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Sunday August 27th, 2006

New peace moves
Govt-LTTE in talks quandary
Norwegian facilitators anticipated Colombo’s response to an apparent peace overture by the LTTE yesterday, but representatives of both sides played down their faith in the new moves to get them back to the negotiating table.
The LTTE decision to release NCPA policeman Bandujeewa Weerasinghe Bopitigoda left the government in a quandary, after Norway claimed that it had been a gesture of goodwill on the part of the Tigers to kick-start the stalled peace bid, diplomats said.
Diplomatic sources told The Nation that the government believes that the LTTE only makes peace overtures when they are militarily weak. According to these sources, the government believes it will ...

R.D. Surendra edges out his Indian and Pakistani competitors by a hair’s breath to take gold for Sri Lanka. He beat current South Asian Games record holder India’s Anil Kumar to take the men’s 100 metres gold medal in 10.52 seconds at the Sugathadasa Stadium last night. Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara

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Six soldiers killed in Muhamalai
Six soldiers died and five were wounded in an explosion at a bunker in the Muhamalai forward defence line yesterday morning.
The explosion occurred when the troops were on a clearing operation after repulsing an LTTE offensive. Military sources claim that the blast was triggered by an improvised explosive device.

Norwegian oil pact halted
President Mahinda Rajapakse narrowly salvaged Sri Lanka’s oil prospectus by ordering the termination of a pact with Norwegian oil company TGS-NOPEC and by appointing a negotiating committee comprising independent persons, during a meeting with oil industry stakeholders



“Didn’t carry surveys in ‘Tamil homeland’ waters”
Although Norwegian oil giant TGS-NOPEC was required to conduct surveys in all territorial waters of Sri Lanka it had conducted from Mannar to Unawatuna and it had failed to conduct surveys in the Cauvery Basin and in Basins off Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Kumana and Hambantota.

Mahinda ready for talks with Prabha
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said he is ready to have a one to one discussion - “man to man” - with Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran to hammer out a solution to the North-East conflict.
In an interview with the India Today magazine President Rajapaksa said: “For me, the ceasefire is still on although the LTTE has been waging an undeclared war ever since the agreement was signed. We are now just defending ourselves. But we want peace. We want a settlement.

UNP says ‘no’ to media gag
The United National Party will strongly oppose any sort of censorship on the media that the government intends imposing in the future citing the current security situation in the country, former minister professor G.L. Peiris said.
Elaborating he said, that it is pointless to impose a censorship at a time communication media has developed by leaps and bounds.

Ranil, Mahinda jointly must take country forward - Hakeem
SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem was of the opinion that both the President Mahinda Rajapakse and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe should seize the opportunity to take the country out of the present political morass.

Deva Aditya briefs Mahinda on EU ties
Niranjan Deva Aditya the Co-ordinator of the Overseas Development Committee of the European Parliament met President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently and informed of his intention to run for the post of the UN Secretary General.

Bopitigoda freed after ten months
Sub Inspector Bandujeewa Bopitigoda who was in Tiger captivity for nearly 10 months was released by the LTTE yesterday and reunited with his wife and five year old daughter in Vavuniya .
Bopitigoda who was attached to the National Child Protection Authority was handed over to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in Kilinochchi by the LTTE.


President pushes for peace
There appear to be fresh hopes for another round of talks between the government and the LTTE after President Rajapaksa’s meeting with representatives of the co-chairs.

Never mind war, the drama has only just begun
Buried amid the rubble of war, terrorism, strikes and the escalating cost of living, the country’s two major political parties face a different kind of hurdle shortly-their upcoming party conventions.

Mahinda the realist Vs. Prabha the pragmatist?
“The LTTE which lost face over the Mavil Aru issue also suffered heavy casualties in Muttur and Jaffna. As if rubbing salt in their wounds, the FBI staged a crackdown on the Tiger operatives in North America. Those who dole out money to the LTTE and its front organisations are also likely to be prosecuted.


Parties map out battle plans
LTTE Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran was a bitter man last week with the Sri Lanka Air Force bombing the Sencholai orphanage building in Vallipunamn on August 14. The best friend of his wife Mathivathani, who hailed from Punguduthievu, was learnt to have run this orphanage.

Feeding the hungry or the well fed?
Serious questions have been raised as to whether the post tsunami reconstruction and development work undertaken by a plethora of organisations and task forces in Sri Lanka had paid dividends.


Tapping the pulse of a nation
We are living in a time of uncertainty. Be it the political situation or the plight of the economy or the dire state of the peace process, our little island home seems to be cruising along ‘blissfully’ in a vessel of ambiguity.


“We won’t allow any peace rallies again”
A clash took place at the peace rally at Vihara Maha Devi Park last week, after several monks of the Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya interrupted the meeting and got on stage. The ensuing clash was witnessed by thousands of television viewers.

“There is no solution through war”
Science and Technology Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana is keen to convince the JVP and the JHU to accept the reality that the ethnic problem needs a solution through proper power sharing.


Susanthika explodes
Sri Lankan athletes asserted their dominance in the sub continent when they won 5 gold medals on the ninth day of the South Asian Games yesterday. The day’s highlight was Sri Lanka’s Susanthika Jayasinghe and R.D Surendra winning the 100 metres women’s and men’s events respectively.

Jayawardene named skipper for Champions Trophy
COLOMBO, Aug 26, 2006 (AFP) - In-form batsman Mahela Jayawardene was Friday named captain of the Sri Lankan squad that will take part in the upcoming Champions Trophy in India.
Although opening batsman and former captain Marvan Atapattu was named in the side, Sri Lankas selectors opted for Jayawardene at the helm as there were still worries about Atapattus fitness.
“We’ll see how Marvan goes. He might not play all matches during the Champions Trophy and we want to take a look at his match fitness,” chief selector Asantha de Mel told AFP.

From obscurity to celebrity
Obstacles and hostilities are not a novelty for an emerging sportsman in this part of the world. It’s with their own skill and determination that each one reaches his or her goal. The modern epitome of this is none other than Chinthana Geethal Vidanage, our most renowned weightlifter.
The truth is that if not for Vidanage the sport weightlifting may still be hidden in some nook or corner in our list of Olympic Games. Almost after two months of foreign training he is back in Sri Lanka. The training he had turned out to be fruitful as he was able to win a gold medal at the South Asian Games with ease.

Implications of the war on cricket
The hasty departure of the South African cricket team without fulfilling their commitments with Sri Lanka Cricket, four days after the bomb blast a few kilometres away from their hotel in Colombo is only one in a series of similar episodes that has affected the game of cricket in this country.
Cricket has suffered the most from the eternal war between the Sri Lankan government and the rebel Tamil Tigers. The full impact of it was first felt in April 1987 when the New Zealand team led by Jeff Crowe was forced to abandon their tour after completing just one Test when a bomb killed over 100 people at the crowded Pettah bus station which the team had passed at a distance of 150 metres half an hour before. The second and third Tests and the three one-day internationals were all cancelled as a result of it.


Designed by Mangala Madanayake



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