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Investigations on Prageeth’s disappearance not given over to the CCD

Mar 7 (LeN) Police media spokesman Priyashantha Jayakody said, following investigations conducted into the disappearance of Journalist Ekneliyagoda by two police teams from Homagama Police led by two Police Inspectors is progressing successfully, and a desirable result can be expected shortly. Following the leads provided by the several telephone calls, special attention has been focused on them: more..

Prabha’s mother flown to Malaysia for medical treatment

Mar 7 (NS) Vallipuram Parvathi (80), mother of deceased LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, has been flown to Malaysia on Friday for medical treatment, Tamil sources said. According to these sources, Parvathi, who had been living in their hometown Velvettiturai since the funeral of her husband Veerasamy Thiruvengadam Velupillai (86) on January 10, was brought to Colombo on Tuesday by a Red Cross ambulance. more..

Taxi Abey confirms evidence given by Johnston, Lakshman against SF

Mar 7 (NS) Former Airport and Aviation Services Chairman during the previous UNP regime Gamini Abeyratne a.k.a. Taxi Abey is among the witnesses who had given statements to the military for the upcoming court martial against defeated Presidential candidate Gen. (retd.) Sarath Fonseka. Abeyratne told The Nation that he was privy to General’s conversations with former MPs Lakshman Seneviratne and Johnston Fernando, as the General called them when more..

Preference Vote and the Enemy Within

Mar 7 (NS) The campaign to elect Sri Lanka’s seventh Parliament is now in full swing, and this week saw candidates being allocated numbers for the purpose of marking preference votes. And, as electioneering progresses, it is becoming increasingly evident that the ruling party and the opposition are fighting very different battles. For the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA), there are two primary concerns. more..

“Country needs an overhaul in the education system”

Mar 7 (NS) Mohan Lal Grero has been an educationalist for several decades. He is one of the most well known Physics and Maths teachers in the island, and has so far taught over 200,000 students in his mass classes. Grero founded the Lyceum International School in 1993. Today Lyceum is one of the most sought after private schools in the country and has five branches with over 14,000 students. more..

Monitors want candidates’ assets declaration to be made public

Mar 7 (NS) While noting that only three candidates out of 7,620 have declared their assets even after one week since submitting nominations, election monitoring bodies said they would lobby for an amendment to the prevailing election laws, in order to make the declarations public. Emphasising the importance of declaring assets by candidates contesting in the forthcoming general election, election monitors said that the current law should be amended vesting more..

Bonanzas for MPs even when Parliament is dissolved

Mar 7 (LeN) The Ex Ministers and MPs of the dissolved Parliament are in for a bonanza– they will be entitled to their full salaries, perks and other benefits for this month even though the Parliament has been dissolved. This is because the President has specially summoned Parliament on the 9th of next month. In order to pass the extension of the emergency regulations for another month, the President has re convened Parliament by a special announcement on the 9th. more..

“Our goal is to make Sri Lanka the wonder of Asia”

Mar 7 (NS) Walls around the country are being adorned by posters of candidates contesting in the General Election. However, there will be one notable face missing from these posters and that is the face of the Minister Champika Ranawaka, who is contesting the election from Colombo on the UPFA ticket. In this interview Ranawaka explains why he is not getting involved in the poster campaign and talks about his policy proposals. more..

Six military ‘suspects’ detained over Lasantha’s killing

Mar 7 (Island) Police spokesman SSP Prishantha Jayakody yesterday said that it was too early to say whether former Army Chief Gen. (retd) Sarath Fonseka would be questioned in connection with the ongoing investigation into the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunga. He didn’t rule out the possibility of the CID seeking a statement from Fonseka now held on conspiracy charges at navy headquarters. more..

Polls promises and public information needs

Mar 7 (Island) Initial moves in displaying enticing arrays of polls promises are already being made by prominent politicians and the public could not be faulted for being both bedazzled by the promised ‘goodies’ and of being cynically dismissive of them. Given their current economic hardships, sections of the people are bound to be taken-in by these promises, for, ‘hope springs eternal in the human breast’. On the other hand, the more discerning among us could not help but more..

Home and home battles hurting UPFA campaign

Mar 7 (Island) Trouble is brewing in the Ratnapura District between two SLFP heavyweights, Minister John Seneviratne and Minister Pavitra Wanniarachchi with the latter being accused of targeting Seneviratne’s campaign. An irate Seneviratne yesterday accused Wanniarachchi’s supporters of undermining his campaign. Seneviratne, who leads the UPFA in the Ratnapura District, said that his ministerial colleague had caused an extremely unpleasant situation. more..

Signal creates history on Sirasa TV

Mar 7 (Island) In an unprecedented move to launch the new Signal formula with Active Micro Calcium, Unilever Sri Lanka created a ‘roadblock’ on Sirasa TV dedicating 13 whole hours of the day to Signal commercials, ensuring that no other commercial is aired on the station during 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Friday the 5th of March 2010. This media innovation is considered a first in the Sri Lankan media history, more..

Arrest of 6 LTTE suspects in Berlin: Lankan mission gave sensitive info to German Intelligence

Mar 7 (Island) Sensitive information provided to the German Intelligence Service by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Berlin and complaints made by the peace-loving Tamil community in Germany led to last week’s arrest of six Tamil men suspected of raising funds for the LTTE, Major General Jagath Dias, Sri Lanka’s Deputy Ambassador in Berlin said. more..

Lack of clear assets biggest hurdle to repay Golden Key depositors

Mar 7 (Island) The biggest hurdle in repaying Golden Key depositors is the difficulty in raising liquid cash as there are diverse complications in the assets declared by Ceylinco Chairman Lalith Kotelawala, Central Bank Governor told representatives of Golden Key depositors’ associations last week. The Central Bank has found that the assets declared by Kotelawala in terms of the Supreme Court directive are encumbered and there is no way they could be disposed of immediately to raise funds, more..

Elections 2010: All betel for the New Year?

Mar 7 (ST) The cloth banner on the wall said it all. The left side bore a mug shot of retired General Sarath Fonseka. On the right was a full image of him in Army ceremonial uniform. The middle bore the legend Prajatantrawadi Jathika Peramuna (Democratic National Alliance) with a cross marked against the party's symbol, a trophy. Last Monday morning, in front of this banner sat Anoma Fonseka, wife of the one-time war hero and now-turned villain in the eyes of the government. more..

The lady’s come home to sing the blues

Mar 7 (ST) New York-based jazz legend Yolande Bavan is in town to give her first big concert in the land of her birth. She talks to Stephen Prins about her pride in her unofficial role as a musician-ambassador – and her dream of helping the young people of her country connect with the 21st century. Yolande Bavan says she would like the tempo up a bit, and the pianist resumes playing, more..

Lanka facing El Nino heat

Mar 7 (ST) Sri Lanka may experience disturbed weather conditions such as high temperatures and droughts as a result of a mild El Nino, a Meteorology Department official warned yesterday. Deputy Director S.R. Jayasekare told the Sunday Times the present increase in the atmospheric temperature might be a result of a mild El Nino, a climate pattern that occurs across the tropical Pacific Ocean where the ocean temperature goes up by a few degrees causing more..

Post LTTE factor; vigilance the key

Mar 7 (ST) It was through Defence Secretary Colonel (Retd.) Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that we got to know that the Government of Eritrea, formerly a part of Ethiopia, a country in the Horn of Africa, had refused to accredit the Charge d' Affaires of the Government of Sri Lanka. The Foreign Ministry has so far made no comment. It was the Foreign Minister who proposed in August last year that diplomatic relations be opened with the new state. more..

Nandikadal revisited

Mar 7 (ST) Around 10,000 motor cycles and 25,000 bicycles belonging to LTTEers and civilians who fled, are seen stacked in the Wellimulliwaikkal and Nandikadal areas and other areas in the Mullaitivu district. They, together with the innumerable ruined abodes ranging from what were once thatched cottages to well built houses, remain as the legacy of the three decade old war. more..

Talk at the cafe Spectator

Mar 7 (ST) The ongoing Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probe on the HiCorp affair - allegations that retired General Sarath Fonseka's family made money over military deals - is fast becoming a thriller fit enough for a movie. There have been revelations of alleged forgery, remittance of funds to bank accounts not belonging to suppliers and even 'business espionage' where those dealing with procurements in the Army tipped off key players in HiCorp. more..

'Mahinda Chintana is exactly identical to my thinking'

Mar 7 (NS) Many in his own party thought he was an eccentric or a quirk, when he called on people to embrace their traditional values, at the height of the craze for the open economy and everything that was imported from the West, but Wijeweera Jayasinghe Mudiyanselage Lokubandara proved many of his critics wrong, and rose to one of the highest positions in the land as the Speaker of Parliament. more..

'JHU provided me with necessary publicity'

Mar 7 (LT) He is not a stranger to Kandy, he does politics in the district as a right he inherited from his father and it was the JHU that provided him with the publicity he needed to contest the general election said Mr. Mano Ganeshan to the Mahanayake of Malwatte Chapter. He said the JHU campaigned not to allow him to contest from Kandy District and it is the best example to show that communalism still exists in the country. more..

Basil wants Tamils to help develop the North

Mar 7 (Island) Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa who leads the UPFA from Gampaha District, yesterday appealed to the Northern people to grasp the opportunity extended by the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and rally around to develop the Northern Province during the next seven years he would be in power. He said that a time when the youth had been liberated from more..

Election was rigged ... 'but now that the people have elected the President'

Mar 7 (LB) Opposition leader of the WPC Ms. Rosy Senanayake allayed fears people may have of a UNP-led government working smoothly with a SLFP-led president. But, the president would need to seriously reconsider the people he has surrounded himself with -- if he is to work closely with a future UNP government in the event of the main opposition party scoring an improbable win at more..

'Prabakaran's arrogance distanced addressing perceived 'plights' of Tamils'

Mar 7 (MoD) Condoning his elite master cum terror Chief Prabakaran for the perceived 'plight' of certain 'Tamil' interest groups including sections of the esoteric diaspora community, former TNA parliamentarian group leader R. Sampanthan hinted out the use of alternative forces at pursuing a 'self-determination solution' in the reunited island nation. more..

FM admits seeking UN job for son

Mar 7 (ST) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama admitted yesterday that he had appealed to a UN official for a job for his son. Mr. Bogollagama, who is campaigning for the April 8 parliamentary elections under the slogan that he had “won the world” as Foreign Minister, wrote to an official in the Sri Lanka Permanent Mission in New York that a letter requesting the job be handed over to a very senior UN official. more..

Nirupama Rao calls on President

Mar 7 (Hindu) Visiting Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa here on Sunday and exchanged views on whole range of issues of mutual interest to both the counties in general and the ongoing rehabilitation and resettlement of the nearly three lakh Tamil civilians displaced during the war between the Sri Lankan forces and the LTTE in the course of the 34 month war in particular. more..

General on hunger strike

Mar 7 (LT) Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who is being arbitrarily imprisoned by the government, commenced a hunger strike since this morning. He has started the hunger strike against the violation of his fundamental rights ensured by the Judiciary. Ms. Anoma Fonseka had been given permission to take a mobile phone to the cell Gen. Fonseka is imprisoned when she visited him taking his meals. more..

Magistrate courts to be built in Vanni where IDPs are yet to be resettled

Mar 8 (TN) Sri Lanka government is actively engaged in building police stations and magistrate courts in the districts of Ki’linochchi and Mullaiththeevu in Vanni where IDPs are yet to be resettled, sources in Vanni said. Secretary to the Ministry of Justice made a sudden visit Wednesday to Ki’linochchi and Mullaitheevu with the view to find locations for the magistrate courts to be built. more..

ADB assists resettled IDPs in Jaffna peninsula

Mar 8 (TN) In the context of Sri Lanka government failing in its duty to provide assistance to the resettled IDPs in Jaffna peninsula as promised, Asian Development Bank (ADB) has stepped in to help the IDPs, paying each of the 16,831 IDP families with the second stage payment of 25,000 rupees, sources in Jaffna said. It is alleged that the government is yet to pay the first stage of payment of 5,000 rupees to some of the IDP families, more..

'Govt. unable to provide relief to masses who made sacrifices during war'

Mar 8 (UNP) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said, the President and his Govt. have failed miserably to address the woes of the people who made supreme sacrifices on account of the war. During the war, the Govt. excused itself by blaming on the war. After the war, it has no excuses to give and no solution to provide for the acute economic ills of the country. more..

Pilgrims to Paalaitheevu St. Antony’s church suspect presence of Chinese navy

Mar 8 (TN) Pilgrims who returned from Paalaitheevu after attending the lent period prayers in St. Antony’s church Sunday said that they had seen many Chinese Tents and food packets with Chinese writing on them during the annual festival held Saturday and Sunday. Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) occupies many of the pilgrims’ halls behind the church and no one was allowed to enter them, the devotees said. more..

On the need to take on the ‘who are we?’ question

Mar 8 (LG) I’ve been following the recent exchange between Dayan Jayatilleka and Nalin Swaris following Dayan calling the arrest of Sarath Fonseka ‘a perfect blunder’ and making other dire pronouncements about the overall political situation in Sri Lanka, which he confesses caused him grief. Swaris responded and Dayan responded the following day. Swaris has responded once again in a website called ‘Transcurrents’. more..

Kohona's Toronto visit on hold

Mar 8 (ST) A planned visit to Toronto by Colombo’s Permanent Representative at the UN in New York, Dr. Palitha Kohona has been put on hold for security reasons following protests by local groups over alleged ‘war crimes’. Kohona, who also served as the Foreign Secretary in Colombo prior to his appointment in New York was scheduled to deliver a lecture at the University of Toronto on Wednesday. more..

Unstoppable Wayamba retain title

Mar 8 (CI) Wayamba retained the Inter-provincial Twenty20 title for the third time after a clinical performance in the final, outplaying Ruhuna in all three departments of the game at Moratuwa. Two Sri Lankan stars, Mahela Jayawardene and Ajantha Mendis, were the heroes for Wayamba. Former captain Jayawardene continued his brilliant form in the tournament with 91 off 49 balls, which included six sixes and 10 fours. more..

Vines and creepers time

Mar 8 (LG) There is hardly a whimper about the state of Tamil politics after the presidential election where the kingmaker status of the key Tamil politicians turned out to be, well, highly overestimated. Since then, most Tamil leaders have been gravitating towards the government, splintering the Tamil political project even further. Well, all this took my mind back to a time when D. B. Wijetunge was the president, and more..

Supreme Court orders probe on Ceylinco asset sale

Mar 8 (LBO) Supreme Court has ordered a probe on the purchase of a Ceylinco group firm by the chairman of Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka, a state-run bank, in the course of a court case relating to a failed financial firm, a media report said. Supreme Court Justice Shirani Tilakawardene has order the Central Bank to submit a report on the share transfer to the personal account of MBSL chief Janaka Ratnayake, more..

Mobilize the forces against chauvinists and repression

Mar 8 (LG) There is a serious erosion of democracy in the country. This is accepted by all opposition forces including the conservative bourgeoisie. The protest of the Mahanayke theros of all chapters of the Maha Sangha was unprecedented. Mahinda had to forget his Janaranjana title, bestowed on him by the Sangha Sabha and had to take sharp underhand steps to control the sangha protest. It will remain a black mark on him for some time to come. more..

Fake diogenes’ on the move

Mar 8 (LG) History has the story of Greek philosopher Diogenes the Cynic, walking around town in broad daylight with a lantern in hand in search of an honest person. Speeches of some pro Rajapaksa politicians and their votaries in the Rajapaksa press — state owned and otherwise — indicate that some latter day Diogenes’ have emerged and are also engaged in a similar quest of finding ‘clean and honest politicians’ supposedly to be elected to parliament at the April elections. more..

Govt. 'to abolish' executive presidency

Mar 8 (BBC) The Sri Lanka government says it will abolish or reform executive presidency if elected with two thirds majority at the forthcoming election. Minister DEW Gunasekara told BBC Sandeshaya that the government is also planning to introduce a fresh constitution in the new parliament. "There is an opinion in the country that the executive presidency should be abolished or reformed," more..

The sins of the present and of the past

Mar 8 (LG) There are people who question from me as to why the individual anger on the part of some and the collective fury of many others is directed in good conscience against the rights violations of the current administration when surely, there have been comparable (or as some would argue, even worse) sinners in the past. This question is easy to answer. In the first instance, it is worth pointing out that previous regimes were subjected to more..

Women are in the ‘basement’ of politics in Sri Lanka

Mar 8 (AT) In the case of political representation in Sri Lanka, we cannot even refer to a ‘glass-ceiling’ – as women have been kept in the ‘basement’ of politics. This was one of the opinions stated by Leader of the Sri Lanka National Congress, Milinda Moragoda at a meeting held on Saturday in Maradona, which included grassroots women activists. He added that while Sri Lanka has an excellent record on women’s health, education, and life expectancy, more..

India, Sri Lanka ‘sister countries’: Nirupama Rao

Mar 8 (Hindu) Visiting Foreign Secretary, Nirupama Rao on Sunday inaugurated the SLICELT at a ceremony in Peradeniya, near Kandy. A statement issued by the Indian mission here said that while speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the Foreign Secretary recalled her association with the initiative, which went back to 2006 when she was the High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka, more..

'India's help to Sri Lanka on resettlement of IDPs will continue'

Mar 8 (Hindu) Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao called on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa here on Sunday and exchanged views on a whole range of issues of mutual interest to both the countries in general and the ongoing rehabilitation of war-displaced Tamil civilians in particular. Ms. Rao is here on a three-day visit on the invitation of the Sri Lankan government to the island nation. more..

'Rebuild Sri Lanka' urges Australia

Mar 8 (BBC) The Australian deputy prime minister, Julia Gillard, says conflict in parts of Asia is the reason why more asylum seekers are trying to land on Australian shores. Ms Gillard said it was clear that people had been on the move in the aftermath of the civil war in Sri Lanka. Her comments came after the Australian authorities intercepted a second boat over the weekend carrying more than a hundred would-be migrants, most of them Sri Lankans. more..

'We oppose separatism but cherish communal harmony'

Mar 8 (BBC) A workshop for the candidates of Democratic National Alliance (DNA) contesting from Jaffna, Vanni, Batticaloa and Trincomalee Districts at the general election was held yesterday (6th) at Vavuniya. Several leaders of the DNA including the Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe and former Parliamentarian Ramalingam Chandrasekar participated. more..

General Sarath Fonseka on hunger strike after being refused a telephone

Mar 8 (Times) General Sarath Fonseka, the former Sri Lankan army chief arrested on coup charges, has begun a hunger strike after being barred from using a telephone, his political campaign office announced today. The announcement came a day after Sri Lanka’s Government angrily rejected a decision by Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, to establish an expert panel to look into alleged rights abuses during the island’s 26-year civil war. more..

Political reforms after polls: Fact or fiction

Mar 8 (AT) NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa told the SLBC that he expected the UPFA to win around 12 seats from the Colombo District at the forthcoming Parliamentary Election. According to him those Tamils and Muslims who did not cast their votes at the last Presidential Election were bound to vote for the UPFA this time. He predicted that the TNA would face their worst defeat at this election having made the wrong choices and more..

Interview with Manik de Silva

Who ordered the removal of Gen Fonseka’s name from commemorative plaque at Kilinochchi

Mar 8 (LG) Many people thought that President Rajapakse is a man with some sort of magnanimity and people never expected him to be a petty minded man. However, it is a fact that the commemorative plaque erected at Killinochchi with Gen Fonseka’sname engraved has been demolished and rebuilt with Gen Fonseka’s name is removed. What a shameful and despicable act. Whatever said and done, by Gen Fonseka after the war was ended, more..