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Karu Jayasuriya vows freedom for SF

Mar 22 (Island) The UNF and the DNA are committed to securing the release of General (Rtd) Sarath Fonseka from custody when the UNF forms a government on April 8, UNP deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya said. Jayasuriya said that the public is rallying behind the UNF and predicted that the current "dictatorial regime" would be defeated in the upcoming elections. more..

Annual road accident death toll reaches 2,000

Mar 22 (Island) Around 2,000 people, including schoolchildren, die in road accidents annually in Sri Lanka and 100,000 to 80,000 people sustain injuries. Of the 100,000 injured people, two to five per cent have become permanently disabled, the survey reveals. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has blamed the high death rate on several factors such as reckless driving, driving under the influence of liquor and ignoring traffic laws. more..

Judiciary decides to inquire ‘Tissa’ application

Mar 22 (LT) The Court of Appeal has decided to inquire into the case filed by the JVP against the decision to hand over the administration of Tisamaharamaya Pradeshiya Sabha to a commissioner. The decision on the interim relief the JVP sought from the case to reinstate the Chairman of the Pradeshiya Sabha until a court decision is meted out would be announced on the 5th May. more..

'Rapid development depends on political stability'

Mar 22 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said UPFA supporters should not take the upcoming parliamentary election lightly, but go all out to win it with a two-thirds majority. He urged UPFA supporters to canvass for voters among their family, friends and relatives. Now that a 30-year war had been won, the country needed political stability to ensure rapid development of the economy, he added. more..

CID grills Anoma Fonseka

Mar 22 (DM) CID officers questioned wife of retired General Sarath Fonseka, Anoma yesterday evening at her Queens Road residence in Colombo, sources said. The CID had questioned her for about three hours, Daily Mirror reliably learns. The CID had to pause questioning as Mrs Fonseka had to take meals to Gen. Fonseka who is under detention at the Naval headquarters. more..

Police in hot spots

Mar 22 (DM) The Police headquarters yesterday said that they had beefed up security in areas identified as hotspots during the election period. “The police have deployed mobile road blocks, additional police patrols and extra policemen to areas that have been identified as hot spots where government and the opposition have strong presence,” more..

Another infant thrown in river

Mar 22 (DM) A body of an infant, floating in the Thalgasgoda ganga, Ambalangoda, was recovered by the police on Saturday evening, Police media spokesman SP Preshantha Jayakody said. Sadly the child who had been thrown into the KaluGanga by his mother and was in the Intensive Care Unit of Lady Ridgeway Hospital also died on Saturday. The body of the infant was found put inside a polythene bag and wrapped in rags covering the infant. more..

Numbers only

Mar 22 (DM) Candidates contesting the general election have now resorted to a different tactic by displaying only their preferential numbers instead of their pictures after the Elections Secretariat cited the erection of cut-outs as unlawful, election monitors said yesterday. PAFFREL noted that this new strategy of candidates is an unlawful propaganda method. PAFFREL’s Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi expressed optimism that more..

CBK hosts diplomats for lunch

Mar 22 (LT) Former President Chandrika Bandaranayke Kumaratunga was the hostess for lunch for several diplomats yesterday (21st). Diplomats from America, India, Australia and Britain were among those who attended the luncheon held at Ms. Kumaratunga’s Horagaolla residence between 12.30 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. The meeting was described as a courtesy call.

Only one MP refuses March pay

Mar 22 (NS) Despite a request by a government Minister not to accept the March salary for attending Parliamentary sittings on March 9 for the Emergency Debate, Parliament sources said, only one member has refused his monthly salary so far. “Normally, payments are made on either 26 th or 27th of every month and arrangements are already underway to make the payments for this month. more..

Dayasiri’s dancing girls leave Rosy miffed

Mar 22 (Island) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera, appearing in Swarnavahini's Mega Star, a popular reality television programme, on Saturday (March 20) sang the Victor Ratnayake hit, Pembara Madhu mage to the satisfaction of judges except Rosy Senanayake, who appreciated her colleague’s singing, while being critical of a sensual dance act on stage. more..

Present election system must go - PM

Mar 22 (DN) The electoral system of the country under the preferential vote system should be changed as it has created unhealthy rivalry among both candidates and voters. It has also treated division and confusion, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka said yesterday. For this purpose, he called upon voters to give a two thirds majority in Parliament for the UPFA at more..

Vasudeva says he and the President had rough times in prison

Mar 22 (GDI) Vasudeva Nanayakkara has stressed that the difficulties faced by President Mahinda Rajapaksa or him while being imprisoned have not been experienced by the retired General Sarath Fonseka. During the UNP administration, President Rajapaksa as well as Vasudeva Nanayakkkara were imprisoned on baseless allegations. more..

Editorial: Pruning Cabinet, a reality take

Mar 22 (DM) By winning the war which he promised to end President Mahinda Rajapaksa has acquired a certain degree of credibility among the masses. However when he promised to prune the Cabinet to 25 this time, not everybody was convinced. After all a similar undertaking was given in 2005 and everybody knows what happened afterwards. more..

MTV/MBC attacked by thugs

Mar 22 (DPA) A stone-throwing mob on Monday attacked the head office of the largest private television and radio station network in Sri Lanka, police said. About 100 assailants damaged windows and parked vehicles but did not gain entry to the Maharaja media group building in Colombo as some employees resisted by throwing stones back at the mob, police said. more..

'No bar for me to address political meetings'

Mar 22 (LT) There is no prohibition from anybody for him to address political meetings says Secretary of the Defense Ministry Gotabhaya Rajapakse. Speaking to ‘Divayina’ newspaper he has said, “My addressing political meetings is an issue to some people. The people should be told about how terrorism in the North was destroyed and more..

Scepticism greets human rights plan

Mar 22 (IPS) Pressured by the west and international groups over its human right record, the Sri Lankan government is close to finalising a roadmap on safeguarding civil and political liberties. But the plan has drawn scepticism from human rights activists, who say that this South Asian country has a serious credibility issue in enforcing such a mechanism. "This will be another document that will be merely on paper and intended to appease the international community and more..

Difficult homecoming for Muslim IDPs

Mar 22 (IRIN) Resettlement efforts are under way for thousands of displaced Muslims from Sri Lanka’s north who have been languishing in refugee camps for nearly two decades, officials say. The IDPs were forcibly evicted in October 1990 from the northern districts of Jaffna, Mannar, Kilinochchi, Mullaithivu and some parts of Vavuniya by the insurgent LTTE. About 75,000 Muslims are estimated to have fled, more..

Tamils find their voice after Sri Lanka's civil war

Mar 22 (CBC) Logan Logendralingam is taking a break, although you wouldn't know it, given the barrage of phone calls and staff interruptions he fields. The editor of one of Canada's largest Tamil newspapers, Uthayan — a Scarborough, Ont., weekly —Logendralingam can be forgiven all the distractions. He was on deadline to put out his newspaper and also to help solve a crime. more..

Sri Lanka's UPFA poised for easy win

Mar 23 (AT) In a little over a fortnight, Sri Lanka goes to the polls to elect a new parliament. With the opposition in disarray and the ruling UPFA poised to benefit from President Mahinda Rajapaksa's immense popularity among Sinhalese voters, an emphatic victory for the UPFA is on the cards. The general elections come close on the heels of presidential polls. In January this year, Sri Lanka re-elected Rajapaksa to a second term in office. more..

Stocks down for 6th session on retail selling

Mar 23 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's shares slid in thin volume on Monday for a sixth session to an over one-month low on retail selling ahead of upcoming IPOs and parliamentary polls, while the turnover slumped to a near three-month low. The All-Share Price Index .CSE of the Colombo Stock Exchange closed 0.05 percent or 1.92 points weaker at 3,743.00, its lowest since Feb. 18. It had hit a record high of 3,865.17 points on March 15. more..

Minister misled police; petition to court

Mar 23 (BBC) A journalist detained on charges of conspiring against the government has accused a minister of providing false information to the police. In a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition to the Supreme Court, journalist Ruwan Weerakoon has informed the courts that information given to the police CID by Minister Johnston Fernando are false. more..

'Sri Lanka expects more support from multilateral lenders'

Mar 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka is looking for more flexibility and backing from multilateral lenders as the country emerges from a war and a global crisis and is planning sustainable growth for the future, a top official said. "Our struggle against terrorism came to an end and we look forward to a wider co-operation with ADB and JBIC when we are addressing the fiscal consolidation phase," Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera said. more..

'Rajapakse regime has no programme to build national unity'

Mar 23 (LT) The Jaffna District office of the JVP was declared open at Udupiddi, Velvetithurai in Jaffna yesterday with the participation of JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe and Parliamentarian Ramalingam Chandrasekar. The election office of the DNA too was opened on the same day. The candidates of DNA contesting the general election for Jaffna District were present on the occasion. more..

Protesters against Akon throw stones

Mar 23 (AP) Protesters outraged at an upcoming concert by R&B singer Akon hurled stones at a Sri Lankan private broadcaster's headquarters Monday, injuring four workers and damaging the building. Police spokesman Prishantha Jayakody said several protesters against the Akon concert were taken into custody after throwing rocks at the headquarters of the Majaraja Organization, the broadcaster more..

The Spin King is still buzzing

Mar 23 (Hindu) It was tragic really that Muttiah Muralitharan finished at the wrong end of a thriller on a tense Sunday night. It was also a night of several emotional shades in the melting pot that the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium was. At the end of it all, Muralitharan's radiant visage masked his disappointment. He walked up like a champion and a sportsman to congratulate the victors. Yet, deep down and beneath all those layers, it must have hurt. more..

Only 46000 IDPs registered to vote

Mar 23 (BBC) There are nearly 46,000 eligible voters among the displaced people in Sri Lanka, the department of elections says. The elections commissioner said the most of them, just over 32,000, are registered from the Vanni district. There is a considerable number of voters from Jaffna district. The department said every eligible voter will soon be informed of the alternative voting centre allocated for them. more..

Debrief News - 22. 03. 2010

Addressing the water challenge in IDP camps in Northern Sri Lanka

Mar 23 (ACTED) In Menik Farm, the biggest IDP camp of northern Sri Lanka, the shortage of drinking water is a challenge for the international organizations. A vast system of water pumping, treatment and supply has been established to provide the 96,000 remaining IDPs of the camp the minimal 15 liters of water per day as required by the Sphere standards. Standing within a dusty barren clearing beside more..

Sri Lanka wants more time to resettle IDPs

Mar 23 (Hindu) Sri Lanka has said that it wants more time to settle the IDPs due to infrastructural constraints and the danger of landmines at their original habitats. “Don't ask for a time frame. It will happen quickly. We have settled a large number of people in record time with about 1,000 leaving the makeshift camps on a daily basis. But we have to give people infrastructure and demine the areas. We can't let people be blown up,” more..

Corruption and 08 April 2010

Mar 23 (LG) In my previous article To Question or not to Question, I talked about our failure to establish Right to Information legislation in Sri Lanka. There is only one way to establish Right to Information legislation: our active involvement. India’s ‘Right to Information Act’ has exposed corruption in various public schemes and is helping people wrest back power from corrupt politicians and bureaucrats. more..

Hitler, Nationalism, Sacrifice: Koenigsberg and Beyond … Towards the Tamil Tigers

Mar 23 (LG) As I am no longer constrained by the academic circuit, I venture bold and present the unrevised article warts and all. Taking such a course has a benefit for readers: illuminating photographs embellish the section on the LTTE in ways that would rarely be accommodated in a standard journal. The Referees’ criticisms will be presented here for the benefit of readers within a week or so. more..

School children lead the way on healthier habits

Mar 23 (IFRC) In Sri Lanka, water has always been a dominant issue for the people of Potuvil town. Potuvil lies on the edge of the country’s dry zone in the eastern distinct of Ampara, rainfall is scant for most of the year and households in this coastal settlement are used to living with water scarcity. Most families depend entirely on their own private wells for water, but more..

The revenge of a Tamil man

Mar 23 (GV) Some months ago, I arrived in Colombo on a trip to London from the Far East with Sri Lankan Airline. When the transit is more than eight hours, they put you in an overnight hotel with basic facilities, but good food, Lion Lager and sea breeze to go as extras. On the drive back from the hotel, the taxi driver starts a conversation: “Sir from India?” Statistically speaking, his is a good guess. more..

An indigenous and reginal response to international pressure

Mar 23 (TC) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has reaffirmed his determination to appoint a panel of experts to advise him on Sri Lanka’s adherence to its international obligations pertaining to human rights. This has evoked a predictably negative response from the Sri Lankan government and, indeed, the more nationalist sections of civil society, whose position was that more..

Two Indian cricketers meet President Rajapaksa after receiving Ayurvedic treatments in Sri Lanka

Mar 23 (IL) Indian opening batsman Gautam Gambhir and left-arm fast bowler Ashish Nehra met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees on Monday evening after receiving Ayurvedic treatments in Sri Lanka. Both players who are playing for Delhi Daredevils received treatments in Sri Lanka for the injuries obtained while playing in the current IPL. more..

Sri Lanka’s foreign relations and the South Asian power balance

Mar 23 (LG) The recent official statistics confirmed what has right along been figured out by the more perceptive of observers. Sri Lanka’s troubled relations with the West are beginning to reveal themselves in a diminished financial commitment towards Sri Lanka by countries, such as, the US and Germany. While the US had committed a mere US $ 1.0 million in financial assistance for 2009, more..

Fake Aparna Fonseka Facebook fan website to tarnish Gen. Fonseka

Mar 23 (LG) According to reports reaching Sri Lanka Guardian, a fake facebook fan website had been launched under the name of Aparna Fonseka, daughter of Gen. Sarath Fonseka by supporters of President Rajapakse. Sri Lanka Guardian reliably learns that supporters of President Mahinda Rajapakse from ruling UPFA had launched this fake facebook website as a political attack against Gen. Sarath Fonseka. more..

Mangrove Bioshield - IDRC

Terrorist fronts in Canada

Mar 23 (LG) The Canadian Humanitarian Appeal for the Relief of Tamils (HART) is another front organization of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE). The LTTE was defeated in Sri Lanka in May 2009 and the LTTE is trying to revive by establishing such innocuous sounding fronts. To gain legitimacy HART was able to get space in the Toronto Star on March 11, 2010 in a story titled "Ship Bound Tamil Refugees." more..

Lessons to be learned from Amila's tragedy

Mar 23 (LG) Amila – Priceless – is the name she gave to him just four years back. Last week, she was seen throwing the four year old Amila into Kalu ganga (river). Amila was her fifth child. She had been making efforts in the last few months trying to get her children into an orphanage but failed. According to reports, a large crowd saw the child being thrown into the water and no one moved to rescue the child. more..

Election & Political Healing

Mar 23 (IL) After every election, Sri Lanka needs some time for political healing. Most candidates lead the way. Losing candidates concede, stressing the need to work together to unify the country. Most winning candidates are gracious in victory promising to be concerned about the interests of all the citizens they represent. Both usually call for an end to the hate-filled rhetoric. more..

Is not calling a person as fool uncultured?

Mar 23 (LG) It was reported in the press that President Rajapaksa has called his opponent Presidential candidate Mr. Fonseka as a fool. Many thought that President Rajapaksa would not have said this and he would deny outright that he used such term to describe his political opponent. Unfortunately, there has been no such denial from President Rajapaksa, leaving one to the conclusion that the President would have said this. more..

EPDP men alleged of attack on UNP campaigners in the islets of Jaffna

Mar 23 (TN) UNP chief candidate for Jaffna electorate Ms. Vijayakala Maheswaran registered complaints with Jaffna Election Officer that persons of EPDP had attacked UNP candidates and supporters when they were pasting election campaign posters in Suruvil, Oorkaavattu’rai in the islets of Jaffna Sunday. Meanwhile, EPDP officials denied the allegation saying that the attackers were not their party men but ordinary civilians, more..

‘Sinhala Only’ in a govt office opening event in Jaffna

Mar 23 (TN) Local media reporters in Jaffna peninsula staged a walkout Monday from the official opening of Sri Lanka Foreign Employment (SLFE) branch in Nalloor in Jaffna Monday when it was conducted in Sinhalese language only. Tamil Minister Douglas Devananda was also present at the event along with Northern Province Governor, G. A. Chandrasiri. more..

Don't let this vulgar performer step into Sri Lanka

Mar 23 (IL) Your Excellency; Akon has to be stopped at any cost. He should not set foot on this soil. This is a predominantly Buddhist country. Why are we losing our balance? What kind of Tourism Promotion is this? A browse through the internet would prove Akon's vulgar music videos, with explicit sex material, sensual and seductive women dancing around him almost naked. more..

'Vote in order to protect your right to enjoy life'

Mar 23 (LeN) UNP MP Gayantha Karunatileke warned the voters to exercise caution and act wisely in order to protect their rights to enjoy life when casting their votes at the forthcoming general elections. Many parents transfer their properties to the children while retaining their right during their lifetime to enjoy the ownership. At this election the voters too must act that way not to give away their right to enjoy what they are living for. more..

Attack on Sirasa : 16 suspects in custody

Mar 23 (GDI) The Slave Island Police yesterday took into custody 16 suspects who are alleged to have damaged the buildings of Sirasa head office at Braybrook Place, Colombo 2. According to an eye witness several vehicles including two CTB buses, had come near the Sirasa head office and attacked the buildings and the employees who were inside the office with stones and other items at about 3.30 p.m. yesterday. more..

The 'Nommara Eké UNP Kaaraya'

Mar 23 (DN) It's a nice tagline isn't it? Sorry, we are talking about the UNP of 2010, I almost forgot. A correction is therefore in order: 'It would have been a brilliant line 30 years ago'. Thirty years? Yes, it's been that long since people didn't have to feel shy about admitting to being a UNPer. Today, in the month of March, 2010 and barely three weeks from a Parliamentary Election, there aren't any UNPers left who could say 'I am a green' more..

First Wind Energy Plant commissioned

Mar 23 (GDI) Sri Lanka’s first commercial Wind Energy Plant has been commissioned. It will further strengthen the generation of power. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake commissioned this Wind Energy Plant put up at Kalpitiya in Puttalam. Power generation will be undertaken with the support of the monsoonal winds experienced in the Puttalam area. It is a pioneering effort of Senok. more..