Saturday, May 31, 2008

Pillayan the new chairman of Chief Ministers’ Forum

Pillayan the new chairman of Chief Ministers’ Forum

Eastern Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan was appointed as the chairman of the Chief Ministers’ Forum today in Badulla for the next four months. The Forum also decided to conduct the next session in Batticaloa.

After reggi Neil Rupasinghe next in line

Neil to succeed Reggie

UPFA member Neil Rupasinghe is next in line to succeed MP Reggie Ranatunga who passed away today. Mr. Ranatunga was the fourth parliamentarian from the Gampaha district to die this year. The other three MPs were Sripathi Sooriyarachchi, Anura Bandaranaike and Jeyaraj Fernandopulle.

Reggie Ranatunga passed away

Reggie Ranatunga passed away

Sri Lanka parliament member(Gampaha District)Reggie Ranatunga passed away in colombo short while ago.
Reggie Ranatunga,was appointed Feb.2008 a member of parliament for the ruling coalition to represent the Gampaha district, north of Colombo.

Ranatunga, the father of Sri Lanka's cricket star-turned-politician Arjuna Ranatunga,

Ranatunga fills the parliamentary seat left vacant by the death of Sripathy Sooriyarachchi, also representing Gampaha district, who was died on February 9 in a motor vehicle accident.

Reggi Ranatunga was the governor of the Sabaragamuwa province, south east of Colombo, and has also been a parliamentarian and deputy cabinet minister on a previous occasion.

Friday, May 23, 2008

President calls for investigation

President calls for investigation

President has directed IGP Victor Perera to conduct a thorough investigation into the alleged abduction and assault on Nation Deputy Editor Keith Noyhar.

claymore blast in Wanni-17 died

17 feared dead in claymore blast in Wanni

Reports claim that 17 people who were in a bus were killed, when a claymore mine exploded in an LTTE controlled area in Wanni.

International Federation of Journalists says about the abduction and violent attack on Keith Noyahr

Defence Reporter Abducted and Severely Beaten In Sri Lanka

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is outraged at the abduction and violent attack on Keith Noyahr, deputy editor and defense writer for the English weekly The Nation on May 22.

According to the Free Media Movement (FMM), an IFJ affiliate, Noyahr, 44, was abducted on his way home from work after leaving his office at around 10.30pm on Thursday evening. His vehicle was found in front of his house, its headlights on and its engine still running. Local reports suggest he was abducted while he was opening the gate to his garage.

The editor of The Nation immediately reported Noyahr's disappearance to the Dehiwala police.
The FMM has reported that while Noyahr was returned home early this morning, he is badly hurt and is currently in intensive care.

The IFJ believes Keith Noyahr was abducted and physically assaulted as a direct result of his work as a journalist.

As a defense writer for The Nation, Noyahr has reported on the on-going conflict between the Sri Lankan Army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). According to a family member, he had received a number of threats in recent weeks.

The abduction and assault of Keith Noyahr is yet another alarming act of violence during a period of increasing hostility towards members of the media in Sri Lanka.

J.S. Tissainayagam, columnist of the Sunday Times and Editor of the website and V. Jesiharan, owner of the E-Kwality printing press and Manager of and his wife Walarmathi, remain in detention after being arrested in early March by the Terrorist Investigation Division of the Sri Lankan Police. No one has been charged in any court of law.

In 2007, Iqbal Athas, a defense correspondent and associate editor for The Sunday Times in Colombo, was attacked by the Sri Lankan government due to his criticism of government corruption and military expenditure.

The IFJ strongly condemns these attacks on members of the media community. The protection of journalists and media workers is vital not simply for freedom of the press, but also for a functioning democracy. Defense correspondents such as Keith Noyahr and Iqbal Athas in particular have a significant role in reporting on corruption within all levels of society and government.

The IFJ joins the FMM in demanding an immediate inquiry into the abduction and assault of Keith Noyahr. The perpetrators of this crime must be brought to justice and a message sent to those who attack media workers.

The IFJ congratulates the FMM and all individuals and organizations who banded together to put pressure on the government to ensure Keith Noyahr’s return.

Is this media freedom?

Is this media freedom?

Leading Five media organizations organized a protest (The Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association, Free Media Movement, Federation of Media Employees Trade Union, Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance and Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum )today at Colpetty Junction against the attack on Nation Deputy Editor Keith Noyhar. (Pics by Dinuka Liyanawatte-daily mirror)

Associate Editor Keith Noyhar of The Nation newspaper published by Rivira Media House was abducted last night (22) near his house by an unknown group and he was released this morning after assaulting severely.

Mr. Noyhar who was returning home after duty was abducted near the gate of his house. He telephoned his wife around 10.10 PM just before he turned from the Gale Road to Waidya Road of Dehiwala wher his house is located.
Ralated links

Missing Journalist admitted hospitl after badly beaten up

The Nation deputy editor Keith Noyhar returned home a short while ago badly beaten up. He has been admitted to hospital

A badly beaten up journalsit Keith Noyhar is pictured here being admitted to the Colombo National hospital early this morning after being released by his abductors. Pic by Pradeep K. Pathirana(Daily Mirror)

Journalist missing

Journalist missing

"The Nation" paper deputy editor and former Daily Mirror deputy editor Keith Noyhar has been reported missing and suspected to have been abducted after his car was found abandoned near his house last night. A police team has been deployed to locate him.

Three days ago on vesak full moon poya day attacked to Sirasa TV journalists at Kiribathgoda.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

India behind Pillayan’s appointment says JVP

India behind Pillayan’s appointment: JVP

JVP MP Vijitha Herath said today the appointment of Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan as the Chief Minister was a fulfillment of Indian interests, and the government had sown ethnic discord among the communities in the East through this exercise.

Former LTTE combatant Pilleyan sworn in as Chief Minister

Former LTTE combatant Pilleyan sworn in as Chief Minister

Leader of the TMVP,(former LTTE combatant} Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pilleyan was sworn in as the Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council before President Mahinda Rajapaksa May 16th evening at the President Secretariat.Pilleyan ia 30 years old and very youngest Chief Minister in Sri Lanka.

Chandrakanthan obtained the highest number of preferential votes from the Batticaloa District in the recently concluded Provincial Council elections.He is the second Chief Minister in the Eastern Province. Mr. Vardharaja Perumal is the First Chief Minister for Eastern province. But he was not only for the Eastern province Chief Minister. He was the North and East Chief Minister. But Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pilleyan is the only for Eastern Province Chief Minister.Hence Pilleyan is the first Chief minister for Only East(without Northern Province).

There are five ministerial posts in the Eastern Provincial Councils and they were accorded as follows:

Thureiappah Navaratnarajah (Minister of Agriculture, Livestock Development, Rural Industrial Development and Fisheries), Wimalaweera Dissanayake (Minister of Education, Cultural affairs, Lands and Land Development, and Transport), Meera Sahiby Uduma Lebbe (Minister of Road Development, Irrigation, Housing and Construction, Rural Electrification and Water Supply), and Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan (Finance and Planning, Law and Order, Provincial Administration, Human Resource Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Rural Development, Tourism and Environment).

Another ministerial appointment has been reserved for a Muslim representative, while the Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Leader of the House and Chief Government Whip are yet to be named.

Hisbullla team boycott the swearing-in ceremony.

Meanwhile, the Hisbulla Group councilors sent a letter to the Governor of the Eastern Province, Rear Admiral Mohan Jayawickrama protesting the appointment of Pillaiyan as the Chief Minister.Hisbullla team boycott the swearing-in ceremony.

Mr. Hisbulla says that he, together with Mohammed Sali and Mohammed Subair signed the letter sent to the Governor. He has informed that the three councilors will act as an independent group in the Provincial Council.

Before sending the hasty letter, Mr. Hisbulla agreed appointing Pillaiyan as Chief Minister at a discussion held this morning with the President.
Hisbulla who resigned from Sri Lanka Muslim Congress joined with the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) expecting the Chief Minister post and together with the other two members.

Death toll rises

Death toll rises…

The death toll of the Fort bomb explosion had risen to 10

Friday, May 16, 2008

9 died and over 90 injured by Colombo Suicide bomb blast

9 died and over 90 injured by Colombo Suicide bomb blast

Nine including seven Police personnel and two civiliance were killed and over 90 casualties reported, following the LTTE suicide bomb attack in Colombo Fort at 12.05 p.m., today (May 16).

According to the defence information, a motor bike riding LTTE suicide bomber had rammed into a bus carrying Police personnel at the Ceramic Junction, near Shri Sambuddhaloka Viharaya.

Director General National Hospital Dr. Hector Weerasinghe said that, over 90 people have been already admitted to the National hospital. Sixty two (62) civilians, 30 Police and 3 Army personnel were among the casualties received, he was quoted as saying.
Army spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told the BBC that the dead included three women police constables.

the blast took place near a police checkpoint outside the Colombo Hilton Hotel.
"It was a loud explosion. It felt like an earthquake" Eye witness said.

He said some window panes of the hotel had been damaged by the explosion. He said all the guests were safe and the hotel gates had been shut.

The blast comes in the eve of the Vesak week, which was declared by the government starting from today.

7kg of explosives

The bomb squad said that the motorcycle which was fitted with 7kg of explosives was driven into a parked police bus carrying policemen to provide security for the UNP protest to be held today at Maradana.

Pillayan Chief Minister

Pillayan Chief Minister

Ending the week long dispute over the Chief Minister post for the Eastern Province, President Mahinda Rajapakse has decided to appoint Pillayan as the Chief Minister.

The swearing in ceremony will be held today at 4 p.m. at the Presidential Secretariat.

Bomb Blast In Colombo

a Bomb blast in Colombo Fort near Sambuddaloka viharaya at 12.00 noon. A sucide motor cycle bomber attacked to a police bus. 7 died and more than 90 persons admitted to the hospital

Chief Minister swearing postponed.

Chief Minister swearing postponed.

President Mahinda Rajapaksha has summoned all 20 members elected to the eastern Provincial Council from the UPFA list for an urgent meeting today, to resolve the crises surrounding the appointment of Chief minister.

Although the swearing in ceremony of the new Chief minister was scheduled to take place at 1.30pm today at the Presidential Secretariat.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pillayan to be sworn in tomorrow?

Pillayan to be sworn in tomorrow?

TMVP leader Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan will be sworn in as chief minister of the Eastern Province at the auspicious time of 2.07 pm tomorrow (May 16th), Senier government minister told to the media.

Mr. Chandrakanthan has been invited by an official of the Presidential Secretariat to be at the venue by 1.30 pm for his oath taking.
The president will announce his choice for the post of East CM at a meeting with Muslim government ministers at Temple Trees this evening.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Minister Douglas Devananda’s consultant shot dead in Jaffna

Douglas’s consultant shot dead in Jaffna

EPDP leader Douglas Devananda’s consultant Maheshwari Velayuthan was shot dead by LTTE gunmen at Point-Pedro in Jaffna last evening.Ms. Maheshwari, 53, was visiting her mother when she was assassinated by gunmen who were clearly identified as LTTE attempting, sources close to Ms. Velayudan said.

Ms. Maheshwari had directly arrived from Colombo to see her mother who was said to be a cancer patient. Three gunmen had stormed into the house, directed several pistol gunshots at Ms. Maheswari claiming her life and fled immediately.

Monday, May 12, 2008

New Party From Wimal And Nandana-National Freedom Party

Documents handed over for National Freedom Party

The Wimal Weerawansa faction today produced the documents at the Elections Commissioner's Secretariat to register a new party. The party is named the National Freedom Front(NFF), colour Gold and the emblem the crown.

not ready to accept results says UNP and SLMC

not ready to accept results says UNP and SLMC

UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem addressing a joint press conference in Colombo today said both parties would get onto streets to protest against gross malpractices that took place at the Eastern Provincial polls.

Pillaiyan to be appointed Chief Minister

Pillayan tops preferential votes in Batti

Pillaiyan to be appointed Chief Minister

The election result of the Batticaloa district has prompted the government to appoint Pillaiyan as the Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council.

The PresidentMahinda rajapaksha stated in advance that the person who attains highest number of preferential votes would be appointed as the Chief Minister.

TMVP leader Pillayan has got the most number of preferential votes for the UPFA in Batticaloa with 41, 936 votes while J. S Mohomad came second with 36,419 votes and M.L.A.M Hisbullah came third with 35,949 votes.

Government wins Eastern Provincial Council

Government wins the election for the Eastern Provincial Council

United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) won the Eastern Provincial Council election bagging 20 seats.

United National Party (UNP) allied with the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) won 15 seats. People's Liberation Front (JVP) and Tamil Democratic People's Front (TDPF) won one seat each.

UPFA achieved 388,886 votes while UNP obtained 250,732 votes from the Eastern Province. JVP obtained 9390 votes while TDPF achieved 7714 votes. UPFA won with a majority of 138,154 votes. The total number of votes in the Eastern Province is 982,721.

1342 candidates of 18 political parties and 56 independent groups contested for the 37 seats of the Eastern Provincial Council. The government coalition UPFA that was accused of mass scale election malpractices, won only one seat above UNP. UPFA won 17 seats sans the bonus seats. UNP won 15 seats while JVP and TDPF won one seat each. Government won 20 seats with the bonus seats.
The election for the Eastern Provincial Council was held after 20 years.

This is how the seats distributed district wise.

Ampara district
UPFA - 144,247 votes - 08 seats
UNP - 121,272 votes - 06 seats
JVP - 4745 votes - no seats
Total registered votes - 409,308
Voted 273,389
Number of votes not cast - 135,919

Trincomalee district
UNP - 70,858 (51.37%) votes - 05 seats
UPFA - 59,298 (42.99%) votes - 04 seats
JVP - 4266 (03.09%) votes - 01 seat
Total registered votes - 242,468
Voted -150,624
Rejected - 12,699 (8.43%)
Number of valid votes - 137,929

Batticaloa district
UPFA - 105,341 (58.09%) votes - 06 seats
UNP - 58,602 (32.31%) votes - 04 seats
TDPF - 7714 (04.25%) votes - 01 seat
EPDP - 5418 (02.99%) votes
(JVP achieved only 379 votes from this district.)
Total registered votes - 330,950
Voted -202,443
Rejected - 21,088 (10.42%, an extraordinary percentage)
Number of valid votes - 181,355

Sunday, May 11, 2008

UNP won Trinco

UNP won Trinco

The UNP won the polls in the Trincomalee district grabbing 5 seats (70,858 votes) with the UPFA getting 4 seats (59298 votes) and the JVP 1 seat (4266 votes).

Clash erupts at Trinco counting center

Clash erupts at Trinco counting center

A clash erupted inside the Trincomalee District Secretariat where votes are being counted.
Reporters at the site say the incident occurred between supporters of two political parties. Police were making attempts to defuse the situation.
Trincomalee,and Muttur polling divisions win UNP.And displaced voters also won UNP.

UPFA won Batti

UPFA won Batticaloa

The UPFA won the polls in the Batticaloa district by securing 6 seats (105341 votes) while the UNP secured 4 seats (58602 votes) and the TDNA 1 seat (7714 votes).

After Pillayan’s vote stuffing by cadres - UNP

After Pillayan’s vote stuffing by cadres - UNP

Around 3.40 pm a group of TMVP cadres had forcibly entered the polling booth in Vipulananda Vidyalaya in Pethalai, Valachchenai where TMVP leader Pillayan cast his ballot this morning, and stuffed the ballot boxes, UNP alleges

60 percent voter turnout for PC polls in East

60 percent voter turnout

The Elections Commissioners department says a 60 percent overall voter
turnout was reported from the provincial council polls in the East.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Four injured in LTTE mortar attack in East

Four injured in LTTE mortar attack in East

Four people including a ten year old child had received injuries due to the LTTE mortar attack on Pannalgama in Ampara in Eastern province this morning, Police said. The LTTE had fired 18 mortar rounds towards the village.

Navy supply vessel sunk in Trincomalee harbor-Under water explosion

Navy supply vessel sunk in Trincomalee harbor

Under water explosion damaged and caused logistic vessel A-520(MV Invincible) to sink while moored at the Ashroff jetty in Trincomalee harbor, at 2.15A.M. today(10) said the Sri lanka Navy.
Navy suspect this explosion done by a LTTE suicide diver.

No lives were lost due to the explosion.

A-520 was a merchant vessel built in 1970's and handed over to the Sri Lankan Navy, following a court order after it was apprehended while transporting 254 illegal migrants off Tangalle in 2003.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Adampan falls to Army

In another significant victory over the LTTE terrorists in the Mannar front, the Sri Lanka Army captured the Adampan town area this morning (09), Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara says.

At least 15 terrorists were killed in several hours of fighting, the Media Center for National Security (MCNS) said.

Two army soldiers died in confrontations while seven suffered injures.

The Army liberated an area of about 2 square kilometers, between the Neelachcheana Road and the dam of the Adampan tank, in the South of Adampan town, following fighting last evening, Ministry of Defence said.

Today is Europe Day

Today is Europe Day

The family of nations belonging to the Democratic European Nations in the European Union (EU) will be celebrating 'Europe Day' today (May 9).

In a Europe Day message, the Head of delegation of the European Commission, Ambassador, Julian Wilson, states that the European Union is based on a simple idea: if countries are entwined economically, they will fight less and get richer.

The EU gives substantial development aid to Sri Lanka, they have helped in post-tsunami reconstruction work, and provided loans and other support for activities related to the resolution of conflict in the North and East.

The EU and Sri Lanka share extraordinary people to people contact in such areas as academic exchange, tourism, business and investments, Ambassador Julion Wilson pointed out.

He also said that the EU is extremely pleased to play an active role in developing and deepening these relations with Sri Lanka.

Presently there are 490 million people living in the 27 countries that have membership in the the EU.

Sri Lanka Sinhala news service and Central Bank to talk economics online ( )

Sri Lanka Sinhala news service and Central Bank to talk economics online ( )

"Vimasuma", one of Sri Lanka's pioneer Unicode news portals and the Central Bank have teamed up to produce a series of educational discussions targetting economics students and the general public.

The multimedia discussion series which can be viewed online at focuses on economic development and will feature resource persons from the Central Bank as well as specialists from various disciplines who would discuss subjects ranging from macro economics, money, inflation, international trade, public finance and economic growth and policies over the coming weeks.

Sri lanka donates US$ 25000 to Myanmar victims

Govt. donates US$ 25000 to Myanmar victims

The Government of Sri Lanka donated the emergency relief of US$ 25000 to the Government of Myanmar.

Dr. Palitha Kohana, Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed over the Cheque to the Ambassador of the Union of Myanmar Tin Oo Lwin at the Ministry.

The Foreign Secretary on behalf of the Government and people of Sri Lanka expressed his deepest condolence to the victims who lost their lives in the cyclone that hit Myanmar on Saturday (03rd).

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Olympic Torch Scales Mount Everest

Olympic Torch Scales Mount Everest
Thursday, 08 May 2008

The Olympic flame reached the top of Mount Everest on Thursday (08), an emotional moment for China and the crowning of the Beijing Olympics torch relay that dogged by anti-Chinese protests, reports from Beijing said.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Human Rights Hot line

The Public could access the hot line on 011-2676513 and 060-2119246

A 24 hour rapid response hotline to clarify queries regarding arrests, detention, suspected abduction and disappearances will be launched today by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights.

Ministry sources said persons who seek information would be able to clarify matters in all three languages - Sinhala, Tamil and English.

The objective of creating this hotline is to enable the public to obtain information whether a person is or is not in official custody.

Operators can also direct callers to access law-enforcement Authorities to initiate investigations into such cases, sources said.

The hot line is to be in operation for eight months initially until December, with the initiative to be assessed after that on the basis of the need. The Ministry said this step was taken to ensure that laws on arrest and detention are fully implemented - particularly where emergency regulations are invoked- especially the implementation of the Presidential direction on arrest and detention.

It also said that the Ministry had received information that in the context of ongoing security operations aimed at preventing and investigating acts of terrorism people have been taken into custody with subsequent investigations as to their bona fides.

Others have been allegedly abducted for collateral purposes such as demanding of a ransom and family members were anxious to clarify their whereabouts and safety, it said. According to Ministry sources, the Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe had consulted senior officers of the AG department, the Police, Armed services, HR commission and Ministry officials before finalising matters pertaining to the proposed hot line.

The proposed hotline accessible to people through out the country is to be housed in the Disaster Management Centre under the purview of the Ministry.

Palampiddi bridge captured - Military

Palampiddi bridge captured - Military

The Military claimed today that they have captured the strategically important Palampiddi Bridge North of Mannar.

Suspect identified as “de-facto leader” of the LTTE in UK

Suspect identified as “de-facto leader” of the LTTE in UK

Authorities have identified the LTTE suspect arrested in UK yesterday as being Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, alias A.C.Shanthan (51) the “de-facto leader” of the LTTE in Britain.

East Elections won't be free and fair - PAFFREL

Elections won't be free and fair - PAFFREL

PAFFREL said that the forthcoming elections won't be free and fair as TNA is not contesting. They also claimed that there is no conducive environment for free campaigning and 61 complaints were lodged so far.

Parliament prorogued

Parliament prorogued
The President Mahinda Rajapaksha has decided to prorogue the parliament since midnight yesterday (06th May).

The proroguing is to be announced by a special gazette by the President under his powers tonight. The sittings will resume since June 05.

Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told The Government wanted to prorogue parliament months earlier but delayed it because it had to table a few finance bills and this prorogation has nothing to do with Eastern PC polls.
He said that there was no special reason behind the prorogation.

Prorogation; beginning of the end - Ranil

Prorogation of Parliament is the first step towards ending whatever is left of democracy in Sri Lanka, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told media today.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

World Press Freedom Day 2008

World Press Freedom Day 2008
Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and Empowerment of People

Freedom of Expression is a fundamental human right as stated in Article 19 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. This is especially worth recalling as we mark the 60th anniversary of that declaration.

At this year’s World Press Freedom Day celebration, UNESCO would like to explore how media freedom and access to information feed into the wider development objective of empowering people.

Empowerment is a multi-dimensional social and political process that helps people gain control over their own lives. This can only be achieved through access to accurate, fair and unbiased information, representing a plurality of opinions, and the means to actively communicate vertically and horizontally, thereby participating in the active life of the community.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Govt. victory will fulfill Easterners' aspirations, assures President Mahinda Rajapaksha

Mammoth crowd at first-ever May Day rally in East:

The Eastern populace is poised to hand over a resounding victory to the Government at the May 10 Provincial Council Election to continue the momentum of the Eastern Resurgence programme, President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared yesterday in May day rally.

President Rajapaksa was addressing the historic May Day rally held here, symbolising the new dawn in the East after more than two decades of LTTE tyranny. The first ever May Day celebration in the East by a major political party since independence was attended by a massive crowd.

"We know the Easterners are a grateful people. They will show that on May 10. They will never let Prabhakaran take back the East. A vote for the Government is a vote for peace and development. A vote for the Opposition will be an endorsement of Prabhakaran. We need your support to take the development process forward," he told the massive gathering.

This year's May Day celebrations in the East should be dedicated to the heroic Forces who spearheaded the humanitarian mission to liberate the people who were living under LTTE clutches for more than two decades, the President said.

He said a Government victory in the East would further encourage soldiers to liberate the Northern masses as well.