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Sunday October 11th, 2009

Manape alone won’t make CM
Polling the highest number of preferential votes at the Southern PC election held yesterday will not be the sole qualification for a UPFA candidate to be considered for appointment as the Chief Minister, a top authoritative government source told The Nation yesterday. SEE INSIDE

SLMC yet to decide on proposed UNP alliance
The politburo of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has decided that whatever the alliance they may join will have to address the issues faced by the ‘minority’ communities. Therefore, they will not hasten to take a final decision on joining the joint opposition alliance led by the UNP. SEE INSIDE

A mid-term Presidential poll
a non-event?

While hectic preparations are being made by the main opposition UNP to face a Presidential poll in January next year, news comes down the grapevine that government is having second thoughts about holding a mid-term Presidential poll. SEE INSIDE

Smile for the Camera

Foreign tourists photographing the children who have come to cheer the competitors participating in the Amazon Raid endurance race taking place in Sri Lanka’s north central town of Dambulla. Some 120 women, mostly from France, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Sri Lanka are taking part in the six-day event that tests participants in disciplines ranging from cycling to trekking

Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara

Polls peaceful, voter turnout
65-70 %

The Southern Provincial Council election was held in a relatively peaceful environment, although a large number of minor election law violations were observed by the election monitoring bodies. They also said the voter turnout was below expectation with an average of 57% reported in all... SEE INSIDE

German Police bust int’l human trafficking ring
Following more than a year-long investigation, the German Federal Police have busted an international ring involved in smuggling Sri Lankan Tamil people into European countries, with the connivance of certain French and British authorities. SEE INSIDE

Resettlement in Manthai West starts next week
Resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to Manthai West in the Mannar District from the IDP camps in Mullaithivu is scheduled to begin this week, from Thursday (15), following the completion... SEE INSIDE


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N-E Monsoon rains to
lessen by 34%

The North-East Monsoon rains are predicted to decrease by 34% across the country, according to a study conducted on Climate Change Effects on the North-East Monsoon and Dry Zone Agriculture in Sri Lanka. Similarly, the annual average temperature is predicated to increase.
According to C. Shanthi de Silva of the Department of Agricultural and Plantation Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Technology, Open University of Sri Lanka the study was done... SEE INSIDE

Youth organisation to bridge North and South
The ‘Tharunyata Hetak’ youth organisation, in a bid to build a strong bond of friendship between the peoples of South and North, has planned a series of events titled ‘Thal Mal Waruna,’ to be held in Jaffna from October 21 to 25.
“We have given it a rhythmic name as Saki Sanda Balan Uthure Thal Mal Waruna and we will be taking 200 youth from the South to North and there will be 250 youth from the North to welcome the guests from the South,” General Secretary of the Tharunyata Hetak Piyum Perera said. SEE INSIDE

Puttalam arsonists still missing
Police are yet to make a breakthrough in the investigation into the arson attack on the residence and the party office of Puttalam District UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara at Madampe, Chilaw last Sunday (4). The MP alleged that the perpetrators of the crime have gone into hiding as they are still carrying unhealed burn injuries sustained setting the buildings ablaze.
MP Bandara charged that Police are not carrying out the investigations properly and taking no interest in arresting the culprits. SEE INSIDE

Heart sickness in young
males on the rise

Heart disease among young males is on the rise, according to latest statistics, despite the increasing health-conscious trend in urban areas, warned Dr. Gamini Galappatthy, Consultant Cardiologist at the National Hospital.
His warning comes just two weeks after Sri Lanka observed the World Heart Day on September 27. “This year’s theme is ‘Work with Heart’ because people spend much of the day in their workplaces and there is the need to make lifestyle changes for the sake of their health. Sedentary lifestyles contribute to heart problems,” said Dr. Galappatthy. SEE INSIDE

Scholarship exam results an eye opener?
The 2009 Grade Five Scholarship Examination results were issued late last week and a boy from Ruhunu Wijayaba Vidyalaya, Beliatta, Vidana Arachchige Pramod Dilshan scored the highest marks obtaining 196 out of 200 marks. Also, four students have scored identical marks to secure the second place, five students each in the third and fourth places. Significantly, most of these students are from what one might call ‘outstation’ schools.  SEE INSIDE

Week at a glance
The Fort Magistrate Court released Ceylinco Chairman Lalith Kotelawala on bail earlier in the week when the case involving the alleged defrauding of Rs. 3.9 billion by the F&G Real Estate Company was taken up, but Kotelawala will continue to remain in remand prison over other Ceylinco related cases. Fort Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya made the order granting bail considering the affidavit submitted by Kotelawala undertaking to remit 1/6 of his personal assets to the proposed repayment scheme aimed at settling the depositors of F&G Real Estate – a subsidiary of the Ceylinco Group headed by Kotelawala. SEE INSIDE

Winners have a say
The Nation spoke to Pramod Dilshan and the three students who share the number two rank to find out how they accomplished this result and we also realise that as Prof. Perera said, the family background has
played an important part in their achievement. SEE INSIDE




Day of reckoning down South
When these pages are being read, the results of the Southern Provincial Council (SPC) poll would be trickling in. Barring a miracle, the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) would have emerged victorious, the only bone of contention being the margin of victory and the percentage of votes polled by the Alliance, as opposed to its rivals.
There is no doubt the results will be analysed for these statistical implications, but it is the political fallout from the poll that will have far reaching consequences for the immediate political agenda of the country.
It will be remembered that President Mahinda Rajapaksa embarked on a strategy of conducting staggered Provincial polls over a year ago, commencing with the elections in the Eastern Province. In terms of political tactics, it was a smart move: it allowed the Alliance to concentrate its resources in a region, and whenever it won, it had a demoralising effect on the collective opposition. SEE INSIDE

Joint Opposition Alliance born
Both UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and SLFP (M) leader Mangala Samaraweera saw the fulfillment of their long cherished hope when the UNP Working Committee approved the formation of the Joint Opposition Alliance they had planned sometime ago.
The alliance proposal had to be placed on the back burner for several months due to the strong opposition put up by a section of the party’s Working Committee membership. When the alliance proposal was first presented to the Working Committee, an articulate section opposed it and later the party leader had to settle for a Common Consensus instead of a common opposition combine. The Committee had also decided that the party symbol `elephant’ and the party colour `green’ should not be abandoned under any circumstances. SEE INSIDE


Planning our urban future; some Lankan issues
The theme selected for this year’s World Habitat Day is ‘planning our urban future’. A general communiqué issued by UN Habitat to member nations states that this theme was chosen to focus on the need to improve urban planning to deal with major challenges of the 21st century. The major challenges foreseen by the world body comprise inter-alia the effects of climate change on cities and towns, resources depletion, food insecurity, population growth and economic instability. The communiqué further states that many developing countries will, in addition continue to experience rapid rates of urbanisation with the added evils of overcrowding, poverty, slums with many poorly equipped... SEE INSIDE

Finally it’s a Vote on Account
Ending weeks-long speculations that the government is heading for a Vote on Account instead of presenting a Budget for the year 2010, Leader of the House, Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told Parliament that the cabinet has decided to present a Vote on Account instead of an Appropriation Bill. He however did not forget to stress that the decision was not due to any influence from the IMF or any other foreign organisation. SEE INSIDE

Obama, Man-of-the-Match
(before the toss)

Barack Obama believes he is undeserving, how humble of him! Immediately after receiving news that he had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009, the US President has fired off an email to all his supporters: To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honoured by this prize -- men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace. He is so right. SEE INSIDE


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Lanka to play three Tests
Sidelined by the BCCI for more than two years, Kolkata will host a one-day international next month after the Board’s Tour, Programme and Fixtures Committee awarded the city one of India’s five ODIs against Sri Lanka.
The committee met here to finalise the venues for the series, which will also comprise three Test matches and a couple of Twenty20 games.
However, the dates for the series, scheduled from the second week of November, will be announced at a later date. SEE INSIDE

2011 World Cup - onus on the selectors
It needs a defeat of sorts to get the whole nation talking about our national cricketers and the way they performed at the recently concluded ICC Champions trophy in South Africa. Cricket unlike other sports in Sri Lanka is followed by a large majority of the population that even politicians too get involved and the success and failure of the national team is sometimes discussed in parliament.
Our national cricketers who are the pride of our nation become the focal point whenever they are in action whether at home or abroad. Thus it is no surprise to see the nation voice its opinion... SEE INSIDE

Inter-club Premier League
Army struggles to stave off defeat
A combined team effort by rookie NCC youngsters Angelo Perera (178) and Roshan Lakmal (5/37) helped NCC pile up a massive 458 for 8 declared and has their opponents, Army SC struggling to salvage a draw in their 3-day Inter-Club Premier Cricket encounter at NCC grounds yesterday. SEE INSIDE

Muthiah Muralitharan University of Bolton Scholarships
For the first time in the local sporting arena, a foreign university has inaugurated a scholarship in the name of a Sri Lankan sports personality. University of Bolton, a leading university in United Kingdom, will be launching their latest scholarship for Sri Lankan students under the name of the spin wizard Muthiah Muralitharan. This was revealed at a press conference held last week at Hilton Residences. SEE INSIDE


Resettlement of displaced defies deadlines
It is no doubt that Senior Presidential Advisor and MP Basil Rajapaksa is at the forefront of the government machinery in charge of IDP resettlement and the development process in the North. In an interview with The Nation he spoke about the latest development in the process of resettlement and vent out his thoughts on some of the comments made by the members of the international community and the presidential election that is said to take place early next year
Q: Resettlement in the East is now completed. What is the deadline to resettle those displaced from the North?
A: When it comes to resettlement, I don’t think it is possible for anyone to give deadlines. SEE INSIDE

“Making peace more challenging than making war”
Professor Rohan Gunaratna is Head of International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism Research, and Professor of Security Studies at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. A former senior fellow at the United States Military Academy at West Point and at the Fletcher School for Law & Diplomacy, he is also a member of George Washington University’s Homeland Policy Security Institute and a member of the Advisory Council of the Institute for Counter Terrorism, Israel.  SEE INSIDE

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