More than 800 Tamils were arrested in Colombo since Friday
during combined search operations launched by the security
forces and Police, following Wednesday’s bomb...
Anura blasts ‘despicable’
National Heritage Minister Anura Bandaranaike launched a
scathing attack on Sri Lanka’s foreign policy, calling it as
Buses run dry
Private bus owners appear to be bearing the brunt of
the back-to-back bomb blasts fallout, with the Private Bus
Owners’ Association (PBOA) claiming that profits have...
Five-year-old Upamali was one of the many innocent victims
during Wednesday’s deadly bomb attack at Nugegoda. She lies at
the Kalubowila Hospital playing with her doll, which will
probably bring her only limited solace, once she realises her
real loss – her father who died during the bomb blast and her
mother who continues to remain in a serious condition following
the deadly attack
(Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)
Inland Revenue Chief to go before Public
The government is very likely to refer the interim report of the
Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to the Public Services
Rs. 150 billion scam at Nation Building
The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) has
received reports of 40 state institutions with discrepancies
amounting to a whopping Rs. 150 billion.
The sum ...
|FORUT ceases humanitarian work
FORUT Sri Lanka, an International Non-Governmental
Organisation, has ceased its humanitarian efforts in the Wanni
as of last Wednesday. The INGO’s office in Kilinochchi was
damaged in an aerial attack by the Sri Lanka Air Force this
FORUT Resident Representative Terje Heggenernes said, “We
stopped our work in the Wanni area simply because we were
affected by the bombing last week. The security in the area is
FORUT had been working with the war affected Internally
Displaced Persons (IDPs) as well as persons affected by the
The Norwegian organisation, which has been working in Sri Lanka
since 1981, focuses on community development and rehabilitation
and has projects and operations in Hambantota, Matale,
CID carries out search at UNICEF stores
The CID is suspected to have carried out a search operation at
one of the United Nations Children’s Funds’ (UNICEF) stores at
Seeduwa on Friday which had contained hundreds of
UNICEF spokesperson, Gordan Weiss told The Nation that they were
only informed by government authorities that the MRE stores
would be checked on Friday, but had not been informed the norm
of the search nor who was carrying it out.
“We have absolutely no idea about the investigation or
developments of the investigation.
Former COPE Chairman now UNP’s
COPE Chairman, Wijeyadasa
Rajapakshe who crossed over to the opposition on the eve of the
second reading of the budget last month, has now assumed the
role of MP broker for the main opposition UNP, it is learnt.
Rajapakshe recently brokered Hussein Bhaila, leaving it up to
former UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema to seal the deal. A
journalist telephoned Samarawickrema to inform him that Bhaila
would meet him at a residence near Alfred House Gardens at an
While waiting for the Muslim MP to show, Samarawickrema engaged
in some idle chit chat with the chief occupant of the house, and
finally when Bhaila was more than 15 minutes late, the former
UNP Chairman called the MP’s mobile telephone.
Arbour, Samarasinghe lock horns over HR
Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe has expressed his surprise
over a recent statement made by United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights Louise Arbour, who had claimed that she had
made a public request to open an office in Sri Lanka.
In a letter addressed to Arbour on November 27th, the Minister
referring to a statement by the High Commissioner on November
21, 2007, stated that he was puzzled at her comments in the
article, particularly at the present juncture, when they were
attempting to discuss and forge a consensus on an, “appropriate
arrangement” for Sri Lanka, as suggested by Arbour in her letter
of October 24, following...
APRC has failed to deliver – Hakeem
Sri Lanka Muslim
Congress (SLMC) Leader Rauff Hakeem has declared that the All
Party Representative Committee (APRC), established by the
government to seek a solution to the ethnic conflict, has failed
to deliver a conclusive set of proposals.
Hakeem, who is also the Posts and Telecommunication Minister,
was speaking at the 23rd anniversary of the National Posts and
Telecommunication Union at Gunasinghapura.
“The government’s APRC has been unable to come up with proposals
to solve the problem in the country. The national problem should
be overcome through a political solution as the country has
stepped into a decisive situation at present,” he asserted.
Minister Hakeem reiterated that the SLMC strongly believes that
the problem can only be solved through a political solution and
war is only a temporary victory.
Minister’s call to boycott Budget vote
irks government members
Non Cabinet Minister Cegu Isadean’s call to all
Muslim parliamentarians to boycott the third reading of the
Budget scheduled for December 14 has ticked off many sections of
the government, including top ministers, The Nation learns.
Several ministers had taken serious note of Isadean’s appeal,
which was unprecedented, coming from a government member who was
also a minister. Isadean had made the call last Friday during a
protest launched after Jumma prayers, against the recent Supreme
Court ruling which banned the use of loudspeakers from 10 p.m.
to 6 a.m.
The matter was taken up by government members during several
informal meetings they had with National Unity Alliance (NUA)
Leader Ferial Ashraff, where they had expressed their
displeasure over Isadean’s...
|Bomb blasts ‘winning war’ boast
When last week began, the focus was on what LTTE Leader Velupillai
Prabhakaran would say next, anticipating a policy statement from the
terrorist supremo. When the week ended however, all eyes were still on
Prabhakaran, but mostly concerned with what he would do next.
The reason was simple. Two deadly blasts, in Colombo and Nugegoda, and
within a few hours of each other, had brought the brutal reality of the
Tiger campaign home: the terrorists needed to succeed only once to
create mayhem, while the government needed to succeed always to prevent
If one expected an indication of the Tigers’ thinking from Prabhakaran
in his Great Heroes’ Day speech, that was not to be. Quite in contrast
to preceding years, this year the Tiger Leader was less boastful of the
successes of his organisation, and at times, almost apologetic. There
was more lamenting than lambasting, and the general theme apparently was
one of criticising the international community.
Even Colombo was pleasantly surprised. JVP Parliamentary Group Leader
Wimal Weerawansa noted that Prabhakaran was now pleading for sustenance,
and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was not shy to proclaim that
this would probably be the LTTE Leader’s last birthday. But that was the
calm before the storm.
Less than 24 hours later, the Tigers struck back, preferring deeds
rather than words to do so. Even if the assassination attempt on Eelam...
Twin blasts stir mixed
With war clouds overshadowing the festive mood, one
wonders whether the UPFA government has any clue as to how
civilian deaths should be managed due to war operations.
The twin bomb blasts that took place in the heart of the city
rocking the entire nation have definitely caused more civilian
deaths. In the case of the second bomb blast in Nugegoda, it was
evident that even the police officers were unaware of certain
procedures in handling something suspicious, like a parcel bomb.
Last week’s blasts, despite tight security, that sent shock
waves throughout the country, have led to more chaos and tension
in the city of Colombo. But one thing was certain – LTTE
Speculations were also rife that this could change the fate of
the government after the third reading of the budget scheduled
for December 14.
Though most of the political parties that voted with the
government during the first budget had second thoughts about the
third reading, they did not wish to make any commitment right
Some of the minority parties pointed out that it would not be
possible to overthrow the government until the JVP was in power.
Eviction mess-up by KMC
The law states that if your landlord wants to evict
you from your home, he or she must follow the correct legal
Unless a tenant wishes to surrender a tenancy voluntarily, most
tenants in rented accommodation have the right not to be evicted
from their accommodation until the landlord has first obtained a
possession order from the court and had that order enforced by a
court of law.
The Kandy Municipal Council (KMC) is at present embroiled in a
crisis over unauthorised structures and a subsequent order to
The controversy looms over an order to put up shops by the Mayor
and a few other councillors, while the order to demolish the
structure and evict all the shop owners has come from the
The present problem, which is bound to transform into a major
crisis, is purely due to lack...
It was devastating to see so many lives brutally
shattered in the bomb that went off in Nugegoda. Many, who were
unaware of the untimely brutality of their death, went into the
Nolimit store situated in the densely populated Nugegoda town to
Some were buying clothes for pleasure, some to mollify their
desires, some just because their mom or dad told them but none
knew their fate – fate decided by a bomb! Time passed
unconsciously, the pendulum suddenly stopped swinging when a
parcel was discovered that altered the fate of many.
The first person to enter the scene, jeopardising his own life
was a man named Chandrasena, from the nearby three-wheeler park.
When the situation was left unattended, the man took a brave
decision to bring a police officer doing his job at the
junction. The usually reliable electricity was down...
|Sanga, a cut above the
Kumar Sangakkara distinguished himself as a batsman of class way above the rest
of his colleagues when he again ended up as his team’s top scorer on the opening
day of the first cricket Test against England at the Asgiriya International
Stadium here yesterday.
As he had done against Australia in the second innings at Hobart 11 days ago
when he hit a magnificent 192, Sangakkara stood tall as his colleagues succumbed
to the pace of Matthew Hoggard and later the spin of Monty Panesar. The classy
left-hander carved out a superb 92 in 252 minutes using up 159 balls (13 fours)
as Sri Lanka tumbled to 188 all out after deciding to bat first on a flat track.
The difference between Sangakkara and the rest of the batting is that he has the
intuition and the patience to decide which balls he wants to play and the ones
to leave out. His form since forging that world record partnership of 628 with
Mahela Jayawardene in April 2006 has been awesome.
One-day cricket overdose
amount of cricket that is being played today it came as no surprise from
Australia’s Vice-captain Adam Gilchrist that the one-day tri-series which
culminates the cricket season in Australia had gone stale and needs revamping.
The 2007-08 series will feature host Australia and two of Asia’s top one-day
sides – India and Sri Lanka, neither of whom has won this series. The staleness
could be originating from the fact that the host country Australia has proved to
be unbeatable in the tournament. Their dominance has been such that they have
won all but nine of the 26 finals played so far since 1979-80. The only
exceptions are West Indies who won it six times, and England, Pakistan and South
Africa, one apiece.
The great danger is that Australia’s total dominance of cricket in both forms
(Tests and ODI) is having adverse effects on the game itself. The Aussies are
now complaining that there isn’t enough opposition to challenge them. Like
one-day cricket at times the results against Australia have become very
Gilchrist is no ordinary cricketer and what he says has to be taken pretty
seriously. After all wasn’t he recently voted as Australia’s greatest one-day
From its inception in the eighties it was difficult to
fathom why three teams had to play ten matches each it
was later reduced to eight) to decide on who should play
in the best of three finals. No doubt the volume of
matches would have been drawn up in a manner to please
the television audience and the sponsors...
Kumar Rupesinghe challenges
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Foundation for
Co-Existence Dr. Kumar Rupesinghe, says the masses have lost
faith in the political system of this country which he says is
corrupt to the core and adds that this does not inspire
confidence amongst the people. He says the Cabinet system has
become a joke with the presence of 107 Ministers and Deputy
Ministers. He explains that the cost incurred to maintain the
members of the Cabinet is awesome and wasteful. “The electoral
system is the prime example of the corruption in this country.
To become a member in Parliament, one requires a minimum of 10
million rupees which an ordinary person cannot afford,” he told
The Nation in an interview. In an attempt to bring these issues
to the public, Dr. Rupesinghe, who also heads The National Anti
War Front (NAWF), recently organised a convention titled
‘Prayathneya’ which drew tens of thousands of people from all 22
districts. The objective of the convention was to seek a mandate
from the people to put pressure on the government to be more
Following are excerpts:
Q: What was the purpose of the People’s Convention which was
held on November 10?
A: This was to seek a manifesto from the masses to
pressurize the government. Over a hundred people in each
district took part in these consultations. The consultations
were held with young people, trade unionists, women,
inter-religious leaders and ordinary citizens. Further, a series
of meetings were also held with experts in various subjects
making speeches. This was to create an awareness about citizen’s
rights and give them knowledge on governance. Finally, the draft
of the people’s appeal was given to the representatives of all
The people’s appeal was presented for ratification at the
People’s Convention which was held on November 10 at the
Sugathadasa Stadium with the participation of over 7000 Sri
Lankans. The convention is a culmination of five years...