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A motion of confidence or no-confidence

Sep 14 (LG) A Motion of No-confidence is a Parliamentary Motion traditionally put before the Parliament by the Opposition in weakening or discrediting a Government with the intention of defeating and exposing the previous track record of the Government. The Motion is passed or rejected by the majority votes with drastic implications if the Government is in the wrong and with no majority, popularity or strength. Confidence is generally the state of certainty. more..

'18 th Amendment will create stability, uphold democracy'

Sep 14 (SO) Minister Wimal Weerawansa says the introduction of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution has paved the way to create stability and uphold democracy in the country. The Minister in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Observer said if this Amendment leads to even dictatorship, a single Opposition MP would not have crossed over to the Government or voted in favour of this Amendment. more..

The breakdown of the rule of law in Sri Lanka: An overview

Sep 14 (LG) This review analyzes the state and the underlying causes of the current breakdown of the rule of law in Sri Lanka. The information herein is drawn primarily (but not exclusively) from three sources: Basil Fernando’s recently published book entitled Sri Lanka: Impunity, Criminal Justice & Human Rights (Hong Kong: Asian Human Rights Commission, 2010); the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute’s May 2009 report entitled Justice in retreat: more..

Kidnap that shook Sri Lanka, India and US

Sep 14 (NS) As a diversion, I wish to tell you a kidnap story I covered 26 years ago. My memory was kindled by a ‘confession’ Traditional Industry and Small Enterprise Development Minister Doughlas Devananda made to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission on September 3. He apologised to the people for the mistakes he had committed during the militant phase of his life. The kidnap of the Allen couple in 1984 shook Sri Lanka, India and US. more..

Mano Ganesan charts new political approach for DPF

Sep 14 (TC) Democratic People’s Front (DPF) leader and president of Democratic Workers Congress (DWC) Mano Ganesan is formulating a new,political approach for his pary. The former Colombo district Parliamentarian wants to maintain equidistance between the UNP and PFA and be able to criticise both parties if necessary on the one hand while having an issue-based working relationship with the DNA and TNA whenever necessary. more..

New lease of life for LTTE youth

Sep 14 (SO) Youth were first asked to come to public playgrounds in conflict areas carrying broomsticks and they were told by the LTTE how to hold guns. The youth were then directed to LTTE training camps where they were trained in the use of firearms. For over two decades this was the sad plight the youth had to undergo and they had no option other than to bow down to the LTTE brutality and pray to god. However with the ending of the conflict they have been given a new lease of life and more..

Proof is in the eating

Sep 14 (Island) As the government defends the 18 Amendment saying it was needed to provide uninterrupted political stability to drive economic growth and double incomes within the next six years, some economists pointed out the macro economic and fiscal performance would be the final judge. "Sri Lanka’s fiscal discipline was bad. True there was a war being fought, but there were fiscal slippages and waste that could have been, and should have been avoided. more..

Customs hold back Economist

Sep 14 (LB) The latest edition of The Economist magazine has again been held back by Customs authorities that have sent it to the Department of Information for approval. A notice posted outside Vijitha Yapa Bookshop yesterday the magazine was detained at the airport. It is not certain when the issue, which contains a strong editorial titled ‘Sri Lanka’s constitutional amendment: Eighteenth time unlucky’, will be distributed. more..

Sovereignty for Citizens: A Call to restore the Republic!

Sep 14 (GV) Sri Lanka is a modern republic – which means that its system of government is based on the idea that the citizens of the country rule themselves through arrangements for the representation of their interests. Our constitution sets out these mechanisms, affirms fundamental rights of citizens and declares in its first chapter that, ëIn the Republic of Sri Lanka sovereignty is in the people and is inalienable. more..

Tamils done with – Sinhalese to be done with

Sep 14 (GV) “Then they came for me” an oft quoted poem by German pastor Niemoller, in stressing the need for timely political action in difficult political contexts does have sense today, in its abstract form. Yet what is NOT said is that, Martin Niemoller was a dumb anti Communist who helped Hitler to come to power in Germany. What is NOT said is, his anti Communism supplemented Hitler’s racist ideology in letting lose a holocaust that made his poem irrelevant in Hitler’s Germany. more..

'I take full responsibility'

Sep 14 (SL) Recent UNP defector Upeksha Swarnamali, who played “Paba” in the eponymous teledrama, has said she takes “full responsibility” for her actions. UNP MP Rosy Senanayake said she met Swarnamali on Thursday evening as they were shooting for the Megastar programme on Swarnavahini. Upon being asked by why she had decided to defect, Swarnamali had said, “I take full responsibility for my actions,” according to Senanayake. more..

Editorial: Crocodile tears of the Eagle

Sep 14 (Island) The 18th amendment has perturbed, of all countries, the US, which has said it weakens checks and balances and thus undermines the principles of constitutional democracy. There are arguments for and against the amendment at issue, which is purely an internal affair of Sri Lanka. What right has the US got to interfere in it? And does the US really have any concern for democracy in other countries, in the first place? more..

Editorial: Grade 5 scholarship

Sep 14 (DM) A ten year old tiny tot is whisked away to tuition class immediately after lunch on returning home from school. After classes the child is expected to freshen up and then do home work, go through past papers and revision. There’s no play time or interaction with a neighbour’s child, the buddy from nursery days. The mother keeps a close eye to make sure that the child does not day dream or doze off. Any distraction will be strictly dealt with. more..

Politics, Populism, Paranoia & Perfidy

Sep 14 (Island) Sri Lanka’s politics are distinguished by the adversarial interplay by two main forces and their shifting coalition partners contending for power by opportunistic manipulating of the electorate. Each shift to the left or right is by the popular acclaim of about 65 per cent of the electors who are ignorant of the real issues at stake. These are those who are fed on a diet of promises and solemn pledges. more..

Editorial: Term unlimited

Sep 14 (DH) Sri Lanka’s once vibrant democracy has been dealt a stunning blow with a constitutional amendment that removes the two-term restrictions on the Presidency. This means that president Mahinda Rajapaksa, the first beneficiary of the 18th amendment, can be president for life, subject to re-election. The amendment also gives the president the authority to appoint top judges and other public officials, including heads of independent bodies such as more..

Mangala takes responsibility for anti-18th Amendment posters

Sep 14 (ST) The UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera is expected to be questioned by the police in connection with posters of President Mahinda Rajapaksa printed before the passing of the 18th Amendment. According to Deputy IGP Daya Pathirana, the MP claimed full responsibility for the posters. At least nine employees of a private printing press in Nugegoda have been detained after the police raided the press and found posters of President Mahinda Rajapaksa depicted as Idi Amin, more..

Sri Lanka half-year budget deficit on track

Sep 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka budget deficit up to June 2010 is on track with projected numbers though deficit monetization in subsequent weeks points to greater net cash deficits, official data show. Tax revenues picked up 16.0 percent to 309 billion rupees in the first six months of the year from a year earlier, while non-tax revenues doubled to 46.4 billion data released by the central bank show. more..

Is Sri Lanka taking a turn for the worse again? Watch the stock market

Sep 14 (Forbes) Sri Lankan Stock Market’s Relationship with Violence After being the best performing market globally for the past two years, the sentiment on the Sri Lankan economy may be beginning to turn and the country has no one to blame for that but its own president. Last week Sri Lanka’s Parliament passed an amendment scrapping presidential term limits. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Sep 14 (ST) UNP's Ratnapura District Parliamentarian Talatha Atukorale, the sister of the late Gamini Atukorale, one-time UNP General Secretary, castigated her leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, for rushing to talk on constitutional amendments with President Rajapaksa. Her criticism came at a joint meeting of the party Parliamentarians and the Working Committee at 'Siri Kotha', the party headquarters in Kotte, on September 1. more..

Lots of sound, little substance in a farce of a debate

Sep 14 (ST) As one government member put it in Parliament last Wednesday, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has achieved two things that for years people were made to believe were unachievable. First he gave leadership to the military defeat of the LTTE. Second he managed to muster a two thirds majority in Parliament under the Proportional Representation (PR) system of elections, to get the necessary numbers to make constitutional changes. more..

Maithripala on collision course with health officials

Sep 14 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena is on a collision course with a section of the health ministry’s top officials over irregularities, managerial deficiencies and inefficiency. An irate SLFP General Secretary yesterday (Sept 13) launched a scathing attack on his ministry officials at the opening of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s third high-level dialogue on e-Health for Asia. more..

Govt to import chicken for Christmas, New Year Season

Sep 14 (Island) A market survey commissioned by the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade, has revealed a shortage of chicken and the ministry will be forced to import 2,500 MT of Chicken by December for the Christmas and New Year season. A spokesman for the Ministry said that the chicken would be imported from Brazil and other countries not affected by bird flu. He said that the Poultry Products Association had earlier submitted a report to more..

'Mervyn’s re-appointment as DM biggest insult to Public Service'

Sep 14 (Island) The re-appointment of Mervyn Silva as Deputy Minister of Highways, on the very day that the 18th Amendment was passed through the ‘back door’, was the biggest insult to the public service in this country, the UNP said. Gayantha Karunathillake MP, addressing a news conference in Colombo said that the Mahinda Rajapaksa government celebrated the ‘unethical manner’ by which it secured a two thirds majority for the 18th Amendment, by reappointing Mervyn Silva as more..

Tamil migrants' names not on stolen computer

Sep 14 (NP) A computer stolen from the Canadian Tamil Congress contained the names of “dozens” of family members of MV Sun Sea migrants, a spokesman said on Monday. But David Poopalapillai said the names of the migrants were not stored on the computer taken during an apparent weekend break-in at the group’s national office in Toronto. “The damage is not that bad but we believe it’s a serious breach of security,” more..

‘UAV footage can counter false allegations’

Sep 14 (Island) Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetileke says the presence of civilians had caused severe constrains during a three-year offensive directed against the LTTE. The war ended in May last year. Goonetileke, credited with Sri Lanka’s successful air campaign, which destroyed the enemy’s fighting capability, training and communication facilities, says the LTTE took refuge among civilians to make it difficult for more..

'Most UNPers want Ranil to step down'

Sep 14 (Island) UNP dissidents are attempting to settle a long-standing problem in the party which has been simmering since 2006, when 17 Parliamentarians left the UNP to join the UPFA government. "We do not see it as a crisis" said Ratnapura district UNP MP Thalatha Athukorale. She told The Island yesterday that for the past four years a majority in the par had ty requested Ranil Wickremesinghe to step down as leader, more..

Presidential polls petition: Petitioner does not provide proof of bribing voters

Sep 14 (Island) Petitioner Sarath Fonseka did not furnish mandatory facts that Mahinda Rajapaksa was corrupt, and bribed the voters and hence his election as President, should be voided, D. S. Wijesinghe PC, counsel for the first respondent Mahinda Rajapaksa told the Supreme Court yesterday. Counsel Wijesinghe was supporting the objections to the election petition, filed by Fonseka, challenging the election of Mahinda Rajapaksa as President, more..

'Country paid big price for CFA'

Sep 14 (DM) Sri Lanka Editors’ Guild President Manik de Silva yesterday said the country paid too big a price for the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) even though it was implemented in the hope of bringing peace to the country. Speaking before the LLRC Mr. de Silva said during the period in which the CFA was implemented some high ranking military officials had personally told him that the LTTE cadres used to come in front of the military camps and humiliated them. more..

Nail torture case shines light on Asia's migrant maids

Sep 14 (AFP) L.P. Ariyawathie said she got a taste of what was in store for her just weeks after leaving her native Sri Lanka to work as a housemaid in Saudi Arabia. At first, she said, her employers mocked the basic Arabic she had learnt during a 15-day training course before she left for the Gulf. Then, events took a more sinister turn. "The torture started when a plate was broken by accident. more..

Ranil to stick to working committee decision

Sep 14 (DM) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has decided to act according to the working committee decision if the 25 members who had threatened to sit independently in the opposition decide to go ahead with their decision. According to party sources Mr.Wickremesinghe had made this decision last evening after he met some party seniors. Meanhwile the party said that it would hold a working committee meeting on Saturday to more..

TNA to testify but not hopeful

Sep 14 (DM) Sri Lanka's main Tamil political party said yesterday it would testify before the LLRC but it would not expect any positive results. The TNA said it accepted the invitation from the LLRC which is mandated by the president to look into "the failure" of the ceasefire agreement between the then government and the LTTE in 2002 and "related matters" until May 19 last year, when the government declared its military victory over the Tamil Tigers. more..

'Match fixing allegations could be a conspiracy'

Sep 14 (Island) Former Sri Lanka captain and MPArjuna Ranatunga said yesterday that the match fixing allegations against Pakistani players and attempts to frame a leading Sri Lankan cricketer into the same could be a conspiracy by parties with vested interests. A fortnight ago three Pakistani cricketers were exposed by British tabloid News of the World for purposely bowling no balls and since then, more..

'Sri Lanka among the widely connected countries in South Asia'

Sep 14 (MoD) For a country that has emerged from nearly three decades of brutal terrorism, Sri Lanka is today among the most widely connected countries and societies in the South Asian Region, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa today (13). He made these views this morning addressing the 50th Council Meeting and the Annual Forum of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO), in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka's debt ratings raised by S&P

Sep 15 (BN) Sri Lanka’s debt ratings were raised by Standard & Poor’s after the end of a civil war and a $2.5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund bolstered government finances. S&P raised the nation’s long-term foreign-currency rating to B+ from B and the local-currency rating to BB- from B+, with a stable outlook, it said in a statement today. Both are still three to four levels below investment grade. more..

IUSF: All evidence there to conclude Ruhuna Uni student’s murder

Sep 15 (SL) The IUSF has requested the Presidential Commission probing into the death of Ruhuna University student Susantha Bandara to inquire as to why the IGP and the Police had failed to investigate into the attack on the university students on July 18 this year. The attack on the Ruhuna University students on July 18 by the Matara Police allegedly resulted in Bandara’s death last month due to injuries sustained in the attack. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 14. 09. 2010

Amendment 18 'illegal'- UNP

Sep 15 (BBC) The Leader of the Opposition in Sri Lanka says that the recently adopted 18 amendment to the constitution is illegal. Opposition and United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickramasinghe told the media that he did consult many organisations before and after the 18 amendment was passed by the parliament. “Not only the UNP, many other parties do not view the 18 amendment as legal,” he said. more..

Man wants MR

Sep 15 (DM) The man who is staging a protest on top of a hoarding post near Horton Place is still refusing to divulge the actual motive for his protest or step down until President Mahinda Rajapakse or any other top government official meets him. Speaking to journalists at the site of the protest through a mobile phone a short while ago, the protestor who identified himself as ‘Rohitha’ said that his wife gave lectures in the defence establishment at one time and more..

Give us time- Ranil

Sep 15 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe held a press briefing this morning, following an announcement by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara that at least 25 MPs would sit as independent candidates in Parliament if the reforms process was not expedited. At the briefing, Wickremesinghe denied allegations that implementation of the reforms were being delayed, saying such a process took time. more..

How Ranil lost the UNP (Infographic)

Sep 15 (SL) Ranil Wickremesinghe has been leader of the UNP since 1994. After a strong showing in 2001, he led the party into a free-fall, losing many core members to the government side. In 2004 he lost a few but by 2007 it became a flood. By 2010 it has become a veritable tsunami, but Ranil still stands. The party, however, has gone deeply underwater. Today, former UNPers like G.L. Peiris and Keheliya Rambukwella form the public face of the SLFP government more..

Sri Lanka mobile phone project helps early detection of killer diseases

Sep 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka has successfully done a trial project that helps early detection of killer communicable diseases using mobile phones to send data that also reduces costs, officials said. The 'real-time bio-surveillance programme' enables the rapid detection and notification of potential health outbreaks through mobile phones, software applications and a Web interface, said LIRNEasia, a regional information communications technology think tank. more..

UK 'concerned' on curtails on media

Sep 15 (BBC) The British government has expressed concern over the continuing human rights situation in Sri Lanka. Alistair Burt, Minister for the Middle East and South Asia in the Coalition government, told the Westminster parliament that the government was aware of the ground situation in Sri Lanka. "Human rights issues, particularly freedom of expression, concerns of the media have been raised," more..

The need of the hour is a broad civil rights movement uniting all progressive forces

Sep 15 (TC) The 18th Amendment is now history. The emperor has been crowned with absolute tyrannical power. He has been vested with effective command over all institutions of the state- the executive, legislative, judicial, financial, the armed forces, police and the bureaucracy. He is in command of all the commissions and councils set up to protect democracy, human rights and the rule of law. more..

'Nations may not die but freedoms do'

Sep 15 (LG) In an article which appeared in the newspaper entitled, 'Hardly the Death of Democracy or the Nation -- Ten Points from a Political Scientist', (September 12, 2010) the author, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka wrote the following words: 'Nations are too strong a reality to be killed off by constitutional amendments'. Nations, as someone once said are imagined communities. As such, to talk about the death of nations is to talk about an abstraction. more..

349 displaced families return to their Army built houses & original places

Sep 15 (MoD) 55 Division troops by 12th September 2010 have been able to successfully resettle 1083 displaced people, belonging to 349 families in the north and south of Champiyanpattu, Maruthunkarny, Vathirayan, Uduthurai and Aliyavalai in 551 Brigade and 553 Brigade areas under 55 Division Headquarters. Most of the people in those coastal areas, formerly held by LTTE terrorists as their strongholds, more..

Rule of Law and Tamil Rights - key challenges of democratization in post war Sri Lanka

Sep 15 (LG) Staring at a great opportunity of genuine democratization brought about by the end of the war, Sri Lanka appears to be going back to a more historical form of democracy that prevailed in ancient Greece, where democracy was effectively the will of a small group of privileged people, with majority of its people such as women and slaves prevented from participating in governance and politics. more..

Burning polythene; a burning health issue in dengue prevention campaign of Sri Lanka

Sep 15 (LP) Sri Lanka's health officials, mainly the persons deployed in dengue prevention campaigns, advocate burning of waste plastic and polythene. Despite rhetoric of the Ministry of Environment, proper methods of disposal of polythene and plastic waste are unavailable in most parts of the country. Therefore people are prompted to burn polythene and plastic waste causing severe harm to environment and to more..

GBV and Conflict

Accepting reality and building trust

Sep 15 (NPC) The passage of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution has been a landmark event. The government obtained the necessary 2/3 majority in Parliament by a comfortable margin. The number of opposition parliamentarians who appear willing to take flight into the government seems to be increasing by the day. Therefore the government has every reason to be confident of its stability and strength. more..

Executive Presidency and Ashraff’s theory of Appellate Court

Sep 15 (DM) The tenth death anniversary of MHM Ashraff, the founder leader of the SLMC, the premier Muslim political party in the country falls on the 16th of this month. Interestingly it is not Ranil Wickremesinghe, the leader of the UNP with who the SLMC is now in coalition, but Mahinda Rajapaksa, the leader of the ruling coalition, the UPFA and the President of the country who is slated to be the chief guest at the Ashraff commemoration programme more..