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Sunday September 13th, 2009

            News Update          
Last Updated 16/09/2009 05:10pm

FIVE GRENADES RECOVERED, SUSPECT ARRESTED
A suspect has been  arrested and five hand grenades recovered from his garden at Vavuniya  on Tuesday by Thanthirimale Police. MORE

LTTE Intelligence Wing arrested at Negombo
An alleged member of the LTTE Intelligence Wing had been arrested by Negombo Police on Tuesday.
The arrested suspect is a resident of Pallimunai area in Mannar. MORE

More than 2,000 apply to take in IDP relatives
Vavuniya and Jaffna District Secretariats have received more than 2,000 applications from the relatives of the IDPs, after the Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Ministry informed the general public that the relatives... SEE INSIDE

Govt. firm on expulsion of diplomat
Despite even UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon this week protesting against the Sri Lankan Government decision last week to expel UNICEF spokesman... SEE INSIDE

 

 

                       Exits Elder!                    

James Elder, spokesman for UNICEF in Sri Lanka, walks into the Immigration and Emigration Controller’s office in Colombo on Monday, the day after it was announced that he was being expelled from the country. James Elder, an Australian passport holder and communications chief for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), was ordered out of the country for allegedly being biased towards the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels
                                  
(Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)

                                                                 

Pakistan too wants to grill KP
With India announcing its intention to send a team from its Central Bureau of Investigation to Sri Lanka this month to grill Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP over the “larger conspiracy” behind the 1991 assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Pakistan too has sought... SEE INSIDE

Tamil traders form Council for National Unity
A group of Colombo based Tamil traders have organised themselves into an association known as Council for National Unity (CNU), with the objective of seeking the support of leaders of Tamil Nadu and other foreign leaders to further strengthen the unity
 among all... SEE INSIDE

Rural poverty decreased
The World Bank says poverty has decreased rapidly during the last five years in the rural areas of the country, while the Southern Province has cut poverty in half, from 28% in 2002 to 14% in 2006/7.
“Further south though, the vast disparity between the wealthier Western Province and the so-called ‘lagging regions’ has long been cited as one of the country’s most severe obstacles to growth. After all, two-thirds of the population resides in these... SEE INSIDE

 

 

 

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NEWS

Lankan envoy in Tokyo made scapegoat
Sri Lankan Ambassador in Japan, Jayantha Palipana has been made the scapegoat for the harassment caused to Premier Ratnasiri Wickramanayake at the Narita International Airport in Kobe the previous Saturday, and has been ordered home even though at the time the envoy had been on approved leave and he had assigned two senior diplomats to attend to the Prime Minister on his arrival
 in Japan. SEE INSIDE

Estate unions warn tough action
The angry trade unions bargaining for a daily wage hike for the estate workers yesterday said they are compelled to intensify their current go-slow campaign, as employers seem to treat them as ‘beggars.’
The CWC spokesperson told The Nation that their Secretary Minister Arumugam Thondaman and the union members feel that employers are in a position to give an increased Rs. 500 daily wage but they avoid doing so by citing various excuses. SEE INSIDE

Election law violations
minimum so far

The low intensity propaganda campaign in the early days of the Southern Provincial Council election has kept incidents of election law violations to a minimum, claim election monitoring bodies.
National Polls Observation Centre (NPOC) has received 12 complaints while Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) has recorded 18 incidents. SEE INSIDE

Higher education sector receives WB funds till 2015
Higher Education Minister Professor W.A. Wishwa Warnapala announced that the World Bank has promised to provide aid to develop the higher education sector of Sri Lanka until 2015.
“Until this year, we had to extend the contract period with the WB annually. Under the programme we will be receiving US$ 50 million every year,” said the Minister. SEE INSIDE

A high-tech garbage management project comes up in Dompe
The first ever high-tech garbage management plant project of the Central Environment Authority (CEA) will shortly come up in Dompe.
This Korean-funded project, launched by the CEA on a six-hectare land in Dompe, is estimated to cost Rs. 650 million. SEE INSIDE

Tourism Week from September 27 to October 3
The government has declared a Tourism Week from September 27 to October 3, to mark the World Tourism Day falling on September 27.
The Tourism Ministry has organised a series of Essay, Art and Poster competitions for school children and others to be held during the week. SEE INSIDE

No headway on Kinniya robbery probe
Police are still trying to make headway in investigations being carried out on a robbery case in Kinniya, Trincomalee, says Police Media Spokesperson Senior DIG Nimal Mediwaka.
The incident has taken place on Tuesday between 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. when an accountant attached to an NGO in Kinnia had cashed a cheque of Rs. 1,225,000. SEE INSIDE

St. Aloysius Colombo branch AGM
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the St. Aloysius, Galle – Colombo Branch will be held on Sunday (September 27) at Hotel Sapphire, Galle Road, Wellawatte. Registration will be from 10:00 a.m. The meeting will commence at 10:30 a.m. SEE INSIDE

Financial assistance needed for brain surgery
Shane Kudagama, aged 36 years, of 149/8, Shanthi Mawatha, Koswatta, Battaramulla, has been diagnosed as having a Tumour of the Pituitary Gland, which has the potential of pressing on the Optic Chiasma, with resulting impairment of vision. This tumour needs to be surgically excised at the earliest opportunity. SEE INSIDE



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POLITICS

Much ado over two leaves and a bud
At the time of writing, the crisis in the estate sector remains unresolved, with the ‘go slow’ campaign launched by several trade unions led by the Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC) entering its 10th day, with no resolution in sight, after several rounds of talks with the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) ended in deadlock.
The estate sector trade unions are demanding a daily wage of Rs 500- up from their present rate of Rs 290 per day. They argue that, with only about 20 days of work available per month, their monthly take-home earnings at present, would amount to about a mere Rs 6,000, a meagre amount indeed. SEE INSIDE

UNP’s woes escalate as Govt. confident of massive victory
Now that it has been confirmed by authoritative sources themselves that both the Presidential poll and general Parliamentary elections are round the corner, the government coalition has already made headway in making preparations to face them with confidence. Government leaders also look forward to recording a two thirds majority at both these national polls.
The main Opposition UNP, despite having held several rounds of discussions with a view to working out preliminaries for the coming elections, have yet to come down to brass tacks. The main reason for this costly lagging is that the party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has been engrossed in attempts to resolve the festering internal crisis that threatens to split the party. SEE INSIDE

NEWS FEATURES

TO WHERE THE SINHALA PULSE THROBS
The United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has won seven Provincial Council (PC) elections in a row, with the final PC election - Southern PC, scheduled for October 10.
The Nation visited the three districts of the South - Galle, Matara and Hambantota, to see the headway made in both rural and mega development works, and also their strengths and weaknesses. We also visited the tea plantation hamlet of Morawaka (Matara), Weerawila (Hambantota) - vastly developing with the proposed international airport in close proximity, but yet, battered by the unending elephant-human conflict, and the agricultural village of Hungama (Hambantota). SEE INSIDE

Assassination attempt on President still prevails
The two weeks long trade union action by estate employees demanding a hike in their daily wages that makes a huge impact on the economy was above all matters being brought up by the Opposition during the weekly sittings of the Parliament. Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael Perera making a special statement in the House sought the immediate intervention of the government to solve the go-slow campaign launched by estate workers demanding a hike in their daily wages which has already resulted in incurring a loss of millions of rupees to the country.
Plantation Industries Minister D.M. Jayaratne speaking on behalf of the government said the government would intervene only if the ongoing discussions or the bargaining between the tea company owners and the trade unions failed to reach a consensus. However, he accepted the fact that the situation had
an adverse effect. SEE INSIDE

 

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SPORTS

Mathews humiliates India with career best effort
Sri Lanka’s promising all-rounder Angelo Mathews turned on a career best bowling performance to humiliate India to a 139-run defeat in the third match of the Compaq Cup tri-nations tournament at the R Premadasa Stadium yesterday.
Mathews’ excellent bowling performance where he took six wickets for 20 runs and won the man of the match was matched by the batting of veteran opener Sanath Jayasuriya and middle-order batsman Thilina Kandamby who both missed out on their respective hundreds.
India were bundled out for 168 in 37.2 overs after Sri Lanka after winning the toss had run up an imposing total of 307-6. SEE INSIDE

A revolution of one-day cricket
With the ICC Champions trophy due to begin in nine days in South Africa the debate on the future of One-Day International (ODI) cricket still rages on with the International Cricket Council (ICC) trying its best to retain the format even if it has to undergo certain changes and past cricketing ‘greats’ like Shane Warne and Matthew Hayden calling for its banishment.
The cricket world today has been hit by an advent of Twenty20 matches thanks to the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Indian Cricket League (ICL). These two tournaments swelled the crowds in India and television viewers around the world. The shortest format of cricket has caught on like wildfire and is now threatening to overrun ODI cricket. SEE INSIDE

INTERVIEWS

“Worst ever trade union move”
Minister of Constructions and Engineering Services, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne who was also a one time trade union leader, vowed that the planned strike would be the worst ever trade union move by the JVP and that it will only confirm that the party has no masses following them anymore.
“They planned a general strike earlier also but it was a mere flop. This time the general strike move will be a bigger blow as people would definitely despise them and would not support them. The President, despite fighting a war against the most ruthless terrorist organisation in the world increased the salaries of the public sector even in 2008. The President however, requested the people not to bargain for a salary increment... SEE INSIDE

“We will not let government suppress trade union action”
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna once again has threatened to launch a general strike demanding a salary increase to employees of the government and the semi-government institutions in view of the forthcoming budget.
Leader of the JVP trade union wing K.D. Lalkantha who is also the president of National Trade Union Centre said that the country’s entire working class would launch an indefinite general strike if their eight demands were not met.  SEE INSIDE

“If they come up the ladder, I will go down the ladder”
Talks between the Regional Plantation Companies’ (RPC) and estate sector trade unions have reached a stalemate, with unions refusing to back down from their demands of a Rs. 500 daily wage increase. Minister Arumugam Thondaman,
leader of Ceylon Workers Congress asserted that the unions will not compromise on their demand for wage hike anytime soon. SEE INSIDE

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