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Sunday November 09th, 2008

Opposition gears for Budget fight
Opposition moves are underway to attempt to defeat the UPFA Budget for 2009, although the government currently possesses a clear majority to have it passed with...  SEE INSIDE

Wickremesinghe wants military response to Tigers
Terrorism has to be countered by a security response said Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament yesterday. He added that this was the opinion he had expressed regarding the LTTE problem when he met foreign... SEE INSIDE

Army Commander’s term heading for extension
All indications are Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka will be given a further extension of one year on reaching the age of 58 in December, in order to complete... SEE INSIDE


       For the love of the community      

Muslim protesters burning an effigy of Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka after Friday prayers in Maradana. They were protesting against what they termed demeaning statements made by the Environment Minister against their community
                             (Pic by Thushara Dasanayaka)


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MR, Ranil to India
President Mahinda Rajapaksa will leave for New Delhi tomorrow (10), to attend the Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Forum which will be held on...  SEE INSIDE

AG refuses to appear on behalf
of Police

The Attorney General (AG) has submitted to the Supreme Court that the Department would appear for First Respondent Labour Minister Dr. Mervyn Silva in two Fundamental Right cases filed... SEE INSIDE

Firing Line
They never give up
Interested parties, who want Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona out, earlier planted many a story about him being banished. They first said he would be dispatched to New York. Later they said he would...  SEE INSIDE



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‘Hora’ Police at Siyambalanduwa?
The Police Headquarters Friday assured immediate disciplinary action against some personnel of the Siyambalanduwa Police Station with regard to their alleged failure to act against five persons from Galamuna area who were caught with some invaluable ancient artefacts in August, with the Policemen themselves pocketing the same items.
ASP Neil Hettiarachchi, of the Crime Division told The Nation, that though there had been department lapses when it came to Police functions, they were not trying to hide anything or whitewash any wrongdoers. SEE INSIDE

CPC Unions want further reduction in fuel prices
Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) trade unions expressed discontent over the quantum of reduction of fuel prices in the 2009 Budget, presented by the government on Thursday.
Both Common Service Union and Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya, CPC (JSSCPC) noted that the government could have reduced prices of petrol by another Rs. 15 while diesel could have been reduced by a further Rs 5.
According to the Secretary of JSSCPCP, Ananda Palitha, CPC had been registering a profit of Rs 30 after the world...  SEE INSIDE

Muslim farmers in Pottuvil caught in the middle
At a time when the government is urging farmers to cultivate their neglected lands, the cultivators of Pottuvil are facing great difficulties due to security threats and lack of money for cultivation.
The farmers of Pottuvil have neglected a large acreage of paddy fields due to the LTTE not allowing them to cultivate their lands in areas controlled by it. Earlier, Tigers also had their camps in the nearby Kanchikudichchaaru jungles.
Despite the east being declared as being liberated, the farmers say the LTTE cadres are still seen in those areas close to paddy fields of Muslims. The LTTE had even advised farmers not to cultivate in those regions as they had planted mines... SEE INSIDE

Fingerprint timing causes havoc at Health Ministry
Technical faults affecting attendance recording fingerprint machines at the Ministry of Healthcare are causing havoc when it comes to calculating monthly salaries, overtime payments and other allowances of clerical and minor staff.
The All Ceylon Health Service Union (ACHSU) claimed that Secretary to the Ministry of Health, Dr. Athula Kahandaliyanage has issued a circular on October 24, stating that not a single worker should be paid if the in and off timings of the fingerprint machine do not tally with times recorded in their department registers. SEE INSIDE

The case of the missing child and retired senior cop
Special Police Investigation Unit of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) is conducting investigations to apprehend the suspects involved in kidnapping a 12-year-old boy who had gone missing, while he was under the custody of a retired high ranking Police officer residing in Colombo.
According to the NCPA sources they had received a complaint saying that a child was being illegally detained in a house in Colombo.  SEE INSIDE

Shrimp farming in Batti to be supervised
A zonal plan is being designed to regularise the shrimp/prawn farming industry in the Batticaloa District, Ravi Kumar, the Officer-in-Charge of the Regional Aquaculture Extension Office in Batticaloa said.
By regularising, the shrimp farming fishermen will be guided to adopt latest scientific practices in their farms and also get them licensed. SEE INSIDE



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Of coalition politics and passing Budgets
President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Budget for the year ahead, presented on Thursday while world interest was still focussed on the outcome of the presidential election in the United States, had no major surprises - just as much as the results of the American presidential poll didn’t.
The President - who in keeping with a tradition established by his predecessor Chandrika Kumaratunga also holds the Finance portfolio - had a difficult task on his hands. The global economy is in recession, the country is fighting a war and the masses were expecting as much relief as they could get. SEE INSIDE

Govt. scoffs at UNP’s budget gimmicks
The UPFA Government Budget for 2009, presented for the fourth consecutive time by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Finance Minister has now become a talking point amongst politicians, businessmen, unionists, economists and the public. While political parties affiliated to the government speak highly of the budget, the UNP the JVP, TNA and others have claimed that this budget has provided no concessions to the masses.
Last Thursday (6) Parliament convened with Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara in the chair. Once the Speaker had made his announcements... SEE INSIDE


A mixed bag Budget for 2009
With very little ceremony and many traffic blocks, the UPFA government’s fifth Budget was presented in Parliament on Thursday (6) laying out the government’s plans for income and expenditure in the year 2009
The Budget proposals unveiled by President Mahinda Rajapaksa who also holds the Finance Minister portfolio, brought mixed reactions; some expectations were fulfilled while some were not. The reactions varied, with some parties claiming that the budget had brought a lot of relief to the public, while others said it was an attempt to hoodwink the masses... SEE INSIDE

Emergence of a new era
It is a great honour and privilege to write about a great man instrumental in changing the destiny of fellow citizens at a time when a change was badly needed for the nation. During DA’s time, the nation was in need of drastic changes for the benefit of the common man who was overlooked and forgotten. The nature of backwardness and suppression by the colonial masters and their local agents in the Deep South during that era, was amply demonstrated in the book, “Village in the Jungle,” and the administrative notes of various Government Agents who were as powerful as provincial Kings during the foreign and foreign... SEE INSIDE


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An opportunity for youngsters
Zimbabwe may not afford the kind of opposition that Sri Lanka would like to have to improve their rankings in the ICC One-day Internationals, but nevertheless the tour which comprises five ODIs in addition to two practice matches, could be a blessing in disguise as it affords them the opportunity to give exposure to some of the younger players who have made it to the senior squad.
Zimbabwe is ranked even below Ireland in 11th place out of 12 countries, but Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene fully aware of the glorious uncertainties the game can throw up said: “Zimbabwe may have their internal problems where they lost a good majority of top class cricketers, but they have got some raw talent who have shown they are good enough to compete in one-day and Twenty20 cricket.
“Our focus... SEE INSIDE

Point Blank
Gilly’s sour grapes

So here we go again. To what extent will sportsmen lower their standards just to push the sales of their books? Former Australian wicket-keeper/batsman Adam Gilchrist’s accusation of calling spin king Muthiah Muralitharan a chucker in his autobiography ‘True Colours’ certainly reflects the true colours of the author himself.
The question that begs to be asked is hasn’t Gilchrist achieved enough in his own career as an international cricketer to include in his book than to drag Asian cricketers in the calibre of Muralitharan, Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh and Sourav Ganguly and accuse them of misdeeds to earn a fast buck, if that is what he hopes to achieve by arousing a bit of controversy. SEE INSIDE


“Depriving IDPs freedom of movement biggest HR violation”
Human Rights and Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe is after a successful one-to-one meeting with United Nation (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. He met the Secretary General in New York during the 63rd UN General Assembly late last month. In a rare meeting with the UN chief, the minister had highlighted the humanitarian assistance undertaken by the UPFA government, along with the UN agencies in Sri Lanka, in the conflict areas in the north. In an interview with The Nation, the minister lambasted the LTTE for blocking innocent civilians from going into the cleared areas and described it as the “worst human rights violation”. He said he was shocked that, none of the aid agencies working in the conflict areas had raised this issue, though they were asked to release a statement... SEE INSIDE

Golden gentleman socialist
At a time when all the supposedly ‘Red’ parties are bleeding away their communist essence, a stalwart of the old Left is celebrating his 50th year in politics.
Don Edwin Weerasinghe Gunasekara, fondly known as DEW by friends and family, is one of the oldest members of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka. Currently, the Minister of Constitutional Affairs & National Integration in the United People’s Freedom Alliance government, Gunasekara is hailed as one of the few remaining honest and gentlemanly leaders in active politics of the day. SEE INSIDE

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