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Sunday December 19th, 2010


Pro-Tamil US legislators urge probe
WASHINGTON — Dozens of US lawmakers urged a global probe into alleged rights violations by Sri Lanka in the last stages of its civil war, saying Colombo’s own efforts do not ensure accountability.

Full Story

Unions hit out at pension ‘farce’
The government is committed to implementing the pension scheme for the private sector by May 1, 2011 although the issue is still at discussion stage, officials said...

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Vasu for bilingual anthem
The National Anthem should be sung in Sinhala and Tamil and the system that has been in existence since 1951 should not be changed, National Languages and Social Integration Minister Vasudeva Nanaykkaara said.
He said there were no problems...

Full Story

Bargain hunters’ paradise

Main Street, Pettah, was a sea of heads filled with Christmas shoppers since the closing of the road for vehicular traffic this week. The prime road artery will remain closed for traffic till December 24 to facilitate bargain hunters

(Pic by Ravindra Dharmatillake)

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UN panel representations welcome at LLRC: Govt
The External Affairs Ministry, reacting to media reports of a possible visit to Sri Lanka by UN secretary-general’s panel of experts on Sri Lanka, said yesterday that it will make the necessary arrangements to enable them to do so. In a statement released to the media, the Ministry said this position had already been conveyed through diplomatic channels, to the UN in New York.

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Vaccines vital for pregnant women
Worried by the surge in the spread of AH1N1 cases ( the confirmed number of cases was 308 as on December 17) and accompanying deaths ( 18) in the country, the Director General of Health Services, Dr Ajith Mendis, has sent a circular to all top health officials including the president of the Sri Lanka College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology...

Full Story

 

NEWS

Rizana Nafeek’s fate still hangs in the balance
The fate of Rizana Nafeek continues to be muddled in rumours.
The much-circulated news alert via SMS claimed that her death sentence had been suspended by the Saudi King, but officials now say nothing has changed.

Full Story

Call to boost ‘safe bottle lamp’ campaign
Dr Wijaya Godakumbura, consultant surgeon and president of the Safe Bottle Lamp Foundation, made a presentation at ‘The 19th International Conference on Safe Communities’ held in Korea recently.

Full Story

Carol service at St Michaels
The carol service by the choir of St Michael and All Angels, Polwatte, Colombo 3, will be held in keeping with tradition on Christmas Eve, on Friday December 24 at 6 pm.
The service will commence with the singing of the processional hymn ‘Once in Royal David’s City’.

Full Story

All-out drive to attract 700,000 tourists
With modernisation work now in full swing in transforming Sri Lanka into the hub of Asia, an ambitious tourism development drive on all fronts to attract an estimated 700,000 tourists in 2011 will be intensified by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board, Sri Lanka Tourism Chairman Dr Nalaka Godahewa said.

Full Story

Edited video clip accepted as evidence
The Trial-at-Bar hearing the White Flag case against former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka allowed an application by the State to lead evidence on January 8 on the edited version of a speech made by Sarath Fonseka at a Presidential election rally held in Ratnapura on December 23 last year.

Full Story

Senior ministers move from homes to new office
The 10 senior ministers, who have been operating from their homes since accepting their new appointments, are likely to move into their new office on Tuesday (21).
According to senior minister D E W Gunesekara, there have been indications from the government that the new office will be ready only from December 21.

Full Story

ICRC briefs Lanka’s UN soldiers on humanitarian laws
More than 2,400 security force personnel have been briefed on International Humanitarian Laws (IHL) by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) this year before being deployed in Chad, Haiti and Lebanon.

Full Story

Tobacco production to be reduced
Plans are afoot to reduce the tobacco production in Sri Lanka by 5% per year starting 2011, said Chairman of the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol, Prof Carlo Fonseka.

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POLITICS

UNP activists jubilant after Sirikotha success
The United National Party (UNP) activists are jubilant over their successful convention held last week at the party headquarters ‘Sirikotha’.
It signified an overwhelming success to the grand old party that was limping since last April and probably for many years since 2004.

Full Story

Lobbying for power
The cynosure of all eyes this week was the much-awaited and controversial special convention of the United National Party (UNP) that was expected to ratify a new constitution for Sri Lanka’s major opposition party.
Given the tension-filled build up to this meeting, there were fears that there could be chaos at the gathering especially if either of the rival factions aspiring for leadership decided to resort to strong arm tactics.

Full Story

NEWS FEATURES

Dawn of ‘internal democracy’
Since its inception in 1948 under the leadership of D S Senanayake, the United National Party had two main principles enshrined in its constitution. They were:
(a) The main objective of the party was to organise and maintain in parliament a political party and in the country to put into effect the policy and programme accepted by the party as contained in its manifesto.

Full Story

Unarmed separatists hurting Lanka’s image
According to media reports, governing party members of the Sri Lankan parliament handed in a motion to the Speaker requesting for the appointment of a select committee to probe into UNP MP Dr Jayalath Jayawardana.
The motion was said to be signed by 78 governing party members and has called for a select committee to probe Dr Jayawardana’s alleged involvement in anti-government protests.

Full Story

LTTE chief ‘betrayed the people’
The LTTE would have split even if there was no ceasefire agreement in place, Deputy Minister Resettlement Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan said.
Muralitharan, in his submissions to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) on December 13, pointed out that there were problems within the LTTE and he was not happy with its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Full Story

TNA rules out leadership change
A fresh move by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to work with other Tamil parties with a view to finding a durable solution to the ethnic conflict has united all the parties under one umbrella. The TNA agreed to hold talks with members of the Tamil Parties Forum...

Full Story

 

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SPORTS

Australia set to level series
A resurgent Australia looked all set to level the Ashes after a historic century by the reborn Mike Hussey in the third Test against England at the WACA Ground on Saturday.
At stumps on the third day England were in disarray at 81-5 in their second innings having been set 391 to win, with night-watchman James Anderson yet to score. Up 1-0 in the series, England needed their biggest ever run chase to win the match and their hopes appeared forlorn after their top five -- Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen...

Full Story

At last! ICC taking serious view of UDRS system
New Zealand and Pakistan want to use the umpiring review system in their Test and ODI series, but might not be allowed to as the International Cricket Council is having discussions with technology providers, which want UDRS to be in place for all series rather than being used on a case-by-case basis.
The ICC is having discussions with Animation Research of Dunedin, who provide Virtual Eye, and British company Hawkeye.

Full Story

India suffering from the ghosts of 2008
India it seems is still suffering from the ghosts of the 2008 tour of Sri Lanka where they struggled with the UDRS (Umpires Decision Review System) getting only one review right while the home country successfully challenged 11 decisions. That was the only series India has used the UDRS and since that experience the Indians and their Cricket Board have been totally against it although the ICC have approved its use in principle during the 2011 World Cup where India is one of the three host countries – Sri Lanka and Bangladesh being the other two.

Full Story

‘Go Mahindananda go!’
The question is not what has happened to our sportsmen, but what are the authorities going to do on Sri Lanka’s debacle at the recently concluded Asian Games? This sports disaster cannot be excused as we could not win even one bronze medal. There is no point in talking about our past because we all know very well about our sporting capabilities. Remember we still hold records for the men’s and women’s sprint events. The point is despite having similar athletes what are we doing about winning?

Full Story

INTERVIEWS

Sajith adamant
The now apparent incoming leader of the UNP, Sajith Premadasa, says he is not interested in playing musical chairs with party positions thereby clearly stating that since they fought and won the battle to have elections to pick the party’s key leaders it should be so within the next 12 days.
On the devolution front, he says empowering all citizens of this country is more important than doling out powers and perks to particular groups or sectors of society, but that exercise should not drag on endlessly.

Full Story

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