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Sunday August 09th, 2009

KP sings about DPL, VIP links
Despite him being an internationally wanted fugitive, LTTE’s self-proclaimed leader since the killing of Velupillai Prabhakaran, Selvarasa Pathmanathan has revealed shocking details about his continuing links with top officials of international organisations and ambassadors of leading Western nations serving in Colombo. SEE INSIDE

Low turnout, but polls peaceful
The first post-war election concluded yesterday with monitoring bodies claiming it as the most free and fair held in the recent past, but low voter turnout for the local elections in Jaffna and Vavuniya marred the whole democratic exercise.
According to the National... SEE INSIDE

Another dengue outbreak in two months
The Heath Ministry warned another possible outbreak of dengue in two months, with the start of North-Eastern Monsoon, thus, urging the public to remain alert.
Health Ministry Spokesman W.M.D. Wanninayake speaking to The Nation yesterday said the number of dengue cases being reported has declined recently... SEE INSIDE

                 Enter Shasheendra              

The expected victor as the new Chief Minister of Uva Provincial Council, Shasheendra Rajapaksa yesterday walking into his polling booth in Moneragala with the confident air of a victor and the sign at the entrance to the polling centre symbolically also indicates that he is the man in for the job

                                                                

UNP rebels to contest under UPFA
Son of UNP’s formidable heavyweight late Gamini Dissanayake and non-Cabinet Minister for Investment Promotion in the present Government, Navin Dissanayake expects to contest the next general election under (PA) ticket. SEE INSIDE

IGP’s action against Nipuna’s abductors awaited
As the disciplinary control of the Police is under the IGP once again in the absence of the National Police Commission, authorities are watching to see what action Jayantha Wickramaratna will take against those responsible for the abduction and assault of a 22-year-old information technology student on Tuesday. SEE INSIDE

Visiting Chinese Buddhist delegation leaves today
The 102-member Chinese Buddhist delegation on a visit here from August 2 will leave the country today.
The visit of the Buddhist delegation led by Ven. Shi Yie Chang, the chief abbot of the Lingguang Temple in Beijing was organised to strengthen the Buddhist cultural relations between the two countries, Foreign Affairs Ministry said. SEE INSIDE

 

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NEWS

Tug-of-war on bus fare hikes likely to end
The tug-of-war between the National Transport Commission (NTC) and the private bus owners on annual fare hikes is likely to end in two weeks with Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) expressing a possibility of agreeing to the percentage recommended by the NTC.
President of the LPBOA Gemunu Wijeratne said they will take a final decision on the NTC suggested bus fare hike of 5.3% after they return from the study tour to India planned for next week. SEE INSIDE

Tamil speaking labour officers to be recruited
The Labour Ministry will recruit 20 new labour officers through an open competitive and a limited competitive examination to be held only in the Tamil medium in November this year, to serve in the labour offices in the North and East and also in areas where there are large concentrations of Tamil speaking people. SEE INSIDE

Mahabodhi Society tussle over 175,000 pound donation
Colombo Fort Magistrate and Additional District Judge Gihan Pilapitiya has issued summons on three parties who are claiming a sum of 175,000 British Pounds entrusted by a last will of two British donors.
Summons were issued on Prasanna Jayasuriya, a trustee of Mahabodhi Society of India empowered to sign cheques of the society’s account, Ven. Akuratiye Nanda Thera who is also authorised to sign cheques of the society... SEE INSIDE

UC member in another
elephant drama

In another elephant drama, Deputy Chairman of the Balangoda Urban Council was arrested last morning for keeping a three-month-old baby elephant in his possession.
An official of the Wildlife Department said a special team led by Assistant Director Upali Padmasiri was engaged in the pre-dawn raid.
“The baby elephant was hidden in a room of the Deputy Chairman’s house and the search was based on a tip-off by a neighbour. We arrested three suspects including the Deputy Chairman and handed the baby elephant over to Eth Athuru Sevana in Udawala,” he said. SEE INSIDE

Tikkam distillery in Jaffna to be developed
Social Services Minister Douglas Devananda, who is also the Chairman of the Special Task Force for the North will take steps to develop the Tikkam distillery in Jaffna. SEE INSIDE

Stage one of coal power plant to be completed soon – CEB
The Stage One of Sri Lanka’s first ever Coal Power Project – 900 MW Norochcholai Plant will be completed soon and will be commissioned mid 2010, while civil works for Stages Two and Three will simultaneously commence this month.
Chairman of Ceylon Electricity Board E.A.S.K. Edirisinghe told a media briefing this week that a Chinese and Sri Lankan Buddhist ceremony will be held on August 20, with the participation of Malwatu and Asgiri Mahanayake Theras as well as Chief Prelate of China, to mark the completion...  SEE INSIDE

‘Techno 2009’ National Engineering and Technology Exhibition at BMICH
The Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL), proudly heralds its 24th annual exhibition which is to be held at the BMICH, from October 9-11.
This prestigious ‘Techno 2009’ exhibition which marks the flagship event in the IESL calendar, will seek to unleash and elicit multi-faceted disciplines, talents and skills in the spheres of engineering. It will strive to drive Sri Lanka into scientific and technological excellence, uplift and enhance the quality of life of our people and steer our motherland towards prosperity. SEE INSIDE

Tiger building contractor netted
Suspect Krishnan Christy Waraliyan Reddiar, of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) who had aided and abetted the LTTE by being in charge of building contracts of the LTTE leaders, was arrested by the Western Province Special Operation Unit (WPSOU) at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake early this week.
Krishnan’s brother Krishnan Nirosh Pradeep Reddiar was also taken into custody for assisting his brother to carry on his terrorist activities, on the same day. SEE INSIDE

Sacrilege caused to historic monument
Elephants are brought by their mahouts to have a bath after the Kandy Esala Perahera at the ‘Flower Fountain’ built by the British coffee planters, which is now a protected monument.
Their baths are immensely costly as the elephants that are tied to the cherubs – five of them around the edge of the fountain – often end up damaging them. It is understood that there is a watcher to advise the mahouts not to tie their elephants’ chain around
these cherubs. SEE INSIDE



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POLITICS

Lanka’s Intelligence finally gets its prize catch
The sensational news of the arrest of LTTE’s self-appointed leader Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias Kumaran Pathmanathan, by a team of INTERPOL sleuths at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur last Wednesday, nipped in the bud the much publicised attempt by a section of the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora to revive the movement.
Soon after being officially informed of the arrest of much wanted LTTE’s chief arms procurer Pathmanathan well known as KP, a team of operatives from the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of Sri Lanka Police, was rushed to Bangkok from where they took over the custody of KP from the INTERPOL sleuths.
The TID operatives returned home on a special flight with their `prized catch’ on Thursday evening. SEE INSIDE

Polls Unlimited
The strategy of piecemeal elections received an unexpected boost with the crushing of the LTTE, which led to an unprecedented surge in popularity for President Mahinda Rajapaksa. These piecemeal polls, however, has also led to speculation as to what the ruling party’s future strategy will be with regard to elections. The first major poll due is the general election, which has to be called by April 2010. However, there is Constitutional provision for President Rajapaksa to call for a presidential poll after November this year, which would effectively mean a presidential election early next year. SEE INSIDE

NEWS FEATURES

Norochcholai to herald new power era
With Sri Lanka’s exponential growth and anticipated GDP growth comes the exponential need for energy. Demand for electricity has far outstripped supply, and now a new era will dawn in Sri Lanka’s power and energy sector with the Norochcholai Coal Power Project coming into operation by mid 2010 heralding the Coal Power Era.
The Nation team visited Norochcholai Power Plant last week, and was able to see that nearly 70 percent of its civil construction was over and the project is ahead of its schedule in completing work.
Speaking at a press conference held at Norochcholai Plant site, Chairman of Ceylon Electricity Board E A S K Edirisinghe, said that seventy percent of the Phase One was now complete and added that the project will commence its test operations in the first quarter of 2010, well ahead of its schedule. SEE INSIDE

Reverse ‘tainted’ deals or punish offenders?
In Sri Lanka, privatisation has long been a contentious and debated issue. However unlike in India which preferred joint ventures in the form of Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) coupled with the deregulation of entry into activities previously treated as public monopolies, which has transformed it into an Asian superpower: In Sri Lanka the focus had largely been on transfer of ownership of state assets to private.
Several landmark judgements delivered by Sri Lanka’s apex court - the Supreme Court, during the recent times, declared that Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC), Lanka Marine Services (LMS) and Waters’ Edge deals were illegal and were pronounced ‘null and void,’ while the Court stopped any payment being made under hedging contracts. SEE INSIDE

Underworld- Let the courts decide
With underworld killings on the rise, The Nation took to the streets again to find out what the public think about these killings or if there should be an attempt to solve them within the Judicial System. The majority was for a fair trial. Here’s what the public had to say:  SEE INSIDE

The death penalty is amoral, legal murder
There are several strong arguments in favour of capital punishment. Some argue that the death penalty should be exercised as deterrent, offering it as a means of putting the brakes on rising incidence of violent crime. It is also argued that one who commits the crime of taking another’s life should be punished as per equivalency. The perpetrators of horrific crimes ought to be ‘put away’ for the common good, some point out.
Today, in Sri Lanka, there’s a big clamour for implementing the death penalty and the advocates typically bring up one or more of the above arguments. Taking the life of a human being, legally or otherwise, is a serious matter and societies, I believe, ought to tread... SEE INSIDE

 

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SPORTS

We can turn it around says Lankan coach
Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss admitted his team made a few mistakes in the fourth ODI which they lost to Pakistan but was confident they could bounce back in the next match. “We made a few mistakes but it’s nothing that we can’t turn around in the next game,” said Bayliss analyzing his team’s 146-run defeat.
Sri Lanka who hold on to a winning 3-1 lead in the five-match ODI series play Pakistan in the fifth and final match at the R Premadasa Stadium under lights today. SEE INSIDE

The little Miandad

The pundits and critics may have their various views on the game of cricket but one thing that’s for sure is that the sport is not devoid of rare and unique talent. The innings we saw from teenager Umar Akmal at the R Premadasa Stadium on Friday left virtually everyone breathless. The 101 minutes he spent at the crease provided the spectators who were fortunate to make it to the stadium, batsmanship of the highest quality. It was not raw power hitting but sweetly timed drives, pulls and cuts which left the Lankan fielders and bowlers astounded as much as it did the crowd.
Some of Umar’s stroke play was outrageous and was reminiscent of Javed Miandad arguably the greatest batsman that country has produced. How well Umar improvised his batting as the former master batsman to make the formidable Lankan attack look pretty ordinary and tame. SEE INSIDE

I learnt to tackle pressure from my brother – Umar Akmal
Umar Akmal who decimated the Sri Lankan bowling with a magnificent maiden one-day international century said that he had learned to tackle pressure from his elder brother Kamran Akmal, the wicket-keeper of the Pakistan side who is a hard-hitting free-scoring batsman.
“I’ve learnt a lot from my brother how to tackle the pressure. When the team needed runs I’ve knew how to take the pressure and play according to the situation,” said Umar who was named man of the match after his
blazing knock of 102 not out off 72 balls that comprised four sixes and five fours. SEE INSIDE

Cricket ad revenues to hit
a six this year

A packed calendar from September means good news for cricket junkies currently getting high on the Ashes
Mumbai: Here’s a pop quiz: Which business will generate in 2009 a little over double the revenue it did in 2008?
The answer: Cricket telecasts.
Thus, while a packed calendar from September means good news for cricket junkies currently getting high on the Ashes, broadcasters are licking their lips at the prospect of getting a juicy slice of the between Rs400 crore and Rs650 crore of advertising cricket telecasts are expected to attract in the same period.
In the entire year, according to Shashi Sinha, chief executive (CEO) of media buying agency Lodestar Universal Pvt. Ltd, cricket telecasts will attract ad revenue of around Rs1,200 crore. The number has never crossed Rs500 crore in previous years, said Sinha. SEE INSIDE

INTERVIEWS

“We see an upward trend in investment”
The military victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) spells out not only the dawn of peace and security for the country. It also opens up many opportunities for investment, especially by foreign investors who kept away for nearly three decades because of the war. Non-Cabinet Minister for Investment Promotion, Navin Dissanayake is confident that once basic issues such as land, labour and capital are solved, and investor confidence returns, Sri Lanka can take off as a nation. But, he pointed out in an interview with The Nation, that to attract the investor, not only infrastructure facilities such as transportation, telecommunication and electricity have to be there, but also, there has to be a law protecting the investment. Talking of his political career, Minister Dissanayake affirmed that he would contest the next Parliamentary election under the People’s Alliance, and does not harbour any expectation to return to the United National Party (UNP), from which he defected with 18 other members a couple...  SEE INSIDE

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