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Rudrakumaran launches fund raiser through registration’

Feb 20 (Island) In a bid to consolidate his position, V. Rudrakumaran, who has emerged as the leader of the Tamil Diaspora recently launched a two-pronged strategy to bolster strength of his so-called Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) and also to raise funds. The US-based one-time LTTE legal advisor has offered to register Sri Lankan Tamils living overseas with TGTE for $ 15 each. The TGTE plans to issue a special Identity Card for Tamils. more..

Bahrain on no go list

Feb 21 (NN) The Foreign Employment Bureau has decided to temporarily suspend sending Sri Lankan nationals for employment to Bahrain following deadly protests erupting in that nation, officials said. The Bureau has informed the Sri Lankan High Commission in Kuwait of its decision and said it will begin sending Sri Lankan nationals to Bahrain only after tensions ease in the country. Deputy Minister Neomal Perera said that the Ministry was closely monitoring the events unfolding in Bahrain and more..

Ten year old warded after alleged rape

Feb 21 (SL) A ten year old girl from Nawadankulama Kanishta Vidyalaya in Mundalama has been warded at Ward No.9 of the Chilaw Base Hospital on February 10, after she was allegedly raped by the husband of her ‘Sinhala’ subject teacher. The girl has been living with her grandmother and uncle as her mother is working as a housemaid in Kuwait. “Last Thursday, around 1 p.m. my niece had been in the school premises as the teacher who was to take the subject more..

Sri Lanka make 332-7 against Canada

Feb 21 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara overwhelmed Canada's bowlers to launch Sri Lanka's World Cup bid in fine style. The pair formed the backbone of the 332 for 7 with Jayawardene making the fastest hundred by a Sri Lanka at the World Cup and Sangakkara finishing with an 87-ball 92. After Kenya's pathetic showing earlier in the day Canada had an important job flying the Associates flag that more..

Sri Lanka relaxes ban on banners, posters at grounds

Feb 21 (Reuters) Sri Lanka officials on Sunday relaxed an earlier ban on spectators carrying banners and posters in to World Cup playing venues, police said. Sri Lanka, co-host of the World Cup with Bangladesh and India, is hosting 12 matches including the quarter-finals and semi-finals. "We have relaxed the ban on posters and banners," police spokesman Prishantha Jayakody said. "They can also carry pen and papers but glass bottles and drums are still banned." more..

Practice row adds spice to Canada's Sri Lanka clash

Feb 21 (AFP) Canada coach Pubudu Dassanayake spiced up Sunday's World Cup clash with Sri Lanka by accusing the hosts of damaging their practice sessions at the new Hambantota stadium. "Our preparations were hurt big time by the non co-operation on Friday and Saturday and we have briefed our cricket board back home to deal with this matter," Dassanayake told AFP. Canada is placed in Group B of the 14-team event which kicked off in Dhaka on Saturday with more..

Sri Lanka beat Canada by 210 runs

Feb 21 (CI) Canada limped to 68 for 6 in their impossible 333 chase after 25 overs against Sri Lanka in Hambantota. While victory was always going to be beyond them, a competitive showing would have done the Associate nations' case for inclusion in the World Cup no harm. Instead Sri Lanka's only battle was with the looming rain, which forced them to hurry through to 20 overs, the minimum to needed to constitute a match. more..

Ethnicisation of History Writing in South Asia/Sri Lanka - Part 1

Feb 21 (LG) The above quotations from an American Archaeologist and a Sri Lankan academic, the latter much quoted by Sri Lankan Tamil academics like Dr.K.Indrapala and others to support their favourite theories, are cited not as a critique of the methodology of Tamil historians, but to highlight the problems one encounters in interpreting history in the sub-continent, including Sri Lanka. It is then not surprising, that the interpretation of Sri Lankan history more..

Sinhabahu the Paradigmatic myth of the Sri Lankan Oedipus

Feb 21 (LG) The mythological Story of Sinhabahu describes the origin of Sinhala nation. According to the mythology, the Princess Suppadevi of Vanga Kingdom was kidnapped by a ferocious lion and took her to the wilderness. While living with the lion she became pregnant and had twins. The newly born son was named Sinhabahu and daughter was named Sinha Seevali. The lion kept them in a cave and used to cover the entrance with a mighty rock. more..

Sri Lankan Foreign Service must put its own house in order before anything else

Feb 21 (TC) The message from Sri Lanka is a serious one; a call to be defensive (or offensive? or both?). The Prime Minister had the following to say, in Parliament: that the government has been informed that plans are being made by certain LTTE sympathizers and other elements in the Tamil diaspora in Europe to raise ‘war-crimes’ allegations, again, at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. This, I believe, is not news to anyone. more..

The Extraordinary Contribution of Dayan Jayatilleke in Geneva

Feb 21 (TC) Some years back, in compiling an Anthology of Sri Lankan short stories entitled ‘Bridging Connections’, I included a sharp satire by Alagu Subramaniam entitled ‘Professional Mourners’. Though the main subject of satire was the upper caste family which took ruthless advantage of the poor women who were paid to mourn at funerals, I was reminded of that chorus of women when I saw a recent piece by Sarala Fernando, described as ‘a retired diplomat…served as more..

A Gem of an Educator

Feb 21 (LG) Brother Alexander Cyrilus FSC passed away on January 8th 2011 at the age of 81. Until last fall, when he fell into the coma which kept him to the end, he lived a healthy, happy and active life. Education was his life-long commitment. He chose this path very early in life when he joined the religious order of the La Salle Brothers dedicated to the teaching of the poor, established by a Frenchman some 300 years ago. De La Salle lived at a time in which education was more..

'Harmonizing our multi ethnic multi religious society without polarization is the way forward'

Feb 21 (TC) I wish to thank the hosts of this event for asking me to speak in memory of Professor J.E. Jayasuriya. To state that Professor Jayasuriya was an icon in the realm of education in Sri Lanka would of course be saying the obvious. Many who paid tributes to Professor Jayasuriya now and then have spoken comprehensively about his seminal contributions to almost all facets of education in more..

Welcoming the best news in this decade

Feb 21 (LG) The filing and taking forward of war crime suits against former President of the US, George W. Bush (Jnr) in countries such as Switzerland and Spain in reference to, among other illegal acts under international law, the torture of detainees during the wa in Iraq and Afghanistan is, no doubt, long overdue and will be rightly applauded by human rights advocates the world over. As was reported in this newspaper last week, two torture victims in Geneva had planned to more..

Trouble brewing on plantations

Feb 21 (LG) Ever before negotiations begin on the next round of the Collective Agreement (CA) between plantations workers via their representatives (trade unions) and plantations companies, trouble is brewing on the plantations. As usual workers are demanding higher wages pointing out rising cost of living and good tea and rubber prices with the JVP also jumping on the bandwagon and joining the call for increased wages. The two-year CA ends on 31st March 2011. more..

Ranaviru Real Star: A real Hero & a true Star

Feb 21 (MoD) The 'Ranaviru Real Star' musical program, a concept of the Secretary of Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been already staged with the sponsorship of Dialog, Telecom Institute. The whole program has been organized by the Ministry of Defence and the necessary Media contribution is given by the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. The singing competition started on 6th Nov 2010 and it is being telecasted with a huge attraction more..

Editorial: Fishy diplomacy

Feb 21 (Island) The deplorable manner in which India coerced Sri Lanka into perverting the course of justice and letting go of 136 Indian fishermen and their vessels in judicial custody has raised many an eyebrow. It has set a very bad precedent, to say the least. Colombo had no alternative but to subjugate Sri Lanka's judicial process to New Delhi's political compulsions by way of a quid pro quo for, inter alia, the latter's cooperation during the Vanni war in more..

Editorial: Fishy issues

Feb 21 (DM) Three fishermen captured and later released by Somalian pirates last month, returned to Mirissa after a 17-day sea ordeal. Two of the original five fishermen team had been killed by the Somalian pirates while fishing in international waters about 2000 nautical miles from the Sri Lankan shore, it is said. Meanwhile two more fishermen had been captured by the pirates a week ago. While the Somali pirates threatened the fishermen and other shipping lines along more..

Mahinda is The Universally renowned Lord of the Three Sinhala Lands

Feb 21 (TC) He is President Mahinda Rajapaksa, ‘The Universally Renowned Lord of the Three-Sinhala Lands’ (Vishwa Keerthi Three-Sinhaladipathy). At least according to the official plaque erected by the state to commemorate the gifting of (another) Sri Maha Bodhi-sapling to India. Together, the event (marking the 2600th Buddha Jayanthi) and the plaque provide a revealing glimpse into the psyche of the President and his political project. more..

Cricket authorities should ensure dignity and safety of sports journalists

Feb 21 (LG) The Free Media Movement expresses its concern over two separate incidents where officials of Sri Lanka Cricket Association misbehaved towards sports journalists at a time when sport fans are waiting eagerly for the news and views on 2011 Cricket World Cup. On 9th February, the media manager of the Sri Lanka Cricket Association, Mr. Brian Thomas, had threatened journalist Samantha Bandula of the Irurasa Sinhala weekly with death. more..

Parvathi amma passes away - Updated

Feb 21 (LG) The people of Jaffna have flown black flags on Sunday, mourning the demise of 79-year-old Parvathi Amma (Vallipuram Parvathi), the mother of LTTE leader Velupillai Pirapaharan. The funeral of late Parvathi Amma is to take place at Valveddiththurai (VVT) Hindu Cremation Grounds on Tuesday. Born on 07 August, 1931, Parvathi Amma, resolved to stay with her people at her native village, after being denied entry to Tamil Nadu for medical treatment last year. more..

Unequal distribution of flood relief

Feb 21 (NS) Serious allegations have been levelled against the government, for unequal distribution of flood relief to the Dimbulagala flood victims. Tension grips Dimbulagala as hundreds of flood victims have launched a series of protest campaigns against the government, for not distributing flood relief entitled to them. An estimated 1,500 infuriated families took to the streets of Dimbulagala to air their anger and frustration, over more..

Occupying SL military intimidates mourning for Parvathi Amma

Feb 21 (TN) Colonial military of Sri Lanka occupying Jaffna, intimidated people of Valveddiththu’rai on Sunday to remove the black flags displayed to mourn the demise of Parvathy Amma, 80-year-old mother of the LTTE leader Pirapaharan. Hundreds of SL military intelligence personnel in civil dress, deployed at Theeruvil grounds where the remains are kept for public homage, made the local people themselves to remove the flags of mourning. Angered by the SLA harassment, more..

'CEB long-term debt stands at Rs. 322 billion'

Feb 21 (N360) Minister Champika Ranawaka assures that the debt ridden Ceylon Electricity Board will continuously make profits from year 2014. Ranawaka revealed, during the year 2010 the CEB has made Rs. 3948 million as profit before tax, ending 9 years of continuous loss making. He was speaking at a function held in Colombo last evening. Starting from year 2000 running up to year 2009, the state run electricity giant has made a collective loss of Rs. 116 billion. more..

Parliament, People’s sovereignty and the Military Mechanism of Court Martial

Feb 21 (TC) The Parliament of Sri Lanka has never questioned the existence of the military mechanism of Court Martial under the current Constitution or any of the earlier Constitutions. This is because it is a mechanism necessary to enforce discipline in the armed forces. This is also the reason why the validity of a Court Martial has not been questioned in the recent case of Fonseka vs. Kitulegoda. more..

Church backs govt efforts to meet impending food crisis

Feb 21 (Island) The Parish priest of St. Mary’s church Bolawalana, Rev. Father Anton Perera on Sunday urged the congregation to grow vegetables in their home gardens. The priest, in his Sunday sermon warned that it would be a mistake on the part of the people to ignore a rapid change in weather patterns, which could cause catastrophic damages to food crops. Rev. Father Fernando said that food crisis wasn’t primarily a political issue and the people need to realize the more..

Firing Line

Feb 21 (NS) The country appears to have lost a golden opportunity this month to blunt the anti-Sri Lanka propaganda of the Tamil Diaspora, when it allowed the Chief of Staff of the Air Force Air Vice Marshal P B Premachandra to retire without promoting him as the new Commander of the Service. According to some of his former colleagues AVM Premachandra, a native of Velvettiturai has sacrificed much for the country in sticking with the service throughout the conflict. more..

'Third player out of question'

Feb 21 (BL) The government has no intention of forming a new company to manage 107 currently disused fuel stations countrywide by bringing in a third player (apart from LIOC and CPC) into the petroleum trade, Minister Susil Premajayantha said. The minister’s denial came in the wake of a recent report which had quoted a senior, but unnamed Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) official as saying that plans are afoot to form a new company with bids being called from more..

Election law violations increase: Rule of law undermined

Feb 21 (Island) The activities of an outside party have increased election law violations in Beruwala making it one of the areas where election laws are most violated, the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) said in a press release. The release issued by Director of the CaFFE, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, said five incidents of election related violence have been reported after nominations were handed and two UNP candidates have been admitted to hospital after more..

Bicycles gifted to re-settlers

Feb 21 (DM) The Kilinochchi Security Services Headquarters took steps to gift bicycles to the re-settlers of Akkarayankulam and Ambal Nagar for their transport needs. These re-settlers have to track about 16 Kilometres to enter the town and they have brought the matter to the attention of the Commanding officer of the Kilinochchi Security Services Headquarters, Major General Nandana Udawatta and thereafter a request was made to the “Guna Jaya Sathuta Foundation” who then more..

Mahela says there is still work ahead

Feb 21 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lanka vice-captain, said he was pleased with Sri Lanka's start to the World Cup but there was still a lot of hard work ahead of his team in the tournament. Jayawardene scored the fastest century by a Sri Lanka player in any World Cup, when he got to the landmark off 80 balls in their first game of the tournament, against Canada in Hambantota on Sunday. The previous fastest hundred was off 85 balls by more..

Stripped down UDRS under the spotlight

Feb 21 (CI) The unavailability of Hot Spot technology during the current World Cup came under scrutiny as co-hosts Sri Lanka opened their World Cup campaign with a thumping win over Canada today at Hambantota. Mahela Jayawardene, Man of the Match for his 100, was the focus of two referrals from Canada for caught behind decisions, both of which went against the minnows. First, in the 23rd over with Jayawardene on 11, spinner Jimmy Hansra and wicketkeeper-captain more..

Where do the minnows go from here?

Feb 21 (CI) Such days make for a dispiriting - and complicated - spectacle. The two matches in Chennai and Hambantota on Sunday are precisely what the format and the World Cup don't need, yet it is the very existence of such matches that allows cricket to think of itself as a global game. Much has been said on the issue of the Associates in the run-up to this tournament. Probably the most thoughtful and reasoned assessment of their plight came from Ricky Ponting, more..

'Release' fishermen in Indian custody

Feb 21 (BBC) Families of Sri Lankan fishermen in Indian custody have protested in Chilaw, in the western district of Puttalam demanding the release of their loved ones. Over 90 Sri Lankan fishermen were arrested and charged in courts by the Indian authorities, they say. Sri Lanka on Friday released 136 Indian fishermen in custody. They have been held in custody under charges of fishing in Sri Lankan waters. more..

Diaspora full steam to put Lanka in UNHCR dock

Feb 21 (LB) Intelligence Services of the government revealed that the Tamil Diaspora plans to take up Human Rights allegations against Sri Lanka at the International Human Rights Council sessions which are set to get underway in Geneva, next month, with the assistance of some Ministers of European countries, informed sources said. The government it is reliably understood is in posession of details regarding such allegations being directed at it by a section of the more..

MR shoots down 300 per cent tax increase by PS

Feb 21 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has thwarted a controversial move by the UPFA-led Pujapitiya PS in the Kandy District to increase annual taxes by a staggering 300 per cent. Authoritative sources said that President had directed the UPFA to assure the public that the new tax wouldn’t be implemented. Sources said that the President had intervened after some of his long standing Kandy-based associates had informed him of the ‘unfair’ decision by the LG body. more..

Don’t fall into govt. trap, JVP warns UNP

Feb 21 (DM) The JVP would take legal action in the Supreme Court if rejected UPFA and UNP nomination lists for local government election were accepted in Akmemana, Akuressa, Moneragala, JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said. The party also called on the main opposition UNP to withdraw the cases it had filed against the rejection of its nominations as a responsible opposition party without falling into government’s trap. more..

Illegal radio station raided in Matale

Feb 21 (DM) An illegal radio broadcasting station which was operating on the top of Singakkara Kanda in Kandewala, Matale was raided by the police on Saturday night and one person was arrested. The radio station had been operating for a considerable period of time, the police said. Police recovered equipment ranging from radio sets, electronic devices, electrical codes, amplifiers and equalizers during the raid. The raid was carried out after gathering information from more..

Import duty on potatoes upped

Feb 21 (Island) The government has increased the import duty on potatoes from Rs. 10 to Rs. 20 with effect from midnight Saturday. This decision to increase the import tax by 100 percent was taken as local potato farmers were protesting against the plummeting potato prices. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, after discussions with ministers and officials, decided to increase the import duty on potatoes by Rs. 10 to protect the farmers on the warpath. more..

Elections to 60 LG bodies postponed

Feb 21 (Island) Elections to 60 Local Government bodies have been suspended on legal grounds, Department of Elections said yesterday. Deputy Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said that Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake had decided against holding elections to 60 institutions on March 17 on legal grounds. Political parties including the ruling UPFA have moved the Court of Appeal against the rejection of nominations for more..