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Sunday August 10th, 2008

Declare assets in the Wanni
The Disaster Management Ministry has directed all NGOs and INGOs operating in the Wanni and other uncleared areas to submit details of their movable and immovable assets in the region.
This directive has been made in order to determine as to what action the government should take to prevent them from going  into LTTE hands. [See Insude]

Budget Shops: 9-day Wonders
The Budget Shop in Rajagiriya has been shut down to build a Rs 4 billion office complex to house Ministries.
Commerce and Consumer Affairs Ministry Secretary Dr. R.M.K Ratnayake told The Nation that, the two-acre Rajagiriya complex had been earmarked to be developed within the next two years as a luxury building to house... [See Insude]

Three drown while bathing
Three members of one family were drowned in the Kamdalama Tank yesterday.
Isuru Lakmal (20), Sumith Nilantha (19) and Malinda (16) had drowned while bathing in the tank. Their bodies were recovered around 1.30pm and brought to the hospital, the Police Headquarters said. [See Insude]


                Oh, what a disaster!              

President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is in China to witness the Beijing Olympics braved the rain to make a detour to the country’s quake devastated Sichuan Province yesterday. President Rajapaksa surveyed the damage caused and met with survivors at camps housing those displaced in the earthquake that killed nearly 70,000 people and left 4.8 million people homeless                 (Pic by Sudath Silva)



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SLAF destroys Tiger intelligence control network
The Air Force confirmed that they completely destroyed the LTTE’s main intelligence network control centre at Puthukkudiyirippu, Mullativu yesterday morning.
Air Force Spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara confirmed that the pilots... [See Insude]

CMC unable to pay Members’ allowances
Opposition Leader Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Vasudeva Nanayakkara claimed that the CMC Treasury does not have sufficient funds to increase Council member’s monthly travel and telephone allowances.
Nanayakkara told The Nation that the Treasury is unable to pay the Rs 2,000 allowance... [See Insude]

Wanni: The cost of conflict
The ongoing conflict in the Wanni area has resulted in mass displacement, causing fleeing people to congregate in areas inaccessible to the government or overpopulate small towns resulting in health risks, a recent report provided to the government by a humanitarian agency on the ground said. [See Insude]



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CPC resources add fuel to misuse of State property
Trade Unions attached to Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) alleged government using CPC employees and assets for North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council (PC) elections.
An informed source told The Nation that the government had granted duty leave for more than 30 employees of CPC Storage Terminal Ltd (CPCSTL) for the North Central and Sabaragamuwa PC polls. [See Insude]

Palihakkara: SL’s lightning rod at the UN
Former Foreign Secretary and the most senior Foreign Service official, H.M.G.S. Palihakkara resumed duties as Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York last Monday (4).
The career diplomat with three decades experience at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is now likely to face huge challenge from United Nation member countries on Sri Lanka’s human rights (HR) record and the conscription of child soldiers by the LTTE.
Ambassador Palihakkara told The Nation... [See Insude]

A/L paper marking to be disrupted?
The majority of principals and teachers have abstained from applying for A/L paper marking and there is a strong possibility that the sessions would be disrupted, the Principals’ and Teachers’ Trade Union Alliance (PTTUA) has warned.
“August 8 was the final day for applying for paper marking. Examination Commissioner Anura Edirisinghe kept on postponing the deadline for applying,” said PTTUA Convenor Joseph Stelyn. He added that had the authorities... [See Insude]

Resolution 1338: US bogey man cometh
Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry officials have already started to counter the recent US Congress Resolution on Sri Lanka calling for a political solution to the North-East conflict. They are likely to approach the US Congress Foreign Affairs Committee members to present government’s point of view regarding the recent resolution on Sri Lanka.
A Senior Foreign Ministry official told The Nation that the recent Resolution would not have a significant impact on Sri Lanka. [See Insude]

6 suspected LTTE operatives held in Chennai
At least six suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) operatives were arrested in Chennai yesterday, according to Police.
A number of fake number plates and other materials were seized from the suspects, Police said.
The detentions were the consequence of the 10-day-old arrest of LTTE operative Thambinna alias Daniel, Police sources said. [See Insude]

Glennie Passage displaced seek time for way out
Despite the notion that residents of Glennie Passage, Slave Island, have been told to leave their homes by August 19, lawyers for the residents have been in discussions with UDA Chairman Dr. Ram Jeyam to postpone the date back to October this year.
A meeting was held last week and The Nation spoke with one of the Junior Counsel who said, “All that the people want is time to find alternative housing. At the... [See Insude]



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Twists and turns of Dissanayake saga
The United National Party’s National Organiser, S.B. Dissanayake is not a man who can be kept away from the headlines for long. This week, he was back on the front pages as the United Nations Panel on International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) recommended that his civic rights be restored, an announcement that has caused a ripple in political circles.
Dissanayake is an ambitious man. He is also an outspoken man, at times to the point of brashness, which is why he has been deprived of his civic rights by the highest court in the land. That was for the cardinal offence of bringing the courts into disrepute... [See Insude]

SAARC The aftermath
After every major function, be it wedding, dinner party or regional summit in this case, there comes a time to step back from the chaos of weeks of preparation, sit back and recap. Frenzied preparations, road repairs, creating instant gardens and the demolition of all things unsightly took up the government’s time. Over the course of last week, the government was doing a different kind of damage control, explaining and apologising to neighbouring states and local politicos for various faux pas over the course of the summit... [See Insude]


Provincial election campaign: Battling for the Centre?
Today, the UNP, the SLFP and the JVP have zeroed-in all their resources to the Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provinces. Ministers, Members of Parliament and the Pradeshiya Sabha politicians across the country have all been entrusted with specific tasks in this provincial council election campaign.
These tasks are based on their individual capacities. Some of them strategise the campaign, some others speak at the rallies, while... [See Insude]

TRC keeps in touch
The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) recently announced a new law requiring mobile phone users to carry proof of their mobile phone ownership, which can be inspected at check-points. Various mobile phone connection companies have introduced different systems – Tigo providing customers with a certificate, Dialog and Mobitel creating a service that will communicate... [See Insude]


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Sanga ton evens exchanges
Kumar Sangakkara cracked a solid 107 not out to help Sri Lanka gain a slender advantage over injury-hit India in the crucial third and final Test here on Saturday.
The left-hander was involved in two valuable partnerships as the hosts reached 251-6 in their first innings at stumps on the second day in reply to India’s 249. Prasanna Jayawardene was unbeaten on one.
Sangakkara put on 95 for the third wicket with night-watchman Chaminda Vaas (47) and 60 for the fifth with Thilan Samaraweera (35) on an absorbing... [See Insude]

Point Blank
SLC should start mending fences

Cash strapped Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) strained relationship with the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) has cost them a fortune after being cold-shouldered without an invitation to play in their inaugural Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament in India.
This tournament will feature eight teams - the domestic Twenty20 champion teams from the respective full-member countries like Australia, England, South Africa, Pakistan whose respective Cricket Boards are expected to benefit as much as an estimated US$6.5 million each. This figure is meant to be some kind of payback to the Cricket Boards who gained nothing from releasing... [See Insude]


13th Amendment would rekindle the desire for Eelam: Amarasekara
Gunadasa Amarasekara is a controversial figure. Although literature is his forte, in recent years, he has been more involved in politics and is a leader of the Patriotic National Movement (PNM). A main proponent of Jathika Chintanaya and a strong critic of Indian intervention and Devolution of Power. The Nation met with him for his views on the CEPA and the rising tide of Indian influence on Sri Lanka
Q: The SAARC summit was held at a cost of Rs 2.8 billion. Although it was a colossal sum of money, it also brought much... [See Insude]


‘Oops, I did it again!’
One thing you can’t deny about Dr. Mervyn Silva is his amazing resilience. He maybe down but never out. At the dawn of 2008 everyone thought he would have changed his old ways after getting a taste of his own medicine by SLRC employees.
But he just keeps coming back. Just the other week the Minister of Labour assaulted two journalists from the Sirasa television network in full view of the Police, a larger number of VIPs and the general public. [See Insude]

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