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Crisis of Corruption in Sri Lanka

Mar 6 (IL) The corruption in Sri Lanka has historical roots to the days of the independence. Successive governments had disregarded this trend for their own survival and prosperity. Currently, corruption had infiltrated into every branch of Sri Lankan society and unfortunately, corruption and manipulation of the system had become a norm. If analyzed retrospectively, many of the present day ills can be linked back to corruption. more..

Sripathi’s widow on UNF ticket but supports UPFA

Mar 6 (DM) Sripathi Suriyaarachchi’s widow Dilrukshi who is contesting from the Gampaha district as a United National Front (UNF) candidate yesterday met President Mahinda Rajapaksa to pledge her support to the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA), the presidential media unit reported. Ms. Suriyaarachchi was the leader of the SLFP (M) group in the Gampaha district. more..

Detection of Rs 75 mn in bank vaults: Arrest warrant on Solis Mudalali

Mar 6 (Island) Mt. Lavinia Magistrate Harsha Setunga yesterday issued an arrest warrant on a suspect wanted in connection with the detection of over Rs. 75 million in the safe lockers of Ms. Ashoka Thilakaratna, mother of Danuna Thilakarana, who is also evading arrest. The CID informed Courts that they would have to seek Interpol assistance to arrest the suspect, identified as Parana Liyanage Don Sanjeewa Kumara, more..

'Desist from publishing incorrect info'

Mar 6 (AD) Refuting reports that a former Sri Lanka Army Intelligence Unit head is to be quizzed regarding the killing of Lasantha Wickrematunga, Director General of the MCNS urged the media to desist making such reports. MCNS Director General Lakshman Hulugalle, during a media briefing this morning said that 17 Army officers and other ranks have been questioned regarding the matter and 11 have been already released, more..

Special Panel on Sri Lanka uncalled for and unwarranted – President to Ban Ki-moon

Mar 6 (GDI) The Presidential Secretariat in a Press Release today states that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has pointed out that the intention of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to appoint a panel of experts to advice him (i.e. the SG) on Sri Lanka is totally uncalled for and unwarranted. In a telephone conversation between the President and the UNSG yesterday, more..

Ban sets up advisory panel on human rights in Sri Lanka

Mar 6 (PTI) UN Chief Ban Ki-moon is setting up an expert panel that will advise him (Ban) 'on the way forward on accountability issues' stemming from alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka during the fighting between the government forces and the LTTE last year. The Secretary-General spoke by telephone with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday evening, according to his spokesperson Martin Nesirky. more..

Rajapaksa against appointment of UN panel of experts

Mar 6 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has taken exception to the intention of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to appoint a panel of experts to advise him (the SG) on Sri Lanka and said the move is totally uncalled for and unwarranted. On February 26, the spokesperson of Mr. Ban Ki-Moon had disclosed that the Secretary General had informed Mr. Rajapaksa about his intention to go ahead with the establishment of a panel of experts. more..

The Next Round In Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (SP) Sri Lanka is waiting for Tamil separatists to resume their war for independence. Many in the Tamil minority want to partition the island, handing the north, and the east coast, over to the Tamils, for a separate nation. A year ago, the Tamil separatists were defeated after a long battle for partition. While the LTTE (the main Tamil separatist organization) has been defeated, the organization still exists among Tamils elsewhere. more..

India's first international Buddhist University

Mar 7 (HT) India's first international Buddhist University is coming up near Sanchi, the world heritage site, 34 km southwest of Bhopal. Work on the Rs 300-crore Indo-Sri Lanka joint project is expected to start from June on 65 acre land provided by the MP Government. A joint team of Sri Lanka Mahabodhi Society and Buddhist Society of India with Raisen Collector inspected the site for proposed University on March 3. more..

Sri Lanka tourist trade seen recovering fast

Mar 7 (LBO) Over half-a-million tourists are expected to visit Sri Lanka this year as the travel trade bounces back strongly from the effects of a war with hotels so heavily booked that some are even refusing new reservations till end of March, officials said. Tourism authorities have planned an aggressive global promotion campaign to lure visitors with events like night surfing and also attempts to tap the Sri Lankan diaspora to spread the word about the island's attractions. more..

Your excellency Mr. President Mahinda Rajapakse: The ball is now in your court!

Mar 7 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse has reportedly told that his government would be focussed to eliminate the term of “remote village” from the map of the country. He might have referred to the land areas remote from the urban areas. In my opinion, urban areas are too remote to the heart of the people and no better than remote villages. Development cannot be achieved with the displeased population and more..

Dismal state of Dehiwela "Animal holding facility"

Mar 7 (TC) A zoo is a place of relaxation and most importantly education. It is a place where children should be taken, to learn about how diverse and complex their planet earth really is. I had the misfortune of visiting the Dehiwala Zoo or as I like to call it, the Dehiwala animal holding facility. I was truly shocked and appaled at what I thought would be a nice day out with my family. more..

From Neville Samarakoon CJ to Sarath N. Silva CJ … what next?

Mar 7 (LG) Conceptually speaking, Neville Samarakoon remained to the end a disciple of Ivor Jennings. J.R. Jayewardene’s real disciple was Sarath Silva. President Rajapakse has clear continuity with the former president Jayewardene’s legacy. In the area of the judiciary, no options are left for any real continuity of being a disciple of Ivor Jennings or the Soulsbury Constitution. more..

Sri Lankan conflict; reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction

Mar 7 (AT) Notwithstanding how intertwined reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction are, there is an ongoing debate in Sri Lanka as to which of these should come first, a classic chicken or the egg situation. The argument that all of these three pre requisites for real communal peace in Sri Lanka can and should run concurrently, seems to be of lesser importance for some, while more..

Police obstruct petition to release General

Mar 7 (LT) A campaign to collect signatures for a petition demanding the release of Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who liberated the country from tiger terrorism, was held at Piliyandala town today. As soon as the campaign commenced officers of Piliyandala Police arrived at the site and started obstructing the campaign stating public address systems would not be allowed to be used. more..

UPFA goons commence 'operations' from Kegalle

Mar 7 (LT) The residence of Lawyer Ranjith Abeysinghe, DNA candidate for Kegalle District, was attacked by thugs today (6th) at 12.30 a.m. The thugs have been identified as supporters of a UPFA candidate for Kegalle District. The goons of UPFA candidate Lalith Dissanayake that carried out the attack have damaged the residence as well as Mr. Abeysinghe's vehicle. On the day nominations were presented (26th February) goons of more..

Tennis: NZ slip up against Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (NZH) New Zealand were hoping to seal victory in their Davis Cup doubles tie against Sri Lanka in Colombo overnight (NZT) but the host team had other ideas. Sri Lanka's number one and two Harshana Godamanna and Rajeev Rajapakse defeated New Zealand number one Dan King-Turner and Cup debutant Marcus Daniell in three sets. The first set went to a tiebreak with Godamanna and Rajapakse taking it 7-5. They then took the next two sets and match 6-4 6-3. more..

Investigations Into Lasantha’s Murder Speeding Up

Mar 7 (SL) A high profile investigation into the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge and the attacks on Editors Upali Tennekoon, Keith Noyahr and Namal Perera is underway as senior sleuths attached to the CID and the TID sift through a smattering of leads which may eventually pinpoint who were responsible for these attacks on journalists at the height of the war against the LTTE. more..

Politicians say the darndest things

Mar 7 (SL) Kids say the darndest things or so the saying goes. But in Sri Lanka its not children but politicians that manage to say things that are at once both amusing and terrifying. Amusing because of the sheer imbecility and tactlessness of the comments in question and terrifying because these are people vying for high office in the country – our (potential) leaders. The following are the week’s most amusing, and alarming political sound-bytes; more..

Blood Relations In The Fray

Mar 7 (SL) Family values are central in Sri Lankan society and a close look at the list of contenders at the April 8 general election shows quite a few family members entering the fray. Fathers, sons and siblings are all in the game this time around. In some instances, contesting from opposing camps. Wickremanayake – Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake is to enter parliament through the UPFA National List at this general election while his son, more..

He’s Back

Mar 7 (SL) Anuruddha Ratwatte is amongst the most controversial names in Sri Lankan politics. Accused of murder, corruption and nothing less than turning Kandy into a war zone during previous elections, the former General and Minister disappeared from the political scene, following allegations that he was involved in the Udathalawinna massacre. The accusation was that his sons and security personnel, on his orders, more..

Dissolved Parliament, continued security and political compromise

Mar 7 (SL) There is bound to be a turn-around in political positions in the weeks to come, for sure. Not in terms of political cross-overs as such, but on political compromises, despite seemingly opposing positions on election platforms. The compromise would come with the presidential proclamation to reconvene the now technically absent parliament. The dissolved Sri Lankan parliament has been reconvened on a constitutional provision on March 9 by the President, more..

CEB employees campaigning

Mar 7 (SL) A leading trade union leader of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) says the institution has released some of its employees for election work in Ratnapura and Kandy openly flouting the Election Commissioner’s strict guidelines. “Disregarding Election Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake’s letter to all heads of departments, the CEB has released more than 20 employees from the administration department to Ratnapura and Kandy Districts to more..

UNP DNA vow to join to form government

Mar 7 (LB) Though not in tow at the forthcoming General election, the UNP and the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) have come to an understanding to form a fresh alliance after the general election. Former JVP MP K D Lal Kantha says that the DNA led by his party has come to a clear understanding with the UNP-led United National Front (UNF) to form a government after the April 8 parliamentary poll. more..

Ineffective opposition damns Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (SL) The alliance of the opposition parties that came into being in a turbocharged time frame of some 40 days has finally shown its real purpose and intent. In spite of the very public pronouncements that the Alliance was created to fight corruption, nepotism and abuse of power, events now show a rather more avaricious intent – binning in the process, the noble cause espoused and envisaged in the run up to the Presidential Election 2010. more..

Buddha statue on the lines of the Bahamian Buddha being carved

Mar 7 (LB) The carving of the world’s largest stone Buddha statue out of a rock at Rambadagalla, Moneragala Vidyasara pirivena temple, in Kurunegala, is in its final stages. The statue which is 67.5 feet in height is carved completely out of rock. This rock which stood in a corner of the temple premises hidden by a clump of trees will become the world’s largest stone Buddha statue in the world shortly. more..

Parties said OK to women’s quota, then leered at them

Mar 7 (LB) During the last few weeks, we could hear various people expressing their views about increasing the women’s representation of Sri Lanka’s politics. Women from a variety of fields argued that 30% representation must go to women. Though political leaders agreed to such a move, nomination lists prove again that they have kept women out by and large. more..

National list or goon list: some of its nominees talk

Mar 7 (LB) Ever since independence we have been trying to integrate intellectuals and professionals into our legislative body. But since it is extremely difficult to find men and women of this calibre who are willing to spend their time and money on an election race various administrations have tried to find alternate methods to get their participation. When we gained independence in 1948 we had a bicameral parliament which consisted of a Senate and a House of Representatives. more..

NGOs under fire -- including Tranparency International funds

Mar 7 (LB) The government of Mahinda Rajapaksa has from the beginning of his term as president conducted a love-hate relationship with local and international NGOs. Publicly, it has been more hate than love. NGOs are constantly - and conveniently - accused of a flood of conspiracies carried out at the behest of international forces acting against the interests of Sri Lanka. more..

Yeah, yeah -- Ivan versus the media

Mar 7 (LB) The editor of Ravaya and veteran journalist, Victor Ivan has spoken several times about the role of the media and how some journalists’ actions boomeranged in recent weeks. Many journalists were appalled at what seems to be a justification of media suppression by him and pointed to Ivan’s similar changes of position on earlier issues. LAKBIMAnEWS met him to find out why he seems to be turning against his media colleagues. more..

Which is the most suitable state model to segregate power in Sri Lanka

Mar 7 (AT) The issue in relation to segregation of state power to regional Sri Lanka has been in political flat forms, academic debating and ordinary people’s discussion and gossips for more than a century, which means that since Donomore Commission era to current post conflict age, it has been dominated as a talking point rather than a genuine debate for achieving an honest solution. more..

Five years of development - Anuradhapura district

Mar 7 (SO) The Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa districts in the North Central Province are regarded as the `Rice Bowls’ of Sri Lanka. The NCP known as `Rajarata’ was called `Wevubendi Raajya’ - `the country dotted with tanks.’ Anuradhapura, the largest district in the Island with an extent of 7199 SQ KM has a population of 791,000, of which 90% live in rural areas. The district has 22 Divisional Secretary Divisions and 694 Grama Niladari Divisions. more..

Garbage into electricity

Mar 7 (SO) Over 700 tonnes of garbage is collected from Colombo city limits every day and the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) allocates around Rs. 2.3 million for the transport of this garbage to dumping sites, CMC Commissioner Badrani Jayawardane said, in an interview on CMC's new bio-gas project. "Thereafter, another Rs. 400,000 is spent everyday to unload the garbage at dumping sites," more..

'TNA hoodwinks Tamils again'

Mar 7 (SO) The TNA’s anti-national election campaign in the run up to the April 8 General Election has come under fire from Minister Dew Gunasekera who has an unblemished reputation as a leftist leader and has always stood for the just political rights and aspirations of the Tamil community. TNA leader R.Sampanthan in his recent election campaigns had said that the UPFA Government was working on a secret agenda to scatter Tamil concentrations in the North and the East and more..

'Opposition concedes defeat'

Mar 7 (SO) UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha says the Opposition pledge not to give two thirds to the Government clearly shows they have already admitted they are not in a position to win the upcoming General Election. The Minister in an interview with the Sunday Observer said any party or alliance contesting from the Opposition will get less than 40 percent votes as the Common Opposition has been split at present. more..

Tribute to Christine Spittel Wilson

Mar 7 (SO) It was at a colonial bungalow with the vestige of glorious life of the past and of the present, we encountered the charming lady, who was introduced to us as the daughter of the legendary Dr. R.L Spittel, Christine Spittel Wilson. The bungalow is in the land adjoining the Wycherly International School which was once the nursing home where Dr. Spittel had his lucrative private practice as a much-sought after surgeon. more..

North, East progress in full swing

Mar 7 (SO) The dusty roads, shattered buildings occupied by the armed men from both sides of the divide during the bitter battles that were fought in the district of Mullaitivu in the months upto May 2009, are now slowly returning to their original shape. Slowly but steadily the civilians displaced by the prolonged war are back in their homesteads after ending months long stay at welfare camps which sheltered them until their lands were declared safe for them to return. more..

Land of history and beaches

Mar 7 (DH) What lures a tourist? Beautiful beaches, rich green wildlife sanctuaries, places with historical significance and malls to shop? Well, if that’s what you are looking for, then Sri Lanka is the answer. Most of its geographical expanse remains unexplored by tourists. With the country plagued by a civil war some time back, cricket teams were concerned about playing there, many international airlines withdrew their services from the island. more..

A defiant lesson

Mar 7 (DH) Set in her own country Sri Lanka, Ru Freeman’s novel A Disobedient Girl is an account of the lives of two women, Latha and Biso, oscillating between alternate chapters. Settled in the USA, this activist-journalist turns author with A Disobedient Girl. Latha and Thara are the same age, but Latha is a maid in the Vithanage household while Thara is the daughter. more..

"Why are they harassing us"? Emotional query of the General's daughter

Mar 7 (TC) It’s been a while since I’ve written and I have thought of writing for a while but because of all the surprising things that my life brings everyday, I had no clue where to start and what to write about. There is so much I have to share. Every morning I wake up wondering what will happen today to my family and how will the day end for us. Today, I decided it was time again to write. I know most of you have thousands of questions in your mind and are confused. more..

'Sri Lanka high bank taxes hurting capital'

Mar 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka has to cut its high rate of tax on banks to allow the sector to build capital as the economy is poised to grow after a war ended last year, a top banker has said. Taxation has in the past and continues to be in the present a contentious issue for the Banking industry," Hatton National Bank chief executive Rajendra Theagarajah told shareholders in its annual report. "The sector faces an effective rate of taxation that stands at approximately 60 percent more..

The return of Sarath Fonseka: An enduring headache?

Mar 7 (GV) The sudden and allegedly suspicious death of former General Secretary of the UNP Gamini Athukorala (in 2002) seemed to have marked the end of a critical phase in Ranil Wickremasinghe’s political career; a phase which spanned from the early 1990s to 2002. During this phase, Ranil saw most of the charismatic and senior colleagues in the UNP being assassinated President Premadasa, more..

More support by all candidates at General elections for F&F Elections

Mar 7 (LP) DIG Gamini Nawaratna (Election Chief) said that, while he received the support of all parties for a Free and fair (F&F) elections at Presidential Elections, he received support from all candidates courtesy the General Elections in April in a greater measure to conduct a free poll. The Police are currently carrying out an island-wide campaign to remove all political posters, banners and cut outs more..

Security forces pose an obstacle to journalists traveling to Jaffna

Mar 7 (LNW) Army and Navy personnel have posed an obstacle to journalists traveling from the South to report on the resettlement of the displaced persons and the current situation in Jaffna. A journalist who traveled to the Nagadeepa area had been informed by a Navy officer on February 28th that permission could not be given for him to carry out his work as they had not been directed to accept the media accreditation card issued by more..

Fisherman in a disable Multi-day Fishing Trawler rescued by SL Navy

Mar 7 (LP) Naval troops of SLNS Thammanna rescued a group of five (05) persons who were marooned in the seas off the Sand Banks for four (04) days. They were safely brought ashore and provided with medical care and food on Friday the 5th of March. The group was attempting to return to the island in an Indian boat but had found themselves being stranded in the seas by the boat operator halfway. more..

“The role of an artiste is a hallowed one”

Mar 7 (NS) Exploring the cinema, stage and the small screen with an equal gusto of his timbre, Amarasiri Peiris has also earned a name as a reputed violinist in the country. The Nation recently met this versatile artiste to capture some of the poignant moments of his life’s journey. Q: How conducive was your childhood to learning music? A: My father, Albert Peiris was a great source of inspiration to me. more..

Northern judicial network to be re-established after 3 decades

Mar 7 (GDI) Arrangements are in place for the establishment of the judicial network in the North after three decades. Accordingly, a review is being undertaken on how the Northern judicial network is operative at present. More attention is being paid to the judicial network management and Minister Milinda Moragoda presided over a special discussion in this respect recently. It was attended by a group of legal luminaries, more..

Coast Guard Force ensures SL’s sovereignty and independence - President

Mar 7 (GDI) "We have requested the UN to grant us the right to expand Sri Lanka's maritime boundaries by 20-fold with much hope", said President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the launch of the Coast Guard Force at the Galle Harbour. He said that protecting the coastal belt around the country will ensure Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and independence. He added that those who think of the national security should necessarily focus on the coastal belt security as well. more..

'Not even a Tea kiosk is registered in Rajapakse name'

Mar 7 (LeN) Gampaha District group PA leader and Senior Presidential advisor, Basil Rajapskse stated that some are alleging that Rajapakse Companies are in existence. But, at the registration of Companies Dept. there isn’t even a Tea kiosk registered in Rajapakse name. He added, that at the time of the death of his father when he did politics, he had nothing in his possession as assets. more..

Justice a Dream: Law a Nightmare

Mar 7 (LG) Sarath Fonseka is still kept in detention with out any charges. Army Spokesman for the last few weeks had been promising that Sarath Fonseka will be charged within 48 hours! For some strange reason, Army Spokesman, who also operates as the "media secretary" of Secretary of Defense Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapakse, had been unable to find this 48 hours in the last 2 weeks. We of course cannot blame the Army Spokesman as he is merely a puppet of his "masters voice". more..