With a fresh coup attempt distressing United National Party (UNP)
Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, the seemingly nervous UNP Leader
was seeing attempting to lure party members and also
General strike on the
Leading trade unions are set to go on a general shutdown in the
coming weeks, possibly commencing early July, with the date
Somawansa pleads for GSP+
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe has
pleaded for the European Union’s Generalised System of
Armed with a camera, Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona is seen
clicking pictures at the Udawalawe National Park Elephant
Orphanage yesterday, shaded by an armed commando soon after
eight baby elephants were released to the wild
(Pic by Nissanka Wijerathne)
Cooray, Mowlana to be
hauled to court
Western Province Governor Alavi Mowlana and Chief Minister
Reginald Cooray are set to face a major legal battle later
Energy Minister lashes
out at JVP
Power and Energy Minister John Seneviratne yesterday lashed out
at the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)-led Lanka Viduli Sevaka
Sangamaya (LVSS), accusing...
|Doctors threaten to strike
over fingerprint issue
The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has warned
of island-wide trade union action if the Health Ministry
continues to compel GMOA doctors to use the fingerprint machine
to mark their attendance.
GMOA Committee Member Dr. Upul Gunasekara told The Nation that
although they met with the concerned official of the Ministry
and requested the non-implementation of the fingerprint machine,
the Ministry officials were yet to comply with the request.
“We are not going to use the fingerprint machine.
CPJ calls on government to
reverse its direction
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has urged
President Mahinda Rajapaksa to reverse the direction in which
his government has turned, and restore to journalists throughout
the country the right to freely report without fear or
In a letter sent on Friday, CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon
stated, “President Rajapaksa, we recognise that your government
is involved in an ongoing conflict with Tamil
secessionists. But the security of the nation will not
be enhanced by policies that curtail one of the most
basic rights guaranteed in Article 14 of Sri Lanka’s
Constitution — the right to freedom...
CBK’s security at it again!
Security personnel of former
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga were at it again on
Wednesday, reportedly barring several media personnel from
covering the inaugural congress of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)
– Mahajana Wing at the New Town Hall.
Kumaratunga’s security, which has been notorious for
giving a hard time to journalists on many occasions,
were seen at the gate turning a blind eye when some of
the journalists had stretched out the Media
Accreditation cards issued by the Government Information
Department and refusing...
President yet to decide on
dissolving remaining PCs
President Mahinda Rajapaksa is yet to make a final decision on
whether or not to dissolve the remaining provincial councils,
including the Western and Central Provincial Councils.
Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Janaka Bandara
Tennakoon told The Nation yesterday that the government had no
plans to dissolve the remaining provincial councils yet.
“It is up to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to decide on whether or
not to dissolve the remaining provincial councils. We
don’t know what he might decide on suddenly.
sympathiser held in Tamil Nadu; goods seized from boat
A suspected LTTE sympathiser was taken into custody and goods,
including batteries and medicines, were seized from a high speed
boat in the sea off Devipattinam in Rameswaram, police said on
The ‘Q’ branch of the Police dealing with militant activities
seized Indian Rs. 1 million worth of batteries, Army uniforms,
medicines and gloves from the boat around midnight, sources
Inspector Thiagarajan said that the occupants of the boat had
jumped into the sea upon seeing the Police but that they
managed to catch Vijayan, an LTTE sympathiser...
Teachers give authorities
The Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union (CTSU) has decided not to
resort to any action until June 30, giving nearly three weeks
for the authorities to come up with a solution to the salary
CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe told The Nation that
they had already sent a letter to Education Minister Susil
Premajayanth, notifying him about this decision.
“If they fail to produce a solution to this problem by June 30,
we will take action,” said Jayasinghe.
Never a dull moment!
late, there has hardly been a dull moment in Sri Lankan politics. And
just when one thought that the dust was about to settle after the
hullabaloo over the Eastern Provincial Council elections, the Provincial
Councils in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces were dissolved
This would mean elections in these two provinces, probably in
mid-August. That, however, would be subject to a decision in the courts
of law, as the premature dissolution of the two councils has been
challenged by the opposition.
But therein lies a tale. It is a reflection of the sense of insecurity
the collective opposition has been plagued with in recent times. It is
also a reflection of the government’s confidence that it could pull off
yet another win – and set the stage for other elections.
Decision makers in the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA)
and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) are obviously playing their cards
well. And they wish to strike while the political iron is hot.
UNP: Finally waking up to smell the
With the dissolution of the Sabaragamuwa and North Central
Provincial Councils (PC) the political realm heated up again
last week. The UNP and the JVP are incensed at the decision to
dissolve the Councils, with the Reds claiming that it was
criminal to spend so much money on another election, because of
a Government whim, especially, given the ongoing economic crisis
and soaring prices of essential items in the country.
So, when Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa called up
the JVP Leadership last week to request them to come on board
with the Government, to contest the Council polls, he was met
with a stinging response.
“As a party, we oppose this dissolution. Kindly refrain from
holding this election now,” the JVP strongman is reported to
have responded. However, Rajapaksa refused...
Last TULF Leader standing Sangaree at
Eighteen members were elected to Parliament from the Tamil
United Liberation Front (TULF) in 1977. This was an election of
historic importance, where the TULF contested on a separatist
platform, saying a victory at the polls was a mandate for Tamil
Three decades and more have passed since then. Thirteen of the
18 MPs elected in 1977 are not among the living now. Of the
remaining ex-MPs, three have retired from politics. They are K.P.
Ratnam, C. Rajadurai and P. Soosaithasan.
The two veteran TULF leaders who are in active politics at
present are Rajavarothayam Sambandan and Veerasingham
Both are at loggerheads with each other, though Anandasangaree
is the TULF President and Sambandan its Secretary General. A
legal dispute concerning the party has rendered it virtually
|Johnson’s Test best gives Aussies edge
Mitchell Johnson captured a Test career best four
wickets for 41 runs from 11.5 overs to help Australia take a
35-run, first innings lead over West Indies in the third and
final Test against West Indies on Friday.
Left-arm fast bowler Johnson bowled easily his best spell in the
series to allow Australia to dismiss West Indies for 216,
replying to the visitors’ first innings total of 251, on the
second day of the Test at Kensington Oval.
Australia’s fast bowling spearhead Brett Lee gave Johnson
support with three for 64 from 15 overs.
But it was Johnson that triggered a dramatic West Indies batting
collapse which saw the home team lose their last six wickets for
48 runs in the space of 86 balls.
Lack of foresight – bane of Lanka cricket
lack of foresight by Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) administrators
has left the country’s cricketers with no longer duration
matches to play in preparation for the forthcoming three-Test
series against India. One has only to look at Sri Lanka’s
international cricket engagements for the next three years
leading up to the World Cup in 2011 to see how farsighted our
administrators have been.
Take a player like Thilan Samaraweera whose is a specialist Test
cricketer. Since playing his last Test against the West Indies
in the first week of April he will not have played a single
first-class game going into the first Test against India
starting at the SSC grounds on July 24. Even for the rest of the
players they will also be left woefully short on
“There is no move to oust
The United National Party (UNP) is in a muddle. Many party
members are of the opinion that present UNP Leader and
Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, is the stumbling block
in the party’s forward march. Under Wickremesinghe’s leadership,
the party has not been able to win elections and some think he
should be ousted. However, the question of replacement is one
that then needs an answer since the party is seriously short of
potential leaders who could carry the policies of the party
forward. Wickremesinghe, therefore, is viewed by another section
as the only one who could possibly lead the party.
However, laying to rest allegations that the country’s only
single political party, the UNP, was sharply divided due to a
leadership crisis, UNP stalwart Lakshman Kiriella said there was
no truth in the statement. Kiriella, who is dubbed...
Primary task to build people’s
confidence in the UNP: SB
are many who believe that S.B. Dissanayake could be the saviour
of the UNP, if only he were allowed to play his part to his
optimum potential. Always conscious of his immense grassroots
appeal, Dissanayake envisions a serious facelift for the UNP
that involves being more in touch with the man on the street. In
an interview with The Nation this week, Dissanayake outlined
what he thinks are the reasons for the UNP’s loss at the Eastern
Provincial Council and made light of another impending struggle
within the party.
Following are excerpts:
Q: There have been many reports that, some kind of struggle
has begun again within the UNP, calling for a change in
leadership and policy. The last political affairs committee
meeting had been tense. What is this about?
A: I wouldn’t necessarily call it a struggle.