A powerful bomb ripped through a bus bound for Anuradhapura as
soon as it passed the Kurunegala Junction in Dambulla, killing
20 people and wounding 70 in the early hours of yesterday
morning en route...
Heads to roll
A cabinet reshuffle is in the offing and it is likely that
several heads will role paving the way for new faces.
It is learnt...
SLMC to boycott Batti
Incessant violence in the east
is likely to prompt Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) to...
When will it end?
Security forces and Police
personnel inspecting the Anuradhapura-bound bus that was ripped
apart by a parcel bomb yesterday, killing and injuring scores of
innocent civilians in Dambulla
(Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)
CBK plays ‘concerned
Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has
virtually taken over the affairs of Visumpaya, where...
Shady insurance deal
blamed on national security
The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) appears to have sealed a
questionable insurance deal with the Sri Lanka...
|Armed TMVP gets Police
protection for its candidates
A request by the armed Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal’s (TMVP)
for Police protection for nearly 80 of their civilian candidates
vying at next month’s local government elections has been
“The TMVP wrote a letter to DIG Eastern Range Vasantha
Nanayakkara urging him to provide Police protection to our
civilian candidates,” party’s Spokesman Azad Moulana told The
According to Moulana, a total of 134 TMVP candidates will be
contesting the March 10 local government elections in Batticaloa.
“Around 40% of our candidates are our cadres, so they don’t
require protection as they ‘can look after themselves,’” Moulana...
UNP in ‘contempt’ of Jeyaraj
The UNP is to frame a Contempt of Court charge in the Supreme
Court against Highways Minister Jeyeraj Fernandopulle over his
condemnation of the court’s decision to remove roadblocks.
Plans are afoot to drag the vociferous minister to court and
thereafter, take him to task, opposition members said.
According to the sources, the minister’s utterances condemning
the Supreme Court order to remove roadblocks, would be the main
tool to pin the minister.
Following the Supreme Court order that roadblocks and subsequent
searches were violation of fundamental rights of citizens, the
minister condemned the court order.
HRW raps MR
for undermining Lankan HR Commission
The New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW), has severely
criticised President Mahinda Rajapaksa for undermining the
independence of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, and
failing to hold members of the security forces and non-state
armed groups accountable for the rampant abuses in the country.
In its World Report 2008, Human Rights Watch stated that Sri
Lankan President Rajapaksa directly appointed Human Rights
Commission members, contrary to the constitution and his action
had led to undermine independence of the Human Rights Commission
and other constitutional bodies, since 2006.
HRW surveyed the human rights situation in more than 75
countries, identified many human rights challenges in
need of attention,...
British, Indian High Commissions in
Sri Lanka, to stop issuing visas
The Visa Section of the British High Commission in Sri Lanka
will be closed, and the High Commission will stop issuing visas
from April 1.
Instead, any Sri Lankans wishing to travel to the United Kingdom
will have to obtain visas from the Mission in Chennai, India.
“The Colombo office will continue to issue visa application
forms but the completed forms will have to be sent to the
Chennai office for approval,” High Commission sources said.
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has also announced an increase in
their immigration fees.
The British Government expects to fund its programmes to improve
border security in 2008. The fees for highly Skilled...
Govt. appoints key officials
The government last week appointed several important personnel
to head Sri Lanka’s overseas missions.
Accordingly, former Foreign Ministry Secretary Siri Palihakkara
has been appointed as Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to
the United Nations.
Prasad Kariyawasam, who held this position, will return as a
senior Foreign Service official at the Ministry.
Criminal lawyer, Daya Perera has been appointed to the High
Commission in Ottawa, Canada while Kavinda Walgampaya, a SLFP
lawyer, would proceed to Canberra, Australia.
Meanwhile, Nihal Jayasuriya, who is due to retire shortly, is
tipped to be appointed as Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in
Sunil not removed from party’s
Central Committee - JVP
Speculation is rife that Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) MP
Sunil Handunnetti has been removed from the party’s Central
The move reportedly comes amidst much controversy surrounding
the Parliamentarian, who is allegedly under house arrest.
JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake told The Nation that the
speculation was baseless.
“We have not removed Sunil Handunnetti from the Central
Committee. If we had removed him, we would have notified
Celebrating a Diamond Jubilee
dripping blood!Terminally ill at 60
Tomorrow, Sri Lanka commemorates its diamond jubilee of independence
from Britain, although there is very little to justify celebration.
Anniversaries such as these, are usually marked with clichés to the
effect that the nation is at a crossroads but nevertheless provide an
opportunistic moment to reflect on the past and plan for the future.
The 60th anniversary celebrations are understandably low key. For all
intents and purposes, the country is at war with the Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and security concerns apart, recent terrorist
attacks in the south have put paid to any chances of rejoicing in style.
That the world at large disapproves of what is transpiring in Sri Lanka
is also self evident. The country has attracted many censures from the
international community, the latest...
Lanka celebrates its diamond jubilee of independence on Monday
with pomp and pageantry. It is an appropriate time for a
retrospective look at where we stand today as a nation, after 60
years of independence.
Sri Lanka was under colonial yoke for over 500 years, beginning
with the Portuguese invasion of the Maritime Provinces in 1505.
After the non violent struggle for independence led by people of
the calibre of F.R. Senanayake, Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan, D.S.
Senanayake, Ponnambalam Arunachalam, E.W. Perera and S.W.R.D.
Bandaranaike, Sri Lanka gained independence on February 4, 1948.
Since then, civil liberties enjoyed by the people have gradually
eroded and have been on a sharp decline from the 70s, giving rise to an
ethnic conflict during the latter...
Alienated from the state
is a magic number in the Hindu astrological calendar. Each year
has a distinctive name. The names for these years number 60. All
years come and go in a cycle of 60.
Therefore, people born in a particular year will find themselves
celebrating their 60th birthday in the year with the same name.
The 60th birthday itself is regarded as a milestone and observed
ceremoniously by many.
The Pearl of the Indian Ocean gained independence from British
rule as Ceylon in 1948. It was renamed Sri Lanka or the
‘Resplendent Isle’ in 1972. We also became a republic. Even as
the country is poised to complete 60 years of independence on
February 4, it would be worthwhile to reflect on where we are
today on the eve of Independence Day
There would be, no doubt, many people examining...
of the innocent
Horror. Massacre. Tragedy. What words should one use to describe
the Dambulla bomb blast – the latest in a series that has left
this nation bloodied and battered?
The incident occurred at 7:05 am, when a Kandy-Anuradhapua bus
exploded in Dambulla, just past the Kurunegala junction, leaving
18 dead and around 70 injured. Two more passengers had succumbed
to their injuries in Matale.
By noon, 16 female bodies and two male bodies were lying in the
Dambulla Hospital mortuary, of which 12 had been identified by
The ill-fated bus left Kandy at 5:15 am, with around 90
passengers at the time – three of them children – and by the
time it got to Dambulla, there were almost 100 people on board.
It was then that tragedy struck, which stopped the bus in its
tracks, turning it into a deathbed.
|Jayasuriya injured as Lanka slump to
Sri Lanka cricket coach Trevor Bayliss predicted his team’s
embarrassment at a crushing seven wicket loss to Tasmania in
Hobart would fire them up for their opening tri-series game
against India in Brisbane.
Playing their second and final warm-up match before the
tri-series, also involving Australia, Sri Lanka set Tasmania a
modest target which the home side achieved with a whopping 13.5
overs to spare.
Sparked by paceman Brendan Drew (5-36 off 10 overs) domestic
one-day competition leader Tasmania restricted Sri Lanka to 183
for 9 off 47.4 overs after veteran opening batsman Sanath
Jayasuriya was unable to resume his innings.
Jayasuriya retired hurt after injuring his chin whilst facing
Tigers paceman Tim MacDonald in the eighth over.
Jayasuriya, who was on eight at the time, required six stitches
in the wound but a precautionary x-ray cleared him of a
Sporting successes few and far...
Sri Lanka tomorrow celebrates its 60th year of Independence
and what have we to boast about our achievements on the field of
sports but the feats of three individuals and the Sri Lanka
cricket team of 1996.
We produced our first World Champion when the late Muhammad
Junaid Muhammad Lafir won the World Amateur Billiards
Championship in Bombay in 1973 in our 25th year of Independence.
The second child in a family of four, Lafir displayed his unique
talent for the green baize at the age of 12 using a broomstick
for a cue, marbles for balls and his home dining table for a
The country’s first year of Independence saw Lafir win the first
of many titles when he pocketed the All-Ceylon Snooker
Championship in 1948 with consummate ease. He was to go and win
it for a record 18 times and the All-Ceylon Billiards title on
17 occasions, still a world record for any sport.
13th Amendment an unforeseen
Science and Technology Minister and All Party
Representative Committee (APRC) Chairman Prof. Tissa Vitharana
is at the center of controversy. The controversy is over the
outcome of the APRC discussions. Having deliberated for nearly
one and half years, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has compelled
the APRC to discuss the 13th Amendment to the Constitution,
introduced some 20 years ago and which he (the President)
himself, had vehemently rejected. The APRC Chairman whose
credibility is at stake over this issue, claims if not for the
question regarding the 13th Amendment, the outcome of the APRC
would have been much more acceptable and attractive. He hinted
that the question of 13th Amendment was thrust upon the APRC. He
says he would have preferred if this question of the 13th
Amendment implementation had not come up till a final decision
was taken by the APRC.
“ Dr. Rama was wrongfully
After widespread media reports about the
internal problems at the International Centre for Ethnic
Studies, including the sudden termination of its Executive
Director, Dr. Rama Mani, The Nation spoke to respected civil
servant and former Secretary to Prime Minister Bradman Weerakoon,
for his insights into the conflict raging within the once highly
respected NGO. Weerakoon himself has been on the board of ICES
since 2005. He also served on the Research Institute’s Board of
Management, and was its acting Executive Director after Dr.
Radhika Coomaraswamy vacated the position to serve as UN Special
Representative for Children and Armed Conflict
Q: What is your role at the International Centre for Ethnic
A: I am now a Director of the Board of ICES. I have been a
Director of the Board for the last two years – 2006 and 2007,
and at one point I also had the very tricky task of care-taking
during the time that Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy went away. That
was about April 2006 until the beginning of 2007 when Dr .Rama...