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Prime Minister marks 50 years in politics

Mar 19 (DN) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayaka completes 50 years in politics today. To mark the occasion a series of ceremonies to pay tribute to the people of Horana and Kalutara will be held from today till March 21 organized by the 'Kalutara District Janatha Upahara Committee.' Committee Chairman Arisen Ahubudu said they have organized ceremonies to pay tribute to the people because more..

Fox Hill super cross in Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (MoD) Fox Hill Super Cross Races will be held in Diyatalawa on 16th and 17th April 2010 for the 18th year. Sports enthusiasts will be able to watch 13 motor car events and 17 motorcycle races announced Brigadier Ruwan Kulathunga. The Army is proud to announce this event after the victory of war. The main objective of the event is to generate funds for the infrastructure necessary for the Sri Lanka Military Academy (SLMA). more..

UNF and DNA release manifestoes

The equally divided ship: Where the Titanic erred…

Mar 19 (DN) Had the ship Titanic been built differently, would it not have sunk? Aruna Madurapperuma of Hingurala, Puwakpitiya in Avissawella thinks that it could have been saved from sinking by a method which he has ingeniously devised. Aruna has invented a ship construction method which could reduce damage to water-borne vessels by at least 90 percent. more..

SF, JVP, C-4 gang up to ruin Lanka’s image, says govt.

Mar 19 (Island) The government said yesterday it suspected the JVP’s involvement in the latest attempt by Britain’s Channel 4 Television to malign Sri Lanka. Government spokesman and Transport Minister Dulles Alahapperuma accused the JVP of exploiting former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka and his wife Anoma Fonseka to gain political mileage. more..

Arrested STF cop-led gang involved in murders too

Mar 19 (Island) A 10-member gang arrested by the Rajangana police had committed a spate of murders, robberies and abductions in the Thambuttegama, Rajangana and Talawa areas during the last few months. It was led by and STF deserter. Police have recovered two three wheelers, three motor cycles, six gold necklaces and five mobile phones. Investigations have revealed that some members of the gang had, while attempting to rob a gold chain from a young girl more..

Rare opportunity for people to elect Parliament strong enough to change Constitution - Asgiri Mahanayake Thera

Mar 19 (Island) The General Election would be a rare opportunity for the people to elect a stable government strong enough to pass a Constitution suitable to the country, replacing the one that has led to disunity and rivalry among the citizens, the Most Ven. Mahanayake of Asgiriya, Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thera said yesterday, when Minister Keheliya Rambukwelle called on him to wish the prelate on his birthday. more..

'Not a single woman in UPFA list to contest Colombo district'

Mar 19 (Island) The UPFA has no right to speak about women’s rights, as they are not fielding a single woman as a candidate from the Colombo District for the April 8 Parliamentary Elections. Taking into consideration the International Women’s Day celebrations a few days ago, the UPFA should have put forward at least one woman to contest the Colombo District, more..

Lanka’s debt crisis and the World Bank’s role

Mar 19 (DM) Amid the increasingly repulsive political rhetoric of most parties and the damn reprehensible lies which are often referred to as statistics, the stark reality as we learnt this week is that while the annual national income is around 705 billion rupees, the national debt with interest is a staggering 825 billion rupees. Whether we know it or not, we are all in a collective debt crisis or more bluntly an economic death crisis. more..

Hunt for Sicille continues

Mar 19 (DM) The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) says it is still investigating the whereabouts of Sicille Kotelawala, wife of businessman Lalith Kotelawala, who is wanted over an alleged fraud case. Mrs. Kotelawala, who is on the Interpol red list, is wanted for her involvement in the alleged financial scam involving her husband and an arrest warrant had also been issued. more..

'Waste management systems vital for country's cyberspace development'

Mar 19 (DM) Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka yesterday vowed that the prevailing waste management crisis will be brought to an end by 2012. "Upon the initiation of the Pilisaru project, we have been able to completely solve the clinical waste management issue. Several more sub-projects are being initiated as part of the venture. We are certain that the waste management crisis can be solved by 2010," more..

Sri Lanka a country of concern

Mar 19 (DM) The British Foreign office has named Sri Lanka as a country of concern saying it reflects Britain’s concerns about allegations of serious conflict violations, as well as the deteriorating status of the rule of law and freedom of expression in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is the only country to be added on the annual human rights report by Britain this year as a country of concern and follows recommendations by the Foreign Affairs Committee, more..

Is this Govt. there only to heap price hikes, taxes and c.o.l burdens on people?

Mar 19 (UNP) UNP Ex M.P. Kabeer Hashim said, ever since this Govt. came into power, the budget deficit has been ever widening while burdening the people with taxes, price hikes and c.o.l rises, and increasing its revenue collection by sucking the blood of the people. In spite of all these actions taken by the Govt., it has not been able to provide any relief to the people who elected it to power. more..

Danuna's grandmother released on bail

Mar 19 (CT) The Colombo Fort Magistrate yesterday released Danuna Tillekaratne's grandmother, Ellen Wimala Tillakaratne, who was arrested by the CID for allegedly providing accommodation to her grandson, after a warrant had already been issued for his arrest. Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne ordered the release of Mrs. Tillakaratne on a cash bail of Rs 3,000 and two sureties of Rs. 25,000 each. more..

JHU lashes out at UN

Mar 19 (Island) The JHU yesterday said the UNwould not be allowed to interfere with Sri Lanka’s internal affairs or to undermine her sovereignty. Environment Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, addressing a Jathika Hela Urumaya press briefing at the National Library Services Board Auditorium, said: "UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon will not be permitted to interfere in Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. more..

'Govt. continues efforts to release SL crew'

Mar 19 (PRIU) The Foreign Minister called for a report from the Sri Lanka Embassy in Riyadh and the Consulate General in Jeddah on Saudi Arabian vessel ‘MV Al Nasr Al Saudi’ hijacked by pirates along with 13 member crew of Sri Lankan nationals. The Minister requested the Missions to obtain all details pertaining to the crew members and more..

The arrogant government begs GSP from EC

Mar 19 (LT) The government of Sri Lanka that bragged in Sinhalese that it would never go begging behind the European Commission to ask for GSP has now asked the European Commission what they should do to get back GSP+ relief. This was revealed at the press briefing held yesterday (18th) to announce cabinet decisions. more..

Action against diplomat over missing items

Mar 19 (DN) The Foreign Ministry will take stern action against the diplomat who removed the items belonging to the owner of his residence in Japan, if proved guilty. FM Rohitha Bogollagama addressing the media yesterday said proper action will be taken to protect the Foreign Ministry against the actions of the diplomat concerned. "This officer was appointed on a contract basis. Personally, I have no idea about his character." more..

'No foreign monitors for general elections'

Mar 19 (DM) The PAFFREL yesterday said there had been no response from the Elections Commissioner on the Election Monitors’ proposal to appoint election observers for the counting centres at the General Election. PAFFREL Director, Rohana Hettiarachchi said the election monitor had sent letters to Elections Commissioner and had even brought up the matter on several instances but he had still not responded to PAFFREL’s request. more..

Lanka chosen by Emirates for exclusive UK tours catalogue

Mar 19 (DM) Sri Lanka has been featured as one of 14 popular destinations in an exclusive luxury holidays brochure produced by Emirates for the airline's customers in the United Kingdom. Produced by Emirates Tours UK, the tour operating arm of the award-winning airline in the UK, the glossy catalogue titled 2010 EXCEPTIONAL devotes eight pages to Sri Lanka, more..

Colombo police reaches out to Tamil community

Mar 19 (BBC) Police stations in Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo, have opened special units to take down statements in the country's main minority language, Tamil. So far, Sinhala has been the language overwhelmingly predominant in the police force. Tamil-speaking Sri Lankans had to rely on a friend to translate their complaints into Sinhala. The move has been hailed as a small but vital step in a country which has a lingering ethnic divide. more..

Fonseka spoke of India threat: Rajapaksa

Mar 19 (EB) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an interview said that post-LTTE defeat, Army Commander Sarath Fonseka had asked army strength to be increased by three lakh on plea that the island nation faced military threat from India. “Do you know he (Fonseka) wanted to increase the size of the army to 450,000?” the President said. “He said there are external threats. So I asked, who he was talking about? And he said, ‘India’. more..

What about Gandhis, asks Rajapaksa

Mar 19 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said there is no truth in the perception that he is building a family dynasty and referred to the Kennedys, Bushes and the Gandhis in politics as an example. Mr. Rajapaksa in response to a question on the oft-heard complaint that there are too many Rajapaksas in his regime has said, “But for that matter how many Kennedys were there in administration. Or Bushes. Or the Gandhis. I have only two brothers in administration.” more..

Sri Lanka Gems strengthen its grip in China

Mar 19 (GDI) The Sri Lankan Embassy in China in a press release today reported that they together with the National Gems and Jewelry Authority of Sri Lanka facilitated participation of 17 Sri Lankan exhibitors to the China International Gold Jewelry and Gem Fair in Shenzhen from 9 – 12th March 2010. As one of the most important international jewelry Fairs in Eastern China, more..

Ex-LTTE hardcore marries heart-throb in maximum security jail

Mar 19 (PTI) It was celebration time at the country's maximum security prison here, as 28-year-old Madvan Ranjani tied the nuptial knot with her former LTTE hardcore cadre heart-throb who is serving a 15 years sentence there. Apparently, a determined Ranjani decided to wait long enough to marry her school days boyfriend. The 38-year-old former tiger combatant, Ramiah Ravindran, who married Ranjani yesterday at the Welikada Prison had more..

Debrief News - 19. 03. 2010

Global Tamil Forum (GTF) revives the terrorist threat to Sri Lanka?

Mar 20 (LG) Global Tamil Forum (GTF) was created in 2010 to continue the fight to a mono ethnic separate state in Sri Lanka after the defeat of the LTTE in 2009. Although Father S.J. Emmanuel is the front man, its de jure leader is Perinpanayagam Sivaparan alias Nediyavan in Oslo, who now leads the most dominant faction of the LTTE. Operating through GTF, the LTTE has been using electoral votes to pressure politicians and more..

Sri Lanka Central Bank refinance for small business

Mar 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Central Bank has launched a credit refinance scheme to help small and medium enterprises which are in difficulty to recover, senior officials said. The 100 percent refinance scheme through banks will give loans at eight percent up to a maximum of 20million rupees to help existing firms recover, said W M Karunaratne, director of the banking regulator's regional development department. more..

Sri Lanka hopes cricket will heal child soldiers

Mar 20 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is hoping its love of cricket, the country's most popular game, will help rehabilitate children caught up in the island's bloody civil war with Tamil Tiger separatists. Many Sri Lankan children have known little but war, which raged for 25 years before ending with a final push by government forces last May. more..

Saying what I want, when I want…

Mar 20 (GV) Five years have gone by since my entrance to the western hemisphere. Earlier inroads were always temporary; this time around it was reason to obtain citizenship. Which is done and dusted, the fat lady has sung. I am now supposedly a world citizen, no that’s not right, I don’t hold an UN passport, and sorry I digress. But please do try to read between the lines? Recent Christmas holidays in my motherland, the Paradise Isle, and more..

'We expect just decision from Judiciary as well as the whole world'

Mar 20 (LT) We expect a correct decision not only from the judiciary regarding the illegal arrest and arbitrary detention of Gen. Sarath Fonseka but also from the whole world says Democratic National Alliance (DNA) candidate for Colombo District Sunil Handunneththi. He said this addressing the media after the inquiry of the habeas corpus writ filed by Ms. Anoma Fonseka filed on behalf of her husband Gen. Sarath Fonseka. more..

'All military camps in Jaffna peninsula will be scrapped if UNP wins'

Mar 20 (TN) Ranil Wickremasinghe, leader of UNP, who arrived in Jaffna accompanied by his wife said that all the military camps in Jaffna peninsula will be scrapped except Palaali Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camp, in the UNP election campaign meeting held in Jaffna Veerasingham Hall Friday. “High Security Zones are no longer necessary in the peninsula and more..

Sri Lanka tea trade says expects short quality season

Mar 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea industry expects a short 'Western quality season' this year with teas that had the desired quality picking up in price at recent auctions as volumes fell, officials said. "We might have a late season - there are signs of teas brightening up," said Dhamitha Perera, chairman of the Planters' Association which represents corporate tea producers. "But it may be a short season." more..

General is a hero of the calibre of ‘Weera Keppetipola’ – Ven. Dhambara Amila Thero

Mar 20 (LT) Gen. Sarath Fonseka is a hero of the calibre of ‘Weera Keppetipola’; just as the executioner refused to assassinate ‘Weera Keppitipola’, when imperialists ordered the assassinator to assassinate instantly all forces against the General are falling back said Ven. Dhambara Amila, President of Patriotic National Centre (PNC) speaking to the media at the Courts Complex at Hultsdorf today. more..

Q&A: Sri Lanka remains defiant of U.N. Chief

Mar 20 (IPS) The Sri Lankan government continues to challenge U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's right to appoint a panel of experts to advise him on the human rights situation - euphemistically called "accountability issues" – following the end of a protracted conflict against a secessionist insurgency widely considered a terrorist organisation. more..

One law for Yoshithe & Gota and another for General

Mar 20 (LT) The President has called two military tribunals against the former Commander of the SL Army Gen. Sarath Fonseka who gave the leadership to the war against the LTTE and wiped out tiger terrorism after ending the 30 year old damnable war. The allegation that is inquired by one of the military tribunals is engaging in politics while he was the Chief of Defense Staff. Relevant to this allegation, statements of two UNP stalwarts, more..

Tamil Catholic students travel south, bear witness to “love and unity” for Sri Lanka

Mar 20 (AN) A group of 150 children from Arippu, a town in Mannar District, in northwestern Sri Lanka were able to travel south on an educational trip that gave them the opportunity to admire the region’s natural wonders. They also visited the capital and saw its architectural marvels. Above all, they felt the love and solidarity of people who want to put decades of war behind them in order to rebuild and reunite the country. more..

President Rajapaksa visits Sri Dalada Maligawa with Kandy district UPFA candidates

Mar 20 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa paid homage to Sri Dalada Maligawa, the most sacred Temple of the Tooth during his visit to Kandy this morning on 19th March. Venerable Maha Sangha invoked blessings on President Rajapaksa after he engaged in religious observances at the Sri Dalada Maligawa. After participating in the traditional morning rituals, more..

'Banging the head against every organization and country would not help Sri Lanka's economy in the long run'

Mar 20 (TC) “Banging the head against every organization and country may help boost one’s ego but would not help country’s economy in the long run. This does not mean that Sri Lanka should compromise its sovereignty for perks. It means that Sri Lanka needs to be civil and diplomatic when dealing with the outside world,” says the March 20th editorial of Daily Full Text of the editorial: more..

' No place in the UNP for those who worked for General'

Mar 20 (LeN) There are charges that a wave of opinion is developing within the UNP to discard those who worked closely and strongly for Gen. Fonseka at the last Presidential elections. Many of the UNPers worked ardently for Gen. Fonseka at the last elections because he was the Opposition common Presidential candidate and was accepted as such by the UNP ladership. It is reported that Lal Perera, the Jathika sevaka sangamaya (JSS) media secretary and more..

'The President’s mental capacity can be gauged when he is calling the celebrated war Hero as a fool'

Mar 20 (LeN) Kotte UNP Organizer and candidate for the General elections, Shiral Lathileke, Attorney at Law referring to President Mahinda Rajapakse’s remark made by him at Singapore to the ‘Straight Times‘ that the former Army Commander Gen. Fonseka is a fool to have entered politics and therefore he does not deserve a pardon has been frowned upon and mocked at by all the people of Sri Lanka. more..

Politicizing the military and militarizing the political

Mar 20 (DM) There was a time when the Federalist/Eelamist lobby masquerading as neutral do-gooders who were disinterested in conflict outcome in terms of who wins and who loses out, spent a lot of time, energy and (other people’s) money to promote a ‘political solution’ over a ‘military option’. They ignored the fact that there is nothing apolitical about things military and that all choices are ‘political’; more..

Sri Lankan Surfing Federation expands, gets new logo

Mar 20 (GSN) The Birth of a Surfing Nation project has always had the objective of positioning Sri Lankan surfing in a different manner to that of other existing national surfing organizations due to the unusual environment and context in which the organization was created in 2010. In accordance with the formation recently of the Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka, the surfers have decided on a new logo for their identitiy, promotion and team look. more..

A Birthday Tribute: Ranil Wickremasinghe, The Gentleman Politician

Mar 20 (IL) It is a fallacy to think that only a selected few can be Patriots. We have had great many patriots from the UNP. The first in independent Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was then known) was Rt. Hon. D.S.Senanayake. Then, Dudley Senanayake and the others who defected and formed the SLFP. The then UNP did not accuse the defectors as Traitors and unpatriotic elements. more..

Jeewantha Kulathunga included

Mar 20 (SLC) It has been decided by the National Selectors to include Jeewantha Kulathunga in the ICC World T/20 squad of 30 players considering his outstanding performance during the Provincial T/20 Tournament. Kulatunga was adjudged the Player of the Tournament after scoring 277 runs at 69.25, which included the only century of the the recently concluded Inter-Provincial Twenty20 tournament.

It’s dangerous to be right in matters where the authorities are wrong

Mar 20 (LG) In all honesty, I’m not sure I would be capable of the courage he has shown. The man’s life is in ruins, and yet he has continued to do the thing he was born to do. Shunted from one safe-house to another, cut-off from his son, surrounded by security police, he has continued to go to his desk every day and write. Knowing how difficult it is to do this even under the best of circumstances, more..

President inaugurates the work on the Norochcholaya Power Plant Phase II

Mar 20 (IL) The construction work on the Norochcholaya Coal Power Plant Phase II in the Puttalama District was inaugurated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 18th March. The contract was awarded to the China National Machinery & Equipment Import & Export Corporation (CMEC), a Chinese Government owned company. The total capacity of the power plant (Phase I, II & III) will be 900 Mega Watts more..

Killer Instinct of a Human Rights Activist

Mar 20 (LG) We have heard that ‘penniless Mihinda Rajapaksha’ managed to go to Geneva with the help of some donors to expose the then UNP government of Sri Lanka of its human rights abuses. Great was the intension, valiant was the act and hero was the man, we concluded. He may have encouraged us to use such phraseology as ‘Poor Mahinda’ or ‘the man of the soil’ to describe him at the time but may frown upon us now for more..

Bogollagama saga and defunct Rajapakse administration

Mar 20 (LG) Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, Rohitha Bogollagama, recently acknowledged that he sought a UN job for his son. He defended his action stating that it was a ‘personal matter’ and as a father he would do anything in his capacity to support his son who was ‘qualified for the job’ that Foreign Minister was canvassing for. From the Sri Lanka’s point of view as a Nation, it is sad that Bogollagama - more..

Where and with whom were you and your wife between 3.30PM on Jan 26th and 4.45 PM on Jan 27th?

Mar 20 (TC) Dear Dayananda, We, the People have a Sovereign right to exercise our franchise at free and fair elections. The very last time we could do so was in 1977. Giving vent to our disgust with the governance then prevailing, we gave J.R. Jayawardena, who claimed to be the long-awaited saviour of the Sri Lankan nation, a 5/6th majority. more..