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Sunday August 08th, 2010


More to exit as Mangala enters
As controversial MP Mangala Samaraweera joins the main Opposition United National Party (UNP) embroiled in its worst internal crisis in decades, the Opposition is likely to lose more MPs to the Government, political sources said.

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Gota issues ultimatum to city cleaners
With the number of Dengue cases reported nearing 26,000 to date this year, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa took city cleaners to task recently, following complaints that they are not performing their job adequately. The Defence Secretary, under whose purview the Urban Development Authority (UDA)...

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Kohona to be recalled?
Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Dr. Palitha Kohona is likely to be recalled at the end of the September sessions of the UN General Assembly (GA).
Diplomatic sources in New York told The Nation that Kohona may relinquish duties somewhere in October, paving the way for...

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The troubled UNP made a prize catch this week, when former SLFP heavyweight Mangala Samaraweera, the man who played major roles in bringing Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa to power, joined it on Friday. Samaraweera possibly contemplating the stormy road ahead, at his ‘welcoming’ ceremony at Sirikotha

(Pic by Rukshan Abeywansha)

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Hospital neighbourhood breeds mosquitoes
Unauthorised structures such as boutiques and unclean surroundings near hospitals have put both patients and the doctors treating them at dire risk of getting Dengue.
“Unless these unauthorised structures are removed immediately and the...

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UNP peace talks under way
The rebel group of the UNP met at the residence of Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya on Friday (6) evening to discuss a compromise formula to resolve the present crisis within the party, a UNP source said.
Parliamentarians Lakshman Seneviratne, Thalatha Atukorale, Ranjith Maddumabandara and...

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Colombo South Terminal deal nears
The last remaining hurdle standing in the way of clinching the 35-year Build Operate Transfer (BOT) deal to construct the 2 .4 million TEU capacity first terminal of the new Colombo South Harbour, was more or less ironed out on Thursday, when Attorney General (AG) Mohan...

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NEWS

Taming of the bully
Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva again ridiculed the law of the country last Monday when he tied a Samurdhi official Mohommad Nisham to a mango tree at the Kelaniya Divisional Secretariat premises.
Three Samurdhi officers, including Mohommad Nisham, who failed to attend a dengue prevention campaign organised by the Health Ministry, were summoned to the Divisional Secretariat by Mervyn Silva to demand an explanation for their non-attendance.

Full Story

Student hangs himself on exam eve
An Advanced Level student of a leading school in Negombo, who was preparing to sit the examination tomorrow, committed suicide by hanging himself on Wednesday.
On Wednesday morning, he had requested money from his parents to pay the school. The father, employed at a leading foreign bank, told him he would send the money that afternoon through his driver. Thereafter both parents left home to their respective workplaces, leaving the son to study at home.

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AL exam threatened by invisible ink pen
The Advanced Level Examination that commences tomorrow has been put under a great risk as reports have surfaced regarding a magic pen that writes with invisible ink. The ink is invisible to the naked eye unless illuminated by an ultraviolet light found at the tip of the clip.

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BTI only to Health Ministry
The Health Ministry will continue to remain the sole distributor of the local BTI and is likely to be the sole distributoir of the Cuban BTI, according to informed sources.
“We are currently supplying the local BTI only to the Health Ministry” a spokesperson from the Industrial Technology Institute told The Nation.
Asked if the label “Poison” was still an issue , Dr Radhika Samarasekera said that it was a technical problem that had to be sorted out by the Registrar of Pesticides.

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Drugs Control hotline receives fiery response
The recently activated hotline of the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB) has received over 2,000 complaints regarding various cases of drug abuse since it was launched on August 1.
According to K. Gamage, Director of NDDCB, most of the complaints they have received are regarding drug abusers.

Full Story

Con man befriending women arrested
The Police Fraud Investigations Bureau (FIB) apprehended a fraudster who had allegedly extorted money from several women under the promise of marriage.
The man, who was operating in different parts of the country, was caught following complaints by two women he tricked into giving him money and jewellery.
The first of these complaints was from a woman employed at a garment factory in Borella. The woman had received a letter in reply to a matrimonial she had published in a national newspaper. When she had replied to the letter the man had visited her at her house.

Full Story

Kamil refutes mosque committee allegations
Responding to a letter citing the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) for being oblivious to the alleged ‘unauthorised construction’ of a toilet at the forefront of the Dewatagaha mosque in Town Hall, Omar Kamil, the special commissioner to the CMC denied all claims made by it.
A letter dated July 20, released by the Shaikh Usman Waliyullah Shrine and Masjid at Town Hall, cited...

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POLITICS

Breaking up is not that hard
There was not much fanfare surrounding the event, but it was a significant political development nevertheless, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (Mahajana) faction was dissolved, with its membership led by former minister Mangala Samaraweera, obtaining membership of the United National Party (UNP).
This development may not create waves in political circles just yet, but its implications cannot be dismissed or overlooked; it has consequences for both the UNP as well as Samaraweera’s former party, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).

Full Story

Mangala’s entry to UNP: Only means of self salvage? 
The country’s main opposition political entity, the UNP will soon witness yet another upheaval with the advent of former minister and affable politician Mangala Samaraweera to the party. Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was longing for the arrival of Samaraweera, a one-time archrival, who is now prepared to take political refuge within the UNP.

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NEWS FEATURES

BAABUL THE LETHAL BETEL
Betel leaf plays a major role in the lives of all Sri Lankans, which has a traditional value too. Betel is also a favourite chewing combined with areca-nut and tobacco. The most popular form of this combination is called the beeda or baabul. Being in the Sri Lanka market for many years it is sold in many roadside joints even today.
A man spreads a betel leaf, covers it with pieces of areca-nut, clove, tobacco, pieces of sweets and some spices.

Full Story

One man’s dirt another’s paydirt
We seek our fortune from many sources and in many ways, but would you believe that fortunes could be made from dust swept out as waste. Several families in Negombo have found just that. A small fortune in gold, found in the dust that goldsmiths sweep out of their shops.
The lives of these men and women are spent mostly along Negombo’s Main Street, or in gutters gathering mud and dust, hoping to find gold. Almost every day they strike it ‘rich’ through their hard labour.

Full Story

USA fears loss of Sri Lanka
“Sri Lanka has been a friend and democratic partner of the United States since gaining independence in 1948 and has supported US military operations overseas such as during the first Gulf War. Commercial contacts go back to 1787, when New England sailors first anchored in Sri Lanka’s harbours to engage in trade.

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Waste and corruption, a drag on development
We gather from the statements often being made by ministers at public functions that billions of rupees are being spent on infrastructural works such as building complexes, bridges, irrigation schemes and electrification projects. There is no doubt that these development projects are really underway in the country. But is the quality of the structures coming up commensurate with the monies spent on them?

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SPORTS

Laxman century helps India tie series
Sri Lanka suffered their first defeat at the P. Sara Oval for 16 years when they were beaten by five wickets by India in the third and final cricket Test yesterday. The match ended 16 minutes before the tea break on the fifth and final day when Suresh Raina hoisted Chanaka Welegedara over mid wicket for six for India to reach their target of 257. That shot signalled the fate of the series which ended in a one-all tie with one drawn. It was a series that Sri Lanka could have easily won, but for some bad batting in the second innings and the bland nature of the pitch.

Full Story

Poor batting cost us the Test - Sanga
Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara admitted that poor batting cost his team the third and final Test against India at the P. Sara Oval yesterday.
“On the fourth morning I thought in the first session if we had just tried to bat till lunch the ball would have got softer and we could have scored a lot more runs. But unfortunately, we played some poor strokes,” said Sangakkara.

Full Story

The value of line and length (Point Blank)
One of the significant points that stand out watching Sri Lanka playing India in the on-going Test series and during the Asia Cup was the inability of the bowlers to bowl a consistent line and length. This has been a feature not only in the two series but for quite a number of years. What baffles one is why a bowler is unable to put six balls in an over in one spot. They could always experiment with different types of deliveries but pitch the ball on one spot so that the batsman is made to play virtually each and every delivery. That is the golden rule in bowling.

Full Story

Congrats Kandy SC
The historic victory of the Kandy Sports Club ruggerites beating the strong Navy SC in the finals of the Clifford Cup to annex the coveted and prestigious trophy once again, makes it 16 times in 18 years. Since 1995 they have never lost a final, on one occasion they did not take part and in another instance there was no tournament. Indeed that’s a commendable record.

Full Story

INTERVIEWS

Mangala Samaraweera
“Will not get involved in UNP fights”

Mangala Samaraweera, dress designer turned politician, entered yet another chapter in his checkered political career this week when he disbanded SLFP (M), which he formed soon after he was chucked out of the Rajapaksa Government along with late Sripathy Suriyarachchi for criticising the regime from within, and joined the UNP on Friday at a tumultuous time, very much reminiscent of what his own late father Mahanama Samaraweera did in 1964. On the eve of his joining the Grand Old Party Mangala spoke with The Nation. Following are excerpts:
Q: Is it now a case of history repeating ‘like father like son’ with you also ending up in the UNP?
Actually my father never became a member of the UNP. In fact, in 1964 he was one of the dissidents in the face of the press takeover bill and subsequent to that he along with C.P. de Silva formed a breakaway group of the SLFP with the rising sun as the symbol and he contested from that party and lost to B.Y. Tudawe and he died the following year.

Full Story

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