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Sunday March 7th, 2010


President tells off UN Sec. Gen.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa Friday told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that his intention to appoint a panel of experts to advice him (i.e. the SG) on Sri Lanka is totally...

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President appoints Committee to report on ‘Lessons Learnt’
President Mahinda Rajapaksa will shortly appoint a high-powered Presidential Committee of Inquiry to examine and report on causes that...

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Taxi Abey confirms evidence given by Johnston, Lakshman against SF
Former Airport and Aviation Services Chairman during the previous UNP regime Gamini Abeyratne a.k.a. Taxi Abey is among the witnesses who had given statements to the military for the upcoming court martial against...

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PEACE DIVIDEND

It is good news for the Jaffna consumers. The large influx of vegetables and fruits from the south has effected a drastic reduction in the prices of consumer goods in Jaffna, giving the much needed economic relief to the inhabitants of the Northern peninsula
                     (Pic by Rukshan Abeywansha)
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Prabha’s mother flown to Malaysia for medical treatment
Vallipuram Parvathi (80), mother of deceased LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, has been flown to Malaysia on Friday for medical treatment, Tamil sources said.

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Monitors want candidates’ assets declaration to be made public
While noting that only three candidates out of 7,620 have declared their assets even after one week since submitting nominations, election monitoring bodies said they would lobby for...

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17 military personnel quizzed, 11 released
A total of 17 military personnel have been questioned over the murder of former Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge and 11 have been released while six are being...

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NEWS

Drug imports under microscope again
The All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) strongly condemned the procedure followed by the Health Ministry when importing 92 essential drugs to Sri Lanka. They cited that the Ministry officials had simply visited pharmaceutical companies in India and purchased drugs without following proper procedures or quality checks.
“The government keeps running after elections so they have failed to produce a proper budget for this year. Due to lack of funds allocated as a result of not having a budget for the year, Ministry officials have just visited India and bought drugs without bothering to consult local hospitals to get a proper assessment about their drug requirement,” ACHSU President Gamini Kumarasinghe said.

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Dengue epidemic reaches new high in Jaffna
The worst affected district by the dengue epidemic which Health Ministry sources called ‘ hyper-endemic’ is Jaffna, according to government Epidemiology unit ( GEU) data. The total number of Dengue fever and Dengue Haemorrhagic fever ( DHF) cases reported through hospital admissions for the months of January and February this year was 1580, with a slight drop in February (764) compared to 816 in January)

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Forgotten monk hero
Venerable Wariyapola Sumangala Thera, once the Anunayake of Asgiri Maha Vihare, is a forgotten national hero. His statue which stands at Maha Maluwa was popularly venerated in the past, especially when the late Mahanayake Pallipane Chandananda Thera was living.
On Tuesday, there was no one present at the statue to pay their respects, not even school children of Wariaypola Sri Sumangala School, which had been named after this brave monk who tore down the British flag at Bogambara in protest of the signing of the Kandyan Convention handing over the country to the English king. The principal of the school too was said to be out of the country.

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Sri Lanka faces sanctions – Church
A Brisbane Church agency is calling for the Australian Government to take a stronger stance on human rights violations in Sri Lanka.
Brisbane archdiocese’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC) made the call in the wake of a warning that Sri Lanka may lose preferential trade benefits unless human rights concerns are addressed.
This follows the European Union’s (EU) announcement that Sri Lanka’s $3.47 billion textile...

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Petition to promote access to vote for Lankans abroad
Milinda Moragoda, Minister of Justice and Law Reform and leader of the Sri Lanka National Congress (SLNC), a constituent party of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has launched a website www.slnc.org dedicated to ‘Promoting Access to Vote for Sri Lankan’s Abroad’ recently.
At the launch SLNC stated that “The Vote” is a universal human right. In a democracy there is nothing more fundamental than having the right to vote.

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POLITICS

Preference Vote and the Enemy Within
The campaign to elect Sri Lanka’s seventh Parliament is now in full swing, and this week saw candidates being allocated numbers for the purpose of marking preference votes. And, as electioneering progresses, it is becoming increasingly evident that the ruling party and the opposition are fighting very different battles.
For the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA), there are two primary concerns. From a party standpoint, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has asked for a two-thirds majority in Parliament, so he could enact Constitutional changes. From the parliamentarians’ perspective, each candidate obviously wants to be elected to the Legislature against the backdrop of a tough battle for the preference vote.

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Ruse to obtain top preference numbers
The Muslim candidates having the initial `A’ or the first name starting with `A’ such as Abdul, Ahamed, Ashraff, or Ali contesting the coming election are in for a special advantage: they invariably get numbers high up (in the numerical order) on the district preference lists. The lure of this advantage had led some candidates to resort to the ruse of adding a false first name beginning with the letter `A’ to the name when entering the full name on the nomination paper, posing an unexpected problem to the election authorities. These errant candidates had been able to get away with this fraudulent act as they were not required to produce their birth certificate along with the nomination papers. However, at the PC elections the candidates were required to furnish their birth certificates when submitting their nominations and the preference numbers were assigned to them according to the alphabetical order of the names as given in the birth certificates. This procedure was not followed when allocating preference numbers to candidates contesting the coming general election.

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NEWS FEATURES

Reject the tree-cutters on April 8
Mahinda Rajapaksa, when he was sworn in as President in November 2005, said clearly that he was just the temporary custodian of the island of Sri Lanka and its citizens. That’s what a President is supposed to do of course, but I am not sure if Mahinda Rajapaksa really knew the full extent of the task he took on when he said this.
When he asserted thus, he was essentially taking on the responsibility of keeping safe everything associated with the name Sri Lanka. This included protection of territories, natural resources, archaeological treasures and artifacts, cultural heritage, way of life, traditional technologies, innovations, biodiversity, food security...

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Get moving from politics to economic development
A new thrust in the economy would have to await the end of the General Elections, the ushering in of the new Parliament and the appointment of the cabinet of ministers. The Finance Ministry has put out some tentative figures for the Budget. This has been on the basis of more of the same.

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SPORTS

Peiris helps Petes break 32-year drought
St. Peter’s ended a 32-year-old drought with a resounding 10-wicket win over traditional rivals St. Joseph’s in their 76th ‘Battle of the Saints’ cricket encounter which ended before tea at the P Sara Oval yesterday. Peterite skipper...

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Zahira, St Anthony’s record
third win

Zahira went on to record their third win for the season when they beat Sri Sumangala, Panadura by 188 runs in their 1st XI schools cricket match played at Maradana yesterday. Throughout the match the all-round performance...

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First year in office – a mixed bag
(Point Blank
)

Next week Sri Lanka Cricket’s interim committee under the chairmanship of DS de Silva will complete one year in office. At least De Silva and his committee had achieved what his predecessor...

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INTERVIEWS

Country’s self-sufficiency my priority – Prime Minister
To survive half a century in active politics in Sri Lanka is indeed a miracle. It is even more surprising that a politician is able to retain his popularity for that long representing a single electorate.

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“Our goal is to make Sri Lanka the wonder of Asia” - ChampikaWalls around the country are being adorned by posters of candidates contesting in the General Election. However, there will be one notable face missing from these posters and that is the face...

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WiJayMu on parting with the UNP - “Mahinda Chintana is exactly identical to my thinking”
Many in his own party thought he was an eccentric or a quirk, when he called on people to embrace their traditional values, at the height...

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Ruwan Wijewardene - “I’m more of a liberal democrat like Dudley”
Q:
You have one of the best political pedigrees; on your mother’s side you are not only the great grandson of the first Prime Minister, but your grand uncle, the second Prime Minister Dudley...

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“I have fresh ideas and new visions” - Thilanga
Thilanga Sumathipala enters the General Election race from Colombo representing the UPFA. He is one of the many high profile candidates that the Government is fielding from...

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“Country needs an overhaul in the education system” – Mohan Lal Grero
Mohan Lal Grero has been an educationalist for several decades. He is one of the most well known Physics and Maths teachers in the island, and has so far taught...

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