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Exodus of Govt. family members?

Jan 6 (island) Family members of government ministers have left the country or are in the process of leaving the country ahead of the January 26th presidential polls, parliament was told yesterday. UNP MP Lakshman Seneviratne told parliament that the daughter of one minister had already left the country, while the wife of another was due to leave on Wednesday. more..

Sri Lanka Tamils back war-winning general for president

Jan 6 (Reuters) The political proxy of the Tamil Tigers unanimously backed on Wednesday the presidential bid of the general who crushed the separatists in May, saying it was the only way to thwart incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa's re-election. The TNA, a group of ethnic Tamil parties that took orders from the LTTE, said Rajapaksa's record on human rights and law and order made defeating him a priority. more..

Anniversary of terror attack on MTV-MBC Radio/TV Station

Jan 6 (DBS) Today January 6th is the first anniversary of a “terror” attack on the MTV-MBC Radio/TV station in suburban Colombo. None of the culprits responsible for the attack have been apprehended let alone prosecuted despite a whole year passing by. What I want to do here is to refresh memories of readers about this vicious attack on media freedom and more..

Fonseka accused of making 'secret pact' with TNA

Jan 6 (Hindu) Within hours after the post-Prabakaran Tamil National Alliance (TNA) formally announced its decision to back the candidature of Sarath Fonseka, commander turned politician and common Opposition consensus Presidential nominee for the January 26 poll, a senior Minister in the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government alleged that a `secret pact’ between the two was detrimental to the interests of the island nation. more..

U.S. mulls to expand insider trading charges against Rajaratnam

Jan 7 (Hindu) United States is contemplating to expand the insider trading charges against the Sri Lanka-born U.S. Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam, Financial Times said in a New York datelined report. “US prosecutors said on Tuesday they planned to expand the insider trading charges against Raj Rajaratnam, and accuse the billionaire founder of the Galleon hedge fund group of making at least $36m in illicit profits more..

Debrief News - 06. 01. 2010

Sri Lanka port built with Chinese help

Jan 7 (BBC) A vast new port facility is being built in the Sri Lankan town of Hambantota, eight months after the end of the country's civil war. Western countries criticised the Sri Lankan army's conduct in the war, and the government is now looking east for support. China has stepped in to help build the port, which, it is thought, could one day serve a military purpose. Charles Haviland gained exclusive access to the facility. more..

VIDEO: Lal Kantha to support Mahinda?

Jan 7 (AD) There are so many stories circulating today. There are stories about us also, said Agriculture Ministry Maitripala Sirisena in response to a question by a journalist at the Mahaweli Centre this morning. Mr. Sirisena was responding to the question whether Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna parliamentarian and trade unionist K.D. Lal Kantha would switch sides and support President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Lessons Learned for Sri Lanka

Jan 7 (WPR) Last month, the Indian central government abruptly ended days of violent protests by carving out a federal state for the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh. In an effort to end a five-decade-long internal conflict, the world's largest democracy ceded a state for the greater good of stability and governance. India's war-weary neighbor, Sri Lanka, would do well to take a page from New Delhi's playbook as it looks to foster peaceful relations with its own minority Tamil population. more..

On board the Tamil asylum boat

Jan 7 (CNN) They are home movies of a different sort. Children scamper across the wooden deck. Parents lie on woven mats trying to fend off boredom. A handful of men share a single hose as a shower at the back of the boat. This is daily life aboard the Indonesian fishing boat carrying more than 200 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers to Australia. Video and pictures chronicling their daily life, were given to CNN by Sanjeev Kuhendrarajah, one of the asylum seekers. more..

Mervyn Silva sings about Fonseka

A young mother faces new challenges after returning to eastern Sri Lanka

Jan 7 (UNHCR) Kavitha Ramani's smile can light up a room but it cannot hide her exhaustion and physical suffering after years of uncertainty, flight and hardship in north-eastern Sri Lanka. The 29-year-old has the hands and gait of an old woman while her posture is stooped. Today, she is finally back home with her parents and two children in eastern Sri Lanka's Batticaloa district after their recent release from a camp more..

Husbands to be present in the labour room in Sri Lanka

Jan 7 (WFS) With the Ministry of Health and Nutrition recently encouraging husbands to be present in the labour room during the birth of their child - in order to encourage family bonding - Sri Lankan fathers now have their own birthing tales to recount. From holding their wife's hand through the labour pains to cutting the umbilical chord, these sensitised husbands are now as good as new. more..

Anti-Sri Lankan lobby turns to sex and panties

Jan 7 (AD) Eroticism and sex on the internet sells. And it spreads fast. Resorting to this impact on humans, an activist group is attempting to un-sell Sri Lankan products, especially lingerie which have been accepted and are in great demand in the West. Titled ‘No Blood for Panties’ it portrays a young couple in a provocative bedroom scene. But when the female lowers her panty, the male sees the label ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ and turns away. more..

ACTC to support Fonseka

Jan 7 (EB) The All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), which had earlier resolved to boycott the Presidential election, announced that it would participate in the polls and support the joint opposition candidate, Gen.Sarath Fonseka. ACTC chief, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, attended a press conference of the TNA here and said that ACTC would go along with the majority in the TNA and support Fonseka. more..

Navy assists returning Sri Lankan fishermen in Indian custody

Jan 7 (SLN) Eleven fishermen in Indian custody were handed over to Sri Lankan Naval authorities. The early release of these fishermen by Indian competent authorities comes as a direct result of speedy efforts taken by the Sri Lanka Government. Naval authorities took charge of the eleven fishermen and the multiday fishing trawler ‘Krishanthi Duwa 2’ from Indian Coast Guard Vessel C 138 at the Indo - Sri lanka Maritime Border Southwest of Mannar Island. more..

Political alliance challenges Sri Lanka's president

Jan 7 (UPI) Sri Lanka’s forthcoming election has generated a coalition of political forces that few would have believed possible even a few weeks ago. Today an increasingly beleaguered President Mahinda Rajapaksa gives the impression of being a man who knows he has the fight of his life on his hands. The change is astonishing. As the New Year dawns, the government that so recently seemed invulnerable is now doing its utmost to win what had seemed a cakewalk election. more..

A tough electoral battle in Sri Lanka

Jan 7 (Dawn) Back in Sri Lanka after a hectic fortnight in Karachi, I was having breakfast in the veranda of the Galle Face hotel in Colombo, reading the local Daily Mirror to catch up on news. This hotel was built in 1864, and has played host to many famous people whose comments are inscribed on a large board. One of them was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who stayed here briefly in the Sixties. more..

A9 road open 24 hours

Jan 7 (BBC) A9 road linking north and south will be open to public from midnight tonight, government announced on Wednesday. Governor of the Northern Province, Major General G.A.Chandrasiri told Sandeasaya that the road will be kept open for 24 hours a day and public can use this road as any other road in the country. However, he said, that it is imperative for everyone using A9 for a security check in the Omanthai area. more..

Sri Lankan farmers link up with private companies for better prices

Jan 7 (LBO) Sri Lankan farmers in Anuradhapura have linked up with supermarket chains Keells and Plenty Foods, giving them better prices and steady markets for their produce. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has helped 200 farmers in the Kebithigollawa area in the Anuradhapura district with training to supply supermarkets with high quality produce. more..

Sri Lanka tea exporters press for import liberalisation

Jan 7 (LBO) Tea exporters are pressing for liberalisation of tea imports for blending and re-export, saying it could help improve value-addition in the island and expand markets. Jayantha Keragala, chairman of the Tea Exporters Association, said exporters could increase earnings if more imports are allowed for blending and value-addition. Imports of tea into Sri Lanka, a major export origin, is restricted because of more..

Political Patronage for murder and abysmal lawlessness

Jan 7 (AHRC) An assassination in Sri Lanka one year ago became international news and has remained an important item of concern throughout the year. It was the assassination in broad daylight of Lasantha Wickrematunge a well known journalists and editor of a newspaper, the Sunday Leader. The assassination itself and the response of the government, even up to now, on the type of political culture and the nature of the impunity that is prevalent in Sri Lanka. more..

Executive presidential system: A constitutional development based on distrust

Jan 7 (AHRC) The development of the Sri Lankan constitutions from 1972 was mainly based on the distrust that began to manifest itself after the system of governance introduced through the 1947 Constitution was in existence for several decades. The government that brought about the 1972 Constitution was a coalition government which considered itself a progressive government as against more..

Tamil Tigers throw weight behind General who crushed them

Jan 7 (NZH) Seven months after Sri Lanka's long and bitter civil war was brought to an end by a withering government assault, the political coalition that supported the Tamil Tigers has thrown its support behind the former army chief who crushed them. In an ironic twist to the presidential election campaign being fought on the island, the TNA announced yesterday that it was supporting General Sarath Fonseka in his bid to defeat President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Free passes in CTB buses for security personnel withdrawn

Jan 7 (LT) Free passes available to members of the three forces and the police to travel in CTB buses have been withdrawn by the Sri Lanka Transport Board. The free pass was available for all members of the three forces, the police as well as disabled soldiers. However, recently the free passes for the security officers were withdrawn by the Sri Lanka Transport Board on a directive by the government. more..

General Fonseka’s word of honour on the 17th Amendment to the Constitution

Jan 7 (LG) The 17th Amendment to the Constitution seeks to de-politicize vital governmental functions. Towards this end, this Amendment created a ten-member Constitutional Council which comprises as follows. The Speaker, Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, all of whom function by virtue of the office they hold (ex-officio); five persons appointed by the President on the nominations of more..

Naveen Dissanayake to crossover?

Jan 7 (AD) Minister of Investment Promotion Naveen Dissanayake, who is also the brother of SLFP District Organizer Mayantha Dissanyake, who extended his support to General Fonseka yesterday, will make a special statement tomorrow at a press briefing. When contacted by Ada Derana the Minister refused to comment on the possible crossover and said that he will make a special announcement tomorrow. more..

Fonseka's surprise visit to his first school Madawalalanda Maha Vidyalaya, in Ampara

Jan 7 (UNP) Rtd. General Sarath Fonseka surprisingly visited to his first school Madawalalanda Maha Vidyalaya, in the Ampara district on Wednesday. During his visit, he was having a close look at the school Admission registry in which he had been the 115th student admitted to the school in 1955 along with the present school principal and with his classmate, Suvandarala Sudu Appu. more..

President Rajapaksa inspects Colombo Harbour New Development Project

Jan 7 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa inspected the construction site of the Colombo South Port (2nd Port) of the Colombo Harbour new development project in the early hours of 06thJanuary. The project has undertaken by Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co of South Korea. The new expansion includes 4 terminals, channels and breakwaters. more..

U.N. rejects request to observe Sri Lanka elections

Jan 7 (Reuters) The United Nations has turned down a request from Sri Lanka to send observers to monitor the country's presidential election later this month because of lack of time, a U.N. spokesman said on Wednesday. Incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa is standing against 21 challengers in the Jan. 26 vote, the first since the government crushed a 25-year rebellion by Tamil Tiger separatists in May. more..

Sri Lankan leaders woo Tamils for decisive votes

Jan 7 (AP) Just months after winning Sri Lanka's brutal civil war, the president and the former army chief are locked in a bitter election that has forced them to woo the very Tamils they are accused of recently pounding with airstrikes and artillery fire. Restrictions on travel in Tamil areas have been eased, tens of thousands of displaced civilians have been released from detention camps and more..

TNA announces support for Sarath Fonseka

Jan 7 (TC) The TNA that has 22 members of Parliament officially stated that it would extend support to common opposition candidate Gen.Sarath Fonseka at the forthcoming Presidential elections. The TNA has called upon Tamils to vote for Fonseka on January 26th. The TNA held a press conference in Colombo to announce its decision. We reproduce here two news stories from the “Daily Mirror” and “The Island” regarding the TNA press conference. more..

A Curse of the Tamil Race

Jan 7 (AT) Now the TNA leadership has provided a golden opportunity for one of the two contending forces to whip up the racial passion of the majority community of the most controversial issue in any political settlement of the Tamil question- in the merger of the North and Eastern provinces. Now this was totally unnecessary and uncalled for to the TNA to have permitted itself unknowingly and unwittingly to make the election campaign as a whole racial oriented. more..

Killing Rajiv Gandhi: Dhanu's sacrificial metamorphosis in death?

Jan 7 (TC) Journals use Abstracts in order to provide readers with a distillation of the argument in an article. Where theoretical concepts are deployed, this presupposes that readers have some familiarity with the literature. Faced with the summary below, some readers of transcurrents may rush to the conclusion that this essay is featured by abstruse and esoteric nonsense. more..

Don’s Diary: One week in Sri Lanka

Jan 7 (GV) Saturday: Fly from Heathrow to Colombo; uneventful journey; drink gin and tonic, take long sleep. Hear that an aunt passed away just before departure. Sunday: Catch up on sleep and go to funeral. My cousin goes through religious rituals, with the priest dragging on. He is a nice guy, my cousin, meticulously following all instructions from the priest. When in his position, at my dad’s funeral a few months ago, I had a quiet word with the priest: more..

Sri Lankan Tamils: Between the devil and the deep blue sea

Jan 7 (LP) The decision of the TNA to support opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka at the January 26 presidential is a crucial victory for the opposition and the TNA move has potentials to make impact on the voters of the other minority communities as well. In 2005, UNP candidate Ranil Wickramasinghe lost the presidential to the current President Mahinda Rajapaksa since he was deprived of the Tamil votes by the election boycott of the then powerful Tamil Tiger rebels. more..


‘Hicorp’ web site hacked to sling mud at General

Jan 7 (LT) The web site has been hacked. At the moment a harangue that appears to look like a statement by Danuna Tilekeratne, the son-in-law of Gen. Sarath Fonseka has been published by the hackers. This has been published to give an impression that Mr. Tilekeratne is the president of ‘Hicorp.’ He said he had no connection whatsoever with that organization and he did not issue such a statement. more..

Sri Lanka private citizen pension fund promised real returns

Jan 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's largest state-managed pension fund, made out of forced savings of private citizens, will be given real returns above inflation an official said, amid rising concerns over real losses made in recent years. "We will establish a sound risk-return profile to establish a positive real rate of return over the long term," Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said more..

Will the hammer of the Tamils nail the President?

Jan 7 (Times) A few weeks ago Sri Lanka’s upcoming general election looked like a walk in the park for the incumbent, President Rajapaksa, who was riding high on the kudos of ending the country's long-running civil war. While Western human rights groups and governments railed at his abuses of power, at home the folksy President spoke confidently of his re-election more..

Ottawa tries to keep Sri Lankan migrants behind bars

Jan 7 (VS) In an apparent bid to buy more time in a difficult immigration case, the Canadian government has taken the unusual step of invoking a controversial section of federal law to keep 25 Sri Lankan migrants with alleged ties to the Tamil Tigers behind bars. In the coming weeks, closed-door hearings before the Immigration and Refugee Board in Vancouver are expected to begin, with Ottawa expected to argue the men represent a national security threat. more..

Bail Rajapakse announces election concessions in Jaffna

Jan 7 (TN) Basil Rajapakse, who arrived in Jaffna Wednesday announced several concessions in an attempt to get people to vote for Mahinda Rajapakse in the forthcoming presidential election. The concessions are being promised to counter the rising wave of support in the peninsula for the joint opposition candidate General (retd) Sarath Fonseka, political observers in Jaffna said. more..

Student Union demands release of Tamil students, Amila Thera

Jan 7 (TN) Hundreds of students of the Inter-University Students Union (IUSU) held a protest Thursday afternoon demanding the government to release Tamil university students arrested as LTTE suspects and Venerable Amila Thera. The demonstration which commenced from the premises of the Colombo University was stopped by police at Ernest De Silva Mawatha to prevent the students from proceeding towards Temple Trees, more..

Jaffna people welcome free movement on A-9 Highway

Jan 7 (GDI) Civilians in Jaffna have welcomed the Government decision to open the A9 highway which connects the North and South round the clock to facilitate transportation. Reports reaching Colombo from Jaffna said vehicular traffic resumed immediately past midnight yesterday to reach destinations out side the Jaffna peninsula. more..

General scarred –Maha raja unscarred

Jan 7 (LeN) This is a picture depicting General Fonseka paying homage at the Nallur Temple when he visited Jaffna. In conformity with the traditions at the Temple he had to stand bare bodied. The people were therefore able to see the scars of his wounds clearly. These were scars which were the result not of any stealthy action of his nor due to treatment following a road accident or because of surgery performed on him for a stomach ailment. more..

All professions will be recognized with dignity - President

Jan 7 (GDI) The period during which the ordinary masses were neglected is now history. President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the Government was adopting measures to recognize the dignity in professions like fishermen, farmers and labourers. The President made this statement while addressing fishermen of the Hambantota District. The President said the Government would serve all sectors equally with proper awareness. more..

Anti - national alliance in Sri Lanka - Minister Ranawaka

Jan 7 (GDI) The international community never wanted Mahinda Rajapaksa to become the President and they tried various tactics by indirectly supporting a terrorist like Prabakaran, organizing worker strikes, university unrest and failed, said Minister of Environment Patali Champaka Ranawaka said. The Minister further said the international forces have now formed an anti-national alliance in Sri Lanka. more..

Summary of Cabinet Decisions

Jan 7 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Minister of Finance and Planning to enter into a Financing Agreement with the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank to borrow Special Drawing Rights 40.9 million (USD 65 million or Rs. 7.4 billion). The IDA has agreed to provide this sum for the implementation of the Emergency Northern Recovery Project. more..

Parents of war heroes paid services and allowances

Jan 7 (MoD) The objective of the Government is to solve the housing problems of the security forces. The Government has decided to grant building material worth rupees 400,000 to all the members of the security forces and the police including the war heroes and the disabled, said the Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse addressing the ceremony held to pay the salaries and allowances to the parents and close relatives of war heroes who more..

Over Rs.20 m from Japan

Jan 7 (LP) The Japanese Government provided Rs.20.4 million for three livelihood projects in Trincomalee, Anuradhapura and Hambantota Districts to improve lives of resettled and rural communities. The first project is the project for conflict affected community uplift in Trincomalee District. This will be implemented by the Association of Social Activities Development Sri Lanka (ASAD). more..