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Sunday January 18th, 2009

Safe passage for trapped civilians
Amid calls by the UN and ICRC for protection of civilians, the government yesterday assured that safe passage would be negotiated on their part and urged... SEE INSIDE

TULF Leader on Army victory
Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) Leader V. Anandasangaree has said people living in Kilinochchi have felt the real ‘liberation’ that they have yearned for years... SEE INSIDE

Investigations too sensitive to
reveal : SSP

The progress of the Police investigation into Lasantha Wickrematunga killing cannot be revealed to the public, Police Spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekara said... SEE INSIDE


Crucial flyover nears completion

Nugegoda flyover, scheduled to be opened on Friday (23)
                            (Pic by Thushara Dasanayaka)


Wanni Operations Map

A-9 will be reopened in one month
The key Jaffna-Kandy A-9 highway that came under total security forces control, with the capture of Elephant Pass recently, will reopen for civil use in about one month after a long lapse. SEE INSIDE

Local polls in Jaffna within six months
The government is planning on holding local government polls in the Jaffna Peninsula within the next six months once the amendments to the Local Government... SEE INSIDE

National schools face the axe
The Commission appointed to form a new Education Bill disclosed that scrapping national schools is being discussed under their proposals to reform the prevailing education system. Chairman... SEE INSIDE



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FM briefs honorary consuls tomorrow
With an idea to improve the country’s image abroad, the Foreign Ministry has summoned its honorary counsels from around the world to Colombo for a meeting and briefings from Monday to Wednesday.
The Ministry sources said 36 out of about 55 honorary consuls have so far confirmed their participation at the inaugural session to be addressed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday at the Central Bank Auditorium. SEE INSIDE

Sportsman shot by friend dies
National squash player Kavinda Cooray who was shot and injured last Tuesday at Lunawa, Moratuwa succumbed to his injuries yesterday morning at the National Hospital, Colombo.
The 28-year-old sportsman was shot by one of his friends on Tuesday night near his aunt’s residence. He was in his car when the shooting took place according to his relatives.
Cooray died after three days due to serious injuries to his head following the incident. According to eyewitnesses he had been shot by a friend with a gun belonging... SEE INSIDE

Taleban type group ordered to rebuild shrine
The Muslim shrine that was attacked last November by a fanatical Islamic sect in Ukuwela, is soon to be rebuilt by the attackers on a directive issued by the Muslim religious court.
The Muslim religious court, Wakfs Board of Sri Lanka, held a meeting on December 28, 2008, under the chairmanship of Mansoor Marikar. They considered the matter very carefully and declared that no person should be allowed to destroy Ziyarams not only in Matale, but in any other part of the country. SEE INSIDE

Mihin in unexpected boost
Sri Lanka’s newly revived budget carrier Mihin Air, which resumed its operations on January 1, 2009 might be in for an unintended bonanza with opportunity to start operations to three new destinations, airline sources revealed yesterday.
The fledgling carrier, which is yet to build its route network and find adequate passenger loads to be economical has got a boost from Thursday when SriLankan on that day suspended flights to four destinations in India, namely Cochin, Hyderabad, Calicut and Trivandrum. SEE INSIDE

Tiger corpses pile up
More than 75 bodies of LTTE cadres have been buried under the patronage of the ICRC last week in cemeteries of Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Mannar and Anuradhapura Districts apparently because of the inability to obtain security assurances from both sides.
The number of dead bodies of the LTTE cadres is reportedly piling up in hospitals in Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Mannar and Anuradhapura.
ICRC Spokesperson Sarasi Wijeratne told The Nation that they have not stopped transporting bodies officially, but...  SEE INSIDE

Menon meets President in Kandy
Indian Foreign Secretary Shiva Shankar Menon met President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the President’s house in Kandy last morning (17). The main points of discussion were the multi-lateral relationships between the two countries, the prevailing political situation and the economical issues of concern to both countries.
President Rajapaksa elaborated on the facilities provided by the government to the refugees fleeing LTTE controlled areas in the Northern Province. He also informed.... SEE INSIDE



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International pressure for a ceasefire
Amidst reports of the armed forces taking the Eelam war deep into Tiger territory with the capture of the strategic base at Elephant Pass, there was a different kind of war being waged in the south, in the diplomatic enclaves of Colombo.
Firing the first salvo was the German Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Jurgen Weerth. Weerth’s remarks at the funeral of assassinated Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge raised several eyebrows in the government.
The Ambassador was to remark in his eulogy that the diplomatic community “should... SEE INSIDE

President promises to formulate policy that’ll protect journalists
The funeral of slain The Sunday Leader Editor-in-Chief Lasantha Wickrematunge was held last Monday (12) amidst large crowds of protesters and mourners. Following religious ceremonies performed at the People’s Church, Kirimandala Mawatha in Narahenpita, the cortege of well over 7000 people marched with the body of the slain editor until it reached the Borella cemetery where the burial rites were to take place.
Wickrematunge was murdered in daylight at the Bakery Junction in Attidiya on January 8, by unidentified gunmen riding motorcycles. President Mahinda Rajapaksa... SEE INSIDE


Scandals mar CMC
The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) overshadowed by charges of widespread corruption and mismanagement even under the supervision of the present special commissioner is a sad indictment on the powers that be.
It is very unfortunate that the CMC has still not been able to raise its head above corruption charges against those who have been administrating the Council, since the new council was elected on May 20 2006.
The election was won by the Spectacle group supported by the United National Party (UNP). This group won over 40% of the votes... SEE INSIDE

Professionalism in killings foxes
them all

The fatality figures in Sri Lanka are perhaps telling a story, which would be that, the on-going north east war focuses progressively on internecine killings.
The death rate in Sri Lanka is steadily increasing to a gruesome toll and pathetically the majority of the murder cases are going uninvestigated.
Political and personal murders have taken place from time immemorial but majority of the murder cases going uninvestigated has never been heard of, in the past.
The brutal assassination of The Sunday Leader... SEE INSIDE


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We can tackle Lankan spinners – Pakistan coach
As Pakistan prepares to host Sri Lanka in a much needed ODI series, coach Intikhab Alam has said that his side will offer a tough fight to the islanders, and hoped that it continues the winning streak from where it left in the last series against the West Indies.
Alam said that it was very important for Pakistan to win the home series after it swept the three match series against West Indies, 3-0, in November last year.
“It is also important for us to win the series after having done well against the West Indies in Abu Dhabi,” a Pakistani newspaper... SEE INSIDE

Point Blank
Murali, Morkel give ODI cricket a shot in the arm

Who said that one-day international (ODI) was dying and that it would soon be overtaken by the Twenty20 version? The drama and the excitement that unfolded at Mirpur and at Melbourne on Friday went a long way towards disapproving the notion that ODI cricket was no longer attractive and exciting. What the events depict is that limited overs cricket is still very much alive and kicking like it has been in its 38-year international existence.
There have been many instances in Test cricket where the glorious uncertainties of the game have taken place a number of times, but for a complete turn around of fortunes and to come back from the dead so to say, and win in an ODI, the Dhaka final between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will take some beating. SEE INSIDE


Killi people happy with liberation-Anandasangaree
Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) President and Secretary General of the newly established Democratic Tamil National Alliance (DTNA) V. Anandasangaree is an advocate of the Indian model as a panacea for the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict. He says since the people of Sri Lanka are allergic to the term ‘federal’, the Indian model could be the ideal one to find an ultimate solution. Anangasangaree met the visiting Indian foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon on Friday and told him that India should mount pressure on the Sri Lankan Government to find a proper political package acceptable to the Tamils soon. He told The Nation in an interview that crushing the LTTE is not the only answer to the ethnic question and that the government must now seriously consider... SEE INSIDE

“The government is distracting people from real issues” – Shamal
Provincial Council elections in the North Western province have been infamous for violence. The two chief ministerial candidates, former Chief Minister Athula Wijesinghe and former opposition leader Shamal Senarath have seen a lot of each other in the past. The Nation met the UNP chief ministerial candidate Shamal Senarath to understand why he thinks he has an edge over his long term political opponent
Following are excerpts:
Q: North Western province is renowned for its election violence. Do you think this will also be a violent one?
A: Yes, recent elections in the province have been violent affairs. Everyone knows what happened in 2001 and I fear... SEE INSIDE

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