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Sunday September 06th, 2009

           News Update          
Last Updated 10/09/2009 05:10pm

The emergency was passed in parliament today with 100 MPs voting for it and 13 TNA members opposing it. The UNP and JVP parliamentarians abstained from voting. In the past JVP always voted for the emergency and this was the first time it abstained from voting by staging a walkout.

Daughter, mother, aunt remanded for printing dud notes
Three family members-- a mother, daughter and an aunt who were arrested by the police for allegedly possessing fake currency notes were today  remanded till September 23, by the District Judge and Kekirawa Magistrate Srinith Wijesekera. MORE

36 Major derailments so far this year
There had been 36 major derailments and 66 other rail incidents so far this year, Road Passenger Transport Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanne revealed in parliament today. MORE

Both sides hands more power to cope
Both Opposition and Government MPs gave their approval to amend standing orders to vest powers with the parliamentary Committee on Public...  MORE



 Distribution of crutches, wheelchairs 

Police may have been attracting an unfair share of flak because of some rogue elements in it. Yet, there are many exemplary men and women donning the khaki uniform and serving the country day and night under all circumstances. One such officer Inspector Sreenika Sanjeewa Jayakody, the OIC of the Meegahawatte Police yesterday (5) organised a distribution of wheel chairs and crutches to disabled soldiers at the Sri Sudarshanarama Viharaya in Siyambalape, Biyagama. Here Senior DIG and Police Media Spokesperson Nimal Mediwake greeting one of the recipients   (Pic by Thushara Dasanayaka)


Lankan hotel hotels
 ‘The Fortress,’ located in the southern part of the country has become the only Sri Lankan hotel to be shortlisted among a list of eleven hotels in the Indian Ocean region to be nominated for the World Travel Awards 2009. MORE

Plantation minister signals govt. Intervention
Plantation Minister D.M. Jayaratne today  told the Parliament that the government will intervene to solve the wage hike issue of the estate workers if the ongoing discussions between the plantation company owners and the trade unions fail to come to an agreement. MORE

Ninety one  suspects had died while in the police custody since November 2005 to August 16 this year. Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardene... MORE

Make or break talks tomorrow
The Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) leading the current go-slow campaign demanding a reasonable daily wage, yesterday said they will not compromise for anything... SEE INSIDE

GMOA opposes blue eyed Army medicos
The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) is up in arms against.... SEE INSIDE




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Stampede to be new IGP
With incumbent Inspector General of Police Jayantha Wickramaratna reportedly not seeking an extension of service, there is a stampede in the Department among the seniors to lobby the President through various means to succeed as next IGP. SEE INSIDE

CDS to get additional top post
Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Sarath Fonseka, the man who spearheaded operations to crush the LTTE militarily as the then Army Commander, is now tipped to be entrusted with another big job in addition to his current position as CDS, authoritative government sources said yesterday. SEE INSIDE

Prabha’s, Pottu Amman’s death certificate mystery
Though India made a request to the Sri Lankan Government soon after the military crushing of the LTTE in the Wanni in May, for the death certificates of Tiger Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and his... SEE INSIDE

Fresh study on Southern Highway bridges
Although the Ministry of Highways had publicly stated 27 metal arch bridges located on the Southern Expressway would be replaced, a fresh detailed study is now underway to finalise a broad-based solution to the issue.
“Although the earlier Committee was mandated... SEE INSIDE

30,000 IDPs to be resettled in 35 villages in Vavuniya
All arrangements are in place to resettle 30,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in 35 villages in the Vavuniya District, Northern Province Governor G.A Chandrasiri said. The Governor, who was on an inspection tour in those villages pointed out that, 7,795 families will be resettled in 35 villages on the directions of the Chairman of the Uthuru Vasanthaya Task Force, Senior Presidential Advisor MP Basil Rajapaksa. SEE INSIDE

“Channel 4 footage, part of campaign to tarnish Lanka”
The British Channel 4 footage of an alleged extra-judicial killing of a Sri Lankan prisoner is part of an orchestrated campaign to tarnish the country and shift attention from a recovery, back to the conflict period, Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe speaking to this correspondent from the United Nations in Geneva said.
“The highly suspicious Channel4 said they could not be given any authenticity to a video allegedly shot back in January this year and broadcast eight months later,” Samarasinghe said in Geneva after taking part in discussions with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. SEE INSIDE

UNP lawyer to appraise reports on hooting
The two reports on the incident in Kurunegala where SLFP-M Leader Mangala Samaraweera was hooted at have been forwarded to UNP lawyer Ajith Pathirana for further investigation, prior to taking disciplinary action against several leading UNPers in the area, confirmed UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake. SEE INSIDE

UNP lawyer to appraise reports on hooting
The two reports on the incident in Kurunegala where SLFP-M Leader Mangala Samaraweera was hooted at have been forwarded to UNP lawyer Ajith Pathirana for further investigation, prior to taking disciplinary action against several leading UNPers in the area, confirmed UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake. SEE INSIDE

Machines imported from Slovakia to expedite demining
The government has purchased special machines to remove landmines, with the intention of further accelerating the de-mining process.  SEE INSIDE

Reconstruction of Kilinochchi Hospital to begin next week
Construction work for rebuilding the bombed Kilinochchi Hospital is expected to start as early as next week, with estimation and contracts being signed, according to the Government Agent in Mullaitivu, who is overseeing the adjoining district since the arrest of its GA recently for alleged LTTE links.
Mullaitivu... SEE INSIDE






A unified TNA the need of the hour
Unheralded by most, this week will see a significant political development: the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), a coalition of Tamil political parties, will meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa for talks and the prospect arouses more than passing interest, for several reasons.
During the latter stages of the final ‘Eelam War’, the President and the government made several attempts to woo the TNA. At that stage, the TNA did not respond favourably to the President’s overtures. However, after the war was over, a TNA delegation led by parliamentarian N. Sri Kantha participated in the Development and Reconciliation Meeting convened by the President.  SEE INSIDE

MR’s US visit and UNP’s intra-rebellion
President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was due to attend the sessions of the United Nations General Assembly to be held on September 21 and 22, has in an unexpected move decided to cancel his visit and instead send Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake to the UN in his place. This has become the moot point of discussion in the diplomatic and political circles today. President Rajapaksa, after assuming office, has attended successive UN general sessions held in 2006, 2007 and 2008. SEE INSIDE


Reform of political system takes priority over reform of public service
Recently, there have been several articles on the failures in public administration. Two former Civil Servants- Gamini Seneviratne and Jolly Somasunderam, have written of the intrigues carried out by the envious administrative officers who canvassed political support to abolish the Civil Service. Was there a case for an elitist higher Civil Service recruited through an open competitive examination? The essential feature of this elite service was the limitation in numbers, since less than eight persons were recruited each year, and they were those with the highest aggregate. But, it is to trivialise our problems to focus on a narrow issue of whether there should be an elite higher managerial service or not? There are far more serious problems facing Public Administration, and it is these that require attention first. SEE INSIDE

Initial reflections on Tissainayagam judgment
There is a perceptible sense of self-righteousness among journalists which seriously compromises the effectiveness of the 4th Estate. Journalists, I can’t help thinking, are very much like student activists; they believe they are above the law. They want the public to believe that they are virtuous, have nothing but the public interest at heart and that, they are touched by some divine grace that makes them untouchable. Much of the howls from certain sections of the journalist fraternity and media rights advocates, that followed the recent conviction of J.S. Tissainayagam on three counts under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), are unpalatable for this reason. Indeed, I believe that, this self-righteousness is the reason for the public to be so sceptical of the media, and why the howls of protest from certain quarters get little sympathy from the people of this country. SEE INSIDE

One of the memorable gifts of Sangha to the nation
A major turning point of the educational sphere in modern Sri Lanka is marked by the period of premiership of SWRD Bandaranaike (1956-1959), a member of an aristocratic Anglicised Christian family. However, in the same way as other politically ambitious western-educated, English speaking individuals he, too, embraced Buddhism and began to learn and speak Sinhala immediately after graduating from Oxford University, where he qualified as a barrister in London. Prior to independence, he himself had established the Sinhala Maha Sabhava (the great council of the Sinhalese) in 1937 with the incentive... SEE INSIDE


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Kandy shatters CR dreams, retains Clifford Cup
Once again CR & FC’s dreams of winning the oldest trophy in club rugby, the Clifford Cup was shattered last evening as Kandy SC scored a 10 points to 6 win in the Clifford Cup final played at Nittawela grounds. This final was an absorbing affair with both teams playing at a rapid pace.
The defending champions and 14 time winners of the Clifford Cup took the field in a match-winning mood and made it to the final for the 15th time in 17 years. The winners rucked, drove and powered their way to play some beautiful run and pass rugby.
For the champion team most of their players were outstanding, playing intelligent rugby. The Red shirts rugby too was intelligent, but they had no chance of over taking the Nittawela side.
Kandy SC certainly deserved to win for they did everything a little better than their rivals. At the start of play Kandy SC lost the ball many times due to some superb display by the opponent’s forwards. SEE INSIDE

Points to ponder over
Sri Lanka’s fourth straight loss at home at the R Premadasa Stadium in a Twenty20 International raises doubts as to whether we have actually grasped what the shortest form of cricket is all about and whether we are playing the right combination to suit this type of cricket.
What was clearly evident in the two Twenty20 games played against New Zealand was that we certainly lacked batsmen in the middle and late order who can clear the boundary. It was a sorry sight to see that none of the Sri Lankan batsmen had the muscle to hit sixes and fours with regularity as the opposing sides have done against them. In the four T20s played so far at home Sri Lankan... SEE INSIDE


“SLFP, a party that fulfilled promises” - Maitripala
Q. While celebrating the 58th birthday of the SLFP of which you are the General Secretary, it has so happened – certainly a happy augury- that you are also celebrating your own 58th birthday. Looking back on the Party’s 58 years, how do you sum up the mission it has carried out so far?
It was a few hours after the birth of the Party on September 5 1951, that I too was born. I feel it is quite a phenomenon. SEE INSIDE

“Abolishing only Executive Presidency not enough”- Wimal
Q. There’s a discussion in the political scenario that the Executive Presidency should be abolished. What is your stand on the issue?
Well, I think the Executive Presidency should be abolished but that is not engough. If the Executive Presidency was abolished, the current electoral system too should be reformed. When J.R. Jayewardene introduced this Constitution in 1978, we had a Prime Minister as the leader of the country. SEE INSIDE

“Concessions should not jeopardise national security”
World focus is yet again on Sri Lanka, following the discovery of video footage of war crimes committed by the armed forces, few months prior to the conclusion of the bloody civil war.
Countries such as Norway, which continuously pointed the finger at the Sri Lankan authorities, for alleged human rights (HR) violations, including shelling of civilians and harassing journalists during the war, have again taken up the mantle... SEE INSIDE

“Lakshman Cooray was a good play-actor” - Sudarshani Fernandopulle
Evidence has now begun surfacing, pointing to the complicity of SP Lakshman Cooray in the assassination of former Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. According to Police intelligence, Cooray had played the role of an accessory to this murder, while posing as a close friend of the Minister. The Tiger bomber, according to Police reports, had been brought to the scene of the attack by Cooray himself. He had allegedly... SEE INSIDE

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