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Sunday November 23rd, 2008

Jumbo gathering, but nothing to trumpet
The much expected United National Party (UNP) Executive Committee meeting yesterday proved to be a total flop with none of the important decisions, including the appointments to its two newly created posts of Deputy Leader and Assistant Leader, being taken up. It, however...  SEE INSIDE

Navy takes law into its hands
Morning walkers on the beach at Wellawatte had a nasty surprise Friday morning when they were ordered by Navy Personnel not to use the section of the beach between the Kinross Club and the Wellawatte Railway Station during the time...  SEE INSIDE

Central Bank raids ‘Pro Note’
A non Central Bank approved Financial Institution, allegedly run by EAP Edirisinghe Group, was raided by the Central Bank last week. Director Supervision Non-bank Financial Institutions Central Bank Sepala Rathnayake told The Nation that a team from...  SEE INSIDE


       Temporary bridge set up over       
                     Nayaru Lagoon                 

Army Engineers Regiment busily putting up a 90-foot long temporary bridge over a section of a bridge that was blasted by fleeing Tigers on the Nayaru Lagoon on the outskirts of the Kumunamulai village in Mullaithivu. The area was captured by the 59th Division last week. The large crippled steel bridge had been built by donors after the former bridge was swept away in the tsunami disaster of December 2004
                    (Pic by Pushpakumara Matugama)


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Tiger training camp overrun
An LTTE training camp was overrun yesterday by the Army’s 59 Division on the front lines north of Weli Oya deluged by protracted monsoon rains since Thursday.
Heavy rains lashing the area ensured that the frontlines were comparatively uneventful over the weekend. However, the army was able to capture a training camp...  SEE INSIDE

Fitch affirms Seylan’s Rating
Fitch Ratings Lanka affirmed Seylan Bank’s National Long Term Rating of BBB+ (lka) and assigned a rating of BBB (lka) to its proposed debenture issue and also affirmed the same existing rating to the debentures already issued. Fitch also...  SEE INSIDE

Religious leaders to usher in peace
World religious leaders will join senior religious leaders from the north, east and south of Sri Lanka in a conference to be hosted by the Religions for Peace Inter-religious Council of Sri Lanka in Anuradhapura... SEE INSIDE



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Deadlier than the male
A raw attempt is apparently being made by a foreign agent who has landed in Colombo to organise oppositions. She is said to be busy organising minority parties to gang up against the government on the ethnic issue. So far it is said that her attempts have been a failure and she is under the watchful eyes of our spooks. But, we wonder whether our usually flat footed spooks are a match...  SEE INSIDE

Dilly Fashions settles case with Polo
Dilly Fashions (Private) Ltd. of No. 20 Lake Road, Maharagama, engaged in the business of selling clothes, foot wear and head gear, settled a case filed against them by Polo/Lauren Company of America.
Polo/Lauren Company filed this action against Dilly Fashions Private Ltd. before Provincial High Court of Western Province.
The parties settled this case before High Court Judge... SEE INSIDE

Police yet to arrest wealthy businessman’s killer
The Welikada Police are yet to arrest suspect Pradeep Rajaratna who is wanted over the murder of wealthy businessman Raja Ananda Edirisinghe last Monday, at his home on Parliament Drive, Rajagiriya
“We are a hundred percent sure that the accused is the murderer and are making all efforts to take the suspect into custody,” said police spokesman, SSP Ranjith Gunasekara.
Edirisinghe was knifed to death on November...  SEE INSIDE

Customs-Customs war over Prima shipment
The Department of Customs is to take serious action against custom officers who allegedly used delaying tactics with regard to presenting their report on investigations on the controversial seizure of a wheat consignment imported by the Prima Company.
The vessel containing the wheat consignment was seized at the Trincomalee Harbour after documentation revealed that Prima had understated...  SEE INSIDE

“Prabhakaran may leave Lanka”
There is no threat to the life of embattled LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, but he may leave Sri Lanka following the ongoing war. After this, a settlement to the ethnic crisis, overseen by India, will be found, according to K. K. Thevendra Rajh, Chennai-based astrologer of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
“The astrological timing and planetary positions predict that Velupillai Prabhakaran, whose sign is Kettai Nakshatra, could leave the country of his birth...  SEE INSIDE

Police Fingerprint Div. to be automated, but no funds
An automated finger print system is to be introduced to the Criminal Record Division (CRD) of the Police Department soon, to speed up its work in order to provide a satisfactory service to the courts, Police, three forces and the public, including job seekers, migrants etc.
The Nation learns that, there is a backlog of nearly 20,000 finger print reports in the CRD and it is unable to issue those...  SEE INSIDE

Kalmunai: Second most congested place
Kalmunai/Sainthamaruthu with 10,000 people per square kilometre within the Kalmunai Municipal Council area is the most congested place in the Ampara district. It is also the second most congested area in Sri Lanka, while Kattankudy in the Batticaloa district is holding the first place with 11,500 people per square kilometre, according to K.A.D. Chandradasa of the Urban Development...  SEE INSIDE



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Polls in 2009 and possible pitfalls
If the Budget for 2009 began ominously for the Government with the Supreme Court ruling that some of its provisions were inconsistent with the Constitution, its second reading sailed through Parliament last week with a majority of 42 votes.
This was in stark contrast to the high drama witnessed last year when the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) kept everyone guessing until the eleventh hour, and there was speculation-and indeed quite a possibility-that the Government would fall after losing the Budget vote.
In fact, during this year’s budget debate, some Opposition Parliamentarians chastised the operation to liberate Pooneryn claiming it was an operation to swing the Budget vote. But, if the collective Opposition...  SEE INSIDE

Family dynasties must not rule nominations - MR
In view of the Budget debate, Parliament convenes every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on public holidays and Sundays. In view of securing the road for MPs travelling to Parliament, the road between Kollupitiya and Parliament is closed for half an hour every day, creating massive traffic congestion on roads all over the capital of Colombo.
Last week, the debate on the Budget allocation for three key ministries were debated, namely the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Employment and the Ministry of Labour Relations and Human...  SEE INSIDE


Doctors protest colleague’s death
Tension in the east continues to escalate, as Sinhalese medical doctors who have returned to Colombo following the killing of their colleague Dr. Palitha Pathmakumara, refuse to report back.
This has caused the health sector in the east to come to a virtual standstill.
The latest information reaching Colombo is that all Sinhalese doctors attached to Batticaloa, Vavuniya and Mannar General Hospitals have returned to Colombo, refusing to remain there.
According to the information, some Sinhalese...  SEE INSIDE

Dulling the minds of the intelligent
Armed with an excellent literacy rate and a remarkable school enrolment rate, Sri Lanka battles harder than its less exemplary neighbours in the region, to sustain a fast crumbling education system.
One of the main reasons, as repeatedly pointed out by analysts and policy makers, is the lack of a proper vision and planning on the part of the authorities to educate the country’s youth. The dire consequences of not treating the maladies of the education system on time have now started raising their ugly heads in enormous proportions.
From Grade One admission to entering a university, the entire process is tainted with political...  SEE INSIDE


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Katich ton puts Australia on top
Simon Katich and Brett Lee wrote their names into the record books as Australia finally wriggled out of a first Test bind and flexed their muscles in a day of domination over New Zealand at the Gabba on Saturday.
The pair had days to remember while Stuart Clark bowled Grant Elliott (0) on the last ball of day three with a superb off-cutter for Australia to eye their first victory in five Tests.
The wicket saw NZ limp into stumps at 6-143, still requiring another 184 to complete a record final-innings run-chase with their almost non-existent hopes resting on the shoulders of Ross Taylor (67 not out).  SEE INSIDE

Point Blank
Unfair evolution of cricket

The evolution of cricket has seen this wonderful game followed by millions around the world keep changing in its format, rules and equipment. The changes have become rapid since the advent of television and the vast technology it offers for the viewers.
Test cricket still reigns supreme despite the many threats it faces from shorter versions of the game like limited overs and now Twenty20 which has in the past two years or so taken the cricket world by storm offering the players riches which they could never dream of even if they had played a life time of cricket.  SEE INSIDE


“We have focussed on minimum of 6% sustainable GDP growth” - Amunugama
Minister of Enterprise Development and Investment promotion Dr. Sarath Amunugama justifying the latest war budget says the present government is keen to end the war without passing it down to the next generation. The Minister further points out that the country was losing at least 2 % of GDP growth due to instability in the north and east and adds that an early end to the conflict is better to the future of the island nation. In an interview to The Nation Dr. Amunugama also said the budget has paved the way for promotion of local and domestic industries
Following are excerpts;
Q: Though the budget is claimed by the government to be people friendly, the middle class businessmen are complaining that the cess imposed on imports has hit them badly.  How do you look at their complaints?
A: If the Budget is taken at a superficial level, there should be no complaints, because...   SEE INSIDE

UPFA Budget unrealistic - Ravi
Q: The alternative Budget proposed by the main opposition UNP has been scoffed upon by the Government. What was the motive behind the UNP to propose such a Budget?
A: Government scoffing is nothing unusual. But what is forgotten by the Government is that for the last four years the Rata Perata Mahinda Chinthana Budget has been off target, inhuman and immoral. Budgets have been mere statements for the sake of presenting a Budget. This is why the UNP, instead of making proposals or counter proposals after the Budget decided to present before the public an alternate Budget. We want to show the country the innovative strength of the UNP at a time when the nation is fractured due to lack of political will to take proper decisions. SEE INSIDE

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