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Sunday April 22nd, 2007

Draft proposals to APRC by May
SLFP to moot radical reforms
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has recommended wider powers to Chief Ministers including interaction with the cabinet, a second chamber, an ethnic ombudsman and a water commission in its draft proposal to the All Party Representative Committee (APRC), The Nation reliably learns.
Higher Education Minister Prof. Viswa Warnapala who was appointed chairman to the committee to draft the proposals, handed over the final draft with its wide ranging proposals to party general secretary and Agriculture Development Minister Maithripala Sirisena last week.
Minister Sirisena, The Nation learns is expected to place the draft before the SLFP Central Committee (CC) for ratification on April 24, when the committee convenes.
Following the ratification, the party is expected to place the proposals before the public.


Pope Benedict XVI meets with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse during their audience at the pope’s private library at the Vatican, 20 April 2007. AFP

SL High Commissioner writes to London office
LTTE pitch invader carried AI campaign material
The cricket ball campaign controversy of international human rights watchdog Amnesty International took a new turn with the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in London Kshenuka Seneviratne writing to the AI London office saying that the LTTE sympathiser who invaded the field during the Sri Lankan-Australia match had been carrying one of the mock cricket balls used in the AI campaign.
London’s Sri Lankan High Commission sources said that upon close inspection of the photographs it had been revealed that the LTTE sympathiser that invaded the field had been carrying a mock cricket ball used in the Amnesty International campaign. London’s Sri Lankan High Commission sources said that upon close inspection of the photographs it had been revealed that the LTTE sympathiser ....



Civilian killed in mine blast
A civilian wounded in a claymore mine explosion in Kattankudy yesterday morning succumbed to his injuries on admission to the Batticaloa hospital, the army said.

Mahinda, Mangala meet without preconditions, says Alavi
Western Province Governor Alavi Mowlana who is facilitating a meeting between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and deposed Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that both had indicated there could be a meeting without any “preconditions.” Governor Mowlana said that it could be a “meet to greet” and was positive that a meeting could happen after President Rajapaksa returns to the country. He said that such a meeting would bring the two back into talking terms and soften them before resolving the issues.

Sea Tigers a threat to region, says US navy chief
The US Chief of Naval operations Admiral Michael G. Mullen said the United States Navy is trying to understand the ways to address the danger posed by the Sea Tigers in the Indian Ocean region. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi the US Chief of Naval operations Admiral Michael G. Mullen called the naval wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the Sea Tigers as a threat in the region.

Dengue epidemic looms
The threat of yet another dengue epidemic is rearing its head in the aftermath of the heavy rains experienced in the island in the recent past, with the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) taking steps to curb an impending outbreak.

Massacre of aid workers
ACF wants another ballistic probe with Australian observers’ presence
In a final attempt to see an end to the ongoing case, Action Against Hunger (ACF) whose aid workers were massacred in August last year have requested another “ballistic investigation” be carried out, but this time around though with the presence of Australian observers.

‘90 percent of LTTE funding comes from outside’
Falk Rovik, Founder President and chief spokesperson of Norwegians Against Terrorism (NAT) claims 90 percent of the LTTE’s funds are coming from sources outside Sri Lanka and that Norway has been biased towards the LTTE while funding them. This information was revealed at a seminar on “Norwegian Support for LTTE Terrorism” organised by World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka (WAPS), Sansadaya together with Norwegians Against Terrorism( NAT).

Norway rejects Rovik’s allegations
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the following comments on the allegations:
“Norway is funding TRO.”

“Use know how of ex- top military brass to fight LTTE”
The Mathrubumi Arakshaka Peramuna headed by Venerable Delduwe Gnanasumana Thera called on the government to use the military experience and knowledge of retired senior military officials who were actively involved in the war including Major General Janaka Perera to strengthen the government security establishment.

Dissident Maldivian’s body brought to Colombo for autopsy
The body of Hussein Salah, a dissident of Maldives whose death sparked speculation in Maldives has been brought to Colombo on request by the Maldivian government and an autopsy is currently being conducted by the JMO.





Cracking the whip on troublesome diplomats
This week, while President Mahinda Rajapaksa took wing to the Vatican, ostensibly to enhance relations with the Catholic Church, a different kind of public relations exercise was taking place in Colombo.


Staking claims
Pottuvil, once a bustling business centre, is today a sluggish town after the clash that broke out between the Pottuvil Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) and the Karuna Group over a state-owned building, recently.

What would it be this April?
April- month of war
April is considered the month of festivities. The Sinhala and Hindu New Year is said to be a time of joy and bonding where old ties are renewed and animosities forgotten.

Controversial Sethusamudram canal dredging project
Lankan experts caution against eco disasters

An eminent 34- member advisory group of Sri Lankan professionals have cautioned that the Sethusamudram canal dredging project could have disastrous environment impacts, particularly, maritime environment, for Sri Lanka.

Live and let die at De Soyza Maternity
Is negligence a crime unforgivable? When committed by those in the field of medicine, producing irreversible repercussions, who should be responsible for negligence?

Virginia Tech victims include intl. students and scholars
Washington- The slayings at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) were an international tragedy, a senior State Department official said.


Govt. won’t change in near future - Chief Opp. Whip
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 President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Govt. out to destroy Tamils: TNA MP Senadhirajah
Tamils live in fear and insecurity
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) General Secretary and Parliamentarian Mavai Senadhirajah lashing out at the present government for failing to provide adequate security to the Tamil parliamentarians, said that the government was focused only on a military agenda.

DEW on Electoral Reforms
Constitutional Affairs Minister D.E.W. Gunesekara is optimistic that the final draft of the Electoral Reforms would be ratified by the cabinet and parliament, for it to become operative soon.

Hark! The Oracle speaks
Q: You take a keen interest in politics. How would you interpret the latest political developments in the country?



Sri Lanka looking to exploit conditions in Jamaica
ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA (AP) - This World Cup for Sri Lanka has been all about adapting to conditions.
Now it is getting ready to play a semi-final on a bouncy wicket in Jamaica, Sri Lanka feels it is finally getting somewhere that will really suit its play.
Although many sides have said the slow pitches in Guyana, Antigua and Grenada are similar to those in Sri Lanka, captain Mahela Jayawardene is adamant his batsmen prefer the faster track expected at Sabina Park.
“We like bouncy wickets,’’ Jayawardene said. ‘’Like any other cricketers in the world, our batsmen love to play on bouncy tracks when the ball is coming onto the bat.
“Obviously, it’s very hard for batsmen to score runs when it’s not coming on.’’

Murali deadlier than Warne
Muthiah Muralitharan. The mere mention of his name still sends chills down my spine. While Wasim Akram and Curtly Ambrose would bully batsmen with pace, Muralitharan’s weapon is as much mental torture as his brilliant spin bowling.
My brother, Steve, once called the Sri Lankan wizard the Don Bradman of spin bowling. The best accolade I can offer is to say I found him even more difficult to face than the great Shane Warne. The Australians have the unenviable job of facing Muralitharan in their World Cup match at Grenada tomorrow night, Melbourne time.

Point Blank
Let the captain call the shots
Who calls the shots? Is it the captain or the chairman of selectors? Usually the captain should have the final say because it is he who leads the team onto the field and if things don’t turn out the way it should, it is he who has to take the flak from the media and the public.
The raging question that is doing the rounds as the Sri Lanka cricket team under Mahela Jayawardene is trying to win back the World Cup for a second time is the non-selection of former captain and experienced batsman Marvan Atapattu.

Hitting out with Aravinda
Bowlers have kept us in the tournament

It was good to see a senior player rise to the occasion delivering the goods when required. That is what is required if we are to win the World Cup.
It was pleasing to see Vaasy take on the responsibility in Malinga’s absence and bowl a great spell against New Zealand to put them under pressure.

Now a full time paid cricket selector
Sri Lanka Cricket will have a full time paid selector serving in the national selection panel after the 2007 World Cup.
The term of the current selection committee ends on April 30, two days after the World Cup final and depending on the availability of the individuals serving in it, either the same committee or a changed committee may be appointed for the next 12 months from May 1.

Creating Sevens culture a herculean task
In Sri Lanka all what sevens rugby players get for dabbling in this form of rugby is attention. Seven-a-side rugby helps showcase the true skills of the islanders in the sport of rugby union. But the time Sri Lankans get to spend on playing seven-a-side rugby is akin to the few hours that are sometimes granted for prisoners to mingle with their loved ones.





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