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NUW asking for national list slot

Apr 17 (DM) Considering the role it played at the presidential election and the general election, the National Union of Workers (NUW) which is an ally of the UNP is also demanding a national list slot. NUW leader P. Digambaram who was elected from the Nuwara Eliya district said he hoped the UNP would accede to his request. “We deserve a national list slot as we campaigned for the UNP in the most difficult circumstances,” he said. more..

Call 019-7335500 before arriving at Airport, travellers told

Apr 17 (NF) Several flights from Colombo to airports in London and Europe have been cancelled until further notice and travellers are advised to check with their respective airlines before arriving at the Colombo airport. A special information centre has been set up at the airport for passengers to inquire about flight details on telephone number, 019-7335500. Both the 02.00 and 13.15 SriLankan Airlines flights to London were cancelled, more..

Health unions fear losing old foe

Apr 17 (Island) Several health sector trade unions which have long been at loggerheads with former Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva now claim that he is more suited for the job than most other former ministers. When contacted by The Island, President of the Public Service United Nurses Union Ven. Muruttetuwe Ananda Thero said that they had no issues with him being reappointed. more..

Candid thoughts on the general election and beyond

Apr 17 (Island) To expect strong and ‘responsible’ opposition from a party of lackeys of the West like the UNP or the ‘Marx brothers’ of the JVP (disguised as DNA) would be laughable. Accordingly, such opposition must come from those who in all good faith supported Mahinda Rajapaksa with no thought, hope or desire for any reward. Let us therefore, galvanize ourselves into scrutinizing with care the acts of the new Government more..

DM tipped to be next PM

Apr 17 (DM) Former Minister D.M. Jayaratne is tipped to be the next Prime Minister, political sources said. Mr. Jayaratne has been a member of the SLFP, the biggest party in the UPFA, for 58 years. He was also among the pioneer members who formed the SLFP under the leadership of the late Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike in 1952. The former Minister has aspired to be the premier several times, but was not appointed to the post. more..

TNA, SLMC to jointly protect minority rights

Apr 17 (DM) The TNA has invited the SLMC for talks on working together in parliament to ensure that minority rights are secured, SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem said yesterday. The invitation extended by TNA leader R. Sampanthan on Thursday night had been accepted by Mr. Hakeem with an assurance he would meet the TNA soon after he returned to Colombo after the April 20 re-poll in Nawalapitiya. more..

Sri Lanka tea producers say need support for replanting

Apr 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's plantations companies needs financial support to replant ageing trees as production costs rose, an industry official said as the state held back proceeds from an industry development levy. Dhamitha Perera, chairman of the Planters' Association which represents corporate tea producers, said the costs of replanting estates with old tea bushes and rubber trees were high. more..

UN concerned about Australia's asylum freeze

Apr 17 (AFP) The United Nations has raised concerns about Australia's decision to freeze asylum applications from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, saying it could leave people in detention for prolonged periods. Australia this month suspended applications from Afghans and Sri Lankans, saying the situation in their war-weary homelands had improved and fewer nationals of these countries would likely be considered refugees in the future. more..

New Sri Lanka parliament warned of moves to revive separatist sentiments

Apr 17 (LNP) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says the new SLFP-led UPFA government should be prepared to thwart a fresh attempt by separatists operating abroad to throw a lifeline to the LTTE. A section of the international community, he says, is bent on reviving the LTTE and giving it recognition. He discussed a range of issues, including the need to maintain political stability, more..

Slain Tiger chief's mother denied entry to India: report

Apr 17 (AFP) The ailing mother of Sri Lanka's slain Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran has been denied entry to India for medical treatment, the PTI reported Saturday. Vallipuram Parvathi travelled from Malaysia to the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Friday night, but was prevented from leaving the aircraft, the Indian news agency said, giving no details. more..

Vajira to decide in a week

Apr 18 (DM) Defeated UNP Galle district candidate and former Member of Parliament Vajira Abeywardena says he will decide his next course of action in a weeks time. There was speculation he might leave the UNP if he is not given a national list slot from the party. When contacted by Daily Mirror online and asked if he will quit the UNP and join the government if he is not given a national list slot by the party to enter parliament, more..

Love Romance and Fatal Outcry of Madame Bovary

Apr 18 (LG) Gustave Flaubert’s realism novel Madame Bovary became a reaction against the Romanticism and considered as one of the turning points in the Western literature. This realism leads to the imitation not of artistic masterpieces but of the originals that nature offers. In this context, Madame Bovary provides the literature of truth. It was a genuine account of human melodrama and a desperate outcry of a woman who more..

Call for UNP reforms

Apr 18 (BBC) Moneragala District MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara rejecting rumours says that he would never ever defect from the UNP. He said that it is his responsibility to protect the people who voted to elect him defying protests by UNP leadership during the election. “They came to Moneragala district and campaign against me, distributed about five thousand letters among the voters, and spent over five thousand rupees in their efforts to defeat me. more..

Former SLRC employee in Vanni complains of death threat to HRC Jaffna

Apr 18 (TN) An employee of Sri Lanka Red Cross who had served in Vanni during the last stages of war and now living in Ma’nkumpaan in the islets of Jaffna has lodged a complaint with Jaffna Human Rights Commission (HRC) office of intimidation and death threats by armed men alleged to be ruling party ally Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) persons who operate with Sri Lanka Intelligence division. more..

MDMK to protest deportation of Prabhakaran's mother

Apr 18 (PTI) Condemning the deportation of slain LTTE chief Prabhakaran's ailing mother to Malaysia, MDMK chief Vaiko today said his party would launch a hunger strike in protest against the Centre's action on April 22. "Why was she (Parvati) deported when the Centre had already issued a visa to her? What was the necessity? It is not a humanitarian act," he said in a statement here. more..

Sri Lanka wins the HSBC rugby final

Apr 18 (HG) Sri Lanka has climbed close to the top of Asian rugby’s totem pole after beating Singapore 23-16 in a thrilling final of the HSBC Asian 5 Nations Division I tournament played. In the 3rd/4th place play-off, Malaysia achieved its primary objective by retaining its Division I status after winning the relegation match against a young Chinese Taipei XV, 35-3. more..

An enchanting storyteller

Apr 18 (DH) Hailing from Sri Lanka but currently based in the USA, this enchanting storyteller takes us through the defiant lives of two women in Sri Lanka, Latha and Biso, united by the faith that they will be delivered better in life. Published by Penguin Books, this novel has been translated into Dutch, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese and Hebrew. Excerpts from an interview with the author: more..

Is the Elephant extinct?

Apr 18 (SL) Although the results for Kandy and Trincomalee are still pending, the UNP appears to be poised on the cusp of yet another electoral defeat. The UNP has consistently come up short in the polls in both Presidential and general elections of late. In fact, it is beginning to seem like a one horse race­— with an inevitable winner from the get-go. This seems to be translating to voter apathy amongst would-be voters for the opposition, more..

Premajayantha denies allegations

Apr 18 (SL) UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha on Friday (16) dismissed allegations of manipulations in counting preferential votes put forward by several governing party candidates who were defeated at the recent general elections. Following the April 8 general election, several UPFA candidates have accused their own party members for their defeats. more..

People’s involvement in the parliamentary system is key

Apr 18 (SL) The almost diminished opposition in the seventh parliament while claiming that numbers in the House were not an important factor has said the respective parties would play an active role outside parliament to fight for social rights. In fact, some opposition representatives are working on the possibility of getting people’s involvement in the parliamentary process. more..

Embedded with a candidate

Apr 18 (SL) In Hector Appuhamy’s driveway, a sticker-clad Toyota Townace was parked. The inside of the vehicle was visible only through the windscreen and the front side windows, as a result of every inch of available space being taken up by the green sticker, calling for voters to cast their ballots for the UNP, and for the preference number 2. Appuhamy was a candidate for the recently concluded Parliamentary Elections, running for office from the UNP from the Puttlam district. more..

No vote for Weerawansa

Apr 18 (SL) The recent spate of elections – the presidential and general elections – has revealed that Wimal Weerawansa does not have a vote either in his constituency, the Colombo District or in any other part of the island. NFF Leader Weerawansa was however one of the first governing party members to publicly criticise Retired General Sarath Fonseka on the day of the presidential election for not being a registered voter in Sri Lanka. more..

Where to now Mahinda?

Apr 18 (SL) The results more or less are in – they may not yet be officially confirmed by the Elections Commissioner, but the results are by and large known to all and sundry. A zealous disregard for the opposition and a healthy show of hands for the government. Except of course that on the whole nearly half the country did not vote. Now that is the significance. more..

Intellectuals vital in legislature - Ven. Mahanayaka Theras

Apr 18 (SO) Appointing intellectuals who have gained expertise in administrative and diplomatic fields to hold responsible positions in the legislature is vital in the interests of future development of the country said the Most Ven. Tibbotuwave Sri Sumangala Mahanayaka Thera of the Malwatta Chapter and the Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Mahanayaka Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter. more..

'Unfair to blame party leadership'

Apr 18 (SO) MP Sajith Premadasa, who has been elected again from the Hambantota district, said the UNP needs to be reformed to represent the grassroots, including labourers, farmers and fishermen. “The reforms should begin with where power is centred,” he was quoted as saying to the local correspondent of the BBC. The UNP secured only 46 seats of the 180 declared so far, while the ruling UPFA won 117 seats. more..

Weras Ganga Basin: Project to minimise flood damage

Apr 18 (SO) The damage caused by floods and the destruction of the living conditions of people in the Colombo Metropolitan Region (CMR) will soon be minimised to a great extent by the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLLRDC) with the implementation of the storm water drainage project in the Weras Ganga Basin. The six-year project which costs over Rs. 9,000 million is handled by the SLLRDC more..

'Self-sufficiency in fruits, vegetables not far off'

Apr 18 (SO) The end of the war and the recent election victories for the government and President Mahinda Rajapaksa have paved the way for creating a strong government and Sri Lanka can now look at achieving self sufficiency in rice, fruits and vegetables, dairy industry and many other areas. With the liberation of the North East, the Lanka land bank has increased opening up vistas of opportunities for the agricultural sector. more..

China - Sri Lanka’s top lender in 2009

Apr 18 (SO) This article attempts to highlight the political and economic vision of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to achieve new heights in development assistance to Sri Lanka. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in January 1957, bilateral relations between China and Sri Lanka have seen smooth and upward development. The exchanges and co-operation in the political, economic and social fields have been frequent and fruitful. more..

Govt confident of securing two-third majority: New Constitution before year’s end

Apr 18 (SO) The Government will introduce a new Constitution before the end of this year as it is fully confident of securing a two-third majority in Parliament. The proposed Constitution would be more favourable to the country while it would further ensure good governance by removing the obstacles faced by the country’s development process, informed Government sources told the Sunday Observer. more..

Police the culprits in Nawalapitiya

Apr 18 (LB) Even though IGP Mahinda Balasuriya had issued a special order to transfer OICs from the Nawalapitiya, Gampola and Kurunduwatta police stations last week as they had colluded in unleashing violence on April 8 election day, due to political pressure, the IGP’s order was cancelled within hours of it. After receiving complaints from UPFA candidates who were contesting from the Kandy District more..

New Cabinet: in, out and pending

Apr 18 (LB) The government now faces the challenge of forming an efficient new cabinet. Speculation is rife as to who will be appointed to the new cabinet --- and how many posts would be available! Inside sources however said that since President Mahinda Rajapksa has decided to reduce the jumbo size cabinet, many Mps will be appointed as deputy ministers or junior minister --- and the number including ministers and deputies -- is expected to surpass 50. more..

Ranil lacks good sense to move forward

Apr 18 (LB) People who know Ranil Wickremesinghe say that, yes, not to worry, the man does know to read. It’s only the writing on the wall he’s having trouble with. You know what they say about bad habits being hard to break? Well, Ranil has this alarming habit of leading his diminishing party to defeat and he needs to go into rehabilitation for it. Besides, rehab is fashionable. Everyone’s doing it - Tiger Woods, Jesse James and lots of people in Hollywood. more..

IGP embarrassed, then overruled in Nawalapitiya

Apr 18 (LB) Although the 2010 General Election could have gone down in history as a relatively peaceful one, the violence at Nawalapitiya made the difference and also brought disgrace on the government. Commissioner of Elections Dayanada Dissanayake has decided to cancel all the votes of 36 polling stations in Nawalapitiya and to go for a re-poll. more..

Editorial: Nawalapitiya and the Tamil Muslim allies

Apr 18 (LB) The Nawalapitiya fiasco plays on, even as there is intense speculation that the government would consort with Hakeem’s or Sambandan’s men to obtain the two-thirds majority that eluded it. It’s worth pondering about the source of this kind of speculation. Who in this country could seriously speculate about Mahinda Rajapaksa entering into a political alliance with the separatist TNA, more..

‘Mahi bribed one and all, but everything failed’

Apr 18 (LB) The re-polling in Nawalapitiya, Kandy and Kumburupiddi, Trincomalee will take place on April 20 with heavy police and STF presence. A team of police personnel led by two DIGs, three SPs and three ASPs has been deployed to provide security on Election Day. A team of 400 STF personnel will also be deployed and six army divisions have been kept on alert for any emergency. more..

බුදුරුවාගල - Buduruwagala

Those who plundered the votes of myself and Susanthika from Kegalle entered Parliament

Apr 18 (LeN) Famous actor Budhadasa Vithanachchi asked, what purpose does holding of elections and casting of votes serve when votes are being openly robbed ? He alleged that he and Susanthika Jayasinghe were robbed of their victory at the elections on people’s mandate because the votes of theirs were plundered by the corrupt politicians of the UPFA. When Lanka e news inquired from him about his defeat, more..

Shirkers Axed

Apr 18 (NS) Twelve ministers from the previous government will face the axe when the new cabinet is announced on April 23 because of their questionable performance in the past and no minister will get the same portfolio held before, except the President, authoritative government sources said yesterday. They said President Rajapaksa had also taken a firm decision not to appoint any more non cabinet ministers as experience had shown that when there is a multitude of ministers no one ends up doing any work. more..

Hundreds of tourists, Lankans stranded without flights to Europe

Apr 18 (NS) More than 500 tourists have been forced to extend their stay in Sri Lanka, while hundreds if not thousands of other travellers to and from Colombo, too are being left in the lurch with many airports remaining shut across Europe yesterday. Britain alone extended the closure of her airports till 7:00 p.m. (their time) last night. more..

Editorial: Scrap the PR, cancer in our electoral system

Apr 18 (NS) The bulk of the work related to the general elections is now over but the elections cannot be concluded until Tuesday when the Nawalapitiya and Trincomalee electoral divisions go to the polls once again because the eighth of April elections there were marred by credible allegations of various malpractices. This in itself should be an eye opener to the government elect. We say so because these malpractices occurred not because more..