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'Sampanthan - Fonseka love to merge'

Jan 14 (GDI) JHU Legal Advisor Udaya Gammanpila today claimed that a North East merger as sought by the TNA (Sampanthan Faction) - Sarath Fonseka agreement would pave the way for a division of the country and he has emphasized that the sole desire of a section of the Tamil National Alliance was to rout President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the elections with the aim of resurrecting the LTTE. "This is the reason they support the Opposition candidate" more..

The two faces of the United Socialist Party

Jan 14 (wsws) In the course of the Socialist Equality Party’s election campaign, the question is sometimes raised: Why are three socialist candidates running for president? What is the difference between the SEP and the other parties: the Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) and the United Socialist Party (USP)? For decades, the SEP has explained the unbridgeable class gulf that exists between it and these middle class, radical organisations on issues of principle and program. more..

'Fonseka failed to divulge stand on unitary state'

Jan 14 (GDI) Environment Minister, Patali Champaka Ranawaka today asked opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka why Fonseka had failed to mention his stand on the unitary character of the country in his manifesto. Addresing the media at the Mahaweli Centre in Colombo, the Minister said it was now known that the JVP too had agreed to grant federalism in this country as a solution. more..

'Tamils should not be deceived by Mahinda’s promise'

Jan 14 (TN) “How can Mahinda Rajapakse government offer a permanent political solution to the Tamils when it refuses to release the Tamil political prisoners who are on hunger strike?” Samil Jayanithi, the secretary of Leftist Front, asked. “A political solution for the Tamils is nothing but a drama staged by the government to get the votes of the Tamils,” he added. “Mahinda Rajpakse’s statement that he would find a political solution to the Tamils is a ploy to more..

People displaced from HSZs in Jaffna continue to be deceived

Jan 14 (TN) Arranged by Minister Dougals Devananda, around 300 IDPs were taken by Sri Lanka Army soldiers to Ariyaalai Wednesday saying that they can see their houses which had been caught in the High Security Zone during SLA occupation in 2000, representatives of IDP Welfare Organisations in Jaffna said. The IDPs, however, were not permitted to go beyond Poompukaar junction in Ariyaalai and they had to return with disappointment, they added. more..

TNA delegation leaves to New Delhi to meet Indian leaders

Jan 14 (TN) A delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) left Colombo Tuesday to New Delhi on the invitation of the Government of India. Mr. R. Sampanthan, TNA head of the parliamentary group, is leading the delegation. The TNA delegation is expected to take a flight to New Delhi from Chennai Wednesday evening and to hold talks with Indian leaders on Thursday, TNA sources said. more..

An Advise: Sarath will get more votes if he suspends international flights if he wins

Jan 14 (LG) The election fever is hyphening and violence is dominating and claims and counter-claims are giving all the indication who will win the election. The President Mahinda Rajapakse has become desperate and doing everything possible to out manoeuvre his opponent Rt Gen Sarath Fonseka. We have seen one death already and possibly many more to come. Independent reports confirm President’s band wagon is getting ready and more..

'Gotabhaya's appointment pivotal in war victory'

Jan 14 (LG) The reason why the country today is witnessing everlasting peace is President Mahinda Rajapaksa's decision to appoint Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as Defence Secretary who continued with the humanitarian operation despite International pressure, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said. Addressing a gathering to present rewards to inmates of the Ranaviru Gammana, Secretary to the President Weeratunga said more..

Namal’s sudden overseas trip rouses suspicion

Jan 14 (LNW) Officials in the President’s campaign coordinating center have expressed suspicion over Namal Rajapaksa’s decision to suddenly go overseas in the midst of the Presidential election campaign. A young UNP parliamentarian told Lanka News Web that there was suspicion whether Namal had traveled overseas to deposit monies in foreign banks. The parliamentarian said that soon after the Central Bank announced the relaxation of exchange regulations more..

Norochchalai project under fire

Jan 14 (LG) A future government under General Sarath Fonseka will undertake a full review of the controversial Norochchalai coal power project after local engineers warned of several shortcomings that could lead to adverse results, Mangala Samaraweera said. He charged that the government had failed in its duty to make a full study of the project before going ahead with its implementation simply because certain persons were in a hurry to collect handsome commissions. more..

United in our conviction, United in our resolve!

Jan 14 (LG) With less than two weeks left for the election we would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment and steadfast faith in the democratic process and more importantly in our supporters. The violent incidents against our loyal supporters, murder, intimidation and deception that we are experiencing at the hands of our political opponents will only increase as we surge ahead. more..

Opposition against Rajapakse’s murderous regime

Jan 14 (LT) Political parties of the opposition jointly opposed the killing of Kusumawathi, a 65 year old mother from Kakunandura, Matara by supporters of UPFA presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapakse. The opposition political parties including UNF, JVP, SLFP (M) faction expressed their opposition to the killing of this mother of three at a press conference held at Solis Hall at Pitakotte yesterday (13th). more..

Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Thai pongal message

Jan 14 (UNP) The objective of Thai Pongal celebration is widely celebrated among the Asians to uphold good traditions, customs and promote goodwill and gratitude. It is a great event celebrated from time immemorial as a thanksgiving ceremony to the soil, the implements, the creatures and all those who helped to reap a rich harvest. It is unfortunate that in the present era this reciprocal gesture and gratitude are diminished and goodwill is dimming . more..

'Thai Pongal celebration in all parts of SL emphasize our society's plurality'

Jan 14 (GDI) The widespread celebrations of Thai Pongal in all parts of Sri Lanka emphasize the plurality of our society as Hindus freely demonstrate their ties to a rich cultural heritage. President Mahinda Rajapaksa made this statement in his Thai Pongal message. I am glad that on this Thai Pongal day our Hindus can, in addition to their expectations for the future, also give thanks for the peace that has been won and more..

Thai Pongal Celebration at Gen. Fonseka’s Media Office

Jan 14 (UNP) Thai Pongal celebration was held at General Sarath Fonseka’s media office today morning in the presence of General Sarath Fonseka. The leader of the United National Party and the opposition leader Rail Wickramasinghe, JVP media spokeman Vijitha Herath MP, Sunil Handunetti MP, DPF leader Mano Ganesan MP and Kabeer Hashim MP were also present at this celebration. more..

LTTE elements behind TNA's decision to support General Fonseka

Jan 14 (AT) While most of the Sri Lankan Tamil media have, for some unknown reason, failed to report the Presidential election rally held by the TNA in Vavuniya on Tuesday to canvass support for former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka, BBC Tamil Service carried excerpts of speeches made by Messrs Sambanthan, Mavai Senathirajah and Suresh Premachandran asking the Tamil voters to defeat Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

'UPFA ready to pay any price to grab victory'

Jan 14 (LG) The United National Party (UNP) has vehemently condemned the murder of Kusumawathi Kuruppuarachchi, who was killed while on her way to attend a propaganda rally of Opposition Common Candidate General Sarath Fonseka. Issuing a release Deputy Leader of the Party Karu Jayasuriya says the United People’s Freedom Alliance is ready to pay any price to grab victory at the presidential election. more..

Postal voting ends with no major incidents

Jan 14 (AT) Postal voting for the Presidential elections 2010 which took place on January 12 and 13 ended with no major incidents having voted more than 80 percent, the National Polls Observation Centre and the PAFFREL announced. President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he is grateful to the patriotic state sector employees and Security Forces personnel for casting their votes with the vision of safeguarding the national interest. more..

Re-awakening of Gampaha

Jan 14 (DN) Gampaha which is covered by five villages, is an area full of beauty, a fountain of many historical accounts, an area that was renowned in the ancient times of Kings, is a place held in celebrity by many. This territory held in worship in the past had become the Gampaha district today. Over 1386.7 sq. km of the district which is administered under 13 Divisional Development Secretariat Divisions is a very important district in the country. more..

The spiritual theme of Thai Pongal

Jan 14 (TC) ‘Thai’ is the first and auspicious month in the Tamil almanac and ‘Pongal’ is a dish of a sweet concoction of rice, dhal or a split pulse, jaggery and milk. Thai Pongal is therefore the feast in the month of Thai. This is an occasion celebrated by almost all Tamils the world over on the first day of their calendar year. This is probably the merriest and the most popular Hindu festival celebrated to announce the approach of a plentiful harvest. more..

From Politics of Fear to Politics of Hope

Jan 14 (GV) I admit to being a political junkie. I get my news from multiple papers, news sites and web blogs. I react to reports on our nation’s politics with hope or rage, despondence or encouragement, based on media reports. The “package of promises” presented by our two Presidential candidates continues to expand at lightning speed, and has come to include the settlement or relocation of IDPs, bail for journalist Tissaiyanagam, reopening A-9, more..

Disabled soldiers march in support of Gen. Fonseka

Jan 14 (CT) Around 1,500 disabled soldiers of Kurunegala district gathered in Colombo today (Jan. 13) and held a march in support of common opposition's presidential candidate Gen. Sarth Fonseka. They marched from Viharamaha Devi Park to Lipton Circus, where they staged a peaceful demonstration. Shouting slogans for Gen. Fonseka and against president Mahinda Rajapaksa for around an hour, the protestors dispersed. more..

Kongahage petitions SC against Fonseka running for Sri Lanka presidency

Jan 14 (LNP) Attorney-at-law Sarath Kongahage yesterday petitioned the Supreme Court stating that the retired General Sarath Fonseka was a citizen of the United States, and hence he should be disqualified from contesting for the office of the President, under the Provisions of the Constitution. Fonseka had pledged his allegiance to the USA, by obtaining permanent residence rights in USA, the petition said. more..

Rhetoric and reality

Jan 14 (LNP) The election platform is noted for the rhetoric of the speakers and their foul mouthed jokes. It is seldom when matters more serious are discussed or spelt out. This is part of the political culture we have inherited for several decades. This actually misleads the voters since most speakers appeal not to their intellect but try to rouse their emotions, often over trivial incidents. more..

UPFA campaign office attacked

Jan 14 (DN) A group of about a thousand UNP and JVP supporters armed with clubs, iron rods and swords came in procession and attacked the Polonnaruwa election campaign office of the UPFA causing severe damage to it. They also made efforts to attack SLFP General Secretary and Minister Maithripala Sirisena but Police and members of the Ministerial Security Division brought the group under control. more..

Sudu Kekulu at Rs 50 from today

Jan 14 (DN) White raw rice (Sudu Kekulu) imported from Pakistan will be sold to the public from today through all co-operative regionals across the country at a reduced price of Rs 50 per kilo. Minister Bandula Gunawardene told the media that this decision was taken at the Cost of Living Committee headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to provide relief to the people by preventing any rice shortage occurring in the country. more..

'I will not betray country for few votes'

Jan 14 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday asserted that he is not ready to betray the country for a few votes and he is well aware of the problems of the Tamils in the North. There is no room for a divided country, accepting the homeland concept of the separatists or autonomy leading for a whatever form of Eelam LTTE had demanded, he added. He was addressing the first election rally at Campbell Park, Colombo, more..

Ranil's threat to journalist has created fear psychosis in society

Jan 14 (DN) The threat made by UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to Lankadeepa Journalist Dayaseeli Liyanage for writing an article about the agreement reached between Tamil National Alliance leader R. Sampanthan and NDF Presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka has created a fear psychosis in the civil society, a UPFA Presidential Election Campaign Office statement said yesterday. more..

Female UNPers protest killing of woman in Tangalle shooting

Jan 14 (AD) Female UNP members from Kotte staged a protest against the killing of a female at Tangalle while on her way to a rally in support of Presidential candidate General (Retired) Sarath Fonseka. The protest organize by newly appointed UNP organizer for Kotte Shiral Lakthilaka where females carrying placards and shouting slogans participated near the Welikada Plaza in Rajagiriya this morning. more..

Reflections on the underlying issues that determine the outcome of the election

Jan 14 (GV) The Presidential election battle is gathering momentum with incredible speed. Defections and pledges of support to Sarath Fonseka (SF) have injected some nervousness for the Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) campaign. The challenge could either induce panic and disarray or revitalize the campaign. Crucial to success will be understanding the electoral pulse of the people, more..

Mangala criticises The Island coverage of killing in Tangalle

Jan 14 (Island) Leader of the SLFP-M Mangala Samaraweera, yesterday criticised The Island newspaper for what he called the "trivializing of the killing of an innocent mother", by a gunmen on a motor bicycle. Samaraweera told a news conference in Colombo that The Island’s coverage of the killing of a mother named Kusumawathie, while she was traveling in a bus to a UNP rally in Tissamaharama on Tuesday, was questionable. more..

Advances dry up, Rs. 40 billion idle in banking system

Jan 14 (Island) Dealers said billions of rupees are idling in the domestic banking system as big businesses, in a wait-and-see stance with elections around the corner, have almost stopped applying for bank advances. The domestic money market has an excess supply of rupees amounting to around Rs. 40 billion as private sector borrowing has almost ceased due to uncertainty caused by the upcoming presidential elections. more..

Salley wants Fonseka to reveal his PM choice

Jan 14 (Island) Former Deputy Mayor of Colombo Azath Salley challenged General Sarath Fonseka to issue a statement that UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe would be nominated as Prime Minister if he wins the forthcoming Presidential election. "I also ask the General whether he could give an assurance to the general public that he would withdraw the US Green Card if he wins the election," more..

Religious group says polls chief helpless

Jan 14 (Island) The Inter-Faith Coalition for the Prevention of Election Conflicts, yesterday said that Polls Chief Dayananda Dissanayake was helpless and desperate as his orders were being ignored by major political parties campaigning for the presidential Election on January 26. Bishop Kumar Illangasinghe, urged political parties to cooperate with the Elections Secretariat to ensure a level playing field. more..

Minister Maithripala’s maithri- bala actions turns Polonaruwa into battle filed

Jan 14 (UNP) 13 UNP election campaign offices supporting Gen. Sarath Fonseka Prseidential candidature in and around the Town of Polonnaruwa were razed to the ground by Govt. goons on the 12th at midnight. It is alleged that Minister Maithripala’s hooligan squad has caused the damage. When UNP and JVP supporters started a protest march against the attack today (13), another attack was launched by the goons of the Minister who came walking. more..

Sudharman Radaliyagoda caught in human smuggling racket

Jan 14 (LNW) Sudharman Radaliyagoda, a Deputy General Manager of state run ITN, is caught in a people smuggling racket, LankaNewsWeb reliably learns. In a video recording leaked to media and distributed in facebook social networking sites, Radaliyagoda is seen advising unsuspecting people willing to leave Sri Lanka by illegal means not to pay hundreds of thousands of rupees to his partner but to make all payments to himself. more..

Victors and Victims

Jan 14 (DM) Having witnessed a somewhat peaceful campaign all these days despite the predictions to be otherwise, it certainly is quite disappointing and disgraceful to record the first election related murder. The fact that the death was reported almost one and half months into the campaign shows that if the parties really wanted they could well have afforded to avoid such extreme behaviour. Despite the strong tirades on campaign stages and more..

SF complains of a booklet against him

Jan 14 (DM) General Sarath Fonseka had lodged a complaint with the Elections Commissioner and the IGP regarding a booklet that was being distributed among the public tarnishing his image and character. UNP Secretary, Tissa Attanayake said this complaint had not been recognized yet and the booklet was still being distributed. “This is unfair, because UNP volunteers were arrested when they distributed campaign leaflets outstation, while scenarios such as this go completely unnoticed,” more..

‘Politico’s relative involved’

Jan 14 (DM) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe together alleged yesterday the relative of a UPFA PS Chairman was involved in the shooting incident at Hungama in Tangalle on Tuesday which left one UNP supporter killed. Addressing a news conference, the UNP leader said that the Government, having sensed its imminent defeat, had started killing persons. more..

HICORP director refused bail

Jan 14 (DM) A bail application filed on behalf of the remanded director of the company allegedly owned by the Son-in-law of Presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka was turned down by the Colombo Fort Magistrate yesterday. The motion was filed by Counsel Shiraz Noordeen seeking to grant bail for the suspect Wellington De Hoedt, who is said to have acted as a director of HICORP Company. He was arrested and produced in court by the CID on January 7 and more..

Sri Lanka offspinner reported for suspected action

Jan 14 (CI) Sri Lanka Under-19 offspinner Rushan Jaleel has been reported for an illegal bowling action. Bruce Oxenford and Shahul Hameed, the on-field umpires during Sri Lanka's 2010 U-19 World Cup warm-up match against Hong Kong at Hagley Park in Christchurch, reported the 19-year-old soon after the conclusion of the match. The bowler sent down seven overs, picking up 1 for 49. Jaleel's bowling action will now be scrutinised under the ICC process more..

'Opposing ‘Maha Raja’ means courting death'

Jan 14 (UNP) At a media briefing held at the Kotte Solis Hall yesterday (13) in support of Gen. Fonseka’s Presidential candidature by the UNF constituent parties, Opposition and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said, at the beginning, Mahinda Rajapkse family group tried to win elections by shedding crocodile tears. That failed. Now they are trying to win by shedding blood. more..

'President succeeded where four leaders failed'

Jan 14 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa had accomplished the biggest national responsibility cast on him by defeating LTTE terrorism, said Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa addressing the seminar 'Crowning victory today and tomorrow' at the Kandyan Arts Society Hall yesterday. By doing this the President accomplished a task which four previous Presidents had failed. more..

What is happening to KP, UNP asks

Jan 14 (DM) The UNP yesterday asked why the Government had failed to file charges in court against LTTE international wing leader Kumar Pathmanathan alias KP who has been under arrest for a long time. UNP General Secretary MP Tissa Attanayake told a news conference that KP had been provided accommodation in a luxury bungalow with all facilities. more..

'I have no agreement with any party'

Jan 14 (Island) Gen. Sarath Fonseka yesterday said that after January 26, he will silence the foul mouth of Labour Minister Mervyn Silva, make him behave like a kitten and pay for the sins he has committed. "I will expose all corrupt elements in this regime and their misdeeds, when I am elected. They are already aware of this and some of them have developed heart problems and other ailments as they know what is in store for them," more..

Tamils safe to return home, says Sri Lanka

Jan 14 (TA) Sri Lanka has pledged that the five Tamil refugees on Christmas Island who have been deemed threats to national security can return to their homeland without fear of death or persecution. The promise came as the Rudd government, which says the Tamils will never be granted visas in Australia, searched for a country willing to resettle them, and an expert on the Tamil Tigers said it was not surprising one of the five rated a security risk by ASIO was a woman. more..

Monk withdraws from presidential election

Jan 14 (Xinhua) A presidential candidate announced his withdrawal from the Sri Lankan presidential race on Thursday in order to support the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa. Battaramulle Seelarathana, one of the 22 candidates in the Jan.26 poll told reporters that people must support Rajapaksa against the main challenger, former Army chief General Sarath Fonseka. more..

Sri Lanka govt 'helped' India's ruling party in poll

Jan 14 (AFP) Sri Lanka stopped using heavy weapons against Tamil Tiger rebels to help the re-election bid of neighbouring India's ruling party, a top official said. Lalith Weeratunga, senior aide to President Mahinda Rajapakse, said New Delhi requested the complete halt in the offensive against the Tamil Tigers because it affected the Tamil vote in Tamil Nadu. more..

Will the coming 12 days become another period of terror? An early warning

Jan 15 (AHRC) The presidential election will take place on the 26th of January. The campaign leading to the election took a bloody turn yesterday with the killing of Kusumawahi Kurupuarachi at Hungama in Tangalle in Hambanthota district, and another very violent conflict being led by some senior politicians of the government at Polonaruwa town centre. The two locations were far apart: one in the deep south, and the other in the north central provinces, more..

Should Tamils vote for the General who crushed them?

Jan 15 (Telegraph) Who should Sri Lanka’s blighted Tamils vote for in this month’s presidential election – the politician who ordered a final offensive against their last stronghold or the general who called the shots? There are other candidates, but only two stand a chance of winning – incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa and his former Army chief General Sarath Fonseka. Both men claim credit for the final defeat of the LTTE and bringing an end to Sri Lanka’s 26 year civil war. more..