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Let us stop blaming the politician

Mar 15 (DN) We are five weeks away from an election. An important election let us not forget. Important, but boring, let me add. ‘Boring’ because the voting population has been denied the excitement that accompanies issues, tightness of fight, parties equally matched by dint of equally colourful candidates etc. Indeed we have before us one of those elections where the outcome is so clear that one can quite understand if those who back the favourite and those who back the obvious loser(s) decide to stay at home. more..

Sachithra bowls Ananda to a 39 run win

Mar 15 (LNP) A record six wicket haul from leg spinner Sachithra Perera inspired Ananda College to a splendid 39 run victory over their traditional rivals Nalanda College in their 36th annual inter school Battle of the Maroons limited overs cricket encounter for the Dr. N. M. Perera trophy worked off at the SSC ground in Maitland Place yesterday. Sachithra Perera returned the best bowling figures in the series while claiming six wickets for 36 from 9.2 overs more..

World Consumer Rights Day 2010- “Our Money, Our Rights”

Mar 15 (LP) This year’s theme for the World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) is ‘Our money, our rights’ and will highlight consumer issues in relation to financial services. The consumer rights in Sri Lanka are protected by the Consumer Affairs Authority and Authority consider that protection of consumer rights is a means of developing a responsible civic society. The right to satisfaction of basic needs – To have access to buy essential goods and services: more..

Sri Lanka can be made self sufficient in milk rice, sugarand fish

Mar 15 (LP) Pelawatta Dairy Industries has opened its debenture at a very nominal sum to all Sri Lankans with the intention of making its customers, shareholders, as much as possible with a view to making them the owners of the company. Dairy farming has been one of our oldest Agro industries, Pelawatta Dairy industries is an institution that will take this forward under the able and interested Chairman dedicated to domestic production and saving of valuable foreign exchange. more..

'No room for terrorism to re-emerge'

Mar 15 (MoD) Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has emphasized that they will leave no room for the liberated country to be betrayed or for terrorism to raise its head again. The Defence Secretary recalled that TNA Parliamentarians told in Parliament that they recognized Eelam and their leader was Prabhakaran. The victory after three years was achieved encountering various difficulties after three years. more..

Indigenous medicines to be exported to Japan

Mar 15 (GDI) Arrangements are underway to issue indigenous medicines to the Japanese market. The export plant will be constructed in the Dambadeniya area. The medicinal plants will be cultivated at Hunnasgiriya in Kandy. Prior approval for this project was granted under the patronage of Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa. The investing Japanese company is making an investment of 620 million Rupees in this connection. more..

Selective Amnesia and Lt. Col. Gotabhaya Rajapakse

Mar 15 (LG) "I am definitely not threatening your lives. I am not. It will happen from where it happens. Our services are appreciated by 99 per cent of the people. They love the Army Commander (Lt. Gen. Fonseka) and the Army. Those who love us do what is required. We cannot help that." Courtesy of The Sunday Times of June 1, 2008. Defence Secretary “I have summoned you to inquire about a serious mistake you have committed. How can you stay at Lake House and criticize the Government? more..

Giving love and new life to children of terror

Mar 15 (MoD) "You are of no value unless you equip your life to combat and die for your people and be a martyr; then only you can add value to your life," said the LTTE leadership attempting to motivate and recruit children for their so called freedom fight for Eelam. Many had to accept despite the fact that living a free life was not on the LTTE's agenda. These children were born with the war; they lived with the war and never exposed to normal society. more..

Govt. chases after two Journalists to collect evidence to incriminate Gen. Fonseka

Mar 15 (LeN) It is reported that the Govt. is chasing after two Journalists who were very close to Gen.Fonseka when he was the Army Commander on the vague hope that it could elicit information from them to incriminate Gen.Sarath Fonseka. The Govt. which entertains the suspicion that these two Journalists may have a host of evidence in regard to the offences committed during the war, has put its security personnel on their trail. more..

Second & third years of SEUSL to be re-opened only after General Elections

Mar 15 (PSM) The second and third years of the South Eastern University in Oluvil, Ampara will be re-opened only after the general elections. This follows a decision taken at the University’s Governing Council meeting held in the university yesterday. The council was told that the clash between the students of the second and third years was due to breach of an understanding between the students of these two semester years. more..

European assistance for slum and shanty dwellers

Mar 15 (DN) The European Union is pleased to be in Sri Lanka for the launching of the project “Eradication of Vulnerabilities of Slum and Shanty Dwellers’ in Colombo, said Head of the Delegation of European Union Bernard Savage. Savage was addressing the project launching ceremony at the “Sethsiripaya’ Colombo. He said ‘we have been active in Sri Lanka for over 30 years and more..

'All accusations against me are fictitious'

Mar 15 (LT) He is a member of the UNP who has contributed to the membership in 2009 and possessing the official party identity card says Janaks Kuttiarachchi. Whoever accuses him of not being a member of the UNP does so without knowing facts said Mr. Kuttiarachchi. Speaking at a press conference held on the 13th Mr. Kuttiarachchi, whose name was ‘tipexed’ from the list of nominees of the UNP for Monaragala District for the general election, more..

Police join goons to goad pavement hawkers against ‘Sathyagraha’

Mar 15 (LT) Our reporter says the police together with thugs manipulated pavement hawkers to sabotage the peaceful ‘Sathyagraha’ campaign organized by the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) opposite Bodhiya at Pettah today. The pavement hawkers had been directed to take their carts and carry out their trade opposite the Bodhiya and around it which are restricted zones for trade on normal days. more..

No Earthquake Hazard for Sri Lanka so far

Mar 15 (GDI) An earthquake of 6.0 struck the Indian Ocean just 710 miles off Colombo early this morning but there was no danger for the island nation. Sri Lanka is not located near any of the 12 or 13 main plate boundaries that are prone to earthquakes. Indeed, it was squarely on a plate that extended from Australia to India. In the last decades, however this plate is beginning to rotate on account of accumulation more..

Prabhakaran`s mother flies out

Mar 15 (LNP) Besides foreign assistance and subservience of political leaders who failed to stand up to terrorism, a key factor that stood the LTTE in good stead was the pathetic inefficiency of State intelligence services, which found themselves spying on political opponents of governments in power rather than terrorists. President Ranasinghe Premadasa`s assassin had been living at Sucharitha, the president`s official residence for a long time before striking with deadly accuracy on May 1, 1993. more..

Illegal cutouts not seen by EC or IGP

Mar 15 (LT) The state media went all out and the other media too to a certain extent to report that Commissioner of Elections had ordered the IGP to immediately remove illegal election cutouts and the IGP responded to this order instantly. However, cutouts of the UPFA are still being displayed in Colombo and greater Colombo areas without any hindrance. Interestingly several of these cutouts were erected near, opposite or on the road to police stations. more..

Survey reveals how Tigers threw untrained children into Vanni battle

Mar 15 (Island) A survey conducted by the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation has revealed that several thousands of children were forcibly recruited by the LTTE and thrown into battle in the last two years of the war. Interviews conducted with over 11,000 detainees on a Justice and Law Reforms Ministry directive have indicated that children were deployed on the Vanni front without proper training. more..

Migration opportunities for Lankans

Mar 15 (DN) Migration opportunities for people around the world has increased rapidly with globalization. It has created many opportunities for Sri Lankans over the last two decades as well. It has brought a wealth of experience to people and foreign exchange to the country in large amounts. Some people who migrated to other countries emerged as migrant agents. They have encouraged many others to migrate to countries of their interest bringing wealth for them and the country. more..

PSM holds Women's Day cultural event in Ampara

Mar 15 (PSM) A cultural event marking the International Women’s Day was organized jointly by the PSM regional office of Ampara and the Muslim Peace Assembly (MPA) in Kalmunai today with the participation of a big gathering of women from all communities. This is part of the PSM’s peace building efforts in the region that promote inter-communal harmony and co-existence. The event was held at the Mahmood Ladies’ College more..

IGP issues firm instructions: Knock-out cut-outs

Mar 15 (DN) IGP Mahinda Balasuriya yesterday issued firm directions to all Senior DIGs and DIGs of the nine provinces to get the Officers in Charge of Police Stations to remove all cut-outs and hoardings of political party candidates with immediate effect. The IGP issued these instructions following a directive by Elections Commissioner that all cut-outs, hoardings and posters should be removed forthwith. more..

'Indo-Lanka FTA is 10 years old'

Mar 15 (Island) The Free Trade Agreement between India and Sri Lanka is 10 years old and a top trade economist says trade between the two South Asian neighbours have improved and that Sri Lanka should consider upgrading the agreement into a comprehensive economic partnership. "India is emerging as a leading economy in the world and whether or not one likes it Sri Lanka has to be close to India because it would stimulate Sri Lanka’s own economy," more..

'Arrangements are in place to mitigate the GSP+ loss'

Mar 15 (Island) Central Bank governor Dr. Ajith Nivard Cabraal told a gathering of trade unionists and government employees at the Sugathadasa Stadium on Friday that steps had been taken to solve the problems that might be created by the loss of GSP+ trade concession which was temporarily suspended by the European Union (EU) early last month. All signs were that the concession at issue would be stopped in 18 months or so and more..

Ravi predicts huge UNF victory in Colombo

Mar 15 (Island) UNP heavyweight Ravi Karunanayake predicts a huge victory for United National Front poll in the Colombo District. Eleven United National Front (UNF) candidates would be returned at the April 8 elections from Colombo, he said. The ruling UPFA was fielding 22 candidates from the Colombo District, 16 of them were cross overs from other parties, including the UNP. more..

War of words over Rs22.5m fraud claim

Mar 15 (Island) President of the All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU), Gamini Kumarasinghe has accused the Health Ministry of turning a blind eye to the Auditor-General’s report on alleged misappropriation of funds at State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC). Kumarasinghe alleged that corporation’s Chairman, M. A.P. Hemachandra, had used Rs. 22.5 million from the SPMC account to support political campaigns. more..

'Jaffna roadblocks removed'

Mar 15 (DM) The Military yesterday said that all the road blocks and barriers in the Jaffna peninsula have been removed to facilitate the free movement of the civilians there. “Now the people in the Jaffna peninsula can freely move at any time using public roads with the removal of roadblocks and barriers that had been there for a long period,” military Spokesman Major General Prasad Samarasinghe told the Daily Mirror yesterday. more..

Woman remanded for throwing child

Mar 15 (DM) A woman who was alleged to have thrown her three-year-old youngest son to the Kalu Ganga was arrested by the Kalutara police Women’s and Children’s Bureau and was produced before the Kalutara additional magistrate yesterday. The woman was remanded till March 26 by the Kalutara Additional Magistrate Namal Perera. She was arrested by a police team led by Kalutara police W&CB OIC police inspector Malka Thushari. more..

TNA: Tamils abroad want to invest

Mar 15 (DM) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said that Tamils needed regional powers so that Tamil diaspora can invest directly as foreign direct investment in the North and East -in the areas devastated by three-decade-long war. The diaspora population is estimated at more than one million The TNA renewed its demand for regional autonomy under a federal structure, including powers for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). more..

A man eater on the prowl?

Mar 15 (DM) Recent reports indicate that one of the leopards in the country might have been turned into a man-eater. While most leopards avoid humans, they may occasionally be targeted as prey. Most healthy leopards prefer wild prey to humans, but injured, sickly or struggling cats with a shortage of regular prey may resort to hunting humans and become habituated to it, more..

'Suicide bombers not a threat '

Mar 15 (DM) LTTE suicide bombers who would have moved into Colombo during the war do not pose a threat anymore but the Terrorist Investigations Department (TID) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) are probing their whereabouts, a high ranking TID official said. The official said that while hundreds of suicide cadres had arrived in Colombo during the war, only a few had been used and the rest had disappeared after the defeat of the LTTE last year. more..

Sri Lanka to start paying extra interest to senior citizens

Mar 15 (LBO) Payment of an extra 20 percent 'bonus interest' to Sri Lankan senior citizens on rupee deposits maintained at licensed commercial banks will start from March 18, the Central Bank said. The government will pay the extra interest to citizens over 60 years of age subject to a limit of 120,000 rupees a year, it said in a statement. The deposits that will receive bonus interest are existing or new rupee savings or fixed deposits held individually or jointly, more..

Ex CJ calls Lanka undemocratic

Mar 15 (DM) Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Siva charged today that Sri Lanka had become an undemocratic country by betraying all its human rights principles which it had signed with the international community over the years. He stressed that by arresting Sarath Fonseka the government had gone against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). more..

'Opposition’s love for Fonseka is only for political advantage'

Mar 15 (AD) The Opposition seems to love Sarath Fonseka so much. But the protest held by the United National Party (UNP) demanding the release of the retired General from military custody lasted only 68 hours. If they are so concerned, why did not they continue the protest, asked Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma. Pointing his finger at the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), more..

NFF raps US for ‘sinister campaign’

Mar 15 (Island) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa yesterday accused the US Embassy in Colombo of providing wrong and distorted facts to the US State Department. This was part of a sinister campaign to destabilise the country and pave the way for US intervention here, he said. He said the US was campaigning in support of the opposition. The UNP and the JVP would benefit from the US strategy, he said. more..

'Country needs strong Parliament'

Mar 15 (DN) After the defeat of terrorism, we are today faced with a development war. Therefore, we need a strong Parliament, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka said. Prime Minister said, that we couldn’t be tied down to circulars in our accelerated march towards developing the country and added that a strong Parliament with a two thirds majority is needed to fulfill this task. more..

Manifesto for the ‘Trophy’ tomorrow

Mar 15 (LT) The launching of the election manifesto of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) contesting the general election under the symbol ‘Trophy’ with the leadership of Gen. Sarath Fonseka will take place at Jayawardene Centre in Colombo tomorrow. JVP MP Vijithe Herath said the election manifesto of the DNA compiled on the basis ‘An interim government for the establishment of democracy’ will be launched tomorrow. more..

Sri Lanka to request IMF waiver on deficit

Mar 15 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will seek a waiver from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after failing to meet its 2009 budget deficit target as agreed for a $2.6 billion loan, the central bank said on Monday. Authorities hope a waiver would allow frozen payments from the loan to resume, K.D. Ranasinghe, the chief economist at the central bank, told Reuters in an interview. more..

'UNF Govt. will account for every cent collected from people unlike this Govt. which fattens on people’s despair'

Mar 15 (UNP) UNP Gen. Secretary Tissa Attanayake said, the President is making another hollow promise at this Gen. election like its many in the Mahinda chinthana to curtail the present 113 Ministers to 35 if the UPFA wins. Mr. Attanayake challenged the President to show how he can do it practically when his 113 Ministers are contesting the Gen.election. more..

Sri Lanka slams U.S. rights report

Mar 15 (Reuters) Sri Lanka dismissed a U.S. State Department report on Monday accusing it of violating citizens' rights, saying the allegations were unsubstantiated and based on reports by unnamed sources. The State Department's annual human rights survey faulted both the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger separatists in the island's 25-year-civil war which ended last year. more..

State stubbornness leaves IDPs in a big fix

Mar 15 (LB) With nearly 200,000 people still displaced in the North — some living in temporary camps while others squat with host families — international agencies are running out of money to meet urgent needs like water supply and resettlement grants, according to a report released last week. The funding crisis follows the government’s refusal to endorse the 2010 Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP), more..

'All courses of action taken against General are against the law'

Mar 15 (LT) All moves taken by the present government regarding Gen. Sarath Fonseka after the presidential election were illegal and undemocratic says former Chief Justice Sarath N. de Silva. He said, “We are meeting here today to explain matters that have come up in our country at present. As you all know all arrangements are being taken to bring Gen. Sarath Fonseka before a military tribunal. more..

Debrief News - 15.03.2010

Sri Lanka stx hit new record high, end flat; foreigners exit

Mar 16 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's share index .CSE hit a fresh all-time high on Monday before closing flat due to retail profit taking, while foreigners continued to exit the market, despite post-war economic optimism. The All-Share Price Index .CSE of the Colombo Stock Exchange rose 20.33 points to hit a new record high of 3,865.17 points, surpassing its previous all-time high of 3,856.17 hit on Friday. It closed 0.03 percent or 1.29 points down at 3,843.55. more..

Jaffna Road 3: The forgotten refugees of Sri Lanka

Mar 16 (HT) Vallidarasingh, mostly skin and bones, chuckled. "Some Indian wrestler came (to town) and I was named after him," he said in Tamil. It could now seem prophetic; Vallidarasingh has been wrestling with life since 1990 – the year he was displaced by the government when it set up high security zones (HSZs) along the Jaffna coast to fight the LTTE. Like 55-year-old Vallidarasingh’s three children, Thavarajahsingham’s six children were born, more..

NSW Blues rope in Dilshan

Mar 16 (ESPN) After failing to qualify for this year's Champions League Twenty20, the inaugural edition winners. The winners of the inaugral edition of the Airtel Champions League Twenty20 failed to qualify for this year's edition and will be hoping that the explosive Sri Lankan batsman would help them make the grade next time. Dilshan was the player of the tournament at last year's World Twenty20 in England more..

Sri Lanka lures back Japanese surfers

Mar 16 (LBO) Some of the world's top surfers will take part in a Japanese surfing championship that returns to Sri Lanka this month after a five-year break following the end of the island's ethnic war. The Japan Pro Surfing Association’s (JPSA) annual competition will be held during March 19-23 at Hikkaduwa, a beach resort on the south-west coast. The JPSA Pro Surf 2010 is being jointly organised by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier. more..

Sri Lankan pilgrims walk 100 km for peace

Mar 16 (UCAN) Thousands of people of various faiths walked 100 kilometers over a period of three days in northern Sri Lanka to pray for peace and freedom in the country. On March 10, war victims, widows, disabled people, fishermen, farmers and state workers, some carrying their children on their shoulders, started their pilgrimage from the cathedral in Mannar city to Calvary, a mountainous area southeast of Mannar. more..

Sri Lanka: Government Expedites Resettlement of IDPs

Mar 16 (RW) The Government of Sri Lanka has taken steps to resettle approximately 6,000 IDPs during the first two weeks of March 2010, in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts, bringing down the total number of IDPs living in government-run welfare centres to 65,591. All IDPs have been given the option to return to their original villages or to relocate to areas of their choice. more..

Sri Lanka to sell US$100mn in bonds

Mar 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka is offering 100 million US dollars in two and three year floating rates bonds, paying interest every six months mainly targeting the domestic market with bids closing on March 18. The government's debt office, which is a unit of the Central Bank, said it is offering 50 million US dollars each in 2 year and 3-year bonds which will pay a coupon based on the 6-month London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) plus a risk premium. more..

Sri Lanka state worker cost climbs to new high

Mar 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka state workers took away 57 cents as salaries and wages out of every tax rupee paid by the people in 2009, as the government continued to expand a bloated public service amid an economic slump, the latest official data showed. Salaries and pensions of workers climbed to 353 billion rupees, or 56.9 percent of the 619.6 billion in taxes raised from the people, according to provisional finance ministry data. more..

Sri Lanka: Secret list reveals government's media hit list

Mar 16 (AI) A leaked list – believed to be compiled by the Sri Lankan intelligence unit – has revealed the names of 35 leading journalists and NGO officers of interest to the country’s secret services. The list then grades each of them according to their importance to the intelligence services. Amnesty International fears that the leak was a deliberate move by the government to intimidate and harass journalists in the country. more..