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Mahinda’s honeymoon is over

Nov 1 (LG) Mahinda’s war honeymoon is over. In the past month there have been crippling petrol and student strikes, plus a wholesale collapse of the national electrical system. Water, ports and railways have also threatened strikes. These are mundane things, but they are the type of grievances that topple governments. The only thing missing is a narrative to bind them together. Mahinda had a plan for the war. It was a simple plan, marketed, funded and executed ruthlessly. more..

Minister Douglas’s gravy train rolling in Europe

Nov 1 (LG) Following the military defeat of the LTTE on the 18th of May, competition for supremacy for control of the Tamil politics is going through a new phase. Minister Douglas Devananda is said to be strenuously working to fill the vacuum created with the demise of LTTE leadership. Backed by enormous financial resources provided by the government and income generated from many covert unaccounted government backed clandestine business operations, more..

Meditation on Gamini Haththotuwegama

Nov 1 (LG) Gamini Haththotuwegama is no more. The man, known to some as GK, to others as ‘Gamini’, ‘Hatha’, ‘Haththa’ or simply as ‘Sir’, hailed as the Father of Street Theatre in Sri Lanka, will take his final curtain call this evening. As befitting such a colossus, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs has come forward to give him such honour as is his due, with deference of course to the wishes of the family. more..

Army press release, and legality of punishing journalists

Nov 1 (LG) A recent press release from the Media Centre for National Security has warned of prosecution for “publishing false media reports using identities of senior army officers” but it remains unclear under which legislation journalists will be hauled up and for what specific crime. The communique, issued under the signature of Military Spokesman Brigadier VUB Nanayakkara, states vaguely that: “It has already been observed that certain individuals who more..

Sri Lanka's new companies act: corporate leaders responsibilities

Nov 1 (LBO) A seminar on the implications on Sri Lanka's the new company law featuring senior legal experts targeted at educating director, chief executives, senior managers and corporate lawyers will be held on November 05.Its organizers Legal & Financial Advisory Services, a legal consultancy, and Marketing Services, a marketing consultancy, say the seminar will give insights to company directors about the liabilities and responsibilities under the new law. more..

Human Right Violations: Why only Sri Lanka?

Nov 1 (AT) After constantly mounting pressure and criticism from international community, Sri Lanka has decided to launch an inquiry about alleged human rights violations in war against LTTE. Sri Lanka army took back the sprawling Vanni region located in the Northern part of Sri Lanka, earlier this year. This part of country had become de facto state of LTTE since many years and government had no writ or control over that part of the country. more..

TNA rubbishes Govt.’s demining claims

Nov 1 (SL) The TNA has rubbished claims made by the government that it has commenced demining in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu Districts. TNA Jaffna District MP Suresh Premachandran told The Sunday Leader, “the government claims to have commenced demining in Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu but this is utter rubbish.” According to him, not a single area in these two districts has been demined. more..

Body blow for banks

Nov 1 (SL) Economists and senior bankers warn that the country’s overall banking sector would be dealt a severe blow in relation to its earnings due to the Presidential directive to reduce interest rates of state banks. The reduction in state bank interest rates are expected to compel private banks to follow suit shortly in order to remain competitive creating a shortage in funds. Economists note that while interest rates should fall on market reaction, more..

Mother Left High And Dry

Nov 1 (SL) The story of Baby Nona, 48 of Eppawala in the Anuradhapura District is a heartbreaker of the greatest proportions. Baby Nona, a mother of six children is married to a man whose brushes with the law are a long and worrying one: mainly for the brewing and sale of illicit liquor. During a raid on their premises, Baby Nona was also arrested. She was summoned to court but due to her illiteracy had no idea what to do or where to go. more..

Fonseka — Knight in White Satin?

Nov 1 (SL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa certainly has his ear to the ground: he had a meeting with various local government members and consulted them on their views in respect of the forthcoming elections. The consensus, he told his colleagues in Cabinet, was that a snap presidential poll was required. The President has always been of the view that politicians lower down the rungs, have a better appreciation of “ground reality” — more..

The east from different sides

Nov 1 (SL) I’m writing this from Polonnaruwa, heading back from the east. We traveled from Yala East to Pasikudah, by bus, trishaw and bicycle. If you look at a map of Sri Lanka you can see where the money flows, the thickly veined networks of the west. The east is only now coming online. It’s not the easiest place to travel around, but it is amazing. This is what I saw over a few days on the coast. The eastern coast begins where Yala ends. more..

Rs 10,000 can stop CID probe

Nov 1 (LB) Criminal Investigations Department (CID) will be completely overhauled —- as a confidential inquiry had revealed that some officers can be bought for as little as Rs.10,000 to evade prosecution for major crimes. Reliable sources revealed that the government has made arrangements to transfer scores of such corrupt officers, and 18 of them have been already transferred to Mankulam, while another list of 22 other officers is being prepared. more..

Army to combat strikes

Nov 1 (LB) Twenty seven Trade Unions including those in Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), Petroleum Corp., harbour and Water Supply and Drainage Board will announce a major strike plan today in Colombo, which would take the place of the three day strike planned by the CEB unions to demand a Rs.5,000 allowance. All the 27 major unions which form the Alliance of the United Unions of the CEB, and the workers of the CEB will arrive at a major trade union agreement at more..

I’m a good luck charm, not a jinx - Mangala

Nov 1 (LB) Leader of the SLFP (M) wing Mangala Samaraweera is the driving force behind the grand opposition alliance that is said to be in the making. Last week, he rejected claims that he was concocting reports of strife between General Sarath Fonseka and the government. Excerpts from the interview: Q: Where is this grand opposition alliance you have been promising? more..

General or parliamentary? It’s crunch time now

Nov 1 (LB) There is no doubt that all keen political observers and the general populace are almost in thrall over the news of a possible presidential or general election. In this context, the trade union action such as the CPC strike witnessed last week, though it could not be sustained, was worrying for the government. The cold war between the government and opposition is escalating, and last week, state intelligence agencies were quizzing the security detail of more..

What would we do without conspiracies?

Nov 1 (LB) Conspiracies abound. There could hardly be any other country in which political narrative has been so overwhelmed by conspiracy theories as it has been in Sri Lanka, especially these days. They are not about the UFOs and paranormal activities you read in science fiction. They are about dangerous plots, hatched against our very survival, the image of the country, its government, its women and specially its President. more..

Bogus Tamil asylum seekers and 'people-smugglers'

Nov 1 (AT) 'People-smuggling' had been highlighted in the discussions at the formal session of the East Asia Summit held in Thailand last week. The issue came to lime light because of the influx of bogus Tamil asylum seekers from Sri Lanka to Australia and Canada recently. Back in Australia, the controversy over them between the government and the opposition reached saturating point. more..

'No nation can afford foreign funded terrorists to run part of the territory, grab large parts of land'

Nov 1 (AT) There seems to be different standards applied by Obama administration’s foreign minister secretary of state Hilary Clinton when she views and assesses the situation in two South Asian nations confronted with foreign funded and patronized terrorism: Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Sri Lanka which is strategically unimportant to the United States annihilated a ruthless terrorist organization, Tamil Tigers or LTTE, more..

Rajapaksa worships at Tirumala temple

Nov 1 (AT) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa accompanied by his wife Shiranthi Rajapakse visited Sri Vari Temple, Tirumala, a temple in the hills, where he was received with traditional honors by the Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanam authorities on Saturday evening. Ahead of the President's visit, Sri Lankan security officials finalized security arrangements with Chittoor district collector Sri Seshadri. more..

PM inaugurates Buddhist centre at Sanchi

Nov 1 (IANS) Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnashri Wickramanayake Saturday said ties between India and his country are growing stronger after he inaugurated a Buddhist prayer centre at Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh. “The center has been set up for the convenience of Buddhist pilgrims who come here in ample numbers and this will further strengthen ties between India and Sri Lanka,” said Wickramanayake. more..

Illegally colored rice sold in Sri Lankan markets

Nov 1 (LP) Some unscrupulous traders in Sri Lanka have begun a new scam of coloring red raw rice with the purpose of selling them in higher prices. Sri Lankans traditionally prefer red rice than white rice and the rice with red crust find better prices in the market. Coloring grains and cereals is against the law of the country. However, in Bandaragama alone, a suburban town in Western Province, 18 traders have been so far produced in courts for this offense this year, more..

Asylum-seekers admit living in Indonesia

Nov 1 (Age) It's been revealed that most of the Sri Lankan asylum seekers in a standoff with Australian authorities off Indonesia's Bintan Island have admitted living in Indonesia for years, providing the Rudd government with leverage to convince Indonesia to take them back. Indonesia's senior official in charge of the matter, Sujatmiko, said he was unaware of the history of the asylum seekers but asked that all information be passed to him as a matter of urgency, more..

Peradeniya University students attack intoxicated thugs of ministers

Nov 1 (LT) A group of intoxicated supporters of Minister D.M. Jayaratne and Minister of Power Mahindananda Aluthgamage had been attacked by students of University of Peradeniya today (31st) when they had attempted to assault several students. A group from the Coconut Development Board that comes under Minister Jayaratne and a group of supporters of Minister Aluthgamage have entered the university premises while they were going on an excursion. more..

US to quiz Gen. Fonseka

Nov 1 (LT) Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka, now on a private visit to the United States, has been told to face a “voluntary meeting” with the Department of Homeland Security, prompting fears in Colombo that Washington is asserting its legal authority over the “war crimes” report released last week. Reports reaching the highest levels of the Government say more..

Sri Lankan government has a role to play in this

Nov 1 (TA) WHILE the media has got itself a great story ("Asylum deadline ticking”, 29/10), the real dilemmas inherent in refugee policy have to be faced with something more humane and intelligent than another Pacific Solution. The Sri Lankan government has declined to accommodate the demands of its Tamil minority who came to the country from India, and has crushed the Tamils’ armed resistance. more..

Fish production rise in the North

Nov 1 (GDI) The fish production in the north has increased in a tremendous manner, sources from the Fisheries Ministry disclosed. They said after restrictions on fishing in northern seas were lifted in early Junemfishermen have continously engaged in fishing stepping up production after two and a half decades. The excess catch is being transported to Colombo,the sources added stating it was a move to curb the rising fish prices in Colombo. more..

‘Panhindaka Sanhida’ workshop for women writers

Nov 1 (SO) Sumithra Rahubaddhe, celebrated novelist and writer speaks on the novel at the Workshop for Women Writers ‘Panhidaka Sanhida’ sponsored by the Norwegian Embassy in Sri Lanka. There is the belief that like in any other fields, women as writers also have constraints. Though women writers such as Gajaman Nona, Punyakante Wijenaike, and Thaslima Nazarene were bold in expression, more..

Foreign investment in heavy flow

Nov 1 (GDI) Foreign investment flows in an unprecedented scale into the country,claimed sources from the Board of Investment in Sri Lanka (BOI). After the restoration of permanent peace, foreign investors have expressed their desire to invest in Sri Lanka on a high scale, these sources said. They added that the government had attracted a large number of foreign investors to invest in the hotel and tourism trade in the North and East after peace was restored. more..

Tourist traffic progress towards peak

Nov 1 (GDI) The number of tourist arrivals into the country has increased rapidle from May this year,Sri Lanka Tourism sources said today. They said after the elimination of the LTTE,the tourism sector had picked up towards a positive progress with tourists from all parts of the country arriving in Colombo. Sri Lanka Tourism has drawn up a comprehensive tourism plan for the next five years to meet the tourist traffic. more..

Public alerted on dengue fever with rains on

Nov 1 (GDI) The Health Ministry has alerted the general public to keep the domestic gardens clean as rains have set in. Ministry sources said that with the rains already set in, it was up to the public to keep their gardens clean to prevent breeding of the dengue mosquito. All local bodies have been instructed to collect garnage to prevent the spread of the dengue mosquito harmful to public health. more..

Rate cuts: The good, bad and the ugly

Nov 1 (LG) Last week’s decision by the President for state banks to cut interest rates to a minimum of 8% and maximum of 10% saw a mixed reaction from the public. Industry was overjoyed, banks grumbled as they have to bear some losses at least in the short term, and depositors, particularly those who rely on interest income for daily and annual expenses, were stunned. For the last category, within seconds their income had come down by half. more..

‘Napoleons’ and ‘Hitlers’ are lurking in the dark

Nov 1 (LG) General Sarath Fonseka has become the most important political topic today. Not that he has made any political intervention; on the contrary he says that he has no intention to come into politics. But some of his statements which he made during the conduct of war were definitely political and directly in line with the unitarist Sinhala chauvinist view point. Also he appears to have committed himself to the view that more..

Japan welcomes the early resettlement of IDPs in Sri Lanka

Nov 1 (LP) The Government of Japan has welcomed Sri Lanka's continued effort to facilitate the early resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons in the Northern part of the country. Issuing a special statement Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan said its government strongly hopes that the Government of Sri Lanka will accelerate the process of early resettlement of IDPs in their villages. more..

SL President and Bulgarian President discuss development issues

Nov 1 (LG) The President of the Republic of Bulgaria Georgi Parvanov called on the President Mahinda Rajapaksa today during a one-day visit to Colombo. During the meeting it was acknowledged that there are possibilities for further developing bilateral political dialogue and cooperation in the economic, cultural and other spheres of mutual interest. more..

Two students in welfare villages win All Island Tamil essay competition

Nov 1 (MoD) Two students displaced in LTTE terrorists activities and now living in one of the Welfare villages have won the first places in the junior and senior All Island Tamil Essay Competition organized by the NHDA in view of the World Habitat Day 2009 declared by the United Nations Organization. Student Ganeshalingam Anithya from Mullaitivu who now lives and studies at a relief village in Thandikulam, has won first place more..

A workshop to display archeological findings at Pothgullena

Nov 1 (LP) A workshop displaying the pre-historic findings from the Archeological excavations conducted in Atthanagalla, Alawala and Pothgullena will be held on the 03rd of November. The workshop will be held at the Post Graduate Institute of Archeology at Bauddaloka Mawath, Colombo 07, from 08.30 am to 05.00 pm. The excavation on the Pothgullena was conducted in 02 phases from December 2008 to April 2009. more..

'Time ripe for your intervention'

Nov 1 (LG) I am aware of the concerns you have for our problem which was in existences even at the time when the Late Hon C.N. Annadurai, fondly referred to as “Arignar Anna” was your predecessor in office in whose cabinet you were a member. The whole world is anxiously waiting to see an end to the problem. Unfortunately Sir we have lost several opportunities of finding a solution. more..

First ever military diploma awarding ceremony

Nov 1 (LP) The first ever military diploma awarding ceremony was held at Sri Lanka Military Academy (SLMA), Diyathalawa yesterday (October 31). Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya attended the ceremony as the chief Guest where 78 young officers who successfully completed their diplomas in Military studies at SLMA conducted in affiliation with the University of Sabaragamuwa were awarded certificates. more..

Lanka will react firmly to unwarranted statements

Nov 1 (SO) Sri Lanka will respond quite firmly to any unwarranted statements coming from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights as such statements could lead to ethnic tensions, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told the Sunday Observer. He said Sri Lanka was willing to discuss with High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay about the subjective and biased statements she had made but if there is no satisfactory response, more..

Cures many ailments: Life-giving oil

Nov 1 (SO) A construction engineer by profession, Sarath Manamperi thought he was fit for his age and had no hidden sicknesses until he suddenly felt that his heart beat was too high after a walk. Gradually, the feeling of tiredness increased. A visit to a cardiologist revealed that his chest pain was due to two blocks in the left and one in the right artery of the heart. The doctor recommended surgery to place three stents as more..