The Attorney General has indicted Wing Commander Nishantha
Gajanayake, who was in the midst of the controversy involving
abductions of wealthy businessmen and extortions during the
latter part of 2006.
Casino goons manhandle
Several security personnel attached to a
Colombo casino who manhandled the Kalutara Magistrate on Friday
evening near his official residence have been remanded by the
Magistrate Anura Seneviratne had been on his way...
Government, LTTE make the
LTTE Supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran and government’s top
defence official have been identified as the new predators of
press freedom by an international media watchdog based in Paris.
The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF),...
A young girl lights a lamp in memory of the 26 victims who lost
their lives in the deadly Piliyandala bus bomb blast, during a
commemoration held in Piliyandala at the site of the blast
(Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)
Fowzie takes on BOI, CB
over oil blocks
Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development Minister A.H.M.
Fowzie last week accused the Board of Investment...
Govt. to initiate fresh
peace moves soon
The government is likely to initiate
fresh peace moves soon after the Provincial Council elections in
the east, scheduled for May 10...
Ministers lock horns
Two senior government ministers have clashed over an
appointment made by one of them to meet Indian Foreign Minister
|2,520 observers to monitor
Twenty international observers along with 2,500 local observers
will be monitoring the upcoming Eastern Provincial Council
election, said People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL)
Chairman Kingsley Rodrigo. This move comes in the backdrop of
the increasing number of election violence incidents.
“We have invited 20 international observers. Six of them have
already been working in the Eastern Province for one and a half
months. Another 14 will be deployed the week prior to the
elections. Also 2,000 local stationary and 500 mobile local
observers will be used to monitor the election where 250,000
voters are registered,” he added.
To date, 36 cases of election violations have taken place. These
include the recent assassinations of two Tamil Makkal Viduthalai
Pulikal (TMVP) members.
Rice crisis continues – Traders
to appeal to Minister
The Old Moor’s Street Traders Association intends appealing to
Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Bandula Gunawardene to let
them increase prices of samba and nadu, which will help ease the
ongoing rice shortage.
Old Moor’s Street Traders Association President N. Palaniandy
told The Nation that they intend to ask Minister Gunawardene to
allow traders to increase prices of samba and nadu.
Meanwhile, Pettah traders warned of a rice crisis due to a
shortage of the commodity, which could even result in many
wholesale shops closing down.
The traders said that they had not received the usual amount of
rice from mill owners and as a result, rice businesses in Pettah
were facing a huge crisis.
“Since we have not received the usual quantity of rice,
most of the shops in the area are facing closure. When
Mother remanded for alleged
killing of infant
The mother, arrested on suspicion of killing her infant child at
the Lady Ridgeway Hospital, was remanded by the Aluthkade
The baby had been born at the Anuradhapura Hospital on April 6,
2008. The mother of the child was identified as Warnakulasuriya
Aarachchige Sujeewa Damayanthi, a resident of Nochchiagama. Due
to some deformed conditions of the infant, the baby had been
transferred to the Lady Ridgeway Hospital, on the day of birth,
for intensive medicalcare treatment.
“The child had been suffering from several deformed conditions;
no ears had been formed in the body and there were issues
related to the infant’s gender,” said O.I.C., Crime Division
Borella Police station I.P. Hewawitharana. After being
transferred, the mother had been with the baby for a few
days before deserting the baby and...
Coming soon – Colombo-Kandy
expressway worth Rs. 30 billion
The Sri Lankan Government is set to construct an expressway
between Colombo and Kandy.
This Rs. 30 billion project is set to be completed by 2014. The
users of this expressway, which will be built in partnership
with a Malaysian consultancy firm, will be charged a toll.
“We have signed an agreement with a Malaysian firm called MTD
Bihard to build this toll expressway. The government will not
need to spend any money on the project. The costs of the
Malaysian firm will be recovered from the tolls,” MBS Fernando,
Chairman of the Road Development Authority (RDA) said.
“The RDA expects to charge a toll of Rs. 2 to Rs. 2.50 per
kilometre from the users but the government will shoulder the
cost of construction with MTD Bihard after Ambepussa.
“Since most vehicles don’t go further than Ambepussa, we have
decided to bear a part of the costs after Ambepussa,” Fernando
Divaina Editor Merril needs help
Editor of Divaina Merril
Perera has been suffering from Lumbar Spine HNPs for more than
As the pain caused by the ailment became unbearable, he
underwent surgery in Colombo in November, 2007. The pain in
Perera’s calf muscles has eased to some extent. However, the
pain experienced in the thighs persists. This condition is
extremely painful and has made life miserable for him.
In spite of being in severe pain, he continues to work as there
is no other source of income to support his living.
Doctors in Sri Lanka recommended Lumbar Spine HNPs surgery
overseas. The estimated cost of the operation, using advanced
technology surgery treatment (7-10 days), at Mt. Elizabeth and
Gleneagles Medical centre, Singapore, will be in the range of US
$ 23,000-35,000. These figures have been submitted by Dr. Prem
Pillay, Consultant Neurosurgeon Mt. Elizabeth and Gleneagles...
PBOA warns of hike in bus fares
Private Bus Owners Association (PBOA) yesterday warned of a
prompt increase in bus fares after the conclusion of the
Provincial Council Election, scheduled for May 10.
Chairman PBOA Gamunu Wijerathne told The Nation that bus fares
would be increased in keeping with the ongoing price of fuel.
“The government was expected to increase the prices of the fuel
after the New Year but they didn’t because of the impending
election,” Wijerathne said.
He further pointed out that they couldn’t predict the increase
in rates of bus fare as it would depend on the fuel increase.
“We cannot say whether it will be increased by Rs five or six as
the amount will depend according to the price of the fuel,”
sticks with divide and rule policy
Muhamalai and Piliyandala grabbed the headlines last week despite the
elections in the east and fracas in the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)
as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) sent another forceful
message against the continued prosecution of the Eelam war.
Muhamalai was being called a military debacle where the Sri Lanka Army
reportedly walked into a Tiger trap, losing a disputed number of lives
in the process. The military hierarchy vehemently denies any such
‘defeat’ and, in fact, claims the Army advanced half a kilometer along
their forward defence lines.
Such paradoxical versions of the same event have been a common
phenomenon in the Eelam war as both the state media and the Tiger
propaganda machine go into top gear in the aftermath of a military
event. Nevertheless, even the military does not claim the Muhamalai
incident to be a resounding victory.
There have, of course, been suggestions that Muhamalai was timed for the
Eastern provincial council polls – again, a claim strenuously denied by
those in authority. And even if that was not part of the strategy, the
incident only served the purpose...
Stage set for final showdown
stage is set for the final showdown on May 10 in the Eastern
Province. The Provincial Council elections in the east, which
will be held for the first time since the creation of provincial
councils, will get underway next Saturday and a huge number of
voters close to one million will cast their votes in three
Eastern Districts – Digamadulla (Ampara), Trincomalee and
The two main political parties have set-up alliances with
political parties in the periphery to contest this election with
a number of other smaller parties and independent groups,
including the JVP and EPDP, contesting for the provincial
First eastern election
The provincial councils were created under the 1987 accord
between Sri Lanka and India and the first ever elections were
held soon after that for the amalgamated north and east. In the
circumstances, this is the first time an election for the east
is being held.
The ruling UPFA as well as the opposition UNP have launched
house to house campaigns in these three districts to grab power
in the province. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is not
contesting since it feels that the elections are not valid under
a de-merged east.
Tigers sustain three-pronged strategy
chimera in Greek mythology was a fire-breathing monster with a
lion’s head, goat’s body and a serpent’s tail. According to the
mythical tale, the hero Bellerophon killed it with the help of
the winged horse Pegasus.
Nowadays, the word chimera is used at times when referring to a
thing of hybrid character. Chimerical is the adjective derived
from the noun chimera.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) organisation is
ostensibly fighting for the goal of national liberation. The
LTTE wants to set up an independent state called Tamil Eelam,
comprising the Tamil dominated Northern and Tamil majority
Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka.
The Tigers are often chimerical in the methods used to pursue
their goal. Their mode of armed struggle has trilateral aspects.
The LTTE adopts positional warfare like a conventional army or
militia when it is trying to capture or defend territory. It
engages in guerrilla attacks when it targets the armed forces or
Police. And it indulges in terrorism when innocent civilians are
killed in bomb attacks or while assassinating...
The JVP that was and now perhaps may
If ever there was a political party in Sri Lanka that underwent
such calamitous transformation, from being a radical Marxist
entity to a hardcore democratic nationalist movement, it is the
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).
From its formation in 1966, until today it has walked a tight
rope, surviving two uprisings and total annihilation in the
hands of the two major political parties – first by the Sri
Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) led coalition in 1971 and then by the
United National Party (UNP) in 1987-89.
However, it is undeniable that the JVP has made its presence
felt – quite convincingly – in the political arena since its
ascent to mainstream politics in 1994. Yet, there has always
been one factor, which distinguished the JVP from other
political parties that were clamouring for the prize of
governmental authority: They never resorted to wash their dirty
linen before the public and always stood as a group, in the face
of dire criticism over their policies and stances.
|Daredevils trip Super Kings
Skipper Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir put on a century
partnership for the first wicket to power Delhi Daredevils to a
commanding eight-wicket win against hitherto unbeaten Chennai
Super Kings in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament on
After restricting Chennai Super Kings, who won the toss and
decided to bat first, for 169 for six in 20 overs, the
Daredevils knocked off the runs in 19 overs after Sehwag (71)
and Gautam Gambhir (50) provided them a solid start with a
115-run stand off just 68 balls.
For Super Kings, it was their first loss in five matches while
Daredevils chalked up their fourth win.
The two teams, along with Rajasthan Royals are tied on eight
points after five games apiece. (PTI Photo)
Sehwag and Gambhir set a hectic pace, smashing the Super Kings
attack to all parts of the ground. Manpreet Gony, in particular,
came for some heavy punishment, going for 29 runs in his two
overs.Morkel too suffered as the Delhi openers went hammer and tongs.
The South African all-rounder was spanked for 24 runs in three
overs, including 19 in his third.
The unkindest cut
sacking popular media manager Samantha Algama, Sri Lanka Cricket
interim committee chairman Arjuna Ranatunga brought upon himself
a load of needless criticism locally and internationally which
he could have avoided at a time like this when his popularity in
the high seat is on the wane.
No one is indispensable and Ranatunga had every right to
terminate the service of Algama who was not a permanent employee
of SLC, but worked in an honorary capacity. Where Ranatunga
earned the wrath of the media was that his decision to remove
Algama was ill-timed and the manner in which it was done. It
came just two days before the start of the Women’s Asia Cup
which Sri Lanka is hosting and with an important tour of Sri
Lanka by India around the corner.
Algama was dismissed for being too friendly with the media and
for not defending the ‘sins’ of the SLC over a shady tender
issue. Now what is the role of a media manager? He is expected
to keep the media informed of news connected to Sri Lanka
cricket and at the same time have a good rapport with them,
above all ensuring the integrity of Sri Lanka Cricket. In that
respect one cannot find fault with Algama.
“Govt. is engaged in a dangerous and
The forthcoming provincial poll is gaining momentum in most
parts of the east. The battle is between the UPFA and a combined
UNP and SLMC. Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) heavyweight and
Party Leader Rauf Hakeem appears comfortable with news reaching
him that the latest swing is towards his party.
Expressing confidence that victory is at his doorstep, he also
suspects foul play by the government at the eleventh hour. “All
indications are that the people are ready to throw this corrupt
government out. But the government will be left with no option
but to engage in rigging, intimidation and thuggery to win the
election,” Hakeem told The Nation in an interview in Trincomalee,
where he is currently based, until the election is over.
Following are excerpts:
Q: What is the progress of your campaign?
A: We have come to the final stages of the propaganda work.
What remains is now to look at the logistical arrangements to be
finalised for polling day. There is a massive swing, clearly
indicating a victory for us, and the government will be left
with no option but to engage in rigging, intimidation and thuggery.
“We are confident. We will win the East, as
well as the North”
Kuhaneson alias Pillaiyan, is the other leading candidate for
the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA), in Batticaloa.
Pillaiyan, a battle hardened soldier, does not seem to get
excited over his rivals’ rhetoric. He is willing to take them
on, with his power base in the East. He says his strength is the
people, and of course the UPFA government. “I say this today,
because of the support, people have already extended to me and
my party,” he told The Nation, in an interview from his
Batticaloa head quarters. Admitting that his party – Tamil
Makkal Vidudalai Puligal (TMVP), has no written manifesto, he
said several developmental projects were in the pipeline and
once elected, an accelerated programme would be implemented, to
give what the people of the East have never gained, for the past
20 years. “The people deserve a better living. We are able to
provide them that,” he said. He said that, his only ambition
was to fair well in this election, so that, his party could
contest the future northern provincial council elections and
also take control of that province, as well. “We are confident.
We will win this province as well as, the North,” he challenged.
Following are excerpts;
Q: How far have you gone with your campaign in the East and
are you ready for the May 10, elections?
A: We have so far, faired very well. Our campaign will come to
an end on May 5. We have...