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Sunday August 16th, 2009

New tussle within UNP
With UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe not showing any public interest in contesting the forthcoming Presidential election, expected to be called any time after November 19, a clear tussle is now on between S.B. Dissanayake... SEE INSIDE

Who will be the new Foreign Secretary?
Foreign Secretary Dr Palitha Kohona will leave for New York early next month...  SEE INSIDE

New LTTE leader is questioned by Norwegian Police
Perinpanayagam Sivaparan alias Nediyawan (‘the tall’ one in Tamil), who is speculated to be the next leader of the Liberation Tigers...  SEE INSIDE

Renuka blocks Thalatha
The main Opposition UNP is facing another internal rift over appointing a district leader to Ratnapura, party sources claimed. SEE INSIDE

 

 

     Freedom for Our Lady of Madhu   

A record number of devotees have converged at the Madhu Festival this year with the end of the hostilities. Photographer Ishara S. Kodikara captured the sea of people who were there to witness the procession yesterday

                                                                

More than 20,000 have escaped
from IDP camps?

More than 20,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) residing in camps in Vavuniya have gone missing, and a census into the disappearances is now nearing completion. SEE INSIDE

APRC awaits President’s
response

The much anticipated final summary of the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) proposal has been submitted to the President early this week, according to Professor Tissa Vitarana, Chair of the Committee.  SEE INSIDE

Eelam cause washed away
Speaking in the Tamil Nadu Assembly recently Chief Minister and President of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), M. Karunanidhi, pointed out that in the post-LTTE era, attaining the goal of Tamil Eelam was not realistic. He advocated the pursuance of a ‘flexible policy,’ where the Tamils should avoid critical... SEE INSIDE

 

 

 

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NEWS

Angulana shatters police reputation
A man who appears to be drunk swaggers unsteadily along a lane in Angulana using abusive language. For a casual passer-by, what he is trying to say may sound incoherent. But if you piece together what he utters mostly in epithets you would realise that he is expressing his sentiments about Police. There is a message in what he says: Angulana does not need police anymore. He will not trust a policeman ever again.
Some go past the drunk, unconcerned about his babblings. Some others try to calm him down fearing he would turn violent. SEE INSIDE

JVP alleges mishaps in A/L paper distribution
The mishaps that occurred during the second term test examination papers have spilled over to the GCE A/L examination yesterday as Gampaha Thakshila Vidyalaya received less than the required number of Physics Part I paper, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) MP Bimal
Rathnayaka alleged. SEE INSIDE

FEB moves for jail sentence for bogus agents
The Foreign Employment Bureau (FEB) will soon make moves to have the FEB Act amended, whereby inserting a mandatory jail sentence for up to six months to a year for bogus agents, after more than 160 rackets have been exposed up to date. SEE INSIDE

Bodies of two young girls found in Colombo 7 canal
The bodies of two servant girls were found yesterday in a canal opposite the houses where they worked in Cinnamon Gardens. The servant girls were discovered missing in the early hours of yesterday and their bodies were found floating in the canal by neighbours.
The girls had written a note together in Tamil saying: “Because of a reason that causes us unbearable pain we are taking our lives. No one is to blame,” a Police source said. SEE INSIDE

Work on tallest transmitting tower begins on Wednesday
The construction work on the country’s tallest transmitting tower, 172 metres in height, will commence at Kokavil on Wednesday with the laying of the foundation stone by Minister of Media and Information Anura Priydharshana Yapa and Senior Advisor to the President Basil Rajapaksa.
Priyantha Kariyapperuma, Chairman of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC), said yesterday the ground work on the Rs. 150 million project funded by the Commission had already commenced. SEE INSIDE

Swine flu warning against travellers to India
Travellers are advised to take precautions when travelling to India, mainly to Mumbai, due to the spread of Novel Influenza (A) H1N1, cautions Dr. Paba Palihawadana, Chief Epidemiologist of the Epidemiology Unit of the Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry. “The virus has spread in India, but Mumbai is the worst affected city,” said Dr. Palihawadana. SEE INSIDE

Schools to handle term
tests next year

Term test papers will be produced at school level from next year, Minister of Education, Susil Premajayantha said.
He added that Provincial Directors agreed to carry out this recommendation and this step was recommended by the Lal Perera Committee, which investigated the school term test procedure and the reasons for its shortcomings. SEE INSIDE

Those behind SP’s killing arrested
Three suspects wanted by the police in connection with the killing of Superintendent of Police M.H. Jamaldeen, Director of Police Training School, Kalladi on May 4 were arrested by police commandos attached to Karthivu STF camp on Friday, Police Spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekara said. SEE INSIDE

UK supports Tamil language training for Police
The British High Commission in Colombo is funding the Asia Foundation Access to Justice (A2J) project’s pioneering effort to provide intensive Tamil language training for Police officers from the constable to sergeant level. These new language skills – along with insights gained through complementary discussions about ethnicity, justice and equality – are empowering male and female Police officers to serve citizens in a more effective, sensitive, and responsive manner. SEE INSIDE

Entries being accepted for World Habitat Day Art and Essay competitions
The National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) has begun receiving entries for its annual World Habitat Day Art and Essay competitions open to school children from several age groups.
The World Habitat Day falling on October 5 is observed by the government every year under a programme organised
by the NHDA. SEE INSIDE

Exam chief issues ‘no media’ circular
Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) claimed that Examinations Commissioner Anura Edirisinghe has sent a circular to all the G.C.E. A/L examination centres preventing officials on duty from giving any information regarding the examination status to any media institution. SEE INSIDE



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POLITICS

Saving the best for the last
It wouldn’t be quite true to say that the results of the Uva Provincial Council (PC) elections were not surprising. Even though victory for the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) was widely expected, the huge margin of the win was unexpected, not least of all to the hierarchy of the Alliance.
It is worthwhile to review the statistics in brief: The UPFA polled just over 418,000 votes amounting to 72% of the vote, while the major opposition party, the United National Party (UNP) polled a mere 129,000 votes, or 22%.
The rout of the UNP was all the more apparent in the Moneragala District: The party polled a dismal 16%, 15% and 14% respectively, in the Wellawaya, Moneragala and Bibile polling divisions, calling into question the concept of a so-called UNP ‘base’ vote, hitherto estimated at around 30%. SEE INSIDE

UPFA confident of ‘Mother of all PC victories’
The crisis brewing in the dissention –wracked UNP has taken a turn for the worse, following the party’s humiliating defeat at the Uva PC polls. This became quite evident at the proceedings of the party’s Working Committee and the Political Affairs Committee held last Wednesday, which turned stormy as expected.
The party’s Political Affairs Committee was held at Sirikotha with Deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya in the chair. At the outset, Karu thanked Lakshman Seneviratne, Ravi Samaraweera and Ranjith Madduma Bandara for campaigning tirelessly for the party at the poll. He attributed the party’s defeat to the failure on the part of the government to hold the election democratically. SEE INSIDE

NEWS FEATURES

“We enjoy an unprecedented degree of stability”- GL
Minister of Export Development & International Trade Prof. G.L. Peiris in a wide ranging interview with The Nation, commented on the unprecedented stability prevalent in the country, not only because of the defeat of terrorism on domestic soil, but also because of dismantling the LTTE’s financing apparatus with the arrest of KP. He also made an assessment of the the UPFA’s victory at the Uva Provincial Council election, and added that, after considering the nearly three-fourths majority polled by the government, achieving two-thirds at a Parliamentary election is no longer fanciful. “Two-thirds majority in Parliament is desirable in the national interest. SEE INSIDE

Divide or unite?
It is no secret that the Sri Lankan polity is much divided; along political, social, ethnic, religious and geographical lines. However, in a country where ethnic unity has been marred by many communal conflicts ever since 1948 Independence, none is as strong as the divisions that appear along ethnic and religious lines.
Over time, many political parties emerged representing particular ethnic or religious communities, alleging that they were not ‘properly represented’ by the Sinhala-led parties that were in power. The first Tamil party to emerge was All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) led by G.G. Ponnambalam. SEE INSIDE

Communal identity in politics: Divisive, or unifying?
While the political parties are battling over the nomenclature of their parties, The Nation spoke to several people on the streets to learn their opinions on the matter. Many opined that separate parties representing different communities lead to further discord within the country’s already fragmented society, whereas some rejected the need for the communities to represent them as separate groups in the polity. Some opposed the proposed provision saying that it is an affront to fundamental rights of the people to have representation in the country’s system of governance, whereas others believed that unless these parties are in existence,
their communities will not gain proper political representation. SEE INSIDE

“Election results, a surprise to us” - Douglas
Elections for the Vavuniya Urban Council and the Jaffna Municipal Council were pitted to be a perfect acid test to discern the concerns of the minority Tamil Community and to whom votes would eventually be cast. To the Minister of Social Services and Social welfare Douglas Devananda this was going to be a cake walk. Until, of course, results proved otherwise... Minister Devananda spoke to The Nation on his disappointment over voter turn out and concerns for the Tamil people. Below are excerpts of the interview. SEE INSIDE

 

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SPORTS

Dilshan ready to accept the challenge
Tillakaratne Dilshan has had many facets to his career as a cricketer. He began his career at Kalutara Vidyalaya as a wicket-keeper batsman then, abandoned the wicket-keeping gloves when he broke into the national side as a brilliant outfielder and middle-order batsman. When his team was searching for a suitable opening partner for Sanath Jayasuriya, Dilshan once again stepped in to serve the purpose in both formats, one-day internationals and Twenty20, where he displayed his true talents to walk away with the Man of the Tournament award in the ICC World Twenty20 in England. SEE INSIDE

Sanga the world is watching
Winning accolades is one thing and trying to live upto it is another. Long before Kumar Sangakkara was installed as captain of the Sri Lanka cricket team many pundits had predicted that he would one day assume the mantle of leadership.
Whether it came to him too soon one couldn’t say because Mahela Jayawardene who was going so well as captain surprised everyone when he announced after the Pakistan Test series in March this year that he was stepping down from the captaincy from all forms of the game.
Being Jayawardene’s deputy for three years didn’t necessarily mean that Sangakkara should be the rightful choice. SEE INSIDE

Farbrace on Sri Lanka cricket
Paul Farbrace the Sri Lanka cricket team’s assistance coach to Trevor Bayliss will be leaving at the end of the New Zealand series to take up the post of head coach of Kent County CC. When he left Kent County CC two years ago to undertake the role of assistant coach of the Sri Lanka team he was the county’s second team coach and academy director. But offered the chance to become Kent’s head coach was too much of a temptation to resist as Farbrace tells The Nation.
Q:
What made you want to leave Sri Lanka cricket?
Farbrace: I wasn’t really looking for anything. I had pretty much set my goal to stay till the end of the 2011 World Cup. SEE INSIDE

INTERVIEWS

Post mortem
The Nation spoke to representatives of the main parties who were in the fray at recent elections to obtain their views on the final outcome. Here are the excerpts.

Q. There is a talk in political circles that there is a strong opposition to the proposed Joint Opposition Alliance. What is the real situation?
A.
We all are of the opinion that a broad alliance should be formed against the present government. But majority in the party is of the opinion that such alliance should not jeopardise the identity of the party. SEE INSIDE

Q: The government is riding a wave of hype generated by war victories and their performance at elections seems to be getting better with each election. And the opposition political parties have been loosing by big margins. So in this context did the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) really expect more than one seat in the Uva Provincial Council election?
A:
Yes, the government is using the war victories to their great advantage and right now it seems difficult for any opposition... SEE INSIDE

Q: The UPFA won the recently held Uva PC election with ease. But the opposition political parties claim that this was a victory gained by prostituting war victories?
A:
Well, I’m not denying that defeating the LTTE is the biggest political advantage we have. If we look at the Moneragala District in the Uva province, we should not forget that the LTTE made repeated attacks on the civilian population until this April. During their last attack on April 12, they massacred eight in Mahagodayaya village, Buttala. So these people were living...  SEE INSIDE

Q: What do you think went wrong with this election?
A:
We believed that we were winning until the last moment. What happened was that, during the last few hours, parties contesting under the UPFA - who had armed police escorts, used it to their advantage. Of course, I don’t blame the DIG, whom I spoke with and asked to take action. But they can’t be everywhere, which is understandable.  SEE INSIDE

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