Sunday April 5th, 2009

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Chinese, Indian loans before IMF package

The slight delay in obtaining a US$1.9 billion balance of payment support loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to tide over difficulties arising from the global economic crisis is unlikely to cause any problems as the government in the meantime has made arrangements to obtain two other credit lines from China and India totalling about US$500 million in the interim, authoritative sources said yesterday.



UNP’s intrigues and UPFAers’ preferential vote battle


It appears the United National Party (UNP) rebel group has now declared a temporary ‘ceasefire’. They have decided to cease hostilities against Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, in view of the April 25 Western Provincial Council elections.
It was decided at the recently held Working Committee Meeting that Wickremesinghe should continue to function as the UNP Leader. However, those who led the rebellion to oust him from the leadership post, such as Rukman Senanayake, Lakshman Seneviratne, Johnston Fernando, Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena, Thalatha Atukorale and Ravi Samaraweera were far from being satisfied with the decision.




IDPs to be resettled soon: Mahinda S.


Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has announced that plans are afoot to give local NGOs access to IDP camps in Vavuniya shortly. According to him, discussions regarding this have already taken place between Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa and the local NGOs. The Minister also scotched rumours that the IDPs will be kept in camps for three years, as reported by many visitors to the camps recently. “We are trying to resettle them as soon as possible. The Mannar resettlement process could even end this year,” he said.


JVP can turn the tide: Tilvin Silva


Things have not gone too well for the JVP in the recent past. The poor showing at the Central and North Western Council elections and other setbacks in the political arena have lead many to predict that their days as a third political force is coming to an end. But the General Secretary of the JVP, Tilvin Silva is hopeful that people will realise that the JVP is the only party that has the vision to guide the country in the coming turbulent times….


“One public servant to every 18 citizens” - Minister


Veteran politician and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) General Secretary Minister Maithripala Sirisena in a wide ranging interview with The Nation spoke at length about why the government does not support the controversial gazette notification issued by the Public Services Commission. The Agriculture Development and Agrarian Services Minister hailing from this left-lenient party emphasised that he, and his government, will not allow any decision that will violate the rights of the public sector employee or weaken and diminish the importance of the public sector.




Army plans ‘No Fire Zone’ capture


The attempt to capture the eastern side of the last Tiger fortress at Puthukudyirrippu, turned into bitter fighting this week. This battle could also decide the fate of the LTTE.
The heavy fighting erupted as troops of 58 Division linked up with those of Task Force VIII coming under 53 Division at Pachchapulmudai Junction, on Wednesday (1). With this link up, the Tigers who had been relentlessly battling for weeks, without letting up, to hold on to the last sector of Puthukudyirrippu, got surrounded in the same area, most unexpectedly.







Mother’s blessings to a son

Happy mother of Minister V. Muralidharan proudly hugging her son soon after he assumed duties as Minister of National Integration yesterday at his office in Jawatte Road
(Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)