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Sunday June 7th, 2009

TNA extends olive branch to TULF, PLOTE, EPRLF
In a strange turn of events, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which was earlier firmly behind the LTTE, has now made overtures to the moderate Tamil parties like... SEE INSIDE

TMVP meets to decide whether to be SLFP tomorrow
A crucial meeting of the Tamil Makkal Vidudalai Puligal (TMVP) is likely to take place tomorrow to decide whether or not the party should accept SLFP membership. SEE INSIDE

SC ruling brings two private banks under state control
The country’s Treasury is tipped to become the major shareholder of two listed private sector banks and a state of the art hospital in Colombo- a spin off of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corp. (SLIC) verdict
delivered Thursday. SEE INSIDE

    Yal Devi chugs off to Thandikulam  

Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma greets passengers on the Yal Devi train which plied to Thandikulam some 7.5 kilometres north of Vavuniya yesterday morning after 20-year lapse due to terrorism. Authorities hope to eventually restore the service to Jaffna after rebuilding some 159 kilometres of rail track by 2010

(Pic by Chamila Karunaratne)

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15 new DIGs appointed
The Cabinet has this week approved the promotion of 15 Senior Superintendents of Police as Deputy Inspectors General of Police. Police sources said a total of 33 SSPs appeared for interviews at the Defence Ministry... SEE INSIDE

Your horoscope and you
The Nation will, beginning this issue, carry a series of articles on Astrology, titled ‘Read your own horoscope’ (Page 19) and a weekly forecast titled ‘What your stars foretell for your Lagna for this week’... SEE INSIDE

Lankans make device to treat chronic wounds
A negative wound therapy device built by a team of Lankan doctors and engineering students was officially handed over to the Colombo General Hospital on Wednesday by the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering,  SEE INSIDE


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Severe shortage of essential drugs
Cancer, Kidney and Heart Patients are facing a massive drug shortage threatening their lives and it will only get worse if the Ministry of Healthcare fails to purchase the necessary drugs immediately, All Ceylon Health Service Union (ACHSU) said yesterday. President of ACHSU, Gamini Kumarasinghe told The Nation that the ministry has taken steps to limit the quantity and the number of essential drugs due to the high cost involved. “When we questioned the ministry officials on the matter, their only reply was that Ministry of Healthcare is not having enough money to purchase these drugs from the foreign companies,” he said. SEE INSIDE

Aussies in for long haul as Sri Lanka stands firm
Three Australian nationals caught in Sri Lanka’s overcrowded refugee camps could face more than a year in detention after the Government in Colombo yesterday ruled out any special treatment or early release.
The Australian High Commission in Sri Lanka said yesterday it was trying to gain consular access to the three people, who are believed to be dual Sri Lankan/Australian nationals. SEE INSIDE

Clean up operation of mosquito breeding places
With the dreaded dengue fever having already killed 98 people and afflicted nearly 7840, the Ministry of Healthcare will conduct a cleaning programme today and tomorrow to destroy the breeding places of dengue mosquitoes. However the public still feel that the relevant state departments are not doing their duty as much as they speak with regard to the preventive methods to be taken.Spokesman for the Health Ministry, W.M.D.Wanninayaka said that, “Dengue fever has become a major health crisis and it is spreading rapidly.  SEE INSIDE

Sri Lankan FM denies 20,000 Tamils killed in onslaught
Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has denied claims that more than 20,000 Tamil civilians were killed during the government’s final onslaught against rebels, a report said Saturday. Bogollagama told The Times that the newspaper was wrong to report last week that so many civilians had died in the Island’s so-called no-fire zone, most of them from Sri Lankan army shelling. “Within the no-fire zone we never returned fire because we would never have taken that degree of chance for inflicting harm on civilians,” the Minister told The Times on a visit to London on Friday. SEE INSIDE

Arrangements made for IDPs to vote
Arrangements will be made for IDPs to vote in the upcoming elections in the Jaffna Municipal Council and the Vavuniya Pradeshiya Sabha, Assistant Commissioner of Elections, Jaffna P. Kuganathan, said.
“IDPs who are registered in the relevant areas will be provided with facilities to vote at their respective camps and even if there is only one registered voter the booths will still be set up,” informed Kuganathan. SEE INSIDE

New Chief Justice Asoka?
Justice Asoka N. de Silva, most senior Judge of the Supreme Court is now tipped to be made the next Chief Justice succeeding Sarath Nanda Silva, who retired this week, according to well placed sources
Justice de Silva began his legal career as a State Counsel in the Attorney General’s Department and rose up to be Deputy Solicitor General before he was appointed to the Supreme Court. He also has experience in various legal and judicial systems in several other countries. SEE INSIDE

India takes Navi Pillay to task over Sri Lanka issue
India’s Permanent Representative to UN in Geneva A. Gopinathan, Thursday took High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navanetham Pillay to task for presuming her powers exceed that of the UN Secretary General in handling the Sri Lankan issue.
“We would like to remind all concerned that the independence of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navanethem Pillay cannot be presumed to exceed that of the UN Secretary-General,” he declared. SEE INSIDE

Wanni war heroes given military honours
Ground commanders and thousands of troops who sweated day and night for victory over terrorism, mostly during the last leg of the Wanni battles were hailed and their national contribution appreciated during a mammoth saluting parade that got underway at Army Headquarters Thursday (28) morning.  SEE INSIDE

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As they sow, so shall they reap?Terrorism sponsored by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the scourge that haunted Sri Lanka for the past 30 years, has, overnight, become a threat to the West, and it is a development that brings a new dimension to the Sri Lankan ethnic issue.
At the height of the war with the Tigers in mid-May, there was unprecedented pressure on the government in Colombo, to let go of the stranglehold they had on the LTTE. Special envoys from many influential western nations were hopping the next flight to Katunayake, and queuing up to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to try and convince him to call off the military offensive.
These visits were not without reason- and also, not entirely because these countries were sincerely concerned of the plight of civilians caught up in the final conflict in Mullativu. SEE INSIDE

Poddala attack, scribes woes and TNA’s change of stance
Over the past couple of weeks, a certain electronic media station, and certain newspapers, were strongly hinting that several journalists in the country had been having cosy relations with the LTTE. They even went to the extent of charging that these journalists had been taking money from the Tigers. The general public, who have been celebrating the military victory against the LTTE, have now started eyeing the scribes with suspicion. This charge is levelled against several journalists who were at the forefront of organising and taking part in picketing campaigns and protests rallies in the recent times. The television channel made these allegations while telecasting the footages taken of those pickets and protests. The journalists... SEE INSIDE


The fall of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) - once considered ‘invincible’, has offered the East, a new lease of life.
For the easterners, it is a new beginning with a new hope. For the first time in the history they have found an opportunity to pick their own leaders and not become victims to the dictates of the northern politicians.
The fall of the LTTE has further widened the already existing gap between the northerners and the easterners.
Already they had been segregated historically based on caste and creed but the defeat of the LTTE has further antagonised the northerners who feel that it is the easterners who had betrayed the LTTE that has resulted in the downfall of the entire Tamil community. SEE INSIDE

Now that LTTE is Crushed
I just returned from a lengthy visit to Sri Lanka, and I witnessed firsthand, the Government’s splendid victory over the LTTE terrorists. Everyday, I read with great interest, the many comments and opinions that were written on the conflict, by both Sri Lankan and international journalists. From my perspective, I can assure you, that the Government acted with restraint and compassion throughout the entire ordeal. I also saw that, the so-called ‘Western Powers’ were totally misinformed on the situation, which resulted in their passing a hasty judgment, that condemned the Government’s conduct toward... SEE INSIDE

The Way We Were………
The year was 1965. At the conclusion of our traditional big match versus S Thomas’, the Royal team was summoned by its Principal and told that, reciprocal matches had been initiated with schools in Jaffna, and as a first step, the school’s cricket team was to proceed over the weekend, for an encounter with S John’s College. SEE INSIDE

It’s not only pro-LTTE Diaspora that’s in denial
There is a certain degree of denial in certain sections of the Tamil community, especially those living outside Sri Lanka. They just can’t accept the fact that the LTTE is no more. They could take a cue from Janani Jayanayagam, that wide-eyed, hate-mongering, ill-educated politician who wants to be a member of the European Parliament, for example, publicly claimed that she is in mourning. What is there to mourn? Her mourning period began only after the LTTE leadership...  SEE INSIDE


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Bad weather forces Sri Lanka to alter plans
Sri Lanka’s preparation for a smooth workout ahead of Monday’s ICC World Twenty20 Group C match against Australia at Trent Bridge was disrupted by the typical English weather.
Practices were scheduled for Saturday at Lady Bay grounds a few kilometers from Trent Bridge, but the team had to cancel it due to the prevailing wet weather and settle for the indoor nets at Loughborough University.
Sri Lanka manager Brendon Kuruppu was rather disappointed with the prospect of having to practice indoors. “We were planning a full workout session outdoors, but we had to change our plans because of the
bad weather. SEE INSIDE

A perfect start
The second edition of the ICC World Twenty20 could not have got off to a better start than the one provided by host England when they were shockingly beaten by the Dutch at the home of cricket – Lord’s on Friday.
In Twenty20 cricket one can expect stunning results of this nature to upset the form book and the predicted 31 million pounds sterling commercial bonanza from the World Twenty20 has already set the ball rolling for the ICC to bring its flagship tournaments to England on a more
regular basis. SEE INSIDE

Dhoni denies talk of India rift
India captain Mahendra Dhoni denied talk of a rift with vice-captain Virender Sehwag ahead of Saturday’s World Twenty20 match with Bangladesh.
The 2007 champions’ news conference on Friday saw Dhoni, flanked by all his team-mates, including Sehwag, read a statement before walking out en masse.
Dhoni blamed “false and irresponsible media” in India for spreading rumours.
“The team spirit is as good as ever, with each individual supporting each other on and off the field,” he said.
“Recent reports in the Indian media of a rift between myself and Sehwag amount to nothing but false and irresponsible media. “Our fans and supporters can take confidence from the wonderful unity that continues to exist in this team. SEE INSIDE


“President’s leadership, maturity main reasons for victory”
It is with such pride and jubilation that the country celebrated the defeat of the LTTE, over the past few weeks. The political leadership was commended, and the valiant soldiers who were instrumental in crushing the Tigers were honoured, with the heartfelt gratitude of the people. Yet, the war against the Tigers is not a recent phenomenon; many soldiers sacrificed their life, limb and youth for this cause that dragged on for nearly three decades. One such individual is Col. Prasanna Wickramasuriya. Joining the military in the early 80s, he was among the first batch of officers just out of the military academy to face the outbreak of the Eelam War I. Being one of the most decorated soldiers in the military, he played an active role in the pivotal Vadamarachchi Operation, the outcome of which would have changed the course of the war, had the political leadership at the time been more visionary. SEE INSIDE

Minister thrilled with success at UN
Human Rights and Disaster Management Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe who returned to the island on Friday after attending the special session on UN Human Rights Council, says Sri Lanka must do everything possible to inform the 12 countries that voted against it, the actual situation of that happens here. Speaking to The Nation the minister said that the government should now go in for an intensified strategy of putting in place a better dialogue and a better information sharing action plan with these countries so that they would be in possession with our side of the story as well when they had to take positions in forums such as the Human Rights Council and in New York, either in the security council or the UN general assembly and hence would be able to take a more balanced position. He said the country has failed to do what the LTTE has successfully managed to do in carrying out powerful lobby abroad. “This is something that the foreign ministry must have looked into before others pointed their fingers at us,” he added... SEE INSIDE

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