Sunday January 27th, 2008
attacked in UK prison
LTTE renegade commander Karuna Amman, who was sentenced to nine
months in a British prison after being charged with having
entered the country on false travel documents, has been
allegedly tortured in the prison, The Nation learns.
Mahinda axes APRC ‘body’
President Mahinda Rajapaksa virtually transformed the
All Party Representative Committee’s (APRC) crucial
recommendations on how to implement the much...
President Mahinda Rajapaksa
has assigned the task of handling the GSP+ issue...
Buying votes the legal way
The Tamil Makkal Viduthalai
Pulikal (TMVP) now led by Pillaiyan appears to be busily
preparing for the March 10th election. A TMVP cadre is seen
distributing propaganda material to a driver attached to a NGO
in Batticaloa. Members of the TMVP continue to openly carry arms
despite it now being a recognized political party in the country
(Pic by Nissanka Wijeratne)
“I am no one’s rubber
seal” – Anandasangaree
With speculation rife of an ongoing tug-o-war between
several senior politicians for the top slot in the proposed
Northern Interim Council, seasoned politician V. Anandasangaree,
tipped to be appointed to....
positive over power devolution
Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing the cabinet of ministers on
January 23, emphasised the need...
|Felix suspects Sinhala hand
in DM killing
Minister of Fisheries Felix Perera told the cabinet on
January 23 (Wednesday) that there is more to the assassination
of Minister D. M. Dassanayake than meets the eye.
He expressed his concern over the matter when DIG Nimal Lewke
was asked by the cabinet to make a presentation on VIP security.
Minister Perera said that he gave a four-hour statement to the
CID on the matter.
He said that there are many issues to be sorted out.
Minister Perera was of the view that there should be proper
investigations to determine why the police post set up near the
location of the claymore bomb, was shifted at 6 a.m. the same
“This is not a cut and dry case,” he said.
“Several ministers passed by the same location before D. M.
Govt.-TMVP alliance shocks UNP
The United National Party (UNP) said yesterday it was
‘simply astonished’ over the recent Memorandum of Understanding
(MoU) entered between the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA)
and the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) to jointly
contest the Batticaloa Municipal Council election in March.
UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told The Nation that the
government has legalized an armed group by entering into an
electoral pact with the TMVP.
“We are surprised at the government’s action to enter in to an
MoU with TMVP, when every one is aware of the fact that the TMVP,
with Pillaiyan, is responsible for the violence taking place in
the east. The government has legalized this illegal armed group
by signing an MoU with them. In a way, the government has given
them authority and approval to carry on their violence,” he
Attanayake also said that the government should...
Air Force bombs Sea Tiger Base
Air Force fighter jets bombed an LTTE Sea Tiger Head
Quarters located at Pudukkudiyiruppu yesterday afternoon.
According to the Media Centre for National Security, the attack
was carried out some 800m south of Kivelikulam in
Pudukkudiyiruppu at around 1:05 p.m.
The attack was launched following information received
that a meeting of Sea Tigers...
Police cordon for Colombo
Nearly 800 additional Police personnel have been deployed in
Colombo alone, in addition to the 2000 currently on duty in the
Colombo DIG Nimal Mediwake told The Nation that the security in
the Colombo city area and suburbs has been tightened to ensure
Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said, “We have
adopted new security strategies to comply with the current
security situation. We have already strengthened the security at
important places including the World Trade Centre, ports and the
Central Bank, which are commercial centres within the heart of
the city that are possible high targets of the LTTE,” he said.
The Police has also introduced a new programme identified as a
Legal Aid wants Jamis released
from court proceedings
Chairman of the Legal Aid Commission S. S. Wijeratne
has written a letter to Attorney General C. R. de Silva
requesting the release of P. P. Jamis from court proceedings and
asking that necessary action be taken to release other persons
in Angoda Mental Hospital who are also there on Court Orders.
Jamis who spent 50 years of his life at Angoda Mental Hospital,
was allowed personal bail of Rs. 50,000 on January 11, 2008 by
Kurunegala Magistrate Lalith Ekanayake, who ordered him to
appear in court on February 14.
He was taken into custody by Gokeralla Police in August 1958, in
connection with causing injuries to his father P. P. Amaris with
When produced before Kurunegala Magistrate on January 11, Jamis
told the Magistrate that he was taken in to custody in
connection with murder of his father.
According to Legal Aid Commission lawyers, there is no record
regarding a murder against Jamis. According to Jamis’...
Another SLR Head attacked
Senior producer of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation Lal
Hemantha Mawalage sustained injuries after two unidentified men
attacked him at Athurugiriya on Friday night.
The incident had occurred when he was returning to his home in
Athurugiriya on Friday around 11 p.m.
Soon after the incident, he was rushed to the National Hospital
in Colombo. He has sustained severe cuts on both hands after the
men had slashed his hand with a sharp object.
Speaking to The Nation Mawalage claimed that this attack was
probably a result of the Rupavahini – Mervyn Silva saga, because
he made some statements voicing protest against the minister’s
Explaining the incident, he said that the two men who came on a
motor bike wearing helmets had blocked his van which was heading
towards his house near St. Pio church at Sethsirigama. They had
dragged him out of the driving seat and had tried to cut
his face first. When the victim...
A mountain of labour produced an
After much hype and more hyperbole, the proposals of the All Party
Representative Committee (APRC) were unveiled last week, as they were
handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, ostensibly for
implementation ‘with immediate effect.’
The process itself involved 63 sittings over a year and a half and
fourteen political parties at its conclusion - there being more at the
inception with some of them opting out at various stages. But did a
mountain of labour produce a mouse? Judging from the proposals that have
been published, it certainly appears so.
The Committee report is unabashed about it too. It candidly acknowledges
that a ‘consensus document’ is in the process of ‘being finalised,’
expressing hope that it would be ready in the ‘very near future.’ It
does, almost in the same breath, qualify that, by saying that
implementing this consensus document would ‘of course take time, once a
favourable climate is established.’...
APRC proposes Mahinda disposes
Indo-Lanka Peace Accord (I-LPA), that necessitated the 13th
Amendment to the Constitution, was introduced as a solution to
the country’s national question.
Two months later, UNP MP for Radgamuwa, Asoka Somaratne,
resigned from Parliament on October 31, 1987. On a matter of
principle, UNP stalwart Gamini Jayasuriya followed suit.
Today, Somaratne, in his new role as General Secretary of the
United National Alternative Front (UNAF), has sent his proposals
to the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) to resolve the
“We are of the view that, right now, the best option available
is to implement the 13th Amendment, but with due changes,”
stated Somaratne in his proposals to the APRC created by
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who himself opposed the Accord.
President Rajapaksa now wants to implement a separate council in
the East, for which, a proposal for polls was made on Wednesday,
in the report submitted by APRC Chairman Prof. Tissa Vitarana.
As part of the APRC’s interim proposals, an interim...
Sri Lanka’s unemployment quandary
Former Education Minister Karunasena Kodithuwakku speaking to
The Nation stated that graduate unemployment in Sri Lanka was
mainly due to lack of expansion in the economy.
“Official economic statistics indicate a growth of seven to
eight percent. But these statistics are exaggerated. Even if the
best graduates are produced, the local economy cannot absorb
them as no new industries have come up. The input for national
defence is high. There has been no tangible growth,”
As globalisation is the current trend, and the labour market is
no longer confined to national boundaries, he opined that at
least the professional levels of labour skills that the country
produces, should meet the demands of the global labour market.
“Unfortunately, most of our graduates who are passing out do not
meet the requirement of the global labour standards,
particularly in terms of being fluent in international languages
such as English. These are the challenges we have to overcome.
The educational administrators, planners and policy makers must
prepare the youth of this country to meet the challenges of the
global labour market from the time...
Mattakkuliya is ‘nobody’s child!’
Mattakkuliya is a city where members of all three
main ethnic groups live in harmony irrespective of their cast,
creed or religion. Even though these residents live in harmony
they are faced with many problems, which have risen due to the
neglect of government authorities.
The Nation visited the area to look into the problems faced by
the residents of Mattakkuliya which have remained unaddressed by
the relevant officials for many long years.
Dilemmas faced by the residents
Residents of the area claim that most of their problems stem
from the negligence of the authorities who have turned a blind
eye towards the growing issues. They add that if the government
agencies, including the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), took
action against the problems that grew in the last few years,
their lives could have been less stressful.
Although Mattakkuliya is a part of Colombo, it lacks basic
facilities that we consider essential. According to Father Mark
Fernando of St’ Mary’s Church, the Mattakkuliya region does not
even have a post office, “we used to have a post office but due
to threats by various groups they had to...
|MARIA REIGNS SUPREME
Maria Sharapova won the third Grand Slam
title of her career with a straight-sets win over Serbia’s Ana
Ivanovic at the Australian Open.
The Russian, 20, won 7-5, 6-3 to add the Australian crown to
victories at Wimbledon in 2004 and the 2006 US Open.
After the pair shared early breaks of serve, Sharapova moved
ahead again in game 11 and served out the first set. And two
breaks in the second set were enough to give Sharapova a
convincing victory in one hour 31 minutes.
On a baking hot Australia Day, with temperatures touching 34
Celsius, people in the crowd were fanning themselves and the
players looked for shade wherever they could find it.
Sharapova went into the final as the lower ranked player having
missed large parts of last season with a serious shoulder
injury. But from the start of the tournament in Melbourne it was
clear that her health problems were behind her as she swept
through a draw that included Lindsay Davenport, Justine Henin
and Jelena Jankovic.
Ivanovic, who had beaten Sharapova on her way to a first Grand
Slam final at last year’s French Open, had enjoyed a
breakthrough win over Venus Williams in the last eight.
reminder to SLC
It is over a month since Nisal Senaratne passed away
following a brief illness. In the field of cricket Senaratne was
a stalwart in his own way having played the game at school and
representative level and more so having served the game for over
Senaratne as we all know held the post of secretary of the then
Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL) for as many as
six years in two-year spells on three occasions. He was also a
vice-president of BCCSL and manager on many tours including the
1987 World Cup and the 1981 tour of England when Sri Lanka were
granted full membership of the International Cricket Council (ICC)
and served the Cricket Board in various other capacities too
numerous to mention from the time of Robert Senanayake in the
late sixties till Gamini Dissanayake in the late eighties.
It is indeed sad to note that people such as Senaratne who had
served the game for long years have simply gone unnoticed.
Others who have served in this category for long years include,
apart from Senanayake and Dissanayake, – Neil Perera, Abu Fuard,
Nuski Mohamed, S. Skandakumar, Ranjith Fernando, WAN Silva,
Anuruddha Polonowita, Leo Wijesinghe, Anura Tennekoon, M.
Rajasingham and SS (Chandra) Perera.
All these individuals have served Sri Lanka Cricket (as
it is now named) for a period of well over a decade in
HONORARY capacities holding high office in various
positions. They have carried the Cricket Board virtually
on their shoulders at a time when the controlling...
BATTI: POLLS OR POLES APART
For the first time since 1994, the Batticaloa citizens will be
going to the polls amidst fear, uncertainty and violence.
The air is heavy with speculation, accusations and unconfirmed
reports of crimes. Confusion seems to be the order of the day.
Despite confusion, the innocent civilians are pushed to
participate in an election they don’t want.
Though the majority is not prepared to face an election, it
appears that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision to hold
elections is going to bring a change – for better or for worse.
The voter would have no choice but to opt for the party that
yields more power, strength and state support – the Tamil Makkal
Vidudalai Puligal (TMVP) led by Karuna Amman, who is to serve a
jail term of 24 months for breaching British immigration laws.
The local poll is expected to be definitely influenced by recent
happenings and the polarization is likely to reap benefits for
the ruling party.
The government’s attempt to join hands with the TMVP, branded as
a carbon copy of LTTE, has sent a clear message to all in
Batticaloa – to vote for TMVP.
The people are well aware that the government is trying to
hoodwink them by waving polling cards at them. But the reality
would be non-participation of the majority of the legitimate
voters from the Batticaloa district, thus resulting in ballot
stuffing and impersonation.
The main opposition has opted to stay away without contesting
the election citing various allegations. The principal among
which is, the armed culture still practiced by the TMVP.
The intelligentsia reminds the nation that such an election
would be a travesty of democracy and must be staved off. But the
government has so far not heeded these sermons by the civil
True, sporadic violence in Batticaloa continues. Relief camps
continue to house thousands of displaced people from the
district. The government conveniently, for the first time, has
used amendment (30) of 2007 of the Constitution to authorise
displaced people to cast their votes from wherever they are.