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'Don't use our name for propaganda'

Jan 22 (PSM) The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) has expressed grave concerns regarding the use of its name in election propaganda by Muslim politicians and sternly warned Muslim politicians who do so at election meetings. The ACJU said that it is an independent body that has never requested anyone to support a particular candidate and has asked the candidates or any Muslim politician supporting anyone of them not to use its name for propaganda purposes. more..

Ethnic Nationalism or Inclusive Nation Building?

Jan 22 (LG) Recently I read a very interesting article appeared in an Internet newspaper comparing nationalism and liberalism in Sri Lanka. It states that the liberalism is a threat to Sinhala nationalism (Transcurrents - Kathika Study Circle- 20.01.2010). The article itself is a useful one as it includes an analysis of events and facts in recent history of the country, and I must say that it is well written also by a group called Kathika Study Circle. more..

Jayawardene’s grandson with a despicable legacy

Jan 22 (LG) When a grandson of JR Jayawardene appears in newsprint to talk about politics, one would think that this was to make an apology for the colossal destruction to the political system that his grandfather caused. Instead, the grandson, Pradeep Jayawardene, took it upon himself to advise the Sri Lankan electorate about who to vote for in the present election without any reference to the enormous destruction caused by his grandfather, more..

Is Sri Lanka in danger of being held accountable by the International Criminal Court?

Jan 22 (GV) There has been much debate about the issue of war crimes in Sri Lanka. Both major political parties contesting the elections have used the issue for political leverage, each accusing for the other of betraying the country and the armed forces to the international community. (I will not speculate on what may or may not have happened during the last stages of the war.) more..

Sri Lankan Presidential Elections and Global Politics

Jan 22 (GV) The present day politics in Sri Lanka needs to be placed and analysed within the global context in order to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the underlying power dynamics that engineers its machinery. Democracy or the voice of the majority had been incontestably promoted by the western capitalists as the best suited system of governance since the turn of the last century. more..

'Brothers Company trying to protect their power using the Army'

Jan 22 (LT) The company of brothers including Mahinda Rajapakse and Gotabhaya Rajapakse are now attempting to rebuild their depleting political power through the Army states Anura Dissanayake, co-spokesman for apolitical Common Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka. He said, “The three services carried out tremendous sacrifices in the past on behalf of our country. more..

Report on election monitors' visit to Jaffna, Kilinochchi & Vavuniya, Jan 17- 19

Jan 22 (TC) The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) conducted a field visit to the Jaffna, Killinochchi and Vavuniya districts from 17-19th January 2010 to monitor the situation prior to the 26th January Presidential election. CMEV met with residents of the area including those who had recently returned, IDPs, civil society groups, agencies and government officials. more..

SLFP members from Mahara join ‘Swan’

Jan 22 (LT) A large number of activists of the SLFP from Mahara electorate met Mrs. Anoma Fonseka at the media unit of the apolitical Common Candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka today (21st) and extended their support to Gen. Fonseka’s campaign. A large number of members of SLFP organizations in Mahara electorate were present. The main feature of the meeting was the presence of a large number of women. more..

Vote for SF to stop country from despair – Sambandan urges Tamil voters

Jan 22 (LT) R Sambandan MP – TNA appealed to all Tamil speaking Sri Lankans to vote for General Sarath Fonseka and ensure that the country does not sink into the depths of despair. He made these observations at a rally in Trincomalee on the 20th, held under the theme “ Whom should the Tamil speaking people of Trincomalee vote for in this election?” organised by the TNA. more..

JVP led Tissa Pradeshiya Sabha says no to Mahinda’s final rally

Jan 22 (LT) The Chairman of the Pradeshiya Sabha Tissamaharama had refused to grant permission for the Government’s final rally to be held at the Deberawewa Grounds on the 23rd. The Chairman has explained his decision in a letter that recalls a decision taken by the Pradeshiya Sabha not to grant the Grounds for political activity. Mr Mohottti of Deberawewa had made the request on behalf of the Government and upon refusal, more..

'We shall ensure your rights'

Jan 22 (LT) General Sarath Fonseka reiterated his commitment to ensuring the rights of differently- abled Sri Lankans at a rally held at Thambuttegama on the 21st. Noting that 1.6 million Sri Lankans including war heroes were differently –abled, he said that the Government had ignored their needs and aspirations for over 8 years. He assured them on being elected, he would ensure that their rights would be assured, more..

'Blood stained parties resort to violence'

Jan 22 (DN) The political groups around NDF presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka had blood stains on their hands. They are a minority that want to make the presidential election of January 26 the last democratic election of this country, Environmental Affairs and Natural Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said yesterday. more..

The white paper and the black dot

Jan 22 (LNP) There is a saying that people are prone to see only the lonely black dot in a paper which is pure white except for it. Similarly the negative news is more attractive to the media. If one goes by the media everything in the world may seem black and negative. These are perceptions grilled into the mind of the ordinary citizen by parties with vested interests. In the current election campaign the white is totally ignored by more..

'Politicizing the Defense services by the Govt. is a shameful unlawful action meriting national condemnation'

Jan 22 (UNP) Speaking at an election rally, Presidential candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka stated, for the first time in Sri Lanka‘s history, the armed Forces are also being politicized by the President which does not augur well for the country, its security and for the Forces. Earlier, no Leader of the country ever indulged in using the Armed forces for their political campaigns. more..

Factor of “Sanath Jayasuriya” in the Political Arena

Jan 22 (AT) Sanath Teran Jayasuriya-a Master Blaster can be considered as Youth icon ,celebrity and “a man coming with village and did(still doing) Miracles in the world of cricket”. Sri Lankans go crazy whenever the “Matara Mauler” walks into the pitch. He used to hold a very distinctive record almost never to be achieved by a single cricket player. more..

Mangala Samaraweera reacts to attack on residence of Tiran Alles

Jan 22 (LNW) The true colours of state terrorism were visible this morning when a hand grenade attack was launched against the home of my colleague and friend Mr. Tiran Alles. Mr. Alles is also National Organiser and General Secretary of the SLFP Mahajana Wing. We now know these are the last desperate attempts of a regime that is trying every means possible to keep their family in power. more..

'Fonseka’s victory will be a blessing for SLFP'

Jan 22 (Island) Sri Lanka Freedom Party – Mahajana Wing leader MP Mangala Samaraweera yesterday said that the defeat of President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the forthcoming presidential polls would pave the way for the restoration of the SLFP on the Bandaranaike principles. The former Foreign Minister said that his group could merge with the SLFP in the aftermath of the President’s defeat. more..

'Tharunnyata Hetak, Suba Anagathayak most attractive slogans'

Jan 22 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will score a remarkable victory over Sarath Fonseka at the forthcoming Presidential Election, according to the results of an independent survey on National Development and Social Attitudes conducted by the Kelaniya University. 62 percent of the people believe in the victory of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and 60 percent feels the President must be re-elected to ensure a brighter future for the country. more..

'UNP, JVP have no moral right to talk media freedom'

Jan 22 (DN) Though the Opposition is charging that the media freedom, good governance and democracy have eroded during President Mahinda Rajapaksa's regime, the UNP and JVP combine have no moral rights to talk about these issues since nearly 30 journalists were killed during the seventeen years of UNP rule, Senior Lecturer at the Kelaniya University Dr. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa said. more..

Keeping media freedom on the agenda

Moving towards an environmental friendly country

Jan 22 (DN) Even the worst critic of the Government would agree that during the past four years, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources headed by Minister Champika Ranawaka under the guidance of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has done an excellent piece of job in meeting with Government aspirations. The ministry has framed key policies for adoption in management of environment and natural resources of the country. more..

Missing Pera undergrad found at Boossa, parents delighted

Jan 22 (Island) Rasiah Dwaraka of the Arts Faculty of the Peradeniya University, missing since last November, has been traced to the Boossa detention facility. The police have given Dwaraka’s parents an opportunity to meet her there following representations made by the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF). Udul Premaratne, Convener of the IUSF told The Island that the police had refused to acknowledge she was in their custody though more..

Big employment drive pledged

Jan 22 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the govt will provide more than 200,000 jobs to youth within the first few months of this year. He stressed that the govt has already drawn up plans to provide these jobs to Sri Lankan youth in foreign countries. He stressed that Sri Lanka will become an economic nerve centre in the region after the construction of five harbours and more..

Uproar over private medical college

Jan 22 (Island) The Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee (MFSAC) has decided to continue abstaining from regular lectures till the registration of the private medical faculty established in Malabe is nullified. MFSAC member said that they would abstain from lectures till the President, the Health Minister or any other government minister gave them a written assurance that the registration of the private medical college would be cancelled. more..

Early elections due to increasing unpopularity: Rosy

Jan 22 (DM) Leader of the Opposition of the Western Provincial Council, Rosy Senanayake said the government would have been compelled to reduce the welfare facilities and the rights of government servants and further burden the people with taxes if the annual budget was presented. She pointed out that the government decided to hold early elections before presenting the budget in view of their rising unpopularity. more..

'State bodies will be depoliticized'

Jan 22 (Island) Opposition common candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka said CID officers who had been assigned with the task of investigating the Hicorp deal allegedly involving his son-in-law, have refused to carry out the investigation saying they would rather resign since the allegations were false. He said they had done so stressing that they had to safeguard the dignity of their profession. more..

Japanese boost for grass-root level development

Jan 22 (Island) NGOs and government agencies have received $ 25 million (Rs. 2,850 million) through Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). since 1989 funds have been allocated to 207 projects in all parts of the country. Of this allocation, a substantial amount was received by agencies engaged in humanitarian de-mining operations in areas liberated by Sri Lankan forces. more..

TI to act as watchdog after election

Jan 22 (DM) In a letter addressed to the two main Presidential candidates, Executive Director of Transparency International Sri Lanka, J. C. Weliamuna, said the organisation would act as a watchdog on the elimination of corruption, once the winner of the upcoming election has been determined. The letter pointed out that it was the norm in the past that commitments on good governance made by the candidates, were not taken seriously after the elections. more..

Ministry to Probe over fees

Jan 22 (DM) The Education Ministry is conducting investigations into an incident where a private company, after conducting an examination, asked students of a government school to pay a certain fee to follow its computer course. Students of Kelanitissa Vidyalaya, Kelaniya sat for an exam in October and some of them had received letters asking them to pay Rs. 800 as registration fees plus a monthly sum to follow VISCOM Computer Institute’s year long computer course. more..

UPFA and UNP urge supporters to create peaceful atmosphere for polls

Jan 22 (DM) The ruling UPFA and the main opposition UNP made a joint appeal yesterday in front of the Elections Secretariat urging their supporters to give up violence in the remaining few days of the election campaign and allow the general public to cast their votes in a free and fair atmosphere. UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha and UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake made the more..

MP Wijedasa Rajapakshe on YaTV

Upul Illangamge sends letter of demand to Mangala

Jan 22 (CT) Former captain of the Army Upul Illangamge, who has accused Gen. Sarath Fonseka of abusing his powers when he was the Army chief, has sent a letter of demand to SLFP Mahajana Wing leader Mangala Samaraweera demanding Rs. 1,000 million in damages. The resident of USA, through his lawyer Athula de Silva, has sent the letter of demand which has noted two allegations Mr. Samaraweera has leveled against him more..

'Close eye on vulnerable booths'

Jan 22 (DM) International Election Observers who are currently in the country said today at a press briefing held in Colombo that that they would make an effort to pay attention to vulnerable polling stations and counting centers during the upcoming Presidential Elections. They said that they would be making an effort to visit as many polling stations as possible, more..

IGP claims his men removed over 10,000 kilos of polythene

Jan 22 (Island) The Inspector General of Police has informed the Commissioner of Elections that 10,290 kilos of polythene had been removed in the recent past while dismantling election related propaganda and other decorations. In addition, 2,070 cutouts of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and 479 of General (retd) Fonseka had been removed the IGP had said. more..

'Don't make this the last poll in decades'

Jan 22 (DM) The government yesterday cautioned that there was a major risk of the January 26 polls becoming the last election the Sri Lankans had to face in decades if people were carried away by the ‘fancy promises’ for change. Minister Champika Ranawaka said history had proven that whimsical ‘political experiments’ binding disparate political groups would only bring destruction to nations. more..

Police Chief orders to end campaigning by Saturday midnight

Jan 22 (LP) The IGP, Mahinda Balasuriya, said yesterday that all election propaganda offices island wide should be removed on Sunday (24) before midnight. He said that the police would take action against the offices which failed to remove, and take all the effects therein into police custody for production in court. There are 9294 election propaganda offices registered with the police island wide. more..

Blast targets Sri Lanka opposition activist in Colombo

Jan 22 (BBC) The home of an opposition activist has been attacked with a petrol bomb in Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo, days ahead of a presidential election, police say. The bomb destroyed the car and damaged the home of Tiran Alles, an ally of Sarath Fonseka, the main election rival to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mr Alles, a businessman, escaped unhurt with his family. more..

The gloves are off in Sri Lanka's election

Jan 22 (AT) With Sri Lankans going to the polls on January 26 to elect their next president, there is considerable apprehension that polling will be neither free nor fair. The run-up to polling day has been violent, with five people killed in poll-related violence and scores injured. The election monitoring group, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections, has recorded 382 confirmed instances of violation of election laws more..

A democracy in doubt

Jan 22 (SMH) A helicopter overhead announced that the President had arrived. A packed stadium at Homagama, in south-western Sri Lanka, erupted as Mahinda Rajapaksa did a fly-past before landing. Dressed in his trademark white tunic, sarong and red scarf, he was soon on the dais, ready to open the sports ground - named, of course, after himself. With presidential elections next week, the inauguration of the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Sports Complex on Thursday was a tailor-made campaign event. more..

Sri Lankan general woos Tamils in election challenge to President

Jan 22 (SMH) Two months ago, Sarath Fonseka commanded one of the world's most experienced armies. Now he is giving the Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, a run for the top civilian post. General Fonseka, 59, the former chief of the army, seems to have made this rapid transformation from military leader to presidential candidate with ease. more..

The contest for Sri Lanka's future

Jan 22 (AJ) Pitting the president against a former general, the contest between the two frontrunners in Sri Lanka's presidential election has shaped up to be a battle of political heavyweights. In one corner for the January 26 vote is Mahinda Rajapaksa - the incumbent president who ordered the destruction of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels. In the other corner is the man who made that vision a reality - retired General Sarath Fonseka. more..

Sri Lanka donates tea to Haiti

Jan 22 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan government said Friday that it has committed to donate 1,000 kg tea as part of the relief efforts for earthquake-affected people in Haiti. "This donation is in addition to the financial pledge of 25,000 U.S. dollars made by the government of Sri Lanka to its counterpart in Haiti soon after the news that the earthquake devastated the country on Jan. 12 became known," more..

Sri Lankan presidential poll under Asian monitor's eye

Jan 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's upcoming presidential polls will be monitored by around 40 observers representing the Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA), a Taiwan based body, officials said. The Asian observers had come on an invitation extended by elections chief Dayananda Dishanayake, Pan Wel-Ta, Taiwanese election commissioner, who is heading the mission to Colombo said. more..

Bomb attack targets Sri Lanka opposition ahead of vote

Jan 22 (AFP) A key opposition activist in Sri Lanka was targeted at home by a bomb attack blamed on the ruling party on Friday as violence escalated ahead of next week's presidential election. The pre-dawn blast destroyed a car and severely damaged the home of Tiran Alles, a wealthy businessman and key ally of the opposition presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka. more..

A new beginning for Canadian Tamils

Jan 23 (NP) When people use the term “immigrant success story,” they probably have someone like my friend Roger in mind. Roger came to this country from Sri Lanka as a teenager. He had $100 in his pocket, most of which he spent on a pair of sneakers shortly after getting off the plane. Eventually, he found a job at a major Canadian financial company, in the mail room. That was a quarter-century — and a half-dozen promotions — ago. more..

Sri Lanka prepares for the polls

Jan 23 (BBC) Sri Lankans are preparing to go to the polls to elect a new president. They must choose between the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the former army chief, General Sarath Fonseka. Both men are widely viewed as hardline advocates for the island's Sinhalese ethnic majority. Both are also closely associated with last May's resounding military victory against the separatist Tamil Tigers or LTTE. more..

Debrief News - 22. 01. 2010

State media turned into presidential propaganda outlets

Jan 22 (RSF) Flouting a 15 January supreme court ruling, state-owned TV stations Rupavahini and ITN continue to openly favour President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s campaign to win another term in the presidential election to be held on 26 January with a total of 21 candidates taking part. Detailed monitoring by RSF has established that 98.5 per cent of the news and current affairs air-time on these two stations on 18 and 19 January was given over to the president and his supporters. more..

Democracy and truth were casualties of the war

Jan 23 (Rediff) In November 2009, when Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa officially declared his intention to seek a fresh mandate for another six-year term, he was getting ready for a one-horse race. A month and a half later, he is getting ready to fight his toughest political battle, which is being described as a neck-to-neck affair, after former army chief General Sarath Fonseka joined the presidential race. more..

Mahanayake thera warns president

Jan 23 (BBC) The Chief incumbent of the Malwatte Chapter in Sri Lanka has warned President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the non compliance of Supreme Court orders might lead to the deterioration of law and order in Sri Lanka. The Most Venerable Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala thera of the Malwatte chapter in a letter has drawn president's special attention to state media which continued to act disregarding Supreme Court orders. more..