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Showing posts from October, 2009

Illegally colored rice sold in Sri Lankan markets

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(October 31, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) Some unscrupulous traders in Sri Lanka have begun a new scam of coloring red raw rice with the purpose of selling them in higher prices.  Sri Lankans traditionally prefer red rice than white rice and the rice with red crust find better prices in the market. Coloring grains and cereals is against the law of the country. However, in Bandaragama alone, a suburban town in Western Province, 18 traders have been so far produced in courts for this offense this year, said the Public Health Medical Officer C.M. Jayalath.  Colored rice and cereals are sold in Sri Lanka's markets freely since the authorities do not conduct raids regularly.

Police cop that publicly drowned a psychiatric patient in Colombo sea surrenders

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(October 31, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) Lankadeepa Sinhala daily of Sri Lanka said that the cop who was captured in a video of a TV channel in Colombo city while publicly beating a Tamil psychiatric patient until the latter drowned is one named Dimuthu with the police constable number 47749. The police officer that worked in Bamabalapitiya police station surrendered to the Colombo Crime Division. Police says further investigations are underway to trace his accomplice. The police officer has gone to the scene where the mad man was throwing stones at the running trains and vehicles with four others including a Police Inspector and a Sub Inspector. The body of the deceased was recovered by Sri Lanka Navy yesterday afternoon, a day after the incident. He was identified as 26-year-old Balawarnan Sivakumar, by his brother, a resident of Rathmalana. The man had been suffering from a mental disorder since a long time, his brother told. Galle High Court sentenced several persons involve

Sri Lanka Department of Archeology to reserve Jaffna Fort

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(October 31, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) Sri Lanka Department of Archeology is to launch a project to renovate the Jaffna Dutch Fort located in Jaffna peninsula in the northern tip of the island. The wall of the Jaffna fortress is now being cleared of the trees grown on it with the help of the Army. However, the Director General of the Archeological Department Dr. Senarath Disanayaka said that although the wall is repairable, the ancient Dutch church building inside the fort is beyond repair. The cost for the reservation project is estimated at Rs. 400 million. Government of Netherlands provide assistance for the project. Jaffna Fort was built as a small garrison by the Portuguese in 1618 under Philip De Olivera when the Portuguese invaded Jaffna. Later, on 20th June 1658 the Dutch captured it under Raiclop Van Goins from the Portuguese and expanded its location further. Tamil rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) forced the Sri Lanka Army to withdraw from the fort in 1986

A psychiatric patient beaten to drown in Colombo as police observes the crime

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(October 30, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) Sri Lanka's Colombo Crime Division is investigating an incident of police or any other group assaulting a psychiatric patient compelling the latter to jump to sea and to drown. The ill-fated man reportedly threw stones at trains running  along the coastal railway in Colombo city off Babbalapitiya railway station. Two persons suspected to be the members of either police or the security forces beat him to drown in sea in the attempt to escape from attacks. Lakbima newspaper reported that the police and a large number of others were observing the crime without taking action. The newspaper also said that a private television channel, TNL, has videoed the crime. (Watch video) Sri Lanka Navy divers were searching for the corpse of the dead man yesterday (29) evening. Protecting human rights of the psychiatric patients is very low in Sri Lanka. Many of the psychiatric patients are among the lowest income groups in the society and they are in e

Megalithic cemeteries with tombs found in Sri Lanka

(October 30, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Two cemeteries belonged to the megalithic period have been identified in the Horowpothana divisional secretary area of Anuradhapura district in the NorthCentral Province of Sri Lanka. The two cemeteries are situated near Andiyagala village of Gomarankadawala and close to Sinhalawagahaththikaweva (tank/reservoir). These cemeteries are believed to belong to the period from 8th to 4th century BC, says the Eastern Province Assistant Director of the Archeological Department M.A.J.R. Madagammana. The cemetery found from Andigala is spread in around 20 acres with 12 tombs already discovered. The other cemetery found from Sinhalawagahaththika around five acres large and five tombs have been discovered so far.

Sri Lanka imports rice ahead of elections

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(October 30, Colombo - Lanka Polity )  Sri Lanka government has allocated funds to import 50,000 metric tons of rice. The imported stocks are to be used as buffer stocks ahead of the elections. Sri Lanka has anticipated rice price hikes and shortages in near future. President Mahinda Rajapakse said recently in a discussion with the pro-government trade union leaders that there is a conspiracy against the government by the traders to create an artificial rice shortage. Rice is the major staple food of the Sri Lankans. Sri Lanka is facing a drought situation with the delay if the monsoon rains and thousands of acres of rice fields have been abandoned due to water shortage in the main rice farming areas. From October to February, Sri Lanka's rice farming districts receive sufficient rains from the northeast monsoon for the cultivation in the main season. Excess water is stocked in reservoirs for limited cultivation in the other season in which low rainfall is recorded. 

Sri Lanka Bribery or Corruption Commission probes complaints against former Chief Justice

(October 28, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) Sri Lanka Bribery or Corruption Commission has commenced an investigation regarding the complaints against the former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva. The former Chief Justice is accused of soliciting bribery in relation to a case in which he ordered the sale of communication equipment of CBN Sat satellite television. The accused of the case has later made a huge donation to a company to the Buddhist Channel, a Buddhist propaganda television in which the former Chief Justice is a director. It is also accused of of not mentioning his position accurately as he filed application for the registration of the company. The Acting Investigation Director of the Sri Lanka Bribery or Corruption Commission Sarath Somaweera Lokuge had declined to comment regarding the investigation, reported 'Lakbima' Sinhala newspaper.

Three persons sentenced to death in one day in Sri Lanka

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(October 28, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) A Sri Lankan judge yesterday sentenced three persons to death in three separate murder cases. The verdicts were delivered by High Court judge Menaka Wijesundara in Anuradhapura High Court, situated in the North Central Province, which is a rural farming area bordering to the former war zone. Two of the convicted are ex-soldiers. Of them, one was found guilty for gunning down five persons including two Muslim women with an automatic rifle issued to him by the government. These persons are to be hanged on a date fixed by the President. However, the death penalty is not enacted by the President of Sri Lanka. Over 250 condemned persons are in the death row in prisons with an uncertain future while the Buddhist clergy and politicians are urging the government to enact death penalty to curb the spate of violence in the country. Justice and Law Reforms Minister Milinda Moragoda recently said he would discuss the possibility of implementing the deat

Are Sri Lankan Tamil politicians continuing the same folly?

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(October 26, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) Sri Lanka's Tamil speaking political parties Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), Democratic People's Liberation Front (DPLF), Ealam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) - Naba Wing, Democratic Peoples Front and the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) are to meet today to work out a common programme to form an alliance to pressure the government for a political solution for the minority communities. The alliance is still in its infant age. However, the minority alliance seems to miss the Upcountry Tamils mostly looked down on upon by the elite Tamils due to their Indian origin and the low economic situation. Petit objectives of the minority leaders as well as the personality clashes must not interfere in this alliance formation since the broadest the alliance it is the most strong before the increasingly dominating Sinhala rulers.. On the other hand, the minorities need to open their eyes

Are the 'unidentified gunmen' in Sri Lanka planning the first ever killing of female journalist

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(October 26, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) Suspicions are mounting if Sri Lanka's 'unknown assailants' are ahead of killing the first woman journalist in the killing and intimidation spree of journalists. The editors at The Sunday Leader say they are under threat. Last Thursday, October 22, Frederica Jansz, Editor-in-Chief of this newspaper and Munza Mushtaq, News Editor were both sent two hand written death threats by post. The two letters are identical — written in red ink and appear to have been posted on October 21. Similar letters were received by late Editor-in-Chief of the The Sunday Leader who was shot by unidentified gunmen on motorcycles as he drove to work in the city suburbs on January 08, 2009. On 28 September , a gang of unidentified people threatened her and tried to forcefully gain access to the property of female Journalist and media rights activist, Dileesha Abeysundera, who writes to the Sinhala language sister newspaper of The Sunday Leader. In J

At least one Tamil of Sri Lanka has backbone

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(October 26, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) As most of the former Tamil heroes in the mainstream have gone to oblivion with the ultimate perish of ‘boys’ they themselves spoiled with too many praises, at least one Lankan Tamil has showed his strength of the backbone in a time most of the other leaders are looking for honorable surrender to the system they once identified as apartheid and going after the Tamil Nadu leaders that back the regime created their plight. Renowned Lankan Tamil scholar Karthigesu Sivathamby, 77, emeritus professor in Jaffna university and secretary general of the International Association of Tamil Research (IATR), chosen to head the main research session in the Tamil Nadu government's World Classical Tamil Conference due to be held in June 2010, has expressed reservations about participating in the meet, as he feels the Tamils in the island nation are not satisfied with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's response to the plight of their community.

Sri Lanka President's tour in Vietnam utilized for anti-US propaganda

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(October 20, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) This photo published by Sri Lanka 's state print media propaganda organ Sunday Observer is clear evidence that the President Mahinda Rajaakse's official tour to Vietnam is aimed at propagating his defying policy towards Western super powers that are questioning the human rights conduct of the country under him. The caption went as "President Mahinda Rajapaksa observing the photographs of Western war crimes displayed at the Museum of War Remnants in Vietnam during an official visit to the country," A 68 page report prepared by the War Crimes office in the State Department and presented to Congress on Thursday lists 170 incidents in Sri Lanka between May 2 and 18. It is based mostly on internal reports to Washington from the US Embassy in Colombo, satellite imagery , international relief organizations and media outlets.The report alleges that thousands of Tamil civilians were gun

Western super powers become tough on Sri Lanka

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(October 21, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) Two Western Super powers have strongly asked Sri Lanka human rights violations during the last phase of the offensive against the Tami rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elama ( LTTE ) that the state forces totally annihilated in May 2009 eliminating almost entire leadership. There is wide spread allegations regarding the violations of internatinal human rights covenanats both by state and rebel forces. However, the governemnt of Sri Lanka led by President Mahinda Rajapakse is vehemently against any kind of investigation against its toops despite the region's oldest democracy is losing its reputation and the island is being isolated by its traditional Western alies. to account for the alleged "Accountability is an essential component of national reconciliation.  The United States looks to the Government of Sri Lanka to identify an appropriate and credible mechanism and initiate a process for accountability," US embassy of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's minority representatives disgruntled with the move to propose former Army Commander as opposition common candidate

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(October 21, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) Minority political parties and activists appear dejected with the rumor that former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka will contest the future Presidential election as a common candidate of the joint opposition. Fonseka is famous as an outspoken Sinhala nationalist despite holding a top position in the multi ethnic island nation. Democratic Peoples Front, a  Colombo based Tamil Party, said in a statement issued by its leader leader Mano Ganesan that he has told UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe that his party will not be a party to the proposed United National Alliance if General Sarath Fonseka is considered and proposed as the common candidate in the event of a presidential elections. "Tamil speaking people of this country do not have anything in common with General Fonseka for him to be our common candidate," says the media statement issued from the office of Ganesan says The statement further says that, "The name of General Sarath F

Sentenced Tamil journalist Tissainayagam says he is not regretful for what he stands for and for what he has written

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(October 20, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) J.N. Tissainayagam, the Sri Lankan journalist who was sentenced for 20 years rigorous imprisonment in September this year has told that he is not regretful for what he stands for and for what he has written, and that he decided to make a confession for otherwise he felt threatened that he would be subjected to torture. Besides, he had been informed by the Terrorist Investigation Department that once he signs the confession he would be released. He explained that his confession has been tampered with, to his detriment.  He has said to a delegation of political and human rights activists that visited him in Welikada prison a month ago that he is anxious about his security, although nothing significant has yet occurred to threaten his security. The delegation announced in a statement that they shared solidarity with Tissainayagam on the basis that the Tissainayagam case was a focal political case.   The delegation included Dr.Vickramabahu Kar

Sri Lanka pays for contempt of human rights alleging they are Western Christian concepts

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(October 20, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) Areas of concern identified by the EU's ‘Committee investigating the effective implementation of Human Rights in Sri Lanka’ are mainly related not to the government's 'war against terror' as said in most cases but to the overall human rights and democratic situation of the island.  As reported by media EU sources had told the report showed evidence of police violence, torture and breach of labor laws, notably the use of underage children. Police violence is wide spread in the country and in the most recent incident residents of a coastal village in the outskirts of Colombo city pelted stones at a police station since two village youths that were arrested for a minor incident were brutally killed and their bodies were dumped in the area.  In another incident, the wife and son of a senior Deputy Inspector General were arrested for torturing an IT student in connection with a student clash in

'Condom theory' of Sri Lanka's ruling regime extended beyond borders

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(October 19, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) Opposition critics of Sri Lanka have coined a new phrase called 'condom theory' to the political jargon to describe a political principle of the current President Mahinda Rajapakse. The President ranked by his four brothers is accused by opposition of using people for political gains and disposing them afterward like birth control condoms. Rajapakse's campaign manager of the 2005 Presidential, Mangala Samaraweera identifies himself as a victim of this ‘condom theory’. Former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka was recently appointed as the secretary of the Ministry of Sports and Recreation. He neither assumed nor rejected the post. Opposition critics pointed out that the posting meant to demean the General who was a kingpin in Sri Lanka government's defeat of Tamil rebels that fought for self-determination for three decades. A former rebel leader Vnayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Am

Sri Lanka President facing a 'general' problem

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(October 18, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) Former Sri Lanka Army Commander and present Chief of Defense Staff General Sarath Fonseka has hit the headlines due to the rumors regarding he becoming a contender for the country's all powerful executive presidency at the upcoming presidential poll.  The President Mahinda Rajapakse is considering an early presidential poll after the completion of four years in his first tenure with a hope of adding eight more years for his career in a bid to make his hay during the sunny weather of post-war Sri Lanka. The President who expected an easy victory seems bemused with the rumors regarding his foremost general becoming his rival at the Presidential. The prominent state-owned Sinhala language newspapers ran the same story on Saturday and Sunday that said the stories about a conflict between the government and the former Army Commander were false. However, all the state media reports that declined the conflict

Will 58,000 IDPs be sent back to their native places before Presidential?

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(October 15, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) The delegation of Tamil Nadu 10-member parliamentarian that visited the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Tamil dominated Northern Province has informed the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi that Sri Lankan government has assured them 58,000 internally displaced Tamils in camps will be sent back to their native places in 15 days. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, who received the delegation at the Chennai airport on Wednesday evening, announced this, addressing a press conference later at his party headquarters, reported Hindu. The remaining Tamils would be returned gradually, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said. To a question whether the Sinhalese would be settled in areas where Tamils lived traditionally, the Chief Minister replied that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had denied it. However, the opposition parties in Tamil Nadu accused that the tour of the Indian parliamentary delegation was an eyewash.  There are around 300,

Sri Lankan origin German linked by government to Channel-4 execution video reveals crucial facts

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(October 14, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) A clarification by a Sri Lankan orgin German citizen sent to Sri Lanka Minister of Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe regarding a controversial video clip aired by UK's Channel-4 television and the incidents that followed it reveals some interesting facts.  Sri Lanka's state and pro-Sinhala media linked Sri Lankan born Ranjith Hennayaka and his wife Ms. Lochbihler, a German politician with the video since the organization that gave the video to Channel-4 was located in a house belonged to them. Immediately, the relevant organization, Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS) issued a statement and said that they had no link with an organization run by Lochbihlers and the latter only provided the newly formed JDS to use their address temporarily.   In August 2009, a video film showing some armed men summarily executing unarmed, naked victims, was aired by British television Channel 4. It was described that this killings happened in

Doctored Realty: am I a football Aiya?

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MR: Get out! You boasted to defeat JVP. But you couldn't even make your brother on board. VV: Ouch, my back! Am I a football Aiya?

Sri Lanka's average remittances per person reach US$131

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(October 13, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) Sri Lanka's average remittances per person has reached US$131 making it a nation with the largest per capita remittances in South Asia. On average the remittances per person in South Asia is US$33. Sri Lanka's average is eight times higher than the regional average. US$2,527 million remittances that were sent to Sri Lanka by migrant workers accounted 8% of GDP in 2007. These facts were revealed by UNDP Resident Representative Neil Buhne when presenting the findings of the 2009 Human Development Report (HDR) based on the concept of “Overcoming Barriers: Human mobility and development” h eld at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations in Colombo yesterday. Migration for employment mostly by females is high in Sri Lanka who work as domestic help workers in most Middle Eastern countries that has increasingly contributed towards the country’s remittances over the years. Around 252,021 Sri Lankans, majority of them

Sri Lankan court aquits two journalists wrongfully prosecuted by police

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(October 13, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) A Sri Lankan court yesterday acquitted two journalists that were charged by police for non-divulging information vital for investigations to police. The two journalists were the Editor of Lanka-e-News website Sandaruwan Senadheera and his News Editor Benet Rupasinghe. They were arrested by police following they took measures to inform the authorities regarding the abduction of a fellow journalist by unknown groups. On June 01, Poddala Jayantha, the Secretary of the Sri Lanka Working Journalists' Association, was abducted by an armed group in a white van. Later he was found dropped on a roadside after severely beating him and making him to eat his own hair and beard. The journalist still walks with the help of crutches. Lanka-e-News news editor Benet Rupasinghe was informed by an eyewitness about the abduction and he immediately took steps to inform the family of the abducted journalist and the other authorities including the President&#

More Sri Lankans risk lives in the efforts to migrate to Australia

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(October 12, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) More Sri Lankans are taking risks to migrate to Australia looking for green pastures in small fishing crafts despite repeated warnings of Australia to avoid illegal migration. Last week, media reported that Australia had hired a advertising agency to make aware the Sri Lankans on the risks of their efforts to migrate to Down Under. However, with the trying economic conditions and the human rights conditions in the island, some people do not hesitate to pay huge sums of money to traffickers to take them to Australia in fishing craft in a very dangerous journey. Indonesian authorities yesterday captured a group of about 260 migrants from Sri Lanka who are suspected of trying to sail to Australia, a navy spokesman said to AP Sunday. An Indonesian warship intercepted a cargo ship carrying the group off Anak Krakatau, a volcanic island in the Sunda Strait, between Java and Sumatra islands, said Lt. Col. Supriono, a spokesman for the Western Fle

Sri Lanka media highlights President Mahinda Rajapakse must have given the Nobel Peace Prize

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(October 12, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) Sri Lanka that is in a new diplomatic brawl with world super power US is moving further ahead to mock Norwegian Nobel Committee for giving US President Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize instead of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse. Sri Lanka government's major electronic propaganda organ Independent Television Network (ITN) highlighted Canadian National Post newspaper had stated that the Nobel Peace Prize should have been given to President Rajapaksa and not Barack Obama. The state television said that the Canadian Post had told that giving Obama the Nobel Peace Prize was comical. ( http://www.itn.lk/news_05_20091010.html ) ITN noted that the reason is that the Sri Lankan President ended terrorism definitively at one stroke. It is one of the only times in the history of modern warfare that a terrorist movement has been utterly destroyed in such a fashion. ITN further said quoting unnamed analysts that the Nobel Committee handled by

Sri Lanka Army killed 22,000 LTTE cadres; lost 192 officers and 5,200 men

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(October 11, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) The Sri Lankan Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Sarath Fonseka told The Island daily here on Saturday, that in the two-year-and-10-month long Eelam War IV, the Sri Lankan army had killed 22,000 fighters of the LTTE and captured over 9,000. “This is 90 per cent of the total losses inflicted on the LTTE by all the security forces,” Fonseka said at the end of the army’s 60th anniversary celebrations.The General, who led the army to victory in the 2006-2009 operations known as Eelam War IV, claimed that the army was responsible for the destruction of 70 per cent of the assets of the LTTE’s sea and air wings also. One of the key factors, which helped the army defeat the LTTE was rapid modernisation and fresh recruitment, he said. The army grew in manpower from 116,000 to 200,000 in three years. New recruits held captured areas while experienced troops took part in the offensives. However, the army lost 192 officers and 5,200 men and 27,000 suffere

Is Sri Lanka's Rajapakse regime losing the ground?

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(October 11, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) Although Sri Lanka's ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) came into power in the home province of President Mahinda Rajapakse recording a massive victory at Southern Provincial Council election, the ruling alliance seems losing the firm hold five months after it defeated the Tamil's violent struggle for a homeland in the north and eastern parts of the island.  Voter turnout was average 69.24% despite massive propaganda campaign of the ruling alliance in Southern Province. The state media propagated exaggerated statistics on voter turnout that sharply contrasted with the data issued by independent monitors right in the mid-day news bulletins in an attempt to attract more voters to the polling centers. The government used almost all public property from the powers of the executive presidency and state-owned media to public roads for the ambitious propaganda campaign that targeted to achieve 80% votes for the ruling alli

Sri Lanka ruling party wins Southern Provincial Council, but not with the expected number of seats

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(October 11, Colombo - Lanka Polity ) Sri Lanka's ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) recorded a landslide victory at the Provincial Council election in Southern Province from where the President Mahinda Rajapakse hails. UPFA won 38 seats from the Southern Provincial Council (SPC) with a breakdown of 16 from Galle district, 12 from Matara and 8 from Hambanthota. Together with the two bonus seats, UPFA owns 38 seats although it targetted more than 40 seats during the election campaign. UPFA achieved 804,071 votes from the province, well over 500,000 votes that the opposition United National Party (UNP) that gained 297,180 votes from the Province. UNP won 6 seats from Galle 5 from Matara and 3 from Hambanthota, a total of 14 seats from the province. Marxist nationalist People's Liberation Front (JVP) gained 72,379 votes from the province and secured one seat each of the three districts of the Province where the party base is located. JVP internal sources s