Saturday, February 20, 2010

ImageThe Government has created an environment in which the printing industry can thrive in the North and the East sans any terrorist threat, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the inauguration of Collate 2010 Exhibition and Conference organized by the Printers Association of Sri Lanka.
The inaugural ceremony was held at Ceylon Continental Hotel yesterday (Feb18). The President's speech was read by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka in the absence of the President due to unavoidable circumstances.

The President's message stated that the printing industry in the North and East collapsed with the killing of employees in the printing trade in their workplaces by terrorists at the outset of the war.

He said the printing industry needed democracy which could not prevail when terrorists threatened the printers what to publish and what not to in the past. The President added that the Government ended an era in which the terrorists destroyed printing houses carrying critical views on them.

"The stakeholders in the printing industry were skeptical when modern technology was introduced to the industry. The people welcomed the new technology in the printing sector with open arms," he said.

The President said the people are always ready to stand on par with the latest technology in the world. He said the traditional printing industry did not collapse and nobody lost employment with the advent of digital technology in the country.

The minor employees attached to publishing houses and printers sometime back had started their own industries on a small scale with the help of digital technology. President Rajapaksa said that the Government was able to increase the IT literacy rate to almost 25 percent within three years and the future of the country is based on knowledge. "The printing sector can play a major role in the Government's endeavour to develop the country as a knowledge hub in the Asian region", he further said.
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Friday, February 19, 2010

Elephant throws SF off, JVP gets the Cup

Following the collapse of its talks with the UNF to form a common Opposition alliance to contest the forthcoming parliamentary polls, the JVP yesterday said that it would go it alone under the leadership of General (retd) Sarath Fonseka.

Sources said the JVP would field candidates on the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) ticket.

JVP Propaganda Secretary would function as the General Secretary of DNA, sources said. Its symbol would be 'trophy' sources said, while accusing the UNP of having spurned an opportunity to form broadest possible alliance to fight the government. The UNP-led United National Front (UNF) will contest under the Elephant symbol.

The JVP publicly declared that it would contest along with the UNP if it abandoned the 'elephant' symbol to pave way for all political parties and groups involved in Fonseka's campaign to remain together.

Sources said that former Colombo District UPFA parliamentarian Arjuna Ranatunga and some parties involved in Fonseka's presidential would join the DNA.

The JVP was making a determined bid to win over former Matara District MP Mangala Samaraweera, but in vain. Samaraweera has decided to contest on the UNF ticket.

Political sources said that both the SLMC and Western People's Front led by Mano Ganeshan would throw in their lot with the UNP.

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Flagrant violation of Exchange Control Act of Sri Lanka

Minister G.L. Peiris has made some startling revelations about the recovery of foreign currency from four bank vaults of Ashoka Tillakaratne, the mother of Sarath Fonseka's son-in-law.

Addressing a media conference held at the Government Information Department, he said that the 527,000 US Dollars worth of currency notes found were to be crisp, and brand new with the serial numbers in a logical sequence.

This is a flagrant violation of Exchange Control Act of Sri Lanka. A resident of this country can possess only a maximum sum of 2000 US dollars. There is strict money laundering legislature in the country.That is absolutely necessary. What is money laundering? These are laws
which are enforced to prevent money which has been earned in unlawful transactions such as gun running. Money that is made in that way cannot be introduced to Sri Lanka's economy, the Minister said.

Minister Peiris queried as to whether anyone with any sense of responsibility can make a suggestion that with this kind of evidence and the gravity of charges, one should turn a blind eye and refrain from taking action.
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Venerable Mahanayakas, Stop Meddling in Law & Order and Keep Out of Politics

Dilrook Kannangara

Citing the Dutugemunu-Saddhatissa feud in relation to the present crisis is hilarious. When the two brothers disagreed, they knew their boundaries. They never betrayed the nation or its national interests. However, Fonseka has betrayed national interests. The Fonseka affair is more akin to the Dhatusena-Senpathi Migara affair. Senpathi Migara was Great King Dhatusena's army commander. After successfully vanquishing enemies of the nation, the two fell out. Senpathi Migara engaged himself in anti-national and anti-government business and was duly punished. Therefore Fonseka must be punished for his crimes too.

In the past the Mahasangha took the lead in defending the nation from both foreign and local conspirators. Unfortunately some members of the Mahasangha today do the exact opposite just because party politics has taken the better of them.

There is an enacted law in Sri Lanka made by elected lawmakers. No one is above the law, certainly not the Mahanayakas. It is deplorable when they make public their opinions that are not inline with the law of the land. Upholding the law is the responsibility of everyone and the Mahanayakas must set a good example. Given their influence on the society and power, they must conduct themselves in a manner that justifies their responsible position.
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Batticaloa gets Rs 700 m bridge across Valaichchenai lagoon

Work on the new Oddamavadi bridge across the Valaichchenai lagoon is nearing completion and will be opened to the public this year. A Highways and Road Development Ministry spokesman said public transport in the Batticaloa district would be hassle free because of this bridge being constructed at a cost of Rs 700 million.

In full swing

* World Bank, Spain funds project

* Work began on November 17, 2007

* Length 250 metres, width 7.63 metres

The World Bank and the Spanish Government have funded the project.

He said it was a pledge given in the Mahinda Chintana to build this new bridge in place of the old Oddamavadi bridge which will directly benefit the public entering Valaichchenai town.

He said work was accelerated on President Mahinda Rajapaksa's directives who submitted the Cabinet Paper as Highways and Road Development Minister in 2007.

Work on the new bridge commenced on November 17, 2007 to replace the old bridge which was constructed by the British 86 years ago.

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Chief Monk of Malwaththe and few of those towing his line will never be respected by a majority of the Singhalese

Nimal R Melbourne Australia

Chief Monk of Malwaththe and few of those towing his line will never be respected by a majority of the Singhalese

Chief monk of Malwaththe chapter Thibbotuwave Sri Sumangala did not utter a word against retired General Sarath Fonseka's recent statement to the BBC Sinhala Service stating that he was willing to give evidence as a witness at a War Crime Tribunal and he will not defend any one who committed war crimes and would definitely expose all those who have done so. However this chief priest along with few others is now making a huge noise after the arrest of retired General Sarath Fonseka. Isn't this ludicrous?

As many citizens in Sri Lanka are aware, chief priest Thibbotuwave Sri Sumangala has always been a good supporter of Ranil Wickramasinghe and has never supported any activities in the past to counter separatist LTTE activities or helped the poor Singhalese in the East who used to suffer from atrocities of the LTTE. However after seeing the strong wave of support for the President Mahinda Rajapakse upon defeat of the LTTE in last May'09, he made a statement that Hon Mahinda Rajapakse should rule the country for the rest of his life.
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Shocking revelations on Sarath Fonseka's visit to US

ImageIt is learnt that when Sarath Fonseka visited to Washington in his capacity as the Chief of Defence Staff last October he had clandestine meetings with the top agents of US Department of State and Department of Homeland Security.

The Asian Tribune website in an exclusive article said during these meetings with those agents, he handed over classified documents on the final phase of the war and specially prepared CDs depicting the vivid scenarios of the encounters with the tigers including the shooting down of LTTE leader Prabhakaran and his family members.
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