|Lifetime ban for A/L
students carrying electronics
Commissioner Examinations Anura Edirisinghe yesterday warned
of a ‘lifetime ban’ on students sitting for the 2007 Advanced
Level Examination if they are found carrying devices such as
mobile phones and watches with calculators at the examination
centre. The examination commences tomorrow.
“Steps have been taken to prevent even the examination crew –
the supervisors and the invigilators-from using mobile phones
when they are at the examination centre,” Edirisinghe added.
The Commissioner emphasized that apart from the student’s
admission card, identity card, stationary items such as pens,
pencils, colour pencils and instrumental sets, candidates
sitting the examination would not be allowed to take other items
inside the examination centre.
“This rule is clearly stated in the admission card. Besides, we
have already informed the principals in schools to advice the
students in this regard. Anyone found carrying such devices will
face a lifetime ban from sitting the examination,” Edirisinghe
NGO’s and INGO’s to be involved in
The Government has
decided to allow NGOs and INGOs to get involved in the
development of the East. However, their involvement in
development work will be subject to military scrutiny.
It is learnt that all proposals related to development work will
have to be submitted to the Government Agent, District Secretary
and the military.
NGO staff and the oraganisation’s vehicles will also have to be
registered with the military to ensure that there is no
infiltration by the LTTE.
According to sources, the NGOs and the INGOs have welcomed the
move because once being registered the NGO staff will be free to
work without any hindrance or harassment.
Meanwhile, multi lateral organizations such as the Asian
Development Bank and the World Bank have expressed their
willingness to get involved in the development of the east.
However, the international community has insisted that the
Karuna faction should be disarmed for a civilian administration
to take over gradually.
Anura to meet Sonia
National Heritage Minister Anura Bandaranaike will leave for
India tomorrow evening to engage in a private audience with Sri
Sathya Sai Baba in Bangalore.
Minister Bandaranaike is also scheduled to proceed to New Delhi
where he will meet with political leaders at the Centre.
It is reported that Minister Bandaranaike will also have a
one-to-one meeting with Congress Party Leader Sonia Gandhi.
Three suspected abortionist
doctors granted bail
The three government registered doctors who were involved in
carrying out illegal abortions at Kollupitiya were released on
bail by the Colombo Fort Additional Magistrate Alexi Raja after
they surrendered themselves to Courts through a lawyer.
The three suspected doctors, W. Ganeshan from Colombo 6, Don
Lakshman Goonaratne from Werahera Road, Boralesgamuwa and
Somapala Sooriyarachchi from Jayantha Mawatha, Battaramulla were
released on a cash bail of Rs.100,000 and personal bail of Rs.
According to a request made by the Police Women and Children’s
Bureau to the Magistrate, the Court also issued notice on the
nine workers to appear in courts on August 27. The nine workers
were at the illegal abortion clinic at the time the police
raided it on July 21.
The large scale illegal abortion centre functioning under the
name “Marie Stopes Clinic” was operating in the guise of a birth
control centre at R.A.De Mel Mawatha, Colombo 03, and had been
operating for some 20 years.
SLMC to caution President against
election in the East
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is to write to President
Mahinda Rajapaksa cautioning him against holding an election in
the Eastern Province, party high command member and former
Parliamentarian M.L.A.M. Hisbullah told The Nation yesterday.
According to him, despite the ‘liberation’ of the Eastern
Province from the LTTE by the security forces, there continues
to be a strong presence of armed groups in the province,
indicating that under such a circumstance a free and fair
election cannot be held in the province.
“Taking this situation into consideration, the SLMC feels that
an election held under such a situation will not be a success,
so we are hoping to write to the President putting forward these
facts and cautioning him against holding an election in this
province at this moment,” Hisbullah said.
However, the SLMC which met on Thursday night in Colombo
appointed a committee, headed by Hisbullah to look into the
possibilities of how the party can contest the election,
in the event the President decides...
Senkadagalapura Kandy Supplement
Politics is the name of the game
Hypothetically, Samaraweera would have to deliver more SLFPers to the
opposition to force a general election upon the President. And in the
event that does happen, would all these SLFPers be accommodated in the
UNP-led lists in the elections that ensue?
Would that lead to even more dissent in the UNP, just as much as the
Karu Jayasuriya led UNP faction has led to dissent in the SLFP? And
would we have a farcical situation where the Jayasuriya-led UNPers are
contesting on SLFP-led lists while the Samaraweera-led SLFPers are
contesting on UNP-led lists?The People’s Wave- or Jana Rala - swept Colombo last week
bringing in its wake some political quicksand. Even if it was no tsunami
that destroyed the government, it brought into focus interesting
political developments that are likely to envelop the country in the
Firstly, the campaign was a success. That, even those in the government
concede. This was despite a thinly veiled attempt by the powers that be,
to indulge in some scare-mongering, saying there were security threats
posed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). It didn’t matter
that the promised half a million people did not materialise; there was
ample evidence that the government’s popularity is on the wane.
Govt. more focussed on opposition
than on looming economic crisis
The main concern of the people today is the escalating cost
of living. They are unable to meet ends and keep the home fires
burning owing to the ever soaring prices of goods in the market.
To add insult to injury the government keeps on increasing the
fuel prices every now and then to cushion the adverse economic
effects faced by the state. This increases the prices of
essential items beyond the reach of the ordinary people.
There is no immediate remedy for the economic ills of the state
unless the government takes some pragmatic steps to cut down
unnecessary state expenditure and regulate affairs of the state
coffers. The coffers are more or less empty making it difficult
for the government to run its day to day affairs and give
subsidies to the poor.
It appears that the euphoria over Thoppigala will not last long
because the majority of the people are in dire straits,
The Bench, Bar & You
BASL Presidency Election
Q:What do you expect to do through the BASL?
A:The Bar Association of Sri Lanka was constituted as the only body for lawyers
in this country. One can say it is a trade union. In the past, the Bar
Association never made trade union demands, but it fought to establish the Rule
of Law, maintain law and order and the independence of judiciary and ensure
natural justice. The Rule of Law is of such importance, the BASL time and
against fought to maintain law and order of the country.
If the Rule of Law breaks down the entire judicial system will be affected. In
the past, various groups with different political agendas have been responsible
for such a situation. When such things happen, the public try to see how lawyers
respond to such a situation. It is our obligation not only to express our
opinion but also to fight for Justice. We have to initiate public interest
litigation in the proper forums, to protect the violation of personal liberties
and fundamental rights. At the moment, this has been left to a few NGOs. The
legal profession is maintaining a deafening silence.
Q:What is the lawyer’s role in such a situation?
A:Natural Justice comes to play when lawyers take up matters on behalf of their
clients before different forums.
Pork barrel economics of Bandula G.
Gunawardene was a well known tuition master and a film producer,
before entering active politics. He contested as an MEP (Mahajana
Eksath Peramuna) member in the 1989 elections, receiving over
He quickly became the main spokesman in a weak Opposition. He
made a name for himself on economic matters with his puerile
interpretations of the economy, in the early 90s. However, in
1994, the MEP lost both its seats in Parliament. In 2000 he was
elected to Parliament as a member of the Peoples’ Alliance. In
2001, along with S.B. Dissanayake, he crossed over to the UNP.
Throwing a spanner in the works
Sri Lankans are very good at throwing a spanner in the works when everything
is going on smoothly and sports is no exception.
For no apparent reason Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge decided to make certain
changes to the Jayantha Dharmadasa led cricket interim committee saying it was
‘for the betterment of cricket’. He called for the resignation of two of its
members and then replaced them with four others retaining only the top three
positions - the chairman, secretary and treasurer.
Mind you these changes the Sports Minister decided soon after Sri Lanka had put
on a superb performance at the 2007 cricket World Cup by finishing runner-up to
the eventual champions Australia.
In fact there were moves to replace the present committee before the World Cup
but the intervention of the President stopped the Sports Minister from going
ahead with his plans. Instead he decided to make some changes.
One can understand if changes are made if the committee has been found to be at
fault and not delivered the goods. But when the committee is doing a thoroughly
efficient job of administering cricket on proper lines there are interested
parties who are keen to disrupt that progress.
The new change the Sports Minister has made to the present interim
administration is looked upon suspiciously by many as one such move. There has
already been some dissension among the group with one of the newly appointed
members coming up with some outrageous plans to put a stop to all infrastructure
development that is currently taking place.
Galle Stadium moving towards hosting Test
Work on one of the world’s most picturesque cricket grounds the Galle
International Stadium is going ahead as scheduled to host the third Test between
Sri Lanka and England starting on December 18.
There was much consternation among cricket fans especially from England when
Galle which was originally scheduled to host the first Test of the three-match
series was changed to the third Test.
There was fear that Galle may not host a Test match at all because of the delays
the stadium underwent during its rebuilding process following the aftermath of
the 2004 tsunami which entirely destroyed it.
However with the construction part of the pavilion, dressing rooms, media
centre, VIP enclosures etc being handed to Sierra Construction Ltd., a leading
construction company in the country last week, work on the stadium has increased
at a hectic pace.
“It is a very challenging task but I am confident we can complete it by the
deadline of November 15 set by Sri Lanka Cricket. We did Dambulla Stadium in 155
days,” said Priyantha Perera, a director of the construction company.
All democratic forces should not carry
Following are excerpts of the interview with Ali:
Q: The east is experiencing a new phase with the entire region
coming under the control of the government. What does this mean
to the Muslim minority?
A: The Muslim community is totally confused. We only hear
through the grapevine that the government has plans to develop
the east. But we still don’t know what type of development has
been planned by the government. So far the government has not
consulted us. We don’t welcome the colonization of the Southern
Sinhalese in the Eastern Province and having a separate flag for
this province. We are unable to provide any sensible answers to
our supporters and other Muslims who want details about the
plans of the government. They keep applying pressure on us. If
the government has plans to develop the east, we welcome it. But
what is our role as a responsible political party? Why weren’t
Q: The Muslim community has been the worst affected as a
result of the ongoing war between the LTTE and the government
forces. Do you think capturing lands through the forces would
reduce the burden of this community?
A: Not at all. The Muslims have not experienced the
liberation of the region at all. This is because there are para-military
forces operating in these areas. For the moment land (east) has
changed hands. A Muslim family lives in Ampara. They are Muslim
converts. And one of the relations of this family also became a
Muslim and started living with this family about five months