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On Ban's 'abnormal' understanding with Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa, UN won't answer

Oct 2 (ICP) The UN's stonewalling on Sri Lanka expanded on October 1 with the Spokesman for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon dodging whether Ban reached a private understanding with President Mahinda Rajapaksa that Rajapaksa could represent what Ban said in a one on one meeting about the limits of the UN war crimes panel. “It's up to individual heads of state” to issue whatever summaries they want, Spokesman Martin Nesirky said. more..

Fonseka settles in, will not seek pardon from ‘anyone’

Oct 2 (Island) Former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka says he will not appeal for clemency or pardon. He was removed to the Welikada Prison on Thursday night from the Naval headquarters and will not be assigned any task until his appeal against the Court Martial ruling is disposed of, according to sources. Fonseka has appealed against the ruling of the Court Martial that sentenced him to a 30-month jail term. more..

Air taxis to land on lakes

Oct 2 (DM) The Sri Lankan Air Taxi Service (SLATS) managed by SriLankan airlines will use some of the lakes in Colombo and the suburbs for landing its seaplanes. The suspended seaplane service which is expected to resume in December will use the Beira Lake, Negombo Lagoon, Castlereagh reservoir the Tissamaharama Tank and Arugam Bay as landing locations. The SLATS routes will be covering a large span of areas including Kandy, Bentota, Nuwara Eliya, Galle, more..

Enough chicken for Christmas

Oct 2 (Island) There will be no shortage of chicken during the forthcoming Christmas season. President of the Poultry Producers Association Dr. D.D. Wanasinghe assures that production will be increased to about 9,700 MT from the present 8,200 MT per month. He said that there was no need for the government to import chicken as there was no shortage. However, he admitted that there was a shortage of eggs in the market as no permits had been issued so far to import chicks. more..

In two months over 10,000 environment polluters brought to book

Oct 2 (DN) Over 10,000 cases were filed in courts during last two months by the Environment Police Units (EPU) against those who engaged in harmful activities to the environment. They were involved in illegal gem mining, sand transportation, garbage dumping, illegal forest clearing, maintaining fly and mosquito breeding places, destroying corals, noise and air pollution etc. more..

To support child victims: Juvenile Justice Bill soon

Oct 2 (DN) The Government is drafting a Bill on juvenile justice to support child victims and witnesses of crime in the justice process. The draft Bill is in the final stages, Justice Ministry sources said. Meanwhile, the majority age 16, as considered by Sri Lankan Law at which person reaches adulthood is to be extended to “18” under a draft Amendment Bill to the existing Child and Young Persons Ordinance of 1938. more..

Monsoon could cause dengue outbreak

Oct 2 (Island) The Colombo Municipal Council urges city dwellers to keep their premises clean and prevent another dengue outbreak with the onset of the North East monsoons. Chief of the CMC Public Health Department Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said yesterday that the people should make an all out effort to sustain the cleaning programmes initiated by the CMC, its volunteers and the Sri Lanka Army by checking and cleaning their premises every week. more..

'Chandrika, Mahinda led SLFP only after becoming President'

Oct 2 (Island) Neither Chandrika Kumaratunga or Mahinda Rajapaksa were appointed SLFP leder, until they had become President of the country, the UNP’s National List MP Eran Wickremeratne said yesterday. He told The Island that the leadership issue in the UNP should be looked at more deeply, because it was an issue of democracy and exists in every political party. Chandrika was appointed leader of the SLFP only after she was elected President. more..

Police deployed to sabotage poster campaign against imprisonment of General

Oct 2 (LT) Police have been deployed to sabotage the lawful poster campaign launched by the JVP throughout the island against arbitrary imprisonment by the government of former Commander of the Army Gen. Sarath Fonseka states the media unit of the JVP. The members of the JVP who were putting up posters against the imprisonment of Gen. Sarath Fonseka have been taken into custody at several places and more..

DNA taking Fonseka issue to IPU today

Oct 2 (DM) The Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Human Rights Committee which is meeting in Geneva today is expected to take up issue of Democratic National Alliance (DNA) leader retired General Sarath Fonseka’s imprisonment. DNA front-liner Vijitha Herath said the party had already informed the committee of all the matters connected to the issue. He said DNA MP Tiran Alles was to participate in today’s meeting but more..

'Devananda owes Water Board Rs.10 mn'

Oct 2 (Island) Minister Douglas Devananda, owes the Water Supply and Drainage Board Rs.10 million in upaid bills, the UNP alleges. The outstanding amounts relate to two houses that Devananda occupied at Park Road and Layards Road in Colombo, UNP Western Provincial Councillor Niroshan Padukke said. "As at August 2010, the unpaid bill for the Park Road residence was Rs. 8.3 million, while the dues for the Layards Road house stood at Rs.1.7 million. more..

John dismisses speculation

Oct 2 (DM) UNP MP John Amaratunga who dismissed speculation that he was going to join the government yesterday said false stories had been unnecessarily spread by many. Mr. Amratunga said that he did receive an invitation by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to join him on his recent tour to New York but he only visited USA on his own. “I only visited my children who are residing in USA,” he said. more..

'Constitution describes pardon procedure'

Oct 2 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that the existing Constitution describes a clear process to follow if former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka appeals for a pardon. He said that he would evaluate it if and when such an appeal is made using established regulations. The President made these comments when he met leading Buddhist Clergy of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee and Vavuniya Districts in more..

'Economic dividends alone will not heal wounds of war'

Oct 2 (CT) US assistant secretary of state Robert O' Blake says economic dividends alone will not heal the wounds of war in Sri Lanka. A range of humanitarian, political and other steps must be taken to ensure the Tamils of Sri Lanka a future of hope, opportunity and dignity, he told the World Affairs Council in San Diego. He noted that the future of Sri Lanka holds promise with the end of the war and the impressive economic growth. more..

MR invited to address Oxford Union Society again

Oct 2 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been invited to address the Oxford Union again. This is the first time in the history of the prestigious organisation a head of State has been invited to address it for the second time. The President of the Union, James Kingston, in his invitation to President Rajapaksa, says that the latter’s ‘extra ordinary leadership’ has seen the momentous achievement of a final and total victory against the forces so long threatening the peace and more..

Sri Lanka hopes to use war strategy on economy

Oct 2 (LBO) The skills that enabled Sri Lanka win against Tamil separatists can be used to revive the economy and catch up on growth lost by 30 years of war, an architect of the military campaign said. These include having a positive vision and clear goals, bold decision-making, following up to the end despite pressure, good leadership, proper planning and teamwork, Gothabaya Rajapaksa, secretary to the defence ministry, said. more..

What kind of appeal do they expect, asks Anoma

Oct 2 (DM) Anoma Fonseka - wife of jailed DNA leader and former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka who ruled out the possibility of her husband tendering an apology yesterday said the government should clearly state as to what the government really meant by its latest offer of redress. Ms Fonseka was responding to the statement made by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that the government would consider redress to her husband if he made an appeal. more..

Police cracks down on unlicensed firearms in the East

Oct 3 (SL) The Police Department has called for all unlicensed firearms in operation in the Eastern Province be handed over to the police by October 30. Senior DIG in charge of the Eastern Province Edison Gunathilaka has been quoted as saying that every police station in the Eastern Province has been notified of the directive. The DIG has said that legal action would be instituted against any person who possesses an unlicensed fire arm after October 30. more..

Flour prices and bread prices to increase

Oct 3 (SL) Bakery owners today (2) warned that the price of a loaf of bread would be increased by Rs. 2-3 in the next few weeks following the increase of flour prices. The All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association Chairman N.K. Jayewardena said that the bread price increase would be due to the increase in flour prices by Rs. 8.50 per kilo from midnight tonight. He has said that the prices of other flour based food products would also be increased accordingly. more..

Campaign against arbitrary imprisonment of General commences from Kadawatha

Oct 3 (LT) The first of the protest rallies organized by the JVP protesting against arbitrary imprisonment of former Commander of the Army Gen. Sarath Fosneka was held in Kadawatha town today (2nd) afternoon. The media unit of the JVP states the rallies to agitate against the arbitrary imprisonment will be held in main towns throughout the island. The posters condemning Fonseka’s imprisonment and calling for his immediate release were more..

‘Jumper’ for General; not even a mat to sleep; coir pillow for his head

Oct 3 (LeN) The former Army Commander General Fonseka who won a 30 year war for the country (not for his self advancement) was sentenced to a 2 ½ year rigorous imprisonment by the very Head of the country who described him as the greatest war Hero and a patriot after the victory. Yesterday night, he had to sleep on the cement floor with a coir pillow for his head and Fonseka had to enter his ward after removing his clothes and wearing the prison ‘jumper’. more..

GL appreciates Egypt’s stand on final phase of humanitarian operation

Oct 3 (Island) External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris, during his discussions with Foreign Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt Ahmed Aboul Gheit, on the margins of the UN General Assembly, expressed Sri Lanka’s firm appreciation of the supportive stance of Egypt, when matters pertaining to the final phase of the humanitarian operation against separatist terrorism, came up in May 2009 in the UN Human Rights Council. more..

New nursing officials grading sparks doctor-nurse clash

Oct 3 (DM) Sparking another possible clash between doctors and nurses, the GMOA has vehemently protested the new grading of nursing officials by the Health Ministry in line with the proposed Nursing Service Minute. Secretary of the GMOA, Dr. Bimantha Gunasekara said doctors and the hospital management would face difficulties to carry out routine work at hospitals with the change of the name of official posts of nurses. more..

CTU objects selling past paper booklets

Oct 3 (DM) Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) yesterday objected to the Education Ministry’s decision to sell Grade five scholarship examination past paper booklets as it is a violation of the free education system and wanted the books to be distributed free. CTU General Secretary Joseph Stalin speaking to Daily Mirror yesterday pointed out that the Education Ministry should not be selling booklets as its operations are managed and maintained through state funds. more..

Vindictive Politics in Sri Lanka

Oct 3 (LG) It is really funny to see the style of functioning of democracy in Sri Lanka that former Chief of the Army staff has become a traitor overnight and will have to stay in jail for another thirty months now. One wonders as to the whether the jail term would be further extended , if Mr. Fonseka would continue to pose a political challenge to the present President of SriLanka. Obviously, the democratic process in Sri Lanka has now taken a beating and more..

Is Minister Dew Gunasekera telling the truth?

Oct 3 (LG) Following the revelation recently by the Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Minister Dew Gunasekera that senior LTTE men Yogaratnam Yogi and K.V. Balakumar were killed in the final battle, the relatives of some of the senior members of the LTTE are asking for information about the fate of the remaining surrendees held in captivity by the army. more..

NPA Guidelines were never adhered to by the Defence Secretary

Oct 3 (LG) The open letter of Upasiri de Silva, JP, from Australia to the President Mahinda Rajapakse clearly exposes the fallacy and revengefulness of the President to humiliate, punish and cause irreparable damage to General Fonseka. The revelation by Mr Silva only exposes the hocus Military Court presided by junior military officers to the General, thus violating the very Military Act and is clearly a Kagaroo Court of the pandagkarayas to more..

An open letter to the prisoner number 22032

Oct 3 (LG) Now that you are in jail, you could be a great service still to the people of our country by observing and noting the conditions of prisoners. Our prisons are in wretched condition and people are treated in a subhuman manner. This disgraceful treatment of fellow human beings needs to be stopped. With your kind of stamina applied to this task, you will be able to highlight this enormous tragedy of our people. more..

Whither Sri Lanka after successive victories?

Oct 3 (TC) The unforeseen post-war moves of the exceptionally powerful Rajapaksa government have startled many democrats within and outside the island recently liberated from ‘Tiger terrorism’. The controversy over the post-war developments climaxed with the approval of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution by the Sri Lankan Parliament on 8 September 2010 by more than the required two-thirds majority. more..

Editorial: A Nation’s Shame

Oct 3 (SL) On Thursday morning, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, fresh after his trip to New York and the United Nations General Assembly, having busted millions on a jumbo entourage of friends, family and bottle washers, endorsed a 30 month jail term handed out to former Army Commander and presidential candidate, Sarath Fonseka in the second court martial which concluded while the President was away. more..

EPDP Thinamurasu published as daily paper in Jaffna

Oct 3 (TN) Thinamurasu, the EPDP weekly that was published in Colombo and issued in Jaffna peninsula by EPDP leader and Sri Lanka minister Douglas Devananda was released in Jaffna Friday as a daily when he opened his press located in Chu’ndukku’li on Jaffna main road. It is alleged that Douglas Devananda had coerced the editors and workers of former ‘Namathu Eezhanaadu’ daily which had stopped publishing, into working in his newly opened press, more..

Sri Lanka, My Love photographic exhibition opens in Colombo

Oct 3 (Xinhua) "Sri Lanka, My Love" photographic exhibition by Chinese lady journalist Liu Yongqiu kicked off Saturday evening in the capital Colombo with the participation of Sri Lankan Minister Basil Rajapksa and Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yang Xiuping. The exhibition, which is the first by a Chinese journalist, featured 60 photos on Sri Lanka's natural beauty, rich culture, major events and its people. more..

Editorial: Lanka at the forefront in newly emerging countries

Oct 3 (SO) A group of visiting Japanese parliamentarians to the country paid a handsome tribute to Sri Lanka when they met Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne last week. The MPs from Japan said that Sri Lanka is at the forefront of newly emerging countries and added that Sri Lanka could attract foreign investments in no small measure. The Japanese delegation said that if the Sri Lankan Government could improve infrastructure facilities in the near future, more..

Editorial: Do we need more ministers?

Oct 3 (NS) Parliament, after some debate, last month enacted the 18th amendment to the constitution removing the restriction on an individual holding the office of president for only two terms and also effecting changes that replaced the non-functioning constitutional council with a parliamentary council. At the time when the amendment came into being, there was some adroit political manoeuvring which became evident when more..

N Korea sold weapons to LTTE says security expert

Oct 3 (BBC) North Korea had sold weapons to the LTTE since the end of 1997, says the Head of the International Centre for Political Vilolence and Terrorism Reserach , Professor Rohan Gunaratna. He told the BBC Sinhala Service that ninety five per cent of the weapons had been bought from North Korea though they were manufactured in China. The procurement was done by LTTE leader, Ponnaiah Anandarajah, he said. more..

Generals In The Mahavamsa

Oct 3 (SL) In the early Mahavamsa, Generals figure lightly. The later Culavamsa, however, is full of stories of military intrigue, with Generals supporting coups, taking power or getting slain. If one may call this current period the ‘Chootivamsa’, one can see that Generals are still suspect, only today they can’t be executed. They have to be put through a pseudo-judicial ritual which accomplishes the same thing. more..

Editorial: On the mat, literally

Oct 3 (LB) Asurfeit of commentary has been seen in newspapers and elsewhere already about former army commander and presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka. But reports of his transfer last Thursday to the Welikada prison and further newspaper narratives that he had to give up his national dress, change to prison issue clothing and eat pol sambol and rice for breakfast, and sleep on the floor, has suffused the ongoing drama with tragic overtones that are of Shakespearean character. more..

The 2nd Court Martial verdict against Fonseka is gross abomination of justice and democracy

Oct 3 (TC) All Parliaments have full control over public finance. Originally starting as a convention in governance this principle was finally embodied into the respective Constitutions of all nations. In Sri Lanka, it was first enshrined in the 1947 Soulbury Constitution; then in the first Republican Constitution of 1972 and the second Republican Constitution of 1978. more..

Editorial: Unbowed forever?

Oct 3 (Island) Reports in yesterday’s newspapers that former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka had begun serving a 30-month sentence in the Welikada prison, sleeping on a canvas mat in a mosquito-infested cell, would no doubt tug at many heart strings. Whatever he was guilty or not guilty of, here after all is a man who played a major role in defeating the LTTE ending 30 years of terror, having nearly died himself at the hands of a suicide bomber. more..

Ranil goes for jugular but not for reforms

Oct 3 (LB) Now, everybody knows that Eran Wickremeratne is a hand-picked Ranil Wickremesinghe nominee on the UNP National List. Last week, Wickremeratne at a UNP press conference was asked about the party leadership crisis, and he had occasion to say that the party should have something of the sort of a ‘leadership council’ of several leaders in place of the one leader that obtains in the current system today. more..

Much awaited Commonwealth Games begin today

Oct 3 (SL) The curtain of the 19th Edition of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) will rise today (October 3) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Delhi ending months of doubts over staging the first ever Commonwealth Games to be held in India. The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place at the main stadium of the Delhi Games, the Jawaharlal Nehru. more..

Courting trouble…

Oct 3 (NS) The major event that unfolded this week was the confirmation of the prison sentence imposed on former Army Commander and General, Sarath Fonseka, by President Mahinda Rajapaksa who had just returned from New York where he addressed the UN General Assembly. Fonseka, who contested Rajapaksa for the Presidency late last year, was escorted to the Welikada prison on Thursday night where the authorities managed to evade the crowds that more..

Editorial: Temperance and compassion

Oct 3 (ST) World Temperance Day today is not likely to be greeted with the same kind of enthusiasm that other more publicised days observed this week -- Universal Children's Day and Elders Day, both celebrated on Oct 1. Yet just more than a century ago in the late 1890s, the Temperance Movement in Sri Lanka, spearheaded by leading Buddhist figures, was gathering momentum. Its activists were also in the forefront of the country's independence movement to free Sri Lanka from the colonial yoke. more..

More gloom than glory in New York visit

Oct 3 (ST) Sri Lanka did not cover itself with political glory during the UN summit last week. President Mahinda Rajapaksa's reception at the Empire Room of the Waldorf Astoria did not attract any prominent world leaders -- with the exception of Cyprus, Fiji and the Maldives raising serious doubts over the efficacy of the Ministry of External Affairs. Contrary to earlier reports, it was Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki who more..

‘Shoplifting’ film star caught

Oct 3 (NS) A well-known film and teledrama actress, who was produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate last Friday by the Cinnamon Gardens Police, in connection with an incident of shoplifting at a leading shopping complex in the city was enlarged on bail on a personal bond of Rs. 50,000 when she pleaded guilty to the charges preferred against her. The chief magistrate, who fixed further hearing for October 25, also ordered that she be presented at more..

Kollupitiya junction to Bambalapitiya junction: Five lane - one way model road

Oct 3 (SO) The stretch of Galle road from Kollupitiya junction to Bambalapitiya junction will be developed as a five lane one way model road to facilitate the smooth flow of traffic, Colombo Municipal Council Special Commissioner Omar Kamil told the Sunday Observer. He said the reconstruction work of this project was inaugurated yesterday to be completed within the next few months on priority basis. more..

UNP ‘rebels’ warn of massive showdown

Oct 3 (NS) MP Kabir Hashim who came forward as the honest broker to mediate in the UNP crisis stepped aside this week claiming an interim solution, but sources close to Sajith Premadasa, who is vying for the party leadership, insisted that there is no solution. They too agreed that there would be less public bickering as they were all working for the long postponed National Convention in November, more..

President drops plan to put Colombo under DA

Oct 3 (ST) The Government will not go ahead with plans to set up a statutory authority to replace the Colombo Municipal Council, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told his Ministers on Wednesday. He said the suggestion first came from a Sri Lankan living in the US when he visited that country on a previous occasion. He had cited examples in the US and asked whether Colombo could also have one modelled on those lines, he added. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Oct 3 (ST) Police Superintendent H. Wickramasinghe - head of the security contingent assigned to Opposition UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe -- was refused leave to attend his daughter's wedding last Friday. None other than the IGP Dr. Mahinda Balasuriya turned down the request on the footing that there was no replacement available. Therefore, the bride's father had to do the next best thing to be present at his own daughter's wedding. more..

Millions for pavement scam

Oct 3 (LB) Millions have excha-nged hands for selling of space at the Bodh-iraja Mawatha pavement ha-wkers shopping complex in the Pettah in a scam involving certain influential persons. Wealthy businessmen and senior police officers have purchased pavement-spots instead of handing the spaces over to pavement hawkers, police investigations have revealed. The complex was meant for hawkers who were evicted when pavements were cleared in March. more..