Sonia’s Congress in crisis
The communist allies of India’s Congress Party-led government
have given it a deadline to decide on whether or not it will
continue with the civilian nuclear deal with...
Pillaiyan ‘too busy’ to meet Karuna
Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan,
alias Pillaiyan, who is the Deputy Leader of the Tamil Makkal
Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP),...
Security boost for President’s chopper
The Air Force has decided to take additional security
precautions in an attempt to ward off any unwarranted
Facelift for Colombo
With the SAARC Summit round
the corner, the City of Colombo is being given a facelift, on
President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s initiative
(Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)
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NTUC to go ahead with July 10 strike
The National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) has no intention of
calling off the July 10 strike, according to NTCU Convenor,...
Where did the US$ 10 million come from?
Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, while hearing two fundamental
rights applications filed against the sale of Sri Lanka...
SAARC can do nothing to
resolve Kashmir — Lanka
SAARC “can do nothing” to get the Kashmir issue resolved as it
has no provision...
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|Govt. mum on arbitrary detentions in
The Sri Lankan Government continues to maintain silence on Human
Right Watch’s allegations about the arbitrary detention of more
than 400 civilians displaced by recent fighting at a
newly-established camp in Northern Province.
The New York based right organisation Human Rights Watch (HRW)
accused the Sri Lankan Government of illegally holding civilians
fleeing fighting in the north, last week.
A HRW spokesman disclosed to The Nation that it was yet to
receive a response from the government.
“Since March 2008, the Government of Sri Lanka has detained
civilians fleeing the areas controlled by the rebel Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at a so-called welfare centre in
Schools to come to a standstill on July
The Principals and Teachers’ Trade Union Alliance (PTTUA) has
decided to take part in the July 10 strike.
“We would provide our fullest support to make this strike a
success because it highlights issues that are common to every
sector of the society,” said PTTUA Convener Joseph Stelyn.
He pointed out that the cost of living had risen so much that it
had now exceeded the bearable level. He said that they hoped
that the government would provide a solution and meet their
demands so that the prevailing financial problems of the
employees of the government as well as the private sector would
UNP to fight for people’s rights on
Opposition and United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil
Wickremesinghe yesterday vowed to participate in the July 10
strike in order to win the supremacy and human rights of the
Speaking at the Eksath Kala Sandanaya yesterday, Wickremesinghe
said that it was high time to fight against the dictatorship of
Mahinda Rajapaksa as it was only ruining the country to the core
and tarnishing the image of the country.
“What has he done for the people or for this country so
far? He has increased the price of oil more and the cost
of living is increasing heavily and immensely hitting
the pocket of the common man. On top of that, the
government is trying to frighten...
Postal sector strike from Thursday
The Post and Telecommunication Officers Unions are set to launch
a major trade union action from Thursday till their demands are
met by the Government.
According to the President of the Union, Navaratna Bandara, the
Union would take part in the July 10 General Strike, while
theirs would be a continuous one commencing Thursday.
“We are planning to take trade union action from
Thursday and it would continue till the Government
responds to our grievances. We have been requesting the
Government to give a solution to our problems and
continuously, we have been taking trade union action,
but they have failed to listen to our demands and as a
result, we are planning to continue the strike till the
Wickremesinghe to lead from the front
In the face of growing criticism about his style of leadership
and neglecting of the grassroots level membership, Opposition
Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has decided to launch a strong
campaign for the forthcoming provincial council elections.
The UNP Leader was severely criticised for his not-so-impressive
campaigning style adopted during the eastern elections, and as a
result, the UNP leadership is trying to quell dissension by
extensive campaigning, party sources said.
“The Party Leader did not do his part in the eastern
elections and that led to a lot of dissension and
disillusionment in the party ranks. This time around he
has promised to campaign extensively and hopefully...
Eighteen seriously ill patients allowed
through closed gateway
Irrespective of the temporary closure of the Omanthai
entry/exit point, consequent to the ICRC pull-out from service
citing security concerns last week, troops at this cross-loading
point continue to facilitate the movement of seriously-ill
Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts-based Tamil patients bound
for Vavuniya or Anuradhapura hospitals, the Defence Ministry
At about 4:30 p.m. on Friday, two ICRC officials showed up at
the security forces-held southern entrance at the gateway and
received four patients, including three women, being taken to be
admitted to the Vavuniya Hospital for surgery and emergency
treatment after they were brought from un-cleared areas.
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|Major trade union
week to come will test the government’s resolve to
the utmost as the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP)
plans to stage a general strike on Thursday, the
first such major trade union action since the now
infamous July 1980 strike.
There have already been comparisons between the
impending trade union action and the July ’80
strike, not merely because of the month they are
being staged in, but also because of fears that
Thursday’s strikers would be dealt with in the same
The July 1980 strike did cripple the country for a
while but, former President J.R. Jayewardene, then
at the height of his power, crushed it ruthlessly
sacking all those who participated in the trade
union action, establishing a deterrent that was
President moves strategically as
Mahinda Rajapaksa is moving strategically to win the two
provincial council elections. He has the political acumen and
versatility to convince the electorate that the UPFA government
is doing the best for Sri Lanka as far as the economy and the
war are concerned.
According to the government, the war is on a winning note and
they are closing into the northern most strongholds of the LTTE.
Under these circumstances, the people will bear the hardships
thrust upon them due to the escalating oil prices and the
international trends, such as the global food shortage.
The President knows very well that the UNP has fielded a very
formidable candidate for the North Central Province, Major
General Janaka Perera, who has fought many decisive battles. He
has been a very versatile Army officer that the Sri Lanka Army
has produced during recent times.
Unprecedented trade union strike and
boycott on July 10th
Hundreds of government and private sector trade unions have been
threatening to go on strike for months and their main demand has
been a 5000 rupee salary hike. When all action taken by the
government to deter the trade unions failed, the government
offered a 1000 rupee raise in the wages of the employees of the
Several issues arose with this move to raise the wages of the
government sector employees. While this move is completely
ignored, the private sector, semi government sector and the
estate workers, the government sector workers complain that this
is just a fake move to divert their attention and prevent them
from joining their comrades and winning their rights.
Is the salary raise really Rs. 1000?
Principals and teachers despair of
Schools are places of discipline and teachers and principals are
the agents of instilling discipline among the student
population. Although political interference has always been a
part of our culture, in recent times, the interference of
politicians in school activities has made it very difficult to
maintain discipline in schools.
“Can a principal or a teacher punish a child of a politician?
See what happened at Royal College, at the end of the day the
son of a powerful politician got away scot-free,” said a
principal at a Colombo school. He added that when one incident
of such nature happens it undermines the authority of the
principal. “When children get to know that, they won’t respect
us anymore,” he added.
4500 schools without heads
The convener of the Principals and Teachers...
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|Lanka pins hopes on Mendis
Sri Lanka will look to
their new spinning sensation Ajantha Mendis to defend their Asia
Cup title against batting juggernauts India when the two teams
meet in the final here on Sunday.
The 23-year-old from Moratuwa has bowled impressively in a
tournament dominated by batsmen, and after going wicketless in
the first match took 5-22 against United Arab Emirates and 4-47
against Pakistan to lead his team into the final.
Sri Lanka rested him in the Super League match against India on
Thursday after they had already qualified for the final.
Captain Mahela Jayawardene played down the hype around his
unorthodox spinner, who has six different deliveries in his armoury.
“We are not going to put lot of pressure on the guy,” said Jayawardene of Mendis, who has been in the limelight since
making his debut against the West Indies earlier this year.
Why is Sri Lanka Cricket keeping mum?
another case of amateurish bungling Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC)
administrators have failed to counter the allegations made
against the national team by two past Pakistan greats following
the loss to India in a second round match of the ongoing Asia
Cup which resulted in the host country Pakistan being
unceremoniously booted out of the final. They questioned whether
Sri Lanka had underperformed purposely to keep Pakistan out.
For Pakistan to have a chance of qualifying for today’s Asia Cup
final, Sri Lanka who was already assured of a berth had to beat
India. But eventually the result Pakistan hoped for did not
materialise as India in a do-or-die situation came up with a
strong batting performance to overhaul Sri Lanka’s total of 309
and win by six wickets to earn the right to play in the final.
Premalal Dissanayake poised to take on
the Major General!
Berty Premalal Dissanayake is a well known name in the modern
politics of Sri Lanka. Dissanayake, a veteran politician and a
hardcore SLFPer, will be the main focus at the August 23,
provincial council elections. He entered Parliament from the
Anuradhapura district in 1989. He was re-elected to Parliament
in 1994 and became the Deputy Minister of Industries. In 1996,
he was appointed as Cabinet Minister for Social Services. In
1999, on a request made by the former head of state, he quit
Parliament and entered provincial politics and became the North
Western Province Chief Minister. In the subsequent election in
2004, he won comfortably to retain the same portfolio and this
giant politician will again contest the forthcoming August 23,
provincial council election as the UPFA’s chief ministerial
candidate. If he wins the election, he would create history for
being re-elected to the same post for three consecutive terms.
Throwing a challenge to the main opposition the United National
Party (UNP), Dissanayake says defeating the UNP will be the
‘simplest’ thing for him. “Retired generals are no big threat to
me. The days of those generals are gone. The time is ripe not
for major generals but for the ordinary ones,” he told The
Nation in an interview.
Following are excerpts:
Q: Why is the election conducted this year ahead of the
scheduled date, significant to you?
A: The forthcoming election becomes essential...
Laugfs downs, Shell ups,
At midnight, on June 30, Laugfs gas surprised the public by
reducing the price of a 12.5kg domestic LP gas cylinder by Rs
53, when, contrastingly, Shell increased the price by Rs 8, the
same night. The price of a Laugfs and Shell 12.5kg domestic LP
gas cylinder now stands at Rs. 1,668 and Rs. 1,737 respectively.
Laugfs has always been able to maintain a lower price than
Shell, because they are allowed to buy a quota of their gas
requirement from the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), but,
this sudden price reduction needed further explanation.
Chairman, Laugfs Holdings, W.K.H. Wegapitiya, said that, since
the reopening of the petroleum refinery, after maintenance,
Laugfs has been able to buy their quota of gas again and sell it
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