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|More Headline News|
Mahinda`s son to join Navy
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 - 1:38 AM SL Time
Yoshitha Rajapakse, the second son of President Mahinda Rajapakse would shortly join the Sri Lanka Navy as an officer Cadet. The President recently gave the go ahead, well informed sources said. Yoshitha represented S. Thomas College in rugby.
The unprecedented move comes in the backdrop of intense efforts to attract the youth to serve the armed forces. The sources said that Yoshitha always wanted to join the SLN. The President`s brother Gotabhaya served the army and at the time of his retirement held the rank of Colonel.
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U.S., Japan, EU, Norway open conference on Sri Lanka`s peace
Tuesday, 21 November 2006 - 9:53 PM SL Time
Officials from the United States, Japan, the European Union (EU) and Norway opened a two-day conference here on Monday regarding Sri Lanka`s fragile peace process.
`This is basically the main forum that we`re using to discuss strategies that the international community can pursue to be able to encourage the peace process in Sri Lanka,` State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said at a briefing.
`We will be looking to see what we can do to help move that process forward. And we think it`s important for the people of Sri Lanka that peace process does move forward and ultimately leads to a resolution of the long-standing situation in that country,` Casey said.
U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns and Richard Boucher, U.S. assistant secretary of state for South Asia, will join officials from the EU, Japan and Norway at the conference, Casey added.
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Jets bomb `rebel camp`
Tuesday, 21 November 2006 - 8:26 PM SL Time
The Sri Lankan military has said it has carried out an air raid on a Tamil Tiger rebel training camp in the north.
But the rebels said military aircraft have dropped bombs in an `unprovoked` attack near rebel-held territory.
A rebel spokesman said as many as 20 bombs had been dropped by Sri Lankan planes near Kilinochchi.
Government forces and rebels have frequently clashed on land and at sea this year as a fragile ceasefire, agreed in 2002, has unravelled.
`We are being bombed,` rebel military spokesman Rasiah Ilanthiraiyan told Reuters news agency.
`The bombs are falling near Kilinochchi. The buildings in town are vibrating. There was no provocation.`
He said he did not have any information on any casualties.
Sri Lanka military spokesman Brig Prasad Samarasinghe said the air raids targeted a training camp run by the Sea Tigers.
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More Headline News
|Security Security Forum|
Anton Balasingham is in critical health condition
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 - 8:15 PM SL Time
Anton Balasingham, the self-styled ideologue of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is suffering from terminal cancer and said to be very critical. It is said that a type of cancer has spread all over in his vital organs and according to medical sources it cannot be medically cured.
Reports reveal that Balasingham 68 years old, married second time to Adele , an agency nurse from Australia, was suffering from diabetes, coronary conditions and has also a transplanted kidney donated by a LTTE cadre due to chronic conditions of his kidney.
According to a report in one of Sri Lanka`s Tamil Language regional daily, Balsingham is suffering severely for the last 9 months as he has been afflicted with diabetes, renal insufficiency, high blood pressure, heart related conditions and as such he is not involved in serious political works.
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Tigers freedom fighters: Kotelawala
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 - 10:19 AM SL Time
Business tycoon Lalith Kotelawala has described the Tamil Tigers as `genuine freedom fighters`.
'They (LTTE) have done great service to their people and you can`t brand them as pure terrorists as they are genuine freedom fighters,' Mr. Kotelawala who was once a victim of an LTTE attack told Dubai-based Gulf News.
Criticizing the government for its hit-back policy, Mr. Kotelawala said 'the current policy of the government is a hit-back policy and that is an Israeli policy. I don`t think its right ,' he said.
'We can`t ask them (LTTE) to disarm in order to sit down and talk while we hold onto our arms. Things must be left as they are and we must talk about devolution, federal state or autonomy,' the Ceylinco group head said.
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Taxi drivers major source of HIV AIDS
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 - 5:01 AM SL Time
Taxi drivers have been found to be the primary source in the spread of HIV-AIDS according to an extensive survey conducted by the Sexually Transmitted Disease Unit (STD), Health Ministry sources yesterday.
STD Unit Director Dr. Nimal Edirisinghe told The Island that the Government`s capacity to control HIV-AIDS in Sri Lanka was only 1% and it was through the protection of blood transfusion instruments. The majority of people contact the disease through unsafe sexual behaviour and homosexual contacts, the source said.
In resource poor nations like Sri Lanka, treatment for AIDS was not feasible and there were around 815 HIV positive cases. Four persons had got infected through blood transfusion and of 815 cases 86 per cent were infected through unsafe sexual behaviour, 12 per cent through homosexual contacts and per cent from mother to child but most people were not aware of the nature of the disease, he said.
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|Politics Political News Forum|
Court to decide fate of film on Rajiv killing
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 - 8:17 PM SL Time
A Tamil film about the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, held up by certification authorities for 13 years after it was made, may at last see the light of day, thanks to the Madras High Court.
Come Thursday and a bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice A.P. Shah and judge K. Chandru would see `Kutrapathirikai` (Chargesheet) to decide whether it is appropriate for public screening.
A woman suicide bomber from Sri Lanka`s Tamil Tiger guerrillas blew up Gandhi at an election rally in Tamil Nadu`s Sriperumbudur town May 21, 1991.
The Central Board of Film Certification has been persistently refusing the film permission for public screening arguing it would aggravate the ethnic strife in Sri Lanka as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is lauded in the film.
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Mangala wants pressure on LTTE
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 - 10:21 AM SL Time
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday urged the international community to strengthen the hands of the Government and apply pressure on the LTTE to give up violence.
Speaking during the budget debate in Parliament, Minister Samaraweera said they were urging the United States, the European Union, India and Norway to strengthen the government in its effort to restore peace.
He said the international community should further pressurize the LTTE to give up terrorism as terrorism would never solve the national crisis. Full Story Post Reply To This Read Replies ( 3 )
Helen Olafsdottir to be asked to leave Sri Lanka?
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 - 1:35 AM SL Time
The current acting SLMM spokesperson and the former SLMM spokesperson, Ms Helen Olafsdottoir may have her immigration status to remain in Sri Lanka withdrawn as the matter is said to be under consideration.
There is concern in Colombo that she is constantly over reaching herself and making statements which are wholly inappropriate, perhaps influenced by the LTTE by her constant and disproportionate visits to Kilinochchi to meet with Pulidevan, one of the public faces of this internationally proscribed terrorist organisation.
In Geneva, Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle informed this writer that Ms Helen Olafsdottir had commented in the presence of Pulidevan that the government`s reluctance in opening the A9 highway may be to ensure that government ministers earn commissions by purchasing ships etc. to provide relief to Jaffna via the sea route.
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|Business / Economy News Business News Forum|
Telecom to go slow
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 - 10:20 AM SL Time
Telecommunication services are likely to get disrupted when Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) employees launch a go-slow campaign from tomorrow.
Telecom engineering services, maintenance services, internet services, phonogram services, maritime telecommunication services and technical services are some of the areas likely to be affected with 20 trade unions joining the work to rule campaign, a spokesman for the trade union federation said.
He said although there was no threat of a complete breakdown of telecommunication services immediately, it was possible if they were compelled to go for a general strike.
'We have been negotiating with the management for a long time regarding four main issues but for no avail. That`s why we opted for trade union action. If the management still turns a deaf ear to our demands even after the go-slow campaign we will be compelled to go on strike,' he said. Full Story Post Reply To This Read Replies ( 2 )
Choksy picks holes in Budget
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 - 5:02 AM SL Time
UNP Parliamentarian and former Finance Minister K. N. Choksy PC, in his comments on the recent Budget, said that certain sensitive issues present in the economy and which had been aggravated in the last three years, had not been addressed. Rising inflation which presently stands at 8 per cent, cost of living the index of which has risen by 12 per cent, increase in interest rates and the sharp decline of the Rupee as a against other international currencies.
Following is the full text of Mr. Choksy`s speech on the Budget delivered in Parliament yesterday:
I intend discussing the main or salient features of the Budget.
Having presented three Budgets as Minister of Finance, I am conscious of the fact that the preparation of a Budget in a developing nation which is subject to adverse international fiscal trends such as the prices of oil and flour, presents tight-rope walking for its Finance Minister. And yet, we cannot allow ourselves to be swamped ' the challenges have to be faced and met as best as we could. Let us therefore examine the stepping stones of the Budget to see whether these are correctly positioned.
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Govt targets single digit inflation
Tuesday, 21 November 2006 - 5:16 AM SL Time
The Government is targeting bringing down the inflation rate to 9 per cent while retaining economic growth at 7.5 per cent in 2007, Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundara said.
`Inflation should be eliminated. The Government has to bring inflation down. The budget is the vehicle driving the whole process. The reflections of the Government should be shared with the public,` he told a seminar on Budget Proposals 2007 organised by the Inland Revenue Department on Friday.
Dr. Jayasundara said the Government is committed to take development to the village. `We have around 300 Divisional Secretaries. Through their activities lagging industries can be developed,` he said.
`We have a diverse private sector. We are in a post-tsunami era. We have to rebuild what we lost not only in the affected coastal belt but also in the rest of the economy,` Jayasundara said.
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|Editorial News Editorial News Forum|
LTTE told my teenage daughter I will be chopped to death - Prof. Hoole
Tuesday, 21 November 2006 - 5:17 AM SL Time
Ratnajeevan Hoole , still officially the Vice Chancellor of the Jaffna University told Triangle, the newspaper of the Drexel University at Philaelphia Pennsylvania in the United States how he and his family received death threats from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam under which he had to to flee his native country, Sri Lanka.
He said his fourteen year old daughter received threats that his father would be chopped to death and how she started hanging around him without going to school thinking that would give him some kind of protection.
LTTE wanted Hoole to resign from the post of Vice Chancellor of the Jaffna University, the lead story of the Triangle, written by Aditi Dubey said. According to Hoole, Tamil Web sites carried stories with headlines such as `Army Spy Appointed VC` when his appointment was announced to the public, the newspaper further reported.
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When singing becomes a crime
Monday, 20 November 2006 - 6:05 AM SL Time
Many a person has blown a gasket over the appointment of popular singer Karunaratne Divulgane as the North Central Province Governor. They demand to know whether President Mahinda Rajapakse couldn`t find anyone else for that post. Most appointments that politicians make are questionable and the consternation of the public is understandable. But should the appointment of Divulgane be condemned on similar grounds'
Divulgane`s disqualification, according to his detractors, is that he is a singer. In other words, they don`t consider singers fit enough to hold political/public office. We have had all sorts of artistes as politicians, mainly actors but there has been no such opposition to them on the grounds of their profession. The late Mr. Gamini Fonseka, actor turned politician, went on to become the Speaker and NE Governor and maintained the dignity of those posts, though not without theatrics.
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An empty shell?
Sunday, 19 November 2006 - 4:52 AM SL Time
UNP MP Bandula Gunawardane, who served as Deputy Finance Minister during Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe`s last tenure as prime minister, used a home-spun idiom to describe the 2007 budget presented on Thursday to parliament by President Mahinda Rajapakse wearing his finance minister`s hat. Gunawardene, a politician with a firm grasp of economics, has the gift of making insightful comments in easy-to-understand Sinhala. He called the budget a `wood apple swallowed by an elephant`. Rural people as well as urbanites who delight in visiting the national parks and other jungles know that when jumbo, who relishes the divul fruit swallows it whole as he is wont to do, the inside of the fruit is digested in the stomach and the intact shell is ejected with the dung, round and whole as it was hanging on the wood apple tree.
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|Sports News Sports News Forum|
Warnapura revels in new batting position
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 - 5:03 AM SL Time
It`s said that Sri Lanka has got the best cricket structure at grass root levels. The school cricket tournament in Sri Lanka is so competitive that not even Australia, England or South Africa can come closer. The players who excel for their schools are plenty, but it`s a precious few who go onto make the mark. Some give up, some change tracks and some even lack BMT (big match temperament). Malinda Warnapura when he played for St. Peter`s College, Bambalapitiya was so promising, but yet, at club level and with Sri Lanka`s development squads he failed to come up with consistent efforts. The possibilities of Warnapura making it big looked grim last year as there were so many other promising players; but then came a sudden transformation.
The recent Duleep Trophy competition in India was a highly successful one for the top order batsman as he made runs consistently. But Warnapura reckons that the actual change came when he got a chance to bat higher in the order.
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Death of a Trinity Double Lion
Tuesday, 21 November 2006 - 5:18 AM SL Time
Lionel Wadsworth died last night (Sunday) in London from a terminal illness he bore heroically.
Lala as he was known to all and sundry was a sportsman of the first drawer. He first played as a fifteen year old fledgling in A. P. Fernando`s crack cricket team of 1945 which had in the ranks the redoubtable C. N. `Pittu` Schokman, Asoka Yatawara. Asoka Imbuldeniya, S. B. Pilapitiya, Frank Sirimanne, Mervyn Wanduragala and Hugh Molegoda. As a callow youth in this Herculean company he shared with his left arm spin 5 wickets for 47 Vs Wesley.
He won his Colours in `46 and went on to captain the team in `48 and `49 in which year he was awarded the cricket Lion for sheer brilliance. In his first year of captaincy he scored 55 runs against Wesley and although there were some sterling cameo knocks it is the only one over the half-century mark. Lakshman Jayakody. Jim Bandaranayake, Michael Schokman, Eustace Rulach and Percy Deheragoda are his surviving team mates.
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Trinity-Kingswood ends in no result
Monday, 20 November 2006 - 6:04 AM SL Time
Captain Sachith Pathirana and Romesh Perera came up with fine all-round performances for Trinity College in their rain interrupted inter-school match against Kingswood College Kandy that ended in a draw on Saturday at the Asgiriya International Stadium.
Batting first, Trinity reached 157 for 7 decl. with Pathirana hitting a quick-fire 97 off 92 balls. In reply, Kingswood were bowled out for 91 with the spin combination of Pathirana and Perera sharing eight wickets between them.
Trinity in their second innings decaled at 96 for 4 as Perera top scored with 34. Off-spinner Chalitha Dharmnaprema picked up 3 for 28. Kingswood were 67 for one at close with Prasad Senaratne on 34* and K. Perera 25 *.
Trinity 157 for 7 declared in 48 overs and 96 for 4 declared (Romesh Perera 34, Dilan Gangoda 19, Rajitha Bandara 17 n.o. Chalitha Dharmaprema 3 for 28)
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