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Sunday February 06th, 2011


Worst dengue epidemic feared
As the country continues to be battered by inclement weather, dengue cases and resulting deaths are soaring to epidemic proportions already. Health sources are warning that this year’s epidemic may be more severe than the previous epidemic in 2009/10, when the total number of cases stood at 34,105 with...

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More fuel hikes on the way
The Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) is now expected to hike its fuel prices further on top of the Rs.5 increase on a litre of diesel introduced from Friday midnight after the authorities here had ignored its repeated requests for price revisions.

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Menik Farm IDPs relocated
More than 1,500 persons in Menik Farm have been forced to be relocated at a different place due to the prevalent flood situation, government officials said. Vavuniya District Secretary (GA) P S M Charles told The Nation that people who were in Zone...

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A’pura Prison under water

The colonial era Anuradhapura Prison, which was left untouched by the great floods of 1948 and 1957, was not spared on Friday when much of it went underwater. Here our photographer Sahan Basnayake captured this scene of its more than 1,000 prisoners being evacuated to other prisons
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Batti under threat of being submerged
Local engineers based in Batticaloa have expressed fears that if all eight tanks in the area accidentally rupture due to severe water pressure, then there is a likelihood of the entire district sinking under water.

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Ranil condemns attack on candlelight vigil
Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in Welimada yesterday lashed out at the government accusing it of complicity in the attack on a group of UNP members. The group included several Parliamentarians who were to stage a ‘satyagraha’ in Punchi Borella...

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UNP welcomes KP entering mainstream politics
Main opposition United National Party (UNP) welcomes the hyped-up speculations about LTTE’s chief arms procurer Kumaran Pathmanadan alias KP forming a political party, saying giving up weapons to embrace democracy was a good trend.

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NEWS

No more digging of Galle Road
With the Colombo Municipal Council’s (CMC) road network project on the Galle Road nearing completion, government institutions are strictly warned not to dig up roads for any purposes for the next five years.
According to the new plan, National Water Supply and Drainage Board, the Ceylon Electricity Board and Sri Lanka Telecom will not be allowed to excavate the road for the purposes of laying cables or pipes during this period.

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Arrested with gun at check point
A Hungarian made pistol was found concealed in the waistband of a man who was searched by police near a check point at the Thalagaha junction, Galle on Thursday (3) morning.
Police said the 26-year-old suspect was a garment factory worker in Bomiriya, Kaduwela.
Investigations revealed that the suspect was a friend of a man called Kapila, who is the elder brother of the late notorious criminal Kaduwela Wasantha.

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Lecture on ‘New Electricity Pricing Policy in Sri Lanka’
As part of Eng. (Prof) R H Paul Commemoration ceremonies, the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka has organised a timely, Memorial Lecture on a revolutionary and new policy of “Electricity Pricing in Sri Lanka”, by Dr Tilak Siyambalapitiya on Wednesday at 5:15 p.m., at the IESL’s Wimalasurendra Auditorium.
The lecture will primarily focus on the new electricity tariff mechanism the country ventured into on January 1 as a requirement under the Electricity Act of 2009.

Full Story

Independence Day celebrated in NY
Sri Lanka’s 63rd Independence Day was celebrated in New York with a grand concert and reception at the Asia Society at Park Avenue to the reverberation of Kandyan drums on Friday night.
According to Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dr Palitha Kohona, who played host to the occasion, the two-hour concert included performances by the Chitrasena dance troupe, internationally reputed pianists Rohan de Silva and Sujeewa Hapugala and a jazz session by Yoland Bevan.

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Lankan swordsman gone missing in Germany
German police is searching for an escaped Sri Lankan mental health patient who made a deadly samurai sword attack on a Stuttgart church in 2005.
The 30-year-old failed to return to the Bad Schussenried psychiatric hospital after being let out on leave.
He had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia after the attack in which he killed one woman and injured three other people.

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A fatal conversation
A husband who overheard his wife conversing with another man, suspecting she was having an affair, stabbed the woman to death at their home in Apparekke, Matara last Tuesday.
After listening to their cellular phone conversation the husband stabbed the wife twice in the abdomen and thrice in the buttocks.

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POLITICS

Intra-party discord reigns supreme
The local government elections scheduled for March 17 are in reality polls of no major consequence. They will not alter the national balance of power nor can it herald a government change. Yet, at least for the major parties in the fray, it has proved to be an extremely contentious contest largely because of internal political issues within these parties.

Full Story

Divisionary politics prevail over spirit of independence
As Sri Lanka celebrates the 63rd anniversary of independence on February 4, the focus of all political parties are on the Local Government Elections scheduled for March 17.
The campaign has already begun in the countryside and city with numerous posters appearing on walls, depicting the candidates’ links to the members of the political hierarchy in the government and the opposition.

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NEWS FEATURES

Local poll law under the microscope
Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake’s bold decision to reject over 20% of the nomination papers presented for the local government elections has sent shock waves throughout the country.
For the first time in the post-independent era while 2,047 nomination lists were presented to the elections department for 301 local government bodies, 450 were rejected on valid grounds last week.

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Discreet diplomacy resolves a thorny issue
It has been a longstanding practice of Tamil Nadu politicians to make a problem causing concern to Tamils in Sri Lanka a main issue at successive general elections in this predominantly Tamil state. The ethnic problem of Tamils in Sri Lanka and pressuring the Centre to prevail on the government here to call a halt to the war in the North had been the main planks of their election platform for several years.

Full Story

Floods continue unabated
The incessant rains in several parts of the country have called for more humanitarian assistance for those who have lost their homes and livelihoods.
The prevailing weather conditions in most parts of the country have once again left thousands homeless for the second time in two months.

Full Story

Arson and self-immolation; two sides to the coin
Last week, the office of the web news outfit known as ‘Lanka-e-News,’ was torched. A suspected arsonist is reported to have been arrested. It is said that he was merely carrying out his end of a contract, the other party allegedly being an overseas agent. These are still ‘early days’ of the investigation, considering that the relevant authorities took two years to nab a suspect in the attack on the Defence Secretary and are yet to apprehend those responsible for the assassination of former Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar.

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SPORTS

Ton-up boys Tharanga, Barath talk of WC prospects
The third and final match of the on-going One-Day International series between Sri Lanka and West Indies takes place at the SSC grounds today with the hosts holding onto a 1-0 lead which they hope to extend. The series serves as the final preparation for this month’s mega event the ICC Cricket World Cup which will be played in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from February 19 - April 2.

Full Story

Consolation win for England but Lanka takes series
Opener Ben Foakes with a patient knock of 69 not out ensured England did not leave the shores of Sri Lanka empty-handed when they recorded their first and only win of the tour when they beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the fifth and final Under-19 Youth One-day international played at the Moors SC grounds yesterday.

Full Story

What will World Cup 2011 throw up?
The Cricket World Cup the tenth edition of which will commence on February 19 has had its share of innovations. No team coming to the World Cup wants to be predictable and 2011 will be no different.

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Unsung hero Herath gets surprise World Cup call
The selection of left-arm spinner Rangana Herath in Sri Lanka’s final 2011 World Cup squad would have raised several eyebrows. The 32-year-old cricketer had never been part of the one-day set-up and his career stats prove it - six ODIs in 2004 and three ODIs in 2010.

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INTERVIEWS

People will vote party in power - Maithripala
SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena says the people will always vote with the party in power when it comes to local elections and the outcome of the upcoming local election is a foregone conclusion. He answers some of the burning questions facing the party and the country:

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‘NOMINATION MESS’ not my fault — Douglas
Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Minister and Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) Chief Douglas Devananda has countered allegations that his party is partly responsible for the growing violence in the North. While fingers are pointed at his party for the prevailing tension in the North, the minister says his party is a democratic political party and it has no intention of stooping down to such level.

Full Story

‘We can already see signs of a change’ – Karu
With the local government elections nearing, UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya in an interview with The Nation spoke on his party’s preparations to face the event as well as several other national issues which have taken centre-stage today. Following are some excerpts.
Q: Now that the local government election battle has begun, we would like to know about the UNP’s plans and preparations, for the party to emerge victorious?

Full Story

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