SLFP and EPDP dominate public sector employment in Jaffna – unemployed graduates protest

Dozens of unemployed graduates protested in Jaffna today at the lack of opportunity for employment in the public sector due to the dominance of UPFA supporters, reported TamilNet on Thursday. Sri Lankan riot police were deployed to contain the protest and military intelligence officials were seen threatening the demonstrators to abandon the protest. The protestors reportedly attempted to submit a petition to the Sri Lankan governor, Maj Gen (retd) GA Chandrasiri, however were not allowed to meet the governor to hand over the petition. Unemployed graduates protest in Jaffna, UPFA dominates...

Illustrating instructions

Rajapaksa chairs meeting with cartoonists Meeting Sri Lanka's main stream cartoonists at Temple Trees on Tuesday, President Mahinda Rajapaksa urged that a cartoonist must be 'engaging in constructive creations', that contribute to the 'anticipated society building process', reports Colombo Page. With his brother and defence secretary by his side, the President asserted that it is 'the responsibility of the cartoonist to identify the social requirements' and 'utilise their skills for social advancement'. See here for the defence secretary's insightful thoughts on journalists. Gifts for the...

TNA ‘laughs off’ Rajapakse polls claim

The Tamil National Alliance has laughed off President Rajapakse’s claim that he will hold provincial council elections in September 2013. “We want to hold elections in September 2013,” President Mahinda Rajapaksa told The Hindu in an interview published on Wednesday. “We are working towards it [the elections] in a systematic manner.” Rajapakse blamed the delay on the voting lists, which need to be updated, as the last registers are over 30 years old and most people on the lists are not in the province anymore, according to the president. He also claimed rehabilitation and resettlement of IDPs...

Teachers complain about the destruction of Tamil youth’s education in the north

Over 11% of the schools in the Northern provinces of Sri Lanka remain closed due to the continued occupation of the Sri Lankan military, said teachers in Jaffna, using statistics from the Northern provincial ministry of education, reported TamilNet . Aid from foreign NGOs and the Tamil diaspora has been systematically blocked from reaching Tamil educational institutions. Many alumni organisations from the diaspora were involved in assisting rebuilding of the existing infrastructures, like the construction of new buildings for schools. However, independent alumni run projects were recently...

Press freedom organisation ‘concerned’ about Jansz safety

Article 19, a media freedom organisation based in the UK, has expressed concern over threats to The Sunday Leader editor’s life by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse. "The threat against journalist Frederica Jansz is the latest demonstration of the Sri Lankan government’s systematic attacks against independent and opposition-supporting journalists and media houses. "They have showered scorn on journalists and shown a complete inability or unwillingness to prosecute perpetrators of violence toward and the killing of journalists,” said Dr Agnes Callamard, ARTICLE 19 executive director. “We...

Sri Lanka FDI falls in 2011

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Sri Lanka has fallen in 2011, with approximately US$ 300 million invested into the country, according to a report by UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development). Although the Ministry of Economic Development tasked the Board of Investment (BOI) with attracting $1 billion, FDI fell short of this target. Inexplicably, the BOI claimed earlier this year that Sri Lanka had exceeded its target for 2011 and set a new target of $1.75 billion for 2012. Sri Lanka had high hopes of huge foreign investments after the end of the armed conflict in 2009 and...

Sri Lanka plans to tweak press laws to include further regulation of websites

Sri Lanka has decided to amend a decades old media law, resulting in the regulation of all news websites and electronic media. The government made the announcement a week after it raided and temporarily shut down two anti-government websites. The amendments to the Press Council Law established in 1973, will mean that websites and electronic media will have to adhere to media codes that are set by the Sri Lankan government. Commenting on the new reforms, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told Reuters ‘We will bring amendments to the Press Council Law to include the electronic and web media...

Rs 18 billion paid to Sri Lanka for UN peace keeping missions

Sri Lanka has earned a considerable income from United Nations peacekeeping operations in other countries, Army Media Spokesman Brigadier Wanigasekara has said . According to the Brigadier Wanigasekara, Sri Lanka has earned in excess of 18.4 billion rupees from its ‘peacekeeping’ operations around the world since 2004. Incidentally, Sri Lanka’s military expenditure rapidly increased before 2009, where 40,000 tamil civilians were killed in the final stages of the war. The Sri Lankan army is notorious for abuse abroad, and are yet to feel the repercussions of sexual abuse committed by their...

Gothabaya threatens newspaper editor ‘will be killed’

In an incredible outburst against The Sunday Leader’s editor, Frederica Jansz, Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapakse verbally abused her and said she will be killed, after she questioned him after Sri Lanka airlines swapped an aircraft so that a friend of his could fly it to collect a puppy from Switzerland. During his rant, over two conversation on the telephone, Rajapakse threatened Ms Jansz with legal action if she prints anything regarding this story and said he will put her in jail. He went on to abuse her, saying she is ‘a pig who eats shit’ and ‘people will kill you’ . Extracts from...

Sarath Fonseka urges Arab-Spring style revolution in Sri Lanka

Former chief of the Sri Lankan Army, General Sarath Fonseka has declared that he will lead an uprising to oust the government from power. “I’m definitely asking people to rise up... and overthrow the government by democratic methods,” he said. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph , Fonseka called Mahinda Rajapakse a “dictator”, accusing the President of persecuting his family and terrorising opposition. Criticising British PM David Cameron for meeting Rajapakse at the Queen’s Jubilee lunch last month, Fonseka called on the international community to isolate Rajapakse’s government adding that they...

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