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Sunday May 09th, 2010


Govt. begins direct talks with TNA
The government has finally begun behind the scene contacts with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to hammer out a solution to the vexing ethnic question, just as the country nears the first anniversary of the crushing of the most ruthless terrorist outfit, the LTTE.

Full Story

SL’s asthma sufferers top one million
Patients with asthma have risen sharply in Sri Lanka with over one million persons suffering from varying degrees of the disease.

Full Story

36 Lankans detained in Kerala
Ahead of Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Kollam, India on Monday, 36 Tamils from Sri Lanka have been detained and questioned to know how they reached Kerala, an official said Saturday.

Full Story

War is terrible

A war monument giving a graphic pointer to what a war does by showing a wide spreading crack in all directions caused by even a single bullet wedged on a thick wall drives home even to our war heroes how terrible a war can be. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa accompanied by his three service commanders on Thursday declared open this monument in Kilinochchi possibly hoping no more bullets need be fired ever again in a war in this country

(Pic by Ravindra Dharmathilake)

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SMS hoax causes panic
The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) will begin investigations into the hoax text message that circulated on Friday and Saturday.

Full Story

UNP reform recommendations will not be ready tomorrow
The special committee appointed to recommend reforms to restructure the United National Party (UNP) will not be able to present the crucial report by tomorrow, as was previously planned, according to UNP MP and member of the special committee John Amaratunga.

Full Story

Essential drug shortage continue to prevail
The All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) expressed their concern over the prevailing system for acquiring essential drugs for hospitals.

Full Story

 

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NEWS

Destruction encroaches over Kokilai Sanctuary
The Kokilai Sanctuary has always claimed attention of environmentalists for being one of most valued bird sanctuaries in the island. Currently, it has drawn substantial media attention imputable to the unscrupulous destruction it has been subjected to since last week.
On May 6, 2010 a group of wildlife officers from Trincomalee, led by Saliya Bandara apprehended two people while they were engaged in cutting trees in a severely bulldozed land inside the sanctuary. Subsequently, these villagers were immediately arrested and presented to the Kebithigollewa High Courts on May 7, 2010 and will be in jail till May 12 until the hearing proceeds.

Full Story

More adult dengue victims
More adults than children succumbed to the dreaded Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF) in 2009 and in the current year, up to April end, 60% of those who died from DHF were adults.
“This gives us an important signal of the age pattern of the disease. It has now shifted to adults. Whereas previously the victims of DHF were mostly children between the ages of 10-15 years, in 2009 and the first four months of this year, they were mostly young adults between the ages of 20-25 years,” Dr. Hasitha Tissera, Consultant Epidemiologist told The Nation.

Full Story

Injured suspect succumbs
The hardcore criminal suspect who had his head smashed after being hit by a falling branch of a tree in the compound of the Galle Court Complex on April 30, that we reported last Sunday under the heading “Hardcore justice?” succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday.

Full Story

SriLankan clarifies
In response to a news item that appeared in the last issue of The Nation, Chairman of the SriLankan Airline Nishantha Wickramasingha has sent us the following clarification:
“I refer to the article which appeared in your newspaper on May 2, 2010 titled ‘SriLankan rub it in against its ex-pilots.’ As explained to you it is regrettable that your journalist chose not to verify the facts before publishing this particular article.

Full Story

No functioning CT scanners at Karapitiya
Patients visiting the medical clinics at Karapitiya Teaching Hospital have been thoroughly inconvenienced due to its CT scanners not functioning since April 13 after they were hit by lightning.
These mainly poor patients now have to travel to Colombo or Ragama to obtain scanning services. The only other way is to pay Rs.5,000 to get a scan done at a private hospital.

Full Story

Col. Wickramasuriya reappointed
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has reappointed Lt. Col. Prasanna Wickramasuriya as the Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services Ltd.
Wickramasuriya who takes his duties very seriously from his days as a frontline combat officer can be seen at all times of the day and night where his presence is required in the environs of the country’s sole international airport at Katunayake, leaving nothing to chance.

Full Story

Businessman robbed at gun point
A businessman from Yakkalamulla was robbed at gun point in the early hours of May 7 of Rs.120,000 near the Galle Bus Terminal.
The victim, the owner of a drapery and clothing store had left Yakkalamulla around 4:30 a.m. to purchase material for his store in Colombo.

Full Story

Lankan engineer picked to judge global contest
Eng. Jayantha Ranatunga has been picked to officiate as a Judge in the ‘Grand Awards’ competition of the 2010 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), being held from today till May 14, in San Jose, California, USA.

Full Story

 



POLITICS

What price Cabinet portfolios
The political fallout of the recent general election continues, despite a month elapsing since the poll, as the ruling United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and President Mahinda Rajapaksa grapple with a different kind of problem: Having to please everyone who was a partner in the UPFA victory.
The President publicly expressed his displeasure over the UPFA’s internal squabbles, which reached a climax in Nawalapitiya, where the election had to be cancelled and a re-poll ordered. That delayed the entire process of releasing the final election results and the formation of the Cabinet.

Full Story

New ministries geared to economic development
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his second term in office, has decided to make a series of changes in staff positions at the Presidential Secretariat as part of a revamping process aimed at the efficient functioning of the Secretariat. “The contributions made by certain persons holding key positions at the Secretariat for the last five years have fallen short of expectations,” a Secretariat source explained.
Namal as Private Secretary
Meanwhile, President Rajapaksa has planned to assign a very responsible role at the Presidential Secretariat to young Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa who is expected to be appointed his Private Secretary shortly. The changes in staff positions are to be carried out under his direction.

Full Story

NEWS FEATURES

Will Sajith Premadasa transcend his ‘gene-rights’?
There is a post-election scenario that has been played out time and time again. It’s all about bringing down Ranil Wickremesinghe, democratising the United National Party (UNP) and making it more palatable to the masses and not just the Colomboans (those die-hard greens mostly living within the Colombo Municipal Council limits and believing they have fallen from the sky or some divine entity’s behind). Inevitably, the party gets split into two camps: those loyal to the leader and those screaming for his blood. This circus didn’t visit Sirikotha in January because Ranil Wickremesinghe had played his cards right and got poor General (Rtd) Sarath Fonseka to be the ‘fall guy’. The entertainment had to wait. Now the circus has arrived again.

Full Story

Paedophile clergy Shun the ‘Cost of Discipleship’
His own parents, he that had father’d him and she that had Conceived him in her womb and birth’d him, They gave this child more of themselves than that, They gave him afterward every day, they became part of him. (“There Was a Child Went Forth – Walt Whitman)
Clergymen who sexually abuse children are those, whose spiritual treasury is filled with what Dietrich Bonhoeffer calls ‘cheap grace’ that is generated by the “official religion of doctrines, rites and institutions”. Not a day passes without reports in the press that high-ranking clergymen have sexually abused young children in Europe and America.

Full Story

Government must get agriculture moving
Agricultural development is a priority task of the government. The government has expressed this in its manifesto and in the run up to the elections. Since the government’s political support came more from rural areas than the urban cities, it could be expected to have a rural bias. There is, therefore, every reason to expect the government’s economic programme and investments to focus heavily on the development of food crop agriculture and on rural infrastructure that would support agricultural development.

Full Story

 

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SPORTS

Lanka plays for semi-final spot today
Two teams that finished off their opponents rather ruthlessly in their opening Super Eight matches meet in what could turn out to be a crucial clash for a place in the semi-finals of the third ICC World Twenty20 tournament when Sri Lanka meets Australia at the Kensington Oval on Sunday.
The winning team in today’s contest is assured of a place in the last four unless three of the four teams end with an equal number of points.

Full Story

Coach Harsha confident of Lanka Women qualifying for semis
Having scraped through their opening fixture with a narrow one-run victory against Pakistan Women on Thursday, Sri Lanka Women’s coach Harsha de Silva is confident that his charges are capable of winning at least one of their remaining two Group B fixtures and qualify for a place in the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 semi-finals.

Full Story

Mahela pushes himself as candidate to open in WC
The outstanding form Mahela Jayawardene has shown in the on-going ICC World Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies and on the few occasions he has opened for his country in One-Day Internationals gives Sri Lanka the option to play the former captain in the role of an opener for the 2011 World Cup.

Full Story

Wesley fights for survival
The Wesley College 1st XV rugby team who returned to the pinnacle for the fourth occasion in their rugby history of 53 years this season certainly will have to fight hard for survival. Getting back to the top division was not an easy call to a team that spent three years in division 1 segment ‘B’ where they remained unbeaten last year before earning a worthy call back to the top. However as history repeats itself for any other team that made a comeback to the top league, Wesley too had to experience the bitter side of their blissful success.

Full Story

INTERVIEWS

TNA Leader speaks his mind
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader R. Sambandan, despite his advancing years, is quite sprite when it comes to the subject of finding a solution to the ethnic question. With the LTTE having been crushed nearly a year ago, he sounds ready to fully cooperate with the government, to find that so far illusive solution acceptable to everyone.

Full Story

I never asked anything from President – Abdul Cadar
At the parliamentary session on Wednesday, Kandy district United National Party (UNP) MP Abdul Cadar created a stir by voting with the government to extend the emergency regulations.
Since that vote against the opposition, speculation has been rife that Cadar, one of the most senior politicians from the UNP, has moved over to the government.

Full Story

UNP faces natural death if no changes
Amidst criticism and counter criticism on the current leadership of the United National Party (UNP), a set of proposals have now been presented to its working committee in view of revamping the Party to make it more of a people friendly one.
While, these reforms were spearheaded by a young and dynamic group in the party, there are seniors who welcome and bless this attempt by the younger generation to bring the golden days back to the Party...

Full Story

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