Sunday November 12th, 2006
demo for Raviraj
Anti-war groups and civil society organisations are to hold a
mass rally to protest against the assassination of TNA
parliamentarian N. Raviraj tomorrow, before the body of the
slain MP is to be air-lifted to Jaffna on Tuesday (14).
The remains of MP Raviraj will be taken to the Town Hall in
procession where a mass rally is planned to be held against
killings and abductions.
Meanwhile, the government yesterday turned down a request made
by the Tamil National Alliance to allow the body of its
assassinated member Nadarajah Raviraj to be taken to Jaffna
through the now closed A9 road.
However Government’s Defence Spokesman Minister Keheliya
Rambukwella said that the government had instead offered to
airlift the body to Jaffna for the last rites. Accordingly, the
remains of MP Raviraj will be airlifted to Jaffna on Tuesday and
the funeral is scheduled to take place at Chavakachcheri on
The request to allow the body of MP Raviraj to be taken to
Jaffna through the A9 road was made to Foreign Minister Mangala
Samaraweera by TNA parliamentary group leader R. Sampanthan,
when Minister Samaraweera visited the funeral house yesterday
Afterwards TNA parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah met with
The ultimate victim
is Praveena. She is 14 years- old and a student of
Bishop’s College, Colombo. She is the daughter of TNA MP
N. Raviraj, brutally slain in the capital on Friday and
last saw her father before going to school that day.
Soon all else will be lost in the din of politics and
ideology, but a fatherless child must live on. Let us
hope his killers take a good look at her face. And pray
that the next time, saner counsel will prevail. -
(Pic by: Ishara S. Kodikara)
UNP reforms deadlock?
UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema said yesterday that the joint
proposals of individuals and organisations who envisaged reforms
to the party will come before the UNP convention on November 19.
Asked whether UNP National Organiser, S.B. Dissanayake’s
proposals would come before the convention, he replied that
“there is only one joint proposal that would include proposals
by Dissanayake, John Amaratunga and others.”
Party General Secretary designate, Tissa Attanayake also
confirmed that a set of joint proposals will come before the
party convention. He said that the John Amaratunga report on the
restructuring of the working committee was 90 percent similar to
Dissanayake’s proposals on the constitution of the working
According to Attanayake, the working committee will be expanded
upto about 90 members and not 117 as proposed by Dissanayake.
He said that Dissanayake had proposed both president and
secretary of the district organisation to be members of the
working committee, making it a large outfit. Attanayake said
that in his opinion, only one member from each district
organisation should represent a district in the working
|SLIC deal: COPE questions PB
Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundara who was questioned
by the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises
(COPE) over the privatisation of Sri Lanka Insurance
Corporation (SLIC) had said that he had given the green
light to go ahead with the privatisation procedure of
the Corporation, even before the cabinet had approved
He said further that it was the common practice to go
ahead with the procedure before cabinet approval is
granted when the approval was guaranteed by the
minister. But he had been unable to cite an example when
asked by the members of the committee.
Protest halts auction of rogue
Wildlife Conservation Department has temporarily halted
plans to capture and auction two rogue elephants in the
Galgamuwa-Maho area, upon protests by the environmental
activists, The Nation learns.
The department was planning to anaesthetise and capture
the two elephants, and auction them on the site on
November 9 and 10, and sell them to the highest bidders.
The initial advertisement to call for bidders was
published in a weekend newspaper dated July 30, 2006.
with the reasons for capture and required criteria for
Lokuwella: The bodyguard who
Last Friday the family of slain parliamentarian,
Nadaraja Raviraj was not the only ones who lost a son, a
beloved husband and a father. Police constable Lakshman
Lokuwellage who was with the MP was also killed in the
Lokuwellamurage Lakshman Lokuwella started his day as
usual accompanying MP Raviraj as he had done for the
last four years; but the day did not last long for both
RMV closed after experts
A group of computer specialists had almost ruined the
database of the Motor Traffic Department and had the
department closed for several days in order to recover
its systems, The Nation learns.
The department had averted a large scale damage to its
computer system by deleting programming files by a team
of specialists of the ICTA. Timely intervention
prevented a loss amounting to millions of tax payers
monies, a department source said.
To be summoned before
Two leading accounting
firms in soup over SLIC privatisation deal
Two of the leading chartered accounting firms in the
country are to face a disciplinary committee appointed
by the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sri Lanka (ICASL)
over misconduct of its members during the privatisation
of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation.
This is the first time in the history of the institute
that two of the country’s leading accounting firms will
be investigated by a disciplinary committee.
Expenses incurred on CBK’s
house tabled in court
When the case regarding expenditure incurred for
renovations and refurbishment of the building to be
occupied by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga was
taken up before the Supreme Court on Thursday. The
counsel for the petitioners stated that they were not in
possession of certain documents filed by the Secretary
to the President.
The Court in reply stated that there were no secret
documents and all documents relevant to the case are
open for perusal by both parties. The documents filed by
the President’s secretary on the expenditures incurred
for renovations follow:
Inevitable: an adequate
explanation for tragedy?
does one read the killing of some 40 plus civilians in a
multi-barrel attack that hit a school housing internally
displaced people? Does one refer to the fact that the
LTTE consistently uses civilian as human shields and
that, according to a Reuter report, the LTTE had in fact
fired from the area towards a Sri Lanka Army position
not long before the Army retaliated and caused the
We could use the word ‘inevitable’ in a context where
the LTTE has forced 14,000 civilians to offer cover for
its heavy weapons which they periodically use to attack
the armed forces. We could say that if the LTTE was
truly concerned about the welfare of the people they
claim to represent, they would have evacuated them to a
safer area a long time ago. We could, like the
Americans, British and others whose hearts bleed over
humanitarian issues, use the word ‘collateral’. We could
even ask the rhetorical question: What do you expect us
to do, tell the LTTE, “please get the civilians out of
the way, we want to disarm you?”
We can say that whereas there is an element of
miscalculation here, similar tragedies have been
perpetrated on innocent villages deliberately by the
LTTE with the full knowledge and at the command of the
|Get it straight or
lose the initiative
Lyndon Johnson famously said, “If I’ve lost Walter
Cronkite, I’ve lost the country”, referring to the
trusted news anchor who reported from Vietnam that
in his opinion, “the war is going to end in a
stalemate.” Because of Cronkite’s reporting,
favourable American public opinion on the war in
Vietnam took a nosedive. That was the power of the
media in deciding the fate of the American
intervention in Vietnam. Though it has been over 30
years since America’s military might was defeated in
the rice fields of Vietnam, neither the Americans
nor the rest of the world seem to have learned the
value of public opinion when orchestrating a war.
The Sri Lankan government and its security forces do
not seem to understand the importance of gaining the
confidence of the public, both locally and
internationally either. In the case of Sri Lanka,
the individuals who have been entrusted with this
task seem to be doing more harm than good.
UNP in major face off
It was an eventful week for UNpers, especially those
who are envisaging reforms for the party structure
and those who are against it.
Manoeuvering and manipulations took foremost place
during the first few days of the week, in the run up
to the crucial Working Committee meeting scheduled
for Wednesday (08).
There had been efforts by the Ranil Wickremesinghe
camp of the UNP to defuse the build-up against the
leadership by the party reformists. The thinking of
the Wickremesinghe camp is that a sharp division in
the party on those lines would not augur well for
Proposed amendments to
the UNP constitution
A. By amending the title thereof by repealing the
existing title and substituting the words “Party
Working Committee and Party Political Affairs
Committee” in its place.
B. By repealing Article 7.1 of the Constitution and
substituting the following article in its place.
The importance of
being Ranil Wickremesinghe
the events of the week past are any kind of
yardstick, it only demonstrated the importance of
being Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The beleaguered leader of the Opposition and the
United National Party (UNP) has again survived a
political assassination, an attempt orchestrated
once more by disgruntled UNPers or, the ‘enemy
Violent cult: Bring it to book
By A special Correspondent
The first Tamil politician to be killed was Jaffna Mayor Alfred
Duriappah more than a quarter century ago on July 27, 1975. He
was killed by the New Tamil Tigers headed by Velupillai
Ever since, a range of Tamil politicos were killed mainly by
Tamils. In 1978 TULF candidate Kanagaratnam was shot in Colombo
by Tamil militants while Jaffna district UNP candidate A.
Thiagarajah was shot in Mavedi, Vaddukodi three years later.
Politics behind Raviraj killing
is a reason the killing of Nadarajah Raviraj left the country
reeling. Everyone knew him. He was the face of the TNA on most
television debates, much like the one he participated in minutes
before he was brutally killed in Colombo on Friday. Just a few
years ago, Raviraj was also Jaffna Mayor and an elected member
of parliament on two occasions.
His death sounds a knell for democratic expression and he goes
the way of so many others who have dared to express an opinion
that does not sit well someone. Hours after his assassination, a
group claiming to be his killers posted a notice on a website
saying that all other TNA MPs should ‘live peacefully with their
families’ instead of maintaining links with the LTTE.
Striking the heart of a civilian
After shells and multi-barrels fired by the military fell on a
school turned IDP camp in Kathiraweli on Wednesday, killing
scores of civilians and injuring more than 100, Valachennai and
Batticaloa look set to become refugee towns as floods of people
from the rebel held area flee to safety. The attack has sparked
an international outcry and left a bad taste in the mouths of
many, the Kathiraweli camp being a large civilian centre,
clearly demarcated in any administrative map of the area…
Colombo flooding can be prevented
With the opening up of the economy in 1977, several political
leaders and corporate tycoons had dreams of making Colombo, the
hub of South Asia’s financial services, shipping and aviation.
Some of them even made proclamations to that effect.
But, what is heart-rending is that for several years if not
decades, the city centre gets flooded and roads are made
impassable with a heavy down-pour.
For the first time last week we had flooding that made the only
road to the solitary airport impassable.
Sri Lanka’s achievements in 15-a-side rugby have greatly
influenced the country’s sevens rugby set-up. Players show added
enthusiasm in attending training with a view of making the
national seven-a-side rugby team that will take part in the
forthcoming Asian Games in Doha Qatar. This is rather unusual in
a set-up where the country’s recent accolades in rugby have come
through the national team’s participation in the 15-a-side
version of rugby.
gospel of body building
building is one sport in Sri Lanka that has taken physical
culturists to a new level of thinking. The advent of high
protein supplements and modern training methods have given rise
to a new breed of body builders who have thrown out the Greek
God image and embraced the Frankenstein look. Most of them earn
a living from body building by working in gymnasiums as
Batting is the key says Mahela
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene believes that batting,
which failed his side in their quest to win the ICC Champions
trophy in India, will be the key to his team winning the 2007
ICC World Cup in the Caribbean.
The cricket World Cup is due to be played from March 13 to April
28 and the Champions trophy was the showcase event leading up to
it, not that it is any indication that the eventual winner of it
will end up becoming World Cup champions.
Premier league cricket goes ‘live’
The Premier trophy league tournament which got underway on
Friday will be given a tremendous boost when its matches go
‘live’ on television.
This has been made possible by Sirasa TV joining hands with Sri
Outlining the objectives of this joint venture, Maharajah
Organisation group director Mano Wickramanayake said that his
company was the first to envisage professional cricket in the
country and its chairman/managing director Rajah Mahendran was
the vice-president of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board when the
country obtained ICC Test status over two decades ago.
Asian Games will begin on December 1 at Qatar and the local
sports lovers are showing great interest in the prospects of
some of the Sri Lankan athletes at this event. Apart from Sri
Lanka’s usual medal hopes, the authorities have some sort of
hope on a few other sports as well.
Duleep trophy final today
Sri Lanka ‘A’ up against
strong North Zone
KOLKATA - In their maiden appearance in one of India’s
prestigious domestic cricket tournaments, the Duleep trophy, Sri
Lanka ‘A’ will meet North Zone in the five-day final starting at
the famous Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.
Premier league cricket
Lanka plans to impress the organizers of the IRB Sevens Series
by doing well at the upcoming rugby sevens which is a discipline
at the Asian Games which will be held in Doha Qatar from
De Saram and Maharoof shine
Bloomfield find themselves struggling to avoid defeat in their
Premier trophy league match against Ragama CC after their plan
to bat first on winning the toss backfired on them at Reid
Bloomfield were one batsman short and was forced to declare at
139-9 when Sanath Jayasuriya could not make it to the venue on
time after travelling to Dickwella to open a tsunami village.
Umpires on the mat?
Depending on the findings of the Association of Cricket Umpires
Sri Lanka (ACUSL) and the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association
(SLSCA), Sri Lanka Cricket’s Umpires committee will take drastic
action against an umpire who had over stepped the line and
prevented a leading Colombo school from recording victory in a
first eleven cricket fixture played at Darley Road on November 3
No owners in this country: Elle Thera
people have become inactive. They have been brainwashed. People
don’t know their rights and obligations. They should rally
together if the government is wrong and speak up. Our people
don’t do that. They only hold parasols for the leaders.”