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Govt. tells Anoma to protect herself, it will look after General

Apr 2 (Island) Minister Dallas Alahapperuma yesterday warned Anoma Fonseka, wife of defeated presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka to take steps to protect herself from her political opponents without worrying about her detained husband. He said the government had taken all steps to ensure that the retired General’s health needs were well taken care of. more..

'Hambantota Harbour was my plan'

Apr 2 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said the concept of the Hambantota Harbour was his as it was planned during the UNP government. He charged that the present government does not have a proper knowledge on development and has no clear policy on it. "This is the reason why the ruling party candidates come and say they are going to develop Gampaha. more..

'We have sold prostitutes to protect our power'

Apr 2 (LT) During the past years the government auctioned prostitutes from China and Russia in Parliament to get the budget proposals passed, then the Parliament was similar to a ‘New Year sale joint’ and he would not be embarrassed to reveal it now said Minister Dulles Alahapperuma. He said, “As Parliamentarians we are not embarrassed to reveal these things. more..

Opposition candidate arrested

Apr 2 (BBC) A senior journalist contesting for the upcoming general elections in Sri Lanka has been arrested on charges of threatening his mistress with death, police said. Police spokesman, SP Prishantha Jayakody told BBC Sandeshaya that a complaint was lodged at Mirihana police station by Susil Kindelpitiya’s mistress on Thursday. “She has complained that she was threatened with death, using weapons, asking her not to reveal the affair,” the spokesman said. “He has also had affairs with some other 20 women.” more..

Eight Govt., four Opposition members to lose WPC seats?

Apr 2 (AD) Eight Government party members and four Opposition members of the Western Provincial Council (WPC) will be liable to lose their seats for being absent without notice for more than three months, according to the Council’s Chief Government Whip. WPC’s Chief Government Whip Sunil Jayamini said that as at April 6, these 12 Provincial Councillors will complete the three months that they have been away without notifying the Council. more..

Multiple entry visas likely for 2011 World Cup, Pakistan fans excluded

Apr 2 (PTI) The ICC World Cup Central Organising Committee is contemplating issuing multiple entry visas to cricket fans, except from Pakistan, for watching matches in India during the quadrennial event next year. “The COC discussed the possibility of visa variations for supporters entering India to watch the ICC cricket World Cup 2011,” COC chairman Sharad Pawar told reporters here. more..

Lawyer denies detained Sri Lankan author linked to Islamist militants

Apr 2 (CP) The lawyer for a Sri Lankan author arrested after writing two books explaining why she converted to Islam from Buddhism denied she had links to Muslim extremists and said she is a victim of religious intolerance. Lakshan Dias said police are questioning his client, Sarah Malini Perera, about possible links to Islamist militants but he said she has no such ties. more..

Govt. has no development plans and knows no history of development -Ranil

Apr 2 (UNP) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing a well attended public rally at Kiribathgoda yesterday said, the present Govt. is trying to appropriate credit for the development programs and constructions which were initiated and planned by the UNP. The Govt. in its eagerness to arrogate to itself credit for the programs of the UNP has lost its sureness of the history of development begun by the UNP. more..

President visits Naga Vihara in Jaffna

Apr 2 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa paid a visit to Naga Vihara, the historic Buddhist Shrine at Jaffna town yesterday. Venerable Maha Sanga headed by Chief Incumbent of the Naga Vihara Ven. Meegahajathure Gnanarathana Nayaka Thero invoked blessings on President Rajapaksa after he engaged in religious observances at the temple. President also visited to the Nallur Hindu Temple. more..

Making land safe after years of conflict

Apr 2 (DFID) It’s only 9am but already it’s over 30 degrees in the ‘Vanni’, the rice-bowl region of northern Sri Lanka. Yet Saila Jan, a 29 year-old mother of two, has already been at work for a couple of hours and is now taking a well earned break from the paddy field she’s been toiling away in. Despite the heat, she smiles: “It’s very hot already, the sun is very strong, but I don’t mind”. more..

Ragavan Sinnathurai, "We have to move on”

Apr 3 (IRIN) Ragavan Sinnathurai, 15, was a resident of Kilinochchi during Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war between government forces and the now defeated LTTE, who had been fighting for an independent Tamil homeland for more than two decades. When the conflict intensified in 2008, he and his family fled their homes and escaped into the jungles of Mullaitivu. Today he is one of thousands of returnees to the former rebel capital looking to rebuild their lives. more..

Chamani Seneviratna to captain Sri Lanka women

Apr 3 (CI) Allrounder Chamani Seneviratna has been named captain of the Sri Lankan team for the ICC World Twenty20, starting in May in the Caribbean. Wicketkeeper Dilani Manodara has been appointed her deputy. Sri Lanka have made five changes to their squad of 14, from the one picked in the inaugural version of the tournament last year in England. The captain Seneviratna is one of them; former captain Shashikala Siriwardene, more..

Revamping the lost identity of Batik

Apr 3 (F2F) In order to promote the conventional batik art and to establish it as cottage industry, Senaka De Silva, a veteran designer is conducting workshops. Batik is recognized as an art of imprinting images on a cloth by making use of wax and dyes. The prominent feature that discerns the work is the bold colour and the clear white lines that separate the designs. The antique art form finds its base in Egypt. more..

Sri Lanka new port seen breaking even by 2015

Apr 3 (LBO) A new port being built in southern Sri Lanka will face difficulties in the first few years in repaying loans taken from China to build it but should reach breakeven by 2015, a senior official said. Sri Lanka Ports Authority chairman Priyath Wickrama said the Hambantota port has a business plan to generate revenue to repay loans and would not be a burden on the authority. more..

Lanka polls: Jaffna parties seek students’ help

Apr 3 (EB) With just nine days to go for the Sri Lankan parliamentary elections, political parties in northern Tamil districts are trying to get the Jaffna University Student’s Union to enthuse the people to vote. “Public meetings attract just about 100 persons, on an average. If 300 people gather, it is taken as a big meeting,” said M K Sivajilingam, a former leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). more..

DNA in unofficial talks with opposition

Apr 3 (DM) The DNA has initiated unofficial negotiations with the other parties in the opposition on the formation of a ‘National Reconciliation Government’ after the General Election. DNA spokesman Anura Kumara Dissanayake told a news conference yesterday that his party had proposed that this government should be formed under the leadership of Retired Gen. Sarath Fonseka. Mr. Dissanayake was answering a question by the media in this regard. more..

Sri Lanka apparel exporter gets ready for carbon footprint rules

Apr 3 (LBO) Sri Lankan apparel exporter Brandix said it is investing more to cut energy costs and carbon emissions and comply with anticipated laws in key markets requiring disclosure of carbon footprints of products. The group, which has invested four million US dollars on the initiative, said it has already reduced its annual carbon footprint by seven percent and is well on target to achieve a reduction of up to 30 percent by 2012. more..

Fuel supply disrupted due to new computer system

Apr 3 (CT) Fuel supply across the country has been disrupted as a result of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation workers failing to catch up with a newly introduced computerized distribution system. Authorities expected the distribution return to normal by this evening (Apr. 02). The distribution glitch resulted in filling stations finding it unable to supply to the demand by motorists who have lined up in long queues since the morning. more..

Debrief News - 02. 04. 2010

The pathetic state of people’s sovereignty

Apr 3 (TC) The 1972 Constitution introduced two concepts to Sri Lanka’s political and legal vocabulary: sovereignty of the people and the unitary constitution. The concept of sovereignty was passionately articulated by Dr. Colvin R. de Silva. The concept of unitary constitution was forcibly inserted into the constitution in spite of protestation by Dr. de Silva. As for sovereignty, the constitution clearly stated that ‘sovereignty is in the people and is inalienable’. more..

Ruling UPFA Mayor of Jaffna reports of an attempt on her life

Apr 3 (TN) Mayor of Jaffna Ms. Yogeswary Patkunam of the ruling UPFA said that she managed to escape from an attempt on her life Thursday around 1:30 a.m as she was on her way to Durraippah Stadium to check arrangements for the public meeting in which President Mahinda Rajapakse was to address the same day, in a press meet she held Thursday evening in Jaffna. Her husband, her driver and an attorney-at-law of EPDP, an ally of ruling UPFA, were present at the press meet. more..

Sri Lanka shock Games bid

Apr 3 (GC) They both have beautiful beaches but that is about the only thing the Gold Coast and its surprise Commonwealth Games competitor Hambantota have in common. The southern Sri Lankan city unexpectedly entered the bidding to host the 2018 Games after the Nigerian city of Abuja, in the midst of a political crisis, failed to submit a formal nomination by Thursday morning's deadline. more..

EPDP accused of attack on UNP supporters in Kaarainakar

Apr 3 (TN) The Chief Candidate of UNP, Ms. Vijayakala Maheswaran, accused EPDP, an ally of ruling UPFA, men for attacking her supporters Wednesday night at Valanthali junction, Kaarainakar in the islets of Jaffna as they were returning after attending an election meeting at Araali. She added that her supporters were rescued from EPDP men by Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) authorities to whom she had complained. more..

Sri Lanka govt rules out more protection, subsidies for business

Apr 3 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government cannot give more protection and subsidies for local and export businesses who must instead be more productive and innovative, Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera said. He told the National Chamber of Exporters the government has delivered peace by ending the Tamil Tiger war and begun building key infrastructure like roads, ports, airports and power plants. more..

Sri Lanka's fertilizer subsidy; Robbing Martin Ayiya to pay Bandayiya

Apr 3 (LP) Minister of Agricultural Development Agrarian services Maithripala Sirisena said proudly addressing a pres briefing held in Mahaweli Center, Colombo that the government spends Rs. 65 billion annually for the fertilizer subsidy. This subsidy goes mainly to the rice industry. The Minister said that the government bore a cost of Rs. 26,065 per an acre for fertilizer subsidy since 2005. more..

Akon and Buddhism in Sri Lanka

Apr 3 (GV) I wrote “Akon and Buddhism in Sri Lanka” exclusively for Groundviews, a prominent citizen journalism website in Sri Lanka. I expressed my opinion on the “Akon issue” as a citizen of Sri Lanka. Groundviews published my article on the 27th of March 2010 and later ‘The Buddhist Channel’ website published it attributing the original article to Groundviews. The Constitution of Sri Lanka guarantees its citizens the freedom of speech, expression and publication more..

'We of the DNA prepared for new change in the country'

Apr 3 (LT) The country needs a new change and the Democratic National Alliance has come forward for such a change says DNA candidate for Colombo District Jayanthe Ketagoda. He said this when his web site was launched at the head office of DNA at Royal Avenue today. Ms. Anoma Fonseka, Messrs. Anura Dissanayake, Sunil Handunneththi, Tiran Alles, Sarath Manamendra, more..

'Winning the hearts of Sinhalese should be the main aim'

Apr 3 (TN) “All the Tamils in Sri Lanka together should strive to win the hearts of the Sinhalese,” Varatharaja Perumal, the leader of EPRLF said in the press meet he held Friday at the EPRLF office of Pathmanaba faction located on Hospital Road Jaffna. “If all the Tamil factions agree on a common solution for the ethnic issue India will exert its pressure on Sri Lanka to implement it,” more..

Elections Commissioner in a disdainful task anxiously erecting the stage for corrupt elections

Apr 3 (LeN) Keerthi Tennekoon, media spokesman for The CAFFE said, the Elections Commissioner by refusing to allow the election monitors to oversee the polling, and barring the monitors of the European Union (EU) from coming is pulling the wool over the people’s eyes in order to conduct a corrupt and fraudulent election. He is not only opening the floodgate for malpractices but more..

Fails to Hide the Tigers’ Stripes

Apr 3 (LG) An extremist segment of the Tamil Diaspora which funded the brutal terrorist movement called the LTTE also known as the Tamil Tigers, has regularly changed its disguise through a simple metamorphosis involving a name change and re-arranging the deck with new faces to hide their links to the designated terror group. After the military action taken by the Sri Lankan forces ended in May 2009 with the killing of the Tiger Supremo, more..

TNA enters critical third phase-2

Apr 3 (DBS) The press communique issued on October 22nd 2001 heralding the formation of the TNA was signed by four persons representing the TULF, ACTC, TELO and EPRLF. They were R.Sambandan (TULF), N.Kumarakuruparan (ACTC) N. Srikantha (TELO) and K.Premachandran (EPRLF) The press statement had four salient points that more or less amounted to an “articles of association” for the Tamil National Alliance. more..

Fans get their chance to take part in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011

Apr 3 (SLC) With exactly 365 days to go until the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, details of the official mascot and how fans can purchase tickets for world cricket’s showcase event were revealed in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, tonight (Friday). And cricket lovers around the world are set to play a significant role in the success of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 – the Cup that Counts. more..

Editorial: Right decision

Apr 3 (Hindu) The Tamil Nadu government did the legally correct and politically wise thing in accepting the recommendation of the Prison Advisory Board against releasing Nalini, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case lodged in the Special Prison for Women in Vellore. Nalini played a key role in the monstrous crime that shook the nation on May 21, 1991: alongside the charge of conspiracy, she faced charges on 121 different counts and was physically present at the scene of crime. more..

President Rajapaksa participates in a religious ceremony at Nallur Hindu Kovil

Apr 3 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa participated in a special religious ceremony at Nallur Hindu Kovil on his visit to Jaffna yesterday morning on 01st of April. This is President Rajapaksa's second visit to the historic Hindu Shrine in the peninsula. His first visit was made prior to the Presidential election in January 2010. more..

Tortured Jaffna undergrad commits suicide

Apr 3 (TN) 26-year-old Balasingham Karunanithi, a third year student of the Faculty of Management in Jaffna University, arrested and tortured by Sri Lanka Army when he was held in a Vavuniyaa detention camp after the war on Vanni, committed suicide in Jaffna at a house in Naachchimaar Koayiladi where he was staying. Karunanithi is the fourth Vanni undergraduate of Jaffna University to commit suicide due to mental derangement resulting from more..

Sri Lanka’s lifeline

Apr 3 (TS) Nothing prepared us for the electrifying atmosphere of the Navam Perahera Buddhist festival. Some say it is Sri Lanka’s answer to Brazil’s Mardi Gras — minus the raunchiness. From the main road to the inner street where Gangaramaya Temple is situated, we saw fire dancers, flag bearers, elephants in richly-designed attire, drummers, flautists and participants cracking whips marching in to show off their skills and colourful costumes. more..

President with Sri Lanka in his grip braves resentment in search of votes

Apr 3 (Guardian) First a helicopter passes low over the temple, then comes the motorcade. Two big black Mercedes, soldiers, a huddle of party-workers in luxury SUVs and, at a discreet distance, a large armoured vehicle covered by a green sheet. With a clatter of temple drums and clarinets, the president, smiling beatifically, strides across the dusty courtyard and strips to the waist as is customary in many such places of worship. more..

An eye-opening expedition

Apr 3 (TS) Sri Lanka is not just blessed with natural beauty and a rich heritage, but is also a land with a long spiritual history. Every year, thousands of pilgrims make their way here to view and honour the holy relics associated with the Buddha. Some have remarked that the beautiful teardrop-shaped island is so holy that it even resembles a bodhi tree leaf (the bhodi being the tree under which the Buddha found enlightenment). more..

Galle: Gourmet Chick in Sri Lanka

Apr 3 (GC) Sri Lanka's historic port town of Galle has plenty of upmarket eating options. Most of these are contained in hotels or guest houses as Sri Lanka does not have much of a history of restaurant eating. As Galle Fort is on the coast the seafood which was super fresh and reasonably priced was a real highlight. Sitting under the wide verandah of the Galle Fort Hotel sipping a cocktail has to be an ultimate Galle experience. more..

Thilanga Sumathipala on YaTV