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Sunday April 15th, 2007

HR violations
US wants independent probes, ­says Boucher
US concern over the increasingly grave human rights situation in Sri Lanka is underscored by the recognition that the Sri Lankan Government is fighting a terrorist organisation within its territory, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher said yesterday.
“We are very much aware of the fact that this is a democratically elected government that is trying to fight a terrorist organisation and we are equally concerned about violations occurring in areas under LTTE control,” said Mr.Boucher who heads the US Department of State’s Bureau for South and Central Asian Affairs.
According to Ambassador Boucher, the US Government was very concerned with the forced recuritment and extortion occurring in LTTE held areas, the continued bus bombings targeting innocent civilians and other acts of violence perpetrated by the Tigers.
“At the same time, we of course continue to be concerned about the killings in government areas and urge the law...


Synonymous with the Avurudu Season are the traditional sweetmeats. Although in old days the housewives prepared these sweetmeats at home, in today’s urban centres the demand for traditional sweetmeats have seen outlets specialising in sweetmeats sprouting during the season. Here customers are eagerly purchasing Kevum, Kokis and Aluwa at the Keviligama down Havelock Road before the dawn of the New Year. - (Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)

President hints on moves to bring CBK to Parliament
President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing the party leaders of the government on Monday stated that it is rumoured former Finance Minister and present UNP Member of Parliament K.N. Choksy is likely to step down to pave the way for former President Chandrika Kumaratunga.
He made these observations in the context of analysing the present political situation and the April prophesies – a propaganda blitz of the UNP. President Rajapaksa said that he would be happy if former President Kumaratunga appears in Parliament as an MP and it would be easier for him to deal with her if that happens.
However when contacted UNP national list MP and President’s Counsel K.N. Choksy said there is no truth in the speculation. “There is absolutely no truth in the rumour that the UNP is taking Chandrika Kumaratunga as a member and that I will be giving up my seat in parliament to accommodate her,” he said.



Dhammika Perera new BoI chief
Leading businessman Dhammika Perera is likely to be appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Investment shortly, The Nation learns.

Eight new Majors General
On the recommendations of Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka eight Brigadiers Daya Ratnayaka, L. Amaratunga, Athula Jayawardena, Rajitha Silva, A.S. Saheer, Aruna Jayatillake, Milinda Peiris and Srinath Rajapakse were promoted Majors General. (Please see Defence Column for details).

West having second thoughts on repatriating
Many European countries with a significant number of asylum seekers from Sri Lanka are reconsidering the repatriation of the asylum seekers due to the deteriorating situation in the country, The Nation learns.

Intelsat to stop LTTE broadcasts
The Washington based Intelsat Corporation gave a firm assurance to Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Washington DC, Bernard Goonetileke, that it would take all possible steps to stop LTTE from broadcasting its propaganda over their satellite.

International community’s help sought to solve HR violations
The Civil Monitoring Commission looking into the abductions and disappearances, taking place in the country is to hand over a petition to the international community on the issue, convenor of the commission MP Mano Ganesan said.

Electoral reforms in Parliament by first week of May
The new electoral reforms would be placed before Parliament for ratification by the first week of May, Urban Development Minister and Parliamentary Select Committee on Election Reforms (PSC) Chairman Dinesh Gunewardene said.

New Companies Act to see light of day on May 3
The new Companies Act No. 7 of 2007 is due to come into operation on the ‘appointed date’, May 3, 2007, sources at the Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs said.

‘UNP doesn’t expect a change of govt. immediately’
The UNP does not anticipate a change of government in the immediate future although many ministers and MPs of the government are discontent and dissatisfied with the style of administration of the Rajapaksa government, Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael Perera said.





Mahinda slams UNP as Ranil prepares to strike back
President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday met with the leaders of the constituent parties in his government to discuss the political trends setting in the country. The president displayed absolute calm during the lengthy meeting during which he discussed with party leaders about UNP’s campaign to topple the government, possibly this month or in May.

Continuing with singing the human rights chorus
The success of the Sri Lankan cricket team is not the only reason for attention to be focused on the cricket World Cup being held in the Caribbean.
Amnesty International (AI), the London-headquartered human rights organisation has deemed it fit to launch a campaign titled ‘Sri Lanka, Play-by-the-rules’ where it is urging spectators flocking to the cricket venues in the West Indies to sign cricket balls with this slogan.


When fate spelt death
How could we tell her that her husband asked us the very same question minutes ago, while a relative near his bed whispered in our ears that there are two burnt bodies of infants in the morgue at the Karapitiya hospital? “Yes, they are in another ward,” we lie, and her face lights up, while our hearts sink.

Alleged paedophile trying to re-enter SL
An intelligence report that a notorious foreign paedophile was attempting to enter the country undercover last week alarmed all institutions protecting children’s rights in Sri Lanka.

Thoppi(gala) for Tigers
With the security forces wresting control of the Chenkaladi-Maha Oya Road on Wednesday, the East, barring the isolated Toppigala jungles, has been cleared before the Sinhala and Hindu New Year.
South of Chenkaladi, Illupayadichchenai and further down, Karadiyanaru and the Rukam town on the A-5 highway, have been cleared. The entire operation to wrest control of the Badulla Road from Chenkallady to Maha Oya and the adjacent Tiger bases, ...


Mahinda slams UNP as Ranil prepares to strike back
Sri Lanka is to write to the International Cricket Council (ICC) seeking compensation for their aborted one-day tri-series against India and South Africa last year which has left them in the red to the tune of US$11 million.
The tournament which was to be held in June last year was cancelled when South Africa pulled out at the eleventh hour and returned home citing security reasons.
Since then Sri Lanka had been hoping to rope in India and possibly South Africa for another one-day triangular.

Hitting out with Aravinda
Getting Malinga fit is vital

Australia outplayed England rather convincingly. England got off to a poor start losing two early wickets but recovered very well through Pietersen the man in form who as usual played a brilliant innings along with Ian Bell in partnership to stabilise the innings and build it. They really laid the foundation for a big total. But it was not to be.
Pietersen made a good contribution but the midde-order flopped. An out of form Flintoff is causing England their biggest headache. All great cricketers go through bad periods it is unfortunate that England’s World Cup chances have been ruined by Flintoff being out of form at a crucial time. It has reflected on England’s poor performances.

We were not really tested says Tennekoon
With the focus of attention being on the ongoing cricket World Cup in the Caribbean, Bangladesh ‘A’s tour of Sri Lanka went ahead without a whimper with hardly anyone knowing that they were touring the country.
Much has been said of the resurgence of Bangladesh as a cricket team and of the process they have put in place for the development of their national team to challenge the rest in the not so near future.

Standardise cricket grounds
The International Cricket Council (ICC) calls for consistency in interpreting the rules that govern cricket from umpires and match referees and expect the players to abide by them. Fair enough.
But one wonders whether the world governing body for the sport has ever thought of standardising the size of cricket grounds around the world especially when it is used for a tournament in the magnitude as the World Cup where the best nations meet once in four years to be crowned one-day kings.





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