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Sunday June 20th, 2010


Turncoats can keep seats
Government has decided to amend the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance to safeguard the seats of the members of the local government bodies who defected to the government at the last Presidential and Parliamentary...

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Constitutional changes before House in July
The new constitutional changes approved by the Cabinet on June 09 is now expected to be presented to Parliament next month.

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Economic Dev. Ministry to move into ex-British HC building
Government now faced with the problem of finding adequate floor space for its key establishments will purchase the former British High Commission complex at Kollupitiya.

 

Victory for all

It was a joyous occasion for all as the country’s first couple President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Mrs. Rajapaksa were received by Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne and Mrs. Jayaratne on arrival at Galle Face for the Victory Day Parade on Friday

(Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)

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Renegotiation of PPAs impractical - energy experts
Although the newly-appointed Minister of Power and Energy, Patali Champaka Ranawaka has renewed the call to renegotiate Power Purchasing Agreements (PPAs)

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No rules for bus cowboys of East
Commuters complain that the private bus owners of the coastal areas of the Batticaloa and the Ampara districts are not bound by the rules binding the bus operators in other parts of Sri Lanka

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SL media scams rock IFJ world congress
Accusations about the Asia office of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) turning a blind eye to financial irregularities in Sri Lanka’s...

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NEWS

Milk powder price hike
The prices of Milk Powder went up with effect from midnight yesterday (19), announced the Minister of Co-operatives and Internal Trade, Johnston Fernando.

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Bank manager to be grilled over Rs.25m mystery
The Mt. Lavinia Police want to question a private bank manager who was abducted at Soysapura on Wednesday and later released in Erewwala after one of the abductors, now in custody, had alleged that the bank executive had cheated on Rs.25 million.

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Firing Line
One rebellion to stomach
The UNP is in a very embarrassing position as not only the party’s leading rebel Sajith Premadasa participated in Friday’s Victory Day celebrations at Galle Face in defiance of Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s decision that no UNPer should attend it, but even a key member of its now much talked about Reforms Committee John Amaratunga, along with party spokesman Gayantha Karunatillake were seen keenly watching the parade. What disciplinary action against any of these defiant individuals? Party General Secretary Tissa Attanayake is noncommittal. He says he cannot comment on the matter.

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‘Highest SLTB profit from North’
The highest profit per kilometre for the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) has been recorded in the Northern Province, according to the Deputy Minister of Transport, Rohana Dissanayaka.
“It gives me great pleasure to reveal that the SLTB’s ventures into the Northern Province have been extremely successful.

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Talks on reopening Ruhuna University
The Vice Chancellor of the Ruhuna University Professor Susirith Mendis will hold discussions with Deans, Department Heads, and other officials to decide when to reopen the four faculties that were closed yesterday following unrest involving students, police and outsiders.

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Japanese held for smuggling Kothala Himbutu
The Bio Diversity Unit of the Sri Lanka Customs arrested a Japanese man at the Bandaranaike International Airport on Friday for attempting to smuggle 7.5kg of Kothala Himbutu.
The Head of the Bio diversity Unit, Samantha Gunasekara told the Nation that the arrest was made following a tip off received about this Japanese passenger. He added that investigations had revealed that the suspect was an owner of a BoI company in Sri Lanka which further indicates that there is a large scale smuggling operation in existence.

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Kandy under security net during Esala Perahera
Kandy would be brought under a strict security net with three separate security circles for the holding of the annual historic Esala Maha Perahera in August. A contingent of 5000 to 6000 police personnel would be deployed during this period, Senior Superintendent of Police, Ranjit Kasthuriratne revealed at a’ Esala Perahera Conferance’ convened by the District Secretary Gotabaya Jayaratne, held at the Sri Dalada Maligawa Auditorium in the old Courts Complex.

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Triple murder productions after one year
Mt Lavinia Magistrate Harsha Setunga recently ordered that the productions in the case of a Sub Inspector (SI) of the Dehiwela Police charged with the murder of his wife and her family, to be sent to the Government Analyst for report after they were produced before him one year after the killings.

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POLITICS

Will allies fall out over constitution?
The focus of attention in political circles shifted last week to New Delhi, where President Mahinda Rajapaksa was undertaking a three-day State visit- and not without reason too.
Even before the visit began, there were many events that sparked controversy: Agitation in Tamil Nadu about Colombo’s handling of the post-war period, speculation that India was attempting to impose a political solution styled on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, a general perception that the government was yielding to pressure

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US, Japan seek stronger ties with Sri Lanka
The arrival of several foreign envoys in the country saw the External Affairs Ministry turning into a hive of activity last week. Japan’s special envoy Yasushi Akashi, UN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe, Special advisor to US President Barack Obama - Samantha Power, who is also the Director of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of the US National Security Council and Director for War Crimes, Atrocities and Protection and David Pressman were among the visiting foreign VIPs.

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NEWS FEATURES

Trade with India: Fundamental economic issues
Trade is a vital component of the Sri Lankan economy and the conditions and vicissitudes of the country’s trade bear heavily on the economy and welfare of the people. Several issues relating to the country’s trade have been debated and discussed recently. The discussions have ranged over a number of trade related issues such as the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ILFTA), the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement(CEPA), the reduction in import duties and trade liberalisation, the emerging deterioration in the terms of trade and the likely large trade deficit this year.

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Constitutional reforms should benefit people
The makers of the 1978 Constitution, in its preamble SVASTI, describe the main objective of enacting it as follows:“… while ratifying the immutable republican principles of Representative Democracy, assuring to all peoples Freedom, Equality, Justice, Fundamental Human Rights, and the Independence of Judiciary as the intangible heritage that generates the dignity and well being of the people of Sri Lanka …….for the creation of a just and free society.”
Many people may be having reservations about certain provisions of the present Constitution, but none would dispute the validity of the main objective referred to in its preamble.

Full Story

Blocked at the Threshold
Five-year-old Ranga lived in close proximity to the school of his area. At the stage of Grade 1 admissions, strangely, he did not get admitted to that school, whereas, it was revealed that, several students from relatively far away areas, had gained admission. Later, it was also revealed that, not only was Ranga denied a school, but there were several more in similar plight. Eventually, Ranga’s parents, together with those whose children were without a school, protested against the school administration, until the school authorities were compelled to start a new class for Ranga and others like him.

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SPORTS

Pakistan’s defeat makes Asia Cup a lacklustre affair
It could only happen in Sri Lanka an India-Pakistan one-day international played to an half empty stadium. India beat Pakistan by three wickets in a closely contested game to knock their arch rivals out of the Asia Cup, but the most disappointing aspect apart from the result was the lack of interest the match drew at the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium yesterday.
Perhaps nowhere in the world would it happen because an India-Pakistan contest is something that the subcontinent cricket fans look forward to for the intensity of the contest it has built up over the years.

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Ghana profits from Kewell red
Ten-man Australia kept their slim hopes of qualifying for the next round of the World Cup alive after a dogged second-half display earned them a point against Ghana in Rustenburg. Harry Kewell was sent off for the Socceroos midway through the first half after referee Roberto Rosetti deemed he had used his arm to keep out a certain goal for Jonathan Mensah after 23 minutes.

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3000th ODI in Dambulla (Point Blank)
One-day limited-overs cricket has come such a long way since its inception by accident on January 5, 1971 that it has, in its 39 years of existence, overtaken the traditional Test cricket which began 133 years ago in the 19th century by as much as over 1000 matches.
When rain washed out the first three days of the third Test match between England and Australia at Melbourne the officials decided to abandon the match and instead, played a one-off one-day game consisting of 40 eight-ball overs per side. Thus the era of One-day international began.

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World Cup winners and losers
It is still early days at the 2010 World Cup but the tournament is already taking shape. From South Africa’s draw with Mexico in the curtain-raiser through to Switzerland’s shock win over Spain on Wednesday; we have now had a chance see all 32 teams play at least once.

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INTERVIEWS

“Want to be tractor and not trailer” - Ravi
UNP Colombo District Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayaka made headlines few weeks ago with his change of attire - from European dress to Ariya Sinhala suit. This led to many speculations that Karunanayake also has launched a campaign to contest for the party leadership in the event of an election to select a candidate for the post. Sharing his views on party reforms and his ambitions with The Nation the Parliamentarian said he only wants to be the tractor and not the trailer

Full Story

‘The media ruined Ranil’ – Ranjan
Q:
Elections, many believe is a way of ensuring democracy. But you have openly opposed to a proposed election within the UNP to elect leaders. Why do you say that there should not be an election to appoint a Party Leader?
As far as I know J.R. Jayewardene appointed a ten member committee consisting of the most popular people in the party in view of the general election in the 1977. This was merely to handle and maintain the UNP’s election campaign. This committee consisted of popular people like Gamini Dissanayake, Lalith Athulathmudali and was lead by R.Premadasa.

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