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Sunday July 4th, 2010


FUEL HIKE IMMINENT
As sure as the sun rises, a new fuel price hike is now imminent with both the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and the Lanka Indian Oil Corporation (LIOC) running up huge losses in the first six months of the year, according to market analysts.

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200 dead in oil bowser explosion
A tanker truck filled with oil exploded and set fire to a village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, killing at least 200 people and injuring scores more, the Red Cross said yesterday.
Flames engulfed dozens of earth and straw constructed homes after..

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Kandy urgent pollution watch
On the heals of Prof. O.A. Illeperuma of the Chemistry Department of the Peradeniya University coming up with some disturbing findings about air pollution in Kandy Town, the Central Environment Authority (CEA) and the Air Resource Management Centre (AIRMAC) will begin two new probes in the hill capital next week.

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DISCE OUT DISCEDE (LEARN OR DEPART)

Although Royalists of all hues gathered at the Royal Parade yesterday in good spirits as a climax to its 175th Anniversary celebrations, two old Royalists Sajith Premadasa who aspires to be the next UNP leader and its incumbent leader Ranil Wickremesinghe seems to be engrossed in a political dialogue.

Pic by Rukshan Abeywansha

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Budget passed
The second reading of the Budget for 2010 was passed in Parliament last evening with 138 Members of Parliament voting for it and 75 against while 11 members were absent.
Meanwhile, the opposition created a commotion in Parliament when the vote was taken. This led to government members urging Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa to take appropriate action against the opposition.
Kandy District United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian A.R.M.Abdul Cader pledged his support to the government on the budget.

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Maldives’ opposition denies charges
Leader of the Maldivian opposition, People’s Alliance Party, Abdulla Yameen vehemently denied the Maldivian Government’s charge that the Opposition created the current political crisis.
The Maldivian Cabinet comprising 13 ministers resigned last Tuesday, claiming Parliament was not cooperating, and the government...

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NEWS

Mortuary worker with a heart of gold
A minor employee at the mortuary of Ragama Hospital W.A. Botheju came in for much praise on Friday when he handed over to his superiors Rs.28,000 he had found on a body brought there.
Forty nine-year-old Nishantha Kumara, a businessman collapsed and died in the Udarata Menike on that day as he was going to Kadugannawa from his home in Matara when he suffered a fatal heart attack near Hunupitiya. Being the Udarata Menike its scheduled next halt was Ragama. At the Ragama station his body had been transferred to the Ragama Hospital by the ambulance sent over after the hospital was contacted.

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Monk remanded for robbery
Three suspects, including a monk have been taken into custody over the robbery of a gold Buddha statue from a temple in Galle. They were produced before Galle acting Magistrate A.D.P. Sarathchandra yesterday evening and remanded until July 15.
A gold statue 2.5 feet tall and weighing around 4.5 kg was robbed from the ancient Atapattam Vihara (Octagonal Temple) at Elliot Road in Galle on June 29. The statue was a gift to the temple in 1897 by King Chulanaga of Siam (Thailand). According to Inspector Sarath Mendis, Officer in Charge of the Galle Police the remanded suspects were Ven. Paravigama Sumana Thera (26), Gonagalagoda Acharige Janaka Kumara (28) who were caught...

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Stassen loses Trade Mark
Commercial High Court Judge Rohini Walgama recently made order in an appeal filed by Stassen Exports Ltd, dismissing the appeal from an order of the Director General of Trade Marks in relation to the renowned `RABEA’ Trade Mark.

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Private bus owners divided on strike
The Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) announced yesterday that they will not be participating in the bus strike on July 9.
Speaking to the Nation, President of the LPBOA Gemunu Wijerathna said that the move by the Lanka Omni Bus Owners Association (LOBOA) to go on strike was “a very foolish and short sighted,” one.
The LPBOA president said that this move will be counterproductive for their operation. According to Wijerathna, the National Transport Commission’s calculations for the annual bus fare revision state that the bus fare could be increased by 0.5% for this year.

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Doctor, helpers held in raid on abortion clinic
A doctor and four other female helpers have been taken into custody following a raid on an illegal abortion clinic by the Ja-Ela Police yesterday at 7.30 a.m. in Ekala, Ja-ela.
Police found 14 other women who had come for treatment to the clinic at the time.
“These women were sent to the Negombo Base Hospital for medical treatment,” said OIC of the Ja-Ela police, CI Ajith Walallawita.

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POLITICS

Constitutional Reforms to follow passing of Budget
The Elections Commissioner had suspended registering new political parties as he had to hold a series of elections in a row in the recent past. Now that he has decided to entertain applications for registration of new political parties, a number of new parties have sought recognition from the department, according to Deputy Commissioner of Elections W. P. Sumanasiri.
General Fonseka, leader of new party
General Fonseka who is the leader of the Democratic National Alliance too has applied to register a new political party called Democratic People’s Alliance (DPA) as its leader as well. Arjuna Ranatunga is the Deputy Leader and Tiran Alles the General Secretary of this party.

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TNA wary of Govt. backing for KP
The ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) was busy with the presentation of the Budget this week, but that was an anti-climax of sorts, with no new proposals being announced. At the other end of the political divide, the main Opposition party, the United National Party (UNP) was finalising its reforms aimed at revitalising the party.

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NEWS FEATURES

Time to shut down BOI
The title reads harshly, but that is the reality we face for it has outlived its purpose and no longer resonates with our economic needs in business as usual. Sri Lanka no longer has any regional bragging rights for its export oriented foreign investment destination.
It is said that the dynamics of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) should be reasonably proactive to fill the resource gap, foreign exchange gap, efficiency gap and technical and management know-how gap.

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Vigilant local foils alledged killers
A nation was shocked when a high ranking police officer was caught red handed dumping the body of an Indian youth into the sea. Though many loose ends remain to the mysterious circumstances that led to the young man’s death it is now evident that some foul play was involved.
In fact, the death of the young cook from Chennai might have remained a mystery if it weren’t for some quick thinking, vigilant citizens. The residents of the Palliya Wasal Paluwa area where the body was discovered acted out of their own free will to help bring justice to what appears to be a most horrendous crime.

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Mini Budget aimed mainly at development
The Budget 2010 was presented to Parliament this week few hours after the IMF announced its will to pay out the delayed third tranche of a $2.6 billion loan to Sri Lanka saying the government was planning to tackle its weak finances in the 2010 Budget. This subsequently led the Opposition to call the Budget presented on Tuesday (29) an IMF drafted Budget.

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SPORTS

Rampant Germany routs Argentina
Germany stormed into the World Cup semi-finals on Saturday with a 4-0 demolition of Diego Maradona’s outclassed Argentina as Miroslav Klose edged towards becoming the tournament’s greatest ever goal-scorer.
Germany now face either Spain or Paraguay, who meet later on Saturday, in Durban next Wednesday with a place in the final at Johannesburg’s Soccer City on July 11 at stake.

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CR wins, but Kandy champs for tenth time
Vishwamithra Jayasinghe was the hero for ‘Red shirts’ yesterday as he intercepted a pass from Kandy’s skipper Fazil Marija and covered almost eighty meters to score a spectacular try under the post as CR and FC scored a memorable 16 points to 14 win over arch rivals Kandy SC in their title deciding Caltex ‘A’ division match played at Longden Place yesterday.
The winners scored their points from one goal and three penalties to Kandy’s one try and three penalties.

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A taste of their own medicine (Point Blank)
Australia got a taste of its own medicine when the candidate put forward by Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket for the ICC vice-presidency - former Australian Prime Minister John Howard was rejected by six of the 10 full member countries. Howard needed seven votes from the 10 major nations. The resistance to the idea of him being made a future ICC president was so strong that the members didn’t even take the trouble to have a ballot.

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Schools rugby knockout from July 8
The excitement of school rugby will continue to grow even more when the Milo President’s Trophy Schools Rugby Knockout Tournament sponsored by Nestle` and conducted by the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association kicks off on July 8 (Thursday) at Royal College Sports Complex. League champions St. Peter’s will look forward to end the 2010 rugby campaign in style by adding another piece of silverware to their trophy shelf, but as experts of the game say, the Peterites will not have things easy.

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INTERVIEWS

Ideal Man, Enormous Task
Omar Kamil, former Colombo Mayor and one time ambassador to Teheran, picked by President Rajapaksa to put matters right at the country’s premier municipality, though he is no stranger to the job, is having an enormous task at hand, due to years of mismanagement of the Municipality. Due to a quirk of fate, Colombo’s citizens last time elected an independent group backed by the Opposition UNP, comprising a totally inexperienced and mainly uneducated set of individuals who were not fit to be their city Fathers.

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