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UNP decides to sack ‘independents’

Sep 19 (LB) The UNP Working Committee decided to summarily remove any MP who decides to act independently in parliament, from the UNP parliamentary group. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has also accused MPs who support party reforms of ‘carrying out a government contract.’ A tense situation arose at yesterday’s UNP Working Committee meeting over reforms with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe attempting to conclude the meeting without more..

Military procurement commission report unpublished: Fonseka verdict raises new issues

Sep 19 (Island) Now that a military tribunal had recommended the first serving officer to be conferred the rank of General be sentenced to three years in jail for alleged irregularities and corruption in the purchase of military equipment, the country would like to know whether any other senior officer received a jail term for such an offence before Fonseka’s case, the JVP said yesterday. more..

Batti blast: Scene brings back dark days of war

Sep 19 (ST) It was close to noon on Friday when 25-year-old A.H.M. Riyaz, a clerk at the Karadiyanaru Agrarian Centre, located on the Batticaloa-Badulla A5 road, witnessed the ceiling of his office fall on him. While Mr. Riyaz was fortunate to be alive, sharing his story with the Sunday Times, there were 21 others present at places surrounding the Agrarian Centre, who were not as lucky. more..

BOI to be replaced by new Authority

Sep 19 (ST) The Board of Investment (BOI), Sri Lanka’s premier investment promotion agency, is to be abolished. It will be replaced by a new agency, which a Finance Ministry official said, would have wider powers to create a “globally competitive investment climate”. He said the move would be aimed at making the country the most preferred investment destination. The new agency, for which a blueprint has already been drawn up, more..

Fonseka going to remand prison, Anoma to parliament

Sep 19 (ST) A three-member military General Court Martial on Friday delivered a guilty verdict against former Army Commander then General Sarath Fonseka on four charges of “disgraceful conduct” in military procurements. He now faces a jail term of three years once the “Confirming Authority” -- President Mahinda Rajapaksa -- endorses the GCM recommendations. This will also unseat him as a Member of Parliament. more..

President to tell world on Lanka's success story

Sep 19 (SO) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will brief the United Nations on Sri Lanka’s success story in eliminating terrorism and the country’s ambitious plans to win its second war - the economic war to make Sri Lanka the pride of Asia, an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said. The President‘s address to the world community at the 65th UN General Assembly will be his first after more..

Top heavy and in luxury at UN

Sep 19 (LB) Astupendously large Sri Lankan delegation left for the United Nations general assembly in New York raising eyebrows in political circles, LAKBIMAnEWS learns. According to informed sources, the official delegation that is currently putting up at the super luxury hotel in New York, the ‘Waldorf Astoria’ and few other hotels, is said to number over 130 persons incurring costs over Rs.100 million. The cost of the delegation is borne by various government institutions. more..

Sri Lanka woos Hollywood

Sep 20 (IANS) With Tamil insurgents crushed after a quarter century of bloodshed, Sri Lanka is actively wooing Hollywood. 'We are working to increase our visibility with producers and directors in Hollywood and in other countries,' Sri Lankan ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya said here. Hollywood blockbusters 'The Bridge on the River Kwai' and 'The Temple of Doom' were both shot in Sri Lanka at a time when the country was only known for its exotic locales -- and serenity. more..

Fonseka 'will not lose' parliamentary seat

Sep 20 (BBC) Sri Lanka's former military commander Sarath Fonseka, MP, will not lose his parliamentary seat even if he is sentenced to jail by a military court, his party says. Anura Kumara Dissanayake, a senior member of the Fonseka-led DNA, said that the military courts are not established courts of law in Sri Lanka. “A military court is a special institution established under Army Act therefore someone's parliamentary seat is not affected by a ruling of a military court,” more..

DPF to decide on Prabha Ganeshan

Sep 20 (SL) The Democratic People’s Front (DPF) Leader Mano Ganeshan says that a final decision regarding the party’s parliamentarian Prabha Ganeshan, who joined the government, will be taken when the political council meets on Wednesday (22). Ganeshan has reportedly said that the Council might decide to cancel Prabha Prabha’s party membership. more..

'Efficient public servant will be given promotions disregarding their seniority'

Sep 20 (SLBC) Minister W D J Senevirathne says the public servants should be fully committed to serve the public. The officials should identify the needs of the public and take immediate measures to fulfil them. The government aim is to establish a quality and efficient public service in the country as stated in the “Mahinda Chinthana” policy manifesto. The Minister made this remarks participating at the mobile service of the more..

Who kept explosives in public place?

Sep 20 (ST) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is attending the UN sessions in New York, has called for a full report from Police and Defence officials on the Karadiyanaru explosion which killed 21 people including that of nine civilians. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the President had directed that Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne, who is also the acting defence minister, and Police Chief Mahinda Balasuriya visit the scene while more..

Anura challenges President

Sep 20 (LT) DNA MP Anura Dissanayake has challenged President Mahinda Rajapakse, who convened courts martial against former Commander of the Army Gen. Sarath Fonseka and stripped him of all honours, ranks and medals, to remove the scars Gen. Sarath Fonseka has on his body as a result of shedding blood when sacrificing his life for the emancipation of the Motherland from tiger terrorists. more..

Fractured constitution making and our unhappy fate

Sep 20 (LG) This is a period of fractured constitution making and dangerously subversive amendments aimed at a virtual constitutional dictatorship notwithstanding the cynical arguments of some apologists for the 18th Amendment. These apologists would like us to believe that these are all mere straws in the wind and that Sri Lanka’s democratic traditions would be strong enough to withstand the pressures of illiberal rule. more..

Till death do us party

Sep 20 (LG) The Scene: Ranil at his desk in the office of the Disunited Nondescript Party (DNP), talking to Karu over tea. Sorry, coffee. Ranil: “I say Karu I want to hold a meeting. Now can you get these people together? We have to act fast, otherwise we’ll be out of jobs … err … I mean, the party must be saved. Karu: “Yes yes Ranil, we have to get the party reforms into place quickly. The report is ready.” more..

Rehabiltation of Karuna from a Colonel to a Sinhala band singer

Sep 20 (LG) The video clip below presented with this news will confirm the transformation of one time buddy of the LTTE leader Velupillai Pirabakaran to a drunken singer of Sinhala baila songs. Karuna’s transformation has been rapid since he severed his links with the LTTE. Past six years have been very testing time for him and his fishing expedition has finally landed him as a Sinhala singer and more..

A motocycle journey into the heart of Sri Lanka’s civil war

Sep 20 (LG) Meadows visited Sri Lanka in what was probably spring 2003, traveling from south to north in a journey that tens of thousands made during the ceasefire. This is an accessible, readable, enjoyable book that will bring back many memories for the Tamil diaspora of our journeys during that period. As a travelogue, the book definitely succeeds. The rationale for Meadows’ visit was to explore issues surrounding terrorism in the post 9/11 world. more..

'Govt. taking all initiatives to make my husbund a political hero'

Sep 20 (NF) “The government is taking all initiatives to make my husband a political hero as well,” said Mrs. Anoma Fonseka today. She said that her husband became a war hero by ending the three-decade long war. “We managed to achieve victory ending the three-decade long war. Because of this he became a war hero. Now the government is taking all the initiatives to make him a political hero as well. I thank them for that. more..

Normalcy returns to Northern villages: Rising from the ashes

Sep 20 (SO) True peace has now dawned in the Northern region after many years. With no deadly sounds of firing or explosions or abductions, the villagers of Vellankulam, 40 km off Vavuniya, are planning their future. After a brief spell of rain, the fertile land has turned more green with fresh leaves popping out. Still facing a water scarcity, the villagers thanked the soldiers for cleaning the abandoned well. more..

Speaker to appoint nominee to Parliamentary Council if UNP fails

Sep 20 (TN) The Speaker of Parliament will be entrusted with the powers to appoint the relevant representative to the parliamentary council if the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe fails to appoint a member within next week. Ranil Wickremasinghe Thursday nominated TNA MP M.A Sumanthiran as his nominee to the Parliamentary Council but the TNA MP rejected the nomination. Since then Ranil Wickremasinghe has not nominated a new person, more..

Minister’s men attack editor’s house in Kaaththaankudi

Sep 20 (TN) The editor of ‘Uraikal’, a weekly paper published in Kaththaankudi in Eastern Province, said that a gang of men of minister M.L.A.M. Hisbulla have for the second time attacked his house in Kaaththaankudi on 13 September. A news item in the paper had contained information exposing the corruption in the Co-operative sector administered by the minister’s men was the reason for the attack, more..

LTTE's Elilan surrendered to SLA on 18 May, wife tells BBC

Sep 20 (TN) Ananthi Sasitharan, wife of Elilan, former Trincomalee political head of the LTTE, told BBC Tamil service that she and her three daughters witnessed her husband and hundreds of other LTTE members surrendering to the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers on 18th May 2009, after the war has come to an end. "I have been trying to trace my husband and has not been successful to locate his whereabouts. more..

'Kaballeva' in Kandy: Rare photos of a Sri Lankan armadillo

Sep 20 (TC) Our sojourn at the hill club was rudely interrupted this summer with a telephone call from an excited Navaratna. They don’t like mobile phones at the Hill Club, which disturb the tranquillity of the place. I quickly grabbed my vibrating phone and ran to the outside corridor to answer the call. Navaratna, our village handyman, has a reputation of having a superman like ability to climb trees and more..

Filmmaker Sumithra Peries falls on Goa beach

Sep 20 (PTI) Sri Lanka's legendary filmmaker Sumithra Peries was injured after she had a fall on the Dona Paula beach near here. The island country's first woman filmmaker is on Goa visit to participate in the South Asian Film Festival (SAFF). Peries told PTI that she had gone for sight seeing on the beach near here this morning when she had a fall. "My head hit the floor and my leg sprained," she said. more..

Interview III - Bijayini Sathpathy

Domestic aide rape case put off as medical report not received

Sep 20 (Island) A case where the son of a wealthy businessman had allegedly raped a female domestic aide employed in the household, was taken up for hearing before Mt. Lavinia Chief Magistrate Nirosha Fernando on Thursday, but was put off as the medical report from the Kalubowila hospital had not been received so far. When the case was called, Dehiwala police informed court that the medical report is still being awaited. more..

'Poultry chief is no poultry farmer

Sep 20 (NF) The poultry controversy is dragging on these days and while Minister Johnston Fernando claims that the poultry chief D. D. Wanasinghe is no poultry farmer, Mr. Wanasinghe in response says that the head of the nurses' union is no nurse! The price of eggs is a much talked about topic these days and with the increase in egg prices, food items made with eggs have gone up in price. At present a price of a white egg is Rs. 17. more..

Wahabi infiltration worries Sri Lanka

Sep 20 (EB) Moderates among the Muslims in Sri Lanka are expressing deep concern over a massive and determined Saudi petro dollar backed effort to spread the extremist Wahabi ideology among Muslims in the island nation, who have traditionally been a peace loving and tolerant community. Sufi leaders, who have taken up the cause on behalf of the moderates, told Express here on Sunday, that there was a real danger of Wahabism preparing more..

North to glow with Bio energy

Sep 20 (LP) Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka assured that within the next two years electricity usage in North Earstern region of the country would rise to 100% and that now steps have been taken to expedite the project. While on a visit to Trincomalee Tokyo Cement Company inspection, Minister Ranawaka said that at the moment a Bio energy power house of husks and coconut shells containing 10 Megawatts is in active operation in the Tokyo Cement Company. more..

The last journey of two good old friends

Sep 20 (SO) None of us thought that film legend and veteran actor Gamini Fonseka would too join the 'last journey' with his dear friend after 11 days of his good old friend's demise. My father Dharmasiri Gamage passed away on September 19 and Gamini Fonseka passed away on September 30, 2004. I could remember last year, I wrote an article on my father focusing how the tragedy took place and the special bond the two of us had as a father and daughter. more..

Minister Amunugama focuses on emerging opportunities for UK businesses in Sri Lanka

Sep 20 (Island) Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning, inaugurated the establishment of the British – Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce at the Sri Lanka High Commission, London last week in the presence of a large gathering of prominent UK businessmen, industrialists and financiers. The Minister focused on the New Era for Sri Lanka following the restoration of peace in the island and more..

Ariyawathi has no mental illness

Sep 20 (LP) Medical Tests conducted on L P Ariywathi of Thihagoda confirms that she is not suffering from any mental (psychological) disorder. Ariywathi was subjected to severer tortured by her masters in Saudi Arabia and underwent surgery to remove nails which were forcibly inserted into her body. She was directed to the National Institute of Mental Health in Angoda from the Kamburupitiya Base Hospital where she underwent several tests more..

'State has instilled fear in all sectors in public service'

Sep 20 (NF) Dayasiri was addressing an interactive meeting held in Colombo on Friday on the theme 'The United National Party – the way forward' organised by the Independent Professionals Guild. A group including former and present UNP parliamentarians and electorate organisers were present at the occasion. “All sectors in the public service including police today have gone into hiding due to the fear instilled in them by the state. more..

UNP 'undermining TNA'

Sep 20 (BBC) The largest Tamil party in parliament the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has accused the main oppostion party in Sri Lanka, United National Party (UNP) of undermining its political inidividuality, the TNA General Secretary has told the BBC Tamil Service. War of words have broken out between the TNA and UNP over the nomination of the TNA MP Sumanthiran to the parliament council by the leader of the opposition. more..

Suspect dies of gunshot injuries in alleged scuffle with Police

Sep 20 (NF) A suspect was killed in an incident where a gun went off when he had allegedly attempted to snatch a firearm from a police officer. The incident occurred in the Embilipitiya area. According to police, the suspect had been arrested on Friday for being involved in several crimes including contract killings. The suspect was being questioned under detention orders after he was produced before court. more..

Until the ‘South’ learns what democratic rule is…

Sep 20 (SL) This is all about politics in the Sinhala South. Sinhala politics that decide the country’s future. Tamil-Muslim aspirations may live in the periphery, at the mercy of the Sinhalese. That does not necessarily mean the majority of the Sinhala people could live a contented, democratic life. How could they? Where are their political instruments that could prevail on governance that’s restricted to Colombo ? more..

Mangala defends Ranil, promises Dec 8 showdown

Sep 20 (NS) UNP recent prize catch and former SLFP heavyweight Mangala Samaraweera, who has just been entrusted the task of helping out with the UNP’s publicity, defends his besieged leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Mangala insists that, at grassroot level, UNPers are still with Ranil, and they only want unity within the party. And this strength they hope to show to the country by bringing more..

Editorial: The fallen hero

Sep 20 (Island) Both friends and foes, and he seem to have more of the latter than the former, will not relish what two court martials have heaped on the fallen general. The nation and his leaders acknowledged him as a war hero, whatever his weaknesses and failures might have been. These certainly have not been lacking and stories of his ruthlessness and single minded determination to achieve the objective of defeating the LTTE, whatever the cost to his troops, more..

Editorial: Show magnanimity

Sep 20 (Hindu) The second court martial of Sarath Fonseka, Sri Lanka's former Army commander, has ended predictably with a verdict of guilty on the charge of violating procedures in military procurement. Last month, he was convicted of engaging in political activity while being in office. As punishment, the military court then handed down a dishonourable discharge, stripping him of his rank and all medals he had received in his 38-year career as a soldier. more..

'Second court martial is a revengeful act carried out under the pretext of a judicial matter'

Sep 20 (LT) The court martial convened against the former Commander of the Army Gen. Sarath Fonseka is a revengeful act carried out under the pretext of a judicial matter states the JVP. The JVP issuing a statement regarding the verdict of the second court martial states: The second court martial that heard the case against Gen. Sarath Fonseka has announced its verdict declaring Gen. Fonseka guilty. more..

Protest march against Ranil

Sep 20 (DM) Galle District UNPers who met yesterday had passed a resolution to march towards Colombo and handover a petition to party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe calling him to handover the leadership to an able person and to remain as the senior leader. They are to carry out this action in another two weeks time. UNP member of the Southern Provincial Council Maithri Gunaratne told Daily Mirror that they passed a resolution to this effect. more..

Innovations and findings help develop country

Sep 20 (DN) New innovations and research findings of Uva Wellassa University will steer the country to development since innovations and findings definitely assist the development of any country, Uva Wellassa University Vice Chancellor Chandra Embuldeniya said. The Vice Chancellor addressing the first Research Symposium of the Uva Wellassa University said so delivering the keynote address. The research symposium was held under more..

Sajith to start a new ‘Life’

Sep 20 (DM) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa said yesterday that he would start his ‘Jathika Jeewaya’ programme in Bingiriya today, to revamp the party at grassroots level in view of the local government elections to be held early next year. Mr. Premadasa told Daily Mirror yesterday various posts and inducements were being made by the party hierarchy to pacify the leadership crisis. However, he said that he would not bow down to any of those offers at this hour. more..

In the making of a writ fit for a king

Sep 20 (ST) My dear JR, I thought I must write to you not only because it would have been your one hundred and fourth birth anniversary had you been around still, but also because there is a lot of talk about you these days, all because of the Constitution you masterminded some thirty two years ago. What is funny about it is that only you acknowledged the ‘greatness’ of your Constitution; all the others criticized it. more..

Warrant reissued on Lankanewsweb editor

Sep 20 (ST) Colombo High Court Judge W.T.M.P.B. Warawewa on Thursday reissued an open warrant for the arrest of Anil Chandima Withanarachchi, Editor of the UK-based Lankanewsweb. Withanarachchi failed to appear in Courts on Thursday. He is charged for allegedly forging, aiding and abetting and collectively conspiring to prepare forged documents including a deed of gift for a land valued at four million rupees. more..

Ranil wants to save ‘marriage’ with Hakeem despite betrayal

Sep 20 (Island) Wickremesinghe believes the UNP shouldn’t sever its political ties with the SLMC as Hakeem’s group still remains in the Opposition in spite of having voted with the ruling coalition for the 18th Amendment. The Opposition Leader has told the decision making UNP Working Committee that the party should wait for Hakeem’s next move. more..

Nominations after budget

Sep 20 (DM) The government has decided to expedite the election to the Northern Provincial Council and the official notification of the election would be issued soon after the Budget 2011 in November, government sources said. According to a senior minister the official statement to that effect would be made by the President Mahinda Rajapaksa soon after the conclusion of the budget debate. Thereafter the Commissioner of Elections would call for nominations to more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Sep 20 (ST) The Ministry of Defence has issued a directive to the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) that the minimum qualification for recruitment of cadet pilots should be a pass in GCE (AL) as before and not GCE (OL). It has also ordered the cancellation of the latest intake of cadets -- an issue that generated a serious controversy. The earlier requirement that the benchmark qualification should be GCE (AL) was lowered by a senior officer to accommodate one of his siblings. more..

Batticaloa mourns for the blast victim: Probes continue

Sep 20 (Island) The people of Batticaloa who are still trying to recover from the crippling impact of a devastating accidental blast at the Karadiyanaru Police Station on Friday, which left over about 25 people dead and scores of others critically injured, observed a day of mourning yesterday. IGP Mahinda Balasuriya said that the normal functions of the Karadiyanaru police division would be more..

'SL could be champion of regional and global integration of SA'

Sep 20 (Island) Sri Lanka’s strategic importance had increased manifold for India in the post-war period for economic, political and social reasons, a veteran Indian editor said on Saturday in Colombo. Editor of The Indian Express Shekhar Gupta, delivering the keynote address, ‘India-Sri Lanka Relations in the Post War Context’ at a ceremony to mark the enrolment of international relations students for 2010 more..