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Sunday March 25th, 2007

Mangala to be fixed?
Local Agent gives statement to CID
Moves are underway to trap former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera over an alleged cement deal, a reliable source told The Nation.
The cement company is Swedish owned and was set up during the time the government launched the accelerated Mahaweli Scheme. Later, a part of the shares were purchased by a Lankan entrepreneur who became the sole agent for distributing this brand of cement in the island.

Civilians flee fresh fighting in Mannar
Thousands of civilians fled fresh fighting between the troops and the LTTE in Mannar and took refuge in the Madhu Church premises as exchange of fire continued on a new front yesterday.
UNHCR Spokesperson Orla Clinton said that close to 10,000 civilians had taken refuge around the Madhu Church and expressed concern regarding the plight of the internally displaced persons.


Indian fans vent anger

Indian cricket fans shout anti-Indian cricket team slogans during a protest in New Delhi, yesterday, following the team’s loss against Sri Lanka in the World Cup. India were virtually ousted of the World Cup after a 69-run loss against Sri Lanka on Friday in Port of Spain, Trinidad, drawing angry responses from fans back home. - (AFP)

British Police detain two LTTE women activists
Two suspected members of the LTTE women’s front, Ankayartkanny and Seevaratnam Ambihai were detained by the British Police at Parliament last week for taking photographs of the participants in a parliamentary seminar titled ‘A way forward to peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka’ organised by the Campaign for Peace and Unity in Sri Lanka (CPUSL). The parliamentary seminar was advertised in the Newslanka community newspaper as participation was by registration only.
However, at the commencement of the seminar a person named Rowdy Ranjan who is alleged to have links with the LTTE had tried to enter the seminar when he was asked to leave. A short while later two LTTE women activists had also tried to enter the seminar hall without invitation when they were asked to leave by the organisers.



Lankan doc performs rare miracle surgery
A Sri Lankan doctor in Britain was able to save a baby boy by carrying out a rare surgery to sew him into his mother’s womb after his twin sister underwent a miscarriage.
The rare surgery performed by Consultant Obstetrician Sumanaseela de Silva on the British air hostess Kelly Bradburn and later her delivery of a normal baby was flashed across the British press as a miracle. Writing to the London’s Daily Mail the baby’s grandparents, Jenny and Keith Stainer called the birth a miracle and said, “We would like to send our thanks to Dr. de Silva for looking after Kelly and bringing our grandson Archie safely into the world, it was a long and traumatic pregnancy for Kelly, and thanks to Dr. de Silva we have Archie who is beautiful, he is a miracle for us all to treasure.”

Conflicting reports on UNP proposal
Polls reform hits snag over UNP delay
Election reforms have hit a snag with the main Opposition UNP deliberately delaying its proposals on the reforms, Chairman of the parliamentary select committee on election reforms Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said.
Minister Gunawardane has written to the UNP saying that he was saddened by the delay in giving its final proposals to the committee.

Maubima salary payments won’t be blocked — CB chief
Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal yesterday said that there would not be any objections in releasing funds of the Maubima newspaper group as far as it is over the payment of salaries to the employees.

APRC deliberations a futile exercise — JHU
The All Party Representative Committee (APRC) deliberations would prove futile since it comprises parties adhering to contradictory political ideologies, Jathika Hela Urumaya representative to the APRC Udaya Gammanpila said recently.
“It is difficult to reach consensus at the APRC. We represent different political ideologies. It is not possible to agree to something that contradicts with that. We don’t want to be traitors to our voter base,” he pointed out.Laws alone not suffice to curb corruption - President’s secy
Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said yesterday that laws alone would not curb corruption within the government but it takes a personal effort to achieve this goal.
“Corruption does happen. Bringing in new laws will not put a stop to this. It takes an effort from the personal level to curb corruption,” he said.

EU drawing competition
On the occasion of Women’s International Day in 2007 (March 8) and on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome establishing the European Community (March 25, 2007), the European Union has launched a drawing competition in order to call on the children to express their vision of women/men equality. The drawing competition is open to countries from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Mediterranean.

Lankan expats protest
‘Blake’s comments on LTTE contradict US terrorism policy’
Consortium of Sri Lankan Expatriates an umbrella organisation for Sri Lankan associations in the United States has made a strong protest to the US State Department regarding the US Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Robert O. Blake.





This is my Nation
Wielding the big stick on rebels

So far, President Rajapaksa has succeeded in his policy of ruling by dividing the UNP. But he tried to kill too many birds with the single stone of a cabinet reshuffle and ended up with a mega cabinet and a host of disgruntled MPs and the Samaraweera-Sooriyarachchi mess. For the record, JR hardly changed his first cabinet over his first six year term unless it was absolutely necessary: It is a lesson that his present day successor might still find useful.
Last week, President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared open a portrait of former President Junius Richard Jayewardene, in the Parliamentary Complex that was built during the Jayewardene presidency.

Political turmoil in government deepens with Sripathi arrest
olitics in Sri Lanka is such that everybody gets carried away when a minister who turns hostile towards the establishment makes allegations of bribery and corruption against an outfit in which he was very much a member not so long ago.


Mihin under fire

Adding to Mihin Lanka’s worries, the flight to Bodhgaya – the A320’s first official flight after being rechristened with the Mihin logo, proved a failure with the CAA now calling for a full report from the airline on how omissions made on this maiden flight will be rectified in the future. Far more troubling to aviation authority officials was the fact that Mihin Lanka’s Bodhgaya flight was in breach of several aviation regulations laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, making it a liability for the officials themselves to grant the dubious budget airline operating licenses.

Military Matters
Battling the Tigers and displaced
The Mavadivembu army camp, manned by one of two volunteer units of the Sri Lanka Artillery (12 SLA), was quiet around midnight on Tuesday (20).
The camp is fenced with barbed wire and beyond its presincts it was pitch dark in this listless night. The Officer Commanding Mavadivembu camp, Major Kumar Jagoda was chatting with his second-in-command Major K.A. Somasiri. It was half past midnight.

Seeking divine intervention
It is no secret that astrologers and soothsayers determine the course of Sri Lankan politics just as much as the politicians themselves. It is not a coincidence that once in a while the whole entourage of Sri Lanka’s politicians leave the country at the same time to wade off “bad times”.

Sripathi sympathy pervades House
Deposed Ports Development Minister Sripathi Sooriyarachchi seemed to be the matyr during almost the entire week from the word go when the House sat from Tuesday.


I predicted before the tournament that Sri Lanka had a 90 percent chance of winning it. But having watched their performances against Bangladesh and India in the group I am convinced that they have a 99.9 percent chance of winning the World Cup.
One grey area which was a concern before the tournament started was the middle-order batting. It seems to have sorted out with Chamara Silva batting so well to give it the much required stability. All the youngsters have made runs in the first round and by the time the tournament really gets going the other senior players will also take on the pressure.

Kandy’s dominance in Sevens rugby
Kandy Sports Club, under the inspirational leadership of Pradeep Liyanage outclassed all the teams they met in the Sevens played at Radella and Longden Place.
Winning a title for six consecutive years in any field of sports in Sri Lanka is a rare achievement.

Battle of the Maroons in the hills
The hill capital will be rocked by another big match encounter during the next weekend as Dharmaraja will take on their arch-rivals Kingswood at Asgiriya Stadium in the 101st ‘Battle of the Maroons’ cricketing encounter.
Both schools will go into this year’s big match with a positive frame of mind as none of them have lost a match during the season. But it is the Rajans who will have a slight edge over Kingswoodians as they have won three out of the 14 matches while Kingswood has a win to their name from the 11 matches they have played.

Woolmer nearly ended up coaching Sri Lanka
He was known as ‘computer coach’ not for anything but for his innovativeness and to keep one step ahead of the others. If the International Cricket Council (ICC) found his innovations somewhat out of the ordinary one cannot blame the man for not trying.


Govt. not involved with Tigers
The charge against the President and the UPFA that a secret pact has been entered into with the Tigers is virtually rocking the very foundation of the government. Although some members of the government are denying any involvement with the Tigers, the government as an entity has still not responded in this regard to date.

“Reformists have joined a dictator”
UNP Treasurer and former MP Tilak Karunaratne says that the party is happy with the reforms that were introduced at the special UNP convention last week. He is also of the view that a political party cannot function in a totally democratic fashion and states that a certain amount of power should be vested with the leader.

Mangala – the rebel with a cause
The sacking of senior cabinet minister Mangala Samaraweera in February had more repercussions for the government than it anticipated. Even as the controversy was slowly losing steam, the decision to remand the other oustee, Sripathi Sooriyarachchi only brought the drama back into the limelight.

Designed by Mangala Madanayake





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