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Sunday August 22nd, 2010


SLMC boycotts ‘Lessons Learnt’ panel
The chances of the leading Muslim political party, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress making any submissions before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission are...

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Animal sacrifice to go ahead
The animal sacrifice of the Chilaw Munneswaram Pathirakaliyamman Kovil will take place on Tuesday (25) despite protests from religious organisations. The temple’s chief...

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Facebook love leads to suicide
A 16-year-old student committed suicide by hanging from a ceiling fan at home in Hendala, Wattala with her mother’s saree early this week.
The girl, a grade 11 student of a Tamil school in Wellawatte, had been scorned by a male she met on...

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Grade 5 Scholarship Examination is today

A group of children, ready to face the first major hurdle in their education, eagerly taking part in a pahan poojawa (a ceremony of light) on Friday, to invoke blessing of the Triple Gem at the Hunupitiya Gangaramaya Temple. Grade 5 Scholarship Examination, which will be held today, will be attended by 313,000 students at 2,744 exam centres islandwide

(Pic by Ravindra Dharmathillake)

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Sajith rejects media reports
UNP Rebel Group leader Sajith Premadasa yesterday pooh-poohed newspaper reports that he has agreed to share the Deputy leadership of the party with Ravi Karunanayake.
A visibly angry Premadasa said: “Some newspapers and web sites...

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Checkpoints blamed for beef price rise
Delays at checkpoints are being blamed for the current shortage of beef in Colombo. The issue has been brought to the notice of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa...

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Lanka-India ferry deal draft ready
India and Sri Lanka have prepared the draft of an agreement to resume ferry services across the Palk Strait separating the two countries, the Indian envoy in Colombo said.

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NEWS

Suspicious vessel detained
The Sri Lanka Navy has seized a suspicious vessel off Talaimannar with four men on board and handed them over to the Talaimannar police.
Three advance Global Positioning System (GPS) devises and three mobile phones were also taken from the suspects on Thursday and handed over to the police as evidence. The arrest was made 15 nautical miles off Talaimannar coast.

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New drive against electronic waste
The Central Environmental Authority will soon launch a countrywide campaign on electronic waste management with the participation of all stakeholders to tackle the growing menace to the environment.
Many feel that this should have been launched about 20 years ago with the wide introduction of mobile phones and computers whose used batteries particularly are a hazardous waste.

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Canada missed chances to stop Tamil migrant ship
Canada and its allies missed several opportunities to stop the MV Sun Sea before it left South Asia with almost 500 Sri Lankan Tamil migrants on board, a National Post investigation has found.
The closest call was on May 9, when the Royal Thai Navy, acting on intelligence supplied by Australia, detected the MV Sun Sea in the Gulf of Thailand. But the ship was let go, because it was outside Thai territorial waters.

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Teachers’ Union raps regional directors for exam fiasco
The All Ceylon Union of Teachers yesterday called for inquiries into several exam related malpractices during the ongoing Advance Level Examination.
Union president Joseph Stalin alleged that more than 15 Regional Education Directors have committed various faults during this year’s Advance Level examination. Though only a noteworthy few were reported to the media.

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Eastern bus commuters fleeced further
Private bus owners operating from Kalmunai, knowing that there isn’t anybody to regulate them, had gone up a step further, after the news story The Nation exclusively carried in its issue of June 20, titled, “No rules for bus cowboys of the east”, and increased fares unilaterally, when other private bus owners elsewhere are only urging the government for a fair hike.

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SriLankan loses nine-year battle over ‘withheld’ bonus
Employees of SriLankan Airlines who were denied their customary 13th month bonus for 2001, are to receive this payment, following a nine-year legal battle that ended in the Court of Appeal recently.
Earlier, an Arbitrator of the dispute between SriLankan Airlines and a trade union of the carrier had given...

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Army deserter killed in Bogambara ‘escape bid’
A prisoner was shot dead in the early hours of yesterday while he was allegedly trying to escape from the Bogambara prison with another inmate.
The incident had taken place when the two had scaled the roof of the remand suspect unit and were trying to jump from a wall near the work shop unit.

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POLITICS

Winning the waiting game
Party politics has taken a back seat in the past few weeks although the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and the main opposition party, the United National Party (UNP), were engaged in radically different pursuits over the past few days.
The UNP has more than its fair share of problems. It has lost more than a dozen elections in a row, its grassroots vote base has shrunken to an all-time low and the leadership crisis which was simmering for years has now erupted into a rather ugly, public brawl.

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Reforms in spotlight as UNP stalwarts continue crisis talks
A one-on-one discussion between UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and rebel group leader Sajith Premadasa was held at Sirikotha, the UNP headquarters in Kotte, last Tuesday, in a bid to resolve the ‘leadership crisis’ in the party through the process of consultation and consensus, in accordance with a recent decision of its Working Committee.
The media had given this pow-wow between the two UNP leaders wide publicity.
A section of the media had reported that the proposed discussion would be a triangular one between Ranil, Sajith and Ravi Karunanayake.
Reliable sources, however, said that some media reports had brought Ravi Karunanayake into the scene at his own request.

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NEWS FEATURES

South embraces awakening North
Kilinochchi, the one- time Tiger political centre, now takes the image of Kataragama or Kandy during a weekend. There are visitors everywhere, as thousands throng to the battle-scarred Wanni.
The Wanni was cut off from the rest of the country, between late 2006 up until early this year, due to the final stages of the war. More than 300,000 people were isolated from the rest of the country during this period. Many of them escaped the battle and have now been resettled, after being in welfare centres.
“Things have changed a lot since the end of the war. We are with lighter heads,” said G.K. Raja, a resident of Kilinochchi.

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Gotabhaya highlights military sacrifices in war on terror
The people have forgotten that security forces had defeated a group, which was a ruthless organisation, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said.
He made these remarks while giving evidence at the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS) on August 17.

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Three redeeming factors in external finances
Three factors are redeeming the country’s external finances that may have otherwise reached crisis proportions.
The increasing large import bill, mainly due to higher prices of imports and poor export performance in industrial exports, has caused a very large merchandise trade deficit. This would, in turn, result in a serious dent in the balance of payments.

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SPORTS

Is SLC trying to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs?
By terminating the services of former Sri Lanka cricketer Chandika Hathurusingha as shadow coach of the Sri Lanka team, Sri Lanka Cricket officials have more or less thrown the country’s chances of winning another cricket World Cup out of the window.
Hathurusingha’s services The Nation understands was terminated from August 10 and prior to the decision being taken by the interim committee of SLC, Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara had made a strong appeal to give Hathurusingha a second chance because his services were valuable to the team.

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Sri Lanka plays West Indies, Holland
With just six months to go before the first ball of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 is bowled, the ICC has announced the schedule of warm-up matches as Muthiah Muralidaran of Sri Lanka showed his support and enthusiasm for ICC’s flagship event which will be staged in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.
The 14 warm-up matches will be played across the three host countries from 12 to 18 February 2011 with Bengaluru, Chennai, Chittagong, Colombo, Dhaka, Nagpur and Pallekele acting as host cities.

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Is cricket still a gentleman’s game? (Point-Blank)
The old adage that cricket is a gentleman’s game was given to the sport above all other sports because of the excellent sportsmanship it produces whether one wins or loses. This adage has been followed by players for many centuries.
What happened at the Dambulla Stadium on the night of August 16 would make other sports to ask the question whether cricket can still remain a gentleman’s game.
To deprive a batsman of a worthy century by bowling a no-ball is despicable, to say the least, and one of the lowest forms of sportsmanship one can stoop to.

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Rugby twins bonded through thick and thin
It was an Inter-School Rugby League encounter between hosts S. Thomas’ and Kingswood at Mt. Lavinia on June 11. Much was expected from the home team but 10 minutes from the start Kingswood draws first blood through excellent working of the line. Kingswood wins a scrum on the Thomian 22 and the halfback Mohamed Afzal passes the ball to fly half Lavanga Perera who scissor-crosses the first centre and gives the ball to the outside centre Oshan Perera.

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INTERVIEWS

Shaky prisons under serious makeover
The Sri Lankan prison hell hole is finally getting some serious makeover under the Marxist Prisons Reform and Rehabilitation Minister DEW Gunasekera. It is an endeavour no other minister has hitherto undertaken since independence despite there having been commissions that looked into the problem on several occasions in the past. Fortunately some foreign donors, realising the seriousness and honesty of his undertaking, have already come forward to help make those reforms work. Gunasekera spoke to The Nation about the task ahead of him. Following are excerpts from the interview.

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