The Foreign Ministry has issued a stern warning to all its
foreign missions abroad ordering them to obtain prior permission
from Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona before issuing public
The circular, issued late February under Kohona’s signature,
banned all Sri Lankan missions...
Anura rushed to
Former Speaker and Minister Anura Bandaranaike was rushed to the
New bullet-proof BMW for
The personal security officer of Opposition Leader Ranil
Wickremesinghe was in for an unpleasant surprise when he
KEEPING THE FAITH
In the face of adversity, a mother places holy ash on her
daughter’s forehead just minutes after the top portion of their
house was blown away on Friday morning in Modera
(Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)
Hush-hush Moon letter to
President Mahinda Rajapaksa was visibly surprised to receive
a sealed letter from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon
from a top UN official who was visiting...
India gets tough
India has insisted that there should be meaningful devolution
under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.
According to informed sources, it has been noted that the
concurrent list should be amended...
|Attanayake snubs Ahungalla
Amidst reports of an internal conflict brewing within the United
National Party (UNP), Party General Secretary Tissa Attanayake
was a notable absentee during the two-day rendezvous at a five
star resort in Ahungalla.
The two-day exercise at the Heritance, Ahungalla, dubbed as an
endeavour to discuss strategy on the party’s future course,
kicked off on Wednesday and came to a close on Thursday evening,
well attended by almost all UNP MPs.
However, the General Secretary had not been in attendance at the
sessions, which were chaired by Party Leader Ranil
Top military official takes on defence
The policy of the Defence Ministry has been to get
the bulk of the work done by one party and celebrate the victory
with others, counsel for Major General Parakrama Pannipitiya
told Supreme Court last week.
Counsel Manohara De Silva made these submissions when the court
took up the fundamental rights case filed by the Major General.
The case came up before Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva and
Justices Nimal Gamini Amaratunga and Jagath Balapatabendi.
Counsel De Silva further submitted that just after the
conclusion of the operation, the respondents had transferred his
client to Panagoda and requested him to vacate his official
quarters at the Summit Flats.
Major General Pannipitiya has cited Sri Lanka Army Commander Lt.
General G.S.C. Fonseka, Military Secretary Brigadier D.M.D.
Alwis, Quarter Master General Major General W.G.M.U.R. Perera,
Overall Operational Commander Major General C.M.P. Samarasinghe,
Assets Management Director Brigadier R.U. Udawatta, Quartering
Director Brigadier K. Fernando and the Attorney
Prabha will commit suicide soon, predicts
LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran will soon commit
suicide by swallowing the cyanide capsule tied around his neck,
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe
Amarasinghe made the prediction when he met members of the
Foreign Correspondents Association of Sri Lanka at the Galle
Face Hotel, Colombo.
“LTTE Leader Prabhakaran will soon have to commit suicide by
swallowing the cyanide capsule tied around his neck while the
LTTE will come to an end without a leader. The people imprisoned
in the areas held by the LTTE will soon revolt against him and
destroy him. He will have no choice other than to die by
swallowing cyanide,” Amarasinghe told the foreign...
CPC to give domestic gas at Rs. 100 less
The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), which
recently announced plans of re-entering the domestic gas
industry, hopes to sell a domestic gas cylinder at Rs. 109 less
than the price of a LAUGFS gas cylinder, CPC Finance Manager
Lalith Karunaratne said.
The announcement comes in the wake of Shell gas increasing the
price of a 12.5 kg domestic cylinder by Rs. 261 and 2.3 kg
cylinder by Rs. 48.
“LAUGFS gas procures gas from the CPC at Rs. 134 less than the
market price. But their gas cylinder is only Rs. 25 cheaper than
Shell. So we have decided to give that profit to the final
consumer by giving a gas cylinder at a much lower price,” he
LTTE issues warning to NGOs in east
Organisations (NGOs) in the Eastern Province have been ordered
to suspend all development projects on March 10, the same day on
which the Batticaloa local government polls are scheduled to be
The warning letter, issued under a LTTE letterhead signed by
Keerthi, who identifies himself as the ‘Intelligence Leader of
the East,’ has however not spelled out any repercussions in the
event the warning is ignored.
The letter also gives a telephone number (SLT CDMA), which has
been switched off since Thursday evening.
The warning letter noted that the NGOs, both local and
international, have been instrumental in conveying false
propaganda in the Eastern Province.
It also accused the NGOs of using thousands of innocent
civilians, now living in camps for Internally Displaced Persons
(IDPs), for various clinical trials on drugs.
The letter also accused the organisations of controlling and
crippling the funds for ‘Tamil Eelam.’
Clergyman confesses to transporting
A senior DIG has been dispatched to the Medawachchiya checkpoint
to assess the situation and report to the Defence Secretary,
after a clergyman confessed to have transported explosives.
A Mannar clergyman confessed recently to have transported
explosives and suicide jackets four times through the
checkpoint, offering lifts to clergymen and Army personnel in
order to avoid suspicion.
Although thorough checks had been carried out nevertheless,
detection had failed.
The explosives and suicide jackets had been concealed inside the
seats of the vehicle, The Nation learns.
The decision to dispatch the senior DIG was taken at the meeting
of the Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Agencies (CCHA) on
February 25 at the Defence, Public Security, Law and Order
meeting: No tangible outcome
President Rajapaksa’s position at last week’s meeting was no
different: the President observed that a Parliamentary Select Committee
was studying matters pertaining to the Constitutional Council, and any
action regarding the Council would have to await the Select Committee
Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe must have had a sense of déjà vu
as he went along to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday. It was
a similar meeting which resulted in the memorandum of understanding
between the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party
(SLFP) which eventually cost Wickremesinghe seventeen members of
This time around though, there were only a few pretences. The media were
suddenly informed of the meeting, without the customary hype leading to
the event. When the cameras rolled before the actual discussion, both
sides found it difficult to relax-with the exception of President
Rajapaksa who flashed his trademark ear to ear smile.
Playing one against the other
longstanding dispute between the government and the UNP appears
to have ended on a very positive note, after the President and
the UNP Leader had a fruitful discussion on Tuesday evening.
The two leaders had, reportedly, discussed matters pertaining to
the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) meeting and the
At least, they appear to have made up for the time being, for a
common cause, in order to explore ways and means to implement
the provisions of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which
hitherto, had been in cold storage, due to the short sightedness
and lack of will on the part of the politicians.
UNP’s ‘No Show’ at APRC
The discussion between the leaders centred mainly on the
main opposition UNP’s re-entry into the APRC.
The UNP, after a few sittings at the commencement of the APRC,
withdrew from the APRC on the grounds that the government and
its constituent parties should first let the country
know their stand on the ethnic question and how they
Mercury rising in the UN glasshouse
Is Angela Kane bringing a cane to Sri Lanka?” was how a
website speculated on the eve of the visit by the UN Assistant
Secretary General for Political Affairs to Sri Lanka last week.
The senior UN official was in Sri Lanka on a six-day visit from
February 20 to 26. The German national joined the UN in 1977
during the time Kurt Waldheim of Austria was Secretary General.
Angela Kane was only the latest in a long line of high-ranking
UN officials to visit sunny Sri Lanka in recent times.
Usually, there has been a visible and predictable pattern in the
responses from Sri Lankan power corridors to these visits.
Barrage of criticism
While extending all possible assistance and courtesies to
facilitate these visits, a barrage of criticism is levelled at
these officials over their findings at the end of their trips.
If the visiting personalities are critical of the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), it is a case of hurrahs and
But if they are even mildly critical of the state or its
agencies over particular issues, then woe unto all those
dignitaries. From Parliament to sections of the paparazzi, these
men and women are condemned and attacked,...
Lies, deceit and scams: The Sajin Vaas
Every politician in the world needs and has assistants. Their
role is simply that: to assist their principal to accomplish
various goals – be it political or personal.
But the story of Sajin De Vaas Gunawardena is a phenomenally
rare one. For, he has taken the friendship and gratitude of one
man and abused that generosity to an extent that the political
hierarchy of Sri Lanka is at grave risk.
Sajin Vaas Gunawardena’s story has brought new meaning to the
words “embarrassment” and “fraud”.
Sajin Vaas has proved himself to be a habitual phony. His
capabilities had much in store for him. Yet, inherently, his
nature is that of a confidence trickster. He plans, from the
outset, what his goal would be – that, in itself, is no bad
thing. However, most successful people plan on their goal being
achieved via the opportunities presented to them, opportunities
they have created for themselves, in order to achieve the goals
Betrayal of Muslims’ right to
self-determination – SLMC Leader
The government’s sudden decision to implement the
13th Amendment has definitely irked the Muslim community which
opposed the Amendment when it was introduced way back in 1987,
as part of the Indo-Lanka Agreement. The Muslims even at that
time, said that the Amendment was a ‘betrayal’ of their right to
self-determination, and even today they continue to maintain the
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader and Parliamentarian Rauf
Hakeem describing the government’s efforts as a ‘farce,’ further
says it is an exercise to hoodwink the international community.
Speaking to The Nation, one time cabinet minister Hakeem said
the UPFA government was buying time by trying to implement a
constitutional provision that was introduced some 20 years ago,
to fulfill its disastrous war agenda.
Following are excerpts:
Q: What is the SLMC’s position with regard to the
government’s efforts to implement the 13th Amendment in full?
A: As far as we are concerned we have notified the
government that whatever they wish to do here, could only be an
interim measure pending a far more progressive and objective
scheme of devolution,...
“India introduced separatism to Sri
With the government’s decision to
implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in full, as a
solution to the ethnic conflict, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)
has suddenly resumed their raucous criticism of India – bringing
to the mind of many, of their anti-India campaign during the
late 1980s. Vociferous JVP Parliamentarian Anura Kumara
Dissanayake speaking to The Nation in an interview said it was
India that introduced the concept of separatism to Sri Lanka,
inciting various segments to resort to separatism. He said,
“When the armed forces succeeded with the Vadamarachchi Mission
in 1987, India invaded our territories and managed to bring
President J.R. Jayewardene to his knees. Then they introduced
separatism to the country in terms of the Indo-Lanka Accord.” He
also said India does not desire an end to the conflict, won
military by Sri Lanka alone, as it might cause the dominance
that India holds over us to weaken. And that, he said, is the
main reason why India is forcing the government to implement the
13th Amendment at the present juncture. Dissanayake also
highlighted the failure of the government to implement an
effective economic policy and the lethargy shown with regard to