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Sunday July 26th, 2009

Lanka gets loan without West
Despite heavy opposition from key Western powers – but backed by a clear majority – the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) finally approved a US$ 2.6 billion loan to Sri Lanka yesterday.
The US, Britain, Germany and France abstained from the vote citing humanitarian concerns, while a majority of other IMF member nations, particularly from Asia, helped Sri Lanka win the vote by a ‘clear majority.’ The endorsement enables Sri Lanka to immediately  SEE INSIDE

SB axed from Kandy
The United National Party on Wednesday rejected a request from its National Organiser and Central Province Opposition Leader S B Dissanayake to be appointed as its Chief Organiser for Hewaheta in the Kandy District.
The decision was taken by the party advisory Committee appointed by its Working Committee. SEE INSIDE

JSC Secretary replaced
Secretary to the Judicial Service Commission P.W.D.C. Jayatilaka has been asked to
 resign from his post and Deputy Secretary D. N. Samarakoon has been... SEE INSIDE




‘You’re out’ says one-year-old son Manaka to father Chaminda Vaas who retired from Test cricket at the end of the third Test against Pakistan at the SSC grounds on Friday

                     (Pic by Pushpakumara Matugama)


Multi-billion rupee tender awarded for new electronic NIC
The Government this week awarded the multi-billion rupee tender for the issuance of the new Electronic National Identity Card to replace the current manually processed ID system existing from 1972.
Secretary to the Ministry of Internal Administration Dr Upananda Vidanapathirana... SEE INSIDE

Professor takes on lawyers in SC
Is it a privilege of lawyers to make maliciously false and defamatory statement against litigants in judicial proceedings?
Prof. Velupillai Tharamaratnam of Sampanthar, Karainagar, raised this question before the Supreme Court this week in an appeal against two lawyers who were defendants in defamation case No. Miscellaneous...  SEE INSIDE

CID probe into commercial greed threatening historic property
The CID has begun an investigation into a complaint that plans are underway to sell as blocks the 50-acre coconut plantation that belonged to world renowned author and surgeon Dr. R.L.Spittle located at Makola, Kiribathgoda, Chairman of the Coconut Cultivation Board Dr. Jayantha Gunathilake told The Nation. SEE INSIDE




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Udathalawinna Murder Trial-
Five remaining accused, acquitted

Allowing the Udathalawinna Murder Appeal by five army personnel attached to then Minister Anurudha Ratwatte’s security detail, the Supreme Court set aside their conviction and the death sentence earlier imposed by the High Court at Bar, last Friday.
Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, delivering the verdict with Justices P.A. Ratnayake, Nimal Gamini Amaratunga, Jagath Balapatabendi and (Ms). Chandra... SEE INSIDE

North electrification kick starts next week
The Ceylon Electricity Board will call for tenders by next week on Supplier Credit Basis for the Northern Province Electrification Project under the Uthuru Wasantha (Vadakku Vasantham), which anticipates providing the entire Northern Province with electricity within two years, under a three-phase accelerated project costing Rs. 3,750 million.
“Cabinet approval has been obtained for the expansion of generation capacity in Jaffna, until the transmission cables from Vavuniya... SEE INSIDE

Vacancy in Supreme Court
The vacancy created in the Supreme Court with the retirement of former Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva early last month has still not been filled.
Under the Constitution, however there is no necessity to have a full complement of 11 judges in the highest Court in the land.
According to Article 119 (1) of the Constitution “The Supreme Court shall consist of the Chief Justice and of not less than six... SEE INSIDE

Bahrain PM here on Tuesday
Manama: Bahrain Premier Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa will pay an official state visit to Sri Lanka from July 28 to 30 on a personal invitation extended to him by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
This is the first visit by a Bharain Prime Minister to Sri Lanka. Shaikh Khalifa will have bilateral talks with President Rajapaksa and will be accompanied by a high level delegation. The two countries are expected to sign several bilateral agreements. SEE INSIDE

Parasites Breeding Centre for bio-control of coconut pests
The recently set up Parasites Breeding Centre at Mailanbaveli, Batticaloa will enable the effective control of all pests including beetles that destroy the coconut plantations in the East from time to time, Coconut Cultivation Board Chairman, Jayantha Gunatilake said. SEE INSIDE

Railway–CTB coordinated public transport service for Kataragama devotees
A Railway-CTB coordinated public transport service is now in operation for the convenience of devotees attending the Esala festival in Kataragama.
This special service which was launched last Wednesday will operate till August 6, the Department of Information said.
Devotees travelling on coastline trains are provided with a coordinated bus service from Matara to Kataragama and for those from upcountry areas in particular a similar bus service is being operated... SEE INSIDE

Neelan Tiruchelvam Memorial Lecture today
Professor Upendra Baxi, Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Warwick, U.K. will deliver the Tenth Neelan Tiruchelvam Memorial Lecture today at the BMICH, Committee Room ‘A’ at 6:00 p.m. The title of the lecture is “Constitutional Utopias: A Conversation with Neelan Tiruchelvam.” SEE INSIDE

Thousands of absentee voters in Vavuniya
The errors made by the Department of Elections in preparing the register of voters in Vavuniya have left space for many malpractices said Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) spokesman Keerthi Tennakoon. Tennakoon said that although Vavuniya has 24,626 registered voters less than 17, 000 live there at present. “We were there this week and according to our calculations less than 65% of the registered... SEE INSIDE

Rs. 500 million worth of drugs to be destroyed?
Sub-standard and `date-expired’ drugs and vaccines worth more than Rs.500 million are to be condemned by the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC), an SPC source claimed yesterday.
According to the source, the drugs are either to be destroyed due to date-expiring or being identified as quality failures. “It is the responsibility of the SPC management to procure quality drugs... SEE INSIDE

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Economic policy in debate
It was Junius Richard Jayewardene, JRJ to all, who engineered the revival of the United National Party (UNP) in the late ’70s, resulting in an unprecedented mandate for the party at the General elections in 1977, where a ‘free and just society’ was promised to the people.
A cornerstone of that victory was the economic policy advocated by JRJ. Seven years of a ‘closed door’ economy imposed on the country by Sirimavo Bandaranaike and her United Front Government that included the leftist Communist Party (CP) and the Lanka Samasamaja Party (LSSP) had taken its toll. The masses were disillusioned with rice barriers, eating manioc on Tuesdays and Thursdays and rationed luxuries. SEE INSIDE

Diplomatic victory follows
military victory

Sri Lanka asked for only US $ 1.9 billion from the IMF. But the IMF has now decided to increase this standby loan facility to US $ 2.6 billion, given the decisive end to the protracted war and the urgent need to carry out rehabilitation and reconstruction in the North and East.
Sri Lanka received US $ 322.2 million as the first tranche of this credit facility last Friday. The country is to receive the pledged amount in eight equal instalments and the final instalment is due on March 15, 2011. According to Central Bank sources, this is the biggest ever loan Sri Lanka has received from the IMF.
Govt. turns tables on detractors
Sri Lanka applied for this loan facility at a time when the war against the LTTE had reached a very decisive stage. SEE INSIDE


Smart Card Driving Licence
challenged again

The First Petitioner, Ranjith Amarasekera is the Organising Secretary of the Sri Lanka Eksath Riyaduru Pasal Himiyange Sangamaya, which is an association of driving school owners in Sri Lanka registered as a trade union in the Office of the Registrar of Trade Unions under the Registration No. 7864.
First Petitioner states that there are over 550 Driving Schools in the country registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles, of which the Sri Lanka Eksath Riyaduru Pasal Himiyange Sangamaya (United Driving School Owners Association) has in its membership over 60 Driving Schools carrying on their activities in the Districts of Gampaha, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Kegalle, Matara and Hambanthota. SEE INSIDE

People decide - To hang or not to hang
It was the voice of the people that prevented the resumption of the execution of the death penalty during the few times it was attempted by the authorities. The majority view was that Sri Lanka being a leading Buddhist country, must not resort to the capital punishment when dealing with criminals. This time around too it is the opinion of the people that matters most when gauging the need and demand for reviving capital punishment in this country. Hence, The Nation spoke to a cross section of the society to learn their views about this latest attempt to bring back the death penalty. The majority were for implementing the death penalty. SEE INSIDE

Alex Crawford and rubbish journalism
The word is a powerful tool in the hands of those who are skilled at using it. It informs and misinforms, reveals and hides, privileges and underprivileges, exaggerates and waters down, represents and misrepresents, emphasises and footnotes. The word is a special kind of weapon in that it is slick, slippery, intangible and therefore almost made for abuse. Double-edged is the natural descriptive. This is why journalists are required to act with professionalism, a sense of social responsibility and consideration of ethics. Some journalists are hard on themselves in this regard, others though are hard on society: They lie, twist, exaggerate, sensationalise and in other ways act in ways that spill over decent media practice and even mischief-making into downright dishonesty. SEE INSIDE


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Giant-killers Navy busts Kandy’s invincibility
Navy Sports Club created the biggest upset in the Caltex ‘A’ division rugby tournament this year when they prevailed over defending champions Kandy Sports Club to win the second round game by 12 points to 11.The sailors, who turned the tables on fancied CR and FC last week by beating them 18-3, gave Kandy their first defeat of the season. The winners had their total points from four penalties to Kandy’s solitary try and two penalties.
The sailors played according to a game plan especially to contain the famed Kandy back division of Fazil Marija, Gayan Weeraratne, skipper Pradeep Liyanage, Sanjeewa Jayasinghe, Sameera Silva and Radhika Hettiarachchi.  SEE INSIDE

Fast bowling in safe hands Chaminda Vaas may have bid goodbye to Test cricket but he’s left a legacy of a battery of young fast bowlers behind him to follow in his footsteps so that the country is well served for the next generation. There was a time in the history of Sri Lanka cricket that fast bowlers were a rarity in our system. For instance in Sri Lanka’s inaugural Test match against England in 1982, Ashantha de Mel opened bowling with a makeshift bowler skipper Bandula Warnapura. There have been several instances where Sri Lanka because of the lack of a quality pair of fast bowlers have resorted to opening with part-time bowlers like Asanka Gurusinha and even Sanath... SEE INSIDE

With the retirement of Chaminda Vaas from Test cricket it is not only Sri Lanka that loses a quality world class left-arm fast bowler but international cricket overall. For seldom do you find bowlers in the quality of Vaas gracing the field. The decision to eventually retire from the game, after serving it for a period of 15 years, would have been a difficult one. It is not one of the easiest of decisions to take especially when you are still fit and rearing to go. SEE INSIDE

Lankan bowlers call the tune

By winning the Man of the Series award fast-medium bowler Nuwan Kulasekara clearly emphasised the fact that it was the bowlers who won the three-Test series for Sri Lanka against Pakistan. It was the first time that Sri Lanka had defeated Pakistan in a Test series at home.
Until the final innings of the series Sri Lanka’s batting had failed to show the high consistency which it had maintained in recent years. SEE INSIDE


Bilingual Education develops hiccups
“It was never English medium education to begin with” says Officer-in-Charge- Bilingual Education Programme, Ministry of Education, Priyatha Nanayakkara, pointing out what may well be the mother of miscomprehensions. “It should be referred to as Bilingual Education,” she says, explaining that most stones aimed at the programme have come from the incorrect term being more popular. In any case, the introduction of Bilingual Education to the local syllabus has been quite sensational. It has garnered an attention that spans all media. As students and school administrators complain... SEE INSIDE

“We are in a new phase where everybody supports us”
Managing foreign affairs in today’s complex and extensively globalised world is not an easy task. Sri Lanka had to face both praise and censure during the first half of this year for its military operations against the LTTE. In the present post-conflict scenario, the Minister in charge of foreign relations has much to do in terms of reconciliation with other States as well as carrying the message of rebuilding to the global forums. This week, The Nation met with Foreign Affairs Minister Rohitha Bogollagama to learn of his efforts to manage foreign affairs in the post-conflict era, and how he has managed... SEE INSIDE

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