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Sri Lanka local polls swept by ruling party

Mar 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's ruling UPFA of president Mahinda Rajapaksa has comfortably swept local govt elections winning most of the 200 plus local bodies in which results were declared. The main opposition was trailing in third place by mid morning Friday, with results in 234 local bodies being declared. The UPFA has won 205, TNA going by the acronym ITAK, which contests mainly in the north and the east 12, more..

Sri Lanka score 265/9 against New Zealand

Mar 18 (CI) Tempers frayed at the Wankhede Stadium as Nathan McCullum was denied a stunning return catch off Mahela Jayawardene to leave the match evenly poised at 100 for 2. In the 24th over, Jayawardene chipped a return catch to McCullum's right and the bowler dived full-length to scoop the ball centimetres from the turf. The batsman, however stood his ground and the on-field umpires, Asad Rauf and Richard Kettleborough, opted to go upstairs. more..

Sri Lankan Tamils protest Sonia Gandhi's London visit

Mar 19 (ANI) Sri Lankan Tamils protested outside a London venue where Congress President Sonia Gandhi delivered a lecture on Thursday. Protestors shouted anti-India slogans and demanded that New Delhi take swift action to protect the interests of Sri Lankan Tamils. Gandhi was in London to deliver the 14th Commonwealth Lecture on the subject 'Women as Agents of Change'. It may be recalled that the Sri Lankan Army crushed the LTTE in May 2009, while nearly three million more..

Sri Lanka expressway first stage nears completion

Mar 19 (LBO) Construction work on stage one of Sri Lanka's first expressway is set to end this month with 99 percent of the work over, according to details revealed by the Road Development Authority. The southern expressway, being built in four stages, will have a total length of 131.1 kilometres and allow 100 kilometres an hour travel between the capital Colombo and the southern town of Matara. The total cost of the first three phases of the project with a more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 18.03.2011

No post-poll party

Mar 19 (NN) The police have completely banned victory celebration rallies, motorcades or any other meetings following yesterday’s local government elections. The Head of the Police Election Secretariat, Senior DIG Gamini Navaratne said that anyone engaging in such activities would be arrested irrespective of their party affiliation, the Colombo Page website reported. Meanwhile the CAFFE has said that 81 incidents of election violations were reported yesterday during more..

Votes increased by 5% - UNP

Mar 19 (DM) The UNP today said that it had suffered a major setback at yesterday’s Local Government polls, but had managed to increase its votes by 5 percent compared to last year’s general election. Party’s General Secretary Tissa Attanayake recalled that the party obtained 34 percent of the votes at this election compared to 29 percent at the 2010 general election. Mr. Attanayake said the party had lost several local bodies by slim majorities by less than 2000 votes. more..

Sri Lanka beat New Zealand by 112 runs

Mar 19 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan took three wickets as New Zealand slumped to 106 for 6 at the Wankhede Stadium. Defending 265 after Kumar Sangakkara's first ODI century since June 2008 the pace bowlers kept New Zealand pinned down with two early wickets before the spinners took over to leave Sri Lanka firmly in control by the halfway stage. Brendon McCullum started positively, cracking a couple of boundaries square of the wicket, more..

Who will bell the NGO cats?

Mar 19 (LG) NGOs (non governmental organisations) or non profit making organisations fill the gap when democratic governments fail to deliver. But the proliferation of these NGOs also point to a form of dictatorship in the absence of accountability to their own countries’ leadership since they are largely funded by foreign countries and its benevolent donors. Here in the UK, many such non-profit making organisations are backed and funded b y the government. more..

Tamil Leading Sinhalese

Mar 19 (LG) I read with interest the letter written by Mr. Mahinda Gunasekera to Mr. Robert Blake, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, US State Department, Washington DC about Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam - (TGTE). I also wrote yesterday, recognizing this organization. (Appendix 1). I note that Mr. Mahinda Gunasekera is listed as Honorary President, Sri Lanka United National Association of Canada. more..

'Army assists Jaffna people to live a better life in oeaceful environment'

Mar 19 (Cimic) In another public welfare project initiated by the Security Forces Headquarters – Jaffna (SF-J), donations worth over Rs. 800000/= were distributed among students and adults in Manipay area on Thursday. Troops serving in Jaffna in their Civil Military Coordination (CIMIC) projects, with assistance of donor organizations and individuals, have been extending assistance to civilians in the peninsula who are found to be in more..

LG polls: victories, defeats and the way forward

Mar 19 (DM) It was the first time the North and East experienced an election outside the climate of conflict. The much debated local government elections were held in most parts of the country. The election monitors observed a low level of pre election violence however the Election Day witnessed an eruption. The ruling party experienced a landslide with over a 60per cent voter turnout shattering all the predictions. more..

Premier’s remarks on LTTE camps invalidates the need to have emergency

Mar 19 (DM) Ironically and interestingly not a single Minister of the Govt seemed to have believed Prime Minister DM Jayaratne’s remarks on the purported LTTE camps in Tamil Nadu, in spite of the fact that these comments were included in the official opening statement during the parliamentary debate on the extension of the state of emergency. Despite the comments being made by the Prime Minister citing intelligence reports Minister Dulles Allahapperuma at more..

The desperate struggle for survival

Mar 19 (DM) As the cost of living soars and existence becomes a daily struggle- families across the island suffer without the basic necessities of water, food, shelter, sanitation, healthcare and education. This suffering is displayed prominently in the little nucleus of a plantation in the Welivitiya-Divithura Divisional Secretariat in the Galle District. Our attention was drawn to this little rubber plantation when eight-year-old more..

Editorial: Hate cancer rapidly spreading in the Sri Lanka media circle

Mar 19 (LG) The 13th March 2011 edition of the ‘Nation’ published in Sri Lanka was invective when it attempted to scorn at Sri Lanka Guardian and its editor for undertaking the task of revealing news from and about Sri Lanka under difficult circumstances. The ‘Nation’ has joined the team and has come to the rescue of Lakbimanews which successively published write-ups anti-Sri Lanka Guardian, under the pseudonym name of Underpala. more..

Colombo vs. AI - a response from the Colombo envoy in US

Mar 19 (LG) I have read recently of allegations that Amnesty International has leveled against Sri Lanka. I am writing today in the hope of opening a dialogue with Amnesty International on these and other issues. The people of Sri Lanka need and are receiving international community support for reconciliation, reconstruction and healing. I feel that the campaign by Amnesty International to criticize Sri Lanka undermines these immediate needs. more..

Arthur C. Clarke, Science Fiction and the Hazards of Prophecy

Mar 19 (TC) I met Arthur C. Clarke briefly when I was about ten years old. My father, Regi Siriwardena, then features editor of the ‘Daily News’ was interviewing Clarke. We met at Clarke’s residence at Gregory’s Road, where he was living with his then diving partner Mike Wilson (who produced ‘Ran Muthu Duwa’) and Mike’s wife Elizabeth. Both of us were then avidly interested in Astronomy, and I tagged along to look through Clarke’s telescope. more..

Editorial: Mahinda Magic still works

Mar 19 (Island) The UPFA's spectacular win at Thursday's LG polls came as no surprise. It bagged 205 out of 234 local government institutions to which elections were held. The TNA secured 12, the UNP 9, the National Congress (NC) 2, the Up-Country People's Front (UPF) one, an independent group one and the JVP none. The NC and the Independents concerned are with the government. As for the number of seats, the UPFA has won 1,839, the UNP 892, the TNA 76,the JVP 57, more..

Editorial: People express faith again, don’t betray them

Mar 19 (DM) For the third time in 13 months a majority of the people have reiterated their faith and confidence in the Rajapaksa regime, giving the UPFA control of 205 of the 234 local councils to which elections were held on Thursday. Different parties will give different interpretations of the number of councils or seats won and the percentage polled. But it is clear that the rural people – despite the soaring cost of living, the failure to give salary increases, more..

A technology stream at A/L vital

Mar 19 (SO) It is a well-known fact that the GCE O/L and the A/L are qualifications obtained through public exams conducted by the Ministry of Education. The GCE A/Level is for the purpose of certifying a person's achievement in General Education with university selection as an additional outcome. However, there is a misconception among some that the GCE A/Level exam is solely for entrance to the conventional universities more..

Food borne diseases: CMC alerts hotel industry

Mar 19 (NS) Concerned by mounting health complaints from guests who have fallen ill after consuming food served in Colombo hotels, the Colombo Municipal Council which recently made it mandatory that all food handlers and staff in the hotel industry get a medical check up, is stepping up these operations. “We’re not doing this to harass the hotel industry, but rather to help the industry which is developing rapidly now with many more tourists and locals patronising it and consuming hotel meals,” more..

'Japanese imports to go up in prices'

Mar 19 (N360) Imports from Japan to the country will see a price increase including the prices of vehicles in the near term, says a report compiled by Heraymila Securities. Heraymila Securities made this forecast in a study which it has conducted to assess the impact the Japanese natural disaster will have on the local economy. The report says, the import prices will go up as the Japanese Yen is likely to strengthen in the near term, owing to slow down of more..

Sri Lanka tuna meet hears call for Indian Ocean quotas

Mar 19 (LBO) Industrial countries should reduce their fleets in the Indian Ocean, enabling coastal states to increase their catch but depleting stocks should not be over-exploited, the head of a regional fish management body meeting in Sri Lanka said. Rondolph Payet, chairman of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, said their meeting in Colombo must "seriously look" at compliance, stock management issues and improving the efficiency of the organisation. more..

Sri Lanka’s constitution and separation of powers

Mar 19 (Island) Article 3 of Sri Lanka’s Constitution states: "In the Republic of Sri Lanka sovereignty is in the People and is inalienable". According to Article 4 "Sovereignty of the People shall be exercised and enjoyed in the following manner:- (a) the legislative powers of the People shall be exercised by Parliament, consisting of elected representatives of the People…"; (b) the executive powers of the People, including defence of Sri Lanka, shall be more..

WC 2011: Ireland beat Netherlands by 6 wickets

Mar 19 (CI) Two sparkling centuries lit up Ireland's clash with Netherlands at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Ryan ten Doeschate propping Netherlands up with his second ton of the tournament and Paul Stirling then launching Ireland's pursuit of 306 with a blazing, 72-ball 101. Ireland's disciplined bowling and far superior fielding proved the difference between the two sides, and they eventually triumphed by six wickets with more than two overs to spare more..

FR petitions challenging non-appointment of CC, AG’s appointment dismissed

Mar 19 (FT) The Supreme Court dismissed without cost both fundamental rights petitions respectively challenging the non-appointment of the Constitutional Council and appointment of Mohan Peiris PC as Attorney General. Chief Justice Asoka de Silva with Justices P.A. Ratnayake and Chandra Ekanayake agreeing in his judgment held that the Article 35 of the Constitution do not permit the President to be cited as a respondent and more..

The CPA’s millions!

Mar 19 (Island) The local government elections are over and we know who lost and who won. But there are others who win all the time. We all have heard of the ubiquitous elections monitoring organisations that hold press conferences during elections. The operators of these Non-Governmental Organisations are the real winners in this game. To just take one such organisation the Center for Policy Alternatives as an example, the money that flows in at election time is enough to more..

Sangakkara takes command

Mar 19 (CI) It was a simple punch. He did not finish the shot, just left the bat hanging mid-air briefly. The power behind the stroke was enough to carry the ball past the ropes on the straight boundary. Hamish Bennett had not done much wrong, except pitching on a length with a straighter delivery on the offstump. But Kumar Sangakkara had moved in quickly to time the ball sweetly. He did not need to add the flourish by finishing the follow-through. It was a stroke of authority. more..

Taylor questions use of technology

Mar 19 (CI) Ross Taylor, New Zealand's stand-in captain, has said that if technology cannot be conclusive it should just not be used. Taylor's remarks came in the wake of the controversial return catch of Mahela Jayawardene during the Sri Lanka innings, which was pouched spectacularly by Nathan McCullum who threw himself to his right to hold the catch inches above the green turf. But the third umpire ruled the decision against New Zealand. more..

Hoodwinked by a government agency?

Mar 19 (DM) A group of young women who went abroad for employment and returned in utter disappointment are accusing the Foreign Employment Bureau of cheating them. After coming to know about the existing vacancies through their respective Grama Niladharies they made applications and appeared for interviews held by the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau that selected them for employment in Malaysia for attractive salaries and fringe benefits. more..

One vote victory at Kolonne

Mar 19 (DM) The ruling UPFA won the Kolonne Pradeshiya Sabha with a slim one-vote majority thus making it the narrowest ever victory in Sri Lanka’s electoral history. UNP Kolonne Organizer P. Abeysinghe said it was after the third count that the UPFA was declared the winner having polled 10,075 votes and secured six seats while the UNP with 10,074 votes and secured three seats. Mr. Abeysinghe said after the UNP emerged victorious by 50 votes on the initial count, more..

War ends, women struggle on

Mar 19 (SL) In the regions newly liberated from conflict, the struggle still continues for women. Having had to go through hell in order to raise their families after losing husbands, livelihoods and basic services in a daily environment where unpredictability was the norm, they no doubt expected some quick relief, some panacea to their suffering once the conflict ended. Instead, the end itself put most of them through one last grueling, back breaking ordeal. more..

Prices of vegetables shun South, remain heading North

Mar 19 (FT) Prices of vegetables and some dry rations continue to remain high since early this year, when crop cultivations were damaged by the floods, resulting in shortages in the market. The prices of fresh fruit and vegetables reached their peak in January and have continued to be on the high side. The prices of vegetables, especially items such as carrots, green chillies, green beans and tomatoes among others, continue to remain high. more..

SL colonial governor hands over 200 acres in Vaddakkachchi to Sinhala trader

Mar 19 (TN) Colonial governor of Sri Lanka Maj. Gen. Chandrasri, occupying the country of Eezham Tamils, ordered this week for the appropriation of 200 acres of land at Vaddakkachchi in the Ki’linochchi district for the benefit of a Sinhala trader from the South. This land is a part of a 1000-acre farm that was given to the displaced people in 1995. Occupying Sri Lanka now refuses to resettle people in the farm. The Sinhala trader personally went to the site to more..

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SL Army appropriates heritage institution in Jaffna for ‘cadet’ training

Mar 19 (TN) The building of Arya-Dravida Bhasha Abhivrtti Sangam, a heritage institution that was started in Jaffna in the early 20th century was appropriated a few days ago by the occupying SL military to conduct ‘cadet’ training for school students of Jaffna. T. Sadasiva Aiyar, an education officer of the colonial times, started this heritage institution that was conducting Pandit and Bala Pandit courses and examinations. The institution later became a constituent more..

'Abused' child monks handed to probation

Mar 19 (BBC) A court in Sri Lanka has ordered the child protection authorities to hand over two young Buddhist monks -allegedly sexually abused by a senior monk- to the custody of probation department. Aparekke Punnananda thero, a former parliamentarian representing Sinhala nationalist JHU is accused of sexually abusing five underage novice monks. The Child Protection Authority (CPA) has produced the two monks before Colombo Magistrates Court as per a previous court order. more..

JVP cries foul, lambastes govt.

Mar 19 (Island) The JVP lambasted the govt for violating election laws by using state resources and the police for the March 17 local govt elections. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said that if anyone thought the JVP could be politically eliminated, he was mistaken. The people would realise before long the value of the JVP’s correct policies, he said. President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself had carried out a campaign to tarnish the image of the JVP, more..

Sri Lanka to attend Nomura Cup in Fiji

Mar 19 (FT) The Sri Lanka Golf Union has announced it will send a strong four-men team to the Nomura Cup to be held at Natadola and Denarau from August 16-19 this year. With Sri Lanka in the mix, the total number of countries participating to date is 22 including Fiji. Fiji will have to prepare for a record number of entries as an additional five Pacific islands non members of the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation; the tournament proprietors are attending this event also as observer players. more..

Why is Colombo angle missing from draft charges: Baig lawyer to ATS

Mar 19 (IE) German Bakery blast suspect Mirza Himayat Inayat Baig’s lawyer on Friday asked the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) as to why it had not mentioned in the draft charges that part of the criminal conspiracy was hatched in Colombo in Sri Lanka, as it had said in the chargesheet. The draft charges were filed on March 1 and the chargesheet submitted on December 4. Commenting on this, special judge Usha Thakre asked the ATS whether it required prior sanction of more..