marriage for PC polls in east
The country’s main opposition United National Party (UNP) is
expected to make a final decision on Tuesday as to whether it
will contest the forthcoming Eastern...
In a move that could cripple the economy and bring the country
to a virtual standstill, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC)
Hakeem rushes to east as
govt. begins poaching
With the impending provincial council election in the east,
Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa has begun to woo
possible high-flying provincial council candidates from both the
Sri Lanka Muslim...
Scribes gang up on Dr.
Five leading media organisations in the country are planning to
file a case against controversial Non Cabinet Minister Dr.
A right Royal tune
A chirpy Opposition Leader
Ranil Wickremesinghe took on a different role yesterday at the
129th Battle of the Blues between Royal College and S. Thomas’
College, when he was seen singing “hippy hippy hai” in front of
hundreds of cricket fans, old boys and even diplomats, at the
(Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)
APRC to be sent on
The All Party
Representative Committee (APRC) is expected to undertake a study
tour to Europe later this month, amidst speculation that
President Mahinda Rajapaksa is looking at temporarily suspending
SL nears MiG-29 purchase
Sri Lanka is in advanced talks with Russia over the procurement
of five MiG-29 fighter aircraft, the head of the country’s
state-owned procurement agency has said, Jane’s Defence News
announced on Friday.
Angry Liyanage to take
Mowlana to courts
Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Commissioner Dr. Jayantha
Liyanage has decided to take legal action against Western...
In a move that could cripple the economy and bring the country
to a virtual standstill, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC)
workers will launch a general strike on Wednesday, stopping
distribution to depots all over the country.
CPC Common Service Union General Secretary D.J. Rajakaruna said
that the strike would bring the country to a standstill since
the discontinuation of fuel would affect transport and
“More than 6,000 CPC workers will go on strike on March 19. We
will only supply fuel for military purposes. We will stop
supplying to sheds and that would mean that transport will come
to a halt. It would also severely affect the production of
electricity. The whole country will come to a standstill if the
Minister does not address our issues swiftly,” Rajakuruna
He added that it was the irresponsible actions of the
Minister that had created the problem. The unions have
Planned murder by STF, says
When the public inquiry into the killing of five youth in
Trincomalee in 2006 commenced before the Special Presidential
Commission Investigating Serious Violations of Human Rights on
March 13 and 14, Dr. Kasipillai Manoharan gave evidence and
appealed to commission to deliver a reasonable judgment on the
death of his son, Manoharan Ragihar.
Giving evidence via video conference from abroad at the public
inquiry, Dr. Manoharan said that he had no confidence and trust
that the Government of Sri Lanka would do justice about the
“Now my son is no more, no one can give me my son. All I want is
to have a proper inquiry. Do justice to me,” he pleaded.
Dr. Manoharan, examined by President’s Counsel Ranjith
Abeysuriya, charged that the grave crime was committed by the
Special Task Force (STF) and that he and his...
Govt. is not rejecting political process: GL
Export Development and International Trade Minister Prof. G L
Peiris has assured top European officials that the abrogation of
the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) did not imply that the government
was rejecting a political process and adopting a military
During a meeting in Brussels with European External Relations
and European Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Benita
Ferrero-Waldner and European Commission Trade Commissioner Peter
Mandelson, Minister Peiris claimed that the CFA had broken down
a long time ago and that the government, in a spirit of candour,
was embarking on a realistic strategy.
“One of the main elements of this strategy is to make available
to the people of the east immediately, and the north very soon,
the benefits of devolution already available in other parts of
the country,” he said.
Engineers want CEB Chairman sent
The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) has
requested President Mahinda Rajapaksa to remove CEB Chairman
Udaya Kariyawasam immediately.
CEBEU President J. Meegoda told that the request was made via a
letter to the President after some 25 top engineers left the CEB
and the country as they were unable to work with the Chairman.
“None of the proposals submitted by the engineers had been
approved by the Chairman and they were also not allowed to make
any decisions to generate electricity. We have so many new
proposals but they are left idling on the Chairman’s table
without being implemented,” Meegoda said.
The engineers had left the country during the last six
months while a few more are also...
GMOA asks medical consultants to
The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has
requested Neurosurgeon Dr. Sunil Perera and other consultants to
reconsider their decision to leave the country.
GMOA Secretary Anuruddha Padeniya told The Nation that the GMAO
made this request considering the plight of the poor patients of
the country who cannot go abroad for treatment.
“The loss of consultants like Sunil Perera will be
irreplaceable. We have very few consultants in Sri Lanka who are
internationally recognised. If they leave, one would have to go
abroad for treatment. Many people in the country cannot
afford to do so. That’s why we have asked these
consultants to reconsider...
Kidnapping is a “normal
phenomenon” — FM
Foreign Affairs Minister, Rohitha
Bogollagama has said that kidnappings are normal in society and
no one should make an undue fuss about such incidents.
He made this statement in reply to a question posed by a
journalist at a news conference on Wednesday, when the
journalist asked for the Foreign Minister’s comments on the
kidnapping of two women, one Sinhala and one Tamil, in
Batticaloa on March 10.
Stating that investigations are underway, the Minister said it
was unlikely that there would be a link between the kidnapping
and the Batticaloa local council elections.
“Kidnapping is something very common and therefore there
is no need to fuss about it,” he...
polls — dress rehearsal for real drama
Eastern elections,UNP and the
A cartoonist in a national newspaper, reflecting on last week’s local
government polls in the Eastern Province, depicted the Thamileelam
Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) as a trained dog jumping through three
rings of fire held by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The dog was through the first ring of local government elections and
running towards the second ring, the Provincial Council polls while
Rajapaksa had another ring, the General Elections, concealed in his
Indeed, the cartoon captured in essence the government’s strategy in the
Eastern Province. Hardly had the ink dried on the election results in
the Batticaloa district, Provincial Council polls were announced for the
East and scheduled for May 10, less than two months hence.
Significantly, it will be the first instance Provincial polls will be
held in the region since it was de-merged from the North by a Supreme
people of Batticaloa braved the polls held for nine local bodies
in the area on the 10th of March which marked a departure from
gun culture to civilian rule.
It was a rather difficult time for the people. Nevertheless,
they braved the stormy period to embrace something better than,
the rule of the gun.
The main opposition United National Party called the elections,
a manipulation of the government; to hand it over to one terror
group after securing it from another. At present, the UNP is
embroiled in a controversy over the Eastern elections with the
government; they went before the Election Commissioner’s office
at Rajagiriya to express their views, regarding the manner, in
which the elections were held, in the East. Soon after the
protest campaign, a UNP delegation led by General Secretary
Tissa Attanayake met the Elections Commissioner, to register
Assassinating Tamil Parliamentarians:
The unceasing waves
Kiddinan Sivanesan was the latest in the long line of Tamil
Parliamentarians and ex-Parliamentarians to suffer death through
Sivanesan, a former Cooperative Society Store Manager and trade
unionist, was returning home to Mallavi after attending
Parliament when a claymore mine exploded. Both the Tamil
National Alliance (TNA) MP and his driver were killed.
It is widely believed that Sivanesan was killed by an
assassination squad of the armed forces known as the Long Range
Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP). Defenders of the state have
stoutly denied the charge.
The funeral, held in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)-controlled
region of the northern mainland known as Wanni, was attended by
15 TNA Parliamentarians. A grand funeral ceremony was held.
LTTE Chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, who sustained minor
injuries in a bombing incident in the Kilinochchi suburb of
Jeyanthinagar on November 28, 2007, made a rare appearance and
paid his respects.
Pillaiyan, kingmaker in east
The recently concluded local poll in the Batticaloa District has
received mixed reactions from various people, organisations and
For President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his government, it was a
great triumph when the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP)
swept through the majority of the local councils at the March 10
local government election.
Reasons for jubilation
There were many reasons for jubilation.
Firstly, the election, contrary to the expectations of many, was
conducted in a peaceful manner, except for a few hiccups.
Secondly, law and order was maintained by the Sri Lanka Police.
Thirdly, there were no major reports of rigging, except for a
few cases of impersonation in some areas.
Furthermore, the LTTE too did not launch any attacks aimed at
disrupting the election.
Visitors from Colombo, including a team of journalists that
visited Batticaloa on the invitation of the National Peace
Council (NPC), did not spot unruly behaviour by supporters of
political parties in any part of the district.
The atmosphere was completely conducive for an election with the
TMVP cadres behaving like democrats. It was incredible but that
was the ground situation.
However, while the even the TMVP’s conduct was considered
exemplary, the behaviour of some of government ministers was
deplorable and deserved condemnation.
|Schools rugby kicks off
The schools rugby season 2008 will kick off on April 21 with the
commencement of the league tournament. It will run till June 22
where nine teams will lock horns for this year’s segment ‘A’
championship. The main sponsor will be Singer Sri Lanka for this
Each segment will comprise nine teams and the tournament will
run for ten weeks. According to the secretary of the Sri Lanka
Schools Rugby Association, Indunil Rohitha, the schedule was
made without clashing with the rest of the traditional fixtures
that are being played amongst the colleges.
The Sevens tournament will get under way on the first weekend of
next month. Though the venues haven’t been fixed yet, Rohitha
said that the Royal Complex will be their first choice for the
tournament. The knockout tournament will be worked off from June
29 to July 12.
The secretary also said that they have made arrangements to hold
the presentation ceremony for last year’s tournamment on March
Following last season’s performance Wesley, Ananda and Thurstan
have been demoted to Segment two while Vidyartha...
Country before self
It was only last weekend, in this column we
called for the national cricket selectors to get down to brass
tacks and review what sort of composition Sri Lanka would need
for the 2011 World Cup which will be held in the subcontinent.
To quote we said: “Bold decisions need to be made if the
national selectors have the country’s cricket future at heart.
However reputed a cricketer maybe if the selectors feel that he
has become a spent force he must be replaced with youth so that
by the time the World Cup comes the replacements will have got
the much needed experience and the mental toughness to tackle
It seems the message had finally got through to the selection
committee that for the three ODIs against West Indies in the
Caribbean they have taken some tough decisions for which they
should be commended.
The omission of opener Sanath Jayasuriya was the major change
the selectors brought about despite the fact that they also
rested champion bowler Muthiah Muralitharan and gave his place
to an uncapped young spinner Ajantha Mendis. Although for some
it came as a bitter pill to swallow, the writing had
been on the wall for the master blaster who’s batting,
with age, had been on the wane since that great series
“Batti polls were held to bestow
political legitimacy on TMVP”
TNA Parliamentarian and Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO)
Leader N. Srikantha is of the opinion that the killing of TNA
MPs was a strong message sent to the party by the government. He
asserted that it was a strategy to suppress the party in its
fight for self - determination.
Speaking to The Nation, he affirmed that the TNA would continue
to function in the future even if members were killed. He
further said that though the TNA abstained from contesting the
local polls in Batticaloa on March 10, the party would however
seriously consider contesting the proposed provincial council
election and prove its strength.
Following are excerpts:
Q: As violence in the country continues to escalate, TNA MPs
are also being assassinated. What does this indicate?
A: Our perception that the TNA is under continuous attack by
the security apparatus of the government and by extension the
government itself has again been reinforced by the latest
killing of another Member of Parliament of the TNA.
“There is no move to take defectors
back” – Rukman
Internal affairs of the main opposition United National Party (UNP)
have come to the fore since of late, especially, with
allegations of moves to oust the Party’s General Secretary,
Tissa Attanayake. Party Chairman, Rukman Senanayake, the lone
representative of the Senanayake dynasty, within the hierarchy
of the UNP, refuted such allegations, claiming it as pure
imaginings. In an interview with The Nation, he spoke of the
role of the Chairman and the plans to revamp the party, while
adding that the party has to work towards attracting people with
diverse views, in order to expand the voter base of the party.
He also denied charges that, at least a couple of times, he made
moves to leave the party, along with the other defectors.
Following are excerpts of the interview:
Q: After the death of Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake in
1973, you were brought in to fill the void in the Senanayake
dynasty, by President J.R. Jayewardene (JR) getting you to
contest the famous Dedigama seat and, having won that election,
you entered Parliament. After your rebellion against JR, you
were sacked from the UNP, and had to form your own party. If not
for this incident, don’t you think you would be leading the UNP
from long time ago?