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Sunday December 25th, 2011


LTTE arm funds Amnesty Int’l
The world’s self-proclaimed human rights watchdog – Amnesty International (AI), was now being bought over by the pro-LTTE organisations in Canada, reports from Toronto said. The Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC), an ardent supporter of the LTTE, has now completed collecting a first grant of US $50, 000 for AI.

US Senate passes draconian detention law
Law makers of the USA have passed by a 93 percent a draconian legislation allowing Americans to be arrested, detained indefinitely, tortured and interrogated without being charged or tried before courts of law, international news services reported.

UNP, TNA prevent PSC solution - Dinesh
The government feels the Tamil National Alliance’s failure to nominate its representatives to Select Committee of Parliament to address the issue of the North is a reversal of the earlier agreement to reach an agreement among all political parties.

Tears transparent, marketing opaque

The wife of and child of Kugan, an activist of unknown political background, at a press conference calling on relevant state agencies to investigate his mysterious disappearance, along with fellow-activist Lalith. The JVP dissident group led, the Jana Aragala Vyaparaya, consisting of prominent strong-arm tacticians has been in the forefront of this agitation.

(Pic by Rukshan Abeywansha)

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Pictorial warnings on tobacco products a must
As one of the first signatories to the 2003 Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), Sri Lanka should have introduced pictorial warnings on tobacco product packages by 2008, but the delay in implementing this was due to debates arising at government level regarding questions of ‘priority’, said Chairman of National Authority of Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA)...

Devundara and Mirissa get famous for whale watching
The Devundara and Mirissa areas are rapidly becoming famous for whale watching, with seas off these coasts identified as having a high density of Whale and Dolphin populations.

Minister warns unruly students
Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayaka said the Government was ready to take bold decisions against unruly students as the Government worked only in the national interest and not on personal political agendas.

 

NEWS

Antenna
The Antenna found itself outside a house called ‘The Defeated and Dismayed’. What the waves caught almost made the antenna flip.
‘It was a Computer Jilmart!’ a dejected one from Kuliyapitiya said.
‘You mean like the other jilmart you talked about?’ another of the defeated piped in.

Vegetable prices stable for X’Mas
The housewife hype that vegetable prices would soar up this X’Mas and New Year season has been allayed. Vegetable prices at the Manning Market had returned to average by the X’Mas season following the uncertainty that hovered a week ago due to the farmers and traders protests. From the staggering Rs. 250 a kilo the prices have been dropped to around Rs. 100, Rs.70 and Rs.50 depending on the varieties.

Assault on Preadeniya Prof: Suspect identified
Police Media Spokesperson SP Ajith Rohana said a Peradeniya University student allegedly involved in the assault on several academic and non-academic staff members at the university has been identified by the complainant. Police have named him to the university authorities, he said. He added investigations were underway to identify other students who may have been involved.

Prince Philip has heart Surgery
The Duke of Edinburgh has been taken to hospital after suffering chest pains, Buckingham Palace has said.
Prince Philip was treated for a blocked coronary artery and a successful “invasive procedure of coronary stenting” was performed.

Elephant with leg injury still suffers
An elephant unable to move due to its wounded leg had fallen into the Thorawewa irrigation reservoir near the Habarana Maradankdala was seen for the past eight days trying to get out from the water.

TNA behaves like LTTE – Basil
Like the LTTE, the Tamil National Alliance was difficult to deal with, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa told Tamil journalists whom he met at the Parliamentary Complex. “The former at least agreed to hold discussions with the government and starting from Thimpu talks and the LTTE held several rounds of talks with successive governments” Minister Rajapaksa recalled.

Ministry suspends use of Cyclosporin
The Health Ministry has taken urgent steps to suspend the use of the drug Cyclosporin at all government and private hospitals as health authorities claim the drug is substandard. The drug which is usually prescribed for kidney patients is imported from a company in India.



POLITICS

THE UNP Where to from here?
The drama that constitutes the United National Party (UNP) reached its climax on Monday when Ranil Wickremesinghe regained the mantle of leadership with a convincing 42-vote majority. His challenger Karu Jayasuriya emerged only a distant second. Wickremesinghe was tipped to win. Yet, the margin of his victory took many by surprise.

Full scale purge in UNP imminent
There are strong indications that neither Karu Jayasuriya who unsuccessfully contested for the UNP leadership nor any of his loyalists will be appointed either to the Working Committee or to any other responsible position in the party despite the assurance Ranil Wickremesinghe gave the Ven. Bellana Sri Gnanawimala Thera, Viharadhipati of Valukaramaya, Kollupitiya to treat equally both those who voted for him and against him.

NEWS FEATURES

It’s all Greek to me!
Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. Democracy is often thought of as a gift from ancient Greece. Athens is one of the first known democracies – functioning around 508 BC. Other Greek city states set up democracies, and most followed an Athenian model - an experiment in direct democracy, where the people do not elect representatives to vote on their behalf but vote in their own right on legislation and executive bills.

Yaka on 2011’s Iron-ic Personality
Get ready for year-end roundups by the corporate media to make you forget 2011. Time magazine even names an anonymous hooded protester of diffuse pallor as their ‘Person of the Year.’ After banning veils, are they promoting revolution of the masked variety, having run out of great white hopes and token brown ones?

Inquiry into Sirikotha incidents imperative
An inquiry into the ugly events at UNP headquarters, Sirikotha on Monday, as requested by Opposition Leader Ranil Wikremesinghe seems imperative. Such an inquiry would show how faithfully the cherished principles of democracy and concepts of justice, fair play and integrity had been observed in conducting the leadership election of the party.

Nothing new in UNP power struggles
Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely they say. What we are looking at today is the aftermath of the power struggle of the present UNP. Yet when one goes back to the political history since independence the struggles for power or for the leadership of the UNP is remarkably nothing new.

 

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SPORTS

No let-up for Sri Lanka
DURBAN: There will likely be no let-up for Sri Lanka’s under-fire batting line-up in next week’s second Test, with rain in Durban on Friday hinting at another field day for South Africa’s buoyant fast bowlers.
Having been bowled out for 180 and 150 to lose the first Test by an innings, Sri Lanka’s misfiring batters look set to face another green-tinged, seamer-friendly surface at Kingsmead from Monday as they aim to fight their way back into the three-Test contest and avoid a fourth straight series defeat.

Jonny Wilkinson Why I called time on England
English rugby was united in tribute to Jonny Wilkinson after the sport’s national icon abruptly announced his international retirement.
Just three caps short of a Test century, the 32-year-old Lions fly half quietly broke the momentous news via his personal website to end a 14-year career with the national team which will be best remembered for the drop goal in Sydney on November 22, 2003, clinching World Cup glory for Sir Clive Woodward’s England.

SLC crisis is more than finances
After nearly five frenetic weeks of lobbying, cajoling and promises which have to be fulfilled we finally have a list of nominees who will contest the first election of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) in seven years. The past years since 2004 have seen SLC been run by government appointed interim committees which had reduced the once richest sports body in the country to the state of a pauper with hardly any funds in its coffers even to pay its contracted cricketers and staff.

Coaches resorting to doping in sport identified
The use of performance enhancing supplements among schoolboys is a worrying malice having led to several hill country schoolboy ruggerites contracting serious kidney ailments, according to Head of the Sports Medicine Unit (SMU), Professor Arjuna de Silva.

INTERVIEWS

Being flexible is not agreeing with govt - Sampanthan
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has said it was still committed to proceed with the talks with the government. TNA Parliamentary Group Leader, R. Sampanthan says there was no truth in allegations that it was acting on instructions of the Diaspora, adding that the party had clearly stated their position on the solution to the ethnic crisis.
Sampanthan speaks to The Nation on the state of the TNA-government talks and the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC).

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