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SLBFE to protect migrant workers at BIA

Jan 17 (LP) The SLBFE will strengthen security in the vicinity of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) to protect Sri Lankan migrant workers from unauthorized taxi drivers, touts and other shady characters who cheat them on their arrival to the country. "The objective of strengthening security at the BIA is to provide additional protection to Sri Lankan migrant workers returning to the country, especially from the Middle East, more..

Voting for Fonseka: "When you are in the frying pan you have to jump"

Jan 17 (TC) If we were to ask, ‘Is this a good time for a presidential election?’ the answer would have to be ‘No’. At a time when so many urgent tasks are pending - not least that of rebuilding the war-ravaged areas of the country and resettling lakhs of IDPs in proper homes with proper facilities - such colossal expenditure on a premature election could be seen as criminally irresponsible. Why, then, was it undertaken? Clearly, the incumbent president sought to reinstate himself and more..

Mud poster on General Fonseka by the National Youth Services Center

Jan 17 (LNW) A mud slinging poster on common Presidential candidate, General Sarath Fonseka is being printed on a request made by the National Youth Services Council at Fast Ads owned by Prem Dissanayake located at 165, Devanam Piyatissa Mawatha, Colombo 10, it is reliably learnt. The posters were found when the Maradana Unit of the Western Province Police Operations Division carried out a search on an anonymous tip off on Saturday (16) morning. more..

Dublin Tribunal finds against Sri Lanka on charges of War Crimes

Jan 17 (TC) In Dublin today, 16th January, at 2.00pm the Peoples' Tribunal Chairman Francois Houtart read the preliminary findings of the Peoples' Tribunal on the war in Sri Lanka and its aftermath. There were four findings: 1: That the Sri Lankan Government is guilty of War Crimes; 2: That the Sri Lankan Government is guilty of crimes against humanity; 3: That the charge of genocide requires further investigation; more..

'General has no intention of dividing the Motherland'

Jan 17 (LT) He was confident that apolitical Common Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka has no intention of dividing the country says Mahanayake of Malwatte Chapter Most Venerable Tibbotuwa Sri Sumangala Thera. The Mahanayake Thera made this observation when Common Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka visited him in Kandy yesterday. Speaking further Mahanayake Thera said he was confident that more..

Another fraud of 'Raja' family

Jan 17 (LT) Throughout the recent past the government carried out a process of computerizing details of families in Sri Lanka and the project was carried out by the Ministry of Defense. It was announced that details of families would be collected and would be stored on a district basis. It was announced that members of families would be expected to fill in form 23/1 and the computerizing of details would be according to the details given in the relevant form. more..

Govt. prepares for vote rigging at Killinochchi

Jan 17 (LT) There are only 669 families resettled in Killinochchi District. Except for these families there are no others living in the district at the moment. During the humanitarian operations carried out by Security Forces all those who were residing in the district were removed to other places. After the humanitarian operation was concluded the number of families that were resettled in the district was 669. more..

'Reveal Namal’s relationship with Emil Kanth'

Jan 17 (LT) As a responsible citizen of Sri Lanka Namal Rajapakse should reveal to the country what his relationship is with the head of the LTTE international finance wing says co-spokesman for apolitical Common Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka. He said this responding to a statement Mr. Namal Rajapakse made to the media regarding a photograph taken in London posing with Emil Kanth. more..

'Govt. has unleashed violence in the face of certain defeat'

Jan 17 (LT) The government that is confronted with certain defeat as a result of its unsuccessful election campaign is unleashing violence says JVP MP Anura Dissanayake. He said, “The violence that has been launched by the government due to the defeat of its election campaign is escalating day by day. Many of our election offices have been attacked. Our supporters and activists were assaulted. more..

Sivajilingam brings his campaign south

Jan 17 (NS) Sole Tamil presidential candidate M.K. Sivajilingam, backed by a rebellious section of the TNA has not thrown in the towel as some candidates have done and has now even brought his campaign to the South. Asked what support he was getting from his own alliance, he said MP and senior lawyer, N. Srikantha was openly managing his campaign, but five to six other TNA MPs were supporting him from behind the scene more..

'My aim is to stop the other Sarath from winning'

Jan 17 (NS) Sarath Kongahage, an attorney armed with years of political experience, is one of the Presidential candidates in the upcoming election and was in the limelight with his recent FR petition filed in the Supreme Court challenging the opposition common candidate, Sarath Fonseka. Kongahage divulged that his motivation is not to win the presidential polls but to elect Mahinda Rajapaksa as the president. more..

‘Daynight’ in Kayts

Jan 17 (NS) It has not been long since the government lifted restrictions on the public use of the Jaffna-Kandy A9 Road. Ever since, there has been an unprecedented upsurge in tourist arrivals to the Northern Peninsula. There is much enthusiasm among the Southern populace to visit the Northern-most parts of the country, which had been restricted to the public for nearly three decades. more..

No-holds-barred free-for-all

Jan 17 (NS) As D-Day approaches in the eagerly awaited sixth presidential election, the major campaigns appear to be embroiled in controversy, although each camp is keen on gathering momentum and making a dash towards the magical figure of 50% of valid votes plus one vote. Unfortunately, much of the campaign has focussed on highlighting the negatives of the leading candidates: The opposition coalition accused President Mahinda Rajapaksa of nepotism and alleged corruption, more..

Why TNA decided to back Fonseka

Jan 17 (NS) The decision taken by the TNA to support the candidacy of New Democratic Front candidate General Sarath Fonseka has become a main moot point in the political circles today. The TNA, a combine of several Tamil political parties was founded in 2001. Its constituents are ACTC, EPRLF (Suresh Wing), TELO and the TULF. It is appropriate that we discuss the TNA against the backdrop of the activism of the main Tamil political parties in our country during the last few decades. more..

Pilots lock horns with srilankan management

Jan 17 (NS) The powerful Pilots’ Guild of the national carrier, which backed President Rajapaksa’s decision not to renew the ten-year management contract with the Emirates Airline when it expired in March 2008, while even some government officials were pressing to revive it, has now locked horns with the SriLankan management over failure to implement certain reforms. more..

The mud continues to fly

Jan 17 (Island) With the presidential polls just over a week away, there is a marked increase in hostilities with both sides accusing each other of corrupt practices in relation to their respective violence-marred campaigns in many parts of the country. Independent polls monitors have warned that the situation could further deteriorate due to failure on the part the law enforcement authorities. more..

‘Flagrant abuse of state resources’

Jan 17 (Island) ‘The scale on which state resources are being abused in the current presidential polls campaign by the ruling party coalition is quite enormous and the Elections Commissioner is in despair over the steady erosion of his power’, Executive Director, CPA, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu said. ‘While the vast majority of polls-related offences thus far, where perpetrators have been identified, more..

Restore respect for the law

Jan 17 (Island) That war is an extension of politics by other means is an adage that goes unquestioned, but the converse is also very much true of Sri Lanka today. That is, politics are an extension of war. This is borne out by the steadily deteriorating law and order situation in the context of the current presidential polls campaign. Polls related offences are on the rise and this is not a distressing trend that thinking sections could be complacent over. more..

Lack of interest seen amongst Jaffna voters

Jan 17 (Island) With the easing of restrictions on travel on the A9, hundreds of Sinhalese are pouring into Jaffna to visit place of historic, cultural and religious interest. Bus loads of visitors continue to stream in to experience the traditional hospitality of the Jaffna people and the town and its precincts were teeming with people from the south. While posters of the two main presidential contenders – Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gen. (Retd) Sarath Fonseka, and T. Sivajilingam were visible in more..

'Responsibility of State employees to re-elect Mahinda Rajapaksa'

Jan 17 (Island) At the forth-coming Presidential Elections, State employees would be required to choose between Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has striven to safeguard State institutions such as state banks and customs despite foreign pressure and also ensure the trade union rights of the working population or the Opposition candidate who is under the influence of foreign powers, said Prof. G. L. Peiris, more..

The choice before the Tamil Diaspora

Jan 17 (Island) I preface this essay with some extracts from Special Report No: 34 of University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna), because of their logical relevance as background to what I want to say. Many a reader might have missed the report on account of its substantial length. "To be sure, the situation we find ourselves in has a good deal to do with how the LTTE managed society, more..

People's voice and political vice

Jan 17 (ST) The first election-related killing of a humble voter, a mother of five from the deep south, should normally be shocking. But then, we are not living in normal times and such violent deaths are accepted as part of electioneering in Sri Lanka. That it had to happen in the President's own pocket-borough of Tangalla makes it doubly unfortunate. Everything seems to have been done to hush up the fall-out with compensation paid at the speed of greased lightning, more..

Frustrated Polls Chief says no more notes to IGP

Jan 17 (ST) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake has told Police Chief Mahinda Balasuriya that he will not be sending any further communications asking him to ensure that the country’s election laws are upheld because of the continuing failure on the part of the police to do so. The Elections Chief’s comments came in the wake of rising incidents of election-related violence throughout the country with two deaths reported this week. more..

As E-Day nears, both candidates confident

Jan 17 (ST) Speeding northwards through the highways of the west coast, veering inland to the central hills and emerging in the deep south ahead of the Presidential polls lay bare an array of new political tides and trends. If the cutouts of President Mahinda Rajapaksa are ubiquitous in most towns, there are also those, much fewer in number though, of Gen. (retd.) Sarath Fonseka. more..

Large-scale disruption of postal voting

Jan 17 (ST) Sections of public servants, security personnel and police were deprived of postal voting as their applications to vote did not reach the Elections Office in time, Elections Department officials disclosed raising fears in some quarters that those responsible might attempt to disrupt polling on election day. All cases where postal vote applications were rejected are yet to be documented, but according to figures tabulated by election monitors there were more..

Welcome soon to Wilpattu

Jan 17 (ST) Prince Vijaya landed on the north-western coast of Sri Lanka in 543 BC and met Kuveni, the Yakkha princess of the area. Thambapanni – the beach with copper sand and Kali Villu where Kuweni had her palace are located inside the park boundaries of Wilpattu. These areas of historic significance will soon be accessible to the public as the Wilpattu National Park that has been closed for many years reopens to the public in a few months. more..

CB stops forex outflow amid political uproar

Jan 17 (ST) The Central Bank (CB) has put on hold plans to relax foreign exchange controls including allowing Sri Lankans to freely open accounts abroad after the opposition said it was a ruse to siphon money out. “There is an unnecessary political uproar over the relaxation of foreign exchange rules. This relaxation has been happening over the years,” more..

Hudson out of SLBC programmes

Jan 17 (ST) Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe has been barred from conducting programmes after he obstructed the work of the competent authority appointed by the Commissioner of Elections to monitor the state media. Competent Authority Jayampathy Hettiarachchi confirmed that Mr. Samarasinghe had been removed from the prorammes. more..

TNA says released MP forced to back MR

Jan 17 (ST) TNA MP Sathasivam Kanagaratnam, released from custody this week after being held under Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), has been told to get involved in the campaign in support of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The MP who was held for eight months on allegations of working with the LTTE has telephoned his fellow Parliamentary Members and told them he had been released on condition that he would campaign in support of the President, more..

Sampanthan says TNA stands for undivided Lanka

Jan 17 (ST) TNA Parliamentary Group Leader R. Sampanthan declared yesterday that his party stands for a united and undivided Sri Lanka. Mr. Sampanthan said he had discussions with the two main Presidential candidates on matters of immediate concern to the Tamil people, including a political solution for the Tamil speaking people in the north and east. He said all political parties in the country had discussed the political solution at length and more..

Tamil votes crucial in Sri Lanka poll

Sri Lanka's Tamils wary of election spotlight

Jan 17 (AFP) Scarred by decades of war and official indifference, Sri Lanka's minority Tamils are now being courted as political kingmakers -- a shift that many of them view with bitter scepticism. With a presidential election just two weeks away, the two main candidates have been desperately wooing Tamil voters, offering them the same social, economic and political opportunities enjoyed by the Sinhalese. more..

'I only wanted a credible, independent investigation'

Jan 17 (LB) UN Special Rapporteur for Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions Philip Alston raised a hornet’s nest recently by resurrecting the controversial Channel 4 ‘execution’ video and deeming it to be authentic on the basis of a report produced by three independent experts. The government immediately rejected the findings, accused him of being politically motivated and refused to heed his call for an inquiry. more..

President orders tighter security after shootings

Jan 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president ordered police to step up security ahead of presidential elections after a second political activist was shot dead this month, an official said Sunday. The ruling party supporter was killed on Saturday in the north-western Puttalam district where several others were injured when they clashed with opposition activists, police said. more..

Experiencing terror online

Jan 18 (LG) In the context of the systematic and ingenious use of Internet in the just-concluded civil war for a separate Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka, the article argues that, despite the potential of the virtual space to be free and fair, the articulation of Eelam online mirrored the situation on the ground in Sri Lanka. Much like in the 'real' world, a sense of fear and censorship prevailed in the virtual world with more..

By ways and means of "rigging" the presidential election

Jan 18 (TC) The common opposition candidate, General Sarath Fonseka has categorically stated at several recent election rallies that he will ensure that the election on January 26 will not be rigged by the government. He said this as a response to other speakers at meetings, who mentioned that there is now talk among the public that the current trend (including postal vote and election surveys) shows that General Fonseka will win convincingly on the 26th, more..

They silenced a crusader for justice and peace

Jan 18 (LG) I was one of the main speakers, at the funeral of Lasantha Wickrematunga the unbeaten journalist. One year has passed since then, but nothing has come out of the investigations into this brutal murder. This was to be expected as those responsible are hiding behind the seat of power. Lasantha was one who spoke the truth fearlessly even against the powers that be, that is why they killed him. more..

Sri Lanka under Rajapakse regime becoming feudal kingdom with constitutional veneer

Jan 18 (TC) The events of the past few months (and indeed the past few years) in Sri Lanka have puzzled me. The President and his coterie are flagrantly violating the Constitution and laws. That is shocking, but what is more shocking is the casual acceptance of this behaviour by all concerned. What is surprising is not that the President violates the law and disregards explicit directions from lawful authority, but that the citizenry seem to accept it. more..

How "exceptionalism" relates to race, racism and racists

Jan 18 (TC) The following is apropos an interview with Mr A. Sivanandan, published in New Left Review (London, Nov-Dec 2009 issue, pages 79-98) under the caption ‘An Island Tragedy: Buddhist ethnic cleansing in Sri Lanka’. Steps towards ethnic cleansing in Sri Lanka, Mr Sivanandan claims, were taken immediately after independence by the government of D. S. Senanayake: one of his first measures as prime minister was to disenfranchise the ‘plantation Tamils’ (p. 83). more..

Did Sampanthan tell newspaper about Fonseka agreeing to re-merge N&E?

Jan 18 (TC) The credibility of the controversial story on the ‘conditional support’ extended by the TNA to common presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka quoting R. Sampanthan published in the Sunday Lankadeepa newspaper is now at stake with the sudden resignation of the journalist who wrote the story. The story supposedly quoting TNA Leader, R. Sampanthan was written by more..

On touring Scotland with a 10 year old

Jan 18 (LG) The most memorable of our five-day tour of Scotland (16-20 June 1990), from the point of view of a 10-year-old, was our breathtaking scenic tour through the rugged highlands and lochs west and southwest of Aviemore [a small town of fewer than 70,000 people in 1990, but more than108,000 now]. From Aviemore, we fanned out southwest to see the site of the Massacre of Glencoe (1692) and northwest to see the site of the Battle of Culloden Moor ((1746) at Inverness. more..

ICC U19 World Cup: Lanka ride it easy over Zim

Jan 18 (ESPN) Sri Lanka beat Zimbabwe by eight wickets in a rain delayed match at Christchurch in the ICC U19 World Cup on Sunday. The Lankan bowlers scythed through the Zimbabwe’s batting line-up, after electing to field. Fast bowlers Charith Jayampathi (four for 26) and Chathura Peiris (3 for 14) restricted Zimbabwe to a below average 121. Bhanuka Rajapaksa's unbeaten 49 helped Sri Lanka reach 122 in just 24. 2 overs. more..

Sri Lankan warrior has president in his sights

Jan 18 (Telegraph) He threw his arms high in the air as the crowd cheered wildly; they hadn’t minded being drenched by a downpour as they waited for his rally to begin on the outskirts of Colombo. They didn’t mind, either, that he was five hours late. The general is the army hero whose unexpected intervention has electrified Sri Lanka’s presidential election, being held just nine months after the defeat of more..

'Rajapaksa leading Colombo to dictatorship'

Jan 18 (EB) Former Minister Dr Jayalath Jayawaradana said that the law of the jungle was prevailing in Sri Lanka and President Mahinda Rajapaksa was leading the country towards dictatorship and family rule. He said that there was no law and order in the island nation and that human rights violations were rampant. The Sri Lankan government did not take any action on the human rights commission’s orders and more..

CIMA appoints Sri Lankan Governance Body

Jan 18 (AT) CIMA has appointed a local Governance Board to advice on the delivery of CIMA’s corporate strategy to grow and service the student and members in Sri Lanka and the appointment approved by CIMA’s Global Council at a recent London meeting. The Board was formally inaugurated by Aubrey Joachim, President, CIMA and its CEO, Charles Tilley on 6th January 2010 in Colombo. more..

National Intelligence Chief condemns false claims regarding LTTE assets

Jan 18 (MoD) National Intelligence Chief, Major General Kapila Hendawitharne at a media briefing presided by the Military Spokesman, Brigadier Udhaya Nanayakkara held at the Media Center for National Security (MCNS) this (17) morning condemned the false campaign in the print and electronic media which are encouraged by some with personal interests alleging the Government misuse of more..

Popular singer Rukantha supports president Rajapaksa

Jan 18 (CT) Rukantha Gunatilake, a popular local singer, has appeared in an election rally in Kurunegala in support of president Mahinda Rajapaksa. On the occasion, he spoke a few words and sang for the people present. During the regime of president Chandrika Kumaratunga, the home of Rukantha and his wife, songstress Chandralekha, was attacked. They, together with their children, had fled the country due to threats to their lives. more..

Clocktower cutouts and Pelmadulla propaganda

Jan 18 (GV) ‘Colombo isn’t the country’, many election pundits say. It couldn’t be truer. Forget pundits, even cab drivers know it and in the past week several of them have given me useful insights into both the urban pulse, which they are well in tune with, but also the rural pulse, from their hometowns far far away. Gauging the Sri Lankan electorates’ temperature by the mood in the capital and other urban centres is a fallacy that many known to me are falling prey to. more..

'No agreement for re-merger of North and East'

Jan 18 (AD) Throwing more light on the controversial ‘agreement’ between Opposition Presidential candidate General (Retired) Sarath Fonseka and the TNA, former Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva says that there is no written agreement for a re-merger of the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The former Chief Justice said that there was no such agreement signed as he had drafted the proposals that were presented to the TNA by General Fonseka. more..

NUA firmly behind candidature of President

Jan 18 (GDI) The National Unity Alliance (NUA) led by Minister Ferial Ashraff is firmly backing the candidature of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the upcoming poll. NUA is campaigning for the President in both the Eastern and Northern Provinces, party sources disclosed. Leader of NUA, Minister Ashraff said the forthcoming election was a great opportunity for all Muslims in the East to more..