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Sunday February 18th, 2007

Power shock at Kerawalapitiya
Several engineers attached to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) have warned the government that the proposed Kerawalapitiya Power Plant, if constructed and operated will incur the country a staggering loss of Rs. 77 million a day.
A confidential document with details of how the government will incur heavy losses due to this has already been submitted to Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy.
The confidential report prepared by some of the country’s leading power and energy consultants have also been circulated to other relevant officials including President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Power and Energy Minister John Seneviratne, The Nation reliably learns.
Experts point out that the increasing use of automotive diesel fuel in gas turbines has cost the country a staggering Rs. 29,989 million (US $ 285 million) to date, more than what it would have cost if the optimum technology-fuel combination reciprocating engines and heavy fuel oil had been used.


The famous Sinhala saying goes “Like lighting cigars when the beard is on fire.” But former Minister Mangala Samaraweera does not seem to be troubled by the recent turn of events and was seen enjoying a cigar, taking a respite after the controversial press conference at the Parliamentary Complex last week. - ( Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)


SLFP to decide on Mangala and Sripathi
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) is seriously contemplating disciplinary action against former Ministers Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Sooriaratchchi for the verbal attacks on the President, his family and his government.
They have already told the public that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was being dictated by his brothers.
They have further threatened to place before the public details of some of the alleged corrupt involvements of the Rajapaksa brothers.
A few members of the party told The Nation that strict disciplinary action must be instituted against them for violating the norms of the party by speaking ill of its leadership and ‘slinging mud’ against the head of state, an act they say warrants a severe penalty.
They also said they were going to mount pressure on the Party General Secretary and the disciplinary committee to take appropriate action.



US closely watching kidnappings in Sri Lanka
The US government is closely monitoring human rights violations in Sri Lankan but is yet to decide on appointing a special envoy for the Sri Lankan conflict.
The US government has decided to take a close look on killings, disappearances, abductions and kidnappings in Sri Lanka through diplomatic channels, The Nation learns.
According to State Department sources, the US government is not willing to appoint a special envoy for the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict with immediate effect.

Claymore blast kills one in Jaffna
One civilian was killed and five soldiers were wounded in a claymore blast in Jaffna yesterday targeting a bus carrying army personnel.
According to the Media Center for National Security the explosion took place at around 11.50 am at the Old Park Road in Jaffna town. Two civilians who were near the blast site were injured and one had succumbed to injuries later.

Anura’s birthday bash (Event)

Minister Jayasuriya to start mobile offices
Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs Karu Jayasuriya plans to hold mobile offices of the state services periodically to attend to people’s problems by going to their doorstep, similar to the Presidential Mobile Services carried on by former President Ranasinghe Premadasa.
Officials of all ministries and departments and statutory bodies will participate at these mobile offices along with the provincial and district officials.
The first mobile office is to be held in the Moneragala District.

Sinhala and Tamil are compulsory for public servants
All new recruits to the public service should have working knowledge in both Sinhala and Tamil and are required to undergo a language proficiency test in the future, according to new regulations to come into effect shortly.
The circular in this regard is to be issued by the Public Administration Ministry within the coming week, The Nation learns.

Changes to 17 th Amendment soon in Parliament
Constitutional Affairs and National Integration Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera said yesterday that the changes to the 17th Amendment will be presented to all the political parties representing the Parliament and the final report will be submitted to Parliament as soon as possible.
“We have identified a minor error in the 17th Amendment which prevents the Constitutional Council from meeting.






Political Affairs
Anura wilts while Mangala fires on
The curtain rose on the Bandaranaike circus this week with the chief protagonist Anura Bandaranaike deciding to join the Rajapaksa bandwagon without so much as a murmur.

Mangala replies to President
One week after his ouster as Minister of Ports and Aviation, Mangala Samaraweera answered the charges leveled at him by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a 20 page letter that was also a scathing attack the government and its practices. Following are excerpts of that fiery epistle

The tragedy of being Anura Bandaranaike
So, for how much longer would the country tolerate what Bandaranaike himself called this ‘circus of clowns’?


Military Matters

The JVP it appears is hell bent on exerting pressure on the Rajapaksa administration making various demands from time to time since Mahinda Rajapaksa’s ascension to the presidency. The latest among this is their call to negate the Cease Fire Agreement signed between the government and the LTTE five years ago.


Meet the Nation
“Mangala is a tower of contradictions” - Dilan

Justice Minister Dilan Perera lashed out at the deposed ministers and said they could not talk of corruption in the government because their cupboards were not clean.

“President should not take advice from family members” - Sripathi
Deposed Minister Sripathi Sooriyarachchi has charged that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been ill advised by his brothers and that his family was misleading him in the discharge of his governmental duties.

“I could do better”
With the President’s unceremonious sacking of three senior cabinet ministers last week, a crescendo was reached in Sri Lanka’s political theatrics.


Chamara’s ton in vain
VISAKHAPATNAM (AFP) - Yuvraj Singh smashed a blistering 95 not out to guide India to a series-clinching seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the fourth and final one-dayer here on Saturday.
He received valuable support from Sourav Ganguly (58 not out) as India surpassed Sri Lanka’s total of 259-7 with six overs to spare to win the series 2-1. The opening match was abandoned due to rain.
The win gave India a crucial psychological edge going into next month’s World Cup in the Caribbean as they will meet Sri Lanka in Group B. Others in the group are Bangladesh and Bermuda, with the top two sides advancing to the next round.

These guys are privileged
Sri Lanka’s rugby stars of yester-year would give anything to make a comeback if they see the opportunities available to the present generation of players. Club players who represent ‘A’ division teams see rugby as a tempting option to consider as a profession. The hectic calendar drawn up for Sri Lankans this season suggests that the sport now needs full time professionals, not only in the players department but also in the administrative ranks.
Just consider the era in which players like Hisham Abdeen, Priyantha Ekanayake, Chandrishan Perera, Saman Jayasinghe, Roger Rodrigo, Nazim Mohammed, Palitha Siriwardene, Marco de Silva and Asoka Jayasena played their rugby. They were truly committed to rugby. But the game wasn’t big enough to bring them a substantial financial return to become full time rugby players. Despite these odds they played their hearts out. Those knowledgeable would agree that during this time, when the sport was amateur, they played superior rugby and were good enough even to play in a foreign league.

Paraplegic Ajith campaigns for equality to all
One of the greatest tragedies that could happen to anyone and has robbed the country of someone qualified in many fields is the unfortunate accident that Dr. Ajith C.S. Perera experienced.
Like any other mortal Perera was destined for a brilliant career academically and professionally both in Sri Lanka and England in a strange mix of cricket and chemistry.
He was for the record, a chartered chemist by profession and a Fellow of many a prestigious body counting over ten years of work experience as a senior manager/director with two multinational pharmaceutical companies.


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