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Debrief News: 18 01 2010

Sri Lanka private sector credit up in November

Jan 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka's private sector loans surged 11.7 billion rupees to 1,188 billion in November 2009, as rates fell to levels that stimulated credit demand, central bank governor Nivard Cabraal said. "The prices are now right and the demand is there," Cabraal said. "So banks can carefully select customers and lending, which is good for the long term prospects of banks as well as industry." more..

Sri Lankan refugee missing in Melbourne

Jan 19 (AAP) A recently arrived Sri Lankan refugee suffering from autism has police and welfare workers worried after he failed to return home from a walk on Sunday. Thajaparan Kanapathipillai, 26, arrived in Australia with a relative just three weeks ago, a spokesman for the pair's case management agency told AAP. Adam Baxter, a communications spokesman for AMES, said Mr Kanapathipillai was living with his relative in private interim accommodation in Maidstone, more..

Lokuge ducks Ranatunga’s challenge

Jan 19 (SL) Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge refused to take up the challenge thrown by former Sri Lanka Cricket Captain Arjuna Ranatunga for a live debate over corruption and irregularities at Sri Lanka Cricket. Ranatunga challenged Minister Lokuge for a live debate on a neutral TV station on the corruption and irregularities at the Sri Lanka Cricket during a press conference on Friday. more..

Experiences make regime change the critical question for the minorities

Jan 19 (TC) The vote is a valuable right and we call upon Tamils, Muslims and all minorities to exercise it without doubt or hesitation on the 26th of January. We also warn the people to be alert against impersonation and rigging in localities prone to such practices. Voters can exercise their first and second preference votes in this election. There are a few candidates whose programmes uphold human, democratic and minority rights, and more..

Change we must!

Jan 19 (LG) Sri Lankan politicians no doubt need gods. But whether some gods need politicians is indeed subject to debate. If not, why do these mighty divine powers entertain characters that we know are absolute rogues, in shrines, temples and houses of prayer? We simply cannot object to these bilateral relationships between man/woman and gods. They come within the ambit of fundamental human rights or perhaps divine rights as well. more..

Voting for Fonseka for all the wrong reasons?

Jan 19 (GV) The Presidential election of 2010 has brought out some of the most glaring delusions and dilemmas which shape the political stance of the Opposition, and which confront the voter, in particular. The run up to the election of 26th January has largely shown how bankrupt the political elements opposing President Rajapaksa are, which indeed is a great political tragedy – more..

UNP activist beaten to death by supporters of government minister in Kurunegala

Jan 19 (TC) According to Mr. Manjula Bandara (son of Member of Parliament and UNP Organizer for Wariyapola Ms. Amara Piyaseeli), between 12.30am and 1.00am this morning, Mr. Dhammika Herath (also known as Manju) was beaten to death by supporters of Minister of Rural Industries & Self-Employment Promotion S.B. Navinne. Mr. Herath was pronounced dead on arrival at the Wariyapola Hospital, and more..

A message from a first-time voter

Jan 19 (GV) In 2005, I didn’t vote. Being 21, I was eligible to vote, but I didn’t – and if you asked me why, I would ashamedly admit I simply didn’t care. I was in University abroad, my mind preoccupied with the Arts, my arms wrapped around my glossy new textbooks, my life an adventure waiting to happen. Voting, politics and presidents didn’t register on my radar: the picture they represented was too big for me to fathom and more..

Both Pirapaharan and Rajapakse are propaganda masters and cardboard heroes

Jan 19 (TC) The 30-year battle against terrorism has turned into a vicious battle for the spoils-of-war in recent times. This post-war phenomenon does not augur well for the people of Sri Lanka. In a strange quirk of history, what took place within the Tigers of the north since February 2004 is now taking place among the Lions of the south since May 2009. more..

Short notes on a sojourn in Sri Lanka

Jan 19 (TC) Mahinda Rajapakse maybe corrupt but a lot of the hearsay foolish talk here in Colombo is just that. Three wheeler drivers and even attendants at Apollo claiming Gotabaya bought Apollo when all that happened was that he was made Director once the courts took over Apollo after deeming the Hostile take over bid by Harry J as illegal and gave it back to the government insurance corp. So as a government entity GR was made an APPOINTED executive. more..

Fishermen agitate against trawler fishing in Jaffna peninsula seas

Jan 19 (TN) More than 300 fishermen from Vadamaraadchi agitated Monday morning against trawler fishing by fishermen from South, India and local fish traders in the seas of Vadmaraadchi and Jaffna bay, sources in Vadamaraadchi said. Trawler fishing which had robbed fish resources of the peninsula and damaged the fishing nets of local fishermen had been suspended during the peace period. more..

Court orders release of Vanni doctors

Jan 19 (BBC) A court in Sri Lanka has ordered police to release five Tamil doctors who served in the battle zone during the last stages of war, if no evidence is found against them. Colombo magistrates court also ordered the police CID to speed up the investigations that has already taken more than eight months. The doctors who worked in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts; more..

Fourth election-related killings: UPFA supporter killed in Kurunegala

Jan 19 (BBC) A ruling party supporter was killed and four others have sustained injuries in Kurunegala after a hand grenade was thrown at a minister’s campaign office. DM Suranga Indrajith, 27, one of the drivers of Health Minister Priyankara Jayaratna was killed in the incident in Vanduragala on Monday afternoon. The injured were admitted to hospital. More details to follow. More details to follow.

Religious leaders demand end to poll violence

Jan 19 (UCAN) With the election chief “helpless” to stop pre-poll violence, religious leaders say they will step in and directly intervene to resolve disputes in the run-up to the Jan. 26 presidential election. “We see mounting election violations here as has happened in the past. There is also a lack of freedom for media to write freely and voters to think freely,” Catholic priest Father Jayalath Balagalla said. more..

The Blessed Joseph Vaz Jubilee year begins in Sri Lanka

Jan 19 (AN) The Jubilee Year for the Blessed Joseph Vaz began on 14 January with a solemn Mass. Celebrations will end on 16 January of next year, marking 300 years since his death. Vaz, considered the apostle to Sri Lanka, was beatified by John Paul II when he visited the island nation in 1995. Now, many people hope that the country’s only blessed can be canonised. more..

Summary of Cabinet decisions - January 18

Jan 19 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Healthcare & Nutrition Nimal Siripala De Silva to agree with the recommendations of the Cabinet Appointed Negotiating Committee (CANS) and to awarded the contract to M/s AMB S.A , Anenue Willson B - 7012 MONS, Belgium at costs of euro 9,000,000. It is also expected MOH to enter into a commercial contract with M/s. AMB S.A. of Belgium and more..

Circumstances of Pirapakaran’s death questioned

Jan 19 (LG) LTTE leader Pirabakaran’s death was a gimmicky driven prop up to increase the support base of President Mahinda Rajapakse to hold on to power to cover up his failures in good governance during his four year term in office. The rudimentary way in which Pirabakaran’s body was paraded and the degrading methods adopted to reflect the gruesome injuries to his head and displaying his semi naked body are state managed drama to cultivate more..

A most significant election, says US envoy

Jan 19 (LG) The upcoming presidential election is one of the most significant elections in Sri Lanka's history. While Sri Lankans from all parts of the island can exercise their democratic right for the first time in decades, what is most important is that Sri Lankans can do all of this without the risk of violence, intimidation, or retribution, says Patricia A. Butenis, Ambassador in Sri Lanka for the United States in a press release. more..

People won’t tolerate Fonseka and his abusive language

Jan 19 (AT) UPFA presidential candidate President Mahinda Rajapaksha would receive a resounding victory on January 26th elections as a number of local and international surveys predicted, Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma told the media. He also said “Instead, the opposition’s so called common candidate General Fonseka had publicized his ignorance in politics with using derogatory comments and more..

Dr. Ranasinghe, a pioneer in IT education and training field of the Country

Jan 19 (AT) Dr. Bandusena Ranasinghe mostly known as Dr. Bandu Ranasinghe who hails from Dondra (Devundara) in Matara is another proud product of University of Peradeniya. He is the Chairman or in other words founder of the IDM Group of Companies. When you hear IDM, you know what, where and everything of it as the IDM has built its respected name during last three decades providing Information and Communication Technology education and more..

Vice-Chancellors & Academics pledge support to President

Jan 19 (GDI) Vice Chancellors of all Universities and Academics today declaired their support to the candidature of President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the upcoming election on January 26th. They jointly commended the efforts & the vision of the President implemented under the "Mahinda chinthanaya ", a vision for a better future for the country. more..

Sri Lankan Tamils should opt for a total boycott

Jan 19 (EB) The independent Milan-based Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) conducted a Sri Lanka war crimes tribunal at Dublin, capital of the Irish Republic, on January 14 and 15 — Pongal and Tamil new year days. The tribunal examined eyewitnesses and other material evidence in great detail. In the preliminary findings issued on January16, the tribunal held the Sri Lanka government ‘guilty of war crimes’ and ‘crimes against humanity’. more..

Govt. trying to show bogus crowds at meetings stumbles into a precipice

Jan 19 (UNP) At the recent election rally of President Rajapkse at Kurunegala , it was a sad spectacle to see that there was an exceedingly poor crowd. Consequently, the media were not allowed to cover the event and expose this poor ‘show’ of the President. Later, only the state media was allowed to cover the event and take pictures. The other media were to be given only what pictures and reports which were taken by the State media. more..

'My elections victory on 26th will mark the end of corruption'

Jan 19 (UNP) Presidential common opposition candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka addressing a massive election rally at Diyatalawa yesterday (17) said, with all the corruption free Opposition leaders beside him , he will ensure after the 26th Presidential election victory , this journey which was begun to eradicate corruption will be successfully completed. more..

Why Fonseka's victory is crucial for Sri Lanka's democracy?

Jan 19 (LNW) Some Sri Lankan leftists naively argue that a Fonseka-victory will lead to a fascist dictatorship. They even dogmatically draw historical parallels from world history to justify their claim and defend their sectarian politics. A sober analysis of Sri Lanka's concrete context, however, tells a different story. Let me explain: If Sarath Fonseka became Sri Lanka's next executive president there's no way he could more..

NYSC to paste slanderous posters against General

Jan 19 (LT) A process has been reported of getting the youths of National Youth Services Council to paste the defamatory posters against apolitical Common Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka printed by the supporters of UPFA presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapakse spending public money. The assistance of officers of District Youth Services under Divisional Secretaries has been obtained to paste these posters and distribute leaflets. more..

Two people killed in Sri Lanka pre-poll attacks

Jan 19 (BBC) Two people have been killed in separate attacks in Sri Lanka ahead of a presidential election next week, officials say. A supporter of opposition candidate Gen Sarath Fonseka was killed in a clash involving ruling party activists in the north-western town of Waryiapola. Later, a ruling party supporter was killed in a nearby town when a ruling party campaign office was bombed. more..

Prosperity for the people of Sri Lanka

Jan 19 (LG) For Sri Lanka, the pearl of the Indian Ocean, and once the land of paradise, to return to prosperity there needs to be total peace and stability in the country. Stability with good will among all communities in this multi ethnic country is a prerequisite for positive economic growth, higher employment, better education for all and greater social satisfaction. Since the ethnic strife has come to an end, the people of Sri Lanka, more..

Minority participation in elections will help unity of the country

Jan 19 (NPC) With the race for the presidency getting increasingly close and uncertain, there has been considerable speculation as to why President Mahinda Rajapaksa chose to shorten his presidential term. The President called for fresh presidential elections two year before they are due. A common explanation is that he wished to take full advantage of the victory over the LTTE. Prior to the sudden and surprise entry of more..

Defection scandal generates heat

Jan 19 (Hindu) Even as a third death, supposedly connected to the crucial January 26 presidential election was reported, the "scandal" over the attempt by the opposition to bribe a ruling party legislator to defect to its camps took a bizarre turn on Monday. The ruling party legislator who had accused campaign managers of the opposition consensus candidate, Gen. (retd.) Sarath Fonseka, of offering him Sri Lanka 300 million Rupees to more..

Emotions and politics

Jan 19 (LG) In the run up to the presidential election we talk a lot of politics. As Sir Winston Churchill said, "to jaw-jaw is better than to war-war". Given the way things are happening in the political arena, however, one cannot avoid the feeling that, Clausewitz’s dictum to the contrary, politics is the continuation of war by other means. The presidential election of 2010 has boiled down to a war between our two warlords who combined to vanquish the Tigers. more..

NZ gives refuge to Sri Lankan asylum seekers

Jan 19 (NZH) New Zealand will open its doors to Sri Lankan asylum seekers rescued at sea by Australian vessel the Oceanic Viking in October after originally refusing to give them refuge. Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman's office has confirmed New Zealand has agreed to consider 13 of 78 Tamils who were taken to the Indonesian port of Tanjung Pinang. more..

Sri Lanka: Politics as war by other means

Jan 19 (AT) It was the Prussian soldier and military historian Carl Von Clausewitz who said that “War is a mere continuation of politics by other means.” Sri Lanka experienced it for 30 years until May 18, 2009. Now we see the reverse of this – politics as war by other means – move to indict the Sri Lankan Government over alleged war crimes. After World War II the victors held a war crimes tribunal to try the vanquished whereas in Sri Lanka’s case more..

Malinda Seneviratne on YaTV: Part 3 of 3

Malinda Seneviratne on YaTV: Part 2 of 3

Malinda Seneviratne on YaTV: Part 1 of 3

'Tax on imported Agri equipment to be slashed'

Jan 19 (GDI) Agriculture Minister, Maithripala Sirisena taxes imposed on the import of agricutural implements including mammoties would be removed in the next budget after the presidential election. He said he had already submitted proposals in that regard to the government for early consideration. The move will enable the government to bring down the cost of agriculture products by 30 per cent, the minister added. more..

President unfolds conspiracy against estate workers

Jan 19 (GDI) The President has said that there was a conspiracy to betray the rights of workers. He accused that certain politicians were making false promises in the face of the imminent defeat. The President made this observation at a massive rally held at Kotagala in Nuwara Eliya. A large number of people had gathered at the CWC Grounds at Kotagala. A special feature of the rally was the presence of large numbers of Tamil people. more..

'Sri Lanka must enter the industrial world'

Jan 19 (GDI) As terrorism has come to an end Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka said that it was the onus of the nation to unite in developing the country. The Prime Minster made these statements while addressing a meeting organized in Mahara to consolidate the victory of the President. The Prime Minister told the gathering that this was their motherland. more..

Paddy land in Jaffna released for cultivation

Jan 19 (GDI) Several acres of paddy land in the Jaffna peninsula which were under certain high security areas have now been released for cultivation, Northern Province Governor, Maj.Gen. GA Chandrasiri said. He said the land had been vested in the lawful owners to start cultivation. These lands were abandoned for many years due to the war. The decision to release these lands were done on the instructions of more..

Dharmaraja College attracts President

Jan 19 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that patience should be exercised and discipline maintained to become a leader. He made this observation addressing students of Dharmaraja College in Kandy. The President pointed out that he was pleased to see the new constructions that reminded him of a film location. He will be more pleased to see the children grow up as useful citizens using these resources. more..

'President will gain 1.5 million majority'

Jan 19 (GDI) Minister of Engineering Services, Rajitha Senaratna is of the view that opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka, UNP and JVP were day by day getting into confusion with no aim. He said that General Sarath Fonseka was totally ignorant of the economic situation in the country and the JVP which spoke about the country's economy was a political party that can't even run a tea boutique. more..

President inaugurates Gampaha flyover

Jan 19 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa inaugurated a flyover at Gampaha yesterday morning. It was built at the cost of 300 million rupees to minimize the traffic congestion in the Gampaha town. Former District Minister S.D. Bandaranayake and Ministers Lasantha Alagiyawanna and Pandu Bandaranayake, Secretary to the Highways Ministry Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda were among those who participated in the occasion. more..

'Opposition planning to pilfer IDs of voters'

Jan 19 (GDI) UPFA General Secretary, Susil Premjayanth today disclosed a plan by the opposition to plunder identity cards of voters on the eve of the presidential election and added that the opposition had a political party in its fold which had experience in collecting identity cards by force. He said the President has called for the cooperation of all people to conduct a peaceful election. more..

'Only Commander-in-Chief can declare war victory'

Jan 19 (MoD) A war in a country can only be declared by the head of that state. In our country too, this can be done only by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Commander-in-Chief of all Armed Forces. After the war is directed towards victory, the credit for it may be claimed by several persons. In this context, the entire people of the country are ever grateful to the President who tenaciously stood firm against foreign pressures to protect the Motherland, more..

War Hero families to benefit from new army IT centre

Jan 19 (MoD) To keep pace with the rapid technological advancement and prepare Army families too to match with 21st century innovations and improvements, the Army is geared to impart IT knowledge to all members of War Hero families while adding IT laboratories, new wings and technological accessories to the Army IT sphere. Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya Tuesday morning ceremonially declared open more..

Alston Oh! Alston, what ails thee boy

Jan 19 (MoD) Australian Philip Alston, the UN's Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings etc, etc, etc is a lawyer, we are told. If he was a practicing lawyer it would not have been in the least bit surprising to find him selective in the evidence he presented before court. After all it is the business of lawyers to represent their clients to the best of their ability, naturally emphasizing what was favourable to the client and skirting, more..

Rajapakse promises “economic war”

Jan 19 (wsws) President Mahinda Rajapakse’s election manifesto “Vision for the Future” runs to more than 100 pages of lies and false promises. But there is one important remark that rings true: the president is promising an “economic war” and that is exactly what workers will get—whether he or his main bourgeois rival, General Sarath Fonseka, wins office. Rajapakse uses the term “economic war” to boast about more..

Not only swan symbol on ballot paper even Swan symbol on egg attracts huge crowds

Jan 19 (UNP) An image of swan was embedded in the exterior of an egg laid yesterday by a hen belonging to a resident of Welipitiya. Large crowds flocked to the house to view this miraculous egg. The owner, Seneer said, people have offered to buy this egg at prices as high as Rs. 50,000/-. Some individuals however had obstructed the crowds flocking to view the egg. more..