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President on 60 years of UDHR

Dec 10 (PRIU) “We in Sri Lanka renew and reaffirm our committed to upholding the values and goals proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which also requires the elimination of terrorism in all its forms, ranking high among the threats to all civilized society”, states President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his message to mark the 60thn anniversary of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. more..

Australian govt gives $4m in food aid

Dec 10 (AAP) Australia will provide rice, sugar and corn to Sri Lankans caught up in ongoing violence in their nation. Conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE has escalated since January. The $4 million in food aid will be distributed to about 230,000 people displaced by the violence in the northern Vanni region. Foreign Affairs minister Stephen Smith said he was deeply concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka and more..

Tamilnadu, Do not preach what you do not do yourself

Dec 10 (LG) The Tamilnadu pro-LTTE, anti-Sinhalese politicians are up in arms against the SL army commander, Gen. Sarath Fonseka. They say that Gen. Fonseka’s reference to some “political Jokers in Tamilnadu” is derogatory to them and India and thus, they are demanding apology from the General or else, they want India to summon our President for reprimand or ask to withdraw the SL consulate in Chennai. more..

Origins of “the military solution” and its consequences

Dec 10 (LG) he broadband of NGOs, Marxists, academics and assorted intellectuals, who dominate the current discourse on public affairs, has been hounding the government accusing it of pursuing “a military solution” to the Sri Lankan crisis. This broadband of activists, however, does not point a finger, with the same emphasis, at the Tamil Tigers who have been pursuing nothing but a “military solution”. more..

Who are you to raise Mahinda’s clothe? – Death threat to Winni, the cartoonist

Dec 10 (LT) Reputed cartoonist Winni Hettigoda, who contributes cartoons to ‘Lanka’ Sunda newspaper, has been threatened with death over the telephone. The threat has been made by a person calling Mr. Hettigoda’s residence on the 7th at about 8.45 p.m. The first person who had called Mr. Hettigoda, referring to the cartoon he has contributed to issue of ‘Lanka’ on the 7th had said, more..

Army reconstructs Trincomalee - Mullaittivu road connecting North and South

Dec 10 (GDI) Sri Lanka Army while engaged in multi-pronged offensive operations to liberate entire Wanni region from LTTE's grip, contributed their effort to reconnect North and South with the reconstruction work of Trincomalee - Mullaitttivu road, runs parallel to the eastern coastal belt. Sri Lanka Army Engineers Service Regiment has commenced the reconstruction of a part of the Trincomalee - Mullaittivu road which had been destroyed by the LTTE terrorists recently. more..

Karu committed to supporting Government in fight against terrorism

Dec 10 (GDI) Public Administration and Home Affairs Minister Karu Jayasuriya, who resigned from the Government yesterday to rejoin the United National Party as its Deputy Leader, expressed appreciation at the President’s efforts to rid the country of the scourge of terrorism and pledged to support him to the end in this endeavour. In a letter addressed to the President, Jayasuriya stated, more..

'Govt has always given top priority to human rights'

Dec 10 (GDI) The Government has always given priority and has worked in the past and is working tirelessly at present to ensure that human rights of all Sri Lankans without distinction, are safeguarded, advanced and promoted, Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe said. He noted that safe guarding human rights is critical in achieving lasting peace and securing equitable and sustainable development in Sri Lanka. more..

'No-confidence motion only to cover UNP’s bankruptcy'

Dec 10 (GDI) Minister Rajitha Senaratne said on Monday (08) that the UNP had brought a no-confidence motion against the Government for no reason but to cover its own bankruptcy. He pointed out that not even the JVP had come forward to support this move by the UNP. The Minister stated that the UNP has already suffered a heavy defeat in the form of the budget being passed with a majority of 42 in Parliament and more..

'We can look forward to a less dark year in 2009'

Dec 10 (GDI) Minister Bandula Gunawardena told yesterday that the budget for the year 2009 was specifically designed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to ensure that in the coming year the economy will not be as dark as many believed it would be. “The past two years saw the people being forced to carry the burden of processes such as the sudden rise in oil prices and the global food crisis, but the Government has taken specific measures to ease this burden,” more..

A special event to commemorate the International Human Rights Day

Dec 10 (LP) The International Human Rights Day falls on the 10th of December. A special commemoration event is organized by the Intellectuals for Human Rights (IHR) to mark the day. Since the inspection in 2005 the IHR have organized several events to mark the International Human Rights Day with an objective to protect and promote Human Rights in Sri Lanka. This year’s International Human Rights Day will be celebrated at the BMICH on the 10th of December at 02.30pm onwards. more..

Truth behind hedging comes out from President's speech

Dec 10 (LeN) The President Mahinda Rajapakse indirectly criticized the Supreme Court decision on hedging agreement as he opened the Kerawalapitiya power house yesterday (09). He said that that while the government was trying to uphold the economy as a whole through various kinds of taxing methods, le go to courts against them and plot to reduce the state income. The President added that it is the need of the terrorists as well. more..

Increase in Lanka’s HR violations: Rice

Dec 10 (SAMN) United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said there had been a sharp increase in human rights violations by Sri Lanka’s warring parties – the government, the LTTE, and paramilitary organizations. The Secretary of State was speaking at a ceremony held to present awards to US overseas officials for their efforts in addressing human rights concerns. She said US diplomatic efforts to advance human rights was not just a job for ambassadors, and more..

Wimal’s NFF under UPFA banner

Dec 10 (SAMN) Firebrand Wimal Weerawansa-led National Freedom Front (NFF) will compete under the UPFA ticket, Education Minister Susil Premajayanth said. He added that the two parties agreed to compete together after a series of discussions. “NFF has agreed to compete with the UPFA after a series of discussions. They will definitely compete with us and we will fine tune the agreement in the next few days,” he said. more..

TMVP pledges to disarm

Dec 10 (SAMN) Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan Tuesday reiterated his commitment to disarm TMVP cadres after the Northern Province is liberated by the government, during a meeting with Deputy British High Commissioner Mark Gooding in Trincomalee. The Chief Minister said their members carry arms as a means of self defence and these weapons will be handed over to the government after the Northern Province is liberated by the Forces. more..

TNA awaits response from speaker

Dec 10 (SAMN) The TNA said Tuesday it was still awaiting a response from Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara to decide the next course of action after one of its parliamentarians was prevented from going overseas at the Katunayaka International Airport over the weekend. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran told Daily Mirror the matter had already been raised with the Speaker in Parliament on Monday and it had now been directed to the Parliament Privilege Committee which had launched a full scale investigation. more..

Power of Kerawalapitiya

Dec 10 (DN) The power of Kerawalapitiya would illuminate the hearts of the people of Sri Lanka soon, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. He was addressing the function to mark the commissioning of the Yugadanavi Combined Cycle Thermal power plant in Kerawalapitiya, Wattala. The President said he was happy and proud that the Kerawalapitiya power plant had been constructed relying on full indigenous technology and resources. more..

Defence Secretary visits Jaffna

Dec 10 (MOD) Defence Secretary Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa and high military officials including Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Donald Perera and Army Commander Lt. General Sarath Fonseka visited Jaffna peninsula this morning, 9 December. Defence Secretary and other higher military officials were welcomed at the Palaly airport by the Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General G.A. Chandrasiri. more..

No Thyrocsin shortage

Dec 10 (DN) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry is not responsible for the Thyrocsin shortage that exists in the private sector at the moment. There is no Thyrocsin shortage in the State sector and adequate stocks are available. Thyrocsin tablets are freely available at all Osusala outlets, State hospitals and all the other State drug stores and outlets, a Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry spokesman said. more..

Naveen won’t follow Pa-in-law Karu

Dec 10 (Island) Non Cabinet Minister of Investment Promotion Naveen Dissanayake will not return to the UNP although he is the son-in-law of ex- Public Administration Minister Karu Jayasuriya who re-crossed to the UNP on Monday. Following Jayasuriya’s return to the UNP there was widespread speculation that his son-in-law would follow suit. Dissanayake yesterday told The Island that his father-in-law returned to the UNP due to some differences he had with President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Cancer hospital looks to public for funds to purchase drugs

Dec 10 (Island) A public fund will be initiated for the Maharagama Cancer Hospital by the Health Ministry to purchase necessary drugs for cancer patients. The need for cancer control drugs at the hospital is such that the public too would have to contribute towards their purchase. A spokesperson for the Cancer Control Programme said yesterday that several awareness programmes will be carried out for the public to induce them to contribute towards the fund. more..

Gazette notification calling nominations to NW, CP councils

Dec 10 (DM) The Department of Elections will issue the Gazette notification calling for nominations to the North-Western and Central Provincial Councils today or tomorrow. According to the law, the Department is required to release this Gazette notice within seven days of the dissolution of a council. A Department official told the Daily Mirror yesterday that they would release the Gazette today or tomorrow because Friday would be a public holiday. more..

No logos on Wanni shelter material

Dec 10 (DM) The Essential Services Chief has informed humanitarian agencies that shelter material carrying logos will not be permitted into the Wanni, a United Nations affiliated agency said yesterday. The Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) in its latest report said shelter agencies were coordinating with the Essential Services Department on organizing five truckloads of shelter materials but more..

Rs. 30 b annual loss from Kerawalapitiya power plant - CW

Dec 10 (LD) Each Sri Lankan will be a debtor of Rs. 30,000 each year due to the Kerawalapitiya Thermal Power Plant inaugurated by the President yesterday (Dec. 09) as it incurs an annual loss of Rs. 30 billion, said attorney Shiral Laktilake, spokesman for 'Corruption Watch.' Mr. Laktilake was addressing a media briefing organized by CW to mark International Anti-Corruption Day. more..

Losing time for govt. - Tilvyn Silva

Dec 10 (LD) Persons who had been supporting the government 'to strengthen hands of President Mahinda Rajapaksa,' are withdrawing today, as it is now losing time for the present regime, said JVP Secretary Tilvyn Silva. "Therefore, the government has now abandoned its big fights and is engaged in minor battles," he told the media at Solis Hall. Mr. Silva said, "Holding elections is a good thing. But, that should be done within the proper mechanism. more..

India concerned over SL ID card bid going to Pakistan

Dec 10 (LD) India has raised concerns through diplomatic channels over a Sri Lankan government attempt to award the tender for a digital national identity card to Pakistan's National Database and Registration Authority or NADRA. New Delhi administration has noted that Pakistan would come to possess personal information of all Sri Lankans through this tender handover. Pointing out that they have been supporting Colombo in matters of national security, India has more..

Pensions of 5,000 pensioners abroad to be suspended

Dec 10 (LD) The Thimbirigasyaya Divisional Secretariat has reportedly decided to suspend pensions of 5,000 retired persons living abroad from next month. Out of 15,000 pensioners who obtain their pensions from the Thimbirigasyaya Divisional Secretariat, 5,000 live abroad. The above decision has been take after the Divisional Secretariat failed to confirm personal details provided by these persons. more..

President-opposition leader agree on Constitutional Council

Dec 10 (LD) At a meeting with Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe at President's House this morning, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has agreed to institute the Constitutional Council by nominating its members. At the discussion, Mr. Wickremesinghe has stressed the need to establish the CC in time for the upcoming elections. The Supreme Court on December 04th gave one month to the Attorney General for finalization of members by the President and the Opposition and their appointment to the CC. more..

President rejects fuel price formula

Dec 10 (LBO) President Mahinda Rajapaksa rejected a price-formula for fuel amidst growing public displeasure at exorbitant pump prices set by government for both petrol and diesel. Opposition activists had already gone to court asking for relief on petrol over-pricing in particular. Official data shows that the wholesale price of refined petrol was only 22.68 rupees a litre on Monday, diesel 39.29 rupees. more..

TN police refute media reports about LTTE infiltration

Dec 10 (PTI) The Tamil Nadu police on Wednesday refuted media reports about possible intrusion of LTTE cadres in the state following the discovery of some boats with bullet marks along the Rameswaram coast recently. Superintendent of Police, Ramanathapuram said 'thorough investigation' had revealed that six boats had been recently washed ashore, of which three had bullet marks. more..

Observer editor and not Army Commander fired for angering Tamil Nadu

Dec 10 (TC) In a bizarre twist the Sri Lankan government of President Mahinda Rajapakse has fired the editor of state – controlled “Sunday Observer” newspaper instead of Army commander Sarath Fonseka for making remarks angering political leaders of Tamil Nadu in India in an interview given to the journal by the outspoken general. The action came in the wake of strong protests by Indian envoy in Colombo Aloknath Prasad to more..

Govt has public backing for war on Tigers: survey

Dec 10 (AFP) The Sri Lankan government has overwhelming public support for its war against the Tamil Tigers, and most people believe the rebels will soon be defeated, an opinion poll published Wednesday shows. The privately run research group TNS Lanka said close to 75 percent of people questioned said they are "firmly in favour of military action, seeing it as the only route to wipe out terrorism." more..

Egypt & Sri Lanka focus on green tourism

Dec 11 (AME) Egypt's Minister of Tourism, Zoheir Garranah, declared the commitment of Egyptian Tourism, said: 'Following the initiative of Sri Lanka, we are happy to join the Tourism EarthLung Community with our resort destination, Sharm el Sheikh, committing to work towards becoming a carbon neutral destination in the future.' This declaration was made at the opening of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) supported Conference for more..

Tea prices recover slightly after steep fall

Dec 11 (LBO) Prices of Sri Lanka's low grown teas recovered slightly at this week's auction after plunging for several weeks but it was not clear if they had bottomed out. "At this week's auction low grown teas got better prices than last week," said Tea Board chairman Lalith Hettiarachchi. "But high and mid-grown tea prices came down." Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said there was better demand for the low grown teas, with most moving up by 5-10 rupees a kilo. more..

Sri Lanka ad agencies recognise talent with awards at 'Reggies'

Dec 11 (LBO) Sri Lankan advertising agencies have won a host of awards at the 5th Reggie Candappa Creative Awards, named after Reggie Candappa, a well-known ad industry figure. Big and small firms in Sri Lanka’s advertising industry, as well as production houses and individuals, vied for awards at the event popularly known as the ‘Reggies’. "Great improvement and talent was evident in the craft of the better pieces of work submitted," more..

Nuns show off products of physically, mentally challenged

Dec 11 (UCAN) Yvonne Alles Almeida remembers her unhappiness when her "special" daughter Rishika was born with Down syndrome almost four decades ago. "I thought I was cursed," said the 65-year-old mother of five. "Now I have changed my attitude," she told UCA News. Almeida stood proudly with Rishika and her friends at a trade stall from Supem Uyana (garden of love), a Church-run home in Galle, selling coconut wine, chutney and jam they made. more..

Sri Lanka clothing exporter goes east with US aid

Dec 11 (LBO) Brandix Lanka, a top Sri Lankan clothing exporter, has got US aid to train workers in a new factory it has set up in the island's east which the government is trying to develop after driving out Tamil Tiger rebels. The US Agency for International Development and Brandix Lanka are working together to train 600 people for employment at the new factory in Batticaloa district, a US embassy statement said. more..

Karu is happy that war is successful

Dec 11 (LD) Karu Jayasuriya has thanked and admired UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, the party Working Committee and all its supporters for inviting him to accept the deputy leadership of the party again. "Along with me, group of MPs joined the government with the collective stand that support should be given for the war. With our support, the war effort had progressed successfully since then. I should say that I am very happy about that." more..

Elephants, spas and friendly locals raise Sri Lanka close to paradise

Dec 11 (BM) Looking for a last minute bargain we surfed away on the web. Finally hitting the First Choice site we came across Sri Lanka and what was flagged as one of the island’s best hotels, The Blue Water. After a modicum of cross checking, The Blue Water was confirmed as “wonderful”, the price looked excellent and all the blogs confirmed that we had a real deal – so we booked it. more..

Northern Muslims return reassured by the President

Dec 11 (LG) President Mahinda Rajapakasa opens a new chapter in Srilankan history by promising to facilitate the returns of Northern Muslims in Jaffna, Killinochchi, Mullaithivu and Mannar districts. If such promise materialised Muslims in Srilanka particularly Northern Muslims could compare & equate the contributions of President to that of Kandyan King Senarath:. Kandyan King Senrath with his kind heart and sympathy towards Muslims settled thousands of Muslims and their families in the Eastern province. more..

Good Bye Mervyn!

Dec 11 (LG) "Mervyn Perera - One of the most beautiful voices in the country, is lost to Sri Lanka." - A web post. Another artiste who represented what is now called the ‘old generation’ faded away. That was on November 7. He was Mervyn Perera. A singer, musician and an epitome of Omar Khayyam’s ‘Rubaiyyat.’ Mervy Perera was the singer who sang "Me Nagaraya." There are only a few other songs here that have virtually invaded the common more..

Lost Possibilities of the novel

Dec 11 (LG) Gunadasa Amarasekera’s latest book of criticism, Nosevuna Kadapatha (Unused Mirror) proposes a timely re-assessment of the Sinhala novel, which he sees as being on a steady path of decline. In this book, which is written with verve, erudition, sardonic humour and a sense of urgency, Amarasekera invites the reader to reflect on the plight of the Sinhala novel and the norms and categories by which we choose to evaluate it. more..

Winning the war at PC elections

Dec 11 (LG) Voters in the Central Province and North Western Provinces (NWP) will be wondering about what material benefits could come their way after elections to the two provincial councils much before the lifetime of the two councils expire, were announced. During the previous round of election campaigns to provincial councils voters had to bear the worst forms of political thuggery — the worst being when a woman teacher campaigning for the UNP in the NWP was stripped and left naked on the road by thugs of the ruling party. more..

LTTE trying to bring down the govt: Rajapaksa

Dec 11 (PTI) Warning that the LTTE is trying to bring down the government through armed attacks, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said his administration is determined to root out terrorism to enable people lead a peaceful life in the country. "Government should be defeated by the people's vote. The terrorists in the North are trying to overthrow the government by the gun," Rajapaksa said. more..

5 notable absentees at UNP (D) media briefing

Dec 11 (LD) A news conference organized by UNP Democratic Group that elected Minister M.H. Mohamed as its leader, had five notable absentees in Navin Dissanayake, Hemakumara Nanayakkara, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, G.L. Peiris and Milinda Moragoda at its press briefing. The briefing this afternoon at Government Information Department auditorium at Polhengoda was on the return of the group's leader Karu Jayasuriya to the UNP. more..

SL rights promoter honoured

Dec 11 (BBC) There has been a sharp increase in human right violations in Sri Lanka by the warring parties - the government, the LTTE, and paramilitary organizations, says US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She made this remark at a ceremony in the US capital of Washington, D.C. to mark International Human Rights Day. At this ceremony an independent Russian journalist and two Americans received Human Rights Awards. more..

Central bank allows rupee to ease, shares rise

Dec 11 (Reuters) Rupee fell 0.36 percent on Wednesday, as the central bank allowed its gradual depreciation for a second straight session, a policy traders said aimed to protect foreign currency reserves. Shares rose 1.31 percent, the first gains in seven days, from a near four-year low as investors bought beaten down stocks. The rupee ended at 110.65/75 per dollar, weaker than Monday's 110.25/35, when it had fallen by a similar amount as more..

S.B.'s FR to be taken up on Dec. 16th

Dec 11 (LD) The Supreme Court today (Dec. 10th) granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights petition filed by National Organizer of the UNP, S.B. Dissanayake against the decision of the Commissioner of Elections to exclude him from the electoral register. A bench comprising Justices Shirani Bandaranayake, S.G. Amarathunga and Chandra Ekanayake ruled that the petition would be taken up on Dec. 16th. more..

Vaiko flays government for 'ignoring' Sri Lankan general's remarks

Dec 11 (IANS) MDMK leader Vaiko Wednesday assailed the central government for 'virtually ignoring' Sri Lankan Army chief Sarath Fonseka's derogatory remarks against Tamil Nadu politicians. 'The government has virtually ignored this slur. Instead of demanding an unconditional apology from Fonseka, the central government is not only collaborating with the Sri Lankan government but also seems to be taking orders from him,' Vaiko told reporters. more..

Navy's crucial innovation hailed a success!

Dec 11 (DW) The modern Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) recently celebrated its 58th Anniversary. We at DefenceWire would like to take this opportunity to discuss in detail a crucial innovation in the SLN, which may lead to successful maritime security operations around Sri Lanka in years to come. The Innovation is the RABS or Rapid Action Boat Squadron. The beginnings of the RABS can be traced back to 2003 when a brief respite from daily operations came and more..