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Sunday November 19th, 2006

APRC Experts’ Panel proposals to be presented shortly
Devolution beyond CBK package
A set of proposals envisaging internal self determination, widespread devolution of power and electoral reforms which would be a basis for the government’s final solution to the North-East conflict will be finalised by a group of experts within the next few weeks, Government sources said.
These proposals put forward by the Experts’ Panel of the All Party Conference (APC) will be handed over to the Representative Committee of the APC shortly. It is learnt that these proposals would be taken as a basis for the final solution that the government intends to put before the country and the LTTE.
The proposals of the Expert Panel would not mention the word federalism but would devolve power beyond the year 2000 draft constitution, sources said. It would also propose electoral reforms on the German model with half from the first past- the- post system and the other ...

Pressed out

Photo journalists were for the first time barred from entering the press gallery to cover the budget presentation on Thursday. They were only allowed to cover the arrival of the President at the lobby. Here a smiling President Mahinda Rajapaksa walking past shutterbugs followed by Deputy Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya. - (Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)

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Twenty MPs to boycott UNP convention today
The much troubled UNP National Convention will take place today at Town Hall grounds with party reforms envisaged by the party leadership taking the centre stage and over twenty MPs from the reformist group planning to boycoytt the event, party sources said.
Senior UNP MP and party trade

Gay antics
The gay boy living at the “Paya” down the street that is staple has been engaged in a livid mud slinging campaign against his secretary. The latest being scurrilous poetry dished out by the gay bard to sling mud at the secretary. But all know that this gay boy lives in abundance at the expense of the taxpayers money singing the glory of his parents since he had not achieved much. But the gay boy does not know what is in store for him as the secretary is planning to reveal the gay activities of this spoilt boy.



Manmohan Singh says in letter:
“India to take up civilian issue with SL Govt.”

India has expressed strong concern about the situation in Sri Lanka and had said that the Indian government would be “taking up with the Government of Sri Lanka, at the appropriate level, the recent cases of civilian casualties, as well as the killing of innocent Tamils.” In a letter to the pro-LTTE Tamil Nadu politician Vaiko, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the recent incidents leading to the loss of civilian lives was a matter of “utmost concern” and “sorrow.”
The Indian Prime Minister’s letter released to the media by Vaiko, yesterday, comes ahead of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to New Delhi next week.

Karu hits back at those resisting reforms
UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya in a strongly worded statement yesterday hit back at the Ranil Wickremesinghe loyalists in the UNP who were resisting reforms to the party constitution.
“There are those who are of the view that the powers of the leader should remain intact and that no changes are necessary in the party structure either. We wish to state that it is only those who lack the strength of character to stand on their own two feet, who are so incompetent that they cannot but shine except in the reflected light of better people, who hold this view.  The UNP can do better than this, we firmly believe,” Jayasuriya states.

11 killed in accident
At least 11 people died and 15 were injured when a bus collided with two vans in the Gokarella police area yesterday.

Govt. won’t budge on A9: Kohona
Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat chief Dr. Palitha Kohona has informed the Co-Chairs through the Japanese Ambassador that the LTTE’s insistence on opening the A9 road has no valid cause and that there would be no change on the government’s stance on the temporary closure.
Dr. Kohona made this observation when Japanese Ambassador Kiyashi Araki called on him Friday at the formers Colombo office, to discuss the current situation prevailing in the country prior to his visit to Washington to attend the Co-Chairs meeting.
The Co-Chairs deliberation is scheduled to commence in Washington on Tuesday November 21.

Events to mark Mahinda’s one year in office
Several events are lined up for today in commemoration of President Mahinda Rajapakse’s one year presidency in Weerawila and several other areas.
The main event is to commence at nine in the morning with the laying of the foundation stone of the proposed, Weerawila international air port. Later the President is expected to address the nation. Following this event the President will attend to other ceremonies organized in this connection.

Tests at Kelaniya varsity confirm disease
Blood samples from patients in Colombo, Hambanthota and Kalmunai have shown positive for Chikungunya viral fever in tests which were conducted by a team of doctors in the Molecular Medicine Unit in the Faculty of Medicine of the Kelaniya University last week raising concern and alarm that the virul infection is widespread in the country.
The team that conducted the test comprised Dr. Wimaladharma Abeywickrama, Dr. Arjuna de Silva, Dr. Harsha Perera and Dr. Chandika Hapuarachchi. Dr. Abeywickrama said, that according to their test results it is confirmed that Chikungunya is prevalent in Sri Lanka. First they had tested some blood samples from Colombo and Hambanthota and subsequently they were requested to test another 10 samples from Kalmunai. Out of those test samples from Kalmunai, five have proved that they were infected by the Chikungunya virus.

Three held over Raviraj slaying
The Criminal Investigation Department probing the assassination of TNA member Nadarajah Raviraj told the Colombo Additional Magistrate Mohamed Ishadeen that they have arrested three suspects in connection with the killing and are interrogating them.

Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka in a release said
“We wish to draw your attention to the news article that appeared in ‘The Nation’ on November 12, 2006 bearing the title RMV closed after experts bungle.The news states that personnel from the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) as having deleted computer ...



Many roads in Colombo were inundated as heavy rains lashed several parts of the country yesterday.  - (Pic by Pushpakumara Matugama)

A contingent of the Navy Special Boat Service passed out from the Navy Training Centre in Boossa yesterday. The Chief guest on the occasion was Rear Admiral D.N. Dharmaweera. - (Pic. by Nissanka Wijeratne)


Co-Chairs to save CFA from Washington
The entire nation awaits the outcome of the Co-Chairs’ deliberations scheduled for Tuesday, November 21, in Washington.
Tuesday’s meeting in Washington is expected to be a crucial one in the backdrop of the escalating violence between the Sri Lanka troops and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
It is too premature to guess what is in store for Sri Lanka by the Co-Chairs but what could be expected is pressure from the Co-Chairs on the Government and the LTTE to recommence direct talks.
However, serious questions are raised whether any decision arrived at by the Co-Chairs; the United States, the European Union, Japan and Norway, would have any impact on either the Government of Sri Lanka or the LTTE. In other words, one wonders whether both the Government and the LTTE would take the decisions of the Co-Chairs seriously.

Extra judicial killings – a growing cancer
The killing of Nadarajah Raviraj, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian a week ago at Narahenpita in broad daylight during rush hour traffic is a grim reminder of the perilous period this nation is in.
Statements will duly condemn his killing, Scotland Yard has already been requested to assist in the investigation and who knows, even a Commission to probe the event may become a reality. Sadly though, the outspoken and firebrand lawyer turned politician has now become a statistic in a long list of Tamil politicians that include Neelan Tiruchelvam and Lakshman Kadiragamar, among others.


Slipping into chaos
This week landslides took their deadly toll with over 20 people being left dead in the aftermath of several massive earthslips in the country. The greatest loss of life occurred in Pusellawa when a section of the Kandy- Nuwara Eliya road collapsed killing motorists and bystanders. In this earthslip more than five people were confirmed dead, among them a deputy postmaster general of the central province. The 100 metre earth slip took several days to clear and bodies were being recovered in the aftermath, buried in the mud.

One year of Mahinda Chinthanaya
President remains strong despite hiccups
Exactly a year ago the backwoods politician from the deep south Mahinda Rajapaksa ascended the pinnacle of Sri Lankan politics when he took oaths as the fifth Executive President of the country before Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva.

Failed revolutions and fallen heroes
November is the month of remembrance. It is the month of revolution and failed coups as well. The fact is valid to Sri Lanka too. Il Maha Viru Samaruwa – the commemoration of November heroes - is a combination of all three; remembrance, revolution and failed plots. Who are these November Heroes? Are they Revolutionaries? Che Guevara impersonators? Romantics? Terrorists?

Killing people will not solve problems: Devananda
EPDP Leader and Minister Douglas Devanananda dismiss all allegations leveled against the EPDP on political killings. He categorically denies any link hinted by some of an EPDP link to the killing of TNA MP Nadarajah Raviraj. Speaking to The Nation Minister Devananda said that he operates in the political mainstream.


Taking stock of a shameful time
The anti-war folk dreamed up an interesting signboard for the demonstration regarding the killing of TNA parliamentarian K.Raviraj.  ‘Shame’ it said.  In Sinhala it was even more interesting. ‘Lajjai’ is also a confession, as in ‘I am ashamed’.  Someone might even say ‘Freudian Slip’.


Priyantha props Japanese bid
Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) President Priyantha Ekanayake hails Japan’s bid to host the 2015 IRB Rugby World Cup.
Ekanayake backs Japan to host the World Cup because he feels the move would help the country play a big role in rugby development in Asia. “All Asian rugby playing countries look forward to Japan as their big brother,” said Ekanayake.

Premier league cricket
Malinga, Tharanga put NCC in control

On a day when rain prevented a start in four of the six Premier league matches for the second successive day NCC were the only team to grab a first innings lead and play themselves into a winning position against Ragama CC at the FTZ grounds, Katunanayake yesterday.
Sri Lanka bowler Lasith Malinga’s pace proved too much for Ragama as they were bundled out for 114 in reply to NCC’s first innings total of 221.

Warnapura determined
Sri Lanka ‘A’s star batsman on their tour of India for the Duleep trophy, Malinda Warnapura is determined to put behind the disappointment of being overlooked for the New Zealand tour and pile on the runs in the Caribbean.

Tour to Windies crucial for World Cup selection
Sri Lanka ‘A’ team coach Chandika Hathurusingha said that their maiden tour of the West Indies would be crucial before the team for the 2007 World Cup which will also take place in the Caribbean is finalised.

Sports in brief
Williams sisters on trial
MIAMI, (AFP) - A court case against tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams got underway in Florida with promoters for a Battle of the Sexes tournament claiming they lost 45 million dollars because the duo reneged on a pledge to participate in the event.
But counsel for the two sisters, who were present in the West Palm Beach court room insisted the two had never signed any contract.

Enter: Dharmasena, the UMPIRE
Kumar Dharmasena, a key member of Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup winning team is of the opinion that the present side under Mahela Jayawardene has all the ingredients to repeat that success in the Caribbean in 2007.

Another award for Kapugedera
It seems that Sri Lanka’s exciting young batsman from the hill country Chamara Kapugedera cannot avoid being in the limelight.

Changing trends
Former Sri Lanka youth rugby skipper Jivan Goonetilleke sees a huge change in attitude towards how schoolboys view the opportunity of representing the country at the Asian Junior Rugby Championships.

Book Review
Cricket literature at its best

There is no doubt that Sri Lanka is starved of quality cricket literature when compared to other leading Test-playing nations.

Hidden talent
It is most probably athletics which carries our usual medal prospects at any kind of international meet. It is high time to change the situation. A contingent of 150 athletes will be leaving for Qatar to represent Sri Lanka in the 15th Asian Games and among these athletes there are members of four less popular sports.


‘We fully support Rock’s statements’- Helen
The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) spokesperson Helen Olafsdottir, says the Mission fully supports the statement made by Ambassador Allan Rock, Special Advisor to the UN Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict, accusing Government troops of recruiting child soldiers for the Karuna faction.

Designed by Mangala Madanayake





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