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Sunday November 16th, 2008

Troops, in an unprecedented lightening strike, overran LTTE defenses in the wee hours of yesterday morning, to capture Pooneryn after a lapse of 15 years. The unexpected announcement came during the second...  SEE INSIDE

Karuna, Pillaiyan divided over assassination
Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivenesathurai Chandrakanthan alias ‘Pillaiyan’ and TMVP leader and parliamentarian... SEE INSIDE

A ministry divided against itself
The undeclared war between Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and Ministry Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona has now got out of hand to such an extent, the smooth... SEE INSIDE


         Doing justice to the occasion      

Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva was the Chief Guest at the Royal Ceramics’ masquerade dinner dance ‘Rocell Mascheranda 2008” held at the Grand Ballroom of Colombo Hilton on Friday night
                        (Pic by Ravindra Dharmatillake)



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Pillaiyan to present maiden budget
Former guerrilla fighter turned politician and Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesaturai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan will present his maiden budget on Tuesday. SEE INSIDE

Budget passed by 42 votes
The second reading of the 2009 Budget was passed yesterday in Parliament by 42 votes. While the UPFA, the UNP Dissidents and the National Freedom Front...   SEE INSIDE

CWC backs UPF demand
The Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) yesterday said that they backed the proposal for an Executive Authority for Tamils of Indian Origin made by Up Country... SEE INSIDE



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Pundits failed to see
While all are clamouring for the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, badly caught in a hedging contract signed when oil prices were literally going through the roof, to reduce its prices further, they have conveniently forgotten to make the same demand from the Lanka Indian Oil Company which runs some 100 odd fuel filling stations here. The LIOC, which buys its fuel from the international market, is not saddled by any such burdens. But we warn, if it does reduce prices in line with world prices, there will be stampedes... SEE INSIDE

Fowzie promises cheaper fuel next month
Prices of Petroleum products will be reduced further by next month, Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development A. H. M. Fowzie told parliament yesterday. Sri Lanka will be benefited by the current decrease of world oil prices only next month.
“The current price of a barrel of oil is around 50 dollars and that shipment will arrive in Sri Lanka only next month. The government will reduce the price of petroleum products when that happens,” he said. “The government understands that the people... SEE INSIDE

Mervin and three others to be indicted
The Attorney General has decided to indict Labour Minister Mervin Silva and three others before Colombo High Court, for allegedly assaulting the Sirasa TV crew and seizing their video camera and equipment during the opening of the flyover at Kelaniya, The Nation reliably learns.
Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Prasanna Ranaweera, Hettiarachige Dulan Asin and Nihal Chandrawansa Alias Munchi Nihal are the other three suspects to be indicted. SEE INSIDE

Tsunami of fish in the south
Fishermen in the south are having a bumper catch this season, despite the rough seas. Large shoals of fish caught in their nets make the landing beaches busy and noisy places. Fishermen who pull the nets ashore and others who remove the fish from the nets, showed no weariness despite the tiresome task. They were heaping up fish removed from their huge nets or sorting them according to the sizes, while...  SEE INSIDE

Blood Bank probe reports submitted to AGD, PSC, for action
The Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition has submitted the Ministry’s investigation report to the Auditor General’s Department (AGD) and to the Public Service Commissions to take appropriate actions against those involved in the usage of expired blood plasma packets.
Secretary Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition Dr. Athula Kahadaliyanage told The Nation that the suspects, if proved guilty, will be punished after the formal inquiry is completed by the Public Service Commission.  SEE INSIDE

No general election soon
A senior Cabinet Minister told the The Nation yesterday that the government had no intention of holding parliamentary elections in the immediate future.
But, the government has taken a decision to hold provincial Council Election in several provinces in the very near future, he said.
He was responding to a question put to him by the media which was based on reports that a general election would be held soon after the Budget.



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Waters’ Edge inquiry; an opportunity for Chandrika to clear her name
The judicial process now known as the ‘Waters’ Edge case,’ was widely acknowledged as a landmark in the annals of legal history in this country for a variety of reasons. Not only did it reaffirm the faith the public had in the judiciary, it also underscored an important principle: that Presidential immunity is no blanket cover for politicians, for acts of commission or omission.
Prior to this verdict, there was a widespread public perception that politicians could get away with almost anything, provided they were in power and wielded it craftily. The immunity conferred on the Executive President under the 1978 J.R. Jayewardene Constitution, was merely an extension.. SEE INSIDE

All systems go for elections in 2009
After President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced to his party organisers and MPs to gear up for elections next year, both major political parties have been busy preparing for 2009, which is most certainly going to be an election year.
It is believed that, the government will dissolve several more Provincial Councils (PC) early next year, but speculation is also rife that, the President may also dissolve Parliament and call a snap General Election around... SEE INSIDE


From time immemorial, the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has been known for corruption and mismanagement.
Corrupt officials, including council members, continue to indulge in corrupt practices and today, corruption is a way of life within the council.
It is unfortunate that, even literate council officials and members are encouraging illegal practices and some are even seemingly nonchalant about the alarming increase in corruption and malpractices, that is a daily...  SEE INSIDE

Will Budget 2009 reduce prices?
Much of the discussion on the Budget is political. Those who are for the government say the Budget is excellent, as it confers many benefits to the people at large; is development oriented; would encourage domestic Agriculture and Industry and combines the country’s Defence needs with Developmental objects. Those opposed to the government say, virtually, the opposite. The Budget fails to give relief to people; the salary increases are inadequate; prices would rise not fall; and the development of the country would be halted. A dispassionate analysis of the Budget is rare.
We take a closer look at some of the figures and claims, especially, the dominant issue in the minds of ordinary people- the Cost of Living (CoL). Will the Budget lead to a reduction in the CoL or, more broadly, inflation? It is true that, there were several proposals in the Budget that attempted to give relief to the high rate of inflation in the economy. SEE INSIDE


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Double ton Angelo takes Peterites to record total
St. Peter’s right-hand batsman and Sri Lanka Junior national cap Angelo Perera clobbered a magnificent double century (239) and help his side total an all time highest total of 501 against Nalanda in their drawn inter-school match played at Bambalapitiya yesterday. Perera who came to bat at the fall of the third wicket took just 206 balls and hit 24 boundaries and 5 sixes during his elegant innings. He also shared healthy partnerships for the fourth wicket (121) with Shivanga Ranasuriya (78) and for the sixth wicket (158) with Akshu Fernando (42).
The Peterites massive total was in reply to Nalanda’s first innings of 295. St. Peter’s began the day at 45-1 and added a further 454 runs yesterday to reach their record total which is their highest in...  SEE INSIDE

Point Blank
Women cricketers need tough opposition

Since women’s cricket came under the aegis of Sri Lanka Cricket last year the standard has certainly improved to a point where they are now ranked fifth in the world behind Australia, India, England and New Zealand.
If Sri Lanka women cricketers hope to improve their one-day rankings they certainly need to play against the top four countries. It is the only way they could prepare themselves for the next Women’s World Cup which is scheduled to be held in Sydney in February 2009. SEE INSIDE


Three Years of the Mahinda Rajapaksa Presidency
United Peoples Freedom Alliance Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected as President of Sri Lanka in November 2005. His tenure has been amidst some unparalleled challenges both locally as well as in the region and the world at large.
Rajapaksa was born in Weerakatiya in the southern rural district of Hambantota. He hails from a well known political family in Sri Lanka. His father, D. A. Rajapaksa, was a prominent politician, independence agitator, Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister of Agriculture and Land in Wijeyananda Dahanayake’s government. D.M. Rajapaksa, his uncle, was a State Councilor for Hambantota in the 1930s who started wearing the brown shawl to represent the kurakkan (millet) cultivating people of his area, whose cause he championed...  SEE INSIDE

Yes, she can
I received a telephone call recently from a friend of Samitha Samanmali, the medical student who was disabled in an accident a few months ago.
“Samitha is attending lectures with us again,” said Prarthana who was jubilant over her friend’s return.
Not only Prarthana, but everyone who knew Samitha wanted to see her rejoin the university and attend to her studies as usual.
“We want Samitha to complete her degree, never mind the fact that she is on a wheelchair,” Prarthana and others often said. Their dream has turned into a reality today. Samitha who attends the Medical College on a wheelchair, is reading for the degree. It is not the story of a miracle, but one that tells of a young girl’s... SEE INSIDE

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