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Liquor outlets ordered to close on April 08, 09,13 & 14

Apr 7 (GDI) The Govt has decided to close all liquor outlets on the 8th, 9th, 13th and 14th of this month. Meanwhile, Govt has declared Friday the 9th of this month as a public and special bank holiday, Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration D. Dissanayake informed. Minister of Labour Athauda Senevirathne requests the heads of all state corporations, statutory boards and all other employers to grant leave to all their employees on this coming Friday.

Former Tamil chief minister returns to Sri Lanka - after nine years

Apr 7 (IANS) The Tamil chief minister of Sri Lanka's northeastern province when Indian troops were deployed has returned to the country for the first time after nearly a decade - and a year after the military routed the Tamil Tigers who had repeatedly tried to kill him. Annamali Varadaraja Perumal has addressed several meetings for his EPRLF in the Tamil heartland of Jaffna and in Trincomalee, from where he once presided over the province. more..

'10% of bio fuel is aimed to be used for transport by 2015'

Apr 7 (GDI) The Government is looking forward to uplift Gliricidia planting as a fourth plantation of the country according to the proposal of Minister Prof. Tisa Vitarana made at the cabinet. Considering the future demand for bio- fuels in the country the decision has been made by the Ministry of Science and Technology. Our country will benefited by developing substitute locally produced eco-friendly bio fuel while the world meets energy crisis. more..

Editorial: Polls as wars

Apr 7 (LNP) The first killing in the run-up to Thursday`s parliamentary polls has been reported. A young supporter of the UPFA was shot dead at close range in Mawathagama on Sunday night, while he was returning from an election rally. There have been many other incidents of election related violence. A collective of religious leaders has faulted the government and the police for their failure to implement election laws. more..

Emergency for national security

Apr 7 (MoD) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka said yesterday(April 06), that the Emergency Regulations are of prime importance since as all are aware certain elements are depending on violence and feeding terrorism adding that foreign intelligence had warned that the octopus of terrorism was spreading its tentacles over the Asian region including Sri Lanka. more..

Unemployment down to 5.4 percent

Apr 7 (DN) Despite the world economic recession, the Government was able to bring down the unemployment rate to 5.4 percent by the last quarter of 2009, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. The Minister was quoting from a report issued by the Central Bank. He said 5.4 percent unemployment ratio is an outstanding achievement for any country. Even in developed countries the unemployment ratio is around five percent, more..

Fish at low prices for Avurudu

Apr 7 (DN) The Fisheries Corporation will provide fish at a lower prices than the prevailing market price through their islandwide agencies during Sinhala and Tamil New Year festive season. Fisheries Corporation Marketing Manager Rohan Fernando said during the festive season many fishermen are bound to curtail their fishing activities. Therefore, prices of fish will be considerably high in the market. more..

Sri Lanka plans to halve deficit as expansion boosts revenue

Apr 7 (BN) Sri Lanka plans to nearly halve its fiscal deficit in three years as the end of the island’s 26-year civil war spurs economic growth and boosts revenue, Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera said. The budget shortfall is targeted to narrow to 5 percent of gross domestic product by 2012, from 9.7 percent last year and 7.5 percent in 2010, Jayasundera said in an interview at his Colombo office yesterday. more..

'Only 13 candidates declared assets to polls chief'

Apr 7 (Island) The Centre for Monitoring Free and Fair Elections (MENIKE) said that only 13 candidates out of 7,168 contesting tomorrow’s parliamentary elections had declared their assets and liabilities to the Commissioner of Elections. Among those who have submitted their declarations are Gampaha District UPFA leader Basil Rajapaksa, Kalutara District UPFA candidate Mahinda Samarasinghe and Colombo District UNF candidate Ravi Karunanayake. more..

CID called in to probe Vavuniya train derailment

Apr 7 (Island) The CID has been called in to investigate the derailment of the Vavuniya bound mail train from Colombo at Galgamuwa after initial investigations revealed that part of the track had been removed early yesterday morning. The Anuradhapura Railway Control Room said that the train had passed the Galgamuwa Station around 2.25 a.m. and the accident had occurred around 2.30 a.m. at the 102 mile post between the Galgamuwa and Senerathgama Stations. more..

Miliband’s baseless allegations

Apr 7 (DN) Taking Miliband seriously was a mistake that the British media now generally managed to avoid. It had to be noted that Miliband was an ambitious politician, who had to nurse his supporters, and that several Labour MPs were dependent on the votes of Tamils who they mistakenly assumed were LTTE supporters. There had been threats to withhold support from Labour, and naturally Labour leaders with personal ambitions had to respond. more..

SLN expands to dominate coastal belt to thwart future threat

Apr 7 (Island) As part of Sri Lanka’s strategy to thwart any fresh LTTE-build-up, the Navy will set up cantonments at key locations in the northern, eastern and north-western coast. The long term project envisaged what an authoritative security official said was a cohesive deployment of assets to re-open sea supply routes to bring in arms, ammunition and other equipment. He emphasised that the destruction of the LTTE’s military capability should not give the country a false sense of security. more..

Violence rages in Ampara, officials threaten boycott

Apr 7 (DM) Digamadulla district election officials said yesterday they would not conduct the polls in the area if the police failed to stop the election violence now raging there. They said the situation had worsened after Ampara Deputy Mayor Saman Morayas and Eastern Province Minister Wimalaweera Dissanayake were assaulted in Ampara town on Sunday. People yesterday burnt tyres and put up black flags in more..

Lanka joins with ‘1,000 cities – 1,000 lives’ campaign

Apr 7 (GDI) The world community celebrates the World Health Day today under the theme`Urbanization and health - Urban health matters’. Seven cities from Sri Lanka including Thamankaduwa, Puttalam, Tangalle, Ampara, Baticaloa, Moratuwa and Dehiwala is to be joined with 1,000 Cities – 1,000 Lives campaign organised by the WHO to mark this day, sources of Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry said. more..

'An oppressive lawless Govt. thrives when there is no voter turnout'

Apr 7 (UNP) UNP and Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said, the oppressive and repressive measures of this Govt. have made the people sick of voting, because they feel that their votes are being used by the Govt. to mount further sufferings on them. Of course, it is the objective of an oppressive Govt. to create this impression, as such a Govt. thrives when the voter turnout is less. more..

Polls chief says can’t hold free and fair poll: UNP

Apr 7 (DM) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayaka has told the opposition that he could not hold a free and fair election under the existing system as he had no control over the police and the state media, the two most important institutions whose independence is vital for free and fair election, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayaka said. In a last minute bid to contain a sudden increase of election related violence at the tail end of the election campaign, more..

'Sri Lanka Foreign and Defence ministries worked together to nab KP'

Apr 7 (LNP) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that the extradition of LTTE financier Kumaran Padmanathan aka KP would never have been possible without the ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs working together. Addressing the Kotte SLFP balamandalaya, Rajapaksa said Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama had played a pivotal role in the negotiations leading to the arrest and extradition of the key terrorist. more..

UK announces further aid

Apr 7 (GDI) The United Kingdom announced a further £1 million in humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka in addition to £12.5 million committed over the past eighteen months to support the people of Sri Lanka recover from the conflict. “The UK has stood by the people of Sri Lanka in their time of need. We were on the ground helping the government with their demining efforts, provided emergency shelter, more..

'JVP leaders using SF as bait'

Apr 7 (Island) The JVP leadership is using former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka as bait to get what they want, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa told a press conference. He pointed out that General Fonseka cannot enter Parliament because of the ongoing cases, even if he won the elections by chance, if he was found guilty ans punished. "The JVP is trying to capitalise on this situation," Weerawansa said. more..

Govt. to purchase former British HC premises

Apr 7 (DM) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in the process of negotiating with the British Government to purchase the former British High Commission premises situated at Galle Road, Colombo-3 for the Government of Sri Lanka, according to sources within the Foreign Ministry. A note was submitted to Cabinet, yesterday, with this regard by Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama. more..

Deploy army in Nawalapitiya -Hakeem

Apr 7 (DM) SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem said yesterday that the army should be deployed in the Nawalapitiya electorate to stem the rising flood of election violence in the area. Mr. Hakeem made this appeal in Parliament yesterday during the debate on the extension of the State of Emergency. He said that a powerful UPFA politician was preventing Opposition party candidates and their supporters from campaigning in Nawalapitiya. more..

IGP promises tough action against law breakers during elections

Apr 7 (LP) Inspector General of Police Mahinda Balasuriya yesterday afternoon addressing the media at the Police Headquarters said that they are strong and organised to face any situation during the general elections 2010 and post elections. If any person or persons attempted to create problems or disturb the peaceful elections they will be severely dealt with according to the law. more..

President Rajapaksa pays a surprise visit to the parliament

Apr 7 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa paid a surprise visit to the parliament which convened to pass the State of Emergency this afternoon on 6th April. The dissolved parliament met today to extend the State of Emergency by another month. The 6th parliament of Sri Lanka was dissolved on the 09th of February and was reconvened on orders of President Rajapaksa. more..

General addresses masses from his cell

Apr 7 (LT) The final rally of the DNA for the general election 2010 under the theme “Bring victory to trophy for Justice” was held at Hultsdorf in Colombo on the 5th. At the rally attended by all the leaders of the DNA a message sent by Gen. Sarath Fonseka from his prison to the final rally of the DNA was read by the candidate of the DNA for Colombo District Sunil Handunneththi. more..

'Sri Lanka elections not free and fair'

Apr 7 (AFP) On the eve of Sri Lanka's parliamentary elections, the main opposition accused the ruling party Wednesday of campaign abuses and said it did not expect polling to be free and fair. The opposition UNP said President Mahinda Rajapakse's administration had used state-owned vehicles and buildings for campaigning and turned the government-run media into a party mouthpiece. more..

President appeals to his countrymen to take a correct & wise decision

Apr 7 (GDI) President Rajapaksa has appealed to the masses to take a correct and wise decision without being duped by political forces against the country. Addressing the final election rally of the Freedom Alliance in Middeniya, he invited supporters of the UNP and the JVP to vote for the Government without wasting their ballot. more..

U.S. donates demining equipment to Sri Lankan Army

Apr 8 (USE) The United States Government recently donated demining equipment to the Sri Lankan Army’s School of Military Engineering. At a ceremony in Embilipitiya, on April 2, the U.S. Embassy’s Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Edward Heartney presented Brigadier General Udaya Nanayakkara and Lieutenant Colonel Rajindra Dias with helmets, vests and visors for students of the School of Military Engineering to more..

Rajapaksas out in force for Sri Lanka election

Apr 8 (BBC) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa hopes his governing coalition will score a clear victory in Thursday's legislative elections. He also hopes two of his brothers, his cousin and his eldest son, Namal, will win or regain places in parliament. The BBC's Charles Haviland reports from the Rajapaksa heartland in Southern Province. more..

Debrief News - 07. 04. 2010

Six-month asylum stand-off to end 'in five days'

Apr 8 (Age) The six-month impasse between Indonesian authorities and a group of about 240 asylum seekers who refused to leave their boat in the port of Merak appears to be ending, after the Sri Lankans were told they would have to move to accommodation "near Singapore". The stand-off at Merak made headlines in Australia and around the world, not least because the boat carrying the Tamils fleeing the aftermath of Sri Lanka's civil war was intercepted after more..

A Letter from Colombo

Apr 8 (Irrawaddy) When the plane carrying the team of international election observers landed at Colombo International Airport on Friday, the heavy contingent of troops that guarded the airport during the war against the Tamil Tigers, which ended last year, was nowhere to be seen. But The Sunday Times, reported two days later that the Sri Lankan government had deployed 59,000 policemen and 20,000 troops as more..

Dilshan diagnosed with gall bladder stones

Apr 8 (PTI) Delhi Daredevils Sri Lankan recruit Tillakaratne Dilshan was today diagnosed with stones in his gall bladder after the cricketer was rushed to the hospital on complaint of severe abdominal pain. However, a team official said that the Lankan batsman does not have any plans to go under the knife immediately and would take a call later. more..

Sri Lanka Shares at new record high ahead of polls

Apr 8 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's shares hit a new record high on Wednesday led by hopes of political stability hopes after Thursday's parliamentary polls, analysts said. The All-Share Price Index .CSE of the Colombo Stock Exchange hit a new all-time high of 3,919.91, surpassing its previous high of 3,882.23 hit on Tuesday. It closed 1.01 percent or 39.26 points firmer at 3,909.61. more..

Ballot boxes dispatched to polling booths in Jaffna, Ki’linochchi districts

Apr 8 (TN) Jaffna secretariat started dispatching Wednesday morning ballot boxes and polling cards in vehicles escorted by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and police to the polling centres in Jaffna district and to the cluster voting centres set up in Ki’linochchi district and in the islets of Jaffna, sources in Jaffna said. The ballot boxes, cards and election duty officers to Nedunththeevu were flown in a helicopter. more..

Small steps to recovery

Apr 8 (IRIN) Residents in conflict-affected northern Sri Lanka, still reeling from the effects of more than 25 years of war, are taking small but significant steps on the country’s long road to recovery. In Murugandi, a village straddling the A9 highway, the 321km artery linking the former conflict areas with the rest of the island, Anton Gunadayalan, 33, a local official, typifies the mood. more..

Removal of the fasting monks

Apr 8 (LG) A group of monks who were representing an organisation for the release of the retired general, Sarath Fonseka by undertaking a fast were set upon by a group of between 100-150 police, accompanied by a large group of civilians forcibly removed the monks from their place of protest. The following interview relates to the legal and human rights problems involved in this incident. more..

SLA releases Vanni civilians from Thellippazhai Rehabilitation Centre

Apr 8 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) released 106 Vanni uprooted persons including young men and women held in Thellippazhai SLA Special Rehabilitation Centre (and opened Clock Tower Road in Jaffna town Wednesday in a last minute attempt to support the government in the context of Thursday parliamentary election. Jaffna SLA Commander Major Gen. Mahintha Kathurasinghe presided at the official event held at more..

Iran ready to buy more tea from Sri Lanka

Apr 8 (SLBC) The Iran government has taken measures to buy more stocks of tea from Sri Lanka. The country exports 30 million kilograms of tea into Iran annually. Iran Ambassador in Sri Lanka Rahim Hoji says his government has decided to buy 50 million kilograms of tea from Sri Lanka annually in the future. He held a special discussion with Minister of plantation D.M. Jayarathne in this regard. more..

Q+A - Sri Lanka's president aims to change constitution

Apr 8 (Reuters) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is aiming to get his ruling alliance a two-thirds majority in the 225-member parliament at polls on Thursday. That would give the him the votes he needs to amend Sri Lanka's constitution. Although Rajapaksa has said little about the changes he wants, the opposition has vowed to thwart what it calls a threat to democracy and a recipe for authoritarianism. more..

Assault on Bhikkus goes to HRC

Apr 8 (LT) The Bhikkus who carried out a ‘fast unto death’ campaign demanding the release of Gen. Sarath Fonseka have complained to the Human Rights Commission regarding the brutal attack carried out by the police and persons in civilian clothes without any warning and the subsequent abduction. Counsel Sunil Watagala addressing said, “This is a period of an election. The police can never carry out its duties in civilian clothing. more..