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Who are we? Who decides and how to examine marginalising trends and practices?

Mar 8 (LG) I have been reading the articles by several authors who have posed this topic for further reflection in the context of Sri Lanka's evolving identity. The subject of individual, group, national and diasporic identities is a fascinating subject that has drawn my attention over the years, particularly in terms of Sri Lankan migrants and their children living in Australia. more..

From the shadows to the limelight

Mar 8 (LG) Anoma Fonseka has been thrust into the hurly-burly world of politics, not out of choice but due to circumstances. Today, while her husband, former Army Commander, General (retd.) Sarath Fonsekalanguishes in custody facing possible court martial, she is emerging as his proxy campaigner, determined to do all she can to ensure he wins a seat in the country’s next Parliament. more..

Why is Govt Extending emergency when there is no emergency situation in Country?

Mar 8 (TC) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has summoned parliament on Tuesday - a month after its dissolution - to allow for the extension of the state of emergency. The president was acting well within the ambit of the constitution which states that he may summon parliament after dissolution if he is satisfied that “an emergency has arisen of such a nature that an earlier meeting of Parliament is necessary”. more..

No party should be given a two-thirds majority in parliament

Mar 8 (TC) In recent days, some contributors to the Press have examined the goal set by the UPFA to get at least 151 of its candidates elected/appointed to Parliament at the impending polls. These commentators have made various insightful observations. The Citizens’ Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG) discusses the issue further here so that voters may have yet more background information on this vital matter so as to decide how they should vote. more..

Houses for Girls in Karaitivu

Tennis: NZ down Sri Lanka in Davis Cup

Mar 8 (NZH) New Zealand began the long trek back to top-level Asia-Oceania tennis with a 3-2 Davis Cup group two win over Sri Lanka in Colombo this weekend. The New Zealanders won the opening singles matches, Rubin Statham grinding out a gruelling five-set win over Harshana Godamanna and Daniel King-Turner accounting for Rajeev Rajapakse in four. However, Godamanna and Rajapakse had little difficulty in taking the doubles over more..

Business with Jaffna: Walk before you leap

Mar 8 (LG) That's an apt adage when considering the prospects for trade and investment in Jaffna and the rest of the north, after the conflict ended in May 2009. These areas have either missed most of the economic boom and liberalisation that happened in post 1977 or saw just a little of it, in fits and starts. Soon after peace talks began in 2002 between Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's government and the LTTE, hordes of businessmen began visiting Jaffna, more..

Sri Lanka vehicle taxes 'prohibitive': Treasury

Mar 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka's taxes on motor vehicles are 'prohibitive' and are discouraging imports and government revenues, the finance ministry has said in a report, echoing the view of the motor vehicle trade. The finance ministry in a report issued under country's fiscal responsibility law said excise taxes on motor vehicles alone which had been 18 percent of the total in 2007 had fallen to 3 percent by 2009. more..

First Galle Fort, now Clove Hall

Mar 8 (4H) The first person I ran into at an Internet gaming centre in Penang – don’t ask me what I was doing there – was fellow islander, Christopher Ong, investment banker-turned-hotelier. I first met Ong in Galle, Sri Lanka, when I visited his Galle Fort Hotel a month after the devastating tsunami of Boxing Day 2004. He and his partner had decided to chuck in a career in investment banking, buy an old Dutch villa and convert it into a hotel. more..

32 journalists from Trincomalee district visit Jaffna

Mar 8 (TN) A group of thirty-two journalists from the communities of Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim from Trincomalee district visited Jaffna peninsula Sunday under a program arranged by National Peace Council (NPC) aimed at promoting understanding between communities, sources in Jaffna said. The group of journalists visited the offices of Uthayan, Yarl Thinakural and Valampuri Tamil dailies published in the peninsula. more..

Sri Lankan SEP launches election campaign

Mar 8 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka launched its campaign for the April 8 general elections with a public meeting at the Public Library Auditorium in Colombo on March 5. The SEP is running 58 candidates in slates for four districts—the capital Colombo, Jaffna in the war-torn north, Nuwara Eliya in the plantation areas and Galle in the south. more..

Mannar infrastructure improved on an urgent basis

Mar 8 (GDI) 4.27 billion rupees is being spent under the Uthuru Wasanthaya programme for the development of the Mannar District. Its purpose is to improve the infrastructure which includes road and bridges immediately. The Road Development Authority has already completed the work on the new Thal Adi Bridge. It cost 2.46 billion rupees. The work was launched on the advice of the President and with the observation of more..

No issuing of temporary ID cards for General Election

Mar 8 (LP) Temporary Identity Cards will not be issued for the forth coming General Election. The Registration of Persons Department said that the temporary ID Cards issued for the Presidential Elections will be valid for the General Election. The Department said that the Government had to bear a cost of Rs 350, 000 in the process of issuing temporary ID Cards at the Presidential Election and IDs were issued to the Northern people free of charge. more..

North to get 10 large-scale coconut oil mills

Mar 8 (GDI) The Government has taken steps to establish 10 large scale coconut oil production facilities in the Northern Province. The project will be implemented by the Coconut Development Authority under the guidance of Minister of Plantation Industries D.M. Jayaratne. The factories will be set up in Kilinochchi, Mulaitivu, Alampil and Palai in the Northern Province at the cost of 30 million rupees. more..

The most beautiful child lives in Roxywatte

Mar 8 (DN) About ten years ago, my friend Ayca Cubukcu, then an undergraduate at Cornell University and now a Professor in Anthropology, alerted me to a poem by the most celebrated poet from her native Turkey, Nazim Hikmet. It was about the most beautiful things. This was written 64 years ago. For years what captured me was the last line, an eminently for-all-time quotable quote for those in love, especially those who find themselves in what could be termed ‘impossible love’. more..

Take Care! Avoid falling victim to Glaucoma

Mar 8 (LP) Glaucoma day is commemorated world over on the 12th of March and in view of it Sri Lanka Eye Surgeons Association in conjunction with Vision 2020 Secretariat, have organized a special eye clinic programme for the 12th of March from 08.00 am at the National Eye Hospital in Colombo. Glaucoma is attributed to weakening of the optical nerves due to intense eye pressure. Twelve percent of the world’s population is subjected to this illness and more..

UPFA election meeting series to begin next week

Mar 8 (GDI) The series of election meetings of the UPFA will commence next week. These meetings will be staged under the patronage of the President and the Prime Minister, Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. He pointed out that the campaign of the UPFA has already kicked off. Main rallies will be held in every District and will be presided over by the President starting next week. more..

Footwear, leather goods and upholstery exhibition tomorrow

Mar 8 (LP) The Indian Footwear Components Manufacturers' Association (IFCOMA) could be a catalyst in bridging the gap and to facilitate availability of quality components for the footwear and leather goods industry in Sri Lanka. The Council for Leather Exports, India (CLE) and FCOMA with the support of Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka organized an exhibition of Indian components, materials and leather for footwear, more..

Ministry of Defence hijacks Tiger terror game

Mar 8 (LG) Brutality had been a curse for Sri Lanka for the last many years. Despicable acts of revenge were common phenomena among Tamil Tiger groups against dissident Tamil groups for many years. Revenge, arrogance and fascist were definitely the names of Tiger game. Currently, Sri Lankan Government, taking the same arrogant fascist path of LTTE, taking steps to get revenge from political dissenters. more..

President given Rs. 8.8 million from Samurdhi funds for his campaign

Mar 8 (LT) Rs. 8.8 million of money belonging to Samurdhi Authority of Sri Lanka had been given to President Mahinda Rajapakse's presidential election campaign on the pretext of an accelerated project states web site. According to the web site the money had been spent for the 'accelerated project' begun in December last year mainly targeting contributing to President Rajapakse's election campaign. more..

'Muslims do not feel they are a minority in SL'

Mar 8 (GDI) Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister A.H.M. Fowzie has expressed confidence that the Muslim community would join in supporting the UPFA to express their gratitude to President Mahinda Rajapaksa for enabling them to live in brotherhood and in a peaceful environment. He made this statement while speaking at a media conference held at the Mahaweli Center today. more..

India to support Pilleyan - accepts TMVP election manifesto

Mar 8 (LT) Visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has assured Chief Minister of Eastern Province Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pilleyan that India would do everything possible to support and help the TMVP and promote its policies. According to TMVP spokesman Azad Maulana visiting Indian foreign Secretary met Pilleyan today and invited him to visit India with a TMVP delegation. more..

What the Second term of Mahinda Rajapakse can offer?

Mar 8 (LeN) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse was reelected for the second term with the country on the brink of political chaos. Although his victory was thought to be a victory of his policies, largely, his government has been facing severe criticism on its conduct of day to day activities. The common allegation attributed to his government is rampant corruption, nepotism, abuse of power, politicization of institutions, and undemocratic conducts. more..

'Organized rallying of women a must and a source of strength'

Mar 8 (UNP) In a special message issued by Ranil Wickremesinghe, on account of the Universal women’s day which falls today, said, organized rallying of women will be a source of strength for the citizens of the country in the building of a free and just society. Violation of human rights, decadence of the social fabric, high cost of living had taken toll of the women’s happiness and welfare. more..

Tea exports surpass US$ 1b mark

Mar 8 (LNP) Tea exports from Sri Lanka have exceeded the US $ One billion target for the past three consecutive years. Sri Lanka is the only tea producing country to surpass the US dollar One billion mark in tea exports. The Government is supportive of the tea industry and has provided Rs. 4.5 billion for the fertilizer subsidy. It is important to re-plant where it is necessary for increased production, more..

No water cuts despite drought

Mar 8 (DN) Water supply will not be affected in the country despite the prevailing drought, a Water Supply Ministry official said. Due to the drought water levels in many reservoirs and rivers have dropped drastically. This condition will continue for a few more weeks. Water scarcity would arise if the rains delay, the official said. He said the Water Supply and Irrigation Board is ready to meet any contingency. more..

'UN move unjustifiable: Ban Ki Moon comes under colonial pressure'

Mar 8 (AT) A few days after the British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, addressed the World Tamil Forum in London and the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, talked to the same Forum delegates, on Friday the 5th March, the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki Moon, telephoned the Sri Lanka’s President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, to tell that he intends to appoint an expert committee to more..

Empowering women

Mar 8 (LNP) The International Women`s Day falls today. Whether these so-called international days serve the intended purposes is anyone`s guess in that they are highly politicised and commercialised. Politicians gain some mileage through the various functions organised to mark such days and businessmen make a killing on the pretext of championing worthy causes. This year, Women`s Day has come in the run-up to a general election in this country, more..

Nalanda take major honours

Mar 8 (LNP) Nalanda College grabbed major honours over their traditional rivals Ananda College as the 81st annual Battle of the Maroons inter school Big Match ended in a tame draw at the SSC ground in Maitland Place yesterday. After having snatched a close 46 run first innings lead the Nalandians again produced another splendid performance on the field to reduce their opponents to 150 for 7 in the second innings. more..

General wins his struggle

Mar 8 (LT) Ms. Anoma Fonseka has been given permission again by the Army Commander to take mobile phones when she visits Gen. Fonseka says Army spokesman Prasad Samarasinghe. He said, "It is only a privilege, not a court order. It is a privilege we had given him earlier. The Commander of the Army has decided today to provide him with this privilege again. But it is only to speak to his two daughters." more..

Tax revenue from Jaffna: IRD targets Rs 100 m

Mar 8 (DN) The Inland Revenue Department has received Rs 77 million as income tax from Jaffna in 2009. The Department targets a tax income of Rs 100 million this year from Jaffna as the tourism industry and trading activities have shown a considerable increase. It expects to open 2,000 new files for Jaffna this year. As activities related to tourism, transport and agriculture are emerging, regional offices in Jaffna and Batticoloa have been very active ever since. more..

Sri Lankans in Somali pirates’ custody: Talks begin with captors

Mar 8 (DN) A senior member from a London-based insurance club will arrive in Jeddah today to initiate negotiations between the Somali pirates and the Saudi company, whose ship was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden last Monday. Among the ships crew are 13 Sri Lankans. “An official from the London-based Protection and Indemnity Club (P&I), which is coordinating action between the pirates and the insurance company, will be in Riyadh on Monday more..

'High interest borrowings of Govt. has fattened loan sharks but famished the people'

Mar 8 (UNP) Dr. Harsha De Silva, a leading Economist and analyst, said, there is nothing untoward in the Govt.’s borrowings if they are borrowed on the best terms favorable for the country. Sadly, the present govt. is following an economic policy of robbing Peter to pay Paul in its desperation and dire straits it has driven itself into owing to its fiscal mismanagement. more..

SLFP, NFF on a collision course over manape

Mar 8 (Island) Some leading candidates of the SLFP and the National Freedom Front (NFF) are on a collision course in some districts with both parties making representations to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa said that some SLFP candidates in Nuwara Eliya and Moneragala had targeted NFF supporters. Addressing the media in Colombo, he said that the President had strongly advised politicians concerned not to cause trouble. more..

TNA and Congress 'misleading voters', says EPDA

Mar 8 (Island) Proposals put forward by the TNA and the ACTC in their election manifestos were part of an attempt to prevent their alienation from LTTE sympathizers and extremist Diaspora, EPDP political spokesperson, M. Stalin said. He was commenting on the TNA announcement that they were proposing a solution based on the 'Oslo Agreement' of December 2002 while the ACTC had demanded the implementation of the Vaddukoddai Resolution. more..

LTTE fund raising in Germany led by cadre trained in Vanni

Mar 8 (Island) Among six LTTE operatives, including three German passport holders arrested in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia last Wednesday for extorting money from Tamils living in Europe, particularly Germany, is Vaheesan alias Vijikanendra (34), who had received weapons training in the Vanni during the Norwegian brokered ceasefire agreement between the then UNP-led UNF government and the LTTE. more..

UN fails to adapt to new world order

Mar 8 (DM) If Sri Lanka has committed war crimes no doubt they should be investigated. However, the probe should not come as a move to please a few powerful nations who want to checkmate Sri Lanka over its robust and ever growing ties with China, Russia and perhaps even with India. Also the UN should display its neutrality in the whole process by deciding to appoint expert panels on all nations which stand accused of war crimes rather than singling out Sri Lanka. more..

Govt targets 7.9% budget deficit for ‘10 after 10.22% deficit in ‘09

Mar 8 (Island) The government hopes to present the 2010 budget later this year with a deficit forecast of almost 8 percent of GDP while the provisional budget deficit for 2009 is over ten percent but prospects for 2010 look bright. The economy is expected to do well after a 30-year war came to an end last May, with the global economy showing signs of recovery and the government planning to rationalise expenditure and more..

Committee asked to present its report by Wednesday

Mar 8 (DM) A committee, which was appointed for the importation of Cuban BTI Bacteria, was asked to produce its report by Wednesday, the Health Ministry said yesterday. Accordingly, the Acting Health Secretary, Dr. Nihal Jayatillake has given his approval for the committee and the Tender Board approval would follow the committee report. Dr. Palitha Mahipala is the President of the Technical Committee and more..

'President took the brave decision to crush terrorism'

Mar 8 (GDI) Despite the elimination of the top leadership of LTTE and the decimation of the rebels, the concept of Tamil Eelam has not died out amongst those harbouring it, "Even at present those who had connections with terrorists and the Tamil Diaspora overseas are still discussing the possibility of establishing a state of Eelam according to information received," more..

St Anthony’s relics in procession

Mar 8 (DM) Relics of St Anthony of Paduwa who is venerated by Catholics and Non Catholics reached Colombo yesterday amidst a prayerful welcome by thousands of devotees who were gathered by the side of the roads from Katunayaka to Colombo yesterday. The relics reached St Anthony’s Church Kochchikade around 6pm last evening after which a mass was held by Archbishop of Colombo Rev Malcolm Ranjith. more..

10,000 acres of Paddy destroyed by pests

Mar 8 (DM) More than 10,000 acres of paddy in the Matale district has been devastated by an unidentified pest causing much disappointment among the paddy cultivators. Paddy fields in Galewela, Devahoowa, Dambulla, Laggala, Kimbissa, Naula, Yatawatta, Ukuwela, and Pallepola were the worst affected. Last year’s prolonged drought had devastated more than 5000 acres of paddy. more..

'I entered politics to win for women their lost rights'

Mar 8 (LP) Galle district UPFA candidate Geetha Kumarasingha and Colombo District UNP candidate Rosy Senanayake are two popular and attractive contestants seeking entry to the Legislature. Speaking to Lankapuvath the two personalities expressed their views on taking to politics. Rosy was of the view that it was very unjust that there was little representation of women for Parliament more..

'Govt did not put development on hold taking cover behind the conflict'

Mar 8 (GDI) "Within four years, the Government was able to wipe out terrorism through President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bold and upright leadership. Similarly he would give leadership to achieve economic renaissance in the country. The Government did not delay the implementation of development projects taking cover behind the conflict. Results of such projects would not come overnight but more..

Political Talks in 2005

'We will tell in Court who gave money for Fonseka’s elections'

Mar 8 (LeN) Ex JVP M.P. Anura Kumara Dissanayake said, to counter the falsehoods published by the State media and Govt.’ s vicious campaign regarding the funds provided for the General’s Presidential election campaign, they would explain in Court how the funds were received. Hitherto, we avoided furnishing details on this taking into account the risks to the lives of those who gave the funds. more..

Wimal says Fonseka’s damning accusation against Gota basis for UN move

Mar 8 (Island) National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa yesterday (March 7) alleged that a section of the international community was making a fresh attempt to use defeated Opposition presidential candidate Gen. (Retd) Sarath Fonseka to target the country over human rights violations during the war against the LTTE. more..

'Now there's suitable environment for women to live with self-esteem'

Mar 8 (GDI) Terrorism was a huge barrier to ensuring women’s economic empowerment and guaranteeing their dignity, honour and security. We have now created a suitable environment for all women who suffered due to terrorism, to live in Sri Lanka with self-esteem, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his message for the Women's Day. more..

Matara mauler’s only aim to serve Matara

Mar 8 (LB) Sanath Jayasuriya who will begin a new innings by entering politics for the first time, contesting the upcoming general election on the UPFA ticket, says that serving the masses comes naturally to him. The veteran all-rounder at 40 still has no ambitions of saying goodbye to international cricket. He insisted that in contesting from his home town of Matara, he has no intention of becoming a challenge to other established political figures in the area. more..

'Five charges against Fonseka'

Mar 8 (DM) General Sarath Fonseka will be tried on over five charges under the Army Act and will face a court martial within the next few days, Army Spokesperson Major General Prasad Samarasingha said. According to the military, the summary of evidence over charges against General Fonseka, made in compliance with provisions of the Army Act was completed and handed over to Army Commander over the weekend. more..