Sunday February 24th, 2008
A vigilant passenger averted a bloodbath yesterday morning in
Mount Lavinia, after he tipped off the bus driver and conductor
about a suspicious parcel in a bus from Moratuwa bound for
Chamal seeks to cancel
South Port tender
Ports and Aviation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa on Thursday sought
cabinet approval to cancel the controversial Colombo...
Fearing Kosovo drama in
Kosovo’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) has made
Near carnage was averted at a bus halt in the crowded Mount
Lavinia junction after a powerful bomb tore through a private
bus at around 11 a.m. Pictured is the bus ablaze, just minutes
after the explosion
(Pic by Prageeth Ranasinghe)
Eyebrows raised over govt-sponsored
Scepticism reigns over the government’s decision to sponsor
eight Sri Lankan Tamils, now domiciled in Europe, on a week long
visit to the island, The Nation learns.
Northern Interim Council in limbo?
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been mum on the
initial offer he made to Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF)
Leader V. Anandasangaree last month when he proposed...
|Forty trade unions demand Rs. 10,000 as
The Trade Union Confederation comprising of 40 trade
unions in the country has warned President Mahinda
Rajapaksa that they would be compelled to take vigorous
action against the government and the Treasury if it
fails to increase their New Year allowance to Rs.
The confederation’s General Secretary Saman Rathnapriya
said the trade unions had sent a letter requesting the
President to increase their New Year allowance from Rs.
3,000 to Rs. 10,000.
“We cannot celebrate our New Year due to the
skyrocketing cost of living; this is why we requested
the President to increase...
Batti gets ‘TMVP policemen’
The Tamil Makkal Viduthalai
Pulikal (TMVP) has discovered a new method to protect its
election candidates – by dressing up its cadres in Police
uniforms in the Batticaloa district.
Highly-placed sources told The Nation yesterday that the cadres
have been spotted in Batticaloa adorned in Police uniforms,
giving ‘protection’ to TMVP candidates, mainly its civilian
candidates who are contesting the March 10 local government
“They are out in numbers, openly travelling on foot and
in vehicles with the candidates,
“My life is in further turmoil” – Ganesan
Western People’s Front Leader, Parliamentarian Mano Ganesan
yesterday lashed out at the government and law enforcement
authorities, charging that they were putting his life in further
turmoil in an obvious act of vengeance owing to his campaign
against the government over its human right violations.
Ganesan, who is also the convener of the Civil Monitoring
Commission, also complained about the alleged injustice meted
out to him when he met with the visiting Inter-Parliamentary
Union (IPU) delegation...
Penalised Tamil student admitted to
A Tamil student, Nethmi Lavanya Yogendra, who was
allegedly penalised on ethnic grounds when she was to be
admitted to Visakha Vidyalaya, has been admitted to the school,
a statement issued by the Education Ministry revealed.
Nethmi was placed second in the Colombo District at the Grade 5
scholarship examination held in August 2007, after securing 190
marks. Accordingly, she was directed to Visakha Vidyalaya.
The Education Ministry statement however claimed that though she
was directed to Visakha Vidyalaya based on her scholarship
marks; her admittance was delayed due to her name being written
differently in the relevant documents.
Right of Reply
The Foreign Affairs Ministry has sent us the following statement
with regard to our last week’s story titled ‘US, Sri Lanka in
diplomatic row,’ which appeared on the front page.
“The article entitled ‘US, Sri Lanka in diplomatic row,’ which
appeared in The Nation on February 17 has no basis in fact,” the
Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“We wish to note that Ali Zahir Moulana, Minister (Economic) and
his family members have already received their new
diplomatic passports from the Immigration and Emigration
LTTE says ‘impossible’ to get Prabha
claims by the Sri Lankan Government that the elusive LTTE
Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran has been injured in a military
raid, his key aide has said the people would soon realise the
‘futility’ of the Army’s claims of success against the rebels.
“False propaganda saying our Leader Prabhakaran is injured is
being carried. Nobody can approach our Leader,” LTTE Political
Head B. Nadesan told the Tamil daily Thinakkural in an
While the Sri Lankan security forces are claiming success in
their clashes against the LTTE, Nadesan said the “people of Sri
Lanka will realise the futility of such a claim in...
CC moves from sublime to ridiculous!
For some time now, the Constitutional Council (CC) has been in the
news and for all the wrong reasons too. Recently, those concerned about
the Council were aghast at a story that was doing the rounds: maverick
minister Mervyn Silva, it was rumoured, was to be appointed to the
Had this come to pass, it would have been a step from the sublime to the
ridiculous for the Constitutional Council. But the story, however
unfounded or mischievous it was, was an indication of the government’s
intentions with regard to the CC.
The issue was raised in Parliament this week. The opposition had two
bones to pick with the government: rumour had it that Silva, already
under investigation for allegedly assaulting a media organisation
employee was to be the President’s nominee to the
CC. At the same time, the appointment...
A successful failure
The main opposition UNP has issued an ultimatum to the
government to finish the war by March or face stiff resistance
from the masses.
These were the sentiments expressed by UNP Kurunegala
Parliamentarian Johnston Fernando.
The UNP, just before the third reading of the Budget, declared
that, by January, they would mobilise the people against the
government, but later postponed it to March.
The postponement, according to UNPers themselves, is to afford
leeway to the government to get its act together and finish its
military campaign against the LTTE in the north, by March this
The reluctant Opposition
It is not a secret that the UNP, ever since it lost the...
Tigers fight fierce defensive war on
north western front
Last Sunday (February 17) was a sad day for the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), since it lost in battle another
senior stalwart who had rendered yeoman service to the movement
for more than two decades.
Lt. Col Thava, or Thavam as he was called, was not one widely
known to the world like Tiger Police Commissar Suppiah Paramu
Thamilselvan. But in his own quiet way, Thava was responsible
for portraying the LTTE in a positive light and projecting the
Tiger cause worldwide.
Apart from his combat duties Lt. Col Thava was functioning since
1990 as the chief cinematographer of the LTTE’s Nitharsanam
In recent times he was also the deputy chief of the Tigers’ Film
Division. In addition,...
Calm before the storm?
Precisely 15 days from today, the people of Batticaloa will,
willingly or unwillingly, participate in the local polls
conducted by the government after nearly 20 years.
While an election in any part of the world is viewed as an
exercise to reflect on the democratic nature of that particular
nation, one wonders how the hastily decided polls in Batticaloa
would turn out to be.
Ever since Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake called
for nominations, to date, there haven’t been any significant
incidents making news, except...
|Batting has let us down — Sanga
Sri Lanka’s vice-captain Kumar Sangakkara was
frustrated at his team’s batting performance as they suffered
their seventh successive defeat to world champions Australia on
The visitors’ gamble to bowl first -- expecting the match to be
shortened by the weather -- looked to have paid off when they
restricted Australia to just 184 for seven from their 50 overs.
Australia’s usual composure under pressure was lacking, and had
the Sri Lankans been more accurate with their throws, they might
have had half-a-dozen run-outs.
However, the Sri Lankan batsmen again failed to rise to the
challenge and they were 77 for four when rain did stop play
after 29.3 overs, leaving them well short of the required 102
under the Duckworth-Lewis method.
The loss meant Sri Lanka, having won just one of their six games
in the tri-series, will have to win their last two matches to
have any chance of reaching the finals.
“We’ve made it quite difficult for ourselves over the whole
tournament -- our bowlers have done a great job right throughout
but our batting has never clicked and let us down badly,” said
A feat worthy of national recognition
A fortnight ago we were bemoaning the fact that in 60 years
of our country’s independence the only noteworthy sporting
achievements we could boast of was winning the World Billiards
Championship in 1973, the cricket World Cup in 1996 and champion
woman sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghe’s silver and bronze medals
at the Olympic Games and IAAF World championships.
The dust had hardly settled on those comments that we find in
our midst the Sri Lanka men’s carrom team emerging world
champions at the fifth World Carrom Championships in France and
our women finishing runner-up. In the history of carrom in Sri
Lanka this is quite a significant achievement for the sport
because the country has never gone to the extent to where our
men’s and women’s teams had.
Unlike cricket, athletics and even billiards there was hardly
any fanfare to greet our world champion slicers on their arrival
at the BIA, but a rather low key welcome with a couple of
officials from the Ministry of Sports to receive them.
One could easily understand why because carrom is not a glamour
sport like cricket, rugby or athletics. It is not a game played
by the affluent in society but largely by underprivileged
children at community centres. Carrom was commonly known as a
game played at funeral houses, but it has now grown into
one where Sri Lanka has started to produce...
Disgraced Merv, continues tilting at
History has never been kind to generals who have fallen from
grace. One simple slip and all their hard work is undone, and
what’s frightening is that this seems to happen when they feel
they are on top of the game. The latest of this line of
disgraced warriors is our very own warrior prince Dr Mervyn
The “descendent” of the warrior king Dutugemunu was feeling like
a million bucks only few months back. He has accomplished so
much in such a little time, a brief scan of his resume will show
you that his enemies seem to jump behind bushes when he drives
by and that he had become a minister with only 2000 odd votes
not to mention his educational qualifications. How many of his
critics can boast of a doctorate? Yeah you guessed right, none.
But little did he know that fate was slowly slipping the lead in
to the gloves when he entered the SLRC complex to teach the news
editor a lesson. But the unfortunate events that followed
started a chain...