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Independence is (still) another country

Feb 4 (DN) My younger daughter asks strange questions. She had recently wanted to know who it was that first came up with the word/idea called ‘good’. This was followed by another question: how can we tell if god exists? She is just five years and says that she needs to ask these questions before her akki asks them. My older daughter asks different kinds of questions. She wants to know why we have two ‘independence days’. more..

Pension scheme for private sector

Feb 4 (DN) A top entrepreneur says introducing a pension scheme for private sector employees to attract more graduates passing out will help the country. Master Divers Chairman Ariyaseela Wickramanayake told Daily News Business that if a pension scheme is introduced for private sector employees ,it will change the mind set of young graduates who are looking only for government jobs now. more..

'Prepared to risk imprisonment for democracy'

Feb 4 (CT) Leaders of opposition parties vowed yesterday that they would even risk imprisonment to ensure the restoration of democracy to the country. They were speaking at a major rally in Colombo organized to protest the recent presidential polls, which they claimed was corrupt and anti-democratic. Led by their leaders, activists of the UNP, JVP, SLMC, NSSP, WPF and several other parties gathered in their thousands at Hyde Park for the rally. more..

'Elections Commissioner was locked up in Temple Trees'

Feb 4 (Island) Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amerasinghe, said yesterday that regardless of denials by the Election Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayaka, he was allegedly locked up at Temple Trees on January 26 th – the date of the Presidential Election and for many hours on the following day. Addressing a joint opposition protest meeting at Hyde Park, against "Mahinda’s Fraudulent Presidential Election Victory," he more..

Dayananda Dissanayake slams politicos, 1978 Constitution

Feb 4 (Island) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake yesterday launched a scathing attack on major political parties for what he called the gradual deterioration of political culture in the country. He asserted that politicians were the bane of the country. He said that the rot started with the introduction of the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka. more..

Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment credited with P’karan’s killing

Feb 4 (Island) Over eight months after the killing of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, the Sri Lanka Army has officially credited the Vijayabahu Infantry regiment (VIR) with the killing of the terrorist leader on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon in the Puthukudirippu area. Although the Army had discussed the killing of Prabhakaran at various forums, no particular fighting formation received the recognition of finishing off Prabhakaran and more..

Three women killed as ‘illicit affair’ ends in tragedy

Feb 4 (Island) An Army deserter, suspecting that his 23-year-old wife was having an affair with a youngster, clubbed her to death while she was on a telephone conversation allegedly with her paramour. He later clubbed his mother-in-law and her sister, too, to death. The gruesome incident occurred on Tuesday night at the suspect’s home in Nelkulama.A third person, who was visiting the suspect’s home, was also attacked and more..

'Sabha takeover part of vast plan'

Feb 4 (DM) The JVP charged that the alleged take over by a powerful Minister, of the Tissamaharama Pradeshiya Sabha controlled by the JVP is a part of a fraudulent plan by the Government to secure a giant majority at the upcoming general elections. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that a plan is being devised as maintaining the massive majority which the Government obtained at the recently concluded Presidential election, has become a challenge today. more..

Election a fraud: General Fonseka

Feb 4 (DM) Common opposition presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka yesterday charged that Sri Lankans had been robbed of a true result at the January 26 presidential election and vowed he would take action against the electoral fraud thrust upon the people. At a well attended joint opposition public rally in Colombo, General Fonseka displayed one of the ballot papers that more..

News and National Security

Feb 4 (DM) One of the fall outs of Rajapaksa – Fonseka clash at the 2010 polls had been the pressure it inserted on the Sri Lankan media by various parties. Irrespective of as to who emerged victor, it was speculated that the fourth estate was anyhow going to have a tough time. This has now been proven true. The alleged coup attempt had seen the authorities viewing reports from certain responsible media entities with magnifying glasses while more..

Cabinet appoints a 15-member medical team

Feb 4 (DM) The Ministry of Health said yesterday that the Cabinet has approved the appointment of 15 medical officers to curb vector-borne diseases including dengue as part of the ministry’s efforts to eradicate infectious diseases. Health Ministry Deputy Director General, Dr. Palitha Mahipala said although the dengue epidemic was now under control in most parts of the country, it was still prevailing in the Jaffna, Vavuniya, Colombo and Gampaha districts. more..

JVP leader ‘serving foreign powers’

Feb 4 (Island) NFF national organiser and Kalutara district MP Jayantha Samaraweera yesterday condemned JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe’s alleged attempts to invite foreign powers to ‘meddle in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs’. Samaraweera said the JVP was giving a new opportunity to foreign forces to undermine Sri Lanka’s sovereignty through its false claims of more..

President's Speech at the 62nd Independence Day

Feb 4 (GDI) Today we celebrate the anniversary of Independence after the liberation of the entire country from terrorist threat for the first time in 30 years. I am proud to proclaim that we are in a position to raise the flag of Sri Lanka with dignity in the entire country. In 1815, Variyapola Sumangala Thero hoisted our flag on this historic land after lowering the Union Jack. more..

Suspicion over state resignations

Feb 4 (DM) The main opposition the UNP has raised suspicion over the government decision to seek the resignation of heads of all state institutions, saying it could be an attempt to persecute supporters of former Presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayaka said that even after the just concluded Presidential Elections there is a lack of consistency in the governing process. more..

Sri Lanka leader says Tamils should work with govt

Feb 4 (AP) Sri Lanka's president called Thursday for minority ethnic Tamils to work with the government to settle their differences but said there would be no self-rule for them, as the country celebrated its first Independence Day since the end of a 25-year civil war. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was re-elected last month by a wide margin, largely because of support from the country's Sinhalese majority, said Tamil leaders should not "misguide" people or more..

Rajapaksa promises peace and prosperity at Independence Day speech

Feb 4 (Hindu) Speaking at a function to mark Sri Lanka’s 62nd Independence Day, President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday said that he would use the fresh mandate given to him by the people in the January 26 presidential election to re- establish all that was lost for the past 30 years due to the war. The Independence Day celebrations this year were held in the hill town of Kandy near the area of Dalada Maligawa Buddhist temple. more..

Sri Lanka president vows to regain progress lost in war

Feb 5 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's newly re-elected president vowed on Thursday to regain the progress lost in a quarter-century war with the Tamil Tigers separatists by boosting the country's economy and unifying its people. Speaking at Sri Lanka's first independence day since the end of the civil war last year, Mahinda Rajapaksa also signalled that he would not accept any outside solutions imposed to solve the ethnic strife that sparked the war. more..

Tension amid Sri Lanka celebrations

Feb 5 (AJ) Sri Lanka's president, has called on the country's ethnic Tamils to help ease tensions, as the country marks its first independence day since the end of a 25-year civil war. Mahinda Rajapaksa, speaking at a ceremony in the central city of Kandy on Thursday, indicated there would be no self-determination for Tamils, but called on them to work with the government. "Let's solve our problems ourselves through discussions," more..

'Terror' arrest: police warned

Feb 5 (Age) Australian Federal Police officers were warned by a judge they could face criminal charges over their arrest of a Tamil man at gunpoint on terrorism charges. Sydney accountant Arumugam Rajeevan, 43, was on his way to lobby a NSW senator in July 2007 when police removed him from his car at gunpoint, demanding he lie face down outside the senator's office with his hands cuffed behind his back. more..

People smuggler slapped on wrist

Feb 5 (SMH) The notorious Indonesian people smuggler Abraham Louhenapessy, better known as Captain Bram, is likely to receive only a fine for attempting to bring 254 Sri Lankans in an overcrowded boat to Australia last year. Despite more than a decade of organising boats to Australia and being caught on the vessel - which he owned - with the asylum-seekers, he has been charged only with breaching Indonesia's sailing laws. more..

UN, USA, Canada should intervene to solve Lanka problem: Dr S Ramadoss

Feb 5 (PTI) The UN and countries like USA and Canada should intervene effectively to solve the Sri Lankan problem after holding talks with the island nation's government, as the Centre and Tamil Nadu had never initiated steps to favour Tamils there, PMK founder leader Dr S Ramadoss said here today. "The UN and Western world, particularly USA and Canada should initiate steps to solve this issue after talks with the Sri Lankan government," he told reporters here. more..

'The govt consists of white clad Bo tree circling killers'

Feb 5 (LT) “This Government consists of killers and murderers dressed in white and pretending to be good Buddhists, carrying armful of flowers and circling Bo trees in piety but in reality, they hunt the innocent and kill them while the real rogues, the real killers roam the streets free. This is a dictatorship like that of Idi Amin. People are taken in without any charges and are killed.” Said Secretary of the JVP, Tilvin Silva. more..

Stars available for Sri Lanka's provincial tournament

Feb 5 (CI) Sri Lanka's much anticipated 50-over provincial cricket tournament commences on February 6 with 76 cricketers, including all the national players, for the championship being contested by six teams - five provincial sides and a Sri Lanka Cricket Invitation XI. This tournament will be followed by the Provincial Twenty20 and the Provincial League. The matches will be played at Colombo, Kurunegala, Galle and the newly constructed cricket stadium at Pallakele. more..

Sri Lanka: Senior moments on a yoga retreat

Feb 5 (Telegraph) My journey to the heart of the jungle in Sri Lanka could scarcely have come about but for a lifelong friendship. I was invited to stay at the ayurveda yoga retreat at Ulpotha by my friend's son, Giles Scott, an entrepreneur and one of the founders, and her daughter, Suzi Scott, who plays host at the camp. The idea was for me to see what they were up to in the wilds. There was a closer connection. more..

JVP Press Release

Sore winners: How not to celebrate a victory

Feb 5 (Economist) Optimists hoped that, after Mahinda Rajapaksa’s stunning victory in Sri Lanka’s presidential election on January 26th, he might be magnanimous to his opponents and reassure citizens worried about the erosion of their civil liberties. He defeated his main opponent, Sarath Fonseka by the huge margin of 17 percentage points. With the war against the Tamil Tigers behind him, and seven more years of presidency ahead, Mr Rajapaksa could afford to be generous. more..

Sri Lanka’s focus should now shift form politics to economics

Feb 5 (LG) Many persons, living outside Sri Lanka and who unhesitatingly appreciated the trend towards vibrant democracy in Sri Lanka during the recent presidential poll, would be disappointed to see the bickerings and distrust between the two primary presidential candidates, casting a shadow on the national scene. It would have been a very healthy and civilized gesture if the winning presidential candidate would more..

President Rajapakse’s second term: Advisory Opinion vs Judgment proper

Feb 5 (DBS) Some very interesting questions were raised by the reader Nalaka at comment #147 made in response to my article “The magic behind the Mahinda Rajapakse victory“. I forwarded them to two experts at Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) in Colombo for their opinion. Both Asanga Welikala and Rohan Edirisinghe were kind enough to respond and I thank them for that. more..

Mahinda thanked expatriates for patriotism displayed

Feb 5 (AT) Sri Lankans from Southern California were among the first well wishers who met President Mahinda Rajapaksa and congratulated him personally on his historic victory at the Presidential Election held January 26. Consul General Mr. Ananda Wickremasinghe, Mr. Upul Dharmadasa, and Mr. Narada Ganghadara met President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees on January 28th and conveyed the good wishes of the expatriate community. more..

Sri Lanka’s Independence Commemoration in France

Feb 5 (AT) The 62nd Anniversary of Independence of Sri Lanka was commemorated at the Sri Lanka Embassy in Paris with special religious observances at the Embassy premises yesterday. Clergy representing all the main religions in Sri Lanka participated in the ceremony and invoked Blessings on His Excellency the President, the Cabinet of Ministers, armed forces, the Public Service, the country and people. more..

Muslims trust Rajapaksa, expect he will resolve their issues

Feb 5 (AT) There is no plan for the ruling UPFA to have any tug with any Muslim political parties. Muslims believe in the ability of the President and greatly expect that he will bring to a satisfactory resolution the issues connected with minorities vis-à-vis Tamils and Muslims. Risath Bathiyutheen, Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services, said right throughout the last four years, more..

Deputy High Commission celebrates 62nd Independence day of Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (AT) “After three long decades, we are celebrating the independence in its truest form, independence from colonial clutches, and independence from terror and fear,” said the Deputy High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Southern India, Mr. Vadivel Krishnamoorthy, addressing at the celebration of 62nd Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence in Chennai. Referring to the words of the late D.S. Senanayake, more..

Asia Cup in Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (Hindu) The Asia Cup ODI tournament will be held in Sri Lanka from June 16 to 25 this year. The Chief Executive Officer of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Syed Ashraful Huq told The Hindu here on Thursday that only the four Test playing nations of Asia — India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — would take part in the event. Ashraful, in the city to hold discussions with BCCI Secretary N.Srinivasan, said “The matches will be staged in Colombo and more..

Batticaloa Mayoress on the comeback trail

Feb 5 (AT) The TMVP has decided to meet tomorrow to decide about the political strategy they should adopt in the forthcoming parliamentary general election in the Eastern Province. Assad Moulana said that the Chief Minister has invited the Party’s Leaders Committee consisting of 17 members, Executive Committee members consisting of 90 members and also the academics and more..

The Diary of Terror – 04th Feb. 2010

Feb 5 (LG) A meeting organised by the joint opposition to condemn the rigging of the presidential election was held at Hyde Park Corner on the 3rd February. Thousands of participants gathered at this meeting representing diverse political groups. It is one of the most significant meetings following an election in Sri Lanka to protest the validity of an election result. The crowds that gathered through various roads surrounding Hyde Park Corner shouted slogans more..

‘Tamil youths must be tried or released’

Feb 5 (UCAN) Northern Sri Lankan bishops, whose dioceses were hard hit by the civil war, are appealing for detained Tamil youths to be either tried in a court of law or released. About 11,000 youths have been in detention for the past seven months in different rehabilitation camps in the north of the country. Another 10,000 are in prisons in Colombo and other parts, charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. more..

Luxury hospitality on Sri Lanka’s west coast

Feb 5 (ET) Serene Pavilions, a new venture in luxury hospitality located in Wadduwa on Sri Lanka’s west coast, has joined the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World brand. Opened at a cost of $US5.5 million in November 2009, Serene Pavilions is a beachside retreat offering 12 lavishly appointed Pavilions with private Butler service set in a seven acre coconut grove facing the Indian Ocean, more..

President must expand his diplomatic circle beyond Iran, Libya, Mynamar and Palestine to G8 and G20 countries

Feb 5 (TC) The resounding victory by President Mahinda Rajapaksa placed in perspective the feelings of many Sri Lankans, a sense of gratitude towards a President that had the courage to withstand international pressure and take the battle to the end. A feat that was by all considerations thought to be inconceivable. As a war-time President he braved international pressure and more..

'Sri Lanka should address fiscal excess, inflation'

Feb 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka has an 'apparent lack of urgency' to stop rising inflation and post election spending may put pressure on an deal agreed with the IMF, Standard & Poor's, a rating agency has said. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, re-elected with a stronger mandate, had a "unique opportunity" to "implement comprehensive fiscal and public sector reforms," which was the key to cutting public sector deficits and debt ratios, S & P said. more..

Javed Yusuf on YaTV