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Sunday January 09th, 2011


Banks warned on ‘e-thieves’
Banks offering electronic banking facilities are being urged to focus more on upgrading their security systems to ensure the safety of account holders in future. Payment devices fraud experts made the call in the wake of the recent ATM scam, the first of its kind in Sri Lanka.

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Census to cost Rs 700m
The 14th Census of Population and Housing, which is to be conducted in July this year covering all 25 districts of the country after 30 years, is estimated to cost Rs 700 million.

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Ranil, Sajith vow local poll victory
Against the backdrop of a prolonged leadership crisis, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Hambantota MP Sajith Premadasa on Friday shook hands, pledging to work together for the sake of winning some of the lost councils at the upcoming local polls.

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Words of advice

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, who once led the SLFP, seems to be giving probably some advice on the game of politics to an attentive Health Minister and SLFP general secretary Maithripala Sirisena at the Galle Face Green yesterday. They were attending an event near the statue of S W R D Bandaranaike to commemorate the 112th birth anniversary of the late Prime Minister and the founder of the SLFP

(Pic by Ravindra Dharmathilake)

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25 dead as AH1N1 cases near 500
AH1N1 confirmed cases rose this week to 425 while the number of confirmed deaths stands at 25.
The cumulative number of cases (475) is an increase of 75 over the previous week and the number...

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Ravinatha to replace Bandula?
The vacancy created by Foreign Ministry’s public communications director-general Bandula Jayasekera is now likely to be filled by Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Brussels Ravinatha Ariyasinghe, according to government sources.

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JVP stalwarts eye council seats
The JVP, following its decision to go solo under its long-lost bell symbol in the upcoming local government polls, said yesterday that most of the party stalwarts, who could not make it to parliament in last year’s general election, would enter the ballot race this time.

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NEWS

Security tightened in north
The recent violence in the Jaffna peninsula has seen a decrease during the past week, the military said.
Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe said the security forces and the Police had taken stern steps to curb the violence in the peninsula.

Full Story

Gas cylinder stealing specialists held
The Ahangama Police acting on a tip off took into custody two men who had been involved in a racket of stealing for the past one and half years in the Eluketiya area. They had been specialising in stealing gas cylinders and at the time of their arrest had in their possession gas cylinders worth Rs.600,000 totalling 1,200 cylinders of all sizes.

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Public services just a click away
A revolutionary change has been introduced to public administration with the introduction of e-governance.
The e-governance programme was launched by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday (7) at Temple Trees. The programme has been spearheaded by Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry headed by Minister John Seneviratne.

Full Story

Ministers to lead election campaign in districts
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed senior cabinet ministers to be in charge of each district to carry out election work.
The decision was taken during the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) party organisers meeting held on Friday (7) under the chairmanship of President Rajapaksa

Full Story

WikiLeaks shed light on peace process
A recently released WikiLeaks cable has shed light deep inside the failed peace process. The cable has leaked 34 documents, most of them during the time of the peace process.
According to WikiLeaks, a letter was handed over to LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingham in London by the then Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Peterson and Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen on August 17, 2005.

Full Story

Lankan issue at UNHRC
The UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) will be convened in early March in Geneva.
According to highly-placed sources, a motion regarding the current situation in Sri Lanka would also be tabled.

Full Story

Police cameras zoom in on traffic offenders
Police department is to use CCTV footages to combat crimes in future, DIG Gamini Nawaratne told the Nation The system only aims at observing traffic offences, he pointed out.

Full Story

Mining racket in north probed
The Ministry of Environment has discovered that a certain construction company, involved in a number of development projects in the North, has taken undue advantage of a metal quarry permit granted to it, by extracting metal from a rock in the Chamlamkulam forest reserve far in excess of the quantum stipulated in the permit.

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POLITICS

Poll battle heats up
Even if 2010 was hailed as an election year and both presidential and general elections were held, elections have not been off the agenda in the New Year: the government on Thursday announced polls for local government bodies in March.
Indeed, there has been a lot of political activity in the lead up to this particular election.

Full Story

Election fever spreads amid UNP ‘cold war’
The leadership crisis in the United National Party (UNP) has deepened over the week with both parties claiming that they command the confidence of the majority in the working committee and the parliamentary group.
The UNP constitution stipulates that the two apex bodies of the party, the working committee and the parliamentary group together form the electoral college entitled to elect office-bearers of the party.

Full Story

NEWS FEATURES

ATM machine scam warning
People were still busy with festivals to welcome a New Year even when a special team of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was struggling to match the ends of a fraud involving Automated Teller Machines (ATM) following a complaint lodged by a prominent commercial bank in the country.
The investigations revealed an ATM skimming racket – first of its kind in Sri Lanka, which was allegedly led by a Romanian couple with the assistance of two local youth.

Full Story

Hospital row touches a nerve
If corruption and sheer mismanagement have caused disillusionment among staff members and patients at Sri Jayawardenapura General Hospital (SJGH), then it is certain that the hospital is heading for a major collapse.
A quick survey of the day-to-day operations at the SJGH makes one wonder whether both, the medical practitioners as well as other officials, have stuck to their original pledge, to work with the sole aim of saving/serving human life.

Full Story

Parties jostle for council seats
Dissolution of 268 local government bodies by the government last week gave the local as well as national political parties a sudden thrust to get into full action.
Following last week’s ruling party leaders’ meeting at Temple Trees, it was decided to dissolve 268 local government bodies of the 330 Municipal councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas.

Full Story

Sinhalese displaced from North ‘not resettled yet’
The Sinhalese did not take up weapons against the Tamils despite several terrorist attacks on the community since 1984, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) said at the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
JHU general secretary and Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, along with party spokesperson and UPFA...

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SPORTS

We want the best – Aravinda

Sri Lanka’s chairman of cricket selectors Aravinda de Silva said the exclusion of veteran World Cup stars Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas from the final squad was taken after looking at all options to select the best possible 15. “We were not going to waver from that and looking at individuals as such because we wanted the best team to ultimately go out there and represent the 20 million people in Sri Lanka,” said De Silva at a media conference yesterday. “That was the only reason why they were left out. Unfortunately not only them but it was a very hard decision and emotional thing for the four selectors also to leave out two great cricketers like that as they would have been looking forward to saying goodbye after a World Cup. But that’s how life is.

Full Story

Zahira, Sebs record third win of season
A fine all-round display by skipper Imraz Rafi (101 n.o. and 3/40) and a match bag of eight wickets by leg-spinner Pradeep Ananda coupled with a spirited team effort helped Zahira in recording their third consecutive win of the season when they thumped much fancied Maris Stella by 110 runs in their under-19 inter-school cricket encounter which ended at Maradana yesterday.

Full Story

Not knowing when to draw the line
For the past few weeks or so since the national selectors announced the preliminary squad of 30 players for the 2011 World Cup speculation has been rife that two of Sri Lanka’s outstanding cricketers of the World Cup winning team of 1996 Sanath Jayasuriya and Chaminda Vaas would make it to the final 15 of the squad. Although there was much sympathy from a section of the public and from certain sections...

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Ruvindu in Canada’s World Cup squad
Young Ruvindu Gunasekera (19) is following in the footsteps of his father, Niron Gunasekera, who played for Tamil Union in the 1980s. But Ruvindu’s accomplishment is somewhat difference to what his father would have even dreamt of. Ruvindu has the rare distinction of representing Canada in the Under-19 Youth World Cup held in New Zealand in 2009 and is on the verge of representing the country in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup.

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INTERVIEWS

120-day deadline for UNP changes flexible – Jayalath
One-time staunch Ranil Wickremesinghe supporter, Dr Jayalath Jayawardana, who now claims to be a reformist, however, says that 120-day deadline set to make party hierarchy changes with the adoption of its new constitution on December 12 is a flexible target and there is no hurry as it is not something stipulated in the country’s constitution, but in a party constitution. And he argues that there has to be a responsible and sensible approach to the changes as any emotional and impatient approach that some people have would destroy the party and they could not allow that.

Full Story

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