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Self-employment boosts incomes

Vital lessons from both victory and defeat

Apr 12 (NS) General elections held throughout the island for the first time devoid of LTTE presence has concluded. With 20 of the 22 district results out, the ruling UPFA has bagged 19 districts with clear margins and 60% (over 47 lakhs) of voter confidence. The main opposition for the first time secured less than 30% (21 lakhs) of the vote. From the 20 districts, the UPFA has so far secured 117 seats while the UNP has merely won 46 seats. more..

Life is no better for many migrants in UK

Apr 12 (GV) When I came to Britain for the first time in 1976 there were hardly any Sri Lankans except those who came to study. If ever I saw a Sri Lankan I was more than thrilled and I never turned down an invitation to a meal since I was surviving on fish and chips and the occasional long-grain rice and curry with green pepper instead of chillies and throwing in papkrika for chilli powder. more..

Will much needed Act remain Milinda’s election gimmick?

Apr 12 (LB) Milinda Moragoda lost his re-election bid last week but will the Right to Information Act that he touted as an election gimmick also die a natural death? It was only at the end of 2009, sources say, that Moragoda woke up to the virtues of a Right to Information Act. Detractors claim he quickly decided it was a good vote puller and made the legislation a front-piece of his election campaign. more..

Editorial: One party rule in all but name

Apr 12 (LB) It is bizarre how one man, or at least one man and his supporters, could stand in the way of election results being announced islandwide. However the decision to re-poll in Nawalapiitiya considering Mahindananda Aluthgamage’s support base and its performance during the campaign — it was his supporters who angered the president by jeering him when he spoke in Kandy — may give an indication why the full result cannot be given out now. more..

A walk down Galle Face Green

Apr 12 (NS) The Avurudu holiday season is already upon us. This time, after nearly 30 years, Avurudu comes at a time of peace, in the absence of the war with the LTTE. Travel restriction for civilians has eased and most areas in Colombo, such as the Galle Face Green is open for the general public to enjoy their time of leisure in a terror free environment. The Nation took a walk down Galle Face Green to see the bustling activities happening there, more..

'Elections Commissioner failed this time too'

Apr 12 (LB) Commissioner of Elections, Dayananda Dissanayake is not the most popular man around at this point in time. Almost everyone who praised him in the past claiming he is an exceptional government servant has now either filed a petition against him or are openly calling him an ‘incompetent old man’. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake filed a petition against him early this month charging him of incompetence and more..

Basil Rajapaksa thanks the people for landslide victory

Apr 12 (GDI) Senior Presidential Advisor, Parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksa thanked the people for making the landslide victory, a reality. “Such a remarkable victory may never have been achieved in Sri Lanka’s political history and this may be the first of its kind in the world”, he said. He received the highest number of votes at Thursday’s election, polling over 425,000 votes, the highest number by any candidate more..

Editorial: Downside of a brute majority

Apr 12 (Gulf) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse has claimed a more than flattering mandate in his country's parliamentary elections. The opposition has been subdued and judging by the fact that the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) party is in sight of a two-third majority, the president can rule virtually unopposed. In terms of stability perhaps this is good for Sri Lanka. more..

A third victory

Apr 12 (IE) Last week’s landslide victory of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s UPFA in Sri Lanka’s parliamentary elections — the first since the 25-year civil war ended last May — consolidated the grip of the president on power in that country. Rajapaksa was reelected president last January. The official results of the parliamentary elections will be delayed by about two weeks because of a re-poll in two constituencies. more..

Sri Lanka: A revealing breach of the constitution

Apr 12 (wsws) Just before Sri Lanka’s general election last Thursday, the government prevented three opposition MPs from the United National Party (UNP) from taking their oaths and parliamentary seats. While the immediate issue has been superseded by the poll results, the incident underlines President Mahinda Rajapakse’s contempt for parliamentary norms and the country’s constitution. more..

More trains for festive season

Apr 12 (GDI) The Railway Department has made special arrangements for the convenience of commuters during the festive season. According to the Railway Department sources, 26 special trains from Fort to Nanu Oya, Bandarawela, Rambukkana, Mahawa and Galle are being operated in addition to the normal train services from Fort and Maradana during the festive season. The details of the special train schedule can be obtained from the Railway Stations, more..

Indian Navy ship arrives on goodwill visit

Apr 12 (MoD) Indian Naval ship 'Magar' arrived at the Port of Trincomalee on a goodwill visit Saturday (April 10). The vessel and its crew were ceremonially received by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions. Later Captain Commander Simon Mathais paid a courtesy call on Eastern Naval Area Commander Rear Admiral Jayantha Colombage. more..

Target Practice by US Forces

Apr 12 (MoD) A misguided attack by the American forces on a mistaken target. Another apology by an American commander for the misdeed; the buck stops passing at this point except of a promise of an inquiry and a report that never corrects the error. It is habitual and is often not revealed for convenience. It is only when the media reaches the story the apology is tendered. The Americans have a reputation of striking wrong targets notwithstanding the sophisticated equipment at their disposal. more..

Those rejected by the voters won’t be accommodated in National List

Apr 12 (LP) Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Treasurer and former Minister of UPFA Dallus Alahaperuma said that the government would not entertain applications from defeated candidates into the National List of nominees. Several prominent Ministers, deputy Ministers, MPs have suffered defeat in the recently conducted election on 08th April. There are nearly 46 new faces in the 7th Parliament more..

My lawless motherland (part 3)

Apr 12 (LG) Sri Lanka is a land where most people live lives which are anonymous. And there are a few who have big names. The entire history of the country has been like this. One of my earliest poems was entitled 'The anonymous people'.
Are the anonymous people
No photos
No paintings
To record our pasts

Dreaming of a better future

Apr 12 (LG) I was in a New York down town restaurant and from the furtive glances cast at me I knew that I was the best dressed man in the place. My Pettah Third Cross-Street tailored suit was the envy of all eyes — even those sporting Saville Row and Brooks Brothers suits.They were looking at my Slave Island hand made pure leather shoes and also my Slave Island buffalo leather belt. My batik tie from Tie & Die was a work of art with colours matching Gaugin’s combinations. more..

Aiding and abetting to kill plurality in ‘patriotic’ Sri Lanka

Apr 12 (GV) So, the military has nothing to do with “nation building” and a great leader has to be seen as a Commander in Chief. This same logic of Bush would also explain that, “an Army Commander is no nation builder and also, a Commander in Chief, though seen a great leader would not necessarily build nations.” Leaving any and all comparisons and such formal logic aside, we have had no great leaders and more..

Brutal assault on Range Bandara: Defeated UNP candidate arrested

Apr 12 (DN) United National Party Puttalam District defeated candidate Shantha Abeysekara and four others were arrested by Police in connection with the brutal assault on former UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara and his supporters Saturday. Police spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakody told the Daily News that Bandara was admitted to the Colombo National Hospital (CNH). more..

2010 general election of Sri Lanka

Apr 12 (LP) Sri Lanka's election is almost finished. Thanks to President Mahinda Rajapaksa's henchmen Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Susantha Punchinilame, the results of Kandy and Trincomalee districts and the final result too is delayed. Re-polling for some stations costs millions of rupees to public coffers. Who cares? No wonder the culprits are rewarded with handsome portfolios. The ruling UPFA swept into the parliament with a close to two third majority. more..

'Those in UPFA blocked my efforts'

Apr 12 (LT) Her political path was obstructed not by any others but her colleagues of the UPFA says Ms. Geetha Kumarasinghe, candidate of the UPFA who unsuccessfully contested for Galle District at the concluded general election. Speaking to the media Ms. Kumarasinghe said, “Certain people in our party hindered and frustrated my efforts. The supporters who came to help me were branded as independent groups and kept away from counting centers.” more..

UPFA tells all parties: Join Government

Apr 12 (DN) The UPFA yesterday invited all political parties to join the Government in its effort to develop the country. The country devastated by the war would be rapidly developed if all political parties placed the country before the party, SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena said. This election had also brought in new young blood, a number of members less than 30 years into the Legislature. more..

Editorial: Respect the people s verdict

Apr 12 (LNP) The outcome of last week s parliamentary polls is tantamount to a vote of confidence in President Mahinda Rajapaksa`s government, which some members of the international community, separatists and their local allies went the whole hog to dislodge in a bid to install a puppet regime and create a situation conducive to the revival of secessionist forces here. UNP Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, is trying to make an issue of the low voter turn-out on Thursday. more..

'Meet a soothsayer to find out about Eknaligoda'

Apr 12 (LT) She was asked by the officers of the Colombo Crimes Division whether she had not been to a soothsayer to find out what had happened to her husband Prageeth Eknaligoda says Sandhya Eknaligoda, wife of the disappeared journalist. This has been told by the officers of the Colombo Crimes Division when she went there last Tuesday to find out whether they had got any information of her husband who has been disappeared for 77 days. more..

Susil confident of 143 seats

Apr 12 (Island) UPFA General Secretary Susil Premjayantha says that once the delayed results of Nawalapitiya and Trincomalee polling divisions are announced, the ruling coalition’s final tally will go up to 143 seats, including 17 from the National List. He said that the Election Secretariat had announced the results of 20 out of 22 electoral districts. more..

More Govt information through new website

Apr 12 (DN) The Government Information Centre service have been expanded to provide more information about Government institutions and their services. The people will be able to get information about 10 service areas of 100 Government institutions through the web-site The public will also be provided with an opportunity to lodge complaints about the difficulties they face when obtaining services from government institutions. more..

The legislature must pull its weight for a change

Apr 12 (DN) Just before the election I wrote in this newspaper about the kinds of consolation prizes that losers would get. I forgot one thing: absenteeism. Ranil Wickremesinghe, perhaps the greatest excuse-trotter this country has known since Independence, was quick to latch on to this straw. This is what I read this morning: Wickremesinghe said that the Opposition lost the election as the people had boycotted the polls because more..

'Tamils have rejected politics of suppression'

Apr 12 (DN) Former North East Province Chief Minister Varadaraja Perumal and one of the key Leaders of the EPRLF in an interview with the Daily News expresses his views on a number of issues including the recently concluded elections, the dawn of peace and hope in the North and East, influence of the Tamil Diasphora and his controversial days in the office of Chief Minister, North East Province (1988 - 1990). more..

Another election passes by

Apr 12 (LG) So another general election has passed by with a historically low voter turnout in Sri Lanka's history. This does not augur well for the so called first general election to be held in a post war environment after some three decades of active internal conflict. However, the record absentee voter percentage was not surprising. Given the stranglehold that the ruling administration had imposed on the democratic processes, many who were more..

Doubling per capita income pointless if inequality persists

Apr 12 (Island) A top public official says doubling Sri Lanka’s per capita income would be of no benefit if the majority of people did not have access to decent living conditions. The latest Central Bank annual report shows that each Sri Lankan has a share of more than Rs. 235,000 each of the country’s total income but 41.6 percent of the population actually earns less than Rs. 84,000 a year. more..

Big boost for SLFP at the expense of its partners

Apr 12 (Island) Of the original 39 JVP members, including those from the National List, elected to the last Parliament, only five survived the General Election 2010. Among them were Wimal Weerawansa, who polled a formidable 280,672 preferential votes in the Colombo district and Weerakumara Dissanayake, elected to the seventh Parliament from Anuradhapura. Dissanayake is the only other successful NFF candidate of 15 who joined the fray. He polled 27,102. more..

Raththran’s goons run amok

Apr 12 (Island) Post election violence erupted on Saturday night in the Kalutara District, where former Nation Building Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena (Raththaran) allegedly caused mayhem by leading a group of armed thugs who mercilessly assaulted some villagers of Maggona in Kapugoda, because they had not cast their preferential votes for him. The police were present at the scene but did not take any action against more..

Madduma Bandara ‘left out’ from Sirikotha meeting

Apr 12 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday excluded the party’s Moneragala district MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara from a meeting at the party’s headquarters ‘Sirikotha’ - meant for all the newly elected MPs. Mr. Bandara has locked horns with the UNP leadership after the party initiated disciplinary action against him for his alleged involvement in the deletion of a name in the nomination list for the district. more..

Editorial: Which way the middle class

Apr 12 (DM) The talk of the town is that those who asked for a dignified parliament has got it, though, partly this time. However, the irony is that the list where the dignified figure very high, is in the ranking with the main opposition UNP. The election of the likes of Wijeyadasa Rajapaksa, Mohanlal Grero and even the young lawyer Sujeewa Senasinghe along with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, in the UNP Colombo list is indicative that more..

JVP challenges Mervyn Silva to fulfil his pre-election promise

Apr 12 (Island) DNA secretary Vijitha Herath challenged Minister Mervyn Silva to resign his newly-won MP post in the Gampaha district as his prediction had been proved wrong. He told The Island that Mervyn Silva had commented before the April 8 poll that the JVP would not win a single seat and even Herath would lose in the Gampaha district. "He made this comment when Parliament met last week to approve the emergency regulations. more..

New UK Visa application status service

Apr 12 (UKE) Visa Services are pleased to announce the introduction of a centralised telephone information service, on a trial basis, for UK visa customers in Sri Lanka. Please dial +94 11 539 0698 for information about the status of your visa application. Calls are charged at local or STD rates depending on your location. For general visa enquiries and information please contact VFS. more..

Indonesians to move Merak Tamils

Apr 12 (AAP) Indonesian authorities are finalising plans to move the Sri Lankan asylum seekers who have spent more than six months refusing to leave the boat they tried to sail to Australia. Indonesian immigration and foreign ministry officials on Monday said they were putting the finishing touches on their plans to move about 200 ethnic Tamils from the boat in the Javan port of Merak. Senior immigration official Harry Purwanto said the details would be finalised "within a day or two". more..

UPFA sees no barrier to SF coming to House

Apr 12 (DM) The UPFA yesterday ruled out any legal barrier for Retired Gen. Sarath Fonseka to attend parliamentary secessions while being in military custody. Gen. Fonseka has been held in military custody for two months now. He contested the election under the Trophy symbol as a person in military custody and obtained over 98,000 preferential votes from the Colombo district. more..

Who will be the next Prime Minister?

Apr 12 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is yet to announce the nominee for the Prime ministerial post with several party seniors including former Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva, SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena and senior Minister D.M. Jayaratne eying it. Meanwhile, political analysts say some SLFPers are promoting Mr. Basil Rajapaksa to the position. The name of former Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake is also not ruled out. more..

Court issues notice on DNA

Apr 12 (DM) The Colombo Fort Magistrate has ordered DNA members including former MPs Vijitha Herath, Sunil Hadunnetti, Arjunan Ranatunga, Laksman Nipunaarachchi and Anoma Fonseka to appeared before the Fort police and make a statement for violating election laws. Filing a report before Colombo Fort Magistrate, the Fort police stated that the DNA had held a public meeting at the Fort railway station 48 hours before the date of the general election in violation of more..