Sensitive military news to be
Patriot Bill in
The government is to present a Patriot Bill to Parliament
shortly that would among other things restrict the media from
publishing sensitive military information pertaining to troop
movements, locations and arms purchases.
The bill shaped in the lines of the US Patriot Act had been
initially drafted by a leading criminal lawyer in the country.
The lawyer had submitted the initial draft to President Mahinda
Rajapaksa recently. It would be further vetted before presented
top parliament, government sources said.
After handing over the initial draft the lawyer had told the
President although the media should be restricted from
publishing sensitive military information that would affect
national security, the press should not be gagged from
publishing information on corruption in weapons purchases.
A bevy of
girls holding multi coloured balloons at the opening
ceremony of the 10th South Asian Games at the
Sugathadasa Stadium on Friday. - Pic by Ishara S.
Troops engage Tigers at Kilali-Muhamalai
forward defence lines
Sporadic fighting in the northern Jaffna peninsular escalated by
yesterday, with reports claiming that LTTE cadres had
infiltrated and attacked government troops from positions behind
forward defence lines in Kilali and Muhamalai.
According to military officials, the heavy attack on government
troops had commenced on Friday evening and continued throughout
the morning and afternoon yesterday. The military lost 28
soldiers in Friday’s fighting, with army officials reporting
heavy casualties from yesterday morning as well.
To stem the infiltration, Sri Lanka Air Force jets have been
bombing the Tiger positions behind government FDLs, causing
widespread damage to property and assets in the area. An Uthayan
newspaper storeroom in Jaffna has been burnt badly in the
exchange of fire, causing losses amounting to Rs. 2 million in
news print and other property.
|Replacements won’t be easy:
Countries being considered to fill the vacancies in the
Nordic truce monitoring bodies after the EU members pull
out set for September 1, will not be willing to come to
Sri Lanka in the present situation, Sri Lanka Monitoring
Mission Head, Ulf Henricsson told The Nation.
“I think with the respect or rather the lack of respect
the parties have shown towards the truce monitors, I
think the country that was thought to be possible is not
interested,” Mr. Henricsson said in an interview. He
refused to elaborate on which country had been
considered as a replacement. “It cannot be an EU nation,
it can’t be one which has put the LTTE on the terrorist
list. Then the country should also be approved by the
government,” he said, explaining that the options were
fist fight followed the disruption of the peace rally at
the Vihara Maha Devi park on Thursday by monks of the
Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya. - AFP
Tamil Nadu protests
Amid escalating tensions between government forces and
the LTTE in the north and east, there were widespread
protests in Tamil Nadu about the situation in Sri Lanka.
Government urged to pay
Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka is to recommend the
government to pay compensation to the families of the 17
employees of the French NGO Action Contre la Faim (ACF)
massacred in Muttur on August 5.
Chairman of the Commission Justice S. Ramanadan told The
Nation that a full investigation has been conducted into
the matter at the district level and national level but
the perpetrators had not yet been identified. “Although
the investigation was concluded, the identity of the
perpetrators was not discovered. Some people say it was
the Army and others say the LTTE. On the other hand,
some others say it was a paramilitary group,” said the
Hakeem wants artillery fire
‘War hinders aid for
Unnecessary hostility towards international
organisations had apparently inhibited their movement in
the conflict ridden Muttur, charged SLMC Leader Rauf
He said that the aid was not moving properly and a vast
number of civilians were affected because the government
had failed to give them security reassurances to enable
them to resettle.
LIOC, CPC seek fuel price
Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) and Ceylon Petroleum
Corporation (CPC) are likely to increase fuel prices
shortly despite the the last price hike took only on
Managing Director of LIOC, Mr. K. Ramakrishnan told The
Nation, “We have no choice but to increase prices of
both diesel and petrol by seven rupees each. Since the
last increase was made on July 31 we are just waiting
for the right moment.”
CAA to take action against
The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) is to take action
under the Consumer Protection Act against the Prima
Company’s decision to raise prices of wheat flour
without obtaining the approval of the CAA.
CAA Chairman Sarath Wijesinge said the action taken by
the Prima Company is a clear violation of the Consumer
Act. “Flour is a consumer item declared as an essential
item by the Trade Commerce and Consumer Affairs Ministry
under section 18 of the Consumer Act,” he said.
The Prima Company raised flour prices on the second week
of August by Rs.4 per kilo and the price of bread was
raised by Rs.2.
CBNsat subscribers want beams
to resume soon
A collective of CBNsat subscribers have requested the
relevant authorities to solve the problem surrounding
the satellite television transmission by next Wednesday
as the consumers of CBNsat is facing grave inconvenience
as it has been shut down for more than two months.In a
statement they further said that sealing of CBNsat was
against the government’s initiative to develop the
country as the regional center of the Asian IT
dissemination networks, under the Mahinda Chinthanaya.
Govt. requests help from
The government of Sri Lanka has requested assistance
from India to manage the looming humanitarian crisis in
the Jaffna peninsula due to the shortage of food and
water supply after the closure of the A9 road with the
escalation of fighting between the government troops and
Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said that the
government is extremely mindful about the situation in
Jaffna and is engaged in every possible means to provide
the necessary essential goods to the isolated peninsula.
|The truth behind
moves to gag the press
The media reports on the ongoing conflict in the
North and East have caused anxiety in government
quarters owing to certain imbalances which had given
extra mileage to the LTTE.
President Rajapaksa who met editors and media heads
on Wednesday (16), said that though certain
newspapers had restrained themselves in giving
enhanced coverage to the LTTE activities, one or two
TV channels and anti-government newspapers are hell
bent on hero worshiping the LTTE.
Troops link up
breached defences in Muhamalai
Deep in the jungle, some 30 kilometres from the
Mullaitivu town, under the thick forest cover is a
sprawling complex of buildings at a place called
Vallipunam in Puthukkudiyiruppu.
According to intelligence reports, Vellupillai
Prabhakaran is learnt to visit this place for
relaxation and to take his mind off vexing problems.
There are three entry points to this building and a
fourth from underground.
Kethesh and Kadir
killings: The analogy
Before the dust could settle on the first year
remembrance of Lakshman Kadirgamar (LK), the Tigers
at dusk targeted and wiped out Kethesh Loganathan (KL)
the Peace Secretariat Deputy Chief.
Kadir and Kethesh, as they were fondly called, were
gunned down on the same day (August 12) at their
respective residences at the hands of the LTTE
within the space of a year. The analogy does not end
We should no longer
fool ourselves that this is not war
a rose by any other name smells as sweet, then a
skunk, even if it were called a perfumed pet poodle,
must smell as much. The point is, a war, even if it
is called a ‘ceasefire’ must be as deadly,
disastrous and despicable.
“We got together for peace”
Minister for constitutional affairs Dilan Perera strongly
believes it was the JVP that was behind the attack on those who
staged the anti-war rally in Colombo last week. He said though
the groups that got together in the rally had political and
other differences, they had done so for the sake of peace.
Crisis simmering in the UNP; Mahinda under
JVP fist: SB
national organiser S.B. Dissanayake is frank in his opinion and
openly says there is a crisis within the party. He cites delays
in implementing vital reforms as the cause for this crisis and
says there is a section within the party who does not want any
change done. While assuring that he would not leave the party,
Dissanayake told The Nation that he feels it is difficult for
the UNP to march to victory unless reforms are implemented.
“This government is waging a war”
National Alliance (TNA) Jaffna District MP, Gajendrakumar
Ponnambalam has overtly accused the government of engaging in a
genocidal war against the Tamils living in the North-East. He
says the attacks against the Tamils are premeditated, deliberate
“There is no military solution to
major general of the Swedish Army, Ulf Henricsson vacates his
position as Head of the Nordic truce monitors next week. On
September 1, Henricsson’s country, Sweden, joins fellow EU
member countries, Denmark and Finland in a pull out from the Sri
Lanka Monitoring Mission, leaving the truce observing group at
exactly 50 percent its original strength. Outgoing Head of
Mission, Henricsson spoke to The Nation last week on his near
miss at the Mavil Aru sluice gate when the military launched an
artillery barrage in the area, the prospects for the SLMM’s
continuing in Sri Lanka and the frustration of the monitors at
the deteriorating security situation.
Their deaths warrant our tears too
Lebanese Prime Minister, Fuad Siniora in an impassioned speech
recently, asked world leaders if they were ‘children of a lesser
god’ to be pounded by the Israelis day after day, while the
powers that be and the world at large maintained a stoic
India and China allocated
oil exploration blocks in the Gulf of Mannar basin
Cabinet in the dark over
In a blatant violation of domestic petroleum laws, the Cabinet
of Ministers has granted approval to allocate two oil
exploration blocks in the Gulf of Mannar basin on a direct
nomination basis to the Governments of India and the Peoples‘
Republic of China.
Sri Lanka’s weight lifter
Chinthana wins SA Games gold medal with ease
Chinthana lifts big
Sri Lanka’s most celebrated weight lifter, Chinthana Vithanage,
said that he would focus all his energies to win an Olympic gold
after bagging the gold medal in the 62 Kg event at the South
Asian Games weightlifting championships which was worked off at
the Colombo University Gymnasium yesterday.
“All my training and effort are aimed at winning an Olympic gold
meddle. It is not easy, I know, but I’m giving it all I have,”
Vidanage told The Nation after medal winning feat.
Vithagange lacked competition from the rest of the competitors.
“The performances of others don’t concern me much. I’m going
there to give my best and I try to do it every time,” the
The weight lifting event looked to be dominated by the host
nation in the absence of the Indians.
Being the youngest amongst the four competitors Vithanage lifted
156kgs but couldn’t hold his nerve to break the 160kg record
which was set in 1999 by an Indian.
India-Sri Lanka one-dayer abandoned
COLOMBO, Aug 19, 2006 (AFP) - Heavy rain washed out the
first limited-overs international between India and Sri Lanka at
the Sinhalese sports club here on Saturday.
A sharp thundershower around 10.30 am (0500 GMT) waterlogged the
outfield and forced the game to be called off an hour later. The
remaining two matches will be played on Sunday and Tuesday at
the same venue, weather permitting.
India were due to resume at Friday’s score of 11-0 in 3.4 overs
with captain Rahul Dravid on nine and Sachin Tendulkar,
returning to international cricket after five months, on two.
Lanka’s top female badminton player, Thilini Jayasekara, has a
story of woe to recount regarding the upcoming South Asian Games
(SAG). The national champion’s hopes of bringing glory to the
nation and herself in the individual event were dashed by an
inexplicable decision of the sport’s administration.
Jayasekara was shocked when she was excluded from the individual
event “I was shocked and I’m very disappointed. I can’t
comprehend the logic behind the decision of not allowing me to
participate in the individual event. I feel that I’m at the top
of my game, it is only weeks ago that I beat Chandrika De Silva
to become the national champion” Jayasekara told The Nation. She
added, “My world ranking is 196 while Chandrika who’s playing in
the event is placed 307th in the world. So I’m in a state of
South Africa is sure to hate India’s decision to stay back in
Sri Lanka and play in the ODI series for the prime reason that
Rahul Dravid’s men showed how professional cricketers set about
a task at hand. India has shown in no uncertain terms how to
have tunnel vision on sport when a troubled world outside the
playing field threatens to break concentration.
At the time of writing Sri Lanka’s cricket authorities were
heart broken after South Africa deflated somewhat the spectator
interest for the Tri-nation ODI tournament by pulling out their
team sighting security fears. South Africa forgot that it is a
member of the ICC family and as a result let down one of its
cricket brothers-Sri Lanka- who was banking on the Proteas to
make the line-up of teams in the ODI series. Jayantha Dharmadasa,
Chairman Interim Committee that governs Sri Lanka Cricket, when
asked whether the cricket relations between Sri Lanka and South
Africa had been soured after the latter pulled out of the ODI
series said, “For the moment yes”.
When the lambs were slaughtered
My second successive World Cup was the one in England in 1999. I
gave live updates over the air waves of Sri Lanka Broadcasting
Corporation to our listeners. The Group Match played between
India and Sri Lanka is still etched in my mind. It is a
Early morning, my good friend Nihal Withana, (my cricket captain
at Nalanda in 1956) an engineer by profession, and I reached
Taunton Somerset on a pleasant chi1ly morning. It was a lovely
drive all the way.
It was a vital group match for both Sri Lanka and India.
A soccer tale from AFGHANISTAN
What can you expect from a team that was banned by their own
government for a period of thirty years? If it is you and I,
first thing that we would do is to curse the regime. But the
Afghan soccer players don’t seem to be demoralized with all the
negate factors they had to under go. Now it is the time for them
to make a new beginning in soccer.