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...
Who will be the new Foreign Secretary?
Foreign Secretary Dr Palitha Kohona will leave for New York
early next month...
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
Renuka blocks Thalatha
The main Opposition UNP is facing another internal rift over
appointing a district leader to Ratnapura, party sources
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
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
APRC awaits President’s
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.
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
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|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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Entries being accepted for World Habitat Day Art and Essay competitions
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.
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
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|Saving the best for
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%.
UPFA confident of ‘Mother of all
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
“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.
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
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.
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
“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.
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|Dilshan ready to accept the challenge
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.
Sanga the world is watching
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
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
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
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.
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
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...
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.
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