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Sunday January 21st, 2007

Good Governance Council mooted
The UNP alternate group that is to join hands with President Mahinda Rajapaksa will sign a separate Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government that will include the establishment of a Committee or a Council on Good Governance.
Agreement had been reached on the establishment of this committee during discussions between the UNP alternate group led by former Deputy Leader of the UNP Karu Jayasuriya and government representatives.

Troops that captured the LTTE eastern stronghold of Vakarai on Friday waving the national flag in front of the Vakarai base hospital.

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Two WPC Ministers to face the axe for allegedly helping criminals
Two WPC Ministers have been found to have allegedly facilitated the visit of two suspected criminals out of the country under the pretext of participating at a conference, according to the findings of two separate committees.
The two Provincial Ministers, Hector Bethmage and Gamini Thilakasiri, have further been alleged of cheating and misleading the foreign embassies by associating themselves with the criminals to obtain foreign visas.


LTTE admits defeat in Vakarai
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) admitting their defeat in the East have further described it as a ‘temporary setback.’
Speaking to The Nation, LTTE Media Spokesman Daya Master yesterday admitted that Vakarai was now in the hands of the government troops and that the Tigers were no more present in the area.
Though he denied allegations that the LTTE was weak following the defection of Karuna, Daya Master said the government troops had an advantage ...

Army consolidates East
Troops yesterday continued to consolidate its strength over Vakarai while marching towards Kathiraveli area to clear off remaining LTTE pockets, military sources said.
“Sri Lankan troops are advancing further north, while consolidating the defences in the Vakarai town area,” the military said without giving details.
Military sources said ground troops were moving on several flanks to secure a stretch of land along the coastline in a bid to cut off Tiger supply lines.
Meanwhile Colonel Charlie Gallage has taken over the command of the army commando brigade in the area.

JVP to take crucial decision
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) is to decide whether it would continue to support the government or not, at its Central Committee meeting scheduled for this week.
JVP sources said that a decision would be taken in this regard after taking into consideration the situation that would arise after the crossing over of a number of UNP MPs to the government. Also the JVP, it is learnt, is irked over the political solution to the North-East conflict to be presented by the All Party Representative Committee headed by Minister Tissa Vitarana.

SLMM gets back to ceasefire monitoring
The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) will re-commence its operations at regional level with effect from tomorrow, SLMM Spokesman Thofinur Ommarson said.
According to him the Ceasefire Monitors have already been sent to Batticaloa, Jaffna and Kilinochchi and more Monitors were on their way to Vavuniya to commence their activities.

Committee recommends 12 new divisional secretariats
The Committee appointed to study and make recommendations regarding the re-demarcation of existing divisional secretariat and grama niladhari divisions has recommended the setting up of 12 new divisional secretariats.





Thin ice and landslides – the crossover saga
Political circles were agog with frenzied lobbying attempts and last minute deal-making last week, as the UNP reformists looked poised to join President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government, even as the fissures in his own ranks began to show.
The UNP reformist group is likely to join the government this week, with at least 18 members crossing over from the main opposition party. UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was engaged in a relentless effort to stop this erosion of the Grand Old Party, by telling the President at their one-to-one pow-wow last Tuesday that encouraging crossovers ...


So whose nation is this anyway?
I am not conversant enough in literature to assess the worth of the recently held Galle Literary Festival. I was there only on the final two days anyway and then only for two or three sessions. I don’t know to what extent the so-called ‘best minds in the country’ deliberated on the politics of the word or if they did so at all, but the organizers, bless them (!), did throw in the ‘political’ on the last day.


“Ranil and Karu are no different in principle”- Wimal Weerawansa
A: The government did not keep the JVP informed or ask for our views even when they signed the previous MoU with the UNP. They tried to keep us informed about the fact that such a pact was going to be signed, but apart from this there was nothing further said. Once again the government is poised to welcome a separate group from the UNP the same way and they have not done so after having sought the JVP’s views on the matter. As per the MoU signed with the JVP prior to the 2005 presidential election in order to support President Rajapaksa’s candidature, the JVP cannot be in any way satisfied with the current behaviour of the government.

“No peace with military action”
Q: The government’s attempt to win the war on the one hand, and at the same time, find a political settlement, seem to be a failure. How do you see President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s political, as well as military, strategy in this regard?


Muscle building now an obsession
Former Mr. Sri Lanka class winner Anton Fonseka is an advertisement for that old dictum, ‘health is wealth’.
Fonseka still has the vigour in him to put to shame most young physical culturists who train with him. The 61-year-old told The Nation in an interview that the secret to maintaining his health and fitness was an active life-style he led.
Retired from serving the Sri Lanka Army he now spends time running a gymnasium in Kochchikade, Negombo. Fonseka isn’t all that excited in trying his hand at gym business which is very competitive and booming in Sri Lanka.

Point Blank
Educate, the Australian way

With the completion of the GCE O/L examination the accent is now on the school cricket season which is gradually gaining momentum and, the Sri Lanka under 19 cricketers who are due to leave for Malaysia on Tuesday.
With school cricket being the focus of attention these days it would be pertinent to note how Australia have included cricket to their curriculum of studies.
Australia as you might know is used as a role model by virtually all cricket-playing countries not because they are the top cricket nation, but for their expertise on other fields connected to sport.
Look around and you will find three of the four Asian cricket nations has an Australian as national cricket coach.

Malaysia will be a good eye....
One cannot blame Sri Lanka’s under 19 cricket coach Roger Wijesuriya if he has to spend part of his valuable time reading autobiographies of cricketing icons like Steve Waugh and Shane Warne.
Why he does that is not purely to enhance his knowledge on the game, but to pick up useful hints from the superstars and pass it onto his young protégés.

If Sri Lanka’s rugby can be given life one can envisage a human wearing a mask. Rugby fans world over know that Sri Lanka played well at the recent 15-a-side World Cup qualifiers and its junior team played in the 2001 Youth World Cup in Chile. The picture Sri Lanka portrays to the world that its prowess lies in the longer version of rugby union is misleading.


Designed by Mangala Madanayake





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