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Sunday May 13th, 2007

Boucher insists on Vitharana proposals
Should be basis for talks with LTTE
Visiting US Secretary of State Richard Boucher has told the government that the Tissa Vitharana proposals submitted recently should be the basis for a negotiated settlement with the LTTE.
Boucher visited Sri Lanka at a time when there was a campaign against the government on the deteriorating human rights situation and the freedom of the media.
It is also learnt that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has expressed reservations about what Boucher has proposed but it is open for all political parties to consider the matter. Minister Vitharana in his recent proposals has suggested that the unit of devolution should be the province. Some of the highlights of the Tissa Vitharana proposals to the All Party Representative Committee  includes:  a senate to be elected by provincial legislatures, two vice presidents from different communities, the abolition of the  Executive Presidency at the end of  President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s first ...


US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Richard Boucher who was in Sri Lanka last week gestures while fielding questions from the media in Colombo. - (Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)

Anura meets ‘Anura’ in Japan
National Heritage Minister Anura Bandaranaike is currently in Japan to grace the celebrations of an elephant donated by Sri Lanka fifty years ago and named “Anura” after him.
  The elephant “Anura” was donated by Minister Bandaranaiake’s father Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike in 1957 to Japanese Prince Mikasa, the younger brother of Emperor Hirohito.
Since the elephant is completing 50 years in Japan, the Japan- Sri Lanka ...



CBK to get rent allowance?
The government is now devising a formula to pay a rent allowance to former President Chandrika Kumaratunga in lieu of an official residence.
According to the President’s retirement benefits she could be given a suitable residence or a percentage of the commuted pension as a rent allowance.

MR says won’t budge from APRC findings
President Mahinda Rajapakse has vowed to honour the final findings of the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) as the final peace proposal for the country to solve the ethnic conflict.

MR seeks AG’s advise on crisis ridden CMC
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sought advice from Attorney General C.R. De Silva as to what action he should take regarding the crisis ridden Colombo Municipal Council.

US to actively take part in Sri Lankan peace process
The US government is likely to play an active role in Sri Lanka with regard to the ethnic conflict and the peace process in the near future.
The US government on the eve of the Sri Lankan visit of Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Richard Boucher, said that they would try to get both parties back to the negotiating table.

Shell wants whopping Rs. 160 price hike
Distribution delay due to LTTE air raid
The price of gas may increase by Rs. 160 shortly, Rimoe Saldin, finance director, Shell Gas Lanka Limited said yesterday.
Since an increase in gas price must be approved by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA), Shell Gas has put forth an application, requesting the increase of gas price from Rs. 960 to Rs. 1120 per cylinder.

Major attempts world record
Major W.J.M. Dhammika Navaratne Bandara (42), of the Sri Lanka Army Police Regiment, is planning to create a Guinness record in 50 ventures, called ‘Panas Prayama’

Karu to revamp the ailing public sector
Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs Karu Jayasuriya has set in motion a series of measures to revamp the entire public service to make it more dynamic and efficient and make it more public responsive.

Municipal Commissioner in soup over CMC gantry tender
The Local Government Parliamentary Select Committee has appointed a three member Investigation Commission to look into allegations of irregularities in the awarding of Gantry tenders of the CMC in the City of Colombo. It is understood that a party who has only quoted Rs.18.5 million has been awarded the tender.

Eminent lawyer to head Italy mission
Eminent criminal lawyer President’s Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya is likely to be appointed as the Sri Lankan Ambassador to Italy.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has proposed Warnakulasuriya to Rome where he will be overseeing relations with the Vatican in addition to Italy, sources said. Hemantha Warnakulasuriya was recently appointed as a President’s Counsel on the recommendations of the Chief Justice.





Eating humble pie in a war of diplomacy
Call it a colonial hangover or whatever else you want to call it, but Britain’s unprecedented interest in Sri Lankan affairs dominated the headlines last week.
Why did Sri Lanka’s last colonial ruler suddenly wake up to the fact that the island nation was in the throes of civil strife? What prompted its lament about Sri Lankan affairs in general and about the country’s human rights record in particular?

Political Affairs
Mangala in limbo as President turns sour

The Mangala Samaraweera – Sripathi Sooriyarachchi episode is dragging on despite Samaraweera deciding in favour of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s offer to rejoin the government, at one stage.
Mr. Samaraweera, after having discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the day of the World Cup semi finals between Sri Lanka and New Zealand, is undecided about joining the government pondering what if the status quo remains, just as it was before they were sacked. Samaraweera demanded Sripathi Sooriyarachchi’s position be restored and also the releasing of the funds belonging to the Moubima newspaper, that were frozen.


Villagers damn Government bulldozing
Moragahakanda and Kaluganga Development Projects, the largest reservoir project under the Mahaweli River Development Programme in Sri Lanka, was inaugurated in January, by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The government spent lavishly to advertise and promote the programme through posters and hoardings visible almost in all the main towns. President Rajapaksa at the ceremonial inauguration of the Moragahakanda and Kaluganga projects, said that this project would douse the fires of communalism, by uplifting the lives of thousands of people in the North Central, Northern and Eastern provinces.

The Bench, Bar & You
Role of director under Companies Act

The director’s duties being catalogued in a statutory form for the first time in Sri Lanka in the new Companies Act No. 07 of 2007, is a revolutionary step forward in the corporate arena. Hitherto, the duties of directors had to be ascertained from the common law (ie. case law) on the issue. If the directors are to be held responsible for their acts there should be a clear identification of their responsibilities and duties. The provisions of the Act provide it now.

Military Matters
Exit Karuna: Pillaiyan, new kid on the block

On the eve of an ambitious programme to resettle displaced people in the East and hold elections in the province, the military maintains that it cannot afford confrontations in cleared areas. This position was taken, even as the ‘Karuna’ group feud led to open clashes and killings in the past fortnight.



Gautam Gambhir’s second one-day century, and a promising three-wicket debut for Piyush Chawla were the highlights as India sealed the one-day series against Bangladesh with a comprehensive 46-run victory in a match reduced to 49 overs a side by early-morning drizzle. Aftab Ahmed’s brisk 40 gave Bangladesh a glimmer of hope early on, but needing to overhaul 284, they fell a fair way short on a sluggish pitch.

Why 80-80 is a non-starter
Sri Lanka might be making a mistake if its rugby administrators are thinking of promoting 80-80 rugby amongst its charges. Most Asian countries have begun to seriously consider 80-80 (weight category rugby as in boxing) as an option in their quest to make progress in the sport of rugby union. The concept of weight category rugby has become the talking point in the Sri Lankan rugby circles too following the thumping defeat the country’s national rugby players suffered recently in the hands of the hefty Arabian Gulf players.

Point Blank
A pointless controversy

Adam Gilchrist and his now famous (or infamous) squash-ball-in-the-glove incident has more or less dominated the sports pages of the local media to the extent that it must be getting pretty close to drawing comparison with the World Cup cricket coverage.

Marvan not ready to throw in the towel yet
The treatment meted out to Marvan Atapattu by the national selectors has become the focal talking point in cricket circles today. Let alone being reduced to the role of a drinks waiter during the 2007 cricket World Cup where the selectors failed to find a place for him in any of the 11 matches played by Sri Lanka, he has now been excluded from the Sri Lanka team of 15 for the three-match one-day series against Pakistan at Abu Dhabi.

Gomes targets Olympic medal in boxing
The old war horse in boxing, Dian Gomes, is well set to continue his work for another year after being elected as the president for the third consecutive time. Though still having a long way to go to gain supremacy in the field the Sri Lanka Amateur Boxing Association has successfully completed some of their prime tasks, during the last few weeks.
The hunt for a new national coach was successfully accomplished by Gomes.


“I know nothing about politics”  – Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera
Major General Janaka Perera who led several successful battles against the LTTE in the past, has again come to the limelight after the main opposition United National Party requested President Mahinda Rajapaksa to appoint him Defence Secretary. Major General Perera retired as Army Chief of Staff and served as the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Australia and Indonesia.

Meet the Nation
Commons’ debate on SL not uncommon: Chilcott

The United Kingdom, embroiled in a controversy over a debate initiated by some MPs, on the deteriorating security situation in Sri Lanka, has no intention, whatsoever, to de-proscribe the LTTE, says British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Dominick Chilcott.





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