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Sunday October 4th, 2009

Mangala runs into new obstacle
SLFP-M Leader Mangala Samaraweera’s grand plan to bring former President Chandrika Kumarathunga and her son Vimukti Kumaratunga into the opposition alliance with a new symbol, has run into a major problem... SEE INSIDE

Political solution a long process — Vitarana
The mandate of the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) was not to recommend the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, but to realise a final solution to the ethnic issue, the Committee’s Chairman Prof. Tissa Vitarana said last Friday. SEE INSIDE

Hikka type promotion festival in Negombo
The government has been placed in a terrible predicament with December 31 this year falling on a Poya Day, and already hotel trade is lobbying to have the liquor ban lifted on this day, as they have to cater to an extra large number of New Year ... SEE INSIDE

Celebrating Children’s Day

Some 166 children from the Saraswathi College in the Eastern port town of Trincomalee were escorted on their first ever visit to the capital by the Army this week. Their visit was to mark the World Children’s Day, which fell on October 1 and the Army’s 60th anniversary celebrations. Here the children are having a gala time at McDonald’s Rajagiriya

 Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara

Amnesty for holders of Tiger vehicle revenue licences
While the Cabinet granted approval this week to put up a new building for the Department of Motor Traffic in Jaffna at a cost of Rs. 19 million on an urgent basis, authorities are finally reaping millions in revenue from motor vehicles, which were hitherto reaped by the LTTE. SEE INSIDE

Undergrads released from IDP camps
Fifty three undergraduates of the Jaffna University, who were in IDP camps after being trapped within the LTTE-controlled areas during the final phase of the war, were released last week to resume their studies. SEE INSIDE

National textbook distribution ceremony in Jaffna
The annual national free school textbook distribution ceremony will be held in Jaffna later this year for the first time since the inception of the scheme in the 1980s.
It is learnt that Wembadhi Ladies College... SEE INSIDE

 

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NEWS

New LTTE leader barred from entering Germany
Persistent attempts by pro-LTTE organisations to bring LTTE’s new de-facto leader Visvanathan Rudrakumaran to Germany in the guise of a humanitarian activist, to address the Tamil community domiciled there have failed with German authorities refusing him entry into the country. SEE INSIDE

President chides, forces out to tarnish image of Army
President Mahinda Rajapaksa chided the local and international forces that try to bring Sri Lankan soldiers before an international war crimes tribunal, at yesterday’s ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Army. He added that such cowards will not win the hearts and minds of the general public.
“The Sri Lankan soldier did his best to minimise civilian casualties and acted with great discipline absent in many Armies around the world. SEE INSIDE

Minister gives dressing down to top bureaucrat
The Minister of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development Dinesh Gunawardene has taken to task a top officer of the UDA in a terse communiqué for contravening the Minister’s orders.
The top officer per his memos UDA/CH/el/2009/8 (administrative) and CH/2009/04 (administrative) dated 14/9/2009 in the guise of “creating an efficient and streamlined administrative system” had taken out from the hands of Deputy Director General (Human Resources Management) his purview of security, transport and lift operations and given those functions to other officials not paying attention Ministerial orders SEE INSIDE

Spike in election violence worries monitors
The Southern Provincial Council election that will take place next Saturday (10) will be far from being free and fair, according to election monitors, due to a significant increase in election violence in all three districts.
Speaking to The Nation, Prasanna Adikari, Convenor of the Nation Polls Observation Centre cited that there have been 36 cases of election violence, most of which reported from the Galle and Hambantota Districts. SEE INSIDE

Mahatma Gandhi Scholarships for 100 Lankan students
One hundred Sri Lankan students were awarded Mahatma Gandhi Scholarships at a function organised by the Indian High Commission in Colombo on Thursday (1). These students were selected from all 25 districts of Sri Lanka on the criterion of merit-cum-means and on the basis of their performance at GCE O/L 2008, as well as interviews jointly conducted by the High Commission and the Higher Education Ministry of Sri Lanka. An Indian High Commission media release said the selected scholars will receive a financial assistance of Rs.1,500 per month for two years to enable them to successfully... SEE INSIDE

Rubber Centenary celebration in Kamburupitiya postponed
One of the Centenary Celebration events of the Rubber Research Institute, scheduled to be held early this week in Kamburupitiya, Matara has been postponed indefinitely due to the tensely contested election there.
According to the Director General of the Rubber Research Institute, Asoka Nugawela, the exhibition was to be held for the benefit of Rubber
Smallholders. SEE INSIDE

Army Rs. 1000 anniversary
coin to all

Deduction of Rs. 1,000 (one thousand) from the September salary of Army officers and soldiers was effected, in order to issue them with the specially designed 60th Anniversary commemorative currency coin to the same value, and not for coverage of expenditure incurred in the
Anniversary events as stated in some reports, the Army said in a communiqué yesterday. SEE INSIDE

Wap Magul festival next week
The National Wap Magul festival will be held at Kandalama area in Dambulla under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa on October 12, the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services Development disclosed. SEE INSIDE



 

 

POLITICS

Election fever reaches new high
Now that the Southern PC poll is only five days away, the election fever gripping the South has reached a new high. This election, being a precursor to the Presidential and General Parliamentary elections round the corner, is considered decisive for both the government and the main opposition UNP.
The government coalition is working hard to register a landslide victory to create the necessary momentum for a cake walk at the two upcoming elections. Government Ministers, and the UPFA’s PC , UC and Pradeshiya Sabha members who have pitched camp in the Galle, Matara and Hambatota districts several weeks ago appear set to leave no stone unturned in their quest for more and more votes. Meanwhile... SEE INSIDE

South polls mere appetiser for the mega ones to follow
As elections day nears in the Southern Province, the last of the provincial polls has taken on an entirely different dimension: It has been turned into an internecine battle of infighting between the various contenders of the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA), which is the favourite to emerge as the winner at next Saturday’s elections.
The headlines so far, have been made by maverick candidate Nishantha Muthuhettigama, who could, on his day, make Mervyn Silva blush. Muthuhettigama spares no one, and the media have relished the opportunity to report on a UPFA candidate who says not even the President can dictate terms to him. Muthuhettigama, we are certain, will have his 15 minutes of fame, but the only two questions that remain in the South is the margin of the UPFA’s expected victory and who the Chief Minister would be. SEE INSIDE

NEWS FEATURES

13th Amendment: For whose benefit?
Even after 22 years, since its inclusion into the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, the 13th Amendment is still making news. Although part of the country’s supreme law, the Amendment has still not been fully implemented and political, legal and social authorities are yet to come to an agreement on the implications of implementation of this amendment. SEE INSIDE

SPC- Final countdown
With only six more days left for the Southern Provincial Council (SPC) Election, intra-party competition has overshadowed that of inter-party, to get the highest number of preferential votes.
Several key players in the SPC from the two main parties, the UPFA and the UNP, expressed their confidence in wining the election on Saturday. SEE INSIDE

Hundred days of terror under British
August 30 marked exactly 94 years after the end of a 100-day rule by the monstrous Martial Law which the British Colonial Government enforced to quell the communal riots of 1915.  It was like using a sledge hammer to kill an insect. The violent incidents were a glaring example of divide-and-rule colonial policy the tragic consequences of which Sri Lankans are suffering to this day. SEE INSIDE

The White House preference: ‘Talking for the sake of talking’
The more I listen to Barack Obama the more I get disillusioned with the man. In the run up to the US Presidential Election, informal polls of people from all over the world found him to be way ahead in popularity over his rivals, first Hillary Clinton and then John McCain. Almost one year into his term, the man sounds more and more like his predecessors. He is redefining his identity... SEE INSIDE

 

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SPORTS

Kiwis restrict Pakistan to 233/9 in semi-final
Sa'adi Thawfeeq Reporting
from South Africa

New Zealand bowlers kept a tight leash on the flamboyant Pakistan batting line-up to restrict them to a total of 233-9 off 50 overs in the second semi-final of the ICC Champions trophy played at the New Wanderers here Saturday.
Winning the toss and taking first lease of a wicket which was expected to be a real belter, Pakistan got off to steady start with openers Imran Nazir who had replaced Misbah-ul-Haq and Kamran Akmal putting on 46 off 66 balls. Once the stand was broken by Shane Bond who got rid of Nazir with a brute of a delivery which forced the batsman to defend and edge a catch to first slip, the Pakistan innings lost some momentum and they slumped to 86-4 with Butler coming back strongly after conceding... SEE INSIDE

Sri Lanka’s cricketing ‘guru’ Chandika Hathurusingha
Sa'adi Thawfeeq Reporting
from South Africa
In the past two months or so if the once vulnerable Sri Lanka middle-order batting has shown some form of consistency in one-day internationals it is due to the presence of batsmen like Thilan Samaraweera, Thilina Kandamby and Angelo Mathews.
What is common with all three players is that they have at some point of their career come up against Chandika Hathurusingha, former ‘A’ team coach and presently shadow coach of the Sri Lanka team. What Hathurusingha has done to change the outlook of these cricketers and make them permanent fixtures in the one-day team is simply amazing. SEE INSIDE

ICC Champions Trophy 2009 - a failed campaign
Sa'adi Thawfeeq Reporting
from South Africa

The 2009 ICC Champions trophy is a good eye-opener for Sri Lanka ahead of the 2011 World Cup. The World Cup is due to be held in the subcontinent and Sri Lanka may fancy their chances of repeating their success of 1996 when the tournament was last held in Asia. However the present team if it wants to match up to the performance of its predecessor will need to do a lot of homework and preparations and take some hard decisions to achieve that.

When Murali did a Collingwood at Christchurch
The fifth edition of the ICC Champions trophy may have lost some of its glamour at the knockout stages with the elimination of teams with flair like India, Sri Lanka and host South Africa, but it has certainly made up with the Spirit of Cricket which the ICC so strongly emphasises that teams follow.
The ICC Spirit of Cricket states: “Cricket is a game that owes much of its unique appeal to the fact that it should be played not only within its Laws but also within the Spirit of the Game. Any action which is seen to abuse this spirit causes injury to the game itself. The major responsibility for ensuring the spirit of fair play rests with the captains.” SEE INSIDE

Golf development programme for children
A great day will dawn for over 400 school children from seven state owned schools in the hill capital as they will be the beneficiaries of a massive golf development programme organised by Victoria Golf and Country Resort which has just got underway at the picturesque Victoria golf course at Rajawella off Kandy. SEE INSIDE

Trinity to felicitate Kumar Sangakkara
Lion of Lions and national cricket captain in all versions of the game Kumar Sangakkara will be felicitated by his old school Trinity College at a ceremony to be held at the Asgiriya Stadium in Kandy on Friday October 9. Asgiriya is a fitting venue to felicitate this talented cricketer who broke into stardom at this venue by his exploits as a batsman who was the scourge of the bowlers. SEE INSIDE

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