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Rajapakse rejects early pardon for 'fool' Fonseka

Mar 18 (AFP) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse has ruled out an early pardon for his election rival Sarath Fonseka and dismissed the former army chief as a "fool" who was unprepared for politics. Rajapakse also spelled out his economic ambitions for post-war Sri Lanka and said it would take time to eliminate the vestiges of the Tamil Tiger rebellion. more..

Sri Lanka policy rates frozen amid rising inflation, excess liquidity

Mar 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka held policy rates frozen in March as inflation accelerated, central bank financing of the budget deficit increased to new highs amid frantic attempts to mop excess liquidity. The Central Bank said it is keeping its main policy rate at which cash is injected to the economy (reverse repo) at 9.75 percent and the rate at which money is drained out (repo) at 7.50 percent despite rising inflation. more..

Protest over arrest of Sri Lanka reporter

Mar 19 (AFP) Sri Lankan media groups Thursday protested against the arrest of a reporter close to Sarath Fonseka, the detained ex-army chief who tried to unseat the president in recent elections. The groups issued a joint statement demanding the release of Ruwan Weerakoon, a reporter with the Nation newspaper, who was arrested this week. "We request the Inspector General of Police to disclose the reasons behind the arrest and more..

Sri Lanka's ties with UN in danger

Mar 19 (DM) The Sri Lankan government has warned that ties with the United Nations (UN) is in danger of going sour if the present conflict with UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon over his move to appoint a panel on Sri Lanka is not resolved. The Foreign Ministry quoted Minister Rohitha Bogollagama as saying that if not resolved taking into consideration Sri Lanka’s unique context and rising public anger against the UN Chief’s proposed move, more..

UNF presents special manifesto for women

Mar 19 (AD) Females from the United National Front (UNF) are contesting from ten districts at the upcoming General Elections and in time to come the party hopes to increase the percentage of female candidates, said UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe this morning. Presenting the UNF women’s manifesto titled ‘Deya Dinawana Eya’, the UNP leader said that his party would also increase the number of women candidates in future Provincial Council elections too. more..

'Sri Lanka Tamil diaspora must put their energies in to a sustainable peace'

Mar 19 (GDI) International Crisis Group (ICG), in its latest report titled 'The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora after the LTTE' has strongly urged the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora to jettison once and for all the failed Tamil Eelam agenda of the LTTE and instead put their energies into the quest for a sustainable and just peace in a united Sri Lanka, Minister of Export Development and International Trade Prof. G.L. Peiris said. more..

Debrief News - 18. 03. 2010

Indonesian police arrest two Sri Lankan Sailors in brothel raid

Mar 19 (JG) Surabaya Police continued raiding the city's notorious Dolly prostitution district on Wednesday night, detaining 28 prostitutes and 24 men without proper ID cards, including two Sri Lankan sailors. The suspects were detained because for not carrying passports or other identification. The Sri Lankan men were released after their supervisor came to the police station with their passports and visas. more..

Sri Lanka shares at 1-mo low on profit taking

Mar 19 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's shares fell on Thursday to a one-month low, on profit taking by retail investors, while foreigners continued to exit on concerns over political and economic stability ahead of polls next month. The All-Share Price Index .CSE of the Colombo Stock Exchange closed 0.35 percent or 13.10 points weaker at 3755.19, its lowest since Feb. 19. It had hit a record high of 3,865.17 points on Monday. more..

SL government begins to wipe out traces of Tigers in the North

Mar 19 (TN) Sri Lanka government has begun clearing all Liberation Tigers landmarks in the North in an attempt to wipe out any trace of the Tigers. Tourism Ministry Secretary George Michael confirmed that the government had begun clearing some LTTE landmarks in the north in line with the government’s policy to not highlight former LTTE landmarks for local or foreign tourists. more..

Sri Lanka gets German investment to make toys

Mar 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka's investment promotion agency said German toymaker Fehm GMBH has started a manufacturing plant in the island's north-western Puttalam district. A subsidiary, Toymakers Pvt Ltd, will manufacture educational toys aimed at children up to the age of five years for the export market. The factory at Unawaliwatta, in Madurankuliya, Puttalam, comes under the BOI’s 300 Enterprises Programme, more..

Indian Gymnastics federation warns athletes against tourney in Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (PTI) The Gymnastics Federation of India has warned its athletes against accepting an invitation, extended by one K Sukumaran, to compete in a bilateral event in Sri Lanka, saying that it is "unauthorised". GFI has warned that gymnasts dealing with Sukumaran in this regard would be doing so at their own risk. GFI said Sukumaran has invited gymnasts for the championship from March 19 to 21 in Sri Lanka, more..

SLMC complains against illegal TV, radio in Eastern province

Mar 19 (TN) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Thursday lodged a complaint with the Commissioner of Elections that two ministers of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) are operating an illegal television and a radio transmission in the eastern province which conduct election propaganda. SLMC district leader, Basheer Segu Dawood, had lodged his complaint in writing. more..

India, Sri Lanka withdraw from Pakistan golf tourney

Mar 19 (PTI) National Amateur Championship, the biggest golf event in Pakistan, has been hit by eleventh hour withdrawals of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka due to security concern in the wake of March 12 terror attack that killed 45 people and left 100 others injured. The tournament, beginning on Thursday, was to be contested by the golfers from the three countries besides top Pakistani players. more..

Sri Lanka calls investments for capital city urban development

Mar 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka is inviting investments for a high-rise complex proposed for prime land in the congested city that will be cleared of slums as part of an urban renewal project, officials said. The 'Panchikawatte Triangle' re-development project will provide 26 acres of land in the heart of the city for a range of businesses, said Surath Wickramasinghe, an architect working for the project under the Urban Development Authority. more..

Rajapaksa lauds India's development work in North Lanka

Mar 19 (BS) Keen to forge all-weather ties with India, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has lauded the developmental work undertaken by the country in the war-ravaged northern region and vowed not to allow his nation's soil to be used against it. "India is our neighbour. We must have good relations whether in war or in peace," Rajapaksa said in an interview more..

A tale of two nations

Mar 19 (LG) In social sciences it is not easy to generalize unlike in the case of physical sciences and generalizations have to be done with abstract concepts. Thus in social sciences there would always be cases that do not follow the general pattern and some would be happy with the adage "exception proves the rule". Even in physical sciences there are exceptions, the difference being that the exceptions themselves are general. more..

Cricket and Sri Lankan Muslims

Mar 19 (LG) The focus of this article is on what looks like discrimination against Sri Lankan Muslims in the field of cricket. This might seem to the average reader to be a matter of parochial and marginal importance, something of interest to Muslims and cricket fans, and therefore not a matter of national importance. I want to make a few preliminary observations to suggest that what looks like anti-Muslim discrimination is indeed a matter of national importance because more..

President Rajapaksa declares open the Mannar Peace Bridge and causeway

Mar 19 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared open the new Mannar Bridge and the causeway connecting the Mannar Island with the mainland, constructed by the Road Development Authority, under the supervision of the Highways & Road development Ministry. The Japanese Government has funded Rs: 2460 million for the construction work of the bridge and more..

Future Security & Implications of the PTA/ERs in Post-War Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (LG) On 09th March 2010, The International Center for Ethnic Studies held a roundtable discussion on the Future Security & Implications of the PTA/ERs in Post-War Sri Lanka. The roundtable was led by Dr. Rohan Gunaratna (Head, The International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore), Shanaka Jayasekara, (Associate Lecturer, Centre for Policing, more..

Serenading Mihindu (aka President Mahinda Rajapakse)

Mar 19 (LG) The evening began with a lullaby. A lullaby of the ‘heroic saga’ of ‘King Mihindu’ and his ‘Chief General Gotabhaya’, of how they defeated the ‘demons’ threatening the motherland. ‘Mihindu came and saved your Mother Lanka, Son’, sang the songstress, while in the foreground a troupe of dancers rocked a baby to sleep. A century from now Lankan mothers will sing such lullabies to their sons, the comperes assured the audience confidently. more..

Australian Foreign Minister on Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (TC) Hon Stephen Smith, MP, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs has said the importance of “Proper, transparent and compassionate treatment of those citizens of the north and east” while emphasizing that “it will be important for post conflict reconciliation in Sri Lanka.” He also added that, “It is for this reason that Australia continues to advocate resettlement of more..

The Diaspora

Mar 19 (LG) The global Tamil Diaspora has recently come to international prominence in the context of the seething ethnic question in Sri Lanka. While key Western states are expanding their interactions with expatriate Tamils within their own societies, the Sri Lankan state has intensified its shrill invectives against them - primarily on the basis of their ethnicity. The Diaspora Tamils, for their part, have begun, with determination, to organize themselves politically and more..

O.I.C of T.I.D caught "Pimping" for Secretary of Defense

Mar 19 (LG) From the Editors of Sri Lanka Guardian: - The Colombo Additional Magistrate today blamed the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) for not adhering to a court order and sternly ordered the OIC of the Division to be summoned to court next week. According to media reports, a complaint had been lodged to court that the TID had arbitrarily arrested Major General Yakupiti Sunil Amarasena De Silva even after the court had granted him anticipatory bail. more..

Petition to promote access to vote for Sri Lankan citizens abroad

Mar 19 (IL) Mr. Milinda Moragoda, the leader of the Sri Lanka National Congress (SLNC), a constituent party of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) is spearheading a campaign to promote access to vote for Sri Lankan citizens abroad. “The Vote” is a universal human right. In a democracy there is nothing more fundamental than having the right to vote. more..

Citizens and Officials

Mar 19 (LG) In a nation there are two categories of persons, the citizens and the officials. Of course these two categories are interchangeable. The citizens become officials and the officials in turn, return to the status of citizens. However during the time in which the officials rule in their official positions they are different to ordinary citizens and it is worth reflecting on this in a little way because there are many important lessons that either be learned or more..

'Government engaged in Sinhalese colonization in Kokkavil'

Mar 19 (TN) Suresh Premachandran, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) former Jaffna parliamentarian and a TNA candidate contesting Jaffna electorate, accused Sri Lanka government of systematically colonizing Kokkaavil in Mullaiththevu district along A9 road with Sinhalese, in the TNA election campaign meeting held Thursday in Chuzhipuram-Tholpuram area, sources in Jaffna said. more..

Sri Lanka Trailer

Young Catholics join Hindu festival

Mar 19 (UCAN) Some young Catholics who took part in a Hindu festival say they did so to help them understand the religion better. “Classes and books alone cannot answer our questions on Hinduism,” said Xavier Croos Anton, 19, a Catholic college student from Mannar diocese. He, together with a group of Christian students, went to the ancient Thiruketheeswam Temple, southeast of Mannar city, to take part in the Maha Sivarathri festival more..

Coal goes ahead in Sri Lanka but the reality still unknown

Mar 19 (LP) Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday inaugurated the second phase of the Norochcholai coal power plant. Norochcholai, situated in North Western Province, provides vicinity to Sri Lanka’s first coal power plant. The 300 MW first phase of the project is now near completion. The government repeatedly says that the rates of electricity tariffs will be slashed with the commencement of coal electricity generation. more..

It’s inch-by-inch for Indian deminers in Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (HT) “There is a saying among deminers," the Indian official said. “It takes $3 to plant a mine and $300 to clear it.' Money is just a part of it; deminers have to have more than their share of patience. The Indians working for Sarvatra, a New Delhi-based NGO that has been carrying out demining projects in parts of Sri Lanka’s war-ravaged north, should know about it. more..

Should the CB continue with 'no policy action'?

Mar 19 (LBO) Sources from the Central Bank indicate that the Monetary Board, in its deliberation for the monetary policy action in the month ahead, has decided to keep the ‘policy rates untouched’ for another month. Since the Bank continues to engage itself in open market operations to limit the creation of reserve money, this amounts to making a ‘quantity of money adjustment’ rather than the ‘cost of money adjustment’ more..

Tissa Kuttiarachchi’s FR petition rejected

Mar 19 (LeN) The Fundamental rights (FR) application filed by Tissa Kuttiarachchi in the Supreme Court (SC) requesting for an order to include his name which was omitted earlier in the Moneragala District nomination list forwarded by the UNF, or to annul the validity of that list was rejected by the Court today (18). The SC refused to include a name or to declare the nomination list void on the ground that at the time of handing over of the nomination list, more..

Sri Lanka's first commercial wind energy plant to start

Mar 19 (LBO) Senok Wind Power, Sri Lanka's first commercial wind energy plant, will start operating this month in Puttalam in the island's north western coast using a 10 MegaWatt plant, officials said. "This pioneering effort set from Senok has set the pace for attracting private sector investment for further development of wind power in Sri Lanka," more..

Tensions between UN and Sri Lanka over war crimes

Mar 19 (wsws) A diplomatic row has erupted between the Sri Lankan government and the United Nations over plans by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, announced earlier this month, to establish an expert panel to investigate human right violations during the last stages of the country’s long running civil war between the military and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). more..

Kurunegala District "Api Wenuwen Api" housing project commenced

Mar 19 (MoD) Another phase of the "Api Wenuwen Api" housing project to construct 700 houses for the war heroes in each district island wide, a concept of His Excellency President and Commander-in-Chief Mahinda Rajapaksa, was launched recently on directives of Secretary Defence Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Under this project 30 housing units will be constructed for the war heroes living in the Kurunagala district. more..

President launches Norochcholai's second phase

Mar 19 (MoD) The President launched construction work on the second stage of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant of which the work was delayed for several years. The Norochcholai project is Sri Lanka's first coal power plant. When completed, the entire project will add 900 megawatts of power to the national grid. President Rajapaksa participated in the launching of the second stage of the project. more..

'Abimansala,' To cure mind & will of dependent disable war veterans

Mar 19 (MoD) The Army while embarking on an era of reconciliation, goodwill and development has also prioritized welfare of War Heroes, particularly of those who received multiple injuries in the battlefields and are confined to bed or wheelchairs, expecting lifelong care and society's affection. The Seva Vanitha Army Branch (SVAB) under the project theme 'Brave Hearts' officially gave its kick-off Thursday morning at Mount Lavinia Hotel for more..

The naming game of racism: Farveez, Jehan and Izeth

Mar 19 (DN) I am not conversant with court procedure and I don’t know if there’s any truth in some of the techniques lawyers are supposed to employ as described by novelists. What I find ‘plausible’ might be pure fiction. For example, Earl Stanley Gardner has Perry Mason asking witnesses questions that he is clearly aware are out of order. The counsel for the defendant knows very well that the prosecuting attorney will object and more..

'Group which is a strength to President must be elected to parliament'

Mar 19 (GDI) UPFA candidate of the Hambantota District Namal Rajapaksa has underscored the need for the support of the people to the development programme mooted by the President to rebuild the country. he said that they were living in one country and were moving towards a common aim which is development. A group which would be a strength to the President’s development efforts should be elected to Parliament. more..

Ramblings of an outsider in Jaffna – 1

Mar 19 (GV) I’ve moved to Jaffna on work. Everyone I know seems to think I’ve done something great and inspiring, to have moved here to help people. Firstly, I don’t think I’m better than anyone else for having moved here. I felt that being closer in “proximity” to issues that matter to me, would on some level bring me solace by means of contributing in some way to justice being served to a community that has long been deprived of it. more..

'The International threats mounting against SL are grave'

Mar 19 (LeN) Minister Prof. G L Peiris at (18) today’s Cabinet meeting said, the threats mounting among the International community against Sri Lanka are grave as signaled by the recent developments. The latest measures taken by the UN Gen. Secretary to appoint a three member expert panel to seek advice in regard to SL is the most grave and portentous , he pointed out. more..

'Nam's letter defending Sri Lanka was not agreed to by India'

Mar 19 (TC) Amid charges by the UN that the Non Aligned Movement's letter defending Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa government was not agreed to by all NAM member, notably India, the UN is insisting there is no contradiction between its statements about a panel to advise Ban Ki-moon about approaches to war crimes in Sri Lanka. Inner City Press asked Ban's Associate Spokesman Farhan Haq about his quote that the panel would not be established very soon and more..

Jaffna women want to change society

Mar 19 (UCAN) Tamil women in Jaffna now want a greater say in building a peaceful society after the civil war. “As mothers, wives and sisters, let us understand our responsibilities in society!” they shouted during a recent march through the streets of Jaffna. Although men were the main casualties during the 26-year war which ended last May, women were most affected by the loss of family members and bread winners, as well as the migrations and more..

Conversation with Shanthi Sachithananthan

Bindusara of blood plasma racket reinstated

Mar 19 (LT) Former Directress of National Blood Center Dr. Mrs. Mangalika Bindusara who had been interdicted regarding a racket that involved importing outdated blood plasma filtering units and issuing them for usage has been reinstated without any investigation or inquiry. This racket of importing blood plasma filtering units and issuing them to be used, considered the biggest fraud in the health sector, jeopardized lives of many patients and more..

TID reprimanded for ridiculing Court

Mar 19 (LT) The Colombo Additional Magistrate Gihan Ranawaka has called for a full report on the arbitrarily arrest of Major Sunil de Silva who had been granted anticipatory bail. The Magistrate blamed the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) for not adhering to the court order and sternly ordered the OIC of the Division to be summoned to court next week. The Magistrate made this order considering an application made by a group of lawyers more..

New panel of judges for 2nd military tribunal to be appointed today

Mar 19 (LT) Army Commander Jagath Jaysuriya has said the second set of judges for the military tribunal to inquire into allegations against Gen. Sarath Fonseka will be appointed today. The panel of judges will be appointed by the President on recommendations by the Army Commander. Two military tribunals were announced to try Gen. Fonseka on alleged offenses but only one panel of judges was appointed earlier. more..

Sustainable towns for Lanka

Mar 19 (LNP) The Government has commenced city development projects in Greater Colombo and in several major cities. The city development projects will see many opportunities for investors and businesses in the near future. Obstacles faced by private sector investors will be looked into and addressed. The National Fiscal Department has come up with acceptable plans and the Ministry facilitated their process to achieve high goals. more..

Manape war and leaders` failure

Mar 19 (LNP) The so-called manape pore or intra party clashes over preferential votes, has taken a turn for the worse. Not a single day passes without many `home and home` battles reported from different parts of the country besides clashes among candidates of rival parties. Only the JVP is free from manape pore because its candidates promote the party and not themselves at elections and settle for whatever they get by way of preferences. more..