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Sunday August 17th, 2008

Govt. takes on Wanni NGOs
An apparently angry government on Friday hit out at the International Non-Government Organisations (INGOs) and demanded that the heads of the organisations take responsibility for many unwarranted...   (See Inside) 

Mervyn to meet his Waterloo soon?
Boisterous Government Minister Mervyn Silva is likely to face a no confidence...   (See Inside)   

Six Policemen interdicted over Ranjan’s assault
Six Policemen belonging to the Ratnapura Police Division have been interdicted for neglecting their duties at the time...   (See Inside) 


             A NATION’S PRIDE             

Three majestic tuskers, gloriously attired, stand proudly in front of the brightly-lit Dalada Maligawa on Friday, to take part in the Esala Perahera in Kandy
                            (Pic by Rukshan Abeywansha)



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Sri Lanka’s First Lady is Shiranthi, not Sirimavo!
The leading Qatar English language daily Gulf Times made a major blunder in its August 11 issue by calling Sri Lanka’s First Lady...   (See Inside) 

Lanka takes on UK over diverting tsunami aid
A senior Sri Lanka minister has accused Great Britain of failing to keep its pledge to support...   (See Inside) 

Govt. gives ear to Kilinochchi crisis
The growing humanitarian crisis in the Kilinochchi District was given special attention by the government last week at a special...   (See Inside) 



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CPC stands to lose market leader position
Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s (CPC) position as the market leader in petroleum products is at risk if it does not speed up its refinery expansion, in the backdrop of reports that its competitors are set to introduce new technology.
A CPC official who wished to remain anonymous warned that Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) would be commencing its own refinery at China Bay in Trincomalee and that another private company would be embarking on a refinery plan in Hambantota.
“LIOC and another private firm are hoping to own their own refineries and if this happens, the CPC would be facing a huge risk since the CPC refinery is more than 40 years old. We have to introduce new technology to remain the market...    (See Inside) 

Undergraduates take on Police, off to HRC
The Inter University Students’ Council (IUSC) will go to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) this week to lodge a complaint against the Police with regard to the manner in which they were assaulted by the Police at the demonstration held by them last Thursday (14).
“We will continue to fight until the students who participated at the protest are released from custody,” vowed IUSC Convener Udul Premaratne.
Nine students were taken into custody while three students were hospitalised after the demonstration, which the IUSC conducted last Thursday. Premaratne also said that they hoped to submit a letter to Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, requesting him to look at the issue from...   (See Inside) 

GMOA calls on Health Ministry to first ensure patient care facilities
The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has called upon the Healthcare Ministry to install adequate facilities at the Cardiothoracic Unit of the National Hospital before talking about a Patient Charter to ensure the rights and safety of patients.
GMOA Spokesman Dr. Upul Gunasekera told The Nation that Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva was trying to ensure additional safety and rights at a time when the Ministry had failed to provide the basic facilities to the Cardiothoracic Unit.   (See Inside) 

Election violence; not enough evidence to file action
Despite the high number of election violations, reported in both North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces, election monitoring organisations have decided not to seek legal redress against the offenders.
Both People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) and National Polls Observation Centre (NPOC) told The Nation that they do not currently have plans to file any court cases related to election violence, but might consider doing so depending on the situation on election day.   (See Inside) 

SLPA, CPC on collision course over LMSL staff
A dispute has arisen between the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) managements over the employing of Lanka Marine Services Limited (LMSL) employees.
Last week, LMSL officials met with SLPA Managing Director W.G. Samarathunga, CPC Chairman Ashantha De Mel and several trade union members to discuss the future of LMSL employees.   (See Inside) 

‘Victoria’s Secret’ emerges victorious
‘Victoria’s Secret’ Catalogue Inc. of United States Wilmington, Delaware succeeded in obtaining a interim injunction restraining Dasung Industrial Private Ltd. of Piliyandala from supplying and accepting orders to manufacture counterfeit labels/tags with the name ‘Victoria’s Secret.’
Colombo Commercial High Court Judge A.W.A. Salam issued this enjoining order after considering the plaint of ‘Victoria’s Secret.’
According to the plaint, it has 1,000 ‘Victoria’s Secret’ beauty stores throughout...   (See Inside) 



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Federalism: The means to an end
When President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced that he was setting up an All Party Representative Committee (APRC) to seek a solution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic issue, there was scepticism all round.
After all, there was a sense of déjà vu about this, dating back to the times of J.R. Jayewardene who set up a similar All Party Conference (APC) in the aftermath of the July 1983 riots in his attempt to resolve the ethnic issue – and nothing really came out of it.
Many saw the APRC as a face-saving exercise. The Sri Lankan Government could then trot the APRC as an excuse and tell the world at large that it was consulting all the political parties in the country in its attempt to find a lasting ...   (See Inside) 

If anyone thought that Indian Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan would cease to hog the media glare after his ignominious taxi-ride over the course of the SAARC Summit in Colombo a fortnight ago, they were gravely mistaken.
Early last week, Narayanan in an interview with the Singaporean Straits Times asserted that even if the Sri Lankan military won the battle for Kilinochchi, defeating the LTTE, it could not win the war. The Indian official claimed that this was because “the government does not have the Tamil population on its side” and quipped that he knew “the Sri Lankan Government will be unhappy (at this advice) but... that is the best advice they could get.”   (See Inside) 


Northern IDPs face humanitarian catastrophe
“Humanitarian catastrophe” was the description given by the so-called international media when the Caucasian conflict began displacing people.
Initially it was a humanitarian catastrophe only to Russian and other pro-Moscow media when 34,000 people became Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) due to Georgia’s military adventure.
Thereafter, when Moscow commenced military action and the IDP numbers touched six digits, the US and other Western media began focusing on what they termed as a humanitarian catastrophe.
There was a time (of idealist hope) when we of the developing world tried hard to establish a new information order as a forerunner to a new economic order. All hopes turned into dupes and the envisaged new ‘orders’...   (See Inside) 

‘War,’ the kingmaker at PC elections
The entire Sabaragamuwa Province has become a palette composed of the colours blue, red and green. Flags flutter merrily in the breeze and smiling cut outs and posters festoon every available surface area. Yet for the people the campaigns are not as interesting as their intensity would have an observer believe. Inspite of the hosannas sung for every party, one finds a deep sense of disillusionment over the actions of all political parties regardless of personal affiliations.
Despite sharing a border with the affluent Western Province that has double digit economic growth, the Sabaragamuwa Province has never quite managed to live up to its potential. In fact it has barely managed to scratch the surface. Despite being rich...   (See Inside) 


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Selection blunder leaves Lanka sans a bowling all-rounder
A selection blunder has left Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene without a bowling all-rounder ahead of the first two one-day internationals against India starting at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium tomorrow. The second ODI of a five-match series will also take place at the same venue on Wednesday.
The original plan was to go with the same squad that won the Asia Cup for Sri Lanka last month the only exception being that Jehan Mubarak would be missing from the line up as he was picked to go to South Africa with the Sri Lanka ‘A’ side. This would have given Jayawardene the option of a bowling all-rounder in Kaushalya Weeraratne who played in two matches of the Asia Cup. But in a sudden turnaround the selectors decided to drop Weeraratne and include both Mubarak and Malinda Warnapura in the squad.   (See Inside) 

Point Blank
Has ICC been too hasty?

The review system that was initially trialed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) at the recently concluded three-Test series between Sri Lanka and India has in someway served its purpose, but left a lot of areas open for discussion.
What is to be expressed in this column is in no way diluting Sri Lanka’s magnificent 2-1 series victory over India. Undoubtedly overall Sri Lanka played the better cricket and were deserved winners comparatively to India who came here with a big reputation, but played rather poorly concentrating more on how to tackle the spin mystery of newcomer Ajantha Mendis and somewhat overlooking the fact that there was the indomitable Muthiah Muralitharan also to contend with. Eventually it was the two spinners who decided the outcome of the series with Mendis going on to grab a record 26 Test wickets on debut and Muralitharan not far behind him with 21 wickets. The two accounted for 81 percent of the wickets taken by the Lankan bowlers.   (See Inside) 


“State is to blame”
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader Rajavarothiam Sampanthan has been through the mill. Once a member of the Federal Party and the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), Sampanthan knows the Tamil version of the chronology of Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict like the back of his hand, having been a member of the panel of moderate Tamil leaders including Appapillai Amirthalingam and Neelan Tiruchelvam that discussed the 13th Amendment with members of the J.R. Jayewardene administration.
Today he leads the main Tamil opposition party in Parliament, amidst the controversy over the party in question being called LTTE proxies within the legislature because of the Tigers’ overt support to the party members’ candidature in the 2004 General Election. Despite the label, Sampanthan asserts that the Tigers would have never been a factor if only the Sri Lankan State had addressed the Tamil issues when the struggle was being waged democratically and in a non-violent manner.
The Nation caught up with the Tamil politician in Parliament last week to be briefed on his recent discussions with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his delegation...   (See Inside) 

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