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Nominations for Colombo District

Police takeover of VIP security irks government politicians

Mar 4 (Island) Many government politicians and some officials are irked over a Defence Ministry decision to deny them bodyguards from the army, a privilege they enjoyed, though the war ended last May. They are bitter over their security contingents being replaced by the police. The unexpected move came in the wake of the withdrawal of security given to former MPs in the immediate aftermath of the dissolution of Parliament. more..

Dubai ‘hit’ shows double standards in fighting terrorism – Lanka

Mar 4 (Island) Sri Lanka said that the recent assassination of top Hamas activist, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai underscored the fact that a country fighting terrorism sometimes would have no option but to go flat out against extremists. Government sources told The Island that the killing carried out by a group of persons allegedly using forged passports revealed to what extent a country would go to stop smuggling of arms. more..

'Govt. harassing opponents contesting parliamentary elections'

Mar 4 (Island) United National Party Deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya urged the Most Ven. Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thero to advice the government to hold a just and fair Parliamentary Election. Jayasuriya, who called on the Mahanayaka Thero yesterday, told the prelate that there the opponents of the government were being harassed during the pre-election period. more..

SF victim of JVP trickery, says UNP organiser

Mar 4 (Island) Kandy District UNP Parliamentary election candidate and Nawalapitiya electorate chief organiser Sarath Gamini Hettiarachchi has accused former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka of breach of trust. Addressing a recent media conference, Hettiarachchi said the bulk of the votes Fonseka polled in the January 26 Presidential election came from UNPers but he had now severed links with the party. more..

Petition against State media coverage

Mar 4 (DM) A fundamental rights violation petition was filed against the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) and the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) for the alleged abuses of State resources and partisan use of State media resulting in the violation of the people’s sovereignty in the recently held Presidential election. Priyanthi Subhashinie Perera, Helen Joanna Beryl Gray and Deborah Marianne Philip in their petition cited the more..

Extra rice shipped back

Mar 4 (DM) The Government’s tax waiver on rice imports has resulted in an oversupply of rice in the market compelling traders to re-export at a loss, extra stocks to countries such as Bangladesh, importers complained yesterday. An importer who insisted on strict anonymity told the Daily Mirror yesterday that traders had to suffer a loss of at least Rs. 5 a kilo because of this situation. more..

Constitutional checks and balances necessary

Mar 4 (DM) Ayubowan, vanakkam, assalamu alaikkum and best wishes as we march into the campaign for the general elections to parliament amid questions as to whether this august assembly is looking more like the Aegean stables and where we will find the moral Hercules to clean or redeem it. During the past four decades and especially after the introduction of the 1978 Constitution with the all-powerful executive presidency, parliament has not only lost most of its powers but more..

“Ayubowan... Jaffna welcomes you” Part 2

Mar 4 (DM) The reason as to why the people in the North are supportive of TNA, I am able to gauge by talking to people with different walks of life, is that all other political parties are offspring of militant organisations. There is no political party in the North today that could claim to have emerged from its bases amongst the society. As compared to the 1980’s, the schools in the North including in Islands off Jaffna, are in better condition. more..

Poster War: Will it swing the votes?

Media Minister lashes Ranil

Mar 4 (DM) Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena yesterday called on UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to quit making statements which the Minister said were ridiculous and inappropriate for any leader to make. He said the UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had criticised a number of new candidates participating in the upcoming General Election on the UPFA ticket. He said the criticism was tasteless and unacceptable. more..

SLFP won’t ‘stop political musical chairs’, members free to move

Mar 4 (Island) SLFP General Secretary Minister Maithripala Sirisena defended the right of UPFA Provincial Council ministers and members to quit PCs to contest the upcoming parliamentary polls. He said the party couldn’t deny them an opportunity to join the parliamentary election fray, though they had received a mandate to serve the people though the PC system. more..

'No SLFP PM candidate'

Mar 4 (Island) The SLFP-led UPFA coalition would not nominate a prime ministerial candidate, Minister Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday. Asked whether the coalition would announce their prime ministerial candidate in the run-up to the April 8 poll, the he said there was no need for that. He said that they would decrease the number of ministers in the next parliament. more..

'Ravi K violated Exchange Control'

Mar 4 (DN) Deputy Exchange Controller Sisira Kumara Perera giving evidence before Colombo High Court Judge Deepani Wijesundera in connection with charges against former UNP Minister Ravi Karunanayake said the former UNP Minister had received US $ Three million to his personal account from the American company Necksia. more..

'Govt never violated Fonseka's rights'

Mar 4 (DN) Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena expressing regret over the statement made by retired Chief Justice Sarath N Silva yesterday said the Government has not violated Sarath Fonseka's Fundamental Rights in any way. The Minister said every effort has been taken to ensure that all facilities are given to Fonseka while in Army custody. The Minister was speaking at a press conference at the Media Ministry. more..

'Govt. seeking 2/3 majority from voters only to cook them in their own fat'

Mar 4 (UNP) Ex UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella, stated, not enough the horrors, terrors and lawlessness unleashed by this Govt. so far, it is now craving for a two third majority in Parliament at the forthcoming General elections to make amendments to the constitution. Going by its record, the aims of the Govt. are obvious. It is seeking a 2/3 majority to continue more viciously its reign of terror, more..

Malani Fonseka among Asia’s 25 greatest actors of all time

Mar 4 (LP) Sri Lanka's veteran actress and the Queen of Sinhala Cinema Malini Fonseka has been named by CNN as among Asia’s best 25 actors of all time. Malani Fonseka was nominated on Monday for the best actress award at the Asia Pacific Film Awards ceremony conducted for the third time by the sia Pacific Cinema Academy, for her role as Sandhya Rani in the Sinhala film Akasa Kusum. more..

U.N. rights chief slams abuses in Sri Lanka, Iran

Mar 4 (Reuters) Human rights abuses in Sri Lanka are damaging prospects for reconciliation after 25 years of civil war and a violent crackdown on dissent in Iran is deeply worrying, the top U.N. human rights official said on Thursday. Repeating her call for an independent investigation into war crimes allegations in Sri Lanka, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told the U.N.'s Human Rights Council she more..

'Sri Lanka readies tax and investment reforms'

Mar 4 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will initiate tax and investment reforms in its next budget following a parliamentary election in April, a government official said on Thursday, amid pressure from the IMF to rein in a budget deficit. Last week the International Monetary Fund delayed the third tranche of a $2.6 billion loan after Sri Lanka failed to achieve its 2009 IMF budget deficit target. more..

Indian Foreign Secretary to visit Sri Lanka

Mar 4 (TN) India's top diplomat will visit Sri Lanka later this week in a bid to boost bilateral ties and push for an early resettlement of Tamil civilians displaced by a decades-long ethnic conflict. Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, who will arrive in Colombo on Saturday on a three-day visit, will hold bilateral discussions with top Lankan officials. She will also call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama. more..

Kidney patients to be given a subsidy

Mar 5 (GDI) Minister Nimal Sripala De Silva said the Ministry is hoping to introduce a monthly subsidy to all kidney patients. He said a cabinet paper will be submitted for a monthly subside of 1,000 rupees for each kidney patient. As an initial step 106 kidney patients from Giranduru Kotte were presented an allowance of 1,000 rupees. Chronic kidney disease patients are often reported from the North Central Province, North Western and Uva Provinces. more..

PM says Govt cannot reduce COL immediately

Mar 5 (GDI) Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickremanayake stresses that the Government hopes to implement a rapid development programme after the general election to fulfill the aspirations of the general public. Addressing a ceremony held in Horana Prime Minister Wickremanayake said that Horana Urban Development Project will be concluded at a cost of 350 million rupees by the end of year 2012. more..

Debrief News Video - 04. 03. 2010

Q+A - Sri Lanka IMF loan delay and parliamentary election

Mar 5 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will initiate economic reforms in its next budget following a parliamentary election in April, after the IMF delayed a tranche of a $2.6 billion loan to add pressure on the government to rein in a budget deficit. Here are some questions and answers on the implications of the IMF delay, announced late last month: WHY DID THE IMF DELAY THE LOAN? The IMF had approved the loan in a 20-month programme aiming for more..

Court restrains UNP from suspending councilor

Mar 5 (CT) The UNP has been ordered against suspending the party membership of provincial councilor Sudath Chandrasekara. Colombo district court judge Laffar Thahir today (Mar. 04) issued the order to UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and general secretary after hearing a petition filed by Mr. Chandrasekara. The judge also prohibited the party from conducting a disciplinary inquiry against the petitioner. more..

President to take oaths for second term on Nov. 18

Mar 5 (CT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will take oaths for his second term on November 18 this year, minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said. Mr. Rajapaksa took oaths in his first term as president on November 19, 2005. He returned to office as the sixth executive president of the country at the presidential polls on January 26 this year.

Sri Lanka capital's water supply upgraded by Hungary

Mar 5 (LBO) Two water supply purification plants supplying Sri Lanka's capital Colombo will be upgraded with finance from Hungary, minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris said. A proposal to rehabilitate purification plants of the Labugama and Kalatuwawe reservoirs of Sri Lanka's state-run National Water Supply and Drainage board has been approved by the cabinet of ministers, Peiris told reporters. more..

Oh Come, Arise … “A Prince”!!!

Mar 5 (SLW) Whilst my idling mind was in a “daffodilian mood” as Wordsworth puts it, the devil at work in it homed in my thoughts on the following few selected sentences of the American declaration of independence – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights…Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness… to secure these rights Governments are instituted among Men, more..

Task force to control dengue epidemic in Sri Lanka

Mar 5 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Healthcare & Nutrition Nimal Sripala de Silva to appoint members for the National Task Force to strengthen intersectoral coordination and social mobilization for dengue at National Level. Dengue is a mosquito borne disease prevalent in Sri Lanka since 1962. The disease initially reported from urban areas" has now spread to semi-urban and rural areas and more..

Sri Lanka senior citizen interest subsidy Rs1.2bn a year

Mar 5 (LBO) A scheme to pay 'bonus interest' of one fifth above prevailing interest rates to senior citizens from January 01 would cost the people about 1.2 billion rupees a year, a government minister said. The cabinet of minister had approved a proposal on Wednesday to pay extra interest for deposits of senior citizens in registered banks in the country, minister G L Peiris told reporters. The payments would be limited to 120,000 per person, per year. more..

Sri Lanka to pay extra to local contractors

Mar 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's government will allow local contractors to bid 15 percent higher than foreign ones in state projects paid for with money raised from the people domestically, a government minister said. "Priority preference for local bidders for projects with local funding has been increased to 15 percent," minister Gamini Lakshman Pieris told reporters. "Already a 10 percent preference is given." more..

Sri Lanka to enact the 'National Policy on Early Childhood Care and Development'

Mar 5 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Child Development and Women’s Empowerment Sumedha G. Jayasena to enact the national policy on ‘Early Childhood Care and Development” which is being currently implemented as an Act. Under this National policy, several steps were taken to improve the quality of the existing early childhood development programmes. more..

The issue-less Election: The “General” an afterthought of the “Presidential”

Mar 5 (SLNN) It is like the calm after the storm, isn’t it? I am referring to the forthcoming general election to be held just 10 weeks after an emotion-packed presidential affair, which seemed at one point to be so intensely fought that the outcome was written by some as “too close to call.” The “Presidential” then was THE election and the “General,” largely expected to go the winner’s way on account of momentum more..

Blessings there are but change we must

Mar 5 (SD) Early last month, I emailed a friend in Colombo to ask if it was safe to travel to Sri Lanka after several Western governments updated their travel advisories over fears of post-election violence. I felt a little foolish after Nimesh replied saying that he was puzzled by the advisory as “everything is calm in Colombo”. I suppose that in his place, it would be as if I received a message from a foreign friend asking if it was safe to visit more..

Student journalist escapes Sri Lankan censorship

Mar 5 (SU) Journalism is not typically viewed as a field of work where people have to fear for their lives. But that’s not the case in Sri Lanka, where journalists are not nearly so safe. “No other profession calls on its practitioners to lay down their lives for their art save the armed forces and, in Sri Lanka, journalism,” said Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge in an editorial more..

Initiatives to promote ethnic harmony through universities

Mar 5 (AT) The Ministry of Higher Education has taken a welcome initiative in addressing some of the critical issues in the university education in Sri Lanka by promoting certain skills and attitudes among undergraduates who could be better employed and utilized for the future development of the country. The whole initiative called the “Higher Education for the Twenty-First Century” (HETC) is now launched more..

Want to take the train with your MP?

Mar 5 (SLW) I read an article about a past MP in a Sinhala newspaper a few days ago. It's not my habit to read newspapers regularly, in any language, but I just happened to find this one. What struck me about this gentleman was how he had described the way he used to travel to Colombo by train to attend Parliament sessions. That sounded like a joke as we who live in this country today have never seen a parliamentarian using public transport even occasionally. more..

The Empower Project

Sri Lanka government in need of some kind of tension to maintain draconian laws

Mar 5 (LP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has reconvened the parliament. Last month he dissolved the parliament and called for elections. The general election is scheduled to be held on April 08. The President has used his executive powers to extend the state of emergency for a period of one month subjected to the approval of the parliament within 10 days. The aim of reconvening the parliament is approving the extension of emergency. more..

Legal Profession and the Protection of Individual Liberties

Mar 5 (LP) A few decades ago, Bunty De Soysa was one of Sri Lanka’s leading criminal lawyers; at one point, he was also president of the country’s Bar Association. In one case, he represented a group of young leftist radicals in court who were charged with offences relating to their political activities. During the course of the consultations for this case, the young radicals teased their lawyer, saying: “You lawyers only do these things for the money.” more..

Pakistan's support for construction cricket grounds in Sri lanka

Mar 5 (LNP) A ground-breaking ceremony of a cricket ground was held at Ananda Sastralaya Kotte. Pakistan Acting High Commissioner Mariam Saeed and Sri Lanka Cricket Board Chairman D.S. de Silva were also present. This project is being implemented with Pakistan Cricket Board Financial assistance which will also sponsor construction of two more similar cricket grounds in Sri Lanka. more..

JHU monks to play passive role

Mar 5 (LNP) With no more political unrest terrorism banished and nations sovereignty restored, the Buddhist clergy of Jathika Hela Urumaya have expressed their intention to gradually take leave from active politics in the party. The Sangha in their party have informed its lay office-bearers of their intention to gradually pull out from politics with the signs of political stability after the Government liberated the country ending decades long LTTE terrorism. more..

Let sanity prevail

Mar 5 (LNP) Controversial Southern Provincial Councillor Nishantha Mutuhettigama is in the news again. We quoted him yesterday as having said he was the only politician declared sane by doctors. During the Southern PC polls, it may be recalled, he locked horns with a popular actress over preferential votes and finally got arrested and referred to a psychiatrist. He may be sane, all right. But, the problem is whether the same could be said of those who elected him! more..

A powerful Mangala group oppose and bid farewell to 'elephant '

Mar 5 (LeN) 31 members of the Mangala Samaraweera led SLFP (M) including its Executive administrative secretary, and a number of front liners met the President Mahinda Rajapakse and joined the old ‘Mahagedera’ the SLFP Party. Dr. Sisil Bandara said that they took this decision because, the SLFP M wing was originally begun as a separate party aiming at rectifying the SLFP policies. more..

“Preserving and lifting the Image of a Nation”

Mar 5 (LG) Image building of Nationhood is paramount to a “Nation” in the world family which needs respect and recognition of the colleges of the group of Nations. Nation is a territory or country as a political entity or a grouping of people who share real or imaginary common history culture language or ethnic origin often seeking or possessing its own government” There is no dispute that we are rich in culture, values, more..

Music and Mission – Bob Dylan to Nanda Malani

Mar 5 (LG) Music is a social force and unquestionably a powerful form of expression. Many elements of human existence are touched by music. Song has accompanied social movements, social justice and human freedom. Music can deeply affect the way that people think. Therefore, musicians can direct society with their musical ability, passion and sincerity. Among the singers with a genuine passion for positive social stream, Bob Dylan plays a major role. more..

Gorse: Highly invasive invader in cooler climate conditions in the Upcountry

Mar 5 (LG) Gorse (Ulex europaeus) plant is not very familiar to Sri Lanka even though it was introduced to the country in 1888. It has been invading natural ecosystems in the hill country especially in Horton Plains National Park. According to the survey conducted by some scientists in 1997-1998 found that the extent and distribution of the gorse is the park is about 6 ha. more..

Global Tamil Forum (GTF), Quo Vadis?

Mar 5 (LG) The international LTTE network is a well established (for over 30 plus years) well funded, well connected and well oiled apparatus. It is true that GOSL destroyed the LTTE leadership in Sri Lanka along with its leader Prabhakaran. It was the greatest single blow that destabilized them. However, the international LTTE network is largely intact and has connections with many administrations in the countries in the West, Africa, etc. more..

Sri Lanka tea prices recover as crops fall

Mar 5 (LBO) Prices of Sri Lankan teas grown at higher elevations mainly by regional plantations companies recovered at this week's Colombo auctions as quality improved and crops began to fall, brokers said. Auction average prices have stayed at record highs in the past two months, they said. "The dearer trend in prices experienced this week could be attributed to the improved quality and the likelihood of a decline in volumes during the latter part of this month," more..

'Sri Lanka to push through economy related legislation'

Mar 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka will fast-track legislation related to the economy when a new parliament convenes on April 22 after national polls, minister G.L. Peiris said. "We have an opportunity to develop the economy we have not had for more than 20 years," he told reporters. "It is the intention of the government to formulate legislation to create an institutional framework for economic development from April 22 to Nov 18. more..