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Polls Chief obliged to seek SC redress on media polls violations

Apr 4 (Island) In the event of sections of the state media continuously violating guidelines for the conduct of a fair poll issued by him to them, the Elections Commissioner is obliged to immediately report the matter to the Supreme Court by an application and seek redress from the Court on it. This is provided for in a set of guidelines for the conduct of a free and fair poll, which the joint Opposition prepared in consultation with more..

It is now clear President Rajapaksa is no more interested in offering anything to the Tamil people

Apr 4 (TC) President Rajapaksa is clear about his post election life. “Whether one likes it or not, I am here for seven years” he belted out at a public rally in Kalutara District. The President now has the “one year” he gave up with the presidential elections held before its due date, added to his second term. He now wants the people to give him a parliament that “HE” could work with. more..

Urgent need to consult the north

Apr 4 (LG) Banks, financial institutions and consumer goods companies have proliferated in Jaffna in the past few months with the end of the conflict. Travelling around Jaffna’s main street this week one comes across an occasional spanking new building that sits amidst shell-shocked structures while the city roads still need to be rehabilitated. Things are happening in Jaffna, but what is this development and at what price? more..

Sri Lanka achieves three vital benchmarks enabling inflow of IMF assistance

Apr 4 (Island) Sri Lanka has by March 31 met the three vital benchmarks agreed with by the International Monetary Fund to qualify for further assistance and two tranches totaling about USD 650 million from the multilateral concessional lender is likely to be a available to the country in the short term, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said yesterday. more..

‘Let us put the war behind us’

Apr 4 (Island) It is unfortunate that British Ministers and MPs who addressed the recent Global Tamil Forum in London do not seem to realise that the LTTE and its proxies no longer have the support of peace-loving Sri Lankans of all communities, says Faiz Musthapha, PC, former Sri Lanka ’s High Commissioner for Britain. "These politicians should visit Sri Lanka. more..

Seylan directors emoluments slashed after restructuring

Apr 4 (Island) Directors emoluments at the Seylan Bank in 2009 has dropped to Rs.10.8 million from Rs.74.7 million the previous year (according to reclassified figures) while group directors emoluments were down to Rs.26.2 million from Rs.110.9 million according to figures that have been "re-stated". These figures are included in the recently released annual report of the Seylan Bank presented as "The Case Study" in a book format more..

There is a "Heen Sereye" of discontent, which will help turn tables’

Apr 4 (Island) Far from being the dullest poll, the upcoming parliamentary election is highly reminiscent of the 1977 general election, which enabled the UNP, led by J.R. Jayewardene, to come to power, amid a backdrop of intense discontent among the people, born of grueling hardships and suffering, UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya told this newspaper in an interview. more..

Editorial: Lokubandara’s dilemma

Apr 4 (Island) Whether Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara will preside over what will be the final session of the 13th Parliament which meets on Tuesday for the specific purpose of extending the State of Emergency, which has been in force for as long as anyone can remember, is a moot point. It is traditional that the Speaker, if available, will preside over important sessions of the House. more..

Editorial: The so-called people’s mandate

Apr 4 (ST) With important general elections on Thursday and all predictions of the ruling coalition romping home winners, such is the over-confidence in the Government camp that a two-thirds majority in Parliament (minimum of 150 of the 225 seats on offer), is its target. The ruling party does not really say why it wants this huge majority; pressed, it says it is to change the Constitution. more..

A Potter's life after the Tsunami

Angry President tells jeering crowd to leave

Apr 4 (ST) President Mahinda Rajapaksa was jeered by a section of the multi-ethnic crowd while speaking in Tamil at a political rally in support of UPFA candidates in Vavuniya on Thursday. The President reading from a teleprompter was addressing the crowd in Tamil when a section of the Sinhala crowd jeered. “I am also a Sinhalese just like you, but I will speak only in Tamil, and if you cannot understand, then leave the venue,” the President told those who were continuing to jeer and hoot. more..

Wilpattu: Look at the destruction!

Apr 4 (ST) Will 2010 be Wilpattu’s swansong, with Sri Lanka going down in history as the country which deliberately allowed the destruction of one of its pristine beauty-spots not only of tremendous ecological value but also of archaeological importance? As the Ministry of Environment submitted a detailed report both to the Defence Ministry and the President’s Office, environmentalists were hopeful that President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself would intervene and more..

2nd death anniversary: Jeyaraj Fernandopulle

Apr 4 (IL) On April 6th 2008 I received a call from S.Liyanagama, Secretary to the Chief Government Whip of Parliament and Secretary to the Ministry of Sports that Jeyaraj Fernandopulle has met with an "accident". He wanted me to switch on they TV. When I inquired from him as to where he was calling from he replied that he was calling from Weliweriya. Everything comes to pass with death except memories of gratitude to some. more..

Sudden reminder to declare assets has journalists wondering

Apr 4 (ST) Journalists were taken by surprise when they received an official letter from the Ministry of Mass Media and Information reminding them to declare their assets and liabilities on or before April 30. The letter, dated March 23 and signed by W. B. Ganegala, Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media and Information, said the information was required under the provisions of the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities (Amendment) Act No. 74 of 1988. more..

April 8: The best case scenario

Apr 4 (GV) The government wants a two thirds majority in order to replace the Constitution, it says. The UNP opposition hopes to form a coalition with other Opposition parties. It would be unhealthy for the body politic if the electorate were to grant the wish of either side. What would be healthy is for the Opposition to have a strong enough representation in the legislature so that a two thirds majority is out of reach for the government even by means of defections. more..

All major parties confident of majority

Apr 4 (ST) More than 14 million Sri Lankans go to the polls on Thursday, for a second time in three months, to pick their representatives to a new Parliament. They have a record 7,620 candidates representing political parties and independent groups to choose from. Their choices hinge on different issues. For the UPFA, an over riding factor still remains the military victory last May against the LTTE. more..

Monks fast for Sri Lanka opposition leader release

Apr 4 (AP) Four Buddhist monks began a hunger strike Sunday, demanding the immediate release of the former army chief who was arrested after his failed bid for the presidency on an opposition ticket. The arrest of Sarath Fonseka has been condemned by the opposition and human rights groups, who accuse the government of retaliating against a man who dared challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his re-election bid. more..

'Sri Lanka military on alert ahead of vote'

Apr 4 (AFP) Sri Lanka placed nearly 20,000 troops on alert to reinforce police as violence escalated ahead of parliamentary elections, a police spokesman said Sunday. The private CMEV reported 325 minor incidents of poll-related violence in the run-up to Thursday's vote, with firearms being used in about 50 cases. Hundreds of people had been wounded in the clashes between campaigners, but no deaths have been reported. more..

Opposition candidate Fonseka before 2 GCMs on Tuesday

Apr 4 (ST) Retired General Sarath Fonseka was yesterday summoned to appear before a second General Court Martial on Tuesday to face charges of fraudulent activity, 48 hours before he stands as an opposition candidate at parliamentary general elections. A copy of a convening order for this GCM was handed over by Military Secretary Major General Chrisantha Silva, yesterday afternoon to Gen. Fonseka more..

Polls near but candidates shying away from residents?

Apr 5 (AD) Portraying the down side of the ‘manape’ or preference war for elections, householders in and around the Battaramulla-Koswatte areas say that though the general elections are round the corner, candidates are yet to pay them a personal visit. Though a candidate has to cover the entire district unlike the good old days when he or she had to concentrate only on an electorate, during earlier polls the candidates had at least more..

Welcome Sinhala brother!

Apr 5 (BBC) For the first time in my life, I entered the great ancient city in 1986 with the late Vijaya Kumarathunga and his political and media entourage. On that visit we entered the heart of the Jaffna dream city, viewing it through tall coconut trees and growing vegetable beds around Tamil Tiger training camps. That historical tour splashed over front pages of the local press and international media was organised by the Tamil Tigers who more..

Most Venerable Udugama Shri Buddharakkhitha Thero sends a message

Apr 5 (GDI) The Chief Incumbent of Sri Hayagiri (Asgiri) Vijayasundararama and Rangiri Dambulu Rajamaha Viharaya, the most venerable Udugama Saddharama Keerthi Sri Dhammadassi Rathanapala Buddharakkhithabhidana Maha Nayake Thero of Maha Vihara Vanshika Shyamopali Maha Nikaya has released a message prior to the general elections of the country. more..

Minister's army back-up vehicle kills Eastern University lecturer

Apr 5 (TN) Ehambaram Maheswaran, 43, a senior lecturer of the Eastern University was killed Saturday morning when an army back-up vehicle of a minister knocked him down in Batticaloa in a head on collision. He succumbed to injuries on admission to the Batticaloa Teaching Hospital. The accident took place at Chaththurukko'ndaan. The victim, a father of three, was riding a motorcycle when he was hit by the back-up vehicle of Minister Ameer Ali. more..

No holds barred to establish Sinhala chauvinism

Apr 5 (LG) This election is in a sense similar to the JR’s referendum which was held in 1983. It is being held just after the presidential election with the main contender for presidency being under arrest. In 1983, though Hector was the main opposition candidate, the campaign was led by Vijaya Kumaranatunge. Vijaya and a few others were taken into custody just after the presidential elections, thus removing the spirit of the SLFP. more..

'News' about President Rajapaksa shouting at Tamils in Jaffna not true

Apr 5 (TC) "News" about President Rajapaksa shouting at Tamils who hooted at him for speaking in Tamil in Jaffna is not true. What really happened? Mahinda was speaking at UPFA rally in Vavuniya and Wanni district candidate Sumathipala had transported large numbers of Sinhala supporters. When Mahinda spoke in Tamil some of these Sinhalese started hooting and shouted this is a Sinhala country, We are Sinhalese, Speak in Sinhala. more..

Nihal Jayawickrama should’ve known better about sovereignty

Apr 5 (LG) Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama’s recent Sunday newspaper article on “sovereignty", or the invoking of state sovereignty being outmoded with reference to international interventionism, goes on to suggest essentially that anyresistance to human rights based investigations may only indicate that “we have skeletons rattling in our cupboards." He seems to think that Sri Lanka’s only option therefore is to submit to more..

The indiscriminate irony of injustice

Apr 5 (LG) As one senior legal academic and administrator dispassionately remarked in an energizing conversation some months back, very few people look at issues when political and institutional accountability is debated in this country.Instead, the focus is on personal likes, dislikes and prejudices or indeed personal benefits and advantages. This is perhaps the single most reason as to why, during recent decades, more..

J.R. Jayawardene, Mahinda Rajapaksa and the presidential elections of 1982 and 2010

Apr 5 (TC) Over the past year, events have moved quickly in Sri Lanka. At the end of the war, less than ten months ago, the Sinhalese people appeared united and triumphant. Army Commander Sarath Fonseka often appeared alongside President Mahinda Rajapakse and his brother, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya. Yet today, Fonseka, after losing in the recent presidential poll, is in custody after a humiliating arrest by military police; more..

Who was responsible for introducing doctrine of state sovereignty into Sri Lankan political discourse?

Apr 5 (TC) My friend, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke, whom I have known for over a quarter of a century, has rushed to challenge my assertion that the doctrine of state sovereignty, in so far as it relates to the treatment by a state of its own nationals, had been significantly eroded in the past fifty years. In so doing, he has demonstrated the futility of seeking to demolish a legal proposition by the application of political theory. more..

Black Paintings & Other Works: An exhibition by Chandraguptha Thenuwara

Apr 5 (GV) Chandraguptha Thenuwara’s “Black Paintings & Other Works-an exhibition of paintings and installation” was inaugurated today (3 April 2010) at the Lionel Wendt Gallery, Colombo. The exhibition will continue till 5 April 2010. He has used perfect colours to depict the situation. Many art lovers had a preview today. Chandraguptha Thenuwara says “The exhibition consists of two parts – more..

Ranil Wickremasinghe on YaTV

Coast Guard nabs Sri Lankan Tamil refugees

Apr 5 (Hindu) The Coast Guard on Sunday apprehended six Sri Lankan Tamil refugees at Fourth Islet near the International Maritime Boundary Line when they were waiting for a Sri Lankan boat to return to their home country illegally. They were identified as P. Dharmar, S. Ilanchezhian, N. Veera Vijayan, Shanta Kumar and C. Anjenya. While four of them were from the Bhavani Sagar refugee camp in Erode district, more..

Why are mothers killing their babies?

Apr 5 (ST) The country is in shock over mothers killing their own children. These are not firsts and seemingly not the last as well. The most recent tragic story to hit the headlines and grip the people was that of two-year-old Amila Sandaruwan Fernando who was thrown into the Kalu Ganga at Kalutara by his mother. Although he was rescued by a truck driver, little Amila died nine days later at the Lady Ridegway Hospital more..

Then and now, enter ‘The Dictator’

Apr 5 (ST) Dharmasiri Bandaranayake is not a man to mince his words. And his outspokenness is not confined to the fiery, controversial dialogues he delivers on stage. Seated at a table at the Cultural Foundation he set up five years ago in a quiet neighbourhood in Nugegoda, it takes little prompting to draw him into a conversation about his work as a dramatist and filmmaker and the wider role he feels his tribe has more..

A free and fair poll will silence critics

Apr 5 (NS) When living in a democracy, one must consider elections as a necessity. Even so, this country has seen so many elections in the recent past that most voters would now tend to regard them more as a necessary evil. Hopefully, the curtain will fall on ‘election season’ on Thursday, when a general election is held to elect representatives to the next Parliament. However, the elections that were conducted recently ought to teach us a lesson or two as more..

Sri Lankan state funds buy into banks as foreigners sell

Apr 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run funds are buying into private banks as foreign investors continued to exit the country, while governments elsewhere, which had 'nationalized' banks in a banking panic were starting to sell out. Up to March foreign investors have sold out of about 13 billion rupees worth of stocks on a net basis. Analysts say part of the outflow stemmed from sales by US-based Galleon Fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, while more..

Galle town cleans up it's act

Thirst for revenge did not die with the Tigers

Apr 5 (Independent) Being a top Sri Lankan politician is an extraordinarily risky job: very many of them have been bumped off in their prime. That's all history now, you might say: Velupillai Prabhakaran, the Tamil Tiger leader, creator of the world's most innovative and fanatical terrorist machine, was killed along with his closest comrades trying to escape from the Nanthikadal lagoon on the island's far north-east coast on the morning of 19 May 2009. more..

The case for original place names in Sri Lanka, in each language

Apr 5 (LG) A number of articles have appeared in the recent past, in several newspapers and in Internet blogs, discussing the `"pros and cons" of reverting to the original place names of the country. The blog-sites of the Sri Lanka newspapers had iscussed Place names in the North and re-featured an old article by Horsburgh.More recently, Upali Jayasekera (UJ), Austin Davis, and most recently Mr. S. Abewickrema and more..

Tribute paid to late Sir John Kothalawela on hhis 113th birth anniversary

Apr 5 (GDI) A commemorative ceremony to mark the 113th birth anniversary of Late General Sir John Kothalawela, organized by Ratmalana Gen. Sir John Kothalawela Defence University (KDU) was held at the university premises Sunday. The ceremony is annually held by the KDU in collaboration with the Gen. Sir John Kothalawela Memorial Society as a mark of honour and gratitude paid to more..