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LTTE members can claim asylum in Britain

Mar 19 (Telegraph) The court ruled that being a member of the Tamil Tigers, which has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the government, should not prevent an individual claiming asylum. Their ruling was made in the case of “R” who joined the LTTE in 1992, at the age of 10. The Tamil Tigers, or LTTE, have been involved in a bloody struggle in Sri Lanka, that stretches back 30 years. more..

An apology and brief response to Dayan Jayatilleka

Mar 1 (TC) 1. I withdraw my insinuation about Dayan Jayatilleka not being offered some fitting position. It was speculative and unkind. My sincere apologies. 2. The sour grapes title was in question form and related to Dayan’s recent criticisms of the President prior to his departure to Singapore, which he kept announcing. Whatever the critcisms about Sarath Fonseka’s arrest and choice of military tribunal, more..

Budget deficits and holiday perks

Mar 1 (LG) Among the plethora of political, social and economic developments this week, some public announcements grabbed our attention. As politicians grappled for the ‘manape’, the UNP introduced a JRJ-styled ‘resignation-in-the-pockets’ plan to bar crossovers and Colombo continued its stormy relationship with the West; to the business community what would be more important was a delay in the IMF’s third tranche of a $2.6 billion loan and more..

Only Fonseka can give evidence on war crimes!

Mar 1 (LG) Former TNA MPs who have formed a new political front called the ‘Tamil National Liberation Alliance (TNLA), after being pushed out by the nomination board of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), slammed the TNA leadership saying they werepuppets of India’s Congress government. These MPs, who formed the new party, were members of the TELO - a one time militant group. more..

The bar's message to the president

Mar 1 (LG) At certain points of time, the Sri Lankan Bar surprises itself. One such instance is this week's concluded elections to the Presidencyof the country's Bar Association which former Attorney General Shibley Aziz, PC won with an unequivocally clear majority of 482 votes over his rival, Palitha Kumarasinghe, PC. The elections took place in an atmosphere that was even more rudely politicized than on most previous occasions. more..

Cricket luverly Cricket…

Mar 1 (LG) In the tranquil times of the ’50s and even the ’60s most towns and their politicians were content if their main town was provided with a central bus stand, a public library and public lavatory. Not so now. They want multi million, if not billion rupee stadia, among other things. Sports loving minister V.A. Sugathadasa started it all in the ’60s by constructing the Sugathadasa Stadium. But the funds were mostly from the public such as from showman Donovan Andree. more..

Soak up Sri Lanka

Mar 1 (Mirror) As we land, I'm greeted by a whoosh of sticky humidity - and left in no doubt I'm far from the familiar coffee and burger chains that seem to follow you around the world. On the short transfer to the hotel we pass motorised tuk-tuks whizzing past on dusty roads and streetsellers with their stalls piled high with mangos. Schoolchildren dressed in crisp white uniforms giggle and more..

No signs of reconciliation

Mar 1 (Gulf) Wasting little time in seizing upon his 17-point electoral victory, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse quickly consolidated his power by having his opponent General Sarath Fonseka arrested. Fonseka was detained on February 8, accused of plotting to assassinate Rajapakse and seize control of the government. This then led to 14 senior army officials being forced to resign, accused of being in conspiracy with the general, and more..

'World is told he's kept in luxury apartment, but room where General is imprisoned has no ventilation'

Mar 1 (LT) "My husband did not limit himself to one party. He spoke on behalf of justice. This is why most of these parties have come together. If our people are asked to show a place where justice and fairness exist they would say there is no such place. All, except some one lies for his existence, would say what has been done to the courageous man who liberated the country from terrorism is indeed wrongful, unfair and ignominious," more..

'Govt, without fulfilling 1/3rd of people's needs asks for a 2/3rd majority'

Mar 1 (LT) "At the moment a new political situation has been created in the country. Like at the presidential election Idi Mahin's acts of violence are being carried out at the upcoming general election as well. However, we are taking measures to defeat such suppressive conditions and are moving along a new journey with new hopes. This alliance has alrady won the confidence of the people as the pinnacle of justice and fairness," more..

1982 all over again

Mar 1 (Himal) 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; his election posters have been ripped off the walls; and more..

Conducting a Census in the areas that were illegally occupied by the LTTE

Mar 1 (LG) The announcement by the Elections Commissioner that a population census needs to be carried out in the Northern Province is welcome news. We agree with the commissioner’s assessment that the actual population in this province is far less than what was recorded during the 1981 census. Similarly a census needs to be done in the eastern province focusing on the areas that were illegally occupied by the LTTE. more..

Turtle hatcheries in Sri Lanka

Sarath Fonseka’s case – Sri Lankan society is the loser

Mar 1 (LG) In talking about Sarath Fonseka’s case and Prof. G.L. Peiris’ media conference some argue that justice should not only be done but must also be seen to be done. However, a course of action which is basically unjust cannot be made to seen as just purely by procedural means. To attempt to do so is hypocrisy and not justice. Beginning with J.R. Jeyewardene’s initiative to deprive Mrs. Sirimao Bandaranaike’s civil rights with the view that more..

Arul Aunty

Mar 1 (Himal) Rarely do we have relatives who live anywhere near a hundred years. And it is a greater miracle to have a grand aunt – Louisa Arulamma Thambyrajah, born on 6 February 1911 and a relative of both writers – who survived one of the most brutal episodes of war in her late 90s. On 13 February 2009, as the battle between the military and the LTTE raged in the Vanni, in northern Sri Lanka, Arul Aunty and her close relatives were rescued from more..

'We have been very successful in getting information about LTTE from KP'

Mar 1 (TC) Defence Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa spoke to Daily Mirror Hot Seat on the trial of former Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka, the support of the international community in apprehending the remaining elements of the LTTE, Kumaran Pathmanathan and his personal feelings on the actions of the General in the past months. more..

FM Derana takes Jothi’s songs towards world record

Mar 1 (AD) On Monday, March 01, from 7.00 am FM Derana joins veteran playback singer, the late H.R. Jothipala on a world record when the radio channel broadcasts Jothi’s songs for an entire 24 hours. Perhaps for the first time in history, the songs sung by a single person will be broadcast for an entire day. Listeners’ can enjoy a cross section of the songs by Jothi, from his debut to his last. more..

JHU protests against Mano Ganeshan contesting Kandy

Mar 1 (TN) Supporters of Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), a political party of Buddhist monks, Saturday morning held a protest demonstration in Kandy against Mano Ganeshan, leader of the Democratic Peoples Front (DPF), contesting in the Kandy electoral district on the United National Alliance (UNF) ticket led by the main opposition party (UNP), political sources in Kandy said. more..

Protest in Australia by CFDISL

Mar 1 (LNW) Supporters of the Campaign for Democracy in Sri Lanka (Australia) conducted a well-organised demonstration outside the SL High Commission in Canberra today Friday the 26th. They demanded full democratic rights for Sri Lanka such as are enjoyed by the people of most other countries including Australia. Therefore Gen. Sarath Fonseka must be released from custody where he still being incarcerated without any formal charges having been laid against him. more..

Rainforest species returns in Sri Lanka

mar 1 (TN) Aquilaria trees (also known as agarwood) have been a protected species on the CITES list for some time - and is now illegal to log and harvest in the wild. Unfortunately this hasn’t stopped illegal logging, with the consequence that the species is now on the brink of extinction in several countries. The oil is used for perfumes mainly in the Middle East, along with resinous woodchips which are burned in homes throughout the Gulf and Asian regions. more..

First ever Sri Lankan Buddhist temple to be built in Myanmar

Mar 1 (GDI) A Sri Lankan temple will be built in Myanmar for the first time, strengthening the historic ties between Sri Lanka and Myanmar, previously known as Burma. The agreement between Sri Lanka and one ofthe major Buddhist countries that practices Theravada Buddhism was signed on Sunday. The function was held at the main hall of Shwedagon Temple in Myanmar. Director of Foreign Affairs of the Sri Dalada Maligawa, Gamini Bandara and the more..

415-day continuous Pirith chanting comes to an end

Mar 1 (GDI) The chanting of Pirith that was conducted continuously for 12 months to invoke blessings on the nation came to an end yesterday. The Pirith chanting began at the Ruwanveli Seya premises on the Duruthu Poya day in 2009. The chanting was conducted for 415 days continuously. It is the longest Pirith chanting ceremony to have been held in the history of Sri Lanka. The programme was organized to invoke blessings on the President, more..

UPFA candidates make a pledge before the President

Mar 1 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a speech over the weekend said that everyone should feel the pulse of the people and work accordingly. He stressed the need to build a strong democratic government without being subjugated by others. Addressing a ceremony in Anuradhapura organized for the Freedom Alliance candidates to give a solemn pledge to work in unity on behalf of the motherland, more..

Govt to expedite resettlement of remaining 70,000 IDPs

Mar 1 (GDI) The resettlement of displaced civilians in the North will not be hampered or delayed due to the preparations for the upcoming parliamentary elections and the Government will expedite the resettlement of the remaining 70,000 IDP’s in welfare villages, Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Rishard Bathiyudeen said. more..

Over 80 percent of stroke patients are alcoholics

Mar 1 (Island) A top medical expert yesterday urged the Health Ministry to set up separate wards to provide specialized treatment to stroke patients at major government hospitals. Consultant Neurologist Dr. (Ms.) Padma Gunaratne made that request after launching an awareness programme for people in Colombo to mark the World Stroke Day. She said although strokes were the second leading cause of death after heart ailments, more..

Tamil National Peoples Front launched in Jaffna

Mar 1 (TN) It was announced that a new Tamil national political alliance called ‘Tamil National Peoples Front (TNPF)' has been formed, in a press meet held Sunday at the Jaffna office of All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) party. Former TNA MPs Gejendrakumar Ponnambalam, S. Kajendren, Ms. Pathmini Sithamparanathan and TNA activists including ACTC chief candidate Sinnathurai Varatharajan for Jaffna electoral district were present at the press briefing. more..

Building a healthy nation

Mar 1 (DN) A survey carried out by the Health Ministry said more than 40 percent of schoolchildren do not have the morning meal and only less than 11 percent of students are physically active for more than one hour, daily. More than 50 percent of students who do not take their morning meal are males and they find it difficult to concentrate on studies as a balanced diet in the morning is vital for more..

Vows wow none

Mar 1 (LNP) All UPFA candidates in the parliamentary election fray, led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, congregated near the Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura on Saturday and, after religious observances, took a vow to conduct a clean election campaign. President Rajapaksa has said the UPFA candidates who flout election laws cannot aspire to ministerial posts. That we reckon is too lenient a punishment. Anyone who wins by committing such offences deserves to be unseated unceremoniously. more..

Over 40 illegal foreign job agencies raided

Mar 1 (LP) The Foreign Employment Bureau (FEB) has raided 42 illegal foreign employment agencies operating without licenses. FEB also remanded 26 people during the last four months in this regard. According to FEB Chairman Kingsley Ranawaka the illegal agencies which operate island-wide obtain money from prospective employees who seek employment overseas, particularly in the Middle-East, Far-East and even countries like Greece and Italy. more..

Issuing of numerical identifications ends tomorrow

Mar 1 (LP) The issuing of numerical identifications of Candidates which commenced today will be completed by tomorrow, speaking to Lankapuvath, a spokesman from the Election Department said. Simultaneously, the Election Commissioner’s Department with the assistance of police, has taken steps to remove all cutouts, banners etc that promote candidates and parties. more..

Resettlement of war displaced: Now focus on Vanni east

Mar 1 (MoD) Northern Province Governor, Maj. Gen. (retd) G. A. Chandrasiri, said that the one-time LTTE strongholds east of A9 road were now open for resettlement and reconstruction. The former Army Chief of Staff said that the work was going on apace, both east and west of the road, though they had failed to grab attention of both print and electronic media. more..

Construction of Nochchimotte bridge complete

Mar 1 (MoD) Construction work on the "Nochchimotte" bridge which is the second largest bridge along the Northern Railway line between Thandikulam to Kankesanthurai has been completed. The bridge which was located between Thandikulam and Omanthai railway stations was destroyed by the LTTE during the war. The Railway Department's engineers recently succeeded repairing the bridge at a cost of Rs 30 million with the aid of special technology, more..

'North-Western PC violates laws to give appointments'

Mar 1 (LT) The North-Western PC has taken measures to send an appointment letter to graduates serving as programme assistants in schools in the North - Western Province appointing them to planning and financial section states Unemployed Graduates Union. The Union has complained to the Commissioner of Elections that the appointment letter had been prepared on the 9th of February and measures were taken to post the letters on the 25th. more..

Navy facilitates 4,000 devotees at Kachchativu feast

Mar 1 (MoD) The annual feast of St. Anthony's Church, at Kachchativu Island which is situated in the Northern seas of Sri Lanka was held on February 27. The coordination of the festival was done by the Sri Lanka Navy. The specialty of this festival is the participation of both Indian and Sri Lankan devotees after a long lapse with the dawning of peace. more..

'We are fighting against deceit, injustice'

Mar 1 (LG) There is no place in the country where justice and truth reigns supreme, said Anoma Fonseka, wife of General Sarath Fonseka yesterday, while Arjuna Ranatunga expressed hope that people would, this time, elect gentlemen to parliament. Joining them at a media briefing in Colombo, convened by the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), Vijitha Herath of the JVP said the DNA would be a challenge to corruption, fraud and tyrannical rule. more..

Hashan being followed to find Danuna’s whereabouts

Mar 1 (LNW) The CID, which is trying to find the whereabouts of General Sarath Fonseka’s son-in-law Danuna Thilekaratne, is currently keeping a close watch on Hashan Thilekaratne’s movements. Danuna is the son of Hashan’s uncle. A CID team had visited Hashan’s residence in Piliyandala on February 25th night to search the premises. Hashan’s wife who had returned to the island that day to contest the forthcoming general election from the Colombo District more..

China donates equipment to expedite de-mining process

Mar 1 (LP) China has donated De-mining detectors and de-mining Protective Equipment to Sri Lanka. The Chinese government donated 50 De-mining detectors and 50 Protective Equipment amounting into Rs 50 million. The equipment will be used in the humanitarian operations now under way mainly in the Northern Province. China has earlier extended its generous co-operation to Sri Lanka by providing 6252 tents and more..

Mervyn supports UNP candidate after attacking MEP candidate

Mar 1 (LNW) Minister Mervyn Silva who ordered an attack on the office of MEP candidate from the UPFA at the general election for the Gampaha District and Western Provincial Councilor Sisira Jayakody on the 27th night, yesterday extended his support to the UNP Kelaniya electoral organizer after visiting him at his residence. The attack on Sisira Jayakody’s office had been initiated by one of Mervyn’s supporters and Pradeshiya Sabha memebr called Madawala. more..

'UPFA will form stable Govt'

Mar 1 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa predicted that the UPFA would form a stable Government at the conclusion of the April 8 parliamentary elections in line with the people’s expectations. President Rajapaksa made these observations addressing UPFA candidates for the Parliamentary elections at President’s House in Anuradhapura after all candidates made a pledge before the President to commit themselves to a free and fair election. more..

East gets three new bridges

Mar 1 (DN) The Government has embarked on a massive construction project to build three new bridges in Irrakkandy, Puduweikattu and Yanoya in the Eastern Province at a cost of nearly Rs 1,100 million. Irrakkandy and Yanoya bridges have already been vested with the public. The bridges were built with financial assistance from the Spanish Government under the Eastern Reawakening Program to boost social and economic activities in the East. more..

On Ekneligoda, in spite of Ekneligoda and his pals

Mar 1 (DN) Some years ago a newspaper whose editor and editorial policy was so uncritically pro-UNP and operated on the my enemy’s enemy is my friend that it was full of pro-LTTE content, observed, editorially, that a Government with a fifth class media policy cannot complain about third rate journalism. I think a reverse of those figures would be more apt. The Government does not have a first rate media policy but more..

Sri Lanka-Eritrea ties break-down

Mar 1 (DM) The government’s diplomatic ties with Eritrea broke down due to certain newspaper reports, according to Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. “It came out in the papers and now Eritrea has completely shut down everything; they don’t talk to us and they completely cut us off,” the Secretary said. Further, all plans to establish a Sri Lankan consulate in Eritrea, more..

Mervyn stops being Mervyn?

Mar 1 (Island) Minister Mervyn Silva yesterday declared that he was ready to conduct a peaceful propaganda campaign in the Gampaha District. Silva, who has been accused of employing strong arm tactics against political opponents on numerous occasions, walked into a propaganda meeting organised by UNP Gampaha District candidate Bevan Perera, at his residence at Dalugama, Kelaniya to offer a hand of friendship. more..

General Election 2010 Gampaha District: UFPA set for landslide under Basil

Mar 1 (Island) The UPFA under Basil Rajapaksa’s able leadership is set to win the Gampaha electorate at the forthcoming parliamentary election with a comfortable majority. A divided Opposition is likely to suffer a heavy defeat, with the JVP-led DNA, being pushed into a distant third position. At the recently concluded presidential polls, President Mahinda Rajapaksa polled a staggering 61.66 % more..

IMF delay would not impact in the short term

Mar 1 (Island) A senior IMF official says a delay in the third tranche under the standby facility would not have an adverse affect on Sri Lanka’s economy but stressed it was important to continue to in the programme as it seeks to address underlying fiscal issues — creating sustainable budgets and private sector growth. Last Friday, an IMF mission reviewing Sri Lanka’s December quarter performance for more..

4 feet ballot paper for Digamadulla

Mar 1 (DM) A four feet and four inch-long ballot paper which is supposed to be the longest ever will be printed for the Digamadulla electoral district at the forthcoming general election, officials said yesterday. The election authorities have been compelled to print such a long ballot paper since as many as 66 political parties and independent groups are fighting the poll in the district this year. A model ballot paper has already been prepared by more..

Gas prices to remain unchanged despite request

Mar 1 (GDI) Gas prices will remain unchanged despite the requests made by Shell & Laugfs companies for a price hike, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. LAUGFS says in their website that Sri Lanka is one of the fastest growing markets for domestic, commercial and industrial Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) in South Asia. The growth rate of the industry reached double figures a decade ago and more..

Brave boys save little sister

Mar 1 (DM) A heroic act by two children had saved the life of a six year old girl in Galewela, Dambulla. The two children aged 10 and 11 years had saved the life of a 6 year old girl who had fallen into a well. The incident had been reported from Welamitiyawa, Galewela. Year one student Mayumi Nimesha (6) had been playing in the home garden, while her parents were away and she had run after a ball which fell into an unprotected well and she too had fallen into the well. more..

Crack the whip

Mar 1 (DM) The UNP is certainly one political party in Sri Lanka has been maintaining high standards of discipline. As such quite a few were shocked when they learnt about the manner the Moneragala district leader had allegedly deleted the name of a candidate from the district nomination list. In addition to deleting the name of UNP Uva provincial councilor Ananda Tissakuttiaarachchi, the wrong doer had gone to the extent of forging the signature of party General Secretary Tissa Attanayake. more..

Online petition launched demanding General's release

Mar 1 (LT) Democratic National Alliance (DNA) has taken measures to get signatures to an online petition to demand the government of Sri Lanka to release Gen. Sarath Fonseka who was illegally arrested by the Military Police and is being arbitrarily detained without any charges. Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva launched the web site today morning at the head office of the DNA. more..