Govt. tells off nosy diplomats
Responding to accusations of undue delays made by
representatives from several Western countries, a senior
governmental spokesman said yesterday that unless complete
safety in the former conflict areas is ensured, the
Green-light for Kerawalapitiya LNG power plant
The controversy regarding the 1,000 MegaWatt (MW) Liquefied
Natural Gas (LNG) private power project at Kerawalapitiya...
Mihin Air proves critics wrong
It was sheer irony that Mihin Lanka had been dragged through the
dirt in parliament on Tuesday over more than Rs 3000 million in
losses it suffered from April 01, 2007 to March 31, 2008,
Commuters galore on A9
Hundreds of passengers are now daily commuting between the
north and south using road and rail transport with the limited
air transport being prohibitively expensive.
All smiles at awards ceremony
It was all smiles when
politicians from all parties and hues converged at the Business
Today Top 10 Awards ceremony to honour the best corporate
performers held at the Colombo Hilton on Tuesday. From left are
National Freedom Front Leader Wimal Weerawansa, UNP Kurunegala
District MP Dayasiri Jayasekera, UNP spokesman and Galle
District MP Gayantha Karunatillake and Defence Secretary
(Pic by Ishara Kodikara)
Report on disruption of Mangala’s speech expected on Tuesday
A report is expected on Tuesday into the hooting incident at the
Nidhahase Vedhikawa (Freedom Forum) meeting at Kurunegala on
August 18 allegedly by some disgruntled UNPers, Tissa
Attanayake, UNP General Secretary and spokesperson said
New foreign Sec.
High Commissioner in New Delhi, Romesh Jayasinghe has been asked
to come to Colombo to be the new Foreign Secretary with
incumbent Dr Palitha Kohona expected to be posted as Permanent
Representative to the United Nations in New York next month,
Massive credit card scam
under CID microscope
The investigations into the massive credit card scam busted by
Wellawatte Police early this week with the arrest of its
mastermind outside a state bank in the area, has been handed
over to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID)
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|Armed struggle will not solve Tamil problems – Devananda
Social Services and
Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda told a meeting in
Jaffna recently that the problems facing the Tamil people could
be solved by democratic means and not through an armed struggle.
Speaking at the Golden Jubilee celebration of the Jaffna
Nurses Training School, Minister Devananda said that the
armed struggle had thrown the Tamils from the frying pan
to the hearth itself. “They are entangled in a bush of
thorns and they have to be disentangled at least now,”
CCD gets acting director
Superintendent of Police Ravindra Karawita had been appointed as
the new Acting Director of the Colombo Crime Division (CCD),
newly appointed Police Spokesman Senior DIG Nimal Mediwaka said.
SP Karawita took over the post with the transfer given to the
former Director of the CCD, SSP Vaas Gunawardene to Police
Three districts to get technology institutes
The Higher Education Ministry
has planned to set up Institutes of Higher Technology in
Ratnapura, Vavuniya and Tangalle under a World Bank-funded
“The Higher Education Ministry has set apart Rs. 295 million to
construct the three institutes and the Sri Lanka Institute of
Higher Technology (SLIHT) headquarters building complex at
Malambe,” SLIGT’s Director General Kamal Padmasiri said.
£1.26m awarded to researchers to discover how compromise is reached after conflict
Even in some of the world’s most hostile conflicts, where great
violence has been inflicted, those involved have to try to live
along-side one another in peace.
What makes compromise easier in some settings than in others,
and amongst certain sorts of victim?
This is the subject of a new £1.26 million research project by a
team from the University of Aberdeen.
Over 100 water supply schemes for Hambantota
The National Water Supply and Drainage Board has
completed the construction work on 100 of the 124 water
supply schemes planned for the arid Hambantota District
where safe drinking water is a perennial problem.
“While 100 schemes are ready for commissioning,
construction work on 12 other schemes is proceeding
apace. The work on the balance 12 schemes will be
launched shortly,” Water Supply Minister Mahinda
Training course in high quality rice production begins tomorrow
of training in producing high quality rice conducted by the
Institute of Post-harvest Food and Technology (PHFT) will
Paddy, milling, paddy and rice storing, methods of paddy
boiling for commercial purposes and personnel management
are among the subjects that the trainees are to be
taught under this five-day training programme. A course
fee of Rs.2,500 is charged from the prospective trainee.
COPE to probe joint ventures
Financial irregularities of institutions jointly owned
by the government and the private sector will be
examined by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE)
in the recent future said United National Party (UNP) MP
Dayasiri Jayasekara speaking to The Nation. “Some
companies such as Lanka Electricity Company (LECO) have
refused to appear before the COPE citing legal reasons.
COPE is a collection...
Stop police brutality, says Bar Association
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka
has expressed its shock and horror over what it describes as
numerous instances of police brutality against unarmed
civilians, in particular the killing of two youth by police
officers attached to the Angulana Police Station last week and
the violent attack on a young student of the Sri Lanka Institute
of Technology in Malabe.
SLMC awaits report on Southern PC election
The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is awaiting the report of a
committee set up to ascertain from its membership in the
Southern Province, as to whether it will contest the forthcoming
Southern Provincial Council Election.
Speaking to The Nation, SLMC General Secretary M.T. Hassan Ali
said the committee was to handover the report by this week and
based on it the party high command would take a decision within
the course of next week.
Karuna claims TNA muslim members want to work with govt.
With the recently concluded elections in the North leaving mixed
results and instilling confusion, it has been alleged that the
members of several minority parties are considering crossing
over to the government.
Speaking to The Nation, Minister of Constitutional
Affairs and National Integration Vinayagamoorthi
Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman said that he...
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What of the Executive Presidency?
The leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), still regarded widely as
the ‘third force’ in politics in this country, despite a string of
dismal electoral performances in recent provincial polls, raised
eyebrows last week by proclaiming that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had
no moral right to seek re-election.
This, the JVP said, was based on an undertaking that then Prime
Minister Rajapaksa had given the party to abolish the executive
presidency, when he was seeking their cooperation in the run up to the
2005 presidential election campaign.
The JVP is right in claiming the moral high ground
here, for President Rajapaksa does say in his
‘Mahinda Chinthana’ manifesto that, “with the
consensus of all, I expect to present a Constitution
that will propose the abolition of the Executive
Presidency, and provide solutions to other issues
confronting the country.
Cake walk for MR as Opposition wavers
and West’s double standards
recent announcements by several government high- ups about a
possible Presidential Poll early next year, most political parties
have begun bracing for the big event that could determine their
However, the dissention-wracked – UNP has found itself in the
grip of another crisis over the question of picking its Presidential
candidate. The JVP has begun an island-wide poster campaign with two
slogans: ` Abolish Presidential system ‘ and `Say `no’ to another
Presidential election’. The JVP usually remembers their aversion to
the Executive Presidency only when a Presidential election is round
When Chandrika Kumaratunga came forward as the
candidate of the United People’s Front in 1994, The
JVP obtained a pledge from her that she would
abolish the Executive Presidency if she were
Public enterprises like public
Yet another Parliamentary Committee On Public Enterprise (COPE)
report was presented in Parliament last Wednesday, revealing
massive corruption and fraud within 20 public institutions. It
was referred to the Bribery and Corruption Commission by the
Speaker, following the approval of the House.
The report, overall, has identified various lapses within the
public institutions investigated, that ultimately resulted in
massive frauds and losses. For instance, the COPE has observed
that many public institutions have failed to achieve their
objectives as stipulated in the relevant Gazette or Company Act
issued due to negligence.
Question paper crisis
I think the school examination papers fiasco by the
Provincial/Zonal Education Offices raises a constitutional
issue. This matter first came to light when it was raised in
Parliament the other day by JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Of
course, thereafter the media highlighted that the problem
existed in many other provinces too. When Dissanayake brought
this up in Parliament, an embarrassed Education Minister Susil
Premajayantha told the House that this will be looked into and
the miscreants will be dealt with.
Now the question is whether Dissanayake raised the issue in the
wrong forum and whether it was unnecessary that the Education
Minister Premajayantha be embarrassed because education is a
devolved subject? Should the Education Minster at the Centre be
held accountable for a lapse on the part of the Southern
Provincial Council administration over which the Minister at the
Centre has no control?
Police cop it
‘Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s’, or is it a case of
Sri Lanka’s Police continuing to violate its designated task of
ensuring public order? That is the ‘talk of the town’ at
present. Two incidents, namely the alleged attack on Nipuna
Ramanayake by the son, goons and wife of an SSP and the Angulana
tragedy where police played the central role, have convinced
people that their taxes may indeed be flowing into the wrong
pockets. Many call for wide ranging reforms while others said
that these incidents occur due to the absence of an Independent
Police Commission. Here is what a small section of the masses
had to say The Nation.
Speaker unable to cope
first Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) report, of the
fourth session of the sixth Parliament was the centre of
attention above all other issues being discussed in Parliament,
as several opposition MPs, who are also members of the COPE,
opposed the report presented in the House, for its veracity.
The report exposed multimillion rupee frauds of 20 public
enterprises for the period July 8, 2008-December 31, 2008,
during which the COPE had met on 20 occasions. The opposition
members’ bone of contention was that the Sri Lanka Press Council
(SLPC) be reconstituted at a very early date as it is...
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|Murali, Thushara condemn Kiwis to heavy defeat
If New Zealand harboured any
thoughts that the capricious Galle weather would come to their
rescue in the first Test they were wrong. The weather which had
forced delayed starts on each of the four days and deprived the
Test of 66 overs in that period was at its best yesterday with
play getting started on schedule at 9.45 am.
That was all Sri Lanka needed to wrap up the Test, 30 minutes
before tea on the fifth and final day to win by 202 runs and
take a step towards moving into the No. 2 spot in the ICC Test
rankings behind South Africa provided Australia lose the Ashes
to England at the Oval. Sri Lanka’s win yesterday gave them a
1-0 led in the short two-Test series. To move up the Test
rankings they need to win the second Test starting at the SSC on
Wednesday as well.
Is it a wise choice?
How wise is it to allow a young up and coming bowler in the
calibre of Ajantha Mendis to go and expose his art of spin
bowling in English county cricket?
The news that Hampshire has signed Sri Lanka’s mystery spinner
Mendis as their overseas player for next season is certainly not
a good omen for Sri Lanka cricket. Mendis is to replace
leg-spinner Imran Tahir of Pakistan who is to return in 2011.
The county has welcomed the news and is waiting to accept
Mendis with open arms. Hampshire’s chairman Rod Bransgrove was
quoted: “Ajantha Mendis is the most exciting new bowler to
explode on to the world stage since Shane Warne. Anyone
fortunate enough to witness his mesmeric effect on batsmen in
this year’s Twenty20 World Cup will eagerly await his arrival in
English county cricket.”
A new day, a new wonder
If that’s running tired, keep me awake for weeks. 19.19 seconds?
19.19 seconds? Usain Bolt has created a new art form:
Scoreboards We Thought We’d Never See.
Available in a series of four, limited-edition prints, each
adorned with the artist’s unique archer’s motif. Value: Golden.
Has there ever been a sequence of runs like this? Like most
things Usain, never before.
Four major finals, four gold medals, four astonishing world
records. 9.69 seconds in the Olympic 100m, 19.30 secs in the
200m just days later, 9.58 secs in the 100m on Sunday and now
19.19 seconds. You want to include the relay? Then make that
five, with a sixth maybe to follow at the weekend.
Opposition Alliance yet to be finalised – Hassan Ali
With the three-decade-old bloody civil war ending last May,
along with the two main ethnic groups - Sinhalese and Tamils,
Sri Lanka’s third largest community, the Muslims too, are
hopeful that their grievances would be resolved. M.T. Hassan
Ali, General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC),
the largest Muslim political party in the country, said that the
grievances of the Muslims have yet to be addressed.
Ali quit Parliament to contest the Eastern Provincial Council
(EPC) election of May 10, 2008, where he was elected with the
highest number of preferential votes. He again stepped down from
the EPC, along with SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem, in order to be
sworn in as a Member of Parliament (MP) on July 22, 2008.
Asked whether the SLMC would join the highly talked about
opposition alliance, he said it was still premature to comment
on it, as discussions had not yet touched on core policy issues.
No successors after KP
The Nation interviewed Minister Vinayagamoorthy
Muralitharan on his thoughts on the elections and the support
that the LTTE still has (if at all), his thoughts on KP and his
future plans etc. Following is the interview
Q. What are your thoughts on the recently concluded elections
in the North and East?
A. There was a fairly low turnout indicating that only few
people showed interest. This is because these elections were
taking place after a very long time in the area. We witnessed
the same situation in Batticaloa, where only a handful of people
turned out to vote in the initially and it gradually increased
leading up to the provincial councils. It’s only a sign that
people are starting to take an interest because they realise
they have a choice.
“My resignation will force leadership to find solutions to party issues”
UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara says the
party leadership has failed to implement decisions taken, and he
won’t return to the UNP Working Committee unless these issues
Q: You resigned from the working committee of the party on
August 12. Has the leadership accepted your letter of
A: No. Ranil Wickremesinghe told me that he will not accept
my letter, and he told me that he is not even willing to read
it. But that does not mean that I will be returning to the
Committee unless the issues I pointed...
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