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Sunday March 11th, 2007

Mahinda hits out at critics
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday came out strongly against his political opponents saying that he had identified clearly those who are acting against the interests of the country. “There is no basis for the allegations leveled against the government by defeated politicians, retired politicians and politicians who are in a hurry to come to power,” the President said.
Speaking at a gathering of eminent persons at the Presidential Secretariat last evening President Rajapaksa said that certain sections are conspiring to undermine the security forces who achieved victory by liberating the innocent civilians from the clutches of the terrorists.


It was go Thora go

S.Thomas’ celebrate their resounding innings and 44 runs win against archrivals Royal in the 128th ‘Battle of the Blues’ cricket encounter which concluded at SSC grounds yesterday. - (Pic by Nissanka Wijerathne)

Over 5000 illegal pharmacies to be taken to task
More than 5000 illegal pharmacies that are currently functioning in the country without proper license will be dealt in courts under the Cosmetic Devise and Drugs Act, along with the implementation of Bibile recommendations, The Nation learns.
This is sequel following an order from President Mahinda Rajapaksa to investigate pharmacies that operate without the required registration.
Secretary to Ministry of Health Dr Athula Kahandaliyanage said that the President had directed him to take action against illegal pharmacies.



SLFP APRC proposal
Not beyond 13th Amendment
The province will be the basic unit of devolution and the 13th Amendment will be the extent of power devolution in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) proposals to the All Party Representative Committee that would be presented shortly The Nation learns.

Another two abducted
Adding to the number of abducted persons, one more incident was reported yesterday from the Borella police area where a 34- year- old man was abducted.

UNP calls for transparency

Past examples of transparency at the highest political levels were brought in when the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to probe the alleged pre-Presidential poll agreement between the President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the LTTE was discussed during the Emergency debate on Wednesday.

Rise in number of landmine victims
The number of landmine victims has started to escalate with the resumption of hostilities between the government troops and the LTTE since last year.

Govt. servants irked over new attendance marking move
Controversy surrounds the Government’s decision to get the thumb impression in marking the daily attendance of public servants.

LTTE acknowledges they had a pact with govt.
High ranking LTTE officials yesterday acknowledged the existence of an alleged secret pact with the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Private sector help sought to boost hybrid rice production
The Rice Research and Development Institute (RRDI) at Batalagoda urged the Agriculture Ministry to make a policy decision to authorize the private sector to develop and promote hybrid rice varieties, Dr. Nimal Dissanayake, Director, RRDI told The Nation.

Govt. declares April 29
Mixed reaction over move to change May Day

The annual May Day commemorating the international day of the workers is poised to be brought forward to April 29 as May 1 clashes with the Vesak Poya this year.

Baghdad car bomb kills 26 during peace talks
BAGHDAD, (AFP) - A suicide bomber attacked an army checkpoint in Baghdad on Saturday, killing 26 people while foreign envoys held peace talks just three kilometres (two miles) away, a security official said.

Australia charges Indonesians with smuggling Sri Lankans
SYDNEY, March 10, 2007 (AFP) -    Australian police said Saturday they had charged two Indonesian men with people smuggling, for allegedly organising a boatload of Sri Lankan asylum seekers intercepted last month.

Over 2000 acres acquired in Western Province as Wetlands
The Ministry of Urban Development and Sacred Areas has acquired 1000 acres of wetlands in the Greater Colombo Area and another 1000 acres of land in other parts of the Western Province in a bid to protect these areas getting flooded during rain storms.




President’s special adviser Basil Rajapaksa visited Vakarai in the Eastern Province yesterday and inspected the development and resettlement work taking place there while inquiring after the wellbeing of the displaced persons living in camps. - (Pic. By Sudath Silva)


This is my Nation
Taking the flak on rights violations

Human rights are a much maligned phrase. It is also a phrase that is liberally used to malign governments, especially of the developing world. Sri Lanka whatever its faults, being a vibrant democracy has by and large escaped being tarred with the brush of human rights violations-until the recent past, that is. Suddenly however, the prospect of the country being censured for human rights excesses looms large.

SLFP takes stock while UNP prepares to strike back
President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Government have won the confidence of the public when it comes to executing the war and fighting the LTTE. However, it’s been quite the contrary with regard to human rights issues and the cost of living.
The human rights record in the country is going from bad to worst and concerns have been raised locally as well as internationally in connection with the recent abductions that have been taking place in many parts of the country, especially in Colombo and the suburbs.

“I remained faithful when others conspired with the Opposition against the party” - Mangala
Although I have not yet received the agenda for the SLFP Central Committee Meeting scheduled for March 7, 2007 (today), the media reported that it will decide my future in the party. There had been forecasts in the media of recent that my role within the SLFP would be crucial.


Operation Human Shield II launched
Mystery surrounds the death of Centre Commandant of 8GR (Gajaba Regiment- Saliyapura), Lt. Col. Jayantha Suraweera who recently went for a fitness test and was awaiting a promotion as full Colonel.
Suraweera, who was also the Sub Area Commander of Anuradhapura, was the Colonel in charge of the Wilpattu detachment, the entry point to the reserve.

Mihin – to fly high or crash land?
The much-hyped Mihin Air finally made its maiden flight last Sunday but not before several hiccups. The first flight of the fully government owned budget airline flew to the closest international destination from Colombo-Trivandrum, India.

Rule of Law paralysed; Abductions, Disappearances and Extra Judicial Killings rule the day:
Anarchy unlimited
At 2:15 a.m. yesterday, Anton Eric and his girlfriend Shiromala, were walking home after a Friday night musical show at Campbell Park. As they walked past the Government Press in Borella, a white van drove up to the couple and a group from inside the van, grabbed Anton, dragged him into the van and drove off.


Thora! Thora!! Thora!!! Thomian Toast
S. Thomas’ won back the D.S. Senanayake Challenge Shield for the 34th occasion beating Royal by an innings and 44 runs before lunch on the third and final day at their annual 128th ‘Battle of the Blues’ cricket encounter that ended at the SSC grounds yesterday. With this win the Thomians will now take the lead in the series with 34 wins against Royal’s 33.
Arguably this year’s Royal team was a mere shadow of the one that won the 2006 encounter by seven wickets. The Thomians last beat Royal in 2005.

The record breaking Thomian duo
They became the heroes for S. Thomas’ College. It was their centuries that paved the way for Royal’s defeat at the 128th cricket encounter between the two institutions that took place at the SSC grounds yesterday.
The record breaking partnership of 238 runs between Ashan Peiris and Nisham Mazahir was the first double century stand for the Thomians in the time honoured series and will be long remembered.

‘We would have been as good as today’s....
David Heyn is a name synonymous with Sri Lanka cricket of the seventies, a period in which many easily tend to forget whenever the past history of the game is written or spoken about.
It is perhaps the period when Sri Lanka had in its ranks some of the finest cricketers to emerge from this country and who could have taken cricket to lofty levels on par with other Test playing nations only if that recognition had been given to them by the International Cricket Council (ICC)

World Cup to hit British economy
LONDON, (AFP) - The Cricket World Cup, due to start next week and last almost two months, could hit Britain’s economic productivity by 270 million pounds (397 million euros, 521 million dollars), according to an independent study published Saturday.
“Although it will not grab the international imagination to the same extent as the soccer World Cup it remains the case that, even to those only half interested, watching cricket is one of the best ways of avoiding working known to man,” said the study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

Point Blank
The captain must fire

One worrying aspect of Sri Lanka’s build up towards cricket World Cup 2007 is the form of their captain Mahela Jayawardene who has continued to fail with the bat after a heady tour of England seven months ..


Govt aware of the killings and the abductions: Mano Ganesan
Colombo district parliamentarian and convener of the Civil Monitoring Commission of Sri Lanka (CMCSL) Mano Ganesan holds the Government responsible for the series of extrajudicial killings and abductions taking place on a daily basis. Ganesan believes that the Government is aware of all the killings and especially, of the abductions, though it denies vehemently.

Designed by Mangala Madanayake





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