the up and up – again!
Despite assurances by Petroleum Minister A.H.M. Fowzie barely 48
hours ago, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) increased its fuel
prices exponentially with effect from midnight yesterday.
The prices of diesel and petrol were increased by Rs. 30 while
kerosene prices went up by Rs. 10. As per the latest price
revision, the current price of Lanka Auto Diesel...
Engineers breathe fire
over car bonanza
The crisis over the government’s decision to issue car permits
to only a limited number of professionals is set to explode this
week, with furious engineers geared up to issue a stern warning
to the authorities on Tuesday.
Some 3,000 engineers, representing some 14 leading institutions
in the country, will launch a non-cooperation action with their
respective chairmen and ministry officials, including the
minister in charge, beginning Wednesday.
JVP, Catholic Convention condemn savage
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday condemned the
assault on the senior journalist and The Nation Associate Editor
Keith Noyahr and called on the government to ensure and
safeguard media freedom.
‘No Japanese blow’ – Vijitha Herath
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) MP and International Affairs
Committee Secretary Vijitha Herath has denied claims that JVP
supporters and sympathisers in Japan have officially informed
them that they would no longer support the party.
He made this claim referring to reports that Saman Priyankara,
the Organiser of the JVP...
Losing UNHRC won’t directly impact GSP+,
Sri Lanka not being able to enter the United Nations Human
Rights Council (UNHRC) does not have a direct impact on the
newly extended special incentive arrangement for sustainable
development and good governance of the Generalised System of
Tariff Preferences (GSP+), as long as the government abides by
the human rights...
Govt. warned of protest campaign
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday warned of a
protest campaign against the government and the increasing cost
of living and inflation prevailing in the country.
JVP MP K.D. Lalkantha told The Nation that the party will soon
enter a protest against the...
|VAT fraud court case continues despite
absence of eight accused
The trial of the biggest, most complex and most controversial
Value Added Tax (VAT) fraud case, which deprived the public fund
of Rs. 3.5 billion in revenue, has been continuing for the last
five months, despite the absence of eight accused persons.
The trial commenced before Colombo High Court Judge Sunil
Rajapaksa on January 24. During the last five months,
prosecution led evidence of two main witnesses.
Retired Deputy Commissioner Piyadasa Guruge, who was the in
charge of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and VAT, gave
evidence before court on the procedure...
UNP seeks redress on Provincial Council
The United National Party (UNP) that was narrowly defeated at
the May 10 provincial council election has decided to appeal to
the Supreme Court to appoint an inquirer at magisterial level to
investigate election violence.
UNP senior Member of Parliament John Amaratunga told The Nation
yesterday that UNP lawyers were working on it and were preparing
papers to institute legal action against the government and the
Describing the recently concluded provincial poll as
‘fraudulent,’ the Parliamentarian said the UNP was determined to
take the government and the election commissioner to task.
Muslim youth abduction causes grave
Muslim youth in the east are up in
arms against the abduction of two youth from Eravur allegedly by
Following the gunning down of two TMVP cadres, the TMVP
unleashed violence against the Muslims in Kathankudi last week.
Subsequently, two Muslim youths from Eravur were abducted. It is
widely believed the youths may have been abducted by the TMVP.
The UNP has already held discussions with TMVP leader and
Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivenesathurai Chandrakanthan
alias Pillaiyan, regarding the abduction and the ensuing
violence in the east.
Sri Lankan detainees seek release
Sri Lankans detained in India, in
connection with former Indian Premier Rajiv Gandhi’s killing,
have appealed for their immediate release.
In the Rajiv Gandhi killing incident Nalini, Murugan, Santhan,
Perarivalan, Jeyakumar, Robert Payaz and Ravichandran were
sentenced to death in 1988.
However, following appeals by their family members, including
the wife of Rajiv Gandhi and Congress Leader Sonia Gandhi, the
death sentence was reduced to life imprisonment.
Since then, the suspects have been serving sentence for the past
17 years, in a prison in Vellore, in South India.
Of the seven suspects, three Sri Lankan suspects...
Jailed Indians plea to return home
Some 43 Indians languishing in Sri Lankan
jails have approached an Indian human rights organisation,
urging intervention to help them return to their country.
Most of the jailed are those who have been convicted for
offences related to drug trafficking in accordance with Sri
The India-based organisation Manitham Human Rights Organisation
said that some of the Indians have been in Sri Lankan prisons
for as long as 16 years.
Most of the jailed are from Tamil Nadu, who went...
End in sight for Red Cross tsunami
By the end of 2008, Red
Cross and Red Crescent partners aim to have built or contributed
funding towards the construction of approximately 30,000 houses
in the four years since the tsunami struck Sri Lanka.
With the housing programme in Sri Lanka entering its final
phase, the construction of over 18,500 houses has been completed
with Red Cross support and a further 10,500 homes are at various
stages of construction.
“The Red Cross built houses that gave back the dignity
of many people who lost their loved...
to review our human rights record
The art of coarse leadership
The inevitable happened last Wednesday: Sri Lanka lost its seat at
the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in what was interpreted
by many as a slap in the face for the Mahinda Rajapaksa government.
There was much hype leading to the event. Until the eleventh hour,
Colombo was putting up a brave front and maintaining it was confident of
retaining its seat in the Council despite a series of reports which
provided adverse publicity to the country’s recent human rights record.
In the aftermath of the defeat however, a different tune emerged. There
government claimed that there was a concerted campaign within the
country and outside it, orchestrated by non-governmental organisations
and other interested parties to deprive...
The time has come for the main opposition UNP to go into a
period of introspection, after their defeat at the May 10
Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) elections.
It is essential for a large, people based political party such
as the UNP to overcome obstacles, tighten loose ends and set the
party in the right direction, if it endeavors to be in the
service of the masses and go forward as a responsible political
entity ready to take over the reins at any given time.
The allegations levelled by the main opposition that the
elections were rigged and failing to take appropriate action is a futile
exercise. If one looks at the election history of this country
carefully, there has never been a free and a fair election since 1970,
A well-deserved slap
The international community should be applauded for having given
Sri Lanka the resounding slap it deserves for its continuing
disregard of human rights.
The abduction and assault of a senior and respected journalist
in the country, Defence Columnist and Associate Editor of The
Nation, Keith Noyahr, appears to have been the Sri Lankan
response to being voted out of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Keith’s shocking abduction and assault took place a mere 24
hours after Sri Lanka was beaten to the UNHRC seat by Pakistan.
The whole disgusting and ugly incident once again smacks of
Keith has in recent weeks, in his defence column, been critical
of the Sri Lanka Army...
Brigadier Balraj led from the front
Balasegaran, alias ‘Brigadier Balraj,’ the Deputy Military Chief
of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) died of a heart
attack at Puthukudiyiruppu in the Mullaitivu District on May 20.
In a condolence message issued by him, LTTE Supremo Velupillai
Prabhakaran said, “The man who was at the centre of many of our
Himalayan victories, the heroic military leader, who trained,
guided and fought with our fighting formations and conventional
brigades, is with us no more.”
Prabhakaran went on to say of Balraj, “His ability to move the
fighting units, his focused actions and his martial
characteristics struck fear in the hearts of the enemy. These
same characteristics strengthened the conviction and morale of
Clark strikes thrice to wobble Windies
Stuart Clark cut down West
Indies’ top-order batting with his steady, accurate, if not
menacing fast-medium bowling to tighten Australia’s grip on the
opening Test on Friday.
Clark has so far collected three wickets for 18 runs from eight
overs, as West Indies, replying to Australia’s first innings
total of 431, reached 115 for three when stumps were drawn on
the second day at Sabina Park.
Clark removed Devon Smith, Ramnaresh Sarwan, and Brenton
Parchment in a tidy opening spell which left the home team
wobbling on 68 for three.
But Shivnarine Chanderpaul, not out on 25, joined Runako Morton,
not out on 23, and they carried West Indies through to the close
with little or no incident.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting had turned to Clark,
after the new-ball pair of Brett Lee and Mitchell
Johnson failed to make an early breakthrough, and West
Indies started confidently to reach 47 without loss.
Sports Minister nips it in the bud
saga of the Ranatunga cricket administration that failed to
materialize was an attempt that was made to replace the present
four-member selection committee headed by Ashantha de Mel.
When the term of office of the current selectors drew to a close
the Ranatunga administration forwarded names of individuals of
their own favour to the Sports Minister. But the Minister
sensing something fishy extended the selection committee’s term
by one month using the powers vested in him by the Sports Law.
A further attempt was made by the Ranatunga administration to
get rid of the present selectors when they advertised for new
selectors. This move did not meet with the approval of the
Sports Minister because it had been done without obtaining the
consent of Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) executive committee.
In a smart move the Minister who celebrates 25 years as
a political stalwart today, further extended the period
of the selection committee by another three months which
would be sufficient for Sri Lanka to go through the
upcoming home series against India without...
“I deal with Pillaiyan now, not govt.” –
Having see-sawed endlessly and finally gone
meekly back to the government fold following the crisis in the
eastern Provincial Council, M.L.A.M. Hisbullah came out looking
the quintessential sucker. Having bought the government ruse to
appoint a Muslim Chief Minister if the
Muslim candidates get a
majority of seats, Hisbullah was left high and dry after TMVP
leader Pillaiyan was promptly handed the position.
The Nation caught up with Hisbullah soon after he had swallowed
his pride and let go of his wild plans for rebellion and taken
oaths as a government provincial health minister last week.
While admitting to being disappointed by the government’s
actions, Hisbullah said he felt he would be able to work with
Pillaiyan, even as Kattankudy erupted in violent tit-for-tat
battle of arms allegedly between Hisbullah loyalists and the
are excerpts of the interview:
Q:You were threatening rebellion in the EPC after Pillaiyan
was given the CM post. What did the President tell you at Temple
Trees on Sunday to make you change your mind?
A: Yes, what happened was that a promise was given about the
Chief Minister-ship and then, they failed to fulfil the
promises. The Muslim community, myself and my party, were all
very upset about this. Later our party decided that we should
not participate with the government, and we then informed the
governor that all three members would function as a separate