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Sunday July 18th, 2010


PEOPLE’S PREMIER
Sri Lanka is likely to come up with a truly homemade Constitution with an executive prime minister elected by the people, replacing the current executive president.
The idea of this far reaching Constitutional change is the direct result of the consensus reached between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, when they met recently at Temple Trees.

Full Story

Coalition Govt with UNP?
As a direct result of the ongoing Constitutional discussions between the Government and the UNP, the possibility of forming a coalition government with the latter too, is under consideration for a specific period, according to top political sources.

Full Story

Return of Buhne…
UN special envoy for Sri Lanka, Neil Buhne, who was recalled from Colombo, last week, is to return to Sri Lanka this week, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said on Friday at the UN’s daily press briefing.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ordered Buhne on July 8 to return to New York for consultations, and close the UN Development Programme office in Colombo.

Full Story

What’s the buzz?

PHIs of the CMC yesterday launched an awareness campaign in low income areas of Colombo, to fight the growing Dengue mosquito menace. Here, CMC officials going door to door, find a discarded container breeding mosquitoes at Maligawatte. The special campaign will continue every weekend, when householders are at home and they are able to inspect domestic compounds in the presence of their owners. Yesterday some householders even turned hostile, objecting to their premises being checked

(Pic by Rukshan Abeywansha)

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Dengue self inflicted
A non cooperative public which continues to turn a deaf ear to repeated pleas by the Health Ministry, is largely the culprit behind the spread of the Dengue epidemic currently sweeping across the island. Epidemiologist Dr. Sugath Peiris is both angry and disillusioned over this fact.

Full Story

JVP sets conditions for Constitutional talks
Reacting to the government decision to invite JVP to attend discussions on proposed constitutional changes, politburo member and Parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayaka said yesterday that they would not go blindly but would study the agenda for discussions first. They would not be interested in discussions minus an agenda.
“Discussions without an agenda would only be a waste of time” he said.

Full Story

Residents to go overboard
The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has given a three-month notice to occupants of Bloemendhal housing scheme to vacate their houses, saying that the SLPA requires these premises for a mega development project. However, the letters make no reference to alternative accommodation nor specify any compensation to be paid in lieu.

Full Story

 



 

NEWS

Dengue awareness programme in Colombo
Responding to the need of the hour of preventing the further spread of Dengue in Colombo, the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) in collaboration with the Rotary Club launched a special awareness programme in CMC areas yesterday. Colombo is the most affected district with 529 cases reported during the past two weeks alone.
The programme was launched under the patronage of CMC special Commissioner, Omar Kamil at Zahira College Maradana with the participation of nearly 3000 people including students, government officers and voluntary workers, to create an awareness about the deadly disease that has already taken 152 lives in the vicinity.

Full Story

Property developers ‘housing’ Dengue mossies
The number of Dengue cases this year is highest in the Colombo Municipal area with 3,123 Dengue patients being reported, and 75% of them being under 20 years of age. Of this, 206 patients were reported in the first two weeks of July alone.
Areas most affected are Colombo North, Colombo Central and Borella, where huge construction works are under way.

Full Story

Workshop erupts at Ranil’s departure
A workshop organised for the UNP’s Kalutara district elected local body members, broke down amidst shouting last week, after party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe left the venue soon after his speech to attend Parliament.
In the absence of the Leader, the workshop being conducted by his private secretary Sudath Chandrasekera, did not go down well with the participants, according to insiders.

Full Story

Unsuspecting eastern girls in search of employment abused
Unsuspecting girls from the eastern province are brought to Colombo and the South by unscrupulous persons under the pretext of finding them employment in the garment sector and abused.
These unscrupulous persons cast their nets mostly on girls from the middle and low middle class families who are unemployed in search of jobs. This group approaches the girls and their parents and make them believe there are jobs aplenty in the garment sector.

Full Story

Media first in engaging public in Constitution-making
The Bakeer Markar Centre for National Unity (BMCNU) has called for inclusion of the views and aspirations of the Sri Lankan public into the process of constitution-making.
BMCNU has embarked on organising workshops to create civic consciousness and promote the engagement of civic organisations and the Sri Lankan public towards the process of constitution-making.

Full Story

Suspected cop killer arrested
The Galle Police, acting on a tip off, apprehended this week a suspect wanted for gunning down a policeman on November 20, 2008.
The suspect had a hand grenade in his possession at the time of his arrest at Eramudugaha junction in Unawatuna.

Full Story



POLITICS

Political pursuit of permanent interests
Although it has been said that, ‘in politics, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, only permanent interests’, some of the paradoxical alliances forged for various political purposes would surprise even the hardened political veteran.
We saw the two major Opposition parties, the right-of-centre United National Party (UNP) and the leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), formerly, two sworn political enemies, form an alliance for the purpose of promoting General Sarath Fonseka at the last presidential election.
Now, we see the spectacle of the UNP and the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) working together to promote Constitutional reforms that seek to replace the Executive Presidency with an Executive Prime Ministerial system.

Full Story

First step towards new political culture? 
Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe calling at Temple Trees on President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s invitation for one-on-one talks last week (on July 10 Saturday) is generally hailed as a possible start to an auspicious political culture in our country.
Ranil Wickremesinghe had been severely criticising the much publicised move by the government to repeal the Constitutional provisions limiting the tenure of the incumbent President to two terms.

Full Story

NEWS FEATURES

Kandy Chokes
Those green mountains coated with white mist will no longer be able to cover the fact that Kandy- by its geographical location, as well as by short-sighted human activities, tops the list of cities with the worse air pollution. Research carried out in the past decade reveal that during certain periods, especially in dry weather conditions, air pollution levels of Kandy city could reach two to three times that of Colombo city.

Full Story

Heading towards massive trade deficit
The Nation’s economy is heading towards a massive trade deficit. The trade statistics for the first four months of the year confirm the deteriorating trade balance that was evident from January this year. In fact, this trend began about the middle of last year with the increasing oil prices and the decreasing growth in industrial exports. This trend is likely to continue for the rest of the year and would result in a massive trade deficit of over US$ 6000 million.

Full Story

Light at the end of the tunnel?
Tamils appreciate the holding of the cabinet meeting at Kilinochchi on Wednesday. They treat it as a symbolic gesture of goodwill. They expect the government to move forward from there and work out a political solution to their problem.
Following the cabinet meeting, the government announced a price reduction on petrol, diesel and kerosene. It also initiated a few development projects like the building of a new Courts Complex and a plant to package milk.

Full Story

 

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SPORTS

Rains could dampen Murali farewell
The Galle Stadium, venue of the first cricket Test between Sri Lanka and India and town were a mass of posters and signboards portraying Muthiah Muralitharan’s farewell from international cricket, but the celebrations over the next five days was in danger of being dampened by rain which came down persistently in the afternoon yesterday and continued throughout the rest of the day.

Full Story

Murali’s farewell the greatest gift to Galle - Warnaweera
GALLE: Muthiah Muralitharan’s former spin bowling partner Jayananda Warnaweera said that the greatest gift Muralitharan had given the people of Galle was to stage his farewell Test at the Galle International Stadium.
“It is an honour to have the world’s greatest bowler end his illustrious career at Galle instead of his hometown in Kandy or at his home ground the P Sara Oval at Tamil Union where one of the Tests is to be played,” Warnaweera told The Nation.

Full Story

UDRS – whose responsibility is it anyway? (Point Blank)
Ever since India was outplayed by Sri Lanka in the 2008 Test series they have been rather reluctant supporters of the UDRS (Umpires Decision Review System) introduced by the ICC (International Cricket Council) to eliminate umpiring errors from Test cricket. It has become a controversial and touchy subject for the Indians who failed to use it to their benefit in the series. For the record Sri Lanka profited from the review system winning 11 of their 27 appeals while India won one solitary review out of 21.

Full Story

From fighting the waves to riding them
Sri Lanka has some excellent up-and-coming professionals in the sports field who are making a name for themselves as players, trainers and coaches. Cricket and rugby top the list while many in the track and field sports have also come into the limelight recently. Strangely a bunch of youngsters from Arugam Bay are on the verge of swapping their traditional profession of fishing to take up to surfing, an internationally popular sport hitherto alien to Sri Lanka and confined mainly to occasional glimpses of foreign events on television.

Full Story

Lankan domination at home
Another Test series between two top subcontinent sides Sri Lanka and India commences at Galle today (Sunday). In the past nine years or so, these two countries have played each other with a frequency that is becoming quite a common feature in the international calendar. The current series is the fifth in that period with the third beginning in Sri Lanka and two in India. Sri Lanka has held the upperhand in the contests they have played at home winning by margins of 2-1 on each of the two previous occasions – 2001 and 2008 while India dominated the Test series played on their soil in 2005-06 and in 2009-10 winning by margins of 2-0 on each occasion.

Full Story

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