Muslims to revolt against
The simmering crisis over the new Eastern Province Chief
Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, alias Pillaiyan, reached
new heights yesterday with several Muslim ministers threatening
to revolt against President Mahinda Rajapaksa for allegedly...
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader Rauff Hakeem is
likely to return to Parliament later next month, when sittings
resume after a month long prorogation.
Tilvin, Wimal pooh-pooh each other
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday declared that
Wimal Weerawansa’s new party, the National Freedom Party (NFP),
would have absolutely no impact on the JVP in any manner.
What next, Ranil?
Opposition Leader Ranil
Wickremesinghe was the first to arrive at the wedding of
Provincial Councillor Niroshan Padukka held last week at a
leading star class hotel in Colombo. Wickremesinghe, who has
often been bashed by the government for his losing streak,
appears to be in a contemplative mood just days after his party
suffered defeat at the Eastern Provincial Council elections
(Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)
Ranil alleges Pillaiyan
hand in Friday’s blast
Police apprehended 11 suspects for questioning following the
bomb blast at the Sangabodhi Viharaya, Fort, which claimed 11
lives on Friday.
Five male Police constables, three female Police...
FM gets realistic in New York
Amidst continuous rhetoric and timelines set by various
government members over the conclusion of the war, Foreign
Minister Rohitha Bogollagama sounded more realistic in New York
recently when he said that it was difficult to estimate a date
when the war would actually finish.
|UNP, SLMC off to courts over EP polls
The United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Muslim
Congress (SLMC) are in the process of collecting necessary data
and finalising a draft to be submitted to the Court of Appeal
within the next few days, seeking the cancellation of last
Saturday’s controversial election.
The parties will seek the annulment of the results of Batticaloa
and Ampara Districts, citing mass irregularities – including
rigging, ballot box stuffing, impersonation and failure by the
respective authorities to take action when incidents were
The respondents will include Elections Commissioner Dayananda
Dissanayake, the returning officers of Batticaloa and Ampara and
UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said that they were...
Postal coffers empty, no OT payment from
Due to the lack of funds, the Posts and Telecommunication
Ministry has decided not to make Over Time (OT) payments to its
staff beginning June. According to Post and Telecommunications
Union President Navaratna Bandara, Ministry Secretary W.M.
Piyasena has informed them that from June onwards OT payments
would not be made for Postal Department staff.
“The Secretary informed us that they only have funds to pay OT
for the months of May and June and afterwards they would not be
able to pay us OT since the Treasury has not allocated funds for
this purpose to the Ministry,” he said.
He further added that if the government did not provide them
with their allowance, they would take tough trade union action,
which might disrupt the work of the department.
AsiaSat falls victim to LTTE’s airwave
global satellite company to be affected by airwave piracy of the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is the Hong Kong based
AsiaSat, which has unilaterally terminated the contract it has
with NTT, the television channel of the LTTE, the Sri Lankan
Embassy in Paris said. AsiaSat’s termination of the contract was
effective from April 1, 2008.
Although AsiaSat terminated the contract NTT continues to
blatantly violating the international satellite transmission
regulations. “This is nothing but airwave piracy and the
international satellite regulatory bodies should take firm
action,’’ a leading EU treaty expert said in Paris.
Vesak gets security boost
A security boost has been implemented for the forthcoming Vesak
season, which commences tomorrow.
Police Spokesman Senior DIG N.K Illangakoon told The Nation that
special security arrangements have been made to ensure public
security in the areas covering 11 Vesak zones and eight Vesak
pandols, along with 52 dansals in Colombo.
Eight Vesak pandols are scheduled to be exhibited at Thotalanga,
Pettah, Dematagoda, Cinnamon Gardens, Sathutu Uyana, Bastians
Mawatha, Gangarama, Peliyagoda and Nawaloka while Vesak lanterns
will be displayed at Kos Gas Handiya, Thotalanga, Dematagoda,
Bastian Mawatha, Sathutu Uyana, Bauddha Sammelanaya and
Unidentified group hacks Mangala’s
An unidentified, unscrupulous group is alleged to have hacked
into a news website maintained by former frontline Minister, now
turned rebel, Mangala Samaraweera.
The website, www.lankadissent.com, updated on a daily basis and
often carrying anti-government stories, was inaccessible for
many hours on Friday, and sources close to the editorial staff
of the website claimed that the website had been hacked and
However, the site was back online after 5 p.m. on the same day.
Meanwhile, the Free Media Movement (FMM) in a release issued
yesterday urged authorities to immediately clarify the existence
and nature of the electronic media monitoring unit of the
ACHSU wants 300 midwives integrated to
government health sector
All Ceylon Health Service Union (ACHSU) has threatened to take
trade union action against the government’s failure to integrate
midwives who are employed in the estate sector into the
Government Health Service.
ACHSU Chairman Gamini Kumarasinghe told The Nation that the
midwives committee would decide what action should be taken
after a committee meeting that’s scheduled for May 22.
“The Ministry of Health claims that the main reason for not
integrating estate midwives to the government health sector is
due to insufficient resources,” Kumarasinghe said.
But he pointed out that the ministry had money to obtain
low quality drugs for a higher price. “But when it comes
to integrating these 300 midwives to the government...
elections a contentious contest
interpretations could be given to last week’s Eastern Provincial Council
While the conduct of the poll itself has been called into question and
the opposition United National Party (UNP)-Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC)
alliance has protested at the outcome, the bottom-line appears to be
that there are neither clear winners nor losers.
The ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA), has won a
contentious contest. In so doing, their credibility as a regime
committed to free and fair polls, has been eroded. Moreover, the
collective opposition will now know that they should imagine the
unimaginable and prepare for such eventualities in future elections.
In fact, the win may also be a disaster in disguise, for the ruling
party. At the time of writing, the dispute over the appointment of a
Chief Minister shows no signs of abating with Tamileelam...
And the award goes to… MR, who else?
The Government is faced with yet another crisis, after having
appointed Pillaiyan of the TMVP as the Chief Minister (CM), of
the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC)
The people of the east have chose their representatives on
Saturday (10), and, at the same time, decided as to who should
be assigned with the task of looking after their affairs, by
taking over the reins of the EPC. Whether it was a genuine
election or not, is another matter to be dealt with separately,
but, under the prevailing circumstances, the people have spoken
clearly and conferred a mandate on the UPFA to run the day to
day affairs of the EPC.
Free and fair polls
Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake, who has, expressed
his satisfaction over the successful completion of the election,
has, however, stopped short of commenting whether the EPC
election, held for the first time, was free and fair.
Most analysts feel that, there have been no free and
fair elections in this country since 1994.
Pillaiyan, Hisbullah, Keerthi and the
Rajapaksa regime registered a remarkable achievement on Friday,
May 16, when Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, alias Pillaiyan,
took oaths at President’s House before President Mahinda
Rajapaksa as Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC).
The Rajapaksa regime, deeply influenced by Sinhala hawkish
elements, has pursued an integrated politico-military strategy
towards the Eastern Province, which has an ethnically mixed
The essence of that strategy has been to ‘cleanse’ the province
of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and prop up the
eastern Tiger breakaway faction known as the Tamil Makkal
Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) or Tamil People’s Liberation Tigers.
Both the LTTE and TMVP are, in Tamil, ‘Viduthalai Puligal’ or
‘Liberation Tigers.’ The difference in nomenclature is slight.
The LTTE ‘Liberation Tigers’ give pride of place to ‘Tamil Eelam,’
while the TMVP ‘Liberation Tigers’ give prominence to the Tamil
JVP – A never-ending power struggle
to the rhetoric of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna - post eastern
elections - and some members of the United Peoples Freedom
Alliance (UPFA), there is but, one overwhelming factor that
emerges. And that is the JVP’s finesse, to lie.
Spurred by an un-quenching thirst for power and the undeniable
fact that, it can never independently assume the trappings of
complete power, the JVP has but only one end result, to its
deadly game of cat and mouse. And that is to win.
Gold diggers and murderers forsooth, the JVP is easily the most
corrupt, hypocritical party, that has walked the corridors of
Sri Lanka’s parliament. Split by envy and hatred even against
each other, the party is governed by humans, that can be
described in one word – evil.
Having listened to the recent ravings of Wimal Weeravansa,
spokesperson and former MP for the JVP, are easily the most
abusive, contradictory and selfish statements made by any
politician on present platforms.
|England’s Sidebottom gets batting
Ryan Sidebottom turned in
a miserly spell of four wickets for five runs in 10.1 overs
Friday as New Zealand were bowled out for 277 on the second day
of the first Test here at Lord’s.
Openers Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook then built on
Sidebottom’s good work and England, at stumps, were 68 without
Strauss was 24 not out and fellow left-hander Cook 43 not out
when a fifth stoppage in the day for bad light ended play
prematurely, much to the annoyance of a crowd where some
spectators had paid as much as 65 pounds (130 dollars) for a
Cook was particularly harsh on Tim Southee, striking the pace
bowler for three fours in an over in what was only the
teenager’s second Test.
Considering New Zealand had been 104 for five, in overcast,
seam-bowler friendly conditions after losing the toss, theirs
was a fine recovery.
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori did his best to keep England
at bay with 48 before he was last man out, bowled by Sidebottom.
intervention of the Sports Minister to include Sanath Jayasuriya
in the Sri Lanka squad for next month’s Asia Cup maybe viewed
with rose-tinted glasses.
Looking at it from the national selectors’ point of view they
are helpless at the way it was done. The selectors appointed by
the Sports Minister himself on recommendations made by Sri Lanka
Cricket had to toe the line come what may especially when their
term of office had been extended only for a period of one month
till the end of May. It was very unfortunate that they sat a day
before Jayasuriya rattled off a wonderful century in the
shortest form of the game and picked a squad leaving him out.
For upto that point the 38-year-old veteran had not done
anything outstanding to justify his recall to the one-day team,
failing to score a century for more than a year.
But having batted the way he did for Mumbai Indians in the
ongoing IPL tournament, Jayasuriya left no doubt in the minds of
everyone that he was back to his best form - the form
which everyone universally and the opposition has come
to accept him as one of the most feared...
Pillaiyan deserves the CM post -Basil
Chief Presidential Advisor and Parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksa
justified the appointment of Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan,
alias Pillaiyan, as the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province.
Countering allegations that Hisbullah was promised the CM post
first and that it was bestowed upon Pillaiyan at the 11th hour,
Rajapaksa said there was no truth in it. He said there was no
plan whatsoever to make any one particular member the chief
minister before witnessing the performance of both Hisbullah and
Pillaiyan at the May 10 poll.
UPFA mastermind Rajapaksa told The Nation that it was clearly
indicated to the contenders that they should perform well and
that the chief minister’s post would be given depending on
“Based on this guideline, I think Pillaiyan has scored well to
top the preference list. We cannot give the chief minister’s
post to a man who comes third in the list and ignore the man who
comes first in the list.
CM post to Pillaiyan: a betrayal of
entire Muslim community - Hisbullah
An archaic adage is that fate cannot be changed. It was proved
beyond doubt last week when destiny struck a hard blow on M. L.
A. M. Hizbullah. This was after he succeeded in obtained the
required mark at the May 10 Eastern Polls, he was deprived of
the plum post of Chief Minister (CM) in the Eastern Provincial
Council (EPC), contrary to his expectations.
On the other hand it has been Pillaiyan’s fate that he should
ascend to the hot seat of the CM one day, despite having
originally set out to fight in the jungle for freedom and
Hizbullah today is a dejected man. He feels he has been letdown
and misled by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had, only a few
weeks ago, portrayed him as a hero on the election platforms.
The promise given to Hizbullah was that he will be made the CM
provided he secured a greater number of seats. And Hizbullah, a
political strategist, did just that, securing more seats to be
eligible for the CM post. But the tide turned against him when
there was pressure on the President to appoint Pillaiyan as the