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Appeal Court criticizes military tribunal trying Gen. Fonseka

Mar 26 (CT) The Court of Appeal has strongly criticized the three senior Army officers appointed to the military tribunals trying Gen. Sarath Fonseka. The court was yesterday taking up two habeas corpus applications petitions filed on behalf of Gen. Fonseka by his wife Anoma Fonseka, against the two military tribunals. more..

Debrief News 26 03 2010

Military suspects further detained

Mar 27 (BBC) A court has allowed the police to detain five suspects arrested on suspicion of conspiring to overthrow the government for another month. The suspects, including defence columnist Ruwan Weerakoon, were produced before Colombo magistrate Champa Janaki Rajaratne. Brig Duminda Keppetiwalana, Maj Gen (retd.) Sunil Amarasena de Silva and Gen Sarath Fonseka’s private secretary, Senaka de Silva are among the other suspects. more..

Sri Lanka NDB Bank gets new chief amid board changes

Mar 27 (LBO) NDB Bank has got a new chief executive, with the former being nominated as an opposition lawmaker and three directors expected to be replaced by nominees from government which now owns a big stake. Russell de Mel assumed duties Friday, taking over from Eran Wickramaratne. "NDB Bank has taken appropriate measures to ensure that the transition of the CEO would take place in a smooth and secure manner, more..

Sri Lanka gets foreign loans for tourism, roads

Mar 27 (LBO) The World Bank has approved a loan of 18 million US dollars to Sri Lanka to develop sustainable tourism, international trade minister Gamini Peiris said. "This is a matter of high priority for Sri Lanka now," he told a news conference, referring to the revival in tourism following the end of the 30-year ethnic war in May 2009. more..

Fate of 100 Vanni detainees taken away by SLA not known

Mar 27 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers had blind folded one hundred Vanni youths and young family men detained Kaithadi Palmyra Development Board Special IDP detention centre in Jaffna peninsula and taken them away in vehicles in the last one week, according to complaints made by family members of the persons taken away to Jaffna Human Rights Commission (HRC) and International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC). more..

Reconciliation or Triumphalism?

Mar 27 (LG) I don’t want to get involved in the controversy raging around Dr. Devanesan Nesiah who is accused of lying etc and even of making "efforts to keep Sinhala visitors from Jaffna". I regard him as a person of high moral integrity, exceptional intellectual competence, with a background of ethnic studies and of administrative and other experience that make him just the sort of person we need for nationalreconciliation. more..

SC orders 24 hour protection for opposition MPs

Mar 27 (CP) The Supreme Court today (March 26) directed the police to provide 24-hour protection for all opposition parliamentarians. Chief Justice Asoka N. Silva made the directive after taking up a fundamental rights petition filed by 18 opposition MPs. The CJ instructed the IGP that at least two policemen be provided for every opposition parliamentarian. more..

Sri Lanka plans Dubai-model free zone

Mar 27 (TA) Sri Lanka plans to set up a free economic zone near the international airport similar in concept to Dubai Airport Freezone in a bid to attract more foreign investments. GS Withanage of Ministry of Ports & Aviation said, "We have selected Dubai Airport Freezone to be our model as we know the quality of services and facilities provided by the freezone has attracted more than 1450 companies today." more..

Colombo to transform in to modern city

Mar 27 (GDI) Colombo is to be transformed into a modern city with high-rises to accommodate a growing population and also make better use of its seafront. The aim of the planners is to have a proper urban land use policy and encourage investment that would make Colombo more attractive to live and work in. The Urban Development Authority has developed a zoning plan covering the years 2010-2020. more..

SL Bird Wing becomes the National Butterfly

Mar 27 (GDI) Sri Lanka Bird Wing is the country’s national Butterfly. It is one of the largest and most attractive of its kind. An endemic species, Sri Lanka Bird Wing or “Troides Darsius” frequents all parts of the island. The Ministry of Environment announced that this particular species has been declared as the National utterfly of the country. more..

Hiding away, young men wait on UN

Mar 27 (Age) SURESH, a Sri Lankan Tamil, is typical of the asylum seeker who takes a chance on a leaky boat to a distant shore. He is a young adult male, a low priority for resettlement by the UN, frustrated by the protracted resettlement process, and running out of options. At 16, in Sri Lanka, he was abducted by a pro-government militia and forced to train to fight against the Tamil Tigers. more..

Sri Lanka raises US$100mn in dollar bonds

Mar 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka has raised 100 million US dollars by selling two- and three-year dollar denominated bonds at the same rates as last week's sale, the government's debt office said. The offer of Sri Lanka Development Bonds (SLDBs) of 50 million dollars with 2-year maturity and 50 million dollars with 3-year maturity opened on March 12, 2010 and closed on March 26, 2010. more..

TNA enters critical third phase-1

Mar 27 (DBS) The single –largest Sri Lankan Tamil political group in the dissolved Parliament was the conglomerate known as the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). The TNA which contested the April 2004 general elections under the “Veedu”(House) symbol of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) obtained twenty-two seats including two nominated under the national list. more..

Amendment proposed for Army Act

Mar 27 (BBC) A parliamentarian in Sri Lanka says he plans to propose an amendment to the Army Act when the parliament meets next month to extend the state of emergency. President’s Counsel Wijedasa Rajapaksa, told the journalists that he intends to stop “misinterpretation” of the Act which first came into force in 1949. He is one of counsels representing detained former military commander, Gen Sarath Fonseka, more..

Court delays, police harassment, no justice ( Case One)

Mar 27 (LG) S.H. Ramyalatha, a small thin, dark-skinned woman with a big smile and beautiful appearance, lives in a village around 80 km from where we met in Ratnapura, in the southern part of Sri Lanka. She had travelled to update us on the progress of her continuing court case and her long drawn-out struggle for justice for her family. On 16 December 2007 at approximately 6am she heard shouts and screams coming from more..

Interview III - Dinesh Gunawardena

“Smack that!” – On Akon’s Sri Lankan rejection

Mar 27 (LM) Just when I thought Sri Lanka had exhausted all opportunities to feature in international news headlines, it did it again. And now it even made the big time. Think glowing lights and stars of fame – think bizarre – think authorities denying singer Akon a visa. Now if your initial reaction borders on “WTF?”, you are not alone. I for one was completely flabbergasted when a friend informed me of the ‘latest’ via gmail chat. more..

Man run over by Chamal’s henchman – Police protect goons

Mar 27 (LT) A person from Madagama, Madamulana in Weerakatiya has died run over by a van driven by a supporter of Minister Chamal Rajapakse. G.R. Wimalasena was run over when the van with reg. no. 54 – 0091 and Minister Chamal Rajapakse’s election stickers stuck on to it was driven fast knocking him down. The victim was carrying water from the public well to his home at about 6.35 p.m.yesterday (25th) when the incident occurred. more..

The media ‘Konvicted’

Mar 27 (GV) The Akon rumpus, with all its nutty and freaky sides, did have one thing good about it. It raised the question, “what is media freedom ?” Except for “”Sirasa”” and its group channels, none of the mainstream media, ever bothered to investigate into this Akon show unplugging and expose the lumpen politics, that had a media institute mobbed and stoned once again, under this regime. more..

New constitution compiled with Indian assistance has no powers to PM

Mar 27 (LT) The draft of the new constitution prepared by the government strengthens the executive presidency and takes away powers from the prime minister and the ministers. Most of these powers held by the prime minister and the ministers would be handed over to two newly created vice presidents. Urged by India the government will appoint Karuna Amman as a vice president to represent minorities. more..

For the kind attention of Policy Research and Information Director at the Presidential Secretariat

Mar 27 (LNW) We believe it to be our duty and responsibility to respond to the references made to our website in a statement released by Policy and Information Director at the Presidential Secretariat, Lucien Rajakarunanayake. Firstly we would like to thank him for issuing even delayed a statement to the story publicized in our website on March 3, 2010 about the listing and more..

Sri Lanka urged to free Bahrain writer

Mar 27 (GDN) Human rights activists in Bahrain are demanding the immediate release of an expatriate arrested in Sri Lanka for writing two books allegedly offensive to the spiritual leader of Buddhism. arah Malanie Perera, who previously converted to Islam, was detained in the capital Colombo last Saturday as she was due to leave her homeland after a three-month holiday. more..

Construction of new house for war hero begins

Mar 27 (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..

SBS Investiture Ceremony held in Trincomalee

Mar 27 (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..

Helitours soaring high - completes 200 domestic flights

Mar 27 (MoD) Helitours Soaring High - completes 200 domestic flights Helitours the largest & premier domestic air service in Sri Lanka, operated by the SLAF, completed its 200th flight on the 24th March 2010 since resumption of operations last year. Helitours resumed its operations on the 21st of July last year after the successful conclusion of the "humanitarian operations". more..

Germany arrests suspected Tamil rebel supporter

Mar 27 (AP) German prosecutors say they have arrested an alleged supporter of a local wing of the Tamil Tiger rebels who is accused of intimidating a fellow Sri Lankan into making donations. The 61-year-old identified only as T.M. was arrested Wednesday. That followed the arrest earlier this month of six alleged leaders of the Tamil Coordination Committee _ a German wing of the Tigers. more..

Sri Lanka's DTV adds sports to lure subscribers

Mar 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Dialog Television (DTV) is adding sports content, aims to increase revenue with advertisement targeting affluent consumers and forecasts a sharp rise in subscribers by year-end, a senior official said. "We expect DTV subscriptions to go up to 200,000 by year-end from the present 160,000," Nushad Perera, chief executive of DTV said. "We control 95 percent of the local pay television (TV) market. more..

Jeevantha Kulatunga – a specialist in limited over skills

Mar 27 (SLC) Born in the city of Kurunegala, Jeevantha made his first class debut for his home club Kurunegala YCC at a tender age of 17. The young right hand middle order batsman made 64 runs against Colts cc who ultimately secured his services as their all rounder for the premier league. His career so far has been a roller coaster ride, taking into consideration his immense talent and skill levels. more..

Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology launches nano information portal

Mar 27 (NN) The Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology Pvt. Ltd (SLINTEC) recently announced the launch of a highly informative website - the first Sri Lankan nano-based information portal. Developed by Pyxle, it is an interactive web portal that acts as an information hub for nanotechnology research in Sri Lanka. The website is built on the latest Web 2.0 technologies incorporating user participation, more..

Sri Lanka- Paradise in Buddhism Terms

Mar 27 (TV) Five reasons why to visit Sri Lanka: 1. Amazing nature of Sri Lanka – rare and unseen species of plants, interesting wildlife – almost tame squirrels running around the tables, the elephants watching you in the distance. 2. An unusually friendly, smiling, and somewhere naive people who are ready, always and everywhere, upon the first request to come to the aid. more..

Youth role in development important - Namal Rajapaksa

Mar 27 (GDI) 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..

Hambantota harbour first phase to end by August

Mar 27 (GDI) The first phase of the Hambantota harbour construction will be completed by August this year and it will be followed by the process of filling the harbour with sea water and the construction will cost US $360 million, the Minister of Ports and Aviation Chamal Rajapaksa said. The Ports and Aviation Ministry has scheduled to bring the first ship into the harbour by November. more..

Jaffna based Army battalions built 680 new houses to be handed over soon

Mar 27 (MoD) The Mega project for construction of 680 new houses for poverty-ridden families who have arrived in the Jaffna peninsula for resettlement is fast nearing completion, as each Jaffna-based Army battalion has undertaken the responsibility for erection of 15 houses when the project was launched on 1st March 2010. more..

Opening ceremony of district general hospital in Mullaitivu

Mar 27 (MoD) The District General Hospital(DGH), Mullaitivu was ceremonially re-opened by the Hon. Governor Northern Province, G.A. Chandrasri as Chief Guest on 25th March 2010. Mrs. Emelda Sugumar Government Agent Mullaitivu and Dr. A.E.Gnanajothy Provincial Director of Health Services, Northern Province were participated at this ceremony as Guest of Honour. Security Forces Commandar Major.General Jayawardana, more..

Over 193,607 IDPs resettled

Mar 27 (MoD) The government has resettled 193,607 Internally Displaced Persons of the North and only 76,205 IDPs remain to be resettled. These people are housed in six welfare villages in the Menik Farm area of Vavuniya, Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Ministry Secretary U.L.M. Haldeen told the Daily News yesterday. more..

Torture and loss of faith - ( Case Two)

Mar 27 (LG) On 26 August 2009 around 1am four people claiming to be police came to Chandradasa’s house and ordered the family to open the door. The police told him to take them to another man’s house. Chandradasa knew the man they wanted soobliged. He got into the police jeep and immediately the group of police officers inside– all drunk - started beating him without cause, justification or provocation. Several times they threatened to shoot him and throw him into a ditch. more..

Respect the dignity of the defenceless

Mar 27 (LG) "The lesson from (our) 125 years of experience is simply that, whether on the national or international scale, it is only through respect for human dignity, including that of the fallen enemy and the defenceless person, that we can hope to find again the humanity lost to fighting. The vicious cycle of violence must be broken by spreading the antidote of humanitarianism. more..

Japan extends loan and grant aid for development projects

~Mar 27 (LP) The Government of Japan extended Yen Loan Package amounting to Rs.46 billion and a Grant Aid amounting to Rs.3 billion to Sri Lanka, yesterday. This 40th Yen Loan Package will finance four major infrastructure projects. Provincial/Rural Road Development Project, Eastern Province Water Supply Development Project, Kandy City Wastewater Management Project and more..

Sisu Diriya scholarship for employees children of Transport Ministry

Mar 27 (LP) A Scholarship “Sisu Diriya “will be awarded to the children of the employees attached to the seven affiliated institutions under the Transport Ministry purview. The scholarships will be awarded by the 'Seva Vanitha' Unit of the Transport Ministry. Accordingly 770 children of employees working in all institutions belonging to the Transport Ministry will be awarded with the scholarship more..

Whither Inalienable Sovereignty?

Mar 27 (LeN) Where ignorance is bliss, it is folly to be wise. But, can we as a nation flourish, if we all choose to remain in a fools’ paradise? I, for one, do not think so. But what about other Sri Lankans? Responding to an article re “Machiavellian techniques employed to increase the UPFA’s parliamentary majority” a Sri Lankan responded by asserting that “Any Sri Lankan, even with an iota of feeling for the country and its people, more..

‘Covenant of Humanity’ presented to Archbishop

Mar 27 (LT) ‘Covenant of Humanity’, the election manifesto of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) was presented by Ms. Anoma Fonseka to Archbishop of Sri Lanka, Malcolm Ranjith at the Bishop’s House yesterday (26th). Archbishop Malcom Ranjith spoke well of the policies in the manifesto and paid a keen interest to the section regarding education. more..

‘Greetings’ supplement from ‘Dinamina’ to Basil

Mar 27 (LT) Lake House authorities are preparing to issue a special supplement with ‘Dinamina’ newspaper published by state owned Lake House as a part of Basil Rajapakse’s election campaign. Basil Rajapakse, brother of President Mahinda Rajapakse, is a candidate contesting from UPFA for Gampaha District at the forthcoming general election. Lake House authorities have informed state and private institutions to send in greetings to be published in the supplement. more..

Banks lend Rs 1600 billion for new ventures

Mar 27 (LNP) Bank lending interest rates have come down drastically to about seven to eight percent during the past one and half years. Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said banks have lent Rs 1,600 billion for economic activities during this period. The Central Bank ensured that inflation was brought down parallel to interest rates. Carbral was speaking at the Business Today Top 10 award ceremony for 2008-2009 more..

The politics of Akon visa denial have a wider impact on Sri Lanka and Buddhism

Mar 27 (TC) The Sri Lankan government this week has decided to deny a visa for the American rap star Akon, even before he had applied for one. The politics of this decision is obvious. The electorate that listens to and will participate in a Akon musical is perceived as being overwhelmingly liberal, Colombo centric, affluent UNP voters. more..

Editorial: Our dream parliament

Mar 27 (LNP) Would the next Parliament be better than the last one? Some people may ask themselves this question in the run-up to the April 8 parliamentary polls. Que Sera Sera. We do not know whether we will have a better parliament as we have only a Hobson`s choice we have got to reshuffle the same pack of jokers. However, we can say one thing for sure. The next Parliament will not be worse than the previous ones we have had to put up with. more..

SLTB's initiatives: Front seat for female clergy

Mar 27 (DN) The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) has decided to reserve the front left side seat in SLTB buses for female clergy. SLTB Deputy General Manager G.A. Livinis told the Daily News as of now, there were no reserved seats in buses for female clergy although earlier three rows of the front seats in buses were reserved for clergymen, pregnant women and disabled persons. more..

'Govt will take up vestiges of separatism'

Mar 27 (DN) The forthcoming Government will take up the challenge of facing the vestiges of separatist elements who are trying to raise their ugly heads in the international platform, said Minister Champika Ranawaka. He said these elements are trying to establish a transitional Government with the support of some Western countries. He added that the Government's next mission will meet this challenge at diplomatic level. more..

What kind of rock are you sitting on and what’s the view like?

Mar 27 (DN) My friend Mohan Bhagwandas has been reminiscing. He doesn’t live in Sri Lanka but visits often. He was here a little more than a month ago. He’s visited places that were memory-stamped and childhood-fragranced, he tells me. He wrote about a rock. This rock, Mohan says, lies opposite his former home in Bambalapitiya. That is, opposite the K Block of the Government Flats. more..

Agriculture - Backbone of Sri Lankan economy

Mar 27 (DN) Agriculture is linked with Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage from the times of our ancient kings. This sector suffered a total destruction with foreign invasions and it is only development of this sector, in which over 65 percent of our population in engaged in, Sri Lanka could achieve its pristine glory enjoyed in the years of yore. more..