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Sunday January 10th, 2010


‘Swan’ to return at general election
All constituent political parties of the United National Front and the JVP have decided to contest the upcoming General Parliamentary election as a new political combine titled ‘Ekabaddha Vipaksha Sandhanaya’ (United Opposition Alliance) under the ‘Swan’ symbol, UNF sources disclosed yesterday.

Full Story

‘On arrival’ visa system abused
Sri Lanka’s policy of providing visas to nationals of some 80 countries on arrival here as a means of promoting tourism is being increasingly abused to the detriment of the country with all types of nefarious types ranging from drug smugglers, prostitutes, illegal workers and migrants to arms traders taking advantage of the facility.
According to immigration ...

Full Story

Who’s telling the truth?
Contradicting the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) claims that they decided to back Sarath Fonseka in the Presidential polls as the former Army Commander agreed to the conditions set forth by the TNA, the JVP has firmly said there is no such agreement.

 Full Story

CHEWING ON ELECTION MANIFESTO!

Leader of the SLFP (M), Mangala Samaraweera throwing his weight behind common presidential candidate Retd. General Sarath Fonseka under the UNF umbrella, holds Fonseka’s election manifesto between his lips as he is pictured in a pensive mood at its launch last Thursday at the Ceylon Continental Hotel as the campaign trails of both candidates gathered momentum with President Mahinda Rajapaksa expected to launch his manifesto the coming week

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NY Times lists Lanka as No.1 place to go in 2010
New York Times, in its January 10, 2010 edition lists Sri Lanka as the number one destination to travel in 2010 since the bloody civil war has ended May last year.
In ‘The 31 Places to go in 2010’ Sri Lanka is reviewed by New York Times’ travel writer Lionel Beehner.

Full Story

Nexus Research predicts win for President
Nexus Research Group, an organisation involved in carrying out opinion polls has predicted victory for President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the upcoming Presidential elections.
According to their observations, the President should be the clear winner polling 61.18% of the votes...

Full Story

South Harbour Terminal decision only after poll
In a strange development, the lead Chinese partner in the consortium that was picked for the construction of the first terminal of the new Colombo South Harbour, though earlier very keen to get on with the project, this week demanded some unexpected tough changes to the final BOT agreement.

Full Story

 

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NEWS

Five schools reopened in Kilinochchi after 15 months
The resettlement activities in the Kilinochchi District are now going at a rapid pace with the area Government Agent too moving into the town with a staff of about 60 from December 23. With the ending of the conflict last May, the District GA has been operating from Vavuniya till the required infrastructure in Kilinochchi town was restored.
GA R. Jegathiswaran told The Nation that five schools in the district were reopened this week after a 15 month interval since the outbreak of fighting there during the last phase of the conflict.

Full Story

Madras HC stays order on SL Tamil
The Madras High Court has stayed the operation of an order dated November 27, 2009 of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs directing a Sri Lankan Tamil residing in Bhavani Sagar in Erode District, to leave India immediately.
Justice K. Venkataraman granted the injunction while passing interim orders on a writ petition from Jeganathan Prathapan challenging the deportation order.

Full Story

Somawansa explains JVP stand to Mahanayakes
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Leader Somawasa Amarasingha visited the Mahanayakes of Malwatta and Asgiriya yesterday to outline their policy and also why they decided to support the candidature of General Fonseka as the common opposition presidential candidate
He told the Mahanayakes that General Fonseka had said that he would not be like President William Gopallawa, but would take on the subjects like education and health.
The Mahanayakes blessed the JVP Leader.

Weerawansa wants SF-TNA pact revealed
National Freedom Front (NFF) leader, Wimal Weerawansa yesterday demanded opposition candidate, General Sarath Fonseka to make public the ‘secret’ agreement he allegedly entered into with the Sampanthan faction of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

Full Story

Jaffna to be connected by three more bus routes
The city of Jaffna, which was recently relinked to Kandy with daily bus services, will now be connected to the Batticaloa District through three different bus routes.
An official at the Sri Lanka Transport Board said that Jaffna will be connected to the East coast with three routes starting from Ampara, Akkaraipattu and Kalmunai. “There will be buses plying on those routes almost daily and we are starting with at least two buses.

Full Story

LTTE suspects on hunger strike
LTTE suspects held in prisons around the country have started a protest and begun fasting since Thursday demanding their release or speedier trials.
According to Media Commissioner of the Prisons Department, Keneth Fernando,
88 inmates in the Colombo Magazine Prison, 53 in Trincomalee, 24 in Anuradhapura and 12 in Jaffna, are taking part in the protest.

Full Story

Postal voting next week
Postal voting in the Presidential Elections will take place next Tuesday and Wednesday. The number qualified to cast the postal ballot is 401,119. The Elections Secretariat has rejected 57,036 applications.
Elections Chief Dayananda Dissanayake has said that Returning Officers have already intimated to the certifying officers to make necessary arrangements at their places of worship to cast postal votes.

Full Story

 



POLITICS

Impact of a divided Tamil vote?
There appears to be never a dull moment in the campaign leading up to the sixth Sri Lankan presidential election. This week had its fair share of thrills and spills: Some confusion in the Upcountry Peoples’ Front (UPF) in the aftermath of the death of its leader Periyasamy Chandrasekaran, the crossover of Mayantha Dissanayake to the United National Party (UNP) and the appearance of former Chief Justice Sarath Silva at opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka’s campaign.
The UPF issue is still in limbo, but the chances are that it will revert to its stance of supporting President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Full Story

“Promises too extravagant to be practical”
The propaganda campaigns of the two main candidates President Mahinda Rajapaksa and General Sarath Fonseka are preceding in full steam with the decisive poll only 16 days away. Meanwhile, crossovers between the two main camps, a comedy so typical on the eve of every national election, have become almost a daily feature. Meanwhile, most speakers from both main camps addressing propaganda rallies to woo the voters, trade vitriolic abuse as usual, rather than extol the virtue of the policies of their respective candidates.

Full Story

NEWS FEATURES

Election promises are carbon emissions
A stranger who steps onto this land during election time, may think that Sri Lanka has the most talented, generous and dedicated politicians in the whole world. There are not many other countries where you hear of receiving free laptops or massive increases in salary prior to elections. Alas, most of the time such sweet words have been limited to being mere words, or what is better known in Sri Lanka as ‘election promises’.

Full Story

Has Sri Lanka ever had uncorrupt leaders?
This is a question the public needs to ask themselves. For in answering this basic question the voter will realise the hypocrisy of democracy itself and the reality that the voter’s democratic right during any election is to choose the seemingly “lesser” corrupt leader to office. By and large all elections end up deposing one party/leader and enthroning another but all doing the same thing in different versions.

Full Story

Rajapaksa or Fonseka: The issues, facts, conjecture and responsibilities
‘Fonseka v Rajapaksa; the issues before us’, by S.L. Gunasekara, to be launched at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies, Colombo 7 at 5.00 pm on Tuesday, January 12, 2010. Reviewed by Malinda Seneviratne
S.L. Gunasekara, I have found, is a voice of sanity in times that some people want us to believe are confusing. A man who is impeccably honest, whose integrity is unquestioned, who cannot be called anyone’s pawn and indeed someone who does not live up to anyone’s expectations but his own and moreover someone ...

Full Story

President Rajapaksa ably waged a ‘diplomatic war’
The LTTE sympathisers and the Tamil Diaspora long took for granted that Kilinochchi, the heartland of the Tiger domain, was an impregnable fortress. And they were thrown into a tailspin when the security forces liberated this town in January last year.

Full Story

 

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SPORTS

SLC delighted
Sri Lanka Cricket attributes the success of suitable replacements to the present national team to its farsighted policy in expanding its list of contracted players from 32 to 76 since May last year.
Players like off-spinner Suraj Randiv, all-rounders Thissara Perera and Muthumudalige Pushpakumara, fast bowler Suranga Lakmal and batsman Lahiru Thirimanne have proved suitable replacements to the injury stricken Sri Lanka team on their tours to India and Bangladesh. Further with the number of injuries mounting batsmen Dinesh Chandimal and Mahela Udawatte have joined the national team in Bangladesh as reinforcements for the remainder of the tri-nation series.

Full Story

Sri Lanka Strong Contenders for title

The tragedy that is Pakistan
Younis Khan must be laughing his sides out after Pakistan had thrown away yet another chance of winning a Test match when they were beaten by 36 runs by Australia in the second Test played at Sydney. When Younis captained the Pakistan side to Sri Lanka last year, they lost the first two Tests at Galle and at the P Sara Oval from winning positions and with it went their chance of making impression in the three-Test series which they eventually lost 2-0.
Soon afterwards Younis’ critics started accusing him of match-fixing so on and so forth. Unable to put up with all these false allegations Younis eventually threw in the towel after losing an ODI series to New Zealand in Abu Dhabi saying that he had “lost command over his players”.

Full Story

He ain’t heavy he’s my brother
St Peter’s College have been blessed in their history with quite a number of stroke-makers from Eric Schokman who made the first score of over 150 in a single innings 59 years ago to Angelo Perera, the captain of 2008/09 who holds the record for the highest ever score made by a Peterite – 239 against Nalanda.
Angelo in fact broke a 46-year-old record when he scored those runs beating the previous best of 235 made by Tyronne Le Mercier against St Anthony’s College in 1962. The 2008/09 season was something special for Angelo and St Peter’s. It was the year that he went onto amass four scores of over 150 a feat which no other Peterite has come close to achieving, the nearest was Clive Inman who scored two scores of over 150 during his career with St Peter’s - 204 (retd hurt) in 1954 and 154 (n.o.) in 1955.

Full Story

INTERVIEWS

JHU signals it is for Devolution
Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) heavyweight and Western Provincial Council (PC) Minister Udaya Gamanpila vows that, unlike the JVP, they are not against devolution. In an interview with The Nation early this week, he hinted at some surprises in the new manifesto agreed to by the UPFA members for President Rajapaksa’s
second term. It will be made public next week.
Following are excerpts
Q: Your party is one of the few who are still willing to go along with the presidential system, when others want to scrap it. Why the change of heart?
A: We have never changed our heart. The problem is that the others have changed their hearts, rather their minds.

Full Story

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