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The Muslim question and resettlement of Muslim IDPs

Mar 18 (GV) The question of Muslim identity, displacement and forcible evictions during war and their enduring socio-political impact in post-war Sri Lanka is often underplayed in the media and mainstream politics. Muslim IDPs in the East are amongst those who have been in IDP camps the longest, often in conditions no better than Tamils interned in Manik Farm. more..

Editorial: ‘Trial and Error’ in Sri Lanka

Mar 18 (KT) Sri Lanka’s former army chief General Sarath Fonseka is not a spent force. He may be down and out, but he continues to attract popular attraction by virtue of his steadfastness. Being tried on charges of violating military procurement procedures, the trial has drawn flak for the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Incarcerated at a military base and deprived of access to the normal course of justice, Fonseka qualifies as a prisoner of conscience. more..

The similarities and differences between the Vietnam War and the Eelam War

Mar 18 (LG) Vietnam War and the Elam War had many similarities and many differences. But both represent the horrors of war trauma in the 20th Century. Vietnam War was America’s longest war, spanning the twelve-year period from 1963 to 1975.Of the estimated 2.5 million individuals who served in Vietnam, some 58,000 Americans lost their lives. Another 300,000 were wounded. more..

MOD SVU sets off construction of houses for war heroes in Kandy

Mar 18 (MoD) The Seva Vanitha Unit of Ministry of Defence launched construction of houses for war heroes in Kandy district, under "Api Wenuwen Api" programme, yesterday (17 Mar). Chairwoman of SVU Mrs. Iyoma Rajapaksa participated as the chief guest for the launching ceremony where foundation stone for the first house was laid. WO II Rajapaksa RMAB of Gajaba Regiment is the owner of the first house. more..

Police assault father of two in Hatton

Mar 18 (BBC) Three police officers of the Hatton police station have been I suspended from duty following a brutal assault on a three wheel driver. The victim’s wife Namali Gunathilaka told BBC Sinhala service that her husband Samantha Deepal Gamage, was returning home was assaulted without mercy by Police officers who demanded a free ride. “He gave them a lift as they said that they were going in the same direction. However, half way through they demanded to take them back to town. more..

Pedalling his way to parliament…

Mar 18 (AD) Environment and Natural Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, who is contesting the parliamentary elections from the Colombo District under the People’s Alliance ticket, today stared a campaign to promote his preference number. While promoting his preference number Ranawaka also tied up activities to commemorate the International Year of Biodiversity. more..

A man who loves his country

Mar 18 (ST) In August 2008, after spending a week in Colombo, I stuck my neck out to suggest in a long article for the Straits Times that Sri Lanka's long drawn civil war may finally be heading for a close. At the time some thought I was too optimistic. The Tigers were considered invincible. But the Tamil Tiger "headquarters" of Killinochchi fell in late December and suddenly the world sat up and more..

Sri Lanka: Military trials of Fonseka begin

Mar 18 (wsws) The courts martial of retired general Sarath Fonseka, the opposition candidate in the January 26 presidential election, began behind closed doors at the navy headquarters complex in Colombo on Tuesday and Wednesday. Fonseka was arrested by military police on February 8 and held without charge for more than a month, on unsubstantiated allegations that he had plotted a coup against President Mahinda Rajapakse and his government. more..

Sri Lankan SEP to hold series of election meetings

Mar 18 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) will hold an ambitious series of public meetings as part of its campaign for the April 8 general elections in Sri Lanka. The SEP is fielding a total of 58 candidates on slates in four districts—the capital of Colombo, Galle in the south, Nuwara Eliya in the central plantation area and Jaffna in the war-torn north. more..

More Lankans consuming chicken, egg

Mar 18 (GDI) Sri Lanka has seen a rising trend in chicken and egg consumption during the past few years. The consumption of chicken per head/per year has risen to 5.19kg in 2009 from 5.05kg in 2005. Egg consumption has risen from 52 per head/per year in 2009 from 48 in 2006. The end of the war has escalated the demand for poultry roducts. Last year has seen an increase in consumption in the North and East. more..

Sri Lanka becomes 56th largest official gold holder

Mar 18 (GDI) Gold now makes up 10 percent of Sri Lanka’s foreign reserve assets after the country tripled its gold holdings with a purchase from the International Monetary Fund in 2009. The World Gold Council, an industry advocacy body said gold made up 10 percent of the country’s foreign reserve assets after Sri Lanka bought 10 tonnes of gold from the IMF pushing its total stock to 15.3 tonnes. more..

Be a traffic cop now and then; it’s a lot of fun!

Mar 18 (DN) A lot can be written about responsibility in these matters. We can play find-the-guilty. We can burn a bus or thrash a driver (as is often done by way of street-justice). We can point fingers. We can blame the child. We can blame the child’s parents and/or guardians. We can blame the child’s teachers. We can blame the driver of the vehicle that knocked the child down. We can blame the relevant local government authority for more..

Longest concreted road opens in April

Mar 18 (GDI) The country's longest concrete road is now being constructed from Mannar to Nawakkuli by the Road Development Authority under the Uthuru Vasanthaya Development Program. The road known as the A32, that goes via Pooneryn and Karathivu is 98.3 kilometres in length. Of the 98.3 kilometres, a 17 kilometre distance from Mannar to Vedithalathive is being laid with concrete under the first phase of the road development project. more..

'Biyagama FTZ will be economic hub of Gampaha district'

Mar 18 (GDI) I will transform Biyagama free trade zone into a economic hub of Gampaha district by expanding it and provide more employment opportunities to thousands of unemployed youths. Vocational training will also be provided for youths and school dropouts in the required fields, said Gampaha district UPFA leader and senior presidential advisor Basil Rajapaksa. more..

Smooth sailing for Colombo Port expansion project

Mar 18 (GDI) The Colombo Port Expansion Project (CPEP) launched by the Government is in progress under the two phases the project was planned. The project was launched following a very comprehensive study of the Port of Colombo and to develop the South Port area to cater to the increasing demands of services in the international shipping industry. The project would change the economic situation in Sri Lanka as a large number would invest here while more..

23rd Brigade supports the local farmers in agriculture

Mar 18 (GDI) The livelihoods of the people of Thoppigala have been upgraded. They have been assured of a better living. Thoppigala was liberated from the terrorists. However, at that time, it is not a secret what the Opposition leader said. He described it as a thick forest. Basil Rajapaksa made a vital contribution in the implementation of the Eastern Resurgence programme with the consent of the President. more..

Northern Province gets Zonal education office, library and class rooms buildings

Mar 18 (LP) A zonal education office was declared open in the Vadamarachchi area by Governor of the Northern Province, G A Chandrasiri. The buildings were constructed under the Provincial Specific Development Grant (PSDG) at a cost of Rs. 6.5 million. This Zonal Education Office was previously functioning from J/Puloli Methodist Mission Tamil Mixed School, Puloli. more..

Decentralizing of SLBFE opportunities in the North

Mar 18 (LP) Under the “Mahinda Chinthana” public services are to be taken to the village and accordingly the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) wishes to extend its services. Initiating “Uthuru Wasanthaya” development programme, decentralized activities would begin in Jaffna and Vavuniya. By these activities the youth of the North would not have to travel to Colombo to make themselves aware of the opportunities offered by the SLBFE. more..

President responsible for Ruwan Weerakone’s arrest

Mar 18 (LT) The defense reporter of ‘Asian Tribune’ and journalist serving in ‘The Nation’ and ‘Bottom Line’ Ruwan Weerakone has been arrested by Terrorist Investigation Division while he was being treated as an indoor patient in a private hospital in Colombo. It has been revealed that he has been arrested to question him regarding connecting two politicians through telephone to Gen. Sarath Fonseka. more..

CNN: Sri Lanka War Survivor

'Lanka prime destination for German tourists'

Mar 18 (MoD) The German tourists can now visit tourist landmarks in the Eastern Province such as Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara and Arugam Bay as Germany has eased its travel advisory further. German Ambassador Jens Ploetner, just back from an Eastern tour of tour states that the East has its own charm and has vast tourist potential yet to be tapped. more..

Annual feast continuing after 30 years after engineers restore Hindu Kovil

Mar 18 (MoD) The historic Thirukeshwaram (Mahathithamanthottam) Hindu Kovil (temple) in Mannar that remained totally neglected and dilapidated owing to LTTE terrorism received a new facelift after de-mining and was handed over by Army Engineers to religious authorities for conduct of religious performances once again. This Hindu temple in Mannar with its direct links to Trincomalee and Galle Thirukeshwaram Hindu Kovils more..

Ceylinco Insurance expands in North, East

Mar 18 (LNP) The insurance industry has tremendous growth potential with market opportunities in the North and the East. Ceylinco Insurance has a strong presence in these provinces and hopes to expand its branch network. Ceylinco Insurance will be opening four branches in Mannar, Achchuveli, Chavakachcheri and Manipai shortly. Ceylinco Insurance (General) Joint Deputy Chairman Ajith Gunawardena said the company recorded an improved performance last year. more..

Time to tame real betrayals

Mar 18 (LG) It’s The day, the day I will see my father taken to face a jury which listens to only one side of the story and knows the verdict of the case even before it is opened. I am scared. I am nervous, worried, and stressed. I am clueless about what could happen at the court. I sense that the judgment will be biased and I am not saying this because General Sarath Fonseka is my father. more..

Govt. rice mafia inconveniences farmers as well as consumers

Mar 18 (LT) The government is maintaining a rice mill mafia and this has created a lot of difficulties for the farmers as well as consumers says JVP MP Anura Dissanayake. He said the production cost of a kilo of paddy was Rs. 19.70 but the buying price is Rs.24.00. He pointed out that the highest yield that could be obtained from an acre of paddy land is 2100 kilos of rice and even if the farmer sells the whole produce could get a profit of Rs.9040 for an acre. more..

Bogus pension promise on stage again

Mar 18 (LT) The bogus election promise made by the President during the presidential election that the pension of all security personnel would be increased by 15% will come back on the UPFA election stage say reports. Accordingly, the Department of Pensions state all pensioners of security forces would be given a pension of 85% of their salaries from next month. The department states the directive has been given by the Ministry of Defense. more..

Equal Rights; Equal Opportunities

Mannar Bridge reopens to serve NCP

Mar 18 (LP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa opened the bridge which connects Mannar, the largest island close to the Sri Lankan coast and the mainland of Northern Sri Lanka this morning (18). The bridge which cost Rs 2460 million was aided by the Japan Sri Lanka Friendship Association. The bridge compromising two panels is 157.1 m long and 10.2 m wide. The breakwater area is 3.2km long. more..

Real leaders and successors

Mar 18 (LNP) JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe found himself completely wrong-footed in an interview with Derana TV on Monday. He put on a brave face and tried his best to maintain composure answering as he did all questions save a few. But, his arguments were riddled with glaring logical fallacies such as non sequitur (conclusions not following from the premises), hasty generalisation, post hoc (false cause), weak analogy, more..

'Military Court judges withdrew because they cannot proceed further on the false charges'

Mar 18 (LeN) The DNF announced, this is the first time in Sri Lanka’s history, the judges of the military Court voluntarily withdrew from a case. It is because they cannot proceed any further on these false charges filed against Gen .Fonseka. JVP M P Anura Kumara Dissanayake said, as the five indictments based on the arms procurement for the Army when Gen. Fonseka was the army Commander are trumped up , more..

Lankan cows give more milk

Mar 18 (GDI) Sri Lanka's dairy production has seen a rapid increase during the past few years. The ncrease of milk production in 2009 is 12.12 percent compared to the previous year. This is complemented with a seven percent reduction of imports in dairy products compared to 2008. The annual milk production for 2009 was 233.4 million litres compared to 208 million liters in 2008 and 192.7 million litres in 2005. more..

Teachers could end tuition craze -Premier

Mar 18 (DN) Teaching is a noble profession. Teachers in the past worked with real dedication and held lessons for their students even after school free of charge. It is questionable whether the same degree of dedication is evident in present day teachers. If teachers perform their tasks with dedication private tuition classes will become superfluous, said Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka. more..

Representation of women in politics

Can the UN Secretary General be so irrational?

Mar 18 (DN) The idea of a forum of nations is universally admitted as an excellent one for guaranteeing peace and sovereignty of nations. There could be failures on the part of it but no country can overlook its very considerable successes and the fact that things might be very much worse if it did not exist. Its secretary should however be mindful that it derives its authority from a collection of member nations and more..

Ports Ministry cautions: Beware of conmen

Mar 18 (DN) The Ports and Aviation Ministry yesterday cautioned the public not to fall prey to persons who promise jobs at institutions which come under the Ministry purview and inform police of such instances. The CID arrested a conman who had cheated nearly Rs. 2 million from around 40 persons by posing as Minister Chamal Rajapaksa's Secretary and promising jobs at institutions under the Ministry. more..

'Continuance of IMF programme depends on next budget'

Mar 18 (Island) The IMF Resident Representative in Sri Lanka says the county’s economy is stable in the short term with tremendous potential to grow while the continuance of the standby facility programme, along with long-term sustainable economic development, depends on consolidating the fiscal position. The government has overshot the budget deficit target of seven percent of GDP for 2009, recording a deficit of 9.7 percent of GDP. more..

'JVP would have been ahead of SLFP if it joined govt in 2005'

Mar 18 (Island) SLFP Gen. Secretary Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that the JVP would have been in a far stronger position today, had it supported the UPFA government’s military campaign against the LTTE. Addressing the media at the Mahaweli centre, the minister said that had the JVP stayed with the government, it would have been ahead of the SLFP at the forthcoming parliamentary election. more..

Govt. accused of using health workers in polls campaign

Mar 18 (Island) The All Ceylon Health Services Union yesterday accused the government of using health workers in its election campaign. President of the ACHSU, Gamini Kumarasinghe told The Island that over 1,000 minor employees attached to government hospitals had been compelled to work for the ruling party. Minor workers from the government hospitals in Colombo, Ragama, Badulla, Kandy, Peradeniya, Rathnapura, more..

Ranil vows to protect farmers; pledges Rs.40 (samba), Rs.35 (Nadu) for a kilo of paddy

Mar 18 (Island) UNF Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe, addressing election rallies in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa last Sunday (March 14), promised the paddy farmers a guaranteed price of Rs. 35 a kilo of Nadu and Rs 40 for Samba when the UNF forms a government next month. He challenged the UPFA Government of Mahinda Rajapaksa to do so before the elections. more..

International Pressure on National issues

Country returning to normal: Lanka tells EU

Mar 18 (DM) A top government delegation, which met European Commission officials said yesterday the return of normalcy to Sri Lanka provided a necessary basis for a continuing engagement with the European Union, a government communiqué said. It said: “The delegation reiterated that there had already been palpable progress on several areas such as the re-settlement of the Internally Displaced and more..

Monk challenges search of temple premises

Mar 18 (DM) Chief Incumbent of the Nugegoda Nalandaramaya filed a rights violation petition before the Supreme Court against the Mirihana Police OIC complaining of the allegedly malicious search on the temple. Ven. Thiniyawala Palitha Thera who is also the Chief Incumbent of Mahabodi Centre of Chennai, India, cited Mirihana Police OIC Pradeep Ratnayake, Superintendents of Police Priyantha Chandrasiri and Deshabandu Tennakoon, DIG Ananda Hettiarachchi, more..

'Don’t vote for posters and cutouts'

Mar 18 (DM) A senior minister said yesterday that voters must be selective in electing their representatives at the forthcoming general election as the quality of parliament speeches and character of members have seen a major erosion in recent times. “Voters should not go by posters and cutouts but by the quality of candidates,” Trade, Commerce, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. more..

'IDP university students need relief'

Mar 18 (DM) The Inter-University Students Federation (IUSF) yesterday called on the Government to immediately provide relief for university students who have been in the IDP camps for several months. IUSF Convener, Udul Premaratne told the Daily Mirror yesterday that 343 Jaffna university students who lived in IDP camps for more than eight months are now living in a university hostel with very little facilities. more..

Mahinda won’t ask for two-thirds majority

Mar 18 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday (March 16), said that he needed a stable government, though he would not ask for two-thirds, one-third or five-sixth of a majority in Parliament. Addressing a public meeting at Kotte organized in support of Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, the President said that he would not talk about a two-thirds majority in parliament. more..

Catch me if you can

Mar 18 (DM) Retired General Sarath Fonseka’s son-in-law Danuna Tillekaratne was using roaming facilities obtained from a foreign service provider, CID informed court yesterday. CID detectives said Danuna was absconding though a warrant had been issued for his arrest. They said they were investigating reports that Danuna had stayed at a house in Piliyandala between February 16 and 17. more..

'Info to Channel 4 raises another question on Fonseka’s discipline'

Mar 18 (AD) Minister Dallas Alahapperuma said that it was not so important as to how Channel 4 had obtained the information claimed to have been smuggled out of the place where Former Army chief General (retired) Sarath Fonseka is under detention. The important fact was the way Fonseka had misused certain facilities provided him on humanitarian grounds by the President. more..

'Errant candidates to pay price'

Mar 18 (DN) Stern action will be taken against errant candidates without considering their status, SLFP General Secretary, Agriculture Minister Maithreepala Sirisena said. UPFA candidates who breach discipline by engaging in intra-party clashes will not be given positions, the Secretary General said yesterday. UPFA candidates who breach discipline by engaging in intra-party clashes will not be given positions, more..

President Rajapakse appointed Judges of fraudulent military tribunal

Mar 18 (LT) The government produced Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who was illegally arrested and arbitrarily detained for more than a month before so-called military tribunals on the 16th and the 17th but failed to aim any genuine accusation against him. The present Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya prepared charge sheets against the General and handed them over to the President. more..

National Geographic Channel grades Sri Lanka As the 2nd best tourist destination

Mar 18 (GDI) The world renown TV Channel in an exclusive report on best places to visit has categorized Sri Lanka as the 2nd best place to visit. Out of the 20 countries it many well known tourist destinations are listed far behind Sri Lanka. Under this list Hong Kong occupies the 9th place, Bali 7th place, Mauritius 4th place and Zanzibar 3rd place. more..