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|More Headline News|
Lanka to accept EU`s Kouchner despite reservations
Thursday, 11 January 2007 - 10:39 AM SL Time
Despite reservations, the Sri Lankan government would accept controversial diplomat Dr. Bernard Kouchner as a member of International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP), which is being set up to oversee Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Violations of Human Rights.
Kouchner`s nomination by the European Union triggered apprehension among a section of the government and political analysts. EU External Relations Chief Ms Ferrero Waldner on December 22 announced the former French Minister`s selection.
Speculation in knowledgeable circles is that Kouchner`s inclusion would be disadvantageous to the government.
Controversy surrounds Kouchner`s role as the UN Special Commissioner for Kosovo, the former province of the then Yugoslavia.
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A-9 to be extended
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 - 9:51 AM SL Time
The Kandy-Jaffna A-9 highway at Maradankadawela in the Anuradhapura district and at Jayanthipura in Polonnaruwa district will be further extended at a cost of rupees 2673 million.
Funds are provided by World Bank with a domestic component. The project will be completed in two years.
Expansion will be held from Maradankadawela junction to Habarana Jayanthipura Triangular Madu through Batticaloa.
The inauguration will take place on January 22 under the patronage of Highways Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. Irrigation, Mahaweli Development and Environment Minister Maithripala Sirisena will be present at Jayanthipura and North Central Province Council Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake will be present at the ceremony at Maradankadewela Highways Ministry spokesman R. M. P. B. Ratnayaka told The Island yesterday that under the rehabilitation programme they would improve the road surface with asphalt, improve drainage and improve safety signs and road marking.
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Mahinda eyes cabinet reshuffle, opposition seen included
Tuesday, 9 January 2007 - 8:30 PM SL Time
Sri Lanka`s president may reshuffle his cabinet, his office said on Tuesday, and an aide said he could bring in opposition politicians into his minority government.
President Mahinda Rajapakse`s government is dwarfed by the opposition in parliament after key allies broke away from his coalition, forcing him to reach out to the main opposition United National Party and minority Tamil and Muslim parties.
`I would expect to see people from the opposition coming in to the cabinet,` a senior presidential aide told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Analysts say such a reshuffle would help bring balance to a parliament in which the government has around just 70 of the 225 seats at a time when the state is fighting a new chapter of a two decade civil war with Tamil Tiger rebels.
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More Headline News
|Security Security Forum|
Sri Lanka - second in list of South Asian journalists killed
Friday, 12 January 2007 - 10:40 AM SL Time
Sri Lanka figured second in the list of journalists killed in the South Asian region last year, according to `Media Monitor South Asia 2006` which was launched simultaneously in Colombo, Kabul, Dhaka, New Delhi, Islamabad and Kathmandu yesterday.
In Colombo, the findings were announced at a media briefing by the Sri Lanka Chapter of the South Asia Free Media Association.
President of SAFMA Sri Lanka, Lakshman Gunasekera said that Media Monitor 2006 gives a gloomy picture of the South Asian media.
Pakistan tops the list with four journalists killed, while in Sri Lanka two journalists and five media employees were killed.
Secretary General SAFMA, Imtiaz Allam said that Media Monitor 2006 covers not only attacks on the press but also content of the media.
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Bonus for teachers who takes less leave
Friday, 12 January 2007 - 10:39 AM SL Time
For the first time, the Department of Education has taken steps to pay a bonus to teachers who took less leave in 2006.
N. W. Perera the Zonal Director of Education Kalutara addressing the Principals of schools said the teachers who had not taken all the thirty-days entitled leave and who have five or more days leave remaining would be given an additional payment by the department.
This step has been taken by the Department of Education to encourage the teachers to attend schools regularly to run the schools smoothly. Full Story Post Reply To This Read Replies ( 2 )
STF captures another Tiger camp with a garment factory in Eastern Sri Lanka
Friday, 12 January 2007 - 1:06 AM SL Time
Elite Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF) captured another LTTE camp in Kanchijudichcharu in the Ampara district killing at least four Tiger terrorists this morning, military said.
They said that STF personnel who captured LTTE`s Ampara district main camp known as Stanley Base in Kanchijudichcharu last Monday (08), captured the `Janaka` camp, situated west of the Stanley Base.
LTTE cadres had launched mortar attacks from the `Janaka` camp at STF personnel deployed around the Stanley Base.
According to the STF, a large factory where uniforms were stitched for LTTE cadres had been situated inside the Janaka camp. Motorcycles and other vehicles had also been recovered from the camp. Full Story Post Reply To This Read Replies ( 11 )
|Politics Political News Forum|
UNP alleges death threats to its leaders, journalists
Friday, 12 January 2007 - 10:58 AM SL Time
The UNP yesterday called on the Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara to urge the Defence Secretary and the Police Chief to probe the alleged death threats to Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and several others.
UNP Gampaha District MP Jayalath Jayawardene who raised a privilege issue in Parliament yesterday said some international group had sent death threats to the Opposition Leader, Deputy Minister Dilan Perera and several other politicians including himself through a website. He said the death threats were a breach of parliamentary privilege.
According to Dr. Jayawardene the group had labelled him, the Opposition Leader and others as traitors. In addition he said the hit list of this group included leading journalists such as Bandula Padmakumara and Sunanda Deshapriya, New Left Front Leader Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne, CMC Opposition Leader Vasudeva Nanayakara, business tycoons Lalith Kotelawala and Soma Edirisinghe.
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Army use `a differnt language`- Keheliya
Friday, 12 January 2007 - 1:07 AM SL Time
Defence affairs spokesman, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella says government has no intention to launch an offensive to capture areas under LTTE.
He said the clashes are merely `retaliatory` in reaction to Tiger attacks.
Recently, the Army commander Lt.General Sarath Fonseka, had openly stated the intentions of the security forces to drive the Tamil Tigers from the North and the East.
State run newspapers declared that the government had launched a new offensive named `Niayathai Jaya` to capture areas in the East which are under Tamil Tiger control.
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Eagle`s Eye: Conflict in Sri Lanka
Friday, 12 January 2007 - 1:03 AM SL Time
LTTE runs legal and illegal businesses, extract money from Tamils throughout the world, and uses this money to fund terrorism, and to keep the flame of an artificially magnified conflict burning - Raj Gonsalkorale
Sri Lanka is not unique in the world in having unresolved business relating to civil disorder, military engagements with terrorists and some ethnic disharmony amongst its people. Like in many countries where such problems persist, Sri Lanka has also had its fair share of external interference that has added fuel to fire and, in fact, made matters worse for the country.
Sri Lankan conflict could also be regarded as being driven by demand and supply principles. On the demand side, we see the Tamil Diaspora and the LTTE continuing to internationalise the conflict and attempting to show the world that the conflict has inflicted some terrible atrocities and instances of genocide on the Tamil people comparable to situations witnessed recently in some European and African countries, while conveniently ignoring the fact that some of the worst crimes in fact have been committed by the LTTE, and by implication, the Tamil Diaspora.
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|Business / Economy News Business News Forum|
Chickungunya flu in Sri Lanka delays exam results
Friday, 12 January 2007 - 1:10 AM SL Time
An outbreak of mosquito-borne `Chickungunya` flu has brought down workers across Sri Lanka, even delaying the grading of university entrance examination results, officials said.
Many teachers were reported off sick with the debilitating flu, which lasts up to two weeks and causes serious joint pains.
Results of national university entrance exams could be delayed by at least a week as a result, a spokesman for the exam board said.
`There is a delay in releasing the results because some of the teachers had been hit by Chickungunya,` the spokesman said.
Attendance at government and private sector offices has been low in recent weeks with the health authorities estimating that more than 200,000 people had been infected by the mosquito-borne disease.
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Kerawalapitiya Power Plant to meet growing electricity demand
Thursday, 11 January 2007 - 11:48 AM SL Time
The construction of the Sri Lanka`s largest thermal multi-fuel operated combined power plant will begin in the middle of the year in Kerawalapitiya as scheduled. Construction work is expected to be completed in 2008 and the Energy Ministry hopes to commence operations in 2009.
Power and Energy Minister W. D. J. Seneviratne delivering a speech at the agreement signing ceremony pointed out that the Kerawalapitiya power plant had been considered to be very important in view of the current power situation in the country and the plant would be able to solve the existing power crisis. He said that it would generate 300 MW capacity of electricity operated by furnace oil which would have the lowest variable cost of all thermal power plants.
Minister Seneviratne said that Kerawalapitiya power plant would be the least cost power generation plant of the CEB for a long time. He stressed the Power and Energy Ministry had taken action to implement the project considering the urgency of project proposals called by the CEB`s subsidiary, Lakdhanavi Limited, which had a record of implementing power projects in the past economically.
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Five new High Court judges
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 - 9:52 AM SL Time
In pursuance of government`s plans to de-centralize the appellate jurisdiction by establishing 11 Provincial Appeal High Courts, the Judicial Service Commission has announced the appointment of five High Court Judges.
The new judges include Saman Wickramarachchi, K.H. Sumitrapala, W.I. Perera and M.Z. Raseen who were special grade District Judges and the former Senior State Counselor P. Surasena.
The Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission P.W.D.C. Jayathilake said that with the new appointments, the number of High Court Judges will reach 40, the maximum of the cadre and there is a proposal to increase the cadre 60.
He said that it is necessary because the proposed Appeal High Courts will comprise of Two Judge Benches instead of the single Judge Bench in the normal High Courts.
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|Editorial News Editorial News Forum|
SLFP-UNP MoU doomed?
Friday, 12 January 2007 - 10:54 AM SL Time
President Mahinda Rajapakse seems to have slightly opened the door which, he said the other day, he had closed on the UNP parliamentarians who were jostling to join the government. The cabinet reshuffle in the pipeline is said to be a move to accommodate the UNP crossovers. The ministers are reported to have agreed to shed some of the subjects under their purview so that new ministries could be created. It looks as if the country were moving towards a Parliament of Ministers!
Although President Rajapakse doesn`t experience problems in Parliament at present as he told the press on Tuesday, there is no guarantee that he will be free from trouble in time to come. Politics is full of vicissitudes and no one knows which way parliamentarians may jump. Therefore, he may have thought of securing a clear majority here and now so as to forestall the obstacles that might be slapped on his path with the passage of time.
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Wild buffaloes at large!
Thursday, 11 January 2007 - 11:44 AM SL Time
It is with shock and dismay that we note the violent disruption of the maiden rally of the newly formed United People`s Movement at Nugegoda on Tuesday. No sooner had it kicked off than a gang of goons did descend on it. UNP MP S. B. Dissanayake, one of the organisers, promptly blamed Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva for the attack. And the latter came out with the usual cock-and-bull story.
He said he had just reached the Nugegoda junction, when all at once he saw a crowd attacking the rally. Poor Mervyn! He always happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time! A few months ago, he had a similar experience at a Colombo night club, which was attacked by thugs. Wherever he goes, he seems to have trouble from club-smashing and rally-disrupting mobs! Not even a peace rally can be conducted peacefully if he is present. A few months ago, we saw a peace demonstration end up in a mini battle, thanks to his presence.
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The bubble has burst!
Tuesday, 9 January 2007 - 8:40 PM SL Time
The LTTE is making a desperate attempt to make its presence felt. It has bombed a CEB sub station in Wattala. The blast has, no doubt, caused considerable loss to the state and the LTTE is likely to step up such terror attacks on infrastructural facilities, besides blasting public vehicles. What is happening is a serious threat to public security and everything possible must be done to protect the citizenry and public property.
But, if the LTTE thinks it can achieve its objectives through such acts of wanton terror, it is sadly mistaken. Through them, it has only demonstrated its bankruptcy, having declared its final war and raised billions of rupees for that purpose. Today, it cannot at least rescue its cadres trapped in Vakarai, let alone carving out a mono ethnic enclave. The outfit is trying to cover up its battlefield failures by means of cowardly attacks on civilians and State property. Who needs foreign funds to the tune of billion of rupees and years of training for so simple a task like the blowing up of a transformer or placing a bomb in a crowded bus?
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|Sports News Sports News Forum|
Shoaib and Asif set for World Cup
Friday, 12 January 2007 - 10:53 AM SL Time
Controversial bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif have been included in Pakistan`s provisional World Cup squad.
They failed drugs tests last year, only for a Pakistan Cricket Board appeals committee to exonerate them.
It remains possible, however, that the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) could stop either player appearing in the World Cup.
Pakistan selector Wasim Bari said: `So far Shoaib and Asif are free to play. We will see when we cross the bridge.`
Cas is likely to rule on an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Foundation within four months, with Pakistan`s first World Cup match in Jamaica on 13 March.
Also in the 30, which must be trimmed to 15 by 13 February, is talented paceman Shabbir Ahmed, who has just returned to action after a year-long ban for having an illegal bowling action.
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Friday, 12 January 2007 - 2:35 AM SL Time
Inflation may be spiralling upwards, the Sri Lankan rupee might plunging in value, war clouds are clinging to the horizon, but at least there is something to cheer as the New Year dawns: the Sri Lankan cricket team`s return to good health. After an inconsistent 2005, the senior team has rebounded with fresh purpose and growing confidence. It has not been an unblemished year by any means, but the prospects for the future are looking far brighter than they did 12 months ago.
In terms of bare statistics, it was Sri Lanka`s busiest ever year in terms of international commitments: 36 ODIs, 11 Tests and three Twenty20 slogfests. The win ratio for the one-day team was a decent 56%, while in Tests their record was second only to Australia with six victories and just three defeats in 11 matches. However, the real bonus is the fighting spirit shown in tough situations, the flair with which the side has played and the flourishing of young talent.
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Lamenting is over as DSS tie the Big Match knot with Mahanama
Friday, 12 January 2007 - 1:09 AM SL Time
Having lamented for five years over the stalled Big Match against St. Benedict`s College, a prominent cricket playing college of Colombo, D.S. Senanayake MV will now look forward to a trouble free and cricket boosting future when they commence a new Big Match series on auspicious time with former division II College Mahanama on Friday.
The two colleges who have never played a traditional two-day match in their short cricket history will meet each other for the first time in the field of cricket at Kettharama Ground where they hope to lay the foundation for a long lasting series.
The need of a big match to boost a cricket culture existed ever since the ill fated big match against St. Benedict`s came to a standstill in 2001 and the discussion over a lack of a big match continued until the officials of the DSS agreed to commence a series with Mahanama. The nine editions long big match against Bens ended when a mini-spectator-riot erupted while the one day big match was on at CCC and neither party succeeded in recommencing the yearly encounter which had not seen a single side earning a positive result. Though there were no major differences between the two colleges except for the difference between the number of years they have been in school cricket, the two parties couldn`t come together thereafter. St. Benedict`s were a well established cricket playing school then with a history of over 80 years in school cricket and though DSS had started their cricket many years later, they were emerging as a formidable force after one of their past cricketers had established himself as on of the most prolific batsmen in world cricket.
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