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Sunday December 07th, 2008

Crucial meetings to decide on polls
With government confident of winning the third reading of the Budget tomorrow coupled with continuous military victories in the North, political sources have predicted that President Rajapaksa will go for a snap poll. SEE INSIDE

UNP says “enough”
UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe invited Minister Karu Jayasuriya and other members who left the party as well as the other parties, to unite with the UNP in order to defeat what he termed the corrupt government of Mahinda Rajapaksa. SEE INSIDE

Supreme Court directs People’s Bank to sell mortgaged Yashoda assets
The Supreme Court this week dismissing an appeal by Yashoda Holdings (Pvt) Ltd challenging a People’s Bank’s resolution to sell the assets mortgaged to the Bank by the Company Managing Director...  SEE INSIDE

            To Haiti with love          

Wanni Security Forces Commander Major General Jagath Jayasuriya handing over the UN flag to one of the soldiers leaving for Haiti on United Nations peace keeping duties during a ceremonial parade in Panagoda. Sri Lanka sent 750 troopers attached to the Ninth Battalion to replace a similar number of soldiers already serving in Haiti
                    (Pic by Pushpakumara Matugama)




Police assault case takes new twist
The Police assault of Kurugamage Don Pradeep and his friend Laksiri, which was brought to light by the Asian Human Rights Commission, has taken a new turn with the traffic Policeman of the Kohuwala Station who allegedly initiated the assault, offering a cash payment to the victims...  SEE INSIDE

Railway carriage order a huge muddle?
The furore over the recently imported 100 train compartments valued at a whopping Rs.2.5 billion chugged to another twist yesterday, with the revelation...  SEE INSIDE

Presidential Task Force to monitor NGOs in the offing
The Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to look into the operations of NGOs and INGOs has recommended the establishment of a special presidential task force to monitor NGO and INGO activities... SEE INSIDE


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Battle axes at war
History tells us that today’s sworn enemies, Jews and Arabs, once lived amicably when both were battling Christian crusaders. But in little Sri Lanka, two top women bureaucrats serving in war torn areas, are said to be having a battle royal with neither willing to work... SEE INSIDE

Terror plots targeting Colombo uncovered
Two massive Tiger terror plots to be unleashed in Colombo and Jaffna, were busted this week.
The breakthrough into the Colombo terror plot was made when a special intelligence unit from Colombo took into custody the biggest suicide kit discovered up to now, along with a specially trained Tiger suicide cadre and his accomplices at a point between Rambewa... SEE INSIDE

Reluctance to show ID cards by hospital staff in N&E irks GMOA
Government Medical officers’ Association (GMOA) condemns the errant behaviour of the staff of the hospitals in the north and east, towards the security officials who are asked to check the hospital staff prior to their entry to the hospitals.
GMOA Spokesman Dr. Upul Gunasekara told The Nation that they should...  SEE INSIDE

President’s Turkey visit opens up education opportunities
President Mahinda Rajapaksa returned to the island last Friday after a successful visit to Turkey at the invitation of the Turkish Prime Minister. He was the first Lankan Head of State to visit Turkey after independence.
During his visit, President Rajapaksa held a discussion with his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gal. Later, dignitaries... SEE INSIDE

Women plead guilty to engaging in the world’s oldest profession
Three pleasure women who pleaded guilty before the Puttlam Magistrate to the charge of engaging in prostitution in an A-Grade Tourist Board approved hotel at Karuwalagasweva near Thabbowa Lake were fined Rs.500 each by Chief Magistrate Klietus Anthony Dep on Friday (5).
The Karuwalagasweva Police had raided...  SEE INSIDE

Festschrift for Professor Ashley Halpe
A festschrift volume dedicated to Prof. Ashley Halpe titled, ‘Arbiters of a National Imaginary: Essays on Sri Lanka – Festschrift for Professor Ashley Halpe,’ edited by Chelva Kanaganayagam will be launched at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations Auditorium on Tuesday, December 9 at 5:30 p.m.
The essays... SEE INSIDE

Missing female soldier found
The female soldier, Anepurage Priyani, who was missing since November 19, was found on December 4 in Medagama in the Dambagalle Police Division.  SEE INSIDE

Foreign Minister opens new public relations bureau
The Foreign Affairs Ministry said it has taken steps to open a public relations bureau with the objective to meet the wider expectations of the public.
It will function under the direct supervision of Minister Rohitha Bogollagama in order to ensure that the benefits could flow to the masses in a more secured... SEE INSIDE

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Pranab Mukherjee’s visit will be just that: A visi
The government may have been busy last week trumpeting the military victories in the northern battlefront, but whatever the successes on the ground, a tough diplomatic tug-o-war also awaits in the form of renewed pressure from New Delhi.
This is because of the somewhat surprise announcement late this week that Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will visit Colombo shortly. The aim of the visit, as described by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Muthuvelu Karunanidhi, is to ‘persuade Colombo to go for peace talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after announcing a ceasefire. SEE INSIDE

UNP rebellion set to erupt
The UNP rebellion looks set to erupt once more, with the long anticipated reforms due to be ratified by the party convention, being called into question once more.
Crucial among the reforms is the creation of the Deputy Leader and Assistant Leader positions. UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe did away with the Deputy Leader position after his former second in command, Karu Jayasuriya joined the ranks of the Government in 2007. However, following a massive uprising among party strongmen Lakshman Seneviratne, Johnston Fernando, Thalatha Athukorale, Ravi Samaraweera and Jayalath...  SEE INSIDE


Child Rights on the firing line
November 20, marked the 19th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
Every state / government, that was signatory to the UNCRC that was unanimously adopted in 1989 by the UN General Assembly, submitted reports on the various mechanisms adopted to safeguard the basic fundamental rights of children.  SEE INSIDE

The Role played by the Power and Energy Ministry during the past three years towards energy development

Energy Development is the main targeted national development programme in the country under the Mahinda Chinthanaya. Power and Energy Ministry has been entrusted with the responsibility of providing the guidance and leadership to meet the electricity requirements of the people, providing a solution to the imminent energy crisis in the year 2012.
It is a great achievement of this Ministry, under the guidance of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the ability to launch a well-planned...  SEE INSIDE


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New look Smith poised for Aussie challenge
Australia will encounter a changed Graeme Smith when the South African cricket team arrives in Perth Sunday.
Smith was a relatively inexperienced captain when the South Africans toured Australia three years ago.
But it didn’t stop him making some strong statements, especially when he suggested that Ricky Ponting’s authority as captain was being undermined by the frustrated ambitions of Shane Warne.
Smith proclaimed that the South Africans were confident that they could mount a serious challenge against the world champions, but his side was beaten 2-0 in the three-match series and Smith failed as an opening batsman, with a highest score of 39.
After the tour, Smith said he had been deliberately provocative because he wanted to deflect media attention away from other members of what was largely an inexperienced side.
As a tactic, it backfired spectacularly. Three years on, the South Africans are again confident but this time they have more reason...  SEE INSIDE

Point Blank
A good eye-opener

The events that took place over the controversial oil hedging crisis and the subsequent suspension of Ashantha de Mel from the post of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) chairman are further proof that cricketers cannot be good administrators. This is a good eye-opener for all those who still continue to toe that line.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is already in a mess and saddled with a load of problems leading to disunity amongst its members following the appointment of former captain Arjuna Ranatunga as interim committee chairman. Now comes the De Mel affair where the former Sri Lanka fast bowler has been exposed so badly that even his educational qualifications have been questioned by the Supreme Court. To quote the Chief Justice “peons and arachchis were more qualified than the CPC chairman.”  SEE INSIDE


Dismisses reports about rocky relations with Bogollagama
Foreign Ministry Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona, according to all reports, is under siege from within. In a wide ranging interview with The Nation, he however, dismisses reports about there being any rift with his Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, and there being attempts to oust him. This former Australian diplomat and former Head of the UN Treaty Division is certainly not holding this post for financial benefit, having held top international posts for more than 25 years, and insists it is to serve his country.
Following are excerpts:
Q: The United Nations goes around preaching, especially to Third World countries, but its own house is not in order. For example, we have heard that, particularly in the important UNDP, it is mainly employees from powerful Western countries who call the shots. Being a one time top man in that system, how do you see the situation?
A: I think that is an exaggeration, because there are very senior officials who are from Third World countries. In fact, the head of UNDP is of Turkish nationality. SEE INSIDE

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