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Ranil gets his foxes and fowls in a twist

Mar 20 (LG) It took much observation of JR Jayewardene’s many years in politics for him to be known as the Grand Old Fox of Sri Lankan politics. He spent many years watching his opponents, plotting their downfall, as a fox would do, until he reached his goal of absolute power, with a five-sixth majority in parliament and a constitution that he framed largely to suit his own political aims; and also amended so many times as more..

TNA promoting racism- Karuna

Mar 20 (SLW) According to Minister of national integration Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan the government has made arrangements to launch a program to develop live stock and tourism industries in the eastern province in order to increase job opportunities in the east. He also said the following. “I want to be a leader to all people and not just Tamils. The policies of TNA leader Sambanthan is detrimental to Tamil people because they are only interested in promoting racism. more..

Interview with Deepika Udagama

Export boat building industry earning tops 4.5 billion

Mar 20 (GDI) The boat building industry has become a major money spinner for the country. The export value contributed by the boat building industry has doubled in 2009 to Rs 4.5 billion. It was Rs 2.24 billion in 2008. The industry’s future looks bright. The country needs to participate in international boat shows as a marketing strategy to attract demand. Boat manufacturers have opportunities in the leisure and commercial sectors to capture markets. more..

The naming game of racism: Farveez, Jehan and Izeth

Mar 20 (DN) So what’s his point? Racism or favouritism or both? After painstakingly arguing that there is some kind of systemic racism happening, the man says ‘perhaps not’. Then he removes the qualification and asserts discrimination: ‘In this article I have focused on discrimination against Muslims only in cricket, a tiny segment of our national life which however has as I have pointed out much significance for nation-building.’ more..

French, Belgian, Canadian & Swiss films screened at Bonjour 2010

Mar 20 (GDI) The much awaited Bonjour 2010 film festival is currently being held at the auditorium of the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS) at the BMICH premises in Colombo. Children’s movies are being screened at 2.30pm while adult movies are being screened at 4.30 pm and 7.00pm. The festival also consists of Belgian, Canadian, French and Swiss movies including 4 children’s and 8 adult movies. more..

Co-operatives to receive grants for purchase of paddy

Mar 20 (GDI) A decision had been taken to provide grants to Cooperatives to undertake paddy purchases. This decision was taken following a meeting with District Secretaries. The Treasury said that the new programme is in place in addition to the purchases made by the Paddy Marketing Board under the Guaranteed Price Scheme. The government is purchasing a kilo of the Samba variety at 30 rupees while the Nadu variety is purchased at 28 rupees a kilo. more..

Resettling IDPs in demined areas successful

Mar 20 (LP) The resettling of the displaced in the demined areas are been carried out smoothly said the Secretary of the Nation Building and Infrastructure Ministry W K K Kumarasiru. Addressing a media briefing held in Colombo yesterday (19) he said the Internally Displaced are being resettled after receiving the certificate from the UN. The IDPs have also received awareness about risk of mines. more..

Northern Province MOH offices get vehicles

Mar 20 (LP) Vehicles were handed over to the MOH offices in the Northern Province by the Governor Northern Province, Major General GA Chandrasri. Accordingly 06 Single Cab Pickups were handed over to the MOH offices in Mullaithaivu, Mallavi, Oddusuddan, Kilinochchi, Poonakery & Vavuniya North yesterday (19) at the the premises of Chief Secretary’s Secretariat, Northern Province. more..

Largest drug haul in SL's history still under investigation

Mar 20 (GDI) Foreign law enforcement authorities have been contacted by Police to investigate the recent drug bust in Kalpitiya as they had information to believe that the drugs had been brought in from overseas. IGP Mahinda Balasuriya told the media today that the drug bust in Kalpitiya was the largest drug haul in Sri Lankan history. He said the name of the country which it had been brought in from would be divulged soon. more..

Revisiting former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva’s views on the ICCPR

Mar 20 (GV) The arrest of General Sarath Fonseka marked the beginning of an unfortunate episode in Sri Lanka’s contemporary political history. However much flawed the individual may be (just like many others engaged in domestic politics in Sri Lanka), and however much I opposed his candidature, such flaws are not reasons that justify in any manner the way in which Fonseka is being treated at present. more..

Sri Lanka: Condemn the EPDP attack on SEP members in Jaffna

Mar 20 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) condemns the physical attack and threats by thugs of the EPDP against SEP members at Vaddukoddai in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, on March 19. Six EPDP thugs confronted K. Chitrakumar and two other SEP members at Tottiyadi junction in the Vaddukoddai area at about 2.45 p.m. yesterday. Chitrakumar is a member of the SEP’s slate of candidates for the Jaffna district in the April 8 parliamentary election. more..

Illegal Lobster export attempt foiled

Mar 20 (LP) An attempt to export a stock of lobsters was foiled by Sri Lanka customs yesterday (19). A stock of lobsters and lobster eggs which weighed nearly 742 kg were stored in two shipments of 28 and 20 boxes each. It is reported that there were 137 lobsters in the boxes. According to the Lobsters regulations of the Fisheries Act, it is illegal to export lobsters less than 6 cm carapace in length and gravid females, more..

General petitions against ‘Rupavahini’

Mar 20 (LT) Gen. Sarath Fonseka petitioned Supreme Court yesterday (19th) requesting the Court to issue notice to authorities of SLRC including its Chairman to show cause why they should not be penalized for contempt of court for they had committed a crime by not adhering to guidelines issued during the presidential election by the Commissioner of Elections to electronic media. more..

Bahu says Global powers gave ok for repression without disgrace

Mar 20 (LNW) UNO is not a democratically elected institute. It is a political instrument controlled by powerful nations. Lanka is just one of the members. Those who got help from the powerful nations were made members. Countries like us who got aid from them, the powerful countries like America, dance according to their tunes. Result of that is coming out now. Global powers and their organisations ask our rulers, why they are doing acrobatics, when they were asked only to dance. more..

Ferial Ashraff felicitates IWOC award winner Jansila Majeed

Mar 20 (PSM) "Muslim women in Sri Lanka have lot of unutilised potential and time has come to prove their potential and use their talents to the betterment of the community and country", so said Minister Ferial Ashraff when she addressed a function to felicitate Ms. Jansila Majeed of Puttalam who is pne of the ten winners of this year’s International Women of Courage (IWOC) award of the US State department on 10th March. more..

Notice to Gota from Vavuniya Court

Mar 20 (LT) Vavuniya Court that inquired into a habeas corpus application filed by a father requesting Court to direct the release of his son who had been handed over to security forces after he had been abducted by tiger terrorists has noticed four including Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse to appear before Court on 7th May. Vavuniya High Court Judge J. Vishvanathan after inquiring into the petition filed by the father of Sathkunam Gajan at Pompemadu camp more..

Poverty down nine percent

Mar 20 (DN) The national poverty level has dropped by nine percent. The decline in poverty is mainly due to the village centered development projects started under the Gama Neguma program, Nation Building Ministry Secretary W.K.K. Kumarasiri said. He said the poverty level that was 24 percent in 2007 had come down to 15.2 percent at present and the Government is implementing programs to reduce poverty further. more..

Baby thrown to ‘Kalu Ganga’ dies

Mar 20 (LT) The baby rescued while floating in ‘Kalu Ganga’ near the bridge at Kalutara on the 11th passed away a few minutes ago state hospital sources. Sellage Amila Sandaruwan was 2 years and 8 months old. The child who was being treated at National Hospital in Colombo was finding it difficult to breathe as his respiratory organs had been malfunctioning due to remaining in water for a long time. more..

Anoma called to the CID

Mar 20 (LT) Ms. Anoma Fonseka, wife of former Army Commander and Leader of Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Gen. Sarath Fonseka has been called to the CID to get a statement from her says a spokesman for DNA. According to DNA spokesman CID officers informed Ms. Anoma Fosneka yesterday that they needed to get a statement from her. However, Ms. Fonseka has not been informed why they needed a statement from her.

Royal-Thomian clash for Mustangs Trophy

Mar 20 (LNP) A close tussle can be expected when traditional rivals Royal College and S. Thomas College clash in their 35th limited over match for the Mustangs Trophy at SSC grounds at 9.45 a.m today. The Thomians have made one change from the team which played in the Big Match by bringing in Sachinda Liyanarachchi at the expense of Umesh Fernando while Royal are likely to include Madusha Rajaratne for today s game. more..

A fools` paradise

Mar 20 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has, in an interview with the Strait Times, called former Army Commander and presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka a fool who should have known better than to venture into politics. We beg to differ. We think the much decorated soldier who led the Sri Lankan army to victory in a fierce war on terror is not a fool but he made a fool of himself by falling for the wiles of some bankrupt politicians who wanted to save their skin. more..

Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka: A half century in politics

Mar 20 (DN) My mind goes back to September 1956 when I first met Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka at the Ceylon Students’ Centre in London, when I went there to attend a meeting of the Ceylon Students’ Association. I was at the time a member of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party Group in London. My acquaintance with the Ceylon Student’s Association grew progressively with Ratnasiri who more..

‘Choka Malli’ attack campaigners getting signatures for General’s release

Mar 20 (LT) Goons of Deputy Minister Premalal Jayasekera (Choka Malli) attacked those who were involved in a campaign held at Kahawatta town in Ratnapura District yesterday to get one million signatures to a petition demanding the release of Gen., Sarath Fonseka. The goons who had arrived in a vehicle with the sticker with the minister’s name fixed on to it and in four motor cycles attacked those more..

Dept. of Coast Guard protects coastal activities

Mar 20 (DM) Protecting maritime domain from piracy, flow of narcotics, illegal fishing, human trafficking, maritime terrorism and other violations of law in the maritime would be the primary objectives of the newly established Coast Guard Department, Rear Admiral L.D Dharmapriya, Director General of the department said. The Department is a non-ministerial government department tasked with Coast guard duties within the territorial waters of Sri Lanka. more..

Largest heroin detection: IGP rewards PNB and Kalpitiya Police

Mar 20 (DN) Police during the weekend made the biggest ever local detection of heroin (70 kilograms) from the Puttalam District. The seized heroin was valued over Rs 500 million. Inspector General of Police Mahinda Balasuriya at a press conference yesterday paid tribute to the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) and Kalpitiya Police involved in the detection. more..

Rajitha’s wife releases docs, nurses for mobile clinics in Kalutara

Mar 20 (Island) The All Ceylon Government Medical Officers’ Association accused the Government of using staff of the National Hospital to obtain votes by hosting mobile clinics in the Kalutara District. President of the ACGMOA, Dr. Gishantha Dassanayake said, that these clinics were being carried out in the Kalutara District where Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne was contesting on the UPFA ticket. more..

'New policy on education to be introduced after elections'

Mar 20 (Island) A new education policy would be introduced to after the April 8 General Election, Education Minister Susil Premajayanth said. He said that there were several short comings in the prevailing education system and the new policy would correct these errors. Premajayanth claimed that several governments which were in earlier power, promised a new education policy which never materialised. more..

'Party leaders must halt their supporters and candidates perpetrating violence'

Mar 20 (Island) The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence called upon the leaders of all political parties to take immediate and effective steps to halt the violence perpetrated by their candidates and supporters which is a clear threat to the integrity of the electoral process and democracy. The CMEV said that it was deeply concerned by the misuse of state resources for campaigning purposes and more..

TN Govt. urges Centre to take steps for political solution in Sri Lanka

Mar 20 (Island) The Tamil Nadu government has urged the Centre to take vigorous steps in arriving at a speedy political solution to the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. In his Budget Speech, Finance Minister K Anbazhagan said the Centre should take more vigorous efforts in arriving at a speedy political solution to enable the Sri Lankan Tamils to live comfortably with equal rights. more..

Lankan Captain and two others released: FM

Mar 20 (DM) The Sri Lankan Captain, Chief Engineer and a crew member of the vessel ‘MV- Ro Ro Laila’ held by Somali pirates have been released, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. However, the Foreign Ministry in a statement said their departure had been delayed as the company had not been able to find replacements for them on time. When this process is completed, the crew will be repatriated to Sri Lanka. more..

Political party reps pull up Police Chief

Mar 20 (DM) Political party representatives took IGP Mahinda Balasuriya to task in the presence of Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake yesterday, for the failure on the part of the police to remove illegal cut-outs, posters and banners according to law. However, the IGP who was visibly angry said the police had practical difficulties in removing such cut-outs and posters partly due to pressure by candidates in the fray. more..

'Fonseka should have discused facilities with Navy'

Mar 20 (DM) The Jathika Nidahas Peramuna (JNP) yesterday said detained General (retired) Sarath Fonseka could have a discussion with the authorities on the issues regarding the facilities of the apartment where he was kept. “JNP Spokesman MP Mohammed Muzammil told a news conference that General Fonseka should have done this without informing the short comings in the place where he is kept to a foreign TV channel.” more..

‘Friends of Sri Lanka’ in European parliament urges EU not to halt GSP+

Mar 20 (GDI) Chairman of the European Parliament's cross-party 'Friends of Sri Lanka' group and long-standing member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Geoffrey Van Orden called on EU countries to "not merely rubber-stamp the inappropriate conclusions taken by EU bodies to cut GSP+ benefits to Sri Lanka, but to take account of the wider situation and improvements on the ground". more..

Candidate in robes not a Catholic Priest, Archbishop

Mar 20 (DM) The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka warned yesterday the a pastor contesting the forth coming Parliamentary Elections was not a member of the Catholic Church and said the Catholic church did not approve of him distributing leaflets which state a vote for him is a vote for Jesus. Archbishop of Colombo Rev Malcolm Ranjith said in a special statement yesterday that more..

President at inaugural rally: ‘Give me a strong Parliament’

Mar 20 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he had a duty to create a society which is well disciplined and has high moral values. Addressing the first major political rally in support of UPFA candidates contesting the forthcoming Parliamentary elections, the President said he was of the belief that a country’s progress could be retarded if it did not possess a disciplined society. more..

Fonseka case: Appeal Court judge withdraws

Mar 20 (DM) An Appeal Court Judge, one of the three judges appointed to hear the Habeas Corpus application filed on behalf of retired General Sarath Fonseka and his writ application challenging the court martial, declined to sit on the bench citing personal reasons when the case came up yesterday. As such the Court of Appeal yesterday re-fixed for support on March 25 the Habeas Corpus application and more..

IGP does the baby act at party secretaries meeting with EC

Mar 20 (LT) During the discussion held at the office of the Commissioner of Elections between the Commissioner and the Secretaries of political parties contesting the general election regarding removal of illegal cutouts, the IGP had said the police could not do so as certain individuals stare at them when they try to remove such cutouts. more..

'Exclude Jayasuriya for Chennai game'

Mar 20 (EB) Issuing a veiled threat to IPL team Mumbai Indians of possible disruption of its Twenty20 match with Chennai Super Kings on April 6 here, Puthiya Tamizhagam leader Dr K Krishnaswamy on Thursday advised them to not include Sanath Jayasuriya in the playing eleven since he is a candidate of Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse’s political party in the forthcoming parliamentary elections there. more..

Sri Lanka poultry industry squeezed by state controls

Mar 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's poultry industry has been squeezed by taxes on imported maize which pushed feed costs up and price controls on processed chicken which worsened a downturn in the industry, a top agro firm has said. Ceylon Grain Elevators group, a unit of Singapore's Prima, said an economic slump in early 2009 reduced demand for chicken as consumers ate out less and tourist arrivals also plummeted. more..

UK disagrees with NAM on Lanka

Mar 20 (ICP) Ten days after Sri Lanka got a Non Aligned Movement letter submitted to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon telling him he has no jurisdiction to seek advise on accountability for war crimes in Sri Lanka, the UK Permanent Representative to the UN Mark Lyall Grant told the Press his country disagrees with NAM's argument. ICP asked Ambassador Lyall Grant about NAM's letter, and war crimes in Sri Lanka. more..

Indian High Commissioner visits welfare camps in Sri Lanka

Mar 20 (Hindu) The Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Ashok K. Kantha visited Vavuniya, Oddusudan and Mullaithivu on March 19 for a first hand knowledge of the relief welfare camps for the war displaced and the assistance being provided by India for the rehabilitation and re-settlement of the Tamil civilians in the war ravaged northern province. more..

Kulatunga back in reckoning for World T20

Mar 21 (CI) Sri Lanka's selectors have included right-hander Jeevantha Kulatunga in the probables squad for the upcoming World Twenty20 in the Caribbean after overlooking him for the 30-man team initially. A media release from SLC on Thursday said, "Jeevantha was included into the squad considering his outstanding performance in the recently concluded Bank of Ceylon Inter-Provincial Twenty20 tournament." more..

A Reply to Tissa Devendra on Rebuilding Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (GV) The venomous response of Devendra in the Island of 16th March does not merit a reply but I need to set the record straight. As I said in my original entry, “The primary fault is with neither the visitors nor the locals” which is very different to what Devendra seeks to imply. He takes offence over my citing the critical observations of a very distinguished Sinhalese. more..

No four star general to try Fonseka: Lankan Govt

Mar 21 (PTI) Detained former Sri Lankan Army Chief Gen Sarath Fonseka has moved the country's apex court saying he can't be tried by a military court six months after his retirement. His plea which came up before a Court of Appeal on Friday could not be taken up as one of the judges of the Court withdrew from the panel citing personal reasons. more..

Election enemas are dehydrating democracy

Mar 21 (TC) Sri Lankans must be turning out to vote within five year spans more than anyone else in the world. But too many elections are not a recipe for enhancing democracy. In fact, excessive elections could diminish democracy. In Sri Lanka, they are a huge strain on the system, more so on the personal stress level of the world’s most captive election commissioner. The gentleman has no choice; he cannot even retire. more..

Dengue deaths toll increases to 63

Mar 21 (TN) The highest number of fourteen deaths due to dengue has been reported from Jaffna district, eleven from Colombo district and seven from Gampaha. The death toll has risen to sixty three in the island. There were twelve deaths in February and the rest in January but no death has been reported in the month of March till Friday, according to Epidemiology Unit sources of the Health Ministry. more..

Relevance of the Indian Political Model of governance to Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (TC) From time to time one hears the call for introducing the Indian Political Model of governance. To get proportions correct and see the relevance of the Indian model to Sri Lanka , one has to look at India in the same way as one looks through an amateur telescope from the rear of the tube. The subject focused will naturally look tiny. more..

A Beleaguered General

Mar 21 (SL) Sri Lanka’s former Army Commander has sensationally sought the assistance of the United Nations to assist him. In statements released General Sarath Fonseka attributes his predicament because he dared to challenge the incumbent President and his government. Maintaining his position that he is a civilian, he states that the government nevertheless proceeded to charge him under the Army Act. more..

Women in Sri Lanka need allies in the new parliament

Mar 21 (SL) The historic bill to reserve one third of the seats in the national assembly for women candidates would not have been passed in the Rajya Sabha in India if not for the determination of the leader of the congress party, Sonia Gandhi. The bill has been languishing in the Indian parliament for 15 years. The 100th anniversary of the International Women’s Day, the support of the reigning Congress Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, more..