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This is disgraceful - Wimal

Rukman resigns as UNP assistant leader

Apr 22 (DM) United National Party (UNP) assistant leader Rukman Senanayake who was denied a national list slot is reported to have resigned from his post in the party, sources said yesterday. Mr. Senanayake the grandson of UNP founder D.S. Senanayake did not contest the general election this time but was included in the party’s national list. more..

DPF splits from UNF

Apr 22 (DM) The DPF has split from the UNF over the failure by the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe to allocate a national list slot for DPF Leader Mano Ganesan who had lost the recent General Elections. Brother of Mano Ganesan, MP Prabha Ganesan siad that the party had run into problems with the UNF when the opposition had finalized its national list slots for parliament on Wednesday and therefore decided to split from the alliance. more..

Detained opposition leader in Sri Lanka parliament

Apr 22 (BBC) Defeated Sri Lankan presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka has been released from detention to appear in the opening session of parliament. The general, who is being court martialled, called for the "rule of law" in an attack on his arch-rival, President Mahinda Rajapaksa. His comments were his first remarks in public since his detention on 8 February on corruption charges. more..

WI women beat Sri Lanka

Apr 23 (CI) Shanel Daley and Stafanie Taylor starred with ball and bat respectively to help West Indies cruise to a six-wicket win against Sri Lanka in the first Twenty20 at St Mary's Park. It was a disappointing batting performance by the visitors who could muster only 103. Taylor then made an exact 50 to help West Indies attain victory in the penultimate over. The Sri Lankans got off to a poor start when they lost their first four wickets for 32 by the eighth over more..

French national arrested for illegal entry in Sri Lanka

Apr 23 (DPA) A French national has been arrested for allegedly trying to enter areas formerly held by Tamil rebels in northern Sri Lanka with a forged document, police said Thursday. The person identified by police as Henry Pollard was arrested at a checkpoint with a forged document from the Ministry of Defence giving him permission to enter the Jaffna peninsula. The suspect was taken into custody on Wednesday in Omanthai, more..

LTTE leaders among several foreigners arrested in Malaysia

Apr 23 (MI) A number of key leaders of the LTTE were among several foreigners arrested by the police between August 2009 and March this year. Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the arrest of the LTTE leaders was made known to Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Dr Gotabaya Rajapaksa when they met at the recent Defence Services Asia (DSA) Exhibition at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur. more..

Chamal Rajapaksa is New Speaker

Apr 23 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s elder brother and the former Ports and Aviation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa MP for Hambantota District was appointed unanimously as the Speaker when 7th parliament of Sri Lanka adjourned its inaugural session this morning on 22nd April. The new parliament was sworn in this morning at 8.45 am after the General election on 8th April 2010. more..

Sri Lanka parliament opens with brotherhood, enmity

Apr 23 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's new parliament unanimously elected the president's brother as speaker on Thursday, while the jailed general who lost the presidential race blasted the government from the opposition bench. The 225-seat legislature sat for the first time a day after results were declared from an April 8 legislative poll that gave newly re-elected President Mahinda Rajapaksa a 144-seat majority -- Sri Lanka's strongest government in more than a decade. more..

Sri Lankan director's 'Shadows of Silence' going to Cannes

Apr 23 (IANS) Paris-based Sri Lankan director Pradeepan Raveendran's film 'Shadows of Silence', listed as a French entry, will be presented in the Directors' Fortnight section at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival May 12-23. Based in Paris, Raveendran makes films in Tamil and Sinhala and his 'Shadows of Silence' has beaten 20 Indian films -- none of which were selected -- to the Directors' Fortnight. more..

Debrief News - 22.04.2010

Sri Lanka post-war reconstruction seen lifting logistics

Apr 23 (LBO) Movement of heavy cargo for post-war reconstruction and modernisation in Sri Lanka will provide more business for logistics companies, industry officials said. The specialist skills and equipment of logistics providers will be needed to move cargoes such as equipment for power plants and construction work, they said. Two ports are under construction, a new airport planned and several coal, wind and hydro-power plants are being built or more..

Sri Lanka to get investments in hydro power, hotels

Apr 23 (LBO) Two mini-hydro power plants and new hotels and hotel refurbishment are among several investments approved by Sri Lanka's investment promotion agency, a statement said. The BOI said it has approved and signed agreements for eight new investments worth 20 million US dollars that will create 500 job opportunities. BOI approval is required for investors to get tax breaks and other concessions like duty free raw material and machinery imports. more..

Sri Lanka to grow by 5.5-pct in 2010, but fiscally vulnerable: IMF

Apr 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's economy is expected to grow at a faster 5.5 percent of gross domestic product in 2010 but the country is facing a danger from excessive deficit spending, an IMF official said. IMF's forecast is slightly lower than Sri Lanka's central bank forecast of a 6.5 percent expansion of the economy for this year. "For Sri Lanka we're projecting an acceleration in growth from 3.5 percent last year to 5.5 percent this year," more..

Sri Lanka shares at new peak on earnings, stability hopes

Apr 23 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's shares hit a new record high on Thursday on hopes over positive earnings and political stability under a newly elected government expected to bring more investment to the island nation. The All-Share Price Index hit a new all-time high of 4,099.88 points, surpassing its previous high of 4,052.10 on Wednesday. It closed 0.96 percent firmer at 4,077.55. "Expectations on better company earnings and political stability drove the market," more..

The April election and prospects for sustainable peace in Sri Lanka

Apr 23 (IDSA) On April 12, 2010 the majority of citizens of Sri Lanka’s main linguistic communities celebrated the “Sinhala and Tamil New Year”, and the categorical end of war and terrorism with considerable optimism despite lack of a clear political solution to the ‘ethnic conflict’. The New Year, the first since the end of the State’s 30 year war with the LTTE, happened a week after parliamentary elections that returned the ruling coalition to power. more..

Sri Lanka '10 growth to be more than forecast

Apr 23 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's economic expansion is likely to be more than the 6.5 percent forecast this year due to rapid growth in infrastructure development and tourism, the central bank governor said on Thursday. The $42 billion economy was originally expected to expand by a four-year high of 6.5 percent this year, from an eight-year low of 3.5 percent in 2009, according to central bank data. more..

JVP again resorting to anti devolution politics

Apr 23 (LP) Sri Lanka's prominent left movement JVP that lost a number of parliamentary seats they held since 2004, seems to resort to anti devolution politics once again to find a path to get out of the stalemate they are stuck in now. JVP, that sprang out of village Sinhala youth in late 60s and early 70s inherited a mint of anti Tamil Sinhala chauvinism from its beginning and it widely resorted to anti devolution politics in its second uprising in late 1980s. more..

16 political prisoners in Jaffna prison begin hunger strike

Apr 23 (TN) Sixteen political prisoners held in Jaffna prison began a hunger strike Thursday in protest against the order issued by Department of Attorney General to move them to High Courts in the South including Anuradapura High Court for trials, sources in Jaffna said. The sixteen political prisoners on hunger strike have either been arrested or had surrendered themselves and charged by the government for various alleged political offences. more..

The fallacy of the Diasporas being the legacy of the LTTE

Apr 23 (LG) “Throughout the ages the Sinhalese and Tamils in the country lived as distinct sovereign people till they were brought under foreign domination: It should be remembered that the Tamils were in the vanguard of the struggle for independence in the fullconfidence that they also will regain their freedom. We have for the last 25 years made every effort to secure our political rights more..

3 suspects in recent abduction for ransom arrested in Jaffna

Apr 23 (TN) Three men from South staying in a house in Chu’ndikku’li area in Jaffna were taken into custody by Jaffna police Thursday on suspicion of involvement in the recent abductions for ransom and killings in Jaffna peninsula on a secret tipoff given by neighbours, sources in Jaffna said. A motor mechanic and an electrician from Navaali abducted Wednesday for ransom were found locked in the said house by the police and were handed over to their families Thursday. more..

3 in protective custody of Jaffna prison released

Apr 23 (TN) Chaavakachcheari magistrate Thursday ordered three persons including a young woman who had sought protection to their lives due to death threats from Sri Lanka Army during the war period and placed in the protective custody of Jaffna prison, to be released, sources in Chavakachcheari said. The three had been in Jaffna prison for the last three years and the two men of these were handed over to their parents Thursday by the court. more..

UPFA nearing two thirds without any sweat?

Apr 23 (AD) With the newly elected UPFA government just falling short of the magical 150 seats to obtain a two thirds majority in Parliament, circumstances are favouring it by way of displeasure over the National List allocations. Yesterday, it was reported that DPF member and brother of Mano Ganeshan’s brother Prabha Ganeshan as saying that his party was splitting from the UNF led by the UNP and may support the government. more..

Tamils seek political solution

Apr 23 (GT) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has seen some stunning victories in the past year: ending a 26-year civil war with Tamil separatist rebels and achieving resounding victories in presidential and parliamentary elections in 2010. Now, politicians of the Tamil ethnic minority are pushing him to use his election mandate to follow his military victory over Tamil separatist rebels with a political solution. more..

Lankan C-G invites Pakistani delegation to business exhibition

Apr 23 (TIN) Consul-General (C-G) of Sri Lanka, VS Sidath Kumar called on Sindh Minister for Tourism, Shazia Marri at her office, on Thursday, where in both sides discussed the bilateral issues including cooperation in the field of tourism. The C-G of Sri Lanka was accompanied by President of Pakistan-Sri Lankan Business Forum (PSBF) Abdul Rauf Tabani and Rehan Boja while the Secretary Tourism Sindh, Rabia Javeri Agha was also present. more..

Sri Lanka president cements family’s power

Apr 23 (FT) Sri Lanka’s new parliament sat for the first time on Thursday with the family of Mahinda Rajapaksa, president, cementing its grip on power amid words of defiance from the dissident former armed forces chief. The parliament unanimously voted to appoint Chamal Rajapaksa, the president’s brother as speaker, a key post that commands the power to decide the legislative agenda and direct impeachment motions against the president. more..

New parliament opens in Sri Lanka

Apr 23 (wsws) The first session of the new Sri Lankan parliament took place yesterday after the ruling UPFA won the April 8 general election. While parliamentary forms were observed to the last detail, the proceedings contained unmistakable signs of the country’s political crisis and the growing irrelevance of the institution itself. D.M. Jayaratna had already been selected as prime minister by President Mahinda Rajapakse who, more..

Oddusudan tile factory to recommence

Apr 23 (MoD) Northern Province Governor Major General G.A. Chandrasiri said Oddusudan tile factory in Mullaitivu will re-commence production after two decades. The factory was abounded due to LTTE terrorism. Reopening the factory will provide jobs to youths in the area. The Oddusudan tile factory functioned as a major tile manufacturer in the Northern Province. It was owned by the Government. However, the LTTE forced it to shut down. more..

Senior ex-LTTE cadres under pressure to confess

Apr 23 (TN) Colombo Establishment has subjected hundreds of senior LTTE cadres in its custody to confess to baseless accusations of war crimes, promising that a general amnesty would be granted sooner to those who confess, informed legal sources in Colombo told TamilNet Friday. The move, backed by Indian advice, comes as the Rajapaksa government secured majority of seats in Sri Lankan parliament. more..

SLTB to employ rehabilitated combatants

Apr 23 (MoD) Around 100 rehabilitated former combatants will be trained to be drivers and conductors by the Government and employ them to the SLTB transport services in the Northern Province. Northern Province Governor Major General G.A. Chandrasiri told the Daily News that the Government is in the process of selecting 100 former LTTE combatants who were rehabilitated in the rehabilitation centres to employ them in the transport service. more..

Smarter investing in Science and Higher Education

Apr 23 (GV) I experienced three disturbing scenarios within the last 5 months. In no particular order they are as follows. 1. 1.I recently visited Sri Lanka after seven years. End of it I was overwhelmed by nostalgia and wanting to go back home. When I left my country for higher studies I had plans to come back. Right after the PhD, I wanted to stay a little longer and get some more research experience. more..

Jehan Perera on post election outlook

Ranil Wickremasinghe makes a mess of national list MP appointments

Apr 23 (TC) The National List appointments of the UPFA and the UNP are known, and as we pointed out on an earlier occasion, what really was worth observing was not how the government appointed its National List MPs but how the UNP did it. The former UNP Galle District Leader Vajira Abeywardene was not appointed to Parliament. The party leader had invoked a two decades old Working Committee decision taken during the time of president Premadasa to more..

Seizing the Hour

Apr 23 (LG) The election is over and the UPFA is just six seats short of the two-thirds majority its leader craved for. How will President Mahinda Rajapakse utilise this transformative power? Will the focus be on economic development? Will priority be accorded to the search for a political solution to the ethnic problem? Will the Emergency and the PTA be removed, now that the war is won and the Tigers are annihilated? As a commentator asked, hopefully, ‘Will Sri Lanka seize the historic moment’? more..

The UNP's inability to mourn led to its rejection

Apr 23 (LG) Political apathy is often the result of the inability to deal with a past. When wrongs done in the past are not dealt with, it leads to political apathy although that apathy may be ascribed by others to other factors. The psychological developments which are the result of political changes or other factors often go unnoticed. more..

Significant happenings at the 1st meeting of the 7th Parliament

Apr 23 (LP) As announced earlier, the 7th parliament of Sri Lanka met in its inaugural session at 08.45 am yesterday. The highlight of the proceeding was the election of the Speaker which was achieved without any division of opinion or rival candidates as Lankapuvath reported, Senior Parliamentarian Chamal Rakapaksa was announced the speaker of the house, proposed and seconded by Hon. Prime Minister D M Jayarathne and Karu Jayasooriya of the UNP respectively. more..

Businessman allowed bail in cheating case

Apr 23 (Island) Mt. Lavinia Chief Magistrate allowed bail in Rs 5 million surety to a businessman arrested in a fraud case. The proprietor of ‘Help Green’, a corporate entity, engaged in promoting land sales for teak cultivation, is accused of cheating W. L. P. Wijeratne of Rs 3, 375,000 in a land transaction case. The Magistrate ordered the suspect Anura Ranjith Dissanayake to settle the dues in installments within a year, stipulating that the minimum payment should be Rs. 100,000. more..

My visits and experiences in Jaffna

Apr 23 (LG) My first ever visit to Jaffna when I was just a kid was way back in the early fifties. My uncle Mr. Tissa Ratnatunga was an important government official in Jaffna. He had a large bungalow within the Jaffna Fort and our family spent a holiday with my uncle and his family in this bungalow. The only memories I have of that visit over five and a half decades ago was this majestic Old Dutch Bungalow and the small but beautiful Jaffna Fort with more..

MphasiS enters Lanka with IT jobs and training

Apr 23 (LNP) MphasiS, one of India s largest and fastest growing IT services companies is to start operations in Sri Lanka, mid this year. In line with its operations and reputation in India, MphasiS Lanka plans to become one of the largest IT/BPO/KPO operations in Sri Lanka. As of now the company has a strong presence across India, Singapore, China, Japan, Europe, North America and Australia. more..

Editorial: Of that egg attack

Apr 23 (LNP) It is on his or her face that a politician usually has egg. But, Conservative Leader David Cameron has had egg on his shoulder! We reported yesterday that he had been hit with an egg during a campaign stop in southwest England on Wednesday. However, he did not chicken out. Nor did his sense of humour desert him! He laughed it off joking, `Now I know which came first the chicken and not the egg.` more..