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Commissioner of Elections is ‘running with the hare and hunting with the hounds’ – CaFFE

Feb 23 (LT) The decision taken by the Commissioner of Elections to postpone elections to 60 local councils is an act similar to ‘running with the hare and hunting with the hounds’ states Campaign for Free & Fair Election (CaFFE) in a communiqué. The Executive Director of CaFFE, Keerthi Tennekone states the decision by the Commissioner of elections violates provisions in the 262nd clause of the local government elections act. more..

Threat of cyber war

Feb 23 (NN) Sri Lanka faces the threat of a “cyber war” by anti-Sri Lankan forces and pro- LTTE activists around the world, Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya said today. Speaking during a Conference on Cyber Warfare today the Army Chief opined that the whole world is now faced with an emerging threat of a ‘Cyber War’ as cyberspace is the information superhighway across the entire world having made the concept of a ‘global village’ a reality. more..

Opposition Criticism on price increases baseless

Feb 23 (GDI) “The opposition is making baseless criticism about price increases and attempts to mislead the masses, and despite their criticisms the government is fully committed and dedicated to increase the life standards of the people” said the Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena. He said that Australia which exported milk food and several other products has been devastated by floods and forest fire and their milk production has been affected drastically. more..

Human Rights Commission will meet for the first time .

Feb 23 (GDI) The first meeting of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka is to be held on Feb.24. Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa acting on powers vested in him under the Eighteenth Amendmentto the Constitution has appointed Chairman and Members to the Human Rights Commission. The retired Justice of the Supreme Court Priyantha Perera has been appointed as the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) and the other members appointed are more..

New weapons law

Feb 23 (NN) The government is to introduce a new legislation to make the possession of illegal weapons a non bailable offence, the government information department said this evening. A spokesman for the government information department said that the govt is of the firm view that weapons should be permitted only for the institutions and officials authorized to carry such weapons. He said that while the government had recently given a grace period for more..

Fishermen issue affects Indo-Lanka relation

Feb 23 (HT) Tamil Nadu fishermen trespass into Sri Lankan waters to largely poach paraw (blacktip trevally), prawns, sea cucumber and conch shells. Last week, 136 of them became a prized catch themselves. Lankan Tamil fishermen, in a first, intercepted them and hauled them over to the police. The vigilant move and the release of the Indian fishermen in two days though they were remanded for two weeks in jail again focused the spotlight on the festering issue of more..

Tamil man indicted for Sri Lankan murders

Feb 23 (TF) The man, arrested last January, stands accused of killing three persons on behalf of the LTTE during a conflict in Sri Lanka. The first victim was a police officer killed in 2004. The other two were members of a rival Tamil group, murdered in May 2006. According to Per Zimmer, police lawyer at Kripos (Norwegian Criminal Police), the Tamil man is thought to have connections with the LTTE, and it is believed the organization contracted him. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 22.02.2011

WC 2011: England survive ten Doeschate brilliance

Feb 23 (CI) Ryan ten Doeschate produced a scintillating 119 from 110 balls, and followed up with the brilliant bowling figures of 2 for 47 in ten overs, to give England one of the biggest frights of their international lives. However, his very best efforts were not quite enough to propel the Netherlands to an incredible victory in their World Cup opener at Nagpur. Faced with a massive target of 293, and humiliation on an even greater scale than they suffered at Lord's more..

Domestic Unit Programme to strengthen life standards of Villagers

Feb 23 (GDI) The world is facing a global economic slowdown and an impending food crisis due to natural disasters that have affected many countries throughout the world. After the World War II, the European countries launched the industrial revolution to build their nations devastated by the World War and they became advanced due to the measures taken at that time to launch the industrial revolution. Similarly the government has taken measures to more..

'They would also say Lord Buddha campaigned for them'

Feb 23 (LT) The leaders of the present government making use of Buddhist symbols and conceptions to fulfill their petty political interests has anguished all people in the country including Buddhists says the Chief Counselor of the National Bhikku Front Prof. Ven. Aththangane Rathanapala Thero at a media briefing held at the National Library and Documentation Services Board yesterday (22nd). more..

Need for more eyes

Feb 23 (NN) There is a serious shortage of eyes with over 200 people already on the waiting list at the Eye Hospital and the government is now going to make a request from the public to consider donating their eyes when they die. Director of the Eye Hospital Dr. Sisira Liyanage said that there were 250 people already on the waiting list with corneal problems and the Hospital did not have enough eyes to meet this demand. He added that each year, the demand was increasing which more..

TN politicos in tele- talk at Parvathi’s funeral

Feb 23 (DM) Several pro-LTTE Tamil Nadu politicians, including Vaiko and Nedumaran addressed the funeral of slain LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s mother Parvathi Pillai over the phone today. Tamil Nadu politicians Vai Gopalswamy who is commonly known as Vaiko, P. Nedumaran, Indian film director Sebastian Seeman and Tamil Poet Kasi Anandan addressed the funeral using the telephone technology. Former TNA MP M. K. Sivajilingam who organized the funeral on behalf of more..

Surgery on Pabha

Feb 23 (NN) Member of Parliament and popular actress Upeksha Swarnamali will undergo a surgery tomorrow to treat her facial injuries, officials from the Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital told News this evening. The MP popularly known as Pabha, speaking to News in a frail voice from her hospital bed confirmed that she will undergo a minor surgery tomorrow and said her health was ‘fine’. more..

Ethnicisation of history writing in South Asia/Sri Lanka - Part 3

Feb 23 (LG) There has been a long debate by learned scholars on the early language and the Brahmi script of Sri Lanka and Southern India, all of which in their varied treatment cannot be discussed here. Mr. Devananda has reduced all that to a very simple statement that “…Early Brahmi inscriptions of Lanka have all the symbols of South Indian Brahmi … but a considerable number of them appear to be Tamil terms and they could be easily explained as Tamil terms, more..

Police man forced disabled rape victim to accept Rs. 10,000 in settlement

Feb 23 (LG) Mrs. Yamange Hemalatha (50) of Akkara 33, Weligodella, Bombuwala is married and a mother of two children. Her husband is a shoe maker and self employed. One of Hemalatha's children is a 23-year-old woman who is physically and mentally disabled. Chandani (not her real name) was born with her disability. She is crippled and wheel chair bound. Further she is mentally retarded and requires constant supervision as she is unable to tend to her bodily functions and more..

District summits to steer UPFA campaign

Feb 23 (DN) The first district summit of the UPFA in connection with the 2011 LG Election will be held in Anurdhapura on February 28. It will be held under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. These Summits will be held in all districts. The final summit will be in Hambantota on March 14,SLFP General Secretary Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. He said that the UPFA will not organize mass election rallies for the 2011 LG Polls. more..

A Response to Rajiva Wijesinha

Feb 23 (LG) I am writing to request a correction to a statement contained in Rajiva Wijesinha's article published in the Island on 20th February, 2011, which refers to 'Basil Fernando’s Asian Human Rights Centre'. There is no organization known to me by that name. There is the Asian Human Rights Commission, based in Hong Kong. If this is the organisation he is referring to then I am not the owner of that organisation. more..

Somawansa commits JVP to new thinking

Feb 23 (LB) The opening ceremony and first session of the Sixth JVP national Congress at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium from 10am to 2pm on 10 February was colourful and lively, as one would expect. There were however a striking incident that I will come to in a moment. First I want to tell you about the pageant itself. There were many foreign dignitaries including the representative of the Cuban CP (the Cuban Ambassador doubled up in her party capacity) and more..

Colombo University’s celebration of Victor Ratnayake

Feb 23 (LG) As someone with a long and close association with the University of Colombo, I am delighted to join Vice Chancellor Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama, Prof. Samantha Herath and others to celebrate Victor Ratnayake, the greatly loved musician in the world of Sinhala music. My association with the University of Colombo has been principally through its Faculty of Medicine and such training as I have had was in the filed of medicine. more..

The Jehan-Paikiasothy Awards Tango – stripes, tails and all!

Feb 23 (LB) Your hero need not be mine and mine need not be yours. We all have our personal definitions of heroism which are often coloured by the peculiarities of ideology and preferred political outcomes. However, even conceding this natural relativism in the matter of cheering, there is legitimacy in making observations on certain choices that people have. Suffice to say that a Mafia boss would be hero to his minions, just as a terrorist supreme would be more..

The Sinhabahu Metaphor

Feb 23 (SL) The great-grandfather of the Sinhala race was generously called a lion but could more accurately be called a kidnapper, rapist and thug. He kidnapped a princess, kept her walled into a cave and impregnated her, Josef Fritzl style. When her son grew up, however, he rolled back the rock and eventually killed his father. That is the beauty of an often conflicted and incestuous story. The creative destruction of the young. The story of Sinhabahu is that of a young more..

Alongside the A9 highway to war-torn Jaffna

Feb 23 (wsws) The following photo essay provides a glimpse of the plight facing war refugees along the A9 highway and in Jaffna after the official end of the Sri Lankan govt’s communal war against the separatist LTTE in May 2009. The images were taken by photojournalist Shantan Kumarasamy during a recent journey along the A9 highway, which connects the rest of the island with the Jaffna Peninsula. The photographs record the landscape from more..

Editorial: To coalesce or not to coalesce …

Feb 23 (Island) The JVP has decided to bid farewell to coalition politics according to a news item we published yesterday. This must be bad news for the now rudderless DNA heavily dependent on the JVP for electoral purposes. The JVP has forged several alliances, either official or unofficial, during the past four decades. It cohabited with the SLFP and then took up arms in 1971 after the latter and its allies won the 1970 general election. more..

Editorial: VIPs invade cricket field

Feb 23 (DM) Democracy in its highest sense is a form of government that is of the people, for the people and by the people. But here in Sri Lanka the term democracy can mean, of the VIP, for the VIP and by the VIP and there isn’t a field, which these VIPs have not invaded. Take the case of even religion. These VIPs, or let’s call them politicians, have their photographs run alongside religious dignitaries and images in a manner unheard of 10 or 15 years ago. more..

'Children's, women's rights charter in the offing'

Feb 23 (SO) Child Development and Women's Affairs Minister Tissa Karalliyadda says the forum set up with the representation of both Government and Opposition women Parliamentarians has set a very good example to the country and it will voice right of women in and outside the Parliament. The Minister stressed the importance of having more women in politics to minimise the harassment faced by women and children. more..

Lanka in hot water as India rocks the boat

Feb 23 (DM) My dear Mahinda aiya, Ayubowan, vanakam, assalamu allaikum and best wishes as we go up, up for the cricket world cup while unknown to most people ties between Sri Lanka and big brother India have been plunged into stormy seas. The tension between Sri Lanka and India has been building up for some time mainly over China's ever increasing influence here and the delay in finding a just and fair political solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. more..

Prabha’s ghost haunts Tamil Nadu elections

Feb 23 (DM) ‘The Hindu’ newspaper of India recently reported that the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has sent alert messages to Indian security officials that the LTTE cadres in Tamil Nadu are conspiring to carry out attacks targeting VVIPs during the Indian assembly election season, that is, at the forthcoming Tamil Nadu State elections it is likely that the LTTE cadres are targeting Indian Prime Minister (PM) Manmohan Singh. more..

Harry wants to pay Hedging loss and take over Petroleum!

Feb 23 (LB) The CPC’s current head Harry Jayawardena has agreed to pay any amount to settle the Hedging deal dues through his own pocket, provided part of the shares of the CPC are handed over to him. But, the government has not yet reached a final decision in this connection, industry sources say. “A rumour is doing the rounds, planted by vested interests that the CPC is about to be shut down by black-marking it a loss making concern, more..

SLA restricts movement of IDPs in Kodikaamam Camp

Feb 23 (TN) The Sri Lanka Army has instructed outsiders to get prior permission from its sentry points to visit the uprooted civilians from Vanni staying in Kodikaamam Ramaavil IDP camp in Thenmaraadchi, Jaffna. The inmates who were earlier allowed to leave camps and work without any restriction, are from this week onwards have been instructed to register themselves with SLA sentry point, before leaving for work and after their return. more..

TNA challenges Pilliayan to resign, hold election to EPC

Feb 23 (TN) The TNA Batticaloa District TNA MP, Mr.C.Yogeswaran, addressing an election meeting in Kaaraitheivu, challenged the Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC), Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, to dissolve the EPC and to stand for re-election to prove his popularity instead of criticizing the TNA. Chandrakanthan alias Pilliayan and Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan alias Karuna are leading two Para military groups in the eastern province. more..

Lankans in Libya ok

Feb 23 (NN) The Sri Lankan government says it will take the necessary measures with the assistance of the International Office of Migration (IOM) in order to ensure the security of Sri Lankans employed in Libya. Deputy External Affairs Minister Neomal Perera said that currently there are over 1200 Sri Lankans employed in Libya and all steps are being taken to look into their security after deadly protests have erupted in that nation. more..

Follies and Fantasies in the Sri Lankan Conflict

Feb 23 (GV) In an often quoted line Marx remarked, “history repeats itself first as tragedy, second as farce” and years later, Henry Ford, not known exactly either for his scholarship or his political wisdom, nevertheless said wisely “we want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker’s damn is the history that we make to-day.” In considering these two views about history and applying them to events in Sri Lanka, it is clear that we must amend more..

SriLankan Catering records profits

Feb 23 (N360) SriLankan Catering has earned a net profit of Rs. 640 million during the 9 month period leading up to 31st December 2010, despite recording an exchange loss of Rs. 160 million. The Company, which is the catering arm of the national carrier issuing a statement said, this is a 40% increase when compared with the same period in the previous year. During the month of December SriLankan Catering has earned a net profit of Rs. 110 million by producing more than 385,000 meals. more..

Postponing the elections: Department of Elections hunting with the hounds

Feb 23 (LG) The CaFFE is reminded of the idiom running with the hare and hunting with the hounds at the Department of Elections’ decision to postpone elections of 60 local government bodies. The decision taken by the Department is a violation of article 262 of the Local Government Elections Act and CaFFE is surprised at this because in the past elections were not postponed just because a political party/independent group filed a court case about an election related matter. more..

Tackling non-communicable diseases in Sri Lanka

Feb 23 (WB) The demographic transition in Sri Lanka of an older and aging population is well underway as country faces escalating health care costs with rising rates of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, diabetes, cancers, and asthma, as well as their risk factors such as obesity, smoking, high sugar and salt diets, and alcoholism. The demographic transition stems from a larger proportion of older people in a population as a result of increased longevity and more..

Pakistan week being observed in Colombo

Feb 23 (APP) Pakistan Week is being observed in Colombo in connection with PIA’s flight operation to Colombo, Sri Lanka started from February 19. Pakistan Week presenting various aspects of its vibrant culture, culinary taste of its food, trade stalls, fashion show, Qawwali and ghazal singing performance which was inaugurated by Sri Lanka’s First Lady Shiranthi Rajapakse Sunday night. The inaugural ceremony was largely attended by elite of the capital, ambassadors, more..

Emir of Qatar to visit Lanka

Feb 23 (GT) HH the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani will visit South Asian island republic of Sri Lanka later this year, according to a report in one of the English newspapers of that country yesterday. The Emir’s decision to visit Sri Lanka followed an invitation from the country’s President Mahinda Rajapakse, which he sent through his External Affairs Minister G L Peiris, when he visited Qatar a week ago. more..

Is there a dearth of Independent Directors in Si Lanka?

Feb 23 (Island) The Sri Lanka Institute of Directors conducted the third module in its series of panel discussions on ‘Contemporary Views on Corporate Stewardship & Boardroom Governance’ at the Ivy room of the Cinnamon Grand recently. Titled ‘Effectiveness of the Nomination and Remuneration Committees’ the panel was led by Rajendra Theagarajah CEO, Managing Director of Hatton National Bank PLC and included Dr. Anura Ekanayake Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, more..

Govt.: Doubts over Sajith’s funds

Feb 23 (SL) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has raised doubts over the funding received by UNP MP Sajith Premadasa. De Silva addressing a press conference said that an investigation has to be con ducted to find Premadasa’s funding sources. The govt minister had said that Premadasa had a very high funding capacity as he some times donates Rs. 5,000 to each family. According to de Silva, it needed to be determined as to where Premadasa acquired such a large amount of money. more..