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Pro-government mob attacks media network offices

Mar 27 (wsws) A protest against Senegalese-born American rap singer Akon has become the latest pretext for a pro-government mob in Sri Lanka to attack the media—in this case, at the head office of the MTV/Sirasa media network in central Colombo on Monday. The incident is part of an ongoing campaign of intimidation and violence, and the government’s broader assault on democratic rights. more..

Government has egg on its face

Mar 27 (Island) Minister of Livestock Development R. M. C. B. Ratnayake told the Island yesterday that the government’s proposal to import three million eggs from India for the Sinhala and Hindu New year next month (April) has been put "on hold". Minister Ratnayake who was in Nuwara-Eliya campaigning for the April 8 parliamentary elections, said that the price of eggs was high when the government decided to import eggs from India to bring down local prices. more..

'Johnston, Indika ceased to be MPs before dissolution of Parliament'

Mar 27 (Island) Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe, in a letter to the Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara, said that Ministers Johnston Fernando and Indika Bandaranayake ceased to be Members of Parliament on January 18, 2010. Parliament was dissolved on February 9, 2010. He said that Article 44(1)(b) requires the President to appoint Ministers from among members of Parliament. more..

Sirasa says anti-Akon protestors barking up the wrong tree

Mar 27 (LNP) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena declined to comment on the attack. Claiming that he had been busy campaigning in Matara for the forthcoming General Election, Yapa urged the media to direct their questions to police headquarters. Despite the Tourism Ministry denying its involvement with the now cancelled Akon concert, following last Monday s attack on the MTV/MBC head office at Braybrook Place for more..

Masons among postal voters!

Mar 27 (DM) The election authorities have erroneously included masons and unemployed youths as postal voters this time, DNA General Secretary Vijitha Herath said. Only public servants and members of the security forces and the police are entitled to postal voting according to law. Mr. Herath told the Daily Mirror that he took up the matter with Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake during a meeting with political party representatives contesting the poll. more..

Heat doubles for Sri Lankans

Mar 27 (DM) Sri Lanka is experiencing a double in terms of heat. One is the natural sweltering heat while the other is the heat triggered by the upcoming general elections due on April 8. Met Department sources yesterday said the sun was expected to come directly over many parts of the country on April 8. They said the sun would begin to come over Sri Lanka from April 4 to 14 increasing the heat especially during the mornings and afternoons. more..

Hand over video footage: Court orders Sirasa TV

Mar 27 (DM) The Colombo Fort Magistrate yesterday ordered the Administrative Director of Sirasa media network to hand over the video footage on the attack of the MTV/MBC head office to the police to carry out further investigations and directed the police to arrest the suspects involved. Filing a motion in court, Slave Island police sought a court order to obtain two video footages from the Sirasa media network, more..

Earth Hour: Observance of one hour’s darkness

Mar 27 (LP) Environment and Natural Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka has requested all Government Institutions to switch off their lights from 8.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. to observe the Earth Hour (EH) today. The Minister said a ceremony will be held at the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry to mark the Earth Hour using moonlight and non electrical lamps. more..

Ranil claims credit for Kinniya Bridge

Mar 27 (DM) UNP Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe claimed credit for the Kinniya Bridge which was declared open by President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently, saying it was the previous UNP government which negotiated with Saudi Arabia on the funding of the project. He came out with the claim at a public rally in Kinniya on Thursday. more..

Detainees' relatives taken on picnic to south

Mar 27 (MoD) Security Forces Headquarters, Jaffna with the noble intention of promoting reconciliation, goodwill and friendship facilitated 23 relatives of former LTTE cadres, now under rehabilitation at Welikanda, Senapura, Ratmalana and Boossa to visit them and interact with them. 52 Division in Jaffna on the instructions of Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, picked up those relatives from more..

'Fonseka court martial has established a dangerous precedent '

Mar 27 (Island) A very dangerous precedent has been established by court martialling General Sarath Fonseka for allegedly discussing politics with opposition politicians, UNP MP Wijedasa Rajapakshe said. He said that if talking to opposition politicians was an offense, then any soldier who did not dance to the tune of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government, could also be court martialled. more..

Country's largest divisional secretariat building opens

Mar 27 (GDI) Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the country’s largest Divisional Secretariat building in Maharagama, the President opined he believed it is important that the people should always be served in a sensitive manner. He pointed out that every public officer can be satisfied if they come across problems for which people need solutions. Every citizen visits a Divisional Secretariat or a Department, seeking redress. more..

Allegation of attempts to disenfranchise postal voters by officials – CMEV

Mar 27 (Island) Reports alleging attempts to disenfranchise postal voters, by officials in their capacity as Certifying Officers, have been reported to the CMEV by its monitors. 185 mobile monitors and 150 stationary monitors were deployed by the CMEV to monitor the postal voting on March 25 and 26. The monitors have reported a total of 192 incidents, including 121 major incidents. more..

Looking for thousands of riders

Mar 27 (DM) More than 17,000 motorcycles; 150,000 bicycles and about 1,000 water pumps belonging to displaced people and abandoned during the last stages of the war in Mullaitivu are still lying in the Puthumatalan area under the protection of the army. Northern Province Governor G.A. Chandrasiri recently visited Puthuumathalan and inspected the area. more..

Sri Lanka’s Muslims facing leadership vacuum

Mar 27 (ABNA) With the bloody demise of the LTTE the Muslim community in Sri Lanka has reached political crossroads. In fact, even when the LTTE was at its summit of military might and political clout the Muslim community confronted two crucial questions: One, what would be the fate of the community in the unlikely event of a divided Sri Lanka between a Tamil Eelam, more..

'Sri Lanka economy grew 3.5-pct in 2009'

Mar 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's economy grew 3.5 percent in 2009 pushed by growth in all three major sectors of economic activity, agriculture, industry and services, the Department of Census & Statistics said. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was much slower than the six percent achieved in 2008, largely owing to the global slowdown, although the economy has been recovering in recent quarters with revenue and exports picking up. more..

Resettled families in Vanni suffer in unrelenting rain

Mar 28 (TN) Vanni uprooted faimiles resettled in haste by the Sri Lanka government without any basic facilities or proper structures have sought refuge under trees as persistent rain, gale and floods had destroyed their temporary tents and tin-roofed shacks. There are no solid buildiings for them to seek shelter in as all of them have been razed to the ground by the Sri Lankan Army during the last phase of the war on Vanni, more..

'I want to be like Garry Sobers'

Mar 28 (CI) Q: What was your nickname in college? A: Jocka, from jock, or underwear. I really didn't know why they called me that. But I was not offended because I knew it was a joke. Q: What are your nicknames in the Kolkata and Sri Lanka dressing rooms? A: "Angie" at KKR. And "Superman" in Sri Lanka, because I wear my jocks over my tights. Q: Why do you that? more..

Sri Lanka and Vietnam can build stronger economic links: envoy

Mar 28 (LBO) Sri Lankan businesses have opportunities to get into the service sector in fast growing Vietnam while benefiting from Vietnamese agricultural technology and trade, the island's envoy to Hanoi said. The Sri Lanka mission here and Vietnamese authorities and business chambers are putting together a trade delegation to visit the country in May this year. "There’s quite a degree of interest in Sri Lanka especially since more..

Body of abducted student for ransom in Thenmaraadchi recovered

Mar 28 (TN) Chaavakachcheari police recovered Saturday the body of the 17-year-old student who was abducted from his house in Madaththadi in Chaavakachcheari North on 14 March for a ransom of 30 million rupees, from the backyard of a house on Dutch Road in Chaavakachcheari, sources in Jaffna said. The body was recovered from the plantain garden in the backyard of one of the three friends of the victim arrested and detained in Jaffna prison, more..

Sri Lanka president offers healing help to Beckham

Mar 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president has offered the services of his spiritual healer and personal physician to help injured footballer David Beckham get back on the field within three days. Eliyantha Lindsay White, 37, President Mahinda Rajapakse's personal physician, told AFP that the former England captain had been invited for treatment involving "faith and ayurveda." more..

India keen on direct involvement in the North

Mar 28 (TN) Economic and Commercial Counselor of Indian High Commission (IHC) in Sri Lanka, Santosh Jha, accompanied by his assistant Dinesh Kumar, met Jaffna Government Agent, K. Ganesh, Friday at Jaffna Secretariat to discuss matters related to finding a suitable location in Jaffna to open a branch of Colombo IHC, sources in Jaffna said. Though it is said that the aim of opening a branch in Jaffna is to expedite issuing visa, more..

Resettled families in Vanni suffer in unrelenting rain

Mar 28 (TN) Vanni uprooted faimiles resettled in haste by the Sri Lanka government without any basic facilities or proper structures have sought refuge under trees as persistent rain, gale and floods had destroyed their temporary tents and tin-roofed shacks, sources in Vanni said. There are no solid buildiings for them to seek shelter in as all of them have been razed to the ground by the Sri Lankan Army during more..

Police protect Sirasa attackers

Mar 28 (SL) Police Chief Mahinda Balasuriya vehemently denied having reprimanded the DIG for Colombo H. M. B. Herath and the Slave Island OIC K. M. Perera for taking action and intervening in the attack on MTV/MBC last Monday. The Sunday Leader has learned that political pressure on the Police Chief, compelled the IGP to censure the policemen who acted to stop the attack from escalating further. more..

Media ministry demands that every journalist declare assets

Mar 28 (SL) Every journalist in the country will have to submit a declaration of their assets to the Ministry of Mass Media and Information by April 30th. Under the terms of the 1988 declaration of assets and liabilities act the ministry has requested, that proprietors, editors, and members of the editorial staff of every newspaper in Sri Lanka submit a declaration of their assets to the Ministry Secretary before the end of April. more..

Diplomat plays for time, ministry sings along

Mar 28 (SL) The Sunday Leader has learned that the inquiry initiated by the Foreign Ministry into the actions of a political appointee to the Sri Lankan Embassy in Japan, who returned to the island with the personal possessions of his Japanese landlord, is already at a standstill. The inquiry is currently delayed as the “diplomat” in question has requested more time to submit his response to the allegations. more..

UNP admits millions of rupees in donations un-audited

Mar 28 (SL) The main opposition UNP has admitted that hundreds of millions of rupees worth of donations received by the party have never been recorded or audited. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake revealed that the money the party receives during election campaigns is not audited, and admitted that the party does not even keep records of the funds its receives during election campaigns. more..

The 2010 general election candidates’ guide to fashion

Mar 28 (SL) Ranil Wickremesinghe: After the UNP’s disastrous decision to support Retired General Sarath Fonseka in the presidential election, Wickremesinghe seems to have decided that a new round of elections calls for a new hair colour. But whereas President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s dye job is subtle and projects confidence, Wickremesinghe’s is so sloppy that the principal emotions it provokes are pity and terror. more..

Are the UNP’s candidates less reprehensible than the govts known devils?

Mar 28 (SL) Over the past few weeks The Sunday Leader has taken issue with the national lists and manifestos issued by the country’s principal political parties. But as election day draws ever closer, it becomes more and more obvious that these are only side issues. Trivialities compared to the real issue of the 2010 general election; the quality of the candidates actually campaigning. more..

No posters, cut-outs after April 5

Mar 28 (SO) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake has instructed the Inspector General of Police Mahinda Balasuriya to remove all election related banners, cut-outs, flags and hoardings by April 1 and all posters by April 5 irrespective of where they are pasted. The Elections Commissioner had conveyed this decision to the IGP on Friday when he met all party secretaries contesting the forthcoming election. more..

Protecting the rights of children

Mar 28 (SO) Children have their own rights; with their own requirements such as food, security, education, but above all they need love and freedom. Unfortunately, laws regarding their rights have been neglected for far too long. The laws currently in existence had been formulated over seven decades ago. However, the Cabinet granted approval recently to a memorandum to transfer the National Policy on 'Early Childhood Care and Development' into an Act. more..

Lotus Pond in the heart of Colombo: The wonder world of performing artistes

Mar 28 (SO) Right now it has no name, I mean a cute little name. Its long and official baptismal name however is National Performing Arts Theatre. In Sinhala, Jathika Prasanga Kala Rangahala, a long-felt need in the aesthetic arena of the country. The big baby, or more correctly, the huge giant is gradually emerging from the womb of the mega city in one corner of the cultural box of Colombo. more..

'UPFA will address minorities’ grievances'

Mar 28 (SO) Minister of Social Services and EPDP leader Douglas Devananda described President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the best politician to solve the minority issues which had been dragged on by the previous leaders of the country. Devananda told the gathering that the TNA would not deliver anything constructive to the Tamils as they were still holding on to their meaningless political thinking. more..

Ranminitenna tele-cinema park opens on Tuesday

Mar 28 (SO) Sri Lankan cinema and teledrama fans are in for a treat with the opportunity soon to view quality local films and teledramas that will be produced at the country’s first tele-cinema park, the Mahinda Rajapaksa National Tele-Cinema Park at Ranminitenna in the Southern Province which will open on March 30. The mega tele-cinema park which has been constructed on a picturesque 235 acre land between Tissamaharama and Kataragama more..

Educationist Lakshman Gomes' final journey today

Mar 28 (SO) Former Royal College Principal Mr. Lakshman Gomes passed away after a brief illness. Retired at 62, he continued to retain his youthful exuberance and was always in cheerful spirits. Education apart, his contribution to development of sports, dancing, debating and promotion of youth activities was infact unique. The sports camps, skills centres, new school buildings, IT centres are only a few to add to more..

'Because rulers are flagrantly violating laws, SL is headed towards becoming another Myanmar soon'

Mar 28 (LeN) Former Chief Justice Sarath Silva speaking at a meeting of intellectuals and professionals at Anuradhapura memorial Hall said, if our rulers are continuing to violate the sacrosanct constitution and the laws of the country, Sri Lanka transforming into another Myanmar is not far off. If this trend is not arrested the same fate that befell Myanmar will befall here. more..

New Sri Lankan CG promises labor reform

Mar 28 (SG) In an exclusive interview with Saudi Gazette, the new Sri Lankan Consul General A. Sabarullah Khan said he is focused on solving the problems of Sri Lankan expatriates in the Kingdom and on furthering bilateral ties between the two countries. “In Saudi Arabia, our main mission is to strengthen our relationship with the Saudi government on all levels, from culture to trade, and promoting the welfare of the Sri Lankan community here,” Khan said. more..

Sri Lanka seems to be only country where eroded concept of state sovereignty is being erroneously invoked

Mar 28 (TC) A constitutional myth that has been developed in Sri Lanka in recent years is that of Sovereignty. Whenever the United Nations or a foreign government focuses on an act or omission of the Sri Lanka Government, the immediate response is that our sovereignty is under threat or attack. When the UN Secretary-General announces his intention of appointing an expert committee to advise him on matters relating to more..

How did the Tamil Nationalist cause make a comeback in the form of TNA resurgence?

Mar 28 (TC) The current Sri Lankan political discourse, thin gruel though it is, contains three morsels of content: democracy, the electoral system and national sovereignty. Some question whether the ‘mere fact of elections’ qualifies Sri Lanka, or any country for that matter, as a democracy. The second discussion is on the electoral system. more..

We were civilized 2,500 years ago - can’t you tell?

Mar 28 (TC) I have this BIG problem with a bunch of people that live in a house located on a particular street. I don’t like them because I feel they don’t dress proper, they have loud parties and I’m sure they are disrespectful to my opinions, my upbringing, my background and my religion. Besides I think they are ugly. Despite my misgivings about these boors, they remain popular in the neighbourhood – certainly more popular than I am. more..

Akon’s Live in Concert gets sexier at last!

Mar 28 (LB) Last week the Maharajah Group of Companies’ head office at Braybrooke Place, Colombo came under attack over a caper apprently involving famous hip-hop star Akon who was scheduled to perform in Colombo next month. It is said that this attack was well planned and organized allegedly by a notorious north-of-Colombo politician. The man behind the attack is a well known politico embittered with Sirasa TV more..

Fonny money from ex Asian country diplomat

Mar 28 (LB) General (retd.) Sarath Fonseka is believed to have received several thousands of dollars for his campaign from an Asian country. CID found US $ 527,000 in the bank vaults of General Fonseka’s relatives. A classified report apprently states that a former diplomat of the said country had arrived in Sri Lanka prior to the election along with an intelligence officer of the said country, and met General Fonseka. more..

Some signed for UNP with blood, but will they go?

Mar 28 (LB) Four UNP candidate names surfaced last week their being rumoured to have finalized a deal with the government to crossover after the election. But when contacted they denied the speculation. LAKBIMAnEWS had similar responses when we enquired from some UNP MPs of the 42 who joined the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration grabbing Ministerial portfolios during the last few years. more..

Tamil politicians ‘not impressive’ enough for the South

Mar 28 (LB) Old school Tamil politicians should have been the most confused lot when the army routed the LTTE. All of a sudden, they found they were free from the frowning eyes of the LTTE. Then, they decided to make a political come back and make themselves relevant in those turbulent times. But, that was a tedious task as they have lost legitimacy in the eyes of the Sinhalese, since Tamil moderates began playing second fiddle to the LTTE more..

“Will the real leader of the JVP, please stand up?”

Mar 28 (LB) “Will the real Slim Shady please stand up” is a line from the Eminem song “The real slim shady” and strangely from time to time various individuals have been pointing fingers at the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and ask “will the real leader of the JVP please stand up?” The basis for this is the hypothesis that Somawansa Amarasinghe and the politburo represent only the public face of the party, and more..

'Politics is an investment for some'

Mar 28 (LB) UNP candidate for Colombo District Karunasena Kodituwakku in an interview with Lakbima News refuted the allegations that the UNP list has only a few Buddhists but says that the UNP is confident of winning the election. Q: You can see a Sinhalese -Buddhist majority in the list that has been presented from the government and the opposition for the General Elections. more..

Leader of ‘Ninja’ gang & area leader of ‘Blue Brigade’ arrested – Police under pressure to release him

Mar 28 (LT) The leader of a group of bandits who terrorized Walasmulla, Beliatta, Tangalle, Kudawella areas by carrying out ‘Ninja’ type raids has been apprehended by Tangalle Police. When investigations were carried, after he was arrested on Friday, it has been found that the person called Mahesh Koditowakku is the head of the ‘Blue Brigade’ of Tangalle, Beliatta area. more..

Isn’t tattooing Buddha’s picture on foreign woman’s back an insult to Buddhism?

Mar 28 (LT) There was big commotion in the society regarding the incident of getting down US hip-hop singer Akon for a concert in Sri Lanka. According to state media the ‘patriotic’ masses angered by the incident displayed their anger by throwing stones and other missiles at a private media institution. The government pointed out that getting down this singer was an insult to Sri Lanka which is a pure Buddhist country. more..

Anoma participates at special ‘Palm Sunday’ mass to pray for General’s health & release

Mar 28 (LT) The special ‘Palm Sunday’ mass held at St. Anthony’s Church at Kollupitiya to mark the sixth and last Sunday of Lent and beginning of Holy Week was attended by Ms. Anoma Fonseka, and candidates of the DNA Sunil Handunneththi and Ajith Cooray. They joined a large congregation praying for health and release of Gen. Fonseka held arbitrarily in a small and dark cell more..

Religious observances today & tomorrow to invoke blessings on General

Mar 28 (LT) Special religious observances will be held in temples, churches, kovils and mosques throughout the island today (28th) and tomorrow (29th) to ‘offer a flower, light a candle and wish for the freedom of the General.’ The programme of religious observances has been organized by the ‘Organization for the freedom of Gen. Sarath Fonseka’ to coincide with the ‘Palm Sunday’ the triumphant entry of Lord Jesus into Jerusalem in the days before his Passion more..