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Sunday July 19th, 2009

UNP turns its back on

The United National Party in an apparent realisation of its own mistakes is attempting to deviate from its declared economic policy of unbridled capitalism. A document titled ‘A policy document for a broad national political consensus’ adopted by the party’s political affairs committee...  SEE INSIDE

North-South AC bus service to resume soon
A top northern politician has obtained Government approval to resume the much popular Colombo-Jaffna air-conditioned bus service run by private operators soon.. SEE INSIDE

East imposes four conditions for Provincial Council Election Bill
The Eastern Provincial council has stipulated four conditions for them to approve the Provincial Council Election Amendment Bill.
The Bill envisaging a change in the system of Elections provides for the election of 70% of members to a provincial council based on the ‘first- past- the post’ system and the balance 30% based on the proportional representation system. SEE INSIDE



              A mother’s blessings…          

In a moving act, new Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya worshipped his mother, retired school Principal Eva Jayasuriya, and received her blessings prior to assuming duties at the Army Headquarters on Wednesday
(Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)


Expelled Canadian MP joins us chorus against Sri Lanka
The Liberal Party insists that conditions need to be strictly applied to any potential loan to Sri Lanka from the International Monetary Fund, based on humanitarian concerns, the proper treatment of internally displaced persons and a restoration of peace and security to the country. SEE INSIDE

Rs100 million robbery inside
link found

An inside link in the security service provider AB Securitas (Private) Limited is suspected in the massive Rs 100 million armored car robbery at Kotadeniyawa. Investigations are underway to capture the remaining member of the gang, who is said to have taken refuge in Colombo. SEE INSIDE

Dayan says his lightning recall is a mystery
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Geneva and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations there Dr Dayan Jayatilleka claimed yesterday that his sudden recall intimated to him by fax on Friday is a mystery to him as he was given a nine month extension by the President... SEE INSIDE




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Hizbullah public rebellion puzzling
After continuous attacks on the method of administration by Eastern Provincial Council Minister, M.L.A.M. Hizbullah, Governor of the Eastern Province, Rear Admiral (Retd.) Mohan Wijewickrama expressed his consternation and chagrin at the allegations claiming that there is no basis for those charges. “Minister Hizbullah has not discussed any of the allegations with me” responded the Governor to questions posed by The Nation. “I saw that several times in the past week the Minister accused me of not even allowing basic administrative choices to be made by officials other than him. But he hasn’t told me anything personally,” he added. SEE INSIDE

UNP repeats verbal complaint in writing to Elections Commissioner
The United National Party (UNP) has written to the Commissioner of Elections requesting security for their Jaffna mayoral candidate A.A. Satyendran. UNP General Secretary MP Tissa Attanayake told The Nation that although they have informed the relevant authorities about this matter on several occasions no action has been taken.
“UNP mayoral candidate Satyendran has not been given any security by the authorities while UPFA candidates are given a lot of security. We have also informed this matter to the Commissioner of Elections when we met him earlier this week,” he said. “But since no action... SEE INSIDE

Turmoil over veil ragging
A communal rift between the Tamil and the Muslim students has arisen at the College of Education in Thalankudah, Batticaloa when the second year Tamil students under the guise of ragging, had allegedly removed the scarves worn by the Muslim girls who entered the college for the first time recently.
There were arguments and fights between the students of the two communities and in this course, two Muslim students were badly assaulted by the Tamil students and were hospitalised.  SEE INSIDE

Johnston lashes out at Ranil, Mangala over party symbol
Leading UNP rebel yesterday castigated Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and his new found ally Mangala Samaraweera, the leader of the SLFP (M) and said that the elephant symbol is not their private property to discard as and when they wanted, and that it is the property of the party and any decision on this had to be taken by the party membership.
Kurunegala District MP Johnston Fernando told The Nation, more than Ranil, it’s Samaraweera who wants to change the elephant symbol to some other symbol since he does not want to contest under the elephant.
“I really don’t understand why Ranil has to dance according to other people’s music specially when Ranil is our party leader. SEE INSIDE

Commissioner interdicted after The Nation exposure
Commissioner of Local Government, Eastern Province M. Dayaparan has been interdicted after our exclusive exposure last Sunday under the heading “Massive solar stink in East,” concerning an apparent unauthorised order placed for a consignment of 5000 solar powered street lanterns at a cost of Rs.75 million rupees.Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs, D. Dassanayake. told The Nation that the letter interdicting him had been served on Tuesday. SEE INSIDE

New driving licence tender challenged in SC
A Fundamental Rights violation application has been filed against the new Smart Card driving licence tender, charging that a staggering Rs.3,216 million of foreign exchange will be drained out of the country.
Ranjith Amarasekera, Organising Secretary of the Sri Lanka Eksath Ryaduru Pasal Himiyange Sangamaya and Lionel Abeynaike, Convenor of the Riyaduru Pasal Surekeeme Vyaparaya, are the First and Second Petitioners while Commissioner General of Motor Traffic, B Wijayaratna and Minister of Transport, Dallas Alahapperuma are cited as the first and second respondents. SEE INSIDE



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Avamangala Alliances
Mangala Pinsiri Samaraweera is a not-so-young man in a hurry. The former fashion designer turned politician is now in the news, and seems to be the pet hate of the two main political parties in the country, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the opposition United National Party (UNP).
On Thursday, Samaraweera called a media conference to issue a 19-page statement outlining what he called was a conspiracy within the SLFP. Samaraweera said he would have the statement distributed among all SLFPers, but it is unlikely that this would ruffle the party, other than to irk its leadership, notably President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself.
Samaraweera of course, is no novice to local politics. Within a reasonably short span of 20 years in Parliament, and only 13 of it in the government benches, he has held the portfolios of Posts & Telecommunications, Urban Development, Construction & Public Utilities, Media, Ports & Aviation and the plum portfolio of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. SEE INSIDE

UNP Working Committee pooh-poohs Common Opposition Alliance
The document containing a proposal by SLFP (M) leader Mangala Samaraweera, that an opposition alliance led by the UNP be formed to contest the Presidential Poll expected to be held early next year, which was introduced by no less a person than party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe himself, was rejected by the UNP Working Committee that met last Wednesday.
This proposal on a Common Opposition Alliance initiated by Mangala, had been presented to the Working Committee by the UNP leader at the previous meeting. The proposal was later referred to the party’s Political Committee led by Karu Jayasuriya for study. SEE INSIDE


NAM’s relevance in the 21st century
The Non Aligned Movement summit has come during a very critical hour, at a juncture that would rewrite the history of both Sri Lanka and the world, perhaps in gold. The whole world inclusive of moderate quarters of the West is yearning for a new neutral and non partisan, economic and political order, which will bring an end to the West-oriented and US-governed world theatre.
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) began as a neutral movement in the wake of the Cold War as a group of countries that refused to ally with either the United States’ capitalist block or Soviet Union’s socialist block and choosing a middle, “non-aligned,” course, instead. SEE INSIDE

‘‘Criminal defamation best approach for press regulation’’-S.L.
With the reactivation of the Press Council, the debate on reforms of the country’s Fourth Estate and regulation of media institutions have come to the fore yet again.
The controversial Press Council Law No. 5 of 1973 was introduced by the then United Front Government during the second tenure of Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, after several such aborted attempts in early nineteen sixties. The council which has wide-ranging powers including sentencing of journalists to jail, went into disuse in 2003 with the liberalisation policy of then United Front Government and following the setting up of the Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka, a voluntary self-regulatory mechanism from within the newspaper industry. SEE INSIDE


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Will SSC Test be Vaas’ swansong?
Sri Lanka will be looking to complete their first clean sweep of a Test series against Pakistan when they play the third and final Test at the SSC.
A Sri Lanka team which has been jelling nicely under the leadership of Kumar Sangakkara is suddenly faced with a selection problem after the national cricket selectors decided to include veteran fast bowler Chaminda Vaas into a squad of 16.
One cannot fathom the thinking behind the selectors to recall the 35-year-old Vaas unless they want to give him a send off from Test cricket. Otherwise there is no reason why they should bring him back for he has no performance to show since he was left out of the squad for the first two Tests against Pakistan which Sri Lanka won so convincingly to take a winning 2-0 lead.  SEE INSIDE

A thankless job (Point Blank)
The ICC Volunteer Awards presentation ceremony and banquet was held at the Taj Samudra Hotel where fifty recipients were felicitated by Sri Lanka Cricket as part of the ICC’s Centenary Celebrations of honouring cricket’s unsung heroes.
On an occasion of this nature it is certainly a hard task for those who have been given the job of picking the selected fifty from over maybe 500 possible recipients to appease each and everyone. In the event there were a few unlucky ones who were left out which may have caused much displeasure and heartburn for they also would have been among the deserving ones had the list not been shortened to just fifty but lengthened to accommodate a hundred.
Just how difficult a task it was to prune down the list to just fifty could be gauged... SEE INSIDE


“Civil-Military relations on a better footing than ever before”– Army Commander
Q: Some experts have pointed out that one of the reasons for lack of success of the Army in battling the LTTE in the past, was that the Army had a string of commanders, who were not from the fighting units and were not conversant with battlefield requirements. But your predecessor Gen Fonseka saw this grave shortcoming, and wanted to reward those who performed in the battlefield and he got just rewards. Because of that policy you yourself was placed ahead of some seniors from other units, and made the Commander at a comparative young age of 50. What are the chances of the Army going back to rewarding mediocre officers?
A: As you know, I just took over the office from my predecessor and need time to review and rectify such instances as you have asked in the question. SEE INSIDE

”School connection not a criteria for high posts”– Navy Commander
Q: You have set some records, which have yet to be bettered, like topping your batch at Dartmouth. You were also a formidable sportsman at Royal. Can you tell us something about those achievements?
I wish to be humble in answering this question as it describes my past. I was the first to go to Dartmouth having won the Sword of Honour being Best Cadet of the 04th Intake at the Naval & Maritime Academy after 16 years, as previous SLN officers as a batch went to Dartmouth in 1959. I passed out as the best International Midshipman with a first class pass competing with approximate 40 foreigners from many Navies. The record is that I was appointed as Divisional Sub Lieutenant (under trainee officer to be in charge of all under trainees) in the Hawke Division in the first half of the term. This record is yet to be achieved by any foreigner in the Dartmouth history. SEE INSIDE

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