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|More Headline News|
MEP rejects `majority report`
Monday, 11 December 2006 - 3:35 AM SL Time
The MEP has rejected the hotly disputed recommendations made by an 11-member expert panel to the All Party Representative Committee (APRC). The statement referred to as the `majority report` called for far reaching constitutional changes, recommending among other things a bicameral legislature and two vice presidents from among the minorities.
Prof. Nalin de Silva, who represented the MEP in the 17-member expert panel told The Island that the majority was not acceptable to them. Referring to our lead story headlined `Sharp differences in Constitutional panel, APRC over peace plan` last Friday (December 8 issue) de Silva said that he was dismayed over the publication of certain points contained in the interim report submitted by the majority of the panel of experts. He said, `Together with this report another report by four members of the panel, and two other documents were submitted at a joint meeting of the panel and APRC held on Wednesday the 6th. It was agreed that all the documents would be treated with utmost confidentiality and that their contents would not be divulged to the press. I am not aware how the contents of the majority reached the press.`
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Elilan : SLA offensive repulsed in Panichchankerni
Sunday, 10 December 2006 - 8:52 PM SL Time
A Sri Lanka Army offensive south of Vaharai along the costal line towards Panichchankerni was defeated by the defence forces of the Tigers, said S. Elilan, Trincomalee Political Head of the Tigers. 19 civilians were killed in SLA and Sri Lanka Navy shelling and 50 civilians were wounded Sunday.
`Around 27 IDPs were critically wounded. ICRC was ready to offer transportation to wounded civilians from Vaharai hospital. But the Sri Lankan military did not allow them to transport the wounded.`
`An attempt by SLMM to facilitate transportation was also failed today. A patient died.`
Today, a group of civilians on their own initiative, transported a few wounded on boats towards Batticaloa, amid shell attacks, risking their lives, Mr. Elilan further said.
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JVP: President missed chance to pull out of CFA
Sunday, 10 December 2006 - 5:32 AM SL Time
The JVP Saturday faulted the government for reiterating commitment to the Oslo-arranged Cease-Fire Agreement (CFA) saying President Mahinda Rajapakse passed a golden opportunity to quit the CFA over the assassination bid on his brother Gotabhaya, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence.
Dismissing criticism of the disputed decision to resort to tough anti-terror laws in response to the latest attack, the JVP emphasised the need to defeat the LTTE militarily.
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More Headline News
|Security Security Forum|
Bunkers in houses at Serunuwara
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 - 9:39 PM SL Time
Following the recent LTTE artillery attacks on civilians in Serunuwara and its suburbs, the security forces have advised the public to build bunkers inside their houses, the military said yesterday.
`Some how we want to protect the civilians. So we have decided to construct bunkers inside houses,` a senior military official in the area told the Daily Mirror. He said military personnel would assist the people to build these bunkers. According to the official six civilians including a teacher and a student had been killed and more than 10 school students were injured due to LTTE artillery attacks on several areas in Trincomalee south.
`Some people already have bunkers near their houses, but we asked the others who had not build such bunkers to do so inside their houses,` he said. So far more than 3000 people out of about 10,000 population in the Kallar, Serunuwara, Sirimangalapura, Medagama, R.B.1 (Right Bank), R.B. 2 and L.B.2 villages had left for Kantale.
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Hang them, magistrates tell President
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 - 6:11 PM SL Time
President Mahinda Rajapaksa is seriously considering implementing the Capital punishment to curb violence in the country, Presidential Secretariat sources said.
Several magistrates met President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees and insisted on the need to implement the Capital punishment which they maintained was the only way to combat increasing violence in the country.
The President told the magistrates he couldn`t take a decision single-handedly on the issue but promised to consult the experts and take a decision soon.
Since June 23, 1976, there had been no hanging in Sri Lanka, although death sentences were handed down continuously by the High and Supreme Courts for murder and drug trafficking convictions.
Among the magistrates who participated at the meeting were District Magistrate Chandana Jayathilake, Colombo Chief Magistrate Ms Sarojini Kusala Wijewardene, District Magistrates M.Z Razeed and Sisira Ratnayake and Magistrate Krishanthi Dodangoda. President`s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga also participated.
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Civilians trapped in Vakarai fighting
Monday, 11 December 2006 - 3:41 AM SL Time
Sri Lanka military authorities have accused the International truce monitors and aid agencies of neglecting the flight of the civilians caught in the conflict.
Military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said the ICRC did not respond to a call by the forces to remove civilians trapped in Vakarai.
`We asked them to take all necessary steps including using boats to transport civilians out of the area but there was no positive response,` he told BBC Sinhala. Full Story Post Reply To This Read Replies ( 11 )
|Politics Political News Forum|
Army Commander vows to chase the LTTE shortly out of Eastern province
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 - 9:41 PM SL Time
Sri Lanka Army Commander vows to drive the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam out of the Eastern province shortly. `This would help the people in the East to lead their lives peacefully,` Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, according to a report has told the media.
The report reveals that the strength of the LTTE has been weakened since the Karuna faction broke away in March 2004.
The report pointed out that, this was not the first instance the LTTE has lost its hold in the Eastern province. During the period 1993 ? 1994, LTTE influence was swept away under Brigadier Lucky Algama, then Commander of the Eastern province.
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Comeback call to CBK by Attanagalla loyalists
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 - 6:12 PM SL Time
Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga simply laughed off calls by her Attanagalla loyalists to make a come back to politics or enter Parliament.
Ms. Kumaratunga who is the Chairperson of the Attanagalla party organization addressed a gathering at Horagolla on Sunday.
The ceremony organized by Attanagalla Organiser and Minister Anura Bandaranaike went on for about two hours followed by lunch.
This was the first time she addressed a political forum since she left the country for London early this year.
Among the members who urged ms. Kumaratunga to enter Parliament was provincial Councilor Ranjith Rupasinghe who insisted that the former President should continue to remain in politics while several others echoed similar views.
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Tissa hopes to make model out of muddle
Monday, 11 December 2006 - 3:40 AM SL Time
The All Party Representative Committee (APRC) is to iron out differences of opinions among its members on power devolution and present a common set of proposals to solve the ethnic conflict, its chairman Tissa Vitarana said.
The decision comes in the wake of different reports submitted by two groups and individuals in the experts` panel.
Professor Vitarana said the committee would meet next week to discuss the matter further.
`I am trying to bring together all those dissenting views and reach common ground on the problem,` he said.
Meanwhile, the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance said it was too early for it to comment on the power devolution model submitted by the majority group of the experts` panel.
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|Business / Economy News Business News Forum|
Unemployment drops to 6.4 per cent.
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 - 9:40 PM SL Time
The unemployment has decreased to 6.4 per cent for the third quarter of the year 2006. It is a decrease of 0.8 percent, in comparison with the 7.2 per cent unemployment rate of the unemployment rate for the third quarter of the year 2005.
The Directress of the Department of the Census and Statistics Ms. Suranjana Widyarathna stated that there is a continuation of the declining trend of unemployment, and there is a significant decrease of unemployment rates in year 2006, when compared with the unemployment rates for 2003, 2004 and 2005.
The number of unemployed persons is estimated as about 500,000. The reported unemployment for females is 9.8% and 4.6% for males.
Ms. Widyarthna added that there is no statistical difference between the unemployment rate reported for the third quarter of the year 2006, when sampling error is considered.
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Recruitment centre for jobs in Malaysia to be opened
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 - 9:38 PM SL Time
In view of the growing employment opportunities available in Malaysia for Sri Lankans, a separate employment centre to recruit workers for Malaysia is to be set up in Colombo. Minister of Foreign Employent Promotion Rohitha Abeygunawardena revealed thisat a recent ceremony, held at the Ministry, to mark the departure of 1,000 youth for employment in Malaysia. In line with this the Minister also said that steps would be taken to establish such employment centres for the purpose of sending youth to Japan and the USA too.
At least a single member from a Samurdhi Social Welfare family would be absorbed for foreign employment, the Minister said and added that female labour employed in the Middle East was bringing significant monetary gains to the country. Full Story Post Reply To This
Deadline for cancellation of liquor licences extended
Monday, 11 December 2006 - 3:37 AM SL Time
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has extended the deadline for cancellation of liquor licences within one kilometre of sacred places by a year to December 2007, sources from the President Secretariat said on Friday (8).
The Commissioner General of Excise Parakrama Ekanayake Bandara told The island that President had taken the decision after considering the appeals made by the aggrieved parties who had said that as the gazette notification was issued in August 2006 they did not have sufficient time to take alternative action to move out 3,119 liquor licences were coming up for renewal and all had to get their applications by December 19 and hand in their completed forms by December 31 2006.
He said that 65 `FL-3` wholesale licenses, 998 `FL-4` wine store licences, 103 `FL-3` super market licences, 615 `FL-7` guest house and hotel licences, 691 `FL-9` entertainment bars, restaurant licences including `FL-11`, 56 `FL-13` `A` grade restaurants 96 `FL-13` club licences and 495 `FL-22` Beer licences awaited renewal.
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|Editorial News Editorial News Forum|
Has water closed in on Navy probe report?
Monday, 11 December 2006 - 3:38 AM SL Time
The three-member Presidential Commission that has completed a probe into the shady arms deals by the Navy is focusing on a number of questionable transactions by the army, according to The Sunday Island of Dec. 10. The Commission consists of Justices Shiranee Tilakawardane (Chairperson), Nissanka K. Udalagama and Nimal E. Dissanayake.
That the army reeks of corruption goes without saying. Corrupt generals haven`t spared even soldiers` rations or bootstraps. It is salutary that the government is planning to probe the sordid operations in the army. But, of what use are such probes, whose findings don`t get published or translated into action against the culprits?
The public has a right to know what is happening to their tax money. The government has increased the Defence expenditure for 2007 by 45 per cent and it is the people who will have to pick up the tab. Before effecting the proposed increase, it is incumbent upon the government to explain to the people how it seeks to rationalise expenditure by curbing waste and corruption in the military. They must not be asked to pour more and more funds into a bottomless pit so that corrupt generals, admirals or air marshals could continue to line their pockets.
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Publish the reports
Sunday, 10 December 2006 - 5:34 AM SL Time
It is now incumbent on the government to publish the majority and minority reports as well as the comments of former senior and respected public servants like Mr. Dharmasiri Pieris and Mr. K.H.J. Wijayadasa on the reports of the Experts Committee to the All Party Conference which must now come up with proposals towards a political solution of what has variously been described as the `ethnic problem`` and the `National Question.`` The Hindu, the respected Indian newspaper carried a report based on the majority report suggesting that what appears to be a quasi-federal solution based on the premise that devolution to the Northern and Eastern Provinces subject to ethic enclaves for the Sinhalese and Muslims in the East is on offer. Given that the membership of the APC as well as the Experts Committee total nearly 40, and that as many copies of the various reports have been distributed, it is not surprising that there have been leaks. Most journalists know that leaks are often selective leading to what a Latin maxim accurately encapsulates: suppresso veri, suggestio falsi ? when there is suppression of relevant details, a false impression will be created.
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Karuna and child soldiers: Poachers offering to be gamekeepers
Saturday, 9 December 2006 - 12:37 PM SL Time
Breakaway LTTE Leader Karuna Amman, who heads the Eastern Tigers and the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) has undertaken to assist the UN in preventing the recruitment and the use of children in war. Although his outfit has been placed on the UN List of Shame for recruiting children, he has sought to deny that he has children within his ranks. Cum grano salis! Remember Prabhakaran`s denial of keeping child soldiers, at the Wanni press conference in 2002.
Karuna has assured UNICEF that he would do the following: Issuance of a policy statement to all his commanders that child recruitment is not acceptable; training commanders in children`s rights; release of children who may be found in his ranks and provision of free access to his camps for UNICEF. Never mind policy statements and training for his commanders, he must be told to release his child combatants forthwith and desist from recruiting minors and grant the UN access to his camps.
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|Sports News Sports News Forum|
Murali run out under `bizarre` circumstances
Monday, 11 December 2006 - 3:39 AM SL Time
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene blamed for the lack of spirit in the Kiwi camp following Muttiah Muralitharan`s controversial dismissal in Sri Lanka`s second innings here at the Jade Stadium in Christchurch on Saturday.
With Sri Lanka`s last pair of Kumar Sangakkara and Mural fighting hard to gain a substantial lead, the latter was run out when he stepped out of the crease to congratulate a celebrating Sangakkara who had just completed a brilliant ton.
After the top order collapsed yet again, Sangakkara with the tail-enders was putting up a brave effort to give the team a considerable second innings total. He brought up his 11th Test hundred with a single and having completed the first run Murali stepped out to wish his partner and at that point `keeper Brendon McCullum removed the bails with Murali left stranded in utter disbelief. The Kiwis argued that the ball was still alive when he stepped out.
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To bat or not
Sunday, 10 December 2006 - 5:43 AM SL Time
Cricket is the only sport where a coin can decide the fate of a game particularly in a limited overs game when the quick bowlers get a huge advantage due to the pitch and weather conditions. On the opposite end when a spin heaps during the second half a game again winning or losing the toss matters.
The English who introduced this game to the world had this to say about winning the toss: `win the toss, think about inserting the opposition into bat, think again, think yet again about doing it and then decide to bat first!` Mind you, this was the way of thinking when pitches were not covered and the game was played on soft sticky surfaces. Although pitches are covered now, it has not made the decision any easier.
There are a number of factors to be taken into account. The first and most important is the pitch itself. At almost all times ground authorities make every effort to make on day pitches to suit batsmen. Simply because spectators like watching plenty of runs being scored in a day. Of course at times the recipe goes wrong and bowlers have their day.
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New Zealand win despite Sanga ton
Sunday, 10 December 2006 - 5:35 AM SL Time
Opener Craig Cumming scored 43 in New Zealand`s second innings Saturday as the hosts took just under three days to beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in the first cricket test, to take a 1-0 lead in the two-test series.
Set 119 to win after Sri Lanka`s second innings closed on 170, New Zealand lost three wickets for two runs to slump to 68 for four midway between lunch and tea on the third day.
However Nathan Astle, with 24, and Jacob Oram, nine, shared an unbroken stand of 34 for the fifth wicket up until the tea interval, when New Zealand was 102-4.
After tea, despite losing Astle`s wicket lbw to Muttiah Muralitharan without further scoring, Oram, not out 12, and Brendon McCullum, unbeaten on 14, steered New Zealand to victory.
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