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Field Marshal Fonseka thanks PM, President

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By Saman Indrajith     

Former Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka  told Parliament yesterday that he was thankful to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for their blessings to win the war against the LTTE in 2009 in their then capacities as the President and Defence Secretary respectively. 

“I must thank the then President, the current Prime Minister, and then Defence Secretary, the current President, for their blessings at the time. I must also pay tribute to the Sri Lanka Police, the Sri Lanka Navy, the Sri Lanka Air Force, the Civil Defence personnel for their support during the war,” said the former Army Commander. 

Fonseka said he honoured the lives of the military personnel who had made the supreme sacrifice.

“Our valiant forces fought round the clock for two years and nine months. During the final battle 5,200 soldiers lost their lives, around 3,000 became disabled and around 19,000 wounded in the battle field. Our forces destroyed 23,000 terrorists and arrested 12,000 who had later been rehabilitated.

Field Marshal Fonseka said he considered himself lucky to have led the Army in the Fourth Eelam War and to finally bring an end to the terror caused by the LTTE terrorists.

He said he regretted seeing some Tamil MPs speaking ill of war heroes in the House. They should keep in mind that it was those valiant soldiers who sacrificed their lives and limbs that enabled them to engage in democratic politics today without fear of the LTTE.



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At least 17 killed after explosion in Peshawar mosque

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(picture from twitter)

BBC reported that at least 17 people have been killed in an explosion at a mosque in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

The blast happened when the mosque was packed with worshippers and more than 90 people were injured.

A section of the building was destroyed, and officials say people are buried under the rubble. Several others are being taken to local hospitals.

The cause of the explosion is unclear.

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More heavy rain ahead for New Zealand’s largest city

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Auckland experienced an unprecedented amount of rainfall on Friday (picture BBC)

BBC reported that residents in flood-hit northern New Zealand are bracing for more heavy rains as officials issued severe weather alerts.

At least four people have died and a state of emergency was declared in Auckland, which on Friday experienced its worst downpour on record.

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Information Dept. media release: EC Chief asks public not to be misled

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by Priyan de Silva

Chairman of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Nimal Punchihewa, asked to comment on a special news release, purportedly issued by the Director General of the Department of Government Information, on Sunday (29), told  The Island  that preparations for the 09 March local government elections were going ahead, as planned, and that the media statement at issue was misleading.

The media statement says: “The gazette notice with signatures of the Chairman and other members of the Election Commission required for the commencement of the Local Government election process has not been sent to the Government Press for printing.”

Punchihewa requested the public not to be misled by any misinformation being spread in an attempt to create doubts in their minds.He also  reiterated that the EC would not be deterred by any acts of intimidation.

Three of the EC members have been threatened with death by an unidentified caller to resign from their posts. They are S. B. Divaratne, M. M. Mohamed and K. P. P. Pathirana. The Opposition has accused the government of trying to sabotage the LG polls.

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