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Sunday December 18th, 2011

Ranil-Karu enter the ring
With all eyes focussed on the leadership tussle between Ranil Wickremesinghe and Karu Jayasuriya, the much awaited crucial and exciting Working Committee meeting of the United National Party (UNP) is due this morning (December 18). The last WC meeting held at the UNP Head Quarters; Sirikotha and the Party made provision for new appointments for the coming year.

Govt. to amend criminal and civil law
The government would shortly introduce amendments to existing laws to remedy the current weaknesses or setbacks in the country’s judicial system, Justice Minister, Rauff Hakeem said. At a media briefing last week he said overcrowding in prisons has become a burden...

Free crates for registered farmers
Registered farmers will receive free plastic crates shortly to transport fruits and vegetable.
The crisis that arose due to the mandatory compulsion to use plastic crates to tranport fruits and vegetables is now over, according to the Government. Discussions...

Cinnamon: flavour, fragrance and life.

A Sri Lankan woman cinnamon grower carries fresh cinnamon quills during the annual kurundu poojava in the southern town of Seenigama on December 17, 2011. The first part of their crop is offered to the Devala by way of thanksgiving. Sri Lanka is the world’s largest grower of natural cinnamon and controls around 90 per cent of global output.

(Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara)


Sampanthan pats Hakeem
All concerns of Muslims would be given equal prominence in talks the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) conducts with the government, TNA leader R. Sampanthan assured SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem when they met at the parliamentary complex last week, TNA sources told The Nation.

GCE A Level results further delayed !
The confusion over the date of releasing GCE Advanced Level 2011 examination results continues with officials’ inability to give a specific timeframe on when the results could be released. Contradicting signals from the Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena...

Over 100 road accidents occur daily
About 100 to 105 road accidents happen daily and one occurs in every six hours. Tackling this growing phenomenon has become a burning problem with an estimated 40 lakhs of registered vehicles creating a vehicular influx...



Like all pruthagjana devices the Antenna also wanted to rub shoulders with the high and mighty of the land. Well, not exactly shoulders, but sending waves to caress feet was eminently pardonable. The Antenna got addicted. Positioned as it was near the gate, it captured the whines and wants of many.

“No contradictions - Govt knows where they are”
There appears to be a contradiction between two statements made by the Movement for People’s Struggle regarding the alleged abduction of two of its supporters, Minister of Mass Media and Information Keheliya Rambukwella claimed at a media briefing held at the Government Information Department on Thursday (15).

We didn’t oppose – Dambulla farmers
The Dambulla Free Farmers Association in a statement issued to the media denied that any of its members had participated in the anti-crate protest that took place on Tuesday (November 13) in Dambulla town.The statement said its members were not against the use of plastic crates to transport vegetables and fruits, but some sections of the media gave the country a wrong picture.

Commuters complain on repairing delay
The southern railway track that has been closed for rehabilitation from Alutgama to Hikkaduwa has resulted in severe inconvenience to commuters and passengers alike and may also affect the tourism industry, several people in the south complained to The Nation.

New anti-doping bill soon
New anti-doping bill is to be presented in parliament early next year. It will give the authorities legal teeth to punish offenders who hitherto went unpunished due to loopholes in the existing legislation.

Private bus strike imminent?
There is a possible threat posed to disrupt the ongoing GCE Ordinary Level (O/Level) Examination if the Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) goes ahead to launch an island wide strike as the demand for a bus fare hike had been rejected by the Government.

People still exposed to mines
Resettled people were still exposed to risks related to mines and unexploded ordnances (UXO) in the war affected areas, de-mining agency officials said. They said accidents related to mines and UXOs had been brought down considerably owing to effective Mine Risk Education (MRE) programs conducted in the war affected areas.

Investigations commence on deported Sri Lankans
CID detained and commenced investigations on the 55 Sri Lankans deported from Britain on Friday. They arrived at the Colombo Airport in a special aircraft accompanied by British Police. 


Bid to intimidate SLMC into submission
The rumblings of dissent that have erupted over the setting up of a privately run medical school in Malabe are threatening to snowball into a crisis with political dimensions, with the government recently sending clear signals that it will not back down from its policies on higher education. At the centre of the dispute is the medical faculty opened by the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) in Malabe.

Ranil and Karu poised for final battle
The internal crisis in country’s main opposition, the UNP has reached boiling point and the party’s Working Committee meets today at the Sirikotha to elect the party leader for the next year.
Candidates to other key positions in the party hierarchy will also be elected at this important meeting. 


It’s our duty to protect the public, says Johnston
Interviewed by The Nation the minister justified his stance on the matter:
The enforcement of the new law on transportation of vegetables you had said would not be changed had to be postponed by the government for one month. Don’t you agree it was a setback for you?

It’s about party, not personalities
On the today’s battle between the Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya on UNP party leadership, a former UNP Minister Imtiaz Bakeer Markar said that the issue should be viewed in the context of the country’s future. 

Searching for Democracy in and out
One reads a lot about the democratic deficit in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan, as well as western commentators, bemoan the weakness of the Sri Lankan opposition and the gathering of power to the executive through the 18th amendment and the use of urgent bills. 

Mysterious killer back at Kahawatte?
Remember the serial killer of Kahawatte who went round the village killing mature women and hiding their corpses?
The police found the people in the hamlets Neelagama, Kattange, Kotakathana in Kahawatte living in fear of the mysterious killer whose victims were seven unfortunate women.

Crossovers and potential for a combined administration
The solo crossover staged in parliament recently by MP Mohan Lal Grero appeared to be different from the collective crossovers that the people witnessed in the recent past.


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Sri Lanka crushed
South Africa beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 81 runs to go 1-0 up in the three-Test series with two days to spare at Centurion on Saturday.
Vernon Philander took 5-49 to go with his five wickets in the first innings to deservedly take the man-of-the-match award. In so doing, the right-armer became only the third bowler in Test history to take four five-wicket hauls in his first three matches.
Dale Steyn picked up 2-36 as South Africa’s pace bowlers proved too much for the touring side’s batsmen.
Needing 232 to make the opposition bat again, Sri Lanka was bowled out for 150 just before tea.

A mixed grill if Thilanga doesn’t contest?
The race for the Sri Lanka Cricket presidency is still in the balance with one of the main contestants for the post Thilanga Sumathipala keeping his options open till Monday (December 19) - the final day when nominations close. Elections are scheduled for January 3. “There is a huge call from the membership for me to contest the presidency but at the same time I must decide whether I will have the time to devote to cricket because of my obligations as a Member of Parliament,” Sumathipala told The Nation.

Don’t pass the buck Mr. Minister
Since Sri Lanka won the World Cup 15 years ago, cricket has become a sport that everyone, from the highest ranked person in the country to the common man on the street wants to become a part of. The destiny of the team internationally has become the concern of everyone, even those who don’t know a bat from a ball. Such has been the euphoria that has been created in the country after winning the World Cup, that it is today an accepted fact that everyone puts in their two cents worth on the team’s performances.

Maradona-Reid finally make up over ‘Hand of God’
Former England midfielder Peter Reid had said he would never forgive Diego Maradona for the ‘Hand of God’ goal which helped knock England out of the 1986 World Cup finals.
But when Reid bumped into Maradona while filming at the Argentina legend’s new club in Dubai, they literally kissed and made up.


LLRC report out what next?
The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report presented to the Parliament on last Friday envisaged with 285 main recommendations including allegations for both the major political parties of the country and Tamil political leaders. It has also called for a joint declaration of apology from political leaders of all sides to the country’s citizens who have suffered as a result of the 30 year long conflict.

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