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Mano challenges govt. to reveal swimming pool ‘shots’

Jan 1 (Island) DPF leader Mano Ganeshan yesterday said that he would quit politics if anyone produced evidence that he had been with Velupillai Prabhakaran in the LTTE leader’s swimming pool in the Vanni. Responding to heavy propaganda attacks, particularly by NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, he challenged the government to play the ‘VCD which allegedly contained a film of him and Prabhakaran taken a few years ago’. more..

Milco goes for Rs 7 billion modernization program

Jan 1 (DN) Processing facilities in four milk factories and 20 milk collection centres of Milco (Pvt) Ltd will be modernized shortly in keeping with the Mahinda Chintana policy to popularize liquid milk consumption among the public. The Government has taken the initiative to modernize the entire Milco factory with an investment of Rs. 7 billion. The project will be facilitated by a Danish company, more..

Plans drawn up for people-friendly tax regime

Jan 1 (Island) A member of the Presidential Taxation Committee, Dr Saman Kelegama, says a comprehensive report to broaden the tax base and clean up the administration with recommendations for a business and people-friendly tax regime would be ready when the new parliament convenes after elections in April this year. "The Taxation Commission is serious about cleaning up the tax administration and to ensure the government’s revenue base becomes solid," more..

Bellanwila Prelate criticises monks in politics

Jan 1 (DM) 'Buddhist monks who took to politics forgot their responsibility to propagate Buddhism and to lead the laymen along the right path. It is not easy for a Buddhist monk who resorts to politics to get rid of that bad practice. The Buddhist monks should be concious of their duty to the society', said, Chief Incumbent of the Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya Ven. Dr. Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera. more..

Thonda’s nepotism, too, prompted CWC seniors to switch allegiance

Jan 1 (Island) CWC members, former Deputy Education Minister Murugan Sachinandan and R. Yogarajan, yesterday (Dec 31) said that more members would shortly join Opposition presidential candidate General (Rtd) Sarath Fonseka’s campaign. They said the party leadership could not stop more desertions in the coming weeks ahead of the January 26 polls. They pledged their support to Fonseka on Wednesday. more..

Railways moots new attractions for New Year

Jan 1 (DN) Sri Lanka Railways will take several passenger friendly measures to improve the train services with the dawn of the New Year. Sri Lanka Railways has drawn up a plan to introduce 20 Indian power sets of S-H model from Rites Company in India and 13 Chinese power sets of S-12 model from Sifang Company in China. These Indian power sets have first, second and third class seating arrangements with other basic facilities such as more..

Mervin offers UNP a chance to own his residence

Jan 1 (Island) Dismissing corruption charges against the government, non-Cabinet Minister Mervyn Silva has challenged General (Rtd) Sarath Fonseka’s camp to prove at least one allegation ahead of the January 26 presidential elections. Silva offered his Park Road residence to anyone, who could substantiate corruption charges against the Rajapaksas. more..

VIDEO: 'Rs. 269 billion needed to deliver SF promises'

Jan 1 (AD) Deputy Finance Minister Ranjith Siyabalapitiya today addressing a press conference said that it will take an annual Rs. 269 billion to provide all the promises that Rtd. General Sarath Fonseka is giving as campaign promises. He added that to finance such an amount Fonseka would either have to sell Government assets and institution or impose an additional tax of Rs. 1250 per month on all citizens. more..

Vaiko condemns special treatment for Lankan president at Tirupati

Jan 1 (ANI) The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) founder, V Gopalswamy (Vaiko), condemned the Union Government for inviting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and giving a preferential treatment to him at the famous Tirupati temple. Addressing the media here, Vaiko contended that the Union Government by keeping in view the state of Lankan Tamils should not have extended such a privilege to Rajapaksa. more..

Come out with your policies: Dullas to SF

Jan 1 (DM) Minister Dullas Alahapperuma called on opposition Presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka to disclose his education, health, foreign and social welfare policies and refrain from giving false and impossible promises. He said General Fonseka, well aware that he would never get an opportunity to fulfil those pledges, doles out promises after promises thinking that he can put President Mahinda Rajapaksa in difficulties in his second term by them. more..

'I’ll show who killed the journalists'

Jan 1 (DM) General Sarath Fonseka said yesterday that he would hold inquiries and arrest those who had been behind the killings and assaults of journalists, within 24 hours of assuming office if elected president. “Some say I killed journalists and harassed them but I will show who is behind those acts and put them behind bars within 24 hours of coming to power,” he said. General Fonseka made the pledge when he met employees of State media at his office more..

He went, he saw and he returned empty

Jan 1 (DM) Deputy Commissioner of Elections W.W.M. Deshapriya said yesterday that the Elections Secretariat has received only 23,000 applications and 31,000 applications respectively from IDPs in Vavuniya and Puttalam districts although the estimated number of eligible voters among them are 275,000. The Secretariat would set up cluster polling stations for displaced voters to cast votes outside their registered polling division. more..

Key factors in Sri Lanka's presidential poll

Jan 1 (Reuters) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is seeking re-election this month, with the main challenger his former army chief Sarath Fonseka, who led the military to victory in a 25-year war against separatists. WHO IS LEADING THE POLL CAMPAIGN? With a record 22 candidates in the field, the incumbent president leads Fonseka. But analysts say there has been a shift towards Fonseka since last week despite his party's complaints that state authorities are engaged in acts of sabotage. more..

Police officer who made youth die by sinking dies in prison

Jan 1 (LT) The police officer, who made a mentally retarded youth to die by sinking in the sea for throwing stones at a train near Bambalapitiya Railway station, has died in the remand prison say reports. Four officers of Bambalapitiya Police were arrested and remanded for the murder of Balawarnam Sivakumar. The chief suspect Dimuthu Somnas died in the prison yesterday. more..

President sends SMS New Year greeting to mobile users

Jan 1 (DM) Mobile phone users were surprised to receive an SMS this morning from President Mahinda Rajapaksa wishing them for the New Year. One mobile operator told Daily Mirror online the SMS was sent to all of their subscribers following a request from the President. The SMS also had a political tone with President Rajapaksa saying that he had freed the nation as promised. more..

Sri Lanka to work towards 'people centred foreign policy’

Jan 1 (Hindu) Sri Lanka would work towards building on a 'people centred foreign policy’ in the new year while continuing to work towards consolidating on the follow up to counter terrorism measures with foreign governments, according to Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama. Speaking at a function to mark the dawn of the new year at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here on Friday the Minister paid special tribute to former Ministers of Foreign Affairs more..

Sri Lanka dismisses EU trade move

Jan 1 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president on Friday dismissed the European Union's suspension of preferential trade status to the island, saying his government would resist foreign "strategic interference". "We will not be held back by threatened economic sanctions or withdrawn trade concessions by those who seek strategic interference in the national affairs of Sri Lanka," President Mahinda Rajapakse said in a New Year message. more..

Salute those who let us see 2010

Jan 1 (DM) As the world celebrates the dawn of the second decade of the millennium it is assumed that the best of the hopes are reserved for the New Year. For the first time in 27 years the sun has risen over Sri Lanka at a time when putting an end to the war does not figure in the year’s national agenda anymore. War is a thing of the past and as more months pass by, one tends to forget the magnitude of the mammoth task of overpowering terrorism more..

Interference of Transparency International is a challenge of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and freedom

Jan 2 (AT) Transparency International’s report on Sri Lanka has come up for severe criticism, for the partiality it has displayed in its latest report on Sri Lanka. It has been criticized that the organization has failed to apply the principles of Natural Justice and fairness when evaluating the current election campaign. Also many eyebrows were raised regarding the timing of the report more..

Vaiko bats for referendum on Eelam

Jan 2 (DH) MDMK leader and LTTE supporter Vaiko on Friday hurled another political bombshell saying parties sympathetic to the Sri Lankan Tamils cause will build a campaign for a "referendum" on the Tamil Eelam issue in Tamil Nadu, on the lines of European countries. Despite the Tamil Tigers’ military defeat at the hands of the Rajapakshe regime, he said the latter would be “living in a fool’s paradise” if it thought that the resettlement of the IDP from camps more..

Southport Links Rotary Tsunami appeal update from Panadura

Jan 2 (SP) FIVE years ago their homes, lives and loved ones were swept away by the tsunami which devestated Sri Lanka. Today the homeless of Moratuwa are getting on with life in the newly created village of Panadura. Situated 20 miles South of Colombo on the Western coast, the former coconut plantation has become home to 86 families thanks to the fundraising efforts of Southport Rotarians. more..

Sri Lanka port expands ship fuel facilities

Jan 2 (LBO) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said it has expanded facilities for bunkering or ship fuel at Colombo port with the addition of another berth for oil tankers that will reduce delays. Colombo Port’s New North Pier, which has been developed as a multi-purpose berth, handled its first oil tanker on December 30, 2009 with a call by the vessel ‘MT Haven’, an SLPA statement said. more..

‘We will fight for our political objective’

Jan 2 (FL) In his first extended interaction with the media after the signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka agreement, LTTE supremo V. Prabakaran told T.S. SUBRAMANIAN in Jaffna in August 1987 that "it is better to fight and die rather than surrender weapons in an insecure environment". Excerpts from the interview published in the September 4, 1987, issue. more..

How strong are the “boys”?

Jan 2 (FL) Excerpts from a perceptive piece by D.B.S. Jeyaraj, published in the April 5, 1985 issue, on the prospects of unity among the different Tamil militant groups in Sri Lanka. TO the Western media they are guerillas, insurgents, separatists and rebels; sections of the Indian press describe them as nationalists, patriots and liberation fighters; back home the state which they oppose feels they are extremists, Marxists and plain terrorists; more..

'Many civilians killed' in Lanka war

Jan 2 (BBC) Many civilians, including those tried to surrender, have been killed during the last phase of the conflict in Sri Lanka, a recently defected senior opposition politician has claimed. SB Dissanayake, the former national organiser of the main opposition UNP accused the main opposition candidate of betraying the armed forces. In an interview with Sunday Leader newspaper, Gen (retd.) Sarath Fonseka has reportedly accused the defence secretary of more..

High dreams of ministerial portfolios in the midst of TNA leadership

Jan 2 (AT) The sensational news that is in circulation in the Colombo political circle is about the two leading members of the TNA towing with the idea of holding portfolios in the future Sarath Foneska led administration- in case he won the presidential election, has made many eyebrows raised. This information is strengthened by the fact that so far the SMS leadership of the TNA has not reacted to more..

Sinhala politicians of all hues realise importance of Tamil and Muslim votes

Jan 2 (TC) Sarath Fonseka’s candidature in the upcoming presidential elections might be a setback for the Rajapaksa dynastic project. But the general’s Sinhala supremacy agenda cannot calm the minorities. Sri Lanka’s election season commenced with a thunderbolt, a development unthinkable in those heady days six months ago, when the demise of the Tamil Tigers was celebrated with milk-rice and crackers. more..

Unexpected visitor at the Mihintale Weekly Fair

Jan 2 (IL) It was a very busy day at Mihintale Sathi Pola (Weekly Fair) during the festival season and a large crowd gathered to purchase vegetables, fruits and other essential commodities for the new year in a days time. However among the large crowds people noticed an unexpected visitor arrived to the weekly fair not for purchase anything but to inspect the activities there. more..

A Future with Hope?

Jan 2 (LG) It is said that in the little Portuguese town of Sagres, located in the southwesternmost part of the European continent, there is an old lighthouse that looks out into the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean. In the old days, the people believed there was no land west of that point. So they placed huge boulders on the side of the cliff and wrote letters on it that could be read from passing ships. more..

Sri Lankan Life winner meets President Rajapaksa

Jan 2 (IL) Thushara Dhananjaya winner of the "Sri Lankan Life " first ever reality musical programme organised by Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation met President Mahinda Rajapaksa with his award at the President's House in Anuradhapura on the 30th of December. He is the latest young singer introduced to the musical industry by such talent shows in Sri Lanka. more..

Year end Unduvap Poya Bana at Temple Trees

Jan 2 (IL) Year end Unduvap Poya Bana (Buddhist sermon) was delivered by Venerable Kolonnawe Siri Sumangala Thero at Temple Trees on the 31st of December 2009. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Madam Shiranthi Rajapaksa and large crowds attended the monthly religious programme. Temple Trees Bana programme on every poya day was introduced by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in April 2004 when he assumed duties as Prime Minister during more..

Fonseka's media spokesman throws challenge at Ravaya Editor and Govt.

Jan 2 (LeN) JVP M.P. and a Presidential candidate Gen. Fonseka's media spokesman Anura Kumara Dissanayake addressing a media briefing at the General's office today (01) said, while the Ravaya Editor Victor Ivan says, if there is corruption in the Govt. it is for those who make such allegations to prove it. How come, then in his own newspaper there is an article referring to Govt. corruption in another page?, Dissanayake asked. more..

Work for peace, prosperity, says Fonseka

Jan 2 (Hindu) Commander-turned-politician and major opposition parties’ consensus presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka has urged the voters to seize opportunities to build on the triumphs of the island nation on the foundations of reconciliation, prosperity, development and true peace. The retired General’s first national address was aired by the state owned ‘Eye’ television channel as per more..

Vaiko condemns deportation of Sivajilingam

Jan 2 (AT) Marumalarchi DMK leader Vaiko on Friday condemned the deportation of Jaffna district member of Parliament Sivajilingam upon his landing at the Chennai airport on Dec 26 last to prevent him from attending a pro-Eelam Tamils conference organised by Tamil Nationalist Movement leader P Nedumaran. A similar speech of Mr. Rajapaksa, who is seeking a second term two years ahead of his tenure, is to be aired in the next few days. more..

Help Sri Lankan Tamils to get back to homeland: Raja

Jan 2 (Hindu) Rajya Sabha member and CPI national secretary D. Raja on Friday urged the Centre to intervene and help the internally displaced Sri Lankan Tamils to get back to their traditional places of stay as their present condition in the camps was miserabale. Describing the camps run by the Sri Lankan government as “concentration camps.” Mr. Raja said that “history will blame India” for its failures if it did not interfere as more..

Point Pedro hospital gets new buildings

Jan 2 (MoD) The consultants' quarters and drug stores of the Point Pedro Base Hospital were opened recently by Northern Province Governor G A Chandrasiri and Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda at the Point Pedro Base Hospital which was constructed under the NECORD Project, funded by ADB at a cost of Rs.53 million. There are a number of projects currently going on under the Uthuru Vasantaya program more..

Therapeutic diet for IDP children

Jan 2 (MoD) A food package for one month is provided for children who were prescribed a Therapeutic diet by doctors at the Manik Farm Relief Village when they were sent to their native villages for resettlement. Deputy Director of Preventive Health at the IDP Healthcare Directorate at the Manik Farm at Chettikulam Dr. N. Wijesekara said the special diet was prescribed for weak children among the IDP's. more..

Sinhala politicians of all hues realise importance of Tamil and Muslim votes

Jan 2 (TC) Sarath Fonseka’s candidature in the upcoming presidential elections might be a setback for the Rajapaksa dynastic project. But the general’s Sinhala supremacy agenda cannot calm the minorities. Sri Lanka’s election season commenced with a thunderbolt, a development unthinkable in those heady days six months ago, when the demise of the Tamil Tigers was celebrated with milk-rice and crackers. more..

Focus on the multifaceted Rights issue

Jan 2 (TC) In his Kanchana Abhayapala Memorial lecture, JC Weliamuna emphasized the fact, “human rights regime does not operate in a vacuum and one cannot draw an assumption that human rights will find its legitimate space in a society, because it is influenced by various other external factors such as corruption”. The current system of governance introduced by narrow-minded politicians for their short-term benefits is more..

The second philippic: Presidential election and political possibilities

Jan 2 (TC) In a witty word play Dayan Jayatilleka has called my article last week, a philippic. So I offer a second Sri Lankan philippic – on the presidential election and political possibilities. The term ‘philippic’ arose in ancient Athens after Demosthenes the master Greek rhetorician inveighed against King Philip of Macedonia to rally Athenians to fight Macedonian invasion. more..

Dayan’s powerful argument on contemporary relevance of Castro or Fidelismo

Jan 2 (TC) This is a welcome and important book at a time when the question of the ethical dimension of politics – both the politics of those in power and the political struggles of those resisting neoliberal domination – is of acute relevance and human significance. Jayatilleka’s provocative central argument is that the moral dimension of Fidel Castro’s political thought and practice has been at the core of his and more..

Pacha Gaha-The charge of the rumour brigade

Jan 2 (TC) The Pacha Gaha providing abundant shelter at the Galle town was a landmark known for the mastery of the lie. It was where a collection of those in the non-formal business sector from sellers of medicinal oils, powders and portions and other native or imagined cures for myriad illnesses, palm and card readers, and others who make hay from the credulity of people held forth throughout the day before more..

'I don't want to be selfish about staying on'

Jan 2 (CI) Q: Why is it difficult to beat India in India? A: It has never been an easy ride for any team in India. In the 1997 Test series in India, we drew all three. At the time we were at our peak but India managed to hold us. It has always been tough to play in India because the conditions are different and their players know how to play in their own conditions. more..

Tamil opinion evolving slowly on 2010 presidential elections

Jan 2 (TC) President Mahinda Rajapaksa was riding high when he planned to hold the Presidential election two years early, soon after the security forces defeated the LTTE apparently for good. His popularity as well as that of his government seemed then to be the one highest ever in the recent history. However, as a seasoned politician Mahinda Rajapaksa seemed to have realized that the cost of living and more..

President pays tribute to late Minister Chandrasekaran

Jan 2 (GDI) President paid tribute this morning to the late Minister and Up Country Peoples Front (UPF) leader P. Chandrasekeran. The body of the late Minister was placed in Parliament today where President Mahinda Rajapaksa, several Ministers, the Speaker and other dignitaries paid their last respects. Parliamentarians were also present at the parliamentary complex today to pay tribute to the late Minister. more..

Let's get together and face for economic battle - PM

Jan 2 (MoD) The Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayake said that the government has finished the 30 years long war as promised in the "Mahinda Chinthana" and that was a triumph of a combine effort of everyone in the country, and not an individual effort. Therefore the credit should go not only to armed forces but also to every single individual who more..

J R Jayawardena to remain in Ampara

Jan 2 (LP) J R Jayawardena Superintendent of Police in Amapara who has been transferred to Kilinochchi is to remain in Ampara according to the Elections Commissioners Office, as the transfer was considered a violation of the Elections law. Speaking to Lankapuvath, Consultant to Elections Commissioner Bandula Kulathinga said that the transfer of the SSP was canceled as it was not justifiable during the period of Election. more..

Foreign inflow high at CSE in 2009

Jan 2 (LP) At the end of the last year (2009) the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) recoded a 38 percent foreign inflow which accounted for 25.1 percent of the total purchases and local companies have accounted for 33.3 percent whereas Sri Lankans accounted for 38.8 percent. According to CSE, Manager-Business Development, Tushara Jayaratne the All Share Price Index (ASPI) rose by 72 percent. more..

SLFP ministers refuse to sit with SB at press conferences

Jan 2 (LNW) Sources from Temple Trees say that several SLFP ministers who were asked to participate in a press conference organized by the UPFA at the Mahaweli Center along with S.B. Dissanayake have evaded the event after making various excuses. Therefore, SB had to hold the press conference with UNP defectors Johnston Fernando and Indika Bandaranayake. more..

Fonseka erects billboards for Rajapaksa!

Jan 2 (LNW) Sri Lanka is a ‘country extraordinary’. People in other parts of the world are not fortunate enough to witness things happening in this jumbudveepa. According to ITN’s Sudharman Radaliyagoda, the whole universe was surprised (vishvayama vishmitha kala vijayagrahanaya) to see Sri Lanka security forces defeating the Tamil Tigers in Mat last year. And it has now been revealed that a major presidential candidate in more..