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SF surprises guards

Feb 5 (NN) Jail guards and the media were in for a surprise a short while ago when they awaited the release of prisoners at the Welikada prison as Sarath Fonseka made a rare appearance in his prison kit. The media was escorted inside the prison premises at Welikada this morning to cover the release of prisoners as part of the Independence Day celebrations today. While the media was awaiting the release of the prisoners, Sarath Fonseka was seen waving at the media from more..

Lankan reality, Indian conundrum

Feb 5 (Himal) When Velupillai Prabhakaran perished in May 2009, the long Eelam War ended with him – as did a phase in Indo-Lankan relations. For the best part of three decades, the Tamil Tigers had constituted a key deciding factor in the island’s fraught relationship with the giant neighbour. Even after the India Peace-Keeping Force (IPKF) fiasco and the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi ended any possibility of open Indian support for the LTTE, more..

Protest against UNP MP Range Bandara

Feb 5 (NN) A group of UNP members and supporters staged a protest in Anamaduwa this morning against UNP Puttalam district MP Palitha Range Bandara saying he was creating rifts within the party. The protest was believed to have been staged by UNP member Shantha Abeygunasekera who was involved in an attack on the UNP MP during the general elections last year. While Abeysekera did not attend the protest this morning his supporters and some UNP members were present and more..

Sri Lanka releases 1,600 prisoners on freedom day

Feb 5 (AFP) Sri Lanka freed over 1,600 convicts on Friday to mark the 63rd anniversary of independence from Britain, but the jailed opposition leader received no reprieve. President Mahinda Rajapakse issued a decree granting freedom to 1,669 inmates, including 57 women, all of whom were released Friday, a prison official said. The amnesty applied to those convicted for minor offences. However, former army chief and more..

New polythene policy

Feb 5 (NN) The government is considering introducing a new policy on the use of polythene in order to further minimize the impact it has on the environment. Additional secretary to the Ministry of Environment Padmini Batuwitage said that the proposed policy includes a regulation on the weight of polythene that can be used to pack selected food items sold in the market. She said that a dialogue on the proposal is going on between the Environment Ministry, more..

Rescue craft topples

Feb 5 (NN) Atleast five people including a navy sailor were reported missing after a navy craft which was being used to rescue a group of civilians trapped along the banks of the Mahaweli river met with an accident due to strong currents. The navy said that accident occurred when a group of 16 civilians including children and women were reported trapped along the banks of the Mahaweli river close to the Siththaru Bridge and a naval craft was immediately dispatched on a rescue operation. more..

Ban says panel stuck

Feb 5 (NN) UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon says the panel of experts appointed by him to advise him on matters related to Sri Lanka has not been able to complete its initial stage. Ban ki-moon, who is expected to seek re-election to the UN post this year, said that he will continue to push for political stability and justice in Sri Lanka noting that both political stability and justice should go hand in hand. "I visited Sri Lanka twice and more..

Evacuations in Anuradhapura

Feb 5 (NN) A series of evacuations have been carried out in Anuradhapura as the rains continued to lash the area and preparations were made in the event an emergency situation is declared. Following a meeting held this evening it was decided to prepare people living in disaster prone areas in the Anuradhapura town and some of its surroundings for a possible evacuation, officials said. Meanwhile the assistance of the army, navy and air force has also been sought to more..

Sri Lanka Dockyard says repair work continues after accident

Feb 5 (LBO) Repair work on vessels in Colombo Dockyard is continuing uninterrupted after an accidental explosion caused by leaking gas that injured 14 workers, a statement said. The yard is repairing two naval vessels, four tankers and a research vessel along with a liquid petroleum gas carrier owned by the Shipping Corporation of India, it said. An oxygen leak from a gas cutter caused the small explosion during the lunch break on Thursday, February 03, 2011. more..

Rs 5,000 denomination in new series of currency notes

Feb 5 (NF) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka will issue, for circulation, a new series of currency notes on the theme 'Development, Prosperity and Sri Lanka Dancers' today. This is the 11th series of currency notes of the Central Bank to be issued since its establishment in 1950. The first set of currency notes under the new series will be ceremonially issued to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Deyata Kirula Exhibition in more..

Pirates release Lankan fishermen

Feb 5 (DM) Three Sri Lankan fishermen, who were captured by the Somalia pirates last week, were released last night, an official confirmed today. “These fishermen had informed us on Thursday night through radio communication that they were freed by the pirates,” officer in-charge of the Kapparathota Fisheries Community Centre Aruna Jayaweera said. He said that five fishermen, who had gone for fishing from Mirissa last month and while engaging in fishing in more..

A rare type bowling

Feb 5 (LM) Shehan Karunatilaka’s biography explains that he “spent the last three years interviewing drunks and watching Sri Lankan cricket matches”. Out of these pleasurable activities came his novel Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew, whose protagonists are, respectively, an alcoholic journalist and an obscure genius of spin bowling who may or may not be alive. Karunatilaka calls up a puzzling, enraging, largely masculine world of Sri Lankan cricket, more..

Mob attacks UNP protest

Feb 5 (AP) A mob armed with clubs attacked opposition protesters Friday who were marching to demand the release of Sri Lanka's defeated presidential candidate from jail. An opposition lawmaker accused the govt of organizing that attack and the police of not protecting the protesters. He said about 50 people may have been injured. Opposition lawmakers and their supporters were heading toward a prison in Colombo when they came under attack. more..

Independence – what it means to me

Feb 5 (LG) I refer to your (Subramaniam Masilamany) article published under the caption ‘God has spoken who said there is no God’ in yesterday’s Sri Lanka Guardian. I have chosen to respond to it on Sri Lanka’s Independence Day. I was not going to respond to it until I received from Mr. John Gurusamy of Malaysia, the above Sai message last night. I had registered yesterday, the Independence Day message to Sri Lankans from American Secretary of State Mrs. Hilary Clinton more..

Independence without civil liberties is a farce

Feb 5 (LG) Sri Lanka will be celebrating its independence from the British Empire on February 4, 2011. The lamentation that independence has not meant a great deal to the people of Sri Lanka is commonly heard. However, the causes that created this situation have often not been examined. The very meaning of independence for citizens of any country is the respect achieved for the liberties of the individuals that constitute the nation. more..

National flags fly in Jaffna on 63rd Independence Day

Feb 5 (Cimic) People in Jaffna had National Flags hoisted at their houses, business places and govt buildings and even on vehicles today celebrating the historical day that Sri Lanka gained Independence exactly 63 years ago from the British crown. All govt offices in Jaffna this morning held special functions with participation of Heads of the institutes and their staff members to mark the 63rd Independence Day. more..

Is our country really independent?

Feb 5 (LG) Independence, freedom, liberty are terms and concepts that are close to the hearts and minds of all living beings. Obviously, animals are also included. Some people, of course, tend to think that animals do not desire or need these freedoms generally regarded as those concerning human beings. That is why some of these animals are domesticated, caged, chained, tethered or cabined ignoring their growling, howling or screaming. more..

One loyal friend is worth ten thousand

Feb 5 (LG) Charles De Gaulle once said 'Nations do not have friends, they have only interests’. Two nations that prove this theory wrong are Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Although they are not neighbours and are separated by geographically larger India which has a coastline of 7,517 kilometers yet they are the closest of friends and true allies. The foundation of their relationship goes back to 1948 when father of nation of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah and more..

'Rally for the independence of the hero who emancipated the country'

Feb 5 (LT) A communiqué issued by Ms. Anoma Fonseka calls upon all Sri Lankans, in spite of their political leanings, race or religion, to rally to raise their voices for the independence of Gen. Sarath Fonseka who sacrificed a lot to create the environment for the people in this country to live without fear or suspicion. She appeals to all Sri Lankans to come to Campbell Park on 8th February at 3.00 p.m. wearing black and join in the protest. more..

Removing the barriers to higher education

Feb 5 (DM) We have to be proud and whole heartedly indebted to our country for giving free education up to graduation from university. But this privilege is only for less than 1% of students out of all who sit ordinary level examination. This may be the only developing country which crosses boundaries of democracy and violate equal treatment to all citizens and make preferential treatment for a 1% of so called 'cream' of students. University students will never fight for demands if more..

Heavy burdens: Olympic medals for weightlifting

Feb 5 (DM) My dear Mahinda Aiyah, Auyubowan, Vanakkam, Asalaam Allaikum and best wishes in the afterglow of Independence Day amidst growing concern that the benefits of independence or the defeat of terrorism have still not reached millions of people. The cost of living for instance is reaching unprecedented proportions with the prices of vegetables especially rising so high that many middle or lower income families are eating rice without any vegetables. more..

'Indian assistance key to a home-grown solution'

Feb 5 (DM) The 63rd Independence Day of Sri Lanka which is the National Day as well will be marked this year by our renewed journey towards consolidating peace and ushering prosperity. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, having provided leadership to the country in eradicating terrorism from Sri Lankan soil, has now galvanised our Nation into a broader nation building programme focusing on economic development, especially in the former conflict affected areas more..

LG elections and the much talked about reconciliation

Feb 5 (DM) Elections in Sri Lanka have contributed in a large way to the ethnic strife and for that matter for the thirty year long war. In a way, one can argue that if not for elections there would never have been a war in this country in the recent past. It is not the very concept of election which is meant for the representative governance and representative democracy, though flawed in practice in many countries including ours that has been the culprit in this regard. more..

Editorial: Raja, come over here!

Feb 5 (Island) DMK supporters in Tamil Nadu have taken to the streets in protest against the arrest of A. Raja, former communication and IT minister who was forced to resign three months ago over the 2G spectrum scam, considered India's biggest corrupt deal to date. The alleged irregularities in the allocation of airwaves to second generation (2G) phone services are believed to have caused a loss of about $ 40 bn to the Indian exchequer! more..

LTTE Infiltrates into Canadian political parties

Feb 5 (LG) Conservatives in Canada have a long tradition of opposing LTTE as well as all other militant movements like Hamas, Hezbollah, Taliban and Al-Qaida. The first thing that Conservative did after winning a minority Government under Hon. Stephan Harper was to ban the LTTE, prescribed as a Terrorist Organization. The Conservatives has not only kept their election promised fulfilled but gained a vast support from all section of the Canadian society. more..

Editorial: Lanka needs a Mahatma Gandhi

Feb 5 (DM) While millions watched on television President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his Independence Day speech yesterday said the three-decade battle against terrorism to win freedom was bloody and tough with a heavy price paid, but the battle to sustain and consolidate that freedom would be tougher. The President speaking at the main national Independence Day ceremony at Katharagama- significantly a city sacred to both Buddhists and Hindus- called on all parties and more..

Drinking and free education

Feb 5 (Island) The near gale force winds and the "churuchuru" rain outside did not dampen the mood in my favourite waterhole. There was much speculation about how the rains would affect the World Cup games, while some were convinced the West Indies cricket team should be sent to every country that faced a drought to be sure they get plenty of rain. There were looks of surprise when Kavadath Nidahas, a lively member at all discussions at the bar, called or a third drink more..

Flood victim delivers baby mid air in SLAF rescue chopper

Feb 5 (FT) A baby girl was born on Independence Day aboard the Air Force Bell 212 Helicopter to a woman rescued from floods in the Horowpathana area. The Sri Lanka Air Force rescued a group of persons including this woman who was advanced in her pregnancy from the Horowpathana area yesterday. “During the rescue mission she had delivered the child,” said Sri Lanka Air Force, Spokesperson, Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara. more..

India celebrates ITEC Day in Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (FT) The High Commissioner of India Ashok K. Kantha hosted a reception at Hotel Taj Samudra this week to celebrate the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Day in Sri Lanka. Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris was the chief guest of this year’s event, attended by alumni of the programme, officials from various government departments, chambers of commerce, and media. The event, held annually brings together the alumni of the ITEC programme, more..

Govt promotes rice flour

Feb 5 (DN) The Government has commenced promoting national food items throughout the country. Under this it is planned to commence factories to produce rice flour, Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said. He was addressing the inaugural ceremony to produce items using rice flour at Kiribathgoda recently. Under this program the Agricultural Ministry has drawn up a plan to introduce rice flour products to the country. By now the Ministry has introduced 30 items such as more..

'No relief from Government for people suffering in the East'

Feb 5 (LT) The government has not launched any programme on behalf of the people in the Eastern Province who have been suffering for two months due to prevailing adverse weather conditions says the JVP Member for Eastern Provincial Council Wimal Piyatissa. Speaking to ‘Lankatruth’ Mr. Piyatissa said, “The adverse weather conditions have existed in the Eastern Province for the last two months. People have been suffering due to floods and rain. more..

Several tourism projects in the pipeline

Feb 5 (Island) A top tourism official said Colombo has attracted several tourism projects which the tourism authority expects would realise very soon. Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa told The Island Financial Review, the industry is witnessing a rapid boom after a 30 year conflict which crippled the number of arrivals and to cater to the demand Sri Lanka is in much need of lodging capacity. more..

Navy searches for the missing 5

Feb 5 (DM) The search for the five people missing in the Sitharu boat tragedy was given up by the security forces as there was no trace of them till last afternoon. The boat was transporting flood victims who were rescued to an IDP camp. Security Forces Commander East Major General Boniface Perera said that the search had started on Thursday night and it began once again yesterday morning. However he said the bad weather and the water levels did not permit them to carry out the search for long. more..

Entire Ampara paddy harvest lost

Feb 5 (Island) Thousands of acres of paddy land in the Ampara district were flooded due to continuous rains and this has caused immense loss to farmers. The paddy that was destroyed was about to be reaped. All the paddy fields in Ampara were flooded. In the meantime, a large number of people in Addalaichenai, Akkaraipattu, Kalmunai and Ninthavur sought refugee in schools and government buildings due to the deluge. more..

Art contest for people with special needs

Feb 5 (DN) ‘World Down’s Syndrome Day Celebrations Sri Lanka 2011’ organized by Kosala Dullewa Foundation for Children with Special Needs (KDF) with Rotaract District 3220 Organization’s University Clubs will be held on March 20 at Royal College, Colombo 7 with the participation of Downs Syndrome children, their parents and guardians. An important segment of the World Downs Syndrome Day celebrations is the art competition Sithaka Siththam - Colours of my World. more..

Poultry farmers urge Govt. to be firm on policy

Feb 5 (FT) Local poultry farmers urge the government not to cause further disruption to their operations by sporadic imports of poultry. Local producers complained that when small scale producers hear the news of the government trying to import chickens and eggs, they may stop their regular production in fear of excess stock in the market and thereby a lack of sales. Such a move will cause disruptions to the local industry and put the small scale farmers’ livelihoods in jeopardy. more..

'Migrant workers must be taken to other areas beyond the low-paying Middle East'

Feb 5 (NF) Sri Lankan migrant workers must be taken to other areas beyond the low-paying Middle East Zone, says Minister Dullas Alahapperuma. He made this observation while addressing a function in Colombo. An agreement was signed with the Minster of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities yesterday to provide a national vocational qualification to those engaged in the construction sector. more..

Sri Lanka to expand 
its export basket

Feb 5 (KT) Sri Lanka is introducing unconventional products to its export basket, according to the country’s new Consul General in Dubai. M. M. Abdul Raheem said that Sri Lanka would be showcasing its expertise in boat making with its first-ever participation in the Dubai International Boat Show being held from March 1- 5, 2011, at the Dubai International Marine Club, Mina Seyahi. “We have a strong boat building industry and we must introduce it to the world,” more..

Doctors to initiate trade union action

Feb 5 (DM) Consultants of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital yesterday said that they will stop all routine work at the Hospital for 24 hours starting from February 7 against the hospital administration.“All aspects of the health care delivery at the Teaching Hospital Karapitiya has been severely affected by the consistent failures in the hospital administration,” Secretary of the Government Medical Officers’ Association said more..

LIOC diesel up by Rs. 5

Feb 5 (Island) The Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) has increased diesel price by five rupees with effect from midnight yesterday. A litre of Lanka Oil Diesel which was priced at Rs. 74.30 will now cost Rs. 79.30, while Lanka Auto Diesel price will increase to Rs 78 a litre from Rs. 73.Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha was not available for comment as he was overseas and due to return to the country late yesterday. more..