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Sunday October 19th, 2008

President takes up Lankan
issue with Indian PM

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday made a special telephone call to Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to allay increasing Indian concerns that civilians... (See Inside)

Urgent cargo finally released after The Nation exposure
The urgently required upgrading of the computer system at the Colombo Port, which... (See Inside)

NFF raises battle cry against Indian interference
The National Freedom Front (NFF) has begun a campaign to discuss with other political... (See Inside)


              In search of Melamine            

A special inspection of food storage facilities in Colombo was carried out by the Public Health Inspectors and the Food
Inspectors yesterday to determine whether Melamine contaminated food items had been stocked
                              (Pic by Nissanka Wijerathne)


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PM Singh keeps TNA waiting
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is reluctant to meet with members of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) seeking to brief India... (See Inside)

Sharp rise in Rat Fever
Within a space of three weeks, there has been a sharp increase in rat fever cases with 1081 new cases countrywide, while overall... (See Inside)

Suicide bomber visited Gen Janaka during campaign?
Preliminary Police investigations conducted so far reveal that, the suicide bomber, who claimed 29 lives, including that of... (See Inside)



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Police clueless over gun attack on CI
The Police have not been able to apprehend any suspects or, find any clues regarding the gun attack on ex-OIC of Welikada Police Chief Inspector (CI) Sagara Liyanage at his residence in Veyangoda on Thursday evening.
A duo on a motorcycle had been following CI Liyanage, while returning home from Gampaha in a van. On reaching home, he parked his vehicle in the garden and had opened the door of his house, when one of the men had fired at him with a pistol. He had escaped injury by running into the house.
According to information, one of the gunmen had been wearing a helmet and the duo had taken off as the victim ran into... (See Inside)

60 more food items for testing in S’pore
“The Health Ministry will send another 60 food samples to labs in Singapore tomorrow, to determine Melamine contamination in them,” Health Ministry’s Food Control Assistant Director P. Madarasinghe said yesterday.
The total cost of the tests have been estimated at Rs 1.95 million (US$ 18,000), since the ISO 17025 certified labs there charge US$ 300 to test each sample. (See Inside)

Cop in the dock
The Supreme Court after recording a statement complaining against a police officer who threatened to kill a petitioner of Fundamental Rights Case ‘like a dog’, directed his lawyer to warn him and to prevent such action and also inform him to present himself in Court on 6th of November.
The Bench comprised Justice Dr. Shiranee Bandaranayake and Justices Raja Fernando, and K. Sripavan made this direction on a request of Counsel Ms. Sharmaine Gunaratna who appeared for the petitioner of the Fundamental Right Application.
Petitioner in this case Muthuwahennadi Roshan Koitex of No. 57, Thuduwegodawela, Hikkaduwa filed this case... (See Inside)

Health union complains about substandard drugs
Poor patients have been made to suffer severe side effects from two low quality drugs, Levothyroxin and Ferrous Sulfate imported by the State Pharmaceutical Corporation, the All Ceylon Health Service Union (ACHSU) charged yesterday.
Chairman of ACHSU, Gamini Kumarasinghe told The Nation that such things would not have occurred if the officials of the Ministry of Health had checked their quality before distributing it to hospitals. “They should work sensibly as it’s the people who have to face the end result due to the negligence of the officials. It is tragic that instead of quality... (See Inside)

Laugfs Gas to reduce prices from November 1
Laugfs Gas Chairman W.K.H. Wegapitiya told The Nation that gas prices would be reduced from the beginning of next month. However he was unable to specify the amount. Nonetheless the company had earlier stated that it would be able to reduce prices by Rs.120 and despite being reluctant to name an amount, Wegapitiya assured that Laugfs Gas would reduce prices as much as possible and, “might even be more” than announced earlier.
He also stressed that if world market prices... (See Inside)

Jobless foreign job agencies in the East
The Foreign Employment Bureau (FEB) has warned that, there is a marked increase in bogus foreign employment agencies in the Eastern Province.
Six bogus foreign employment agencies in the areas of Kalmunai, Kaththankudi and Batticaloa were raided last Wednesday by a special investigation unit of the FEB, created to raid these mushrooming phony agencies. “During the investigations, the officials recovered 25 forged passports and numerous illegal service contracts and forged visa documents,” said the Chairman- FEB, Kingsley...  (See Inside)



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Waters Edge sends Chandrika
to political retirement

It may have been one more judgment for the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, but it was also a giant leap in the annals of justice in this country: the judgment on the ‘Waters Edge’ case delivered recently has set a new benchmark for the rule of the law in the land with a commensurately significant political fallout from the verdict looming in the days ahead.
In fact, there was no need for surprise when the verdict eventually came because, coming events had already cast their considerable shadows: a few weeks ago, former Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera was found guilty of abuse of power and had a fine imposed on him. And, when Jayasundera continued to hold offices... (See Inside)

A crystalisation of endless political formations
During the last week two events, one in North of Sri Lanka and the other in South of India gathered momentum, the latter gaining its impetus from the progress of the former.
As Sri Lankan security forces edged ever nearer the LTTE stronghold of Kilinochchi, the rumblings in Tamil Nadu also enhanced its crescendo. The TN politicians are calling on the Centre to intervene, on the interpretations they seem to have on the humanitarian situation in the Wanni, and stop what they seemed to have termed the murder of innocent Tamil civilians and the shortage in food and other essential items in the area. (See Inside)


For better or worse?

A proposal to amalgamate the Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS) with the Sri Lanka Foreign Service (SLFS), put forward to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by the SLAS unions last week, has raised a hornet’s nest, causing career diplomats both retired and incumbent and even retired bureaucrats to come out strongly to oppose the moves.
Similar efforts were made during the tenures of Sirimavo Bandaranaike and Ranasinghe Premadasa, but both leaders dismissed the call after studying the issue further. The latest proposal comes amidst strong lobbying for a restructuring of the diplomatic... (See Inside)

Tamil Nadu’s political gimmicks

Commencing with an all party protest fast initiated by the Indian Communist party, the month of October had been a hectic one for the state of Tamil Nadu in India.
The protest fast was concerning the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils in the north.Besides, the Minister of Local Governance and Deputy Treasurer of the DMK, M.K. Stalin has also called for a human chain protest on Tuesday 21, in Chennai, against what he described as, ‘atrocities against the innocent Tamils in the north of Sri Lanka’.
Last week’s resignation of Raj Sabah member and daughter of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms. Kanimozhi , over the Tamil issue in Sri Lanka, has also been a significant...  (See Inside)


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MAHELA HAPPY over youngsters
Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene said the idea of giving more opportunities to youngsters had proved successful in the recently concluded Canada Cup 20-20 cricket tournament in Toronto. Jayawardene also said that the bowlers, fielders and batsmen did their part well to enable them to win the tournament.
“Newcomers Weeraratne, Kulatunga and Kandamby had good experience playing in the tournament. With more domestic tournaments as well as playing English minor county cricket they should gain more experience,” said Jayawardene.
“We have some players who are injured and out of the game for some time. When they come back we will have a good balanced team for the future,” he said.  (See Inside)

Point Blank
Winning when it matters

The Sri Lankan team under the captaincy of Mahela Jayawardene may not be consistent in winning bi-lateral one-day international series, but put them in a tournament of more than two teams and they will emerge victorious. Their latest triumph in Toronto where they beat Zimbabwe, Canada and Pakistan to emerge champions of the Twenty20 four-nation Canada Cup just underlies the fact that this team knows exactly when to raise the stakes and win where it matters.
The Canadian success is Sri Lanka’s second in three months where they have added silverware to their steadily increasing shelf following their Asia Cup victory in Pakistan. The tournament may not have been so high profile considering the opposition that Sri Lanka... (See Inside)


President Rajapaksa ‘ready to talk’
The following is a transcript of an interview between Al Jazeera’s 101 East presenter Teymoor Nabili and President Mahinda Rajapaksa:
Q: Mr President, the Tamil Tigers launched their first attack against your government and against the Sri Lankan people only weeks after you came to power. Why do you think it was, that, after so long of adhering to the peace plan, they suddenly decided to start attacking again?
A: They would have thought it was a weakness of mine, that I could be defeated. That was a good opportunity for them to establish a separate State. They would have believed that.
Q: Is it possible that, for Prabhakaran, war or continuing conflict is actually a preferred... (See Inside)

“Public officers are more corrupt than politicians” – Rajitha
UNP dissident MP and Minister of Construction and Engineering Services, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne refutes claims of an invitation to rejoin the UNP and charges that UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will never quit the leadership during a wide ranging interview with The Nation this week.
Following are excerpts:
Q: Have you got an official invitation form the UNP to come back?
No such invitation has been made to me or to anyone else. This is just part of Ranil Wickremesinghe’s propaganda. He thinks that he can return to power by creating some media hype. He visited Karu Jayasuriya in hospital and they had been having a long discussion, but this had nothing to do with politics. So after... (See Inside)

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