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Sunday February 15th, 2009

Polls end peacefully with less violations
The Central and North Western Provincial Council elections were concluded by 4 last evening with an average voter turnout of 55-60% and with a comparatively less number of election... SEE INSIDE

Postal results indicate landslide for UPFA
Early postal results for Nuwara Eliya and Matale Districts indicated a landslide victory for the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in yesterday’s polls held...  SEE INSIDE

President to harness Libya with State visit
President Mahinda Rajapaksa is now expected to make an official visit to Libya later this month, as part of his strategy to build strong relations with key Arab/Muslim... SEE INSIDE


        Democracy in practice        

“Do we have all the correct documents?” seems to be what is being discussed by these women at the Kandy Girls’ High School polling station, as they are waiting in line to cast their ballot at the Central Provincial Council Election yesterday
                                   (Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)



New security plan to stop LTTE’s resurgence
A special security plan will be implemented in the near future to stop a resurgence of the LTTE activities, military sources said. This special plan will include an increase in the number of military intelligence operatives, Special Forces... SEE INSIDE

Rodney for Esala in Oslo
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has forwarded the name of career diplomat Rodney Perera to the Parliamentary High Post Committee for its approval, for him to be posted... SEE INSIDE

Tiger lie exposed
A photo of Chief Editor, Rivira Newspaper Upali Tennakoon’s wife Dhammika Tennakoon who received injuries in the recent attack on them by an unidentified armed gang has been misused for a poster... SEE INSIDE



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Crash landed maestro launches new career
A once high flying whiz kid who made a crash landing in the not too distant past is now about to launch a fresh career as a politician. He is said to be seeking nominations from the UPFA to contest the forthcoming Southern Provincial Council Election... SEE INSIDE

Parliamentary Committee to meet on Anti-Conversion Bill
The controversial Anti-Conversion Bill or the “Bill for the Prohibition of Forcible Conversion” has been referred to the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Religious Affairs & Moral Upliftment.
The Consultative Committee headed by Minister of Religious Affairs & Moral Upliftment, Pandu Bandaranayake, and comprising 31 other Members of Parliament, will meet on Tuesday (17), to decide... SEE INSIDE

IUSC complains to HR Commission
The Inter University Students’ Council (IUSC) is to lodge a complaint at the Human Rights Commission on February 17, 2009, against the Police for assaulting students at the recent clash at Kelaniya University.
“We are lodging the complaint against the police personnel for the alleged violation of the regulations of the Police Ordinance when arresting the students,” said the Union Convener Udul Premaratne. The students... SEE INSIDE

Pethedine still no show in hospitals
The Health Ministry has failed to take any tangible steps to provide Pethedine injections to the hospitals even after two weeks, the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) charged yesterday.
GMOA Spokesman Dr. Upul Gunasekara told The Nation, even though they informed Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Athula Kahadaliyanage about the scarcity, the Ministry is yet to provide adequate stocks of Pethedine injections to the hospitals, “This is a pathetic situation, everyday something or the other... SEE INSIDE

Fishermen lament in Batticaloa
The All Ceylon Federation of Fishermen’s Unions (ACFFU) claimed that the fisheries industry in Batticaloa is facing serious snags and is rapidly deteriorating, as a result.
“The activities of the fisheries industry in several areas in the Batticaloa District is completely stopped since the fishermen have reached the peak of hardships,” Union Convenor Premasiri Manage said. Among the areas that are affected are Walachchena, Erawur, Kalavanchikudi and Kallar. SEE INSIDE

General remanded on treasure hunting charge
Major General Parakkrama Pannipitiya and two others who had allegedly been digging a treasure in a forest reserve at Danawkanda in the Weliweriya Police area were remanded till February 19 by Gampaha Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge Anura Kumara Herath.
Maj. Gen. Pannipitiya, serving with the 11 Division Headquarters at the Panagoda Army Cantonment and two of his friends, famous spare parts businessmen, were taken into custody by Weliweriya... SEE INSIDE



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Expediting killer punch on LTTE and world pressures on ceasefires
The final battle against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has gathered momentum and expectations are high that the entire country would soon be ‘liberated’ from the LTTE, but this has brought in its wake a new challenge for the Government - a growing howl of protests and lamentations from the international community.
The past week saw an increasing number of remonstrations aimed at Colombo with the United Nations, the United Kingdom, the European Union and even India joining... SEE INSIDE

LTTE on annihilation path
For the first time in the history of the Sri Lankan conflict, almost everything has gone right for the government. Having decided to wage war against the LTTE, the administration of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has systematically ensured that all fronts of the conflict situation, from humanitarian assistance to international considerations have been played to the advantage of the government. On the one hand, New Delhi which was going to be a serious point of concern for any Sri Lankan government that decided to fight the Tigers was... SEE INSIDE


New houses unlikely for tsunami victims
Majority of the Sri Lankan tsunami victims still languishing in camps are in for a rude shock.
At present tsunami victims are continuing to live in various camps and shelters in Colombo, Ampara, Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Trincomalee.
Though not big in number, most of them who still remain in camps, according to highly placed government sources, may be deprived of any housing facility for ever. This means they could be homeless for ever. SEE INSIDE

Scattered dreams of Tamil politics
The military thrust against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and thereby weakening them, has certainly offered fresh options to the moderate Tamil political parties in Sri Lanka.
The Tamil parties have two options. Either join hands together or work separately but with a view to aiming at a common goal – to achieve a substantial political solution to the Tamil minority.
With the apparent defeat of the LTTE, it is no secret that even the Vaddukodai resolution of 1976 is laid to eternal rest.
The infamous Vaddukodai resolution called... SEE INSIDE


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Mahela hoping to sign off captaincy on a high note
Mahela Jayawardene said he hoped his decision to quit the Sri Lanka captaincy at the end of the Pakistan tour would motivate the team to ascertain they win the series for him.
“The team accepted the decision I have made and hopefully it will be a motivation for them to make sure they win the series for me, my last as captain,” said Jayawardene as the Sri Lanka team took wing for Pakistan yesterday. Jayawardene will sign off as captain after the series but continue his career as... SEE INSIDE

Point Blank
Rugby in turbulent waters

Sri Lanka rugby’s had its ups and downs on the playing field as well as off it, but never in its century-old history has it been administered by a non-elected body as it is today.
Why the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) finds itself in such a situation is because of the premature resignation from the post by its elected president Nimal Lewke and secretary Duke Hamid a few weeks ahead of the AGM proper scheduled for February 21. Now that a 3-member interim body appointed by the Sports Minister is in place to run the affairs of the SLRFU, the AGM is not going to take place as scheduled... SEE INSIDE


IDPs can go home by year end
With nowhere else to run, the civilians in the LTTE controlled regions in the Wanni are now in a desperate struggle for survival. While the government blames the LTTE for their predicament, many international organisations and governments have expressed concern over the conduct of the Sri Lankan authorities.
The recent spate of attacks on the media has also received major international media play of late. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe is the man in the thick of it all. He is engaged in a delicate balancing act between serious international concerns, and the real security considerations facing the government. In addition he also has to deal with the heat from Geneva and other parts of the world, with regard to the climate of impunity, and safety of media practitioners... SEE INSIDE

‘‘I am for independence of the media’’
Former Chairman of Sri Lanka Telecom and Sri Lanka Cricket Board Thilanga Sumathipala has been a UNP lynchpin for the last few years. But like many of his fellows he has abandoned the UNP camp and joined the UPFA last week. The Nation met him to discuss why he took the decision and how he is now surviving with his former enemies…
Q: Why did you join the UPFA?
A: I think it’s our responsibility to recognise the current situation in the country and to support the current political leadership because of the way it is handling the economy and war. Up to 2000 I have been with the SLFP and my family was... SEE INSIDE

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