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Electoral Nandikadal: National-Popular vs Neo-Comprador

Feb 1 (GV) It is easy to be wise after the event, so I usually try to be wise before it. In a piece originally entitled ‘Crisis 2010: The post election scenario’ published over a month ago, from Dec 20th 2009 through to the 23rd, in the Sunday Lakbima, Transcurrents, Sri Lanka Guardian and Ada Derana, this is how I saw the Presidential election panning out: “It is a fairly safe assumption that with the Southern province elections the more..

Rajapakse's minority report

Feb 1 (AJ) Now that the electorate has given its verdict, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse's victory in the just concluded presidential polls sends an ominous signal to the minority people of the island state. After all, the minority populations voted mostly for Rajapakse's challenger - former army commander Sarath Fonseka - in hopes that a victory for the latter more..

President’s second term: Two options before the Supreme Court

Feb 1 (GV) There is, at present, much excitement over the question of when re-elected President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s second (and new) term begins. Various news reports concerning the matter have been published in the print media. It was reported once that the President had informed certain media heads that he would consult the Supreme Court to get an opinion on the matter. Certain other media reports have suggested that more..

Sri Lanka's Malays want more political space on the island

Feb 1 (Bernama) In Sri Lanka's ethnic cocoon, the minority Malay population is searching for more political space to voice their socio-economic rights. An estimated 50,000 Malays, mostly descending from the Indonesian archipelago and southern Malaysia, are the minorities among the minorities in the country's 20 million population. In post-war Sri Lanka, the Malays are worried if their social-political mobility would be stifled more..

The general’s last miscalculated stand

Feb 1 (MT) In the days when now defeated Sri Lankan presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka reigned supreme as the army commander—with his Commander in Chief President Mahinda Rajapaksa and immediate boss Defense Secretary Gotobaya Rajapaksa readily indulging his every military wish, and often even personal tantrums (which by all accounts were frequent and sometimes exceedingly tiresome) more..

Sri Lanka president to take oaths Feb 04

Feb 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's re-elected president Mahinda Rajapaksa will take oaths for his second term in Kandy when the country celebrates independence from British rule on February 04, a media report said. The Sunday Times newspaper quoting foreign employment minister Keheliya Rambukwella said president Rajapaksa has spoken of his decision at a meeting with chief priests of the island's main Bhuddist chapters in Kandy on Saturday. more..

Menon meets Karunanidhi, discusses Sri Lankan Tamil issue

Feb 1 (ANI) National Security Advisor Shivshnkar Menon said here on Sunday that India is working with the Sri Lankan Government for resettlement and rehabilitation of displaced Tamils. Interacting with media after meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, Menon expressed confidence about a devolution of powers in Sri Lanka that would satisfy all sections. "I assured him that the Centre would continue to do whatever it can," Menon said. more..

Wife pleads for missing Sri Lanka journalist

Feb 1 (BBC) The wife of a Sri Lankan journalist who mysteriously disappeared one week ago has pleaded that he be freed by whoever is holding him. Prageeth Eknaligoda's colleagues said he wrote articles favourable to losing presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka. Gen Fonseka lost last Tuesday's election to the incumbent President, Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Rajapakse’s commitment of reconciliation with the Tamil minority remains as empty as his long promised devolution

Feb 1 (TC) It was indeed a stunning victory, as it surprised everyone, including many of those who are in power who displayed great anxiety and frustration in their campaign, expecting a close result. For weeks and months to come, analysts will ponder as to the reasons why; the largely Sinhalese electorate decided to hand Rajapakse such a resounding mandate. There was always a significant disjoint in more..

Sri Lanka allows journalist to stay

Feb 1 (SI) Sri Lanka has revoked an expulsion order against a Swiss journalist who asked a critical question at a government press conference. Karin Wenger, the South Asia correspondent for Swiss radio DRS, said on Friday that the Sri Lankan immigration service had cancelled her accreditation to the country, originally valid until February 17. A government spokesman on Sunday said “false information” had led to the expulsion order and more..

‘Gota terror’ cannot cow down JVP

Feb 1 (LT) Defense Secretary may be under the impression that he could create ‘Gota terror’ by threats and intimidations but the JVP would not be cowed down by such petty moves said JVP MP Anura Dissanayake. He said, “The main slogan of the political parties that supported Gen. Sarath Fonseka was establishing democracy in the Motherland. It is evident from the way the government is conducting itself that they are going on an undemocratic path. more..

Challenges of development: The next phase

Feb 1 (GV) It is over. We have a winner, and we have a loser. The margin of victory has many messages. In mature democracies, play leading up to the climax is performed in a slightly different way, and it is customary for the loser to telephone and congratulate the winner on the morning after. We saw none of that here. The night before we saw the rise of a special tribe, whose characteristics were identified by their motto declared the morning after, more..

Rajiv Gandhi assassination: CBI yet to get LTTE chief's death document

Feb 1 (PTI) Eight months into the death of LTTE chief V Prabhakaran, the proclaimed offender in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the CBI is yet to receive his death certificate from Sri Lankan authorities. According to information accessed under the Right to Information Act, CBI said it was still awaiting the certificate of Prabhakaran's death from the authorities in that country. more..

Sri Lanka's Tamils left to wonder what comes next

Feb 1 (AP) Riding high on his battlefield victory against the Tamil Tiger rebels and his landslide re-election, Sri Lanka's president appears under little pressure to tackle the deep ethnic tensions that fueled a generation of conflict here. Any effort to empower the marginalized Tamil-speaking minority could only anger Sinhalese nationalists, and many observers fear that more..

Ireland overcome by team effort from Sri Lanka A

Feb 1 (CI) Sri Lanka A overhauled Ireland's 147 for 5 with an over to spare in the second Twenty20 warm-up game played at the Nondescripts Ground in Colombo today. The Sri Lankans had been in some strife at 54 for 5 before their recovery, with Chinthaka Jayasinghe, Seekkuge Prasanna and Jeewan Mendis all making 28 to secure the win. Ireland lost Niall O'Brien early on in their innings as he gave Kosala Kulasekara the first of his three wickets. more..

Condemn the closure of Lanka News paper office and detention of its editor

Feb 1 (LG) We, 5 media organizations of Sri Lanka consider the steps taken by Criminal Investigation Department of Sri Lanka police to seal the Lanka newspaper office and arrest/detain its editor Chandana Sirimalwatta as a fatal blow to media freedom and democracy in Sri Lanka. We demand that government stop immediately the repressive acts launched against media with critical and opposing content. more..

'Help develop Jaffna'

Feb 1 (Hindu) Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama in his first post-election visit to Jaffna has appealed to the Tamil Diaspora to help the government develop Jaffna into a commercial hub. The visit and his message are to be seen in the backdrop of the fractured verdict in the just-concluded presidential election. Though Mr. Rajapaksa has won with a thumping majority, more..

Protecting democracy post-election

Feb 1 (CPA) A series of recent events connected to the presidential election last week give rise to extremely serious concerns about the state of democracy in Sri Lanka today. The campaign period, the election and its aftermath were marred by unprecedented disregard for the Constitution and the law, resulting in not only violence and large-scale abuse of public resources, but also in setting a number of disquieting precedents with regard to the respect for constitutional authority and more..

Opinion: Election in Sri Lanka

Feb 1 (Hindu) The article “A resounding but fractured verdict” (Jan. 29) by D.B.S. Jeyaraj is an excellent analysis of the just-concluded Sri Lankan presidential election. As rightly observed by him, the sharp ethnic divide in the pattern of voting raises anxiety about the country’s future. President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s victory is the result of the near-total support of the Sinhalese. He is yet to earn the trust of the Tamils. more..

Interview - Rukshana Nanayakkara

Govt sponsored Tamil paramilitary parties betrayed President Rajapaksha

Feb 1 (LG) Tamil militants who were conveniently allowed to register political parties have yet again betrayed the President. They did not canvass for votes as they thought that they would not be able to win the Parliamentary General elections under their own parties. The most controversial factor now, the test case is that of Douglas Devananda whose reputation is gloomy in any case. Even if he had canvassed, it would have been of no use. more..

Did God speak through the People?

Feb 1 (LG) This election was the most keenly contested election in Sri Lanka but the result was quite boring. It is said that God speak through people. Ten million adults out of fourteen million cannot be wrong. The combined decision of them is clear for all to see. There are many myths about this election and as it is with all myths, truth does not add up with them. Understanding these myths help get better prepared for the outcome and better strategize for a win in the future. more..

Constitution provision very clear about when presidents second term begins

Feb 1 (TC) I was deeply saddened to read today an article by Nihal Jayawickrama, former Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Justice, in which he declares that, disregarding time-specific provisions ‘as being limited in application to that first election held in 1982, the remaining provisions lead inexorably to only one conclusion, more..

Challenge before Rajapaksa

Feb 1 (LG) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s electoral gamble has paid off handsomely. By cutting short his first term by two years, he has ensured a six-year second term for himself, a victory with 57.8 per cent votes cast. What basically carried him through this gamble were his determination to militarily eliminate the LTTE and his control over the State apparatus. The war on the LTTE was fought under his leadership against heavy odds and international pressures. more..

Lankan expats hold blood donation campaign to mark Independence Day

Feb 1 (TP) Over 125 donors participated in the blood donation campaign organised by the Sri Lankan Coordinating Committee (SLCC) Qatar at the Embassy recently to coincide with Sri Lanka’s 62nd Independence Day anniversary which falls on February 4. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador for Qatar Vijayasiri Padukkage led the proceedings. Sri Lankans from all walks of life thronged the Embassy from 7.30am to complete their registration formalities prior to be screened by more..

Northern Sri Lanka reawakening after 30 years' war

Feb 1 (Xinhua) As the 30-year-long civil war between Sri Lanka's government troops and Tamil tiger rebels ended in May 2009, the war affected northern Jaffna peninsula, the economic and cultural capital for the island's minority Tamils is reawakening after the endless suffering. There are hundreds of development projects launched by the government to enhance the livelihood in the district, more..

Sri Lankan government 'settling scores' in media crackdown

Feb 1 (Independent) The newly re-elected government of Mahinda Rajapaksa has been accused of orchestrating a fresh crackdown on the media after a series of websites were blocked and at least one reporter detained after raising questions about the conduct of the election. One journalist is missing, one has been assaulted and others have received death threats. In what campaigners claimed was a "settling of scores", more..

Indian Coast Guard apprehends Lankan trawlers

Feb 1 (Hindu) Indian Coast Guard Ship Veera, which was on patrol as part of Exercise Neptune, the first ever coastal security exercise in the Lakshadweep Islands, apprehended two Sri Lankan fishing trawlers, Danilla and Yamuna, on Friday after they were found poaching off the Minicoy Island in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone. “The vessels are being towed to Kochi which is the nearest notified port under the Maritime Zones of India Act of 1981. more..

'The people endorsed President's policies'

Feb 1 (GDI) Senior advisor to the President Basil Rajapaksa says that results of the recently concluded presidential election indicates a strong endorsement of President Mahinda Rajapaksa's policies. He opined that the Rajapaksa family has not enriched themselves as alleged by malicious elements in the Opposition, but had in fact only secured the respect of the people. more..

Power transmission network to be improved

Feb 1 (GDI) The Government has taken steps to expand the power transmission network with the support of the Asia Development Bank, the Ministry of Power and Energy revealed. A programme will be designed using modern technology to improve the 6-decade old power transmission network which to suit present day needs. The Ministry plans to develop selected transmission networks in a number of areas more..

Customs officials nab international drug smuggler

Feb 1 (GDI) An Iranian National who had been having 10 Kilograms of addictive drugs worth Rs.5 million had left his bags and passport before he escaped from the authorities at the Airport. This man who had arrived here from Dubai was being searched when he escaped. Two days later, on the night of 28th of February, Customs Officers who had been waiting patiently outside all major hotels in Colombo were able to nab the Iranian and get him arrested. more..

IGP says ‘Thank you’

Feb 1 (LP) IGP Mahinda Balasooriya yesterday thanked Senior DIG (elections) Gamini Navaratne and his staff and the Security Forces, police and state officers and the public who assisted him to ensure a fair and peaceful 2010 Presidential elections on January 26. There were no major incidents reported on Election Day. The IGP also thanked the party supporters for more..

Marketing mechanism, strategies for tourist increase

Feb 1 (LNP) Sri Lanka has become one of the most interesting countries for foreigners to visit. The tourist industry will increase with the peaceful environment prevailing at present. It is important to have a proper marketing mechanism and strategies to attract tourists that will provide an impetus for industry growth, the Association for Small and Medium Enterprises Travel and Tourism Sri Lanka (ASMET) President, more..

The Diary of Terror – 31st January 2010

Feb 1 (LG) The government television and radio continues to be used provocatively. They broadcast about an alleged plot to kill the president and his family, hatched by the opposition common candidate, retired general Sarath Fonseka. Nowhere do these broadcasts mention that the retired general has categorically denied these charges and stated that they are ridiculous and baseless. One-sided broadcasts try to create the background to provoke people into violence against the opposition. more..

'Election result is the biggest ever unpatriotic crime'

Feb 1 (LNW) Common Left Candidate Vickramabahu Karunaratne called the declared result of the presidential election in Sri Lanka as the biggest ever betrayal of the country. He said that the result has been manipulated using sophisticated computer technology to show the world that the Sinhala electorate is totally racist and against any agreement, while the Tamils are not prepared to work alongside the Sinhalese. more..

Ambulances for rural hospitals

Feb 1 (GDI) The Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition has taken measures to provide ambulances to 13 hospitals at the cost of 100 million rupees to develop the health infrastructure in the rural areas. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva handed over the ambulances to 13 Base Hospitals including Welimada, Kandaketiya, Ettampitiya, Uva Paranagama, Pothupitiya and Giranduru Kotte. An ambulance is reported to be worth 7 million rupees. more..

SLA refuses permission to residents to enter HSZs in Jaffna

Feb 1 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers did not allow the people evicted from SLA High Security Zones (HSZs) in Jaffna peninsula to enter the HSZs in Thellippazhai and Jaffna town when they went to see their lands and houses Sunday. Prior to the presidential election the government had promised them resettlement in the HSZs and SLA soldiers had allowed them to go and see their properties during day time but now they had been denied permission even to enter the HSZs, more..

Resettled Vanni IDPs in Jaffna left to suffer

Feb 1 (TN) The IDPs from Vanni brought to Jaffna and resettled have not been given economic or other assistance as promised and are facing severe hardships, civil society organizations in Jaffna expressed concern. Some of the IDP families are still to be paid the initial payment of 5,000 rupees while the families who were told that their second payment of 25,000 rupees will be paid before 15 January have not been paid the amount. more..

WFP to continue its assistance to PRRO

Feb 1 (LP) The World Food Programme (WFP) has said that they will continue to support the “Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation. The Executive Director of WFP, Rome informed the Ministry of Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development that it would assists “PRRO Sri Lanka 10756.o (Food for Peace Building and Recovery in Conflict Affected Areas)” with food and other assistance throughout the budget increase valued at US $ 28.59 million more..

'Anti-national elements may be arrested'

Feb 1 (MoD) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday that the Government would not hesitate to arrest anyone whose conduct would be detrimental to national security. He said that anyone who engaged in campaigns against national security and Sri Lanka's sovereignt by sending false messages via mobile phones would be arrested forthwith and be dealt with according to the law. more..