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Former UNP Minister Sarathchandra Rajakaruna passes away

Jan 10 (GDI) A former Minister and Former Gampaha District MP Sarathchandra Rajakaruna passed away this morning at his “Millatha” residence atKirindiwela. He entered Parliament for the first time in 1977 as an MP for the then Dompe electorate defeating Mr. Felix R Dias Bandaranaike, a powerful minister of the 1970 government of Mrs Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike and became a deputy minister in 1977. more..

UNP’s leadership battle takes new turn with LG polls

Jan 10 (ST) The many challenges posed by local polls looming ahead failed to unite feuding factions of the country's main opposition UNP, but there is a likelihood that a temporary moratorium may be in place by next week. This is despite hectic efforts by party seniors including Joseph Michael Perera, John Ameratunga and Jayalath Jayawardena, this week. The three J's, as they were described, shuttled between more..

Wikileaks: JVP carrying out ugly anti-Norway campaign

Jan 10 (DM) Another US top secret document, released by the Wikileaks revealed that in late 2004, the Norwegians were increasingly concerned by an ‘ugly’ JVP-orchestrated campaign against their role in the peace process. Stating that “the situation is exacerbated by President Kumaratunga’s reluctance to pull the JVP into line,” the document stated that “Brattskar (then Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo) said he and more..

Bus operators to strike from midnight

Jan 10 (DM) The Lanka Private Bus Owners Association and the All Island Private Bus Owners Association will go on a one day strike in the Western Province from midnight as they charge that the authorities have failed to meet their two demands. However the private bus operators seek the intervention of the President at least by today to solve the matter. The demands were to stop providing new route permits from more..

Love Motherland, says President Rajapaksa at Kaduwela

Jan 10 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared open the Robert Gunawardena Memorial Library Complex in Kaduwela recently which was built with grants from the Kaduwela Pradeshiya Sabha on 07 January. The three storied building complex which cost 70 million rupees to Kaduwela PS is equipped with an auditorium and an office complex. A Children Park has also been built. Addressing the opening ceremony President Rajapaksa said more..

Wikileaks: LTTE left peace talks in a tactical move to get more concessions

Jan 10 (DM) A top secret diplomatic cable made public by Wikileaks reveals that LTTE left peace talks with Sri Lankan government in a tactical move to “get more concessions”. Although the then UNP government led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, had given more than enough concessions to the terror outfit, the Tigers had confessed to Japan that the terror group suspended peace talks with the motive of getting more concessions . more..

'Ministries’ support needed to boost domestic economy'

Jan 11 (DN) The support of all ministries is necessary for the success of the one million domestic economic units program initiated by the Government to improve the domestic economy of the people, said Minister Basil Rajapaksa. He expressed these views at a special meeting last Friday. “This program should also be promoted in the same manner in which the Gamaneguma was taken to villages to develop rural areas with the contribution of all stakeholders. more..

No big names for Kalpitiya, Govt. may issue fresh bids

Jan 11 (ST) The Sri Lankan government may issue fresh bids for Kalpitiya Integrated Tourism Resort Project (KITRP) in the hope of attracting meaty investors, as they are ‘not too happy with those who have been chosen’ to develop 10 islands in Kalpitiya in the Puttalam District. “There are about 11 investors who applied to invest around US$ 500 million to put up tourist resorts, golf courses, marinas, etc in this zone which was defined as a tourist zone by more..

Sri Lankan industrialist honoured by India

Jan 11 (Hindu) Mano Selvanathan, who received this year's Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, is one of Sri Lanka's leading industrialists. As an industry leader and one with extensive business interest in Sri lanka and India, Mr. Selvanathan has been instrumental in introducing Indian business to the island nation. Apart from chairing Sri Lanka's largest chamber of commerce, he was Founder-Chairman of the Indo-Lanka Chamber of Commerce and Industry. more..

UNP set to create foundation to establish a government : Karu .

Jan 11 (ST) UNP is united now and will face the Local Authority elections to create the foundation to establish a government, UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya said. He made the comment speaking to the media during the first Grama Charika of 2011 which was held on Saturday at Kotte. “The government took a decision to hold the Local Authority elections all over the island on the same day but within 60 hours they changed their decision”, he said more..

Disaster Management Minister tours worst affected Eastern Province

Jan 11 (GDI) Minister of Disaster Management Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera has proceeded to Ampara District on a fact finding tour to see the people affected by floods in the District with several lorry loads of relief assistance items including tents, food, drinking water and other essentials. Mr. Amaraweera said that he will be touring the whole of flood affected areas in the Ampara District today and more..

Police tell northern residents to protect themselves

Jan 11 (GDI) Mounting incidents of crime in the northern Jaffna and Vavuniya districts have prompted Police to advise residents to wear only imitation jewellery and take extra steps to protect their homes. These are among the measures proposed by two senior Police superintendents in leaflets widely disturbed yesterday in the north. The move comes as Police were taking tough new measures to curb violent incidents in the North. more..

Mano rejects brother

Jan 11 (NN) DPF leader Mano Ganeshan has rejected any attempt to reconcile with his brother Prabha Ganeshan for the upcoming local government elections. MP Prabha Ganeshan, who is now with the government, said that he will decide within the next few days if to work with his brother’s party or the government for the polls. The Democratic People’s Front is expected to contest the local government elections in the Colombo, Kandy, Kalutara and Nuwera Eliya districts. more..

No discussions on leaving the party - Ratnasiri

Jan 11 (NN) Former Prime Minister and minster Ratnasiri Wickremanayake said today that he has not had any discussions with the opposition regarding leaving his party and that no one can keep him quiet about any issue. He added that those who knew him and his political views well wouldn’t be worried about rumours that he was preparing to leave the governing party. He said jokingly that he only conducts discussions with women and had no business to discuss with men. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 10.01.2011

Attack on Sirasa head office: Police ordered to file action against suspects

Jan 11 (NF) Fort Magistrate Ms. Lanka Jayaratne, today ordered the Slave Island police to send all extracts with regard to the attack on the Sirasa Head Office to the Attorney General and file action against the suspects. The order was made on a request made by attorneys at law Tissa Dias Nanayakkara and Udaya Rohan De Silva on behalf of Sirasa. When the case was taken up before the magistrate today, police told court that the police information book more..

Chinese work in Hambantota while Lankans are unemployed: Ranil

Jan 11 (NF) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe questions as to what type of future has been created for the youth despite the lapse of two years since the conclusion of the war. The Opposition leader made this statement at a meeting held at the party headquarters Sirikotha in Pitakotte on Saturday. A youth meeting was held at the United National Party headquarters Sirikotha concurrent to the Grama Charika programme. more..

Pakistan to train Lankan spies

Jan 11 (DM) Pakistan can train police and intelligence officers of Sri Lanka, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari said today. He was talking to a Sri Lankan parliamentary delegation headed by Speaker of Parliament Chamal Rajapakse who is currently visiting Pakistan. The Sri Lankan delegation included beside others Minister for Disaster Management Sri Lanka Mohammad Fowzie Abdul Hameed. The Pakistan President also stressed for enhancing economic cooperation more..

China Communications to build Sri Lanka port expansion

Jan 11 (Reuters) China Communications Construction Company (1800.HK) has been given an $810 million contract to build the second phase of Sri Lanka's new port, the ports authority said on Monday. Hambantota, which opened in November, is set to be Sri Lanka's biggest port once completed and give the Indian Ocean country access to traffic on one of the world's biggest East-West shipping lanes, located a few kilometres off its southern coast. more..

Decline in Tea production raises concern

Jan 11 (SL) The Tea Promotion Division has said the decline in the country’s annual tea production needed to be addressed immediately. Director of the Tea Promotion Division, Asitha Alwis has observed that Sri Lanka’s tea production had declined to 290 million kilos in 2009 compared to 311 million kilos in 2005. According to Alwis, Kenya has become the newest threat to Sri Lanka in the international tea market although the country’s previous competitors were China and India. more..

Bus strike postponed

Jan 11 (NN) The private bus strike in the Western Province which was scheduled to take place from midnight tonight has been postponed, President of the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association Gemunu Wijeyratna said a short while ago. The Association had earlier decided to go ahead with the strike after talks with the Transport Minister had failed this afternoon but Wijeyratna said that a decision was now taken to “postpone” the strike until further notice. more..

Flood situation remains grim in Sri Lanka

Jan 11 (PTI) At least eight people have been killed in rain triggered floods and mudslide in Sri Lanka, even as 819,759 people were affected in the country due to the continuing grim weather conditions. MI 17 helicopter dropped around 2,500 kilos of dry rations in Batticaloa district today,the worst affected by the flood. 24 persons were rescued in adjoining district of Ampara despite heavy rain and strong winds, air force officials said. more..

5 member committee from JVP to prepare nominations

Jan 11 (LT) The JVP has appointed a five member committee to prepare lists of candidates for the forthcoming local government elections. The Information Secretary of the JVP Vijithe Herath, Members of its Political Bureau Anura Dissanayake and Lal Kanthe and former MPs Bimal Ratnayake and Ramalingam Chandrasekar are appointed for this committee. The committee intends completing the initial stage of the nomination lists by the 17th January. more..

'LG polls campaign should be given priority'

Jan 11 (SL) The UNP’s Working Committee is to decide on Thursday (13) the position with regard to the reforms that were ratified at the party convention on December 12. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathileka told a press conference that whole there have been some requests to postpone the reforms until the end of the local government elections, some other were of the view that the reforms should be completed before the elections in March this year. more..

Seeking asylum and student visas

Jan 11 (LG) A little known but very important fact is that asylum-seekers or other illegal immigrants held in detention centres in the UK are entitled to free Legal Aid. Legal Aid is available to certain categories of immigrants seeking residency or refuge and is part of the UK government’s policy to give sanctuary to those genuinely deserving it. But vulnerable detainees seek the help of immigration solicitors often paying huge sums of money to stop their deportation. more..

Terror in Tamil land: an extension of the notion of humanitarian operation

Jan 11 (LG) It would be recalled, that pregnant with deep and bitter sarcasm, President Rajapkse in a recent passing out parade of the air force cadets implored the forces and State institutions (implied there in), either mischievously or otherwise, to continue the “good” work of the humanitarian operation towards the Tamils for their further “liberation” as done during the final stages of the war against the LTTE in which nearly 40,000 innocent Tamil civilian non combatants more..

Nursery school from Seva Vanitha Unit of Department of Civil Security

Jan 11 (LG) Seva Vanitha Unit of the Department of Civil Security set up a nursery school named “Suhada Kekulu Nursery School” for the benefit of children in Forut village, Nonagama Ambalantota. The nursery school was declared open by Member of Parliament Mr. Namal Rajapaksa on Saturday, (08 Jan). Over 25 children, who were displaced by the tsunami in December 2004, receive nursery education at present. more..

S. Sivanayagam — The Journalist

Jan 11 (LG) Subramaniam Sivanayagam passed away in Colombo on 29th of November 2010 in his eightieth (80) year. They were two in the family and his only sister Thaiyalnayagi predeceased him in October 1995 during the exodus of people from Jaffna. Born in 1930, he has had a chequered writing career spanning nearly half a century. Students of his time enjoyed the best of both worlds with English as the medium of instruction and equal emphasis being given for more..

'Why can’t we admit our mistakes?'

Jan 11 (LG) According to one newspaper report last week, a certain senior minister has said “I asked one minister where his office was, he said it was in the sky. What is this? There should be a plan before anything is done. Otherwise, the people will lose faith in the government”. He has said further, that people might wonder how a government that could not even do such small things be able to do bigger things. Then he has added that the faith the people had in the more..

'They can murder me but they cannot murder our struggle'

Jan 11 (LG) I will never stop my struggle to restore democracy in Sri Lanka, Venerable Uvathanne Sumana thera told the Sri Lanka Guardian from Colombo. Sumana thera was imprisoned over fabricated allegations made by the Mahinda Rajapaksha government for political gain during the presidential election. But now he was released on bail.'Sumana thera has briefed us of his situation, “It was last November I met the President, more..

LG Elections - a reality check for government

Jan 11 (LG) The upcoming local government elections to be held in March in some 80 per cent of 330 local government bodies in the country will prove to be interesting for many reasons. Notwithstanding the fact that the government has decided not to hold elections in areas where the Cricket World Cup matches are scheduled to be held, the polling will cover all districts of the country. In Batticaloa too, where most of the district’s local bodies were elected in 2008 more..

Towards a fruitier and nuttier 2011

Jan 11 (LG) Whether a coconut is considered a fruit or nut, with a coconut being priced at around Rs 75 — the highest ever — a cynical political pundit predicts that the year 2011 will be fruitier and nuttier than in the years before. No reason has been offered why the biggest of nuts should reach such an astronomical price but it does appear that things are getting fruitier and nuttier in this resplendent isle. As the year opens, for no stated reason an anti English frenzy more..

What I said at the LLRC?

Jan 11 (LG) This is a presentation on behalf of the people of Mannar district by the Roman Catholic Bishop and Priests of the Diocese of Mannar[1] to the LLRC. At the outset, we must express our disappointment that previous Commissions of Inquiry have failed to establish the truth into human rights violations and extrajudicial killings they were inquiring and bring justice and relief to victims and their families. more..

Editorial: Wikileaks puts light on

Jan 11 (Island) Wikileaks continues to expose the dark forces that have been gnawing away at the roots of global democracy, while masquerading as knights in shining armour on a mission to slay the dragon of terrorism. A classified US diplomatic cable (dated Oct. 23, 2003), which the whistle-blower website has published, sheds light on the connivance of the western powers involved with Sri Lanka's 'peace process' under the UNF government (2001-2004) in the LTTE's criminal activity. more..

Editorial: The win-win way of conflict resolution

Jan 11 (DM) Last week, the Daily Mirror in its editorials spotlighted the need for our country's leaders to experience liberation form slavery to selfishness, self-interest, self-centeredness, deception, greed and related vices if the mega-development projects they plan are to be sustained on solid foundations. We spotlighted the spiritual and historical realities that if leaders are working for personal gain or glory or to build more..

Colombo hurriedly appoints Sinhala civil officials to North

Jan 11 (TN) Colombo establishment is hurriedly attempting to appoint Sinhala officials in higher posts of the civil administration in the North in recent days, civil sources in Jaffna said. Sinhala officials are being appointed to top level civil services posts of local civil administration, the civil sources further said. Meanwhile, among 135 new recruits to Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) recently, there is not even one Tamil and there was only one Muslim. more..

TNA parliamentarian rescued from being drowned in Batticaloa flood

Jan 11 (TN) Pakkiaselvam Ariyanethran, the TNA MP of Batticaloa district narrowly escaped from being washed away by flood water Sunday evening when he was returning via Ka'luvaagnchikkudi- Paddiruppu Bridge after inspecting the flood situation in Paduvaankarai area. Ariyanethran MP left Sunday morning in his vehicle and visited transit camps located in flood affected villages Veaththucheanai, Villukku'lam, Pazhukaamam, Arasadiththeevu and more..

Lanka to expand palm oil cultivation

Jan 11 (DN) Indonesia has agreed to help Sri Lanka in expanding palm oil cultivation in the country. An agreement has been inked to this effect during recent discussions held by Plantation Industries Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe with the Indonesian officials. As a result Indonesian officials have agreed to provide expert knowledge and new palm varieties with higher yields to Sri Lanka. According to an agreement between the two countries Indonesia is set to provide more..

Trincomalee, Batticaloa flooded

Jan 11 (TN) Heavy rain fall since Saturday night has brought the normal life in the three districts of East, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampaarai, to standstill and almost all the villages including DS offices are under water. In Batticaloa district alone 421,851 persons from 112,039 families have been affected. The two districts, Trincomalee and Batticaloa, were experiencing heavy rain with strong winds till Sunday evening amid fears that more..

US embassy positive on ‘Peace Collection’, says ministry

Jan 11 (Island) The Ministry of Industries and Commerce in a statement issued yesterday (10) said it held fruitful talks with officials of the US Embassy to create linkages between the rural economy with global markets. The ministry said it was developing a ‘Peace Collection’ of branded rural produce and that it would initially support supply chain development for rural industries such as handloom, pottery, vegetables and fruits. more..