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Bahrain writer freed in Lanka

Apr 22 (GDN) A Baharain-based author was released from police custody in Sri Lanka yesterday, but is still facing criminal action over a book she wrote that is deemed offensive to Buddha. Sarah Malanie Perera had been detained in the capital Colombo since March 20 under emergency laws, after being accused of "anti-state" activities and having links to Islamic militants. Ms Perera was released from prison after paying bail of 50,000 Sri Lankan rupees (BD166) on Tuesday, more..

Why Ranil must stay as UNP leader until Rajapaksa regime runs its course

Apr 22 (TC) The UNP is now a party known more for leadership struggles than for anything else. There have been leadership struggles after the 1999 presidential elections, the 2000 parliamentary election, the 2004 parliamentary election, and the 2005 presidential election. After the presidential elections, in January this year, what most people felt was that there would not be a leadership struggle more..

Was KP Planning to Rescue Prabhakaran via Submarine and Helicopter?

Apr 22 (TC) The Indian Multi Disciplinary Monitoring Agency (MDMA) which is investigating the possible conspiracy behind the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi has recently informed that it has need to investigate KP, the former leader of the Tamil Tiger International chain presently under detention in Sri Lanka. Prior to this, India’s RAW (Reasearch and Analysis Wing- intelligence service) came to Sri Lanka and questioned KP. more..

UNP: New chapter by a proven leader is the only way forward

Apr 22 (LG) Whatever said and written or resolutions passed against RW and the undemocratic path followed by the party under RW a confirmed impotent man, who effectively destroyed the UNP, it is clear that he will not tender his resignation; probably, until he is forced out from the party leadership, this self-centred man would cling on to power. Surely, there are new faces, dynamic and strong characters, in the party today. more..

Mario Gomez on the Human Rights issue

War-footing after the aborted peace talks 15 years ago

Apr 22 (GV) Yesterday marked the ending of the fourth round of peace talks endorsed by the late Lakshman Kadirgamar, FM, in the Kumaratunga administration on January 08,1995. On the night of April 19, 1995, leader of the LTTE Velupillai Piraparkaran informed President Chandrika Kumaratunga that since the points put forward by the LTTE and agreed upon by the government were not fulfilled the ceasefire would be null and void or something to that effect. more..

Should we sacrifice progress for tradition?

Apr 22 (GV) Are we Sri Lankans laid back as a nation? I have a sneaky feeling that we are, particularly, during New Year celebrations. No doubt, it is a wonderful tradition for family and friends to get together and celebrate. But aren’t the celebrations carried too far, in terms of time! In fact, it has become an excuse for dragging the holiday period further by several more days on account of transport issues and fuel shortages. more..

Umpire recruitment in Jaffna

Apr 22 (MoD) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Umpires' Committee will conduct a five day training programme for umpires in the Jaffna District from April 22-25. The seminar will be conducted by instructors K.T. Francis and G. J. Pusparajah, in Tamil. The above programme and the examination are conducted under the guidance of the Manager Umpiring committee. Umpires in the Jaffna District have been presented with an opportunity of this nature after eight years. more..

Weerawansa in a dilemma

Apr 22 (LT) Wimal Weerawansa has withdrawn the statement he made to the media that he would not accept any ministerial portfolio as a protest against the UPFA decision not to allocate two seats from the national list to his party the NFF. He withdrew his statement when he was rebuked by the Temple Trees and had stated last evening that he had decided to accept the portfolio. more..

Widowed mother in Jaffna receives new year gift from soldiers

Apr 22 (MoD) A widowed mother of two children in Eluthumadduwal north, Jaffna received a New Year gift of a different nature on April 15th when all ranks in Mirusuvil-based 17th Battalion of the Gemunu Watch (GW) gifted her a new house, built using their own resources and labour. As part of the Jaffna Security Forces inducted 680 Housing Project, Mrs. Piyavadani Sivandani, a widow with two children who was earlier displaced received the keys for more..

New technology purified water supply system to be introduced

Apr 22 (GDI) The Ministry of Water Supply will introduce a purified water supply system using which will have lesser chlorine, silver and iron in the water. National Water Supply Board and the Ministry had drawn attention towards a more fruitful and profitable technology for purifying water in place of the present purification process, The Ministry of Water Supply revealed. more..

Over 120 Samurdhi projects completed

Apr 22 (GDI) The Kelaniya Samurdhi Headquarters located at the Kelaniya Divisional Secretariat has successfully completed over 120 Samurdhi projects assigned to Kelaniya in 2009, to raise the living standards of Samurdhi beneficiaries, Kelaniya Samurdhi Headquarters sources revealed. According to the sources, under this program they have carried out 21 Samurdhi projects providing infrastructure facilities costing Rs. 6,350,715. more..

SAARC Summit in Thimpu

Apr 22 (GDI) will take place in Thimpu, Bhutan on April 28 - 29. It will be preceded by the Foreign Ministers meeting on April 27, Standing Committee meeting during April 25 - 26, and Programming Committee meeting of Senior Officials on April 24. Climate change will be the main theme of the upcoming SAARC Summit where the member countries are expected to sign a convention on cooperation in protection of environment. more..

Helping disabled IDPs to walk again

Jaffna Mayoress calls for private - public sector investment

Apr 22 (MoD) A modern Convention Centre will be established at Arali in Jaffna in two years time, General Manager of the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau, Vipula Wanigasekera said yesterday. Speaking to The Island at Jaffna Central College, the venue for the inaugural Jaffna International Trade Fair, he said the land acquisition process was underway and all formalities would be cleared shortly to commence construction of the sophisticated convention centre. more..

‘A voice for Prageeth, please!’

Apr 22 (LT) Sandhya Eknaligoda, the wife of Prageeth Eknaligoda, the journalist who has been disappeared since 24th January, and his son distributed a letter at the entrance to the Parliament today to all Members of Parliament of the opposition asking them to speak in Parliament on behalf of him stating there is no progress regarding investigations being carried out regarding his disappearance. more..

'Protection of principles should start from Parliament'

Apr 22 (LT) The protection of principles of the state should begin at the Parliament and all in the Parliament should turn their attention to establish democracy in the country said Leader of the DNA Gen. Sarath Fonseka making his inaugural speech in the Parliament today. The speech made by Gen. Sarath Fonseka: Hon. Speaker, I would like to extend heartiest congratulations from our party for you for being appointed the Speaker of the 7th parliament. more..

Nursing course reduced to 3 years

Apr 22 (NF) The Government Nursing Officers' Association charges that the UGC has arbitrarily taken a decision to reduce the 4 year nursing programme offered at universities to three areas. “This will give rise to a very serious situation,” said Saman Rathnapriya, Chairman of the Association. When inquiries made in the regard from the Chairman of the UGC Professor Gamini Samaranayake, he noted that no such arbitrary decision had been taken. more..

Trincomalee complex of Eastern University tompararily closed

Apr 22 (NF) The Trincomalee complex of the Eastern University has been temporarily closed. “This step was taken following a clash that erupted between the administration and the students, after a member of the staff was assaulted,” said N. Logeswaran, Dean of the Eastern University. However, the university students' union says that there are problems at the university with regard to facilities for students. more..

'Post-War Sri Lanka still among the most dangerous for journalists'

Apr 22 (SLNN) The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), in its 2010 Impunity Index, ranks Sri Lanka number four among countries around the world where journalists have been murdered on a regular basis without the killers being prosecuted. In Sri Lanka, the CPJ cites 10 incidents, during the past decade, in which the government had failed to investigate journalist murders. more..

Personal poems of a feminine poet from the East

Apr 22 (DN) We happened to read a slim volume of poems in Tamil from a lady doctor from Kalmunai in the East. She is a mother with two children and her nom-de-plume is 'Malaraa'. Her real name is Pushpalatha Loghanathan. This book has been published by the support of the National Library Documentation Services Board and came out in mid-2009. This 110-page book contains 38 poems that are uniquely different from the type of slogan-filled more..

Editorial: Trusted guide unknown journey

Apr 22 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is beaming from ear to ear. He has every reason to paint the town red. It is he who won the UPFA such a mammoth victory at the parliamentary polls. Hadn`t he floored the Opposition at a snap presidential election last January, the outcome of the April 8 polls would have been different. His victory debilitated and demoralised the Opposition irrevocably and paved the way for the UPFA`s subsequent win. more..

Voter Views on Election Day

WP tops drug related arrests

Apr 22 (DN) Drug related arrests amounted to 141 per 100,000 of the population in 2008. Among the drug related arrests, 28 percent was for heroin and 71 percent for cannabis, Health Education Bureau, Mass Communication Publication Unit coordinator Dr. Shantha Hettiarachchi told the Daily News yesterday. According to Dr. Hettiarachchi the highest number of drug related arrests were reported from the western province (62 percent). more..

Hicorp director remanded again

Apr 22 (DN) The CID investigating into the alleged arms deal by Danuna Tillekeratne, son-in-law of General Sarath Fonseka, yesterday filed a further report before the Colombo Fort Magistrate and Additional District Judge Lanka Jayaratne and said that they have not completed the investigation and move that the suspect be further remanded. The Judge allowed the CID application and remanded the suspect Wellington Dehoedt, a director of HICROP (Pvt) Limited till May 5. more..

Ornamental fish industry thrives

Apr 22 (LNP) The ornamental fish industry has a positive growth potential and can reach US$ one billion mark by 2012. The peaceful environment in the country will fuel the industry development and growth momentum will continue with the growth in the tourist sector, Association of Live Tropical Fish Exporters of Sri Lanka, President Sathyendra Wijayapura told Daily News Business. more..

CCF to declare 'Wayamba cultural square'

Apr 22 (DN) The Central Cultural Fund (CCF) will declare an archaeological zone as the Wayamba Cultural Square, said Central Cultural Fund Director General Pro. Sudarshana Seneviratne. This new archaeological zone will be set up within Panduwasnuwara and Yapahuwa electorates of the Kurunegala District. The aim of the setting up of the archaeological zone is to preserve archaeological sites in Yapahuwa and Kurunegala kingdoms and more..

UNF leaves Rukman, Choksy in the cold

Apr 22 (Island) Rukman Senananayake, UNP Assistant Leader and grandson of the Party’s founder and the first Prime Minister, the late D. S. Senanayake, has been denied a National List slot. He is one of the four UNPstalwarts on the UNF National List. The others are former Finance Minister and legal luminary K. N. Choksy, former Defence Minister and Attorney-General, Thilak Marapone and CWC cross-over M. S. Sellasamy. more..

Midwives threaten death fast

Apr 22 (Island) The Government Midwifery Service Association (GMSA) warned that its members would resort to a fast unto death campaign if the Health Ministry did not recall its decision to train nurses to carry out duties of midwives. The decision to train nurses for six months to assist mothers during child birth follows a request by the nursing unions. Deputy General Secretary of the GMSA Devika Kodituwakku accused the nurses of encroaching upon their territory. more..

Wimal miffed about leaving out Musammil

Apr 22 (Island) The left party alliance is pushing for a Cabinet portfolio for Vasudeva Nanayakkara, who re-entered parliament from the Ratnapura District. A spokesman for the alliance says Nanayakkara should not be denied a ministerial portfolio. Yesterday, the alliance made representations to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Vasu’s appointment. more..

Johnston in motor car accident

Apr 22 (Island) A former government minister and newly elected Kurunegala District MP Johnston Fernando was injured in a motor accident on Monday (19). A well known female vocalist who was in the vehicle with him was also injured. She had been admitted to a private hospital. Police sources said that they had not been informed of any accident involving the minister.

‘Pre-poll pacts with minority parties detrimental to UNP’

Apr 22 (Island) Veteran UNPer Dr. Ruvaiz Haniffa says pre-poll agreements with minority parties had weakened his party. Haniffa, who had been a member of the Panditharatne Commission (PC), which inquired into the UNP’s humiliating defeat at the April 2004 general election, says the party turned a blind eye to PC recommendations aimed at thwarting political alliances with minority parties at the expense of the UNP. more..

National lists spring surprises

Apr 22 (DM) The national list nominations to Parliament of the ruling UPFA, the main opposition UNP, the JVP led Democratic National Alliance and the TNA were announced yesterday which included a number of new faces while leaving out several prominent personalities. From the UNP the omission of the names of party’s Assistant leader Rukman Senanayake and longstanding MP and constitutional lawyer K.N. Choksy came as a surprise. more..

Voter Views on Election Day

Sri Lanka's Fonseka emerges from custody

Apr 22 (AFP) Sri Lanka's detained former army chief briefly emerged from custody Thursday for the opening of parliament and accused the government of planning to silence his "fight for democracy." Sarath Fonseka last year led troops to victory over Tamil Tiger rebels after decades of ethnic conflict on the island, but he later fell out with President Mahinda Rajapakse and unsuccessfully tried to unseat him in January elections. more..

Fonseka suspects censorship

Apr 22 (DM) MP General Sarath Fonseka said there was an attempt to slap a media censorship on his attendance in parliament today and he will raise this issue at the next parliament session. Speaking to Daily Mirror online via telephone after attending the inaugural session of parliament today, General Fonseka said that he had all the right to speak in Parliament and a media censorship on his attendance was a violation of the privileges offered to an MP. more..

Bamba youth forced to drown

Apr 22 (DM) The Colombo Fort Magistrate making a judgment today on the drowning of a youth in Bambalapitiya last year said that it was clear, based on the available evidence, the youth was forced to drown by the suspects in custody including a police officer. The youth, who drowned last October, was seen on television being prevented from entering the shores by men holding up poles, forcing him to go deep into the sea and drown. more..

UDA under Gotabhaya

Apr 22 (DM) The Urban Development Authority is to be brought under the Defence Ministry with Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as the Competent Authority, sources said yesterday. The UDA was earlier under Urban and Sacred Area Development Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. Government sources said this step was taken to develop Colombo as a model commercial city by moving the administrative centres out of Colombo. more..

Amaratunga is Opposition Whip

Apr 22 (DM) John Amaratunga a senior UNP member is to be appointed Chief Opposition Whip, party sources said yesterday. They said the UNP took this decision at a parliamentary group meeting last evening held at the party head quarters ‘Sirikotha’ and chaired by party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Mr. Amaratunga was elected to parliament from the Gampaha district. more..

Abbassa Village where Oranges and Mangoes grow

Apr 22 (IL) The forgotten communities of Sri Lanka's former border villages. Have you any idea what it is like to be part of them? After thirty years in the grip of Tamil Tiger terrorism, these farmer families have forgotten how to live. The ever-present fear of death during three decades had killed everything worthwhile in their lives. Ultimately, it became a battle for survival by instinct. more..