Emirates insists reinstate
The air battle rages on with Emirates last week sending letters
to Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera and BOI Chairman Dhammika
Perera demanding that SriLankan...
Grave concerns over proposed loan for CEB
Power and Energy Minister John Seneviratne has solicited a US$500 million loan from an unknown
entity, claiming to salvage the CEB from its present impasse.
This move could push the country down a precipice...
Minister blocks implementation of 13th
A top government minister appears to be blocking government
moves to implement the 13th Amendment,
Law on whose side?
Government strongman Mervyn
Silva in desperation shields himself with a police cap while
being escorted out of the Rupavahini Corporation by Police last
Thursday amidst scenes of angry employees demanding an apology
after the self claimed King Dutugamunu assaulted the
Corporation’s News Director. Journalists now claim that the CID
has confiscated video footage of the incident and the employees
are being pursued by Police while the controversial Minister and
his thugs roam free
(Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)
US Tamil group to take Gota, Basil and
Fonseka to courts
A United States based organisation called ‘Tamils for
Justice’ has launched a massive fundraising project to
de-proscribe the LTTE and to bring to justice the three US
citizens holding power in Sri Lanka for allegedly committing
gross violations of humanitarian laws, and crimes against
Silva’s ‘matinee show’ infuriates
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been enraged over
Rupavahini telecasting the Mervyn Silva...
|Ban Ki-moon slams LTTE, TMVP in new
The separatist Tamil Tiger rebels and
a breakaway group known as the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP)/Karuna
faction continue to abduct children to fight as soldiers in the
bloody conflict in Sri Lanka, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
said in a new report released yesterday.
Covering the period from November 1, 2006 to September 14, 2007,
the 20-page report noted, “Both parties have failed to cease the
abduction, recruitment and use of children.”
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the TMVP/Karuna
faction – which split from the Tamil Tigers and now
supports government troops – have also failed to
“release all children associated with their forces and
engage in transparent procedures for release and
verification,” which includes allowing the UN Task Force
on monitoring and reporting or full access to military
locations under their...
Leading political parties have demanded the immediate
sacking of controversial non cabinet Labour Minister Mervyn
Silva, after, what they described as, very disgraceful behaviour
last Thursday at the Rupavahini Corporation.
United National Party (UNP) spokesman Gayantha Karunatilake
yesterday demanded the government to sack Minister Mervyn Silva
from his ministerial post after Thursday’s incident, where the
Minister was booed and stoned for assaulting the News Director
at the State owned TV station.
“The whole country is watching to see whether the President is
going to pass it on as another one of Mervyn’s crazy actions or
he is going to take action against the Minister. Mervyn
assaulted a government official, during office hours, at a
government institution in the high security zone. This is not a
simple matter,” he said...
Mano flees for safety
Parliamentarian Mano Ganesan has decided to leave the country
fearing for his life after the government drastically pruned
down his security mid this month.
Ganesan told The Nation that he had decided to ‘temporarily’
leave Sri Lanka within the next few days because he feared that
he may be dealt with the same fate that befell TNA MP N. Raviraj.
“I am convinced by these actions, that the stage is set for my
assassination,” he charged.
The MP, who is also the convener of the Civil Monitoring
Mission, had in a letter, also appealed to President Mahinda
Rajapaksa, who is Minister of Defence, to take steps to
re-instate his security. Although the letter was sent mid last
week, Ganesan had yet to receive a response to it at the time
this edition went to press.
Over 50 billion in tsunami aid missing
A staggering over Rs. 50 billion given as tsunami aid to Sri
Lanka has gone ‘missing’, a leading anti-corruption organisation
Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) in a statement
issued to commemorate the third anniversary of the tsunami
disaster disclosed that a financial analysis carried out by the
organisation, revealed a gap between the amounts disbursed by
foreign aid agencies and what has been spent on relief and
recovery projects since the 2004 tsunami.
“The difference between the disbursed and the expended
has been a controversial issue that does not have a
credible explanation. While some officials were
reluctant to divulge the information, there were some
responsible bodies which implied that the funds have
been utilized by the government for ‘other’ purposes.
There is no precise evidence to explain...
APRC now meeting on Sundays too
The All Party
Representative Committee (APRC) is scheduled to meet today
despite it being a Sunday, amidst reports that the group is
hoping to wrap up its meetings, reach a consensus and hand over
a report to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, before end next month.
Today’s meeting is the sixth for the month, and according to
sources, the committee is holding marathon sessions despite it
even being the season and meetings were initially temporarily
halted due to the third Budget vote mid December and also during
the Christmas holidays.
“The chairman of the APRC Prof. Tissa Vitarana, is very adamant
that the committee comes out with something positive within the
next few weeks,” sources said.
Meanwhile, many of the APRC members have termed plans to send
the committee to Northern Ireland and Spain as simply ‘absurd.’
FM’s Consular Division shift - a public
A fresh controversy has arisen with regard to the shifting of
the Consular Division of the Foreign Ministry to a high security
zone, The Nation learns.
The Division, located on Galle Road, will be shifted to the BOI
building in Fort, with effect from January 2008, Ministry
“Top officials have failed to consider the public’s side in this
matter, and they would definitely have to undergo harassment,
when they visit the division in the future, as the BOI building
is located in a high security zone,” a Foreign Ministry official
told The Nation.
“The decision is impractical. Public places are, usually, not
located in high security zones,” the official added.
It is leant that the Ministry’s move was its failure to find any
other place to locate the Division.
An ungainly blob in lawless
When dog bites man, it is not news but when man bites dog it is news,
they say. If so, why did Employment Minister Dr. Hewakoparage Mervyn
Silva make news last week?
The maverick politician stormed the offices of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini
Corporation on Thursday and allegedly assaulted the Director of News
after which he was virtually held hostage by angry staff of the
Corporation before he was compelled to make a delayed retreat under
But what is new in all this? Nothing, because this is the norm and not
the exception for Mervyn Silva. This is the umpteenth time he-or a
member of his family-has taken the law into their hands and we daresay
this will not be the last.
The difference though on Thursday was two-fold. Firstly, the media
institution concerned was state owned and the circumstances were such
that it was possible to offer a live telecast of events, leaving no one
in doubt as to what transpired. Secondly, Silva was at the receiving end
of the wrath of Rupavahini employees, his intended victims, whereas
usually it is vice versa.
But now, we have reached the next and most decisive phase and the
collective public conscience goes through a now familiar routine:
everyone condemns the incident, reams and reams of statements are issued
against Silva and newspaper columns...
CENTRAL BANK TRIPS ‘CHARGED’ LOAN
controversy has arisen with regard to the short-sighted decision
by Power and Energy Minister John Seneviratne to obtain a loan
of US$ 500 million from an unknown entity, in a bid to relieve
the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) from its current financial
He had stressed that in order to overcome the present financial
crisis of the CEB, backup finances were mandatory, especially,
to settle short-term debts to the People’s Bank, Ceylon
Petroleum Corporation and other independent power producers.
However, it is apparent that, in his urgency to settle CEB
debts, the Minister had not even weighed up the credibility of
the lender of such a colossal amount of money, which could,
ultimately, cause the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to fall
into a money laundering trap.
The Central Bank, on request by the cabinet, had conducted a
thorough investigation into the loan proposal and realised that
the Minister, by even considering...
Day of reckoning for
Thursday, 27, was an eventful day both locally and
internationally. The world was shocked by the death of Benazir
Bhutto, but the attention of many Sri Lankans was elsewhere.
They were glued to their TVs to see a government minister being
booed and stoned in public, at a government institution.
Mervyn Silva, the non cabinet Minister is famous for taking on
various media institutions and personnel and coming out on top.
Therefore, it’s safe to assume that public humiliation was the
last thing on his mind, when he barged into the Sri Lanka
Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) and allegedly assaulted the News
Director, T.M.G Chandrasekara.
But, before he could whip out his ‘licensed’ pistol, he found
himself and his henchman cornered in the Chairman’s room
(without AC.). It took all the “king’s men” to take him out of
the chamber but, they were not able to save the Minister from
the wrath of the SLRC employees, who doused him in paint and
pelted him and his vehicle with stones. While most Sri Lankans
were unanimous that “Finally, Mervyn got what he deserved,” The
Nation went to the SLRC to delve into the matter.
Pakistan’s most potent force for
Watching a hundred thousand people packed into a town square in
Lahore shouting, “Jiye Bhutto” is an unforgettable experience.
Only one person in recent times could evoke that kind of mass
public emotion in Pakistan, and that was Benazir Bhutto.
Her assassination, probably by an extremist suicide bomber
removes that country’s most potent force for democracy, and will
have far reaching consequences for Pakistan and the region.
To understand why Benazir was so important we need to try to
understand Pakistan, which is a complex country with equally
There are four distinct nations in Pakistan; the Punjabis, the
Sindhis, the Pashtuns and the Baloch. They are very diverse and
live in a vast country that is mostly landlocked. But two
important things unite them; Islam and their official language
The mere fact that Benazir was able to win elections across this
vast and diverse country being a woman in a male-dominated
culture, was a near miracle.
There are also different political forces at work in Pakistan
which have held power alternately.
|Aravinda to assist under 19 World Cup
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has sought the services of former Sri Lanka
‘great’ Aravinda de Silva to help their batsmen prepare for next year’s under 19
cricket World Cup in Malaysia.
De Silva, 42, told ‘The Nation’ yesterday that SLC had approached him and that
he had agreed to help.
“I am prepared to assist any cricketer who needs my help. When Sri Lanka Cricket
sought my services I was glad to oblige them,” said De Silva who played for his
country for nearly two decades from 1984.
De Silva said he will start with the under 19 squad on January 2 to get an
insight into what sort of expertise was needed from him to help the boys.
“I have not seen any of them but when I meet them I will have a fair idea,” he
De Silva said that approaches had been made for him to accompany the team to
Malaysia but due to private commitments he was unable to do so. He will however
assist the team till February 9 before they depart for Malaysia.
De Silva was arguably the greatest batsman produced by
Sri Lanka in the post-Test era and was the holder of
many batting records till recently when it was surpassed
by the present generation of cricketers. His crowning
moment was scoring an unbeaten century against Australia
at Lahore to steer his team to win the...
There’s no stopping them
the pre-Test hype of being on par with Australia and
even beating them in their own grounds by India fizzled
to nothing as they were subjected to a 4-day humiliation
at Melbourne where they lost the first Test by a massive
margin of 337 runs. The fact that India failed to top
200 in any of their two innings speaks of the dominance
Australia had over their opponents.
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene whose team preceded the Indians and lost
2-0 to Australia foresaw what his subcontinent rivals will be up against. When
he was asked for his views on Australia’s domination of world cricket at the end
of the England series he said: “At home they are a formidable attack mainly they
got their top seven batsmen averaging over 50 runs and they are pretty solid up
there. To get them all out is going to be tough especially in Australia. They
are playing some really good cricket. For the rest of the teams it is about
trying to be consistent as much as possible and improving as a group of players.
You can definitely catch up with them. With the inexperience of their new
bowling attack probably teams can catch up Australia away from home.”
The win in Melbourne was Australia’s 15th straight victory in Test matches and
Ponting’s men seem unstoppable as they roller-coast their way towards Steve
Waugh’s world record of 16 consecutive Test victories.
Why Australia has been such a dominant force in world
cricket since 1996 was described by veteran cricket
writer and commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins...
Vijitha Herath claims JVP ideology
cannot be destroyed
Following are excerpts:
Q: The Indian Prime Minister has said that he will attend the
2008 Independence Day celebrations only if a proposal to solve
the ethnic conflict is presented to the President, by the APRC.
What do you feel about that demand?
A: India or any other country does not have the right to
tell us how we should settle our internal affairs. No one can
tell us how and when we should do this and under what
conditions. India or any other country cannot give us deadlines
and say we should settle the ethnic conflict before this day. We
should not give into such demands. It’s ironical that a foreign
Prime Minister is trying to intimidate us on our Independence
Then again, what can you expect from the APRC? It is dead. It is
not an All Party Conference anymore, but a collective of the
parties supporting the government. Also, the previous reports
put forward by the APRC, directly violates the ‘Mahinda
Chintanaya.’ That means that these proposals are against the
wishes of the people. The President came in to power vouching a
unitary state and people did not give power to dissolve power.
So we are not impressed with the APRC’s path. It should be
Q: Wouldn’t the participation of the Indian premier at our
Independence Day celebrations be beneficial to the country?
A: We have no problems with his arrival. But, his visit is
linked to unreasonable demands that are not permissible. What he
should do is to strengthen the fight against terrorism and force
the LTTE to accept a reasonable solution.
Q: You have continually opposed the proposals put forward by
the APRC as a solution to the conflict in the North and East.
What is your solution?
A: The JVP has a clear solution. We have always stood for
democracy and equal distribution of economic resources.
According to the JVP, the main cause for this...