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Sharing sentiments...

Jan 24 (LG) The Mahinda regime is a virtual dictatorship with all powers concentrated in the executive presidency. The 18th amendment cleared all obstacles. It is in the tradition of The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon. In that “Eighteenth Brumaire”, on December 2, 1851, followers of President Louis Bonaparte (Napoleon’s nephew) broke up the Legislative Assembly and established a dictatorship. A year later, Louis Bonaparte proclaimed himself Emperor Napoleon III. more..

Govt is silent on disarming the paramilitaries

Jan 24 (LG) The paramilitary leader and the government minister Douglas Devananda is strenuously trying to create a better image about his EPDP group without addressing the publicised issues associated with his nefarious engagements in the north and east. He attempted to be ethical, when he cried in the parliament about the kidnaps and murders in the north and he denied his men were not involved in the rapes exposed by the Wikileaks. more..

Balha Gilano : Henry & Manel

Jan 24 (LG) 'Balha Gilano' of which the Sinhalese meaning 'Balawathse Gilanwa' is the story of the final few years of the lives of monumental actors Henry and Manel Jayasena. Words have deeper meanings when taken in a cultural context. In this regard it is hard to find a literal English translation of the word 'Gilanwa' for the meaning that it has inculcated in my mind as a Sri Lanka born person. To me 'Gilanwa' is a blend of age and sickness. more..

Legitimacy crisis envelopes the world over the issue of investigations

Jan 24 (TC) This is not another critique of Amnesty International (AI) or any of the international human rights organizations. But reference needs to be made to the interesting press release issued by AI, and some issues arising from it. The press release asks the US to investigate President Rajapaksa, who is on a ‘private’ visit to that great land of freedom, hope and justice, the US. One such issue concerns the interesting and rather curious nature of contemporary more..

National question must not be treated as a rift between the Sinhalese and Tamils with Muslims caught in the middle

Jan 24 (TC) Newspaper reports about the recent meeting between President Rajapakse and the media has given encouragement to those who value freedom of expression. The President had apparently said that he does not resent any criticism that is directed against him in the media but the latter should not in any way encourage ethnic or religious friction. The Citizens’ Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG) believes that more..

'When Mahela held on to the catch, I was on top of the world'

Jan 24 (ST) There have been quite a few left arm seamers that South Asia have produced during the last one hundred years, but if one pops the question who have been the most successful down the line, many a pundit would prune the number down to just two --- Wasim Akram from Pakistan and Chaminda Vaas from Sri Lanka. From the Lankan lines Vaas is easily the most successful new ball operator the country has ever produced and more..

Four challenges before Rajapaksa

Jan 24 (LG) Sri Lanka faces four immediate challenges that should be taxing the brains of those who are supposed to be leading us towards an ‘Asian Miracle.’ The most serious appears to be the La Nina rains that pelted the island and caused havoc — the damage caused being said to be greater than the devastation of the 2004 tsunami. About a million people were affected by La Nina, an estimated 40 persons killed and the damage estimated at Rs. 40 billion. more..

Dayan Jayatilleke assumes duty as Ambassador in Paris

Jan 24 (TC) The newly appointed Sri Lankan Ambassador to France, with accreditation to Spain and Portugal, and Sri Lanka’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka assumed duties at the Embassy in Paris on January 17. Speaking on the occasion, the newly appointed Ambassador highlighted the necessity for engagement with the French society in the bilateral arena and stressed the importance of a greater degree of cross cultural dialogue in a bid to broaden more..

'Some groups are trying to distort the prevailing situation in Jaffna'

Jan 24 (MoD) During this local government election season, though some unscrupulous group are trying to distort the prevailing situation in Jaffna giving a wrong impression to the world no underworld gang is operating in Jaffna and the President and the Defence Secretary has given instructions to control the reported violence in the area' said the Commander Security Forces - Jaffna Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe said more..

Is El Nino - Southern Oscillation cause of change in weather patterns in Sri Lanka?

Jan 24 (DM) The climate of Sri Lanka is known to be "tropical- monsoonal" primarily due its location, 6 to 10 degrees north of the equator and the seasonal rhythm of rainfall during the south- west and north -east monsoons from May to September and December to February respectively. The periods in between are referred to as the inter monsoonal periods. These conditions are basically due to two seasonal wind regimes giving rise to the monsoons and more..

V. N. Navaratnam: A personal tribute to the former Chavakachcheri MP

Jan 24 (TC) On January 29th, it will be twenty years since the death of V.N. Navaratnam, Member of Parliament for Chavakachcheri for many years (1956-1983). Though he was of course much older than me, I think I can claim to have known him well, for he was a particular friend of my father, and associated with him with affection whilst he was Secretary General of Parliament. Their friendship was an epitome of an aspect of this country that has long been overshadowed by less more..

Batticaloa – The Aftermath

Jan 24 (SL) Batticaloa is a subdued landscape. The floods have oppressed its people, but they are already beginning to rise again. The long years of the war seem to have given them a level of resilience that is admirable. At first, driving in, one sees uncharacteristically lush, green plains on either side of the road. Swathes of land that would usually have been dusty and brown from lack of water are now blossoming. more..

Editorial: The GLF boycott: A ludicrous blunder

Jan 24 (Island) India has gone out of her way to waive some of her tough visa re-entry restrictions to help Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk attend the Galle Literary Festival (GLF). But, Pamuk is not coming, we are told. He seems to have joined forces with a group of literary figures and some self-opinionated charlatans who have lent their voice to a Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF)-instigated boycott of the GLF. "[It's] highly disturbing that literature is being celebrated in more..

Editorial: Food crisis

Jan 24 (DM) Recently the President warned of an impending food crisis. Warned that the food prices could shoot up after devastating floods in the north and east of the country destroyed rice and vegetable crops. Large swathes of rice fields in the east and north central areas went under water during recent floods. Vegetable prices had already gone up after the devastating floods. Knowing the impending crisis is one; being prepared to face it is another. more..

Sri Lanka budget on track; land sales to boost revenues in 2011

Jan 24 (LBO) Sri Lanka is to raise up to 500 million US dollars from land sales in 2011, a top official has said as November data indicated that the 2010 budget has been contained within targets. Treasury secretary P B Jayasundera was quoted as saying in Bloomberg, a newswire that Sri Lanka hoped to raise about 500 million US dollars from land sales to developers in 2011. Sales of two blocks on land near a Colombo beachfront to more..

Guarding what is ours

Jan 24 (Island) The biological and genetic materials found in different animals, plants and micro organisms were initially recognized as a common property of human kind and were freely exchanged between countries. This situation started to change with globalization and privatization of plant varieties. In the recent past, the demand for private ownership of plant varieties increased rapidly due to the global move for privatization of biodiversity. more..

Proper waste disposal in Karadiyana

Jan 24 (GDI) The Karadiyana Waste Management Project is to be launched to solve the garbage issue in the District said the Chief Minister of Western Province Prasanna Ranatunga. The Karadiyana Wast Management Site will be reopened on January 26 with the aim of producing 50 tons of compost daily. Karddiyana in Piliyandasa receives waste from Moratuwa MC, Dehiwala-Mout Lavinia MC, Kesbewa and Boralesgamuwa US. In addition Panadura Pradeshiya Sabha and more..

A dying cause?

Jan 24 (NS) Cases of elephants paying with their lives and habitats in the current era of rapid development have become so ‘common’ in Sri Lanka today that some even tend to take it for granted, saying that ‘you can’t help it after all’. However, is it fair to justify the deaths of elephants, while in human captivity, as a result of negligence or cruelty? The recent case was reported from the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, where its tallest elephant ‘Neelagiri’ succumbed to his stab injuries, more..

People turn against paramilitary groups in Batticaloa

Jan 24 (TN) Batticaloa residents have shown their anger against Karuna, Pillayan paramilitary groups by organizing demonstrations against the factions of the groups, one led by a deputy minister of Rajapaksa-government Muralitharan (Karuna) and the other by chief minister S. Chandrakanthan (Pillayan). On Tuesday, an spontaneous street-demonstration condemned attacks by Pillayan group on divisional secretary and village officer attached to Ma'nmunaippattu DS office. more..

Overlooked jailor challenges murder suspect colleague’s promotion

Jan 24 (ST) A fundamental rights petition filed in the Supreme Court challenging the promotion of a jailor who is charged with murder was granted leave to proceed. The petitioner D.R. Dammika Dassanayake cited Justice and Legal Reforms Ministry Secretary Suhada Gamlath, Prisons Commissioner General V.R. Silva, Justice and Legal Reforms Ministry Additional Secretary Mrs. Dilhara Amerasinghe, Ministry Assistant Secretary Mrs. Saman Kumari, the Public Administration and more..

SLR earns Rs 77 m from ticketless passengers

Jan 24 (DN) Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) arrested 14,044 people who were found travelling without tickets in trains and charged Rs 77 million from them in 2010. The SLR recovered RS.4.8million as fines from the 8,840 ticketless travellers within the Colombo region while 3,204 people who were travelling without tickets have paid Rs 1.6 million in the Anuradhapura region last year. “The Railway authorities charged Rs 1.2 million from 2,000 people who more..

UNP team in North to pick LG polls candidates, review Jaffna situ

Jan 24 (Island) A UNP delegation would tour the Northern Province on Sunday (Jan. 23) and Monday to interview those interested in contesting the forthcoming Local Government elections, party sources told The Island. They said the delegation consisting of MPs Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena and S. Swaminathan would meet prospective candidates in Vavuniya, Mannar, Mullaitivu and Jaffna and also discuss the situation in Jaffna. more..

Search and rescue teams to tackle future disasters

Jan 24 (NS) Security forces are planning to set up a search and rescue administration in the East to tackle any future emergencies, a top military official said. Some 200 teams will be trained and deployed covering the entire province and the Polonnaruwa district to take swift action and help disaster victims, Eastern Security Forces Commander Major-General Boniface Perera said. His remarks came as authorities stepped up relief operations in the wake of the recent more..

Judge gets special extension

Jan 24 (ST) High Court Judge W.T.M.P.B. Warawewa has been appointed as a High Court Special Commissioner enabling him to complete the hearing of the ‘White Flag’ case among others after his retirement age. The appointment will be valid for one year. The judge was due to retire on January 29. The appointment will enable him to continue hearing the ‘White Flag’ case in which former Army commander Sarath Fonseka has been charged withto more..

Indian Opposition parties slam the killing

Jan 24 (Hindu) The latest killing of a fisherman, allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy, on Saturday evoked strong condemnation from Opposition political parties which demanded effective measures from the Tamil Nadu government and the Centre to put an end to such incidents. In a statement here, AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa said the victim was an AIADMK member and accused the Chief Minister of doing nothing to prevent such killings. He was “enacting a more..

Grama Charika cancelled in the wake of Sajith, Ravi clash

Jan 24 (Island) In the wake of Sajith Premadasa, MP and Ravi Karunanayake, MP clashing on Saturday over nominations for the Tissamaharama and Beliatta Pradeshiya Sabhas, the UNP cancelled a scheduled ‘Grama Charika’ political programme in the Wattala electorate on Sunday. Party sources said that the two MPs had had a war of words with their supporters following suit. They had called each other ‘balla’ and ‘booruwa’ (dog and donkey respectively) more..

Fisherman strangled off Kodiakarai

Jan 24 (Hindu) A fisherman was strangled with a piece of rope allegedly by Sri Lankan Naval personnel. The victim and two others were fishing south east off Kodiakarai in Vedaranyam on Saturday night, his associates said. Jayakumar (28), along with his brother Senthil (25) and an associate Rajendran (42), ventured out into the sea from Pushpavanam here on Saturday morning. According to Senthil, the incident occurred around 11 p.m., when their boat more..

Pro-LTTE activist held on sedition charge in India

Jan 24 (TOI) A human rights activist, two advocates and seven other persons were arrested on sedition charges on Saturday night in Cuddalore district. Police said human rights activist Prabha Kalvimani, advocates Karthikeyan and Thirumurugan and state organiser of a pro-LTTE outfit, Balaguru and Nagai Mugan from Chennai, made pro-LTTE statements at a conference held on Saturday night. The speakers also made anti-India remarks when a police team intervened and more..

CMC plans to improve health services

Jan 24 (Island) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has allocated Rs. 175 million for its Curative Health Department to make improvements this year (2011) including upgrading its services and making available medicine at its 39 dispensaries in the city. Special Commissioner of the CMC Omar Kamil said that out of the nearly 750,000 city dwellers there were about 250,000 living in 1,500 settlements and that the CMC was duty bound to assist them in more..

Read his lips

Has the Sinhala-Tamil parting of ways shifted to over-drive?

Jan 24 (LG) President Mahinda Rajapakse – like all leaders in history - naturally wishes to go down as one of the great Sinhala political leaders in contemporary times – if not the greatest. He has gained the single most credible of credentials. Fom the Sinhala perspective that is – that eclipses all other. He ensured the decimation of the much dreaded Prabakaran and his LTTE. Something which seniors like J.R. Jayawardena, R. Premadasa and more..

Squatters lash out at govt over ‘callous’ action

Jan 24 (Island) In spite of protests by squatters, the government is in the process of gradually evicting them from the city and its suburbs. The CMC, backed by the police on Saturday cleared some of the illegal structures along Hospital Street, amidst strong protests by shop owners. Shop owners on Sunday told The Island that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had ordered them to be removed. They alleged that the government move was illegal and callous as more..

Jewellers have paid millions in ransom to extortion gangs

Jan 24 (DM) Criminal gangs had extorted a colossal sum of money from jewellers during the past few years, but no affected person revealed the actual amount given as ransom due to fear for lives, jewellers said yesterday. Leading jewellers including a few who paid ransom to these gangs had a meeting with senior police officers on Saturday to discuss the problems faced by them. It was meditated by Deputy Minister Faiszer Musthafa. more..

Maid suspected of strangling newborn baby

Jan 24 (GDN) A Sri Lankan housemaid has been arrested on suspicion of strangling her newborn baby just moments after giving birth. Sources told the GDN she stuffed a piece of cloth inside the infant's mouth after strangling it to make sure it was dead. The 39-year-old is alleged to have killed the child last Thursday before hiding its body in a storeroom at her Bahraini employer's home. She apparently confessed to her boss the same day after he confronted her because more..

Military discipline for university students

Jan 24 (wsws) In another unprecedented, anti-democratic step, the Sri Lankan government will require all students entering universities to undergo instruction in military camps. Higher education ministry secretary Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said that a program had been discussed, with the support of defence ministry, to give students two weeks of “leadership training”. He said students would be trained in “presentation skills, visionary thinking and conflict resolution skills”. more..

Solheim asked Lunstead to keep B’singham comment on Prabha confidential

Jan 24 (Island) One-time LTTE Chief Negotiator, Anton Balasingham, secretly expressed satisfaction over growing international pressure on LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, for assassinations carried on his orders. The former British High Commission employee (in Colombo) had felt that international pressure could force Prabhakaran to stop his murderous campaign. more..

Polls: Women come together

Jan 24 (DM) A group of 35 women said that they would contest the upcoming Local Government elections under any other party or independent group if they were deprived of the opportunity to contest under the two main political parties. Among them 23 women who had requested nominations from the ruling UPFA and 13 from the UNP said that they were over 35 years of age and they had more experience than those below 35. more..

Field data on National Parks collected

Jan 24 (DN) The Wildlife Conservation Department is currently gathering field data on biodiversity information and geological data of its National Parks to develop facilities inside them to correspond with international standards to promote quality eco tourism. The Treasury has allocated Rs 525 million to the Wildlife Conservation Department to upgrade access roads, information centers, circuit bungalows, more..

Working people should be able to tell govt 'Increase salaries by Rs.10,000 or go home!'

Jan 24 (LT) The time has come to present a new socio- economic programme for the society and it would be presented by the JVP at the forthcoming local government elections says the Member of the Political Bureau of the JVP and President of the All Ceylon Trade Union Federation (ACTUF) K.D. Lal Kanthe. He said, “By now the programme of the government has completely broken down. more..

Bonded lecturers can return soon

Jan 24 (DM) More than 1000 university teachers who had gone abroad to continue their doctorates and masters had not returned in violating the stipulations, officials said yesterday. University teachers go abroad for further studies to foreign universities on state expense after signing a bond which stipulates they should return. In his effort to reverse the brain drain, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has however invited them to return to the country and more..