SL to counter US
Sri Lanka is planning to launch a counterattack against the
recent United States Resolution 1338, which calls for an
international Human Rights (HR) monitoring mission to help
maintain law and order in the embattled island. This is apart
from several other demands, which include an end to the ongoing
military onslaught and the culture of impunity in the face...
5,000 security personnel deployed for
A massive security cordon of around 5,000 security personnel,
including the three armed forces and Police will be deployed for
the forthcoming SAARC Summit, scheduled commence on July 27 at
the BMICH in Colombo, Police Spokesman...
The Government last week announced a delay
in the signing of the much anticipated Comprehensive Economic
Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and Sri Lanka.
A terrified little boy clings
onto a bag of precious belongings as his family, along with
hundreds of other affected residents, fearlessly fight against
officers of the Urban Development Authority, Police and the
military when they attempted to tear down the houses at Slave
Island, on grounds of national security last Friday
(Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)
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Popular items face Duty Free clampdown
A range of popular electrical items including, TVs,
refrigerators, deep freezers, air conditioners, washing machines
and other large electrical appliances available at the Duty Free
at the country’s only international airport in Katunayake, will
no longer enjoy ‘duty free’ status...
Rains wreak havoc around the country
Torrential rainfall since late last week,
has affected at least 10,000 and killed two persons, the
Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said yesterday.
The two deaths were reported from Kegalle and Matale as a result
of heavy overnight...
East facing financial crisis
Eastern Province Governor Vice Admiral Mohan Wijewickrama in
a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa has requested for more
funds to develop the province.
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|Rathnapriya calls on Unions to be
stronger, better organised
The trade union movement of Sri Lanka should unite to launch a
successful general strike against the government and make it
adhere to its promises regarding the salary increments, and
reducing the bus and train fares. So said the Convenor of August
4 Trade Union Movement (A4TUM), Saman Rathnapriya.
Speaking at the meeting yesterday, he said that all the trade
union should be very well organised and efficient if they want
to make an impact on the government.
“We can’t say whether the July 10 strike was a success or not.
But we could have been stronger, if we had been properly
CEB Trade Unions give ultimatum to
Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) trade unions are threatening
strong union action if the Ministry of Power and Energy fails to
withdraw an initial decision of letting the Lanka Electricity
Company (LECO) manage the Moragolla hydropower project.
According to CEB sources, the Ministry had not yet withdrawn its
requests to grant LECO to manage the Moragolla hydropower
project, which violates the Electricity Act of 1969 that
specifically states that only the CEB could produce major
hydropower while mini hydropower projects, which only produce
lower than 10 megawatts, could be initiated by private
“The Ministry had not yet withdrawn the requests and if
they do continue to act hastily all the trade unions
would be forced to...
EU delegation arrives today
A Parliamentary delegation
of the European Union will arrive here today to assess the
situation in the eastern parts of the country, especially after
the recent Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) election.
The delegation includes a cross-section of political groups and
The delegation’s six-day visit would include meetings with key
members of the cabinet, political parties and the media.
The visit assumes importance as the issue of extension of GSP
plus concession to Sri Lanka’s textile sector is
Extinction of jellyfish likely
The illegal jellyfish exporting racket discovered several months
ago has once again raised its head in the suburbs of the Eastern
An environmental expert told The Nation that this trade is
mostly being conducted in the lagoons of Okanda and Komariya in
the Eastern Province and also in areas such as Godawana and
Kirinda. “As we warned when this was conducted last time, the
poachers have moved down to the southern coastal areas too,”
environmental expert, Jagath Gunawardena pointed out.
“About 2,000 kg of jellyfish are being brought from the
sea twice a day and this is once again causing severe
damage to the coastal areas of the Eastern Province,”...
Seminar on ‘Discussion of Laws
relating to Bail’
Excessive bail beyond the means of suspects or accused and the
unjustified denial of bail would worst affect the poor, said
President’s Counsel R.I. Obeysekera.
He was delivering the keynote address on behalf of the Bar
Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) at a seminar held at Hotel
Galadari. The seminar was organised by BASL in collaboration
with the Attorney General’s Department, Police and the Prisons
Department who were also represented at the seminar on
‘Discussion of Laws relating to Bail.’
More than 500 lawyers practicing in various courts all over the
country participated in this seminar and expressed their views.
President of BASL W. D. Dayaratna who presided over the seminar
with the speakers,...
Mass grave victims off for forensic
The human skeletons and bones found from a suspected mass grave
in Batticaloa will be sent to the Colombo University’s Forensic
Medicine department tomorrow for forensic tests to identify the
victims, Police Spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunesekera told The Nation
The Batticaloa Magistrate has directed the Batticaloa police to
send the remains to the Colombo University and to the Government
Analyst in order to have scientific evidence which would be
helpful to identify their gender, age and the time period they
According to SSP Gunesekera the Judicial Medical
Officers report said that it was confirmed that the
bones of around 16 found were human skeletons nearly...
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Black July 25 years later
On Wednesday, July 23, exactly twenty five years ago, thirteen
soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army were ambushed on the outskirts of Jaffna.
A day later, as the bodies of the dead servicemen were being prepared
for a discreet burial at the general cemetery in Colombo, violence
directed at the Tamil community erupted.
That violence was to spread countrywide and end in a pogrom of the Tamil
community and gave impetus to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
to wage war with the Sri Lankan state—a war which continues to this
date, and the loss of a conservatively estimated 60,000 lives.
Twenty five years is an opportune moment for introspection: it is a
period of time sufficient for an entire generation of Sinhalese and
Tamils to emerge; it is also adequate enough to examine whether Sri
Lanka as a nation has made headway in its attempts to address the
country’s most vexed question.
Both positives and negatives have emerged in the quarter of a century
since ‘Black July’. On the plus side, the country’s majority community
has learnt the lessons of July 1983 well. Apparently they now realise
that any indiscriminate retaliation against the Tamil community—distinct
from the LTTE—would not only be irrational but also...
SLIC Judgement reserved
Supreme Court last week resumed the judgment in the case
against the privatisation of the Sri Lanka Insurance
Corporation, and required parties to tender written submission
by August 1, 2008.
M.A. Sumanthiran, Attorney-at-Law, Counsel for Petitioner,
Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Advisor to H.E. the President, contended
that the Cabinet Appointed Tender Board (CATB) had been
constituted by the Secretary to the Treasury, in violation of a
cabinet decision, which had expressly reserved the right for the
cabinet to appoint the CATB, thereby rendering the entire SLIC
transaction ab-initio null and void. He further submitted that
the minutes of the TEC meeting held at 9.30 a.m. on March 25,
2003 at the PERC...
An unresolved bloody issue
Despite allegations made by the health unions for using expired
blood plasma at the National Hospital, Colombo, the Blood Bank
and the Ministry of Healthcare strongly deny such allegations
stating that it was a false propoganda created by minor health
workers who have been facing disciplinary action for certain
acts of indiscipline.
Washing their hands off
Contrary to denials by the higher authorities of the health
sector, the Chairman of the All Ceylon Health Service Union (ACHSU,)
Gamini Kumarasinghe firmly said that the higher authorities are
trying to paint a different picture to wash their hands off the
situation and find scapegoats.
He added that the authorities have removed the barcode on each
packet which carries all the details about the packet.
The darker side
Imagine the plight of underage children, whose job contracts are
terminated overnight, for no fault of their own.
Imagine the social stigma that they might have to bear as a
result of the ignorance of the society.
The children, who offer their skills without any clue about laws
that prevent them from engaging in employment when they are
still minor, are exposed to severe threats when this happens.
Besides, if they are the sole breadwinners, then the entire
family suffers, as a result of quick action taken on children by
the authorities concerned.
One obtrusive case in point was the exposure of Sri Lankan
underage children after they were employed by the Indian clothes
manufacturers to produce garments.
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|Susanthika leads Lankan challenge at
Sri Lankan Olympic bronze medallist Susanthika Jayasinghe will
lead the eight member team to the Beijing Olympics which is
scheduled to commence from August 8 in China.
National Olympic Committee (NOC) chairman Hemasiri Fernando said
the committee unanimously decided to give the leadership of the
contingent to Susanthika who is the only athlete with previous
She also led the Sri Lanka team to the last Olympics in Athens
2004 as well as the Sydney Olympics in 2000 which was historic
when she won a bronze medal in the women’s 200 metres. She was
also captain of the Sri Lankan team for the last Asian Games
which was held in Qatar in 2006.
With this new appointment Susanthika will get a chance to carry
the national flag at...
From the frying pan to the fire
Lanka Cricket (SLC) is heading for a bigger financial crisis
than they would imagine unless they sort out the television
contract with Taj Television (Ten Sports) amicably. The unlawful
termination of the TV contract with Ten Sports by SLC on the
orders of the Sports Minister who took this decision based on
the report on the 3-member probe committee is bound to have a
bigger financial impact on SLC’s dwindling finances if the
matter ends up in court. It could lead to implications where SLC
could find itself in another legal tangle having to cope up with
something much bigger than what they bargained for.
SLC has just come out of a big financial crisis where they had
to pay another TV company (Nimbus) as much as Rs. 550 million as
damages for unlawful termination of the contract and on top of
it a further Rs. 90 million as legal fees. Surely they don’t
want another similar case on their hands again which
would certainly impede the development...
I won’t return to Parliament, there is
much to be done in a Province - Mahipala Herath
Herath is the chief ministerial candidate for the Sabragamuwa
Province from the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA). A
veteran politician, Herath entered Parliament in 1994. In 1999,
he was appointed Deputy Minister, Housing and Urban Development.
In 2000, he became Minister, Industrial Development. He quit
Parliament in 2004, to contest the Provincial Council (PC)
election and subsequently, elected as the Sabragamuwa Chief
Minister (CM). For Herath, this is his second attempt for the
post of CM, Sabragamuwa Province. A confident Herath says he
will ‘thrash’ his opponents on August 23.
“If UNP loses, it is the people who will
entire country was witness to the UPFA government’s victory at
the May 10 Eastern Provincial Council election. The state
machinery was put to maximum use, which resulted in the UPFA’s
win. Government ministers went on record saying that they would
pass the exam without sitting for it. The stage is set for a
repeat performance even at the August 23 election in the North
Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces.
United National Party (UNP) firebrand Ravi Karunanayake has
already predicted that the government would use its entire
machinery to win the August 23...
Politicians promoting wrong
development approach- JHU
Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) entered mainstream politics riding on
the sympathy vote created by the death of late Gangodawila Soma
Thera and the growing tide of nationalism. Although they
generated a lot of media hype at the beginning, in the recent
past they have been strangely silent.
The Nation met Athuraliye Rathana Thera to learn more about this
unusual silence on the part of the JHU…
If they were able to carry out their plans, this
country would have lost all its natural resources. Despite all
their faults it is Rohana Wijeweera and Prabhakaran that
prevented them from carrying out their disastrous policies. They
prevented our politicians from destroying all our forests and
replacing them with..
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