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...
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..
East imposes four conditions for Provincial Council Election Bill
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.
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
(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.
Rs100 million robbery inside
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.
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...
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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.
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...
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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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
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.
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.
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,”
‘‘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
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Will SSC Test be Vaas’ swansong?
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.
A thankless job
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...
“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
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.
”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
A: 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.
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