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Sunday August 30th, 2009

             News Update           Last Updated 01/09/2009 03:22pm

MBSL to manage two more Ceylinco companies
The management of another two companies of the troubled Ceylinco Group has been handed over to Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka (MBSL) today, by the Central Bank’s Monetary Board.  MORE

Mangala backs Karu
Renegade former SLFP strongman Mangala Samaraweera spearheading moves to oust incumbent Rajapaksa administration is now said to be making an all-out...  SEE INSIDE

Govt. blasts Solheim’s utterances
The government yesterday termed the comments made by Norwegian Minister of Environment and International Development Erik Solheim over the video footage telecast on British television... SEE INSIDE

A/L paper marking in Jaffna
after 12 years

The 2009 A/L examination papers will be evaluated in Jaffna for the first time after 12 years, a top Examinations Department... SEE INSIDE

 

 

                   Enjoying night life              

Sri Lankans enjoy their leisure time at the Galle Face promenade in the heart of the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. More people are seen out and about during the evenings since the war with the Tamil Tiger rebels ended in May 2009
                                
(Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)

                                                               

Instead of President, PM will
go to New York

Contrary to recent reports that President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be leading a big delegation to New York next month to attend the annual sessions of the United Nations General Assembly, it is learnt the country will instead be represented by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake. SEE INSIDE

Vavuniya GA’s survey reveals 10,000 escaped from camps
The survey conducted by the Government Agent (GA) of Vavuniya on the issue pertaining to missing IDPs, has revealed at least 10,000 IDPs have escaped from the camps there and an investigation has been launched.
“From the survey we were able to ascertain that a considerable number of IDPs have gone missing. SEE INSIDE

East on a drive to be top paddy producer
The Eastern Province is tipped to be the next biggest paddy cultivation
area in the country with reports suggesting that the rate of planting of the vital crop there has risen from 16% to 35% of the available land, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Eastern Provincial Council... SEE INSIDE

 

 

 

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NEWS

Int’l assistance should be aimed at tangible results – Minister Bogollagama
Benefits of international assistance to Sri Lanka would be tangible only if they rapidly reach the people at grassroots level, said Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama during his recent meeting in Colombo with visiting British Parliamentarian and shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox. SEE INSIDE

Ari takes top govt. job next month
Former Director Publicity Ariya Rubasinghe is now expected to return to the government fold next month by taking a top post in the Media Ministry.
The government has yet not announced his new position, but according to informed sources, it will be either as an advisor to the Media Ministry or in the capacity of Director General in the yet to be created National Development Media Centre. SEE INSIDE

Brothel raid nets popular actress
Seven suspected pleasure women including a famous film and teledrama actress cum producer were remanded till September 13 by the Mt. Lavina Magistrate court on Friday for allegedly being involved in prostitution at a hotel at Mount Lavinia when they were produced by the Divisional Intelligence Unit (DIU), Nugegoda.
The suspects had been taken into custody following a raid on the hotel by a special Police team led by the OIC SI Prasad Ratnayake of Nugegoda Intelligence Unit under a search warrant issued by the Court. SEE INSIDE

Telecom tariff case to be reviewed this week
A case filed by firebrand leftist politician and Presidential Advisor Vasudeva Nanayakkara, along with Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA) to review OPA’s earlier fundamental rights petition to Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court, to reduce allegedly high telephone tariffs charged by local telecommunications operators, is to be taken up this week.
Nanayakkara speaking to The Nation said the public interest litigation challenging the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) tariff regime is to be called up within the course of this week. SEE INSIDE

Restaurants told to clean
up their act

Since the closure of two Chinese restaurants at plush hotels in the metropolitan area run by foreigners after a surprise raid conducted by Deputy Minster of Tourism Faiszer Mustapha on Thursday, other such restaurants in the city have been asked to clean up their act or face closure. SEE INSIDE

Two reports on hooting at Mangala out tomorrow
Two reports on the Mangala Samaraweera hooting incident that took place in the previous week in Kurunegala are expected tomorrow, UNP General Secretary and Spokesperson Tissa Attanayake said yesterday. “I will pass them on to the leader of the party once they are released and we still do not know what sort of action will be taken against the miscreants, if there are any,” Attanayake told The Nation. SEE INSIDE

ACHC wins Hindu priests’ release from IDP camps

The releasing of 177 Hindu priests including their 573 family members from the IDP camps to All Ceylon Hindu Congress (ACHC) had taken place on August 26, said Kandiah Neelakandan, General Secretary of ACHC. He also claimed the priests and their families are from the Menik Farm in Vavuniya.

Solheim injured
Norwegian Environment Minister Erik Solheim (SV) injured himself yesterday when the scissors he used to puncture a balloon supposedly fell on his left arm and was rushed to Emergency Hospital during an election event in Oslo. Solheim attended an event sponsored by environmental organisations in the campaign “Climate, from the south.”
The event was cancelled after the afternoon incident.

ICTAD to become an
independent authority

Arrangements are underway to convert the Institute for Construction Training and Development (ICTAD) now functioning under the Construction and Engineering Services Ministry to a statutory authority, Construction and Engineering Services Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said. SEE INSIDE

Thondaman donates houses
Minister of Youth Empowerment and Socio-Economic Development Arumugam Thondaman has donated houses to the estate masses under the Stony Cliff project in the Hatton-Kotagala area.
Accordingly, the Minister had taken the decision to provide 43 houses for the plantation community. Each house would include two rooms, a bathroom and a verandah, and facilitated with electricity. SEE INSIDE

Sarvodaya leader to speak on Mother Theresa
A commemorative talk titled ‘The significance of Mother Theresa in a globalised world’ will be delivered by Dr A.T. Ariyaratne, Founder President of Sarvodaya Sharamadana Sangamaya to mark the 12th death anniversary of Mother Theresa next Saturday (September 5). The event, organised by the Christian Alliance for Social Action, will be held at 9:30 am at Caritas SEDEC Auditorium, 133 Kynsey Road, Colombo 08.


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POLITICS

The forerunner down south
The announcement on Friday that the Southern Provincial Council (PC) polls would be held on October 10 was a mere formality. The race had begun in earnest well before that: in fact, with the declaration of results in the Uva PC election.
The election is, in a sense, a political paradox of sorts. The Southern PC poll is the last of the staggered PC elections barring of course, the possibility of holding polls in the newly liberated Northern Province. The results of the Southern poll are hardly a conundrum - a rousing victory for the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) is expected. SEE INSIDE

YOUTH AT THE FORE AT PC POLLS
The government coalition UPFA has, as it did in Uva, picked a host of new faces including educated youth, artistes and young professionals to contest the upcoming elections to the Southern Provincial Council, nominations for which closed last Friday.
It had been a long standing practice for the SLFP, UNP, LSSP and CP to field the same teams of candidates over and over again at successive elections. Despite these candidates being party seniors, they have been too conventional in their outlook and had therefore failed to keep abreast with the advancing world.  SEE INSIDE

NEWS FEATURES

Analysis of Uva election results
The results of the Uva Provincial Council election are of interest and importance, from several points of view.
The natural trend is for governments to decline in popularity with the passage of time. The principal feature of interest with regard to the recent election is that, quite contrary to the regular pattern, the government has dramatically increased the level of its popularity during the four years since the Presidential election. SEE INSIDE

THONDAMAN : An extraordinary man with a far sighted vision
August 30 is the day when the people of recent Indian origin – and indeed many others, touched by his friendship and courtesies - will once again remember and celebrate in the Plantation areas in Central Sri Lanka, in the metropolis and elsewhere in the island the birthday of their “Perum-thalaivar” – the late Saumyamurthy Thondaman. This year remembering the late CWC supremo, trade union leader and one of Sri Lanka ’s most memorable politicians, assumes particular significance. In the tumultuous mid 1970s, Tamil militancy was gathering momentum and Tamils in the island showed deep anguish that their needs were not being addressed to objectively by successive governments. SEE INSIDE

No need to seek another mandate to abolish executive presidency: JVP
With rising speculations in the political scenario that the current UPFA government is heading for a presidential election early next year, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has renewed its onetime call to abolish the executive presidency once again.
JVP’s Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath, in an interview with the Nation, said that it was not a sudden decision, and that the Party always lobbied for the abolition of the executive presidency since its formation in 1978. SEE INSIDE

Channel 4 News summarily executes responsible journalism
Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary and arbitrary executions, commenting on footage aired on Channel 4 News alleging summary executions of LTTE cadres by the Sri Lankan security forces, has called for an investigation. He states, ‘If the Government’s position (a categorical denial) is validated as a result of an inquiry, the international community can rest easy and the government will have been vindicated’. Perfectly sensible position, I believe. SEE INSIDE

A necessary evil, but not for all seasons
Ever since the announcement – although unofficial – of a possible presidential election early next year, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) was again heard taking up the mantle of rallying people against the executive presidency. The vociferous former rebels, despite many changes to their party over time, were seen sticking hard to this ideology that the executive presidency is detrimental to the rights of the people in this country. In 1994, they extracted a promise from former President Chandrika Kumaratunga to abolish the office of executive president, and aided her victory in the election by withdrawing their candidate. However, despite many similar promises, none of the leaders up to now succeeded in abolishing this office. SEE INSIDE

 

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SPORTS

Kiwis starring down the
barrel of defeat

New Zealand were battling with their backs to the wall to stave off certain defeat and losing the two-Test series 2-0 to Sri Lanka in the second cricket Test after being set an improbable target of 494 to chase in over four sessions at the SSC grounds yesterday.
By stumps on day four, New Zealand had limped to 182 for six wickets, still 312 runs adrift of the target set by Sri Lanka with only four second innings wickets in hand. Today is the final day.
The damage to the New Zealand batting was done by left-arm spinner Rangana Herath who is due to leave for Surrey tomorrow (Monday) to play in the tailend of the English county season.He snapped up four wickets for 73 runs to have the Kiwis in a tangle with his wily spin. With his first ball of the innings Herath had Martin Guptill edging a catch behind the wicket for 28 and then in the same unbroken spell of 21overs he had first innings top scorer Ross Taylor edging a catch to first slip Mahela Jayawardene to depart for 27 and rounded off a good day with the wickets..  SEE INSIDE

Does Harper have more than nine lives?
Cricket they say is a great leveller. There is the self-serving belief in sport, as in life, that good and bad decisions somehow neutralise each other and the better team or individual, more often than not, prevails. Many who have committed their lives to being custodians of cricket’s playing area are of unquestionable integrity; and place hard-earned reputations on the line in sometimes intimidating and unfamiliar surroundings. It is safe to assume that they don’t deliberately make mistakes. However, there are no excuses for umpires (especially those from the ICC’s elite panel), who make mistakes with annoying regularity. In modern cricket, the stakes are extremely high, and teams as well as players and fans, suffer dearly as a result of their ridiculous errors. Australian Daryl Harper is one such umpire who fits into that category. SEE INSIDE

Kandy-CH clash in Clifford Cup semis today
A highly charged Kandy SC XV will be playing CH & FC today Sunday at 4.30 pm at the Nittawela grounds in the second semi-final of the Clifford Cup competition.
Having won the quarters against Havies with a cricket score, today the champions Kandy SC should have things to their own liking.
For today’s game the Champs will be fielding a talented side, with good knowledgeable players, who will take the field in a winning mood.
It has been another successful season for the Kandy side, which has maintained a good name in the 7’s, League and the Knockouts. So, today the defending champs will certainly go for a win, which will give them the chance to enter the final.  SEE INSIDE

We have a good chance says coach
The newly appointed coach of the Sri Lanka Youth Rugby Asiad squad, Nilfer Ibrahim believes that the Islanders have a better chance to prove their power in the region when the annual junior ranking tournament kicks off from September 3 to 13 in Hong Kong. After the successes of the league and knockout tournaments which are played annually as domestic school championships, selectors appointed by the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) had a daunting task of picking the cream of talent among schoolboy rugby players to represent the country in the Youth Rugby Asiad. However those who could be ranked as the best in the school rugby circuit were pruned down to a squad of 24 from a massive set of over 60 players. SEE INSIDE

INTERVIEWS

AT LAST THE SOUTH POLL
The nominations for the crucial Southern Provincial Council (SPC) election were handed over last week. All the major parties, including the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), United National Party (UNP) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) have much at stake at this election.
The ruling UPFA is entering the election race following a string of election victories. Their popularity is on the rise, quite unprecedented for a political party in the middle of its term. However, this is the first time they are testing the Southern waters after the war victory and the hierarchy has vowed to top the 80% mark there, following the 72% received in the Uva.
For the UNP, it is crunch time. They have not been in power in the SPC after their defeat there in 1993. Added to that is their failure to win an election for nearly eight years, sowing serious doubts in the minds of the people whether the UNP still has what it takes to win an election.  SEE INSIDE

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