Sunday May 03, 2009

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Blood for milk!!!

“There was an old man with his two year old grandchild where we were staying as prisoners. He couldn’t bear to see his little kid crying and he went and asked those of the ‘organisation’ to give him two spoons of milk powder. They had asked that old man to give a blood pint so that they’ll give what he wants. He returned empty handed cursing the LTTE because the man himself doesn’t look as if he has blood in his veins.”

As he was speaking the volunteers of the ICRC who are from the area and those who were engaged in unloading people from the Green Ocean ship and bring them to the receiving centre were seeing busily engaged in their activities. More

Swine flu reaches epic proportions

So what is so worrying about this new flu that has turned the world into a “war zone’? Described as a never before seen ‘ mixture of various swine, bird and human viruses “, this new strain of swine flu has left medical authorities baffled, as they race against time to find a drug or vaccine to prevent the disease and to cure those already infected.They fear that any delay in containing the disease could pose the risk of a large scale pandemic, more extensive in its spread than the avian flu that surfaced in 1997 killing several hundreds of people

It has killed 159 people in Mexico, spreading its tentacles far afield to the US, Canada, and also to Israel, New Zealand, Spain, Germany and various European countries.
Now reaching pandemic levels and upgraded to Category A by the WHO, as the world moves to contain its spread, the fall out of this new strain of Swine Flu (designated HINI) has been devastating to say the least. Occurring in the midst of a global economic crunch, it has caused the dollar to weaken along with the Mexican peso, with a sharp fall in Asian stock markets and the prices of oil. More

Dengue Breeding Act in Parliament

With the increase of reported dengue cases and deaths, the government has decided to present a new Dengue Breeding Act in Parliament on May 5, empowering the Health Ministry to take action against people whose negligence facilitates the breeding of the dengue mosquito.
A highly placed source in the Ministry said that the penalty for those guilty of such negligence, will be a fine up to Rs.25,000, or will be liable to legal action. More

LTTE’s bargaining power insignificant now – Norway

In a major shift in its policy towards Sri Lanka, Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Tore Hattrem said the bargaining power of one of the world’s most ruthless terror outfits – the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had become irrelevant in the wake of its imminent elimination and expressed his government’s backing for finding a permanent solution for Sri Lanka’s conflict.
Hattrem also said the LTTE’s bargaining power was not relevant in the present context, implying that the status quo would change with the complete elimination of the LTTE. More

WPC stakes still open

Despite all the speculation in the media about the make up of the Cabinet of the newly elected Western Provincial Council, other than the decision to appoint Prasanna Ranatunga as the Chief Minister and also give JHU frontliner Udaya Gammanpila, for his running an exemplary campaign devoid of any wrong doings, a ministerial portfolio, no one else has been so far earmarked for a Ministerial appointment, authoritative government sources said. More

Japanese envoy brings breath of fresh air

The Sri Lankan Government should allow greater access for international organisations and NGOs to visit IDP camps in order to make the process more transparent, suggested Japanese Special Envoy, Yasushi Akashi speaking at a media briefing yesterday. He said although the conditions in the newly established IDP camps are far from perfect, the government is doing its best to cope with the situation. More

Talks still on with Lanka on bailout package: IMF

The IMF said Friday that talks with Sri Lanka for a bailout package of around two billion dollars were still continuing despite reports the fund was under pressure to withhold the planned financing.
“Discussions with the authorities on an IMF-supported programme are still ongoing,” a spokesperson for the Washington-based fund told AFP when asked to comment on reported calls to withhold the funding to encourage... More

Navy to increase surveillance powers

Having learnt bitter lessons from the Eelam Wars, the Navy will soon increase its surveillance systems along the entire coast of Sri Lanka. Northern Naval Commander Rear Admiral Somathilaka Dissanayake said the Navy, in fact, is planning to set up high tech surveillance system centres that are now in place in operational zones in other coastal areas as well. More


top story

Top diplomat to be expelled?

The authorities are said to be in a dilemma as to whether they should expel UN Resident Representative here Neil Buhne, after it came to light that his office had deliberately leaked unauthenticated casualty figures of IDPs to a selected group of Western embassies in Colombo as verified figures, which were later picked by wire services and splashed across the world to the detriment of Sri Lanka.
These figures claiming that Army fire had killed nearly 6,500 IDPs since January and injured more than double that figure were even raised by visiting French and British Foreign Ministers early this week. More




UNP poll-axed by UPFA


In predictable form, the Western Provincial Council (WPC) election resulted in a resounding victory for the ruling party. The UPFA laid claim to 68 seats in the WPC, having won more than 1.5 million of total votes polled.

A massive victory and a dismal defeat


All predictions that the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) would achieve an easy victory in the Western Provincial Council election came true, when the election...


“90% of votes for UPFA due to...


Senior SLFPer Prasanna Ranatunga topped the preferential votes list in the Gampaha District as well as the entire Western Province...

“Young people my biggest supporters”


The most keenly fought battle for preferential votes in the Colombo District was between R. Duminda Silva and Thilanga Sumathipala.

Vajira bats for Ranil


The biggest defender of besieged UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe against incessant party rebel attacks Vajira Abeywardena, continues to stand up...

this is my nation

UNP and its statistical acrobatics


The most looked forward to Provincial poll of them all - the Western Provincial Council (WPC) election - was concluded last week, bringing in its wake, many lessons...



Whose May Day is it?

While May Day processions were rallying around Colombo last Friday (1) – although not to the extent of the usual pageantry and gusto – the workers who shed their blood, sweat and tears to earn a day’s living were seen carrying their burden as usual

(Pic by Ravindra Dharmathillake)