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Sunday June 27th, 2010


Top EU man backs Lanka
Sri Lankan born Vice President of the Committee on Overseas Development of the European Parliament, Niranjan Deva-Aditya (Nirj Dev) yesterday condemned more than ten impossible conditions set by the EU to renew Sri Lanka’s GSP Plus facility as interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.

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Control on import and distribution of chemicals
The National Dangerous Drug Control Board (NDDCB) is set to control the import and distribution of 23 common chemicals in Sri Lanka. An Executive Director of the NDDCB said that under the powers given to them they will start controlling the import and distribution of these seemingly harmless chemicals.

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Pest fighters brutally assaulted
Two officers of the Lunuwila Coconut Research Station sent to investigate the coconut blight now raging in the south had been brutally assaulted by a group of thugs opposed to them ordering the cutting down of some affected trees recently. The two research officers Ajith Nandasiri and E. Atapattu after completing their field work at Weligama had proceeded...

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Shot in arm for Tourism

The sun, sea and sand of picturesque Arugam Bay in the tourism lane come alive as Australian Julian Wilson, winner of the inaugural SriLankan Airlines Pro Surfing 2010 championship, is carried on the shoulders of two jubilant Aussie supporters last Thursday

(Pic By Pushpakumara Matugama)

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UN staffer’s hubby in dock for theft of US DPL’s phone
An Indian, whose wife is an employee of the United Nations in Sri Lanka, was arrested and produced in court by the Kollupitiya Police for stealing the BlackBerry mobile phone of a diplomat attached to the US Embassy in Colombo, the police said yesterday.

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British hotelier summoned for desecrating Buddha
The British owner of the Sakuri Villa Hotel in Metaramba, Unawatuna, which was found by police to be displaying Buddha statues in a degrading manner has been asked to return to Sri Lanka from Glasgow, Scotland immediately to answer charges.

Full Story

Key suspects in beggar killings held
The recent killing spree of beggars might end as the police believe that the key suspects of beggar killings is already in their custody.
According to police sources, the suspect is the accomplice of a convicted extortionist who had previously served a jail term.
The ex-con is suspected to be the leader of a gang that has been extorting...

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NEWS

Golden Key depositors asked to seek SC approval
Charted Accountants’ Committee on the collapsed Golden Key Credit Card Company has informed the Golden Key Depositors Society, to seek approval of the Supreme Court prior to any possible talks with Ceylinco Consolidated Chairman, Lalith Kotalawela.
Speaking to The Nation, President of Depositors Society, Anusha Emmert, said that the Supreme Court-appointed Charted Accountants’ Committee known as the Watawala Committee, has officially intimated this to them by letter dated June 15, 2010.

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Interpol issues red alert on Chandima
The Interpol has issued their highest level of alert, a Red Notice, on the operator of Lankanewsweb.com, Chandima Anil Withanaarachchi.
The Red Notice is said to have been issued at the request of the Criminal Investigation Deparment (CID), who have been trying to track down Withanaarachchi for several months. Sources said that the category of offence listed in the notice was counterfeiting and forgery.
Withanaarachchi who is a lawyer from Sri Lanka had fled the country with his wife after several fraudulent transactions. Following police complaints and investigations the High Court of Colombo issued an open warrant against him on March 23.

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Phone numbers key to nailing Lasantha’s killers
The three wheeler driver B. Sugath Perera who had stolen Editor, Lasantha Wickramatunga’s cell phone after his assassination was further remanded till July 8 by the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate on Thursday.
When the case was taken up, the CID reported to court that additional investigations had to be carried out on the data received from the towers on the path taken by Lasantha Wickramatunga on the day of the murder. This was stated by the CID to Chief Magistrate Mt. Lavinia Harsha Setunga.

Full Story

Dengue declines
Following awareness raising campaigns and reduction of dengue breeding sites, the number of reported Dengue Fever and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever ( DF/DHF) declined sharply in June.
From a total of 1,881 cases reported in May this year, the number of cases reported in June dropped to 1,303 as of last week- a reduction of 577 cases. This is a sharp decline from 4,672 in January this year.
In all, the number of DF and DHF cases for the first six months stands at 16,764, as of last week, while 104 patients have died of DHF to date.

Full Story

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease panic allayed
As fears mount over reports of an outbreak of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD), Health Ministry officials quickly intervened to squash rumours and allay the fears of the public.

Full Story

‘UNO, a paper tiger’ - Iranian Minister
The United Nations Organisation is a ‘paper tiger’ and the only thing it can do is issue letters, the Iranian Minister of Housing and City Development, Ali Nikasad has alleged at a discussion held with the Minister of Housing, Construction and Public Utilities, Wimal Weerawansa.

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POLITICS

Opposition, a house divided
The focus of Opposition politics has, until last week, been the major opposition party, the United National Party (UNP), which is undergoing a bitter leadership crisis, with Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe attempting to retain control of the party, and Sajith Premadasa emerging as a potential contender for the leadership.
This has now become a long drawn out battle, and is likely to be fought until the end of this year. That is because, any proposals aimed at ‘reforming’ the party, will go before a special convention of the UNP in August.

Full Story

Sri Lanka won’t budge to EU
Sri Lanka had to suffer two hard blows internationally last week. The country suffered the first blow when UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced that he had appointed a three-member panel of experts to advise him on reported human rights violations in Sri Lanka. The second blow came when the Europian Union (EU) stipulated a list of conditions that Sri Lanka should fulfill if they were to consider extending the GSP + duty free concession temporarily for a further six month-period.

Full Story

NEWS FEATURES

MYSTERIOUS BEGGAR KILLERS
There’s a saying that the only time the rich envy beggars is when it comes to having a peaceful sleep. Even though it may sound ironical there is a tinge of truth in that saying, given the fact that the rich have to constantly worry about protecting all the wealth and property they own, even when sleeping. On the other hand, beggars are supposed to have little or no wealth to call their own, leading to a peaceful sleep.
However, for the past several months the beggars of Colombo have found out that as beggars they are not even entitled to this peaceful sleep. ‘Beggar Killers’ who murder beggars at night have taken on the streets of Colombo.

Full Story

Rising Tide of Tamil Nationalism
I am pleased The Nation has started today the column, Tamil Perspective. An understanding of the Tamil viewpoint is essential for the Sinhala and Muslim people and their leaders to formulate policies and programmes that would accommodate the interests and aspirations of the Tamil people. Neglect to do so was the cause for the travails the country underwent.

Full Story

Recoiling EU wants Lanka to sacrifice sovereignty
The European Commission (EC) has written to the Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris. The EC has virtually drafted for the minister a letter for him to ink if he (and the Government) wants Sri Lanka to benefit from the GSP Plus facility for a further six months. The EC has put forward 15 conditions that Sri Lanka has to fulfill. If Prof. Peiris solemnly undertakes on behalf of the Government to fulfill these conditions, Sri Lanka will get a ‘break’ worth some US$ 150 million. After six months, the EC reserves the right to say ‘BUZZ OFF SRI LANKA’. 

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SPORTS

Royal crushes Trinity to retain Bradby
A superb second half performance by Royal College saw them inflict a crushing 34 points (3 goals, 2 tries, 1 penalty) 17 (1 goal, 2 tries) win over their traditional rivals Trinity College in the second leg of the 66th Bradby Shield encounter played at the Bogambara Stadium yesterday. At half time it was Trinity who led 17-12.
Royal won the first leg played in Colombo two weeks ago 38-37 and retained the Bradby Shield by an aggregate of 72-54 for yet another year. The tally in the series now stands at 30 wins by Royal and 35 by Trinity with one match ending in a tie.

Full Story

Suarez puts Uruguay into quarters
Striker Luis Suarez scored a spectacular winner to earn Uruguay a place in the World Cup quarters-finals at the expense of South Korea.
It will be the first time since 1970 the two-time winners have reached the last eight, although they will feel fortunate to have ended their barren run having spent long periods of the game defending.

Full Story

ICC blunders (Point Blank)Expect the ICC to blunder. It’s not that they have not done so in their 101 year-old existence. According to their communiqué of June 13 listing the forthcoming matches, Sri Lanka should have hosted the 3000th ODI. But the ICC communique of June 21 stated that the ODI between England and Australia at Southampton on June 22 was the 3000th ODI thus making the Sri Lanka-India Asia Cup game at Dambulla the 2999th ODI.

Full Story

Lanka has components to win World Cup - Warnapura
Sri Lanka’s first-ever Test cricket captain Bandula Warnapura is pleased the way the Sri Lanka team is shaping up for the 2011 World Cup which will be held in the subcontinent in February-March next year.
“I am glad to see so many youngsters doing well, that youngsters are being given a chance and the way we are getting ourselves prepared for the World Cup.

Full Story

INTERVIEWS

RANIL FIGHTS ON HIS TERMS
Besieged UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is far from ready to surrender to party rebel demands for him to step down, though the rebellion might be raging below the surface. In an interview with The Nation he answers some of the burning questions facing the country, while not all that forthcoming into the nitty-gritty of the fight within. Following are excerpts.
Q: Some say you are too good for politics. For instance, when you came to power at the end of 2001, after the disastrous rule of Chandrika Kumaratunga, you stuck to the letter and spirit of undertakings given to international lenders: No recruitment to the State sector, public expenditure was pruned to the bone and subsidies chopped. The result was that it cost you the 2004 election.
I will not agree with you on that. Firstly, I only kept to the agreement that was signed by the Chandrika Kumaratunga government with the IMF earlier, and they had taken one tranche.

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