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Sunday June 14th, 2009

Five Lankans incinerated in bus accident in Riyadh
A major road accident involving a bus and a truck on the Riyadh-Dammam Highway resulted in 29 deaths, including five Sri Lankans, on Thursday night. Only 21 bodies were retrieved from the bus. The remaining eight passengers are presumed... SEE INSIDE

UAE Minister gives notice
of future help

United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Sri Lanka will establish a joint commission to assess how the two countries can help each other in the near future, UAE Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed... SEE INSIDE

Great divide forming in TNA
A clear division is forming in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) with some of its members pulling to cooperate with the government “to find a solution to the grievances of the Tamil people”.
The TNA has still not resolved issues pertaining to selection of candidates to contest... SEE INSIDE

         Honouring the Heroes      

Three wheeler drivers yesterday took their turn to honour the war heroes with a massive procession comprising several hundred tri-shaws. The procession which began from the front of the Art Gallery late afternoon proceeded to Temple Trees where three representatives of the Combined Three Wheeler Drivers’ Association handed over a memorandum and a plaque to mark the occasion          (Pic by Thushara Dassanayake)


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Seat belts made compulsory
with a hitch

The Department of Motor Traffic has made wearing of seat belts compulsory for drivers and front seat passengers from this week. With the invoking of this regulation the average passenger and the driver will have to bow to this law and in the long run... SEE INSIDE

Oil up in world market sharply, but govt to hold prices steady here
In spite of the recent spike in crude oil prices in the world market, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Chairman, Major General Asoka Thoradeniya assured that the government has no plans to increase fuel prices.
“The price hike has affected the government.  SEE INSIDE

Total electrification of North by 2011
The government anticipates providing the entire Northern Province with electricity within two years, under a three-phase accelerated project costing Rs. 3,750 million. SEE INSIDE


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Education Ministry has put the cart before the horse
The Education Ministry claims that all National School principals have already been informed by National Schools Director Srilal Nonis to make arrangement to provide English medium Advanced Level classes in the Science, Commerce and Art streams. Responding to the news story published in The Nation last week, about the students who are stranded without schools offering English medium A/L classes, Education Media Secretary Jayaweera Delpagoda, in a statement claimed... SEE INSIDE

President urged to hold World Buddhist Council in 2011
Thanks to the eradication of terrorism, people in the country celebrated Poson in an atmosphere of peace and harmony after a long tome, observed Ports and Civil Aviation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa in Hambantota last week.
Speaking at the opening of Ruhuna Poson Mahimaya celebrations held in Hambantota, under the aegis of the Light of Asia Foundation and Lanka Salt (Pvt) Limited, Rajapaksa said that Poson was an ideal occasion to remember King Asoka`s message of Dhammavijaya and renew our commitment to peace, harmony and national unity. SEE INSIDE

Quick victory not possible without influx of new recruits
Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka paid a glowing tribute to young recruits who joined the army en masse and contributed to the historic victory.
“Had they failed to do so, we would not have been able to see an end to this war. Parents and their family members who directed those heroic soldiers to join the Army also deserve our praise. The Army’s strength rose to 200,000 from 116,000 as some 80,000 novices joined the service in the past few months. Their entry helped us enormously to hold on to the territory thus captured and minimise soldier casualties”... SEE INSIDE

Kelaniya University
The attacks on Kelaniya University students is the latest attempt by the Government to silence the voice of dissent, claimed Convener, Inter University Students Federation, Udul Premaratne.
Premaratne charged that the Police not only allowed armed assailants to attack students but also did not provide adequate security to the convoys which carried mostly female
students to safety. SEE INSIDE

New rehabilitation centre in Mannar
Ministry of Healthcare is in the process of building a rehabilitation centre in Mannar for the IDP’s, Director General of Health Services Dr.Ajith Mendis said yesterday
Dr. Mendis told The Nation that Mannar is one of the most suitable areas to build a rehabilitation centre since there are nearly 2,000 IDP’s receiving treatment in the Manner Hospital. SEE INSIDE

Nurses to don casuals instead of uniforms
Government Nurses Officers’ Association (GNOA) has given an ultimatum to the Ministry of Healthcare to pay the annual Uniform Allowances of Rs 9,000 within 14 days. According to the GNOA the allowance was due to be paid in March. SEE INSIDE

No arrests made yet
No arrests have been yet made by Moratuwa Police probing a robbery that took place at the entrance to a private bank at Rawatawatte, Moratuwa last Monday (8) morning, where a patrol shed owner was robbed of nearly 1.7 million rupees after armed gunmen shot dead
 his driver.  SEE INSIDE

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What next with the Tigers’ extinct?The dust is slowly, but surely, settling on the victory celebrations that erupted throughout the nation, in the aftermath of the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). However, it is almost a certainty now, that this will be followed by the hustings- the only question being what type of major election will come first. For now, though, the election-hungry masses will have to be satiated with two appetisers-the Provincial Council (PC) poll in the Uva Province and the Local Government elections in Jaffna. SEE INSIDE

TNA dilemma, Thondaman’s mission & UNP’s Grand Alliance plan
Tamil National Alliance’s (TNA) displacement within the Sri Lankan political landscape since the defeat of the LTTE, was noted in these columns last week. Their political bankruptcy has now been proven by the fact that several TNA MPs stand to lose their seats, following a discussion that ensued in Parliament last Wednesday. TNA Parliamentarian Shivasakthi Anandan presented a motion in Parliament on Wednesday (10) to request leave of absence for MPs S. Adaikkalanadan, S. Gajendran, S. Jayananda Murthi and Padmini Sidambaranadan for a further three months.  SEE INSIDE


The anxieties of INGOs and their patron saints
I heard this morning (that’s the morning of Saturday the of June 13, , 2009,) that the Department of Immigration and Emigration has taken steps to arrest all foreigners without valid visas. This interested me a lot, especially since Jeremy Page, correspondent for www.timesonline.co.uk had howled in protest about aid workers in Sri Lanka, being forced to leave under strict new visa rules. Page is naturally livid since he was himself shown the door some time back. Jeremy Page has made a list, probably shaken it twice, and ranted about Good Samaritans being treated badly by the Sri Lankan Government. Page starts with a by now typical unsubstantiated claim (this is how he creates ‘news’ I suppose and what his employer(s) consider ‘ethical’ journalism): “Sri Lanka is hampering international... SEE INSIDE

IGP’s interview on I.T.N.
The report headlined, ‘Police probing journalists on Tiger pay roll’, in the Daily Mirror of Saturday May 30, based on a Defence Ministry report, albeit of much news value, has fallen short of giving coverage to the plethora of valuable observations of public interest made by IGP Jayantha Wickramaratne, when he was interviewed by Sudarman Hadaiiyagoda on ITN’s Tulawa programme on May 28. Any person listening to this interview would have justifiably felt proud of the Sri Lanka Police Service. It was particularly refreshing and heartening to the thousands of Policemen serving in numerous capacities in the entire island, and in equal measure to the thousands of retired Police... SEE INSIDE


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Dilscoop puts Sri Lanka in sight of semi-final berth
First it was the paddle sweep a la Misbah-ul-Haq followed by the switch hit from Kevin Pietersen. The latest cricket term that is doing the rounds in the on-going ICC World Twenty20 is Dilscoop associated with Tillakaratne Dilshan’s unique scoop shot over the wicket-keeper’s head for which no opposing captain has yet come up with a plan to stop the Sri Lankan opener from scoring runs freely.
Sri Lanka began their Super Eight campaign with a convincing 19-run win over Pakistan at Lord’s on Friday giving them three wins in a row in the competition following their success over Australia (by six wickets) and West Indies (by 19 runs). SEE INSIDE

MCC lauds Mathews’ amazing acrobats
In the on-going ICC World Twenty20 in England, Sri Lanka has been in the news not only for the brand of cricket they are displaying but also for their amazing commitments on the field which has seen them record a hat-trick of victories in their first three matches. While Tillakaratne Dilshan is confusing the best of bowlers with his unique Dilscoop, Sanath Jayasuriya thrashing the bowlers to all parts of the ground, and Lasith Malinga returning to his best form after injury with toe-crushing yorkers and Ajantha Mendis mesmerizing batsmen with his carrom ball deliveries, the English press are apparently running short of adjectives describing Sri Lanka’s march towards a possible place in the final. SEE INSIDE


13 plus in a unitary state -Jayatilleke
Ever since he was appointed as the Permanent Representative of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to the United Nations at Geneva, Dayan Jayatilleka has been making headlines with his brand of diplomacy which has been both applauded and criticised. While he is basking in the recent victory at the recently held UNHRC special sessions The Nation met him to question about the underlying frictions that usually accompany such ‘victories’
Q: Sri Lanka has had several diplomatic victories in the recent months at the UN and from the outside we seem to have a lot of allies. But haven’t we also lost the support of some countries, EU and the USA who can have a significant impact on Sri Lanka, foreign aid and GSP +?
A: So far, I have had nothing but the most cordial relations with the US here in Geneva. SEE INSIDE

All must be grateful to Govt.
Following are excerpts:
Q: How does the UNP view the victory in the battlefront and the following action taken by the government to handle the refugee situation?
A: We are very happy that finally terrorism has come to a halt. In that the leader of the LTTE and other leaders have all been eliminated, which means that there will be no organised terrorism in the near future?   SEE INSIDE

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