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Sunday September 27th, 2009

Trinco coal power deal finalised The long drawn out negotiations to hammer out a joint venture agreement between the National Thermal Power Corporation of India (NTPC) and the Ceylon Electricity Board to build the country’s second coal power plant at Sampur, Trincomalee has finally come to fruition, but the deal will not be signed next week as claimed in a report.
According to authoritative sources at least five different agreements pertaining to the two stage 1000 MW project runs to hundreds of pages and they are now in the process of going over their final drafts to ensure... SEE INSIDE

No-confidence motion against Hisbullah tomorrow
Reacting to allegations made against him and the no-confidence motion mooted against him by the UNP being taken up tomorrow, Eastern Province Health Minister M.L.M Hisbullah says the claims are unfounded and created with the intention of defaming him. SEE INSIDE

Massive pro-LTTE rally in Germany
Pro-LTTE elements in Germany are planning to stage a massive demonstration in front of the state Parliament in Düsseldorf, the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) today as the country holds the 17th federal election to elect the members of the Bundestag, the federal Parliament. SEE INSIDE



 Tangy Grapes

Jaffna grapes in abundant supplies are now reaching markets in the South, like other produce from the North. Though the produce is slightly tangy, at Rs. 60 per 200 grams they appear to be much in demand. Here our cameraman Rukshan Abeywansha captured the scene of this enthusiastic trader in Pettah holding out the Jaffna produce to entice buyers

Film legend’s statue to be unveiled
A statue of Lankan film legend Gamini Fonseka will be unveiled in front of the Elphinstone Theatre, Maradana at 2:30 p.m. on September 30 to mark his fifth death anniversary.
The legendary actor’s son Damith Fonseka told The Nation that the statue was turned out by well-known sculptor Gunasena Kurulugama.“There will be a special... SEE INSIDE

MP Baiz’s driver shot
No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting of Livestock Development Deputy Minister K.A. Baiz’s driver on Friday night, police spokesperson DIG Nimal Mediwaka said last night.
The driver, Mohammed Hafil, had been on a motorbike when he was shot while coming from the Minister’s house, by two gunmen allegedly belonging to an underworld gang. SEE INSIDE

Minister’s wanted son still missing
Rasika Ekanayake, UNP Member of the Anuradhapura-Central Nuwaragam Palatha Pradeshiya Sabha and son of Highways and Road Development Deputy Minister W.B Ekanayake, and a Police Constable (PC) attached to Mahawilachchiya Police wanted by the police for allegedly assaulting another PC, who was on duty at the Deputy Minister’s residence at Anuradhapura are still evading arrest. SEE INSIDE




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IDP release back on track
Accepting applications from the relatives of IDPs to take them from welfare camps, which was abruptly suspended last week, will quickly resume with the introduction of a standardised application with revised criteria, said Vavuniya Government ... SEE INSIDE

Mukunuwenna duplicate carries risk of cancer
Consuming the alligator plant, often mistaken for mukunuwenna carries an increased risk of cancer, informed W.M.K.B. Wahundeniya, Acting Director (Research) of the Plant Protection Service, Department of Agriculture, Gannoruwa. He added the alligator plant is once again being sold to the public by mistaken vendors. “We noticed its return about six months ago after it was first introduced to Sri Lanka by Australia in 1999,” said agricultural instructor Chandrika Herath. SEE INSIDE

UL might be violating air
navigation law

National carrier SriLankan might be violating the country’s aviation laws for the last several months by continuing to ignore the applications of several experienced Lankan pilots who have applied to join it, while continuing to retain as many as 35 expatriate pilots at great cost to the airline.
Most of these pilots who were earlier working for the Indian carrier Kingfisher were laid off due to the global recession, while giving preference to its Indian pilots. SEE INSIDE

Maldivian opposition brings grievances to Colombo
The Maldivian opposition seeking support from its neighbouring allies was in Sri Lanka this week to attract attention to what it calls “a corrupt and dictatorship rule” by current President Mohammed Nasheed.
The group that comprised frontline Islamic Democratic Party (IDP) and Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) held a media briefing where they detailed alleged mismanagement and corruption at “insurmountable levels” instigated supposedly by the current President Nasheed. SEE INSIDE

No disruption to Triposha supply – Ministry
Health Ministry yesterday claimed that it was in possession of enough raw material stocks to manufacture Triposha for four months, therefore, suppliers threatening to stop supplies would have no effect on the distribution of this vital food supplement to poor children. SEE INSIDE

World Heart Day today
The Non-Communicable Diseases Unit of Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry, in collaboration with the Labour, Human Resources and Public Administration Ministries, has organised islandwide programmes to mark the World Heart Day falling today. SEE INSIDE

Govt. takes over Moneragala Base Hospital
The government has taken over the Moneragala Base Hospital under its purview, said Dr. Ajith Mendis, Director General of Health.
“The project has received the Cabinet and Provincial Council approval and the Central Government will take over the hospital starting Thursday this week,” confirmed Dr. Mendis.
According to him a number of changes will take place and one project planned is the construction of a four-storeyed building which is expected to house an Intensive Care Unit, Pre-natal Care Unit, Paediatrics Ward and two medical wards.  SEE INSIDE

Abducted Moulavi given a lecture by politico
An armed gang in a white van allegedly abducted Moulavi S.L.M. Haneefa (Madani), the President of Eastern Province Mosque Federation, the Secretary of Ampara District Muslim Peace Secretariat and the President of Muslim Assembly for National Unity, from his business establishment last week and released after half an hour. The armed gang, after threatening and beating up one of his employees, who came to rescue the Moulalvi, took him away in a white van without a number plate. SEE INSIDE

Another Southern Highway bridge mishap
Road Development Authority (RDA) concluding its preliminary probe into the fall of a concrete slab from a bridge on the Southern Highway close to the collapsed Poddala metal arch bridge, stated that it was a minor incident and there was no need to panic.SEE INSIDE





In the shadow of SWRD
Fifty years ago yesterday, independent Sri Lanka’s fourth Prime Minister Solomon West Ridgeway Dias (SWRD) Bandaranaike was assassinated. In that half-a-century, the country has taken vast strides, but has also been through terrible turmoil, and this is an opportune moment as any, to assess the impact of SWRD, his legacy to the nation and the role
of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), in the five decades that has elapsed since his demise. SEE INSIDE

MR ends ‘home and home’
fight in Galle

There is reportedly a marked increase in the incidents of violence with the election fever running high in the South.
The Hambantota and Galle Districts account for the most election-related incidents reported so far. A number of incidents where UPFA supporters had attacked the UNP and JVP candidates and their supporters torn down their election offices have been reported from the Hambantota district.
But the violence in the Galle District has taken a different turn. The parties to the clashes there are UPFA candidates and supporters themselves, making it a singular home and home fight. An UPFA candidate standing out in this ugly scene is Nishantha Mutuhettigama.  SEE INSIDE


The first PC election held under the Presidency of Mahinda Rajapaksa, was the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) elections held after a lapse of 20 years, on May 10, 2008. The objective of the election was to establish civil administration in the districts of Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara, following the elimination of the LTTE from the East on July 10, 2007. It was crucial, as it was the first PC election held after the separation of the East from the North-East Provincial Council (NEPC). SEE INSIDE

The Southern PC Election: The challenges for parties in the fray
The Southern Provincial Council election is to be held on October 10. This would complete the PC elections, held on a staggered basis, a system clearly favouring the ruling party. The UPFA is predicted to win and win in a landslide.
What is the significance of this election though? The objectives vary in accordance with the party. As for the candidates, in the context of the PR system and preferential votes, all that matters is to poll enough votes to get in. The system guarantees that multiple candidates from the UNP and UPFA will get elected. So the relevant candidates just need to get into the elected list. The aspirations of parties are of a different order. SEE INSIDE

PBJ granted leave to resume office
Sri Lanka’s apex court - The Supreme Court during last Thursday’s hearing of the case, granted leave to proceed for an application by former Treasury Secretary Dr P B Jayasundara (present Petitioner), to revoke his earlier affidavit which held him from taking up public office.
The case is being heard by a seven judge bench after considering submissions by Presidents Counsel Faiz Mustapha on behalf of Dr Jayasundara and preliminary objections raised by the Counsel M A Sumanthiran on behalf of original Petitioner Vasudewa Nanayakkara and Nihal Sri Amerasekera. SEE INSIDE

Media reports false: Budget on schedule, ready to debate financial transactions – Deputy Finance Minister
A media report which appeared during the last weekend claiming that the government would not be presenting a budget this year in view of a general election early next year, was brought up in the House by the main Opposition UNP,
when the sessions started for the week last Tuesday. SEE INSIDE


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Lanka in must-win situation
Sri Lanka realised just how competitive this fifth edition of the ICC’s Champions trophy is going to be for all teams as they suffered a shock defeat at the hands of England on Friday and now face a must-win situation in their final Group B match against New Zealand at the New Wanderers Stadium here on Sunday if they are to qualify for a place in the semi-finals.
A win against England would have ensured them of a semi-final berth and made today’s contest against New Zealand a dead one, but now Sri Lanka has all to play for and skipper Kumar Sangakkara knows that.
“Every game is important in the Champions Trophy. We started off very well against South Africa but we have a few areas to brush up with the game especially with our fielding,” said Sangakkara. SEE INSIDE

The survival of one-day cricket
The talking point before and during the on-going ICC Champions trophy is the future of one-day international cricket. Opinions are diversified. While some say its survival depends on the success of the Champions trophy in South Africa there are others who want certain changes made to the format like cutting it down from fifty overs to forty to keep it alive while another cross section wants one-day cricket abolished totally.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) doesn’t see it that way. They believe that all three formats – Test Cricket, One-day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals all have a place in their calendar.  SEE INSIDE

Modest total made it easy for us to handle Mendis – Collingwood
Man-of-the-Match Paul Collingwood stated that Sri Lanka’s moderate total enabled England to negotiate mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis successfully and secure a six-wicket win for his side in the Champions trophy fixture against Sri Lanka at the New Wanderers here on Friday.
Sri Lanka put into bat under overcast and cold conditions similar to an early English summer was dismissed for 212 off 47 overs. They would have been in a worse plight if not for middle-order contributions from Thilan Samaraweera (30), Thilina Kandamby (53) and Angelo Mathews (52) after having lost the first four wickets for just 17 runs in 5.2 overs.  SEE INSIDE

Sri Lanka U-19 cricket tour to Australia
The Sri Lanka Under-19 cricket team will tour to Australia for a series of five One-Day Internationals from September 28 to October 12 in Darwin. This tour has been arranged by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) in preparation for the forthcoming Junior World Cup to be held in New Zealand. A drastic change took place within the coaching staff of the national under-19 cricket squad after a series of unsuccessful tours in the recent times. Former Bloomfield and Nondescript Sports Club batsman, Naveed Nawaz who also coached the Sinhalese Sports Club to a Premier championship replaced Roger Wijesuriya who served a considerable period as the National junior coach.  SEE INSIDE


Female suicide bombers hiding under NGO cover
The conduct of a certain NGO which had provided cover for the clandestine activity of the LTTE cadres came to light last week, when intelligence sleuths identified two women employed at its Vavuniya office as the LTTE suicide bombers and later unearthed two sets of suicide bomb kits in their possession.
Following intelligence received by OIC Galle Special Investigation Unit Ariyabandu Wedagedara a special Police team arrested Black Tiger cadre Kandiah Gauri alias Kuvalini following a raid on a house at Ukkulankulam in Vavuniya on September 22. The woman suspect bit on two cyanide capsules she had already inside her mouth as she stepped into the vehicle which was to take her to the Police headquarters. She was rushed to hospital but she died there.  SEE INSIDE

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