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Minister Moragoda proposes measures for Women’s participation in politics

Jan 20 (AT) Minister Milinda Moragoda, has highlighted the importance of getting more women involved in the political process. To do this it policies conducive to facilitating their entry into politics must be put in place. In Sri Lanka, women are vastly underrepresented in government, with women representatives comprising only 1.8% of the representatives at the local government level, 5.0% in the provincial councils and 5.8 % in parliament. more..

Automobile industry in dire crisis

Jan 20 (BL) The local automobile industry badly hit by the recession and high domestic tax regime, is dominated by vehicles imported on permits. The number of brand new vehicles sold, plummetted from 25,325 in 2008 to 7,437 in 2009, recording a drop of 70.63 percent. The government received Rs. 16bn last year as taxes, which was a 20 per cent drop from Rs 20bn levied during the previous year. more..

Sri Lanka farmers to learn to live with wild elephants

Jan 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka rural farmers living close to forested areas with wild elephants will be taught to manage human animal conflicts through a new model dairy pilot project, its promoters said. Exetel, an Australian IT firm that runs a call centre in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society are to set up a model dairy farm in Wasgamuwa in central Sri Lanka. more..

Country’s first solar project kicked

Jan 20 (BL) The Minister of Power and Energy John Seneviratne, is to sign the Memorandum of Understanding with the Japanese government for the construction of a 400 kW grid connected solar power generation plant at Buruthankanda, Hambantota, under a grant from Japan. The Government of Japan has provided a grant of Rs. 1,075 mn to the project which will be implemented by the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority. more..

Troubled Ceylinco depositors to back SF

Jan 20 (BL) Depositors unions of five troubled Ceylinco companies along with depositors of Sakvithi are to publicly declare their support to Presidential Candidate, Sarath Fonseka, tomorrow, a move which a dissident group have called a betrayal. President of Golden Key Depositors Association, Anusha Emmert, told The Bottom Line that the six unions - Golden Key Credit Card Company Ltd, Ceylinco Finance and Guarantee (F&G), more..

Louis Cruise out:Jetliner in

Jan 20 (BL) The Sri Lanka Navy along with the Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a naval jetliner in the Colombo Port this week amidst the Greece-based cruise operator recently pulling out its services. The naval Jetliner which is designed to accommodate 600 passengers and 160 cars at a time is to be used as a venue to hold functions and conferences. “The three-decked jetliner will be used to run as a commercial operation more..

The past haunts the electorate

Jan 20 (BL) In the last week’s editorial, we said that this presidential election was being fought in cyber space. Even though we do not wish to retreat from that stance, we are compelled to accept that this presidential election seems to be taking the country backward several centuries. We are on the verge of a decisive election and we are losing our patience day by day! Let me put it this way. more..

Rajapaksa, Fonseka vow to curb secessionism

Jan 20 (Hindu) Five days before the close of official campaign to the Sri Lankan presidential election, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his chief opponent General (retired) Sarath Fonseka vowed not to allow rise of secessionist forces in the island nation. In the run up to the election, the former Army Chief and the consensus opposition nominee, secured the support of the post-Prabakaran TNA but more..

Systematic erosion of democracy and democratic institutions

Jan 20 (LP) The Lawyers for Democracy (LfD) says that it has witnessed a systematic erosion of democracy and democratic institutions and the emergence of a semi-authoritarian system of government due to the concentration of all political powers of the State in the hands of the executive President under the present Constitution, who exercises such power arbitrarily and without accountability, more..

Electoral violence and the sovereignty of the people

Jan 20 (LG) Four people have now been killed due to election violence during this presidential campaign. This campaign is for electing the highest political officer in the nation. The very fact that the election for the highest political officer for the nation has become one beset with continuous violence and killings itself is perhaps a crystal clear indication of the level of absurdity to which the political system of Sri Lanka has fallen. more..

Dambara Amila Thero on YaTV: Part 3

Dambara Amila Thero on YaTV: Part 2

Dambara Amila Thero on YaTV: Part 1

Northern Province Artiste on a mega cultural show today in Colombo

Jan 20 (AT) The Northern Province of Sri Lanka which inherits a unique Tamil cultural identity with deeply rooted in traditional beliefs and customs, after a lapse of 30 years, holds a mega cultural show today at 6.30pm at the BMICH. The Northern Provincial council’s plan is to reawaken the cultural identity of the province and to provide space for its expressions through the medium of art with a mega cultural show more..

UNP, JVP and Pro-LTTE Tamil website says, "Defeat Rajapakse at any cost"

Jan 20 (AT) In an interview to a Sri Lankan Daily on 17th Jan. Ranil had said that the TNA leader Sampanthan, met Gen. Fonseka and he gave him the 10 point Programme which had been approved by all parties supporting him. With regard to Ranil's meeting with Sampanthan he had added, "...Other issues which resolve to power sharing and all the matters are up to the Parliament and more..

Hell hath no fury as General Fonseka scorned

Jan 20 (TC) "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned". Whoever said it, Shakespeare or Congreve, its a ‘general’ statement that is unfair to women. General Fonseka feels scorned by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. His fury has made all hell boil over and what hell mates have been spewed to support his revolt against the President. All ye that enter tremble. more..

Rajapakse regime gets ready to derive propaganda mileage by "fixing" Sarath Fonseka & his son-in-law

Jan 20 (DBS) Rajapakse regime gets ready to do anti-opposition propaganda by "fixing" Sarath Fonseka & his son-in-law on charges of alleged corruption. Sarath Fonseka's son in law, Danuna Tillekaratne has been ordered by Police to present himself before the CID on Jan 21st for an inquiry. The inquiry will probe Danuna's alleged involvement with the firm Hi-corp international through which many arms deals were done by the govt. more..

Sri Lanka dairy farmers to gets US lift

Jan 20 (LBO) Dairy farmers in eastern Sri Lanka will get technical help to improve milk production and also be linked to agri-business firms, in a program supported by the United States. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has signed a deal with Manmunai West Livestock Breeders Cooperative Society to increase the quantity and quality of milk in 24 villages in the Batticaloa district. more..

Will the Swan Swim, Sink or be Shot?

Jan 20 (TC) This is the confusion in the minds of Swan supporters in the city, suburbs and towns, considering the track record of the betel vendor. Use and abuse -respectively, of government machinery, law and order and flouting election laws are rather unprecedented, unlimited under his power. His authoritarian tendencies, rigid attitude of political arrogance, nepotism, corruption, culture of impunity, more..

Is the Nationalist Vote Divided?

Jan 20 (LG) Various unsubstantiated theories have emerged about kingmakers. Kingmakers are the voters. There are no racial demarcations when it comes to voters. A popular erroneous theory suggests that the ‘Sinhala’ vote is divided right from the middle and it is the ‘Tamil’ vote that will tilt the scales. Truth cannot be further than this assumption. To understand the real currents at work one has to understand the mind of the average Sri Lankan ‘nationalist’. more..

President is abusing the state resources to intimidate Sarath Fonseka

Jan 20 (LG) The President Mahinda Rajapakse has declared all out war on his rival candidate Sarath Fonseka. Using all the resources available, the President has let loose a stage by stage campaign of harassment on a daily basis to outsmart the opposition candidate. Some official sources fear for the safety of General Fonseka. The President’s violent gangster machinery is said to be even contemplating assassination of the opposition candidate and/or more..

Finally, the manifestos!

Jan 20 (LG) After a month or so of the kind of campaigning that would have been better conducted in a boxing ring, with padded gloves and a referee to point out the numerous punches landing so painfully below the belt, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sarath Fonseka have released their manifestos. Serious reflection on the choice facing Sri Lanka is now possible. more..

Sri Lanka accepts Madras University's free education offer

Jan 20 (EB) Madras University Vice-Chancellor G Thiruvasagam said the Sri Lankan government “has agreed in principle’ to the University of Madras” free higher education to the Tamil refugees living in various camps in Sri Lanka. He told reporters after the 152nd year convocation held here on Tuesday that a meeting was organised to discuss the various aspects of the free education scheme on Monday. more..

The Tamil variable in Lankan politics

Jan 20 (GV) Harim Pieris, a former advisor to President Kumaratunga in the days that she had really lost touch with what was what in the country, has written the best piece so far on the strategy of the joint opposition at this Presidential election, with a clear if implicit indication that he thinks the strategy is likely to succeed (“Ranil’s Formula for the General’s success”, Daily Mirror Monday Jan 11th 2010). more..

The Govt. focused attention on estate wokers - President

Jan 20 (GDI) "Spring reaches the up-country fraternity with the renaissance taking place in the region. It is the present Government which focussed more attention on the facilities of the estate community ".,said President Rajapaksa addressing a mammoth gathering in Kotagala. The President pointed out that his government had given the trade unions the right to bargain. The government, when necessary increased salaries with the collaboration of the Trade unions. more..

'Defence Secretary gave his best at war time'

Jan 20 (GDI) The present Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had explicitly and efficiently provided fighter jets to the Air Force at a time when it was difficult to secure them. The Director Engineer of the Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Jayanath Kumarasiri made this revelation when the case filed against the Sunday Leader newspaper was taken up yesterday. Attorney At Law Ali Sabry said the Engineer gave evidence when more..

'Reveal secret dealings with Thaksin Shinawatra'

Jan 20 (LT) The Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe challenges President Mahinda Rajapakse to reveal the secret deals he is having with Thaksin Shinawatra, former Prime Minister of Thailand, who was deposed from the post but has been brought to Sri Lanka secretly. Mr. Amarasinghe said Shinawatra had come with five others in his private plane to Sri Lanka on the 12th and has had discussions with Mahinda Rajapakse more..

'Tamils will never vote for a military leader'

Jan 20 (GDI) Leader of the NFF, Wimal Weerawansa today asserted at the Mahaweli Centre in Colombo that the Northern Tamils would never vote or prefer a military leader like Gen.Sarath Fonseka."They do not possess such a maniac psychology", Weerawansa stressed. He told a news conference that Sampanthan was creating an avenue through Sarath Fonseka to take the President before an international war tribunal. more..

War victory a collective effort - Maj.Gen.Gunaratne

Jan 20 (GDI) The Commander of the Wanni security forces, Major General Kamal Gunaratne said the victory against terrorism was not a victory of any individual, but a victory of the entire nation "All could enjoy the benefits of this victory, as it was achieved through the collective efforts of the whole nation", Maj.Gen.Gunaratne. "All faced the international pressure as one nation. more..

SEP takes its presidential election campaign to Matara

Jan 20 (wsws) As part of the Socialist Equality Party’s campaign for Wije Dias, its candidate for the January 26 presidential election, SEP members visited the southern coastal town of Matara and its suburbs, 160 km from Colombo. SEP campaigners distributed thousands of copies of the party’s election manifesto and held discussions with hundreds of people, including workers, youths, housewives, farmers and students. more..

Is Harry J. up to political mischief ?

Jan 20 (GDI) Business tycoon Harry Jayewardene who lost his enterprises - Apollo Hospital & Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation- as a result of a judgment by former Chief Justice, Sarath N.Silva seems to be up to mischief these days paying visits on politicians of disrepute, political sources disclosed. Harry was reported to have paid a call at the residence of notorious UNP Western Provincial Councillor, MJM Muzammil's yesterday at Kollupitiya. more..

President gave a future to the nation - Ven.Vipassi Thero

Jan 20 (GDI) Venerable Pelpola Vipassi Thera claimed it was President Mahinda Rajapakse who gave a future to the Sri Lankan people. "It is our responsibility to safeguard the independence handed over by him. It should not be the responsibility of the people to forget the leader who ended a 30 year old war in less than three years. Before the conclusion of the war, the people were engaged in travelling with fear and suspicion", he recalled. more..

TNA MP Kanagaratnam supports President

Jan 20 (GDI) TNA Wanni District parliamentarian, Sathasiwam Kanagarathnam has pledged his support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the upcoming Presidential Election. Kanagarathnam is presently engaged in the election campaign of the President and has addressed meetings in support of the President at Malaavi, Yogapuram and Thunukkai in the north. more..

Govt plans election-rigging in Jaffna peninsula

Jan 20 (TN) Although the delivery of polling cards ended on Monday postmasters in Jaffna have been unofficially instructed to issue them by high government authorities, according to postal department officials who wish to remain anonymous. Apart from this, Minister Douglas Devananda and former IGP, Chandra de Silva, are engaged in activities aiming at rigging the votes of people in K’linochchi district which falls under Jaffna electoral division, more..

Third rail bus service from tomorrow

Jan 20 (MoD) The Railway Department will launch its third rail-bus service from tomorrow between Trincomalee and Gal Oya in the Eastern Province under the Negenahira Navodaya project. The inauguration will take place at the Trincomalee railway station under the patronage of Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Ashok K.Kantha. The first rail bus launched under the Negenahira Navodaya between Baticaloa and Gal Oya and more..

Eelam War by other means

Jan 20 (Island) Both the government and the Fonseka camps are claiming the credit for winning the war. But, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sarath Fonseka are using bullet proof cubicles when they address election rallies in some parts of the country. Although they are going places on war victory, they seem to be aware that the threat of terrorism exists, albeit at a manageable level. At this decisive moment, it behoves the two main contenders for presidency and more..

'Fonseka's wage increase will deprive jobs for one million'

Jan 20 (GDI) JHU stalwart and Provincial Minister, Udaya Gammanpila today claimed that opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka's proposed wage increase for public servants would result in one million persons losing their jobs. He said that Fonseka's proposal was a 86 per cent increase based on the minimum wage and it would affect the other industries at a time there was global economic recession. more..

ACHSU alleges health workers used for Govt. Propaganda

Jan 20 (Island) The All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) yesterday alleged that the Health Ministry had contravened the Elections Commissioner’s orders by releasing 150 of its employees for government propaganda work. One such employee released by the Ministry, a driver, Suranga Indika was killed on Monday evening at Kurunegala while engaged in election propaganda work inside a UPFA election office. more..

'For the first time all opposition parties are supporting Gen.Fonseka even without agreement'

Jan 20 (UNP) UNP M.P. and Gen Secretary Tissa Attanayake addressing the media today at the UNP media unit said, this is the first time in the political history of SL, all opposition parties have openly come to support a Presidential candidate ; this is because of the implicit faith they have in him. Even the TNA has agreed to support him along with others even without signing an agreement. more..

11th SAG baton lighting at Adams Peak

Jan 20 (LP) Sri Lanka gets the honours of lighting the baton relay for the 11th South Asian Games (SAG). The baton will be lit at Adams peak on the 22nd of January at 08.00 am. The baton will be lit by Gold medalist Sugath Thilakaranthne and will be handed over to the Olympic Committee where it will then be brought to Nugegoda in a motorcade. more..

TNA MP accused of LTTE links rides with Mahinda

Jan 20 (LT) TNA MP Sathasivam Kanagaratnam, arrested by the TID in connection with alleged LTTE links, has chosen to ride the doom train with Mahinda’s brigade. He announced his decision at Vavuniya today (20th). This confirms TNA’s recent announcement that Kanagaratnam was forced to support the President having been in detention for over 8 months under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. more..

Corrupt-files trip Sarath Fonseka and Wijedasa Rajapaksa

Jan 20 (DN) It was obvious from the moment Sarath Fonseka announced he was running for Presidency that he was a humourless and uncouth. That’s OK. We have had worse candidates and anyway politicians are known to be gutter-mouthed. It’s perhaps the occupational disease of all politicians. On the other hand, there are always ‘degrees’ of ‘gutter-mouthedness’ and while the public will go along with some crassness there is certainly a point beyond which it really puts people off. more..

'Bid by poll chief to hold free poll could fail'

Jan 20 (LG) There is a danger of Elections Commissioner's attempts to hold a free and fair election would be to no avail due to undue influence and interference exerted by the government, says the UNP. In a letter to the Elections Commissioner, Tissa Attanayake has stated that in a scenario of violence along with the conduct of the government, the opportunities of holding a free and fair elections are very limited. more..

'Don’t use Lord Buddha’s robe for petty political affairs'

Jan 20 (LT) There is a process in the country that conceals the truth and brings to the fore the untruth to curry favour with the government to get more privileges said President of ‘Bodhu Bala Sena’ and former National Organizer of National Bhikku Federation Ven. Galagodaththe Gnanissara Thera and he appealed to certain sections of the Sangha not to use the robe of the Buddhist Bhikku for petty political interests. more..

Massive crowds at SF rallies drives govt to deploy bomb scare tactics

Jan 20 (LT) In the face of dwindling crowds at their lacklustre rallies, the Government has come out all guns firing against the mammoth crowds attending General Fonseka’s rallies. The latest tactic is a SMS message that warns of a bomb attack taking place at the SF rallies. The Government adopted this cheap trick, sources claim, to try and keep crowds away from the Kurunegala rally of General Fonseka scheduled for 3.00 pm today (20th). more..

CID puts off recording statement from Danuna Tillakaratne

Jan 20 (CT) Citing a heavy workload for the day, the CID has postponed recording a statement from the son-in-law of Gen. Sarath Fonseka. Danuna Tillakaratne had previously been summoned to appear before the CID today. Police spokesman SSP I.M. Karunaratne has confirmed the postponement of the meeting between police and Mr. Tillakaratne. more..

Poll related murder in Matale and attempted murders in Ampara & Hambantota reported

Jan 20 (TC) As of 19th January 2010, CMEV has confirmed a cumulative total of 658 incidents of election related violence of which 295 incidents have been categorized as Major. Of these, 5 incidents are Murders, 5 are Attempted Murders, 78 are Assault, 81 are Threat and Intimidation, 30 are Grievous Hurts, 35 are Hurts, 36 are cases of Misuse of State Resources and 12 are Robberies and 13 are Arsons. more..

All attempts by Mahinda to meet Chandrika have miserably failed

Jan 20 (LNW) A senior Minister of the Rajapakse Government told Lanka News Web on condition of anonymity that several unsuccessful attempts have been made by President Mahinda Rajapakse to meet former President Chandrika Kumaratunga during the past few days. In this regard, President has sent Minister Alevi Moulana and a popular priest from Colombo as emissaries to negotiate with the former President for a meeting and request her to offer her support to the election campaign. more..

'New Mahinda chinthana for merging of North and East again'

Jan 20 (UNP) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing a series of election rallies in support of Gen. Fonseka‘s Presidential candidature on the 18th said, the President who hits and hurts his poor chest with his strong fists saying he will not divide the country has already divided the country and created a foreign Govt. more..

Canada to fund CET for Lankan Prez Polls

Jan 20 (AD) A Canadian funding contribution of approximately Rs 16.35 million is underwriting the visit to Sri Lanka of the Commonwealth Expert Team (CET) that will observe the January 26th presidential election. The CET, comprised of five members and four staff and chaired by Jamaica’s former foreign minister, K D Knight, arrived in Colomboon January 19th and is expected to remain until February 1st. The Canadian contribution, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), more..