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French Ambassador to Sri Lanka visits Jaffna

Mar 26 (TN) The French Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Ms. Christine Robichon, accompanied by two key officials of the embassy visited Jaffna peninsula Thursday where she first met Jaffna Government Agent (GA) K. Ganesh at Jaffna Secretariat. She later went to the French Friendship Cultural Centre (FFCC) located in Thirunelveali to observe its activities, sources in Jaffna said. more..

EPDP continues to obstruct political parties from campaigning in the islets of Jaffna

Mar 26 (TN) The election campaign activities that were planned to be carried out in the islets of Jaffna by political parties including UNP, TNA, TULF and other independent groups contesting Jaffna electorate Wednesday with police protection were given up at the last minute as EPDP men continue to obstruct anyone other than the ruling UPFA and its allies engaging in election campaign in the islets of Jaffna more..

Sri Lankan beauty...

Hulugalle nonplussed and clueless flies into a rage at the questions posed by media on Sirasa attack

Mar 26 (LeN) National security media center Director General Lakshman Hulugalle at a Press conference on 24th said ,the National Sangha Sabha making an announcement in connection with the attack launched on the Sirasa main office had admitted that when they were preparing to make a peaceful protest against the concert where singer Akon was to participate, there erupted violence . more..

Permanent military occupation of the North and East

Mar 26 (TC) In an official gazette notification earlier this month, President Mahinda Rajapakse declared that the extensive network of army camps established during the war against the separatist LTTE will be made permanent. This indefinite military occupation of the northern and eastern provinces is aimed at the forcible suppression of the basic democratic rights not only of Tamils but of all working people. more..

'Govt that did not fulfill any promise given at presidential election has no promises to make now'

Mar 26 (LT) The government which gave tons of promises during the presidential election campaign has no more promises to make and instead trying to win the general election by suppressing the leaders of the Democratic National Alliance said national list candidate of the DNA, Member of Parliament Anura Dissanayake. more..

Sri Lanka Commercial Bank named best

Mar 26 (LBO) Commercial Bank has been declared Sri Lanka’s best bank in 2010 for the 12th year running by Global Finance magazine, the bank said in a statement. The US-based financial publication’s latest listing of the ‘Best Emerging Markets in Asia’ is to published in its May issue. The report covers the best banks in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe. more..

Sri Lanka launches new tea certification scheme

Mar 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka has introduced a quality certification programme for tea exports to ensure cleaner teas are sent to overseas markets, devoid of stones and other contamination now found during pre-export screening, officials said. A guarantee of quality was required as food safety standards are becoming increasingly strict in key markets like Europe, Japan and North America, they said. more..

Military allows Mass in village after 20 years

Mar 26 (UCAN) Catholics from a northern Sri Lankan parish ravaged by war were overjoyed when priests celebrated Mass there for the first time in 20 years. The church is located in Myliddy village in Valikamam area, a High Security Zone of strategic importance. Its military installations, navy camps, harbor and airport were vulnerable to artillery firing and attacks by more..

NIBM Regional Center in Galle opens today

Mar 26 (LP) he Southern Branch of the National Institute of Business Management (NIBM) opens in Galle today with the participation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. NIBM is the pioneer in business education of Sri Lanka. The Galle Regional Center was built at a cost of Rs 900 million under the direction of Vocational Training Minister Piyasena Gamage. NIBM was established in the year 1968 and its main branch is located in Colombo with more..

The senior-most lady officer of the SLAS retires

Mar 26 (GDI) The Additional Director-General of the Department of National Budget and the most senior lady officer serving n the Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS), Swarnapali Kumarasinghe will end her long career of 40 years and retire on March 28. After sitting for the central clerical competitive examination in 1969, she had joined the Inland Revenue epartment clerical service in 1970. more..

'Over 3mn new jobs with the major development projects'

Mar 26 (LP) Addressing representatives of the Joint Trade Union Alliance of the Gampaha district at Temple Trees President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that around three million new employment opportunities will be created with the construction of five new harbours, international airport, the Norachcholai and Kerawalapitiya power projects. more..

SBS Investiture Ceremony held in Trincomalee

Mar 26 (MoD) The Investiture ceremony of the 18th Intake of the Sri Lanka Navy's elite Special Boat Squadron (SBS) was held at the Parade Grounds of the Naval and Maritime Academy in Trincomalee. Commander Eastern Naval Area Rear Admiral Jayanath Colombage graced the occasion by taking the salute. A large audience including family members of the SBS personnel was present along with senior Naval officers and high ranking Armed Forces and Police Personnel. more..

The difference between 70 million and 7 lakhs

Mar 26 (DN) How many zeroes are there in seven hundred thousand? I don’t know about you, but I have to count my fingers. I mean, I have to go from 1,000 which I know has three and then work upwards: ten thousand has four, one hundred thousand has five and therefore seven hundred thousand also has five. How many in 70 million? If I were asked, I would first have to tell myself that a million is equal to ten lakhs, then work up from 10,000 and more..

Construction of new house for war hero begins

Mar 26 (MoD) Commencing construction of new house for war hero, the foundation stone was laid in a function held under the patronage of Chairperson of Defence Ministry's Seva Vanitha Unit (SVU) Mrs Ioma Rajapaksa yesterday, 25 March. The house is being constructed at Pannipitiya area for Sergeant J.H.A.S Jayasekara of Sri Lanka Artillery and his family. Vice president of Defence Ministry's Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs Indu Rathnayake, more..

Sri Lankan SEP holds election meeting in Jaffna

Mar 26 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) held an important public meeting in the war-ravaged northern city of Jaffna on March 21, as part of its campaign for the April 8 general election. Around 100 workers, students, housewives and youth attended from Jaffna, Kayts, Punguduthivu, Vaddukoddai and Nallur. The meeting was part of a national series. The SEP is contesting the elections with 58 candidates on slates in four districts across the island: more..

An aerial magnetic survey to locate mineral deposits in SL

Mar 26 (LP) A sophisticated aerial magnetic survey will be conducted to locate mineral deposits in Sri Lanka. Environment Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said that the survey will be conducted using special surveillance aircraft equipped with the latest radar technology. He said that this project would be funded by the Sri Lankan government while technological assistance would be sought from countries where this was available. more..

'Youth role in development important'

Mar 26 (DN) Today's youth are the leaders of tomorrow. Their role in the development of the country is indispensable. Youth should be provided with opportunities to bring out their talents and make them contribute their part for the country's development, said Tharunyata Hetak Organization President Namal Rajapaksa. It is with these objectives that the President initiated the Tharunyata Hetak program, he said. more..

Jumma: The last bastion of the boys

Mar 26 (GV) The other day I was chatting to my dad and told him that sometime in the future I would like to give a Jumma sermon. He shook his head sadly and told me that unfortunately in this country, women cannot give sermons. I asked him why? And he couldn’t really tell me a good reason. So I am throwing the question out to the rational and reasonable public – Why can’t a woman give a Jumma sermon? more..

'Govt. in desperation employing novel disgraceful methods to pressurize Muslim voters'

Mar 26 (UNP) SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem, addressing a rally at Kandy said, the UPFA in its desperation after trying every treachery in the book to win elections, has commenced another intimidating and fear instilling campaign with its candidates threatening Muslim voters with dire consequences if they do not vote for the UPFA. They have threatened that the Govt. which has all the resources to take revenge will avenge their anti Govt. actions. more..

National reconciliation within the Mahinda Chinthanaya

Mar 26 (TC) Among the more serious and politically important features of an election are the election manifestos that political parties present as their policy platform for seeking a mandate from the people. While not legally binding nor justiciable, it has significant political, moral and ethical weight. In the event of a party in power, it is arguably a component of the social contract that more..

'Govt. trying to deny 200,000 members of the forces their FR to discuss politics'

Mar 26 (UNP) Wijedasa Rajapske, PC and UNP candidate for Colombo District addressing the media at the UNP media unit today (26) said , the indictment filed by the Govt. against Gen. Fonseka that he discussed politics while he was in service as an Army Commander is creating a bad precedent, and augurs ill for the 200, 000 members of the Forces. more..

Actors draw on war experience for passion play

Mar 26 (UCAN) For the first time in years, the cast and crew of an annual passion play in Jaffna are staging their production without having to worry about heavy fighting and night curfews. This year, the Church-run Center for Performing Arts launched its Lenten production, commemorating the passion and death of Christ, on March 22. This is the first time that the play, which will last for a week, has been staged after the 26-year civil war ended last May. more..

Editorial: Political rejects and National List

Mar 26 (LNP) The framers of the 1978 Constitution, in spite of their many failings, must have known what kind of politicians we, the people, would be burdened with in the national legislature. Under the PR system, which basically favours the affluent and the nouveau riche capable of throwing money around and showering election gifts on the poor in return for votes, there is hardly any room for people of integrity to enter Parliament. more..

Govt. insists Johnston, Indika still MPs

Mar 26 (LNP) The government yesterday insisted that Ministers Johnston Fernando and Indika Bandaranaike were still members of parliament, despite the Elections Commissioner replacing them with two UNPers, who had contested the last General General Election. Fernando and Bandaranaike were deemed to have lost their seats due to continuously absenting themselves from Parliament for more than three months. more..

Elections, violations and party views

'Tamils should adopt compromise policy'

Mar 26 (DN) The term 'sole representative' is inimical to democracy and the Tamil people should shift their position from 'being alone' and adopt a policy of compromise, the founder of OFFER (NGO) and the eldest son of SJV Chelvanayagam, SC Chandrahasan said. He said Tamils could achieve a lot if they acted in a pragmatic manner. He said the proper time had arrived for the Tamils to solve their problems and added this opportunity should be fruitfully utilized. more..

CORP Director allowed to make confession before Judge

Mar 26 (MoD) Colombo Fort Magistrate and Additional District Judge Lanka Jayaratne allowed an application by HICORP (Pvt) Limited Director Wellington Dehoedt to make a confession before the Judge. Allowing the application by Counsel Sameera Panditharatne, the Judge directed Dehoedt to make his confession before the Judge in the chambers on March 31. On an application by the CID investigating the alleged arms deal by more..

Jaffna Campus holds convocation after three years

Mar 26 (TN) Chancellor M. Sivasuriya presided at the convocation ceremony of Jaffna University Friday morning which will continue for three days with five separate segments every day, in order to accommodate the 3,972 graduating students. This convocation takes place after a period of three years as the University administration and its Student Union had decided not to hold any ceremonial events in the university while more..

Cecile Kotalawala: Interpol issues red alert

Mar 26 (DN) Senior State Counsel Damith Thotawatte yesterday told the Mount Lavinia Magistrate that a red alert had been issued through the interpol to arrest Cecile Kotalawala who is an accused in the misappropriation of Rs 26 billion belonging to the Golden Key depositors. The Senior State Counsel stated that Cecile Kotalawala can be arrested by any Police in the world after this red alert was issued through Interpol. more..

Monks ‘not involved in attack on Sirasa’

Mar 26 (Island) The Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya (JSS) yesterday condemned attempts to link them to Monday’s attack on the Sirasa head office. The JSS rejects violence as a solution to any issue and no Buddhist monk was involved in the incident, its Executive Committee member Ven. Hedigalle Wimalasara Thera pointed out. Addressing a news conference, he joined Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) media secretary Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe in strongly condemning Monday’s violence over more..

Govt. has failed to meet EPF investment return objective – UNP

Mar 26 (Island) The UPFA Government has failed to meet the EPF return as per the EPF Act, to replenish the shortfall as per the Act and meet the investment objective in five out of six years in office, says UNP National list nominee and economist Dr. Harsha de Silva. Excerpts of Dr. Silva’s statement on the government’s decision to increase the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) interest rate: more..

'SC order should not be reviewed by Appeal Court'

Mar 26 (Island) An order of the Supreme Court should not be reviewed in the Court of Appeal, Attorney General Mohan Peiris PC said, when he appeared for the State made respondents in the Habaes Corpus Applications filed by Mrs. Anoma Fonseka, wife of General (retd) Sarath Fonseka. The Attorney General, at the outset, told the Court of Appeal that the more..

Sworn Affidavits taken from UNPers only

Mar 26 (Island) Conflicting and misleading reports have emerged from sources within the United National Front (UNF) regarding the sworn affidavits that were to be submitted by all their candidates for the April 8 parliamentary elections. This was to prevent moves by any candidate who enters Parliament switching allegiance, to another party. more..

An increase in number of applications for adoption

Mar 26 (DM) The number of applications for the adoption of Sri Lankan children has increased in recent times, Probation and Childcare Department (PCD) Commissioner said yesterday. “Each year we receive more than 5,000 applications for adoption but these keep increasing,” PCD Commissioner D.M.S. Abeyagunawardene said and added that the availability of children suitable for adoption was much fewer than the demand. more..

Postal voting peaceful

Mar 26 (DM) Postal voting for the April 8 general election took place yesterday throughout the country with a voter turn-out of 60-65 percent, election monitors said. According to the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), no major incident was reported in yesterday. More than 400,000 public servants and members of the security forces and the police are eligible for postal voting this time. It will take place even today. more..

Tourism Ministry in denial mode

Mar 26 (DM) The Tourism Ministry yesterday denied allegations of any links behind organizing singer Akon's concert in Sri Lanka even though the event was promoted on the Ministry website. According to Tourism Minister Achala Jagoda the Ministry had no links with organizing the concert and added that it had only received a letter from the organizers requesting for certain infrastructure facilities with regard to the event. more..

‘GKCCC assets not sold despite court order’

Mar 26 (DM) The CID informed the Mount Lavinia Court yesterday that despite a court order to sell the assets of the Kalutara and Negombo branches of the Golden Key Credit Card Company, its assets have not been sold and some of the motorcycles of the branches are still being used by its employees. The CID made these observations filing an additional report in court when the misappropriation of Rs. 26 billion of depositors’ money came before more..

'TNA is Sonia’s puppet: Dissident leader

Mar 26 (EB) The TNA, which is the strongest Tamil nationalist party in North Eastern Sri Lanka, has become a puppet of Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the Indian National Congress, says dissident TNA leader N Srikantha. He said that the TNA’s supremo R Sampanthan had committed the party to Gen Sarath Fonseka in the last Sri Lankan Presidential election against the wishes of TNA MPs only to fulfill Sonia’s agenda with regard to Sri Lanka. more..

Beware of ‘tie-coat separatist terrorism’ in next parliament – JHU

Mar 26 (Island) The JHU yesterday questioned the JVP’s commitment to Sri Lanka’s unitary status in the wake of a new separatist challenge posed by the TNA’s election manifesto for the upcoming parliamentary polls. The JHU urged voters to elect patriotic and talented MPs who could defeat the ‘tie-coat separatist terrorist’ challenge from Tamil National Alliance members in the next parliament. more..

Hulugalle attempts to cover up govt responsibility for attack on Sirasa

Mar 26 (LG) Mr. Lakshman Hulugalle, Director General of National Security, attributed the attack on Sirasa TV to a Buddhist organization in a statement. However, the government has not taken any action to arrest anyone from this organization for the attack. In response, a Buddhist monk associated with the organization denied the allegations by Lakshman Hulugalle, deeming them baseless. more..

EC`s odd behavior and contradictory statements have made him a laughing stock- UNP

Mar 26 (UNP) The Elections Commissioner Dayananda Disanayake who has been exhibiting symptoms of a chronic ailment since of late, during the recent series of elections, of always complaining against the Govt. and its media of flagrantly violating election laws, but not taking any action against them despite his being possessed of all the powers, has finally been challenged by the UNP legally. more..

Sri Lanka will host International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards, 2010

Mar 26 (GDI) The IIFA Awards are presented annually by the International Indian Film Academy to honour both artistic and technical excellence of professionals in Bollywood, the Hindi language film industry. Instituted in 2000, the ceremony is held in different countries around the world every year. Previous hosts included the United Kingdom, Malaysia, South Africa, Singapore and Thailand. more..

Closing schools for campaign work

Mar 26 (DM) It takes quite some time for a right-thinking person to figure what estimation a politician should have about himself to close ten schools and disrupt the work of 15 others so that the teachers could attend his campaign meetings! Wouldn’t be better if schools were kept closed until the elections were over? Some politicians appear to be having the nerve to treat education as a private property and more..

Sri Lanka in bid to lure cruise ship calls

Mar 26 (LBO) Once a lucrative foreign exchange provider to Sri Lanka, cruise tourism is seen as bringing back more well-heeled tourists to the island, just as it did before the ethnic war. Sri Lanka is expecting an estimated 21,000 cruise passengers this year with 30 liners having confirm calls, travel trade officials said. But port facilities need to be upgraded along with transport to take visitors on inland tours. more..

UNP to discipline Moneragala leader over nomination fiasco

Mar 26 (CT) The UNP has appointed a three-member disciplinary committee to probe its former leader for Moneragala Ranjith Madduma Bandara over the UNF's nomination list fiasco. The panel, appointed by the party's working committee yesterday, comprises Dulinda Weerasuriya, Justin Meegoda and Dinesh Vidanapathirana. Pending the outcome of the inquiry, the UNP has suspended Mr. Madduma Bandara and more..

Hunt for Dhanuna continues

Mar 26 (DM) The whereabouts of Dhanuna Tillekaratne, the son in law of General Sarath Fonseka is still unknown despite a Rs. one million reward being offered which could lead to his arrest, the police said. “The police are still searching for him. Despite the cash reward we have not received any information. But we believe he may be in the country,” Police Spokesperson SP Prashantha Jayakody told Daily Mirror online. more..

'Huge manapeys no guarantee for Ministership'

Mar 26 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday emphasised that it would not be the number of votes garnered which would decide the fate of a candidate when it came to deciding the future ministerial positions, but their ability, commitment and productivity. “I prefer a Parliament which could work more than talk. As such I would not hesitate to give pride of place to persons who 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..

Sri Lankan Muslim convert accused of being 'anti-state'

Mar 26 (BBC) A Sri Lankan woman who converted from Buddhism to Islam has been arrested by the authorities on suspicion of anti-state activities. The woman, who is resident in the Gulf state of Bahrain, had recently written two books about her conversion. They were written in Sinhala, the language of Sri Lanka's ethnic majority, who are mostly Buddhists. more..