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‘Tamils without Tamil’

Jan 1 (TN) “Why we need 1700 temples for only 3 million Indians in Malaysia? It does not make sense but we still continue to build temples and fight for it. We only have 450 Tamil schools in Malaysia and it is getting lesser,” says a news-group posting from Hindraf, New York. At least the Indian Tamils raise the issue, but the more affluent Jafanese or Ceylonese have forgotten Tamil and Tamil schools with their first generation. more..

Restriction on fishing in East Coast Sea lifted

Jan 1 (TN) The restriction on fishing in the seas of eastern coast has been withdrawn with immediate effect. Fishermen could leave for fishing around the clock and return, excluding the high security zones in the Trincomalee harbor. Rear Admiral (retd) Mohan Wijewickrema, Governor of the Eastern Province announced the government’s decision of lifting the restriction with immediate effect more..

Dengue claims 5 lives in Jaffna peninsula

Jan 1 (TN) Five persons, including two resettled Vanni IDPs, in Jaffna penisula have died due to dengue fever which is spreading at an alarming rate while hospitals are unable to treat dengue patients for want of basic facilities, according to Dr. K. Ketheswaran, Jaffna Director of Public Health. Nearly 40 to 50 dengue patients are admitted to Jaffna Teaching Hospital daily and they have to be accommodated along corridors due to lack of space, more..

Buddika and Rajapaksa lead rout of South Africa

Jan 1 (CI) Rumesh Buddika and Banuka Rajapaksa starred with bat and ball respectively to help Sri Lanka Under-19 trounce the home side in a one-sided contest at the Wanderers. Buddika's 139 propelled Sri Lanka to 283 but South Africa Under-19's response was so meek, they managed to bat out only 33 overs and conceded the game by 148 runs. Rajapaksa, for his part cleaned them up with a six-wicket haul. more..

'No more opener slot for Sanath'

Jan 1 (AD) The most suitable One Day opening pair at the moment is Upul Tharanga and T.M. Dilshan, says the Sri Lanka Cricket Selection Committee chairman. Tharanga and Dilshan have performed well recently, there is no need of a change in the opening pair and there should be two openers for the upcoming World Cup. Hence Sanath Jayasuriya cannot be considered for the opener’s slot now as he is already 40 years more..

Chilaw Marians win maiden title

Jan 1 (CI) Chilaw Marians CC were crowned as the new Premier Tier A league champs when they took first innings points against Moors SC in their final match of the season which ended in a draw at the Moors Sports Club ground, Colombo. Those points were sufficient for Chilaw Marians to oust Nondescripts CC from the top of the table and finish four points clear of their rivals in the final standings. Chilaw Marians had to wait until the third and final day to more..

A casualty of nationalism

Jan 1 (HM) Among the colonies of the British Empire, Ceylon, as it was then known, was far ahead of its neighbours with regard to its primary and secondary school systems. Small both in size and population, there had been no freedom struggle involving the masses. Thus, by 1931, the British government felt confident enough to grant universal adult franchise and a substantial degree of responsibility for governance, under what were known as the Donoughmore Commission Reforms. more..

'Kotla was too dangerous to continue playing'

Jan 1 (PTI) Breaking his silence on the Ferozeshah Kotla pitch fiasco, Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara said the track did not look “normal” soon after the first five overs and was too dangerous to continue playing. “Even after 6-10 overs, we could feel that the pitch was not normal. But the Match Referee said ‘I cannot do anything. It was a call for the on-field umpires to take.’ more..

Navy Commander visits Naval Bases in Mannar

Jan 1 (SLN) Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe visited the Naval Bases in Mannar yesterday (30 December 2009). He looked into the administrative, security and welfare measures under implementation in the Naval Bases and gave further directives for their improvements. Then he proceeded to inspect the Thalaimannar Pier and made a study of its present status. more..

Asia stock markets' 2009 performance; Sri Lanka tops

Jan 1 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares ended 2009 with a stellar 125 percent rally, the market's best performance in more than a decade and far ahead of other strong performers such as Indonesia, India and China. The recovery in stock markets after last year's crisis-driven plunges saw India and Indonesia post their biggest annual gains in a decade, driven in part by foreign money seeking Asia's relatively stronger balance-sheets, more..

Election on a precipice

Jan 1 (HM) Sri Lanka’s election season commenced with a thunderbolt, a development unthinkable in those heady days six months ago, when the demise of the Tamil Tigers was celebrated with milk-rice and crackers. Most Sinhalese regard President Mahinda Rajapakse, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse and Commander of the Army Sarath Fonseka as the ‘heroic trinity’ responsible for their historic triumph over the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka Hayleys expands to former war zone

Jan 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s Hayleys group said it has re-established its presence in the former northern war zone where it supplied farmers agricultural inputs and advisory services before the conflict. Hayleys said in a statement it has set up its first-ever group showroom and business centre in the northern Jaffna peninsula where life is returning to normal like elsewhere in the war-affected north and east. more..

Kaplan's savage Orientalism

Jan 1 (HM) The senior US journalist Robert Kaplan is well-connected and famous, a master of prose. He is versed in wrapping his international forays with word-pictures of place, person and context. His texts may ramble in places, but they are rarely ornate. The ‘word foliage’ displays that do appear are designed to be pleasing, and are sometimes capped with striking titles – what could be more catchy, for instance, than the title of his more..

Oblate leader urges greater reconciliation efforts

Jan 1 (UCAN) The Oblate superior general has encouraged his congregation’s members to redouble their efforts in helping Sinhalese and Tamils in the country reconcile after a bitter war. Father Wilhelm Steckling, superior general of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, urged Tamil and Sinhalese Oblate priests to create fresh programs to help resettle people displaced by the civil war and rebuild their lives. more..

The end of LTTE era!

Jan 1 (OI) The summer days of 2009 announced the end of LTTE era that has brought a new dawn out of terrorism. LLTE is known for unleashing terror in many parts of south India that included the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on May 21, 1991. They were also behind the attack on the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore on March 3. The end of LTTE marked on May 18th, 2009 when LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran shot dead more..

'Knowledge-based society is the aim'

Jan 1 (Hindu) In his new year message, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said his government’s strategy of development in the new decade would be to make the nation the South Asian hub of ocean and air traffic and communications in a knowledge-based society. “We shall build on the foundations already laid in the construction of harbours, airports, extensive road networks and the marked increase in IT literacy in Sri Lanka.” more..

War-crime allegations piling up in Sri Lanka

Jan 1 (National) Seven months after Sri Lanka ended nearly 40 years of bloody insurgency on the island, allegations of war crimes continue to haunt President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is seeking re-election next month. Last week, the UN special rapporteur Philip Alston, urged the government to clarify allegations that Tamil rebels and some leaders had been shot down while trying to surrender and carrying white flags. more..

Lanka needs an educated national leader like all other South Asian countries

Jan 1 (LG) South Asia houses more than 32% of the world population and is making vast economic strides. The region was known to be poverty stricken, chaotic and lacking economic and political direction. However, amidst all the adversities South Asia is making progress today. If the economic growth rates pattern of the past decade continues, in less than a decade, India will be among the top ten economies of the world. more..

January – A murderous month!

Jan 1 (LG) The Presidential election cannot come at the most opportune moment than in January 2010. January is a month that recorded some dastardly deeds of the state intelligence service, paramilitary groups and the government backed underworld gangsters that savaged the lives of our responsible citizens to give a chilling message that no one should question the authority of the President. more..

The Sangaree’s letter

Jan 1 (LG) Could anything be more anachronistic? TULF’s V. Anandasangaree’s a few-days old letter to all our presidential candidates, of course in fact it is indirectly intended to be directly addressed to the main two candidates President Rajapakse and the General, has been unfortunately penned at a time when the content of the letter concerns the duo the least, as both have better things to do, and more..

'2010 will be a year of the people'

Jan 1 (LG) We stand upon the cusp of a brand new year, the beginning of a fresh decade, poised at crossroads that could alter the political history of this nation for many decades to come. 2009 has been a year of immense triumph on the one hand and tragic lost opportunities on the other. As Sri Lankans we stand at the door of this new decade, concerned about our future, a future that seemed so promising seven months ago when we defeated the menace of terrorism. more..

Taking forward the national labor migration policy for Sri Lanka

Jan 1 (AT) The Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare has taken steps to carry forward the National Labor Migration Policy by establishing a High Level Advisory Committee consisting of key Ministries, Recruitment Industry, Trade Unions and civil society organizations to oversee the implementation of the National Policy. The Advisory Committee has met twice since being set up in August 2009 and expects to have regular meetings every two months. more..

The adamancy of Sampanthan would soon lead to a vertical split of the TNA

Jan 1 (AT) The Common Left Presidential Candidate Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne and the Independent Tamil Presidential Candidate M.K. Sivajilingam – both will be in the Jaffna district from today onwards up to the 4th of this month, participating in a joint election campaign. Sivajilingham said that both of them will be jointly appealing to the voters in the Jaffna electoral district, not to vote for Sarath Fonseka and President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Should Tamils support a mask or a real person?

Jan 1 (AT) It is perplexing as to why the Tamil community of Sri Lanka is not making the best use of the opportunity before them to achieve some of their aspirations. The war is over, the LTTE that held them and the country hostage is no longer there to prevent a just and reasonable solution being found to this national issue, and the two main candidates for the Presidency are both vying primarily for the Sinhala vote, which is the key to winning the election. more..

Dayan Jayatilleka's critique of Tamil nationalism: A comment

Jan 1 (GV) I have read with considerable interest Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke’s recent critiques of the post-war strategic and normative dynamics of Tamil nationalism in terms of their limits and challenges. The most recent of these interventions are the piece on Groundviews, and another attenuated and slightly differently slanted article in The Island, both of 28th December 2009. When I first read the Groundviews piece, it was freshly posted and there were no comments, more..

Sri Lankans need to defeat present anti-people rule and build people power

Jan 1 (TC) The present President of Sri Lanka, who consolidated his power after defeating the LTTE militarily, has spurned the pledges of ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ manifesto of the 2005 presidential elections. Now he is working mainly for the ambitions of his family, completely overlooking the common masses. While corruption and nepotism reign, people’s democratic rights including press freedom are being curtailed. more..

Sarath Fonseka’s divided loyalty to US & Sri Lanka

Jan 1 (AT) All nations rightly guard against introducing “foreign influences” into their highest governing councils. The nations have all reasons to fear the “foreign influence” in their governance. The prohibition by constitutional law or by tradition of a person with dual-loyalty to become the executive head is a fundamental policy of all governments to exclude foreign influence from their executive councils and duties. more..

New year’s day violation of election law by ‘Subharathi’ program

Jan 1 (LG) The 7 a.m. ‘Subharathi’ program for January 1st was an interview with Prime Minister Ranthasiri Wickremenayake by Indika Jayarathna. It was announced as a discussion with the Prime Minister on New Year’s Day. However, the discussion was crude election propaganda with carefully arranged telephone interviews directly attacking one of the opposition candidates, General Sarath Fonseka. more..

Five Tamil refugees arrive at Mukundarayar Chathiram

Jan 1 (Hindu) Five Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, including three children, arrived at Mukundarayar Chathiram near Dhanushkodi on Thursday. This was reportedly the first since the end of the war between LTTE and Sri Lankan armed forces in May this year. The refugees told the police and intelligence agencies that they had boarded a boat at Talaimannar in Sri Lanka at 2 a.m. and landed at Mukundarayar Chathiram around 5 a.m. more..

'Sri Lanka govt deceiving people on taxes'

Jan 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s government should ensure greater public awareness of taxes it imposes on the people and not deceive them through lack of transparency, the local arm of an international watchdog has said. Transparency International Sri Lanka, the local arm of the global civil society organization fighting against corruption, said the practice of ‘tax by midnight gazette’ should be stopped forthwith. more..

Dutch fort at Galle, Sri lanka

UPF leader Chandrasekeran passes away

Jan 1 (Xinhua) A Sgovernment minister passed away owing to illness, officials said Friday. Periyasami Chandrasekeran, 52, the Minister of Estate Infrastructure and the leader of the Upcountry People's Front, died of a heart attack after being admitted to a private hospital Thursday. Chandrasekeran, a minority Tamil from the central hill country, has held ministerial position since the year 2000.

'Chandrika's support to UNP will bring more votes to President'

Jan 1 (GDI) "If Chandrika Kumaratunga supports the UNP and Sarath Fonseka, it will give more votes to Mahinda Rajapaksa because Chandrika is now a political discard", claimed former UNPer SB Dissanayake. Dissanayake said that there was information that Chandrika was going to support the UNP and Fonseka."If she does, Mahinda Rajapaksa will get more votes", he observed. more..

Ranil & Maithree will vote for President - Johnston Fernando

Jan 1 (GDI) Minister Johnston Fernando today recalled that it was Ranil Wickremesinghe who charged in Parliament that Gen.Sarath Fonseka's 'hit squads' killed former Sunday Leader Editor, Lasantha Wickremetunga. "Ranil now talks of media freedom with the man whom he accused in Parliament", the minister cracked. Fernando said that the same Ranil Wickremasinghe was today supporting Fonseka whom he accused for murdering Lasantha. more..

'Sri Lanka to grow over 6 pct in 2010'

Jan 1 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's economy should grow by more than 6 percent in 2010 as the end of the island's long civil war boosts investor confidence, the central bank governor said on Friday. "This year will a year of consolidation and of growth. The take off points would be tourism, transportation, fisheries, agriculture, and services. They will see clear growth potential." more..

Ushering the New Year 2010

Jan 1 (LP) Countries around the globe held festive events to welcome the year 2010. As the entire world puts on its dancing shoes and gears up to welcome the new year, we take a look at how New Year 2010 festivities were on across the world - be it London Eye, Eiffel tower or even Times Square. The year 2009 was dubbed as a rather unlucky year by some, considering the numerous debacles the year witnessed. more..

Kotmale road re-opened

Jan 1 (GDI) The Kotmale Road running across the Kotmale Dam has been re-opened after 15 years. It was shut down in 1994. The Road was closed down due to terrorist threats. The Government decided to re-open the road, with elimination of the fear syndrome that gripped the country due to terrorism. Many villagers in the vicinity will benefit by the re-opening of the road. The Gampola, Nawalapitiya and Kotmale SLTB Depots have begun operating buses.

A bitter feud and an ugly media spectacle in the lead up to Presidential elections

Jan 1 (GV) This presidential election is unlike any other. There are no manifestos published yet to augment a healthy political debate and policies do not appear to concern the two main candidates. At this moment, the citizenry would have preferred to hear from the chief contenders their formulae for nation building post war. more..

Mahinda’s stages are from Port Authority

Jan 1 (LT) Employees of Port Authority have been engaged to carry out decorations for the election propaganda rally of the presidential candidate Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse to be held at Ruwanwella on the 3rd. According to reports the employees of Port Authority are engaged in erecting the stage for the rally at this moment. However, they have been recorded as reported for duty at the Port Authority. more..

Wimal Weerawansa writes Buddhist history anew!

Jan 1 (LT) The President of NFF Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa has come up with a new theory that it was Angulimala who hurled boulders at Lord Buddha. He said this addressing an election rally. He said had the present leaders of the opposition lived during Lord Buddha’s time they would join Angulimala to hurl boulders at Him. However, according to Buddhist literature and history it was Devadaththa who hurled boulders at Lord Buddha and not Angulimala. more..

Lanka Mission in Kuwait invoked blessings for all

Jan 1 (IL) The embassy staff together with their families and well wishers took part in an overnight pirith chanting ceremony on New Year's Eve and invoked blessings on all for the New Year 2010. The ceremony began with the offerings of Buddha Puja followed by religious observances. The embassy auditorium has been decorated with Buddhist flags for the occasion, more..

TNA -UNP talks more than successful

Jan 1 (UNP) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing a media conference yesterday, following the meeting with the TNA, said, he does not wish to make misleading statements unlike Govt. politicos. However, it is my perception that the talks were successful. I do not wish to play hide and seek before the people. I am transparent as I am always, Ranil added. Talks bordered on the North and East people’s relief issues and political solutions. more..

Gota, NIB and TID in united conspiracy to arrest opposition parties

Jan 1 (LeN) UNP and Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing a media briefing Yesterday (31) at his official residence said , he has received information that the Terrorist investigation Dept. is going to arrest a number of individuals to pay off Govt.’s political grudges. These arrests are being made with the knowledge of the National Intelligence Bureau and Defense Secretary Gotabaya. more..

New Year greetings

Jan 1 (UNP) Our heartfelt wishes for a happy and blissful New Year 2010. May this era of adding fuel to the fire end. The New Year wish is that all Sri Lankans will be relieved of the acute sufferings they are now experiencing. I hope an environment will be created where all citizens can live without fear sans corruption and violence. Let there be an end to family rule and a people’s reign prevail. more..

Sri Lankans buy more shares in 2009

Jan 1 (LNP) Foreigners bought 38 percent of the total shares of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) at the end of year 2009. Foreign companies accounted for 25.1 percent of the total purchases and local companies have accounted for 33.3 percent whereas Sri Lankans accounted for 38.8 percent and foreigners 2.8 percent, CSE, Manager-Business Development, Tushara Jayaratne told Daily News Business. more..

A year of 'promises' and promising politicians

Jan 1 (LNP) Nothing is so freely given as advice and promise. With less than a month to go for the presidential election, we are treated to cartloads of promises by the contestants. At the last presidential election, one candidate famously promised a cow each to all Sri Lankan families. He lost not because people did not like free milch cows but because they did not take him seriously. more..

'Media hindered move to take over LTTE aircraft'

Jan 1 (island) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said that Sri Lanka’s efforts to seize LTTE assets overseas, including some aircraft could be jeopardised by reports revealing the ongoing negotiations with the international community. He told The Island that recent press reports concerning several aircraft owned by the LTTE kept in a particular country had hindered Sri Lanka’s efforts to take them over. more..

Jaffna University Students say no to polls boycott

Jan 1 (DN) The Jaffna University Students' Federation (JUSF) said it was not wise to ask the people not to vote at the Presidential Election as in the past. It was unreasonable to contest as independents, the JUSF said. The statement added that changes in the economic approach affected all the people due globalization. "It was thought that the international community and organization would bring freedom. more..

WHO funds sought for Ayurveda research

Jan 1 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said the Government is exploring the possibility to obtain financial assistance from a fund maintained by the World Health Organization to promote Ayurvedic research in the country. He added that Ayurvedic students should have proper understanding of the indigenous medical practising systems in foreign countries and the Government is in the process of more..