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Any threat to SF would come from Opposition - Dinesh

May 26 (Island) Minister Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday told parliament it was from the Opposition that threats emanated to the defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka as there were various factions demanding the credit for the former army chief’s release. The Minister said that the govt was ready to consider providing security to the former MP if a formal request was made to that effect. more..

FUTA against ‘leadership training’

May 26 (CT) Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) has expressed opposition to the leadership training for the post graduates. FUTA spokesperson Dr. Mahim Mendis said that university academics were not supportive of leadership training as the youth have to undergo training in military camps. The students are exposed to a regimental culture, and the highest qualified youth in the country should not be taught how they should think or act by the military, more..

University employees set for a continuous strike

May 26 (LT) The members of the Non-academic staff of universities have decided to commence a continuous strike from the 6th of next month opposing the failure by the authorities to remove salary anomalies that have existed for a long time. Several trade union actions were taken recently demanding authorities to solve the issue but authorities have not taken any step to resolve the issue pointed out Inter University Trade Union Federation yesterday. more..

Rain causes havoc in Colombo

May 26 (Island) Heavy rains lashed Colombo from the early hours of yesterday hampering all day-to-day activities and affecting thousands of people in the city, especially during morning rush hours. Vehicular traffic came to a standstill due to a number of roads leading to the city being flooded. Thousands of school children were also affected and low student turn out reported in schools around the city. Some office workers who were caught up in traffic reached their offices several hours late. more..

UPFA politicos, sports personalities caught in ‘battle’ between Rupavahini and Sirasa

May 26 (Island) The ongoing battle between Rupavahini and Sirasa over telecasting rights for the London Olympic Games has taken a new turn, with some ruling party ministers, including two former Sports Ministers, C.B. Ratnayake and Gamini Lokuge, welcoming Sirasa coverage of the forthcoming games. Messrs Ratnayake and Lokuge paid a glowing tribute to Sirisa for its contribution towards the development of sports in the country. more..

People in landslide-prone districts alerted

May 26 (DM) With the onset of south-west monsoonal rains in several areas, people living in six districts prone to landslides have been advised to be cautious in the coming days due to risks of earth slips or landslides. Disaster Management Centre Deputy Media Director Sarath Lal Perera said the people living in high risk zones in these districts should be extra vigilant about landslides. Among the vulnerable districts are Kegalle, Ratnapura, Nuwara Eliya, Kalutara, Galle and Matara. more..

UPFA, SLFP secretaries differ on CMC group leader’s appointment

May 26 (Island) Two leading government ministers differ on the appointment of a successor to Milinda Moragoda, who quit as the Opposition UPFA group leader of the Colombo Municipal Council on April 25. While Minister and General Secretary of the UPFA Susil Premajayantha was of the opinion that as a majority of the UPFA Councillors were from the SLFP, it was the SLFP that was entitled to that post, more..

Troika to review SL during UPR

May 26 (CT) India, Benin and Spain will be appointed as a troika to review Sri Lanka during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) scheduled for November, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on its website. All three countries voted with the United States during a key Human Rights Council vote, where the US managed to pass a resolution calling for accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. more..

Suspect arrested for stealing school PCs

May 26 (CT) An individual who was suspected of being involved in a series of robberies of computer accessories has been arrested by the Rakwana police, the Police Media Unit told Ceylon Today Online. According to the police sources the suspect had broken into the schools in Rakwana, Kahawatta, Godakawela, Udawalawe, and Panamula areas and stolen the computer units that belong to the schools. These robberies were reported during 2010, 2011 and 2012. more..

Prison escapee during tsunami arrested

May 26 (CG) An inmate of the Matara prison who had escaped during the devastating 2004 tsunami, was arrested yesterday. The police said that the prisoner, who is now 26 years old, was arrested in Weligama by a police team yesterday. He is to be produced before the Matara Magistrate today, the police said. The Matara prison is located close to the sea. Over 200 prisoners had escaped from the Matara prison following the 2004 tsunami which had badly affected Matara as well. more..

WikiLeaks: All types of Sri Lankan’s Visa and passport frauds

May 26 (CT) “The Airline Liaison Officers report that Sri Lanka’s poor airport controls are well known throughout the region; in addition to Sri Lankans, other nationalities such as Burmese, Chinese, Indians, Iranians, Pakistanis, Somalis, and Russians are increasingly taking advantage of the airport’s weaknesses.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. Cable details the background of all types of Visa Frauds. more..

Sandya still hopes Prageeth will return

May 26 (SM) The wife of missing journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda still has hopes that her husband will return to their family one day. In the meantime, she is eking out a living for her two sons and herself by selling three books written by him. Presently living at their Makumburua home, Sandya Ekneligoda says she could not expect well-wishers to help her with the sons’ future in the long term. The elder son is studying at Lyceum International School of Mohan Lal Grero, more..

Sri Lanka to host Kiwis

May 26 (CT) Sri Lanka will host New Zealand for two Tests, five ODIs and a T-20 match in October-November before heading for Australia for a full cricket series of three Tests, five ODIs and two T20s on December 3. New Zealand will arrive for the first time since 2009 to play a bilateral series in Colombo on October 20. The tour will kick off with the T20 on October 24 at the Pallekelle stadium where the first ODI is also expected to be played on October 27. Hambantota will host the more..

3D ත්žරිමාණ - භාරත ගැන හිරු කතා කරයි!

Concessionary period for Language Proficiency extended

May 26 (NS) Observing the difficulties experience by the employees in the Public Service in obtaining the required proficiency in the second language, Cabinet approval was granted to offer a final concessionary period of another two years for the officers recruited to the Public Services from 1-07-2007 to 30-06-2010 to obtain the prescribed level of language proficiency last week. Public Administration Circular NO 7/2007 will be amended according to the approval. more..

‘Don’t make waves’

May 26 (CT) The Ministry of External Affairs has planned to inform all diplomatic and permanent missions abroad to refrain from making antagonistic statements ahead of Universal Periodic Review (UPR) scheduled for November. The Ministry of External Affairs is currently drafting a special message to all Sri Lanka’s Diplomatic Missions in Europe and specifically the Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva to refrain from making such statements ahead of UPR, authoritative sources told more..

SLMC office in EP set ablaze

May 26 (CT) A newly-established Eastern Provincial office of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) was set on fire today morning by an unknown group. The office in Kattankudy was set alight by an unknown group after it was declared open on Friday, where party sources added that a heated debate ensued about the location of the office. “There was a section of the party who opposed the current location of the site,” a senior party member said. more..

Editorial: Only time will tell

May 27 (SO) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has, on many an occasion, called for a vibrant Opposition that could help further strengthen democracy in the country. As a veteran political leader who believes firmly in democracy and the people’s power, President Rajapaksa has always reposed strong faith in Parliamentary democracy. He has proved his passion by attending Parliament more regularly than any of his predecessors. He has not only demonstrated his strong belief in the legislature, more..

Editorial: Fonseka can unite the opposition

May 27 (SL) Gardihewa Sarath Chandralal Fonseka has been able, in his military career and political life, to inspire fanatical loyalties and burning hatreds towards him. Whether he is loved or hated, this battle-scarred veteran has emerged as the most colourful character in public life in recent years. Having risen to be the Chief of Staff of the army after a lengthy and successful career he was appointed the Commander of the Army a few days before his retirement. more..

'Govt has fulfilled its obligations'

May 27 (SO) Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the Govt acts with confidence and can face a snap election. It does not have any election fear. He said the govt has during the past few years fulfilled its obligations and was ready to face any election. The Govt won all the recently concluded elections with an overwhelming majority. It is obvious when a Govt completes a few years in office, there are fears to face elections. more..

Editorial: Rankin’s outrageous rant

May 27 (NS) British High Commissioner, John Rankin, has openly challenged a statement made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa regarding scaling down of military presence in the North and East. Rankin has stated that the LTTE is no longer engaging in military activities and as such questioned the logic of a military presence in these areas that is of a magnitude not seen in other parts of the country. We can forgive the man for being ignorant about the needs for surveillance and (re) educate him about the well-known English phrase more..

Editorial: Beware NGO bandmasters –and Rankin, you are PNG!

May 27 (LB) One thing is of crystalline clarity now — it is that the government has drawn up some sort of blueprint for the implementation of the LLRC report, though the entire dictionary of civil society jargon seems to have been exhausted in looking for a name for the document. Call it a Roadmap or an Action-plan or any other name that in NGO-speak means anything and everything, but this master plan is looked at as some sort of a magic poultice that could exorcise more..

'UNP, a puppet of British imperialism'

May 27 (SO) The inaugural ceremony to launch the anti-imperialist social movement will be held today at 10 am at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, said Former MP and JVP Politburo member K.D. Lal Kantha. The Sunday Observer discussed the contemporary political situation and the country's future with JVP Trade Union leader. Excerpts of the interview: Q: The govt came to power with a landslide victory. At present the Opposition seems to be very feeble. more..

Editorial: People-to-people contact; not 13th Amendment

May 27 (ST) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe made an important statement on what is commonly referred to as the 'National Question' in Parliament this week, compelling a response from the Govt which has otherwise been prevaricating at worst, and ambivalent at best on the subject. The 'National Question' is no longer exclusively an issue relating to the greater devolution of political power essentially to the minorities-dominated more..

Opposition eager to enlist Fonseka’s support

May 27 (NS) The eagerly anticipated-and much postponed - release of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka from jail on Monday was an event awash with publicity but its long-term political implications are as yet unclear. President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision to release Fonseka at this juncture baffled many. The President played his cards close to his chest. There was speculation that the release was due to pressure from the United States but that is a simplistic explanation. more..

'Govt. is slave to foreign agendas'

May 27 (NS) Anura Kumara Dissanayake, JVP MP says the govt is planning to hold the Provincial Council elections on several days as they can use state power and state resources. The front line JVPer who was one time Cabinet Minister for Agriculture in the Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga led regime, presently represents the DNA. In an exclusive interview he says that the govt does not have a strong foreign policy or either a foreign minister to more..

5th column: Caught at the crossroads

May 27 (ST) “Thaaththa,” Bindu Udagedera asked, “what is all this fuss about the General?” “Why, Bindu,” Bindu’s father Percy said, “he has been freed after more than two years in jail and that is what everyone is so excited about.” “But why is that so exciting?” Bindu inquired. “Somehow, most people thought that keeping him in jail was wrong,” Percy said. “But, thaaththa,” Bindu argued, “he was sent to jail only after he was found guilty.” “But Bindu,” Percy pointed out, more..

Govt gives into pressure, agrees to implement LLRC

May 27 (SL) The govt has once again shown its duplicitous foreign policy by agreeing to US demands to implement the recommendations of the LLRC while claiming otherwise before the people. During Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris’ recent visit to Washington, the Rajapaksa administration gave a document to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlining the govt’s approach towards implementing the LLRC recommendations. The document was prepared by the Presidential Secretariat more..

SA News: May 22, 2012

Quo Vadis Sarath?

May 27 (LB) Would the opposition forces open a new front in trying to get Sarath Fonseka’s civic rights restored? This became the hot button political issue after the release of Sarath Fonseka last week. After Attorney General Eva Wanasundara made it clear that Fonseka’s remission of sentence does not entitle him to a full pardon amounting to a restoration of civic rights, the opposition seemed to see a new political issue with which to flog the govt. However, Fonseka when interviewed by more..

Ranil slams ‘secret deal’

May 27 (NS) The UNP took the govt to task last week over the much publicized `secret’ Action Plan on the implementation of the LLRC recommendations which had been presented to US State Secretary Hillary Clinton by Minister G.L. Peiris during his recent visit to Washington. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told media that the govt had no right to present such a vital Action Plan while keeping the general citizenry and their representatives in the dark about the same. more..

'Military must remain in North'

May 27 (NS) Q. Did you expect to be released through a presidential pardon? How do you feel about that? A. I knew that it will come one day. There were talks that I would end up in prison my entire life. But I was confident that I would come out. Injustice cannot and will not prevail forever. The truth will prevail some day. Obviously my coming out was for various reasons. The background was also conducive for my release. This was due to pressure exerted internally more..

Under-aged job seeker sold to Arab nationals to satisfy their carnal desires

May 27 (LB) Details regarding this sordid operation had first come to light following the nabbing of two Arab nationals from Riyadh by the Hikkaduwa police on May 19 on charges of ‘buying’ an under-aged girl (16) from Batticaloa for a sum of Rs. 200,000, before raping her. The Hikkaduwa police had managed to nail the two Arab nationals (aged 49 and 27) when they were in a room at a hotel in Hikkaduwa with the under-aged girl from Batticaloa. Along with the two Arab nationals more..

SL says ‘Aye’ to Navi Pillay’s appointment

May 27 (LB) Pillay has been in the forefront of attacks on Sri Lanka in the recent past and she has played an active role in the recent Syrian crisis. After the President of the General Assembly (PGA), Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar welcomed the reappointment of Navi Pillay, Syria (also under fire from Pillay), made an explanation after the vote. Syria said their country joined consensus to reappoint Navi Pillay as UN High Commissioner and hopes that she will review her more..

SLC aiming at another huge spending spree

May 27 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket, which is reportedly still over Rs.9.1 billion in debt, is about to venture into another Rs. 76 million expenditure on infrastructure development for the R. Premadasa Stadium, the Pallekele Stadium and the Hambantota Stadium. After ICC officials had made inspections of the three facilities from 1st to 5th November 2011, they had pointed out some requirements to the SLC and now they are in the process of calling tenders for the revamp. more..

Murder at a funeral

May 27 (CT) The Gampaha Police are conducting investigations into a murder that took place at a funeral house following fisticuffs between two groups on Thursday (24). The deceased, identified as M.A.H. Dias (28) is a resident of Gampaha. According to the police, during the brawl between the two groups, four others had also been injured. The cause for the scuffle between both groups has been attributed to midnight gambling at the funeral house, by the police. more..

CSN broadcast deal questioned

May 27 (SL) Human rights lawyer, J. C. Weliamuna, has slammed Sri Lanka Cricket’s decision to award the Carlton Sports Network (CSN) the broadcast rights for cricket in the country for the next three years. Weliamuna told The Sunday Leader that he believed there was no transparency behind the awarding of the television rights. “Sri Lanka Cricket claims that CSN was the sole bidder for the cricket rights, than why have they not made any of the details of the deal clear?” he questioned. more..

Son of Indian cultural officer abducted in Jaffna

May 27 (CT) A 14 year old son of the cultural officer of the Indian Consulate in Jaffna was yesterday abducted and later released by an unidentified man. The officer S. Prabakaran told Ceylon Today Online his son Akshai who is a grade 9 Student at St. John’s College, Jaffna was abducted by an unknown person on Friday at around 2.30 p.m., while he was waiting at the Jaffna bus stand to return home to Nelliady after school. more..

SLMC to appeal to the polls chief

May 27 (SL) The SLMC is to raise concerns with the Elections Commissioner over reports that the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province Shivaneshathurai Chandrakanthan has obtained the support of the army to campaign for the Provincial Council elections in the East. SLMC General Secretary SLMC Hassen Ali said that the Elections Commissioner must take note of such incidents. “I really do not know whether this news is true or not but in the event it is true it is not fair by the other opposition political parties. more..

CPA translates LLRC

May 27 (CT) Think-tank Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) yesterday announced that it has translated the recommendations section of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report, into Sinhala and Tamil. “CPA has repeatedly called upon the Government to make the final report of the LLRC, released in early December 2011, available in Sinhala and Tamil,” the organisation said in a statement, adding to international calls for the report to be made available in local languages. more..