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Sunday November 05th, 2006

Co-Chairs meet on Nov. 20 in Washington
Red notice on Govt., LTTE

The Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Donor conference will meet in Washington on November 20, to review the Sri Lanka peace process and the second round of peace talks in Geneva which ended in a stalemate.
It is likely that the co-chairs will put the government and the LTTE on red notice saying that it would be difficult to help the peace process any further if the meetings are not productive.
The Co-Chairs would exert pressure on the government of Sri Lanka to be flexible and to stick to the Ceasefire Agreement. Similarly they had already warned the LTTE that it would be difficult for them to be involved in the peace process if they do not contribute to the de-escalation of violence.
It is learnt that the European Union is particularly worried about the situation and is contemplating imposing restrictions on the Sri Lankan government. Germany had already frozen aid money and Netherlands is likely to follow suite.
The European Union has taken up the position that they could not deal with the LTTE as it is a banned organization ...
 

Taken once... Taken twice...

UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe facing heavy pressure from several frontline members to reform the party structure was captured by our shutterbug Ishara S.Kodikara while holding on to the hot seat at his office last week minutes before a meeting with members of the Anti War Front.



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Rajitha to mediate between Ranil and SB
UNP firebrand Dr. Rajitha Seneratne has been asked by party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to mediate between the leadership and S.B. Dissanayake to iron out the recent differences of opinion on reforms to the party constitution.
Wickremesinghe who earlier dismissed the pressure for reforms has had a lengthy discussion with Senaratne on Friday evening and had requested him to mediate between the various groups and bring everyone to a common ground on party reforms.
At the meeting Wickremesinghe had inquired from Senaratne what sort of reforms he expects in the party to which Senaratne had replied that they were the same as those proposed by S.B. Dissanayake. Wickremesinghe had then explained that he did not have a problem with the proposals but since there were several factions proposing various reforms to speak with all and bring them to a common understanding.
Senaratne had promptly informed the discussion he had with Wickremesinghe
 

NEWS

Hectic campaigning by UNP factions
The UNP working committee will meet on Wednesday November 8 at 5pm to discuss the party reforms that have led to sharp differences of opinion in the party rank and file.
It is likely that they would take up the reforms submitted to the General Secretary of the UNP by S. B. Dissanayake, several other individuals and organizations.

CBK due back after Nov. 15
Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga who created a diplomatic faux pas having arrived earlier than the scheduled time is likely to come back on November 15 after her visit to Pakistan.
On her arrival to the country last week, the VIP lounge at the Bandaranaike International Airport was not ready to receive her as she had arrived earlier.

Colombo abductions before international community for redress: Ganesan
Parliamentarian Mano Ganesan and the Civil Monitoring Committee on the recent abductions of Tamil civilians are to request the international community to look into the disappearances in Colombo and the suburbs during the past few months.

CMC warns of star class health hazards
The Colombo Municipal Council has issued a warning to several leading star grade hotels in Colombo after failing a sanitary inspection, especially in the food preparation areas, conducted by the medical officers, The Nation learns.

Mine blast kills two sailors, injures another
A claymore mine explosion killed two navy personnel in Nilaveli, Trincomalee yesterday morning while they were on an early morning foot patrol.
The claymore had exploded targeting the foot patrol which was on a routine clearanceoperation.

Anti-LTTE US Lankans in bid to unseat pro-LTTE Congressman
Anti LTTE Sri Lankans in the United States has launched a campaign to unseat pro-LTTE Congressman Danny K. Davis, the Democratic Congressman from Illinois, who visited the LTTE’s Political Headquarters in Kilinochchi and met LTTE leaders in April 2005, at the next week’s general election.

Ministerial brother in dirty game
The brother of a Deputy Minister from the hill country associated with energy was last week caught in an ugly fight with Ministerial Security Division at a five star hotel in Colombo when a Russian comfort lady had complained that the ministerial brother had tried to rob her.

INVERVIEWS

“Geneva II was more graceful”
The debate on whether Geneva II was an abysmal failure or provided some hope for keeping the channels of political discourse open between the government and the LTTE raged on, as the week in review progressed. The talks ended without agreement on any issues, but there is a degree of optimism that a Geneva III may just be on the cards.

Douglas wants provincial council polls in NE
Living with a price on one’s head, having escaped several assassination attempts, and especially defying one of the most ruthless terrorist organisations in the world, is no mean task. That is what the leader of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), Douglas Devananda, has been doing since he entered the democratic mainstream of Sri Lankan politics since 1989.

“Party reforms as we envisaged will be tabled”
Outgoing Chairman of the UNP, which is the single largest political party in Sri Lanka, says that the party stands strong despite recent differences of opinion among its rank and file on wide ranging issues from party reforms to the MoU signed with the SLFP. He says that the long overdue party reforms will be tabled at the forthcoming working committee meeting.

Where do we go from here?
The nation witnessed another round of peace talks between the government and the LTTE last week. The two parties have returned to the island without even setting a date for the next round of talks. Various political parties and analysts have rendered theories as to why the talks have failed and where the country is heading hereafter.

 
 

May the message of the Compassionate One on this Il Poya Day usher in peace in the minds of all.

POLITICS

Muhamalai: For military or monetary gain?
October 28 and 29 were significant days in the peace process. The parties came back to the negotiating table, weeks after war and months since Geneva I.
November 20 and 27 will be equally important days in the peace/war calendar.
Exactly a week ahead of the policy statement to mark LTTE’s Heroes Week, the Co-Chairs have fixed its review meeting in the US Capital, Washington. They will issue a strongly-worded statement cautioning the two parties against reverting to full-scale war.
The main intent, however, is to soften LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s statement currently drafted with a copy of his 2005 statement before him.

Geneva II - they came, they saw and did not concur
The scenes played out on television now have a sense of déjà vu: government ministers and leaders of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) posing for the cameras with contrived smiles in some foreign capital. Ah, another round of peace talks, so what’s new?
Judging from the general reaction of all concerned, nothing except that S.P. Thamilchelvam instead of Anton Balasingham headed the Tiger delegation. They all came to Geneva, they saw but they did not concur.
What was Geneva all about then? It does now appear that the talks were just a face saving mechanism for the government in Colombo as much as it was for the LTTE.

POLITICAL COMMENT

On the sneaky ways of language
‘What goes without saying, comes without saying’ – Pierre Bourdieu
Assumptions, following Bourdieu, the French Sociologist, and others, do not fall from the sky, but rather are socially produced. Bourdieu, however, is not a determinist in that he subscribes to the view that there is a symbiotic relationship between structure and agency. He speaks, for example, of ‘structuring structures’ as well as ‘structured structures’. In other words structures impact action and human agency can dent and otherwise alter structures. Marx put it in a different way: ‘Men make their history but not in the circumstances of their choice’. What reminded me of the above quote is a careful reading of ‘considered opinion’ in national newspapers. The ‘taken for granted,’ I find does not arrive along pathways innocent of ideological intent.

NEWS FEATURES

Disastrous deluge may return
Mass scale floods are predicted in future years similar to last week if steps are not taken to install an appropriate irrigation system, mainly in the Gampaha District. Such floods could hamper all services and production, including those of the airport as well as many other industrial units registered in the free trade zone of the Katunayake area, economically essential to the country.
Families, businesses and cattle were affected in the Gampaha District, which was the worst affected out of the four districts. According to numbers and statistics of the Disaster Management Centre, 149,000 (33,000 families) were internally displaced in the Gampaha District.
“In the Ja-ela area, nearly 17,000 people were affected situated in 54 ‘Grama Seva Wasam’, damaging 6,000 houses and killing two persons. Herds were affected in areas from Wahatiyagala, Tudellawa, Ekala and Dehiyagatha areas. This happened after almost 20 years but if nothing is done this will happen just for heavy showers,” said the Chairman of the Ja-ela Pradeshiya Sabha, Lalith Nishantha Abeywickrema.

Urgent measures to combat post flood epidemics
The deluge experienced in some regions due to the heavy showers in the past few weeks is likely to have a detrimental influence on the public in certain areas. The drinking water sources could be contaminated by the increasing flood water which over flows through the septic tanks, drainage channels and the polluted soil.
According to the Epidemiology Unit sources of the Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition, one of the main public health problems would be the likelihood of an increase in the incidence of water born diseases such as dysentery, diarrhoea, and leptospirosis.

SPORTS

Mahela - Captain of the Year
Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene poses with his award after being picked the Best Captain of the Year over Australia’s Ricky Ponting, England’s Michael Vaughan and India’s Rahul Dravid at the ICC awards ceremony held in Mumbai on Friday. Jayawardene was also named captain of the World One-day team of the Year.

Aussies favourites
MUMBAI - The Champions Trophy reaches its climax today when holders West Indies, who had to pre-qualify, play pre-tournament favourites Australia in the final.
The two teams met in the group stages, Runako Morton and Jerome Taylor starring as the Windies triumphed.
Australia veterans Glenn McGrath and Damien Martyn have been their star performers in the tournament so far.
West Indies opener Chris Gayle has successive centuries, against England and South Africa, behind him.
As well as a remarkable 437 runs in the tournament, Gayle has taken eight wickets with an economy rate of less than four an over.

A good eye-opener says Mahela
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene described his team’s early exit from the ICC Champions trophy in India as ‘a good eye-opener’ ahead of the 2007 cricket World Cup in the Caribbean in five months.
“It is good for us to realize where we are and the areas which we have to improve,” said Jayawardene at a media conference held at the Sri Lanka Cricket headquarters after his team had to return home early when they failed to make it to the semi-finals of the tournament.

Basil sounds death knell of Sri Lanka’s provincial cricket
Sri Lanka Cricket tournament committee chairman Basil Perera sounded the death knell of provincial cricket in this country when he said that all their energies were diverted towards making the Premier tournament the blue riband of cricket in Sri Lanka.
When the tournament committee met the media last week to outline their plans for the 2006-07 season, the Premier tournament took precedence over everything and there wasn’t a single mention of the provincial tournament, which was last held in 2004-05.

Heshan and Madhavi shine
Trinity College schoolboy Heshan Unamboowa and Asian International School’s Madhavi Dharmadasa won best performance awards in the men’s and women’s categories for swimming at the finals of the National Aquatic Championships which were worked off at the Sugathadasa Indoor Gymnasium yesterday.

After the blow
The Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) at the moment is doing all it can to keep its head up in the face of adversity. This is encouraging when the island nation has been named as an unsafe destination for tourists and touring sports teams by travel advisories and foreign based security firms. The SLRFU at present is fighting a battle to host the Asian Rugby Championships and it is quite unlikely that the event will be held even early next year.

Sporting chance
Wheelchair tennis has provided many disabled people with a fair chance to take part in sport. When one looks at a disabled person it underscores an old saying, ‘life isn’t fair’. However, when the disabled take to sport it is only fair for the authorities to create a level playing field for them.
Lakmali Amaratunga is a wheelchair tennis player who believes that this form of tennis presents disabled people with a fair chance to compete in sport. I think this form of tennis is easy to play. I am confident that I can make steady progress in wheelchair tennis,” said.

A rugby experience to cherish
Memories of making the line-up of teams at the 2001 Youth Rugby World Cup in Chile are sure to pop up in the minds of Sri Lanka’s rugby players when they go into training for the upcoming Junior Asian Rugby Championships which also serve as a qualifier for the next edition of the Youth Rugby World Cup.

   

Designed by Mangala Madanayake

 
 

Colombo

 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 
       
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