moves by TNA to halt Eastern polls
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has urged Tamil Nadu
politicians to intervene on its behalf to stop the impending
Eastern Province Provincial Council elections scheduled...
Elections in 2010, declares
Laying to rest rumours that he would call
for a snap general election, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has
declared that he has no intention of holding a Parliamentary
election just yet.
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama is in negotiations with
Indian authorities for the release of some 8,500 feet of
negatives and the sound track of the controversial Prabhakaran
movie from Gemini Studio...
Violence wins the day
Violence erupted at the Royal-Thomian
50 Overs match yesterday at the P Saravanamuttu Stadium, with
supporters of both teams assaulting each other with chairs and
other objects, underscoring the lack of discipline and breakdown
of law and order in society at large
(Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)
of UNHRC seat for SL
Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe is confident that Sri
Lanka will obtain a seat at the United Nations Human Rights
Council (UNHRC) seat in May.
He expressed this opinion after meeting more than 50...
Professional approach to
fight bribery and corruption
The Organisation of
Professional Associations (OPA) has constituted a Committee to
formulate a completely new statute to be enacted by Parliament,
to deal with...
|Boggles to meet Miliband on
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama is scheduled to meet
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband tomorrow.
Minister Bogollagama is scheduled to fly to London today on a
two day visit, and is also scheduled to meet with several other
high ranking British officials there, including Home Secretary
Jacqui Smith and Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy.
Incidentally, this will be the first meeting between a
high-ranking Sri Lankan official and Miliband following the
scathing attack launched by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador and Permanent
Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Dayan
Jayatilleke, against the British Foreign Secretary in February,
which reportedly caused immense embarrassment to Sri Lanka.
Following the scathing attack by Jayatilleke, the Foreign
Ministry issued a stern warning to all its foreign missions
abroad ordering them to obtain prior permission from Foreign
Secretary Palitha Kohona...
Food shortage in Jaffna
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday claimed that
thousands of civilians in the Jaffna District were facing a
severe food shortage.
According to TNA Parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah, there is a
severe food shortage within the peninsula, due to the ongoing
hostilities between government forces and the LTTE.
“The prices of goods, including essential items, are
skyrocketing, and the people cannot afford them. It is with
great difficulties that they purchase their daily needs,” he
He further said that there weren’t any economic
activities in the peninsula, adding that instead, only
killings and abductions...
Close call for scribes on risky
A media delegation of foreign and local journalists narrowly
escaped disaster on a balloon ride last week during the Balloon
Festival. Reports claim that if the flight had advanced a
further 300 to 400 metres from the original landing site of
Yaudura, the Special Task Force would have shot at the balloon,
mistaking the flyers for terrorists.
The festival commenced on March 26. The balloon ride commenced
from Deberawewa and finally ended at the Yala National Park.
Although the sight of a flying balloon is not unusual in most
countries, Sri Lankan soldiers who were surprised by the sight
of a flying balloon were in two minds whether to fire on the
unidentified balloon, which they suspected carried LTTE cadres
to the army controlled area, taking into consideration the
recent terrorist activities in the area.
CEB Chairman proposes pruning of
Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) employees are up in arms against
an alleged proposal by CEB Chairman Udaya Kariyawasam to prune
A spokesman of the CEB Engineers’ Union told The Nation that the
new report by the CEB Chairman indicated that the engineers at
the union were a problem to the institution.
“The new report indicates that the problems faced by the CEB are
because of the engineers. The report is completely against the
engineers. The Chairman should identify the problems prevailing
at the CEB before he comes out with such a baseless report and
distributes it to the Ministry or the Board of Management,”
Pre-dawn success for military
The security forces have advanced about 700 metres in the north
of Illanthivan area, closer to Adampan in Mannar, while killing
10 LTTE cadres and capturing two LTTE bunkers, around 4 a.m.
Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said that the
soldiers confirmed having pushed forward and attacked the LTTE
“Troops are consolidating their positions. So far, no LTTE
bodies have been recovered. Security forces have not
sustained any injuries during the predawn attack,” Brig.
Vasu snubs UPFA
The Socialist Alliance (SA) has decided to contest the Eastern
Provincial Council elections after entering into an electoral
pact with the Tamil Democratic National Alliance (TDNA).
SA Vice Chairman Vasudeva Nanayakkara told The Nation that the
SA would contest alone in the Ampara District, and contest along
with the TDNA in Batticaloa and Trincomalee Districts.
“We have decided to contest with TDNA in the other two districts
as the majority of the population is Tamil and it will be easy
for us to contest with the TDNA. However the situation is not
the same in Ampara as the majority community is Sinhalese and
therefore we will be contesting under the SA symbol and
A no holds barred contest
Alarming journalistic prejudice
The theatre of conflict in Sri Lanka’s ethnic war may be in the
Palmyrah fields of the arid north: but for the next few weeks at least,
the spotlight will be on a different region-the much disputed eastern
province which will hold its own provincial elections in May.
The Provincial Council polls are a sequel to a Supreme Court ruling that
de-merged the region from the north, ending nearly two decades of
temporary amalgamation. More importantly though, the elections follow
the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance ( UPFA’s) recent sweep of the
local government polls in the Batticaloa district.
In announcing the eastern provincial election, President Mahinda
Rajapaksa is clearly challenging the collective opposition. They are now
being compelled to contest-or face the prospect of perishing into
political oblivion in the region. And that is cause for concern not only
for the United National Party (UNP) but also for the Sri Lanka Muslim
Congress (SLMC) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) as well.
It is an extremely difficult period for journalists or
scribes working in Sri Lanka, especially because of the ongoing
military campaign against the LTTE.
Journalists who collect information on various characters in the
theatre of war, most of the time are being harassed or
questioned as if they are part of a terrorist outfit.
There had been numerous occasions where journalists have been
subjected to harassment by the law enforcing agencies of the
government without verifying matters or looking at the nature of
the job the respective journalists are involved in.
One such case that went out of proportion was the case involving
Parameswari. Finally, Parameswari was released without any
charges framed against her. At present the government law
enforcing agencies are holding J.S. Tissainayagam in custody,
allegedly for his purported links with the LTTE. Here we are not
trying to argue a case for Tissainayagam but, what we are
telling the law enforcing authorities is to expedite...
ANURA’S GRAND FINALE
In the aftermath of the death of Anura Bandaranaike, speculation
was rife over the contents of his last will and testament. Many
tall tales were doing the rounds, with several false assumptions
being made and close relatives staking claims.
Some who couldn’t care less when he was alive started flocking
around, with their hands outstretched for a piece of the
Bandaranaike pie, including people who didn’t take the trouble
to pay their last respects to the son of the “People’s Prime
Minister,” who also walked the corridors of power in several
Dashing their hopes, however, is the much-anticipated last will
and testament, which is finally in the public domain. At the end
of the day, it is apparent that loyalty was a trait that was
much valued by Bandaranaike – and accordingly repaid, as
Good English for better prospects
The lack of adequate and appropriate communicative English
language skill in Sri Lanka is finally being felt by the powers
The historical circumstances of Sri Lanka, being governed by the
British in the first quarter of the century, afforded Sri
Lankans easy access to master the English language. In the past,
many Sri Lankans were skilled in the English language, that they
even won many international awards for creative and comparative
There were times when Sri Lankans boasted of their ability to
speak the Queen’s language with accurate pronunciation, when
even the British couldn’t do.
However, rash political decisions and nationalistic ideologies
of local leaders, fast contributed to the decline of the usage
of the English language.
And today, the English language is confined only to the elites
in the cities and towns in Sri Lanka.
|Sri Lanka humiliated at
Sri Lanka Sevens Rugby team was relegated to the Bowl
Championship quarterfinals at the Hong Kong Rugby Stadium
yesterday. The Lankans were humiliated by the little known
Canadians when they were thrashed by a record score of 53-0. On
the opening day the Sri Lankans put up a good show by containing
the defending champions Samoa to 35-7 and in their second game
went down to a tougher England outfit by 47-7. In the three
outings Lankans conceded 135 points and scored only two goals in
Sri Lanka vs Canada
Canada exposed a number of chinks in Sri Lanka’s armoury as
they rattled the Asian team by a huge 53-0 defeat. The Canadians
Simply dominated proceedings from the kick-off and gave no
chance for the Lankans who looked like mere passengers. At the
short breather they lead 24-0.
In the second half too, it was one way traffic as the Canadians
went on the try spree. In the end the Canadians scored 9 tries.
Lankans prove their mettle
For the detractors who criticised the captain
and his team for their lacklustre performance in the VB Series
in Australia, Sri Lanka’s historic maiden Test win on Caribbean
soil must come as a bitter pill to swallow. Sri Lanka’s 121-run
victory over West Indies in the first Test at Guyana was all the
more creditable because it was achieved sans three of their key
fast bowlers – Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando and Farveez
Maharoof, all through injuries. In such circumstances, Sri
Lanka’s most experienced fast bowler Chaminda Vaas rose to the
occasion magnificently to bowl his heart out and achieve that
elusive victory displaying his outstanding talent not only as a
new ball bowler with eight wickets in the match but also
contributing a valuable half-century to show his prowess as one
of the game’s leading all-rounders. It is a pity that Vaas is
blossoming out to be batsman of Test class rather late in his
long and distinguished career. The turn around was witnessed
during Sri Lanka’s tour to England in 2006 where he topped the
Test batting with an average of 92, well ahead of Sri Lanka’s
most established pair of batsmen Kumar Sangakkara (38.50) and
Mahela Jayawardene (38.33). Since then he has averaged over 40
with the bat in his last 10 Tests adding a maiden Test hundred
and a 90 along the way.
“All political parties have letdown this
Alleging that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has intentionally
violated the Constitution by failing to appoint the
Constitutional Council, the Organisation of Professional
Associations (OPA) intends to move a resolution for President
Mahinda Rajapaksa’s impeachment.
The resolution, which will call on all political parties to
impeach Rajapaksa, will be moved on April 8. The move comes in
the wake of several hard-hitting letters to the President over
the non-implementation of the Constitution of Sri Lanka.
In an interview with The Nation, OPA President Elmore Perera
outlined the mechanics behind the move, and asserted that the
only sanction against the President for intentionally violating
the Constitution was to bring a motion of impeachment.
However, he acknowledged that the attempt to impeach the
President would be a futile exercise. “What I want the country
to know, and what I want him to know, is that he is committing
an offence for which he is impeachable. There is a difference
between being impeachable and being impeached,” he pointed out.
Following are excerpts:
Q: The OPA is moving to impeach the President. What are the
mechanics behind this?
A: The only remedy, the only
sanction, against the President for intentionally violating the
Constitution, is bringing a motion of impeachment. Article 38(1)
says the office of President shall become vacant upon various
things, one of which is if he is removed from office as provided
in the next succeeding sub paragraph. That is what 38(1)(e)
The next succeeding paragraph, that is 38(2)(a), says any Member
of Parliament may, by a writing addressed to the Speaker, give
notice of a resolution alleging that the President is
permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office
by reason of mental or physical infirmity, or that the President
has been guilty of one intentional...