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'Capitalism has no solutions, time has come for un-democratic rulers to go home'

Feb 12 (LT) “Oligarchies, dictatorships, anti-democratic administrations and imperialism cannot exist on this earth anymore; the capitalist system cannot go forward and the whole World has come to a point where there is no other alternative other than establishing Socialism,” says the Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe. The present Mahinda Rajapakse regime cannot evade the new political wave that more..

South Korean merchant vessel detained by Lanka navy

Feb 12 (PTI) A South Korean merchant vessel has been detained by the Sri Lanka navy for allegedly failing to rescue a crew member who fell overboard, officials said. A Russian national said to be the second engineer of the vessel was rescued by another ship in vicinity and later hospitalized yesterday. The South Korean vessel later was heading towards Goa when Lankan navy vessels intercepted and detained it, a naval official said. more..

'They don’t wake up with sore knees every morning like I do' – Malinga

Feb 12 (IC) Q: Why are you unable to play Test cricket but not ODIs and Twenty20s? A: I missed the last Test series against West Indies because the team management decided not to risk aggravating my knee problems before the World Cup. “Test cricket or 3 - 4 day cricket places a much bigger strain on my knees because I have to be able to bowl a minimum of 15-20 overs in a day, on consecutive days. And in Test cricket, these days, you also have to play back to back games. more..

Court orders reinstatement

Feb 12 (DM) On the suggestion made by the Supreme Court, the Attorney General today (11) gave an undertaking that the interdiction on Superintendent of Police Jayantha Rohana Jayawardena would be removed and that the purported disciplinary inquiry would be concluded within three months or on or before May 31. The Bench terminated the contempt matter leveled against the IGP Mahinda Balasuriya and listed the fundamental rights petition to be mentioned on June 1. more..

Villagers in Embilipitiya area stage two protests demanding electricity

Feb 12 (NF) Villagers held two demonstrations in Embilipitiya yesterday demanding that they be provided with electricity. One demonstration was held in Ketagalara area at the spot where only one electric post had been erected to supply power to the village. Our correspondent said that about 200 villagers had joined the protest. The other protest was held at the Kolonna, Panamura, Bulathwelkanda junction. more..

Floods destroy over a third of rice harvest

Feb 12 (IRIN) Sri Lanka will lose over one million tons from its upcoming paddy harvest due to recent flooding, officials say. “We expected a yield of around 2.75 million metric tons from the harvest due in March to April,” Kulugammanne Karunathileke, secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, told IRIN. “After the heavy rains we will only get around 1.75 million.” Karunathileke, the highest ranking official at the ministry, said the country had expected a bumper crop more..

Sri Lanka to sell land reclaimed from sea: port official

Feb 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka Ports Authority plans to reclaim and sell to private investors 340 acres of land off the capital Colombo where a new port is being built next to the existing one, an official said. The cost of reclaiming the sea off Colombo's Galle Face Green promenade, which will come under SLPA jurisdiction, has been estimated at around 350 million US dollars, its managing director Nihal Keppetipola said. more..

Is Sri Lanka setting aside Buddhism from its Constitution?

Feb 12 (LG) This is in response to the valuable response by Mr. Basil Fernando who has respected me enough to keep responding where others including Tamils have walked away.In essence, I feel that Mr. Fernando ‘sees’ us as lacking the will. Mr. Fernando says ‘Lacking the will to put of a fight together, each one suffers separately.’ I am able to identify with this conclusion. Mr. Fernando says also ‘Lands are grabbed from lawful owners by unscrupulous persons more..

PART 1: The fall of the printed newspaper and the rise of cyberspace

Feb 12 (LG) The issue of the rise of cyberspace causing the fall of the printed newspaper has become a significant debate among scholars and those who have greater sympathy towards media industry. Media is the principal source of political information and access to public debate, and the key to an informed, participating, self-governing citizenry. Democracy requires a media system that provides people with a wide range of opinion, analysis and debate on important issues more..

Corruption and Cover-up at University of Jaffna

Feb 12 (LG) The issue of the rise of cyberspace causing the fall of the printed newspaper has become a significant debate among scholars and those who have greater sympathy towards media industry. Media is the principal source of political information and access to public debate, and the key to an informed, participating, self-governing citizenry. Democracy requires a media system that provides people with a wide range of opinion, more..

A response: Fighting together against unlawful acts of lawful authorities

Feb 12 (LG) For the last 20 years I have been living in Hong Kong. Here over 98% of the population is Chinese. I belong to the small minority which includes many other races and will try to illustrate some issues by using this experience. In any country there is a formal legal system and an operational one. The Formal system consists of laws -- statutes -- customary laws -- judicial precedents and in the modern context obligations under the international law more..

How Keppetipola framed Independence Day

Feb 12 (LB) Some people celebrate independence, some freedom. Some lament the absence of both, others say there will only be degrees of one or the other. Someone pointed out that what we call ‘independence’ in English is referred to as ‘freedom’ in Sinhala, i.e. nidahasa. Still others wonder if there’s a difference between liberty and freedom. I wonder if we spend more time with words than necessary or defer to attendant claims and express more..

Premadasa wants campaign financing system introduced

Feb 12 (SL) The leading challenger to the UNP leadership, Hambantota MP Sajith Premadasa shared his thoughts on transparency and political financing. Calling for a need to introduce political campaign financing reform, he admitted to a need but admitted to not having a blueprint per se. Excerpts of his conversation with The Sunday Leader: Q: How do you fund your political activities? A: I make requests from various well-wishers and donors alike. more..

Violence still plagues my Sri Lankan homeland

Feb 12 (TC) If anyone told me 10 years ago that I would be sitting down at a keyboard to produce a piece such as this, I would have said they were nuts. I was born before the Second World War in Sri Lanka and lived the first 35 years of my life in an affluent, landowning family. As a consequence, I was saved the usual challenges that most citizens faced in a developing country in southern Asia. The imposition of land reform that severely restricted the extent of land more..

Sri Lanka: Will developmental projects solve political problems?

Feb 12 (TC) Much water has flown down the Mahaveli since President Rajapaksa made his swearing-in speech, on November 19, 2010, wherein he indicated that he would adopt a developmental approach to ‘enhance Sri Lanka’s greatness in the world’, and his first task would be to ensure lasting national unity and sustainable, permanent peace in Sri Lanka. After a brief exhortation to ‘move towards a future that is trilingual’, he returned to the theme of ‘development’ and more..

The difference between patriotic and unpatriotic in Sri Lanka

Feb 12 (TC) Last week Sri Lanka commemorated her 63rd anniversary of freedom from colonial rule and Sri Lankans rightly celebrated the achievement of our political independence and democratic rights as a free and sovereign nation. That freedom and sovereignty has not been without challenge, the most serious of which was the three decades long challenge by the LTTE. more..

Editorial: Thank God, he lost!

Feb 12 (Island) We once said in these columns that the then Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, while returning through the BIA, was likely to meet himself rushing out of the country, given the speed at which he was moving in and out. Parliament has been told that he travelled overseas 36 times during his 39-month tenure! In reply to a question in parliament on Wednesday, the government revealed that Bogollagama's foreign travel had cost the country over Rs. 27 mn. more..

Editorial: Politics and science of a killer epidemic

Feb 12 (DM) The tobacco epidemic is a rare one. In the fifty years since it was first established that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, worldwide tobacco use has increased. In other words, the causative factor of the epidemic of lung cancer- which is tobacco use- has been allowed to increase. The factors for the spread of the tobacco epidemic include corporate power, government indifference and poorly informed consumers. The end result is one of the more amazing more..

Is a food crisis in the offing following the floods?

Feb 12 (DM) A rainfall figure recorded the highest ever for many parts in the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka raised the number of people displaced due to floods to approximately 1.2 million and widespread damage to infrastructure and livelihoods. Floods and landslides in central Sri Lanka have damaged more than 12,000 houses according to government figures. Education in the flood affected areas are also hampered with more..

Deiyo Saakki – Ranil’s Twitter with God

Feb 12 (Island) God has unleashed rain which has displaced over a million people and killed many because of the wrongs of the Rajapaksa regime – Ranil Wickremesinghe Has Ranil been born again? What do you mean – I thought he is a Buddhist who believes in rebirth? But don’t his words sound like that of a Bible toting Born Again? I don’t get it…what words do you mean? How else is he so certain about the reason for God unleashing the rains that caused the recent floods? more..

Need for the Tamil polity to stay relevant in Sri Lanka

Feb 12 (ORF) It's heartening to note that the two rounds of talks between the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Government on finding a political solution to the vexatious ethnic issue have gone off well over the past weeks. Or, at least that is what news reports, quoting TNA leaders, say. These reports have not been contested by either side so far. There is thus nothing to suggest that the process would not continue smoothly onto the future rounds. more..

In the hands of Pirates

Feb 12 (SL) Three out of five fishermen who left Sri Lankan shores on January 4 were held by Somali pirates eight days since they were captured and two of them killed. They were finally released on February 3 and are currently making their way back to the island. It was just another fishing expedition for the five friends who set out to the deep seas on January 4th, from the harbour at Mirissa on board the vessel Darshana 6. It was going to be a long voyage. more..

N & E historical places being preserved

Feb 12 (MoD) A project has been initiated by the Ministry of National Heritage to preserve historical sites in the North and East which have been isolated for the past few decades due to terrorist threats. Excavations are carried out in several locations in the areas by the archeological department, which is under the National and Heritage Ministry. Accordingly, Gokanna and Mathota; the ancient ports which used to be the commercial center in ancient Sri Lanka for China and Rome will be preserved. more..

Sri Lankan priest gets bail

Feb 12 (UCAN) A Tamil Jesuit priest accused of having had links with LTTE rebels has been freed on bail after a court hearing yesterday. Father Paul Satkunanayagam and five other people were arrested at a hotel in the city of Dambulla, 264 kilometers north east of Colombo on February 9. According to hotel sources six American INGO workers had come to the hotel before the arrests to obtain details from the priest about the current flood situation in the eastern part of the country. more..

BOI officials criticize the restructuring plan

Feb 12 (N360) Several BOI officials say they are not happy with the proposed restructuring program expected to be carried out in the country’s main investment portal. This dissatisfaction was expressed by several senior and junior officials attached to various departments of the BOI. One senior official who is an Executive Director said, “This is going to be a mess”. “Projects are shifted from one person to another which creates confusion”. more..

Paratrooper dies in mishap

Feb 12 (Island) An Army paratrooper, engaged in a freefall exercise yesterday, died around 10.30 a.m. in Weerawila due to a technical defect in his parachute after jumping from a height of around 9,000- 8,000 ft. According to Military Spokesman Major General Ubaya Madawala, the paratrooper, attached to the 1st Commando Regiment, had been practising with his colleagues after being airborne on a Chinese built Y-12 aircraft. After the parachute developed technical problems more..

Lankan society picks new president

Feb 12 (AN) Subramaniam Thangasamy has become the new president of the Sri Lanka Expatriates Society, (SLES), succeeding Andrew Sinnen. Sinnen himself inaugurated Thangasamy during the society’s 19th annual general meeting at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh on Thursday. A new committee of 15 members was unanimously elected for the current year at the meeting, supervised by the embassy’s First Secretary Wishwanath Aponsu. They include Ravika De Silva and more..

Sri Lanka must take a cue from Egypt?

Feb 12 (LB) The president tinkers with the constitution to suit his personal ambitions. The legislature and the judiciary remain subordinate to his whims and fancies. Corruption shoots through the roof and the first family and its cronies control the lion share of the national wealth. After thirty years in power, the ageing autocrat plans a dynastic succession. His party wins sham elections with massive margins. Sounds familiar? more..

Dengue rises again in Dehiwela –Mt. Lavinia

Feb 12 (DM) More than 100 positive cases of Dengue had been reported between January 1 and February 10 in the Dehiwela – Mt. Lavinia Municipal area out of which there had been three fatalities, said Municipal Medical Officer of Health – Dr. Mohamed Hamsa. The deaths were reported from Bhathiya Mawatha where two boys aged 4 and 7 were reported to have succumbed to the fatal disease, while a security officer attached to a private security firm located at Dehiwela Junction had also died of the disease. more..

CA to decide on SFs seat in House on Feb. 25

Feb 12 (DM) In the light of the recent determination by the Supreme Court in respect of Court Martial, the Court of Appeal yesterday reserved its order for February 25 to pronounce on the question of maintainability of the Writ Application seeking the court to enable him to sit and vote in Parliament and to exercise his powers, privileges and immunities as a Member of Parliament. The Bench comprised Justices R.L. Ranjith Silva, A.W.A. Salaam and Upali Abeyratne. more..

Bribery Commission — Defunct

Feb 12 (SL) The Director General, Commission to Investigate Bribery & Corruption, Luckshmi Jayawickrama, explained that despite the commissioners not having been appointed, the work of the Commission continues. Upto a point. With over 20 years of expertise at the Commission, Jayawickrama told The Sunday Leader that her department is catching up with the backlog. Excerpts: Q: How long have you been without Commissioners? A: Since 28th March 2010. About 10 Months. more..

Low interest housing loans for Govt servants

Feb 12 (DN) The National Housing Development Authority (NHDA), will allocate Rs 4,500 million to be given as housing loans for Government employees this year, Minister Wimal Weerawansa said. The Minister was speaking at a ceremony to grant housing loans to Government employees under the Janasevana Government Servant Housing Loan Schem yesterday. The President liberated the country from terrorism and the time has come to fullfil the people's housing needs, the Minister said. more..

IFS inaugurates Nano team

Feb 12 (DN) Sri Lanka should join the rest of the world in Nano-science and Nano-technology research, Institute of Fundamental Studies (IFS), Kandy Director Professor C B Dissanayake. He was addressing a research, innovation and dissemination program with the formation of "The Nano Team" or "TNT" on February 10 inaugurated by the Institute of Fundamental Studies (IFS), Kandy. Several senior scientists and visiting scientists including Prof S A Kulasooriya, more..

Boston Lanka News: Feb. 10, 2011

Why Lankan Navy brings Somali pirates into Indian waters?

Feb 12 (TD) A news item published yesterday in highlighted “Surveillance in Southern Coast increased “. The report stated that tactical support to Somali pirates operating out of Indian waters was from the Sri Lankan Navy. In response to this report the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) has strongly denied of any support to the Somali pirates and said the allegation is an attempt to tarnish the image and the good work of the SLN, as reported in Sunday Observer. more..

Kohona re-appointed Co-Chair of UN Ad-hoc WG

Feb 12 (DM) Dr. Palitha Kohona was re-appointed as Co-Chair of the UN Ad-hoc Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction. The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN said in a statement that the president of the General Assembly, Joseph Deiss, has re-appointed Dr. Palitha Kohona to this post. Professor Liesbeth Lijnzaad, Legal Advisor, Ministry of Foreign more..

Attack on LankaeNews: Two more suspects arrested

Feb 12 (Island) The Boralesgamuwa Police yesterday arrested two suspects, Jayalath alia Boothaya and Nihal for the arson attack on the Lanka eNews website office at Malabe on Jan. 31 night. Head of the Nugegoda Police Division Police SSP Deshabandu Tennekoon said they had been arrested in Beruwela. Boothaya hails from Wellampitiya. Another suspect was arrested within 48 hours of the incident by the Talangama Police. more..

STF – Army clash at Deyata Kirula

Feb 12 (DM) t least 12 persons were injured in a clash between a group of Army Commandos and STF personnel during a musical show at the Moneragala Deyata Kirula exhibition on Thursday night.The fight had started after a row on an issue relating to the allocation of an exhibition stall. Eleven service personnel and one civilian were admitted to Moneragala and Buttala hospitals with severe injuries following the clash, police said. Just after the fight began the more..

Deyata Kirula strong platform for development - PM

Feb 12 (DN) Deyata Kirula creates a strong platform for overall development of the country through an attitudinal change, said Prime Minister D M Jayaratne. The Prime Minister said so participating at the concluding ceremony of the Deyata Kirula Exhibition held in Buttala, Moneragala. The Government has allocated billions of funds for the country’s development. Under these development initiatives many mega scale development projects are being carried out throughout the country. more..

State bank employees strike

Feb 12 (Island) State bank employees went ahead with a half day strike yesterday after some confusion in the morning when The Island hit the news stands as the president of the Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union Amarapala Gamage had told The Island Financial Review that it was called off, pending an executive committee meeting to be held on Friday. Employees of both state and private sector banks had threatened to take trade union action after more..