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Underpinning of the UPFA victory and undermining of the Sri Lankan nationhood

Mar 25 (GV) The UPFA’s continues its political hold on Sinhala nationalism after President Rajapaksa’s convincing victory in the Presidential election and it is likely to be repeated in the General Elections on 8th April. In electoral terms, this has been the most significant electoral victory Sinhala Buddhist nationalism has gained since the victory of 1956 over more..

Champika instigated President on the attack against Sirasa

Mar 25 (LNW) A senior Minister form the Colombo District said that it was JHU Theoretician and Minister Champika Ranawaka who had instigated the President and created the necessary background for the attack on the Sirasa media institution on the 22nd evening. Champika it is learnt had instigated the President saying Sirasa had organized a musical show at the SSC on April 24 and more..

“Subha Anagathayak” put off – Rs.2500 from next budget

Mar 25 (LT) At the presidential election campaign President Mahinda Rajapakse, promised that all state and private sector employees would be given a salary increase of Rs.2500 from January this year. The President promised that the salary increase would be definitely from January this year. However, at an election rally of the UPFA Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake had said the Rs.2500 increase promised by the President more..

'What we published regarding Deputy Minister Neomal Perera is the truth'

Mar 25 (LT) The information they had furnished regarding Neomal Perera, the Deputy Minister of UPFA government in connection with the haul of heroine apprehended by Police Narcotic Bureau and information related to it is true and he is prepared to confirm this information at any time and place says Chief Editor of ‘Lanka Irida’ weekend newspaper Chandana Sirimalwatta. more..

Johnny goes to court against new MPs of UPFA

Mar 25 (LT) With the cancellation of the Parliamentary seats of Johnston Fernando and Indike Bandaranayake, who crossed over from the UNP to the government stating they were doing so to ‘strengthen President’s hands,’ the Commissioner of Elections has gazetted the next two names to fill the two vacancies in Kurunegala District. Messrs D.M. Bandaranayake and Anura Gopallawa were the two appointed to fill the vacancies. more..

No solution for rubella vaccine issue

Mar 25 (LT) It was arranged to make available rubella vaccine from May and the relevant report of the independent committee has been handed over to Acting Secretary of Health Nihal Jayatileke. However, there hasn’t been any response regarding this and making available the vaccine has become an issue say sources in the Ministry of Health. These sources point out delay of making available rubella vaccine would subject pregnant mothers and children to serious illnesses. more..

Jensila Majeed: Woman of courage

'If polls are free and fair, UNF will win handsomely'

Mar 25 (LNP) The UNF would win the April 8 election if it was held in a free and fair manner unlike the Presidential Election of Jan. 26,` Rosy Senanayake told The Island in an exclusive interview yesterday. `Our Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has appealed to the Elections Commissioner and his staff to work with dedication and a clear conscience to do what is correct to enable more..

'Media repression carried out secretly then has come to the open now'

Mar 25 (LT) The media repression that had been carried out secretly until now has come to the open and it has developed to a state that media institutions are attacked in broad daylight in the presence of the police says ‘Journalists against Repression (JAS).” This was stated by Mr. Chandana Sirimalwatta, convener of JAS at a press conference held at Hotel Nippon yesterday (24th). more..

Editorial: Politicians and scared images

Mar 25 (LNP) Politicians do not spare anything in their quest for power. They will market everything under the sun to promote themselves and win elections. They do not give two hoots about the consequences of their action. After all, that is why they are called politicians! The Archbishop of Colombo has denounced the use of sacred images of Jesus Christ in political advertisements. more..

'Sri Lanka Government will prevail'

Mar 25 (LNP) Q: With the Presidential Election already won, do you agree that the Government is at a clear advantage at the upcoming General Election? A: The UPFA is definitely going to win the upcoming Parliamentary Election. There is no doubt about that. The people gave 1.8 million majority votes to President Mahinda Rajapaksa and ensured his victory. more..

Govt ready to purchase full harvest

Mar 25 (DN) Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday requested all farmers not to sell their paddy stocks to paddy mill owners and merchants as the Government is prepared to purchase their full harvest. He said a number of Government warehouses in Colombo are being kept ready in case of storage facilities belonging to the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) in the outstations are filled with paddy. more..

Online degree chance for Lankans

Mar 25 (Island) Sri Lankan students can now get a university degree through online education, Higher Education Minister Prof Wiswa Warnapala announced yesterday. The Minister said that he was delighted at the revolutionary introduction which is also a realisation of one of the promises pledged under the ‘Semata Sarasavi’ (University Education for All) theme of the Mahinda Chinthana manifesto. more..

Mavil Aru revisited

Mar 25 (DN) It was the turning point for the nation. When the separatist terrorists - the bloodthirsty LTTE - decided to close the Mavil Aru waterway depriving over 10,000 farmer families in the east water, no responsible government could have looked on impassively at the great human tragedy about to unfold. As in all cases of untruth and cooked up histories and nomenclatures the name of the waterway was Mahaveli Ara more..

'Dividends of development for all'

Mar 25 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said development cannot be confined to a particular group or a specific part of the country. “As far as projects are concerned I have to treat all districts alike because people from all parts of the country elected me for a second term.” He said, “I have to repay the faith placed in me by the people.” more..

Janaka Perera assassination: MoD objects to release of eight suspects

Mar 25 (Island) The Defence Ministry has opposed a move to release eight suspects held for their alleged involvement in the last successful LTTE suicide attack directed at a high profile ex-military leader, Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera, a former Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army. In the wake of Tuesday’s Magisterial directive to release eight of the ten suspects in custody for more..

'Cabraal should support private sector credit increase claim with data'

Mar 25 (Island) The Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, should produce the relevant data to support his claim that there was rise in private sector credit in February and March, the UNP said yesterday. Harsha de Silva told "The Island," that Cabraal’s claim of there being an increase in private sector credit in February and March, after a dip in January, because more..

'Jewel of Muscat' to call at the Port of Galle

Mar 25 (LP) A 9th Century reconstructed Omani ship, the ‘Jewel of Muscat’, is due to call at the Port of Galle on approximately 18th April 2010, as its arrival date would be determined by weather conditions since it will be using its sails for its voyage as it does not have an engine. The ‘Jewel of Muscat’ commenced its voyage from Oman on 15th February 2010 to re-enact the voyage that the seafaring nations of more..

'Sri Lankan Airlines to acquire Emirates stake soon'

Mar 25 (Island) Sri Lankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe yesterday expressed confidence that the national carrier would in the near future acquire the stake Emirates Airline has in it and that discussions are now going on. He said it is imperative that we buy over the 49% stake the the UAE airline has if Sri Lanka is to focus on the future. more..

UNP takes elections commissioner to court

Mar 25 (DM) UNP General Secretary filing a writ application before the Court of Appeal challenged the conduct of Election Commissioner and claimed that his contradictory statements had made himself a laughing stock in the public eye. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake in his application sought an interim order on the Commissioner of Elections to inform Court of any person or institution that refuses to obey and respect guidelines, more..

Ten schools closed in Pottuvil

Mar 25 (DM) The abuse of state resources has reached alarming proportions with ten schools in the Pottuvil electorate school closed on Tuesday to the UPFA in the Digamadulla district. Minister Athaullah had addressed teachers and non-academic workers of these schools. The election meetings had been conducted by him in the guise of having education seminars for teachers. more..

Former CJ says ensure HR to win GSP+

Mar 25 (DM) Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva said that there were remedial measures for the government to protect the GSP Plus tariff concessions by ensuring human rights and freedom of expression in the country. He said this referring to the alleged human rights violations and last month’s European Union warning to impose restriction on GSP + effective from August 15 this year. more..

Monitors seek permission to observe counting centres

Mar 25 (DM) Election Monitors yesterday demanded permission from Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake to monitor the election counting centres at the upcoming General Elections which they said should be under strict observation. CMEV spokesman D.M Dissanayake told the Daily Mirror that he had recently given approval to appoint election observers in each district centre where the results were issued and more..

Japanese envoy rejects UN offer

Mar 25 (DM) A top Japanese official has rejected an invitation by the UN to be part of an expert panel to advice UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon on issues related to the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. The diplomatic source refused to name the Japanese official but said it was a “famous Japanese” official, raising speculation it could be former Japanese peace envoy Yasushi Akashi. more..

'Rejects at April polls won’t get National List seats'

Mar 25 (Island) Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena yesterday (March 24) said that none of the unsuccessful UPFA candidates at April 8 polls would be appointed to Parliament through the National List. Acknowledging that political rejects had been accommodated previously on the National List, he assured that would not happen again. more..

'Govt planned, sponsored, later cancelled visa to Akon and now tries to act pseudo patriots'

Mar 25 (LT) All arrangements to bring down the US hip-hop singer Akon that created a furore in the society had been made by the government says DNA candidate for Colombo District Sarath Manamendra. He said, “It is the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) that has taken the initiative to bring Akon to Sri Lanka. It is a sports club in which many are Buddhists. more..

Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya accepts responsibility for protest

Mar 25 (GDI) Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya has accepted responsibility for the protest demonstration held against MTV media 02 days ago for sponsoring the performance of a foreign artiste named Akon who allegedly had blasphemed Lord Buddha. While the protest was continuing, a confrontation had taken place between the protestors and the staff of the MTV institute. more..

Former rebel capital struggles with returnee influx

Mar 25 (IRIN) The northern Sri Lankan town of Kilinochchi – former capital of the defeated LTTE – is struggling to address the needs of thousands of returnees. According to Sri Lankan military officials, more than 24,000 people or close to 30 percent of the town’s original population have returned since December – many of whom are living in tents. Aid agencies pulled out of the town in September 2008 as the decades-long conflict intensified. more..

Navy's Canal Boat Service

First political manifesto for women gets good reviews

Mar 25 (IPS) Political manifestos are often met with cynicism and even ridicule, but Sri Lanka’s first such manifesto for women is proving an exception to the rule as rights activists laud its recent launch. Put forth by the United National Front (UNF), Sri Lanka’s largest opposition group, the manifesto was released on Mar. 15, ahead of the April parliamentary poll. more..

Video: 'Gen. Sarath Fonseka's health deteriorating'

Mar 25 (AD) JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the wife of former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka had informed that her husband’s health was beginning to deteriorate. General Sarath Fonseka has developed a cough which has caused him breathing difficulties. “According his wife Mrs. Anoma Fonseka, we knew about it. We again ask the government to provide him with adequate ventilation,” he said. more..

'Setting of expert panel on Sri Lanka underway'

Mar 25 (RTT) U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday he was "identifying persons" for the committee of experts that would probe allegations of human rights violations in Sri Lanka during the concluding stages of the war with the secessionist LTTE. Ban said: "My Chef de Cabinet (Vijay Nambiar) has been meeting with Rajapaksa government's U,N, representative Palitha Kohona and more..

Sri Lanka stx up in high volume despite foreign sales

Mar 26 (Reuters) Shares snapped an eight-day losing streak on Thursday, led by buying of John Keells Holdings JKH.CM amid high turnover. The All-Share Price Index .CSE of the Colombo Stock Exchange closed 0.21 percent or 7.71 points firmer at 3,730.43 moving away from a more than five-week low. It had hit a record high on March 15. Foreign investors were net sellers of 4.7 billion rupees worth of shares, more..

Christians ponder how to vote in the upcoming elections

Mar 26 (AN) Some 7,620 candidates are running for office in the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for 8 April. However, doubts are still being raised concerning the legitimacy of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s election victory on 26 January. Moreover, whilst opposition parties are divided, the president’s party is trying to change election rules, ostensibly to ensure “governability”. more..

Debrief News -25.03. 2010

Aroused by Akon’s Sexy Bitch: the rise of Sinhala-Buddhist fundamentalism?

Mar 26 (GV) Could it be that the sight of the Buddha statue was a complete turn-off to those who were utterly aroused by the dancing girls, the ‘sexy chicks’, seen in the music video ‘Sexy Bitch’, by David Gruetta, which featured Akon? If not, can such a scene, which in this particular video lasted for not more than two seconds, truly give rise to the kind of intolerance in a Buddhist; which was shown when stones were hurled at the MBC office? more..

Demagogues exploit the Rajapaksha family’s weakness for flattery

Mar 26 (LG) TV and radio shows are now full of flattery of the Rajapakshas. The public media is being used for cheap propaganda with all kinds of hyperboles, in speeches, songs, and poems. For any intelligent observer, the whole affair is a nauseating experience. The recent shows ‘Jaya jayawe’ and the speech by the famous demagogue J.R.P. Suriyaperuma talking about babies for at least a thousand years being named after the president, more..

Minister regrets Akon's cancelled concert

Mar 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka lost a "priceless" promotional opportunity by banning the US star Akon from performing at a concert in Colombo following protests from Buddhist monks, the tourism minister said. The rapper's concert on April 24 was blocked after monks complained about his "Sexy Bitch" music video featuring women in bikinis dancing around a pool. A Buddha statue was visible briefly in the background. more..

Regarding Kath Nobel's comment on: "Another perfectly reasonable idea"

Mar 26 (LG) Kath Noble is one of Sri Lanka's columnists who is always worth reading. She is well informed and writes with good judgment. I read her comment which appeared as feature article in The Island (17-March-2010) as well as in Transcurrents, ( read)on the proposal by SPUR, an Australian expatriate group. The "Transcurrents version" has the benefit of some reader comments as well. more..

'Many nations have contributed to SL's sustainable development'

Mar 26 (GDI) After the eradication of terrorism, many countries have assisted the sustainable development of the country and this proves the massive trust foreign countries have towards the Government, Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said. Accordingly, a sum of 290m USD from China, 311m USD from Japan, 283m USD from Asian Development Bank and 202m USD from the World Bank have been given to Sri Lanka to achieve development goals. more..

Sri Lanka, political industry at the service of a totalitarian regime

Mar 26 (AN) The warriors are not a creation of the people, the art of politics appears on giant billboards on the roadside, they influence people to accept them as saviours of the country, it is the strategy of a totalitarian regime. Göbbels, Minister of Propaganda of the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler, popularized this psychological effect during the Second World War: "A lie repeated thousands of times, becomes the truth." more..

'Tissa Attanayake attempting to deny votes for Gen. Fonseka'

Mar 26 (LT) The Secretary General of the UNP Tissa Attanayake is engaged in an exercise to reduce votes Gen. Sarath, who was illegally arrested and is arbitrarily detained, would get says candidate of the DNA and former Parliamentarian of the UNP Jayanthe Katagoda. Mr. Katagoda said, “The Secretary General of the UNP Tissa Attanayake had said only the UNP could save Gen. Sarath Fonseka. more..

Gambhir, Nehra's Lanka trip irks BCCI

Mar 26 (PTI) The Cricket Board has issued a show cause notice to Delhi Daredevils team management for sending its captain Gautam Gambhir and pacer Ashish Nehra to Sri Lanka for ayurvedic treatment of their injuries without BCCI's prior permission. BCCI sources said the Board was unhappy that the two players had gone to Sri Lanka without keeping it in the loop. "The BCCI felt the players should have informed the board before going to Sri Lanka for their treatment. more..

Electing a Legislature for a People’s Democracy

Mar 26 (LG) “The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy but for democracy it is openness” therefore making our voice bold and clear at this juncture where Sri Lanka faces elections for the most pivotal legislature is most certainly a timely need. Over the years looking at the legislature that has been in existence in contemporary Sri Lanka the thought may storm into our minds as to more..

Students in hospital after poisoning

Mar 26 (BBC) More than a one hundred student’s from a school in Batticaloa had been rushed to hospital after showing symptoms of poisoning. Students of a school in the Waunathive area were hospitalized after they showed signs of food poisoning. Reporter Shanthi Selvadurai said the students were complaining of stomach aches, dizzyness and were vomiting. “Students fell ill after taking their mid day meal, that was provided by the school“ more..

US Embassy employees donate blood during health fair

Mar 26 (USE) Over 50 employees from the U.S. Embassy volunteered to donate blood to the Colombo National Blood Bank during the Embassy’s Annual Health Fair. During the event, health-care providers also conducted general health, dental, vision, physiotherapy, breast cancer awareness, and cardiovascular screenings, while others led sessions on ayurvedic medicine, yoga, and basic first aid.

Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry taking measures to get MV Talca crew released

Mar 26 (FM) My attention has been drawn to media reports on the hijacking of a cargo vessel ‘MV Talca’ along with its crew members by Somali pirates off the Oman coast on 23rd March. There are twenty Sri Lankan nationals among a multinational crew on board this hijacked vessel. Following these media reports, I have immediately called for a report from the Sri Lanka Embassy in Oman since more..

23 refugees arrested while fleeing to Sri Lanka

Mar 26 (Hindu) The police arrested 23 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from different parts of the State for allegedly trying to flee to Sri Lanka in the early hours of Thursday. According to police sources, Sahaya Dhasan of Thoothur village in Kanyakumari district and some fishermen in a mechanised boat spotted the stranded Sri Lankan Tamil refugees mid sea as the boat carrying the refugees developed a technical snag. more..

When it's cheaper to create Mumbai in Sri Lanka...

Mar 26 (BS) Why on earth would Indian films shoot in Sri Lanka? Because it is close to India, shooting there costs about one-fourth of that in India, it has one-tenth of the headaches, Sri Lankans look like Indians and the country can easily form the background for an Indian story. And, the violence of the ethnic conflict is also over. That is the logic that drove two big location services companies from more..

Tamil asylum seekers still need protection

Mar 26 (SMH) I was disturbed to read recently that the Office of the UNHCR is considering changing its international protection guidelines for Sri Lankan and Afghan asylum seekers. The Australian government, predictably, was quick to state that any change to the UNHCR guidelines would allow Australia to send Tamil and Afghan asylum seekers back to their home countries. more..