matter of identity: Response to Dr. Nalin Swaris

Feb 27 (TC) Dr. Nalin Swaris simply must learn to make his political and ideological criticisms without imputing personal motives and thereby descending into the realm of psychological speculation and gossip. He heavily hints that my criticism of the Govt’s handling of the Fonseka affair is a matter of sour grapes, meaning I didn’t get something I expected or asked for from the President or the administration. more..

How Professor G L Peiris made a joke of the rule of law

Feb 27 (LG) Professor G L Peiris, the holder of the largest number of post-graduate degrees in law and a long time teacher of law, showed that he had the same understanding of law as most of the traffic sergeants in Sri Lanka. The professor had called for a press conference to discuss the refusal to give bail to retired army commander Sarath Fonseka, who is now in military detention. more..

The political culture of our times our times

Feb 27 (LG) "The distempers of our times would make a wise man both merry and mad. Merry, to see how vice flourishes but a while, and, being at last frustrate of all her fair hopes, dies in a dejected scorn; which meets with nothing, in the end, but beggary, baseness, and contempt. ..To see how men buy offices at high rates, which, when they have, prove gins to catch their souls in, and snare their estates and reputations... more..

Sri Lanka: ambitious plan to rebuild 'ground zero' in war with Tamil Tigers

Feb 27 (CSM) In chartered buses and private cars, Sri Lankans pour into this war-ravaged city, finally rejoined to the rest of the country. Some are ethnic Tamils coming home to see relatives after decades living elsewhere. Others are Sinhalese tourists from the south, curious to see a long-denied corner of their island. Jaffna served as ground zero in Sri Lanka's 26-year civil war, more..

Sri Lanka's human-rights and free-speech problems need international attention

Feb 27 (ST) In post-civil war Sri Lanka, where democratic institutions are more imperiled than ever, the international press has a vital role to play — even more important than the diplomatic efforts of our governments — in forcing greater transparency and accountability. I just spent two weeks in Sri Lanka and whenever I sat down with someone in Colombo to ask their opinion of the country's political situation, more..

General Sarath Fonseka to fight in Sri Lanka parliamentary elections

Feb 27 (Times) General Sarath Fonseka, the former Sri Lankan army chief, who was arrested this month on coup charges, filed nomination papers yesterday to contest parliamentary elections on April 8 as the leader of an opposition alliance. The soldier-turned-politician, who led the army to victory over the Tamil Tiger rebels last year, filed his application through his wife, Anoma, who is allowed to visit him in custody in the naval headquarters in Colombo. more..

Beeralu Lace Industry

Sinhala-Tamil politics after the war

Feb 27 (TC) The voting at the January presidential election brutally exposed the two solitudes in Sri Lankan politics. The Sinhalese voted in clear preference for President Rajapakse while Tamils along with Muslims, equally clearly voted against him. In fact, the TNA was blamed for contributing to Sarath Fonseka’s defeat by openly supporting him. That was a tad far fetched, as the real clincher about that alliance was how the government used the state media to more..

Around 65,000 Policemen for polls duty

Feb 27 (MoD) Around 65,000 Police personnel will be deployed for April 8 election duty. Police Election Unit Senior DIG Gamini Nawaratne said the Police Department will provide comprehensive security during the election. A contingent of 65,000 Police personnel out of 80,000 from the Police Department will be on election duty round the clock. "The rest of 15,000 Police personnel will be engaged in administrative duty," more..

'Peace, co-existence among humanity'

Feb 27 (MoD) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka in a message to mark the birthday celebration of Holy Prophet Muhammed states: "It is with great pleasure that I issue this message to mark the birthday celebrations of a great teacher who created peace and co-existence among humanity. "The history of Islam points out that he was born in the sacred city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia long time ago. more..

National highway projects to be expedited

Feb 27 (GDI) The Ministry of Highways & Road Development has taken steps to proceed with the advance procurement process in order to speed up the process of rehabilitation and improvement of national highways. The proposed Northern Road Connectivity Project is programmed for rehabilitation and improvement of A-009-Dambulla-Galkulama (1) in the North Central Province with a length of 23.85 km, A-009-Dambulla-Galkulama more..

Pilot biogas project begins at Jathika Pola

Feb 27 (GDI) The Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority commenced a pilot Biogas Project at Jathika Pola, Narahenpita. Colombo Municipal Commissioner Badrani Jayawardane said that Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority has intervened to reduce the garbage problem in Colombo by initiating a Biogas production project at a place where organic matter is mostly concentrated. She said the pilot project will help CMC to reduce the City waste management problem and more..

Basil Rajapaksa declares his assets & liabilities

Feb 27 (GDI) Senior Presidential Advisor and Gampaha District Alliance Group Leader Basil Rajapakse declared his assets and liabilities yesterday. The statement has been presented to the Gampaha District Secretary. Supporters of Basil Rajapaksa said he has given a fitting example to accusations raised by the Opposition during the Presidential election and elections periods. more..

Kids in Rambukoluwa get a bus ride to school now

Feb 27 (GDI) School children in the Rambukoluwa village in Moragahakanda are upbeat about a new bus service launched to facilitate them. This was due to the attention directed by President Rajapaksa. The Rambukoluwa village is located on the borders of a thick forest at Moragahakanda in the Matale District. The children used to walk seven kilometers daily to their school in Pallegama. more..

SLPP persons harass senior Tamil journalist Parameswaran in Jaffna

Feb 27 (TN) Persons of Sri Lanka People’s Party (SLPP), a constituent of ruling UPFA, caught and held N. Parameswaran, a senior Tamil journalist in Jaffna peninsula, the correspondent of BBC Tamil service and Daily Mirror, Saturday from 9:00 a.m til 9:30 in front of the SLFP office located at Veampadi Veethi in Jaffna. This office is actively engaged in getting SLFP membership forms signed by the resettled Vanni displaced persons in Jaffna more..

Suresh Premachandran’s office in Jaffna attacked again

Feb 27 (TN) Unidentified persons threw stones continually, attacking the office of TNA former parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran Friday night causing damage to the tiles and windows of the office, sources in Jaffna said. The office is located at the entrance of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) 512 Division on Point Pedro road in Jaffna where there is 24-hour presence of SLA and the police, the sources further said. more..

IMF loan delay signals deep assault on living standards

Feb 27 (wsws) In a move that foreshadows a far-reaching assault on the working class, the International Monetary Fund mission to Sri Lanka announced on Thursday that the Fund would delay the release of the third installation of its $US2.6 billion loan agreed last July. IMF mission head Brian Aitkin nominated the government’s failure to meet its budget deficit reduction target as the reason for the decision. more..

ACTC contests Trincomalee electoral district

Feb 27 (TN) All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) submitted its list of candidates contesting Trincomalee electoral district Friday, sources in Trincomalee said. Meanwhile, former MPs Gajendrakumar Kangkesar Ponnambalam, Ms. Pathmini Sithamparanathan and Selvarajah Gajendran along with representatives of public organizations as a new alliance are contesting under bicycle symbol of ACTC in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, according to Selvarajah Gajendran. more..

Beyond Presidential Election 2010

Feb 27 (LG) Just as a large number of patriotic organizations, we too endeavoured, within the limits of our resources, for the victory of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa. Just as they, we too are happy to congratulate him on his victory. If somebody or some organization promotes a candidate at an election and if that person wins, there is a responsibility to the voters, on the part of those who recommended that person, more..

A new lie – police training without constitutional reforms

Feb 27 (LG) Peter Mountford who returned from a visit to Sri Lanka writes in an article ‘Sri Lanka’s hr and free speech problems need international attention’. At the core of Sri Lanka’s problems is a rotten constitution, which gives the president near dictatorial power. Opposition members in parliament are easily bought through cushy ministerial appointments, and the chief justice of the Supreme Court is appointed by the president. more..

Two-day Katchatheevu Church festival brings together Indo-Lanka fishermen

Feb 27 (AT) About 5000 Indian fishermen and pilgrims are setting sail to Katchatheevu island today to participate in the two-day St. Antony’s festivial starting today. About 200 mechanized boats and catamarans are getting ready to ferry fishermen and pilgrims to the island. Their Sri Lankan counterparts would also arrive there. This is following the invitation from the Jaffna Bishop Fr. Soundaranayakam and more..

Jebeneson Moves from Masonry to Manioc

North needs the help of the South & expatriates to rehabilitate and develop

Feb 27 (AT) On my recent visit to Jaffna along the A9, it was obvious that development and progress had virtually come to a standstill after 27 years of the recent conflict. My last visit to Jaffna was in 1981, when I taught for a month in the University of Jaffna, Medical Faculty, as an honorary Lecture. This I did from time to time at the Universities of Colombo and Peradeniya after I left Sri Lanka in 1971. more..