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SriLankan Cargo sets single-month record

Jan 19 (LNP) SriLankan Cargo set a new record for freight handled in a single month at BIA, totalling 16,070 tonnes in December 2009. The cargo arm of SriLankan Airlines is the sole handler for freight carried by all airlines into BIA, which was visited by 1,213 flights by aircraft of 23 airlines and freighter airlines during December. The new record surpassed the mark of 16,033 tonnes set in March 2006. more..

'Rajapakse family rule is trying to kill people and plunder the country'

Jan 19 (UNP) Kurunuegala District UNP M.P. Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said, the Rajapakse family rule is carrying on a vicious hate and murder campaign against the Opposition. Referring to the latest of the series of murders committed against the UNP and Opposition supporters , he said , the people will give the right verdict against the Rajapakse rule on the 26th. more..

President pays last respect to the UPFA supporter in Anamaduwa

Jan 19 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa paid his last respects yesterday to the UPFA supporter; Anura Saman Kumara at his house at Thonigala in Anamaduwa on 18 January, who was killed by an armed group in Madurankuliya. Saman Kumara who went to Madurankuliya town last Saturday to witness the massive crowd gathered at the UPFA rally in Anamaduwa had been killed by a bullet of unscrupulous persons who carry vicious political ambitions. more..

Tiger in Lion's clothing!

Jan 19 (GV) The moment the TNA announced its support for the opposition presidential candidate, General Sarath Fonseka, the ruling party and the forces that back President Mahinda Rajapakse have begun to smell an international conspiracy with the help of the LTTE to destabilize and divide Sri Lanka. According to them the very man who was mainly responsible for eliminating the Tigers has today turned out to be a Tiger supporter! more..

IGP tells political parties: Please cooperate

Jan 19 (DN) IGP Mahinda Balasuriya yesterday appealed to all political parties to refrain from conducting any political demonstrations and advised party members to respect the law of the country so that a peaceful election can be held. He also urged the parties not to use gangsters and deserters from the police, STF, Security Forces and Civil Defence Force in the election campaign. more..

President’s duty to visit all houses of the murder victims

Jan 19 (LG) Photographs in the newspapers show President Mahinda Rajapakse visiting the funeral of one of the victims of the electoral violence at Mundalama. It is quite understandable that the President as the candidate for the election would go to the funeral of a person who is one of his supporters. However, in this election campaign four people have been killed already. It would have been the duty of the President as more..

Hospitable Sri Lankans in uniform active in Haiti

Jan 19 (LP) Sri Lankan troops serving UN Peace Keeping assignments in Haiti are now engaged in providing humanitarian assistance to the victims of the earthquake in Port-au-Prince. Supported by other aid workers and relief troops from foreign countries, Sri Lankan troopers, have been giving their assistance to bury decomposing bodies, dispatch of victims to nearest hospitals, transport of the victims to the makeshift shelters, etc. more..

'TNA sticks to separatist manifesto'

Jan 19 (LNP) The TNA had not withdrawn their 2002 and 2004 Election Manifestos, and what has the JVP and Sarath Fonseka got to say, asked Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa. He pointed out that the TNA in its elections manifestos put forward four important points: Recognition of Tamils as a distinct nationality, establishing a Tamil homeland, rights to self-determination and fundamental rights etc. more..

Why I’m voting for Sarath Fonseka

Jan 19 (SL) On January 26th, I’ll cast my vote for Sarath Fonseka. I’m voting against Mahinda, but I’ve also found real reasons to vote for Sarath. I read his manifesto and it sounds great. He’s pledging a nation of laws, not men. He’s promising discipline and order, not a free lunch. Mahinda’s got a slick (and unethical) marketing campaign, but I don’t think he has a plan for fixing the foundation of Sri Lanka. Sarath Fonseka does. more..

Stop this Election Violence

Jan 19 (GV) There are ominous signs that the current election campaigns are leading to some unbridled violence. One citizen was killed when an unknown group shot at a bus carrying people to an election meeting in Tangalle which is in the President’s own electorate. The victim was a supporter of Mr Sajith Premadasa who is promoting the campaign of General Fonseka. Last week there were several incidents of violence against the supporters of the campaign for General Fonseka. more..

Vote for Educate Lanka

Battling political violence

Jan 19 (LNP) Election related violence has manifestly taken a turn for the worse. Goons have graduated from pulling down cutouts to taking precious lives. Three persons have so far perished at their hands. The situation is expected to deteriorate within the next few days as the stakes both sides have in the forthcoming presidential polls are extremely high absit omen! The blame for this kind of violence should be placed at the doorstep of the government. more..

If Mahinda manages to retain power his mafia regime will reach new heights

Jan 19 (TC) Some 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 next executive president there's no way he could cling on to his powers even more..

'President heading for victory'

Jan 19 (DN) There are several indicators that President Mahinda Rajapaksa is heading for an unprecedented election victory, Transport and Railways Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said. At every UPFA public rally, crowds keep increasing. There were teeming masses voluntarily coming to hear their leader. When we saw the rally at Anuradhapura, we thought it was the largest but more..

Special State hospital to treat infertile couples

Jan 19 (DN) The Government is making arrangements to set up a special state hospital to treat infertile persons, a Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry spokesman said. Arrangement will also be made to legalize surrogacy, the spokesman said. Around 250,000 infertile families or 15 percent of the total number of families in Sri Lanka are infertile, according to a study conducted by Kandy Teaching Hospital Phsychiatrist Dr Ratnasiri Bandara. more..

All govt schools closed on 25th, 26th and 27th of Jan

Jan 19 (LP) All Government schools island wide will be closed on the 25th, 26th and 27th of January. The decision to close the schools was taken on a request made by Elections Commissioner Dayanada Dissanayake, due to the Presidential Election to be held on the 26th of January said the Ministry of Education. A circular has already been sent to the Schools Principals said the Secretary of the Education Ministry Nimal Bandara.

Mahinda Chintana: Vision for the future

Jan 19 (DN) Pride of Place to Three Wheelers: * A social insurance scheme will be introduced covering all three wheel owners of the country. * Orders will be issued to all Local Government Institutions requesting them to provide suitable parking spaces in all cities. * Special tax relief and soft loans will be introduced to encourage the introduction of environment friendly three wheelers. more..

Grenade attack in Kurunegala leaves minister's driver dead

Jan 19 (TC) CMEV has learned that at approximately 7.30pm this evening, Mr. D.M. Suranga Indrajith (27), the diver of Minister of Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Mr. Jayaratna Herath, was killed during a grenade attack on the UPFA party office located in Vanduragala, in the vicinity of the home of Minister Herath. Mr. Indrajith was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. more..

Land values rising in tourism zones; SLTDA warns of negative impact

Jan 19 (Island) Rising land values in tourism development areas are likely to benefit citizens in big scale, according to a study. The study conducted by Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), however, warns of some negative impacts on the local population with large numbers of tourists starting to arrive in these areas. Local low-income groups are likely to benefit with channels for extra income opening up in the zones as more..

'Fonseka promises corrupt free public administration'

Jan 19 (Island) Presidential Common Opposition Candidate General (Retd) Sarath Fonseka, stated in Kandy that he would clean up corruption in the public service and create a disciplined administration that would content the people. Sarath Fonseka made this pledge addressing a meeting of professionals, planters, traders, industrialists, local politicians and members of several sectors in Kandy. more..

'No love lost between Polls Chief and Police'

Jan 19 (Island) Inspector General of Police Mahinda Balasuriya yesterday denied reports that the Elections Commissioner had ceased to communicate with him about violations connected with election laws in the run up to the forthcoming Presidential election. The Police Chief admitted that the Elections Commissioner had made a statement to that effect earlier but withdrawn it on January 12. more..

Only 32% polling cards issued

Jan 19 (DM) The postal authorities have been able to deliver only 32 percent of poll cards in the Jaffna district since many registered voters have either migrated or been displaced due to the war during the past few decades, election officials said yesterday. The same problem arose at the Jaffna Municipal Council election held last August with only around 50,000 poll cards delivered to voters out of the total of 105,000 registered within the municipal limits. more..

'No agreement with TNA on re-merging North, East or any other issues'

Jan 19 (Island) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader Rauff Hakeem MP yesterday denied the recent news report in a Sinhala language weekly newspaper saying that Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan had entered into an agreement with UNA common candidate General Sarath Fonseka on re-merging the North and East and other matters. more..

'Lankans can't be tried in International Criminal Court'

Jan 19 (DM) Dr. Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka's permanent representative to the UN, said yesterday that no person in Sri Lanka could be taken before the International Criminal Court (ICC) to face alleged war crimes charges. He also noted that only a "handful" of foreign countries were making various allegations against Sri Lanka whilst a majority of the international community, more..

Congress rejects Lanka’s claims

Jan 19 (DM) India’s ruling Congress party rejected claims by a top Sri Lankan official that the Sri Lankan government’s decision to stop the use of heavy weapons during the latter stages of the war helped the Indian government win the General elections in Tamil Nadu last year. Congress spokesperson, Shri Satyavrat Chaturvedi, said that the local political and economic issues in India were more dominant than the Sri Lankan issue in the outcome of the Indian polls. more..

IGP blames cops for Polonnaruwa incident

Jan 19 (DM) IGP Mahinda Balasuriya yesterday faulted the policemen and officials in charge of the Polonnaruwa district as they had time to prevent the motorcade of Minister Maithripala Sirisena confronting supporters of Gen. Sarath Fonseka who were engaged in distributing handbills in Polonnaruwa town. “We are now in the process of taking action against all those policemen who failed to prevent the incident taking place and more..

Fonseka vows reconciliation in bid to win Sri Lanka Presidency

Jan 19 (BN) Sarath Fonseka, the general who led the army to victory over separatist rebels ending a 26-year civil war is promoting reconciliation with minority Tamils as he tries to win this month’s presidential election. “With the war over and resources available for development, Sri Lanka is at the crossroads,” Fonseka said in his election manifesto. more..

Amid furore, Central Bank drops plan to relax Forex rules

Jan 19 (IPS) Under pressure over accusations that ill-gotten money would be siphoned out, Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has put the lid on a plan to allow a free flow of foreign currency in and out of the country. In a move that was welcomed mostly by the business community, the Central Bank on Jan. 4 said it planned to allow unhindered flow of foreign exchange, which would enable anyone to open bank accounts abroad or send money out freely. more..

'Sri Lanka election candidates must end rights violations'

Jan 19 (AI) Amnesty International calls on all candidates standing in Sri Lanka’s Presidential elections to end widespread human rights violations and the culture of impunity that continues to plague the country. On Monday, the organization issued a 10-point Human Rights Agenda for all candidates. “Candidates should commit to restoring respect for basic rights, like life and liberty, ending arbitrary arrests and detention, more..

Do not make public servants your stooges, Karu tells Government

Jan 19 (IL) We wish to make this special appeal to all patriotic public servants of our country as we reach this crucial juncture in our country’s destination. We are well aware of the calibre and integrity of our public service. Unfortunately due to the actions of a few politically motivated, corrupt officers the whole public service and the Police Department in particular have been brought in to disrepute. more..

Sri Lanka labour minister 'orders' private sector salary hike

Jan 19 (LBO) Labour minister has "ordered" a 2,500 rupee salary hike to private sector workers, a ministry statement said, though an organization representing the major employers said they had no knowledge of the move. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has promised a 2,500 rupee a month salary hike to state workers from April when the budget is due, while the main opposition presidential candidate running for the January 26 polls has promised a 10,000 rupee hike. more..

Sri Lanka keeps rates at five-year low to spur growth

Jan 19 (BN) Sri Lanka’s central bank Governor Nivard Cabraal kept benchmark interest rates unchanged at a five-year low to spur investments and aid economic growth after the end of a 26-year civil war. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka left the reverse repurchase rate at 9.75 percent, the bank said. The repurchase rate was also maintained at 7.5 percent. more..

War refugees struggle to rebuild in Sri Lanka

Jan 19 (AP) The vast rice fields of Kilinochchi are overgrown with shrubs. The herds of cattle and goats have disappeared. The tractors and motorcycles are gone. Buildings and homes have been bombed into heaps of concrete rubble. War refugees have found little left of their old lives as they trickle back to their villages in the former Tamil Tiger stronghold eight months after Sri Lankan forces crushed the rebel group. more..

Mervyn to bet Rs. 40 mn on Rajapaksa

Jan 19 (Island) Labour Minister Mervyn Silva yesterday challenged anyone to take a 40 million rupee bet with him on the outcome of the January 26 presidential election. He said that he was backing President Mahinda Rajapaksa to win. Silva said, "I will gamble with my brand new Benz car, Montero jeep and others from my fleet of vehicles and my houses including the one in Tissamaharama." more..

JVP claims Thaksin funding polls

Jan 19 (DM) The JVP today alleged that ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra had visited Sri Lanka in December and given over funds to the government for the upcoming polls. JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe said that the former Prime Minister of Thailand; who was deposed in a military coup, had arrived on the 12th of December on board a private plane and left on the 13th of last month. more..

UPFA tells opposition to stop tarnishing President’s image

Jan 19 (Island) The UPFA yesterday requested the Opposition to stop slinging mud at incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa and called for a discussion on his policies. It claimed that Sarath Fonseka too was slinging mud at President Rajapaksa. Minister Dallas Alahapperuma said that their candidate, President Rajapaksa, did not engage in such cheap campaigning. more..

Angry Sri Lankan election commissioner to quit after elections

Jan 19 (PTI) Angry over non-compliance of his directives by political parties, Sri Lanka's top election official today said he would quit after the presidential polls next week. Sri Lankan Elections Commissioner (EC) Dayananda Dissanayake also told a meeting of party representatives that he would immediately withdraw the officer appointed to monitor the state media during the pre-election period, more..

Price rise affects Rajapaksa’s prospects

Jan 20 (EB) Skyrocketing prices of essential commodities seem to be adversely affecting the chances of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and boosting the prospects of his principal rival, Gen.Sarath Fonseka, in the January 26 Sri Lankan Presidential election. The viciously rising cost of living has been one of the major issues among the Sinhalese speaking people throughout the island nation after the LTTE was eliminated in May last year. more..

Election fears rise on increased violence

Jan 20 (IRIN) Concerns are rising that Sri Lanka’s presidential election will be undermined after the deaths of four people in a spate of campaign-related violence in the past week, say election monitors. The incumbent, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is facing an unexpectedly strong challenge from his former army chief, Sarath Fonseka, raising tensions among supporters of both men ahead of the 26 January poll. more..

Debrief News - 19. 01. 2010

North, east teachers yet to receive increased COL allowance

Jan 20 (CT) Teachers in northern and eastern provinces are yet to receive the increased cost of living allowance that was granted to the entire state sector effective from November 2008, Chairman of the Ceylon Teachers Union, Joseph Stalin alleges. The government paid Rs. 1,500 on Jan. 08 as the COL allowance in lieu of the months of November and December, he says. However, all teachers except those from more..

IUSF complains to Commissioner of Election against Chairman – UGC & VCs

Jan 20 (LT) The Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) would make a complaint today to the Commissioner of Elections stating that the Chairman of University Grants Commission (UGC) and vice chancellors of certain universities are supporting the election campaign of the UPFA candidate Mahinda Rajapakse violating election regulations says convener of IUSF Udul Premaratne. more..

'Mahinda inciting racial hatred between Sinhalese and Tamils'

Jan 20 (TN) “President Mahinda Rajapakse, on learning TNA intention of supporting his rival Sarath Fonseka in the presidential election, is actively engaged in whipping up racial animosity between the Sinhalese and the Tamils,” Suresh Premachandran, TNA MP said. “Mahinda, Minister Douglas Devananda and other government supporters are deceiving the Tamils with their false promises,” he further said. more..

The concept of Nirvana from a psychological point of view

Jan 20 (LG) The concept of Nirvana is more than 2500 years old. Throughout the centuries various scholars and philosophers tried to explain this concept using their limited knowledge. In fact the concept of Nirvana is much more wide and difficult to explain in mundane terms. The Nirvana concept is often misunderstood and sometimes misused (eg: Nirvana Rock Band, Nirvana Night Club) in the western world. more..

Tamil vote crucial in Sri Lanka election

Jan 20 (UPI) The two main contenders in next Tuesday's presidential election in Sri Lanka were given the most credit by their majority Sinhalese people for ending the civil war for a separate Tamil homeland, but as the polling date approaches, it may be the minority Tamil vote that decides the final outcome. President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced the Jan. 26 election seeking another term although he had two more years remaining in his current one. more..

SB reveals UNP-JVP hidden agenda

Jan 20 (GDI) SB Dissananyaka today revealed the hidden agenda of the UNP and the JVP in bringing forth Gen. Sarath Fonseka as the common candidate for the upcoming presidential election. Dissanayaka stated that the LTTE international network was rejoiced after getting to know that Gen Fonsaka was appearing for the presidential election since through him the LTTE can gain its power again to reestablish the Elaam war again in Sri Lanka. more..

'Fonseka can let his nation down as US Green Card holder'

Jan 20 (GDI) Sinhalaye Maha Sammatha Boomiputhra Party leader Harischandra Wijetunga said that General Sarath Fonseka was the first United States Green-Card holder to seek the highest elected office in Sri Lanka. That posed a serious conflict of interest which he has so far failed to put before the people of the country as part of his election bid. He pointed out that Sarath Fonseka has a major conflict of interest in more..

Govt.’s ‘Breaking news’ expresses support to Gen. Fonseka

Jan 20 (UNP) The Govt. which has realized that it has no escape from defeat at the upcoming Presidential elections is engaged in all kinds of mudslinging and accusations against Gen. Fonseka holding media discussions using its cronies and henchmen. Gen. Fonseka who was successful in getting the support of a number of political parties including the TNA has now become the target for vicious Govt. attacks making false allegations more..

'Sri Lanka to reduce bank taxation'

Jan 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka is looking to reduce taxes on banks over the next few years allowing banks to generate more funds to recapitalize as the economy is poised for a growth phase after the end of a 30-year war, an official said. "Over the next five years banks have to devise a recapitalization program," Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. "When they lend the capital will also have to increase. more..

Gen. Sarath Fonseka receives blessings of Kataragama God

Jan 20 (UNP) Opposition common Presidential candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka toured Kataragama today (19). The General who paid homage at the Kirivehera Temple in the morning took part in a religious pooja at the Temple. Later, he took part in a special pooja at the Main Temple at Kataragama, and toured Sella Kataragama where he was received by large crowds who cheered and greeted him with great enthusiasm. more..