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VIDEO: Fast unto death dispersed by police

Apr 5 (AD) A group in civics this afternoon (forcibly removed mainly Buddhist monks engaged in a fast unto death in Colombo to demand freedom for detained Gen. Sarath Fonseka. However, police said they had obtained a court order and dispersed the four monks and two laypersons, who were into the fourth day of their fasting in front of Fort Railway Station. It initially began as an indefinite fast, but was later turned into a fast unto death yesterday. more..

Election set to strengthen Sri Lanka president

Apr 5 (AFP) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, accused by critics of stifling dissent and persecuting the opposition, looks set to consolidate his hold on power in parliamentary elections this week. Rajapakse called Thursday's vote two months ahead of schedule after his thumping re-election in January and his Freedom Alliance party is in line for an easy majority in the 225-member national legislature, more..

Jaffna yet to overcome fear psychosis

Apr 6 (EB) The people of Jaffna are still to overcome the fear psychosis which had been part of their lives during the 30-year war which ended in May last year, says A Varatharajaperumal, former chief minister of the Tamilspeaking North Eastern Province, who is currently on his first visit to the Northern province after he fled Sri Lanka in 1990. “In the past, the man with the gun, whether it was an LTTE cadre or any other Tamil militant or a Sinhalese soldier, ruled the roost. more..

Hayleys wins USAID global development alliance award

Apr 6 (USE) A ground-breaking Private Public Alliance (PPA) between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Hayleys Group has been chosen from 700 such initiatives around the world to receive USAID’s 2009 Global Development Alliance (GDA) Award. The U.S. Government singled out this partnership as a model of how U.S. Government foreign assistance can be maximized through greater engagement with the private sector. more..

Chest specialist from National Hospital examines Sarath Fonseka

Apr 6 (AD) A specialist doctor from the National Hospital Chest Unit has examined General (retired) Sarath Fonseka this morning and has given an assurance that his health condition is satisfactory, states a media release from the Sri Lanka Army Headquarters. This doctor was joined by a specialist doctor from the Sri Lanka Navy and another doctor who attends daily to Gen. Fonseka this morning (05) more..

Dubai hotel to host Sri Lankan food fest

Apr 6 (TA) Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion’s Middle East Bureau is hosting a food festival in conjunction with the Renaissance Hotel Dubai from April 7 to 21, to raise awareness about the island nation and its cuisine. Sri Lankans, who are following the lunar calendar, are celebrating the New Year in April. The Sri Lankan Chefs of Spice Island will feature delicious Hoppers and String Hoppers, Fish Ambulthiyal, Devilled Potato, Seeni Sambol and Kuttu Roti. more..

PM hands over pensions to 118 farmers

Apr 6 (GDI) The Prime Minister handed over the first pension to a batch of 118 farmers who have become members of the Farmers' Insurance Scheme and reached 60 years of age. This ceremony was held at Horana Divisional Secretariat office on Friday. The meeting was organized by the Agricultural and Farmers' Insurance Board, Kalutara. The Prime Minister said, "Farmers should join this Farmers' Insurance Scheme as it is very important for them when more..

'World Cup is a a great opportunity to showcase our country'

Apr 6 (SLC) Ladies & Gentleman, it is my pleasure & privilege, to welcome all of you this evening, as we are gathered here to witness a historic event, the international launch of the ticket, the mascot and unveiling of the ICC World cup in Sri Lanka. Firstly, on behalf of all of us, let me convey our grateful thanks to His Excellency, President Mahinda Rajapakse, for more..

Campaigning closes in Sri Lanka

Apr 6 (Hindu) Curtains fell on the six-week campaign for the April 8 general election in Sri Lanka. Undoubtedly, it would go down as one of the dullest elections in the history of the nation. The campaign has failed to generate much interest since the ruling UPFA led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa is viewed as the victor. Flush with victory in the January 26 presidential election, Mr. Rajapaksa was engaged in hectic campaigning across the nation. more..

Journalist threatened by ruling party candidate Rear Admiral ( rtd) Weerasekara

Apr 6 (LG) The Media Freedom in Sri Lanka has received credible evidence that on the 04 April 2010, ruling UPFA candidate, former director of Civil Defence Forces, Rear Admiral (Rtd) Sarath Weerasekara threatened Ampara district senior journalists Wasantha Chadrapala for his coverage of the on going election campaign. Wasantha Chadrapala is area correspondent for number of mainstream media institutions in Sri Lanka and more..

Hampshire sign Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath

Apr 6 (BBC) Hampshire have signed Sri Lanka left-arm spinner Rangana Herath for the first part of the county season. The 32-year-old, who will fill in for fellow Sri Lankan Ajantha Mendis, spent last season at Surrey and has played in 21 Test matches, taking 70 wickets. Team manager Giles White told the club website: "His availability is good and his record is excellent. more..

Election fraud feared in Jaffna electorate

Apr 6 (TN) The open participation of a high police officer in the election propaganda meeting of Minister Douglas Devananda at Nalloor Ilang Kalaingar Hall Sunday has triggered suspicion and fear that the police and Sri Lanka armed forces will support election fraud in favour of Douglas Devananda’s EPDP and its ally SLFP, sources in Jaffna said. Less than a hundred persons were present at the above meeting in which more..

Liberalism, Sinhala nationalism and the General Election 2010: a belated rejoinder

Apr 6 (LG) On the eve of the Presidential election 2010 the ‘Kathika’ study circle issued a statement on the election and there were some responses to it to which we could not attend at that time. In this article we address some key issues arising from some of the pertinent responses to our statement. The statement of the ‘Kathika’ study circle on the Presidential Election 2010, titled 2010 Presidential Election: Nationalism Or Liberalism? more..

Sri Lanka's Tamils freed – but future bleak for those who backed Tigers

Apr 6 (Guardian) From dawn, as noon came and went, and through the sudden downpours of mid-afternoon, the names were called out over crackling loudspeakers. Inside the Vavuniya technical college, converted since the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka last year into a holding and rehabilitation centre for detainees who played an active role in the now defeated LTTE, the men sat and sweated and waited. more..

After the Tigers, a new Tamil struggle

Apr 6 (BBC) Tamil Tiger rebels were crushed in Sri Lanka's civil war, while President Rajapaksa from the Sinhalese majority has gone from strength to strength. His government is expected to win parliamentary elections on Thursday - and many minority Tamils now wonder what the future holds. The BBC's Charles Haviland reports from Jaffna. The Nallur temple, a great Hindu shrine, is alive with drumbeats and the sound of squealing horns. more..

Q+A-Sri Lanka's parliamentary elections

Apr 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's opposition on Monday vowed to deny the ruling coalition a two-thirds majority at this week's parliamentary election, to thwart the president's plans to win the power to change the consitution. Campaigning for the legislative polls was due to end after Monday, a day on which police recorded the first campaign-related fatality of this election season. Here are some questions and answers about the election: more..

'People no longer want a separate state'

Apr 6 (SLNN) During an “exploratory mission” in the Jaffna Peninsula, controversial Tamil politician and the first chief minister of the north-eastern provincial council Varatharaja Perumal said there is no longer a need for a separate state because that is no longer what the people want. Being careful not to use the word “eelam,” Perumal said, “Among the Jaffna population, I think people are not asking for it. more..

Ohio Christian convert fights to stay in US

Apr 6 (AP) A teenage girl who converted to Christianity and ran away from home is being blocked by her Muslim parents from fighting the possibility of deportation, her attorney told a judge Monday in an ongoing custody dispute. Rifqa Bary, 17, who fled home last year and stayed with a Florida minister whom she met on Facebook, is an illegal immigrant and does not want to be returned to her native Sri Lanka because she fears being harmed or killed by Muslim extremists. more..

Magazines Himal and The Economist detained by Customs

Apr 6 (SL) The March issue of the Himal magazine and April 3 issue of The Economist have been detained by the Customs Department due to two articles published in the two publications. The controversial article in Himal is a comparison of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the late President J.R. Jayewardene while The Economist article deals with funds allocated through NGOs for projects in Sri Lanka. more..

'There is no legal obstruction for General to enter Parliament'

Apr 6 (LT) Despite carrying out false propaganda by the government Gen. Sarath Fonseka has no legal obstruction to be elected a Member of Parliament says General Secretary of the DNA Vijithe Herath. Quoting the Constitution Mr. Herath pointed out that Gen. Sarath Fonseka does not have any barrier to be elected to the Parliament. more..

'If the two new MPs are obstructed from entering Parliament tomorrow, explosive situation will arise'

Apr 6 (LeN) The new MPs for the Kurunegala District, Anura Goppalawa and D M Bandaranayake appointed by the Elections Commissioner by gazette notification will be arriving at the Parliament tomorrow (6) for swearing in , according to UNP sources. The Parliament is to convene tomorrow for the extension of the emergency regulations at 9.30 a.m. tomorrow (6). After the UNP Gen. Secretary informed more..

Sri Lanka gets Dutch software investment

Apr 6 (LBO) Webguru’s International, a Dutch software company, has signed an agreement with Sri Lanka's investment promotion agency to set up a company to develop software in the island. The BoI statement said the firm will invest 155,000 US dollars to set up the software development company employing 27 staff in Colombo aimed at the export market. It quoted Webguru’s International directors as saying they decided to more..

Sri Lanka opposition vows to stop leader's poll plan

Apr 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's opposition on Monday vowed to deny the ruling coalition a two-thirds majority at this week's parliamentary election, saying it would give an already powerful president too free a hand to rule. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, fresh from a landslide re-election in January, has said he expects his UPFA to get two-thirds of the 225-seat legislature at Thursday's polls. more..

‘Yali Pibidemu’ reawakens North and East

Apr 6 (NS) For the past three decades, our country’s history has been filled with bloody and tearful pages. Many lost their lives and others lost what they earned for themselves over the years; a damage that cannot be expressed in words. People who lived in war torn areas not only lost their loved ones and property, the war denied them a life of dignity and pride. Today they have to depend on the government or some other organisation to fulfil their basic needs. more..

'Trying to win election by hook or by crook'

Apr 6 (NS) JVP Propaganda Secretary and former MP Vijitha Herath says that the people are so fed up with the UPFA administration that they are determined to effect a regime change at next week’s general election despit e alleged blatant misuse of state property and resources by the government. Herath, who is contesting the April 8 poll on the newly formed JVP helmed DNA ticket from the Gampaha district more..

'You have to be ‘mental’ to contest from opposition'

Apr 6 (NS) Actress Geetha Kumarasinghe says that people are not interested in listening to the hollow rhetoric of the opposition. They would return the UPFA to power with an overwhelming majority. The popular star who is contesting the Bentara-Elpitiya electorate Galle district on the UPFA ticket, in an interview with Jatila Karawita, more..

'Two-thirds majority- A mirage for any party'

Apr 6 (NS) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in an interview with our sister paper ‘Rivira’ says there is no chance for the UPFA or for that matter any party to obtain a 2/3 majority under the existing proportional system and he wows to win a working majority for the UNF instead. And after victory they are ready to work with other parties, including the JVP, if willing to support them. more..

'The People Are Frightened…'

Apr 6 (SL) As the general election campaign comes to a close, The Sunday Leader met with Suresh Premachandran of the EPRLF, a member of the TNA, during a visit to the North last week. Describing himself as a full-time politician, he asserted that the TNA was the legitimate voice of the Tamil people and that the government should not waste the current opportunity to bring about reconciliation to ensure lasting peace. more..

Prelates accuse polls chief, govt. of inaction

Apr 6 (CaFFE) Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha thero yesterday accused the government and the Election Commissioner of not taking action to curb election malpractices. Although there were cut-outs and posters in unauthorised places, the police had not removed those belonging to the ruling party candidates. State property had been placed at the disposal of UPFA candidates, the thero said at a media conference more..

Boston Lanka News Edition

Jailed for love rival murder

Apr 6 (7D) A lealous lover has been jailed for life after stabbing his girlfriend’s husband to death in the street. The 23-year-old Sri Lankan man had been sleeping with the woman behind her husband’s back for some time. But last February the relationship turned deadly when he saw the couple walking down the street in Bur Dubai, laughing and smiling. “He took out a knife and stabbed the husband several times in his chest and stomach,” more..

Sri Lanka bank offers pension targeting foreign workers

Apr 6 (LBO) State-run Bank of Ceylon (BoC) is offering a contributed pension plan for Sri Lankan expatriates abroad that will pay out monthly after they reach the age of 55 or 60, officials said. The 'BoC Infinity' retirement plan is targeting Sri Lanka's 1.5 million strong expatriate workforce mainly in the Middle East. "We are targeting to open 200,000 accounts by end this year," more..

Sri Lanka national airline hit by competition, needs protection: President

Apr 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run SriLankan Airline has not been able to face the competition in a liberalized air services framework and it has to be saved, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said. He said Sri Lanka's opposition was now criticizing the government's economic strategy using false propaganda. "During their time they made 'open skies' agreement with foreign governments," more..

Tamil American Peace Initiative calls on Tamils to Vote

Apr 6 (LG) The Tamil American Peace Initiative (TAPI) today called on Tamils to take an active political role by voting in Sri Lanka’s April 8th Parliamentary elections. The group demanded that the government guarantee free and fair balloting and start enacting policies to end discrimination and advance reconciliation. “Tamil participation in the election is essential to preventing further Tamil disenfranchisement by the government” more..

General elections 2010: The power to win power

Apr 6 (NPC) The outcome of the forthcoming General Election is generally taken to be a foregone one. Where victory is concerned the only issue is how close the government will get to the elusive one of a 2/3 majority. This would enable the government to defy the intention of framers of the Constitution and permit the present rulers to amend the Constitution on their own. The government is vested with power that it has shown itself prepared to use with not much concern for niceties. more..

Family hopeful of author's release

Apr 6 (GDN) THE family of a Bahrain-based author arrested in Sri Lanka for allegedly offending Buddhism hope she will be released after she appears in court today. Sarah Malanie Perera, detained in the capital Colombo, had been held without charge since she was taken into custody about two weeks ago. The authorities have yet to give precise details of her offence, but it is understood two of her recently published books more..

Former chef brings Sri Lankan spices to Sydney

Apr 6 (SMH) A former chef wants to make it easier for people to enjoy the spices of his birthplace, writes Helen Pitt. When Sri Lankan-born chef Sunil Ranasinghe moved to Sydney in 1988, it was the fragrance of his mother's home-roasted spices he missed the most. Her blends of cardamom, cumin, coriander, cloves and cinnamon were the stuff of legend and, he says, the basis of authentic Sri Lankan curry. more..

The international significance of the Sri Lankan election

Apr 6 (wsws) Whatever its immediate outcome, the April 8 general election in Sri Lanka will mark a turning point. President Mahinda Rajapakse is campaigning for a “strong government”, which will seek to impose the burdens of the country’s economic crisis on working people, using the police state apparatus built up in a quarter century of civil war. What is taking place in Sri Lanka is an advanced expression of the agenda of the ruling elites around the world. more..

President accepts the summary of CB annual report

Apr 6 (GDI) President Rajapaksa has assured that Sri Lanka’s economy was vibrant despite the world economic crunch. The President opined that a productive contribution should be made practically to the economy for the building of the country. The Government has clearly embarked on a successive journey. He said it was only hunger and unemployment that remains in a country at the end of a war. more..

New Year festival at Ranajayapura Nursery

Apr 6 (MoD) A grand New Year festival organized by the nursery students at Ranajayapura was held on Monday (April 05), with the distinguished presence of Ministry of Defence Seva Vanitha Unit Chairperson Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa. The ceremony which emphasized on customs also included a variety of traditional games denoting the Sinhala-Hindu New Year celebrations. more..