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NFF will remain UPFA watchdog - Muzzamil

May 9 (LB) Former NFF MP Mohammad Muzzamil says that his party will continue to offer constructive criticism to the government while continuing to be one of UPFA’s coalition partners. In an interview with LAKBIMAnEWS, he noted that if the government was to veer away from people-friendly policies and charter a dictatorial march, then the NFF will not hesitate to speak against the ruling party. more..

Outrage in Mews St. as UDA demolishes houses

May 9 (ST) The Urban Development Authority (UDA), which is now under the Defence Ministry, yesterday, with assistance of Police and the Army, demolished what it called unauthorised constr uctions down Mews Street in Kompa nnaveediya. However, residents of these allegedly unauthorised houses claimed they held title deeds and complained that they were given barely a week's notice to move out to a temporary resettlement sche me at Weligoda in Thota langa. more..

'All important institutions have become legacy of royal family'

May 9 (LT) The President has taken over the most valuable sections of lands, the sky, the sea and the coastal areas in the island, the most important sections of resources, the law, finances, defense and is distributing them among his family, relations and friends says JVP MP Anura Dissanayake. “Normally, the gazette that states the allocations of subjects to ministries is issued two days after the cabinet is appointed. more..

Nawalapitiya election law violations committee reports: Phew! no one is guilty

May 9 (LB) Over the years we have seen governments appoint committees to inquire into matters ranging from political assassinations to lunch menus of school children. And after seeing various committees and commissions in action over the years, we have learned to consider these committees and commissions as ways to buy the governments time until people forget all about the issue that was once very important. more..

I never asked anything from President – Abdul Cadar

May 9 (NS) At the parliamentary session on Wednesday, Kandy district UNP MP Abdul Cadar created a stir by voting with the government to extend the emergency regulations. Since that vote against the opposition, speculation has been rife that Cadar, one of the most senior politicians from the UNP, has moved over to the government. The Nation spoke with Cadar to clear the air on the latest rumours, and more..

Govt. begins direct talks with TNA

May 9 (NS) The government has finally begun behind the scene contacts with the TNA to hammer out a solution to the vexing ethnic question, just as the country nears the first anniversary of the crushing of the most ruthless terrorist outfit, the LTTE. TNA Leader R. Sampanthan in an interview with The Nation was tight-lipped about the content of their contacts with the government stating that they were still in the initial stages and more..

Preview: Sri Lanka run into hot Australia

May 9 (CI) The last time Australia and Sri Lanka played in Barbados was the 2007 World Cup final, an ODI which finished in darkness and with a third global trophy in a row for Ricky Ponting. Both teams have changed considerably since then, with Australia having only four players in the Caribbean who appeared in that game and Sri Lanka six. more..

Civil initiative for Lanka reconstruction sought

May 9 (EB) A Civil initiative to help reconstruction process in Sri Lanka was stressed by a panel of experts at a symposium here on Saturday. Speaking at the symposium ‘Sri Lanka, What Next’ organised by The Sunday Indian, former head of Intelligence of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka, Col Hariharan (retd), said there is a need to evolve a structure where the grassroots could participate in any resettlement. more..

Editorial: Deliver the goods and talk of Singapore please...

May 9 (LB) Mercifully it appears that Mervyn Silva has resigned as the media minister though the last word on that is not in as yet. However this week the attorney general’s department was placed under direct presidential scrutiny, and when this move comes on top of a mini budget being prescribed this year as an alternative to an annual budget proper, it has to be said that the unorthodox tendencies of this government are seeing no end. more..

'Sri Lanka will use presidential powers to fix economy'

May 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's president Mahinda Rajapaksa who crushed a 30-year separatist war in the island and won landslide election last month will use his extensive executive powers to fix the economy, a powerful minister said. "The president used his executive powers in the last three years to finish the war," Basil Rajapaksa minister of economic development said a forum at Sri Lanka's central bank. more..

Editorial: The Island descends to vulgarity

May 10 (LG) The two-part article by CA Chandraprema on Prageeth Ekeneliyagoda is one of the worst pieces of vulgarity ever published in a newspaper in Sri Lanka. The entire article is one of speculation, which Chandraprema calls ‘theory’, and it is an article written for character assassination and for the purpose of damaging the call for an inquiry into the disappearance of Ekeneliyagoda which has become a political embarrassment of the government of Sri Lanka. more..

The right NOT to vote

May 10 (GV) Approximately one year ago on May 18th 2009, I wrote an article on Sri Lanka’s second “independence”, the spirit I fostered at the time is not reflected in this article one year later. On April 8th 2010, Sri Lankans went to the polls to vote. Yet I did not vote. Many others did not as well. It is clear cut that Sri Lanka’s population did not feel that their vote counted, and rightly-so. Yet, was it wise NOT to vote? more..

'I can express myself better opening'

May 10 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene's outstanding form at the top of the order, in the World Twenty20 and on a few occasions in ODIs, gives Sri Lanka the option to play him as an opener in the 2011 World Cup. He has got his runs at a fast pace and given his side strong chances to win. The indifferent form of the rest of the line-up has forced Jayawardene to take charge of Sri Lanka's run-scoring in the West Indies. more..

Old Blue of Medamulana, Weeraketiya

May 10 (LG) A young village boy named AAmal from Medamulana, Weeraketiya goes off to Law College. Halfway through the semester, he has foolishly squandered all his money. Trying desperately to think of a way to get his father to send more money, he remembers how much his dad loves his old hound dog, Ol' Blue. He calls home. "Dad," he says, "You won't believe what modern education is developing! more..

The diminished credibility of justice institutions

May 10 (LG) Legitimate fears arise this week as to whether the post elections policies of this government will lead to the further undermining of Rule of Law institutions in the months ahead. The deliberately designed retention of powers in the hands of the Executive Presidency to an extent hitherto never seen, (even with the most manipulative of past Executive Presidents such as JR Jayawardene), more..

Australia hand Sri Lanka 81-run thrashing

May 10 (CI) Australia stormed to a resounding 81-run win as Sri Lanka were steamrollered by extreme pace and sustained pressure, folding for 87. Dirk Nannes and Mitchell Johnson were the main destroyers of the Sri Lankan batting line-up, but the win was made possible by Cameron White's unstoppable 85 from 49 balls, which rescued his side from a perilous 67 for 5. more..

Sri Lankan boatpeople who swam for help feared dead

May 10 (TA) Five Sri Lankan asylum-seekers whose boat was being monitored by Australian authorities are missing, presumed drowned, after they left their stricken vessel in the Indian Ocean in an apparent attempt to seek help. The men were travelling on an asylum boat carrying more than 60 people, including about 15 children, which was foundering 160 nautical miles west of the Cocos Islands. more..

‘War and Peace’ and the APRC Proposals: Part 2

May 10 (DM) Perhaps the answer is to be found in the way the question was asked. In the summary proposals ‘Religious Rights’ was drafted as, ‘Buddhism shall have ‘pride of place’ with religious freedom for all citizens being guaranteed.’ It seems very likely that those Tamils who considered this proposal to be ‘unacceptable’ were focusing on the suggestion that ‘Buddhism shall have ‘pride of place’ while more..

'I will prove my innocence and continue with politics'

May 10 (SL) Walking into the room previously allocated for the JVP in the parliamentary complex, The Sunday Leader was met by DNA Leader and Parliamentarian, Retired General Sarath Fonseka. Poised, seemingly calm and attired in symbolic national dress, Fonseka greeted The Sunday Leader warmly. Speaking of his detention by the military since February this year, Fonseka vowed to “fight till the end” – more..

Ranaviru Week: May 12 -18

May 10 (moD) The Ministry of Defence, Public Security, Law and Order declared a week for commemorating war heroes scheduled from May 12 - 18. Within the week, commemoration ceremonies will be held at provincial level organised by the Governors of the respective Provinces. Accordingly, the commemoration ceremonies will be held on May 12 in the Central Province, May 13 in the Uva, East and Northern Provinces, May 14 in the North Western, more..

Legal action against UDA

May 10 (DM) Legal action is to be filed against the Urban Development Authority (UDA) over the eviction of residents in Slave Island yesterday on the ground their houses were unauthorized structures. Meanwhile investigations are underway over the assault of two police officers by the residents. A mob of Slave Island residents clashed with the police yesterday after authorities began removing unauthorized structures in the area. more..

Former LTTE child combatants turn girl guides & boy scouts

May 10 (MoD) Incredible, yet it is true and deserves our praise and blessings. Out of 198 LTTE child combatants receiving rehabilitation under Bureau of the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation, Ministry of Justice & Law Reforms, a total of 40 boys and 38 girls were invested as Boys Scouts and Girl Guides during a recent ceremony while they still continue to receive school education at Ratmalana Hindu College. more..

Former Health Minister's frauds, corruption , commissions surface on new Minister’s probes

May 10 (LeN) The huge frauds, corruption and commission collections in the imports and purchases of drugs and equipments to Govt. Hospitals during the tenure of Office of the former Minister of health, Nimal Siripala De Silva have been unearthed in a probe conducted by the new Minister Maithripala Sirisena. It was the State pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) which was importing drugs for the Govt. Hospitals. more..

The Evolution of Tamil Studies

May 10 (TC) The fifth annual Tamil Studies Conference gets underway this week in Toronto, Canada. Organized under the auspices of the University of Toronto and the University of Windsor, the three day conference from May 13-15, 2010, is focused on the theme of Constructing Tamil Worlds: Circulation, Marginality and Plurality. It is a theme manifestly inspired by the experiences of diaspora existence and more..

Leave Galle Face alone

May 10 (LG) When the pageant of history is moving with rapidity in this particular avenue of time, the hoi polloi lining the streets can only help but cheer and cannot be blamed for missing a few exhibits in the passing parade. In recent times we’ve had harbours, airports, massive highways straddling the island, rivers being diverted across valleys, bridges coming up overnight and more..

End of conflict: A year later

May 10 (LG) Almost a year has passed after the Sri Lanka military crushed the LTTE in the jungles off Mullaitivu. Various celebrations are underway to mark this historic event including a ‘Heroes Week’ for military personnel who died in the conflict. It was on May 18, 2009 that dreaded LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed by the army and resulted in an overjoyed President Mahinda Rajapaksa kissing the ground at the Bandaranaike International Airport on more..

Dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return

May 10 (LG) The attack on plebeians has started. It is a sign that the government is getting ready to confront the proletarians too. The attack on pavement hawkers, street sellers and small scale mobile traders was not confined to Colombo. It has spread throughout the country. The plebeian traders point out that their structures were demolished without prior notice and while discussions were being held to find more..

Ceremonial opening of fishnet factory in Jaffna

May 10 (NPC) The VIC-JAF Fishnet at Beach Road, Kurunagar, Jaffna was ceremonially declared open on 06 May 2010 in the presence of a very large gathering of Religious Dignitaries of a very large, VVIPs and Distinguished Guests, Government officials and the general public. The chief guest at this ceremony HE Kathy Klugman the High Commissioner of Australia declared open the factory, more..

Elite White proves he belongs

May 10 (CI) Less than a year ago Cameron White wasn't considered among the best 15 Twenty20 cricketers in Australia. Now he can quite comfortably stand among the best 15 in the world. His career-best, unbeaten 85 against Sri Lanka was easily the highest score by a No. 6 in this format of the game and transformed a match that threatened to go wrong for his team into as comfortable a Twenty20 win as there is. more..

Is there a need of a political solution to the “North East Problem”?

May 10 (RoK) The loud and clear answer to this question is "NO". Why? Because there is no problem in the North and East in existence to give a solution! Sri Lankan government seems to be now in a helpless situation, apparently with the pressure being exerted by India to go for this so called "political solution". As well known the demand for this so called political solution is very much based on the mythical "homeland" fantasy created by the power hungry Tamil elite. more..

Sunrise over Siripada

May 10 (PA) Legend has it that Lord Buddha visited Sri Lanka on three occasions, being Mahinyanganaya, Dheegavapiya and Kelaniya. Legend also has it that during the last visit, that he placed the imprint of his foot at the top of Adam’s Peak, or Samanala Kanda at the request of King Saman. People later held King Saman as a deity and started worshiping him as Lord Saman. more..

Will Sajith Premadasa transcend his ‘gene-rights’?

May 10 (NS) There is a post-election scenario that has been played out time and time again. It’s all about bringing down Ranil Wickremesinghe, democratising the United National Party (UNP) and making it more palatable to the masses and not just the Colomboans (those die-hard greens mostly living within the Colombo Municipal Council limits and believing they have fallen from the sky or some divine entity’s behind). more..

Can a man be the Minister of Women’s Empowerment?

May 10 (Island) The announcement of the new ministerial portfolios has everyone talking. Who has got demoted or promoted, included or excluded, or whether the appointments are apt, or not, is a common talking point whether in Colombo or elsewhere. Amongst the surprises were the appointments of two men as Minister and Deputy Minister respectively of the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Empowerment previously known as Women’s Affairs. more..

Essential drugs shortage puts patients and hospitals in a spot

May 10 (ST) Hospitals around the country are facing a serious shortage of drugs, many of them essential drugs, and this is causing deep concern among patients and health workers. Many attribute the shortages to last year’s budgetary cuts in allocations to the Ministry of Health. According to sources, 300 essential drugs are in short supply in many of the country’s hospitals. more..

The story behind the glittering gems of Ratnapura

May 10 (LB) Ratnapura - the city of gems... The very name Ratnapura (Ratna- gems, Pura - City) conjures images of beautiful stones cut and polished in various shapes glittering and gleaming, bringing forth streaks of shining light. A trip to Ratnapura with the National Trust members was very entertaining and was of much educational value. As part of the quarterly tours of the Trust this visit opened our eyes to something that often and more..

Mahanayaka says disappointed on handling of foreign affairs

May 10 (ST) The Asgiriya Mahanayaka thera, Ven Udugama Sri Buddha Rakkitha thera expressed disappointment about the handling of foreign affairs during the past few years and that some of the Lankan diplomats failed in their duties of briefing leaders of the respective countries and the people where they served. The Mahananayaka thera made the comments when the External Affairs minister G.L.Peiris visited him last morning. more..

Shanika is ‘Sirasa’ Superstar!

May 10 (NF) Shamika Madhumali won the Sirasa Season 3 trophy a little while ago. Arjuna Rukantha was the runner up. The lissome lass from Polgahawela, who won the hearts and minds of both the viewers as well as the judges, was announced the winner at 11.30pm to a tumultuous applause from the mammoth crowds that converged on the CR & FC grounds to watch the grand finale more..

The Role and Structure of the Legislature and the Executive

May 10 (RW) Legis means ‘law’ and the Legislature is the branch of government that makes laws. Parliament is the usual term for this. In theory it is superior to the Executive, since the Executive must act according to the law. However Executive means ‘doing’ so, since this refers to those running the day to day business of government, they are generally considered the most important. Initially, almost everywhere and certainly in countries which more..

Sri Lanka pension fund earns real returns in 2010

May 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka's main pension fund of private citizens earned a large real return as the Central Bank brought inflation down in 2010, though the national debt expanded as the state could not inflate away debt and impoverish pensioners. Based on a conservative 645 billion in starting member balances and real effective rate of return of 13.92 percent declared to members of Sri Lanka's Employees Provident Fund, more..

Sri Lanka holiday 2010

IDPs to be back home within six months

May 10 (MoD) Government says that it will resettle all the Internally Displaced Persons in the Vanni within a period of six months time. The Government is making all the necessary arrangements on a war footing to complete the de-mining process before the resettlement of the displaced persons. The newly appointed Minister of Resettlement Milroy Fernando, said that his ministry will do everything to resettle all the IDPs presently in the welfare centres in more..

Certificate Courses for skills development commenced in Jaffna University

May 10 (MoD) Jaffna University commenced certificate courses in Community Development and Management (CDM), Project Planning and Management (PPM) and English Language Skills Development (ELSD) recently. These courses are conducted by the Management Development and Training Institute (MDTI) of Northern Province, in collaboration with the Human Resource Advancement Unit of more..

Sri Lankan defence ministry begins evicting poor in Colombo

May 10 (wsws) Last Saturday, the Sri Lankan defence ministry deployed police and the army to evict 45 families from central Colombo and demolish their houses. Over recent days, police also have been mobilised to remove thousands of street hawkers in Colombo and its suburbs, in Kandy in the central hills and in the southern city of Galle. Hundreds of people at Mews Street in Colombo’s Slave Island area were confronted by police officers, more..

Kerala nabs Sri Lankan Tamil refugees suspected of human trafficking

May 10 (LP) Kerala police Saturday stumbled on a human trafficking racket following the detention of 38 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from a lodge in Kollam district. The group, which included five women and as many children, were picked up late Friday night following intelligence inputs from Tamil Nadu police. All India Congress Committee General Secretary Rahul Gandhi is due to visit the district this week more..

Speeding drivers beware!

May 10 (LP) Deputy Inspector General of Police (Traffic) Lucky Peiris said drivers found to be high speeding hereafter would be directly put to courts without imposing a spot fine. So far the system was to impose a spot fine and the driver to collect the driving licence back after the payment of the fine. If the spot fine was not paid the driver had to appear in court on the date mentioned. more..

Common fund for religious places development

May 10 (LP) A Common Fund for the development of Buddhist temples and Dagobas and other religious places of worship countrywide would be launched soon by setting up a new department to handle the work, Prime Minister and Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs Minister D.M. Jayaratne said. The Prime Minister disclosed this when he called on Kelaniya University Chancellor more..

Documentation problems deter war displaced claims

May 10 (DM) The people in Wanni who lost or abandoned their motor cycles during the war are now faced with legal problems in getting them back since most owners do not have proper documents. During the last three years of the war, people in the Wanni had to be displaced, from place to place several times abandoning their valuables including vehicles, as the LTTE instructed them to vacate their homes when the security forces advanced more..

Killer drops huge stone on beggars before stealing money

May 10 (LB) Wellawatte Police arrested a man last week identified as being a killer of beggars. Police believe that he is responsible for killing many beggars in Colombo. This man is alleged to have been stealing money from beggars sleeping by the roadside. The suspect murdered the beggars when they were asleep, then stole their money. With this arrest, the information about such killings in Mt. Lavinia, Wellawatta, Armour Street, Maradana and Peliyagoda surfaced. more..

Kilinochchi gets new District Court

May 10 (MoD) The District Court in Kilinochchi will be opened today, for the first time after almost three decades, government media reported. During the past three decades the District Court was not functioned since the area was under the control of the LTTE. Staffers of Jaffna and Chavakachcheri Courts were transferred for the Kilinochchi Court from the beginning of this month. more..

Why did cricketing duo opt out of Dalai Lama visit?

May 10 (LB) In a strange twist of events surrounding the recent issuance of an order to Sri Lanka cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara and his predecessor Mahela Jayawardene, to desist from meeting the Dalai Lama, it has now come to light through the Indian media, that the foreign ministry had put paid to a fervent wish expressed by the skipper to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader. more..