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Q&A: Northern Sri Lanka emerges from conflict but challenges remain

Apr 8 (UNHCR) The UN refugee agency and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation have just released a report that examines the impact of a cash grant provided by UNHCR to help displaced people in northern Sri Lanka return home and restart their lives. As the last phase of the long conflict between government forces and the rebel LTTE unfolded early last year, more than 280,000 civilians were forced to flee. more..

Sachithra Senanayake, Dammika Prasad star in big wins

Apr 8 (CI) Offspinner Sachithra Senanayake continued his outstanding form for the 2009-10 season by bowling Ruhuna to their first win in the Inter-provincial four-day tournament. His haul of eight wickets coupled with a career-best knock of 89 off 108 balls enabled Ruhuna to thrash Wayamba by an innings and 63 runs at Colts Cricket Club. Ruhuna never lost their grip on the game after dismissing Wayamba for 161. more..

Sri Lankan arrested in Italy for double murder

Apr 8 (SL) A Sri Lankan was arrested in Italy for fatally stabbing two others during the weekend, it is reported. The victims were also Sri Lankan.The victims were also Sri Lankan. The incident occurred at a Sri Lankan restaurant. The culprit has been arrested and has said the killings were as a result of a personal feud. Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry is in touch with the Italian authorities. more..

Minister Keheliya Rambukwella calls for US investigation on Iraq deaths

Apr 8 (TC) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told Daily Mirror online that while the US has been accusing Sri Lanka of human rights allegations and have repeatedly called for a war crime probe, they seem to have ‘conveniently forgotten’ its own issues in Iraq. He also called on the US to conduct an investigation on it’s own troops before pointing fingers at developing countries, more..

Sri Lanka plans $230mn waste energy plant

Apr 8 (LBO) A Malaysian-Bahraini joint venture, Orizon Renewable Energy, plans to invest 230 million US dollars in Sri Lanka to set up a power plant that will generate energy from solid waste. The Board of Investment said in a statement it has signed an agreement with the joint venture company for the project to be built on a 20-acre land at Kahatamedawelyaya, Muthurajawela, in the Gampaha District, more..

Sri Lankan boat found abandoned

Apr 8 (Hindu) A Sri Lankan boat was found abandoned on the Sherankottai shore near Rameswaram on Wednesday, giving rise to doubts that “some persons” might have landed. According to security agencies, the boat might have landed between 3 and 3.30 a.m. A few litres of petrol, diesel and two fishing nets were found in it. Ruling out the possibility of the boat being washed ashore as it was found with an engine, more..

A Journey Home - Sri Lanka

Resettled villagers struggle to make ends meet

Apr 8 (UCAN) Joseph Sebamalai, who used to fish for a living in his village in the north, is now collecting bricks to make ends meet after the civil war ended. “People must come here to see how we are living,” complained the 62-year-old, who returned to his Arippu village after spending most of last year in a refugee camp 30 kilometers away. Murugesu Moorthy, a Hindu farmer, lost his cattle during the fighting. more..

Rajapaksa seeks repeat victory as Sri Lankans elect parliament

Apr 8 (BN) Sri Lankans vote today in a parliamentary election that may strengthen President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s grip on power as economic growth surges and the former opposition leader is in military custody. The ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance is likely to win control of the 225-member assembly for a six-year term, according to a national opinion poll published in the state-run Daily News on March 31. more..

Archbishop appeals for violence-free election

Apr 8 (UCAN) Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo has appealed for the country’s April 8 general election to be free of malpractice, violence and interference. In a statement, the archbishop appealed to those organizing the election to fulfill their tasks by maintaining their integrity and acting with a sense of responsibility. He also called for high ethical standards to be maintained more..

Letter of demand sent to Weerawansa for saying General cannot enter Parliament

Apr 8 (LT) Ms. Anoma Fonseka, on instructions from Gen. Sarath Fonseka, has sent a letter of demand to Wimal Weerawansa demanding Rs.50 million for insulting, vicious and malicious remarks he had made regarding General stating even if the General gets elected he would not be able to enter Parliament. The letter of demand has asked Wimal Weerawansa to unconditionally and immediately withdraw the insulting, more..

Sri Lankan leader to tighten grip on power

Apr 8 (FT) As Sri Lankans vote in a parliamentary poll on Thursday, the only thing that seems guaranteed is that Mahinda Rajapaksa, the incumbent president, will tighten his stranglehold on power. Mr Rajapaksa’s ruling coalition, the UPFA, is aiming to grab a two-thirds majority in the 225-seat parliament. If he succeeds, Mr Rajapaksa will have the power to change the constitution, giving him the chance to entrench his rule and that of his family – potentially for years to come. more..

Sri Lanka leader's bloc is the favorite

Apr 8 (LAT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa's ruling coalition is expected to secure an easy victory in Thursday's parliamentary elections, the first since the government quashed the Tamil Tiger insurgency and ended an often brutal quarter-century-long war. But the vote may only mask continuing problems securing national reconciliation between the Tamil minority and the majority Sinhalese population, more..

Change of fingers for general elections

Apr 8 (CaFFE) The little fin ger of voters was stained with indelible ink up to now to prevent election frauds, Deputy Commissioner of Elections W.P.Sumanasiri said. He said a pen, instead of a pencil used up to now, will be provided to voters to mark the vote and preferential votes. A voter is entitled to mark three preferential votes in addition to the vote. The marking of the vote for a political party or an independent group is vital. more..

The Trade Union Confederation urged approximately

Apr 8 (CaFFE) The Trade Union Confederation urged approximately 200,000 government employees, involved in election duties today (08), to ensure a free and fair election. General Secretary of the TUC Saman Ratnapriya said yesterday (07) that it was their responsibility to uphold the democratic right of the voters by ensuring that polling and counting of votes was incident free. more..

Blow for author

Apr 8 (GDN) A Baharain-based author arrested in Sri Lanka for allegedly offending Buddhism suffered a new blow yesterday after she was remanded in custody for another two weeks. Sarah Malanie Perera, detained in the capital Colombo, had been held without charge since being detained on March 20. Her family had hoped she would be released after appearing before judges, but was never brought to the Supreme Court. more..

Australia becoming 'breeding ground' for Tamil rebels

Apr 8 (ABC) The Sri Lankan government says Australia could become a breeding ground for Tamil separatism if more Tamil asylum seekers are allowed into the country. Sri Lankan foreign affairs minister Rohitha Bogollagama says Tamil separatists have no need to leave Sri Lanka and will "spoil" Australian soil. He says the asylum seekers could turn Australia into a breeding ground for separatism. more..

Voting for the ‘Undiscovered Country’?

Apr 8 (GV) Today, over 14 million Lankan voters get to elect a new government. They can also pick from among 7,620 candidates vying for 225 seats in the national legislature. The election campaigns for the past many weeks have seen the usual glut of rhetoric and promises. Our endlessly bickering political parties rarely agree on anything, so it’s refreshing to see a broad consensus on what this election is fundamentally about: future prosperity. more..

Mathematical complexity in Sri Lanka's parliamentary election

Apr 8 (Xinhua) Thursday's Sri Lankan parliamentary election promises to be the last of its kind. The new parliament members are expected to shed the very system. The system elected parliaments in 1989, 1994, 2000, 2001 and 2004. Here is a look at the mathematical wonder of appointing Members of Parliament (MP) based on the proportional representation (PR) system of election in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka polls set to cement president's hold

Apr 8 (AFP) Sri Lankans vote Thursday in parliamentary elections that are widely expected to see President Mahinda Rajapakse's ruling party storm to a comfortable win over the fractured opposition. For many Sri Lankans this will be the first parliamentary election in which they can vote without fear of Tamil Tiger violence and suicide attacks after the rebels were defeated last year following three decades of conflict. more..

Sri Lankan election: Vote for the Socialist Equality Party

Apr 8 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) calls on workers, young people, intellectuals and the rural poor to vote for its candidates in the general election being held today. The party is standing slates of candidates in four electoral districts—Colombo, Nuwara Eliya, Jaffna and Galle. The SEP is the only party advancing a socialist alternative to combat the deepening attacks on the living standards and democratic rights of working people. more..

Mehta's Political Will Required

Apr 8 (LG) In his article Mehta continues to try to impress the world of his knowledge of Sri Lankan politics. However anyone who reads the news from Sri Lanka regarding the politics of the country will recognize that his thinking seems to be "old", his judgements influenced by experiences in Sri Lanka over twenty years ago when the IPKF was deployed and that he has overtones of Indian thinking then and more..

When the law is treated as shit, Parliamentarians will be nothing but bull-shits

Apr 8 (LG) In Sri Lanka the elections for the new parliament will be held today. Today's elections will decide who will sit as parliamentarians in the next parliament. This comes at a time when the very meaning of parliamentary democracy in Sri Lanka is at stake. What meaning does the parliament in Sri Lanka have when it is controlled by the president who is placed above the law by the constitution? more..

First citizen violates election law early morning

Apr 8 (LT) President Mahinda Rajapakse, the first citizen of the country, cast his vote at D.A. Rajapaksa Vidyalaya, Medamulana in Hambanthota today morning and media personnel had been allowed to photograph and video the event. However, the commissioner of elections making a special announcement had stated that no voter would be allowed to be photographed or videoed while casting his or her vote, journalists are banned from entering polling stations for more..

Lankan stabs Lankans in Italy

Apr 8 (LP) Two Sri Lankans were stabbed to death by a fellow Sri Lankan who admitted to the crime. The incident took place Sunday evening in Florence, Italy. The suspect was taken into custody. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the Ministry was informed by the Sri Lankan Consul General in Italy that two Sri Lankans had been murdered by another Sri Lankan over a personal feud. The incident occurred near a Sri Lankan restaurant in Florence, more..

Another opportunity to reinforce decision on who should lead, develop & safeguard the nation

Apr 8 (GDI) Tamil separatism was born in the mid 1970's in the North. Parallel to Tamil extremism, the island faced two radical Sinhala rebellions rising from the South within just 17 years. Most of the governments since independence had no clear answers to national issues of utmost importance. It was at this point that the people of Sri Lanka made a clear choice of electing Mahinda Rajapaksa as their leader. more..

Leading Indian IT / BPO Operation MphasiS to establish Delivery Center

Apr 8 (LP) The BoI granted investment approval to MphasiS Lanka (Private) Limited. MphasiS Lanka signed an investment agreement worth US $ 3.5 million to establish a venture to provide IT enabled services. The company will provide employment for a work force of 500 initially. MphasiS is one of the fastest growing and dynamic Indian IT BPO companies. MphasiS, a leading IT services provider will expand its Global Talent footprint, more..

Yahoo! Travel Magazine ranks Sri Lanka among top 10

Apr 8 (MoD) Sri Lanka is among the top 10 most affordable destinations in the world, according to the German-language Yahoo! Travel Magazine. The other countries recommended by the magazine for a 'memorable holiday' are Malaysia, Thailand, India, Bulgaria, Croatia, Mexico, Turkey, Egypt and Hungary. Meanwhile travel analysts expect that in 2010 the global tourist industry will return to its pre-crisis levels with more..

Navy establishes cantonment camp at Mollikulam

Apr 8 (MoD) The Sri Lanka Navy initiated establishing a cantonment camp at the Mollikulam coastal area to ensure national security of the country while strengthening security in the Wilpattu National Park. Stating that the construction was initiated in consultation with the Wild Life Department, Captain Senarath told the Daily News that this was the first step of establishing number of satellite camps along the coastal belt from more..

A senior media personnel who earned the displeasure of the Govt. obstructed by the CID at Airport

Apr 8 (LeN) A senior media personnel who earned the displeasure of the Govt. because he supported Gen. Fonseka was obstructed from leaving the country at the Katunayake Airport yesterday night by the CID who swooped on him. This Journalist had finalized his Airport formalities and was about to board the plane after obtaining the Boarding pass when the CID officers halted and took him out stating that they have to question him. more..

GCE O/L results uploaded to the web today

Apr 8 (GDI) The results of the G.C.E. Ordinary Level Examinations has been uploaded to the internet today. Commissioner General of Examinations Anura Edirisinghe said that students can log on to to obtain their results. Principals of Colombo and Sri Jayewardenepura education zones can obtain the result sheets by calling over at the Examination Department tomorrow morning. more..

Shortage of essential drugs at Cancer Hospital

Apr 8 (LT) There is a shortage of 14 essential drugs that are used in the treatment of cancer patients at Cancer Hospital at Maharagama say hospital sources. As most of these drugs are very expensive the patients are severely inconvenienced and many wait in agony as they are unable to buy the drugs from private pharmacies at exorbitant prices. Ara-C, Fluorouracil (5FU) and several drugs that are essential in the treatment of many types of cancer including, breast, more..

'Masses will use their right against the undemocratic path'

Apr 8 (LT) Candidate of the national list of the DNA Anura Dissanayake says people would use their ballot against the undemocratic path as they are aware of the incidents taking place at present in the country. He said this speaking to the media at a polling station at Colombo 10 where he had arrived to cast his vote. “The people in the country have to cast their vote in an environment that is anti-democratic. more..

'JVP would never be vanquished, we will fight till victory'

Apr 8 (LT) The JVP would fight even with the little bit of democracy that has been left for democracy and a free and fair election and it would never be vanquished says Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarsinghe. He said this after casting his vote at the Mayurapadha Pirivena at Palawatta today. “It is not only the violence that is carried out that should be considered when talking about the general election in 2010. more..

Hijacked crew salary paid to family members

Apr 8 (DN) The Consul General in Jeddah paid the two months salary to family members of 13 Sri Lankan crew members held under custody of Somalian pirates, the Foreign Ministry confirmed yesterday. The salary was paid on March 30, sources said. Al-Nisr Al-Saudi was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden early March with a 14-member crew aboard which included 13 Sri Lankans and the ship’s Greek captain, Georgios Skalimis. more..

International award for Motor Traffic Dept

Apr 8 (DN) For the first time in the history of Sri Lankan Public Service, a government institution has been honoured with an international accolade, Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said. Internationally recognized award Thaiki Akimoto for Quality and Productivity was won by the Department of Motor Traffic. This was the first time a Lankan State owned institution won an accreditation by an internationally accepted institution. more..

Special lanes for fitness buffs mooted

Apr 8 (DN) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry will make arrangements to allocate special lanes parallel to roads in all cities in Sri Lanka for the people who walk to keep themselves fit. Regular physical activities is a must to prevent Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) which are on the rise in the country at the moment, Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry spokesman said. more..

English as ‘fork and spoon’ or as hiramanay

Apr 8 (DN) There are ‘academics’ who are heavily over-dosed by the ‘magic’ of deconstruction, subaltern studies, postmodernism and feminism. They tend to be so Anglicised that they not only see ‘West’ as magic, buttressed rather than challenged by the tokenism of ‘doing the post-colonial thing’, but also see anything ‘local’ as archaic, incomplete, random, anomaly and generally dismissible as inferior. more..

'Left Parties can re-emerge a major force'

Apr 8 (Island) The left parties are confident that they could re-emerge as a major force in Parliament at the April 8 General Election. Contrary to assertion by a section of the ruling coalition, the left parties could comfortably overtake both the NFF and the JHU. Communist Party leader Dew Gunasekera told The Island that the majority of their candidates could secure parliamentary seats despite a low key campaign. According to an agreement worked out with the SLFP, six CP nominees are in the fray in more..

Treasury Secretary disappointed with private banks

Apr 8 (Island) Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera says private commercial banks have not responded enough to the government’s call to lend to the private sector, notwithstanding the low interest rate climate. He said the Central Bank should be strict when regulating banks and the financial system of the country. He said "unfortunately private commercial banks have not responded enough to low policy rates". more..