Government censures EU delegation
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama yesterday criticised the
European Parliament’s delegation for taking hasty decisions on
the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.
UNP leadership crisis
In a bizarre development
to the United National Party (UNP) leadership crisis, a
questionnaire has been circulated amongst several party
Parliamentarians seeking their thoughts on vital issues
Exam paper money
pilfered for posters!
Monies released for the printing of term test exam papers are
alleged to have been pilfered for the printing of posters for
the forthcoming North Central Province...
Blessings for the brave
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday
visited the Anuradhapura Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya to invoke
blessings for the injured soldiers at the Anuradhapura General
Hospital, whom he visited earlier in the day (Pic by Rukshan
(Pic by Rukshan Abeywansha)
available for advertising
Obama maintains silence on LTTE
Despite his pledge to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda terrorism
in Berlin last week, White House hopeful Senator Barack Obama
continues to remain mum on the LTTE, defined as the world’s most...
Opposition vows to fight
The main opposition – the United National Front (UNP) and the
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) – has vowed to fight...
charge ousted residents
A week has gone by since more than 100 houses were demolished
by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) and several families
which have been rendered...
available for advertising
|Power and Energy Ministry
overbooks CEB circuit bungalows
The Power and Energy Ministry had booked more than five circuit
bungalows belonging to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) until
According to Lanka Viduli Sevaka Sangamaya (LVSS) General
Secretary Ranjan Jayalal, the Ministry had booked several CEB
circuit bungalows in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa
The Ministry has booked the CEB circuit bungalows in
Anuradhapura, Minneriya, Udawalawe, Samanalawewa and Thambahinna.
“Usually, when a CEB circuit bungalow is booked, they have to
make the payment prior to using it. But, in this case, the
Ministry was granted approval without making any payments, while
CEB employees who paid for the bookings had been informed that
they could not use the bungalows till August 30,” he said.
Doctors up in arms against CEPA
CCC calls on govt. to address
The Government Medical Officers’ Association will launch an
island-wide protest if the Sri Lankan Government moves to sign
the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with
India relating to tele-medicines.
GMOA Spokesman Dr. Upul Gunasekara told The Nation that they
were against the tele-medicine system in the CEPA and that not a
single officer of the Health Ministry had seen the draft and its
“How can it benefit the health sector, since tele-medicine is
conducted through the internet? Therefore, who will be
responsible if something goes wrong? The patients and doctors
will be making contact through the internet,” Dr. Gunasekara
Dr. Gunasekara asserted that the government should have
consulted medical expertise if it was signing any
The relatively high government debt burden and under performance
of the public investment programme has resulted in increasing
inflation, which has hindered our economy, pointed out the
Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), in its report presented at its
169th Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Increases in the prices of oil and the rising costs of food are
factors that also contributed to rising inflation and the CCC
urged the government to address these factors on an urgent and
It further stated that the cost of money in today’s context
could be in the range of 18%-24% or even higher depending on
specific circumstances and that this situation would have a
harsh impact on overall investment and a host of business
‘Crown’ man next in line
Hot on the heels of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP)
making its mark in the All Party Representative Committee (APRC),
the ‘Crown’ symbol carrying National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader
Wimal Weerawansa, a one time strong critic of the committee, is
likely to be invited into the APRC shortly.
National Unity Alliance Deputy Leader and APRC representative
Abul Kalaam had proposed that Weerawansa be included in the
committee, which met mid this month after a long lapse. However,
it has again ceased sittings due to the non-availability of its
normal meeting venue at the BMICH, due to the SAARC Summit.
The APRC is scheduled to meet again next...
If you want to fly, come early –
Passengers travelling on international flights commencing today
have been advised to arrive at the Bandaranaike International
Airport (BIA) much earlier than the stipulated three hours
before the time of their respective flights.
An official attached to the BIA said that it was advisable for
passengers to arrive at the airport much earlier than the usual
three hours before the time of the flight during the SAARC
Summit, which will conclude on August 3.
“There will be more checkpoints on the way to the
airport than usual, so it’s advisable for passengers to
leave home much earlier than usual,” the official told
CEB unions breathe fire over undersea
Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) trade unions have demanded that
the government publicises the agreement signed with India on the
US$ 450 million mega project between the two countries to set up
an undersea power line.
Several leading CEB trade unions demanded that the government
publicises the bilateral power exchange pact, which would result
in the transfer of 1,000 MW of electricity between the two
CEB Common Services Alliance Convener Ananda Nimalaratna
available for advertising
|SAARC booster for elections
With the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation)
Conference looming, Sri Lankan politics is going though many twists and
turns against a backdrop of Provincial Council Elections in the North
Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces
The latest issue to dominate the headlines was the offer of an
unilateral ceasefire declared by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
for the duration of the Summit. The declaration came rather
unexpectedly, and with no strings attached. The Tigers were agreeable to
being on their best behaviour, or so they said, and made no demands on
From a tactical point of view, it is clear that the LTTE is aiming for a
propaganda victory. Militarily hounded and cornered by the security
forces, they needed to shore up their flagging reputation and the SAARC
conference has provided the opportunity.
Previously, the fears in Colombo’s corridors of
power were security, security and more security. The
city will come under its...
LTTE’s ceasefire call a trick- MR
The LTTE which suffered a series of serious debacles militarily
and psychologically, recently declared a unilateral ceasefire.
Meanwhile it was evident that the Norwegian peace brokers were
haunting the country once again. Several ministers who promote
the federal concept were among those jubilant over the LTTE’s
unilateral ceasefire declaration.
“I do not trust the statements of the LTTE. They gunned down
Kadirgamar during the previous ceasefire. Now they are up to
peace talks again. It is customary for the LTTE to declare a
ceasefire, when they are desperate. We are prepared for peace
talks provided they lay down their arms. Mahinda Rajapaksa
cannot be led astray like other leaders. We continue our
humanitarian operations until terrorism is wiped out” the
President said, when asked about the present position.
CEPA: Indian bias or Lankan
Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) that Sri
Lanka has been negotiating with India has caused quite a stir in
the past two weeks.
There have been claims of secrecy, of Indian bias, of a rushed
and non-transparent process, and of lack of stakeholder
But is this a hidden document that suddenly emerged, as if from
nowhere? And what exactly is inside? Will Sri Lankan business
die or thrive under the proposed arrangement?
To find out, The Nation spoke to Deshal de Mel, a researcher
from the respected Colombo-based think-tank, the Institute of
Policy Studies (IPS).
The IPS has been supporting Sri Lanka’s Department of Commerce
throughout the CEPA process and recently held a public seminar
to present and discuss progress to date...
Make a reality of SAARC
The 15th SAARC Summit is taking on the proportions of an MGM
production. Let us all hope that President Rajapaksa and his
advisors undertake a reality check and use this opportunity for
him to go down in history as the SAARC Chairman who transformed
the organisation from a pious talk shop that does not comply
with conventions and agreements, creating an organisation which
has meaning for the people of South Asia, as was conceived at
It was way back in 1980 that the idea of regional cooperation
between the countries of South Asia was conceived. Thereafter,
in 1981, consultations were held in Colombo by the foreign
secretaries of the seven countries. This meeting was followed by
the first meeting of foreign ministers, who met in Delhi in 1983
and adopted the Declaration on South Asian Regional Cooperation
available for advertising
|MURALI, MENDIS MESMERISE
following on, collapsed again in the face of Muralitharan, who
took 11 wickets overall, and Ajantha Mendis.
Debutant Mendis took 4-60, giving him eight wickets for the
match, as India were skittled for 138, to lose by an innings and
Gautam Gambhir’s knock of 43 proved the only Indian resistance
of any note.
Mahela Jayawardene’s side took an emphatic 1-0 lead in the
three-Test series as they dominated the fourth day.
Muralitharan ripped through the Indian batting, taking the early
wicket of Virender Sehwag for 13 and subsequently striking at
India lost their remaining nine wickets in little more than a
session, marking another disappointing performance with the bat.
VVS Laxman fell to Mendis for just 21, trapped plumb in front on
the back pad, and Sachin Tendulkar soon followed him back to the
pavilion, caught at backward short leg for 12.
Umpire Billy Doctrove initially ruled not out, having failed to
spot the ball flick Tendulkar’s bat as he attempted to
paddle-sweep Muralitharan, but third umpire Rudi Koertzen
overruled the decision on review.
Saluting our cricketers who perform against
farce that was made over the appointment of manager for the
national cricket team and the tug of war that followed between
Sri Lanka Cricket’s interim committee chairman Arjuna Ranatunga
and Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge is another sad saga of the
politics that affects the game of cricket in the country. This
has been the trend since interim committees first started to
surface nine years ago. It ended up with the Minister making the
statement that ‘it was a mistake to make Ranatunga the interim
committee chairman’ which was carried in certain sections of the
media and denied by the Minister.
In the context of it all Hashan Tillakaratne, the former Sri
Lanka captain, was made to look a scapegoat as the Minister
refused to ratify the appointment made by Tillakaratne’s former
captain Ranatunga. The issue was sorted out barely a day before
the start of the first Test between Sri Lanka and India at the
SSC when Sri Lanka Cricket appointed Charith Senanayake, another
former cricketer who made his Test debut under Ranatunga against
New Zealand in 1991.
BASIL RAJAPAKSA at his democratic best!
Democracy cannot be restored without a cost says United Peoples
Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Parliamentarian and Presidential Advisor
Basil Rajapaksa. Countering charges by the Opposition that
elections and the SAARC summit were a wasteful exercise,
Rajapaksa said restoration of democracy, development and
globalisation have all been done at a cost. “Nothing is free. We
can ignore elections and save money, but for what?” questioned
Rajapaksa in an interview with The Nation. He also said the
forthcoming elections were being used by the government as a
barometer to feel the pulse of the people. “It is essential to
feel the pulse of the people. The eastern province election
results gave us approval for liberation from the LTTE. And here
too we are trying to see how we can help the masses after
feeling their pulse,” he said.
Following are excerpts;
Q: The election campaign is hotting up with both the UPFA and
UNP talking of winning the..
“I will never cross over to the
The United National Party (UNP) has its own clandestine agenda
to win the August 23 Provincial Council elections. The man
behind this discrete agenda is none other than UNP’s firebrand
S. B. Dissanayake – the National Organiser popularly known as
‘SB’. The responsibility to steer the UNP to victory lies in the
hands of SB, who has already evolved a mechanism to ensure
victory by defeating the UPFA. He is optimistic and believes the
government will not be able to play its own “cheating game” this
Dissanayake, who is also struggling to clear his name in
national politics after losing his civic rights, is planning to
enter Parliament through the National List. He says his ambition
is to enter Parliament just one day, make a statement, clear his
name and then immediately resign.
“I am not power crazy. But I want to clear my name.